Happier than I have ever been

A few times of late I have thought about updating the blog and then something happens and I forget. It is never deliberate, I certainly never anticipated such a long break and I can’t promise that I will be updating on a regular basis either. So much has happened in the last 18 months I sometimes have to stand still and take stock because life is certainly not what I expected it to be back in 2020.

So for those of you who don’t know me outside of cyberspace, we have moved house. After 26 years living in Exmouth in East Devon, we have moved to a small town just outside of the Dartmoor National Park. From my bedroom window I can see the Western Beacon, which is where both Mr Myasthenia Kids ashes have been scattered. We now have a huge garden, I have taken to growing plants, me the person who was always known as the black hand of death where plants were concerned.

We are surrounded by trees out of the lounge window there are trees, out of the kitchen / dinning room there are trees. I have never felt so completely grounded in my life. My mental health has also never been so good. The wait of others expectations and being guilt tripped for not dancing to others’ tunes has gone. Dealing with having to see people I didn’t want to see on a near weekly basis in the summer has gone. The threat of people turning up at my house unannounced has gone. I am no longer forced to act as the parent, to my family. Unless you have lived through that situation you could never comprehend how much that mentally drains you. The stress that I have borne for every single day of my life has fucked off and I have never felt happier.

My days are filled from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed. Moving to a much larger abode has taken its toll on me physically but as we have been here nearly 11 weeks now I have slowly become accustomed to it. Dembe and I are out in the garden whenever the weather is dry. Dembe has got a new dog walker that takes him out for 30 minutes when his dad is working late – Mr Myasthenia KId has managed to keep the same job just transfer stores. He is working over the other side of town so I no longer see him at lunch time as he just wouldn’t have enough time to travel there and back but Dembe and I are managing. Dembe has never been so happy, he loves his garden and he loves the fact his mum and dad are happier here.

We have managed to set up a hedgehog feeding station in the garden and one of Mr Myasthenia Kids leaving gifts from his workplace was a night vision wildlife camera. Watching the hedgehogs on the camera has been amazing. We know we have at least 4 visiting and we have a courting couple.

We have so many plans for the house and the garden, plus we would like to have a holiday. The last time Jay and I went away anywhere was 2006. The last time we had a proper holiday was in 2003, so it is a long time overdue. We would like to go to Scotland, I would like to show Jay all the places I visited as a kid and go and visit our friends north of the border. Some time as a family away from the stress and strains of the last 18 months and every day life would do us both good. We are just waiting on the finaliasing of the house sale now.

I am always hesitant to say life is good as I seem to spend my life waiting for the other shoe to drop. But life is ok, we love the house, we love the area and we are starting to find our way around. We have had friends over to visit, friends down to stay, friends booking in short breaks as they can’t wait to start helping us tame the garden and turn it into our vision. There is no denying though the garden has good bones and will be a long term project. At the moment our hands are tied with nesting season. Many of the birds are now on their second broods as are the mammals such as hedgehogs.

This is just half the garden, as you see it from the upstairs bathroom window.

Lots of the shrubs need massively reduced down as they have gone wild. The garden needs a whole new fence around the outside, we want to plant, well I want to plant lots of native species to make the garden as wildlife friendly as possible. I would also love a paved seating area in the corner where the gazebo is. We are currently losing at least 15ft of garden due to the over grown shrubs.

We splashed some paint around the kitchen / dinning room as that was the one room that needed as much help as it could get. We had a tin of Farrow & Ball paint ( James White ) left over from where we were tarting up the old house prior to selling. The painting took a day and it felt nice to put a stamp on the decor. As we have quite a few renovations planned the rest of the decorating will be done as we complete each room.

I forgot to say last month we had a baby starling fall down our chimney. We had to call out a gas engineer, on a Sunday and fathers day no less, to move the gas fire so that we could free the bird. Thankfully it was unharmed and flew out through the lounge window when it heard its mum calling for it.

Health wise I am much the same. I am currently unwell due to Discontinuation Syndrome. I am currently coming off my antidepressant Mirtazapine / Remeron. I was only on 30mg and have been doing a plan as agreed with the pharmacist at my new doctors surgery. I am actually finding coming off this harder than reducing my morphine dosage, I have gone from 60mg daily to 20mg of slow release morphine. I have always been sensitive to antidepressants and have a shocking time coming off them. This one has been horrendous. I am going to have to taper much more slowly, I had got down to 15mg and started doing 15mg every other night. However since starting this part of the tapering I have been suffering severe side effects especially on the day following the night with no mirtazapine. So I am going to have to drop to 7.5mg and then do 15mg one night and then 7.5mg the next. I dont know what the fuck I am going to do after that as the side effects have floored me – flu like symptoms, diarrohea, fatigue, headache, vertigo, insomnia, sweating, nausea , dry mouth etc. Every time I come off an antidepressant it is so awful, I always say I will never do it again and yet here I am doing this for a 4th time.

Reducing my morphine dose has been a bloody doddle compared to this, I have managed to get down to 10mg twice a day in 12 weeks. Which to me is bloody amazing considering I have been on the stuff since 2011. The morphine reduction was my idea and wasn’t pushed on me. I started doing it myself right before we moved as it had become clearer and clearer to me that it just wasn’t that effective anymore. I also panicked, probably because I am 50 next year that if I got struck down with cancer and needed pain releif I could have totally fucked myself over by being on morphine at this dose ( which isn’t actually high its only when it is above 60mg twice a day / 120mg daily is classed as a high dose ). I also wanted to see what my pain levels were like without it. One of the first things I found on reducing the night time morphine dose by 10mg was I was sleeping better and I had started dreaming for the first time in years. I also felt less foggy and had more mental clarity. I was amazed at this huge improvement and thats what spurred me on to continue.

At the same time I am slowly reducing the amitriptyline I have been taking for nearly two years due to the occipital neuralgia caused by the car crash. As I am not sewing as much currently the pain is better although I still have nerve pain in my left arm.

As you can see my life has changed in just so many ways, sometimes i just have to take a minute to catch my breath and recognise how far I and we have come. Despite having Mirtazapine withdrawal issues I am still feeling really happy, grounded and settled. Much more than I have ever done in my life.

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