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.

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Drinking and work

It’s not long until Xmas and I did a really stupid thing last night. I was up at Steve’s as he’s away and I got drunk in the bath. This caused a major meltdown, me wallowing in the bath thinking about how awful 2017 has been and how much I’ve failed. How I must be a great source of disappointment to my family and friends. I sobbed my heart out, having to dive under the water when I heard the kids to wash away the tears.

This is why I avoid drinking. I’m not a good drunk. I either think I’m god reincarnated or scum of the earth. There’s no middle ground. It’s also not good with my meds, I ended up with my head down the toilet most of the night and this morning and a thunderous headache to boot.

Mentally I’ve been stable (ok, aside from that slip!). I’ve been quite content looking after the kids, taking them to the pools, enjoying their company, and enjoying the sunny weather.

And I have a new addition to the family..,

I hadn’t wanted to get a puppy, but in the end decided at least I’d know it’s background and it would be safer with the kids. I met the woman selling them and she was really lovely, this puppy, Ava kind of chose me! She came straight over to me and I adored her instantly. The kids have been great with her and she’s really laid back. In the chewing stage which is annoying, but I’ve bought plenty of toys. It’s nice to have company at mine when the kids aren’t there.

I’ve been in weekly contact with my CPN just to ensure everything is going all right.

The job is really too much for me. The night shifts are really messing me up. Working from 9pm – 7am ruins 2-3 days for me. Quality time I could be with my children. And it throws my medication regime off. I’m also aware that a good sleep routine is paramount to good mental health, and I’m working nights every week, with only a couple of evening shifts. If I’d known the time of the night shifts, I’d never have taken the job. But I’ve tried to find a rhythm and not give up at the first hurdle, but it’s simply not working. I’m looking for something else now. Still only part time, but with consistent hours so I can plan my weeks with the children and no more nights.

I’m really trying to be less of a grinch this year. Just because I hate Xmas doesn’t mean everyone should suffer my wrath!

Not long now until the big day! I’ll be up at Steve’s and we’re having a bbq – traditional Xmas day in NZ.

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.

Still working it out!

My work out today sucked. I had been feeling so inspired, so motivated that I was taking steps to improve my fitness. Although hard some days to get motivated, I have quickly enjoyed feeling the activity and I especially enjoy the endorphins. The sense of purpose for that hour I’m training. But today I struggled to get up, dropping off the kids at school felt like a huge hurdle. So I knew my training session was probably going to be hard. Facing people, talking, the physical stress. I could have just not gone, so easily I could have slipped home to bed. I made up excuses in my head, reasons to justify missing the morning. But I went. I never got the feeling of being in ‘the zone,’ nothing felt right. My body felt like it was made of lead, uncompromising, heavy, clumsy. I felt constantly tired. Talking to my trainer was hard, I didn’t even want to face her. 

But I did my hour and I’m glad I did. Although it wasn’t very good and my body worked against me, I hope the next session won’t be as hard.

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist afterwards. I told her I was fighting the low and I was getting better on the whole but some days just really tested me. Plus I felt tired and nausea, I wasn’t sure what was causing what. She thought the tiredness was mood and meds, same with nausea. Both should improve.

After that I bought a Subway salad and came home to rest. 

It’s a beautiful Spring day today. But I’m not in the mood to enjoy it. I really do just want to sleep now.

The kids are being awesome, I’m enjoying being up here in the peace and running things while S is away.

I know there’ll be good and bad days, but when the bad days come, they’re really tough.

Really struggling with concentration. I think I’ll go and sleep now.

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.

Nightmares and pills

I took my eldest to the GP today following ongoing dizziness and tiredness. As expected she’s having a battery of blood tests, she had an ECG (which was normal) and she was checked over for signs of a virus, her BP was within range. So I strongly suspect the deficiency issue. I felt so sorry for her, the male dr listened to her chest, which meant lifting her top, and though she’s only 12, she’s very mature for her age and is beginning to grow into a developing girl. She was embarrassed and clearly uncomfortable. I looked away to ease her discomfort, and reassured her regaling stories of my past dr experiences (not the psychiatrist of course!). I hope she’s found comfort that we’re on the way to finding a solution.

To be honest, my parents never gave me any sense of my body being my own. I wasn’t talked to about what was appropriate or not, I wasn’t allowed to refuse tests and I was often forced to give affection to people, although it made me uncomfortable. Although I’ve made a conscious decision to give my children a different upbringing, I inevitably find it natural to discuss these issues with them, and encourage them to be honest with me when they feel uncomfortable about something. 

So she remains at my house and my ray of sunshine boy is here still. It’s great to be around them for this time. I’m really utilising my break. Tomorrow I have my two other daughters here and my son. Three kids will be intense (my eldest will go back to her Father) but they’re desperate to stay with me. I’ve remembered that I have group on Sunday. It’s incredible how quickly it’s come around.

I noticed today there’s a local fitness group for ‘women only’ and the hours fall when I’m not at university, I emailed the host, perhaps this will suit me. Give me some energy and force me out of the house.

I’m taking the two lithium tablets and hope to feel the effects soon. I’m not entirely happy about it,  I’m already feeling thirsty but I’m keen to manage my mental health.

The nightmares continue. Graphic, and although the public toilet scenario used to be the consistent nightmare, it seems to be around being ‘locked in’ by people now. I’m also invariably a young girl in these sceneries.  So my sense of claustrophobia and loss of control is peaking. I don’t understand what my nightmares are trying to tell me. It’s so frustrating. I feel like I’m on the precipice of a memory, but can’t quite get the full detail. I just want to take my brain out and dissect it for all the hidden answers. I know they’re in there somewhere.

Tomorrow is supposed to be therapy but I doubt I’ll make it with my eldest daughter and son here. 

Aside from popping pills, and living nightmares at night, life plods along in one continuous stream of monotony and anxiety. I awoke with a panic attack this morning. I was worried about the impact on my son, so moved away from him and attempted to ground myself. I keep forgetting to take a diazapam when this happens. I think I’ve identified why, I don’t want anything in my mouth, I’m scared I’ll choke. And choking is something I’ve been doing a lot of recently. I feel like my throat is constantly constricting and either stopping oxygen from getting in, or food going down. I wonder if my mind is still holding onto things from the night.

Sunday is also Father’s Day here. I’m not sure how this one will play after my decision to reduce family dinners out, I do have my group, but I know the kids will want to do something, they love occasions like this.

Tomorrow I need a peaceful day. I hope I can be ready for next week.