When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

Archive for the ‘OA’ Category

…and Friendship with Kittens…

Regarding kitties…thank you La, they are fine. Merlin the kitten is now about seven months old and is a fine physical specimen. He is also a good laugh. When I wake in the morning, around 7.30, he is there, sitting always bolt upright on the corner of the foot of my bed, to greet me. It’s a happy thing to have a soft, warm kitten to stroke and cuddle first thing in the morning.

The situation with my friend that I described in the last post is no longer playing on my mind. I managed to have a talk with her. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to say to anyone. I felt I was risking losing her friendship or alienating both of them for good. Sadly it would not have been the first time a friendship had gone down as a result of me speaking my mind.

But all that said I did feel it was something I had to do. And she took it incredibly well. Not, of course, that she was pleased and happy to hear my words of wisdom! More like shocked, upset and angry…which was entirely natural. But she said she would go away and think about it. In a way I must admit I almost did want to shock her, so as to shake her into waking up to what was happening. But I knew I was testing the friendship by saying this stuff, and it was excruciatingly hard for me to take that risk.

Anyway I saw her again yesterday and she was quite normal with me. Which was a huge relief.

Blogging from work. Not a very busy day in the office. OA this evening. Lots of love…Zoe.

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A Little Bit of Soap…

Hi gang. Good to be back. There’s a nice, upbeat-possibly-teetering-on-the-verge-of-hypomanic opening. Hope I won’t be (as has happened in the past) looking back over this entry at any point, cringing with self-loathing, embarrassment and abject shame.

I do feel, this morning, almost a little too good. Luckily I am at work, which conspires to bring me down to earth, reminding me of my lowly position in life, as I (wo)man the reception desk and generally perform the tasks of chief file-maker, tea maker and errand-runner! I recommend it to all those with a tendency to grandiosity!

You will have noticed I’ve been away quite a while. Well haha, maybe you’ll have noticed. There I go again with my delusions of self-importance! Well perhaps it’s as well to take a break when you just don’t feel inspired to write. After all I do this for fun, not to prove anything or to achieve literary immortality. At least that way you can come back to things fresh and possibly with something to say as opposed to trying to force it. And it then turning into one more chore to cross off the list. Being a bit of a ‘listy’ person I have to watch this tendency.

Things continue swimmingly in my life. However I woke up a bit early for comfort this morning. Hence having to watch and monitor the mood. Boring isn’t it?

Have to say I had quite a bit on my tiny mind this morning. I am seriously concerned about a friend. She has got herself into a relationship which, to me, shows all the signs of being classically co-dependent. With a self-confessedly co-dependent man. I don’t believe that anyone in the know considers that co-dependency is any less of a damaging addiction than drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating disorders or any other compulsion. There is a fellowship just for that, Co-Dependents Anonymous, CoDa for short. Neither of them is showing any desire or inclination to attend it. Which might be no big deal, except they are both recovering addicts and supposedly practising the Twelve Steps.

I am obviously in quite a tricky position. I see this relationship draining the life out of my friend instead of enhancing it. I can’t sit by and watch that happen. I know her well enough and am around her more than some of her other friends. I also know her partner fairly well. I have to play it carefully. Exercise all my not-inconsiderable powers of diplomacy. Find the right time and the right place to talk to her about this. My friend would and has done the same for me. She was the one, not my partner, who spotted that I was manic and took me to hospital last time.

Anyone ever had to ‘blow the whistle’ or confront a friend about what you perceive as self-destructive behaviour? Difficult isn’t it? Would be glad to hear any of your experiences, if so.

To change the topic, my partner, my Mum and I drove down to see my son and take him out for the afternoon on Saturday. It was wonderful to see him, he was smiley and good-humoured (though as usual his attention span was not of the stretchiest) and let me cuddle him lots and hold his hand. We took him to Duxford Air Museum. It was a lovely, close, family contact despite the unpleasant weather. And my Mum stayed in my house for two nights, said she felt ‘cossetted’ and at the end thanked me for being ‘so caring’. I was very touched by that. The truth is, it wasn’t difficult for me at all this time. Mainly because I wasn’t depressed and stressed to the nines.

Also it says a lot about my Mum. She can recognise when I DO get something right and praise me accordingly. She is ready and willing to move on from the bad times we have had in the past and not to just assume that they have to be endlessly repeated. As am I.

Lots of love peeps. Everything in the Garden of Zoe is coming up roses, even in November!

Mental Illness Impacts on Relationships Part 47

Hi all. Things have been a bit all-over-the-place for me emotionally over the last week. Even by my standards! I decided to go and stay with my Mum at the weekend, in my wisdom. It was a scorcher – she lives near the coast – seemed like a no-brainer. Why can’t things ever just be that simple?

The first 24 hours were fine enough. We chatted lots, went to the beach, went swimming in the sea. Then we went for an Indian meal. I don’t know why but my mood plummeted into my boots around the time we had the meal. Maybe it was partly the situation…eating a meal alone with my mother on a Saturday night. Feeling like a useless, washed-up failure with a history of broken and discarded relationships and an empty life.

Anyway we had been going to see a film but I had to cry off that and got an early night. The next day I was struggling again with my mood…until I exploded with anger and resentment at my Mum. It was a broiling hot afternoon, even near the coast, and we went for a hellish drive and an even more hellish walk, arguing as we went, both now really upset and saying a lot of stuff we didn’t mean and maybe some we did.

This is unfortunately a pattern. I now rarely go to see my Mum or if I do I only spend one night or just an afternoon. It’s the same when she comes here, sometimes even worse because I feel territorial, as if she is invading my space.

I am naturally ashamed of my behaviour. Depression doesn’t make me dignified, silent, poetic or melancholy. It is so raw and painful I frequently cannot contain myself from exploding with irritation or lashing out with anger. The excruciating guilt, shame and remorse follow close behind.

I spoke to my Mum on the phone today and we smoothed things over. We were both quite devastated by the argument. With all the ambivalence, the history and strain there can be between us I know that she loves me to the best of her ability. She suffers, seeing me suffer. That is the bottom line. That is why the relationship has been strained to breaking point, but has never broken.

I am not over this depressive episode. It’s a time thing. As I tried to explain to my Mum (who does not really understand depression first-hand) the best way to recover from depression is to recover from depression. Only when you start to recover can you start doing all those things again that give you a sense of self-worth and build you up physically, mentally, spiritually. When you are in the full throes of an acute phase you often can’t do more than keep breathing.

Anger in depression can be a dangerous thing if it drives you to alienate the people who are closest to you. I have been in serious danger of doing just that. But I went to my CBT session today, and that is definitely starting to make more sense. The rapport with the therapist is building too. Then this evening I went to a marvellous OA (Overeaters Anonymous) meeting. Relationships are powerful things. Scary, yes. Terrifying, sometimes. But I know I need them…

Lovely to be here at WordPress by the way, and lovely to be able to read my ‘stats’ and comments and know that I’m not nattering away to an empty room! Love you … Zoe.