Made it

Through all sorts of therapies and chats with the wickedly wise and wonderful people who support me during various times of crises, I'm always reminded that intense feelings pass. No matter how distressed I am, hanging in there and waiting for the wash of emotions to fade will see me through the other side. There [...]

Me Too

Eurydice Dixon was raped and murdered last week. I confess, prior to hearing the news, I had never heard of the fledgling comic - despite her fabulous and memorable name. She was just 22 years old when the violent and fatal act was perpetrated in the wee hours of the morning in a Melbourne park. It [...]

Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine

My inclination is to run and hide and bury my head - old habits die hard. But if there is one thing I have achieved this year, it's to stop using eating disorder and self-harm behaviours to numb my emotions. They are becoming non-options. That's not to say I don't think about it, miss it, want it, and feel tempted to slip. I'm moving closer and closer to accepting they're no longer an option for dealing with life.

Coming Up for Air

During the last week I had a rapid escalation in suicidal ideation. As each day became more exhausting than the last, the desire to succumb to eternal sedation was overwhelming. I sobbed my little heart out in a manner I can't recall doing for a long, long time. I could have reached out to any one at any moment in time, but when I desperately yearn death, the last thing I can do is tell anybody. Telling means acquiescing to living and I have to be ready for that. But more significantly, telling someone means burdening them once again with sadness and worry.

Swamped

My house flooded. It's a bit of a bummer really. And caused a lot of angst and stress. We're fortunate in many (most) ways - floors are ruined but no structural damage, and we have good insurance to cover most of the repairs. But getting flooded is a pain in the arse. Aside from extra expenses insurance doesn't cover, it's a week of packing up the house to store in the shed, and several weeks of living without floor coverings while listening to the gentle roar of three industrial fans. It's also forced us into unplanned, premature, costly renovations. I know in six months time this will all be history and I'll have lovely new floors and plaster work, but right now, the stress has got to me and my recovery journey is not solid enough to avert relapse. So relapse I have.

Transference

When the word addiction is bandied around, images that come to mind frequently involve drugs and alcohol. But addiction has as many varieties as there are addicts, and the compulsion is a symptom not a cause. What it's a symptom of, varies for individuals, but we're all numbing something.

Orgasm

There are lots of reasons women - and men - might experience anorgasmia. I'm only going to talk about one - because it's the one that affects me. Medication. Specifically, SNRI anti-depressant medication. All medication has an effect - that's why we prefer prescriptions to placebos. Side effects are unwanted consequences of medication and when we treat conditions pharmacologically, we weigh the pros and cons of our options. I've been on my current anti-depressant two years. At the lowest dose I struggled with orgasm, and at my current dose it is an impossibility.

The Day After

It's the day after a migraine. Yesterday was the worst in a very long time. It was once suggested I "write into" a migraine - stop whatever I'm doing and write about how I feel. I assume that person never had a migraine - writing is the last thing on earth I do when my eyes can barely open. Usually I take medication when I feel a migraine coming on, then a few hours later I'm spacey but pain free. Not so this time.

Progress: Not Perfection

I challenge anyone not to collapse to some degree under all the stress I experienced. The grief and trauma of losing my mother and sister, as well as my grandfather, both my in-laws and a handful of aunts and cousins - eight deaths in six years. Dealing with my teenage son running off the rails and looking dangerously ill, and taking in my adult nephew with all his issues after losing his mother. Our marriage in utter turmoil. My grandmother's decreasing health and cognition requiring constant care and demands from me. Ending over three decades of performing and teaching music. Losing my identity as my children left home, my career was gone, and my youth was a distant past. It was a lot to deal with.

Little Things

Over the past three years my mental state has varied in its' health. After completely breaking apart, I have just been slowly - ever so slowly - getting better. It's not a straight line - sometimes I went backwards - but if I look back at the overall trajectory, I can see I am a long way from where I was three years ago.