Still Here But A Little Bit Tired

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Marvellous mum and marvellous Kaisa

At the moment I feel like my life is revolving around PND. I usually find it easy and enjoyable to sit at my computer daily and shape some thoughts into a blog post, but I’m totally coming up blank. All I can think about is PND… PND… I’m starting to bore myself and am getting worried about boring other people.

It’s a pretty exhausting thing to be dealing with. I’m experimenting with the medication I’m on at the moment as it makes me a bit fuzzy and sleepy – if I take it before bed it makes getting up the next morning impossible. Taking it after lunch makes me nap like a MoFo so I was at a bit of a loss until yesterday: taking it in the morning and then doing some sort of activity (even going for the shops, or for a coffee with a friend) seems to keep me awake and then leaves the rest of the day free from snoozeville. We’ll see.

I’m exercising, and that’s exhausting too. I (predictably) feel good afterwards, but the act of getting my trainers on and going out in the cold is bloody hard.

 

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Post-run hair, oof. 

The whole effort of it all is just leaving me knackered. The actual mental strain of being consistently positive, always looking forward, being happy. It leaves me wanting to go to bed and put my covers over my head but I don’t want to let myself do that. I need to keep going.

Despite all this effort and exhaustion I think I’m doing pretty well. I can’t remember the last time I spent all day in my pyjamas, I’m getting the kids out the house daily, feeling happy with my housework, drinking a small amount of wine rather than the bottle, EXERCISING! Some things are still sliding – I have people I’ve owed emails to for weeks (sorry!) – but at the end of the day I’ve been collapsing on the sofa rather than logging onto my computer.

A couple of weeks ago I had a setback thanks to something that I wish didn’t matter to me as much as it does. I took to my bed for an hour with Elfie while Hux napped (Peppa on the iPad = SAVIOUR) and then picked myself up, did some jigsaws and was rescued by my mum and dad who popped over to help with bedtime and give me some hugs. Am I concerned that at the age of 27 my parents still need to pick me up and make me better? Nah! After a couple of days I was back to thinking positive but it made me realise this journey is going to be a long one, nothing will be changing immediately.

 

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Last weekend was brilliant. We went into London with some friends (and my parents, for they are FUN) for Future Cinema who have been featuring The Shawshank Redemption. It was something I wasn’t sure I’d like at all, but it was AMAZING. I had an absolute ball and the experience was totally made by our friends, my sisters (and brother) in law and those parents. Topped off by a hugely spicy curry at one of our old haunts Tayyabs and home super-late… it made me feel happy and alive and I’ve been on a high ever since. The next day’s hangover was not as life-giving but it was definitely worth it (and would completely recommend it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience!).

 

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If you want to know what this was all about you’ll have to go yourself…

So for now I’ll keep plodding along, looking forward. Accepting help and hugs from my family and friends (seriously… it takes a crisis like this to realise how wonderful those closest to you are). Getting tired and giving myself a break. I can do it, I’m not scared anymore.

I Gone Done A VLOG!

And far from it being the smooth and easy option… all I can say is iMovie, you bastard. What should one edit video on? Something easier, I hope.

Anyway, here it is. This is me. And a bit of Hux.

Things I Did When I Had No Internet

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- Watched Celebrity Big Brother. Had arguments with my husband about watching Celebrity Big Brother.
- Washing up… Lots of washing up. Dishwasher due to arrive on Saturday (THANK GOD, all my plates are slightly dirty).
- Got to know my new crockpot. Boy do I love slow cooking.
- Moved house (duh).
- Took Elfie to the dentist for the very first time (our teeth rock, apparently).
- Continually played ‘dentist’ with Elfie. OPEN WIDE.
- Cleaned. A lot.
- Took Elfie sledging three times. Sledged myself once. Looked after husband with bad back due to sledging.
- Spent an obscene amount of money at the Co-Op, mostly on Haribo.
- Went 2.5 weeks sans booze.
- Started exercising. I hurt all over.
- Did a lot of jigsaws (age 3-5).
- Thought about my feelings and emotions. Lots.
- Got a bit bored of thinking about feelings and emotions.
- Had a couple of mini meltdowns. Perhaps thinking about feelings and emotions a bit much?
- Tried to find decent 3G signal in the new house (key areas: bath and next to fridge).
- Missed the Internet.

It’s good to be back!

Be Right Back

The Harolds are on the move! Literally… we are moving house tomorrow. Nothing drastic, just 200m up the hill in our lovely little town to slightly smaller digs that will save us a considerable amount of money each month.

I’m really excited to get in there, I have big plans to turn the kitchen into a pink gingham paradise (seriously, it’ll look like Cath Kidston threw up in there) and I’m even more excited not to spend the forecast snowy weeks ahead in a drafty barn conversion.

If I owe you an email – apologies – I’ve been rushed off my feet packing all week (by which i mean supervising my mum and mum-in-law who’ve done most of the hard work) . I should be back to normal next week so standby for tales of squashing furniture from a 10 roomed house into a 7 roomed house (we are going to have a cramped garage).

I’ll leave you with this photograph of darling Hux who was happily decorated by Elfie earlier this week. Apparently she wanted to turn him into a tiger.


He wasn’t too fussed.

PND: An Update

Stop Fucking Attention Seeking

What’s priceless? Friends like Charlotte who know my sense of humour well enough to send me cards like this: it will sit framed in my bedroom and remind me to smile every morning. Thank-you Charlotte xx

I have never been scared of going to the doctors or hospital. I spent my early twenties with endometriosis and have suffered many an uncomfortable exam, so I’ve always been pretty pragmatic about getting naked in the name of medicine. When in labour with Hux at my first exam/sweep I remember turning wide eyed to Will saying “did you see that? She put her WHOLE HAND in. WOAH”. In general I find the world of modern medicine fascinating rather than scary and if I could just get over my fear of vomit and blood and grow some compassion I would love to be a Doctor.

So no, I’m not ashamed of my body, my bits. We all have them and they all do weird things.

My mind though, my brain, now that’s another matter. That scares me. It’s a total enigma.

Last Monday morning found me sitting in the waiting room at the doctors surgery,  lip quivering, waiting to see my GP. I was terrified that I was going to have to admit defeat and depression to my nice lady doctor and I didn’t know how to do it without crying: I really hate to cry in public. While I was waiting I read through my last couple of blog posts on my phone so I’d have a clear idea of what I wanted to say to her but I felt sick to my stomach.

When my name was called my heart leapt into my throat and my tummy flipped. I sat down in front of the GP.

“I think I might cry now” I said. And I did.

She was very sympathetic and quick to help. She asked about my sleep, my support, the ages of the children. She agreed I was teetering on the edge of a big black hole and straight away told me that my concerns about going on anti-depressants were not particularly valid, I needed help now. She offered a referral to the health visitor which I eagerly accepted and agreed I was doing the right thing with my exercise and booze-free plans. She told me CBT wasn’t realistic at the moment as the waiting list is 6 months long but I want to be added to it and potentially send myself privately in the new year. I left with a prescription for antidepressants and a massive sense of relief.

Taking antidepressants is not somewhere I wanted to be right now. But hey, 3 years ago when I was living the high life in London the countryside was not somewhere I wanted to be either. I need to remember that I have 2 little lives that depend on me so I don’t have the luxury to wallow any longer in the state I’m in… I need to get better. And so I have started taking the scary little white tablets.

I know they will take a little time to get to work but since I started talking I have been feeling so much better. I feel like I’ve opened the floodgates and I don’t want to close them: I have PND and I am not afraid to talk about it. I must remember this feeling and keep talking, remember that it’s ok to speak to my friends and family about how I’m feeling. A bit trickier in real life as I have the tendency to weep a bit but it’d do me good to get over this fear of public crying.

There have been some rubbish side-effects, however. Insomnia, weird unconscious teeth grinding, ever such a fuzzy head and drowsiness. I’ve developed bad anxiety – on New Year’s Eve I was convinced there was a burglar hiding under my bed from the hours of 1-3am – not ideal as Will was working away. I lay there for two hours convinced I could hear someone breathing under the mattress.  But I’m told these are short-term symptoms that will ease soon.

It’s progress.

Read the post about when I realised I have PND.

Stuff on Toast: Spinach, Mushrooms and Egg

 

After my last Stuff On Toast post my mum sent me a text message saying “OMG Alice, I’ve been making scrambled eggs wrong for the last 40 years!” (though she probably didn’t say OMG as she is part of the generation that thinks LOL means Lots Of Love) So I have decided to dedicate this recipe to her, as she originally taught me about the brilliant combination of spinach, mushrooms and an egg.

She uses those ingredients in a lovely gnocchi dish that she makes regularly, but for those days when boiling up gnocchi seems like one step too far I find it just as nice to have this on a good slice of toast. You can even have it without the toast if you’re feeling, like, super healthy or something. But the last time I did that I had to have four hobnobs two hours later, so it’s not recommended.

 

Spinach, Mushrooms and Egg on Toast
 
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Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 piece of bread, toasted
  • 1 Handful of mushrooms, chopped
  • 20g butter
  • 2 Handfuls of washed spinach
  • 1 egg
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Start by putting your mushrooms on in a saucepan with the butter, melted. Use a bit less butter if you aren’t feeling as sinful as me.
  2. Boil the water ready for your poached egg. I find the Delia Smith method pretty foolproof (egg in frying pan of simmering water, simmer for one minute, turn heat off, let them sit in water for 10 minutes).
  3. When the mushrooms are nearly done throw in the spinach and pop the toast in the toaster.
  4. Butter toast and serve with mushrooms and spinach on top. Put poached egg on the pile of yumminess… season with a touch of salt.

 

More Stuff On Toast:
- Perfect Scrambled Eggs