After the psychiatric assessment.

So as you probably already know, I had an appointment with the psychiatrist today to finally diagnose my dysthymia and talk about my possible AVPD. It all went much quicker than I would expect.

As I said yesterday, I was lucky, because I saw the same psychiatrist who saw me after I left the boarding school, who helped me to get individual learning for one year that I had until finishing the stage of education on which I was then, and who diagnosed me with reactive depression. She was very understanding for me and also for my Mum, and I got along with her so I was glad I could see her again as she already knew my story. It was my Mum’s idea to ask her whether she could assess me, because she was the one who first thought that I may have dysthymic disorder and because she already knew most basic things about me. I wouldn’t think she’d agree and have time for me, she works mostly with children, but she agreed.

Also my therapist Monika – the one with whom I have phone check-ins with – came for this appointment.

There was a lot discussed. She wanted to know how I’ve been doing during those four years since going out of the boarding school and then seeing her, so we brought up a lot of things and issues, but very basically I told her I’m of course much better now and less depressive, but I feel like I’m not really stable and struggling a lot with anxiety, plus my depression, althugh is definitely not as overwhelming as back then, is still soundly in place. The last time I saw her, I told her I think it’s my normal to be always more or less depressive, since I just was this way for as long as I could remember. She told me it’s certainly not the way I am, but how my surroundings and life circumstances have shaped me and that she thinks that when I’ll be in more friendly environment where I feel safe I will get better, however she read that I have hypothyroidism so she said I’d have to regulate it, because it’s commonly known that low thyroid hormones can make you depressive. And then she said that if depression will persist for abut four years, I probably would need to be treated for persistent depressive disorder. So I told her my thyroid hormones are pretty reasonable most of the time now, and I’m still low most of the time. I explained to her that it’s manageable and I can still enjoy things, but I often feel like everything is absolutely meaningless, am sad, hopeless, and frustrated with life and myself, I still have self harm urges, although not as often as in the past, and suicidal thoughts are still present somewhere in the background of my life, they’re never very strong, but they are there most of the time. I told her I can live normally most of the time but every few weeks have times when I feel so very flat and overwhelmed and it’s really hard to be normal then if even possible, not only because of my mood being so low and everything seeming overwhelming, but also of my energy being extremely low and that I get terribly exhausted very easily. And it always lasts for about a week. We talked about my mood in detail and how it is shifting and whether I’ve noticed any particular patterns in it. She also talked with my therapist who knows me for years and knows a lot about me and how I function. I also mentioned her about my self esteem being shitty and my feelings of inadequacy, and my therapist said an interesting and rather striking thing for me, that to be correct, we should actually say my self esteem is closer to non existent than low. I told them that actually that’s how it was before, but now I feel like it isn’t as very low as it was for example even two years ago. So we got deeper into it for quite a while. My Mum told the psychiatrist that she thinks that althugh I may seem gloomy, if she wouldn’t be my Mum, she would have a hard time believing I can have depression, because although it has improved slightly over the years and I am much better at talking/writing about feelings to people I feel safe with, I still stifle most of my emotions in interactions with other people. I told her I’m still scared of showing my feelings, and that actually now I’ve been bottling them up for so long that even if I want to express them, sometimes I just can’t and I’m very confused as for how to actually do it and that is frustrating and makes me feel even more inadequate ’cause I know very well what I feel but releasing it is another thing sometimes even putting it into words may take me quite a while. I mentioned to her how scary is for me processing some things from the past or even thinking about them, like about the roots of my anxieties, about which I don’t know much. I feel kinda conflicted because I want to get rid of it and know what it actually is and why, but I am afraid of uncovering it much much more.

And from that we moved on to those last events that led my Mum to the conclusion that I was actually emotionally abused for most of my childhood and how I find it still hard and uncomfortable to think about my past experiences as “traumatic”, because it sounds (in context of my experiences) kinda exaggerated to me. Other people can have traumatic experiences, but I hate thinking this way about my own, because… dunno, because it just makes me feel weak and like I shouldn’t be so traumatised by such things and should get over it long long ago.

Of course my Mum became very emotional and started to cry, I really feel for her that she cries in all kinds of moving situations in front of other people. We also talked a bit about all kinds of my relationships and how I’ve never had many of them, and even if so, very few of them were satisfying for me. I told her that socialising feels very exhausting for me, but although I generally don’t mind being alone, sometimes it feels a bit too lonely, but right now the only people with whom I’m in touch and happy of it are my family and some online friends. And we talked about my current situation in which I feel a bit like I’m stuck and don’t know what to do, I feel like there’s just a big black hole in front of it, or maybe I’m already inside of it, but it doesn’t feel so yet, because I’m still fueled by my achievements during the exams and that I’m finally free from school so maybe I’m just floating above this hole before I subside into it.

She was listening to both my Mum and me very carefully and was very understanding. Then she asked me quite straight-forward whether I feel like going on some medication, or like it’s manageable without and said that the decision whether she’d prescribe something for me like some SSRI today is up to me. That was a hard decision for me to make. But I decided I will stay without medication. I was coping unmedicated for my whole life. I’ve been through much, much, much worse depression in my life. These times when I feel most low are hard to go through, but I will try and I will go on meds if I’ll really really need to. I had an occasion to be prescribed SSRI before, when I was very concerned about my sleep paralysis and what it is, went to the neurologist and she said some people handle it with antidepresants because the mechanism that is responsible for sleep paralysis is somehow dependent on serotonin or something like this and she also asked me whether I want something for it. And I also decided to not take it and try to cope without. That stuff seems to have so many side effects that I would really need to think about it twice or even thrice to decide on taking it. I told her though that my GP has put me on anti-anxiety meds, because my anxiety was through the roof and I really needed them. She said it’s OK and that if I’ll feel like I need some medication I can schedule an appt with her. It was very nice of her that although she has so many children patients she is willing to carve out some time for me. She said though that I definitely need therapy and she wrote in my files that I have persistent depressive disorder and all the conclusions and wrote a referral for therapy for me.

Then my therapist told her that we’ve been talking a lot lately about this AVPD thing and I told her that whole story about how I found that Swedish girl with AVPD and how strongly her blog resonated with me and all she wrote about her condition and just how similar we seemed to be and then how I started to research it and it just shocked me how much like me it all was. Not everything to the same extend, but I can relate to all the criteria. I told her how I’ve actually never felt before like I react very strongly to other people’s critic and I didn’t feel like the fear of rejection and critic is what makes me avoid social interactions, but I didn’t know what else could it be, it was just always so that I was very anxious with other people and I never thought about the causes so when I thought more about it I realised that it may be the fear of rejection. After all I’ve been very often criticised and rejected by people for all my childhood and the whole situation that I have to be away from my family felt like rejection to me because well a 5-year-old won’t understand that “It’s better for you”. And my inner critic is constantly in action and she must hate me like shit I guess.

She read all the notes from that PD therapist whom I visited in March and seemed very involved. She asked me about my anxiety and how I see myself. She was also curious why I refer to my inner critic a bit like it was another person so I said I do it just for fun, I even call her Maggie. I often have, or maybe rather imagine having, stormy conversations with her in my brain and I imagine that she is a different person and the more stormy those discussions are, the more I feel like self-harming, Maggie is a very sarcastic and snarky part of me and almost always manages to make me feel terrible about myself. I feel like it all seems very complex and weird and I actually never talked with anyone in detail about it, my Mum just sat there very surprised, but they were very accepting and weren’t assuming at least not aloud that I’m freaky. 😀 So I also told them about other of my sort of imaginary friends, like that there is Bibiel, who always makes fun of everything and helps me create an impression, particularly around others,  that I am doing absolutely OK, if I need to seem OK, Bibiel is a little more social and very humourous me, slightly immature, likes to do strange things just for fun and has rather carefree, distant attitude to everything. And I imagine all of them as normal people, but who are parts of me and help me cope with some hard situations. She told me that creating imaginary friends is an often used coping mechanism for children, and if they still are with me, it looks as I still need them.

She also asked me some questions about all those my imaginary friends – Maggie, Bibiel and other weird individuals. I may do a separate post on them if you’d like to read it and if I’ll get some idea how to put it clearly and imaginably.

We talked about other stuff too, and then she filled some other papers, and actually it was all over. I got both of my diagnoses on paper, and referral to therapy. Somehow I thought it would take much longer to get the diagnosis, especially for AVPD, because it was something that came from me, not any specialist, and I wasn’t sure what they will do to confirm it fully.

I hope I’ll be able to start normal therapy soon. It’s a pity I’ll no longer be in touch with my therapist Monika, she was my therapist for so so long, and that she can’t fit me in, but I think that therapist with whom I met before who is working with personality disorders should be a good choice, or if not, I’ll be searching for something else, if not here in the area, then online, cuz there aren’t very many therapists here as far as I know.

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A shitty, Zombie day.

Yeah, today I have another Zombie day, which means, if you’re unfamiliar, that I’m after a night of completely no sleep. I think the reason of my sleep being so poor recently is that I’m significantly anxious over many things. A bit more than a week ago my term exam session started, which is always some stress – almost none in comparison to final exams that I’ll have in May, but still, makes me quite tense. Besides, almost at the same time my brother picked up some tummy bug or something and was sick, with vomiting and all the attractions, which obviously triggered my emetophobia. It lasted for very long for him and then Dad got infected too and it lasted very long too, so I was freaking out literally, because they were sick and because I could get sick and anyone else could. I didn’t get it luckily, but still don’t fully know if it’s actually over for them. Moreover, my Mum had gastroscopy and colonoscopy on Tuesday before Easter. Well it didn’t regard me directly, but still it made me feel anxious for some reason, I almost felt like I myself was going to have gastroscopy, which would be just traumatic for me I guess and I was stressed for Mum. Don’t know why I reacted so strongly for it. And then Mum had also some not serious complications after that which contributed to my anxiety. It’s crazy. and my final exams are in a month now, which is the thing I’m most anxious about currently. It’s not only about the exams themselves and whether I’ll pass them, but also about the circumstances in which I’ll be writing them. I’m not sure whether I finally told you or not, I guess I did, but I won’t take them at my own school that I formally go to. My school is a normal, mainstream school and my Mum was kind of afraid I might not get all the adjustments I could get if I’d write at a special school for the blind, especially as for math, as this is the subject I particularly suck at and is very difficult for me. I agree with it and so my Mum came up with the idea she’ll ask the headmistress of one of the schools for the blind – not the one I was going to as a child, a completely different one – if it would be possible for me to write there. There was a lot of paperwork and other stuff involved, but it was possible and I got the permission finally. But this school, although is much closer than the one I was going to, is still quite far from where I live, in a different region. So we would have to stay in the boarding school. I know, I won’t be there on my own, there will be Mum and maybe Zofijka with me, I will live with them and the circumstances will be completely different, we’ll be out of there most of the time, I desperately try to think rationally about it, but the anxiety is still there. I know it’s so irrational and stupid and all, but it doesn’t seem like I could do much about it now. I’ll probably just have to face it and see if it was worth all that anxiety or not. Also, I’m having lots of nasty dreams recently, with sleep paralysis and without and they scare me so so much. Just last week I had sleep paralysis twice. It’s knackering and makes me feel just helpless. Often such dreams leave me anxious for hours after they pass away. So yeah plenty of issues that may contribute to that lack of sleep.

Luckily I didn’t have to do anything important today, apart from preparing to my History exam which I’ll have on Monday, but it wasn’t hard to do and I actually could do it tomorrow as well if I really needed. I feel absolutely crappy today, with no energy (despite three strong coffees), lots of anxiety and depression, but that’s normal I guess for everyone who didn’t sleep for an entire night, or at least it’s my normal when I don’t sleep properly, the more tat other things get in the way.

Recently I was writing that I plan on buying a new Braille-Sense, and it turned out that it’s time now for applying for funding, so I did some of that endless paperwork with Mum. Well I guess don’t have much more to say now. Just had to rant a bit.

How are you guys doing? 🙂

Finally, much closer to getting a diagnosis.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days and make as much sense of it as possible, but for some reason I found it rather hard and had a lot going on in a few days, so decided to write it much shorter and all over again.

So as you may remember if you read my post about my last Zombie day, I was significantly depressed for days lately. I mean, my depression is generally bigger than even a few months ago as I am so much concerned about my future, not knowing what to do with it at all and other things get in the way as well, but, you know, you always have ups and downs, and that time surely was a massive down, but now I’m much much more stable luckily. In fact right now I’m doing really well and I can’t recall feeling so well in months. That’s really great. And you may also remember that I’ve been thinking more about my psychiatric diagnosis, which I still don’t have. On the one hand, I’ve been anxious about it and wanted it to stay this way, I was afraid to find out what is wrong with me, so in some way I preferred the fact that I still don’t know for sure. On the other hand though, I felt somewhat inadequate, like if they still can’t find out what it is, I surely have to be too complex, and maybe even am just faking all that, also I wanted to finally get appropriate support, which is much more difficult when you don’t know what’s going on with you. Of course I knew that it’s not a rare thing that people don’t know their diagnoses for much longer, but I think they also have to be really frustrated with it, that’s why I even more understand people struggling with it ’cause I know at least in some way how they feel, no matter whether it is a psychiatric or medical diagnosis. I didn’t think about it much usually, but it always was somewhere in the background of my life, some bothering insecurity about what’s the case with me.

I know I have GAD, I know I’ve had reactive depression, but since its symptoms didn’t fully disappear my therapist, or rather former therapist, as I don’t see her on a regular basis any longer ’cause it’s impossible for her, started to think I may be dysthymic, but to be diagnosed with dysthymia, you need to show the symptoms for two years at least, plus I also have hypothyroidism and it wasn’t stabilised back then, so the psychiatrist who examined me then suspected I may be so down all the time because of it or at least partly because of it, which I also think might be true. The thing is, as long as I can remember I was more or less depressive, but I was in a rather unfavourable environment for most of my childhood, which was the boarding school, so my therapist said it was rather normal, and I think so too. Since I also tend to experience moodswings and go high, (or just noticeably higher) suddenly, sometimes completely for no apparent reason, she also told me she thinks I might be bipolar, not dysthymic. But nothing more speciffic.

And now as this last depressive episode hit me, I started to think more about the thing wit my diagnosis. I am usually very very prone to self-loathing when significantly depressed and that time it felt like I must be very different in a bad sense of this word from other people if there aren’t any criteria I could fit in to. Not because I wanted so much to be labelled, but just because I think it would help me to find some help with my struggles. So yeah it was on my mind a lot of the time recently.

Then when I already felt more functional and a bit less depressive I was reading some Swedish blogs online and came across a blog written by girl with avoidant personality disorder. I was reading it with a lot of interest, firstly because I liked her style of writing and I just found interesting what she was writing about in general, but secondly –
because when she wrote about her disorder, about her feelings, relationships with other people etc. I was just like WOW! it’s so much like me! and as I was reading her posts, at some point I felt a kinda impulse and checked out something more about AVPD. I had a brief idea about it, I am into psychology, medicine and like to go deeply into others’ personalities so there was no way I couldn’t hear about it before, but I didn’t know much. Just much enough to feel this weird impulse and find out to how much I can relate to it and to what people having it struggle with. You know what? I went through WHO and DSM criteria and other basic stuff on all Wikipedias I can understand and I got a massive shock. I know people with AVPD need to fit general PD’s criteria as well, but so far almost everything was like me. Well, various symptoms to various extents, like I think I’m much more assertive now than when I was a kid, but still there are situations when I can’t feel very assertive, or I won’t try to make friends for the sake of having friends, changing my personality, likes, dislikes, way of being for others, just to be accepted by them, unless something in my attitude could be harming for someone of course, but I still do want to have real friendships and be accepted as I am. Basically as I was reading about AVPD, the vast majority of things was basically as if someone was writing about me, no matter if I read an article or a post from someone dealing with it. I felt very shocked and overloaded and didn’t know what to do with this, why did I actually wanted to deepen this topic? Shit.

But when I cooled down a little bit I decided to talk about it to my Mum. It was very hard. Like VERY, VEERY hard. I suck at talking about feelings and all that related stuff, it’s scary! But I tried to do my best and also my Mum was very supportive. I mean she always is, but I wouldn’t think she could be as supportive as she turned out to be in this particular situation. She got it and we both laughed a bit how much it is like me, but also quite like her too, only not to such extend definitely. She accepted it and we had a long long talk about it and everything related, which, although hard, was also very rewarding. I think for both of us. I think I haven’t opened up to her so much for quite a long time until then. I felt so close to her and that felt really good. I feel like this talk, and the one we had next day, on Sunday, changed a lot in our relationship. We were always very close, but now we get each other more, there was just so many incredibly important things we didn’t talk about before, which we didn’t know about each other. After that second long chat we went for a long walk and had a drink afterwards. It feels so good she doesn’t care whether I have this AVPD or not, I was almost sure she’ll be overwhelmed and maybe even make a little drama, as she is so emotional and impulsive, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to explain things to her from my perspective. But she knew them before I even started. It really changes things and now I myself don’t care that much whether I might have AVPD or not, I think if I have it, it’s really good I finally know it. Maybe it will help me to heal from it at least a bit. I realise that probably if not my own inquisitiveness, no one would tell me I may have it. And I’m glad there is a name for what I experience. It means there are other people struggling with almost the same stuff, which in turn means we aren’t alone in struggling, at least that’s how I see it. As for my anxiety in all kinds of social situations, I’ve been always calling it simply “social anxiety”, although I didn’t get an official diagnosis for it, but, for me it seemed obvious. Only that when I talked to people with social anxiety, my anxiety seemed more, hm, general. Like, most of them have it in particular situations – talking to a stranger on the street, speaking in front of an audience, or they’re afraid that something weird and awkward will happen while they’re with other people, while my anxiety is present all the time or almost all the time when I’m socialising. It even happens that I feel anxious talking to my family. Not only my extended family It’s a strange kind of anxiety, hence I’ve always felt kinda different to people with this classic form of social anxiety. In some ways my anxiety is even hard to explain. Actually, before I found out abou t AVPD, I didn’t even fully and consciously realise I’m afraid of rejection and how much I’m afraid of it, only that I’ve read it and then thought it through thoroughly and talked about with my Mum and therapist helped me to get to it.

Another important thing that happened on Saturday, the day I found out more about AVPD was that after talking with Mum, I called my therapist and asked her for her opinion. This was another lengthy and exhausting talk, we discussed plenty of things. She said that as she knows me for more than 5 years, it’s very clear to her how my personality resonates with description of AVPD, we also analysed all the diagnostic criteria and other stuff. So she said she’ll talk about me wit another therapist, who is her friend and who is professionally very interested in all kinds of personality disorders and maybe she will be able to schedule an appt with me just to be able to relate and say her opinion on that and then we’ll see what will come out next. If she will also say I seem to have it, then a psychiatrist will be involved. I also asked her about that dysthymia thing and she said that as two years have passed since that assessment I had and not much has changed as for my mood patterns, I should be tested again and she said she will talk about it to the psychiatrist who examined me back then. I’ve never tracked my mood specifically before, only wrote in my diary about it as about many other things, but I think that even if I didn’t do it, it’s clear enough for me that my depressive mood is very persistent, although with its intensiffication differs. But since that talk with my therapist I decided I will also make a special journal only for tracking my mood. Then on Monday she emailed me and told me that therapist working with personality disorders is willing to see me on Tuesday next week.

So as you see a lot was going on in a very short time and I have a feeling that now things will speed up a lot. I am still a bit shocked, but just because I wouldn’t ever thought I may have AVPD if not that girl’s blog, that’s just so new to me. But since I’m over that big depressive abyss for now, I got much more positive approach to things and I think my Mum’s support helps me a lot right now and her optimism about this whole situation is kind of infectious.

Sorry it is so chaotic and probably not the best stylistically , but hopefully readable. 😀 Just wanted to update you guys a little bit as my blog is also about my mental difficulties so I thought it’s very important to at least mention about what’s going on in this area of my life right now.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Sleeping and feeling more decently. :)

Yes, my sleep is now not very far from proper and I am happy about that. That Zombie day on Tuesday was so awful and exhausting. Thanks sooo very much to all those of you who supported me that day. I was so overwhelmingly depressed that actually at the end of the day I almost ended up self harming again, somehow resisted the urge, but then was even more frustrated and sick of myself, I self harmed just a bit more than a month ago and I had much longer periods without self harming in the past. The fact I didn’t finally do it didn’t really matter for me, I felt absolutely awful for feeling such a bad urge. Finally I went to bed at such a cosmic hour as for my sleep cycle as 7 PM, earlier than Zofijka. 😀 I usually go to sleep the last, only sometimes Misha is up for longer. and slept for… 12 hours! It was a very refreshing and heavy sleep, I actually don’t remember any awakenings. My mood lifted up a bit too so I felt functional enough to write my geography control assignment. It was so boring. Not like I expected it to be very very interesting, I’ve been always finding school extremely boring overall, but anyway it was boring. I had to write about different forms of nature protection in Wejherowo County where I live, like Tricity Landscape Park for example. I think I did it well. Last night I had another night of good sleep and have a feeling tonight will be so too. I don’t expect it to last long but as long as it lasts, I’m very happy about that. Emotionally/moodwise today I feel tolerably. Definitely not good, but functional. Recently I don’t feel very functional, so I’m glad about it. I gave my Mum my assignment to print out. My geography teacher is an elderly guy and rather extremely not up to date with new technologies, which makes it a bit hard for me and my Mum. Normally I could just send him this assignment in email, but as far as I know he doesn’t have any email so my Mum needs to take the time to go to the printing house and then deliver it to him. But well education system sucks in general, not that there aren’t any exceptions of course. Tonight Zofijka is sleeping with me. While my anxiety is definitely more manageable since last week, Zofijka who is a rather worrisome kid, is recently a bit anxious. They watched some scary stuff in class, well scary in her opinion. She seems to be always overly scared of things like demons, ghosts, vampires or paranormal phenomena. While her friends find it very intriguing, in my opinion probably also overly. So she wanted to sleep with me. She wants to sleep with me every night, but this time I agreed as I know how fantastic it feels to be scared in the middle of the night and alone, especially if you’re just a 10-year-old child, although I’m not very enthusiastic about sleeping with other people. I’ve just watched an episode of Happy Valley with Mum and then some film about the Tudors on Epic Drama. We love British films as you can see. And we had ginger tea and some chilli crackers. It lifted up my mood, I hope it will stay so until tomorrow. I think I’ll be going to sleep soon, it’s 10 PM so rather early but I somehow feel sleepy and I don’t really have much to do right now other than sleep, especially that I must be rather silent as Zofijka is sleeping.

Wishing you all good night and sweet dreams, or a nice day, whatever time is now where you live. 🙂

Zombie day.

So yeah I have a Zombie day today, which for me means I didn’t sleep at all last night. So no wonder I’m not feeling the best today either. But also I’ve had much worse Zombie days. And, luckily I don’t have a migraine as I thought I would have. Just had three coffees in a row and feel a bit more energised and a bit more functional. Had to have Maths in the morning, but my tutor was very understanding and I just had one hour, and Zofijka then came back from school and she had two. We’ll soon have lunch, Misha’s going to be excited ’cause we’ll have chicken. Opposite to me, he seems to have a really good time recently. Everyone has noticed he somehow became more cuddly and sociable recently, more playful. Well he is always playful, but now he even wants to initiate playing with Zofijka. Yesterday Zofijka was feeding him and when he’s eaten, he suddenly jumped on her back and just stayed there. He does sometimes jump on people’s back, but only when they clearly want to play with him. I’m glad he’s so happy and more easy-going, whatever is the cause. Well actually we just had our lunch and Misha didn’t appear. Pity, because the chicken was really yummy and spicy. I asked my Mum today to make some pictures for me, of Misha, my room, gem stones etc. so hopefully I’ll be able to post them soon and share something more with you. I really am looking forward to the evening, I hope when I’ll get some proper sleep tonight, tomorrow I’m gonna feel better emotionally. I hope you’re having a good day. 🙂

Wanna join the no sleep club? And a bit of a rant, couldn’t resist.

Hi. 🙂

So, does anyone want to join the No Sleep Club? I don’t know if there’s something similar in English, but in Polish, we have a sort of saying: if for example you say to someone “I didn’t sleep tonight” that person can say “Welcome to the club” which means she didn’t sleep either. and I had such situation with my friend when I told her I didn’t sleep very well and she said welcome to the club and then we were talking about the idea of a no sleep club. Just a place where not sleeping at night people could be together and do whatever they want, but just be glad they’re not the only ones not sleeping. How do you like the idea? 😀 Just my thoughts. 😀

SThe rest of this post is going to be almost entirely a rant, so… just be prepared:

eems like I’m not going to sleep tonight, or at least not much. Today is one of these days when it sucks more than usually because I’m feeling very crappy and depressed since Thursday I think and I was hoping to at least sleep through some more of this shitty time. But probably I just had too much sleep last time as I slept from about 1 AM until almost 10. So again my sleep cycle is ruined. It all feels even more overwhelming at night. I just feel so low I am surprised I can function in the outside world as usual, or almost as usual. I feel like it could give me some relief if I could have some outlet, I’ve tried to write about all I feel and don’t feel in my diary and maybe why, but although I was writing for quite a while and wrote down a lot of my depressive thoughts and concerns and frustrations and all, I feel like I didn’t get to the core and wasn’t able to define what it is that overwhelms me the most, like I couldn’t get it into words. In any language I know well enough to talk at least basically about all this fucking complexity of my freaking brain that sometimes barely makes sense even for myself. Well most of the time I think. So I gave up with expressing myself, I think, at least for now.

But what I noticed looking at my diary recently is that I finally seem to see any patterns or cycles in which my depressive moods, or rather more depressive than usual, tend to go. I’ve always wanted to know if it’s possible in my case to define in which part of the day, or week, or month, my mood is most low or high. And I looked at the dates of entries and saw most of these filled with lots of depressive/generally self loathing thoughts I was usually writing either on the very end of the month, or the very beginning. And when I have PMS, but that I’ve already known. I don’t know whether it could matter or not, but am going to see how it will proceed this month and in a couple next months.

I think I’ve told you my ex therapist with whom I check in from time to time on the phone, thinks I have bipolar. No one else from the mental health specialists whom I visited suggested it, but she said that in her opinion mood swings I’ve been experiencing and sudden lift ups which aren’t very high, but are visible for me and which she had seen too, can be classified as hypomania. Only that I actually didn’t have such a really upbeat mood in months now. I had days when I felt pretty neutral or even a bit higher than neutral, but nothing like I could really say that I am in a good mood, no euphoria or anything. And so recently I started to wonder if she’s right or not. I know some people have longer cycles, but then if I had such a long depression phase, with so changeable intensivity, I guess I should have a longer hypomania episode, or shouldn’t I, I don’t know, that seems to be the only thing I know right now. And then thinking about that let me again to the conclusion that if I still don’t have the diagnosis other than that reactive depression three years ago and no actual treatment, it must mean I must be totally not fitting into any criteria, maybe I’m just somehow faking it or something or making a big deal of things, or am just untreatable. Of course rationally I know people can struggle with not getting a diagnosis either psychiatric or in any other medical field, for much longer, but emotionally I can’t really get it.

Good at least my anxiety has lessened since I’m on afobam again, it makes things more manageable, this yea is really so shitty, I don’t get how I’m actually supposed to get through it, so it’s good I’m on it now. And Misha’s with me. This is such a good child. It’s often hard to get him sleep with me at night, he sleeps so much during the day he’s then full of beans in the evening, but recently he started to come to me on his own when he sees people are going to sleep and meows at me to feed him and put him to bed. 🙂 He’s just sweet. And I am working on a name game, just to not think too much, or to not overthink and I’m going to post it here later on. I hope you’ll like it too, I got the idea from Meagan a.k.a. Tulip By Any Name, but I’m making my own. I rarely have ideas about my own name games, though I love them, so I’m glad I have something to occupy my mind at least for a while. It’s nothing big, but you have to be focused on it.

This no sleep thing really frustrates me, mostly because I have Maths in the morning. I don’t know how I’m gonna make it through with no sleep, but if I’ll feel very zombie-like maybe our tutor will take Zofijka during my hours. And my head started aching a few hours ago like I’m going to have a migraine soon, so yeah, seems like I’ll be having lots of fun tomorrow, or today actually, or whatever else kind of shit it’ll be then. But I didn’t have a migraine for some time already, but why do I have to have it at all? Is it really so necessary if so many people can live without it? Shit. Yeah everything seems soooo overwhelming right now, almost whatever I’ll think about.

Sorry it is so chaotic, but I’m generally very chaotic when talking about stuff like that, honestly, although I’ve been always writing a lot in my diary about my, hmmm, internal experiences, I still feel quite odd sharing my negative feelings with other people, even writing.

Really thanks for reading if you made through all this.

Reasons why I’m learning Welsh. *long post*

I decided to make a whole list of reasons why I’m learning Welsh.

I wrote them in my diary at first, but then posted it also on my Polish blog, which I had until December. They aren’t in any speciffic order, I just wrote them down as they were coming to my brain.

So I decided to put this list here as well, and maybe continue it in future with writing lists of reasons why I’m learning all the other languages I’m learning or why I want to learn those I plan to learn in future. The list might be longer than the one I published on my Polish blog, because some time has passed and I found some new reasons. Unfortunately I didn’t write them down anywhere so it depends on whether I’ll be able to recall them all. I might add something to some of them to make them more clear for you.

1. I extremely like it.

and it belongs to the group of my favourite languages, in case of which I have a constant feeling like I just should not even learn them, but have contact with them and moreover to speak them.

2. Because I want to read the Mabinogion in Welsh in future.

As well as other books about the Celtic culture and Welsh folklore, there are so many great Welsh fairytales and I want to read them not only in English, but in Welsh too.

3. I like Welsh music.

Especially Welsh language music, as you surely know well, if you have seen my song of the day series.

4. My current musical crush is Welsh, and he makes Welsh language music.

I started to learn Welsh before I got to know Gwilym Bowen Rhys and his music, but still it is a very important reason for me, even if not direct, and it makes me somehow even more motivated. And it is a direct reason why I chose a North Welsh dialect over South Welsh. Because Gwil is from North Wales. And because people say northern Welsh is more difficult.

5. In a bigger or smaller degree, I have some sense of bond with all the nations which languages are my favourite.

Of course when it comes to Poland and the Polish language, it was rather inversely, because of the fact I’m Polish and via my bond with Poland as my motherland and the Poles, I’ve naturally started to like Polish very much.

Anyway my bond with Celtic nations is quite speciffic and strong, I guess even stronger than with Sweden or Finland or others, which I consider also as a reason in some way, because I’d like to know more Welsh-speaking people and see, if seriously I haave any reasons to feel so much attached to the Celtic countries and if really me and them have as much in common as I feel. As for now, I have one Welsh-speaking pen pal, with whom I’m getting along really well and we seem to have loads of things in common, and I know more or less some people from the online community in which I am learning Welsh. They are learners like me, but most of them are Welsh. With some of them I talked a bit more than with others and I like them.

6. I think that the Welsh themselves – ptui! a large amount of Welsh people – still don’t appreciate their language as they should.

Although in the last few decades situation of this language has significantly improved, it’s still listed amongst endangered languages and it’s mostly in North Wales where it is in everyday use. So… someone has to show them somehow, what a unique language they have. 😀 Although ENglish is also an undenianbly beautiful language, nowadays almost everyone can speak it, so they should be proud that they have their own, in my opinion.

7. To make people ask why and feel amazed. 😀

And to make a good conversation starter of it. Very useful if you have social anxiety like I do and when you are introvert and hate smalltalking about the weather, school etc. Like I do too.

8. To develop my brain and not become intellectually senile  and not to go even more crazy at my old age.

I certainly have kind of obsession about developing my brain, I am terribly afraid of neurodegenerative diseases and all that reduces brain efficiency. And multilingualism definitely lessens the risk of reduced brain efficiency in future. For the same purpose, I eat food which improve my brain and as i have Mum who is a lifestyle expert, it isn’t difficult. For example I don’t add lemon to the tea, only ascorbic acid, or sodium ascorbate, Mum always has a lot of it, and it tastes just the same as if you had it with lemon, while when you add lemon to warm tea, you’ll get aluminum citrate and will storage in your brain, so… umm, no, thanks. 😀 But seriously, I’m really sensitive for brain well-being matters, probably more, than the standards anticipate, if there are any. 😀

9. To be able to write something so that noone undesirable should get what it is on about.

I mean such things like my diary for instance, or other notes like that. Right now, my personal diary is a mix of Polish, English and Swedish, sometimes I put some Welsh if things I’m writing about aren’t overly complicated, but I suppose that once I get Welsh well enough to be able to express my thoughts clearly, I will use mainly Welsh. I’ve already told you I am slightly paranoid about my privacy, so, I think that’s a great idea.

Or if I feel like swearing a bit. I think it sounds better in Welsh than in Polish or in Swedish, or even in English. I am not one of those people, who have a habit of swearing on every occasion, but sometimes… can’t resist. And then most often I do it either in Welsh or in Finnish, as it’s also great.

Last year in June there was a situation when some guests came to us for a night. It was my cousins’ First Communion. Mum wanted them to eat the supper first. While I was in my room, but wanted to go downstairs, challenge myself and socialise even jjust for a while. So we went downstairs with Misha, to see what’s up. But they had all they suitcases spaced out around the corridor and one was so perfectly placed in the middle of my way to the living room, so that I hit it with my tibia with a lot of rumble and before I could form any logical thought, I pretty automatically swore in Welsh, (not sure if I should quote it 😀 )

My Mum got a bit scared and screamed “What happened?!” while my Dad only asked me from the kitchen: “Which language are you swearing in?”, loud enough to be heard by the guests, so I said that in Welsh, and so I provided a topic to discuss again and people asked why Welsh. But usually I don’t make such big performances as it was then, it’s way too embarrassing. I just swore almost involuntarily as I hit my tribia really strongly and it hurt badly. 😀

10. To talk to Misha in another language and check if he reacts.

Misha is a very clever creature and knows many things, sometimes such things that I wouldn’t ever think he may know anything about. The idea about talking to Misha not only in Polish came from my Swedish teacher, who talks to his cats in Swedish and he says they understand. I was rather skeptical and thought it’s just his autosuggestion, but decided to try, as I already noticed that Misha responds when you call him Mishka, Misheczka, Mishątko and with other nicknames like that, for example when he sits somewhere high and you just say Misheczka, even talking to someone about him in a rather normal tone of voice, he’ll turn to you. Of course it works only when he isn’t absorbed by something else, more interesting, people also don’t always do what you expect them to do at the moment. So I tried and it turned out that Misha comes to me when I’ll call him “Misha chodź” (in Polish), or “Misha, chodź tu” (come here) or “Misha, come here” or “Misha, kom här” (come here in Swedish). Other than that, we rarely call Misha “kici kici” (which is Polish for here kitty kitty or something like that) or if we do, it simply doesn’t work. My Mum has read somewhere, that everyone automatically would call the cat kici kici so he’ll come to anyone, hence Mum came up with an idea that we can whistle to call him, but then Zofijka and me started to call him Mish Mish Mish. 😀 So since both Misha come and Misha kom work and Misha seems to get what’s going on when I just talk to him in another language, so that when we for example go to sleep and he goes behind me upstairs, I decided when I felt a bit more comfortable with my Welsh, that I will try with Welsh too. “Misha, tyrd yma, melys” (Misha, come here, sweetie). And Misha – although very slowly and offishly (he isn’t very responsive overall and, as my Dad calls it, tends to “freeze” easily, so it took him some time) – but came to me and got immediately that I want something from him. So I talk to him in Welsh too, even though I can’t say much and am far from fluent. And I rather talk to him in any other language when we’re alone. I really like to talk to him in different languages.

11. Because I want to see how it is like to learn a non germanic language.

Until now, I’ve only learnt English and Swedish, and a bit of German at school, so I didn’t have any idea about how it is to learn a Celtic language. Needless to say, it feels brilliant!

12. To understand Wenglish better.

If you don’t know what  Wenglish is, it’s simply a mix of Welsh and English, the Welsh English dialect. I love it and Welsh English accent too – as all the British accents and dialects.

13. To understand what they chat about in Radio Cymru and S4C (Welsh tv channel).

I listen to them a lot, so it would be reasonable to understand it, wouldn’t it?

   14. To have a laugh at Tolkien’s fans and talk to them in Sindarin. 😀

While creating the Sindarin language, Tolkien apparently was inspired with Welsh and actually if you can read Welsh (know its phonetics), you can as well read in Sindarin. at least that’s what I was told.

15. To scare my gramma.

My gramma is a bit obsessed with theology. She isn’t a bigot, like many elderly ladies, she was just always interested in theology, she even studied it. She insists that Welsh surely is a Pagan language, because the Celts were pagans and those Welsh people who speak Welsh are too, that all the Gaelic languages are pagan languages and that they are nazis, because Celtic cross is a symbol of nazism. She always asks me different things about Celtic spirituality, the early, pagan one and the Christian spirituality, when all those monks started to arrive to these lands and she still can’t believe that Christian people seriously pray in Welsh, Irish and Scottish, that they had their own, speciffic, Christian spirituality. Indeed, with some elements of their old traditions, but we Slavic people also have traditions that are post pagan, but they are a part of our spirituality.

16. Because I want to watch Rownd A Rownd series in which my crush had apparently played.

And I want to know what it is about obviously.

17. Because I want to be able to do something niche.

Niche things are often interesting just because they are niche, and I want to be able to do something interesting.

18. Because I love to hear people switching languages easily.

I love to hear people talking in English, then switching to Welsh, then back to English and I want to at least be able to do so.

19. To scare strangers.

No, not all strangers. This is another idea brought to me by my excellent Swedish teacher. He liked to tell me stories and once he told me that he had a situation when a drunk guy came to him and started to talk bullshit to him and also asked him for some money. And my teacher, who also speaks Latin, started to talk to him in Latin. 😀 Poor guy looked confused and scared and looked at him like he was insane, and walked away. Isn’t that a great way of dealing with intruders? 😀

20. Because I want to challenge my social anxiety.

My social anxiety is very strange. It comes and goes in different situations and sometimes I can’t predict when it will come. Sometimes I might chat freely with my extended or close family and be unable to talk to strangers, sometimes I find myself feeling very comfortable around someone I’ve never seen before and have trouble talking to even such close people like my brother. It’s very flexible and it’s hard for me to notice any patterns of it. One thing it amazes me with is that I am often a bit less anxious when I speak to people in another language. I’ve never had those kind blockades while talking in another language, which many people do have and I suppose my love for my languages is bigger than my social anxiety. So, when I get a chance of talking with someone in English or Swedish, most often my language obsession wins, and although I may be anxious, I jump on it. And it gets better while I’m speaking. My most hardcore experience is staying in Stockholm for a week with my family. My family speaks no English, and no Swedish too. So I was like their translator. I was literally scared. I wanted desperately to go to Stockholm, I planned it for so very long, but finally when I knew it will happen for sure, although I still wanted to go there, at the same time I wanted to escape and not think about it anymore. But I got there and although talking on behalf of three people was extremely challenging and just knackering, it was also very rewarding. So, I want to have another language to help me with my social anxiety. As for now, I’ve never talked to anyone in Welsh, only have written emails or other kinds of messages, and I get anxious when I think about it, but I also want it to happen. So yeah, languages seem to be the only thing which can lessen my anxiety in social situations for a while. And I have a quiet hope that maybe someday I will be able to go to Wales and test my skills. The thing is not with organisation, as I think it wouldn’t be hard in my case, but I need to feel emotionally ready, which may take a lot of time.

21. Because it helps me with depression and all the other kinds of anxiety I experience.

Social anxiety isn’t the only kind of anxiety I struggle with, I very often experience pretty general anxiety and have a bunch of speciffic phobias. When anxiety hits me, it’s rather hard to focus on anything else besides the object of your anxiety, so you won’t absorb any new languages. But you need to distract. Even if all your thoughts are full of anxiety, you can switch to another language in thinking. English doesn’t work, because I already think a lot in English during the day along with Polish and it doesn’t need as much effort as with Swedish or Welsh. And then, when I start to think in that other language, in my case, my thoughts  slow down – because I usually have to have more time to form them – and I can gradually distract from feeling anxiety, without desperately trying to find some activities or other topic to think about or something to focus on. I often write down my thoughts then as well. I just let my thoughts go, but in another language, and then they just change their paths and I realise I’m actually thinking about something different that isn’t anxiety provoking. This strategy doesn’t work always, it depends on how severe the anxiety is and how much I can focus right now, but it works usually, to a varying degree. It happens that I can distract from the anxiety completely and it just passes away.

Same is with depression. Or low mood in general. Right now, I am rarely so depressed that I feel really anhedonic, that nothing can make me happy just at all. I’m very glad about it. All my language achievements really boost my mood and I try to celebrate even the smallest ones (although my linguistic skills are the only one area I’m a perfectionist in and it’s always not enough for me). If I feel very depresed, I can listen to music in my favourite languages, write something in one of them and it often lifts me up a bit. I always feel like my favourite languages correspond with different feelings. So when I feel a certain way, I prefer to write in a language that represents this feeling for me, although of course I now only know 4 of those languages so my possibilities are limited. But as for the Welsh language, I feel like the feelings of anger, longing (in any sense of this word), frustration, enthusiasm and joy, like the kind of joy when you see something beautiful, correspond with this language in my mind. But anger and enthusiasm seem to correspond the most. Besides, I always set myself some goals as for what I want to reach in a certain amount of time. So that gives me some routine that I should stick to, something I can go to in life at least short term, so the life doesn’t seem so extremely pointless when I feel very low. When I feel like severely depressed and do  have some anhedonia or feel like I just can’t drag out of bed or do just anything, I try to motivate myself to do at least a bit of practice with my language, but if I can’t do it, I don’t punish myself for that. Sometimes the only thing I feel like doing is sleep and I think everyone has the right for feeling this way and it’s OK, even if not nice and even if people may not get it why you’re so non functional at all.

22. Because I want to learn to pronounce…

Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch

and in order to pronounce it properly, I need to know at least basics about this language’s phonetics. In fact, I actually achieved it and I can read it as it should be, but my main goal as for that is to learn to pronounce it by heart. Why? JUST for fun. On a Polish site called Nonsensopedia they wrote that you’ll faster get diarrhea than pronounce it. I just wanted to test.

23. Because so many people think it’s difficult.

It is. But Polish is too. And English, in some ways is too. It all depends on your autosuggestion.

 

WOOOOOOW!!!

23 reasons! Quite a lot, huh? Exactly. So now I’m even more sure that it’s a job worth doing.

Are you learning any language? Why do you do it?

Let me know if you want me to do it as a series and write reasons for my other languages too.