Sertraline, Day Three

This is a very familiar post and I’m getting severe deja-vu

Literally almost a year ago I put up this same sort of post but with fluoxetine. Fluoxetine didn’t work out for me, I didn’t really feel a difference and I gave up on it after a few months

I was a bit scared to go back to my doctor because I was convinced he would tell me off for just stopping my medication. But it got to a point recently where I knew I just had to bite the bullet

I had my appointment on Friday morning and I’ve been put on sertraline. It seems as though fluoxetine and sertraline are pretty similar in regards to what they treat, but the success rate seems to be higher with sertraline so I’m hoping they take effect. Although, the doctor did say finding the right anti-depressant is very much a case of trial and error

I’ve also been urged to contact Let’s Talk Well-being. I was told to before but I just didn’t find the time, and if I’m honest I haven’t heard anything greatest things about it. Regardless, it’s worth a shot this time and I think I probably should try it out. I’m not sure if it will help me personally, but there’s no harm in trying

I’ve been on sertraline for three days now, and am taking it at about midday along with my contraceptive pill. I don’t feel as if I’m experiencing any overwhelming side effects really. I feel a bit tired but I always feel some level of tiredness. I may try switching my time to just before bed and see if it helps me sleep better. The only noticeable change is that everything feels a bit faster, my movements, my speaking voice and my thoughts all feel a bit rapid

But it’s manageable and hopefully it will calm down. For now though it seems to be agreeing with me but perhaps it’s too early to tell yet

Thanks for reading, Hils


Saying No and Self-care


I’ve been thinking a lot about the person I used to be, going through photos of myself between the ages of 18-23. I used to go out every weekend and I didn’t even enjoy it most of the time, I just didn’t want to miss out on the things my friends were doing

I used to drink lots of cheap, fruity drinks and stay out until 3am. There was always a standard routine, I remember it so well. Get a taxi to a friends house, get ready listening to Smash Hits and slamming shots of apple Sourz, get another taxi into town, hit the Spoons for pitchers of Purple Rain and to ascertain who was out, have a dance in Kings which smelt like cat pee. The night always ended up in the big E, the town’s it-place (by which I mean the town’s only nightclub)

I didn’t hate going out or anything, I sort of liked being in the thick of it. There was always drama, and I’m a night-bird anyway. Plus I like a dance. But I got tired of the monotony so easily. I always felt like the weird friend. If there was a group of guys, I would get palmed off with the last man standing. If I got attention, I was ever-so grateful which isn’t how it should be but I always just accepted it because I thought so little of myself and I just wanted to fit in

There was absolutely no self-care where I was concerned. I couldn’t say no because I was worried about hurting people’s feelings, regardless of my own. And anytime I tried to care for myself, I knocked myself down and didn’t think myself to be worth it. Even the smallest things. I tried to stick to a skin-care routine but eventually I packed it in because I thought “well, who’s even looking at me anyway?”

It’s something that I’ve dealt with for such a long time that I’m finding it hard to break out of. I’ve always kind of gone through sporadic personality changes. Maybe once or twice a year it’s like I get an abrupt personality overhaul. It’s really strange. I’ll just wake up one day and suddenly I don’t like certain things anymore and everything just seems different. I’m going through that right now. I’m stressed, I can’t stop crying, but I’m starting to get angry too. I never get angry, I didn’t think I knew how to really. But I’m finally starting to retaliate when people do me wrong

I worry a little bit about that because I’ve always been the one who just sits and listens, or rather just sits and takes it. I am still, but I’m beginning to develop a back-bone. I think that’s an example of self-care. The word “no” is becoming less scary to me

If I was in the big E right now and I was being palmed off on someone, I wouldn’t stand for it. Though I still don’t think particularly highly of myself, I think enough of myself to stop playing the doormat and to say no. I might not be there fully yet, but baby steps. I’m doing a face mask at the moment. I’m going to stick to my skin-care routine this time

Thanks for reading, Hils

February Rambles

1/2 Off to Stratford-upon-Avon for a couple of days. I’m super excited to leave Leicestershire if only to go a few miles down the road. I need a change of scenery, and I love staying in hotels, no matter how basic. I’m going to use the hell out of the bath tub. I can’t wait to sleep in a super comfy bed either

3/2 Had such a wonderful time. The weather was bright and breezy, and my chest feels much less heavy. We went to a couple of nice restaurants, and a very swanky cinema where there were sofas in place of chairs. We had milkshakes in mason jars. The film we saw was Journey’s End and it’s definitely up in my top three war films

7/2 I’ve decided that after the move in April, I’m going to be the sort of person who buys myself flowers. When I have a spare morning or afternoon, I’m going to go to the market and buy strawberries. I’m going to read more books and light more candles

14/2 This hasn’t been a particularly good Valentine’s day. I’ve spent more time crying than not, and I feel silly about it. It’s just another day and it shouldn’t mean anything, it hasn’t before. It’s just it’s my first Valentine’s with someone since I was ten years old and I’m not sure that even counts. I remember it though. It was a school day. His name was Tom and he got me a cringey card and a Me to You bear. It makes me laugh to think about a tiny ten year old boy going into the local card shop for a Valentine’s card

15/2 Still feel a little down in the dumps but less so. I’m going to have to stop over-thinking. If I dwell, it’ll consume me. I’m a resilient egg and I can soldier on

19/2 I saw an elderly couple today. They were both wearing mustard-coloured coats. They were holding hands and someone walked in between them and the panicked look on both of their faces made me smile. They’d only been separated for a second but they scrambled to hold hands again. It made me feel all warm and glowy

23/2 I wish I had been raised somewhere mountainous, and had extensive knowledge of mountain living. If I did, I’d move to the Alps in a heartbeat. I’d set up home in a cabin with my lover and a cat or two

28/2 I had a job interview this morning. To say it was nerve-wracking is an understatement. I think it went okay but I’m unsure. If I do get it, things are going to be so different. I strolled home and bought myself some daffodils. My head feels pretty over-burdened at the moment, I feel like I have so much to sort out but not the will to do it

Thanks for reading, Hils


Spare Time

This is sort of a follow-on from my previous post where I mentioned how rubbish I was at occupying my spare time. It kind of occurred to me that one of the reasons for that is that I’m uncomfortable in my surroundings when I’m alone. My current flat doesn’t make me feel particularly warm and safe, and as such it’s hard to relax and unwind. But come April, I’ll be in the new place and I’m determined to make it as clean, cosy and homely as possible

I’ll be living with my boyfriend anyway so that’s going to be a major plus and it’ll definitley help me to feel safer. The aim of this post is to detail the sorts of things I want to do to occupy my time. I want to learn new skills and become interested in more things

One thing I want to get into is cooking, but proper cooking. I want to be the sort of person who chops vegetables. I want my chap to come home from work and be like “mate, that smells banging!” I want to bake little picnic goodies and spend a summer afternoon in the countryside with my friends. The main reason I want to learn cooking is because I want to get my eating habits in check. I go days without eating, and when I do eat it’s not particularly nutritious stuff so I need to sort myself out. Perhaps learning to cook might help me a little bit there

I also want to develop my genealogy skills. I’m a bit of a dab hand at family trees now, and have cracked on with a good number of them for family and friends. But I want to perfect it, and maybe when I’m a bit older and more advanced I could start a little side-business. I really enjoy delving into people’s histories, especially when I find out super cool stories

The third thing I’d like to give a go is some type of quiet hobby. I like peace and serenity but I scarcely have the time to enjoy it, and as such it’d be nice to try and incorporate it into my daily life and see whether it makes a difference to my mental wellbeing. I don’t know whether I’d like to try meditation or just a simple quiet activity like painting or daily walks, but I want to figure something out and attempt to set aside a couple of hours each week to spend some time partaking

Thanks for reading, Hils

Dealing With Anxiety in Relationships

A year later, and I’m in a pretty similar position as I was this time in 2017. I get upset a lot over nothing in particular, I over-think virtually everything, and I feel very low very often. It’s frustrating because I tried so hard to turn things around, and I attempted to stick to fluoxetine but, like the wally I am, I stopped taking them. 12 months on and not a lot has changed in the mental health department

It’s a shame because so much has changed otherwise. I’m all adult-y and independent now. But it’s just a bit overwhelming at the moment. I’ve got a doctors appointment booked for next month so we’ll see what happens this time around

I would say that one of my biggest obstacles at the moment, and one of the biggest changes in my life, is the relationship situation. I’m in a super happy relationship and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better chap, but I swear my brain likes to work against me. When we’re together, it’s fine and my anxiety tends to keep relatively low. When we’re not together, it goes haywire

I end up over-thinking absolutely anything, and reading into things that really don’t need to be read into. I know things like that are pretty common in relationships and even people without anxiety can get a little paranoid sometimes. But it just feels silly because I know he’s with me, and I know things are okay. It’s just in my head I don’t deserve to be loved in that way. I don’t feel good enough at all

I get anxious when I’m at work or when I’m with friends etcetera, but I’m at my most anxious when I’m on my own, because it’s as if I’ve forgotten how to entertain myself. I don’t want to be one of those individuals that can’t be alone for two minutes, not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that but I’ve always valued time on my own and doing my own thing. It’s so nice that I’ve got someone to share my time with, and I definitely prefer spending the bulk of my time with him, but at the same time we’re both people who appreciate a bit of space. And I don’t want to spend my me-time feeling anxious

Regardless of how many times I tell myself that it’s just the anxiety playing up, it doesn’t really make a difference. God, anxiety is an absolute ball-ache

Having said that though, I’m determined not to let it intervene. I’ve just got to try and ignore the negative voices in my head. It’s just hard to do that, and I need to figure out some coping mechanisms. If anyone has any advice on that or any handy tips, I’d be very appreciative

Thanks for reading, Hils


January Rambles

This is a new set of blog posts I’m going to entitle Monthly Rambles, basically just a series of short little diary-esque entries that I pop into a memo note on my mobile phone and then compile at the end of the month. It was actually one of my work colleagues ideas so credit goes to him. Some of them are deeper than others, some of them are just total brain farts, hence rambles

5/1   It’s really windy out. It’s 3.00am and I’m still laying in bed wide awake. My boyfriend’s fast asleep, but I’m a bit restless tonight and I’m quite enjoying listening to the wind. It keeps making whistling sounds like a kettle brewing. He’s making little whistling sounds too, so I’m playing a game of Boyfriend or Wind?

9/1   I didn’t see any robins this winter. I normally see at least one or two, but I’ve not seen any at all. I’m a little disappointed about that. There’s still time I suppose but something tells me I’m going to have to wait until next year. Robins are my favourite birds, just like snowdrops are my favourite flower. I definitely should’ve been a winter baby

12/1   This month has been the month of croissants. They remind me of European hotel breakfasts and I’m trying everything in my power to dampen my immense wanderlust by incorporating things that remind me of travelling. There’s a mountain-shaped hole in my heart at the moment. The breakfast we had when we stayed in a ski lodge at the base of the Uri Alps was sublime. We had these tiny heart-shaped biscuits. The breakfast in Venice was not sublime however. There was mould in the bread and someone got their suitcase nicked from the lobby

16/1   Sometimes I feel like my boyfriend’s going to turn around and say “I don’t actually exist, you were so nervous about being alone that you dreamt me up,” and then he’s going to evaporate like a ghost, and that frightens me. I’m pretty sure he’s real because I have an annoying habit of squishing his face all the time, and it feels real enough. But then again, minds play tricks. I didn’t want a boyfriend really. I’m a bit of a lone wolf and I did like it that way, still do sometimes. But I’m falling more and more, and I’m finding it harder to spend time on my own because I want to be with him all the time. Past me would probably drop-kick present me, but present me tells past me to go swivel

18/1   I’ve listened to Computer Love by Kraftwerk a lot over the past couple of days. Coldplay sampled it for their song Talk and it bugs me that people don’t know that. Still a banging tune though

20/1   My nails are quite brittle at the moment. I’m a bit under the weather anyway so my lips are sort of chapped too. My skin looks dewy though which I’m fine with. I had my hair and skin attended to a few days ago and I felt much more human afterwards

22/1   I had one of my back teeth taken out on Friday. I was quite petrified beforehand, more about the anaesthetic injection, and the aftermath post-removal than the actual removal itself. I needn’t have worried so much. The injection was a bit painful, and the extraction was odd but didn’t hurt whatsoever. The aftermath wasn’t the most pleasant and I was in pain for a few days, but with salt washes, paracetamol and a bit of petting, I managed

24/1   Having a rough ride at the moment. I keep crying a lot. I feel like people don’t care about me, that I’m very expendable. I just want want to vanish into thin air

27/1   I feel better. Not on top of the world or anything, but like things are going to be okay. Things just need to get sorted out, and come springtime, things will be alright. Mum sent me a message out of the blue. It said “just to let you know, we love you so much. I’m proud of what you’ve achieved and I know you will get to where you want to be in life”

Thanks for reading, Hils

Midnight Musings


It’s a bit hard to explain how I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks but spaced out is as close as I’m probably going to get. Kind of like I’ve been functioning on autopilot, just floating by

I feel like I should be enjoying things more. Not that I don’t when I’m in the moment, but I just feel like everything’s slightly overshadowed, primarily by sad thoughts. I thought I was mostly past all of that but evidently not. I had my graduation two months ago and I was terrified beforehand, but the day was lovely. My mum was there, my boyfriend, my friends too. I didn’t trip up on stage, and the majority of the photos weren’t too bad. We had a nice dinner after the ceremony. It couldn’t really have gone any better. And yet the whole day was jarred by anxiety

Since then I’ve been had days out, day trips, nights out, nights in. Lots of memories have been made. It’s nearly Christmas, and I want to enjoy it properly, and make more memories. I want to enjoy my first Christmas in my first flat

Talking of Christmas, how can it already be three days away? That’s just nuts! Don’t get me wrong, December’s probably my favourite month of the year, but this year it seems to have come around abnormally quickly. Normally by this point I’ve finished all my Christmas shopping, done most of my wrapping, have been to one or two festive fayres and so on. This time last year I went to Winter Wonderland, consumed my body weight in churros, and nearly threw up on a rollercoaster

But this year it’s totally crept up on me. This is the first year I’ve been paying rent and bills so Christmas shopping hasn’t been as easy breezy as previous years, but I’ve still managed, I’ve just had to be a little bit more savvy with my spending. I’ve got some sweet presents for people though

We’re a week or so shy of a brand new year and that’s pretty scary. I always find December is kind of split into two. You’ve got pre-Christmas where everything’s a total glitzy whirlwind of parties, shopping and trying to balance time between work, family, friends and all that jazz. Then you’ve got post-Christmas which is mostly super calm and quiet. I tend to get a bit reflective during this time, thinking about the year I’ve had and start thinking about the year ahead. It can feel a bit daunting

This year has been a total overhaul. Although there have been some bleak moments, for the most part it’s been a good year. I feel like I’ve had to grow up a lot, even though I’m still a bit immature from time to time, I’ve sort of got my shit together. I have a job, I have a flat, I make time for the people in my life. Come next year, I want to focus on myself a bit more. I want to spend more time on the things that interest me, and then hopefully I’ll be able to get on some sort of career ladder rather than just hopping from dead-end job to dead-end job

I don’t want to be naive and say “all I want is to be happy,” but I do aspire to be happier. I feel like I’m coasting sometimes, just kind of doing things because they need to be done. I want to be more awake, get out a bit more. In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten to explore my surroundings and I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s made me realise that I want to do more of that

I won’t lie, it’s midnight right now. I’m feeling pretty down. There are some dark thoughts whirling around in my brain space and I feel a bit like I’m on the edge of a cliff. I have a heavy heart as though I need to have a gut-wrenching cry. But I know it’s fleeting, and generally that’s what gets me by

I’m listening to Japan, Joy Division, and OMD. This time tomorrow night, I’ll be wrapped in the arms of the man I love. This time Saturday night, I’ll have set up the flat with my flatmate ready for Christmas day. This time Sunday night, I’ll be popping milk and biccies out for father Christmas with my sister. That’s as far ahead as I need to picture for now

Thanks for reading, Hils