Uphill

backlit clouds crescent moon dark
Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Some days

there’s nothing

left,

and you’re not

quite sure

how you’ll make it to the next.

 

Some days

you’re running on empty.

and you set your eyes,

on small, barely

achievable goals;

like make it through this hour,

or just muster up

the will to shower.

 

 

These words are here

a small reminder

for when you’re swimming,

up hill through sticky syrup,

 

 

At some point,

you will put your foot,

back in the stirrup.

It’s not today,

and that is far from a disaster

Hold on,

as hard of an ask,

as that sometimes is.

 

In the not

too distant future,

You’ll crest the hill,

Atop the saddle,

riding your way,

back to laughter.

 

Hospitalisation and How it Affected my Writing

I was looking back at some old blog posts on a different host site, and I stumbled across a long forgotten post from Novemeber 2010. In it I wrote

…So that’s what’s been going on with me. Well that and a stint in hospital, which I think had completely broken me.

I’ve not been able to write anything, which in turn has led me to be upset… but I just don’t feel things the way I used to. It’s weird and horrible, and I hope no one has to feel the way I feel.

My sense of humour has totally changed. Things I found funny before are now not nearly as funny. I have officially become an unenthusiastic person. It bites and I don’t know how to change it, or how to feel things anymore.

I’m not asking why. I accept that this is something that has had to happen, because it did actually happen, I just wanna know what to do about it.

Reading this seven years later and being confronted with that former version of myself is hard. My heart swells and remembers the faint echo of its old wounds whilst reading this post.

It was written shortly after I was sectioned under the mental health act and hospitalised. I am someone who is pretty open about this having been part of my life experience, though I feel where I come from, both from a cultural and religious standpoint, there is still at times a stigma attached to mental health problems, and being open about difficulties people face in that regard. I stand by my resolve to be open about my experience though, because it is through sharing, open discussion, and sincere reflection, that I believe we all learn, develop, and reach new levels of compassion and understanding.

What is very weird though, is that I’d forgotten that my writing slump coincided with my being sectioned. Prior to being sectioned, I would spend countless nights losing sleep because I was pouring out a new story idea, or working on a new poem, or just scribbling my feelings out in a journal. After being sectioned I just couldn’t do it. I tried, I tried to force myself to keep writing, I even attempted NaNoWriMo from my room on the triage ward, but it just didn’t pan out.

For perhaps the majority of my life words and writing have been places of refuge for me; from spending summers folding a4 sheets of paper in half, stapling them in the middle and designing books, writing endless stories fuelled by a youthful imagination, to journalling during my time in boarding school, even those angst filled poems that littered my teenage years. However, in the midst of one of my most difficult life experiences, that tool and solace was lost to me.

It was not that I couldn’t access writing, it’s just there was something off about it, even now it’s so hard to express this in a way that makes sense. It was almost as though in the same way that my self confidence had withered away during my time in hospital, the creativity I normally overflowed with when it came time to put my fingers to the keyboard or even pen to paper had shrivelled up too. I can still remember the desperate struggle to write, how huge of a mental block there seemed to be, how it was almost as though I’d lost not only the capacity to express myself, but also the will to do so. I believe this is very much a parallel to how things stood for me at that time mentally too. It took a lot of work to get back on an even keel, Alhamdulillah! I do feel that this experience, as much as it knocked me down, was useful in that it was a way to start rebuilding myself with a stronger foundation.

Eventually, painstakingly slowly my love of writing did return. I started of with a journal, a hot pink faux leather bound lined notebook; no dates or days, just blank lined pages a year after I left hospital. I didn’t write every day, in fact weeks would go by and I wouldn’t pick up my pen at all. When I did write, I would write a sentence here, a paragraph there, and there were a lot of days where I couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed, talk less of the mental effort it took to pick up a pen and organise my thoughts enough to write what I was feeling.

I kept writing though. A new year started and I was still using that same hot pink diary… occasionally. Gradually I was recovering, and so was my writing. Things were not exactly the same, just as I had been altered by my experiences, I believe my writing was too. At times writing can still be a challenge, but I am so grateful that it wasn’t lost to me forever.

To anyone who’s found that mental health issues have negatively impacted their writing I wanted to just put this out there, don’t lose hope. It can come back, it may not be the same, but the challenging things that we go through in life don’t have to forever be dark ink blots on the pages of our life stories, we have the capacity to grow from and learn from our experiences. To transform the inkblots into fantastic illustrations of growth and starting points for change.

Lots of love

Fun Facts about HG and a Pregnancy Yoga DVD

As salaam alaykum, Peace be upon you!

How are you doing? It’s been a while right? I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy taking care of baby. Alhamdulilah (praise and thanks is due to Allah). I will not lie to you, it is exhausting! Thrilling, but exhausting. Blogging makes me feel better, like i’m making good use of the little free time I have so I wanted to put this together.


So a lifetime ago, back when I was still pregnant, I did battle with a little known condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or HG, is more than a lot to get your mouth around. It is a condition that affects about 1-2% of pregnant women.
Its symptoms include an incredible amount of vomiting. I’m not talking about the odd up-chuck here or there that can sometimes accompany morning sickness. Oh no, I’m talking chained to a toilet, might as well live in your bathroom, don’t go anywhere without a ziploc food bag, or leak proof container, amount of vomit. Seriously vomiting 15 times could be considered a “good day” for a woman battling with HG. You’re actually more likely to average 30 to 45 days a day. This is generally accompanied with an overwhelming sense of nausea, that doesn’t actually lift after throwing up.

A hyper sense of smell and light and motion sensitivity are three other “delightful” complaints that a woman may develop that combine to increase the amount of up-chuck. I myself got to a point in time where watching tv, hearing my husband speak, seeing him moving around, or even receiving a text message on my phone could be cause for a weak stagger to the loo.

With so much throwing up happening, it is normally really difficult for a woman experiencing HG to get the food and nutrition that she needs. Home remedies that normally work for sickness or morning sickness, like dry toast, dry crackers, small sips of water, sea sickness bands, eating little and often, eating 15 minutes before you get up, and (the bane of every HG woman who has ever been given well meaning advice) ginger, generally have absolutely no positive effects.

In fact speaking from experience I’m pretty sure they make things worse. The taste of dry toast/crackers/plain rice sort of sits in your mouth and only encourages nausea and vomitting. Also ginger burns on its way back up. Water whether consumed in huge gulps or small sips was pretty much a sure fire way to see me reaching for my ziploc bag, and eating little and often was an impossible fantasy. When I could actually eat, throwing up all day tends to diminish your appetite, I was either ravenous,or just desperaetely aware that i needed to eat something even if it would make a return shortly, and thus would select my food according to what would be easier on my throat and tastebuds on the way back up.

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Not surpisingly the other two symptons that normally end up signposting HG are severe weight loss and dehydration. Within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy I’d lost over ten percent of my bodyweight, and been admitted to a&e no less than 6 time.

It was an incredibly humbling experience. I really could not have gotten through it without my wonderful soulmate, my support network, the people in the HG facebook group, a Gp willing to listen,  and ultimately a faith that My Lord would bring ease upon ease after this hardship.  I hope at some point I will be able to dedicate some time to putting together an in depth account of my  experience. If you would like more HG information and resources checkout HER & Pregnancy sickness support. Or if you would like to read about first hand accounts from other women who are currently or have experienced HG check out We Are Hyperemesis.

Thankfully by 22 weeks we were able to find the right combination of medicine to help make things a bit more manageable.  I wasn’t up for running any marathons, not that many pregnant women are, but I was able to accomplish about ten minutes of yoga a day. So when I was sent a pregnancy yoga dvd for review I was cautiously happy.

 

I wanted to share that review on here 🙂


Azeezat Awarded The Nadia Narain’s ‘Pregnancy Yoga’ DVD 4/5*

The packaging was interesting, and I wondered if the instructor would be pregnant in the video. (She wasn’t though there was a pregnant lady being instructed by her) The first time I used it I went straight to the exercises and found myself confused, however after a while, I figured out that the “practices” (an option on the dvd menu) had more in depth explanation, I found that a bit easier to use.

I liked the sessions of yoga, but I found them to be quite challenging, and as I’m getting further along in my pregnancy, I’m finding that 20 minutes of the yoga sessions is a bit too much. Fortunately that’s the benefit of it being on a DVD, i.e. you have the option to pause it, perhaps select ten minutes and finish there for the day. The breathing exercises were very useful, and I was surprised to say that the birth affirmations were actually quite nice, and peaceful. Also I like that there was an option for those with pelvic strain. I found this strenuous on some days, and challenging, although that said they were invigorating too.

Overall I would say the exercises make you feel as though you’ve gotten your heart rate up a bit, whilst at the same time leaving you feeling a bit more limber. I didn’t see the option to turn off the music. I would have liked to have that option. Good video quality, clear sound, and adequate lighting. The amount of content, and variety on the DVD was quite a lot, and so consider it good value for the price. I would consider buying it; however I feel the option for a couple of shorter routines would be nice as well. I would recommend to this dvd but perhaps mostly to those who are already in to yoga.  It was a nice chance to get some exercise in, useful if you’re housebound, and want to still try and be a bit active. Azeezat Aboderin
* this review originally appeared on the bizziebaby website and has been edited for readability purposes.

Also if you are a expecting/ parent intesrested in reviewing profucts definitely check out the bizzie baby website. You can join and be sent products to give your opinion on.
Thank you very much for reading.

Take care and have a lovely day

Azeezat A.B.A

Crisis <3

As salaam alaykum,  Peace be upon you.

I’ve been away from my cosy little corner the internet for a while. Did you miss me? I’ve been busy looking after my new born baby 🙂 Alhamdulillah. I’ve found a few spare moments though to write this very important post.

This year, my mum and kid brother (who is not a kid but rather a young man, though I fear I may always think of him as my baby brother) will be volunteering and fundraising for Crisis. Sponsoring them, can help to provide a place for a homeless person at crisis this winter, this would include three nutritious meals a day, advice and year round access to services.

Continue reading “Crisis <3”

Back into learning

Peace, mercy, and blessings y’all!
Sorry I’ve not been blogging for a bit. My mum’s been in town, and I’ve been pretty busy. Just helped her with her luggage this evening (bittersweet).

Anyway I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately, and I’ve decided I want to do weekly or possibly bi-weekly videos on my YouTube channel. I’m going to try and get back in to education, and I plan to document my journey back into it via videos/ vlogs.

Anyway I’ll keep y’all posted.

Thanks for reading,

Take care
A B A A

A ridiculously long medical entry

I absolutely hate having to refill my prescription. So much so that when I was signing up to my new doctor, I considered ticking the box that said I wasn’t able to go to a pharmacy to fill my prescription, and would need to be given my medication by the doctor.

I didn’t, because I thought, some people probably actually need that service more than I do- and because my reasons aren’t a physical thing, rather a mental thing I should just suck it up, and not be lazy.

Isn’t that the impression most people have of mental illness though? Shouldn’t I consider that my aversion to prescription filling, which only really comes into play on terms of my bi-polar meds might just be symptom related. I mean considering how hard it was for “them” (them being the general term for medical care professionals) to get me to take the my pills readily and willingly, shouldn’t I give myself a break in this regard.

Understand I don’t mean, not get my prescription filled, but maybe I should talk to my care worker/ psychiatric nurse, tell her about it.

It’s not really an issue now though, so I guess I’ll continue getting out, and filling my prescription, which I think is good in a way, for me anyway, as it forces me to go to the surgery, and then the pharmacy semi-regularly. Which means if I have any other ailments, i’ll be in the vicinity of “them” and have the opportunity to take any other health concerns up with them.

There was a bit of a to do with refilling my prescription this time round though… My new surgery, is partnered with another surgery, also not far from my new house. When my care working came-a-calling last Wednesday, she asked about my meds. I told her I was refilling my prescription on the Friday of that week. She asked whether I had enough meds til’ then. I told her I may have missed a couple of days.

That’s the thing I really like about my care worker (gosh that phrase is getting to be so long, lets just call her C, ’cause that’s what her name starts with)… She gets straight down to the business of solving a problem.

Then and there she said let’s call your Gp, and try and get you down there today, to pick up a prescription. no judgement, or ‘oh no, I’m really worried’ eyes. She got that it wasn’t… Idk an indicator that I was relapsing, though she did say to me, “what would happen if you relapsed” when I was like “oh, I can just pick up one on Friday, when I’m at the doctor’s”…

Anywho, the phone line for the new GP was busy, so we called their partner practice. Here is where we encountered, the frazzled receptionist. I’d like to excuse her, given that she must have been having a busy morning buuuuut… I dunno.

I’ll tell you what happened and you can make up your own mind.
C called the partner GP practice, and put the phone on speaker phone. She asked if it would be possible to arrange for a prescription to be written for her client today, me, as the client had not taken her medication for a couple days, and further elaborated that it was a mental health matter, and as such there was a risk of relapse.

The frazzled receptionist was very curt “that will have to be an ermegency appointment. Are you saying you want to book an emergency appointment?”
C replied that well it was an emergency situation then, because as she’d explained not taking your meds for mental health was serious.

The frazzled reception’s response was something to the effect that the client, myself, should have filled out a prescription sooner, and why hadn’t I done that.

C responded that of course I should have, but that could the receptionist consider, that it was a mental health issue, that it’s a symptom, and that the problem was the fact that I hadn’t taken my meds for some days, could the receptionist see the problem here, that I needed to get my prescription filled.

To which the frazzled receptionist asked cuttingly “so do you want an emergency appointment or not”
C said “we do.”

The receptionist then said, I kid you not: ” I just don’t think it’s fair, that she should call up and get an emergency appointment,” 😧- that was my face. I mean fair enough I should have filled my prescription, and yeah it didn’t seem like a major emergency, but it could have been.

Anyway, C got the lady’s name, and asked for her care somethingmanager’s (i forget what it was) name and number and I ended up cancelling the emergency appointment and getting my prescription filled at the heights by Dr.JW, my Psychaiatrist- at the practice where C works, though isn’t based.

The point is though, that the frazzled receptionist was hardly sensitive to the fact that it was a mental health issue. Now I’m not saying she should have been more lenient or anything, but to blatantly say it wasn’t fair for someone with a mental health issue to get an emergency appointment to refil their meds… Well, I don’t think that’s right either.

I’m glad that when I chose my new GP I signed up to the one I did, and not the partner practice. Needless to say I was a bit wary when I had my first appointment with the new surgery. Everything went okay, in terms of the doctor and the receptionists, they were pleasant, and I liked my new doctor, this is where I segue into the reason I actually wrote this entry, I’m having blood work done next Wednesday.

My old GP, had some blood tests done, and it showed up that I was marginally ESR, so my new Doctor wants to get my blood results again as things might have changed since the last time. She did reassure me that I needn’t be too worried though. Hopefully everything will be fine, though hearing that I was marginally ESR did have my googling it, and I know i’m not a doctor, but because I saw somewhere, that in some cases it can be related to anaemia, I feel (weirdly) at ease about it. If it is linked to my previous bouts with anaemia them I feel well equipped to deal with it.

😊

So this concludes my medical entry … Hope I didn’t bore the pants off you, but you, but I needed to write this out.
And now an unrelated picture that I stole from “Totally Unserious”‘s tumblr.

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The big chop

So yesterday, I did ‘the big chop’‘. I’m not sure if people start counting their natural hair journey from the date they start contemplating ‘going natural’ or from the date they start ‘transitioning’ between chemically relaxed hair and natural hair, or from the date of the big chop- but for simplicity’s sake, and the fact that I can’t remember when I started doing those other things, I’m going to start counting from the date of my big chop which was yesterday. 4th May 2013

On the third I posted a fb status about the big chop…

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The first comment was from my uncle… I’d just say that posting a status with the words scissors and big chop in it, tends to raise red flags.

The second comment is from my mum. She’s been wanting me to cut my hair for years. It was almost to the point where anytime I mentioned doing anything to my hair, mum would helpfully tack on “…or you could always cut it”.

All in all though, I’m glad I cut it, I think I would have been happier though if I’d done it myself though I had a nice time at the salon, it’s not so much of a mini Afro, as it is a flat top. I look like I could be an extra on The Fresh Prince *sigh* anyway as Clarissa once said after a questionable hair cut, “hair grows”. (or was that Sabrina? Either way I’m pretty sure it was Melissa Joan Hart.) Hopefully two months from now, this style will have grown out into a little ‘fro.

Other things I got done/did on the fourth of May:
Had an eye test (on the third of May I managed to chuck my glasses into a big recycling bin)
Found out my eye sight’s gotten slightly worse
Ordered and paid for new glasses, with the updated prescription
Did some grocery shopping ( not a full shop, just some bits and pieces to tide me over til I move (a moving update post is soon to come)
Watched ‘the omen’ for the first time.
Hung out with my neighbour

Yup, that’s about it really. Keep an eye out for the next post on the big move.

Hope you all have a wonderful bank holiday weekend. xxx ✌💙

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P.s. my neighbour’s really awesome, you know someone is ‘good people’ when you can bond over books you’ve read, have a similar affinity for theatre and anime, and all round enjoy their company.
P.p.s. my neighbour (hereafter referred to a S) has gotten me into Korean dramas. Some of which are based on anime.

P.p.p.s. I’m a bit of a geek

Back to Being a Hijabi

You may have noticed I’m back to being a hijabi, by this I mean a Muslimah (female muslim) that practices the use of hijab…

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Then

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Now

I’m happy like that, I sort of took a leave of absence from it for a while after I got out of hospital, which goes to show that all sorts of people can have bouts of low or high iman. Alhamdulilah though (All praise is due to God), I’m working my way back to this deen.

Like nowadays, I like to hang out at the masjid when I can, and it’s actually (well obviously) a nice place to hang. I’ve made some new friends out of the sisters I see there on a regular basis. I love having muslimahs for friends because in a way the encourage you towards what is good, not only in matters of this world, but in the next one. May Allah bless them and give them Barakah ameen.

Anyway I’m pleased with the way things are going Alhamdulilah, May I, and you always be content ameen

Bipolar- Mood Management

Hello.
I feel like I’ve been off the blogosphere for a while. I’m feeling a bit poorly today, and have had to miss photography class 😰. Thought I’d make the most of this day off and do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while (post wise).
I had my last couple of meetings with my psychologists at the beginning of this month and we had a really useful last couple of sessions. I wanted to share this bipolar mood management thingamajig.

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It looks a bit crumpled and I had to do some rummaging amongst my various notebooks for it but its still intact- so let’s get to it

So at the top it says:

it’s helpful to keep an eye on what your mood’s doing, how it fluctuates, and what you and others notice about you when your mood starts to go low or high. Living with bipolar is a balancing act- the aim being to stay within the area around 0 on the scale below, when you’re most healthy and balanced

20130214-113710.jpg⬅(better picture of the scale)

After this it says to fill in the boxes below, thinking about what you start to feel like, the way you start to think, and what you do when you start to become high or low, and when you are very high or low. It also says to ask a close friend or family member to help you as they may notice things about you which you might not be aware of.

So then beneath that it has a the scale, underneath which is a table with five headings. “Very low mood”, “starting to get low”, “well, healthy, balanced”, “starting to get high”, and “very high mood”.

There are subheadings in each section of the table, “what I think”, “what I feel- physical sensations & emotions”, and “what I do”.

So I managed to fill this in, and I think it’s a really useful tool. This material was taken from this website.
I’ve not included my own answers – just because. If you want to get one for yourself or someone you know to use you’ll be able to find it at the link I just provided.

This is my first post relating to bi-polar. Hopefully I’ve put myself across well.

What do you think about this post? Did you find it useful?
Happy Thursday 🙂

xxx

A.B.A.A.

Lots of Stuff

BizWivDee

Lots and lots has been happening to me.

I guess they call it life. Had a couple health issues to sort out 🙂

I think though, Thank God, the only ‘ailment’ that has no cure is old age. Not that that’s an ailment per se…

So I’ve established I’ve been sort of busy. I’m happy though. I’ve been sorting out loads of things, like school, books, my writing, the launch of my new ‘business’ “Business With Dee” the official launch date being 28th August (my present to myself).

I do have to give props to my beta/ editor, because she’s very patient. There was a story I was planning on posting, but it’s got a spanner in the works. In the meantime, I’m working on mostly on being able to listen to my body (like sleeping when i feel sleepy 😉 )  and actually getting what i need to get done at the same time.

So it’s a work in progress- but isn’t everything 😀

Okay so that’s it, just a short entry.

Take care.

BizWivDee
The logo 😛