Wednesday 22nd June 2016 (9.35am)

4/10 – I feel all over the place. I have seen GP (30 mins) and my medication has now been increased to 150mg. I have be signed off work for another two weeks and have to go back for another appointment then. I was weighed this morning and I am no lower. We got talking about the 5K Saturday park runs which are run locally. GP advised that it may be good for me to meet up with other people. I will take a look and maybe think about doing one once my events are over. It will be something different to do on a Saturday morning and who knows I may enjoy it. I have not had any contact with work for a while so I will message my line manager regarding my latest sick note. I really thought I would be better by now and I said this to the GP. I also explained that I have no patience. Thankfully, GP knows and gets me!

On a positive note, I am looking forward to Sunday and my first triathlon. This is a change from the other day when I was worried that I did not mentally feel up to the challenge. I am feeling a little nervous though.

I am not quite sure how I have ended up in Starbucks as I was driving across to the gym, not sure why my car decided to divert! It is not a bad thing though as I feel a bit ‘heady’. Seeing the GP or counsellor seems to drain my brain.

Monday 20th June 2016 (2.50pm)

When I woke up I felt tired, fuzzy headed and fed up so I had a lazy morning. I was undecided about going to the gym as my body was saying ‘rest’ but my head was saying ‘go it will make you feel better….maybe?’ I ended up going, my plan was only to do 30 mins on the bike but I ended up doing 1 hour. It did help and it was nice to chat to some of the people around afterwards. I decided not to stay for a drink but I have made my way here to Penarth instead.

Mentally I feel all over the place. I cannot understand what is happening. Surely I should be better by now? I don’t think the medication is doing much. I am really up and down, but down most of the time. What do I need to do? Today, I really did not want to get out of bed and I can see why people with depression often find it difficult to get up. For me, getting up at 9.30am was late. Thankfully getting up won over in the end as I do not want to go down that route.

I am probably about a 4/10. I finished my book yesterday which I enjoyed so time to start on another.

Sunday 19th June 2016 (10.30am)

4/10 – I am sat in David Lloyd after an early morning 1 mile swim and 1 hour run. Mentally I am not doing too bad. I have been reading my book and the following jumps out at me:

“Often, those who seem the most self confident may actually suffer the lowest self esteem; they have spent their lives achieving according to the standards of others, instead of accepting themselves as who they are. Thus the reports of brilliant A-grade students who are captains of the hockey team have also tried to kill themselves” . … What is it with my desire to achieve and be the very best? I have played hockey at International level and for GB students. Was this not enough for me on the sporting field? Is this why I am doing what I am doing now with exercise? Or is it simply because my knees are allowing (?) me?

“I was on an achievement treadmill and the speed setting was too high. One explanation of the illness was that trying to be simultaneously a perfect wife, friend, colleague, employee (and mother – which obviously does not apply to me) was exhausting. The result for me was a breakdown. I had been driven mad attempting perfection, skewered in my generation’s desire to excel at doing it all” … I could not agree more!

Saturday 18th June 2016 (11.09am)

2/10 – It took me a while last night to get to sleep as I had so much going around in my head. It was like my brain was going 100mph again and would not clam down. It has not been like that for a while. I cannot even be specific about what was on my mind, but it appeared to be flitting back and forth between ‘A’, work, next weeks triathlon and todays plans. Everything was just so random and all over the place. I just wanted to escape my brain.

I woke up before 6am and the thought of going for a run crossed my mind but I knew I would be even more tired and grumpy for the rest of the day. Instead I went back to sleep and I am now at David Lloyd having done 1hr 15 on the Wattbike. I am meeting ‘A’ at 12.30 but I am not sure if I am in a positive frame of mind to be cheery. I guess I don’t have to be. I felt quite emotional whilst on the bike and I am not sure if it was sweat or tears trickling down my face. Not sure where the emotions are coming from this morning. I still don’t feel like eating – I just cannot be bothered. Vicious circle I guess. I had a couple of text messages from a friend this morning. She knows about me not wanting to eat and is concerned.

(3.08pm)

2/10 – Met with ‘A’ but I was really upset and teary and I just could not help it. I really don’t know what is going on with me today. I am finding things hard and I am really struggling. Not wanting to go home I then had a walk around IKEA before arriving here (Coffee #1 Penarth). I really feel broken and am hurting. No more to say, apart from that my thoughts are all over the place. Am I worried about my thoughts? Not sure?

(9.46pm)

3/10 – Rubbish day but my mood has lifted slightly. Had lazy afternoon and not had much to eat (a couple of plain bread rolls). I have spoken with a friend on the phone this evening and he mentioned about meeting up next week. I was honest and explained about my isolated state and said ‘I would see’. My brain feels overwhelmed.

Friday 17th June 2016 (3.12pm)

7/10 – Mentally feeling ok. I gave the gym a miss, I thought I better had. I actually met up with a friend which was lovely. On a side note, I have been thinking about getting a VW camper van, so I can escape wherever and whenever I like. Just wish I could afford one.

I have been reading my book and the following words jumped out at me:

“I all too easily reverted to being the grumpy adolescent”. This is exactly what I feel like at times when I am with the GP / counsellor. I have said that I often feel like I am expressing myself like a spoilt / stroppy teenager. Again, I don’t know the reasons for this attitude or why I act like it.

“Sometimes I was nervous of being too well too quickly. Displaying an appetite or other signs of getting better might lead to being thrust back into life’s hurly-burly too soon for comfort”. I kind of feel like this today as I am doing ok. Am I ready for the reality and the demands that my job brings? I really don’t think I am – just because I am having a good day.

“The drugs shouldn’t be seen as an enemy; you wouldn’t be suspicious of insulin if you were a diabetic” Yep, I get that now.

(7.44pm)

2/10 – Something has really wound me up this evening and got to me. I feel let down, hence the drop in mood. I just feel so alone and perhaps I am better off being in my isolated state as that way nobody can hurt or upset me. From now on it is all about me in my own world – it is easier that way. It is easier to block out feelings, emotions and hurt; besides things are so much easier on my own.

Thursday 16th June 2016 (11.29am)

6/10 – Mentally I am doing ok but physically not feeling it. I booked myself into a spin class last night for this morning and if I hadn’t then I probably would have not done any exercise. It was nice to see a lady in the changing rooms who is a regular swimmer. She sees me swimming and always asks how much I have done. I set her a challenge of swimming 1 mile (as she was not that far off it). I check on her progress every time I see her and today she was so chuffed to tell me that she had achieved it. It is funny how I have fitted into a group I have met of mostly retired ladies and I will miss this group when I return to work.

As for work, I don’t think I will be returning next week. Whilst I am making progress, there are times when I feel like I have been smacked in the chops. These times usually occur during the evening and night when I am home alone, when I have put my book down or turned off the computer and silenced my phone. It is during these quiet times when I reflect on my life and whilst I have not shed any tears for a while my pain and suffering are still there. Pain and suffering is something we touched upon in the session yesterday. Whilst it is considered normal, I will hopefully be taught techniques on how to deal with it.

I have not had any messages from anyone yet. I finished my book yesterday and have now started on another one ‘Black Rainbow’ by Rachel Kelly. Its s story of depression and Rachel’s fight against it.

(5.09pm)

I have been reading my book and a few lines have really spoken to me:

“I had not imagined that anyone as privileged as me and as happy could become unwell”. As for me I have more than anyone could ask for – but this does not make me happy.

“I feared I might become a different person thanks to their (medication) mind altering properties. I wanted to be in control. My depression to get better won out. I had no choice but to surrender”. How many times did I look at my pills and not take them? How much research did I do on them before finally giving in?

(7.35pm)

5/10 – I am feeling a little bit fed up this evening and not quite sure why? I received a text message earlier and I left it until late afternoon to reply. I plan to meet up with a friend tomorrow – well that is the plan anyway. England beat Wales in the football with a goal in injury time. Gutted. I have had a message from an old friend who was conducting a ‘welfare check’ and I have replied.

Wednesday 15th June 2016 (11.09am)

I got to David Lloyd early and smashed a 2500m swim, 30 mins cycle and 30 mins run. Happy with that considering I initially ignored my early alarm as I did not want to get up. I felt guilty so ended up getting up not long after. Change of scenery for me this morning, I have decided to come to Starbucks to use up what is on my pre-paid card. My morning so far has been quite nice, I have read quite a bit of my book ‘The man who mistook his wife for a hat’ by Oliver Sacks. Not quite sure what I think of it and I just want to get it finished. I have to finish books that I start and I will not move on to the next until I am done. I am aware that I have not scored myself yet, that is because I forgot at the start and now I am not quite sure what I am. Probably a 5 and a half / 10.

The thought of potentially returning to work next Thursday is on my mind and again I am torn about what I should do. It will be nearly 3 months which I would have been off. Whilst I can have 6 months on full pay I do not want to stretch that far. Do I feel ready to go back? No, probably not but I have to go back at some stage and will there ever be a right time? I will see how next week goes and discuss with GP next Wednesday.

(4.23pm)

6/10 – I am sitting in Costa having just come from my first Action for Living course. The course run by ‘Mind’ aims to readdress actions, acceptance, values and the mind. I am not sure if the course is for me or what I will get from it. It is only four weeks long so I will just go with it for now. I have homework to do which I have done in my head. Next weeks session is all about thoughts and sounds interesting. I just have to embrace it, learn from it and drop the ‘I know all of this anyway’ attitude. I did not know what to expect from the session or of the other people in the group. There must have been more than 25 people there, of all ages. I realised how hard it was for some people to attend, as I just take my confidence of walking into the unknown for granted. We did not have to talk or do any group work; instead it was Powerpoint driven. I would have quite liked some interaction but the sessions are not going to go that way. The course is not about sharing our experiences, it is about rethinking or reframing our thought processes.

A friend rang and left a message on my phone whilst I was in the session expressing concern as he had not seen or heard from me for a while. I messaged back to say that I was ok but I did not want to talk. Avoidance – as I have learnt today.

I have hardly eaten (2 dry bread rolls), so I think it is time I left here to get some food. I recognise that I do still have a problem with not wanting to eat. I think this is the first time ever that I have become weight conscious. For someone who usually loves food, cake, chocolate, crisps and all the bad stuff – should I be concerned? If it is still an issue next week then I will talk to the Dr about it. I understand that it is a symptom of depression but I am not sure if my medication has anything to do with it. Not an easy illness to deal with. Mind you, things are generally never easy when it comes to me (laughs) !

Monday 13th June 2016 (9.12am)

2/10 – I feel really fed up and I do not want to speak to anyone or be bothered with anything. I have received a message from a friend but I am not in the mood for replying. I know people care and worry but at times I just want to be left alone. I booked a spin class last night for this morning but I have cancelled it as I just cannot be bothered. I will go to the gym at some point.

(12.34)

4/10 – My mood has improved after an hour on the Wattbike. I am sat in the lounge at David Lloyd, someone has tried to make conversation with me but I don’t want to talk and not in the mood for company. I just want to read in peace. I have replied to the earlier text message and had a brief Twitter conversation with a friend. I do feel bad if I don’t reply as I know people are making the effort. How would I feel if they didn’t? I am not coming out of isolation so don’t get too excited.

(3.23pm)

4/10 – Seeing as I have read so many books I have joined the library to see if I can save money.

Saturday 11th June 2016 (9.24am)

3/10 – I was awake most of the night and therefore did not get up as planned for swimming or gyming. Instead I have ended up at Coffee #1 to see if I can clear my head. I am feeling angry and I am not sure what about exactly. I have this feeling of annoyance and frustration and I don’t know what to do with it. I want to take the anger out on myself and when I have felt like this previously I have driven off in the car as if to go and hide and harm myself. I would describe this feeling as a ‘body take over’ which I cannot control. When I then calm down I can’t believe how I was.

It is lovey and quiet here this morning, people are relaxing and reading the Saturday papers. I love Penarth and nearly moved here once but got more for my money where I am now. Maybe one day? If I had not have moved to where I am then I would not have met ‘A’ and therefore I would not have had 10 great years. Things are sent to test us, build us and make us stronger. I do feel like I am getting stronger and getting more used to being apart, that is not to say that it is easy – far from it.

(11.28)

Sitting in Costa with an orange juice, trying to work out what I want to wear for my up and coming triathlon. Dilemma of a Pro athlete eh?!

Friday 10th June 2016 (9.11am)

2/10 – Not doing too good. After I finished writing last night I deactivated my Facebook account, watched some TV and went to bed. I couldn’t sleep for a while and again I felt as if I just wanted to go out but I had no energy. I felt that I was breathing too fast and I could not settle. I set my alarm for 5am not knowing if I was going to swim or gym; when it went off I ignored it and stayed in bed. I am feeling a bit lost with myself. I have read some of my book in bed but I know it is best I make an effort to get up and head to David Lloyd to see if that helps. I do not want to speak to anyone today. I have received a ‘whats app’ message from a friend but don’t feel like replying – not yet anyway.

(12.35pm)

4/10 – I am at David Lloyd and my mood has lifted probably because I just got on the treadmill and ran like Gump for an hour. Sometimes it is exactly what I need and it is the only thing that helps. I am just having a text conversation with my mum and I said about my run and why. She mentioned about going down and I said about my isolated state, but I may do next week depending on the weather.

(5.12pm)

I am back at David Lloyd, having booked myself into spin class. I do feel tired and I have not had much too eat today. Again, I kind of feel that I do not want to eat. I had a phone call from a good friend from work. It was nice to speak to him. I am not sure if this spin class at 6pm will kill me or wake me up. The people on the table next to me are eating chips and they smell scrummy.

(8.46pm)

4/10 – Back at home now and I am glad that I went to gym as I saw a friend who I have not seen for ages. We always used to see each other when I got there after work and that is how we got chatting. She commented on how much weight I had lost. Spin class was good but I did not stay around afterwards. Euro 2016 started tonight so that will keep me occupied for the next few weeks. I will probably go swimming in the morning and then have a day off training on Sunday. I had a quick look on Facebook before deactivating my account (again) – it just annoys me, and puts me in more of mood. I do not want contact with the outside world.