Chapter 5 : Five More Sleeps.. (I wish)

Only 5 more sleeps to go… The closer it comes, the harder it is getting.  My brain won’t switch off, it flips between being excited about finally not having this secret, and wondering about the future, and about what it may hold for me.  It could be good, it could be bad, it could be ugly, I really don’t know.  I spend my days trying to organize leaving the life I have had here in Spain for the last ten years.  There are people to see and things to store, accounts to put straight, and ensure I don’t forget anything I need.  I also have doctors’ appointments, friends to catch up on, and what seems like an endless to-do list.

On the flip side, I am constantly aware of the pain I am about to cause.  I know, I know, it wasn’t my fault.  The fallout from this IS my fault though.  I should have spoken up sooner.  I didn’t, and now I have to face up to, and live with the consequences of my actions.

I take a little solace in the fact that they have not had this pain for thirty years, but the pain that we may have dealt with has been replaced by the distance that I have kept between us.  Not turning to them when I wanted too for all of these years.  Thirty years is a long time!  I am aware, that not only will my beautiful family be hurt by the secret, but now to double their burden, they will also be upset that I have gone through this alone.  I will be very honest, and tell them that I have never truly been alone in my times of need, as there have been some key friends that have always been there for me.  I hope that they can appreciate these people the way that I do.  They know the friendships, they know the people, but they don’t quite understand the importance of these people in my life, and my journey to this point.  When they hear, there is no doubt that they will love them as much as I do, and understand my commitment to them.

My nights are the worse times.  The closer I get to going home, the less sleep I seem to be able to get.  Every night, I lay thinking about the changes that are to come.  I feel actual fear, after everyone else in the house settles down for the evening, and I am alone, the anxiety builds up.  It feels physical, and my body starts to ache with tension.  My head feels too full and overactive, I play over and over, every single scenario, some leave me weeping until my tummy hurts, my nerves get more frayed until I am unable to hold a cup of coffee without shaking and spilling it.
My doctor has been very helpful.  She is adorable, and has seen me through depression on possibly four previous occasions.  She has also dealt with the onset of diabetes with me, the management of my asthma, and later, the COPD.  These are all conditions, apart from the asthma, that my family don’t know about.  They don’t yet know about the emphysema, or the depression, so even more for them to take in.  Back to my doctor….  She is Spanish, and speaks no English, and despite 10 years of me living in Spain, I am embarrassed to say I don’t speak Spanish either, so we have gone through these events with the help of Poppy, a friend who will be featured more in future entries, also with Google Translate.  The two way conversation app has been a fantastic help, but I also write everything down, in English and Spanish and she shows extreme patience with her patients.  On my last visit to her, I took Poppy along with me as this was a big step, and I explained the situation to her, everything, including my plans for the UK, my truth to my parents, and my visit to the police.  She was very understanding, and with that knowledge said that a lot of things now made a lot of sense to her.  She understood the anxiety, the insomnia, and gave me something to help me through the next difficult few weeks.

I have tried over the last 2 months or so, the following medication to help;  Firstly, the antidepressants, those usually work for me, and do seem to be lifting the dark cloud, and enable me to get through each day, along with some Lorazepam to help with the anxiety.  They didn’t work to help me sleep. Next she gave me Valium, one night I tried two, and still didn’t sleep.  I also tried sleeping tablets, which seem to work sometimes, but leave a terrible taste in my mouth the next day, so these we changed to Midazolam (a sedative).  None of them seem to work, so I’ve tried a sleeping tablet and a Valium, a sleeping tablet and a Midazolam, and even resorted to smoking marijuana before bed, and also combining that with the Midazolam.  All that achieved was a very restless night, resulting in me falling out of bed during a nightmare.  I am at my wits end with what to try next.  I have tried hypnotherapy; it has been known to help me in the past, but not going through this.  My brain is a balloon that is due to explode, and I don’t know how to release the air.

I have a two hour appointment tomorrow with a different doctor relating to my COPD, and also the Depression.  This is for a medical review by the War Pension’s Office, so maybe he can suggest something.  Today, I will go to bed with the hope that if I don’t sleep tonight, it won’t be the end of the world as I will see him tomorrow, and maybe he can suggest something different.  I feel embarrassed visiting my doctor so often, not that she has ever acted like I am a burden, but that is how I feel.  Maybe horse tranquilizers will do the trick!!  There is a whole different story going on regarding the COPD, I will try and get to that after dealing with the first big thing.  Baby steps and all that.  My heart is literally shattering at the thought of next week, god help us all.

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