Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bad Day

I knew from the moment I woke up that today just had that "bad" vibe. I was grumpy and irritable and I felt  like my mood never got out of bed when I did. At church I felt like I was an intruder, everyone was so happy and engaged and yet I wished I could just crawl into a dark hole. When my children talked to much I felt like my head was going to spin off to space. When one of the kids touched me I wanted to scream 'just leave me alone'. I yelled at my husband and made him feel like he was letting me down somehow. We went to the supermarket and I was certain that everyone was looking at me like I was crazy and what on earth was I thinking having 3 children.

I was angry at people around me for being happy, for genuinely being content with their lives. I was appalled at my behaviour towards my family. I was frustrated that this horrible PND chose me and that some days I let it have all of me instead of it just being a piece of me I am learning to manage.

It was a bad day. But tomorrow is another day.

On a better note I bake some yummy Tan Slice and added the recipe to my 'What's cooking' section.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The list experiment

The list is something that holds all of the days tasks and jobs as I see need doing. The list isn't physical, it is mentally held in my head. The list is always changing and updating as the environment around me changes. If the children need something done, depending on the urgency, is where it fits into the list. The problem for me at the moment is I come at the bottom of the list. As the day progresses more and more things fill my invisible list and I never make it to the last task - which is me.

I have been learning a bit about self care and needing to take the time to do things for yourself. This is very challenging for me. Something inside me get anxious and nervous if I put me before doing what I see is on the list. I feel like I am cheating if I take time for me before the washing is done, or the lounge is tidy, or the dishes are put away. If I take the time to sit down before my list is complete all I do is sit there feeling guilty about the things I should be doing or the time I am wasting that could be more efficiently used.

But my challenge is to put me near the top of the list and learn to overcome the bad feelings I associate with this. So for a week my goal is to do something for myself, leaving something else that is on the list aside. I know that just thinking about this makes me worry as I feel the nerves build. But unless I make myself a priority I won't have the time to take a mental break towards wellness and other people will also expect that I will always put them first. Sometimes it is important to do things for other people but I am learning it should never be at the expense of your own well being.

So today I did some yoga and Pilate's before I hung up the washing (yes I will admit that before I did take the time I had already put the washing on, done the dishes, tidied the lounge, given the kids breakfast) but it is a start right? I left the washing, and what do you know, the world didn't fall apart. The washing was still waiting for me when I finished.

So this afternoon I once again took some time for myself to test the theory again (that the world wouldn't end if I did something for me without completing my mental list). I took some time to do some scrapbooking for Monkey number 3. I completed his birth page and his first month - so another two things off my scrapbook list but not off my household chores.

It is now time to start feeding time at the zoo, followed by bath and bedtime. But before I started I wanted to let you know about my experiment and let you know I would love to keep you up-to-date over the week that follows. I am also challenging you to look at where you put yourself and to take some time for self care over the next week with me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The uninvited guest

Over the last few days I have been a little more tired, grumpy, uninterested and irritable than usual. It wasn't until I was reading in bed last night that I realised it was the return of the uninvited guest. He sneaks up edging in, a little at a time, until once again I find myself in a place of hopelessness and self doubt.

There is no quick fix to PND, no amount of medication, therapy or groups will make it go away. It takes a willingness to work on it yourself and know that there will be good days and bad. Just when I thought everything was running along nicely the unwanted guest slips back in to my life. I certainly didn't ask him back, as the one thing I have consciously made a decision on is that, I will never get to that place again where my life is not worth the effort everyone else is having to make to keep me alive. The one thing I am positive about is I will live, and I will live even if it annoys everyone else. But that doesn't mean that it is any easier. It doesn't mean that the feelings of worthlessness, distress, or hopelessness go away. It just means that I'm willing to make an effort to manage them.

The best way to describe how I feel right now is like I have jumped off a cliff into the ocean without taking a proper look at what the water was like. I am struggling and fighting for air as I have been caught in a rip and I'm so, so tired of fighting against the oceans downward pull. As I get tired I stop for a moment and wonder if I could just give up and drown as I don't feel like I have any fight left. Then someone reaches out and offers some support and I catch my breath and start to restock. But as the hands start to let go I realise I am still in the cold, dark, wild ocean and I still have to fight. At this moment hope of being pulled to shore seems so far away that I can't imagine it even happening.

Depression is a struggle with the feelings you have inside even when you know that there is no valid justification to the feelings. I know I am a good mum, friend and wife. But depression some how fogs this over having me check and recheck myself as the feelings of self doubt flood my thinking. It is just so tiring to fight it sometimes, to keep putting my thinking back to the positive when the negative route is so well carved. I am struggling to find the reasons that I deserve to be happy and that I am worth some self care. Depression is the biggest liar you will ever meet. It tells you that you aren't worth the time, effort or money. That you aren't doing a good enough job to be appreciated and when someone over looks the things you do manage to struggle to do it reinforces the feelings of guilt and lack of worth.

So today I find myself arguing with the uninvited guest, telling him I never asked him to come visit. Asking that if he isn't leaving, to please find it in his heart to be kind to me this time. And asking God for the strength to face this again. I know I need to find a way to live with this unwelcome visitor as I will not let him own my life again but it is hard and it scares me. But I will live, even if it annoys everyone, that I am sure of. And even if that is all at this point in time, that is enough for today.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A blog in time

Well after what has been a lot of thought - mostly to talk myself out of it - I have decided that I will join the world of bloggers. For me this is a time to record the painstaking journey I find myself on at this stage of my life. I am currently a stay home mum of three and trying to find my peace with this. It has been something that has thrown me through a lot of up's and down's of late. How does one really come to grips and be happy being the taxi, maid, chef, nurse, babysitter, emotional minder of the household, wife, and still feel like a women who is sure and happy with her life?

I am currently in the recovery stage of some nasty PND (post-natal depression) and with the earthquake this has caused my life I am asking myself the hard questions:

Do I do something everyday that still makes me happy?
What are my goals for my life?
Do I let other people's expectations shape my decisions too much of what I choose?
Do I make my children feel emotionally supported?
Do I still smile at my husband everyday with the love that brought us together?
Am I processing my journey to find what I have learned and what I want to change?

The last question is what brings me here. I want a record for myself to see where I have been and how I got through. I want to see the development of myself when I can't seem to find the answer in my head for why I am doing this for yet another day. I want somewhere to remind me that life is about living and that means mistakes, laughter, tears, birthdays, deaths, doctors, medications, exercise, housework, cooking and finding out who I really am.