Looking to the year ahead

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We decided not to do presents this year except for the children we know. It actually made the build up to Christmas more enjoyable. I wasn’t worrying about what to buy people. Dave and I didn’t buy Daisy anything either. She was just over 9 weeks and oblivious to the fact it was Christmas. We agreed we would rather buy Daisy thing as and when she needs them while she is so little. Daisy did get presents from our family and close friends including a play mat that she adores.

Daisy will be 11 weeks old on Friday. She is so much more alert now and smiles a lot. Daisy makes a lot of different sounds too. She had her first jabs the week before Christmas. We were fortunate that she didn’t seem to have any adverse reaction besides being more sleepy and cuddly than normal. We have got Daisy into a nice routine and for the most part she goes to sleep relatively quickly after her evening bath and bottle.

Yesterday I went back to the gym. Last time I went was 6 weeks before I gave birth. I was highly anxious beforehand. But I was glad I went. I did a Bodycombat class and really enjoyed it. It was hard but not as much as I anticipated. It was nice to catch up with people. I am aching a bit today but I was expecting to.

Dave and I have never done anything big for New Year’s Eve. This year will be no exception especially as we are now parents. We plan on our usual tradition of getting a Chinese takeaway and chilling out in front of the telly.

I am really looking forward to the year ahead. I am taking Daisy to a 6 week sensory class at a local soft play centre. My best friend teaches a sweaty mama class. It is an exercise class that you can take your babies to. I am planning on finding some sort of music based class for Daisy as she loves music and I want to do a baby massage class. I am looking forward to seeing Daisy grow and develop. I love being her Mummy.

I hope everyone enjoys bringing in the New Year. Here’s to a fantastic 2018!!!

The black clouds have lifted

On Tuesday I managed to go back to the gym. I did bodycombat and bodypump. It was noticeable that I had a break from the gym. But even going to the gym was an achievement in itself. I was really sore for a good few days this week. 

I also managed to do a proper food shop. When my anxiety and depression are bad, I tend to eat whatever I can grab. I bought some veg, fruit and generally healthy food. I managed to start cooking healthy, filling meals too. 

Last weekend I couldn’t even face leaving the house at all. Today, I was able to take Walter for a walk with Dave. Tomorrow afternoon we are going round to our friend’s house. 

When depression rears its ugly head it robs me of all interest in anything. It’s like the world is bleak and grey.  Through this recent low, I had support from Dave and two awesome friends. They kept checking up on me, reassuring me and letting me know that they were there for me. I am so appreciative for them being there for me. 

Quiet weekend

For the first time in a long time, Dave and I are enjoying a quiet weekend. We took Walter for a walk in the woods near where we live yesterday. It was really nice being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. 

Last weekend’s dachshund walk went really well. Initially, Walter seemed overwhelmed. There must have been at least 20 other dachschunds. The walk we went on was lovely. At the end, Walter played with a handful of different dachshunds. It was lovely to see him so happy. 

   
    
    
    
    
 

The gym is still going well. I am really sore from it. It is a result of doing all the latest Les Mills Bodyattack, Bodypump and Bodycombat and another personal training session. The new Les Mills releases are fantastic. They are hard work but fun. There is a pull up and running challenge that my gym instructor friend has set. I am planning on starting them on Tuesday with a friend from the gym. 

I have a CBT appointment tomorrow which is the first for a few weeks. I am hoping to address the social anxiety that I frequently experience. Especially as my friend from the gym has invited us a few of us from the gym to hers next Saturday evening. I am already worried about it. 

I have a new post up on Defying Shadows. It is about 5 Ways to show someone with Asperger’s that you care. You can read it here.

Apathetic

Thank you to all the supportive comments on my last post. They really helped. Dave is going to come with me to the assessment on Friday. He is going to wait outside so that I can speak freely and honestly. 

I did a Bodycombat class earlier. I really didn’t want to. For starters, my stomach was really hurting which is a sure sign that my anxiety is high. I am still not sleeping properly which doesn’t help at all. 

On Saturday I pulled some muscles in my chest. The pain was nothing I have ever experienced. Anything I did resulted in sharp pains in my chest – eating, lying down, picking Walter up. I ended up taking a co-codamol at night as however I lay in bed I was in agony. It eased up a lot when I got up on Sunday. I thought it was best to skip the gym on Monday night. But as usual I felt guilty for not coming. Looking back, I wonder if my anxiety was making my chest pains worse. 

Dave and I took Walter for a walk to somewhere we have never taken him before on Saturday. I felt on edge most of the time. On Sunday I felt totally apathetic. I could have just stayed lying on the couch staring at the ceiling. Dave didn’t give me much choice and we took Walter for a quick walk. 

I spoke to my therapist on Monday during my CBT about the mental health assessment. She could see how much I was struggling. I was on the verge of tears during the entire session. She thinks that my medication will be changed and that I might be under the home team. My therapist has referred me to a charity that can help with volunteering and vocational qualifications who have mental health issues. I think this would really help me. 

Back on the horse

After a chilled out weekend I managed to get myself in a better headspace about the gym. It helped that I talked to my friend from the gym via whatsapp. The conversation wasn’t about my mental health. It was just a typical conversation between friends. One of my big worries was facing her after what happened at the gym on Thursday evening. 

The anxiety was still there today. Dave was messaging me words of support and encouragement. But I went to the gym with the mindset that I wouldn’t let my anxiety win today…and it didn’t! I did the entire Bodycombat without anxiety rearing its ugly head. 

Gemma 1 – Anxiety 0

I also didn’t let the current low I am experiencing stop me from taking Walter to puppy class with Dave. This week we asked to bring something that your puppy sleeps on. We took one of Walter’s blankets that he sleeps on in his crate. We were then shown how to get your puppy to go on his bed. Walter already responds to “in your bed”. He has a routine of going out to the toilet and then going straight into his crate ready to sleep each night. It is something Dave and I have instilled from the beginning and it was evident during the class. Walter was definitely one of the most responsive dogs. I was so proud of him! 

The last half hour of puppy class is a chance for all the dogs to socialise. We let them off their leads and they can do what they want. The puppy class we take Walter to is on a huge secured field. It has taken weeks for Walter to get more confident socialising, but he is definitely getting there. At the beginning, he would sprint towards the gate to leave the field. I don’t think he will ever be as lively as the labradors in the class. But considering he is the smallest dog in the class by a lot I can understand his hesitation. This week I managed to get some photos of Walter socialising:

   
The lovely Tilly

    
 
One of the trainers brought her 12 week old minature labrador called Wibble. Walter loved her!!!

   
 
Betty the black lab

   
    
    
 
Walter did so well considering he has been out of sorts. He is teething and lost a tooth on Friday. As you can imagine, he hasn’t been very keen to eat. He was also sleeping a lot more than usual and generally being more cuddly (if that’s possible!) more than usual. 

   
This is Walter’s teddy Jesse. Yep…Walter is named after Walter White from Breaking Bad. We had to call his teddy Jesse. This is a kong teddy and it is fab! It has minimal stuffing and has rope inside it. 

    
    
   
I am happy to say that Walter is much more himself. He has eaten all his food the past two days and has been playing a lot more. 

Tomorrow I have Dom. On Friday his Mum is getting married. Dom is an usher and I am going to support him. I am worried about how I will cope with the day. But the most important thing for me is ensuring that Dom is ok. It means one less thing for his Mum to worry about and I am so glad I can help. I will post about how it went. 

The Starlight Blogger Award

Rebecca has nominated me for the Starlight Blogger Award. This award was created to help highlight and promote Inspirational Bloggers. Thank you so much for nominating me! 

  

Rules:

Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog.

Answer the 3 questions that are given to you.

Pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.

Include the logo of the award on your blog, please never alter the logo and never change the rules

Rebecca’s questions:

What keeps you inspired?

My family and friends, Dominic and the community here on WordPress inspire me. Music also inspires me. 

Your favourite place to be?

I love chilling with Dave and Walter whether that is on the couch or out on a walk. 

Any hobbies or sports that you’re passionate about?

I love the Les Mills classes I do at the gym (BodyCombat, BodyPump and BodyAttack). Exercising is a great escape for me. I am passionate about music and reading. 

My questions:

  1. If you could travel back to any period of time in history, when would you choose and why? (Currently watching Gladiator with Dave and I asked him this question :P)
  2. Favourite Disney film?
  3. Favourite chocolate bar?

Nominees!

 Amber Keeps Breathing

The Rabbit Hole

 Voyaging Voyager

Ask a Teenage Aspie

davesoapbox

By Lauren Hayley

Bipolar Whispers

Nicky’s Day with Autism

The blame game

Walter was really sick on Saturday. We don’t even know for sure what caused it. It was awful. He was throwing up for an hour. He stopped and has been fine since. But me being me, I blamed myself for it. This triggered a low which made me ill. I cried so much my face hurt, I had a terrible headache and I struggled to snap out of it. I wore myself out to the point of exhaustion. Yesterday I woke up to a terrible headache. 

During this horrendous low I ended up telling Dave that I experience suicidal ideations. He said that he thought that I did which is why he really wanted us to get Walter. The tremendous levels of guilt I felt when I did calm down were overwhelming. I was repeatedly apologising that I get these thoughts. I was insisting on cancelling plans on Sunday afternoon for our friends and their 4 year old daughter coming round to meet Walter. Dave suggested that I make the decision in the morning after sleeping. 

I am so thankful for Dave. I was ready to text my friend on Saturday night to cancel. Looking back now, I am glad I didn’t. We had a nice few hours with them. My friend asked what I do with Walter when I am at work. I used this as an opportunity to tell her about how things have been since December. My friend was shocked. She said had no idea, especially as I had seen her when things were really bad. I am glad I told her. This friend lives nearby and I said to her to get in touch whenever she wants to meet up.  As she has a young child, this has always been the way I am with this friend.  

My mood is quite low. I would rather just sit in. However, Walter needs to go for a walk later. It would be easier to not go to my usual Bodycombat class later. I am going to go though. I came across a pattern colouring book that I bought during my last breakdown. I am planning on buying some new felt tips. The ones I found have dried out. Colouring in helps my brain to switch off. 

I am supposed to be spending the day with my sister at some point this week. I am also going round to my parents on Friday. They have been on holiday and are back today so I didn’t see my Dad for Father’s Day. Part of me doesn’t want to see them but I will fight through the negative thoughts. I haven’t seen them for a few weeks so a catchup would do me good. 

Walter is perfectly fine now. He is back to his usual self. This was him last night chilling on the couch with Dave and I:  

 

The darkness is lifting

Either my increased dosage of Citalopram has kicked in or the devastating low of depression has started to lift. Whichever it is, I am so grateful. 

Bodycombat on Wednesday was more enjoyable for the first time in two weeks. Dominic really lifted my mood later on that day. His sense of humour is really coming on and so he had a few jokes he couldn’t wait to tell me. We had a fab time singing songs in the car and at my house while playing with Walter. Dominic totally adores Walter. He can’t wait until Walter can go for walks and has suggested a number of different places we could take him for walks. 

Now that I am in a slightly better place, I have been wondering if Walter was picking up on my low mood these past two weeks. I’ve been emotionally vulnerable and so I took it to heart when he was having an off day. The rest of this week has been much better with Walter. He has been a lot more playful and responsive. 

   
 

As each day passes the black clouds of depression are lifting. With that I become more fearful. Due to the nature of depression, I will experience the unbearable low again. I’m scared of its inevitable return. The hopelessness, helplessness and negativity I experience when my depression is bad are overwhelming. I guess I just need to learn to ride the waves of depression. 

Dave is off work all weekend for the bank holiday plus he has Tuesday off as leave. I can’t wait to spend some proper time with him. The last two weeks have been such a struggle. As a result Dave and I haven’t had much quality time. I’m at the gym tomorrow morning. It makes a nice change to be looking forward to it instead of huge levels of anxiety. Our friend is coming round for the day to meet Walter on Sunday. Apart from that, we don’t have any definite plans. Dave has suggested going out for tea on Tuesday. Possibly for a Chinese which we haven’t done in a long time. 

Thanks again for all the encouraging and supportive comments on my posts recently. They gave me hope that things will get better. 

Onward and upward

I’ve managed to get an extra four CBT sessions on top of my existing ones I have left with my current counsellor. I’m really pleased. It seemed like I was starting to get a good understanding of myself so I am grateful I will be able to continue this. I have a session this afternoon. It’s my first one since coming home from Australia. 

I have been really busy these past few weeks. It’s been good. I have spent time with my family which has been great. I feel closer then ever to them right now. Dave and I saw my parents last weekend. For the first time, I talk with them about the guilt I feel for various reasons. I also expressed concerns that I worry that they don’t think that I am mentally ill. They were really supportive and said that this wasn’t the case. 

I also spent the day with my sister this week. We ended up going Pets At Home for more things for Walter. We also had lunch in Pizza Hut. I would recommend trying their salted caramel cookie dough dessert. We shared one and it was divine. My brother is coming round after my CBT session and we are going for lunch. 

I went back to the gym last week. Last Wednesday was my first time in 3 weeks. Les Mills have released their new stuff and it is brilliant particularly Bodycombat. My first classes back were really hard. I felt like my fitness was noticeably worse. However, my body seems to have needed the break from all the intense exercise I was doing. My knees have not caused me any problems since returning from Australia. I am able to use weights again during the leg track of Bodypump. I am back to doing the high impact moves in Bodycombat and Bodyattack. My friend from the gym thinks I was over exercising before Australia. She and a number of other people at the gym have said I look like I have lost weight. My metabolism will also be working constantly as a result of regularly exercising. 

So tomorrow is the big day – we go to pick up Walter! Our house is all ready for him after sorting it out all week. He is registered at a vets. I am excited and nervous. A puppy is a big responsibility. Dave and I want Walter to be happy with us. My friend from the gym said that her parents got a dog when her Dad was struggling with depression. She said it really helped him and she thinks Walter will be a good thing for me. She is going to come round to meet Walter on Wednesday. My Mum, brother and sister are meeting him on Monday. 

Busy, busy, busy

Only 3 days until we fly out to Brisbane! This weekend has flown by as Dave and I have both been busy. 

I really enjoyed going for lunch with my parents and sister on Friday. It was nice getting to spend time with them. My hair is now even shorter. My hairdresser was laughing that I keep getting more of the length taken off each time. I now have a graduated bob which is the shortest I have had my hair in a good few years. It is much more manageable and will hopefully mean that I will be cooler in Australia. 

On Saturday was my godson’s 2nd birthday party. We had a good time. I was anxious in the car when driving to our friend’s but I was able to work through it by talking to Dave about it. I am still convinced my godson is autistic. He is really into cars at the moment. There was a lot of repetitive behaviours – moving the cars in a particular way, in a particular order etc. Also, he would lie on the floor and move the cars close to his eyes. He seemed fascinated with watching the car wheels turn. My godson does not talk and there was no imaginative element to his play. Other red flags were that we wouldn’t be singing happy birthday or putting candles on his cake as he is scared of candles and he was scared to open his presents unless you opened it to a point that he knew what the present was. I have thought for a few months now that my godson has autism. But I know it is not my place to broach the subject with my friend. Regardless, Dave and I love my godson. He means a lot to both of us. 

We started packing for Australia when we got back from the birthday party. It was comically to see how much more I am taking then Dave! I normally really hate packing for holidays but it helped me feel more organised and excited. 

Yesterday Dave did overtime at work. I went the gym in the morning. In the afternoon I started cleaning and tidying the house. It’s the first time in a few months I have done a proper clean. It sounds vile I know but I had zero motivation to do housework. It was taking all my energy to even get out of bed on particularly bad days. I feel so much better for doing it, even when I knocked the hoover and its contents spilled over the hall carpet! I managed to not get worked up about it which is a big thing for me. 

I am going the gym tonight. My friend is going to be doing some of my favourite tracks during combat. It was suggested that I make some requests as it is my last Monday at the gym for a good few weeks. 

Tomorrow my brother is off work. He is going to come round to mine and we are going to go out for lunch. Wednesday I am at the gym in the morning and I have Dom in the evening. 

This is potentially my last post before going away. I don’t have any concrete plans to post when I am in Australia. I do plan on taking a lot of photos which I will post at some point. 

Thanks again for taking the time to read, comment and like my posts. It means a lot. Until next time!