Self-medicating in my PJs

I started writing this yesterday (Saturday) at quarter past three in the afternoon in my time zone. I was still in my PJs having had a lie in in the morning and having done very little with my day (unlike me – or at least unlike the old me 😝). My son made me breakfast at lunchtime and then I spent my time reading posts by other bloggers and drinking wine. I probably should have been more motivated and up and doing stuff – especially as it’s getting closer to Christmas and I have plenty to organise. But there I was lying on the couch writing this post (and not even finishing it). (In my defence I was feeling a bit under the weather with this cough/cold that’s not quite shifted over the last few weeks.)

So this one is a bit of a confession really. Over the last few years I’ve gradually been drinking more and more alcohol. I used to drink only occasionally. Maybe that’s partly because when I was younger alcohol was a luxury I couldn’t really afford. I was also responsible for looking after children more often than not so I always tried to be sensible about my intake. When I started teaching I could afford to drink more and I did (stress of the job maybe?) ‘cause everybody did – not usually on a school night though. Since I started really battling with depression I’ve noticed that I’m drinking sometimes to take the edge off my feelings and recently I got to a point where I was drinking almost every night. It scared me a little bit because I don’t want to become dependent on it so I’ve made a conscious effort recently to have at least a few dry days every week.

It’s Sunday now and I’m at it again. My day has been more productive though. I went to church this morning (first time in a few weeks as it happens) and I’ve made a good start on the Christmas decorations (early for me but I felt like I needed some fairy lights). The Christmas tunes are on and I’m feeling a lot more positive today.

The thing is I know I’m not alone. I know lots of my friends are drinking more than they ever did too. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism? Maybe it’s just more socially acceptable to drink with every meal or even without a meal? Maybe it is simply that alcohol is more affordable when you don’t have nappies to buy? I’m also aware that it affects me more while I’m on the anti-depressants so I probably should really be drinking less.

Anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Do you drink more or less than you used to? Do you think it’s an issue? Is it a bigger issue in society in general than it was in the past? Do we need to do something about it?

I just want to write

I had a rough night last night. Didn’t sleep well and then woke up late for the plans we had for this morning. I feel a bit flat today and I just wanted to write. I looked at the posts in my drafts (some of which are so near to finished) but I didn’t want to finish any of them. I just want to talk.

If you could be here right now you’d have to perch on the end of my bed. There’s nowhere else to sit in my room. The only chair is covered in clothes that have been worn once and discarded but didn’t seem dirty enough for the wash bin. It might feel when you’re sitting there like you’re visiting the sick but I’m not sick (at least not physically).

I could tell you about my week. It’s been quite busy. My in-laws were visiting last week and stayed till Tuesday so we had quite a full house with three extra people in it. On Monday I did a day’s supply teaching in Primary 7 at my old school – that was quite nice actually. The kids were really good and I enjoyed seeing them (I taught that class when they were in P1). We were planning to go into the city to see the Christmas lights in the evening but a few of the family were feeling under the weather so that didn’t happen. It was okay though. I’ve been reading a book by a fellow blogger Yeshiva Girl by Rachel Mankowitz so I was happy to get my nose stuck back into that. I’ve finished it now and would recommend. It’s a good read.

I had relaxation classes on Tuesday morning and afternoon and dropped the in-laws off at the airport in between. After work I met my hubby in the city and we went out for dinner and went to the Emeli Sande gig. That was really good. I love music gigs. One of my favourite things to do.

Wednesday brought more relaxation sessions in the morning plus some individual sessions at my favourite school to go to. It also happens to be in the most deprived area I work in. I had lunch with a lovely friend after that and then went to pick up little B for the afternoon. I took him over to the craft shop to buy some Christmas cracker kits to send to my daughter in the States. The evening became a little hectic because of cancelled trains so I was running about picking people (including a few strangers) up and dropping them off. I also had to shop and deliver a meal to our dear friend whose husband has just died. 😢

Thursday was a good day. I went on a training course all day to learn some new skills for my business. It was really useful and I met some nice people and did a bit of networking while I was there. We had a chilled evening after that.

It was my birthday on Friday. I decided I might just stop counting my age 😉. I don’t feel any older anyway and the number somehow seems irrelevant. I got my hair done in the morning. The girl who’s been cutting my hair for years has changed jobs so I have a new hairdresser but she’s doing okay and getting the hang of how I like it. After that one of my lovely friends treated me to lunch and then I had a chilled out bath before the guys cooked dinner for me and we spent the evening pampering ourselves (I made them wear face masks too), drinking wine and singing along to the karaoke version of The Greatest Showman.

Yesterday we went over to visit some friends in the morning/early afternoon and after brunch I spent some time building Lego with their kids while we chatted. We pottered a bit with stuff in the house in the afternoon and then went to visit other friends for drinks after dinner. We quite often go on holiday with these guys and we started exploring possible options for a holiday next summer. Talking of holidays I don’t think I’ve mentioned that we’re off to visit our daughter in California at the beginning of the new year. I’m looking forward to that.

I’m feeling a bit better now that I’ve shared my week with you. It was a good one really (apart from the death of our friend). Maybe now I can get myself up and ready for the day.

How was your week? I’d love to know what you’ve been up to. 🙂

Blah blah blah…

Meaningless, meaningless everything is meaningless…

B O R E D

What’s the point?

Does life even make sense?

Apologies for this post – feels like my brain just needs to throw up. Don’t feel obliged to read on – especially if you’re squeamish.

I’m fed up.

T I R E D

Don’t know what I want to say. Do I even have anything worth saying? Does anybody care? Do I care?

Why am I here?

Does anybody need me? Does anybody want me? Does anybody love me?

Sorry to subject you to this pity party.

Wait a minute I’m not subjecting you – you were warned!

I have no right to be miserable and feeling sorry for myself actually. I need to focus on His blessings. I have some friends who are going through really sh*tty stuff right now. I feel bad for them. I have it good really. Just need to give myself a good talking to.

There are some blogs I follow where the writers have been through horrendous stuff and they still find a way to show gratitude and find the sunshine in life. I used to be good at finding the silver linings. What’s happened to me?

Is this the depression? I mean it does feel better than it was… but some days… Do I just need to snap out of it? Stop being a miserable git? Maybe. Yeah probably!

Okay I’m going to leave this here. Don’t worry. I’m okay really. Just needed to get that out of my system.

I’ll be my sunny self again soon – especially if I get a couple of gins into me. 😝

Actually my work is pretty good 😉

The Bottom Line

The last few days I’ve been pretty hormonal. I always struggle more with feelings of depression when I’m hormonal. On the whole I think I’m doing better with that but there are always some days that are harder than others. Sometimes when I’m really struggling all I can say is ‘Jesus I need You’ over and over. That’s the bottom line for me. When everything feels too much and I can’t cope on my own I know He’s there and somehow He’ll get me through it.

In February 2018 I was reading a devotional On the YouVersion app called ‘Jesus I Need You’ by Thistlebend Ministries and came across this prayer. I saved it on my phone and I’ve read it over and over since then. I even printed it out and stuck it in my prayer journal. It’s covered in highlights and circles, underlines and outlines, hearted and triple underlined – you get the picture. Anyway I thought I’d share it here in case it’s helpful for anyone else.

JESUS I NEED YOU

Jesus, I need you! You are my Lord, my God, my King. You are worthy of all of my worship. Help me, by your grace, to know you and love you so deeply and dearly that the things of this world fade away and grow strangely dim.

I want to worship you and you alone. I don’t want to be forged by the culture. I am in you; I want to be one with you. Bind my heart to yours, and place your truth deep within me. I not only want to know you and your Word, I want to have the desire to forsake sin and follow you and your Word. Enable me to worship you in spirit and in truth.

I need your power, your grace, and your love so that no matter what life brings my way, I can respond to each situation, each person, and each trial the way you would respond—all for your glory. I don’t want to respond merely outwardly, but rather from within, from the river of living water. I want to be so close to you, Jesus, that your Spirit flows forth from me in all I do and say. May I find all of my joy in you.

May I glorify you in all I say and do. (Psalm 42:1-2a; Galatians 2:20)

No matter where I am, what I am doing, what Scripture I am reading, or what song I am singing, I want my mind, my energies, and my heart focused on you and not on me and my circumstances. I want you and you alone.

No matter if I succeed or fail, win or lose, am rich or poor, am included or excluded, am known or forgotten, may I be content knowing that you are mine and I am yours.

May my chief aim be to love you and be loved by you, to please you and serve you. Help me to see my sin, mourn it, and forsake it, by your grace. Help me hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Lord Jesus, grant me your grace, your mercy, and your lovingkindness to enable me to see you, know you, love you, and be one with you. Thank you that your Word tells me if we ask anything in your name and according to your will that you will do it. Amen. (John 14:13-14)

Pain, pills and a panic attack.

The last week or two has been tough. Not sure why I got so low again just when I had started feeling like I was getting somewhere. I guess I wondered whether it might be at least partly hormonal. Anyway it got pretty bad and in the end I gave up trying to fight it on my own and went to the doctor (with a little encouragement from a couple of friends). Thinking about it now I don’t know why I waited so long. If I had a stomach problem I wouldn’t wait 8 or 9 months to see someone about it. Anyway the doc gave me a low dose of anti-depressants to take (probably for a few months) to see if it helps. It took me a while to think about whether I was up for taking them – again when I reflect on that it’s a bit strange. I wouldn’t be averse to taking meds for a physical condition so why for this?

I’m kinda glad it was a low dose cause already the side effects aren’t very pleasant. On Day 1 I just felt a bit squeamish. Day 2 and 3 I had quite bad headaches to go along with that and palpitations at one point. Then Day 4 I felt lower, more pain and more anxiety than I have done in a long time and even had a full blown panic attack. I really hope these side effects are short lived. I hope the pills do what they’re supposed to and I can start to feel more like myself again.

Today I have work all day so I’m praying that I won’t have any of these yucky side effects while I’m there (or at all). I’ll let you know how things go.

Overwhelmed

Some days just suck. Lots of days right now. I feel overwhelmed. Too much is sad and difficult and depressing. Sometimes I feel like there is nowhere safe to turn. It would be so easy to hide under my duvet for the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself. Or to run away, escape from it all.

Then I remember about the people who would be devastated if I did that.

So much is changing in my life right now. It’s hard to deal with it all. My kids have grown up. One is about to leave for Australia for a year. The other could leave at any time if she gets moved with work or decides to get her own place. My closest friend isn’t around. Family relationships are strained. My husband is out of work. I’m trying to start a new business. And then there’s the normal run of the mill stuff that just needs done every day or every week so we can survive.

When it all gets too much I just want a friend to turn to. Someone safe, who’s not too busy or too judgemental. Who won’t be hurt by what I need to get off my chest. Someone who knows me, knows that I’m broken and flawed but loves me anyway. Someone who sees the good and the potential in me and encourages me to go for it.

It’s not always easy to find someone like that. On the other hand I know that Jesus is always with me. He’s always there to listen, never too busy even though he has the whole world to take care of. He’s never going to be surprised by what I tell him because he knows everything about me anyway and he loves me regardless. He’s not going to gossip about me or think less of me. He tells me he has put gifts and talents in me and encourages me to use them. He is a friend who is closer than a brother. A friend who was willing to die just so I could have a relationship with him. When I really really think about that I am still overwhelmed… by His love for me.