Today I returned to my GP, with The Dave alongside me because after 7 months I am still feeling exceptionally physically unwell with recurrent infections, temperatures, aches, pains, mood swings etc. The above diagram pretty accurately describes the situation I am in. I have developed insomnia and manic behaviour which has rendered me in a position where I am struggling to cope. The past 6 years have been incredibly tough on us as a family and the stress has built year on year resulting in me realising that I can't carry on alone and that the time has come to accept help.
The minute I sat down in the GP office I burst into tears and was mortified by my complete loss of control. Thankfully, The Dave stepped in and spoke to the GP on my behalf whilst I gathered myself together until I was able to contribute. I have been stubborn, insistent on refusing help and battling on regardless, trying to be all things to all people, which over time has chipped away at my physical and mental health leaving me in the situation I am now in which is exhausted, physically & mentally depleted, highly emotional and bordering on manic behaviour.
Stress combined with depression can creep up on you before you realise it, you think you are coping well and con yourself that you are managing when in reality you are on your knees, frantically holding on by your fingernails in order to get through each day. It took my daughters and husband to stop and tell me they were worried about me for me to take stock and accept that the strongest decision I could make was to accept that I was struggling and needed help and to go and seek the support I need.
My GP was wonderful, she listened, was attentive and empathetic and didn't make me feel weak or judged. She acknowledged my reluctance to commence antidepressants but managed to make me realise that it was my best option along with some psychological support to work out coping strategies. The situation we are in as a family is not within our control and the stresses cannot be avoided or removed. Sadly, due to my numerous allergies the only antidepressants that I don't react to have a side effect of stimulating the appetite (arghhh!) BUT with the support of my local slimming club I am being helped to tailor a eating plan of food combinations that won't put on weight but will satisfy my stimulated appetite.
The referral for both myself and The Dave for psychological support has been sent in electronically today. Soon we will be helped to find a way to live with the various issues thrown up by the ongoing multiple chronic illness, anxiety, depression and panic we are coping with. The waiting time is short and so we should be able to access this help very soon.
Life can be a bitch, it throws things at you relentlessly and can leave you feeling you are drowning and have nowhere to turn. Realising that you are not alone is the first step, then the next, harder step is to learn to accept help and to stop saying you are "fine" when you aren't.
Today was the first step. We are taking it one day at a time, slowly, hopefully, things will gradually get better.