Tag Archives: Social Anxiety Disorder

Loved You May and Hello June


May was the most interesting month I’ve had for what seems like forever!

A new medication for sleeping has done wonders for me.  Instead of needing and getting 12 to 14 hours of sleep almost every day, I now get up after only 7 hours and feel pretty perky.  All my other meds are the same and seem to be working really well for the most part.  I think the weather helps too.  I’m not isolating 1380021_10155657943450221_190890452345083084_nmyself so much as I was a few short weeks ago.  I love my yard; the sun sucks all the dreary winter from my body and brings the summer into my soul.

We found a cute baby kitty that we were going to adopt and kept him in the house with us for a few days until we could get him to the Humane Society to have him checked out and neutered.  He got out just before one of the most weirdest storms I’ve ever been through happened.  Snow with lightning and high damaging winds.  Then he never came back.  I still grieve for him.  He was so lovable and sweet.

The end of May marked the first anniversary of the death of my dad.  I still have the image of him taking his last breath as my sister and I clutched his hands, crying, and telling him to go.  It was okay to go.  I should have left right away so I wouldn’t have had to see his empty, thin body lying there.  I can’t forget it.  I still remember my mom as she looked after her death too.  I dream of them so much.    His birthday was 2 days after his death as well.  It was hard this year as I’m sure it will be every year.  It’s funny when I dream of my dad because, in my dreams, apparently his death was all a big mistake and he isn’t really dead and is still alive.

What makes it better, though, is in between the anniversary of my dad’s death 11107728_10155729474615221_1500065792585678561_nand his birthday my youngest granddaughter had her first birthday.  I remember the joy I felt when she was born in spite of the sad, dark time of a year ago.  This year was no different, really.  She is cute as can be and I love both of my grandgirls to bits.  Such bright and wonderful children who give me so much joy.

My daughter turned 18 in March and is almost 30.  Yeah. But she’s really doing great.  Doing fantastic in school, winning 2 awards and made the honour roll!  So proud of that girl.

I also met a man.  I decided to give up on the “bad boys” after reading several articles written by nice men who never seem to get a chance.  I also read some blog posts and comments from them where women have been stuck with the bad boys just like I was. And they just didn’t get it either. So…I’m giving one a chance.  It’s only been a few weeks but holy moly…wow.  He treats me like a queen, takes me for dinners, lunches and breakfasts.  He lent me his truck for 4 days (which my kids thought was really weird).

I have had to stop him from spending so much money on me.  If he had his way he would lavish me with gifts.  He wants to find me a car. He wants to buy me clothes. I said no. I keep saying no. He really giftswants me to be happy and expects a commitment in the future.  THAT I’ve  never heard before.  It’s been all disconcerting as I have not met anyone like him.  He loves how I look.  He’s beyond eager to meet my kids.  He wants to be with me all the time and I had to tell him I needed space to breathe and learn about myself in this new role.  It was a battle at first, only because of his own insecurities I think.  I notice he really doesn’t have that many of those so far.  He lives out-of-town on a beautiful 4 acre lot with an apple orchard and all the toys near a beautiful lake.  I’ve stayed there a few times and love the privacy, the birds and the sun on beautiful days.

I had a surprise graduation party for my son, his wife and my daughter on Sunday because they are all graduating.  My son got his GED back in the fall, my 11224583_10155851597945221_3784232355226808323_ndaughter-in-law went to night school to finish her high school and, of course, my daughter graduates high school in June.  My fella paid for all the food and drove me around everywhere to find supplies and presents.  He wanted to come to the party to do the cooking but I held him off as we had only been together for such a short time.  I just felt it was too soon.

He smiles all the time. And that’s important to me. We like and love so many of the same things and every time we discover something new it’s such a surprise.  He wants to make sure I’m not stuck inside and plans outings all the time.  He missed me yesterday and drove the hour drive and showed up at 4 in the afternoon with Chinese food for supper.

To think I was fighting this.  Neither of us could really understand my imagesCA48VGCDreasoning.  I do though, of course.  All those failed relationships, all the heartache and all the work invested and lessons learned.  He doesn’t want me to lump him into the same category as those guys.  He’s assured me he’s different.  I’m starting to believe it. His health isn’t very good at this time but we both hope for improvements.

I have high hopes for this wonderful man.  If it doesn’t work out at least I know there are nice men out there.

So bring on June.  Graduations, beaches, long drives and love.  Bring it on.

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Doing the Shuffle


I must tell you all, right off the bat, that I know I haven’t written anything for several weeks.  I really feel bad about it because I know it helps me get through a lot.  I’ve put my volunteer work on hold for this month because of the extreme anxiety I’m feeling about my health and the crazy developments with my father’s estate and, as such, the state of my family life.  The stresses have really gotten to me where I am, once again, staying away from candycrushthe outside world most of the time and hiding in my online games.  So boring I know.  I do go to my appointments and have made more effort into cooking some meals the last few days than relying on junk food.  It helps that Carly is home to eat.

After messing up the last 2 appointments booked with my new mental health worker we finally met each other for the second time.  It all went well until she asked me how my typical day goes.  I was quite embarrassed about it until I remembered that I do get up early twice a week for when my granddaughter comes over for the day.  (So fun to be with her…two years old and so cute and full of goof).  She asked me what my stresses are and I told her about the above mentioned in more detail.  It was a pretty substantial list but mostly I have such fast and negative thoughts.  Then I was to go over the positive things in my life which were fewer but still easy to come up with; kids, boyfriend, and my finances are a little better.  I was also to tell her about what I do to help the with stress.  Again the list was small but at the end of the meeting she said that column would eventually be full and she could see how low my self-worth and self-esteem were and she has the tools to work on those negative thoughts.

I so desperately want that.  So much.  Which is one reason why I’m writing tonight.

It’s been mind-numbing during the day and my sleep is filled with monsters and fear.  Restful sleep is really not a part of my nights.  It’s mostly 3 or 4 in the monstermorning when my brain will finally shut down and my eyes slam shut for anywhere from 5 to 12 hours of sleep.  I slept a day away a few weeks ago with a total of 19 hours.  Crazy.

One thing I told my worker that I was sure I looked like a “mental health patient” with my shaking and whatever.  She assured me I looked just fine and start thinking more positive about that at least.

Well, sure thing.  Except for last night…

My fella and I were finally getting to have some time together and were going out for supper except I kinda and sorta forgot about the going out part only because it was later than I thought we would be going.  He called and said he was here and I had just got out of the shower and was dripping wet, naked and just figured, no problem, I’ll just throw something on and let him into my building like I usually do.  I went to the front door, where he usually waits, then the back door but no fella.  I was quite confused.  I called him and asked him where the heck was he and he said at the front in the #1 parking space.  So, after wandering around the hallway in my nightie for another couple of minutes it dawned on me about the going out part.

Right.  He’s waiting in the truck.  For me.  So we can go out for supper.  Okay.  I got it now.

What to wear?  I felt all hot and sweaty after all that running around so I put on a tank top and jeans and put hair products in my very wet hair and ran out the door.  He asked me if I wanted to go to a fancy restaurant but I told him I wasn’t really dressed for one (that’s for sure!) so he suggested a favourite pizza joint we both like.

It was very crowded and we were waiting for a table when I noticed someone eating at a table nearby who doesn’t like me too much and the feelings are white winequite mutual.  I hid behind my fella after warning him.  He was worried about a cat fight or me being so uncomfortable that we should go.  I told him not to worry, I have big ovaries and can take it but could he please buy me a glass of wine tonight?  Absolutely, he said.

He’s such a nice fella.

So all the tables were full except for one right beside this person and a whole bunch of reserved ones.  The owner of the restaurant told us to sit in the reserved section for now until a booth became available.  “Don’t you guys leave,” she said.  Whew.  We sat in the reserved section (getting the stinky eye from THAT table) until a group of volleyball players started to arrive. It was then I noticed how hot my feet were as I listened to my fella regale me with his own restaurant stories.  I tried to remember which shoes I put on when, to my horror, I looked down at my feet and saw….

I was wearing my slippers.

I was sitting in a nice restaurant with soaking wet hair, a man’s lumber jacket, no slippersbra and a tank top and wearing my slippers and there is a person 20 feet away who thinks I should be locked up and felt the need to insult and treat me with such disrespect because of my illness I had to block her from my life.

 I looked like the stereotypical mental health patient.  Just like I thought…

A booth opened up and the owner had us skedaddle over there right away.  It was a really busy night.

My fella had me howling with laughter when I confessed to my slipper shuffle.  He does that all the time. He said he was going to get me a hospital gown to go with my slippers for next time we go out so I can really look the part.  It was then I remembered what I told my worker about the fear I had that people looked at me funny and man…I was laughing so hard.  We both were.  I had to put a little extra shuffle in my step for the rest of the night and the code word was “slippers” to make me start laughing all over again.

Supper was great.  At the end when my fella was paying the bill I asked the owner how her trip to Greece went.  She told us that she went there to find all her old boyfriends so she could fuck them since she was too young to do that when she lived there as a young girl.  She didn’t find any.

My fella was more shocked by her confession than by my slippers.  It just added to the general hilarity and weirdness of the evening.

It was great to get out.  It did me a world of good.  I’m so looking forward to Thanksgiving with my sister’s family and my group.

I’m also looking forward to working with my mental health worker in the coming months.

So I hope everyone has a great Canadian Thanksgiving and even if you’re not turkeydinnerCanadian, eat some turkey.

🙂

 

Away From Home


There we were, two of the most anxious females I know, going to a strange city by Greyhound.  Whatever gave me the idea that this was a GOOD idea?  Well mainly it was because Carly and I were going to spend some good quality time together.

My son was driving us to the bus depot and I was feeling pretty calm until we were almost there.  Then my mind started racing with questions.  What do we do?  Where do we go?  We started off doing what we thought was the right thing.  We went to the counter at the depot and told the guy (who turned out to be our driver) that we were going to Edmonton and what do we do?  He looked at our tickets and, very kindly, told us we would be departing at Gate 1 at 6:45.  We found seats nearby and waited impatiently.  It got later and later and Carly was coming up with more and more dire scenarios (What if we don’t sit together?  Why did I have to read about Tim McLean? What if people smell bad?)  then finally we saw the bus arrive and security being set up.  We were about 5th in line and finally got to the security table when we noticed we were the only ones without any tags on  our luggage.

Now, remember, we did go to the counter and no one said anything about tags.  We had to go back to the nice man and tell him we needed them. There was a lineup there too and only 2 people on duty.  One staff member was being held up by a guy who was trying to say his 3 bags were all carry-on’s and the bag that weighs 100 lbs. is free.  That was not true and vigorous arguments ensued.  We finally got to the nice man and he apologized for his mistake and even let me take my heavy carry-on with me.  By this time there was no line at security.

Security checked my bags and waved the wand over me.  Then Carly.  Good, nothing was pierced on her that I don’t know about.

The thing about the motor coach I noticed the most was the smells that made their way to me throughout the trip to Edmonton.  The first half hour I smelled vomit.  The guy across the aisle kept belching really loud and they were quite stinky too.  As were his farts.  Then I thought everyone was drinking on the bus because someone would walk by me and I would smell alcohol.  Turns out it was the hand sanitizer from the bathroom.  Good for them for being so clean.  At least I knew they washed their hands after they did their business.

The smell that started half way there and never really went away came from a cup of coffee that a woman behind me spilled which proceeded to go downhill where Carly’s backpack was directly in its path.  Carly was already so stressed out at this point she went over the edge for a bit.  She cried over her Vans backpack and her new toiletries bag inside, now reeking of and dripping with coffee.  The lady felt so bad and mopped up everything with toilet paper.  Then there wasn’t any TP for the bathroom.  Finally the driver found some.  Whew.

feetMy legs and feet swelled up so much it was ridiculous.  I have a history of blood clots and made sure I walked around whenever we had a stop.  My feet hurt so much throughout the trip.  The swelling never really went away.

When we got there, after 18 hours on the bus and with barely any sleep, we still went shopping.  I could barely walk and would send Carly into a store while I would find a bench to sit on and rest. I had to buy a sweater because it wasn’t summer in Edmonton.  Fall weather had hit and I was in shorts and tank tops.  I was miserly with money and was so glad to find a pretty good one for only $10.  Carly must have spent over $300 the first day.   Her money not mine.

I slept so good that night and was out like a light before 9 pm.  I loved the pillows.  Our hotel was nicer than I expected.  I used booking.com and found a pretty good deal.  I give it 3-4 stars.

We hit so many stores.  There were so many people, especially on Saturday.  It was almost impossible to get through some of the aisles as they were clogged with crazy shoppers.

Saturday at the Mall!

Saturday at the Mall!

Friday was my birthday and another day of shopping was planned.  I got some great deals just telling people it was my birthday.  My new fella had given me a card with strict instructions not to open it until my birthday and I actually obeyed.  It was one of the first things I did when I woke up.  Open it I mean.  Lo and behold it had money in it!  With more strict orders (he seems to be a little bossy) to spend it frivolously on myself.  So I bought Body Shop stuff, which I never buy because it’s too expensive.  Because it was my birthday I got free hand lotion thrown in.

Carly spoiled me rotten on my birthday.  She paid for all the meals and cabs and bought me a beautiful forever scarf which was handy on the way home in the air-conditioned bus.  She paid for more than half the food on the trip and half the cab fares.  Almost every time I looked at her she had her bank card out.  She was so patient with me and my sore feet, as long as she knew where I was.  Thank goodness for texting and cell phones.

I noticed a lot of things that makes Edmonton different from Winnipeg, besides the mall.  The noise is unbelievable and overwhelming. We had to shout to each other most of the time at the mall.  Everybody goes really fast there too.  Cars and people.  Some of the fashions I saw I haven’t seen here, at least not yet.  AND I didn’t see one butt crack when people were sitting down.  In Winnipeg you can count on seeing several in any food court, on the bus or even just walking around.  I didn’t see one and that made me happy.

Leaving Edmonton was very different then leaving Winnipeg.  For one thing there was absolutely no security check done.  This caused a whole new round of anxiety for Carly as now anyone could have a knife or a gun and cut off our heads.  No one did but even so the trip home was a nightmare.  For 20 hours we listened to a baby either screaming with misery or laughter, depending on her mood.  At least I had to listen, Carly had her iPod so she plugged into her music world and drowned it all out.  The baby rarely stopped and it was horrible.  When she did stop another would start.  There were 8 children on that bus under the age of 5.  One mom had 4.  Another mom had 2 and one of hers was the devil child who kept screaming.

This mom who had 4 children with her was amazing.  We were about to leave Edmonton when a man came running onto the bus looking for seats he said.  There weren’t that many, it was pretty full.  The driver announced that a family of 5 was coming on board at the last-minute and to be patient.  No problem.  Out the doorway I could see this tiny woman, maybe about 25 years old and 4 kids, ranging in age from 8 to 18 months, all holding something; pillows, blankets, books, bags of food.  They climbed on then the driver made ANOTHER announcement that these people had reserved seats so a lot of people had to shuffle around.   The dad then ran off the bus, yelling “love you kids!” and he was a blur going back into the depot.  The little family was in the back and we didn’t hear a peep out of them.

We had a layover in Saskatchewan and these kids totally entertained me.  They danced and sang and giggled and climbed and ran and hid.  All the while, their mother was calm, laughing along with them, getting them to settle down for only minutes at a time and not worrying too much when they started up again.  She spoke to them patiently and kindly and I could tell she does this all the time by the way the kids treated each other; the same.  She met my eyes and laughed telling me they only had 3 hours of sleep so they were really goofy.  I told her, “My dad used to say, It’s better than crying”.  She laughed more.  I could hear a little hysteria in it though.  She was so great.  She would crouch on the floor with them, rocking the youngest against her chest while talking softly to the others and feeding them apples and grapes.  How she could hold that position for so long boggled my mind.

(Carly hates my people watching.  She thinks I’m nosy.  What the heck else would I write about if I didn’t watch other people and what makes them do what they do?)

Meanwhile the other screaming kid was still screaming with the mom begging her not to cry.  The dad did nothing; he just looked mad.  I know the child was tired and they were on a long trip but it was really hard to take by hour 15 of the 20 hour trip.  By the time we got home, I wanted to kiss the ground.

We had a delay before we left Alberta.  A young woman was hanging out with some of the younger guys on the bus, taking smoke breaks with them, etc.  These young men always smelled like pot (SECURITY!).  Anyway, we made a quick stop in a small town and I walked by her where she was commenting to some of the other women (who also smoked) with some concern about how she was swelling up.  I wanted to show her my own feet but didn’t dare scare her.  We all got back on the bus and started off again when she left her seat and went to talk to the driver.  He turned around and took her to the hospital.  According to the guys she hung with, she had taken opiates and then one of the guys gave her something else which didn’t react well with her.  We had to leave her there in the middle of nowhere, hopefully in good care.

I totally had a good time although in pain. Tylenol Arthritis was my best friend.  I’m pretty proud of myself but not totally surprised I could do it.  I had to be a good mom to Carly, who was anxious a lot of the time and keep her calm from her day-mares.  Never mind the hundreds of people or the guy who wanted to give me a makeover and wouldn’t give up, even when he saw me later and practically chased me.  I handled it.  I did good.  It’s taking me a few days to recover from the overload and the swelling but I’m just about there.

I’m still not sure about social situations though.  This was very impersonal as I didn’t have to interact with many people.  Just doing this trip and knowing, even if I am anxious about it, I can breathe through it and continue on.  I don’t know what the future holds but it sure looks good from here.  Going into big crowds like that was amazing and overwhelming at the same time.  We kept it simple; using cabs to get to the mall and back.  We didn’t do any sightseeing at all.  The fear of getting lost is still too strong.

Would I do it again?  Not on a bus.  No way on a bus.  I would fly for sure.

My world just got bigger.

Shopping…


I’m about to test the strengths I’ve learned these last few weeks/months/years.  I’ve planned a great adventure with my daughter which is totally out of my comfort zone.  One that will include a Greyhound bus full of strangers, bad food and poor sleep.  And then…

Destination:  West Edmonton Mall

We will be shopping pretty much non-stop for 3 days then head home again.  loveshoesWell, the girl will be shopping with her money, I will be the one behind her carrying her many purchases and stressing over how to save a nickel (could we have popcorn for supper?  I really don’t want those shoes.  Yes I do.  No I don’t.).

Does this trip fill me with anxiety?  Oh yes, you bet it does.  As a matter of fact today I had to drive to the airport where the bus depot is to purchase tickets and I felt so much panic as soon as I couldn’t see downtown anymore.  Will I get lost?  Will my bank card not work?  Maybe I don’t have any money.  Will my heart decide to stop beating?  Will there be an accident while I’m driving my son’s van?  Watch out for that old lady!!!!

Remember, this was just on the way to the bus station.

The original plan was for me to rent a car to get to Edmonton.  This wouldn’t work out because I don’t have a credit card and also because I would have to sell my body 541,000 times just to get the $1,000 I would need.  So Greyhound it is.  I’m relieved I’m not driving the 15 hour trip.  I would really be scared of getting horrorlost among other things too many to list here.  I’ve watched way too many movies where a car breaks down and weird-looking strangers make sure the passengers are never seen again.  The mom always gets killed first.

So once I conquer the bus and the inevitable motion sickness I’m prone to, we hit the hotel and then the mall.

The huge, incredible “mall”.   mall

 

This is bigger than anything in my city.  There aren’t just stores; there are amusement parks and restaurants and lots and lots of people.  Lots of them.

I want to do this though because this is the last year my last child is a child.  Next summer she will be an adult and making her own trips with her friends.  This way I get her all to myself for a few days with no computer in my face.  I’m really looking forward to it in spite of the gnawing in my stomach.  After all, I made it out of the bus station with a few wrong turns on the way back but made it home, unscathed, just the same.

I take heart in these small steps as they are leaps and bounds to what I could do 5 or 6 or 7 years ago.

Huge.

Like the mall.

Oy.

Where Some Things Came From…


Ipain the ass always thought the teacher who influenced me most in my life was my junior high math teacher, Mr. Burns.  I had to learn algebra and I didn’t even know my times tables so I was a real pain in the ass.  He was so patient and kind and always offered to help me outside of class. I know between the two of us there were mountains of frustration. He was definitely a good influence and helped me enough to know algebra for at least the 5 minutes at a time I needed to pass his classes.  That’s how long it stayed with me after I left there too.  High school math was just a lost cause.  We don’t talk about that at all.

timestablesMr. Burns’ left arm was deformed and totally useless and I remember it would just hang there or he would simply toss it or swing aside if it got in his way. The other kids used to make fun of him at first until they could see he had heard it all before and could care less what was said about him.  He had a tough skin that one did.  He was smart and didn’t talk down to the kids.  Then there was nothing but respect from everyone.  It was my first time respecting a teacher too.  He was a really good teacher but I still don’t know my times tables.

The teacher who did influence me and my life the most was Harry (Hersh) Zetner who was first my anthropology teacher and then my English teacher in high school.  At that time I really didn’t know anything about the world, certainly nothing like what Mr. Zetner taught me.  Mr. Zetner was Jewish and lost a great deal of his family in the Holocaust.  I never knew there was racism and hatred in the world like that until his classes.  Or anything so horrible as the Holocaust. It was unbelievable but I believed it.  My eyes were opened so wide I could never close them again. The books we read, the films we saw never left me. I think there was only one or two  Jewish girls that I knew of in my classes and in my friend circle but I never knew they were until Mr. Zetner called upon one of them to talk about some of her family history.  I was fascinated with her after that. It would never have occurred to me that anyone was different from anyone else I guess.

My parents would be into the stereotypes of different races and cultures and I don’t even want to write down what those were here. They, of course, learned it from their parents and so on.   I was truly fortunate that it didn’t rub off on me which is so surprising. I found myself, as an adult, correcting them quite often about labeling people and trying to get them to see people as individuals.  They always looked so surprised there could be any other way to look at things.  How the heck did I turn out this way? Don’t get me wrong.  My parents were kind and tolerant people and very simple folk is the only way to describe them.

Oh and I never seem to stop learning about the indignities genders, many races, and cultures face.  It’s trying to understand the “why” of it all.

Anyway,  Mr. Zetner died in 2002 and I re-read his obituary today.  I found out more about the man then I knew before and I never doubted he would do more wonderful things after I left the school.  After he became ill and could no longer teach, he spent his time going to schools talking to children and teens about the Holocaust and how it could easily happen again.  I think he opened a lot of other eyes.  We need more people like him.

He was a truly sincere and hard-working teacher that taught me a lot about life and its cruelties but also that there are good souls out there leading the rest of the world to a better way of thinking.  I learned there can always be another way. He is one reason why I’m so interested in how the mind works and where people came from and where do we go from here.  And just, again…why?

I admire him because he took something he had a passion for and knowledge of and made it his life’s work to educate the world as much as possible.  He wanted to end the stigma.  This is what I want to do about mental illness.  I think it might be something for me to look at in the future and I very well think I could do it.

I have an appointment, finally, with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s intake worker, after 6 months of being on their waiting list.  They are going to get me more organized and help me get back to work.  Or maybe speaking too?  I don’t know but it’s on my list.

Peace and love.  Please.

 

 

Looking Back, Pushing Forward


I’ve been reading some of the posts on my blog and have been learning a lot about myself.  There’s a little button I push that says “Random Post” and I click on it and get a different one every time.  Some of them are just hilarious and I’m so surprised with my sense of humour and how “on” I can be, even during difficult times.  There are posts where I can see how far the progress my thought process has become and the circle upon circles I’ve lived and survived within my world.  So even though I think I might be falling behind I can see I’m progressing and learning just like I should.reading blogs

I love the ones with my kids.

Some of my favourites aren’t necessarily the post itself, but the comments I’ve received.  So supportive, kind and so giving, They mean the world to me.  These are people who take the time out to express what my writing means to them.

Two posts that stand out, because they were written during one of the most awful times in my life are here and here.  Reading them again has really showed me how far I’ve come; the realization and seeing the journey of accepting myself with bipolar is really happening. The comments in both are what helped to keep me going.

Some that made me laugh out loud, even now, are here and here and here.

To me, two of the most meaningful posts I’ve written: here because it still moves me to tears that I could express my feelings and it was about my Dad and here because I first told a huge part of my story.

I feel bad that some of my earlier posts have been deleted when WordPress took over from MySpace and these were lost in the transfer.  I won’t get them back but I will just keep writing new ones!

There are others, of course, but the ones I picked will take a while to read or re-read if you would like to.  I would love to know which posts have been standouts for you.

Power and Getting a Life


I thought I would write a follow-up to my last post after meeting with Dr. G.  He agreed with me about the diagnosis of social anxiety disorder and we discussed how we’ve been working on my recovery all along.  The key has been, and continues to be, developing my confidence to a level where I can go out into the world without the fears (or have lesser ones), of being judged or ridiculed.  It will be a relief to not have the feelings of “Oh my god, what did I do?  I look like an idiot.” “What did I say? No one will ever want to be around me!”  It would mean being free!  Having a life!  Yay!recovery

He pointed out many of the accomplishments I’ve made in the last year:

  • I’m now volunteering and interacting with staff and patients at the hospital where I go twice a week;
  • travelling on public transit;
  • cooking and baking.
  • I’m dealing with my lawyer, my ex, the bureaucracy that is social services and all with much less stress than I had before.
  • I’m finally getting bored with being at home.
  • I’m walking outside more, although still mostly within my comfort zones.

Most of these changes happened in the last 6 months.

Dr. G also talked about my blogging and how amazing it is that I feel very little discomfort writing about my private life for the public to read.  I told him that blogthese were faceless people except for a very few who do know me quite well and I already trust them not to think badly of me for what I reveal.  They can ask me questions and I’m quite comfortable answering. He said it’s one of the best therapies for me.  I think he’s right.

My interactions with my kids still have to change though.  I noticed I was isolating myself from my daughter’s feelings and her life again.  She’s still getting over the breakup with her boyfriend and some days are just still so hard for her. She was hiding and I was retreating somewhere too, not knowing what to do and not knowing that this was what was happening, until the other night when it hit me hard in the gut (especially #1):

  1. How would I feel if she did something to hurt herself or worse?  I know I would easily blame myself and believe I would have every right to do so.  Dr. G disagrees about that as he believes that’s the social anxiety talking. After 5 years of knowing me, he said, he knows I have a tendency to blame myself for all that goes wrong.  But I am her mom.
  2. She needs me to be her mother, not her friend.  A mother who can provide good advice, not be pushy and make sure she has unconditional love always as long as I live.  That’s easy.
  3. I’m not to put all the pressure on myself to be perfect as a parent.  I can always improve though and will make sure I do.  Trying to be 2 parents at once for her isn’t easy.

My son has talked to me a few times now about how worried he is about me, my bipolar and my future.  I’ve tried to explain to him about how I’m taking baby steps to get back to a life that will be more fulfilling, less stressful and, hopefully, one I can be proud of.  It will take time for him to understand and he’s young, rather set in his ways and doesn’t really “believe” in depression or in bipolar treatments.  I know its hard for him to understand that his mom is sick and has to use therapeutic medications probably for the rest of her life.  He might finally realize that it’s not all about taking the drugs and “masking the symptoms”, I’m also getting extraordinary therapy from my doctor.  I assured him Dr. G keeps track of my kidney and liver functions.  This seemed to calm him down the last time he expressed his concern.

This has been a busy week for me with something to do almost everyday.  I’m actually sleepy at 7 pm!  I have to stay awake, though, as Carly has gone out with friends and I have to wait up for her.

Like a good mom.