My Heart, Your Home: March 2014   

Sunday, 23 March 2014

12 months to a better me

I am a firm believer that we control our own destiny, that happiness is a choice and that we shouldn't rely on any one person to help improve our life, happiness or sense of self. Life throws us curve balls which test our strength and our character and we all dodge them, recover from them or survive them in totally unique ways. No two lives are the same and no two people are the same. 

I have dodged, recovered and survived many of life's curve balls. I am not entirely graceful about it, nor am I always humble nor do am I completely accepting. I will often question the universe, in a totally selfish way, 'why me?'. What makes one life so full to the brim of challenges, set backs, break downs and heart break as opposed to another life. And, what makes the next life even harder? Who decides? 

But at the end of the day the question is not important, it is the journey back to recovery, it is the way in which you take your steps along this journey and it is the arrival at the destination that is important. 

I like to think that I have walked my journey with a gentle and compassionate heart, I have held the hands of comrades along the way, I have given myself to less fortunate even when I just want to hide away. I have not always been selfless, and I often seek the sympathy and encouragement of others and I can become so self involved that I do forget to ask in return how they are. I am human, I have my shortcomings and I have my strong points. 

The last 12 months has been an adventure of self awareness, change and character building. It began by completely breaking my spirit and strength. I was a broken woman, unable to give to anyone. I have so much self doubt and self hate and weakness. But with the help and support of my ever giving partner, Anthony, and the dedication and commitment of my own headstrong character I have survived this particular dodge ball. 

Along the way, regardless of believing that my life is in my control, I have met some incredible people who all threw my a rope and helped pull me back up to a height I have never reached before. Every once in a while we are lucky enough to meet one or two people who change our lives completely. At the time you are truly unaware of the power of their presence, the length of their reach and their warmth of their embrace. Until one day, you are no longer in a panic, you look forward to leaving the house, you cant wait to talk to them. You crave their friendship, their love and them.

This year I have been so blessed to have met several people, strong, powerful and independent woman who have changed my life and my future. They wandered aimlessly into my life and have seeded themselves into the depth of my being and have been growing ever since. These women and their families are no longer just a play date for my children, they are no longer just a friend, they are my family. With them in my life I have been able to swim to shore and live a life that a year ago was unimaginable. With them by my side, I have belief in myself, my abilities as a woman and as Mum. These women are genuine, loving, kind and giving and I feel like I owe them my happiness. 

I take pride in the strength I have mustered this year, in the self confidence I have found. I feel so much achievement towards this past year. There is no self hate, very minimal negativity, less tears and rarely ever a panic attack. I have begun studying, I have made life long friendships, I have found direction and I have uncovered myself. The version of myself that I believe has always been hiding, but is now here and I actually like me. 

This past 12 months has been a powerful journey to self discovery.

I am found and I am me

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Boo Boo ~ 25 weeks

A week of migraines, gastro, Dr checkups, the all clear, the need for daytime napping, a lack of daytime napping, belly popping and weight gain. A week of fails and a week of wins, I am completely and utterly exhausted!

After having a lot of visual disturbances, loss of sight and migraines I began to worry about it implicating the beginning of a blood pressure issue so i took myself to the midwives and Drs to be checked out. I do not have pre-eclampsia and my blood pressure is not even slightly high... in fact, it is extremely low! 86/45... ah huh, I shouldn't be able to walk with that! But lord knows, it is not unusual for me and perhaps explain why I am always so tired. 

While I was being checked over I learnt that a urine test can give the Drs an incredible amount of information, like the fact that my body is eating its own resources. Which obviously explains why I have been losing weight, rather than gaining it. So... I have taken it upon myself to eat as much as I physically can. Which sounds like so much fun, except for the fact that the thought of eating makes me feel ill! So I have set alarms to remind myself to eat every 2-3 hours and I have given in to any craving (yes.. that includes my Mcdonalds junior burger + fries + sweet and sour sauce craving). As a result I have finally put on 1.5kgs! I am not sure I ever would have celebrated such a thing but it felt great to see those numbers rise.

Being pregnant with two young children in your care day in and day out, week after week, is starting to take its toll. I am purely exhausted and I am (embarrassingly) envious of those who have family support. Those who can leave their children with family so that they can sleep, go to Drs checkups, having solo time. But I am making it through each and every day, still awake and in a relatively calm state. My, how I would like to be able to sleep. But I have found myself surrounded by the most incredibly beautiful friends who step in and step up and offer me an outstanding amount of support when it is needed. 

I have been slowly collecting little blue clothes, wraps and blankets. It still feels so surreal to be having another baby, let alone a little blue baby. I am so excited about seeing the way this little blue bundle looks on the outside, the differences between brother and sisters. I am excited to see how his energy may be different, his attitude and zest for life. The love a Son has for his Mum and Dad and two big Sisters. The love they have for their little Brother. In 15 weeks time our lives are all going to collide, an explosion of love. In 15 weeks time we will be a family of five, two Daughters and a Son, a tribe. Busy, messy, unorganised and chaotic. Loving, loud and a little out of control. 

I cannot wait!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Boo Boo ~ 24 weeks

It has been really hard to remember to come here each week to share my journey throughout this pregnancy because the truth is, I barely feel pregnant. Earlier this week I had to actually count back the weeks to try and work out how far along I am. It horrible, the differences between each consecutive pregnancy. But, my body hasn't grown too much yet, I don't feel sick, the headaches has subsided. There really is not much physical reminder that I am growing a baby within me. Except of course, the beautiful baby kicks I have within me each and every day. Obviously the most beautiful physical reminder there could be. 

This pregnancy, so far, has been beautifully kind to me. My emotions are amazingly in check, not a single hormonal meltdown yet! My body is very slowly changing and I have not yet noticed much of a change to how I stand, sleep or walk. I have a touch of insomnia but nothing that a good book hasn't been able to help me with. My dear future Son is being so very kind to his Mumma. 

Every day, however, I do dream about the day this boy is put into my arms. I am beyond excited to see how Anthony and I combine to create a little boy, to see what he looks like, the colour of his eyes, who's smile he will have. I cannot wait to experience the differences between my beautiful girls to my handsome Son. The love of a boy and his Mummy. The relationship between Father and Son. It is all so new and different, its exhilarating, unknown, exciting. 

The last 5 weeks, since my last post, have been busy. Uneventful, in regards to the pregnancy. I have had my check up and he is growing perfectly on track (hopefully not ahead!), his heart beat is strong. My iron is okay, my blood pressure is low but okay. I have been experiencing migraines over the past week, my vision is disrupted, blurred and throbbing. Then the pain kicks in for hours, having to hide away in a dark room and silence. I am still trying to get in to speak with the Drs about them as I am a little concerned about the cause. 

This pregnancy has gained a lot of negative attention from the people in our lives. People who seem to think we are 'stupid' for having another child. That it will make life 'shit' and 'hard' and 'unbearable'. It has been impossibly hard to try and rise above their comments without reaction, without being hurt and feeling betrayed. I find that after each time I see these people I am justifying why this pregnancy is a blessing and a thrill and a great thing. I shouldn't have to justify... but in case there is anyone reading this who thinks we are silly for having another child, we are beyond thrilled. We could not be happier about adding to our family and we feel stronger as a family now that we know we are adding another child. It is a dream come true. We are strong and capable parents who love our children entirely, this third child will be NO exception. 

Baby Booboo is exactly what we want...
We love you

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Life after medication

Ever since I first sat in my Drs office and told him I am suffering depression and would like to go on anti-depressants my life has never been the same. Taking home that first box of pills was terrifying, I felt so weak and deflated, I felt as though I had let myself down and that I was incapable of being able to live my life. When I took the first pill, I cried. I was so disappointed in myself for not getting through, for not being strong enough, for giving up. 

Each morning I would wake up and slowly, without truly being aware of it, I would be feeling mentally stronger, just a touch. Each night as I swallowed one more pill I would feel a little less defeated and a little more faithful. Until one day when it became routine and there was no more thought about swallowing that little white pill.

For the first two weeks that pill slowly gave me wings, until one morning where I began to feel sick. So sick that I could barely get out of bed. I hung on for weeks thinking that the side effects would wear off, they never did. So I made the heart wrenching decision to quit taking the pills and try for another one. I was devastated at the thought of having to go through it all again. I slowly backed off the pills until I was no longer taking any. I spent over a week without a pill and yet I was still sick, I was still suffering. At this point, I realised that it can't of been the medication and I took a pregnancy test, only to find that I was 10 weeks pregnant.

Once I got the all clear from the Drs I went straight back on that pill and waited for its effects to take full swing. From the moment they began to kick back in I started to accept that I hadn't been defeated and I was not weak. In fact, I felt stronger and more capable than I had felt in years. I knew that the decision I made to go on that medication was the best possible decision I could have made for myself. I had been drowning for so very long, hiding from the world. Living the life of a "shy" girl, believing that is who I truly was. Living with the lowest self esteem, distrusting of everyone new I met. Doubting anyone's interest in me as genuine. Living life, worthlessly, as I believed that was who I was.

Since starting my anti-depressants life has changed, in swings and round abouts. Each new day has bought with it a new found confidence, self love and self belief, strength and happiness. Of course I still have terribly hard days like any other person. But my tolerance is so much higher. I no longer find myself sobbing on the driveway before Anthony has even left for work, I am no longer locked in the bathroom in a panic attack, I no longer call Anthony begging for his return home. 

My relationship is stronger that I have ever known it to be. I have more energy to lend to Anthony, more time to give to him and more tolerance to share my affection with him. Prior to starting this medication, by the time he came home the absolute last thing I wanted was for him to touch me after a day of children crawling all over me. We communicate better, we laugh more, we enjoy each other. I love stronger.

My patience with my children has risen to unbelievable heights. The whinging still drives me batty, but I don't end up in a meltdown at the sound of it. I can negotiate, I can tolerate, I can handle. I can remain calm and composed. 

My shyness has been cured. I have learnt that I was never in fact shy, just incredibly and brutally down on myself. My esteem and self worth was unbelievably broken. I truly believed that I had nothing to offer and only ever thought people liked me to use me. I settled for any friendship or relationship, toxic and abusive, because I didnt believe I deserved better. It has been a long, hard fight to change my belief in myself and one that I am continuing to work on. But, I am in a place now where my life is full of genuine friendships, of love, of trust. I can walk into a room and talk to people. I feel strong within myself and no longer describe myself as shy.

I am focused. Something I haven't been in many years. I have a goal and I am sticking to it. I am studying social welfare at university. I study. I read. I write. I learn and my god, do I feel proud of myself for doing it! I believe that I can do it.

I have began babysitting to help contribute to our family finances. I walk into the house of strangers and I have open and honest conversations with them. I play with their children and fall in love with each and every one of them. It has been strangely empowering. Each time that I leave a job I feel strong, likeable and positive. I haven't walked away from meeting a stranger feeling likeable for so many years.

Taking medication has been an unexpected journey filled with so many emotions. I honestly felt nothing but defeat in those early days. I cried and cried about how I had failed living life. But now, I feel nothing but pride. For taking those steps to better myself and in turn, bettering the conditions for my family. Life has never been so good. For the first time in so very long, life feels full, life feels like we are living. I am busy, strong, capable and happy.

Antidepressants are not to be ashamed of, are not to be hidden. Antidepressants are just that shoulder of support that we all need every now and then, sometimes this is the best shoulder to choose. Life has never been better, than life after medication