School

I’ve started my new job as a Teacher Aide and it’s bloody hard work! I have a new found respect for teachers! Everyone seems really nice so it’s a nice change from the toxic environment I’d gotten used too. What I really love though is having my kids here at mine and being able to take them to school and pick them up. I’ve really missed being so involved with them. It also takes the pressure off Steve because he was the one having to race around after the kids.

I’m already learning a lot. I just hope my stamina quickly improves.

I’m seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow. I might ask for the Effexor to be increased. I don’t feel low like I did before, but I’m still incredibly anxious. Although I guess that’s part of starting a new job. Especially in an area I know nothing about.

I’m taking each day at a time. To have a new job is a real relief, although I won’t feel the financial benefit for a couple of weeks and it’s a bit stressful because I’m only working part time. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to study. The financial burden might be too much.

So yeah, things are getting better.

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MS and future plans

I saw my GP today as I’ve been suffering with what I’d class as extreme exhaustion. I know I’m in a low which means I’m usually lethargic and demotivated, but this seems somehow worse. I see it’s one of many symptoms of MS, and as the neurologist told me to look out for symptoms following my mri last year, I wondered if this was the start. I’ve not been experiencing any other symptoms, although of course, depression and anxiety offer a similar lot of symptoms. Unexplained pains and weakness. My GP was fairly sure that this wasn’t a precursor to MS and instead a combination of my medication, the heat (we’ve been suffering a heatwave recently) and the low I’m in. But she’s ordered some blood tests and told me to go back in a month. I feel fairly comfortable with that. Im glad I’ve not been experiencing sight problems which is a very clear indicator of the disease.

I applied for a part time as a Teacher Aide, something completely different! My kids and Steve were really suprised, all said I was too impatient! I’m not sure if I’m up to the task to be honest, but the Deputy Principal and Principal seemed pretty confident in me. I’m not sure if I’ll get the role, but it works perfectly around school hours, and I’m enjoying being around for the kids more.

I’m also still considering study. I’ve had the offer from Hamilton and now Massey. I’m still suffering with a lack of confidence although Steve has been very supportive.

It’s a holiday here tomorrow and Steve is away, so I’m going to be enjoying the time with my kids.

End of a chapter

Today was my last day at work. It’d been a good week. I thought it would drag and by today I’d be skipping out the door. But in fact I felt quite sad. Really disappointed that it hadn’t worked out. I really enjoyed the advocacy, just not the toxic environment. My boss was actually unusually really nice to me. Shame she couldn’t have been like that during my employment.

So another chapter closes. I feel I made the right decision, even Steve pointed out that whilst this week was good, if I wasn’t leaving it wouldn’t have been and I would have dreaded every day.

As I left my work car there, Steve picked me up. He had to pick our daughter up as she had an early finish today. We had time for a coffee together; but I could tell Steve was uncomfortable with me. It’s so sad that after so many years together we can’t have a civil conversation together. I miss our chats together. We used to meet regularly for coffee and lunch.

I have an interview for a teacher aide position next week. I’m really not sure about it though. I doubt my ability. I guess my confidence is still low.

I think my depression is marginally better. Not sure if it’s the new anti depressant, leaving my job, or just time. Hopefully it continues. I still find it hard to get up in the morning and get showered, but I push myself everyday.

I’m looking forward to spending more time with my children. I think the job limited me so much. I will only look for part time work moving forwards, but I definitely won’t be unemployed for long. Too much time on my hands is never a good thing!

Resignation

I handed my notice in. It was a difficult decision because of my financial situation and because I do actually enjoy the job, just not the environment, but my mental health is too important and I’m just too miserable.

Today was my first day back following sick and annual leave. I absolutely dreaded it. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist first, and had emailed my boss to that effect. This morning I walked in at 10 and she ripped into me about how I should have been earlier, I told her that I’d said I had an appointment. She obviously hasn’t read the email properly. I thought, here we go. I’ve just come back from sick leave and the first thing she does is jump down my throat in front of everyone. I’ve since learned that my other colleague has also handed her notice in. Now she’s only got one team member left, so it’s going to be difficult for her. With the high turn over and current situation, you’d think questions would be asked. The CEO has also resigned, so I’m not sure how this company will survive. That’s not my problem obviously!

My psychiatrist has put me back on Effexor – the brand, not just a generic. I’m hopeful that this will improve my mood. It’s been a tough few weeks, I’m barely functioning. Today was a real test going into work. I resisted it the whole way. My anxiety was through the roof. The next two weeks are going to be really long.

Steve has taken my children away for a short break. I was devastated when they left. I feel like I should be there. It sickens me to miss out on their experiences and memories. I hate not being in a family anymore.

I did take the kids camping, but I’m not sure that they really enjoyed it. I think they’re too used to their luxuries. My eldest asked to be taken home the next day, and the others just seemed to be enduring it for my benefit. And it was really hard for me. Obviously I had to fight the urges to just lie down and do nothing. It’s really hard having a large family and terrible depression. I cried my eyes out after I’d dropped them off. Another sign I’m failing them as a mother.

I’m not sure what I’ll do next. I’m going to look for part time work. I’ve really lost my way at the moment. I’d love to be able to travel again. That’s where I was happiest. But I couldn’t leave my children.

Respite

I asked to go into respite again for a few nights. My mood has plummeted and I desperately need a medication review. I asked continually over Xmas but I kept being put aside. I fell into the ‘not ill enough’ bracket. Even though my psychiatrist was working over the Xmas period and my CPN told me to contact her if I needed a medication review. Oh the joy of the mental health service!

Managing my job has become impossible. It was hard already over Xmas, but with my mood so low and the searing dread about my bitch of a boss coming back soon, I was an anxious mess. So I’m on sick leave this week, next week I happen to have prearranged annual leave. I’ve also asked to work part time on my return.

I have heard some interesting news today, in the UK I was prescribed Effexor, which I found to be a really effective anti depressant. When I came back to NZ, it stopped working and I couldn’t understand it. So a medley of other anti depressants were prescribed. I’ve just found out that in NZ, Effexor isn’t subsidised by Pharmac, only a generic substitution is. Apparently this generic one is made of a different composition, and has been ineffective for a lot of people. This means I’ll have to pay more for a prescription but it’s worth it.

I can’t see my psychiatrist until January 22nd, so unfortunately she won’t prescribe until then. So I’m only on lamotrigine which is anti seizure after that one convulsion I had in the middle of last year.

I can intellectualise that my mood has dropped because of a chemical imbalance and that it’s temporary. Brought on by the pressures of the expectations of a new year and work. And it’s this that I’m trying to hold onto. But it’s extremely hard both psychologically and physically. I’m absolutely exhausted and totally demotivated. I’ve stopped running, I can barely look after my basic needs; showering, brushing my teeth, cooking, tidying up. I cry a lot, my anxiety is through the roof so I am often on the brink of panic attacks and my heart feels like it’s going to give up. I’m especially hyper vigilant, so at home I’ve felt like someone is trying to break in every night.

It’s so hard looking after the kids. I’m fighting it all the way, I took the kids to the beach on Saturday and swimming on Sunday – even though every muscle in my body didn’t want to move. Driving was hard because of concentration, I felt physically sick from the exertion and I struggled to not be miserable and snappy.

I’ve promised the kids I’ll take them camping next week, so I have to be better for that. I’m concentrating all of my efforts on getting ready for that, which is why I’m taking this week out. Although I still intend on seeing the kids at Steve’s, luckily he’s on leave this month. I miss them painfully, but I know I’m not in a position to have them stay at mine for now.

So here I am, back in respite. But I’ve chosen this before I became much worse. It’s funny actually because the guy that gave me the induction told me he didn’t think I belonged here. And you’d be hard pressed to tell. I’m actually in clean clothes, I’ve got a deep tan from being out, I maintain eye contact and hold conversations. Admittedly I’ve been in far worse states. But what he doesn’t know is that I’ve not showered, I only got dressed to come here, I’ve had terrible suicidal ideation and just from our conversation I was so exhausted I slept afterwards for two hours.

No one really knows what anyone is going through, and initial appearances can be deceiving.

I don’t see this stay as a fail into the new year. I see it as me creating (by advocating for myself) a safety net so that I can take some time out for myself to prevent becoming so unwell I’m virtually catatonic.

Wobble

I’ve had a wobble over this new year period. It happens pretty much every year with the pressures and expectations. Xmas was so good with all the family together, but then they all left and although initially it was down time for me, I ended up being left with my own depressing thoughts. I was definitely becoming unwell and I had visions of being committed over the new year.

But I’ve clung to my sanity. On New Year’s Day I joined the Parkrun group to get my 5km in. I’ve maintained running for 30 mins x3 a week, so I wasn’t able to run the full 5km again, but I’m not concerned, I’m joining the January program to work up that again. Then, as tempting as it was to crawl into bed, I went to the beach with a great read on my kindle. I swam in the sea and relaxed in the sun (yes I’m a bit burnt!). Today I’m catching up with a friend and will probably go back to the beach afterwards.

I’ve hardly heard from Steve and the kids. I knew he’d come back cold from Napier, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still hurts, even when I’m expecting it. They’re due back tomorrow as it’s Harry’s birthday the following day.

I’m working tomorrow which I’m really not looking forward too. I hope I can find a new job this year. I’m still in two minds about study. One part of me wants to embrace it and start learning again, another part of me feels inadequate and that I can’t do it. I don’t have long to make a decision.

It’s supposed to be nice again today. I’m lucky I’m up at Steve’s, it’s much cooler here and I can open all the ranch sliders, but of course I’ll be sad to leave tomorrow. My house is like a hot box over summer and I don’t really have much of a garden. It does grate on me that Steve has everything.

The new year means little to me. I’m not one for resolutions and trite message of hope and all that. It’s just a change in numbers, I don’t think this year will actually be any different. I can only continue to take one day at a time.

Fighting intrusive suicidal

Thoughts. How easy would it be to step in front of a train? I’ve checked the train table, I could be there in time. I wouldn’t have to face the new year. I could leave the kids with good memories. There’s nothing keeping me here. My life is miserable and hard work.

I don’t know what keeps me here.

I feel like I need to hold on. But for what? Nothing is clear.