Today 10

Wow! I can’t believe how fast time is going. Just a quick update.

I am still holding my own with the depression…yoohoo! Actually I think I have just been so busy that I have probably broken some cycle or other. My job is really good and I have been doing probably one day a week of overtime. I am also building furniture again…this time for ourselves, a “day bed” that can be a single, two singles or a double. Should be good. With the change in the weather, getting warmer, it is soon going to be time to get active in the garden as well. Oh yeah, I also made some shortbread the other day.

Been doing a few family things as well…suppose to be playing golf this Sunday with my sons.

My wife has been making some new meals recently and they have been a great success, and tasty…yum!

I am still working on some other posts but they haven’t gone far, slack!

Well that’s it for now, take care all

Depression: The Black Dog has become a transient visitor?

black dog

Yes I am pleased to say that my old ‘friend’ the Black Dog has become only a transient visitor, here today gone tomorrow…kind of! So since my previous post on this subject, Has anyone seen a Black Dog, things have settled some more. The depression has been back, but really nothing to overly concern me. Mornings are the time when I am most likely to feel flat but providing I get myself up and going I usually break the cycle, and since my new job requires me to be up at 4.30am five days a week, I am fairly well covered.

The other helpful thing about my new job is that at no time am I able to just drift off and dwell in my thoughts. I am either trying to maneuver a bus through heavy traffic or around inner suburban streets, or I am interacting with the passengers as they come and go. All round my mind is well occupied…this is so different from my previous office job that had become totally boring and something I could do in my sleep (or in a state of depression).

office sleeper

So all round I am feeling a lot stronger, a lot more positive. On bad days I can face them knowing that I can manage, and still feel a sense of accomplishment and, if I can make somebody else’s day a bit better then it’s still been a good day.

I am still on my medication and at this point I don’t see myself coming off it for a while, I am just not that sure of how strong I really am. Also, I have been getting out a bit more recently and my wife has detected some of my ‘old’, ‘odd’ behaviors, so one step at a time. The other thing that does concern me about coming off the meds is, what happens if I start to slip and that triggers anxiety attacks, I do not want to go back there!

So what’s the moral of this story? Depression/mental illness is not something that will necessarily leave you, even with treatment. Treatment however can make a big difference but it takes time as well as trial and error, but don’t give up. Always look for ways within your life that can help you…get a new job, something you like rather than something that pays well or has some prestige to it. Help others, not just by social media but by getting out and getting involved, have that interaction with others – even if this means some kind of group therapy where you can use your experience to assist others.

I know I still have a long way to go and that I am still going to have bad times, but right now I am feeling liberated from that old dog, he’s still there but he doesn’t have the hold that he did, he’s not tearing me down and making even my good days bad….let’s hope I still feel the same tomorrow!!!! (Just joking)

Today! – On the buses

Well today was the first day where I had to do my routes properly with a trainer just there to offer assistance if I got into trouble…no problems, I nailed it, didn’t miss any stops, didn’t miss any turns, didn’t injure or maime anyone. I was very pleased with myself.

The trainer was also very impressed because I didn’t get ‘rattled’ at any point, despite have lots of ‘interesting’ things to deal with. The toughest was when a group of disabled people got on with their carers. One in a wheelchair who was completely dependent on his carer. It took us ten minutes to get them on and settled…that was the end of keeping to my timed stops! Anyhow it was one of those incidents that they talk about extensively in your training but often never happens as most of these groups have their own transport system, this groups mini bus had broken down. But now I have done it, seen how it works and will always be able to say “yeah yeah I’ve done that” when it comes up in future training sessions.

Well that was yesterday and today went even better, all training complete and as from tomorrow I am on my own…yoohoo!

No incidents at all today, just a lot of paperwork at the end that I had to sign…this is just to say that I acknowledge that they have taught me everything and it is my fault if I forget something, usual stuff.

I am feeling really good today, no blues or fog, let’s hope it lasts hey. Well keep your eyes open for updates!

 

He’s not a Bubby anymore! – Depression and Grandchildren

It’s true! He’s growing up way too fast! My bubby grandson is no longer a bubby, he turned three not long ago and has just turned into a completely different kid…still really cute and funny, but a different person. I don’t remember kids growing up this fast before! All those cute “little kid” expressions have given way to a more sophisticated “aware” personality. The expressions keep growing in number, and admittedly funnier, but they are not the little kid things they use to be. One of his latest tricks is to drive a bargain, “hugs and kisses – deal?”, “play for five minutes, milk, story, sleep – deal?” Who knows where that came from.

He’s still a big Thomas the Tank Engine fan…”who do you love?” Answer “Thomas”.

Thomas(1)

Yes you can get him to say mummy or daddy but that always takes a few seconds for him to assess the situation! Then of course there is the mind games he will play…”do you love mummy and daddy?” Answer “no, I only love nana and pa”. I make the shortbread that he likes so much and I’m not scared to use it for the purpose of bribery.

He now sleeps in a big boys bed, no more nappies, and the safety gate has been taken away from the top of the stairs. He’s now stable on his legs and runs without looking like he is about to fall on his face, which is a good thing because he does lots of running.

Just last night he was having dinner with my wife and I, he initially refused help but after his third mouth full he said he was full, that’s his way of saying “I’m sick of feeding myself”. My wife steps in to help him and at some point he notices something green on the spoon that he doesn’t recognize…”What’s that?” he asks. It’s zucchini my wife says. He turns not just his face but his whole body away from my wife and says, “I only eat corn, peas and noodles”! After being told that everyone in the family loves zucchini and that he will too if he try’s it, he reluctantly eats it…it’s now one of his favorites. I really like his malleable personality.

It’s also great when he starts using words he doesn’t fully understand – he rings our doorbell, “come in if you’re ugly”, he comes in with a big smile on his face and says “I’m not ugly” question to him “so who is ugly then?” His answer “mummy”……30 minutes later he didn’t fall for that one again!

I am really happy to report that he is still sweet and considerate and comes out with the funniest things. Here are a couple more of his recent ones – they come with a story:

He’s been coughing through the night due to a cold that just won’t go away. My son (his dad) here’s him coughing and goes to see him, he asks, “Are you alright?” Noah replies “Yes daddy, I’m just very sick”.

Due to the amount of coughing he has been doing, my son sometimes sleeps on a mattress in Noah’s room so he can hear if it gets serious. The other night…(cough cough, cough cough) “Daddy?” Daddy says “Yes Noah” Noah replies “I’m aw’right”!

Just last night he started crying, his parents attend, “what’s the matter?”…no answer, he wants them to tell him! Eventually it is ascertained he has a sore throat and is given paracetamol, he sleeps for the rest of the night. In the morning his mum asks “what happened last night?” Answer, holding up his hands with his thumb and forefinger only a little apart “I had a little tantrum“!

How is this all working for me? Well I still have my ups and downs, not as many as before, as I have mentioned previously. My depression certainly has stabilized significantly. What I am happy about is that I did have some concerns that being in such close proximity to the family and a loud child might ‘rattle’ me, but it hasn’t and I am really enjoying the contact.

Previous Bubby post

Today (8)

buses

Today is the beginning of my second week of work, having lunch at the moment (9.30am) so decided to write this and post it tonight when I get home.

So why am I having lunch at 9.30am? Start time was 5.50am.

When I got to the depot this morning I was greeted with the news that one of the drivers had a heart attack (see info), collapsed and died a short time earlier! Great start on a wet, windy, freezing cold morning, still the buses must keep running. The best part of the morning was the third route I did, a school bus route – first day back after a two week break – only problem was this school doesn’t start till tomorrow! Whatever happened to communication?

Last week was made up of two days in house training, then three days driving. Was ok but my instructor seemed to have a Jekel and Hyde problem, each day around 11.30am his personality went from congenial to antagonistic, then after an hour or so he would back flip and be fine again…go figure. My guess is he is probably suffering from fatigue and consequently at a certain point in the day he just cracked. Still a new instructor this week and so far he seems a lot more relaxed. This week I have three day here driving again then back to the class room for two days.

It is really weird going back to work after more than twelve months off, I was a happy retiree, retiree I didn’t need to go back to work (except for the need for money), I was happy doing my own thing with my walking, furniture making, shopping (one of the reasons I need to work…we love shopping). Not that I don’t want to work, it’s just not one of those things that drives me. In my twenty six years in the government I remember that most of those who retired in their fifties or sixties would be back as soon as they could get in. Some of them had great pensions and had no need financially to work, but they just wanted to work…I think they needed to get a life!

So how is the depression holding up? Well I have been mostly clear! Since those days a couple of weeks back when I had my first taste of fog free life, I have been a little bit ‘unstable’, not in a bad way but just in that the fog has tended to drift in and out. Some mornings are clear but mostly a bit low, nothing like they were earlier but just a reminder that the fog is lurking. On these days if I get myself up and going early I can improve quite quickly (so not too much of a problem now that I am working mornings). If I stay in bed then it takes longer for the fog to clear. The other thing that I have noticed is that I am prone to being very self critical if I make mistakes or if someone points out a mistake, I don’t remember being like that before. Last Friday I had a bit of a bad afternoon and got so ticked off with myself that I left for the weekend without finding out my Monday start time and without handing in my daily time sheet…will keep monitoring that one.

The other thing that has happened with the start of work is that I have fallen behind in my blog reading, way behind. So if anyone gets comments on two week old posts don’t be surprised! There are a couple of posts in the pipeline but they too are having to wait. I am just trying to take all things as casually as possible, spend as much time with my wife as possible – we have hardly been apart in twelve months – and just relax.

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