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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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.

Not sleeping

I saw Ian again today and the topic of lithium came up again. I’m now seriously considering it, especially with Xmas coming up.

I’m struggling with these shift hours and the resulting lack of sleep is making me irritable and restless. I’m still under a lot of pressure financially, and my bloody car is falling apart at the seems. First it was the battery, then the electrics, now it’s making a knocking noise. I regret getting that car more than anything right now, it’s causing me a lot of stress. I finally asked Steve to help me this weekend because I’m working and he acted like I was asking for a pot of gold. I just figured he’d have more sway rather than a nearly hysterical woman seen to be moaning all the time. I feel completely on my own and with no support.

Last night I couldn’t sleep for hours. My anxiety is so bad, it’s taking over my life at the moment. I worry about everything and anything. It’s 2am now and it’s going to be another late night, as I can’t seem to sleep, despite taking a sleeping tablet.

Sleep is such a major trigger for me, so is Xmas, so I’m worried about my mood dipping again.

On the whole, work is going well, and I use my days off to tidy/clean the house, so I’m being productive. And I’m still showering daily. But I find my irritability is always lurking in the background. I find noises annoying, like a ticking clock today, or my child sniffing. It’s all loud and irritating. And I keep feeling that creeping sensation of restlessness which ruins my capacity to concentrate. Finally I’m experiencing the crushing symptoms of anxiety. The racing heart, the breathlessness, the cold sweat. It’s affecting my every day life now.

I see my psychiatrist next Friday, so I’ll use the week to consider my symptoms and have a discussion then.

Lithium has previously worked for me, I just don’t like the foggy feeling. Or the complete plateau of feelings. But maybe that’s what I need at the moment.

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.

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!

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!