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How much stress can a body take?

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020

I am in the throes of a breakdown stuck in unpleasant circumstances with no possibility of an exit for at least another six weeks. My body is hopping with adrenaline for 16 hours a day, despite taking Mirtazapine and occasional beta-blockers. The depression and disruption to sleep are so bad that my mind is beginning to pull some weird stunts.

This has been going on for 5 months and it's getting worse. How long can a fit person survive such stress before a stroke, heart attack or cancer gets them?

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Seek professional help.  There is always a way out, it just needs to be found.

Post edited at 12:32
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 Timmd 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I am in the throes of a breakdown stuck in unpleasant circumstances with no possibility of an exit for at least another six weeks. My body is hopping with adrenaline for 16 hours a day, despite taking Mirtazapine and occasional beta-blockers. The depression and disruption to sleep are so bad that my mind is beginning to pull some weird stunts.

Can you do any exercise towards helping in sleeping better, even just beetling about outside, or can you find anywhere tranquil to 'pause' which is outside?

> This has been going on for 5 months and it's getting worse. How long can a fit person survive such stress before a stroke, heart attack or cancer gets them?

The thought you need to have in your head is 'Probably for longer than I'm being affected for' - I think. These musings you're having are a part of where you mind is currently at. Thinking back to how my own mind went askew, I'm guessing that your thoughts can spiral along the lines of 'I've got to start being more chilled, because this won't be doing my body any good' followed later by something like 'I'm still not being able to be less anxious or more relaxed, which will only be making things worse'. For each negative or pessimistic thought (which is only human to have them), there's generally another possibility which is brighter. 

Whatever thought you have today, tell yourself your health will likely be fine because you've always been active.

Post edited at 12:47
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

I have no constructive advice I'm afraid. Other than, knowing you from the forums, reminding you that you have the necessary mental and physical fortitude to deal with whatever comes your way 

I'll say what I always say to myself: don't take it too seriously, none of us gets out alive. 

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I'm having treatment. Need to ask GP to increase the dosage.

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 marsbar 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

If it is work you need to see your GP and get signed off sick.  

In the meanwhile your local crisis team may be able to help you with dosage until you can get to a doctor.  

I’m no expert but it sounds like you have beta blockers and are not using them enough?   (I’m not a doctor)

Post edited at 12:48
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I'm having treatment. Need to ask GP to increase the dosage.

Please do, and I hope you can get things sorted.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I am in the throes of a breakdown stuck in unpleasant circumstances with no possibility of an exit for at least another six weeks. 

Sounds horrible. Sometimes we think we are stuck in a situation, but how stuck are we?

When things get that bad, you owe it to yourself and the people who care about you or depend on you to extricate yourself as soon as possible, and start getting better. 

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> How long can a fit person survive such stress before a stroke, heart attack or cancer gets them?

Your situation sound really very difficult and you sound like you're doing the right things to get through it, which you will even if it takes time. The catastrophising/doomspiral about heart attacks and cancers is just that though - seeing things as worse than they really are because of your mental state.

Posting on here is probably quite a good idea, as generally there's a real wealth of support and warmth for people who going through a shit time. Personally, since I'm the kind of person who likes to put things down in words, I've found online email counselling quite helpful (easy to access online, pretty cheap too), as you'll get responses from someone who's specifically trained to try to help. Worth a shot if you've not looked into it.

Wishing you all the best - you'll be alright in time.

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 Blunderbuss 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

If you don't me asking what sort of weird stunts is your mind pulling? Fully understand if you don't want to say....

I had a similar situation to you and my depression deepened and kicked of period of psychosis in which I had to be in hospital for 4 weeks.....I came out fully recovered.

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 Timmd 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss: Having had (cannabis) psychosis, too, I dare say the OP having an awareness of what is going on is a reassuring sign. 

Post edited at 13:44
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 Yanis Nayu 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I’m sure, as ever, that people on here will have sound, constructive and compassionate advice. All I can offer is best wishes. 

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Firstly as my wife will tell you, suspicion and paranoia.

More unpleasant for me is that I have developed a learned reflex to every stimulus around me. We are staying in a poxy mouse-infested cottage near our building plot. It stinks of mouse urine so the rodent people have left lots of air fresheners around and the smell of them now reminds me so powerfully of the misery here that just the smell brings on a massive downer. Just thinking about this situation causes my body to flood with adrenaline.

More unpleasantly I can't sleep so I'm lying awake from 1.00 listening to music and podcasts on BBC Sounds but now even the sound of late night music brings on a downer. During the day I drift asleep on the sofa or in the car then wake with a jerk and the horrible realisation of where I am. I shake, I forget everything, my limbs and neck are burning, it's becoming weirder by the day as I plunge into the incident pit thanks to some catastrophic decisions I've made. 

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 Stichtplate 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

It sounds like a living Hell and unfortunately getting your head straight is going to be a battle. First off, your sleep pattern is screwed and the measures you've been taking so far aren't working. Personally speaking I'd find it counterproductive to introduce stimulus like music and podcasts at a point where I need to sleep, maybe try reading something worthy but boring? hopefully it'll chill you out enough to allow sleep to creep in while keeping your mind away from dwelling on the stuff that's making you anxious. Next try and change the smell in the bedroom, something you find comforting, maybe a spray of your wife's perfume on the pillow? Google some centering exercises and try and find something that works for you and, much easier said than done, try and get some perspective on the past incidents that are dragging you under. Their main relevant characteristic is that they're in the past, try to allow yourself to leave them there, you can't change them and they're destroying your happiness now.

As others have said, the GP is your best option for accessing professional help, in whatever form. Not the easiest thing in the current climate but persevere and make sure your doctor is fully aware of the extent of the health impacts you're currently experiencing.

Things can and will get better for you. Try to focus on the positives in your life and only address the negatives when you're planning how to deal with them. Good luck mate.

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I am in the throes of a breakdown stuck in unpleasant circumstances with no possibility of an exit for at least another six weeks.

What is blocking your exit? Can you tell us? 

As for the question in your OP... As someone said to me on here a few years back when I asked a similar question, unfortunately, a lot more than you'd think. The mind too, not just the body. Maybe it's not unfortunate, maybe the opposite. Because it means you can withstand it till it gets better. I don't have any answers but I have been there, and I did get through. At some points I really didn't think I could take any more, but I did, and I got through it. Hold on friend, hold on. 

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 Timmd 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Could you try going for a nap upstairs instead of on the sofa?

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 bone 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

The depression and disruption to sleep are so bad that my mind is beginning to pull some weird stunts.

Sounds horrible for you. Sleep is vital. A lot night of shift workers I know take promethazine to help them sleep between shifts. It's an antihistamine you can buy over the counter, marketed as Phenergan. Could be something to discuss with your GP. 

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 Blunderbuss 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Paranoia and suspicion are tell tale signs of psychosis which can be brought on my prolonged depression....I realise this is clearly not a clinical diagnosis so please don't think you definitely have this.

How long have you been taking the Mirtzapene? Was this prescribed to help with the depression and insomnia?

I know what a hideous combination this is, I once went 72 hours without sleeping...I became more and more paranoid to the point where I thought my family was plotting to kill me! I look back now and laugh about how crazy my head was but I believed it was all real at the time

You can get out of this, trust me. The right medication can do wonders. I ended up on Venlafaxine after Mirtzapene didn't work for the depression and Olanzapine for the psychosis, the latter I only took for 6 weeks to stop the crazy thoughts.

Please go and see your GP again. 

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 wercat 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

as someone with long term and quite severe sleeping problems I agree with reading - it takes some effort to develop a "reading reflex" reaction to lying awake worrying about stuff that you can do nothing about at that time of night.

However, I completely disagree with making the reading material boring.   Good quality narrative is great, a story you don't want to put down too quickly as you then lose yourself (and the anxieties accompanying being awake) into something that absorbs the conscious and subconscious mind.  I probably wouldn't start reading at 5am but anytime between 2am and perhaps 4.15 am I'd pick up a book now.  Icelandic or Scandi murder mysteries, even Ngaio Marsh, decent science fiction, Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin series have all helped me back to sleep after being absorbed in the characters and narrative.  I read before going to sleep so the chance of reading a bit more of something I like  seems even more positive and less effort when I can't sleep. 

Oh,  and lot's of stuff about time and space and the universe, everything from Sir James Jeans "Mysterious Universe" through Chown's "Afterglow of creation to Brian Greene's Elegant Universe and Fabric of the Cosmos.  Required before A Brief History of Time to make up for the bits of prior theory that Hawking misses out, simplifies to the point of incomprehension or just does not explain properly.   Even Einstein's discussion of Relativity in terms of Trains and Observers.  All interesting enough to distract the mind and send it into more healthy and productive thought.  The negativity is a bully you can beat with this stuff.

Post edited at 15:08
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 Sl@te Head 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Just believe in that light at the end of the tunnel, those clouds will clear and the blue sky will return....

I went through a very stressful time a few years ago when I was bullied out of my job, a friend told me there would be better times ahead, difficult to believe at the time but he was right.

I'm now so much happier and healthier, even all this Covid / lockdown stuff can't stop my new found positive outlook on life, I'm definitely more resilient now.

Stress is horrendous both physically and emotionally so you have my sympathy, but please believe that better times will return and you can return much stronger

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 Stichtplate 01 Nov 2020
In reply to wercat:

> However, I completely disagree with making the reading material boring.  

Horses for courses I guess. 25 years of shift work and on countless occasions I've got into a decent book at sleepy time and still been reading 3 hours later. A kindle is a God send in that I now just switch to The Brothers Karamazov for ten minutes or so.

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Sl@te Head:

Thanks all for the replies. Much of my stress is down to catastrophic remorse that in February we started a building project without seeing the incoming pandemic, when we should have put the project on ice. Had we done that we would still be in our nice warm comfortable house with the savings in the bank and time to ponder our project, which is far too big and costly and is going to leave us nothing to enjoy or for contingencies. The builder says we will be moving in in December and meanwhile we are stuck in this smelly mice-infested leaking bungalow in the same village. We've sold the house so have nowhere to go. The new house will be to a high spec but the sheer size is wiping us out. It has 14 Velux skylights, ffs. It's entirely my fault for having agreed to all this in the interest of an easy life.

Generally I go to bed at 11.00 ish and am asleep in minutes but then I wake at 1.00 or 2.00 if I'm lucky. The Mirtazapine was prescribed for depression. Reading is good but our nearest bookshop is an hour awsy.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Hey RR.  It's been a tough year for sure.  I'm at the back end of a period of being signed off work for stress.  At the time I was signed off I was desperate, and could not see the pleasure in life at all.  I've been off for six weeks now and I can tell you that once you have got through this awful period things will start to look up  - just hold on.  December is not that far away.  Also 14 velux skylights?!  Sounds amazing, sure you are going to love it when you get there. 

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 Blunderbuss 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

If you have been on Mirtazapine for more than 8 weeks ask your GP to change it... 

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Bobling:

I hope so. My remorse also stems from realising that I was already depressed and stressed before all this started and also that I have allowed myself to be shamed and cajoled into something with which I'm not happy. There are plenty of marriage dynamics here best left unsaid. I should have known I didn't have the emotional articulacy or the mental strength to retire from a job I've loved for 31 years, move, sell a d build, all during Covid.

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Been on Mirtazapine 3 weeks, it's still building up. Good drug though with very few side effects.

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 Timmd 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I hope so. My remorse also stems from realising that I was already depressed and stressed before all this started and also that I have allowed myself to be shamed and cajoled into something with which I'm not happy. There are plenty of marriage dynamics here best left unsaid. I should have known I didn't have the emotional articulacy or the mental strength to retire from a job I've loved for 31 years, move, sell a d build, all during Covid.

One aspect of depression and being in a dip is self reproach and being harsh on oneself - do try and be kind(er) to yourself. As the therapist who changed my life pointed out 'Hindsight is a privileged position', everything seems obvious and it's (all too) easy to think 'I should have known'. 

Nobody knew how covid was going to turn out. If the people in charge have made such a pig's ear out of things, you can certainly be forgiven for not predicting how things have turned out to be. Be as kind to yourself as your kindest friend or parents (or whichever is applicable) tends to be to you, or as kind as you are to somebody you especially like, or to a dog even. You are your own dog which you need to be kind to. ;-)

Post edited at 16:41
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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

....and why would I want to change it? I'm getting on fine with it.

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 marsbar 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

It sounds like you have a lot to deal with.  It wouldn’t be normal to find all this easy I’m not surprised you are stressed.  Environment is important.  

One thing I can suggest is that mice hate the smell of mint.  It might smell better than air fresheners too.  

Peppermint oil on cotton wool around the place may help get rid of them and the bad smell.  

If you can manage it I think you should leave the house for a walk every day. 

Post edited at 19:34
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In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I’m sure, as ever, that people on here will have sound, constructive and compassionate advice. All I can offer is best wishes. 

^ This.

No real constructive advice to the OP from me. I'm a naturally pessimistic person, tend to catastrophise, and I'm prone to depression. I can easily imagine myself getting in your frame of mind, the guilt, the remorse, the feeling that it will never work out.

All I can say is that, no matter how black it appears it will end, and it will get better. Hang in there.

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to marsbar:

As I posted elsewhere I think I'm on top of the mice at the moment. We had the pest control guys round and soon after that two weeks of stinks and flies. I trapped a big one in the attic on the first night the traps were out and since then I've blocked some holes under a doorstep with foil, which they've tried to chew through so I lined up some bricks as well. In addition we have our cat here and I've been sprinkling used litter granules all round the bungalow. The mice never got into our food stores anyway.

We are walking almost every day, sometimes twice a day, often over to our plot. In the 5 months we've been languishing here we've met 35 of our future neighbours all of whom have been welcoming, one even invited us round for outside wine and cheese. We are keeping a list of everyone we meet and already we've the beginnings of a village cycling club for the Spring. There are some characters here. 

So despite my misgivings about the size and style of the house (I now feel it should have been smaller and more intimate and gathered around a sheltered yard) the future looks good if we can survive Corona and get moved in before Christmas, even if it means camping in one room.

Doesn't stop me feeling depressed and anxious though... this morning I decided I couldn't find the broadband cable so stupidly I sent a Watsapp to the electrician. He's a nice guy and he knows what's going on in my head so very kindly he rang to explain. Mrs RR says she's going to confiscate my phone.

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 Blunderbuss 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

You sound like you are not 'fine' hence my idea to change it if it is not working, some people stick with ADs even when it is clear they are not working....if you notice an improvement in your mood already then that's good and should give you hope. 

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 wintertree 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

So despite the shitshow of a year you've kept it together enough that the end is in sight for the build.  That's an achievement to reflect on.

I try not to agonise over past decisions as there's rarely a "right" decision.  I'm a firm believer in making a decision and sticking with it for long enough to have every chance of making it work; it sounds like you're doing exactly that.

35 villagers met and 0 fallings out or grudges?  You're doing better than I...  On both numbers...

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 marsbar 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

In my experience you can’t stop it, you can only manage it.  It sounds like you are doing all the right things in that respect.  Hang on in there.  

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 webbo 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> You sound like you are not 'fine' hence my idea to change it if it is not working, some people stick with ADs even when it is clear they are not working....if you notice an improvement in your mood already then that's good and should give you hope. 

Most anti depressants take three weeks to have a therapeutic effect. So why would he need to change when it’s just becoming effective.

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 davidalcock 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

We can take more than we think, but it is vital to plead mercy before finally running out of juice.

House-stuff will sort itself out. Other stuff... work on it. Often just identifying a problem in the dynamic goes halfway to fixing it. 

Wishing you the very best of luck. D

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

It would appear that you have a temporary stressor - the build. The build will finish at some point and you'll be able to move in and deal with whatever comes next. There IS a light at the end of your tunnel, and you WILL get there. There are things you can control with the build, and things you can't, (such as builders not working due to covid).  You need to ignore the things you can't control and just make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. In the grand scheme of things your stay in mouse cottage is just a blip in your accommodation timeline, with great things to come.

Do you mind doing a 'grand designs' and sharing your project with us?

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 Rigid Raider 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Well as somebody else says, I'm on dose 26 tonight and it is having an effect. It evens things out but it doesn't stop my irrational anxieties. 

I tried two SSRIs, Sertraline and another and both were horrible. Mirtazapine is very good as almost no side effects beyond a dry mouth.

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 Timmd 01 Nov 2020
In reply to marsbar:

> In my experience you can’t stop it, you can only manage it.  It sounds like you are doing all the right things in that respect.  Hang on in there.  

It can depend on the person sometimes, in response to life events, my Dad has got depressed and briefly gone onto anti depressants a couple of times, and come off them again when on an even keel, where as I've been on them for a couple of decades circa, while gradually edging closer to a life which is 'more rounded', and who knows what the future holds. Being able not to take them would be cool, and being functional on them is fine.

Post edited at 22:37
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 waitout 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Get out of the catastrophic head loop by looking at the ways your problems will flow sideways rather than vertically. A + B doesnt = C, it usually equals Bb. The mental narrative that all this results unstoppingly with homelessness/death/singularity collapse is unrealistic because every stage will have ways of mitigation. You can buffer the slide and package the stress into manageable periods.

I've had some stressful stages, lasting up to a year or so. Address the stage you are in today and start creating good days amongst the hard ones. Some humans can survive years, think ISIS hostages, refugees etc.

Stay away from too much sugar, junk TV and gossip.

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 Andy 1902 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> .... and get moved in before Christmas, even if it means camping in one room.

Can't speak for the meds, but have some experience of a large scale renovation that I really shouldn't have taken on (especially as I was already struggling with mental health - I thought being busy would help - it didn't...).

Best advice I can give, if budget/Mrs/build/builder can accommodate the plan is to change things to make sure you are in before Christmas or hopefully sooner. See if you can get one bedroom/bathroom decorated to a comfortable but low spec/looking nice, another room to live in (again low spec looking nice), and a temp kitchen - you can re purpose rooms temporarily if needed.

Once you are in your own house and in 'relevant' comfort open a bottle of champagne and celebrate (you are close to making it through...). Everything starts falling into place then, hopefully.......

As for how much your body and mind can take? A lot more than most people think judging by my own experience...

Not everything turns out the way you planned - I sold the 6 bedroomed mansion/project/moneypit for a significant loss and now live on a narrowboat having the time of my life!

To sum up, get comfortable even if it costs a bit to do that, then take everything else from there.

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 marsbar 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

You may find CBT helpful for the anxiety.  

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 SenzuBean 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

You've had plenty of good advice so I won't jump into that - but one thing that I just want to make sure you know is that any blue lights (e.g. phone chargers, computers, electronics) will absolutely ruin the quality of your sleep.
Blue light is able to penetrate your closed eyelids and will stop you from reaching deep sleep. Just one tiny blue LED (white LEDs are also blue inside) is enough over a period of months to cause sleep problems that build into something else entirely.

Sorry if I'm telling you the obvious, but worth saying anyway IMO.

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 Rigid Raider 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy 1902:

This is in some ways the equivalent in that I have major misgivings about the size and cost of the build which is rampaging out of control. We have designed and are building a spacious 4 bed executive house instead of a cosy, protective and modest retirement house. The house will stand alone and prominent on a huge plot with no enclosure around it, which I think is a psychological necessity. Without a deer and rabbit fence we can't have a garden. That is putting aside the loss of every single convenience we enjoyed in our suburban setting before. Here everything is a long drive away, minimum 20 minutes drive and now my car is sick, nearest garage an hour away and they've already ripped me off. It's my remorse at this catastrophic error of judgement that's eating me up and causing me massive stress.

Going over to the house gives me no pleasure as all I see is cost and massive spaces, which will need to be filled, decorated, heated lit and maintained. Going up there just fills me with bleak gloom. At 64, in poor mental health and with serious loss of physical strength I have doubts about my ability to put in the energy. I have lost 10 percent, 7 kilos, of my body weight due to have given up cycling and walking to maintain muscle bulk and due to living on a small diet in temporary accommodation.

Post edited at 05:59
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 Blunderbuss 02 Nov 2020
In reply to webbo:

> Most anti depressants take three weeks to have a therapeutic effect. So why would he need to change when it’s just becoming effective.

He doesn't, I asked him how long he had been on it. 

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 Rigid Raider 02 Nov 2020
In reply to marsbar:

I'm doing a CBT course online and having weekly therapy by Zoom. The CBT has helped a little and I don't know where the therapy is taking me, I'm doing it more to appease Mrs RR.

A person who is suffering depression and anxiety needs a stable, familiar, safe and secure home not a big empty, open, unknown house in an isolated position. As somebody posted above I can only see my health declining as the stress of moving in approaches. There is also the worry that all our possessions, in store in two steel shipping containers, have gone mildewey with damp. 

This is why I'm wondering how much further I can go.

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 MeMeMe 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

It might be scant consolation but you're not the only one to make catastrophic mistakes with building projects. We're now 5 years in to our own 6 month building project having blown our budget in the first 3 months. We spent 18 months in a caravan along with our two kids. The strain was horrendous. 

Don't worry, it'll get better and as it does the stress will lessen. Hang in there. 

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 wintertree 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Once the build is done with a basic kit out in the minimum number of rooms, you will have a lot more options than you do right now, a lot less time pressure and a lot less daily hassle.

All of that should help ease the immediate pressures you are facing; if you cultivate faith that this is within grasp - and it sounds like it is - that's something to haul you forwards.  The house sounds properly nice, and garden's are over-rated; especially as one ages...  Once you're in you can take stock of the options.

I bit of way more than I expected with a renovation - it turned out a leaking water mains had been soaking into the stone walls for some decades.  This is County Durham sandstone which has a high lime content - at least until acidic rain water and ground water dissolves all the lime leaving a highly porous matrix.  Between the water main, facing the prevailing wind/rain and poorly set up guttering, the wall was soaking once we hacked our way to it, and the joists...  The joists were rotted to within an inch of their (our) lives.  So all the upstairs walls and floors had to come out, the whole downstairs had to be completely cleared, and then the joists replaced in-situ.   Also I foolishly didn't take the cover off the second, smaller, distribution board before buying the property...  Look at all the unpredictable grief you miss out on by doing a new-build...

Post edited at 09:45

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 Rigid Raider 02 Nov 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Jesus!

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 Rigid Raider 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

It's true that a new build should be less problematic but there are still a thousand and one things to take care of. This might be fun when you're happy and well-balanced but in the midst of a mental crisis every job is a nightmare to perform, even ordering a whirlygig washing line is a huge task. Everything that doesn't work here was working perfectly in Lancashire, we had no worries.

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 wintertree 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> It's true that a new build should be less problematic but there are still a thousand and one things to take care of.

A thousand things to stress over, too.  Find the ones you can park for the foreseeable - be brutal.  

When I'm getting overwhelmed but a lot of things to stress over I write down a list on paper.  Knowing that it's there and I can return to it helps me shunt the content out of my head when it's time to sleep - I don't need to ruminate on it, because it's there safe on the paper.  Not an approach for everyone, and once or twice the piece of paper could have been inadvertently mistaken for a hit-list...

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 DancingOnRock 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

What are you doing during the day? You talk about sleeping on the sofa or on the car? What’s going on there? 
 

Do you have work? 
 

Waking at 1am or 2am is only a problem if you’re not getting enough sleep to carry out your daily tasks. If you have no important daily tasks then get up, do something constructive. Are there small quiet jobs you can do on the build? 
 

Is any part of the build weather proof enough for you to stay there for a few nights? 
 

It’s very easy to start worrying about sleeping patterns when they don’t actually matter and then you just perpetuate the sleep cycle problem. 

Post edited at 14:44
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 wercat 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Would it help to try not to look at the big picture so much and to try to do each smaller task well, or at least in a way that satisfies you so you get a bit of a boost from ticking it off.  If you keep telling yourself of each good little step taken and completed the march of 1000 miles might worry you a bit less? The energy you spend profitably on each step cannot be wasted on worry then and of course wasting time worrying leaves less energy for those little steps.

At night go over the things that have gone well and think of the things that you can do well the next day.

(ps this occurred to me last night when I woke up about 1.30 am!  I got myself back to sleep thinking how extroardinary it was that a startled blackbird that had called out for food yesterday morning and then been fed actually flew a foot or two into the house to my wife's feet as its instinctive response to the perceived danger (actually me dropping an aerial feeder cable).

sounds silly, I know ..

Post edited at 15:03
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 The Lemming 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I am in the throes of a breakdown stuck in unpleasant circumstances with no possibility of an exit for at least another six weeks. My body is hopping with adrenaline for 16 hours a day, despite taking Mirtazapine and occasional beta-blockers. The depression and disruption to sleep are so bad that my mind is beginning to pull some weird stunts.

Its no secret that the NHS is not the best, when it comes to treating mental health issues. Too many people and not enough funding/resources to treat effectively.

If you have the spare resources to go private then I suggest that you speak to your GP about private options.

A couple of years ago my other half hit an exceptionally low point in her life and the NHS was offering solutions such as 15 minute group counselling with up to 20 people in the room. She would also be given bland leaflets in place of face-to-face help from medical professionals.

We spoke to our GP who gave us the name of a private Psychiatrist. Long story short we spent about £400 in total for consultant fees and counselling meetings. It was the best £400 that we have ever spent because it got us out of a very, very, dark place.

Most people know that I work for the NHS, and I love my job and I try to use its services as much as I can on principle. However its not great at dealing with Mental Health issues. Disgraceful is another word. If you are able, or if you can get financial assistance then I'd highly recommend speaking to your GP about this method of treatment.

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 Rigid Raider 02 Nov 2020
In reply to The Lemming:

Another stress has arrived: mice have taken up residence in my car engine and are eating everything. They chewed away two turbo sensor pipes and we got them replaced on Friday at a cost of £85 and a 38 mile drive each way. Now, Monday, they've done it again. Same two pipes. 

Every morning I ask myself what's going to stress me today. 

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 marsbar 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Another stress has arrived: mice have taken up residence in my car engine and are eating everything. They chewed away two turbo sensor pipes and we got them replaced on Friday at a cost of £85 and a 38 mile drive each way. Now, Monday, they've done it again. Same two pipes. 

> Every morning I ask myself what's going to stress me today. 

I’m not surprised.  One thing after another.  I can totally see why you are so stressed out.  I think you are doing well considering what you have going on.  I have very vague memories of a time like that, particularly 3 days in a row when for various reasons outside my control I got no sleep. 

I’m sure it doesn’t seem like it right now, but it will get better.  

I suggest you use the therapy to have a really good moan for now, rather than pressuring yourself to achieve something or other with it.  

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 The Lemming 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Another stress has arrived: mice have taken up residence in my car engine and are eating everything. They chewed away two turbo sensor pipes and we got them replaced on Friday at a cost of £85 and a 38 mile drive each way. Now, Monday, they've done it again. Same two pipes. 

> Every morning I ask myself what's going to stress me today. 


Is it possible to park the car away from where the mice live?

Are you able to set up traps in and around the engine?

Are you able to get a cat or some cats to hunt the mice?

When I moved into my house I had a lovely mouse infestation. In the first winter I managed to kill about 30 of the little blighter's with mouse traps. It took a year to get them out of my house. I can see them scuttling about the garden but as long as they stay out there then they can live in peace. But once they move inside then out come the traps.

No point getting humane traps, because the little buggers keep coming back like homing pigeons.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pest-Police-Durable-Reusable-Protecting/dp/B07S63Z92H/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=wooden+mouse+traps&qid=1604337329&sr=8-5

They do like mats bars and Snickers.

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 Lankyman 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I haven't read all of the thread and I'm not in any way qualified to comment on the medical sides of your situation, so I won't. I had a bastard load of stress for years since the 2008 economic downturn, was self-employed and became broke, had a failed relationship and lived in a caravan for a time. I was never on medication though as I've never liked drugs, even booze. I work in retail now, the money's pretty basic, I drive an ancient VW and life is a lot less complicated and therefore a lot less stressful. When you get a clear head maybe you and your wife should consider 'downsizing' (I think that's the trendy term)? At your age (I'm no spring chicken either) the less bollox the better. Sorry if this sounds simplistic but I wish I'd sorted myself out years earlier. I wish you well and it's a crap time all round.

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 cousin nick 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

RR,

The situation sounds awful!  I'm afraid I'm not in a position to offer mental health advice, but on a practical level, is it possible for you to move from the mouse infested cottage? What is the notice on your tenancy?  I had some experience (as a landlord) where a new tenant and her kids moved from an awful place they rented (damp/no heating) into one of our properties. The transformation in their wellbeing was immediate.

Just an idea that could remove some of the stressors.

Best wishes,

N

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 MeMeMe 02 Nov 2020

In reply to Rigid Raider:

Take care of yourself eh! 

I really sympathise with the constant anxiety, I've found it's not something that goes away quickly but it can and does go when your circumstances change, which it sounds like they will. 

We've not got mice, we've got cats that keep them from getting into the rooms, but rats have gotten into the walls and the roof space. We've sealed up what we can but it's a rambling old house and clearly there is something we've missed. We're not keen to poison them for several reasons but I'm not sure how to get them out, the spaces they are in are difficult or impossible to access without actually deconstructing parts of the house.

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 Rigid Raider 02 Nov 2020
In reply to MeMeMe:

That may have been one of my mind lives used up.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Sorry to hear that mate. 

Take care. Glad you got away relatively unscathed! The good news is.... It wasn't as bad as it could've been.

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 Rigid Raider 03 Nov 2020
In reply to bouldery bits:

Accidents like this are what happen to old fellas who think they're still 40 and go up a ladder to fix an aeriel or something. This filthy bungalow is going to kill me one way or another, by an accident or something caused by my mental condition.

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 waitout 03 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

How are you eating? I find during times of stress that the chemicals I put in my mouth affect the chemicals that swirl through my brain, unsurprisingly. Eating zesty, invigorating foods that feel light in the system, excrete well, and have reputations for being nutritious lets your body know it's being cared for. Eating to dope out emotional angst and wallowing in grease, sugar and starch cannot help as soon the body will be over stressed for nutrition. Lots of water helps too, simply alleviating another source of alarm bells going off in your brain.

I was once injured, in a foreign land, unable to work and no real abode, and lived on bananas, salmon, dark chocolate, leafy greens and brown rice. As much as I wanted of any of it. I don't claim any voodoo about it, but I felt healthy, shat well and felt good about meals when the rest of being alive was like torture.

And when the sun shone I went and sat in it, not metaphorically either. In times of prolonged stress since, and there's been a few as I seem to invite risky changes, I've repeated the above, now with family in tow. We're still here.

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 Rigid Raider 03 Nov 2020

In reply to Steven68:

I retired in July, a disastrously ill-considered move because I'm missing my job and my colleagues and customers terribly. We are stuck in this poxy cottage in worsening weather while waiting for the builder to finish. We have absolutely nothing to do, the boredom is killing us. All our possessions are in storage in two sea containers and I'm fearful that they will come out mildewed and ruined by damp. The stress is building by the day and last night's accident has pushed me further towards the point of losing control of myself. I have been awake all night but I don't want to get up and face this horrible place that stinks of mouse urine.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Oh man, I really feel you. Hang in there. I am in a related situation, having bought my first house last November and then proceeded to get into major renovations that got kicked in the nads by the pandemic plus finding more and more major problems that need sorting, and I live in the property at the time. Take care of yourself and your mental well being, everything else can and will be sorted in time, you are more important than any of it.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

I really hope thing improve for you soon.

Sorry I can't be more useful than that.   I'm finding everything difficult myself to cope with right now . Not eating personally and spending most of my time in bed outside of work.

Everyone on here will be there for you I'm sure of that .

TWS

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 Rigid Raider 03 Nov 2020
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

There can't be anybody who isn't suffering now, especially medical staff. 

My stress is caused by knowing we have to move into a brand new house with no local infrastructure at all along with a car damaged by mice and massive remorse for the error of not having put the project on ice in February. Admittedly we were keen to escape our new neighbors but we'd have been snug, secure and comfortable with everything we needed within walking distance and the savings in the bank. 

Post edited at 12:46
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> There can't be anybody who isn't suffering now, especially medical staff. 

I know.   I've colleagues that have family in the NHS and its suffering from all their accounts. 

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In reply to The Wild Scallion:

>Not eating personally and spending most of my time in bed outside of work.

Oi! You! Fill your face!

> Everyone on here will be there for you I'm sure of that .

Hell yeah.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Now, Monday, they've done it again. Same two pipes. 

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/d886217b-3d9b-490a-bad8-c264cfa66b88

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In reply to Toerag:

> >Not eating personally and spending most of my time in bed outside of work.

> Oi! You! Fill your face.

I am working on making sure I have lots of meal replacements and small bits.  I need to loose a few pounds anyway.  The world seems just to fractured and like a powder keg ready to go off. So it's not conducive to being in a good place. However I would like to think I'm unhappy but managing it ok. 

> Hell yeah.

😀

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 wercat 04 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

That snippet is how I feel about Boris, Farage etc

Anyone know a good hitman?

Post edited at 09:30
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 jaipur 04 Nov 2020
In reply to MeMeMe: have a go at this: we had a terrible rat problem a few years ago. We had a rat man round and he told us to pack any exterior holes with steel wool and then to seal with expanding foam.  His explanation was that the foam gummed up the rats’ mouths and the steel wool cut their gums; they don’t like the blood in their mouths. Also put poison down, but as it causes them extreme thirst, you have to remove any water e.g. dog bowl and dry sinks etc. Got rid of them though!

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

A friend posted this on their FB today and I thought it applied to this situation:-

"When you can't control what's happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what's happening. That's where your power is."

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 Rigid Raider 04 Nov 2020
In reply to Toerag:

My nephew is a teacher in Leeds and he tells me the kids are all nervous wrecks. It must be horrible for them. At least here we're on a lowish CV area (75 per 100,000) a d it's blissfully peaceful. Every time we go out for a walk we meet future neighbours, which is very heartening as they are all very nice and welcoming.

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In reply to jaipur:

Isn't most rat poison actually anticoagulant, i.e. basically it doesn't poison the rat, but rather when they cut or bruise themselves they bleed to death?  Certainly warfarin works that way, which is why in lower doses it's useful as a medical treatment.

Post edited at 20:36
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 Rigid Raider 05 Nov 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I'm waking at midnight every night soaked in sweat. Have to go and towel dry then lie on the edge of the mattress. No polycotton. Anybody got any ideas?

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Turn your heating down? I was getting that a few months ago, waking up soaked like that for no reason at all every so often. Dropping the temp by a degree or two by opening the window a bit was enough to fix what I am terming 'thermal runaway'.

Post edited at 10:34
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 Rigid Raider 05 Nov 2020
In reply to Toerag:

The heating is off at night and the window open so the room is cold. I've realised that it's probably caused my the meds I'm taking.

Not in a good place right now but no different to almost everybody else.

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 JefB 05 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Sounds like Cognitive Behavioural therapy might help. 

Monash university in Melbourne Australia do an excellent  online Mindfullness course that has many aspects of CBT within it. You could do that whilst waiting for NHS cbt. I'd recommend anyone struggling at the minute to give it a try. Good luck.

https://www.monash.edu/health/mindfulness/programs

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 AllanMac 05 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I'm having treatment. Need to ask GP to increase the dosage.

Presumably you're taking Mirtazapine just before going to bed? You probably know it can be very sedating as well as being an antidepressant.  

I am not a doctor, but I do have personal experience of taking it. Increasing the dose actually decreases its sedative effect, so 45mg (maximum dose) is less sedating that 15mg (minimum effective dose) - which sounds counterintuitive, but is a known phenomenon with this medication. 

The sweet spot for me seems to be 30mg Mirtazapine at night, which importantly gives me a good night's sleep. I have also been prescribed 75mg timed-release Venlafaxine, which I take in the morning. The two medications I am told do not contraindicate, as I am led to believe they operate on the re-uptake of different neurochemicals.

The combination works for me in maintaining stability, and while I experience fewer highs, the desperate lows are also fewer. I am mostly languishing somewhere between the two, which is a preferable state to be in, rather than being at risk of doing something stupid.

Medication obviously won't change your circumstances, but it will give you the wherewithal to cope better with them, perhaps as a prerequisite in addressing the root of the problem via counselling and/or psychotherapy. 

Speak to your GP about this. The two antidepressants in combination may work for you too. 

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 Rigid Raider 05 Nov 2020
In reply to AllanMac:

Thank you for the most reasoned and sensible reply I've received from anybody in weeks. I am wondering how much longer it will be before some kind of calamity happens in the form of a heart attack, a stroke, some kind of collapse or psychotic episode. How far can a breakdown progress before it becomes physically debilitating? Right now even phoning somebody takes a huge effort as my mind is reeling with random thoughts. Paranoia and suspicion have taken over, which makes dealing with suppliers etc. very difficult. 

I've booked for a phone call from my GP on Friday morning when I will discuss increasing the dose to 30 mg. The problem is that the drug is already affecting me with night sweats, which I don't want to worsen, along with a dry mouth and constipation. It is evening out my mood swings but the 1001 things that are stressing me haven't gone away and in fact are due to worsen considerably over the next few weeks. At the present rate of mental and physical deteriorating I am wondering what's going to happen and how soon. Do you just cry uncontrollably on the sofa or do you become catatonic?

My therapist asked if I was suicidal and I replied that I wasn't because I have a wife, son and family and friends but I told her that if I could just harmlessly get off the world now I would happily take the opportunity.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> My therapist asked if I was suicidal and I replied that I wasn't because I have a wife, son and family and friends but I told her that if I could just harmlessly get off the world now I would happily take the opportunity.

I'm going to be honest here. I've felt like that many times in my life. I've come to see it as part of how my heads wired and how I (badly) react to some ongoing stressful situations. 

It doesn't mean you're on an inexorable slope to actually acting on those thoughts.

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 Andy 1902 05 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

that if I could just harmlessly get off the world now I would happily take the opportunity.

I'd say that isn't an unusual thought bearing in mind what you are going through.

You seem to be doing most/many things right regarding trying to calm things by medication/therapy, however...

Maybe it is time to look more towards what is causing the stress, there are ways of dealing with that rather than walking away from the project. If you can get your head around that thought, I and I'm sure others will, come up with suggestions to help you.

Regarding the night sweats, my solution was to buy numerous bath towels, use them instead of sheets and duvet, much easier to change in the wee hours. Talk to your Doc about it though because he/she will know whether it is better to try changing meds rather than putting up with the sweats.

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 Rigid Raider 05 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy 1902:

I will on Friday. 

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Right now even phoning somebody takes a huge effort as my mind is reeling with random thoughts. Paranoia and suspicion have taken over, which makes dealing with suppliers etc. very difficult. 

Are you able to get anyone to help you manage the build to take some of the load off you? Obviously it's your 'baby' and going to be difficult to let go, but it must be worth considering?

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 Rigid Raider 06 Nov 2020
In reply to Toerag:

Good suggestion but we are at the stage now where hundreds of small things need to be sorted and decided.

The task is enormous, to create a comfortable and homely abode in a place where nobody has ever lived or wanted to build. All the technology exists so the house will be warm and weatherproof but the location is hostile. Even simple tasks like getting bins from the local council seem massively daunting . At least when you buy an established house all of that is already sorted and you just step in. I am having massive misgivings about the size of the house thinking we have made several bad errors in the design and the house will not be homely or intimate and the size is costing us a fortune. It's a large 4 bed executive town house in a rural setting of modest cottages inhabited for a century or longer by the same families

My mental illness has worn my wife down to the point where she is also showing signs of depression. It's no fun living in almost total silence with a husband who's almost incapable of making a simple phone call let alone conversation. 

Post edited at 04:30
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Hey Rigid Raider.  Hope you have had a better day today.

I can empathise about the details you talk about that need sorting.  We had an extension built and all those tiny decisions drove me crazy, I can only imagine how it must be to be having a whole house built.  On the positive side though every time I get in our new shower I bless the ten minutes we took to discuss how we need it to be a 90cm shower pan as it is so big and lovely now - my point is that there is reward in the future for the pain of the discussions in the present

I don't know if you can access any counselling services?  As I said upthread I've been off work for stress for a few weeks and have done a couple of counselling sessions with my work's bods.  I've started both sessions thinking - what on earth could we talk about for a whole hour? and then the hour has flown by and the counsellor has barely said a word.  It's really, really helpful having a professional who you can talk to about what is stressing you out who has no involvement in your situation and who can ask pertinent questions that help you reflect on what it is that is causing you stress, and how you can help yourself.  I don't know what might be available on the NHS but given the severity of your circumstances I'd suggest just paying for some private counselling so you can get help soon as it seems you could really benefit from it.

Please try to make time to be kind to yourself and your other half.  I know it seems so terribly overwhelming now but really it's OK.  The decisions will happen, you'll get out of the mouse infested sh*thole you are in and start to see improvement in your life.  Until then find some time to get out in the sunshine, to watch something or read something you enjoy - my own personal favourites for uplifting telly are Red Dwarf, or the Sean Bean Sharpe series.  I know for the latter when my wife and I were travelling and had no job, no money and everything seemed terrible we could spend two hours watching Sharpe kill the Frenchies (and the inevitible English toff baddie), kiss the girls and would feel so much better at the end.  Easier said than done I know but give you, and her, permission to just take a break from the stress for a bit.

Last thought - I wonder if you posted your general location some kind local UKCer might be able to go for a walk or something with you.  I've seen several others who have had hard times on these forums do the same with great results.  It seems you don't have many outlets for human company at the moment where you can just offload on a mate, or a friendly ear who can give good advice, or just listen and say "Gosh, I'm sorry that must be really sh*tty for you you poor thing".

Take care, and as Apsley Cherry-Garrard said to himself when he was rolling into his half frozen reindeer skin sleeping bag after another atrocious 'day' of trekking through the polar night on a quest for Emperor Penguin Eggs "This too shall come to pass".

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 Rigid Raider 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Bobling:

Thanks. I meet a counsellor every week online but I don't know where it's taking me. She just sits listening to the endless catalogue of my disasters, looking a bit stunned as it all pours out. Every now and again she says "You've got a lot going on!"

Mrs RR actually  admitted yesterday that she regrets leaving our comfortable fully-owned house in Lancashire for this. She has given up a nice, warm, comfortable home into which we invested 16 years of work to get it perfect for our needs. She didn't realise the situation would cause her husband a breakdown. She didn't realise mice would wreck our cars and our home. The latest catastrophe is that my car has been disabled by mice chewing under the bonnet. A neighbour has told us about another modern house where mice have chewed plastic pipes causing flooding; our new house has been open for months with gaps everywhere along the foot of the walls and with the UFH on tickover,  all the pipes are plastic and the workshop cladding is open all the way round at the bottom, an open invitation to infestation. There is a SS mesh but it's shoddily fitted and another neighbour says mice have just pushed past his. The workshop roof has an attic, which connects straight into the house. Tiny mice have disabled my car and tiny mice are going to wreck our brand new house. What do you do when pipework all over the house has been chewed by mice and the house is uninhabitable and hence un-saleable? Our Lancashire house had no mice thanks to the way it was built and all the pipework was copper. I fear this whole ill-advised venture is going to end in disaster with the loss of all our savings and capital. At best we can liberate cash from my pension and buy a small new-build back in the Ribble Valley and retreat there while sorting out the massive problem we've created here. 

Breakdown is deepening by the day.

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 Blunderbuss 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

You may realise this already buy you are 'catastrophising' (you even use the word catastrophe) which is a classic sign of severe anxiety.

There seems to be so much going on here and it is all interlinked that trying to make sense of it all for you must seem almost impossible. You have stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia and paranoia and they are all feeding off each other.

Do you feel the counselling is actually doing you any good at all? When I had my breakdown it got to the point where it was pointless as my thought processes were so broken that nothing she said registered with me and because it wasn't working this just made me worry more. My counsellor actually told me she couldn't help me and to see a psychiatrist. You sound like you are not short of money and if I were you I would book a private appointment to see one asap, you'll be waiting forever on the NHS if you went down that route. 

A psychiatrist will be able to do a proper evaluation and review your medication. The right medication can do wonders for your state of mind. My concern for you is the paranoia,  which if it take a strong grip makes everything else so much harder to deal with.....with me when my paranoia got to certain level it was 'game over' for trying to sort myself out without proper psychiatric help.....this however which can be helped with anti-psychotic drugs.

You can see yourself deterioating, which is a good sign in that you can still rationalise what is happening to you, but I can see a lot of what happened to me in your situation. I didn't have the house situation but had job worries that I thought were going to ruin me..... you seem to thinking the situation with the house is going to ruin your future.

However you have said you could escape the situation so look at this positive (yes I know this will be hard) and when you do catastrophise look at this and think you will still have a roof over your head for you and your family.

I really would see a psychiatrist asap though.

Post edited at 07:26
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 Rigid Raider 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Thanks. That's a well-reasoned and helpful reply. How do you find a private psychiatrist?

Writing this at 07.42 in bed. We sleep in separate rooms because I'm so disturbed that one of us needs to sleep well enough to be able to drive. Neither of us wants to get up and start the day in this filthy shed of a bungalow. Yet I don't want to move to the new house because it's too big and doesn't feel welcoming. Whenever I raise any concern my wife says: "yes but look at the VIEWS!" 

The builder has agreed for us to get our possessions stored in the workshop at the end of this month, when we will be able to see how much damp has damaged them after 3 months in steel shipping containers, into which they were packed in rain.

After that there has to come a moment when the builder hands the house over. We walk in and sleep in a room where there's a bed and usable mattress if everything hasn't gone mildewey. Lots of work will be incomplete and we will be surrounded by waterlogged mud until summer. We have the full northern winter to get through first. The UFH has been on tickover for 3 weeks now and has consumed £180 of electricity. The plumber says it's always high until the system "settles down" whatever that means. The house is double the size it needs to be for a retired couple,  a substantial 4 bed executive house in an area of modest cottages. It has 14 Veluxes, a huge workshop, bigger than some people's houses. We have committed error after error in buying the land, designing and building the house and selling in Lancashire. During the design phase it was all fun but spending was already running wild... "Ooh can we have an X and let's have a Y" and so on. So now we have a house that has gobbled all our cash and may well end up uninhabitable and unsaleable. We will have little cash left for contingencies and to get ourselves out of this mess. 

The counsellor asked if I was suicidal and I replied no because I have a wife, a son and family and friends but if there was a way of getting off this world without harming them I would take it today.

Post edited at 08:04
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 Blunderbuss 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

We had private medical insurance through AXA and they arranged it.

I am sure you could find one in your local area through google.

Just make sure you see a psychiatrist and not a psychologist as the latter cannot prescribe medication.

I honestly think your state of mind is making you view the situation as worse than it is and this is a negative feedback loop. If you can break this it would undoubtedly help.

Good luck.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Morning!  OK Lancashire/Ribble valley - any UKCers out there who feel up to reaching out to go for a walk with our friend RR?  Big ask on both sides I know, particularly in a national lockdown but worth highlighting.  Even just some swapped PMs from someone who knows the area could be helpful.

Follow Blunderbuss' advice and find a private psychiatrist ASAP?  

It's so difficult but try not to borrow trouble from the future - the mice that you are convinced may be in your new house may well not be, and if they are you'll get them out.  It's your current situation I am sure which is making you worry about this.  Your property may be mildewed but it may well not be, if it is you can replace it - IIRC you used to travel a lot for work - you know you can live perfectly well with just a suitcase of possessions if need be.  But try to worry about things you can change rather than catastrophising things that might be perfectly OK?  I know it's really easy to say and really hard to do.

OK so 2020 was a sh*t year to build a house but you are judging yourself with 20/20 hindsight (haha, see what I did there?).  And constantly beating yourself up for not seeing the pandemic coming (like everyone apart from the Taiwanese) is not helping you.  Yes right now you wish you were back in your old house because your temporary accommodation is cr*p.  I'm sure you'll feel differently when you are in the new house and can start to see some of the VIEWs.

And please, it's Saturday today, the weekend - if you can plan a favourite meal to cook this evening and get the ingredients ready, then go for a walk to build up a good appetite, then have dinner with your wife and try to have a nice time together.

Take care friend.

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 Rigid Raider 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Bobling:

Thanks for your kind and well-meaning advice. We are not in Lancashire now. Mrs RR us also becoming depressed and we are living in pretty desperate circumstances, it's all we can do to get basic meals together and keep nourished. There would be no joy in cooking something elaborate just to sit and eat it in the gloomy brown kitchen and anyway she eats very little indeed - sometimes just tinned tomatoes on toast is all she wants.

We are living on a knife edge right now with no mental reserves left, dwindling cash and no easy access to GP, towns, hospitals, shops, optician, dentist, dry cleaner, garages, all the conveniences we had. Nearest is 12 miles away but the car is in limp-home mode.

 Sorry to sound defeatist and pessimistic. The situation is all of our own making. 

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 Blunderbuss 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Is there anyone you are close to, in an emotional sense, that you could approach to go and live with for a short time to try and get a change of scenery to help the road to recovery?

You might feel ashamed and don't want to burden anyone but you might be suprised how willing people are to help out... 

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 Rigid Raider 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Nobody here especially under lockdown. Nearest friends and son at Uni four hours away. 

Post edited at 09:57
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

>  Sorry to sound defeatist and pessimistic. The situation is all of our own making. 

The situation is down to the decisions you made, and a considerable amount of bad luck by the sounds of it. Easy, but not fair to blame yourself in hindsight.

The situation you will be in, in one, six or twelve months time can still be of your making, within reason. 

As others have said you are catastophising, seeing pretty much the worst possible outcome as almost the certain outcome. This isn't reality but can seem it at times, I've been there.

Try and look (with a friend or therapist) at a positive way forward that you can work towards. Maybe you can't have, or no longer want this too big, too remote house. But what else could you have that might actually be better for you in the long run. A smaller house with no mortgage back in Ribble valley with good friends nearby sounds like the kind of thing that a lot of people could be happy with.

Some people would find it hard to give up on their dream, or feel like they have failed if they can't make it work. Admitting (with hindsight) to yourself, family and friends that you have made a mistake could be a hard thing to do. But what is most important is not worrying about that and trying to take some steps that ensure you are in a happier situation in a few months time.

Best wishes

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 Rigid Raider 07 Nov 2020
In reply to mountain.martin:

Thanks, you're right, I have absolutely no choice now but to continue down the path we have set out. Mrs RR is suffering badly and wishing she had realised my mental frailty before we embarked on this ridiculously naive project.

At the moment I can only see disaster ahead, my body is awash with adrenaline right now and my extremities hot and prickling. We've just spent the morning trying to get the car fixed and managed to beg some hose from a garage. Wrong sort but one of the dashboard lights has gone out and performance is restored. I've wrapped the hose in thick silver foil and left traps under the bonnet. 

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 Lankyman 07 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider: 

>We've just spent the morning trying to get the car fixed and managed to beg some hose from a garage. Wrong sort but one of the dashboard lights has gone out and performance is restored. I've wrapped the hose in thick silver foil and left traps under the bonnet. 

Can you paint the hoses with something the mice don't like (that won't dissolve the hose either!)? Perhaps try a small test area. I've no experience of hose-consuming mice but what about a dilute bleach solution - might keep them at bay a while?

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 Dr.S at work 08 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

How’s it going today?

Re: the mice problem I’ve got a contact in Denmark trying to unload a few mink - would a couple of hundred thousand fit in the new house? That would make the wee bastards timorous and no mistake!

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

>   The UFH has been on tickover for 3 weeks now and has consumed £180 of electricity. The plumber says it's always high until the system "settles down" whatever that means.

If it's finished enough that you can have the heating on and actually want it on, surely you can move in? Yes, it does take time to warm through the floor slab, but I'd suggest you don't need it on anymore unless you're moving in or need to prevent it from freezing. No doubt the builders are leaving windows and doors open to let all the heat blow away too.

I don't know if you're considered this, but I suspect an 'executive home in the countryside' will be quite an attractive proposition now that people have learnt they can work from home. So selling it on is likely to be an option If you really can't live with it.

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 Timmd 09 Nov 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

Something like chili sauce perhaps?

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 Rigid Raider 09 Nov 2020
In reply to Toerag:

Thanks Toerag for the sensible reply. The plumbers (excellent people) are running the UFH on tickover to dry everything out. The floor feels neither cold nor warm to touch yet the temperature inside the house is already about 7 degrees warmer than outside as it's so well insulated. There are no thermostats wired in yet and there's temporary wiring all over the house to let the lights work for the builders. The builder himself says he's sure we can move in by mid December.

You are right in that a large well-specced house with a spacious heated workshop could be an attractive proposition for the right person especially as it will have 1gb broadband. However my mental state is so poor now that I'm already catastrophising that mice have got in and are chewing their way through the plastic pipes and we will have flooding like somebody else we heard about. How saleable or insurable would the house be with multiple water leaks? Not at all.

Today a small victory, I bought rubber vacuum hose to replace the mouse-chewed hose on my car's turbo and repaired the damage. Both the dashboard warning lights have gone out so no need to get them reset by a garage. I have wrapped the pipes in heavy foil to deter the mice and left traps under the bonnet, one caught a fat mouse on the first night. We have moved both cars to an open area away from the woods and the filthy old log store.

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 MeMeMe 09 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> However my mental state is so poor now that I'm already catastrophising that mice have got in and are chewing their way through the plastic pipes and we will have flooding like somebody else we heard about. How saleable or insurable would the house be with multiple water leaks? Not at all.

I really understand the stress but in it's pretty unlikely that pipes are damaged and if the worst did happen then they can always be fixed. Things like the underfloor pipes are too robust for mice (not to mention being mostly under a concrete floor I imagine) so no need to worry about them. Don't focus on the worst that's happened to others and assume that it'll happen to you, and don't lose sight of the fact that the building phase is the most stressful bit, particularly if you are in shitty accommodation, but it will end!

> Today a small victory, I bought rubber vacuum hose to replace the mouse-chewed hose on my car's turbo and repaired the damage. Both the dashboard warning lights have gone out so no need to get them reset by a garage. I have wrapped the pipes in heavy foil to deter the mice and left traps under the bonnet, one caught a fat mouse on the first night. We have moved both cars to an open area away from the woods and the filthy old log store.

Good work with the mice. I've just caught one in daughter's cupboard with a humane trap but having now read up on it the humane traps are a bit of a waste of time since if you just drop the mice off miles away it either finds someone else's house to get into or it starves to death because house mice != field mice. Now I have to deal with it I wish I'd just bought snap traps!

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 Rigid Raider 09 Nov 2020
In reply to MeMeMe:

The wooden Little Nipper ones are cheap but not robust enough for repeated use. You can buy better plastic versions for a bit more money.

And the next stressor is that the fridge in this place is knackered, the motor drones most of the day and it's full of ice and condensation. If it conks out we're snookered as there's a worldwide shortage of domestic appliances so we've just ordered a cheap fridge to collect from Argos tomorrow. I hope Mrs RR and I can get it in the house between us, my arms have lost most of the muscle.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Today a small victory, I bought rubber vacuum hose to replace the mouse-chewed hose on my car's turbo and repaired the damage. Both the dashboard warning lights have gone out so no need to get them reset by a garage. I have wrapped the pipes in heavy foil to deter the mice and left traps under the bonnet, one caught a fat mouse on the first night. We have moved both cars to an open area away from the woods and the filthy old log store.

Nice work.  "A journey of a thousand miles" blah blah blah.  We are all rooting for you.  The vaccine news has lifted spirits in my house too, everything just seems a little less bleak and hopefully you are feeling the same way.

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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Bobling:

Not really I'm afraid. I'm catastrophising now about the mice getting into the very complex roof spaces and floors and chewing the plastic pipework causing flooding. We've already had damage to both cars and now we hear about a neighbour who's had floods. The design of the house makes it specially vulnerable; the workshop cladding is open at the bottom but neighbours with the same design say mice just pushed past the screen and got up into the attic. The workshop attic gives straight into the house attic. I really fear for the worst now, if this house, which has used up all our cash, has a mouse problem the additional stress probably will kill me. We met our bathroom supplier yesterday unexpectedly and he looked at me in concern and said "you look exhausted".

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Not really I'm afraid. I'm catastrophising now

>I really fear for the worst now, if this house, which has used up all our cash, has a mouse problem the additional stress probably will kill me. 

It's good you have an awareness that you are catastophising. Can you see how harmful this is? 

1) Your statement says "if" that is a pretty big if. It might not have a mouse problem.

If it does have a problem you seem to be telling yourself that you will have wasted all your money and the stress will kill you. If you believe this it must be a horrible place to be but it is almost certainly not true.

If mice have got in there are ways of dealing with this and experts who can help you. 

2) Whatever happens you haven't used up all your cash, so don't tell yourself that.

You have invested your cash in your new property and you have an asset. I'm sure you will get a lot of your money back if you decide you don't want to live in your new house.

If things have gone badly wrong you might loose 10 or 20% of your money but it doesn't sound like that would be ruinous to you. As others have said your new house sounds like it could be very desirable to some people. So you might be surprised how much it is worth.

3) Stress doesn't kill you (in the short term) so don't tell yourself that could happen. 

Stress itself can't kill you, although over time it will be harmful, and in the extreme can lead to physical problems that could end up shortening your life. Intense stress for a few months should not be too physically harmful.

But even in the short term if can be extremely unpleasant and produce physical symptoms that can be very concerning. So I hope this period of stress doesn't go on for too long for you.

Best wishes.

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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to mountain.martin:

Thanks. Today we slide deeper into the incident pit with the discovery that the anhydrite screed floor in the oversized workshop can't be painted without first grinding off what's called the latence then sealing. Same treatment would be needed if we decided to go for a hard vinyl. This is going to add massively to the cost and means we probably can't get our possessions delivered for storage in the workshop at the end of the month prior to moving in during December. Once again I feel strangely calm as this is just another level added to this unfolding disaster, whatever else goes wrong can hardly make things any worse.

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 wbo2 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:  That shouldn't be a massive cost- what are you being quoted? Also, you don't need to delay - do it later. 

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 artif 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Seems that you really need a project manager to handle running this build.

This same scenario plays out regularly on the house build / renovation project TV programmes, with owners trying to manage their own builds. Most get through it, but with a whole lot of unnecessary drama. 

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Thanks. Today we slide deeper into the incident pit with the discovery that the anhydrite screed floor in the oversized workshop can't be painted without first grinding off what's called the latence then sealing.

What are you painting the floor with?  I did my Garage floor with Hempel 2-part epoxy paint (the kind of stuff used to paint oil rigs), I'm pretty sure that'll stuck to anything.  Alternatively, who specced your paint and floor? If it wasn't you then you can kick their arse and it's their problem to resolve .

Post edited at 12:35
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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to artif:

By our own admission we are bumbling amateurs, we've messed up ordering tiles and either ordered too many or too few. This is just our latest cockup through ignorance. What next I wonder?

Off to drive 38 miles now to pick up a cheap fridge, the one in this shed is on its last legs and there's now a massive shortage of domestic appliances thanks to Covid so we are buying one because we can't live without. Hope Mrs Gti and I can get it out of the car and into the house without injuring ourselves. If the fridge fails in a month there won't be any left at all for the owner to buy us.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

As artif suggests is it not possible, even at this late stage to employ a project manager to oversea the next month or six weeks? This should reduce the numbers of stressors you are encountering? Won't be cheap I don't suppose, but in the cost of the whole project it won't be much.

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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to mountain.martin:

Good suggestion but most of the bad decisions have already happened. The floor issue is entirely of our own making, I told the builder it's a cockup and he said "it's because we didn't know what's going on to it" which is true. Neither did we.

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 artif 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Good suggestion but most of the bad decisions have already happened.  

Have they???

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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to artif:

Yes they have. Starting with the catastrophic decision to buy the plot using tax free cash from my pension. From them on everything we have done has just dropped us deeper into the mire. We are so deep now that, as I wrote in the start of this thread, I'm in fear for my and my wife's mental and physical health.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

As Toerag said, it's a workshop. As long as its weather tight just slap some sheeting down if your worried about dust and get your possessions in. It will be a weight off your mind getting them out of the containers and gets you moved in.

The bloody workshop floor can wait, I've been moved in 10 years and still need to sort mine out! But it's pretty low on the priority list.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

It doesn't matter what mistakes you have already made, that you can only see with hindsight I'm sure you thought things through at the time and they seemed reasonable.

The only thing that matters and that you can control now is what you do now and what you do tomorrow.

If you can't cope with overseeing the project for the next month. Then take some action and get someone to project manage who can take a lot of the stress off you.

Try and stop looking backwards and beating yourself up making yourself feel worse. Try and look forward and just concentrate on actions you can take that will improve your situation.

Simple to say and not so simple to do, I know.

​​​​​​Hope you have got the fridge and got it back into your house ok.

best wishes

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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to mountain.martin:

Thanks for the robust advice both above. You're right, we need to get into the house and sort these issues later.

We got the fridge in easily thanks, with our son coming home from Uni early December a working fridge is even more important.

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 Timmd 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

What Ridge said about the workshop floor, you could possibly have a plasticiser which goes into cement put into the paint and have that painted or sprayed on instead (certainly there's more than one way to skin a cat)?

Or just have heavy polythene sheeting put down, and get round to it 'within 5 years'. 

Edit: My friend who used to work helping to run a chemical plant in a practical sense once experimented with putting cement plasticiser into paint, and it improved it's properties for durability and how it adhered I gather. 

Post edited at 18:18
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 Wild Cyclist 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Thanks. Today we slide deeper into the incident pit with the discovery that the anhydrite screed floor in the oversized workshop can't be painted without first grinding off what's called the latence

Reading this: https://www.ardexbuildingproducts.ie/tiling-onto-calcium-sulphate-anhydrite-screeds/ , I'd do it myself with my belt sander, some wire brushing and vacuum cleaner.  Pain in the arse, but no where near the end of the world!

Post edited at 18:21
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 Timmd 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Yes they have. Starting with the catastrophic decision to buy the plot using tax free cash from my pension. From them on everything we have done has just dropped us deeper into the mire. We are so deep now that, as I wrote in the start of this thread, I'm in fear for my and my wife's mental and physical health.

Please, do try and be kind to yourself. I climbed far too much during my teens, which scuppered my dream of becoming a mountain guide (tweaky elbows), and then I addled my head (temporarily thank heavens) from smoking too much dope, which basically cost me most of my 20's due to my needing to take the time to become well enough to start volunteering towards the end of them. If I kept looking back, I wouldn't be able to imagine and then create a positive future. We all make mistakes and 'fuck up our lives' in different ways, a positive (or even a neutral) frame of mind can help no end, if we don't know what the future holds - since it's essentially unpredictable - that holds open the possibility of positive and good things happening. 

A shooting star can be quite a good metaphor - from out of the blackness a spark of positivity may appear, some event or a nice person, or mixture of the 2.

Post edited at 18:31
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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Timmd:

Thanks for the good advice.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> We got the fridge in easily thanks, with our son coming home from Uni early December a working fridge is even more important.

Great, well done, there you go, a task that you thought might be problematic turned out to be easy. But you had already wasted a lot of mental energy anticipating problems. 

We all know we are going to encounter problems as we go though life but we don't know what they will be.

If we spend a lot of time anticipating problems that probably won't occur we add a lot of needless worry and stress to our lives.

That combined with looking back and criticising ourselves for things that haven't gone as well as we wanted them to is a toxic combination.

Hopefully having the son around in a few weeks time will be nice for you and he might be able to help with a few things.

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 Rigid Raider 10 Nov 2020
In reply to mountain.martin:

That's how anxiety works, you catastrophise everything.

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 Yanis Nayu 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Timmd:

I’m trying to get some inspiration from your wise and kind words. 

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 Timmd 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Ha, I've just been daft enough to make mistakes and go through some dark places.

Possibly wisdom is learning from others to avoid life's pitfalls on the whole...

Post edited at 22:15
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 wintertree 10 Nov 2020
In reply to wbo2:

> That shouldn't be a massive cost- what are you being quoted? Also, you don't need to delay - do it later. 

Seconded.  This one can go on the list titled “late 2021”.  Get to “Minimum viable house”, move in.  Let your minds relax not having the build on, not having the house you’re currently in sapping away.  Take time out.  Then worry about these things.  There’s no pressure to get a final workshop floor in, and once you’re in you can get different opinions; no obligation no rush.

Post edited at 22:25
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> That's how anxiety works, you catastrophise everything.

Yep, I know I've been there. Just trying to point out that this is a cycle or habit that our minds can get into.

At other times our minds can be get into the habit of looking for and expecting the positive. 

I hope your mind gets back into those kind of patterns. You seem to have an awareness that catastophising isn't reality, and is very damaging. 

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 Rigid Raider 11 Nov 2020
In reply to mountain.martin:

It is damaging. In my case it's not only fear of the future, it's also massive remorse over bad decisions taken since January that have got me and my family into this terrible situation. 

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 Timmd 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Could you work on forgiving yourself a little bit?

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

You made the decisions you did at the time you did with the available data that you had.  You can't change them now and they seemed the best thing to do at the time.  Please don't keep beating yourself about it?

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 Rigid Raider 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Bobling:

We can't be the only people who made bad decisions. Everybody thought Corona was a bit of an inconvenience but like SARS and MERS it would go away in a few months.

The toughest thing is that the situation here is spiralling slowly into higher and higher stress. Today we've a major issue with a floor that the builder is trying to resolve - nobody's fault, just a cockup. I'm strangely calm about it because I know that as the day approaches for delivery of our furniture then collection of our son from Uni then the day for moving approaches the stress levels are going to skyrocket.

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 artif 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> We can't be the only people who made bad decisions. 

Give yourself a break, sh1t happens. 

I couldn't begin to list the mistakes I've made. Coating a floor wouldn't even make the minor inconvenience list. 

You will get through this. 

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 Timmd 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Or maybe the stress won't sky rocket, maybe you're approaching being able to be philosophically detached just a little bit?

When I had chronic anxiety, the realisation that things stayed the same whatever my anxiety level was a game changer. 

Post edited at 16:41
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 Rigid Raider 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Timmd:

So it's absolutely legging down with rain, with rain forecast every day from now on. And guess what? The roof is leaking and there's a wet patch on the bedroom ceiling. And there's more... the knackered old fridge has a broken thermostat and  is running so hard that Mrs RR's tinned peaches have frozen solid in a bowl. Buying the last fridge at Argos may turn out to be the best decision we made.

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 Rigid Raider 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Today's news is that the plumber is in hospital with Covid, which means we will be in this poxy shed for Christmas. The builder is acting very evasive.

My head seems quite unstable at the moment, I'm dizzy and can't concentrate and just fall asleep whenever I sit down. Can't read a book for that reason and certainly couldn't drive. Back to the original question: how long can a body last and what happens when breaking point is reached? Do you just turn catatonic? Cry uncontrollably? Tear about screaming?

Heavy prolonged rain is forecast next two days. I'll be checking the bedroom ceiling every half hour.

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 MeMeMe 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Rigid Raider:

We spent the winter of 2015 in a dodgy static caravan in the garden of our house which had no roof because when we took the slates off to re-roof it it turned out all the rafters were rotten. It was an unusually wet winter, it rained every single day for a month solid. The rain warped all the floorboards in the top floor of the house because the builder failed to protect them from the weather, destroying them as functional floorboards.

Carlise, our closest town of any size, had catastrophic flooding. Our newly purchased house sat in a dip and a lake formed around it and, unfortunately, in it. The garden, paths and our drive turned into a sea of mud making life in the caravan difficult, particularly with a 8 year old and a 1 year old. Mine and my partner's mental health was unstable in these difficult circumstances. It felt like we'd committed all our resources to something that was a huge mistake.

However, these things shall pass. The road never runs smooth, there will be ups and downs but take heart that you are (more often than not) moving in the direction of progress. Be caring, gentle and sharing with your other half. They are your support and comfort and you are theirs. Take comfort in them and offer comfort in return and you will get through these things together and stronger. 

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 Rigid Raider 16 Nov 2020
In reply to MeMeMe:

Comforting words thanks. 

The situation would be made more bearable by knowing we were going into a nice new house with everything working but much of my poor mental state comes from thinking the house is too costly and lots of things won't be working. If it was a cosy sheltering little cottage I might be feeling better about it and looking forward to moving in. 

I am hunched on the sofa with nothing at all to do except watch the rain and worry. I don't think the GP can do anything to help me short of upping the dosage of the meds, which we are already doing.

Post edited at 11:55
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In reply to MeMeM

The situation seems to worsen a little every day. The weather is worsening and our possessions will be arriving next Thursday for storage inside the house. I expect everything to be ruined by mildew. I don't know where it's going to end up but I fear a catastrophe.  My mind is beginning to be affected by this and I can't easily process things like dates and simple arithmetic. I have troube making simple decisions. Even making breakfast is a task because I do things wrong like pouring water on my cereal and I have trouble getting things in the right order.

Post edited at 08:20
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Your bits and bobs arriving in the new house is the start of you moving into it. Its the start of your swim to the surface.

Even if things are a bit damp they will dry. 
 

have some toast.

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 Blunderbuss 09:14 Sun
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Are you finding your thought processes and physical movements slowing down?

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

> The situation seems to worsen a little every day. The weather is worsening and our possessions will be arriving next Thursday for storage inside the house.

If you're concerned have you considered renting a storage unit instead?  They aren't that expensive.

> Even making breakfast is a task because I do things wrong like pouring water on my cereal and I have trouble getting things in the right order.

I do very minor stupid things like that all the time, FWIW.  Not to do down your experiences, but it's not that uncommon when you're trying to do several things at once (and you are spinning several plates here).  Men can't multitask!

Post edited at 09:26
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Sorry to hear you are still having a tough time. I'm guessing the build is progressing? I hope your possessions arriving and getting into the house is the start of things improving, even if there are a few more set backs amongst the steps forward.

Best wishes

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In reply to Blunderbuss:

It takes me a while to sort out jobs like making breakfast and then I do things in the wrong order and have to go back. When thinking I often need to stop and take stock. There's a weird feeling all over the top left side of my head like a very light migraine. I guess that's the meds.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

You had mild COVID perhaps?  Headaches like that lasting a while afterwards are not unusual.

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 Blunderbuss 09:33 Sun
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> It takes me a while to sort out jobs like making breakfast and then I do things in the wrong order and have to go back. When thinking I often need to stop and take stock. There's a weird feeling all over the top left side of my head like a very light migraine. I guess that's the meds.

Ok, I don't want to scare you but this a common symptom of major depression.....when I had my breakdown I found this happening to me. I couldn't do a times table in my head and eventually was unable to cook.....it was a slow slide though.

Are you finding physical activities difficult as well?

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In reply to Neil Williams:

No I'm sure not Covid. There have been no other symptoms.

Every waking moment of the day my body is coursing with adrenaline. It subsides at bed time so I get off to sleep quickly and get about 2 hours of sleep before I'm wide awake for the rest of the morning. If I doze during the day I get nasty little nightmares so I have to stay awake.

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In reply to Blunderbuss:

I've been sedentary for six months so I've lost 10 percent of my body weight in muscle bulk. At 64 I was losing muscle anyway. Movements are slow and a little uncoordinated and I shake and I stumble when walking. I'm dreading having to more Heavy boxes and things around because I'm certain I will damage my back or pull a leg muscle or tendon. 

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

That’s a valid concern (injury) can you do some physical exercise now to reduce the risk? Maybe just a few sets of squats to start off?

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In reply to Dr.S at work:

It's about all I can manage to walk a couple of flat miles on the days when it's not raining. The rest of the time I'm on the sofa trying to concentrate on reading or doing stuff like this on my phone. I haven't cycled for five months - no interest.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Ah.  Lack of sleep like that can certainly cause nasty headaches.

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In reply to Neil Williams:

I've just checked and yes, dizziness confusion and weakness are common side effects of Mirtazapine as well as a feeling that you don't want to go on living.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Doesn't sound a fantastic medication!  As it's an antidepressant, worth talking to your doc about changing it for something else?

Particularly given that the main point of an antidepressant is to stop people having the feeling that they don't want to live any more!  (Often I believe they do this by reducing the intensity of emotion, which I believe can mean you feel a bit "empty" if you're used to very strong emotion, but that's different).

Post edited at 12:09
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In reply to Rigid Raider:

You are obviously suffering from extreme anxiety which often, including for me when I was suffering, goes hand in hand with depression.

It's horrible, but a lot of people do go through a major episode and in time do go back to a much happier life.

You've got to give your self the best chance though, if you are worried that lifting/moving items is going to injure you then get (pay) someone to give you a hand. Bunging someone a couple of hundred quid for 2 or 3 days work could well be helping them out as well as helping you.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Ok. - well spend 5 minutes a day on light exercise - maybe just before bed, or before breakfast whilst the kettle is boiling.

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In reply to Dr.S at work:

I've read up on the side effects of Mirtazapine and one is muscular weakness along with dizziness, poor coordination and suicidal thoughts. I would never do anything drastic like that but I do harbour a strong wish to just stop and get off.

I'm reducing the Mirtazapine to 15mg one night, 30mg the next to see if there's any improvement.

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 webbo 18:08 Sun
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> I've read up on the side effects of Mirtazapine and one is muscular weakness along with dizziness, poor coordination and suicidal thoughts. I would never do anything drastic like that but I do harbour a strong wish to just stop and get off.

> I'm reducing the Mirtazapine to 15mg one night, 30mg the next to see if there's any improvement.

However those side effects are also the the symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. Which is what you are suffering from. Yes it is possible that it is a side effect of the medication. The idea of anti anxiety and anti depressant medication is that it gives you some relief from the symptoms which then allows you to start developing strategies to resolve the causes of your anxiety and depression. It appears that this is not happening for you. I would get back in touch with your GP and explain how desperate you are. He should then be able to get you help from your local mental health crisis team. You should also be able to refer your self to them.

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In reply to webbo:

Thanks, you're so right but... I'm in what most people would see as an enviable position about to move into a new house we've built. We are in temporary accommodation, which isn't very nice. However instead of looking forward to the move I'm dreading it, mostly because I've fallen out of love with the whole project. Our possessions arrive from storage next Thursday and I'm expecting everything to be mildewed and ruined. The builder is rushing to finish by 7 December as he's got jury duty. But I know there will be hundreds of things rushed and not finished meaning endless battles trying to get tradesmen to come back. There will be no curtains when we move in and I have massive regrets over the design, which I can see now is all wrong. So no matter what treatment I can get, I'm just going to have to try to survive the experience. I can't go and hide, it has to be done.

Post edited at 18:33
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 artif 18:52 Sun
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Thanks, you're so right but... I'm in what most people would see as an enviable position about to move into a new house we've built.

Yes you are in an enviable position but it doesn't mean it will be stress free

We are in temporary accommodation, which isn't very nice.

Its temporary, ie. Not for much longer. 

However instead of looking forward to the move I'm dreading it, mostly because I've fallen out of love with the whole project.

It happens especially near the end of projects

Our possessions arrive from storage next Thursday and I'm expecting everything to be mildewed and ruined.

Do you know they are ruined, or are you just guessing?

The builder is rushing to finish by 7 December as he's got jury duty.

Builders are always rushing to get finished, whatever the excuse

But I know there will be hundreds of things rushed and not finished meaning endless battles trying to get tradesmen to come back.

They're not battles, they're requests to get jobs done.

We moved in 18 months ago and there are still hundreds of jobs to do, one at a time, they will eventually get done. 

There will be no curtains

You only need curtains in the bedroom, a sheet and a couple of nails will do the job

when we move in and I have massive regrets over the design, which I can see now is all wrong.

How wrong can it be, are the ceilings three feet high, and the toilet in the middle of the living room 

So no matter what treatment I can get, I'm just going to have to try to survive the experience.

You will

I can't go and hide, it has to be done.

You can and it doesn't, but it won't help. 

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In reply to artif:

Thanks for putting some perspective on the thing, I find this very therapeutic.

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 webbo 19:40 Sun
In reply to Rigid Raider:

You are dismissing help before you have received it. Yes you believe you have made decisions that you now regret. However sitting down with someone impartial who may enable you to see the wood from the trees and might help you get through this process a bit more intact. Given how you currently feel what have you got to lose from seeing someone.

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 webbo 19:44 Sun
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Thanks for putting some perspective on the thing, I find this very therapeutic.

Given how you feel about  artif’s slant which is a few lines on the internet. An hour with someone might just get you back on track.

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 marsbar 19:47 Sun
In reply to webbo:

I'm pretty sure he is already getting help.  

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In reply to marsbar:

Yes I am, one hour a week on Zoom.

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In reply to artif:

The biggest single factor contributing to my stress is the massive over-size of the project. I don't dare admit how much it's costing but it is not a manageable retirement home, it's a 4 bed executive house in a setting of modest rural homes.This will wipe out our savings and leave nothing for contingencies or a comfortable retirement. It has come about because all along the design process I have rolled over and agreed in the interest of a quiet life and this is the reason why I shall never be able to relax in the house.

As an example, the snug has a vaulted ceiling with two huge skylights, a patio door and two full height corner windows making it.feel cold, echoey and not snug at all.

Mice are a huge problem here and the workshop cladding is open at the bottom meaning mice will already have infested the cavity and moved into the adjoining house. They have already chewed through pipes and disabled my car so now we have to set traps under the bonnets, which have to be removed before we drive then replaced after each trip. I've already killed two in my car and one in my wife's car.

There are numerous other reasons why the house is a cause of massive embarrassment and distress to me and why I doubt I will ever be able to relax in it. This is why I genuinely fear this project is going to kill me and why moving in will actually increase my stress. Every time we go there I am thrown into deep despair at the size of the wastage. It's the sheer amount of work that's causing many of the complications. There is so much wrong with the design. I can't blame the architect for this as we foolishly allowed them to drag us into it, it's Grand Designs but with the added twist of stupidity, vanity and conceit.

Post edited at 04:32
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 KoolDragon 05:15 Mon
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I am sorry to hear to hear about what you feel, I am sure that most of us here got or experiencing the same. I wish you well and you recover soon, try to seek help from a medical expert. 

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

I’ve been following this thread. Sorry, I don’t have any answers, but I’m just a random punter wishing you well, rooting for you and hoping it works out. 

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

Live in it for a year and see - spaces will be smaller with furniture in, the snug sounds amazing!

as others have said up thread, if you don’t like it then sell it on, and buy the house you do want.

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In reply to Rigid Raider:

In a way of saying 'you're not alone'... I've got clients who are a similar way off finishing their grand project. It is typically a very stressful time and it's hard to see the wood for the trees, at the best of times. A bit like being well committed on a long run out, but for weeks on end rather than a few minutes. I hope you can find some way to clear your head and get a regular sleep pattern going to get you through. If you think a second opinion on the architectural stuff is useful, feel free to get in touch.

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In reply to JerDon:

Thanks, it's heartening to know that this is not an un-typical situation. This morning I went over to help the broadband engineer blow the glass fibre cable through to the junction box at the end of the lane. It wouldn't go through and one of the builders told me the conduit had got damaged at one time so my breakdown went stratospheric. Luckily the engineer has plenty of experience so with persistence he was able to get it through. The 1gb broadband is one of the reasons we are building the house, without it we'd be goosed. Luckily the very good digger driver was there and he remembered where the conduit was repaired and exposed it for the engineer to check. 

Mental breakdown in full swing now, have taken a beta blocker and beginning to recover my composure.

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