Saturday, August 21, 2010


First off, my Granddad is doing better, and is out of hospital. He still has a lot of health issues he is going to have to take a look at in the near future and at least one upcoming surgery, but at least he's home now, thank goodness.

I got back from hometown, to my current home yesterday afternoon. I think after the stress of last week and family etc, I was just entirely and physically run down. Mentally, I'm not even sure how I stand right now. I was supposed to do a shift at RMH this morning, but I woke up completely and utterly shattered, and was a little worried if i went I would end up having a seizure, so I stayed home to rest.

I'm not sure how much all you Northern Hemispherers know about Aussie politics, not a lot I would imagine..... we're a pretty insular little country down here! Today was election day. Basically, an early election was called, because the Labor party delivered a vote of no confidence in their leader Kevin Rudd, our Prime Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard took over leadership and became our Prime Minister for about two months, while they organised an early election. Our first ever female Prime Minister. (And a red head to boot, which gives her a double tick in my little y chromosoned, ranga mind)

So, election day. I felt like shite. In Australia voting is compulsary once you turn 18... if you don't show up, they fine you. I once even cast my vote from a booth set up in the Psych Ward! Personally I think its a great thing... it would seem when voting is voluntary in different countries, a lot of the time the people who need a voice, are sadly the ones who can't or don't bother to vote, for whatever reason. But today, I was kind of wishing it was voluntary as I really didn't feel well enough to drag myself to the polling booths. Now, I'm not going to share who I vote for, but I vote based on the party that serves my particular interests (particularly healthcare and mental health) as well as the more global issues ie carbon emissions, the best.

I've been watching the count on tv, and it looks like at this point we may be heading towards a hung parliment. This hasn't happened since, like, the second world war. It's been a really historical few months for politics in Australia. First female leader (although how long her reign is remains to be seen), A prime minister being deposed, as such, by his own party, and now possibly a hung parliment. Its been hard for a lot of Australians to get past the idea that PM Gillard, stabbed Ex-PM Rudd in the back... it's Un-Australian, is the oft-outcry. Then just her sex alone has been a hard thing for some of the older die hard Labor voters to accept (especially with her Defacto boyfriend, not even a husband to keep the little woman in line!!) And finally the sense of betrayal from voters who didn't seem to get that ultimately, in Australia we vote in a Party, not an individual leader...

Anyway, at least one of my insomnia fuelled nights will be taken up with some interesting viewing as we continue to tally up all the votes (I think postal votes could take up to a few days to come in.

Hopefully, I get some sleep though, as I do have a shift at RMH tomorrow, and I really don't want to bail on another shift.

Peace and Love

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Granddad

I did an emergency drive back to my family hometown last night. My Granddad is in hospital. Last night we were really worried, and we weren't sure whether they would end up putting him on the medi-copter to go to a bigger city, but they've got him stabilised, and now he's just undergoing a lot of tests. He's convinced he's coming home tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest, which at this stage looks pretty damned unlikely, but its a bit hard to convince him. He hates doctors and hospitals, this is the first time he has been in hospital since 1954. The tests so far have shown up some pretty serious health problems, so even if he manages to avoid a city transfer and an operation, he is definately going to have some struggles for the rest of his life. It breaks my heart to see him hooked up to all of the stuff in the bed, he always seemed pretty infallible. My Gran needs some support right now, definately emotional, but also because she is almost blind and needs a lot of help. So I'm here for the next little while. God, I'm so tired!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Becoming a group person

Like a lot of people with mental health problems, I lean towards isolation. The energy it requires to put on a good 'public' face is just sometimes a little too much. I also am not much of a "group" person. One on one, I do ok, but too many people, I can get anxious and overwhelmed. But I am doing reasonably well at the moment, and really trying to be proactive from a recovery standpoint. (M), my Case Manager took me to visit a Mental Health house with a Peer Support slant last year, when she first started seeing me, but it was just not the right time for me. But, (with further gentle encouragement from M) today I went along to one of the group sessions, to see how I went. And it went suprisingly well. The group was quite small, and they were very welcoming without being pushy. Just "glad you came, hope we see you back again". There are a variety of interesting groups including Art, Music, Women's and Under 30's. And it was not as I had feared (and experienced when I tried one of these places in a different city many years ago) all centred around talking about illness, or worse, competing to see "who had it worst". The focus seems to be about providing social opportunities to those of us who struggle with it, something that gets you out of the house, particularly when all your sane friends are working 9-5. Providing support that is Peer support, from people who have a lived experience of mental illness, and outside the medical framework. Which is a real attraction for me... as I feel like I spend most of my life in either a Doctor's or a Therapists office. A real chance to meet people of similar age and experience, who will accept you as you are at that moment in time. Time will see if the experience continues as well as it did today I guess. I particularly liked when one of the PS workers was talking to me about how they didn't focus on diagnosis, as that didn't define the person, their day to day experiences and general personality were more important. It wasn't denying the impact of the mental illness, but rather looking at it in a broader sense.

I'm quite proud of myself for actually going. The support I recieve through blogging is great, but to be able to get some of that IRL would be good too. And as much as I love ya'all, we can't sit down for a coffee, ciggie and a chat, ya know? So, I guess I kind of achieved two things today...a possible addition of support, socialisation and activity, and a sense of achievement for being able to stepout of my comfort zone and face my fears....

I'm working quite hard on the isolation thing at the moment... taking the opportunity while I feel well to reconnect with friends and increase my volunteer work. My friend (S) and I are going to a Farmers Market tomorrow morning, which I am looking forward too, especially picking up some oh so yummy bannana bread and cheap fresh flowers. The parentals are also coming to stay for the weekend, which means Big Sis will probably be over a lot.... which can create a lot of tension... but I'm going to try not to get drawn into it and just enjoy the time with my mum.

In other news, I am on the third day of my Serepax tapering down. We've just removed the midday dose at this time, but I guess its going well. Mostly it's just a physical anxiety in the afternoons, not really worrying about anything mentally, but the body is responding like I am. Trying to use a combination of relaxation techniques and distractions, reminding myself that its my body's reaction to the medicatio withdrawal and will pass, rather than 'true anxiety'. I've found bubble gum and blowing gum bubbles is a handy trick for redirecting the physical frenetic energy when I am stuck in a place where I can't move about, or when I am trying to concentrate on TV or something.

Peace and Love

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How did they survive?

Our power is out. Not the lights, just everything that requires a power point. (Lucky the laptop has battery power!) I rang Energex and they said the power is delivered on a two phase circuit (?) and because only one of these circuits is out, its a problem with the fuse box, not the electricity supply. Nothing has tripped in the fuse box, so something is just fundamentally damaged. The mains fuse seems to spark on and off. As we rent, I looked up our lease and found the emergency repairs number. But the lease states you can only contact the emergency repairer yourself, in cases of serious electrical faults. What does serious mean? I'm not an electrician? If the mains fuse is sparking as it appears, I would think that's a safety issue... but what would I know? I went ahead and called the Emergency Electricians mobile, to ask advice, as to whether this needed to be dealt with tonight, or we could wait and contact the rental agency tomorrow, but I got voicemail. I've left a message so hopefully he should call back... sigh. In the meantime, we have no tv, no microwave, no dryer etc etc... How did they every survive before electricity??

Here's hoping my house isn't burnt down due to electricity fault tonight!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Its my Blogoversary

Yup! It's my blog's first birthday! A whole year since I first wandered onto the blogosphere! I hope you've enjoyed the craz-eeeee!

Let's have a look back at the last 365 days...
  • It took me a while to figure out the whole stat counter gadget thang, so I've only had that installed for about 10 months, but its currently hovering at 5983 visitors... Not the crazy amounts of hits some of the greater blogs out there recieve, but still either ya'all find somewhat I've said interesting or amusing in a tragically pathetic way!
  • I started this blog with a new therapist (D) who I had been seeing for about a month, along the way I have somehow picked up a Case Manager and a Psychiatrist...well technically I guess I've had 2 Case Managers and 2 Psychiatrists... but (M) and (Dr F), my current MH peeps are pretty damned good (most of the time)
  • I also managed to (after having avoided hospital for about 18 months) get myself hospitalised 6 times in the last year, spending nearly three months all up in hospital...sigh.
  • This will be my 209th post... didn't quite stick to my goal of posting every day, but still a fair effort considering the aforementioned time spent in psych ward captivity, no?
  • I've been on 7 different medications in the last year... I'm still trying to lose the weight from the damned anti-psychotics!
  • I've had approximately 112 therapy sessions (including phone sessions while I was away). Argh! Even at the sliding scale fee (D) kindly offers me... this has cost me about $3500
  • I had a boyfriend. I dumped the boyfriend. We got together again. I dumped him again. Yeah... I'm a biatch.
  • I started volunteering, which I still absolutely love
  • I completed my Practicuum for Uni against all odds. I then decided to drop out of Uni two weeks later. Seemed crazy, but I still think it was the right decision.
  • I went horseback riding, highroping, on a trip to Melbourne and Tasmania... seems I do still have a bit of a life afterall.
  • I also spent countless hours lying in my bed, unable to get the motivation or energy to dress or eat
  • I got drunk for the first time in six years.... then again, and again.... I think I've managed to knock that bad habit back on the head now...
  • I discovered
  • I had my 27th birthday... which I spent in hospital. I'm getting kind of old, eh?
  • I've had three different hair colours, three different mobile phones and three chest infections...three's the magic number!
Well, that's a few highlights and lowpoints of the year. Laughter and tears. Thanks for sharing it with me. Thanks for commenting and supporting. I kind of can't believe I stuck to it a whole year. I also can't believe how fast the year went. And although I really haven't moved that far forward (my CM and Therapist would jump down my throat for that, apparently they see 'great strides!'), it was a crazy year and I am proud of myself for getting through, and sticking around.

Peace and love,