Anxiety

Well, the ‘fluttering heart’ I mentioned in my last post wasn’t so bad the few days before our appointment at the clinic on Friday. Perhaps I was over the worst of the anxiety – maybe it was still there but I just didn’t notice it as much.

The outcome of the appointment was fairly positive – we have decided to try at least one cycle of IVF with my eggs. I plan to post in more detail about that on the other blog. The odd thing is, although I’m feeling pretty good about that, the anxiety has returned.

I think it might be due to a Christmas meal I have to go to tonight. It’s a work thing, a leaving do, too, in a pub. I’m 15 days sober today, and while I really don’t want to drink, I could do without putting myself into drinking situations deliberately. I actually just want to hibernate. I can’t think of anything to enjoy about going to socialise with people. That sounds so terrible, I know. But the truth is, infertility has knocked my self confidence (not that I had much in the first place), so I can’t see myself functioning in a setting that is purely social. I have forgotten how to ‘present’ myself , if that makes sense? I don’t know who I am anymore, I got lost somewhere. I feel…blank, in a way.

My work colleagues know about the fluttering heart, I told them earlier in the week. So I could feasibly text someone and say it’s causing me chest pains again, so I can’t go tonight. But I can’t keep letting my world get smaller and smaller, can I? I must push myself out of my comfort zone? My chest hurts just thinking about it.

It’s times like this when I need a sober friend, face to face. And I think this is part of what ultimately led me down the path of relapse last time – feeling isolated in a world full of normal drinkers, and lonely because of our struggles with infertility. (There it goes again, my chest thump thumping away. the other day when the irregular beating had died down, I thought, ‘is my heart actually still going??!’). I did drive past the venue for a local AA meeting many times during that year, eyeing it up and always chickening out. But I don’t think AA is for me.

So in the absence of a sober friend right here beside me (because, let’s face it, none of the ‘normies’ get it), I’m writing this to you. I really don’t know what to do.

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I can stop holding my breath

Thank you for the  comments on my last post, I really do appreciate all of your support 🙂

I have good news. I spoke to our friend’s partner this morning – he was on his way back to the hospital. Thankfully, it looks as though she is going to be OK. She was out of bed and walking a little this morning, and they’re just waiting for a bed to become available on the ward so that she can be moved from intensive care. They’ll be doing an assessment next week to determine what treatment she’ll need. I’m so relieved… It must have been terrifying for her family.

I also have more good news…at work on Friday I did my normal routine of taking my phone out of my bag and taking it off silent, putting it in my pocket. I was doing this partly so that I would be immediately aware of any updates on our friend, but also because it has become my little ritual, hoping for a phone call about my surgery. Well, what do you know, it actually rang! The words ‘private number’ made my heart race a little bit, and I recognised the voice of the lady from the booking department straight away, as I’ve rung up about three times during this almost six month wait. She said she had two dates available – the first was a very last minute 3rd October! Monday! I said I would love to have that one but it’s not really fair to my work colleague, to drop everything at such short notice, and so I’ve got 26th October. I’VE GOT A DATE!!! AT LAST!!! It arrived in writing this morning 🙂

I’m feeling motivated to improve my health before surgery. This time I have a huge advantage in that I’m not ill like I was last time, prior to the operation. I’m well, and I want to do all I can to be ready. I can now see what is hopefully the ‘beginning’ of the process, and it feels a lot more tangible compared to the aimless waiting. There are a few things like yoga and meditation that I’ve been wanting to try, so this will be the incentive I’ve been lacking. I am (but trying not to be) a little bit excited!

Oh yes and it’s day 20 today 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to be happy

For some reason I’m starting to remember snippets of my dreams again. I haven’t remembered dreams for months, years even. Although the drinking dreams used to come up now and again. Anyway, last night I remember talking to someone in my dream, and I was telling them I knew how to be happy. “You carry it around inside you”, I said. Meaning, it’s not what happens to you  that counts, its how you determine yourself to be, on the inside. Oddly, I wasn’t coming from the perspective of being happy, but just knowing how. Bizarre.

At the same time I was talking about my ideas, literally as I was still talking, I was aware of someone – a girl – by the side of me, who was telling anyone who would listen, she thought there was another way. It was kind of like, when you’re talking in a group of people, and there’s some talk across people, breaking off into other little discussions. But I could still hear. She was saying “You have to go out into the world and give it to people…” and the unsaid part was ….then you will feel it yourself.

Now, where all of this came from I have no idea. I mean, I have had a rocky couple of weeks. Last week I fell into a depression, which I might talk about later. It has started to turn around, but there’s a long way to go (isn’t there bloody always with me).

I know that being happy for me involves quitting alcohol. I don’t know how the rest of life should go. No idea. I think I like to be on my own; that’s bad for me…too much negative thinking (who knew). I fit in with only a very tiny amount of people, and don’t feel comfortable being with those I know less well. I feel less than, not good enough, like I don’t measure up.

I find it very hard to put down all the negativity, even though I would love to be able to walk out of my life as it is, and into a positive and fulfilling one. Infertility has complicated things, and added to the barriers that I feel between me and other people (barriers that may or may not actually exist).

I’ve decided that instead of counting days quite so much, waiting for them to stack up to some magic number, I’d be better off spending my sober time trying to get to the bottom of all this. Why do I feel so judged by other people? Do I think they are so different from me? Why don’t I have the confidence to find ‘my people’ if I (sometimes) crave the type of recognition and belonging that brings?

And on the darker days, the one I really struggle with is If I don’t find solutions to all of the above pretty quickly, and if I ultimately fail in my efforts to become a mother…How will I know I have a place in the world?

Sorry to end on such a negative note, I just need to get it all out there.

Day 17: Things that make me feel better #?

Hope everyone had a good weekend 🙂

I did think about drinking…not having a drink as such, just about drinking in general. I wished, at some moments, that I could just be a normal drinker and not have to worry about staying sober. But when I thought more about how drinking would feel exactly, I did not feel I was missing out. Apart from anything else, I’m not missing the wasted weekend mornings spent in bed sleeping off a headache.

Whilst the weather was good on Saturday I worked in the garden, pottering in the greenhouse and tidying the shed and coal house. And in the evening, Mr took me to see Eddie the Eagle. It was brilliant. If you get chance to see it, I can highly recommend it. Very uplifting, a good soundtrack, Hugh Jackman, what more could you ask for?! Well, Eddie only drank milk so the hero is sober too, added bonus!! I only just remember Eddie being in the Olympics, but had no concept of how much he had actually achieved. He never gave up!

Actually this should be in the #thingsthatmakemefeelbetter list, because that film is one of them, and I’m now watching Peter Kay’s Comedy Shuffle on BBC2, which is another.

Laughing is good 🙂

Wide awake

I should actually be in bed asleep, but I had to post this because I think Ive just had a bit of an insight into WHY I was so wound up before… (this might not make sense as Ive forgotten where I was up to with the story, plus I’m rushing cos husband might get cross that I’m downstairs tapping away on the computer, disturbing the peace at 2:45am!)…

Ever since I started in my job, I have tried to bring a sense of order to a fairly chaotic collection of chemicals, safety information, equipment, general supply, and schemes of work. It has been a part of the role that I have found especially satisfying. I’ve worked very hard on it, it has taken along time, for various reasons.

This new software we are using to combine most of the above in one coherent, frankly rather impressive, digital, overall record (sorry. Its late), is basically the start of the final stage on all of this organisation that Ive been doing over the last three years. I have a major interest in doing a fair share of this work myself, and yet I felt that the opportunity was being taken away from me – N was taking over.

I think that now I have some idea why I felt so irritated, I might be better able to articulate (where necessary) my feelings, and hopefully have an equal part in working on this database.

If I had been drinking because of how wound up I was earlier, I don’t think I would have come to this realisation. I wouldn’t have connected the two things together. But thanks to being sober, I now realise that my irritation and frustration, is actually due to my vested interest, if you like, in contributing fairly to the final stages of this work I’ve been doing for so long.

This feels pretty major, being able to think more clearly about the reasons behind my emotions, because I’m not using alcohol to zone out. I don’t feel like I had such moments of clear thinking the last time around. Perhaps I’ve just forgotten. I know I’m rambling at this point, but do you think I might finally be waking up….?!

 

A good day

Yesterday was a much better day at work. I felt a bit fragile and emotional because the pregnant teacher and head of dept were giggling about her baby bump. She’s showing a lot more, and for some stupid reason, I just don’t know where to look when people talk about it. But I’m still trying really hard to redirect my thoughts to myself, and the action that my husband and I need to take to get to where we want to be. I’m doing quite well at that, I think. Having said that, my brain is trying to have silly, anxious thoughts about what my colleagues think of me. A and I were talking about the new supply teacher, who seemed very anxious. I compared this to myself – I admitted I’m an anxious person, but I didn’t think I made other people feel anxious by being anxious myself, as this supply teacher does. He said ‘oh yes, you were very nervous when you started here’. Yes I know. But  I wasn’t immobilised by fear, I’m certain of that. I remember deciding to smile, say yes a lot, and be friendly all the time, and worry about what the hell I was doing later. It was a good strategy, I think! But now I’m worrying that I looked like a total idiot.

No, no. I can’t allow myself to think like this. I worked in a supermarket for 10+ years, completely away from my academic background of science. Then I got this job, where there was no-one doing the job to train me. So I picked it all up along the way. Even when the second technician joined a few weeks later, she’d never done the job either. I’m really proud of how I’ve progressed and what I can do now. Dammit, who bloody cares if I was nervous to start with!! This just goes to show that sobriety is absolutely the way forward for me, as my mind definitely tends towards anxiety, and drinking would only add to that.

So to continue with the story…N and I swapped activities for the day – there was an experiment coming up which meant she could put into practice the skills she learned on a recent training course, and I explained I really needed some practice using the spreadsheet. So instead of doing what we both found easiest (she is so good on the computer I am rather intimidated), we worked on areas we needed to improve. Win/win!

It’s been a good day today. I slept in late (Mr had a fire call, so I was awake for a couple of hours early morning), then did a couple of loads of laundry. Walked to the post office, then did a detour on the way home, along the reservoir and through the woods. The birds were singing, it was lovely. I planted more seeds in the greenhouse, then had a bath, and made curry for tea afterwards.

It’s late now, husband is out at the pub and I’m going to have one more AF drink then go to bed. He said earlier he’d like to go out, and I thought oh no, I hope he’s not going to try to make me go with him and ‘just have one drink’. But no, I told him he should go if he wanted to and he said ‘can I?’. I don’t feel I’m missing out at all, and I’m so glad he’s doing what he wants and I’m doing what I want. Another win/win:)

 

 

Overwhelm? Lists.

I had a little cry on my own today at work. The teacher who’s pregnant is really showing now. She was saying that the kids asked her about it today, and people are just generally talking about it more. I’m envious. It’s hard to change the way I feel, so I tried to change my focus instead. We have a plan, my husband I. Some days it feels like a long time until things get properly moving, but realistically, we need to be getting ourselves prepared for this. So I concentrated on thinking about our next steps – what needs to happen for me, now? What action do I need to take? it seemed to work – I have more control over what happens to me at this point, than I ever will over what is happening to someone else.

The thing is, though, I want to strike the right balance between getting things done and avoiding overwhelm. Because I know I’m more likely to drink if I wind myself up too tightly. For example, amongst other things, Husband told me yesterday that we (I) really do need to get a new (used) car. It has been on the cards for a while, and now it’s passed it’s MOT now would be a good time to sell before it loses any more value. So I’ve started down this whole ‘I need to sell all my worldly possessions’ train of thought, to be able to pay for a new car. Or at least put something down as a deposit.

I spoke to my other colleague, N, about some of this and she said, ‘do you make lists?’. I said yes, but I don’t want the to-do list ruling my every waking moment. But she pointed out the benefits of getting everything down on paper to clear the mind. Yes! I need this! I need a clear mind!! I also realised that a list had worked well for me over the holidays – I seemed to be in an optimal frame of mind for tackling it. I have asked Belle about determining this fine line between achieving and obsessing, and I look forward to her take on it as she often talks about overwhelm.

Other news: last night I swapped the winter duvet for the summer one, which made for a MUCH more comfortable night!…Went for another walk – only a short one – this evening. The sun was shining, it was lovely…And I’m looking forward to a good day at work tomorrow – I came across some software on the internet which I’m excited to share with N. I see lots of cataloguing inventory in our future. Mm, lists. That department WILL be organised if it’s the  last thing I do.

It’s day 5 and I’m happy 🙂 I hope you guys are too xx