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One of the clear signs for me that my brain has had enough, is the lethargy. While the brain is active, all is well. I stay talkative, quite focused and alert. But as soon as there is nothing to distract me, I immediately become sleepy. I am guessing it is my brain wanting to switch off before it gets overloaded with thoughts and confusion. The situation is similar in the mornings too. Having become a creature of habit and getting up at 6 something every day for months now, suddenly I wake but in a very different state. Deep tiredness, wanting nothing more than to go back to sleep. On a couple of occasions now I have done just that and slept in til around 8am.

Losing focus is very much a big thing for me right now, just writing this is a bit of an effort, with my eyes and mind darting about all over the place, and having to make a conscious effort to stay on track. That said, I am only writing this paragraph as I have completely lost my track.

Today has been on of those days so far for me, and possibly one of the worst in this phase to date. Waking up just before 7am, and doing as I promised myself, getting up and out with the dogs ASAP to try and get back into the stride of things. All went well, good hour walk with the dogs, some fresh air and getting the heart pumping. Got home, fed them, sat down for breakfast, watched a program while I ate.... Then went back to bed. Unable to fight the feeling today, I just had to go with the flow. Yet here I am, after an hours nap, and still yawning like I haven't slept for days. Bags under my eyes, looking like crap, and feeling how I look.

The ever confusing yo-yo feelings of depression strike again. This time yesterday I was full of trepidation and anxiety about meeting a friend for dinner. Nervous about the trip over to West London, lots of people and possible interactions. The train journey over there was spent mainly staring into space when on trains, avoiding looking at people, focusing on the floor most of the time. And the transfers between trains where I had to walk, I mainly stayed close to the wall and walked along looking at it out of the corner of my eye. Sounds weird I know, but I was just along for the ride, my brain did as it pleased.

Turns out though that the evening itself, at two quite relaxed venues, was a good moment of clarity for me, and it felt good to clear my head for a bit, and stay distracted long enough to unwind for a while. A breath of fresh air for sure, and much needed. Proof to myself that I'm still in here somewhere. So thanks to Jason for taking the time out of his day to keep me company, and get my brain working right for a bit. Some interesting conversations for sure, and I even unloaded a few thoughts that I struggle with.

The rest of the time, when I am able to fight the tiredness, I feel like a bit of a zombie right now if I'm honest. As I said before, losing focus on thoughts is an issue. Trying to stay on topic can be a fight. Even watching programs I love can be a chore just trying to concentrate enough to make sense of things.

You know when someone says "clear your mind", something most of us find impossible at the best of times, to think absolutely nothing. But for me, I have moments where it is just that..NOTHING! Like I am rebooting, just staring, with nothing at all going on, until I catch myself, then it is a huge wave of thoughts crashing over me. Much like a real wave, once it passes all that remains is fragments of it. So when my thought wave hits, it is like being bombarded with a whole day of thoughts and emotions at once, and seconds later you are left with tiny pieces which together form nothing. Soaked through with pieces you cannot put together. This if course is followed by deep confusion for an undetermined period of time.

So with all that going on, I am hardly surprised that my brain just wants me to sleep. Lock me and itself away from generating any more thoughts to deal with. Problem there is, no matter how nice sleep is, I don't wake rested, I feel like junk for it, then beat myself up for having wasted time in the day. I have other things I need to get done, but can neither find the motivation nor the concentration to take on some tasks that would otherwise be deemed mundane. So there is a void in the day where there is almost nothing I can do with myself. Walking would be super cool, but I am trying to moderate that as its taking its toll on my feet and achillies, and of course there are a finite number of places I can walk to. Sure I can travel somewhere to walk, but that seems like a chore. Driving or getting public transport is an effort.  All that said, the outdoors is calling me, so I might venture out for a while.

Distraction is what I need right now. Non stressful, relaxing distraction. Conversation over coffee, entertainment to keep my mind occupied, so I shall seek to find myself some of that. But you know, just writing that has caused a wave of tiredness, almost like my brain trying to shy away from the idea. So who knows eh.

The plan for me right now, the hours and days ahead is to fight sleeping and inactivity, to focus on getting up at a reasonable time. Structure my day in a way I can stay busy somehow, without exhausting myself and causing more stress. Easier said than done. I am seeing the doctor again in a weeks time, so hopefully I will have levelled out a bit by then, or at least she will be able to make sense of things, and point me in the right direction.

As a footnote, I have to say that last night was one of the hardest battles I have had to get to sleep for a few days now. Just unable to relax my mind, being bombarded with thoughts with no relevance to the day just gone. Overloaded, and all just flashing through my mind, it was a very unwelcome feeling, and one I was hoping had passed for the time being. Guess it shows you never know what to expect when your mind is misbehaving.

Right, this has been enough of a challenge for my tiny mind just getting this far, and trying to make sure it makes sense, so will leave it there.

Thank you to anyone who has shown genuine concern, less so to those who just want to pry or make stupid comments, both sides have a huge impact on coming to terms with the situation.

Well I don't know if it was the relief of finally getting the meeting with work out of the way, or maybe its the new dose of drugs I'm taking (not sleeping pills). Either way, I had a really good night of sleep last night. Woke a few times to noises I heard, like mum walking around the house, but settled much faster and feel much more willing to get up this morning.

Amazing what a change of state of mind can do, whether it be drug induced or not, it was much needed. So now I can try and get a few more awkward things out of the way today, like those damned council tax benefits people. Although I am still avoiding thinking about it too much mentally.
Not sure what sort of plan they are going to put in place to pay off the arrears, which funnily enough are their fault, but hey ho!

Another positive today too, the carer is running late today, within 3 mins of her expected time here, the phone rang. It was the agency informing us she was running late, which was much appreciated. The lateness is a pain but have nothing urgent planned this morning, so that's ok.

Just managed to book mums appointment for the GP for Monday, took a while to get through on the phone, so I took the first appointment they offered. As I hung up I realised there was something wrong with that, and sure enough I was right. The appointment clashes with my appointment with the family worker at St Christophers.
But with my clearer mind, within seconds we have a solution. Mum can come to St Christophers with me, she can relax in the lounge, and we can leave 10 mins before her appointment. Win-win I believe that is called.

Right I better get on, the 9am regime calls. (More like 9.45 today as the carer is still not here)

Have a great day, its almost the weekend.

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A day I have been dreading, almost over with now. With a weight off my mind for the time being suddenly everything becomes a little clearer.
Today I have had two very important appointments (for me anyway). Firstly there was the GP, who is no easy rider. So speaking to him about how I am feeling is not the easiest of things to do. Trying to explain how down you feel, without sounding like an over dramatic drama queen is quite an ordeal. However as he knows mums medical condition too he was understanding.
In short he has doubled my medication, and signed me off for a further 4 weeks. Which is a relief in itself as it allows me more time to focus on the right things, rather than worrying about smaller insignificant details of life.

The second event of the day was a home visit from work. Standard practice for employees on long term sick, which I more than qualify as now. Now while I have nothing to hide, and am confident that all would be well, I have the cloud of doom and gloom over me recently, so feel that anything I do MUST have a negative side. So for some reason was expecting a rough time of things.

So Dave and Michelle arrived, and immediately I felt I was at ease, some tension was released. The conversation was very much informal, so didn't feel like I was under oath and on the stand. We talked for some time, discussing what's going on with me, how I'm feeling, and how I see things panning out over coming weeks of months. I was quite open and honest about everything, in fact maybe too open as there were times of discomfort clearly visible.

Anyway, the outcome is quite a relief, with a referral to the occupational health worker for Fedex (PHC) some time next week, a review on the situation the week after, and then see if a plan can be put into place to look towards returning to work in some capacity when the sick note runs out. That's an ideal in my mind anyway, as I would love to get back to work and get some structure back in my life.

With appointments all over the place for the next few weeks, I am hoping all the pieces will slowly start to slot together soon, and I can start getting myself back together, and on top of all the little things in life that I have put to one side, council tax for one, but I will come to that. So fingers crossed, positive thinking, PMA!

So yes, I mentioned council tax. A few months ago when we were transferring the tenancy over from mum to me, I wrote to Lewisham asking about how I go about taking over the payments... After 3 months of asking and getting stupid replies back I finally got an answer. I basically said "you owe us £637, pay up"
Right so I have been asking for months, then you just back date it and demand it, just like that.... Well quite frankly... BOLLOX!
After receiving the letter mid December I have stressed about it no end, until today.
As the meeting with work ended, I felt a release of stress and my mind cleared a little. Now looking at the letters I know exactly what I feel about it all, how I'm going to deal with it and where I stand. Rather than in a deep hole sinking fast.

While I have just discovered mum is no longer entitled to benefits towards the council tax, suddenly it all seems a bit more manageable. Just need to speak to someone about paying off the 3 months of arrears caused by their lazy office staff not getting the account sorted, then I'm sailing!

So here's to a more positive outlook on certain aspects of life. Clearer thinking and a smoother ride.

Thanks for reading an epic entry... Can you tell I'm a little happier? Lol

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