My 4 Year old boy is on antidepressants and that’s okay …

I read this post today, and I was humbled and amazed at the bravery of a parent.

I am acutely aware of how difficult and fraught with misguided advice and criticism the decision is to decide to take “head medication” is.

For yourself.  As an adult.

As much as society bandies around the labels “depression” “anxiety and general anxiety disorder” over cocktails at the local.

When you go through the process and find yourself at the bottom of the dark pit, and your fingernails bleeding from trying to scramble out, and find that instead of making progress towards the light, you are sliding further back into the deep dank darkness of the pit.

For what ever reason you want to be “normal”, and also want to be able to cope with life’s little lemons in a happy bright sort of way – but then you realise at some point that maybe “normal” is an inappropriate level to aim for.  Maybe.

Surviving until 10h00.  Then 14h00.  Then until the kids go to bed, and you can climb into your bed, and just lie there and wait for Morpheus to come creeping.  You know how dark your darkest hour can be.  You know that when people tell you to “just be happy” or to “cheer up” that you would kill them with a spoon if it meant you could just be happy.

You have trying to be “happy” for years at this point, and it always seems to be like silver minnows swimming just below the surface of the water.  You catch glimpses, you keep thinking it is within your reach, but it never is something you can hold on to.

It seems okay to say you are depressed, but actually taking medication in the form of pills, every day, well that is just another issue.  Taking medication would mean admitting you really are sick.

And maybe not as “normal” as you try to look and feel.

As an adult and deciding this course of action for yourself is extremely difficult.  Even as society has developed and grown, there is still a stigma attached to being a bit of a loon and needing medication to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Of course there isn’t you scoff.

Yes, there is, I say.

Deciding that your child needs medication for depression, is something I hope I will never have to face.

I have enough baggage and guilt to deal with, without having to deal with the fact that it might be because of ME that my kids are not well adjusted and their brains are not able to adapt to the daily pressures of “normal” life.

Today I read about Shawn Roos’ piece and it made my heart jump – and my breath catch.

It’s a brave and insightful piece – read it:

Don’t let stigma and saving face stop you from saving your child.

We named Micah before we knew him, and as it turned out, around the very time he was born. My wife and I had decided to adopt and were filled with a sense of purpose. We met Micah in a chance encounter in the lobby of our church.

I remember saying to Nina as I looked at this 6 month old boy, rotund and all-cheeks “It feels weird looking at a child knowing that there’s  apossibility he may just become your child.” It’s an experience that only an adoptive parent will ever know.

Turned out I was right. Two months later, Simphiwe – now Micah – became our son.  Read the rest of this brave post here.

 

Parenting is not always about making the decision whether to go with the dinosaur or the pirate theme, sometimes it is about making those hard decision.

Our children need us to be parents, their guides, their pathfinders …. it’s difficult, and challenging, and not always a decision that we make easily, but not helping your child is not an option – how long do you wait and watch the damage continue before stepping in?

 

micah

Noise really does change the way you behave …

I have always been somewhat sensitive to sound, to light, to what I deem as “excessive” in either.  Sound is probably the most intrusive.

I also struggle with space and too many people being too close to me, or even being touched too much — I really struggled when my children were small and having them “ON ME” all the time as babies do.  That hot sticky milkiness was as lovely as it was a trigger to drive me to insanity in a green clown side-car.

It would make me feel very anxious and stressed, and I would feel the panic that starts to grip me when ever any of my senses are overloaded.

The problem with all of these “over sensory stimulation” issues is that if you do not realise what they are, and you do not understand why you react in a particularly (and in some cases) violent manner.

You start to convince yourself you are the village freak!

Because what could be wrong with your children touching you, talking to you really loud, in your face, and fighting with each other for who will clamber onto your lap?

It’s normal.  It is natural.

What is not normal, natural and rational is you edging with your back towards a couch or a wall, so that you are defending your back and only have to deal with the “attack” from the front.

This weekend we were away, and I really enjoyed it.  The only thing that makes me very stressed is that when you are travelling and away from home you generally are in situations where everyone is physically together.  Together in the car.  Together in what is usually much smaller accommodation to what you are used to.

Together in that you are walking around the Cango Wildlife Ranch and your children keep grabbing your hands, and hugging your legs, and everytime you sit down it is as if two of them turn into leeches and try to suck the life out of your head, because that is where they appear to be trying to sit.

And talking and talking.  In loud high pitched voices.

Noise and clingy-ness is a natural and normal part of having children.  I  try to adjust and breath through it.

I came across the term “misophonia” about two years ago.

I thought I had stumbled on to the holy grail when I found a support forum at http://www.misophonia.com.

I sat and read people who understood what I was going through.  Who were going through the same things – and they were talking to each other about it.  Rather than sitting in their room weeping because they could not bear to be shamed by “acting funny when there is a noise you do not like.”

I was fortunate to have a psychiatrist and a psychologist and a CBT guy I could chat to – so I was not feeling as lonely, misunderstood and desperate as many people whose only support mechanism is this forum.

The forum however made me realise that there are people like me, and people who suffer more.

I recall reading a post from a guy who had to move to a small town, as he could not deal with the surround sound you get in a city.  He also had to move to a place where he could walk to work, as he found the noise of the bus too noisy, and it would put him into a state of panic.

I saw this post on the forum recently, and I wanted to share it with you:

Once again I would like to affirm uncategorically, this is indeed a real condition, with real physiological changes in the bodily functioning, even if we cannot ‘prove’ it yet.

This is not some weird psychological condition that you created for whatever reason for yourselves.

The over riding pattern of onset, identical histories and reactions, having evaluated 100s of patients and corresponded with 1000s by phone or email or Skype…..it is all to me one long running documentary that supports the fact
the Selective Sound Sensitivity/Miso is indeed a real condition, a genuine alteration or aberration in the way the central nervous system is functioning.

Many people struggle with this, every day I am asked, isn’t this just a psychological issue, like a phobia?

No, it is not.

Every day I am asked, people think I could just stop it, but I can’t. If I try harder, can I stop?

No. No more than you can try to stop the red blood cells from flowing into your arteries and veins. No, you cannot stop it by thinking your way out of it. No, you cannot stop it by simply ‘stopping’ it.

You can control your reactions, you can keep a public face, you can manage your environment for your best outcomes and highest comfort.

I really need to be clear here, in my own words, carefully chosen as I do not want to paint of picture of hopelessness, I want to affirm the fact that 4S/mis is a true condition that has biochemical and genetic components.

How we can change that is all up for grabs right now, some approaches are proving more effective than others.

And I do not mean to imply that proper psychological counseling does not help those who suffer, it surely does!

But that in itself, does not ‘cure’ 4S/miso, it can certainly alter how we manage our responses.

I need to say this often, I get so many calls or emails from people, parents, desperate for help or information and many have been told they have an emotional/mental problem. Every day I see kids who have been diagnosed with all kinds of things who primarily show signs of 4S/miso more than any other symptom.

Please, believe me, I have proof of the pudding with 15 years of contacts and direct clinical experience, this is real, this is physical, this is going to be imaged one of these days.

Dr. Marsha Johnson, Audiologist

I had spoken to my audiologist, my ear specialist, my CBT guy and my psyciatrist and none of them had ever heard of Misophonia.

The point I am trying to make with this is not that it DOES NOT EXIST, but the fact that it does, and it is often so poorly recognised that the medical fraternity does not diagnose it and thus treat it – or supply advise and expertise on how you can deal with it.

I cannot tell you how I felt a sense of “see I was right” when I had searched and searched and spoken to people about my aversion to sound, and how it sets me off.  How it changes the way I feel.  And what a revelation it was to know that it is real, and there are thousands (maybe millions) of people who struggle with the same.

How noise or particular sounds puts me into an advanced state of panic and anxiety.

Most people associate it as a symptom of anxiety and stress disorder, but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe it is a “thing” that sets off the anxiety and stress, and not symptom of it.

Misophonia Symptoms:  People who have misophonia are most commonly annoyed, or even enraged, by such ordinary sounds as other people clipping their nails, brushing teeth, eating, breathing, sniffing, talking, sneezing, yawning, walking, chewing gum, laughing, snoring, typing on a keyboard, whistling or coughing; certain consonants; or repetitive sounds. Some are also affected by visual stimuli, such as repetitive foot or body movements, fidgeting or any movement they might observe out of the corner of their eyes. Intense anxiety and avoidant behavior may develop, which can lead to decreased socialization. Some people may feel the compulsion to mimic what they hear or see.

Misophonia it is a real condition people.

stop popping that gum.  stop slurping that soup.  for the love of god stop chewing so damn loud.  leaves room.  slams door.  lies on bed in room where it is quiet until the kids find me.

{another good resource – http://misophoniasupport.tumblr.com/}

misphonia

Sense of responsibility ….

I saw my therapist earlier this week – cognitive guy, not pill guy.

We had a bit of a catch up as I had not seen him in a few weeks.

I explained what had happened with chemist guy, and that I had been on the incorrect meds for the last three months, and we discussed how much strain I had been under since December, and how in part it was due to the shift in meds and the fact that I was under and incorrectly medicated.

Long conversation and he started talking to me about how I felt I carried the responsibility for the incorrect medication, which added to the difficulty of being able to go back and speak to the pharmacist.

Logically I could explain that the error lay with the pharmacist.  I sensed there was something not right and had queried it twice.  I felt something was wrong, but after being assured that actually it was correct, then I put my head down and just took the stuff, because two people had told me I was wrong {even though I knew that they were wrong}.

We spoke about the need for me to go back to the pharmacist and explain that he was incorrect.  I explained that the idea of doing that would make me so very uncomfortable.

Dr Cognitive explained that the pharmacist had trained and that was his job to issue the correct medication.  He asked that if the pharmacist had trained and he had made the error and swapped something out, why was I feeling responsible.

I explained that maybe he had asked me to substitute medication, and maybe I had said yes.  I said I should have checked the script.

Dr Cognitive asked how I would have done that if the pharmacist kept the script.

I just said I should have made a copy and cross checked it {you can see logic has no real place in full blown anxiety disorder}.

Dr Cognitive was trying to hammer the point home that I was not responsible for the incorrect script, that surely I could see that the pharmacist held the responsibility.

I had followed the medication and taken it according to the stickers on the boxes, I had followed up and checked to be sure.  The error lies with the pharmacist.

Somehow in this I am responsible that the incorrect medication got given to me, some how it was my error.  I should have known.  I should have checked.  The onus is on me to have made sure it was right.

And this really is an illustration of what is at the core of a great deal of my stuff in my every day life.

Everything is my fault – if something goes wrong, somehow I should have known and anticipated that it was going to go wrong and seen it.  Some how I should have.

When things happen, I always feel like I hold all the responsibility.

You not having a good time?  Don’t worry somehow I should have made sure you did, and it is my fault.

No matter what the situation I always feel like I am on the backfoot.  Instead of being able to assess a situation and see that maybe I share some responsibility, I always feel like it is all my responsibility to ensure things go right, go perfect – it adds a huge amount of weight/responsibility to my day and it is a bit on the exhausting side.

So you see it is not just about going over the pharmacist guy and saying “Hey dude, you might have made a little error over here ….”  it is a bit more than that.

Dr Cognitive and I have a lot of work to do.  Logically I can GET that I need to be realistic, and that I also need to accept that not everything is about me, but that requires me to empower myself, and at the same time be able to express how I feel and be heard.  Which I fail at miserably, and impacts most of my days.

It’s a big ask – and this is the year for letting go of {some} of the sense of responsbility, and accepting that I cannot control and thus be responsible for everything.  Baby steps right?

<<an inflated sense of responsibility is a  standard side effect of anxiety and panic disorder>>

Somedays I wish I could sort out all the sh*t on my 12 things list ……

I struggle with life a bit. Who am I kidding? I struggle with life a lot.

And this year has been a bit epic for me.  So many things did not go as planned, so many things got totally out of control.   Mainly in my head.  Then in my life.

I seem to have got a handle on my obsessive compulsive stroke panic and anxiety stuff  – which had totally overtaken my life this year.

Can you say freak out?

I can’t say whether it was an “attack” or a series of “attacks” or an “episode.”  It has been pretty hellish.  Like a roller coaster, but without the aid of tracks and a seat belt.

Either way it left me shattered and clinging on to reality though clenched teeth, and bleeding finger nails.

Now?  I am not best, but I am better than I was.  My grasp is tentative at best, but I really do feel as if I am at least aiming in the right direction.

I am seeing a psychologist who specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy.  I also see a psychiatrist who keeps me medicated up to my gills.  I believe this will reduce as my coping mechanism kicks in.

CBT is really hard work.

It is much easier to lie on the couch and blame my mother and life, but CBT really holds a mirror/magnifying glass up to your stuff and makes you questions every aspect.

It doesn’t deal with the “past” it deals with “today” and what you are doing “today” and how you can alter your thought processes about “today.”

It is not a quick fix.  It is not as simplem as I am suggesting here.  Dr CBT is pretty good, and I try to see him every week.

The longer the gaps between my visits, the further I notice I drift off into the abyss.  Yes, a somewhat co-dependant relationship if there ever was one.

It is a bit alarming as you drill down to the root cause of stuff, and sometimes you realise, that actually you are a bit sad and stupid, when you sort of thought you were a bit awesome.

There are many things I need to let go or change – and these are some of them:

1.  Internet and Social Media Dependence.  I have spent much too much time trying to find validation in cyberspace, when in reality, I need to find it with me first before I can even think of standing in cyberspace.  I have been the instigator, and in some cases the victim of so much crap.  It makes me all shaky and sweaty just thinking about it.  Having bad judgement and trying to operate in cyber space has not been a great combination. <palm slap with hand>.  Right now I am pretty much off most/all social media, and lurk around only really on my blog.

2. It is not always my responsibility.  I can live life without it being “if I do not do it, no one will” mentality or “it happened because I did or did not do something”.  So what if no one does it?  So what if you stand back and let it happen? So what?  Leave it.  It is not always your problem to fix it.  You cannot fix the world. Right now you are stuggling to button your shirt, leave the world’s probelms to someone else.

3. I am not as important as I think I am.  When I walk in to a room, people do not actually stop what they are doing and look at me and make a judgement.  Really I am not that important to them.  No one gives a shit.  Even those who do make a judgement – really does it matter, and really in a group how many people are there that truly judge you negatively?  And how many people think about the stuff I do or say as much as I think they do.  Trust me, hardly anyone.  No one gives a fig.  Except you.

4. Name the emotion and deal with it individually.  I paint my fears with a big brush.  I paint all my crap with a big brush.  Much easier to have a blanket description and then sit and tremble in the corner.  I can’t do that because it makes me feel anxious.  I don’t want do that because I am afraid.  Does it really make you feel anxious only, or are there other emotions there? Well, actually yes, I am nervous, I am a bit anxious, I am scared and I am afraid. Okay, so that is four different emotions, let’s work through each of those instead of thinking that it is all anxiety.  Makes it easier if you break something down to work through it.  See what each emotion is about, and deal with it.  A bit like eating an elephant ……

5.  Stop putting pressure on yourself to always feel a certain way.  I feel I am meant to always enjoy being with my children.  So when I am with them, and I am not enjoying it, then I feel guilty and I start a bit of self-flagellation because I should love it.  And that is pretty much the cycle for a lot of things. I need to stop telling myself I “should feel anything” and just feel it as it is, and accept it.  Not just about my kids, about so many aspects of my life.  Stop dictating to yourself you are meant to be or feel a certain way.  Who decides this?  Why are you dictating to yourself.  Stop!

6.  You cannot change anyone, so deal with it.  It drive me crazy when so-and-so does such-and-such. It drives me totally off my rocker.  Ask yourself, can you change them?  Generally the answer is no.  If they do it all the time, then accept that it is the way they do things.  Having a shit fit every time, is only making you more insane.  Does it really matter that so-and-so does such-and-such?  Really?  Like in the bigger scheme of things?  Probably not so much.  Well, then do not get so worked up by it, as you cannot change it and you have no influence.

7.  If you don’t like something or don’t want to do something, why do you force yourself to do it?  Well that one is sort of self-explanatory.

8.  What is the worst that can happen? Really if you say something and someone feels bad, can you control how they feel or what they think?  No, so why constantly bereit yourself.  So what if it happens that way, so what?  Is it really that bad? No.  Do you consciously set out to hurt people?  No.  Can you control what people feel or think?  No.  Then stop sitting there taking responsibility for it.

9.  Spend more time in the present and less time in the “what if it does happen” future and “oh god it happened like this last time, I am sure it will happen like this now” past.  Just BE. Just BE.  You are missing out on so much running around in your head.  Sit in the sun, sip your wine, smell the lavendar.  That is all.  Feel the sun on your face.

10.  Stop having this insane dialogue with yourself over every possible issue.  It’s done.  It’s over.  You do not have to relive the conversation over and over again and persecute yourself.  You can’t go back.  You can’t do it differently.

11.  Why judge yourself in the worse possible light?  You cannot actually be as sh*t as you think you are.  Really, you can’t.  More people like you and more people understand you than you think.  Stop being so harsh on yourself.

12.  Just let life live.  Don’t plan so much.  Don’t run it over and over in your head so much.  Stop with the fkn lists.  Don’t try to predict so much.  Don’t try to work in every possible eventuality.  It’s life, it happens, and then you adjust.  It just is.

13.  Drink less wi…….. actually no, stop at 12. 13 is such an unlucky number.

So how are you? And other polite conversations …..

As is customary, most people start a conversation with how are you.

The problem is I battle to reply in the customary: “I am fine, how are you?”

I am not “fine” so tend to say: “I am okay, not great, but okay.  Better than I was a month or two ago….. but okay.”

And then the person looks awkward, and I shuffle my feet.  And then I drawl “Any the wayyyyy ….. ” to sort of act as an ice-breaker.

Never works.  But I repeat this action none the less.

I am still seeing my psychologist guy.  I am not making a great deal of progress. I start these things with such gusto, and then I realise that they are so much work, and then my shine reduces slightly.  And I slump on the couch a bit more.

At the moment I feel part of things, but not.  I do not seem to have the resources to take part whole heartedly in anything.  At the moment breathing; going to work, attempting to appear vaguely “normal” takes all my energy.

So I feel pretty much like the “third person” to my life at the moment.

Not ideal.  No, sadly not.

My medication is probably not “quite right” but I am also reluctant to mess around with them right now.  There is just too much going on, and I do not want to atttempt and adjustment right now.

My physical symtoms include:  a little shake (of my hands) that gets worse as the day progresses; I yawn so much that my jaw gets sore; I am not “lie on the bed and sleep” tired, but I just cannot stop yawning and feeling fatigued; I feel like I am over there, but the other me is over here, so it is a bit disorientating.

I take some stuff to make me go to sleep at night.  I take some stuff to keep me asleep at night.  Works well.

The problem is if our house got hit with a tornado, I would go quietly in my sleep.

Kennith has been less happy with the fact that if the kids wake up, I am so dead to the world, that he always has to deal with it.  I think he is also concerned that in the event of a fire, he will be carrying three children, and a semi-conscious wife out the door.

My appetite has gone for a bit of a ball. I am seriously just not that interested in food.

I do love food though.  I am even partial to a bit of McDonalds which is actually the perfect meal.  By the time my brain has clicked that I am eating, the meal is finished.

So pretty much it is over before my brain can tell me that it is does not want food.  Works well. Or doesn’t.

Any the wayyyyy (see how that works) …….. so it is not all great, but it is okay.  Kennith is presently winning awards for “the most patient and enduring spouse.”

The mania of extreme panic and anxiety has passed — to a large degree (and I use the term mania very loosely as I am not manic).

I am still a bit wired, so I find when I do something that requires concentration for any length of time, I walk away feeling very frazzled and more shaky.

The small things are not as overwhelming as they were.

I spend less time doubting myself, and in obsessive destructive behaviour or thought processes.

I spend a bunch less time on the internet.

I am still avoiding a lot of the forums and blogs I used to troll.  I don’t have the energy to take on other people’s issues, and also the “urge” to interact much.  So I have missed where everyone is and what everyone is doing.

I sleep at night.

Earlier this morning my friend Judith asked me: “Are you back in the saddle?”

I replied: “Well I am in the saddle, but the horse appears to have fled …. So I am sort of kicking my heels in the dust going giddy-up ….. fake it til you make it they say!”

And that is pretty much how it is with me.

So how are you?

Hello ….. my name is Reluctant Mom and I am an internet addict …….

So, one of my issues (several) is that I have started slipping further into cyberspace and further out of reality.

I began to dodge real-life things so that I could spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums, and just cruising around the net.

I got really irritated with the kids because if they would just stop demanding time from me I could herd them into their beds, and spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums.

It became extremely important how people in cyberworld viewed me.  CRITICALLY IMPORTANT IN FACT.

Their comments lifted me up as well as smacked me down. If I did not get recognition for it in cyberspace then it did not matter.

I would read, re-read, and re-read my comments to ensure that it sounded right in my head.  It was not unusual for me to read one of my comments 12 – 18 times before pushing send/reply/publish and often changing it several times over.

Each time I read it, I would read a more critical tone into the wording.  I would read the way other people would hear (read) and then I would pre-judge myself (before they did)

Any comment made or given in reply was fraught with angst.  I always read the worst in to what anyone said to me or about me, or as a comment to me.

I would push the refresh button constantly on the look out for the response.  I literally would hang on waiting and waiting for the response.  As much as I dreaded a critical word, I would hang and wait for it.

I would be devastated when my comment would hang there in cyberspace without a reply comment.  My worst feeling was being the last person to comment on a thread.  I felt like I was Jane-no-mates and had killed the conversation when mine was the last comment.

This of course fed into my sense of “rejection” and “I did not matter to anyone.”

Real life and cyber life started blurring around the edges.  I felt that real life was a bit too tricky to remain present in, so the blur of cyberlife became much more appealing and much easier to navigate.

In cyberworld I did not feel as awkward as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel as self-conscious as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not fret over my every word and action as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel so unpopular and such a misfit as I did in real life.

I felt I was knowledgeable, liked and respected in cyberlife, while in real life I was everything but.

I did not think people had ulterior motives as I felt they did in real life.

Until I did.

Sooner or later, unfortunately I followed me where ever I was.

Sooner or later, I started to feel as awkward, as self-conscious, as guilt laced, and wracked with self-doubt on blogs and on forums.

Every word uttered by everyone was judged according to what I thought of myself.  It was always seen as judgemental/critical and pessimistic, no matter how “jolly” or “supportive” the writer tried to be.

Fortunately I am not a gamer or a gambler.  I have no real interest in throwing large sums of hard-earned money at an imaginary world where I buy cyber-cool brands and furnish my cyber-home and purchase a cow.

I am just not that into that side of it.  Fortunately.

But I will admit that my fixation on blogs and forums and Facebook and googling-random-things did get totally away with me.  It became all-consuming and I totally allowed it to get away from/with me.

It allowed me to hide further away from some of my real issues.  At the same time it fed into my irrational feelings and judgement about myself, and escalated the negative light in which I see myself (and several others around me.)

In short, it skewed my perception of reality.

I really missed my blog, so I have cautiously started lurking around here a bit.

I do miss several other blogs and forums that I used to read/follow religiously.  Right now I just needs a bit of time to “get my shit together” before I start lurking through other people’s lives.

I apologise if I have not been by to visit.  Please do not take it as a personal insult or slight on you. Right now I just need a bit of space to find myself, or at the very least not loath myself.

But onwards and upwards.  Right?

<I thought this was quite an interesting tool.  http://www.keepmeout.com/en/ >

Formaldehyde and other musings ….

I have recently returned from my “running away from home” episode.

Granted I did not actually leave my suburb for my medical care, so really it was not running particularly far.  And to be blatantly honest Kennith dropped me off.  So it was more “being dropped off” than “running away.”

It was a bit surreal to be “around the corner” from where the rest of my life appeared to be carrying on, but with me no longer in the starring role.

Several people have asked “How have the kids been?”

Thank you for enquiring.

As much as I would love to beat my chest and milk this for all it’s worth, they have been pretty much “unscathed” “unawares” “un-rattled” by my absence.

This of course does raise all sorts of questions regarding my importance Iin my children’s lives.

Considering I was away for nearly three weeks and got a cursory “Hey mom, are you sleeping over at the house tonight?” on my return did sort of burn.

It does make me suspicious that the “apron strings” are possibly not as secure or absolute as I initially thought.

I would like to congratulate Kennith and I on having well-balanced and secure children who are able to function even if mom is “unforeseeably detained.”  This may bode well as we suggest boarding school in the not too distant future, and longer holidays away from home sans children.

That is what I am taking from this experience at any rate.

I am on a fair supply of medication and combined with a very dutiful psychiatrist and psychologist I seem to be making some headway.

I am not sure in which direction, but I leave that to people I pay at an exhorbitant hourly rate to think about on my behalf.

I am gauging I am making some progress by their faint smiles and slight inclinations of their heads.  I do jump to far too many conclusions which are always rather pessimistic and somewhat fatalist in nature, and often cause me undue stress.

Adding it to my “to do list” of things to work on.

On another matter …

Connor brought a dead snake home after a play date.   I am not sure of this new custom, but I plan to be giving small dead animals to all the little boys who come over and play at my house from this point moving forward.

Driving yesterday Kennith asks me “How can we preserve a dead snake?”

Why I should know this piece of information say versus him, was not clear.  But having a uterus and a quick wit, and I suggested formaldehyde.

The go-to-chemical for most things I would presume if it is somehow connected to death and lifeless children’s playthings.

Kennith tut-tutted me and said he was sure paraffin or thinners would work equally well.  I rolled my eyes and looked out the window.

Kennith is a bit of a bargain hunter.  If the “real” stuff is R25.00, he will find a way to use a R5.00 stuff and get the value out of it.    Or better, purchase the R25.00 stuff and bargain the seller down to R5.00 and get
him to throw in a boerewors roll.

This principle cannot be applied to shoes, for which Kennith has an Imelda-Marcos-obsession.

No price is high a price for shoes that look practically identical to me, to the other few dozen/hundred he has already in his wardrobe.

Every time he comes home lovingly fondling a pair, trying to explain to me why this style is technically more advanced than the other 200 he has, I tend to glaze over.

But back to the dead snake.

I think Kennith googled and it seems formaldehyde is just the thing (the only chemical suitable) to preserve the dignity of a dead snake.

Interesting fact – chemists do stock it, but you need to pre-order it and it takes 2 – 3 weeks.

In the event that you want to preserve dear old gran, just remember to pre-order sufficient formaldehyde else you will be in for a nasty supply problem, and risk a smelly old person in your lounge.

Regarding the snake, I suggested I did not think it was a good idea to keep a dead snake, in a glass jar, in formaldehyde in our house, with a two-year old, who already unscrews things and regularly drinks my contact lense solution.

But I was vetoed. And we drove to a 24 hour chemist.

Fortunately the gods of the chemist were on my side, and they did not hold formaldehyde in stock, though were happy to order it.  Strange much?

Hopefully by tonight the dead snake is either in our large dustbin or given a pauper’s funeral in our back garden.

But I am sort of back from the dead.

I am still very out of step with “real life” and trying to acclimatize to appear normal.

One day at a time. Right?

<I really want a t-shirt like this>

So the other day at the crazy house ….

Okay so the truth is that I have been at a “mental” or “psych” or “place to get a little rest from real life with a nurse’s emergency button and a rather large assortment of medication” (use the one you feel most comfortable with) clinic for the past two weeks.

The posts you have been seeing are posts I wrote some time ago that I cleverly put on “schedule” so they pop up religiously.

Ah yes, the measures I go to keep up my facade.

Yes, I know, I am a total fraud!!

I have been without internet access (to a large degree by choice), for the better part of two weeks.

I have also been doing something they call occupational therapy but I like to refer to as “lick and stick.”

I will make a confession. I have done decoupage. Mosaics.  I made boxes out of card. I made bath salts.  I made a set of coasters – a mosquito got stuck in the gloss stuff I put on top.  The irony was the coaster said: “It is not where you have been that matters, it is where you are going…”

There is a long and sordid reason why we need to do these things – something about self esteem and concentrating on the here and now, yada, yada.  The bizarre thing is we shuffle in to the room like lambs to the slaughter.  Everyone dons plastic aprons, and then sits down and obediently does the task at hand.

It is wildly bizarre.  But there I was crafting …. I know, the horror!!

<I secretly enjoy it>

That being said it has altered my misconception that the only people who do arts-and-crafts wear hemp, eat organic tomatoes and home school.

I have sat in some awe-inspiring group work sessions, and learnt about myself and a few other people that “might” have changed my perception of the map of my world

The clinic is very nice.

They feed me every two hours.  EVERY TWO HOURS.

They ring a bell when the food is ready.  The result is that the bell rings, you salivate, you walk over to the food area, and start dishing up food whether you are hungry or not. (Can you say Pavlov’s dog…..)

They give us meds and we have to stand in a queue (not dissimilar from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

The lady who sleeps in the bed next to me asked me how the bath works ….. I had to show her how the plug worked and the taps. (I have no idea what that was about either).

On occasion when you are fast asleep, in the middle of the night, a nurse will come and shine a bright torch in your eyes.  When you awaken dazed and confused she will ask you if you are sleeping …..I am too stunned to question this behaviour.

Again I have no idea what that is about.  Personally I think the nurses dare each other in the nurses station to go and f*k with the patients, and who ever loses paper-scissors-rock has to go and do a dare.

That is the only explanation I have for this behaviour.

I met a lovely friend who was convinced that Mr Delivery was smuggling drugs in via sandwiches.  Drugs that only the nurses were taking.  It was difficult to argue that logic there, as I do think there is a fine line between the patients, the staff and the visitors.

I though the one guy was a visitor, until I realised I had seen him for three days, and he was still wearing slippers.  That alone qualified him as a patient.

<I don’t wear slippers. I wear boots, no matter what the occassion>

The over-riding fact was that a Mr Delivery Man had not actually entered the premises in the two weeks I had been there.

So far (one of) my favourite conversations have been:

Patient A: Are you are on Facebook?

Me: Yes, actually.

Patient A: You must hook up with me on Facebook and we can be friends.  My name is ****** you can find me there if you look.

Me: Er okay (knowing full well that I wasn’t going to, as they frown on patients fraternising with each other.)

Patient A:  We can be friends and chat, and then go out for coffee and I will take you to McDonalds.

Me (getting excited that I was being asked out on a date): Cool that will be great.

Patient A: …. little crease on his brow ……..leans over really close ……… Are you married?

Me: Actually, yes.

Patient A: Well in that case, never mind. (and continues to read his book.)

Me….gutted …….

It has been a difficult two weeks, and I have not always had the most lucid of moments, but I have spent a lot of time with a very nice psychiatrist and a divinely lovely psychologist who are helping me work through my stuff.

<Let’s just say it is a lot of stuff>

I have enough meds to make me appear vaguely normal.

I had a hand tremor that was a bit disturbing but has subsided.  Fortunately there are no signs of anal leakage, so that is a definite up!

The laundry charges R1.00 to wash/iron and fold one item.  Best deal in town.  I am starting to send them not dirty stuff just for the joy of the experience.

Today I am doing a desensitising exercise and am sitting in a public place for two hours and trying to stay aware of “the present” rather than panicking that I might panic because I have panicked before, and because I have panicked before, then obviously I must panic now, and then I panic.

I am attempting to drink a pot of tea.  I am attempting to take deep even breaths.  I am attempting not to look like I am having a total nervous breakdown.

I am trying to not have a total freak out because there is noise and people.  I am also abusing their wi-fi connection (as I have been away from web access for two weeks, and well somethings we just crave….).

I am due back in a few minutes, so have crammed a bit into my few hours of “appearing normal.”

I might also risk going to Clicks and buying a 2-for-1 special (something for some reason I have a totally unreasonable aversion/fear/phobia about).

So that is me.

How have the rest of you been in blogland?  What’s new, what’s happening?

Monday mutterings ….

Kennith and I acquired a car that definitely screams “Your Sexy is Never Coming Back!”

We officially look like a family of plumbers or electricians.

The issue being we wanted 7 seats and a boot.  Not two kids in the boot.  Which appears to be the default design for most “big family” cars.

Problem with some of the bigger cars/soccer mom vans was they did not fit into our garage.

Crazy people who built our house, ignoring things like standard garage size and good paint.

We test drove a white VW Caddy.  Decided that even though it did not drive us wild with excitement. It did appear to be very practical, and loosely within our price range.

We then explained to the friendly car salesman that we were interested in the car, but could we have it in silver.

The answer was yes, but we had to wait four months.  Kennith and I cannot feasibly juggle our lives and one car.

There was an alternate to the white one.  It was brown.

I realised my mental capabilities are flawed at the moment.

But seriously.

It must have been a very bad day at the VW Caddy factory when they decided that “brown” was a great colour for a car.

Brown is super for chocolate and some furniture.  I have seen pants and shoes that brown works for.  Tree bark is totally rocking in brown.   Baby poo is better in brown, than say green.

But not for cars.

I am not sure there EVER is a time when brown is a great colour for a car.  I might be wrong.  Maybe I have just never seen the right shade of brown on a car.

Maybe.

We are now the proud owners of a “very hot and happening” VW Caddy.  Please keep an eye out at your next robot.  Or call us on our new 0800 number.  We also do paving.

On another non-related story …

Wednesday I popped down to the psychiatrist for a little “how are those meds going?” visit.

The short answer was “not well.”

Things are definitely very out of control. In my head.  Not on the planet in general.  Though they could be.

I suggested we stop pea-shooting the charging rhino and bring out the big guns.  A bazooka or an uzzi is sort of where I am pitching this.  I am about done with the “wait and see” subtle approach.

Let’s get it on like Donkey Kong!

Right?

We have brought out the big guns.  They include several boxes from the pharmacist.

I would love to say they are working a treat.  I really would.

They have however left me shaking and mumbling under my breath, and well feeling pretty crappy all around.  I must confess that sleep is no longer a problem.

So far Kennith has made me about 6 cups of tea that I never drank. He offers. I say yes.  He walks to the kitchen. By the time he gets back I am mimicking a light coma.

If you challenged me in rock-paper-scissors I would get it wrong right now.  I might pull out wig-wam.

Wig-wam does not beat anything.

On the upside I am definitely less panicked.  Still anxious.  But less panicked.  Not a total win-win situation, as I have gained have several other interesting side effects which we can chat about on another post (None of them include anal leakage – have you noticed how the insert  on drugs always refers to anal leakage at least once occurring in one of the control groups?).

On Friday afternoon I called my pdoc (Pdoc is short for psychiatrist.  Tdoc is short of psychologist.  True story.) and explained my symptoms.  I really was not feeling great.  Grim might be an accurate assessment.

He suggested I keep on with the meds, and I have had a bad reaction.  Maybe Monday or Tuesday I would see a shift in the right direction as my body (read brain) settled down.

I explained to him that I am not a suicidal person.  But Friday morning had me working out a plan.  Like jotting it on the side of my box of anti-depressant type of plan.

Even I could see this was not a healthy direction.  For anyone.

He suggested I wait it out.  And not to worry as I was not alone.

He is off until the 12 September on holiday.  Ironic?

I wished him a good holiday. And hung up.  I decided a lie down and a cup of tea, was not my worst idea.  I redrafted my plan on my brown box.

Let’s see how Monday and Tuesday fare.

Overall.  Me = Not Great.

I survived today …. tomorrow though is a different story

Well, that day is over.

I survived, though granted I am still trying to pull shrapnel out of my arse.

I can honestly say I had a total catastrophe/paranoid/worse case scenario/I might just lock myself in the grocery cupboard few hours.

Nothing changed.  Time just moved forward.  I calmed down. A bit.

Kennith is away. He is in Utah – we have spoken about him maybe seeing if he can pick up a second wife.  I am not quite cutting it right now, and I am now convinced that a second wife might not be all that bad.

At the moment I can only see the perks, though I must insist on my own bathroom – that is really where I draw the line.

I can call her my sister-wife.  It will be fine.  Kennith says he has not been actively looking but he will try if it important to me.

Georgia is officially trying to drive me further to insanity.  Today I told Connor that he is officially the “good one” because Georgia has been co-opted to being the “child who does not listen.”

On that note.

I decided to treat the kids to a healthy McDonalds dinner.  They like McDonalds.  Sure it dumps about a ton of crap into the landfill every day, but they can serve a burger and fries like no one’s business.

I ordered, we sat down.  Isabelle went berserk.

I am seldom embarrassed by my kids in public.  Isabelle officially made me embarrassed at McDonalds – and you must realise to be embarrassed at McDonalds must be impressive.

The problem with a two-year old who cannot/does not/chooses not to talk is that you have no idea why they have tears coming out of their eyes, and snot bubbles being issued from their nose whilst they are frantically pointing in a general direction and screaming.

After you have played the game “pick up everything and pass it to her and she smacks it away and screams louder” I finally twigged she wanted a cool drink she could hold, with her own straw.

Like her brother and her sister had.

I want to be very clear on this point, that the system of elimination to get to this particular result was quite wide and included (but is not limited to) : chips, a McDonalds toy, an old McNugget on the floor, Connor’s school jacket, my phone, my wallet, the McDonalds tray, the little white dish that holds the tomato sauce….

I gave Connor R20.00 sent him to the counter and said “just buy a cool drink quickly.”

Isabelle stopped crying.

I sat there and wondered exactly who was training who in this equation.  How has a two-year old managed to whip my arse so well with such skill, and not using any language what so ever?

On the drive home she wanted the cool drink.

I gave it to her.

She dropped it.

I tried to drive and simultaneously dive behind my seat (whilst still strapped in and driving the car) to grab the now spilling creme soda it so it would not spill more over my already dirty car – I do have some pride you know!

I took my foot of the brake.  The car lunged forward into a road.  Fortunately there was no traffic.  I screamed at Connor to help me.  He tried to lean into the back behind the driver’s chair without taking his seatbelt off.

Isabelle is screaming like her leg is being chewed off.

Georgia is singing about fairies in rain coats.

I am staring through the windscreen wondering why I have been forsaken in this manner, and then quickly trying to calculate how much time I have until bed time.

Retrieve cool drink.

Put it in drinks holder in front of car.

Isabelle screamed the entire drive home.

I am so looking forward to this day being over … though inevitably it means tomorrow has to start.

Saturday I have two birthday parties to attend, and one birthday party to photograph in the afternoon.

Me + happy screaming children + balloons + flammable liquid = not a probable good combination.

I am exhausted right now.  I need to go and wrap presents and make happy birthday cards for tomorrow morning.  I know I want to leave it to tomorrow morning but that will just be chaos.

<note to self, ask pill doctor to relook at my script, really not working on so many levels>

I love Epic Fail Moments … and I seem to be doing them regularly ….

Okay so what do we know about me.

1.  I have three kids, I am not your run of the mill mom.

2.  I work, and I work because I enjoy it and to remain sane – I do not think I could be a stay at home mom.

3.  I suffer from chronic depression, anxiety and panic disorder, possibly with a light touch of OCD or even Tourette’s thrown in for good measure.  I also have a social phobia – and added to that a touch of what you could call sensory sensitivity i.e. too much sound, light, noise, touch sets off a few triggers.

4.  I am scary honest even when I do not want to be.

5.  I drink way too much tea and wine.

6.  I would walk a mile for a bag of Chuckles.  (I am lying, I might walk to the end of my drive way, but it is still a very far way).

7. I abhor smiley face icons.

Great so we know that.  Nothing new there.  Just checking we are all on the same page.

I really do not mind who reads my blog.

Really.

Okay, I prefer it if my mom did not read my blog.  But anyone else, be my guest.  It is a public forum, knock yourself out.

I get countless emails and messages from “moms who struggle” to say thanks for saying what they think and feel, and for saying it out loud.  I blog because it makes me feel a bit more “normal” each day – but it is nice to not be the only person who “struggles” with stuff.

I have commented that I enjoy my job, and the people are great, and blah blah blah pancakes.

But the physical closeness of people and the amount of noise has had me making regular visits to a psychiatrist and a psychologist and basically had me shut up at home because I am “afraid” of being at work.

Slightly career limiting move …. you think?

Because it is setting off panic and anxiety attacks, I can only spend so long crying in the toilets, before people start wondering if I have a bowel problem or a urinary tract infection that needs to be addressed.

Recently there was an office shift and a staff member got moved next to me.  She is lovely and sweet and all of those things.  If my mother sat next to me it would set me off.  It unfortunately escalated “my situation” and I spent a bit more time in the toilet cubicle and started dipping a bit more frequently in my “lunch box of pharmaceutical approved medication” which is all not ideal.

I struggle if my kids are close to me, too much of them near me and I start to shake, rattle and roll. <yes, it is loads of fun to be me, I am a ton of fun at parties and get togethers>

I posted a note about this a little while ago.

You know that mantra “You never know who reads your blog!

Well, bottom line is you don’t.

And I don’t really consider it too much else I might not say anything, or I might start censoring what I say and then I might as well write for …. You Magazine.

So far, all okay.

But then someone at work reads my blog.  Someone forwards it to someone else who forwarded it to someone else.  All who work 2 metres from me.

And it was off ….. like …. I don’t know what goes off?

So now not only do a few dozen (I am being modest) people in cyber space know that I am a full on whack job – but now a few hundred people in my office complex know that I am full on crazy as well, and making judgements accordingly. <sigh>.

I know there should be a bright side here, but I am seriously not able to find one.  I will wait for Natasha to find a way to politely comment, as sometimes she does manage to say it quite like it is and can make me snort even in the face of full on disaster.

The irony is I spoke to HR and asked her to keep it confidential, because I like to give the impression that I am mildly sane, it prevents the goats from getting afraid and scattering.  Work has actually been great in understanding I am having a “bit of trouble.”

You really cannot actually write a better fail moment than this one.

I would like to say “hi” to all of you from my office who might be reading this, and really you should not be spending company resources reading non-company related material during office hours. 

It is strictly prohibited and frowned upon.  I can also check the URL/ISP details so know who you are.  (I can’t, really, so don’t panic.)

To those who are not from my office, but know me – this is what I would call an epic fail moment, or …….. no, it’s just an epic fail moment, of which I had several this year.

On the upside I have sleeping pills.  I am weighing up whether one or twenty-seven is a good number for this evening.

No, really I am fine.  This is not some tragic cry for help. I am not quite throw myself off a ledge yet, but I have developed a wonderful case of catastrophe and panic going on – as we speak.

If you are crazy and you know it, and mildly to extremely embarrassed clap your hands!!

Clap clap!  You know the rest of the song, so I will leave it to you …….

Mugshot Monday …..

Today can only be described as an epic fail day.

I wake up, get the kids ready for school, prep myself for work, make tea and coffee, collect Isabelle put her in bed with some milk.

I sit down on the edge of my bed with my “clear lunch box” of medication.

I carefully read what I must take, the dosage and when.  I read them each day, even though I “know” what I should take and in what order.  It’s my little “thing” I do.

I throw them out in my hand and down them with my first sip of tea.

Good.

Me 1: Er, I seem to recall a blue pill in that handful, that looked like Stillnox (sleeping pill).  Was there a sleeping pill that has just gone down the hatch?”

Me 2: “Shit … shit ….. shit.  Check lunch box to see if pill is missing!”

Me 1: “There was definitely a blue pill in that handful.  It is 07h15 and I have just taken a sleeping tablet….shit!”

I phone Kennith and tell him.

He laughs, and laughs some more.

I say, it is fine.  I will get dressed and go to work and take it easy.

Kennith asks if I am crazy?  Considering the circumstances a bit insensitive and well, rhetoric actually.

Kennith then tells me to drop the kids off at school, head home and sleep.

I phone my work colleague to explain my predicament.  I work her up with my call.  Eventually I had to end the conversation because she would/could not stop laughing and I only had few moments of “being awake” left to me and could no longer listen to her raucous cackling in my ear.

I hustled kids into the car.

Drove really slowly.  Hugged the white dotted line the entire time.  Checked and rechecked the robot colours before going or stopping.

Kids got to school fine.

I found myself on two separate grass verges on the way home.

I probably should have got someone else to drive kids to school, it was not my best safe-parenting decision of the day.

However good decision-making & me have been estranged for some time.

I did make it home.  Fell in to bed and slept.

I had to set my alarm as I had a new psychiatrist’s appointment.

I liked the fact that I explained to him that I mixed up my meds and took a sleeping pill this morning, and he totally took that in his stride!

I might like this guy.

I thought I was in love … but I am just not that in to her ….

I had my second session with my psychiatrist yesterday morning.

Basically to see if I was able to sit on a couch and hold down a conversation.

Tick for that – job well done. And I did not cry.  Not even once.

We adjusted my meds a little bit, but the decision right now is to stay with what I have and see if that is fine for me. She did give me some additional “pop in an emergency” pills, so when I feel an anxiety attack (not the correct term, so forgive me there) coming on.

I can take one, and I believe that should be able to calm the storm – or stops me jumping off our one storey house, which ever is more apt.

I was sitting at my laptop last night and doing some photo editing and I felt this growing anxiety in me.  Totally not related to anything I was doing.

It started in my chest and seemed to spread out across my body.

I put it down to being really tired, and took a sleeping tablet and headed to bed – because I felt like it was a panic/anxiety attack, and was trying to hold a semi-normal conversation with Kennith while it was going on.

Some days I really need to get an “oscar nomination” for the work I do in appearing normal.

Some stuff going on with me:-

My mom and my step-father have been kind enough to take the kids for a few days, so I only have Isabelle at home which makes the “coping” easier.

Kennith leaves on a jet plane today for a trade show/or something, so he is gone for just over a week.  That makes me feel very anxious.  I can cope.  I can cope better when I know he is nearby.

Our freezer packed up last Thursday.  Fortunate told me. I forgot.  She told me again on Friday afternoon.  By that point I realised everything had melted or was melting (we have a big chest freezer number.)

I told Kennith on Friday late afternoon.  Kennith gets home (and this is why he needs to be called Captain Underpants) – he looks at it and goes “let’s buy another one.”

I want to clarity, it is Friday night at about 17h30.

He phones House and Home (or whom ever) and speaks to a guy who deals with Fridges.  He says you know model so-and-so fridge-freezer-double-stand-up-thing.  Guy goes yes.  Kennith goes, have you got one?

Kennith hops in the car and flies through to pay for it.

I am busy throwing a chicken in the oven.  Kennith gets back.  Before chicken is out, guy delivers our new fridge-freezer-double-stand-up-thing. (IT IS FRIDAY NIGHT, HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO THAT?)

The unpacking and repacking of the fridge and the fact that our kitchen looked like a grocery store had thrown up in it, made me very anxious,  So Kennith unpacked and repacked the fridge and freezer.

Of course now we have a broken chest freezer lying in our backyard.  The similarities to trailer park have not been completely lost on me.

Our lovely Pepe suffered an unfortunate personal blow last week.  Her brother, Kennedy died suddenly/under strange circumstances.

We found out in the morning and by 3pm she was on a bus/taxi back to Zimbabwe.  She is the card that my entire “house of cards” rests on, so that is a bit traumatic for me (I am not taking away from the fact that a death is a traumatic thing for her….. I know this is not all about me).

I am not sure how long Pepe will be away for.  I am worried about her and her family.  I am worried about me coping without her.

I have Fortunate helping me out (for which I am thankful, and yes, Fortunate).

What I mean is that Fortunate is deathly ill, and I have found enough meds to keep her vertical.  No really.  It appears I have a face that a pharmacist feels no qualms about giving S5 meds to without a script.  Clearly I have a winning smile and a kind glint in my eye.

It is unbelievable what I have got without a script.

Fortunate is at home alone with my young daughter.  I phone every 60 minutes to check she is conscious and has not set herself a light.  Clearly that is making me very anxious.

I had my first cognitive behaviour therapy this morning at 07h30.

I was really excited to get started and get some of “my stuff” on my list actioned.

I arrived bright and early.  Dr R arrived bright and early.  He looked at me.  I looked at him.  He looked at me.  He looked at his appointment book.  He said my name is not in there.

I felt our relationship was not off to a good start.  I left feeling a tad deflated/defeated/rejected.

I try again on Friday.

On the upside, can’t be much worse that today, right?

My psychiatrist mentioned “chakra” once too many times for my liking.

I really need to move on.  I think when she mentioned I need to “keep a notebook of things I am appreciative for” near me and jot stuff down.  That was probably the final blow in our relationship.

I mean, seriously anyone who has known me for 4.2 seconds would not suggest that to me.  Unless it was an April Fool’s joke or there was a bottle of wine involved.

I had booked an hour with her, so I did not feel rushed.

I was ready to leave after about 35 minutes.  Actually I was keen to leave after 15 minutes, but it is a bit like a date where you feel you must order coffee before leaving, so as not to appear rude.

I really do not need a pill doctor that I can lie on the couch and chat to, but I just need him/her to adjust my meds and then I can have a rational conversation with once a month.  My problem with the divine Dr D is I feel I am the rational person in the room, which I think is a recipe for disaster.

I really thought Dr D and I had a special relationship and I was nearly at the point of carving her name on my desk with my NT Cutter, but I think I need to start “looking for love” again, as it just is not working out.

Of course I feel terribly embarrassed to tell her that, and might need to reject her via sms ……

Saving myself one script at a time ….

I saw my brand new shiny therapist/psychiatrist on Monday.

I was very glad to find her in an emergency, and well, I was having an emergency. July was just not going to be good enough to wait for the other guy, so I kicked him to the curb, as you do with psychiatrists.

Being me, by Saturday I thought I felt better (that was after I had made the appointment.)

By Sunday I thought I was miraculously healed, so did not really need to see a doctor, and was totally over-reacting by making this appointment.  I mean, really!  Of course I am fine.  Never been better, in actual fact.

I usually get instantly cured the minute I sit in a doctor’s waiting room, and alway feel a bit sheepish going inside to tell them I am ill, when really I am fine, really, and I am sorry to be wasting your time, and try to leave as quickly as I can.

Then Connor chewed pork rind in my ear on Sunday afternoon, and I went a bit postal.

I was really glad I had Monday’s appointment scheduled.  Really glad, as I felt I had been hanging on by what ever you hang on with when your nails have been pulled from your finger nail beds.  Bloody stumps I would hazard a guess.

If you have not been to a therapist before, I won’t bore you with too much detail.

The short of it is that you spend an hour sitting around talking about yourself, while someone writes furiously and goes “uh huh” quite a bit.  Almost like a first date, just you pay by the hour here and no one is buying you drinks, to get you in the mood.

It is inevitable that you will cry – a great deal – even when you chew the inside of your lip to stop yourself crying.

I tend to find reasons why not to like someone.  That way all I have to do is to wait until I find “the thing” and then I can go “see, I knew I did not like you…”

I found it hard not to like Dr D even if just a little bit.  Not because she was not adorably cute or brilliant, I found her sincere and familiar, and human.  And well, just real …

She reminded me of a person who I chat to on a forum (and who I have met in real life) who goes by the avatar, Lo**F – which was strange, but oddly familiar.

A few strange things occured in the hour.

Strange #1

I was talking about something else totally, and out of the blue she goes “When did your father die?”

I stopped talking as I think I was talking about lemon meringue pie ior something, and I said “You know that is a bit out of left field right?”

And she said “Yes it was…” and then smiled and repeated the question: “So when did your father die?”

I told her the year, and she sort of looked at me, smiled slightly and carried on writing whilst I continued to tell her about Lemon Meringue pie.

Strange #2

She asked me something and I explained my religious belief system and my sense of spirituality.

Both of which I can summarise politely as being somewhat “barren and lacking in an anchor” at this stage in my life.

She stopped me and said “you are making me very anxious right now…”

I looked at her and I said: “You know I am the patient and you are the doctor.  I am panicky and anxious, and well …. it is not helping that you are getting anxious …. it is not helping me.  You know that right?”

Dr D: “Yes, but you are making me anxious, and I needed to take a breath before you carried on to centre myself and to reduce my anxiety that you are causing in me.”

Okay ….

Strange #3

She asked me if I would like on the doctor’s bed thing – I was sitting in the leather wing backed chair at the time.

I asked why and she said she wanted to help me relax and try to panic less.  I told her lying on a bed behind a screen in a stranger’s office was not going to make me panic less or relax.

I asked her what  exactly she was going to be doing while I was lying there.

She said she was not going to touch me.  But was going to put her hands above me, to assist me and transfer some of her calm energy to me (or something like that.) – I think she said Reiki.  I asked if it mattered whether I believed in what she was doing, or whether it was okay I just lay there with my eyes closed.

She suggested it might help if I believed her, but lying there was fine too.

I said that she was making me deeply sceptical about this entire process, but if she wanted me to have a 5 minute lie down on her table, then that was fine, as long as she did not physically touch me and I could leave my shoes on.

I lay on the bed, closed my eyes, listened to my heart racing and the rather LOUD ticking of the wall clock. I did not get calmer or more relaxed, but that might have been because the receptionist kept buzzing through that her next appointment had arrived.

Our time together came to an end.

We had spoken at length that I was not a fan of medication and had “gone it alone” for some time, and at about the time that she was congratulating on my “not taking medication” stand point.

I interrupted her (as I knew she had another appointment waiting) and said: “But today is not that day.  I need a script, and I want a script today – I can come again and we can chat again another day.  But today I need a script!  I don’t care what you put on the script actually, as long as it reduces my anxiety and panic, as long as it makes me sleep through the night.”

Strange #4

She is writing out the script and goes, in a sort of by-the-by voice “Are you suicidal?”

I look at her, well, like she is crazy actually, and I go “The right answer is no, right?”  She hands me my script (granted only with enough meds for two weeks) and I skipped to the chemist.

No doubt I will be seeing her soon.