lindsay ; positively

The personal musings of a woman learning to find her voice and herself.

Happy Birthday To Me — April 13, 2017

Happy Birthday To Me

I want to be happy and just enjoy today.  I don’t think I’ll be able to, not completely.

I haven’t been at work since 2nd March, which in 2017 marked 5 years since ‘The Dog Attack‘.  I broke down on that day, unable to work, unable to focus.  The anniversary was one more thing, and my mental health took a swan dive.

Since then, I’ve been seeing my doctor every couple of weeks, working towards getting myself back on track.  It feels like I take two steps forward, and then another one back.  Every time over the last few weeks I feel like I’m starting to feel ‘on the mend’, something happens that triggers a downward spiral again…

  • I reversed the car into a building.  It needed repair, I couldn’t drive around with the level of damage down.  Cue sh*t tons of mental self injury.
  • When I went to visit my Grandad, the risk of my parents  turning up at the same time presented itself.  Cue massive anxiety spike (anyone who understands my relationship with and anxiety around my father will understand why this was a problem).
  • And then, two days ago, my mother went into hospital with a burst ulcer.  Instead of simply worrying about a woman that, granted, I haven’t spoken to for three years, but still deep down care about…no, instead, my head had to deal with the fact that Daddy Dearest didn’t want me to know about it.  About my mother.  Being in hospital.  Gosh he is the most childish, immature man I have ever had the displeasure of knowing.  And this man was the one I spent my formative years trying to please.  Trying to gain approval from.  Cue guilt about obsessing over this, instead of just worrying for my mother.

I saw my doctor yesterday, and burst into tears.  Told her all this.  Told her how last week, I was telling people that this week, I was going to talk to her and my boss about going back to work.  I felt positive, I felt on track to be ready.  Now?  I’m not back at square one, that would be a false statement.  I am not the complete quivering mess I was on 2nd March.  But I’m still not good.

The doctor signed me off for another 2 weeks.  Cue MORE guilt because I’m going away this weekend.  I told the doctor about the fact myself, Michael and Megan are going to Eastercon, and I was told I absolutely had to go.  It will do me the world of good the doctor said.  Stop the emotional brain from engaging, help the logical brain take a foothold again.

Before yesterday, I had changed anti depressant, from Sertraline to Citalopram.  The dosage was increased yesterday to see if that will help as well.

She was also very clear to stop being so harsh on myself.  I kept saying that I feel like I’m ruining my life.  I do feel that way…this is my second spell off work now and I am so worried about returning.  What everyone will say, how they will act around me.  Of course, this is anxiety doing what anxiety does.  I’m sure people just want me to get better.  I can’t help myself sometimes…I’m a natural born worrier and when I do things like I’ll be doing this weekend, my head starts to think “if people at work see this, they’ll think I don’t need I be away right now”.

I KNOW mental health does not work that way.  I’m trying to get my brain into a better place.  I can only do that by doing things that will help it not focus and obsess on the things that trigger me while I wait for the counselling that will hopefully help me move on once and for all.  And as hard as I find it…I need to try and NOT feel guilty for recognising I’m not ready to reintroduce the stress of work back in, and be kind to myself.

As Michael told me last night, I’m being mature.  I could employ other coping mechanisms (drink for example, which I have done before), but I’m not.  I’m following the doctor’s advice, and although I’m not ‘better’ yet, progress is happening.  I just need to give it time.

So…Happy Birthday To Me.  It doesn’t feel like a good time to celebrate really.  I’m lying in bed writing this and truth be told, I would be most content staying here all day.  Alas, there is packing and cleaning to be done, and the doctor says I need to get out everyday.  So I’m going to see my sister, which should be nice.

Maybe the break away this weekend will be just what I need; here’s hoping.

This Mothers Day… — March 23, 2017

This Mothers Day…

This Mother’s Day weekend, I would like to ask that all parents remember that a child’s love for you is not a right; it is a privilege.

The relationship between a parent and a child is a one built on mutual respect and trust. In their younger days, your children will depend on you for everything and no doubt their love will be unconditional. As they grow, if you mistreat your children, they will soon learn to understand that maybe you don’t care for them in quite the way you should, and you may eventually find that their love is no longer as unconditional as it once was.

Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, can be particularly painful for people who have tried to become parents and so far been unable (be that through conception, adoption or otherwise), parents who have lost children (be that due to miscarriage or passing before their time), people who have lost their parents, never known their parents or, if they have had to remove themselves from a relationship with one or more parents due to the toxic nature of the relationship, or abuse of some kind.

(List not exhaustive.)

Your children are precious. Their love is precious. On this weekend when everything focuses on you, the mother, please remember that not all of us have parents to lavish affection on, and/or not all of us have our children still with us to share the day with. Please continue to be ever grateful for what you have, and treat the love of your children with all the reverence and tenderness deserved.

Battling with Dark Mornings — November 20, 2016

Battling with Dark Mornings

Over the last few weeks, I have found my depression and anxiety worsening.  This has seemed to conveniently coincided with the onset of the shorter days, of the world still being dark when I awake up (and also when I finish work).

It may just be complete coincidence, but I started to look into Seasonal Affective Disorder as it had been suggested to me as a possible cause, and I researched some of the ways I could go about treating my symptoms.

As S.A.D can worsen already existing depression and anxiety, I decided a review of my medication was in order.  One visit to see my GP later, my dosage of Sertraline was doubled from 50mg to 100mg daily.  It can go higher than 100mg (someone commented to me on Instagram saying they take 200mg) so if needs be, there is further room to increase further.  As it is however, so far so good…I can see a marked different on 100mg.

I also looked into acquiring an alarm clock that featured a timed light up feature to simulate dawn.  In the end, I ordered myself this one:

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Find it here on Amazon

I paid just shy of £90 for this alarm, although it is currently selling at £65 in the Black Friday sale until Friday 25th November.  Even at £90 however, this was money well spent in my opinion.

Prior to using this clock, I was struggling with waking up in the mornings.  My work shift starts at 8am (I work from home), and whereas my alarm goes off at 6:45am so I have time to myself before I sit down and log on, the dark mornings and the way I’ve been feeling have both had me reaching for the snooze button again and again.

I’m barely a week into using the new alarm clock. but the difference in unbelievable. Every morning since I started, I’ve been out of bed by 7am.  My mood has improved has as well.

I call that a win!

Here’s some pictures of the lamp in situ:

 

 (Jenny decided she just *had* to get in the shot!)

I’m still struggling with sleep, waking up through the night.  Do you suffer from S.A.D?  Do you have any coping mechanisms that you’d be happy to share with me, either with getting improved sleep, or managing your mood during the darker months in general?

I am over the moon with this lamp and based off it’s performance so far, would highly recommend it to anyone who struggles with dark winter mornings.

Feeling Lost — October 14, 2016

Feeling Lost

Let me start with a story.

A week ago today, I went to the theatre.  For Paul’s 30th birthday, I was stuck on what to buy him as a present, so he suggested we go to the theatre together for the first time as a couple.  The West End cast of Mary Poppins is at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle until the end of October, it’s a show he really wanted to see, and he’d been wanting to go to the theatre with me for ages.  It seemed like a wonderful idea.
At some point along the way, I forgot to take into consideration that I am fat, and we booked up regular seats.

That was a mistake which I am still paying for now.

A day before the performance, I started to feel very anxious.

“What if I don’t fit in the seat?”

“What if I have no leg room?”

Paul worked out that we were going to be at the end of our aisle, and he was happy for me to have the end seat, so the only other persons personal space I could possibly be encroaching onto would be his.  This reduced the anxiety I was feeling somewhat, although it didn’t fade completely.  Still, I put on a brave face, and off we went.

The act of sitting in my seat once we got there was sadly agony.  The wooden, static armrests dug into my hips, and my knees were pressed against the seat in front.  My sides went numb, but my knees didn’t and I was in a lot of pain.  As the end of the first half of the show rolled around, the tears had started to fall.

After the intermission, I gave up on my seat and sat on the stair immediately next to it.  I could enjoy the rest of the show without pain.

The damage was already done though.  It’s been a week, and here are my hips this evening:


(Please, excuse my horribly chipped nail varnish!)

As well as the bruising looking quite bad, both hips also hurt when I do anything approaching slightly physical.  It’s not enough to stop me doing things, but it’s damn annoying.

I guess that’s the end of the story, and now I should explain why the title of this post is “Feeling Lost”…

I have cried a few times since I saw the show.  I told Paul that I felt “less than human” in the initial aftermath.  That I didn’t “fit into the world”.

I want to go back and see more shows at the theatre.  My trouble fitting into the seat aside, I really enjoyed Mary Poppins.  But to go back, and not end up in tears again,  I know in the future I will need to pay more to get a more suitable seat….at the very least with more leg room.

And it’s thinking about this that leaves me feeling confused and lost.

I feel so…separate to the world at times.  I’m sure most bigger people do.  It’s easy to feel like we don’t fit because so often, we don’t.  So many things are designed without us in mind.  This is where Thin Privilege comes in.  My thin friends can enjoy a trip to the theatre without worrying about whether the seat they’ve paid for will bruise their hips like mine did.

I don’t know if I should try and lose weight….to try and conform making living in this world easier, or whether I should not try to force any change with myself in that regard, and instead stand my ground?  Be angry and upset at the fact that next time around, I will have to pay more for a seat that allows me to enjoy a show without pain?

If I do decide a change is in order, does that mean I’m less “body positive”?

Prior to this whole incident, I had been thinking about trying to bring more exercise into my life anyway.  Since I passed my driving test and the household got our car, I am so much less active.  I’ve felt a difference in my joints, most specifically my knees.  I don’t believe this change is weight related because I have not majorly changed in size.  The big change, is how much I physically move myself.

That is not a weight or size related driver to exercise.  It is a “I want to be more active, I want to move my body more” driver.

But…I’m conflicted now.  Because my hips are bruised and sore and part of me wishes I weren’t as big as I am.  I want to interact with the world more easily. 

It’s taken me so long to be comfortable with my body.  To find love for it despite so many external sources around it saying that I shouldn’t.  I know that the journey of self love and acceptance of your body is never a straight and forward line.  Perhaps these conflicted feelings are just a blip.

I know I can exercise without weight loss being the goal.  If exercise brings about weight loss, then that is a by product I will have to deal with.  Our bodies are forever changing; that’s something I need to keep in mind.

Finally, I’ve also struggled with whether or not to write about this.  Ever since my depression and anxiety worsened at the end of last year, I have found that I don’t engage as much as I used to online.  I think part of that is a fear of troll and hater backlash.  This particular topic is something a concern troll could go nuts over; a fat person being too big for a seat. Even though my anxiety has been much better managed for months now and I do have a presence online again…there is a fear about talking about this kind of thing.  I’ve decided to try and push past my comfort zone though.  Being open and honest with the people who read my ramblings has always served me well in the past; it may do now.