a hair’s whisker

I read this piece today and I can’t shake it. Firstly, just to get it out of the way, it is a beautifully written piece about a tragedy which shows no judgement, just the sad sad facts.

I think the part of it I struggle with most is how many of us fly that close to being *that* overwhelmed? What’s the difference? That we don’t have a partner checking out as well? That we have friends who won’t accept just being spoken to at the front door, who’ll barge in and throw that load of washing on, wash up the breakfast plates, make you make the call to support services?

 

Every day I think about killing myself but every day I don’t. The reasons for that are actually quite few and range from the very obvious to the seemingly insignificant.

Being connected, knowing people care about you no matter the state of your brain, your house or your life is so so important. This is more than asking if someone is OK, this is checking in, listening, distracting with inane nonsense and stories to make them laugh because life is messy and sometimes just kicking a clear trail through the debris is enough.

 

Onward.

Hello there

A voice coming in from the dark.

It’s been a rough few weeks around these parts. I haven’t written about it because what is there to say? I’ve been battling extreme anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and the lowest ebbs of the deepest sluggish depression I’ve had in a long long time. I had reached a point in my mental health life where I thought anxiety and panic attacks were now my thing. That the “everything is hopeless, I’ve made all the wrong life choices, we’re going to die destitute and alone” type of depression had moved on to some other poor unsuspecting individual. SURPRISE!

I get bored of writing about my mental health because most of you who come here specifically to read about my life have been doing so for years and I fear I’ll be able to hear your eyes rolling when I tell another story about how my life is a hopeless failure.

Some of you are lucky enough to experience it in real life. My morning walking partner Bronwyn deals with enough shit in her own life but gets to hear me whinge and moan about mine for 45 minutes 3 times a week. That she RINGS me if I’m not out the front of my place by 5am is indicative of her own issues. Weirdo.

But those messages, the checking in with me because suddenly I’m very quiet on Facebook and Twitter (I’ve almost forgotten what Twitter even is), the listening to my silence and sadness is what feeds my mantra during these times – just.keep.going. Fall down seven times, rise up eight.

I am lucky enough to have a support network around me of people who know it is enough to just be beside me, reminding me that I will get through this, that this is not my truth but a heinous lying fiend robbing me of light.

I also have a psychiatrist I trust implicitly. Yes, we’ve spent the better part of six months trying to make me feel OK but in the scheme of mental illness that is nothing. Today we start a new plan and I guess, we wait.

pristiq pic

Onward.

Broken

I know the story of how I got to here is all over the shop, back to front, upside down and inside out but sometimes the best way to write it is how it falls and at the moment I feel broken. And scared.

This morning started with the grossest of panic attacks. I woke in a sweat, feeling swallowed by the bed, my wound site feels like a mountain, a pit in my stomach and wave after wave of feeling hopeless and worthless and a fraud and broken. With the occasional dumper of an impenetrable sense of something bad about to happen.  I was brittle and weak, hopeless and scared. Not again, not now, not again, not now. I shake my hands constantly when I’m like this, like the emotion has to come out somewhere.

I fly off a FB message to my Personal Physician Steve who I’m sure LOVED waking up on a Saturday morning to his cousin’s wife freaking out on his FB.

I woke up Chef. Dear GOD that man must be developing a phobia about being woken up by me. I had a shower, went for a walk. The whole way around the block! 500 metres! Goddammit if this is going to beat me.

My left leg feels three times the size of my right and I don’t really have a sense of where it ends. I almost tripped twice and stubbed my big toe once. Apparently this is called peripheral neuropathy. I love how the medical term makes something that’s really fucked sound cool.

Personal Physician Steve and I worked out a plan of action to get me through until my GP visit on Tuesday (we think it’s a drug they introduced for the nerve pain that is interacting with my other head meds and basically hit ground zero this morning). I cried on Chef that I’m broken and scared and this wasn’t how the year was meant to start and we had been travelling so well and I’m so so sorry. He of course, held me close, told me we would so get back to great. That I would not be broken forever and look how much better I am than three weeks ago and that he loved me and that it would all be OK. How did I ever score such a beautiful man?

I checked in to FB hoping some of you beautiful people had posted some witty, silly things to make me laugh through tears, the best of emotions. Jane had posted this. Just this. It’s Australia Day here, a day growing increasingly uncomfortable in our skin – someone wrote an article somewhere saying most countries celebrate the day they were freed of colonial rule and yet we celebrate the day it started. Growing up is hard.

So valium (when my back went from debilitating and excruciatingly painful to holy crap Personal Physician Steve sent me a text saying “No reiki guru shakra chiro iridologist would be able to do anything for you … when it comes to the serious shit western medicine is the way to go”. He’s right), knowing I’m loved and knowing such big battles have been fought makes me know its worth it to keep fighting the demons, no matter their size.

 

Onward folks, onward.

 

I’ve got nothin’

There’s nothing left in the tank.

Much has gone on but I can’t find the words to tell it – I wrote a post yesterday about my health and even I was bored. Drugs meant to be helping making things worse but still needing what those drugs do to make me well. Meds for the head, the thyroid and insulin resistance don’t seem to really like each other. This last week I have been consumed with drug side-effects that leave me simultaneously jittery, on-edge and racing while so exhausted I fear I may fall down.

We’ve stopped one of the meds to see if it helps, but it’s the one that deals with my blood sugars and they need to be stable not just so I don’t develop diabetes but for mood stability. So I need to lose weight and lose at least 5kgs fast. Yeah, like I haven’t been trying to do that for forever. Starvation September is underway.

This week has been hellish. Oscar had a molar removed under a general on Tuesday and only today voluntarily opened his mouth to talk. Eating is still not on the cards and drinking water is still a battle. He’s been home all week. Just sitting on the lounge. Mute.

Can you imagine being in pain or just being traumatised and scared and not being able to tell someone, to explain exactly where the pain is, what sort of pain it is, when it’s worse, when it’s bearable?

I’m now worried he’s got a dry socket – there was moderate improvement today when he ate a weetbix with some stewed apple and told me it didn’t hurt – when tonight he had one spoonful of custard I’d made him and grimaced and asked to go to the hospital.

This morning we had his arranged-a-lifetime-ago endocrinologist appointment. Yeah. Awesome timing. It was fine – just a chat but – of course – the need for more bloodwork.

It seemed like the cruellest trick of all but I made the call. He hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink. We were at the hospital. With its own blood collectors. We were there. So bloods were done.

Can you tell my head and heart are so weary?

 

Onward.

Stuff ‘n nonsense

The morning routine

6am up, shower, get dressed

Get Oscar up, showered, dressed – how easy those five words sound

Take thyroid meds

Breakfast for Oscar, lunches for everyone, dishwasher emptied, first load of washing on (if it didn’t got on while Oscar was in the shower)

7am Oscar out the front ready for his transport – I really try to have us out there after one particularly foul neighbour once berated our previous driver for tooting his horn at such an early hour.

Back inside someone else is normally up by now – breakfast rounds, more getting dressed scenarios, sometimes I even get to sneak a sit down snuggle with little people here.

Sometime in here is finally an hour since I took my thyroid meds and I can have breakfast and a cup of tea. Take my 500 other drugs.

7:30 Felix out the door

I have no idea what happens to the next almost hour and a half but I do know it rarely involves me sitting down relaxing. First load of washing gets hung out.

8:50 Jasper to school and Grover to pre-school on Mon – Wed

Second load of washing hung out

 

Today:

I then worked, part of which involved talking to two scientists about marine climate environment for just over an hour. Have I mentioned how much I love this job of mine? LOVE.

This afternoon was then Felix to rugby to play with the As – he was so chuffed to be called up (a certain number of players can play up or down in the comp as reserves for teams who are down players). While they lost (OH BOY they were so gutted, it was heart wrenching) the coach said he was really pleased with him, that he did what he asked him to do and he’ll be asking for him in their reserve line-up for the finals games. His own Division 2 team have their first semi-final on Sunday. I’m already tense. Have I mentioned how much Felix loves his rugby and how much we therefore do too?

But my GOD it was cold. Our home field is on the hill heading up to the Bilgola Bends with stunning views out over the ocean – lovely in summer with cooling ocean breezes I imagine. Baltic in winter.

From there we had major special treat of produce from a Trans Fat Food Giant and then headed up to the Aquatic Centre in the hope of seeing Felix’s best mate play his second game ever of water polo. We arrived just in time to see them leaving the building. Not to worry, another time.

 

9:55 – three children only went to bed about half an hour ago.  I’ve sorted and put away some of the three loads of washing I also got done today but am now to bed.  I’m going to Tough Mudder Bootcamp in the morning. The first time in three weeks. I had a goal of not missing one session but my brain decided otherwise.

 

As you can probably tell I am feeling a WHOLE lot better. I am the poster child of how a very bad situation can be salvaged very quickly through excellent psychiatric care, a strong support network and some really good drugs. I can not believe where I was a week and a half ago and yet I so very can.

 

I need you all to know that your words of encouragement, your SUPPORT were a critical component to me getting through those hideous few days.

I realise now that those hideous few days had probably been brewing since Oscar was in hospital in May and that the psychotic episode triggered by a reaction to new medication was really just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can see it so much clearer now just how much energy I was expending on keeping ‘it’, me, together over the last few months.

 

So here I am and yesiree, I am enough.

 

ONWARD!