Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Long blog post is long and possibly ultimately pointless

As of late I have not been taking my medication, what with one thing and another – mainly though, I’ve run out and hadn’t been to get any more.  Seems I really do still need it.  I’m lacking in motivation for anything, I’ve become incredibly resentful of everything and everyone, I feel like I’m going to cry at the drop of a hat (although to be honest, that could be more to do with my hormones than anything).

My lack of medication is totally my fault, the only time I can get to the GP to request it is before work and lack of motivation and sheer idleness prevents me from doing so.  I’m usually late for work as it is so taking a few more minutes to go and request my medicine is a BIG DEAL at the moment.  Well it is for me, anyway. 

At some points I feel like I’m living in a bubble and just observing all that goes on around me, including my own life… it’s like I’m watching from outside myself; watching myself weigh in at Slimming World, watching myself out at the pub with friends… I’m going back to feeling like I’m existing and not living and this is not healthy.  But it isn’t happening all the time, just occasionally, and I am aware of it as I know what signs to look for and THANKFULLY, I haven’t been suicidal.

Over the past few months, there have been a few quite significant events that have happened within my family and social life and I’m not coping at all well with them.  I’ve pushed them all to the back of my mind, tried to hide them; but they keep coming back with a hammer blow to the face and a cheerily fiendish ‘HIYA!’  There are some things I tried to confront but found far too difficult; so I’ve withdrawn.  It’s not an ideal thing to do really but I have to do it; I have to put myself first and not be placed into situations where I am going to feel uncomfortable, hurt or upset.  But there again, when I have tried facing up to these things and confronted the issues, I just get shouted down or ignored anyway, so the side of me that accepts I can’t make a difference, that just takes it makes herself known and I just take these things head on.  Why argue back?  It’ll always be a case of who can shout loudest and to be perfectly honest, I’m tired.  I’m too jaded to try and fight for myself, to try to get my point across.  I’m losing my fire and my fight.
I’m aware this is a rambling shambolic mess of a blog post, and I’m not quite sure what point I wanted to make.  But does there ever have to be a point of a blog post?  Maybe the point of this post is to say ‘Hi, I’m Tara and I still suffer from depression’; or maybe it’s to say ‘Hi, I’m Tara and I lack the motivation to do anything worthwhile’; it could be ‘Hi, I’m Tara and it’s my fucking own stupid fault that my depression is kicking me around’, but I think it’s more likely ‘Hi, I’m Tara.  I’m still here, my depression has shown itself again and I’m trying to control it, but please remember, I’m still here, I still have feelings; some of your actions and words can be hurtful. Please don’t dismiss me.  I’m still here.’

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Today I am sad

Copyright Chris (Simpsons artist xox)

Today I am sad.  Not in a ‘ahh saddo’ sort of a way, but a genuine feeling of cheerlessness.  Suicide has claimed another life, but this time it’s a big Hollywood star.  Robin Williams, known for Mork and Mindy, Good Morning Vietnam, One Hour Photo, Mrs Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting (I could go on) is dead of apparent suicide.  And it’s really very sad.
Williams had well known battles with drink and drugs, and had checked into rehab again as recently as July this year for ‘fine tuning’ of his sobriety.  His publicist stated he had been battling ‘severe depression’.  And now, the usual comments regarding celebrities who suffer depression start:
What did he have to be depressed about?  
I’d switch places with him, a little bit of depression but all that money!
Why didn’t he seek help, I mean he could afford the best psychiatric care.
How selfish.  What a selfish person, leaving his wife and kids like that.
I could go on.  These are statements that are trotted out whenever someone in the public eye takes their own life, and quite frankly they piss me right off.  Depression can strike anyone, whether you’re a big Hollywood star or a little ginger nobody from Coventry.  
My experiences of depression I have had people say:
‘What are you depressed about?  Look at all the killing and famine and war in the world, and then tell me you’re still depressed about your life’.
‘Snap out of it’ (a stone cold classic).
‘You’re just doing it for attention’.
‘I might tell my GP I’m depressed, I could do with some time off work’.
I could go on, but I won’t because it makes me angry and upset.
Followers of this blog will know that I have also contemplated suicide in the past.  ‘But that’s so selfish!’ I hear you shout.  It might seem it to you, the person not suffering with depression, but to me at that time, I was absolutely convinced it would be the best thing for everyone if I wasn’t here anymore.  David would move on, he and my family would mourn and not forget me but then I wouldn’t be there sapping any positivity from them, being a burden on them, the constant crying for no reason, not wanting to leave the house, not getting out of bed… have you ever lived with a chronically depressed/suicidal person?  It’s hard fucking work.  So I thought they’d be better off without me.  
And as for cowardly; not at all.  One of the hardest things to do, I would imagine, would be to actually take your own life.  Standing on the edge of a hill on the Isle of Skye, the thought of throwing myself off kept running through my mind – and I didn’t do it because I was frightened to; it was scary, so people who succeed are pretty brave in my opinion.
Now we will have to wade through the hundreds of press reports stating the method in which Robin decided to take his own life; the Samaritans Press Office have a statement for the press to read regarding how to report on suicide (e.g. don’t state the method) which is almost always routinely ignored.
Can we not just leave him be?  He had his reasons for killing himself and whilst it is actually a tragedy, if it opens dialogue about depression, addiction and suicide, then maybe that might be a blessing.
As for me, I’m still receiving treatment for depression but have recently cut down the dosage of my antidepressants from 40mg to 30mg.  Might not seem a great deal but it was something I had wanted to do, but was scared to.  I’m coping, though.  I’m still here, and for that I am thankful.

I hope you've found your peace now, Robin.

Monday, 28 April 2014

All That She Wants

I didn’t know how it would feel. I just sort of assumed it’d be a little twinge now
and again. I never realised quite how it would affect me. It’s all encompassing and
there’s only one thing that I can do to make it stop… have a child.

You know when women go on about being broody and we all usually just roll our
eyes and think ‘chhh yeah we all get broody love, come on, get over it’? Well, I’ve
discovered there are varying degrees of it, and I’m about set to go into meltdown,
such is my broodiness. I really wasn’t aware of quite how strong a feeling it is. At
my lowest points during my depressive episode, I was queuing in Boots and I started
to cry because a woman in the queue had a baby and I did not. That is of course an
extreme reaction due to depression and having not taken my medication for a week or
so, but that is the feeling I still get. It’s extreme version of jealousy. I want what all
the other women have. I want to be someone’s mummy. That’s all. And now that
my mental health seems to be on the up and all the shit at work has finally dispersed,
the yearning is stronger than ever.

It just seems at the moment that everywhere I look, people I know are pregnant and
announcing their pregnancies via the scan pic of Facebook technique, or they’ve just
had a baby and I seem to forever bump into them in town, the usual chit chat and then
the obligatory ‘you’ll be next!’ with a grin…but what if I’m not next?

I have an inherent fear of not being able to have children, borne of nothing (no pun
intended). Growing up, girls are forever being bombarded with stories of ‘young
teenage mums’ and basically if you even LOOK at a penis, you’ll get pregnant.
Well, not at MY school you understand (Catholicism WOW), but just in general. So
because it comes across so easy to get pregnant (it happens to everyone all the time,
doesn’t it?) you sort of almost expect it to happen just like that… and then it doesn’t.
I am, of course, well aware that it takes time and effort and maybe I’m just being
impatient but Lord above, surely it’s my turn? It has to be.

I’m one of only two in my circle of seven friends who isn’t pregnant or who hasn’t
got children and it’s really quite painful. I’m well aware that ‘it just hasn’t happened
yet’ and ‘it’ll happen’ but that does nothing for the gnawing pain deep inside
whenever I see a friend’s new baby or see another pregnancy announcement on
Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I am always genuinely delighted whenever one of
my friends announces a pregnancy, I just sort of always feel jealous or that it’ll be me
next. We’ve even got announcement ideas (I know, quite tragic really).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really genuinely never thought that something
like broodiness be such a powerful feeling. It’s almost all consuming. It was
something I always thought was just a little feeling and a twang of the ovaries when
you saw a newborn – it isn’t; it’s way worse. And I know there’s only one way to
quell it.

Top tip:  Never, EVER, trawl 'trying to conceive' websites and forums.  They make me weep for humanity.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

New Year - New ME

Well, not quite as we’re almost a third of the way into the year now and there has been no sign of my motivation.  It crept back quite quietly a few weeks back and has been quietly prodding and poking my determination awake.  I am now determined to do something positive about my appearance (long time readers of the blog know I have a lot of hang ups about how I look and in particular my weight).  I’ve always been fat, in my head this started when at about age 5 or 6 at primary school, one girl decided she’d call me fat at lunchtime.  I stopped eating my lunch for a bit and my ma wasn’t too happy with me.  It was not an eating disorder I hasten to add.  It was a response to having been called fat by a peer.  But the damage was done and that word has stayed with me for life.
I was a chubby kid, the kind of kid with ‘puppy fat’ that would go when I got older.  It didn’t.  I grew from a chubby kid to a tubbier teenager: PE was hell and the showers… well forget about it.  I was never really very feminine as a kid, or a teen.  I hated dresses and preferred jeans, cords, check shirts (thanks grunge) and the like.  Shopping was always hell, and I only ever went out of necessity.  I was a tubby girl but still had quite large boobs so still kind of looked in proportion.
Yet since that childhood lunch time, I always identified with being fat because I had to be, right?  My fellow classmate wouldn’t have said that to me unless it was true, right?  She wouldn’t have said it solely to hurt me?  I know full well she will have forgotten that lunchtime in the canteen of Holy Family infant school when she first identified me as fat, but I haven’t.  It was the first time I can remember that fat was used as an insult, and it’s a pretty powerful one too.  And one I still connect with, even when in 2005 I got to a size 12, a relatively ‘normal’ dress size and body shape… not for me it wasn’t.  being shorter of stature, I was still classed as obese – I had a bony arse for Jesus sake, but no… still obese… one person I remember saying to me ‘Yeah that’s great and everything but you could stand to lose a bit more, couldn’t you?’  and the phrase that goes through my head, said by more than one person on occasion ‘You’re too pretty to be that fat’.  To me, that says that says you can either be pretty OR you can be fat… you can’t be both, that’s not how it works.  You see it everywhere today, fat shaming of people, maybe women who have just had a child being hounded by the paparazzi as to why they haven’t got back to their pre baby shape, or a good looking guy relaxing on the beach with maybe a little paunch ‘[Insert Celeb Name Here] looks as though he has enjoyed his holiday a little TOO much’.
And when you try to do something positive and motivating, you can get shouted down about that too.  I started doing the Couch to 5K programme a couple of years ago (it was during that summer of Ireland’s woeful performance at the European championships).  David cajoled me into doing it and I really quite enjoyed it.  We’d run across Hearsall Common for as long as the programme ran for, and I felt wonderful.  I’d never been a runner ever, came last in my first ever school sports day running race, but here I was, being able to build up my running and my stamina and it felt incredible.  I was fearful of others for a while until one night a bloke called out of me ‘Fair play to you love, I should be doing that myself’.  I was on nodding terms with some of the joggers who regularly went for a run on the common.  It was going really well until one day some pricks in a car shouted fat abuse at me.  I tried ignoring it but it was too much to take; I was 6 years old again being called fat for no reason, being abused for no reason whatsoever.  I burst into tears and that ended my few months of Couch to 5K.  I was too scared to go back and do it again.  My wheels fell off my exercising wagon and that was it.
I realise this is just a big old load of rambles, but I’m trying to explain why I am how I am (I’m well aware I don’t actually have to explain myself to anyone).
So, after a trip to the GP this morning, I discovered that the NHS does a referral scheme to Slimming World – I was weighed and promptly referred.  Basically, you get 12 weeks of meetings for free…this is mega because I was actually going to join a slimming class next week when I get paid.  And my mojo is returning to put me through going back to the gym where, around the body beautifuls and the skinny girls on exercise bikes, I can try to fit in, get back on my treadmill and run like fuck…I’m going to try to run away from that memory from when I was 6, away from the car full of wankers shouting names at me but most importantly, I’m going to try to run into a newer, healthier, slimmer me.  I have NOT been pressured to do this, I feel its time to change and I feel healthier in my mind and motivated to do it.
Watch this space.
Darn tootin', pie. We can DO this.
Nb: This will NOT become a diet/exercise blog site.  I promise. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Remember me? I'm the one who had your baby's eyes.

Blimey.  It’s a while.  Tara’s blog of despair and anxiety.  Here’s more rambling on anyway…

So, as some of you know (mainly folk I have on Facebook) 2014 has not yet turned out to be The International Year of Tara Court as I predicted in my final blog post of 2013.  In fact, the first three weeks saw me plunged into more work based drama and despair.  The Union got involved and all kinds.  And I’m still not really free of it as there’s one issue that’s still rumbling on.  But do you know what I learned?  I learned not to care.  I learned to not give one single flying fuck about it all because, quite simply put, there’s more to life.  

Yeah I had meetings where I had been in floods of tears and had had to ask them to leave the room instead of just sitting and watch me break down. 

I’ve also had meetings where I’ve been berated for the most insignificant thing that if I told you, you’d go ‘What the fuck? Are you kidding?’ (to which I’d go ‘I know right.  Fucking STUPID’).  And all through it, my resolve was getting stronger and stronger until I’ve now got to the point where nothing really matters where this is concerned anymore.  If only I’d felt this way back at the start of my depressive episode in February of last year…to be able to laugh at the ridiculousness of some situations, but then I guess everything we go through in life we learn from.

I learned from that last depressive episode that I absolutely do deserve my place on this earth.  Yeah, I might still have self esteem issues and be hung up about how I look and my weight etc, but that’s what the human race do.  We’re never happy with how we are and are always seeking to look and change ourselves in some small way (dyeing our hair) or some big way (changing jobs, retraining, getting surgery because you’ve never liked your nose).  Sure, I’m not necessarily comfortable in my own skin, but I’m coming to terms with being comfortable with who I am.  And how I am.  And my funny ways that wind up the people I love.

It was said to me last week by someone that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to claw your way back up, and in some respects this is quite true, although given that this was one ofthem who gave me a hard time over the past six months (the one who decided I didn’t need my psychology sessions anymore), I declined take it the way that this person had intended it.  But in my anxiety and despair, my suicidal feelings, the whole blackness of my condition, I’m hoping I’m clawing my way back up, cos I’m sure I hit rock bottom… I had to have…there can’t be anything more.