Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Drifting

Started another painting today.

It felt good to get lost in the brush strokes.

To concentrate on colour, and forget about everything.



This month, my painting is featured in a local magazine. Which is rather nice.

Click the link below and have a read....

http://emagazines.hibu.com/keynshamuk/20140301?PageLabel=24&Sgt=11



What else has been going on...I'm not really sure. Not feeling top banana today.

Feel like I'm drifting, floating, almost sinking. Fighting to stay afloat.


xxx


Friday, 21 February 2014

Balance

Got some stuff whirling round my brain, but unsure how to put it all into words....may have to wait until I've processed it a little more, as at the moment my brain is a bit like H and M on the first day of the sale. Messy.

And I honestly cant write more than that tonight. I want to. But, I just need to work some things out. Not really sure how my brain is going to do that. Probably time and space is the best bet.

Before I go, top tip for anyone in the Bristol area, if you ever want to find some tranquillity, go to Arnos Vale Victorian cemetery. Sounds a little bit of an odd place to visit, I know, but its so quiet, interesting, beautiful and I really found a little bit of peace up there. (You can walk up a big hill, and see right across Bristol, stunning views....)

After losing 3 friends in the past 6 months, it somehow felt right going there. I've found it so hard to deal with the loss and pain of each friend passing away. I've felt angry, upset, and quite scared at how life can change suddenly. But being at Arnos Vale brought me some balance and peace.  The scales shifted slightly. I cant explain it more than that, and I know it sounds weird. It was just the right thing to do...and it helped. 




xxx

Monday, 17 February 2014

Drugs and stuff

I've probably written about this before, I know I repeat myself all the time....but its been on my mind recently, so here we go....

When talking to people about my experiences with depression, it is common for them to ask me about my medication.

Its a subject that I'm comfortable talking about, and I don't mind admitting that I'm on a high dose of venlafaxine to control my depression.

Sometimes, however, it does seem to bother other people that I take medication to control my illness.

They can say things like, "Well, its not good to rely on medication long term."

Or

"I wouldn't want to keep on taking tablets, you don't know what you're putting into your body."

I have also come across the attitude that it is almost a weakness to be on tablets. That, if I were able to reduce my medication, then that would be a sign of strength.

All of these things  reiterate to me the ignorance in peoples attitudes.

If I was talking about a drug that I took daily to decrease my blood pressure, I cant imagine them telling me to stop taking it. Similarly, who would tell a diabetic not to inject themselves with their daily and life saving dose of insulin?

It just wouldn't happen.

So, why does the prejudice appear when discussing drugs for mental illnesses?

There are many types of drugs that you can take to help you manage depression. I tried 3 before I found one that worked for me.

The two main types of anti depressants/antianxiety drugs are SSRI's (SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS)   and SNRI's (SEROTONIN & NORADRENALINE RE-UPTAKE INHIBITORS) .

 SSRI's  work by having a selective effect on nerves that use serotonin as a transmitter by restoring serotonin levels at the synapses thereby decreasing anxiety levels. You might know them by the name Prozac, Fluoxetine, Sertraline. They generally have fewer side effects than SNRI's.

SNRI's are a newer type of drug, developed in the last 20 years. SNRI's are slightly different to SSRI's in that they work to balance the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. These chemicals affect your mood, appetite, sense of well-being, motivation, and sleep. Venlafaxine is a SNRI and I take a high dose, (225mg.)

Now, I'm not saying that medication is a magic cure. Neither am I saying it is right for everyone. If you can find other ways to manage your illness then that's your decision.

It also doesn't work on its own. For my medication to have a fighting chance, I had to reduce my alcohol intake, continue with some intensive counselling, as well as making some other changes in my life.

Combined with these things, I can count venlafaxine as one of my life savers. I honestly don't think I would still be here if it wasn't for the doctors finally getting my medication right. It has helped to balance out my moods, and now, instead of a dark mood lasting for weeks, it is massively shorter and less intense.

I might be on my medication for another year, another 10 years, or the rest of my life. I don't know.

What I do know is that people shouldn't discriminate me or judge me for using venlafaxine to control my depression.

Its my choice, my body, and my mind.
 
xxx

Friday, 14 February 2014

Some people don't believe....

Just had to momentarily tear myself away from the winter Olympics.

I am totes obsessed.

Especially as we've now won a gold medal!

Wooohoo!

I keep on singing, "Some people say you know they cant believe, Jamaica we have a bobsled team!"

Even though its not the normal bobsleigh, and I'm singing it for GB not Jamaica, I still think its relevant....Maybe I just need to remind myself that I'm not in the film Cool Runnings. Oh how I love that movie.

Anyway.

What else.

Nope. That's it.

I cant stop singing it.

"Some people say you know they cant believe, Jamaica we have a bobsled team!"

Teehee.

Oh I remember what I was going to say now.... I wasn't going to mention it, but it has come to my attention that its valentines day. Now, I've never been a massive valentines fan, but it does have its perks (like fish and chips for tea with Mr B.) But what I do remember, is how much I hated it when I was single.

Not because I was desperate for a boyfriend, but it just seemed such a smug coupley day, and I thought there should be an equivalent for single people! I always wanted to rip down all the hearts from the shop windows, cut off the tops of the flowers and stamp on the chocolates. Quite an extreme reaction, but I promise I never actually did any of those things...honestly.

So, if you're single, and full of valentines rage, let me reassure you that I understand. Let me also say, that even though you think you may never find 'the one' , life can change when you least expect it.

I hope I don't sound patronising or condescending, I would hate to be that. I just know how irksome this day can be. That  although its a day to celebrate love (which I think should be all love, friendship, family, whatever) its actually a day that can make you feel quite alone. I know, cuz I've been there, and wanted to punch all the loved up couples in the face.

Its possible that I have forgotten what my final point was....So let me pass over to Sanka instead and we can enjoy a bit of Jamaican love!

xxx





Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Fallen branch

Well, its been a pretty strange couple of days.

A funeral.

A birthday party.

And a whole lot of wind and rain.

My brain feels pretty mangled and confused. Like a fallen branch that has been broken off, being tossed about in the wind.

Disorientated.

Lost, and left floating in the middle of a vast ocean.

I could have used my time off much more efficiently this week...started a new painting, or done some writing and research. But I just haven't had the energy or the inclination.

Its taken so much energy just to keep going.

Fighting to stay afloat amid the crazy confusion that is life.

I'm stilling doing this flipping 100 happy days too, which I'm finding increasingly hard. Why on earth did I set myself this challenge?! But I'm too stubborn to stop. I shall persevere.

Today is day 34, and I'm pretty stuck for an idea.....Maybe tomorrow I'll put up some of the snaps I've taken recently. Diet coke naturally features. As does my beloved bed...

Oh bed...I'm looking forward to snuggling up in your cosiness later...the place where my mind finally stops spinning and I can push the darkness away.



xxx

Monday, 10 February 2014

We're 3 !

Well, would you believe it, I missed my blogs birthday. Pretty bad form I know.

On the 2nd Feb, this very blog celebrated its 3rd birthday. Can you believe it?

We're 3!

Wowzaroonie.

I never imagined that I would be able to keep up my witterings for this long.

Neither did I think that people would continue to read it.

Thank you lovely readers!

I have now not only marked my 3rd blogging birthday, but I have also reached the 70,000 page views.

Wowzaroonie.

I still continue to get people reading from over 20 countries around the world! That blows my mind. KAPOOW! Not literally, you understand. That would be messy. And I wouldn't still be writing this.

Anyway, although my language skills are pretty non existent, let me try and say hello to you lovely people from around the globe.....

 Эй! Огромное спасибо за чтение :)
 Olá .  Muito obrigado por ler :)
Hallo. Vielen, vielen Dank für das Lesen :)
¡hola. Muchas gracias por leer :)
Bonjour! Merci beaucoup pour la lecture :)
Hello! Nagyon köszönöm, hogy elolvastad :)
 您好!非常感谢你阅读:)
Hello! ขอบคุณมากสำหรับการอ่าน :)
Hello! Dank je wel voor het lezen :)
مرحبا! شكرا جزيلا لقراءة :)

and for those of you in Australia, NZ, USA and Canada, not forgetting good old Great Britain...

Hello! Thank you so much for reading :)

(and thanks to google translate, what a magnificent tool that is...)

In other news, I've had a particularly lazy day, sleeping for 13 hours and then getting entranced by the wondrous winter Olympics.

Tomorrow I've got a funeral and a birthday party. Not the best combination of events, but that's just how life works out sometimes.

Its going to be exhausting and emotional, so I thought I would just rest my mind today, before tomorrow begins...

xxx





Wednesday, 5 February 2014

YOU are loved

When someone passes away, it seems to me, that you always think about all the things you had wished you had told them. I have lost three dear friends in the past 6 months, and so I seem to be thinking about this a lot...

I hadn't seen my friend Neil since before Christmas. Our art group was invited to a civic reception in Bath, to celebrate the work we had done.

Neil did a little speech to the group gathered there, and as always he was witty, passionate, and down to earth. He was so brilliant at public speaking, putting people at ease immediately.

He was also a fantastic poet. Sometimes, he would read out his work on a Wednesday morning, and his poems would just blow my mind. He had such a beautiful way of expressing himself. He would always start with, 'Oh this one is rubbish.' And we would all tell him off, and shout, 'No its not!'

No matter what was going on in his own life, he would always have a funny story or a silly joke that would make me laugh. You could have such good banter with Neil.

Our group is called Tiny Monuments, and I've just trawled through my paperwork to find our manifesto.
 
monument - noun: a lasting evidence, reminder or example of someone or something notable or great
  • to  create a testament to people's experience of life - not mental illness
  • to normalise such experiences and create dialogue
And that's exactly what Neil was.
 
The group won't be the same without him. We will never forget him, he has left a lasting imprint in our hearts and minds.
 
Although he would absolutely hate this song for being super cheesy, (he liked heavy metal music) , if I could pick a song to play him now, this would be it. Its for Neil, and for you dear reader. To tell you that YOU are loved. That YOU have made an impact. That YOU are special.
 
xxx
 
 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Disbelief

At last its February.

Not that I want to wish the months away, but a step closer to spring is definitely a good thing.

After 12 hours sleep, I thought I would wake up feeling refreshed,full of energy and ready to take on the world. Instead, I've been in a fidgety, restless, unsettled, kind of mood.

I always like to have Mondays as a kind of 'day off' day, after working Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but I still tend to feel guilty about not doing anything productive.

So I've just pottered around, started little projects, changed my mind, then started something else...before staring out of the window for a while...

Am I watching someone?

Or waiting for something?

Watching.

Waiting.

Perhaps this is why...

I had some bad news on Saturday, a friend from my art group in Bath has passed away. I don't know any more details yet, so I'm finding it hard to process it. I almost can't believe its true. I certainly don't want to believe it.

I don't want to believe it.

I don't want to believe it.

xxx