Saturday, April 12, 2014

Moving Forward

Craftymama and I are on our way to making changes in our family. We are moving to a more vegan-esque style of eating, much to the boys' dismay I'd imagine. She has planted things. She makes our own bread and rice milk - I just need to get used to it in my morning coffee. I depend on my morning coffee greatly.

I'm going to start running again, I did it once a couple of weeks ago, and it was hard - but it felt good. I need to shed this extra weight. I feel capable of making changes on a personal level so I need to act on that while it is is still here because I don't know how long it's going to last for this time around.

J is nearly mobile now, he pushes himself around on his belly when he is on the floor - though he spends most of the time in one of our arms. LittleR has entered a very attitudey place and I don't like it one little bit. She has always had the ability to press my buttons in a way none of the other kids can, and she is doing that. BigR is enjoying Spring Break away from school. He knows he is going to be homeschooled next year.

We were looking into the 4H program for him as an activity to do, and it is right up his alley. There isn't a program for his age group running in the cowichan area though, so we would have to start one. That's something I am considering. I have to stop assuming all group programs are going to be like the one I was in, because they won't be. I need to give it a chance.

We went to Victoria the other day for a day trip and had so much fun. We went to this neighbourhood called Fairfield, and it was so adorable and cute, and I would move there in a flash - even though I despise Victoria. I am still hoping we get to Salt Spring Island next week, craftymama has never been, and I'd love to take her and the kids.

Still trying to figure out what to do about the house, but decisions are coming. Sooner rather than later. Also trying to figure out what to do for work. We have some ideas, and if we could turn those ideas into actual money making things then we would be set. But, who says you have to work a 9-5 Monday to Friday job. We have done nothing else the normal way in our lives, why start now?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Happy

I went to see my psychiatrist today, and having had such good results with the ECT already we decided on a tapering off and maintenance schedule. I will taper off down to once a month, and then go once a month until September, then we will see if the meds hold me. This excites me, and scares me. ECT is working, and I don't want to mess with that, but I don't want to fry my brain either. I have forgotten things, but thankfully Craftymama has been there to help me. I don't know what I would do without her. I have never had someone who gets me like she does in every sense of the word. I'm gonna hold on to her :)

We need to figure the mortgage stuff out, as well as figure out whether or not I am able to go to school to do my waldorf teacher training. It's not that I want to go back to work, I could very easily get used to not working and getting to be with everyone all the time, it's that I should go back to work. I am not trained or skilled in anything anymore. I could go back to my old job, but I don't honestly think they want me back. My degree, now 7 years old, is essentially useless, so I need to do something else. Being a teacher has always called to me in some way, and I would love the opportunity to teach in a Waldorf environment, it's suited to me I think.

Craftymama is busy planting a whole array of garden stuff, much to my chagrin. I mean, I want to grow our own stuff, and we have signed up for a local CSA, but I don't want to get anything established in the house we are at, because I don't want to be there for much longer. I want to find a way to get out of the house, into a place we love. The idea of communal living with another family really appeals to me, and there is a family I would definitely do that with, but how to approach that with them. That's where I see my family - living communally with this other family (who I won't name yet), and growing a lot of our own stuff. I'd teach, the male of that family runs a carpentry thing I think, and that's how we'd get by. I have visions, I have dreams, and the better and happier I feel the more I really want to make them a reality. It can happen. I know it can. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

We Move On

Changes are coming all around to me and my family. Craftymama and I watched a movie about food that is completely changing the way we eat for the better. We are going to be making decisions soon on what to do about the housing situation we are currently in. I am going to try to go to the West Coast Institute for Waldorf Teacher Training. My ECT continues on, and things are improving, though the memory stuff is getting a bit harder. I woke up from my last session on Thursday and couldn't remember where I was or who was picking me up,.

I have picked up my knitting again, and I am toying with the idea of starting to run again. The surprising thing is neither of these thoughts overwhelm me. My thoughts aren't as negative and overbearing as they once were - it's a nice change.

BigR will be homeschooled next year, we need to order the materials, that's a firm decision. We have decided to stay in the area so the other kids can continue going to this school for as long as it's a good fit for them.

My sister, E, checks in on me after every ECT session, just to see how I am. It feels genuine, which is nice. This, in contrast, to my mother, who seems skeptical and not supportive of my decision to undergo shock therapy. I  know she is worried about me, but I just wish she could find a way to be supportive of my decisions - any of my decisions, ever.

J is getting so big. He is 4months old now, and is such a big baby. He is heavy to carry around, and with my muscle weakness from the ECT, I feel awful that I can't hold him for long periods of time. I wish I wrapped him more, I have a gorgeous Indio wrap that is just dying to hold a baby. I really really want a rainbow wrap, but I can't justify getting one when I hardly wear him with the one I have. I will regret this when he is older I know.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hope

I had my second ECT treatment on Thursday. It went much better. I wasn't sobbing or hysterical. I was calm and collected. I asked questions this time: like about whether or not you need training to actually do ECT (no, it isn't mandatory, by the Dr. doing mine is certified). I was coherent enough right when I woke up to be able to tell them, when they asked me, what meds I was on and what dosages I was taking. It was weird to not be so confused. The headache started nearly instantly, and the body aches never completely went away from the first time - but I am kind of used to them now and don't really notice them unless I pick up the kids, or carry heavy things. The amazing thing was on my drive home the next day I starting crying. For the first time in an insanely long amount of time I felt happy. Like truly happy. It was overwhelming. The feeling lasted for about 6 hours, and then I returned to my usual state - but it gives me hope. I haven't had a lot of hope lately.

I've been thinking about my old job. I've been wondering if they actually want me back or if this medical issue of mine was just a convenient excuse for them to fire me without having to feel too guilty about it. I am still incredibly...hurt? I don't know at no longer being there. I honestly felt like it was my baby too. If it ever gets to where we intended it to be, it's going to be hard for me not to be involved. I don't know that I'll go back. It won't be the same. I will always feel looked at. I doubt they will ever give me any major responsibility because they will be afraid it will overwhelm me. I don't want to be treated with kid gloves. I will miss them. They were truly like a family to me.

It's time now to start thinking about what I and we are going to do next. Where do we want to live? How do we want our lives to look? We both know that living the 'typical' 'expected' 'normal' lifestyle didn't really make either of us happy. We want to get back to the basics. We don't really know what that looks like. We are currently trapped in this house, and stuck waiting to see if I've been approved for both the capitalization program through our mortgage company and for disability benefits. We are in limbo and it's very difficult to make plans.

Several people have again thrown the idea of being a waldorf teacher at me. I am considering it. But there still is the issue of paying for tuition and books and what not. I can't take out student loans for it. I need to figure something out, and soon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

First ECT Treatment

I had my first ECT treatment yesterday. I was beyond scared. I was sobbing like a baby, and I still couldn't catch my breath by the time they put the oxygen mask on me and put me under.

My anesthesiologist was the roughest man in the world. I think he blew the vein in my hand. The psychiatrist was supremely nice and did her best to calm me down while they were prepping me by talking to me about Jamaica.

I woke up and was completely confused. The only thing I could focus on is the fact that I didn't know who was picking me up and where I was going. They told me it was Craftymama's dad. Eventually I was ready to go, and I do not remember the drive back to his house at all. I remember he made me a salad and it hurt to touch my teeth together to chew. He asked me about our van fiasco from earlier in the week and I couldn't remember it happening at all for a bit. Him and his wife offered to drive me home, and I accepted. Going to sleep in my own bed sounded nice.

Today I am sore from head to foot. My bones and my muscles ache tremendously, and my headache has been growing in intensity all day. It also is difficult to swallow, which I will bring up with them on Thursday before my next session, I don't think that's usual.

I go back Thursday afternoon for my next treatment, and every Monday and Thursday after that for 5 weeks total. Obviously, after the first one there isn't any emotional change. Craftymama's dad will be my ride and my housing during treatments as I can't drive myself home until the day after I have them. They are good people. They called me family, and told me to stop thanking them for helping me.

I am hoping on Thursday that I am not nearly as scared and nervous as I was yesterday. I am hoping I see some good out of shocking my brain. Hope is something that I haven't had for quite some time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And If You Close Your Eyes...

Sometimes the best intentions are simply not enough. For my mental health issues I have tried 17 different medications, and 4 different forms of therapy. I have tried. I have cried. I have given up only to pull myself back together and try again. This time, I'm trying Electro Convulsive Therapy - ECT. This decision has not come lightly or easily, it is not made without fear. It is made with some hope though. Hope that my brain will get a bit of a restart so that this next form of therapy I am going to be trying will have a better shot at working. In order to get the ECT I had to get a second opinion from another psychiatrist. You need two yes's before you're allowed to undergo treatment. In that appointment, I was reminded that when I was diagnosed bipolar, I was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. It's not that I had forgotten, it's that I had been dealing with the extremes of bipolar that the thought that the borderline could be affecting things never entered my mind. But it explains why the medications never completely helped me. This revelation has crushed another part of me. But, my original statement - good intentions not being enough - I told someone that I was trying to get ECT, someone close and who loves me a great deal, and who matters to me a great deal, and instead of support or encouragement I was shot with all the negative effects of ECT, how dangerous it was. After confronting said person about how unhelpful that was, I was merely told that she "hoped it worked out for me" and that I "get what I want". So passive aggressive. So annoying. So not helpful.

The kids are doing well. It has pretty much been decided that we will be homeschooling R next year. K will most likely be attending grade 1 at the school, and the little kids will continue on on their ECE journey. This decision was actually one of the easiest ones that needs to be made.

The pressing ones include the mortgage payments, the bills, where I'm working and how, when EI and disability will kick in, what we want our lives to look like. It's the huge stuff that's up in the air right now. We are deciding what our lives will be, what our goals and dreams are and how to best go about attaining them. This is not an easy thing.

J is 4 months old today. He is 16lbs 14oz and is 26.75" long. He rolls over both ways and has two teeth - he is already eager to get big - much to craftymama's chagrin. BigR is mopey, miserable and sad as a result of his current schooling experience. He has yet another new teacher. K is *still* 6-year-changing it up and is full of attitude and entitlement, it exasperates me every single day. M, well, M is so hard. All of his emotions are expressed as anger, but at his core he is so sweet. He is so affected by media and video games (which cableman allows them to utilize), as well as his bloog sugar level. Though we often joke that BigR needs routine and schedule because he is the most sensitive - M is really the kid that needs the most structure. Without it, he loses his place both within himself and the world. LittleR is still weird. She tells us she has an ocean unicorn in her room named Giraffey who cries chocolate tears. That pretty much sums her up. Craftymama and I are surviving. We are forging a path to happiness, and doing so takes its toll on us as individuals and as a couple. But, we will survive this.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end

We are all human. We all have flaws. I have many.

Last entry I was talking about needing to find a new career path, a new calling. My hand has been forced. I wish not to get into the details, those are for other spaces of mine. But, we all know I am bipolar, and we all know I struggle. I have been struggling, and it caught up with me - in a major way. I had a meeting on Wednesday, and at that meeting it was strongly encouraged that I take a medical leave "until i get my shit together." I am without work. I am without a job. I am without a way to support my family.

The shock of this has not worn off in the last 3 days. Yesterday I picked up my box of belongings that had accumulated. 4 years - one box. As I said last entry, I have been with that company since before it was born, it has been built partially on my back and because of my hard work. We are just about to enter into a huge growth spurt - we have signed cheques from investors in both Canada and the United States. We are starting our build-out to comply with Canadian Regulations. This is what we have been working for for 4 years - and I am no longer a part of it. I am welcomed to come back when my shit is together, they want me to come back. But it's not the same, it will never be same.

I have no idea what we are going to do, or how we are going to survive this. I have applied for the benefits I am entitled to, but, I don't know.

I have failed in my role in the family. I have failed myself. I have let people down. This is a rough spot for our family. Things need to be revisited, plans need to be made, and we need to move forward - somehow.

You are never too old, too sick, or too tired to start again from scratch.