Monthly Archives: July 2012

I’m leavin’ on a jet plane

Leaving on a jet plane

Leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow I’m off to Bangkok, then on to Singapore.

Looking forward to nice warm weather 🙂

I will be back at the end of the month, and will report back how it all went.

I’ll do my best to not drink too heavily. Never a good thing to do, you spend the next day in bed feeling pretty bad!

Look out shops, hear I come 🙂

Bye for now.

x

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Up and Down

Up and Down Like A Yoyo

Up and Down Like A Yoyo

Okay maybe saying that everything was going really well for me was a little premature. Not sure exactly what happened to me this weekend. Seeing the llamas again was great, but as for my mood, not so great.

My brother, sister and their partners came to the country to spend the night, and I loved that. I’m so lucky that I have such a beautiful family. Problem is me, not them! I tried to act as if nothing was wrong, but deep down I felt a heap of emotions, good and bad.

Someone else  was in the room that pulled down the whole energy around me down. For whatever the reason this particular person felt completely distant from the rest of us. You would think that by now, with all my therapy, I should know not to let other peoples problems bother me, but I do. Instantly I sit there thinking about what I might have done, or said, to make that person that way. It drives my mind crazy.  One minute I’ll be laughing and joking the next I feel like shouting out “what the hell’s the matter with you!”.

You feel like Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know whats up with that person, because in your mind you’ve created a 100 different scenarios. Some relating to you, some not.

I would love to have the ability to just switch off, but I cant! Its not in my DNA 🙂

So, the next morning I went to my llamas and tried to find that peace I just blogged about. Weird I realise, but, it worked!  They are just so beautiful you cant help but feel calm and rejuvenated.

I thought about it a lot today, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to let go of things that have nothing to do with me. That person never asked me to feel for them or confided in me as to what was bothering them. So at the end of the day it’s got nothing to do with me. I just have to ground myself when put into that sort of situation. Because if I don’t, I will be Up and Down, like a yoyo!

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Llamas Arrived

Margie my beautiful Llama

Margie my beautiful Llama

Wow. I had no idea how I would handle my llamas or if they would take to me.

After spending the last 6 days at our country property with them, they finally decided yesterday that I was no threat and they took food from my hands. Yeah! Sitting in their paddock freezing to death was worth it.

They are such beautiful animals.  Leaving them to come home was terrible, it felt like I was leaving one of my kids behind. My last blog talked about how my cat Sakura gives me such unconditional love, and helps me get out of negative (depressive) moods. Well I  now realise that maybe it’s all animals, because the happiness I felt every day after being with them was amazing.

Instead of dreading each day, I couldn’t wait to get up and spend time with them. I would just sit on this huge tree trunk in their paddock, watching their behaviours and listening to all the different birds chirping away.

It was just incredible. Me, of all people, liking the silence. I could barely believe it was me. I normally hate silence and I’m not one to enjoy my own company. But sitting there, cold breeze blowing on my face, birds chirping  away and  listening to the different sounds the llamas would make was so enjoyable.

We leave every Friday to spend time at the property which I always look forward to, but now I will be looking forward to it even more. Everyone needs a reason to want to get up each day, and I suppose now I’ve found mine. Going on holidays, shopping, out for lunch with your friends etc, sounds so cool doesn’t it? But at the end of the day there has to be more than that, you have to feel that you matter and what you do with your time is worthwhile. I’ve found some kind of an inner peace that I haven’t felt before and it’s really calming.

I really like the feeling and hope it stays with me 🙂

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Sakura

my friend sakura fooling around

my friend sakura fooling around

My cat Sakura  (which means Cherry Blossom, in Japanese) is the great love of my life. Who would have thought that a tiny little moggy black and white cat could bring me such joy?

She’s an inside cat, don’t feel sorry for her, as she has a large house to roam about in. She lives like a princess and therefore that’s why it’s her nickname. She started out as my son’s pet, but somehow I ended up being mum to her. I was 34yrs old when we got her, that was  10yrs ago. My interest in animals up until then was nil. But my son pestered and pestered me until I relented and got him Sakura:)

The unconditional love that an animal brings you, is the most honest love, that I think you can get.

When you suffer with Depression or some kind of mental illness, or for that matter even loneliness, it’s incredible how on a down day, your pet picks up on it and showers you with love. If I’m having a bad day and don’t want to get up, she will cuddle into me  just long enough for me to feel loved. Then she will continuously nudge and pester me until I do get up. To this day I still find it incredible how she picks up on my moods.

I can’t even imagine life without her, but I’m not that silly to think she will live forever. So I cherish each and every day that I have her in our lives.

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Medication

Medications

They look so harmless – yet they can help or harm depending on so many different things

I had taken sleeping pills for most of my adult life, but I hadn’t taken any other prescription medications for depression etc.

After 6 months of therapy I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar 2 disorder; Anxiety and Mood Disorder (academic reviews of this disorder can be found here), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Wow, try taking that all in. I thought to myself “god, I’m officially crazy”. I always knew I was different, but not that different.  🙂

These were some of the medications I was put on:

  • Valpro 500mg     ( One tablet twice a day )
  • Faverin (and the Wiki link for it’s USA name) 100mg     ( One tablet at night )
  • Efexor-XR 75mg     ( One capsule in the morning)
  • Efexor-XR  150mg     (One capsule daily )
  • Stilnox CR     ( One tablet at night)
  • Zyprexa 5mg     ( One tablet at night )
  • Zeldox 80mg     (One tablet twice a day )
  • Seroquel 100mg     ( 2 tablets at night)
  • Endep 10mg     ( One tablet at night)

Please remember that i am simply sharing my experiences. You MUST NOT deal with any of these drugs unless you are seeing your doctor to make sure that everything is in accordance with the medication’s impacts and side-effects as they relate to your specific condition.

I realise now that it can take your Doctor some time before they find the right dosages, and meds that best suit you. So I had to be patient, and wait to see what worked best for me. Although, at the time I felt like I was going crazy, just from all the medication I was given.

Still I was recovering from a nervous breakdown and had to wait till I got healthy again in my mind and body, until I could once again start  making descisions for myself.

I had to trust that they had my best interest at heart.

But as I started to get better ,I struggled with the fact that I had made it  to 42 years of age without medication, so why now am I not coping and needing to take it? My doctor had repeatedly told me that I had climbed mountains in my lifetime and had made it to the top, and that I can do it again. I don’t think he even realised how important or strong those words were to  me during those healing days.

He was right – I was going to find that inner strength again no matter how long it took me. I decided that there was no way I’m going to take all this medication every single day, for the rest of my life.

One night whilst taking medication for : Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I found myself stuck in my kitchen  polishing my bench tops with 5 different tea-towels. No matter what, the bench still wasn’t shiny enough for me, I was bending down looking sideways for any streaks I may have left. I felt like I was going crazy, and was about to break down crying.  I knew I was obsessing, but I just couldn’t stop myself. That was when I knew I had to get back to that place I went to for all those years, that had some how,  helped me with that Obsessive side. Its not that I hadn’t obsessed in the past,because I had! It’s just that I had better control over it. So I thought, hang on, you’re on meds and you are still obsessing. Why is that?! – something has to change. I slowly kept decreasing the meds I was on,until I finally  got down to just the Seroquel. I suffered many headaches and did lots of crying, but it was all worth it.When I told my psychiatrist he was a bit reluctant to praise me, as he didn’t want me to relapse. Truth be known, nor did I, but I was going to give it a damned good shot. So I agreed to stay on the Seroquel  as I knew it helped my mind stay calm and not be all over the place.

The only medication I take now is  the Seroquel, which  is a great medication. It helps put me to sleep, and stops thoughts from racing so fast through my head. The only thing that bothers me taking Seroquel is the cravings I get during the night.I actually wake up and go to the fridge and seek out sweet things. Shocking for the waist line 🙂 I’ve gone from 54kilo’s to 58 kilo’s, in the last few months. My doctor has suggested I try eat carrots every time I get the urge to binge eat. Well, I tried that, but my will power sucks! I have hired an exercise bike, with the hope that it will keep control of my weight ( fingers crossed).

It’s the  only side affect that bothers me, so I’m continuing with the medication.

Everyone is different, and we  take  medications for different reason., It’s  WHAT WORKED FOR ME! Playing around with your Meds can be dangerous and shouldn’t really be done without your doctors guidance.

Not been medicated for most of my life  was the reason I refused to start now. In saying that though, I had to admit defeat when it came to the Seroque, because  I had never known a peace inside my head like that, until i started taking it. If you have Bi-Polar you would know what I’m talking about. When I’m happy,I’m ecstatic, when I’m down, I’m really down. It’s like been on a roller coaster ride, but one you can’t get off.

No one wants to become a victim to the drug companies!  So, if you can reduce the amount you are on, and still be well, isn’t that what we are all looking for? It’s not that I’m against medication because I’m not. But if you can decrease the amount you take and still be well, then that’s a beautiful thing.

Remember to stay under the guidance of your doctor, and good luck with finding what best suits you.

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Volunteering

Feeling really lost and not knowing what to do with myself, I would wander around feeling empty inside and I would try and think of things to do that would make me feel happy, the sad thing was; it was always just a temporary fix.
When I’m feeling depressed, it’s hard to get motivated to do anything, most of the time its hard just to get out of bed; you lay there thinking of all the reasons you should, but then the negativity kicks in and you just want the bed to swallow you up.
You never feel good enough, and the thought of failure, before you have even begun, overwhelms you.

I’m one of those people that when I’m grocery shopping and someone bangs into my trolley, I’m the one to say sorry! The majority of people look at me as if to say; “so you should be.”
God I wish I had that sort of confidence (or arrogance) just for 1 day, to see what it’s like to be so sure of yourself 🙂

I saw an ad on T.V for Beyond Blue; so, not knowing anything about them I google’d it.
One of their slogans was to: Act, Belong, Commit.
They talked about volunteering, which I thought was good idea until that negative side kicked in again and I thought I had nothing to offer anyone.
The idea played over and over in my head until one day, one very positive day, I decided to reply to an ad. looking for people to volunteer  in an old peoples home.

During my interview I tried to be really happy, confident and upbeat and then I was asked what experiences I had to offer them; instantly that very negative side kicked in and I said that I don’t really have many.
The lady must have seen the disappointment in my face and said: “That’s okay, I’m sure any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.”
God, I can’t believe it, they actually think I’m worth something!
That night when my husband came home, I was dying to tell him that they said yes to me. It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my lifetime.

Its amazing how just holding their hands and asking how their day has been, can brighten a person’s day.
They love talking about their past and listening to music from their era.
I love seeing the people in wheelchairs (the lay down chairs) that don’t really talk or walk anymore, tapping lightly with their hands or feet against the chairs to the music.
When I first got there, I didn’t understand why these people were taken to the concerts; because they didn’t really respond to anything.
Until I saw that tapping of the feet or hands, I never realised just how important music is to us all. It seems to me that no matter how much our bodies or minds seem to give out on us, music lives on.

So if your wondering about whether or not to volunteer, give it a go; it gets you out meeting new people and its very rewarding!

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Making Me Happy

Their shed is erect on our farm. The photo above shows it in progress.

My llamas are on their way.  This is Margeurite.
She and Teko (a male) will be arriving next week.

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