The Weight

I’ve been having a brief but interesting chat with one of my twitter mates tonight about chronic/severe illness (cancer) and it eventually led to a chat about the person with the illness keeping the real severity to themselves to try to remove the burden from loved ones.

I’ve never had cancer but I can in a way, relate with my PTSD. I also have a friend who died from cancer last year. We knew she was sick, but her severity was very much kept to herself. When she died, the shock and grief were so raw. She was a young woman leaving behind young children. However that was her, she was the stitching that kept the fabric of her family together.

We live in a world where people lose interest if the storyline isn’t kept fresh. Where we have an acronym for internet speak, TL:DR (Too Long: Don’t Read) for when messages are longer than a Tweet. Where we are often so busy we can’t stop to look out of the window let alone go outside to stand in the fresh air. As it is, it’s nearly 11pm and I’m still trying to finish cleaning the kitchen because tomorrow is the start of another working week.

I shamefully don’t have time to listen to the needs of others. I’m so flat stick keeping up with myself and my family. Worrying about my friends was at times making me unwell. Care fatigue. Burn out. Frustration. I have had to make decisions to benefit me over the needs of the people around me.

Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny, and, and, and you put the load right on me

Is this the society that I want to live in? Absolutely not. I want to coexist in a world with my fellow humans that feel comfortable enough to talk. To take the load off by sharing their troubles. To know that we all have a safety net to rely upon when we fall and can’t get up.

Interestingly I don’t tell people how I really feel anymore. Mostly for all of the reasons I’ve written about here.

Recurring Dream

Beauty awakens the soul to act.
Dante Alighieri

That photo, was taken either by myself or my husband, I can’t remember, on a beach in Hokitika on New Zealand’s South Island on April 13, 2008. The last night of our honeymoon. We had been married just shy of two weeks and were preparing to drive across the island to Christchurch the following day to go home.

It’s been a mixed bag the last few weeks. Lowlights and highlights, all mixed together in one frantic month where I have been so busy I didn’t even know where to begin some days. That awful dream I had the other week is still playing on my mind and I’m still to a degree, fearful of sleeping.

Life plays on my mind. The anxiety of the unknown future. The memory of the known past. The failure of the Stop! technique on most occasions. Being so busy I had to cancel my most recent psychologists appointment. Yes health is meant to be a priority, but realistically how can it be when I’m meant to be in a few places at once?

Massive highlight: seeing Neil Finn (oh he of Crowded House and Split Enz fame) at the Sydney Opera House again. I saw him in concert there this time last year too and blogged about it here.

Last year I felt a mix of sadness while listening to the music, as I paused to reflect on the year that was. This year I was jubilant.

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Sitting on the third row allowed me to take some amazing photographs

He sang songs off his new album and also crowd favourites. I sat back and allowed myself to get lost in the music. Closing my eyes, I heard the lyrics with my soul, not just my ears. It felt good to just live. Putting my recent relapse of PTSD on ice for a couple of hours.

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There’s a line in the movie Almost Famous and it fairly much sums up Neil’s music for me.

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Source

Massive highlight was when Jimmy Barnes (oh he of Cold Chisel fame) appeared on stage to sing I’m A Little Teapot and stayed on stage and sang backing vocals to Better Be Home Soon.

Instead of feeling like I had been missing out on the best things life had to offer, I felt as though I was grabbing life by the horns and loving every moment. I allowed myself to enjoy it, instead of feeling so sad as I have in the past, when given the opportunity to let my hair down. The guilt I experienced at last years concert was absolutely non-existent this year.

Afterward, my dear friend and I strolled along the Harbour at Circular Quay. I took the obligatory black and white photos of the Bridge, Opera House and skyline. We walked along George St back to our hotel, soaking it all in. Drunken people partying. Homeless people sleeping. Hospitality people working. City of Sydney workers keeping the streets clean and safe. Police cars with sirens on screaming as they try to manouver their way through traffic jams of hotted up cars and taxis. People alive with life. The atmosphere electric.

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If this is what it means to find beauty in life, then I will keep doing it whenever I can.

I hope you’re having a great week.

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Recurring Dream, Crowded House

Living Fast

You know what really annoys me? Guys on their P plates who drive recklessly.

I’m by no means the worlds most perfect driver, I’m also not demonising one particular kind of driver by singling out P platers. I’ve been tailed and cut off by the best of them. I was nearly collected by an older woman in a Toyota Carolla yesterday morning when she made an illegal right hand turn out of the left lane in a roundabout. Just two weeks ago a driver of a B-double truck merged so quickly in front of my husband while driving he had to slam the brakes on or we’d have been swept off the motorway and probably killed.

One time I couldn’t see clearly behind me, but decided to wing it and reverse anyway. That stupid decision cost me $800 in repairs to another person’s car. Another time I reversed into my parent’s fence, destroying clipping the side mirror. I consider myself safe though. I don’t pull out to overtake unless I can clearly see that there is several car lengths of space. I drive keeping a safe breaking distance between me and the car in front. I don’t speed (I’ve never received a fine either) and I don’t tail drivers who piss me off (even though the temptation is great sometimes). A few little scrapes over eight years and tens of thousands of kilometres of driving isn’t too bad when statistically you’re more likely to die from road trauma related incidents, than in an aeroplane.

This morning I was in the usual Sydney rush hour for work. Merging onto the motorway is always a bit hairy when the sunglare is right in the rearview mirror, visibility reduces to just about zero, but while most drivers slow down to allow for the possibility of incidents, there’s always one who takes advantage of that, potentially risking an accident.

He flew up behind me on my left, as the light had turned orange while I was driving through the intersection. Already I had three cars merging from the left lane into mine in front of me on the right and there was no room for him in his little white Alfa Romeo. He drove so close to my bumper I had no option but to brake hard to let him in. I managed to merge quickly into the right lane of the motorway to avoid being hit by him. Thankfully there was nobody in the right lane. It was here I saw the little red P poking out from behind his number plate. Over the course of the drive he managed to merge, weaving in and out of traffic, easily surpassing me and all other other law abiding drivers adhering to the speed limit, which on that road is 100km/hr. Please keep in mind that drivers in NSW are restricted to 90km/hr while on their provisional red P licence.

Paramedics, police officers and the fire brigade do not like scraping their brains out of the bitumen when these reckless drivers kill themselves trying to prove to a population of other drivers who don’t care, that they can drive faster. Nurses and doctors in hospitals who resuscitate them in the emergency department, who keep them breathing on ventilators in the ICU and who painstakingly deliver rehabilitation in brain injury units only see the trauma and tragedy of young guys who misjudge danger and live in the moment thinking it won’t happen to me. Parents who visit their children in graveyards also fail to see how epic their children’s ‘mad skills’ were at driving faster than the speed limit on a busy motorway, with no room for error.

He’ll never read this, I’m preaching to the converted. I wish we could make these young guys see that they’re not heroes for driving so fast. They’re not awesome because they’re getting to places sooner than anyone else. With any luck the police will catch them before the coroner does. At least it feels better to get it off my chest.

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Source

Even When I’m Sleeping

Documenting another shitty night. I had a really graphic dream. Really graphic. Then I couldn’t sleep properly afterward. Then my daughter climbed into bed with me and I couldn’t physically sleep properly because she was keeping me on the edge of the mattress.

Blogging isn’t helping anymore, it’s why I haven’t been around. I’m not finding it therapeutic and I don’t even want to write about it anymore. The same words ending up on the screen. It’s repetitious and boring. I don’t even want to talk about it to my friends or my family. I’m so bored with myself, surely they must be too.

The sheer exposure. I feel so naked and vulnerable. So I’ve hidden my older posts away from the big bad world. Yet here I am still in the grip of flashbacks and triggers.

I had to cancel my psych appointment for this Tuesday because of work, which I know was a mistake, but what am I supposed to do? I can’t be so unreliable to my manager. So my next appointment is now April 24. That is over a month away. The truth is, I don’t feel the same positivity at the end of the session anymore. It’s not a bad thing, just what is happening. Do I get to the point where even my psych isn’t helping anymore? Is this normal? Am I destined to suffer permanently from the scars of the past? I try so hard to move forward but when my thoughts invade my sleep I can’t escape. I can’t Stop! while I’m sleeping. Only beg my subconscious to wake me up.

I’m tired. I need to sleep. Hopefully tonight.

Rough Day

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Rough day. However it’s all been written about before, word for word. Stop! Flashbacks. Panic! Anxiety. Stop! Flashback.

Even I am bored with it. Need new subject matter, one which doesn’t involve that day.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So wine. I take comfort in.

Comfortably numb.

It’s Raining!

I have been in a bad headspace lately. PTSD is still happening and I’ve been using the Stop! technique at least a few times per day. However I’ve also been not really helping myself out of it because I’m essentially a lazy person.

This weekend my husband is off in my car (Ted can carry heavy loads whereas his 1974 Leyland Mini Clubman can’t) working on a project so I’m at home with Missy minus my vehicle. We needed groceries yesterday but it was raining really heavily for most of the day. Considering we’re 2.5km from the nearest shopping centre, I figured it was too risky to go in the heavy rain, then last night when my husband came home I had spent much of the day cleaning so I had a glass of wine and then couldn’t drive.

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Having a giggle over this description. I would say “Tastes like red, will get you drunk”. In all seriousness though this is a really lovely wine.

So the plan was today to load Missy into the pram and hit the pavement. Then at 10am it started to rain. So I waited and the rain did clear a little so I decided we’d go anyway.

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We found some ducks playing in the storm water drain next to the pub

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Missy liked the ducks “Wook mummy! Ducks! Quack quack”

So the TL:DR version of this is, I got very wet. Missy didn’t as she was nice and protected under her rain cover.

On the positive side is that I walked 4.5km (not including the three laps of the shopping centre) so I’m back on the clock for March trying to get back to some level of fitness. My right hip is sore though, so I’m going to have to watch that so I don’t cause a serious injury for my next run.

I hope you’re having a great weekend wherever you are xx

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