Wednesday, 31 August 2011



I have been having headaches since I had my feet operated on, coming up to eight weeks ago.  Does this make sense to anyone?  I suppose it is a manifestation of the mind/body thing - but odd, and annoying.  It seems to be worse when I am tired. Maybe a warning that I should heed, to slow down when I am doing too much.  Anyway, I have decided to ignore the headaches and I am sure they will go away soon.

As time goes on the feet are recovering.  I am not in a hurry to have the x ray to tell me whether the bone has actually healed in my left foot.  I really do not want to have another operation, so I have decided to close my mind to that too.  Bury your head in the sand, anyone?

I did get rather paranoid the other day, just after I had written my last entry on here.  My brain seems to have dulled in recent weeks - I don't have anything much to blog about and this makes me feel a bit stupid, especially now that I know people who know me are reading this. 

But then I decided I am probably no more stupid than usual - I have just been busy with the kids and my brain is therefore in a different gear.  I have still been reading a lot, so there must be something working up there.  And hopefully when school starts again I will have more time to express myself properly, on more important topics.

Actually, nothing is more important to me than my children - which illustrates my current dilemma.  I can't write at all while the kids are home, at least while they are awake - it's just not fair to them.  They need my attention - especially Toddler.  In fact, if he doesn't get my full attention at all times, he sits in his room, or under the coat rack covered in coats, or anywhere within earshot of me really, wailing, 'My Mummy doesn't love me.  My Mummy doesn't even like me at all.  My Mummy doesn't love me' on and on, until I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  Of course, it doesn't take long before I scoop him up and reassure him that I love him more than life itself...and then he is happy again.  Manipulative?  Nah.

I am not sure about play school for Toddler - I keep changing my mind about how many days to send him next term.  It is his last year before big school, so I thought I would keep him home with me for two days to make the most of the time we have together - then I realised that would mean doing the housework on his play school days, leaving me very little time to write.  He actually likes play school a lot, so I would have to lay on a lot of entertainment on his days off.  I am still considering it and he starts next week.

Gotta go,

Louise x     

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Seroquel as an official Painkiller?


I just thought I would write a few words on a subject that those of you in the UK might not have heard of:  the accidental repackaging of Seroquel as Nurofen Plus.  Apparently a wholesaler accidentally mixed up the two medications, and the Seroquel (which was incidentally the last anti-psychotic drug that I was made to take, back in 2000) was put into Nurofen packaging.  Quite a few batches of medication were affected.  There was a media announcement and a recall of the drugs last week.  I haven't yet heard of any repercussions, and of course I hope that there haven't been any, that the mistake was discovered before anybody took the wrong drug.  But I can't help wondering what the effects would have been, for a supposedly 'normal' person who took an anti-psychotic drug.  Not nice, I am sure.  Because they are just not nice drugs.

Anyway.  I am just glad I don't have to take any of that stuff these days.  Although sometimes, on bad days, I would do, if I thought it would help.  But luckily I have learned that bad days pass, all on their own.  It's called the ups and downs of life.

We had a family day out today.  It was the first time we had all been out for literally ages - apart from a couple of brief shopping expeditions.  Paul drove of course - I have still only driven on short journeys, but so far have suffered no ill effects and am hoping that the feet will recover sufficiently to carry on as normal soon.  Or eventually.

So.  We went to a Sea Life Centre, and then to see some trains.  Toddler was in his element - we seemed to do a lot more with the other children when they were young, and he has not experienced as many days out and consequently gets much more excited about them.  I have been promising him a battery operated train to go on his wooden track for ages, and finally bought it today, so when he got home he played trains with his big brother and was just so happy.  I was amazed that big brother did not complain at all about not getting a new toy - did not even appear to notice.  I still felt guilty though - but it is his birthday in less than two weeks so he will more than catch up then.

The girls have had a good day too - eldest daughter became much more relaxed than usual - in fact all of them were screaming so much in the car on the way home, laughing and singing and yelling and joking together that I ended up with a headache.  It was still good to hear it though.

Anyway.  Paul is in the process of setting up a Facebook page to publicise my book.  I will link to it here when it is done - and please, any of you who have read it already, do write a review on Amazon.  I still believe it will benefit people to read my story, to know that ordinary people can have breakdowns and can recover from them even if they have been given the damning diagnosis of schizophrenia.  I have had enough decent feedback so far to know that the book is a good read, although I don't think I will ever stop wanting to tweak and edit it further.  Once the kids are back at school I am going to work on getting it into paperback form - I will keep you posted on that too. 

Anyone who's missed it so far can find the Amazon Kindle link at the top of this page.  You can download the first eight or so chapters for free to get a taster (there are about sixty-five chapters in total, or eighty thousand words).

Thanks.  Goodnight.

Louise x

Friday, 26 August 2011

Back in the land of the living

Hi Guys

I'm working against the clock here - sausages and chips in the oven, Paul due back from work anytime soon...

Just wanted to say - I am on my way back to normal (whatever normal is).  I am not so obsessed with the health of my feet - finally decided that I am going to get better, no matter what.  I discovered that I could drive a couple of days ago - which is wonderful.  It makes me feel that there is a life out there again.  Although I am still a bit shocked at how quickly I went downhill.  Mentally, I mean.

Just been looking at the Beyond Meds site and seen lots of interesting stuff there.  I need to find more time to browse all these sites properly.

Been having some creative ideas too - I am looking forward to having some time to get it all down.  And been enjoying spending time with the kids too - there is not long left of the holidays and I want to make the most of it now that I am feeling better and can get out and about.

I am still waiting on the x ray which will tell me if the bone in my left foot has healed - but my foot feels better and that is good enough for me for now.  I am not sure that I would be willing to undergo another operation just yet anyway.  Not so bothered about it all anymore.

Hope all of you are zinging too.

Louise x  

Sunday, 21 August 2011


Hi Readers

Managed to get out to the shops today - Paul driving, of course - and got some of the back to school shopping done.  I thought I had better start it - the girls were getting a little anxious about getting their new shoes and uniforms sorted and I knew we wouldn't manage it all in one go.  Paul really does not like shopping, so it was not exactly fun, but was shopping.

We got all the older children some trainers, and Toddler got a new pair of converse-style shoes, which he adores.  I got school shoes for one child, too, and socks, and a new school skirt for another...and pyjamas for another... After six weeks I had built up quite a list of things that were needed.

Then we went along to another shop to buy curtains.  My sister-in-law had said there was a sale on in a particular shop, and having been sitting at home for so long I have been noticing that one thing we really needed  was new curtains.  And we managed that too - although my feet ached by the end of it all.

I reckon another two shopping trips should do it.  This may sound like a lot, but my stamina is not great, so it has to be broken down into chunks.  Next time, more school shoes and the remainder of the uniform.  Then finally, the schoolbags and the stationery...  I love stationery and so do my daughters, I think it must be a girl thing.  Or maybe it is just a swotty girl thing. 

I can't believe how many things I used to take for granted.  I try not to dwell on it all, but sometimes I feel so helpless, with one almost useless foot and the other nowhere near as good as it was just a few weeks ago.  I wonder what I was thinking of, having this operation in the first place.  I could walk and swim and drive before!  Now I can't!

Excuse me for having a whinge attack.  I was trying not to.  I can console you with the thought that it is nowhere near as bad as the tantrums and tears that I regaled Paul with earlier this evening.  It was the first time I completely gave in to these negative emotions...I have resigned myself to it all again now.  Lots of people go through a lot worse, it was an elective operation, and there is still hope that things will be ok, with or without another operation.  But....nothing.

On the bright side, Toddler is not coughing so far this evening.  The girls are pleased with their shopping experience.  Paul is finally getting stuck into working on his car, so there is a faint chance that it may be finished before the end of the year.  And....everything.

So long for now.

Louise x

Saturday, 20 August 2011



I titled this post Ruminations in the hope that some useful thoughts would come to me that I could then record...  Hmmm.

The foot is getting better.  The would has not healed over properly yet, but it is a lot less red, and not hot or painful any more, so it would seem that the antibiotics are doing their thing.  Back to hospital on Monday - although I kind of resent it, because there is always a long wait in the clinic and not much the doctor can tell me until they do the next x ray.  Still, it's good that they are keeping an eye on things.

Actually I snuck out of the house yesterday - got a lift to the park with two friends.  One child in one car, myself and the other three in the other.  I was already feeling better, but that couple of hours in the fresh air lifted my mood even more.  Am having a quiet day today to compensate - I have managed to persuade everybody to take the dog for a walk, and am enjoying the ensuing peace.  I didn't sleep brilliantly last night, probably because I have been sleeping too much recently and don't actually need the amount of rest I have been getting.

Toddler has a cough - I literally hate it when any of them are poorly, and this seems worse than usual because they have all been well for so long.  Hopefully it will pass quickly.

Oh well, the interesting and insightful ponderings I had hoped for when I began this post failed to materialise.  Sorry, guys.  All I can say is that I am trying to change my mindset from 'Foot' to 'Everything else' and I am sure I will get there soon.

All the best to all of you.

Louise x


Thursday, 18 August 2011

So Fed Up!

Hi Everyone

It has been a couple of days, so I thought I should write a post to keep this blog up to date.  But I haven't been anywhere or done anything, so I don't have a great deal to say.  Sorry.

I am about half way through my first Human Givens book (I referred to this a few posts ago).  So far it seems to be talking a lot of common sense.  When I have finished it I will write a review.

I have been going a bit stir crazy.  I came to the conclusion that I might have been doing too much and so contributed to my foot problems, so I am determined now to rest as much as possible.  Trouble is that this is boring for the kids - although it has been pouring all day so we wouldn't have been doing much anyway.  Their cousins came to play this morning, and this evening their Daddy took them out for an hour, and they actually seem to be quite happy. 

I am bored though.  And I am restless.  I know that I usually rush around too much, and that partly this is because I have an excess of nervous energy.  Six weeks ago the house would look great if I had to spend a day at home - I would tidy up at least three rooms really thoroughly in a few hours.  Now I can't even tidy and clean - adding to my general demoralisation.

I am exaggerating.  I tidied up my bedroom yesterday, and the day before I tidied the porch.  And today I tidied the bathroom - it didn't take long, I just chucked away a load of old shower gels and old toiletries that had been hanging around for ages and never got used.  It made it look a lot tidier very quickly.  But I wish I could do more.

I think I had become quite smug about the state of my mental health.  Now I am faced with a real challenge - staying positive and motivated in difficult circumstances.  And what makes it really hard is that I want to be doing more, not just for me, but for the kids too.  This is their summer holiday after all.  I like to lay down memories in the summer, to hold on to during the long term time, so that they look forward to the next holidays.  And also there is stuff they need to go back to school with in a couple of weeks - I have a real reason to go shoping - and I can't get to the shops!  (Although I might ask Paul to take us at the weekend, if the antibiotics have worked by then).

My foot is oozing at the moment.  I have been tempted to post a picture on here, but don't want to gross anybody out, so I have refrained.

I am actually not as miserable as I sound.  Deep down I am sure that the antibiotics will kick in soon.  And that the bone will heal.  I will keep you posted - but only as an aside - I promise I will try to think of something more interesting to write about next time. 

Louise x

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Not Good News about my Feet

Hi everyone

I was a bit disappointed at the hospital yesterday (to say the least).  Although really I knew that things weren't right - that one foot had healed better than the other - it was still disappointing to be told by the doctor that the x ray had shown that the bone had knitted in my right foot but hadn't yet healed in the left.  Especially when he then went off to show the x ray to the consultant and came back saying that it looked like the bone had lost position at the time of the operation when the screw went in, they think that is why it hasn't healed, and they may have to do a 'revision' - i.e. another operation.

Aagh!  I am honestly not sure if I would agree to have another operation, depending on how much pain I am left in.  But I don't suppose they will give me a choice...  I was also given antibiotics yesterday, because I have another infection in the wound on that foot (which is so painful that I am taking painkillers again for the first time in weeks).  So of course I am now panicking at what will happen if the antibiotics don't work - there is a word for this, for worrying unecessarily about the worst case scenario, and although I have forgotten the word I know I am guilty of it.

So, I have to rest some more.  Not a bad thing, especially if it has the desired results and the bone does knit after all.  I am just frustrated, because I wanted to get back behind the wheel (in so many ways).  If I am honest I have to admit that I supsect I may have been doing a little too much, and so not helped myself.  Although I also wish they hadn't done both feet together, because that made it so hard not to do too much - but I suppose that by doing that they saved me two operations.  Or did they? 

Oh well, nothing I can do now, except wait and see what happens.  I am not going to get glum about it, but look at the bright side.  Rest means plenty of chance to read and write, doesn't it?  So that must be good.  As for who will look after the kids while I am resting, I am sure that will work itself out.  Things seem to.

I have just written a blog post for Time to Change, although I will have to wait now and find out whether they want to use it.  If and when that happens I will link to it here.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Louise x  

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Finding the Old Mummy

Hi everyone

I feel confused about the London riots...  Obviously it is a bad thing to damage and loot and to hurt people in any way.  But the 'justice' being meted out seems rather rough - six months for a first offence of opportunistic crime seems to be suddenly standard.  Will filling the prisons with rioters help anybody?  Might they be better put to work to help repair the communities which they have damaged?  Surely there should be more thought put into why on earth things went so wrong?  Rather than just succumb to the temptation to punish the perpetrators as harshly as possible?

Poor hubby has fallen asleep in the front room - I know because he is snoring really loudly.  I am in the bedroom, on my bed with my feet up.  I can still only walk slowly and stupidly and whenever I can I sit with my feet up to hasten the healing process.  However, I am starting to feel really bad about the effect this is having on the children.  My eldest boy said tonight that he wants his old Mummy back, the one that used to sing him songs at bedtime...  I am going to find that old Mummy for him and forget about my feet from now on!

On Monday I am going to the hospital to have an x-ray and a check on my feet.  I really hope that I will be told to start to move more, wear normal shoes, and so on.  The wound on my left foot has broken down a bit, gone a little septic (I squeezed out some of the pus yesterday, it seemed to make sense to do that rather than leave it to fester).  The right foot is great though - the scar is completely healed and really neat.  Although the big toe has started to get dangerously close to the second one again.  But I don't care.  I just want to get better now, get more mobile, I don't mind if I end up with bunions again.  Well obviously I care, but I would rather have mobility than beautiful feet...

Will keep you all posted.  All the best to everyone.

Louise x

Thursday, 11 August 2011

No Beach Today

Hi All

The weather changed - rain this morning.  It is actually a relief not to have to go to the beach, proving that one can have too much of a good thing.  Eldest daughter did go to the beach actually, with friends, and the little ones were taken out for a couple of hours by their old babysitter.  So I had a little time to myself - although it passed very quickly.  I had to go to the doctor, because of a problem with my dissolvable stitches (a couple of them have failed to dissolve).  It took me a long while to walk there, although luckily I got a lift home.  I had just had a snack and settled myself for a little lie down when the children were home.

I did a fair amount of walking yesterday, and was really pleased to be able to - although it is a very slow and painful process.  I can't drive yet - I did try, but found that I didn't have the strength in my foot to push the clutch pedal down - I hadn't even realised that it took any strength.  Driving was just another thing that I took for granted, before the op.

I am having an x-ray on Monday.  I am really looking forward to it, mainly because I suspect something is up with my left foot.  I want to be told that everything is fine, so that I can stop worrying.  And move on with the whole thing - because the bones should be knitted if everything is giong according to plan, and that should mean that I can start to progress.

Anyway.  I think I will leave this post here, and write another when I am feeling a little more positive.  Not that I am unhappy - just a little tired perhaps.  Hope all is well with all of you.

Louise x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Den Building

Hi All

The boys are building a den in the conservatory.  I have been busy writing, in bed with my feet up, but couldn't help noticing the movement of chairs, blankets and so forth about the place.  And the wonderful conversations that occur when the boys are working in harmony.  The six year old, 'I am a genius, aren't I?'.  The three year old, 'Oh yes, you are a very genius'.

I expect when I finally go and look at this den there will be chaos involved, but I am not intending to tidy up.  If I get up soon I should just about have time to get dressed, feed the troops, fling some stuff into a bag and head to the beach (we have two lifts arranged which should hopefully arrive at the same time).  We were at the beach for six hours yesterday, and although it was windy there, and cloudy too at times, it was still enjoyable.  I don't feel bad about my benign neglect of the children this morning - they are playing peacefully and I need to get some work done.  Although it still doesn't feel quite right, referring to writing as work when there is nothing of hardship about it.

I am not sure what the girls are doing.  The eldest is probably reading - she has discovered that she can download e-books from the library onto her computer and so will never be bored again.  Oh, somebody is playing the piano - must be daughter number two. 

I can see the bones in my feet again - must be a good sign.  I never realised how skinny my feet used to be until they got swollen.  In fact I have been doggedly ignoring my feet for over forty years because I didn't like the look of them - I am only starting to appreciate their good service now.  I wouldn't even care if I had my bunions back, as long as the feet worked properly again - but I know the bunions had to go for the sake of my long-term health. 

Actually, one of my feet is starting to go a bit skewiff again already - sometimes I start to panic at the thought of the bunion returning already.  It is not that bad though.  Yet.  Anyway, I am looking forward to my x-ray next week - hopefully I will be allowed to drive again.  Hurrah!  Freedom!

 All the best to all of you

Louise x

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Schizophrenia on Sunday

Hi Everyone

In case you're wondering, the title of this post means absolutely nothing at all.  I have just noticed that people read the posts more if I put 'schizophrenia' in the title - sad, but true.  Titles seem to make a huge difference.  In fact, the most read post on this blog by far is one titled 'Need to leave this stuff alone' written one day when I was stressed because of the publication of my book.  Don't know why that title makes people want to read on, but it does.

Now, as regular readers of my blog know, I hate the term 'schizophrenia', I believe that 'diagnoses' of mental health conditions are bad and wrong, and I am therefore not pleased with myself for using the word.  But in view of the fact that I have struggled with that particular label myself for seventeen years since I was diagnosed at the age of 25, I kind of think I have a right to appropriate it for my own requirements.

This blog has done me a lot of good - when I started to write it I was not challenging the diagnosis at all, just trying to find a way to live despite it (which basically meant ignoring it but being haunted in case anybody ever found out).  However, the process of thought and expression that the blog involved led me in a new direction - one day I found myself challenging the 'fact' that I was a schizophrenic at all.  Why should I be a schizophrenic just because somebody told me I was?  What if they had got it wrong?  Where was the proof of my 'illness'? 

It was a long time on from that point that I decided to be open about my diagnosis, and I am still not sure how I found the courage.  But it was a natural progression from my challenge of it, because I know that I am nobody special, no different from anybody else.  If I have recovered, so have others, and those who have not need to know about this, so that they can have hope for their own futures. 

And then an amazing thing happened - I began to stumble across other blogs and websites, and I began to realise that I was not alone in this shift against the injustices of the present mental health system.  There are a whole load of others out there, working against these diagnoses, and against the notion that people should be on medication for the rest of their lives.  Working with the assumption that people can and do get better from mental illness, and trying to show how this can happen.  There's a lot of good news out there, when you start to look for it.

But there is still a long way to go.  In the USA, children are being diagnosed as bi-polar.  What starts in America follows to here, and we already have children on medication, being diagnosed with mental disorders.  I really want to stop that particular march before it gathers force.

Anyway.  One thing at a time.  Paul and I went to a dinner party the other night, and somebody asked about my book.  So the mental health debate began.  And somebody asked whether I thought it was right that somebody with a past problem - say, a previous drug addiction, should be allowed to work in therapy, with drug users.  Is this acceptable?

Well, I think it is.  I think somebody who has conquered a particular problem is, or should be, in a good position to help others find a way through the same issue.  But, and this is crucial - I think there should be full disclosure to the patient.  And this should go right the way through the system - a psychiatrist with a diagnosis of bi-polar (you would be surprised how many there are of these) should have to tell their patient in the same way.  I am guessing that maybe nine times out of ten the patient would be grateful for the honesty, and inspired by the fact that their mentor has got better.  But the one patient out of ten who prefers to be treated by somebody without any past or present issues (although in my opinion such a paragon would be hard to find) should have that option.

If therapists are not honest, how can they expect their patient to be?  How can there be proper trust?

That's one thing I wanted to mention today.  It's only my opinion, but to me it makes perfect sense.

The other thing is that when I was younger, if I had been given a choice, I always thought I would have far preferred a physical illness to a mental one.  I was so ashamed, at the age of nineteen, to have spent three months in a mental hospital.  I felt so humiliated.  And that was before I was even told the diagnosis.  I remember wishing that I had a brain tumour rather than a mental illness, because people would have felt sympathy instead of fear.  I felt that recovery would have been so much easier without the stigma.

Now, for the first time in my life, I do have a physical incapacity.  I say for the first time, but of course I have had minor problems, such as recurrent chest infections.  But this operation on my feet is different - I am not mobile, I can't drive or walk far.  Although I am recovering well, there is a limit to what I can do.

And people do stare.  There I am on the beach, in my hospital issue mad-looking velcro shoes, and my crutches.  Hobbling along, looking peculiar.  I don't blame people for looking.  But it has made me realise that

a) Given a choice, it would be impossible to choose betweeen a physical or a mental illness - neither are fun.  Neither are easy.  And

b) there is even less division between the two than I thought.  When your body is sick, so is your mind.  And vice versa.  But when your body is sick you tend not to worry about your mind, because you just concentrate on the matter at hand.  You can see your sore feet and you can massage your scar and you can feel yourself growing stronger every day.  Whereas when your mind is unwell you panic, you bring in all sorts of unecessary calculations, such as what other people think of you.  And you flounder.  And then if the people who are supposed to be helping you through the illness inform you that you are a schizophrenic, that the prognosis is bad and you will only get worse as you get older - well, what hope do you have? And how can any human recover from anything without hope?

Mind and body are one and should only ever be treated as one.  And a person should be treated with compassion and be accorded dignity at all times.  Even a 'mad' person.

Louise x

PS  I am hoping to start a blog soon for the charity Time to Change.  I will link to it here when it is up and running.  Hopefully it will have a longer shelf life than my NHS one.  I keep meaning to check on what is happening on the NHS Choices mental health blog site - I think I had an email a while ago saying they were changing the format away from blogs towards a forum, which might suit me better.  SO I will toddle along there too soon, and keep you all updated on that.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Schizophrenia Unveiled

Hi Everyone

Had a friend of my daughter over today with her Mum and younger sister.  She was talking about some personal stuff, so I decided to confide in her about my diagnosis, which she took very well...considering.  It did make me wonder though, is it fair to burden people with the knowledge of my diagnosis?  Would they perhaps rather not know? 

It is too late now, anyway.  Not just for that person, but for me - having started to open up, it is impossible to stop now - not because I get any gratification from shocking people, but because being open is so clearly a positive step.  For example the friend today said that a friend of her brother became very ill following active service in the Army when he was just a teenager.  Twenty years on, he has not held a job since, is on a lot of medication, has been in and out of the local mental hospital constantly, and basically has no prospects.  He doesn't see any possibility of recovery.

I told her about the Finnish system, about how they have almost eradicated mental illness over there and how there is hope for people, or would be if only our mental health system was not so crooked.  So wrong.  And I really wanted to be able to help in some way - to direct this man to some resource on the net, for example, to break away from the awful cycle he is caught in. 

But then, what can I do?  I don't know the man from Adam.  I personally don't agree with medication, but don't know his situation.  I don't even know his diagnosis - not that I believe that mental health diagnoses are helpful in the least, but they do at least provide a starting point.

I am going to do some browsing later though, see if I can't find some websites with an enabling message.  Then I will write them down for her, or text them to her to pass on.  Nobody should be left without hope for their future.

The sky has darkened, the heavens are about to open again, so I had better go and batten down the hatches.  Don't want the conservatory soaked. 

So enough for now - but grrr.  There must be so many similar stories of suffering.  It makes me so annoyed.

Louise x   

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Daniel Mackler's You Tube videos

Hi Everyone

I should really be asleep by now, but started to look at Daniel Mackler's You Tube videos about emotional healing and so on.  First I watched a few about self-healing - advising all the sensible stuff that I already do - eating well, sleeping plenty, writing a journal to vent my difficult emotions...  Yes, I thought to myself, I have it sussed. 

Then I looked at his advice on parenting.  Parents should not drink, smoke, take drugs or psychiatric medication.  (Tick for all of these.  I am clearly a top person).  I should not work, should bring up my own kids and not rely on childcare.  (Yup.  Feeling very smug now).  Should have sufficient resources.  (Oh yes...just about). 

But then I fell down with a resounding smack.  Because apparently I should only have one child, and I should devote all my attention to that one child.  OMG.  I have far too many children!  And to be honest, I have to admit there may be an element of truth in this, because as my earlier post today shows, my elder son has been a little sidelined for a fair while now, not because I love him any less than the others, but because he is the least demanding (although perhaps because of that, he may be the most in need of attention).

But hey, I was on the case before I saw these videos!  I am aware of my shortcomings!  I am trying to fix them! 

Anyway, I am still grateful to Daniel for making all these videos and putting them all out there for everybody to watch.  We all come at life from different angles, and in Daniel's own words, there is room for us all. 

I just hope that by some miracle my children do turn out to be ok.  It may take another twenty years or so to know for sure, but the signs are all good so far.

Louise x


No Beach...

Hi All

No hoo.  The day turned out just fine though, and plenty busy enough.  A friend took two of the children to play at her house, another went out with another friend, and a bit later another friend took the last child out to play with hers...  I have done my share of helping out other people with childcare over the years, and I am reaping the benefits now.

Actually, it was quite nice to be on my own in the house with my elder son for a little while.  He is the best behaved and quietest of my four, which means that he gets the least attention, and he was very happy just to help me peg out the washing.  Then he went off to his room and came back with the Monopoly set, which we played companionably for a while.  I am amazed how well he knows the game.  He seems to be growing up without me noticing (he is too good for his own good) and I am going to make a concerted effort from now on to be sure that he doesn't get sidelined.

This afternoon my friend came with her baby, who was excessively cute.  We had a good chat about all sorts of stuff, but not mental health - I have had enough conversations about that recently, I decided.  Toddler was a bit unnverved by the baby - perhaps I made too much of a fuss of her - and once I gave her back he climbed on to my lap, where he then remained.  Probably to make sure I didn't pick her up again.  And then after a while he fell asleep!  That hasn't happened for as long as I can remember - maybe two years.  I didn't move for an hour and a half - I would rather have backache than shorten what may be my last experience of one of my children falling asleep in my arms.

We were intending to go to the beach once Paul got back from work, but by then the sun had gone in so he took them to the park for a play instead.  But we have lifts arranged to get there tomorrow - hurrah!

So that is it for today.  More of a diary entry today than a public blog, but hey ho.  I have looked up a lot of stuff about mental health recently and will do a sensible blog with some proper useful links again one day when my brain is in gear.  Hope all of you are well and happy.

Louise x

Speed is of the Essence

Hi Everyone

I am approaching this blog post in what is obviously not the right way - I want to get it done quickly so that I can get on with the day...  I feel an irresistable pull to the beach.  I have a two week share in a beach hut with some friends.  It started yesterday.  I was going to wait until the weekend when Paul could come with me, because I wasn't sure if I could cope with the walk to the hut.  I had not been before and I didn't know what to expect.

But it was such a lovely day yesterday that I didn't want to miss out.  I had to organise two lifts, because there are so many of us, and that wasn't easy.  But it worked out really well - it was not too hard to get to the hut from the car park, and once I was there I could sit with my feet up because there were two other adults to help with my kids (and look after their own of course).  And I won't feel bad now about asking for lifts, because it is such a lovely part of the beach - close to the loos and the water tap, a reasonable distance from the ice cream kisoks.  And the hut is so useful for changing, shelter, and some catering, especially cups of tea.  So anybody who takes us will benefit too.

I really appreciate my friends just now - I am very lucky to know so many nice people.  I hate being dependent - but actually it is surprising how quickly you can get used to it.  It was very odd yesterday being a passenger in someone else's car - but nice in a way too, not to have to worry about parking and so on.  And it has been good to have so much company over the last couple of weeks - I have not been forgotten.  In fact, my book group gave me a voucher for a pedicure last night - how thoughtful is that?  The same book group that I used to have to pluck up my courage to attend when it started seven and a half years ago, because they were all such professional, together women - these people are now my friends! 

I have another friend coming to visit today, with her brand new baby.  I can't wait!  Although she is one of the only people that I haven't yet told about my diagnosis - I don't have her email address so she didn't get the shocking 'I am a schizophrenic' email, and she has been a bit busy with her new baby so I don't really want to blather on about my slight deviation from the norm. 

I am not even sure whether I will tell her today - I think I will have to wait and see whether I think she could cope with it just now.  Baby is only about a week old, and that is an odd time - in some ways you are on top of the world, and you often look much better than people expect (this particular friend is very glam and I expect she will look amazing) but one should never underestimate the effects of sleep deprivation.

Actually, update - I just spoke to her on the phone.  Baby is two weeks old (already!) and sleeping a seven hour stretch at night.  So my friend is going to look and feel amazing.  Lucky Mummy.  I still don't know if I will tell her though!

Anyway, I really should get on with the day now.  Toddler has just set up his refrain, 'Nobody will play with me!' and that is my signal to pack away this machine and get on with life in the real world.  Try to organise two lifts to the beach for the morning perhaps...

Take care everybody. 

Louise x

Monday, 1 August 2011

Another great song by Daniel Mackler

Hi Everyone

I have not got a great deal of time to write this morning, because a friend has kindly taken the eldest three kids to the library for me.  I have kept Toddler because he just might prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back - and anyway she is walking and already has one buggy to push, and Toddler likes to conserve the use of his legs.  So now I must not be on the computer for long, because I need to play with Toddler.

And this is a good thing, because I wanted to link to another of Daniel Mackler's songs anyway, and that will do fine instead of a post this morning.

Here it is:

Warning - do not play within earshot of your children.  I sat in my kitchen and played it for my friend one day last week and my girls came in, and then I had to launch into a long lecture about how swearing is not good.  Because I would hate to hear them coming out with bad language (although 'Bullshit' is not a terrible word, it is repeated a lot on this song). 

Have a good day, all of you.  Louise x