Au Revoir but not Goodbye

January 30, 2013

I don’t really write much here any more. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty, this blog and the associated twitter account has meant a lot to me over the years. It has helped me through seemingly impossible situations and I doubt I would have survived the last five years without it. I have had some fascinating conversations and debates and been afforded sympathy and understanding when. I needed it most. It isn’t me any more though. I’m finally moving on with my life.

I am no longer the person I was when I wrote the majority of posts. Dare I say it, I’m happy. I still have a mental illness, I probably always will. I suspect I will be taking medication for the rest of my life but I’m fortunate to have found a combination that works and has bearable side effects as long as I take it religiously. It doesn’t define me any more, I have rediscovered the person I was underneath it all and although I wouldn’t say I liked that person quite yet, I’m certainly coming to terms with her.

In the next couple of months, I will most likely be opening a shop. This isn’t the path I would have envisioned my life taking but that doesn’t matter. As I said, I’m moving on. I am excited and terrified in equal measure but I am embracing the opportunities and I can’t wait to see where they lead. I don’t think I’ll ever get over falling asleep desperate for the new day and to see what it brings rather than hoping that I never wake up.

I’m not going to make some grand gesture and say I’m closing this blog down or that I’ll never write here again. Writing is incredibly cathartic and the best way to get my mind and thoughts in order. I am drawing a line in the sand though and opening a new chapter full of hope and and second chances.

What I don’t want to lose is the incredible, quirky, inspiring people I have met through doing this. When I started writing here, it never occurred to me that people would read it or that I would get the chance to know those people personally and count them as friends. I have met many of you in person and hope to meet some more in the future. Maybe I’ll host a knitting Mad Up in the shop! Please keep in touch. I now tweet publicly here if you’re interested and I also blog crafty things here.

I’m looking forward to the future in a way I would never have believed possible.


Poorly Sick

November 1, 2012

I’ve been rather unwell for the last 10 days or so. Fear not, I’m not going to be departing from this world any time soon but I’ve had something rather more than a cold but not quite flu. I am not good at being ill, particularly not slightly ill. I hate not being able to function at my full ability.

I’ve been doing pretty well for a while, a few bumps but it’s been smoother sailing than I’m used to. I have a big, big plan going down. There’s more details on t’other blog but I might be about to commit to something absolutely massive that will consume all my time and effort for a good few years. Up until last week it’s seemed scary but totally possible, I am after all awesome and should be capable at so much.

Now though I’m not so sure. My confidence has taken a huge tumble and all the doubts have started pouring in. I don’t exactly have a great track record in my overenthusiastic commitment to projects. In fact I’ve failed at just about everything I’ve tried. Even my current business, while not a total write off has only generated a few hundred profit in the last six months. If it wasn’t for my incredible other half, I wouldn’t be able to live like this. No matter how much I love it, it’s not sustainable.

If I take on BIG PLAN, failure will not be an option. I will have to make it work and I worry that I’m not capable of that. With the doubts come the familiar paranoia. Everyone hates me, they’re all better friends with each other and just tolerate me. I know it’s probably irrational but I can’t stop feeling it.

I’m hoping that now I’m recovering, I’ll start to see things differently again. I really would love to do this and make it work but I doubt myself so much.

 


Early warning

September 21, 2012

I think I have a touch of winter blues setting in. This is concerning as it’s only September and I probably have a long, hard winter to get through. I have to remember that only last year, I was starting and crashing out of uni yet again before falling into a deep pit that was hard to climb out of. I’ve come so far, I refuse to go back.

My early warning signs:

  • Feeling tearful. I almost burst into tears at the end of my stitchy meet up last night and I love those so it’s an irrational feeling.
  • Lack of motivation. Spending less time doing what I love and more time mindlessly browsing the internet and achieving very little.
  • Tiredness despite sleeping as much as I have been for the last six months.
  • Paranoia. My boyfriend doesn’t love me and everyone hates me. Only he does and they don’t.
  • Being badly affected when some random shouted at me rather than just brushing it off.

At the moment it’s ok, I can deal with it but I can’t afford for it to keep going or to get any worse. So, what do I need to do?

  1. Keep taking my medication. It’s obvious but important. I can’t afford to forget it or to mess up getting new prescriptions.
  2. Keep active. I really enjoy my twice weekly hours of Zumba once I’m there but it can be hard to get myself out the house in the first place. I need to keep going, it’s good for me.
  3. Keep being social. I know when I’m down, I withdraw. I need to keep seeing people. I’m very lucky to have an amazing group of friends, I’d be foolish to forget that.
  4. Craft! New projects are a great distraction once I get into them. I just need to force myself to start.
  5. Be kind to me. I’m not a bad person, I just go a bit wrong sometimes.
  6. Keep a careful monitor of how I’m feeling and not be afraid to ask for help before it gets critical.

My unorthodox career

July 21, 2012

I was talking with friends the other night about how you need to stay in a job for at least six months in order to get a proper feel for it and decide if it’s really what you want to do. Then I realised that I’d never had a job for six months, I don’t think I’ve even ever managed three. So I thought I would compile a list of all the things I’ve done since leaving college in a vaguely chronological order.

  • Checkout operator
  • Taking incoming calls in a call centre
  • BA degree in Natural Sciences focussing on geology
  • Geoscience intern at BP
  • Student records clerk
  • Database migration for an exam board
  • PA to a college vice-principal
  • HCA in an acute admissions unit
  • Freelance first aid trainer and assessor
  • Student nurse
  • Benefit scrounging scum
  • Student pharmacist
  • Self employed craftswoman

That’s rather a lot of different career paths by the age of 26! I’m hoping the most recent choice lasts a little bit longer.


My bucket list

June 22, 2012
  • Visit more countries than I am years old. I’m there so far but it’s going to get trickier as I get older
  • Be driven in a convertible in the sunshine with the roof down
  • Forgive myself for the past
  • Make a sustainable success of my business
  • Visit the Galapagos Islands and be a biology geek while there
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Get married and look and feel beautiful doing so
  • See penguins in the wild
  • Become a dive master or maybe even an instructor
  • Like or at least accept myself no matter what
  • Dive the Great Barrier Reef
  • Teach again and share what I can do
  • Walk the Inca Trail
  • Turn my experiences into something positive against stigma and discrimination. I just need to figure out how.
  • Get back to and maintain a healthy weight
  • Ride in a helicopter
  • Be happy!

I shall add to this as I think of more and then when I’m feeling down hopefully I can look at it and see all the things I still want to achieve.


Monitored

June 13, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I started feeling poorly. By mid afternoon my head was spinning, I felt queasy and very zoned out. This continued for a number of days. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Paracetamol didn’t touch it nor did drinking plenty of water or eating sensible food. I checked my blood pressure and my sugar levels, I shone a torch in my eyes to make sure my pupils were reacting normally but everything was fine.

The only thing I could liken it to was depression but I was adamant I wasn’t depressed. I know depression is a mental illness but for me, it has a very physical side. I feel like a stranger in my body, everything has a surreal quality as if it’s not really me looking at it. It’s also noisy, there’s a constant buzzing in my ears that reached a crescendo in stressful situations.

A week or so later I was feeling a lot better so I took some time to analyse what had happened. It turns out the feeling ill coincided with a lot of stressors. I was going away for a weekend with people I’d never met and I had to do a lot of preparation for it. I’d been summoned to appear as a witness in court. My business wasn’t going as well as I’d like.

Feeling better coincided with the majority of these being resolved on top of a really good nights sleep. The defendant in the court case changed his plea so I didn’t have to go. The weekend passed as a glowing success and although my business still isn’t where I’d like, I had a good chat about it and came up with some new ideas.

It frightens me that such small, in the grand scheme of things, stressors made me feel so unwell. I’m relieved that with rest and the removal of stress, I recovered but I’m cross I didn’t realise it was that sooner. I don’t want to spend my whole life functioning at less than my theoretical capability because too much stress makes me ill. I don’t want to always be monitoring and preparing for a relapse. I just want everything to be ok, always.


Contrasts

May 25, 2012

I’m still struggling to lose any weight on Quetiapine. I’m really trying, this week I’ve done two Zumba classes and one Pilates but the weight isn’t going anywhere fast. It’s tempting to compare it to 2.5 years ago when I was considerably lighter and a fair bit fitter and wish I could go back there.

Lets look at this in a bit more detail though. Back then I was drinking abusively (although I’d never have admitted it) in an attempt to stop me damaging myself and to blot out the world. Despite that, I was self harming badly on an almost daily basis leading to infections and damage. I was barely eating because I couldn’t function sufficiently to do so. I was a paranoid wreck who spent too much time searching the house for the people I was convinced I could hear just outside my door. Other than that, I spent hours mindlessly refreshing Twitter and Facebook and listening to the same songs on repeat for hours because I was convinced they were really about me. I planned my death in elaborate detail and was just waiting for an opportunity to carry through with my plans.

When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound that great any more. I suppose if my options are skinny and very mental or fat and happy with a little mad thrown in, I know which one I’m going to choose.