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Feeling alive

Taking a little break while out for a walk with our new doggy and I haven’t felt as alive in a long time. I have been feeling much better but right now I get a real sense of the person I used to be when I exercised because it felt great and ate healthily because it tasted good and made me feel good. In this moment I feel incredibly lucky and positive! Long may it last.

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Wow….. so it’s been a wee while since I’ve shared. There might not be anyone there to share with but that’s ok. This is for me.

I’ve been on prozac for postnatal depression since January. I started therapy in May I think. It’s going well but it’s not easy. No surprises there. I have a lot of work to do. On me. That’s the only way my food issues and all the rest will be resolved and fingers crossed I will get there someday.

Right now I’m on my holidays and a little tipsy. Whoopsy. Could there be a better time to write a post for all the world to read? I think not.

I think I need this blog to get stuff out of my head and I would love if there was still a couple of people out there who would be willing to listen. Here’s hoping!

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A new year and a new me?

A few weeks before Christmas I went to see my doctor and was diagnosed with postnatal depression, post post-partum in the US I think, same thing anyway. After some deliberation I started taking Prozac (well a generic brand of it but again same difference!). I have also requested to be referred for counselling as I don’t want medication to be the only answer. That said 5 or 6 weeks on I think I am beginning to see results from the medication. I’m slowly starting to gain perspective on how I’ve been feeling or sometimes not feeling over the past year. I’m sure the counselling when it eventually happens will help even more. I do still have bad days of course but overall I feel lighter and much more hopeful. I’ve even started exercising! Just a little but for me that’s alot!!!

I’m not quite sure how to describe what postnatal depression did to me. A part of me still isn’t sure that I even have/had it but it seems as my time on the medication continues so does my perspective. Pretty much nothing I did as mother in the past year was good enough. This is by my own insane standards of course. I stopped breastfeeding at nine months and in my part of the world breastfeeding for even 6 months is pretty unusual and often ridiculed (that’s a post for another day!!) But still in my head I was a failure because I didn’t do it for longer. I cook 99% of my daughters food from scratch and yet I still worried that it wasn’t good enough. I now realise more than ever that I could never, ever meet my own expectations. Never. I found it all so overwhelming and so paralysing. I couldn’t seem to keep on top of anything. I would have good days of course but things would slowly slip again and I would sit on the couch frozen by my inability to keep the house clean and get things done and of course the longer I sat the worse it got. The thing is though I still functioned. I did still get things done but of course they were never enough in my book. I always felt like I was one step away from everything falling down around me. To most people I seemed fine. I put on a happy, calm, nothing can bother me face. Many I times I even fooled myself with this persona and it fed into the “but your fine why can’t you just get on top of things!!” mantra.

My husband thankfully felt and saw that something was wrong and urged to me get help. I’m very grateful for that.
I’m working on getting better and making progress I think. Accepting it all has been the hardest part but with every day that passes I do feel I am accepting it a little more.

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This is the third post that I’ve written in as many weeks. The first was me quitting blogging. The second was me not quitting blogging and having a major rant about where I am (and where I’m not) right now. Neither got published so if you are actually reading this one then there must be a full moon or something!

See I’ve lost what little fight there was in me. At least I think I have. These days I can’t quite remember even having any but I must have has some right?
I feel like I’m just existing these days and I HATE it. I’m not participating. Even something as small as leaving comments on other blogs. I just can’t seem to make the effort or find the time. I so don’t want to be the moany, whingy (sorta)blogger but I guess that’s what I am right now. I feel such guilt because there are people in the world with real suffering and sadness and yet hear I am with my puny problems whining about poor, poor me. I have so much to be grateful for. A wonderful husband, an amazing daughter, family, friends, a job, a home. My overall health is good even though I’m treating my body like shit. I have nothing to complain about and I don’t even really want to complain. I think I just want to try to make sense of how I feel. I want to understand why I feel like I am barely functioning, just going through the motions.

I want to be interested again. I want to feel energised. I want to feel some sense of control and achievement. I want to find a little bit of fight in me to get me going. I’m very afraid that’s it’s long gone, lost to me forever.

Also all I want to do is eat. Everything. Every bit of junk and non junk in the world.I know it won’t help, I know it but all my body or brain is screaming at me is to EAT, EAT, EAT !!!!!

So to top all this off my husband thinks I’m depressed and wants me to say it to my doctor the next time I go. Which I will, for him. I’m not so sure that I am depressed myself but then I suppose if I am I won’t really have the best perspective will I? I suppose I feel if I was “properly” depressed I wouldn’t be able to function. I feel I should be unable to get out of bed or be any way productive whereas I am getting up and going to work and doing stuff. Not as much as I feel I should be but I’m getting by. My other worry about being diagnosed as depressed is what do I do then? I’m not too keen on going down the meds route. I’m not sure why as I don’t know much about them but I guess I worry about being dependant on them, I worry about side effects and I also worry about how do I know when I don’t need them any more? I would also be embarrassed to admit to people, family and friends, that I was taking them. Silly I know but I’m being honest.

All that being said part of me also wonders what if taking medication made me feel much, much better. What if my “normal” now isn’t really normal at all and I take the pills and suddenly it’s like wow so this is living !!! Of course all this is assuming that my doctor even agrees that I am depressed.

I do know that whatever is going on my hormones play a role as pms time has gone nutty to say the least. I am experiencing anxiety now, crazy tiredness and just as crazy moods. I’ve changed from one brand of mini pill to another to see if that helps and I’m also taking a vitamin b complex tablet, evening primrose oil capsule plus a multivitamin. I only found out last night about this – PMDD. I have to be honest to myself and say that this section really stood out to me and does describe my feelings eerily well:

In both PMDD and PMS, symptoms occur in the last week of the menstrual cycle and usually improve within a few days after menstruation begins. Both PMDD and PMS may also cause bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, and changes in sleep and eating habits.In PMDD, however, the following emotional and behavioral symptoms stand out:

Anxiety
Feelings of being “keyed up” or “on edge”
Persistent irritability
Marked anger

The cause of PMDD isn’t clear. Underlying depression and anxiety are common in both PMS and PMDD, so it’s possible that the normal physical changes that trigger a menstrual period somehow exacerbate mood disorders.

Anxiety was the big thing for me this month in terms of pms to the point that I wasn’t even breathing properly. So it seems maybe this is something I should look into too. The thing is if my husband is anything to go by I’m not exactly a bundle of fun the rest of the month either. 😐

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I’m guilty….

….of many things (no, I haven’t murdered anyone!). The one thing I’m most guilty of though is being my own harshest critic. It’s second nature to me now. I’ve even become good at pretending I have it under control when really I don’t. I can say and even think all the right things but that other voice inside undoes it all in an instant.

Where is this coming from now? Well I’ve gone back to the hypnotherapy. After the first two sessions I was a little indifferent about it and then life intervened so basically I stopped going whatever excuses I might like to make. I didn’t even know if I wanted to go back but something nagged away at me so I decided to give it another try. I’ve only done one more session so far but I think it was ground breaking for me. I finally acknowledged or it finally came to the fore that I have no idea of who I am and it seems that being overweight, struggling with being over weight, failing to lose weight is all part of my strategy to avoid dealing with the lack of self-identity I have.

That probably seemed a bit confusing. I know it did to me at the time but strangely it also made complete sense too.
Put simply if I lose “the weight!” then I have to face the fact that I don’t know who the hell I am. Sure I know my name, where I live, what I do and that I like cheese for e.g. but I don’t honestly know what I feel about myself, what my defining characteristics are. I could say “I’m intelligent” but a little voice inside will chime “but are you? really? compared to others?” Much of what I say and do and feel is based on what I think others expect me to say and do and feel. I need other people’s approval to feel good about myself. I need other people’s validation to prove myself worthy of … well basically anything. What’s worse I infer things from people’s tone or reactions or often from nothing at all! I decide I’m stupid or ugly or selfish or whatever because I think someone else might think I am and of course they must be right!

I put my hands up, I judge people. I try not to but I do. So others must be judging me too right? Who knows. Really it shouldn’t matter because I should only care what I think about myself (and my loved ones too) but in this I really need to be selfish and put myself first.

So of course I can’t lose weight even though I know EXACTLY what to do because where would that leave me?
Emotionally invisible I think! My “here’s who I am” security blanket would be gone. My strategy for coping would be gone. Isn’t the human mind incredible really. The ways it finds to protect us even though it might not feel like that’s what’s happening.

As of yet I’m not sure how this is resolved. One day, one step, one session at a time I suppose. I do know that I MUST fix this. I need to have a heathly sense of self for my own sake of course but also for my daughter. I will be her primary role model for a long time to come and with all the pressures that will be piled upon her in time, from her peers, the media and society in general I need to give her the best foundation I can.

Quote of the day:

I looked always outside of myself to see what I could make the world give me instead of looking within myself to see what was there ~ Belle Livingstone

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In a word. Nuts. Well that’s how it feels anyway. I’m back to work after almost 11 months of maternity leave and what a shock to my system it has been. In many ways it has been good. More adult conversation and less diaper changing for starters! On the other hand I have gone to spending pretty much 7 days a week with my little rugrat to getting 2 full days with her at the weekends, barely an hour with her in the mornings and maybe two with her in the evenings (when she is getting tired and cranky… great fun!). I can admit now that I broke down and cried one night wondering what the hell I was doing this for. Ok for money but is it really worth it ?! So I’m considering going on a 3 or 4 day week while she is small so that the famous “work-life balance” is a bit more balanced in my case.

I’m probably one of the few mom’s that wasn’t too upset leaving her that first day. For starters she is not a clingy baby AT ALL so far. I swear most of the time she couldn’t care less where I am as long as she has food and her naps! So in a way that helped. I didn’t have to leave a screaming baby. A family member is looking after her too and that makes a huge difference because I know she loves her like her own kids. It causes problems too though cause you can’t be criticising how family do things and I’m a gal that likes things done my way (can we say control issues!?). The hardest part of it all is getting organised. Making sure you have all the stuff you need ready the night before. Remembering to actually bring the stuff you need with you in the morning! Remember to get up in the morning. Then a full day of work and home again to all the childcare stuff, the cooking, the cleaning, the washing…… needless to say the cleaning side of things is suffering and it never had it terribly good in the first place!

In case I didn’t have enough things to deal with I joined weight watchers 3 weeks ago I think. I have lost 2.5 lbs so far. I have not tracked points because right now if I remember to brush my teeth it’s a good day! What about exercise I hear you say ?! Ha !! I’m not sure where I’ll find the time or energy to exercise EVER AGAIN! (mental note: must be more positive.)

I think I have only lost some weight because I simply haven’t had the time to eat as much as usual.

Even with all this I think my mood has picked up a lot since I blogged last. I truly think the less time I have to wallow the better. It’s plain and simple I bring myself down!

However lets state facts shall we.

I am at least 30lbs over weight. Sure I haven’t gained in a while and that’s good but I need to LOSE!!!!
My fitness and energy levels are woeful.
My health is going to suffer because of this eventually.
My confidence still isn’t great but it has been worse.
I am still an emotional eater but I guess I always will be. It’s something I need to learn to manage.
I don’t hate my body. This is an odd one for me. I always thought I did but I don’t really. My body has done amazing things for me really despite all I put it through. Sure there are bits I might change if I could do so magically and without any pain but all in all I’m pretty ok with it. I wouldn’t mind streamlining it a bit of course but that’s not my bodies fault. It’s my minds fault because it can’t get to grips with it’s emotions and then eats to deal with it. So I guess I hate my mind except hate is an awfully strong word. My mind frustrates the hell out of me… is that more accurate. Of course it’s all the one package really isn’t it. I’m giving myself a headache now or maybe my brain is just punishing me for being mean to it.

So anyone that knows me at all knows I like to be organised and have a plan.
For now I’m not going to worry about exercise. Yes it needs to be a factor in my life but I’m just about keeping my head above water with what I have to do for now so once my routine is more settled I’ll see how I can incorporate regular exercise. In the meantime if I do a bit I do. If not I’m not (NOT) going to beat myself up about it.

Now to the good stuff… food. I know weight watchers will work if I track and count and blah, blah, blah. That stuff just wrecks my head!!
I’ll continue going to weigh-ins because I think it will stop me ignoring my weight and expecting it to mystically start decreasing by me changing nothing. As for food well I need to seriously look at my portion sizes. I also need to eat more fruit and veg because not only is it good for me but I can eat lots of it to fill me up. I need to reduce my carbs too because they make me feel like crap and I will almost always overeat them. Now I’m pretty sure I’ve said most if not all of this many times before but maybe that’s what I need to do until it clicks!

Most importantly I’m going to work as hard as I can on being positive. My internal dialogue needs to be honest but supportive. I need to constantly remind myself why I should make the better choices in everything I do. I also need to appreciate the good things I do instead of just focusing on the bad. I have many habits to break in those areas but I can do it. I have to do it.

I’m also giving myself a short term weight loss goal. No harm having something realistic and achievable to focus on so I would like to lose 12lbs between now and Christmas. That’s 1lb a week. Slow and steady and doable if I give myself even half a chance. That would bring me into a new stone and probably get me back into some clothes that aren’t fitting me very well right now.

So who wants to join me? Imagine what we can do together if we just put our minds to it!!

A quote for today:

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. ~ Marian Wright Edelman

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September already !!!!!

I can’t believe it’s September. I can’t believe quite a lot of things really. I go back to work in a few weeks and I’m NOT looking forward to it. I feel like a really bad mother because I’m actually looking forward to some baby free time (really not cut out to be a stay at home mom!) but not looking forward to my job where I feel like a nobody and completely useless. It’s a good job though and I’m lucky to have it so I just gotta grin and bear it. I’m sure I will miss my little rugrat of course (maybe more than I even expect) but today is one of those days when I will be happy that her bedtime has come. See told you – bad mother.

Well enough of that moaning…. in other news I’ve only gone and joined weight watchers!! I’ve been thinking about it for a while but had done nothing about. Then all day yesterday I felt so fat so I just thought screw it, something has to change. I really feel that weight watchers isn’t a long term solution but right now I just need something to get me going and keep me accountable. I’m also off to the gym tonight so fingers crossed the momentum keeps going and I start to see some changes.

So today I’m tracking my food and counting my propoints and to be honest a big part of me HATES it. The same part of me wants to sulk like a bold child that can’t have what she wants or even have a tantrum about it. Of course that because it’s making me face up to what I have been eating and how much. I also can’t just mindlessly eat and forget about it as if it never happened. 😦

So that’s me right now…. how about you? What are you up to these days?

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