Good…getting better….but still not great

Ok, here we go again. I tried updating my blog a few weeks back but my update was lost in to the deep dark world of the internet, never to be found again!
So here we go again.
So, I’ve been doing much better this year. Those of you who have read my story will know that last year I began to feel depressed because of a flatmate problem. The guy I was living with really made me feel isolated because he was always in his room. Being a bubbly, outgoing guy (not the annoying kind) I found that really difficult to deal with. Other things in my life also added to my feelings of depression: my boyfriend lives away, my mother still refuses to acknowledge her long-standing eating disorder, and my course can be a downer at times.
But as I was saying things have improved. Here’s why:
1)    The flatmates I live with now are amazing! Two new guys moved here in September and they’re both awesome. We’re really more like brothers than anything else. We each take turns making dinner for the house, keep the place (relatively) clean, and going out with each other. Overall it’s infinitely better than last year
a.    I should point out that the flatmate I lived with last year only just paid his final share of the bills recently. He was being really difficult about paying them and didn’t like how much they were. Thankfully, more than 4 months after moving out I was able to recoup the cost! Woop!
2)    My boyfriend still lives away and I see him less this year, but we’ve been handling it ok. Thanks to the purchase of a new laptop (the other one died in a rather sad way….after plugging away on the worst runt every produced by HP for an amazing 6 years (when I first got it I didn’t think I’d own it for much longer than a year) I got the scary blue screen of death. I laid it to rest the following day. Anyways, as I was saying, I got a new laptop with a fancy cam built in which has enabled us to see each other. Skype is a seriously beautiful thing!
3)    Mother update: she’s still not eating properly. Thankfully I don’t have to see her. In my mind I think of her as having a healthy weight. Whenever I step off the plane and see her my heart inevitably drops at the sight of her. With Christmas holidays coming up I will be going home again, so I’m worried about how she’ll look (we don’t skype).
4)    Course: Well, I’m plugging away as usual. I got some great feedback from my tutor the other day about a project I’m working on. He really liked it. This was good news because we got off on the wrong foot. I was seriously late for our first meeting and he basically thought I was a slacker! Hopefully he sees me in a better light now

But with all the good, I do still feel down. The other day I saw the GP and referred myself to counselling. I just feel isolated still at times and want someone to talk to about it. While I feel like I’m doing well in the course and other areas in my life, I still feel like I’m coming up short. We’ll see how long it takes for the referral to go through.
As a flatmate issue kicked off my depression I’d be interested in hearing from anyone about their flatmate issues. Please share them here with me. I’d be interested to hear what others have experienced and how it’s affected you.

 

Comments Posted

Comment by Rees posted on Thu, 19/11/2009 03:24

I guess this information has been touched on elsewhere, but basically I have had terrible flatmates for the past couple of years; in Canada I didn’t really connect to anyone in my house, course or continent, and then somehow worse feelings of isolation when I moved into a student house back here. Add in hygiene issues to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to cook in our kitchen and then bring one housemate’s wife and toddler into the mix! Looking back on last year it’s surprising I didn’t go crazier, and sooner!

This year I’m back in Student Accommodation and everyone’s friendly, though there’s not a whole lot of hanging out with anyone. It’s nice, and I don’t get the feeling anyone actively dislikes me, or is trying to avoid me, so that’s good. If anything it’s hardest for me not to hide in my room if I hear other people in the kitchen or whatever, but on the whole it’s a lot better situation than I’ve been used to. I could write essays on how bad it got, though, so if there’s anything specific you want to know, give me a shout!

Comment by Aron posted on Mon, 16/11/2009 17:34

Hey Iona,

 

Thanks for sharing your story with me. I can just imagine what it must have been like for you feeling down and then having housemate issues perpetuate it. You sounded like you must have felt trapped — probably the worst feeling to have in your home.

I think I can relate to how depression can worsen things. I think that as my depression worsened I felt more and more unable to communicate with my flatemate. He definitely noticed that because one day he confronted me as to why I wouldn’t talk to him. Leading up to this tension had been building (we literally went weeks without saying a word to eachother), so the day he confronted me the air was so thick between us I swear you could have cut it with a knife! So yeah, I can confidently tell you that I get you and what you felt.

But I’m glad things seem to have improved with the addition of a new housemate! Though I’m sorry to hear you’re ill! I hope that goes away soon. Seems like everyone I speak to has a cold!

Aron x

Comment by Iona posted on Thu, 12/11/2009 15:37

Hi Aaron,

It’s great to hear that things have been getting a bit better.

My situation with housemates has been a bit different – my depression wasn’t caused by my housemates, but the issues brought up by the depression has caused tension in the house which has definitely helped the depression keep going.

I can’t remember how much I’ve written about it in my blog.  I guess even before I became depressed I felt a bit left out by one of my housemates – we were in a similar group of friends, then I split up with my boyfriend and didn’t get to hang out with them as much any more.  She would meet up with them without inviting me, and combined with the fact she would tell me off for leaving lights on more than she would say anything nice – I felt like she didn’t really want to hang out with me and felt a bit neglected.

Then when the depression began, the tension worsened, I couldn’t confide in her about it as she already had issues about mental health problems due to previous experiences with a mutual friend.  Another housemate was supportive at the beginning, but then I started feeling neglected by her and noticed a lot of tension, and it turned out she didn’t feel she could support me anymore and was finding the fact that I got withdrawn and introverted with the depression very hard to deal with (I wish I wasn’t either or those things!).  So I tried to put up a front at home (not always possible) and have learnt that it’s ok that some people can support you at one time, but not support you later.  I’ve finding other people to support me at the moment, and am gradually getting back into the place where I can offer something back in friendships!

It’s been a very difficult time at home, but it’s getting easier.  I know that supporting someone with depression let alone living with them can be far from easy, and I felt really bad for being that person that wasn’t easy to live with.  I’m extremely greatful for all the people who’ve supported me even when it wasn’t easy and am learning to take control of getting my needs met myself and not relying on other people.

We’ve got a new housemate now who has been really supportive and is like a little ray of sunshine!  I’ve been ill in bed the last few days, and having someone come in to check how I’m doing and make me a meal when I couldn’t make it to the kitchen has made me feel so cared for I almost cried!

Hope that helps add a bit to the housemate picture even if it’s a lightly different situation.

Love Iona x

Comment by Aron posted on Thu, 12/11/2009 14:08

Thanks for commenting, Lucy. I appreciate it a lot. Yes, I’ve been embracing my return to normal mentality for a few weeks now – going out, going to the gym, and doing the things I like (and liking them!)

University counselling – I’ve used them a few times and they’ve helped, but they’re terribly backlogged and have told me in no uncertain terms that my issues aren’t as valid as others (they like the person who comes once or twice to get help with adjusting). I say not as valid as others because they view me as high-functioning. While that might be true it doesn’t mean that I still don’t appreciate the time to go and speak to someone non-judgemental about my thoughts and feelings. I might consider going back through them again irrespective of what they say (the beauty of the system is they can’t turn me away!) and speak to them. I’m not entirely sure that I want to speak to the community mental health team.

 

On the note of my mother, yes, I do hope that she gains the necessary insight into her current situation. Yesterday I booked a flight home for x-mas and while I’m really rearing to go (I can’t wait to see my friends and family!) i know that I’ll be hurting a little everytime I see my mother.That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing her and spending quality time with her. Our favourite thing to do is to get a coffee together and catch up about all the things that are going on in our lives. She’s probably the only person that I truly open up to about everything. So I’m looking forward to that. Maybe I should let her know that I’m worried about her weight while I’m at home (providing she hasn’t already made efforts to increase it)

 

But thank you again for reading my note and commenting – I appreciate you telling me a bit about how you went through something similar.

Comment by Lucy posted on Tue, 10/11/2009 14:11

Hi Aron! I dont really get housemate issues so I can not relate but I know what its like living with someone you really dont get on with because of my Dad problems! It can be very restricting when living with someone you are not compatable with so it is completely understandable that it made you down and stressed out! I am glad you are feeling a bit happier now though and are getting some counselling. My referral took about 6 weeks I think. Maybe even 2 months. It seems like a long time but is definately worth it! Does your uni not supply a free counselling service though? They are usually very good and the waiting list normally isn’t as long! I found that my counselling helped me a lot. Now I do not need to go every week just when I feel like I need a session! This has taken me a year to get to though! Hopefully you will get through a bit quicker! But saying that a year out of your life really isnt very long and is very much worth it if it makes your depression go away! At this poing though you need to embrace the happiness and not feel like you should be down. I don’t know if you do feel like this but whenever I am coming out of a downer I find it very difficult as I have been used to being depressed. Therefore sometimes I fight against the happiness. Please do not do that, its very much worth the fight!

Hope everything is going well though! And I hope your Mum will realise one day that she has a disorder and gets it sorted. Unfortunately they can be hard to see and acknowledge without a very big up wake up call, sometimes that may not help. But remember you cant fix that, I know that doesnt help, but don’t ever think that you didnt help her enough, because it sounds like you have done the best you can.:)

Regards  Lucy xxx