Sunday, 21 April 2013

Day 88: My thoughts: When night terrors and anxiety attacks...

Friday 19th got off to a very bad start, within minutes of the beginning of the new date i had a night terror where I saw some kind of creature crawling on the wall close to where I was resting my head on the pillow, I’ve no idea what it was supposed to be as in my shock of seeing something (which only exists in my mind as i haven't realised by this point I’m actually awake )suddenly appear, i used the duvet to to crush it against the wall, at first it appears as though I have crushed this thing as theres some dark substance smeared across the wall...normally I’ve regained full consciousness by this point and realised what happened, didn’t. Only the creature is still alive and has now crawled into a gap in my duvet, now I’m panicking as I can't see this thing and I’m afraid its going to crawl onto my face if I go back to sleep, finally at some point I’ve woken up and realised its a dream, I'm trying to calm down, my hearts threatening to explode its going so bloody fast and hard, i'm telling myself I’m fine nothings happened yet I remain feeling a sense of dread as I go back to sleep.

That was bad enough but the next nightmare I was to have (that I remember) made a mockery of it. Through all the dreams I was having at what seemed like a million miles an hour all one fast never-ending blur when everything slows down and I have a female voice say to me “(friend's name) has been murdered” this friend I have known since I was 15 years old and I regard him more than a close friend he's family to me, now obviously in this nightmare I’m really upset and the overwhelming feeling of grief hits me, whoever told me this isn't there anymore, its just me in my flat and I try to call my Mother first and then somebody else (don't know who) but none answer, I begin crying as I need to talk to somebody, to tell them what's happened to my dear friend, i'm alone with the knowledge of something incomprehensibly awful.

And the worst is yet to come.

Now I’m in a street at night time watching a taxi slowdown in the middle of the road, I recognise the street, its where I lived for a few years some time ago, this friend of mine lived with me for a year or so during a difficult time of his life. He's in the backseat of the quickly dawns on me the full horror of what I’m about to see.

My friend being murdered.

The driver (only thing of him I can recall is him wearing a grey polo shirt) locks the doors electronically, the sound of the door catches all thumping downwards, the driver turns and moves towards my friend, who isn't moving, its as though he's paralysed, the driver is almost on top of him and I’m privy to his final thoughts before he dies, firstly that he's going to die at the hands of the driver and secondly that I am nowhere to be seen...

And so I wake up late and I got 10 minutes to get dressed, have a quick wash, grab my stuff and get out of the door to catch the bus to work, which I manage and I haven't thought about the second nightmare really, at first I’m too busy rushing to get out on time and when i'm on the bus I got my walkman blasting music into earphones, I do briefly ask myself the question of why the fuck I would dream about something like that but I can't even begin to identify a trigger for that.

Off the bus I have a 15 minute walk to my workplace, the music is still going but by now the adrenaline is helping to walk very quickly and I’m hyper vigilante, scowling at every passer by as though they are threat to me, part of me wishing for somebody to give me the slightest excuse to unleash the aggression that is straining within me. I get into sainsburys to buy myself a sandwich (as I didn’t have time to make my own) and I go for a meal deal, or so I thought, I picked 2 other items, a drink and a snack to go with the sandwich, a meal deal that is supposed to cost £3 but I end up being charged at the self service checkout for £4.46, now I’m sure the previous day I got the same items and it cost me £3, initially annoyed by this I just told myself to stop being a mardy miserable prick and just get on with it, what difference is £1.46 going to make anyway? So get out a tenner and feed it into the note spits back out my tenner, well okay the tenner was folded in one corner so correct that and put it back, nope it still spits out my tenner, its not accepting it.

“fuck this!” I snatched the note back and left the items I was going to buy on the checkout and stomp out. I get to work and turns out theres an I.T issue which means we have to work around it and I just can't be doing with it even so the changes are simple enough and its no big deal, yet i'm enraged by this point, first the checkout machine wont take my money and now this bullshit at work.

So after some minutes (7 or 8 maybe?) I’ve finally calmed down, the anger is gone, the adrenaline is gone and I’m okay now...actually I’m not, I’m at the mercy of the anxiety that is about flood over me.

The thoughts of the nightmare I had begin to crawl back into my mind, I’m just staring into space waiting for a customer to come through to my line and the feelings that linger from the nightmare are now making themselves known as the anger is no longer there to suppress it, I can feel the tears welling up and I try to hold it all back but its no use, the first couple trickle out and the floodgates open, the deputy team leader notices after borrowing a document to photocopy from my desk, she's asking me whats wrong and I cannot get any words out as i'm just sobbing away, eventually I manage to get up from my chair and half run into a empty training room, where I half collapsed to the floor and carried on bawling away meekly telling her that I was sorry, finally managing to say to my deputy team leader about the nightmare I had (or rather I just vaguely said I had a nightmare about a friend of my mine being murdered, how can I possibly explain the whole thing, it seemed absurd to me, it just wouldn't make sense to anyone else and it still probably doesn't).

So its established my friend works in the same place and my deputy team leader asked if it would helped if I knew he was in work that day, I said yes and she went off to find out (in fact my friend came to see me a few minutes later, he was told by her I was upset and we talked for a bit, I didnt tell him the full story of it either, I didn’t know how to even begin trying to explain it, it just seems so..wrong somehow.

Seeing the state I was in (altho I had managed to stop crying by this point but it was obvious I had been) he told me for one thing I shouldn't be at work given how I’m feeling as it would the last place I wanted be and that I was invited to stop over with him at his place for the night when he returns from having a drink with a colleague so I’m not alone (turns out I’d be invited to the drink later as he was concerned about me being alone for too long), after getting over the initial overbearing anxiety I felt on the bus on the way to meeting with him I actually had a good time.

Its Sunday morning now and the feelings from the night terrors haven't disappeared, the feelings are still there and its difficult to explain, after all I know the terrors are not real, the creature didn’t exist, I didn’t smear it over the wall and it didn’t crawl into my duvet, my friend wasn't murdered, I know this and yet the horrible feelings from them linger and whats really frustrating is I can't work out the trigger for them, the CBT therapy I’m going for at the end of May seem a long time away.

21st April 2013 the journey continues.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

My thoughts day 80 of depressive episde: Its still going, guilt and CBT.

A month on from my previous post and while things improved for a couple of weeks, to the point where i believed this episode was over (the last week though has shown it most certainly is not, now i feel like such an idiot for publicly saying it was over) however things just keep coming up adding to the stress I'm under.

Yesterday i went to see my Grandfather (the closest thing i've had to an father) for the first time in over four years (with the one exception when i saw him on the bus and spoke to him some months previously) for two reasons. Firstly he got injured by a startled horse that bolted out from the stable and trod on him, leaving him with a fractured eye socket and cheekbone as well badly hurting his leg. However its the second reason that i mostly went for.

Recently a court had ordered that my Grandfather must sell the house as part of the divorce proceedings. Standard stuff but was also ordered to give 50% of his private pension to my Grandmother, a ruling that has outraged the entire family, of course he can appeal the ruling but he won't, he's a broken, depressed old man who doesn't see the point of fighting a system that is biased against him. (a minor matter, the marriage ended after my Grandmother was caught by my Mother having an affair with my Grandfather's best friend). Granted my Grandfather was a long way from being the best husband or father in the world but he wasn't evil, abusive or anything of the sort and doesn't deserve what's happened to him.

Anyway, my Mother told me that he intended to give me some of the money he would get from selling the house. So i went to tell him i don't want the money from him for the simple reason that by the time the courts, solictors and my Grandmother are done with him he'll have little or nothing left and the whole thing leaves a really bad taste in my mouth, i just can't accept it and i won't no matter how much my mum tells me that i deserve some money from him (i don't, i haven't seen him properly in over 4 years for fuck's sake).

Its bad enough knowing that people are crawling out of the woodwork as they know my Grandmother is coming into some money (my Grandfather's best friend in particular). I already feel guilty about going to see him for the first time in ages to just tell him i don't want his money but i know i'll feel a damn sight bloody worse if i stay quiet and just take the money, i just hope he doesn't think its because i hate him and want nothing to do with him, the reason i never go to see him is because its very painful to see what has happened to my Grandfather over the years.

For now of the 27th of this month my full time employment will end unless i get something else lined up and so far i haven't, I'm still undecided on what i should do, on the one hand i want to get into working in the Mental Health sector and its likely i would need to do some voluntary work to get some experience, i don't want to sign on for JSA and be at the mercy of the DWP and in particular the Jobcentre Plus staff. On the other hand whilst getting another job would ensure i stay out of their clutches, however I'm soon to be 29 years of age and really feel like i need to make the career shift now.

What may or may not complicate matters (besides depression) are my night terrors, now i got an appointment to see a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapist) in May about them but really don't feel its going to be of much help, so far when i talk to people almost all end up trivalising it to the point i feel like telling them i'm not a fucking child thats having bad dreams here, i'm having nightmares where i experience the sheer terror of people trying to hurt or kill me (that is when i remember them, often i don't remeber what it was thats got me woken up in the middle of night feeling utterly terrified), i wake up lashing out and screaming at things that are not there.

Who knows though maybe this CBT will work, i have to try don't i, what else can i do?

13th April 2013, the journey continues.