Atelophobia …… Did you know this was even a thing?

150831_Atelophobia

 

Where do I sign up for this club?  You know how you thought you were just crazy and had insane thoughts, then you find out there is an actual word for it.

 

A bit like this.

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Have brain … cannot speak …..

I subscribe to an email which I receive  from the Daily Love each day.  The emails are exceedingly annoying and I often roll my eyes.

But for some reason I do not unsubscribe, though I am itching to.

I probably endure it as there are some of them that really resonate with me.  I scoff and tut-tut them, but the truth is that there is some “truth” in the rather sickly sweet emails and “universal love” messages that appear on my screen each day.

I tend to “delete” most of them, but my eye can’t help doing a quick scan and read.

Today’s email resonated with me a bit.

It dovetails well in to some of the stuff I am working through Dr CBT.  Most of it comes down to what you think the other person knows, but the reality is that they do not know what you want, so are not aware they are not giving you what you want.

In short.  Communication.

The other person doesn’t know, so they do not react accordingly or give you what you need, so you get angry and frustrated with them because they are not doing what you want them to do.

But they do not know.

And so it goes on.

I struggle with the line between not-assertive/assertive and demanding.

Assertive communicating allows for you to express what you need, in a manner that the other person is clear on what you would like them to do.

You make your point, without being judgemental and attacking.  You make it clear what you need in a situation.

You then give the other person the opportunity to respond.  The key difference between assertive and aggressive is the “demand.”

Aggression is you telling someone your preference, and then demanding they act accordingly.  You may demand internally – so you imply it – but it is the expectation that the other person HAS TO DO WHAT YOU WANT OR NEED THEM TO DO.

Assertiveness is you telling someone your preference and allowing them the opportunity choose to either go along with it or not.  It’s a preference and not a demand.  You realise that it is what you want, but you accept that the other person does not have to do anything.  You accept.  What you want is a preference and there is no universal rule that makes it everyone’s MUST DO.

Yes, you would prefer them to go with your preference, but you remain in the space where it is a “preference” and not a “demand.”

It does not mean you are not disappointed when they do not do it the way your preferred, but the key is to keep the thought that it is your preference that they do something, and not your demand.

You cannot force anyone to do something that you want, that they do not want to do – and expect a good result.  Simple concept, difficult to apply.

The reaction to someone not going along with your preference is annoyance.  The reaction to someone not going along with your demand is anger. ** key point.

I make an assumption, and then my assumption turns into my fact, and I start to plan/create feelings based on that – instead of communicating effectively and allowing the other person to state the way they feel, and then I check in with them to see whether my reality is their reality.

I walk in to a conversation with a pre-determined set of demands, because I have internally already had this conversation, so the conversation is not the exchange of preferences, but merely me stating my demands, having decided the outcome, and getting very angry when it does not go to plan.

<<Side bar – it never goes to plan ….. but this does not stop me from repeating the exact same “conversation” over and over again…>>

I saw this on the Daily Love and I read it and thought “Yep that is exactly what I do…”

I had an “ah ha” moment (love those!) over the Holidays. You know there’s a saying that goes something like this… If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with your family. You know what I’m talking about.

All those times you thought you had grown and become “so spiritual” go right out the door and BOOM – old habits come back like an itch you just can’t scratch.

When they first got here, I was so happy – and then the first hour passed and I noticed some of my old stuff coming up.

And I was shocked, I was SURE I had outgrown it. I went from an almost 30-year-old man into like a 5-year-old boy around them. It was SO funny.

A couple days later I was talking with my dad and I found myself really irritated at him.

And I didn’t know why. So I started asking myself while I was having a conversation with him “why do you feel this way?”

After a few minutes of inquiry I found out that all I wanted was for my dad to say I love you and ask how I was feeling.

And the irritation was coming because that unexpressed expectation wasn’t being met. And my dad had no idea all this was going on inside me.

I was the one who was aware of the Love that I wasn’t “getting” and I was mad about it.

My dad wasn’t aware of this. He has and does Love me the best way he knows how to, and he is a pretty kick ass Dad!

And this isn’t to say I didn’t get Love from them. No, I got a lot of Love – but there was a certain kind of Love that I felt was missing – and I got angry with them because I thought they were withholding it from me.

But my AH HA moment was the moment I realized that I was mad at THEM for something I was supposed to do.

So the breakdown is this… People give us Love the best way that they know how to. They can’t give it any other way than they do. And if we are trying to get orange juice from apples over and over again, not only are we going to keep getting let down, we are actually insane! Haha.

After I started treating my father this way, it was like an instantaneous shift in our relationship. And I didn’t go to him and tell him all this; I just started giving more Love.

My issue that I am having at the moment is that I cannot speak when something needs to be said.   I cannot tell someone what I need from them.  When I do not get what I need, I am hurt, and I then turn that into anger.

But I am not telling the other person what I need  – so they do not have the opportunity to give it to me.  Do you see how fked up this way of thinking is? I am not sure if you are familiar with it.

I wear it like a familiar shirt, over and over again, even though it clashes with everything, and I do not have a pair of shoes to go with it, I still drag this behaviour out and keep wearing it.

I stand there, and it feels like I am standing with my hands crossed over my mouth and unable to speak.  No one is stopping me from speaking.  I am stopping ME FROM SPEAKING.

The result is I get frustrated and then angry, but this only contributes to the situation that I cannot speak when I need to about something I want to change or that I want to happen.

I know how I feel, I know what I should say, but I just can’t come out and say it.

Then the issue gains momentum, and instead of being about one thing, by the time I say something it turns into a violent emotional puke and it is about 12 things, and comes out garbled.

It does not come out in a constructive manner about discussing the issue – it becomes about the fact that I am having a freak out.  And instead of reasonable conversation, it is me screaming.

I am frustrated.  But I can’t seem to speak out about what I need.

I am not sure if this condition is only limited to me, or you may also be a frustrated-communicator ….

The ability to speak in an assertive – non aggressive – manner and say what I think or feel on a subject, without feeling bad is one of the main things me and Dr CBT are tackling to start this year off.  Part of the trick is to practice it, so it means trying to communicate, knowing you are not so great at it, and maybe it not going as you planned it in your heard.

But then you get better for next time.  I am in Grade R for Communicating Effectively at present.

Maybe I am not quite ready to remove myself from the “Daily Love” mailing list – there is a bit too much there that resonates with me.

Having my black dog at heel instead of pulling me along ….

Depression is somethings difficult to explain without it sounding …. a bit er ………. depressing.

It really is not the thing you can put a fun spin on,.  I try to make light of it, but people inevitably look at you more strangely than they did before.

At that point I down the glass of wine I am drinking (real or imaginary), and then you change the conversation as you offer to fill their glasses with more wine (real or imaginary).

Claire sent this link to me, and it is really exactly how depression is.

Depression and it’s little friend Generalised Anxiety Disorder <I have a social and sensory-sensitivity thrown in> is a total jedi-mind-fk.  It does not come with a cool light sabre and that heavy breathing guy in a slightly too big head mask.

Everyone tells you to “just be happy” or “snap out of it” or “you will get over it.”  All I want to do is get the shovel out of the garage, and hit the person in the head.  Then go and lie back on my bed, and stare into the vacant distanc, or close my eyes and wish for sleep to come.

Even when everyone is dancing around and so frkn happy, I sit there and smile and really I want to curl up in a ball somewhere, or at the least hold my breath until I pass out.

Social situations push me further than I want to go.  But I seldom opt out of social things, as the remedy is not to sit in a room, and rock yourself to sleep, but the solution is to put my self into social situations and remind myself that “I can do this, I can do this ….”

I think most people who suffer from depression can win an Oscar for faking-happy.  I tend to have to fake interest/happiness/contentment/mild interest when in reality I just want to somewhere and die.

To add to it, no one says {okay you are depressed, it’s okay that you do not feel the same as other people} so as a child/young teenager/young adult you decide that if everyone is smiling, what you need to do to fit in is to smile …. like a bit of a douche bag, as you really are just mimicking behaviour.

Seems the correct thing to do, right?

I have suffered/struggled/ignored depression for several years.

It just is.  I can’t blame things. I am just made this way. I think there were contributing factors, but to be honest no matter how things had occurred, I probably would have ended up in the same place.

<for me making this observation is a huge step, I have lamented various issues around my up-bringing for several years as a way to pin the tail on to the donkey going ‘that’s what caused this’…. but the reality is that I was made this way, there were some environmental issues that probably did not help, but odds are I would have ended up the same place no matter the journey>

My happiest moments are often tainted because I am smiling, but in reality I am not happy at all.  I knew I should be.  The problem was that “should” never equalled actually “feeling happy.”  I do try though.  Gawd only knows I try.  But it never seems quite enough.  <Excuse me while I leave the room to self-flagelate.>

The last few years have had some okay years and some shocker years.  2011 has been a corker, and really no one deserves a shag-and-a-medal more than Kennith for his trouble this year.  He has so stood there and taken it like standing up like no one’s business.

I am not writing this post, because I can click my heels together and screamed, I am cured.  But right now, with my respite from the {hole that is depression} it is wonderful to see things in life’s full Technicolor … even if it is just for a little bit.

<…in the last two days, I have started to get this gnawing sensation, that things are starting to creep back … that the edges of my pages are starting to crumble … just that little bit …. it really terrifies me…>

Illustrations are from “I had a Black Dog” from the uber fabulous Matthew Johnstone – you can purchase his books through Kalahari (delivery free until the 30 November 2011).

Mommy you are really looking happy ….

Yesterday when I fetched Connor from school, he said: “Mommy you are really looking happy.”

Me: “Thanks for noticing my boy, I am feeling happy … but why do you say it?”

Connor: “You just look happy.  I don’t know why.  Are you happy about something?”

Me: “No my boy, I am feeling happy that is all, nothing really, just feeling happy.”

And that really is it. <<I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that he noticed…>>

I am not better, but I am on the mend.

My head is less filled with the negative/kill myself/kill all of you/oh my gawd I am being targeted thinking.

My head is actually quiet.  I do realise it sounds a bit “insane” to say “the voices in my head are quiet.” But they are. This constant internalised conversations that go on and on … all day … all night are quiet.

I can just sit.  And sit.  In silence.  Because there is no noise in my head.

I feel remarkably happy. Not “skip and sing the sound of music” happy, but definitely lighter, more free, and my head is just not as busy as it was before.

I sit and I smile. Just because I do.

I feel a definite sense of creativity.

There are little projects that I have started, and feel motivated to do. I sit in my garden on the old wooden chair, I dusted off and positioned amongst the lavender.  I listen to the bees buzzing, I sip my wine, I feel the coolness of the glass in my hand, and I just feel a sense of calm. Of peace.  Of silence.  Of not internally screaming.

I am not sure whether it is working with Dr CBT, the medication, Dr Pill-Pusher, the fact that I am sleeping, or the time that I hid away from life in the clinic.

I have no idea what to attribute it to.

I feel a sense of happiness.  A genuine happiness that I have not felt in what feels like forever.  I smile when I see my children and I see Kennith, just because they make my glad inside.

It’s a nice feeling.

It is also a  strange feeling I don’t know what to do with it.  I just sit with it right now.  And smile a bit.

<stay away black dog, for fuck sake say away, you are not wanted here!!!>

Sun on my face, wine in my glass …..

In my little journey of ying meets yang, and get a clue, I had a moment yesterday.

The kids were eating dinner, I poured myself a glass of wine, and went to sit in my back yard.

I need to explain that my backyard, is about the size of a large postage stamp. It has been the bane of my life since we moved in to our house.

I hate gardening and I hate attempting to be good at it.  The backyard quickly turned into a wind-blown, sandy and really annoying area.  Just ugly.

I am fine to shut the backdoor and not give it a second thought, but our house/property is built on levels, with the result that the kitchen looks directly into the backyard – it’s almost on eye level.  So I was assaulted by ugly all the time.

Nearly every day – either whilst putting the kettle on or off, I would grit my teeth and it irritated the crap out of me, to stare into this sand trap and then I would get angry.

Then Alice introduced to me to Roderick.  And my life changed.

Roderick is fabulous.  Roderick appears to know loads about gardens and plants.

His most significant skill is his ability to remain amiable when a husband and wife are giving him totally contradicting instructions.  He handles this with such grace, he makes me snort.

Anyway.  I blew my children’s education on lavender, jasmine, thyme, rosemary and petunias and Roderick has kindly planted them for me.

He helped plant some tomatoe plants (which I am not convinced are weeds that we have lovingly tied to thin sticks, as these plants do not smell anything like tomatoe plants, and more importantly have not sprouted one frkn tomato yet!) and he comes and lovingly assists the garden to see that it is quietly ticking over.

He reminds me when to get compost, or worm poison, or which plants I need to replant.

He makes cuttings of existing plants and plants areas I had not even known exist.  He created a fabulous garden in an area I thought was “dead area” that now has rosemary, petunias and some other stuff that smells great, but I have no idea what it is.

He has stopped rolling his eyes every time I explain I have bought more plants, and then he arrives and the plants are all “lavender.”

He appears to understand my little lavender fetish.  Or doesn’t and prefers not to judge me any more.

My back garden has become my  secret garden.  Though it is hardly a secret.  But it has rapidly become my happy place.

My makes- me-mile place.  I love sitting there.

Yesterday I sat on the step, and surveyed my stamp sized garden, wine glass in hand.

I smelt the smell of lavender, and the sweet smell of jasmine.  I sat there with the late afternoon sun on my face.

I heard the birds singing.  I was just still.  I was there.

Here is the part that was incredible.  The noise/internal conversation/the constant heckling inside my head was quiet.  It had been for a few days, I just had not noticed until that moment.

I could hear the birds, and I was not scheming/self-flagellation/future worst case scenario dissecting/constant dialogue about what I had said/done/felt/thought …… all of it was quiet.

I can’t explain it really well, without making me sound a bit like Jack from the Shining.  The value of just having quiet in my head and my thoughts, which are not negative or self-hatred.

It was a lovely moment …..and I really love my little garden.

<Today I bought a Gardening Magazine.  I think the world might come to an end.  The odds of me reading a gardening magazine is shocking enough, the fact that I chose it over Marie Claire might be comment enough on my mental instability!!!>

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>

Casual Day 2nd September 2011 – Remember!

For the first time ever SADAG (SA Depression and Anxiety Disorder Group) is participating in Casual Day in South Africa which runs on the 2 September nation-wide.

Aren’t you glad you have me reminding you of this stuff?

Companies are encouraged to let their staff wear whatever fancy and weird clothing they want to that day.  The cost is R10 per person. Many companies pay for their whole staff to participate or pay 50% towards it.

The stickers are available from SADAG and allow you to come to work dressed as a cat, in pyjamas, a golfing outfit, whatever is fun for you.

The funds from this day go towards SADAG and other NGO’s for people with disabilities. Give your support or encourage your Boss, your University your Radio Station  to let the whole company participate.

Click Here for more details.

I am a bit concerned/baffled/have a crease in my forehead, that depression and anxiety are batched in with disabilities ….. but we can work through my inability to process this another day……

I really liked this advertisement I saw …these guys to a great job behind the scenes, and of course need funds like any other organisation.

Go buy a sticker!! Plan your wardrobe tomorrow!!

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.

Dude, seriously who stole my car keys?

I am starting to wonder/believe that maybe we create our own karma.

I refused to read The Secrets and now instead of opening myself up and attracting all the positive energy in the universe, I appear to be attracting goats and trolls.

We can philosophise another day how we create our own fate and if you send out negative thoughts, negative things will happen to you.

Listen Karma – I am depressed, I only have negative thoughts!  If you can get the fkn happy fairies to come over and sprinkle happy dust on me, I will take a bit of that.

I will even snort it or put it in a vein or consider a suppository if you think that will work better and faster.

Today was yet another classic day in “the fk up that is my week.”

Busy day.  I had to get two kids to a party – separate parties, in different places at the same time.  I had a shoot to do this afternoon, and I really was not feeling the happiness and the enthusiasm one needs to be able to carry this off.

It also meant I had to interact with people and there would be a house full of people I do not know. Loud kids screaming and me feeling anxious and panicky.  Can anyway say trigger?

I was not going to cancel, but felt quite reluctant to face it this afternoon.

I woke up – and tackled the day, because I am a bloody trooper – and because my kids wake up at 6am on a Saturday, no matter what time you put them to sleep.

I started to sense the day might not go to plan when Connor started using the blanket I was trying to cover myself with, as I sipped my first cup of tea, as a fishing net.

He took it off me and was trying to throw it across the bed to mimic the action of a fisherman casting a net. (This is while Isabelle and Georgia were fighting over a Winnie the Pooh book that neither of them have shown an interest in since ….. birth!)

I suggest to Connor that really, mommy has not had her Xanax and Zoloft yet, so maybe take this “fishing net” malarky somewhere else. (I can totally get on board with play acting fishing nets. I am such a cool mom I can roll with almost anything.  But the blanket was meant to be covering me and keeping me warm.  Instead I am getting gusts of ice cold air everytime the “net was cast” and the corner either flicked me in the eye or knocked my tea mug.  Just not Ayoba no matter how you look at it.)

He nods at me in understanding and does it next to my bed (instead of over the bed).  Throwing the blanket that WAS covering me as a fishing net to show he can “cast a net!”

I am wondering why I do not walk around with an intravenous drip of Chenin Planc.  I really do not know.  My own will power astounds me most days.

I swear to the universe, I am in a series of Fawlty Towers and I am officially the Spanish waiter Manuel standing around going: “Iz thiz yur bal, keh?”

Anyway.

Got Connor off to the party he was going to.

Got Georgia to her one. Granted Georgia wanted to dress in her ballet outfit.  It was like minus 10.  I eventually gave up and let her wear what ever the hell she wanted – I did insist she wore her pink flower gumboots, as I thought it made the outfit totally rock!!

I really am past fighting with Georgia.  Really!  Right now I am doing the “path of least resistance…”

I drop Georgia off at her party – which is such a fabulous little party.  Her BFF Cara was turning 6.  Her mom had invited 6 kids (or there abouts) and instead catered for the mommies and the almost single dad.

10am and I was served champagne and little eats.  I was not going to stay, really I was going to drop and run.

Then I met Dorothy and Andrew and I probably had the most interesting conversation that I have ever had a kid’s birthday party. It felt like a cool adult party with interesting people. I could have laid down on the couch and totally abused Cara’s mom’s hospitality all day.

But I needed to run.

I had arranged to fetch them at about 13h30 as I knew I was going to be running late.

I do what I need to do at home – then I think okay, I have 20 minutes to drink some tea and I will read a chapter of my book and fly out again.

I do that.

But I fall asleep – like coma asleep.

I get woken by the father who is hosting the party Connor is at saying: “erm, when will you be fetching your kid EXACTLY!” (when he actually means “why the fk have you not fetched your child, we are sick to death of kids, and the fact that yours has hung around for an hour longer than the invite stipulated is actually rude and really annoying, but thanks for the great book you bought my son, it was fabulous and beautifully wrapped!)

I rush out like a lunatic.

I forget all Georgia’s sleep over stuff at home.

Fetch Connor, realise sh*t I have to go back home to fetch all Georgia’s stuff.

Fetch Georgia’s stuff, grab Georgia, throw them in the car to high tail it to my sister-in-law as I need to get to the shoot by 15h00 and it is already 14h30.  Georgia is sleeping over there and Connor is going to “visit” (read lie on the couch and play his Nintendo game) until I have finished at the shoot.

Connor drops the birthday cake that he was given on the car floor.  Georgia is talking about …. gawd I do not know.  Connor is screaming for a tissue and acting like the “cake on the floor” is attacking his foot.

It is cake, guy, seriously calm the hang down already!

I am desperately in a rush – and keep looking at the “please fill me up with petrol light” which has stopped flashing and now just sits there wanly in red.

I am driving – but still trying to maintain the speed limit.  I am highly stressed (you think?)

Drop Connor and Georgia off at SIL – Georgia is going to sleep over. I will fetch Connor after the shoot and him and I can go and have a quick dinner and do valuable mom-and-son bonding time.

(Isabelle by the way is asleep and Fortunate is babysitting, in the event you were wondering where child number 3 was in this plot.)

Throw kids out of car at SIL.  Drive like a maniac to shoot address.

Realise I have forgotten my diary at home!  Fkn hell – I recall the address but not the house number.  I drive with growing anxiety still staring at the “little red light of petrol” and I get a small dose of good karma as birthday party people have put balloons outside their house.

Fan.frnk.tastic.  Found house. Whoop-whoop things are finally going my way.

I throw myself out of the car and run in to the house looking like a rabid dog who desperately needs a vet visit, and a shot of what ever puts a family dog to sleep humanely.

It was truly a lovely party.  It was a boy’s first birthday and I have never ever seen a party with this much effort put in to it.

The family was there and I think there were 60 – 80 adults.  The nicest people I have probably ever met.  I had so much fun, and their happiness actually rubbed off on me.  Really really lovely people.

Anyway, shoot-shoot-shoot, good day, okay 17h30 I need to go.

I start to look for my car keys.

I start to frantically scratch for my car keys.

I start to throw the contents of my bag out on the lounge floor while astonished guests look on.

Party comes to a stop while everyone helps me look for my car keys.

I cannot find car keys.  No idea, they could be stolen …. I could have sold them for CRACK I don’t know …. I just do not have keys for my car.  Car outside their house.  Connor in Durbanville.  My house somewhere else.

Please mommy can I go home now.  (that is what the voices are saying in my head at this point)

Total Fail.

Eventually the only option is that one of them give me a lift home.

I am slightly/very embarrassed as instead of slipping out quietly like a professional service provider, the last hour was all about me and everyone finding my keys.  They were even lifting up the jumping castle as options.

I get dropped off at home.

I have now spent 2 – 3 hours searching for my spare set.

I either do not have a spare set OR I was not listening when Kennith told me where they are OR I have no idea where they are OR They are in the safe, which Kennith has a key to.

Have I mentioned Kennith is in Utah?

I find out that VW will charge me R3000.00 for one key – but I need to get the car to them.  Which is tricky considering it is in Kraaifontein and my keys are on planet fuck-knows-where!

I could not get Connor home so he has had to sleep over.  He has no sleep over stuff, and I was really looking forward to an hour of just him and I time.

I have torn this house apart looking for my spare key.  Without success.  I did however find an unopened box of Nuzak (which I accussed the pharmacist of not giving me … whoops my bad, and some Cataflam, and a flash drive I thought I had lost.

But zip on the car key front.  My car is still in Kraaifontein.  I have I mentioned Kennith is away and he wrote his car off on Monday?

Public Service Announcement:  Go and find your spare car keys NOW.  Put them in your underwear drawer at the back – now you will know where they are, no matter what happens.  Tell your partner/husband/wife/neighbour/sane person that is where you keep your spare set of car keys in the event you have an epic day and can’t find them.  I already checked my underwear drawer twice, it is not there.

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 …….

Protected: If you are (almost) happy and know it … clap your freaking hands!

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Protected: It’s always funnier when it happens to someone else …….

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Car accidents and anxiety attacks ….

Monday was a bit of a right off, for all the reasons that would be good reasons when you start the day with a schedule 5 sleeping tablet.

Can’t really comment more on that one.

I slept until about 1pm and then had an appointment to get to, and the rest of the day was the usual blur of fetching and carrying kids and eating toast.

I met my (not so new) new psychiatrist and he gave me a new brown pharmacy bag of medication.  I was
not overly emotionally committed to the first bag, so I am okay with change.

I am still getting used to new side effects, so a few more is not really going to change my world right now.  But let’s see how that fares.

I decided that I needed a Mental Health Day on Tuesday – and asked Kennith if he could please stop and get bread on the way home and also take the kids to school on Tuesday morning as I could then hide under my duvet for a bit longer.

He said yes he would get bread, yes he would take the kids to school.

I thought, great.

Made some tea, stared at my reflection in the kitchen window.

Phone rang again – Kennith.

My first thought was “Seriously can you not go to the shop and make a decision without having to ask me three questions.  You have an MBA, work the bread aisle out!”

I answer the phone: ‘Yesssssss” I drawl, slightly irritated.

Kennith – with the background sound of traffic…”I have been in a car accident…”

Me – I felt my adrenal glands compress and push adrenaline through my blood.

I felt my hippocampus start screaming.  I felt my heart start to beat a bit faster to allow my lungs more oxygen to allow for the anxiety attack that was coming….. I thought about my kids and which one was dead.  Which one was injured, and if one of them was dead, who I would “be able to deal” with better.

I thought of my tea and that I might not be able to drink it.   I thought that I probably will not be able to function moving forward.  I might need to go and live with my mom.  I probably will never recover.  Teh entire universe suddenly became me-my cup of tea-my reflection in the kitchen window-and Kennith’s voice on the phone.

I started to realise that Kennith’s voice was still talking ….as he had not paused for breath from his first statement to his second…”I am fine, the car is damaged, I am fine!”

I knew I had just put the kids in bed.  I know logically they could not be in the car with Kennith.  I had just put them into bed – myself!

However that did not stop my brain from telling my brain  that my kids were possibly dead on the N1.

I had already worked out a loose funeral plan and what I might wear.

Kennith repeated: “I am fine, I can’t drive me car.  I need you to come and fetch me, I am at ……
and can you arrange a tow truck …. call DAL’S …….they are really good ….I am fine!”

I got my bag, asked Pepe to watch the kids.

I stopped and looked in each of their rooms  to make sure they were there and unharmed and had were really not in the car with Kennith.

I went to fetch Kennith next to the N1.

Kennith was/is fine.

Kennith’s car is not.

DAL’s tow service sent over a truck to pick the car up.  I had to phone my friend David to help me make the call, as I could not even remember Kennith’s cell phone number at that  point, let alone arrange a tow truck.

Kennith filled in the forms on the side of the N1.

I stared blankly at the road.

DAL’s took the car, in a very efficient and friendly manner.

Kennith got into my car and I drove us home.  I stared rather blankly out the window as I drove us home.  We had to stop for milk (and chocolate spread).

I am traumatised.

It is Kennith’s accident and I am traumatised.

Kennith’s neck is a bit sore and he really should go to a  chiropractor.  I think he might need a trauma counsellor – I am not being flippant.  I think he is very shaken —  I really think he needs to speak to someone.

That someone cannot be me.

I took a sleeping pill on Monday night – I woke up at 4am on Tuesday morning and stared at the ceiling worrying about every possible permutation of what “could have been..”

Tuesday I did not go to work.. I took a mental health day …I need a mental health week.

I can’t actually sit with Kennith and talk to him about the trauma and the effect of the “car accident” on him and how he saw his life flash before his eyes because I am ….

I am angry.

I am scared.

I am disappointed.

I am afraid.

I am petrified.

I am terrified.

I am panicked.

I am anxious.

I can’t help him with the oxygen bag in the plane, as for fk  sake I can’t get mine on, and the plane is nose diving at a bit of a rate.

I woke up this morning just before 5am and stared at the ceiling and worried some more (that is with a schedule 5 sleeping tablet).

Kennith needs support, and I can barely stand …….  I can’t help him because I can’t help myself right now.

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.

What is your sanity score?

I am just not feeling better …. right now.

Better than what?  I am not sure how to explain it.  I guess better than feeling like death.

I am not physically sick.  I can’t show you an injury or a bleeding elbow.  But I physically feel in pain all day,

My medication has definitely made me feel less worse than I did – and really for that I am grateful.

Thanks to Stillnox I am sleeping like the dead.  Thanks to Nuzak I appear vaguely alive during the day.

I have a few other things thrown in for good measure.

This is without a doubt the worst I have felt for the longest time, since at least 2003 – 2005.  I think.  But my memory might be hazy and I may well be mis-remembering.

I cannot actually believe how crap I feel.  Right now I am doing breath-breath-breath, everything else is detail and somewhat unnecessary.

I know I should be all these things that I should be: thankful, grateful, glad to have a job, happy for all I have,my beautiful precious children, my caring partner, but I just feel so “dead” to everything.

Still.

I have definitely lost my mojo.  Somewhere.  Some how.  I am just not sure where to go and find it right now.

<If someone could tell me where my mojo is, I would gladly go there and collect it.  Really, I would.  I’d go right now. Immediately and grab it.  No questions asked.>

I am trying very hard with my kids to not give them the impression I am struggling (more than usual) and trying to appear patient and willing to read stories and spend time with them.  And do it and appear happy.

I am trying.

When they are in bed, I literally crumble like a paper mache that got wet in the rain.

Today I added a neck ache and a head ache to my day – I really wanted to take a Cataflam and a few Panado – but I was nervous that I had to get through the day and I had no idea what the combination of medication would do.

I need to give the semblance of functioning.

I made the rather disastrous error a few nights ago of eating dinner, took my sleeping tablet and my night medication, had a glass of wine with dinner.

Granted it was not a small glass.

But I was totally out of my tree while I was still sitting in front of my dinner plate.

I had no idea how I got to bed.  No recollection of locking the security gate or getting in to bed.  I found my glasses I wear when I watch television lying in the middle of my bedroom floor.  Some party I must have had without me knowing it.

So, I am guessing that combination was not the best idea I have ever had.

My pill doctor is a loon, so I need to shop around and find a new one.  In practice I will skulk away from her and pray I do not run into her at a mall.

I have had one appointment with my clinical psychologist who specialises in cognitive behaviour therapy.

We have a ways to go before we start with the heavy lifting stuff –  but I am already intrigued by his manner.  But let’s get to three consultations before I go and tattoo his name on my arm or something.

He suggested something mildly interesting in our last meeting – that I might have been inaccurately diagnosed in the past.

But I think he is going to keep a “new label” as a surprise for a later visit.

I did get a good feeling from him (but bear in mind I did also get a great feeling from my earlier pill doctor, and well, I was clearly …. er …… wrong, so do not take my opinion as authoritative on too many things right now)

I saw this interesting ‘are you crazy’ or better ‘how worried to you need to be by your level of crazy” on-line survey.  I think the fact that if you are doing it sort of tells you that you are a tad “crazy” but it is interesting that it highlights some areas that might be a concern and you might need to look at.

So it is not conclusive, but it definitely holds up some red flags that you might want to think about going forward.

I do want to confess that it was remarkably accurate – but I am all sorts of crazy right now, so really a blind guide dog could work that out.

I plan to retest myself every few weeks and see how it goes.  Out of interest, not for any therapeutic guidance.

So if you want to pop along and check your sanity score – let me know how you scored.

I tested earlier today and I came up with 157 (I think.  I did not write it down, so I am trying to remember accurately.  I just did the test again and got 151).

<the summary it gave me was: Based upon your answers, you appear to be experiencing a great deal of distress at the moment —  your overall mental health is greatly affected by this distress.  People with similar scores experience life as overwhelming and have a great deal of difficulty in coping with life, relationships, work or school.  If you have been feeling this way for longer than 2 weeks’ time, people similar to you have sought out professional care from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist. – handy advise me thinks>

Would you do the test?  What is your number?

(you do have to sign up, which is a case of a user name and password, so it is pretty simple stuff)

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.