Thursday, 29 December 2011

Thoughts for 2011 and hopes for 2012

So, as Christmas has passed and time is marching towards 2012, it got me thinking about things that have happened over the year, and what I'm hoping for next year.

Overall, 2011 has been quite a hard year for me and my hubby.

The start of the year was pretty pants. I was still trying to do supply teaching, whilst coping with severe depression. Luckily I came to my senses around Easter time and finally made the huge step and left teaching.

My depression spiralled out of control. I had my meds upped from 20 to 30 and was having psychology. However, from when I was assessed in February, to when I actually got seen in June / July, I had already managed to get myself on the path to 'normal me' again - so yay me for that! Psychology has now given me the tools I need to spot signs that things might be getting bad again and I have a plan to follow, if needed.

During the bad 5 months, we were also living back with my parents and trying to sort out and clear out our old house ready for selling - this took until Easter!! I think my depression was so bad and having a hubby that works nights, made it all take so much longer than we had hoped.

I was unemployed for 3 months - which was really scary, as I went straight from Uni straight into a job.  I doubted myself, I thought I was good for nothing and that I would be unemployed for ever!!

However, August - November were brilliant!
I got a job working as a waitress and I love it! The people I work with are so nice and it's a real team-effort in everything.
My brother-in-law had a baby and got married.
We have had 2 lovely holidays as a family - one week in Okehampton and one in the New Forest.
My little man is benefiting so much from living back with my parents - and I think they love having him -  except when he decides that he wants to see them very early in the morning!! Heehee (his routine is now; get into bed with me and drink his cup of milk. Then he either goes back to sleep in his bed, or goes and wakes up Grannie, depending on his mood and the time of day, heehee!)
I launched my own tiny business called 'Happy Crafting' to benefit me and charity. I haven't made loads yet, but I know I will soon ;)

Unfortunately the year ends in tragedy with the loss of my little Pip. I have now nearly completed miscarrying and hope that it won't last that much longer. I will always see the 19th Dec as the day I lost Pip, even thought I didn't actually have the proper miscarriage until x-mas eve (we didn't know at the time, until the docs explained whilst I was in hospital) In my mind, I had already lost Pip and was therefore so much more prepared for the inevitable, when I found out that it hadn't actually occurred yet. She (I had already started to dream about her) will always have a place in my heart.

So, with much joy and sadness this year, I have started to look forward to 2012 and here's what I have decided to try and achieve:

I really want to get into shape and loose another dress size. I have lots of exercise DvDs and my Wii fit plus, so the plan is to get my butt in gear and work hard!!!

I want to have a huge clear and tidy out. I want to clear out all the rubbish and crap that seems to have taken root in our living room and bedroom - and maybe help my mum in her living room and the spare bedroom.
Then I plan to sort through my clothes and DvDs and little man's clothes and toys ready for storing, selling or to go to charity.

I am going to try my best to make enough bags and cards to actually have a stall at a craft fair and make some money :)

I would like at some point (maybe around Feb / March time) start trying to get pregnant again.
I know I'm not at all ready now, nor will I be in January. I said my goodbye, but I want some breathing space before trying again. I'm also really nervous that I will miscarry again, but I have to have a little faith and hope for the best - what is meant to be, will be.

So, it will be interesting to look back in a few months time and see how I'm doing ;)

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Not quite the x-mas eve I expected, but hooray for Christmas Day!

So I spent yesterday (x-mas Eve), in the Sonning / Hurley ward at the Royal Berks hospital :(
I started to have immense pains in my tummy, was lots of blood on my pad (sorry tmi) and felt very dizzy and feint at about 1am. Hubby was out (and his phone died, so I couldn't get hold of him!)
I was talking gibberish (think I was totally delirious!), had managed to get to mum and dad's room, so mum phoned out of hours doc and he came out to me. Eventually I managed to get off the floor for the doc to examine me. He said that I needed to go to hospital and went off to phone for the ambulance.
Hubby came home to find the doc sat in the drive, then to be told that I was being sent to hospital :(

The paramedics were lovely on the journey to hospital and made me feel much better.
We thought that the miscarriage had just got to a bad point, however, when I was examined by the consultant, he said that it was only a possible miscarriage, as my cervix (or something like that) was still closed!!! This got me thinking, where's all the blood since Monday been coming from then??? They can't do scans on the weekend, so they took some bloods and gave me pain killers.
They set me up in a bed and the nurses and docs were all brilliant. I chatted to two lovely ladies in between sleeping and was finally let out at 8pm. I have to go back to hospital on Monday for another blood test and on Wednesday for a scan.

Once home, I spent a lovely evening with my parents and in-laws (hubby and big bro had gone to the x-mas eve curry night) then blood started coming much faster and there were huge clots (sorry again tmi) so we phoned the hospital, as they wanted to know if things got worse again (I don't think they would have let me out, if it hadn't been x-mas day today!) they told me to wait an hour and if it didn't slow, I would have to phone again  and maybe go back to hospital. Thankfully it eventually started to slow down!

So that was probably the worst x-mas eve ever. But, today has been lovely! Little man got us at about 6.30 and we 'rested' and tried to get him back to sleep for an hour, before giving up and opening his pillowcase of pressies from Santa, and stocking from Grannie. His favourite was a Lightning McQueen, that you shake, out down, and then it zooms off!

Little man has been so lucky with all of his new pressies! We've played with his new train set, played his new Fireman Sam 'puter', read new books and he danced along to the singing cuddly dog he got from great nan. He's tried some x-mas dinner - apparently sprouts are 'yukky'! but he liked the carrots and turkey :)

He's now upstairs for a well needed nap and hubby has gone back to bed as well ;)

So, I wanted to end by saying a huge thank you and merry Christmas to all the staff in Sonning / Hurley ward, Royal Berks hospital in Reading, and I hope that the lovely lady who had to stay, gets better really soon and can go home to her family!

Friday, 23 December 2011

I am really trying hard

I'm really trying hard to keep cheerful and positive, especially around little man. I think that he knows something isn't right, as he went straight into my parents room with his milk, instead of coming into my bedroom like he usually does. He's also giving me a little space and playing with Grandad a lot more today - I spent all morning with him watching cbeebies panto and Disney junior! I'm still amazed at how aware he is already.

I tend to have my little cry in the shower of all places!!
I 'm trying to keep my tears to myself, as hubby doesn't like it when I cry, and if I cry in front of mum, she starts crying too!!
I just know that bottling up this pain, won't help. So I'm really proud of how strong I've managed to be around other people.

I hope the pain and blood (sorry gross) stops soon!! At least I've been signed off for a week now, so that should give my emotions and body a bit of time to adjust and get back to normal.

I'm not sure how to get through Christmas though. I don't think I'm the best company and trying to 'put on a happy face' is a lot harder than I thought!!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Goodbye Pip, I love you loads

So, I knew that it was going to happen and now it has started.
Fate has decided that Pip wasn't meant to be, so I started to miscarry this morning.
I am glad that I got to see Pip on the scan and even though 'she' was only with me a few weeks I already adore 'her'.
Pip will always be in my heart and my thoughts.
I love you Pip.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Needs a Christmas Miracle

After finding out that we were pregnant, I started to spot the other day which increased to some blood on Weds. We went for a scan today to see if everything was ok and it wasn't as straight forward as we hoped. They had to do an internal scan, as they couldn't see anything. It showed that something was there, but not the size of a 6 week pregnancy that we thought I was. We've been told that my dates could be wrong (I have no idea how long my cycle is!) and that we aren't as far along as we thought. The other possibility is that I'm miscarrying.
We have a 50/50 chance, so I need a miracle!
I don't want to loose this baby, I already feel so attached (have nicknamed it 'pip') have had so many symptoms of being pregnant, so that must be a good sign right?
I won't find out now until 30th December.
So please cross everything you have, that this is a healthy baby and I'm just not as pregnant as I thought.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Am pregnant again :)

I found out this morning that I'm 5 weeks pregnant :)
Baby 'pip' as we've nicknamed it (little man was 'speck' and I couldn't think of anything else!!) will arrive around the 8th August.
Sooo relieved! Also can't believe how quickly we managed to conceive this time - only took a couple of months trying!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Been busy crafting :)

I have finally managed to get around to more crafting and have made a bag 'red flowers'.
I also managed to break the needle on the sewing machine when I tried to attach the handle!!
Front view

back view

Sunday, 27 November 2011

It's time to speak up!

I just read a fantastic post from www.himmethree.blogspot.com all about her experiences with depression (and of course the recent tragedy in sport today, rip Gary Speed).
She most some really good points about how little depression is talked about - it's almost a 'taboo' to say 'I have depression'.
This got me thinking, why is this? People always seem more able to support and empathise with sufferers of illnesses like cancer, diabetes, etc. Why is depression seen so differently?

My first boss (head teacher) and the deputy seemed hell-bent on getting rid of me from the minute I got my depression back (first year of teaching). She didn't seem to have any idea of how best to 'deal' with me. I shall never forget her first words when I told her I had relapsed and was back on medication 'did you mention that when you applied for the job?' implying very clearly that her thoughts ran to, 'had I known this I would never have hired you'.
To help me further, she took me down capability proceedings, due to my long absence in the first year of teaching. I was told that if I had one day of sickness in 4 months (of my 2nd years in teaching), I would be out.
Looking back it makes me furious to think that I was treated like that! It was as if they were doing their level best to get rid of me and showed no support or understanding at all. I've also learned that loads of people who have long term sickness, for way longer than me don't get taken down capability proceedings!!

Thankfully, they both left and the following head teacher and my new boss now in my new career (left teaching, best thing I ever did!!) are so much more understating and help me!

The past year for me has been really bad. My depression spiralled, my self harming escalated and I was contemplating suicide.  Now, with the help of psychology and my amazing family and friends I am finally getting back to being 'me'.

We need to stop feeling ashamed for having depressions, keeping it hidden as our 'dirty little secret'. It is a terrible illness and the more people who share their experiences the better it will be. People need to be educated, sop that fellow sufferers don't get the whole 'get over it / suck it up / etc' thrown in their face when seeking help,or reaching out to others.

So, to all you fellow sufferers / friends of or family member to a sufferer / fortunate to not be connected with the illness at all:
My name is Mel, I've struggled with depression for 12 years and will continue to for the rest of my life. I did nothing wrong, I didn't ask for this. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, ever. I am no longer afraid to admit this.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Have had the best time!

I have just got back from one of those rare occasions since having little man - real ME time!
I went to visit his godmummy C in London and stayed the night. Only the second night I have spent away from him EVER!
C had organised a real 'girlie' day out and I wanted to have a surprise, so didn't have a clue what we were going to do - and it was BRILLIANT!
Firstly after having a gorgeous pizza in a little Italian near Oxford Circus (the only thing I was allowed to pay for!!), she took me for surprise number one. I had my first ever manicure! It was really nice to sit and be pampered for a change! She decided to get a pedicure instead as she loves having her feet massaged! I have a big thing about how horrible my feet are - unfortunately have these horrible warty things on my toe :( so was really happy that she chose a manicure for me! We went to London school of something-or-other, where because the people who do the treatments are students, they are loads cheaper! The girl who did my manicure was lovely and I managed to help her out by choosing to have my nails painted in a dark purple, which she needed to do as part of her course! C went for a gorgeous maroon / dark red!

my lovely nails!
Feeling absolutely amazing and chilled, we opted for a bit of retail therapy before heading back to her place to freshen up for the evening. I had a fab time window shopping, while C decided whether or not to spend £85 on a GORGEOUS pair of shoes she needed for a wedding she was going to. I was absolutely no help as thought they were fabulous, in the end, she chose not to have them - but we had fun all the same!

C's gorgeous toes!
In the evening, we set off for Somerset House - I had never heard of it and was really excited - couldn't wait to find out what we were going to do. We stopped to pick up supplies for a picnic on the way and ended up being a little late to meet her friend as the queue at Salisbury's snaked round the whole shop! (mind you it wasn't a huge shop - thank goodness!!)
Somerset house was hosting Film 4 events and we set up our blanket and had a lovely picnic and watched a very 'arty' Chinese film, which was brilliant!
Gorgeous setting for a picnic!


the best cinema I've ever been to!!
Unfortunately C had to leave 7.15 this morning for work, but it gave me some time to read my book and do a few jobs to help her out - even though I had had strict instructions not to do anything!
Came home to my yummy little man and hubby waiting for me at the station.
I loved my 'me' time but was also so glad to be home and get loads of cuddles and kisses from my two men!
Having a minor problem with my posts!! This happened in August - no idea how i managed to move it here!! woops!!


Thursday, 24 November 2011

HOORAY FOR EPIPHANIES!!

After a horrible night of hardly any sleep, followed by way too much sleep during the day, I had an epiphany moment whilst having my shower!!

I realized that the reason I was still not completely happy, was that I lack a 'real' purpose in life, or the motivation to do anything!
I have therefore hit on the idea of making a company to sell my crafty things and split the profit with 2 charities!

I am so happy, as I will now be doing what I love most (crafting) and because it's not just going to help me, I will have the motivation to get off my arse and get making!!!

Just had to share my WOOHOO moment :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Things are really hard at the moment

Depression has decided to bring itself back to the foreground again and has sent me sliding down that horrible spiral to the darkest bleakest pit of despair. Well, all I can say is ' Been there, done that, don't want to go that far again.'

I've been signed off work for the week in the hope that I can start to get myself back on track but everything just seems so 'big' at the moment.
I have managed to do some good things in the last few days -
shaving every inch of my body, so I no longer look like Frodo!! (as hubby calls me when I 'let myself go')
I made a card
I played with little man all morning today - but then I had to go to sleep in utter exhaustion for most of the afternoon.
I just don't understand, I really want to do things and have thoughts on what I might like to do each day, but when it comes to it, I lay on the sofa watching movies in my jammies and realise that another day has just slipped away, without me really noticing.
I know that I'm supposed to do things and not just flop in a blanket covered heap on the sofa, but I seem to have lost my 'get up and go'.
At least I managed to seek help asap this time, so it'll be a mini blip, but I have just had enough. I'm sick of how depression can take times that are starting to go OK and turn them totally tits up. I am fed up of feeling a burden to my family and having to rely on them time and time again when things get tough for me. I'm so tired of it all. I've had enough of fighting, as it seems to get harder each time.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Why does it always seem to be me?

I seem to have to worst luck at the moment.

A couple of weeks ago I had the evil chest infection, then came a virus. After that I was looking after little man who came down with his own virus :(
Then yesterday, just as everything seemed to have passed (well nearly, in the case of little man) I manage to put my back out and was in AGONY!
I missed another shift at work as was laid out on the floor wailing like a baby, in the most pain I've experienced since giving birth!!

I'm beginning to think that I am one of the unluckiest people at the moment - one thing after another!!
Or, maybe that's my 3, isn't the saying bad things always come in 3's??
Here's hoping that nothing else will happen to make me miss any more work - I'm worried that they'll get fed up of me being ill and give me the sack :(
Am crossing all my fingers, toes and everything else 'cross-able' in the hope that I will be fine tomorrow and back to work ;)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Not doing so good this week


I'm finding things really hard these last few days.
My emotions have been really hard to control and I've had another blub before going to work today.
All I want to do at the moment is sleep, my body is exhausted but my mind is restless.

I think I've either got back, or still have a chest infection, with coldy symptoms on top, am feeling very sorry for myself!

I'm going to see my therapist for the last time on Weds, as she's moving on to a different role. I'm not sure how happy I feel that I might have to see someone else, as I really trust her and have been able to tell her absolutely everything that has happened in my past. I know that they all share the info, but what if I don't like the new person??

I've also been wondering if I have that seasonal disorder SAD. I am forever getting ill in the winter time and have totally had enough of it!
I've heard about treatments to try and combat this - something about light sources, so think might go and google it in a bit.

At least I managed to get to work and do my shift - I got home just before midnight - so that's a 'yay me' moment, as I really didn't want to go!

Hopefully things will get better soon

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Hmm...not sure what's going on

So, hubby and I have decided that now I'm happy and settled in my job, it's time to start thinking about trying for baby no2!
I've tried not to get too excited and not think about it too much, as it took us 2 1/2 years before little man arrived!!
However, have been having twinges and pains in my lower tummy this week. I also burst into tears at work last night for no reason other than was feeling tired and a bit 'overwhelmed' trying to serve 19 tables!! I thought I had started 'the time of the month' but it seems to have stopped today!
I don't think I'm actually due until next week, but not sure what to think now.

Have decided that there are a few reasons why my body had gone all weird:
1) am pregnant
2) My body's gone funny as have a bad cold
3) ... actually can't think of a 3!!

Hmm...

I suppose the only thing to do is to stop worrying about it and wait and see - but I hate waiting, heehee!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

oh dear, I need help!!

I am completely clueless when it comes to make up! The most I use is cover up and a bit of lippy, v occasionally some eye shadow and foundation (on special occasions!)

So, a few weeks ago I had a Virgin V party and my friend C did a brilliant make over for me and everyone (well mum and mum-in-law) said it looked really good!

So tonight, as everyone is out and little man is asleep, I decided to have a go at re-creating the look with the gorgeous new products that finally arrived yesterday!!

So, things started ok with the foundation that I already have from Virgin V (one step face base) but I tried applying with a large brush instead of the sponge thing it comes with and I think it worked better.

Then I had a go with the Ready to Wear eyeshadow collection - which for me was great as it shows a diagram of where to put each of the 4 colours! I even applied it with the new applicator and blending brushes I got. Not bad, but think I could do better as the colours don't seem quite the same on each eye!!

Satin Shine lip gloss was perfect! (have already managed to get the hang of lippie and gloss, probably because it's v simple - heehee!)

The big problem arrived with the mascara! I have Dream Lashes which has a primer and then the actual mascara - the end result is a big load of clumps sticking out unevenly from my eyelids - oh dear!!

If anyone know any tips for helping me get better results, I would be eternally grateful!!

So end results = not bad, but room for a lot of improvements, heehee!

My lovely family holiday

Ok, so it's been a while and am really pleased that things are really going well at the moment!
We've had a lovely, if not tiring holiday in the New Forest with my parents, hubby and little man. We did lots of sight seeing - saw New Forest animals, went to Beaulieu and Paultons Park - where Peppa Pig World was a great success with little man!
Here are some of my fav piccies of the week:
Paulton's Park -
My lovely family :)

Little man didn't want buggy or walking, so he hitched a ride with Grandad!!

One cute meerkat we saw! I'm thinking of using in my card making.

Little man took mummy for a drive :)
These were from Beaulieu - which again fired my imagination for card making possibilities:
I think that the palace is simply breath-taking!

One of my arty attempts for card making!

and another!

We had the whole Top Gear experience and it was BRILLIANT! Especially the simulated laps with the Stig driving!!

The big kid in my was sooo excited when I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
Finally from the New Forest Park:

I couldn't believe how tame the deer were!

One of the best piccies I've ever taken!!
Now back to work work work ;)





Thursday, 13 October 2011

Have found a new level of respect for pot washers!!

So my shift today at work was a little different - instead of waitressing or doing the puddings, I was the pot-washer in the kitchen.

I had to wear a paper hat thingy and a proper 'chefs' white coat thing, but my own trousers - as theirs didn't fit, heehee (I blame it all on my big bum!!) Then over that a full length apron.

Then for 5 hours straight I rinsed (using a high power jet thing) stacked, put into the washer (huge!!) stacked the clean dishes, cutlery, etc and then repeated again and again and again!!

I have now got the highest respect for pot-washers! It is a never ending job!! I don't think I managed to clear everything once the whole shift (kept apologising to the head chef for being so slow - woops!!)
Every time I could see a little space starting to appear amongst the stacks of dirty dishes etc, someone would come along and fill it up, heehe!

Also have learned a few more things for next time (if they want me again that is!)
1) Pot washing for 5 continuous hours gives you a really bad back :(
2) Pot washing makes you soaking wet! Even my bra and knickers were soaking!!
3) As a result of 2) it is a good idea to bring spare trousers, then I won't have to drive home again with soaking wet trousers!!
4) Sometimes high power jet washer thingies are not as good as they sound - especially after managing to spray balsamic vinegar in my eye whilst trying to rinse the little dish thingy!!

All in all though a good experience! Makes me appreciate how tiring it really is to pot wash - as it always looks really simple!!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

I am so happy!

Finally!
I am just sooo happy at the moment!
I have just got over the most horrendous chest infection - which caused me to miss 3 shifts at work and my first asthma attack in 5 years!
Today though, woke up and have just been beaming non stop! I've been dancing round the living room with little man and even hubby (BIG shock!!) and just had to blog and share!
It's been so long since I have actually felt content and sublimely happy that it's such a nice surprise - long may it continue!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I love my little man!

It's been a few days since I lasted posted - bad me!

I've been thinking how quickly little man is growing up - it really doesn't seem that long ago when he was a tiny little person all snuggled in his blanket and now he is getting really tall and spends most of his time running around the house :)

He's been really progressing loads with his words and for a while has had some really cute words,  sentences and phrases that I wanted to record, so I can look back and think wow!

Here are some of my favourites:

'you alright?'
he's already sooo caring - especially if I hurt myself (I'm v accident prone!!) He gives me a hug to make it all better

'dadda naughty!'
usually has me in stitches! Especially when he woke me up the other morning, just to tell me that!! (and hubby hadn't even done anything!! Heehee!)

'ta-da!'
he made some brick towers and brought them to show us, each time with a huge ' ta-da' as he was soo proud of himself!!

'1, 2, 3, GO!'
usually before he starts manically bouncing on his mini trampoline

'eat / sit / there / up!'
lots of demands he throws at me during the day! Usually starting with a loving wake-up call of 'up mumma!' as he starts to drag the duvet off me!!

'I do it!'
soo independent, heehee!

He also know most of 1-10 (we count all the time, especially going down the stairs) and his colours.

I love the way he keep surprising me day by day with new words and phrases he has picked up :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I'm stronger than I thought!

There have been a few things in the past week that have come along to really test how well I can keep on top of my depression.

To start with there was a big AGM meeting at work on Saturday. I left the hour long meeting feeling very anxious, as there was now a very long list of things that I don't know how to do or get wrong when I try. Added to that I managed to pick up a bug, missing my shift as I spent the whole of Sunday shivering in bed!
The anxiety rocketed as me and my 'negative' thoughts really went to town on making me feel insecure and dread going to work, as I was sure I would do something wrong and get fired!! Hubby and mum tried their best to make me see reason, I've only been there for 2 weeks - I need to give myself a break! Luckily I managed to listen and went back to work on Monday, even though was then boiling and feeling sick!! What has amazed me the most is that I gave myself a break! I stopped the negative thoughts and tried to cut down the 'what if...' thoughts that were running on a loop through my mind! I have never been able to do that before! Even though I had a few tears and was so ready to give in to the negativity as usual, something managed to fight back and turn the corner :)

Test 2 came today. Sadly my grandad (dad's dad) passed away a few months ago. What is worse is that he had stopped talking to my family, again. He was not an easy man to get on with, having stopped speaking to us 2 days before I got married (7 years ago) - he had wanted my mum to travel a 2 hour trip to get him and his wife from London on the morning of the wedding. We had explained that me and mum had the table decorations to set up (we did our own to save money) so we couldn't do that,  he wouldn't have it, said some horrible things and cut us all off. We sent him a big box of things from the wedding and lots of pictures, but nothing. A few years later he got in touch as his wife P was dying. (she and mum had been secretly writing!!) so we visited her in hospital and Grandad went mental - saying we would be arrested if we tried to attend the funeral! Someone must have had a word, as he eventually let us go. Things started to be a little better and when I had little man 2 years ago, things were right back to normal :) However, over an argument with my mum last year, (over printing of some pictures of little man - or something equally trivial) he again cut the whole family off. Mum  kept writing and letting him know what was going on with us all, but never got anywhere. I gave up trying to phone as got the phone slammed down on me. I never found out why my brother, dad and I were all cast aside as well, as he passed away. It was such a shame that he held on to some unfathomable prejudices the way he did. I found out that dad had never been wanted and had not once been told that he was loved - which I thought was awful.
Anyway, today we got a phone call from Grandad's neighbour, who is executor of the will. Little man has been left £10,000 and my brother is down to get something too. Leaving me and dad with absolutely nothing. Surprisingly, I really don't seem to care as much as I thought I would. I thought this would be another devastating event, which would magnify my already slightly wobbly control over my depression. However, I just feel clam acceptance. Obviously he hated me and dad and wanted to make sure we knew that, by this final show! Maybe he wanted me and dad to resent the fact that we got nothing - but neither of us do! I'm so relieved that little man has some money to help him have a good start to whatever he wants to do when he's older. I'm also really happy for my brother, who has been made redundant too many times and deserves something nice to happen for once!

So I'm left feeling slightly shocked by my control over my depression this week! Two things that normally could push me way over the edge and although I've definitely wobbled, I haven't fallen :)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Yay me!

I'm really happy at the moment!
I have started the long awaited psychology and I'm doing really well! My first session was 1st Sept and my psychologist couldn't believe the difference in me!! When I went for assessment back in February, I was really bad, suicidal and in a dark, dark place! Now, she said that I am already doing loads of the things that they spend months of therapy teaching - and all on my own!! She kept asking 'how are you doing this?' and I have no idea!!
It is like an 'awakening' coming out from a big foggy bubble and things just starting to make sense again. I suppose I started to feel like this after the holiday - maybe having some quality time with family, away from all the stresses of home was just what I needed!
I'm now on a new journey, to learn skills and techniques to keep my 'mental melt downs' at bay, or deal with them if they occur! I'm discussing and learning how my thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical reactions all interlink and affect each other, so by re-training one, it impacts on all of them! We're starting to look at my anxiety and triggers and then understanding the possibility of alternative views on situations - having more than one result for my endless 'what if... happens' questioning things, reassessing things. I'm LOVING it!!
Maybe I might train to become a psychologist or something... hmm... then again, not sure I could cope with all those people in pain and anguish.
Who knows what my future holds?
2 months ago that thought would have scared me to death, now it's like seeing a giant adventure, full of exciting possibilities. A new journey ahead that I'm so excited to travel!
To all you fellow sufferers of depression, or those who have to live and support a sufferer, remember life is for living. Bad days happen and that is ok, as tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start with all the potential to be so much better than today!
Loads of hugs to all who suffer!!
xxx

Friday, 9 September 2011

What a great week!

So, Friday ar last! I'm thinking back over the last week and realised that it has been really brilliant!!
I started the week really nervous, worried that I might mess up my new job etc etc. I'm ending the week with a brilliant job that I really love! Also have managed to get back to playing at orchestra (Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra) for the first time  in about a year!! So am really pleased!!

I have been nosing around my favourite blogs as usual and found this great idea on http://mrsscholes.blogspot.com/ (Welcome to the Asylum) about things to do before you turn 30. Well, as that will be my next birthday in April, it got me thinking about things that I would love to do before I reach that mile-stone too!!

So here goes!

1) Try and get pregnant  - we are hoping to start at around Christmas time, but as it took us 2 1/2 years to get pregnant with little man, not sure I will manage this one, but putting it in anyway!

2) Set up 'Bags 'n' Bitz' sole trader company to sell my handmade bags and cards.

3) Go to lots of craft fairs and sell afore mentioned bags and cards!

4) Start saving some money to put as a deposit on a new house - realistically don't think I will manage the whole deposit in 8 months!!

5) Read loads more books from different genres - I've recently joined the library again and am having great fun finding 'new' authors to try! Maybe tackle some of the books from the 100 Best Novels of all time.
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen READ IT
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  9. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  10. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  12. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  14. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  16. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  17. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  18. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  19. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  20. Ulysses by James Joyce
  21. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens READ IT
  22. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  23. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  24. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  25. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  26. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  27. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  28. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling  READ IT
  29. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  30. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  34. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  35. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  36. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  37. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  38. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  39. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams READ IT
  40. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  41. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  42. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  43. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  44. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  45. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  46. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  47. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  48. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  49. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  50. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  51. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
  52. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  53. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  54. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  55. The Stand by Stephen King
  56. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown READ IT
  57. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  58. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  59. Dune by Frank Herbert
  60. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott READ IT
  61. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  62. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  63. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  64. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  65. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  66. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  67. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  68. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  69. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  70. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  71. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  72. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
  73. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  74. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  75. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  76. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  77. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  78. Persuasion by Jane Austen READ IT
  79. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  80. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  81. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  82. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  83. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  84. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  85. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  86. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  87. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  88. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  89. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  90. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  91. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  92. Emma by Jane Austen READ IT
  93. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  94. Siddharta by Hermann Hesse
  95. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer READ IT
  96. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  97. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  98. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  99. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  100. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
So just a few more to go then ;)

If I think of any more, I'll add to the list!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

A real sigh of relief!

So it's been a few days since I last blogged and that is all because I have just been so busy!

Last Thursday, I had an interview for waitressing at a local pub and I got it!! Even though I have no experience what so ever!!! Finally someone was giving me the chance to show that I can work bloomin' hard if only I'm given the chance!!

My trial shift was on Monday and it didn't go quite as planned. Firstly, the deputy manager (in charge as the manager who interviewed me is on a course all week!) didn't have me down on the rosta!! They had a girl called Amy, who thankfully for me didn't turn up, so I was allowed to work and show I could do the job!!
I think maybe they just had the name mixed up and was told on Tues that I def have the job!!! I was so relieved and excited! All of those months trawling through Internet sites and newspapers, to then spend hours applying for jobs and sending my CV to people who would probably have another 60 other better qualified / more experienced candidates than me, to finally being employed!!!

I had thought about becoming a Betterware distributor as well, but there I think I bit off more than I could chew! I've now done 2 shifts at work, running round for 5 solid hours, loving every minute of it. However, I am also sporting 2 huge painful blisters, one on each foot! So the thought of havng to distribute 250 magazines up and down roads in my local area really didn't stand a chance!!

So now I'm absolutely shattered, sitting with special blister stickers that I found down the chemist , trying to think of a pair of shoes that I will be able to wear for my 5 hour shift tomorrow!!
I'm really happy that I have a job that I can do, then leave behind when I walk out of the door! It is exactly the kind of thing that I was looking for.

Next move, set up 'Bags 'n' Bitz' to sell my cards and bags - but I think I'll save that for a few more weeks / months, as money is really tight at the moment!! Roll on my first pay slip : )

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Kind-hearted Blogger Pledge

I have decided to take the pledge:

AS A KIND-HEARTED BLOGGER I PLEDGE TO:
  • create, inspire, and admire rather than compete with fellow bloggers
  • be understanding of each other-- in the blogging community, as well as in the world
  • stay away from internet/blogging bullying
  • speak my opinion freely, while still being mindful of other's feelings-- be tactful.
  • make an effort--no matter how big or small the gesture, to spread kindness or joy to others
  • acknowledge that I will make mistakes, (I am only human) but remember to learn from them
  • know that at times I will post about the negative stuff in life, and maybe even some complaining (I am only human) but I will always follow up with something happy/positive too.
  • believe that this world is a good place, filled with good people.

Herman the Friendship cake



I thought I would post this so that you can try this with your friends too!
(I found the 'starter recipe' on netmums - LOVE that site!!)

Herman Sour Dough Starter for Cakes Recipes
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 Tbsp or 2 packets active dry yeast

Today is day 0.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of the sugar over the warm water. Sprinkle yeast over this and let stand in warm place to double in size. (approx. 10 min.)
Mix milk, remaining sugar, flour and yeast mixture in a large plastic or glass container, Stir, using only a wooden spoon or paddle. (metal stunts Herman's growth!!)
Cover loosely (tea towel?) or leave so Herman can breathe. (I left mine without anything)
Herman doubles, even triples at times of vigorous rising.
Place Herman in a warm place.

Here is the letter to give to your friends:

My name is Herman. I am a sour dough friendship cake. I'm supposed to be worked on for 10 days without a lid on. Don't put me in the fridge or I will die! I'm allergic to metal, so place me in a plastic / glass bowl and stir me with wooden / plastic spoons. If I stop bubbling, I am dead!

Day 1: Take lid off. Put me in a large mixing bowl or container capable of holding at least 2 litres and stir me well.

Day 2: Stir me well.

Day 3: Stir me well.

Day 4: I am hungry...add 4oz plain flour, 8oz granulated sugar and 240ml milk. Stir me well.

Day 5: Stir me well
Day 6: Stir me well
Day 7: Stir me well
Day 8: Stir me well

Day 9: I am hungry again... Feed me as day 4, then divide me into 4 equal portions. Give 3 away to friends. Keep 1 to bake tomorrow.

Day 10: I am very hungry! Stir me well and add...
8oz caster sugar
8oz plain flour
2 tsps vanilla essence
2 heaped tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz raisins / sultanas  or dates / figs
2 eggs
175ml cooking oil (olive or sunflower)
2 cooking apples
2 1/2 oz walnuts / almonds

Mix together and put into a large lined tin. Sprinkle with 2oz brown sugar and 2oz melted butter.
Bake for 35 - 45 mins @ 170-180c Gas 3-4
ENJOY!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

What a difference a day makes!

Today has been super busy but so much better than yesterday!
I had an interview at 9.30 - which I prob didn't get as she was going to let me know today and hasn't - oh well!
At 11 I had my first session of psychology and it was BRILLIANT! My psychologist couldn't believe how well I am doing! I am apparently doing loads of techniques (like allowing myself a 'crappy' day yesterday) and my positive outlook on things, and she said that usually these take loads of sessions to teach and even then some don't manage to get it, and I've started it all on my own!! I have no idea how or why but as am doing well, am not going to worry about it!
Then I went to visit my friend H who I haven't seen in AGES! She is going to be a granny in January - sooo exciting!
To end a brilliant day I had a surprise visit from another friend L, who I haven't seen in ages either and she gave me a cool gift of a cake called 'Herman' who is a 'living' sourdough cake that you take care of and gradually 'feed' (add ingredients) then you split it into 4, bake one yourself and give 3 to 3 friends and it caries on! I thought it was such a cute idea and am going to lovingly care for Herman for the next 2 weeks until I can make him into a lovely cake : )

Little man has had a nasty shock of a night! I was talking to Z his childminder about the problems we had yesterday with him not going to sleep until 9/10 because the side of the cot is off and he can get out. She suggested that we put a stair gate across the doorway to his room - so we did!! He went to be just after 7 and finally stopped yelling at 8.15! I popped in once around 7.30 to encourage him to sleep and make his bed again, and retrieve 'dodo' (his dummy that he had launched into the landing) and left him to it. I popped back in at 8.15, gave him a cuddle and tucked him into bed and haven't heard a peep since : )
I felt sooo mean just letting him yell, but everyone said that it will be worth it in the end!!

Tomorrow is the BIG wedding!! Hubby's brother is getting married and little man is going to be a page boy and hubby is going to ush! Am sooo excited!!
Pictures will follow : )

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Not had a good day :(

I suppose I've been doing so well lately, that this was bound to come along sooner or later :(
Little man has been a complete nightmare today - not doing anything he's asked to do, stroppy, tired but refusing to go to sleep, the list goes on!
Also had a bad day for feeling what's the point of trying anymore?
Have been poorly (which is probably the cause of all the negativity!) and have just got to the point where I am so sick of being unemployed. I'm so fed up with applying for endless jobs only to be told that they had 60+ applicants so I wasn't successful this time /  let me go to interview and I haven't got the experience they need - why interview me then!?!?!
It all is just starting to feel like a huge waste of time! No one seems to want me, little man is really p***ing me off and he's with me all the time at the moment! Am starting to loose my hope! Not worked now for over 4 months and I'm itching to get out and 'do' something - ANYTHING!!
I have no time to make my bags and cards as have little man, there just doesn't seem to be any release at the moment! Had lots of tears today, been a while so not happy about that either.
Maybe I've been trying to keep it all together for so long now, trying to remain positive, that there just isn't anymore left.
Well, in spite of all this, am only allowed today to feel sorry for myself - tomorrow is a new day. I'm starting psychology at last and hopefully they can start to sort me out!

Friday, 26 August 2011

A few little poems

It's been a strange week, but in a really good way! As I said before, I'm really starting to feel a little more like 'me' and that made me think and wonder about my darker times, earlier this year, when things really weren't good.
I started writing poems as an outlet to the madness in my head - some when I was well and some when I was really bad. Today I feel like sharing the ones when I was really bad, then starting to get better. These 3 poems were written at a stage where I was feeling suicidal and was clutching at anything that would stop me doing something stupid!( my family!) I just wanted to share, especially to those other unfortunates who have depression in whatever form - I know the bad, but from the fall the only way to go is back up again.
Let me know what you think:

The endless darkness.

You listen to me when I’m sad
And try to make things not so bad.
The pain just won’t go away
There’s nothing that anyone can say.
My tears fall silently in the night,
I pray that something might show the light.
I’m tired, I ache and my brain won’t stop,
It feels like I’m falling with no end to the drop.
Can anyone out there really know
How guilty I feel and how terribly low?
I feel like I’ve been ripped from inside
Of my spirit, my life, my purpose and pride.
There’s nothing left but an empty shell
In a spiralling darkness of personal hell.


Melissa Wise






My saviour.

I felt you in the distance
Send your support and love
To try and shield and protect me
Like a cold hand in a warm glove.

I felt you drawing nearer
When my hour of need was most
Stopping the worst from happening
Me draining from flesh to a ghost.

I felt you standing by my side
When the darkness was all around
Showing unconditional love
Those times I wish I had died.

I know that you’ll always be there
My loving, protective one
You’ll find me the light to show me the way
You’ll save me by showing just how much you care.

Melissa Wise


Awakening

The light came shining from above,
An energizing gift, full of hope and of love.
The dazzling colours dancing around,
Like waves crashing over the dark, gloomy ground.
New feelings begin to flourish and grow
Happy thoughts breaking through endless sorrow.
A world of new possibilities are born,
A wealth of new feeling emerge with his dawn.
As if waking from some horrible dream,
Strength, belief and control start to gleam.
Like beacons of life beginning to grow,
Lighting the dark with a powerful glow.

Melissa Wise


 Next time I'll post some of my more 'light hearted' poems!!

Things are suddenly looking brighter!

I know this sounds weird as the weather outside is miserable, but it's like someone has shown me the path to take to the 'light' - moving away from the grey, worried, stressed world that I've been inhabiting since Easter.

I think the holiday did me the world of good. Having time to actually DO things, rather than flit around the house, kind of looking after little man and trying to do things like the bread baking, when I the energy!

All of a sudden, I'm no longer dreading going to interviews - I've actually had some now and they haven't been that bad : ) I have one later on today and I'm actually looking forward to it (how weird is that??) If they don't like me, then it's obviously not meant to be! It's like my fate vibe has been activated - what will be will be and all that!

I'm no longer really tired all the time - I mean compared to how I was a few weeks back. I'm finding more things to feel happy about and smiling a laughing much more like I used to :)

Mantra for today: you never know what might happen, so smile and make the most of it ;)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Brilliant holiday

Have just got back from a brilliant holiday in Devon!
We went with all the family - my parents, hubby's parents, hubby's brother and his family and our friend C. We stayed at the Ashbury again (we've been going for years now!) so that all the men could spend the week playing golf and the ladies and kiddies could go to the sister hotel The Manor to do crafty things - I was in heaven!!
Little man and his cousin enjoyed the Fun House area (big soft play) as well as painting pottery and designing T-Shits, oh and crazy golf!

Here are some of the highlights : )

LM and dadda
 
learner driver coming through!!

little man and his first go at golf - looks more like a hockey player to me ;)

super hero S

having fun on the slide

we made a puzzle and were feeling proud ;)

i love my juicy

say 'cheese!'

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Been a great week!

What a busy week it's been!
I'm only going to mention the highlights, as have done so much!

Wednesday was brilliant - picnic at Snelsmore Common, which is somewhere I've never been, even though it's less than 20 minutes away!
It was gorgeous weather! We all sat and had our little picnic and little man and A's little boy played a nice game of kick the football and run after it (with help from K!)
A with M who is only 3 weeks from becomming a mummy!

K with the 2 boys :)











Then I have been majorly busy making bags for real clients!!
I made a huge beach bag for my mother-in-law
patch on one side

patch on the other side













Also had to alter the straps on the 'oranges and lemons' bag and sold it to a friend of my mums, who then also bought 3 of my cards! I have now started A's bag - finally!!
A very productive week all in all : )

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I'm so ANGRY! Not all unemployed are the same!

Really sorry for the need to rant, but there are so many critical people out there who just have NO idea what it is like to be unemployed!!!

I in no way condone the horrific acts of those looters and people causing disruptions across the country at the moment, but I am sick to death of people tarnishing us unemployed people with the
same brush - comments like 'stop lazing around and get a job' have really got on my last nerve!

Do all those happily employed people have any idea how hard it is to find a job at the moment???
No, of course not! It's not like we can just simply walk in to the job office and 'hey presto' one interview and you're hired!

I don't sit on my bum all day, playing video games or lazing in bed! I have a son to help look after, a small business I'm trying to set up, baking to do for the family and so many more other things to do!
On top of that, I have to trawl through web sites and newspapers to find employment - a soul destroying task! There are the jobs I'm not qualified to do, or I don't have the right experience. Then if I find something that I might be able to do, I am then up against 30-50 other people who also want the same job as me!

 No one asks to be unemployed and having to take financial help to pay the bills - I've already lost my house and had to move back in with my parents - I have no other option than benefits!

So before you sit there with your smug 'unemployed people are wastes of space, who I pay to look after' attitude, try thinking about how you would feel in the same situation!
Until you have walked in the shoes of an unemployed person, stop thinking you know everything and judge us all the same!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

What a busy week

It doesn't feel like my feet have touched the ground this week! So many things going on!

My eyes are getting much better after having the laser eye surgery! They are still a little blood-shot, which my brother commented that I look like some scary 'extra' from a horror movie!! heehee.
Hubby thinks that the goggles I have to wear to bed to stop me rubbing my eyes whilst asleep, is like having someone from the movie 'The Fly' lying next to him!
I am just  so grateful to be able to see without having to reach for my glasses, or putting lenses in : )

Little man has had lots of late nights - down the football club, or over at Nanny's house for a BBQ, means that he has been getting up late - which is not too bad ; ) Though how he still manages to have the energy to be running around like a loony, even at 9pm is beyond me!! I suppose the 2 hour naps in the afternoon must help a little! heehee!
However, as usual with a few late nights, we've now got the grizzly, grumpy little man emerging. Thank goodness we have no more late nights coming up, so he can get to bed nice and early!!

Have been to Hobby craft and had a whale of a time looking round! Have started to collect things to start making my x-mas range of cards - so exciting! Off to get creating! xx