Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Its been a while!

Hey, so I havent written in a few weeks, mostly because my head has been so screwed up I havent been able to clarify enough thoughts to write down!

Had a couple of major mood incidents in the last couple of weeks, but I have dealt with them, put them behind me and plan to move on.  I had a good meeting with my Psychiatrist and he has put me onto some new medication, which I really hope will help, sadly none of the others I have tried have helped, but to be completely honest I havent done much to help myself either the last few months so I cant rely on one little tablet now can I?!

So, I hope I can regain some clarity of thought and begin to write again, I truly hope so.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A chink of light.

So, its been a while!!  I havent been having the greatest of times, March/April is a really tough emotional time for me, March 10th saw the first anniversary of my beloved Mums passing, April 3rd was my birthday and also Mothering Sunday, April 8th my parents wedding anniversary and today would have marked my Mums 63rd Birthday.

Its hard to keep strong during these times, on top of this my Bipolar is at an all time aggression.  But there is light at the end of the tunnel, I have finally been referred to the Mental Health Crisis Team and things are really starting to happen now, I have my own Mental Health Nurse, who visited me for the first time last week, and she came again today, her role is to help support me and she is so far doing just that, listening, getting to know me and my background, I really do like her and feel she will have my best interests at heart.

The next big day will be the 19th when I will meet with my new Psychiatrist to discuss medication and a full treatment plan, this is really something I need as I know that the last couple of months have been a slow breakdown for me.

I realise I have neglected my blog, writing does help me, its a good way to articulate my feelings and helps to get out what can sometimes fester in my heart.

I do feel finally after a really difficult few weeks that I can move on, I can finally see a chink, and just a chink of light.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I need Frankie Avalon.

Do you remember that scene in the film Grease, where Frenchie had dropped out of High School to go to Beauty School but very quickly found out it wasnt for her, she was sitting alone in the Diner wondering what to make of her tattered dreams and how to move on in life and suddenly Frankie Avalon appeared to sing 'Beauty School Dropout' moving down and angelic staircase to tell her 'go back to High School'.

I need Frankie Avalon.

I feel like I am swirling in a vortex that I cant get out of, medication/no medication, drinking/no drinking, AA/go it alone, therapy/no therapy, doctors/no doctors and on and on.....

My head feels so battered with it all I literally cannot think straight anymore, I dont know how to move forward, but  I know I must, I know this is not the life the Lord mapped out for me, somewhere I have fallen off the track and wondered into oblivion, I just dont know where to find the help to get me back onto that track.

Lack of support from Family doesnt help, an overworked GP with no resources doesnt help, the anniversary of my beloved Mums death coming up doesnt help. So what *will* help?!

I wish  Frankie Avalon would come and tell me what to do, today.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The week that was.

Bipolar Disorder is a tough enough rollercoaster without the kind of emotional and mental strain I have had this week.  Since the wedding on Monday, my Fathers behaviour has been on my mind a lot and for the first time I chose to contact both my Brother and my Sister via telephone and we talked openly for the first time about the last 12 months since our Mother died and to be totally honest it has really sent me flying off on a tangent.  My sisters classic line to me was 'we have all suffered with mental health issues and we have all survived suicide attempts, we all have addictions and just because yours was legal doesn't make you any better than us.

Wow! Isn't she right?! I have always taken the higher moral ground with them for their Heroin addiction, whilst I absolutely applaud the fact that they both manage to get and stay clean, I have always seen myself as 'better' than them.

But why I ask myself now? Why do 3 children brought up in a loving home without abuse/trauma/poverty/neglect etc, why do those 3 children grow up to all suffer with mental health problems and addictions, what was it about our lives/upbringing that sent us on that path?

My Father shows no remorse for his actions on Monday, which hurts me deeply, he has openly said this week that he lives only for my Nephew, he doesn't care about anything or anyone else.  I feel gutted to hear that, especially as the anniversary of my Mothers death approaches.

I really do feel all over the place this week, and I know its going to take some time to clarify all the thoughts I am currently having, perhaps I ought to just let go and let God handle it all, sometimes I do wonder just how big he thinks my shoulders are?!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Head Holiday.

I need a head holiday.  This last week more than ever has been an emotional rollercoaster, I realise that I am suffering with bad stress and I really need to remove some external stresses and practise some self care for a few days.

Yesterday I went to my Brothers wedding.  This was a stress for me in itself, I have never really got on with my Brother in the last few years, mainly due to his (now reformed) chronic drug use from the age of 11, he and his twin sister became Heroin addicts at the age of 16 and stole almost all my worldly possessions over a 10 year period, from jewellery to clothing, money and even once my car.  Both are now clean and a few years ago my Brother met a girl, they are expecting a baby in 6 weeks time and chose to marry yesterday, this in itself was a stress, but for the sake of the family, my Brother and mostly my departed Mother, I put everything to one side to attend the wedding with a good heart.

Shame my Dad couldn't offer the same courtesy.  He threw a complete fit, and refused to go, sitting in my Brothers house whilst we all went to the ceremony.  To cut a very long story short, his selfishness and total lack of compassion for my Brother on the biggest day of his life has both astounded and deeply hurt me.

He blames it on the loss of my Mum, said he 'couldnt face' the Wedding without her!! What poppycock! My Sister, Brother and myself were all devastated yesterday that our beloved Mother wasn't there, but for the sake of his only Son, he damned well should have put his selfishness to one side for the day.

My Fathers lack of support has been deeply hurtful, despite the fact that I organised every aspect of everything for him on my Mums passing, from Funeral to Legality and offered 24 hour unconditional support, he has never once asked me if I am coping, never once put his arm around me and said 'I am here for you'.

I feel orphaned right now, and I feel emotionally drained with everything.  A 'Head Holiday' is just what I need right now.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Committee.

Mental Illness is so draining.  I am totally exhausted.  I personally find that one of the most exhausting things about Bipolar Disorder are the thoughts I have about myself and my life, I personally call these thoughts The Committee.  Let me give you a brief example of what I am talking about here.  I get up, get washed and dressed, put on a little make up and take a glimpse in the mirror, I think 'you look nice today, well done for making an effort'  I may go turn out the lights and just take one last look in the mirror. 'You disgusting, fat, ugly old bag, you look ridiculous in that outfit, and my goodness what were you thinking about that make up it makes you look ancient, it shows every wrinkle on your face, you total loser.  Why dont you lose that weight and wear proper clothes like everyone else, how could you even face going out looking like that, you are a disgrace...' I will then end up not going out and crying for hours.

Let me give you another example.  I will set the scene for you.  I have been a very heavy drinker in the past, I realise that I have used alcohol to self medicate a lot of my problems and issues, I now take medication that means I should not drink under any circumstances, combined with the medication, nowadays I have a nasty reaction when drinking and I become angry and aggressive.  So, I may be going out to a place where alcohol is served, I am determined not to drink, I have got passed The Committees first session and get to the place I am going, they re-seat for the second session. 'Get a drink, go on get one, why not, who will it hurt, get one, you deserve it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, go on get one, just have one, see how you feel after one, you should stop taking those meds and just get back to being you again, go on get yourself one' next thing I know I am blind drunk.

Yes, The Committee have caused me untold trauma and stress, its hard to know when I am doing the right thing or not some days as my thoughts can be so overwhelming and draining.

Hence, my exhaustion.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Furry Friends and an Epiphany.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an animal lover, I have several rescued pets and absolutely adore all animals.  Last night I got a text from a friend who has a dog that plays with my dogs over in the local field, sadly he had to be put to sleep last night, needless to say I was absolutely heartbroken for all the family and for the lovely dog whose name was Patch.

I got to thinking about pets and their souls, I have always held the strong belief that animals go into the next life with our Lord Jesus and live in heavenly splendour, hopefully meeting with their loving owners in time, I hold steadfast in that belief because my pets have loving souls, they are all created of one God and all have their own characters and traits, just like humans.

Then it hit me.  If I believe that my pets and your pets go to heaven, what about the animals I EAT.

I have tried many times over the years to cease eating meat, due to my aforementioned beliefs, but I have always gone back to meat eating at some point, always feeling slightly uneasy about it too I might add.

I live in a rural area, every day I feed ponies, cows, sheep, pet the goats, take bread for the chickens etc. They have souls too just like the doggies I take with me, so why? Why do I think its ok to eat them?

To be totally honest, its been a major Epiphany for me and one that I think has finally sealed the lid on my meat eating days for good.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Head full of Fog.

I really feel like I am going through the wringer the last 7-10 days.  I can only describe it as feeling like my head is full of fog, I cant seem to attain any clarity of thought whatsoever.  Following my GP appointment last Monday it was discussed that a mood diary may be helpful, however I did this for the last 7 days and to be really honest, it made me look so crazy I ripped it up.  I kinda feel like one of those silver balls in the pinball machine right now, battered around from pillar to post but achieving nothing.  Mental Illness is so terribly draining, I am absolutely exhausted most of the time, I sleep all afternoon almost every afternoon this week and then have to be in bed again by 8pm.  It just makes life so hard, its so difficult to function as a useful part of society when these episodes take over. 

Friday, 21 January 2011

Keep on Moving!

Well its been a funny old couple of weeks really, life never seems to stop revealing things to me but I honestly feel that God is taking me on a journey now that I have finally allowed him to take over the running of my life (I wasnt doing a particularly good job!!)

I have received all my course material and am engrosing myself in the wonder of them, I am so grateful to be able to do this and the more I think of it the more I can see wonderful opportunities ahead when I qualify.

I have also been encourage by my wonderful friends on Twitter to start selling my craft things that I make, I have been making cards for quite some time now but never really felt they were good enough to sell, however due to some really positive feedback I am currently building a website to sell my cards and other handmade goods, take a look here but remember its only just under construction!!

I am feeling so much better within myself now that I have got my medication right and of course staying sober, staying on a level is going to be imperitive for me this year if I am to acheive the things I want to do, so I have to stick to my New Years plan, and so far that is going great.

I am experiencing very strange dreams in the last 10 days, I guess you would definately call them nightmares, they are causing me continued distress, I am finding it difficult to settle down when I wake, all these dreams involve my Mum and I am wondering if there is a sign for me in them, a warning or something she is trying to convey, I will continue to monitor this.

As I type the radio is playing the 90's song by 5ive 'Keep on Moving' and it was this song that inspired todays blog post, I really do feel that I am keeping on moving and you know what? it feels really, really good!!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Living and Learning.

I am feeling pretty proud of myself today.  I have just enrolled for two courses I have been wanting to take for such a long time, I have finally taken the plunge and I am so glad.

I was going to go on and talk about how the last year was so hard and I have to move on, blah blah blah, but you know what? I am not going to go on about that, suffice to say I am making massive changes in 2011 and by doing these courses I will be able to open up not only a new way of life for myself but also eventually a totally new working/career direction.

Ok, so let me tell you more about the two courses I am taking up:

Professional Smoking Cessation Therapy: This course will enable me to help individuals and groups to stop smoking and stay stopped, its a very in depth course which goes into the anatomy and addiction module, plus other factors and causes.  This is a cause VERY close to my heart, since losing my Mum last year I have longed to find a way to make a difference.  For those who don't know, my Mum died of COPD a chronic and progressive disease of the lungs and airways, this disease is 100% attributed to her many years of heavy smoking, despite knowing at at 37 she was suffering irreversible lung damage, she continued to smoke into her late 50's eventually passing away in a very, very traumatic and painful way at age just 61.  My grief will fuel me in this course, I care passionately about the cause and as an ex-smoker myself I can also relate to the whole withdrawal process both mentally and physically.

Nutritionist: Ok, this course will (eventually) qualify me as a professional Nutritionist.  In some ways I think this will be the harder learning curve for me, but again I have been interested in this field for quite some time.  I KNOW I can bring a lot to the table on this for the reason that I am a Size Acceptance advocate, and I am strong believer in HAES (health at every size).  It would be my belief that many fat people would be put off using a nutritionist for fear of being ridiculed or judged on their size, that's not going to happen with me!  This is a really thorough course and one I am relishing just as much as I know I can make a difference with this.

So, I am feeling pretty proud of myself today, I might even to treat myself to some totally unnecessary new pens!!  I am absolutely sure I have made the right decision here and look forward to getting the old grey matter moving again, this time in the RIGHT direction.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Year, New Me!

Happy New Year everyone, welcome to 2011!

I dont usually go in for resolutions, I dont believe that you can change habits/addictions or indeed your whole persona on the strike of the clock, I mean if it were possible there would be no problems in the world now would there?!

However, last year was tough, it was tough for me emotionally, mentally, physically and financially, I really felt like I had been stripped bare in the 12 months that were 2010.  Whilst its no secret I endured heartache I know that I was taught a good few lessons about myself too, lessons that I will carry with me always, lessons  I obviously needed to learn, lessons that God saw fit to teach me in the depths of my despair.

I had spent much time towards the end of 2010 thinking about the New Year and how I could proceed with various aspects of my life, things did seem to come together somewhat towards the end of the year, and I felt  I was being shown a new way of living, a new code if you will, and thats what I plan to live by in 2011 and hopefully beyond, not so much resolutions but a new way of conducting myself and my life.  I certainly saw the striking of the clock to mark the end of 2010 as a metaphorical closing of the door on a lot of heartache and misery.

My primary issue is managing my Bipolar illness, I am so so grateful to be treated by a very forward thinking GP who has had the foresight to prescribe me medication that although not currently a traditional Bipolar treatment, is emerging in the USA as an amazing mood stabilizer, in the 3 weeks I have been taking this new combination of medication I have noted a marked improvement in my symptoms and indeed I actually am beginning to feel stable and happy, so my priority has to be maintaining this.  This entails continuing with the right medication, maintaining absolute sobriety and continuing self care methods that help to keep me relaxed and stable.

Why thats easy?! I may hear you cry.  But wait, Bipolar is a cunning illness as is alcohol addiction.  Bipolar will tell you that you dont need the pills you are fine as you are, alcoholism will tell you you DO need the alcohol.  The constant fight with these demons can be exhausting in itself, there are times it takes all my strength to fight them.

But fight them I will, I know I can do it, I know  I am worth it.  I am learning about myself every day but I truly believe that last year taught me enough lessons to get me through this year.

So to conclude, maybe not strictly a 'new' me but I am praying for an improved model!!