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.

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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.

Glitch

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!

Update!

The job continues to go well and I’m proud of myself for my accomplishments. Financially it is hard, I haven’t been paid yet but I declared my income to the benefits office, which saw it sliced in half, and with the rent at the higher end of the spectrum, I think it’ll be tough to scrape by. But I much prefer to be working than living on benefits.

My mental health remains stable, although my sleep has been greatly affected and I’m absolutely exhausted. There is some anxiety surrounding the night shifts, but hopefully it’s just a case of getting used to it.

Steve has been away, so I’ve been looking after the kids and I have to say that all together it’s been a tiring week, and I work weekends too, so it’s of no benefit to me that it’s a long weekend.

It’s been good though, catching up with the kids and reestablishing my role with them.

I’ve been able to do a grocery shop, which I’m having delivered so that I can rest on Saturday prior to a night shift. It’ll be nice to have food in, and have my home feeling full. 

I’m seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow for the med review and I’m sure they’ll be surprised at what I’ve accomplished. I can’t continue with therapy at the moment because I can’t afford it. But hopefully in time I will be able to resume occasional sessions.

So, all is well and continues to stabilise for me 😊 what a long road it’s been!

Car! Sorted!

So now I officially own my own car. It’s a zillion years old, but hey, it’s all mine! And although finance was tempting to get a nicer car, I have grown up enough in the last year to know that adding to my financial pressure will ultimately affect me in a really bad way. The less stress the better.

My first week of work is done. Two assessments, passed both. Another one on Monday. It’s nice to feel tired from actually doing something! And I enjoy the work, the team are really nice.

The ‘separation agreement’ is now signed and official. The divorce is another $211, and I’m not particularly keen to get the ball rolling on that right now. Again, it’s pressure and upset I don’t need.

Tonight we’re going out as a family for my daughter’s 11th birthday dinner. It’ll be nice to all be together, things between Steve and I continue to be amicable and I’m pleased with the place we’re at. Although I still miss my husband, I’m not completely useless at life as a singleton. In fact I continue to get stronger and more confident. Let’s just hope it stays that way. My mental health continues to be a source of anxiety, like things are going so well, so where’s the price I need to pay? I’m seeing my psychiatrist next week, so it’ll be good to have a review and make sure I’m on track. I’m also seeing the benefits office to declare my part time income. I get really nervous about these things, I don’t want to screw the system (it’ll only backfire on me) so I’ll be able to get everything up to date.

So;

Job – sorted

House – sorted

Car – sorted 

Now I just need to get money actually IN my bank account so I can start saving and get some extra bits for my Home (dining table, knickknacks, etc). I did go to the charity store and get some more cutlery for a few bucks! I surprise myself!

Good things!

So my parents left today, but I saw them last night. It was still emotional even though things have been rocky here. Luckily it won’t affect the kids. But I’m still indebted from my time in England.

In other news, I’m LOVING my job training! I’m feeling very positive about that. Although it’s been a shock to the system! I’m knackered!

I’m LOVING my home. It’s all in place, and feels like home. Of course I miss the house I had with Steve – it was our ‘dream’ house after all. But I have to remind myself it’s just bricks and mortar at the end of the day (technically aluminium!).

The kids are with Steve’s parents in Napier, which is great for them, my children deserve to be spoilt and I have neither the money nor time at the moment. My eldest is here at the house, she’s just living on her laptop talking to school friends! 

So at the moment, contentment resides. I honestly NEVER imagined getting to this point. I seriously thought my life was on a continually bad plateau and that perhaps I’d been the worst person in a former life! My mental health does concern me, but I’m doing the only thing I can do, take my medication, get sleep and wait until the psychiatrist comes back from holiday. I’m terrified of plummeting, but I’m hoping the job satisfaction and feeling of having a ‘Home’ keeps me balanced.

Oh, and I can use the 24 hour police gym!!! So I save on membership and can actually start trying to get healthy again!

Falling into place

So I didn’t get a reply from my parents which upset me even more, then eventually they emailed steve to ask when their horse riding was. I was so gutted, I thought I’d sounded reasonable in the email and open to discussion. They ended up turning up at my house on Saturday to find out about the horse riding. Clearly discussing the email and it’s meaning was not an option for them. Dad wouldn’t look me in the eye and they seemed defensive. I am glad I saw them though, I’d have hated to have left on a bad note. Especially after England.

They left shortly after and they did turn up for horse riding – but then drove off again. Ah well, my issue is mine alone and I have to deal with it. At least my children won’t miss them.

My house is looking great! Everything is in its place – I just need a dining table now – but there’s no hurry. It really feels like a home and I love it.

Steve, as per our agreement is going to buy me a car next week, just a cheap runaround. As the rental goes back on Tuesday – I’ll miss having a car for a few days!

I’m glad things are civil with Steve. And I’m so happy that my kids love my house.

So I start my new job next week!  Very exciting! I wasn’t sure I’d get it because I have that traffic conviction, and I need a full police check but they were ok about it and I’m really looking forward to working again. It’s part time – up to 20 hours a week, which is exactly what I was looking for. And as my house is near the train station, I can train in!

Feels like things are falling into place. That makes me nervous! But I’m trying to remain optimistic – there should be ‘pay back’ for my good fortune!