On My Travels

We’re off out for a few days on what feels like my first holiday this year. We’ve had a few odd days off here and there, but they were back around my birthday and mostly consisted of a few days away in Brighton at the Malmaison. The rest of my year has been spent mostly working, which probably hasn’t helped the slow decline of my mental reserves.

So, we’re off to Newquay. I’m wearing shorts. I’ve only had three mild anxiety moments, and that’s despite our original train being cancelled and our having to spontaneously work out another route to Paddington.

Still, no one has been stabbed, or set on fire, so we’re off to a good start.

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Meds Update

Work remains a challenge, which is no bad thing, but on top of adjusting to this week’s upped dosage… well it has felt like it has been a week of endurance rather than success.

The citalopram is now at 20mg – which isn’t huge – but I’ve likened the physical effects to feeling like I’ve drunk too much coffee. Sadly this doesn’t include any stimulant effect.

I’m sure it will pass. As a matter of interest I’ve been told that probiotic drinks help with the nausea, so I shall give them a try and see if that helps.

Onward!

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An Actual Bank Holiday Off

This doesn’t happen all that often: I normally seem to end up working the Saturday of any given Bank Holiday. The break couldn’t come at a better time.

The sun has been out, the Charleesi is staying the weekend, and we’ve spent the day at Thorpe Park for the first time in ages. (Spoiler: it was very busy). Tomorrow we’re seeing friends for a barbecue, and who knows what Monday will bring.

Even better, I’m on leave next week, and a few days away in Cornwall beckon. I need the recharge, and so far it looks like I’m going to get it!

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So Far So Good

I’m on day six of taking citalopram, starting with a 10mg dose, and due to go up to 20mg for a couple of weeks on Wednesday. At that point it’s another conversation with the GP to see where we go.

So far the side effects have been some dizziness and a bit of a fog in my head – and a bit of nausea from time to time – but the good news is that it does seem to be taking the edge off the depression and anxiety.

I think what is really helping is that this time around I know what I’m dealing with and have far healthier coping mechanisms. I haven’t hoped that the pills will sort things out (spoiler alert: they never do), and have instead focused on trying to get on with as normal a life and routine as possible.

Well, not normal – stop smirking, I can see you over there – but you know what I mean.

Keeping busy seems to be the key to distraction, but at the same time I know I need to also not drive myself into the ground with exhaustion. Being kind to myself seems both a scary and difficult to achieve target, even though I know it really shouldn’t be. It’s something I shall continue to explore in counselling.

Anyway, so far so good, and if this helps someone unsure about mental health issues, or just needing encouragement, then all the better.

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Geeky Weekend

Lacking energy to go out much, I’ve split time between games, catching up on tv shows, helping Lady M stitch a hula hoop into a dress, and starting to paint a prop gun for the Harley Quinn costume.

Netflix and Amazon provided the Defenders and Preacher shows – talk about a contrast in styles – while Mass Effect Andromeda continues to be a good distraction. I particularly enjoyed the shout backs to the original games this weekend as I finished unlocking the protagonist’s locked memories.

As for the prop gun, I’m still blocking colours now I’ve properly undercoated it. I’m going for a mostly red and black colour scheme to match the rest of the costume. The black will likely get a bit of a metallic tint to it eventually, but I’m looking to create something a bit cartoony in style anyway, hence the steampunk stylings of the prop. There have been a couple of false starts and repaints along the way, but I should have a finished piece in a few days.

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Spoiler-free: Defenders

Lady M and I binged the Defenders series this weekend, and it’s good. The increased time for shooting and choreographing really shows; and the shorter episode count keeps the pace at a mean trot. This is a good thing.

The differing styles and cinematography of the four disparate original shows blend into each other as the non-team comes together. It’s a little touch that is easy to overlook but I found effective.

I’m a shameless Marvel fan, so it should come as no surprise to hear me say I enjoyed the nods to wider continuity and comics history. The dialogue bubbles and twists with hugely entertaining quips and insults, and yet has a warmth that shows growing affection between the characters.

TL:DR watch it, enjoy it.

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Self Care Mode

I’ve danced around with the black dog a good few years now, and the last eight or so of those I’ve managed without medication. So far, so good, or at least it was – I’ve gone back on a low dose today to get my balance back a bit.

At least this time I know what to expect from SSRIs, so my plan is to just get my head down and get on with it – and not beat myself up any more about needing to take medication for a while.

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