Exercising for a better mental health

Friday 3rd June 2016 (12.32pm)

I set my alarm for 5am to get up for swimming but I turned it off at 4.30am as I felt tired. I did not get up late but when I did I felt angry and peed off, scoring 2/10. I had been thinking of the conversation I had with ‘A’ yesterday and I suppose mulling things over in my head did not help. When I got to the gym I spoke with a couple of ladies who I often see and it was nice to stop and chat with them as I find that this does help. A few people said how ‘well’ or ‘good’ I looked . Physically, I am fitter than I have ever been but this does not negate the fact of the turmoil spinning around in my head. Talking helped me go on and smash an hours training on the Wattbike.

I have been thinking about work and I would like to be able to return after this period of sickness. Once again I will see how it goes.

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Tuesday 2nd June 2016 (10.09am)

6/10 – Alarm set for 5am for early swim, I ended up smashing a mini triathlon. Knees are still painful when running. I have a counselling appointment at 2.30pm and I am currently trying to make arrangements to see my line manager as I am concerned about my return. I feel in limbo as to where I maybe based.

(9.34pm)

The rest of my day turned into an emotional rollercoaster. I made a decision in my head this morning to tell ‘A’ that by us messaging and seeing each other is not helping us to move forward. I know this will be difficult as I am lacking any sort of strength. I met with ‘A’ and we discussed a number of things and the irrational side of me said that I would organise getting a divorce. Simply, it comes down to wanting different things and heading in different directions. Old things were brought up which reminded me of my failings so I walked out of the coffee shop.

I drove the 20 miles to meet up with a friend before counselling in tears. My thoughts were negative and all I could think about was doing something stupid like driving my car in to a lamp post. I am glad I met up with a friend but I did not want to talk about what had just happened as I did not want to be upset.

At counselling I spoke about what happened this morning with ‘A” and I talked about my level of exercise and how I felt like I was hitting self destruct to self harm. Alternatives and suggestions were discussed but I was not interested and as I do not care I am happy to carry on this way. I know I could possibly regret this in later life as my knees completely pack up. The counsellor asked me if I was eating and I explained that last week I did not want to eat and I felt like going on a hunger strike. I still do but I am always hungry these days (due to the training). This is apparently a classic sign of depression.

I popped into the office at 4pm and had a chat with my line manager. I explained how I felt last week but have since made a slight improvement. I said that I would like to return to work at the end of this sick certificate. Great support offered and the plan is for me to return to my normal role.

I have kept myself busy this evening and I have planned when to do my Action for Living course and Stress course. I would say at the moment my mood is 3/10 but I have to admit that earlier it was lower. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday 1st June 2016 (9.10pm)

I had an 8.30 Dr appointment. My usual GP was away so I saw the Dr who previously helped me out with my knees. The Dr knew of my recent struggles and asked how I was. I did not feel like going into any detail but said that I was feeling better than last week but I was still unsure of my sense of purpose and direction. We talked about the recent CARTEN100 and he prescribed me a months worth of Sertraline. I am seeing my usual Dr next week. I feel flat about my appointment, again as if I could just not be bothered with it.

I went to David Lloyd straight after and I did a run and cycle. I struggled with my knees on the run but rather than stopping I hit self-destruct / self harm and carried on. I do not know why but it makes me feel better. I knew in my head that if I did not complete what I set out to achieve on that treadmill then I would have been annoyed with myself and it would have made me feel worse. This probably comes back to not wanting to fail and because I have a programme that I know I MUST (in my head) follow.

I met with ‘A’ this afternoon and I admitted a few things about how I was during our relationship; selfish, rubbish at communicating, going off on my own or into my own bubble, not wanting to socialise at times and neglectful of ‘A’s’ needs. I believe I have been suffering from depression for many years, as the above are indicators of that; I do not solely put the blame on myself or my depression. I now have a greater understanding of who I am and I am hoping that with recognition, medication, help and support through family, friends and professionals I will become a better and stronger person. I am still relatively young(ish) and I know I can be and will be happy again. I recognise that it will take time and it will not happen over night. I suppose I need to find what is ‘normal’ for me, work on it and be happy with it and who I am. I have so much going for me and many people would love to be in my position. I am grateful for what I have achieved academically, through work and on the sports field. I have family and friends who love and care for me. Whilst I cannot always see through my own fog and barriers, I hope they can see that it is reciprocated.

Monday 30th May 2016

I am actually writing about Monday today which is Tuesday at 8.58am (if that makes sense) as I could not be bothered yesterday as I was not in the mood. Monday was a nice day, I ended up taking my usual cycle route, clocking up 50 miles. For some reason though, I did find this hard and felt battered the rest of the day.

Sunday 29th May 2016 (9.36pm)

5/10 – The plan in my head was to get up early and go cycling; however I turned off my 6.30 alarm at 5am. Wasn’t in the mood for cycling so I ended up having a 1 mile swim in the outdoor pool. As for my mood, it is ok, but I don’t know what is normal anymore.

(7.41pm)

6/10 – My afternoon was not too bad, I ended up going down to Ogmore beach for a walk. Mentally I am doing ok. I am still struggling but I am in a better place than where I was a few days ago.

Saturday 28th May 2016 (10.24pm)

4/10 – I am wondering if this is how it is going to be and I question if I have always been like this? perhaps there is no magic 10/10. I know I have to give the increased medication time to work but unfortunately I am not the most patient of people. This mornings gym session consisted of an hour on the Wattbike followed by a 30 min run. I am struggling with my left knee, but I wont stop and don’t care about it. Perhaps this is part of my self-harm and wanting to punish myself attitude.

(1.25pm)

3/10 – I am sat on Penarth cliff top feeling really fed up. Not helped by the fact that it is pay day and I am back to my Sergeant wage which is considerably less than what I have been used to. I also feel that I have no got enthusiasm for food. It is like I cannot be bothered to eat or even think about eating which is not like me. I wonder if this is a side effect of Sertraline?

Though I am at Penarth cliff top, I do not mean literally. It is what the place is called. I am sitting on a bench overlooking the sea; however, I cannot see much as it is rather hazy. It is a warm day and the park behind me is busy. Fed up of feeling fed up.

(2.15pm)

I have taken a walk down to the seafront . Not quite sure what I want anymore – with anything.

(10.17pm)

No improvement in my mood. When I left Penarth I headed to a local coffee shop and sat outside reading my book.

Friday 27th May 2016 (10.43am)

6/10 – More positive as I sit here in a coffee shop. I decided to give the gym a miss as I think my body needs a break. I have my kit in the car so I may change my mind later. My left shoulder feels sore, which is strange because it is my right one which hurts when I swim. I am not sure what my plans are for later. I think I may just eat cake all day as my GP told me not to lose anymore weight. I am not purposely trying, it is down to all the training which I cam doing. I suppose not sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day may also have something to do with it. I am weighing in at 55kg which is light for me.

(8.21pm)

4/10 – feeling down, no reason for it. Not in the mood for writing.

Thursday 26th May 2016 (10.55am)

5/10 – Last two days have not been good so hoping for better today. Day started with a 2 mile swim in the outdoor pool to clear my head. I had a phone call from the medical centre, calling me back in for an appointment today. Arranged for 3.40pm. It makes me feel bad that the GP felt the need to call me back in. I must have been a mess / concern yesterday. At the moment I am finding it very difficult to hide and control my emotions with professionals. Honesty is coming out.

I had two offers to meet with friends, both of which I declined. Not in the mood to talk.

(4.12pm)

I have just left the medical centre and I am pleased to say that I am feeling more positive than yesterday. I cannot thank my GP enough for the help and support which is being provided.

Wednesday 25th May 2016 (12.05pm)

3/10 – Interesting morning with GP, my 10 minute standard appointment turned into 30 minutes! I feel like I am in a constant battle with my head. My thoughts are not rationale. Long conversation with GP with regards to my immediate safety. I escaped an urgent referral to the Community Psychiatric Team for this afternoon. My reluctance to go was evident. We discussed course of action and I was given some telephone numbers to contact should I need help. My medication has been increased from 50mg to 100mg which I need to try for the next 7 days. This whole thing is draining me. I have been given another sick certificate for 4 weeks; however, if deemed well enough I can return before end date. I have been advised not to isolate myself and not to spend time alone. GP suggested I visit family in Tenby but I want to be on my own.

My 30 minute run and 30 minute Wattbike session felt like a chore. I am glad that I have done it though as I would have felt guilty otherwise and therefore worse.

I have had a number of messages from friends asking how this morning went. I know people want to help and support me; it is just up to me to accept it.

Tuesday 24th May 2016 (9.38am)

3/10 – Feeling really low and fed up this morning. Not sure why? I guess that is depression for you. Maybe because it is ‘A’s’ birthday and its another 1st anniversary of a significant event where we are not together. I am seeing the Force Medical Advisor (FMA) and counsellor later and at the moment I have no idea how either will go.

(8.46pm)

It turns out that today was extremely difficult. The FMA has finally signed me back fully operational with regards to my knee. That is good news. I was upset during the consultation and I felt so low. At the time I would have scored myself 1/10 if that. I feel today that things are getting worse for me.

My counselling appointment was straight after and from the start I was very emotional. I could not rationalise anything and I did not care about anything. I felt so horrendously low, I even discussed my thoughts of self-harm. I explained that I wanted to step off the world and that I have had thoughts of putting my trainers on and just running as fast and as far as I can. I want to escape reality and to feel the sense of running away from everything and everyone. I could not control my emotions or thoughts and I could not say that I would not do something harmful.

Myself and my counsellor had a discussion about responsibilities and how I was going to keep myself safe. Some options were explained, which potentially would have involved my police colleagues which I would have found humiliating. Instead, the counsellor said that they would make contact with the GP and check availability for me to be seen this afternoon. I promised that I would not do anything stupid. I found the counselling session really hard. I could not comprehend anything, it was like I was a different person and that my mind had been taken over. It was awful and I could not see past anything and I really did not know what was happening. I am not surprised the counsellor was concerned. I even apologised for the way I felt I was behaving.

I think my saving grace was that I had arranged to meet a couple of friends. Whist out, the counsellor rang me back to say that my GP was not in but I could see another Dr. I explained that I was ok and that I would rather wait to the morning when I could see the GP who has been treating me. I literally spent the whole afternoon meeting with various friends.

I met with ‘A’ on the way home which I found difficult as I was still very emotional.

So that is my day really. One which I can say I do not want to repeat (in terms of FMA and counselling). At one point I did not know if there was going to be police at my door doing a welfare visit, or if I was going to end up with the crisis team. What I do know is that today my friends have helped. I am seeing my GP at 8.30am tomorrow. If I get a chance I will write before I go to my appointment. I have no idea what my mood / frame of mind will be like when I wake up. As for now, I am signing off as 2/10.