The Teething Saga

It’s 2:10pm and I’m sitting in my living room on my laptop, sipping a cold drink with my gorgeous daughter asleep in her swing with a soft lullaby playing. This is not an accurate picture of parenting. An accurate picturing of parenting for me is 2am, top soaked in sick and milk, a crying baby who doesn’t want to be put down and a dirty nappy on the side. At least that’s the accurate parenting picture of me at the moment.

Even as I just finish writing that paragraph, my daughter bursts into tears.

It’s been pretty rough the last few months. My daughter cluster fed for a few days and then slept most of the day away after that and that was the growth spurt. Then a clear sailing day. Then teething.

It is now 2:25pm and after a nappy change, I am now typing this one handed as I breastfeed my 7 week 6 day old child.

Teething is horrible. It’s having a migraine and a hangover while someone repeatedly yells high pitch noises at you and you’re the only one who can stop it. Horrible. My partner went to Boots once it started and asked what can you give for teething to a 6 week old and the man sold him some powders and yells, got home for me to read they’re all recommended for 3 month old babies. For a week we had this teething stuff in the house we avoided using until we couldn’t take it anymore and ended up using the gel on her. It soothed it. For a week we tentatively used the gel when we just couldn’t stand her being in pain. I ended up going back to the shop and rather than ask, I looked at the packets to find there are powders for one month and above… It was a game changer.

I was pretty pissed though as she suffered an extra week because they wanted more money (because figures everything they sold my partner was the expensive stuff). When she woke up this morning, she was congested and seemed like she had a cold so we skipped the library group. My dad says thats a good sign that the worst of the teething (for the moment) is over. Here’s hoping.

Teething though is a pretty frustrating time and it means a lot of sleepless nights. I do the night shift as my partners working but when you’re on only 4 hours sleep in almost 50 hours, things begin to get to you. The crying for instance. In the last week there have been 3 nights where I have sat over my daughter, crying, saying I can’t do it any more. The first night it happened, I got a bit of sleep the next day and it seemed okay. Next time it happened, again I got some sleep and I felt better when I woke up but despite being on more sleep I just began to feel lousier and lousier as the day went on. She’s still my daughter, I will protect her and that’s why I keep repeating this sentence: “I love her, I do. I want what’s best for her and that’s not me.” I said my partner should move back to his family and they can help him look after her.

I haven’t looked into postnatal depression or even postnatal anxiety like my health visitor thinks I have. I know I’m probably beginning to develop it. I don’t know what I’ll do if I am.

Purple hair and a growth spurt.

My partner doesn’t like my dad. Never really mentioned this in previous posts but he’s never really liked him. It’s been getting worse though recently. My dad is pretty petty. An example is that I came home having forgot the bread he asked for, I sincerely apologised but he still had to make nasty comments about it and then gave me silent treatment for a bit before going out to pick my brother up and then when he came back, everything was better. I later explained to him that I forgot because my daughter was crying due to reflux and being hungry and the only way I could settle her was walking and bouncing the pram. He told me “not to use her as an excuse”. Don’t need an excuse, that’s what happened.

The next day we were going on a walk again and asked if he wanted anything. He started on about the bread again and I said “I’ll get you the bloody bread and hit you with it just for principal”. Before I left I said to him: “seriously though, do you want anything?” And he said no. It’s pretty obvious where this is going. When I got back, he asked where the bread is.

I think one of the worst things he’s done recently is comparing the fact I was struggling as when he was 22 he had 3 kids to look after. Firstly, only one was his and a newborn and the other two were his step kids. Secondly, you can’t compare situations like that. Thirdly, why did he have to make me feel so bad? I struggle with one but he can cope with three. Makes me feel shit.

My partner avoids him, if he can. I’ve begun to avoid him. My daughter is going through the 3-6 week growth spurt marked by being more fussy, less sleep, eating more and just generally being different from herself. I spent all night awake last night (except about an hour at about 6am until 7am) feeding her as she kept coming off, crying partly due to reflux and partly just fussy. The reflux means she needs gaviscon (a kind of antacid) and you can give it through a little medicine injector straight into their mouth but I know she’ll spit it out so we mix it in expressed milk. I came down stairs to get some of the expressed milk at about 10am and I usually, if I need to do something, give my daughter to my dad and do it but he was making tea (so boiling water) and dealing with my brother’s uniform and other stuff and she was very fussy, so I decided just to struggle one handed.

My dad then made a comment about how I usually get him to hold her and I said “you were making tea, with boiling water!” and honestly, I was tired and just annoyed and rather than feed her the milk downstairs like I usually would do, I just went off upstairs.

I think my biggest source of stress isn’t my month old baby but my dad. He likes to put me down, make me feel bad, use the silent treatment on me. Honestly, I’m pretty sure this is why I’m depressed. Also would bet that’s why my partner is depressed.

Add my depression to my current body issues and has my daughter got some fucked up parents? Due to breastfeeding I’ve currently hit DD boobs. Awesome. Also gone down to an 8-1o UK size waist (tend to have to get 10-12 though due to my boobs). I actually haven’t got stretch marks really from pregnancy but I’m feeling so down about my body, as far as I’m concerned, I’m fat and ugly and so to cheer myself up, my partner dyed my hair purple and it came out amazing if I do say so myself. My brother liked it. My dad just shrugged… He’s always one for the confident boosters. We’re still looking to move and we really want to be out by Christmas but it isn’t looking like that’ll happen any time soon.

Baby’s First Month

The first month has been rough. Today my daughter is a month old and it’s been a tough experience. My partner went back to work on Tuesday and so for the last 3 days I’ve been looking after my daughter on my own.

In all honesty, I spent most of my partners paternity leave secretly pissed off. He took a month off (two weeks paternity and two weeks holiday unlike most dads who just take paternity) to help in case I developed mental health issues. One of the biggest triggers to that is lack of sleep but I found myself with majority of the night shifts and sleeping 1-4 hours a day. My partner in that whole month maybe did 3 night shifts and that includes the first night in the hospital where I was in too much pain to walk or stand. The next was a few days later and there was an odd one during that month. That’s because the night he did it out the hospital (where he was fairly caught up on sleep) in the first week, he got annoyed and told her to shut up and later admitted he had been feeling down about everything and it sounded like he was describing postnatal depression. I could cope with less sleep so I took over.

When she was 8 days old, we took her to see my partner (GC) family. I was working on very little sleep and we spent 1 and a half to 3 hours at 3 different houses with his family. The first house I coped well, actually enjoyed it despite the fact it was his SIL. Second house was his sister who wouldn’t give me the baby back for the time we were there except for a feed. Her kids held the baby which was nice. But there was barely any talking so my partner found it boring. We then went up to his aunties.

Everyone was forewarned we were coming up.

We came up and she had her at least 6 cats in the same room as where myself, her, my daughter and partner had to sit. The cats getting cat hair everywhere and jumping in the pram. Despite the fact she’d promised if we came over, the cats would be out the way. So I was pretty angry and then one of the cats snared my jeans (which doesn’t sound like a big deal but they’re the only ones that fit well so don’t need them ruined). Coupled with the lack of sleep, postpartum pain, lack of food and drink, how angry I was and the fact I hadn’t actually held my daughter in about 4 hours. I just didn’t want to hold her. I feel horrible about that but it’s true. I didn’t want her near me I felt so down and like the bond between us had gone. Whenever my partner handed her to me I passed her off back to him or just held her like Rachel did Ross’ son in FRIENDS.

When we got home, rather than ask how I’d like to feed my child, he went and used one of the bottles of expressed milk. I went upstairs, but angered myself and came back down and told him if he thinks I’m doing such a bad job he can do it all and I’ll move the moses basket to his side of the bed. He told me he didn’t think I was doing a bad job but we should move the basket. So I went upstairs and chucked the basket onto his side. Laid down for a few minutes and then just got up and walked out of the house.

I never told my partner I thought about getting on the bus or the train and just not coming back. I just walked down to the shops with half working headphones and brought a ribena before heading back. I was gone about half an hour and as I was heading back GC met me and I told him off for coming – “arent I allowed to go and get a drink without being hassled”. GC tried to talk to me but I didn’t want to hear it. We came home and I just went to bed, rushing past my daughter. GC followed me up and we talked. I can’t remember what was said. All I remember was ending up crying because I wanted my daughter and ended up cuddling her most of the night.

I had a few wobbles but it was easier with my partner taking over the mornings and getting some sleep without waking, worrying if my kid is okay. I don’t think I truly appreciated it until he went back to work. I also don’t think the added stress of trying to not wake him up helps.

But since he went back to work, the tearful episodes have increased. I’ve felt more overwhelmed and upset, overprotective, sad… I guess depressed. I don’t know if it’s ‘normal’ depression or postnatal depression but I’m really struggling.

38 weeks: Gestational Diabetes.

The last week or so has been a whirlwind for me. I saw my midwife on 6th July and my fundal height was 5cm below where it should be, had a scan the next day and baby was measuring above the 90th percentile and had a scan review – they were pretty confused as to how the baby can be big but the fundal height was small. I got booked for a gestational diabetes (GTT – Glucose Test) for the next day and it came back that I have gestational diabetes.

In all fairness it does make sense, I mean the symptoms are pretty similar to pregnancy except the extreme thirst I get especially after dinner and it turns out the reason for that is because of GD. I got the results on the Monday (I was supposed to get them on the Saturday before) and on the Wednesday I was booked in to see the diabetics nurse and dietician. The dietician wasn’t great, she repeated a lot and could have cut her section down to 10 minutes with just a “these are the levels in food you need to know, here’s a few suggestions”, after was a one on one with the diabetic nurse who put me in as high priority with an appointment yesterday at the diabetics clinic. The next bit was teaching you how to use the monitor. Four times a day I have to prick myself with a little needle and write down the result. It’s tedious and I feel sorry for the people who have to do it for months. Or even years if they actually have type 1 or 2. To be honest though, diet controlled works for me and I know sometimes that diet controlled only works for a small amount of time but I have a small amount of time left.

The diabetes clinic was an appointment with: a nurse, an obstetrician and a dietitian. The nurse did my blood pressure and urine. The dietitian told me to just follow the diet laid down the day before. The obstetrician is where things got more interesting. She told me I could ONLY go to term but that really due to the size of the baby they want to induce. She gave me a membrane sweep in the hope of moving things along – if you don’t know what that is, I’ll tell you. The doctor gloves up, shoves fingers far into you (further than any person has ever fingered a person, I can promise you), fidgets around and IT HURTS. She told me she would stop if it hurt too badly but I know the memory of the pain would be worse than the pain itself so I just let her continue. She told me she had booked me for an induction on Friday 22nd July. I go in and 9am and don’t come out for a really long time. From what I can understand what happens, you get 3 pessary shots of hormones, 6 hours apart if after those 3 nothing has happened you can get a drip and they may artificially break your water, if that doesn’t get things started then c-section… C-section is also pretty likely for me since I am small and the baby is big.

So this next week is me spending time finishing a to-do list, I have written a lot of them over the past few weeks and I never finish them. But I wrote a more doable one this time and have already crossed off a lot of things. I asked my partner to help me with some of them and he does but he gets annoyed at having to do some of them. I then don’t ask him. Mentally, I’ve been rather down recently. I always expected the baby to be early (before 40 weeks) and due to being in latent labour since 36+3 weeks, I thought one final push (the membrane sweep) would start things off and I’m disappointed that it hasn’t. I now am looking at a 2-5 day stay in hospital due to needing mental health, diabetes and possibly surgery aftercare. Plus the labour itself. No one really seems to understand. I don’t like hospitals, I mean I really don’t but the extent to which I don’t like them doesn’t seem to be that clear to anyone really. Plus the chances of postnatal depression rise when complications arise during labour (looks like that’ll happen).

Plus with things not being so great living with my dad for both myself and my partner… Just makes things harder. But that’s a blog for another day.

33+5 weeks: Positivity

33 weeks. 5 days. Only 6 weeks and 2 days to go until my baby’s due date. Can I be honest? I’m excited. Partly because it’d be nice to have my own body back but partly because I can’t wait to meet the little troublemaker.

During this pregnancy, I know one thing I’ve lacked and so has my support system… Positivity. I don’t believe positivity is always conducive. When I was in school and I had to do a project that didn’t count towards my grade or wasn’t with my friends (so not fun either), I preferred to sit with the person who would bitch and moan about having to do the project rather than the person trying to get us involved.

At the beginning of the pregnancy, I won’t lie, I much preferred to read some of the more negative stories – usually regarding perinatal and postnatal depression. Around week 20, the hypermesis was a lot better, I felt I could go out more, I was almost me again! And really even when the sickness came back at about 28 weeks, it still wasn’t as bad and I’d managed to form a bond with the baby.

So at almost 34 weeks, I would love to be surrounded with some positivity but it seems I’m forcing it out of everyone. My younger brother I don’t think really understands how he could help but he always is happy and cheerful to talk about the baby. My dad goes between: can’t wait to meet his granddaughter and are you depressed about the baby/life? and my partner seems less enthused. For weeks I’ve spoken about trying to figure out how everything worked (sterlisers etc) but nope. Minimum of 3 weeks until birthday and nada.

GC has been stressed about work and I try to put down his negativity to that. As well as moving but like my dad and many others have said: I have done the same for him. I lived in a very stressful household for nearly a year and the best part of my pregnancy (where it was at it’s worse and I could have done with staying in bed) but I love him, so I did it. But he gets pissed off and on the one hand, I want him to tell me but on the other hand I really wish he’d try harder.

It’d be nice to wake up and find out someone is throwing a baby shower for me or offering to do something nice with me. Even just going to look around mothercare. I said months ago, I wanted to look around mothercare to make sure I’ve gotten everything. But since the trek into town is quite difficult for me now, unless I’m driven – mothercare is a no go.

I find it very funny though how despite being pregnant and bipolar, I’m actually the least temperamental in the house. Actually, that award goes to my younger brother. But GC and my dad are certainly not winning – they have both seemed moody and depressed and I make excuses. For GC I say it’s work or the thought of fatherhood – especially due to his lack of interest in baby stuff. For my dad, I think he’s suffering from depression but won’t get help. I think he tries short term fixes like me moving in, focusing on his new granddaughter, building stuff – but it’s all temporary.

To make sure I don’t feel positive I went through GC’s facebook, all the way before his daughter, before me and I see the way he was with his niece and I get… mad. I get mad. There’s all this stuff about how he spent money on his niblings (especially the niece he lived with) and all the family stuff he did and I get mad for my daughter. Is she going to miss out on a fun dad because he’s stressed all the time? How come he doesn’t try to put every penny he has into her like he did his niece? Then, more selfishly, how come he took his brother, sister in law and niece on all these fancy trips out but in all the time we’ve been together how come he’s never doing anything like that for me? He’s made things for me and they’ve been awesome and I love them so much but he’s never actually surprised me with anywhere special. But now I guess that probably won’t happen.

27 weeks: pregnancy and medication

I had an appointment with the perinatal psychiatrist recently. I’d recently got discharged from my old mental health team and am now with them and again I have a psychiatrist and a community psychiatric nurse. The first opinion I had of my new psychiatrist was that I didn’t have one. When I told people my opinion of her after the first meeting I said that she hadn’t really left much of an impression – good opinions take a while to form whilst bad ones of someone can take an instant. But I had some faith she’d do the job.

My new CPN  I didn’t much like. She said that everything I was experiencing with my mood was normal when I knew that it wasn’t and she also made me feel pretty bad for not wanting to do antenatal classes. I got invited to some a few weeks back, but I have since been umming and ahhing over whether to do it for numerous reasons but involving the fact that it was at the old youth group centre I used to go to and I didn’t want to bump into the old youth group leaders with their judgmental opinions about a 19 year old getting pregnant. But also another reason is that I had been feeling disconnected to the baby and that I didn’t want to spend an hour or so being reminded of the fact that I was. Plus antenatal classes haven’t always been a regular thing for pregnant women to attend and women have had babies just fine without them.

Another thing she said that annoyed me was that it didn’t matter if I was ill because I could get someone else to look after the baby. It’s true, I have my dad and the father of my baby but if it doesn’t matter whether I’m there for the baby, why am I even bothering to get better? After cooling off from the appointment I realised how she actually meant it but seriously? You work in this profession, you HAVE to know how to word this properly.

But the thing I want to talk about is my second appointment with the perinatal psychiatrist. I get called in and she has basically forgotten who I am which isn’t necessarily bad except when she got things wrong about my life e.g. she said I lived in a studio apartment when I live in a 4 bedroom house with overcrowding issues and I then corrected her, she actually argued with me and told me I was wrong… I have to live there everyday, I know exactly where I live.

She then was reading the appointment notes from the new CPN and she told me that “wanting to cut the baby out” was not normal – which I knew. Then went onto imply I wanted to hurt the baby except I’ve never had any intention of hurting the baby. Hurting myself, yes. Hurting the baby, never. She said if I’m having these thoughts and feeling depressed (and I am but only every so often and I haven’t actually felt that depressed in a while) then I needed to go back on medication whilst pregnant. I’ve always been against it. I don’t judge anyone who does, I really don’t. Every situation is different. But I know that I’m sensitive to side effects, I know I can handle the low moods as they are every so often, I don’t think taking antidepressants (as were the only medication mentioned at the time) is wise for an unborn baby to be exposed to.

But rather than talking rationally about my fears and answering questions she snapped at me telling me I needed the antidepressants and when I said to her about being bipolar and that JUST being on anti-depressants could cause mania or like last time, rapid cycling moods. That would be way worse than what’s going on now. She didn’t really give me much of an answer, just that she’d talk to my old psychiatrist (whom never actually prescribed antidepressants alone) and that if need be a mood stablizer would be added.

To be honest, when medication was mentioned way back in the first appointment, I researched what people said and yes the antidepressants have been found, in recent studies, to have minimal risks to the baby (so not completely risk free like she tried to make out and when I asked about the minimal risks, she had no answers for me) but mood stablizers are very dependent on which ones and even then the research is very split between the risks to an unborn baby even in the third trimester (everyone agrees that no meds of these sort should be taken in the first trimester).

But the fact I don’t like her isn’t based so much on the her different opinion on medications and stuff, it’s that she had very little respect for me. Wouldn’t discuss options, just told me what I had to do and several times implied that if I didn’t follow her opinions I was going to be a bad mum. So when she handed me a piece of paper to take to reception to make another appointment, I just walked out and didn’t make one.

I moaned to my dad; ranted. Then GC phoned me when my dad went to pick up my brother but could only stay on the phone for 5 minutes and once he hung up, I just balled my eyes out. I felt so guilty and bad and just cried. Until I hit this point where I got pissed off. Being  pregnant hasn’t been easy for me – physically or mentally but I’m doing better now. I actually have formed a connection with my child now (which if she actually let me speak I could have said) but even so still experience lightheadedness, feeling faint (up to the point of passing out), nausea – all sorts of stuff that make pregnancy still difficult but I’m doing well with it now and coming out of a perinatal psychiatric appointment feeling worse about myself as a mother is not something I think is good and is kinda the opposite reason why I go.

That afternoon, the CPN called me but it was on an unknown number and I wasn’t in the mood so ignored it, she left a message asking if I could call her back to confirm an appointment for the 6th of May. I haven’t called her back. Partly because I just don’t want to but also because she asked me my preferred method of contact and I said text and she calls me so I’m just waiting to see if she calls me back.

All in all, I’m very underwhelmed by the perinatal team and regret being changed to them.

23 Weeks

I’m on 23 weeks pregnant as of today. Way past the half way point.

On the 14th of March was my partners birthday. He’s 27. It was a good day, we went bowling and had cake and ice cream. We were supposed to go cinemas but I was way too tired for that which I felt guilty about and promised we’d go at the weekend but he didn’t want to. The day after was my perinatal psychiatrist appointment.

The place to go for appointments is way out of the way for me. I tried to figure out what bus would get me there if I needed to get there on my own but couldn’t figure it out. Luckily, this time I had my dad taking me. I’d been to this hospital before, the year before for the crisis team.

I was waiting and it was about 10 minutes past my appointment time when I was called. The woman didn’t look that nice. Dr L looked kinda down and miserable and just had one of those faces where you think she looks miserable, will quote everything out of a book verbatim but was surprisingly okay. That appointment was never going to be comfortable anyway. Lots of questions about my mum and the past but I answered them about as honestly as I could. That appointment was basically about assessing my risk to develop a mental illness or relapse after the baby and turns out the chances for me are pretty high (yay!).

I do get upset though whenever I’m faced with the reality of my mental illness and the baby. There have been a few times especially since that appointment I’ve just sat, rubbing my stomach and thinking “my baby would be so much better off without me”. A mother with bipolar, PTSD and borderline personality disorder is not something a child should have to deal with. I’m pretty sure my own mother suffered with one – if not more – of those illness so I don’t want to put my kid through that.

A few weeks ago however, if I ever brought it up with my partner, he’d tell me that I should just focus on the fact I’m okay now. That seeing scans of my baby seemed to have gotten rid of the feelings of disconnect and I should be okay. He asks me in these times: “Well you love the baby, don’t you?” And it’s actually a pretty complicated question. I know I should say “Yes!” without any addendums but the truth is “I don’t know.” Maybe I do love my baby and that’s why I don’t think she should have me but on the other hand I sometimes just want to cut the baby out my stomach and get it over with.

The cutting the baby out my stomach has only be a frequent thought recently. Since my level of stress has been pretty high recently. A lot of stuff with housing has changed and fallen through.

Last week, my partner, myself and our dog stayed over with my dad with the idea it would be a trial run of living there since it would make it easier for my dad to take us to the scan. Half of our boxes are there, it sounds like a good idea! Except on paper it is a good idea, it practicality – not so much. It was fine in the day but in the night – again not so much at night. The dog isn’t used to sleeping by herself so at about 2-3am I hear scratching at the door downstairs. I can hear this but my partner is fast asleep. Knowing how pissed my dad would have been if she scratched paint off the door, I went downstairs and opened it. There’s a stairguard so as to not break the rules my dad said (one being she isn’t allowed to sleep upstairs) I just let her out so she could walk up to it.

But then she sat at the bottom on the stairs whining and I didn’t want her to wake up my brother who had college the next day so I went and turned on a light. Then a little while later, I hear scratching again – she had managed to lock herself into the sitting room. I let her out and back upstairs I went. By this point it was 4-5am and I’m really tired so the next time I’m forced downstairs, I let her up and let her sleep at the bottom of the bed.

The next morning I go downstairs to get cereal and my dad’s giving me the silent treatment. I knew he’d probably be mad but I figured if I explained about why I did it, it’d be okay but he told me he didn’t want to hear it and didn’t talk to myself or my partner to the scan or back or the entire day and so we just didn’t talk about it except if HE wanted to make sly comments that then upset me and yes, I’m ashamed to say, make me cry.

When he took me to this college to pick up some distance work, I expected when I mentioned the idea of going home for him to argue a little and say no. But he actually agreed. GC (my partner), when we got home, told me how he didn’t like how my dad was treating me. He was being manipulative, he didn’t like seeing me upset and we couldn’t live there. I agreed. My dad can’t treat me like this anymore especially in front of my kid, I couldn’t risk it. So we’re not moving in.

To make matters worse, the weekend we were supposed to move in GC sister CC broke up with her partner of 8 years and to keep a long story short, is now living here with her two kids. So if anyone is keeping count, there are 4 bedrooms with 5 adults and 3 kids living under one roof plus she’s pregnant and so am I. Plus because of how things still are, a week later, with my dad. I’m staying at home more. I have some distance work I’ve got to do plus other chores I could do but I’m confined to one room because not only is SIL1 on that side but so is SIL2 and 3 kids and I’ve been pretty down recently and don’t want to deal with it.

I got a letter off my psychiatrist to say we need to move due to stress and boy, is it stressful.

Moving out

I moved in with my partner last June (2015) and to say it’s been rough is an understatement. I was impulsive with the decision and if I’d thought more, I shouldn’t have moved until he got his own place but I wanted out from my dad’s so it was perfect. At least I thought it was.

To be honest it wasn’t so bad when I first moved in, I did find myself getting taking advantage of a lot because I am a people pleaser and so got stuck babysitting a lot in the summer but I also saw some friends and I think I was still partially stuck in that bubble that I had created in Feb-March where it was my first time of ‘bearable’ mood swings and actual periods of mood swing free. My brain went into overdrive as a lot of brains might do if they’ve been mentally ill for years and try to make up for lost time. If that happens, sit and think on all big decisions for at least 24 hours before making a decision. It’s hard but it’ll help in the long run.

Anyway, when SIL1 and her kid went to Canada I fell into a routine of (post school) – going to my dad’s 4 days out of the 5 week days and that last one I stayed home and did chores whilst catching up with TV. I’m still behind on TV and I don’t even want to get started on chores. Especially being at my dad’s all day. But GC, me and our dog live in two rooms with a wardrobe out in the corridor for the back door. It’s not a viable option to have too much mess but he’s tired from work, I’m tired from pregnancy. We don’t have the energy or time. So the place is a bit of a mess. But also, to be fair, imagine you couldn’t share stuff with the people you shared a house with so you had to have a 4-5 room house all cramped inside one little room. Which is why when the Baby is born, I’m moving back to my dads. 

I don’t know whether I’m excited by it. Part of me misses my family. Part of me wants my own space. The only way I will get our own house is by the council. The council however have a bit of a ridiculous rule where, at the moment GC and I have to wait a few years until we get a place. With the baby’s birth certificate, it’ll be about 6 months. Hopefully we’ll be lucky to get a place.

Over the next few months, I have to add the stress of moving. It’s going to be a slow process but I have to do it for the baby.

Stressed out and pregnant

I like waking up to an empty house. Always have done. I do especially like it considering who I live with now because it gives me a few minutes where the noise I make doesn’t matter and I won’t be questioned about it.

I began writing a blog a while ago (probably two weeks now) about the baby scan but I kept getting distracted and GC’s brother didn’t pay the internet bill so I kinda just gave up with it. But the good news is the baby is a good size, healthy and in the low risk group of downs syndrome. I’d love this baby whatever disability it had but Downs Syndrome from what I understand can make for a higher risk of miscarriage so it’s just good news to me. The lower I can keep that risk, the happier I’ll be.

We went town the Sunday after the scan to pick up some bits and believe me town is a lot harder for me. The plan was once my dad had told my older brother who was trying for a baby about the pregnancy, we would tell everyone else. To be honest though, before he’d even told us that he’d told my brother, I decided that since we’re already out and about we could visit GC’s family since the bus goes all the way round. But before we managed to contact anyone on my partner’s side, my dad called to tell me that he had got in touch with my brother.

We told GC’s mum first via the phone as he was annoyed with her over other things and wasn’t that interested in face to face. His sister was next, she was happy for us and her kids just seemed kinda blaise to the news which I found funny. Then we took a taxi to his aunt and cousins and I think it finally hit her just before we left because she started crying. We talked about SIL1 and she said I was welcome up anytime and so I had plans to see her that following Tuesday rather than go up to my dads. We got home late so we couldn’t tell SIL1 and that niece but I didn’t really care and GC didn’t care. I did however tell him on Monday, after work we should just tell her so it’s done even though I knew the reaction we were going to get would be: “I already knew it” because she’d been saying it for the past two weeks.

She had no concrete proof of this. But we were pretty loud about it so she probably over-heard something but also she had been saying it since we started dating and if you keep saying something enough times, it’s likely that it’ll be right eventually.

I went to his aunts that Tuesday. She and GC’s cousins are lovely but I wasn’t comfortable there because it’s not my house. I couldn’t fall asleep in front of them and she kept commenting I wasn’t eating and drinking and yes, the drinking one is fair but I still throw up if I eat too much (believe me) or don’t have my pills on me so I wasn’t eating but not eating is much better than throwing up. But it makes me reluctant to want to go up again because I really don’t need to be spoken to like I don’t know what I’m doing, like I haven’t spoken to the doctors multiple times about it and am pretty sure this is the correct course of action for me.

Whilst with his aunt, SIL1 kept messaging me and saying she’d be there for me and basically it boiled down to, let’s start again. Which I was prepared to do. When I went out the following Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, it was because I had already planned to due to a doctors appointment and Friday being the day my younger brother has a half day so I tend to say (even though I usually get too tired to) I will hang out with him. However, during the messages SIL1 sent me she told me that her kid (my fiance’s niece) missed her uncle and it wasn’t fair. I just brushed that off as SIL1 being a bit manipulative because she’s still upset GC won’t do anything for her anymore.

That’s when GC told me his brother told him what happened. That Sunday when we weren’t even home and were going around telling everyone, SIL1, GC’s brother and the niece were having Sunday dinner but the niece refused to eat because her uncle wasn’t there. The two haven’t hung out and definitely not ate together in ages and after talking to my dad, I realised that the niece had heard SIL1 say I was pregnant to others and was now doing this because she was jealous. After speaking to a couple of other people about it, I decided that a jealous child would not be holding my baby. I don’t care how unhappy that makes everyone.

Overall, I’m pretty stressed out at the moment and it really does suck that it’s GC’s family making me feel that way. Not all of them. I still like his brother and sister. But everyone else wants me to do things for them but won’t do anything for me. GC keeps saying his family argues but are there for each other. I don’t want that. I don’t want people I argue with or get upset about with me during an emergency and they’ve never been there for me so again, why should I be there for them? It sounds mean but I’m sick of being the stressed out pregnant chick.

Arguments

Yesterday, I questioned how much stress is too much stress for the baby? The events that caused this were pretty mundane.

I finished yesterday’s blog on the bus and only had about a paragraph to write so it didn’t take me that long. I rarely check facebook again once I am out of the house because it’s pretty bleak usually on there and I actually dislike a lot of people on there but to stop arguments I couldn’t unfriend them.

But after I finished yesterday’s blog I went back on facebook and SIL1 had literally waited until the moment I walked out the door. I mean literally the moment to post a status on facebook saying that GC and I (her actual phrasing was ‘other people in the house’) don’t clean up after ourselves; expect her to do it; it upsets her. Basically blaming us. Now number 1, I have not even been on that side of the house since before Christmas so I don’t know what mess I was supposed to have made and number 2, my partner doesn’t even go on that side much. Just to the kitchen where he cooks (because I literally cannot face cooking my own meals) but I know he cleans up after himself. And last night’s plates? They were in our room because she does shit like this or bitches about it if we leave it by the sink to clean the next day.

So I wanted to go through the roof. I wanted to reply to her status saying how I don’t even go on that side of the house and she knows that because she always complains about it. How GC always cleans up after himself. How she doesn’t work, isn’t actually a “fully time mommy” like she puts on her facebook employment bit because her child goes to school. She pretty much has at least 5 and a half hours where she could clean the house. But she doesn’t. How the garden was a tip until very recently filled with rubbish bags and furniture because nobody could be bothered to drag it to the curb. She goes to the gym, yes but she didn’t yesterday and then will spend the rest of the day complaining about all her ‘aches and pains’ that are worse than anyone elses. But I know GC didn’t want me to say anything. I sat on the bus for a few minutes trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I needed to rant. I needed to get it off my chest.

I opened the wordpress app to rant again. But closed it down thinking it too petty. GC was at work and I knew I had 15 minutes until he was on break and I figured I could send a bunch of ranting texts before he got on break and see if I felt calmed down afterwards. He went on his break early I figured because he began texting me. My dad knowing about this situation with SIL1 has said I always have a place with him and so has GC if he wants it. But GC has turned it down, saying it’s too far from work. My dad did offer to take him but I get his point, he probably doesn’t want to put my dad out so much. I as a semi-joke said “why don’t we move in with my dad?” and GC said “I’d understand if you needed to”. Anyway, we spoke some more and I said how this stress that she was causing wasn’t good for the baby and GC said something and if you took it the wrong way it could have implied that it was my fault for getting stressed out over something so trivial. So I got angry at him. Told him I can only do so much to help this baby, I know everyone thinks I’m doing a bad job, but you try it. Etc. Then he rang me, we argued more and I hung up saying I was waiting for the bus.

I actually calmed down on the bus, I just retreated to my fantasy world. But I did begin to wonder about the stress. Now firstly, I’m unmedicated at the moment. Due to the problems with the lithium I was taken off that and probably for only 1-2 weeks of the pregnancy I was on the lowest doses of lamotrigine and prozac but I took myself off those after finding out I was pregnant. The last thing I need right now is stress. We said we’d revise meds if need be in the 2nd trimester. I’ve been feeling a little depressed on and off anyway and I really don’t need unnecessary stress triggering any bipolar or even bpd stuff for me.

I began to wonder if moving to my dad’s was seriously the best decision and I know in the back of my head it is. At this time I was still mad at GC, I did re-read our text argument during this time and realise that actually I had just read too much into it. But I was still pissed that he wouldn’t say anything because his brother is his boss which I get but still.

I got worked up again when I got into my dad’s car. I know I shouldn’t have but I ranted for at least an hour straight but always ended back to ranting if we changed the topic. I was pissed. GC wanted to ring me at lunch but I didn’t want to talk.

I eventually went in my room and watch criminal minds and I began thinking as I was watching about what I should do. If I moved back to my dads, I wouldn’t have to leave the house everyday and could stay in bed watching criminal minds like I really, really want to do. Just for one day, a binge. I wouldn’t have the stress of her moaning literally all the time. I could sleep past 8:30am. All stuff that is good for the baby.

If I do move back though, I wouldn’t see the person I love and the father of my child. 

I mean staying or leaving would be unnecessary stress but I honestly don’t know which trade off is worse.

GC and I texted when he was out of work and he was under the impression (due to what I’d said that was pretty ambiguous) I wouldn’t be coming home last night. I was on the bus home when he finally realised that I was. He’d been pretty upset about the fact I wasn’t all day. I realised then just how unhappy he’d be if I did leave and I knew I wouldn’t be happy.

So I left it like this: if SIL1 does one more thing to stress me out then for the sake of the baby and my mental health I’m going back to my dads.

I still don’t know which thing is really the better option. It’s a very difficult situation.

15 minutes in the morning

It’s important to take a few seconds of rest when you can. I will probably learn just how valuable those seconds are after the baby. I get approximately 15 minutes in the morning to myself where I don’t feel guilty for having them.

I have the same routine every morning and I think that’s a pretty good thing to keep the same morning and night routine as it helps wake you up and put you to sleep. Admittedly, I keep better to the morning one than the night one.

My partner gets ready for work before I need to get up but eventually through the period of getting ready I groggily wake up and tell him he looks gorgeous (which he especially does at the moment because he’s grown his hair out and it looks amazing) and in between brushing his teeth and getting dressed, he will usually climb into bed for a few minute cuddle and then get out to get dressed. At about 6:50am (I think, maybe a few minutes earlier), I walk with him to the door, we hug and we say “byes” and “I love yous” and I tell him to be careful of cars because it’s still dark in the morning. I lock the door behind him, clean my orthodontal equipment, turn on 4 alarms all spaced differently apart and get into bed and sleep until 8:30am.

This is when I “officially” wake up. I eat, drink and then get my phone out to check facebook. SIL1 is one of those people who like to post on facebook a lot so I hope to find something about her morning that’ll help me with mine. For example, this morning I read that she was taking a day off from the gym. Well yesterday when I walked to the bus stop, she walked past me on the same route. We didn’t really talk. I was tired anyway and psyching myself up. Anyway, so today I was going to take a different route to a stop just before the one I usually used but after reading this, I’m pretty sure I can take my usual route today. That helps me mentally plan my morning route.

Usually around 8:45am, I get up, go to the bathroom, get dressed and hair. Just due to general tiredness I’ve forgoed make-up and a few other luxuries that used to mean it took longer to get ready because all I do everyday is a quick walk to the bus, a walk to the second bus stop, a 15 minute wait for that bus and then to my dad’s so I haven’t got to make myself look pretty. But my self esteem has been lower recently so I’ve done it a couple of times and it’s helped and I realised I was still done before 9am so it didn’t make a lot of difference to my time.

9am is when I get my 15 minute break. Where there is no planned out thing of what I’ll do. Sometimes I’ll begin writing a blog that I’ll finish on the bus, sometimes I’ll be doing some research or just idly spending 15 minutes doing nothing. SIL1 usually comes home from dropping her kid off to school during this time so I sometimes hear her in the kitchen which does suck because I try and sneak out without making noise. Until I realised that it’s HER fault there is this tension. She wasn’t back a week before she decided I didn’t like which is why I kept going out, she didn’t seem to take into account she’d be away for several months and her husband had taken a week off especially to spend time with her so why would I seriously want to intrude on that?

Ever since that it just kind of turned me off to seeing her at all. She came back not after we found out I was pregnant and both GC and I were worried about what my health, weight loss etc were doing to the baby and the pregnancy coupled with my bad health had made me pretty tired so after spending the entire day out, I was always way too tired to do anything which is another reason I don’t venture onto the other side of the house.

It is weird though. We live in the same house and the first time I’d seen her since just before Christmas was yesterday. I’d heard her. But hadn’t seen her. Usually, I would have gotten over seeing her pretty quickly but I was raring for an argument yesterday. I went to my old college where I was studying the childcare course, where’d I’d paid for a coursebook and never received it and at first it didn’t bother me too much but when I found out I was pregnant I thought it might come of some use. So after finding out I was pregnant I emailed the course tutor, no reply. A few weeks later I emailed her again, no reply. I emailed the queries part of the site but the email got forwarded to that same course tutor and again no reply. Last Saturday I emailed the site again but this time I put if I don’t get an answer please forward me to the complaints department and I think they did anyway and that tutor got told off for ignoring me because Monday I had a reply that the course book was ready to pick up on Tuesday. The route to the school got annoyingly complicated involving the use of 3 extra buses and a run to the bus to get to my dad’s but I did it and to be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for standing up for myself. I just kept thinking that when the baby is born and at school, I will be the person who has to stick up for the baby so I might as well practice now.

Nowadays I just like waiting for the days where my dad won’t be around the house and it’s not because I don’t enjoy talking to him but it used to be I needed sleep but I recently discovered that I can put episodes on a USB and plug it into the TV at my dads and that’s what I did yesterday. I probably should have slept instead but I managed to stay up pretty late so I don’t know if it was just a one off or if the tiredness from pregnancy is wearing off as I’m coming up to the 12th week. But yesterday was pretty good.

Bipolar, BPD and pregnant

Last time I wrote a post I was getting over RH and I’m happy to say I’m over him. I’m engaged to GC and realised from actually having proper sex with GC that what RH and I did that I called sex wasn’t actually sex… He couldn’t get it in because he didn’t turn me on and back then it was harder to do due to PTSD trauma.

I stopped writing on this blog because I was happier and busier and life just seemed to be going too fast for even my mind to catch up, let alone write it all down. But I’m pregnant now (approx 10 weeks) and have been pretty tired, ill and run down recently so I’ve had time to sit and think and after God knows how long I feel ready to write again.

I got engaged in July last year, probably the last time I was truly happy. Which sounds kind of horrible to say but honestly it’s true. Since September I’ve been stressed and even worse pretty ill. July was a fun month tbh. I probably got engaged a little too prematurely and rash. I went to a club with GC Sister in law for her 30th birthday and got pretty drunk which was awesome. Lithium was holding me. 

August actually wasn’t too bad either, JS had her birthday at a club and again I got pretty drunk but unfortunately threw up… Not the prettiest of scenes but it was fun. Unfortunately I didn’t really hear from her after that and I don’t know whether she considers me to have ruined her birthday or what but I haven’t heard much from her since.

I also got diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in August (at least according to my medical records) so I was glad to finally know if I did or did not have that.

I dropped out of both colleges in September. The childcare course because I realised I didn’t want to do and the counselling course because I had no feasible way of making it there – but that’s just a long-ish logistical story.

I got admitted to hospital in October due to lithium toxicity and body jerking which still hasn’t fully gone. But reduced when I was taken off lithium which was good because in November I found out I was 4-5 weeks pregnant. 

It’s been kinda crazy these past few months. How has everyone else been?

Break Ups

I don’t want to reread my last blog post so I may or may not be filling in the gaps. I’m pretty sure I told you about how I was dating RH or at least that we had done stuff. We dated for about a month and I had sex with him twice (he wasn’t great) before we had another messy split and I do mean full on messy. After the break up… He didn’t care. I got drunk a lot. It was bad. Luckily I had GC to pick up the pieces, not that I could tell him why I was so down without explaining the overlap of RH and GC dating. But as far as I can tell both myself and RH have moved onto other people and I deleted him on everything but snapchat and then he deleted me on that. We won’t be contacting each other again I don’t think.

I won’t go through why he and I broke up because I’m honestly trying to put that behind me because it was so hard trying to get over him and I can’t say I’m fully there yet but I’m in a better place with it. I’m not getting drunk and crying at least. So there is that. But I will say that after a large deliberation, there was fault on both sides before the break up and he was a fucking awful prick afterwards. He hurt me without directly talking to me and ignoring me but again, it isn’t really fair of me to say without explaining it but I think that’s the best I can say. One day I may fully explain what happened but I really just want to put RH behind me.

GC is someone new. I got with him after RH broke up with me the first time and then when RH and I broke up again a week or so later I had him there for me. But due to overlap I couldn’t tell him about RH.

GC is 26 years old so there is a reasonably big age gap which at first kinda caused issues because he fell head over heels for me whilst I was, for most of our relationship, trying to get over RH so I didn’t fall as fast as he did. So his ‘I love you’ (which I have returned), his talking of moving in together, marriage, kids… all seemed a bit premature for me. An 18 year old who just found the world again.

I did actually warm up to the idea of moving in together especially what with me and my dad at odds all the time but when I had warmed up to that, the marriage/engagement thing got more serious so that whilst what I thought was a joking (though uncomfortable) discussion between him and his niece when we were in town about weddings became a little less of a joke when he took me to get my ring finger measure in a ring shop. I didn’t react straight away because of the borderline personality disorder (yep another diagnosis btw), I don’t trust myself to react so I gave myself some time to digest what happened. I talked to my friends. JS (who I knew from college and got back into contact with again actually due to RH), EC and FM and they all thought “what the fuck” like I did.

So my original plan was for me to tell him last Sunday I wanted a break. No sleeping with other people or anything but just some time to feel less smoothered. But when I was coming home from a youth council meeting, he could tell something was off. I had apparently not returned his ‘I love you’ 3 times that day (one of those times I did realise I did because I wasn’t supposed to be on my phone so kept it short and sweet) and whilst I kept saying everything was okay, he asked if he could call. We ended up talking it out and he got really upset and I didn’t ask for a break because I didn’t want to be alone this weekend. So we made up and he’s slowed down a little bit. Which is good.

We do however have plans to move in together this summer which I don’t know whether I want to go through with or not. Not so much because I don’t love him or want to be with him but I’m starting school again so I don’t know if it’ll work practically. See, I signed up for school just before RH and I met up and I signed up for counselling course. Which costs about £465 (I think) and I had to put a £50 deposit down. After RH and I broke up but I had been around his nieces and GC nieces and nephew, I realised I was good with kids and wanted instead to do a childcare course so I signed up for that one. Now these two colleges are about 30 miles apart. If I live with GC, I live closer to town so I can get the bus and train to these places (the childcare college is close to town about a 20 minute walk from the centre and also means it’s easier to get to the train station to the counselling one as well) but it also would make it a lot more expensive and my dad wouldn’t be able to take me if i didn’t live with him… Also I feel he wouldn’t speak to me again if I did move out because of money.

But all of this sounds like I’m beginning to put my life together and I am a little bit. I didn’t think I’d see this day. But the thing is that the bipolar is mostly okay now and stable but the borderline is very obvious not the bipolar has gone and has very detrimental affects. Please read this to know more about the disorder. My abandonment issues vary from clinging to a person or pushing them away so I don’t get hurt (which is what I did with RH but trying not to do with GC). I am very self critical and insecure but luckily GC is just as insecure as I am.

I still take lithium and have regular appointments with my psychiatric nurse which I’m glad of because I very desperately need people to talk to. Recently, I have found and it might be related to the bpd that I can’t be on my own. I get very depressed if I don’t have someone to be around. Even if it’s a skype mic chat in my room or a phone call with someone. I need that because I can’t deal with myself and my thoughts. I spend just about every weekend now with GC and try and fill my week with my friends.

This week is half term so I didn’t have girls group and voice group. So I spent bank holiday Monday with Guy until about midday and then I went to see JS but that wasn’t as great as the other times because she brought her sister along so we couldn’t talk about personal stuff. I saw EC and her new house on Tuesday and slept over until Wednesday when I then had to get the bus back to the city and buy some stuff for people and today my brother and I went to the cinema and we saw Unfriended. Tomorrow I have my psych nurse and the doctor whom I am seeing about issues with my foot turning in. Saturday I am seeing my older brother which I kinda feel forced into doing because I missed seeing him last time because I was spending time with RH. So I missing my weekend with GC to see him and then seeing GC on the Sunday and possibly Monday too. Though seeing him on Monday could raise some issues as I need to be home in the mornings to take my brother to school so I can’t sleep over Sunday. I’m willing to spend all day with him but I need to help my brother with his anxiety so I’ll have to work that out.

Overall, when I’m good, I’m really good and when I’m feeling bad I’m really bad. Once I’m fully over RH, I think the emotional depression when alone will lift and be easier but for now it’s what I’m stuck with.

Improvements.

I can safely say lithium is helping. Unfortunately though it brings to light the fact a lot of other unhealthy facets such as the paranoia and dissociation are not going to be cured by the lithium. The lithium is still making my thyroid unwell and have yet to get that treated and you may be wondering why, after all this time, is no treatments being made? I had another blood test after the blog post and had to wait for the results of that for about two weeks because there was no copy sent to the doctor, only the psychiatrist and it wasn’t until we saw the community psychiatric nurse (CPN) that i actually got my results and lo and behold, my hypothyroidism is worse. But they wouldn’t treat it until the psychiatrist spent an extra two weeks looking at past blood tests trying to figure out why. I mean the why is great but at this point in time just treat the illness. But apparently I will have to go for endocrinology tests as well. So physically I have been worse than ever. I mean I have energy but I just am in pain a lot of the time with my joints, being cold etc. It’s awful.

The improvement in my mood coupled with the work with the groups I’m with, my confidence also boosted which is great but left me open to other issues. For example, increase in confidence means I’ve been more inclined to go out and contact people. I spent time with EH on Easter and we’ve got unofficial plans to go to London with our brothers and her parents. But it was actually that Sunday that caused problems. As EH’s dad drove into her drive, there were a group of people outside and one of the was RH who I wrote about several years ago who had a crush on my then best friend. Well we were friends then too and I messaged him saying: “saw you nerd B)” and that led to a discussion of when how etc and we agreed to make up and I could rewrite what happened but long story short we went to second base and it was weird because he liked my best friend and now here he is, kissing me. But afterwards I was over the moon but this relationship my confidence opened up had now caused this massive source of stress for me.

The reason being I’m incredibly insecure and have invented all the reasons why he doesn’t like me and why he’s better off with someone else and that comes from my personality problems. I am mistrustful and needy of attention and whilst this is like 95% personality problems, it’s annoying. I don’t think I will let this relationship last very long because it’s causing me to have a lot of emotional issues.

In other news, I have plans with friends, have been on quite a residential but have been having some problems with my psychiatrist. But I’m trying to focus on my recovery so let’s stay away from psychiatrist talk.

I think the thing no one prepares you for when you begin recovering is actually how to manage it. For example the last time I was functioning to a moderately healthy degree was when I was 14 and navigating the change in maturity in yourself when you are well is difficult. When I was depressed I didn’t want to do anything and now I’m better I want to have friends and see them and I feel like I’m trying to make up for 4 lost years in that amount of time. I think had I been forced to enter adulthood and living alone and working whilst still bipolar I would have eventually managed to find some balance between social stuff and other things but for now I have this gap. This 6 month gap between when I have to buckle down and get serious over school and deciding what I want to and what I want carried on and getting myself back into a position where I have a trajectory. Yeah I suffer cognitive difficulties and still other issues such as paranoia etc but I need something that’s mine again.

Heart issues and hypothyroidism

Before I started lithium I had a blood test and ECG. Blood test was fine and ECG came back saying I had a short PR interval. I had another ECG after I started lithium and my PR interval had lengthened and I was told the lithium could do that. I had another ECG but the results got lost and then another one and I heard nothing about it until I get a letter saying that I needed to wait for a letter for a 24 hour ECG. Why??? Is what I wondered. My dad spoke to my psychiatrist and she said that the cardiologist had recommended it. When I had an appointment over a week ago I asked her what the problem actually is and do you know what she said to me? “Unspecific heart issue” WHAT?? So that’s a thing I have to wait for. She also later changed the opinion of the lithium causing this issue saying that it didn’t cause it but I don’t understand how my heart was okay off the lithium but now I have an issue…

This is kind of up in the air as I’ve been told that this 24 hour ECG is mainly so they get a clear picture of my heart in a day to see if these “hiccups” are normal. I don’t know.

In England, we have this thing called the lithium registry and what I was told was supposed to happen is they are supposed to send you a letter and a bag (to put your bloods in to get sent to the lithium registry lab) usually every 3 months but if your dose is upped you have it 5 days afterwards. So I had a blood test for 600mg and I got my labs sent to me. My level was 0.65 which isn’t high enough actually for ‘acute’ treatment but is in a range a psychiatrist wants it to be. Now my thyroid levels to explain in case you don’t know.

You have a pitutary gland in your brain which sends TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) to your thyroid to make your thyroid produce T3 and T4 hormones and T4 is the one that was measured in my blood test now TSH is usually higher when your T4 level is lower because your thyroid isn’t working well so the hormone is sent to try and get it working more and that is hypothyroidism. The opposite is true of hyperthyroidism – T4 high and TSH low.

So getting these results back in paper form with very little explanation. So I looked it up and I find out about hypothyroidism so I go to symptoms and the symptoms I had brushed off as being part of winter or a lithium side effect are actually hypothyroidism. For example, one of the first symptoms I got was sensitivity to cold. I was freezing all the time. Joint pain which also worsened my hand pain I’d gotten from other things but it worsened it. I’m pretty sure it’s also slowed my healing down. I hurt my toe a month ago by dropping a stool on it. I bruised the bone and cut the skin. It has been a literal month and the cut on my toe hasn’t even healed yet.

Now if you go on ANY website and look at the causes of hypothyroidism lithium is one of them. Lithium actually the number one example of a medication that causes hypothyroidism. So I asked my psychiatrist what we are going to do and she said basically that it happened too fast to be caused by the lithium but we’ll see what the level is next time.

Now here’s where I’m fucked around:

Heart: The psychiatrist sent my dad a letter saying that if we took this letter down the ECG department at the hospital they would fit the 24 hr ECG there and then. We went today and you can’t do that for 24 hr ECG so that was a waste of time and really frustrating because we could have booked the appointment over the phone last week. Now I have to wait until April.

Thyroid: The psychiatrist told us 5 days after a dose is upped we will get a letter from the lithium registry asking for another blood test. We didn’t get one so when we saw the psychiatric nurse she called the lithium registry who told us we weren’t going to have one until May (3 months) and so now I have to wait even longer for the psychiatrist to write a letter asking for a thyroid test which shouldn’t take long but she for some reason is taking very long with it.

If that test comes back with saying my hypothyroidism is the same or worse then I have to go to my GP and ask them what they think I should do.

So at the moment, my mental health is still kinda depressed with swings into irritability now and again but otherwise I just am really tired with no energy. Thanks lithium.

Residential

I went on a residential over the weekend as part of my work with the ‘next level voice group’ and I went through a lot of stages. I gave in my consent form kinda ad-lib in the hopes of hurrying up the youth worker I was waiting for as I felt a conversation about it would have taken up a lot of time and I was in a rush. Later, I realised just what I had signed up for and for a week or two alternated between anxiety and depression, I then got a little excited about it and then I got anxious about it again and that kind of continued.

I won’t bore you with all the details of the trip and what I learned but I’ll tell you my feelings to things that happened. Friday night wasn’t too bad because my room mate went to sleep pretty much when she got into bed (which was quite late since the workers decided to ignore the curfew they told us about) and I spent most of the night talking to my friend on skype plus I couldn’t sleep either.

Now once I had gotten a hold of the food situation I didn’t suffer so much from anxiety but I am a slow, messy, picky eater who also can’t eat a lot so I tended to not have a main or a starter after Friday night. I took part in the workshops and meetings but I can bet you I will get a label as “anti-social” because I decided not to sit downstairs for 3 hours at night talking to people I have nothing in common with. You bring me to a residential and I will do work but I won’t unnecessarily socialise with people. My socialising came from my friend on skype and my brother on whatsapp. Saturday night was particularly draining because my room mate had made a lot of friends and had got them all on snapchat and they were all snapchatting each other and I think I fell asleep before her but I woke up before her so it kinda worked out.

Sunday actually was a lot better because we didn’t need talk in anywhere but the workshop and at lunch I ran off to do a voice chat via skype with a friend (that lasted 45 mins and then when I got home it added up to about 8+ hours) and when I hung up to get in the taxi I had more confidence though I do find I have more confidence when I talk to someone who is like me. Someone who hates or would hate (if they were there) the situation the same as I would.

It wasn’t fun, I’m pretty sure a lot of the people there are bored of me or at least unsure of me (I know one girl there hates me, not that I care because she is a purposefully negative kind of person). Though I think I am proud of myself for doing it. There is another residential later in the year but I might come up with an excuse for that one.

The people weren’t generally nasty or awful to be around but I liked being in my room with my phone talking to people I had something in common with. Admittedly, I may not have given a lot of them the chance but I was happy with the decisions I made this weekend when it came to who I socialised with.

I recently had a blood test for lithium and my serum level is not at the therapeutic dose yet. It has however began to affect my thyroid or at least the levels are heading that way. I am borderline hypothyroidism, I think if the dose is upped again which it must because it’s not at a therapeutic dose yet. The paper I got suggested “thyroxine replacement” but who knows? I need to have an appointment with a doctor and I was supposed to see my psychiatric nurse yesterday (Tuesday) but she’s ill so I probably won’t see her until Thursday.

This week is half term so all groups are off, no getting up early to talk my brother to school. It is nice to chill for a bit especially after last weekend.

My mood has been on the lower side and I’ve been suicidal at times but I think I’ve been kinda out it mentally so not really registering my mood. Who knows?

Lithium

It feels longer than 14 days since my last post. So to keep you up to date:

Crisis Team

That went poorly. I met the crisis team people at my GP surgery and to save a lot of time, they didn’t like that. I don’t know what their obsession with home treatment is but they do not like being denied access to your house. During the times of seeing them I was very depressed and they asked the same questions in the 3 appointments we’ve had. Now I was supposed to see them everyday but I didn”t have to see them on the days I saw my psych nurse and I didn’t see them at the weekend so overall it added up to about 3, maybe 4 appointments. In those, let’s say 4 appointments, they decided that what would treat me is looking up “positive thinking” on youtube (yes, youtube) and going out more. Now the positive thinking on youtube thing is bull shit and I’ll tell you why: if a professional starts some sort of positive thinking regime (not that I could imagine how that would go) and said look up this on youtube as a supplement it might work but asking someone to look that up as an alternate to actual treatment is bad. They had a tendency to ring and arrange an appointment an hour before you’re supposed to be at the doctors surgery. It was just bad. Also after those 4 appointments, they have decided to discharge me. Yeah, they’re great.

My psych nurse is on holiday and won’t be back until next week. Which is also great.

Lithium

I am currently on 600mg. Side effects so now aren’t too bad. Nausea and stomach pain are the ones that are sticking around. Also, on my ECG before I started the lithium I had a short PR interval, next ECG on 400mg normal PR interval and now on 600mg, PR interval hitting the long side so I have to be monitored and have a lot of ECG which means I have to strip off in front of strangers a lot.

Mood

I find myself on the low side, not really much effect. I’ve been getting more irritable lately though I don’t know if that’s the lithium or just a mood thing but I have been. Plus my self esteem has been pretty low in regards to my appearance. Though I did just dye my hair burgundy.

Groups

Groups are going well. I’ve taken a more active role with the girls group and with the voice group as well. For example this weekend I am going on a residential for team building and work shopping – not entirely sure that is though and so hopefully that goes well.

I’m still depressed and lithium is nasty but I’ve been worse so I guess that’s something.

First few days on lithium

I’m trying to get better with naming my blog posts and even writing them. I write them in my head, sometimes in their entirety but when it comes to writing it down, I seem to falter a little and it just never seems to fully convey the message I want to convey.

I started lithium on Tuesday and I haven’t noticed much. I experience chest pain after taking it and jitteriness in the few hours before I take it (but my guess is it’s coming out of my system, waiting to be rebuilt in the next hour). I’m on 400mg (daily) so I don’t expect anything to happen yet and in terms of medication I’m not giving up hope yet.

As for my overall mood, I’ve been… well, depressed. I mean that is literally the only way I could describe it. There was a slight change in my mood on Friday night with me becoming irritable and quite aggressive. I didn’t cross so much over into rage but I was just irritable and I thought maybe I was becoming hypomanic but rather than the happy side, the irritable side but that went back to depression pretty quickly.

I wish I could say, also that I’ve been feeling less suicidal but honestly I haven’t not really. Sometimes the urge and the ache is less but overall it’s there and I think what’s worse is that; now if I were to do anything it would be less impulsive and more well reasoned. People, whenever I say I feel suicidal, say I have a lot to live for but the honest truth is – aside from people in my life – I have none of my own reasons to carry this charade on. Even if I somehow get my moods under control I will always be teetering on the edge of a break down, I get very bored of things and will most likely not be able to stick to a job, I am very distrusting of people and find it immensely hard to form meaningful relationships. I honestly have a hard time believing this is all just depression talking or isolation and maybe it is and maybe I can recover from this but a lot of the time I honestly question whether I want to.

My psychiatric nurse once said I find the world a threatening place and maybe that’s why I’m closing myself off more but it’s weird. I find that my confidence in talking to strangers is better than it has been in a long time, my body confidence is probably better (though it has it’s moments) and so I don’t understand why I find everything threatening and why I have been withdrawing from all my friends and some of them are understanding of that and some are not but I just find it’s more a chore to talk to anyone than it is something I look forward to and it’s a shame because I’ve made some new friends recently and it was fun talking to them for 2 days and then I just got bored again. I’ve been getting bored a lot or just lacking interest. I guess that’s all kinda sad.

I’m not saying I will kill myself, of course I have thought about it but to say whether I would or wouldn’t do it could end up being a lie and wrong and I don’t want to lie on this blog, I don’t. I don’t want there to be inaccuracies in this account of my life because when people wonder why someone is the way they are, I want this blog to answer that and right now I can’t say for definite I won’t kill myself. I don’t even think I could promise that I wouldn’t try this month. But I can promise that I’m going to try to not try. I mean, really NOT doing something is kinda my wheel house so I should be good at it.

I’ve had more frequent appointments with my psych nurse and we’ve discussed the possibility of going into inpatient and meeting with the crisis team and I’ve been kind of holding off but I am honestly concerned that one day soon I will do something I can’t take back and I am. So on Monday it is time for a serious talk about what we are going to do because I can’t go on like this any more.

I’m so sick of me.

I saw the psychiatrist on Friday and I should have wrote a post Friday night or Saturday but I haven’t the energy or the head space to. I haven’t now either so excuse all the probable problems with grammar and syntax and all other grammatical things that will probably make this post slightly illegible.

I kinda reached my point where I know WHAT my problems are but I don’t know how to solve them and that somewhat makes it worse as it’s not one of those problems you can easily fix. For example when I realised my nail biting, as a child, was an issue I painted my nails everyday to stop myself from biting them and eventually the habit died and I have long but ugly nails. In more recent examples I knew my problem was procrastinating and I made active steps to stop that when it came to school work but that was about 8 months ago. I can’t fix these problems. I cannot fix the fact that I take people’s neutrality as hostile. I can’t fix the fact that I trust very few people. And I can’t fix pretty much everything currently wrong.

I got called into the appointment but TD (psych nurse) wasn’t down  yet so I sat down with the psychiatrist and told her that I just wanted to say what I had to say without interruptions because I would probably get confused or lost if I got interrupted. I began by saying how in the last appointment I felt like I wasn’t listened to and how I know she said about the hallucinations being dissociative ones but I said I felt like all hallucinations are warrant for concern and how I didn’t feel the fact I was still depressed on medication was taken seriously enough. Which is about the time TD came in and I then said how I had stopped the medication and how I tried to commit suicide which brought out the notepads and they began to ask me questions about how the hospital dealt with it and I told them I didn’t tell them but they were still pushing and I don’t really understand why because I lied to them saying the overdose was an accident so they aren’t expected to maintain a standard of care relating to a suicide attempt.

They then went on to assure me they didn’t take it seriously and they were concerned and we discussed how unlike previous times this was more impulsive and that unlike previous times I wasn’t relieved I failed this time, I was pissed I failed. I learned that impulsivity in bipolar can happen in all mood states whereas I thought it was just a manic end of the spectrum thing. They were concerned about my that.

Something interesting I was asked was: did I feel I needed to be in hospital the days leading up to the suicide attempt. I said I did because I did. I mean I guess maybe the more recent suicide episodes are different to the ones before in that I just really want to die. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for me. I’m just really sick of living. She asked how I felt now (as in at that moment) and at that moment I didn’t feel too bad; they thought i was angry. I wasn’t really angry more than I was frustrated.

The outcome was that I am being put on lithium and there is apparently a lithium registry? Which I don’t even know…  Which means before that I need an ECG and a blood test. Bring on blood tests every 3 months *sighs*

How I’m feeling right now? Just bad. Like I can’t even describe it but good things happened and I think I will probably focus on that.

The New Year

I feel like writing a post about a suicide attempt and then not writing another post for a while is rude and disconcerting so this is the post that will let you know my current state of mind and what I think and hopefully it’s not all ramblings. But this isn’t a structured post. Not that my other ones are either but this is just me writing what’s flowing through my mind.

I find it difficult to find someone I can actually talk to. See I’m offered help a lot. Promise of an email or whatever and it never comes through which is fine and I’ll tell you why: I won’t know the truth. In the past I’ve told my dad, my ex girlfriend and my best friends how I’ve felt. I don’t know how to describe exactly what it’s like but with  my dad the reaction I get is pretty much the equivalent of someone sticking their fingers in their ear and going “nyah nyah nyah” at the top of their lungs. With my ex girlfriend, who by the way made the offer to be there for me, it’s more like talking to cleverbot since I can predict the answer I’m going to get before I get it and those two responses are: “Oh okay” and “that sucks” and with my best friends which is mainly EC and KE, they try – God bless them do they try but it’s difficult since we’re in a 2-days-between-responses type relationship so two days later they’re overreacting about the suicide attempt I’m trying to put behind me but they’re not always great at it and my thing is that I’m usually pretty open with my mental illness if I plan on keeping you in my life. I do this because I form attachments fast and I put people on a pedestal but then my first depressive episode or seriously bad depressive episode, at least, and I run the risk of “this is not what I signed up for”.

I met my ex girlfriend and my two best friends via tumblr where I’d pretty much laid bare the problems I had, in fact one of my best friends found me from a post I made about the psychiatric hospital I stayed at and so there were no tricks. No hidden secrets. They were getting  a mentally ill, sometimes suicidal friend. My dad, just by virtue of becoming a parent was signing up to that as well. When you have kids you sign up to any disability they have and any sexuality they have or gender. When you have a child you sign up to all of it and sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don’t but they’re your children. Don’t have kids if you can’t imagine having a bipolar daughter or a gay son or a trans child. Just don’t.

Anyway, so this wasn’t a “I didn’t sign up for this situation” and if I have a friend, like I did in college who signed up for the reasonably nice, sweary, hoodies wearing girl but a few months later got the bipolar girl who later turned into some she didn’t even recognize and at that point I felt the friendship slipping away and I let it. I don’t believe that people should stay with someone when something they didn’t sign up for happens – at least not when that someone is me.

Which is why it immensely pisses me off that I still do not have anyone to fucking talk to. Every negative feeling I have shushed or quelled. I don’t want these feels to be quietened down – even though I know you mean well. I want them to be validated. God, I’ll even say it. I want help.

It’s very likely I’m to blame. I went off my medication because I didn’t like the depressed episodes whilst on the medication and it is my fault because I’m stubborn and childish and when my psychiatrist ignored me when I told he feeling depressed still and maybe subconsciously I did it as a ‘fuck you’ to her but that’s a massive maybe. I know I thought at the time that stopping them would allow hypomania to come back and I don’t know whether I’d still feel as awful on the medication as I do off it because not all of these symptoms are bipolar – some are psychological and as much as it pains me to admit it, it’s true. Whether I’d be abused or not, I don’t think anyone could have gone through the last 3 years I’ve had and not come out with some psychological issues. I mean isolation alone is enough to drive any one mad.

I go between wanting to kill myself and wanting to smash my surroundings and I go between the two a lot as my broken glasses which I threw at the wall will prove. I’m irritable and depressed and in pain (physical and mental) and I’m worrying the wrong people.

So my plan? Well the way I see it is I have two options: self implosion or calling my psychiatrist. Believe me I had to give it some serious thought.

At the end of it though I came out with that I will have to call my psychiatrist and see how that goes.