Sweethearts and sickness

Its my high school sweet heart’s birthday today.  We’re Facebook friends.  We don’t talk to each other, just the odd ‘like’ on comments.  Way back when, everyone thought him and I would marry.  We ‘dated’ as you do in school, often split up and then made our way back to each other.  We were odd bods, which seemed to intrinsically link us.  Where others saw him as frankly a bit crazy (a candidate for manic depression), I understood his ebbs and flows.  His moods, and his little routines.  And I think in that, he felt safe to be himself with me.  Although he often chased the girls that were known for giving a bit more in the relationship physically, so to speak, he would often seek a respite with me.  Perhaps that’s because I was pretty damn crazy myself! – And as for the all of the politically incorrect statements I’m throwing around, I’m referring to our time in school.  Back then, labels weren’t applied, just observations.  He wasn’t my first kiss, that was DL. A local boy who went to the same first school and then secondary school as me.  I did think I was in love with him at the time.  I remember him dancing with Samantha at a school disco to the Bangles and I cried like a baby in my heart-break.  DL was also a larger than life character, he dabbled in some professional acting, and I believe does some acting now.  But DL and the first love that I refer to, AB, didn’t get along.  Perhaps their ego’s were too big for each other.

DL and I kissed in a cupboard for chairs one summer afternoon in a local village hall.  I was so terrified, but so excited.  We were dared to kiss.  When the kiss happened it felt so forced, I didn’t feel all ‘floaty’ as I would have expected.  I suspect he had kissed a lot of times before me.  I was 13.  I still picture it perfectly.  The room, the chairs, the lingering dust, the warmth of a summer’s afternoon, the other kids daring us.  It makes me smile.  Of all of the boys, DL was a great person to share that moment with.  A cherished fragment in a young life.

I never gave any thought to my first time sexually.  It wasn’t something people talked about.  Even AB chasing the other girls hadn’t considered sex, just even a look or a touch! – that’s his words!

Perhaps in a different world, AB would have been my first time.  Beneath his boyish humour and manic ticks, he was sweet and gentle.  We took many walks around the fields near his house, and not once in all of those times did he try anything.  I always managed to feel safe around him.  Even when he kissed me it never felt like a promise.  Perhaps we were never meant to be more than a dance of what could have been.  Certainly I have no doubt if we had have ended up together, it wouldn’t have lasted.  We both share the same moods and egos.  Both too passionate about our stances to back down.  We would have come to hate each other.  Both of us need someone calm, consistent and patient to counter our imbalance.

But life would have been better had I have chosen the person.  If it was planned.  And not necessarily even like in the movies, with the roses, candles and bed made by the fire.

This morning I went constantly into panic attacks.  My son was sleeping soundly in the bed, so I had to go into the bathroom and try to get a grip.  Then I got back into bed, drifted off to sleep and the same thing happened.  I don’t know what triggered me.  I guess a dream I had.  But clearly a lie in this morning wasn’t going to happen.

Already triggered, I decided to unblock HIM [the rapist] on Facebook and look at his profile.  See if anything significant in his life had happened, make sure we didn’t have any friends linked.  I wouldn’t usually do this, S has always done periodic checks for me, but it’s not his place anymore.  I need to bite the bullet.  Of course with Facebook settings as they are, I couldn’t see much.  Seeing his photos and I felt an odd shut down.  In my mind his image is set to back then.  His mouth, eyes, his demeanour is still clear in my head.  So the photos are hard to place.  I didn’t look for long, I didn’t want the revised image burned into my retinas.  I didn’t want any image to cause me distress.  So I didn’t find anything of interest.  Unfortunately now with Facebook I have to wait 48 hours to block him again.  So I live in fear of him seeking me out, I’m counting down those hours.

Seeing AB’s birthday was a reminder though of some of the better times in my young life.  Some of the possibilities that could have been.  But of course I feel sad, painfully sad for the loss of having a special memory for my first time.

S has decided to extend his stay in Auckland for another week.  So I’m up at the house.  I don’t have time to process any thoughts or feelings, and fighting this mood is difficult as I’m on call all the time.  S has also not left much in the way of funds, which is really stressful for me.  I had arranged for a babysitter to come on Sunday for a couple of hours so I could enjoy the women’s only swim, but I’ve had to cancel that, I can’t afford the babysitter.  I’m a bit annoyed that the one thing I enjoy I can’t do.

 

 

Working out

So, today.  Well, last night there was a dreadful storm in Wellington.  Although its Spring, it’s not unusual to get crazy weather this time of year.  Some parts of NZ snowed, some were flooded, most were bashed by the rain.  We fared well in our suburb.  It was noisy, but no power cuts or damage – thank god.  I had C (my eldest), J Bug middle girl and H, my boy.  S’s parents are in Wellington, so I’m effectively banned from the house.  I wanted to keep my boy with me but the girls also wanted to avoid his parents, hence the numbers at my place.  It was nice actually. I felt sorry for Egg who is with her Dad, but it was her birthday recently so she was bound to get spoilt.  That’s their formula for love and affection you see, they buy it.

Well, today I awoke and I felt low.  Dragging my heels low.  Frankly I could have not got up, but I had to take the kids to school.  I couldn’t face dropping my son off, so I had my daughter walk him into kindy.  It was both his emotional state and my own concerns about facing people.

Once alone, I had organised to meet a personal trainer.  There were going to be a few women there (it was women only).  I had arranged it earlier in the week and as it was locked as an appointment in my phone I didn’t think about it.  Last night she emailed me and I confidently told her I’d be there.  But come this morning, I didn’t want to go.  I felt anxious and I felt stupid.  I felt like I was going to be the only fat person there and I felt like I was going to make a fool of myself.  I felt very tired and didn’t want to move.  Urg, I just didn’t want to go.  But I went.  And then I couldn’t find the place, so I wasn’t going to go.  But I figured one quick drive along a road, and if it wasn’t there, then well, I had tried.  It turned out to be there, but then I couldn’t find the way in.  Oh well, time to call it a day, wasn’t meant to be, blah blah.  It was hailing heavily, it was bitterly cold, there were deep puddles everywhere and now I was late.  But I figured one chance to find a way in, then I’d give up.  I tried. As it happened, I found the way in.  The women stood talking, looking like they knew each other.  All of them slim, all of them happy.  Then was dumpy old me.  The late one.  God, I could have turned around and walked out of there so easily.  I even started thinking of excuses in my head.  Sick child?  Appointment?  Even while I was being introduced to the 3 women by the trainer , I was making up the reasons in my head.

She set us up with a circuit.  Oh great, im going to trip over, or be huffing and puffing and look stupid, or hurt myself.  Everyone would be looking at me.  Whispering.  Why did I even want to do this?  I don’t want to do this, blah blah.  The hour will go so slowly.  I spent to be fair, the first half hour moaning to myself and hating myself.  The second part I guess I got into it.  After, I felt great.  I was so glad I’d stuck at it.  And afterwards I spoke to the trainer and this other woman who had some serious self doubts as she’d lost a lot of weight and then subsequently more weight on – not with this PT of course!  I felt relieved I’d stuck the hour, and my body ached from being used.  I had a protein shake at home and then took the dog for a walk in the freezing hail.  Not very long, but it felt good to be out despite the weather and the dog appreciated it.

After I drop the kids off tomorrow, I’ll head to the pool – I hope!  I see the PT 2x per week.

This afternoon I’m feeling very tired.  admittedly its nice to the have fire roaring and the storm is lashing the house, but I’m cozy and my kids are here just sat around the fire, reading or playing games.

I’m still taking each day as it comes and I know some days will be easier than others.  Right now I just feel like I need to sleep and as I’ve identified before, not having a break makes it a little harder for me.  The kids can be pretty full on, and I’ve not even attempted uni yet, which makes me feel bad.

Its annoying that S’s parents will be here for a few days – if I ever needed confirmation that S and I are separated, aside from him being an asshole most of the time, its his families involvement.  They’ve gone from 0 to involved all at the flick of splashing their cash.

Ah well, my kids aren’t stupid, they’ll know what they’re like themselves the more they get to know them.  My eldest daughter is already fed up with them trying to buy her.

Life continues to plod along.  Can I start to feel better now???

Pool

Today was a ‘good’ day – well, so far!  I didn’t get to sleep until very late, and I felt really anxious about going back to uni.  I felt sluggish from the medication, tired from lack of sleep and picturing going to the city caused me strong physical feelings of panic.  I considered how I might deal to that, such as taking the car.  But parking is really hard to find, so I envisioned being parked too far away and then walking amongst the hoards of students to get to my lectures.  Walking into each lecture feeling short of breath and sweaty and everyone staring at me.  Wondering what this old bugger was up to.  It didn’t matter what scenario I pictured, I always felt anxious and panicky.  You wouldn’t know it to look at me.  You wouldn’t think I was scared of being around students, dreading the journey in, and feeling the heavy tug of medications pulling me back into bed.

I dropped the kids off at their respective schools.  And considered where I might go from there.  In the end I decided to go to the pool.  I do love water and I enjoy swimming and its good for me, so why not?  A week day means no kids, and it was quiet enough with lanes available.  I knew I didn’t have to engage with anyone.  Swimming is a solitary form of fitness and that is what I needed.  Plus I wasn’t sure of my own capabilities.  At least if I reached a limit, I’d feel like at least I had achieved something.  After 30 mins, I didn’t want to be immobile from tiredness, so I headed to the spa.  The bubbling heat felt great on my body and I started talking to two older women.  They told me about their walking group, they meet every Monday and walk as far as anyone is willing.  Its been set up for people with injuries, people who aren’t very social, and/or people with mental health issues.  That  is, it’s a friendly group of mixed individuals that benefit from being motivated to go walking.  Apparently they also offer a gym programme and swimming clubs.  It was a strange coincidence to run into them – or rather float into them.  This sounds like something I might be able to do.  A gentle introduction to a healthy work out plan that offers some level of social interaction.I met the coordinator who was also based at the pool and learnt that simply by joining (for free) I’d get substantial discounts off of the pool! – What a find!

I’m glad that I pushed myself to go swimming my body aches nicely from being pushed.  I’m so pleased that because of that I met these women that introduced me to the group – if nothing else, I get a discount off pool entrance.

It just after lunch time and I feel very tired and its strange because as the tiredness seeps in, I am feeling more emotional.  It’s clear that not sleeping well is a teal trigger for me.  I had sat down with a cup of coffee to watch some mindless tv, but my second eldest daughter’s school phoned, she has a tummy bug.  So I rushed out to get her and decided to get my son as well.

This evening S is out late, so I’m up at the house with the kids.  I’ll be glad for the quiet to be honest.  My neighbours are already annoying me, the clanging of beer bottles and the music has started already.

My other daughter’s blood tests are back tomorrow, so I won’t be able to go to uni tomorrow as I’m driving her around.  But that’s OK, I’ll choose one lecture for Thursday and Friday to attend, one hour each day as a gradual build up.  Hopefully I can get back into a rhythm.

I’d just like to state again – I WENT TO THE POOL!

The lowdown

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The thing with depressing lows, there are ‘better’ days, sometimes I’m lulled into a false of security, I’m well again!  Other times, the lows can be worse than other days and I only realise that retrospectively.  So yesterday I had cleaned my house, briefly attended my daughter’s birthday and then come to the house and relaxed in front of the TV with the company of my children.  I didn’t know it then, but that day was better.  Although I was tired I faced my fears of attending the party, I didn’t speak to anyone, but I was present.  And I got things done.  Then in the evening, I really enjoyed a calming evening and appreciated the quietness away from my noisy neighbours.

Late at night, with everyone in bed, I became CONVINCED that my house was going to be burgled.  I knew I’d left some windows open, and in windy weather they can come off the security latches and become huge, gaping holes – an easy entry to a passing opportunist.  It was a particularly windy night.  We are in windy season, something Wellington is notorious for.  And just to give that some context, people from Chicago have come here and observed its worse than what they’re used to!  Wind makes me anxious as I’ve mentioned before.  It distorts noises, blocks my senses, shadows become aggressive dancers, and I become hypervigilent.  So last night as I lay on the good old mattress on the floor in the office, I considered the windows. I thought about anything I might have of value.  I thought about what they might do, and then I thought about how statistically burglars tend to return.  What if I was in??  I considered that things would be covered in insurance and material goods are nothing compared to my family.  But how would I feel that people had been in the my house?  Would they be tidy or would they mess things up on purpose?

I really convinced myself that was what was going to happen.  I would have gotten in my car and driven down, but I had taken my meds, so though I felt ‘awake’ my reaction time would have been slower.  Plus, going out in the dark, in the wind, alone to a house where there might be unwelcome visitors – not the most appealing adventure.

It’s incredible how things go from worries to full-blown certainty in the night.  I lay awake troubled by images.  Always listening out for the tell-tale signs of someone outside this house (obviously after being my house, I’d be unlucky enough for them to come to this house!).

This morning I was almost bouncing off the walls in anxiety and desperation to get to my house.  Hurrying the kids to get ready and then leaving really early to ‘assess the damage.’  Although the windows gaped open and even the curtains flapped around in the wind, my house remained untouched and tidy from yesterday.  Phew!

For the rest of the day I’ve been up at the house.  I’m still soaking up the peace, even in the brief time I returned to my house at 8am, the neighbours were revving engines.  A brief glance over and I could see outside lights left on (must have been a late one last night) and a welding mask, so either one of the is a serial killer, or more work is going on there.

Today, I can barely move.  I’m absolutely shattered, I feel miserable, and I have achy flu-like symptoms – a medication side effect.  I also keep feeling on the border of a panic attack.  My chest feels tight and painful with anxiety and it doesn’t take much to struggle for air.  Even as I write this I know I probably sound like Darth Vader hyperventilating.

I emailed my lecturer out of courtesy to advise that I was seeing disability services regarding his tests and tutorials.  He reply was curt, probably just succinct but I sensed annoyance.  Or am I transferring?  I can’t tell.

The trouble with lows, the inconsistency, the tiredness, the physiological effects, the inability to know an acknowledgement from a negative connotation and the ability to become convinced of an outcome – such as the burglary.  At least I’m in a position to know I’m not thinking normally.  As opposed to determined to ignore the signs.

I just hate this struggle.  I hate feeling like this.   I hate the feeling of despair.  I want to feel normal but I don’t even have the energy to smile.  Everyone and everything is a threat.

Tea and peace 

It is SO hard. I am really bloated and irritatable on the olanzapine. Uncomfortable bloating, I feel like I’m full of water and air. I feel so fat and horrible. I tried stopping the meds as im taking lithium now but I ended up anxious and sobbing and miserable. I’m clearly not ready to be off of them. At least I know they’re helping my mood.

Last night I didn’t take the antihestimine for sleep because I wake up with such a painful headache. Instead I didn’t get to sleep until after 2. I heard my partying neighbors come back and continue to make noise. It’s really starting to grate on my nerves now. I consider myself a considerate neighbour. I don’t have parties, I don’t rev my engine, I don’t run my mouth off in the middle of the night and I make sure my kids keep quiet at night. I don’t moan about their partying, I don’t call noise control in the middle of the night to complain about their parties, I don’t complain to them about their constant revving engines, even though the exhaust fumes seep into my home, the incessant drilling (woodwork) and the groups of bodies drinking and smoking. I appreciate that they’re young, they want to party, they don’t have responsibilities or commitments. I used to be like that! But today, on a Sunday lunchtime, I’m over the music and shouting. I’m too irritable, too tired, too sore. I need some peace. 

The monthly support group was on today, but I couldn’t face that either. The wallowing, the emotions, everyone vying for the ‘who’s doing it worse’ position. Too much. I’m already feeling triggered and anxious so it probably wouldn’t have helped, probably more hindered.

Egg had her birthday party at the pool today. I couldn’t face that either to be honest. The parents I don’t know, the stifling sticky heat, random kids running around, forcing smiles. But for my daughter I turned up, she looked so happy.


I kind of avoided the parents, S is a better showman at these things.


My son is such a water baby. I wish I’d joined him in the pool, but it was very busy and I don’t feel confident at all about being seen in my swimmers.

I disappeared while they were all busy swimming to vacuum and clean the floors at my house. Keeping the house tidy is such a priority to me. It’s the only thing I have any control over. Although just cleaning is tiring.

I had then wanted to lie on my bed, doze off, feeling relaxed. Unfortunately my neighbours wouldn’t shut up. So I decided to head up to the house. I wanted to be surrounded by family, but isolated from the noise of surburbia. I wanted to see my son and aside from the excited chatter of my own children, soak up the peace. 

So here I am


A relaxing cup of green tea.

The day has been long. And testing. Side effects troubling, but better than the misery of the low.

I’m supposed to be at uni tomorrow, but I can’t imagine having the concentration to study. At least I have an appointment with disability services. I’m determined not to fail – but I have to recognise my limitations at the moment. I’m scared to get worse.

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.