I’ve not written on here in a long time. Probably because my health has improved a lot. But also because my depression had improved a lot.

But I need to write. I need to get out all the things in my head.

The last month or so, my depression has been really bad. For no real reason. But when my depression is bad, I seem to create a lot of new reasons to hate my life. And last night I made a big mistake and it lost me a decent guy who I’ll call A.

We weren’t together. I’m not really sure what we were but we weren’t labelling it and we hadn’t been on a date. But I kissed another guy (who I’ll call Z) after a few drinks. It was actually a bit more than a kiss but I told A it was just a kiss. I knew he wouldn’t forgive me anyway so why hurt him more than necessary? Even though I had said there was no commitment to A.

Why did I do it? I’m trying to work that out myself. I guess that’s why I’m writing.

Part of it was that I don’t trust A. He did one thing that made me lose his trust, but it really wasn’t a big deal. But with my black and white thinking, I either trust someone entirely or I don’t trust them at all. I didn’t realise how much I still need to work on black and white thinking.

I also freak out about relationships. I’ve had so many bad ones before. A year and a half ago, I broke up with a guy who I had actually become scared to be alone with and I hadn’t dated at all since or even really considered it until A. If I hadn’t started speaking to A when I did, I wouldn’t have even thought about dating. There’s still a lot of fear after my ex. I’ve been desperate to get a lock on my bedroom door because I don’t even trust my family members.

A has a lock on his bedroom door and when I was hanging out at his, he locked it out of habit. And I felt trapped. It freaked me out so much. I just wanted to run away from that house but I pushed down the irrational thoughts. I should have realised then that I needed to start writing again. That I needed to get everything out before it took over.

Well it took over, all the shit fed Anna. Anna is one of the voices in my head. I don’t really have the voices anymore. I hadn’t had them in over a year when I’ve been sober. And really I shouldn’t drink. I gave up alcohol for a year, and I don’t even know why I started drinking again. Maybe to prove to myself that alcohol isn’t a problem for me. But it is.

I realised a couple of weeks ago I needed to stop drinking, but I talked to A about it (well dropped it into conversation). And he looked shocked. He also said that if we went out for drinks with his family, I would need to drink (or maybe he didn’t say that but it came across that way). And I like him and want his family to like me, so I thought, rather than quit drinking like I knew I should, I would try again to drink sensibly.

Obviously didn’t work as I drank way too much last night. More than I have in years. I wanted to forget the pain for a while, both physical and mental.

I hate the “in between” stages of relationships, where you’re not together but not just friend so. It doesn’t fit my black and white thinking at all. I know A said that he wasn’t seeing anyone but me, but I didn’t believe that. So part of me did what I’ve done before in this kind of situation- get with someone else to prove that if he’s not faithful, I don’t have to be either.

But I also knew it would mess it up with A. And I didn’t care. I thought, it’s best to hurt him before he hurts me. Stupid I know.

And then there’s the part of me that just kissed Z because I wanted to. Because Z is always cracking jokes and making me laugh and that combined with a few drinks had me feeling relaxed for the first time in months. I thought if Z had managed to make that happen, then he deserved something in return. I’ve hated myself so much the last month or so with my depression that I didn’t even consider that he was cheering me up because he likes me as a friend or just because he’s a nice person. I assumed that for someone to be nice to me, it must mean they want something from me.

From now on, I’m gonna start writing again. I’m going to get back into my music properly. I’m going to give up alcohol. And I’m going to do my best to get through this black of depression that I’m going through.

I’ve said sorry to A a lot of times, and I wish I could take back all of last night. But it’s taught me an important lesson which I’m glad I’ve learnt. That no matter what’s going on (my family falling to pieces around me, my anxiety ridiculously high, my pain levels getting worse each day and the fear of becoming bedbound again, money problems, realising my friends aren’t actually very good friends, etc*) that I need to look after my health (mental and physical) before anything else. Otherwise I end up losing the one good thing in my life.

I have an anxiety whenever I meet people, that they’re just messing with me and won’t actually turn up (big part of the reason that it took me til age 23 to ever meet A outside of school) but I’ve noticed a new warning sign for my mental health getting bad- actually being full on shocked when my best friends actually turn up to something we’ve arranged.

Feelings are exhausting. I need more sleep. I will be writing more often so talk soon.

N xxx
*this list is a lot longer than what’s written and could be its own post. It probably will be a post on here soon.


Aspartame worsening symptoms

When I was having problems with SIBI but before the doctors knew what was wrong, I went entirely organic to see if it helped.

In the last few weeks I have reintroduced aspartame into my diet via robinsons squash and haribo sweets.

For the last few weeks, my insomnia has been hell.

Tonight I went over the top and ate a big bag of haribo. My insomnia is bad, I’m aching all over, I have a headache and I’ve now also been physically sick.

I think there’s a link.

I’m cutting out aspartame now to see if my insomnia gets better again.

I was off it long enough to know it wasn’t causing all of my symptoms, but it’s very possible it makes them worse. So for anyone with CFS or fibromyalgia or any illness really, I suggest cutting out aspartame to see if there’s an improvement.

Ukulele bad days

Today is a very bad day. My back and legs are aching a lot and I can’t sit up for more than a few minutes without it getting worse.

Luckily my arms are fine. It’s very rare for me to get intense arm pain like I get in my back and legs.

And it can get very boring lying down. There’s not much you can do. But I’ve found its possible to play ukulele which I’ve just started learning.

So that’s how I’m spending my day 🙂

Sex and chronic illness

People with chronic illnesses and disabilities can still have sex. In fact there’s only one disabled person I’ve heard of that couldn’t have sex. He was an army veteran and had lost his penis along with his legs in a bomb blast.

So when you meet someone disabled or with a chronic illness, don’t ask them if they are still able to have sex. Just assume they can. They might not be able to do fancy positions that you read about in Cosmo and are pretty sure are only really done by gymnasts, but regular sex still happens.

I think it’s a topic that needs to be talked about more. But I think there’s a lot of people with chronic illness who don’t have sex as a big priority in their life. Maybe just because they have a lot going on, but also because there are a huge amount of medications that can reduce your sex drive.

In fact I’ve been on one of those medications for the last couple of years until a few weeks ago and it’s only now that I’m coming off it that I’ve realised how much my sex drive was affected.

So there’s plenty of reason it doesn’t get talked about, but please don’t ask the question ‘are you able to have sex?’

Even if they arent, it’s none of your business anyway.

Quitting smoking

For all the usual reasons I want to quit smoking. But on top of that I need to detox in order to follow Dr Myhill’s protocol for CFS/fibromyalgia treatment.

I’ve been smoking for 7 years since I was 15. And there has been many attempts to stop. The longest I’ve managed was a month and a bit.

But I’ve never prepared before.

This time I’ve prepared. I’ve cutdown my nicotine intake from 18mg a day to 2mg a day by continuously changing brands to ones with lower nicotine content. Each time I went down by 2mg a day and it didn’t bother me so the last 2mg shouldn’t bother me either.

And I’ve set a quit date- 3rd October. I’ve chosen that date because it will be the one year anniversary since I last drank alcohol.

I’ve given myself the best possible chances this time and I really want to stick to it. I have lots of motivation this time round.

Wish me luck!

Tomorrow’s attempt

Tomorrow I’m going to try something new. I’m going to try and do my own lunch.

Now I can’t cook. It’s too difficult with my health so I’m not even thinking about that. But my mum is covering for someone at work when she doesn’t normally work Mondays and she doesn’t have anyone to cover lunch time with me. Her plan was just to come home for lunch.

But I suggested that I try and do it myself.

So tomorrow for lunch I am eating cheese and crackers and fruit. The fruit is already cut up. The crackers are already out with my medicines and a drink in the kitchen. I just have to get the cheese (spreadable so I don’t have to cut it) and fruit out the fridge.

It seems doable if I’m on a good day but if I’m really struggling I can still call mum and she will come home from work (she works only 5 minutes drive away).

Wish me luck!

Writing a novel with chronic illness

I’m writing a novel. Well I’m actually writing two novels. One of them I’ve been working on for nearly a year and one is a new idea.

The first one is nothing to do with chronic illness and I’ve been writing it on my laptop. I got about half way through and realised it was a mess structurally so I’m going to restart that for NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month where you write 50,000 words in November). NaNoWriMo is difficult for me to complete. It’s a lot of words and to meet the target in a previous year I had to write for two hours a day- I did almost nothing else for the entire month, because for someone with a chronic illness two hours is a lot of time. I don’t usually do two hours of anything involving my brain in a day because it’s too much. I kept it up and stayed on target for a week and a half and then crashed and didn’t complete it. This year I’m making my own target of 20,000 words in a month so that I’ve done a good start on rewriting that book.

The second book I’m working on is a love story, where the main character happens to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. Whereas a lot of books where a character is sick seem to romanticise the illness, I don’t think that will happen because I have the illness myself. I’m showing the hard truth of it. And I’m also dealing with ableism, with the love interest being quite ableist, but the main character not quite realising it for a long time.

I’m writing this book in a different way. I’ve put Microsoft word on my phone and am writing it on my phone. Then I can write for just ten minutes at a time without having to turn on my laptop. It makes it bite size manageable chunks. And I don’t find it anymore difficult to type on my phone than on my laptop. It also gives me something to do when I have digestive problems and end up sat on the toilet for half an hour- I can take my phone to the bathroom but not my laptop. 

I think after being chronically ill for a while, you get quite inventive. I’ve found ways to achieve things that I can’t do in the “normal” way. I can’t sit at a laptop for hours writing- my arms get tired and my brain can’t focus for that long.

As well as getting more inventive, I’ve also come to believe that no matter your limitations, there is always a way to achieve what you want. You might do it differently than others, but there’s always a way.