Sleep Pattern Changes

Tiredness has taken over. Tiredness is the reason I didn’t end up writing last night. I’m still feeling it now. It’s strange I didn’t use to have tiredness effect me this much.

There was a time where I woke at first light. I got up out of bed no problem. I had to have a quiet and dark surroundings. I couldn’t sleep with lights, telly, radio or people around me.

If the telly was too loud downstairs, I had to go ask for it to be turned down. I found it hard to sleep in a bed that wasn’t mine. Whether having a sleepover or away on holiday.

It’s like my mind has flipped a switch.

Most of the time when going to bed, I still need quite and darkness but that isn’t necessarily the case. I fall asleep during films, in the middle of the day. Sat on the sofa having conversations. Lights and noise have reduced keeping me up.

Having a lie in wasn’t a thing for me especially in the summer months. As soon as the sun rose I was awake. 8 am was the latest I was laying in to. Now it could be 11 am before I get out of bed.

When you hear your mum say “That’s not like you”. You know something has changed.

Through the tiredness, I’ve still had a good couple of days. Volunteering, seeing family and friends and seeing the Christmas Panto: Alladin.

Body Fights Back

I feel my body is fighting me. My legs haven’t stopped twitching since August. My tiredness hasn’t improved. My hip and lower back are intermittently aching. I find it hard to get comfy.

I’ve started to link my stomach aches and unusual bowel movements to times when I have milk or chocolate. Can you become lactose intolerant part way through life?

I booked an appointment to see my doctor to discuss it all. Just have to wait a couple of weeks. I’m gonna check for cancellations regular now I’m signed up for the online system.

Check up with my Doctor

I went to my doctors yesterday about seeing how I was doing on my anti-depressants. It’s been about 5 weeks now. I’ve blogged about my leg twitches, my headaches and sickness. I’ve been having chest pains too.

All of these I mentioned. He believes they are symptoms of my stress and anxiety. As anxiety, fear and stress are my overpowering issues. He has recommended a self-help book by Christopher Williams: Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic.

My doctor showed me the first edition of the Overcoming Depression book by the same author. It looked good. Has questions and activities to complete. My doctor also said if I have any questions from doing the workbook. I should write them down and book an appointment to see him.

I thought that was really good. He wants to help me get better and answering questions about what I’ve done or don’t understand is something he is willing to do. So far, other doctors, I’ve met, I feel like I couldn’t do that.

They want you in and out as quick as possible. He wants me to come back just to chat if I need it.

Another thing he would like me to do is work on slowing down my breathing. That breathing is going back to haunt me. Think I need to listen. I breathe too fast. Which isn’t helped by stress or anxiety. In turn, causes my headaches and chest pains.

I’ve been working on this today. I’m even doing it now. Breathing in for 3 seconds and then out for 3 seconds. One breath cycle should be 6 seconds; 10 breaths a minute. I can do between 20 and 40 breaths a minute normally.

No wonder I feel panicked all the time. I noticed I feel a little calmer after a few minutes of breathing slowly. Unfortunately, I go back to my fast breathing if I’m not being mindful of it.

A new goal. It’s been a while since I made one of those. 

Goal: Slow my breathing down to 10 breaths a minute

It may be hard in the long run but hopefully having the foal will mean I practice the breathing techniques. Having the sense of relaxation would be a bonus.

Guilt and Sadness.

There are two emotions I want to process today. I went to visit my Grandma C today. The first time in two months. She has changed massively. She is a different person. Cancer has taken over. To the point, I believe she has given up.

I felt guilty that I’ve put off seeing her to too long. I’ve no excuse. I’ve had plenty of chances. I just didn’t want to go. Like, there was that fear of seeing her.

She slept the whole time. I said hello and goodbye with hugs and kisses; which she woke to. She also responded a couple of times when I asked her if she was OK or needed anything.

My guilt changed to sadness.

It’s not nice seeing a family member that way. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone. My Auntie J was there, then my Uncle A arrived not long after I did. We all caught up with each other.

It was hard leaving my Grandma like that. I want to see her more often. No excuse. No fear. Just go!

I said to my friend B, earlier today that I believe my Grandma won’t make it to the New Year. I hope to be wrong but seeing her suffer, even with medication is hard for me. If it’s hard for me. How is my Grandma processing it?

Maybe giving up is her way of processing it?

I love you Grandma C. Your in my heart always.

One of those days

It’s been one of those days. I had dreamt of a customer medication I’d been to at the beginning of the week. I woke an hour and a half before my alarm. Wide awake. Waking up with a concern about the same customer’s medication running in my head.

Usually writing things down allows me to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. Being too early I couldn’t ring my supervisor to report the concern. A while later at my first customer, I got a call cancelling my second.

I got to go home early but only worked an hour today. I got on with my day.

Around lunchtime, I got the sad news that my main customer past away. Definitely knocked me out of my hyperactive mindset. This was a hard moment. Thankfully, my mum was home. She was able to give me a hug. Plus, the dogs gave me kisses.

Again, after a while, I got on with my day.

Had the embarrassing moment of knocking an ornament off a shelf display in a card shop. Right at the front of the store by the tills. Everyone saw. Thankfully the staff were nice and I didn’t have to pay for it.

I was so glad when Dave (my other half) and I got to my dads’ house. We sat, relaxed and had a catch-up. I do feel more open with my dad since his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. I feel he’s more open with me too.

Are you controlling your body or is it controlling you?

I had a felt sucky day. I had a headache, felt sick, allowed myself to be used like a doormat. My body controlled me. I didn’t control it.

When I looked at session 2 of my positive steps course; I found it quite fitting. It was called controlling your body. That our bodies change and our physical symptoms impact our mood.

Definitely did with me today!

It went over the vicious cycle. Hoping by now I understand my own and what effects me. I’m certainly learning that.

It went on to explain stress on the body. Looking at the physical symptoms you have. I knew I had symptoms but I didn’t realise how many.

mde

No wonder I feel more stressed and have unhelpful thoughts when my body feels this way.

There are two ways our mood is affected by our bodies; muscle tension and Automatic Nervous System. Looking T my body model, I have more in the muscle tension category then the other.

The symptoms we get are due to our fight or flight responses. It’s our bodies way of saying there’s a threat. Whether it’s work, kids, bills, arguing, even the housework. Money, work and my to do list are my obvious threats.

My tiredness, lack of motivation and lethargy is where my depression kicks in with the stress.

Then it gives me tips on how to combat the stress and depression. All the things you already know but have to hear anyway for your mind to click.

I certainly need to stop asking for reassurance, reduce avoidance and do some exercise.

Then there’s the relaxation techniques. I’ve met these before in my relaxation module. Think I need to go over my relaxation techniques 1 and 2 to refresh my memory. Then do.

Just doing something at the moment is an achievement for me.

Monthly and Q3 Review: September 2017

The review is slightly different this month as it’s the end of a quarter. I believe I’m getting better at answering questions about myself and how things have gone.

Quarter 3:

I’m starting to be the woman I want to be. I’m starting to get physically and mentally healthy. I’m starting to be honest with all and standing up for myself and who I want to be.

I’ve still a long way to go.

I’ve had some good memories with my mental and physical health goals this quarter.

  • Started walking the dogs again
  • Liking the feeling after completing yoga
  • Getting the courage to ask for help when I’ve needed it

I did find my lack of motivation challenging as well as getting the courage to speak up. I found it difficult accepting I needed to go back onto anti-depressants.

I honoured my theme of the year: Cherish and my ways of being this quarter, meaningful, healthy, at ease, connected, listening. Not just on my mental and physical health goals but in general and with my other goals too. You can now see my Goal List from the menu option. 

September:

Has been a mixture of ups and downs. The hardest being my Grandma C passing away. The other downs:

  • Not going to a friends birthday celebration due to having a bad day
  • Having bad days that meant I didn’t get out of bed
  • The stress of work leading up to and around the time of my Grandma passing

The Ups:

  • I’ve spent more time with my family and friends. Cherishing the time I have with them
  • Family and friends being there to support me
  • Getting a little further with my NVQ
  • Working on The Courage Council and doing the work
  • My self-care afternoon

I’ve now started doing a “blackboard” of tasks; which has been something I’ve come across the past two years of doing The Holiday Council but not doing myself. I’ve had a blackboard for a while and I would love a bigger one. My “blackboard” of tasks is a to-do-list of sorts. It has some of my goals on there as well as things I really need to do/think about.

IMG_20170930_152726.jpg

Overall:

A mixed month and an on the road to being myself quarter. Here’s to the next; the last of 2017. It’s certainly going quick. My two new goals for Q4 are:

  1. Speaking up
  2. Breathing techniques

I’m going to see how much of my to-do-list I do and if I add any more. As well as working on my goal list.

How was September for you?

Has Q3 treated you well?

What would you love to happen for the final quarter of 2017?