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.

Mental Health: Schizophrenia – Reblog “It’s About You”

Read this today…I’m a bit behind in my reading at the moment. It’s from A Journey With You  and I think it is very well written and thought through. Please take the time to read it,

It’s About You

There are times when I need to look out the window, see the man working in my neighbor’s garden, and wonder about his life. What is it like to work hard out in the hot sun all day? Does he make enough to feed his family, if he has a family? Does he have to work two jobs? Who is that man? What is important to him? What are his struggles? What gets him out of bed? What does he dream about? Is he happy, or does he want more? Once I have thought enough about him, I need to think about the other people I encounter. Only in this way do I keep from feeling sorry for myself, see the struggles of those around me, and get out of my mind long enough to care about the people who surround me. No matter how little we appear to have in common, no matter how good someone else has it, we are all aware of our limited days. We are all going to die, and that knowledge alone should bind us together to celebrate our every breath, our every heartbeat, our every step. The fact that we will all die, should break our hearts open with compassion. It’s hard to know there is a finish line and all of us will cross it.

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the photography museum. There was an exhibit called 7 Billion Others. We listened to women talk about how they had no idea about nutrition and vaccines until Doctors Without Borders came to their villages. We listened to a woman from Rwanda talk about how her baby was thrown in the air and cut in half by a man wielding a machete. The same men that participated in the murder of her child (in front of her eyes) cut off her arm, and pierced her in her upper chest (a wound that went all the way through her body). They also jumped on her and stripped her naked. We listened to a miner (without any teeth) talk about how dangerous his job is, but that he does it every day to feed his eight children. We listened to stories about famine, wars, diseases like polio and malaria. We listened to the struggles of many people we share this planet with.

We also learned about people around the world and their fears (one man’s greatest fear was that God didn’t exist, another man’s great fear was that God does exist). We listened to hopes, dreams and what people think the meaning of life is. The people interviewed talked about love, and laughter, they talked about family.

It brought me out of myself.

I have clean running water. I am never truly thirsty or hungry. I have a refrigerator and air conditioning. I have a comfortable bed and access to laundry facilities. I rarely drive, but I do have a car, and I have the ability and means to take public transportation. I have Internet access. I have a cell phone. I have clean clothes. I have at least a dozen pairs of shoes. I have a roof over my head. I have access to medication and doctors.  This is a short list of all that I have.

I also have paranoid schizophrenia. I battle my symptoms every day. I deal with social isolation , a lack of motivation, social anxiety, panic attacks, paranoid thoughts, and long periods of inactivity. Even with all that, I live a privileged and easy life compared to many people on the planet. Even when you throw in psychosis, and the terrors and suicide attempts it doesn’t come close to what some people have experienced.

Today, I refuse to give space to me and my struggles. I will give space to you. I will think about you, wherever you are. I will think about how much you’ve seen, how hard you work, how you try to keep your child fed, healthy and alive. I will give you a place to be seen and heard in my heart and head.

May all of us find a way to help each other, to lighten the load, to lessen the fears, to increase  the laughter, to grow our hearts, and to share the gift of the life we have been born into so that when it comes time for us to pass away, we can know that maybe there were times when we were lonely, but we were never truly alone.  It’s our journey, let’s find every possible way to live it together

Today (7)

Just got back from my morning walk and feeling all the better for it.

Yesterday was our 27th wedding anniversary! So caught the train into the city and went to a great Japanese restaurant (for those living in Sydney it’s called – Azuma’s) for lunch (we always do lunch because it is too cold in winter to go out in the evenings all dressed up fancy). Anyhow we did the set menu, or should I say we did two set menus! My wife did the 5 course menu and I did the 7, and we shared as the courses were all different, it was brilliant. Caught the train home and then curled up in front of TV for the evening….what a great day!

Mental Health: Bipolar – Reblog “Depressive Self-Reflection”

Here is another post that I read a little while ago and thought it was really worth sharing. It is from the blog The Bipolar Maniac, take a look…

 

DEPRESSIVE SELF-REFLECTION

RainbowSelfReflection

During a depressive episode it’s often hard for those with bipolar disorder to look in the mirror and be happy at the appearance looking back.

Regardless if it’s an internal or external battle.I personally really struggle with this.

I often during this time see myself as a “loser!” Though I’m not, it’s a feeling/emotion I can’t kick!

I’ve gain weight from my medications, I fail miserably to workout regularly, and have a serious self-image issue.

Depression brings on all kinds of emotions:

– Lack of self-worth

– Self-conscious issues

– Inability to find happiness

– Suicidal thoughts

– Destructive behavior/thoughts

– Dissociation

– Paranoia

– Anxiety

Just to name a few. For me this cluster of negativity is a road block to healthier thoughts.

I don’t want to feel so down on myself, but really struggle to manage it.

Its been about three months of this depressive episode. Though I’m taking a cocktail of antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants.

These help, but I’m still battling and fighting depressive thoughts.

I’ve talked with others on-line who are experiencing a similar self-conscious issues. I know I’m not alone!

But it raises the question, “how to hurdle these negative and destructive emotion?”

My therapist has given me a few tips:

– Find one thing a day that I find positive about myself (ex: I’m a good mom)

– Do one thing positive a week for myself (ex: Get my hair done)

– Write in a journal daily about my feelings (ex: I managed to not cry today, but found a positive emotion)

– Find a simple activity you can do that is achievable (ex: Take a simple stroll outside)

– Taking a few deep breaths

– Sitting outside enjoying some fresh air

– Call a friend, therapist, family member, or crisis hotline

– Talk to your doctor about treatment options and progress

– Keep a regular routine, such as going to sleep at the same time every night and eating meals at the same time every day.

– Try hard to get enough sleep

– Stay on your medication

– Learn about warning signs signaling a shift into depression or mania

– Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately

– Educate yourself

My therapist has tried to assist me in finding a way for me to achieve small tasks. As during depression it’s sometimes hard to want to do simple things like brush your teeth.

I often find getting off the couch or even getting out of bed is often exhausting!

Though, small achievable tasks do help me feel somewhat better, even a little accomplished.

As for my appearance, I try to exercise. I try to get on my treadmill for 20-30 minutes a few days a week.

Yes, staying consistent is hard but even 1 or 2 days a week can really help!

I also have recently bought a sort of self-help book, to better assist me in feeling better about myself. Not normally one who reads these types of books. But it was something I found I could relate too!

I haven’t gotten all my depressive issues all quite figured out yet, but I think I’m on the right path.

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