anxiety

So.

This time last year, things were stating to unravel for me.

I’d moved up to Sydney alone.

Started a new job.

And thought I could hack it.

But, maybe that’s not even a great start for the most brazen and mentally healthy of people.

Rather, me, who had only really started to find her feet in Canberra after six years there.

A history of depression, disordered eating, with current psychologist and medications in place.

Gung-ho, I threw myself in head first.

And was lost.

Fitting in isn’t my strong point.

So, while I was clicking with my clients, I was isolating myself at work.

Much more ready to pick why I was the ‘other’.

Noting things like needing to take long lunch breaks.

And getting sick more often.

(surefire signs of mine that I’m running down)

Add to that a drastic increase in (the binge eating of) chocolate and alcohol consumption.

Compensatory behaviours for each….

And generally snarkiness and erratic behaviour.

Things built and built.

And came to a series of crisis points in March this year.

Some involving vodka.

Others involving lies and red wine.

But crises, nonetheless.

Some AMAZING PEOPLE got me through that month,

But I still needed to get out.

A need to withdraw from that chaos.

And surround myself with love and loved ones.

Regain my trust in myself, and others’ trust in me.

Figure out what’s making me tick.

With the help of wonderful family, friends and professional support (psychologist, GP)

I’ve made it to the point where as of this week, I’m back at work 4 days a week!

I know a lot more about what makes me tick.

And while there will always be things that threaten to bring me down

I’m so much better at recognising them now.

I wasn’t okay, and while it took me a long time to admit it, I have learned so much about myself over the past 12 months going through hell, and putting others through hell.

If any of this resonates with you, and you haven’t already, there are so many places and ways to start sorting it out.

What worked for me?

Friends – Rish has been amazingly patient throughout this, and never giving up on me even through all the tears and frustration, no matter how hard I’ve tried to push him away. I’ve stopped doing the wondering where I’d be now without him, wondering when the hell he’ll come to his senses, and am moving forward. (and not Gillard Style). Reconnecting with people I know and trust and love from Newcastle, and continuing some of my online connections in healthier, more productive ways.

Professional Support – Seeing a psychologist, and one who was ready to challenge me and my deep seated beliefs about how it “had to be” and why I feel/felt certain ways. An external person helping me to shed light onto how I work, and through that recognition I’ve gained some skills to head things off early.

Not drinking – Alcohol and I don’t work at the moment. I’m sure I’ll re-learn to drink one or two glasses of wine one day, but a much needed break has helped me learn to enjoy social events sober, and to not spiral downward as I’m prone to do. Doesn’t completely prevent it, but it sure as hell (what??) helps!

Good diet, exercise, looking after myself, taking the right pills at the right time – Back when I first started on medication the effect it had on my mood stability was quite noticeable. I’m not so sure any more what is affecting what, it’s overdue for a review, but I’m grateful for those initial effects! Diet and exercise and both things that go out the window when things get out of kilter for me, and things that need to be super attended to.

Finding meaning – through being an Awesome Aunty, achieving things each day – even if just a walk, or folding the washing, cooking for people, doing things that enjoyed. Allowing myself to be me. Whoever she is. Testing that out. With new people, and old people.

And learning to see when I’m out of my depth.

I’m still working on that one, and I know this rest of the year will bring me more challenges, but I’ve come so far.

So, that’s part of my story.

I’ll probably never share the whole thing.

You all get pieces of me.

What should you do if you’re not okay?

Find someone you trust to tell. If you’re like me, the internet is a great place to start. Beyond Blue have some great information for the internet inclined. 1800 RUOKDAY ( 1800 7865 329 ) will get you through to a number of mental health support lines if you want to talk it out with someone you don’t know.

Your GP. Make an appointment. Write some notes down, so you don’t forget, or you can hand it to them if it is too much once you’re on the spot. If your GP is hard to get into, tell the receptionist that you’re having difficulties with anxiety or depression, and they should be able to get you in with someone, or tell you someone you can see right away.

Run it by someone you know online. Seriously, so many people have been there, and won’t be patronising if you approach for an ear. An ear helps you to weigh your options up.

If you’re feeling suicidal, it’s ok to tell someone you trust or call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 794 991.

I hope you’re okay, but if you’re not, *hug* and please know that there are people that care, and would do more to look out for you if they knew where you were at.

xxx



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Why #wearitpurple?

September 7, 2012

Because Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Queer, and Intersex Teens are still looking to us adults and asking us why we have laws that discriminate against the person they see themselves being happy as when they hit adulthood.

Because if I wasn’t with Rish, I may have been with a woman, and my relationship would be seen as less legitimate by the powers that be.

Because I can get married now, even though I don’t want to. But if my partner of 15 years was a woman, we couldn’t get married.

Because GLBQTI teens are more likely to feel isolated, and have depression and anxiety take hold.

Because it’s up to the adults of this world to act as such.

And stand up against bullying.

Wear it purple

Pink purple hair glitter sparkle rainbow GLBTI glasses

And cos I’m starting to accept me. And all my quirks.

<3

And purple rawks.

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Tomorrow

August 13, 2012

I know what to do.

A language assessment, speech sounds, some probing for stimulability, start setting goals, something that we can make some progress on over the next 3 months. In the limited time I have to work with these kids.

I talk about what I have to do tomorrow.

Smile, knowing that I’m going to have fun in the moments. That I enjoy this work.

And it helps me breathe for a little while.

Today’s going to be a long day.

Let’s get tomorrow started already!!

yay! new socks

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It would be great if I could stop at one.

A social glass of wine. Sipping slowly, to make a toast.

But my head doesn’t stop me at one.

It goes “oh hey, that’s relaxing, I’m not so freaked out any more by this social situation. Let’s have another!”

But 2 then won’t stay at two for long.

Which is okay when I’m in a great headspace.

And I just become a hyperactive social butterfly.

So many hugs given out.

But it hasn’t worked that way this year.

Too much Emo for that.

Click here for more graphics and gifs!

And so.

I need to step back.

Take hold of that sparkling mineral water with the slice of lemon.

And say no to that first glass of wine.

Because I’m awesome anyway. Don’t need to drink for that to be so.

xx

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Warners Bay Foreshore morning sunrise
From a morning walk at Warners Bay Foreshore this week.

That sinking feeling when your card is rejected at the supermarket.

Because you have the money, but not on you. Not in that account.

You call your partner to transfer it across. No answer.

Take a few items off to get closer because you think you have roughly $12 in there.

Rejected again.

Breathe. Stop shaking.

He calls you back, you had ten. Puts money in.

You walk away with the groceries.

And breathe.

What’s the worst that could happen?

People could look, could judge.

Or they might not, and you just have to come back later.

It’s not the end of the world. Is it?

Pay more attention next time.

And breathe.

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image

– Peppermint tea
– Hugs
– Hot showers
– Brisk walks
– Gentle touch
– Hair stroking
– Hair brushing
– Squeezing tight

****************

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That feeling

February 10, 2012

Liam

I walked up to work late this afternoon. After 5, only two people were still there.

Just to pick up a few things. Payslips. Olives.

As soon as I walked in the door, I could feel it in my chest. That underlying panic that had plagued me there. Wow. Sudden. Obvious to me.

So after a quick chat I was out of there again.

I think this will take time.

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Coffee
This mug was deceptively light. It must have had two layers of glass and air in between. Due to my mothering, though, no-one was burned, hey Hannah?

A day where I arrive to work slightly a buzz with something. Maybe a touch of anxiety, a little bit rushed, and little bit off kilter. Not ready to have the backlog of emails from my day off sick on Friday, not ready to repeat myself for the xth time about something that should be easy enough. Just not ready to deal with other people and their difficulty in doing what would make my job, and thus day, easier.

So it threw me off. For longer than it should have.

But coffee with Hannah helped this afternoon.

And sitting here now with a glass of wine, and Rish across the room.

A little lighter.

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Tight

March 15, 2011 · 1 comment

Presentations. Workshops. Public speaking.

We do them, get through them.

The one today for work was okay, except for the fluttering in my stomach, the dry mouth.

Then my guts, just tightening up, wanting to get out of there.

A few more sips of water, cups of tea (brought my own peppermint along).

The nerves about the presentation.

I know it all.

But sometimes it actually makes me feel sick.

It’s the same as the feeling of too much sugar, or milk.

But without the outside factor of food to blame.

But aside from that, it went well.

How many syllables in “gastrointestinal”?

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And just Go.

March 1, 2011 · 3 comments

It’s that time of year when my gym membership runs out, and the line to renew it is daunting.

But instead of waiting and sulking, I ditched my bag in my locker and set out across the uni.

Down to the National Museum. Didn’t really care where I was headed, I just wanted to make 45 minutes.

And I did. With the cooling air on my skin, running through thoughts in my head, sorting them out. Took the advice of my workmate who tells me she does the same.

Making progress.

:)

(I’ll be sending my netbook away for repairs in the next few days, because the screen keep flickering out – apparently it’s common for the Samsung N120s, and while I have a few posts lined up, I may be a little scarce in replying and posting on here when they run out. Miss me?)

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