Emergency treatment

…She called the NHS crisis team for advice, got me to sleep, and in the morning she got me to the Accident & Emergency department of a nearby hospital…

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Happy New Year everyone… hope that you all enjoyed the new year festivities.

I wish I could say I did, but the anxiety just took over me. The trigger was the relationship issue – waiting for a new years’ message from the girl I like back in Brazil, which only came 2pm on New Year’s Day. The anxiety grew from the thought of “it would be nice if she showed she was thinking about me”… though there are plenty of other reasons for it, this is what I focused on. And it got worse; I just couldn’t stop thinking about it; checking my phone; sobbing; just wanting to disappear. I tried to distract myself; went for a walk… but then as I was walking I looked at those busses passing by and wondered what it would be like to just go in front of them… Life is short anyway.

My sister was great. She called the NHS crisis team for advice, got me to sleep, and in the morning she got me to the Accident & Emergency department of a nearby hospital. She came with me and did a lot of the talking which was great–when I tried to give my mobile number, even here I just started crying again. Fortunately I was seen by somebody reasonably quickly, and I told everything; between sobs. They gave me three days of diazepam, which is definitely helping: The circular thoughts; the physical feeling of just being completely empty; the loss of appetite; the mind going into that vicious circle of over-thinking, over-analyzing and self-loathing… all of that has calmed down and kind of paused for the moment, and am even able to relax a little now, which is a first for a while.

Diazepam is a short-term solution though and while good for anxiety, is apparently not great for depression. Also it’s apparently addictive, which is why they did not give me many, so I need to see my psychiatrist in Brazil to discuss the next steps. We shall see.

Interested in hearing your experiences with anxiety attacks and these medications.

Great expectations

…Later in the evening I receive a couple of text messages from her…

First of all, Merry Christmas! Hope everyone out there are able to enjoy themselves, your friends, family, and this time of year, and are able to put any depressive or anxious thoughts behind them; I know it can be difficult. Am staying with family in the UK – the first time in years because of my life in Brazil. It is nice to be with them, though it is hard to stop thinking about the girl I have been seeing back home.

In Brazil they celebrate Christmas more on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day itself. I sent over a WhatsApp voice message just to wish her all the best for the day, specifically within the context of our relationship and things personal to us. Later in the evening I receive a couple of text messages from her which look almost standard copy and paste; what you would send to somebody you might like but with hardly any real intimacy—in spite of us being pretty intimate when we’re together and having been seeing each other for a good three-four months.

Again, it’s that same old story of me reading them and then starting to over-think everything. Maybe my expectations for a reply were too high. Maybe it is just a case of me liking her more than she likes me; which is what my mind is convinced about at the moment, and that really cuts me. Though of course there could be plenty of other reasons – she said the other day that she is travelling to be with family at a place in the country, and she is very family-orientated. Maybe she’s just been really busy with all the family parties and didn’t have time to write/say much. So many possibilities and no way of knowing what’s right or not.

Maybe I just shouldn’t be in a relationship. When we are together, it is great, but away from each other like this has such a negative effect on me. The time over here means that we will not have seen each other for at least three weeks, maybe four, by the time we meet again. One and a half weeks have gone by since we were last together, and the days have gone by very slowly. And it’s hard. Especially this time of year.

Christmas and escape

…London, at night, and at Christmas…. is just a great city to wonder through and can distract even the most focused mind…

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Christmas shopping in London – to distract any mind

Been able to control thoughts a little better today. Going to watch the new Star Wars film in the cinema helped, as did Christmas shopping (though I didn’t really get or do much, aside from stare wistfully the latest gadgets that I would like to have for myself rather than give to anyone!) and also helping my sister who has been incapacitated (temporarily at least, so I hope) by back problems. So I didn’t really have much time to dwell on any anxious thoughts.

I also chatted with my sister about everything that am feeling, which was nice and helped. I alluded to it yesterday, though it’s like having two sides that are in conflict with each other: the rational side that knows there’s always good reasons, then the anxious side that is so scared about losing something that I really don’t want to lose, and is always looking to the negative side of anything that happens. It’s always just a battle trying to control and ignore that side, and not let it reduce me to tears again.

In that regard the Christmas “shopping” probably helped the most – London, at night, and at Christmas…. is just a great city to wonder through and can allow even the most focused mind to escape from that vicious circle. Oxford Street, Covent Garden… Piccadilly Circus and the walk over the river to the London Eye and the South Bank… to name but a few of the standard tourist places… just humming with life and distraction. It all meant that while I did occasionally think of her, I was soon able to switch my mind onto something else. Just have to be able to keep this up on a daily basis when I don’t have the luck of being here and where things are more mundane.

Controlling anxiety

I have found these last couple of days that switching my mobile phone in flight mode and forcing myself not to look at it helps me stop thinking about things, and stop my mind going round in circles. It has helped that I have had things to do on my vacation, like going out for a day trip with family and going for long walks. Occasionally when not on vacation, I leave my phone at the office when I go for lunch, or something else, so I am simply unable to look at it and so am forced to think more about other things.

…Sent a message to her last night before went to bed; she saw, but no reply either last night or this morning… I know… I KNOW…there are plenty of good reasons for this… but my head being my head starts to think negatively and irrationally, thinking the worst… what if she just doesn’t want to be with me?

Miserable day here today so not too much to do, and while I have just put the phone in flight mode again, it is difficult not to pick it up to check. Curious to know what other people do to help relax a little…??

Relaxing a little

…And it worked. It was good being able to breathe, relax, and not get short of breath or feel my mind starting to go round in circles again…

It was a nice day today. I was able to completely distract my mind from the anxieties of the past few weeks and just enjoy being back in London. It took my mobile phone having no signal, and me deciding to just switch it to flight mode anyway, to help set me on my way with this. Plus also an exhibition at a museum that I hadn’t been to in years meant that my mind was occupied with other things…

While the thoughts of the preceding days did occasionally come into my mind, I found myself able to knock them aside and stop them from spiralling. Just concentrate on the exhibition and tell myself that there was nothing I could do, so no need to think about things. And it worked. It was good being able to breathe, relax, and not get short of breath or feel my mind starting to go round in circles again.

When I left the museum and switched my phone back into normal mode at around 2pm, the girl I’ve been seeing had indeed left a couple of WhatsApp messages. It was nice to hear her voice again and it certainly helped as the day progressed. Otherwise I could(/would) have just kept thinking about her and why she might not have replied to me the entire time; always wanting to look at the phone in case she sent a message. (Like I am starting to do as I type as I just sent a message that hasn’t been received yet… of course, plenty of rational and good reasons that could explain it, but so difficult to keep my head rational and not thinking negatively.) Thankfully this wasn’t the case during the day and I was actually able to enjoy myself for once.

With that, I was able to just walk along the River Thames, from Greenwich to London Bridge; one of my favourite walks in any city. Just enjoying a cool, fresh and calm winter’s afternoon and the sights of the riverside walkway. It was nice as well–none of those thoughts of disappearing came into my head as I looked into the water.

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Anxious days…

That night though as we were in bed together, I asked her about how serious we are… such a stupid question. The girlfriend question….

It has been a tough couple of weeks. Am travelling now and will be away from Brazil for three weeks over Christmas. I wish I could say that it is letting me relax a little, but my head doesn’t let me do that too much.

I started seeing a girl about three months or so ago. We hit it off straight away, and I have to say that I am crazy about her. First girl since my ex-wife that I have actually really liked. So much so, I stopped sleeping around with others–not because we’re “girlfriend and boyfriend”, whatever that means anyway–far from it. Rather because I just don’t want to sleep with others. I would much rather just be with her.

At the same time it’s strange. She’s very busy at work, and doesn’t reply to my messages so frequently; maybe once or twice a day. Sent her a message last night (Sunday) which she heard last night but didn’t reply to, and it’s morning now. I don’t bombard her with messages, and certainly don’t ask why she hasn’t replied–there could be any number of reasons. But my head often starts wondering down that track of asking itself why isn’t she replying? Did I say something? Does she like me as much as I like her? Wouldn’t it be nice if she actually replied a little sooner?

A week and a half ago, she had an event outside of the city for the weekend and went a good couple of days with no messages… I got myself pretty worked up, with my head going round in circles, imagining the worst about what might be happening at that event. It was difficult to stop myself crying sometimes as dark thoughts of general hopelessness entered into my head.

But when she got back, we saw each other again at the office’s party, the night before I travelled. Which was great…

That night though as we were in bed together, I asked her about how serious we are… such a stupid question. The girlfriend question. She got upset, thinking that I wanted every moment with her (she got out of a very long term relationship a bit ago)… which is again, far from the case. She said that she didn’t think she was good for me. Which hurt as I love every minute with her. For me, I want her as my “girlfriend”, but want her to have her space, and me to have my own; for her to go out with her friends and vice-versa; see each other on weekends if possible. For me it just means neither of us cheating on the other, and a bit of commitment. When I said that, she seemed to be better, which was nice, though it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth as the last thing I wanted on our last night before I travelled was for her to get upset.

So now I am here; away from her; wishing I could be with her. Waiting for a reply and trying not to keep looking at my phone to see if that reply is there.

Wake up…

Went to an Arcade Fire show last night – I am a very big fan and was more than happy when I found out that they were coming to Sao Paulo; got my ticket on the first day they opened up to buy a couple of months or so ago. I find myself welling up at some of their songs, particularly Wake Up, one of my favorite songs by them…

It’s just the first few lyrics that really does it with me…

Somethin’ filled up

My heart with nothin’,

Someone told me not to cry.

Now that I’m older,

My heart’s colder,

And I can see that it’s a lie.

Children wake up,

Hold your mistake up,

Before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,

Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.

We’re just a million little god’s causin’ rain storms turnin’ every good thing to rust.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust….

I just remember the days of school, crying all the time, being made fun of for this… closing myself off from people and becoming more and more depressed. Seeing what am like now where am torn between liking people and wanting relationships, or just sex:

Feeling my insecurities when I do actually really like someone; trying to hide my fears and pretend that everything is okay; where I fear that I like them more than they like me, but I don’t want to feel or perceive this… but at the same time with that fear of commitment, and a cold outlook on life that so often resorts to sex with strangers with no emotion, and me ending up hurting others, including my ex-wife, in the process. Hating myself, yet finding it hard to change.