Sorry it has been longer than normal getting another post up. Much has been happening in my life and I still have the house move to go (5 Jan). So madly sorting and packing. Sorting is a must as we are moving into smaller accommodation so no room for collectables. My wife has spent a big part of the day sorting through hundreds of photos…our lives on paper.

This is not going to be a full post as I don’t have the time but I just wanted to give an update. As you know I have been going through a low period which now seems to have lifted and I am feeling considerably better. It turns out though that while I am going through my lows I turn into a bit of a monster and have not been very considerate in my writings, this is the reason for me disabling my Twitter account for the time being. Though most of you wouldn’t realise it as I haven’t named people, my poor wife has taken most of the knocks. For this I am most sorry.

It is my hope to be back into full swing again soon and to re activate my Twitter account, but, this time I want things to be very different. I want my blog and other contact points to be positive. Even when sharing during my lows, I still want readers to come away with something positive, so we’ll have to see how we go. To ensure though that I am not losing control, I intend to get my dear wife and supporter to monitor my writing to ensure no one gets hurt.

Well that’s about it for now, storms are on us again so spirits are up!

My Wife

This is a post that has been too long coming. I know in my “About” page and elsewhere, I have mentioned about those in my life that have been hurt by me, what I haven’t done is point out that there are those who have been hurt terribly but have still stuck by me. My wife and sons are among these. In particular though my wife had to endure the results of my actions, the betrayal, the breach of trust, lies, embarrassment, pain, etc And then she had to endure the months as I still floundered in my emotions not really understanding what was going on and often hurting her more by wild comments and statements that truly had no place in her life. And it still happens to this day very day. Yes, I am struggling to really come to terms with my situation, but I have doctors, shrinks, and even other mental illness sufferers that I can turn to for support, who can my wife turn to! Most people will want to talk about me, but she too needs to be heard!

My dear, I do hear you, no matter what comes out, whether in word or written, I never want to hurt you! I am sorry that I am not that ‘rock’ or ‘strong tower’ for you and that you usually have to take on that role for me, but I do want to be there for you in whatever role you want. Please don’t see the stupid things that I say and do as a reflection of the role you play in my life, just let me know so I can make adjustments and we can move on. There is nothing I can say that expresses the way I feel. To keep on hurting you is not something I want to consider, unfortunately I know that I all too often don’t think as you do and the wrong thing just happens. I am going to need your help, support and patience into the foreseeable future, please stick with me though you have no reason to.

For all you readers, I know sometimes due to the unusual way that our minds put things together, or due to our not grasping the impact of our actions and behavior on those closest to us, we tend to write them off (and sometimes this is the right thing to do if it is going to cause more harm to ourselves), but we do need to realize that they can be hurting too, we are all victims and all sufferers, so maybe we should try to be a little more understanding of them. A war that is won always means there is a loser. When it comes to mental illness, if one side loses, both sides suffer. Let’s not be the ones to cause our dear ones to lose!

Life in the swamp! (1)

Yeah sorry about this….I have been in a really bad place for a few weeks now so I am trying to think back and dig up some things from the past that hopefully will bring me some peace.

Why ‘Life in the swamp’? Well I grew up in New Zealand, in the district called Waikato. Anyone who knows the area will already be nodding knowingly. It rains a lot there, that is, it rains and rains and rains, the local Waikato beer was ‘affectionately’ called ‘swamp water’ by the locals. About fifteen years ago I took my family to NZ, we started our tour in the south and slowly went north. At one point, due to a mountain range getting in our way, we had to drive miles north to go through a pass and then head south again on the other side of the mountains. This journey took us into and then back out of the Waikato. It was a beautiful sunny day….and then we entered the Waikato and the the rain started and continued until we left again, at which time we again had sunny skies. Well I think you have the picture!

To look back on life at that time, one has to wonder how something so idealic could have been overshadowed by sadness. We lived on a small farm where we raised pigs, ducks, and kept bees for honey. We had fruit trees of every description and a huge vegetable garden. The photo above in the Blog heading is the view I woke up to every day. And green, everything was such a beautiful green – my favourite colour, if there is a green option I will always take it. I was the youngest of eight (my mother was from a family of fourteen), as long as I can remember the older five brothers and sisters had already left the farm to live in Auckland, so my parents were always ‘oldish’, but that didn’t stop them from being adventurous. Every opportunity, we would be fishing somewhere, trout fishing was their/our favorite but we also did dragnet fishing for flounder and longline fishing for snapper and shark. And if it wasn’t fishing it would often be long drives (not that any drive can be that long in NZ). Most of the kids I went to school with had never been further away than the local town, by the time I was ten I had seen most of NZ.

School was HELL, yeah there had to be a down side didn’t there! My parents being ‘oldish’, were really from another generation and sometimes quite oblivious to our plight. Hence while all the boys at school had long hair (it was the sixties), we had a standard Amercan military issue haircut (and we weren’t even in America), short back and sides, or more appropriately described as ‘no back and sides’. For shoes….I guess at this point I should mention that we were poor, really poor, so my parents had to economize in any way possible…well our shoes were girls shoes, now technically they would now be called ‘unisex’ but in the sixties in a farming community where all the boys were big and tough (the three guys who made up the front row of our schools rugby scrum, had a combined weight of 25 stone – over 158 kgs), and they didn’t wear shoes to school, they were too tough for that, these were girls shoes. Yeah it wasn’t pleasant and there was no such thing as bullying, if you complained you were treated like you deserved what you got.

For me, this was the beginning of my depression and anxiety, those dreaded nights where you wish you would just die in your sleep. I would retreat to the swamp at the back of our property. There were willow trees and a creek, and best of all…peace!

Well enough for now…more later

Depression and Anxiety – Have you been evicted from your life?

As I mentioned in Twitter the other day, I watched that great movie “As Good As It Get’s”. I have to say that every time I watch it, the scene where he is at the shrinks and he uses that line to the other patients waiting, is probably one of the best one liners in a movie, especially if you are a mental illness sufferer. Many none sufferers I reckon would not get the significance of him saying that (not that I am trying to create some kind of separation or elitist class here, I just mean that having a mental illness the comment hits a different funny bone. I guess in a similar way to how American sitcom humor is often not grasped by “foreigners”). However, watching it this time I actually picked up on another expression that is of particular interest to me as recently I have been having this fight with myself over an unusual feeling that has been plaguing me. What was it? “I’ve been evicted from my life”.

You see, of late I have been trying to come to terms with how I move forward from where I am after the serious meltdown I had earlier in the year. I mean, I have been to hospital, I’m medicated, I’ve left my job, my ‘live in’ mother in law has just moved out, we are moving in a few weeks, and somehow through all of this I am suppose to pick myself up and start my life over. The truth is at this moment I actually feel like I’ve had my ‘actual’ life taken away from me, I’ve been evicted from my life, and I want it back, I don’t want this other life that is apparently the one I should have – I now understand why many bipolar sufferers feel they want to get off the medication, because they don’t feel themselves anymore. I remember when my anti-depressant medication got what to me was too high, I started feeling really good but I didn’t feel like I had any control. I immediately asked for a reduction. Now I’m feeling this way about my whole life! So was the person I was before me or am I me now, or is there another person somewhere that is me and I just need to find him?

Wow, what a ride? Don’t you pity all those ‘normal’ people and their boring lives? I have been spending a lot of time on Twitter recently and have made some great contacts with people who are feeling just as run down and tired as I am. It has been good for me as amidst all the moaning and groaning, there are always words of consolation, support and even wisdom (no wisdom from me obviously). All through my life ‘friends’ were a tough assignment for me – no problem making them, but then I could never understand them. Things that I would think are obvious they couldn’t grasp. Then there were all the offended people – you know the ones – you think you have said something quite proper (or maybe a bit of a joke in there somewhere) and then you find yourself being given a lecture about how to behave in company. Truly it is only this year since getting treatment and researching mental illnesses that I twigged to the fact that I just don’t get other people and they don’t get me. Writing this Blog and using Twitter has actually been a lifeline, not just to communicate with ‘normal’ people, but also to help me cope with all those strange people that are suppose to be normal. :-/

I think I will stop here or I might find myself going around in ever decreasing circles until I implode….not that that would be a bad thing….

Living on a fine line

Got up at 8am with the black dog hanging off my neck. Immediately went for a walk in order to get some of those natural drugs flowing through my brain – probably lost another kilo in the process, it was already steamy here. The roads were busy with all the ‘sane’ people rushing out to do their shopping or those who escape the city for the day by driving for a couple of hours through traffic jams so they can spend a couple of hours on a crowded beach and then spend another couple of hours driving home through more traffic jams!!! I am so glad I am one of the crazy depression people that thinks about those things and then changes my mind! Not that I am any more anti social than the next depressed person, or that I wouldn’t like to enjoy myself….it just seems to take so much energy thinking about it, that there is nothing left, to do anything else with.

It also occurs to me that no matter which way I turn, I find some way to turn something good (apparently) into….well you get the point. I will say the wrong thing, ask the wrong question, or give the wrong answer to a question. I never actually knew that every answer could be wrong, even the ones that are right. You see, what happens is,  I get asked a question, I think about it weighing up all the possible correct answers in case one of them could be taken the wrong way, I hesitate, I answer, crash and burn! In the rare event that that doesn’t happen, inevitably I use the wrong tone of voice or I have the wrong facial expression….give up and just blab, it’s not going to change the outcome!

At least now I know that it is because my brain is in a different transit lounge to others. I always use to think that it was the other peoples fault, that they were stupid or nasty, no no it’s me after all. So now I find it much easier to just say and do whatever because there’s no chance of getting it right anyway – yeah right! Not a chance, I live on this fine line scared witless knowing that I am going to upset someone and there will probably be less people in the world who will talk to me… Alcohol helps me (not that I am making any recommendations here, in fact I am not a big drinker by anyone’s standards), but it makes me want to curl up and cry myself to sleep, not hurting anyone that way. Yep you guessed it, it’s another storm with lots of rain and I am back on my veranda with…wait for it, not vodka, no tonight is just plain old Tsingtao Chinese beer. Eventually it has the same affect as the vodka! At least it is getting me into writing mood. My friend (hope she doesn’t mind me calling her a friend! – another problem I have is that I think people might actually like me) from ‘thisisadepressionblog‘ left a comment on my last post saying that I need a few more of these storms to come through…well thank you Michelle because the forecast is for another week of them! Doesn’t bother me but I have to live with the kind of people who don’t like them, more stress!

I guess all I am trying to say today is that I am so so so tired of living on The Razors Edge (thanks W Somerset Maugham – great expression) without any reason to believe that things are going to change in the short term. And while I might believe that the long term outlook is good, it’s right ‘now’ that I am living in with my shredded brain, my tattered emotions that don’t know whether I should laugh or cry, and causing grief and pain to those closest to me, those I love and care for the most – I use to be a person who thrived on helping others, giving, giving and giving some more, giving till it hurt….and now I can’t even help myself, “what a chopstick” Confucius says, not really I just made that up!

Until next time…..