Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Progress check since January.

Since January I have come a long way, and I thought it was about time to get it written down and "Out there" so it sinks in the my brain cell.
  • I am able to identify emotions and their warning signs most of the time before it reaches crisis. It isn't 100% because things still sneak up on me and take me by suprise (such as thursdays anger thing).
  • I can "sit" with most of the smaller emotions and ride the wave
  • I can anticipate situations that are going to cause me an issue, and try and form a coping action plan.
  • I can identify a fair amount of things that are triggers and do my best when I am strong enough to avoid them.
  • I am better at identifying what kind of people cause me issues, and deal with them accordingly.
  • I have not self harmed in over 2 weeks (unless biting nails and picking scabs counts)
  • Thanks to my friends on friday evening, and my lunch with Letia on monday, I have learned that I can put myself in social situations and not feel like a social outcast with "Nutter" tattoo'd on my forehead.
  • I can travel on public transport and walk around shopping centres as long as I have music playing very loudly in my headphones.
  • I walked Barney yesterday without being taken by the "big Bad Wolf, or the secret Black ninjas that hide in the trees.
  • Every day I take a step forward in coping with the kids better.
  • I have been sober since January 23rd (apart from a sneeky glass of wine during the easter weekend)

So since thursday evening things have been going well. I am experiencing pleasing emotions and sitting with them although I have  The Toxic waste, The alien telling me it isn't going to last, that everything is going to come crashing down around me sooner rather than later. At the moment I am choosing to ignore it.

Also it is very surprising to learn that the Psychologists and my psychiatrist speak the truth. The only thing that is going to help me get better is exposure, sitting with feelings, and doing things that make you feel uncomfortable until you are ok with it. Also Validation and emotional reasoning helps keep the nasty head talk in check. Who'd have thought it!

I do have to keep in check though, because when things run ok like this, I tend to get delusions of grandeur  and feel like I can take on the world and win and have such plans. Then the plans cause pressure, and the pressure causes me to fold and thats the end of the happiness and the beginning of the end.

Sunday we took the kids to sea world, which was a huge deal for me. 1) there were lots and lots and lots of people 2) there was lots and lots and lots of noise    3) there was lots and lots and lots of chaos and disorder. All of which don't sit well in my current state of mind.  The kids ran amok and I was in a heightened state of panic because I could not keep sight of both of them at the same time. I suppose I should have explained my requirements to Jamie beforehand, that I needed him to comply with my need to have the kids close by to keep me at ease, but I didn't until the end (and I kind of shouted it at him as I lost my temper) But. I survived. I didn't fall completely to pieces and was kind of able to enjoy bits of it. I look at it as a major step in the right direction because I coped under immense perceived pressure and threat.

This has taken me 4 days to write and I can't really remember much more of what went on. I will try and get back into daily posts for the rest of the week.

Thank you for reading, xxx

Friday, 27 May 2011

Weekends. They are supposed to be the highlight of everyones week. For me, they are living hell. I get worked up on a friday evening knowing that my week of structure, control, boxes, organisation are about to be crushed and crumbled and tossed aside.

The thing is, during the week, the kids are at kindy, and I have a basic mental plan that I follow during the week. It is only determined by my actions and everything mostly goes to plan (unless I am triggered at some point.)

The weekend is determined by the kids. what mood they are in, how they chose to behave, and if it is possible for them to cooperate long enough to get clothes on. Also depends on my mood and if my hubby is in his typical "it's a weekend, I'm bored" mood (yeah I know you don't believe it exists but it does so there).

The plan was to go and have fun at sea world, get some fish and chips and maybe monster prawns for dinner. Instead what has happened was WW3 erupted and we ended up staying at home. I am bored and unmotivated, can't do any art work as I am uninspired and CBF'd. So that is that really.
To brighten a very boring post, as I have been rearranging my craft room for the squillionth time, I found this that I had copied down whilst in hospital:

My declaration of self-esteem.
I am me.
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. There are people who have some parts like me but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone choose it.
I own everything about me- my body, including everything it does; my mind, including all my thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all they behold; my feelings, whatever they might be -- anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement; my mouth and all the words that come out of it -- polite, sweet and rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud and soft; all my actions, whether they be to others or myself.
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, and all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By doing so, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.
I know that there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles and for to find out more about me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is me. This is authentic and represents where I am at that moment in time.
When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something new for that which I discarded.
I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.
I own me and therefore I can engineer me. I am me and...
                                   I am ok.    By Virginia Satir.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Anger to guilt to shame to remorse to punishment. (contains potential triggers)

I dissociated today. Not sure when and not really sure why. What I do know is was I was intensely Angry at everything, and everyone and the universe.
My dissociation was an out of body one. I could see myself behaving badly, being antisocial and generally out of character. I don't remember the second session of DBT. I took my anger out on a very lovely person who just really happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time for me and my anger. I took it out on her. It wasn't grown up behaviour, it was very much high-school style.
I could see myself and hear myself doing it, but had no control of my body. I know it sounds like a convenient excuse, but to those who have not experienced dissociation it is too hard to explain sensibly and rationally.
At the end of DBT, K asked me what she had done to upset me, and I apologised, but I was in such a state that it didn't really feel real. I got up and basically ran away like a coward. I then felt extremely guilty, and the need to punish myself and got wrapped up in thinking of how to do it. Crossing the road...not fair on the unexpected driver, then blades and burn spring up. In the shopping centre it was not possible to burn, and luckily fate was on my side/ against me because I couldn't find the thing I was looking for and therefore unable to buy blades.
By the time I had walked around the mall listening to loud music, sat down and waiting for hubby, my PRN's kicked in and I realised how stupid the whole situation was. Looking back I am glad I didn't hurt myself and instead phoned the person concerned and apologised again. (I am a person that needs to repeatedly apologise for something almost obsessively.)
Now I have extreme shame that my DBT crew, who I admire and like a lot, saw me behave like a child, and be so unnecessarily emotional. I am embarrassed, remorseful, guilty and so bloody childish.

I have no idea what has caused me to regress to a child like state, and I have little to no memory of my session with my psychologist today, so maybe something triggered me then.

Now I am at home, the anger has disappeared but the guilt and shame are still strong. I am going out tonight with a group of friends I have not seen for a long time, a couple of them since before my breakdown.
I am nervous, scared and intimidated and feel like I will be going there with the word "Complete and utter nutter" tattoo'd on my forehead and lit up with sparkly lights. My instinct is to not go and stay at home and go to sleep, but I miss there friends dearly, so I will go and enjoy the evening however much effort it takes for me to be "In the moment".

Ho hum, life goes on maybe one day this will all be in the dim and distant past.

Thanks for reading xx

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Rambling observations of the past few days.

Whenever you are feeling odd (eg flat) and spending most of your day asleep in bed, it pays to look at what is going on in your life and start putting names to things.
Up until yesterday I felt flat, and was sleeping a lot, but was confused as to why. Nothing was really going on it was just another typical weekend.

On reflection though, and some cross-examination from my psychologist I was:
Stressed due to an emotionally manipulative person repeatedly e-mailing me.
Angry and stressed that simple plans on saturday became too complicated because I can't drive long distance. 
Angry and withdrawn on sunday because the weekend (in my head) had become too chaotic and disorganised and far out of any boundaries of boxing, sectioning and organising that my mind thrives on.
Pressure because I can not say "NO" to anyone, when really I needed to.
Stressed and scared and frightened about my husband having to go to Sydney for 2 days in a couple of weeks time.
DBT itself is a major trigger, becuase it makes you look at yourself and make changes. It is very tiring.
That on top of a couple of nights of poor sleep = not very happy me + fucked up head.

So I suppose there is an answer to every mystery, it just takes looking in the right places and using the facilities provided (something I am usually very bad at)

In DBT we were kind of challenged to pick one aspect of our life that we want to improve and make small steps to improve. I have chosen believing in myself and boosting my self esteem (a nice, small easy thing to change....not)
The plan is affirmations, listening to a podcast about boosting self esteem and writing a list of strengths that I have. Will I be able to do it? I don't think so but I will try to try my hardest.

Today does not feel like a good day to start because stress levels high, coping skills low, desire to make myself a better person...god knows. If the start to today is anything to go by, I will be making a hasty retreat to my bed and hiding myself under the doona until tomorrow.

Tonight in an attempt to boost my self esteem I am going to sit down and look at the progress I have made since January and blog it.

Thank you for reading xxx

Sunday, 22 May 2011


Flatness...what emotions are associated with it? I don't really know. What I do know is it is in the same class of feelings as  empty and numb.

I just can't really feel anything but flat. It is a feeling devoid of joy or anything positive, but it is also nothing really negative either. The best I can describe it is I feel like a robot, I am on automatic and simply going through the motions.

I have been making cards and bows today, but still it is robotic, no joy, no excitement, just going through the motions. I am pleased that My friend Laura has put in the hard yards getting things started for our on-line business, but I'm frustrated I don't live closer to go and help her. Still residual feeling: flat.

Jamie has spent the weekend looking after the kids, and I feel guilty for this, because I really want to be able to enjoy time with them. The thing is I need order, I need plans, I need itineraries (thanks dad!!) and the one thing that Jamie and the kids don't do is order, plans and structure. Somehow we are going to have to find the happy medium, but I don't really know where to start.

I spent most of yesterday in bed, and had an afternoon sleep today too. My head just feels so muddled and jumbled and I am not coping well with the whole flatness thing. It is boring, it is exhausting and it is alien.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Just when you think you have it all sussed out.

I have a thing, a personality "quirk" for want of a better word, where I want to fix people. I want to reach out and take away their pain and suffering and make them whole again, make them happy.
There is one particular person on my mind right now, L, I wish that I could take away all her pain and suffering and leave her with a life worth living, giving her all the happiness and joy she deserves to have.  
I hope to see you again in this life, but if not I'll see you in the next.
But I know I can't,  she is the only one that can do that and I just have to live with it. I wish I could do this for my DBT group too but I can't.  I know I am not a miracle maker or an all powerful being I am just simply me.

The thing that frustrates me the most about this though is sometimes it has been taken advantage of, and I have been emotionally manipulated (and I fall for it every time). But mostly is why can I do this and feel this for other people, people that I have known for relatively short periods of time, but I just can not do it for myself.

I have no belief in myself, I don't particularly like myself, I can't understand why people like me. I am a prisoner of my mind and it is full of crap, therefore my brain says "I am not worthy of me wanting to fix me". I try, I try really hard most days and for the past 6 days I really felt like I got it, like it was all working out the right way for a change.
Then I discover my mega mindfulness sessions were not mindful, they were mindless and therefor avoidance. Now I pleaded ignorance to this avoidance. I wasn't avoiding anything, I'm just really, really mindful...but today I had to realise and admit the thing that I have been and still am avoiding is this complete inability to get outside my house. I can do it when Jamie is here, as there is no force field. But when I am home alone and I want to go for a walk I just can not do it. I fear the unknown and unidentifiable feeling of discomfort and I am going to have to work on it this week.

I also thought I had been doing a really terrific job at coping. Turns out it is OCD and I am compartmentalising and ritualising things I do obsessively.
OCD is an arse hole, just when you think you've got it all sorted out OCD pops itself up in a different form in your life. It is a nightmare.
I just can't seem to find the happy balance, in fact I don't know how else to be because things start falling apart when there is no structure, no routine, no "putting things in boxes".

Something my psychiatrist said to me today hit a nerve. We were discussing my son Cameron, who has issues sleeping and self soothing. He asked me how he gets on in kindy, and he does fine. He is happy, interactive, playful and goes to sleep. No fuss, No shenanigans no blood curdling screams of muuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
At home however it is different. Bed time is a constant source of stress for me and I have a very low (to no) threshold of tolerance for the cries for mummy. I can't cope with the fight to get him into bed and then to stay in bed.
So my Psych said that there is something that I do, or a way in which I act, or whatever that makes Cameron feel needy and as soon as he steps into the house and I am there he relies on me as his soothing and sleeping mechanism.  So now I worry that I am too clingy and too needy of his love and affection or that I over do things as a warped way of making up for being a complete nutter...and as a result making him feel the need to...I don't know...maybe need me because he thinks he is helping me.

So now I see myself as a failure at CBT and DBT because I put a twist on things, I am a failure as a mum for projecting things onto my son, a failure because I can only function utilising my OCD. I feel like hitting my head against a brick wall all over again, becuase now I just can't see how to correct my errors and get me back in line.

As you can see I spend all my time in my head, trapped in my mind, thinking, thinking and over thinking every little thing. Every minute detail wondering how I could do things differently.

So in the words of Robbie williams:
I'm contemplating, thinking about thinkin'
It's overrated just get another drink in
And watch me come undone.....

Things are going ok

Another good day, that makes 6 in a row now. It is an empowering feeling, but at the same time unnerving. I am always looking over my shoulder waiting to stumble and fall back into bad habits.

One major downside to this new found happiness is that my art is suffering. I think I need to be depressed to create my works of art, but I am trying to embrace the spiritual side of my life and hopefully that will bring forward more creativity!

I found myself in the position where I was faced with someone suffering and in the mental place that I was in January. This person is hurting so much that they can't cope anymore, and have given in and given up.
The impact it had on me was quite profound, now I can truly understand what I put my husband and family through. How they knew I was unwell but did not know how far I would go into the bad stuff. If I knew then what I know now would i be able to communicate better? I'm not sure, but I know what it is like to not understand the irrational mind and the power it had over me and the power it has over my friend.
My friend is very intelligent and very wise and old enough to understand the impact of her actions and I wish I could take away her pain and suffering and "Fix" her. However, from my learnings in DBT it is something I have no control over, so I have to let it go, and what will be will be.

Now when my family nag me to write an email and keep in touch, I will do because I understand how scary and confusing this all is for them.

Right now my brain is hurting and not functioning properly and I have my funny sensory delay in my left hand. I hope I get my referrals for scans, tests and neurologists soon.

Can't think of anything else to say, so thanks for reading.

Monday, 16 May 2011

I am a Happy mummy!!

I have had another good day today, it is getting really quite unnerving having so many happy days in a row...I keep on waiting for the black hole to come and swallow me up.
In the mean time I am embracing all my happy feelings, feelings of joy, success, elation, enjoyment.

Today I had a felting lesson and got shown where I was going wrong with my pieces. Basically needed to work them for a lot longer than I was. But now I know what to look for when it is ready to do all the different stages and what it feels like at each point.

The one big thing that has put a huge big smile on my face is when my son announced to his Grandmother "I have a Happy mummy" I am going to carry that around with me all week now as my badge of honour!!

Oh and did I do the run and the dog walk....no, but after doing all the felting this morning I had a huge workout (it is hard on the arms, core muscles, butt and thighs)...there is always tomorrow!!!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Getting out into the big wide air.

Shhhhh....Don't tell the Big Bad Wolf, the Black ninja's and all the muggers of the world....but tomorrow morning I am going to get up at 5.30, put my gym clothes on and attempt to go for a run. I have my route planned out, and my soundtrack picked the running thing...well, I am a bit unfit and have been smoking quite a bit so it might be more like a 90 year old womans effort to run, but I will be in the WIDE OPEN AIR, IT IS OPENER THERE!!

AND if that wasn't enough, I also plan to take barney for a walk. I think I have been hit on the head and had a total mind transplant. We will see how it all pans out tomorrow hey?

This weekend has mostly been a positive one, I suppose it just goes to show you take meds for a reason, and forgetting to take them does very bad things to your mind. (I will never run out again!)
I think it is the most normal I have felt in a very long time. We kind of had a plan which helped, the kids were relatively compliant (apart from when they weren't, but I suppose that is normal)
I have got out of the house for 2 days running. Today I had a lovely day catching up with my friend Mel and her family, and the kids had a whale of a time playing on the trampoline, chasing the next-door neighbours dog and generally causing chaos.

Anyway all of this has given me a taste of freedom and I think I feel strong enough to break down the force field around my house and get out into the big wide world.
Tomorrow I am also going to someone who is going to help me fix my various felting problems and show me where I am going wrong. I am really excited and looking forward to this because I really enjoy the whole felting process. It is the definitive mindful activity for me.

If I achieve my goals tomorrow, the breakthrough will be a huge one and I will finally be winning. Fingers and toes crossed peoples!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Never type a blog on an ipad, and NEVER Believe Dr Google

so you get 2 for the price of one today. My first blog this morning was typed on an ipad, it is impossible to see where you are writing or what you are writing; and as a consequence my post came out all mumbo-jumbo and in the wrong order.

There is a possibility that I could have epilepsy. That my weird dissociative states are not dissociation, but TLE or FLE (temporal or frontal lobe epilepsy) I did a bad thing. I googled it.
Now the thing with Dr Google is that he almost always diagnoses you with a tumour of sorts or some nasty degenerative or fatal disease. Once he has planted the evil seed of those thoughts it is bloody hard to get past them.

Thankfully today I am mostly in my rational mind, thanks to a lovely morning out at the spit with my family and dog. All very mindful, stimulating all the senses and it was fun watching my fully clothed kids crawl, run and splash in the shallow water (getting absolutely soaking wet and covered in sand) . The dog went crazy running around with all the other dogs, although he is an old duffer now and doesn't quite have the stamina he once did (he has been comatose since we got home!!!)

I now understand that hospital is the wrong place for me, because I can cope better than I thought with all the urges. I understand and realise that emotions come and go, the trick is to sit with them, to deal with them and move on. If i go to hospital, I just prolong the moping and let the negative thoughts get the better of me. It is not rehabilitation it is pure and simple avoidance of reality. Who'd of thought that a Psychiatrist would know best??!!!

I would like to thank Kim and Laura for some excellent distraction for me on friday, when I had planned to stay in bed, drugged up and moping. Instead I harnessed the awesome power of OCD and cleaned myself into a better state of mind (the pizza, chocolate, coffee and company helped no end either!!)

So I think at the moment I am my own worst enemy. I have never trusted myself (let alone like myself) and have never believed I knew the stuff I know. I sit in DBT and think that it is never going to sink in, I am never going to get it, or get better. BUT now I have concrete proof I do know what I know, i don't know how many times my psychiatrist or psychologist or husband has said it to me and I have just dismissed it, but something inside me has changed and now I can believe it for myself.
I also now feel like I can leave the house, I want to get outside in the fresh air and I want to be free from my self-made ball-and-chain. I want to walk the dog, go for a run, I want to conquer the world!! (I am even thinking of doing the 7.5km walk in the Gold Coast Marathon...anyone care to join me???)
I feel FREE.

Not sure how long these feelings will last, but I am holding on to them for as long as possible!!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Finally I think I get it

I had a really bad day on Thursday. My brain hurt, it was so full of information and new found knowledge, all I wanted to do was put my self to sleep for a long time so I didn't have to feel or think. I felt like I needed to be in hospital to be safe.

However my dr had a different idea, he told my husband that it was avoidance and that I was doing so well with my DBT that I could cope at home.

I was angry, but put myself to sleep for the rest of Thursday. In retrospect most of my issues were caused by sleep deprivation.

Friday I intended to sleep all day and feel sorry for myself. Instead I went to my friend Lauras house and spent the day with her and Kim. We OCD'd Lauras house, we ate pizza and chocolate and had a really good day.I am so glad I made the very last minute decision to go because it was a good day.
I also think most of my crisis was caused by me not taking the correct amount of medication. I had run out and was only taking a small amount of what i needed. Now I have got all the right stuff I am feeling more balanced.
Today I feel like I am at the edge of being manic as I am having all these grand designs of things I could do, but I know they are not readable right now.
I am weighting this on an iPad and it is really annoying me now so I am going to sighn off, and go to the spit with my family and dog and get some much needed fresh air in the real world.
Also my DBT is sinking in and I can actually sees and understand that these crises come in waves. Had I gone to hospital it would have got worse and worse, whereas I am feeling relatively normal today and am actually craving going out inthe fresh air and get out of the house.
I now also understand that until I have seen the neurologist it is hard to see if this is all mental illness or a form of epilepsy or a combination of the 2. Until that is sorted out it is hard to know what is going on.

I am getting frustrated with the swings from high to low and am feeling like I am probably on the urge of being manic. I am having lots of grand plans and ideas that I know I can't possibly do right now.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It is all too hard!

I feel very strange today. It is like I am walking the fine line between sanity and madness. Ihave my down days, my very dark and twisty days, my ok days and my borderline manic days.

Yesterday was a very dark and twisty day, but today with a mammoth amount of effort on my part today has been an ok day.
It has taken every ounce of energy to distract myself. I distracted myself with TV and a movie, eating junk, drinking copious amounts of coffee and doing my art. It is amazing just how much energy it takes. But I suppose I did it and I am still here so that is all good.

My head is starting to cave in with the complexity of my illness and all it's different facets, and fighting the good fight becomes almost mission impossible. I am finding it impossible to sleep properly, and even with medication, my usual fall back plan, I am unable to sleep thanks to flashbacks and really surreal dreams (some of which feel like real life and it is often hard to distinguish what is reality and what was just a dream.

I am just not coping with the swings of extreme anguish and depression, to mania and normality (or my weird interpretation of normal.)
the good thing about it is I am creating some really good art work, and people have expressed kinterest in buying it which has to be good, but apart from that I don't see I am making anymore progress.
I still can't get myself out of the house, it is like there is a force field surrounding it and it blocks me from going out of the front door or even going out into the back garden to hang out washing. I hate this and it frustrates me because there is no rational reason for me to not go out side.

Today I think I had a fit. I blacked out, only very briefly but then it felt like my eyes were rolling and dancing and evything was flashing. It was like someone rapidly switching a light on and off. Once it was over, I had a headache. I can't wait to get it checked out to See if it is dissociation or fits.

I don't know how much longer I can maintain this effort involved in being in control, and I'm not even sure now if I am doing the distraction thing correctly or if I am simply just avoiding and wearing my mask of "I'm ok".

Some days I just long for the olden days when everything was managed by drinking a bottle of wine or 10.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

waste of time.

Sometimes I wonder what the point to all of this is. Today I just want to put my hand up in the air, wave the white flag and say enough is enough. I kind of feel like my mouth is saying words, but no-one is really listening. I feel like maybe I am just a drama queen, I feel like whatever I do or say it will always be unheard, mis-interpreted and misunderstood. I want to grab someone by the neck and shout my issues at them until they get it, but it wont make a difference because I think my words are all wrong and that maybe I am just an unintentional attention seeker? I don't know anymore. Maybe I should just shut up.

I have a few things going on in my head right now. One flashback that has side-swiped me and left me feeling slightly unnerved about how not crazy it is sending me. It is affecting me though, I am having frequent panic attacks and feel like my legs are made of jelly, and my head is doing funny things.

Since my crisis about the kids and their sleep issue, when my mind can't cope with anything else, I am getting random images flashing through my mind (a bit like someone changing channels with a remote, but ultra fast) and my head feels like a strobe.

I am not feeling good, I am running on empty. I am worried about how I am going to get through the next day and a bit, because the strength to cope, Be mindful and apply my DBT/CBT skills has run out and I just feel like banging my head against a brick wall over and over again.

I am a danger to myself, and I am not safe unless Jamie is here. But for the sake of my family and friends I will find what I can to fight to keep myself safe.
It is just too bloody hard today and I am over it.
I am fine if I am mentally occupied with something that makes me focus my whole attention on it, or when listening to music so loud it perforates your eardrums, or when stuck in a traffic jam with my husband having conversations on the logistics of someone pleasuring themselves whilst driving stuck in a traffic jam (not me or him, but random drivers!!) in fact if I could just be driven around in a car all day and all night I could guarantee my safety.

That is it for today, I just feel "Meh"

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Left in a Lurch.

From: "Oh the places you will go" by Dr Zeuss.

I'm sorry to say so,
but sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups 
and Hang-ups 
CAN happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are then,
that you'll be in a slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

I am stuck in a Slump and I have no idea how to get out of it. It is like a broken record playing and re-playing the same song over and over again. It is a song that completely breaks my heart and something I have lost all control over.
Every evening it is the same. The tears, the crying, the tantrums. The fighting, hitting, spitting and demands for me. Asking, begging me to give them something I just don't have the power to give them right now. 
If I give in to the demands, I end up in bed at 7 and make the cycle harder and harder to break.  I wonder how I ever made it get to this point, how is it that I have never been able to help my son settle himself or go to sleep. Every time it comes to bedtime me heart breaks just a little bit more. Right now it feels like there is nothing left to break. 
Is it all my fault for trying so hard to do the right thing when he was a baby. My failure to recognise I had PND? have I just made it 100 times worse for being admitted to a psychiatric hospital not once, but twice. 
I know my kids pick up on my emotions and that it affects them so deeply, I try not to show them how I am feeling, but it just makes it worse. I am an unfit mum. I am a failure.

The pressure this has all put on my marriage is huge. We argue over every little thing at the moment because the house is just a boiling point of anger and frustration. Jamie is amazing and wonderful and I love him, but whenever we are together it is so stressful it is impossible to relax and be comfortable in each others company. Or either he or me falls asleep trying to calm Cameron down, that we barely see each other throughout the day. If and when the battle is won, we are both so exhausted from it all there is  just nothing left to say or do.

I am fighting this beast, this toxicity inside me to try and make everything alright again, I did CBT I am doing DBT, I see my psychiatrist, I tend to avoid my one-on-one sessions with my DBT therapist because I don't want to hear how crap I am or how much of a failure I am.  

How the hell do I get out of this fucking great big mess I have created? How do I fix it? How can I change it? Can somebody come forward and tell me, because right now I don't know what is right, what is wrong, what is up or what is down?

As Madonna says in one of her songs:
"why do all the things I say, sound like the stupid things I have said before?"

The biggest problem I have with my mental illness is the extremes of high to low and how frequently the change is from good to bad.
Somebody somewhere please help me, because I feel like I am drowning.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Negative to positive...maybe physics doesn't suck as much as I thought!

Today I had one foot in the black hole, waiting and wanting it to swallow me whole.

I was triggered, after being in a triggered state already. Someone unknowingly described so  beautifully something to me. It was like offering me a glass of wine and a box of chocolates. It gave me the taste, the need, the want.
It came on so strongly and so quickly it took me by surprise. I wanted it soooooo badly that I just had to run and try to get the feeling.
I was lucky that I went to a place where 2 very good friends were there to bring me down, to ground me and help me. To stop me from acting on my urge. They kept me safe, and I thank them dearly for it. Thank them for the hugs, the hand holding, the mindless conversations.

Thank you to Heidi for a well timed lovely text message too, which made me feel important and human.

They pointed out to me that I have come a very long way since January, as previously I would have acted without a thought, ending up in a mess on the floor where I used to think I belonged.
Without really knowing it I identified my urge before it became a need and therefore in of my control. I stopped. I stop-think-goed without realising it. I have made such a huge progress and I deserve to feel proud about it, I kind of want to jump up and down and shout it from the roof.

I have Jamie at home with me making sure I stay safe, I have a huge supply of chocolate which always makes me feel better after a panic attack. I am watching Peep show which is so bloody hilarious, doesn't seem to matter how many times you watch it.

To the person that unknowingly triggered me, I would like to thank you and give you a huge hug, because you have made me realise just how far I have come.

Once again I am out of the black hole and heading back to my milky way.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Positive always attracts negatives. Physics sucks.

I was having such a good day today. I finished a couple more pieces of art and felt pretty damned chuffed with myself.
I took the dog for a walk. There was no big bad wolf, no black ninja's hiding in the woods ready to leap out and attack me, no ghosts, ghouls or bogeymen. Just me, my dog and a few hundred lorakeets or whatever they are called. Yay more positives, this DBT really is the good shit I can see a very small pin prick of light down the end of the very long tunnel.
I was feeling Happy and Joy, I was Proud, I was Elated.


I discover I am very scared of talking to my old friends, I find it hard to find common ground and I feel like I have got "Nutter" tattoo'd on my forehead. I hear words coming out of my mouth but they don't sound right, I feel like I am talking gibberish and I can not relax. In my mind I see them sitting in judgement on me and I hear them think "oh my god, she is so mad, crazy and effed up in the head" then I go into a whirlwind of panic.
This is the beginning of the withdrawal stage once more. Keep my self safe by being on my own.

And Then....

I ended up putting myself back at high school/ university/ any other miscellaneous real life places yesterday. I knew as soon as I started speaking it was wrong, that i was talking out of turn. It wasn't my business and in the little decision box they teach us in DBT it was not important to me, and it was out of my control. DBT says....let it go. Oh how I wish I had remembered that. But it is too late, and words can not be retracted and I feel like shit.
There is a part of me that has always been there. I want to fix people, make people happy/ better/ take away their suffering. I put an enormous amount of effort into it but I really don't think I have ever miraculously fixed anyone.
In being like this I suffer quite frequently with 'foot in mouth' disease, fail to engage brain before speaking and then pour out words with verbal diahorroea. My head screams out "stop" but I can't until "mission save the world" is complete.
I know as soon as I have done it I shouldn't have,  that it is not my battle to fight, or my war to win but I entangle myself regardless.

So this situation which has happened a few times recently, I regress into a headmucked teenager (that's incase my parents are reading!!) and it puts me right slam bang into punishment mode and i punish myself. I feel like banging my head repeatedly against my craft table in the hope I will bang all of this out but it is never going to happen. Pain is the only answer.

And so for the rest of the day and the week I will have my toxic waste telling me that I am an interfering so and so, I have no right to voice my opinion, I only end up hurting the people more than I help them.

I am hanging on for dear life to my avoidance and mindfulness right now so I don't lose control completely. Life would be so much easier right now if I could down 10 bottles of wine and erase the thoughts, vomit them down the toilet, numb them out of my head.

Why am I such a fuck up?

Feeling kinda good right now!

On thursday I will have completed my first module in DBT. The past 6 weeks have been challenging, triggery and overwhelming.

At the beginning of the module (Emotional reasoning) I had no concept of it, I had mastered the art of pushing my emotions down and away before I had a chance to do anything with them. Emotions were scary and numbness easier to live with than the harsh reality that is feeling.

The first few handouts I got I had written things like "my brain won't let me feel happiness", "I will never be able to sit with my emotions because I will never get in touch with them" "Validating feelings and emotions is mission impossible".

At the beginning I was numb and empty (still empty) and instead of sitting with my emotions and accepting them for what they were, they would turn into anger and punishment which I turned in towards myself and would take appropriate action against myself.

Now I am able to identify quite a few things, I can manage my anger a bit better, and I have even welcomed the emotions "JOY and HAPPINESS" into my life. It is a shock to the system to realise this and my brain still fights it, but the seeds have been planted and fertilised and will hopefully grow and squash out all the bad stuff.

The only thing that is bugging me right now is my UFO. My unidentifiable feeling that is following me around like a bad smell. I don't know what it is and can not identify or label it. I just know it is bad.
I have been dissociating a lot too, which for those that don't know is kind of like a very complicated and hard to explain  out-of-body experience.
I just hope it isn't my body fighting all that i have achieved, and I hope it isn't something disturbing from my past waiting for the right time to leap out and slap me in the face.

Anyway, in summary I have an enormous sense of well-being and achievement and it is amazing how different a person I am from the beginning of the year. I like to thank my DBT group for helping me get there, and all my friends for supporting me....I still have a looooong way to go though, but hopefully it is onwards and upwards from here!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

If you could live your life again, would you do it all the same?

As the title says: If you could live your life again, would you do it all the same...or would you do it differently?

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had had the courage to do what I wanted to do, and be who I wanted to be, but I was one of those people that did as was expected of them and I never gave myself the opportunity to be who I wanted to be.
Now this is not a dig at my family (just incase you are wondering) it is something a song lead me to think.

If you could go back in time to a point where you made a particular life choice that ended up in wrongsville, would you take the other path and hope that going in the other direction would lead to happiness and joy, instead of crazy mental illness.

I wonder what life would have been like if I had chosen not to go to my friend Katie's wedding. I would not have met Jamie and I certainly would not end up with my bundles of Joy and mayhem Cameron and Amelia. And the noise and craziness that is Jamie.

I wonder what life would have been like if I had had children 10 years earlier, If I chose to stay in England. Where would my career have taken me? it would have been a very different path from the one it took. What if I went to a different university? well, I wouldn't have been bullied the way I was.

I wish that when I was younger that me and my sister got on as well as we do now instead of hating each other. I wish I had not chosen some of the partners I did, and wished I had taken other opportunities with other people.

I wonder if I had made different choices along the way where I ended up making mistakes, if I could jump back in time just before going down the wrong path and stop myself, would I have ended up with a mental illness.

I am glad I moved to Australia and had children when I did, because in that time I have made a very interesting and diverse collection of friends, friends that actually  care for me and my well being. I am also glad in a weird way that I ended up in Belmont because I have met an even more diverse and different group of friends that understand what life is like, but accept me as a friend regardless.

This is a bit of a pointless blog really, because I can't even answer my own question...I am just in a very philosophical headspace.

I would also like to thank Laura for the wonderfully motivating and uplifting post she wrote just for me and another friend, I needed that today and you are wonderful xxxxx