Saturday, January 16, 2010

What You May Not Know About Annie Blackberry...

Hey Friends!

Thank you for reading this :)

I have actually been having a tough time of late. After losing our gorgeous chihuahua Gracie to a car accident at only 10 months of age quite soon after a miscarriage, I have also just lost 2 of my beautiful triplet rats, Edwina and Lady Penelope. Edwina was put down after suffering from cancer and Lady Penelope I found dead in her cage four days ago. This has affected me greatly. I shared a great bond with these 3 animals and their loss (esp. Gracie's) is inexplicably hard.

I have suffered the past 12 years with varying degrees of mild to severe depression which I 'caught' after a severe illness and burnout. I have also suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the same amount of time and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) my entire life. I also started having convulsive seizures three eyars ago which thankfully have all but stopped. All these things have been diagnosed through a neuropsychiatrist and other top professionals. I have gained A LOT of weight due to the antidepressants and am slowly overcoming the shame of this.

A lot of the time I am quite ok, some of the time I am not and occasionally I really am not. At the moment, I'm really not. Please don't despair! I would never harm myself or do anything silly but sometimes I just need to be honest and upfront about how I am so I can feel that people may understand. I also want to remove some of the remaining stigma about mental illness. I think at one time or another we've all experienced it and if we haven't then we are extremely fortunate. I still have a lot of people whispering to me in the shop or emailing me in confidence to share with me that they too suffer from depression or another mental or physiological or biological illness. While I absolutely respect their right to keep it to themselves, I also feel sad that they feel ashamed of it or feel, somehow, weird.

I actually consider myself a pretty normal person. I would describe myself as extremely sensitive and can not bear to see others in any kind of pain. I think this means that I have no rose-tinted glasses though which to see life, so feel every bit of pain (and joy) to its fullest extent. I believe that my illness is physiological - a combination of a biological physical illness and an illness of the brain. I have a lot of counselling, prayer, read a lot of books, visit the doctor a lot and am limited in what I can or can't do (I find leaving home for over a day very hard for example). I sometimes do not understand people's actions and so seek explanation so I can try and assimilate this into my understanding of the world (someone may hurt me so I seek to know why, brassing them off trying to get my brain around what has happened, not to judge but to be able to process the situation and let go of it). Do I appease the OCD and keep looking for an answer and make ppl confused and angry or do I leave well enough alone and say nothing and be unable to let go?

I am a pain really but I also know that I am kind, loving, compassionate and a damn good laugh! If you are willing to accept me despite my foibles then I am extremely grateful. I have lost many friends thru lack of understanding on probably both our parts but have gained so many more through mutual understanding and a willingness on both parts to love.

I am Anna Sjardin-Killick, Annie, Annie Blackberry and I have OCD, depression, CFS and functional weakness and occasionally, seizures. I am at times grumpy, annoying and too intense. I am also fun-loving, humorous, talented and compassionate.

I accept me.

Thank you for accepting me.

Anna xxx


Widge said...

Thanks for your honesty and courage Anna and my heart goes out to you at this time of your loss :(

lyds.hj said...

I love you Anna! you're an amazing woman.

Annie Blackberry said...

thank you so much xx

Zippo said...

I think your work is amazing! Keep up the good work!

Joy said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and being real. Hugs! Thank you so much for being one of a few people to understand and accept me where I'm at with all the crap I'm working through. I appreciate you!

Amanda Fraser-Jones said...

Hi hun,
That was amazing. Sorry I haven't seen you for so long, and it's awful to know you have been having a hard time. You have been such an amazing friend to me over the years, and I wish you all the happiness you deserve.
Love you

Annie Blackberry said... guys blow me away. you keep me going and passionate....thank you

Dave and Michelle said...

Hey Anna, you are truly beautiful and I am glad you know it. SOrry to hear about your miscarriage - I had one before Keziah and it shook my world, was at 9 weeks, so big hugs to you. I still struggle with CFS but it is better managed and I do go out with Keziah occasionally but we usually stay at home alot but I love being her mum and Dave is the best support ever. Would love to ring and have a proper catch up....
Love always
Michelle (nee Martin)