Monday, 29 November 2010

Conversations with Fae #1

'Mum, can I have something to eat?'

'Yes, Fae, I'm going to make you some crumpets'

'Trumpets? Trumpets? I love trumpets... I cant play the trumpet, but I'm good on the clarinet!'

Love her..... :)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Shooting yourself in the foot.

 I'm so gutted.

Over the past couple of weeks I've been holding together, focussing on my Reflexology studies and trying to keep on top of it.  It's great to have a focus, and my days are more structured now, as I have to get homework ready every week.
The other project I was working on was some volunteer work.  The plan was to offer my therapist services to a charity organisation that helps women.  It offers support, friendship, activities and therapies to women who are struggling to cope with life, family, kids, domestic abuse, drugs...
I went along earlier this year, but I barely used the services, as I find it hard to go along to things, and I was in a pretty bad place at the beginning of this year.  It was nice to know it was there if I needed it, and I met my art therapist there every week, although that wasnt arranged through the centre.
I now find myself in an impossible situation.  They would love to have me as a therapist there, but they cant allow me to volunteer as I have recently 'used' the service.  This means that I cannot volunteer for the next 2 years with them.  How ridiculous.  Does no-one understand that some people heal and get better in different ways?  Being in need does me no good, I feel like it keeps me in that place, it keeps me believing that I cant get out there like everyone else and do something great.  If I take on the role of the therapist, my stuff is immediately abandoned and I focus on the client.  I feel empowered, I can give good advice, I can listen and share...  TWO YEARS... I may not even be living here in 2 years time.  That doesnt even give me a chance of volunteering with them in the future.  I'm hoping that in 2 years I'll be working part time, earning and supporting my family, keeping busy to keep my head in check.  I need volunteer work NOW! to prepare for the next few years.
The organisation even checked with management.  I am so angry.   I only met 2 other service users, and only attended twice, and that ruins my plans to help, to offer free or low cost aromatherapy and reflexology to other ladies who probably really need it.  Right now, I wish I never set foot through their doors, I wish I never asked for help, cos it's really messed up my plan for getting well.
I am wobbling a bit today.  Ovulation is due on friday, but I have had really painful cramps for the past few days.  I've booked in with the doc as I dont understand why I am getting such bad cramps after my period has ended and quite a few days away from ovulation.
There are other options I can try.  Other organisations that may want my services, but I really wanted to help this one, as it specifically helps women just like me!  well, it did... it doesnt anymore.

Completely and unintentionally shot myself in the foot and feel really let down... :(

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Christmas is coming...

I'm beginning to dread it already.  It just makes me sad and highlights everything that I dont have, and brings up bad memories from the past.
All the adverts about parties and family... getting dressed up and going out, visiting family, fun, happiness...
Facebook is full of photo's of other people having fun.  Why dont I feel that excitement?

Feeling sorry for myself today.  I'm frustrated by my thoughts, no-one understands.  Oh.. look at all those lovely party clothes, make-up, shoes.... I dont get invited out.  I guess friends have given up asking.  Who would blame them?  I have had invites in the past, to various things, but there's been many times when I cant go.  Either moods, or fear has got in the way.  I've missed so much in the past, and it just seperates me from everyone else even more.  My social life is dead, and Christmas just rubs it in my face.

I dont have lots of family to visit, and they rarely visit me.  Some things are just too difficult.  It's hard to put my emotions aside when they make me feel physically sick, and my head cant think about much else than everything I'm missing out on.  I'm hoping this year will be better than previous ones, but how can I stop the feelings coming up.. how do I ignore them?   I cant relax at the moment, I'm stressy and moody and have an overwhelming feeling of sadness.  I'm angry with myself, frustrated, and I feel stupid.  Another weekend written off, and another one closer to Christmas.

I feel lonely.  A loner...  I never wanted my life to be like this.  I always wanted to have lots of friends, be part of something, go out and have fun, but it hasnt ended up like that, and the opportunities dont come anymore.
It's my own fault, and I do realise that, but it doesnt stop it hurting, and it doesnt stop me wishing life was a bit more exciting.  Study, kids, housework, bills, moods... and repeat, over, and over again. 

I'd happily go to sleep now and wake up at the end of February.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

28 days...

New PMDD art!!

28 days...

Lighter later - Help fight S A D

Since the clocks went back, I have noticed a real change in my mood.  Ok, so it's always changing, but I feel like I'm constantly in a heightened state of stress.  I'm still managing on the homeopathic tablets, but since the clocks went back, I'm so much more narky than usual.  I am noticing it because I had got to quite a calm point with the kids, but for the past 2 or so weeks, I just cant handle them.  Stupid outbursts happen before I can even think about counting to 10 and dealing with them in a quiet manner.  It's a horrible feeling, almost like you are going to have a heart attack, or burst, or just run screaming from the house until you cant run any further.
I'm guessing a combination of less activity since I did my back in, the darker days and eves, and kids having to be in the house more are all taking thier toll.
I signed up to support the Lighter Later Campaign.  I also found out if my MP was supporting the campaign, and was pleased to see he was! so I wrote to thank him, and am avidly waiting the outcome of December 3rd's meeting.  100 MP's need to vote in favour of the movement for it to go to the next stage.
The plan is to change the clocks to GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer.  This would mean we would have migh lighter evenings, in winter and in summer, and there are a whole list of other benefits, including a massive yearly reduction in CO2 emissions, safer evenings for our children and more time for businesses to stay open.  You can find the list of benefits here.
It takes a minute to register your support, and about 5 mins to mail your MP from the website.
Britain isnt unfamiliar with this idea, during the war, we all changed our clocks to GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer, to give us more time to work, grow our own food, and help protect us from nighttime attacks.  It makes sense, but people have tried to get the clocks changed this way before and have failed many times.  Eight attempts have been made since 1994, and everytime they have ben 'talked out', which means they have discussed it so much they have run out of time to make a desicion.
This time, SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!! it makes sense to change our clocks to make the most of natural daylight, so please go and register your support and spread the word.

Mad week

So this week turned out to be a bit crazy!  After the article came out, I had journalists on my case.  There are a couple of agencies out there who want to help me take my story to national women's magazines or papers.
With this week being one of my 'difficult' ones, it really did my head in.  Too many questions, pressure and a sense of urgency that wasnt really needed made my head spin.  I didnt get the college work finished that I wanted to, and I've been a bit more stressed out with the girls than usual.

I've had more ideas for art work, and even managed to complete a new piece.  It really helped to get my mind off everything else.  Simple, and some may say silly, but you'll have to wait and see!!
I was inspired last weekend when my boyfriend and I visited Southampton Art Gallery.  We saw the Bridget Riley exhibition.  It was amazing.  I remember looking at her work in college, but to see it for real, and to learn more about her was inspiring.  It's right up my street too!  Colour, how it makes you feel, how it works next to other colours, contrasts and movement.  Portraying the natural world in it's basic forms of colour and vibrations.  I have had some really good ideas for more artwork, and might even go back and see the exhibition again while it's there.  I'm always looking for ideas and imagery that helps me to convey the emotions of PMDD, and I have some plans to do some paintings that focus on the colour red.  Red rage, seeing red, menstruation, anger, warning, danger, blood, life, fire...  all key things that come to mind when I think about my PMDD.... watch this space!!


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Extreme PMT made me violent and suicidal

My story came out today in the local paper.  I am happy with it.  I don't like the picture much, I look tired and my face looks puffy... but I guess thats a good representation of what PMDD does to you.  I also had a huge spot on my face which has been there for 6 weeks now!  Thats just not right.. damn you hormones!

There has been lots of good feedback, and I've been contacted for another story, so maybe this is the start of something.  It would be great to be able to raise more awareness about the condition and help other women.  getting it recognised by doctors would be a start.  A lady on the PMDD Community forum said her doctor said "PMDD isnt a condition here"  (meaning the UK) but they do recognise severe PMS...  Oh my days...

What I do know is there are only a handful of people (specialists) in the UK, and you gotta be very wealthy or prepared to take out huge loans to get thier help.  Doctors dont know what to do, and if they dont believe it exists, what hope has anyone suffering from PMDD?

Monday, 8 November 2010

My story in the paper...

It comes out... tomorrow!

I'm still a bit nervous about it.  I wont know exactly what it says until tomorrow, I dont know what the picture of me is like... and OMG.. I can quite believe it's happened!  I guess I'm worried about people I have known in the past seeing it.. people I went to school with, ex-boyfriends...  I suppose they will all realise why I was a bit crazy back then!
I am not majorly stressing, as I expect the reality is, that it will come out, the day will pass and no-one will say anything!!
At least I have tried to get the message out... that PMDD is real.  It's as debilitating as any other mental health disorder, sometimes more so.. it comes with a whole array of horrible physical symptoms, and trying to find the right treatment for you, is a long and arduous journey.  It's like having a force that is constantly working against you, and no matter what you do, it gets you.  Even when you are expecting symptoms, you are never quite sure when they will hit, or to what degree.  Will it be anger or sadness? frustration and rage, or sucidal feelings?  The guilt is sometimes too hard to bear, and the damage sometimes to much to fix.

Today has been spacey.  Day 3 of my cycle.  I'm pretty calm.. but I cant get focussed on anything.  Lots of things I could have done, but didn't.  The kids are really stressing me out at the moment, and the headaches... urgh... 4 days of headaches bad enough I have to sit in the dark, or go to bed.  My back is still bad, and energy is very low.

Tomorrow will be a quiet day, and I have promised to go easy on myself, but I would like to get a couple of things done that I put off today.  A trip to the shop to get a paper, of course, walk the dog, and an early night are the only things planned.

Achieve something, everyday, no matter how small.... words I live by at the moment.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Traveling

I drew a card today, Osho Zen Tarot. Thought I'd share:

Life is a continuity always and always. There is no final destination it is going towards. Just the pilgrimage, just the journey in itself is life, not reaching to some point, no goal--just dancing and being in pilgrimage, moving joyously, without bothering about any destination. What will you do by getting to a destination? Nobody has asked this, because everybody is trying to have some destination in life. But the implications... If you really reach the destination of life, then what? Then you will look very embarrassed. Nowhere to go...you have reached to the final destination--and in the journey you have lost everything. You had to lose everything. So standing naked at the final destination, you will look all around like an idiot: what was the point? You were hurrying so hard, and you were worrying so hard, and this is the outcome.

Osho Rinzai: Master of the Irrational Chapter 7

Commentary:
The tiny figure moving on the path through this beautiful landscape is not concerned about the goal. He or she knows that the journey is the goal, the pilgrimage itself is the sacred place. Each step on the path is important in itself. When this card appears in a reading, it indicates a time of movement and change. It may be a physical movement from one place to the next, or an inner movement from one way of being to another. But whatever the case, this card promises that the going will be easy and will bring a sense of adventure and growth; there is no need to struggle or plan too much. The Traveling card also reminds us to accept and embrace the new, just as when we travel to another country with a different culture and environment than the one we are accustomed to. This attitude of openness and acceptance invites new friends and experiences into our lives.

My unglorious summer (and autumn come to that)

Dealing with PMDD is hard enough.  It's just about bearable if I can keep stress down to a minimum.  I had saved up a few quid to go away for a week in August.  Somewhere cheap and sunny was the plan, with my boyfriend.  The kids were both visiting thier dad's.

A few weeks before I was going to go away on holiday for a break, my car dies.  I lived without a car for a month or so, then realised that a holiday abroad wasnt going to happen.  My savings needed to go towards a new car.  Half my kid free time was spent at home, then I managed to find a suitable car.  Problem was, I'd spent everything, and even going camping went out of the window.  The stress and extra hassel of not having a car in a rural area, of not going away, of not making good use of the time without my kids, really took it's toll.

I had a back up plan.  I had booked a trip to Spain for 4 days in October, on my own.  It was a dancing holiday, a retreat.  It was going to be my saviour.  I was gonna achieve a massive thing if I could travel abroad on my own, and the retreat itself offered great respite, fun, good food, and peace.  I was getting really nervous, and had a few wobbles about going.  Three days before my planned trip, I started to get excited, and began to compile everything I would need to take, organise what to pack, and borrowed a case etc
Two days before I go, while cleaning and tidying up the house (after taking the little one to school and walking the dog) I bent down to put away a magazine and my back went.  Lower back.. a definate PING.  I knew immediately that this was not good, and managed to walk like a stiff crippled robot to the kitchen  I took a painkiller (one of my usual back pain tablets) and hobble back to the living room.  Sitting down was excruciating, and I knew immediately I was stuck on the sofa.  None of my neighbours were in, so I had to call my man at work.

I was on the sofa for the rest of the day.  The doc faxed over prescriptions for stronger painkillers and muscle relaxants, but there was nothing anyone could do.  I knew I wasnt going to be going anywhere.  But I kept hoping that I would, as if by a miracle, be better to fly and dance in 2 days time.
It took 4 days untill I could walk without holiding on to everything.  That weekend was horrrible.  My mind kept reminding me where I should have been, wondering what it would be like, what I would have been like if I had been able to go.  I felt sick.

Let's just say it's really knocked me.  I had such hopes for what I was going to do when I came back from Spain, energised and excited.  But instead, I'm still in pain, still having to be very careful what I do, and every day feels like a waste again.  My weight is becoming an issue for me again, but even walking the dog for an hour, means I need to sit down for a while afterwards.  I feel 83, not 33.

All in all, a VERY unglorious summer.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Spirituality and PMDD

I am a very spiritual person, although not in the conventional sense. In my early teens I was contacting spirits and reading Tarot cards, by 18 I was learning about paganism and the Goddess religions. I followed my path which took me to The Craft, and became a member of a coven. I have never renounced a Christian God, or any other deity from anywhere in the world, and I find myself now following an eclectic mix of beliefs from many places. In my view, God, Goddess, Allah, Shiva, are all names for the same thing, The Universal energies that surround us.
I became an Aromatherapist, and started using my healing abilities in my early 20's, and ever since I have learned about crystals, chakras, colours, sound, and creation as ways to heal ourselves.  I am currently studying Reflexology, Colour Therapy and Chakra Healing.

All of this however has not cured me of symptoms (neither has conventional medicine), but I can say, it has and is still helping me to find my own way of living with it, and I am now finding more of an understanding of myself, how I work and why I am like this. I must point out that I did 'leave' all my spiritual ideas behind for a while, disconnected, tried living without them, and all it did was make me worse. I have learned a valuable lesson, and am now jumping in with 2 feet on the holistic/spiritual front.  It feel SO right, and although i'm just feeling my way through, things are starting to make some sense.
I'm not saying that looking at the spiritual aspect will heal all, the same way as popping a pill wont solve everything, but I do think that there is something underlying all this, deep within my soul.  Treatment HAS to be holistic.
There are a few others who have opnions on this, and I have included the links to thier sites here.
Dragonfly Psychic - A personal opnion on PMS
Breast Health Project - A short explanation on Sprituality and PMS
Owning Pink - An Australian site about menstruation - A lovely resource!
Lorraine Pintus - Christian view of God, PMS and how to cope.
Journal of Psychology and Theology - An excerpt about a study that looks at a womans spiritual well-being along with her illness. 
AwarenessMag - Nancy Brady's Article on Creativity, Intuition and PMS
Do you use Spirituality to help cope with PMDD?
Do you have rituals or routines that relate to your Spirituality and coping with PMDD?
Do you pray to a God/Goddess for help? Have you ever received any help?
Any thoughts on Chakras and colours?

I'm just throwing this out there, as I'd love to know what others think about it!
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