Guilt 

Guilt is a massive part of my experience with depression. I feel guilty about not being able  to focus on my job. I feel guilty about stressing out my friends and family. And worst of all I feel guilty about not being strong enough to get through this. 

My weekend was good and bad. I had a really nice day out with a friend on Saturday. Then caught up with Sehar when I got home. But as always the good moments are normally followed by a bad ones. I feel guilty that I’ve enjoyed myself and I generally fall into a hole afterwards.

Thankfully I have progressed enough to call out for help when I need it. My friend came over and stayed with me Saturday night. And I spoke to my parents a lot. They keep asking if I need them to come home. Maybe I do need them more then I realize but I want them to have the break that they deserve. Plus my little arrives next week so that’s keeping me going. 

I’ve also had so much love from my BBG girls who I should have caught up with yesterday. But I couldn’t face it. Getting out of bed was a struggle. But I know they are there for me and it’s just lovely to know I have some great people around me. 

Depression is a vicious circle. You feel bad and guilty about everything. Which then just makes you feel even worse then you already do. I’m sorry my posts aren’t very uplifting at the moment (there goes the guilt again) but it helps me to write about it. I hope that soon I’ll have more positive stuff to say xx 

Hey ho, hey ho…. 

Friday evening…ahhhhhh!!! It might sound like I’ve had a stressful week. But actually it’s been ok. I had a few days off again at the start of the week so I could focus on my therapy sessions and not throw myself into everything all at once. But on Wednesday I went back to work.

I’m not gonna lie. The night before I was very anxious. I didn’t sleep great at all. The drive in on Wednesday morning was even worse. I had all these ideas in my head about how awkward it was going to be. Would people be weird with me, treat me differently? I honestly didn’t think I’d last more then an hour!! But I walked in and all of a sudden those fears vanished and I felt like almost at home. My team greeted me and there was no fuss which is just what I needed. Just like any other day in work! 🙂

And since then it’s been fine. The break must have done the trick because work no longer feels an effort or a chore. I’ve not quite gotten to my full working potential yet but I’m happy to be back and I feel like I’m getting back on track.

I’m so blessed with the people I have around me at work. I’ve said it so many times but I’ll say it again. My colleagues are awesome. They make me laugh, they make me feel comfortable and they let me be who I am. If I need a hug, I’ll get one. If I need a chat, there’s always someone there. And if I just need to be left alone, I can get my space.

I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve been in a workplace where I feel supported, understood and even loved. 💜

The early days 

 

 

Had a nice chat with mum today on Skype. She’s so worried about me. Said she’s been thinking about when I was a baby or when she was carrying me and was there anything she did to make me this way. Poor mum.

We started talking about when I was little and growing up and how looking back I was never really the happiest of children. Not miserable but just not as happy as other children. We also talked about how my earliest memories as a child were all sad or negative ones. Obviously there were happy ones too but they’re not the ones that spring to mind as much.

Mum said that I was a really smart kid. But somewhere along the way I lost my confidence and maybe never really got it back. She also said I was a stress head and an over planner then. When she was pregnant with my little sister I would come home from school every day with a new name for her and desperately wanted to make sure she had a good name lol!

It’s so strange how these things kind of all add up when I look at my way of thinking now and how I feel about myself. Maybe I’ve always been a negative thinker, someone with a lack of confidence…a troubled soul.

But mum reminded me I’ve got plenty of time to change that. Now I’m dealing with and getting help for my problems doesn’t mean to say I have to stay this way. I just need to keep going, not give up and convince myself that even I’m worthy of some happiness in my life. 

Shaena time 

Not the best start to the week. I went to see my doctor this morning because I’ve just been feeling so tired. Drained more then anything. Both mentally and physically. Everything was just getting on top of me and too much for me to handle.
Sometimes I feel that I’m forcing myself to feel better but that just makes things worse. My concentration and energy levels are severely low. Even doing the basic daily things I’m struggling with. 
So anyway after a chat, my GP signed me off work for a week. I was apprehensive at first because it feels like I’m failing again. But at the same time I do think it’s what I need. Time to let my body and mind rest, recoup and give myself some breathing space. 
So this week I’m going to take some time to do what’s best for me. I went to group therapy today which was good. I’m going to try do some yoga and meditation and maybe head out for walks just so I don’t soend all day hibernating. And then at the end of the week I’m going to visit my friend Eileen in Cambridge so I can have chats in good company and get lots of cuddles in with her new baby Felix. 
I might be quiet this week but I need some time to just get myself together again. Sometimes life just gets a bit too hard. 

   
 

The article 

On Tuesday I spoke about my blog in my group therapy session. Afterwards I sent the link to the organizer from Mind so she could have a read. She emailed me today and asked if I would write an article for their monthly newsletter. Thought I would share it one here too. 

Behind the smile

 

When people find out I have depression, those that don’t know me that well are often shocked. ‘But you always seem so happy and you’re always smiling’. That is true, most of the time I am always smiling. And a lot of the time the smile is real. On the good days anyway. 


But there are bad days. Some worse then others. On those days the I don’t want to smile. I don’t even want to get out of bed. I’d rather crawl back under the duvet and hide. But what will that achieve? Nothing. And I’d probably lose my job. So….I get up, I get dressed, put on my make up and I go to work. Sometimes the journey to work is numbing. I don’t think, I just drive. And then other days I just cry. Why? I don’t even know myself most of the time. 


So I drag myself through the day. Hiding behind the smile and trying to keep the demons in my head silent. Unfortuantely they like to make noise and very rarely listen to me. They tell me I’m not good enough. They crush my confidence. They remind me of the mistakes I’ve made. And worst of all I listen to them. 
Depression is a battle. A battle between you and the voices in your head that make you feel sad, lonely and worthless. I’ve lived with this for over 15 years now. It’s hard and it’s exhausting. It’s not constant though. I’ve had times when I’ve things have been ok. I’ve found happiness, positivity, and balance. And I’ve found reasons to keep going. I just wish that I could maintain that but life has a way of testing me. There are triggers that keep dragging me back to the dark hole. 
I’m one of the lucky ones. I have support. Family and friends who get me through each day. Depression can make you feel so alone but I have to say that I know I’m never really alone even though that’s how it feels at times. 


For some a time comes when they can’t fight it anymore. They can’t see another way out and they give up. I’ve been there too. Several times. And it’s something that comes back every now and then. When it gets bad, it’s really bad. But I refuse to give up. I want to keep fighting. If not just for me but for the people around me that help me through this Depression is a battle. A battle between you and the voices in your head that make you feel sad, lonely and worthless.


I’ve accepted my illness is real. I try my best not to hide from it or ignore it. I acknowledge when things are bad and I get help. There is always someone out there who can help. If you’re hiding behind the smile, speak up, someone will be there. 

I felt honoured to be asked to share my experience and know that it might help others x 

Pause 

Drained. That’s me today. The last few days have been great but have really taken it out of me. After a lovely weekend in Stratford I jumped back into my fitness regime with a body pump class on Monday morning at my new gym and then did my BBG week 3 workout when I got home that evening. It felt good!

I also started the second of my group therapy sessions on Monday afternoon. Like the other one it went really well and I enjoyed it. There were only two of us who attended but it didn’t matter. Was just nice to share our experiences and feelings and know we are not alone.

Yesterday I went to the 3rd session of the other group. The ladies there are so lovely I feel so relaxed and comfortable talking with them 🙂

It’s Diwali in the Hindu calendar today. So I should be celebrating with friends and family but instead I’m sat on the couch, under my blanket watching a DVD. I’ll come back to why later. Somebody at work suggested those who celebrate the festival and anyone else who wished to contribute mark the occasion with a food feast at lunch time. So last night I spent the evening cooking away with the help of two of my friends from work. Had a lovely evening, laughing, eating and just feeling happy.

Today was a struggle. I felt tired all day. I had to go to Northampton for work. It felt like a very long drive there and back for a task that took very little time. My colleague and I were fighting to stay awake on the drive home. But I like those kind of trips because we get to talk shit in the car for a few hours and it’s always nice to get of the office for a day.

Anyway tonight I was supposed to go round a family friends for Diwali dinner but I just wasn’t feeling it. The drive home from the office was a mission. I couldn’t even face the gym! So sadly I had to decline my invite and instead I’m having a lazy evening at home.

I felt bad at first but then I was reminded of something that was discussed at my group yesterday. When things get too much, when you get tired or when you just can’t keep going. Pause. Take time out for yourself to allow yourself to get back on track. So that’s what I’m doing tonight. Resting my body and resting my mind.

So tomorrow is the Hindu new year. I intend to chill out tonight and regroup. And tomorrow I’ll start over. That’s what New Year’s Day is for after all 😉   

Sehar 

Just sat down after a lovely weekend away and all my chores done! Finally!!! 
I went to Stratford-on-Avon yesterday. It was my birthday present for my friend Sehar who turned 30 in September. I wanted to treat her to a relaxing weekend away because she’s such a good friend and one of those selfless people who puts everyone else before herself. 
We had such a lovely time. Lunch at the Royal Shakespeare Company roof top restaurant. Amazing food and gorgeous views. We then dragged our suitcases across the cute little streets to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the Mercure Shakespeare Hoyel. It was beautiful. Typically Shakesperian with wooden beamed ceilings and cosy furnishings. 
We had a little relaxing time then ventured out and about. Wandered through the cute little streets and had a few drinks whilst chatting and giggling. Then back to the hotel we went to get ready for dinner. We got ourselves ready and went next door to Marco Pierre White’s NY Italian restaurant which conveniently had an entrance via the hotel. I’d mentioned to them when I booked it was for a friends birthday so they gave us a lovely table and the birthday girl got a card and bubbles on the house! 🙂 
Dinner was amazing! We started with a bread basket which we literally enhaled. The garlic butter was sooo good! Then we had our mains. Sehar got Sea bass and I had the steak….obvs!! Oh em gee! Gorgeous! And then….we went all out and got a dessert too. She had the chocolate fudge cake and I got ice cream with espresso and amaretto. Heaven!!!!!! 
We then decided that we just wanted to chill in our room so we spent the rest of the evening listening to tunes and just relaxing. We had a small Bollywood moment where we played our favourite songs. Sehar was surprised to find out I knew so many words to the songs but didn’t know what they meant…so she translated for me! 😂😂 
It was such a fun and relaxing day and night. We filled our bellies with a lovely breakfast this morning before heading home. 
I had such a lovely time. She’s been such a good friend to me and I wanted to spoil her for her birthday. After all friends like this don’t come along often. And I think we both needed this weekend. To get away and just do nice things for ourselves. 
Hope you enjoyed it Sehar. Thank you for being so good to me. Love you xxx 

Home alone kid 

It’s been a funny week. Last Wednesday was my parent’s last day before they left for India again. I went into work as normal but I couldn’t concentrate at all. My mind was definitely elsewhere. Thoughts of being on my own again, how much I was going to miss them, would I be ok by myself and I suppose a sort of excited anticipation of getting some space to myself again. Obviously I loved having my parents home, I really needed them this year with things being all over the place again. But as much as I’ve opened up to them more this year I know it will be good for me to come home after a tough day and have a good cry if need be and have no one worry about it.
So they left on Thursday. It was emotional. I cried a lot. Even at work. But I had a lot of lovely work colleagues around me who knew that I would find it hard so there were plenty of hugs to get me through the day. It was weird when I got home. An empty house, a little cold as the heating hadn’t come on yet and it was very quiet. No Mum in the kitchen preparing dinner, no Dad in the back room researching reiki or doing banking stuff on the laptop. No one. It was just me! When I walked into the kitchen I found a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a chocolate advent calendar and a lovely note from my parents. Cue more tears! Lol!

  
But I soon settled down. I called a few friends and spoke with both my sisters over Skype. And of course to my parents before they boarded their flight. So I kept busy, made myself a nice dinner and tried to relax. To be honest when I got to bed I had the best sleep I’d had in a good few days. When I got up the next morning I’d almost forgotten I was on my own. When I remembered I got upset all over again and called my boss to ask to work from home. Last thing I wanted was to sob my way through work. So I tried to get on with my day. I did a little work…maybe not as much as I should have. Spoke to a few friends again and watched a lot of TV. Harry Potter actually. Sky TV had a whole channel dedicated to the movies all weekend and I’m not ashamed to say it was a constant until I went to bed on Sunday lol!

A couple of my friends popped over to keep me company on Friday evening. It was funny actually because this time last year I went into hospital to have my wisdom teeth out a few days after Mum and Dad left and these two were the ones that babysat me then as well haha! We had a nice night, chats, giggles and they reminded me that I’m not really alone. An added bonus was that I made a new friend too……love him!!!! Thanks Little K 🙂 

  
However, Friday night was also the start of something not so good. I caught a stomach bug. At first I thought it was all the stress from my parents leaving but as it continued through the weekend and I began to feel quite ill I realised it was something more…or maybe a combination of both. On Saturday I chose to ignore it and carried on as normal and regained my station in the kitchen which was always my favourite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. I spent a few hours cooking an amazing mutton curry (one of my favourite dishes) and then I sat down to watch the rugby world cup final. An amazing win by the All Blacks even though I was also a little bit team Wallabies as well as my friend Kaela’s brother plays for them. A great match either way and the best team most definitely won. I had lots of laughs during the match too with my little sister sending me videos and photos of her in the pub in Auckland at 4am after they had already been to a Halloween party. Good work for soldiering on people!! Haha!

Later that evening I sat down to eat and it’s then when I realised how unwell I actually felt. Why? Because I couldn’t eat!!! Arghhhhhh!!!!! I love my food so much and not being able to enjoy my curry which I’d been slaving over for hours was most disappointing! 😦 So off to bed I went, hungry, not feeling great and quite fed up!

The next morning I felt dreadful. My friend messaged me in the morning to see if I wanted to get out of the house to go to Tesco. I thought it would help to get out and get some fresh air so I got myself out of bed and got dressed. I then started to do a few jobs around the house but I literally had to sit down in between everything I did because I just felt so drained and exhausted. She picked me up at lunchtime and it was nice to get out. I dropped some of the curry round to my Uncle and then we wandered around Tesco for a little while. To be honest we were both not feeling too well so it was a little bit of a struggle. I felt fairly spaced out and thought I might even pass out at one point. Was a relief when I got home!!

When I did, I resumed my position on the couch in my pjs, under my blanket and jumped back into the Harry Potter marathon for about the third time since Friday hahaha! There was some napping; some phone calls some more napping.

Monday was a non starter. Still sick. Not as bad, but not great. So I decided to work from the comforts of home. It was a slow day. I left the house briefly to get some boring plain food on my own. Which reminds me of my cars new friend who refuses to leave…been on the door for 3 days now! Yuk!!!!

  
Anyway today has been much the same. Working from home as the bug refuses to jog on!! Grrrr! But I think they whole point of this post other than to bore you with my dreary antics is that I’ve felt so loved. So many people have checked to see how I am, asked me to call if I need anything and just generally made me feel comforted. And those BBG girls…well, they’ve just been amazing. Some I met last week, some I only know through social media. But they have sent such lovely messages when I’ve been sad about being on my own or that I’m too sick to exercise. And the lovely Harriet started something the other week. A spreading of love to fellow BBG sisters, whereby if we commented on her Instagram post she would send out some gifts of encouragement to the first few lucky ladies. And the rule was that we in turn do the same. I got a lovely package from her and the girls received mine today and I think they were rather pleased. It’s such a lovely way to show our support for each other and encourage us to keep going with our healthy lifestyles.

  
So that’s me. That’s what’s been going on. I’ve been sad. I’ve been sick. And I’ve not worked out. But it’s not all that bad. I feel loved and that’s all that matters 🙂 

 

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