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Forums / Staying well / Medication is a whirlpool

Topic: Medication is a whirlpool

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    6 January 2015

    My wife has had depression most of her 50 years. When down she sleeps and is less motivated than normal.

    I have bipolar 2, dysthymia (another form of depression) and depression. My depression is not like my wife's type. I fall into sadness and an overwhelming feeling of needing to escape from the world....no wallet, no food, no common sense. Into the bush I'd go.

    My wife and I married 4 years ago but we have known each other for 28 years now. Since marriage we have tried many medications and we have wanted to throw them away at times. Each time we have stopped taking them we soon have meltdowns. Then the arguments start and the hours of separation.

    This occured so often that for the sake of a/ personal safety and b/ to contain our "escaping" desires, we would make a rule that we didnt leave the property and the other person wouldnt hound the other....just leave them be. A good rule.

    But we have identified the effect of medication. That so much experimentation has found that we NEED it. That we are not in a position to self "UNMEDICATE". THAT TO UNMEDICATE LEADS TO DISASTER.

    The metaphor I came up with just today when answering another post is- like we are holding hands at the side of a whirlpool with the current (our illnesses) rushing past us. The walls of the whirlpool we grasp onto is the medication.  When we let go we are pulled towards the centre of the whirlpool and we cant maintain holding hands. As we are sucked around and down we lose sight of each other. Only when we realise that our choice of stopping taking our meds caused this state do we restart our medication and return to the rim of the pool.

    Sufferers and our partners are not qualified to alter medication prescribed by a doctor. There are reasons for that. Medication isnt meant to be stopped and started when you like. Stability in your life and your relationships will come when you accept that medication should not be stopped at will without doctors guidance and advice. i.e. the current becomes less turbulent.

    When owning a car you get a service say every 20,000 kms. When 20,000kms comes around since the last service do you decide....nope, I wont replace the oil,  dont worry about topping up the coolant and I dont care if the ball joints arent greased.

    The car wont last long. It would have a breakdown....

    Hang onto the rim of your whirlpool so you have a firm grip of the hands of your loved ones. Letting go...isnt worth the heartbreak  and the breakdown.

    Tony   WK

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  2. Beltane
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    29 January 2015

    Hiya Tony.

    It has certainly been a very long time since you posted this- 3 weeks? I'm so sorry you didn't get any responses. Its so unfortunate when that happens.

    So I doubt anything I say now will be particularly helpful as you were feeling this way 3 weeks ago, and doubtless you are feeling differently today..

    I'll still offer my understanding and compassion though. Medication!!! The great bugaboo! Sometimes it feels very much like a case of "cant live with 'em, cant live without 'em".

    Sometimes they certainly can be difficult- trying to get the right meds that work, at the right dosage that's effective but not too strong, with side effects that are bearable.
    I too have made the mistake (several times) of thinking "i feel ok, i dont need these meds" or even worse "i'm sick of this side effect, i'm stopping it". Boy what a mistake to make!!!! You're so right- it takes only mere days to start drowning in the whirlpool!!

    Your relationship with your wife sounds so special. Some silly people like to think you find a loved one, and ride off into happily ever after with them. That just so isn't what happens.

    Sometimes a relationship is bliss- heaven! Its love and joy and wonderfulness. Other times, boy can they be TOUGH WORK.
    But you and your lady- you've figured that one out, and by the sound of it, you've done the hard yards when they've needed to be done, and then you have times where you get to coast in the love and bliss..

    Living with a mental illness, especially lifelong ones as you and i have, can be a rough business. It adds another layer of difficulty on relationships.

    I've found, through many failed relationships, that i too have to enforce rules upon myself regarding my behaviour. I know that when i hit a hypomanic or anxious state, i can become irrational, restless and irresponsible with money.
    Conversely, a depressive phase makes me super clingy, and totally negative and really unfair about everything- myself, the relationship, him.

    So yes, i have agreed upon rules with him regarding what i must do when i find myself in those phases: the 1st rule being that i must listen and respect him if he says that i am in a phase like that (because of course, sometimes I am the last to see it).

    I personally think by the sounds of what i know of you so far, you're an intelligent and insightful person. You have a lot of self-awareness about yourself and your condition, and you have the determination to keep trucking away at the bad bits so you can bask in the good bits.
  3. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    30 January 2015 in reply to Beltane

    Hi Tony and Beltane,

    Thanks for  both of your posts. Tony I love the metaphor of the whirlpool! I agree with Beltane, you and your wife seem to have a great understanding of how each other feels and how to cope with the needs you both have.

    I would love to have a caravan on our property that I could retreat to when I feel like I need to run away. Maybe a tent will be better than nothing. I could set it up nicely and have a little retreat.

    Medication really is important, but why do we struggle so much to accept it? I had hoped once I was weened off my now ineffective anti depressant I might be able to cope without going onto new medication, but a nice little angry meltdown proved that wouldn't happen. Ha. Ha.

    I'm hoping these new tablets will do the trick and I can start to feel more like myself once again and have some enjoyment in life.

    Thanks again for both sharing. Cheers from Mrs. Dools

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  4. Beltane
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    31 January 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Oh Mrs Dools! I agree so much with your caravan idea! I often fantasise about having my own little space to retreat to- something small and cosy, like a caravan, so it would be like a cocoon. There is something so deeply comforting about that idea- it's similar to cuddling up in bed with a hot water bottle on a bad bad day.

    luckily my partner and I don't own a house of our own yet. I have already discussed this need with him and we have agreed that we will ensure there is a spare bedroom in the house available for this need.

    we plan on living in the country, so a spare bedroom hopefully won't break the bank!

    my idea is to set it up with a single bed with a lovely homemade (by me) patchwork quilt on it. I'll have a bookshelf with my favourite books, a little TV, and most importantly- my sewing machine and all my sewing things, it might have to be a biggish room....  But it will  be my bedroom. Not to say I won't share a bedroom with my partner most of the time. But sometimes, I just need to be alone. I just want to sleep alone in a quiet room, not needing to fight over the blankets with him (as much as I love him). Also he likes the cold and I like the heat so we're often at odds over the temperature over the room- this provides a way we can both get what we need for a good nights sleep.

     

    I also can be really picky over mess when I'm in a hypomanic or depressed mood- like unreasonably picky. since my little bedroom will only be used by me, it will be kept to the state of cleanliness that I require when I'm in a mood like that. So I can retreat there, and prevent myself from 1. Going on a total meltdown and cleaning the whole house to the extreme and 2. Snapping at my partner because the towels aren't folded exactly right (yep I can get that bad)

    lI've told this plan to people as to me it's a lovely plan- Im  so comforted by the idea of my own little room full of my lovely things. But most people think it's really weird! They seem to think a couple should always share a room, and they seem to think there's something wrong in our relationship if we don't. Or they suggest it'll be a recipe for divorce!

    i see it the other way- the recipe for a healthy happy relationship. People really do just sometimes need their own space, even just for one night in an blue moon! And as we know, a good peaceful night sleep is the recipe for a happy day!

  5. white knight
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    7 February 2015 in reply to Beltane

    Hi to both of you,

    Well I've written about 35 articles here in the last 9 months and if I had replies great if not well people still read them and benefit. So I dont mind not getting replies.

    My illnesses in my early days when they werent identified, saw my manic state buy and sell cars almost weekly. More debt- I didnt care because that car would be my last....till the next impulse came along. So by 25yo I'd owned 40. Jobs, the same. Never stayed in a job more than earning my holiday time. Travel around Oz a lot etc. So this immense experience gained valuable knowledge.

    To pass on theories is one thing, to actually practice it is another. Sometimes I cant put into practice what I preach. Nevertheless there are souls out there that need the rudder to make their way in the right direction. This is what we do best. Steer the wandering and confused.

    I identified around 1988 my need to reside in the country. Eventually it happened. We have an attic house with 4 dormer windows. The loft is a spare room and is peaceful. Raining now and its a great place to be. Anyone moving to the country should look for living near a town of not less than 4000 people. Then you'll have all the facilities. More than 6000 and it is too big. Also find a smaller town within 15 minutes of that town. These hamlets offer real country living. Neighbours sharing vegies and jam, eggs and care, trust and little chance of confrontation.

    In my mid 20's I rode my motorcycle to the mountains and stayed there for a few days. I wanted to reject society. I couldnt cope with the cruelty, bullying and nastiness. I was an ex prison officer, RAAF airman and security guard and 120 kgms of mostly muscle. But a marshmellow. I then realised the answer lie in between. A hamlet with a store and 40 homes.

    Now forceably retired at 58 I mix my interests with poetry, riding our trike, camping and gardening. My greatest issue now is taking on too many tasks in a given day. 6 or more chores or handyman tasks pushes me over the edge and meltdown time. So am still getting to know my limits. I wished there was a bell chime when these tasks mount and its going to happen.

    So medication is vital. I tried many until the right one was found, a mood stabiliser and low antidepressant. But the best thing that happened was my realisation that my mother has BPD in its chronic form. She goes undiagnosed in her stubborn 80's. And I wont see her again.

    Sometimes you have to care for yourself.

  6. Beltane
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    8 February 2015 in reply to white knight

    *nods*

    its a constant learning curve isnt it. I was really upset in my psychologists office the other day, as there has been recent life changes and stress in my life and I was extremely anxious. But (i know this sounds weird) i hadnt realised how anxious i had become. I was upset because i hadnt recognised it for what its worth.
    She comforted me a lot by explaining that thats exactly what anxiety does. I had it under control with a set of coping techniques and strategies; it could no longer beat me that way. So it morphed- thats what it does. It changes so it can get me another way. So of course i hadnt recognised it, and when i had, my old techniques didnt work. but thats ok, now i'll learn new techniques to deal with this new incarnation.

    My next annoyance was realising that recent life changes (good ones0 had triggered a hypomania. Its amazing what outside life experiences can trigger a mood swing. I've got a new job and i'm SO happy- of course i'm happy- so it took me a solid week to realise i was being financially irresponsible and was in that state of mind where you think you're invincible and utterly gorgeous and amazing and can do no wrong. Then i swung into the mixed state. So annoying- i ewnt to see that Unbroken film at the cinemas last night. Very hard movie to watch emotionally, and i was a little stunned to notice my mood swung into depression simply because of watching that movie!

    It is annoying, but i guess i'm getting used to myself now. Getting used to watching out for the signs of a mood swing and trying to head it off at the pass using coping skills and strategies, trying to ride the waves of the mood swings when they get past my coping skills. Enacting further coping skills so i dont take it out on my partner. Always really hard but hes a very loyal and steady person- hes the kind of person i need in my life because he is just cool and calm as a cucumber no matter how much my moods have gone whacky.

    I'm hanging onto my dream of the home in the country. I love your idea of the small town. I thought itd be great to be somewhat near a regional city like ballarat or something, but live in one of the little towns that surround that big city.

    in the meantime, i pat myself on the back for looking out for myself. At least i saw that i was hypomanic, and went to the doc to get a med review. Hopefully a higher dose will get me back stable again. :)

    nice hearing from ya Tony, i think we have a few ideas in common :D

  7. white knight
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    9 February 2015 in reply to Beltane

    Well, we have a small dam and my latest project is to grow a massive flower garden around it. Today "Andy" came to visit as I hoed the dirt that little echidna came walking by only say 4 metres from me. It hasnt been the first time he's walk past.

    This morning started with making Mulberry jam, from an old tree on the paddock next door. Hope it sets this time lol

    I've found that over time some distractions do me good. Allows me to take my thoughts away from my illness. It also reduces me talking about them to others....it must drive them crazy haha.

    Then there is an allowance of mood that I let myself have. I stopped analysing myself too much a long time ago. You can worsen the symptoms by worrying about them and dissecting very little bit of behaviour.

    Life is too short to waste even one day. I still watch the youtube video "prem rawat sunset" to lift my mood. He taught me to appreciate the sunset every evening.

    Cheers

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  8. Doolhof
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    9 February 2015 in reply to white knight

    Hi Beltane and White Knight,

    I'm enjoying these posts! Beltane, I don't see anything wrong at all in couple's having separate rooms, like you wrote, if you sleep better, you will have a happier day and that can only benefit everyone you are in contact with.

    We have moved to the country and I love it. We are close to the Barossa Valley. We couldn't afford a house with land in the Barossa so are in a town close by where we have 5 acres of land.

    I would love to have a dam Tony, that sounds wonderful. Actually we do have a dam, it just doesn't have any water in it for 90 percent of the year!

    Our neighbours seem to like to keep to themselves, but I am sure if we needed any help they would be there for us. I call out to them when I see them and at least get a quick hello and a wave.

    I am going to work on getting a second hand caravan or maybe even a large tent to put down in the back garden. I enjoy being out in the garden and in the wides spaces, that gives me a great sense of peace of freedom.

    I feel like I am trying to FIND MYSELF at present, but don't really know how to go about that process. Any ideas? Some days I just seem to get lost in the business and in what needs to be done rather than make the time to do what I would like to be doing.

    There don't always seem to be enough hours in a day!

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

     

  9. Beltane
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    12 February 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    I love your dream of the little caravan down the back garden Mrs Dools; what a peaceful little spot for you to recharge your batteries, and as good old Darrel Kerrigan would say "how's the serenity".

    i know how you feel with not having enough hours in the day! I just got a new job, so between the 8 hours of work 5 days a week and the 2 hours worth of travel each day (it's not a local job unfortunately) Im feeling like there isn't enough time!

    i have so many hobbies- Crossfit, sewing, music. And then I have my studies- Im halfway through a diploma online. I also have my partner who I want to spend time with, obviously. Then of course I want to answer a post or two on here (I know I don't have to; I want to). If I'm lucky I might get to read a few pages of my book!

    actually I reckon I might go make a thread about it in the Employment forum; it's actually quite bothering me, trying to juggle it all.

  10. white knight
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    13 February 2015 in reply to Beltane

    Hi Mrs Dools,

    Help to get a passion?  Good challenging question.

    I've tried hobbies outside of my natural interest and it has never worked. eg as a boy I always had a hammer in my hand or a spanner, yet as I grew older I found I was good at drawing and designing. So as a teen I grew to make my own model aircraft. I even invented a "fly by itself" plane as I could afford radio control. Then at 18yo in the Air Force all went off the rails with drink driving and foolish pranks.

    But 40 years later I returned to models and that went for 7 years until I fell bored with it. Then 6 years ago my interest went to triking like Billy Connelly did years ago. My then partner argued for 2 years about me buying one until she said those words "its me or the trike"." I said trike". There was more to it of course but it was the straw that broke the back of a bad relationship.

    That proved in my mind that a passion is a real strong need in a person. If someone marries another and the other has a certain passion then that passion, like any children, should be respected as a need and accepted as part of the person.

    Now, 4 years ago I married my best friend. Deb and I take our trike towing a camper often to holidays for up to 8 days. It's fantastic. I've tinkered on this 3 wheeled motorcycle for 6 years now and got it "right". It has a roof and our mini foxy has her own capsule. Deb wants to make a pair of goggles for her lol.

    But I've also found that a mixture of interests helps me cope better with life. Gardening, like planting flowers in our dam (Mrs Dools, we bought a dam liner for $1300 and it doesnt go down much) vegie garden, walks around our town etc. So there is a fine line between a passion and an obsession. Never allow your passion to become an obsession. That's when your partner has every reason to fire up and get annoyed.

    So for a hobby, start with what your capabilities and natural interests are. Then search around for offsprings of that. eg sewing might be your passion....making leather goods might end up your passion.  Water sports might be your interest...a cheap blow up canoe might end up your passion. And your partner might like fishing while you canoe past him. ha

  11. HA1
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    13 February 2015 in reply to white knight

    Hi all

    What a nice and warm thread! It covers all my dreams for the future; acreage in the country, peace and serenity, working the land ....

    thanks :)

    K

     

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  12. Doolhof
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    13 February 2015 in reply to white knight

    HI White Knight,

    Thanks for an inspirational reply! I do have several hobbies that I enjoy, I just need to make the time to do them!

    I spoke with my husband about my idea for a caravan or even a tent and he was not too enthusiastic. Guess it is not his passion or his need to have a space of his own. Actually he already has that...... a man cave in half of the huge shed we have!

    I might start looking for a tent and tell him of all the benefits that will go with me having a little special place of my own!

    I'm thinking I could even set up my paints in a tent and not have to pack them away all of the time. That way I would be more enthusiastic about painting once more!

    My Dad had suggested a lining for the dam as well, only problem is we have so little rain here, it would be full of leaves and bark before the rains come! Ha. Ha.

    The idea of a blow up canoe sounds like fun to me. We are about a half hour drive from the River Murray. There is a creek on Kangaroo Island where I grew up which I have always wanted to paddle up.

    The thing is to find a balance in life between work, rest and play. When you are working it is not always an easy thing! But even a short period of time doing something you enjoy is better than having no time at all!

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

     

  13. Doolhof
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    13 February 2015 in reply to Beltane

    Hi Beltane,

    I hope you are able to find some balance with your work, travelling, home life and hobbies. Do you listen to some of your favourite music while you are travelling? Do you drive or do you use some other form of transport?

    Once upon a time I used to catch a bus to work and started to crochet a blanket while on the bus. A lady used to sit next to me quite often and in the winter she would share my blanket for warmth on the bus as it grew larger.

    I try to do as much of my housework as I can during the week so I have the weekend free. I realise that is a bit hard to do when you already have such a long day!

    I really do hope you can find a balance!

    I'm going to make some enquiries about tents! It seems a caravan is out of our financial reach at present!

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

  14. HA1
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    13 February 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello Mrs Dools

    I do like the idea of setting up a space for yourself.  I have done that and, for now, it represents my little escape when I need it - it is good until something better comes around.

    Why not look at putting up a small shed instead of a tent?  An option maybe.   Then you can furnish it and paint it anyway you like. Could try scouring for secondhand material?  Anyway, just a thought.

    K

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  15. white knight
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    13 February 2015 in reply to HA1

    Hi Mrs Dools,

    To camp on a budget is a challenge that could be taen as a real positive. An achievement.

    If doing that I'd do this- buy Camps Australian latest edition for around $65. A tent $30 (two man) a blow up mattress and other items.

    Find your free camping spot.   Tony WK

  16. Beltane
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    14 February 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Hey mrs Dools, the tent might be a nice temporary measure on the way to the Big Dream of the caravan. AS someone who was in Scout for a long time, I would highly recommend you do your research. You'd probably be better off with a more old fashioned calico tent then a newer dome tent.

    Heres some ideas... you'd want to put it up on a platform of some kind, even just some of those wood pallets. Maybe you can convince your hubby to help you build a wooden platform and water proof it. It only has to lift your tent 10cm off the ground. This will mean 1. it wont flood every time it rains and 2. the ground will get a chance to air and wont turn into a slushpool of mud. Its is really important to ensure the ground is getting air. If you put the tent straight on the ground, you'd have to lift up half the tent off the ground for a few hours each day. You'd also have to move it every few days. So the pallet bed might be the way to go.
    Your hubby might even agree to help you build a little roof over the top of it too- just for that extra bit of rain and weather protection. Hell, even a good-quality tarp strung up on poles would be enough just to protect it.

    It would certainly fun to set your paints up in it, or decorate it as you like. Winter might be rather cold in it, so be prepared to rug up nice and warm.


    And about my job...  have to drive to it, there is no reliable pubic transport to take me there in a decent time- i'd end up switching services multiple times. I've got nice music to listen to, and i'm gradually getting the hang of which exact route is the quickest and least traffic-filled. Its just that its so easy for there to be an accident or something that would stall me a lot. Traffic causes me anxiety, as does that need to "get to the loo" if i'm stuck in traffic.

     

    But its a wonderful place to work and my dream job so i'll make it work.

    I talk all the time to my partner about it, luckily hes on board with the whole idea of living on land in the country. phew! because i just cant live in the city or suburbia, its just not me. i want land, and chickens for eggs, and lots of room to myself. Its lovely to hang on to the dreams...

  17. Doolhof
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    14 February 2015 in reply to Beltane

    Hi Beltane, Hideaway and White Knight,

    Thanks to you all for your wonderful suggestions. I had wondered about what to do under a fairly permanent tent, so thanks for that Beltane.

    Speaking of tents. I remember going camping once with a boyfriend. We had a two man tent but forgot the poles and the pegs! It was hilarious. We had the guide ropes connected to the tent so tied them to trees and used stones inside the tent in place of the pegs!

    I like the idea of a shed as well, it could have many uses. I would have to check with our council to see what size we could have without needing planning permission. I have been checking them out in the hardware catalogues.

    It can be exceptionally windy here, so a tent would have to be in a semi protected area. We were in a caravan park in Melbourne during a storm and saw some ones tent being ripped out of the ground and blown all over the place. Maybe a shed would be best!

    It is a boiling hot day here in SA so I have been down to the chook shed hosing down the chooks. I also gave the canaries a bit of a spray. I can't really bring the chooks inside the house to relive them from the heat! My husband would have a fit, so would the cat. Ha. Ha.

    I really am enjoying this lovely, friendly, cheerful post!

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

    Oh yer Beltane, the answer to needing the loo in traffic is Tena Ladies. Ha. Ha.

  18. Beltane
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    16 February 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Tena Ladies?!?! Oh goodness! Well let's hope there's some more option so before we resort to that! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    im sure you could get yourself a nice garden shed. not sure if you're planning somewhere you can sleep in overnight or just a retreat for during the day. I wouldn't abt to stay in a shed, but then again, I've only ever seen those dirty garden sheds dull of old garden tools and spiders. Your shed wouldn't be like that, because it wouldn't be for garden tools, it'd be for  lovely things like your paints etc. if you sprayed it with bug spray/ set up some Mortein you'd keep the spiders out, and you could hang colourful fabric on the walls and roof to brighten it up, or decorate it any way you'd like. Just do your research again about how waterproof it will be, you'd don't want to get a cheap one that will leak!

    im liking this thread, it's  lovely positive thread! 

    My partner and I are currently talking about saving half our wages so we can move out in a few months! We're thinking we'll get a rentsl place on the outskirts of melbourne, whcih is roughly where we are now. The dream is to buy the home in the country of course.

    exciting times!!! Keep this thread going, it's a nice one!

  19. Doolhof
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    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    Doolhof avatar
    8810 posts
    17 February 2015 in reply to Beltane

    Hi Beltane,

    Okay, let's hope you don't need the Tena ladies for decades yet! Ha. Ha. When my stress was really bad, I couldn't drive for more than 1/2 an hour without needing a toilet! So a little assistance was very helpful to me!

    Now I'm not so stressed due to my new tablets, that isn't such an issue!

    Regarding the shed, I am going to have to sell it to my husband as a wonderful idea. I can tell him that if I decide I no longer need it as a retreat he can use it for the mower and other bits and pieces!

    My idea is to have it lined with a cement floor. I like the idea of hanging material on the walls. I could have a fold out bed in there and plenty of room for my paints as well.

    I like to disappear for a weekend and next weekend will be going to a beach side caravan park to stay in a cabin for the weekend.

    I hope you and your partner are able to live your dream as well. Maybe you could drive around and see what areas would suit you best to move to. It could be something you do on the weekends.

    Check out the various areas and see what facilities are there. Then you will have a good idea of what is around you.

    All the best with your dreams, from Mrs. Dools

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