Tag Archives: Fall Apart

The Story So Far – Chapter 23 – Inside The Fear

CHAPTER 23 – INSIDE THE FEAR

I started on the medication the day after I met with the Doctor, he suggested a minimum of a six month course, but stated I should come back within a couple of weeks to assess my condition, I booked an appointment and the only one I could get was on my 40th birthday.

The earlier side effects to the tablets were almost instantaneous, just as the Doctor suggested, which mainly manifested themselves as bouts of diarrhoea and some extreme dizziness.  The diarrhoea thankfully only lasted a day or two, but the dizziness lasted a week or so.  The only way I can describe these feelings was a little bit like on the Lord Of The Rings films, when Frodo puts on the one ring and his world turned to shadows and nothing seemed to be in focus, that was how I was seeing the world in those moments, thankfully they only lasted seconds, but it did leave me feeling very disorientated for a while afterwards.  I spoke with a work mate who I knew had taken antidepressants in the past and described the feelings to him, he identified with the same feelings and said when he knew he had to take them again, he would book off a week so he could get through these side effects, unfortunately because of the days I already had booked, I didn’t have this luxury, I had to tough it out at work.

I had kept Sarah and Paul informed of my visit to the Doctors and how I was feeling, on the Wednesday I went to their house a little bit early, neither of them were present the week before when I sat at Ally’s house in complete tears, but when the rest of the group arrived Sarah let me briefly explain where I was at and the medication I was now on.  It was hard to try and explain what the previous week was all about, as quite honestly, I don’t know what it was about or why it all happened the way it did, but in explaining the visit to the Doctors and the medication, I’m sure they understood things a little better this week.  As always they were all extremely supportive and once again, they prayed for my situation.

Once the early symptoms of the medication had all but worn off, I was left with just the odd mild jittery feeling, it would come and go, the dizziness slowly disappeared, but I would find that I felt really jittery from time to time.  By the time the weekend came around I was feeling relatively normal, compared to the last few weeks anyway, I still was struggling to sleep, I wasn’t getting many hours sleep at all, so it was making me tired, but I was getting through each day and the feelings of desperation were subsiding.

But as the day approached where Victoria was to go away, then a wave of fear began to come over me.  Although I felt that I was doing a lot better, those dark feelings of the previous weeks were still fresh in my mind.  The fear manifested itself as strong feelings that I was going to completely mess up in the ten days or so whilst she was away.  I’ve never had the kids for more than a full day on my own, yes I’ve looked after them alone, increasingly over the last couple of years, but now I had this fear that one of these dark moments would manifest itself and I would end up doing something stupid.  I couldn’t shake the feeling and after all the progress after starting to take the medication, I was beginning to be unravelled.

But I had so many offers of support, so many families at Church all offered their support and said to call them if I was struggling, a few offered to cook a couple of meals for us, which they very kindly did and dropped off for me, it eased the pressure.  Victoria’s mum had them for a couple of night’s so I could attend my Connect Group and took them over the weekend so I could have a bit of a break.

All the while though my struggle for sleep was getting worse.  I would just lay their at night unable to drift off.  The good thing about that was, that on a couple of channels on Sky TV by now were running Christmas films literally 24 hours, so on the nights I couldn’t sleep I would just lay their watching Christmas film after Christmas film, some were good, some were poorly made, but the feel good factor of the films took away any stress I had because of not sleeping.  In the daytime while the kids were at school I would catch up on the odd hour of sleep here and there, but essentially I was still only getting three or four hours sleep each day, but it was enough, I was getting by and gradually feeling better and better.

On the middle Sunday I was invited for dinner at a friend’s, I didn’t have the kids as they were at their Gran’s, so I spent pleasant afternoon in the company of my friend’s family and also a few of our senior Pastor’s who were invited too, it was a really nice way to spend the afternoon and their support and encouragement helped me even more.  Earlier that day at Church I actually felt I was able to participate in worship like I used to.  Over the previous month or so I found I just couldn’t engage with worship, I would sit at the back, on the floor, clutching my knees to my chest and just praying for help, rather than worship, if I tried to get up and worship I just found myself stood there, unable to open my mouth and unable to move, I would just sit down again and go back to that familiar position of holding my knees to my chest and crying into my hands.  But this was the first Sunday where I actually began to feel I was becoming “normal” again, it wasn’t the normal way I would worship, but it was an active worship, not crouching at the back in the shadows anymore, if there were tears, they were more of joy than despair.

We had a couple of film nights at home, I would get in sweets and popcorn and get a new DVD, myself and kids would watch the film and tuck in as though we were at the cinema, only in the cinema you’re not really allowed to lay down wrapped in your duvet like we were, but we enjoyed it, after we had done it for the first time, the kids wanted to do it again, they would have done it every night, if I had let them, but we did it a few times and we all loved it.

By the end of the second week of Victoria being away, all those fears of mine of failing and messing up big time were gone.  I surprised myself at how well I coped and began to realise that being a stay at home parent is not as easy as it looks, there’s so much to do each day, it’s not just about sitting down and drinking coffee!

On the last day of Victoria being away it was my 40th birthday, I spent the morning having breakfast with a friend and then went to see the Doctor again.  We chatted for a while and I explained how I was feeling and how I was doing so much better than when we last met, the Doctor was very pleased at the progress, but warned me to stay the course of at least six months, coming off the tablets too early will bring about a relapse, so I agreed to the six months and to come back after that for a review.

That evening at the suggestion of my Connect Group, I took the kids to see Frozen as a treat, I guess even though it was my birthday, the treat was mainly for the kids and how well they had behaved over the last ten days.  I must admit myself and Ben, my Son, both enjoyed the film, even though it was a Disney Princess film, but my daughter who was seven, totally enjoyed it, she sat engrossed in it from the beginning and talked about it all the way home.  She liked it so much so, that she insisted the next morning that she go and watch it again, so I booked her a couple of tickets so she could go with her Mum, who had arrived home in the earlier hours of the morning, I’m not sure she was too pleased to be going, but by all accounts, she enjoyed it too, they must have done, because over the next few weeks they would both go and see it a few more times!

With Victoria back and the Doctor’s pleased with my progress, the pressure was off and I able to relax a little bit.  I was feeling so much better and was actually really pleased with how I had coped, considering all the fears I had beforehand.  Although I still wasn’t sleeping, the Doctor had said it could be a month or so before I got back to regular sleeping patterns, things were going so much better and I felt I was moving forward again, slowly, but I was definitely moving forward.

FALL APART by JOSH WILSON
Why in the world did I think I could
Only get to know you when my life was good?
When everything just falls in place
The easiest thing is to give you praise
Now it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when I fall apart

Blessed are the ones who understand
They’ve got nothing to bring but empty hands
Nothing to hide and nothing to prove
Our heartbreak brings us back to you
And it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when I fall apart

I don’t know how long this will last
I’m praying for the pain to pass
But maybe this is the best thing that has ever happened to me

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when
You will find me when
I fall apart

A Journey In Four Songs

I’ve made no secret of how much music has been a part of my life and in particular part of my journey, from a trapped alcoholic to where I am now, messages through the music I listen to have been a vital part of the process.

When I walk I’ve often felt a song has played in answer to a thought or prayer that has been running through my mind at that point.  This morning was a little different, at first I felt one song had begun playing in answer to how I felt at that point, a little on the low side, it was Fall Apart by Josh Wilson, then followed by Becoming Who You Are by Mainstay, these two songs reminded me it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to struggle, God is there for us and as the song says “with every fall you’re just becoming who you are”.  I thought at that point that these two song were the answer to how I was feeling, then a third song played which added to the ongoing response to my feelings, this time Jars of Clay with Weapons, just a reminder that sometimes we don’t need to keep fighting, just let God go before us.  Then finally to complete the story was Our God Reigns by Jesus Culture.

So essentially it was as though I was feeling like I was falling apart, yet being told that’s okay, you can get through this and come out stronger, let God go before you and trust in him, all through four songs.

By the time I arrived at Church, I was once again feeling a completely different person and ready for a fantastic morning at Church once again.

FALL APART by JOSH WILSON
‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when I fall apart

BECOME WHO YOU ARE by MAINSTAY
I keep on chasing the wrong things and coming up empty
This isn’t who I’m supposed to be
I keep on learning the hard way from every mistake
And I’m finding each time that you fall, you’re just becoming who you are

WEAPONS by JARS OF CLAY
Lay your weapons down
Lay your weapons down
There are no enemies in front of you

Hallelujah, we can finally see
How the bitterness was bruising on our skin
We didn’t notice that grace had run so thin
Till we’re falling apart and the cracks in our hearts let the truth sink in

OUR GOD REIGNS by JESUS CULTURE & MARTIN SMITH
Our God reigns
Our God reigns
Forever Your kingdom reigns
He reigns, He reigns
He reigns, He reigns
He reigns, He reigns

It’s Tiring, But I’m Getting There

It’s been another hard week, although I must add it’s been a better week, both mentally and more importantly emotionally it’s been far better and indeed easier.

I’ve been tear free since the last ones that I shed at Paul and Sarah’s on Sunday evening, which is a good thing I guess, five days and counting!

I’m still exceptionally tired and still have so much to do over the coming weekend that it’s hard to get the chance to relax, but hopefully after this weekend things will calm down a little and I can get back to a little bit of normality.

There have been times this week when I’ve felt a little withdrawn, but they have been few and far between. But I have been able to talk also, I spoke with David at length yesterday evening, that helped too.

I took Ben to Amplified this evening, I really enjoyed being back there after a few weeks away, even if I was just too tired to really engage with everyone, but just being there has also been helpful.

It’s been a long day and a long week, work hasn’t been easy, during the week I’ve had to go through ForkTruck training and then the driving test, three days of that wasn’t easy. In a way it was a good distraction from everything else, it gave me something to focus on, but then the pressure from everyone around me at work wasn’t really appreciated either, but in the end I passed anyway.

So hopefully I’ve turned the corner this week, being honest to myself and sharing my issues with friends has been as massive help, it’s brought breakthrough, so note to self, stop running away and hiding everything.

The other morning I was reminded of a quote from one of my favourite films, it’s a great quote:

“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”
Clarence Odbody, AS2

FALL APART by JOSH WILSON
Why in the world did I think I could
Only get to know you when my life was good?
When everything just falls in place
The easiest thing is to give you praise
Now it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when I fall apart

Blessed are the ones who understand
They’ve got nothing to bring but empty hands
Nothing to hide and nothing to prove
Our heartbreak brings us back to you
And it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when I fall apart

I don’t know how long this will last
I’m praying for the pain to pass
But maybe this is the best thing that has ever happened to me

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel you now more than I did then
How can I come to the end of me
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find you when
You will find me when
I fall apart

Reading My Pain

I was flicking through the first book of my journal, which started on Monday 19th March 2012 (the day I class as the start of my new life, Day 1) and ending on Wednesday 15th August 2012, Day 150, a total 198 pages of my journey, I’m nearing the end of my second book now, today’s entry will be day 251 of this grand journey.

I was looking for something I may have written in there, something I wanted to form a post around but I couldn’t find it, but as I scanned through the pages I happened across a page, a page that wasn’t like any other page, it was probably the most painful page I had scribbled, I glanced past it a few times, noticing there was something different about it, then eventually I returned to it, intrigued, I re read in it’s entirety, I was close to tears and felt compelled to post this.

Journal Entry - 20th April 2012

Journal Entry – 20th April 2012

As you can see I always write in capital letters, I don’t know why, it’s a habit I’ve picked up, I’m good at picking up habits. Even in capital letters my tortured scribble is not entirely legible, it doesn’t always make sense, so here it is, translated:

Friday 20th April 2012 – Day 33

Once again I feel worn out by all of this and confused by what is happening to me, is this aching because I’m coming down with something or is it withdrawal, I don’t know, but definitely questions to ask Doctor Cusack on Tuesday. I ache all over, I found it difficult to cope with even the order for the take away going wrong tonight, that was a real low point for the week and again, I’m not happy with myself for that, but I’m doing my best to handle all of this, but it’s a lonely road to travel at the moment, I need help I don’t think I can do this alone anymore. Maybe I am run down but it’s hard, the aches, the pain, the tiredness, how long will all this last before I can move on, this week has been the worst since I started this book, a real struggle to get through, the ribs haven’t helped, working late, the weather, it’s made a pretty rubbish week really, hopefully it can’t get any worse, I’m not sure if I could cope with this anymore, I wrote before it’s the first test of my faith and I have failed miserably, but I don’t want to, last week seemed easy this week seems so hard, it’s all very confusing, in an already very confused life, again I’m not sure if I can cope with much more of this.

Grantham tomorrow, no training, that’s not wise at the moment, but I want to get back into training as soon as I can, I need it, I need some focus.

I will be at Church on Sunday, I’m going to continue what I’ve started and I will be praying for help, because I feel lost at the moment, well lost, I don’t know which way to turn to get through, but I will ask for guidance, hopefully I will get some answers!

No other page in my journals read like this, I usually describe in brief at least part of my day, if not all of it, together with my feelings as I go through it, this one was different, so different, there is no mention of what I was doing that day, only feelings, my lowest feelings.

The only part of the day I mention was ordering the take away, we nearly always order on Friday, from the same place, the same thing. But on this day someone different answered the phone, I did my best to tell him what I wanted, but with his limited English it wasn’t easy, I was getting frustrated, I was trying to be clear but I felt like no one was listening, I came off the phone knowing this would all go wrong, I wanted to hide. But luckily one of the regulars at the take away noticed the order, the address, noticed it wasn’t usually what we had and rang us back to clarify, my partner took the call and sorted it all out, calmly, I felt even lower, that I couldn’t even get a take away order right. A take away, it’s trivial I know, it wasn’t the end of the world, the confusion was sorted, but it just added to my personal confusion and my feelings of being alone and lost.

In my post Can’t Take The Pain I describe being sat in Church in pain then reaching out to a friend alone the following night, these events took place on the Sunday and Monday following this painful Friday. Indeed, things did get better after this weekend, granted they got a little worse, but when I learnt to reach out on the Monday following this lowest of days, that I wasn’t alone, I didn’t have to do this alone either, things got better and I began to grow.

I don’t remember actually writing this page, for such a painful and vivid entry it’s surprising I don’t have a recollection of writing it, I remember all the feelings, I remember the take away, I remember the aches, I remember the pains, I remember the tiredness and I remember the confusion, but not actually putting it in writing in this way, I was actually quite shocked when I started to read it again earlier this evening.

I am so glad that most of my days are full of positives now, even the bad moments which occur on some days, not all days I must add, I now use the negatives to find a positive from, something I can learn from and something I can use to continue the growing and rebuilding process.

“How can I come to the end of me,
But somehow still have all I need?
God I want to know you more,
Maybe this is how it starts,
I find you when I fall apart”
(Fall Apart by Josh Wilson)

I hope I never feel this way ever again, I hope my life never takes a turn that brings me back to that day and I pray that nobody else has to go through these feelings of being alone, there are always people who can help, friends to contact for support, never suffer alone, ask for help.

But most importantly ask for help from God, he is waiting for your request,
you only have to ask.