Five months on from my last public post I am returning to the blog.
I stopped under the guise of trying to work out exactly where I was going with it all. Having redesigned the architecture and styled it as a quasi-PKM system I felt left with nothing to fill it. Stepping away seemed like the best way to regain some much need clarity.
I should have realised by now that if I'm not happy blogging then it often points to a wider problem, usually with my mental health. And so that proved to be the case here.
But let's take a step back.
In early July, I wrote in my journal that I was experiencing difficulty reading and writing, everything seemed to be a struggle and I couldn't focus. I had forgotten writing this, misplaced it on the timeline of events – it's importance will become apparent later. Around this time I was starting to think about what I could do to the blog, how I should approach it, but any moves were put on hold when the family and I all caught covid.
Despite being triple-jabbed, I seemed to have it reasonably bad – first being put on some antibiotics due to a chest infection and then a course of steroids to prevent it developing into full blown pneumonia. Each time I spoke to a doctor I was asked numerous questions about my chest and breathing, any worse and they would have probably whisked me into hospital. It's certainly what they were hinting at.
This caused me to be off work for four weeks with ongoing shortness of breath, headaches, lethargy, brain fog and memory issues, among other things. A further visit to the doctor raised the spectre of 'long covid' leading to a series of blood tests and a chest x-ray. The results all came back fine 1 so, by the start of October, we were looking for other causes for my symptoms.
My wife has been telling me that my personality has changed over the past few years; when you start mixing this with memory problems the shadow of dementia starts to form. After a long chat with the doctor and some memory tests this was, fortunately, ruled out. Instead, my symptoms were labelled as the physical manifestation of anxiety and depression and I was referred for counselling.
Looking back, the memory and focus issues may have been exacerbated by covid but not caused by it. If I had only remembered writing about it before. The irony.
I have private health insurance through work so have gone this route and had an initial consultation a couple of weeks ago. The therapist says there is definitely an underlying depression that needs treating but, due to my memory and focus issues, that's not possible at the moment. I have therefore been put on antidepressants 2 to stabilise my mental state such that I am receptive to ongoing treatment.
My next appointment is next month and we'll see how it goes from there.
I'm still a survivor, but it's about time I did more than just survive. This time, I'm taking my mental health more seriously than at any time before. I need proper help and am ensuring I get it.
Part of the reason for returning to the blog is to be almost a journal of my mental health journey. I think I also need it. Having something to focus on, something I can build and control. I miss it.
I don't know what form posts will take from here on out. There will be updates mixed with the normal geekery but, beyond that, who knows.
I'm just glad to be back.