What started off as a trip to the Perodontist for what I thought was a scale and polish (the referal form was written in Afrikaans) has ended up with an appointment for Oral Surgery for bone degeneration, a test in the morning for diabeties, which if I don't have now I will have eventually, a referal to the pain clinic and a clinical psychologist, pain meds and anti inflammatories for the chilblains and Prozac.
I left home at 9am and returned with pizza for the kids lunch at 1pm. What a morning.
Being an expat isn't all sunshine and pools although, yes we do have all that. Yes I'm lucky that I don't have to work anymore, the kids benefit from me being at home every day after school and through the holidays and hubby comes home to a clean and tidy house every evening and a home cooked meal.
There are parts of it I do enjoy such as the cooking, I've impressed myself with some of the things I can just 'throw together' and with the introduction of a slow cooker from a friend for my birthday it's all systems go. I don't actually mind the cleaning, it's a tiled house and so easy to do, we also have little furniture and what ornaments we have are in a glass cabinet so it's not really a difficult job. But I do miss work, meeting people, deadlines, sociallising and I find life sometimes very lonely, repetitive and boring.
At this point you're probably thinking 'that sounds like my life' but what you have to remember is that my old life of work, study, volunteering, sociallising stopped over night when we emigrated. And here's where the Prozac comes in. Moving house is stressful, everyone knows that, chuck in my fathers heart attack, renewing our visas, discovering our youngest wasn't being supported in school with his dyslexia and then a diagnosis of disgraphia and it all got a bit too much for me. Forget all the crap with the UK banks and the lack of (non exsistant) support from hubbies company. I'm, how shall I say it? at the end of my rope.
Now don't panic I'm a practical person and I may wallow in self pity with a 'woe is me' attitude but I'm a doer, one of lifes 'the more stress I have the better I thrive' get on with it type of person. But there comes a time when I need help and today is that day.
I left the dentists and went straight to the Doctors to request to speak with the Practice Manager, I wanted to know how I went about the diabeties test? who did I see about feeling depressed? stopping smoking? do I google a psychologist or need a Dr's referal? Do I see the practice nurse for a blood test? How do I get to see a pain specilaist? I got as far as her saying 'come through' before the tears started. She listened, made an emergency appointment for me to see the Doctor and now I feel alot better.
However over the next few months I have a list of appointments with a variety of people. We are in our medical aid payment gap so I drove to Discovery to find out what's happening, what's covered and what's not. I couldn't have asked for better information and assistance.
I'm over whelmed right now, I thought calling home would help, but it just reminded me how ill my dad is with diabeties, heart disease from smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet. However his reply was positive he said 'I'm 72 when all this happened to me and all I can do is maintain it, you're 41 and can prevent it all from happening'
I'd already planned to stop smoking this thursday, I set the date last month and I'm 82% of the way through Allen Carr's 'stop smoking' on my kindle app. I've schedule to return to swimming tues, wed and thurs am, having used the cold winter mornings as an excuse. I also downloaded 'thinking slimmer' a few months ago and then slapped myself for wasting £30 on hype and never listened to it, however on Saturday I thought what the heck and this morning I actually put the chocolate and the coke back in the cupboard as I was going to eat it to cheer myself up when I realised that I'd be better off with a late breakfast of Special K. I'll not use it to think myself slimmer but to think myself healthy and I've set my goals as just that and besides 2 jeans sizes smaller won't hurt me.
Blogging and sharing and tweeting is wonderful therapy for me. As soon as I put something out there, there is no hiding from it any more, denying it's happening. there's been too much of that despite me being an 'open' person. Always putting a positive spin on things, using humour hasn't actually helped, it just delayed this moment, put off asking for assistance, not wanting people to think I was a failure.
Because I'm NOT a failure, I'm a success. I've done it, I've emigrated, I've integrated, I've achieved far more than I ever thought I was capable of and now I'm there, now I've reached that point, it's time to say 'I need some help in understanding it all, medication to get me through while I unjumble and off load my mind'
I'm depressed, I asked for help, I'm taking the meds, I'm proud of how far I've come and look forward to the next set of challenges, but this time I know I NEED to ask for help along the way and not lie and say I'm fine.
What an amazingly honest post. I think you have done a brilliant job with everything that you have had thrown at you. A lesser person would have crumbled. There is no shame in asking for help and even less shame in accepting help. Good for you for doing something about it. I wish you well.ReplyDelete
Thank you, things can only get better nowDelete
Wow, what a day you've had. Your blogging is very honest.ReplyDelete
BW with all your challenges,
thank you LesleyDelete
That is one heck of a list - no wonder you are struggling more than usual.ReplyDelete
With all that 'reacting' to your change in circumstances it's not really surprising if you've lost a little of what is important to you along the way. Sounds like you've reached a good moment to take a breath, and take a moment to think about what fires you up in life for example is contact with people more important than managing people? Is having a day full more important or doing something part time so you can be there for the kids?
I'm more than happy to have a chat with you and help in any way I can. Have a read of this link http://www.thinkitchangeit.com/how-i-can-help/lifebusiness-coaching.html
I'm happy to do this for free as you have been a long time Twitter pal ;)
hi Dawn, I don't think I'm struggling more than usual I just think that today I've acknowledged my behaviour has to change. I can't go on with the crying behind closed doors and the shouting any more, it's not fair on my family, they are treading on eggshells. Today I asked for help for them as well as myself. I will read the link when ive finished your book and the stop smoking manual and thank youDelete
Lot's of reading eh! Good for you for speaking out. Hope everyone can help you in the way you need ;)Delete
I really do feel for you. I have very similar feelings since moving from the UK. I miss working, the friendship and social life it brings. I miss my family and friends and would move back tomorrow - I feel so loney here. I am pleased you felt able to seek help and advice from your Doctor and hope you will look back at these days with positive thoughts.ReplyDelete
I'm so determined to get through this, too much time, money and energy has been invested in this move
Hey lovely lady! Reading your post with all that has been and is on your plate it is no wonder you feel how you feel. Nothing to be ashamed about. If all tjese things happened longer time apart you would have handled things just fine, I'm sure.ReplyDelete
The thing is that it all happened in quite a short period of time so not enough time to catch your breath before moving on.
Familiar, as my blog has similar posts:-) time to regroup, catch your breath and contemplate. Once you have overview again and feel in control again you will move on. Meantime stop smoking is fab! And I would suggest to do an hour of some sports daily. Do things that are for you only. Also when feeling down and low go workout or do something you like outdoors. That was the advice of my social worker. If I can be of any help I'm here.
Chelle, you've been brilliant with your support on twitter, esp with the stopping smokingDelete
Love your honesty - so heartwarming. I suffered severe depression a number if years ago and came through the other side! People are not honest enough about their experiences, well done you! I am sure you will help and encourage many people by sharing your experiences.ReplyDelete
i don't really understand why people don't say 'enough is enough' however i do understand that it's only when one takes a breather and steps back that you realise how hard things have becomeDelete
Oh hun, so sorry to hear you are feeling so overwhelmed. I think the most important thing is to remember that this won't last for ever. I know, I know. It sounds twee. BUT and it's a big but, it is true. Whenever I'm feeling down the worst thing of all is feeling that nothing ever changes, I can't see my way out of the hole and there will never be joy and sunshine in my life again. That's the biggest load of lying crap I've ever tormented myself with. It does change, and it will and whilst it may not change overnight where you'll feel amazingly better and more in control before sunrise, it will happen slowly and gradually until one day you'll realise your sense of humour has returned. Hang in there! Vix xReplyDelete
i know I will get through all of this, this move has taught me that things and I will never be the same again, but rather than it being a negative I'm trying to turn it into a positive
You're most certainly a better woman than I & you are so right when you say that asking for help is a strong & positive move - I often say so. It's the right move without a doubt & I'm full of admiration for you after you've come so far since I started reading your blog! Hope that you continue to get the best support you can (& give them hell if you don't).ReplyDelete
thank you Chloe, it sounds a bit naff but reading blogs like yours has also helpedf me realise that I'm never aloneDelete
What a brilliantly honest post. Do hope you get all the support you need, not just from the "professionals" but from family too.ReplyDelete
I've suffered with bouts of depression in the past. It's horrible. But you can get help. I now have far more good days than bad days.
Through my work in Primary Care here in UK, I meet lots of people who have varying degrees of depression, and nothing annoys me more than people who say "what have they got to be depressed about?". You dont choose to be depressed. You can even go for months without realising that's what's "wrong".
thank you for sharing with us, and in return we'll share any support we can give.
thank you for your honestly and support also, it does feel good to know that I'm not alone and that things won't improve until they are discussed in the openDelete
Asking for help is always the hardest step, life will get better, it just takes time.ReplyDelete
I know it will and with support from my friends i know it'll be easierDelete
Thank you for being so honest when so many of us bottle it all up. I really hope you get your pain/bone bits sorted out quickly and that you get the help you need.ReplyDelete
Best wishes. Xx
I've tried tackling things as seperate enterties ovedr the years but realised I need to blitz everything to get it all sorted once and for allDelete
Really important post and makes you even more likeable.ReplyDelete
You have done so much more than most people would be capable of and your mind needs a little help, so what? You are so not alone and I am really pleased blogging helps. I know that feeling well.
thank you Kate.Delete
I've come to realise that the online support is more beneficial as there are no preconceived ideas about me that my family hold, needless to say ive been open with my parents as well
Sorry for coming to this so late, but from reading all that, you know what shines through? Your positivity.ReplyDelete
Yes, you've had a crap time, but every single hurdle has been met by you as a challenge and one you have approached in a 'can do' way. You're getting it done. And you're doing incredibly well in such difficult circumstances.
All the very best to you. xx
thanks for your reply Carole. It is hard as you know and im determined not to failDelete