The Story.

So I’ve been having problems for years. Mostly issues with confidence and self esteem. After my last break-up I had to take things day by day. Then I decided enough was enough and I looked at ways to improve my circumstances. I signed up to study with the Open University and began studying psychology. Add this to the stress of driving lessons and frequent, near-daily issues with access arrangements for my child and snap.

It began to take longer to get to sleep at night. A cold dread would creep over me as I mentally ran through the previous day and the inevitable confrontations the following day would bring. My heart would begin to race uncontrollably and I would get really dizzy. The room would spin around me and I’d end up in tears. I’d eventually fall asleep. The weight would pile on and then just fall off me. I’d get headaches all the time, leaving me tired, irritable and subject to uncontrollable rage. I never lashed out with it, I’d shut myself away and grit my teeth, all the time shaking like a leaf.

A lot of the time I’d wake up so confused that on occasion, I wouldn’t be able to tell you my name. The other morning I had convinced myself that the clock opposite me had been reversed and if I didn’t keep checking it, I’d sleep through the alarms and be late for work. At work I keep making mistakes. I either get confused or I can’t concentrate and things either get mixed up or they don’t get done. Last week I forgot to turn off some equipment and it was left on all night. Not such a big thing you might say but this particular piece of equipment has a heating filament that is constantly on 185 degrees C. A burnout would ruin the building, the business and our jobs.

The driving lessons were the worst. I’d set up the seat and mirrors. Start the car, mirrors, indicate, take my foot off the clutch and I’d freeze. It would start as a hot churning in my gut and a wave of red hot fear would wash over me. I’d feel nauseous, dizzy and my hands would violently tremble. Ten minutes on the verge of tears and I could pull off. I couldn’t explain it. I feel confident behind the wheel. I’m not a bad driver. I just couldn’t cope with the idea of driving the car.

Last week I plucked up the courage to see a doctor. I managed to get an appointment within the hour with a doctor (quite the feat, I’m normally brushed off with a nurse) and had a forty minute chat with them. The questions were thorough to say the least. Ranging from the physical symptoms right through to “Have you had any thoughts to ending your life?” and “If so, how would you do it?”. I had an answer for the second one but only because I over-think things. Yes I’d had the suicidal thoughts and yes, I’d decided on how I’d do it with contingencies for a variety of circumstances.

I’m now on Citalopram. An antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. I’ve only been on them for a few days so there’s not much change in my mood though. Physically however, they knocked me on my arse. I feel weak all the time. I feel tired all the time. I’m yawning every few minutes. I have the constant sensation of almost retching and I get the shakes a lot. Most of the time I feel like I’ve just been woken up after a ten minute nap after days of being awake. I still can’t concentrate and I still can’t focus.

Should be fun driving tomorrow.

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