Best Shot

Dear Reader,

What an incredibly shitty week. So I’m struggling. Which is probably evident from my lack of posting. But I’m struggling in a different way at the moment.

See I started this blog because I was struggling, I was struggling, but that struggle motivated me to write. I felt I could open up about that struggle. But right now. I’m not sure I understand what is wrong with me anymore. Right now I’m struggling so much that I can hardly motivate myself to think let alone write and that’s hard because writing is something I love doing and it makes me sad when I have no motivation to do it. But I have been so much better since I began writing this, it has been the best and worst thing to happen to me. It has made me more open, it’s made me understand myself better, it’s made me able to express things better and see that I am not alone. But, it has also bought back a torrent of things I had not realised were affecting me so much. Subconscious thoughts I did not realise had an impact on my health.

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I am Christmas spirit. I know it doesn’t seem like very much gets me excited by the way I write, but Christmas has always been one of the most important times of the year for me but this year I’m struggling to be excited. I thought it was my impending doctor’s appointment yesterday, which was dragging my Christmas spirit down. But post doctors I feel the same.

Christmas was always important to me, when I was little I used to write my Christmas list to Santa in October. Of course it would change dramatically over the two months leading up to Christmas. But, I was so excited. My Christmases were spent having dinner at my grandma and granddads house, with my parents, brother and my aunt, uncle and two cousins. it was perfect. And Whilst I know things don’t last forever, I was heartbroken the first year it didn’t happen. And even though it’s been 8 years since the last time we did that.

This tradition ended the year my cousin died. I was 18. My cousin died in the November, and Christmas of that year was not a good one. And they have gradually got worse. Maybe worse is the wrong word. Maybe things have shifted is the best way to describe it. When I was young, my favourite part of Christmas was present’s. As I got older it was the time off of school combined with presents and enjoying Christmas day with my family. But now. Christmas isn’t the same. For any of us. For me, Christmas now only makes me happy because it is an excuse for me to make others happy. My need to make everyone happy means I spend a lot of money at Christmas that I don’t really need to or should. On average I spend about £150 on my brother. Buying him silly things I know he will love.

I guess, there are two reasons that I focus on my brother so much at Christmas. I was never particularly close to my cousin that died. I hadn’t seen him for a long time when he became ill. But when he died, I remember thinking how heartbroken I would be if it was my brother. And how hard it must have been for my cousins that were his siblings. I guess my irrational fears of death spread further than I think. I always imagine everyone in my life will die suddenly. But not my brother. I am always terrified he will get some terrible illness and suffer for a long time before he dies and that I won’t be able to do anything for him.

I just want to feel excited about Christmas, I want to feel as excited as the picture I am making people believe about me. I can’t let my mask slip at Christmas, I have to be the Christmas spirit, because people rely on me to be excited about Christmas. And that is a burden sometimes.

I hoped that after I visited my doctor I would be calm enough to let my Christmas spirit kick in. But, I was wrong. I saw my doctor, I told him about my mood swing, that horrible one where I wanted to kill myself. I told him I was having panic attacks. So what did he do? He lowered my Citalopram. And told me he would have to refer me if this continued. This made me feel worse. I feel he has finally given up on me just like everyone else does. I realise it must be truly demanding trying to help me.

When I worked at the college, there was a student in the class who was incredibly depressed, she was struggling greatly with her mental health. She confided in a fellow staff member. The next week he was given time off for mental health problems. He wrote an email to my boss, he stated in it that in not being able to help that student it had made him realise that he wasn’t doing so well himself. This is something I am terrified of. I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel worse because they can’t help me. And that’s how I feel about my doctor. He didn’t seem himself, he has been hinting to me that there are staff members in the surgery that suffer with mental health problems. Maybe one is him. Maybe I am making him worse. It must be hard being a doctor and not being able to make someone better. I understand the need to help people. I just wish that I had the ability to shut it off, and move on. Like he seems to have.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room

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13 thoughts on “Best Shot

  1. Well, Elephant in the Room, I’m having a shitty week, too. (I don’t know if you saw my post today, but it’s all there.) I talked with my therapist today and he recommended that I go to as many support groups as I can for now. They usually do help me. In fact, at a group I attended last night, the holidays came up a lot. This time of year presents struggles for a lot of people. Holidays often bring up sad memories as well as happy ones. I would say, let yourself feel the sad memories and don’t try to fight them. But also, try to do things during the holidays that you really do enjoy. You deserve enjoyment — and a break. Hang in there.

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  2. Your writing is very encouraging to me. That may sound odd, since a lot of your writing is very raw depiction of your suffering and depression, but it is very encouraging to me. I think that is because I know I’m not the only one suffering with suicidal ideation, that I’m not the only one who feels lost sometimes, and especially that I’m not the only one who feels lost but keeps on fighting. Don’t give up on yourself. I have wanted, many times, to give up on myself and end my life (and many other people have as well), but there is something powerful that is keeping me pushing forward. And think about how amazing and brave we really are– the people who struggle with depression but don’t give in! It’s the hardest thing in the world, but I think the fight (and you and I and others who bravely battle their depression) is one of the most beautiful and great things in the world.

    Thank you for blogging.

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  3. The Christmas period I feel always brings about the best and worst about how you feel, it should be a time for joy, bad sadly as families splinter it seems less so.

    I often wonder with doctors and what they have to deal with on a daily basis it must be very hard for them to cope, also their resources are somewhat limited and therfore can’t necessarily give everyone the care they should, but such is the NHS.

    I’ve come to rely on writing here, as it’s the only place I can let it all out, plus be within a great supportive community, I think to lose this would be a terrible blow for me and to lose your excellent writing would also be a blow, keep going, your word help a lot.

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  4. “Right now I’m struggling so much that I can hardly motivate myself to think let alone write and that’s hard because writing is something I love doing and it makes me sad when I have no motivation to do it.”
    holy hell, this ^ times one hundred and twenty-three. :/

    “And told me he would have to refer me if this continued. This made me feel worse.”
    ^ this too. 😦

    (normally when I reply to a blog post of someone I follow, I try to be more enticing and more verbose. but much like you, my joy of writing has vanished. and now, all I can do is present my agreement to statements.)

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  5. As far as the provider, they can take care of themselves. Their job is to help you. Yours is not to worry about them. Most of us w/ mental illness have trouble w/ Christmas. Find one thing that is yours alone that you can depend on having as part of your Christmas. Make it your tradition. Mine is to go to a community dinner w/ friends. It’s not the same as it used to be but it is something “close enough” that I can count on. Maybe you can find something of YOUR own. Meanwhile keep writing, even if you don’t feel like it. xo

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  6. Sending you all my positive thoughts, and I want you to know that there are a lot of us who have felt what your feeling. In the words of my unique little Grandmother “This to shall pass, and while your waiting make sure your extra good to yourself!” G-uno

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  7. Sounds like you need some kind of connection. And sometimes I find in order to get out of a depression I need to do something I haven’t done before so it doesn’t have memories attached to it.Even if it means walking around in a new part of town. Does humour help you or annoy you? This might seem stupid to you but how about creating a scavenger hunt with a friend, like a silly list and then go out walking and looking for stuff on your list. Are you in the UK? You’re a little too far away. I’d happily go on a scavenger hunt with you 🙂

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  8. If the doctor isn’t helping you enough in your eyes, change to a better one. You do not have to stick to the same one. The reason one goes to a doctor is to feel better. It is not your problem to fix the doctor. He can see someone if he isn’t felling well. You have got to be selfish here. Focus on yourself to get to a better spot.
    I agree with kbailey374 who said make Christmas your own. Start a tradition. I’m going to take that advice too. Still thinking on what. I have had my Christmas tree up since the end of November this year, didn’t bother last year. Making up for lost time!
    Writing is good for the soul. I think with writing you learn more about yourself, and that may be a little intimidating at times to get to know yourself better. Sometimes we don’t like what we see but it is a part of us. Learning to live with ourselves is the journey. We deal with the issues when we are ready and not before. What is the rush? Take your time. Be kind to yourself.

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  9. Sorry you are really struggling. Speaking as a mental health care provider, Im pretty sure that you didn’t make the doctor feel worse, even if he had his own issues. It is tough for us at this time of the year, but like everyone else we are able to get support as needed.

    I agree it sounds like you need some more support, groups, therapy, whatever you can find. Also if you are not doing better, I would advise keep going back to your mental health services for help, try and be your own advocate.

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  10. I was on citalopram for a long time and while it was helpful, the dosage needed reduced a bit because it was causing panic attacks, palpitations, etc.
    Writing and blogging can be so cathartic, but I find there’s different levels of depression and sometimes the motivation goes out the window whenever we’re feeling low. Worrying will only make you feel worse… it will come back soon.
    PS I also have a sister like you, your brother will be made-up.

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