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So the past few weeks have been pretty tough and a bit like a rollercoaster. I’m not sure where to start exactly. Where to start? Well, I wrote this post on 22nd August about how I’d been to the doctor and had been told that I may have a hormone imbalance. I was put on oestrogen patches and given oestrogen gel too to take as and when I needed.
A week later, it was Lala’s birthday party. The day seemed to go well. In the evening, my husband went round to have a beer with a friend’s hubby. He came back that night very drunk and it became clear that he had been very unhappy. Unhappy with my lack of effort with regards the housework, unhappy with my taking out my moods on him, on my lack of effort in looking after myself, pretty much unhappy with a lot of things. It was talking to friends about our marriage and the way I talk to him (among other things) that made him realise just what a rut we had got into. I am trying to write this post as if I’m an outsider looking in and describing what happened. So, he woke me up at 4am and after some persuading – I thought he was just being a drunken twat at first – I realised that something really was wrong and I sat down and listened. A lot was said. I was made to understand that things were far from good. Somethings were said that were hurtful and untrue (later apologised for) but mostly things were said that were painful to hear but valid and true. Sometimes the truth hurts and in this case it did. Very much so. After a lot of talking and some crying – mostly from me feeling like the worst person in the world – and yes, probably feeling rather sorry for myself but also ashamed of myself – and some crying from him – while he was trying to explain to me that he really didn’t want a divorce but he was really at the end of his tether and if things didn’t change, that is the way we would be going. After a lot of talking, crying and some shouting, after we had come to an understanding that I would try a lot harder, we went to bed. It was probably around 5.30am by then. But I couldn’t sleep. My head was spinning. I got up and started cleaning. It felt like an age ago that we had had Lala’s birthday party – seemed like such a nice day – but I was in a whole other world by then. One where my world was coming apart. My husband had threatened me with divorce. I had been made to see that I had let things slip to an unbearable point without even realising it. So I cleaned up after the party. I put washing on, emptied washing, loaded the dishwasher, put it on, emptied it, cleaned the surfaces down and polished them, started cleaning the sitting room. I let Ben sleep until around midday I think. Later that morning my friend came round and had a chat with me (the friend who’s house Ben was at when he made his decision to confront me). Well, actually, she talked. I listened. I can’t remember what was said exactly. That the way I talk to Ben sometimes isn’t acceptable, that he is a very good man and does so much and he needs some help. I can’t even remember. It was all valid. I couldn’t disagree with any of it. I just didn’t know what to say. I felt so ashamed. I felt like the lowest of the low. I also felt angry because they had all been around talking to me. That anger stayed with me (mixed with guilt and shame and sadness) for a few days longer. I’m even finding this hard to write. I have moved past feeling like that but writing it down is bringing it back. I don’t want to be back there again!
Anyway, so the first few days after Day Zero as I shall now call it, I was so on edge. I did a lot. Made a lot of effort around the house. Did a lot of things I wouldn’t normally do. Like cooking a meal for us all, feeding the dogs without being asked or just leaving it to Ben, just generally helping out or if I wasn’t sure what to do, I would ask Ben what he would like me to do or ask him if he needed help with anything. I wanted to show him (and Bella and my friend) that I had it in me. That I wasn’t just a lazy good-for-nothing. I put music on while I did housework and just got on with it until things were sparkling. Well, near enough. But inside I was terrified, ashamed, guilty, exhausted, angry, paranoid and so much more. That Monday when I drove to work I had to pull over as I’d started crying. I had to call Ben and ask him to reassure me that I could do it. I could head into work and get on with it. Every day that week I cried on my way into work and cried on my way home. I felt like I was on probation at work and on probation at home. Which I basically was. Nothing felt secure or safe.
Lala started school on the Thursday that week and it felt like a huge blow not to be able to take her to school on her first day. I had tried to get the time off but I was told I was not allowed due to all the time I took off during the summer and due to not accruing the holiday days yet. It felt very unfair and it made me incredibly sad – when I was already feeling like things were falling apart – or at least on the verge of falling apart and I was trying to run around with sticky tape trying to keep it all together – especially when it was me who broke it in the first place.
On Friday of that week I went to the doctor. My friend came with me. By that point I had come to terms with the fact that she was indeed trying to be a good friend to both of us – and to our family as a whole. In fact, in hindsight I think it was very brave of her to get involved. It could have cost her our friendship. I’m starting to realise how lucky I am to have her. So, she came with me to the doctors (she had offered on the sunday when she came over – and I took her up on the offer, even though there were several occasions over the days following Sunday that I wanted to ring her up and tell her not to come). I’m so glad I did. She gave them an outsider’s view on my behaviour and things I’ve told her I’m thinking. She told them that she’s read up about bipolar disorder and really thinks it fits with all of my behaviours. In fact she said there was not a single symptom that she’d read up on that she thought did not fit with me. The doctor listened to us both, asked a few questions. Finally she asked if I had thoughts of suicide or harming myself. I told her that I did – thoughts like thinking about driving into a tree or a wall or considering slicing my skin with a knife to relieve the internal pain. She said she was referring me for an emergency appointment with the Mental Health team and that I should get a call within a few days and an appointment by the end of the following week. I finally got that appointment today – sadly the appointment isn’t for another 2 weeks. The doctor has given me Pregabalin for anxiety which I take every morning and evening (option of 2 in the evening – so I take one around 8 or 9 and if necessary one before bed).
Since my appointment on Friday I have been writing down everything that I feel when I feel it. Sort of a running commentary. I may publish the pages on here in a separate post. I thought it would be helpful for the doctors to see my ups and down on paper.
I’m going to leave it there for now as that felt like a mammoth task writing the above. Enough for one night. I may elaborate more in an Update on Everything Part two. Maybe.