The Girl I Used to Be

Decades of maladaptive coping mechanisms crashed down around my ears, and the words severe depression and chronic anxiety were bandied about – in relation to me. I was in the depths of self-induced starvation, self-harming, highly suicidal, too depressed to function, and suffering the physical misery of high anxiety – pounding heart, shaking hands, internal catastrophising, panic attacks. I’d become one of “those people”. Read More

Hypervigilance

Hypervigilance – it’s been around forever, of that I have no doubt. But it’s not a word I ever heard mentioned in all my many years of formal education. For a more thorough definition, have a look here, but whether or not it’s something you personally have experience with, doesn’t negate the fact there are a lot of people out there standing on guard, waiting for the next blow to fall. I’m one of those persons. It’s a bit unfun. For me personally, it’s not related to PTSD – I haven’t been subjected to military combat or sexual assault, and for that I’m very grateful. But for one reason or another my nature and nurture cooked up a little concoction that makes me hypervigilant – all the time. What does that mean? It means I’m always on guard. Read More

Travels in Tuscany

My fondest memories are sitting at our villa, eating dinners outside and toasting the magic view of Lucca in the distance. The evenings were warm, the food spectacular, the drinks convivial, and the company exquisite. These are the precious memories I cling to. As our week came to a close, we packed up and headed to Pisa for the flight to Lisbon. With my anxiety now peaking and bordering on full panic attack, the flight became an interesting affair. Read More

Weighty Words

For me, “triggered” means feeling a compulsion to succumb to the disorder. As a bulimic, that means compensatory eating behaviours. Binging, purging, or both. Finding any means possible to compensate for having eaten. Finding any means possible to reduce the size of my body so clothes hang loosely and my bones become visible. Feeling triggered means a huge risk of relapsing. Read More

Searching for Something

I’m searching for something – and I don’t know what it is. But I do know what it isn’t. It isn’t physical. Or psychological. It isn’t health or wealth or happiness – although they’re lovely and I’d like more please. I’m not looking for religion – I need something far more personal. The only word that makes sense to me, is spiritual. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

Feeding Time

It’s easy to know when your body needs food – physical cues are given out. We all know what they are (even when some of use choose to ignore those cues), and we know drinking a glass of water doesn’t make them go away. So feeding physical hunger is easy. And yet I do not stand alone when it comes to yearning for food regardless of physical hunger. Read More

Inner Spirit

Whatever our individual faith and beliefs may be, we all have an inner spirit. That little voice of wisdom and love that talks to us. No matter how many ugly voices are talking in our heads, there is always a little voice countering the ugliness. Sometimes the destructive voices are so overpowering it’s impossible to hear – but it’s always there. Read More