Hmmmm

Hmmmm

I want to write, I need to write, I have so many thoughts and questions going round my head that I need to get out!

I feel really out of sorts, but can’t put my finger on why? I saw my CPN yesterday and we talked about how I was feeling and from things I said she said that isn’t depression it’s your emotions that you are struggling with. Which I’m now thinking about all the time. I was confused enough before I saw her, now I’m even more confused. Do some people have long term depression and learn to live with it? Am I just wasting resources and should be managing on my own? I just don’t know what to think any more.

I have realised that I need to make more time for me, take time out for things that I want to do rather than doing things that need to be done, or things that the kids want to do. I’m not sure what those things are, but I need to start thinking what they are and find the time to do them.

I also need to plan my business better, I need to make it work because I know it will make me happy, I need to succeed in something in my life.

But knowing all these things doesn’t seem to make my mind any clearer, I guess I just have to keep plodding on and hope that one day things will seem clearer.

What am I?

What am I?

Earlier in the week I blogged about not knowing who I was, I still don’t know who I am, but I do know what I am.

I have realised that I am selfish, all I think about is how I feel, how what the kids do or say makes me feel,  how what my husband might say or do might make me feel. I have forgotten to listen to everyone else and see how they feel, how what I am saying or doing is effecting my family and friends.

When I see my CPN and Psychologist I seem to say the same things over and over again, I can’t cope with the way my children are behaving, I don’t know how to control them, I have nothing to aim for, I have no goals in life, I don’t know what makes me happy. It’s all about ‘me. me, me’!! I need to change, and I need to do that now.

Maybe if I stopped thinking about me, then I would get better, or at least spend less time thinking about my thoughts and feelings and therefore I wouldn’t have the time to dip into a big hole! I would get more done around the house, I would get more done with the business and I would have more time to spend with the kids and my husband.

I need to start now, but not sure how I will achieve it, I’m not sure if I’m able to do it anymore. Before I was ill I always thought about others, how my actions affected others, but I also got on with life, the housework and spending time with the kids.

Was I happy? I don’t know, my husband might have an answer to that, I can’t remember. I do know that I wasn’t happy in my job at work, and I struggled with not having friends, but was I happy at home, and with the kids, I’ve no idea. It’s hard to remember a time before I was ill, and maybe that’s the problem, I can’t remember what it’s like to not be ill and what it’s like to not know about depression and anxiety, I also can’t remember what it’s like to not have health professionals just at the end of the phone or only a week away from an appointment.

I read and talk to others who have got mental health problems, and I wonder why I have been supported so well over the last 3 years, when there are so many others that are not getting the same support but seem to be in a much worse place than me. Why is it seemed that I need this support – do they see something that I don’t? Or is it  just that the selfish person I am is clinging to something that I no longer need?

I don’t have any answers, except I know that I have become selfish and self absorbed and I need to change. If anyone has any good suggestions on how not to be self absorbed please let me know!

Normal?

Normal?

I’m starting to struggle again and I don’t feel like I have anyone to turn to. I’m fed up of feeling like this, I know I have got friends, but what they see doesn’t seem to go with how I feel on the inside. Also, I am fed up of being the one who is still not right, the one that is still saying I don’t feel great, that I’m having negative thoughts, that sometimes I wish I didn’t have to deal with life.

I know I’m being selfish and everyone has their problems and it can’t always be about me, and I don’t expect it to be about me, in fact I don’t want it to be about me. I want to be ‘normal’ to not be constantly thinking about how I feel, is this a little or big dip, is it just a blip? I wish I could go back out the door I walked into 3 years ago and forget everything I have learnt. It almost feels like a curse knowing so much about depression and anxiety, constantly being careful about other peoples feelings and emotions. I was always the person that thought of others before myself, but now I think more about how they might be feeling, that something might have happened, that they may have their own emotional issues.

I would like to erase my knowledge of CPN’s, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and any other health professional that I have had dealings with. Maybe if I could do that I could start to lead a normal life again? I’m quite sane and know that the above is not possible, but we all need our dreams. I would love to be transported back to before I started feeling like this, how did I feel, how did I feel about the children? How did I feel about NJ? What were my thoughts on life? I have so many questions that no one can answer, and I don’t think I will ever be able to answer them either.

In 2 days it is the school holidays, so it will be 3 years since I realised that all was not right with me, although it took till the end of the holidays to take the step to get some help, but maybe that was the wrong choice, maybe I should have battled on like I always did? Maybe then I would now be leading a ‘normal’ life (not sure what that is though!).

For now though I guess I have got to just get on with the life I have, and try and stop feeling sorry for myself and enjoy the sunshine and having the kids at home!

Mindset

Mindset

At my appointment with my psychologist yesterday he talked about changing my mindset, I need to change from having a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. So instead of thinking ‘how much have I achieved in my career, family life, etc’ it’s thinking ‘where am I heading as I grow towards my potential? and what lessons am I learning?’.

We also talked about trying to change how I talk and think, I need to stop saying ‘I should’ and have more ‘I want’. The theory is that the more I do things that spark my passion, such as my business, the more energy I will have and more ability to deal with the children.

It all sounds sensible and my CPN agreed with what has been said, she is also encouraging me to get into exercise to help with my energy levels.

However in the cold light of day when I haven’t got my CPN or psychologist sat there talking to me it is not as easy to do, I know the things I would like to do, but it is so much easier to just sit and play candy crush, or watch the TV, or go on Elefriends, or write a blog! I know that doing things that I like and have the potential to be doing something for me are good and will hopefully lessen my thoughts of sh, but it’s such hard work, to change the way I have been thinking for the last 3 years, to think about me and stop worrying about the house or the family, or even what other people might think of me.

One thing I would love to know is how was I before all this happened? What was my mood like, how did I talk, was I as negative then as I am now? It would be great to talk to a health professional who knew me well before all this happened, but that is not possible.

My other issue I have is that I don’t seem to be being a particularly good friend at the moment, I seem to have forgotten how to listen to other people and give advice and support, I read on Elefriends and I seem unable to give any words of advice, I seem so caught up in my own self pity, as if I am the only person who is suffering, that I have forgotten how to be supportive to others.

So I need to change my mindset, I need to become more aware of my own desires and dreams for the future, but I also think I need to be more aware of the people around me (including my children and husband) and their issues and their lives.

Not Really Grooving!

Not Really Grooving!

Last week I didn’t manage to join up with Grooving Mums, I definitely didn’t feel Groovy at all, or in any way working towards being grooving! I also didn’t seem to find the time to even attempt to join in. However this week I am going to join in, I’m still not really grooving at all, but maybe joining in will help my mind start feeling groovy again.

If you are not sure what Grooving Mums is all about (where have you been?) the take a look here and see what Kate on Thin Ice is trying to help us mums do.

So here are these weeks challenges / questions (not compulsory)

1. Body – do you love or loathe your body?  Celebrate the fact you are a mum by posting here http://cafebebe.co.uk/2012/02/real-mummy-tummies/

I’m not a huge fan of my body, mostly the area I dislike is my stomach (like most mums!), I’ve never had a flat stomach, but have always desired one, even though I know it’s not something we can all have. I was lucky in my pregnancies that I never got stretch marks, but I do feel that after my 3rd pregnancy my stomach is more wobbly. I am unsure though if this is because I had a section and felt unable to do exercise for quite some time, and even now I am not getting going with the exercise lark.

2. Mind – who is setting the standard?  Is it too high or too low?

Not sure about this one and what Kate means by it, but I know that I am setting my own standards for myself too high, I expect myself to be perfect, to have the perfect house, be the perfect friend (that everyone wants to be friends with), the perfect wife, the perfect mummy, basically I want to be the best at everything and I don’t come anywhere near my own standards and this is something that I know I need to work on.

3. Spirit – take time out today to reflect on lost loved ones and to remember those for whom Valentine’s Day will be particularly sad this year.

I am very fortunate at the moment that I have not lost many relatives yet, and as yet I have not lost any friends. However I know as my parents and in-laws get older this is something that will come at some point and actually worry more how my children will cope with the loss more than my own loss. I know a few people who will have been alone this Valentines day, but not well enough to know if they are happy or not. I would like to hope that if it was going t be a difficult day for them that close friends would have rallied round and given support.

4. Blogging – write a love letter and post it.

This is a hard one, I will have a think and see if I can manage to write something.

5. Special Days – It is Valentine’s Day.  Show yourself some love this week.  Buy yourself some flowers or do for yourself what you can imagine the world’s best partner doing for you.  Why not?  Go on, do it and see how it feels.

How I would love to do something for myself, in fact I did have a day to myself yesterday (Tuesday) but I actually did not do what I had planned. My plan was to go to the local town, have a look round the nice little shops, check out the charity shops and even have a coffee whilst I was out. All I managed was a trip to the bank, a quick walk round and then straight back home. I felt unable to go into the shops, I didn’t want to have any interaction with anyone, or feel obliged to buy anything. I did manage to watch ‘Dirty Dancing’ though in the afternoon (whilst blogging!) and that was nice.

6. The Big Question – Do you love yourself?  If yes, tell us how and why.  If not, why not?

My mood is low so at the moment nothing would feel good and loving myself is not something I can do. I am hoping that once I have had a review of my medication I can begin the journey to learn how to love myself as it’s not something I have ever been able to do. I am not entirely sure why I have never loved myself, maybe I am just a negative person, or maybe I have never learnt how to be happy with myself. This is something that I hope my children will learn, that they are special and beautiful and no matter what they do they will always be loved and should always love themselves.

So that is me for this week, I have not done anything recently that is helping me move forward with my Groovyness, my CPN has also recommended that I don’t try to take anything on at the moment or agree to anything. Just because my mood is so low and I am struggling to carry out the basics at the moment and there is no point in making myself feel worse by failing to do something I had originally agreed to.

My Button

The Year – 2011

The Year – 2011

As the year is coming to an end I thought it would be good to take a look at the highs and lows of the year, hoping to see more highs than lows!

It is actually quite difficult to remember back to this time last year, even though I was gradually getting better, life from then is still a bit of a haze. I think things were going ok, I was seeing my CPN weekly, and my medication was settling down. I was however off the alcohol, something that has definitely changed now, as I allow myself a glass of two of an evening.

Closure of my Business 

My First big event of the year was the closure of my on-line toy and gift shop, I had hoped that once I was a SAHM then I would be able to make a go of the business and see money coming in to help with the income of money. Unfortunately I was not well enough to pursue this, and myself and NJ agreed that we had to close the site down as we were spending more than we were making, I think it was also adding to my anxiety, stress and depression. I was upset and very down at this point, I felt a failure, a waste of space and angry that I was unable to do something, that from the outside seemed simple. I think though at the same time I felt some relief, I no longer had to try to make sales, I didn’t have to converse with sales people on the phone about the company, I could simply tell them that the store was now closed, I actually think that this was when I started to answer the phone, and not leave it to ring.

Becoming Unemployed 

The middle of February I became officially unemployed, my maternity leave had come to an end, which meant that I would no longer be receiving an income. I felt deflated and useless, which considering I had wanted to be a SAHM, was a strange reaction. I hit breaking point again, I felt broken. The business had closed and then I was unemployed.

This is something I still struggle with, I have always worked, from age 13 I had a paper round, and then various other jobs, shop work, bar work and during the summer I worked in a factory, I have always made my own money, even though as a married couple our money has always been in a joint account. Things are tight now (like the rest of the country!) and I often feel guilty, although NJ tells me not to worry and we will cope. He is also of the opinion that at the moment I am really not in the right place to try to get a job, and unfortunately I have to agree. I just hope that in the not too distant future I will find myself in the right place and be able to think about what I want to do and start working towards that.

Starting a Blog

With the closure of the business and the departure from paid employment I felt I needed something else, I needed something to think about and do, and so my Mrs Shorties Mind was born, I put myself out there in the www and to begin with I was just me all alone, and then I began to link up via different places and then I got a few followers. My blog was and still is a place to speak openly about what has and is happening to me and hopefully help others that may be going through the same thing, I also now wish to raise awareness of PND, this was a high point for me.

Going to Toddlers

Having lived in my village for 5 years, it was only this year that I found the courage (and support of friends) to finally go to a toddler group. I wrote about it here, not only did I manage to go to the toddler group, but I am now a member of the committee and I feel very much part of the group. It is definitely one of my highs of this year.

Making Friends 

I made 2 very good friends this year, I was already friendly with HR, but it was more of a good natter to and from school, but with going to Toddlers my friendship with HR grew but I also made friends with ZC and since then the 3 of us have helped each other with our battle with depression and also been on nights out and had some fun.

Mental State

The first half of the year had many ups and downs, I wrote about my struggles on my blog, so won’t go into them again, but I think some of my struggles were regarding the looming anniversary of TJ’s birth, I didn’t know how I would be, how I would cope. I was also still feeling down a lot of the time, crying still and generally just not coping. My CPN had mad a referral to a psychiatrist, but it seemed to be taking a while for the appointment to come through.

The appointment came through for 3 days before TJ’s 1st birthday, so I was never sure if the anxiety about it was for the appointment or for the looming birth anniversary. The psychiatrist upped my medication, and informed me that I would be on the medication for at least another 18 months, I was upset as even though I knew I wasn’t better I suppose I had hopped deep down that he would say all was ok and I could reduce my medication. 7 months on from that appointment and I now realise it was the best thing to do, I am feeling a lot better and able to deal with life slightly better.

During this month I wrote about wishing I could go back in time, Time Machine Anyone?, I was also unsure whether I should be celebrating TJ’s birthday or not. TJ’s birthday came and went, and I recorded the event here.

That’s the first half of the year, which I think was possibly the most taxing emotionally, but I did manage to get through the year from May 2010 to 2011 which I now know I should be celebrating, but unfortunately I still feel a tinge of regret that I have put the family through everything that I have.

The second half of the year starts with my birthday, and to be honest, I can’t remember that much from it!

Take That

I did however go to see Take That shortly after, which was great, although not as good as when I saw them at the MEN back in 2007! The lead up to the even was awash with anxiety and thoughts of pulling out and making up some reason not to go, but  I did go, and although the anxiety got me before the doors opened, once we were in, it was great. I went with NJ, NL (my sister) and HB (best friend) and apart from some drunken ladies behind us we all enjoyed it.

Camping

This summer we went on our first family camping holiday, something I had been trying to persuade NJ to do for several years, and finally he had given in. It was a good holiday, everyone enjoyed themselves and we are looking forward to going again next summer. Unfortunately for me I just ‘enjoyed’ it, I know I had a good time, but I seemed to have lost the ability to be excited and super happy. I am glad though that everyone enjoyed the holiday, and hope that next year I can feel more of the excitement about it.

NJ’s 40th

NJ hit the big 40 this summer and we were fortunate enough to be able to have my family look after the 3 terrors whilst we went to a luxury hotel and enjoyed some ‘us’ time. We had a great 1st day, ending with a 5* meal (slightly scary to start with!) NJ really enjoyed himself and I look forward to being able to do the same in a few years time when we have saved enough funds!

Unfortunately I was stupid enough to forget to take my medication that morning and did not have any with me, I was tired during the day, but the following day I was very ill, I was having major withdrawal symptoms and felt awful all day, which kind of spoilt things, but it was a lesson learnt and now I have spare tablets in my handbag just in case.

FJ Starting School

September saw FJ starting school, I’m not sure who was more nervous, me or him! He settled in really well and is doing great at the moment, I guess that is something else to celebrate. Although his behaviour at school is pretty good (did have a small incident with hitting someone!) his behaviour at home is still quite difficult, I just need to learn how to rein him in.

FJ 5th Birthday Party

As we had allowed AJ to have a big party for her 5th birthday, it was only right that FJ had one too, I didn’t think it would be too difficult. We had a church hall and entertainer booked, we just needed to do the food and party bags. How wrong could I be, the party bags seemed to take over my life, we didn’t want to spend much, but also didn’t want the plastic rubbish that they usually ended up with. The theme of the party was a pyjama party, so in the end we came up with the idea of a book, flannel, soap and some chocolate. The book, soap and chocolate was easy to sort, but trying to find fun flannels seemed to keep me occupied for weeks! It was sorted in the end, and with help from some great friends (and NJ) the party went well and FJ seemed to enjoy himself.

Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation

I found out about the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation through attending a talk by Elaine Hanzak-Gott, the foundation aims to raise awarness of PND and ensure that there is enough help and support for those suffering with it. I am hoping in the New Year to become more involved with the foundation to help others that are struggling with this horrible illness.

Skills Course

After being refered to psychological services it was suggested that I attend a 12 week course which helps you learn how to deal with various emotions connected with depression / anxiety. I agreed to go, but was very unsure after the first session, however I am pleased to say that I stuck with it and have finished the first 6 weeks. I have met new people all with their own problems and we are helping each other with our own ideas of how to deal with different situations. I am looking forward to going back to the course next week and seeing what new things we will talk about.

Center Parcs

At the end of November we went to Center Parcs with NJ’s parents, something we have done the past 2 years to enjoy the Winter Wonderland. The lead up to this had me stressed, trying to plan who was taking what food, thankfully NJ dealt with most of this and I just had to pack the clothes. We did actually have a really good time, the kids enjoyed the pool and me and NJ had some time to ourselves whilst his parents baby-sat. The Saturday afternoon was my favourite time, we had hired a beach hut, which was heated and had a TV, we actually didn’t spend much time there and spent most of it with the kids in the pool. I was with TJ most of the time and it was great to see her enjoying herself as she went down the little slide in as many different ways as she could.

Family Visit

I always try to visit my family just before Christmas to exchange birthday and Christmas gifts. I have 4 nephews, 3 with a birthday in December and 1 at the beginning of January so I like to get the birthday presents to them before Christmas happens. The lead up to this was stressful as I had to get all the presents bought and wrapped. We did manage it though, and everyone seems pleased with what they have got. I enjoyed seeing my mum, dad, sisters, niece & nephews even though it seems a tad loud at times (8 children from 1 – 8.5).

Christmas

So Christmas came, the presents were opened and the food was eaten, the day was not too stressful, but I would like to do things differently next year if its possible. NJ and I didn’t seem to stop all day sorting food, clearing up and then traveling to relatives. Next year I would like to be able to just stay at home all day and enjoy a slower pace of life for just one day.

Mental State

My mental state over the second half of the year I didn’t think had been too bad, but looking back over my blog I have realised that there have been a few hard points, and although I haven’t blogged much in the last couple of months I know that things have been fairly difficult for me. However they have not been as hard to come out of the bad times as in the past, so I will see that as a positive.

On a high note, I have been told by a couple of people now that I seem much better than I have in the past, and seem much happier. I really hope this is the case and that I can finally start to get my life back on track and look to the future.

So what has your 2011 been like?

When It All Came Crashing Down

When It All Came Crashing Down

After 2 weeks of taking my Anti D’s things started to go horribly wrong, I don’t remember a great deal about how I actually felt at that time, I just remember what happened. Luckily (I think) I did write in my Baby Center journal again and this has helped me remember and recognise how bad things were.

I am going to include my Journal again as I don’t think I can really put how I was feeling and the events that happened any better or clearer. Some people may think it is too personal, but I wish to highlight what having PND can do to you. I am also finding this all quite therapeutic as it is making me see how far I have come.

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15th September 2010 – Baby Center Journal

So tomorrow I will have been taking the Anti D’s for 2 weeks, and my emotions have been all over the place.

Last week I didn’t feel too bad, I told the NN and the HV that I didn’t need to see them this week as I was coping better, and the counsellor said I also seemed better that I had been. Then since Sat I have felt really anxious and down.

DH came to the Gp’s with yesterday, which I found really hard, and he did too. The Gp wants to refer me to a psychiatric nurse, which has made me feel worse in that this is real. Although I told DH last night that I am fine, there is nothing wrong with me and I don’t need to see anyone anymore. I just feel that if I kept telling myself I am ok, I will be ok, I also feel like I want to stop taking the meds, and just go back to normal and stop relying on people when there is nothing wrong and I am just being lazy.

I am seeing the NN today (realised I needed to see her before next week!) so will tell her how I am feeling.

Can you will yourself better? Maybe if I just got on and got the house sorted I would feel much better and DH wouldn’t be so annoyed with me, and will see that I am ok.

This has all been a bit of a mishmash today, but I just need to put my feelings / thoughts down somewhere

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27th September 2010 – Baby Center Journal

Its been almost 2 weeks since I last wrote anything, and in that time its been a bit of a nightmare, I’ve tried to write a few times but just wasn’t up to it I suppose.

I saw my HV on the Thursday (at clinic) and had a mini breakdown with her, she was really concerned and wanted to get me to see a GP there and then, but I had DD to take swimming and really didn’t want to not take her. So she asked my permission to speak to a GP and she would ring me in the morning.

HV came round in the morning, told me she had got me an appointment to see a Dr and she would come with me for support. So off I go and see Dr where I have another melt down, he asked me if he could contact the CPN and get someone out to see me I agreed as I could see no other option.

My biggest problem was feeling like I wanted to self harm most of the time, and I am guessing that is what was concerning them. I was really worried about DH knowing, but agreed to let the HV tell him what was going on.

I got a phone call at lunch time from the Crisis Team, which I wasn’t expecting, and then DH called to say he was coming home. The HV had told him that he needed to be at home, as I wasn’t safe to be alone! It was hard when the CPN’s turned up (2 of them) asking about what had happened, so I had to go over the birth etc again. DH was home by this time, so he was made aware of what was going on by them. They said they would call in the morning to arrange to see me.

I waited all day for the call, which did not help my anxiety, someone phoned me about 4ish, they did apologise but there had been an emergency that was being dealt with. She came out to see me on the Sat & Sun, the Sun she was really concerned about my anxiety and  the not sleeping so she got me some sleeping tablets and something else to help till the following day when I was to see a psychiatrist. She had told DH that if I had had something sharp enough I would have hurt myself (which was true), I had tried to do something but there was nothing sharp enough, just sort of scratched myself, I don’t think DH really got what was being said. Later when we were out I must have said something and he then realised what had happened and kind of lost it, which did not help me, which is why I didn’t want him to know in the first place.

The next day (Mon) DH went to see the HV and I think she helped him understand what was happening, and that it wasn’t really me, just the ‘illness’ making me think like I was, he was also told by the CPN that I should not be left alone as I wouldn’t be safe. I was asked several times if I wanted to go into hospital (I said NO). Saw the psychiatrist, who prescribed something to help with the anxiety, but I didn’t get the chance to really talk to anyone, which set me off again.

I have seen someone from the Crisis team everyday since, some I have felt better with than others. I have had my anti-depressant upped and am still taking the other tablets to help with sleep and anxiety. I did hurt myself again on the Tuesday, but haven’t really done anything since although have felt like doing something most of the time.

My DH has been really supportive and has been working from home, I have told him when I have had bad thoughts and also that I didn’t feel safe going shopping on my own (I was likely to buy something sharp). It has been very strange having conversations with people quite calmly about things not being sharp enough to do what I want and that I would buy something if I could.

This morning I felt really bad and told the CPN that I felt like it was never going to stop or get better, and felt that the meds were making me worse, but this afternoon I actually started to feel normal! So maybe the meds are working, I am still very anxious about things, especially if the phone rings and thoughts of having to talk to lots of people. I have also started to spend more time with DD#2 the baby. I have also started using her name more, and things do seem to be improving so maybe there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.

This has been a really long journal today, but I think I needed to write all this somewhere, I know tomorrow I may feel bad again, but a least for now I can feel slightly normal and might even be able to watch some telly!

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 I hope that anyone who has managed to read all this and is struggling will see that even though 12 months ago things were very bad, I have come out the other side. I am still recovering and it doesn’t take much to knock me down, but I am nothing like I was and those silly thoughts are getting less and less.