Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Recovery is never linear.
Two steps forward, one step back.
It’s just a setback
Everyone has wobbles
Yeah. Only up until now entering remission had felt so straightforward that I had genuinely begun to feel that it would stay that way, that for the first time since 2010 I would be actually well.
I started the lurasidone in September; things quickly began to improve. I became established on it and was more stable than in a long, long time. There was still a lot of healing to do and a lot of confidence to be regained, but I believed I could maintain some sort of momentum. By early October I had a plan, an actual written plan, of what I wanted to do in order to gradually widen my circle of activities and people in order to eventually get back to work.
I joined a gym and began to really enjoy exercise more. I started to lose a significant amount of the quetiapine weight and felt good about that. I cleaned up my diet, cut down on sugar and caffeine and gave up alcohol. I went back to choir to a really warm welcome, and felt dangerously close to actually completing a term and singing in a concert. I started to be able to go out and about locally, although problems with using the tube meant that I couldn’t go any further. But I would tackle that.
And so I took a couple of tube journeys to the CMHT (ten minutes) and it was OK. It was a bit scary waiting on the platform at That Station, but I managed. I went on a longer trip in the suburbs with Tom. After I wrote my last post I really wanted to try going in central London a try, as I knew it was holding me back from becoming work ready, so I arranged to meet a lovely friend in Zone 1. I picked a time outside rush hour. I picked a straightforward journey on a familiar route with only one change. And yet it was awful.
I cried on and off the whole way. Maybe I should’ve just got off, crossed to the other platform and gone home. But my friend was coming from outside London and I hadn’t seen her in a very long time, so I pushed on. I was slightly early and as I waited for her in the ticket hall at Green Park station I went into full meltdown mode. I didn’t care who saw how much I was crying or how badly my hands were shaking, because there was nowhere to go where people wouldn’t see me. I might as well cry in the ticket hall as on the street or in M&S.
Yes, it was lovely to see my friend and I did enjoy spending time with her. But I was dipping in and out of wobbles over lunch and cried all the way back, arriving at home exhausted and wishing that I hadn’t even tried.
It was such a disappointment.
I have no way of knowing whether I coped so badly because I was becoming low, or whether the experience triggered a new burst of low mood. Whatever the order of events, a week later I can’t stop crying. I am unable to resist going back to bed in the day, and once I’m in, I struggle to get out. I’m back to being unable to take the tube without becoming distressed and have to go to appointments via three buses each way. Basic tasks seem to have become incredibly difficult. I am assailed by apathy, doing things not because I want to but because I suppose I should. I am living on sugar because eating healthily seems just too hard.
I feel like such a disappointment.
I was doing so well that I felt like a kind of teacher’s pet at the CMHT, that I had created the expectation of being an ongoing success story. I feel like I am letting my care co-ordinator and consultant down by being unable to maintain progress. I feel that I am letting my psychologist down even though we recently finished therapy, because she put in her report that she had watched me “blossom”, and now I am not. I even feel like I am letting my physiotherapist down because I can’t find it in me to do the exercises I know will help my injured foot.
I have worked so hard to stay well but I am in a vicious cycle where every time I don’t do the things I had put in place to keep well I hate myself, and the self-hatred feeds into the low mood. Every can of Coke, every abandoned physio exercise, every missed Apple Watch target, every skipped choir rehearsal. I can’t understand why I can’t do the things I could do a week ago.
Above all, I was proud of myself for being able to give Tom a break from the relentless grind of having to care for me. I feel so disappointed that he will be exposed to depression yet again. I don’t even know how to tell him exactly how things are; I’l probably have to get his to read this, because I don’t know how I can articulate the shame of it. Of course on the scale of destruction this mood state in relatively minor. But he must think – as do I – here we go again. And both our hearts will sink.