Here We Go Again…


2016 was a horrible year. There I said it.

It took so many talented and wonderful people from us.

We had the appalling atrocities in Syria, the refugee crisis and the depressing lack of compassion displayed by people around the world. We had the rise of the far right across Europe. We saw devastating acts of terrorism against ordinary people just living their lives. We had Brexit and its horrendous aftermath which saw some parts of society seeming to think the decision made racism and bigotry a perfectly acceptable thing.

And then we had Trump… I cannot even go there. It still feels unreal.

I noticed so many of my friends struggle with their own physical and mental health and found it very hard to witness. It seemed this year got to everyone in one way or another.

Personally, I had a very rough year. My depression and anxiety peaked and I have yet to come out the other side. My self destructive behaviours hit an all time high; my health has suffered and I feel truly dreadful.

I can sum it up thus:img_7065

But today is the final day of this annus horribilis and we can only hope that 2017 is brighter.

I know I have a very steep mountain to climb in terms of self care and recovery and I am not looking forward to the challenges ahead. To be perfectly honest, it feels pretty impossible right now.

It will not be easy. But, unless I want to, literally, kill myself, I simply have to do it.

I truly hope next year brings you all, my readers and friends, only good things.

I wish you all good health, happiness, good fortune and good times. I know I can be a miserable old cow but underneath it all I really do care about y’all.

Here’s to better days ahead…

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Ciao

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved

Saying Goodbye…


Today, I did a thing.

I finally, at long last, took a step towards accepting my new reality.

I filled a charity bag with all the clothes I will never fit into again.

It was a difficult and challenging thing to do – it felt as if I was saying that, even if I do lose weight, I will not ever be buying my clothes in the kids section again.

I truly marvelled at how tiny some of the pieces were… was I ever that slight?! Really?

So, there are some 11 year old girls in Chernobyl that will be getting a stash of jeans and tops soon…

…and I must accept that my days of being a waif are over.

Ciao,

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

 

Word For wednesday (W4W) #72


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Play along here!

This week’s word is:

Bruxism

Last week, after suffering in silence for way too long, I went to the dentist to investigate my very painful tooth. He looked, asked some questions, did a test that LITERALLY lifted me out of the chair with pain and told me I had cracked my upper molar due to clenching and grinding my teeth – bruxism.

I was appalled to hear he was going to give me a root canal, but realising that there was no other way to save the tooth I complied.

This is my second root canal. I had previously cracked the lower molar, directly underneath this one. And yes, that too was caused by bruxism. I am a hopeless case!

I am trying to become more aware of the clenching but it seems to be a totally unconscious habit of mine. I spend most of the day with my jaw clamped firmly tight and always, always forget to wear my mouth guard at night.

I can now explain my constant headaches, neck aches and tension all along my shoulders.

I need to break this habit. I need to chill the fuck out and quit breaking my own teeth!

And it ain’t cheap! My first procedure cost €1400 and last week saw me wave good bye to €630, with an additional €500 if I get it crowned at a later date.

Any tips are greatly appreciated!

Meanwhile, if you suffer too, here are a few notes about bruxism.

Ciao!    😬😬😬

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

A Note on Turning Point


Warning! This post contains a very large and potentially nauseating dose of positivity and hope… proceed with caution!

I wrote and shared my post Turning Point yesterday with more than a little trepidation.

My fear was that people would think I was exaggerating, making it all up, or just plain crazy.

To say I have been blown away by the support and kindness shown to me in response to the post, both on here and twitter, is an understatement. I want to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who commented and affirmed that I had handled the situation well and with strength and courage.

*

Last night I had perhaps two hours of broken sleep at best and was very tired this morning. I was tempted to stay home, but instead I left the bed at 7.30, ate a good breakfast, chatted to friends and got ready to go out.

I walked into town, enjoying the breeze on my skin.

I managed to get the bones of a new piece of flash fiction formed in my head, as well as a few ideas for a card I want to make for the OH and my anniversary later this month. I smiled at a gorgeous Labrador who was carrying today’s edition of The Daily Mirror in his mouth for his owner. I treated myself to some new pens for crafting and colouring. I popped into the doctor’s office to change my prescription for a new antibiotic, (the one I was on was ripping my tummy apart Aliens-style). I bought some salad and fresh bread and, as I walked home, I inhaled the fresh green scent of the hedges on the side of my road being trimmed by a tractor, (which surprisingly did not trigger my hay fever). As I walked up my driveway I caught sight of the two little fluffy white heads of my furry daughters perched looking eagerly out the lounge window and it made me laugh. They really do resemble two little ghosts.

I came, drank some ice-cold water, cuddled them and decided to write this.

All very mundane and not making for riveting reading, but you know what?

I feel good!

I am not thinking about my body, my size, my appearance, how much I don’t measure up.

I enjoyed the very tiny, simple things that we all to often miss. I used my imagination. I smiled at people. I enjoyed the physicality of walking and carrying home groceries.

I am so very ready to feel different.

I deserve to feel better.

I deserve to feel happy.

I deserve to take care of myself and treat myself with care.

I deserve to remind myself that I am a kind, caring, smart, funny, good and strong person.

I am more than my appearance.

I am more than my past experiences and traumas.

I am more than the mistakes I have made.

I know there will be dips but if determination alone can get me to where I want and need to be then I am feeling hopeful.

If you see me slipping remind me ok?

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And once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

💓💓💓

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Turning Point


With my hand on my heart, I promise that everything I am about to tell you is 100% true. I have not embellished or exaggerated anything. I like to think I can spin a good story, but even I could not make this shit up.

Last Thursday I went to see a psychiatrist for the very first time in my life. I had told my GP how incredibly low I had been feeling; all the self-hatred I felt and the comfort I got from imagining ending it all. He listened, reassured me I was not in fact crazy and referred me to a private psychiatrist.

I sat outside the psychiatrist’s office waiting to be seen. My appointment was for 3pm. Another man arrived and sat next to me. This made me wonder, as I had been told the appointment would last an hour, so I thought this man must have arrived incredibly early for his. After waiting about 10 minutes, the doctor came out and just looked at us both, nodded to the man next to me, who got up and went into his office. I was confused. I called the number of his secretary to confirm I had the appointment time correct and she came out to confirm I was right and said he was running behind. I asked if the appointment would last an hour and she said yes. Ok. I was rattled – having been referred to him for depression and anxiety I thought this was a careless way to treat a new patient.

At about 3.40pm he came out of his office again and just nodded to me, which I took to be my invitation inside. As I sat down, he asked me what had brought me there and I began to talk, giving him a history of how I had been feeling. Midway through this he suddenly leapt from his chair and bounded across the room to invade my personal space and stare into my face, stopping me cold. I was so taken aback. He returned to his chair and asked me if I wore contact lenses because my eyes were “incredibly green”. Stunned at this bizarre turn of events, I replied that no they were just my eyes. Then, as if nothing had happened, he told me to carry on.

After listening to me and taking notes, he looked at me and said, in a sing-song voice, “But you’re lovely.” Yes, he said that. He then went on to tell me that Estee Lauder couldn’t exist without women like me, that looks don’t matter, that I shouldn’t care what people think of me. Basically, he hadn’t listened to a word I had said. I told him he seemed to have formed an impression that I was a superficial and shallow person who judges people solely on their appearance, which was not at all the truth. My feelings of self loathing and disgust were nothing to do with how I felt any one else perceived me, they were entirely coming from inside me. He looked at me again and said, “But look at you, you’re svelte!” and carried on to tell me about his love for the Kardashians. Really!

Readers, I am far from svelte! A recent weigh in at a hospital appointment revealed my BMI to have nudged just into the overweight range, and I was sitting across from this doctor wearing a G cup bra… not svelte at all!

I usually never stand up for myself, certainly not in the company of someone in what I perceive to be an authority position, but I simply couldn’t stop myself this time. I told him that by calling me svelte he had made not only question his understanding of the word, but also his judgment in general. (Incidentally, when I told my GP about this later he was delighted with my response!)

I told him that when I was underweight, wearing age 11 clothes and teeny-tiny that I still saw a fat person in the mirror and wasn’t happy then either. His reply was, “Have you ever seen anyone in Somalia look happy?” I was pretty speechless by now.

He enquired what hobbies I had and I told him I blog. He didn’t know what a blog was so I had to explain it to him. He asked what type of fiction I wrote and I knew I didn’t want to tell him about my erotica – I wasn’t going to hand him that nugget to play with. I told him I write dark stories about the darker side of humanity. He quickly told me I shouldn’t be writing “that stuff” and instead I should write “happy stories”. He then went on to tell me the TV shows I watch and the books I read were wrong and that I should be watching Modern Family… he repeated this several times. The man really loves Modern Family.

I could tell you more of the ways he blithely dismissed my thoughts, feelings, opinions and beliefs but to be honest it is exhausting to repeat it all. Suffice to say he brushed off everything I talked about, including my love of dogs, as in his opinion cats were better.

The final nail in the coffin of this delightful encounter was this:

I was so very ready to turn my life around, so desperate to feel better, that I disclosed something to him that only the OH knows, I have never told another soul about this. It is a secret that carries with it a burden of shame for me and it was not easy to divulge it. In my opinion, I showed tremendous courage in sharing this information and I am sad and disgusted to tell you how it was received. His jaw dropped, he leaned forward in his seat, a look of complete shock on his face and gasped, “Really!!” I felt judged, shamed and embarrassed. I was not expecting such a reaction from a mental health professional, who surely must have seen and heard things far more shocking than what I had told him.

I had tears in my eyes as I left his office and was visibly shaking. He shook my hand and told me it was a pleasure to have met me and that he wanted to see me again in two weeks. I was numb.

The OH was angry as hell when I told him about the whole thing, but he was delighted that I had stood up for myself and affirmed that I had shown courage and strength.

I spent the rest of the day mulling over what had happened and trying to decide how to proceed. As it happened, I had an appointment with my GP the morning after this so I went and told him everything that had happened. He was astonished and could not apologise enough. He said he felt he had let me down by referring me to that psychiatrist and was concerned and angry about my treatment. In particular, he felt the comment at the start about my eyes was incredibly inappropriate and he agreed about the comment about me being svelte was also wrong. He looked genuinely remorseful and saddened by what I had told him and asked me how I wanted to proceed. I told him I was not going back to this psychiatrist and that I would rather look at new meds and be monitored by my GP. He agreed that this would work and we discussed treatments.

I have sent a letter to the illustrious Dr. Byrne cancelling my next appointment and enclosed a cheque for the €100 payment as I just want an end to it and do not have the energy to dispute his charge. My GP told me my story will certainly change his referral practice and I suspect Dr. Byrne will not be getting any more business from my GP!

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So, today I will take my first dose of my new meds.

 

I am hopeful. I am positive. I feel stronger than I have in a while. I think in a strange way that psychicatrist provoked something in me that made me think, “I deserve better than this”, and revealed to me how determined I am to feel better.

Here’s to what I sincerely hope is my turn around.

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #64


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Play along here!

This week’s word is:

Triggers.

This morning I was chatting to a friend of mine; the sweetest, most kind-hearted girl you can imagine. I don’t think I have ever seen her be rude, mean or nasty to anyone. She has a beautiful, generous spirit. Today, she was struggling because something had brought back unpleasant memories for her. Something had triggered these recollections and she was in pain. I could relate to her 100%.

Triggers can pop up at the most unexpected times. I was sent reeling from one in a trashy TV crime show a while ago. One minute I was watching a mindless melodrama, the next I was frozen, flooded with unwelcome and suppressed memories, which started a descent that I am just now starting to climb out of.

Another example; I follow several stunningly beautiful women on twitter and they regularly post selfies and full body pictures of their envious physiques. Some days these pictures act as massive triggers for my self-image issues and my history of eating disorders. I spend the day feeling fat and ugly and berating myself for not looking like them.

Likewise, if I scroll through old photos of myself I can get totally caught up in a self-hatred spiral because I no longer weigh 6 stone.

Triggers are a pain in the ass.

They can hit you in the face and ruin your day, without warning. Many times they are unavoidable, such as the TV show that set me off. But we can avoid some of them. If I find myself looking back through pictures of me when I was stick thin I have to force myself to shut down the laptop and stop.

I was sad to see my lovely friend hurting today but I did remind her that, despite the unforgivable things that happened to her that she was recalling, she turned into a kind, generous and loving person. She could have let those experiences ruin her and made her bitter but she rose above them.

If anything acts as trigger for you, please try to step back and see how far you’ve come, how strong you’ve been and how you have survived whatever the trigger represents.

You are not broken and you are not beaten.

You are still here!

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.