Bit of a Personal Update

plan-for-early-retirement-and-life-update-par-L-UQTC7xSometimes I feel as though I am, in this blog, only reflecting back on times when I have been “properly” ill – in particular the four major episodes of mostly depression (with some hypomania) in the past ten years. I thought it was time for a little more about me today.

I am on ESA, in the Work Related Activity Group – although this seems to amount to precisely nothing, I get my money every two weeks and that is it. I am, however, looking for work, though I do have to be careful what sort of job I take. I live in a rural area and there is next to nothing available to someone who doesn’t drive – and my psychiatrist has told me I will not be allowed to drive. While the Freedom Pass I had in London was useful there, it is considerably less so here.

I am living with my parents – which is something that concerns me. On the one hand, it is financially helpful (in the extreme) and they provide me with plenty of support for periods of ill-health, and just general support day to day. On the other hand I feel as though I have yet to grow up properly, and remain concerned that if anything happens to them and I am suddenly on my own, I may find it very difficult to manage. However there is some suggestion that I may be able to live on my own in a few years.

I am enjoying my church, although I wish the average age were a little younger. I have spoken to my vicar about possibly maybe going into ministry, and there is a particular course he wants me to go on, which hasn’t started yet. I am able to get involved with various church activities, and that is going well. I am also doing the church website, which I really need to do some more work on as it is nearly finished and really only needs a little doing to it.

Health-wise I have been good. I have had no major episodes and been basically stable for the past two years – which is how long I have been not working. It is horrible, really, that I am well when unemployed and sick when working, because I am sure people think I am faking illness in order to get out of working, and also I would actually like to work, earn a decent wage, and stop feeling like I am living the life of a retiree.

I have noticed something recently, which is that my illness is manifesting in different forms. Instead of a slow, gradual descent into a major episode, I have been experiencing short, sharp attacks of depression (no highs) which resolve very quickly indeed. Just today I suddenly started feeling low, got the old “frantic, need to self harm to calm myself” feelings, resisted self harm and, after a few hours, abruptly felt fine again.

I have no idea what that is but I am a bit worried that it means I have borderline personality disorder after all, as my psychiatrist described that as short attacks, moodiness, that sort of thing. Something to keep an eye on.

In terms of faith, not too bad. I have not been making enough effort with the prayer and reading thing, but I feel fairly ok with God at the moment. I am increasingly interested in faith, to the exclusion of almost all other types of reading and thoughts, and often have discussions in the pub with the atheists there (which they start, I must add – I am not into suddenly preaching at people!) and I also go to a group with the Baptists which I greatly enjoy. I would like to do more about helping others, but find myself at a bit of a loss as to what to do and how to do it. I view this blog as something which does help others, or at least I hope it does, although to my shame I have not been updating as frequently as before. In part this is due to more time in the pub and in part because I am struggling to concentrate at the moment, I don’t know why.

I wonder perhaps if my little episodes of depression plus my general lethargy and lack of concentration indicate there is something going on. I don’t know, I suppose I will have to just keep an eye.

So there you go, that is what is going on in my life.

God bless you all (and me!)

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