Saturday, August 29, 2015

Chilly Saturday

Pulling a funny face - 2010 Venice holiday
Time is racing, racing, racing by.  When I booked my holiday I had five months to go before the date and now it's just over two months away.  And now I am half way through another weekend.  I don't know what to think of how time flies except that it annoys me.

Work managed to settle down a bit as far as stress levels go but on Friday I was relieved when it was going home time.  Because we have cash flow issues (thanks to twat customers) it makes it difficult for me to be completely autonomous in my role.  That is frustrating.  However, I managed to get a lot of other shitty jobs done including cleaning out and organising the stationary cupboard and doing piles of the worst type of filing.  You know the sort that has not real home but has to be kept.

On Wednesday I made my weekly trip into Dr T.  I sometimes wonder why I go but I do feel huge benefits from it when I allow myself to step back and take a good look how far I have come and just how much I get out of the weekly sessions.

This week we discussed my elevated state.  Initially I just said I was FINE and HAPPY and not elevated but as the discussion continued it was really obvious I was on another planet.  I talked non stop for half an hour about lots of nothing.  Going from topic to topic, asking questions in between, not waiting for an answer before going off on another tangent.  It actually hurt my throat to get my words out.  At one point I laughed so much that I couldn't say the words and finished the whole ramble off with the words "Oh, I really am truth the the saying that an empty vessel makes the most noise".  It was really hard for me to calm down.

I recalled that during work that day I used my outside voice on, had to work extra hard at staying focused and also make sure that I did not say very childish things.  It's hard to explain but let's just say I am a like a kid at a party when I am elevated.  Somehow though, I manage to do my work in a most exemplary manner despite that.

The psych asked me how I felt about increasing my dose of mood stablisers to keep the hypomanic periods less elevated as, unfortunately, after every high comes a low.  The higher the high, the lower the low.  I declined his suggestion as I don't wish to risk putting on weight having just lost some after coming off HRT a week prior (due to some very unpleasant side effects including increase in blood pressure).

I said to him "we've had this discussion before haven't we?  More than once?".  He acknowledged that we had and raised his eyebrows when I said that this time I felt that I wasn't going to be depressed because I felt so good.  When I am hypomanic I just KNOW that that is how I am going to stay because my brain tells me this time this is it.  That depressed person is gone for good.  I do a fantasy skippity skip in my head.  I would not be exaggerating if I said it felt like there were different people in me in regards to those extreme moods.  It's very unsettling.

Anyway, at the psych's behest I took one Klonopin at night and one the next day to take the edge off the high which stops it going too high and makes the fall less unpleasant.  It worked and I managed to recalibrate my thoughts and feel a bit less agitated and highly distracted.  This morning, sure enough, I woke up feeling profoundly depressed and fragile.  It took great effort to not roll over and go back to sleep with my head under the doona but history tells me that compounds the problem so I got up and just started the day.   Now I wonder where that other person has gone, the one who felt jolly fantastic for almost ten days.  Oh well.  I'll just ride this one out again.

Just for the record, I am so careful with my use of Klonopin.  It's an addictive prescription drug and I really think carefully before I take it.  I note down in a diary each day I may take it, only take a half dose and this week is the second time I have had to take it two days running.  I've never taken it more than four times in one week and usually it's no more than twice. It's a drug that works for me because I am such a control freak.  My younger sister won't touch it because of her history of drug addiction in her younger days.  The only reason I use this drug and not Valium is because Valium makes me incredibly depressed when I have used it.

In the past I just refused point blank to take any drugs as I believed I could fix things but I'm a bit more open minded now.  I'm not interested in spending day in and day out managing severe anxiety, I've been doing it for years upon years and, believe me, it's so mentally and physically wearing.  But I have to say that taking prescription drugs is the last step to stability.  Exercise, healthy diet, good sleep, routine life, therapy and being proactive in my treatment come first and foremost.  The drugs are just there as a back up.  I am thankful that they are there when needed.

I have managed to get some good exercise in.  Two big walks and two good sessions at the gym.  I would have gone for a walk today but it's very cold outside and I just did not want to.  Instead I decided to do a few mundane things, one being grocery shopping which is normally a Sunday task.  I figured it would be good to get it out of the way and leave tomorrow free for "me" things.

I'm feeling so excited that Spring is just around the corner.  It's only a month to go before daylight savings starts and we get more sunshine and longer daylight hours.  I don't want to wish my life away but I do want those warmer months to come soon.  Plus, I'm so excited that my holiday is coming soon.  That will be a strange and wonderful time for me.

On a different note, my son went out with friends last night to a local bar, then they went to KFC and after that they went to a pub that is around the corner from home.  He used a pokie machine and won $20.  Then a strange man gave him $20 and said that if he was going to bet he should use bigger dollars and not one dollar coins.  Weird.  So my son felt obliged to bet the money the guy gave him (even though he wanted to keep it) and subsequently lost it.  However, he still was $20 up.  He found the whole thing depressing and said there was no way he would sit there using them again. Money is too hard to come by in his opinion.

It's very strange having a son who now goes to bars and has a drink with friends.  It seems not that long ago he was starting high school.  Now he is almost finishing high school and next year is university.  I feel notably older.   I feel it so much deeper than just the obvious physical places.  It's at the core of me and it spreads like some miasma inside, up through my feelings, my outlook, my perception of the world, my memories of life.  Not once did I ever think I would feel this way.  I don't know how I thought I would feel, more than likely I had not real thoughts about where I am at.  

Anways, that's life.  The young get older, the older get even older.  One day my son may well ask himself random and inexplicable questions about life as he gets older.

That photo above was taken in Venice in 2010.  I was pretending to be a very stylish Italian in a funny way.  Today I looked at it and my husband said how much younger I looked.  Yeah, well, I was younger, five and half years younger by the way FFS.  I did have dark hair in that photo and grey hair tends to suggest aging.  Plus my hair is now quite curly due to my medicaiton (curly grey hair indicates senility for some reason).  Part of me felt wistful for the obvious change.  To top it off we were watching videos of when we went to the US in 2011 and I saw some footage of me walking along the promenade at Coney Island.  I was wearing t-shirt and jeans and it was obvious that my slender self was on show there.

As I watched it I made some comment (as you do when being shown a younger, better version of oneself) about how FAT I felt now.  And how I had put on weight. Blah, blah, blah. God , what a fucking broken record.  Then my son said "so, mum, where would you rather be in your head? There in Coney Island or here now?".  It was such a practical comment.  Of course I would rather my head be where it is now  (for most of the time).  It never fails to amaze me that I have such an insightful son.  He's turned out okay.

You know that saying about wanting old head on young body?

Yeah, well, I get what that means now.

linda x

PS I am going to buy a Thermomix.  That's a whole new post in itself.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ancient History

New Glasses!
That's me lately.

Ancient history.

One day short of a month since last I did a post.  I've been meaning to for at least two weeks but then I just went "meh, too hard" and nought happened.

So, do I do a run down on what has happened in the past month?  Has anything happened that is worthy of recording?  That's subjective I guess.

It's been a weird month in my headspace.  Visits to the psychiatrist have been difficult in a way yet still beneficial.  Because I have a number of factors that impact my mood in a notable way, it is hard to pinpoint a way to even myself out.  Sometimes I want to start from scratch and go off my medication, off my mood stabilisers, off my HRT, don't take an anti anxiety and don't use anything to help sleep.  Although, the last two are not used daily and I always try other ways to tackle the issue before taking them.

I think to myself if I had a good clean slate again I could go back to the person I knew for all my life and in going back I wouldn't be where I am now.  Not that I am worse, I am just different and I suppose I want to go back to that person I understood in a disjointed kind of way.  I often think to myself that I have no "me" anymore.  Perhaps this is part of getting older where you just kind of find yourself hanging in a void that is shaped like a question mark.

I've been going to the gym twice a week and I have to confess it has been with feet dragging, despite doing a decent work out when I get there.  However, if I don't go to the gym I do take Mr Benny for a good walk.  Sometimes it's a walk I need anyway.  Clear, fresh air clears the mind.  Last weekend I had plans to do a big hill walk similar to what I used to do when training for the Oxfam walk. That thought went by the wayside because I decided to hang out with my niece instead.  On the Saturday we went out for breakfast, then we went shopping and after that came home and plonked on chairs just chilling.

In the evening I took Mr B for a big walk.

On the Sunday I slept in.  My motivation was at ground zero to do anything as strenuous as jumping in the car, driving half an hour to get to the place that would provide me with the hill I wanted to climb.  So I got out of bed, had breakfast and once I was showered and dressed I did a bit of token tidying up around the house.  My niece and I went grocery shopping together.  Had coffee. Took Mr Benny for a walk.

It was one of those weekends where I really needed to just relax.  I am feeling very burnt out from work which is infecting how I enjoy my leisure time for some reason. In fact, thinking about it, work is impacting me much more than I like.  Or is it my attitude to work?  Perhaps I am not coping with stress like I used to.

Yesterday I spoke to my mother as I was driving home from work.  We got onto the topic of menopause and she was saying that it was hell for her mentally as well as physically.  Her words rang a bell with me.  There is no doubt in my mind that going through menopause compounds my problems.  I know it won't be for ever and it is a natural process but it's fairly shitty.  If all I ever had were the physical symptoms of menopause then that would be okay.  But the way it exacerbates my mood issue is really a negative thing.

That all does sound as though I am not doing well but the reality is I am.  As my husband would say to me "Linda, you over analyse everything".  This is probably what I am doing in the post.

During my month away from blogging I had a weekend where I cleaned and rearranged the studio.  S does not hang out much there any more so I packed away his Xbox and moved some furniture around which gave me more usable space.  I ordered a table that has a adjustable sloping top so that I can draw with greater comfort.  I find that a normal table requires me to hunch over my art work which subsequently gives me a sore neck and back.  The table arrived today and it is perfect.  I cannot wait to use it this weekend.

Essentially I have just been working, pottering around the home and doing bits in between.  The month of August so far has been the coldest for years in Melbourne.  There was snow in places that snow normally never falls.  Each day chilly followed by chillier nights.  It's almost as though Winter is having its last hurrah before it finishes on the 31st.  Then Spring arrives with the promise of warmer weather and this always means joyful sunshine will be on the cards more.  Until then, I feel no desire to engage with the world too much.

S has been having driving lessons in a manual car now and with an instructor.  So soon he can drive my car and start clocking up those hours.  He has to have 120 hours before he can go for his drivers licence.  Remember the days when you only had to do ten hours or something like that.  When I think of the handful of lessons I had before I was let out on the road it amazes me.  Still, roads are busier now so the more experience young people have on the road before they are out on their own the better.

My holiday draws closer and I can't help but feel impossibly excited about it all.  The thought of no phone, no internet, no television, no work, no responsibilities to anyone but me and doing new things is surely going to make for an interesting and fun holiday.  It will be like holidays were before technology!  At work I mentioned that I would maybe eat out a couple of times.  We got talking about what it was like to eat alone at a restaurant.  It's not something that bothers me much.  Anyway, Bossman's wife said "Oh, if you are eating alone you can play with your mobile like everyone else does" and I said "No, I can't J because there is no mobile service on Lord Howe Island".  She freaked, could not believe it and wondered how I would cope without it as she felt she couldn't.  I laughed and said that I will find out and let her know.

Before the holiday I have to go shopping for bathers.  Gawd, what a horrible experience that will be. The other day I dug out an old pair (which were like new through such little use) and tried them on.  I laughed as they looked very bad.  Apart from being way too small (as I knew they would be) they looked dated and naff.  When I had a leg wax the other weekend the person doing it said that if I was going to go shopping for bathers I should get a fake tan before hand.  It knocks 3kg's off straight away - so she said.  But I will take her advice and do that.  Shopping for bathers is the worst thing no matter what age.  I can tell you that shopping for bathers at the age of 51, feeling fat, having put on weight and not being a body confident type of person is really not something I want to do.  However, it's a first world problem, it's just a "head" issue and I am never going to get that stop me doing fun things.  Seriously, I know for a fact nobody is going to check me out on a beach and make a judgement call these days. I'm totally invisible now which is kind of liberating.

Well, all of a sudden it is 11.20pm and way past my bedtime.  I am wired but tired and this is not a good combination.  It leads to bad sleep and too much irrational thinking.

So good night.

Sleep tight.

Don't let the bed bugs bite.

linda x

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday 19th July

Warning, this post might have content you find offensive.  Then again, if you read my waning blog on a regular basis you would know me well enough to not be surprised by anything I write.

Anyway, here goes.

When I go to the chemist I expect the pharmacist to keep questioning to a bare minimum and to speak in a quiet voice should he need to speak to me about what I am purchasing.  In other words, to be discreet.

On Friday I took Mr Benny for a big walk and on the way stopped at the chemist to pick up two scripts for myself.   While I was waiting for them both to be filled I asked the sales assistant something about a group of things targeting going to the toilet.  You see, the medication I take can, at times, have the most annoying effect of rendering what should be a normal, bodily function into a psychological and physical nightmare.

I am a person who thinks that having a dump is a fundamental process to ensure a perfect day.  I am also of the belief that the expression "if you don't shit, you die" is 100% accurate.   However, I am loathe to take take stuff randomly to get things going.  Firstly, being a former laxette abuser in my eating disorder days means I am just asking for trouble sending down anything along those lines. Secondly, some stuff can make me ill and cause awful pain for me with no discernible results. Lastly, I think it is better to always try natural means first such as a good diet, lots of water and exercise - none of which seems to make a difference by the way.  Although, maybe if I were not so mindful of those I would be worse!

So, there I am at the chemist, talking the the young girl,  who probably shits every day so doesn't get it anyway, and just points out every single bottle of whatever is on the shelf to me.  I say thanks and turn back to the counter to wait for the script and then the pharmacist comes over to me and says he could not help but overhear what I had been speaking about which made me think I was talking loudly but perhaps it was only because I had been standing near the "over here if you can't have a shit" shelf that gave it away.

He then says to me that it is better to take none of these and to get some magnesium and take big doses of a few days in a row.  Then he elaborates on other stuff based on my scripts.  The one sided conversation goes on and on and all I can notice is that his breath smells of moth balls and I wonder how I can cut the dialogue short, really short.  I told him I had my dog outside and best be going and then he said it was okay to bring my dog into the chemist.  However I declined adding that it was dark and time to head home.

So, that's okay.  I get over that weird conversation we had and head home.

However, today I had to go back because things had not improved and I had a stomach ache.  I jumped in the car and drove up the the chemist to pick up something to get things going.  In the back of my mind I hoped that the same pharmacist was not there.  Unfortunately he was and more unfortunate was that the store was busy with people waiting for scripts to be filled.

I groaned inwardly but walked over and grabbed a particularly effective product and made my was to the counter.  The pharmacist stopped was he was doing and came over to serve me.

"Things still not working?" he asked.

"Obviously not" I replied thinking "please don't have a conversation with me" and "I can't believe you just asked me that".

"Beetroot juice can often help greatly," he offered.

"Ah, well, nothing short of a fire hose up my arse is going to help right now," I answered back. Yes, I do know it was totally unseemly for me to say that but I said it and that's how I talk at times.

"Oh, well, then.  This stuff you have will work like a dream within twenty minutes and then you can start from scratch.  When things get this bad you need a quick fix," he said as I paid him.

I was reminded of this event at another chemist.

Sigh.  Visiting a chemist should not be fraught with such anxiety.

Overall my week has been quiet.  Work has been okay in the way the work is.  My visit to the psych was better on Wednesday than the previous one as I was not hungry.  However, I had been very elevated and recently bought a couple of things I seriously did not need to.  My sleep had started to go pear shaped (not wanting to sleep, not getting to sleep for ages and then heavy dreams) so these are all signs that things are changing in my mood.  On Friday I got to work and my anxeity levels were through the roof and I had to take something to bring them down.  I've learnt it's easier to action it rather than spend the day completely ineffective as far as prodtivity goes.

That night I went to the gym and did a major one hour work out with free weights which helped greatly.  The next day I could hardly move.  Today I went again to the gym and met up with a personal trainer to go through a new programme with specific targets in mind.  I'll split the workouts.  Legs one day and arms and back the next.  It might not seem like much but each session takes 60 minutes at least.

Not sure what else I did.  It was a stay at home kind of weekend I guess.  This week I am working from home on Thursday and taking a day off on Friday so that gives me a three day weekend which means I can do something for me and I can recover a bit from work.  Get some artwork done.  Potter around in the studio.  Hope for a sunny day.

We had a sunny weekend but it was so chilly and the heater was cranked up all day.  I dread the mid Winter gas bill.  It's always awful and every year just increases.

It's a slow count down to my holiday but time flies and I've settled down as far as thinking too much about it.  However, in the back of my mind I am thinking of what to pack and what I will be doing.  I need to buy a new pair of bathers.  I swear I have not been in a pool or down at the beach swiming for years.  Oh how I hate buying bathers.  It's just not a pleasant experience.

Not much else to say.

It's getting lateish and I'm needing an early night.

linda x
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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday 12th July

It's a chilly weekend here in Melbourne.  So it is a stay at home weekend.  Oh, wait, except for the trip the the hairdresser's yesterday.  So I am just pottering around doing not much.

So what has been happening here in Linda Land since last I posted?  I went back on the HRT because I forgot all about the soaking sweating in the night that would wake me up, frequently.  Not that you possibly care what medication I am on but I am just noting it down for posterity.

My psychiatrist was back on board last week after two weeks off.  It was a relief to see him. I decided to once again take the train in to see him.  However I should have decided not to wear my green boots in as it is a 20 minute walk to and from the train station to his office so that was 40 minutes of HELL.  I also should have decided to eat beforehand as I behaved like a child towards the end of the session and it was duly noted that I certainly was different from when I walked in.

Everyone has their own way of behaving when hungry.  Some just get hungrier.  Some don't notice. Some get light headed.  Some get stupid.  Some get angry or, as the term is now coined, hangry. That's me,  Hungry, Angry, Hangry.  I generally do pace my eating well but when I leave it too long there's a personality change, not huge, I just get a bit snitchy, flap my arms around and think everyone around me should be quiet and feed me.

Last week at work was just beyond the pale as far as stress goes.  It's the usual shite that goes with business.  Cash flow.  Or lack thereof.  We have clients who have done things like held back vast amounts of money for a $500 fix to be done.  Tens of thousands.  Then one client went on holiday and forgot to pay the $250K invoice that was outstanding.  Plus a development job which is finished but we have to wait for the bank to, fucked if I know, do something I guess before they pay the final $200K.  But the bills are still there to be paid and I have to pay wages, super, tax etc. etc. etc. blah blah.

Because of the above I then get phone calls from suppliers who, rightly so, would like to be paid.  It takes all of my people skills to keep them happy without actually paying them.  The relationships I have with them are personal now.  I know about their families, their holidays, their illnesses, their financial woes.  So, you can imagine that it is a bit stressful.

However, I left the office on Friday with a perfectly clean and tidy desk.

My son is on his last day of school holidays today.  Finishing his homework.  Tomorrow is the first day of the last term of school for him and at the end of October and early November are the VCE exams.  These are the ones that give him the scores for University next year.  Like most of his friends he is very vague about Uni.  But he is angling towards Business Information Systems or Software Development as that is where his natural skills lie.

S started the school holidays aged 17 and finished them aged 18.  He can vote, drink and drive (were he to have his licence).  At his age I was out of home.  He said he did not know what he would do if he had to move out now and believed it would mean he would have to work and not have a career.  I said he would just manage life differently.  Study at night whilst working.  If the want is there then there is no reason not to achieve things in life.

 Last Thursday I went to my new gym and had a forty minute workout with the weights.  Despite having had ten days off doing weights I kept the heaviness of the weights to the normal level. Although it was not difficult to do,  for the next two days my muscles were so sore I felt bruised all over.  I may, or may not go later today but it is cold out there and I prefer going during the week later in the evening.  Actually, as I type this and listen to the rain pouring outside my decision has been made, I am staying inside all day long.  I'll use my TRX instead.  That way I can keep fit and dry.

I bought S some driving lessons for his birthday (amongst a few other items) as he needs to get lessons with a professional and we want him to learn to drive a manual.  It's easier to learn with a driving instructor at the beginning.  S has had around ten hours of driving with K but he is just not interested in getting his licence.  None of his friends are.  When I was younger we would do a few lessons and then go for your driving licence.  Now they have to have 120 hours done before they can do that (which I do understand).  So, his first lesson with the instructor is on the 27th July.  Once he gets a bit of confidence driving a manual he can drive my car (with K - not me) which is manual and smaller making it easier to navigate around the place rather than K's big lumpy station wagon.

However, he won't be driving this baby which arrived from interstate on Friday lunchtime.

It's fabulous.  The most delightful Pimento Red in colour which has a slightly orange tone to it.  It's a pity the weather is so dreadful that we cannot take it out for a big long spin with the top down.  The sound of the motor is gorgeous.  It's not my first Stag but this one is so much nicer.  I can't wait for a sunny day to take it out.  Until then it lives in the garage out of the elements.  Our white TR6 is outside covered from the rain.  We need a six car garage.  In fact, I would love to have a warehouse where I could keep lots of vintage cars parked underneath and have the living area upstairs.  K and I talk about it often but with the price of houses here in Melbourne we will be staying put for a while yet.

Since it is such a manky day outside it is perfect for drawing.  I have a few drawings I want to finish off along with some I want to start.

I'm feeling okay.

linda c

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Thursday 2nd July

Well I got through the end of the financial year without too much angst.  The next two weeks are the ones that count.  Getting out all the appropriate paperwork to various places and just general number crunching.  My desk, which was total chaos, will be perfect tomorrow.

Since my last post I still had a few days of time off work left and just spent them pottering around. On the weekend during that break I was not well so that was disappointing as it restricted what I could do but that's life. I had a good solid day in the studio on the Monday and it was only then I felt at ease.  It really is the one place where I am at a peaceful place.  Unfortunately I spent a lot of the time just cleaning up and sorting through bits and pieces so nothing creative happened.  However, a messy environment makes it nigh impossible to relax when I am wanting to draw.   If the surroundings are messy then they only get to the point where they become a distraction.  Making things messy is okay though, then I can clean up and start again.

I made a little video while I was in there this weekend.


I'm well and truly off the anti depressants and feeling okay. However, I also made a decision to go of the HRT.  I kept putting on weight and then started waking up feeling like a big puff ball with fluid build up.  Then my blood pressure increased.  I have very low blood pressure anyway (95/65 is the normal range for me) and then it suddenly went up to 120/75 or thereabouts.  I felt crap and just thought "you know what Linda, this is not okay" and so I halved the dose for a few days and just bit the bullet and went off them.

I had a few unpleasant days follow which passed.  There had been other issues that I felt were possibly related to the HRT and, quite frankly, I'm a bit over having too many drugs floating around inside me and I need to get my body back to normal.  I don't mean that in relation to weight, but more about how it feels inside and things were certainly feeling crap.  All I am taking now are the mood stabilisers and there is no way I am going off them.

The psychiatrist has been away for two weeks on holiday so I have not had to head into the city to see him.   I expect we will have have stuff to go over when he gets back.  I realise that I actually do modify my mindset when he is not around to debrief me over the happenings of the week.  I internalise more and step aside emotionally from what is going on around me.  It is very deliberate and I can see it is a coping mechanism.

I also gave up my outdoor exercise regime.  Having to go straight from work to do the class and then not get home until 7.30pm makes for a long day.  I started to resent the class times.  Mr Benny was not getting a daily walk and I love walking with him (even if he is a shit at times).  So, it will be dog walks and rejoining a different gym which I will go to a few times a week.  They have a ladies weights room which I am interested in.  Plus it is so cheap compared to what I was paying.  Once I made the decision to change my exercise routine I felt so much better.

Tonight I went for a walk with Mr Benny.  It was dark and chilly but I was all cosy with my mittens, hat, coat and scarf.  Mr B and I walked briskly with many tree sniffing stops along the way.  He's happier now he gets out more and I am always relaxed after a good walk, especially in the evening as it is a perfect way to wind down after a busy day at work.

Yesterday was a very special day for me.  My son turned 18.  I honestly cannot believe that he is now legally able to do so many things.  Drive, drink, join the army, vote and whatever else.  However, I don't think anything much is going to change yet.  We went out to an amazing Italian restaurant for dinner.  It's here on this link.  K and S had pizza but I enjoyed the Linguine Pescatore.  I love eating out and Italian food is so delicious.

You know, when I first started blogging my son was only around 8 years old.  Maybe closer to 9.  I've blabbed about half his life online.  I know I have taking most of my posts offline but I still read through them and also through lots of comments that people made - when you put posts into draft mode they keep all the comments thankfully.

He's grown into a lovely person with a great sense of humour.  I don't just love him (understatement) but I like who he is and how he views the world.  My hope for him is to live his life authentically, fearlessly and, to use the old cliche, to be true to himself.  Maybe I just want him to live his life the way I think I haven't always.  Save him from wasting too many years being a confused pillock.

Oh, well, I had more things to write about but it is seven minutes past my bed time.  I have to get a good sleep or I am a complete moron the next day.  Must keep the mood calm.

Sleep well.

linda x

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday 19th June

It's Friday just after lunch and I am at home.

Not working from home.  Just at home doing my own thing.  I have already had two days off and it is only today I feel okay.  I felt okay on Wednesday and Thursday but part of me was constricted and confused about what to do and I am sure that is just the normal feeling when you are suddenly away from work on a break.  It's not like the weekend.  I don't really ever feel relaxed on the weekend because I spend half the time gearing up for the week ahead.

On Wednesday I was up early and did things.  Not sure what.  Not that it matters.  In the middle of the day I had to go to the shopping centre to pick up a gym top because, after four years, mine finally died.  Plus I have put on weight and size small is not my thing at all.

Yesterday I was up early again (there is a reason for these early starts by the way) and went for a huge walk along the beach with one of my Oxfam friends.  Then in afternoon I did other stuff which involved a dog walk.  Oh, yeah, I bought a great big book to read.  It is Simone de Beauvoir's the Second Sex.  It has 782 pages which I expect will keep me very busy.  I hope it does not turn out to be like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge - you know where they start at one end and by the time they get to the other end they have to start again.  By this I mean, I hope I don't get to page 782 and forget what I have just read and then have to start again.

Today I had another early morning (reason coming up soon) and took Mr Benny to the dog groomer's.  It has been two years since he last went and I must confess to being a tardy dog brusher so he was not happy about being dropped off.  No doubt the memory of being brushed had not gone away as he stared with pending horror at me from the window as I left him behind.  However, now he is so nice and fluffy, although there was some serious trimming at the tail end of things.

After that I went to an exercise class and then had coffee with the rest of the girls.  Actually, not coffee.  I had two cups of the most delicious hot chocolate made with almond milk.  I often find dairy milk a bit blech.  I feel the same way about icecream.

Now I am home in my cosy house and blogging.  After this I will take out my drawing gear.  The house is so nice and peaceful.  It's such a delight.

So, this getting up early thing.  Well, last Friday Bossman and I were talking about things that are hard to do in life and just how long it takes to break a habit and I said to him that he could not give up biscuits.  He eats a LOT of them during the day.  He is a Cookie Monster.  When I said he could not give them up, he defended himself saying it would not be hard and so I set a challenge.  For two weeks he would have to not eat any biscuits and in return I would get up at 6.30am every morning.

Getting up early is very, very hard for me.  I am a poor sleeper and a bed sloth.

So, since Saturday this week, with the exception of one day, I have been up at 6.30 am.  K made me 'fess up to not getting up at 6.30 am on Wednesday.  It's a fun challenge and I think Bossman finds it hard because biscuits are delicious and when he gets stressed he likes to eat lots of them.

I booked my holiday to Lord Howe Island and will be going in November on my own.  Where I am staying has no television.  There is no mobile reception at all on the island.  Limited internet service and not many people.

I have a few ideas on what I will do but not too many as the weather can change quite suddenly and I may find myself stuck inside or walking in the wind and rain.  As a rule November is a warm month but no overly so.  A few things I hope to do are snorkeling, half day ocean fishing and a full day guided trek up Mt Gower which is fairly arduous.  Mostly I will just reconnect (love that word) and take some well earned time out.

Needless to say, my camera and my drawing gear are coming with me.

I've been off my anti depressants for two weeks now.  The getting off them was very unpleasant.  I felt sick and had vertigo.  Also the strangest sensations in my head which the psych warned me about. They are like brain zaps or shivers.  I am still getting them now and then.  It took a full week to have minimal physical symptoms and this is because I am on a low dose.  I imagine if you were on a higher dose it would be much worse.

Do I feel okay?  I guess I feel more clear headed mostly.  Anti depressants are inclined to make me feel foggy but the fact is that there are times they are what is needed, these past few months was one of those times.  I've been very elevated for over a week and there are not the usual signals that it is on the way down.  It makes me overly energetic, funny to the point of being scary, a motor mouth, arrogant, annoyingly intense and inclined to be lacking in empathy.  The only good thing about all that is that I am mindful of others and just work extra hard to not be too difficult.  Everyone has feelings to be considered.  My psych is going away for two weeks and before he gets back I have to have a blood test to check my medicaiton levels.

I am not back at work until Tuesday next week so for the rest of the time I am concentrating on my art work and studio.  The usual exercise stuff.  Just relaxing and charging up my brain batteries.

Tomorrow morning is the Bayside Farmer's Market so I will be going there.  It's been a while and I am in a good frame of mind for buying obscure food products.  K is going on his first bike ride since injuring his knee months ago.  He had surgery six week ago to tidy up a torn meniscus so now he is ready to test it.  As for S, well I think he will be snoozing in bed until midday.

Hopefully I will find myself a pair of leather knee length boots I am wanting.  My lovely Italian ones are ten years old (my oldest boots yet) and starting to look tired.  Trouble is, I can't just buy any boots.  They have to feel just right.  Soft, buttery leather.  Stack heel.  European made, preferably Italian.  And not too expensive - therein lies the catch.  I like a bargain but I want the best.  Sigh - this makes the purchasing process a longer one.

Nothing else for now.

Pencils and paper are calling me.

linda x

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Friday, June 05, 2015

Friday 5th June

End of the week and a three day weekend thanks to a public holiday on Monday.  Hooray. Double Hooray.

I had a shite week this week.  Work is stressful and, to be honest, it's making me ill I think. Although, it may be best to not believe anything I say today because I am a very unstable mood and the thoughts that are in my head now probably won't be in there tomorrow.  They will be replaced by a new batch of thoughts and then those too will be kicked out and new ones will make my mind their home.

On Wednesday I went to the pych's and the moment I walked in I said that I could not talk about anything too much.  Instead we chatted about my work a bit and how it was making me feel.  He said he would like me to take a week off and just do what I wanted whether it be to sleep in, go for a walk, play with my dog, spend time in the studio or do nothing.  The conversation seemed to be all about this having a break thing and I felt a bit annoyed, as though I was being told what to do.  I asked him if he was giving me some sort of instruction and he said that he could see that I needed some time away from work as it appeared I did not have the capacity to recognise when I needed a break.

He was right of course.  I never recognise it and the pressure just builds up and I spend my free time in recovery mode.

At one point of the consultation he asked me if I was okay and I said I wasn't, that I felt fragile.

"What do you mean by fragile Linda? Do you mean depressed?" he asked me.

"No, not depressed as such.  I feel like I want to cry" I told him.

"How do you feel when you cry?  What is the emotion that you feel?" he asked.

"Helpless I guess" I said after a while.  It was most unpleasant having to admit that as I am a person who likes to turn my emotions into logic and being questioned about what I am feeling (deep, deep down) is my least liked thing to do.

The session went on and we talked about other relevant things and we touched on the topic of being in control.  For the record, in case you may not have guessed, I am a control freak.  I don't use the term lightly.  For me, it is really important that I can control as much a possible so that my life is manageable.  Despite my knowing this is not an ideal way to be, the logic of that awareness is unable to stop my controlling actions.

It's not that I try to control others for I know that I cannot do that.  I cannot control what happens around me so I work at controlling what I can, both physically and emotionally.  So, in effect, I am all calm on the outside and a completely wound up and tangled mess of machinery on the inside. And it's not doing me any good at all.  On the way home from work tonight I screamed as loud as I could while I was driving in the vain hope it would release some pressure.  Sadly, no, it hurt my ears instead.

I said to him at one point "I don't know how I would feel if I lost control" to which he replied "Helpless".  And he was right.  I would feel helpless and, right now, I don't feel in control.  Not sure what it is I don't feel in control of, it's just a big, pressurised feeling.

Anyway, the end result is that I am having five days off this month.  Wednesday week.  Bossman's wife has frequently suggested I take time off and on Thursday came over to me with her calendar and blocked me some time out.  So, there you go, five days off coming up.

I am also booking a holiday in November for 7 nights at Lord Howe Island.  K and S won't be coming as it's not their kind of holiday.  Lots of hiking and other outdoor things.  I have two friends who may come with otherwise I will be going on my own which is a big thing, but I am comfortable with that.  Initially I was concerned that K and S would be upset about not joiing me but we agreed that the cost of them going would be a bit of a waste if they were not really enjoying it as it should be enjoyed.

Before I book the date I am only waiting for the yay or nay from my friends.

Visiting Lord Howe Island has been a lifelong dream I have harboured.  When I was fifteen I went to a bric-a-brac market and bought a framed black and white photo of Lord Howe Island dated 1953.  It was so beautiful and I decided that one day I would go there.  Over the years I read about it, looked at photos and with the arrival of the internet I would look up more information about it.  But, as often happens in life,  I just put it on the back burner.

So, what made me decide to bite the bullet and make a move to go there?  I guess I felt as though after speaking the the psych it was okay for me to do exactly what I wanted to do.  That whole giving myself "permission" maybe?  Then again, maybe I just need a big fat holiday.

Moving away from the holiday side of things, right now I am moving off my anti depressants.  On Wednesday it was agreed that I would go off them because of the weight gain and some other undesirable side effects that are going on.  It's lucky that I have a three day weekend coming up because the side effects of coming off them are tricky.  Basically I feel like stabbing something or someone.  Fortunately my wonderful ability to control my inner self ensures that nobody is infected by my mood.  I just stared at the computer screen a lot today at work.

The photo I have posted up the top is of me taken in 2006.  So, almost ten years ago.  Oh, how fascinating the aging process is.  My arms so naked and smooth then are now covered in scars and sport a tattoo.  My hair so glossy and brown is now grey.  And no longer do I wear tops that show my bare midriff.  But that's okay.  The way I see it is that we all have our time of utter gorgeousness and then, unless we die beforehand, decay is inevetible.

Below is another photo.  A much more beautiful image.  It's a car.  This lovely car is being picked up early July to join us, its new family.  I've had a Stag before but that was before S was born and now, after a long time searching, we have bought this one. By the way, that is not K in the car.

The Stag represents some sort of teenage sexual awareness to me and if you read the post I did called The Stud and His Stag,  it will make sense.

See, when you are young you are just kind of sexy in that peachy way.  It exudes from you like some wonderful halo.  When you get older and the peach becomes a wrinkly apple you go out and buy a Stag to relive the moment.  Who says men get a sports car when they have a midlife crisis.

Maybe I'll drive a young lad around!  Ah, no.  That's just gross to me. I cannot even believe I wrote that.

Nope, I'm going online to buy a Dire Straits cd to play in the car when it arrives.

Sultans of Swing - here I come.

linda x

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