Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the year that was

Well here we are at the end of 2013.  The photo above was taken this morning.

Another year where there have been some truly lovely times and some pretty average ones as well. I'm an optimist so from where I sit this year I'm happy to say there have been more happy times than sad times, but maybe I've perfected the art of wearing rose coloured glasses, I think you need to when you are surrounded on a daily basis with depression and PTSD.

I enjoy taking photos on my iPhone. I'm not a photographer at all I just capture what's in front of me at that moment and see what I get. It's at this time of the year I'm glad I do this as I can flick back through my photos and recall all that has been. It really does fill my heart with joy to see what the year has dished up and know what I've overcome and what I need to continue to work on, there's always something!

I may have mentioned here before that I follow the blog 'fat mum slim' and the gal behind this blog has created a 'photo a day' list. This has provided me with all sorts of inspiration and on those days when you really can't be bothered with the world. The little photo prompts can get you looking at things a little differently, pick you up if you need it or force you to look around. If this sounds like something you need in your life next year have a look at her blog. The list for Jan 2014 is up and ready to go and I'll be snapping away again.

Tonight we will celebrate the year that was and welcome the year that is yet to unfold in front of us. There have been years when being in bed at 9.30pm was the best option on New Years Eve but tonight we will have dinner out and wait until midnight to raise a glass to new beginnings.

This past year we have been able to bring some tedious administration to a close, I've seen small improvements in my husband and his health and we've taken steps as a couple to try and reestablish our relationship and move in a positive direction, all things that deserve a glass of bubbles.

Wishing you and yours happiness and good health in 2014.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

sleepy head

You only realise how much you need it when it is absent from your life-sleep.

As many of you will know a very common symptom of PTSD is sleep disturbance; nightmares, restless legs, fear of the dark, tinnitus, night sweats and the intrusive thoughts when lying there trying to get to sleep.

As a partner of someone who suffers from all of the above, sleep for both of us has become a little bit elusive at times in this house. I for one love my sleep but I am now a very light sleeper often listening for any strange noises or sudden changes that might be going on next to me.

Certain medications and sleeping tablets can help but there is nothing like being able to just drift off into a dreamy state without any help. We've both been through periods where the best solutions was separate bedrooms as two grumpy people in one house is far from pleasant!

These days a CPAP machine now gets switched on each night so that for my husband the sleep apnoea (stopping breathing while sleeping) is reduced. I wondered how I would go with the noise of the machine but it is actually soothing in a way and I now don't even hear it.

With sleep being such an important part of the recovery process it's just a pity it can be so hard to come by. We all need it and some more than others but particularly those with PTSD and depression. I remember days on end when my husband barely left the couch. His desire for sleep couldn't be met no matter how many hours were spent with his eyes closed.

As part of his treatment he has been lucky enough to have had access to a sleep doctor who has been invaluable in accessing and monitoring his sleep patterns and also explaining what the brain is doing when you are sleeping and the sleep cycles we go through each night.

If nightmares are part of my husband's sleep during the night the next day is very average for him. It can take a couple of days for him to settle again, so cruel.

On the weekends I do find myself catching up on sleep with an afternoon nap if I can, nothing nicer.
I have a little routine myself before I go to bed, almost 'powering down' for the night. I like aromatherapy oil blends on my pillow and a nice cool room.

Do you find it hard to sleep these days?
Do you have any routines you like to do before you go to sleep?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

getting festive

Well December has arrived and the count down to Christmas Day seems to have started. I've not really looked forward to Christmas for a number of years, just another day where expectations on everyone being happy and jolly seems to cause me some anxiety.

I do love being around family but a low-key affair suits us best these days. This year we will host lunch on Christmas Day and strangely enough I'm looking forward to it. We are aiming for a relaxed and simple day.

The planning has started.

The decorations are up. I've made most of them this year using my new found crochet skills and bits and pieces from the garden.

I know how I want the table to look, white and red this year. The shopping list has been started and the buying of as much as I can in the next week is under way. The bubbles,wine and cocktails have been selected.

We go traditional here. No salads and cold meat on my table. There will be glazed ham, roast pork with crackling and moist turkey filled with a delicious stuffing. Roast veggies of all kinds and gravy.

Mum will make the pudding and flame it and I will make chocolate and raspberry roulade as I'm not a dried fruit fan. Custard, double cream and homemade icecream will all be on offer.

We are dusting off our board games in readiness for some post lunch fun for those who are still awake.

If the weather is kind there might even be a little badminton in the garden.

We have been given our names for 'Secret Santa' so the gift giving isn't extreme at all. Everyone has something to open but we don't go gift crazy.

So for now I hope the festive feeling stays with me and I also hope you are planning something that suits you and yours.

Do you have any traditions that you look forward to each year?
Does Christmas cause you to feel anxious?

Daisy is in dog heaven surrounded by her Christmas treats!