Paranoia

This morning I had what I would call extreme paranoia. I woke up at four o’clock for Master X’s feed, and although Mr. A nursed him I was unable to fall back in to a deep sleep. I plugged in some headphones and listened to Liquid Mind on repeat which worked in shutting my brain enough to rest and have a light sleep. But I recall that my mind was never again in deep sleep mode and then we got up at six o’clock for exercise.

I reluctantly woke up when Mr. A opened one of the deep purple block-out curtains to allow the break of day to peep into the darkened bedroom. Flash. Garble. Some kind of blur. It was difficult to focus. Actually I found it difficult to focus for much of the morning. I lent across and reached for my phone located on the bed stand. I needed something to concentrate on, to get me out of bed. I felt loaded, tired, cloudy. I felt strange. I checked my Facebook (bad decision) and found a private message from someone asking who I was, in case they knew me. Did I say something wrong? Maybe they are going to report me? Do I know them? Will it make it uncomfortable for me now if they figure out who I was? Thoughts rushed into my head like tidal waves, twirling, washing, streaming, screaming around in a jumbled mess. Breathe.

I hastily changed in to my swimmers and checked my bag. Kind of checked my bag. Keys, glasses. Got to the door. What have I done to this person? What does this mean? Phone, I might need my phone. Jumble, cycle, mess. Exit the house and get to the car door… Goggles, swimming cap. Wallet. ‘I forgot more things!’ I mumble to myself as- what will I say back? How will they interpret who I am? What have I done wrong?

I fumble and locate my cap and goggles in the washing basket, flinging clothes around the dining area. I have to go now. Short, staggered breaths; breathe in slowly. Stop. Take three breaths. Oh, that hole in the wall is atrocious, What a shit mum. Is it to do with my post the other day? I can’t recall if I said something that might upset someone.

IMG_1366.JPGGoing to the pool.

Regular glasses are required as the light is still dull. Take the corner near the school onto the main road, and the sun is blinding. I cannot see. Pull across the road to change into sunglasses. Why is everyone driving with their lights on? Is something going on? Just go to the pool.

I have a pool routine that involves swiping the card rather than seeing the assistant and heading straight to the lockers. Place bag in, find a lap, undress pool-side and put on cap and goggles. Get in the pool. I cannot think. I turn off my brain. I need to do this. Push those thoughts down.

But when I start swimming, the rhythm pulls the thoughts back again. The repetitiveness IMG_1374.JPGof the stroke, how heavy my arms feel- am I in the right lane, perhaps the lifeguard is looking at me because I am in the wrong lane- the thoughts begin overlapping, focusing on the email (please this is not your fault, this is my brain’s fault) and what it means. No, I just need to toughen up, suck it up. Be normal, feel normal. You can do this, you are doing this, there is nothing wrong. But the psychiatrist said that I am sick; and so did Mr. A and the support worker. But I was good at mum’s. I am not sick, I just need to try harder. Be a better mum. I can do this. I just need to try. Stop thinking about the email, it was just an email…

I give up on laps because my brain is making it hard to not panic. I need to get out of the pool NOW.

As I reach the ladder I glance and catch the eye of a colleague. Although it is difficult to be sure as I am not wearing my glasses. But yes, there. Recognition. Exit the pool calmly, put on your shoes- she is coming closer and I can feel her eyes on me- drape your dress over your arm, turn the opposite way, and walk. Walk. I can hear flip-flops slapping the tile behind me as I walk away, and I turn my head briefly, whew, not her. Of course she is not following you, silly! Go for a shower.

The shower, I cannot remember the thoughts, but I remember feeling stuck in the cubicle like I could not leave. The door loomed over me, and I kept resetting the water so that I could shower for longer. However I was not really showering, I was just focusing on the water dripping. Leave. Now. You need to leave. Breathe.

I get changed. Feeling very heavy. Did she look at me. I am wearing a crazy person’s outfit with a tie-dyed skirt and superwoman t-shirt. What do crazy people look like? My doctor did say that Master X does not look like the child of a depressed mother. The psychiatrist said that I do not seem sick. And so I must be well. What does a well person look like? Do all depressed mothers look the same? My tweeps say otherwise.

What is the truth? (I asked my psychiatrist this yesterday. Is it true that I am sick, or that I just need to try harder and snap out of it like other people have said. Am I weak. Am I just being a drain on everyone)

I drove past our house on the way home, my thoughts loud. My hands leading me somewhere? Away. But not away like running away. Just away. But I need to go home and tell Mr. A. It took double my dose (so the new dose as of yesterday) and an Ativan to bring me back down.

I need you to wait until my medication kicks in

And so we wait. I crunch on cereal, not my usual sipping and sucking on a shake for breakfast. I felt the urge to chew, to crunch. It took about half an hour and then the thoughts calmed. The shaking ceased. I was safe.

The medication made me really really tired, so I engaged myself by creating a new play item for Master X.

Then it was nap time. I slept for two hours. It was needed. The rest of the day panned well. I am glad that I had prepared a coffee date as the walls felt like they were closing in again. I think I got out just in time.

Maybe the medication is not working? Maybe I do need to go to hospital. But brain keeps reiterating that I just need to toughen up, suck it up. Be normal, feel normal. You can do this, you are doing this, there is nothing wrong. But the psychiatrist said that I am sick; and so did Mr. A and the support worker. But I was good at mum’s. I am not sick, I just need to try harder. Be a better mum. I can do this. I just need to try…

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13 thoughts on “Paranoia

    1. Thanks for reading Talya. I think that mental illness thrives on us not saying anything, and furthermore PND seems to be seen as a ‘right of passage’. I was warned by so many people to ‘watch out for PND’ but no-one in Australia seems to speak about it. It is seen as ‘tough it out and get over it’ or ‘snap out of it’ (as someone said to me this week. Would we ask a diabetic to ‘snap out of it’?!?!

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  1. Pow – this post literally punched me in the gut! You are so frank and so brave. I really hope that by writing this and reading the comments you can put your illness into perspective and hopefully down the line be able to re-read it and realise that you no longer feel that way. Much love. #coolmumclub

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    1. This is what my mum was saying yesterday! I hadn’t written it down when I talked to her and she demanded ‘you must write it all down so that you can revisit them later and some idea of progress’. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard to see through them when you are in crisis. I know that I am yet to learn sound coping strategies for when my thoughts run away. The mind the bump app has been a good recurring reminder of how to retrain thought patterns and to try and see my thoughts and feelings as being separate from me. Thank you for reading x

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  2. You will see that when I “like” a blog post as others do for me, it says …. Thought your post was awesome. Or words to that effect. I do and think that you are an amazing mama experiencing awful symptoms of this horrible illness. Keep strong x

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