Monday, 26 October 2009
Pull up a chair. Now don't say I didn't warn you.
This is me.
So is this.
I seem to have some new readers, and am getting a lot of requests to find out what's 'going on' with me at the moment.
So, I guess it's time for a bit of a rundown, and a slightly more comprehensive 'About Me'.
So. Get comfortable. I'll keep it as brief as I can. Maybe we should have a cuppa though. Who are we kidding. I've never been brief.
(And by the way. Has anyone else noticed that macaroons seem to be the new black? Or the new cupcake? Or is it just me? They seem to be on everyone's blog. Mine included now).
OK. So. I'm 34 (today actually) and I live in Brisbane, Australia. For those of you in the cheap seats, that's in Queensland, the lovliest state to live in (Don't listen to the knockers. They know not of what they speak).
Yep. That's the one. Granted, that beach right there, is not where I live. (Though only 3 years ago, it kind of was. I was about an hour by boat from there).
I'm married to Joel. He and I were best friends. (In fact, his mother and my mother had lived next door to each other 30 something years earlier, when my mother was 5. They hadn't seen each other since). We were friends and then we fell in love.
This is my Joel. With me, in this lovely signature someone on EB made for me.
He's pretty perfect. As husbands go. If you're into guys who are sweet, smart, funny, caring, incredible wtih children, self sacrificing....you know. With smiling eyes and delicious lips and hands that can both thrill and soothe. He is, without question, the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I'm ridiculously in love with him. We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last month.
We got married young, just before I turned 22. Early on, I fell pregnant. We were shocked (oh, so that's how babies are made. Huh. They weren't kidding in all of those sex ed classes - those condoms weren't just funky water balloons after all).
Then this happened. It was pretty horrible and shaped me in ways I've probably yet to realise. It took (or is taking?) a long time to move on and let go of that anger, guilt and grief. Some of it is etched permanantly upon my soul -tears wearing tracks through my heart, forever forming a place for our first child.
It took 5 more years of trying (I have PCOS and diabetes, so not so much with the fertility over here at Chez Mitchell) before we conceived the light of our lives.
Our Alexander is pretty special, according to most people who meet him. He is on the Autism Spectrum, but is high functioning and honestly, pretty easy and wonderful to deal with. He may be the greatest thing I have ever done.
Then there's our Sammy.
It took exactly 24 cycles to have Sam. We were going to give up at 25. The pregnancy was complicated with severe SPD kicking in at 9 weeks, and ending up with me in hospital on Endone by the end. My hips, pelvis and back have not recovered from that pregnancy. I doubt they ever will. He is worth it. But he is our last.
We've laughingly called him our 'Bipolar baby' since he was born. Not as funny as it used to be. He is a child of extremes though. He is either the happiest, cutest, funniest boy in the world. Or he is cranky, agressive and cold. He throws himself into hugs so hard it physically hurts. Or he can look you in the eye with such a look of disdain you squirm and look away.
He has golden ringlets and breathtaking blue eyes. He is devoted to his brother. He tortures his brother. All at once. He loves and hates with equal abandon. Compared to his brother, who wants nothing more than to please, he could care less. He is far naughtier, but so cute and charming we inevitably end up laughing, therefore unwittingly encouraging him.
He does not sleep. Apparently, sleep is for the weak. This, as you can imagine, after 2 years is not conducive to good mental health. Mine, that is. He seems fine with the arrangemet.
He's just turned 2, and is slowly becoming slightly easier. There is no question that for the past 3 years (my pregnancy included) Samuel Thomas has ruled our lives. But he has added something delightful and I can't imagine life without that squeal and those hugs.
Then there's the reason I started this blog in the first place.
My mother was barely 16 years older than me. She was brave and strong and loving. For the first 8 years of my life, she raised me alone (she married someone when I was 2 and had 3 more children, but he was never a father to me). When I was 7 she met and later married my wonderful father. I refuse to refer to him as anything but my father, biology aside. He is an exceptional man, and was the love of her life.
This was taken of Dad and I about 6 weeks ago.
When my mother was 41 she started falling down, for no reason. Then her voice changed, subtly at first. She slurred. It took a long time, but eventually she was diagnosed with Motor Nuerone Disease (also known as Lou Gherig's Disease and AML -Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis).
I blogged about the final days of her life here. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.6.
Joel and I had found out (2 days prior) that we were expecting Alexander. We got a house with Mum and Dad so I could help with her care.
It was difficult. Heartbreaking. Devestating. Wonderful. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. She died at 43, having spent 12 weeks with her grandson.
We were close, though it was an incredibly complex relationship. She had a major depressive episode when she was about 39 (I can't believe that's only 5 years older than I am now) and our roles were reversed somewhat, and then of course, when she had MND. She found that hard to deal with, me in a caring role, rather than the other way around.
I miss her. Desperately. This blog was started as a way to get things off my chest, that I was subconsciously 'saving up' to tell her. You know how you see something and think "Oh, I must tell....such and such". Well, I keep doing that with Mum. Forgetting, sometimes, that she is gone. That I can't remember the sound of her voice before her illness.
And now there is me. Desperately in love with my family. But struggling. Some of you came to my blog via my BlogPost entry here. I am 4 months into the deepest depression I have ever encountered (I have had 3 previously), and have an acute anxiety disorder. My GP, psychologist and MH Nurse all believe (as do I) that we're probably looking at bipolar2. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist tomorrow (finally!) to get started on finding out what's going on. There is more, but I'm not getting into it here for my sisters (both of whom I am estranged, and better off without) to manipulate and have their fun with.
Depression isn't all I'm about. Certainly, right now, it is a LOT of what I'm about. It's hard to see my way clear of that, but I hope you can.
I love to read. I love to write. I'm drawn to art and music. I'm interested in world affairs and history. My blog is evolving, constantly, as I do. I love pink and lavender, coffee and all things 'pretty'. I love football and tennis, cricket and love my computer. I love autumn leaves and heavy rain. I want to live in Italy and make love to Joel in Paris. I love soft blues and buttercup yellow, my world at the moment seems to be assaulting me with colours, I can't ignore them. I have in the last year or so discovered that I just LOVE vintage (I blame you, Mary!).
I love Van Morrison and James Taylor. Kings of Leon and Bruce Springsteen. Carole King is the greatest of them all, but I love Pink Floyd and Rob Thomas. I prefer Beethoven to Mozart, but choose Debussy over them both. Though give me Schubert's Ava Maria and I'm in a puddle. I love Pride and Prejudice over any book (Though Anne Shirley and Jo March call to me) but am a little in love with Mr Knightley.
I love Romantic Comedies - the stereotypical chick flicks. I will read anything deep and meaningful, confronting and emotional. But I don't want it in a movie. I want my movies to be pure escapism. I believe the West Wing is the best television ever made and I wish that there was more intelligent TV around like that. I loved the Gilmore Girls and hated Seinfeld. I hate slapstick comedy, but love satire.
I hated Romeo and Juliet (though I don't hate it enough to do to it what Baz Lurhman did) and loved Macbeth. I am, however, prepared to jump down off my high horse and tell you that my favourite piece of Shakespear is Much Ado About Nothing. And that I did love that movie (The Kenneth Branagh version, that is).
Katherine over Audrey. Cary Grant over Clark Gable. Gene Kelly over Fred Astair. Dean Martin over Frank Sinatra. Holden over Ford. Shirley Temple over Judy Garland or Elizabeth Taylor. Paul McCartney over John Lennon, though I do think Imagine is the greatest song either of them came up with. You might hate me when I tell you I think Eva Cassidy did a better version.
I don't like any of the Stooges, so don't ask me for my favourite. Kylie over Danni. But really, neither of them. Jamie Oliver over Gordon Ramsey. Real Journalism over the trash currently on television.
I believe in increasing awareness of what's going on in the world - few things bother me more than apathy. I want desperately to help beat down the stigma attatched to Mental Illness. I'm deeply spiritual and I overthink everything. I have a tendancy to get up on my soapbox, especially when talking about the way women are treated throughout the world. My mother used to tell me I was born in the wrong decade - I belonged in the 60s.
I am a feminist and a hopeless romantic. At the same time. I don't believe the two are mutually exclusive, and I like those things about myself.
And that catches us up, basically. Told you to get a cuppa, didn't I? This will probably end up stickied somewhere in the sidebar. Sorry it was so long. But I'm nothing if not complex.