Monday, October 10, 2016

The Black Dog

It's been a tough year for me physically, mentally and medically.  I have had to come to terms with another plummet in my overall well being and health and have had a hard time accepting the cold hard facts.

I hadn't told anyone other than close friends and family that I went back to full time work in July.  I was offered a full time position within the state's health department and I embraced the position and my new workmates and really enjoyed being at work and around other people but as each day passed my fatigue and pain levels increased.  So much that, after 4 weeks I was bedridden for 3 weeks.  

I had to make the heart breaking decision to quit.  I was offered part-time to see how that went but sadly even one day was going to be too much.  I felt like a failure .......  I have failed my family (I was the only bread winner), I have failed our lifestyle and most of all I feel like I have failed myself.  

Our future financially looks very bleak.  I can't commit to any type of work because each day brings it's own combination of problems.  If I am not fatigued, I may be lame, or I may be having a fibro flare , my back or my neck may be giving me grief, my bladder or  my bowel may decide to have a mind of it's own, my pain levels may be through the roof or the black dog may have grabbed me and if you have ever encountered him you know how hard he is to shake off. I know that many people suffer much worse than I, but at the moment I am really struggling to deal with it.  I am allowing myself that luxury for the time being.

I am so very lucky to be cared for by a lovely practice with great doctors.  We are all on a first name basis now.  

My psychiatrist has been wonderful, he is helping me to deal with all of the lifestyle changes and together we are working at killing off the black dog.   In fact he has encouraged me to find a purpose again in my life which is very difficult when once I was the worker, home maker, taxi, shopper, gardener, crafter and overall go to person in our home.

Now on the bad days hubby has to help me dress, shower, cook, clean - You get the picture.  On the good days I can do a little but never for very long.  So Dr GS says that I need to find a purpose, a purpose to get out of bed every day, to keep going and to look for the sunny days.  After giving it a lot of thought I have decided that I need to get back into blogging.  I have been plugging away on some stitcheries and paper craft over the past few weeks - Until the house flooded last week (That's another story for another day).

It's going to be a frugal Christmas around here so I thought I would make some simple gifts, made from the heart and beautiful but cheap.

I will photograph each project as I go and offer some FREE tutorials in November so that you can join in with frugal christmas gift giving too.

If you have read this far - Thank You.  I don't expect that many people read my blog these days since Facebook and Instagram have taken over but I really do love my blog.  I have it printed each year and it becomes my own life's journal although over the past 18 months it has been fairly light on content !

Finally today I will leave you with a photograph of the beautiful items I purchased from the op shop today on the way home from my medical appointment.  I haven't had an op shop fix for some time but today decided to splurge a little.  I buy all of my magazine reading material second hand these days.  Magazines have become just way too expensive for my budget.  I picked up 3 Frankie magazines today for $1 each. These retail for $9.95 each.  I will enjoy flicking through these with a lovely hot cup of coffee and a little sweet treat.

As you can see I also scored some tart/pie pans for $1 each, A letter rack for $1 - It's just begging to be painted white to put on my desk.  A glass jug to add to my growing collection and finally those sweet little metal chocolate moulds and 1 cutter for $2 the lot.  This little outing really did put a smile on my face.

Thank you for listening to me warble on.  A problem shared is a problem halved or so they say.  I'll tell you all about our flood next time.


Fee xx


Helen said...

Oh Fee it saddens me to read how unwell you are and how much you have had to give up.Just a click away if you need. xxx

Annette said...

So very sorry to read that you've not been well, I do wish you well and hope blogging and some stitching will help your struggles.
I'm living the black dog life myself just now.....but it's my 34 yo son, he has been hospitalised with depression, anxiety & PTD, he is unable to work just now and has lost his very young family, so very sad.
Take care Fee xxx.

KaHolly said...

I haven't plummeted down the Instagram rabbit hole and still read blogs. I'm glad you shared today. It's a hollow, yet heavy feeling to feel unwell, day after day. You have so much talent and skill to share, and there's no better way than to put it all out there on your blog. I am all about handmade for Christmas, not only to keep expenses down, but to embrace the true spirit of the holiday. If I can't make it, I buy homemade. I detest lining the retailers pockets with my meager income. And thrifting? Some of the most treasured gifts I've ever received were thrift finds. A pretty drawstring bag filled with those chocolate molds, and perhaps some handwritten recipes, would be the perfect gift for someone like me! Feel better, Fee! One day at a time, girl! XO

Motherdragon's Musings said...

Oh Fee, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your issues. Yes, I have missed reading you, but your post today, struck a chord with me.

Take each day, one day at a time. I to, have had a tumultuous 2016. Never kning what each new day will bring.

Hugs to you.

Kate said...

Fee, I am a faithful follower and always enjoy your blog posts. Hang in there and keep on keeping on. I love the idea of a frugal Christmas and look forward to your ideas. Hugs

Susan Torrens said...

I have two friends who are in a similar position. I try to be supportive, and they are lucky to have wonderful, helpful husbands. I look forward to ready your blog, so keep on blogging!

Annika said...

My daughter has the same diagnos. Take care of yourself. Hugs Annika

CalamityJr said...

Thanks for sharing, Fee. Sharing your journey will help others, I'm sure, and perhaps by hearing what you're struggling with will let us share ideas that will be useful to you, as well. Thoughts and prayers headed your way!

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time of it with fibro flares, next time you are at the doctor's get your thyroid function tested as it is often associated with fibromyalgia and your other issues. Please email me privately. I do hope and pray your health issues improve. Your blog is a great inspiration to everyone and very interesting and you are very talented. Did you ever think of making up kits and selling them on etsy and on ebay and other sites like that as well as craft stores in the area you live in?

Jacqueline said...

Nothing but good wishes coming your way.

jdbzmum said...

Thank you for sharing ... I have fibro as well and was diagnosed almost 10 years ago. Please be kind to yourself. My husband left work last year to become my full-time carer and the drop in income is hard. Surround yourself with people who understand. They will help you get thru the tough times. There are a number of medical conditions that go hand in hand with fibro and it's worthwhile getting them checked as well. My craft, family tree research, lots of music and dvds get me thru my rough days when I can't get out of bed or my chair in the living room. Take care x

retdairyqueen said...

I LOVE your Blog
So sorry to hear you have been so unwell and I hope your Blog gives you the purpose you need and it brings joy to so many xx

Pebble said...

Just letting you know that you are loved and cared about. Thank you for your wonderful blog and for taking the time to share your life with us, both the good and the bad. Much love and many prayers for you and your family.

jillyb said...

Thank you Fee for your heartfelt post. I hope you can feel the embrace that your blog followers are sending out to you xxx The more we "lift the lid" on depression; the more we can understand and help each other. Our family actively supports Movember each year. I live nearby and was wondering if you would like a few craft mags/books? Pls msg me if you do. Again, thanks for your very touching post.

Binsa said...

Hello Fee, it is easy for me to say to you, you are not alone.My role is reversed with my beloved husband.Fee be kind to yourself, you have not failed.Life can be harsh, with some pretty hard lessons on the way.We never thought our circumstances that we are now in, could happen to us, but it has.We lost three quarters of our income.I think back to when I was first married. A rented house and rented furniture.When we built our first home it was bare boards and brown paper on the windows.Our only furniture was our brass bed that my parents bought for us.Our fridge was an esky.I realize we have gone full circle in our lifestyle. I love op shopping you never know what treasures you can find.I look forward to reading your posts, especially your ideas for Christmas. Kind Regards, Ofaigh

Wendyb said...

oh hunny, thought you had been really quiet and was wondering how you were.....really should have messaged you! Know that friends from afar think of you often even if words are left unsaid (which I'm going to change!) Glad you have a local support network that is strong...I'm behind you all the way! love and hugs sweet girl

Julie said...

Oh Fee - I am soooo very sorry to read of your struggles of late. You have certainly been having such a rough year. But I am glad to read you are going to be keeping on with your blog as I so enjoy your posts & its always a delight to stop by & read what you have created. And yes, we all know about that damned black dog & wish he would stop visiting for good !!! Take care Fee & thanks so much for your visit to my blog & the lovely comment you left me.

Narelle Lucey said...

OH Fee you take care of yourself as you and the girls have become a big part of me. I am sad to hear of the pain that you are in as your beautiful smile and talent have kept me going over the 5 years that i have known you. I am so excited to here that you will be blogging again as i just LOVE your Blog and have missed reading it. I have been busy with the Lucy Boston blocks that i got from you in the club. Looking forward to that little envelope each fortnight to see what colour was in it made my week some weeks. Funny how the Black Dog can hit friends that you would not think it would as i will now let you no that i struggle with it and some days are just terrible it is wonderful that you have had the guts to Tell us as that in itself if a big step. Remember i and all Blogland are here to listen Love ya Fee xxxxxxxxxxx

chris. said...

Hi Fee, have been a reader of your blog for a long time, nice to read you are getting back into it, wish you all the best with your health and life in general, hope the flood wasn't to bad, would be nice to go into the op shop and find those sorts of bargains, but no luck so far. Oh and by the way, don't ever think of yourself as a failure, sometimes things in life just happen, keep your chin up. Chris .

Outback Crafter - Debra said...

OH Fee,
What a burden you have borne.

You are a trooper and an inspiration. I am glad the blog is going to be your outlet.

I may not often comment, but I love reading your bog.

Take care and keep being your beautiful self.

Susie said...

Thank you for sharing. I will be thinking of you. I rarely comment but still read. All the best.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Dear Fee,

I'm still here my friend. While I still post, I've been away from Blogland for a while. Life and work got in the way. However, reading your post made me realize how much I miss visiting with my friends. The friends I made so very long ago. Friends who are going through some really rough things in their lives.

I'm sending you lots of light, love and hugs beautiful friend. I'm so sorry you are going through all of this.

I'm looking forward to reading/hearing from you more.


VickiT said...

Hello Fee ~ I am a faithful reader of your blog and am sure there are many others. We all haven't left blogs for Facebook or Instagram or other places. I know how you feel wondering if you still have readers because many others ways bloggers have gone to and leaving their own blogs. Sometime I feel like I'm one of only a very few that still read blogs. LOL

While I read your blog each time you do post, I rarely comment so you may not recognize my name. I felt compelled to post this time though because reading your post felt to me like it could have been written by me if I had my own blog. I wish you were closer because I would be tempted to visit or have you visit me to talk and commiserate with each other. I've always heard it is good to have someone to talk to that can feel what you are also feeling. Doctors can help and it's great to have them be there when you need them, but being able to talk to someone who is experiencing many of the same things you are helps also because they truly can understand the frustration levels you are. I never know from day to day what my day will bring until I get out of bed. It's hard for my husband and I to really plan things because of that and it's extremely frustrating for me because I feel so guilty when we have tried to plan something like leaving the house for anything and then can't because I get up that day and while my brain is all set to do whatever it is, my body says NOPE; you aren't going anywhere. Or if I push past the pain that day and do go, then I have 3-4 days of recovering from the trip. I won't go any further into my problems because it's your blog and you don't need to read a novelette from me about my problems.

I just wanted to give you a big hug from a long way away and tell you I understand and to say don't be so hard on yourself that you had to quit your new job. It sounds to me that you are dealing with so much pain/health problems and then being hard on yourself for having to quit your new job too. I know that feeling because I had to stop working not long after we were married and that really bothered me for a long time. Now I just get upset with myself because I love to cook/bake and depending on the day, there are many days I can't stand long enough to even cook our supper.
If I find a magic wand I've been hoping would appear since 2003 to help me, I'll send it your way too. Please try to not be hard on yourself about the job because that stress will probably not help with your health.

I'll shut up now. BIG HUGS FEE!

Kris Meares - Tag Along Teddies said...

Hey Fee! I don't blog or read blogs quite as often as I used to ... as a lovely blogging buddy says, I've crossed over to the "Dark Side" ... Facebook! Tee! Hee! Hee! But your posts come into my email folder, so I do catch up with your news. Even without health issues, I think we all need to remind ourselves just to take life one day at a time and squeeze everything from that day we can. If that means listening to your body to rest ... do it and don't feel guilty. When you feel good ... enjoy it but don't overdo. Easier said than done, right?! :0) Be kind to yourself and I wish you a fantastic end to your week. Bear Hugs! KRIS xx

Anonymous said...

Bless you heart! I'm catching up on my e-mails now that our Stitchin' Camp is over. It's never easy when the do-it-all person becomes unwell and has to submit to having others do for them. Then again, sometimes it allows others to be blessed by doing for you. Don't take that blessing away from them. Hopefully, the doctors can get you sorted out and you'll learn what your boundaries are. Staying within them may not be easy, but given the consequences of not staying within them I think you'll find a way. Yes, there are always others who are in worse situations than yourself, but as I was told long ago, that fact doesn't negate what you're going through at the moment. It just better helps you keep things in perspective.

I don't do Instagram yet and am not big on Facebook either. I prefer reading blogs because they're like reading a letter from a friend. The ability to add lots of good pictures is always a bonus. I'll be looking forward to the tutorials and might even carve out enough time to actually make what you show us how to make rather than adding it to my ever growing wish-to-do list. Take care.

Martha Roberts said...

I love to read your blog. I am so sorry for your hard times and bad health. I love your projects and looking forward to seeing more. Hope each day holds a blessing for you.

claudia said...

Hi Fee! I came to your blog through another blogger and read a little through the past couple of weeks. What a strong woman you are! Thank you for sharing your situation with us. It is through others' blogs that I have found strength to move on when I have hit my personal wall. I am just now in recovery myself from that black dog, trying to kill it. Like you, I have a wonderful doctor (finally) who is willing to help me through my health issues. I was her first patient when she started in our town. She just told me this yesterday, I feel that I will do well under her care.
I love all of your paper crafts! I plan to follow you closely, because you have such wonderful things to share.
So sorry to hear about your flooding. Thank goodness and the people around you that helped keep the damage at a minimum!
I also love your Op Shop finds. Especially that quilt, that was obviously meant to be loved by you!
Take care of yourself!