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.





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”.



the flip side

So Chef has been depressed for about a month. Six weeks maybe? It started with him quietly telling me one morning that he was feeling ‘a bit sad’.


And now I am well and truly on the flip side of mental health ‘issues’. The supporter not the sufferer.


And quite frankly, it is fucking hard. If I was a quarter of how Chef is currently feeling (and I know I was actually a lot lot worse) it is a Modern Miracle we are still married. That we are is basically a reflection of Chef’s character. His tenacious, resilient, loving character. That the memory of the ‘normal’ me held him in there for the long haul is remarkable.


Chef is the one who can turn the most banal statement into a lewd one. The one who can turn a perfectly normal conversation into one about how he has a great big bed shark for me. Who has the quick wit and the most hilarious quip in any situation.


But at the moment he is grey. Flat. No sex nagging. No sex quips. No bed shark circling. He is glum. Quick to anger. Sullen. All the things on the depression spectrum.


And I have to work SO HARD to remember what to do for him. What to say, what not to say (Dear self: you know how you HATE people asking how you are when they know you’re depressed, as if you’ll just snap out of it overnight or from the morning to the afternoon? Yeah. Then STOP ASKING HIM if he’s OK when clearly he is not.). Here’s the rest of my checklist:

– just because he is withdrawn do not withdraw from him

– do not get angry at his lethargy and lack of helping

– do not overload him with requests to do things

– make some favourite meals for him

– gently encourage him to talk by just ‘being’ by his side

– do NOT nag

– always let him know how much he is loved, what an integral part of the family he is and that he is special

– reassure him that he WILL feel better, that this WILL pass.