It feels as though I have dragged myself through this week. I was so relieved to walk out of the office this afternoon and know that I don’t have to pretend to be normal or competent for the next couple of days. I feel like keeping it together at work is slowly starting to kill me.
Work doesn’t always feel like that, but this week has brought a few extra challenges. None are related to my professional life. It’s all the stuff that happens outside that I can’t ignore when I sit down at my desk. Writing is a big part of my job, and there are few more frustrating things than staring at a blank page, while my mind fills with everything but the topic I should be writing on. I’ve got deadlines looming, and I’m no closer to completing anything than I was on Monday.
I’ve been preoccupied this week with what’s come up in therapy. J zeroing in on my issues with food has caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting to need to go into that. And now she’s pressured me to think on it, I can’t stop obsessing over the conversations we had this week and interrogating myself to find out what I really feel about food. It’s all a bit new, and I guess it has scared me because I don’t want to have yet another problem I need to deal with and recover from.
The nasty side effects from the Brintellix seem to have settled down somewhat, which I was happy about until my anxiety spiked. The past three or four days I’ve had this physical, anxious feeling in my body. My muscles are tight, especially my jaw, and I’ve been really short of breath. The only thing that helps is taking Lorazepam, which I can’t do if I need to drive or work. So I’ve been really suffering with these sensations throughout the day, then knocking myself out with Benzos once I get home.
It probably isn’t just the meds that have caused my anxiety to intensify. I’ve had some stressful situations to manage this week. I visited a friend in hospital who had a massive stroke a short while ago. For as long as I can remember, he has been like a wonderful, eccentric uncle to me, a very welcome part of my extended family. I’ve adored him since I was tiny.
Seeing the vast damage this stroke has done to him was devastating. It was gut-wrenchingly sad. I feel like I am grieving already, for the version of him that I have lost – and for everything he and his wife have lost. For how I remember him; this vibrant, musical, hilarious and brilliantly intelligent man. He seemed small and frail. I think he knew who I was, because he held onto me for a long time when I hugged him. He can’t communicate much verbally, but my mum and I sang some of his favourite songs and he did join in a little with one of them. That was very moving for all of us.
I was really emotionally drained from this visit. It was hard to sit with him and try and keep my feelings under wraps, so I could be cheerful and normal for him. I ended up cutting myself off to the extent that I felt numb driving home.
On the same day as this visit, my dog was suddenly very ill. Some people might say, ‘don’t worry, she’s just a dog’. To me she is never just a dog. She is an integral part of my family and my recovery. She keeps me going on the worst days, cuddles up to me and makes me laugh. I love her so very much and she means the world to me.
It was frightening because she got sick so suddenly. I came home from work and she was just lying on the floor, shaking. She found it hard to stand up and wasn’t interested in anything. I called the vet and they admitted her immediately. She was there for two days while they ran loads of tests trying to figure out what was wrong.
Today, she miraculously seems herself again. She’s home and happy and cuddly. She’s eating her food. And the tremors have stopped. We are all confused about what was up. The vet has suggested we just keep an eye out for anything unusual and get her straight back to the surgery if we are worried. So, fingers crossed, after a horrible few days thinking I might lose her, everything is going to be OK. The mystery doesn’t bother me at all, as long as she is healthy.
Here’s some pics of her recovering.
Tonight I am celebrating this stressful, long week being over by curling up on the sofa with my wife and my dog and watching something inane on Netflix.
Image: Rookuzz, Creative Commons