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All posts for the month December, 2014

Goodbye 14. Hello 15

Published December 31, 2014 by Crystal

Well 2014 is just hours from its finish.

I like New Year.  It feels like a blank canvas. A new chapter in life.  I don’t bother with resolutions anymore, but I do have plans and dreams and ideas.

This January I will be taking part in Janathon, a pledge to exercise and blog each day.  And so you’re going to see much more of me for 31 days.  But boy do I need the exercise too!  My new fitbit is a fantastic motivational piece of kit at the moment.  Committing to 10000 steps a day has been fun for me, less so for my kids who have been dragged out each day to get some movement, but it has taken over 2 weeks for my ankle to heal, and a half stone gain over Christmas.

I’m taking it on the chin, it’s been a tough December.  There seems to be a fine line for me between too little and too much Sertraline, and I am alternating between 50 and 100 each day.  My mood continues to swing, I can snap like a twig over the smallest thing, but I can feel euphoric over taste and texture and experiences.  But last night I could see the joy that has permeated through this December.  Even the ankle sprain, and the sudden crash that sent me back to the doctors, the loss of control and sensibility, can be overlooked because I have spent time with friends and family who mean the world.  Yes, I have drunk far, far too much this month.  Yes, I have eaten my weight in cheese, turkey, and bread sauce.  And yes, getting fitness back up and beyond is going to take effort.  But I am blessed.  I am lucky to be alive, and to have wonderful people in my life.  I am lucky to have friends and family who can put up with me, who want to put up with me.

I am probably always going to have mental health issues, and I am likely going to do more reckless, daft, idiotic things in the future.  I will probably always be a little bit obsessed about my weight and losing it.  But I am more than an illness, and it only defines me when I allow it to.   I am more than a number on the scales, or a dress size.

I am; a mother,

a wife,

a runner,

a cook,

a baker,

a home maker,

a mine of ideas,

a daughter,

a sister,

an aunty.

I am sometimes impetuous, sometimes cautious.

I am sometimes sad for no discernible reason, and ecstatic and giggly a moment later.

I have a laugh that can be heard two streets away,

and I can see the beauty in nature.

Mental health plays a part in my life but it’s not the main theme.  This year has seen a big family birthday party or two, a lovely holiday, completion of a counselling certificate, 2 stone plus of weight loss, my oldest son starting secondary school, a 26.2 mile Moonwalk, a stress fracture, and more besides.  2015 will be equally full and eventful.   A marathon to train for, a body to love and nurture, more memories to be made with my family and friends.

January is a clean slate. All those things I don’t like, or don’t want, and am able to leave, I can leave with December, as a memory.  The things I want are possible, and there is always an opportunity for change and improvement.

So, a Toast!

Happy New Year to you and yours.  I wish you your dreams fulfilled, I wish you peace, and I wish you love and joy.

Cracking the meds

Published December 18, 2014 by Crystal

I don’t think I’ve ever truly appreciated how hard it is to find the balance for medication to help in depression.  Never really accepted how delicate a balance the chemicals need to be to feel “right”.

The last couple of weeks seemed to build to a crescendo on Sunday.  I reacted positively to the increase of sertraline, or rather, I reacted happily.  I felt euphoric, indestructible, and I didn’t care about anything.  After feeling so low for so long it was a welcome break.  But the problem comes when not caring causes injury, such as a sprained ankle.

The resulting fall out, and a need to assess myself and the situation, was exhausting, and once more depressing.  On half the medication I feel more human, but then I also feel low.  “Sludgy” is how I would describe yesterday.  Here but not here, wading through the treacle, and forcing enthusiasm for the activities around Christmas.  Today I feel good, but distracted.

I am starting to wonder what “normal” really is, to a person who doesn’t suffer mental health issues.  To someone who goes through life without extreme highs and desperate lows.  I guess the problem is I cannot compare, because I just don’t know.  There seems to be always one or the other, sometimes within minutes of each other.

In discussion with the doctor it was agreed that I would cut my meds, but that half the dose hadn’t worked so well.  So today I am trying the full dose, and will have half again tomorrow.  Maybe alternating will be the balance I need, but it is so much trial and error.  By yesterday evening I felt so tense and stressed and noise sensitive, a stark contrast to a week previous.

If I’m honest I prefer the euphoria, and not caring.  But if I’m honest, it is a dangerous mindset to have.  4 days on from spraining it my ankle doesn’t hurt so much, but I still can’t exercise.  I don’t care so much about food, in that my choices aren’t so mindful, and of course, with it being Christmas I am more and more surrounded by chocolates and biscuits and general Christmas goodies.  It takes extra effort to remember to think about what I would like and what would benefit.  But I’m one step away from complete anxiety around food once more it feels.

On the plus side, training for the Marathon, and running for SANE remains my logical choice.  If I end up running 2 miles and walking the rest, I know I’m still doing it for a cause that matters.  For a cause that helps people like me, with mental health issues, and who need understanding voices in their lives.

Depression. Again. Injury. Again.

Published December 15, 2014 by Crystal

Medication is affecting me at the moment. I’ve just been to the doctor after a tumultuous week. Getting every more hyper and reckless. Not caring about training. Drinking too much.
The crash came last night when I woke in pain having sprained my ankle and not even remembering it happening. It’s not a place I like to be. Feeling out of control but enjoying the rush is all well and good until someone gets hurt! My medication dose has been halved and I am awaiting an appointment with someone from the mental health team. Feel exhausted today. And anger at myself for neglecting training and causing injury. But at least I know there are things that can be done. And I will come through it eventually.
Mental illness is a bugger.