Friday, 31 August 2012

Uncomfortably numb

Once again I click on new post and don't know what to say.

I have several draft posts started at various times this week. One of them begins, and ends;
"Well I'll be buggered if I'm gonna let this shit stop me writing . . ." hmmmm.

I had an appointment with my Drugs worker yesterday. She said she had never seen me so flat. Neither up nor down, no motivation, no plans. No laughter, no tears.
I asked her, could this be the Prozac? She answered,well it could be, but these are also symptoms of the depression, which they are trying to treat with Prozac . . . It may be that they need to up the dose . . . what? Without knowing whether the damn pills are the cause. This is how I see it.
These are symptoms of depression, Prozac are anti-depressants, how can they be causing symptoms of depression  . . .  ?

I seem to be going round in circles . . . again.

So. Round and round I go.

Back to school yesterday, that's two mornings I've had to leave little Hamper G stood alone crying in a crowded class room, it breaks my heart and I don't know how much longer I would be able to do this. She made many friends locally over the holidays and spent so much time across the road on the park with a large group of girls, aged seven to eleven . . . but, of course, they all go the local school, where there are no places available. She feels lonely, lost and afraid and as her Mother, those are the last feelings on earth that I want her to feel. I know, I know, there are kids out there going through real trauma . . . and I realise, in comparison, this is nothing. But at the time it feels huge.

I let Hamper G and her Dad down on the prison visit. I never thought I would do that. I could just not face it . . . I've re-booked for a week today. Yes, I keep on hoping, praying, wishing that something will change. I know it has to be me that makes the changes but I still can't find that missing bit of me, that strength, fight, the motivation that kick started the changes last time.

This post reflects pretty much how I feel; dull, empty, miserable and stuck. I do feel bad even posting this, but I am aware, and grateful, that many of you truly care about me, so I thought it right that I up-date.

I want nothing more than to get back to where I was. Busy, motivated and feeling as though I was right on the edge of something good . . .

Thanks for still reading here. I am still reading all of your blogs and though I often click on "post a comment" . . I sit and stare at the empty box or type, delete, type, delete . . . thinking it all sounds wrong. 

I so hope my next post is not like this . . .

Hey, I've just been to the chemist to pick up my script. One bit of good news, I weighed myself there and I'm down to 63kg from 70kg. My aim was, and still is, 60kg, so I'm almost there. Woopidoo! slim and miserable ;-)

I know one should never apologise for the truth, so I won't, but really, I do wish I had something more positive to write about . . .  I can list many things that I know I'm grateful for, but I just can't feel the gratitude, or much else really.

Love and thanks to all x

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Waiting for a better day . . . Or Stick Man

I'm not even sure why I've clicked on "new post" . . . The last few days I've come here to do that, I've thought to myself  "Wait for a better day (!?) . . . wait for some clean time . . . wait, wait, wait"

Why? Well I'm a bit fed up of myself really. And I'm damn sure I'm not the only one. A bit more than a bit fed up. Nothing changes if nothing changes and all that.

I know how it goes. I know I wont feel any different, any better, any anything, whilst I'm using. Apart from waking up with that sinking feeling of  "Fuck, shit, bollox, how did I get here again?" . . . So stop then. Simple. Put in some effort and reap those benefits. Yeah ok . . .

Looking back on pre-Wales posts is as remote as looking back on "Archive" posts.
Where did I go . . . ?

Half an hour later . . . I'm on day six of Prozac. My ears are permanently whooshing along with slight, weird little headaches. Not pain as such, just aware of feelings/twinges in my head that weren't there before. I've been told to wait couple of weeks to feel the effects. I can't decide if this is a good idea or not.

I'm Hamper G's pet penguin today and she's teaching me to read and count. Dr. Seuss's amazing alphabet book. Big Z, little z, what begins with Z? A Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz as you can plainly see! This is within my capabilities. Good grief.

I will try again later. Try try try again. Resist the impulse. Wait for it to pass. Stop kidding myself that it will help. I really will try, but I have really tried for days now . . . weeks. I feel utterly crap and drenched in sweat. Hot inside my head and cold outside.Yuk. Get a grip girl.

The good news is that I didn't get any further "unknown" calls . . . yet, even on that one I managed to convince myself that as I'd missed the call, they decided I was ignoring the call and decided to write instead. Well, I would, wouldn't I. Yes, this is embarrasing, but this is my mental state, me. And that's what I'm writing about . . .

I think we have a prison visit booked for Tuesday. Back to school Thursday. Utterly overwhelmed and wondering how I will do either of these things at the moment. Something has to change before then . . . And I know I am the only one who can change this something.

Right now that feels like saying to someone who is paralyzed, "Nothing will change unless you get up and walk" Of course I know this is only a feeling and not a reality . . . But it's a real feeling.

OK, enough. I'm getting on my own nerves here.
Hamper G passes me, the pet penguin, Stick man to read . . .

A Stuck man? A Stuck Man?
Now who could that be?
"Don't worry!" cries Stick man.
"I'll soon set you free."

Hurry up Stick Man, I'm stuck.

Thanks for sticking with me x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Thankyou all!! And . . . Case closed!!!

Ok, I'll try and keep this brief. Firstly because I'm exhausted (imagining the worst all day is tiring!) and secondly, it has sapped more than enough energy from me and I we can now move on.

I want to thank you ALL for your comments this morning, I read them over and over for reassurance and positive thinking and because it helps me to feel such caring and warmth from you.
I would love to answer them all individually, as per usual, but I want to tell you all the outcome. I would need to write the same thing over to all of you and I really am so tired.

I called my drugs worker at 8am and left a message asking her to call me back, which she did. She assured me there was NO new law or policy whereby they are obliged to report users with children to Social Services. They have always had the same policy; "A duty of care"; report if you feel the children are at risk, which, she added, is why I have never been reported to Social Services by any Doctor, drugs worker, Police worker or other professional that has known me in twelve years of using.

Eventually at 4pm a lady phoned me from Social Services. She said I had been referred by my GP as there was a concern that "after many years (!?) of only using methadone (!) I had gone back to using Heroin and the Doctor felt obliged to report the changes . . .

I won't bore you with the whole conversation. The GP had got the story completely wrong. I told the social worker the truth, the whole truth and . . . yes, you know the rest. I didn't have to tell her, but that's me, and I felt she should know just how wrong the Doctor was. Obviously she can check the details on my medical records or with my drugs worker if she doubts my story (sanity) . . . but I don't think she does. I mean why would I lie to say; "I've never had any long periods of only using methadone. I've pretty much used for twelve years solid and only had numerous 4-6 day clean sessions since February this year . . ." 
". . . But also, that in twelve years of using and dealing with all kinds of professionals who have met the children and been to my home, I had never yet had a referral to Social Services".

I told her of my near-recovery and the recent events in Wales which had led to this anxiety and depression, well, you all know the whole story as it is, and that's exactly what I told her . . . I spoke for twenty minutes almost non stop and told her of the plans I had made to deal with the anxiety, phobia and depression and to get back to where I was pre-Wales.

She thanked me for my honesty and said it was quite clear that I was an intelligent (!), responsible and capable mother and that I was obviously doing everything possible to work my way through a difficult time . . . She was sorry that I had been caused further anxiety by this referral and as far as she was concerned the case was closed!! CLOSED!! Over. Filed and Finished.

I do feel better. Tired, but so much better.
I'm sorry I caused you concern and that I haven't replied to each individual comment . . . You all know how OCD I am about that one ;-)

I really can't thank you all enough for your support, your reassurance and encouragement. For your love and prayers. Also for believing in me.  I honestly appreciate every single word that you took the time to write. I know I might have said this before but I consider you to be my true friends. That may well sound crazy . . . That's OK.

A quick spellcheck and I'm off to bed. I've rushed this post to let you know the outcome, so it might be a bit disconnected and repetitive . . . It doesn't matter.

I will sleep tonight.

Love and peace and a huge thanks to you all x

PS. I feel it is my "Duty of care" to give this GP some advice . . . I will, of course, keep you updated on this.

What was she thinking?

I will try and stick to the facts for now. The minimum.

I saw the Doctor yesterday. A new Doctor. A very young, pregnant Doctor. Maybe that's not relevant but these are the facts. She listened as I went through my list. I was aware that the appointment was only for five minutes so I tried to be focused and use her time efficiently. She also had, on screen, a letter from my drugs worker outlining some stuff. I would like to see that letter.

She prescribed me Fluoxetine (Prozac) for now, to manage the anxiety and phobia related panic. She referred me for cognitive behavioural therapy with a view to progressing to exposure therapy if the CBT is not effective on the phobia. She said, once the anxiety has settled, they will review the mood swings and decide, after an assessment, if Prozac is still the right treatment. She said it was a shame that my near-recovery had been messed up like this and she hoped that I could get back on track soon. Meantime, that I should give the pills time to work, avoiding any stressful situations and take it easy.

Good, Yes thank you Doctor. She made an appointment for me to see her in two weeks, and every two weeks thereafter, alternating with my drugs worker, so that I'll be seen by someone every week, until some improvement is noted. Good, yes, very thorough.

She phoned me this morning to ask how I felt . . . Yes, not too bad thanks, bit nauseous and head achy from the first dose but I expect that for a few days. Also a bit shocked to have a Doctor call me to ask how I am . . .

She said . . . Well, I can't remember her exact words as my head went into a spin around the middle of the sentence. It went something like this;

One of the reasons I am calling you, is to inform you that I am obliged, under a new rule/law/hormonal feeling, to call in Social Services on you as a Heroin user with children. They will be calling you later.

Ok, let's stick with the facts here, if I were to start on the emotional stuff I don't know where it might take me.

I spent the rest of the day and evening scared. Stuck and scared. I have nothing to hide, which is why I have been totally honest with my drugs worker, the Doctor, my family, you people. I am not afraid of them discovering anything I have done, if I was, I would have lied. I am afraid of their power and their secrecy. I am afraid because they are just people with way too much power. They are flawed humans, with emotions. It only takes one with some beef towards users, some grudge, some anger or even just lack of understanding. I'm afraid because they don't know me at all. I am afraid because I am already in a bad place and I went for help . . .

They have not called today so I will worry for another day or as many days as I have to wait until they call. My mind is not sound at present, so I can't just not worry. I am searching constantly in my head for whys and whats and ifs and what ifs . . .

Just when I thought things were improving ever so slightly.

What was she thinking? I went to her feeling overwhelmed, trying to get back to a good place. I reported anxiety, depression and she has sent it soaring through the roof.

Sorry, my light-hearted interlude was very short-lived. I pray that they will call me tomorrow. I didn't think I could feel more afraid than last week, I think I was wrong. Although it is a different fear. This is rational and I can't run from it.

O God. I don't think I will sleep tonight.

Yes, I understand that there are bad parents who use, or drink, or abuse their kids in all manner of ways and sometimes intervention is required. I can't even think.

Monday, 20 August 2012

A light-hearted (ish) visual interlude . . .

Finally my laptop is registering that a "portable device" is plugged into it . . . and we can see some holiday pics. I've whittled them down, and further down, there are still too many, so I'll start with a few for now and then just post random ones here and there.

Washing up in paradise.
I booked the panoramic pitch last year. This ensures that any other tents (room for maybe ten) are behind us, that we have a large private "front garden" and I will show you the view from the tent . . .

This makes me want to cry . . . Ooops sorry I was going to be light-hearted!

Inside the tent. Two comfortable double beds, lounge and kitchen. Let me just explain here . . . The space between the bedrooms is the trailer, the white cupboards are the wheel arches, the whole thing packs into a small trailer that is towed behind the car! A trailer tent.
Ovaltine time for Hamper G . . And all three (yes, I will have to delete this one later, Stropster would not be pleased) of them having a morning cuddle in Geester's bed. I won't dwell on the layout of pictures and text . . . It's  taken me all morning to get them here!

More raw beauty . . .

And below, through a "secret tunnel" . . . into an old slate quarry. Freezing cold water on a beautiful hot day

The blue lagoon . . .

Geekster about to plunge.

Looking down from the top, and across from the top. Thanks to Stropster and Geekster who climbed up to take these

Ok that's enough heartache beauty for one day ;-)

I love Wales, that's all there is to it. I love natural beauty . . . One day I will be there . . . I'm not even gonna spoil this post with any "but, for nows" . . . No, I'll be back later with that.

Huge amounts of love and thanks to you all x

View from the tent down into the estuary.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

One strand of many . . .

Oh . . . K . . .

This might will be a messy post, if it gets as far as even being a post. The last few attempts have been abandoned. My mind is all over the place and I would very much like to create some order . . .
Where to start? At the beginning, an inner voice says . . . but where is the beginning? The beginning of this . . . this what? depression? zombie-like state? I don't even know what. And really it was triggered by a number of things, one of which began seven years ago . . . One of which began forty seven years ago. Others are not so specific.

It could be an on-going post in stages . . . I can't see me covering this lot without interruptions. Maybe just one aspect . . .

The phobia . . .

This alone could cover pages. My life has been; sometimes ruled, sometimes blighted and at best, just lived in tandem with, an irrational phobia. All phobias are irrational, if they aren't irrational (ie, snakes and potentially harmful creatures) they are not phobias. Phobias are of things like buttons, cotton wool, flags . . . . fill in the blank. I won't be filling in the blank. I can barely say the word, let alone see it written.

I could write a thesis on Phobias. I have studied them throughout my life (pre and post internet). I will not say what my phobia is, I am too afraid to say . . . Yes, the fearless Bugerlugs has one huge great massive fear. In fact one psychiatrist once told me, all of my fears are focused into this one inanimate object . . . hence my apparent lack of fear in other areas. I don't know if this is so . . . it's all just theories.

My early life was ruled from the age of three by this phobia. I am not blaming anyone here, kids can be cruel. Adults can be cruel . . . and have been, that is why I guard this close to me now. If anyone reading this, knows me and is aware of this, please, please respect the one thing I wish to keep to myself.

So  . . . fast forward through 30 years of making decisions based on the phobia . . . I found myself at 33 with a little boy (Stropster). I decide I need to address this before something awful happens. As this object is found outdoors, my phobia was beginning to morph into agoraphobia. Deal with it . . . Hypnotherapy, regression therapy . . .exposure therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy . . . Blah blah bledy blah . . . Nothing worked. My Dad even had elders perform an exorcism on me as a teenager in an attempt to rid me of what he considered to be a demonic possession.

I continued to see a psychiatrist who assured me that my Son would protect me. If I was honest and open with him, he would naturally protect me. I took a risk, he protected me . . .
Three years later along came Geekster, he too was understanding and protected me. I made sure that both of their Dads dealt with this object with both of my Sons to assure that they were not afraid . . . God forbid that anyone should live a life in fear of such a ridiculous thing. I too, told my boys this was not to be afraid of . . . it was me who was wrong, flawed, traumatised.

Heroin helped. It helps all things anxiety related. I was on Seroxat for many years prior to Heroin to calm my anxiety and stop the phobia escalating into agoraphobia again. Believe me, I am cutting this short . . . I came off gear once maybe ten years ago and went onto subutex (now known as Suboxone) That is when I realised how much the gear had been masking the phobia.

Fast-forward again to three years ago. Hamper G was two. I noticed something different with Hamper. When told not to do something she was very defiant, naughty? . . .  I worried, rightly so, about revealing this fear to her . . . I had a feeling she would not be so protective. I tried to avoid it . . impossible. I told her I had a severe allergy. That it is dangerous to me . . .

Fast forward to last week on holiday. I can't give too many details without giving clues, suffice to say that my Brother (who obviously knows the extent of my fear) saw Hamper G coming towards me with this thing behind her back . . . Issue one; he sat there calmly and told me, rather than doing something about it. Luckily Stropster was there and leapt to my rescue . . . Issue two . . . What The Fuck!!?!

This is one of the major things that has caused my anxiety to soar through he roof . . . has caused me to stay in the house since I returned from Wales (apart from having to buy food). I discussed this with my drugs worker, along with the other stuff that surfaced during my "holiday" . . .  Her advice. Get. This. Dealt. With. Now. . . . Before I go through a repeat of my childhood.

I can't put into words how scared I am. I'm dripping in sweat just thinking about it. The nearest I came to successfully ridding myself of this bastard monkey on my back was through exposure therapy (I won't elaborate, the clue is in the word exposure) . . . horrific, my blood runs cold at the thought of it . . . but what is the alternative?

Well there you go.

Other issues came to light in Wales. I want to write through this lot, if only to separate the strands . . . the whole lot is just a jumble at the moment of anxiety, anger, resentment . . . and fear.
Apart from referring me to my Dr to go back into exposure therapy . . . My drugs worker has also referred me for a full mental health assessment. I hadn't self-harmed in years. I have no idea which of the strands has caused me to start digging holes in my arms again . . . I'm sorry if this is not comfortable. It is what it is. The truth. My life.

It's ten am . . . that's one strand separated. I will be back later . . . Meantime I will try so so hard to get on with normality . . . to go into the garden and do what needs doing. To enjoy the Sun. To smile and try to be normal for the kids. To pray for some peace and some relief from this fucking turmoil . . . And maybe even for day one.

Okay, the kids are hungry, good timing.
I can't express how grateful I am to all of you for sticking with me through this. I appreciate each one of you. Thanks for reading and understanding. Much love to you x

No time to edit . . . it is what it is.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Boy, I've missed you all!

I don't know where to start!
I won't start on a holiday post as I have photos to upload and not enough time right now so that will wait.

I came here last night and caught up on most of your blogs, still a few more to read and a few comments over here that I will reply to. I really, truly have missed you all. I bought some mobile internet credit whilst we were away for the laptop (I don't have a smart phone) so Geekster could watch Bolt win the 100metres . . . The next day, when I wanted to use it for bloggery, it just would not connect, possibly to do with where we were camping . . . So I was stranded with no internet! In some ways it was good, but I will say it again, I really did miss you all. I mean Really.

It's thundering and lightening here now, I love it, it's so rare and so powerful . . . I won't love it if the power gets cut off and I'm left stranded again.

There is so much I want to write about. The ten days away were an emotional roller coaster and there are many aspects that I need to think through, write through and get through. I came home on Monday so awfully depressed and miserable, I didn't leave the house until today (Wednesday) and that was out of sheer necessity. I will find my stride again in the next week or so, because I have no choice. If I were alone, I would go back to the sea, the rivers and the mountains tomorrow tonight. I would stay there for my Dad and for me . . .

I feel misplaced and wrong and stuck. That's because I am. I will need to get a grip and make the most of this situation . . . somehow.
Sometimes I think; I will, because I have to . . . Other times I think; I won't, because I can't. 
But I do have to, so I will try . . . Somehow.

I might go round in circles if I stay on that subject.
Stropster will be in from work in a few minutes so I need to get some food ready.

All I can say, for now, is how grateful I am to have this blog and so many good people here that I consider to be my friends . . . I did miss you all.

I'll start uploading some holiday photos after dinner. Love and thanks to you all for being here x