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Blue's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (life viewed through the lens of depression)
Some of you are aware of my existence by now, but for those who aren't, I'm fairly new to this forum. I've been stumbling my way along with depression for somewhere around seven years. It was triggered by a life event and exacerbated by circumstances since then, which I've done my best to eliminate where possible. About a year ago I changed track with that and made the huge decision to end the relationship I was in. Rough though that was, I finally started to see a bit of progress. I've still had a fight on my hands, to stay afloat and get control of my time and money and my peace of mind, all of which were tied up for a long time in untangling my finances from those of my ex (not his fault, the bank made it really damn hard, and my job and my own state of mind weren't helping).
Now I've started enjoying things again, and am not always instantly down when I'm on my own. I was once a (deliberately) solitary creature who enjoyed my own company and learning everything I could, so it's good to be more like that again. The depression's always there, lurking in the background, but I sometimes go a few weeks at a time without any prolonged episodes. Long enough to start feeling like I'm healing or that my emotions have some concept of cause and effect again. Then down I slam again, sometimes for a day or two, other times for weeks, and it feels like I've made no progress at all. In these periods my mind and my emotions are constantly at war, particularly when I'm alone and/or it's quiet. My mind is calm for the most part, and well aware I'm strong and capable and have strategies and I actively work on those in spite of the depression. My emotions, on the other hand, are running about with flags chock full of negative messages and even though I know it's not (or even close) I feel like everything is collapsing, that I can't deal with it and I just want everything to stop. That's where I'm at, today.
I do have an amazing partner now, who is extremely supportive, and has helped me immensely. My current problem is that I need my friends and family, too. I so rarely have time that isn't ruined by unsociable work hours and also the energy and will to socialise, but my friends are seldom available when I do. In those times I know it may be weeks or months before I can see them again, and I miss them, and that's mostly when I crash again these days. Dunno how to fix that yet, but I need to vent, and here I am. Getting better but having a really crap day.
I’m sorry for all you are dealing with right now. I’m just catching up with your thread. I hope My Feisty being unwell can be sorted out. And it would be really hard having things getting medically challenging for hubby again too, just when things seemed like they were easing up a bit.
I agree with SB that it’s ok to feel how you feel right now, and I agree with you too that toxic positivity can actually be harmful. I know there are times when I’ve gotten up the courage to say ‘I’m really not ok right now’ and then someone comes along and gives me a lecture about being positive. It can break you when you’re already at breaking point. Without letting that stuff out it hurts you more, so I believe it’s really ok to say exactly how you’re feeling right now.
I hear you regarding psychs. I’ve had several average to bad experiences and had to go through a few before I finally found someone who I feel is a good fit for me. I just kept trying and sought out one who practiced stuff I was researching and that resonated with me. But I know the process of finding the right help can be exhausting and demoralising as well as expensive. I would say if you look for another one look for someone who seems most aligned with your experiences and whose approach resonates with you. Mine is not even in the same state and it’s via telehealth, but it’s worked and I’ve shifted some major trauma stuff and I feel heard and supported.
As far as ASD goes, I think it is quite a challenge finding someone who gets it. Your current psych sounds similar to one I tried to ask about ASD stuff a few years ago. I’ve mentioned ASD to the current one but not explored it in depth as I’ve largely been working on trauma processing and working through childhood developmental stuff. But of course it all kind of crosses over.
If you do look for another it could be worth interviewing someone before you see them. You could ask them how they work, what their main expertise is and what approaches they use.
Take care Blue and I hope things ease up again soon, ER
P.S. just thought I’d mention the interviewing could be done via email so you don’t have to do it over the phone, as I know you’ve mentioned phone communication being challenging.
Thanks. Mr Feisty has perked up somewhat since we took him to the vet. That said, Sir Pecks had ups and downs throughout his journey, too, so I'm certainly not assuming he's fine. We see the vet again soon to review how he's doing. Hubby strained a muscle in his chest, which would be nothing for most people. For him, it's even more difficult and painful to breathe. He's on heavy duty painkillers that are a nightmare to get access to, and he's needing regular physio - we're also having trouble getting him another appointment for that in a timely fashion. Trying to do either around Mr Feisty's care is a mess, I don't want to be away from home with him sick.
I've seen far too much toxic positivity in recent years. What you said is exactly right. It's one thing to be grateful, it's wholly another to ignore and invalidate our experience and our negative emotions. Our society is so heavily geared to pretending those things aren't there, glossing everything over, and worse, defaulting to retail therapy for everything. Ugh!
The psych I just fired is interstate too, I was seeing her via Telehealth. She was the best of a bad bunch so far. What I really need is a neurodivergent psych or counsellor. I mean to take up that search again after my ASD assessment, assuming I am diagnosed (no guarantees), I have a better chance of being taken seriously about it. How would you even get to interviewing a psych beforehand? I've never known of it being possible to get beyond talking to a receptionist without an appointment and forking out a tonne of money. Advice on that would be welcome.
Coming back to the naturopath, as much as the probiotic still isn't agreeing with me, the other supplements and diet tweaks are definitely having a positive impact. My energy has shifted from pretty much all activities being unmanageable to having just enough to do the things I have to do for hubby and Mr Feisty. I'm sure adrenaline factors in there, but my energy was starting to improve a bit before things went to hell, I have been getting things done around the house and connecting a little with my creative side. I am genuinely grateful for that, I'd be in serious trouble right now if my energy hadn't picked up just a little.
I’m glad Mr Feisty has perked up a bit. I do hope he gets fully better. I’m so sorry hubby is now having to deal with the muscle strain as well. I think not being able to breathe properly is one of the hardest things to deal with. Sending you all healing thoughts 🙏
The idea of interviewing a psych beforehand was something a friend told me she did, to ascertain if they would be a good fit for her in terms of their approach. My current psych has a website so I was able to get from that that she seemed to be on the same page as me, which she has been. The first session she just let me talk and really listened to me. I wasn’t used to this. The previous two psychs I’d seen had constantly interrupted me mid sentence and I never felt I was able to fully communicate. It was so nice with the current one that I was actually being heard and she was really present with me.
All the psychs I’ve seen haven’t had receptionists but I first booked with them directly. I think it would be quite legitimate to ask to speak to them before committing to an appointment, as it is your money, time and effort that goes into the therapy and they are providing a service. If email is easier, you could send them some questions about their approach and what you hope to get out of therapy. If they’re not open to responding to such questions it may tell you already they’re possibly not right for you. I just thought it might be a way to avoid further not good experiences and hopefully fast track to someone aligned with your needs and goals.
The person who helped me most with ASD stuff was someone who had ASD herself and had developed a consultancy, working with both children and adults. She offered the option of counselling via email in which she’d spend an hour responding to whatever I wrote - for just $30! She was extremely intuitive and just got me. She couldn’t formally diagnose as she wasn’t a psych. I had 3 sessions. Sadly shortly after she had a terminal cancer diagnosis. I believe there are a few neurodivergent psychs out there now and that that would suit you best as they will more likely get you.
I’m really glad you have a bit more energy. Take care, ER
I don't know what his longer term health prospects are, but I am cautiously optimistic about Mr Feisty's short term health, he has continued to improve since his vet visit. Fingers crossed he stays stable. His illness has been bringing up a lot of grief for what may happen and for Sir Pecks who passed away mid last year. Our birds are our children and our world.
Yeah, I've definitely found following up on recommendations from other "professionals" or even suggestions from family has been a mistake. I'll be doing my own research from the ground up from now. I had one that was inclined to interrupt as well, and another that largely ignored what I said and came back with something completely irrelevant. It was bizarre. I'd certainly be willing to try my luck with e-mail, and hope not to be intercepted by a receptionist. As you say, that would be telling enough that I should look elsewhere. Thanks for your suggestion.
People who have lived it are always going to understand it best. Pretty good and affordable counselling you got, I'm glad you had that. Her illness is of course unfortunate, I'm sorry that happened. I have seen a website or two for ND therapists, they are slowly emerging with the growing awareness of ASD and other ND conditions. Money's a bit tight with the nearly $700 vet bill last week, I'll get there at some point.
Unfortunately my energy has gone down again with everything happening and my Carer Coach (the one guy who was really helping get around my phone aversion) leaving the company. My already inadequate supports just grew fewer. Still, I'm doing my best to engage in self care and advocate for myself around this huge social hurdle (the calls). It's slow, exhausting work.
A lot has been happening recently, and I just haven't had the energy to post much, lately, but for those who follow my thread, I would like to throw in an update.
On a positive note, Mr Feisty is still doing well on his meds. His condition isn't better, exactly, but it's stable. Hubby is the same, not well but stable. We've had fluctuating demands with appointments, which have burnt me out somewhat, but are getting by.
A big positive for me is that I have had my ASD assessment, finally. There are some financial quibbles to work out re getting the diagnostic report for the NDIS (the funds offered via carer support have not been forthcoming, though they told me the bill was already paid), but by the end of the assessment the psychologist was satisfied that I am autistic, and diagnosed me with level 2 support needs (this is good in terms of what the NDIS may be able to help with). It's worth celebrating. There has been cake.
In distinctly worse news, my best friend's daughter (to all intents and purposes, my neice) has passed away unexpectedly. Fine one day, gone the next. I am having some difficulty processing this, it hasn't quite hit me yet.
All in all, a real Fortunately/Unfortunately story. Not uncommon for me. Anyway, that's where I'm at.
Hi Blue, it’s great to hear from you!
I’m glad that hubby and Mr Feisty are both at least stable. And I’m also glad you’ve had the ASD assessment and received a diagnosis. It is meaningful to have that validation as well as the NDIS support. I know it’s been something you’ve been trying to sort out for a while. It’s like you’ve followed your intuition about yourself and finally got the recognition and help you need.
I’m so sorry about your friend’s daughter. Sudden death’s are extremely hard to process. My mother died that way. I was with her when her heart suddenly failed, called an ambulance and she was dead hours later. It was 2 and a half years ago and I’m still trying to process it. Little by little it is getting processed but I still fall in a big hole on a regular basis. So I feel so much for your friend as it is a huge shock when it’s someone’s own child. No parent expects to be in that position. My heart goes out to you, your friend and everyone affected.
There are grief support groups out there, if that would be any help to your friend or yourself. I did go to one for a bit and did find it helpful. It does depend a bit how well it’s facilitated. There is also Griefline who have various supports and resources griefline.org.au
At some point I might ask you a bit about the ASD diagnosis process, but maybe not now when you are processing difficult stuff. I don’t know whether to ever formally seek a diagnosis myself and still struggle distinguishing between what is complex trauma in my case and what might be ASD. Whenever I do self-tests I repeatedly get results that identify me as neurodivergent in some areas and neurotypical in others. It definitely runs in my family, on both sides.
Anyway, take good care of yourself,
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend's daughter / your 'neice', so sudden as it was. I'm sure it's a shock to everyone who knew her.
& I'm glad Mr Feisty & Hubby are stable. Yes, it would be great if the news was better, but also worth being grateful for them not becoming worse.
I guess congratulations are in order (i'ts not often we can congratulate someone for receiving your diagnosis), & well done, persevering as you have done to be heard & to have the assessment done, as you have.
Thanks. I'm quite relieved to have the diagnosis and the validation that comes with it. Getting NDIS support will be another whole journey in itself, but at least the gatekeeper is out of the way.
Sorry to hear about your mum, it's definitely hard to fathom sudden death. What gets me is that my neice had only barely entered adulthood, was just starting to make an independent life for herself, and the day before there was nothing wrong. And yet here is someone like me, with the same condition that caused her death (asthma), getting on in years and kinda broken down, but I'm still going. For me, asthma has been little more than an inconvenience, it's hard to imagine it being too much for someone so much younger and otherwise healthier. It's just really senseless, you know? My bestie is still in shock, understandably. I worry about when that wears off and it really hits him.
Thanks for your suggestions about support for grief. I'm still not really feeling it yet; I'm sure that will come.
I'm more than happy to answer any questions about the diagnostic process. It's definitely hard when you've muddled through all your life, and you have imposter syndrome to fight through to even recognise ASD in yourself. As for trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD... you'd be hard pressed to find an autistic person without one or all of those muddying the waters. ASD diagnostic criteria have a solid overlap with trauma symptoms for good reason. The special interests and stims tend to be more specific to ASD than some of the other stuff, and certain preferences in social communication (differences in eye contact, preferring deep and meaningful interactions or events that focus on a specific activity, dislike of small talk, that sort of stuff). Anyway, I can recommend some good resources to help you in your journey. Embrace Autism's website has good tests that dive into masking as well as autistic traits. Autism From the Inside, Yo Samdy Sam and Orion Kelly - That Autistic Guy are really good YouTube channels that explore a bunch of aspects of the topic.
Thanks. Yes, huge shock to lose someone so young. It's cruel for a parent to outlive their child.
That's it, there are limits to what I can hope for with their health, stability is as good as it gets. For now, that's what we have, and we don't take that for granted.
Thank you. Haha, I guess it is a funny concept, congratulating someone for a diagnosis. It's a big thing, though, to be recognised as having a legitimate reason for the struggles I have. I didn't mind being called weird and such, but the insinuations of being lazy or inadequate - or worse, of everyone thinking I was fine when doing the most basic stuff was breaking me on the inside... there's a lot to unpack. The diagnosis validates everything I've asserted about myself all along, and potentially gives me access to support. Hopefully that bit of the process will be a bit easier.
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