Saturday, April 04, 2015

Saturday 4th April

I have had the most wonderful three weeks since I last posted.

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary took place.

I woke up each day.

Went to work.


Had a lovely beach walk one sunny Sunday.

Took Mr Benny for a few walks on other days.

Ate too much on a few days.

Just the usual day to day events that people go through.  That's it really.


Not one day was I depressed.

Not one day was I anxious.

Not one day was I up and down (in a horrible way) with my moods to the point where it made it difficult to function.

It was really quite wonderful and I think it may well continue to be that way. And that is thanks to modern medicine (plus a proactive lifestyle, blah blah, blah).  The psychiatrist has helped me get the balance right. For now.  It may change but that's okay.  I can accept that because that is part of my life.

Anyway, enough of that.  Just thought I would sing it out to the blog world.  Record it for posterity.

Today I went into the city to buy some Easter eggs at my most favorite chocolate shop called Haig's. I had been here the week prior with a girlfriend when we went to see a free exhibition at the State Library.  We also walked around the library to see the permanent exhibits and also the wonderful reading room which has the most amazing glass dome which lets in the light.

I drove in and for the first time in ages the traffic was so quiet.  I think people have gone away for the four day Easter weekend and left the roads to those who like to just hang around at home.  Once in the city I parked under the Art Gallery and walked to the shop.  After I had picked up the goodies it seemed only right to have a meander around the laneways and head towards a big department store to try out some new perfume.

Melbourne laneways are often bustling hives of activities.  They are lined with cobblestone or bricks and no traffic is allowed.  Interesting clothes shops, bars and delicious eateries line each side and in some of the lanes tables sit outside waiting for customers.  On a day like today when the sun is shining it's crowded and noisy.  I love it.

Some laneways have fantastic wall art (some would say graffiti) and are photographed by tourists.

But today was not for eating, it was just a walking day.

When I got to the department store I realised it had been a while since I had poked around in the make up and perfume area.  It was huge with make up brand names I had never heard of.  Men were selling the goods as well as women.  The service had improved hugely but I have to say that I was one of the oldies walking around if you went by percentages.  But that was okay because the world is full of all age groups.

Eventually the time came where I had to head home.  Even though I could have spent the entire day just enjoying my time I had things that needed doing at home.  On the walk back to the car park I noticed a lot of people walking around draped in the Australian flag.  I thought that was strange but maybe something was happening that required people to be patriotic.

Then I got to Fed Square and could see and hear that some sort of big protest was happening.  I went over and watched it for a while.  It was quite aggressive with people shouting racist comments.  At one point I was standing next to a man who may have been from Kenya when one of the people speaking to the crowd point to him and called him a n****r.  I was so shocked as it's just something I have never seen happen on my own doorstep.  I turned to him and said something like "not everyone thinks that way".  But it left me feeling quite shaken.  The vitriol in parts of the crowd was palpable.

After a while I decided it was time to head home.  I rang K and made a joke about the protest was not moving forward as nobody got hurt and there weren't that many police.  Later on I saw on the news that it escalated with people getting hurt and arrested.  The mounted police were brought in to control the crowds.  Some people not involved in the protests were injured.  When I heard that I was kind of glad I left when I did.

I thought about it on the way home.  The whole thing bothered me.  There's an ugly side to every religion, every culture, every country.  It's never nice to see it.  For me, the world I grew up in is changing and not really in the best way.

My son is at a party tonight.  This is the third week running he has gone to a party.  I'm still getting my head around it.  What got me about this one he is at tonight is the conversation I had with him yesterday about it.  He said "I am going to T's place tomorrow night" and I said something like "Oh, what for?" and he said it was for a drinking sesh (session).  I thought WTF.  A drinking session?  I feel like a switch has gone on in his head.  For years and years K and I were worried that he was not very social and now he is out and about a lot.  It's a good thing.

Last Sunday I went for a fantastic beach walk.  The day was so warm, sky so blue.  I met K at a coffee shop half way and we sat for a while before I walked back.   People were on the beach sunbathing.  Children played in the water.  Bike riders along the bike path and people walking and running on their own path.  It was just a day that wanted to be embraced.

These glorious Autumn days that still hang onto remnants of Summer are the most wonderful days of all.  Tomorrow is the end of Daylight Savings and soon the days will become shorter and chillier. For the first time in so many years I am not feeling a sense of fear because I believe that this time I will be okay with the change of season.  In the past it has been such an issue for me.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday.  Now that S is older he does not jump up early to look for his Easter Eggs.  He lies, sloth like, in bed until mid morning and then makes his way into the light of day stopping at the fridge to drink some apple juice straight from the bottle.  So I have plenty of time to get up in the morning and hide the eggs.

I've got a feeling his breakfast won't be a healthy one.

Time for bed.


linda x

PS: I've been getting up from the computer every now and then and eating the chocolate eggs I am meant to be hiding tomorrow.  Mmmmmm.

PPS: No spell or grammar check.  Too tired and lazy.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday 15th March

Poppy Sirens
Well, it's been three weeks since I last did a post.  Summer has ended and we are two weeks into Autumn.

Autumn in Melbourne is beautiful.  We still get very warm days but the mornings are hazy and cool. Today was divine.  Clear blue sky, warm breeze and the sun shone brightly.  I took Mr B for a walk late afternoon and the smell of freshly mowed lawns seemed to surround me.  It had rained last night so perhaps that encouraged people to get out and tackle the garden.

I had to go back and read my last post to work out where I was at in my head then.

I've been to the pych's rooms twice since that last post.  My anti depressants made me go into a hypomanic stage which sounds great but it was most unpleasant.  I woke up one morning with a rush of abnormal energy (usually the first sign), high agitation (second sign), over confident (third sign), anxious (fourth sign) and so on.  Also zero ability to concentrate and talking too much.

During the morning at work I managed to function productively and then an issue arose between a supplier.  Something about non delivery of goods.  Anyways, I got very cross.  Actually, I lost it. Dropped the F bomb and then had to eat humble pie and apologise.  I cannot say it was my finest moment.

For the ten days following that I had poor sleep.  Not tired. Did not want to go to bed. Forced myself to go to bed most nights. Slept like shit.   Nothing helped me sleep and my anxiety levels were through the roof.  The Valium did not work at all.  I may as well have taken a sugar pill. And I did not have a script for Temazepan.  Overall it was a rather ratty time.

Last Wednesday I saw the psych and he confirmed that the new meds had caused the hypomanic state (which is why Bipolar 1 or 2 is, as a rule, with anti depressants alone).  Soooo, I had to stop the anti depressants for two days only, get my sleep back in order and now I am back on track (I think).

I have a follow up consultation next Wednesday so crossing fingers.  He laid down a few instructions about being more mindful about the sleep.  If I am wide awake at 10.30pm and know that sleep is not going to come easily I will take something.

In between all that I have been doing the usual life stuff.  I had four days off the other week.  We had a long weekend so I took an extra day off.   Although I did not do much we did all go to theatre and see a one man play called "Wot No Fish".  It was based on a true story and was the most fantastic play.  I had booked it weeks ago and was a bit nervous wondering what K and S would think of it.  I need not have worried.  The both loved it.  It was a moving and humorous experience.  If it ever comes close to where you can see it I cannot recommend it highly enough.

We also bought a new rug for our newly polished floors.  I have come to the conclusion that my house is just one big eclectic mix of stuff.  The rug is patterned and has a black background. The pattern is almost Art Nouveau and could almost clash with things were it not for the fact I live in the house and don't give a shit.  No smooth clean lines with neutral colours for me.  I like movement. Natural materials.  Colours. Stories behind each item that arrives in the house.  Sometimes, though, I visit someone who has a house that is modern and streamlined and that too has its own appeal.

I've been drawing quite a bit and am now planning to sell some of my drawings.  A few people have asked to buy and it's only now I am okay with letting go of things I do.  In my mind this is a good shift.  Plus, it's nice to think of someone wanting a piece of my artwork.  The little flower drawing I have uploaded is destined for the UK.

Exercise, I hate it and love it.  Recently I increased my cardio and my weights just to push myself out of my lazy comfort zone and as a result I feel physically much better.  Stronger.  Healthier. Last Monday I did some leg exercises that left my butt feeling as though someone had booted me very hard.  It was bruised.  I think it was the 100 step ups with a knee lift while carrying 7kg weights in each hand.

Trouble is when you get older you have to work a lot harder to get reasonable results.  My body just won't do what it used to do without my breaking into a sweat at least four or five times a week.

My son went to his school formal a couple of weeks ago.  He looked so handsome in his suit.  Before the formal he had gone to a house party held by one of his friend's mother.  There were around 60 boys there and there was food to eat.  Most of the boys brought drinks with and S was one.  When I came home from work he was sitting at the computer looking extremely happy and slightly red eyed. He also smelt of cider.  So, it would be fair to say he was a bit drunk.

So he went to the formal feeling pretty happy.

I was speaking to him the other day about a few things.  We got onto the topic of the Internet.  I know I have mentioned that I removed all posts that had photos of S on my blog (hence no photo of his formal).  I never upload his photo of FB without his express permission.  On his own FB he has a different surname to me and very few personal photos.  He leaves a few cyber footprints as he can.

At school he is doing software development and at home he is a computer nerd.  All his web browsing and usage is done through a proxy most of the time.  He wants next to nothing about him on the web as he said you never know how it will impact his career prospects in later years.  It's interesting to hear that from him.

I have to tell you that I have been sitting here for almost two hours thinking of what to write. It's not that I have nothing to say or that nothing has happened, it's just that I am just in stare mode.  Though I have been watching tv at the same time and reading stuff on the internet.

Well, it is now 10.30pm and I have to go to bed.

And dream.


ps - not reading this back to check all okay.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday 21st February

May 2011
Almost a week has gone by.  I know I mention this on a regular basis but time is going rather quickly now I have officially become middle aged.  Past fifty.  Down the slippery slope.  For a short time I got up to the top of the hill and looked across at the scenery that is life before I stumbled a bit and started the unwanted skid down the other side.  Oops, down I went, my brief view a distant memory already.

I worked from home on Thursday and got a lot done.  But I think this week I will work Monday to Thursday at work and take a leave day off on Friday.  I'm going to be making an effort to do that once a month so that I am able to catch up with personal things and get some free time in the studio.

Work has been very hard this February.  We always have the most hideous cash flow this time of year and this year is no different.  I am beyond giving a shit about answering the phone when people ask for money, I just say it as it is.  We have more money owing to us than we owe out so that is all I care about.  Tax and superannuation is up to date and each week we pay the boys wages.  In that sense all is good but in business good cash flow is king.

I won't deny that it has not made me feel a bit more anxious than usual but it's what I call a "rational anxiety" in that I can explain it to myself and get on with things.  Irrational anxiety is quite another matter.  That requires a different approach.

My additional medication has been going well so far.  It would be reasonable to say that I don't feel so incredibly joyless everyday.  I feel different.  However, it will be a few more weeks before I can be confident about it.  I no longer take for granted my frame of mind and value good days so very much.

I am going back to the psychiatrist on Friday for an update.  I'm not going to 'fess up to drawing him naked.  I'm guessing he knows already.

On another note, I have to confess that I am very bad at remembering birthdays and anniversary dates.  Important dates pass me by.  Appointments are something I will miss if they are not in the iPhone along with multiple alarms to remind me of a forthcoming event I have to go to. I know people who recall the date they met there loved one and I have no idea.  I know the year and that is it.

But this time I have really excelled at getting it wrong.

Last night K and I went out for dinner and got into conversation about how we met and during the course of the conversation we were asked how long we had been married.  We said that we had just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  To which one girl said "oh, so you got married in 1990" and K said "no, it was 1991 wasn't it?" and I replied that it was.  Which means that we have only been married for 24 years and not 25.  Needless to say that made for lots of laughing.  Everytime I think about how we celebrated our 25th anniversary I can't work out how I got it so wrong.

Maybe it just feels like it's been 25 years.  I'm not sure I'll mention this fantastic oversight to anyone at work because I don't think I'd live that one down and it would only serve to once again confirm my kooky personality.  Plus, if I can't get the amount of years I have been married correct what does that say about my number skills?

We have a new person starting at work on Tuesday.  She is helping in the office with answering phone, data entry and filing.  Three days a week. It will be great and take a lot of pressure off me and J.  So life once again will change in the office.  My feelings about it are strange.  It's busy, I get on with everyone, work gets done.  But part of me feels a bit bored or something.  I've been working there for a long time and wonder if this is it.  I have no reason to leave because I do love working there despite the boredom.  So I think something is going on inside me as opposed to my work environment.  And that is something that perhaps takes time to work out.

Last night I had to take something to ensure a good sleep after having three nights of poor sleep. When I woke up I decided to take it easy and before getting ready for the day I sat and had breakfast, read most of a very good book and chilled.  Around midday I went to the hairdressers to get a trim. Outside was so hot. Like opening an oven door and I decided not to do the usual meander down the street once she had finished.  So I headed home and finished the book and mosied around.  Changed the bed linen, did some laundry, cooked dinner and suddenly evening crept in.  Sometimes you need to do nothing kind of days.

I'm a bit aimless at the moment.  Maybe I need a holiday or a change of environment - which kind of is a holiday I guess.  But I don't know exactly what it is I feel like doing.  I'm stuck in my head.  As though I have reached a blank space and don't know how to decorate it or how to step over it.  It's an emotional blank space I think.  It's not like being stuck in a rut either.  Nothing springs to mind as such.  I have my art work and that is a constant.  Always there waiting for me and part of me.

So lately I spend time how I can action this feeling.  Do I add something into the mix.  Put another thing on my plate?  Get another tattoo?  Oh, yes. Now that is on the cards and has been for ages.  I have a strong idea in my head but do not want to act on it until I feel 100% in a good and strong mental place.  Even I know not to get a tattoo when fragile or filled with too much angst.

Well, until I work out what it is I am aimless about I may as well think about going to bed.

It's late.

And this post has taken for ever.

Time for bed.

linda x

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hot Sunday 15th February

Sunday afternoon and I am sitting in my warm studio.  It's such a hot day outside.  The sort of day that would burn your skin in minutes.  I could turn the air conditioner on but I kind of like to feel hot and sweaty in this room. The door is open so the studio is not completely sealed off.  The heat makes the timber smell nice, a bit like a sauna or something.

I've been doing some work. Real work from the work place.  I'm not feeling creative at the moment and figure I may as well do something.  I managed to get a fair bit done.  I am always surprised how long it takes to do things.  Not just work related things, just anything.  In my mind the speed in which it takes to complete a task should match the speed it took to say the words.  It took me years to get that thought around my head that I was not slow at my work but in fact the work I did was time consuming.

Before I came into the studio I had to have a quick nap on the bed.  I think the meds are making me a bit tired, but it could also be the weather.  Hot weather sucks the life out of me these days.  I cannot believe I trained for the 100km charity walk two years ago in this weather.  If I had to do it again I could work up to it but I'd really, really, really have to want to because these days I'm not inclined to put myself out so much.

Despite it being hot, I love the blue sky, the longer days and the way the washing on the line smells when I take it in once it has dried.  It's beautiful and fresh.

The meds are doing what meds do.  No notable side effects apart from a loss of appetite.  That is kind of weird.  Even if I am hungry the thought of eating holds no appeal so I just make sure I eat something nutritional and not too filling or I feel queasy.  This is a known side effect and I have already lost some weight.  But I am very pragmatic about it and expect this to not last.

S caught up with a group of friends yesterday at someones house.  There were about eight of them. They had planned to go and see Fifty Shades of Shite just for fun but decided it was better value to download movies they really liked and eat lots of shitty junk food.  When he came home later on he could not eat dinner and this morning he was still feeling full.

He is very practical about food.  It's there for a purpose and that is to fuel.  Nothing else.  So he never eats out of boredom or when he is not hungry.  He will eat breakfast and then nothing else until dinner on the weekends.

He's enjoying his last year of high school.  I cannot believe that he will be eighteen this year.  When I started blogging he was and eight year old kid with a little voice and now he is almost a man and has the deepest voice.  Lately he has been a bit bolshy.  I may ask him a question that he perceives as irrelevant and he gives me a bit of a smart reply.  I rarely let him get away with it, explaining nicely that just because he thought what I said was stupid that does not mean it is okay to respond that way.

Plus, he is a know all.  In a good way.  He argues a lot and pulls up facts to back him up.

I am sure that someone said something like "when I was 18 I knew it all and my parents knew nothing, when I was 21 I could not believe how much they had learnt in three years".  Or something akin to that.

At school I believe this is the year of parties and lots of them.  S went to one a few weeks ago and we said that he just has to ring us and we will pick him up no matter the time.  He rang us at 11pm and when he got home I asked him why was he home so early?  He said he did not want to wake us up in the early hours of the morning.  Do I think that was the truth?  I don't know.  But it was nice of him to consider us.  He took a few bottles of beer with him and I presume had a few drinks which I am okay with.  He is at the age where he has to make his decisions like drinking and drugs and all I can hope is that K and I have done our work in making sure he is mindful about his choices.

He is also going to the Prom at the beginning of March.  We have decided to buy him a suit because it costs just the same to hire a generic dinner suit as to buy a suit and get it fitted properly.  I really want him to have a great year this year.  The last year before he steps out to the bigger world of University and doing his own thing more and more.

Life is different when a child is no longer the child and really gets close to being more adult in their ways.  He does not want to do things with us too often.  We always ask.  I did ask him if he wanted a party for his 18th and he said he would probably have one at a friends house.  This friend often holds parties.  I said okay.  And it is okay with me.  He would rather just go out for dinner with us and I like that too.

The other day we were talking about our planned overseas trip and S said that he did not want to go to the UK again and wanted to go somewhere different like Scandinavia and Germany.  I appreciate his interest in other countries and we have planned to put Scandinavia in the trip but we have friends in the UK that we want to see so he is just going to have to wear it.  I think the next trip he does with us will be the last one for a while.  He will want to travel with friends or a girlfriend, not with his parents.  By the way, he told us that he saw this old couple driving along and pointing at houses and said it reminded him of us!  Old couple.  Fuck that.

Well, I have succumbed to the heat and put the air conditioner on.  When the sweat starts trickling down my back then it's time to cool down.  I have to think about dinner. Oh, wait, no I don't.  I bought K and S sausages.  So it is sausages in bread.  God, I am such a lazy cook these days.  But S and K are not the most interested foodies and it is a hot day. Who wants eat on a hot day?  You know my rule, more than six ingredients and I am eating out.

I think I've done all the work I am going to do.  Time to go inside the cool house and finish off a drawing, watch some tv, get my gear ready for tomorrow and go to bed at a reasonable hour.  No doggy walk tonight - it's way too hot.

linda x

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday 12th February

It's been a looooong time since last I did a post.

I've been okay.  Ups and downs.  Mostly downs.  In fact, after much consideration and dialogue with the psychiatrist I have decided to add an anti depressant into the mix of my drugs.  It sounds oh so awful but I am okay with it.  It's a smaller than normal dosage so the side effects should be fairly minimal and if it does not work I will taper off them.  The past month just tipped me over and made me think that a quality of life is really important.

I did agonise over the decision for ages but the physicality of being depressed is really an issue and, quite frankly, I am over it and want a break.  Not that I have to justify it to anyone (except myself), but I guess I am just talking about it as I do on my blog.

This week I went to the psych's and it was an okay visit.  I mean, what can I say about that monthly visit?  Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not.  He asks me about my moods and state of mind and I said "how should I know as I don't have a good baseline".  I did have a fairly unexpected rant about a few things when he asked some questions I did not like.  Despite the ups and downs I am most definitely in a better place than I was in 2013 before I went on medication.  That year was just blah on so many levels.

Anyway, on a much more interesting subject, I uploaded a very quick video of my dear furry friend Mr Benny.  Today I worked from home and it was just him, me and the sunshine.  As I worked away he sat at the door of the studio and now and then would meander off somewhere else in the yard.

I had a very productive day but I also have a bit of a sore neck.  The desk I am sitting at is not ideal for doing computer work on.  I shall persevere.  I think it is a bit high and my chair is basically crap. It is an office chair my brother gave to me and compared to the one I have at work it is rather average.  I could also have a sore neck from the boxing class I did last night.  Loads of punches and push ups.  Who knows.

So I had a good day and was meant to go for a fitness class at 6pm but with the sun shining and that lazy feeling inside me I sent the following message to the personal trainer:

Dear C, 

After a fantastic and productive day working from home and taking the dog for a walk I have decided to forgo the fitness test and take S and K out dinner instead.  I know it is very disgraceful of me but I don't feel guilty. x  ps will eat salad.

So, as it was I had not taken the dog for a walk and took it after we got back from dinner and I did not eat salad but the grilled chicken breast burger I had was accompanied by coleslaw so I think that was close enough.  Having a burger isn't really dinner is it?

In the past few weeks not much has been happening.  Went to the art gallery last weekend and saw a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition which was fantastic.  He's such an artist in my opinion and the exhibit did not disappoint.  I went with one of the girls I did the Oxfam walk with.  Last year I pretty much isolated myself from being social so this year I am making the effort to change that.

I am starting a new project in my studio.  Years ago my brother made four divine wooden shadow boxes for me to do some assemblage work with and they have been sitting there waiting for a solid idea to happen.  Finally I saw something that started the ball rolling.  This weekend I will sketch the concept for each box and then start on each piece.  There is wire work involved so it's a fiddly task.  I was really thankful when I knew what I wanted to do.

As I type this painfully boring post it has suddenly occurred to me that my blog has been going for nine years.  Okay, it's been limping along for a while but that's fine.  I have removed truckloads of posts from the public eye and have been slowly saving them into a folder with the intention of printing them out one day.  Lots of life talked about over the past nine years.  Changes, both mentally and physically.  Now and then I read some aloud to K and S and it's pretty funny going back over conversations that have gone on.  I am very thankful I started the blog and continue to do so.  It's a little time capsule in cyberland.

There is one thing I must comment about my psych visit.  I wasn't going to because I am a bit embarrassed about this little episode.  I took in my drawings for this visit.  At first I was not going to show him but the whole session was difficult for me so I thought it would be a good change of pace.

However, in hindsight I should have taken out two drawings.  These two below.  Why do I say that? Well, as you may or may not know, when I first drew naked man a few weeks later I realised he looked like my psych would without clothes.

The second drawing is another one with him in it (The Grotto with Naked Man).

So, the psych points out the drawing above and asks me "what does this mean Linda?" and I give some vague explanation.  I really loathe being asked to interpret my drawings because I really do not have a solid idea what they are about.  I draw them as I feel them and I finish the drawing once it feels right.  Most start life as a dream and then roll around in my head before I start them.

Anyway, that is okay.  Then he points to Naked Man and asks "who is that man? I saw him before in the other drawing".  Well, I was hardly going to say that it was him was I?  There was this silence and I said "I don't know" before mumbling some shit - it was painfully obvious I was squirming inside. But I am fairly certain he KNEW it was him.  In hindsight I wish I had fessed up and said "it's you" but my polite self could not do that.

He asked me a few more questions about it before moving onto another drawing.  By this stage I wished I had not shown him any of them at all.  I felt very uncomfortable afterwards.  Oh well. It's done now.   I am wondering if I should bring it up with him next time and say it was him in the drawing and I felt uncomfortable telling him that.

By the way, I love my drawing of the Naked Man so he should be flattered that he was my muse!

Well, it's 10pm and I am tired.

I guess that means bedtime.

I love my bed.

lc x

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday 18th January

I told a lie today.  Well, kind of a lie.  What I did was keep my mouth shut about something I already knew.  Bossman rang to tell me that E was leaving in a week.  I had already been informed by E himself and I chose not to say anything.  I feigned a low level of surprise, very low.  Now I feel a bit meh about doing that because I prefer to be honest.  It's not a nice feeling I now have inside but it will pass.  Oh well.  It would have been easier had Bossman just told me when he found out which was last Monday.

As a result of this person leaving Bossman and his lovely family have cancelled their camping trip that was organised for next week.  Their life will be under stress while they sort through it all.  As there is a family connection (wife and E's wife are sister's) there is some tension there.  They all had Christmas together and this was being organised by E the whole time.  Bossman is past the anger stage so now has to get into the action stage.  

He said to me "no loyalty from anyone Linda, except for you, I always know you will be there".  To which I replied "well if I ever go you can bet I will give you waaaaaaay more than a weeks notice". We had a laugh about that.  Thinking about what he is going through right now pales into insignificance when I compare it to my bit of angst over keeping something to myself.  

It's been a moseying around weekend.  Yesterday was relaxing.  I pottered around the house just cleaning things up and throwing things out.  I felt normal.  Normal in that way where I don't have to think about my mood at all.  In the past (let's call it BE - before Epilim) I had either ups or downs and no real in betweens.  Or what I thought were in between stages were kind of just reprieves.  Now I get longer stages of a definite untroubled day.  

I said the the psych last week that I did not want to take this frame of mind for granted. He agreed but also said to just go with it and to be aware of any changes.  Ho hum. 

It's sunny outside today.  This weekend has been sunny in general.  I've been doing lots of washing and hanging it out to flap in the breeze.  I love days that are breezy and warm with the blue sky and sunshine gazing down into everyone's backyards.  I can hear the leaves on my beautiful weeping Elm rustle and they sound reminds me of the beach.

I often think about the beach.  The sand and the water.  The pleasure it offers for nothing.  That's the thing about nature isn't it?  Its beauty is free and yet what we get from it is so enriching.  I cannot imagine anything in our material, consumeristic world that matches it.

My little world has suburban nature.  Many bugs.  Trees.  A small variety of birds. I'm out of touch with what I call "big nature".  Sometimes I think about going on a camping trip and the reality of it comes to mind (bugs in particular).  That alone is enough to change my mind.

My niece has been travelling with her partner up along the coast.  She posts photos of her trip on her Instagram page here.  The photos are great and make me think I need to get out more.  Though, one has to keep in mind that it's easier for her to get out and about.  She does not work full time.  She has no children.  It allows her to live a fairly free life.  But, those few things aside, she just does stuff. She gets out and does them despite her health issues (Lyme's disease).

But I know that B has things in the back of her mind that bother her.  Financial security.  It's not much fun being 35 and living with your Aunt.  A while ago she made a joke about S leaving home before her.  Her health worries her.  The treatment she has is costly and comes with no guarantees for the chance of a full recovery.  There have been days where she can barely get out of bed but thankfully they are getting less and less.  For that B is very grateful.  Recently she talked to me about the purpose of life if a person has no children.  I said children give a different purpose and not the only purpose.  Plenty of people have no children and live very purposeful lives.

Bonsai Tree
Last night I did not sleep well.  I had two late nights in a row.  Friday was intentional but last night not so.  I got caught up watching a movie on the computer.  Then my mind was over stimulated and I took a long to time to fall asleep.  At 1.00 am in the morning my mobile rang which woke me up.  It was a "no caller id" incoming call so there was no way I would answer that.  Recently I have had a few of those and am wondering if my number has been given out to random people.  The other day I had an sms from someone saying "hey how are you babe - xx".  I ignored it because nobody I know would send me such an sms.  Then a few minutes later I received a phone call from the same number.

It was some guy asking for Crystal.  I said he had the wrong number and then ended the phone call. A few minutes later I had another sms from the same number asking if my name was Crystal.  I replied no.  He then said that someone called Crystal had given my number out from a chat site.  I replied that I was most definitely not her nor was I on any chat site.  He responded with something like "oh, yeah, okay sorry about that. ha ha".  Ha ha my arse.  I hope she is not handing out my number all over town.

After being woken up at 1.00 am I finally drifted off to a dream filled sleep only to be woken up by K's alarm at 5.30am.  Yes, that's right.  Nice and early.  He was off to a car show today and had to be up early to meet up with the other cars at 7.00 am.

Then I again fell into a dream filled sleep.  My own alarm woke me up.  I had forgotten to turn it off. By this stage I was so tired that I crashed back to sleep until 9.00 am and woke up to a dribble soaked pillow and creases in my left cheek.  Nothing like the deep sleep that makes the body sag into the bed.

Sooooo, today I have been a bit anxious, a bit tired and not managed to get much done as I would have liked.  The phone call from Bossman probably made me more anxious that I need to be as the crappy sleep makes me more sensitive.  Which I know is the same for many, many people.  Tonight will be an early night and no movie watching.

So that is my weekend almost done.  After this I will go inside and get my clothes ready for the week.

Organise my gym gear so that it's easy to pack the night before work.

Sounds all so very exciting.

linda x

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday 16th January

Bro's Backyard
So this week I went back to work and it all seemed okay.  Phones rang.  Bills were paid.  Filing piled up.  Paper spread across desk.

Someone from work is leaving.  I only found out today.  He has purchased a take away food franchise and next week is his last week.  He is from corporate and was a buyer for a big supermarket chain here.  He also used to go into the supermarkets that were running poorly and turn them around.  He's pretty tough and sometimes a bit hard on his guys.  But he and I got on so well.  I was very sad when he told me he was leaving but at the same time I understood it was the right thing.  He is bossman's brother in law and, quite frankly, there has been tension.

Things change.  The office dynamics are so different now.  We are finally getting someone extra in the office to help out and none too soon.  I feel as though the place I started working at so many years ago has gone.  One day I may go to but for now it's all okay.

On Wednesday I went to see my psych.  Now I am taking my meds all at night I sleep through.  For more than two weeks I have slept straight through the night.  My bedtime routine is becoming quite strict.  Meds at 8.00 pm and bedtime at 10.30pm.   Then I fall asleep.  I cannot recall a time where I have experienced such a length of good sleep.  Definitely not since my son was born and prior to that I was a very light sleeper.

At the psych we went through the usual questions.  He asks me about ten q's and I say yes or no.  Then I might say something random.  Although this week I spoke about the factors that helped leading me to good sleep.  Holiday, no coffee, moving medication to take all at night and no engagement with too many people.  I am hoping that taking away three of those four won't cause an issue.

As usual he reiterated the routine, exercise, sleep, diet thing.  He explained that the more I embraced those aspects the less likely I will have to increase the medication or have a relapse.  My psychiatrist is not all about the medication.  He does encourage me to continue with a mindful lifestyle, be aware of my mood each day, continue to take certain supplements (B6, B12, Omega fish oils, folate, Q10 and some other stuff) and keep taking medication.  It's nice that he talks about more than just medication.

Then I said something like "if it continues like this can I drop the dose a bit?".  I know the answer but I live in hope that one day I won't have to take the meds.  They do take away something rather life giving from me.  Then I recalled that they are also the same meds I would have to take for the nerve pain on my face so, really, I doubt I could stop taking them for that reason alone.

We had our floors repolished this week.  As the product they used was toxic we went off to stay at my brother's house for three nights while they were on holiday.  Initially my husband and son said they would be fine sleeping in the house and I told S that, as his mother, I pulled rank over him and would not allow him to sleep in such a stinky house.  Anyway, we were all down near the studio when the lacquer was being applied and the stink of it drifted in.  The three of us just packed up and left.

At my brother's it was good.  S played with Mr Benny, jumped on the trampoline a lot and went and picked up the hen's eggs (of which there were a lot).  However, we all got bitten by mosquitoes and my the beds were as hard as a rock.  They had latex mattresses whereas we have big, fat, pillowtop ones that you cuddle down into.

Now we are home and although the house still smells a bit it is not so bad.

We also pulled out a built in unit my brother made for me about 17 years ago.  It was designed to fit around a gas heater and a television, both of which we no longer have, and since then many conversations have been had about how to fix it the open spaces left behind.  In the end my brother said to take it out and utilise sections of it to make a new one.  The last thing I have to do is pick a new rug.

Always something to do.

This weekend it is a "tidy the house" weekend.  Go food shopping no doubt.  The Farmer's Market is on but I may give it a miss this time.  I'm on a budget after Christmas and currently in a "no indulgences" frame of mind.

I definitely want to do some drawing. It's been weeks and so many ideas are running around in my head.

And play with my new computer.

But for now it's bedtime.

linda x

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