Monday, November 01, 2010
I had never been to a pysch before. I am not the sort who can open up easily and I was very resistant to it. But I went. We did not hit it off at all. He was rigid and I was in denial I suppose. After a number of intensely uncomfortable visits I decided not to go. I was not ready for anything like this.
After the first three visits he said to me that he believed I was bipolar and he wanted me to not take anti depressants, he wanted me to go on Lithium. I said he was wrong and there was no way I was going on that, ever. He brought it up a few more times and then I stopped going. I ended up changing GP's and got a script for Lexapro which did me well enough until I came off all medication in 2005.
Since then I have managed my depression with exercise, behavioural changes, diet, sleep and all those things. It takes a lot of effort and I have to confess that I am often concerned about what happens when my strict routine is not able to be followed (holiday, illness or other things). It has happened and it sends me off the edge and I have to start all over again.
However, despite all my efforts, I do still have constant mood swings. And depression. I do weird food things when I am struggling. This year I have had a couple of things happen that triggered scary mood changes and I thought I was going almost mad. But because I am aware of the symptoms I can generally cope well enough and unless you really knew me well you would never know I was having an episode. My husband is very, very supportive but he does worry when I say "I am struggling" because if I say that he knows it is just the tip of the iceberg.
This year my younger sister was diagnosed with bipolar 2 which I guess you could say is a less extreme version of bipolar. She is on a mood stabiliser and goes to a psychiatrist. It took years to get diagnosed and she feels so much better.
This weekend I had a very bad weekend. I was totally fucked in the head and had a mood that changed almost every two hours. It was very tiring. This is not the first time and I am very good at functioning through these moods but I must admit this one was worse than usual.
I rang my sister and spoke to her today about it. Today I was okay and was talking at a million miles an hour. Racing words falling out of my head. Lots of what my sister and I call "white noise" in my head.
"I've told you this before. You need to see a professional Linda. I believe you have bipolar 2," she told me.
I told her I might one day but am not ready to.
I explained that my plate is a bit full at the moment with work, exercise and the Oxfam walk I have committed myself to. I needed to adjust and make allowances to reduce the risk of having a trigger episode. She told me to be open minded.
On the weekend when I was talking to my husband about it I said "I wish I was a more open person" and he said "So do I".
Now, on a normal day I would just hear the words "So do I" and take them exactly for what they mean. But on the weekend with the inside of my head I read those three innocent words as "I wish you were different too. I don't like the way you are. I want you to be another person. You are not open enough and I don't like you. You are never good enough". Blah, blah and blah.
I know enough to know this is very fucked thinking and I told my husband how I interpreted those words and he just shook his head. It is very hard for him when I am like this. But he thinks it is harder for me when I am like this.
The reason I am careful what I say during an episode is that I can say things that are really strange and I can talk myself into believing things that, in two hours, I am shocked I even said or thought. So I have taught myself to take time to speak or just talk trivia to bring myself down.
So today after my bad weekend (which had been preceded by a week of poor sleep, feeling unwell, intrusive negative thoughts and some other things) I was on a high and got loads done. But I talked non stop. I talked to my sister for an hour over the phone. I talked non stop to my book keeping client for over an hour and I also talked non stop through exercise class.
My husband thinks that if I can manage it and cope then that might be okay. My sister says that I have to be open minded to the fact I may have to see a psych one day as she thinks the episodes are getting closer. She may be right.
There is a lot more to it which is too long and boring to go into but you get the drift.
I am just going to take it day by day. It feels the right thing to do.
I really do not want to take medication. I don't feel I need it. I am managing the anxiety. Very aware of the ups and downs and feeling I am in control. But maybe that is part of the thing about mental health problems. You think you are in control but may well not be.
It's a difficult path to navigate sometimes.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The guests arrived on the Thursday and we spent the Friday doing a big tourist thing. By Saturday they were very tired and still feeling the effects of jet lag and we all decided to just take it easy.
In the morning I went to my exercise class and one of the guests asked to come with. He is sixty five and had spent over forty years in the army and still kept a fitness regime despite being retired.
So he came with me and I have to say that he kept up with the fittest of us. In fact, twice he outran me. Even the personal trainer said "there is a man who looks after himself".
I did wonder about his ego a bit because he had no qualms about walking around the house in his underwear and no top. Just bare chested. Not an ounce of fat on him. I mentioned it to my husband and he said "I didn't notice".
Anyway, later in the day they all decided to come for a walk with me down to the local shops. It only takes about twenty minutes.
The day was perfect. Sun shining and blue sky. Not too hot.
We got to one road to cross and as we stood there waiting for cars to pass my uncle suddenly started walking across the road. I called him back but he kept going and to my utter horror he was hit by a car on his left.
Up on the bonnet he went and then down in front of the car.
I ran over to him and helped him up. He was bruised and shaken. The poor driver of the car was so shocked.
My uncle had momentarily forgotten about the whole change in the way the traffic goes here. When we cross the road, the cars are coming on our right whereas in Demark they are on the left.
So I would look right and left and right again. But he must have done the opposite because when he got half way across the road he was looking to his right rather than the left and the cars were coming on his left and he did not see it. Luckily the driver could see something was not right and had slowed down enough to brake just before impact.
I was so shocked (as we all were) because when you actually see such a thing it is very confronting. Fortunately my uncle's injuries were superficial but we had to fill in paperwork at the police station and spent the afternoon there.
It put a bit of a gloom over the weekend which was compounded by watching the football grand final on television and seeing my team get hammered.
Later on we went to my older sister's for dinner. She and I have a tense relationship but I put all that aside to make sure our uncle and the gang had a great time.
Family stuff can be stressful.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Here were the plans:
- Get up at about 8.00 am and get ready to go out.
- Go the the vintage and classic car show that was being held in the city.
- Head home and pfaff around getting ready for the week ahead.
Here is what happened:
- Woke up with a blinding headache and a bad nausea.
- Got up and dry retched and then took pain killers.
- Stumbled back to bed to wait for headache to go away.
- After about half an hour I then sat up in bed to eat some dry toast and Vegemite to settle stomach.
- Crawled into shower and stood there with hands on side of head until hot water ran out.
- Eventually got ready to go at about 11:30 am. Took two more pain killers.
- Got in car with whiney son and agitated husband.
- Sat in hot car in bumper to bumper traffic.
- Got to venue and all parking spots were gone. Drove twice around the block before finding this out. No, actually crawled at a snail's pace twice around the block following other people in cars desperate to find parking spot.
- Started to head home and found parking centre about ten minutes away from the venue and parked there.
- Walked from the parking centre, up the hill, towards the car show. During this time my mole rat of a son whined about being out in the sunshine, his pale and pasty skin was affronted. I was feeling washed out after headache had finally faded to a vague but bearable thump. Husband kept saying "this is going from bad to worse".
- Son continued to whine.
- More whining.
- Bit more whining.
- Finally got to the car show only to be confronted by long line of people waiting to get in. When I say long, I mean loooooonnnnnggg. About 300 people.
- Group discussion leads to unanimous decision to go back home but eat on the way because by now I am starving.
- Eat in funky cafe that is playing club music which offends my musically inclined husband but pleases my funky music loving teenage son. I don't care as I am starving and eating my delicious lunch of roast pumpkin salad. Mmmmmmm.
- Drive home.
- Open front door and all three go to respective places of worship (son on Xbox, husband into music room and me with laptop).
- All of the above happens between the hours of 11.30 am to 3:00 pm.
Fortunately there were no arguments. I would like to say it was because we three are mild mannered and gentle folk but the truth is that we have travelled enough together to know when it is pointless to argue or bitch about something that is out of your control. We just made bad jokes about it all.
Now I am about to do all the houseworky things that need doing on a weekend.
I am so excited.............
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I bought this cupboard on Ebay. It is an old meat safe from about 1920. These were very, very common in Australia for many years. They often came in two, three and four door versions with all sorts of leadlight glass designs. The single door one is not common.
This one is particularly nice. The mesh is original which hardly happens these days. Although, on one side is small hole which I will repair with some fine wire. I love the leadlight. This little cupboard is going into the studio to store my art materials so that the work bench is clear. I think that is the last thing that will fit in there.
Anyway, like everything I buy on Ebay that needs picking up, this cupboard was about an hour's drive away. Only this time my husband was not going to be around to do the picking up and I had to make the trip.
My navigation skills are awful and often involve me screaming at my very patient husband via the mobile phone because I have lost my way again. A few months ago I made the decision to never ring him again for directions because we always argue and I don't like that. So this time I was determined to get to where I had to go without any help.
During the week K would try to discuss the trip with me and I would put my hands over my ears and say "not listening". I read the map. Printed out directions and studied where I had to go.
Then, this morning as I was about to leave I recalled that I still had the GPS from work and my life was suddenly easy.
So, the drive there was fantastic. The dulcet tones of TomTom lead me safely to my port of call. However, after I picked up the cabinet I decided to reset the GPS to get me back home and accidentally turned the volume way down and could not work out how to get it back up again. This meant that I did not hear the instructions to turn left to get on the freeway and ended up having to make my way home through heavy traffic, narrow streets and the City. An extra half an hour. I was just so happy to get out of the car.
But, the cupboard is home with me and I am happy.
I finished the day off with a relay charity walk which saw me walk around an oval for two hours from 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm.
Bed beckons and I am listening.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
I asked my son "Hey, do you think about yourself all the time?"
He thought for a few seconds and answered "Yeah, pretty much. I know I should be thinking of others and all that but I can't help it, I just think of me. Me, me, me."
I want to be a teenager again.
I think it is worth all the angst and pimples.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Wild winds and heavy rain have caused havoc around parts of Melbourne. The noise of it all kept me awake last night.
I got up for an early morning cardio class and when I stepped out the front door I was greeted by the pouring rain. Despite that gloomy start I jumped in the car and did the class, outside in the freezing cold. Ten people turned up. Usually, on a Saturday morning, there are about twenty. Just as we finished the hail came down and pelted the soaking grass and left a layer of white ice on every surface, including my car.
When the weather is like this I just want to stay in the house where it is warm. I like looking out at the rain and watching the trees move with the wind.
This afternoon I have not done much. Put a couple of loads of washing on. Had lunch. Played Farmville and had a rest. We went out for a couple of hours to have coffee with friends and I spent the whole time resisting the urge to put my head on my arms and fall asleep at the table.
The house is silent. My husband fell asleep on the couch and my son is in the "Xbox" room playing away. I can hear his voice as he talks to other players online but I don't know what he is saying. Now and then he picks up his clarinet and plays it at the same time. He's happy.
I can hear the wind outside. The creak of doors and windows and the hum of the heating tell me the house has its own life. Now and then the fridge makes strange noises.
The tap, tap, tap of my fingers on the lap top is the loudest noise in the room.
I love the sort of silence. It is like the silence in the middle of the night, kind of dream like. I hope the phone won't ring. Or the doorbell. They would intrude upon this beautiful silence.
Right now I want to enjoy this afternoon. Enjoy the tired feeling in my legs from exercise. Enjoy the tiredness in my eyes. Enjoy the quiet of the house.
Tomorrow I will do all the things that need doing.
But today I will just enjoy the doing of nothing.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I say that every week. But this week was busier than usual.
Why on earth I need to mention I had a busy week kind of intrigues me. It is as though I have to say it to justify the fact I have not blogged or something. Or have not baked a cake. Or have not done anything much.
Anyway, it has been busy. There, I said it again.
Stop it Linda. You are being silly.
We had a new modem/router thing installed at work and it has the firewall from Hell and I can not get onto Blogger at all and rarely Google. That is annoying because I cannot read my emails or blog when at work.... He he. Maybe that is a good thing.
So back to the busy thing. We have become so busy at work with new building projects which means the workload has tripled for me. I was beginning to think I was doing very badly because I could not get through the work but when we sat down and detailed what was going on we all realised just how much extra work everyone was carrying.
Soon we will get an extra person but in the meantime we have to get a streamlined process at work to work out exactly what we need this extra person to do.
Today the boss's wife was helping me with some work. It involved some data entry of the supplier invoices into the accounting package. It's pretty fucking boring if you are not a bookkeeper and into nit picky stuff. I don't mind it because after I do it everything balances and I can run off very exciting reports.
She is a very organised person and hard working but even she said "oh, Linda how can you get all your work done, this takes ages". Ah, nice to get someone else to do the crappy stuff now and then. And to have them think it hard work is extra special
Today I got to work early to finish what needed doing. It meant I was up at 6.30 am. What a painful process that was, but nonetheless I got into the office by 8.30 am ready to go (in a tired sort of way). My tiredness was made worse by the fact I went to bed very late because I sat up and watched a very stupid show. Again.
Yes, every Wednesday night I fall into the trap of watching three medical shows on commercial television.
The last one is the one that sucks me in. It is called Embarrassing Bodies. It is an English show where some doctors drive around to different towns in England to help people with health issues.
Sounds pretty simple doesn't it?
The thing is, if you are lucky enough to be treated by them you have to be prepared to let the camera team in at the same time, recording everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything.
Last night some guy came in with a significant hemorrhoid problem. The camera zoomed in upon the offending piles which were both ugly and huge. I had to put my face in my hands with a groan and then look up again because I could not help myself. I swear, he really needed to embrace fibre because he must have been straining quite a lot to get a hemorrhoid problem like he had.
Every week they manage to make the previous week look pretty tame. I cannot stop watching it. My husband tells me off for watching it and then sits and watches it with me. The thing is, what this show tells me is that there are people out there putting up with medical problems for years and years. Which is sad because most of the things that people present with can be fixed.
However, despite its voyeuristic side to it, it must surely make people realise that there are all sorts of normals when it comes to body shapes and sizes. Not many people pass the perfect body test. Whatever perfect is. Some waxed, airbrushed and spray tanned stick insect look.
After I watch it I just think that people want to be healthy and happy. They are always so relieved when the doctor is able to help them. It is quite a humbling show at the core of it. But I do still love the graphic side to it as well.
So, that is my weakness on a Wednesday night. Watching medical shows.
I have just read this post and must declare it to be utterly boring.
But I am leaving it anyway because even boring posts deserve a place in the world of blogging.
Besides, that is the best I can do tonight.
My brain is having trouble producing anything of interest and you shall all have to suffer the consequences of my being tired and uncreative.
Unless you stopped reading half way.
Which means that writing this line here won't really matter to you will it.
Or did you keep reading?
Just to see how long I could crap on for.
Before I decided to go to bed.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
We went to a market called Finders Keepers which is situated in a big warehouse at a place called The Docklands. Docklands is an area of major development along the river. It is busy in summer but the development has not been as financially juicy as hoped. The place is actually a bit boring. All you can do there is walk around, eat and shop.
However, the market was very good. A lot of the sellers have stores on Etsy. Many talented people selling their wares. There was loads to buy and I did lash out a buy myself a great skirt from a designer called Brkich. As did my niece.
The bikes below are for hire. However, in Melbourne we have strict laws about wearing a helmet so the bikes are a bit useless for a tourist. Or for anyone who just gets the urge to ride a bike on a sunny day. Not sure about you, but a bike helmet is not something I have in my handbag in case the urge to ride a bike come upon me.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
I woke up late as I slept poorly (again) and missed out on my cardio class. I did feel a bit guilty but figured that my body must have been telling me it needed a rest.
I went to the hairdressers at 10.30 am and spent three lovely hours there having my hair done. It's a bit weird. Whenever I go to the hairdressers now I come back with more grey showing. It is a slow process growing it out but worth it. She does a great job working the grey into the hair without it looking strange.
However, I notice that I am white at the front and darker silver at the back. Like a skunk or something.
I came home and just pottered around doing housework. Laundry. Reading the newspaper. Just relaxing. I am very stressed at the moment at work. I have always been experiencing severe anxiety again. Something which I have not really had for a long time. In fact, three weeks ago I had a panic attack while I was in a car park. Fortunately I have had them before in the past and knew what was happening.
So, the anxiety is pissing me off but I seem to be managing it well enough. I may have to bump up the exercise a bit which may help. I really do not want to go back on medication because it makes me fat (which is totally depressing itself) so I will just live with it the best that I can. Just have to be very mindful about the depression though. That can sneak up like a sly fox if I do not watch out.
Anyway, I took some photos around the garden. I love Spring. Everything is green and lush.
All sorts of flowers and weeds mix together in a juicy chaos.
Friday, October 08, 2010
So here I am about to get stuck into it but I am having a quick blog because that is what I do when I have to do something else. Avoidance behaviour on a tiny scale.
Anyway, I slept badly last night. My husband snores. I am sure I do as well but he wakes me up with his snoring. I went to gently push him to stop him snoring and I whacked him in the face quite hard. He still snored.
The guy at work said that sometimes he sleeps in a separate room because his snoring is so bad. He suggested that my husband and I could do the same.
However, the spare room is now the Xbox room and the day bed has gone into the piano room (which was previously the dining room). It is just not convenient to sleep in another room.
So I am going to have to get ear plugs.
It brought me to a belief that I have had all my life about marriage and cohabitation in general.
I have always thought that it would be great to live in separate houses and be married. Or houses that have separate living spaces. My husband thinks that is not a nice thought at all.
Even separate bedrooms would be fine by me. Just lots of "me" space.
I do think that there is something strange about living in the same house with another person day in and day out. Before I was married I lived pretty much on my own for seven years. There was a period of time where my brother shared with me for twelve months and apart from that, it was just me and my messy surroundings.
I would not want to be completely alone, just a bit. I guess that is why the studio is so good (albeit small) because I can just get out into it and shut the door.
Perhaps it is nice to be selfish now and then. Maybe that is what I like the thought of.
The other week when my husband had to have a colonoscopy he was not allowed to eat from 8pm the night before the procedure.
I really enjoyed making my own cup of tea without asking him if he wanted one. Then I ate chocolate without offering him any. The feeling of just thinking of me was really rather pleasant and I told him so. He was a bit offended but understood completely. Sometimes people just need to not have to consider others.
Making me a cup of tea is easy. I drink green tea. Just pour the boiling water over the tea bag and give it to me. No squeezing of tea bag. No adding of milk. No sugar. Just plonk the water in and give the cup to me. Not that hard.
This morning K made me a cup of tea but forgot to give it to me. I went over to the sink and there it was with the tea bag sitting in it - going cold.
It must have gotten a bit hard after that.
Or he needed some "me" time.
We all need it now and then.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I drank two cups of coffee.
Then wriggled around before having to go to the toilet (or bathroom for those who prefer that term) (or dunny).
I get to the toilet and there is no toilet paper.
Now, you think it would be easy to get toilet paper don't you?
Not ours. It is locked in a storeroom because for some reason it just gets nicked if left out. Goodness knows why. I mean, it is not a rare commodity here.
So I have to unlock the storeroom but the keys are in my car. They are in my car because they are too heavy to have in my hand bag.
Which means I have to go back to the office, dig into my bag and get my car keys, then get to my car and get the office keys, then go back to the storeroom and unlock padlock, get box of toilet paper down and take out four rolls, then put box back, then lock storeroom and then make my way back to the toilet only to be interrupted by someone delivering some things which I had to sign for.
How I did not wet my pants I do not know. I did not even do a "toilet dance" whilst signing for the delivery. Just stood casually and signed while using those "hidden" muscles. Women will understand what I am talking about.
Then when I got to the toilet I just kind of threw the rolls on the floor.
I am now going to get some extra rolls of loo paper and store them in the kitchen.
Or maybe I should not wait until the last minute to go for a pee.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
i went on facebook at work today and played farmville for ten minutes.
and read the dailymail.co.uk newspaper website.
logged into my home email and replied to six personal emails.
then read the newspaper in the kitchen at work.
came back to my desk and the pile of paperwork had not gone.
so i fixed it by rearranging it to another part of my desk.
then went and ate the last cup cake.
and a slice of bread with honey.
and wrote notes into my work book of what i have to do tomorrow.
'cos it seems nothing much is going to happen today
My boss and his wife are on holiday (again) and we are short staffed.
The first week of the month requires me to get out loads of invoices. Most of them are cost plus which involves a very convoluted process.
Because I took time off last week the workload is super duper this week. I am also taking this Friday off and am not changing that even though I know I will regret it next week. I am prepared for the consequences and intend to whinge fully next week as well.
Anyway, phone will not stop ringing. I am in the office on my own. And to top things off I did not save what I was doing, lost it and now have to redo it all.
I really should not even be blogging. And it is not even an interesting blog. It is a just a boring whingey blog.
Oh, fuck it. Back to work.
Monday, October 04, 2010
How I got roped into it I will never be able to explain. It just kind of happened.
Nor can I explain the fact that I am team leader. That just happened as well.
The walk is not until April 1st next year so we have plenty of time to train up.
Now I know what I will be doing every Sunday from January 2011. Walking 20 to 30km's.
All to raise $5K for a worthy cause.
I am looking forward to it.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
We also had to set beds up in two rooms. This resulted in my son losing access to his "Xbox Den" but he was fine about that (like he had a choice).
There is my uncle (mother's side) his wife, her sister and sister's husband. So four people straight from Denmark doing a big eight week holiday in Australia.
In 1994 my husband and I stayed with my uncle and aunt and they kindly took us for a three day yachting trip to the coast of Germany. It was great and so kind of them. The least we could do this week was try to return the hospitality.
On the day of arrival they just settled in after my brother picked them up from the airport at 5.oo am in the morning.
Next day we made our way to a touristy place called Sovereign Hill. It is about 1.5 hours drive from our place and we had to take two cars to fit everyone in comfortably.
Sovereign Hill is a replica gold mining town situated in a place called Ballarat. The shops are based on the original shops of Ballarat. I think the last time I came here was the last time we had an overseas visitor. In fact, the same goes for the last two times. It's a good place to start.
Below are a few photos.
People working here dress up in period clothing. Although, I did ask if they were wearing corsets and the answer was no. That would be uncomfortable.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Am sitting on the edge of my bed right now getting some computer time while everyone is eating and talking in the family room.
So, blogging soon as tomorrow my brother is taking them out for the day.
In the mean time I have been doing a lot of:
You get the drift.