It’s Overdue

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Hello there. First of all I’d like to apologise for being absent for so long, I’ve been a Bad Blogger. Around the time we last left off I was going through another period of bad depression and finding myself snowed under with work and feeling rather hopeless and suicidal again. A visit to the psychiatrist convinced me to try a different antidepressant to try and get things under control as I was really struggling. This time it was sertraline (also known as Zoloft) and things have picked up since then, at least I’m no longer plagued by constant thoughts and the need to plan suicide, even if it is still on my mind a lot. If I’m perfectly honest, I’m pretty sure that’s the way I’ll die but it doesn’t feel immediately inevitable like it did before. I was sceptical about SSRIs after my previous experiences but it seems like I might have found the one that at least takes the edge off.

Not a lot has happened in the last year to be honest. It’s been the same old thing over and over. Some plus points are that I managed to get through the group project and presentation that I had worried so much about. It was nerve wracking but I lucked out and only had to present to one lecturer, the other scary one who was meant to be there was ill. I passed the second year of my degree with a 2:2 which is considerably lower than the first year, but considering all the problems I was having it’s decent enough. Over the summer I worked at the place I was at last year and got on OK there, was quite sad to leave really. I get pretty much free reign to get on with things and it’s some experience to go on my C.V. so it’s all good.

Going into my final year, I decided to move out of the house I’d been sharing with two of my first year flatmates. It’s not that I didn’t get along with them, they are very nice, but I just felt kind of trapped in my room because some of their friends and one of their boyfriend made me feel really nervous. I didn’t like sharing a bathroom either, or sleeping in the downstairs room. This year I’m renting a flat in a block of student apartments off campus and sharing a kitchen with 4 others. I don’t really see much of them, we mostly keep to ourselves and I’ve only really had one proper conversation with one of them the whole time. The others I’ve barely spoken to at all.

Bad habits have crept back though. I have been buying takeaway food and going without meals rather than cooking because I have this fear of people thinking bad things about what I eat and I don’t like to be in the kitchen for too long. It sounds so stupid to write down but I just can’t help it.

The main problems I’ve been having lately is that I have missed so many lectures and workshops. The third year is really the most important one and I should be attending everything ideally, but anxiety has conspired to make me miss out on a lot. I had to ask for an extension on the first assignment and jump through hoops to get doctors letters and proof that it was a valid reason but I managed it. Thankfully I passed that one (although with a poor grade) but I’m afraid of what will happen with the next ones. Part of the reason I have missed so much is my utterly ridiculous sleeping pattern over the last few months of the semester. I was literally unable to sleep all night and would fall asleep mid morning or afternoon completely exhausted then wake up at night time. On one occasion I woke up at 10.30pm. I spoke my to my doctor about it but they don’t want to give me sleeping pills (for obvious reasons I suppose). Over the Christmas break I’ve managed to get back into some semblence of a routine at least. It is nice to actually see daylight for a change.

I never used to think the weather had any affect on my mood, but the last few times when my depression has been worse has been in winter. I’m not sure if the decreased amount of sun makes me feel worse but it seems possible. The point where I felt so bad that I finally managed to speak to someone about it, back in 2007, was in the winter too.

My main worries at the moment are that I am so far behind on uni work. I don’t know if I will fail some modules, it’s possible I might have to resit them in the summer in order to graduate which wouldn’t be the end of the world but I can’t repeat the year because this is the last one that the student loans company will fund for me and I don’t another ยฃ3600 I could pay out of my own pocket. I’ve been so stupid, letting my fears get the best of me and avoiding lectures because of stupid anxiety. My avoidant tendancies have stopped me from even looking at the other assignment deadlines coming up because I know I have so much to catch up on.

I’m going to try and talk to my old tutor who helped me out last time and is somewhat aware of my situation but I don’t want to seem like I’m making excuses for being lazy or something. I know they can’t make special circumstances just for me but I don’t really know what else to do.

I think I’ve probably written enough for one update but I’ll include this quiz about the last year since I wasn’t around to blog about it much. Thanks to everyone who has messaged me and wished me well. Sorry I kept to have kept you waiting, those of you who asked me to write an update.

1. Was 2010 a good year for you?

No not really.

2. What were your New Year’s Resolutions and did you keep them?

No.

3. Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions for 2010?

No.

4. Where will you be when 2010 ends?

I was in London watching Sonic Youth.

5. Who will you be with when 2010 ends?

My friend Vicky and some of her friends who I don’t know.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

To feel like there are things to look forward to, not to be overwhelmed by work.

7. Where did most of your money go?

Mostly on rent. My biggest personal purchase was a new guitar.

8. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I don’t really get excited about anything, though I was looking forward to New Year even though it was tempered by anxiety and depression once it was over.

9. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? about the same.

ii. thinner or fatter? My doctor said she thought I’d lost weight but I feel fatter.

iii. richer or poorer? Still poor.

10. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Uni work, going to lectures, staying in touch with people, getting up earlier.

11. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Procrastination, succumbing to anxiety, avoiding things.

12. How will you be spending Christmas?

I went home to be with my mum and occasionally dad and sister when they weren’t working. It was fairly pleasant.

13. How many one-night stands?

None.

14. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No I don’t think so.

15. What was the best book you read?

Nineteen Eighty Four

16. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I usually listen to older music that I missed out on, so some Pavement albums I guess.

17. What did you want and get?

To not be constantly suicidal. A nice guitar. To see one of my favourite people.

18. What did you want and not get?

The ability to be excited about things and not see only disappointment in the future. Happiness, hah.

19. Favourite film of this year?

I don’t think it was a fantastic year for films. Shutter Island was good I guess.

20. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I can’t even remember, I think I might have gone out for lunch with my sister. I was 25

21. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Can’t think of one thing in particular.

22. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

“Inoffensive”.

23. What kept you sane?

Sertraline.

24. Who do you miss?

Vicky. My old flatmates, even though I could see them I don’t really have an excuse to be around any more. I think they didn’t mind me being there when I lived with them but can’t see why they’d want me around now.

25. Did you make any new friends?

No.

26. Quote a song that sums up your year:

“I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.”

27. Where were you when 2010 began?

At home.

28. Who were you with?

My mum and her boyfriend,

29. Did you fall in love in 2010?

No.

.

30. If yes, with who?

n/a

31. Are you still in love with them?

n/a

32. Did you break up with anyone in 2010?

No.

33. What was your favourite month of 2010?

August.

34. What was your favourite record from 2010?

Interpol’s self titled album.

35. How many concerts did you see in 2010?

Two.

36. Did you have a favourite concert in 2010?

Sonic Youth.

37. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2010?

No, I hardly ever drink. I have enough vices as it is.

40. What was your most embarrassing moment of 2010?

Can’t pick a single moment.

41. If you could go back in time to any moment of 2010 and change something, what would it be?

Work harder and attend more at uni.

42. What are your plans for 2011?

Try to get back on track and pass my degree. Keep practicing playing the guitar. Hopefully travel somewhere interesting.

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15 thoughts on “It’s Overdue

  1. I just found your blog and I do relate. I’m also getting behind with my degree and it’s all starting to pile up. I think you should definitely speak to your tutor, and maybe get her to help you break down your work into more manageable chunks? it’s easier said than done, I know. Poppy x

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  2. You sound like you got a lot of issues, don’t worry I’m not here to judge, I have too. My old nurse-cum-keyworker at my methadone clinic (thanks to my self-medication I turned into a heroin addict, lovely, innit!)… she thought I might be “avoidant” but that is not my personality. Turns out it’s my illness which is now called schizoaffective disorder and I do believe people with schizophrenia tend to be inclined to keep themselves to themselves so it ain’t “avoidant” it’s the schizo in schizoaffective. Doncha find shrinks can be annoying! I do. I hope all goes well you have a shedload of issues not too dissimilar to mine so you have my symptahy and I wish you all the very best

    Regards from London Town ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Gilda

    OMG.
    You have a keen eye.
    Just do one thing: Don’t say you’re sorry.
    Not for yourself, to yourself, or to anyone else.
    Just live.
    Breathe deeply.
    You’ll be amazed.

    G ( California – east of Reactor 4’s excretions)

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  4. wow, I could literally have written this post. I too am in my final year of uni and looking at getting a third because of my avoidance of workshops/lectures. In first year I was on a high 2:2 and my marks have gradually gotten lower and lower :S

    i’m glad I found your blog – I’m going to link to it on mine ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Hi Melanie, sorry to hear you’re in a similar situation. I was the same, in year 1 I got a first overall and a 2:2 last year but unfortunately things have got on top of me so much this year that I have to repeat it next year (more about that in my upcoming post). I hope you can stick it out, not long to go now and remember it’s big achievement to make it through university, especially if you have social anxiety. I’m adding you to my blogroll too ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Hey it’s getting warm outside and the winter is over. We get much more sunlight now which is great. You said that you need it to feel better so I hope you’re getting your “dose” of sunlight every day. Well, you haven’t posted in a while so I’m wondering how you’re doing. How is school?

    Wish you all the best,

    Andrej Sosic

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    • Thank you Andrej, I hope you are doing well.

      I’m not too bad thanks. My life seems to be in chaos as usual, uni especially. I’m going to write an update tomorrow but I have a lot to say so it may be a long one. I do feel better when it’s sunny out ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Hi Nick,
    How did your spring semester go? Were you able to get to class more? You know as I was reading your post I noticed that you are plagued with negative thinking about yourself- secondary to the anxiety.

    Quote:
    Quote a song that sums up your year:

    โ€œIโ€™m a creep, Iโ€™m a weirdo.โ€

    Nick you are not weird or mentally ill. You are sensitive and probably shy and get bursts of adrenaline (panic attacks). I suffered thru college very similar to what you describe. I had panic attacks every day in every lecture. The only way I could survive at the time was to drink and take heavy tranquilizers. It sucked.

    To get better I had to learn to stop the self sabotage with negative thinking – no easy feat as I hated myself. As I learned to be kinder to myself I also learned I could expose myself gradually to situations I feared and live thru them. I could face having a panic attack and the wave would wash over me and eventually it goes away. Was it scary? Yes, but living a life ruled by fear was worse. Eventually you have to get to that point, in my opinion.

    The kicker for me was I didn’t learn any of this till 20 years after college, and by then, I’d lived a pretty crappy adulthood ruled by fear, anxiety and self loathing.

    I urge you to do whatever it takes to learn to face your social anxiety and fears head on. Get back into the game of life- little by little if necessary- but do it. You are young and you have your whole wonderful life ahead of you.

    You mentioned CBT- did you do it? Why or why not?

    I wish when I was younger, someone would have told me I could heal- that life was more than just wishing days away and popping pills to be able to deal.

    Take care.

    Like

  7. Aquarius

    Hi!

    I am from India & I have personally suffered from social phobia for the first 26 years of my life (I am 27.5 years old now). Its worst kind of suffering. Its worst that cancer & aids patients coz atleast they feel love for themselves.

    Dont ever think that your case is impossible. As every social phobia or depression patient will say. that my case is different…. my problems are real ones… blah blah

    I will tell you how i came to overcome this problem. One day deeply embarrased in office cafeteria. When the girls were looking at me I become deeply conscious of myself & while walking towards the table My arms become numb & refused to move & girls commented on it. I was deeply embarrased by that (One specaility of social phobia is that u always feel that everybody is looking at you & commenting bad about you) I was depresedly surfing the internet I came through this very good book ” Feeling Good” by David D. Burns. Its based on Coginitive Behaviour Therapy.

    I orderd this book & started reading & applying very simple principles in the Book. & I will tell u its very effective techniques. The book was rated No. 1 in US out of 1000 self help books by the americal pshologists.

    Just try it u will say it wont help me. but atleast give that a try. After that I am not saying that I have not experienced periods of low self esteem or depression or social phobia. But i fought back with these incidents & they were brief periods I always able to come back to normalcy. I can feel good about me most of the times. The book helped me to change may deep negative thinking patterns & irration beliefs about world & myself.

    Hope it will help you & anybody suffering from Socail phobia, Depression , Low Self esteem & other sufferings.

    Wishing u best of luck…… Feel Good & keep smiling :):)

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  8. I wanted to share this article about the changes in the brain that showed up in a study groups Electroencephalograms.
    http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/changing-anxious-minds-12024.html
    The clinical group’s delta-beta coupling — the thinking patterns that perpetuate painful, self-destructive behaviors were revealed to be similar to those within a high-anxiety control group and far higher than those in a low-anxiety control group. After 12 weeks of therapy, patients’ brains looked more similar to those in the low-anxiety control group.

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  9. Anyone been advised to take magnesium for panic attacks? If so, di it actually help at all? Family member told me about it as a natural alternative, but I am not much into the whole “herbal” thing.

    Like

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