“Just a State of Mind”

It has been an insightful weekend, and one of pain – physical and mental!

Having swapped onto yet another antidepressant, I have to endure days of mental health issues as my body adapts to the chemicals that are going into it.  When someone says to me that Depression is just a state of mind, it makes me angry, because mine ISN’T a state of mind.  I actually have a chemical imbalance, and because my other antidepressants weren’t working, it is definitely not the serotonin that is the problem.  It could be noradrenalin  which means that I need to increase my new antidepressant in order to get its effects.  So Depression is just a state of mind?  Ha bloody ha ha.  It’s a state of chemical imbalance.

The other thing I have worked out, and probably something that goes along with the “actress/actor” thing that many with depression seem to be good at, and that is – I am a liar.  It is out there now, and I can’t take it back.  I lie.  Every day of my life, I lie to someone, and I don’t mean those little white lies to get away with something, or make someone feel better, I mean life changing lies.  Every day my beloved asks me how I am and I say fine.  He doesn’t understand or know the full extent of how I am feeling, because I am too scared that the will walk away or freak out.  So he doesn’t know just how bad I am feeling some days.  I have to hide it behind my pretty “actress” mask.  It was a bit of  a shocker for me, but at least I know it now, and it is something I can hopefully work on.

The other thing – physical pain-wise – I have ruptured a disk in my back and I can’t even think about how I have done it.  It definitely wasn’t the running I have been doing lately, but it will certainly make things harder for me to run, until it is fixed!  Grrr, just what I don’t need right now.  It is too uncomfortable to sit, so I can’t use it as an excuse to sit and write.  Damn it all!

All in all, things can only improve from now on.  It had better, I really can’t keep going in this state.  🙂

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Yet Again…

Bangs Head on Desk by Tolan88 @ deviantart

Bangs Head on Desk by Tolan88 @ deviantart

I’m writing this at 2:35am – so that should tell you something.  Yet again depression has raised its ugly head, and not in the way I expected.

I returned to my Doctor on Friday because I have been extremely tired lately – not just “I want to go to bed early tired”,  I mean “Do some work and have to go to sleep” tired.

She has taken enough blood to sort out an entire African nation in case of an emergency, and  increased my medication – because it might be depression again.  And she is probably right.  My Mum came with me and was able to tell her stuff that I wasn’t, and it was scary to hear it from another person’s mouth, but Mum was right.  Probably the tiredness hasn’t been helping, but that is also a symptom of depression returning.

So with the increase in the antidepressant, I am now restless at night, in fact not sleeping much, my body is a bag of nerves and I am grinding my teeth, and that is only stepping up to the new dosage.  This is what I hate about changing my medication – the adjustment period it takes for my poor body to get used to it.  Once I am into the increased dosage, all of these symptoms, fingers crossed, will settle down, but in the meantime, I have to go through it.

My stepdad has been wonderful.  And because of what I am going through, and how open I have been about my experiences, he has opened up and we freely talk about our depression experiences to each other and he now talks to others about it to.  He has brought the John Kirwan book, especially for the both of us to read, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

So in the meantime, it is a case of just waiting, and wringing my hands, grinding my teeth and a few sleepless nights until the medication settles down.

Finding Balance

I had all sorts of names for this blog, but none of them were very positive, so will have to go with this one.

I have recently started working at the school, and they have increased my hours, so I now work 10 hours a week, which is fantastic.  I love working with the Year 9 kids.  I have learnt more in Maths and Science than I did in my third form year!

But yesterday, on my only day off, I was sitting in the sun contemplating what I was going to do next when I realised, that if I wasn’t careful, I would over balance myself and end up back in my depression.

While this thought was fleeting, it did give me something to think about, because I am also  writing / editing, selling and recruiting for Avon and working on my health, fitness and wellbeing, as well as being a mum, wife and step monster.

I don’t want to squeeze anything out of my day, but I don’t want to feel I have to accomplish everything either, not that I have reached that stage yet.  One advantage of being on antidepressants is that I don’t have a care in the world, and nothing really stresses me out too much – unless I stress myself out, so easy solution – don’t focus on it!

My health and fitness are an area of my life that definitely need improving, and I have started on a new program that focuses on health and fitness for life, not just for the short term.  This will help with my depression.  I have found working with the kids has had positive results too – I am a natural encourager, good and supporting others, but crap at doing it for myself.  Seeing them achieve is fantastic, even if they do need bribing every now and again.

So, for the next few weeks, I think it will be a case of playing it by ear, and if something upsets or stresses me, then I will have to just let it go, move on to another project until I feel less stressed, but the exercising has been fun, and I have lots of encouraging friends, which is always beneficial!

Don’t worry, writing won’t be going by the wayside, but it was just something that I wanted to put out there, part of making myself accountable .   🙂

A Valuable Lesson

I have recently started work at the local school, working with the Year 9’s (13 year olds)

Bangs Head on Desk by Tolan88 @ deviantart

and I am really enjoying this.  I work all day Monday, half day Tuesday, couple of hours on Wednesday.

Last week, I also had my Avon boss send through a ton of work that needed to be done, including meeting with her on Thursday to get some preparation done for the Sales Event (where we showcase some of the upcoming products and congratulate our top sellers).

By Monday night my brain was frizzled.  I was in bed by 7:30pm and asleep not long after, it was just such a tiring day (though not as tiring as working with the primary school!)

Tuesday I had a lot of paperwork and stuff to do and I was struggling to keep on top of things.  By Wednesday, I knew I had a day in town, so I did it, but I got home late and upset my son because I wasn’t there to pick him up from school.

I read somewhere the some stress is good in your life, but I learnt last week that stress is not a good thing for me.  If I hadn’t been on my antidepressants, I think I would have lost the plot totally and been a bawling mess by Tuesday.  Instead, I knew I was getting wound up and that I would have to keep going.

My Valuable Lesson?  Don’t take on too much, it just isn’t going to work for me.  Even being on the medication I felt very on the edge – if I hadn’t recently changed, I think it would have been rather disastrous, but I feel more in control with these new tablets, I can see the changes that I wasn’t quite getting on the last ones.

As a result of my extremely busy week, I didn’t get much writing done – none until Friday and since then I have accomplished 2500 odd words, and figured out how to make Medusa change without her head being removed – still as gory though, hopefully!  I love having some gore in the middle of a romance – mwhahahaha!

The Year in Review

Light at the End of the Tunnel, Kawatiri Tunnel, Feb 2011

This is the time of year where everyone starts to reflect on the year that has been, and starts planning their New Years Resolutions.  I want to look back over the year for another reason, because there has been a lot of turmoil this year for me.

At the beginning of the year, I set the goal of writing three novels and I was well on the way to achieving that.  I had 57,000 on Blood Gold by August, 55,000 on my Ice Planet story, and I planned on doing on in November (for NANO) but instead, my life took a rather drastic turn.

I was diagnosed with depression in February 2011 and working with my Doctor, we tried natural remedies to try and make myself better.  Why I was diagnosed, I don’t know, but for years I spent a lot of time trying to make it right for everyone else, and finally nothing was right for me.  The natural methods worked for a while, but when June hit, I started to feel myself going downhill.  By July I had hit rock bottom and couldn’t make sense of what was going on around me.  I found a lot of the time, I was in tears over the silliest things, things that I would once have coped with.

Everest on my now deceased laptop

Burgess Gang

In September, my beloved laptop crashed, catastrophically, and due to a misguided faith in the life of my laptop, I hadn’t backed up anything for some time.  Hence, I lost pretty much all of Blood Gold and 30k from Ice Planet.  It was gutting.  So much so, that I think this triggered the deepest darkest place.

My writing was important to me.  It was my escape from the real world, it was my opportunity to control a small portion of the chaos that was my life.  By setting myself deadlines and goals, I was able to control how I achieved something.  But instead I found myself without my greatest joy and outlet, and I went back to the Doctors for antidepressants.

The first two weeks were horrific as my body and mind adjusted to the fake feel good chemicals that my body needed.  It must have been so depleted because it was hell for two weeks, but once I turned the corner, I felt much better.

Writing suddenly didn’t seem important.  Nothing was important.  My brain, which was my greatest source of my imagination, deserted me, my dreams left me, I had blank nights, or evenings when I couldn’t even sleep.  My Mum came and stayed with me for two weeks, while I adjusted to my new life.  My son, God bless him, now doesn’t like leaving me, in case I change again.  It has been rough on him.  My husband has also suffered through the harrowing times, but we are all a safe strong unit once again.

Writing has come back in fits and spurts, I have days when I write, but I often go for weeks without writing, and it doesn’t bother me right now.  I am still getting over the effects of the antidepressants.  My mind wanders freely of its own accord (I zone out!), my memory is like a sieve, I only remember what I want to remember (like my counselling sessions) and forget things that don’t seem important (like BGAC meetings!)

Counselling has been a Godsend, I love my counsellor, she is a loving, generous and caring person.  I love that she listens to me, acknowledges me, and tells me that what I am doing and feeling are normal, even if they aren’t!  Because they are normal for me.

One thing I have learnt from counselling is that life is all about choices.  You make

Winter Sunrise

choices that affect your life.  Others make choices and that affects their lives.  You have choices to make about how you react to other peoples choices.

At the moment, I am working on my own choices.  I make my own decisions and I live with the consequences, whether they are positive or negative.  It might sound really simple, but I have had to strip back years of intense anger, hatred and despair to finally come to this point.  To go back over all of the choices I have made in my life and accept the results, good and bad, as part of my life.

I have also accepted that people will make choices that I don’t like.  It doesn’t mean I have to like them or hate them.  That is the decision they have made.

As a result I have noticed an improvement in my relationship with my husband.  Initially I thought he was changing due to the changes in me, but now I realise that he hasn’t changed… I have.   I am more accepting of myself now, knowing that my history has made me who I am, and I can’t go back and change things, I have to see those events as life changing and learn from the mistakes, and move on.

So, this is my year in review.  It has been bad, but it has also been good.  I have grown up. I now accept myself for who I am and what I have to offer, and I have plenty to offer! I have a beautiful and supportive family, who ring me to see how I am.  I have friends who have surrounded me with love and support, and I will be grateful for them.

I will write again, because God gave me a talent, and he won’t take it away from me now.  He is just preparing me for the next phase of my life.  Good things can only happen from now on in!

Steampunga