Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday 18th January

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sounds all so very exciting.

linda x

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday 16th January

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always something to do.

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

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

And play with my new computer.

But for now it's bedtime.

linda x

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Saturday 3rd January

Well it's 2015 and that's one more year under my belt.  And under yours as well.  

On New Years Even the three of us thought we might go into the city to see the early fire works. After walking all over town to find a place open to eat we finally sat down at a pretty average restaurant for dinner. No doubt they had their "NYE menu" out as everything was so expensive for what it was.  Anyway, we ate there and then walked around watching a few stage things before discussing what do to do next.  It was about 45 minutes to the early fireworks and crowds were pouring in to the city.  My son then gave his idea of what was going to happen if we waited for the fireworks display. 

Here is roughly what he said:

"Well, we can join the crowds and head down to the Yarra River and find a place to stand. Or if we're lucky we might find a place to sit amongst thousands of others.  We will get there early and so will at least 200,000 other people.  Mum will probably want to go to the toilet at least once.  Then the fireworks with start and everyone will go "oooooh" and "aaaaaaah" for no more than ten minutes and then we will head back to the train station with 200,000 other people, possibly more.  What do you think?"

Based on that comment from S we headed home on an empty train and that was it. 

I'm still not at work and only now am I feeling kind of normal.  My anxiety levels are almost zero. I stopped taking anything to sleep after noticing that it mattered not which one medication I took the day following I would have significant issues with my depression.  On my birthday I spent another day in a mood that swung from utter despair to an overly rational human being. 

My sleep has actually improved to the point where it's pretty much a full night with nary any waking up.  My husband can tell if I have slept well.  My side of the bed is usually tangled because I kick around like a donkey during my sleep but lately it is smooth from my non moving state.  This suggests to me that some healthy deep sleep is going on.

I have, coincidentally, stopped drinking coffee completely and wonder if that is a factor.  This came about because around 6 to 8 weeks ago I noticed that every time I had a cup of coffee I felt ill. Strong, weak, skim milk, full cream milk, almond milk, no milk.  It made no difference.  I just felt queasy and it became progressively worse.  Then about ten days ago I had a mouthful of coffee when I was out and I almost vomited.  Now I cannot imagine anything more disgusting than drinking coffee.  It is such a vile thought to me that I don't even feel sad about not being able to have what was once my favorite brew. 

The same thing happened to my brother.  He just loved coffee and then one day he could not stand it. I had a similar issue with black tea in 2005 so now it appears that green tea is my beverage of choice. Oh, and hot chocolate.  

It's a scorching hot day today.  Around 41 celcius and so I have been lolling around the house watching DVD's.  Now I am in the studio doing this post.  The air conditioner is on and it's nice a chilly in here.  

I bought myself a new Mac computer in anticipation of working from home.  I can claim aspects of it on my tax.  My little lap top is totally inefficient for doing a full days work on.  I also found the small lap top hard to do my photo books on because of the size.  I could think of 1000 reasons why I went out and bought it actually.  But the main one is that I wanted it really badly for months on end.  I love that long drawn out process of thinking about a big ticket item that is going to be purchased.  I love saving for it, thinking about, agonising over it, buying it and then getting it home to set it up. 

I thought I had lost two years of photos but managed to retrieve them (with my son's help) from off an old lap top and then reload them onto my computer.  Lots were from the 2008 trip we did over to the UK.  It's so nice to revisit them.   S was such a cheeky and happy kid.  He would have been almost 11 then.  There is an age where kids are still all yours.  He was at that age.  Annoying, joyful, talked non stop, moved around a lot and was very sweet.

He is still all of that but he is also cynical, self opinionated and, at times, a bit bolshy . I love him at any stage but there is a wistfulness at the loss of that stage and I expect there is always that little sadness that happens as children grow up and emotionally move away from parents.

But knowing it is meant to be that way and allowing it to happen is number one.  Sometimes I say to him "Aw, what happened to my baby, he's all growed up" and he replies "Aw, have a cry mum".

The other day he asked me if I wanted to go and see The Hobbit with him at the movies.  I was really touched as prior to that he had said that he was going with a friend.  For an insane moment I thought he enjoyed my company more.  I said "I thought  you were going with your friend" and he said "Yeah, I was but I want to go Gold Class instead".  Gold Class being the uber way to see a movie.

So, it appears that it was not my my company he preferred, it was the Gold Class treatment he preferred.

Random Lane
I am doing a days work on Monday and then won't be officially back on board at work until the following Monday.  Even then I am taking it easy until at least the end of January, taking the odd day off here and there.  I feel almost burnt out and the thought of working is not making me feel any joy whatsoever.  Yesterday I realised that for the past few years I have not actually done "nothing" during my Christmas break.

Last year we went to Sydney and at the same time I was dealing with the whole medication thing. The three previous years were interrupted by a lot of training for the 100 km charity walk.  In 2009/2010 we did a Winter overseas trip.  

At work I have the most holiday leave built up as well as sick leave.  I have to focus on recognising the importance of putting myself first.  However, that is easier said that done as work is a kind of dysfunctional place at times and taking a few days off can often mean coming back to a pile of crap on my desk that makes things worse than before I left.  

I do, however, think the one day working at home is great. It's not just me that will be doing that.  But I am finally okay with doing that.  Letting go a bit.  So much more gets done when no noise, no phone calls and it's just me and the computer.  I can answer emails and just chew through work twice as fast.

Cup of tea time at a pretty place in Yorkshire
On Wednesday I am catching up with one of the girls I did the charity walk with.  I've hardly spoken to any of the girls I walked with all of last year.  Honestly, I have been so focused on just keeping in a good place with work, my frame of mind, my menopause and whatever else that I really have been very tardy in the "maintaining" of friendships.  Although, it's not like I have many ones to catch up with here.  It's very hard to make friendships when you get to my age, especially if you are inclined to be a loner like me.

I've kind of engineered my life to be social via work, exercise and home.  I expect that as work lessens I will do voluntary things and incorporate by creative interests with like minded people.  But close friends with whom I could go and have coffee with (oops, hot chocolate) are not something I really have.  I know how to be social, it's a skill I work on a lot, but in my mind there are people who have lots of friends and those who don't.  And of those that don't there are ones who are completely okay with it (that's me) and others who are terribly lonely.

There are times I am really lonely but it's kind of at a deeper level that has nothing to do with people to visit.  It's just a part of life feeling.  The fact I have a LOT of interests makes a big difference. Being able to write, draw, paint, read and even walk the dog are crucial to staying positive and not letting the loneliness become an issue.  I would go spare if I did not have my creativity to play with.

Anyway, back to the catch up.  We are going into the Art Gallery to see an exhibition about Jean Paul Gaultier.  Have some lunch somewhere.  Just mosey around.  The weather is expected to be very hot so it will be nice to be inside.

Well, it's almost time to eat.  Or move around.

So off I go for now.

linda x

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday 28th December

Well, that's that done.  Christmas day has been and gone. Tree is packed away ready for next year.

This year I invited over my older sister and her family.  She has not had a good year and it is not going to get better. It's mostly a financial problem.  Or a series of financial problems so it's just something she will have to battle through.

I'm always a bit tense when the whole gang gets together.  My brother is a shit stirrer.  My nephew has emotional problems related to former drug use and is super sensitive.  I worded up my sister and brother and made it clear that my house means my rules.  Told them to be nice to each other.  And, thankfully, it seemed to worked.  Everyone was just happy to join in with the festivities.

I cooked for 12 all up and it always amazes me that I can actually come up with a pretty decent meal considering how much I don't really like cooking.  Well, perhaps it's more a truth that I don't like cooking if I don't have time.  If I am rushed I get overwhelmed with doing the most basic thing such as chopping vegetables.

I had a lot of food and sent a most of the left overs off with family.  But the next morning when I opened the fridge door there was still enough there to bring forth a raft of ex Christmas dinner smells.
My two glasses of wine headache was affronted and my breakfast consisted of a nibble on toast.

The lead up to Christmas was different this year.  I've been wondering why over the past few days. Was it the general economic climate?  Was the world just so depressing out there that people found it hard to rustle up some joyfulness?  Is it because I am getting older?  Tell me it is not that.  I can't stand the thought of yet another happy event in my life turning into a grey blot.  

For the days after Christmas I pretty much ate chocolate, Danish Christmas biscuits my sister made made me and leftovers.  Meat, meat, meat.  I ate a lot, watched a great DVD series, slept in my new chair, took the dog for walks and slept more.  Now I feel recovered and rested.  Tomorrow I have one day at work and then the following Monday so in between all that I expect to do whatever I want.  

It's always this time of year that I (and maybe a lot of people) think about what the year has been like and how to make changes in the new year looming ahead.  I don't mean resolutions, I just mean small changes to make life a bit more enjoyable or peaceful.

To me 2014 feels as though I spent the entire year getting stabilised on my medication and coming to terms with the changes that went with having to take it.  I'll just be grateful if next year I can stay on track and not smothered by the depression that seems to be a bit pervasive.  Right now I have my sleep under control and the anxiety has dropped down enough to not be intrusive.  I loathe that it has had to be managed with the use of medication but I cannot afford to let that get to me at this point in time.  I'll tackle it later on.

So, what plans are on the cards for next year?  Who knows.  Mostly my art.  To me that is me.  Just picking up a pencil and getting ready to put it to paper is a sure way to calm me down and empty out my head.  Unless, of course, it does not go to plan and then a melt down might happen but that is less likely these days.

I found a photo of me the other day from around May 2013.  For those who don't really know me they think it is just a nice photo of me but for those close to me it is the "melt down on the way" face I have.  I recall that day sooooo well.  I shredded my painting.  Stabbed it with such frustration and anger. Had it not been the painting I think it would have been me. I never project that onto other people.  It belongs to me so why infect those who care.  If I get those feelings now it's more visual in my head and I tend not to act on it.

For example, a few visits ago I was at the psych's and he asked me if I had and feelings to self harm. It had transpired that I had been thinking a great deal about sticking knives in my skull and arms. Don't ask why, but it these thoughts just arrive and then stay for days on end.  I remembered that I had been grooming my dog Benny and cut my hand and it was a few minutes before I noticed that my hand was covered in blood (scissors are extremely sharp).  I felt enormous relief looking at it and thought how easy it would be to just slash my arms and feel more of the relief.  Needless to say, I left that as a thought only.

It's like in the pre med days I had weeks on end with suicidal thoughts.  Not that I would have acted on them, but they were just there - some sort of mental anguish happening I guess.  At the time I would just groan inside knowing I had to cope with them as well as normal day to day living.  Now I know when I have those thoughts it's not me, it's Bipolar and I have thinking strategies to move through it.   It also indicates I need to get a blood test to see if the medication levels are correct.

I'm writing about this now because today I started having intrusive thoughts of that nature and have been able to deal with it in a relatively good way.  It's just a cyclic thing maybe.  The aftermath of Christmas pressure.  Who knows.  But I know that it's okay.  However, I am counting down the days to see the psychiatrist on the 12th.

Why do I talk about it?  Some sort of intellectual exercise for me?  When I write it down it takes the emotion out of it and that does help.  It becomes a logical thing and thus no feelings are attached to it any more.  I like to feel that having these thoughts are separate entities to who I am even though, at the time, the really can feel quite the opposite.

However, that's not all I have to talk about.  Today K and I went into the city to do some shopping. It's so big there now.  So many designer shops with names I do not know anymore.  As you get older you are right out of the loop.  It's not that I care about being out of the loop, it's that I don't exactly know when it happened.  I am in another loop.  The loop outside the loop.  The loop you end up in once you get to a certain age.  Do we just go from one loop to another?  When I get to 70 will I be in yet another loop?  Age loops.  That is what I will refer to them as from hereon.

We walked a lot, had lunch, walked more.  Went to the State Library and looked around and some great paintings.  There was an exhibition on about Bohemian Melbourne over the decades.  It's funny how K and I think so differently about the Bohemian lifestyle.  He thinks of it as just a lot of dirty, smelly lot.  Not totally but you get my drift.  I think of it as an artist living true to their beliefs.  It always seems so idealistic and no doubt it is.  I do think it is not a natural event any more.  Somehow it seems manufactured.  Decades ago society seemed much more rigid so going against the grain and living a bohemian lifestyle was much more outrageous and imbued with a truth that seems no longer possible.

But hey, how would I know - being out of the loop and all.  Anyway, the exhibition was great.

Right now I am contemplating bed time.  Looking at a cute website. Thinking of what has to be done at work tomorrow.  It's going to be nice and quiet because I will have the phones on night switch with a message saying "We are not back until the 12th Jan" or something like that.  I've lots of filing to attend to and also the usual accounting work, pays and whatever else I can get through.  Then I can chill until the following Monday.

On Tuesday it is my birthday and if that is not weird that I will be 51.

Fifty One.

ten twenty thirty forty fifty one


I think the cake will have to be a one candle event.  There is a point in time where your age makes it dangerous to light the matching number of candles on a cake.

I have reached that age.

linda x

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday 20th December

This photo was taken at the park where I exercise.

It is lovely in the warm weather when the sun shines down on us as we do our work out.  In Winter it is quite another story.  Cold, dark and wet mostly.  I have brightened the photo up a bit to make it look more like it is when I am there.

There are ducks and swans there and a small island in the middle of the water.  The parkland has mostly European trees planted which means the overall appearance is of lushness.  Australian natives are best out in the bush in my opinion.  Parks are for picnics and lying on the grass under the shade of trees - best done in this sort of setting.

I have been very, very busy at work and have not had time to do a blog post.  It's a nuisance when that happens because there I things I like to write about that go in and out of my head and I forget them.

I saw the psych around ten days ago and we spoke about the reaction I had to three days of poor sleep and how it took a week to recover from.  He said to me "don't treat your Tamazapen like a luxury item Linda. Sleep is important".  He continued by saying how crucial it was for me to keep my sleep pattern stable.  Reminded me that learning to read my mood and to love my bipolar would make life easier.  More like love thine enemy at times I think.

Still, the consultation finished on a great note and when I got home that night I told my husband I felt pretty happy about the psych now. He replied that the psychiatrist was the same person (that I previously did not like at all) which was an interesting thought.

So since then I have been taking something to sleep every second night and my mood is quite stable. I take Valium though as the Tamazapen makes me feel so depressed and fragile the next day - I have no idea why.  It's so awful to feel that way, I can hardly function.  The Valium just makes me go to sleep, sleep a deep sleep and then wake up feeling well rested.

I'm crossing fingers that things will be stabilised for a bit longer now.  It has taken a year and I honestly thought I would just take Epilim and my moods would be normal and the depression would go away.  How wrong I was.  It is a work in progress. But I have come a long way.

Well my last day at work for the year is this coming Monday.  It has been stressful and hectic but now we are getting to the end of the year I just figure I am doing my best and that's it.  I just want a break.  I want Monday to be over and done with so that I can get my Christmas stuff organised and enjoy some serious down time.  I am worn out, so worn out in my head. Last Monday at work someone spoke to me so unpleasantly I sat for a while in quiet shock, then picked up my car keys, went down stairs with the intention of just sitting in my car for a few minutes to listen to music to calm down.  Instead I went for a ten minute drive.

When I came back J asked if I was okay and I burst into heaving sobs, said I am overloaded, sick of the stress levels and wanted to leave.  Which, at that given moment was true.  So we went out for coffee to talk about it.  Because I was unusually fragile the tears poured out of my eyes involuntarily like a sluice opening.  I was mortified - loathe crying in front of people. So undignified.  Anyway, I am not leaving, I am fine and life went on.

This morning I went to the Farmers Market.  The sun was shining and when I stepped out of the car I could smell the salty sea air.  The sky was so blue above the water.  I cannot think of a more beautiful place to be than near a beach.

The market was busy and, as sometimes happens, I bought things I did not want and spent too much money.  I bought some smoked cheddar cheese and smoked cashews.  When I got home and had some the reality of how vile they tasted dawned on me and I tossed them in the bin.  Nobody else here would eat them.  Anyway, I now have fresh eggs and some weird speckly shortbread.

This post is morphing into a blather.  I am so tired that I cannot think clearly so will now quit while sleep creeps up to me and catch it.

It's zed time.

linda x

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tuesday 9th December

Christmas Card design 2014

Sigh.  Here it is.  The last month of the year.  I had things I wanted to do but didn't do them this year. At least, I feel as though I had things I wanted to do and it feels like I did not do them.  I just don't exactly know what they are.  These unknown things.  It's the feeling I know.  The year feels more unfinished than it should considering we are only weeks away to the end of it.

As you can see, I finished my Christmas card design and have ordered some online so that I can post them.  It's a funny thing with my art work.  It's the only time in my life I am truly not fussed if other people do not like what I have done.  It's nice when people do like it and I appreciate their words but if nobody said a single thing about my drawings I'd be okay with that too.  I think it is because my creative side is me.  Don't ask me what the other side is.  It's that other person.   You know, the one that functions out in the world.

So it's been over a week since my last post.  I have been busy I guess.  Work was a bit more shite than usual last week.  My anxiety levels were the usual blah blah but because I was able to attribute it to work it was different.  Sleep patterns changed and by Friday I was extremely fragile, teary, depressed and have started to pick up now.  This is boring I know but, hey, you are reading it so I figure maybe you just get it.  I'm recognising a pattern of mood swings now which is helpful for me even if I do not like them.  I remember when first I went to the psychiatrist he said that, as a rule, a bipolar person will always experience noticeable mood swings and that we just wanted them to be manageable and non intrusive.

When he said that to me I thought "not me, I am going to be different. I will have normal run of the mill moods".  I've stopped thinking that way.  I've accepted that I almost never have an idea what mood I will wake up in.  It's been like that for ever.

On Friday night we went out to the work Christmas function.  I made a decision to go to the hairdressers to have my hair washed and blow dried.  Not my regular hair dresser though, just someone local.  When I got there she asked me what I had in mind and I said something like "Oh, with a bit of volume and a wave at the end.  Sort of 70's but not so over the top".  What she must have heard was "Hey, I'm going to a 70's party and I want to look like an extra out of Priscilla Queen of the Desert".

I'm thinking a bit of modern take on Raquel Welch so I was okay when I saw the hair rollers go in the hair.  But then she started back combing the hair and at that point I realised that my hair was not going to look how I wanted it to.  There is something that happens a woman once seated in the chair at a new hairdressing salon.  The power of speech is taken from you.  The ability to assert yourself is swept from you. You become helpless.  And so, that was me.  Helpless as I watched my hair rise like a white beacon from my head.  Multi layers of hairspray raising it higher and higher until, the icing on the cake was the glitter that she sprayed over the surface as though I was going to be the glitter ball of the night.

Of course, I said it looked great and paid her.  But really I was thinking "how do I get to the car without anyone seeing me".  Once in the car I could feel the top of my hair touch the roof lining.  On the way home I intermittently shook my head and ran my fingers through it to bring down the volume.  At home my son said I looked like an actor out of a 1970's sitcom.

It settled down to a groovy style and matched my false eyelashes so I felt okay to head out for the evening.

It was a late night and as a result I only had five hours sleep, woke up depressed and crying and decided I was too down to go the to Swedish Christmas Bazaar (my most favorite event of the year). As I lay in bed with eyes closed and started to drift into the sleep of misery I then decided that I was not letting my mood rule my day.  Since I was feeling shit anyway I may as well do things while I feel that way.  Lying in bed would make it worse anyway - this I have learnt.  I got up, showered, dressed and got ready for the day.  Then K came back from bike riding and we went to the Christmas Bazaar together.

Unbeknownst to me K was feeling out of sorts due to, shall we say, over indulgence of the liquid kind at the work party and all day he was rather quiet.  It didn't stop him eating the fabulous Danish nosh at the place and even I didn't hold back.  It felt like being a kid again.  So we walked around, bought a few things and then headed home.  I was so glad I just ignored the urge to stay in bed.

So the rest of the weekend was spent just doing normal stuff that people do in life.  Food shopping, laundry, tidy etc.

One thing did happen.  We threw out a big floor rug that had seen better days.  It was a bit nostalgic as my son was four months old when we bought that.  He learnt to crawl on it. However it had reached the end of it's life and could not be cleaned as, being hemp, the cost to clean it was greater than the $450 we paid for it.  So we are not on the look out for a new rug.  It may seem that getting rid of a floor rug is not worthy of mention but along with the rug removal came the arrival of two new recliner chairs.

Yes, after five years of agonising (me being the agoniser) we went out an purchased two recliner chairs. They are very modern, totally and insanely comfortable and would almost be out of place in our home were it not for the cherry red colour of the leather and the dark timber base.  They are so modern that they fit in.  After almost 25 years of having adhoc old arm chairs that are not comfortable and very small, we are now the owners of two delicious armchairs that are made for falling asleep in.

Plus, you can get an extra for them.  A computer table to put your lap top on!  So I am saving my pennies for that now.

Bossman called them ugly.

Well, the night is all but over and bed calls.


linda x

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday 29th November

Tree Outside Studio
I always start off not knowing what to write and then manage to put down some random drivel.  Or is it dribble?

A perfect Saturday weatherwise.  It's a pity I did not make excellent use of it.  I had plans.  You know how it works.  You spend the week leading up to the weekend with some "plans" or perhaps a "plan of action" or, if you are really organised, you have "plans of action".

I had "plans of action".  None of which seemed to happen.  I forgot what they were.  Actually, I forgot to remember that I had "plans of action" and subsequently the day drifted aimlessly along and I was a little leaf bobbing along the river of life.

Perhaps that is not entirely true.  I did do numerous loads of washing. Stripped the bed and put fresh bed linen on it.  Tidied the kitchen.  Went down the street to get breakfast for S.  Oh, and I voted.  We had State elections here and, as voting is compulsory, I walked down and did my civic duty.  When I got there I was inundated with people handing out "vote for me, me and not that person" flyers so, not wanting to offend anyone, I took one from each.  I was still undecided as I walked in the cardboard cubicle and then cast my vote based on which party was least likely to make me vomit when I saw them on television next.

Reflection of me and tree in studio door
My brother came around in the early evening with his two boys so we chatted for a while. He, like me, is tired and looking forward to a rest over the Christmas break.  For me the weeks leading up to Christmas are very testing mentally and physically.  This Thursday I am working from home to be spared the interuptions as I have crucial work that needs doing and I can't do it with phones ringing, people talking at me and finding myself jumping from one job to another.

Last week was a bit of a shitty one.  Somehow I was very destabilised after having that weekend of house sitting.  Perhaps the combination of being out of routine and incredibly poor sleep whilst there was enough to start things rolling.  By Wednesday I was wired for sound and that night I had to take something to sleep.  However, the next day I was worse and incapable of concentrating on anything despite applying all the deep breathing and meditative thinking and thus had to take a Valium.  Two hours later there was no change and I took another.  I may well have been eating jelly beans so ineffective both doses were that I just gave up and did what I could.  Thankfully exercise was after work so I managed to work some energy off.

That night I had to again take something as my head was racing both with thoughts and this irritating "white noise" sensation that I used to have for years.  But I slept through.

Next day okay except for one thing, at around 2pm I realised that I had not taken my morning meds on that day and the day before.  So I took Friday's dose and just figured shit happens.  So today I just feel meh and teary.  It will sort itself out and the best thing I did was not too try too hard.  Just get on with the day.

Now I am in the studio and it is around 9pm.  I am back to reworking the book of my drawings after I realised the resolution of the scanned pictures was abysmal.  Ho hum.  Mr Benny is outside running around and dragging a stick behind him.  He likes to sit outside the studio door when I am here. Because it is a nice night I can have the door open and listen to K playing piano in the house. Crickets chirruping madly outside.  Neighbours chatting away.

Studio Door
So, my day was a bit blah.  I felt frumpy.  In the morning I had put make up on but half way through I took it off my eyes were itching from something.  So I then felt frumpy, blah and most unattractive. I had enough in me to know it was just an off day and it rolled off me, albeit very slowly.  Tomorrow will be different.

I think I am hungry.

So it is time to go in and eat.

Since I know what is in my pantry and fridge I am not very excited about making the journey from studio to house to get food.

linda x

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