Occasionally I miss a dose of Pregabalin, my mental health medication for my anxiety. I take 300mg of Pregabalin (Lyrica) twice a day and have been for about 18 months now. Saturday night I fell asleep early and forget to take my medication. Sunday I felt, well all I can really come up with is odd. I was more touchy and short tempered – sorry family. But what I really noticed was that I was so itchy.
Early in August I received a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Review form dated the 6th August 2017, which is called a ‘PIP Award Review – How your disability affects you’. This came as a surprise (shock) because my PIP award is to August 2018. I have felt anxious and overwhelmed by the prospect of completing the form and the implications of the review: will it change my PIP Award, which could then effect my Tax Credits award (which I now claim as I work part time at home on a self-employed basis).
It shows that my understanding of my anxiety and myself generally is progressing, that I am writing this blog post, being aware of what is wrong.
There is, at least for me, a lot going on at the moment and I recognise that they feelings I am experiencing are because I am overwhelmed. So this post is mainly for me, as I know one way to help the situation; is to write down my feelings – to focus my mind and understand why I am overwhelmed.
I blogged about my ‘dream’ job a few weeks ago – ‘The Next Step 2017‘ and applied for the job that weekend.
I have learnt a lot about myself and my anxiety in the following days and weeks. So here is what happened and my reflections after the event.
[I have used this image, as it sums up how the phone ringing does affect me and my anxiety – acknowledgement #CollegeHumour]
Having applied for the job with some enthusiasm I started to think about the reality of the job and I suppose my anxiety kicked in. I started considering the work environment and how I would manage my anxiety, IBD and IBS, particularly my toilet visits, where was the loo etc., what would people think?
Below is a great info-graphic from MyTherapy
They have produced it for World Health Day on the 7th April 2017, which this year is all about Depression. Lack of knowledge of where to find help and social stigma are the prevalent reasons for insufficient and late treatment, so there is a need to spread the word. Therefore, they designed an info-graphic on depression in the UK. It contains facts and figures as well as helpful resources such as crisis lines.
Whilst I have been working for myself on a part time basis at home, I do not feel fulfilled and think it is time to consider an employed job.
I have found a part time 9 month temporary post working for a local housing association close to home that really appeals to me. It is 25 hours a week working in a field relating to consumer finance, budgets and helping people. So I am currently finalising my application. It feels like the right next step for me, into a role that gets me out of the house to a ‘work’ environment, with other people, is office based, using IT and speaking to customers on the phone and liaising with others. The idea really appeals to me, the thought of being able to ride my motorbike to work, to gain a physical separation from home and work life, reduce my reliance on welfare benefits, whilst enabling me to establish firm boundaries with family members (I.e. I am at work so you cannot contact me) and do something I like.
I think Christmas is a difficult time, at a simple level I am frustrated and cross that one day attracts such excess and materialism and the day is exploited by capitalism
Then there is the pressure of buying presents and so much food. I especially struggle with the ‘panic’ that Christmas seems to generate in my family and the rat-tat-tat of quick fire questions about presents, food and seeing each other. I know it is only because people want it to be perfect, but it feeds my anxiety and my sense of being overwhelmed – which then impacts on me trying to get things done.
I just wanted to share with you my current mantra which is helping myanxiety. My counsellor has kindly credited me with the thinking, but I can’t help but think it is already well and truly out there.
When I am down, overwhelmed and struggling with my mental health, I am ‘now’ able to focus on and believe that the next day CAN be different and better. This enables me to get through the current day and focus on the opportunity for a new, fresh start the next day. Most importantly the thinking and belief has worked for me, so I can now build on this experience by telling myself that the next day has been better in the past so it will be better again in the future.
I have a lot of time for Martin Lewis and MoneySavingsExpert.com I have found his advice on various matters including: insurance, utility providers, benefits and debt management very helpful over the past years. I also acknowledge that my financial situation had a significant contribution to my breakdown in 2009.
During times of anxiety, I can use a number of different tools to ease the anxiety and try and focus on the now.
These can include music, reading (although it can often be difficult to concentrate during intense periods of anxiety), writing in my journal, going for a walk (again sometimes tricky), talking to someone, mediation and now I have added option of colouring sheets for mindfulness and stress.