The Dreaded Breakfast

Should I maybe stop telling this story now? I’m afraid you might get bored. Then again I think that perhaps I should tell it anyway because what if this sort of thing is a little bit normal, even if I don’t feel all that normal. So what if it’s normal, or at least not uncommon, and someone else is sitting out there thinking I don’t know how to feel better and maybe just maybe my potentially humiliating revelation might make them think “oh I didn’t know I could try that”. And also, a friend suggested to me the other day that I might consider de-worming the whole family as a possible solution to my malaise, and it was most certainly something I hadn’t even remotely considered so sometimes opening up the conversation leads to all sorts of viewpoints that you would never reach on your own.

Anyway if you get bored you don’t have to keep reading.

My biggest problem was breakfast. I already kind of knew this, but I HATE eating breakfast (unless I’m in a hotel and breakfast is an event and I’ve already been up for two hours not eating breakfast) and there is this personal trainer healthy lady in town who advocates skipping breakfast and I’d  read somewhere that fasting from suppertime until lunch time is a thing that is acceptable to do and I thought ok breakfast works for others but not for me so I’m just not going to do it. The really strong healthy lady says you should do it and so do these random websites I found through Google so like really my breakfast skipping is just tailored to my breakfast-hating personality. It’s ok to be me. Because maybe everyone is different, right?

Yeah…no… (more…)

Searching For Solutions

I know it’s probably not best to diagnose yourself. We’re always telling each other not to do such things. Don’t Google your symptoms you’ll only conclude you’re dying… Or something like that. And the labels for mental health? Well those can be a bad plan too. I worry sometimes. Like what if I call myself depressed and then I use it as an excuse to eat ice cream all day? Funny how even when you know that’s not happening you still think of it as a possibility for yourself.

For me, learning about what might be happening to me – whether it be physically or mentally – is a way for me to cope. Understanding why is a big thing for me. Use logic. Put the puzzle pieces together. Have you been watching The Good Doctor? Well you know how he thinks about what could be the problem and then illustrations show you what’s in his head? It’s kind of like that. Except I don’t have Savant Syndrome. Which I’m a little bummed about if I’m honest.

Here are some of the things I used to “fix” myself:

*I think a special note should be made here that the reason I now have all of these things going into me is a credit to my husband. I fail at routine. Continuity. Time management. But every morning he puts these supplements by my bedside so that I don’t forget to take them. I would forget without him. I would be stuck in my hole without him.* (more…)

What to do when you’re falling apart…

This title is misleading. I certainly don’t assume to tell you what to do. I can tell you what I did to get through one of the lowest times in my life though. And why.

I didn’t want to go to a doctor when I was feeling my worst. This was for two main reasons:

1.) I wasn’t emotionally up to it

I get that this will have you shaking your head. There are things that you think I MUST do, no doubt. But I know myself. The stress of making a doctor’s appointment for myself would have pushed me over the edge at that time (I am right now in this moment ok with the thought, though it is far less necessary now than it was 8 months ago). (more…)

Bomb Proof Baby

I’m doing a terrible job of sharing my journey. It makes me giggle to think how many times I’ve been told “Oh you should write a book about your life” and I just smiled and nodded while thinking “glory no one wants to read that”. It occurs to my now that possibly I’m not capable of writing it anyway. I’m doing a terrible job of sharing this little section of my life. I shudder to think of the job I would do of a whole life. Hopefully I am better at fiction.

I keep telling you that last year my mental and physical health took a scary dip and then not really saying anything other than that. And yet what I kind of want to do is at least sort of explain what happened and the steps I took to fix the situation. Though I fully disclose that I am still very much a work in progress.

I don’t know if everyone else’s bodies work this way, but my health seems to very much be tied into my emotions. For instance, I absolutely cannot lose weight if I am unhappy. I will just gain and gain no matter what I do. Let me be happy though, and my new weightloss plan is seven pizzas and a glass of wine and look here you guys I lost ten kgs! Depression is an asshole like that.

Depression & Anxiety have been my shadows for pretty much my whole life. I always thought I was relatively ok at hiding it. I remember as a teen I once tried to confess my melancholy to a friend. “You’re not depressed are you?” she snarled at me, with a look of utter disgust on her face. I added being depressed to the list of things I do wrong and have pretty much never brought it up again until now.

These two shadows of mine infiltrated not only my mind health last year, but my physical health as well.

Anxiety, especially, decided to go into overdrive in about June last year. Depression I can kind of live with. But Anxiety? She’s a bitch, man. That Cow has been telling me for my whole life how everything about me is wrong. And let me tell you the things that other people do/say is used as evidence of your incompetence when Anxiety is your friend. Nadine is too this too that. Too loud. Too shrill. Too excited. Too intense. Too too too too too. You’re all wrong, whispers Anxiety, and everything is about to go wrong. Good luck with that…

Before last year the last time I had a severe panic attack (meltdown) what the day before Noah was born. There was a period of about three months last year when I was having panic attacks maybe once a week. And the worst part is that a lot of them were happening in my sleep.

I have never felt more hopeless or ridiculous in my life.

You see, when you’re conscious and something sets you off you can kind of grasp that. Like ok I’m really upset right now because xyz happened and I might be overreacting just a smidge but I can’t seem to stop myself and that’s fine we’ll ride this meltdown out and it will be ok. And even if you’re melting down for no reason at all, you can still say to yourself ok you seem to be panicking for no reason your body is just reacting to something that’s not physically there but that’s ok we’ll ride it out you’re still ok.

But when it’s happening in your sleep. Bloody hell it makes you feel stupid. You wake up in full blown panic mode out of nowhere. How do you talk yourself down from there? I’d say “it was just a dream” but waking up from a bad dream and waking up because your heart is about to leap out of your chest are two very different things. At least in my experience. So what do you do? You (I) just feel stupid…

And then there was the matter of the frights. When someone could make me flinch just by talking to me when I didn’t expect it. When gunshots on TV would cause my skin to shrink. When Noah could touch me gently on the arm and my whole body would jump.

Everything gives me a fright.

This is pathetic.

Obviously something would have to change…

There were other things, of course. Niggles in my body. Things that had started to become unbearable. But none of them like panic originating in the depths of my subconscious. This one I could not tolerate. This one I could not shrug off with a small laugh at my ridiculous self. No. This bully living somewhere in the in my forgotten dreams would have to go. And it would have to go very quickly.

And so I started taking steps to make myself a little more bomb proof.

A Different State of Mind

Last year when I decided to split my blog into two separate blogs it was with the intention of keeping my travel musings (a mostly happy space) separate from my more personal musings, which have a tendency to become a little political. This space is more the writer’s space, though as of yet I haven’t shared much writing that isn’t in the form of a diary entry. I do hope to change that. I have, in the meantime, tried to make peace with the fact that I’m not a writer so much as a writer-in-limbo at the moment. I have sort of put my writing fantasies on pause while I raise and homeschool my family. Sometimes it can be a little tough because I feel like I’m not entirely suited to this task. But it’s ok.

The point is, I suppose, that when I split my blogs I had it in my head that this would probably end up being a space where I vent my (probably political) frustrations and share some benign triumphs (as I have done in the past) with the odd bit of poetry or photography thrown in for funsies. What I didn’t expect was that it might become a space where I started to get very personal. It seems though that my instincts are pulling me in that direction.

I feel like I keep emphasising this to the point of becoming annoying, but after an exceptionally hard year of fighting with my own mind I can see I am becoming more willing to open up about personal demons that I face on the constant. I suppose the reason for this is catharsis on the one hand, but on the other hand it is that there is also value for others in being honest about experiences. I learned in the last year that being open about what you’re struggling with is in itself a help. It also allows others to at least try to understand where you are coming from. They won’t always hear you, but that’s on them.

Anyway that’s enough talking rubbish from me. Next week I’ll start telling you about how I used supplements to start propping my fading self back up again. Or maybe I’ll moan about Trump. Who even knows anymore?