Monday, October 29, 2007

Still good.

Did yoga this morning and an amazing session of mindfulness meditation. Made me realise that I need to start practising regularly again. I bought a meditation stool and was doing little but look at it. It makes sitting very painless and easy, much better than using cushions, it seems to take all the weight off your knees! I also bought a beautiful new pink marble buddha recently from a lovely oriental shop in Muswell Hill. The lady said that having a buddha in your home creates an atmosphere of peace. I'm picky about buddhas but this one really called to me. And now I'm starting to meditate again!

After that I went to my IT course. That was OK although I felt a bit tired. Then I had an interview/assessment with a lady at the day centre. I got on really well with her and it was nice to talk about my life and about the things that are working well for me. She was genuinely interested. Then I went to the gym. I half thought I wouldn't be able to hack it again, like last week, but this time I managed to do my usual workout, about an hour's worth of aerobic plus some resistance training. That made me feel really good. I so missed my visits to the gym while I was suffering with that blessed cold!

Then I came home and made baked tempeh with satay sauce with some steamed veg and sprouted salad. Super healthy or what! I had a parcel from Forever Living Products. Then I saw Gianna's blog with someone called SF Jane doing a YouTube about her spectacular recovery from bipolar disorder using meditation plus nutrition and 'true yogic lifestyle'! Spooky or what! She seems like an amazing person. Very inspiring stuff. And I totally, totally relate.

Life is good and recovery is great! Look after your dear selves...Zoe.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A good day.

Very productive and not at all lonely. In the morning, after a session of yoga (yay!) and breakfast I went to OA in East was really lovely, and someone did a great chair. I knew a couple of the people from my home meeting so it wasn't too strange. Although when I came to share I struggled to get my words out. Managed to say 'thank you for your chair it was thought-provoking' but I couldn't for the life of me think what specifically I liked about it, my mind was a blank. A bit embarrassing. But I was really glad I went and will definitely go again, in fact I might make it a regular thing, now that my Sundays will be more solitary.

Went to the supermarket to get cat food, then to the Farmer's Market to get my weekly veggies. Then home for a lovely lunch of sprouted mixed salads and my spicy spinach soup. Then I did some MATCH work and filled in an application form for something called the 'expert patients programme'. Went online and ordered a light box. Janey Lee Grace highly recommends them, and now the evenings are drawing in, well I like the idea of more light.

I had a string of phone calls, my Mum in the morning then two friends and Jasper...not used to being so popular. Jasper was a bit quiet. When I mentioned school he said 'can we not talk about school?' I was immediately a bit worried. But I guess it's normal...I probably would have felt just the same after a half-term holiday, at the thought of going back. He went to play footie in the park with an old friend from primary school yesterday. He went to France on Friday, a day trip with Jo and the girls. He said I love you...

I didn't really feel like talking either! Maybe because I had to pretend everything was going along as normal, when in fact, well my long-term relationship has broken up and that's going to take some adjusting to. I didn't want to worry him with that. One of my closest friends has been getting on my nerves. I feel that I need to work a bit harder on the Twelve Steps and see if I can't find a bit of extra compassion in my heart! I have random bitchy thoughts about other people too sometimes, even strangers, which give me pause for thought. I mean what's that about?

I do feel a bit confused, my mental clarity is not the greatest today.But I'm looking forward to getting back to the gym in the course of this week. Today is my third day with no psych meds whatsoever. I need to monitor how I do quite closely for the next few weeks. Lots of love, Zoe.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another day.

And it wasn't a bad one. I went to the day of lectures in Bloomsbury and at first was not impressed. But it might have been partly my mood that made me react like that to Janey Lee Grace. Her second talk interested me more...she got onto natural alternatives to cleaning products and laundry stuff! The real star of the show however was Mark Atkinson who came on in the afternoon. They laid on a very acceptable healthy buffet lunch, after which I went walkabout in Bloomsbury to my favourite wholefood store there, Alara.

Doctor Mark was lovely. The topic of his talks was emotional health and I really appreciated his calm, compassionate approach. He was also much more spiritual than Patrick Holford, who comes across as more of a scientist. He talked about 'emotrance', and other ways of releasing difficult emotions. Also stuff about using visualisation to set and achieve goals. He said we all need goals, but it's best to keep them realistic, specific and positive. As I had been feeling quite low his ideas and advice were very apposite and uplifting. There was quite a big audience, the lecture theatre (in the School of Pharmacy) was full. Mostly always with these kinds of events. Downstairs the Higher Nature nutrition company had all their products laid out plus the books of Janey, Mark and Patrick Holford. I was after my initial misgivings, very glad I went...especially as I only paid half price for the ticket. More, Zoe.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Still a bit done in.

My cold is tailing off but it (and the nasty cold sore) have left me rather depleted. I tried to go to the gym today, in fact, got there but after ten minutes on the stationary bike I had had enough and conceded defeat.

However some good news...I got the voluntary job at Mind. They are checking references now. I also filled in a form applying for a voluntary placement in one of Islington's libraries.

Tomorrow I am going to a day of talks about emotional health and nutrition with Dr Mark Atkinson and other assorted personalities. It's good for me to keep busy, active and mentally occupied at the moment. I am glad I won't be sitting around tomorrow with too much time to think. There is also an OA meeting in nearby Finchley on Sunday morning which I might go to. Now that Richard won't be around I will need to make more effort, socially. Which is no bad thing.

Thought I might go and see Michael Moore's new film 'Sicko' at the Phoenix cinema this evening. First I am meeting two friends for tea.

Got my appetite back after it went walkabout when I went down with this cold. Made a lovely spicy spinach and coconut soup with the spinach from the garden. A taste sensation!

Took no sodium valproate this morning for the first time, after being on 250mg for the last two or three weeks. Now need to see how I go. Easy does it...Love, Zoe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's all over...

...between me and Richard. We had the mother of all awful rows on Sunday afternoon. Things got so bad Richard seemed to think he needed to call the police...I had to wrestle the phone off him! I cried a great deal and shouted and yelled a lot too. My intention for us to talk things through yielded nothing, a big zilch. Richard had nothing to say to me. And everything that I had to say, I said. It was one big emotional splurge. Luckily in the evening I had arranged to see a friend for supper.

Next day I felt amazingly OK. I expected to be wrung out and very emotional but instead I felt energised and excited. It was as if I had expunged most of the sadness and grief the previous day...I went to my Fellowship group and shared, happily, about what I had done. Then I went to visit my Mum. We had a nice time together, visiting Canterbury and shopping for a few clothes for me. I found some absolute bargains, and we had lunch out in a wholefood cafe.

I returned to London to attend my Overeaters group, and ended up filling the 'chair' slot as we had been let down. That's where someone in recovery tells the group their their food issues developed for instance, and how OA impacted on them. With no preparation whatsoever and only six months in OA behind me I did OK. My story doesn't focus on food so much as the mood disorder that started to plague me from age 19 onward. However there were three others in the meeting who had experience of mental hospitals so there was a fair bit of identification. People thanked me for my honesty. I had a very warm feeling from all the positive feedback.

Things are going on satisfactorily. This afternoon I went to register at Learn Direct at the local library so that I can study for the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) there. I had to do a numeracy and a literacy test! They were surprisingly hard, I thought! I ended up with a Level Two in both and the irony was that I seemed to get more right answers in Numeracy than Literacy! I couldn't believe how many wrong answers I got in Literacy! But no matter because you only need Level One to be accepted on the course. I start tomorrow...yippee!

Richard sent me a couple of emails. He said he is very down about what has happened. But anything he says now is too little too late. As for me I have nothing left to say. I said it all...

I attended an interview at MIND last Friday. It seemed to go well though I haven't heard yet if I got the (voluntary) job. I have to take my Criminal Record check down there. There are also other irons in the fire...possibly working in the local volunteer bureau, and also getting a voluntary placement in one of the Islington libraries. (Haringey ones don't take volunteers as yet).

Health wise I still have the tail end of my cold, have a cold sore trying to come up on my lip (mmm, nice!) and feel a little tired. Made it to yoga today but not to the gym.

Take care, Zoe.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh dear.

I'm having a very bad time with Richard. In a five line email last night he managed to convey that he thinks I am dishonest. That I said something (about him) that 'if I am honest with myself' I know to be false. Deeply patronising as well as insulting. A propos of pretty much nothing. I was so upset I texted him several times and he has told me to 'stop as he is trying to work'. I've also sent him several emails. I'm so shocked and upset. It's thrown me and I am already starting to think it's effectively over between us. After eight and a half years. I just need to pray for the strength to do what I must. Whatever that is. Oh dear oh dear.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Feeling better.

Have been forced to take it easy the last few days but perhaps that was no really bad thing. And as I don't get a lot of colds these days hopefully this one will be out of the way and I can get on with work unimpeded when I start! This morning I had to go back to bed and sleep for a couple of hours, waking with a most peculiarly creative involved violent pornography and was so plausible and real-seeming that I thought it must have been on the radio but no, I dreamt it up all by myself! Well I suppose it's creativity of a sort but it was fairly disturbing!

Having that little nap seemed to help with the rest of the day. I've spent it mostly on the internet, doing a little MATCH post (my voluntary work) and OA Treasury, looking through all the bits and pieces that I brought back from the recruitment fairs last week and generally getting organised. It's been one of those days when I am really happy in my own company. Oh and some good news...I heard from MIND the mental health charity that I applied to for work. I've got an interview there for both the positions (admin and advocacy worker) on Friday.

Tomorrow I have to meet my new care coordinator. Her name is Alison. Wendy was my social worker for two years and she was the best ever, sadly missed now she has had to change teams. This new one won't be as nice I'm afraid...she didn't charm a friend of mine but I must try to be as open minded as poss.

I'm on 250mg Sodium Valproate (half a tablet) and will stay on that for a little while more before cutting it in half. No noticeable effects. All my hormonal problems are gone since I started HRT although I have to say I'm not 100% comfortable about being on it and will give it three months before maybe coming off it and seeing how I go without it and just the natural supplements like dong quai, black cohosh and natural progesterone cream.

Take care!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oh dear.

I'm going through stuff. Things started to go a bit pear-shaped on Saturday after an interesting, even exciting, and productive week when I was exercising, job-hunting and attending recruitment fairs. I had agreed to go to the OA convention (Overeaters Anonymous), to the business meeting which was all day Saturday and it took a full two hours to get there (on the tube to Heathrow and a Hoppa bus) and the same back. Factor in that I was starting to go down with a nasty cold...and the air-con was either too hot or too cold. I didn't know anyone there and had to struggle to follow what motions and amendments were being discussed at a given time. The idea was that I was there to represent my group and support the Convention ...well that's one particular 'service' I probably won't volunteer for again in a hurry!

Then when I finally made it back I was struggling to get along with Richard. On Sunday things went further downhill and any efforts to sort them out or make them better seemed doomed to fail. Basically what it seemed to come down to is that my trust in Richard has taken a hammering, because I can't voice anything that smacks of criticism without him flying off the handle and threatening to leave.

And after he left on Sunday afternoon I just felt rotten. Ill, exhausted and depressed. Have spent much of the last few days in bed. Have contact with Jasper on Saturday and don't really know what to do...probably go rowing on the River Lea provided the weather holds out. I wish to God for once he would come up with something to do...I wouldn't mind going to his home town but he used to have this thing about not wanting to be seen with me and I don't know if he still does.

Got the first post for about two weeks this morning. I've really missed it! I'm worried about the state of my relationships generally. Where am I going wrong? Feel like an outcast and a social pariah...Take care all, Zoe.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I'm incredibly calm most of the time these days, compared to how I was. My mood is very stable...I don't have much in the way of highs and lows. I got a bit irritated with my Mum on the phone just now, but that's nothing to write home about...

I am still deep in job applications and trawling through vacancies etc. Part of me gets a little frustrated with it (I want it now!) but I also know that it's worth taking the time and the trouble to find the right placement, to fine-tune it a bit because I'm 45 now and no longer have all the time in the world. Whatever I take on next has to have a rhyme and a reason to it, it has to lead somewhere, has to be useful to my future career path.

Health wise I am very well. No complaints! Except that I wouldn't mind losing some more weight and am not finding it easy despite the optimum nutrition! A few days ago I decided to halve my sodium valproate, using a pill cutter to split my 500mgs into two. I haven't noticed much difference (except maybe the irritability!) Haven't had any physical symptoms, touch wood.

I am taking up a service position in my local Overeaters Anonymous...Treasurer. I'm still religiously working out in the gym three times a week and have also taken up Pilates classes which I quite like. Plus daily yoga sessions before breakfast. Talked to my boy on the phone today. He seems well...has started to make friends at the new school, he was invited round to a new friend's house today. A week on Saturday our next contact is due. As usual I will have to come up with an idea for what to do.

I am sleeping tons better since I started exercising regularly and my confidence is greater too. I am having to spend less time with certain friends who I find draining - too negative. I don't have endless patience and compassion for people who don't seem to be helping themselves.

Take care everyone...Love, Zoe.