Dream stress

Do I have stressful dreams because I am stressed, or the opposite?

Last night I dreamt that I was at school or university or something and had to pair up with someone to do a presentation of some form. The person I was paired with was the person I used to sit next to in GCSE English, which was, errr, 17 years ago? I think the teacher may have been my geography teacher. Anyway, it wasn’t going very well. Neither of us had any ideas. So we just kind of sat there and waited for it to be our turn to present our non-existent presentation.

According to my watch my stress levels were high overnight and my resting heart rate is up. Which way around is the cause and effect?

I felt really depressed yesterday. This is actually a good thing, because at one time “I feel really depressed today” was something that happened multiple times a week, whereas this is the first time it’s happened for a while. I think what set it off was that I was running yesterday and my toes started to go numb. The neuroma is upset again. That is depressing. This happened over the summer too but I’ve caught it much earlier this time so hopefully a few days off will be enough.

The neuroma is difficult because it’s not really that bad. My toes going numb sometimes is not really a big deal. It’s just that if I keep damaging the nerve it could get really painful, and then it will need surgery. I would like to avoid that. But the first step will be to go to a specialist running physio first to see if they can see any issues with my form. There is a specialist running clinic a few miles away which looks pretty good. The physio I saw for my hip was helpful but they didn’t have the facility to actually watch me run.

But hopefully in a few days it will feel OK again and I won’t need to. I think I probably irritated it by doing a bit too much speed work recently, after having done pretty much none for the last few months. I think my left ankle needs a bit more strength and stability to handle speed.

Bad days…

Today has been yet another dreadful day and I’ve been considering starting back on Citalopram. Since I stopped it about three months ago this is the first day I’ve really actually seriously thought about it. I don’t know what the protocol is for this though. I still have quite a few weeks’ worth of it. Can I just start taking it again or am I supposed to talk to a doctor? As far as they know, I never came off it and I guess my prescription is still active (though I don’t know how many reissues I get).

Anyway I probably won’t start imminently because tomorrow is a new day and I’ll probably feel better, but I think I need to start tracking my moods seriously. Sometimes it feels like I have a lot of bad days, but I don’t really know.


I haven’t written for a while about how I’ve been finding not being on antidepressants any more. My sleep has improved a lot again and I’m glad about that. I think my mood has as well, but not entirely. Today I felt depressed and anxious and I don’t really know why. I just didn’t used to get days like this when I was on Citalopram. On days like today I really miss the calming effect it had on me, even if I didn’t really realise it at the time. I feel better than when I last wrote about it though.

In other news…

My sister got a new job! Well, an offer. She has been looking for a few months. She got a £500 pay rise after being at her current employer for 18 months, which seemed a bit offensive, but her new job is an £8k pay rise. Overall her employer seems pretty terrible. It didn’t get off to a good start when she went to a second interview there and the interviewer/HR woman didn’t turn up (my previous HR manager also scheduled a meeting with me then didn’t turn up! Seems to be a common theme. Uh oh I’m getting stressed about my previous job now).

The new job is at a prestigious firm and will look good on her CV.

It makes me think about my career goals. I am starting to get recruitment spam again now, and I’m getting emails every so often for jobs I’m qualified for, advertising salaries of £55k, £60k. That’s quite a big jump from what I’m on now. I don’t really care about money per se, at least not in the sense that I have an expensive lifestyle (I really don’t), but it’s a safety net for the future. It gives me options. So I do care about it, it’s just more of an abstract concept. I still have the crazy idea that one day I might start my own business (well, I’ll probably need to be back on Citalopram for that) and having as much money as possible before doing that sounds like a good idea.

My employer has still not said anything about my six month pay review (now 4 months overdue), so I think my plans are that I’ll wait until November, when I’ll have been here a year, and then I’ll recreate my (deleted) LinkedIn profile, set the option to signal I’m open, and see what turns up.


So apparently, as I found out today through checking out a referral on my WordPress statistics dashboard, I share the username I have for my blog here on WordPress with a cam girl on an adult site. I just thought I’d mention that. It looks like someone was looking for her but found me instead. I imagine they were disappointed. Unfortunately, dear readers, my clothes generally stay on while I am in front of my computer.

I haven’t written much here for a while because I’ve been kind of depressed. Well, up and down. Actually I felt fairly good over the weekend. I had a really bad day last Thursday, for reasons, but then the weekend was fine and it’s just today I feel down again. I think work got to me today. I feel… frustrated? But it’s not really any different than it has been.

I think I am now seeing the effects of Citalopram, in as much as things bother me a lot more than they did when I was on it. I definitely don’t feel as calm as I used to, and I miss that. There have been a few times that I have thought to myself that maybe I should go back onto it. But I’ve only been off it for a month, so I’ll give it a few months at least and see how things are.


The heat has been a problem for me. When people in other countries hear people in the UK complaining about heat, what they usually don’t appreciate is that during summer time it’s rare to get heat without humidity. We turn from a cold, rainy island into a tropical rainforest island with near daily thunderstorms.

I’m glad it’s cooling down now. When it’s hot for more than a few days I seem to go into an altered state of consciousness as my sleep gets disrupted and all the days seem to blur into one.

I haven’t felt very good at all for the past week. I think it’s probably a mixture of the weather and doing too much running last week and over the weekend (overtraining). I hope it’s not that I’m no longer on antidepressants and this is me going back to “normal”, but the fact is that I’ve felt pretty depressed and emotional all week and they’d probably have helped.

Work has been frustrating me. I learnt today that the company has made someone redundant. This person had been furloughed, so it’s not a huge surprise I suppose (and it turns out he’d actually found another job and had been working somewhere else while claiming the furlough pay too, so it’s not like he’d have been back anyway), but, hmm, I don’t know. I’ve only been here for 9 months now and in that time two people have left (by which I mean they were pushed). That doesn’t fill me with confidence.

I don’t think my job is in danger, but then, how would I know? I am starting to feel the frustrations in dealing with my manager. I get bug reports from him which are a one-line email comprising a run on sentence that doesn’t really explain what he means. I never get any positive feedback. He is friendly enough with me, but the only feedback I get on my work is “this doesn’t work”. That’s a problem. But I don’t think it’s a problem with me.

Then there is the matter of the fact I was contractually promised a salary review after six months, and they still haven’t delivered on that. I’m just going to sit on that for now. I don’t think it is worth the risk of bringing it up yet, especially as since it’s in my contract I intend to and expect to be able to recoup it later, but it hardly makes for a good employer-employee relationship.

I wonder what my counsellor would say if I was still seeing her. I kind of know what she would say. She would say that they aren’t behaving as if they value the relationship and it’s up to me whether I want to act on that. Which I don’t, really. Not yet. It’s incredible to think I’ve been here for 9 months, though. That’s both a really long time and a really short time. There’s always the concern of looking like a job hopper, but I was in my previous job for seven years so moving on from this one after a year to 18 months is fine, really. I’m already half way through that period!

But there is also a good argument for going self employed. I thought about it a bit before I left my previous job but I wasn’t really ready. Now though… I still don’t feel ready, but I feel a lot less unready.


Today is the first day I’ve intentionally not taken any citalopram. I’d got it down to 5mg a day for the past week or so, so I thought I’d try the no dose.

I don’t know if it’s because of that or because I’m not running or going out in general, but this evening I feel really depressed. Hmm. Well I am frustrated about not running but that’s no different than the past few days, and my foot seems to be behaving so I’m still intending to run again at the weekend.

So… I think it’s probably withdrawal. I was hoping though that the 5mg dose was so low as to be insignificant and cutting it down entirely wouldn’t be much different. Maybe not.


My boss said goodbye to me yesterday as he wouldn’t be in the office today. He apologised for not having sorted out a leaving meal/event for me, no reason given. I had noticed the conspicuous absence of this, but since I’m hardly leaving on great terms, I would have felt weird about it anyway. He also apologised for not having made an announcement that I was leaving but promised that he would.

So I went in today expecting to see the email announcing my imminent departure, and realised I’d been duped. Again. I don’t know why I was surprised – it’s just par the course at this point for the company to let me down.

I said goodbye to a few people, including my manager (note: different person to my boss) whom I’ve had a really good relationship with, but the office was pretty empty today so a lot of people won’t realise I’ve left until they figure out in a few weeks that I’m not on holiday. So I left the company in much the same manner that I’ve existed here for the past year – feeling invisible and unvalued, and as if it’s somehow my fault.

Anyway, that’s all I’m going to write about that. I hope that it’s enough to get my thoughts out and let me move on. I felt quite deflated when I left, but now, this evening, I’m feeling a lot better already. I think the next two weeks are going to be healthy for me.

Citalopram day 1

I had trouble getting to sleep last night and then I woke up super early and couldn’t go back to sleep, all because I was stressed and dreading going to work – is she going to be rude to me today? will I be able to handle it? After getting up I very impulsively decided to restart the Citalopram because something’s got to give at some point.

The doctor I saw last week advised me to try half-dosing to 10mg for a week or so, as I was concerned about side effects, so I did that.

lavenderandlevity (whose blog is incredible) convinced me yesterday that unless I actually give the tablets a fair chance, I’ll always be wondering if I should be taking them. Even if I quit my job tomorrow and removed all my immediate stress, I’d still need to get through a job-search at some point and I’m not entirely convinced I would actually do that at the moment, versus just… not bothering.

So, I took it this morning, and I have felt…

Physically, pretty rough: I am tired (hardly surprising given I haven’t slept much), nauseous (this is definitely the tablet) and my tongue feels weird. I think my appetite is a bit suppressed by the nausea. Hopefully this will pass in a few days.

Mentally though I’ve felt quite calm today. But this may just be the effects of the resolution to the meds or no meds argument that’s been going around my head continually.


I need to promise myself something here. If these help and I start feeling calmer, I need to not use them to mask the fact work is a toxic workplace. I need to use them to instead give me the confidence to get into a non-toxic workplace so I can come off them ASAP.

I also need to be very careful about stomach bleeding, which SSRIs can exacerbate. I have always linked my occasional bleeds to running, so for the next week or so, I need to ‘stress test’ myself here, because if they are going to cause more bleeding, I need to know about it before my body starts to build a dependency on them. I did 11k this evening at a hard-ish pace (uanffected by the nausea, apparently), but the real test will be when I do 16-17k over the weekend.


The other problem with work, apart from the social side of it, is the overwhelming feeling that I’m wasting my time here. I’ve been here 7 years and I haven’t progressed in any measurable way. It’s hardly surprising that I don’t feel respected by certain coworkers when my employer obviously doesn’t respect me either. Nobody else in the 7 years has been promoted, so it’s not me personally, but it’s still a problem.

The whole situation adds up to say that the company doesn’t value me, and it’s bad for my self esteem to continue working for a company that doesn’t value me – because, what does that say about me?

I was talking about this to my mum. She was horrified when I said I’d started taking anti-depressants, and, in fact, her extremely negative attitude towards them was one of the things that put me off taking them initially, because I didn’t want to deal with her disapproval (note: I know this is a bad reason).

I think she’s starting to ‘get’ it all a bit more. I told her this weekend that the most recent doctor said we were probably focusing on the wrong thing by looking at my diet for reasons as to my weight loss. I have been tracking my weight quite closely since June and I’ve lost 0.4kg since then. Mum was a lot less negative about anti-depressants this time when I mentioned the doctor again suggested I take them – she said “how do you feel about that?”, and she also said that if my job was causing me physical health problems then that’s not good and she’d support me quitting. Which is good, because, like I said, I don’t want to have to deal with her disapproval.

I feel like I’ve gone around in a circle and I’m still in the same position of “do I quit, or do I try anti-depressants?”. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. I am hoping that if I started anti-depressants, they’d give me the strength and motivation to get a better job. At the moment, that just feels difficult. It takes me all of my work related energy to be at work. I don’t want to come home and then start stressing about applications and interviews.

But I also see a possible alternative route in that at some point soon I will have an opportunity to voice career progression related discontent to my boss. The project I’m on is almost finished and some time in the next month or so there really should be a discussion about what I’ll be allocated to next. This gives me a natural opportunity to point to my achievements over the past 18 months or so and express surprise and/or disappointment that I haven’t been recognised for them and officially given a more senior role. It might go nowhere, but that’s good in itself because it makes things clear. At the moment I feel I’m probably wasting my time at this company, and this discussion will remove the uncertainty. The timing is bad because the company’s finances don’t seem to be doing too well, but equally, I bring in a lot more money than I cost the company, so they’ll be doing even worse if I leave.

It’s worth pursuing that a bit just because it would piss Becky off if I got promoted.


The GP yesterday got me thinking again.

The rough summary is that she felt very emphatically I should be on anti-depressants. I’ve had 3 GPs tell me this now. This one had my recent psychiatric test results in front of me and seemed concerned I had scored pretty highly for some things and that without treatment I might get worse.

She related this to my weight, as I mentioned yesterday, saying that, yes, I can go and see a dietitian, but the chances are that my diet is fine and it’s my anxiety issues preventing me from putting on weight, so we’re focusing on the wrong thing.

So we’re back to square one, really. I don’t want to be on anti-depressants, but my optimism since May that things will improve substantially has not been rewarded.

Phrasing it in the way she did, that “we’re looking at the wrong thing”, with the weight put a certain amount of gravity on it for me. Another way of framing this is that my job – because that’s where the anxiety is being triggered – is interfering with my physical health.

My job is a complex thing. I’ve spent a lot of time here writing about how much the social side of it upsets me, but that’s only a part of it. The whole package is… unrewarding at best. I think I’d be able to deal with work a lot better if I felt it gave me something beyond a number in my bank account.