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

Posts tagged ‘Add new tag’

Citalopram etc etc…

Think I forgot to mention in my last missive that two weeks ago I saw my shrink and she put me on the antidepressant Citalopram. And whether by coincidence or whether the two are related, my mood has definitely lifted in the last few days. I’m afraid I am sceptical to the last about psych meds. My experience is that they do not (consciously) make me feel better, but have sometimes made me feel worse. Other times they disappointingly seem to have very little effect one way or the other.

My experience of depression is that it invariably does lift eventually anyway, new drug or no new drug. But for now, I feel inclined to give Citalopram the benefit of the doubt. You never know do you. Maybe it’s the wonder drug I’ve been searching for all these years! I like the fact that it’s meant to be good for social anxiety and the like as well as the depression. It seems to be quite the flavour of the month, as I know quite a few people who are on it.

Like Stormgazer I must say that I love this time of year. Perhaps paradoxically it seems to be the time in my life when I make a fresh start. It’s always linked with starting a new course for instance, which I’ve done so many times, almost always with great excitement and anticipation. I also really get off on the colours. I often come to a standstill when out walking, just transfixed by a particularly beautiful tree.

Which reminds me that Richard was over at the weekend, we are quite aimiable at the moment and we went for a long walk on the Sunday up through Alexandra Palace, and along the Parkland Walk at Muswell Hill to Highgate Wood. Richard once did a course in Arboriculture and Tree Surgery, and so he knows a ton about trees. By the end of the walk I was amazed, mainly by my own ignorance and by how many different varieties of tree there are. If you asked me to name all the ones I could think of I would probably only come up with about ten.

Don’t know much about tree-ology…but I do know that I love them…especially  decked out in their autumn clothes.

Talking of clothes that’s another reason to love autumn. Clothes get interesting again. You have an excuse to wear more layers, and be creative. Some of us (usually the young and the skinny) look better the less they wear. Most of us it’s probably the other way around, certainly it is for me! Yesterday I treated myself to two lovely Merino wool jumpers and a smart shiny black padded jacket from Uniqlo in Oxford Street. Aah, retail therapy!

Take great care of yourselves dear peeps…


Life goes on.

Hello all. I haven’t been inspired to blog much lately, but feel like I should give you an update. Actually things are pretty good. The new kitten has changed the dynamic chez Zoe. Older cat is more affectionate as she now has competition. And the two of them give me hours of harmless fun…kitten has discovered a one-sided form of what used to be known at my primary school as British Bulldog. While older cat sits sedately (and disapprovingly, like a maiden aunt) on the terrace, kitten streaks up the full length of the garden, past her and into the house. This morning he actually leapt clean over her as she ate her food. If he tries to go past her at a normal pace, she invariably hisses, spits or otherwise tries to bully him.

On the whole they both seem to take the aggro pretty much in their stride. I have to do my bit by making sure I am always around when the two of them are together. And, for instance, shutting the kitten in the lounge at night so that older cat can sleep on my bed, come and go as she pleases, and otherwise continue to enjoy the privileges of seniority undisturbed. What I don’t want is for her to feel her quality of life has decreased as a result of kitten’s presence. In other words, I have to play diplomat and peacemaker.

Having two cats makes the house feel oddly more like a home. When it was just me and older cat, we were often like ships passing in the night. Two independent middle-aged ladies. Aargh what am I saying. Well, forty-six ain’t young, but middle-aged these days seems to be about sixty.

Anyway, I am happy with my little black and white boy.

Tomorrow evening I am going to Moscow State Circus with a friend who has free tickets. It is literally about a five-minute walk from my house, in Alexandra Park. It’s funny to think of all the Russian circus folk living in their caravans and tents a stone’s throw away.

Have made a couple of social arrangements for the bank holiday weekend. I know from experience that if I don’t bank holidays can be a difficult time.

Last weekend I was down at my Mum’s for the day, seeing my brother and nephew. That was pleasant and civilised enough. And amazingly I didn’t even find myself feeling uncomfortably envious of or inferior to my brother. On the contrary. For once I actually started to notice his flaws.

Been reading my son’s school report, which I finally received. Nothing too terrible on there. Behaviour still a challenge. Still ‘could do a lot better’ if he focused more and sought attention less. ‘An intelligent boy’. The P.E. teacher was probably the most glowing. He commented that J needs to be more sensitive to those who know their own weaknesses well enough. Hmm, I have told him that myself. He can be master of the cutting comment, though I would not say he is deliberately cruel, more thoughtless. He also said that J has a good understanding of strategy and tactics in games…absolutely right. The boy loves to win, he always has, and he uses his mind to figure out how to do it. Another teacher said he was lively and likeable, and another that he had made many friends both within and outside his year. All good news.

Am currently engaged in the Databases module of the European Computer Driving Licence. That and Spreadsheets are the most yawn-inducing of all the modules and I’ve got one after the other. But at least I’m doing it. Am also back at Work Directions, the government service to help disabled people get back into work. After my last meeting with an adviser I undertook to find five vacancies I liked the look of, and also to think of ten qualities I look for in a job. It did me good to see him, because he was quite impressed by my CV and gave me a more optimistic perspective on my work prospects than I have had of late.

And finally, I am making progress with my CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) although sadly, the therapist, who I have only just learned to appreciate, is leaving in two weeks. I have asked to go to the top of the list for another therapist, so that I can keep up the momentum.

Have not seen much of the ex. I think we both need time. Let feelings cool off. I am discovering that the single life is nothing to fear and dread. This way I have more time and incentive to try new activities, which bring me into contact with new people, and also have time to build on the friendships I already have.

I hope I haven’t bored you all senseless. It’s my life! And it’s really not too bad. Lots of love…Zoe.

First post at my Bright New Shiny Blog!

Hello everyone.

First a big welcome. Please update your links to me on your blogrolls, though of course I have left a link at Blogspot redirecting people here.

First I did promise to update you about Bonkersfest. Well might I suggest you pay a visit to Mental Patient About Town as he has given a good account and also thoughtfully provided some pics!

There’s a whole ‘scene’ in London which as far as I know is pretty unique, although I can’t be sure. It used to be known as ‘Survivor’s Poetry’, but that also seemed to cover music. It is a sort of blend of politicised madness as in Mad Pride and Survivors [of the psychiatric system] Speak Out and a kind of bohemian underground scene which could really only thrive in an enormous city like London.

There are regular gigs at various venues around the city, where you usually get some headlining acts plus a lot of ‘spot’ performances from various poets and other artists. I would have to say honestly that the results can be a bit patchy and shambolic at times but then your patience will be rewarded by hearing an absolute gem.

The whole ethos is quite ‘punk’ I guess…the emphasis being that pretty much everyone who has been through the mental health system has something valuable to say. Audiences consisting largely of ‘the converted’ (and other performers) tend to be quite supportive and give everyone a clap regardless of how intelligible they were, just for having the bottle to get up there! And maybe that’s about right. It does take bottle! More than I’ve got for sure!

If it’s a shambles sometimes maybe that’s a part of it’s charm. We’re all too used to slick professionalism. Anyway I think these gigs and the Bonkersfest definitely contribute something to the sum of human happiness and do very little harm. I’m aware that sounds a little patronising. Put it this way, I want to support them but my sceptical mind tends to get in the way.

Anyway it was an enjoyable day on Camberwell Green ‘celebrating madness, creativity and eccentricity’. According to the programme, after last year’s event MindFreedom International acknowledged Bonkersfest as ‘the biggest grassroots mad-run public arts event in the world’, so I guess that is an achievement. I wanted to visit the ‘Denormalisation Tent’ which sounded like a great concept but was disappointed on that score as so did everyone else including a couple of film crews!

One last quote: ‘Bonkersfest is a celebration of the creativity of mad people, and pride in our unique way of looking at life, our internal world externalised and shared with others without shame, as a valid way of life. Bonkersfest is challenging the idea that madness is something to be hidden; it realises that visibility counts in order to break the stigma that has a stranglehold over every single mad person alive today. Bonkersfest is saying ‘yes,yes’ to life even if it embarrasses the ‘normals’.’

Anyway what do you think? Love, Zoe.