The last several days have been a blur.  I was in bed for four days.  If it hadn’t been for Maria I wouldn’t have been out of the house.  When I’m like this, it’s difficult for me to call the doctors and make an appointment – usually there’s days of debating in my head which turns into a big unmanageable task, before I finally succumb to being conqueror and calling the goddam doctors.  But eventually I did and I changed my treatment plan to what I thought was best for me.  The last 2 months I had been prescribed beta blockers to ‘take the edge off my anxiety’ and whilst they certainly did that … they also made me sleep more feckn hours than sleeping beauty with no improvements to my motivation or mood and no prince to wake me up.  I finally asked for anti-depressants.  This is my sixth day on them.  Hugely positive affects in some ways but in others, not so.  In the short term though, the positives far outweigh the negatives. 

I am experiencing enjoyment again.  I am walking Maria, not simply out of duty, or on a mission to ‘release feel good chemicals in my brain’, but because I am genuinely enjoying it.  I am not experiencing anxiety at all.  I am walking tall again, looking around me, with curiosity, like I am part of the world. 

Throughout this, I have managed work-related tasks from my bed.  I did a wonderful interview with BBC Journalist Olivia Lang … you can read here.

I’ve also been in discussions for some weeks now about documentaries and film.  Sky News want to interview me.  Bicycling Magazine want to do a feature.  I’ve begun the background work to my next book and putting the book proposal together.  My agent, Jen, has been wonderful throughout. 

My book, Me, My Bike and a Street Dog Called Lucy is an Amazon best seller.  (In the USA/Canada it’s called Saving Lucy, A Girl, A Bike, A Street Dog)

So even with my current mental health state, I am still achieving and still moving in the direction of my dreams. I’ve got through way tougher times than this and I know to cling onto my dreams, with an in-built knowingness that life gets better.

My motivation is improving fast.  After the first few days I moved from lying in bed with my laptop, to sitting on the couch.  It was a bigger feeling of achievement than when I’d cycled over the Andes, 5000 metres high in minus 20 degrees Celsius temps!  Sitting on my couch in my living room … I was champion.

The negatives of the anti-depressants are that I’m not sleeping.  My heart feels like it’s going to jump out at times.  And my teeth hurt because I am clenching them down on each other.  Sometimes I feel like I’m talking too fast and that my eyes are too big.  Today I just needed a break, so I took a beta blocker to calm me down, having not slept much for days, I conked out asleep for hours this afternoon.  I never thought I’d be a chemical junkie.  But right now, it’s about survival.

On Saturday I will cycle with Stirling Bike Club as this is a huge part of my treatment plan and guess what … an appointment came through for a one on one psychiatrist session for 24th April!

Since I wrote my blog post about the neighbours and complained to Falkirk Council, there hasn’t been one incident and absolutely no noise! I am so grateful for this and haven’t been experiencing fear!

I’ve still got a way to go … but I know that life can be amazing … and I’m doing everything I can to get back there. To the place of existence that I deserve.

Thanks for everyone’s support – you’ve had such a phenomenal affect on me!

Ishbel xxx