Wednesday, 15 July 2015

They're calling to me again

Ok this is one of the toughest things I've written in a really long time. But as my brain works 50/50 now after the operation (negative/logical thoughts are now even), the logical part of me is saying that I need to let people know what's going on. Especially because I've been struggling to talk to friends for this exact reason. And I'm only doing this now, because this just occurred to me yesterday. It's been a gradual process.
The reason this is difficult for me is because I've written blogs and done vlogs on how to help people through these moments. And I'm now being told this is hypocritical and I can't write this because it'll make me into a liar.

Which is exactly why I need to say this. In fact...this is one of the ways I deal with this. I take the black mail it uses against me and show it to the world myself.

Let me clarify...

The voice is back. 
Sad to say I'm not referring to the show in which members of the public go on television and show case their musical talents.
I'm talking about the little imaginary...being...that sits on my shoulder and whispers sweet, extremely negative nothings into my ear. Constantly. Come to think of it, literally...constantly.
I was going to write 'Voice' with a capital V instead of 'voice' with a lower case v, but I feel the capital V gives it more importance than it deserves. A lower case v gives me minute control over it's importance. One more brick in the wall of my own personal defiance towards it.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, this is the voice that sits there waiting for me to fuck up either verbally or through action. And if I do...woe betide as I will then encounter the most crippling brain freeze ever.

Actually the brain freeze you get during eating ice-cream is a pretty good description for what I personally feel - 
That feeling of immense discomfort with a hint of stabbing pain to the point where you're not longer able to think and just need to grab your head, squint your eyes shut and pray each gesture warms up your head just enough to get rid of the razor that's just dug itself into your skull.

voice led brain freeze (otherwise known as panic attack) -
Keep that intense feeling of discomfort, but remove the stabbing pain and replace with mind filling numbness, a gauze of grey tunnel vision before your eyes and the feeling that you're trapped in a room that has no escape and is slowly filling with a toxic gas that will kill you in the most painful way possible.
Add a hint of chest pain, inability to breath without hyperventilating and hey presto, the voice has achieved it's result.
It then takes a smug back seat as your forced into which ever small space you can find, whilst in tears, followed by a tasty dose of depression.

Now, that's not what I get alongside the voice. That's simply (heh) what it constantly keeps me alert to. The voice sits there and warns me that if I do or say anything remotely stupid, it'll lock me in that room. And's constant.

Frustratingly enough, this isn't the kind of mental state which is resolved with exercise, healthy diet, meditation and positive thinking. This is a chemical reaction. It's the lack of serotonin which even exercise and a good diet won't help. I realise those helped me in the past....when I was on the Anti-depressants. I just gave the drugs a boost.
I now have a feeling I stopped taking the drug when I started to feel better...thinking that was me feeling fine post op. I thought I was back to normal and didn't need it any more. Nope. That was just it working it's magic on me. So the progression of the voice returning to it's throne has been happening gradually, has been happening.

It's also increased my social anxiety too. I feel atmospheres. I pick up on tension, excitement, pretty much any emotion in the air if it's strong enough. Which is why particular social settings can often make me feeling like I'm going insane. The panther in my brain wakes up (remember the panther I mentioned pre-op?). It wakes up, growls and I get aggressive. So I have to protect others from getting bitten.
To deal with high energy social situations, I tend to sit with my back to a wall, with a piece of technology to hand. This helps me 1) feel safe and in control 2) keeps the panther in check. I tend to use my tablet because it's like an electronic baby sitter for the bad part of my brain. Keeps it busy whilst I enjoy myself.

Yesterday I returned from visiting my parents and, instead of feeling good after a really nice day with them, the voice was ridiculously active.
And that's when it occurred to me that every day is now a personal battle to keep that voice at bay.
I found myself thinking at one point 'I can fight this, I always do...I'm strong'.
Then another...smaller, quieter voice... my gut instinct, spoke up (I knew it wasn't the voice because it didn't have as much venom) and reminded me that this was now a daily...hourly battle. Was I really just going to keep fighting? How much inner strength did I have before it knocks me down again?

So I'm returning to the Anti-depressants. And I'll try and sort out my life, my career and my finances before I consider coming off them once again. But for now, I need them. And that right there, boys and girls, as someone who sees herself as strong and a fighter, is why I was so reluctant to write this post.

Thank you...

to all of you who've so far told me that it's not taking a step backwards or defeat. It's being self-aware and taking control. And that's what I'm doing.

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