Monday, September 27, 2010

Crazy? Most likely.....

After a full on week of spring cleaning everything finally came crashing down on Saturday. It was perhaps that I had set myself a huge task for the day of sorting through the bedroom, mowing the lawns, the endless washing pile and sorting through some stuff in the shed. What happened next was I looked in the mirror and found this red cheeked, birdnest hair woman and I was like Oh Dear!

This was the beginning of the end. Next thing I know I am in a foul mood, storming around the house complaining about how awful I look and that I hate my hair and my skin. I have found since being on my anti-depressants that my skin is quite red and dry in patches. It's not over bad, it just annoys me some days.

I said something along the line to Hubby about being awful and hating my hair, where he tried to reassure me it was all fine. This made me madder, as I was certain I looked like a woman who had been lost in the bush for several weeks. I stomped off to my room and proceeded to cut all my hair off (this isn't quite as bad as it sounds as I have been known to cut my own hair often) to the shortest it has been in about 3 years. The Hubby came down to the room where I had disappeared, with a look of shock in his eyes said something about my hair being quite short. This made things worse! This is where the hiding under the covers of the bed and crying began, for about 45 minutes! Hubby kept asking what was wrong and eventually I managed to get out that I hated what I had just done to my hair.

Then he said well I better get ready to go out as we were heading to his mums for dinner. Oh crap! That's right, I had to go in public with this complete over-reaction that I had taken! I tried on a hat, putting it different ways. Truth is the hat looked worse than the cut. So I decided to just get over it and stop letting it ruin my night.

Next thing you know Mother in Law is complementing my cut. I thought maybe it's not so bad after all. Next day at church everyone who commented was lovely and it has now grown on me. I really like it and feel like its a good change for me. But am I crazy?? I still think yes. What kind of person reacts to bad hair by chopping it all off? I'm the only one I know. But we are meant to be individuals aren't we?

From this......

To this.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What's wrong with me?

For the last few days I have been feeling super motivated and have been enjoying doing more than just the day to day housework. I feel inspired to wash my net curtains, scrub my window sills, put away all the clutter that has just been looming with no place to live, dust, rearrange the house, make new dinners, make play dough for the kids etc etc.

I really am beginning to wonder if I have caught something?? I do like things in their place and clean but not this bad lol. I have even organised a coffee morning at my house, I never do my house, always somewhere else!

But I must say it feels good and I feel better than I have in a long while. In the last 3 days I have forgotten to take my anti-depressants at breakfast and usually I can feel I haven't had them, but not in the last few days. I have had them when I remember but am starting to wonder if the other things i am putting in place to help me cope are actually starting to work. My goal was always to use the meds until I was ready to try natural instead, so maybe I'm heading for another goal soon? It really is amazing how as you achieve small steps you gain your confidence to try something else, and when you get knocked back it's not such a big deal.

The only grumble I have is the weather! Its either raining or too windy for washing. So not enjoying the inside drying racks taking up all my clutter-free, tidy space. Please spring bring us some nice sunshine soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A diamond in the rough, or the carpet, or the car, or the petrol station......

Five years ago this month my husband rang me at 4 am to tell me his Granddad has passed away. I was in Hamilton with my sister after the birth of her first baby. I had been intending to  be back in New Plymouth earlier as we had made plans to have dinner with Grandma and Granddad but my sister was struggling and I decided to stay a little longer. As soon as my husband called I packed up Monkey #1 and the car and headed straight home. Hubby had a very strong relationship with his Grandfather and I was so upset that I didn't make the dinner we had planned to have. But we never know what is going to happen.

That night after we left Grandma's and got monkey #1 to bed hubby disappeared to the bedroom. I went about brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed. When I came into the room he was down on one knee, in his blue undies, with a ring box in hand. He said this wasn't the way he had planned but it was the right time. Of course I accepted and he later told me that he had discussed with his Granddad earlier in the week his thoughts on asking me to marry him and his Granddad was very supportive of the idea.

Yesterday after dropping monkey #1 to school and getting petrol I looked down at my engagement ring and the world stopped. I couldn't breath, my pulse raced, my head was spinning, I started to cry, "NO!" - my diamond was gone. The claws had obviously worn enough for the diamond to come loose. My husband and I started with very humble beginnings, with him purchasing a ring he could afford at the time. Unfortunately it wasn't very well made and the claws have become worn. It is going to cost more to fix the claws and replace the diamond than the original cost of the ring. Worst part is I loved the ring. My husband had spent his hard earned money and picked it just for me. Yesterday will now be known as the Day of Diamond Doom!

Now five years and three children later we really don't have the money to replace it. I have joked about going and buying a fake one for the time being as I feel bare with my simple wedding band. Hubby said he had thought yesterday on the way home from work to buy a packet of burger rings - oh how I love his humour! So for now I will just sit and stare at the empty claws in the ring box and dream of the day we can replace it. Funny thing is with the Christchurch earthquake we decided to get organised and get some contents insurance last week. I don't think it would look too good to ring and claim for an engagement ring a week later! So for now the burger rings it may be.

So for now I must concentrate on the things I do have and that I am grateful for; still having my husband five years later, three beautiful healthy children, food in our cupboards, a warm house with enough room, great family and friends. In this light I think I can find my diamond in the beauty of the things I have, not the one that has fallen out somewhere.

My husband finally got his tattoo this weekend too. One that he has thought up himself and means a lot to him. He has a friend he went to school with who has moved back to New Plymouth and opened a tattoo shop - Ink and Anchor tattoo artspace - Ink & Anchor Tattoo Artspace Facebook page
Paul did an amazing job of drawing up the Hubby's idea and the tattoo looks amazing.

My poor ring I promise to remember you when you are sitting in the draw and all the love and memories you hold will always be in my heart xx

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Completely irrational but....

I am really struggling at the moment with a sense of "not enough". No matter what I do, to me, it doesn't seem good enough, or enough done. Like this morning it's 10 am and I have one at school, one at kindy, one in bed, the washing is done, the dishes are done, the vacuuming is done, the ironing is done, the phone calls I had to make are done. But I can't seem to shift this feeling of restlessness that there is still more I could do or should do.

I know when I think about it rationally that I have already achieved so much today and my house is clean, tidy and inviting. BUT the big but is still there. So I am asking myself where this comes from. What inside me tells me this? What are my core beliefs? What are the coulds, shoulds, and have to's that I am letting rule my life?

On examining this on a deeper level I have come to the conclusion that my core belief really is that I will never be good enough, that there is always I higher level of achievement that I am missing the mark on. So where does the root of this belief come from? That one I am struggling with. I know there are a few issues of childhood which could add to this. The fact my Dad was a perfectionist and had very high levels of standard and my mum was very determined and did everything herself without asking for help. And what do you know - the two combined together equals ME! I have such a high standard for everything that affects my everyday life. I can't let other people do things for me because one, it won't be the way I do it and two it is a weakness to ask for help. I know both of these statements are completely irrational but it's rooted so deep in there for me that I hadn't stopped to ask myself how this is working for me.

The truth of the matter is it isn't working. I can't rest and relax as I don't ever feel like I have done enough to deserve the break. So how do I break the cycle of everything must be perfect, that enough work equals the right to relax, that my way is the right way? I know that identifying it is a start but the where to next is the hard part, as it will challenge every rule my life hangs by. Core beliefs really make or break us, especially maladaptive ones. I know my parents never meant for there well-meaning tidiness and determination to end with a child who is so critical of herself and scared to ask for help. But I know this is how I perceived it and it was a misperception.

But along the way other things have added to this belief. I remember getting my school certificate marks and feeling good about achieving passes in all 6 subjects. I got 83% as my top mark and my Grandfather jokingly asked what happened to the other 17%. I know that was a point in my life where I really took on board that I must struggle to achieve more. There have also been other incidents where I have asked for help and really felt that it has instead been turned around to something I have done or haven't done and I really adopted the attitude that just do it yourself, don't bother involving other people.

I know my hubby struggles with doing jobs or something nice for me as it is never good enough. I don't want to be this horrible person who people can't please so they would rather hide from me and give up altogether. As this leads to my next issue where I end up exhausted from doing everything myself and annoyed that no one every does anything nice for me, and on goes this horrible cycle. But why would they bother when it isn't going to be right anyway. So not only have I tainted myself with this horrible expectation, but I also put it upon the people I care about most. And rational response tells me that everything doesn't have to be perfect and that I'm putting way to much pressure on myself, husband, kids, family and friends. Although family  and friends probably don't know the extent of this as I wouldn't ask for the help or let them know if what they had done had let me down. I protect them but my family that lives under this roof know the full monster that controls my life.

God has been challenging me on this area too. As even He doesn't expect us to be perfect, so why should I be so hard on myself for this reason. He wants us to have vision and motivation and live an abundant life but never does He require from us perfection. That's why He offers us His grace and forgiveness.

So for now my journey is about being aware and changeling these core beliefs that are correct or working for me. It's definitely a hard this to do, but identifying it is the first step. next comes the vision of what I want to be instead, then the plan and doing it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things to make me smile today

Friends who know the small little gift that will put a smile on your face and mean something forever.

Other people's blog posts that remind you:

that we all feel guilty about our own little things
Or to look for the simple things right in for the simple things right in front of you to make you smile

Friends who turn up for afternoon tea just to be here to help out during the crazy time of the day. Who hold the baby while you get the washing in, who ask the neighbours kids to go home when you've had enough and who will sit and listen while you rant about your stink day.

Finding new recipes that are quick, easy and very yummy - Chocolate chip slice (added to my recipes)

Friends who come as soon as you text and remind you that you're not the only one who has ever been here. They too have felt like this and made it through. A friend that gives you the strength to renew the promise to yourself that, I will live. Friends who can tell you their own story as they now look back and laugh. Friends sitting with you, proving that this is achievable and that there is someone out there who you are the most precious thing in the world to. Someone who sent his son, to die, so that I might have life. Friends who remind me God has a plan and a purpose for my life. A purpose that will include the things I am going through now, that will one day be used for his glory. Who remind me that even though I might not see his beauty in my life right now to look and I will find it somewhere.

Books that keep me hooked to read the next chapter and make me want to forget my list of jobs. Even though I promised myself to never read the twilight series they are easy reads and keep you going - great mind distraction.

Songs that make me want to dance on my bed and sing with my hairbrush and enjoy the moment.

And lastly, my blog. Somewhere where I can come to rant, share, record, remember and let it all out. Somewhere that my journey can be remembered and I can see my process and growth. Somewhere that I can write when I feel happy, sad, angry, joyful, blue, grey, black or rainbow. Somewhere that I can be me no matter how I look or feel today.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Feeling blue

Over the weekend and last two days the kids have been still sick with coughs and runny noses not letting up. I must admit that the children's grumpiness has taken a toll on me. I have been feeling pretty exhausted having to meet the demands of troll children. I really doesn't take a lot anymore for me to find that I have turned blue again. I am trying to learn to catch it at blue and not let it progress to grey, or at worst, black.

But it truly is a struggle. I feel myself going blue and I'm not sure I have the energy to stop it. I find myself rolled up in a ball on the couch with a blanket, wishing that the world would just stop it's demands on me. I yell at the children for adding to my already piling list in my head. I then have to deal with the heart wrenching guilt that follows my attitude with the kids. When do I get to enjoy life again? It is so unfair to have my joy ripped from underneath me again. I though this would get easier, but it seems like every time it creeps back in again I beat myself up for not protecting myself better. My eyes feel like they are red-rimmed from crying, enough though I haven't been. I just feel completely disengaged from the world. I don't want to make everything about me, but I don't know how to focus myself elsewhere at the moment.

It hurts like a physical ache. My eyes hurt, my head whirls with pain, my tummy is doing constant flips. I just want things to be easier. I don't want to feel like hiding in my house, avoiding the world. But that is exactly what I find myself doing right now. Yesterday I didn't even argue when monkey #1 asked to stay home from school, as it meant I could quietly hide in my corner of my comfort - home. Everything and everyone irritates me at the moment. I don't understand why this all goes with depression? I feel like I am becoming a horrible grumpy old man who yells at people for stepping on my grass.

The self care is out the window. I am struggling to get the chores done again so that I don't have a weeks worth of washing and dishes piling up. All I want to do is sleep. Maybe this is my way of hiding from the real world and checking out of reality for a little while? I just want it to get better, to not feel this horrible empty feeling anymore, that drags me through blue to grey to black. How did I get to this point where my life is run on auto pilot? Where I feel no emotion for what is happening around me. All I want is a bit of sunshine now and then to remind me that the world can be a fun place to still be.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly.

The good - Best friends who bring scrapbooking supplies over as a present and cheer up your grey day.

The other morning I arrived home after a hard morning that contained some difficult home truths. I was searching my brain all the way home as to how I would deal with the now every clear situation, when I pulled into my driveway to see a piece of scrapbook paper flying around. It was a really windy and I was wondering where on earth this paper had come from. And there on the step was a 12x12 box full of papers and stickers with a note to say it was a wee gift for me. That was the turning point of my day! Even though Helen is struggling with her own personal journey at the moment she still knows how to lift my spirit - with scrapping supplies.

The bad - The awful rain after a beautiful spring day yesterday, children with hacking coughs that make me cringe at night while I lie in bed listening to them, making the choice to change something that has too greater side effects but then having to deal with not having the usefulness of it and sick children who are completely unable to be reasoned with.

I recently made the decision to come off my evening medication which was effective for helping me sleep and stopping the continual whirlpool of thoughts that flood my brain when I try to settle in bed for the night. The down side is it has been making me feel extremely exhausted throughout the day where all I want to do is crawl into a ball and hibernate. So I came to the decision that, what was the point in getting a full nights sleep (the meds blank me out until about 3 am to the point where I have conversations with my husband or get out of bed for the cat, or toilet, or drink and don't remember it) when in fact I'm not 100% sure if I have been asleep for the amount of time I thought I had and still feeling exhausted in the morning due to side effects. So I stopped them two nights ago and I have found that I do wake during the night and sometimes have found it hard to drift back off but I am trying to use mindfulness instead. This is where I shut down my thinking and isolate something like a noise I can hear like my breathing or a clock ticking and concentrate on that mindful not to let my thought drift anywhere else. It is more effective than I thought it would be, but also is hard work to change what has been a life long pattern for me of racing thoughts. So good point is I'm not so tired during the day, but it is taking some effort and new methods to settle my mind.

The ugly - Monkey number 3 waking at 3 am the last few nights. We have been having such a good roll with him that it's hard to drag yourself out of bed again when I haven't had to for a few weeks now. So I let him try to resettle himself for 15 minutes or so, the whole time in which I lie there feeling compelled to go and pick him up and cuddle him. I know crying for a short time is useful to teach children self-soothing but it also pulls at my heart to know he wants or needs me and I am leaving him. This once again starts the downward spiral to the thoughts of the neglectful mother, uncaring, unloving, ugly, ugly, ugly thoughts. I hate how depression jumps on you when your half asleep and mentally unprepared for a fight. I hate the ugliness of 3 am and the thoughts that linger with this time of night. The mind is such a powerful tool and yet it lands us in these horrible situations and plays these nasty tricks on us. I know in reality that I am not damaging my child but am giving him a tool that we can both appreciate in the future - the ability to sleep and sleep well. But it doesn't mean that logic exists at 3 am, instead there is this ugly depression still hiding in the shadows waiting for me to be off guard enough to creep in.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I wish that every day was the 1st day of spring

What a beautiful warm sunny day, too bad it isn't going to last and the rain is getting ready to set in again. I had a really productive day with housework, catching up with friends and scrapbooking (I have added my 2 latest pages - Father & Big Sister - to my latest scraps).

I am so super excited Monkey #3 is so close to crawling. He actually took forward movements while on his knees this afternoon and I managed to catch some awesome pics.

Monkey #3's super cute pants are from his best little playmate 

And then trying to sit himself back up again

So all in all it was a warm (inside and out) spring day with lots to smile about. Now I am going to treat myself to an early night snuggled in bed with a book.

My happiness - my kids

I don't know how often I rob my kids with my mood. Yesterday I chose to be different. Monkey number one had his end of season hockey break up at Chipmunks and as a family we had fun. I loved see their eyes light up as Mummy laughed and played. They were excited to pose for photo's to capture this bright, happy, moment in our lives, which hasn't been a regular happening for quite some time now.

Look at the pride on monkey 1's face as he receives his certificate and medal:

My hubby and I decided after a long discussion last night that we need to make these family fun outings more of a regular thing. We have agreed on at least twice a month to do something together and make the aim to enjoy each other's company, all 5 of us.

These faces really make it worth it.

The kids had a heap of fun and the best part is I did too!

Some one once said that joy isn't in things, it is in US!