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medication review

What’s New: Things, Candle Creation, Support & Medication

By Health, Home, LifeNo Comments

What’s new? Lots. In this blog post I’ll be telling you all about new things I’ve bought (or been treated to by others), my latest batch of homemade and handmade candles, my experience of using Bipolar UK’s eCommunity, attending my local Bipolar Support Group and dealing with a change to my medication.

I’ve got quite a number of new things recently. I saved up and bought-in-bulk the following Dorothy Morrison candles and oils from The Angry Cauldron:


Photo above is of my candle collection.


Photo above is of my oils chest. Included are Dorothy Morrison limited edition oils and other essential oils.

My old hoover started making sounds like it was going to explode and takeout half of the town with it. So I bought a new one:


My New Hoover bought on Amazon: VYTRONIX VTBC01 1400w Compact Cyclonic Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner HEPA Hoover

Around the same time I treated myself to three Yankee candles (large) and one Woodwick candle (large). I bought Midsummer’s Night, Turquoise Sky and Flowers in the Sun Yankee fragrances. Patchouli was the Woodwick fragrance.

My mum recently got a new sofa. She kindly gifted me her old sofa. It was really appreciated as my old sofas were knackered. To protect the leather from scratches by my cats, I bought throws and rubbed lemongrass essential oil on the sofa in places they would be tempted to scratch. Cats don’t like lemongrass essential oil or at least mine don’t. I also dug out some old cushions to match the throws.

Here are the results, a lovely sofa and chair, which are both like new:


New sofa with brown throw and red & gold cushions.


New sofa chair with red throw and red & gold cushion.

My birthday came and went without any real celebration. Lots of people gave me money, which I am going to save for when I go away for a night in June.

But for the May full moon I’d burned one of my Dorothy Morrison Hot Damn candles. I had a load of wax remains on my altar and then came up with an idea: What if I bought a Wax Melter and burned the remains? I saw this gorgeous Yankee Candle Wax Melter on ebay and couldn’t resist:


This gorgeous Yankee Candle Wax Melter was what I bought with some of the money I got for my birthday. The orange wax burning is the remains of a Dorothy Morrison Hot Damn candle (purchased from The Angry Cauldron).

A good friend of mine got married yesterday. I needed a suit for her Wedding and I picked up this stylish and absolutely bargain priced suit:


I bought this Charcoal Grey suit from ASDA for a bargain price of £50 (£35 for the jacket and £15 for the pants) for a friend’s Wedding. It looks exactly like a Next suit but was probably around one third of the price.

Candle Creation
In January I made a batch of homemade and handmade White Champagne & Strawberry candles. I couldn’t blog about them at the time because a number were reserved as gifts for people. I gave one to my mum for Mother’s Day, one to my Grandma for her 75th birthday, one to Simon and two to my friend for her Wedding. Here is a photo of one of my candles:


My latest batch of handmade and homemade candles. They are White Champagne & Strawberry Candles in a 500ML mason jars.

I’ve completely run out of wax and fragrance. I’m hoping to do a batch of orange Pumpkin Spice candles and possibly repeat the red Hot Cinnamon candles.

I’ve been accessing Bipolar UK’s eCommunity and attending my local Bipolar Support Group for the last few months.

The eCommunity is an active forum/message board where users (who can be people with bipolar or friends or relatives of someone with bipolar) can ask one another questions, share experiences and share helpful information. It’s free to use, open 24 hours and 7 days a week, and goes a long way to reduce isolation people with bipolar can experience.

I regularly check the forum and have posted there and replied to the posts of others. You can access Bipolar UK’s eCommunity here.

My local support group meets once a month. It took a lot for me to go along to a meeting, but I’m so glad I did. Nobody can understand bipolar or a mood disorder as much as someone who lives with it.

The facilitator and all participants of the group that I have met have been really friendly. I have found conversations there to be very useful and learned a lot just by listening and talking to others.

My group isn’t well attended and I think Community Mental Health Teams could do more to promote these local support groups (both in terms of posters/leaflets in waiting rooms and speaking to patients about them). These groups are free to access and go along way to reduce isolation. You can find your local Bipolar Support Group here.



I’ve recently started on Venlafaxine (antidepressant).

I’ve been in a depressive episode since at least last November. So I’m currently in the process of cross tapering, off Mirtazapine and on to Venlafaxine (NHS). So far the side effects of Venlafaxine have been quite severe. My side effects have included:

  • Dilated (large) pupils.
  • Daily headaches.
  • Being tired but wired.
  • Waves of nausea & dizziness.
  • Decreased appetite (not always a bad side effect).
  • Huge yawns.

Apparently Venlafaxine withdrawal is very severe. So I have two hopes for this medication. One that it improves my mood. Two that it is several years before my brain develops a tolerance and I have to be weaned off it and on to something else.

Blog soon,



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What’s Going On In My Head

By Life, ThinkingNo Comments

I’ve had a lot going on in my head recently, so much so that I decided to write my thoughts out as a mind map. The idea was to offload my thoughts on to the paper. I’ve written this blog post for the same reason. So this blog post is about me and mainly written for me.

Here is the mind map:


A mind map of thoughts to show what’s going on in my head.

As you can see I quickly ran out of room on the paper. So here’s the list of just some of the thoughts going on in my head:

My Brother after his recent spinal surgery – He is now in recovery. I am relieved that his surgery went well. But I worry that he’ll push himself too hard, as sometimes he thinks he’s indestructible.

My friend whose mum recently passed away – It was an expected death. His mum was 87 years old and had been in ill health for the last few months. She’d had a long and happy life and been in good health for most of her life. But it was still his mum. I have thought about my friend and his family often since I heard the news earlier this week.

How good my new Dorothy Morrison candles & oils smell – For several months I’ve been putting in small orders with The Angry Cauldron, ordering a few Dorothy Morrison candles and oils each month. A few weeks ago, I paid combined shipping and my orders arrived earlier on in the week:


Photo above is of my candle collection.


Photo above is of my oils chest. Included are Dorothy Morrison limited edition oils and other essential oils.

Need eyes testing – I’ve not had an eye test by an Optician for a while. The Optician has sent two letters. Need to sort this out.

Vodafone letters wrongly stating I owe money – Vodafone have apparently sold a £100 debt of mine to another company. The problem is that I don’t owe Vodafone any money. I left Vodafone two years ago (in May) and everything was paid in full by Direct Debit. I have the bank statements to prove it.

The good time had at Grandma’s 57th Birthday meal – The family met up for my Grandma’s 75th birthday. We went for a meal in one of my favourite restaurants. I had a great time and have found myself frequently thinking of the family and the meal.

Week Off Work – I’ve got a week of annual leave coming up. I can’t wait. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to spend my time during that week off.

My friend’s Wedding in May – I’ve been thinking about what to wear, what to buy as gifts and what to take with me to the hotel (I’ve booked a 2 night stay in the hotel where the wedding is taking place).

What I’d do if I won the euromillions jackpot – The euromillions jackpot has been won quite a few times by UK winners this year. At the moment it keeps rolling over, making the jackpot prize bigger and bigger. So for the last few weeks I’ve been buying tickets and fantasising about what I’d do if I won the euromillions jackpot.

Electricity Final Bill – I misread my final electricity bill from SSE. I saw a credit on my account and not the debt balance that was in green. Easily done. But has meant that I have to find over £200 to pay the final bill.

I’ve left SSE via uSwitch for two reasons. Firstly because they didn’t take enough money by Direct Debt, so I was always in debt with them. I had repeatedly asked them to increase the Direct Debit, but they never did. The second reason was to save £50 per year.

Need to get rid of old sofa – My mum is kindly giving me her old sofa when she gets a new one. This is great because my sofa is on its last legs.

Man with a Van for new sofa – See above.

My Depressive Episode (December 2016 to now) – In December I started having some difficulties with my mood. I put it down to Christmas and being busy. My mood problems continued in January, with me noticing more symptoms. Again I put it down to busyness. In February I started talking to my GP about it. Fast forward to this week and my GP has referred me to my local Community Mental Health Team to review my medication.

The result of this depressive episode is that I’ve been working, eating, bathing, sleeping (terribly) and doing nothing else. Very little reading. Practically no creative output including no writing, no blog posts and even no thinking about them. Depression makes you feel empty, no ideas, no inspiration, no motivation, no energy and no drive.

I have been mediating more often, taking more time to relax and tried to do more of the things that I like.

My car needs a clean – The inside of my car looks like a shanty town. This is one my signs and symptoms of depression.

Candle Making: Pumpkin Spice orange candles – I really want to make a batch of Pumpkin Spice scented orange candles for Samhain (Halloween). I have the perfect jars to put the candles in. But I need supplies and that means I need money. Despite not having the money or energy/motivation to make them now, I like to think about them. How good they would look. How good they would smell.

John Smith from The Dead Zone by Stephen King – I’ve been slowly reading The Dead Zone by Stephen King. It’s about a guy called John Smith who recovers from a coma and can see the future by touching people or things. What I can’t get over is the main character’s name. John Smith. The story makes clear from the outset that he is an average guy. So using such a common place name to represent that he’s an average guy is not required. It strikes me as lazy on King’s behalf. It’s a great story, but is let down by John Smith’s name.


My New Hoover bought on Amazon: VYTRONIX VTBC01 1400w Compact Cyclonic Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner HEPA Hoover

Microwave needs replacing – At home things generally break in threes.

First the hoover started making noises like it was about to explode and take out half of the apartment block with it, so I bought a new one (pictured left) for a bargain price on Amazon. If you’re looking for a new hoover, then this is the one. It’s compact and the suction is powerful. I’ve been really impressed with it and didn’t realise how bad the old hoover actually was.

Since then the mop has snapped and the microwave has stopped heating up food properly and is rusting. So I now need to buy a new mop and microwave.

I wants – We all have an ego that demands things like a two year old child. On my list of wants right now are the following:

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Take care and blog soon,


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