Right. Update time!

I am still alive – we’re off to a good start – and barely hallucinating, I have acquired a job that actually pays me (I have no idea what I’m doing but it’s fiiiiiine…), I’ve gone out and done things and met people, and I have bought a pretty dress for no reason. I still have virtually no attention span but I’m coping with that well.

That’s life in a nutshell.

I’m doing well. I’ve been doing okay for a while, but I am finally doing well. I am good. I’m pretty great, actually! …says the person who is having to re-type most words due to shaking like a leaf on a windy day. But today’s shaky is caffeine related and not medication related OR brain related so it’s hardly even relevant!

So yeah.

I am doing really well, and it only took four months! 😀

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Upbeat titles are difficult.

The real world is treating me surprisingly well, I am pleased to say! I’m now working in a small office – there’s only four of us – on six hour days, correcting every spreadsheet they’ve ever made. Little steps. They’re lovely people and they like me lots!

I have told them that I have a history of silly-brain-itis (not actual inflammation of the silly brain, just a nice sounding phrase) but I have told them nothing more. I haven’t told them that I cannot ‘phones’, I have not asked them not to discuss illness, I have not told them I don’t like people. So for a little while I am actually playing the part of ‘well-adjusted, functional human’ quite well, even though I am a walking purple.

I am really, really enjoying dressing office-y. And startling people with the transition from mass of Kevlar and boots to dainty thing in a skirt and heels every morning. I did try taking the bus, but that turned out to be the most traumatic part of the day, so motorbike it is…while the weather stays co-operative anyway.

So yeah.
The real world is being nice.
Apart from last night’s spontaneous panic attack at three in the morning. Very odd sensation to wake up to, and not one I hope to repeat any time soon.

The room of requirement

As soon as I mentioned Trevor the Life Coach, he was hastily released from my service, never to be seen again.

Life’s weird like that; it throws you just exactly what you need at that precise moment in time, and then it’s served its purpose and you’re on your own again. But it’s okay. He helped a lot. He gave me a bit of confidence and that is precisely what I needed.

The next proverbial bone that the universe has thrown for/at me is a work experience placement. I start tomorrow, I get to dress all posh and office-y, and hopefully it will send me on the right path to find the next surprise in this ever-expanding treasure hunt that is life.

Specks of silver.

I’ve now been on anti-depressants for a grand total of eight days, and I am already starting to notice my brain changing a bit. It’s odd, I never thought I would notice things changing and I was incredibly skeptical about taking anything at all, but the way that I think is actually beginning to change. And the side-effects have started to calm down thankfully, so it’s definitely found the right place now.

I started to notice little differences two days ago when I felt like me again for a few hours in the morning. I was able to get up in the morning, go to the shop, walk the dog, tidy some things…it was brilliant! I had accomplished all that before the time that I usually manage to extract myself from the world of the horizontal, and when my boyfriend came home for lunch we held a proper conversation, which is quite a rare occurrence at the moment unless it is the middle of the night. I have been a passive spectator to any form of conversation for a long time so this made a nice change.

Something similar has happened today, except it was not one chunk of normal but random bursts throughout the day interspersed with vacancy. I may have stayed in bed late, but when I got up I played with the dog for a while and chased her around the living room. I even found myself looking for jobs and feeling optimistic; I considered my future for a little while, which is an enormous jump from the beginning of last week when I did not feel I had one at all.

It’s still all ups and downs and I suddenly run out of energy every now and then, but this is massive progress even at this early stage on a tiny dose and I am astounded and thrilled.

This rain cloud is beginning to exhibit little tinges of silver around the edges!

Beyond enough.

In my determination to remain un-medicated, I am going to try some daft things with questionable efficacy – and you’ll see if they actually work because I will stop posting about how ill I am and start talking about having a life. Mental health stuff is a way of life, and I am about to start breaking the rules my brain has created in its vastly excessive attempts to keep me safe, so this is going to be rather tricky and I am going to need all the support I can get. Typing this out to post to a public place feels like a tremendous commitment and that’s why I am doing so, because I need people to know that I really, really want rid of these rules that suffocate me like a hundred particularly itchy scarves worn simultaneously.

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As a little starting step, for as long as I remember to do so (realistically don’t expect more than a week or two) I am going to end every blog post with three things I am grateful for or things that made me happy that day. I need to be nicer to myself and stop being angry at myself for being ill. It is not – and has never been – my fault.

So a few things that made me happy today:
1. My dog falling asleep on my feet
2. The sound of my mum clattering around the house making odd noises
3. Waking up to see a cluster of damp, windswept chickens waddling about the garden doing chicken things

The man inside my head

There is someone living inside my head. For a while I believed for a while that it was my mum’s voice booming out from the depths of my mind – and I think it still is sometimes – but for the most part it is a little man who is very hyperbolic and very dramatic, and very loud. When I do things he doesn’t approve of then he informs me of his displeasure very quickly by shouting threats or just starting to scream. And I do mean scream. Sometimes when I am in a busy place with lots of people, the little man in my head begins to scream at full volume and it fills my head. And then all the noises around me become amplified and everything moves faster and this little man is sat in the back of my head grabbing at handfuls of nerves and messing with my senses and all I can do is run away from the situation and wait until it stops.

Even as I write this, the little man is sat in a darkened corner in an armchair muttering away to himself, occasionally shouting a word or two to remind me he is in there and I am not going to get away with anything tonight.

I used to go to a climbing centre every week. Then my brain decided to kick off and I was very ill for a very long time so I couldn’t go for a while, and then when I tried again a few months ago the little man screamed and screamed until he lost his voice (and took mine, too) and then he curled up into the foetal position and rocked gently back and forth for a few hours, whimpering softly. The little man gave berating me up as a lost cause for the evening, so I was pretty much free of him for a while, and I took full advantage of this. All he had done was take my voice, and I didn’t need that to climb a wall, so climb a wall is exactly what I did.

It was the first time I had properly managed to override the little man since he first appeared. I have done so again since, but it takes a lot of energy and I don’t particularly enjoy the aftermath once the adrenaline kicks in. But progress is progress!