Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Why I Blog

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

I've also decided to re-post and not backdate the post date so that it shows up today as it still mostly rings true.  The reasons I've given up and changed sites and then tried again is because at the heart of it all, I really enjoy writing.  Writing is one of those things that has really helped when the going has gotten tough in the past, it's always been like free therapy!

Anyway, I clearly need a bit more therapy at the minute hence being back here....

Original post date: 21 March 2014

I re-branded and relaunched my blog back in January under a new name, new strapline, new hosting service, but it's still the same old me behind the writing.
Since then I've thrown myself heavily into making connections and trying to read as many parenting blogs as I can and one thing has totally overwhelmed me and that's the competition!
It's really daunting. As someone who for some reason has always fancied a shot at gaining online notoriety and recognition for my writing, blogging, tweeting, Instagramming and just generally being a nice person (in the virtual world!) it's come as a bit of a blow when I realise what an uphill struggle it is.  I'm sure that sounds really lame and like I can't be arsed.  The simple fact is, I don't think I'm cut out for the blogging world!  At least, not the blogging world of today.
When I started blogging I was about 17 or 18.  I definitely remember blogging sporadically whilst I was at uni, and I also used to blog a lot in the secret world of IAM (part of BMEzine - probably NSFW btw...!) which going back through the posts over there, I did a lot during 2006, 2007 and 2008 (when Scarlett was a baby!).  I should copy some of the posts over maybe for Archive Day at some point, some of them are quite interesting reading; my random little rambles about life at uni and then having Scarlett.
Ultimately though, my blogging style hasn't changed.  I've always used it as an online diary, I've always found it very cathartic (my recent blog posts especially are testament to that!).  They've always been personal posts, they're always from the heart.  But I'm beginning to wonder whether that's what people actually want to read about....
I get disheartened when people don't comment on my posts, or I feel like no ones reading, or I don't get a tweet from someone saying "nice post".  I worry I don't blog enough, that my posts are too long, that there's not enough pictures, that I don't run competitions, that I don't do reviews or sponsored posts.
Should it matter?!  When I get to the heart of it and I really dig down into WHY I blog, it is just about my life.  I'm sure people find my blog boring, they probably think I swear too much or my posts are too long and really don't have much to say for themselves.  But when I do blog, I enjoy it, and I guess that's why I get so disheartened and feel like giving up.
When I blog, it means something, I have something to say, something to get out - I don't blog for the sake of it! There are plenty who do, and well done to them.  What I wouldn't give to do reviews and sponsored posts and make money from my blog.  I don't have time for that though.  As much as I love writing, I have a bloody difficult 13 week old to look after, as well as a 6 year old, as well as a husband who I feel guilty about if I don't sit on the sofa with of an evening!!
I guess what I'm trying to get out is that I need to stop worrying so much about how much of a following I have, or whether anyone reads my blog, I should just enjoy it for what it is, stop worrying about the competition, and get back to loving it again.  Time will tell whether I increase my following, start doing reviews and sponsored posts, or whether I just stick to it being my inane ramblings.

Stroke of Midnight

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 02 January 2016
As 2015 finally fucked off and we welcome 2016 in style (sat on the sofa, watching the fireworks on the telly) Andy turned to me and said 2016 was about two things:
  • Buying a House
  • Losing Weight
And he's pretty much spot on.  2016 is definitely about those things, that's the macro view any way.
Post Script: I've deliberately re-posted this one here as I want to follow up on it....

On Reflection: 2015

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 01 January 2016

It's been a while (again).  Life just gets in the way.
When I think back over this past year, I sometimes consider it a triumph I've actually made it to December in one piece.
There's things I've never really spoken about.  Sad things, between Andy and I, that all started unravelling around this time last year.  If I'm not careful, I can feel the patterns which were ultimately our undoing starting to creep back in.  They mostly relate to my own bad attitude and behaviour.
I used to think it was because I was ill.  I certainly had enough people telling me I was like it because I was ill but actually, I think I'm just made this way.  And it's how I temper and smooth my own volatile personality that has a bearing on whether my friends and family stick near me.  I think most know that I can be like this, but underneath it all, I'm not that bad really.  I think this time last year however, my behaviour was driving a wedge between us.
Looking back at the first three months of the year is interesting.
January brought my return to work, and with it a whole new routine (more on that another time).
February saw me spend some time away from the family home.  We felt it was for the best.  We told Scarlett I was working on a project for work that required me to stay on campus.  In reality it was a small flat in Molesey.  It was a nice flat but it felt spectacularly odd.  I've never lived alone.  I hope never to again.
March was time for an Intensive Anger Management course.  I will work on my anger for the rest of my life.  May surprise some that I count myself as an angry person (and probably no surprise at all to others!)  I moved back home to my husband and children at the end of March.
And from thereon, life has been a bit hectic to say the least.
In May we moved, again - and the fact that a lot of our Christmas cards came via my parents' address means I obviously didn't even tell people we'd moved!  We still have a pile of boxes on top of the tumble dryer that have never been unpacked.  Makes you wonder whether we should take them to the tip - we've obviously not missed their contents in the last 7 months!
May also brought my 30th birthday.  In typical anxiety driven fashion, I dithered over what to do.  Did I want to go out and get wasted (yes).  Did I want to celebrate with my kids (yes).  Was I worried about what everyone else wanted to do (always).  In the end I booked a table in the local pub.  And then cancelled it.  And in the end my nearest and dearest came here for my mum's chili and a few drinks.  It wasn't the 30th I had dreamt of (the party to end all parties in Great Gatsby fashion with Beatles For Sale providing the entertainment - there's always my 40th....)(Fuck, 40, cannot imagine being 40 in less than 10 years now, really?!)(No offence to my friends in their 40's....!)
June and July, more of the same, work, work, boring work.  I think it was around this time I decided something really had to give and I couldn't keep working in the same place for much longer for a variety of reasons.  That said, my two office colleagues helped pass the days easier!
August brought me an opportunity I couldn't let pass me by.  So despite having had my confidence knocked at an internal interview (with the School of Nursing, yes, that's right, I will name and shame - worst interview of my life, 5 days after gallbladder surgery, couldn't that have given me a few bonus points?!) I decided to apply.  Thanks to some great pointers on CV's and covering letters I whacked my application in with 15 minutes to spare and waited.  Then came an email, "Please come for an interview on 26th August."  Yippeee!!  Except we were due to have our flying visit to Amsterdam, returning late that evening!  Thankfully they saw me on the 27th and it went really well.  So well in fact they called me about 2 hours after my interview to offer me the job!  Finally, on to brighter, better things!
In August we also explored territories new and booked an all-inclusive package holiday to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt.  We literally had no idea what to expect and despite coming down with the dreaded Pharoah's Revenge literally hours after stepping off the plane, we managed to recover and once we booked Woody into the nursery for the week (sorry Woods!) I think we had a good time.  I think Andy and the kids were bored of the food but I quite enjoyed my daily beef and rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!  That said it was quite stressful with Woody and we've vowed not to fly with him for a couple of years and to holiday closer to home....
September was a nothing month, filled with handing in my notice and then enduring 5 weeks of a notice period rather than 4 as they were too stinge to give me a couple of extra days off (apparently I already owed them two days and I'd blown my chances because I'd been on reduced time due to stress earlier in the summer which the management obviously weren't happy about, RUDE!)
I did start volunteering with the Guides again in September, and whilst that has brought some challenges (e.g. getting across that I can't be there every week and I'm not sure I can take on the Unit Leadership...) I have enjoyed it.  They're a lovely group of girls and I'm looking forward to new adventures with them this year.
October I finally started my new job and I couldn't be happier.  I cannot tell you the difference it makes to have a job you really enjoy.  Of course there are a couple of niggles; I don't get a lot done some days as I end up picking up random pieces of work from various other members of the team but I'm enjoying most aspects of the job.  I have a new manager starting next week so I'm looking forward to meeting her (unfortunately, my lovely current manager is leaving for Jersey).
And since then it's all been a bit of a whirlwind of working different hours, running around with the children in the morning and being shattered when I get home, but I think it'll be worth it in the end.
And onwards to 2016! Happy New Year!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Newsflash! I'm Still here!

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 02 July 2015

I am still here, surviving, riding that giant rollercoaster.
Lately I've had a few conversations with people about Woody's birth. The first time it just happened, a new friend asked, and I gabbled it out, surprised at how big the lump in my throat was, but how desperately I wanted her to know what had happened, her concern touched me and I felt I had to get it out, the dark little secret which hasn't been told to anyone new in a while.
The second time was on Twitter, and I headlined it purely with, "I nearly died".
Now, I kind of feel like I need to stop putting it in those terms, I guess I do it because, "What?! You nearly died?! Tell me more!"  Why do I go straight for the jugular (ha, funny story, they couldn't even get a line into my jugular, because I was.... nearly dead).  See, even in my own garbled trains of thought, the fact that I thought I wasn't going to make it still seems to come to the forefront.
Is this normal after such a traumatic event? Is it any less interesting to tell people the actual truth rather than the shocking headline?
I think I do it because it's quite a long story, I feel like I want an index card with bullet points thus:
  • I wanted a VBAC
  • I developed Obstetric Cholestasis; it's a problem with your liver; it can be quite serious, the only cure is to give birth
  • They didn't have an Elective Section slots booked; I chose to be induced despite my better judgement and the research I had done
  • ARM (Artificial Rupture of Membranes) didn't work; they gave me Syntocinon
  • They gave me too much Syntocinon
  • Woody was in distress; his heart rate was Bradycardic
  • He was born via episiotomy and forceps; yes, I had an Epidural; no, my bits aren't the same but I'm too scared to see anyone about it
  • I lost 3.8l of blood; that's about 80% of my total blood volume (or so I am told)
  • I went into hypovolemic shock; my veins started collapsing; they were even trying my feet and groin to try and get a line in somewhere; even my jugular collapsed
  • I thought I was going to die; so did Andy - he actually thought we were both going to die
  • Woody didn't breathe on his own for 4 minutes; within 10 minutes he was doing okay but he was still taken to neonatal care for observation
  • Eventually I went to theatre; I was then sent to HDU for 36 hours so I didn't see Woody until that time
  • I'm generally in a pretty messed up place about it; I don't know where to get help from; I cry when I think about it
I think that about sums it up, and it's not any less traumatic or shocking, but it's just easier to go straight for the bottom line.  Although, yes, thank you, the bottom line should be, WE SURVIVED THE FUCK OUT OF THAT SHIT!
I know it sounds all very dramatic, and well, it was actually. And I know I sound melodramatic for either going on about it, or dwelling on it, or continuing to battle with my emotions over it, but that's to be expected, surely?  Am I not allowed that?
I'm not saying I like dwelling on it, and actually, even just looking up Uterine Rupture or Hypovolemic Shock scares the shit out of me, but it's something that will forever be here, indelibly marked in my soul, I have the scars to show.
I've had some incredibly hard times lately, I've mostly wanted to hide in bed a lot of the time, but that's no good when you have two children!  Andy keeps asking me, "What's the matter?", but I invariably don't really know, and I feel like everyone gets mad at me when I say, "Just thinking about Woody's birth again" or even, "I don't really know." In fact, the latter seems to wind Andy up more than the former.  It's hard for people to help you when they don't know what's wrong.  That's frustrating beauty of depression, right?!
Even last night, I started thinking about the operation I'm going to need to have my gallbladder removed, and I started panicking; the thought of going into theatre, of going under, of the pain of recovery.  It should be a walk in the park compared to what I went through, but, there it goes, sneaking back up on me, reminding me how awful it was.
And that's sad.  I've spoken before about how ultimately sad I am about Woody's birth. He's growing into an utterly amazing, adorable, characterful little boy, and in some ways I'm glad, because he has not been an easy baby, but then I think, but you're not that little newborn any more, I missed that, because I was so ill and suffering SO tremendously from PTSD and flashbacks and all sorts of nonsense,which I still am, but to a much lesser extent.
Anyway, I'm rambling now.  Heh, that's my blog for you...!
I have lots of other things to update on and I will do, in more happy posts.  Needless to say, I'm back bitches!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Time Flies....

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 21 April 2015

Not that I've been having much fun!
Let's just say, the beginning of the year did not get off to the best start.  For numerous reasons.  Mainly to do with some marriage issues.  And that's all I'll say.
I am pleased to report though that we're putting things back together, slowly but surely.  We're working on our (my) issues and trying to fix it.
Things have been a bit hectic since my last post.  Christmas, coming back to work and 'those' issues have all taken their toll, and suddenly I find myself in April.
I want to do a bit of a post for Depression Awareness Week but I'll do that separately.  I wanted to let you all (my few readers) know that I was still here, still surviving.
I went on a very enlightening course in March to target my anger issues.  I came back feeling empowered and ready to put a different spin on things.  I'm mostly working my programme but as part of that, I need to get back into journalling and blogging as a way of making me present and aware.  Which is hard when you sit at a desk all day and wish the hours away and try everything in your power not to be present!
We're moving house again in a few weeks time.  The new place is smaller, but closer to Worcester Park.  There's not a lot of bulky storage (boy, am I going to miss the garage!) and has built in wardrobes so it's going to be interesting to see where we're going to put everything.  Already I'm having kittens about the kids toys, (Scarlett's room is certainly smaller), and also all the stuff from our study.  I'm thinking of just putting majority of my books into storage or something until we eventually buy a place and I can have some fitted bookcases made!  I feel however, that it's a more realistic move for us.  Ultimately we will end up in something this size (or possibly smaller) thanks to the fucked up market in our part of the UK, so I think it's a good time to have a clear out of all the stuff that's been hanging around for the last year.
Scarlett continues to do well at school.  Her reading and writing know no bounds (though, her writing still needs work, I'm still cursing the school for insisting on teaching them cursive, I kind of think it's holding her back!).  Her listening still needs work and her iPad use is quite frankly ridiculous, but she keeps us down with the kids through her YouTube viewing....!
Woody is finally walking, and has suddenly become a proper mini person in the last couple of weeks.  I like him a lot more than I did this time last year (honesty is the best policy, right?!)  He knows what he wants, and isn't afraid to throw a tantrum if he doesn't get it.  But it is getting a bit easier with his pointing at what he wants.  His current vocabulary includes, "Hiya", "Iggle Piggle", "Sgar sgar" (Scarlett) and "Des Des" (his childminder).  He's very good at nodding and shaking his head and seems to mostly get this right, though it does have hilarious uses, "Woody, are you a monkey?" *Nods head vigourously*.
We've joined a gym in an effort to shift the horrific amount of weight we've gained in recent months (years!).  It's going well so far though Andy has yet to make it up there.  We need to do some Saturday morning's together when the kids can go to the crèche/kids activities and Andy and I can get 2 hours in.  I've been trying to go as much as I can, I have aqua tonight and I'm very excited about it!
Work is....  Yeah, well, work is work.  I'm not massively enjoying it, I miss being at home (I mean, who wouldn't!).  I wish I could go part time but that's not going to happen any time soon (if ever!)  It's a bit depressing to think I might have another 40 years of working ahead of me.  I cannot be stuck doing admin forever, I seem to have lost any skills.  I feel sometimes like I could've done anything, but I threw it all away about 13 years ago and that was that.  I'd love to work for myself, but doing what I don't know.  It's very hard to feel that expanse of time ahead of you, with no real goal of how you want to fill it.
Any ideas?!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Hoping to Move On

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 16 December 2014

It's here. The eve I've been dreading.
I wanted to write this tonight because I don't want Woody's birthday to be darkened with my PTSD.  But I had to get it out there.  I hope people can understand.
All day I've been thinking about sitting on the antenatal ward, waiting.  Waiting for a bed to become free.  It never happened.  Eventually we asked to be discharged on the promise of being induced the next day.  The weather was horrible that day and I'm glad today has been a bright sunny day, so unlike this time last year.
I've also been thinking of someone who did have her baby a year ago today.  If she's reading, I'm sorry.  I had intentions of posting a card through her door for her son but chickened out, she's probably the last person she wants to hear from. But I think of her often, of the horrid things I said, of the way she made me feel, of my own issues which I projected onto her and the childish way I acted.  And I'm sorry for all that.
I'm scared about how I might feel tomorrow.  I so want to enjoy the day, it is, after all, Woody's first birthday.  Something momentous, and joyous.  But I'm worried I'm going to have these niggling thoughts in the back of my mind.
Really, it's the 18th I should be worried about.  Maybe that's the day I should have my funk, enjoy Woody's day tomorrow, and be prepared for the sinking feeling come the 18th.
Woody was born at 11:47 (a time etched into my mind as it was the time I frequently woke in a cold sweat for weeks after his birth).  So really, the shit didn't hit the fan until the early hours on the 18th.  I should fear that date more.
And what is it I'm scared of?  I think the flashbacks.  They've been getting more frequent the last few days.  The things that happened, the way I felt, the things I told myself.  Like an out of/in body experience.  As in, I can clearly, vividly remember lying there, under the blanket, being attacked with needles.  And then of lying in HDU, the darkness of that ward, the painful surges of morphine through my veins.  It is vivid.  Really, fucking, vivid.  It's real.  It's become a really sad part of my life.
There are lots, LOTS of people who think I need to let go but I don't know how.  I am seeking help for that though.  I meet with a therapist on Friday to see if she's the right one to help me overcome not just this, but all the other things that have troubled me for the last 15 years of my life.  If she's not the right one, I will carry on searching as I have to fix myself.
On a brighter note, I'm working on some lovely things to share the rest of this week, time will tell whether I find the time to bring them to fruition.

Monday, 28 April 2014

I'm Still Here.... Just

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 28 April 2014

Hello, to my very few readers (and probably dwindling by the second with all my bad mood tweets and flare ups lately!)
I just wanted to say I am still here, but my PTSD and depression are taking me over at the minute and therefore I'm basically a piece of shit to everyone I encounter. Sorry about that, I don't mean it, I seem to have a horrible gremlin living inside me at the minute and I don't know how to get rid of it (if only it were a tapeworm....!)
I'm planning on following a couple of May writing/Instagramming prompts to hopefully make things a little more interesting around here.
In order to save my sanity I'm trying to keep away from Twitter at the minute but I will be spamming the shit out of it with my May posts.
I know I'm at the bottom again and that I'll come back up but it takes a little while and I have to concentrate hard (which is hard for someone who has a slight case of ADHD at times!)
Anyway, hopefully you'll join me for the hopefully Merry Month Of May.