Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dealing with mental issues

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments on my last post. I'm still struggling a lot but a good part of that comes from physical issues so it's kind of hard to tell how depressed I really am. I alude to the fact that I suffer from depression quite a bit here I think but I'm not sure how much, if at all, I've ever really posted directly about it. For four years before I left Ireland I saw a psychologist on a regular basis and that therapy changed my life. One of the things I liked about my therapist was that he wasn't one thing or the other and was always able to adapt to suit whatever it was I needed at the time. He was very good at that. Sometimes I didn't want to talk about me so much as try to understand a bit more about some aspect of psychology and he got that that was important to me and would talk to me about what I was interested in, drag down a book if he felt there was something in it that would answer my questions and, on occasion, call me out on asking questions just to avoid talking about what was really bothering me. I always felt very lucky to have found a therapist who seemed to be so much on the same wavelength as I was and so good at being able to read me.

One of the things that I said I wanted help with in my first session was losing weight and how to keep going with it instead of giving up yet again. That came up time and again as a topic, we sometimes spoke of food addiction but it was only really shortly before I left Ireland that I accepted that I actually have an eating disorder. So, for a month or so before leaving Ireland I also started to attend OA meetings. That's where I first heard the expression compulsive overeater and it was such a help to me to hear it. I had always hated the term food addict and (possibly for reasons that might take more years of therapy to get behind and possibly for entirely prosaic reasons) never liked using the term to describe myself. But compulsive overeater describes it exactly. Because sometimes a stressful situation will just make me want to eat and eat and eat. It really is compulsive, a strong force deep inside pushing me to eat (and it goes beyond the normal comfort eating that many peopel indulge in occasionally). And of course it is most often chocolate and crips and so on that will get eaten during that kind of episode because you can eat vast quantities of those empty kinds of calories and with 'real' food, the limit comes much faster, which is no good to you if you want to keep eating. It's not about hunger or being greedy.

After moving here I went to one OA meeting but it was a very small group, just wasn't the same having to do it in German and on at a time when I also had the chance to go to a knitting group so I didn't go back. I think I will go back in the next week or so though, I need...something. I've thought about finding myself a therapist here as well but then it comes down to a question of money, trying to figure out if I'd want to try and find an English-speaking therapist (knowing if I found one it's most likely to be an American so the cultural differences might be just as great as talking to a German), whether to just pay privately or go to the doctor and see if I could get it paid for on my private insurance (which might impact on lots of things as it seems to me that there is quite a lot of stigma in Germany attached to admitting any connection to depression or mental issues). It's hard to know what the right thing to do is.

I think I have mentioned before that I don't want to start taking medication for a number of reasons and I still feel that way. But the last few days it has felt like I may not have any other choice. I am sinking into a hole where it is so difficult to do anything that getting up in the morning and making it to work is like a huge achievement every day. I hadn't hoovered for two weeks and spent at least five days looking at and being disgusted by how filthy the floor was looking (I have long, dark hair so apart from the dust there are always hairs visible somewhere although I do try to always brush my hair in the same place to try and contain the problem somewhat at least). I finally did actually do it yesterday as well as changing the bedclothes and dusting a bit and this morning I did the few bits of washing up that were there. So I feel lots better but the way I felt all last week really quite upset me. And it's very hard to figure out how much of it is currently related to physical issues and money worries and how much is really just depression.

I was at the dentist last Monday for the next stage of the implant, in which he actually put the implant in so it was an operation involving him drilling into my jawbone and screwing the implant in (as far as I understood it anyway, why the hell do dentists insist on explaining stuff just AFTER they've done stuff that is, to be honest, quite distracting!). That was still very swollen and painful the next day but he felt it was healing nicely and on Wednesday it was still swollen. But the pain was coming more from the lovely row of mouth ulcers that were developing all long the jawline on the side he had been working on. They still hurt and mouth ulcers are just plain bloody distracting, aren't they. I have been using quite a lot of Kamistad, a gel that soothes and numbs it all. I get the stitches out tomorrow so we'll see what the dentist has to say about all of that anyway.

I've realised that yet again I don't really have a point and more of these kinds of posts may follow over the next few weeks. I just have to get some of this stuff out of my head for a while. It helps a bit anyway and I'll take what I can get as long as I have the energy for it.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Writing style

I am going through some difficult stuff at the moment.  The man who told me he loved me (and who I believed) fecked off for no reason and then just over three weeks later (last Wednesday) sent me a text asking me how the weather here was.  Huh? I'm confused. Although I have to admit that after a few days of really not knowing what to do, on Friday evening I txted back: sunny with intermittent showers. Haven't a reply yet surprisingly. Someone sent me a link to a song by a German band which I have been listening too and finding quite amusing (literal translation of the title is "men are pigs" - I know that's not true of all men but it's a catchy tune!).

I'm also obviously dealing with my debt.  And for the past week I've had a cold which finally settled on my chest yesterday evening which means that today I've had very little voice.  Just what I needed just before starting a week of intensive rehearsals!

But the final straw may have just come when I saw a link to an analyse your writing style website.  Because apparently 

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Oh dear.  Infinite Jest is one of those books we read for book club but that I just never managed to finish.  I've held on to it intending to go back to it one day but I'm very sorry, no matter how much of a literary genius he's supposed to be, I found Infinite Jest at any rate, well, pretty crap to be honest.  It's a good thing I have always considered this blog to really just be my diary and that I don't have any aspirations to become a writer, that's all I can say!  (Given my predilection for using brackets and exclamation marks I think it was already obvious that I'm not all that interested in 'serious' writing!!!)  No, wait, that calls for a smiley face too :-)

I may need to obsessively start trying out that analysis with all previous blog entries, and not just the last one I had made. Surely one of them must come up with something better than DFW!

Edited to add: I've tried it with the rest of the blog posts which appear on this page at the moment, got two writers I've never heard of (Raymond Chandler and Vladimir Nabokov) followed by James Joyce (another one I've never managed to finish a book from) and then another DFW. Oh well, at least I'm laughing. If I weren't I suspect I'd be crying!

Edited again to add: okay, I've googled and Nabokov wrote Lolita, which I've not only heard of, I've read.