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Feeling well enough at last to find my voice again

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi everyone!

I have known for years there was a forum here and was too afraid to join because it would mean admitting I needed medication and just couldn't fix this by myself. So here I am at last! I hope this helps even one person if they are feeling like I did. Ok here goes.....

I'm a 32 year old mum of 2, 15 months apart. I'm happily married, love my job, love my family and friends. I have support. Nothing bad has happened to me. So I thought I had no right to feel depressed. I have always been an anxious and emotional person. Mood swings were normal for me. I made every excuse to myself and the doctors to explain away my poor scores on the postnatal depression checklists. I admitted I constantly thought about suicide but that had been normal for me for years so it didn't feel like a big deal, it didn't mean I'd do anything. I was angry all the time and my moods were unpredictable.

Hubby said constantly I don't care what the doctor said you perform for them and I know you. Something is wrong. After my second bub and the start of a new health condition (psoriatic arthritis) I saw a psychologist who said I was dealing with chronic pain and two small children and what I felt was normal.

I practiced mindfulness. Family and friends gave me rest. Eventually I got medication to help my joints. I talked. I ate well, I went back to work. Everything was supposed to be better....

But I felt worse. I'd see the doctor and they'd say I was ok but I'd stand at the sink washing dishes and plan the steps of how to kill myself. If I wasn't busy I would find the thoughts repeating. They'd all be better off without you. You're worthless. They'll only put up with so much of your issues and then they'll leave you. So I'd plan how to die. And I was TERRIFIED.

My husband told me to write down exactly what I felt on a bad day and he put it in an envelope and made me an appointment for the psychologist. We made a plan. I would go in and say I need you to read this. I don't feel like this now but this is how I've felt most days for years but I can't seem to communicate it to a doctor and get help and I'm so frightened.

And finally! A crisis plan put in place until I could see the psychiatrist! Apparently I have had major depression for over 12 years. Only after starting an antidepressant did I notice how anxious and self destructive I had constantly been. I don't have suicidal thoughts anymore. I am happy again. It's the start of my journey but there is hope at last.

1,289 Replies 1,289

annie45
Community Member

Hi Quercus

i just wanted to reach out and give you a hug. So much of your story is similar to mine. I too was a carer not a child - it didn't seem strange at the time but i became very compliant, never wanting to cause a fuss. I saw my mum as weak and vowed never to be like that. Unfortunately asking for help is now very difficult. Hiding ones emotions seemed like a strength but when i was raped at age 19 I simply buried it down deep. From then on, every time something bad happened i just buried and denied. In hindsight it was only a matter of time before this stopped working!!

I am disgusted by what happened and harbour a lot of anger. Therapy is hard, and im not sure how to deal with the consequences but I do feel like I'm finally getting to understand me. As stressless has said don't try to join all the dots at once, the more i mull over what has been said and start analysing myself the worse i become. Focus on the fact that it's a necessary evil and that every step is a step forward.

Your words helped me so when i was struggling so i am sending positive thoughts back to you

best of luck

Hi everyone!

Ross I popped by your thread to thank you. Such a kind comment. And it was awesome to see someone had written to you who could relate to your circumstances. I hope you can get some good ideas from Paul about coping if things get nasty. His advice is solid.

And Annie45 ... thank you so very much for joining the conversation. Sometimes I worry about putting all this out in the public realm so to have a reply like yours that means a lot to me. Do you have a thread of your own so I can reply to you? If not you are most welcome here.

I have to admit I'm not brave enough to enter the PTSD trauma section often. It makes me ill to think of how many people can relate to us. I don't get the point of people watching horror movies the real horror is in what people do to other human beings. My heart goes out to you.

I'm glad if my thread has given you any sort of relief or help. I feel you about the anger. It's a constant thing I try and control. It's funny the psych asked me why am I so frightened of losing control of my anger. I said it's not because I'd hurt others (I don't have that in me) It's the rage and anger and hate directed at myself I am afraid of. I'm not sure how to channel that anger usefully. Generally if I have lost control it's in the form of self harm. Do you experience this? (Just ignore if I ask anything you don't wish to answer). I'm just wondering if you have ideas about dealing with anger directed internally.

I would love to hear your input and opinions if you want to talk more. If not just know I'm thankful for your post.

Hi Annie45,

Sorry. I am so frustrated at myself. I just posted a reply (which is in moderation). Then realised I knew your username and your thread and had spoken to you not long ago. Arrgh. This is the second time in 3 days I've made thoughtless errors.

I am sorry because I've been worried that you'd been quiet (​but that's just part of the forums people write when they feel able). And then I felt crap that I'd written like you were someone new. I hope that doesn't upset you Annie45.

Hi Quercus,

So happy your session went well and yes it is a relief when you start to understand why you accept being treated in a certain way. Self esteem and self worth , like the two most important ingredients in a cake. Without them the cake doesn't rise, remains flat and hard.

Very easy to erode but extremely hard to rebuild. I know myself, even now I cant accept a compliment - I just don't believe it if someone tells me I look nice. I mean I take a lot of care to make sure I look as good as I can, makeup hair etc but more than anything that's part of my mask . I hope that no - one can see the real me .That and because I was always told I was ugly, bad, and evil .

So yes Quercus It will take some work on your part to rid yourself of all the negatives that have been part of your life for so long, but it sounds like you have a psych you can relate to and who will guide you through it.

Oh by the way have decided to start new thread- looking forward to your stories- loved the painting episode put that in for sure

Take Care

Stressless

Hi Quercus,

Sorry I replied earlier but don't know what happened. Anyway basically I said I am glad you had a good session and yes it is hard to understand why we accept the way people treat us. It comes down to us giving them the power to do so and as we get better we need to take that power back

Self esteem and self worth are definitely areas I struggle with too. No matter how much time has passed I still cant believe I am anything but ugly, bad and evil. This is what I see when I look in the mirror. People give me compliments and I flat out don't believe them. I try to present as well as I can, hair makeup etc but this is more to do with trying to cover up the ugliness I believe everyone can see.

I saw your post to annie45 and your comments re expressing your anger. My psych trys to get me to release my anger too ( hence the clock throwing incident) and I 'm not an angry person either. I try to explain that I am scared if I let go and spew out all the anger, and hurt I apparently keep buried I may not be the same after. Hard to explain but I know where you're coming from.

On a lighter note I started our new thread in 'staying well' so please post your stories too. Loved the painting story yesterday and good on you for speaking your mind. For goodness sake have something bright and cheery or calm and serene not ugly and boring ! My psych has pictures some of his patients have done for him and even some from his grand-kids .

So have a good day Quercus

Take care

Stressless

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Quercus,

I just thought I'd put my hand up and say, this is me:

"I'm only just working out what I enjoy doing. Just for me not what others think I should enjoy."

Tough work, but we'll get there. Stuff always gets easier the more we do it, so the more you try to 'just be', as my psych puts it, the easier and faster you'll find yourself.

Here's one for you: you are a very caring person, and it comes through in your posts 🙂

James

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Stressless,

Awesome! Such a nice surprise to start the day. Thank you! I keep thinking of how hard it was to take that step to see a therapist. And how much more I'm getting out of being brutally honest. Hopefully the thread gives people an idea of what to expect and that the best therapy is a bit of a mess 😊

And James,

I like your psych's advice to just be. That is really helpful. Have you read Dottie's thread about forging your own path? I find it really interesting even if I don't have much to contribute. And JessF wrote something on HamSolo01's thread you might want to read I found it amazingly helpful. I suggested the usual what would you choose to do if you won lotto and money wasn't an issue... But then JessF related it into a practical way of accepting dreams that aren't achievable and working them into a realistic goal. It was very beautifully written. Hope it helps you too.

And thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.

annie45
Community Member

Hi Quercus

please don't feel frustrated or beat yourself up. I wasn't expecting you to remember me. You're so active in these forums and do such great work it's no wonder your memory laspes every now and then.

I'm at work at the moment but just wanted to reassure you that you're wonderful.

Chat soon

annie45
Community Member

Hey Quercus

Im feeling better at the moment - not 100% but lets say 70%. I'm concentrating on developing strategies and tools to help me recover. It's why I'm back here - writing helps me sort my thoughts and my counsellor thinks that getting on here is beneficial for me when im in between visits.

I've made a spotify list of good, comforting music that is on repeat - in the car, thekitchen everywhere. I can always here it in the background so when the kids giveme the irrates i can hear it and refocus.i feel as though it's someone there always reminding me of what's important, to breathe, and that they are on my side. It's funny because the kids are starting to know the words to the songs. Three birds by bob marley is my 4 year old daughters fav, while my 5 yo loves Michael franti Life is better with you!

Writing lists of what helps has helped too because often when i find myself sinking its too late and i cant think of anything to make me feel better or to entertain the kids. It helps me feel more prepared to face the day.

Dealing with anger is a hard one. I feel so much pent up frustration, shame, guilt and anger but have done so for a long time. I'm pretty good at swearing which makes me feel better! Also i find that I unconsciously channel it into physical activity whether that be hoeing the vegie patch, boxing classes or a gym session. Unfortunately this can have ramifications in that i push to hard. Sometimes i have gone for a run angry. Pushing too hard has caused injury that at the time i enjoy the pain, realistically its a bit stupid and i pay for it in the weeks following. Plus it is slowly taking the enjoyment out if running. I know that you struggle with chronic pain but have you considered something like deep water running to help release some of your pent up anger?

I was at work today and we were talking about weight loss and how we often see people take shortcuts like fad diets, diet shakes, ect. This has short term gains but unfortunately sooner or later the weight returns for most before they finally acknowledge that the most effective long term results are gained by the hardest option (healthy eating and regular movement). I've gone the easy option by burying my emotions and denying they exist, but it's only a short term and ineffective strategy. Opening up, dealing with the chaos is by far a harder option but one that will hopefully result in some long term results I'm hoping that it will be the same with you.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Quercus

Before I go on I wanted to remind you of the person that said:

I watched her reaction and her panic and decided I have told her enough

That is so lovely, full of kindness, understanding and self-worth. It never hurts to be reminded of the person you really are, despite what your thoughts might often say.

Now, I'm here to thank you for that time at Church in:

Forums / Staying well / Store Your Happy Memories Here:

The colors washing though the stained glass and the choir (where I did actually sing:) raised memories and presented them in a new happier light.

Thank you

Croix