A bit down and thats ok.

After all the hype and all the excitement of planning and getting ready to move I’ve found myself sitting staring into space and feeling a little blue and lost on more than one occasion.

Its totally natural and understandable to have a bit of a crash.  I’ve identified a few ‘triggers’ and having done so Im more aware of what sets me off, how to deal with it and also that all those ‘triggers’ are temporary.

Firstly, the fact that we are in a bit of limbo is an issue.  The kids haven’t started school yet, we haven’t started Ulpan (hebrew lessons) yet and we don’t have jobs yet.  We (I) need more of a routine.  All temporary.  We have a meeting with the school people tomorrow.  im going to call the Ulpan lady tomorrow as well and jobs will come in time.

Also, even though we have an amazing apartment so we have a roof over our heads, we don’t have much furniture.  I thank heavens we decided to buy new beds before we arrived and that my brother and husband worked exceptionally hard to set them up the first day we arrived so we have a place to sleep.  I also brought our duvets, pillows and linen with us on the plane so we have our familiar things when we go to sleep.  As for the rest of the furniture, living in an empty apartment is a bit soul destroying.  No cupboards so our clothing is all on the floor in piles.  No couches so no where to sit.  No appliances and familiar cooking things.  No pictures on the walls.  This too is temporary, our lift should arrive in February and then all our ‘stuff’ will be here and the apartment will feel more like home.

We had all our bags and clothes and bits and pieces strewn all over the lounge which was making me very anxious.  It looked messy and was making me cringe every time I saw it.  Today Paul cleared it all up.  He packed away all his clothes and the last few of mine.  Aaron packed his clothes away (and buy pack away I mean place in piles in our bedrooms) and then Paul took all the clothes we wont be wearing now and placed them in the cases and put the cases in the laundry room.  I am MUCH more calm now that the lounge is clear.

The ’empty’ kitchen is also an issue.  Not being able to cook whatever I want whenever I want to is hard.  We dont have a fridge, although we will be getting a small bar fridge this week hopefully, so keeping milk, meat and veggies cold is a problem.  Although it is winter and so far small cartons of milk have been fine sitting on the counter.  I bought us a meat pan and a milk pan and we have had eggs and toast a few times as well as baked potatoes and tuna mayo for lunch.  We are using throw away plates and knives and forks but I will buy us a few proper things this week too as well as a milk pot and a meat pot so we can cook proper meals.

I think I just need to breathe and keep reminding myself that these issues are all temporary and that things will come together.

Here are some pics of the apartment 🙂  I will update them as the rooms come together.


Lounge as seen from the dining room
Lounge as seen from the dining room


Dining room with kitchen on the left and bedrooms at the end as seen from the lounge
Dining room with kitchen on the left and bedrooms at the end as seen from the lounge


Passage with kids bathroom on left, Aarons room on right, Faith's room at the end and our room and bathroom on far left.
Passage with kids bathroom on left, Aarons room on right, Faith’s room at the end and our room and bathroom on far left.






Our bedroom
Our bedroom

Happy pills are happy!

I have new (additional) happy pills.

I cannot tell you the difference they have made.

This is the image I sent to my Dr when he asked me how I was feeling a week after starting the new meds!

Instead of wanting to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head and not wanting to speak or interact with anyone and waking up in a cold sweat two or three times a night, I am happy, I am bouncy, I have been early to work every day for 2 weeks, I am gyming, I am eating properly, I am enjoying my children.

I cannot express enough how much better I feel.

Yes, I am going for therapy as well as taking the meds.  No, meds are not a cure all.

But please please please!  If you suffer from depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor about taking something.  It doesnt have to be long term.  In fact my new meds are only for a few months.

Dont forget, depression is/can be a disease.  Its a medical condition caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.

My husband is diabetic, a metabolic disease involving the hormone insulin.  He takes a 2 tablets a day to help regulate the chemicals in his body.

I have depression, it is a direct result of an imbalance of hormones and chemicals in my body, it is exacerbated by various life events.  I take 2 tablets a day to help regulate the chemicals in my body.

We both have various therapies to help us cope.

Depression is not shameful, its not something you ‘just get over’.  It is a real medical condition.  Treat it like one!

Clouds and dogs, right now they are both black…

Right now I feel like I am sitting under a great big black cloud, just threatening to open up and drench me.  Behind me sits a huge slobbering black dog, waiting to swallow me whole in just one gulp.

I take my Cipralex every night and even though my anxiety is being kept at bay I am tired…

Maybe its this time of year.  2 years since my brother died.  Crappy money situation due to a very long December. Hit the ground running at work.

Maybe its because I feel like crap.  I have never been heavier (unless I was pregnant) and I feel fat and frumpy.  I am going to gym, I do Pilates, yoga and Zumba, I keep getting heavier.  I am eating healthier, smaller portions, I am still getting heavier.  My face is sore again, this thing on the side of my nose is sore and ugly.  I have an appointment with the dermo later today.

Maybe its because I am physically tired.  Darling Faith has been waking up nearly every morning just after 12:30 and wants me to lie with her and it takes me a while to get back to sleep.

Maybe its a little bit of everything combined.

I know it will get better, I know everything will be fine but sheesh, I am tired.  Emotionally, mentally, physically.

The dark

My mind has been dark the last few weeks.

A new year and so much to look forward to and yet I feel like I have been wading through quicksand or stuck in a thick soupy fog.

Its been 10 years since my dad died, 2 years since my grandmother passed away and a year since my brother left us.

It feels like just yesterday, like a blink and here I am.

My uncle has cancer.  He cant beat it, no matter how hard he tries or how much we will it.

I feel like curling up in bed, pulling the covers over my head and never coming out.

And then I look at my husband, my beautiful children, my amazing life and I get up,  I look to the sun and I carry on!

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller

Back to work and guilt (Its not what you think…)

Today was my first day back at work.  I took 4 months maternity leave as well as 2 weeks of annual leave before Faith was due.  So all in all I have been away from work for about 17/18 weeks.

The first day was ok, a bit long for someone not used to sitting behind a desk all day.  I came back to a small crisis but that is being handled and I have stayed out of the details of it and am just helping where I can.

Tomorrow is a half day for me (Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays by default as we finish at 2pm anyway) so that makes it a bit easier to be motivated.

Onto the guilt…

I dont feel guilty about leaving Faith to go back to work.  I know I have to work and I know if I dont do something during the day I will go nuts.  Im glad that I work 3 half days, it definitely makes going back to work easier.

In order to explain my guilt I have to give you a little back story.  As you may or may not know I suffered from PND after having Aaron.  When my 4 months maternity leave was over I could not wait to get back to work.  It wasnt that I didnt love my baby, I did.  It was more about getting away from a place that I was not in control of and going to a place that I was in control of, a place I felt was ‘safe’ I suppose.

*Please note that its only now, almost 3 years later that I can articulate these feelings, at the time I just felt a fantastic sense of relief at being at work and not at home*

My guilt back then wasnt that I was leaving baby at home, it was about the fact that I didnt feel guilty for leaving him.  The fact that I felt I was running away from him to go to work.

This time I am not running away, yes I miss Faith but I know she is happy and well looked after and that its not full day every day.  This time there is no guilt that I am not feeling quilty.

This time the guilt comes from the fact that I am petrified that the difference in how I have handled going back to work after Aaron and after Faith will effect my relationship with them in the future, especially with Aaron.

I know that it wasnt my fault, I know that even though I was depressed it wasnt for lack of love for my son.  But the cold hard truth is that it took me a long time to bond with Aaron, a long time for me to not want to run away to work.  I just hope that as he grows older and more aware he doesn’t feel like I love him less than his sister.  I hope he understands, even if its never said, that it wasnt really him I was running away from.  That it was my own demons.

I hope that even though it wasnt ‘me’ that one day I can forgive myself.

I didn’t know…

…how badly depressed I was after Aaron was born until I had Faith.

Looking back Im not sure how I survived that first year after he was born.

The biggest manifestation of my depression was anxiety.  Even the smallest things were enough to set me off.  What clothes should I put him in? Would he be too hot/cold?  Would I have enough changes of clothes for him if we went out?  I walked around with a nappy bag so full and heavy because I never trusted myself to have packed the right stuff.  If Paul or my mom or anyone for that matter told me that I was stressing for nothing or that whatever I had would be fine I would immediately assume I was a bad mother for doing it wrong.  I would get so stressed and anxious about these small things I would eventually find myself sobbing or screaming in tears on the floor, literally pulling my hair out in chunks.

I put on a happy face when we were with other people, no one would have guessed how miserable and bleak I was at home.  The only person besides Paul who ever saw me at my worst was my mom, she often got hysterical phone calls because the baby was crying and nothing I did was working and I was ruining him for life and he would never forgive me and would need therapy etc…  In fact she even came over a few times and made me go sleep or have a bath or go outside while she calmed Aaron down for me.

Dont get me wrong, there were good days, days where I could not imagine my life being any better but they were few and far between.  Then I started going for therapy and went to see a psychiatrist who prescribed an anti anxiety med called Cipralex and slowly I started becoming more the old me.  That was two years ago and over those two years I have often thought to myself that maybe my memory of that first year was wrong, maybe it wasn’t as bad as all that.  Sure I was depressed and anxious but look at how well Im doing now, it cant have been THAT bad.

Then I had Faith.  Let me tell you, the first 5 weeks of having her in our life was nothing compared to the first 5 weeks with Aaron.  Yes, I still get anxious, yes, there are times at 3am when she wont sleep and all I want to do is climb back into bed and I think to myself, what the hell have I done?  I cant carry on like this.  But those moments, and they truly are just moments, are very few and far between.  I look forward to waking up in the middle of the night to feed her, her crying doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out, I still over pack her bag but so what, its just how I roll!

I really didnt realise just how dark those dark days were until I saw how light these last few weeks have been.

I really wish I could go back and redo Aaron’s first year without being depressed.  I wish I could have enjoyed that time with him like Im enjoying this time with Faith.  It doesnt mean I love him any less.  Even through all those dark days I would still fight to the death for my son.  I loved him fiercely  and with all my heart from the moment he was born.  And maybe that was part of the anxiety, wanting to be perfect for my perfect child.

When we decided to start trying for a 2nd baby, I consulted my psychiatrist, my therapist, my GP and my OBGYN about continuing my medication.  They were all for it and insisted I continue taking it right through my pregnancy.  I cant tell you if I would have slipped back into a depression if I wasn’t taking the meds but what I can tell you is that I wouldn’t even want to try.  That single pill once a day keeps me sane.  It allows me to enjoy both my children, even when they are both crying and need my attention and my tea is getting cold and supper s burning and the beds are still unmade from the morning.

I hope that reading this makes a difference to someone who needs it.  I hope they know they are not alone.

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.  ~Norman B. Rice