A day full of positives….

Today, I visited my GP….I was not looking forward to it, as I was supposed to see her at the end of May 2011! What would she say? Positive or negative things? Well, here’s a list of positive outcomes from the appointment:-

  • increased my thyroxine dose (no wonder I’ve been feeling so tired!)
  • referred me to the community mental health team so that they can help me cope for a while and get me ‘back on track’.
  • suggested exercise was necessary and referred me to the PARIS scheme, which will help me exercise at the gym, swim, go on guided walks, etc to help to improve my fitness and mood.
  • discussed the various antidepressants I’ve been on over the years, but decided to leave me on the present one to see how I get on with the above ( Phew! I do hate coming down off one and building up another..so unsettling and something I didn’t need just now!)

So, despite having three craftsmen in the house today doing various parts of the renovation, I’m feeling better today and looking forward to these activities helping me back on the road to recovery 🙂

Holes Of Happiness

Holes Of Happiness.

A little something to cheer us up on Friday morning 🙂 The days are sooooo long when rising at 7am to greet the plumber but good progress will be made today so that the tiling can be started on Monday! I need to occupy my mind with lots of little things like this as I am feeling restless and not welcome or comfortable in my own home. Just want to run for the safety of pink pyjamas and bed really, but I’m going to persist today 🙂 Thanks Steve and long may you go on giving pleasure to all  those in London and where ever your videos and photos take you!!!!


…..the day I saw the dawn breaking :/

My dawn lamp had lit up and the beeper was sounding softly…..7am? Was this real or was it all a terrible dream? It was true…today was the day the plumber was to arrive at 8am to start fitting a new bathroom. My pink pyjamas were all that separated me from the chill of the house as I stumbled down to the ground floor shower room to wash and dress. The evening before, darling DH had sanitized the main bathroom ready for the work to start and so it was ‘off limits’, hence the stumble from second to ground floor.  How, you may ask, can someone who can’t usually get out of bed until later in the morning get up at 7am? Out of fear, shame and embarrassment! :/  I don’t like having ‘strangers’ in my home as it is my last refuge of privacy from a world that I perceive is always over-interested in everything I do….I’m getting better now, as I can actually manage to serve a beverage and biscuits to said ‘strangers’. I don’t know why anyone should be remotely interested in ANYTHING I do, but I always feel that eyes are everywhere looking, rejecting, judging. I’ve always been ‘shy’ but this is a kind of crippling feeling that spoils my enjoyment of most things…the special times in life the most. It’s quite hard remembering all that CBT training when you’re feeling nauseous and wondering whether you can cope.

As I settled down to breakfast, DH thought we might sit in the dark and watch dawn break but, forever the killjoy, I insisted it was much too miserable in the dark and turned on the lights. Even so, it was quite good to be watching it together through the artificial light and when evening came DH was sitting in the dark and we watched a twinkling planet and the new moon appearing and disappearing from behind the scudding clouds.

Well, the plumber came on time and went and at last my bathroom renovation had started….well worth getting up at the unearthly hour for the prospect of the bathing and showering pleasures to come. 🙂


No, this is not part of the script for ‘Mork & Mindy’, but the word of the day, yesterday, from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Wednesday 25th January.

I had a higher mood today even though I had quite a few activities to perform that can cause great anxiety; annual hypertension review with the nurse at my GP surgery, shopping list, chores, getting washed & dressed, actually going out to the shop to buy the stuff myself and a Burn’s Night supper to cook. I am pleased to say that, with help from DH in the kitchen, I actually managed to do everything and was feeling tired but a little happy afterwards rather than downright exhausted! DS came for the supper and spent the evening with us….bliss 🙂

You might be still wondering why the title of my post is ‘neep’, then, again, maybe you couldn’t care less, but I’m going to tell you anyway! Here’s the definition from my inbox;

neep, n.
Pronunciation: Brit. /niːp/,  U.S. /nip/,  Sc. /nip/
Forms:   eOE naep,   OE–eME næp,   OE non-West Saxon–16 18 (19– Eng. regional (north.)) nep,   eME nap,   ME–15 neppe,   ME–16 nepe,   ME– neep,   15 neape,   16 nippe,   19– nepe Eng. regional,   19– nip Eng. regional (Suffolk),   19– nype Welsh English (north.);   Sc.  pre-17 nep,   pre-17 nepe,   pre-17 nipe,   pre-17 17–18 nip,   pre-17 17– neep,   pre-17 17– neip,   18– neap;   Irish English  18 neape Wexford,   18– neap,   19– neep.
Etymology: <  classical Latin nāpus nape n.3

Old Icelandic næpa, Norwegian nepeare probably <  Old English
In quot. 1791 at sense 1b perhaps shortened <  parsnip n.
Now regional (chiefly Sc.).


a. A turnip; (also, in later Sc.use) a swede. Also: a turnip plant or swede plant.

In Old English, perh. also applied to rape, Brassica napus.
The usual name in all Scottish dialects and current in Ulster and Northumberland, it is also recorded by Eng. Dial. Dict. (1903) in Cornwall, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Herefordshire, north Wales, and Leinster.
b. Sc. and Irish English (south.). A parsnip. Cf. mype n.
2. More fully wild neep. Any of several wild plants used medicinally; spec. white bryony, Bryonia dioica. Obs
3. Sc. A watch; spec.a watch in a case, a turnip watch.Sc. National Dict.(1965) records the sense in general Scottish use in 1963.

Our menu for the supper was;-
Cock a’ leekie soup & roll.
Haggis, neeps & tatties (potatoes- I mash them)
Tipsy Laird
Toast to the haggis; whisky.
 If you love words and meanings, then why not subscibe to the OED online to widen your vocabulary and sometimes have some fun too.

“I buried a lot of my ironing”…..

…..”in the back yard”. Phyllis Diller.

I had such a low mood today that I actually PLANNED to do some ironing. In fact so low, I just had to take some photos of the fact that I actually did some. This is how it went:-

Start time 15-40.

HUGE pile of ironing.

Took pity on DH and did more of his clothes and some easy, rectangular type things watching Stephen Fry talking about “What I wish I’d known when I was 18”

Stephen Fry on laptop.

Then listened to The Dixie Chicks Album ‘Taking the long way round’, but not all of it….by 16-40 I’d had enough and felt wobbly and shaky and had backache!

Doesn't look much does it?

There’s still a pile left on the bed so when I found the quote about ironing, I was tempted to do the same. A friend on facebook posted this photo recently and I thought I would follow this in future:-

This is the problem with depression….feeling guilty and worthless when you feel you can’t do the ordinary things in life. DH had suggested that we send the ironing to the ‘Iron Inn’  a local service that collects the crumpled laundry and brings it back neatly pressed with shirts on hangers. Then I could return to my system of ironing the day after drying….spendid idea that I initially agreed to and felt relieved! BUT relief turned to guilt, feeling that I was a hopeless housewife and that I should do it myself. Ah well, at least some of it IS done now. I remember, way back in the mists of time, when starting something would have spurred me on to finish and I would feel good about myself….I just wish I could feel that way again…….


Morning has broken…….

I awoke to the alarm at 8.00 this morning and realised that it was daylight! This actually made me smile at such an early hour 🙂 So much so, that I decided to tweet this as my one positive thing for the day at  Black Dog Tribe .

One of the five different psychiatrists that I’ve been treated by, told me that there was an element of Seasonal Affective Disorder alongside my anxiety and depression. She had worked with patients at a hospital near Aberdeen where they have shorter days than we do in winter because they are farther North. Her advice was to take a walk out in the fresh air at lunchtime when the day is about at its lightest….even if it is a dull day, there is much more beneficial light outside than in your home or place of work and the walk will clear your head for the afternoon. I also looked at daylight lamps and other devices said to alleviate this condition…I finally decided on a daylight alarm that glows gently and brightens ready to wake you at the appointed time. It did wake me during the school holidays when I was more relaxed, but during term time, I had to switch on the gentle beeper or I would drift back off to sleep! Now, if I have to wake up at a certain time, I need to set Radio 2 on DH’s radio alarm so that I need to drag myself out of bed to switch it off!

Soon the days will be longer and some of the feeling of wanting to curl up and just hibernate all winter will disappear but, this will not take away my fear of not being able to keep up with time and of being late. I remember having a panic attack at my GP surgery because I had come for an appointment on time but a day too late….. I felt so ashamed, useless and apologetic that I had wasted the appointment the day before. The receptionists were very understanding and arranged for me to see another doctor straight away and, although I had to make another appointment about the original problem, he was able to calm me down and prescribed some diazepam until then. I then went home, took the medication and didn’t worry about anything else for a week!! I wouldn’t want to feel like that all of the time because it’s rather like having SAD but being chilled. It was just what I needed at the time and helped me to continue with my regular treatment 🙂

Blow, blow thou Winter wind….

It’s been very gusty and windy all night and all day, as I sit down at my lp having just had bath, hair wash and consigned my ppjs to the laundry basket. A friend on twitter remarked that she’d been awake all night and would the wind please go away….DH and I had slept like logs all night…I tweeted back to say that I still felt like a log! Which is the feeling most days no matter how long I sleep but now it’s 16:28 and beginning to go dark again and I feel as though I can’t keep up with anything….even time!!!! I’ve just done what would be normal activities at the beginning of the day but that SEEM quite simple but ARE very exhausting…..now there’s only a few hours left to get things done and relax.

I KNOW I have all these chores and activities to do but the thought of them just keeps rolling round in my head like a parchment scroll until my brain is dizzy….which shall I prioritize, which shall I leave to another day, would DH mind if we just ate crisps and roast ham straight from the packets so that I don’t have to cook? We are going to visit my daughter (DD), son-in-law (SiL) and grandson (GS) because it is their 1st Wedding Anniversary tomorrow and there are things I need to take like a card and a present and something to eat, but as the time gets nearer I seem to be more incapable of doing anything! It happens every time…Christmas, holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, outings….something has to be dropped or cancelled because of my state of indecision! It used to happen when I was preparing my lessons for teaching….I’d download so many resources that I couldn’t decide which to use and ended up choosing the least common denominator. I knew my students deserved better than this, so one night I made an impulse purchase of over £100 worth of books to try to ‘improve’ myself! I’m still doing that a little bit, but now it’s usually something that I can do at my own pace like art and scrapbooking classes and a goddess circle! Needless to say, by the end of that week I was paralysed with indecision and had to take sick leave..my dear mother had also died a couple of weeks before that. That day was my last teaching day and I was costing the school too much money in sick pay so they applied for my medical dismissal…horrible meetings with the Head and personnel officer and my union rep. Well, I was dismissed about six months later but luckily managed to get ill-health retirement. They wanted me to resign and take an actuarially reduced pension but I refused so they just had to go ahead with the dismissal procedure. After thirty-four years at the school, I had to make do with a short thank you letter and a warning that I must not visit the school again unless invited. I was so cut off from my colleagues radar, that they hadn’t even told me that two of my colleagues who were also long-term members of the staff were suffering from cancer! Shame swept over me as I felt guilty and partly responsible for the pain that the staff had to go through! I attended an appointment at the hospital with my psychologist and ended up being admitted to the MHU because I had threatened to cut myself, I was in such a dark place…. Oh dear, I must leave the story there now as tears are beginning to flow……

Well, what about the here and now? I do manage to go shopping most weeks, so there’s a curry sauce, chicken, some rice, naan bread and mango chutney ready to cook and the ham can be made into sandwiches for tomorrow and I’ll take the crisps as well!  DH will be relieved about that but not when he asks about his trousers that need mending and ironing…they’re still in the HUGE pile of ironing here on the bed! I could do those after tea while watching TV and I’ve already chosen the card, embellishments and design for the anniversary card, so that is easily done later. Even though its five years since I retired, I still feel my moods very harshly at times, although at last I seem to be able to manage most days.

I’m frightened of dogs too….especially black ones!