Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Fog

It's almost 5pm on a Wednesday. I've been home from work over two hours and what I haven't achieved in that time is frankly staggering. Oh, wait! I tell a lie... I've managed a fair bit of unnecessary and unprovoked emotional eating. Dear me... I've been in a weird mood all day and rather than let it continue I thought I'd try and write my way out of it.

Ever had one of those days when you just can't seem to wake up properly? I don't just mean a day when you're particularly tired but more when you feel foggy, like you're going in slo-mo. It isn't my medication doing it as I deliberately take my Quetiapine at 8pm so it doesn't slow me down the next day. I just feel a bit off today.

I shouldn't have even been at work today. It's my rest day as I have to work this coming Saturday. Part of the deal when the 9-2 shift became a permanent thing was working one in every six Saturdays. This will be my first. When there's plenty of work on, you're permitted to work your rest day as overtime so I did just that. I took my running gear with grand plans of driving to Pitsford to do a long run after work. After sleepwalking through a five hour shift, that plan got shelved but I toyed with the idea of popping upstairs to the gym. Yes, we have a staff gym at work! Free to use and open 24/7. All I had to do was go upstairs and I'd be there... Next thing I know, I'm swiping out of the building and walking to my car.

Within seconds of walking through the door at home, the kettle was on and I was rummaging in the cupboards. One Soreen bar was followed by a bag of salted popcorn then came half a roll with ham and a packet of crisps. Why stop there? Devour some left over Easter Eggs why dontcha? (Sorry kids!) I feel sick now... Didn't stop me having a cinnamon and raisin bagel with another cuppa just now. I Googled 'emotional eating' and read up on it. Diagnosed myself there and then. Yup! That's me. The website was very informative but offered no solution or ideas to combat the problem. Great! Thanks for that...

Part of the reason I wanted to write now was to help me understand what's going on right at this moment. I found when I looked back at posts from earlier in the year, it was comforting to see that I have made progress since then. What I'm feeling now is very familiar and also unpleasant. It's a feeling of "I have so much to do... I don't know where to start. There's too much to do... I might as well not try." I genuinely don't see myself as a lazy person but I get easily overwhelmed and I guess that's part of what I'm feeling now.

Faced with the rest of the day to myself (the children are with their dad) rather than feel excited at the prospect, I felt faintly panicked so I ate.

AHA!!! Fucking hell! I didn't even realise that's what was going on until now. Wowsers! A genuine light bulb moment. What else can I learn from this exercise? Let's backtrack and see...

I got home and thought "Well I have grown up crap to do... Or I could go and see Infinity War again... Or maybe I'll start season 2 of The Newsroom? What's on Netflix at the mo..? I've got more ironing to do. I need to call Center Parcs and where's that bit of paper with that thing to do with my tax that I need..." OVERLOAD!! Solution: foodfoodfoodfood. Eat the food and don't think. Eat the food and don't think. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. What a bloody revelation and all because I decided to avoid my life admin and blog instead.

Back when I first started counselling at the age of 14, I used to find that I'd say things to the psychologist that I didn't even know I was thinking or feeling. I believe so absolutely in the power of talking about your problems which is why I'm desperate to start my therapy. The waiting list is long however and all I can do is just that: wait.

For now, I guess I just proved that this blogging malarkey is helpful. I know some see it as a vanity project and I can't deny that it's fuels that part of my (unstable) personality (disorder) but it can get so cluttered inside my head. This is my way of filtering through the noise and the chaos and at least trying to understand it.

So what do I do now...? I'm actually feeling slightly better than when I started. I still feel a bit sick from overeating and the associated shame will niggle at me for the rest of the day. A To Do list would seem a good place to start. I learned a tip from a pithy little book called Eat That Frog. It's about how to manage your time better in business but the skills are certainly transferable to every day life. You make your list and then rank each task, making sure you do the most heinous job on there FIRST. I mean... If you have to eat a frog (do an undesirable thing) then you don't want it staring at you for hours, do you? You'll never eat it if you have hours to mull it over. So just fucking do it, eh? Makes sense! Another book (perhaps the same one?) suggested allocating time to each item on the list as, Grade A avoiderers like me will make a five minute job last an hour if it means I'll run out of time and not get round to the worst job/ ugliest frog.

A list of tasks. A time in which to complete said task assigned to each item on the list. No faffing. No more procrastinating (I've done at least a week's worth already today!). The fog has lifted (just about), time to get shit done, Katherine Emily.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Third Time Lucky

This is the third time since Monday that I've attempted to post an update. Often an idea will roll round inside my head for a few days before it makes it on to here. Sometimes ideas come and go. The post I attempted to write this week was to be entitled 'Breakthrough' and the gist was the notion that "Hey, I might actually win this battle against my crappy mental health!" While I still believe that to be true, a few instances in the last few days have served to remind me of just how fragile and fleeting a positive mindset can be.

My last proper post was all about a magnificent Saturday I'd spent in London town in the company of Christopher Moyles and Team Dubland. It was most certainly not an average Saturday. Last Saturday was equally wonderful but in a completely different way. It certainly wasn't a run-of-the-mill Saturday by any stretch of the imagination but it was a little lighter on celebs!

Myself and my small humans spent last Saturday hanging out on Baggers & Bling - the narrowboat owned by my lovely friend Sophie and her family. It was a Bank Holiday weekend and for once the weather played ball. I mean it really, really did! Blue skies, glorious sunshine and all the optimism and joy that comes with a sunny UK Bank Holiday. The Smith's boat was moored at Foxton Locks and the whole place was a-buzz. Families and friends enjoying a beer or an ice cream in the sun with no work until Tuesday. Marvellous! It was one of those days that if you'd tried to plan it, it would all have gone to shit but our visit was spontaneous, the stars aligned and everyone had a jolly lovely time.

Driving back from Foxton with two tired, happy children in the car - sun still shining, music on - I had the first flicker of "Maybe, just maybe I could beat this thing..."

Sunday only served to cement the idea. I returned the children to their dad and borrowed his lawn mower while I was there. The grass needed doing and despite the ridiculous heat and the fact that I've never mowed a lawn in all my 36 years, I decided I was just the woman for the job! Once the lawn was cut I tackled the house, cleaning it from top to bottom. Mundane? A waste of a sunny Bank Holiday Sunday? Perhaps but I was so filled with energy, positivity and determination that it seemed like absolute the right thing for me to do.

The biggest achievement of Sunday wasn't the lawn mowing however, it was the fact that I spent pretty much the whole day alone and I coped. Not only did I cope, I actually enjoyed time by myself. Un-fucking-believable. Unheard of! Kati does not enjoy time with Kati. Kati doesn't like Kati! Ah but this Kati is positive and focused and a joy to be around...

Bank Holiday Monday morning I made my first attempt at a blog post, rattling on about how positive I was feeling and how I was maybe, kinda, sorta starting to believe that I was going to be okay... Maybe even better than okay. Saved it as a draft, went to work. My intention was to return to it that evening but Eva and her current allergy to sleeping gave me the evening from hell and the blog remained unfinished. 

[Sidebar - I considered an entirely different blog post while working on Tuesday entitled 'My 9 year old is trying to kill me'. It was a shade dramatic and Daily Mail-esque but felt entirely justified after the umpteenth night of Bedtime Wars with my beloved first born!]

A few days later, I had another stab at getting the post out in to the blogosphere, taking bits I liked from my previous draft but it still never got as far as me hitting publish. I was so determined to record the monumental occurrence of self-belief as so much of my blog has been doom and gloom but it just never felt ready to share.

And then two things happened - my grief roundhouse kicked me in the face and my positivity packed a bag and fucked right off.

In the spirit of honesty and self disclosure, it is partly my fault this happened. I ran out of Sertraline mid-week and while I knew I needed to get myself to the pharmacy to collect my tablets, I didn't prioritise it. Why would I? I was feeling tip top. Until I wasn't. In short, I grossly underestimated just how much my medication helps to keep me functioning as a normal-ish member of society. The tablets help to keep me level so I experience less of the high highs but I'm also spared the lowest lows. Had I been taking my meds daily, I could perhaps of coped better with what happened on Thursday afternoon...

Innocently clearing out my 'other' inbox on Messenger where all the strange messages from foreign men reside (You know the ones "Hello. U luck beeutiful lady. Lets chat") I stumbled across a handful of messages sent in the wake of my dad's death. They'd sat there because they'd been sent by people who I know but aren't Facebook friends of mine. Reading these messages - kind words from kind souls saying wonderful things about my wonderful dad - took me back to the first few days after he died when a wave of similar messages arrived hourly via email, text and Facebook. I miss my dad every day but on Thursday the bear was back and it just crushed me. I cried like I might never stop.

And so to yesterday when I got further proof of just how much I need to be medicated. I arrived at work with my usual happy swagger but as the hours passed I could just feel myself shutting down. I avoided eye contact, not feeling capable of the banter I usually share with my colleagues. I just couldn't face it. I could feel myself getting wound up and, suspecting tears were nigh, I removed myself from the warehouse for a bit.

Alas, the tears came later. Along with a row with Pete. I could hear myself spitting words at him, hating myself for not being able to control my emotions. The added frustration of knowing that all of this could have been avoided if I'd just taken my feckin tablets made the whole situation worse. I eventually got a grip and apologised to Pete but collecting myself felt like trying to squeeze one of those daft pop out snakes back in to the can.

It's Saturday morning now. I collected my prescription yesterday and there's now Sertraline back in my system. I'm tired having worked at my new casual bar job until almost midnight and then waking up at 6am (SAKE!) but I feel like I might just be okay today. One day at a time, right?

I know that everything I was feeling was real. I can get better. I am already getting better! I'm finally losing weight. I've started running again (despite giving it up last year!). I've taken on a second job so I can be less skint. I'll get there. Wherever there is? If I could I'd add the "I dunno!" shrug emoji lady here as she is my current favourite and most used.

Until next time kids...