First Week Done and Dusted

Well I started this week an absolute bundle of nerves. I was worried about everything from getting on a train, to being around and meeting new people. But I have to say that now my induction week is over, I’ve really quite enjoyed uni so far. I spent the week meeting lecturers and students, finding out a bit more about my course and having a wander around campus.

One of my main worries was how I was actually going to get there. I eventually, and I’ll say, reluctantly opted for getting the train in each day. I was worried about this because I couldn’t even say when I’d last gotten on a train; I just know it was years ago. But after spending a week of going to a fro, I’ve realised that it’s not that bad. It probably would have been worse trying to drive in. At least with the train, I don’t need to worry about how I get there, where I can park and then remember where I’ve left my car. Plus, getting the train has given me an opportunity to catch up on some reading. I’ve already read a few short stories that have been on my to-read list for a while. For now, I’m happy to keep doing what I’m doing.

Another thing I was anxious about was finding my way around. I’d already been given a little map, but I still thought I’d get lost. But I quickly realised that everyone else was in the same boat as me. Every single one of us was wandering around, trying to figure out where we should be. In the end, though, I’ve found it relatively easy to find my way around campus. Next week I’ll have to start again because my actual lectures are in different buildings to the ones I’ve been in this week, but I’m more confident that I’ll work it out.

Happily I’ve found a place where I can get coffee and a park I can either sit in or have a wander around when I need a break from the busyness of central campus.

I’ve met some really lovely people, both students and lecturers, and I already feel less alone than I did on Monday.

It will take me a while to get into my new routine, but I feel like I’m already well on my way to adjusting to all the change. I know that it’s not bad change, but historically I’ve never been very good with any kind of alteration to my life and routine.

Overall I feel a lot more positive about things now and am even more looking forward to getting stuck into my course.

Having said all this, after this week I’m absolutely knackered. It feels like it’s been a very long week with lots going on. I’m so very ready for the weekend.

I hope you’ve all had a good week and will have an even better weekend.

Coming Next Week: University!

Next week I have the start of all things university. I’ll be beginning my induction week on Monday, where I will learn more about my course and meet some of the people involved in it.

I’m simultaneously both looking forward to this and dreading it.

My anxiety is hitting the roof right now and only seems to be getting worse the closer I get to starting. This is usually the case when I have to do something, especially something new, but I’m generally okay once I start, so I’m hoping this will follow previous patterns.

I can’t wait to start, it’s a whole new adventure for me, and I look forward to everything it brings.

I’ve had my schedule through for when the course actually starts, and I’m not in all that much – in fact, I’m only in 2 days. As I’ve not been in full-time education for years, I’m doing what’s called a ‘foundation year’. This will ease me into uni life slowly and teach me how to study again (something that I’ve never been great at historically). I would imagine that my schedule will be a little busier when I start my true first year of the course.

For now, though, two days where I’m required to be there isn’t too bad and depending on what I have to do for uni, I will be able to continue with my current schedule of writing and blogging, at least for a bit. However, I’m sure I’ll eventually have to work out something new to take into account my course requirements.

As I said, I’ve got a mixture of hope and fear going into this course, but I’m mainly trying to stay positive. It will help me with my writing and maybe even help me get a job in the future.

While I’m studying, make my day even better by picking up a copy of one of my books. Each book bought puts a smile on my face, so head over to Amazon and check them out.

Dead Space: The Most Terrifying Game Ever

Dead Space is a survival horror game that was released in October 2008 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

The game is set on a mining spaceship that is now infested by creatures known as Necromorphs. You take control of Isaac Clarke, an engineer that has to investigate what happened aboard the ship. He not only has to fight the aforementioned Necromorphs but also increasing psychosis. As you explore the ship, environmental noises and music, along with the darkness, serve to disorient you and draw you deeper into the horrific nature of the game. This game throws enemies at you that you can’t outright kill. Instead, you have to dismember their bodies one limb at a time until they stop coming at. When you’ve got multiple enemies coming at you, this serves to increase your anxiety to dangerous levels.

Back in 2008, when Dead Space came out, it was straight on my list. I couldn’t wait to get my teeth into it, but this wasn’t to last.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love horror games, but I’m a wuss when it comes to playing them. As much as I wanted to play this game, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I would dip in and out of it every so often, never able to spend much time playing as the anxiety it would induce was incredible. Time moved on, and I all but forgot about it. When the sequels came out, I wanted to play them, but I saw no point as I hadn’t finished the first one.

Over the years, I managed to collect all three games but still didn’t play them. Recently, however, I’ve been on a kick to finish games that have been on my to-play list for far too long. Many of these games are horror games such as Alien Isolation, Resident Evil VII, and Dead Space.

I was looking for a game to stream when I decided that it would be a good idea to do Dead Space, and I used this as motivation to finally get it finished.

As soon as I started the game again, I remembered why I had so much trouble playing it. To begin with; it’s terrifying.

I don’t know what exactly makes it one of the scariest games I’ve ever played, but I think it’s a combination of enemies that just keep on coming for you, the darkness of space, the near-constant background noise of things running around in the ship and the fact that I’m still a wuss.

After several weeks of streaming – doing a couple of hours at a time – I finally finished Dead Space this weekend, and now that I have, I’m so glad I decided to play it because it’s a fantastic game. Everything about it is so well done.

I’m going to give Dead Space a 9/10. The graphics and effect are excellent. The music and sound are top-notch, and the gameplay makes you want to keep coming back for more despite knowing that it’s not good for you.

Having now finished the first game, there is a part of me that wants to jump straight into the second, but there’s a bigger part of me that just isn’t ready for it just yet.

It has recently been announced that all three games in the series are getting a remaster for the new generation of consoles, and I feel like I really have to finish the original versions before the new ones come out. Will I actually do this? God knows. Will I try? Probably, but I don’t think Dead Space 2 will be the next game I stream. I think I need something a little tamer. But stay tuned.

You can find me streaming over on Twitch using the link below.

University Nerves

Come September I’ll become a student for the first time since I was 17 as I head off to university to study creative writing.

I had my place confirmed several months back, but when this week I officially registered, it all became real; I’m actually going. Although I’m excited to go to uni and study something that I love doing, there’s still a part of me that’s very anxious about going.

I quit my job in IT back in May of 2020 as it was having an adverse effect on my mental health. After working in the industry for around 13 years, I had gotten to the point that I really didn’t want to work in IT for the rest of my life. I had started to resent it. It was a big step for me to take, as work had always been the one constant in my life, and it’s what got me through some tough times. So when it no longer helped, I felt lost.

I had no idea what I would do, but I knew that I wanted to give writing full time a try. However, there was always something in the back of my mind telling me that I’d probably end up having to go back into IT, even though I didn’t want to.

When it got to Christmas, I felt like I had to do something; otherwise, I’d spend my life feeling kind of worthless, so after discussing it with Alex, we decided that I should apply for uni.

Again, I didn’t want to do anything IT related; if possible, I wanted to do a course that would help me with my writing as I felt that I could really make a go of it. After browsing some courses online, we came across the creative writing one. After reading it, I was excited about the possibilities that it could create for me. I already loved to write, but I wanted to get better, so why shouldn’t I give the course a go.

I applied that night, but there was still a part of me that thought that I wouldn’t get in. Due to some pre-diagnosis struggles with my mental health back when I was doing my A-Levels, I didn’t get the best grades and thought this would hold me back as there would be someone better that could take my place.

I spent the next few months on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear back. Of course, I knew I would only hear after a certain date, but that didn’t stop me from checking the UCAS portal daily to see if there had been a response.

Pretty soon after the end date for applications had passed, I got an email offering me a conditional place. I didn’t know what this meant, but I already dreaded what I might have to do to get a confirmed place. Luckily, the only thing they wanted was a copy of my A-Level results and not long after I had sent this in, I had a full unconditional offer for a place. I couldn’t accept it quick enough – I’d done it.

There was still that annoying part in the back of my brain that was telling me that something would go wrong or that it had been a mistake, and they’d soon realise and rescind the offer. But they never did.

With my place confirmed, all I had to do was sit back and wait. I’d gotten my student finance sorted pretty quick, so now I just looked forward to starting.

So, here I am now, a month or so away from starting, and it’s hit me – I’m going to university. I never thought that I would ever have the chance after f!cking up my A-Levels so spectacularly and never having the confidence just to apply. This is one of the biggest things to happen to me in my life, and I still can’t believe it.

I don’t think the anxiety will leave me for a while yet. I know once I start, I’ll probably be fine; it’s just the anticipation and not knowing that kills me. It will all be new to me, and I’m never great with new things. But I want this so much that I’m willing to fight through the anxiety and my stupid brain to get where I want to go. I’m going to make the most of this opportunity that I never thought would happen.

Over the past few years, I’ve done several things that I never thought I would do, get engaged, write a book and now go to uni. Despite all the issues I still have to fight with, I feel that my life is actually going somewhere now, and I like it.

I’m going to spend the next few weeks putting together blog posts and continue work on, And Then I Killed Her, as I don’t know how much time I’ll have for these things when I start my course.

I leave you with this if there’s something that you’re thinking of doing but haven’t yet:

The Return!

Well, after a couple of weeks off while we moved house, I’m back.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, moving house is stressful!

We’re now fully moved into our new home and have been for around a week or so. We’ve spent most of the past couple of weeks either moving our belongings, deep cleaning the rental or unpacking boxes. The first two have now been done, but we still have a number of boxes that we still need to unpack – mainly books and DVDs. But until we have shelving sorted out, we have nowhere to put them. We’re just happy to finally be in a place that is ours and properly feels like home.

If you follow my Twitter or Instagram, you’ll have seen some of the progress we’ve made on unpacking and finding new places for things to live in. As usual, the main thing I’ve been working on is the games room. All the consoles are now out, tested, and ready to play on, and if I do say so myself, it looks pretty damn awesome.

Since we got the keys, we’ve hardly had a spare moment to ourselves. We’ve had a near-constant stream of people in and out of the house, either working on the floors or the site team fixing defects. Today is the day both Alex and I get back to work, and for me, it couldn’t have come soon enough.

I misjudged just how unsettled I would be when we moved. The move to our previous rented house was so easy compared to this one, and I wasn’t prepared for just how much we needed to do. My brain has almost imploded with everything going on, and I got to the point where I just didn’t want to see another soul outside the two of us that live in this house. I just wanted us to have some time on our own to relax in our new home. I’m hoping that now though, with both of us going back to work, things will return to a semblance of normality as we once again get some structure to our days.

In the past couple of days, my brain has been doing overtime with new ideas for some of the stories I’m currently working on, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to work on them.

Along with my writing and blogging, I’m hoping that soon I can start doing videos regularly, whether they are video game streams or something else – so keep an eye out for more info about that.

But for now, I’ll leave you with some pictures of our new home (plus some bonus pictures of a neighbour cat I met this morning) and I’ll get back to work.

 

Anxiety and CBT

Anxiety. Like many other people with bipolar, anxiety is an added unwanted bonus that comes along with it.

For many, anxiety is a feeling that occurs every now and then and may be associated with a big event; for example, a job interview, talking in front of others. These situations are considered a normal cause of stress.

Some of the symptoms of anxiety may include;

  • increased heart rate
  • rapid breathing
  • restlessness
  • trouble concentrating

However, when you have anxiety in conjunction with another mental illness, these periods of anxious feelings can last days, weeks, months and can have a more significant effect on your mind and body, and the symptoms listed above could become overwhelming. They may stop you from doing things you enjoy, seeing friends or going to restaurants. In extreme cases, they may prevent you from even leaving your house. If you don’t do anything about these feelings, they could get even worse.

I’ve previously talked about my anxiety in relation to a hospital appointment I had, but in the recent past, my anxiety would spike at anything from going to work to seeing family to thinking about going food shopping. Over the years, I have managed to gain a modicum of control over my anxiety, and it now only tends to raise its head at larger events, but that’s not to say that it still doesn’t happen unexpectedly.

To get my anxiety under control, I’ve had several bouts of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which gave me some tools that help you take a little more control over your feelings. This isn’t a cure, it’s a management tool, and it doesn’t always work.

From CBT, I learned a few different techniques retraining my brain to not go straight to a particular situation’s negative aspects. For example, when I had to go somewhere, my brain would go straight to thoughts like “everybody will be watching me” or “what if X happens while I’m out.” To begin with, CBT was a difficult therapy for me, as it was all about pinpointing my thoughts about a given situation, which I found really hard to do as when I was sat with someone asking these questions, it was hard for me to think about what thoughts I would have.

For a time, I felt like I was going around in circles and that the whole therapy was a waste of time, but after finishing the sessions, certain aspects stuck with me, and I still use them today. For example, if I start to be anxious about going somewhere, I think about why that is. If I’m thinking that people are watching me or will be judging me, I tell myself that they don’t think that way and have other things to think about than me. Sometimes, even using this method, I struggle actually to talk myself into thinking everything would be okay, but those times are getting less and less as time passes.

When Alex and I got together, I struggled with going to her parents’ house. Although they are now family, I was worried about them judging me, and if I had a panic attack whilst there, I didn’t want them to think any less of me. I’ve since learned that they don’t care, and they just want to see me. It helped in a way that Alex and I both have Bipolar as she was able to tell me that they have dealt with her anxiety for years and mine was nothing new. It wasn’t something that they would judge me for or think any less of me for. It didn’t matter.

Unfortunately, anxiety still plays quite a big part of my life, and it can still be overwhelming at times. But for the most part, I’m getting better.

CBT isn’t a fix-all solution. There will be parts that help and others that don’t, but I would say that it’s worth at least a go if you’re really struggling. Of course, if you’re like me, you may get anxiety even going to the CBT sessions, which was fun. But after a few, I got used to them, and it just became something I had to go to for a few weeks.

Like with many things related to mental illness, anxiety can be difficult to talk about, especially if you think others are judging you. But be assured that everyone out there suffers from it at some time of their life and to varying degrees. You’re not alone.

Moving House: A Stressful Time

Moving house has often been said to be one of the most stressful things that a person can do in their lifetime. But, when most days are stressful due to a mental health condition, moving house because even more challenging and can almost break you.

Alex and I have been going through the process of buying a new build property for the past several months – yes, we decided to make a stressful thing even worse by doing it during a pandemic. But we were at the point where we were getting fed up with pissing our money up the wall while renting.

The moving itself isn’t the thing that we find stressful it’s everything else that comes with it. It’s the solicitors and mortgage brokers that just seem to make everything that little bit more complicated. I swear they use words that even they don’t understand just to be difficult. It’s tough to deal with these things, but when you’re having a day where you’re fighting against your brain just to get through the day in one piece, receiving emails and phone calls from people saying things you don’t understand only compounds the issues and make you question whether it’s all worth it.

Thankfully, we’re coming to the end of the nonsense now. We have exchanged contracts on our new build home, and we’re now just waiting for the interior to be finished. We’re hoping to be in there in the next couple of months, and honestly, we can’t wait.

I’ve rented since I moved out at 23, and I thought that always would. The house that we’re currently in is the first house I’ve rented, the other rentals were flats, and despite renting this house, it’s the first place I’ve truly felt at home, and I think that feeling will only intensify when we moved into a house that we actually own.

I’d be lying if I said that having a mortgage over us wasn’t a scary prospect. It puts an extra layer of pressure on our already fragile minds, but it’s something we want to do, so we’re focusing on getting in there and all the things we can do when we move in.

With the rental we’re in, we’ve not really been able to do a lot of personalising because when we decide to leave, we have to return it to pretty much the state it was when we moved in. This has meant not being able to put shelves up and instead having bulky bookcases in rooms where we might not have done, having a garden that we can’t do anything with. When we move, we plan to grow a lot of things in it and even have a greenhouse. Not being able to plant anything in our current garden has limited us as to what we can grow in pots. I never thought I’d be bothered about a garden, but recently I’ve started to really look forward to growing all sorts of fruit and veg so we can be a little bit more self sustained.

To keep ourselves busy and our minds off the interminable wait, we’ve been going through all of our stuff and either packing up what we won’t need until we move or just outright getting rid of things. It’s incredible how stuff builds up. When we were moving into our current house, we got rid of a load of stuff from the flat, but over time things just build up again…mainly mugs, for some reason.

The other thing we’ve been doing is planning how our rooms are going to be; I’ve especially been thinking about this because I want to be able to set up my games room and all my consoles – retro and new – in a space similar to how I had it here. I’ve got them all packed away at the minute, but I can’t wait to get them out and use them again. 

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. In some ways, this is good because we know we’ll be in there soon. But there’s also that impatient part of our heads that wants to be in there now. We’re just lucky that the pandemic hasn’t caused any real delays in the building of our new home. We’ve been keeping everything crossed that everything goes according to plan. We’ve even been driving by every couple of weeks to do our own little drive-by check on the construction progress. It’s just a shame that now that it’s the interior being done, and we can’t really see how it’s going, but we do get regular calls from the developer to update us, so at least that’s something.

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I look forward to sharing some images of our new home when we move in. I’m sure many projects will spawn and I will probably end up telling you about them here. So stay tuned.

Bipolar Disorder: What Is It Really?

I’ve mentioned before that I have Bipolar disorder. In the years since my diagnosis, I’ve come across several people that don’t really know what it is or misunderstand it. In this blog, I’m going to try to explain it a little so bear with me as things may get a tad technical/medical.

What is Bipolar, and what are the symptoms?

At a basic level, Bipolar is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. So this isn’t just feeling either happy or depressed, it’s feeling them to extremes. These moods can last for weeks or months.

What we’re talking about is this;

With the depression side, it’s not just feeling “sad.” You can feel the below sometimes multiple ones combined;

  • feeling sad, hopeless or irritable most of the time
  • lacking energy
  • difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • loss of interest in everyday activities
  • feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
  • feelings of guilt and despair
  • feeling pessimistic about everything
  • self-doubt
  • being delusional, having hallucinations and disturbed or illogical thinking
  • lack of appetite
  • difficulty sleeping
  • suicidal thoughts

On the flip side, being manic isn’t just “happy,” it’s all of the below;

  • feeling very happy, elated or overjoyed
  • talking very quickly
  • feeling full of energy
  • feeling self-important
  • feeling full of great new ideas and having important plans
  • being easily distracted
  • being easily irritated or agitated
  • being delusional, having hallucinations and disturbed or illogical thinking
  • not feeling like sleeping
  • not eating
  • doing things that often have disastrous consequences – such as spending large sums of money on expensive and sometimes unaffordable items
  • making decisions or saying things that are out of character and that others see as being risky or harmful

Sometimes, one side of the Bipolarity is felt more than the other, in my case – and indeed most cases – depressive episodes are experienced more often than manic episodes.

Between these episodes, you may have periods of feeling “normal.” Which is just not high or low, but still far from what other people would call normal.

The patterns for the highs and low can vary from time to time, and person to person. But these patterns can be classified as the below;

  • rapid cycling – where you repeatedly swing from a high to a low phase quickly without having a “normal” period in between
  • mixed state – where you experience symptoms of depression and mania together; for example, overactivity with a depressed mood

Living with Bipolar

Living with Bipolar can be hard at times sometimes – especially a manic episode – you may not be aware that you’re having an episode. After an episode is over, however, you may realise that you were and may even be shocked by what you did during it. But while you’re in it, you may think that people are just being negative or are against you in some way.

Just because you have a Bipolar diagnosis doesn’t mean that your episodes will be the same as someone else with the disorder, everyone can experience it differently.

The extremes of it may also affect your life in other ways. For example, it might be hard to stay in a job; personal relationships may suffer, and there’s also an increased risk of suicide. During an episode, you may also experience strange things, like hallucinations which can also affect your daily life.

Along with all this fun, you may also have delusions or psychotic episodes thrown in for good measure.

Causes

Bipolar disorder is widely believed to be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain.

The chemicals responsible for controlling the brain’s functions are called neurotransmitters and include noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. If one or more of these is imbalanced, then you may experience symptoms of Bipolarity.

For example, there’s evidence that episodes of mania may occur when levels of noradrenaline are too high, and bouts of depression may be the result of noradrenaline levels becoming too low.

It is also thought that Bipolar can be genetic. So if you have family members with it, you’re at an increased of also developing it.

From what I’ve read, there’s isn’t a single gene that causes Bipolar, unlike other genetic disorders, but both genetic and environmental factors can cause it.

A stressful situation or circumstance can often trigger the symptoms of Bipolar disorder.

How is it triggered?

Some examples of stressful triggers include:

  • Relationship breakdown
  • physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • the death of a close family member or loved one

These are life-altering events and could bring about a depressive episode at any time in a person’s life.

Bipolar disorder may also be triggered by:

  • physical illness
  • sleep disturbances
  • overwhelming problems in everyday life, such as problems with money, work or relationships

As far as my Bipolar goes, I’ve spent year’s trying to work out triggers. Sometimes I can pinpoint them down to life events, but others seem just to happen. They also don’t have a regular pattern so I can’t even work out when they might occur and plan for them. The fact that they can happen at any time is also a cause of stress because I find myself worrying about when a depressive episode might hit me

Getting diagnosed can be a struggle. In my case, it was hard to get because I would only contact the doctor when I was in a low mood. When high everything was awesome – much like the Lego movie; just without the singing – so at the beginning I ended up being told I just had depression. It’s only when the moods went up and down regularly that I questioned this and spoke about it.

I’ve done several rounds of CBT, spoken to psychiatrists and doctors and been on more medication than. I can remember before I got to the “stable” place I’m in now. Don’t get me wrong, I still ups and downs, but now they didn’t happen as regularly, and when they do, I can handle them slightly better.

There are, at times, still bouts of depression that floor me. I had one of these at the back end of last year where I felt worse than I’ve felt in a long time. The fact that it was the first really low mood I’d had in a while made it feel so much worse than it was. It was so bad that I didn’t want to be here anymore, and if I didn’t have the love and support of those around me – especially Alex – then I might not be.

Living with Bipolar is hard, but it is not all that I am – even though it might feel like it sometimes.

In future blogs, I’ll talk more about how both the depressive and manic sides have affected me.

One last thing before I sign off. If you’re reading this and you think, “This is me” and you’re struggling day-to-day, just know that there is help out there for you. It sucks asking for help, and I’m someone who finds it really hard to ask for it and say what I need, but without being able to make that first step, God knows where I would be.

As hard as it is to tell my story, I feel like getting it out there may help people realise that they’re not alone because I know that that’s how it feels sometimes.

Physical Pain and Mental Health

As I’ve said previously, I have bipolar disorder. It’s something that I’ve relatively come to terms with as something that I will have for the rest of my life. I’m, I wouldn’t say used to it, but it’s there every day, and it’s just something I live with.

When it comes to physical pain; however, I’m not as well versed in how to get through. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve done things in my life that have hurt, I’ve struggled through toothache more times than I can count, but I’ve never broken a bone, – apart from when I split my head open (twice) when I was a young child – and never really been in that much pain.

Over the past few months, however, I’ve been in increasing amounts of pain with my hip.

In May/June, I started to experience a lot of pain in my hip. After several doctors appointment and a few months of low dose painkillers, it had gotten worse, so I went to A&E. Another few months of appointments and painkillers followed before I finally managed to go for an MRI.

Waiting for results for scans or blood tests is never fun for anyone, but with my already anxious and overthinking brain, I had started to fear there was some malignancy lurking in my joint. This took its toll on my mental health, the longer I waited, the worse it got. The relief I felt at finally getting my results was unbelievable, although then I started to find other things to worry about with it.

I’ve said it before, but for those that haven’t read previous posts, the results were that I have a torn labrum. Now, I had no idea what this meant and had to look it up. But basically, the labrum is a ring of cartilage that follows the outside rim of your joint socket, this cartilage had ripped somehow, and it’s the irritation of its movement that is causing me pain.

When they told what was wrong, they asked if I wanted to have a steroid injection into the joint to reduce pain and make it easier for me to mobilise to get strength back in. Me, being the dumbass that I am, opted not to have it and stick with the physio. As you may have guessed, this was a bad idea.

Over the months since getting the diagnosis, the pain has gotten worse and worse, so now I’m on even more potent painkillers.

The whole thing, of not being able to move around as much as I like and what little I do move, having to remember to use my crutch, being unable to do things around the house, even not being to drive, along with having to take painkillers regularly, has, at times, done my tree in. I’m not an overly active person, but not even being able to get upstairs or take my pants off without assistance gets to me. I’m 35; I shouldn’t need this kind of help.

This year has been challenging anyway, but it’s been even harder with not being able to do my job anymore and being in constant, and sometimes, unbearable pain. My brain has had enough of it and wants everything to get back to normal.

I don’t know how I would have dealt with the pain, had I a “normal” brain. But throwing bipolar into the mix too is sometimes too much. Sometimes I feel like crying, A; because of the pain, and B; because my brain has been stretched to the limit and I can’t take anymore.

Anyway, I’m hoping that the pain will be coming to an end soon as I’ve got my steroid injection this afternoon. But this too has left my anxious. I overthink about what might happen, and all the things that could go wrong. Like the other week with my orthopaedic appointment, I’ll probably be fine when I get there, but the wait is God awful. I also worry about what might happen after. Will it get rid of the pain? Will it make it worse? What will happen if it does, will I need a surgical procedure? What if something goes wrong with that?

It’s a rabbit hole that I can’t help but go down because of the way my brain is wired. It’s so tiring having a brain that moves at a million times a minute at times, filled with worries about what might happen.

In a way, this blog helps. I get to throw my worries out into text form. It doesn’t get rid of them, but it does make me look at them from a different perspective and see how truly unfounded they are. Perhaps the way I do it on this blog will also mean that other people who think the same way might look at their thought process a little differently too.

That’s it for today. Hopefully, I’ll have some good news after this afternoon, and maybe I can do some more writing, which I’ve failed to do for a few days.

Have a good week!

Anxiety

Just a quick update from me today.

This afternoon I’m going to my orthopaedic appointment where I hope I will have a steroid injection into my hip to help me with the pain and then be able to mobilise better.

I’ve not really had anxiety for a while, even going to the many hospital/physio appointments I’ve had recently. But today I’m feeling it.

Although I’m looking forward to potentially not being in as much pain, I’m still nervous about the procedure. When I had my MRI arthrogram, I felt a little anxious but something with this today as made me feel worse than then.

I know it’ll be fine and that I need to get it done, but part of me just wants to hide and ignore it and hope that it miraculously gets better on its own. But I also know that that’ not going to happen.

I’ve struggled with anxiety as part of my bipolar for years. But over the past few, I’ve been getting better at doing certain things that I used to shy away from.

Today is just a bad day for it, and I know tomorrow will be better, but as much as I try to distract myself this morning, I can’t shake the anxious feeling.

Anxiety sucks, and anyone that suffers from it needs a level of understanding from others. A lot of the time, it’s not that we don’t want to do things – although this is sometimes the case – it’s that we just can’t. Something in our brains just says ‘no’, and there’s nothing we can do make it go away.

There’s only so much that therapy can do, and a lot of it relies on the individual to try things to see what helps.

Like I said, I’m much better than I used to be, but that’s not without a lot of hard work on my part and having people around me that support and help me through the bad times.

But if you do suffer from anxiety, remember that it’s not your fault and it’s nothing to apologise for. There are always going to be those people that think it’s a cop-out or that you’re just being awkward, but those people can go f*ck themselves quite frankly, and they’re not worth listening to.

Anyway, that’s it for me today. I’m going to try to relax for the next couple of hours before my appointment.

I’ve got this, and so do you.