Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life Change

As you may have noticed, life has been a bit on the downward spiral.

Grab a cuppa and a snack, this is going to be a long one:

Long time followers will know that I suffer from depression. No, I don't get the blues, get "depressed", have a bad week etc. I suffer from a chemical imbalance in my brain where the serotonin doesn't get around it like is should. This makes me "suffer".

By suffer, I mean not cope, not sleep, not want to exist. I have known about my depression for 7 years since I was assessed by the psych emergency team and diagnosed as having clinical depression and social anxiety back in 2002 when I grabbed a knife and threatened to kill myself. Blair phoned the police because the poor guy didn't know what to do.

Upon further treatment, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and a full history with the clinical psychiatrist, it was determined that my depression has pretty much been something that has been with me since my teens. My paternal grandmother was hospitalised when my father was a child with depression. My maternal grandfather was a manic depressive. My mother has depression, not very well managed mind you. My brother has depression. It's in the blood.

As I swing towards the natural side of things I tend to look for natural alternatives first for any ailment I may have. This is one area in life where natural doesn't work for me. I struggle with having to be on medication but I also know that the desire to end my life becomes overwhelming when I am not.

When I was just about to turn 18, I had a miscarriage to an old boyfriend who I thought I was in love with. I didn't know I was pregnant but it was very hard on me mentally. We had split up the week before and it was so much emotional crap for me that it sent me into a spin. One night after a couple of games of touch rugby, a few too many beers and a party at my first ever flat, I walked out into the road and threw myself in front of an oncoming car. Unfortunately for me the car was doing 70km/h instead of the 50km/h it should have been doing. Fortunately for me the car was an old VW beetle, motor in back and low bumper, I got hit on the calves by the bumper, knees bended back, my back went up into the bonnet and my head went through the windscreen. I have a permanent reminder of that night in the big scar on my right shoulder where the windshield wiper indented me as I hurtled up the car. Unfortunately for me the driver was my old English head of department from High School, news spread fast.

I had a wee bit of forced counselling etc at this time but I never admitted, till many years later, that I actually threw myself in front of the car. I insisted I had been crossing the road to walk to the shop for ciggies.

Onward 9 years and I faced the loss of my dear aunt. My rock. My mentor, a lady I idolised and adored since a toddler. She taught me to ride, she was an angel walking, she loved me and I loved her, unconditionally. She was an owner trainer of thoroughbred racehorses and was the one who had encouraged me to specialise in Equine when I was doing my Veterinary Degree. Even when I fell pregnant after a one night stand, she didn't judge me, even though she was a devout Catholic. She supported me, she loved me. She had a fall off one of her horses at the beach and had a nagging back injury for a couple of months afterwards, finally got it sorted and found out that she had bone cancer. She died a painful death. She gave up on life and she let it take her very quickly. I was distraught at her passing.

That was 7 years ago.

Recently I was contacted by an old school friend on Facebook. She is now in her final year of her Veterinary Degree majoring in Equine. She lives on a 1,500 acre sheep and beef farm. She's living what was going to be my life. I wasn't jealous. I have no regrets, I am a firm believer that you every road you travel is in your own "itinerary". You live the life you are meant to, sure you have crossroads along the way that can affect the direction your travel takes you, but you make that choice so that is your destiny. That hasn't stopped this contact affecting me. Deeply. It has made me question what I can be in life. It has made me reevaluate my direction.

Two weeks ago I had a breakdown of sorts. Some of it was externally influenced but, mostly, it has been because the medication I have been on for the past two years has not been sufficient to get my serotonin levels to where they need to be. I am on 20mg of Citalopram a day and have now had that doubled to 40mg. I get reassessed in 2 weeks. I ignored the signs that this was happening, again. ** please, if you see the signs of depression in anyone or yourself, seek help before it takes over, please **

So I have hit rock bottom for the fourth time in my life and it has made me choose the road that I have longed to travel but never felt justified in taking.

I have given up my Naturopathy.

I start riding lessons on Saturday.

I have a riding assessment on Nov 16th.....

for admission to the National Certificate in Stable Practise.

My course starts in March. I am going to do three strands in Sport Horse, Thoroughbred Racing and Track Riding.

My youngest are starting preschool in two weeks for three days a week.

When I finish this course in December next year I plan to study (extramurally) the Bachelor of AgriScience majoring in Equine through Massey University, while working part time at a local stud or racing stables, giving me the knowledge to be the stud manager when I complete my study. I WILL own and train my own racehorse by 40 and I will own a stud/breeding farm.

I am on the first couple of kms of the road I long to travel. Destination unknown but I sure am going to enjoy the journey.

35 comments:

Hippygal said...

Wow girl go for it..... when we are doing something we enjoy it makes life so much better. :-)

Ute said...

I hope no one leaves comments saying, "Oh, I know how you feeeeeeeeeeel!", cos they don't!

Everyone's disability is TOTALLY different, and no one's pain is the same.

All I can say, is keep up with your meds mate, if it works, stick with it.

You will get there... you will. Good things come to those who wait. =)

*HUUUUGE hugz*
oxoxox

JustJo said...

WOW! Big changes, but all for the best :)
I'm so glad you stopped ignoring the signs and got yourself sorted on the meds.
The only way is up my friend!
*hugs*

Jo said...

I love you, Miss Jules.

And am always just a facebook chat away. :-)

xxx

Kate said...

I'm so proud to know you! I think you are far stronger and gutsier than you give yourself credit for. I love that you have dreams for the future, and I KNOW you can achieve them. Go for it!! xox

Anonymous said...

Wow Jules, Hugs from Australia. I think your amazing and can't wait to be backing your horse!!! Follow your road no matter how long the journey is cause it sounds great!!!!
Kym

Tracy said...

Maybe that contact from facebook was the push you needed to start working again towards your dream.

Do Blair & the kids know the signs that you need help?? Make sure you talk to them so that they can get you to seek help sooner rather than later.

I am glad you decided not to go private because I am looking forward to following your journey as you reach your dream

Good Luck & hugs

AlleyCat said...

Ute is a smart chickee ya know....

Thanks for sharing Jules. for those of us who don't suffer from depression it is so so so important for us to learn about what people are going through, to heed warning sides.

Can't wait to see pic's of you sailing over jumps on your magical 4 legged friend. He's gonna LOVE ya!!!

XOXO

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Jules,

You know I'm happy for you sis and I'm glad you shared these experiences and hopes.

Be well and happy.

U

Hannah said...

Much love to you!

I know you are doing the right thing for you. Despite Ute's warning (which I do agree with--everyone suffers their own unique pain and no one can ever truly and fully understand that) I want to express empathy. I have suffered severe anxiety and depression and been on and off meds since I was a kiddo and it is a daily struggle but if everyone did as you are and tried to tune in and follow their bliss, despite even the roughest depression, then that would be a wonderful thing.

I wish you much luck and genuinely admire your honesty and putting yourself out here,

Hannah

Jadey 0:-) said...

Wow honey. This may be your time. Are you ready? Do not let it pass you by.

Hugs and Kisses xoxx

Kentucky Fried Bride said...

We've discussed this privately and I know you are on the right path now.

Someone (I'm sorry if I quote it wrongly)... once said that picture you life as a boat, everytime you take the wrong path the boat will throw you about but once you are in the slipstream, life is easy sailing.

I fully believe that the universe shows us signs constantly. If we don't listen it will throw a brick wall into our face so we stop and listen.

Again, I know you're on the right path now.

Like Jo, I love you too. Happy sailing beautiful woman.

Kentucky Fried Bride said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kentucky Fried Bride said...

Sorry, I double posted.

Janene said...

Jules, you never fail to amaze me... despite all the shit you seems to somehow see your way to light at the end of the tunnel... you manage to find that there are positives to look forward to and that even if you're only just hanging on by your fingernails you never seem to let go of that. You are one very strong, very special lady!

Margaret said...

"Shoot for the moon, if you miss it you'll still land in the stars"

I wish you all the luck in the universe, you are a strong woman who understands that life is not easy, but can be rewarding.

Slante. xx

Chris H said...

I think it's AWESOME that you are going to finally do what you love... and have wanted to do forever!
ONWARD Chick.... you can and will get there.

beetricks said...

*hugs* and you should know, I rarely dish out the hugs.

Can you please email me your mailing address?

B x

Jimmy Bastard said...

No matter how many times you fall over, get up and carry on. Trust me... it will be worth it in the end. The longer the road, the sweeter the reward when you finish your journey.

Girl Going Skinny (was The Fat Girl) said...

wow Jules im so proud of you for sharing this! Your a fucking awesome woman who is strong and beautiful! Im so excited to see you achieve your dreams

Girl Going Skinny (was The Fat Girl) said...

wow Jules im so proud of you for sharing this! Your a fucking awesome woman who is strong and beautiful! Im so excited to see you achieve your dreams

Spiky Zora Jones said...

jules baby...I know where you've been. I know you are strong enough to do anything.

I believe in you jules. I see it in you to do anything you want.

You are some wonderful woman...

xxx...go for it honey. the world is yours.

laater babe.

Steph said...

You are the fucking business, woman. So proud of you. xx

Watercolors @ Drop The Jeans said...

You go girl go!! You take what you need to!!

Bounce back, and kick ass!!

Anonymous said...

One of the hardest things is admitting you've sunk back to the depths *again* so I think you're an awesome strong woman for putting it all out there. I won't wish you luck because you won't need it, I know you'll make your own destiny :)
LadyP x

m said...

Jules,

I think being outside doing something you love will do wonders for your psych. I'm on anti-depressants and got seriously depressed upon losing my job. I put my entire being into creating garden paths, the vegtable garden and planting flowers. It kept me sane along with the drugs.

Best of luck

beetricks said...

It wasn't intentional - I started saving all the blogs I read then ran out of steam. It hasn't been updated in months so chill out! I have put your blog there to stop your whining! :P

Are you still with GE? I'd get out of it ASAP! Save some of the interest you are paying and find a low interest balance transfer card!

Cazzie!!! said...

Jules, you are so damned unreal..you are brave to be able to share with us on your blog just how you are feeling, what has been happening and everything in your life from when you were little. Some people may never comprehend what it is you say, but rest assured you have some awesome people here that give a shit and will continue to do so. So, use this blog to type in your random and not-so-random thoughts and feelings...we will be here to help you along the way..well, I hope we can help!
Huggs Jules!

Middle Child said...

My mum was diagnosed Manic depressive after our dad was killed by a drunk driver - she'd been fine till then -

Not having been a person to become easily depressed - apart from a few notable exceptions it wasn't until I was in my late 30's that I realised how brave my mum was facing depressions - knowing they would pass - but I recall how little she seemed to become whilst depressed almost as if the spirit had almost left if that makes sense -

Jules it took amazing bravery from my mum to just be - as it is with you... for some on this earth so much is asked - and you and mum were those people - but the price..the price if you can get through is worth the having - I know this just from my life - so please take care an know you are in the very best of company - some of this world's best and most compassionate and creative people battled with deprerssion.

Steve Levi, The Levi Store said...

Im back, read your post again, admire ya big time! One step at a time... and suck into the energy stream of your support goup here, amazing to see! hugs.

Tania said...

Oh Jules - well done! I have always admired your strength and courage and love that you are chasing your dreams - you deserve this, I look forward to reading more about it.

Friday said...

I'd stand up and applaud you but its kinda inappropriate right now and my work mates would prolly think Ive lost my mind... so .. I wont, but I really want to.

Best of luck to ya.

xx

Apple2Hourglass said...

You never cease to amaze me Jules, all that you've been through and you bounce back better and stronger every time. I wish you sore thighs from horse riding for the rest of your life!
Bri

Ms Smack said...

It's a gradual process, one that you're already winning.

In regards to fulfilling your dreams, don't feel as though you've wasted your time/life. You've been raising kidlets from varying ages, which keep mums busy and distract from doing what we want.

It's only now that my girl is 14 that I have the freedom to study. I was in the same boat as you for many years.

Do it. Today. Write the 5 year plan down. Don't delay.

We'll be here watching you and supporting you.

You CAN do it. Any thoughts that are negative are ONLY Thoughts, don't add to them.

xx

Steve Levi, The Levi Store said...

Hey Jules! Just visiting and sayin hi! Sending ya hugs..