Hello there

A voice coming in from the dark.

It’s been a rough few weeks around these parts. I haven’t written about it because what is there to say? I’ve been battling extreme anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and the lowest ebbs of the deepest sluggish depression I’ve had in a long long time. I had reached a point in my mental health life where I thought anxiety and panic attacks were now my thing. That the “everything is hopeless, I’ve made all the wrong life choices, we’re going to die destitute and alone” type of depression had moved on to some other poor unsuspecting individual. SURPRISE!

I get bored of writing about my mental health because most of you who come here specifically to read about my life have been doing so for years and I fear I’ll be able to hear your eyes rolling when I tell another story about how my life is a hopeless failure.

Some of you are lucky enough to experience it in real life. My morning walking partner Bronwyn deals with enough shit in her own life but gets to hear me whinge and moan about mine for 45 minutes 3 times a week. That she RINGS me if I’m not out the front of my place by 5am is indicative of her own issues. Weirdo.

But those messages, the checking in with me because suddenly I’m very quiet on Facebook and Twitter (I’ve almost forgotten what Twitter even is), the listening to my silence and sadness is what feeds my mantra during these times – just.keep.going. Fall down seven times, rise up eight.

I am lucky enough to have a support network around me of people who know it is enough to just be beside me, reminding me that I will get through this, that this is not my truth but a heinous lying fiend robbing me of light.

I also have a psychiatrist I trust implicitly. Yes, we’ve spent the better part of six months trying to make me feel OK but in the scheme of mental illness that is nothing. Today we start a new plan and I guess, we wait.

pristiq pic



I know the story of how I got to here is all over the shop, back to front, upside down and inside out but sometimes the best way to write it is how it falls and at the moment I feel broken. And scared.

This morning started with the grossest of panic attacks. I woke in a sweat, feeling swallowed by the bed, my wound site feels like a mountain, a pit in my stomach and wave after wave of feeling hopeless and worthless and a fraud and broken. With the occasional dumper of an impenetrable sense of something bad about to happen.  I was brittle and weak, hopeless and scared. Not again, not now, not again, not now. I shake my hands constantly when I’m like this, like the emotion has to come out somewhere.

I fly off a FB message to my Personal Physician Steve who I’m sure LOVED waking up on a Saturday morning to his cousin’s wife freaking out on his FB.

I woke up Chef. Dear GOD that man must be developing a phobia about being woken up by me. I had a shower, went for a walk. The whole way around the block! 500 metres! Goddammit if this is going to beat me.

My left leg feels three times the size of my right and I don’t really have a sense of where it ends. I almost tripped twice and stubbed my big toe once. Apparently this is called peripheral neuropathy. I love how the medical term makes something that’s really fucked sound cool.

Personal Physician Steve and I worked out a plan of action to get me through until my GP visit on Tuesday (we think it’s a drug they introduced for the nerve pain that is interacting with my other head meds and basically hit ground zero this morning). I cried on Chef that I’m broken and scared and this wasn’t how the year was meant to start and we had been travelling so well and I’m so so sorry. He of course, held me close, told me we would so get back to great. That I would not be broken forever and look how much better I am than three weeks ago and that he loved me and that it would all be OK. How did I ever score such a beautiful man?

I checked in to FB hoping some of you beautiful people had posted some witty, silly things to make me laugh through tears, the best of emotions. Jane had posted this. Just this. It’s Australia Day here, a day growing increasingly uncomfortable in our skin – someone wrote an article somewhere saying most countries celebrate the day they were freed of colonial rule and yet we celebrate the day it started. Growing up is hard.

So valium (when my back went from debilitating and excruciatingly painful to holy crap Personal Physician Steve sent me a text saying “No reiki guru shakra chiro iridologist would be able to do anything for you … when it comes to the serious shit western medicine is the way to go”. He’s right), knowing I’m loved and knowing such big battles have been fought makes me know its worth it to keep fighting the demons, no matter their size.


Onward folks, onward.


I’ve got nothin’

There’s nothing left in the tank.

Much has gone on but I can’t find the words to tell it – I wrote a post yesterday about my health and even I was bored. Drugs meant to be helping making things worse but still needing what those drugs do to make me well. Meds for the head, the thyroid and insulin resistance don’t seem to really like each other. This last week I have been consumed with drug side-effects that leave me simultaneously jittery, on-edge and racing while so exhausted I fear I may fall down.

We’ve stopped one of the meds to see if it helps, but it’s the one that deals with my blood sugars and they need to be stable not just so I don’t develop diabetes but for mood stability. So I need to lose weight and lose at least 5kgs fast. Yeah, like I haven’t been trying to do that for forever. Starvation September is underway.

This week has been hellish. Oscar had a molar removed under a general on Tuesday and only today voluntarily opened his mouth to talk. Eating is still not on the cards and drinking water is still a battle. He’s been home all week. Just sitting on the lounge. Mute.

Can you imagine being in pain or just being traumatised and scared and not being able to tell someone, to explain exactly where the pain is, what sort of pain it is, when it’s worse, when it’s bearable?

I’m now worried he’s got a dry socket – there was moderate improvement today when he ate a weetbix with some stewed apple and told me it didn’t hurt – when tonight he had one spoonful of custard I’d made him and grimaced and asked to go to the hospital.

This morning we had his arranged-a-lifetime-ago endocrinologist appointment. Yeah. Awesome timing. It was fine – just a chat but – of course – the need for more bloodwork.

It seemed like the cruellest trick of all but I made the call. He hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink. We were at the hospital. With its own blood collectors. We were there. So bloods were done.

Can you tell my head and heart are so weary?



Day whatever

I’m almost a week out from when I went from panic attacks and wrestling the tonnage of my self-doubt to bat-shit crazy suicidal self-harming banshee.

A week.

How time flies.

My mum keeps asking me how I am, am I feeling ‘better’. This morning I just had to tell her that no I wasn’t better but I was OK and that this wasn’t a quick fix and it was going to take a while for me to be better.

Many of her generation struggle with the whole mental health topic despite hearing all the research and news stories and stories about their kids and their friends kids who actually can say, ‘hmmm, maybe it isn’t that normal to imagine topping myself as one of the solutions to getting through today” and seek help to stop or at least narrow their choice of coping options to less life-ending ones. My parents tend to get it now after seeing me hit rock bottom and claw back up again but even so, just asking me if I’m ‘better’ makes my head explode.

At the moment I am functioning. I’m putting one foot in front of the other and savouring the fact I am not edgy, that I don’t have a pit in my stomach, that I’m not crying more than 5 times a day, that I am not imagining driving our chef’s knife down through my hands and pinning them to our breadboard (hello weird Jesus complex anyone? It’s my very own foodist crucifixion) and that I’m not imagining how blissful it would feel as I fell from Narrabeen headland.

I guess if we’re looking at it on that scale then fuck feeling better, I’M CURED!

Dr M gave me a script and permission to be taking 5mg of diazepam three times a day. That plus a bipolar drug at night which is excellent at lifting mood and helping sleep. Then microscopically introducing Zoloft. I’m up to a whole half a tablet! I haven’t needed that fell-a-horse dosage of diazepam – in fact I’ve only been taking one in the morning with the zoloft and it’s pretty much been enough. Last night was bad and I realised that maybe I could take the medicine my doctor told me to.

Let’s just file this post under ‘progress’.



Life trumps everything

Narrabeen Pool

Don’t go up the stairs, don’t go up the stairs, don’t go up the stairs.

What I said out loud when, yesterday morning, I couldn’t lie in bed letting the voice in my head steal more from my soul.

What I said out loud when I went walking in the dark before I had to try and get through another day.

What I said as I walked past the stairs that go up the headland at the northern end of Narrabeen.

I got past them and breathed a little easier. I was listening to Ball Park Music when this track came on:

I ripped the headphones out because I didn’t believe it.


I kept thinking of my friends Eden and Maggie and their lives after losing people in their lives to mental health crises.

I made myself imagine the boys’ lives if I was gone. If I had taken me from them.

Sunrise at Narrabeen

Don’t go near the water, don’t go near the water, don’t go near the water.


How do you explain the demon realm to the uninitiated?


I spent much of yesterday working. Somehow, through the blinding storm of wanting to take one of our kitchen knives and drive it over and over through my hand so hard the tip would embed into the cutting board beneath, I wrote two articles.

The power of the human brain, huh.


Your comments kept me going. Chef making me cups of tea and holding me kept me going. Texts from friends kept me going. A text from Maggie saying, “Do not trust your feelings” was vital.


It sounds so counter-intuitive doesn’t it. We’re told constantly ‘go with your gut’, ‘if you feel it it’s real’. Well let’s all just make a mental note that there are particular occasions when the complete opposite is true.

“Don’t trust your feelings” gave me the power to say “I don’t believe you” to the vitriol my brain was flinging at itself. It got me to 3:20 yesterday afternoon.

And here we are, a whole day later. There’s a bit of a drug cocktail in play and I am fluctuating between awe at the power of modern medicine and trepidation that I could possible feel this much better this quickly.

What I do know is this. I am OK. And that is a whole lifetime away from where I was yesterday.