As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.
Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!
Letter 9 – To my dogs.
My little ‘Mexican Shits’ who like to go out and then come in and pee by the back door!!
You cuddle me and show affection. I talk to you and feel that you listen and understand. People may think I am crazy but if you have never owned a dog you wouldn’t understand (unless you do not like dogs, but you have an equally loving cat or another animal). Science proves that being near a pet can help your mental and physical health as well as helping the animals’ health.
I had dogs on and off growing up but for years I wanted a Chihuahua, they are small and cute and feisty little things, with their little tails and little ears and bubbly personality I loved them.
We got our first girl from Gumtree and whilst she had been with this family for a week or two she was still young, most probably too young to be away from her Mam, but I had to have her!! We now have another puppy, found on the internet from a breeder-they have a love hate relationship and love to wind each other up, but they do love each other and there is nothing I love more when I am having a bad day that cwtches from these two.
It may sound silly, but my dogs definitely have saved me!! I love them!!
People may call Chihuahuas ‘rats’ but they are one of the most loyal and loving breeds I have ever known.
I’m not really sure where to start, I am still off work but I cannot really discuss that here.But I am still here, even if I am quiet, I seem to have fallen back into a nocturnal state.
However, one great thing happened at the start of the year, we finally moved into our own home, no more tenancy agreements, no more over-priced rentals and a home that is our own. I just feel so bad that even though I have accomplished something I have always wanted, I am still not happy.
I am lost, I am hurt and I am sad. But I do not know why. Those that do not understand keep asking “What is causing your anxiety?” or “What is causing your depression?”- I’m sorry but if I knew the cause it would not be an issue. Seriously, do not tell me you understand and then ask me stupid questions.
My body hurts and I do not want to do anything, apart from stay inside with my dogs. I have tried my best to start making the house a home but I know it is not enough. I feel that everything should be unpacked, all rooms cleaned and any maintenance or DIY should be done. I should be out running every day and making an effort but I just do not want to. What is wrong with me?
So having spent the last two days in the bed I have got myself up and retreated to the sofa to watch tv with my pooch and wife.
So I have not left the house but it is cold and the effort to get dressed is too much.
I have been thinking about my Sertraline, whilst there have been several days or events I have attended and I am less anxious or OCD symptoms have subsided- I find myself having more bad days and a cycle or really happy days where the world is my oyster, I can sign up for races and challenges and do loads of Uni work along with extra courses and enquiring about new courses to do. But then everything comes crashing down, sometimes for no reason at all and a couple of times something has triggered a downward spiral.
I saw the CMHT and have been discharged from their service after the assessment for re-referral from the GP if I need them. Although they have suggested some treatment but no point referring until I have moved as it is different health trusts. They have also suggested my medication is changed- saw a GP but not my usual Doctor as she wasn’t working but my dose has been increased to the max dose of 200mg to try and if then there is no improvement then we will need to switch medications. I had over two months worth of tablets here so I would rather try the high dose rather than waste the tablets by returning them to be destroyed by the pharmacy.
I am really weary and nervous about switching do a different medication because I don’t know what to expect. I am scared to side effects like my hair breaking and falling out that Citalopram caused. I’m scared it will affect my work, relationship or driving, along with fertility and weight. I am just scared.
I am positive about the work I am doing to secure a future in Mental Health for myself but I feel my own mental health is an unsolved mystery and I don’t want to live like this anymore. I want to be happy and I want to teach; stand up in a room and present, attend parties without heart palpitations and sweating like I have had a bucket of water thrown over me. I want to get up and get out and not hide in the house and do nothing, or think about ways to hurt myself or force weight off or even give up and pile weight on.
Although on a positive note I start bereavement counselling this month. After so many losses in the past 14 years and not grieving or speaking about them I think it is the right time to start healing those wounds. But only time will tell.