Motherhood, mental illness and beyond

Today is not a good day. I had a voicemail from the psychiatrist this morning to say that he can’t see me for an assessment next Thursday after all; I’ve been trying to phone the office all morning but there’s no answer. My back is pretty bad today and keeps spasming at unexpected moments. I have also had to acknowledge this morning that a decade-long friendship is over, which hurts.

In addition to all this I feel weird today. Frantic is the only word for it. I feel as though I’m vibrating, as though I’d downed several pints of espresso. I want to scream, shout, rage, throw things, break things, cry, sob, cut myself and most of all I want to be left alone. But I have 2 small children to look after. So I have a smile plastered on my face and we’ve been having stories and playing with the Octonauts and watching CBeebies (surely every parent’s saviour?).

I’m used to having a few days up followed by a few days down – I believe it’s called rapid cycling. But today my mood is changing almost every few minutes and it’s frightening me. Life is very stressful at the moment but I’ve never felt this out of control before. It’s taking every ounce of self-control that I have not to give in to the frenzy.

Thankfully DH is here and is able to look after the children while I go out for a little while. It’s only short trip to a friend’s to drop off a baby blanket I’ve made (her second baby is now a week overdue!) but it will give me a brief period of peace and solitude that will hopefully help me regain my mental footing a bit.


Comments on: "I am a swan – serene on the surface, frantic underneath" (15)

  1. presenting a calm exterior while seething beneath is hard, It does help you keep some control though. Do you feel you are bipolar?

    the extreme rapid changes today sound like mixed episodes.

  2. Possibly; that’s certainly what my GP thinks (she said bipolar 2). I researched it after seeing her and I have to say that a lot of it sounds very like me, but then self-diagnosis (especially with the help of Dr Google!) is rarely reliable. I just wish I knew when I’ll be seeing the psychiatrist – I feel like I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me now that it’s all up in the air again.

    • *nods* getting your hopes up for something so important and then not knowing is tormenting, but worse with erratic mood swings.

      Mixed episodes, where you bounce from deep depression to euphoric like a yo yo, or even share both at the same time to really freak you out, they are very hard to deal with.

      So your psychiatrist is away today, something must have called him out, I am sure tomorrow you can call them and arrange something, hopefully soon ๐Ÿ™‚

      Dr. Google can help, I know you will have a strong desire to understand and know what is going on. Who wouldn’t? many times though symptoms overlap, so you can assume the worst and start to stress more, which doesn’t help you.

      Hold on, fight the feelings, I know it is so hard. You can do it though.


      • Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Apparently the guy Iโ€™m supposed to see is away until next Tuesday so I canโ€™t speak with him until then, which means it may be a few more weeks before I see him. Iโ€™m considering phoning my GP tomorrow (no appointments sadly) to ask if she could put me in touch with someone else.

  3. Have you try a local support group? Bipolar UK and Mind are very good, and you don’t have to be diagnosed to attend. They are generally very supportive and it’s surprising what talking to complete strangers can achieve. Mental health treatment, I find, is about clinical and psychological support. Take care

    • Good suggestions, thank you. I’ve just emailed my local MIND group and there is a Bipolar UK group not far away but it’s in the evenings, which is tricky for me. Besides I’d feel a bit of a fraud as I don’t have a proper diagnosis yet, the psychiatrist may decide it’s something else.

      • Well luckily, most mental health charities and support groups don’t discriminate, and generally they welcome new faces without judgement. It might also help you when you get your appointment, as discussing it with a group often helps to discuss it with the professionals. I volunteer for my local Mind and they offer loads of services to people who are struggling, plus offer advice on getting the best medical treatment. I would strongly recommend these groups and services. The only advice from me is a little obvious, try not to worry and try to get a good nights sleep ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I actually had a reasonable night’s sleep for the first time in weeks, which was very welcome! Thank you for the encouragement, hopefully I’ll hear back from my local MIND fairly quickly.

      • I would suggest going. Group therapy is a strong thing, Meeting with people that have like symptoms, can be supportive. Comfort. You may get some, It is a grand thing. I am sure there will be many at the meetings that have not had a diagnosis, but they are still helping each other.

        so I am tossing my strongly recommend out as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope your night went well.

        something I want you to remember, chant it now and again. “I am worth it” and it.. well it is everything grand.

      • Glad that you slept well, it can really help. And I remember being told about the anxiety loop which keeps going until you step in and either do something active to stop the worrying or tell yourself that there is not point in worrying about the future and that you just need to be mindful of the present moment. A book that helped me with coping techniques was Mood Mapping by Liz Miller.

  4. Good plan, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am here. Lurking. Hibernating. Sorry I have not been ‘active’. I am sorry to hear you have seen the end of a decade old friendship, but, I feel, you might have gained a new one recently too ๐Ÿ˜‰ you are an amazingly strong woman, I am glad I have got to know you a little. x

  6. peeks in to see how you are doing.

  7. […] this week I was really struggling to hold myself together (see this post if you want details). And I started looking at my friends on Facebook and thinking, are you really […]

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