Fighting fit

I’m really fighting back against this low. I’m determined not to spiral into the horrible, black abyss I’ve been in before. Today was another example. I woke up but didn’t want to get up at all. It wasn’t just tiredness, it was a complete unwilling to take part in my life. Fortunately Steve has been away a lot recently so I have the kids – which I love. They were my motivation for getting up this morning, but it still felt like trudging through mud.

My friend and I did the yoga class last week and really enjoyed it. Today, I really didn’t want to go, I just wanted to drop the kids off and crawl back into bed. The strength of this feeling is like a magnet. But I dressed in my gym gear and drove to yoga, determined to just give it a few minutes at least. For the first 10 minutes I hated it. My body wouldn’t comply, I was tense, anxious, kept thinking about how I could just have stayed in bed. But gradually I got into the yoga – although I’m not bendy at all, my yoga days are well behind me.

I had a quick coffee with my friend, even though I’d never have imagined being out in public earlier.

I didn’t want to go on to the gym, I reasoned that I’d done my hour of yoga – but thought about how previously I’ve felt better for going, even when I really didn’t want too. So I went and had a fantastic workout, I’m getting stronger and I’m speeding up on the old treadmill. I left sweaty and with shaking muscles but dead proud of myself for my achievement.

I think I’m on the right anti depressants at last. They really act as a buffer. And fighting against my cumbersome body must be paying off. Although physically I haven’t changed which is really annoying.

Tomorrow I’m back at my volunteer role and I’m supposed to attend this special Easter luncheon. Mingling with different people from the organisation. I’m dreading it. Absolutely dreading it. But I will go, I’ve made that commitment to my boss and myself, even though I’ll be incredibly anxious.

In small steps I’m taking part in my life. It’s not easy and my internal monologue is still full of self loathing, doubt and anxiety. I ‘catastrophe’ every event/communication that I have. Some habits are harder break then others.

As for Satchel, she just keeps getting worse, her metaphors are cringeworthy, and she just rambles on aimlessly desperate to impart her knowledge of the Buddhist way of living, if I even mention stress or anything I want to get off my chest – she immediately stops me to meditate. It’s very off putting and unhelpful. I’m still on waiting lists for other therapists, but I also chased up my old counsellor and put it to her boss that I couldn’t afford the usual charge but wasn’t having much luck elsewhere. She said she’d talk to my counsellor and see what they could do – I never imagined I’d be able to do that. It feels embarrassing and shameful to basically beg for cheaper sessions.

Anyway, I’m off to pick up the kids and then make them all a lovely dinner (although they probably won’t like it!) but taking the time to prepare nice dinners for them feels like another way to show my love for them. Rather than putting frozen nuggets in the oven all the time – although that’s ok of course! And I still resort to that at times!

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Treading water

Life is trudging a long and I continue to fight the low. I’ve continued my gym routine and walking and swimming with the kids on Sunday.

The manager at the volunteer agency offered me a job working with her interviewing people, so I had my first experience last Wednesday as that will be my regular day of the week. I’m was absolutely shattered by the end of the day! Then I had to drive to another town to pick up my three little ones and then go back on myself to pick up my eldest from volleyball training. It was a hot day too, so we all felt tired and irritable that day. But I’m glad I’ve decided to try this role. I hope the tiredness will fade as I get more into a routine.

Today was the start of an anxiety course my CPN put me down for. Ironically I hardly slept last night, anxious about the course! I’m up at the house as Steve’s away, so this morning I dropped the kids off and then crawled back into bed. I was warm and snuggly and wanted to miss the whole day. I reasoned with myself, I was tired, I hadn’t slept, the course would probably be crap, I couldn’t be bothered to go to the gym. But at the very last minute I decided to at least try and then leave if I didn’t like it. So I did. I got out of bed, attended the course, which wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before but I’ll continue with it in case there’s any snippets of new information or advice. I’d packed my gym clothes so I went straight to the gym afterwards.

I’m really proud of myself! On the Sunday I felt tired and sluggish and wanted to stay horizontal but as it was another nice day I’d promised the kids a walk and they were looking forward to it. It did them good as well.

So I’m doing my best. I can’t say I won’t go into a deeper depression without a fight.

I have my counselling session on Wednesday morning – which I’m dreading! God knows what direction Satchel will take us! I have contacted my old counsellor but I’ve still not heard back. I’m not sure she’ll be able to work with my budget constraints.

Things between Steve and I remain cordial. Although it nearly got bumpy. I attended a course on Saturday ‘parenting through separation’ which is done by the Ministry of Justice. It was really interesting and unfortunately I also found out that Steve and I made some costly mistakes at the beginning. Still, going forward there was some useful information and I was also given a ‘parenting plan’ which is a useful template for parents to complete and use as a frame of reference for each parent’s responsibilities. I tried to discuss it with Steve but he wasn’t interested. He feels what we have in place now is working. Which it is, and we’ve always been united where the children are concerned. But I was so badly stung by the separation agreement we put in place through lawyers, I can’t help but feel some insecurity about things further along. As our relationship hasn’t exactly been linear.

Still, a lot of people I met have terrible issues over custody. I’m thankful this isn’t the case for us.

Tomorrow I’m meeting my good friend to try a yoga class, which we’ve both had to delay for various reasons. So I’m anxious about that, but at least I won’t be alone.

Toxicity

I did go for that walk, (Sunday) then later in the evening I went swimming with two of my daughters – which I love doing. That evening they had a special aqua aerobics session which I joined in with.

Then Monday and Tuesday back to the gym. By Tuesday lunch time I started to feel really unwell. I was up at the house and really enjoying being with the kids. I put a lot of effort into each dinner and kept the house tidy. So I didn’t want to give in to an illness. By Tuesday night I had a bad stomach, my ears were ringing, my sight was blurry and I had obvious tremors. I realised that I was feeling the effects of lithium toxicity. Presumably all of my activities and not enough water was the cause. As I had the kids, I didn’t want to let them down, so when they were at school, I rested and drank lots of water. I also stopped taking the pills. On Wednesday night I had this horrible sensation of something being lodged in my throat. That continued through the weekend. It was really getting me down.

I saw my GP on Monday who confirmed that the lump in my throat was caused by the lithium. Now the stuff is fully out of my system, the lump has gone away.

I refuse to take the medication again. I’m seeing my psychiatrist on the 16th to discuss. I’m still on anti depressants and they’re the most important.

On the Sunday it was really nice, I had three of the kids at mine (surprisingly my youngest daughter came along too). Although I still wasn’t 100% I didn’t want them to be stuck inside on their devices all day, so I took them for a walk along Plimmerton Beach, which turned into an impromptu swim for the kids!

It was a really lovely day 😊

Steve and the kids took me out for dinner on my birthday (8th). It was a fantastic surprise, and the kids had a little present for me. I really appreciated the effort Steve went too. I didn’t expect it at all. Although at the end of the night when we all separated, I found that difficult. Suddenly alone again going to a dark, quiet house.

I’m back at the gym now and trying to increase my fitness. It’s a hard slog!

The low is still largely present in my everyday life, but I keep forcing myself to do things I don’t do when I’m really ill. Like shower every day, wear clean clothes and get some exercise.

Im also Skyping with my family more often, it makes me feel less alone.

Doing things

I have been trying to fight this low. I can’t bear to feel like I did before. I joined a gym and have made myself go everyday – even though my body is painfully resistant. I can’t believe how unfit I am.

I also saw the volunteer agency to see if there was anything I could offer my time towards. There were a few suggestions, and I’ve contacted the places. Unfortunately I’ve only heard back from one and their training doesn’t start until August . I thought volunteering would be easy to organise.

Steve and I got into it last night, i ended up getting drunk. This afternoon he’s basically referred to our entire marriage as a sham and that stung. He thinks so little of me, and can barely look at me in person. It’s incredible how quickly he’s come to loathe me. I suggested we have a conversation, try to hash out our differences and reach a compromise, but he’s turned me down point blank. I guess I need to get used to it. He’s not going to change and I have to stop letting it hurt me. I worry about the children though, they pick up vibes really easily. It’s so unfair to them.

I’m still attending my Married, Separated and Widowed group. I’m determined to stay committed to this course, as it does me good to get out one night a week. And it forces me to be social – even when I don’t want to be. One of the facilitator’s offered to go walking with me this weekend in a bid to keep me active. She text this evening, so we’re going out tomorrow morning. I also have the monthly survivors group tomorrow.

Next week Steve is away so I’m up at the house. It’ll be great to spend time with all the kids and in a nice house – with a bath!

So I’m doing what I can but it feels like an uphill battle. I can’t imagine getting to a place where I’m genuinely happy and enjoying everyday.