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.





I’m seeing my psychiatrist at 3:20.

He’s going to try and keep me out of hospital with some drug cocktail (by the sounds of it) and seeing me as often as he sees his wife (by the sounds of it).

Hospital is not off the cards.

As he said, “life trumps everthing”.



Darkness falls, shutters close.

This weekend has been hell. I started new head meds on Friday and the rest is history.

I don’t want to write about it. Can’t.

But I’ve never felt this not-safe before. My psychiatrist asked me on Wednesday did I feel like I would act on my thoughts and I said no. Fast forward a few days and the answer is so so different. I have enough clarity of thought to know not to, the damage it would do, but there are moments I can see how it happens. There are moments I want it to happen just to make the feelings go away.

I didn’t take them today and this afternoon I started to feel a little bit better.

It’s tenuous.

Before the meds the panic attacks were physical. They were hard, raw, big scraggy rocks that were falling on me.

After the meds it was in my head and everything felt painfully fragile. Like one noise too loud, one thought too dark, one action misunderstood and I would shatter into a million tiny shards. Brittle.

I can not be still. If I am still the brain starts. You should see how clean our toilets are. I’m scared about going to bed for fear of how and when I will wake up. The demons at 4am are viscous.

There is no rational thought, just one on loop – I can’t feel like this any more.

Psychiatrist will be called first thing Monday morning.




Next chapter

I got a job.

Just like that.

Well, not really just like that. A friend had a job and then got a new job so she put my name forward for her old job.

I did a trial last week – two stories in a day. Well, half a day as I had canteen duty at Oscar’s school on the same day. You should have seen the s.t.a.t.e. I worked myself into.


I am the valedictorian of self-doubt and failure fear. It is actually ridiculous and I hate it. You know that whole philosophy that we repeat negative behaviours for a reason, that they serve a purpose. I don’t buy it. I HATE how I talk myself down. I have no idea why I do it – the perfectionist in me? The need to have everyone like me? To not let anyone down? I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore. I think it’s just my go to resting state and it is doing my freaking head in.

The gig is with Thomson Reuters working on two of their environmental industry newsletters and one on risk management. A five day fortnight.

This changes our lives. I am SO excited about that. And proud. Proud that something I am doing is digging us out of this hole.

I am desperately trying to focus on the good – I am excited but I am also shit scared. My anxiety is running at around a 7-8 on a scale of 1 being dead and 10 being the demonic bunnies. I know I will be fine. Good at it even. I know I just need to get started and it will fine. It’ll be fine!  But at the moment I really want to stop feeling sick and panicky.



An OK day. Good even!

Oh guys, how your beautiful words of reassurance and encouragement buoyed me in that black sea. I know I drag you guys along on this roller coaster and well, today is no different.

Today I decided to play it low key. It was just me and Grover and there was much TV watching and playing on the computer. But there was equal measure of hanging on the lounge together and just generally decompressing from that rough weekend.

According to the forecast next weekend is meant to be more of the same in terms of the weather so I am already hatching plans to get us out of the heat or at least doing something rather than just enduring the weather.

But today there was goodness. GREATNESS even.

1. Grover drew his first attempt at people.

2. I taught Jasper how to ride his bike without training wheels! The look on his face as the confidence grew – oh that he will conquer the world!

3. I made three different dinners all from the same base of rissoles I had made a few weeks back and frozen – for some meatballs in tomato sauce, for others meatballs in a tomato and chilli sauce – both those with penne, and for mum rissoles in a red wine gravy w/ mash, carrots and broccoli. And we all ate at 6.30pm.

4. Jasper bought home his first reader. Is there nothing more breathtaking than seeing a child learn to read? I think not.

5. Everyone was happy today. And settled.

But the biggest achievement, after two weeks (if not more) of feeling like I was running with lead in my legs was this:

10kms people.  I ran 10 kilometres WITHOUT stopping. It took me about 1hr 10 mins. Sure, I’m now cripple but I did it. I CAN DO IT!