Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Happy pills

 

You find me in an After Eight induced slump. And rather fuzzy of brain, I'm afraid. I forgot to pick up my anti-depressants from the chemist on Christmas Eve, fool that I am. So I have spent most of the holiday in that weird place when the drugs used to bolster your system slip away. Physically I'm left with a blinding headache, a strange feeling behind my eyes and leg ache. Emotionally I have been very anxious, short tempered and scared by a sort of other worldly feeling. I can't really describe it, but suffice to say it isn't pleasant.
 
What a daft cow I am. I was so hell bent on making sure Christmas would be lovely, I didn't stop to think that without tablets I could sabotage the whole shebang. I think I just about got away with it, but it was a timely reminder that I have lost sight of myself again. Since the summer holidays, I have popped myself on the back burner. And I've remained there, simmering away. Bad habits have crept back in. My inner critic has returned. The one that chants the mantra 'not good enough, not good enough,' over and over again. The horrid plummeting of mood has left me holding onto the stair rail for support.
 
Looking after others, has meant my own self-care has suffered. It's a fine balancing act, that one. I don't know how those wonderful people who care for a sick relative twenty four seven do it. Because it seems to me that by being so selfless, you can actually sacrifice your own health and well-being. That's not to say that I wouldn't offer up my services again in a heartbeat, if it was required. But I guess I just want to doff my forelock to those who do it day in and day out, with no respite for themselves.
 
I have loved our Christmas break chez Paxton. I have loved having Sam home, and once again tripping over his size eleven Converse in the hallway. I have loved chatting and joking with him. I loved the gift he gave me; a book on photography. He notices the things I enjoy, and the things that give me pleasure. He is a quiet observer. He has returned from Uni another inch taller, and with so much more confidence. He smiles, and walks with his shoulders back. He doesn't realise it, but I have been quietly observing him too.
 
Olly has had a whale of a time. He still is. Nanny came to stay yesterday, and so he has been snuggled up with her chatting about this and that. The Hama beads have been a huge hit, and he has free-styled to great effect. I have copied Minions and Minecraft figures from the internet, and felt inordinately proud of my efforts. I have knitted his toy Fox, Butter, a scarf. I was so proud of this, I posted it to Instagram. I think Olly has really enjoyed his time at home with his whole family. He is all smiles and giggles. And he hasn't eaten properly for days.
 
Alfie has turned fourteen during the festive period. It's fair to say that he hasn't been seen much. He has stayed in his teen cave surrounded by multi media and selection boxes. I'm not sure he's washed his hair since he broke up from school. And there has been a definite dearth of pants in the laundry bin, which leads me to suspect multiple wears of a single pair. That, my friends makes me shudder.
 
The weather has been appalling, but we have been spared any of the simply dreadful weather further up country. My heart breaks for those who have had their homes flooded. I just can't imagine how it would feel to have all your precious bits and bobs that surround you, making your house a home, ruined by a surge of water. It must be devastating. For us, it just means that we haven't been able to get out as much as we'd like. The photo above was taken on Monday, looking across the bay from Godrevy towards St Ives. We had to delay our annual Christmas Eve walk there, and hoped that Granny didn't mind that we were late in visiting to wish her a Happy Christmas.
 
She would have chuckled at her son being blown over by the wind, rolling around the Bronze Age barrow clutching his twisted ankle and then mocked by his boys re-enacting his misfortune. My laughing didn't help. I guess my mind can't be that skewed if I still can mock the afflicted. The anti depressants dull my senses, I'm aware of that. But they also help to remove the pain that depression can bestow upon me. I'm not brave enough to do what Stephen Fry does, and have his senses bombarded with both. He does it so that his mind remains an honest reflection of who he is. Maybe if I was as fabulous as him, I would too. But I'm not. So I don't. I'm sharper without them, and I'm more definitely me. But I'm also lost at times. And scared.
 
Forgive me, friends. I am not at all deep in the mire. I am paddling furiously in the shallows. And I will soon be front crawling again. Perhaps I will be surfing the Atlantic in a wetsuit. Who knows? It's just what it is, I'm afraid. I really wish it wasn't, but there you go. I have to deal with ginger hair, chunky thighs and periods of gloom. I may make myself a medal ;)
 
I hope that you all had a truly wonderful Christmas. And for those of you that may have struggled, keep paddling. We'll paddle together, and set our sights on the horizon.
 
 
Love and kisses,
 
Leanne xx
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


38 comments:

  1. I know from my husband's experience tapering off his anti-depressants, or even just forgetting one dose, how horrible it makes him feel. I hope things even out for you once you get your refill from the chemist.

    It's a wonderful, sad, happy, time having a child home over the holidays. Wonderful and happy because your family is altogether again. Sad because you know they will soon return to uni. Enjoy each and every moment you have left over the holidays!

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    1. Thanks Kristie. It has been rather lovely having Sam home, although I am staggered by the increase in laundry :)
      L xx

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  2. I know. That is all I can say, but trust me, I know! Once you get a new prescription filled and have been back on them for a few days you will feel not so much yourself, but how you are used to feeling if you know what I mean, which from what you have written I am sure that you do. Hang in there in the meantime. I am not sure that after eights are quite so good, but heck, it has to be worth a try doesn't it! Glad that you had a good Christmas overall. Thinking of you and hoping that come the end of next week things will return to whatever passes for normal at your beautiful corner of the world. xx

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    1. Thanks Amy. Here's to a fabulous 2016 for you and yours.
      L x

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  3. Hope you get your meds straightened out and can feel more like you should. Just have a moody day upsets me, can't imagine how real depression would be.
    It is wonderful to have our kids home. I carry the memory all year.

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    1. The meds are already kicking in, so hopefully back on track soon.
      L xx

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  4. Happy New Year Leanne! I enjoyed reading your blog and love seeing your snaps on Instagram this year. Will try to get my Ollie to get a letter off to your Olly in the new year when home.

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    1. I have really enjoyed connecting with you in instagram this past year. Happy new year to you and your boys.
      L x

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  5. You do not have to do anything if you dont feel like doing it. Take your time....http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/11/the-stubborn-gladness-of-elizabeth-gilberts-favorite-poet/281158/
    Happy
    New Year!

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    1. Thank you Ivana. Lived the link.
      L xx

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  6. Keep on paddling and I hope you get to the chemist soon. My father is bipolar and couldn't cope at all without his medication, so you have my sympathy. Glad you're making the most of having your boy home for the holidays. Best wishes for 2016, Leanne and enjoy the After Eights! xx

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    1. I really did enjoy the After Eights. And best wishes to you too.
      L xx

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  7. Your not alone Leanne,and your blogs a great way of not being alone ( iff that makes sense )were all here for you , ive found my fifties a great decade for finding myself,and have found ways to manage my anxiety and depression,hope you feel more balanced soon ,sending you a big hug ,a happy healthy new yr to you xx

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    1. I think balance will be my word for 2016. And thanks for the hug.
      L xx

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  8. What comes through in your posts is that you are a survivor , pills or no pills! I'm glad you had a great time with your boys over Christmas and just think of the washing Alfie has saved you bless him! Blogs are great and very special in that they remind you that you are not alone. Have a great 2016 and keep swimming :) Barbara xx

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    1. Thank Barbara. Yes my blog has given me so much in terms of genuine support and friendship. Happy New Year to you.
      L xx

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  9. Dear Leanne. You are everything as fabulous as Stephen Fry, and then some more. Lots of love. Christina xx

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  10. From one shallows-paddler to another - hang in there, it will get better again. You know what to do, you just need to do it.

    Stephen fry is pretty amazing but I bet he couldn't crochet a scarf for a fox. Xxx

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  11. From one shallows-paddler to another - hang in there, it will get better again. You know what to do, you just need to do it.

    Stephen fry is pretty amazing but I bet he couldn't crochet a scarf for a fox. Xxx

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    1. Stephen Fry is a pussy when it comes to scarves on foxes ;)
      L xx

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  12. You are good enough - and a wonderful person. Ok, I don't know you, but reading your blog, you come over as warm, fun and a great mum. We all have times when we don't feel we are doing quite well enough (husband leaving after 25 years sort of shakes your confidence, and I won't even start on the worry of the damage it does to the teenager in the house) but we all do our best, and that is all anyone can ask of us. And we can stand back and be proud that we tried. Have a great new year. xx

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    1. Oh Sara,
      You are so right, my friend. Love and light for 2016.
      L xx

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  13. I would definitely make that badge, and tell myself that it will not always be so (well, the ginger hair will always be so and you may also be stuck with the thighs, but the rest of it could one day simply blow away with that marvellous sea wind you're drawn to). Your humour and insight and decency are all reasons why I count you my friend (and I'm choosy, believe me) and why I pop round to read whenever I see a new post pop up. Much love to you, Honest and Heartfelt Woman that you are XXX

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    1. Gosh CT. I'm rather touched. Very in fact.
      L xx

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  14. keep paddling Leanne, we're all there with you, willing you along xxx

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  15. Talking of surfing in the Atlantic we were watching the surfers on Porthmeor beach last week and saw you walk past with your husband, smallest son and dog, I was too shy to come and say hello (and my husband said it was weird) it was your dog I recognised first, from the photo you posted a few weeks ago...thought it might be a tad stalkery to approach you as well...I gradually weaned myself off self depressants a couple of years ago so can appreciate how it feels to deal with the emotions that go from not having them. All we can all do is our very best, and it looks to me that you are surrounded by a family who are cared and nurtured for by you...you've created that. Be proud of yourself and good to yourself, you deserve it. X

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    1. Gosh! You should have tapped me on the shoulder, and said hello. It wouldn't have been weird at all! How funny to be recognised by Honey. And thanks for dropping by and saying hello, and offering your support.
      Leanne x

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  16. I remember the delight on having the children return from their first term at uni, although the parting again is hard. So sorry you have been paddling furiously, both my mum and mother in law suffered with depression and I know how hard it is to get back on an even keel. I'm sure sharing your struggles help others too who are in a similar situation. Sarah x

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  17. We have just spend New Year in St Ives and I thought of you whilst I was there, I hope you are beginning to feel back on track. Make sure you save and re-read all these lovely comments whenever you need a friendly boost and know them to be true. Take care, Antonia x

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  18. Chunky thighs here too. Part of my family heritage as daughter has them too. Your insight and your ability to describe so honestly how you feel here is just wonderful. I hope you feel better soon - I've never got to the stage of taking any medication but really struggle with anxiety at times.

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  19. I do hope that you've got a new prescription by now and that you're breaking in to that crawl. It can't have been easy managing without them at, what is, a stressful time of year even though it's more often portrayed as a time when everything all around is perfect. I've loved having Daniel home from uni too. He arrived home a few days before the big day with his girlfriend and was supposed to be going back before the new year but the floods in York have prolonged their stay. They've got to go back today though as they've got exams starting on Monday, but I've loved having them here. Wishing you all the very best for 2016.

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  20. Awwwww Leanne, I've been there with the post anti D fuzzy awfulness, sometimes it feels like 1 step forward and 2 back! Hoping that 2016 will be kind to you and you factor in some you time, wishing a great new year for you and yours xx

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  21. I'm just catching up, Leanne, and I'm very sorry to hear that you're having a hard time lately. I hope you're able to get your medication soon. It sounds like a difficult situation. I wish I had the right words to help, but please know that I understand completely about putting yourself on the back-burner because of other people. I've spent the past two months that way and it feels like one big, sad blur. I'm just coming out of now, after the realization that for all the worry and sorrow I've put in during those months, not one of them was thinking about me at all. So I've made some decisions and that will be it for a while. I hope everyone at your house has a good 2016. Take care of you.

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  22. Oh Leanne, keep paddling bird you will get there. You have a beautiful way of expressing how it feels to have your mind sabotage you, making you doubt everything, thank you for sharing it can feel like a lonely place. I find it especially hard at Xmas when we are all meant to be so happy and things to be so perfect, not helped by a MIL who for her own screwed up reasons always criticises me and tries to make me feel like I'm not good enough. Be gentle with yourself xx

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  23. Disgracefully late in commenting I did read your post in work the other day. I'm sorry to hear you've been having such a hard time, I hope when you pick up your prescription thins look a little better for you. Keep paddling my dear xx

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  24. I've just come across your blog, i love your honesty about it all. Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

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