Things I've noticed of late:
- I really really REALLY hate anxiety attacks. They suck big time.
- The irony of drugs that are meant to make you feel better making you feel way shittier for oh A WHOLE FUCKING MONTH is only kinda amusing for oh, a DAY. Tops.
- This morning was the first morning in close to a month I woke up a) not shaking b) not completely nauseous - just slightly and c) not totally a bazillion per cent in the grip of an anxiety attack. I'm yet to view this with any level of excitement/thank CHRIST/insert any other expression conveying a sense of of PEACE.
- the moon last week was absolutely remarkable
- I'm losing weight and LOVING being thinner, feeling my hip bones and jaw bone again. But the being SO FUCKING HUNGRY is kind of boring. This is the ONLY good part of my meds at this point in time - that they make me feel so much like crap I don't really feel like eating.
- We now own two dogs. I am both deeply resentful and absolutely fine with this - I see this as situation as perfectly acceptable proof I am probably bipolar.
- WHY when you basically feel like topping yourself does everyone tell you how fabulous you're looking - is there some sort of suicidal glow of radiance?
- I know my kids know all is not right in Camelot when they say things like, "mummy, what does overwhelmed mean?" and I reply "just watch me for a few minutes and you'll know what it is".
anyway, that's all.
I have been seriously thinking of not writing here anymore, I seem to have scared Bec off into a far more genteel of space over at The Ladies Lounge and it just doesn't seem I have anything to offer, but here I am, writing inane shit once more. Maybe the meds are finally starting to work...
Mop your way out of an early grave, fellas.
I wrote this the week before last
before I got sick and worse.
My head doesn’t work that well. Sometimes it fires on all cylinders and I’m intelligent, witty, compassionate and productive. Other times it almost feels like its eating itself and I become introverted, paranoid, nervous, anxiety-laden, easily distracted, unmotivated and highly unproductive.
In the novel Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, there is a passage where she retreats into her depression and refers to it as closing the shutters on her house, watching the light slowly shrink to a smaller and smaller point until she is left in total darkness. This is the best description I have found of what happens when my brain decides to turn on itself.
At the moment I am returning to anti-depressants. I find it deeply ironic that the side-effects of these little white pills are heightened feelings of the feelings I’m feeling that are making me a contender to be on them in the first place. It can take two weeks for the side-effects to dissipate. I’m a day off that two weeks and instead of lessening they have heightened in the last three days.
For the past two mornings I’ve been woken by our youngest for his feed. He then goes back to bed and I retreat to mine to lie there at the hands of a massive anxiety attack. Adrenalin pumps through my body as my teeth ache at being clenched for so long and so hard. My heart is racing, and has been for what feels like the last two weeks. I know this isn’t the case but it still feels like it. My neck is so stiff that if I move suddenly a hot hard pain grips my neck and right shoulder. My skin feels uncomfortable. I’m so tired, so very very tired, even if I get a full nights sleep. I simply do not want to get up. I want to shut the door on my life and just make the world go away. The impact this would have on my family, on my boys, makes tears instantly spring to my eyes. I want and need to be near people but I hate being touched. I am craving solitude.
Food and my body become my enemy when I’m like this. I find myself completely repugnant. I’m not really hungry but I eat almost constantly. Then I hate myself even more. This goes on and on. I can eat the most healthy food in the most reasonable of portions, but I will still berate myself for needing to eat it at all. I am the compulsive gambler, the alcoholic, of food. I get to the end of a day when I have eaten properly and try to punch the air in victory, but I’m so very tired I will have the same fight the very next day.
Not many people know just how hard and long this war has raged in my head. I’m scared they will look on me differently. Not give me work because they don’t want to overload me. Not tell me a joke or share a story with me because they think I might take it the wrong way or will not be in the mood for such frivolity. Not come to me for support or advice because they don’t want to stress or burden me even more. (Even though all these things are critical for me as I claw my way back to normal brain-land.) My greatest fear is that they will make allowances for me.
I hate it when my brain decides to eat itself. I try to remember what I’m like when it’s well. When I write well, have great ideas, am proactive in all areas of my life, am happy. But it feels so far away and is so fuzzy around the edges I wonder if I will ever feel that way again. I have a deep undercurrent of fear that asks what if the little white pills won’t work? What if I’m going to have to battle my brain each and every day? And that is the worst part of all.
It's raining, it's pouring
here. In so many ways. The quandary of a joint blog is that sometimes one is down and the other is up. And there runs the risk that one is seen to be raining on the parade of the other, and so on and so forth.
Bec is in that place at the moment of about to endure the hell that is moving and the grief that is dealing with a bank but all for moving into a delightful home that will give her and the brood more space than they have ever had before. I'm so glad she's opened the Ladies Lounge because quite frankly too much talk of grevillias over geraniums or camellias instead of azaeleas and I would be a definition of narky never quite encapsulated by a human being before.
But this week has been very very grim for me. The dog was the straw that broke my back, then I got sick. Then Jasper got sick. And all along there was a sub-plot of Mum upstairs being sick. And still sick. So just when I think I can't take any more, she comes down all "I think I need to go to hospital". And then let the feeling of complete overwhelmation; the absolute "I am barely holding it together for my family, I have no more to give and I just can't carry your load as well" feeling; the subsequent shit-heap of guilt at being so inept, selfish and incapable; the rolling anxiety attacks where I feel like my heart may burst from my chest, that I'm going to vomit (again) and my skin is absolutely on fire take hold.
I believe this week is the closest I have come to a complete nervous breakdown. I came close once when Felix was a baby, but you know, such fond memories fade with time. Maybe this is what it is? Maybe I'm in the midst of one?
I'm permanently cranky and on edge. I can't get out of bed in the mornings. I lie awake in the middle of the night feeling like my body is on fire as I am gripped by anxiety about nothing, I'm not even lying there worrying about how we won't ever own property, or about Oscar, or about Felix's literacy, or the latest round of bills, or that we will be living with my mother until she draws her last breath and if I can't care for her through gastro how the fuck would I do so if she was dying, I'm just anxieting. I have night sweats. I am crying all the time. I don't want to go to work. At all. I don't want to talk to anyone. Small talk makes my neck itch. I am melancholy, forlorn and have such a pervading sense of hopelessness sometimes it makes it hard to breath.
Forget raining on Bec's parade, I'm a torrential floodwater warning dousing of relentless rain.
I know I am taking measures to come out of it. I know it takes time. I know I need to see my shrink sooner than the 23rd, but after missing a whole week of work last week that is not realistic or feasible. I know, I know, I know.
I'm closing comments on this. Just because.
The Ladies Lounge is Open
The Ladies Lounge.
We visited the new house again yesterday and it made all the recent trials and tribulations worthwhile.
What trials and tribulations?
Well you may ask. But I refuse to live through them all again in print so let me sum it up thus: Bankers are Bastards. Nay, Bankers are Stupid Bastards Who Can't Even Make Sure the Right Papers are Sent to be Signed When You Take Half a Day Off Work Because They Say They are Ready to Finalise EVERYTHING. But we're getting it all fixed so, as I say, I refuse to dwell on the recent myriad acts of bastardry in print.
Back to the new house. And a warning, and an invitation.
We visited the current owners and they gave us some time alone (in which the Prof madly tape measured and I hastily took photos, because it seemed kinda icky to take photos of someone's wardrobes while they were there) then came back and talked about their renovation and what all the cable points were for and how the air conditioning works and what colour paint was used on the walls - half-strength Dulux Milk Cup makes the perfect cream! - and all the time I kept thinking...
How can you live in a house on a big block of land with really close neighbours for SIX years and not plant a single thing in your garden?
I'm afraid (here's the warning) I'm going to be quite obsessive about plants and landscaping and gardens and houses generally for quite some time, so I have set up The Ladies Lounge to take all this obsession to its own special place. I want to record all the different ideas I have for the house and garden and keep track of the changes and save up all my plant and outdoor links in one spot, and look back to see how different it all is, one day, from what I had originally planned!
I'll still be here, but I'll be there too. Isn't the internet fun?
Where and oh where can she be?
Hey Kim, hope you got the phone messages - thinking of you and hoping you're improving, even if slowly. Let us know how you are soon, ok?
would post but am sick. The sickest I've been since I was sick in the early few weeks of Jasper's pregnancy and was bleeding (and everything ugly that goes with gastro and possible miscarriage). I haven't eaten since Sunday. I've still got a temperature. The vomitous action finally shifted last night from one end to the other, but in a very off-guard oh-my-god kind of way. I know you all know what I'm inferring. Jasper has been screaming fairly constantly for two days. He hasn't slept more than 1hr 4mins in a go since Sunday. I worked out a really good way to really fuck with my mind-if life wasn't doing it already- and that's just to quit taking happy pills cold turkey because a) you're either too sick to remember or b) you take them and OHMYGOD the vomiting. I also worked out a really good way to wean a baby. G.A.S.T.R.O.
And yay us for being here a whole year and sharing this kind of joy with everyone who needs to know their life really isn't that bad after all.
Happy Birthday Dear Glamorouse...Back to where it all began
Now Kim and I had some plans for this birthday week, honestly we did, but you know what they say: life's what happens while you're busy making plans. So while there's every good chance Kim will still show up here sometime between now and midnight, I can't risk leaving this momentous day uncommemorated (is that a word? help me Suse!).
Inspired by the long note I got today from our twins' pre-school, about the 'reflective practice' in which the carers were 'engaging' to 'enhance your child's learning voyage', I thought a little reflection was a nice way to spend this Glam birthday.
In black text: the first ever post on this blog; in plum italic text, reflective notes to enhance your blogging voyage...
Working from home in Marrickville, only the pilots can hear you scream
June 6, 2005
A quick note here to once again thank the lovely Angie for making this blog so darn purty now - it's a long, long way from the original!
Today is Monday, as they say on Playschool, and on Monday Mummy works at home. On most of the other days Mummy (that's me, Bec) works in an office. Offices are quiet, controlled and have ergonomic chairs for my enormous bottom. On Mondays there is quiet only during Playschool and naptime; the only control is the power my two youngest children now have to extract any form of snack food from me when I am on the phone (the old point and shout method, an important developmental milestone in most child-rearing texts); and the chair focus shifts to the opposite side of my bottom as first one, then the other, two year old inserts him or herself onto my lap in order to "Hep you wiff your wurk".
These days I don't work at home - I finally worked a deal where I finish early on Monday and Tuesday and pick up all three kids at the end of school/pre-school and deal with media calls on the mobile without having to pretend to be productive in my home office... The working from home thing became increasingly impossible when the Gorgeous Boy and Sparkle Twin dropped their afternoon naps. For the first time in my working life (with a history of doing excessive hours in every job I've ever had) I feel like I'm working towards some kind of balance.
Oh, but the bottom? still enormous, and the GB and Sparkle still want to be between me and the screen. Good news: they have mastered the letter 'l' in help.
In homage to the first blog of the most wonderful Heather Armstrong (http://www.dooce.com/
), here are some of the reasons that I should not be allowed to work from home.
Can no longer read Ms Armstrong, although I'm sure she's still wonderful at what she does. The last couple of times I tried I was so bedazzled by the jetsetting life that blog fame bought her that I nearly puked with jealousy and I quickly skipped back to real life. Shallow, I'm all about the shallow.
It's 12 past 4 in the afternoon and I'm wearing the yoga pants I slept in last night. I've been wearing them during several highly complicated, professional phone calls.I kept them on when I went out for the pre-nap wear-out-the-toddlers walk, too. I may still be in them tomorrow.It's now 16 past 4 and I have lost count of how many times my littlest girl has watched the Hooley Dooleys today.
The yoga pants would be on right now except they're 3/4 length and it's colder than a witch's tit here right, with apologies to any warm-breasted witches who may be reading this tonight.
Between television, snack food, pre-nap walk, nap, more snack food and more television, the three of us somehow get through this Monday each week.Sometime in the next couple of hours my husband will walk through the door with The Pea Princess, and he will give me that whatdidyoudoallday look. Having worked from home himself with our double contribution to the 21st Century baby boom, he won't actually mean whatdidyoudoallday, but he won't be able to stop the look. It's hardwired
This has changed a little, too. The Prof and I have made a big effort to understand one another better this year past. It's not always been easy as, what with the 21st Century baby boom and all, there's been many a "who are you and what the fuck are doing in my life?" moment. We're coming out of the awful fog of needy infants and the draining physical drudgery they bring and starting to really enjoy these little people we have made. What we had to do then was to find a way to enjoy being the people that parenthood has made us. We're getting there. Mostly.
He won't so much walk through the door as negotiate a path. As I sit here, surrounded by the pieces of four separate Pooh Bear jigsaw puzzles, three newspapers, five of the kids' artworks (three of them screwed up into long paintbrush shapes and dipped into the breakfast milk to make the last two), the breakfast milk itself, two jumpers, a scarf, two half-squashed boxes of tissues, and what I've just discovered are the missing pair of Chloe's tights squashed into the printer feeder tray, I kinda wonder whatdidIdoallday, too.
Domestic paradise: do you love the smell of old lunch box contents? long for the soft caress of dog hair underfoot? yearn to solve the mystery of the twelve white ankle socks that can't form a single matching pair? Come to Casa GlamorouseBec, we'll make all your dreams come true.
And the final reason I should not be allowed to work from home is that at the office the only stuff in the fridge is flat champagne, soy milk and someone's well-intentioned skinny salad dressing. I think I'll save the whole Monday EATING issue for another time - it's too ugly to write down just now.
Guess what? The work-from-home eating issue? Still too ugly to share.
Shortly, I hope, I will be joined here in Glamorouse by the lovely Kim, who is a few months short of delivering her own One For The Country ( http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2004/s1261874.htm
it's tempting to put a proper hotlink in here, just because I now know how, but for the sake of future internet archeologists I won't tamper with this priceless relic of the past.
and who also knows the joys of working both from home and from the lovely quiet office, and who, like me, has tried and failed to keep a solo blog on account of all the evil rage that tends to pour out of Us Women when we send our diaries online.Our theory is that doing a double act will make us less like Virginia Woolf and more like Bridget Jones - dry instead of dour, and only depressed in a cute and peppy sort of way with far less dependence on prescription drugs.
And here's hoping she'll be back again too. Even though that original cutesy sign-off of mine about the prescription drugs is sounding a little rank just now.
I guess a blog can't fix everything, but it can sure take you to some interesting neighbourhoods while you're waiting for the fix to come in.
So, if you made it this far, to post 667 of Glamorouse, I thank you for your persistence, your patience, your good humour and your bad moments, and all the other things that make it fun to hang around, talking about me and mine with you and yours.
Ok, first the fucking spooky 666 thing...
I'm about to post something meaningful, I promise, but first I have to tell you that when I opened up our blogger dashboard just now, on the 6/6/06, it tells me that Kim and I have posted 666 times since we began - exactly a year ago.
For my next trick, I will turn this decapitated chicken back into a vestal virgin, mwah ha hah!
I'd be talking to you all if I wasn't having a fucking nervous breakdown.
Because you see, now there's a dog in the house.
The one I won't have to do anything for or with.
The one Chef is going to do everything for. (That would be the same Chef who got home tonight at 6 and went out to a staff dinner at 7. The staff dinner I didn't go to becaues someone had to look after the fucking dog.)
The one I fucking drove to the other side of Sydney to pick up.
With a kid asking me every freaking minute if we were going to get "Coco woof woof" - as opposed to fucking "Coco moo moo", which I suspect would be far fucking easier to look after.
The one that tries to eat the baby if I put the baby on the floor, all in gorgeous playful puppy licking nibblingness of course. But you know? I'd like to put my kid down every now and then.
The one I have to watch every fucking minute incase it pisses on the floor. Which it has done twice. When I wasn't watching it but trying to be a mother or even just.have.a.fucking.life.for.one.minute.
The one I've stood out in the fucking rain with encouraging it to piss but instead it does that puppy playful falling over thing and chews on some other half broken crap toy from the sandpit. The one that has been crying, nay fucking screaming in a mournful hollow wailing kind of way from its bed in the laundry. For about three fucking hours. Which means I can't go in there to put Oscar's sheets in the drier or put another load of washing on. And you all know how much comfort my OCD tendencies get from doing washing.
The one that has destroyed any last thread of sanity I was hanging on to because the little white happy pills aren't fucking working.
And you know what is making it all worse.
That it is so fucking cute - and intelligent (the little shit already gets the idea of fetch, sit and down) I can't help but look after the little fucker:
In other news.
We (for Felix) completed our first craft project this week:
I found out this afternoon that Felix is significantly behind in reading. Worringly so.
And I wonder if I am capable of producing children without fucking issues???
And look - tomorrow's Saturday.