Thursday, March 26, 2015

Giving in...

I saw a doctor on Monday--one I've never seen before. I went in mostly because I was in the middle of a REALLY bad asthma attack that was illness/stress induced. But I left the office with my inhaler prescriptions, antibiotics, steroids, and fluoxetine.

Yes, I am back on the happy pills. And this time not just for a six month trial period, or a little 3 month pick me up. The doctor wants me on them for at least two years.

I was doing ok. Exercise was enough to keep my mood, if not good then at least, well, stable. But exhaustion has slowly been creeping up on me again. And short temper. And slight hints of paranoia. And the occasional unshakable feeling of dread. Then the guilt. And then, last Friday night, after I dropped the kids off for a sleepover at their beloved Aunty Cathy's house, the almost irresistible urge to drive my car at full speed in front of oncoming traffic. That's when I knew.

It's a scary feeling--that urge to do something that you know your rational mind would never allow. And yet, at the same time, comical. Like those little cartoon devils and angels, sitting on your shoulders and telling you what to do.

I had the same problem after Dylan was born. I was deep down in a pit of antenatal depression, and that little devil would whisper suggestions to me--that I go get a butcher knife when it was the middle of the night and I was sleep deprived with a crying newborn. That I push him and his Mamas and Papas travel system in front of the bus.

Wow, writing this all down makes me feel like even more of a mess...

Bottom line is, I never actually did any of those things. My rational mind was enough to stop me. My moral compass never faltered, even though my weak physical brain did. Does. And crazy is as crazy does. I'm not crazy. I'm just sick. There's a difference.

Anyway, this is all sounding terribly melodramatic. It goes against my strict "no drama" policy. I'm back on antidepressants, and I'm there for the foreseeable future. And I just have to learn to be ok with a (totally legal) drug dependency. But even though I have heard all the arguments--you wouldn't turn down insulin if you were a diabetic, would you?--and I agree with all of them, it doesn't make it any easier to acknowledge that dependency. I don't even like having to use maintenance inhalers for my asthma, let alone a mood altering substance!

But the one thing that scares me most of all is that I will lose it with my kids. I don't mean I worry that I will get angry with them when they have been naughty. I mean snapping over something completely silly. Because my mood is fine if it only affects me. But when I am mean to my kids, it becomes a problem. I adore those little monkey bums. I'd do anything for them. Including take antidepressants for the next 12 years until they both move out.

Already it feels like the meds are working. I am definitely having a physical reaction to them (oh boy, am I ever!). The worst has passed. I am feeling less fragile. And a LOT less like driving my car in front of a big lorry.

Don't worry mom--things are looking up. We really are doing fine. This was just a bit of a wake-up call!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Drama queen...

Big surprise, that would be my darling Edith.

Both children took part in the annual Scunthorpe Speech and Drama Festival last week. They did verse speaking, and I was very proud of both of them. Dylan flubbed a tiny little bit (he started saying the poem before he announced the title and author) but he did just great. Edith was a superstar. She stomped her way up to the podium, got settled in, did the poem (including a funny little voice for part of it), smiled, and flounced back to her seat like she owned the joint. And she did. she took first place in her group. We went to the trophy round on Saturday afternoon, where her very supportive family came to watch, and she did very well. Alas, no trophy. But she was completely adorable. Especially the way she lounged in her chair with her legs crossed like a bored little super model.

So there you have it, mom. An update. Dylan won his round and went to the trophy showcase two years ago. It was just Edith's turn this time.

Things are plodding along in merry ol' England right now. Martin is still doing really well on his college course. He is loving working weekends at Winteringham Fields, too. They are happy with him and would like him to work there full time. Guess what I said to that! But it's been really good for his confidence to have them ask. I think he'll probably pick up a few shifts there, even after he gets a "real" job as a joiner. Just because he is passionate about fine dining. The weirdo!

Dylan has started a parkour/gymnastic fitness club after school on a Friday. He learned to do a forward roll last week, and has been jumping onto walls all over the place. He's really enjoying that. He's also had his tablet taken away for sneaking it into his bed on no-tech day last week. He'll be getting it back on Thursday, and he is really looking forward to that!

Edith, as mentioned above, is my little drama queen. She is looking forward to her birthday in just two weeks' time. We are planning a birthday shopping trip for her--just the two of us. No smelly boys! I still haven't bought her any gifts, but she is really quite easy to shop for. Anything super girly and beauty related, and she's a happy girl!

As for mom. Well, how long have we got? I think the stress of our current situation coupled with the extra shifts this week (my boss is on holiday and I am working all week to cover her) has tipped me over the edge of "ok" with my mental health. I had a really bad weekend, and the week hasn't been much better so far. I think it's going to be back on the happy pills for me. I've been feeling that mounting sense of dread again, and some mild paranoia. Snappish with the kids and Martin, as well. I am tired ALL the time--even when I just slept nine hours and haven't even got out of bed yet. Oh, and did I mention that I pretty much hate myself right now? I feel bad that I will be resorting to pills again, but this is no way to live. I mean, I was bawling my eyes out listening to Pink Floyd on my drive to church, for crying out loud!

(In my defense, it WAS to "Comfortably Numb," which is one of the best songs ever written, IMHO).

We had an offer on the house a few weeks back now. We could have sold it. How crazy is that? We talked about it for what seemed like hours, and decided that the offer was too low. We aren't desperate to sell. We need to make a good profit on the house so that our move back to Utah is (relatively) easy and comfortable, with plenty of start-up capital. So we will wait. And we've had another viewer who is very interested. She just has concerns about the burnt out house next door and is doing research into it before she decides whether to make an offer or not.

I thought I would be more excited when someone made an offer on our place. Instead, I was weirdly sad. Most of my married life has been spent there. My kids were babies there. We've invested so much time and energy on that house. When we finally do sell it to someone else, it will feel almost losing a part of myself.

Still worth it, though!