Lithium and life!

It’s been a little while since I updated.

The lithium is working really well for me, I’m glad I decided to go back on it. My sleep is still an issue, and with shift work it’s unlikely to improve. I had taken on loads of cover shifts in an attempt to earn more money, but I realise now that it was a bad idea. I wasn’t seeing the kids, I was either at work or home, so I wasn’t getting anything done and I was becoming disheartened about the job. I had a couple of days off earlier in the week and it was great! I spent the time with my kids, got out to have some sun, tidied my house and felt overall better. I’m just on my regular shifts now, although I’m currently doing two back to back night shifts, which sucks because it was the group therapy session – last one before Xmas. Which I missed, and I missed going with the kids to the Santa parade. Not that I like Xmas, but I like to see my kids excited. Mind you, I’ve avoided the sun today – I got really sunburnt yesterday which I really regret. Seems I never learn my lesson!

Steve and I are getting along well, as long as we don’t talk about money! I think it’ll be nice to spend Xmas together as a family. The kids are predictably excited about it. But as usual, I won’t be putting any decorations up at my house. I just find it over stimulating and I hate clutter. Steve will put decorations up at his house for the kids.

I’m finding my symptoms of PTSD have settled since the whole saga with my wheel nuts. And for a period, I was more affected by the calls at work, but I’ve definitely gotten a handle on it and my boundaries are back in place.

We have the staff Xmas party coming up – which I’m dreading. I hate social functions but my manager has hinted I should see it as a ‘work obligation.’ And technically I was on shift. I’ve not been social at all, mostly because I’ve been working and can’t afford it, but I must make more effort with my friends.

I’m off to work again tonight, so tomorrow will be wasted while I sleep. But after that I’m looking after the kids while Steve is away, so I’m looking forward to that.

Not much else to report. I’ve been Skyping with my parents every night that I’ve been working and that’s been awesome. I do miss England, and I miss them.


Lithium and PTSD

So I’m officially back on lithium now. It’s too early to feel the awful side effects, but my psychiatrist reassured me that my mood would stop dipping. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m starting on 1000mg increasing after a week. I’m still keeping my other medication which I’m hoping to reduce over time because I’m now on so many pills.

My PTSD reared up spectacularly recently. My car was making a hideous noise to the point I was panicking while I drove it. I made it to Steve’s house and asked to borrow his car. I begged him to call the dealership because I’m so anxious about confrontation. I’ve dealt with them three times already and my anxiety was too high. I was prepared to abandon the car altogether. He made the initial call but I followed it up after he kept on having a go at me for dumping the car outside his house. They agreed to come and collect it.

So turns out, someone took my wheel nuts off, no doubt desperate to steal my alloys to make some money for Xmas. Fortunately one is safety locked on, so I was driving a car with no wheel nuts. I was very fortunate that I didn’t have an accident. The car is either parked outside my house or the police station where I work. Naturally it’s unlikely to be the latter where this occurred, so it means the offender came onto my driveway. I reported it to the police who classified it as a burglary and they asked me to check for signs of entry into the house. I couldn’t see anything, but that didn’t stop me from panicking. That night I barely slept, every noise sounded like an intruder, I was absolutely terrified. The first time I have felt so vulnerable in my home.

I told my elderly neighbour what had happened as she parks outside her house and she told me that her neighbor (on the other side) had had his car trashed. A garbage can thrown over it, windscreen wipers bent. I was shocked and I guess grateful that nothing worse had happened to mine.

I borrowed one of Steve’s golf club’s in an attempt to feel safer at night. But it’s been hard. I’ve been especially jumpy and been suffering with horrible nightmares. I have had an unrelenting migraine for three days, which is costing me a fortune in medication as the prescribed codeine isn’t working.

The deduction from my pay for my student loan was so huge, it’s meant I can’t make the rent. I don’t understand it at all, I thought I had to meet a certain income threshold. I really don’t need this. I’m literally going to be one of these people that is better just living off benefits. Which is awful because work, despite the long hours, has been really good for my confidence and sense of independence.

I’m really feeling the stress and with Xmas fast approaching, it’s only going to get worse. I hate Xmas as it is, so I’m making steps to avoid it, although I’m supposed to be attending this bloody work function on the 13th. I can’t think of anything worse. The people I work with are nice, but so bitchy and in these cliches it’s pretty pathetic. They’re definitely not the sort of people I’d want to liaise with outside of work. I’ve offered to cover the night shift in an attempt to get out of it, but they’ve worked it so that I can still attend and work later!

I’m not seeing the kids from now and through the weekend, I’m working and Steve’s away so his parents are down and looking after them. Of course I’m grateful to them for stepping up, but I miss the kids terribly. I wonder what this is all for sometimes.

Feeling bullied

So I’m feeling pretty raw. Whenever Steve and I seem to be getting along, something happens and he loses his temper and I’m left feeling like shit. I know I shouldn’t let him have that power over me, but on the whole I am feeling quite fragile. I feel like my mood is generally more stable, but then I have bouts or periods of feeling extremely low. They only tend to last for a day or so. I really don’t like it at all as I’m constantly worried that I’ll drop and not make it back up again.

My car lies dead at Steve’s house. And Steve did let me use his car for work. He does these odd helpful things, but then throws it back in my face, or does just enough from stopping me thinking he’s actually quite abusive. Certainly emotionally. And what’s worse is that he knows he can upset me very easily and can jump on my mental health or emotional state as though it’s a weakness on my part. He loves throwing at my face that he ‘helped me move’ that’s his nugget that he brings out when he wants to dominate me, but I can only weakly reply that he stopped the spousal maintenance, that he could have helped me because he’s left me with nothing. But even in my ears I sound pathetic. The fact that I’ve secured a house, got a job and manage my mental health, and previously dealt with the car issues, proves that I have the capability, but he doesn’t see any of that. In fact when I’m with him, it’s easier just to agree with everything he says.

I’m sad that it’s like this. It’s not that I’m in love with him anymore, but I just wish he wasn’t so nasty and mean all the time. He’s out to punish me and it’s never ending. I wish he’d just see me as a person and certainly respect me as the mother of his children, but he’s holding onto so much resentment towards me. He can’t seem to move forward. I’d like to say I wish I could have less to do with him, but we have the children. He continues to make me feel bad and I feel completely powerless. He’s such a narcissist that he sees nothing wrong with his treatment of me. In fact, he’d say it was all my fault that he treats me like shit.

I’m working full on as much as I can. I desperately need the money and it’s the only way I’m ever going to get on top of my bills and have money for Xmas. The stress is unreal, but at least working keeps my mind busy and not able to linger over the trouble I have with Steve and not having any money.

I’m dreading Xmas, there’s already a lot of talk about it here and stuff is popping up all over town. Luckily I don’t watch live television or else I’m be inundated with Xmas ads. As it is, I only have time for occasional pre recorded programmes.

It would be really good to get into therapy again, if I could afford it. I feel I need an outlet for my anxieties and concerns.

Well hopefully my car will be taken away to get fixed, that’ll be one less thing to worry about and using public transport when I’m working long hours isn’t ideal.

Seeing my psychiatrist on Friday, so will get the ball rolling for lithium.

Not sleeping

I saw Ian again today and the topic of lithium came up again. I’m now seriously considering it, especially with Xmas coming up.

I’m struggling with these shift hours and the resulting lack of sleep is making me irritable and restless. I’m still under a lot of pressure financially, and my bloody car is falling apart at the seems. First it was the battery, then the electrics, now it’s making a knocking noise. I regret getting that car more than anything right now, it’s causing me a lot of stress. I finally asked Steve to help me this weekend because I’m working and he acted like I was asking for a pot of gold. I just figured he’d have more sway rather than a nearly hysterical woman seen to be moaning all the time. I feel completely on my own and with no support.

Last night I couldn’t sleep for hours. My anxiety is so bad, it’s taking over my life at the moment. I worry about everything and anything. It’s 2am now and it’s going to be another late night, as I can’t seem to sleep, despite taking a sleeping tablet.

Sleep is such a major trigger for me, so is Xmas, so I’m worried about my mood dipping again.

On the whole, work is going well, and I use my days off to tidy/clean the house, so I’m being productive. And I’m still showering daily. But I find my irritability is always lurking in the background. I find noises annoying, like a ticking clock today, or my child sniffing. It’s all loud and irritating. And I keep feeling that creeping sensation of restlessness which ruins my capacity to concentrate. Finally I’m experiencing the crushing symptoms of anxiety. The racing heart, the breathlessness, the cold sweat. It’s affecting my every day life now.

I see my psychiatrist next Friday, so I’ll use the week to consider my symptoms and have a discussion then.

Lithium has previously worked for me, I just don’t like the foggy feeling. Or the complete plateau of feelings. But maybe that’s what I need at the moment.

Going down

I saw my CPN today. I was in tears by the time my appointment started. I’ve been working long hours, I’m scheduled to work tonight from 9.30pm-7am – with no breaks. And tomorrow night the same! I was up at 4am this morning because Steve was going away for business. I’ve got no money, my car is expensive to run (why oh why didn’t I factor in running costs) I’ve got no food and no money to buy food. And yet I’m working all the hours I can which is slowly killing me. I’ve been so emotional, I had to ask Steve to order pizza for me and the kids tonight. He did so, without any argument and I was so pathetically grateful I sobbed over that.

So I’m feeling kind of raw, overly tired and tiredness is a huge factor for me. Plus all this talk about sexual assault allegations is making me feel triggered and sick.

I wanted to see the CPN to check in because I’m terrified of a relapse. He told me that he felt my reaction was that caused by stress – which he considered normal, but commented that shift work can of course trigger mood disorders. I’m talking to him next week to see how I am.

I’m glad he’s there to listen and guide me as I can’t afford therapy anymore.

I haven’t been able to catch up with any of my friends because I’m either working or too tired from work, so I’m feeling quite alone and isolated. More trigger points for me.

The commute into work is killing me, parking is a hassle, and the train seems too much hard work after a long shift,plus I don’t like travelling alone at night.

In all I feel like a flake.  I’m barely making enough to pay rent and bills. My hair looks bloody awful but i can’t afford a hair cut, let alone colour. I feel miserable about my appearance, but can’t do anything about it.

I’m of course grateful that I have a house AND a car AND a job. But at the moment work is ruling my entire life, I’mmissing valuable time with my children and my financial situation is dire. Meanwhile Steve continues to live in the big house and now drives a Jaguar. 

I feel so useless.

Trials and tribulations

So the dog trial has ended rather abruptly.  After destroying my house yesterday while I picked up the kids, today I left him him the garden while I dropped the kids off and he smashed a window, trying to get back into the house.  He’s fine, but now I’m facing a glazier bill.  At least my landlord was OK about it.  Definitely should have trusted my gut with this one.  If the owner is stark raving bonkers, chances are, the dog won’t be of sound mind either.  I will try the SPCA next, as hopefully they’ll have a better history.  But one thing is for sure – I’m not rushing!

The kids will be devastated, but not as upset if the dog went for them at some point, and who knows, that could be next, if glass won’t stop him?!

My ex husband has been really annoying.  I wanted to take my 11 year old to the Rag N Bone man concert, but he’s deemed it inappropriate.  Its not at all, we love his music.  I think its a power trip for him.  Like the other day he told me exactly how many nights I had the kids so far because he’s reporting it to the IRD – therefore if I don’t have 50%, I’ll owe money.  But he’s not considered that I have only just moved house and started a new job! So I’m not sure what all this is about.  Maybe to get at me over something?  He’s been saying things to kids about me, even though I’ve not done that, and even defended him when he swore at me over the phone in front of the kids. I’m literally just trash to him and I can’t understand why he hates me so much.  Unless he’s worried that I want to get back with him and he’s trying to set boundaries, like an electric fence.  But I miss companionship, and I miss the old him, but the new him is horrible and I could never love that.  So unless he changes overnight, my feelings are in the past.  I don’t want to meet anyone else though, I need to get myself adjusted into the single life and not relying on anyone.  I have too many issues to work through.

I still have the occasional wobbles.  Like today, I could feel getting up was really hard and  I had to fight the whole time to get ready and get the kids ready. I don’t know why I have this, but I don’t like it.   Each time scares me.  Hopefully when I see my CPN on Friday, my medication can be increased.

Time is racing along and it won’t be long until xmas.  So glad I’m working over xmas, I hate the depression that inevitably sets in when xmas approaches.  Even though its summer here, it makes so difference to my mood.  In fact, a gloomy xmas is preferable because then at least there’s less pressure to do something and act a certain way.

Work tomorrow, which I’m kind of dreading.  Not sure why. My confidence has slipped, but it might do me some good to get back into it again.  Although I’m stressed about paying for parking!

Trials and tribulations, aye?!


So, the job is mostly OK but I worked a night shift the other night, 9pm – 7am and it was hideous.  I felt sick and so tired I was seeing double, I would never usually drive feeling like that, but I was desperate to get home and decided that the train wouldn’t be much safer in the state I felt in.  It screwed up my medication regime, ruined the day because I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so missed out on time with the kids, and even today, following on, I’ve not felt well.  Night shifts are really hard for people anyway, but throw a mental illness into the balance, and its a recipe for disaster.  I’m a bit annoyed because I was supposed to be working today (even though I didn’t feel like it) drove all the way into the city, had to find a parking space and then there was an issue with the roster, so no one was expecting me.  And I’m apparently still supposed to be monitored until I can be trusted to go it alone.  I took the opportunity to leave and have continued to rest all day.

I had a mood shift earlier in the week, I suddenly broke down in the shower and sobbed. I felt like my entire life was a joke, the car battery had died that died that morning, I adopted this dog (on trial) from a complete psycho (I didn’t know that until too late) and I am stressed about finances.  It all seemed to catch up with me, and I felt terribly lonely and sad.  It scared me that my mood could plummet like that after a period of stability.  I made an appointment to see my CPN this Friday, and tried talking to my ex about it.  Naturally that ended in disaster.  I can’t seem to get my head around the fact that he literally doesn’t care.  His only interest in me was getting to sign the house over, other than that, I am someone to be tolerated because we have kids together.  I had hoped for a friendship, as we have known each other for so long, but he continues to put me down to the kids, and treat me like the lowest demoninator.  I did reach out to friends, they were receptive and reminded me that I had been through a lot the last few weeks and it was to be expected that I’d have wobbly days. That made me feel better.  On the whole I was beginning to regret coming back to NZ, despite getting a house and a job and trying to stand on my own two feet.  But I think with everything just got overwhelming.  And being single there is no one to share this vulnerability with.  A cuddle and some reassurances would be nice, but I cant imagine sharing my life with anyone else.  Its almost too hard to contemplate being able to trust and love anyone else.

The kids have been awesome.  J in particular is awesome with the dog. She has such a natural ability with animals. I hope she will become a vet nurse and tap into that skill and natural ability.  I don’t know how I could have juggled a job and training a new dog.  He’s pretty cool, he’s one year old, so not so puppy which I wanted, but the woman that had him before was so mentally unstable, I’m worried about the upbringing he had.  He has been amazing with the kids, very patient and gentle, but I feel myself guarded.  I’m also guilty of comparing him to my last dog, who was awesome, and who I tried to find on my return back from England, but couldn’t locate him.  I miss him a lot.  It is nice to have a dog around the house again, I feel more secure and its forced me to take walks that I usually avoid doing.

My landlord has been great and installed security lights around the front, so I feel better about that, plus its easier when I get back from a night shift.

I am worried about my health in the long term with these unreasonably long hours,  I have decided to be honest about my concerns – although NOT mention my mental health but rather my capacity to work such a long night shift, with a drive home in the morning,  It simply isn’t safe, plus I’m hardly performing at my best past 1am and can’t concentrate.

So aside from glitches, things continue to be OK.  I wouldn’t say I’m operating at 100%, I have stresses and concerns and I feel particularly sensitive.  But hopefully I can iron these things out.

Having the kids stay at my house has been really nice.  They seem to love it here and I’m so relieved I can accomodate everyone. Just!