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Sunday, 23 October 2011

I love/hate my job

Its been a while since I've blogged this is largely because I've been exhausted by my new job. The job in many aspects is great I love helping people, I find working with the residents really rewarding and I'm building a rapport with many of them, and getting used to their individual quirks and foibles, most of the residents are very easy to get along with, of course there are one or two who can be incredibly annoying but that just adds to the challenge, many of the residents are always telling me what a lovely girl I am and how grateful they are for everything I do for them. So yeah I love my job helping people with the little things that most of us take for granted, which they can no longer do for one reason or another. Working with the elderly is challenging, many of our residents have dementia to some extent, which means that we have to constantly reassure them that they are alright, telling them where they are and what is happening around them so that they do not become distressed. It also means that many of them need some semblance of routine in order to slow their degeneration.

Whilst I love my job and the residents, I hate where I work there is far too rigid a routine, especially for a home which supposedly prides itself on offering person centered care, there is a great deal of emphasis placed   on getting tasks completed and very little on providing actual care for the residents, everything is rushed and there is no time to spend talking to a resident or helping them with something specific they need help with. A number of the staff don't really seem to care about the residents and are more concerned with making sure they can rush out on their break rather than ensuring a resident is comfortable or assisted to the toilet etc. There is also so much bitching and backstabbing in that place I can't stand it, the people I work with constantly bitch and whine. I have recently found out that some of my so called colleagues don't like working with me because they think that I'm slow at doing things, this is because they rush residents in every aspect of their lives, be it dressing or assisting them with feeding, they rush everything and if you allow residents to actually do something at their own pace then you're apparently too slow. It also doesn't help that I'm still learning, I've not done elderly care before and I am still supposed to be on my induction where I'm working with another member of staff at all times, this has rarely actually happened, the induction has been terrible and I feel that there has been very little support from those who have been there for sometime in establishing myself in my role, don't get me wrong there have been one or two of my colleagues who have been very supportive and I don't think I would have lasted this long without them but the support is very sporadic and at times I feel like I'm expected to be a mind reader and anticipate what has been done and what still needs to be done as communication at my place of work is pretty much non existent.

While I love my job and my residents, I don't know how much longer I can put up with the bitchiness, the lack of teamwork, the absence of  communication and  the frankly substandard level of care which some of my colleagues provide. I have decided that I am going to try and stick it out for 6 months which gives me until the end of January and if I still feel the same way then I will be looking for a new job and handing in my notice. A lot of the current staff have either handed in their notices or have applied for other jobs and will be handing their notices in as and when these new applications come to fruition, so hopefully if they leave and we get some new staff who are more concerned with the actual provision of care, rather than rushing to meet set times for the completion of task which have been imposed by the staff themselves and in no way reflect the diverse needs of the residents for whom we are responsible.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

New Job Jitters.

Over the past week I have done my induction training  for the new job, it was all stuff that I've been taught to do time and time again but a refresher on these things never hurts. The training in itself wasn't difficult and I'm confident that I know what i'm doing when I get my start date, however the training period did worry me somewhat in terms of wondering how well i'm going to cope with going back into a work environment. I've been unemployed now for 2 years and prior to that I was only working for 5-10 hours a week ( I was doing 40 hours a week at uni during that time but thats not exactly the same as working as things are far more relaxed) whilst I have worked full time hours at the supermarket where I worked before uni and during the holidays this is my first proper full time job. Once my CRB, ISA and references have all come through I'll be working 42 hours a week which is going to be a significant change to what I am used to and it's going to mean that things within mine and Sheldon's home life and its going to take some getting used to for both of us, it'll be a challenge but I'm sure we can manage it.

I am somewhat worried about leaving Sheldon at home alone, I'm sure that he'll be fine, he's been stable on his meds for quite sometime now, but there is still the possibilty that he could have a bad depressive/manic phase at anytime really, that a bridge we'll have to cross when we got to it. Apart from that he's working on his grade 8 piano and doing 120 credits towards his degree this year so he'll have plenty to keep him busy and we have our meds arranged with an alarm on his phone so he knows when to take them. While I am going to be working 42 hours per week I'll only be working 3.5 days as (just in most cases within healthcare these days) I'll be working 12 hour days. This doesn't bother me, It means I'll have plenty of opportunity to spend time with Sheldon and my friends, and will have weekdays off so we'll still be able to go out and do things during the week when they're cheaper.

In terms of the job itself I know that i'll be fine doing the day to day tasks which I have to do, they're all things which i have done before and I will have a mentor initially to assist me in getting used to just how things run in this particular homw, as everywhere is slightly different. My only real worry is finding my way around the home an it is much larger than any I have been in before and some what labyrinthine in its layout, it'll take sometime, but I'm sure that I'll get my head around it sooner or later. So now its just a case of waiting while they dot the is and cross the ts paperwork wise and then I will know when I have to start changing my day to day habits in preparation for returning to the world of work and my first full time job.

Wish me luck

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Employed at last.

The assessment centre went ok, but I wasn't what they were looking for so it was back to the drawing board and within a week I had two more interviews lined up, this time for healthcare jobs, which is what I wanted to do so I was kind of glad that I didn't get the other job when these interview offers came through. One interview was as a support worker for troubled children and the other was as a health care assistant in an independent care home.

I had the care home interview first, that was yesterday, I was at the home for around 1 hour it was fairly standard stuff, fill in this application form and then a one to one interview with the care manager at the home, after which she said that she was happy to offer me a job, I accepted the offer there and then, it was a fantastic opportunity and in the economic climate none of us can afford to be turning down job offers. As I left I was informed that the HR manager would be in touch by phone and in writing to confirm further details. She phoned yesterday afternoon and I have to go in and see her on Tuesday of next week to fill in forms for a pre-employment CRB check, which is standard protocol for anyone in the UK who starts in a health care position, this won't be a problem as I do not have a criminal record and I have passed numerous checks before both in terms or standard and enhanced disclosure. Once that has been sent off to the CRB then its just a case of waiting for the relevant certification to be issued before I can start the job. The CRB is well known for being a somewhat unreliable organisation in terms of how long it takes to get the certification to the applicant and the employer so at this present time I have no idea as to how long it will be before I can start my new job. The average time it takes for a CRB certificate to come through is 3-4 weeks but I have known them take in excess of 3 months before now, so it looks like I'm going to have to play the waiting game for a while, but at least I know that there is a job waiting for me.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Applications, Interviews and Illness

I did fall just short of my target of 40 jobs in the last week in managed to complete a total of 37 applications, which I think is pretty good, I'm not that worried that I didn't manage to reach my target as I still managed to complete a significant number.

Thus far I have recieved positive responses from 8/37 (22%)  of the companies that I have applied too, many saying that my application is being considered, sending out application forms for me to complete, or phoning to request more details in relation to my application/cv. I have also had one, initial stage telephone interview, which I successfully passed, following this interview I have been called to an assesment centre and second formal interview with this company which will take place tomorrow evening, so that is sounding very promising, but only time will tell.

Of the other 29 jobs, I have had 6 negative, responses, either saying that the postion has been closed to new applicants due to an exceptionally high number of applications or that I had not been successful in obtaining an interview at this time, which is a little disheartening, but it is only 6/37 (16%) and at least these people had the good grace to contact me and inform me that i had been unsuccessful rather than just saying nothing.

As for the other  23/37 (62%) I have heard nothing, it's still early days yet so there is still a chance that I may hear from at least some of these people, and for some of these jobs I know that there is still ~ 1week until the closing date for applications so it is unlikely that I will be hearing from any of those before then. I am hoping that I will hear back from at least some of these, but to be perfectly honest, if you are the type of company who can't be bothered to contact people to let them know that they have been unssuccessful, then you're not the type of company that I wan't to be working for anyway.

I know that I said I was going to hit the jobsites hard this week after having the weekend to recouperate, but this is not going to happen, for two reasons, firstly I have the assessment centre and formal assessment tomorrow so I need to spend time preparing for that. Secondly, one of my family has given me some sort of bug so I'm feeling rough at the moment, I have a hacking cough thats keeping me awake at night, a killer sore throat and a big time congestion, so when i'm not preparing for tomorrow night's interview, I will be spending time nursing this illness.

That's all for not, details on how assessment centre goes will follow in good time, but now i'm off to curl up with some throat sweets and degongestants and feel sorry for myself for a bit.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

crazy busy times

I have spent more or less all of the last week tied to my computer trawling through jobsite after jobsite, through countless construction and hi-tech computer things I don't understand vacancies which seem to be popping up left right and centre in the hope of finding something which I may possibly be able to do. After my knock back of early last week I have become increasingly more determined in my search for a job, and in doing so I have had to broaden my search outside of the industries and sectors that I actually want to work in to those that I don't actually object to working in, this does include applying to a local customer service centre which runs a well known online gamblig site, which isn't my proudest moment, but hey it's still better that selling my soul to Steve Jobs.

I set my self a target of finding and applying for 40 jobs before Sheldon and I go to visit my family tomorrow and upto now I have applied for 36 which is pretty good, I may still have the time to hunt down a few more vacant positions to apply for before we have to leave tomorrow, but even if I don't I'm impressed with how well I gave done this week.

I'm looking foward to a weekend away from CVs, covering letters, personal statements and application forms. Hopefully I will be refreshed after the look weekend away from all things job related and I am planning on hitting the jobsites hard again on Tuesday. With any luck I'll start to hear back from some more potential employers shortly and who knows maybe I'll have a job soon and then I wont have to spend any more time searching for jobs. *fingers crossed*

Friday, 20 May 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

May is turning out to be something of a hectic month, not only do Sheldon and I have a whole load of Birthday's amongst our family and friends in May and early June which means a great deal of travelling, May is also turning into the month of interviews.
I had an interview this Morning for a job as an administrator with a debt collection company, this was an initial interview with the assistant to the company's executive director and the administration manager. I felt that it went very well, I tried to appear confident and enthusiastic about the position, I answered their questions to the best of my ability and I asked them some questions which I felt reinforced my enthusiasm and wilingness to devolp were I to be given the role. When I left the interview I felt quietly confident, and I was told that they would be in touch with my recruitment consultant by the end of the day or early tomorrow to inform him if I would be progressing onto the next round of interviews. Within 2 hours of leaving the company I had recieved a message from my recruitment consulatant. He said that he had recieved very positive feedback from the interviewers and that they felt that I was a strong candidate for the role and that a second interview had been arranged for me next wednesday afternoon. The second interview will be with the director of client services and I have been informed that it will be a brief 1-1 meeting around 10 minutes and will ask the same sort of questions as were asked in the initial interview and that the interview is essentially a formality for him to check over potential employees before they enter the company, this doesn't mean I can get complacent though as I still need to impress him in order to be offered the job.

Between now and then I have an initial interview for a job with the NHS on monday afternoon which will involve a short interview and an examination to test my basic numeracy and literacy skills, and if I am successful in that instance I will be required to attend a secondary screening interview with them on wednesday. After almost 2 years out of work I am now in a position where in I could be deciding between two job offers within less than a week which is a bit of a shock, but it seems that things are starting to go well.

Back to Square One

Well despite staring the week with the posibility of two job offers I am ending it with none again. It turns out that despite doing quite well in the clinical suitability tests I took for the healthcare assistant job, so did everyone else and I didn't get the job in favour of someone else, no doubt someone with the relevant NVQ. Despite the fact that I have a degree which is the at an equivalent of a level 4 NVQ, I find myself being passed over for jobs as I don't have the specific qualification they ask for this is usually an NVQ level 2 (which I don't have as I have a higher level qualification). I wasn't overly dissappointed about not getting this job as while treking out to the interview and back I realised that there was no way I could manage that amount of travelling either side of an 8 hour shift running around a busy ward.

I also got a phone call from the recruitment consultant I had been dealing with regarding the other job that I had interviewed for say that as a result of budgetary constraints that they were freezing the role that I had passed the first stage of the interview for and that the second stage interview was being postponed indeffinitely. I got this news approximately 18 hours before I was due to attend the second stage interview, and I was understandably annoyed. The consultant also said that I was one of 3/4 people out of over 100 applicants who made it through to that second stage and was that it was pretty much a done deal that had the interviews had gone ahead I would have gotten the job. This was incredibly annoying as I had come so far only to have the rug pulled from under my feet at the last minute.

After a couple of glasses of wine with Sheldon, followed a day of watching trash TV and feeling sorry for myself, I decided that there was no point crying over spilled milk and went back to job hunting. I've so far sent out 20 applications and have had one company contacting me asking about my availability for interview, which is good, and one company (from whom I had requested an application pack) who informed me that due to an exceptionally high number of aplicants they were no longer accepting applications, which is bad.

Jobhunting is exhausting and soul destroying at times but I am determined to stick at it and keep applying for anything that I stand even the remotest chance of getting, there has to be someone out there who'll give me a job, hasn't there?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Time to ourselves

Today is Easter Sunday, and as with every holiday Sheldon and I were faced with making a decission as to where to spend the holiday. Whatever we decide it is impossible to make everyone happy. At Christmas we visited my family the weekend before and then spent the actual holiday with Sheldon's family, which worked out ok but there was a lot of travelling and we were exhausted by the end of it. The Easter break is a much shorter time frame than we have over christmas and there's no way we could manage all of that travelling in the space of one long weekend even if we didn't now have to visit both of my parents individually, if we were to visit one family and not another that would cause problems. Also, all of our parents birthdays fall within a month of Easter which would mean having to take 2 round trips to each family in the space of a few weeks, this we just could not take, we need time to recharge after these trips as they take a lot out of us and we both end up drained as our families expect us to be running around and doing things as we're only there for a short time and our medications make this difficult, we can cope for a couple of days, but much longer than that and we start to unravel somewhat. With all this is mind we decided that we would stay at home for Easter and visit our families for our respective parents birthdays.

Making the decision to stay at home has been one of the best decissions we have made in a long time, we have had such an amazing and relaxed day and neither of us are exhausted or stressed out, we exchanged eggs this morning and then went to a local 4* hotel for a lovely 3 course lunch before coming home to chill out infront of the TV in the peace and quiet of our own home and in our own company which is bliss.

Don't get me wrong, we do like visitng the families, going home means that I get to see my nan and my younger brother, but means that I have to endure my mother's drunken moaning and her constant attempts to pick a fight with anyone in the room. I love going to see Sheldon's family they're lovely and we have a great time when we're down there but they're pretty intense and as Sheldon's mum's place is pretty small there is nowhere to hide if things get to much, its lovely seeing the family, but sometimes its lovely to not see them aswell, and now that our first family free holiday has gone so well i'm sure we'll have more in the future.

On a different topic I recieved an e-mail offering me a job, from someone who found my CV on a CV library I uploaded it to, its a job as an administrator so not my ideal job, and I've not recieved any details so for the moment I'm being cautious and not getting my hopes up until I have made contact with these people and checked if its a legitimate offer, but if it is then it'll bring in some much needed cash.

Thats all for now, I'm gonna get back to enjoying my lazy Sunday.

Happy Easter

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Domestic Violence and S&M are not the same thing!

I would have thought that this would be pretty obvious to people but apparently it is something which needs to be pointed out. S&M is a sexual fetish involving pleasure which is derived from pain, Sadomasachitic sexual are acts between two consenting adults, boundaries are set and there are appropriate measures put in place to make sure that things fo not get out of hand such as the use of safewords. S&M is about safe and consensual enjoyment between two people and the submissive partner or "bottom" has complete control of what happens to them during the scene. Domestic violence of the other hand is not consensual and the partner to whom the violence is directed has no say in the matter, unlike S&M it is far from safe and there are many deaths (mostly of women) which are a direct result of domestic violence.

This is something that really infuriates me and it has been brought to public attention recently due to the actions of RnB star Rihanna. For those of you who dont know the story itrecently came to light that rihanna's relationship with ex partner singer Chris Brown had been an abusive one after Brown was arrested and charged with battery and felony domestic violence, Brown originally plead not guilty but follwong a plea bargain plead guilty to felony assault he was sentenced to five years of probation one year of domestic violence counseling, and six months of community service the judge retained a five-year restraining order on Brown, which requires him to remain 50 yards away from Rihanna, 10 yards at public events. Earlier this year Rihanna released her controversial single S&M, the vidoe for which was immediately banned in 11 countries and during interviews with various magazines to promote this single rihanna has repeatedly said that she enjoys sadomasochistic sexual practices, with quotes such as "I love to be tied up and spanked. I like to be whipped." This revalation has caused something of a stir and has got people talking about the Chris Brown case,  people like this asshole. It would seem that some people really are that stupid and don't understand that there is a distinct difference between a safe act between two consensual adults and one person commiting a violent attack on another, the human race never cease to surprise and dumbfound me.

In summary, just because a woman has masochistic tendencies and likes the thought of S&M or even if she actively participates in sadomasochistic sexual practices, this does not give her partner(s) carte blanche to treat her is a violent way or beat her up causing serious injury and possibly death.

I'm getting increasingly angry whilst writting this and it is in danger of becoming an unintelligable rant so I will leave you with this.
  1. If you are interested in S&M, learn more about what it is before you dive in, it can be a lot of fun, but as with anything where there is a possibilty of harm you should always be prepared, there are numerous websites and books that offer S&M 101 guides and insights so have a look around and know what you're getting into before you commit to anything
  2. If you are a practitioner of S&M whether dominant, or submissive, be consensual, be smart, and be same. Remember those safewords and have fun
  3. If you're in an abusive reltionship, get out, I know its hard but you can do it, I did and I've never looked back. Get away and make him pay, not through eye for eye revenge but through the legal system like rihanna did.
  4. If you're the violent party in an abusive relationship. Stop! Think about what you're doing and why. Man up and stop being a complete arsehole!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

I'm still here

I has been a while since I last blogged this is mostly because there has been very little to blog about Sheldon and I have fallen into a fairly consistent day to day routine (maybe its a little too routine but I can't complain) there has been no major upheaval or really anything all that interesting going on, which is nice for a change. The second reason for my lack of blogging lately is that my poor old laptop which I've had for over 5 years now finally gave in, the screen wouldn't wortk at all and then later on I encountered a genuine RAM emergency so I have been using Sheldon's computer and so have had more limited web access.Sheldon, being the sweetie that he is, bought me a new laptop as a present for my 23rd birthday and now normal service has been resumed.

I survived turning 23, I think I'm getting used to this aging thing (still dreading 30, though thankfull thats a way off still) Sheldon took me out for a meal on my birthday and then on the following Saturday we had people over for a few drinks.... and then a few more. All in all I had a good time although I did get let down by some friends (through not fault of their own) at the last minute, but the few of us who did show up had a good night. Sheldon had forgotten to eat throughout the day and had neglected to take his medication which meant that I had to tuck him up in bed at 2:30am while the evening was still in full swing and he was feeling the effects of the drink. Taxis called and friends dispatched in the direction of home, with the exception of  of a friend Harris* who passed out in a chair and was moved onto the sofa, I finally dragged myself into bed at around 7:30-8am, I really am getting to old for this shit.

The week following my birthday was my Nan's birthday and the Sunday was Mothers' day so I invited my parents and my Nan up for the afternoon and we all went out for lunch. We actually had a really pleasant time and my mother didn't embarass me in public for the first time since... ever.

On the subject of my parents they're splitting up, my mother has gotten herself a flat, which is about half way between my father's house and the store where I used to work when I lived there. I'm not upset about them splitting infact the only thought I've really had on the matter is that its about damn time after the years if them both threatening to leave. They really aren't good for each other and how they stayed together for nearly 30 years I have no idea, they've barely spoken in years and yet still slept in the same bed (on the nights when my mother didn't pass out on the sofa from drinking to much) had it been the case that my brother and I were younger I could understand them endeavouring to stay together for our sake, but I moved out almost 5 years ago and my younger brother is almost 21 and working as a DJ, playing pubs and clubs all over the country and is hardly ever home, he also has a long term girlfriend and the two of them are making plans to move in together so there really hasn't been anything keeping my parents together for all those years. Its not even like either of them are anti-divorce, my mother is my father's second wife. In my opinion they've just stayed together cos they were both to lazy to do anything about their situation, and now finally my mother has, and I breathed a sigh of relief, becuase now I can go back home to see people with out having to deal with my mother druken, needy, self centred ranting on a daily basis.

Hopefully now that someone has finally mad a move they'll pull themselves together and start acting like responisble adults... stranger things have happened. This however is merely speculation on my part and remains to be seen.

* Again not his real name, this is a reference to Harris Glenn Milstead better known as Divine, I couldn't think of a better pseudenym for my film loving drag queen friend :)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

After a Bit of a Break - Continuing 30 Day Challenge: Day 9

I know its not technically a 30 day challenge as I haven't completed it in 30 days, but I have been finding it a good way for me to reflect on things so I'm going to continue doing so.

Task 9: Your current relationship status and how happy are you with it.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this one as I think I've pretty much covered my relationship. I'm in a pretty solid relationship with Sheldon, we started seeing each other almost 3 years ago, have been in a committed relationship for 18 months and have been living together for 9 months.

Things are going really well and I'm really happy. I've never felt this happy or settled with anyone ever in my life and everything seems to fit finally.

We have recently come to realise that we are actually two adults in a adult relationship. We were in town the other day looking at matching cutlery, new plates and curtains and we suddenly realised that our days when we thought that we were adults, while we were living in the student bubble, are over and we're now actually adults, in a functional relationship, living in the real world and that realisation was a little bit scary for both of us, but thats less to do with the relationship and more to do with us both being appropriately medicated and realising that we are now responsible adults (or at least convincingly disguised as thus) and we're thinking about things like children, careers and the property ladder. I know that these are normal things, that normal adults think about, but Sheldon and I have never been a normal couple so this is something of an adjustment for us and its going to take a lot of getting used to.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 8

Todays task - Tell us about the last person who text you.

The last person who text me was my father. He text me to ask me to translate a medical abreviation on his blood test form. My father has a lot of blood tests and he phones/texts me to get me to translate these abreviations at least once for every test he has, despite the fact that I did type up a sheet for him with all of them on which he has in his house.

My dad is not the brightest of people, but he still asks me questions about what it is that I do and then gets frustrated when he doesn't understand the answer. He also like to think that he knows better than other people which results in him spouting a bunch of technical jargon that he's heard from people who actually know what they're going on about and the screwing up whatever it is he tries to do.

He's never going to win an award for Worlds Best Dad in fact it took the death of my Grandather (the father figure in my life until I was 11) for him to even make an attempt at anything that could be described as parenting. He is trying to make up for his lack of presence in my early life but its a case of too little, too late. I have a functional relationship with my father but we're hardly what I would call close. We can be civil to one another and he does help me out when I need things doing, but his approach to being a father seems to be throw money at my children to make up for the fact that I don't have a paternal bone in my body.

I doubt that we'll ever have the sort of relationship that I hear people are supposed to have with their parents, but there's more chance of this happening with him than there is of achieving a realtionship with my mother, as he is actually trying to get his act together, whether he sticks to what he says on that matter, the jury is still out as I've heard it all time and time again, I'll believe it when I see it.

Friday, 18 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 7

Todays task is what is your opinion of your body and how comfortable you are with it.

I don't think that anyone is 100% happy with their boday and I think that honestly everyone could realistically come up with at least one thing that they would change. I don't have the perfect body, and I honestly don't believe that I ever will. I've always been broad shouldered and I am fairly big boned (as in I actually have large bones, rather that the common excuse fat people use). I was athletically built when I was younger and I was always fairly active, I did years of dance and swimming and also played a lot of sport, mostly netball and hockey. When I was a teenager I broke my ankle and was in a wheelchair and then on crutches for quite some time, it was during this time that my mental health problems started and I was put on Olanzapine, one of the major side effects of which is sever weight gain. The weight gain from the drugs combined with my inabillity to exercise or really move around much meant that my weight ballooned. I have had issues with my weight ever since, the depression lead to comfort eating and my continued dedication to my academic career meant an constantly increased workload and an increasing proprtion of my life sat with my head in books, rather than leading an active lifestyle. 

I have hated my body pretty much all of my life, even before the weight gain I wasn't happy. I am currently working on improving my lifestyle since I have graduated from university. Sheldon and I are watching what we eat, eating regular meals and being more active, trying to get in shape. I have also more or less stopped comfort eating (with the exception of the monthly chocloate need, ladies I'm sure you know what I mean) and I am feeling more comfortable in my own skin. This new found comfort with my own body is largely due to Sheldon's reassurance that I am beautiful just the way that I am and that he loves me no matter what. I am still endeavouring to loose some weight but I'm not obsessing over it, and this time I'm doing it for me, not because I want other people to see me differently. I'm not going to say that I don't care what other people think of me becasue that would be a colosal lie, but I care less about the opinions of the shallow, vein, superficial individuals and more about the opinions of my nearest and dearest as it it their opinions that matter.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 6

What are 6 things you like about yourself or that you are good at.

This one has taken me quite sometime to acutally write as I have some major self esteme issues and my first response to this task was nothing. There isn't really anything I like about myself and for every positive I can think of a negative eg I quite like my hair, but its a lot less blonde than it used to be, its gotten darker since I entered my teens, its also thinner than it once was as it started falling out a few years ago due to stress. I have had a good hard think though and I have come up with 6 things, and here they are.

  1. I'm a survivor. I have struggled a lot in my life, with my mental health problems, a history of abuse from my mother and also my ex, and continual self doubt, but I've made it through. Despite everything that I have gone through I am a 22 year old university graduate in a successful, long term, relationship. I have goals for the future and I am beginning to eliminate the negative influences from my life and start to feel better about myself.
  2. I'm a caring person and this makes me feel good about myself. I know that Sheldon trust me to take care of him when he's I'll and he feels that he can show his vulnerable side around me and that I will be there for him. I'm also often the person that people confide in or come to for advice and I will always do my best to help them.
  3. I'm a logical person, I don't just acccept things at face value, I question and analyse everything that is presented to me. Some would say that this could be interpreted as a negative or annoying trait, but I like it about my self, cos it means I will never become one of the mindless followers or "sheeple" as I like to call them.
  4. I'm determined, no matter how tough things get I will not give up. I did consider intermitting and taking a year out of university when the onset of my most recent depressive episode occured, but I stuck it out and I finished my degree, I came out of university with a Second Class Honours Degree, despite a rather severe and untreated episode of depression and anxiety which continued for most of my final year. It's not the best degree in the world and maybe if I had intermitted I could have done better, but I feel proud of myself for having overcome my issues and made it to graduation.
  5. I am organised and able plan my day-to-day life in intricate detail, I like this about myself as it makes it easier for me to get by in life, it helps me overcome some of my anxiety and paranoia and means I can live a "normal" life.
  6. I have overcome my destructive behaviours. In the past I had an alcohol problem, which verged on alcoholism, I was addicted to painkiller (namely Codeine), I smoked 20+ cigarettes per day and also smoked weed, and I self harmed. I have now reduced my drinking to an appropriate level, and I no longer drink alone. I have given up the painkillers and now only take them when in actually pain, and Sheldon's under close supervision as its sometimes hard to control the urges. I have quit smoking cigarettes and I haven't smoked weed since before christmas. I have also stopped self harming, my scars are fading and although I still get urges from time to time, hell I've had them today, I am able to control myself and not act on them.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 5

Todays task - What was you favourite subject or the subject you were best at in school/college.

This task is one that I have found particularly difficult, largely because I was a complete geek in school and college and I still am truth be told. I haven't been able to come up with one favourite subject and I very much doubt that I ever will.

Based purely on grades then my best subject was Psychology, for which I got a fairly high A grade at A Level (in the days before the A* A Level was introduced). I always loved psychology as it gave me a chance to argue and to express my opinions, it can be considered something of a soft subject and A Level, and if you just learn the principles and the case studies off pat, but I found that by engaging with the research that we were being presented in the cours and by constantly questioning what I was presented with that Psychology was a subject where I was really stretched. I enjoyed psychology because there is not right or wrong answer and only through an exploration of all of the facts can the most apropriate conclusion be reached.

My desire to be challenged and to have to search for an answer rather that going immediately with what seems obvious is also why I really loved English Literature in school. I have always loved reading and have devoured works of fiction and non-fiction whenever I got the chance for as long as I can remeber. I love trying to get inside of an authors head and think about why they wrote what they did. I love searching for deeper meaning and presenting my own opinions on what I have read, rather than being spoonfed the correct answers in order to pass an exam. I still do read both classic and modern literature for pleasure and searching out a new book by a beloved author is a great thrill for me. I don't feel however, that I would have been able to carry on with literary study after completing my English Literature A Level, because I love to read for pleasure and I have found that the in depth study of a favourite novel or play, can sometimes ruin your own concept of the litertature, it takes away that initial thrill of discovering the plot and relating to the characters.

One subject that has always fascinated me, and which is something that I continued to study as part of my first degree and which will form a major part of my future career progression is Biology, especially Human Biology. This is slightly different to Psychology or English Literature, as in Biology there are right and wrong answer, things work in a specific way, but at the same time these answers aren't set in stone and views are constantly changing as to what the right answer is. Where in maths 1+1 will always equal 2 in Biology the lines aren't always so clear cut, there is a grey area and that is what makes me love Biology. Biology also has its similarities with Literature and Psychology in as much as it is an analytical subject, experimentation and consideration of varying outcomes are what shapes our constatly changing understanding of Biology, and a better understanding of Biology alows us to better understand, ourselves as human beings and the world around us.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 4

Todays challenge, write a short note do each of your exes. 

  • Goldie - Thanks for knocking up my best friend behind my back. Given your track record with women since, not sleeping you was the best thing I ever did.
  • Doc- You were the first person I ever beliveved I loved. I was however, young and foolish and had a peanut for a brain. While I still don't understand how you got from dumping me by text message to me being "the one that got away" I have moved on and it'll be a cold day in hell before I consider going there again.
  • BEs - While I'm not sure that what we had could ever be described as a relationship, we had some good times and I'm glad that we have stayed friends over the years.
  • Spanner - What can I say, thank -you! Our on and off romance opened my eyes to so many things and you're largely responsible for making me the person I am now, for which Sheldon would also like to thank you.
  • ChurchBoy - We were kidding ourselves really, we were never meant to be a couple and when I look back that was so obvious. I'm so glad that we are such good friends, you're a wonderful person and have helped me through alot but we we're never meant to be anythong other than friends.
  • Heath - "There's a time and a place for everything and its called college." Don't get me wrong I understand your desires to experiment with you sexuality and uni is the best, if not only place, to do that. Your a nice girl, and we had fun, but you're straight, that's all there is too it.
  • Steve - This was only ever meant to be a holiday romance and I think we both new that. I still can't believe that you were seeing someone else behind my back, and married her 2 months after I turned you down. The two of you do seem happy though and you have a beautiful daughter, I hope you treat them both better than you treated me.
  • Frenchy - Fun while it lasted but I'm glad you went back to France before anything got serious. I couldn't have had a real relationship with you, but what we had still makes me smile.
  • Dr O - You are without a doubt the worst man I have ever met. I'm so glad that you are banned from re-entering the UK because if I ever saw you again I could not be held responsible for my actions. You manipulated and damaged me at a time when I needed support, you turned me against my friends and told me that noone else would ever love me. Well I've got some news for you! Firstly; you have one twisted view of what love is, you never loved me, you loved the power you had over me, and the fact that you could manipulate me.  Secondly; Sheldon is 1000000 times the man you will ever be, he loves me for who I am and when I think of how you almost destroyed our relationship before it began it makes me hate you all the more.

Yeah I've dated some right tossers but everything that has happened to me has only made me stronger. I'm now a woman most definitely in love, I have found a wonderful man who treats me the way I deserve to be treated. Who loves me for exactly who I am. Who has been with me through thick and thin and helped me work through what happened to me in the past, and who I have learned to trust with my body, my heart, my mind and my life, when I thought I would never trust anyone, never mind another man, again as long as I lived.




NB: The names used here are (obviously) not the real names of my exes, for the sake of anonimity I have used nicknames.

Monday, 14 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 3

The 5 Most Memorable things that happened to you in 2010.


  • I became a cohabitee for the first time after Sheldon and I moved in together in June.
  • I managed to spend both my Birthday and Christmas out of the company of my "parents".*
  • I was discharged from the Psychiatric Hospital into the care of my GP.
  • I re-established my relationship with my Aunt and Uncle (mum's brother and his wife) by cutting out the middle man of my mother.
  • Sheldon and I managed to drink a glass of wine each and then put the rest of bottle back in the fridge to drink on another occasion.^







* I say "parents" as neither of them have ever been what you could describe as parental in nature, I pretty much bought myself up with the help of my grandparents and more or less single handedly raised my little brother.

^ This may not seem like a great achievement, but as we both come from families with a history of alcohol abuse, and have both had problems with alcohol in the past this is pretty impressive in terms of our developing a healthy relationship with alcohol.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 of the 30 day challenge amd todays task is

Post the lyrics to a song that fits your current mood/situation

I wanna call the stars
Down from the sky
I wanna live a day
That never dies
I wanna change the world
Only for you
All the impossible
I wanna do


I wanna hold you close
Under the rain
I wanna kiss your smile
And feel the pain
I know what's beautiful
Looking at you
In a world of lies
You are the truth


And baby
Everytime you touch me
I become a hero
I'll make you safe
No matter where you are
And bring you
Everything you ask for
Nothing is above me
I'm shining like a candle in the dark
When you tell me that you love me


I wanna make you see
Just what I was
Show you the loneliness
And what it does
You walked into my life
To stop my tears
Everything's easy now
I have you here


And baby
Everytime you touch me
I become a hero
I'll make you safe
No matter where you are
And bring you
Everything you ask for
Nothing is above me
I'm shining like a candle in the dark
When you tell me that you love me


In a world without you
I would always hunger
All I need is your love to make me stronger


And baby
Everytime you touch me
I become a hero
I'll make you safe
No matter where you are
And bring you
Everything you ask for
Nothing is above me
I'm shining like a candle in the dark
When you tell me that you love me


You love me
When you tell me that you love me

Those are the lyrics to "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" by Diana Ross. It is one of my favourite songs of all time and I know that its soppy and sentimental but it is the song that comes closest to expressing the way I feel right now.

I'm not just being soppy because it's Valentine's day tomorrow, I genuinely feel like this when I'm with my darling Sheldon. We got together at a point when I was an absolute wreck, I had some serious issues that I needed to sort out and was having a psychotic breakdown (which he made me seek professional help for). He was the one person who was truly there for me and who supported me when everyone else just smiled and offered meaningless platitudes. Everyday that we are together I feel us becoming closer, he makes me want to be a better person, and even though we've been together for 18 months now my heart still skips a beat when he says "I love you."

I know I'll never be able to repay him for everything that he has done for me, but I will never stop trying to be there for him and be as special and as wonderful a person as he makes me feel.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 1

A friend of mine sent me a link to a 30 day blogger challenge. Its a bit of a laugh and I'm kinda bored so I figured I'd give it a go.

Day 1 - Look up your horoscope and tell us how accurate you think it is.

So here is my horoscope for today from Russell Grant

ARIES - March 21st - April 20th


Nothing makes it OK to cheat; don't listen if anyone is trying to justify being less than honest. Someone has been doing this sort of thing for long enough and their apologies are starting to wear thin. If they really meant it, they wouldn't repeat it. You've always tried to be reasonable and forgiving but it's also important to think of yourself and the lack of respect they give you. Circumstances can change and if they can't it is time to end this relationship.

Now, how accurate do I think this is. Well it couldn't be less acurate if Russell Grant had actually tried to get it wrong. I'm in a very happy relationship with Sheldon and I know that there is no way he would ever cheat on me, or keep things from me, with the exception of my Valentine's day surprise, which he has just found out is happening tonight rather than actually on Valentine's day, which kinda sucks but I'm sure it will be lovely all the same. I have dated some real douchebags in my time who did fuck me about and cheat and this advice would have been really useful then, but unfortunately it comes a couple of years too late. Maybe Mr Grant is stuck in some sort of time loop and is trying to reach me circa 2009, who knows. I do think it's a shitty thing to be writting this close to Valentine's day though. What if I was in a shitty relationship but was trying to forget about it and enjoy a my Valentine's weekend regardless of the fact, the last thing I would want is some jumped up hippy reminding me that my partner is an arse.

I've never put much stock in horoscopes and only read them very occasionally, usually when I need something to laugh at and Russell Grant has only served to reaffirm my stand point regarding horoscopes and astrology in general.

For those of you who are just as skeptic as I and who also enjoy the funny side of all this astrology mumbo-jumbo you might find Dave Gorman's Important Astrology Experiment worth a look.

Here's a sneak peek courtesy of YouTube, enjoy.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Books, Books, Books

As part of my attempts to improve my self this year, as well as my implementing a new diet and exercise regime and taking up the piano I have decided that I am going to tackle the challenge of reading the books, that have been lingering on my top read list for quite some time. As a way of motivating myself to actually do this I have decided that I will keep a list of all of the books that I read over the course of the year.  I didn't really feel that this book list was in keeping with this blog, so for those who are interested information on my literary escapades can be found here.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Almost free from pain, and a (close to) functioning boyfriend to boot.

I did manage to get an emergency appointment with my regular dentist for the same day as Sheldon rang them, I went in and saw the dentist he had a poke around, took an x-ray and told me that the exposed nerves in the damaged tooth had become infected, which would explain the agony I had been in previously, mouth ulcer my arse Mrs Emergency Dentist! He sent me off with some high strength antibiotics and instructed me to return in a week when he would determine the fate of my slowly diminishing tooth. We went to the pharmacy where I filled the prescription for the antibiotics and Sheldon bought me some Paramol to help with the pain. I then embarked on a week whoich consisted of bed rest and mushy foods while in a semi-lucid state as a result of the opioid painkillers.

I went back to the dentist the folowing week now free from the pain which had blighted my sleep just 7 days before and had a general check-up. After a lot more poking and two more x-rays the conclusion was that the damaged tooth needed to be extracted and that I needed two small fillings in teeth on the opposite side of my mouth, but on the plus side my other teeth and my gums are in good shape (not bad for ~10 years of what is tantamount to dental neglect.) Sheldon also had a check-up on that day and after his ~5 years of a similar attitude towards dentists and teeht in general he was told that he needed to have a tooth extracted from his lowee right jaw and a filling on a tooth in his upper left. We booked the next possible back to back appointments with our dentist, the following friday afternoon, to have the necessary work done and left in high spirits with a sense of relief and triumph after beating our friend who had just a short while previously been told he needed 7 fillings and a possible crown (which was later deemed unnecessary).

The day after our dental check-ups I went with Sheldon to his psychiatric appointment, he had been feeling down, devoid of energy and incredibly vulnerable and had been getting increasingly clingy over the previous weeks and a change in his medication regime was discussed with the psych. Rather than the change that we had hoped for the psych kept him on his current medication and also added Quetiapine to the mix. There is however some hope for the future as the psych said that he would like to wean Sheldon of his current cocktail onto a monotherapy, up until recently this would most likely have meant lithium treatment, and infact the psych did mention Lithium which freaked Sheldon out. Lithium has had a very bad press particularly in the way it is represented on television and Sheldon's first thought was of the Nirvana song Lithium, which doesnt exactly fill anyone with a great level of confidence in the drug, as Kurt Cobain was on the drug when he wrote the song.



Kurt Cobain however, is not someone you want to look to for sensible advice or a fair portrayal or any form of drug, as well as being on Lithium he was a well known heroin adict and (for those of you unfamiliar with the work of Nirvana), wrote some of the most nonsensical lyrics know to man kind.

Anyway back to Sheldon, he is not keen on the idea of Lithium therapy, and idea which I wholy support, especially having recently found out that it was amongst the cocktail of drugs which were forced upon my aunt wheh she was sectioned as a result of severe post partem depression following a late stage miscarriage. The good  news is that Lithium is no longer Sheldon's only option as Quetiapine has recently been approved as a long term treatment for bi-polar disorder. Since he has started on the Quetiapine, Sheldon has been a new man, so much has changed in just over a week that I barely recognise him as the same depressed, clingy guy he was before, which is a very positive indicator in favour of its use as a long term treatment for Sheldon's disorder.

On Wednesday of this week I took Sheldon to his GP to get the Quetiapine added to his prescrition script and also to discuss the posibility of a referal to Nottingham GIC in order to continue his gender reassignment treatment  long story short "computer says no", basically due to cuts the treatment is at a very low priority and there is no chance of getting anything done until April and even then it will only happen if we can prove that Sheldon's is an exceptional case, which means we got some work to be doing over the next few months. On the upsode however it means that I finally managed to convince Sheldon to book a place on the local areas Life in Trans conference next month ( something which I've only been bugging him to do since before christmas) so things are heading in the right direction.

On Friday Sheldon and I headed back to the dentist and I was terrified about what was going to happen, luckily the dentist was really good. He suggested that I should go before Sheldon rather than watching him gettin work done, which would likely make me more nervous. I got into the chair plugged in my headphones and started listening to Eddie Izzard, this was a suggestion that I found on a dental phobics website to help distract form whats going on and mask the dentist noises. The dentist gave me the necessary lidocaine injections to numb the area around the tooth that he was to remove which was ok, the only time I experienced any pain was when he gave me an injection in my lower pallet which I think caught my salivary gland. I was shaking like a leaf though, even with Sheldon there to hold my hand. In the end the dentist decided that he wasn't willing to extract the tooth there under local anaesthetic, as he didn't want me to have a bad experience which would put me off returning for check-ups in the future. Instead he drilled out the pulp and the majority of the nerves from within the tooth and gave me a temporary filling with zinc oxide which will slowly kill off the remaining nerve within the tooth, he will check the tooth when I go back for a check-up and decide whether it still needs to come out or if a permanent filling would be sufficient, if the tooth does need to be removed then he said that he will refer me to the hosital to have it removed under general anaesthetic  He looked at the teeth on the other side and put a small temporary filling in one and said that as they were only small holes he would prescribe me some high fluoride toothpast and leave it until my next check-up to do the work that was needed there. He made me leave the room while Sheldon had the work done that he needed doing. We both headed home, via Mcdonalds to get some nice cold milkshakes and the supermarket to buy some ice cream.

We're both slightly swollen and in a bit of pain but that will all fade in a few days and we'll back to functionality, or as close an approximation of functionallity as we've ever managed.

After all this hassle we were both looking forward to a quiet weekend at home, watching some tv, catching up on some lost sleep, and just generally spending some quality time together. That however was not to be the case as both saturday and now sunday evening have been spent dealing with the problems of our families who are 50 and 200 miles away respectively.

On saturday Sheldon's mother rang and while they were talking things got on to the subject of Sheldon's sister and the fact that she wants to loose some weight. She in no way needs to loose any weight so we were all perplexed as to why she had decided that she needed to. While Sheldon was talking to his mother about ways that she could help his sister to loose weight ( his mother likes her comfort food so often buys them in and his sister has no will power so if theres junk food in the house she will eat it) I spoke to his sister and found out why it was she wanted to loose weight, she will be leaving high school in the summer, has bought a beautiful dress for her prow which currently doesn't fit her around the stomach area. I gave her some general advice about eating sensibly and told her of some exercises which will help to tone her stomach area. She also told me that she often eats because she feels sad and that she didn't know what to do other than eat when she feels like this. I gave her a number of alternatives to comfort eating and made her promise to talk to one of her friends or to call me or Sheldon if she feels sad so that she wasn't bottling up her feelings and turning to food as her only source of comfort. After that Sheldon hung up the phone and mother and daughter had a conversation which ended up with them both crying, Sheldon's mum saying that she was useless and me continuing to play agony aunt to a 15 year old girl with some rather serious self esteme issues and maladaptive coping mechanisms. When that was all over we were   both drained and headed off to bed.

Today Sheldon wasn't feeling to good so I left him in bed to catch up on some much needed sleep while I did our laundry. I eventually managed to coax him out of bed and convinced him to have something to eat and we sat and had a chat for a bit, until the phone rang and for the second day in a row our plans for a quiet evening in front of the TV went out of the window.

This time round it was my mother with a sob story that her purse had been stolen out of her handbag and that either my younger brother or my father was responsible for its disappearance. I rang both my brother and my father, and asked if either of them knew anything about the purses whereabouts, they both swore blind that they didn't so I asked them both to have a look around the house for it. Later on my mother phoned me back and said that she had reported it to the police I said good for her and that it could be the police's problem and not mine before sending my brother and father text messages telling them that I have had enough of their relying on me as some sort of all powerful mediator as I had enough on my plate dealing with my own life without having to sort out their issues as well. I would have gotten more involved and made some sort of attempt at ensuring a solution, but its not the first time this has happened. My mother has the memory of a seive and often misplaces her purse, where in she will accuse everyone in the vicinty of stealing it, before finding it exactly where she left it. On the othert hand both my brother and my father have form when it comes to not only theft in general, but specifically when it comes to stealing money from my mother. I don't know who is telloing me the truth and who is stringing me a line and I have neither the energy or the inclination to try and work it out, so I'm gonna leave them all to it.

I'm now going to go and enjoy whats left of my quiet weekend at home with my boyfriend before Monday arrives bringing with it yet more issues that we have to solve.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Feel the Pain and do it Reluctantly

It now 5:30 in the morning and I have been been awake pretty much constantly for the last 50+ hours. Not as a result of one of my usual bouts of insomnia, oh that it were but no, but as a result of chronic toothache. To many people toothache may not seem like a big deal, some painkillers maybe a quick trip to the dentist and problem solved, but for me it is not that simple. I have a severe dental phobia and as a result have not seen a dentist in about 10 years. This phobia results from several very bad experiences with both general dentistry and dental surgery as a child resulting in me having to be treated in hospital on 2 seperate occassions following dental treatment. I am terrified of dentists but I did this morning (following a great deal of nagging from Sheldon) manage to get and more importantly attend an appointment at out local emergency dental surgery. The dentist there told me that I had at least 2 maybe 3 cavities that would need filling but that they weren't in urgent need of repair so I would need to wait until I could get registered and book an appointment with a general dentist before getting them done. She also noticed a rather large mouth ulcer which I#m pretty sure had errupted the night before leaving me feeling like my jawbone was trying to escape out of the side of my face. She gave me some Difflam to stop the pain and reduce the swelling. That worked great and the pain from the ulcer is now none existant.

So thats it end of problem right? Wrong! A few hours after the pain relief had taken effect on the ulcer I started experiencing excruciating searing pain throughout one of the teeth that the emergency dentist told me that I would need to get filled. I have spent the rest of the day since then filling my self with all of the painkillers that Sheldon and I have in the flat ( a cocktail of Ibuprofen, paracteamol, aspirin and codeine) in order to try and get some form of relief this has worked to some extent ( the pain has reduced from excruciating to almost tolerable but it is still unremmitant)but not enough to allow me to get any sleep. I am currently going slowly insane as a result of the combination of pain, sleep deprivation and a mild drug induced haze, and am trying to find a way to distract myself until the dental surgery opens at 8am and I can get hold of them to try and get myself an appointment to sort out this tooth. I'm going to have to wake Sheldon up ( he stayed up with me for a while but eventually dozed off and I'm currently resisting the urge to wake him up to request pain relief in the form of cuddles, but one of us should at least be able to get some sleep) in order to phone them as the pain in my tooth means that it hurts when I talk, breathing through my mouth is slightly painful aswell, the damaged tooth is extreemely sensitive. Hopefully I"ll be able to get seen by either my regular dentist that I have now registered with or the emergency dentist and get someting done as if I loose much more sleep I may well reach the point I reached before where I went wondering the streets at 3am  out of my mind with my laptop but no shoes.

I'm really dreading the thought of having the dental work done but the dentist that I am registered with is very experienced in treating nervous patients and dental phobics and comes recomended by this forum, and I have been told that Sheldon will be able to accompany me into the surgery while I'm having the necessary treatment which helps put me more at ease because I know if something happens that I don't like he will make sure that the dentist stops doing it, the people that I saw at the emergency surgery were also lovely, very acommodating of my nervousness and let Sheldon come in with me.

My main fear with dentists is the lack of contol when I'm having treatment done and Sheldon has been constantly reminding me for the last 2 days that I am the one who is in control of my dental treatment and that I can say no at anytime if what the dentist suggests I don't like. The major difference with dental treatment this time is that I am now a consenting adult whereas before I was a minor and consent was gleaned from my parents there was nothing I could do to get the dentist to stop if I was scared or uncomfortable whereas this time I can or if I can't for some reason I know that Sheldon will whereas my parents wouldn't.

While I have been considering this dental treatment one phrase has been constantly springing into my head and that is the title of this book. Feel the Fear and do it anyway! Considering this though I have come to the conclusion that it is a ridiculous notion and I'm not going to the dentist because I hgave miraculously realised that my fear is irrational and I should just get on with it. I'm going to see a dentist because this pain is severly affecting my ability to pass myself off as a functional human, and what ever the dentist may do to my its bound to be preferable in the long run  to this level of unending paim. On top of that my fear of dentists is not an irrational fear, I'm not a dental phobic, I'm a rational adult who has been caused some not incosiderable damage by dental practitioners in the past and am therefore wary of tyrusting the in future, to quote Sheldon's mother "thats not prejudice, thats informed oppinion" so based of these considerations I have decided that my mantra regarding this dental treatment will not be the well meaning but entirely uselees in this scenario "feel the fear and do it anyway" but rather "feel the pain and do it relcutantly."

Not long now til the dental surgery opens so I'm going to try distract myself with some suitably brain numbing television. Hopefully the next post I write will be minus pain and plus sleep. *Fingers crossed.*

Monday, 3 January 2011

Why do mental breakdowns always happen on a bank holiday?

I did manage to hold myself together over christmas and the new year, although I did want to kill Sheldon's mother on a couple of occassions. Don't get me wrong she's a lovely woman, but she tends to stress a lot and wont let anyone do anything to help her so she gets even more stressed as shes doing everything on her own. Sheldon and I can put up with the stressing and the whinging most of the time but she also has a habit of waking up at the crack of dawn and as we have to sleep in her living room when we visit this means that we tend to get woken up at a similar time (generally about 5-6 hours after we've gone to sleep) and after almost a week of mild sleep deprivation she becomes a little bit too much to handle. It was however still the best christmas I've had in a long, long time. Sheldon's family are lovely and very welcoming and I had a genuinely pleasant and relaxed time while we were down there.

Traveling was a bit of a nightmare, the train journey from here down to Sheldon's mothers is supposed to take about 2 and a half hours, and usually it does, but this time around, thanks to the worst weather we've had for 120 years, it took us 6 hours to get down and 4 and a half hours to get back, a fair bit of which was spent sat in a station midway between where we left and where we were trying to get to which was less than fun. We did however manage it and it was all ok.

Since we got back however, Sheldon has had a bit of a breakdown. He's going through a depressed phase of his bipolar cycle and this is somewhat exacerbated by the stress of all the travelling we did during December and the amount of time that we had to spend around other people. He was really down on New Years Eve and it took a great deal of effort just to get him out of the bed, we still managed to have a good night. We spent the evening at home had a quite drink in front of the TV and played some silly games, it was nice but there was a slight melancholic overtone which coludn't be helped, last night Sheldon got even worse and became extremely depressed after I had gone to bed. When I woke up this morning I rolled over and noticed that Sheldon was wearing his hoodie in bed, which he never does, I asked him why and he said it was because he was cold but I knew straight away that there was something else. He eventually admitted that he had been drinking before after I had gone to sleep and had cut his arm with a razor blade. He said that he hadn't woken me when he had done it because he wanted me to get some sleep as I have been exhausted reently and that he hadn't told me when I asked him why he was wearing his hoodie in bed because he thought I would be angry with him and he couldn't face a confrontation. I'm not angry that he did it but I am concerned, especially as I know that the razor balde that he used was from a used razor and he didn't clean his wounds up after he had done it for several hours until I found out and cleaned his arm for him. He assured me that he did clean the razor blade before he used it but there is still a substantial chance that they will become infected so I will have to keep a close eye on those.

As Sheldon is self-harming and clearly very depressed I feel as though I cannot leave him alone in case he hurts himslef further. I have stolen a few minutes to myself while he's a sleep to write this. He is due to see his psychiatrist in a few weeks but I really think that he could do with seeing someone sooner. We have a direct line to contact the mental health team that deal with Sheldon's care but as it is a bank holiday weekend there is no point in even trying to contact them before Tuesday and even then the chances are that they will either tell us that there is nothing they can do and tell us to wait until his next appointment or if things get worse to contact his GP, or even worse they may put us in touch with the crisis team which is even worse as they do literaly nothing. Last time we had dealings with them was when I was severly depressed and they came round to our home, complained that our sofa was too low to sit on and told Sheldon that maybe if he tidied up the empty pizza boxes from our dinner that I would somehow feel better, I really can't be bothered with dealing with them and if that is all that the mental health team suggest I may well just tell them not to bother and deal with it myself until we can see Sheldon's psych.

I'm exhausted and don't know how well I'll manage it, but I'm going to have to keep myself together for Sheldon's sake. I have already been through the flat and hidden all of the alcohol, sharp objects and lighters that we have as well as anyhthing else that Sheldon may be able to use to hurt himself and I am going to be keeping my eye on him at all times to make sure that he doesn't do anything that might put himself at risk. This will be difficult as it means that I'll have to be awake when Sheldon's awake and sleep when he sleeps which isn't usually the case as I usually go to sleep and wake up before he does but I'll cope, I have to cope for Sheldon's sake as theres noone else whos going to help keep him safe.

I feel as though I'm waffling now, which I probably am so I'm gonna go and try to get some sleep.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you've had a better start to the new year than we have.