Thursday, 26 January 2017

What's your mental health kryptonite?

Last night I had a horrible dream. Well I guess perhaps it should be described as a nightmare. My eleven year old daughter drowned and died over and over. I felt the hopeless bottomless feeling of despair. A black bottomless pit, you're falling downwards and no one or nothing can stop you. I cried, I grieved. In fact it went on and on what felt like all night and when I woke up I felt so low.

I was overwhelmed to see my daughter, hold her and know she was alive. My pillow was wet and my hair soaked. Not a good night. 

I recount this with you as since my mental health has been bad again I have been having very realistic dreams. So much so that I have to stop myself when I'm awake and try and decipher whether I am remembering a reality or a dream. Quite unnerving.

I'm having a rollercoaster all around with my depression at the moment, two blogs back I was at my lowest, today I am also very low but yesterday and the previous days I was quite content if not reasonably balanced.  I can never tell until I wake up which extreme I am going to find myself at.

Yesterday I realised a lifelong dream and self published my book. I started writing it during my last depressed time two years ago and have worked on it around work ever since. It is kind of auto-biographical as the DS suffers with anxiety and depression and I've used all my personal experiences to create the character of DS Sarah James. Her emotions and difficulties with mental health are me, they are my experiences within the police service. She does my job, on my department. the murder didn't happen but the characters are true to life and it was cathartic to write.

So yesterday I published my masterpiece,  Money for Old Rope by Leasa Wilkes on Amazon Kindle eBooks',  that was a lifetime highlight and very exciting. Of course it was tainted with my normal self doubt, a need to apologise for fostering my work on the world and a massive fear that it is useless but that's fairly standard for me. Paranoia and self doubt figure in everything from parenting to supermarket shopping.  I have however had this daft dream that it will take off and earn me enough money to retire from the cops early allowing me to escape from my demons, but I fear that's just one of my dreams as opposed to a reality!

Yesterday I also had my second, 'how are you' email from work in the month since I have been off sick. Thankfully the boss did email me not ring but I can't help but thinking the timing of his contact means HR have prompted a contact as opposed to someone really caring. I suppose that could be my paranoia talking but that's one e mail every two weeks.

The thought of the office, work and even the people there makes me feel like I want to turn myself inside out. Its a creepy feeling that is somewhere between nausea and a panic attack. Revulsion even.  I feel allergic to an environment that has formed the basis of my working life since I was 19 years old. I now hate it and love it in equal measures, it is my greatest accomplishment yet my biggest weakness all at the same time. It's like my kryptonite, I feel weaker, sicker and darker when I think about work.

I made another step forwards today. I emailed Steps2Wellbeing, a free talking therapy service in the UK.  I was in their system two years ago having counselling but just prior to my fourth session and whilst I was sat waiting to go in I was told the counsellor had gone off sick with stress! Now I have always struggled with the concept of counselling as I recognise from policing that professionals are humans with their own garbage and are therefore only listening to me prattle on for their wages! So when she went sick I absorbed the blame as it felt as if all my misgivings had been confirmed. I made her sick, she didn't want to listen to me at all, she did have her own baggage and it is purely a job and she didn't give two hoots. Steps2wellbeing never re-contacted me to book me in with somebody else, or for that matter to apologise for dropping me out of their loop and I never re-contacted them.

So bearing in mind my current 'trigger' with telephones that I have covered before I have emailed them. phones make me sweat, hyper ventilate, panic and generally feel very unwell. Let us wait and see what comes of my email. But the email itself was an achievement trust me it's taken me a week since seeing the GP to get around to actually writing it!! But apparently according to my GP to even stand a chance at being considered for a PTSD diagnosis I have to see a psychologist via them?

On a more positive note I have had some great feedback from you all about these ramblings and whilst I feel I have something worthwhile to throw into the mental health mix I'll keep on writing. Feel free to follow me on twitter @BeachHutBabe24 if not already and if you're feeling really generous perhaps you could spend 99p on my book, read it and give me an honest review!!

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