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.
Going 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 of 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…