So a while ago at work I made some small mistakes. Unfortunately, as often happens, small mistakes add up and they became a big mistake. Especially when they culminate when you are on holiday and you can fix them. And then you come back into work complete unaware of what happened when you were absent and it feels like all hell has broken loose. You are dragged over the coals and spend the better part of the day crying because although you knew things were bad, you never knew they were that bad.
But things improve, or so you think. It gets easier to go to work again and it gets easier to do your job. And you think you have made improvements, good improvements because no one has told you otherwise (and the weekly meetings you asked to have with your manager – well they never materialise). All of a sudden, some six or seven weeks later you have another meeting only to be told there has been an improvements, but not a massive improvement. And your world starts to fall apart again.
This was me, on Friday. And I have spent all week anxious and worrying about work. I am going on annual leave again on Thursday and already I can feel the dread and the panic because I am worrying about what I will face when I come back to work next Thursday. I have wished this week and my holiday week away through fear.
I tried asking for help and support and got nothing in return. My manager won’t hold weekly meetings with me and never intended too. It’s not his style and he doesn’t see why he should. He won’t do it for me if he’s not doing it for the rest of the team and as the rest of the team don’t need it therefore I don’t.
He won’t give me clarification on what I can do to improve as I should know. I should know what is expected of me. I don’t. I struggle to do the basics of my job and I need help with the additional stuff. Apparently because I am the senior person in my role, it feels like I don’t need support. Or I shouldn’t need support rather.
I don’t want to cause trouble. I don’t want to be the person who is always complaining. But I want to be able to do my job. I don’t want to be scared anymore. It’s just too hard.
It seems a bit daft, putting that as a blog title, as I am in effect writing the letter I can’t write. Maybe I should have written the ‘Letter I wish I could Send’ or ‘letters’, maybe it should be letters.
I wish I could write a letter to my husband to articulate just what is going on inside my head. How I have these horrible thoughts but they are just thoughts and I would never act on them. Just so he could understand why my mood can change so dramatically and why I am so anxious all of the time. I just want him to be able to understand my anxiety, depression and panic attacks. I am tired of hiding it.
I also want him to see how much pressure I am under. How being the sole breadwinner places a huge burden on me, especially when my mental health is already so delicate. I need him to understand that if he got a job, any job, it would help me so much. It would relieve some of the immense pressure I am under. I think he thinks I have it easy. I go to work full time and don’t have to do school runs or tea but I have it all when I get home. The moment I walk through the door they become my responsibility because I have been at work. They are mine until they go to bed, which is getting later and later as they get older. But I have to do this because I have been to work all day and he has been at home with them. Despite the eldest being at school all day and the youngest all afternoon.
I also want to be able to tell my friends how I am feeling. How I have planned ways to die. How the weight of so much responsibility is crippling me. But I can’t. We share friends, so to say this would be implying that my husband isn’t pulling his weight and that I am speaking badly of him. I wouldn’t want them to look at him knowing what I had said and for it to affect their relationship with him. Or for them to say something to him that I might have said in confidence. So I say nothing. Of course the depression also takes my voice away and doesn’t let me speak, so even if there wasn’t the sharing of friends to deal with, I am not sure I could speak in the first place.
I have gotten better at opening up. I can admit when I am struggling but that’s about it. People know when I am sad but not to the extent that the depression can hit me. And I haven’t admitted the eating to anyone close. I wish my husband could know this. I wish my friends could know the extent to which I suffer. But I can’t let them in. I can’t let anyone in.
And this is why I can’t write these letters and I don’t think I ever will.
The title pretty much gives away how I am feeling. Given everything that I have been through I just don’t have any fight left. I can’t face the thought of getting up everyday and feeling this way. But although I don’t want to live, I don’t want to die. I don’t want to kill myself.
I just don’t know I am supposed to talk to people about this. Can you imagine if I tell my husband I don’t want to live. I am supposed to want to live for my children. I know the pain it would cause if I wasn’t here but I am in pain by being here too.
How do I tell my friends that I don’t want to live anymore, when it seems like I have everything to live for?
There is no logical reason for this. Not really. It is just how I feel. And I can’t explain it.
I wish I could put into the words
The way that I am feeling
And tell you of the bleakness
And the thoughts I have of leaving
Of how death calls my name
In a roll call I am missing
And how I try and turn away
And pretend that I’m not listening
And how I sit and hurt myself
And make it so I cry
So in that instant I feel something
And perhaps I don’t want to die
It wouldn’t be a pretty letter
There’d be no laughs or smiles
But if you knew just how I was feeling
Maybe I could look you in the eyes
And I could feel your love and warmth
Which would help soothe these fears inside
And I would have you next to me
The next time that I need to cry
But this is just too dark
It’s not something of which is spoken
And so I sit here on my own
Alone and feeling broken
And if the day does come
When death calls and I am listening
I am sorry that you didn’t know
I am sorry that I’m now missing
The reasons I can’t tell you
Are far too many to list
But know that I’ll always love you
And you will always be missed
So I chased the specialist psychotherapy this morning and I had been sent back to talking therapies. When I spoke to the manager at talking therapies, she had investigated my referral and found out that the specialist service had refused my referral. Apparently, I need more time on my own to consolidate what I have learnt in therapy already and try and deal with it on my own!
The poor manager at talking therapies then got an earful as I ranted about the likelihood of the PTSD disorder and the eating disorder, as well as the panic attacks and flashbacks. To be fair to her, she did ask more questions and I explained that things had deteriorated since I had last been seen and I was back to relying upon diazepam to get me through the tough times. She also took me seriously when I said I used my eating as a form of self harm, which no one has really done before.
So I have a new referral, this time to the community mental health team and a psychologist. They can also say no and turn down my referral. I might have an update within the week. She said it will be completed by Monday and then she will chase on Friday.
I broke down at work. In floods of tears at my desk. And then the least sympathetic of managers found me and I had to talk to her. I wish that someone else had found me because I already feel like she doesn’t like me and this will just make things worse.
So now I sit and wait again. I am tired of waiting. I just want to feel better so I stop wishing that I would die. I googled how many diazepam it would take to overdose, knowing that I had some additional tablets in there…just in case. I google how to be anorexic or bulimic, just so someone would see how unwell I was.
I don’t want to die. I know that. But I don’t want to live like this for much longer.
Sometimes it is just too hard to admit how hard things are. It can be scary to admit it because to admit that you can’t cope feels like a sign of weakness. That somehow, if you were stronger, you would get through it better.
I can’t admit that when I am at a train station, I have very strong urges to jump in front of that train. To end things. Because I just can’t keep on going anymore.
I can’t admit that I want to self harm but in scared to. So I self harm by indulging in bad eating habits. Eating the food that i know will make me ill so I can have a justified reason for being sad.
I won’t admit that the real reason I rang wasn’t just to say hi. It was a call for help. That somehow you would know I was struggling and I needed to reach out to you and for you to pick me up from the floor.
I wish I could tell you what was going on in my head. I wish I could be honest with you. But I can’t. I don’t want to scare you away.
But most of all. I wish I could be honest with myself. I wish I could acknowledge the pain. I wish I could grieve. I wish I could admit that I often think of dying and how everyone would be better off without me. How I feel like I have let everyone down. How I’m just not good enough.
I wish I had someone to share these truths with instead of keeping them locked inside.
But most of all, I wish I didn’t have these hard truths at all.
I am struggling at the moment. I have anxiety and depression. I have had two miscarriages recently, with the due date of the second one looming shortly. I have as of yet diagnosed PTSD and an Eating Disorder. I am the sole earner in our family. I am currently having to manage the workload of two people at work while they find a replacement for my colleague who left at the end of December. I have no support. No counsellor or therapist and as a private person, I hate asking for help.
Yesterday I went to the opticians. I knew what the outcome would be – I need new glasses. My husband needed new glasses about six months ago and I couldn’t buy them for him. I need to buy mine though as I need them for work. I had to ask work for a loan – again.
My GP was going to chase the therapists up for me. I haven’t heard anything from him. I am probably due to chase them myself at the end of the week.
But I am sick. I am so so sick of everything. I am tired of everything being a battle. I am tired of everything being so hard. And I am tired of being so responsible.
I just want to say F*** it and give up. But I can’t. So many people rely on me and need me for something. But sometimes, it is just so hard to carry on.