Thursday, 31 December 2009

The Flip side

Yesterday I woke up and things were different. Like waking up after a storm at sea and realising everything is calm again. I am always a bit shaky to begin with... is it really over? but as the day progressed, I felt much better. I visited a friend, and just doing normal stuff like chatting over a cuppa helped enormously. I cook a meal, which is always a sign of me feeling better, and had a chilled evening, even finding time to set up a group for me and my women friends to chat in private. It's something i've craved for a long time, a forum just to chat to other mums, get support, ask advice. It really does help. Plus I got time on my hands right now. It helps to have something to do.
I also organised New Years Eve. Which to be honest, had been heading to disaster. I hate laying in bed before midnight, only to get woken up by people having fun! So, we have VIP tickets to watch Avatar 3D, and I am very excited.
Today my lifted mood continued, and I have been feeling the urge to create and draw/paint again. I have the whole weekend without kids, so I think I will indulge myself, especially as the weather is forecast to be cold, wet and gloomy.
I am under strict orders from a professional (Thanks Matthew!) to do as little as possible till the 3rd January, and I'm going to be a good girl!

I love me like this! I want it to last!

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

6 weeks

I'm now 6 weeks into the Zoladex treatment. The first month was hell on earth, and I want to say that everything is great, but it isnt...

The second injection brought around 7 days of feeling better, then, the day before Christmas eve, I crashed again.

I cant tell if this is just the injection, or things are worse due to the time of year, but I am still wondering how I will survive it all. I had been pretty organised, and was trying to avoid the fact that my kids wouldnt be with me for Christmas day, but I couldnt avoid it, there it was plain and simple. After everything we'd been through this year, my family was all split up again.

My Christmas has been awful. Thats not to say that anyone around me is at fault, because as usual I am quite capable of messing everything up. Thankfully, my partner is still with me, and I cant even begin to describe how much he has helped and changed my life.

Right now, I'm in a very weird place. I'm still crying at the drop of a hat. The hot flushes at night are horrible, and so is the insomnia. I'm no mother to my children, especially my eldest. I still feel useless and trapped in this nightmare. There is no route to take, apart from just hang on for the ride. The suicidal thoughts are back, the voices in my head telling me how rubbish I am and how much I'm affecting my children etc, is just getting louder. I should be writing down how many times a day I am thinking of leaving this world... mainly through pure frustration and the feeling that this will never go away, but I know, in my heart, that to even consider suicide once in your lifetime is bad enough, let alone fight the demons on a daily basis.

I have very few friends. Lets face it... who would want me in their lives? and at the moment, I cant even talk to them, let alone see them. If I could go away, from my prison of a house, from the sleepy village, I would. I constantly wish I could just get on a plane to India, go away and come back all healed and sorted with plans for the future. I dont see a future right now... just days and days of endless crying, pain, frustration and self destruction. I actually woke up the other morning, thinking I should beg the doctor to put me in a nuthouse. Maybe I'd get the counselling and care I need there?? It's too much for my family and friends.

When I look at my life (as someone who is suicidal usually does a lot) I'm so saddened that it has come to this. Even 12 months ago, my health was bad, but I had a social life, I had fun.. I met my man. Now there is nothing. My man is still there, but my life is a shell. Everything has gone. I know that spiritually it may just be a total overhaul, but I'm so scared. I have no idea where my place is in this world. All my aspirations seem impossible, even down to being a good mum.

So yet again, I'm pouring my heart out at 3am to a computer. I tried sleeping, but the flushes are too much, and every one is a reminder of what I'm doing to my body, of what I'm trying to stop.

2 weeks till next injection and my appointment with the Gynae at the hospital. It all seems pointless, and I feel more out of control than ever.

Spiritually speaking, I must have done something very bad in a past life to deserve all this now. When I was a teen, I actually believed I was cursed... What is it all for? What lessons am I supposed to learn? where is the positive in this? I get so disillusioned with spirituality, religion. After a very near suicide attempt a few years ago, my Aunt, who is a born again Christian, took me to see her Pastors wife. She was a counsellor and my Aunt thought she might be able to help. Believe me, for a witch/pagan to even indulge this option was a big deal. Desperate? Oh yeah...
Well, she told me that my illness had been caused by 'dabbling' in the occult. By praying to the feminine Goddess, I had ended up with an illness that only a woman can suffer from. My only cure would be to ask for Gods forgiveness and come to her Christian group every week. She would only help me if I went to church. There's Christianity for you. I walked out in disbelief. I'd love to see my doctors face if I told him this was caused by lighting candles at full moons and attending pagan rituals.

Tomorrow is lurking. I hate this limbo land between Yule and New Year. I was going to spend New Year with my partner and both my girls, but yet again, I'm at the bottom of the priority list, so I dont have my youngest here. Another non-event. I was so hoping to be well by now. Time feels like it's ticking away so quickly, and I have done nothing with my life.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

24 days

24 days since my injection. I would love to say I'm feeling amazing, but it's far, far from that.

I'm finding it very hard to keep it together. My depression is worse. Add in a pinch of re-occuring red rage, that makes me want to smash everything in sight, and an ocean full of tears, and you have the past couple of weeks.
I am so low, I cant see the point in it anymore.

I have to have my second injection on monday. Talk about a rock and a hard place. If I stopped the Zoladex, I would go straight back to the way things were before. If I stay on it, I will get to see if this will work. The time between that however, is pretty shit. When I'm not wanting to smash things, break stuff, slam doors, punch walls or scratch myself, I'm trying to think of ways to leave. Ways to leave it all behind. Run away? suicide? drugs? I'm tearful all the time and cry at the drop of a hat. What happens if this doesnt work? what then?

It's 3.30am, and I went to bed at 11pm. I then spent 2 hours going boiling hot and then cold. Duvet on, duvet off. I felt the anger rising and just wanted to break something. Then I thought about getting in the car and just driving away. Trouble is, no matter what I do or where I go, I'm still messed up me. So, no point in going to bed, no point in waking up. All the things that once may have cheered me up no longer work. I'm losing sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, and think that maybe I should just stay in the tunnel and never come out.

I havent left the house much in 3 weeks. Issues about my weight, just add to my insecurity. I have had the most horrible spots break out all over my face, and a severe headache almost everyday.

My head cant deal with a menopause at 32. I cant deal with this. I just dont know what to do.....

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

8 days in

I had the zoladex injection 8 days ago,
The first day was ok, but then my energy levels dropped to the floor and I've spent much of a week sleeping and feeling really flat. So much in my head that has added to the tearfulness. I'm feeling pretty useless at the moment. I've got lots of help, so I've really been able to take it easy. I know I cant judge anything till i've had 3 months worth, but riding out the symptoms is tough.
I felt better today, but by tea time, the tiredness set in and I slept for 3 hours. On sunday, I slept the whole day away.
My appetite also checked out. I barely ate anything for 2 days. Have eaten more today, but am still not too fussed about food. I've hardly seen the kids, as I'm always sleeping.
I really want to write more, but the words dont come. maybe I'll try tomorrow.

Friday, 13 November 2009

All psyched up

I've had a day of just not feeling sure how I feel. Today was supposed to be the day I get my first Zoladex injection. I am menstrual, and have been crying at everything all week. I find it hard to talk sometimes, partly cos I cant get any words out and partly cos I'm fed up with hearing myself moan about things all the time.
There is so much in my head, that I just dont know where to start, so forgive me if this is rambly.

It's a big deal for me to be considering the Zoladex injection. Over the years I knew that a hysterectomy was an option to stop all my problems, but I never thought it would actually happen. The first step is the injection. I am angry that I couldn't 'pull myself together', that I couldn't meditate it better, that I couldn't get in control. I feel like I've failed. That someone is gonna say... Oh for god's sake Cat, it cant be that bad, there must be something.... And even now, that's what I keep thinking. Maybe I should try this drug... or that drug... There are a few I haven't tried Zoloft for example, but I have tried Prozac and Citalopram. I haven't tried Yaz, but after such an extreme and rapid reaction to birth control pills last time I took them, I have never wanted to take them again. If I tried all these things, it would be another few years of possible hell, testing them out, and I don't know if I can cope with that.

I met a Psychiatrist on monday. I have met others in the psyche team before, and have had several assessments. Their professional comments have ranged from 'I have no idea what you are suffering from' to 'I've never come across this before', and I've held out little hope over the years that they could help at all. Through my pregnancy I was assigned a CPN, which was probably the most helpful thing they've done. This time I spoke to the actual consultant. Something that only happened once before (when I was preggy). I find out that this guy knows all about my symptoms and has treated women similar to me before. He refers women to a specialist hospital in London. Inside I was furious. If I had only seen this man years ago. If only I had been referred to the right person, I may not be facing this now, I may not have gone through all the many years of shit that I have already. He said there was no point in a referral at this stage, as I was getting the last resort treatment from my GP and Gynae.

I have tried many things over the years, Birth control pill (many varieties), anti-depressants, two types, two strengths, intermittently, full time, numerous homeopathic remedies, nutrition, cycle diet, 5HTP, Tyrosine, alternative therapies. I have had my adrenals checked and my thyroid. I continue to exercise regularly, lead a less stressful life, and try to be kind to myself. I don't put too much pressure on, I've relaxed over so many things in my life, as extra sources of stress are just not needed. I have a Mirena coil, which is still quite a new thing, and it is helped with the physical problems of heavy bleeding and agonising cramps.

So, I'm all psyched up to get jabbed, and it turns out that my surgery doesn't have the treatment I need. We phoned 5 local chemists and no-one had it. Now I have to wait till Monday for the injection. My doctor was just as gutted as me, and I could see he felt really bad to let me down. At least the decision is made... I think! Now I have 2 more days to wait.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

PMDD sites

Thursday, 5 November 2009

One week to go...

... till my doctors appointment. I think I am decided that I will have the Zoladex injection. I'm still feeling really nervous about what it might do, but thats what I will talk to my doctor about. I'm 3 days away from my next moon. I can already feel my mood slipping, and I haven't been doing too well. Last week, after ovulation, I had a complete breakdown and crazy thoughts. I was so angry, I wanted to smash something.
All my fears and hurt were there, back in my face. Then the irrational thinking, the wanting desperately for it to all end, the screaming and shouting, the desire to hurt myself... All of it hit me in one blast. I had felt it building all day, and I'd managed to keep a lid on it all. Then... the last straw, and bang.. off I went.
And there I was, in the middle of a nightmare again, all the worries that my partner will leave me for sure, this is the fist time it's been this bad since we've been together. Why? My bet is on it being Winter. The swings get really bad this time of year due to added SAD.
I upset my daughter, her dad, and my partner. I don't want this to happen anymore.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Recovery from PMDD

I wish this was about me... maybe one day, but I just had to start by directing you to a fellow ex-sufferer's website.

Donna has been on national television and newspapers talking about PMDD. It is her story that has made me start making enquiries about trying out hormone treatments for my PMDD.

Currently I have a Mirena coil (IUD) to try and stabilize the cramps and bleeding. It seems to be working ok on the physical stuff, but my moods are still terrible.
I have 2 weeks to wait till I can get my first Zoladex injection, which will put me into a temporary menopause for a month. I need 3 months worth to see if it will really have any effect.

So now i'm facing the menopause. With the injections and then, if successful, a full hysterectomy. I'm 32.

Needless to say that this revelation is a very sharp double edged sword, and my head is in a spin. It should be a forgone conclusion. I want this nightmare to end. BUT what if... what if the symptoms of menopause are just as bad? what if I have the injection and nothing changes and it's not PMDD? what if i have it and end up a dangerous mental wreck?

I've had a bad day today, and i'm just so tired..

Thursday, 9 July 2009

A bit about me...

I am an artist with a mood disorder. I suffer from PMDD, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

I've had it since my hormones kicked in during my early teens, but it wasnt diagnosed until I was 27. Up till that point, It was assumed I was depressed. I began to notice cycles, and correlations between my moodiness and my menstrual cycle, and began researching mood disorders. I discovered PMDD and realised that my symptoms checked all the boxes. I went to my doctor, who wouldnt entertain such a thing, so, I found another doctor. By this time I was in full blown severe mood swings, with anxiety attacks and agrophobia, something that I had last experienced during my first pregnancy. Untill I knew that there was a recognised condition, I truly believed I was going insane, or had gone insane. I couldnt cope with being a mother, having a child, work, life.. there have been many times when I have been close to leaving this world forever. From the age of 16, I had been having mental heath assessments, counselling, sessions with psychiatrists, and everyone has tried to get me to take anti-depressants. I always said no, believing there were better ways to survive, but in my years of suffering, I have realised that the only way to survive without medication is having an amazing support system of friends, family, support groups... and even then, it will be very difficult. The chemical imbalances in my body, lead to imbalances in my brain, which in turn, create crazy thoughts, depression, lethargy, agrophobia, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, negativity and a general sense of confusion and frustration.
I have taken various anti-depressants over the years, but my dose had increased and with such a scatty head, remembering to take them was half the problem. I came off Fluoxetine 2 months ago. A choice
made because my life has dramatically changed, I am happier, I have been strong through a whole heap of bad times, I have a roof over my head, two beautiful children and a man who loves me. If there isn't a better time to come off the meds, I dont know when is.

Having said that, the moods are still swinging like a pendulum, and life is very difficult at times. The ups are great, the downs can be very bad, and trying to go with the flow and accept this is a very hard task.
I have have developed ways of coping, but still struggle month to month, day to day. I am in unknown territory now, no meds, but a happier life... Painting, creating and cooking are all things that help, but
sometimes the demons are so hard to shake off that even the doing the things I love cant drag me back from the depths.

I have always been interested in the alternative and esoteric. I never felt like I have fitted in, always the outsider, always the one left behind, but I became devoted to the spritual from a young age. From
faeries in the garden, making potions from plants, to asking for Tarot cards on my 13th Birthday and reading books on ghosts and spirits. Since leaving school I have studied Performing Arts, Art, Graphic Design, Photography, Aromatherapy, Massage and Tarot Therapy. I have self taught myself about Crystals, Astrology, Sacred Geometry, Art Therapy and Mandalas and have been practicing Yoga and Meditation on and off for 10 years. Many of these things have helped me survive over the years. Learning new things excites me, and there are still so many things I want to know about. Astrology is a huge interest of mine, and I still plan to study to Professional level. Normal life is difficult for me. I have such severe fluctuations in my mood, things get cancelled at the last minute, even when I'm in an 'up' phase, anxieties can rear up, and some situations are just a no-no for me. I live in the countryside where life is slower and much more simple. I enjoy my occasional flirts with towns and citys, shopping and nights out, but I feel much safer at home, surrounded by places and people I know.

My Art, tends to arrive in bursts. Like cosmically alligned planets, I have to be 'in the mood' to draw, plus have enough time away from the children to get something started. Once something is started, I usually have to leave it during it's creation, then come back when the next alignment happens! but the painting/drawing never leaves my head until it's finished. I am spontaneous in my work and usually, with very little planning I will attack a canvas. Mandalas take more consideration before I start, but having geometry to work with, gives me somewhere to start. I find Mandalas very relaxing to draw. I went through a furious Mandala creating stage, which has slowed up now in favour of painting, but I still occasionally go back to my pencils and dive into a circle.

I face opposites and balance in so many aspects of my life. I am a Pisces Sun, with a Virgo Moon, so not only are the Sun and Moon in opposition naturally, so too are Pisces and Virgo at opposite sides of the zodiac wheel. Pisces, itself is the sign of two fish swimming in opposite directions. I have two sides to my personality when the moods hit, as any woman with PMDD will describe. Jekyll and Hyde come to mind. To top it off, my Rising sign is Gemini, the sign of the Twins. In Numerology my life path number is 33/6.

I have followed a pagan path all my life, but began reading and studying around the age of 18. I worked as a solitary witch for many years, and joined a coven in my early twenties. I still follow a pagan path, although my witchcraft is reserved for my own personal use, and is something very quietly personal to me. I am a Witch, (if you class a witch as someone who observes the seasons, honours the God and Goddess, and uses knowledge of nature to initiate change and healing for the good of all). I used to wear the symbol, I used to hold rituals and cast spells... but the need for such public and outward displays of my spirituality no longer interests me.

We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment, We are choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside, This holy reality, this holy experience. Choosing to be here in This body. This
body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal. All this pain is an illusion. Alive, I. Parabola by TOOL

Every comment and piece of feedback left for me, helps me keep on creating, it encourages me, it inspires me. Thankyou to everyone who spends time looking at my creations and reading my words...

Wakey Wakey

Well.. it's been a while! lets just say 2008 was a bit mental in many respects!

Good to be back and hopefully blog more regularly!

Love Cat xx
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