Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday 10th November

I've not got much to say but I feel like rambling on before I go to bed.

Tomorrow is my monthly visit to Mr Fez.  I can't say that I have stabilised on the slight increase in my medication.  My anxiety levels are fantastically high. They make it hard to go to sleep, wake me up in the night and then when I get out of bed I have the anxiety up and ready for the day.  I have had to take meds to sleep every three days to keep things from getting worse.

What I don't like is when the anxiety teams up with depression and I can feel this happening. I can't stand the thought of the depression creeping back in like some enemy from the past.  It's insidious.

It does not stop me doing anything.  I treat it like having a bad hair day (in this case it's a very long bad hair day) and do all the things I learnt in therapy to help me through.  However I won't lie and say it is easy.  It's tiring for me, robs me of confidence at times and essentially pisses me off.  However, it's short term and once I get the meds stabilised I assume it will take a back seat again.

On Saturday morning I did my usual cardio class down at the beach.  It was glorious weather but I had had what I think was a tummy bug for a couple of days and felt a bit blah when I got there.  Plus the weather had been hot overnight so my limbs felt heavy.  We started the class with a warm up jog and my body felt as though I was carrying an extra ten kgs.  The air was hot, my legs clumped along and my stomach was churning.

As I jogged back towards the park where the personal trainer was waiting for us I wondered if I might vomit or something worse.  Things were not feeling good at all.  The closer I got the more I toyed with the idea of just going home and as I ended the jog I almost let the words come out of my mouth but decided to just suck it up and do the class.

It was just hard work.  Run here, run there, hold a plank, run very fast, run not so fast, walk, hold a squat, hold another plank, do squat jumps and then go down and run to the breakwater and come back.  Do push ups, do step ups, run in the sand, run up steps and run down steps.  I was soaked in sweat at the end of the class but at least I did it.  On the way home I was meant to have a blood test but realised that there was no way I could sit in a crowded clinic unwashed, sweaty and stinky.  So I had it Monday instead.

After I showered I went to the hairdressers where I had two hours of idle chat and trashy magazines. Normally I would follow up with a meander down the street but it was so hot and I was so totally knackered that I just went home and expired.  This is the down side of exercising early on a Saturday morning, it sucks the life out of me by the afternoon.  As I am a person who loathes sleeping during the day for fear of wasting a second of precious daylight, I forced myself to go grocery shopping.

All afternoon I did a bit of this and that trying to avoid having an afternoon nap and the end result was that by the time I got to bed I was overtired and had to take something to sleep.

On the Sunday I did some drawing.  Went through some photos and pottered around in the studio. It was then, for a few hours, I had no anxiety.  That is such a rare feeling for me. I was completely focused on the pleasure of being in my own space and doing what I love that nothing else mattered.  Sometimes I feel like just functioning in the world is an anxious activity in itself.  When I was very young I do remember being anxious.  I use the word anxious in relation to that as an adult as, of course ,I did not know that I was anxious at the age of six or seven.  I did know that I did not like what I felt and now I think it was anxiety.

Anyway, that's my excitement for the week I guess.  I had Tuesday off work thanks to The Melbourne Cup which is a public holiday here in Melbourne,  but did not do anything particularly exciting.  I was tired and needed to just hang around the house. There is something delicious about being home.  It's my refuge.

I am not very social.  On my blog and FB I am sociable, just not so in person.  That is not to say I don't know how to be sociable.  It's just that I find it tiring and do not know how to do small talk very well (except on my blog).  Anyway, my son is the same.  It annoys K that if he is home and the doorbell or phone rings he has to answer it because S and I won't.  If I am in the studio and someone is at the door I feel a surge of resentment towards the interloper.  And, surprise surprise, it is getting worse.  I may well become one of those grumpy old women who refuses to answer the door ever.

So, what else?  Nothing much.  Life is just doing whatever life does.

Ah, wait.  There is one thing.  I've been listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.  I'd forgotten how great it is and when I listen to it I think it would be nice to be lying under a tree, headphones in my ears with Pink Floyd streaming into my head.

And I'd complete the experience by smoking a joint.

However, as I don't smoke and as I have no time to lie under a tree, I am happy listening to it in my car on the way to work.

Can't have it all.

linda x

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Saturday, November 01, 2014

1st November 2014

It's freaking me out.  This time thing.  How it races by.  Now my memories are like little ants running across a great surface.  They go everywhere and nowhere.  Are they organised in a chaotic way?

Suddenly things that felt like they happened just yesterday no longer do.  I know they happened ages ago and it feels to me as though they did.  There is no mistake.  Thirty years ago is feeling like thirty years ago.  It ain't feeling like yesterday.

Last night was Halloween here so I dressed up a bit.  Put on some face paint and made myself a head piece.  It was hard work getting the paint on.  It dries quickly and I was a bit shabby with the application but the overall effect was okay.  Initially I had planned to do a skull face with flowers but two things stopped me.  Firstly we have lots of little children coming by and I did not want to scare them too much.  Secondly there is a thought happening here about adopting a "Day of the Dead" as a Halloween costume.  It could upset some people who celebrate Dia de Muertos which I took into consideration. So I went for the semi clown look with a suggestion of skull.

As it was, I did frighten a few little kids.  They screamed when I opened the screen door.  Some ran back to their parents.

I tend to try and keep in mind the do's and don'ts of the changes in society and the people that are part of it.   It's not because I want to please people, it is because I am respectful of the diversity of society and I think it is important to take into consideration aspects of the dynamics of it. Also, nothing is that important to me that I am bothered by making changes.  When I grew up Australia was a racist country and I personally experienced that racism on a regular basis.  It still kind of is.  I read somewhere that is was a "casually racist" country.  Which means that it is okay to make a racist comment but back it up with an acceptance of that race.  It's weird really.

I'm not a politically correct person.  That's a creepy term.  There is something called consideration and respect for other cultures, religions, sexuality.  That is what I am about.

When you grow up with a set of values that have been laid down by your parents and society you would want to change as society changes and you learn about life, yourself and other people.  I still might have thoughts about some cultures but I know that the issues in that culture is contained to a small percentage of people.  All races and religions have good and bad about them and I don't base my overall views on the bad.  How could I do that?  That is like having a bad experience at the dentist and presuming all dentist visits from thereon will be just as bad.  Oh, wait.  Perhaps that is not the best analogy.

Anyway, the above is just blathering.  It is also badly written but I am not changing it.

So my last post was the 19th October.  I have had a visit to Mr Fez since then.  It was to review the results of the blood test that I had the Saturday prior.  As expected my Epilim levels had dropped considerably.  It could be a combination of the addition of HRT and change of seasons.  He suggested I increase the Epilim by 200mg but added that knowing me he was happy to start me on half of that in the morning for now.

When I got to the consultation I was so anxious and agitated.  This had been building as the elevated phase was shifting.  When I spoke to him the pressure of the words coming out was so great that it hurt my chest.  I kept changing from jumping back and forth as my thoughts shifted.  It's hard to explain how difficult it is to stop it happening.  It's not as though I can take slow and deep breaths to move past it - which is something that works quite well with anxiety and panic attacks.  The words have their own life and I don't have the ability to moderate the speed at which they exit my mouth. One thing, thankfully, is that I have the ability to be mindful of what comes out of my mouth.  The last thing I want to do is say stupid things at 1000 miles an hour.

The consultation then kind of drifted into about twenty minutes of what I would say was therapy. Something shifted in me in regards to Mr Fez and I answered his questions comfortably.  He asked a question about my tattoo which then took the questions elsewhere.

One thing I noticed during this minor "relapse" is how much better I actually feel (overall) when I am on the medication.  Having the elevated state was just so lovely but the anxiety and agitation that followed as well as the teary depression made it really not worth it.  I also realised what hard work it had been to manage it all for years.

I've been on a slightly higher dose for ten days and am starting to feel better.  It took a week to feel comfortable and I am hoping that I don't have to increase the dose anymore for now.  On the 12th November I see Mr Fez so will have another blood test prior to see if things have picked up.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother to record all this incredibly boring information on a blog of all things.  Seriously, who cares?  I think what has happened over the 7.5 years I have had the blog it has just become a habit to log into Blogger and write.  I could just as easily type things onto a Word document and save it on a computer.

Now that that years have passed I really appreciate having recorded so much.  Most of the things I would have long forgotten by now.  Also, doing a blog post in the "now" captures the truth of it without passing time to distort the memory.

Sooooo, this morning I was up at 6.45am to get down to the beach for a cardio class.  Before I made myself get up I had that internal dialogue about whether or not I would go.  It was cold and rainy outside which is most unappealing when one is warm and cosy in bed.  However, I just did it.  Got up, changed into my gear and went to class.  We did part of the training in an undercover car park and some across the road along the beach.  Up and down stairs and ramps.  Running here and there.  The usual hour of wondering how one hour can feel so long and yet another feel so short.  The week prior was worse.  We did this thing called Fartlek training which feels relentless.

You would think that I was some sort of natural athlete with all the exercise I do but I am not.  My body type and my brain just wants to lie around, eat donuts and watch television.  If I could take a pill to give me the fit and healthy body I want I would.  But there is no such pill so that is the end of that.  I just do it.  I don't sprint like a gazelle, run like a rabbit and fly like a bird as I moved between markers.  No such luck.  I just run as fast as I can and recover as slowly as possible.  A few of the girls are pretty fast.  A couple turn up with hangovers from being out the night before - the benefit of youth maybe.

Now it is mid afternoon and my day is just cruisy.  I had yesterday off so today is a nothing day. Then tomorrow I will be more productive around the house.  The girl who made my dresses has asked me to come up with a few concept drawings for her so that she can get them printed on fabric for children's clothes.  The drawings will be based on her twin girls.  She sent over some photos and I felt very inspired by both the girls and the countryside (France).  It was very dreamlike.  This I will start on today.

I am not going to read this post back to myself.  It seems disjointed but I have decided that is okay.

Instead I will do a cursory spell check, finish up and make myself a cup of tea.

linda x

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday 19th October

I am in the studio.  It's been so long and the place looks like someone just stopped what they are doing and walked away.  Which is kind of true I guess.

Everything is covered in a faint layer of dust and I will spend a bit of time cleaning it.  My son is in here more often than I as his Xbox is in the corner of the room.  Right now though he is in the house playing games on his computer.  K is going through old home movies and trying to get them in some sort of order.

I'm just here in a relatively peaceful mood.  Maybe I will get something creative done but it's hard to say because my  mood is very anxious and agitated and all that happens when I am in this mood is other stuff.  It's now that I need to be very mindful about any decisions I make (eg spending money).

Last week was my trip to see Mr Fez.  It was a weird visit because I have been on an up and I was a motor mouth with the attention span of a pea.  I also kept laughing as I was talking and, worse, I laughed when he was talking.  One thing I did bring up was the issue I had with him on the previous visit in relation to his foot tapping episode.  Needless to say he put it back onto me in that we had to dissect the thought process and, while I understand the dynamics behind that, he somehow turned it around.

Anyway, as a month had passed the feeling of being unsettled by it had faded but I wanted to bring it up as I felt I needed to.

My mood has been fantastically up since the change of seasons.  Up and anxious with a few panic attacks thrown in.  Also a lot of average sleep full of chaotic and vivid dreams.  It's great but for the first time I can see what I was like before medication in a more objective light.  Last week was so elevated that today I look back and think "who is that person?".  Today I could go either way if there was too much happening around me.

During the visit to Mr Fez he requested that I have a blood test to check my Epilim levels in case they had dropped.  Apparently this is not uncommon with Bipolar during the change of season.  I could feel it and for most of my life the impact of seasons has been notable.  As I have gotten older it had become even more of a definitive shift in mood.

So, he writes out the blood test request and asks me to consider making an appointment for next week to asses the results.

Conversation goes something along these lines only keep in mind that I am very animated as I am talking;

Me: I don't want to.  If the levels are down I have to take more meds and then my mood will be taken away.

Mr Fez: Yes, but if the mood continues to rise it will be followed by as depressed phase.

Me: But I like this mood.  Can't you give me just enough Epilim to keep it at this level?

Mr Fez:  If I could do that I would be taking it too.

Me: So, I am not my usual self am I?  (I am hoping it's not obvious)

Mr Fez:  No, I have written here "she seems very elevated". (he points to his note pad).

Me:  You are going to have to give me a directive to come back next week because I don't want to and am having trouble finding a good reason to say yes.  I'm enjoying my mood and want to keep it. In fact, I might not come back for six months.  

(as though I have some control over the mood)

Mr Fez:  You have to come back next week.  When you leave here go and make an appointment.  There is a half hour cancellation in the morning.

Me:  Thanks.

Mr Fez: You're welcome.

I don't talk like that as a rule.  Except maybe around family when I am being silly.   During the consultation I was talking so fast that it physically hurt my head and chest getting the words out. After the consultation I got back to work.  The office was empty and I put on the music and then danced around the place for a few minutes trying to wind down.  The rest of the afternoon was spent doing my work whilst having to resist problematic impulses (look on Internet, poke phone, have coffee, go for walk, dance, talk and talk and talk to the others now they were in).  It was tiring.

After work I went to outdoor exercise where I was able to burn off energy by talking non stop and exercising at the same time.  In between exercise changes I would jump up and down and wave my arms and keep talking.  This excess energy came home with me and I kept doing shuffling dances around the kitchen.

It's pretty funny but, at the same time, it goes hand in hand with high anxiety and it is difficult for me to concentrate on anything for very long.  Or I may hyperfocus on something to the exclusion of everything else.

So, yesterday morning I did the blood test and will see him on Wednesday.

Yesterday morning I was down at the beach for a 7.30 am cardio class.  When I went to bed on Friday night in the back of my mind I was thinking how I could get out of the class.  It must have been bothering me because during the night I had dreams that I had found myself in a very awkward situation which gave me a reason to pike out of morning exercise.  One of the dreams involved my sister in law sending me a text saying that my father had died and I said "yes, no exercise, wooohooo".

As it was I did wake up, did get out of bed and did go to the class.  In fact it went very well and each week my fitness shifts to a better level.  My weight, however, refuses to shift downwards despite my increased exercise and decreased food intake.  But I am okay with it because, let's be realistic, I am fit and healthy and the numbers on the scale don't validate me.  I think there is just a pattern of old ways of thinking that creeps in now and then.

Enough talk about me.  I am going to talk about my son.

The other week he said he wanted to go clothes shopping to update his wardrobe.  As he hates shopping I was a bit shocked and very pleased.  He tends to wear lightweight pants from a hiking shop and multiple t-shirts.  They do him no justice but he likes them so I am not pushing my agenda on him.

We went to the shopping centre to get a couple of pairs of jeans.   He had to go to three stores and try on many pairs before we hit the jack pot.  There was almost a moment where he had enough of it and wanted to go home but I explained to him that buying jeans and bathers are two of the worst clothes buying experiences and just to get it done.  I said that he can't keep wearing clothes that make him look like he lives at the base camp at Mr Everest.  He'd made a decision to get new clothes and to follow through and not give up.  

Clothes shopping is a learned thing.

Before we left he had a shower and asked to use my hair dryer (another first) and then said to me "using a hair dryer makes a difference to your hair doesn't it?".  Methinks he is ready to take notice of making the best of himself.  He might even use some hair product!

He has also asked for a full length mirror to be fixed to the inside of his wardrobe door.  New shoes and new t-shirts.  It's great.

And, my husband told me that S uses an app that has a bit of a notoriety here.  I won't name it here but it involves a swipe to the left or a swipe to the right.  I think my husband was a bit shocked or something but I said to him that S is a young man, it's natural to be into the opposite sex.  He just does it differently to the way we did it.  In less that a year he will be able to vote, drink and drive a car (although at the rate of his driving lessons he might be 20 before that happens).  He's not a kid, he's shifting out of teenage years and it's okay.

K mused that he still thinks of S as the young boy he drives to school each morning.  I think that it is a bit different for me as S often comes into work and works in the office and does very grown up things so I just see him as a person moving into adulthood.

Sometimes S and I talk about things and both of us have strong opinions about the topic.  The other day I said to him that just because I have strong beliefs it does not mean they are right or wrong (unless it is bleeding obvious), they are just my beliefs.  I reminded him that I will never judge him if his beliefs conflict with mine.  It seemed important to tell him, especially when you consider how very different my world is to his.

He said "yeah, I know that mum".   As though I was a goose for even thinking I had to mention it.

He is his own person.  Though he may be financially relying on us and all those things, his mind belongs to him, my influences are minimal now and all I can do is cross fingers that I have done an okay job as a mother.   I can see that K is a great dad but being a mother brings guilt.  I don't have too much of that.

I look at S and like what I see so something was done right.

So, now it is late afternoon on this hot Sunday afternoon.  Studio is warm and out the window I can see that my beautiful weeping Dutch Elm is coming into leaf.

When I look through the branches of the tree I can see my old studio, now storing boxes full of my neice's belongings.  It's a little memory for me when I see the pitched tin roof.  Since that hut was built so much has gone on in my small suburban world.

I'm going to sign off and potter around.

Think about what to cook for dinner and make a cake.

Then that's my weekend done.

linda x

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Friday, October 10, 2014

10th October 2014

I think this is the longest time that I have not blogged.

I think about it.  A lot.  During the day I might think of something to write and then when the chance arrives in the evening I can't be bothered.  I'm feeling like I'm living in a vacant house in my head lately and wandering around from room to room.

It's the change of season or something.  A few weeks ago my sleep pattern started to change. I couldn't get to sleep.  Then was restless.  Then woke up too early.  Last Sunday was the start of daylight savings which I think always makes people feel a bit out of sorts.

Even with taking medication to sleep I feel no different.  All that happens is that I sleep a sleep full of crazy dreams which I don't wake up from.

I now recognise when I am really not how I should be and that is when I start talking about things that normally I don't.  Or wanting to spend money on something I know I don't want or need. Or misinterpreting what others say. Or thinking I should not be on medication. Behaving in an unusually boisterous way at work which means I have to work at toning it down and get my cues from other people's behaviour. Because I have not had to be hyper vigilant for a while it took more effort to reign in my impulses.

My distractability levels also rise considerably.  When that happens I feel like a twelve year old at school again.  Only I am a grown up and have certain obligations so there is no chance for staring out the window, drawing pictures in my notebook margins or throwing chewed up paper across the room.

Anyway, I see Mr Fez on Wednesday and we can talk about things.  Perhaps he will say to increase my medication and perhaps I shall say no thanks.  Not that I want to preempt anything.  It's all a bit hard really.

Now the trouble with not writing anything down for three weeks is that I can't remember all of the incredibly boring life things that I have been heavily involved in.

Work? Yep.

Exercise?  Yep.

Bits in between?  Yep.

My outdoor exercise is going well.  I like that it is in a park and I breathe in fresh air as I exercise. Sometimes I am lying on a mat doing some exercise and look up at blue sky and tree tops.  I can hear the bird noises from the little billabong nearby.  There are swans with cygnets and ducks with their ducklings waddling around.  It's relaxing.

Last Saturday I was down at the beachside area for a 7.30am cardio class.  It was hard slog to get out of bed and get down there.  And a harder slog to keep up the pace for an hour.  My body was almost affronted at having to run around when normally it would still be lying asleep in a cosy bed.

Later on during the day K and I went into the city to ACMI and Fed Square and watched some archive movies.  It's such a great place to visit.  We had lunch there and headed off home mid afternoon.  I was hyper chirpy all day.  The next day I woke up diametrically different.  Crying and frowny for the day.  It never fails to amaze me how a mood can just arrive uninvited and unexpected like that.

Work has been good.  Bossman and family were away for a couple of weeks and things ticked along. I don't think I was stressed but can't be too sure as I don't always see or feel the stress until it is right inside me.

Still drawing.  Working on some poetry.

Tomorrow morning I am back at the beach for some cardio.  Hairdressers at midday and then whatever takes my fancy which, no doubt, will involve cranking up the washing machine.

Hey, I might even manage a blog post.

Hmmm, dunno about that last thing.

Don't want to put too much pressure on myself.

linda x

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday 21st September

Before I write anything I have to type a few words.

I love sunshine in Spring.  

Love it. 

It means daylight savings is on the way and that means more blue sky and sunshine.  The big event of the year for me is when the striped canvas awnings get pulled down to shade the back verandah.  That action alone fills me with both relief and joy knowing that there is a six month hiatus before the sun shoots over to the other side of the world more often.

The past week has seen a new person start at work.  The atmosphere is different now.  Not better or worse, just different.  Everyone bar me is into football however so this reminds me once again of what it is to be in the minority.  Not that I care.  It has always been this way for me but I really am the only one now who is the outsider.  I'm older than everyone as well.  I tend to now work with headphones on and talk less.  I've joined the ranks of non communicating office workers.  And you know, it's kind of a relief to not have to make small talk.

But I did find it fascinating that three people could talk for ONE HOUR on Friday afternoon about football. And they knew the names of the players and coaches.  I can't explain how depressing it was as well.  Nobody is interested in art, music, books or anything cultural.    

On Saturday morning I went to the bayside Farmer's market.  Not that I bought much.  It's a bit overpriced and most of the food tends not to be something that would be eaten in our household (being the dull and boring foodies that we are).  However,  I picked up some lovely fresh eggs and also a jar of homemade Indian curry which made a delicious addition to vegetables and rice last night.   

I love coming to the market despite not buying much.  It's set in an isolated kind of spot that gives one the illusion of being far away from the suburbs.  From the gravelled car park you go through a gate way and then you are walking on a sandy track that weaves amongst scrubby beachside bushes and trees.  That takes you to the market that is set in a grassy reserve.  When the market is not being held there it's sometimes used for cricket or maybe a picnic place.  Very quiet and pretty.  

I spent a few hours on Saturday afternoon ironing.  It's a bit grim isn't it so spend a sunny afternoon doing that but what was even more grim was how high the pile of ironing had become.  It had reached the stage where each time I needed something to wear in the morning it became a search through the pile which was not ideal for a calm exit from the house. 

On Wednesday I went to the monthly visit to Mr Fez (psychiatrist) and it was not a good visit.  I tried, I really tried but you know, he really is a dick.  Not only did he tap his feet on the floor while I was talking, he looked at his watch more than once AND asked me the same question twice (there was no doubt that he did not listen to my response the first time).  The previous visit to that was a good one and I had hoped that things would continue to improve but, well, this one was a bit of a nail in the coffin for me in regards to even thinking about embarking on therapy with him.  

Perhaps he has his own shit happening but, you know, that's not my problem.  The visit to the psychiatrist costs money. It's a business transaction and it is up to him to keep his boredom, personal issues, dislike of me or whatever it is out of the office. His crap "bedside" manner really bothered me and now I just do not want to go back.  It's not that easy, however, to just go to someone new.  So I will go to the monthly visits, discuss medication and nothing else.  

Anyways, that is just one of those things.  My mood has been reasonable but I had three late nights in a row, the psychiatrist visit unsettled me and my sleep is deep but so unrefreshed.  I've basically had four days of up and down moods along with what I know are not normal thought processes.  So I kept everything low key this weekend.  Nothing social, nice long walk today and read a book.  And no deep and meaningful discussions.  

Me and Mr Benny
I did go up to my usual haunt for some grocery shopping today. Had a coffee.  Read the newspaper. As I drove there I was listening to music and thinking about a car that I want very, very much.  I've had one before but sold it for one reason or another.

A Triumph Stag.  This is what mine looked like (it's not mine though).  Vintage cars are something I love very much and I am eternally grateful that my husband is right into them as well.  We need a bigger garage for all the ones I would love to have.

Next two weeks are school holidays so my son will be helping out in the office for a few days.  My filing has, once again, reached epic proportions so it will be good to hand it over to him to do it all. He's like a robot at work. Just head down and works away.  It's all about the money. He's money driven which is not a bad trait for a teenager.  And he saves his money.  I give him a $17 a week pocket money (it goes up each year to match his age) and maybe I will give him $20 if he goes into the city now and then but anything else he has to pay for.

So not much more to report.  Still doing three nights exercise a week.  Thankfully my weight has stabilised which makes me think the medication weight gain was just a thing to freak me out.

Oh, I did do one strange thing last week.  A couple of weeks earlier I bought (on impulse) a five day juice fast.  Cold pressed, organic and preservative free juice no less.  Don't ask me why.  I will say this.  It was half price.  It was 10.30 at night. It was a couple of days after I had changed my medication dosage and had a very unsettling reaction to doing so.  So, who knows.

Let's just say it was what is known as an "impulse buy".

So I get the juice (on Tuesday) and stuff it into the fridge ready to start the juice fast the next day.

It tasted great but after bottle number three I realised that I actually am not keen on drinking juice. I don't mind a glass now and then but this cold pressed one had a strong flavour (as cold pressed tends to) and made me feel a bit ill.  In the back of my mind I wondered how on earth I was going to glug my way through eight bottles a day.  For five days!  I also realised that there was no way that one can live on juice alone and exercise or think clearly.  

By day two I gagged on the morning elixir and struggled through another two bottles.

By day three I had given up and given away lots.  Then I put the rest of the bottles in the freezer to take out for hot days.

It's going to take a while to live this one down.

I think that perhaps nothing beats water.

Now it's an hour before bedtime. I have to get back into the strict bedtime routine. It has such a negative impact on me if I stay up after 11.00pm which totally pisses me off.

So I shall have a cup of chamomile tea and work what needs doing for the week ahead.

Oh, and it's a sunny week by the way.


linda c

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday 13th September

Mr Benny
I woke up early this morning.  5.30 am.  It's the daylight coming into the bedroom window that does it.  I don't mind as long as my sleep has been good and lately is really has been just that.  Besides, it's Spring so who doesn't want to wake up and embrace the day nice and early.

Just because I woke up it does not mean I actually got out of bed.  The sun may have been shining outside but it was very cold last night.  Around 2 degrees celcius and the house was still chilly.  K turned the heater on after he got up and I waited until the house was a bit warmer before throwing the bedding aside and swinging my legs over the bed. By then K had gone off on his Saturday morning bike ride along the beach road.

It was around 7.00 am when I got into the shower.  That is very early for me anyway.  Mornings are not my thing but I shall forever be trying to change that.

Yesterday S was on a charity fund raising event at his school.  It's a 24 hour relay walk in teams. About 1000 of the students get involved but I am not sure it is about helping charity in their minds. It's a day off school, a chance to sleep overnight in tents on the school grounds and eat crap food. It does raise money though so I figure it that if that is the end result then that is good.

The walk started at 7.00 am yesterday (Friday) and I picked S up at 9.30 am today.  He was sunburnt on his face despite me giving him a hat to wear.  It was overcast yesterday so he did not think he needed it.  In the evening K and I were about to go out for dinner when I got a phone call from S asking me to get fish and chips for his team which we did.  Despite the fish and chips being in my car for no longer than eight minutes last night it still smells of them.  Something about take away food that leaves a stink in a confined space.

Some other parents dropped of three huge pizzas.  The boys had crisps, chocolates, soft drinks and all manner of tasty food.  There were nine teenage boys in the tent, not all the food got eaten and my son told me it smelt terrible.  I can only imagine.

The school had organised music and we could hear it from our house it was so loud.

S had a great time.  I love hearing that.  He's doing all those things that teenagers like to do, hanging out with friends, getting involved with things, eating junk food and living in the now.  He knows it's not forever but I remind him to enjoy himself.  It's a special time of life.  Once he asked me when his brain would be fully wired (funny question when I think about it) and I said I thought it was around aged 25.  Although perhaps that is not true for everyone.

It's important to me that S has good teenage years.  I can't say I did.  Maybe I am wrong in thinking that having positive experiences in formative years make life a little less troublesome to navigate through.  You can't avoid ups and downs in life but it helps if you are well grounded when you find yourself faced with shitty situations.

Anyway, on a different subject.  I have not posted for almost two weeks.  It's been busy for me now that I am doing exercise after work three nights a week.  I'm also doing some other things.  My book of drawings is seriously on the way to being finished.  It's the most laborious thing to do but I am getting there.

I am the most stable I have been for a very long time since starting on the extra medication for my lack of hormones.  It's a significant change for me to go through life feeling okay.  The other week I had a notion to drop my morning dose of Epilim by 100mg because I was too tired in the morning and all the symptoms came back.  It shook me to the core as I realised finally what it is like to not be that way and I don't want to go back.  High levels of anxiety, racing thoughts and awful sleep.  My brain went into automatic hyper vigilant state and it just left me feeling awful.  So I put the dose back to what it was.  100mg does not sound like much but the psychiatrist has mentioned more than once to be very careful about tweaking the medication as doing so can be very destabilising.  I get it now.

So the combination of medication is working.  However, I put on a bit more weight.  Not much, maybe a couple of pounds but I have finally accepted that.  My eating habits, my exercise and my health are great.  For me to drop the 3kg's I have put on since starting Epilim and Livial means risking becoming obsessed about food intake and exercise and guess what, I am not doing that.  I am fit, healthy, strong and my clothes still fit (albeit and wee bit tighter) and I have better things to focus on.  Seriously, I am so much more than my clothing size and I really do not want to waste any more years controlling my food intake and over exercising.  It's unhealthy to do so and I guess I am finally in a good place in regards to certain things in life.  Who knows, who cares, it's all good.

So cross my fingers that this frame of mind continues.  I am grateful for each day I wake up feeling pretty calm.  I am still up and down but it's manageable and not bothersome.  Perhaps it is also part of my personality to be that way, I am still working that one out.  Now I have the bipolar sorted it's a different "self" I am living with.  Hard to explain that one as I am still nutting through it myself.

What else?  Oh, yes.  I have organised my clothes for the warmer weather.  I cleaned out my wardrobe and got rid of stuff that was overworn, a bit tight and just no longer appealed to me.  Then I ordered five dresses from one person on Etsy.  She is making them to size.  Below is a photo of a similar style I like but have not been able to find.  This is not hers but it is similar.

This dress is a very old fashioned dress called The Bungalow Dress.  It was actually used as a cover to put on over your day clothes whilst you cleaned the house.  I like it because it is quite asexual.  It is also something I will wear all year around as you can put things underneath it.  So I bought three of them.  One in grey linen, one in black denim with a paisley trim and one in blue denim with a red cherry blossom trim.

Then I ordered two dresses in a 1950's straight skirted style.  Both made with Liberty fabrics.  I am mad about Liberty fabric.  The busier the better it is.  One of the dresses is white with red cherries on it. It's such a delightful old style and I can't wait to wear it on a sunny day.

It was so much cheaper to get them made.  The woman who is making it lives in France.  I love the idea that I am supporting a cottage industry.  Plus it is made to what I want and not some generic thing from off a rack.

Is it shallow of me to get so excited about clothing?  No.  It's great for me that I am enthusiastic about it because I had thought I lost that feeling for ever.

Now I am going to cook dinner.  Something I am not enthusiastic about at all however I am doing it which is a good thing too.

Seriously, if I could afford to hire a chef to cook for me every night I would.


Linda x

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday 31st August

Saturday at the beach

Hooray, it's the last day of Winter and tomorrow morning I shall wake up knowing that Spring has arrived.  It's a lovely thought.

I have had a long weekend.  I took Thursday and Friday off for some rest and relaxation.  My brain was tired and I felt fatigued.  When I take days off work the first day free is confusing.  The plans that I made in my head won't work.  It's as though my body and brain just want me to do nothing at all.  They want a rest from me.

On Friday I went for a big walk along the beach.  It was around 8km and although there was a promise of warm weather it turned out to be very chilly.  There was a fog that did not lift until late afternoon. But that was okay because in my mind the beach is beautiful no matter the weather.

At the half way point of the mark I sat down on a bench and took this photo below.  It's a bit of a nothing photo but I was fiddling with my phone and looking for my sister's phone number so that I could give her a call.

So, I am sitting on this bench looking down at my phone and I sense a person standing in front of me.  Their body has blocked out the light.  At first I thought they would pass but after a few seconds I realised that they had stopped and I slowly looked up at them.

It was an old man.  At least late 70's.  He was wearing a three piece brown woolen suit, shirt and tie. He had a Fedora on and his face was brown, leathery and it was obvious he was a smoker.  He stood side on from me with his hands in his trouser pockets and looked down at me.  It was very surreal and I was unsure what he was doing.  Was he lost?  Was he confused?  Did he lose something?  Did he think I was someone he knew?

None of that.

"You want to have a coffee with me" he said in a strong Italian accent.

I stared at him and said "No thank you" and went back to my phone.  He walked off and after a short time I stood up and walked in the same direction and passed his slow pace in no time at all.

Now, he may well have been a lonely person looking for someone to have coffee with but I saw the look in his eyes and he was a creepy old bloke on the prowl.  No doubt with my grey hair he thought that perhaps I was closer to his age.

My demographic in admirers has certainly changed over a few short years.  It's the grey hair - but I don't care.

On the Saturday I went for another walk along the beach only it was in the opposite direction to Friday's.  And it was longer.  Thirteen kilometres.  The weather was divine.  Warm but not too warm. You know those end of Winter days that remind you that Spring is about to step in and take over.  The walk to the half way mark was brisk.  When I got there I stopped and had a late lunch.  As I finished eating I realised that I was tired.  It's always a hard thing when you do a round trip.  You have to walk back.  It's also extra hard to keep the walk brisk when you have eaten, you are tired, the sun is warm and you just want to lie on the beach and snooze.  By the time I got home I was ready to have a big sleep.

However we were going out to dinner so no chance.

We went to an Italian restaurant with a group of people that we know through the exercise group that K and I used to do together.  Whilst everyone else ordered pizza and pasta I decided to order two small entrees.  One was peppery calamari and the other was chargrilled octopus.  Maybe after those walks along the beach I needed to eat seafood.

So the food turns up and the calamari is as expected but when I saw the octopus I freaked.  Don't ask me what I was expecting, maybe something small and cute like you get on a plate at a Japanese restaurant.  It was the leg of an octopus, about eight inches long and quite thick in girth until the taper at the tip.  The suckers were still on it and the colour was pink.  It was almost indecent.  K moved from the chair next to me as he loathes seafood and that was the pinnacle of repulsiveness to him.

Despite my initial shock I ate it.  It was delicious even though I had to be mindful to keep the suckers on the underside as I could have gone either way if I saw them.

However, no doubt the vision of this amputated leg on my plate and my subsequent eating of it obviously touched my subconscious because last night I dreamt that I opened my mouth and a giant octopus tentacle came out of my mouth like a ghastly scene from a science fiction movie.

I won't be ordering it again.

Today K and I took the TR6 for a big drive to our favorite antique shop.  Not so much with the intention of getting anything but just for the drive.  We left the house mid morning and it took about an hour to get down there.  It's a beautiful thing to drive in an open top car on a sunny day.  Not too hot though, once the temperature gets past 23 celcius it can be a bit hot.  Sunscreen is a must as is a hat.  I alternate between a scarf and a hat depending on which way the sun is coming into the car.  Now and then I just let my hair fly all over the place.  I can't resist.

The upside of driving an open top vintage car is the pleasure of being part of its authenticity.  The clean and simple lines that take you along the road.  The sound and feel of the engine.  It's nothing like a modern car.  The car is an integral part of the driver and passenger.  I love it.

The downside of driving any vintage car (open top or otherwise) is that sometimes things can go wrong.  Today something did go wrong.  Fortunately we were not far from home with the car decided to revive the overheating fuel pump trick and stall.  Or should I say stop.  Four times it happened and four times K and I had to jump out of the car and push it off the road to wait for it to cool down. Nobody ever helps when that happens.  They just watch from the cosy cocoon of their sedan.  Not that we need help.  Pushing a TR6 is not that hard and on principle I would push a truck off the road just to prove I could.

When we got home K fixed the problem (which has been an expensive ongoing one) and now the car is snug in the garage ready for the next day out.

I went grocery shopping, made dinner and baked a cake.  Did some laundry and planned the coming week in my head.

Now it's almost 9.00 pm and soon it will be bedtime.

tick tock tick tock

Time just keeps on ticking past.

linda x

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