Poem of mind and pain

The corridors are long and dark,

Demons linger, their meanings stark.

Passing doors where shadows lay in wait,

Full of anger and venomous hate.

There is no hope of escape,

Confronting the memories of violence and rape.

Feeling afraid and forever lost,

Her survival comes with a very high cost.

With no light to follow

or guides to rely on

She continues alone,

Her sanctuary unknown.

Dark is her enemy, the light is too strong,

Everything highlights all that is wrong.

She seeks compassion and care

she seeks comfort and repair.

She is damaged and broken,

Her fate is unknown,

deep wounds are left raw and unspoken.

Memories are nightmares and flashbacks replayed

Time still passes but the pain will never fade.

She needs to find her solace along the way,

Can hope possibly give her this day?

No one can see the madness she faces,

No one is able to visit these places.

For this is her walk deep within her mind

The atrocities and torture remain her only bind.

Although no can see the pain she endures,

And platitudes are lost over the dragon that roars.

Her mind is a maze of bitter twists and turns,

The pain is like fire leaving its burns.

Onwards she trudges in her daily fight

No one understands her, although try as they might.

She has to believe that she will get well

That demons will die,

and she will leave this hell.

For she believes that peace awaits her and she has to be strong,

She has to rise above all that is wrong.

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Losing marbles, can’t be bothered to find them!

T0day has been a ‘bumpy’ day.  I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight.  Then I was plunged into this awful nightmare.  I don’t want to about the details because its graphic and quite horrific and involves me being a young girl.  I was awoken at 6.30 by what I thought was hard pounding on the door, I jumped out of bed, expecting to see cops or something.  No one was there and for a moment I thought I had dreamt it.  Instead I heard a strange banging noise from next door, like someone dragging a bin or something and I realised in my half asleep state my brain had interpreted it as a door knocking.  I feel so groggy in the mornings, part because of the medication and part because no matter how much I sleep, I never feel rested.  This over exertion of adrenaline caused me huge anxiety and I knew that despite being tired, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. As Spring has well and truly arrived, it’s another beautiful sunny, warmer than average day.  I should have been able to go for a stroll this morning.  But I couldn’t face it.  I can’t read because my concentration doesn’t retain the last page and tv is just static noise.  So I all I do could do was lie in bed and browse the internet or mull over old thoughts.

As the day has progressed, I’ve hardly achieved anything.  But I did see my psychiatrist.  I really didn’t want to. I wanted to stay in the house.  I really had to push myself.  I had to tell myself that this appointment could be the key to my getting better.

My first complaint to her was the olanzapine and the weight gain.  I said this, combined with the anti depressant was a good buffer to stopping me from going lower and then I’m plateaued but the weight was a real issue.  She agreed my concern was valued as I suffer with high cholesterol.  So she suggested AGAIN that I go back to Lithium.  Looking over my notes we concluded that the slow release had caused nausea in the past, so I must stay on the standard, but my levels at .7 were therapeutic and there was a definite improvement.  I have been keen to avoid the medication.  I don’t like the insatiable thirst, weight gain is an issue but much less so than the olanzapine and  I don’t like feeling ‘medicated.’  That said, at this point I would eat cat poo if it would improve my mood and motivation.  I begin today at 250 in the evening and then 250×2 for 5 days, then a blood test – another reason for avoiding this medication is the maintenance, the regular blood testing and of course looking after myself if I get dehydrated or a bad tummy because of toxicity.   I also suffered with thyroid issues.  My dose will then be 1000mg, and as users know it’s all about the levels.  Most people function at .5 quite happily.  I’ve noticed if the level fluctuates from .7 I start having problems.  My psychiatrist and I agree that as lows go, this is by far not the worst I’ve experienced.  But the fact its been a month now with no improvement means medication tweaks, and regular appointments.

I start uni next week and I’m so anxious to be ready for it.  Although my dr said she’d write a certificate for me, I don’t want to fall behind anymore.  Hopefully disability services can help. Although I was LOATHE to rely on them and make myself seek support from them because I just want to be bloody NORMAL and not need all this crap.

I’m taking my eldest daughter to the GP tomorrow because she keeps getting dizzy spells and feeling faint.  I suspect the problem is some sort of deficiency.   Hopefully easy to remedy.  So for a time when I wouldn’t usually leave my bedroom let the alone the house, I’m fairing pretty well.

Kudos to the fat mental one with more baggage than Heathrow airport!  I’d like to sleep now.

 

bleugh

I went to the hairdresser today.  Even though I’m so tired and drained.  I had to sit in front of the unforgiving salon mirror.  See my tired and fat reflection in the strong lights, the staff all skinny and trendy around me.  The frumpy, awkward old woman with the bad hair.

The medication is obviously peaking now.  I have these weird periods where my brain feels a bit drunk.  I feel a little less in control and everything seems to be in slow motion.  My tongue feels thick and heavy, so words come out awkwardly.  I worry I sound like I’m slurring.

S and I had an argument via text today, I almost broke down sobbing in the salon. How can he be so cold after a long time together?  I am astounded by his basic lack of respect.  He is bordering rude.  I can’t even talk to him AT ALL anymore.

I emailed my parents.  We’ve been estranged for so long.  I’m disappointed that they didn’t make an effort to contact me.  If any of my kids and I had a ‘falling out’ I would camp outside their front door.  And what’s even more annoying is that the reasons for our estrangement will never be discussed.  It’s all ‘water under a bridge’ – why would we discuss the bad things out loud?  To talk about upsetting things is just a silly waste of energy and the past can’t be changed.  and all of those clichés.

I’ve tried to talk directly with them of course.  But it’s no good and that’s what caused this cessation of communication.  They still live in the 1950s and they will never change.  Some of the things my parents have said and done is unforgivable. However, I decided to reach out.  I updated them on the last year.  The basics, my separation, the kids, my study.  Mum replied quickly to say I’d made their day.  That was nice.

cleverly she refrained from ‘jokey’ digs, or put downs.  She didn’t blame me for the marriage break down, and she didn’t immediately blame me for my motorbike accident in Cambodia.  Believe me, after my car accident, they were full of accusatory comments before they even knew the facts when I was hospital years ago and desperate to speak to them for comfort.  She kept it light, friendly.  I appreciated the tone.  I didn’t want advice or guidance.  Just an acknowledgment – which is exactly what I got.  I’m not expecting that they’ve changed.  They’re in their late 60s/early 70s now, and very stuck in their ways .  Nothing is going to change.

I feel better for contacting them though.  Although I swore I wouldn’t bother or set myself up for hurt, I decided to break my own rule.

It has brought some memories up, I won’t deny and it’s not comfortable.  But I will work through that with my therapist I expect, whom I havent seen for a while again.

Tomorrow I see my psychiatrist to discuss the medication.  I’m anxious about that. I’m anxious about everything.

Not.  Good.  Times.

Tears before bedtime

As much as I had hoped to have a pleasant family evening with a feeling of zest and hope for a better mood, I was wrong!  And I want to document this moment because its proof that with my better day doesn’t always turn into a good night.  I had pushed myself and this only serves to prove that sometimes when you’re trying to do the right thing for right reasons, it can go hopelessly wrong!

I picked up the kids and we all drove back to S’s house.  I knew I was tired, but with my headache giving me a reprieve, I felt physically stronger.  Egg was delighted with her presents.  S had bought her an ipad mini which she was over the moon about and as she thanked her Father, he reminded her to thank me too.  Which felt strange because clearly I hadn’t contributed to the gifts, nor had we shopped together.  And the kids knew that, but she still thanked me and I felt grateful to S for the acknowledgement, but somehow I felt it too obligatory.  Does that make sense or does it sound like I’m complaining over nothing?  This is hard to identify because it’s some parts illness – depression makes everything feel contrived and malicious, off-hand or disingenuine and in part, I might be making mountains out of mole hills.  Still raw from the separation.  Whatever the case, I ended up talking to S about the necklace and then started talking more about my day.  I don’t know why I felt it necessary, but he’s been my best friend, so why not?  He was clearly uninterested, and left me pretty much mid sentence to hurry the kids to get ready. I knew then, I had overstepped a boundary.

The restaurant was very family orientated, so at least I didn’t feel awkward or self-conscious, everyone was too busy with their own kids to worry about what I was or wasn’t doing!  Dinner was strained though.  I felt like the odd man out.  My kids were fantastic, and I LOVED being with them.  But the tension between S and I was so awkward and strained, it felt like a tangible ‘being’ between us.  It felt heavy, ugly, and dense.  It felt like we entered and it was there between us and then back at S’s house, it remained.  Every comment became a dig – by BOTH of us.  I knew I was guilty of that.  He looked at me with a piercing glare when we talked, and I felt inferior, I felt pathetic.  Here was S looking so much better in new clothes, back to his original weight when we met, healthy skin (he usually suffers with eczema on his face), got the money to pay for this lavish dinner and expensive gifts, lots of references to his work, his friends, his career.  And there I am, opposite, the over weight one, the tired and ill one, the boring one, the one making an effort (try hard) with make up.  I haven’t worn make up for so long I felt like a drag queen.  I didn’t have interesting stories to tell, what am I going to talk about?  My Psychiatrist appointment? My medication??  And I’ve not been social, so I can only mention the odd comment I’ve seen on Facebook!  To think, when we first met, I was bubbly, happy, travelling the world, although I had my luggage (metaphorical and literal!) I wasn’t drowning in it.  I was free-spirited, independent, not relying on anyone.  Now, I’m like a fledging, starting a new life on my own – but failing miserably to date.

I was glad when dinner was over.  I over ate, picking because I was awkward.  Which made me hate myself more.  At the cars (we took both) my eldest daughter asked to stay at my house but wanted to get her laptop first.  I obliged her request and we drove in convoy to the house.  There I asked S if there was anyone else, if he was dating.  Why do that to myself I don’t know.  He said no, but his eyes lit up, I wasn’t reading into it, it was clear he had someone in mind.  It’s the first look of excitement and delight I’ve seen on his face for a long time.  I don’t know why it bothered me.  I think because he’s been able to move on so quickly.  There’s no grief period, no regret, just living.  While I waited the tears came.  I don’t doubt that S knew, but chose to avoid me.  I managed to clear up enough to say goodbye to the kids, and wish Egg a happy birthday again.  Tell them I loved them.  My oldest daughter noticed I’d been crying and gave me a hug.  I’m being honest with her.  Its hard.  It IS really hard, and I will cry because its normal.

Tonight I will cry more in bed.  I know I will, I can feel the emotion close to the surface.  Raw, wild, grief.  I’m also shattered and my headache is pounding.  I over extended myself.  I know going out to a mall and then out for dinner is hardly a hard life.  I should get over myself really but I feel there is so much more to those steps.  Interacting with people, paranoid, mind and body addling medication effects, fears, anxiety, and trying to be something strong and dependable for the kids.

I’m miserable tonight.  After such a good day.  And I long to be held, I long to cry out loud to someone, anyone! I want to sleep for months and wake up feeling better, with a life upgrade!

Forever alone?  With misery and self loathing my shadow?

 

 

Embracing the bad

There is such freedom in admitting I’m not happy.  That I am sad, that I am afraid of everything, that I’ve lost my direction.  Instead of battening down the hatches and pretending that everything is ‘fine, thank you very much.’

For the first time in my life, I haven’t tried to ignore my feelings, push them so far away that I am living in denial and getting angry with everyone including myself for not accepting that my smile is forced and taken monumental effort.  That getting up only happens when I’m forced to for something.

I’m lucky that I have midterm break now, so I have been ‘allowed’ time to rest and recharge.  Because I would hate to be lying in bed without a fully fledged reason. And my brain has been allowed to languish in its own sorrowful woe, critical of my ever increasing weight (thanks olanzapine), critical of my abandoned crazy hair, critical of my life, of my failings, of all that is wrong with me and all that’s happened in my life.

I am embracing  my grief, my lack of direction, my struggle, my pain – why?  Because to embrace it means I am accepting that I have an illness, that it won’t always be like this, that its chemically induced, that it’s not forever, that I don’t need to prove myself to ANYONE.

So, last week was especially hard, but today I have my son with me. I had to go to the mall today because its my daughter’s birthday (8), and I wanted to get her a special gift.  Although it would usually fill me with dread and foreboding and a part of me hoped the car wouldn’t start.  I was able to visualise exactly where I needed to park, where I would enter the mall and exit. I put a time on it, so I knew at whatever self agreed time I prepared, I would be home free!  I had my son which helped immensely because I chatted to him and held his hand, he saw it as a parental guidance and interaction, I saw it as holding on to my beautiful light.  My ray of hope.  All that is right and beautiful with the world.

I bought my daughter a beautiful Pandora necklace with Elsa and snowflake charms.  She loved Frozen and she is a really girly girl.  Loves all think pink and princesses.  I think she’ll be very happy.  Just along from there was a department store and they sell the make up range I like prefer, so I decided to get a new foundation.  I’m ghostly white, my skin looks tired and stressed.  I usually take such special care of my skin and my face, but I haven’t worn make up for so long and I don’t bother moisturising – why would I?  There is no point.  I don’t go out, I look bloody awful whats the saying?  You can’t polish a turd!  But I decided to go ahead and get a new one.  At the make up counter the lady applied foundation for me and as I tried to interact with her, I realised I hadn’t really talk to anyone (excluding the kids) for so long, my words sounded stuttered and awkward and I’d forget the name of things.  Perhaps the meds, the anxiety and the tiredness combined, but I worried that I sounded drunk!  And the more I worried, the worse it got.

By the time I got back to the car, I also picked my son up some Lego and toy cars – I couldn’t resist! I was absolutely shattered.  The headache I’ve had for days was threatening to come on strong again and I was aware that I’d been out for longer than intended – not to mention spent a lot more than I intended!  The result is that I’m pretty happy with myself for being able to relax a bit and get out and about.  Although I decided at home to rest before dinner this evening, S has called and asked me to collect the kids.  As he’s still sorting some things out for our daughter.  I accepted immediately but I regret it.  Going out straight away and then being alone with my four children after a full on week and not much sleep is stressful enough, but team it with a low and its near impossible.  Here, what I recognise is that often I try to meet expectations and push myself for more and more.  The end result often means I am left drained and feeling like a failure when I don’t cope well and that undoes the work I’d done earlier.  All of these experiences are important to me, as I learn to manage my mental health as a single woman.

The other thing I have realised is that coming back to my house wasn’t such a terrible thing.  As much as I enjoyed the house, and being around my family, it still remains S’s house and I was a guest.  The master room was HIS room, we all referred to it that way and HIS house, and I didn’t want to break into a snivelling mess! Back at my place, I have my comfy big bed and all my things around.  Why would I be sad surrounded by my things and my incense burners, the smell of sweet berries as I arrive?  I brought two of my children to stay last night, my daughter so that I could wake up with her on her birthday morning and of course my amazing son.  So I still had that warmth and love around me.

I think on the whole I am getting better at conversing and relating to S, but this will not be a linear part of my journey.  As is feeling better today.  Understanding that I’m following a process is really important.

I’m feeling anxious about the dinner tonight but that is because we’re going to a local restaurant, and no doubt there will be people around and the kids might play up a bit – they’re really good kids, not the usual running around types, but they DO argue and get grouchy when its later on a school night and they’re over hungry.  Then I usually get stressed because I’m worried about what people think, that I’m a bad mother.  Silly paranoid thoughts, but in this time of weakness – it bothers me.

I’m also really self concious because I’ve put on so much weight.  I had lost a  lot from the separation because I simply wasnt’ eating.  But with these medications I crave carbs and you’d have to be born and raised in a bunker not to know that carbs are the cardinal sin of weight loss.  So although I’m only eating toast, my metabolism has slowed right down and I’m really bloated.  My fear is that out in public, people will judge the fat girl in the restaurant.  Although my choice will be something healthy, I’ll feel very self concious.  As I progress with feeling better, I will resume my walking and gym work outs, but at the moment, if I can barely face walking down to the mailbox because of ‘people’ anything else is out.  I’m doing this tonight, for my beautiful litte Egg.

Again, I am so thankful for recognising my symptoms and getting help sooner rather than later, or else I might very well be in a respite facility – again.  At least I still have my independance.

 

Facebook

I have some wonderful followers on here that either come along to read, or post inspiring and heplful comments.  It makes me feel less alone, in difficult times.

As such, I’ve taken a leaf out of a fellow bloggers (epage!) and have created a Facebook page. Here you will find a (very) novice platform to contact me, create discussion or to find some agencies that may be helpful.  You are always welcome to contact me via that page or on here, and I’d be happy to locate more sources as needed.

The most important thing that this blog has created is a community in which I’ve been able to express all of my inner most thoughts, feelings, fears, symptoms and my life journey to recovery.

No one should be alone.

Thank to everyone over the last years that have held my hand and offered me words to think over, words to soothe and words to remind me that I’m heard.

The blog of course will continue as normal.

Penny Insane

(https://www.facebook.com/PennyInsane)

Penny

xx

 

 

Musings

Today my mind is very thick in fog.  I’m tired despite dozing on and off.  The kids won’t allow me a good nap of course, and I want to keep on top of the mess so S doesn’t come back to a messy house.  But everything just feels so heavy and moving feels so uncomfortable.  Last night I had another nightmare.  I am anxious and I know memories are trying to poke their way through, but I refuse to burdened by PTSD symptoms when my kids are around relying on me.

In my need to provide entertainment for the kids friday night, I showered, dressed and took them to the DVD store in town.  Yes, some of us still use that archaic form of movie watching!  Doesn’t help that NZ only gets movies into the cinema long after the rest of the world has them on DVD!  It’s a long wait for new releases!  They seemed to appreciate this, although I constantly barked at them to hurry up.  I felt like everyone was watching me and judging me.  Even though I’m sure that’s not the case.  I just feel so paranoid.

I got a couple of movies myself which turned out, as usual, to be total flops.  So I have opted for an early night, but the kids aren’t settled, they’re in weekend mode, and it’s quite disconcerting to be surrounded by a thick fog.  We usually see the lights of the town in the valley below – this house is on a mountain, but there is nothing.  Can barely see my hand in front of my face out on the deck.  My daughter noticed it at first.  Like the scene from a zombie Apocalypse, the valley has been eaten.  We remain isolated up here! – ok, those thoughts probably won’t help before bed, and no I have not mentioned those thoughts to the kids!

S gets back some time tomorrow afternoon.  I’ll be sad to leave the house to be honest.  Its been nice to have the warmth, light and company of the kids.  Even though it has felt hard at times.  Its given me something and reminded me of how precious my little people are.  Not that I really needed reminding!

I hate feeling so anxious, so alone with these feelings and so separate from the human race.  Like I am in this bubble that keeps me a layer apart from everyone else.  If I could be put into a coma like state and to ride this period out, I would take it in a second.  At least no one would be privy to these moods and I wouldn’t need mammoth effort to get through each day.

As usual with the low, I’m putting on a lot of weight very rapidly.  S keeps the house stocked, and I am left with terrible carb cravings from the drugs – i feel this every time they’re introduced, I’m not moving, and I’m really very bloated.  This of course adds to my self loathing.  Of course I’ve no intention with doing anything remotely like exercise, although often in the night I think about my plans for the following day.  Such steel determination in the night.  Wrapped up warm in bed, all cosy and sleepy.  Everything is much easier to imagine.  But come day, the light is unforgiving, everyone feels like a threat.  Every awful outcome becomes a reality, and my anxiety leaves me breathless.  So I don’t want to exacerbate the situation.

Next week, I have booked a hair appointment.  Whether I stick to it or not remains to be seen.  But my awkward pixie cut grow out looks more like a man’s dodgy haircut now, and the colour is grim and my roots are showing.

One more week off until university starts again.  That’s one more week to get through the worst of it, to get back to my routine and be able to concentrate again, working to deadlines.