Monday, 27 February 2012

The Battle

I know how stupid I sound. In fact, I know how ridiculous all this really is - the tense feeling in my chest, the writhing in my stomach & the hot surges of adrenaline that burst through me for the smallest of reasons. I know that this is all caused by some malfunction, some imbalance in my brain. It's just that I'm going a bit wrong & I know that it can be fixed. I know all this & yet, just knowing is not enough to make it stop.

I want to finish this & I want to finish it now.

For a change, my moods have been good & I've felt as though the suffocating presence of the beast that is my depression has lifted somewhat. The beast has retreated for a while. I can breathe now, but I cannot relax. The anxiety makes me feel sick, so sick that I find it difficult to eat, that is when I remember to. I am excruciatingly aware of the fact that I must eat for it to abate & I am feeling stronger - my fight is back - yet the beast has changed. It can't hold me in it's grasp & smother me at the moment & so it is trying to trip me instead.

Sometimes I feel as though I am battling so hard & so well that I am on the edge of victory, but never have a been able to end the fight & most of times I don't believe I ever will. I think this could be something that I will have to do for the rest of my life. I can only hope that the beast will tire & some of the time I will get to rest. I will get to breathe; smile; be.

As I write, there is a wave of sickness & dizziness sweeping over me. I often forget to eat & when I do eat I eat crap. I'm paranoid & terrified that I will drop down dead from some sort of heart attack due to poor diet & being underweight (I'm not underweight - yet) & it all goes in those ever turning circles. I wish knowing was enough to make it stop. I wish that I could just snap my fingers & get on with life, but at the moment I feel weary & worn. Tomorrow, I will get up & I will show strength some more, but for how long?

The gaps between the dark days are getting longer. I see the sun is shining, both outside & inside my minds eye, more often than it has for a long time & my good days really are good ones. They are good instead of not-so-bad days. But the bad days? Well, they are brief & sparse & I am so thankful for this but they seem more intense, they hurt more. There is anger in the mix too. I think this is a show of my strength returning but my anger is often wrongly directed.

Overall, I'm positive & I feel as though this is a new stage of the journey. The conrtast is greater but I have the upper hand now.

There's light, people. There's a little ray of light.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


On looking over past ponderings - files from the 'single episode' - I realise that the things that you think are so very significant at the time often turn out to be the happenings of least note.

Though I realise that looking back we often don our cliche-tainted specs, I also see that tiny details which seem so irrelevant at the time most often amount to everything that we had not expected & sometimes all that we now hold most dear.

It never happens the way you think it.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Trapped in a box with two kids & my own sanity

For the past three months or so, I have spent almost 24 hours of every day with someone - be that with my children, partner, friends. When I think about this it scares me. A lot.

I am the kind of person who loves to be solitary. Don't get me wrong, there are a few nights a week where my partner works late & when the kids are in bed I am technically left to my own devices, however I have no choice but to stay in the house & it frustrates me that I can't even pop to the shops or go for a run. I often feel very trapped & therefore it is increasingly difficult for me to appreciate these evenings.

I envy my partner who has his car journeys to work & his freedom throughout the day. I envy him to the point that I almost resent him & this scares me.

My latest pregnancy was a shock to us to say the least. I was happy in my job & with my life in general when I found out. I did know that I would have to find a new job anyway, regardless of the pregnancy but because I was pregnant this swayed my decision to take something part time rather than the full time hours I'd previously enjoyed. We also had to move in together & this meant that I went from being fully independent to almost fully dependent on him.

I feel so angry that, though I love my children & appreciate the time I get to spend with them I am now left with no independence, money or sanity & that I have no choice but to be a full time mum. It isn't my partner's fault but it isn't my fault. Society & it's expectations of women plays a small part though generally this situation was unavoidable, so why do I still feel so angry & resentful about the whole deal?

All I wish for is a little more flexibility & freedom. My partner works long hours & we don't have any family close by. I constantly feel as though I am trapped & am going out of my mind. I often feel as though the only way out is to not be here any more - my logic being if I can't appreciate my role in life as a mother fully then what good am I to them? - but this shouldn't be the case. I see a Care Coordinator who helps me with the 'mental' side of my problems, & occasionally go to baby groups (which help so far as they get me out of the house but do not offer me any real sanity of freedom), but is there any real practical support for women like me? Is there no recognition of the needs of working families, particularly so far as support for fathers who may wish or need to help out at home? If not, why not? I'm sure that I am not alone in thinking that if fathers were allowed to support their partners more, should they need to, then a lot of women's sanity & well-being could be saved, a lot of time could be saved by health professionals & even relationships could be saved.

What the hell can I do?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Groovy Mums & Cafe Bebe's Real Mummy Tummies

Kate's first challenge this week was this:

1. Body – do you love or loathe your body? Celebrate the fact you are a mum by posting here

Now, after two children it is definitely fair to say that my body is very different from before I sarted (though I didn't have much time to appreciate just how lovely my body back then was, as I 'fell' pregnant for the first time when I was the fair age of 18) but not in the way you might expect. Cafe Bebe is celebrating real mummies & their real tummies over on her blog & I totally get behind her on that. Mummies go through a hell of a lot, more than anyone could imagine & when celebrities flash their perfect post-baby bodies in our face it is, as she says, bloody infuriating. It isn't normal & it puts totally unrealistic pressure on top of all the other pressures that women all ready suffer in our vain society.

Having said that, here is me 6 weeks after giving birth to my second baby, about to go for my first run since I found out I was pregnant for the second time.

Now before you spit at the screen & slam your laptop shut, please read a little further as I explain...

When I found out I was pregnant I was a healthy 10st 8lb (which is the higher side of a decent BMI for 5ft 7in) & I enjoyed running & salads, as well as cake & takeaways! Now, 11 weeks after having the wee one, I am 9st. I don't have a nanny, personal trainer (though technically my OH is a qualified fitness person thing but I'll be damned if I can get him to give me any training for free) & I certainly don't have a chef - though I would not say no! - but what I did have after the birth of my wee girl was a lot of blood loss. Thankfully, the staff at the hospital knew that this could happen as, when I had my first baby, I bled so much after the cesarean that they offered me a blood transfusion (I said no & spent the first year of her life weighing between 7st & a half and 8 stone, due mostly to anaemia etc. but also to stress & anxiety & an unrealistic view of myself. This was not a good time in my life).

What I'm getting at is that, yes I was lucky enough to have a small bump in both pregnancies & to weigh less than when I fell pregnant in both pregnancies & I appreciate that I can fit back into my skinny jeans, however I am not healthy. I've been running twice since having the baby & I can tell you that I was dying. My baby is a very hungry one & I haven't been able to keep up with feeding her, whereas I think that if I had a little more on me & a bigger appetite myself (I sometimes struggle with eating properly as I have PND, but this is something I feel is getting better) then I would have been able to do more for her.

It's so important to be healthy, not just for ourselves, but for our babies too, & it's even more important to remember that healthy doesn't necessarily mean thin. Healthy is something that is on the inside & appearances can certainly be deceptive.

It's also worth mentioning, as this is about real Mummies' bodies, that in this picture I am wearing two bras. It's now a necessity if I go running & if I wasn't then you wouldn't be able to see half of my tummy. I would show you a picture, but I think there might be a law against this!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Groovy Mums

Yah-dah yah-dah Groovy Mums - you know what it's all about by now - & if not have a peek at the marvellous Kate On Thin Ice's page - she is a wonder! Here's how I am responding to this weeks challenges...

1. Body – What are you looking at? What can you see differently? On a practical level, how is your eyesight and eye health?

What I look at, is similar to what Kate has said, I look at the walls of the house far too much. Most days I don't leave the house at all, I don't even step outside & this is not good. Currently, I'm on the up & despite feeling the usual entrapment I like a lot of the other things I see. My wonderful family & I do like what I see in the mirror (when I make the effort to put on a layer of slap). My biggest problem at the moment is that I have about three outfits that make me feel good & nothing else. This is something that I would like to change, but as always when money is an issue & I can barely afford sale stuff it's not going to be a quick fix! As for my eyesight, I think it's pretty good, or at least I have the right prescription for my contact lenses!

2. Mind – How is your mental health? Are you stuck or if you think really hard, can you find ways to improve things for yourself? What can others do to help you?

Well, as I've said above, I'm doing okay. I feel a little like the insides of my mind are torn in two. Good & bad & these are coexisting at the moment, possibly even teetering a little, but I would like to shed the bad if I could. I've got support from my family, but my biggest problem currently is that I can never find the time to see friends or get away from the children & this is making me feel tearful as I speak.

3. Spirit – What memories are you making? What would you like your legacy to be?

I'm making some good memories for my children though not as many for myself. I want to banish all tears that I have infront of my kids, but I am finding it hard. I am fragile but I don't want them to think of me like this.

4. Blogging – Do you think people miss you when you don’t blog? What can you learn from that?

I'm not sure, perhaps. Though I feel as though there isn't much point in blogging if I have nothing that I feel is interesting or worthy to say & I have trouble forcing this. I'd like to make sure my new blog - Pea Green Pantry - gets up & running. I'd like the starting point to be the planning & execution of my Eldest's 4th birthday coming up this month.

5. Special Days – Valentine’s Day is a week away. Do you acknowledge it? How do you show love on that day or all year round? Who loves you?

I never really have before. I've always pretended that I didn't care, but really I would love to feel that somebody would spoil me regardless of what I said or how much I protested. I've never been with someone who had such inclination, though I do like to give on Valentines day, it makes me feel good, though nothing OTT. I must say, I did receive flowers (for the first time ever) on Valentines day last year... the problem was that I was only casually dating the guy & had decided that it wasn't going to work after I met my now OH. Oops!

6. The Big Question – This is the challenge that is supposed to help you to reflect deeply. This week’s is …

What good are you doing?

 I'm not sure what good, but I suppose I care for my girls & my man & I give what I can, but I know I could give lots more & am working on it. Sorry I don't have much more to say on this...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Love Buggers Everything Up

Occasionally I think I’d like to be able to sod off to somewhere obscure whenever I feel like it. I’d like to feel free to roam & not hurt anybody in the process, possibly to pop to the shops & indulge in pointless purchases, such as sparkly wellies or exotic fruit I’ll never eat. Unfortunately, I cannot do these things because I am in a relationship, personally & financially with a man. What is more is that I am in love.

Love buggers everything up.

Love means joy & laughter, & a feeling of co-dependence which is hugely comforting, but love also means one cannot be selfish, one has to compromise & one has to share. One has to be very considerate indeed & often one will hurt, & be hurt.

If I were to find myself, for whatever reason, without my loved one then I should like to think I’d be wise enough not to love again.

I should like to be an individual, an independent soul. That is not to say that looking back on my life I wouldn’t have wanted to find love with someone, just that from this point forward, if I were to end up alone then I should be content to have loved & been loved, but no more. I should like to live my life & no longer feel that I should be searching. I’d like to say that when I met my loved one, my search was not temporarily halted, but it was the end, no matter what the outcome of the love we have. 

Perhaps I should like a companion, where, because when repeated the right amount of times with the right or occasionally the wrong person sex can lead to love, sex is not necessary & therefore there is no danger of love being on the cards at all. Sex could be reserved for flings & wild nights with people I’d have no other connection with or perhaps sex could quite simply be forgotten.

Of course, the love I speak of here is far-removed from the love I have for my children. The love I feel for them is innate, it is how they survive & it is born out of instinct. I feel it in the very pit of my stomach, rooted so deeply that nothing could tear it away. When this love is tested I feel it pulling & I feel a ferocious passion & intense strength that allows me to protect it & to protect them. I have a grip of it as tightly as it has a grip of me & it cannot be broken for anything. This is a love I will always feel & will stay with me until my grave.

Pointedly, though, my children were born out of the emotional bonds I had with others.

The love we feel for a person is, in many ways, rather indulgent. I see it more as a side effect of intelligence than something born of instinct. Our basic instinct is to reproduce, & sometimes I feel as though in some ways ‘ever-lasting love’ is something counter-intuitive. We will always know our children, because they are part of us, but how well do we really know another who is not related to us? Sure, a relationship is good for us in the sense that we can doubly protect & support our children, but it hardly seems so necessary as this instinctual love we have for our offspring, & often can addle a person so much as to have a negative effect on family life. Love for a person, someone you really do not know or have any link or bond with except perhaps that of shared experience over time seems strange.

For me, this is a love that comes from the whole torso. I feel it as an energy that consumes my body & compels me to swathe the other in this energy, in my arms, in my love. It is an unspoken, mutual bond that when tested will not always make you fierce, sometimes it will make you weak & worrisome. It is a gentler love, linking also to our need to feel a connection & this connection is one which can be tugged to & fro by both parties. This is also a love which can be destroyed or discarded. It is a love which can change.

If I were to find myself, for whatever reason, without my loved one then I should like to think I’d be wise enough not to love again, but the flaw in my plan is this:
I am human, & I love.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Pea Green Pantry

Dear readers,

I love that I have readers - especially ones who are always generous with the advice & support they offer. Today I am looking for some feedback regarding a new blog that I am hoping to set up soon.

I love food & though I can't profess to being a great connoisseur or magnificent gastronome I do enjoy cooking & even more so I enjoy eating! It is an area that I enjoy experimenting in (saucy!) & something I'd like to get better at.

As a mum of two children - one who is not terribly fussy but has her moments of stubbornness & another who is only just coming up to the age of guzzling mush - & a dutiful wifey to my OH (if you can call avoiding housework dutiful) I often find myself cooking the same things over & over. I do not need another boring thing in my life & so I made a promise to myself that in the weeks to come I would make the effort to devise a menu for the weeks ahead. Not only to spice up the dinner table a little but to enable us to buy only what we need, food wise. I thought that a great way to get started & to stick to this would be to create a blog & share with you my experiences as I attempt to avoid disasters & not poison my family.

I hate waste & like to live as economically & as ethically as I can. I believe strongly that organic farming & eating is the way forward, both for the planet & for our health, but I am also not rolling in it & understand just how difficult it is to be 'green' when you have to watch the pennies. I think it will be something a bit like River Cottage on a budget & with more mess (oh how I love Hugh, but I haven't got a garden or a TV deal).

All in all, I am looking to create a new, separate blog based around my adventures in food which will include:
  • Ideas for recipes, family friendly, speedy, special or anything else
  • Tips for green living on a budget (or not, if you're that lucky!) & eating with the seasons
  • Linkies with other foody families & people
  • Experiments & disasters in my kitchen
  • My journal of how I am getting on with my personal mission in food!
So what I'd like to know from you lovelies is if I am just being a lunatic & this is actually pretty boring or whether there are any other ideas you'd like to see on the blog.
The big question is what should I name the blog, there is a choice of three:

Pea Green Pantry
Our Pea Green Pantry
The Pea Green Pantry

Thank you for your eyes, readers!

UPDATE: You can now follow @PeaGreenPantry on twitter & find us at - I shall hopefully have everything fully operational before the end of Feb... How exciting!!

Yours, toastily, Chloe.
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