Daily Life, Depression, family

Neglect

I’m so sorry, friends. I keep meaning to come back and write, share a review, anything, but the words just don’t come. At least they haven’t until now.

Things have been hard lately, folks. My depression is rearing it’s ugly head and is back in full force. At the moment, it’s not the heartbreaking constant sadness. Instead it’s the exhaustion, full body aches and pain, the lack of motivation to do anything at all and a total lack of fucks. For a bit there, I struggled to find the energy to dress myself, to shower and to brush my teeth.

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Part of it is the weather, and how difficult the holidays are when you have lost people. On top of that, there is our financial struggles and the stress of not being able to afford the holidays. I can’t really get into much more right now, but there are other things that have been hard for me and weighing on me.

Yesterday it occurred to me that I’ve been neglecting so much in my life. Yes, there are some crappy things going on, crappy things that have happened, but if I let myself fail and fall, what will they show my children? What will be left to care for them? So, I’m taking steps to get back on track. I’m walking as much as I can, at least 2km a day. I work out a couple days a week at home. I am trying to get back into bullet journalling and spending more quality time with my family. I’m making lists and getting back into work. It’s hard, but just like with my walks, the most important thing is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To just keep going.

 

Daily Life, Depression, family

Autumn Life Update

It’s been a long time now since I’ve written a personal post. 2016 has been kicking our asses. Between that and having two crazy kids, I don’t have much time to give sitting down and writing about real life stuff, if that makes any sense. I’m actually fighting a nasty cold at the moment, which means that I have a bit of time to sit and just write.

Mason is 9 months old, almost 10 months. Liam has started school. How is this possible? Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty good transition, thankfully. Liam loves school and it’s been giving me a bit of a breather during an otherwise stressful time.

We have a lot of personal financial and family stuff going on that I don’t feel comfortable sharing here, but it’s been playing one hell of a toll on my anxiety and depression. Thankfully, my husband’s work has a great EAP program and I’ve been able to get some help. On top of that, I’ve started keeping a bullet journal. It has been amazing at keeping me calm, organized and a place to share what’s going on in my head in a pretty and creative way.bulletjournal

Bullet Journaling is kind of a checklist mixed with a day planner, mixed with a journal. It can be as simple or as involved as you want. It’s very very easy to personalize.

Beyond bullet journaling, I’ve continued to play with and test makeup and other products. I’m toying with the idea of making a youtube channel to compliment this blog, but I’m nervous about the amount of work it would take. I’ve started job hunting again, ideally looking for something either from home or close to home so that we can save on daycare costs by me being with Mason during the day.

So, I know this isn’t a really great update, but I wanted to let you guys know that I’m alive and ok, but not great. We are working on things to improve our situation, but nothing is coming very easily. Happy Fall everyone xo

Baby, Daily Life, Depression, family

Dark Days of Spring

It’s very odd to have depression some days. Yesterday, I broke down in tears to my husband “I feel like I don’t exist, or that I’m fading away. I’m invisible”. In that moment, I was desperate for people to see me, really see me. This morning, I woke up and the last thing I wanted was to be around anyone. I didn’t want to leave the house.

Spring is usually when most people start coming out of their winter blahs. For me, I struggle with loving the season while simultaneously hating how it reminds me of my mother’s death and Liam’s traumatic birth. Add to that that we have been having an incredibly difficult time the last few months…well…I’m not coping. Our financial situation is pretty dire, and I’m not using that word lightly. We are doing what we can to get by, but I feel a huge amount of responsibility for our situation as I am the one currently on maternity leave. On top of that, my husband’s health hasn’t been great and we have no answers. For people who have been surrounded by illness and death, we are both very anxious about this. There is just so much going on, all at once. The kids can feel it and see it, and are acting out accordingly.

I am pushing myself through it. One step at a time, day by day. I am barely able to adult, but I am doing the best I can to pay the bills, make meals and make sure the kids are dressed and don’t stink too badly. We have also added a new member of our little clan. Pat’s dear friend, A, has moved in with us for a while while she deals with some of her own difficult times. So, I’m sorry for being so quiet here and on social media lately. I just don’t know what to say or what to share at the moment.

I’ve been losing myself in beauty videos on youtube. Let me know if you want me to share any links, faves or any of my own stuff. I don’t think I can do videos at the moment with everything that we have going on, but I can certainly try to post more. It’s just tough with a velcro baby and velcro preschooler, on top of an ill husband. Mason’s 4 Month post is coming up in the next couple of days, and I also have plans to post about the Eco Chic Movement baby line soon, so stay tuned.

Thanks for understanding, y’all. I really appreciate you being there through the fun and the hard times.

Daily Life, Depression, Health

Fuck April

If you are a long time reader, you know that this is not my favourite month. If not, you may be confused. Why hate April? April is a time of flowers and the sun warming us up again! It’s so pretty and awesome! Well, not for this babe.

Consider this a warning that I may be bummed or absent this month. Why?  Well, 5 years ago, our place was pretty much ready to be sold and we were in the midst of moving in with my mother. I was her fulltime caregiver and was moving in to help her through her final months. I was set to move on April 1st, but circumstances resulted in some reno delays, so we rescheduled for April 10th. That first week of April, I was in and out of the house pretty much daily. I was bringing boxes, finishing up our room and getting feedback from Mom on what we needed to do to finish up my change to becoming her full time care (I would be the one taking care of finances, bills, getting her to appointments, getting results, etc…as her health declined).

Easter weekend arrived and the family descended upon the house. Mom wasn’t feeling great, so everyone cooked for her (in all of the years of family dinners, she never gave up cooking the main course. Never. This should have been a sign). I remember thinking she looked so small and tired. She basically hung out on the couch the entire visit. On April 7th or 8th, after a being away for a day, but in constant contact by phone, I arrived to find her best friends at the house. I was dropping off some more boxes and on my way to buy some more with a friend who had a pickup. Her best friends informed me she had declined (and was hiding it from me, because it was Mom. Ugh). I had no idea that this would be her last day at home. That she would pass away the next day. I had no idea that my Dad’s kids, people I considered siblings, would completely lose their minds and turn on me. That it would take 2 years for us to complete the estate and that I would end up with a diagnosis of PTSD, severe anxiety and depression.

That same time, 2 years later, when everything wrapped up with the estate, I had my beautiful baby boy. As my labour began, I had no idea that I would struggle through 32 hours of labour, that I would end up getting an emergency c-section, my kid in the NICU, a week long hospital stay, terrible recovery, a relapse of PTSD and severe PPA and PPD.

Here I am, 3 years since then, 5 years since my mother died, that I am going through a difficult time again. I don’t want to get into it. I’m not ready to. I have been missing my parents so terribly, hell, I miss my family. These horrible times have shaped me. I have been forged through flame. I forgive myself for my failings during my mother’s illness and the mess of the estate. I am finally ok with my birth story and that I couldn’t be more in love with my stunningly amazing baby boy (who is a freaking preschooler now). I have incredible people in my life who support and love me. Because of these hardships, I am ok, despite things being tough.

So, fuck April. I am so much stronger than you give me credit for.

Depression

Adjustments

Things have been rough lately. I’ve been feeling almost as low as when Liam was first born.

I’ve been struggling with what seems to be the deadly combo of a teething baby, going through his 6 month growth spurt, with his first cold of the season. He hasn’t slept more than 2 hours at a time in weeks. Normally, I get maybe 2 hours initially and then he drops to an hour and a half, then to an hour and then down to 45-30 minutes. The only thing that’ll calm him is nursing.

This past week, I started having trouble falling asleep. I sat awake from 1-4am, begging myself to sleep. At some point Pat noticed me struggling and he sat up with me and talked me through it.

I am getting through, mostly thanks to Pat, tea and sheer determination. I’m seeing a new therapist, which is good, but is still in the “dredge everything up” phase of introduction. It’s like seeing a chiropractor for the first time. After the first set of adjustments you feel awesome. Later that night you start to feel worse than you did initially and wonder why the hell you paid someone to do this to you, even though its just your body healing and getting used to being put together properly.

I have been trying hard to combat the isolation and loneliness by going out and meeting people, seeing friends, etc… It’s hard though. I feel like the broken toy, the wet blanket. I don’t feel like I bring anything to the table. I don’t know how to ask for support.

Today marks 6 months since my son was born. It’s been such a roller coaster. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but we’re still adjusting.

Baby, Daily Life, Depression

Calm before

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In about an hour, my first therapy session for PPD will be starting. I’m nervous, scared and hopeful. I’ve had two cups of perfectly milky, sweet, and strong English Breakfast tea while snuggled up with Liam this morning. The house is cool with fall air.

I love this time of year. Despite the impending winter rest, it feels like an exciting time of beginnings. I feel inspired to write, to knit and even paint. I feel everything so much more strongly, like a fog has been lifted.

I hope this new beginning leads us down a path of balance and health. I hope it provides me with the tools to get through this. I’m feeling optimistic about it.

Daily Life

My Dark Cloud

I’ve talked about this before, and for those of you who have been reading me for a while are well aware that I’ve struggled with mental illness for most of my life. Depression and social anxiety are two big ones for me. When I was pregnant with Liam, I was warned to expect the hormone shift after birth. I was told to expect it to hit me about 3 days after birth, and that I would cry for about a week or so. I was told that it would most likely hit me harder because of my history with depression.

I was entirely unprepared for what would happen. It was right on time, about 3 days after Liam arrived. I found myself crying over nothing. Over everything. Then the darkness crept in. I was completely overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, isolation, terror, worthlessness and panic. I was having flashbacks to labour, I couldn’t sleep or eat. I was having panic attacks over naps and snacks. I felt so incredibly alone and considered running away and in my lowest moments, I thought that everyone would be better off without me.

Luckily, I was very vocal about what I was going through. I talked through it with Pat, my sister and Pat’s BFF, Jan. We pinpointed what was triggering me and I was able to avoid those triggers. They gave me unending support and love and eventually, I started to see the light again. The darkness started to fade, a little bit more each day.

As it happens, my triggers included social media (my forums, facebook, twitter. I was focusing on the negative in each of these groups), stressing myself out over “Sleep when baby sleeps”, and being overwhelmed by options for food. I coped by taking a break from the internet, by doing whatever i wanted when liam slept, and eating whatever was brought to me.

About a month and a half after Liam arrived, I was feeling really good. Things were like night and day. I felt way more confident in myself and my ability to handle being alone with our boy. Unfortunately, as these things go, it’s a rollercoaster. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed I was feeling low. A lot. I was having a hard time dealing with rough days. I was crying more and more often. This past week, I finally admitted to myself that I’m not ok. I can’t keep ignoring this. I cry almost daily. I feel anxious and overwhelmed. I avoid social situations (including medical appointments) due to anxiety and stress. I feel very isolated.

On the 18th, I told Pat that I needed to see my doctor about this. I booked myself an appointment for Monday. I feel that this is important to discuss. I have learned recently that several of my close friends went through PPD after they had kids and I had had no idea. I wasn’t there for them like i could have been. I want people to know that this happens, that if they are going through it, that they aren’t alone.

I’m still in the middle of it, but I can see it now. I’m doing something about it. I’m repeating The Bloggess’ words to myself over and over again. “Depression Lies”. This is a part of me, but not all of me.

I will work through this.