Love is the ultimate painkiller. The departure followed last night's Old Park open air meeting, and a case of 'a misheard request' in a noisy West Belfast bar.
Today I'd promised to drive to meet with someone but after a massive panic attack this morning I have had to pull out. This makes me feel so weak and pathetic. Self loathing floods every fibre, as I now realise how insipid I am and its heart breaking.
I used to be a strong, confident career woman. I used to meet new situations head on. I had nerves yes, but I could always lock those feelings in a cupboard and get on with it. Gradually though as depression takes hold, just like blasted bindweed, it chokes the confidence out of you, eventually totally masking your old self. It happens so gradually you'll be half gone before you know it.
I spent so many months and years trying to cover it up, pretending I was fine that by the time I finally acknowledged it I was already a shadow of my former self. I feel so physically overwhelmed by my symptoms today it's like I've been poisoned, but I suppose in an odd way I have. So I had a dig about on the internet. Post-traumatic stress disorder has only been recently recognized as a mental illness. It is not like depression or schizophrenia as it is wholly accepted that the reasons for developing the illness are external.
Exposure to trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Every person has a different capacity for stress and will respond to varying trauma differently too. In PTSD, the person exists in a constant state of hyper-vigilance that results in an imbalance in stress hormones and cortisol levels in the body.
They may be subject to flashbacks, nightmare or general anxiety as a result of the initiating event. Who is at risk? Any one from a young child to a senior adult can develop PTSD. It is not uncommon for people to develop and recover from PTSD, but this then puts them at a higher risk of developing the disorder in response to a new event. Anyone suffering a trauma — such as a traumatic event, surgery, illness or high levels of stress is also at risk.
As are persons who live with chronic pain or who have an impaired immune system. Those in high stress and high emotion environments are also considered to be at risk. The new diagnostic criteria now recognizes that there are several levels of post-traumatic stress disorder and offers appropriate treatments for each level of severity.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that is characterized by a cluster of symptoms. The most common are chronic pain, stiffness, brain fog, depression and disturbed sleep. There is no specific known cause or cure for fibromyalgia, but there are very many treatments that have shown to be effective in controlling symptoms. Fibromyalgia often sets the stage for other disorders to occur because of how the immune system is affected. Irritable bowel syndrome and migraine syndromes are common as well.
There are now tests that can help determine if you are suffering from fibromyalgia. It can come on any time after the 18 th year, but children have been diagnosed with it as well. The suspected causes of fibromyalgia are many. There may be a gene component, which means if someone in your family has the disease you are at a higher risk. Traumatic brain injury has been related to it, as has major illness, disease and surgery.
Emotional and mental trauma is also thought to play a key role in activating fibromyalgia in the body too. Which is the cause of what? As more is becoming known about how fibromyalgia affects your sympathetic nervous system , the easier it is to see how it relates to post traumatic stress disorder. The action of PTSD on the immune system may very well set up the environment that welcomes fibromyalgia. Vice versa, fibromyalgia may create an amplified body syndrome that can then escalate into post-traumatic stress disorder given the right circumstances.
If you look at each disorder separately and then compare their common recommended treatments, you can see that there is a great deal of overlap. Both are treated with anti-depressants to help control serotonin levels in the body, and they may also be treated with anti-anxiety agents.
Both also recommend life style changes as a long term management system such as diet, exercise, meditation and other habits. The problem with post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia is that there symptoms are very similar. They are different in a very important way though — which is that the post-traumatic psychiatric effect which can lead to flashbacks and anxiety.
So I think my conclusion is that clearly there is a link but essentially they are still different diagnosis. Sunday, 25 June Sunday 25th June - It's okay not to be okay.
The feeling of impending doom, does it ever go away? That constant niggle at the back of your mind that you have something you should be remembering. The inability to sit at rest for fear that you should be doing something constructive The churning stomach the constant looking over your shoulder to see who's there. In the run up to the end of the school term there are so many events and things going on with baby bear at school that I feel as if I'm balanced on a knife edge, scared stiff I'll forget something as my brain is just a complete mush of madness and consternation.
Last week I lost my house and car keys for forty eight hours, only to find them outside on the wheelie bin lid on full view to every Tom, Dick or Harry car thief and burglar that might have happened past my way.
I stand for minutes on end wondering what I'm meant to be doing or even thinking. I know some of you will say this is just down to age but trust be it borders on dementia. The Fibro fog pads out my brain much like a teddy who is filled to bursting with kapok.
I'm like an iPad that needs a software upgrade, slow to respond and freezing up a lot! Worse than that though I'm constantly cross and agitated which means baby bear is having a rougher ride of things than normal as I seem to be nit picking at her over the smallest details of life. Every time I see her crest fallen little face it chips my heart a bit more. This damned illness, be it the depression or the Fibromyalgia it's got a lot to answer for, which in a world where I'm trying to learn to like myself and give myself permission to exist just leads to more self loathing which isn't at all healthy.
Mental Health is like the spiders web, and I'm the fly stuck in its clutches, struggling for freedom, panicking that I'll never be free. I used to be confident, capable and a force to be reckoned with, yet now I'm a wreck, a mere shadow of that former self. Things that I wouldn't have blinked twice about doing in the past now cause me great angst and self doubt. The racing heart, the shortness of breath, the dizziness, the mental fog and that's before we even start discussing my swollen and seized up joints.
What a sorry state of affairs to get oneself into. Well that's just life in general inside my brain these days. What's even crueller in some respects is that I still sound and look normal because I feel anything but. Unfortunately I have found that single handed I am unable to bring you a complete record of all impending disasters and fascinating events and phenomena earth is facing through my studies.
Details can be found at www. With this vast and never ending stream of forthcoming disasters I keep uncovering, I can safely say humanity has never had it so bad. I'm sure you've been privy to the inconsequential numbers of catastrophes over the last few days, months, years and decades that have blighted humanity.
All these, my friend are a sign. There's simply to many too choose from. For example many of them do lead to a freaky correlation date wise with ancient calendar readings. If you add the co-ordinates of Mount Etna, the San Andres Fault and Pompei, divide it by 16, factor in the position of the moon, today's weather forecast and the menstrual cycles of Girls Aloud the reading is scary. But at least it's comforting to know that as humans we are able to rationally apply patterns and provide justification of these events to a greater cause.
The feats of the human mind are incredible, and I'm glad that we are masters of our own universe. Did you hear we've even manage to create flip flops to help lose weight? To summarise, I do apologise if I have given any of you readers cause for concern. I'm sure you now feel as confused as my poor 13 year old self; life it seems really is as vulnerable as ever. I may have triggered some form of existenialist ponderings upon the fragility of existence, the knowledge that as individuals, factions, humanity as a whole we exist nothing more as a mere moment, not even compromising specs of dust in an eternal sandstorm.
But either way, it's comforting to know that there any numerous theories and reasons to use as an emotional blanket to justify and reason what would otherwise be seen as the random and awe inspiring power and force of the Universe.
I hate the thought of not being in control, thereby am thankful so many people can assure me of the certainty of events forthcoming. Even if they occassionally get it wrong. But if you find the thought of all this doom and gloom talk too much to consider, I suggest you sit back, relax and continue as you were.
All this need really be no concern. After all, who knows, today could be your last. Posted by Cat at Thursday, 26 August Sometimes, all is takes is a fancy lipbalm. Just sometimes, when everything has gone wrong; work is dragging, lunch was a stale cheese sandwich and you just can't wait for the weekend where you can scoot off and see the Mr Thursday, 15 July Real life: Week 2, 3 and maybe 4 aka most boring post in existence.
So as per usual, my plan to post exciting fun filled weekly updates on my life as a graduate has failed. I'm not sure what week of real life I'm in now, possibly 4? Either way there isn't a lot to report. Job situation still isn't great, any I've applied for which granted, is only 2 I'm yet to hear a response from, which I'm told is a common thing in the current climate.
As of right now I'm still signing on every fortnight at the job centre, still browsing job sites daily and filling my time with watching Jeremy Kyle repeats and attempting to play piano and teach myself French. All in all it's nothing short of thoroughly depressing.
I knew that it would be tough, but I never accounted for how disheartening it is being stuck without the hope of any employment in the near future. This isn't so much for financial reasons; I still have some student loan left and JSA is enough to get by.
But it's more the fact for many years throughout college and University you've been seen by your family, peers and those around you as a, well, success. All have a thick yeast head on them and smell fantastic. In particular I am rather tempted to climb into the square that contains the export stout, but I think better of it. There is no grain hopper in the brewery. No point in over-engineering these things, remarks Toby, and we use the simple method of sticking a hose into each sack of malt and turning it on to let the jet of hot water wash the grains into the mash tun.
It works very well and the mash is pretty well mixed by the time we have added all the malt. The grist is pale, crystal and wheat. Over the road in another railway arch is a stack of empty pallets. They need to be loaded onto a van so that Chrigl can drive them back to their rightful owners. Eventually we manage to get the van loaded up and Chrigl drives off while Toby and I head back to the brewery to do the sparge. There are nearly two thousand of them and they all need to be labelled by hand.
First, though, we stop for a taste of the beer. Packaging beer is a pain for small breweries whichever approach they take.