Living in the shadows

I’m still battling this shadow that’s hanging over me. I feel like someone has kidnapped the old me and left a quivering wreck in her place.

I’m on the medication for two weeks now – do I feel any different? Not really at the moment. I now have nausea to deal with. To be honest I think medication should kind of be a last resort. No amount of tablets is going to get rid of the thoughts in my head. “I’m fat, ugly, worthless, useless, good for nothing.”
On the plus side I can now talk about this without crying so that’s progress. I do, however, come out in a very fetching rash these days which takes over my face and neck when I’m stressed – which to be honest is all the time.

My hands have stopped shaking so that’s another plus, I have started hallucinating when I sleep now though. One thing takes over from another.

Every day where I have to leave the house is an effort. I’m tired, so tired, all the time. In an ideal world I’d go to bed and stay there. I have days where I don’t want anyone to talk to me. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some kind of jacket you could wear so people knew you were having “an ‘off day’ and keep away.

I’m waiting for the CBT appointment, I’m also now being referred to counselling (which I’m hoping will help). I don’t know how long it will take for an appointment to come through but it’s either pay €50 a session (which I can’t afford) or wait. So waiting it is.

Do you know what I hate though? Being told to go for a walk. I’m always bloody walking! You can tell the people who suggest these things have never felt like this. It’s not a one size fits all. Walking might help for some but it does nothing for me – only make me think more – which isn’t a good thing.

Eating melted chocolate helped yesterday, maybe that’s what I need to do! I’m having a blood test on Tuesday to check my hormones (which I think could be a big thing, menopause and all that), I’m also getting my thyroid checked and vitamin levels.

On the whole I’m taking one day at a time and going through the motions. I miss me though, the brave, adventurous me. The person who had such a lust for life and loved everyone minute of it. I am this shadow person, the one who is afraid of everything and almost everyone. The person who has such a short attention span (it’s like having a child with ADHD). This person doesn’t want to do anything, she’s dull, has no energy, she bores me. If I don’t like her no one else will either.

I’m not writing this post for sympathy. I’m writing because if at least one person feels the same as I do and that they are not alone it will be worth it. I’m also writing this because it is OK to talk about your feelings, if more people did the world might be a better place.


25 thoughts on “Living in the shadows

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  1. Dear Val My heart reaches out to you. You are having a very tough time of it and I can’t help wondering if that sudden house move at Christmas wasn’t a huge trigger. I know you love your new home by effectively you were made homeless at a very emotionally demanding time of the year and that upheaval would make anyone feel vulnerable and you probably parked your deeper feelings about the move an eviction really which results in insecurity etc I’m not trying to be an expert but I hate the thought of meds myself and their side effects and I think it will be good to get some counselling. You were probably bottling up a lot of your feelings for your family’s sake. Sending a huge hug. I might be in Sligo end of April so be good to meet for a coffee and no you can never be boring that photographer and blogger is still a large part of you they’re just playing second fiddle while you dig deep into your darker side and believe me we all possess one and fall into that pit at some stage in our life otherwise we wouldn’t be interesting sensitive intelligent humans much love rise with it it will end Ursula not checking this for typos as on ku phone x

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. I suffer from anxiety disorder, depression and a host of other mental health issues. The meds take a while to truly “kick in”, and the side-affects will lessen as you go. I totally understand not being able or even willing to leave the house. I do feel that getting all the medical tests are a good thing as well as going into therapy. I am here if you just want someone to talk to…as I said, I DO understand. Let me know if you want to hook up on Facebook too, so we can chat in real time..I’m here for you.

  3. Hi val ,
    No great words of wisdom except to say I empathise with you ,you are in my thoughts and prayers, Also when having your bloods done check for vitamin D levels, Hope you feel better soon , Patricia x

  4. I’m glad to hear that they will be checking your thyroid, and hormone levels. My thyroid contributed to my anxiety issues. Also glad to hear that you will be seeking counselling, I hope that you are fortunate to find the right one on your first visit. Here in the U.S. there are a lot of them around, but sometimes your really need to search to find the right one that suits you best. Sorry that you are struggling so, I wish that I could say or do something to help. All those negative thoughts are so hurtful, and untrue, you are such a talented lovely person, and I hope that you get to a point, very soon where you can recognize those qualities in yourself again. Sending positive thoughts, and love from across the pond.

  5. Hi Val. Thank you for being so frank and open on how you are feeling. It is hard to write when you are going through this ‘phase’ so well done on forging ahead through the haze. It has also revealed to me that we have more in common than I thought! I have travelled that road where you now find yourself. I you would like to meet in Sligo for a coffee (and chocolate) or call here in Templeboy for a chat, or would like me to visit you please get in touch. You are not alone, no matter how lonely you are feeling sometimes. Keep being brave and strong…that is the real Val. xxx Sarah

  6. Thank you for being so frank, Val; it’s about time people stopped hiding mental health issues and started talking openly about them. Keeping silent keeps people isolated and feeling as though they are alone in their struggles. I hope you get things sorted out – perhaps it is a thyroid/hormone issue – medication on its own is usually insufficient so getting CBT is wise. Where we are there are drop-in clinics that take walk-ins, which is really helpful to those in crisis. It’s a shame you have to wait.

    Hugs from across the pond, and prayers that you will someday return to that adventurous, brave self you miss so much. Hang in there.

  7. Val, first off, loads of love and good vibes from Killerry and the O’Hara’s. Your recent posts have resonated with and in some ways, inspired me. I will write my thoughts shortly, once they become clear in my head. Until then know this; Over the last 7 or so years since we first met, you have continually inspired and reassured me, I think of you as family. I love the demure and cool, funky way you go about things. I felt so proud to be from Sligo when I learned that some business people had bought you a good camera. I despaired at the ambivalence shown to you by some who should know better, as it is their job to know these things. I wish you well on this tough journey but know this, I will ALWAYS be at the end of a call or a ping or a message. Chat soon my friend and I am excited about writing more expansively about how this post makes me feel. 👍👍👍. D

  8. Hi Val , the horrid isolation is a big part of the illness. You are still vivid decent and alive but the cruel sickness sumothers the sunshine thought s for a while. Went thro similar years back and remember it well. You have to allow yourself this time and stop fighting as that seems to feed the monster. Hard to relax and accept it but think it passes over easier if you can. Treat yourself in little ways. Small victories, too weary to read well get audio books . Library or downloads . Listen to favourite musics . Cuddle those pets , let folk help out ,watch any old movies you once laughed at, with your cat.,! ,if need be . And finally shout out at the world and curse too. Peace will come , medicine can work but you are really in control of your recovery. Kickass val and her blog will overcome , fear not . Stay in touch if you d like. Xx

  9. I feel for you. Hang in there. Get that checkup. Seek counsel but do not settle for ineffective jibber jabber. Meds often need to be adjusted dosage wise. Do not lose hope. Oftentimes it is a spiritual battle as well as physical. Stress can knock the wind out of you, but you have it in you to get through this. You are VALuable.

  10. Val if you send me contact details I will send on 200 euro to begin process of counselling. Maybe public system might be ready to kick in by that stage. Life is too short to keep waiting. Or if you prefer I will give to you in person. Let me know what you think Tony

    1. Oh Tony, I’m so touched by your kind offer and it’s very much appreciated. The good news is that I am seeing a counsellor this week. I contacted St. Michael’s Family Life Centre and I managed to get an appointment.
      So thank you once again and I will keep the blog updated as to how I get on.

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