Sunday, April 27, 2008

I am thirsting for a fresh understanding of what it is to worship. I am on an important journey, in the midst of lots of emotional and spiritual baggage when what I thought would turn out to be a complete absence of faith is actually evolving into a most precious faith.

I am rediscovering the simple faith I once held as a child and an uncomplicated spiritual adult...the time before spiritual abuse and involvement in a religious cult all but destroyed my life and my sanity. I am in recovery mode and held gently in the arms of a loving God.

This link ( ) to the Taize community expresses better than I can put into words what worship means to me....I thirst for a fresh understanding of what it is to worship....and I believe the answer lies in the article link I've posted.

As this is the day the Lord has made...I will rejoice and be glad in it. Blessings to any readers who may stop by to read. May the heart of God embrace you this day.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yesterday (Friday) was one of the very worst days in my recovery. I spent a large part of the day in tears (cue: sobs), aggression (to the point I had to get out of the house or felt I'd begin smashing things about...maybe even people! was very scary), shakes that meant I was dropping things and losing my footing...and of course the lack of sleep continues. I felt very fragile.

I decided to head out and over to our daughter's (B's) house where I was pretty certain there would be lots of hugs and cuddles waiting for nana. And there was! I think children have a special awareness/sense of when someone needs tenderness. First my grandaughter (4 yr. old Iona) came to the door all dressed up in her "princess" outfit and had a grin from ear to ear when she realized who was coming to visit....and then clung to me and hugged and kissed. It was soooo good. And close on her heels was little Nathaniel (15 months) who tugged at my pant legs until I picked him up (cue: head wedged on nana's left shoulder and snuggled in for lots of cuddles straight away).

Brenda went to the school to pick up the two eldest grandsons (Josh 7yrs. & Matty 6 yrs.) and they came charging into the house and were full of hugs too. What a gift my grandchildren are to me every day...and especially on a not-so-good Friday for their nana. I am blessed.

I also got rid of my aggression by helping Brenda to declutter her kitchen (inbetween hugs of course)...and I returned home in time to prepare us a nice dinner.

I was even nasty to hubby on my return home and ended up having to apologize through my tears. I love than man of mine....I'm not too sure sometimes about liking him though. It was, you guessed it, one of those times! He has a habit of calling me "mother" and occasionally it just gets to me...yep, yesterday it did, BIG TIME. I retorted with his motherly greeting to me when he was enquiring when dinner would be ready that..."I'm not your bl**dy mother....I'm your wife"!!! He was stunned, I was stunned! Did I really say that???? Yet it's something I've been bottling up for years and I am having great issues at the moment with feeling an equal with hubby....self-esteem issues big time, I guess. And hearing myself addressed as "Mother" while preparing dinner on an already stressed day....well I blew my stack! The making up was nice though! I know hubby is finding all of this as bewildering and as fraught as I am....and add into that the mix of retirement, selling up our business etc......well I think it's inevitable we'll both be stressed.

So, today is another day. I am already jittery as I prepare to go downstairs to our shop for a bit of work. I have determined my difficulties in being in our shop are definitely related to the panic/anxiety/tears greatly increase once I begin to serve customers and deal with the till. easy solutions.

All will be well. All manner of things will be well....I have to believe it will be so.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hubby is stressed too! It seems the extra workload is really getting to my poor hubby. I've been on such a roller coaster ride today! We had a lovely few hours out in the sunshine today visiting a neighbouring market town (bought some books in charity shops) and then enjoyed our lunch out in a favourite restaurant.

We got back to the shop and there was no time for hubby to grab a few winks....he had to go down into the shop and put in another 3-hour shift. Cue: feeling so guilty for my inabiity to function in our shop and adding all the extra pressure to his days. :(

Even getting our shop together and sorted and on the market seems too much stress for him and I feel unable to continue (discovered today I will qualify for incapacity benefit during my illness until and if I can return to the shop floor). Sounds like stalemate to me and it is scary.

You could say....I've had enough, I'm tired. What a roller coaster ride this is developing into. I'm 60 this September and hubby is 65 in August....time we closed up shop! God, please make a way where there seems no way (yep, that's a prayer request, please!).


Just have to share this news.....

I've been in touch with the "Activity for Life" programme run in our local Leisure Centre and organized/funded by the NHS. I was referred to that programme last autumn but when my name came up on the list I had to decline due to work commitments and lack of time (I had to commit to 3 session/weekly for 4 months...and I was having to do holiday staff cover through the summer committing was not feasible).

Now I am unable to work in our shop due to my health and have staff I was back in touch with them this morning and I am going for an induction session on 7th May and it looks likely I will be able to join classes beginning in June.

It is something positive to look forward to....and I can't speak highly enough of the NHS programmes which have helped me to understand my eating problems (through the Weight Managment 10-week programme) my depression (through my GP, therapist etc.) and now the Activity for Life. It was so good to not feel a door slammed in my face about these resources and help. Being self-employed means we don't qualify for much else....but the NHS has come through on health issues....much to my relief.


Today I am grateful for....

* the understanding of my family, my GP, our employees/customers while I am unable to carry out my work responsibilities and I am unable to be depended upon (now I just need the grace to accept that's the way things are for now....)

* the internet friends I've made along the way and the emails, msn chats, jokes and even surprise parcels that appear from time to time

* the tenderness of a loving God and my simplified faith that allows me to drink of his mercy and love

* the discovery of how comforting a cup of earl grey tea can be when the moment seems fraught with anxiety and restlessness and tears

* my adorable grandchildren who are the joy of my life and full of amusement and even some mischievous moments

On difficult days (as the last few have been for me) I find I am prone to think on all that is hurting, complicating, negative, confusing, tearful, emotional draining.....and this blog entry today is my reminder to myself that I am very fortunate indeed for the medical care, friendships and all that is inputing my life right now to help my recovery from Seroxat (anti-depressant) withdrawal and the post-traumatic stress from our robbery. I believe I am held close to God and he knows the end from the beginning....I am blessed.


Monday, April 21, 2008

New prescription glasses are on order! I've been to Specsavers this morning and taken in my newest prescription week I shall be the proud momma of two new pairs of glasses. My only disappointment was the recommendation that I get as large a lens as possible to accommodate the verifocals....and the really trendier/bolder frames all are just a tad too small to take the verifocal lens. I ended up with two nice frames and should be summonsed to pick the finished product up in about a week.

I also bought myself a pretty necklace today. I will do my best to post some photos one day very soon. I am liking the new look Jacquie! And the comments about my hair colouring have been all so very positive :) .

I'll be off to my weekly weigh-in very soon and then it'll be get home and start the dinner.

GOOD NEWS ...... Hubby hired a new part-timer this morning...she does her first shift in our shop tomorrow morning. I will continue to go down and help out for a very brief spell each day (I seem to manage just shy of an hour before my w/d symptoms get the better of me and I depart for my home space). It can take me an hour or more to get myself calmed down after the morning's short shift. Things will look better soon...I'm believing for it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

This withdrawal thing just doesn't get any's been a rough day!

In an attempt to give me something nice to smile about I've had a go (with daughter Brenda's help....thank you honey...) at dying my hair.

I love it! We chose the colour well...very close to my hair colouring of my ermmm "earlier" years! It isn't a permanent dye so it will wash out after 6-8 washings according to the directions on the packet. It's taken me 7 years to actually bit the bullet and do this!!!

When Brenda was pregnant with her first child (Joshua) I bought my first hair went out of date before I could work up the courage to actually apply it!! Reckoning those years up (Josh was 7 last December)....I can't be accused of rushing the decision! Call me chicken....I can take it!

Even hubby remarked tonight....."I like it!"....coming from hubby (a man of few words, to put it all into perspective) is quite a compliment. I'll take it....only reinforces the fact that this lady is emerging.

I'm doing all I can on the inward and outward of this body I occupy to assist my life's if I could just see some great withdrawal results from this crap called Seroxat, I would be one happy lady.

I've decided to make another appointment with my GP and discuss the situation with her again and I am adopting a course of Omega 3, Vitamin C and Zinc/Magnesium tablets daily as well as the liquid version of my anti-depressant, Seroxat. I am hoping the GP will also work with me as I use the help of a friend who is a homeopathic practitioner. I will get well.....I will get well....I will get well!

And tonight my heart goes out to S, my online friend from Simple Abundance who has had to bid a sad farewell to her much loved kitty Emily. She is sad this night at the loss of her faithful companion and friend of 16 years. RIP Emily.


Shakes continue and I'm learning to listen to my body's needs. Sleep was again elusive and I managed just under 4 hours. Shop staff to replace me will hopefully get sorted this coming week and that should ease the pressure for us all.

Our son, Dave, has been a star in the shop which has been such a help to us. A friend commented to me it was in God's plan for me that Dave should be living with us this day of needing help was coming....makes me feel really loved by my God. :)

I made a batch of sausage rolls for hubby and Dave last night. Tried one for myself and my taste buds have really was much too greasy for my I won't be scoffing those which is a very welcome change to my eating habits!

Fruit scones are on the homebaking list too so I'll be making some of those today. Hubby really likes scones and my last attempt was excellent according to hubby. He enjoys a buttered scone each morning while he writes up the morning papers in the shop and my new-found confidence in home baking is a most welcome addition to my long list of talents! (wink!

I've had another learning curve regarding withdrawal from my anti-depressant....knowledge is a good thing! I will continue the withdrawal on the liquid form of the Seroxat and listen to my body, mind and spirit for clues. Homeopathy may be a route I will take...I'll be seeing my GP about that, hopefully this week. I am feeling positive again after a couple of days of "blips".....

Had some great news this week friend from the Leprosy Mission in Nigeria is returning to the UK this autumn where her doctor-husband will study for a 3 year degree course at Leeds University. We will sure enjoy being this close again..Jannine was a prayer partner with me in our days at Prescot Methodist Church and we've remained fast friends ever since.

Happy Sunday all!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nana was babysitting last night! Our daughter, hubby and their youngest son went out for a reunion meal with some friends last evening so nana was babysitter at their home. :)

Despite having the day from hell with my withdrawal from Seroxat (had a bit of a pity party with my w/d symptoms yesterday if I'm honest!)....I made a lovely dinner at home for us (poached salmon fillets, boiled new potatoes, turnip/carrot mashed) and although I was feeling quite teary and overwhelmed, made the journey to look after the grandkids. It helped because I soon got distracted from my crummy feelings/symptoms of w/d and was reading bedtime stories and giving out special "nana" cuddles.

Iona (4 yr. old grandaughter) came down with chickenpox yesterday so nursery is on hold just now. She hasn't many spots but she is out of sorts with her little world. She needed nana cuddles last night and enjoyed a bedtime story all snuggled down in her pretty "princess" bed...joined by her 6 yr. old brother, Matty.

Matty went to his bed after storytime (Dora and the magic princess) only to awake awhile later with screams and flailing about in his bed. I think he is experiencing growing pains in his legs (we went through this with our son at about Matty's same age and the symptoms/behaviour are very similar). This morning he has no recollection of the episode.....I think he needed some special nana cuddles too!

Josh (7 yr. old grandson) was into plea-bargaining last night trying to convince nana that he was a big boy (yes, Josh, nana knows you are BIG and he says...."Sometimes I stay up later until it's almost dark." As if nana was going to fall for that one! (lol) He went up to bed happy and there wasn't another peep out of him.

Nana watched tv and napped until mommy and daddy returned home....tired but happy after their night out (a rare treat for them!).

Roll on Friday.....oh that's today. Family are here for spagbol (vegetarian style) tonight so nana will be cooking up a storm in the kitchen very soon.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saw my GP after discovering a website devoted to those who are or have been taking, Seroxat. It was an eye-opener to find people posting of their problems with coming off this particular a/d. I do no feel alone any longer...and have found a very supportive and understanding group of people.

So far I have had no success in reducing my tablets beyond he 10mg amount (I have taken as high as 40mg/daily but that was earlier, much earlier, in my 6 year depression). Finding the website gave me some important information. It is recommended that dosage of this a/d be decreased extremely slowly and the Seroxat be prescribed in liquid form (I've had tablets up til now).

I am now taking 5ml of liquid Seroxat daily (as of yesterday) and will take it a ever so slowly. I am sleeping about 3-4 hours most nights and awaken "wired for sound" but once I hit the shop floor I am a wreck within an hour. So my working days are short and that will likely not change...we're in the process of advertising for two additional part-timers to fill some of my hours (and the remainder of my hours will need to be filled by poor hubby).

I am continuing to lose weight which is a really fantastic achievement for me...after years of dependence on food for comfort and getting up to such an excessive weight. I am now down in excess of 6 stone....plenty more to lose and that is in the last 3 years or so. Just over 3 stone has been lost since mid-November when I was referred to the local health authority's "Weight Management" 10-week course. (for those who don't know.....One stone is equal to 14 multiply 14 lbs. x 6 and that's my weight loss to date). I know....I'll take a bow! (I hope I can post a couple of photos one day soon to impress you all with my svelte (well I exaggerate! self. So keep tuned!

I will continue to respond to the changes in my mind, body and spirit and treat myself with a lot of TLC....the family and friends closest to us are ensuring I do that too.

So.....on we go!


I've been amiss in keeping my blog up-to-date. I guess you could say I'm not operating at full-tilt just now! (and friends can wipe that smile off their if this was old news! lol)

I've been on anti-depressants for 6 years since my breakdown/depression hit with a vengeance on leaving the church cult. I needed help and was prescribed these tiny tablets (Seroxat....I know I shouldn't swear!). I never realized there would be such a lingering fog that would envelop my days, nor the awful side-effects of withdrawal from this "wonder" drug.

Ok, at the time it was prescribed I was a mess....I needed medical intervention and thankfully I was blessed with a fabulous GP who actually listens and consults together with me....we're pulling in the same direction which has made recovery a much more trusted result. I know all of that. This is my third attempt (don't they say...3rd time lucky) at decreasing my dosage of this a/d. It's no picnic! Cue....shakes, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, restlessness, fear of social situations, inner "jitters",, explosive and unreasonable anger, aggressiveness, impatience, critical temperament....the list just goes on! I've discovered my symptoms are not uncommon and decreasing my a/d at the lower end of the daily dosage (getting below the magical 10mg/daily) is the most difficult. Some patients give up and remain on them forever... not an option for me...I do now enjoy a clear head after living in a fog for the last 6 yrs.) and some suffer the withdrawal side-effects and do their best to get on with life...many taking minute reductions in dosage in little 6-8 week increments...and even after a few years find themselves unable to wean off this blasted drug!'s going to be a long and winding road....oops, I feel a song coming on! (lol) the expense of boring my one or two readers of this blog....I feel to chart my withdrawal from a/d here on my blog would be therapeutic. Even if only I end up reading the will aid my recovery and give me a written record of my daily progress.

I've also now got the symptoms of PTSD as a result of our shop robbery a month ago We are in the process of hiring two part-time additional employees (that will bring us up to 5 part-timers) to do my morning and weekend hours. Yep, I'm that unable to cope. Isn't stress the most crazy circumstance...and post-traumatic stress seems to be haunting me at this time. I coped very well following the event but then one month later I start with all of these PTSD symptoms and now cannot work on my own in our shop. Thankfully God gave us a wonderful son who is filling the gap temporarily but we need permanent help (as well as for holiday periods which loom in the summer months for our other staff). Oh to be a self-employed newsagent. Roll on retirement...but that's a topic for another day. (whew, I hear you mutter!

So....stick with me on this if you can. I know I am loved and there is concern for my well-being. I am thankful, ever so thankful. for medical care, loving husband and family and a God who by His spirit, comforts. lifts up and strengthens me day by day.

I'll write a separate blog entry about my daily symptoms of withdrawal. Oh, and I'll do my best to be briefer from here on in.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Things just don't get any better! I'm hanging in there but not able to work more than about an hour a day.

I've been fine when I'm upstairs in our flat or out and about...but put me on the first step going down to our shop and the panic, tears, jitters begin until I am in such a state that I can no longer function in the shop and have to return upstairs.

I went out today for a bit of clothes browsing and a few groceries...success on both counts! Hit a sale so got a pair of trousers, a blouse and a bra...the last item was so desperately needed due to my weight loss...and it was a nice surprise to buy clothing a couple of sizes less than previously too (and on sale!).

Maybe the next blog post will sound a bit brighter. Sure hope so!


Monday, April 07, 2008

I've been awake since 3.30am so I'm operating on 4 hours sleep. I've been in our shop to work this morning and have had to relinquish my responsibilities there and come upstairs. Thankfully our son is back from his London holiday and my hubby was able to get him up to work on my behalf.

This withdrawal from a/d is tougher than I was prepared for! I've been blessed in one way this morning as I watched a video link from a friend's the morning hasn't been completely washed away...and it's only 9.07am.

I'll be so relieved when these symptoms are a thing of the past. Sorry for another moan!


Sunday, April 06, 2008

I got just a tad upset today! Let me explain....

I've been treated for depression since a breakdown 6 years ago, with an anti-depressant. Fine so far? Well, now that I am so much improved I've been given the all clear to come off the a/d a little at a time. I've been doing this, with several aborted attempts earlier in my depression, for about 18 months. I am on the homestretch now having decreased the dosage from 40mg daily to the current dosage of 10mg on alternate days. With me so far?...

I've been experiencing various side effects throughout taking this a/d and particularly while withdrawing from this last dosage. Last night I was feeling a tad desperate to figure out what was actually going on in my body and I did a google search of my a/d. I discovered a catalog of adverse symptoms on their forum site which had been posted by forum members. I could have written many of the posts myself...many mirror exactly the nightmare experiences I've had on this medication. Thus my tad upset scenario!!

Now I know why I am suppressing an anger that wants to erupt inside of me, shakiness inside my body that threateningly lingers, insomnia, argumentiveness (is that a word?? lol) to the point of embarrassment, impatience "hurry up" feelings....and so on.

And I discover in reading the comments about coming off this drug that many give up altogether and remain on a maintenance dose (despite not feeling "well" and having unwelcome side effects) or even having the dosage increased because of the side-effects of withdrawal. Many are, as I have been, prescribed an alternative "calming" medication, sleeping tablets, another a/ end up prescribed to yet another drug!!! I have so far weathered the side-effects of withdrawal and have refused the doctor's attempts to prescribe sleeping tablets and a few valium (or similar).

I am miffed that the battle continues to regain ground in my desire to be fully recovered. I really did think it was going to be easier than this to come off the a/d as I was always reassured they were not addictive and even if I had to stay on them the rest of my life (on a maintenance dose) they would cause me no harmful side effects. Now I'm discovering that is not the whole truth!

Prayers on a postcard please! I'm gonna lick this darn thing....and it's not going to defeat me! I am one determined woman who is loving life and loving me. you were....rant over! Back to business.....have a great day all!

Oh...and the drug in question is SEROXAT. (best avoided is my advice!...don't start or you might never finish!)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I am a most undisciplined blogger...I do apologize! I am so busy reading all the other blogs of my friends and acquaintances and forget to get on with mine. So....

Today I am on the second day of my antibiotics as the doctor has an idea my headaches are due to sinus infection. Already I can feel some relief....the wonder of modern medicines. I am so grateful.

I am getting by on about 5 hours of sleep each night and my body seems to be happy with that! I could never be one to sleep the clock around (unless of course I am ill...then bed is my healer...) and I feel I'm entering that age when I've rolled my eyes listening to older people saying "I just wake up and that's it...a night's sleep is over...and so just have to nap in the afternoon." Oh dear! I fear I am turning into one of those old bores too! (lol)

We had the grandchildren over for hot dog dinner last goodness they are growing up so very fast. I keep expecting our one-year-old grandson to take off walking any day but he's enjoying keeping us in suspense. He's such a cutie and has this tongue-out concentration that makes me laugh...

Our two eldest grandsons (7 & 6 yrs. respectively) are well into "Match Attax" football cards so I can't hide the fact that we sell those in our shop....and the kids are getting to an age they realize that too. No respite for nana and grandpa cards it is.

And the grandaughter (4 yrs.) is into anything pink and glittery...she's such a cutie-pie. Love the bones of her.

So that's the grandids.....Josh, Matty, Iona-Mae and Nathaniel...and of course, there's mom & dad too. Ain't life grand!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

There's a "new" me emerging. Spring is in the air and is so full of promise. I can hear birdsong most hours of the day (and some of the night too!) and seeing the primula, daffodils and budding trees surely makes the outdoors an attractive choice after the long winter...even a mild winter such as we've had here this year.

I've been on a 10-week weight management course to learn about healthy eating choices and it has been an eye-opener. I'm enjoying food in a most wonderful's my friend and not my enemy these days and would you believe I actually prefer cucumber, apples, cabbage, carrots, grapes...and that has got to be a first for me! Everything has converged to bring me to this time and place and I'm loving it...and loving ME!

I have left behind 6 years of deep, dark depression and am now embracing a relaxed, happy period in my life. It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride in many ways but it's now become a meandering journey to discovering what it is to live each day with a thankful heart and a good measure of optimism and fun. I can recommend it!

Have a good day readers/friends. Be blessed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I know, I know, I've been away far too long. Well I've been a busy lady you see. I've been in recovery mode from my long depression and am feeling very well once again. It's been a pretty windy path with lots of sharp curves but it's been worth going the distance to be well and happy again.

I really want to begin this blog on a regular basis and try and make it more interesting with illustrations and really "nice" posts.

So....if you're visiting and looking for some updates....well, watch this space. I'll be returning very shortly.