Monday, July 30, 2012

An A not a D

Forgive me for my absence,  I have been quietly freaking out the past 5 days.  I went to see the psychiatrist on Monday last week.  She was fairly intimidating with tight jeans and killer red heals.  My psychologist had warned me she wasn't warm and fuzzy though so I was at least prepared.  She was also busy sorting out some personal crises which took 10 minutes of my precious R1500/hour appointment.   Harumph I tell you!

Anyway, after chatting to her and describing my symptoms or lack of etc she said I am not depressed.  Dora, Dolores & Dorothy are the names of the triplets we have given to one of my BFs depression.  The trips visit her every so often and paralyze her for a while till she's up again.  I don't have the trips, just good ol Agatha my anxiety and the subsequent over production of cortisol that I live with.  Its too much and makes me super wired when out of control.  She said there is an on-line test you can do which gives you a score for traumas in your life and then the likelihood of depression/mood disorders depending on results.  With all the tough times I have dealt with over the past 3 years its no wonder my nervous system is overloaded.   Tick box for parent with Cancer, parent with stroke and heart attack, leaving my job, getting a new job, turning 40, renovating my house which took 9 months instead of 4,  tragically losing Gary's BF Aidan in a bike accident, Gary changing jobs twice,  breakdown of a very close friends marriage, starting to study, emigrating overseas, not emigrating overseas.  Hello!  I should be damn loony kapoony by now.

So whats the answer?   Well a 4th attempt at trying to go on an anti-depressant.  My problem is always my hypersensitivity to the side-effects.  They just kill me and I land up giving up and choosing Aggie every time.  I started Cymgen on Wednesday morning and today is day 6.  Fecking hell but its been insane!    I have literally felt like I was on drugs, the coming down horrible part.  My anxiety has been through the roof with crazy racy heart.  I can't sleep at night and then can hardly stay awake in the day, my jaw and mouth is totally tight and spaz, I am shivery and then sweaty, my pupils have been huge and the my whites super white.   When I served coffee at the school sports day on Saturday morning my hands were shaking and they probably thought I was an alkie!   Today I have taken 2 Birals which are natural tranquilizers so I actually feel human.  I am hoping I have turned a corner and will start to get accustomed to the side effects because I cannot function like this.  I see her next Wednesday again to assess how I am doing.  I will also continue to see my psychologist every 2 weeks.  I really want to control my Agatha and get back to the point where I enjoy the cortisol busy buzz but its not heart racy.  I need that depleted serotonin which will also help me with my back pain.  I want to feel normal and calm.

PS, I still haven't googled Cymgen so I promise I am not making these symptoms up or imagining them, its been WILD!   

PPS, I know I need to spend more time with God for some Shalom peace and get grounded again.  Its all part of this therapy journey I am on. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The great unstuck action plan

While I am certainly still stuck I am no longer wallowing and I am trying to get out of the stinky sad swamp.  Having a plan always makes me feel better, doing something constructive.  

So firstly I am back at Pilates and back walking again.  I hate pilates, I wish I loved it and I know I need to do it  but it just makes me feel depressed.  I am so incredibly inflexible and tight so starting again is like a 300kg lady starting a diet and hoping to get to 60kg!  It feels impossible and I am not sure how I will ever get to some point of improved flexibility.  I go once a week for a private lesson and I am supposed to stretch at home which I foolishly do not do often enough.  Yes, yes...won't help if I don't do my bit.  The pain of my back motivates me to continue though and I will, I will even start practising at home and I might do a beginer yoga class at gym.

Step 2 of  my unstuck plan is long overdue therapy.  Last year I had a huge trauma and lost something infinitely precious to me.   A truth I had believed which formed my foundation was no longer and the wheels came off.  I have recovered from the trauma and done plenty redefining but I did what I always do, put all the baggage in a box and pressed down the lid.  Singapore was my new start and created some distance from that situation.  Now that I am staying I should probably work through that whole event and time.  I have found a lovely psychologist who I had made an appoinment with before I left.  I saw her Monday and I really like her.  She was actually laughing as I described one trauma to the next from the past 3 years.  I didn't even get to the time around Daniel's birth or the fertility vs infertility time in my family.  She made me feel really normal and confirmed the loss of the Singapore dream is connected to my loss from last year.   I also see a psychiatrist on Monday to discuss meds, I am tempted to go back on the Lyrica for my back.

Then my studies are back on track with 3 subjects to get through.  I have worked out my timetable and its very doable without too much pressure.  Not working makes a massive difference and I feel loads less pressure.  I will work again at some point but not for now.  Now its healing time.

And lastly is some me me me time.  I have taken out library books and read a couple.  I have stopped the literal run from place to place and planned my life a little better doing homework at extra murals, getting the kids to wait for me so I reduce my fetching and dropping.   I have booked for a walk on the 9th and I am hoping to find a great hike for Colleen and I to do.  I have also started pottery!  Me, a craft!  I have always wanted to do it and Tuesday was the first lesson.  I love the clay in  my hands and have envisioned my pot which will hopefully be close to that pic in my mind, gorgeous!  Only prob with my pottery is everyone in the class is over 75.  Yes, 75 years old.   One has 8 GREAT grandkids.  Gary says its because pottery is a granny craft, I disagree!  

So one day at a time as I get through this phase where I am forced to be a little kind to myself.  I felt so impatient and irritated that I wasn't snapping out of it but it doesn't work, I will just need to stop a while and not force myself to fake it.   I hope to post a pic of that fab vase soonest.  x

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lost my Y??

So I am stuck.  I have lost the Y in FUNKY and now its just a funk, a dark and sludgy funk.  Shit I so want to snap out of this, I really do.  I am bored and impatient with myself.  I have done all the pep talks, I have just been on an amazing holiday, I have counted my blessings, thought of those with so much less, done the how lucky am I thing.

You will tell me think about those in shacks who are freezing and think about my opportunities and my family and everything else.  You will tell me God has a plan for my future, that their is a reason why the relocation didn't happen, that it could be worse.  I know all this yet I stay in this stuck miserable place and the cold wet mud means I just cant lift my arms up and pull myself out.  The worst is I am not even PMS.  Í am trying to fake it, who wants to hang with the boring depro person right?   Then I meet someone who thought we had left and they just can't believe how it all fell apart and I am forced to tell the story again.  In some ways it makes me feel better as I feel validated then as it was a crap one.  It was 3 weeks before we were due to leave plus I was probably the most excited up there person re moving.  I only seem to do highs...massive excitement and expectation with very little reality thrown in.  Idealistic, romantic, sentimental.  

Am I just miserable or am I depressed?   Will it just pass with time like so much of the hard stuff that happened in my life?  Is it the culmination of a long time of tough times?  The proverbial straw that has broken my back, my spirit and my hopes?   Being in this mud makes me want to close my eyes and just sink underneath it but of course I cannot.   I have family and friends and I still have a spark of mojo reminding me of previous bleak times that are now all part of my life experiences.   Maybe its meds again although you know I never last, the side effects just kill me.  I persevered with the Lyrica as it did help my back but after 3 months of clenching my jaw and hunching my shoulders I have given it up.   This bleak feeling could be part related to the Lyrica too as my back is really sore again?   Feck!  Who knows??

School starts Monday which means routine again and exercise for me.  It also means I have to hit my books again.  Did I tell you I got 88% for psychology, 84% for Anthropology and 63% for Psychology in Society?  Not too shabby considering the circumstances and how everyone told me to put my studies on hold.   I write 3 exams this October so at least that is a focus.  I am sorry I am so bleak, I wish I could change it and I will eventually but for now I am afraid this is all I have.  Chat next week, off to defrost in my bed for a while.  x

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Holiday all over

So we are back to reality in a very cold and chilly Cape Town.   The holiday was amazing and I look forward to my daughters scrapbooks they intend making with the kazillion pics they took.  My best part of holidays is the time we all spend together, especially with my 16 year old Daniel.

Flight over was super long, flight home left at 3.00am and I am still super jetlagged so watch all my taped shows at 4.30am every morning trying not to cry.  Phi Phi was just stunning with incredible beauty, Phuket is just too crowded, dirty and polluted for me but we enjoyed the shopping and body surfing in wild Monsoon sea.   Singapore was busy, busy, busy trying to fit everything in that we had spoke about forever.  My time with sister Nina and her family was too short and we miss them alot.   Its definitely over though and we wont be moving there or anywhere.   I know we would have been happy there, sad there, busy there and bored there.  I know the same for Cape Town and I accept this is my home indefinitely.  I am over the worst of the disappointment and glad that the big dates are almost all over.  I don't want to live in the past and be the person who didn't adopt, who doesn't have 4 kids.  The person who didn't move to Singapore.  I am the person blessed with 3 kids and who lives in Cape Town, one of the most amazing cities in the world.   As long as the lost of things are to do in Singers, is the list for CT.   We have amazing wine farms and our mountains and awesome walking and hiking trails.  We have gorgeous beaches and interesting people and funky little towns.  We have fascinating social dynamics with all these different people groups working out life in our diverse country.   Now I need to get off my arse and actually enjoy my city.  Gary is a home-body so we stay home way too much on weekends.  He works his butt off so weekends are sleeping or sport on TV.  Not so much fun for spouse!   I hope to get him off the couch and do stuff with us but if not then I will leave him happily at home while we happily explore and enjoy our city.  

I am sort of giving myself off this week while its school holidays and then next week I try and find my path again and figure out where on earth I am going and what I am doing.   I need a plan.  Rightly or wrongly I cannot just be, just chill.   Life is short and losing Aidan last year reminds me daily to live my best life and for me that means new possibilities and plans and hopes and dreams.  Goodbye past, hello future, bring it on! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ikea, twisting the knife!

I have being trying to just enjoy this week without feeling super bummed that this would have been my home for far longer than this crammed week.  Every time the girls or Daniel have told me how much they love it here or how they wish they could live here I have not allowed myself to go there.  I have constantly reminded myself how this week is a gift and how divine Cape Town is etc.

I have also not dared even go past the Australian School or contact the registration lady.   Today was a goodie though and it did make me feel like racing home to beg Gary to go for some interviews and just make this happen. Just try!   You know I love walking and I had been looking forward to walking in the lush green nature reserves they have here.  I was going to pull big sister bossy rank and make Nina come as well.   This morning I did just that and it was so gorgeous with monkeys everywhere.   We were happily walking along when it started bucketing again.  Like crazy blinding rain.   We were sopping wet with squelchy shoes and it felt so awesome deliberately jumping in puddles and feeling very wet and very happy.  Then after a shower off to Ikea.  LOVE that shop, last time we were there we had a look at all the stuff I wanted to by for my new house.   Kakky crap.  I just so wanted to live here. 

Anyway, let me just enjoy these last 3 days and keep on reminding myself of things to look forward to in Cape Town.  And not think of butt cold weather!   Chat soon. x

PS, Daniel had a good birthday yesterday, will try and get him to load the clip of the reverse bungee which was super cool!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

16 in Sing

Today Daniel turns 16.  SIXTEEN!   I love birthdays as it always involves some kind of reflection for me.  Where I have been, where I am at and where I am going.   Celebrating this day in Singapore is pretty cool too.  In fact having all 3 kids have their birthdays on this trip has been seriously cool.

He has inherited my travel bug and like much in my life, I romanticize this and like to think its because he was conceived in San Francisco during my travels.   I was 24 and probably should not have been as excited as I was but I was thrilled to be preggers.   The first thing I bought him was a tie-dye hippie style baby gro from Berkley when I went to watch a football game.  My pregnancy with him was amazing.  I was 100% into the the whole thing and loved feeling precious and unique and powerful and healthy.  I felt so strong and fit and very, very clever to grow and birth this baby.  

And now 16 years on here I am with my big teenager and somehow we have both grown up a whole lot.   At home I don't get to spend much time with him.  When he is not at school he is mostly up in his cave sleeping or play station or hanging with friends.  Answers are often monosyllables spoken in this low gruff tone I hardly recognize as his voice.  This holiday has been cool as we have got to hang out together.  He rented a vespa scooter in Thailand and we zoomed around our area in Kata Beach.  Last night we had a drink at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on the 57th floor.  The view is incredible. Now we are off to meet Auntie Nina and tonight its a family dinner and then he is going on this massive G max reverse bungee thing and will be shot into the air at the insane speed of 200km an hour and a height of 60 meters with a G-force of 5.   Its a real Daniel thing, the rush crave, the crazy guy.  Parenting such a boy makes for some hairy moments and any lines on my face I blame on him.  Our journey together has been one of love and respect and fun and we stay close.  He drives me mental and I can cheerfully and not so cheerfully throttle him MANY times but I love my big beautiful boy.

Thanks God for my son.  For entrusting me to raise him.  For giving me Gary to help me raise him and be such a great dad to him.   For keeping him safe and putting your angels on extra alert with all the crazy stupid stuff he gets up to.  Thank you for co-parenting with me.  Please continue to guide me and give me wisdom so I can raise him well.   And thanks again for the opportunity of this holiday!  Love u!!