I’ve been trying to work out recently if I have some kind of disorder that makes me need to regularly have something wrong with me? In which case, I’m about to out myself as a hypochondriac, so Hold on to ya butts.
In general, I appear to have a reasonably good hold on my life. I’m very self-aware nowadays and can manage the depressive and anxious times well with just the odd minor blip. BUT it is infrequent for me to be 100percent. There’s always some kind of ailment or illness to contend with. This week it was a wisdom tooth that I had convinced myself was growing horizontally and was about to EXPLODE out of my face. In reality, I just grind my teeth at night, and it’s nothing to worry about. But to get this reassurance, I took a very unnecessary ’emergency’ appointment to the dentist after plenty of deep dive google searches of horrifying pictures of “teeth gone wrong” In conclusion… I am a massive attention seeker. But why?
As I am now a student of Psychology #feelingposh, I’m hoping to figure out why plenty of people like me and I do this kind of attention-seeking behavior. I’m a relatively independent soul in typical day-to-day life, so why the constant neediness? I google everything from why my eye twitches when I’m tired to if there’s a severe condition when I overeat. I once convinced myself I had Prada Willi syndrome* because I literally could not stop shoveling food in my gob one day.
I do know I’m not the only one like this. Although I’m outing myself as a great big needy attention-seeking knob, I see a handful of people that really are not aware they do this. It can manifest into a terrible illness called Munchausen’s syndrome which can be highly complex but, in basic terms, is when somebody fabricates stories of disease and sometimes even goes as far as intentionally makes themselves poorly by exposing themselves to bacteria and rubbing dirt in wounds. Really not nice and worrying for everybody involved. As I am talking about this, I recommend a great watch on Hulu called the Act (See link below) about a mother who has an illness called Munchausen’s BY PROXY. It manifests as her convincing herself of her daughter having all sorts of conditions. It’s based on a true story and is a wild ride but shows the dangers of the disease in its worst glory.
Anyway, I’m not sure this was the direction I wanted this blog post to go but there we go but I just love to ramble!
A rare congenital condition characterized by excessive appetite, often leading to morbid obesity.
Note- I am in no way poking fun at the disability, I genuinely thought I had it (big sigh and eye roll)
It’s been a little while since I last came here to spout out ramblings about my life non coherently. Still, I guess I started to arrive back at the “normal” station again these past couple of months. Going to work after school drop off and worrying about menial things like how I wished I hadn’t have left the washing out when I left. The sun just loves to put his hat on first thing in the morning only to be bitterly traitorous further in the day.
I’ve also been working hard on assignments for the open university degree I half-heartedly took on late last year. Turns out, it’s not half-hearted at all and is, in fact, one of the most challenging but most enthralling things I’ve ever done! Most recently, I have been learning how to write academically…Something I clearly lack the skill of at the moment. Most feedback I receive is that I often put unnecessary words into my essays…Yep, that’s me hun. Unnecessary and full of pointless information.
Another exciting development in my own personal psyche is that I’ve come out this past year with a new view on life. The moments I do now have spare, I really appreciate. After school drop off this morning, I took my pig/dog up to a local church nearby to me, and it’s honestly the most beautiful, peaceful place. I just sat taking in the sounds, view and could literally feel my brain slowing down. It’s quite a new feeling for me to sit and do this, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
I recently had a catch-up appointment with my doctor following the pandemic to check in on how my mental well-being was. Quite often, I can be fine for months, but a few weeks ago, I could feel a familiar darkness creeping up on me. I was waking up at 3/4am, unable to sleep and feeling like I needed to hoover, sitting in the garden in the rain (yeah, weird, I know), online spending, and doing a lot of staring into space in despair… Basically, early symptoms of a breakdown from previous experience. So instead of letting this manifest, I told my other half, who immediately got me on the phone to my GP. He upped me to 40mg of fluoxetine, which started kicking in. I’m feeling much more positive I can keep a handle on things that completely overwhelm me.
I’m grateful that only this time last year I don’t think I would have the tools to notice when something doesn’t feel quite right and that now I’m almost, dare I say it,…In control. If only I could control the amount of food that I shove in my gob…
Supposing you have already read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I was considering whether or not to have a second child and the mental wellbeing consequences that would come from that.
I did decide to take the leap and let things happen because remember, I’m a great believer in everything that happens for a reason, right?! Sadly, it would appear the gods aren’t in favor of this time my decision.
Miscarriage – My own experience with a Blighted Ovum.
I just want to start by saying until something like a miscarriage happens to you, it’s hard to visualize just how traumatic it can be. We all know the statistics and how common it is to suffer a miscarriage, especially in the early days; however, I, for one, never really sat and thought about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had enormous empathy for those around me that have gone through it. Still, nobody actually tells you HOW much of a long, messy, emotionally tiring, and not to mention painful time it can be.
I’m still quite raw as mine has just happened in the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to write about it now. To catch the emotions and hopefully help me heal and move on. Writing has always been good at helping me.
I had gone along for my first scan (12 weeks) last Tuesday alone as due to the covid rules, partners still aren’t allowed to come (I’ll try not to lose my rag over that situation). I didn’t mind as I thought I could video call him while inside if there was much to see. That idea went straight out the window as I entered the cubicle to be greeted by a very short and stern-looking sonographer. “phones switched off in here, please,” she said. Although slightly disappointed, I put my phone in my bag and got prepared on the bed.
After about 5 minutes of prodding and poking but no words, the lady then asked me to go for a wee as she would need to do a transvaginal ultrasound (and yes, it is as bad as it sounds). I asked if there was a problem and why couldn’t I see much on the screen, but she turned the screen away and said she just needed a better look as I could be slightly earlier than we expected. I went to the toilet with an awful feeling. I knew then something wasn’t right but returned to the room with a smile on my face to not look silly if everything was actually ok!
I stared at the black hole on the screen—a black hole with nothing visible inside. No yolk, no fetal pole …nothing. To be honest, I knew then that this would not be a successful pregnancy but to follow protocol. The sonographer explained I would need to go for some blood tests to see what’s happening. I played along.
I had blood tests every 48 hours, which consistently showed that my levels were high enough to be carrying a fetus…somewhere! Just not where it was meant to be. The stress of limbo and the unknown took its toll on me, and by the Saturday, my blood pressure had gone through the roof, and I had started getting bad cramping. I stayed in the hospital all day, waiting for the doctor to tell me whether he thought I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (fetus grows in the fallopian tube). I knew this to be dangerous, which added to my stress. I begged to go home to be with my partner. He had waited in the car for the whole thing. Not being able to be a part of it or grieve himself, not being able to console me when I cried, and not even being able to listen to the doctors when I had zoned out. That night in bed, I thought I was dying! I was bleeding and cramping and crying and almost passing out with the pain. It felt like actual labor. I called the ward I had been on that day, and they explained I was most definitely experiencing a miscarriage (yeah, no shit sherlock)
To be honest, it was a relief. Not because my pregnancy was failing but because I’d had enough, and I wanted it all to be over. After everything, the most likely diagnosis for the loss was called a ‘Blighted ovum’ (see description below). My body had thought it was still pregnant even weeks after the egg had stopped growing. This made me feel strangely embarrassed. I felt awful that I had been telling every Tom, Dick, and Harry my news even when I technically had no news to tell. It was a hard pill to swallow as I had got myself over-excited to the point I was googling baby names and planning the baby’s room—silly me. I have had to spend the past few days re-texting those people telling them I’m actually not pregnant now. That in itself has been pretty rough.
It’s clear to me now that I really did want another baby, and the last two weeks have honestly been nothing less than hell. I had all the pregnancy symptoms and stopped all the bad habits, i.e., caffeine and alcohol, for almost 3 months. I had felt sick and tired with boobs that felt like boulders for 3 months. All for absolutely no reason at all. This is a type of miscarriage nobody talks about. The loss feels raw, but the baby was never there? So now, I sit here writing it all down, hoping for a bit more clarity from the fog I’ve been in, but it is still yet to clear.
I know I will recover from this, but now I ask myself whether I was only ever meant to be a mother to one? Whether Will this happen again? Whether this is a clear sign, I should take note of? Or whether I need to forget everything I ever believed about how things happen for reasons and try again. Time will tell, I guess, but in the meantime, I will hug my daughter a little tighter at night and be thankful for her and her health.
The week I had been dreading was almost here. The Sunday night palpitations were setting in as I sat and stuffed my face with any chocolaty treats I could get my hands on to distract myself from impending doom. I laid awake a lot of the night tossing and turning with visions of angry customers queuing a the door, banging to get in! wiping coronavirus hands all over the window front and throwing insults at us…
The reality was obviously NOT this at all but my brain does like to be dramatic.
I work in a well-known UK travel store you see and let’s be honest. 2020 has not been kind to travel so far, far from it. We were closed for months meaning the initial bedlam of canceled holidays bypassed us (luckily); however, the shower of shit was waiting for us on our return. Mainly in a pile of letters and abusive notes posted through the door, most dating back in April. Poor people who had no clue what to do and nowhere to vent their frustrations posted passive-aggressive notes through the door, begging us to get their holiday sorted immediately! Look, I’m sorry, Mrs. Jones, but we can’t just magic a Boeing 747 down to Donny airport just for you to not miss your annual trip to Benidorm to get pissed up with ya gal pals now, can we. Seriously.
My first couple of days consisted of staring at my boss trying my very hardest to listen to my essentially new job role of ‘saving the sale’, encouraging people to amend instead of cancel upcoming holidays and helping to keep the company out of the shit. I tried my best to listen I really did but after approximately 1.5 hours of it I realised my face resembled that of the stupid seal from Finding Dory. Vacant. Bewildered. Dumb.
Of course, the other side of all this is that I’m feeling excited to be around people (colleagues, not customers, obvs) again. I’ve missed my work gang, the everyday talk of how much we hate customers, and anything at all sex-related. You know, all that mature stuff. That kind of stuff is good for the soul. Remembering who you are and not just being “mum,” I don’t work many hours. Still, it’s enough to keep me sane (ish), Although I’ve absolutely loved being off work and was dreading every aspect of going back originally. I’m so glad I’m starting to get ‘back to normal.’
People I’ve spoken to are saying we should all expect a second wave in the winter. What do you all think?
But actually, it’s one of the most difficult things to put in to practice. How many people can say they are proud to be assertive? Even if you’re quite good at putting it into practice it doesn’t always feel good.
In 2018 I started listening to Fearne Cotton’s podcast “Happy Place”
Fearne delves into the subject of Happiness through chatting to individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people find a different way of looking at life. Something about her interview style has sent my mind into a spin. If you haven’t already, listen to it immediately and thank me later.
One that particularly sticks in my mind is when she interviews yoga inspiration Zephyr Wildman who sadly lost her husband to cancer. In the interview, Zephyr speaks candidly with Fearne about dealing with her grief whilst managing to keep it real and gain self-awareness. She spoke about changing her friend circles and being accountable for her feelings. And most importantly knowing yourself and knowing when to say NO.
Her circumstances were, of course, a lot more extreme than my own but I still found her way of healing herself from mental trauma very helpful to my own issues.
My upbringing was precarious at the best of times, with me often feeling let down and, in turn, leading me to become unable to know myself and eventually losing all confidence in asserting myself in adult life. I was always a bit of a ‘sheep’ growing up and would just go along with whatever was asked of me. I honestly didn’t think that I minded.
You can imagine my horror that as I grew up I learnt that you are faced with all kinds of trials and tribulations that you really should just decline but you have no idea how to!
I felt stressed and uptight attending parties where excessive alcohol and drugs were present, knowing that I’d have to get fully immersed in at least one activity. I chose alcohol. All I actually wanted to do was go home and put my dressing gown on with a cuppa! The number of times in my teenage years I’ve ended up in the bed of some random that I ‘kinda knew’ just because all my friends were doing it, and again, I didn’t know how to say no.
All this kind of behavior is damaging, and it is only in the past 4 years or so that I’ve learned that I’m allowed to say “I DONT WANT TO” you can actually say that, you know! Crazy right?
My friend circles have shifted back and forth over the years, depending on my mood. Still, I now realise the importance of needing to be surrounded by people that will improve your life and not drain it. It’s been hard, but slowly and surely, I’ve managed to pull myself away from the energy drainers and swayed more towards the people that fill my life with happiness and make me feel good. I recently discussed this with one of my close friends, who couldn’t believe she hadn’t tried the art of “NO” sooner. Seriously, guys, it’s a great feeling.
I sometimes get a little “No” happy, though, almost like a big fat middle finger up to all the times I didn’t say it. And obviously, I don’t always say it. I would help my friends and family out in a heartbeat. Still, I also know when someone’s taking the piss, i.e., going to do the weekly big shop for someone AND paying without the balls to remind her to pay me back just because she asked me to… ahem… Interestingly, my newfound confidence has lost me ‘friends’ over the years…
If you’d have asked me six months ago whether I would ever consider another child, the horrified look on my face wouldn’t even need me to give a verbal answer. Me? with two children when I can barely manage one?!
Fast forward a few months and I found myself answering slightly differently than the answer I gave to the last person who asked. Whether the main change has been just simply having more time on my hands to ponder or its whether I’m watching all my friends who have two, three and even four kids just absolutely boss it.
This would be a good time to talk about one of my dearest friends who I completely admire and wish I was more like. Having her most recent little cherub at the end of last year she now has three children 5 and under! This girl can breastfeed, read a bedtime story, change a nappy whilst simultaneously putting a wash load in..all whilst baking a fricking cake! Serious mum goals there. Some people just have the knack, don’t they?
Then there’s me, who almost goes into cardiac arrest if my daughter gets more than one toy out at a time. I mean, I’m trying to get better but I have a major control issue in the house. If the house is chaotic, so is my brain.
One of the main things my therapist and I worked on was to try and let go and relax. Apparently, it stems back to keeping my bedroom such a tip when I was growing up, almost mentally scarring me of all the bad times and struggles I had when I locked myself in there for days at a time! Sounds dramatic but makes sense as I can’t relax if there are things out everywhere and I lose my temper unnecessarily.
Mess triggers me. But weirdly only at home. In my own little bubble.
So anyway, the thought of another, although still slightly scary, is enticing me more and more. Sometimes I watch my daughter talking to rocks in the garden and it breaks my heart. She asks all the time for a little brother or sister as all her friends have them and it stumps me… I’m full of um’s and er’s as I have no real excuse other than reminding her she would have to share everything and sometimes mummy wouldn’t be able to give her ALL the attention. She usually pipes down a little bit then. But still. I am wondering.
But my questions are –
Am I mentally strong enough to do this all again when I struggled so much first time around?
Am I letting childhood memories of having an extra three step-siblings pretty much torpedoed into myself and my brothers little broken home overnight affect my judgement?
Am I letting the collective family opinion of ” I think ones enough for you Jaz” shape me more than it should?
A banana skin just got a thrashing within an inch of its life as it landed in the recycling bin. “Stupid fucking banana skin” I mumble under my breath as I go to pick it up and launch in the correct bin (after slapping it against the wall a couple of times first). All of a sudden, I’m alerted to the fact that my period is well on the way and it was time to prepare.
From a young age even pre childbirth, I’ve always struggled with my periods. I remember suffering from Aura type migraines and excruciating abdominal pain when I was at secondary school leading me to miss out on fun social activities like smoking bongs and shoplifting keyrings and scrunchies from Claire’s accessories. Bummer. I cursed myself and thought there was something wrong with me for being that friend who kept bailing all the time. none of my friends had these issues so Why me?
More on “Why me” in my next post.
I’m 101percent sure I am a sufferer of PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder) however when I once mentioned this to a nurse at my local health clinic she looked at me like I’d got two tits on my head. See below for symptoms.
They all seem pretty usual for anybody to experience before a period don’t they, except all are felt in the most extreme ways. The hot flashes are what led me to start looking for a second opinion (well, that was before corona took hold)
I can lose my shit over the tiniest things ranging from yellow fruits not landing in the bin properly to complete overreaction towards my other half asking me if I happen to know where his work clothes are. “AM I JUST A SLAVE TO YOU IN THIS HOUSE YOU FAT BASTARD?!” followed by the “escape” suitcase being brought down (again) from on top of the wardrobe and me throwing my things in angrily with no real plan of action of where I’m going or what the hell I’m doing really.
Originally I always put these mood swings down to the personality disorder but then I began tracking my periods using the “FLO” app (highly recommend) and quickly realised that the extreme rage and hot flashes tend to be viler the week before I’m on. They have been that extreme in the past that I’ve had to go and stay in a nearby hotel for a couple of nights for my poor partner and daughters verbal safety. Its bad guys.
It’s sad to me that it is not as widely recognised by health care professionals as it should be. The nurse I saw that said that I must mean PMS as she’d not heard of PMDD before. BIG sigh and eye-roll.
Even without any other mental health issues, PMDD alone can cause severe distress to yourself and others around you. My closest run-ins with attempted suicide have been around the time I was due on and this is a problem. It is so important to SPEAK UP if you feel like your experiencing something more than just one would expect from PMS. If you wake up crying in the middle of the night wanting to do yourself in but have no idea why then somethings not right huns.
Speak up. Get a second opinion and follow my journey getting the correct diagnosis because I know it is in there somewhere! jeez, being a woman is hard sometimes.
I’m trying to work out whether my newest obsession with wanting to become a cannabis smoking hippy is just a phase or the start of a mid-life crisis? Hear me out.
For the past year, whilst mostly being in a happy, stable place I have a little naughty voice in the back of my head who is bored out of her mind and getting little to no stimulation. We’ll call her Rita. Rita Rush.
Poor little Rita lives in my brain riding the wave of life quietly satisfied by my regular poor decision making and erratic or risky behaviour but I’ve really backhanded her down lately. Sensible money decisions, not wanting to run off from my whole family and start a new life with the random man that winked at me in his van and even refraining from putting my newest business idea of starting “SHAMPOODLES” mobile dog groomers, to one side.
I just feel like I want to get high. Not like smacked off my tits high or ruin my life high but high enough to relax and think a little bit more freely. You know the kind of high I mean right?
Back in my teenage years I probably gave myself a bit of brain damage from the number of bongs I’d puffed away on at such a young age. It all started when one of my more rowdy school friends asked me for a sleepover at hers and of course, being the attention-seeking, rebellious kid that I was, I had my bag packed before she even finished the sentence. Anyway, the long story short is that i puffed away on a buddha shaped bong in the family living room with my friend, her mum and brother like it was as normal as passing a Toblerone around. That was the start for me at the tender age of 13. I continued smoking weed until I was about 17 and haven’t touched anything since. I never did any other drugs other than the one time in a bar when I dropped an “E” but in hindsight, I’m voting it was an out of date smint as all it did was make me drool and fall over a lot.
I was around drugs a lot growing up but never tempted, which is quite a feat considering my personality traits. I can only imagine my self-control in this area was because I was mainly too pissed to feel any need to add on to it. But my teenage drinking is a whole other post. So Rita’s getting a little agitated, she needs some adrenaline-fuelled action and I can tell I’ve been keeping it from her too long.
So my question is.
Do I let her have a mini victory by getting a little pot to quieten Rita down (totally illegal in the UK by the way. BOOO) or do I ignore her in the hope she doesn’t make me regret it? This is possibly the longest space of time I’ve been without having some sort of dramatic meltdown crescendo after a slowly built-up shower of shit. The longest I’ve not had the suitcase down from the top of the wardrobe with my “escape clothes” in and also the longest I’ve not gambled for. Its almost as if Rita knows I’m doing well and she can’t handle it.
I want to be left alone, my brain is too fuzzy for all the questioning, the voice from outside too much for my ears. But as I see them walking away I immediately feel fear. Abandonment. Why would they walk away when I’m feeling like this. What if I were to lose control ? Come back.
The Cyclical Nature of the Fear of Abandonment People with EUPD may simultaneously fear abandonment and have symptoms that create conflicts with others, such as volatile moods, distress intolerance, extremes of anger and withdrawal, and impulsivity. People with EUPD often engage in self-sabotaging behaviour such as oversharing, misplaced anger, impulsivity, lashing out at loved ones, and poor self-image, which leads to greater relationship disfunction. These behaviours within personal relationships often lead to relationship instability and even abandonment, which then reinforces the fear.
Sound familiar? Its sadly very familiar to people who have abandonment issues or maladaptive coping mechanisms. The need of comfort yet not being able to accept it or feeling as though you don’t deserve it. One particular example of this for me was late 2015 after a pretty stressful year of running a pub. The chaotic atmosphere and anti social working patterns alongside the management of unruly casual bar staff (although extremely funny bar staff and some of the best mates I ever had!) alongside trying to maintain a relationship with somebody who wasn’t 100percent sure we had made the right decision took its toll and caused my first major “Episode”
I don’t remember a great deal towards the beginning, only a fuzzy memory of being sat in my car staring into space for a considerable amount of time, I know it was a long time because it had started to get dark and it definitely wasn’t dark when I pulled up there. I casually rang my partner and told him that I thought I might like to walk in front of one of the lorries passing by as I’d had enough now. My worthlessness had literally come out of nowhere but I was serious and worryingly, not afraid? He came to me as soon as he could and took me to my mums which was nearby. I remember them both talking to me but I continued to stare. Completely shutting out anything that was being said. All I was thinking was “I just want to be alone, in the quiet, why are they still talking to me? I want to go to bed” There voices were a massive inconvenience to me but at the same time I had called them to be there. I knew I needed them and I knew I needed help.
It was after this that I started to take things a lot more seriously. I realised that it was possible I didn’t deal with stressful situations very well but couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t understand why until I went to visit a counsellor who tipped my version of the past 31 years on its head. What followed, was a rough ride.
I recently decided that I was going to change career paths (again) and find the real me (again) I think the recent situation with the lockdown has maybe triggered my search and my curiosity away from travel which is what I currently do.
So one evening, I thought id look at what its like to work in a mortuary. I’ve always had a strange fascination with death even going as far as spending time in cemetery’s when I was younger reading the headstones and imagining the people who were below my feet. I know, extremely morbid.
I trawled research articles on peoples experiences of working within this role and what things would be involved. After approximately 72 minutes down this rabbit hole even so much as finding a local advert for such a position I managed to get all the way down to the “Apply now” button before the realisation of the possibility of having to perhaps ever deal with children could arise and that was it. The phase passed.
I remember once I had convinced myself that I was about to become rich on the back of selling homemade crafts. I spent hundreds of pounds on scrabble tiles to make quirky box frames along with sheets of material, a glue gun and other odds and sods. I wrote in an old journal of all the ideas I had and how I was about to make it big, maybe even being the next Kirstie Allsopp! I made a Facebook page along with a questionable logo and went about starting my work. The general reception was good. I sold a few , made most of the money back that I spent but then my inspiration escaped me. One day I just stopped. No rhyme or reason, I just didn’t want to do it anymore.
This is the problem with an Impulsive mind you see. The obsession comes but is almost always swiftly followed by the wall. the mental block. Catching my interest is easy, keeping my interest is harder.