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Monday, August 24, 2015

Update

Hi everyone!

As some of you may have noticed I've been MIA from most online social media sites for almost 6 months. I have had people asking me both openly and in private messages if I was okay. My answer was always  that I have been unwell but on the road to recovery. Well I think I'm at a point now where I am comfortable talking about what's been happening. So here goes...

I started taking Champix in my attempt to quit smoking just prior to Christmas 2014. I was going really well, or so I thought. I stopped smoking completely for a couple of months until one day I just cracked. I told two of my daughters to 'commit me or I'll kill myself". Pretty hard to write that actually. I had been very emotional, crying at the drop of a hat, treating my family as if they were all against me, looking for the negative in everything. Until one day my husband (Squizz) told me he had been reading up on this Champix I was taking (prescribed by my doctor) and he said it had really bad side affects - one of which was severe depression. So he made me throw them in the bin, which I did because I knew something was not right.

Anyway, back to my daughters and what they did next after my statement.

As hard as it was for them they drove me to the hospital and I had to sign myself in, which I did - but after ensuring I could leave of my own accord the next day if all ok.

Well that was an eye opener!!!! I locked myself away in my room, ate when I had to and kept to myself. What I wasn't prepared for was to be placed there with no support! The staff on duty just left me alone - no discussions, no explanation as to what to do and what not to do. So when the staff changed shifts the next morning and I was told by my nurse that no doctors visit on Sundays. Well I lost it big time! Well, I just clammed up, put on my shoes and walked around the small enclosed outside area until I could walk no more. The nurse came back and talked to me and said she could call the doctor to see me and maybe I could be discharged. That was a huge relief. Anyway to cut a long story short I was discharged. Squizz had flown home after Mandy had phoned him to let him know what was going on (yes, I was home alone when I was going through the worst of it).

Shasz, Mandy & Squizz were waiting for my release and once the doctor signed the discharge form I was out of there as quick as I could. I am still in shock with the way I was treated when I arrived there. How do other people without family or friend support cope with that? The mind boggles. No wonder we have so many dysfunctional people in the world! This whole mental health system needs to be fixed!!!

So I saw my GP not long after that and was referred to a psychiatrist where I learned that severe depression and suicide is a major side affect when taking Champix. Why on earth do they still prescribe it??? I was told that people with no depressive history and for no reason have taken their lives or attempted to take their own life whilst taking Champix. This is not the case for me.

I won't go into detail but I will give you a brief outline of my life history. I am one of 8 kids. My mother left my abusive alcoholic father when she was pregnant with his 7th child. Mum put us into an orphanage due to pressure from the Catholic nuns and priests. I was eight years old at the time. There was no government help or assistance of any kind back in those days, my maternal grandmother had a large family and still had a few at home so we couldn't stay there (too many of us). My paternal grandmother was a nasty selfish b**ch so we couldn't stay there. So off we went to Cowper Orphanage (run by the Catholics) on the train with mum.

There was a dormitory for boys and a dormitory for girls. Four of my brothers were together and me and my sister were together. My sister was only 5 at the time and still wet the bed. Not a problem - Jen had to change the sheets and bath her before she could go eat breakfast every morning. I missed breakfasts most days. I remember one day after school (there was a school in the orphanage grounds) we used to have fruit. Mostly it was mangoes because there was a mango tree on the grounds (to this day I will not eat mangoes), but this afternoon we were having something other than mangoes and I really really wanted that fruit! So instead of washing our socks I went straight for the fruit. I got caught and got a couple of whacks of the cane for my troubles. I didn't do that again (that I can remember LOL)

I remember the dining room, my elder brother sat next to me - I now know why, he used to pile all his vegetables that he didn't like onto my plate and I had to eat them. One day he got caught and one of the nuns pulled him up out of his chair by his ear and he got a caning for that.

I remember fainting at church every Sunday.

I remember banana sandwiches for lunch on Sundays - loved those!

I remember there were only two of us in year 2, although kindergarten to year 4 were all in the one room. Nicholas and I vied for top position all the time.

I remember one of my brothers trying to run away once, they found him up a tree and brought him back.

I remember visits from our mother. They had a little cottage on the grounds where parents could stay. Mum did that as often as she could. I also remember her bringing our youngest brother for us to meet him. He slept in one of the drawers in the cottage because they didn't have any cribs for him. We had a nativity play at Christmas time and our baby brother was baby Jesus.

I remember learning to knit at the orphanage.

What I don't remember was the day mum came to take us home with her. I don't know why I don't remember that day. So sad. Anyway Mum had gone back to work (registered nurse), got a house (government home) and furnished it as best she could and then came to collect us. Mum was a very proud woman and could never give up her children. She worked hard to get us back out of the orphanage, there was so much pressure put on her by the nuns and priests to let us be adopted but she would not hear of it. I thank her for that.

Anyway a lot more had happened during my years growing up. Yes we were poor, yes we were looked down upon, Yes I was the eldest daughter so yes I did all the work. I had no childhood as such. I was never allowed to go and 'play' so I never did make any friends. To this day I do not know how. I have been abused by both my father and a so-called step-father.

I have been rejected by my mother, by my school peers, by almost everyone I have come in contact with. Most of that has been my fault though, as I do not know how to be me. I have always been this person for that one and that person for this one, and so on. I have never felt loved by my family. I don't even think I know how to love. I guess I do, I just don't FEEL it. I have a loving husband, three loving daughters and four gorgeous grandkids. I just want to FEEL the love that I know must be there. I have built up a protective barrier throughout my life and I am finally trying to break it down, bit by bit. I want to find out who I am.

I am currently seeing a psychologist who is helping me break down my barriers. I feel positive about the future and the communication lines are well and truly open!

I know this may not seem like any great issue for some of you, and I also know that there are many many more people out there that are worse off than I will ever be. But this is me, this is my struggle and it's real to me. I am on anti-depressants at the moment and seeing my GP regularly and I have a great family support network for which I am eternally grateful!

So....as soon as I left the hospital I lit up a cigarette. Yes I'm still smoking but I am trying to cut down and will try quitting again when I am stronger. There are more important issues to deal with before then.

Well you have seen a GLIMPSE into my background now. Just know that this is only a small piece of what I've gone through but it gives you a good overview of what I have been dealing with these past few months.

I have missed my online art buddies but I needed to be stronger in order to deal with the online issues that we deal with. I also needed to be stronger in order to tell my story. I needed to tell my story so that I can be true to myself and to those around me. I need all the help and support I can get in order to get through this.

Over the past few days I have streamed live and have been overwhelmed by my fibs (friends in the box). Thank you all for being YOU!

Take care
Jen

28 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It really means a lot. I too am battling with severe depression, not from champix but from a back injury sustained at work that has forced me to leave my job and lose my ability to drive.It has been five years for me and It is a battle everyday. I have lost all my close friends and am stuck at home most of the time. Being able to watch your videos and share in your life through you tube helps me to feel less isolated. It has also taught me a lot of very cool and useful crafting skills and ideas. You are a very talented lady and an inspiration to me. I hope you don't mind my babbling at you here but I just felt the need to let you know how wonderful you are and that I really appreciate you honesty and candor. Again thank you for sharing what you do and it is really nice that you are back.

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    1. So sorry to hear that Lori (hugs)
      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement too!
      I don't care what anyone says, our online art community are REAL to me and I am so thankful for each and every one of you
      Hugs
      Jen

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I know it was hard but it is a step towards healing. Just know that you are surrounded by a loving and caring community that wants the best for you. Let your art help guide you to loving yourself and those around you.

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    1. Thanks Kelly, it was hard. I know it will help me by putting it all out there as I am trying to be me. Although the day after I posted it was a very low day for me, I don't know why. But I'm trying to be positive and just let the emotions flow and do their part.
      Hugs
      Jen

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  3. Jen you are LOVED by all of us. I have missed you so much, but now that you are back I feel so much better and I know that your FIB's will be here for you. LOVE YOU

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    1. Thanks Eileen, surprisingly I missed you too! Only kidding, you have been such a constant in my life and a constant source of FUN for me :)
      xxx
      Hugs
      Jen

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  4. Jen. I am so very sorry to hear all you have been through. But i am glad you are on the mend and although it is hard work it is worth the fight. Hang in there and please do not hesitate to ask if there is anything we can do even if it is from afar! Know that we love the YOU that you share with us. The lvoing, caring dharin, funny talented firen, wife, mother, and gran! HUGS

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    1. Thanks Jean, I am taking small steps but knowing that it will be worth it in the long run.
      Hugs
      Jen

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  5. We love you Jen. Not for the art you create, not for the streams you do. We love YOU. (((hugs))). BrendaG3

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    1. Thank you so so much Brenda xxx
      Hugs
      Jen

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  6. I was just wondering about you a few days ago. I ran across one of your blog emails I had saved in my box. Wishing you fast healing!!! Pop in to a few classes and just listen if you don't feel like chatting. I do miss your creative projects!!! I am busy with a 15 month old right now and don't get to craft much. But I cram in as much Ustream & YouTube as I can. HUGS

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    1. Thanks Donna xx
      I have been popping in to streams and 'lurking' lol and it just shows how much I have missed you all!
      Oh yes, toddlers are a handfull! Thank goodness for online entertainment LOL
      Hugs
      Jen

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  7. Your bravery and honesty is admirable. Sending you lots of hugs and best wishes, thinking of you x

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    1. Thanks so much Debbie :)
      Bravery or blind stupidity? Nah I know it is just a part of the healing process and I truly appreciate all the support I am receiving
      Hugs
      Jen

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  8. Jen, I applaud you for being so brave and for standing up for yourself. You're someone to be admired and looked up to for dealing with your issues in a responsible manner. Many, many hugs for you, Jen! You've got this! xxo

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    1. Eileen, this one made me cry, you are so bad! LOL
      THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH
      Hugs
      Jen

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  9. I am sorry that all that happened to you and your family. I know you are going to be ok . . . one step at a time like one layer at a time on a journal spread, you can work though the uglies and see that you are you xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much Jamie, great advice - work through the uglies layer by layer :)

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  10. Wow Jen - you ate a strong woman - don't forget that . You have many friends (FIBs) that are here for you whenever you need to talk (or vent) and just art along with. Let it out and let it go through your art - you got this girl - HUGS!

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    1. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement :) You guys have been my mainstay over the past 6 years :)

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  11. Jen, I so admire you for sharing the story of your past and also what happened lately with the side effects of that horrible medicine. I'm sorry for the past that you have endured and of course.. am sorry for what you went through with feeling so depressed/suicidal. I fight (and it's a fight for sure!) major depression and I know it can get really dark .. really quickly. I'm glad to hear you are doing a bit better with the help of your loving family, a good doctor, the right medicine... and ... don't forget to give YOURSELF credit for fighting this hard fight! You ARE loved very much. Am here if you ever need. HUGE HUGS! <3<3 <3 ----Vicki BR

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    1. Aaaaw Vicki, I know you suffer with depression also and we all have our issues. I am just so thankful I have you wonderful friends to keep me sane LOL
      I have come ahead in leaps and bounds since I opened up here and I'm so looking forward to the future now :)
      Hugs
      Jen

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  12. I'm so sorry to hear your story and admire you! I came across your blog this morning looking for ideas with "boxes" ! I was so inspired with all your awesome projects! You are awesome! I hope you continue to improve with your health. Depression is hard! :( Wishing you Health and Happiness! Look after you! :) Best wishes! Take care of yourself!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm feeling stronger each day :)

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