life without the drugs

It’s been almost 2 months since I took my last pill. No, it wasn’t something that I discussed with my shrink, because it just kind of happened, without me intentionally doing it. 

I tried to go off of my anti-depressants at the end of May, beginning of June and it didn’t go well. I was so high strung, very emotional and was waiting for my crash. And so I went back on them, as well as also taking my 2 different types of sleeping tablets every night. Then, sometime in June, I went to go and refill my sleeping tablet script, but due to a glitch at the pharmacy, I couldn’t get the 1 type. And so I went a couple of nights with just the 1 pill, and it did nothing. I tossed and turned and what little sleep I did get was filled with nightmares and fear. And so I stopped taking that pill, because no sleep was better than a terror filled sleep.

As fate or luck would have it, I started sleeping again. I am still a horrendously light sleeper, but I can fall asleep again without the assistance of some very strong pills. Whilst I was still busy digesting this, every other day I would forget to take my anti-depressant. I didn’t do it on purpose, I genuinely forgot. Mornings in my house are chaotic, to put it mildly. And I think it was only about 2 weeks or so after I stopped taking them completely, that when I arrived home the one evening and saw the box on the kitchen counter, I honestly couldn’t remember when I had last taken 1. And it caught me completely by surprise.  

Yes I am still tired. Yes, I am still a depressive person. But I do feel that I have a firmer grasp on what’s going on in my head, well at least most days. I still have my quiet moments, my happy moments, and my really sad moments. I still have so much going on in my life, stress and worry, bills and finances, but at least I sort of have a grip on something, 1 thing in my life. These past few days have been especially tough on me; I was unceremoniously “dismissed” from 1 of my part-time jobs on Monday evening, without even being given an opportunity to ask why. I then removed my Facebook, twitter and Snapchat apps off of my phone to just give me a break from it all, to give myself a chance to regroup and figure out where I was in my headspace. I’m still seriously hurting from what happened on Monday night, and I was in an extremely dark place on Tuesday, the first day of my new job. I also made the incredibly hard decision to put myself under debt review for the second time in my life, as my debt is just swallowing me whole. No it’s not something that I ever thought I’d be going through again in my lifetime, but I cannot keep up the hectic working lifestyle that I am, plus be a mom and wife, as I will burn out. Going under debt review doesn’t magically fix all of my financial worries, but it helps. 

The plans I had for my future have taken a bit of a backstep at the moment. But that’s ok. I’m going to use these next few years to reassess my choices and decisions, and also the direction that I want my life to go in. I’m 31 years old, and I have no stinking clue as to why I’m here, what my purpose is, who I am. And I need to figure all of that out, for me, for my kids. 

So, no more drugs. That was a the first step. A new job which is giving me more time with my kids, that was the second step. Getting my finances sorted out, that’s my current step. Working on me, well that’s the step I have to take in between trying to stay sane as I muddle on through this thing called life.

They say that life only really begins at 40.

Here’s hoping.

G

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today i’m ok

I don’t know what it is about today; I haven’t slept, I have the worst heartburn since being pregnant, I have a million worries and stresses, but today I’m ok. I’m happy. I’m smiling. I’m calm. I literally went from work to work last night, only getting home at 00h10 this morning, and because it was so late, I didn’t want to chance taking my sleeping pills. And so I lay in bed, my brain racing, my thoughts running away from me, listening to the wind rustling through the trees, and the kids moving about in their beds. Let’s not forget the husband’s snores… And then my alarm went off at 04h30, I lay in bed until 05h00, and then my day started.

I stood in the shower, absorbing the hot water as I washed my hair and brushed my teeth, and got ready for my Thursday. And I just felt at peace. I went and cuddled with Morgan-Lee, the twins woke up happy and giggling, and the morning at home just went so smoothly. I know that it’s because I was calm, collected and just took it one step and breath at a time.

The day has started, work is hectic, and I got this.

Today, I got this.

G

nurturing the gift of life

I regard myself as a blessed woman. I have 3 children who are generally healthy (apart from the odd runny nose or bum rash) and I had no issues whatsoever in conceiving them. In fact, my youngest 2 children were conceived at the same time, without any modern intervention at all! Needless to say, my factory was closed within minutes of our twins entering the world.

One of the many things that sets a woman apart from a man, is her ability to hold and nurture life in her womb. For so many women, this is sadly not to be. So many women and families spend thousands and thousands of Rands, Dollars, Pounds, even tens and hundreds of thousands in order to achieve the dream of a family, but it just doesn’t happen. IVF is normally the first step, followed then by maybe surrogacy, and then maybe adoption.

But there is another option.

I am an egg donor. I have been since 2011. I only recently told my mom about this, as I respect her thoughts and feelings on this subject, as with her childhood, I know that this is a sensitive topic for her. But she supports and applauds me, and that feels pretty damn awesome!

I am registered through an amazing agency called Nurture. I came across their website back in 2010, via an ad on Facebook of all places! By February 2011 I had been selected by a family, and my first donation process was under way.

It’s no walk in the park, I’ll tell you that right now. You are injecting yourself daily with hormones to increase YOUR hormone levels, to get your little ovaries to work overtime to produce more follicles, and ultimate more little eggies. You then have to get a rather nasty burning injection just before the eggs are retrieved, to stop your body from naturally ovulating them. So essentially you walk around like you’re 6 months pregnant for a few days. Well I did anyway!

Because of the current laws in our country, total anonymity is required. And that’s honestly ok with me. I don’t see it as giving up a child; I see it as giving away some of my DNA. I know that there are twin girls currently in the UK who were welcomed into this world in December 2011, because I was chosen. I am currently waiting to hear back from another recipient who chose me a few months back as to whether or not she will be a mommy soon. You see the thing with egg donation, is that it is not a sure-fix, guaranteed way to become a parent. There is still the possibility that the pregnancy will fail. What I find so amazing is that if it is a heterosexual couple, my eggs are fertilised with the father-to-be’s sperm, and then the fertilized follicle is inserted into the mother-to-be’s womb. Then if all goes well, a baby (or more) is welcomed into the world 9 or so months later. If it is a same-sex couple, then either 1 of the women will be the carrier, or there will be a surrogate involved.

I have given my consent for my follicles to be used for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. You see, I don’t really care if a baby has 2 mommies or 2 daddies; all I care about is that that baby is loved and honoured and nurtured and protected. And the ladies at Nurture are so incredible; everyone (recipients and donors) are screened and asked intensive questions including full medical background and history, family background and history and and and.

Looking at my children, holding my children, welcoming my children into the world are the absolute highlights of my life. Yes I am tired, no make that exhausted. I’m broke, and frazzled and frustrated, and I cannot imagine my life without my 3 little people in it. The hugs, the kisses, the tantrums, the learning, the grasping, their lives forever entwined in mine.

I am about to embark on this journey again, and I am so excited. I have the opportunity to help complete a family.

I may not be able to end world famine or bring about world peace, but I can help to complete a family.

And I’m pretty ok with that.

G

*This is not a sponsored post. For more information about donating through the Nurture program, please have a look at their website via the link above.*

Picture found on http://www.tertia.org/so_close/2005/10/egg_donor_ivf_i.html

me

Hi. My name is Genevieve. I am 30 years old, a wife, mom to 3, daughter to an amazing mommy, cousin to many, niece and friend. But that sounds so generic, as so many people are parents, siblings, spouses… So I’ve decided to share a little more about myself (eeek); so here goes…

Secretary vibes...

Secretary vibes…

By day (Monday-Friday), I am a secretary to a very busy Factory Manager. I love my job, I love my boss, I love my colleagues and I love my company. I can honestly say that I look forward to work every day. Yes, I have my boring, monotonous moments, but I’ve seen just what a team and family we all are, especially in the last few months, and I’m so very grateful for such an amazing support team. I took this job back in 2013 having never been a secretary or PA before, and this being my 2nd big corporate company to work for. I left the comfort of my job for the past 5 years to experience something new, and I’m so glad that I did. For those who know me well, they know that I do not adjust well to change, and especially having become so comfortable in my previous job, this was a huge step for me. But I took that step, and I’ve never looked back.

By night (and sometimes by day, on the weekends) I am a waitress. I work part-time for a mobile bar

Waitressing vibes...

Waitressing vibes…

and events company, and even though the hours can be crazy long sometimes, I love it. My bosses are awesome, I’ve worked for and with some really amazing people, and I’ve met some great new friends. My little car and I have driven from the North Coast to the South Coast, in the rain and at night, in the boiling sun and in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve dropped staff at home, waited for their lifts, and had far too many laughs and giggles to even think about work. I have had maybe 1-2 functions where I’ve seriously considered just leaving, but that’s just not in my nature. So with a smile on my face, I serve. I laugh. I interact. I mingle. And sometimes, I even party a little. Seriously awesome 2nd job.

Bubble vibes...

Bubble vibes…

My weekends (every Saturday and the odd Sunday) are spent at a flea market, selling BUBBLES. Yes, bubbles. The hugest, most awesomest (yes I know that’s not a word) bubbles EVER! Seriously, best. job. EVER. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are; you cannot not smile when you see bubbles! And the best part about my 3rd job, is that I get to have some one-on-one time with Morgan-Lee, something that has been seriously lacking in the past 18 months or so. Watching her run around, having fun, interacting with the other kids, just being a kid herself makes me so damn happy. I’ve met some really interesting people, have spent far more money than I’ve made, and am absolutely loving it. It’s hard work; it’s quite a physical job setting up at the market and then packing up at the end of the day, but I’m out of the house. I’m around other adults; I’m socialising *gasp*. I’m rediscovering my fun and extroverted side, my flamboyance and zest for life. And I get to play with bubbles. It’s a no-brainer really 😉

For the other 24 hours in a day (see what I did there) I am mom. Mommy. Mom. Mama. *scream* *squeal* Mommy. Mom. Mom. MOM!! In between those 24 hours, I somehow find time to be a wife (not a very domesticated one as the husband makes supper most nights, does homework but I mean hey. I try 😉 ) I’m a terrible friend in that I will generally only message or contact someone if they’ve messaged or contacted me, but my friends know that if they need me, I’m there. No matter the time, whether it’s day or night. I’ll be there. Over the years my list of friends has whittled down, partly because I just haven’t stayed in touch with people but I think it’s more to do with the fact that the friends that I have in my life right now, are who I need in my life right now. I have loads of acquaintances and friends, but only a handful or 2 of really close, can-we-move-in-with-you-if-we-get-evicted friends. And I couldn’t ask for anything more.

My life - Alex, Morgan-Lee &; Maddie (picture courtesy of Krystal Temlett Photography)

My life – Alex, Morgan-Lee & Maddie (picture courtesy of Krystal Temlett Photography)

This year has been tough on me, tough on my family. This year has not only shown me how strong I am, but also how weak I am. That I am not superwoman. I am not supermom. I am just trying to get through every day, alive. These hardships that we as a family have experienced this year will fade. They are only temporary. We will come out of this stronger. I will come out of this stronger. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I asked for help. That was a huge step for me. Huge.

I’m exhausted. I’m tired. I’m broke. I’m happy. This is my life right now, and instead of moping and complaining and hating the world for it, I choose to embrace it. I am working my backside off for those I love, and who love me in return. I am becoming stronger, re-energised, and happier. This year has been hard, I can’t deny it. But I refuse to let it get the better of me. I refuse to let it define who I am as a person, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend.

I will learn, I have learnt, and for that, I am grateful.

G

adulting; i think i’m doing it wrong

I was never one of those children who wished their childhood away. Whilst I maybe didn’t have the “perfect” childhood, it was mostly happy. I loved school, I loved my friends, I loved my family; life was good. I dreaded leaving school, becoming an “adult”. I was happy in my bubble; many a time I’ve said that if I could spend the rest of my life repeating my matric year, I’d do so in a heartbeat. THAT’S how much I loved school. Then again, 2003 was an awesome year. A happy year. A year with no worries or regrets or “what ifs”.

My life is full of worry now. I don’t focus on the regrets or what ifs because that will not fix anything. But in a nutshell, we’re teetering on the edge of collapse. Finances, what finances. At the end of this month, we’ll be 4 months behind in our rent. Whilst we have communicated our situation to our landlord, he can only be so understanding for so long. And I know that. The husband is now 3 months behind in EVERYTHING. The bank will come for his car at the end of the month, and whatever else they can attach to make up the shortfall of what he owes on it. For the first time in years, I will not be able to meet all of my financial obligations this month. And that scares me something stupid. I have worked really hard to get myself back to a semi-viable financial position, and this month it will all come crashing down. Even with my second job, I will just not have enough.

And my biggest failure of all? Myself, as a mother to my children. I’m not even buying their food anymore; my mom is. I cannot even buy my children milk and bread. Morgan-Lee is turning 7 in October; she was telling me yesterday about what kind of party she wants to have and what presents she’d like, whilst I sat there fighting back the tears because I can’t give any of it to her. Oh she’ll have a party, because my mom will make sure of it. Yet another thing that I can’t do. And yes, a party isn’t a priority but she’s a child. Our financial failures as adults cannot affect her. And I’m trying so hard to not let them. But it is soul destroying when she asks for a chocolate bar, and I honestly cannot buy it for her. I simply don’t have the R6 for a chocolate. R6. And she looks at me, doesn’t argue, and simply nods her head and walks away. I want to die. I want to curl up in a ball and just disappear.

The husband and I are good people. I know that everyone says that “they’re good people” but we are. We really are. We’ve been battling now for almost a decade. It all started with him being retrenched in 2006, and we’ve just never been able to get completely on top of things. We’ve come close, but just not close enough. Then the events of this March-April just sealed our casket. Yes, he is working now and we are both so grateful for his work and monthly income, but he is earning a lot less than what he was, and because we were a month behind in everything when he started his new job in June, it just continued to spiral downwards from there. The amount that he now has to pay out in 1 shot is staggering. And it’s at the point where he is about to be handed over for legal action. Where the bank is threatening to repossess his car. Where his cellphone is about to be cut off because he hasn’t been able to pay it. Where he now cannot provide for his family. And neither can I.

We have both been responsible for certain financial obligations in our household; I cover our medical aid, car insurance, school fees, internet etc, whilst he covers the rent, most of our electricity, 90% of our groceries, big appliance payments etc. So he pretty much runs our house. And for the past 3 months, he hasn’t been able to. And he’s burnt out. What has happened to us, to him, has crushed him. He’s hanging on for our kids, and I know it.

I have been yearning to write a blog post for weeks now, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do so. I have just felt empty and uninspired. Lost. But when I write, it helps me. So it’s been a kind of catch 22. On my drive to work this morning I thought of the title of this post, and it’s just gone from there. It’s not normal to struggle so much in life, is it? And yes, I know that there are families out there with far less than us, that there are families living in war-torn countries, families fleeing across the ocean, facing peril and death. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about my family. My children. The ones who rely and depend on me; the ones who I am currently failing.

I saw my shrink on Tuesday; she upped my meds to help me “cope” with our situation until things calm down. I don’t feel that they’re making any difference; maybe my body has become used to them. I dunno. All I know is that I feel April creeping back up onto me, and I don’t want that. But every day I feel just that much less in control. And that frightens me.

The 1 silver lining is that if we do have to move out of our home, I have amazing, phenomenal friends that have agreed to take us in for a few months. I’m talking all 5 of us. Obligation free. Knowing that if everything does fall apart but my children will still have a roof over their heads and food in their tummies, eases my burden. My worry. My stress. I don’t have much in my life, but I am beyond financially wealthy with these guardian angels in our lives. Knowing that my children will be safe and protected and loved and warm. Knowing that they have a place to go. Thank-you. Just, thank-you.

I am dreading payday. It’s exactly 1 week away. But, I am also trying to teach myself to stop worrying and stressing about the things that I do not have any control over. It’s so much easier said than done, but I have to try. For my own mental well-being, I have to try.

I have always been open and honest in my blog posts, whether I’ve been happy or sad. This is my platform to be real, to express myself. It’s not attention seeking on my part; writing helps me. Writing is my release. Words are my medication.

I just wish words could fix our mess.

Not this time.

G