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Found 6 results

  1. So, some of you may have noticed that I haven't been very active lately. I checked the forums yesterday and had a huge shock when I noticed that the member status thingies had changed... I haven't been busy. I'm still unemployed. I've barely been writing, and I haven't touched an instrument in like two weeks. I've just been depressed. It's been coming in sort of waves. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make an appointment with my GP to see if I could get a referral to a shrink. I went last Monday, and she wrote and sent off a referral for me, but she also prescribed me antidepressants. I'm currently taking 5mg Escitalopram per day. There are side-effects, and their severity varies from day to day. Some days I'm mostly fine, just kind of tired. Other days, I get nausea, shakes, headaches, sort of feverish symptoms. My heart races, and I feel hot or cold. It takes a few weeks for antidepressants to actually take effect, so at the moment they're making things worse rather than better. If the side-effects have subsided in about a week, I'm to up the dosage to 10mg per day. I'm scared. I'm worried about what this is going to do to my creativity, to my artistic ability. At the moment, I'm just taking it one day at a time. I mean, it's not like I was managing to do much without the meds either. Now I'm just waiting to hear from the shrink, and I'm going back to see my GP in 2 weeks to talk about how the meds are working out and whether to continue further treatment. She's a very good doctor. Anyway, that's why I'm not here much. I thought some of you might like to know. Or not. It's weird, because I can be temporarily cheery. In London last week with my mum, I had loads of fun. We went to the theatre, and I was psyched about that, and I met a funny magician in Camden and that made me happy, and I got new Deadpool comics at Forbidden Planet and that made me happy, and there were all these little things that made me feel temporarily happy. Today as well, it was Magpie's birthday, and he liked my present so that made me happy, and we went out for dinner and he was cheery so I was cheery. The food was super tasty, so that made me happy too. But when all outside influences are gone, it's like I'm just sat here with no motivation and it's just empty and dark. I feel empty and dark and I don't know what to do about it. It's not the first time I'm depressed, but it's like I've just repressed all the other times so I don't know how I got through it then either. Only all the other times I've been like this I think I've had some kind of routine. School, mostly, or work even. Something to get me out of bed in the mornings, get me out of the house, even if I'm a total zombie doing it, and now I have nothing. You can go to school if you're a zombie. You can perform routine tasks in a workplace, mostly, cause it's all automated. But you can't create art, and that's the only thing I have at the moment and it doesn't work. I haven't got the energy to look for work, which stresses me out and makes me feel guilty. Magpie's very kind and supportive, but I'm starting to feel like a burden because I have no income. I've taken up a small loan in the Bank of Mother. She's happy to help, but that makes me feel guilty too, and that just pushes me down further. If you've made it to here, I applaud you. I probably wouldn't have read all that shit. Skimmed it, maybe. So if you read all this, thanks for taking an interest. It sort of helps, I think. TL;DR: I feel shitty, and I'm depressed, but I'm on medication so hopefully I'll get better soon.
  2. I think there's an unfortunate side-effect to mental illness that many experience. It's not one that's easy to understand or admit to, even to yourself, but I do think it's fairly common. At least I have observed it in both myself and many people I know (and I have a lot of friends irl with mental illness; it's like we're drawn together somehow, us weirdos who suck at fitting in because our brains don't function very well at times). As an example, I have a friend with ADHD and PTSD who often has a burning need to rant about all her problems and everything she's going through. She does so to me quite often, and I try to listen, but it's exhausting when I'm going through an episode, especially when she doesn't even bother to ask how I am doing despite knowing that I, too, suffer from a mental illness. So I 'hm' and 'ah' and say, 'Oh, yeah, that really sucks, I'm sorry.' But I don't really listen always because I haven't got room in my head. And she doesn't have room in hers so my need to do the same is overruled (part of the problem, I think, is that she should be in therapy but isn't; I am, so I may be a tad better at realising that my brain is not her problem, though far from all the time). It's not a great foundation for a friendship and can far too easily turn toxic, but I haven't got the energy or the capacity to tell her that I haven't got the energy or the capacity to deal with her shit on top of my own. Vicious cycle. This kind of self-centredness, if you will is, I think, natural and, to an extent, healthy. It's a defence mechanism. When we're going through an episode, we really don't have room. We need to focus on ourselves if we want to get out of it. Sadly, that means that we often haven't got many resources left for what other people are going through. No matter how much we genuinely care about other people, it can be hard to express empathy in a kind and constructive way, even to those closest to us. Not saying everyone who suffers from mental illness is like this, far from it. There are strong and beautiful people in this world who, no matter how shit they feel, somehow still manage to make room for others (though often to the detriment of their own mental health, I think). In the end it's often a question of how we deal with this tendency. In my blog post on anxiety that I wrote last week, I talked about the ways in which my brain functions (or should I say doesn't function) when I'm suffering from anxiety, in relation to other people. I'm afraid that people hate me, that I'm hurting others, that I'm the reason people are sad and annoyed. I have also realised lately that the way I overcompensate in trying to relate to and express empathy for other people when I'm like that, can appear overbearing and downright offensive. All of these things are born from this unfortunate self-centredness that arises when I just don't have the capacity to make room for other people. When I think that everything is my fault, I'm making other people's problems about me. When I overcompensate in an attempt to relate and empathise I end up shifting the focus onto myself. When I'm depressive, if I even interact at all, I just turn into a whiny bitch. And when I'm hypomanic, I genuinely believe that I can fix everyone (because I'm just that awesome!) which, of course I can't. It's not intentional. It's not an inherent part of my personality. It's because my brain lies to me and, in the midst of this overwhelming storm of emotion, I don't understand that that's what's happening. This behaviour can be annoying to people who don't suffer from mental illness, and downright harmful to those who do. What I should be doing when I get like that is step out of the world for a bit, deal with my own shit, calm the fuck down, and then I can rejoin the rest of the world again, as myself instead of this ball of self-destruction. But I don't always have the capacity to understand this. So, to end this weird rant of a blog post which, surprise surprise, ended up being all about me even though I was planning on talking about a generalised problem that I think many people have, I have a request: Tell me. Say, 'You're doing the thing again, Thorn. I think you need a break.' I have not, perhaps, been the most receptive of this message in the past, but I think I'm in a place now where I can be, because I understand better what I'm doing now. I may whine about my problems for a bit, but I won't bite your head off. I promise.
  3. Thorn Wilde

    Anxiety

    It takes many different forms in different people, really. It took me a long time to recognise my anxiety for what it was, because it wasn't like what I saw in the movies, or what friends with anxiety told me it was like. My anxiety generally manifests in one of two ways. The first is anger. This was especially true when I was younger. My panic attacks manifested as temper tantrums. Instead of panicking, I would scream, shout, throw things. Nobody ever recognised this as anxiety. I began to realise that's what it was as an adult, looking back. I know that temper tantrums are common in young children, and these are not generally a symptom of anxiety, they're just kids who struggle with expressing perfectly normal feelings constructively, because they're kids. But when someone is still throwing temper tantrums at the age of eleven, twelve years old, I think somebody ought to ask why. With me, they didn't. I don't know what they thought it was, but I can't recall anyone ever trying to help other than attempting to calm me down in the moment. As I grew older, these became less frequent, as I learned to reign in my emotions and bottle up that fear, but I still remember being a teenager and literally hitting myself in the head with a hairbrush to prevent myself from breaking something. Shaking, hyperventilating, screaming until I was red in the face. This all started to happen after my father died, when I was eleven, which is when I believe my bipolar disorder was triggered. The second is a physical response, settling in the pit of my stomach and making me feel sick. It doesn't often cause me to throw up, most likely because I'm emetophobic and terrified of vomiting, but yesterday it did, in combination with a coughing fit. (My phobia is reasonably mild; once it actually happens I deal with it, whether it's doing it myself or a friend. The smell and sound of it easily sets me off, though. Needless to say, this phobia does nothing to help alleviate my anxiety when it takes this form.) Nausea is how my anxiety has manifested in the past few days. In the past, I've felt this way for several weeks straight. I particularly recall the summer many years ago before I went off to do the final year of my bachelor in England. I could barely eat. People commended me for losing weight. How fucked up is that? My anxiety is most often triggered by social situations. The fear that I have disappointed or upset someone, that I've fucked up in some way that either causes someone harm or just pisses them off. Then I fuck up even more by trying to fix it and over compensating and making things worse. It's all irrational; most of the time it turns out that I haven't actually done anything wrong at all. Sometimes it turns out that I have, though, and that's what makes it so difficult. That's why it's so hard to tell one from the other. The most destructive thing for my anxiety is when nobody tells me that I've fucked up, or what I did wrong. It gives me no way to fix it, and I continue to feel anxious for days, often can't bring myself to eat proper food, and can't sleep unless I utterly exhaust myself because my brain just won't shut up and stop telling me, 'You're a fuck-up, everybody hates you, you did something wrong, they're all going to abandon you.' I would never do this shit on purpose. I grew up being bullied and having few friends, and those I had often forgot about me or abandoned me. You start to wonder why that is, start thinking that it's really you there's something wrong with. You start thinking, no wonder they bullied me and shut me out when I'm this pathetic. When I do make friends, I tend to get kind of... I don't even know what to call it. Over-zealous, maybe. So desperate to fit in that I either suck up, or talk up a storm, and I don't know when to stop. Suddenly I've said the wrong thing, or I feel like I've said the wrong thing, and it all just starts all over again. I am terrified that people won't like me. And really, what's the worst that's happened to me? I was bullied, I lost my dad. I'm bipolar. So many others have gone through so much worse stuff, so what the fuck am I whining about? I'm not writing this because I want pity. I'm writing it in part because I think it's important for people to know how anxiety manifests differently in different people, and how destructive it can be not to recognise it for what it is. Mostly, I'm just writing it to get it out, to explain to myself why I am the way I am. I've been writing a lot of poetry the past couple of days to try and get these feelings out as well. I posted one yesterday. It's here, on the off chance that anyone is interested. Writing about it, whether figuratively or literally, does help. Right now I just want to crawl into a hole and hide, but I'm gonna try not to. I love GA. You guys are my family, and I want to be here. So I'm gonna try to be, even though I'm scared.
  4. When you've been depressed for a while, and you've found writing really hard, getting back into it can be a bit of a challenge. I'm feeling a lot better now. Going to school to study sound engineering this autumn, and it feels like my life is back on some kind of track. But the writing is still difficult. The problem is that I have lots of ideas, and I want to get back to writing properly, I really do. But I'm mostly motivated to work on my new ideas. So I sit down thinking, 'I'm gonna write now,' and open up one of the new, unpublished ones (my new viking story, my detective novel, the Pride & Prejudice pastiche). But then I remember that I should be working on my unfinished novels, Lavender & Gold or Nemesis 2, and so I open those and read through what I've written and get to the point where I've got more to write... and then stop, cause I don't feel motivated to write those things, I just want to write the new things. It's like my attention span is shot. And I have readers waiting for L&G and Nemesis, and I don't know what to do. So, I end up playing Skyrim instead. I know all I have to do to finish L&G and Nemesis 2 is just sit my arse down and start writing, but it's like when I try my fingers just won't move, and my mind wanders to Detective Inspector Templeton, or Trym the viking, or Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. And nothing at all gets done. I have to find some way around this. I really, really do.
  5. So, I haven't been here much lately, and the longer you stay away the harder it is to come back. So I thought I'd post a sort of general update for those who might be interested. First of all, I'm doing okay. I take my meds, I get up in the mornings and go to school (I haven't quite mastered getting up the mornings I don't have school, but I'm working on it), I do my homework, I mostly eat proper food and the flat isn't a complete mess. Magpie's busy with work and uni, I'm just busy with school. I'm studying sound production. Currently we're learning about pro-tools, and some of the physics of soundwaves and how they pertain to setting up a studio or a gig, and analogue mixers, and the history of digital sound, and sound in relation to dramaturgy in film and on TV. We have practical lessons in the Mac lab and in the studio, and this week we're taking studio certification tests. If I pass, I'll be able to book time in the studio an play around with my own stuff whenever I like. I honestly don't quite expect to pass on the first go... I was off sick week before last, and I missed the whole lesson on compressors. Still, if I don't pass the first time I can try again in a couple of weeks. No big. I took up knitting over summer, which means I now have a yarn obsession. I can go into a yarn shop and buy just one thing, but it takes a lot of self discipline to pull off. Mostly, I walk out with three new colours that I want to turn into hats for my friends. I have a knitting problem. I also have a medication problem. I realised it had become a problem when I wrote a poem on the metro on my way to school one morning and I thought, wow, my creativity must have come back, only to realise later that I had forgotten to take my meds that morning. The days I do remember to take them (which is nearly all as long as I keep them by my bed or somewhere really visible) I can focus better in class, I'm less jumpy and I don't get all angsty among strangers, but my creativity is close to zero. Win some, lose some. I'm finally in therapy, though. The past few sessions have been to get an idea of the roots of my problems. Tomorrow we'll be starting properly. Hopefully, after a while in therapy I'll be able to stop taking the meds. Don't know when that will be, though. Which means I don't know when I'll be able to get back to writing. Before school started I was at a point where I could manage to get a little bit done every day if I pushed myself, but now I just don't have the energy. I hate it. I want to write, and I want to play my instruments, and all that stuff, but I come home from school and all I manage to do is sit in front of the computer and play games, or watch Netflix, or something like that. Weekends I catch up on the sleep I missed out on during the week. A couple of weeks ago my nephew was finally born. He's adorable, and pretty well behaved for an infant. I've been over to my brother's place twice to see him. I got my first tattoo last Saturday. Just a teensy one. Nothing big, nothing fancy. But I get why so many depressed people like getting tattoos. It's an incredible high. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. Less painful than going to the dentist. But it gets the adrenaline flowing, and when you're done you feel like you're the king of everything. And you feel happy. The rest of the day I was just walking around grinning. I want another one. So, that's where I am right now. I've been pretty absent from all my social media. It's like I get enough of people just going to school with them every day. So when I get home I shun all society. I haven't seen any of my friends since Magpie and I had a dinner party last week. It mostly feels like I'm living one day to the next. Planning is hard. Thinking ahead is hard. But I guess that's okay for now. I hope I'll be able to be here more often soon. I'd really like to. I miss all you guys.
  6. I'd almost forgotten I even had this blog. Figure, since I'm back, it's time I post something again, so I thought I might talk a bit about why I've been gone for so long and what's up with my mental health situation, which is a lot, actually. First of all, I've been on some medication for the past five years that eventually sapped me of all my creativity. I've been virtually unable to write for over two years, only managing to pen the odd scene or jot down a plot idea here and there, which is really fucking inconvenient for me, because writing is such a big part of who I am. I quit taking those meds this summer, and immediately, the ideas began to flow, and I got the urge to write, and I literally couldn't help but do so. Add to that my current hypomania, and this explains why I just wrote a 60k word novel in three weeks. I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder back in January. For years, I've been carrying around a major depressive disorder diagnosis, and though I've been in constant therapy during that time, it took them that long to realise what was actually wrong with me. Having the correct diagnosis is a blessing. Finally, I understand why I am the way I am. I can look back at things I've done and understand why I did them (such as the time I decided out of the blue that, to hell with the music and the writing, I want to be an astrophysicist! It was a resounding failure, obviously, as I don't even know maths). I now recognise hypomania. I understand that my depressive episodes are triggered by stress (as are my hypomanic ones). I understand what's going on in my brain and my body when I feel a certain way. And I'm on the right medication, finally. One that doesn't utterly murder my creativity. I was gone for such a long time because I couldn't write, and being here reminded me that I couldn't write. It reminded me of how shitty I felt about that, and I felt ashamed and embarrassed for not managing to finish my stories. Now, that's no longer the case. Now, I'm finishing everything. And I feel so good about it. I know I might crash at any time. Hopefully when I do, my medication will prevent me from crashing too hard. And hopefully, as has been the case during depressive episodes before I started on those fucking meds, I will be able to continue to write through it. I really hope I will. And I want to make myself stick around here, too, no matter my mental state, because honestly, I've really missed this place, and all the people here, and some of them have even disappeared while I've been gone and that breaks my heart. Still, I'm here now. And I'm not planning on going anywhere.
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