Daring to set Boundaries

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There are some big changes going on right now.  Sunday saw the start of a new health kick (sugar and gluten-free) and Monday saw me back to work after a few months off sick.  Today is Thursday.

I was greeted warmly on Monday.  Which was lovely.  I felt shy and a bit embarrassed, but loved.  I had heard about some changes, and that some people were leaving but I did not expect the negativity that seems to have engulfed the service.  It is without a doubt a tricky time.  People are anxious and even angry.  There is a toxic tension in the air.

I think with the changes in life style and the changes in emotional temperature at work, a dip in mood with a good helping of anxiety was to be expected.  I felt myself becoming clingy with hubs and had a restless nights sleep last night.

My main defence at the moment is to immerse myself as much as possible in the wise words of Brene Brown (She, Maya Angelou and my ex therapist JK are my guru’s).  I need to dig deep and stand strong.  I am on very reduced hours at the moment and sitting in the business meeting yesterday I started to feel the urge to get back to full-time quicker, the pressure to ‘hit the ground running’.  This added to my anxiety and saw my mood deflate.  My imagination was ignited, ‘I can’t do this’ ‘I will need to find a new job’.  Change can be terrifying.

My challenge is to remain mindful. I have been given a phased return and no one is asking anymore of me…not yet any way.  It is me letting everyone elses pressure land on my own shoulders.  As the Dalai Lama has said ‘There are only two things we can not control, yesterday and tomorrow’ I shall try to take one day at a time, and to challenge those negative/critical thoughts as they rise.  Wish me luck.

 

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Sleepless Night

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So, I have had two hours sleep. I felt tired at 21.00 so it was very unexpected. I just lay there listening to the sounds of the night.  The little one did not have a good night at all.  And my dear one snored the night away, it was like laying with a brass band.

Just a withdrawal from the Quetiapine  or the beginning of hypomania? Watch this space.

I tried a mindful body scan.  No joy.  I finally gave in at around 6.00am and came down.  After my recent overdose, I have no sleeping tablets to help, and may well need to acquire some if this is to become a ‘phase’.

I have been much entertained by a fascinating debate between Russell Brand and Candace Owens.  It’s amazing how much in common two apparently opposing people can have.  I am intrigued with her idea of compassion.  She seems to see it as a weakness, an antithesis to independence and strength.  This is not my interpretation at all.  Self compassion is the tool that made me self reliant.  Self compassion stopped me from looking for answers everywhere but from within myself.  The natural progression from healing with self compassion is to extend that compassion to others.

My eyes are heavy now.  Time to take tea to my beloved and try for a snuggle and a nap.

Update 7.01.2019 04.22am

It would seem that I am suffering Withdrawl symptoms from the Quetiepine.  My inability to sleep is now accompanied by a persistant nausea.  I hate this drug.

Upward tragectory

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I am so relieved to be feeling much better and more myself.  I think we can categorically say that I DO NOT get on with Quetiapine.  I started back on Lithium on Friday 28th Dec and I’m nearly off the quetiapine now.  My mind is turned towards getting back to work.  I’m seeing our strangely named Occupational Health team tomorrow…team prevent! Some political quango comes to mind, what are they preventing? Have they come up with a wonder cure for bi polar disorder? I do hope so and if they can indeed prevent a relapse I will salute them.  I must say, my first meeting with team prevent was with an incredibly empathic nurse who made me cry with her compassion, so I’m mocking but not knocking them.  Who I am still knocking, is the CMHT team.  On the 1st of January I was offered an appointment for the 11th March 2019. Nearly 5 months after a serious overdose, I will be sat in front of a psychiatrist for the first time.  Thank Christ for my GP.  If not for him I would not be returning to life/work in couple of weeks.

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So my energy levels are much more normal, no more sleeping for 10 plus hours and back to my early rising, morning person self.  What has really struck me though is a little scary.  I have a whole amalgamation of various quetiapine tablets, where we have been experimenting with types and doses.  I have dutifully got them all together so a pharmacist can dispose of them safely (there’s no way I want those toxic little babies in landfill).  However I have found myself clinging on to them like Bilbo Baggins and his ring of power.  There is a part of my mind that would rather me tuck them away somewhere so when that dark day returns, I will have a get out clause, just like Bilbo slipping on that ring and disappearing.  If you’ve ever had an addiction you will know what I mean.  The pull is like chucking away that last packet of fags or tipping that bottle of something down the sink.  A part of my bi polar mind knows one day I will want an escape route.  It shows that my suicide attempts are not always impulsive and in fact quite a rational attempt to stop the pain.  If you are wondering how anyone could be so selfish, thats okay as I have berated myself for the selfishness of my actions many a time.  I’m afraid until you have been there..you may never understand.  However today is a day for reaching towards health, courageously.  These tablets are not going to form part of a new collection and will go into the flames of Mordor (Just the chemist, but apparently they will incinerate them).  I’m making a pact with you my friends and it will be done.

See you very soon…

Picture credit of smeagle: Quora

Caverns and Peaks

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She awakened one morn without  heavy weight upon  breast

And felt a lightness, a gentle caress

In the absence of depression and air so stale

She breathed in a new moment

Where joy could prevail

Breathed in a new moment where she could sit and observe

New life in her Grandchild to broaden her world

The timing uncanny as the old year did die

She came out from the shadows from where she did lie

She danced as she used to with friends and strangers alike

And welcomed  in happiness, even if  for one night

And she knows that this moment is fragile as snow

And the darkness she woke from won’t leave her alone

But her life is a sequence of caverns and peaks

So today dont deny her the contentment she seeks.

Its you that she thinks of as she sits here and writes

Its you thats she’s thanking for bearing the light

If you stop for a moment,  a sensation’s in the air

Its a breath of contentment that with you she would share.

Copywritten by Jaydhalia 2019

 

A bit low today…

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I have recently been listening to one of my favourite books, ‘The compassionate mind’ by Paul Gilbert.  Most of the book speaks of how much of life is beyond our control.  How many of us are predisposed to the way we think and feel about things.  How we have no choice which genes make us up, and how our biological make up happens to us not by choice, it just happens to us.  Thus the only sensible thing to do is to be compassionate towards ourselves.

Today I feel low.  I am sure it is largely to do with the hormones coursing through my bloodstream due to pre menstrual tension.  My mind seems to want to latch onto whatever sliver of negativity that comes its way.  It doesnt seem to realise that it is Christmas Eve and I am supposed to be filled with excitement rubbed of onto me by those filled with Christmas cheer.

I have woken with the usual sedation that Quetiapine leaves me with.  But its now 14.00 and I cant shrug off the dull headache I am attached to.  It has been two months to the day since I overdosed, I’m sure hormones played a part then too.  Of course it is not my fault that I have bi polar disorder, but my mind is finding that concept a little difficult to cope with this week.  I am definately transferring negative thoughts on to those around me.  ‘She is so lazy’ ‘why isnt she back at work?’ why cant she help more with baby?’ ‘What has she got to complain about?’

Then there is the body image thing.  I feel so damn unattractive at the moment.  Usually I have a positive outlook on my body, its been through the mill and usually I love it anyway.  Not today. I feel fat, unattractive and quite honestly would like to pull the covers over and not try to make the best out of a bad job.  At least writing this a small part of me is saying ‘just stop that now, the way you feel is nothing to do with the way you look!’

My darling 10 week old Grandson has started to complain along with me.  I hope and pray that the genes he has been given do not include bi polar disorder.  I’m pretty sure his mood will lift with a nana cuddle, so I best get to it.  paracetemol, coffee and some baby cuddles…keep everything crossed for me.  Hoping you all find a little piece of joy on this Eve of Christmas.

Midwinter Celebrations

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Christmas has meant so many different things to me over the years.  Sometimes joyful, sometimes a time of deep disappointment.  We all know that Warm and rosy picture of families surrounded by love and laughter can be in another stratosphere, and many of us struggle, trying to fit in like the proverbial square peg.

I have come to love Christmas as I am now in the privileged position where I only spend time with those who bring me immense joy.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year for me. How wonderful that we have a beautiful addition to the clan in the form of our grandson this year.  The people I choose to spend time with won’t define me by the catastrophic year that Bi polar disorder has gifted us with.  There will be laughter, there will be songs, there will be games and there will be so so much love.  The key words there are ‘I choose to spend time with’  There is not a hint of obligation around Christmas for me.  It took a lot of therapy and self-love to get here.

It has been a  long time since I have engaged in the Catholic traditions that I grew up with and I love the history around the Midwinter celebration.  Today is the 21st December.  It is usually the shortest day of the year and the longest night.  The midwinter celebration was traditionally a solar event and I am proud of those that still dance around stone henge in pagan tradition. The latin for Solstice is Solstitium which means ‘the sun stands still’ . The solstice lasts for a few days usually ending on the 25th December. By the 25th, daylight is usually longer by one minute. This solar event symbolises rebirth and the continuation of life.

25th December has been seen as an auspicious day in many traditions.  The birth of the Egyptian god Osiris, the Roman god Sol invictus and the Greek god Apollo were all to have taken place on this day.  Jesus was given this date of birth 400 years after his actual birth.  You can see why King Constantine, a new convert to Christianity would want to do this.  This was an egocentric decision to  overpower the pagan celebrations, he did pretty well didn’t he?

According to Gillian Monk (Guardian, 2018) the midwinter celebration was all about the celebrating the preservation of life.  Only the strongest animals could be kept and the weaker ones were slaughtered and preserved.  Food was monitored to see if people could survive the winter months and seeds were sown.  January to April were the famine months.  25th December would be the last celebration before the famine set in.  Mead and wine that had been fermenting since the summer was free-flowing.

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Trees and yule logs (not the chocolate kind) were brought inside to symbolise the protection of fragile life till it could be reborn.  A belief was held that the spirit of summer, life and growth all went to shelter in ever green foliage.  apparently early Christian leaders wanted a ban on ever green foliage in churches, but they were unsuccessful.  The Holly and Ivy remains my favourite winter hymn.  The Germans and Scandinavians would bring in the largest log, sometimes a tree trunk and burned it indoors.

As for good old Santa, the germans took him to America in the form of a bad-tempered elf called ‘Pelznickel’ he symbolised the wild side of life in midwinter.  Mix him up with Norse god Odin, who rode an eight legged horse across winter skies and good ole St Nick…and bingo, we have our santa.

Lights were used to encourage the warmth of the sun to return and misletoe was believed to possess mystical powers to bring good luck and ward off evil.  Misiltoe also symbolised love and friendship and can be blamed for those germ swapping kisses beneath said plant..blame those Norse folk for that.

I love the way that pagan celebrations bear no relevance to colour, creed or class.  Nothing to do with getting yourself into debt after consuming nauseating perfume ads filled with a perfection nobody can attain.   It’s not about judging the people around you by how much money they spent or how well they have progressed in the year passed. It’s about being grateful for the year we have had and being hopeful for the world yet to come. The Jesus I choose to think of was all about love, and I think many a pagan would have welcomed him to their fire side to share a glass of wine and a song.  Happy Christmas everyone.  Each and every one of us was once an innocent new born child, each and every one of us deserves love and connection.  May you be blessed with both.

Reference:

Celebrate the winter solstice to reclaim the festive spirit, by Gillian Monk in the gurardian online, found at : https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/20/winter-solstice-festive-spirit-christmas-traditions-midwinter

Picture credits:

Reindeer – Sally Godden
Holly – painters-online.co.uk

A Short Story Of Inspiration For Your Day 2.0

Pure inspiration ❤

Pointless Overthinking

“BANG!” The gun fires and the race is on.

The runners take off across the field. It rained the day before and the ground is still damp. The temperature is cool. It is a perfect day for running. The line of runners quickly forms a pack. Like a school of fish they come together as one. They move as one. The pack sets a pace to maximize their energy for the whole of the race. As with any race, in a short period of time the stronger ones will start to pull ahead and the weaker ones will start to fall behind. But not Ben Comen.

Ben was left behind as soon as the starter gun sounded. Ben’s not the fastest runner of the team. In fact, he’s the slowest. He has never won a single race the entire time he’s been on the Hanna High School cross-country track team…

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