Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Potholes and Oases

It is a strange surprise to find that the last time I posted on this blog that probably no one reads, it was merely days before everything went very pear-shaped, and yet my current feelings mirror those of the last post very accurately.

So mid January, I got a visit from my old pal, Tourette's epsiode.  Imagine a grand mal seizure, only standing up and acting out a primal desire to self-destruct.  That's what I used to call an 'episode'.  I say 'used to', because it has been many years since the last one.  They occurred far too regularly in high school, and my record was 21 in one day (ranging in severity of course).  But since graduating from university, my Tourette Syndrome had waned and settled to the point where I had only occasional, minor tics.  Then one happened mid January, probably severity was 3/10.

So there are many contributing factors, not least of which was me coming to terms with my husband being away except for weekends, and my ongoing negative opinion that I'm not allowed to be too happy (and I was at a friend's house, drinking with friends, having quite an enjoyable time).  After that a few more occurred, pushing me further into the massive low mood the first had awoken.

January to March was scary drop into a place I haven't been mentally since adolescence: inability to function, depression, episodes, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.  Everyone was scared, and I put emotions on people who weren't particularly capable of dealing with them, and I was, at a minimum, a 'sub par' friend.  This time was scary, it felt unfamiliar, and it got the point where my voicing of my thought pattern of not being allowed to be happy because it implies my problems aren't real, flabbergasted even my therapist ("No...just...no.  That is really incorrect.  Just no.")

I would give more detail, but ultimately it's not necessary, especially as I know it's not healthy to dwell and catastrophise.  The more important detail is that right now, I am in the best condition I've been in since before I was even married.

I have an amazing and loving group of people around me, a supportive and loving husband, a God who loves me as a father, and a willingness to try anything.  By anything I mean drugs.  At first I felt flat, I lost all my appetite, I didn't desire anything.  A month later, I had a moment of sudden realisation that I was enjoying things, I was able to deal with things, I wasn't getting overwhelmed all the time, and my mind was quiet.  I asked out loud "Is this what normal feels like?"

I'm more domestic.  I'm more supportive.  I'm more reasonable.  It's all a revelation.

I know I won't ever have low moods again, I can still be lonely or down, it doesn't mean it's all over.

Things are just finally beginning.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A Change of Direction

As an academic, I have generally valued the institution of university over other form of tertiary education.  This is not to say that other forms of education aren't valuable or worthwhile, but the career I was interested in, teaching, required a university education, which in turn necessitated a certain standard of academic achievement in high school.  I got an OP of 5, which isn't too shabby, my uni results were ok, nothing to brag about, but I passed.  I was generally encouraged towards university, and I've generally valued intellectualism over the practical, and as a result I developed somewhat of tainted opinion of TAFE and the people who attend it (not for no reason, cos man, have you met those people).

So then I accepted that my mental health had degenerated to the point where my teaching suffered far too much, I quite teaching, and signed up to do a Diploma of Graphic Design.  Through North Coast TAFE.

So I'm a TAFE student now.  I've accepted it, I'm embracing it, I plan to try and finish my diploma in half the recommended time (30 months, so I'm aiming for 15 months or less).

My husband has just, today, merely hours ago, landed a job at a promising Christian school in Gympie, where they seem very excited to have him, and he's excited to have his own Primary classroom for the first time.  I am planning to continue tutoring for this year, so teaching is definitely still a part of my life, and probably will be for some time.

But yeah, life is going in a different direction.  I'm surprisingly positive about it, considering my new situation involves not seeing my husband for most of the week.


Happy new year!