June 27, 2011

I love to sleep. It’s something I’ve always done a lot of. When I was small, I used to hate going to sleepovers as I couldn’t understand why nobody actually slept. It’s always possible to tell when I’m sleep deprived, no matter how hard I try to control it, I get unbelievably terse and snappy. I’ll be ruder than usual without even realising it and just become a nightmare to be around.

Prior to medication, I still needed a good 8 hours, nearer 10 if I’m being honest but since becoming a medication zombie it’s deteriorated further. Now 10 hours is the bare minimum I sleep and I can only get away with that if I’ve had a quiet, still day. If there’s been any exertion or exaggerated emotion (which let’s be fair is not uncommon in BPD) the sleep budget goes up to 12+. That means I spend at least half of every day in bed :S  This worries me, it is completely unsustainable in the real world. It’s also such a waste. It is possible for me to drag myself out of bed within the allocated sleep time, but if I do that, I will be sub-human and back in bed eight hours later as well as requiring several days of extended sleep recovery time.

I confess to sleeping and hiding my way through most of my third year at university the first time round. Either I’d be physically unable to pull myself out of bed in time for early lectures, despite living less than 10 minutes away from where they were held or I’d be too frightened to leave the house, overwhelmed by what might be out there. On the few occasions I did make it in, I fell asleep during the lectures. Not through wanting to but just being genuinely unable to keep my eyes open. That’s embarrassing for me, it’s insulting to the lecturer and it’s disastrous for results. This is largely the reason I graduated with an oh so awesome 2.2.

If I do go to university again, I will have an hour commute in each direction. The worst case scenario would be a standard working day of 9-5. To get there on time, I’d have to drag myself out of bad at 7:30 in order to become vaguely alive and have breakfast. Then a potentially full day of lectures and practicals, getting home at six. To get my 12 hours, I’d have to be back in bed by 19:30. That gives me just over an hour to have dinner, do my homework, spend time with the boyfriend. Oh, and some me time would be good. I know this is am extreme case and it’s unlikely I would have this sort of day more than once a week but still… And all that’s assuming I can stay awake for long enough when I’m there.



The history, Part 2

June 20, 2011

‘Oop North was pretty good. We built our own house or at least some builders did. This involved lots of running about on scaffolding wearing a bike helmet and generally getting in the way. I started school. It was good. I was a shy, slightly withdrawn child but nevertheless school suited me. I don’t recall any particular problems fitting in or making friends. My two best friends, Amy and Nicola, and I were inseparable. So much so that one school photograph day we all turned up wearing the same dress (and no, the school didn’t have a uniform). I’ve always believed this was a genuine coincidence but thinking about it, it seems more the sort of thing scheming parents would have done for the “Awwww” effect. Every Friday after school, we’d travel to each others houses to eat little fishes, chips and beans and watch the Animals of Farthing Wood on cBBC. They were good, innocent times and I was happy.

When I was eight we moved again and this time it was slightly further afield than half way up the country. My parents are both teachers. Before my brother and I were born, they taught in Kuwait and were never really settled in the UK. I remember my parents telling me they had to talk to us about something important. How did we feel about moving abroad? But where to? Karachi, Pakistan. I was vaguely aware that such a country existed but couldn’t have told you anything about it or even locate it on a map.

Six months later we were all on an aeroplane and fleeing the country…


June 16, 2011

On Saturday, the tenancy on my flat ‘oop North ends and I officially move in with the boyfriend somewhere in the middle. When this occurs, I will lose the majority of my benefits, except my much loved DLA. This is because the government thinks that even though we’ve been going out less than a year, once we live together, he automatically begins to support me completely. Much as the idea of living a life of leisure is tempting, this isn’t fair on him and to be honest, 25 is possibly a bit young for retirement.

Whether or not I go to university in September, and that’s a whole new post for another day, I have the next three months to consider. I don’t feel I am anywhere near well enough to return to an office. My need for a minimum of 10 hours sleep to function does not fit in with the 9-5 lifestyle and the thought of dealing with that many people and that much pressure makes me feel physically sick.

This leaves me with the only option of trying something self-employed then I don’t need to deal with anyone but me. I am a crafter. It’s what I do – I make jewellery, cards and do patchwork, particularly cushions. It’s something I can do at my own pace, in my own style as and when I feel able. My low self-esteem means I can’t personally label my work as anything other than shite but I have been assured by other people that it’s at least as good as some stuff other people make. Maybe I’ll show you some pictures when I get round to taking any if I dare… Anywho, over the years I have built up quite a collection and it’s growing all the time. My ideal would be to make money through selling some of this even though I can’t begin to justify to myself charging the prices I’d have to charge to make this financially viable.

I like to do things properly and if I do this I want it to appear as professional as possible, so as to hide the rubbish behind. For this, I need a logo. My ability at graphic design stretches to a complete inability to draw and half a GCSE in graphic products somewhere in the distant past! So I am begging for your artistic contributions. The idea I’ve had is AnA written on a sine curve, with the word ‘crafts’ written underneath, all enclosed in a flower. From this somewhat dubious description, my awesome and lovely friend produced the following:

This is almost exactly what my sketch looked like, only with the word ‘crafts’ underneath the AnA, and the petals not going into the centre circle. I need a black and white version to use as a label and then a full colour one to print onto a banner (as I said, I want to do this properly!). I have no idea what colours I want it, just that I want it to look pretty and eye-catching.

I am begging all of you out there with some free time (or any friends of yours who happen to be graphic designers with free time) to have a go. Feel free to disregard the above idea if you think it’s rubbish, the only bit I’m totally attached to is the AnA as I can draw that quickly and I think it looks kind of neat! The payment is my eternal gratitude and I’m sure I’ll remember you when I become a rich and famous designer 😉

Hopefully, you will hear more on my idea and its progress soon. Assuming, of course, that I don’t crash, realise this was an idea I came up with when far too high which is completely unworkable and impractical.

Any other ideas/business tips, or a reality check gratefully received!

The history: Part 1

June 15, 2011

I was a precocious child. I went on my first school trip, exploring France, age 6 months. By 18 months, I could ‘read’ this. Or at the very least, I’d memorised the words and new the appropriate places at which to turn the page. It used to drive my extremely traditional grandad up the wall, as he knew I couldn’t really recognise the letters. When, I was two, I ceased to be an only child by the introduction of my baby brother. This momentous occasion was met with indifference on my behalf. In the hospital (after questioning the wisdom of storing a young baby in a fish tank), I lasted all of three minutes before declaring, “I’ve seen him, can we go now please daddy?”.

Six months later, the health visitor was calling and I was playing with my farm. I refused to be drawn into conversation, despite my mothers protestations, and as the meeting progressed the HV became increasingly concerned for the welfare of this strangely silent child. Eventually she lowered herself to my level. “Aren’t those lovely cows…” she said expectantly. I turned, and in a remarkably condescending voice for a child of my age replied, “Well actually, those are friesians and that’s a charolais bull”. She didn’t quite no what to say after that little outburst. I knew the names of the butterflies in the air, the animals in the field and the plants in the ground to a far greater degree than I do now, more than twenty years later.

Age four, we moved following my fathers job from the southern coast to the as yet unexplored wilds of Yorkshire.





June 14, 2011

Now there’s a title to increase one’s hit count! And not a subject I ever imagined myself sharing with the whole wide internet.

Since starting antipsychotics just over a year ago, my weight has ballooned by over three stone. That’s pretty much 20kg. Imagine carrying a backpack containing 20 bags of sugar around with you 24/7. It’s no wonder I feel despondent and cumbersome. Now, most of that weight has gone to two places. My belly; leaving me resembling a pregnant hippopotamus. I haven’t yet been asked when it’s due but it’s surely only a matter of time. The other is my breasts, which weren’t exactly the smallest in the first place, and have now increased to a quite frankly ridiculous 34JJ-36J. That’s four times the UK average :S  This means that, even with quality underwear from the lovely Bravissimo, by lunch time I’m in pain and by evening, I need to lie flat out to relieve the back ache.  As for exercise…*boing* I’m sure you get the picture. At night, they hang penduously, stretching still further under their own mass. I haven’t weighed them (that would be weird) but I’m sure if I did, I’d find the location of 5 or 6 of those extra sugar bags.

If I were normal, this is the kind of thing I may consider bringing up with my doctor. Not as an emergency you understand, but as part of those anything else troubling you type questions. However, I already feel guilty for the amount of NHS resources I waste, and couldn’t countenance a discussion on abusing some more. The problem is compounded as I am in the process of locating a new doctor, having finally moved in with the boyfriend. I can just imagine the converstaion:

“Hi, I have BPD, recurrent depression and anxiety which everyone thinks are under control but are in fact slowly but surely tearing my life and my relationships apart. I want you to give me enough drugs to stock a medium sized pharmacy, just to get me through the day and I also want therapy and lots of it. Oh, and by the way, my boobs make my back hurt.”

Or perhaps not.





On my bedside table…

June 13, 2011

… there are, besides the normal detritus of lamp, hairbrush and deodorant,  painkillers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, tranquilizers and sedatives. Anyone would think I was crazy or something.


I am debating resuming blogging in some form or another. No promises or anything but watch this space.