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Change

Oi, Tracy, what gives? You neglect your blog for over a year. (semi-relaunch and all). And the first post after yonks is a recipe?! Nah ah. We need an explanation.

That’s what I hope any followers of Tracy’s Topics thought when they saw the pumpkin post. I know I did.

So what has happened? What is going to happen? What empty promises will I entertain you with?

Right, no promises. This is going to be tldr, so feel free to skip and just click the like button and subscribe so you can catch the next post.

A little background. I’ve always been fairly happy as any human can be. Even though I’m an early bloomer, I’m been mostly naïve and life lessons tend to hit me later than most folk. I’ve moved around a lot during my childhood. Like A LOT. I usually bounced back and made friends easily. But since we’ve settled in this new (6 years already) province I just couldn’t get a grip on the people or the place. Always feeling like a tourist. But I found ways of coping – this lead to some self-discovery that I have a very addictive personality. If I find something that I like doing and it makes me even slightly happy, I will do the crap out of it. I will obsess over it. Be it a blog, online game, work…never actually family though. Inside that lesson (for me) will be to never try any narcotics; I am a prime junkie candidate.

So why would being obsessed with blogging be a problem? Well, it wasn’t. Until I found a new obsession. And another and another. But a little voice in my head said that no matter what I did, it didn’t really make me happy. (This all happened after getting married and having our first-born and settling down in a rural town).

The proverbial ton of bricks came down after our second daughter’s birth. Something just wasn’t right. In my head. I had the blues as with my eldest, so was expecting it this time round as well. I had mood swings as one gets with lack of sleep. I was lethargic, apathetic towards anything not my baby. I thought this was regular motherly instinct finally kicking in with baby #2 that was a bit lacking with #1. But the outbursts, the crying (oh gods the crying), the manic panics were all clues that something wasn’t quite kosher with Tracy.

So I did what any normal person would do, I googled the symptoms and self diagnosed. I had a mini breakdown in my personal bubble during an outing at the beach. I realised I might need some extra help. Only THEN did I make an appointment to see my GP. This was all part of the healing process; Admitting that I had a problem, and actively seeking a solution. Turns out I had…have Post Natal Depression (or Postpartum Depression). And that sucker deserves the capital letters. My medical aid doesn’t cover the meds as chronic medication, but that’s another battle I’m fighting in the near future. One step at a time. I’ve learned to love my meds. The odd day that I’ve been too rushed in the mornings and skipped a pill; definitely trying to avoid those days.

I’m not in any type of official support program – If we were still in the city I probably would have joined a group. But In these small town people just love a juicy bit of gossip. I’m not ready to be a punch line just yet. So I’m working things out mostly by myself. But I have a few friends who have also admitted to PND/PPD, bipolar and even borderline schizophrenia. And together we share experiences and joke and complain and rant and laugh and support.

Now part of my One step at a Time Plan was to shift my priorities. Dump the online gaming. Dump the blogs. Unplug. Connect with real, tangible, touch them physically people. After I manage that bit I allow myself to gradually enter the online universe. And by pure luck, I relaunched my online shop. It started with 2 crochet owl beanies for my girls. I gave a few as gifts and people really them! Decided not fiddle with any ecommerce type of site at all (like Bid-or-Buy, Gumtree etc). Just something small and manageable that I can control via mobile mostly – huzzah Facebook. Feel free to like my page 🙂 Crocheting a few beanies lead me back into beading and jewellery making. I felt like Sweeney Todd picking up my tools and singing My arm complete again.

Besides my creativity returning, I noticed a mind shift as well. I blame Pinterest. All those little inspirational quotes people pin – I used to ignore them. But after starting on the meds, the quotes started to have meaning. They were the same words of wisdom, the same advice; I just had new eyes to read them with. (Ironically I got new glasses too). This led me to look at myself again; physically. Emotionally and mentally I was heading on the right track, but physically I had neglected my body too much. There was no way I would be able to go to gym just now, but by George I could do something about my wardrobe. My colleagues and work relations definitely noticed the change. (Around this time we received a dress code circular at work – I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe the universe will conspire to help you. Listen to the universe. {Omens if you will}).

I started working on my new image. I web crawled blogs that could shove me in the right supersize direction. I bought items I normally wouldn’t. I’m a jeans, Tshirt and sneakers kind of gal. I made a deal with myself. Jeans are ok, but Tshirts only on a Friday. No sneakers at work. Casual Dressy.  And, oh my, I was going to try to wear dresses and heals. Make-up at least 3 times a week. For someone who rarely wore make-up I sure had a huge unused stash.

It’s a neat trick. Like a positive catch 22. You feel good (or at least better) about yourself, so you will radiate this confidence and actually look good (or better). The reverse is also true. If you look good, you will feel better and again radiate confidence. Red lipstick and chocolate are my pick-me-ups.

This also means that I have a lot of old clothes (tops mostly) that either don’t fit anymore, or I’m not allowing myself to wear anymore. This isn’t constricting, this is liberating! Half full glass, Tracy. Now I have fabric to make upcycled garments for the kids. Thank you Pinterest.

So aside from my regular posts…right, what regular posts. Ok, what I would regularly have posted had I been all chemically sound in the brain: Aside from that! I want to start an OOTD (Outfit of the day) post. I tried on Instagram, but my mobile pics are lacking. I want to try a proper, well-lit, detailed OOTD post with place of purchase, guestimated price etc.

Whew. That was an essay and a half. Word counter is at +1k. This is more like a journal entry. Which is also part of therapy. Exploring thoughts and perhaps learning truths about yourself. It’s the way women are made – we need to talk to think and get our thoughts in order (even write). So stay tuned, choose to stay happy and have a great week xxx

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