Cockwomble!

I couldn’t think of an appropriate title so I settled for a deliciously British insult instead.

“Cockwomble” has to be one of the finest insults, in my opinion. Nowhere near as cutting as that other “C” word, but just feisty enough to relay that someone is a massive prick. Perfect!

Anyway, that’s got absolutely nothing to do with why I’m here posting for the first time since March. I’m not actually here for any reason other than I’m insanely bored, home alone, it’s 1am, and I’m losing my battle with insomnia. So, eating beans on toast in bed and writing utter codswollop in my very neglected online diary seemed like a great idea.

There is no update on my life. I don’t despise myself today though (that last post in March was a bit much eh?). Still take the pills, still up and down with what I achieve on a day-to-day basis, still trying my best every waking moment.

I’m 38 now; that’s something new. I do think I’ve lost 20 years somewhere though. I still think, feel and – for the most part – act like I’m 18. Still a tortured teenager at heart with crushes on celebrities and an endless search for my “cool gene”. I will never accept that I don’t have a “cool gene” or that my DM’s won’t be slid into by one of my many celeb crushes.

There is always hope.

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My favourite things from 2018:

  • Impromptu trip to New Jersey & New York City, courtesy of hubs’ work
  • Sitting next to “Chandler Bing’s dad” (AKA Kathleen Turner…!) at lunch in NYC
  • JT live – always a pleasure , my”DMs” are always open…
  • Netflix – The Crown, How To Get Away With Murder, The Sinner, Ozark, Santa Clarita Diet, any Louis Theroux documentary, Making A Murderer, Plebs… so much good viewing
  • Being at home with Reg
  • Family holiday in France
  • The Tour De Yorkshire whizzing past our house 🚲 🚲 🚲
  • Our niece starting full-time school
  • Our nephew taking his first steps
  • Books – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman), Checking Out (Nick Spalding), and my current bedtime read: This is Going to Hurt (Adam Kay)
  • Music – My most played (new) albums this year have been The 1975 ‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships’, Troye Sivan ‘Bloom’ and Miguel ‘War & Leisure’.
  • My most played songs have been:
  • Love it if we made it – The 1975
  • My!My!My! – Troye Sivan
  • Pineapple Skies – Miguel
  • Honey – Robyn
  • Falling Down – Lil Peep & XXXTentacion
  • Montana – JT
  • God’s Plan – Drake
  • Girlfriend – Christine and the Queens
  • There’s No Way – Lauv & Julia Michaels
  • I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes) – The 1975 (can we just take a moment to appreciate this band?)
  • and I’ve always loved Queen, so they’re played often in my house and car anyway, but since seeing Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema last week, I’ve been playing everything by them on heavy rotation!
  • Movies – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Frances McDormand can do no wrong), A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody are, without a doubt, the best films I’ve seen this year. Rami Malek should win ALL the awards for his epic portrayal of Freddie Mercury.
  • In the thick of it

    It’s bad again.

    It’s Wednesday evening and I haven’t spoken with another human being since Monday evening. I spend my days completely alone, apart from the animals, and for the past two nights I’ve pretended to be asleep when Ben has arrived home late from work/playing squash, mostly so I don’t have to have the “how was your day?” conversation with him and see the crushing disappointment on his face when he realises I’ve barely moved from the bed all day and there’s nothing he can do for me.

    On Saturday I sabotaged a trip north to visit in-laws because I can’t face seeing or speaking to anyone. On Monday I burst into tears because I fell over when Reggie got under my feet.

    I feel so uncomfortable in my own body, it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe – if I could peel off my skin, emerge invisible and run away that’s exactly what I would do.

    My life is not a life and I’m ashamed of myself so I sleep all day. Then I feel worthless and even more ashamed because I’ve slept the day away and I’m not doing anything to help myself.

    I want to close my eyes and wake up when I feel good, but that day doesn’t seem to be coming.

    I despise myself.

    Miscarriage Understood – a short video by BBC Three

    I also just wanted to share this today; a really informative, heartbreaking and honest look at miscarriage. Thank you BBC Three for creating this content (if you haven’t already, check out their short videos on a variety of topics; they’re always so insightful and well done).

    Obviously, I’ve spoken about my experience with miscarriages since my first one in 2012 and I’m glad to see it’s becoming much more widely discussed.

    Have a look – whether you’ve been affected or not – and remember that you CAN talk about these things and, I believe, you absolutely SHOULD.

    Love and strength xxx

    Crawling out from under a rock

    I didn’t go to the gym.

    In fact, after writing my last post – Bath time musings – I didn’t do much of anything but stay in bed, cry at the drop of a hat and try to focus my concentration enough to read a page or two of a book (it turns out, reading the same line over and over again until it “goes in” makes reading a book, or even a newspaper article, quite a lengthy process).

    Then, on my first walk out of the house in several days, Reg cut his foot badly on some glass hidden in the snow. One operation, a paw held together by stitches, strict instructions not to walk him for two weeks and £600 later gave me even more excuse to stay in the house.

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    Reg, thoroughly fed up with his lack of walkies and having this inflatable donut around his neck

    So, that’s what we’ve done for the last two and a half weeks. Stayed in the house, mostly in bed, watched everyone else go off to work and function normally, while we slept the days away. Reg because he’s a dog and that’s what dogs do, me because I have depression and I don’t like to be awake when it’s really bad.

    It’s starting to lift again though. It always does eventually (but it always comes back) and I start to function like a regular-ish human being again. I say “regular-ish” because, even when I’m well, I don’t think – no, I know – I operate on the same level as most other people; I never have done, but that’s something I’ve become used to. A lifetime of depressive bouts will do that to you. I’m not a miserable or pessimistic person – that’s not what depression is about; if anything, I overcompensate on the happy-go-lucky persona because I want to hide the fact that I’ve felt pretty much dead inside since I was a child. I don’t want people to know. I’m embarrassed by this illness and what I’ve allowed it to do to me. I’ve gone through life hiding it as much as I could and when it’s engulfed me I’ve hidden myself away, stayed in bed for a week here, a week there; been signed off work for a month here, six weeks there; and when my employers/colleagues have started to lose patience with my poor attendance, or I’ve been too embarrassed to go back to work after being signed off sick for weeks, I’ve moved onto job after job after job.

    But, Reg has had his stitches out and been given the all clear this week so we’re allowed back out into the world for walkies. I’ve been out every day for the last four days and my mood is noticeably improved thanks to a bit of sunlight, fresh air and twenty minutes of exercise. He’s not up to running marathons again yet (a basset hound marathon consists of being out for two hours, sniffing in the bushes and doing short sprint bursts when the mood arises), and neither am I, but hopefully we’re on our way to building up some stamina again.

    As for the gym – I think it’s safe to say I should cancel my membership and save the wasted money. I’ve done this several times over the years, with the best of intentions, and I’ve never used the membership. I must finally accept I am not a gym bunny and never will be – I know 100% that exercise is what I need to continue the fight with my mental health but I think walking my dog is a good enough start for me right now.

     

     

    Bath time musings

    During one of my “mental health day” epiphanies back in December I realised I am too still, do not get enough (or any?) exercise, and therefore should join the local gym to put an end to all my mental woes. Exercise is, as they say, the most under-utilised anti-depressant and as I’ve tried most of the ones in pill form it’s about time I tried the free, non-medicated version.

    That was early December. I’ve since been for one swim and a brief gym induction.

    I went back to work in January after 10 weeks off and that in itself made me feel good – proud of myself for going back, energised for getting up and doing something every day, I felt wanted & needed, back to my ‘normal’ self.

    Cut to a few weeks later, the end of February, and I am once again struggling with the basics of daily life.

    Due to a couple of impromptu “snow days” I’ve managed to get out of work at a time when I’m really not holding it (my mind) together very well at all; thank you to the ‘Beast from the East’ for giving me a valid excuse to stay in bed all day for the past two days.

    But staying in bed, I know, is not good. I feel disgusting, even more sluggish and weary than I did before I crawled in my pit. But at least I’m calm and not screaming or throwing things around.

    So, here I am with too much time on my hands and my mind turns to exercise once again. I really should drive round to the gym – because, how else would I get there? – and just start slowly walking on the treadmill. Running is not an option just yet.

    I’m sat in the bath writing this. Writing it for who, I’m not really sure? Maybe so I’ll read this back later and ask myself WHY I didn’t do what I was clearly telling myself to do and just go to the gym?

    It’s been a while

    I almost forgot I had a blog. I’m not exactly a consistent blogger but almost 4 years between posts is probably taking the piss a bit, no..? I’m surprised I was even allowed to log back in. My blogging rights should’ve been revoked.

    But here I am; it’s 2.18am on a very cold February night and I’m typing this under the duvet. Husband snoring to my right, Reg snoring at my feet – some things never change.

    In a lot of ways nothing has changed since I last wrote on this blog in May 2014; my last post being about body shaming from the perspective of a “skinny Minnie” – I’m still small just not as small (no longer underweight, normal BMI for the first time in my life). But, my body is still none of your business and yours is none of mine. Unfortunately it seems body shaming is still a thing… so, that hasn’t changed either.

    What else is the same…?

    • I’m still married to my lovely Ben.

    • Still obsessed with my hound (Reg, aged 7 years & 5 months).

    • Still childless.

    • Still neurotic & perpetually depressed.

    • Still remember every episode of Friends.

    • Still know the middle name and birthday  of every member of New Kids On The Block.

    Some things are different – I’m 37 now; apparently you do age one year every year and your skin starts looking like it has old, wise tales to tell. I’m not 100% convinced I’m hurtling towards 40 though; “Backstreet’s Back” was only out a couple of years ago and I was about 16 then. Recount?

    I live in a different house and do a different job to when I last posted. But, considering those two elements of my life seem to change so frequently there doesn’t seem to be much point in going into too much detail about the current house or job. We’ll review again in 4 years probably.

    We’re still childless, that hasn’t changed, but the desire to pursue having a family has changed. I had one more miscarriage towards the end of 2014; it was very early stages – so early, in fact, that I hadn’t even told Ben that I was pregnant before I no longer was. So I didn’t tell him. Not until a couple of months later. I feel so ashamed and upset with myself when I write that down now – I didn’t tell my husband I was pregnant or that I had a miscarriage until weeks after it happened… what was I thinking? At the time it seemed like the right thing to do – the kindest thing to do. Why burden him with yet another loss that he can do nothing about? If he doesn’t know about it it won’t hurt him. No one needs to know. It was over before it even began.

    My thought process seemed so logical at the time. But then it all got a bit much for me and I stopped going to work because I was scared I was going to throw myself under a train during my commute. I had to tell him then. Horrendous.

    So, for the past few years – and right now – my mental health just hasn’t been well enough to even consider trying again for a baby. The thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat, to be honest.

    I’ve read a fair bit about miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and trying again after pregnancy loss. What I haven’t read much about is deciding not to try any more after pregnancy loss. For me and Ben, when we first decided the time was right to start a family (in early 2012) we went into it very relaxed and said “let’s just see what happens”. I didn’t want to be a slave to my ovaries, wielding ovulation sticks and pouncing when my mucus was the right consistency. That’s not to say I don’t fully understand why some women approach getting pregnant in this way – women in control of their bodies and planning for the biggest event of their lives; I applaud it! I’d give it a standing ovation (a standing ovulation, if you will…) if there was a platform to do it on. But, no, I went into the whole thing very casually. I did that because, even prior to miscarriage number 1, my mental health was always teetering on the edge and I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself. I was trying to stay calm, relaxed, having that “what will be will be” attitude. It worked and I got pregnant straight away. You know the rest.

    So, I was already an emotionally fragile being prior to ever being pregnant. Three miscarriages (I suspect more; very, very early ones that I’ll never be sure of) later and my mental health has suffered hugely. There is so much more to a miscarriage than merely losing a longed-for baby; but I can only speak for myself so I won’t go into too much detail about the feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, anger, self-loathing. Personally, I’d carried a lot of those self-destructive thoughts and feelings with me through life already and so continuing to get pregnant in the hope that one would “stick” seemed to be the worst thing I could possibly do. With each pregnancy and each miscarriage another piece of my sanity would jump ship – I need to hold on to what I do have left and rebuild it first and foremost.

    And that’s what I’m attempting to do. I’ve accepted that holding onto my marbles will be my life’s work. Im just in the middle of yet another bad spell of depression and at a bit of a crossroads with medication and treatment options – that’s the thing with mental health; it’s all in the “mind”, you can’t see when it’s fixed or broken, so who knows what works and what doesn’t? I try to stay optimistic; even at my lowest ebb I’ve always got my ridiculous sense of humour.

    I know at this time in my life, and with miscarriage having been such an issue in recent years for me, most people do put my mental health problems down to that. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Miscarriage is a horrible thing to happen to anyone and, yes, it made me so sad – traumatised for a while too – but I know that depression would’ve still plagued my life even if I’d had successful pregnancies. I often wonder now, if I’d been lucky enough to have those precious babies, would they suffer because of my poor mental health? Would they be genetically predisposed to suffer from depression or anxiety? Would I even have my babies with me or would I be unable to look after them? My mind and mood has been so unpredictable in the past few years that I’m honestly not sure.

    I don’t feel sad writing any of this. I feel very accepting of my circumstances and fortunate that I’ve got the support around me that I have. I don’t know what my future holds, I don’t even think about it any more, but I’ll carry on with my pursuit of sanity and see where the wind blows me.

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