January 28, 2013

Grief is a bitch!

Today is my birthday. A day which is supposed to be a joyous, happy day only it wasn't, as hard as i tried. Today was different, there was someone missing. Someone who i miss very much, someone who i lost just over 3 months ago. I didn't know it would be this hard or this painful today of all days. I know it's normal (or so i've been told) to have felt like this today but how can such painful feelings be so normal?? Through it all i am grateful to have a nice enough time spent with family and friends. Unfortunatly there will probably more days like this in the future but that is grief, I just have to ride it like a rollercoaster. It doesn't stop grief being a bitch though!

August 24, 2012



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March 3, 2012

Slowly Spiralling.......

2007 rolled around and unbeknown to me i was heading on a downward spiral, a big one. I'd just finished my TAFE course, i had nothing planned, i was depressed and anxious and had just given up on myself and the world As the months progressed i became more and more suicidal. At the time i was learning to drive. I had to stop as i was having serious thoughts about driving the car into a tree. I knew if i did that there would be someone else in the car, even though the last thing i wanted was to hurt anyone else, all i could think about was destroying myself.

I think i had started seeing L again by this stage but as my GP was quite worried about my suicidal ideation she referred me to another therapist which i got a bit confused as to why, as i was still seeing L. This is how i met C. Soon after L told me she was leaving, so my GP referring me to C worked out well in the end. As you will find out, C became one of the most signifigant, important people in my life.

July 22, 2011

End of 2004 - 2006

Things started to settle down a little bit after the HSC, with me at least. Mum was still in hospital. Graduation soon came, obviously without mum. I felt so sad at the thought that my mum wasn't going to be at my graduation however i felt so loved and supported as i had people making sure they were there. One of the teachers offered to be my 'mum' for the evening, my aunt, grandparents and the rest of my family came so i was surrounded by people. It was bittersweet. A month or so after that i recieved my HSC results. I remember when i got them i was so shocked as i thought i wouldn't have done well considering the circumstances, but i had done better than i thought. 2005 came around quickly after that. After all the crap that had gone on i thought i deserved a big 18th birthday. So i had one. It was great! Particularly because i had everyone in the room that had supported me in some way through the hard times of 2004. And mum was well enough to be there! Looking back, 2005 was quite a good year for me. I still saw L on and off, which was still a help. Mum finally was discharged from hospital and i started TAFE, doing cert IV in community welfare. I remember just loving being out of school and experiencing life without it.

In 2006 I went on to do my diploma in community services which unfortunately i didn't enjoy as much as the cert IV. I think because of this i came to another crossroad. I just became really unhappy again. For some reason i kept on getting sick, and not just with anything i had bad strain of a stomach virus which kept me out of action for 3 months and as a result signifignat weight loss. Then i developed a bad ear infection. With both of these illnesses i was out when the symptoms would happen and because of this i started getting scared if i went i was going to get sick. Over the months, my anxiety towards going out increased, most of the time before i went out i would take a few panadol just in case i got sick or i would take something sugary with me in case i felt like fainting. This is what anxiety does to you, it just takes over you, it's horrible. Eventually my anxiety became so bad that i started obsessing about my health. If something slightly was wrong i would think it was some terrible disease and would end up at my GP. At this point, i was literally going to my GP nearly every week panicking that there was something physically wrong. I was seeing L when all this was happening but i felt it wasn't helping as my anxiety was stagnant. My tafe work suffered as well, mentally i just wasn't there anymore, my marks suffered, i would hand assignments in late, i just didn't care anymore. I was thinking of leaving but it was so close to end that i just kept going. I was sooo glad when it was all over and i didn't have to think about study anymore. Even though i felt like crap, i had a good end to the year as i went to UK with my family to visit my sister who was living over in Scotland. I still have fond memories of the trip. We first stayed in London but it was Scotland that i fell in love with! Seeing the countryside and all the little villages on the train to Edinburgh was amazing. All i can say is it was the best christmas!

July 14, 2011

And so the fun for me begins....

I ended up seeing L on and off for about 2 and a half years. I guess when i first started seeing her it was mainly about mum and the impact it was having on me but as time progressed our sessions started becoming about me and my problems alone. It was around the time of the HSC and i was just losing the plot, i was so depressed, i was having panic attacks and it just got to the stage where i wanted to hurt myself. I had really struggled with the idea of going to my GP and getting some antidepressants but i had to as, counselling alone wasn't enough. Unfortunately i felt like they just weren't working. L introduced me to the concept of mindfulness, which is when you focus your attention on one thing and is when you just focus on the here and the now. I remember i always use to roll my eyes at her whenever she would mention mindfulness as i hated doing it. Anyway at that point in time, i had started to cut myself and started feeling suicidal. I think it got pretty bad that one of the teachers and my GP were communicating with L. I remember having to sign a few 24hr contracts to guarantee my safety, that i wasn't going to harm myself. I was always so scared that my family were going to find out as they had no idea what i was doing to myself. Also around this time, I started getting home care to help look after my physical needs. Let me say, it was the hardest thing cutting myself with the carers coming in and having to make up excuses as to why there were marks on my body.

It was a couple of weeks until the HSC and i was in such a bad place that the teachers gave me the option of just not doing it and coming back the following year and doing it again only, because i had my heart set on doing it well which is ironic considering my headspace at the time. We ended up applying for a misadventure. As my mum was still in hospital, my aunt gave me lots of support and i guess, took on the role of my 2nd mother. I remember she came with me to school before most of the exams, which was a massive help at that time, especially with mum in hospital. Anyway, i got through them all. I remember after i finished my last exam i went to visit a few of the teachers that supported me and can remember one teacher giving me the biggest smile and saying "you did it girl". Even though i was still feeling pretty crappy i felt a little proud of myself too.

July 11, 2011

Teenage Years 3

After the fire, my mum was basically homeless so my dad agreed to let my mum stay with us for a while. She was still unwell though. When you have a mum who is mentally ill, it is so hard to except at first but as hard as it is you have to accept it because at the end of the day you still love her. I remember just loving having her under the same roof again but because she wasn't properly being treated by the health service nor would she cooperate things pretty much stayed the same and even got worse. She started drinking a lot and became verbally abusive. At this time i was preparing for my trial HSC which made it hard to focus as i was worrying about mum. I can't quite remember whether this happened during the trials or just after, but one morning my brother and I realised that mum wasn't downstairs (where she was staying). We tried not to think too much of it as she had been going out without letting anyone know, i was still worried though as she had left the sliding door open. I had to go to school and thought she'd be there when i got home but she wasn't and that's when i was really worried. I phoned my aunt as she was always good at handling mum situations. We then contacted the mental health emergency team and then eventually we had to call the police as it was getting late and she still wasn't back. That night was terrible, i don't think i even slept, all these things were going through my mind. The next day, my aunt and i went out looking for her and even taking pictures with us in case anyone had seen her. Late that afternoon we recieved a phone call saying that she had been found by the police walking along the side of the road quite a way from home. After that, she ended up in hospital for 7 months. I'd never seen her so bad. I just wanted my mum back.

A little while after all this happened, i started feeling a bit depressed and anxious. I hated not being able to have some control of mum's behaviour. It was getting closer and closer to the HSC and i was just struggling to cope. By the day i was becoming more and more depressed. The school counsellor and a few of the teachers, i know, were a bit worried about me so they were trying to organise me going to see a counsellor to help me cope with everything that happened. At the time it was a scary concept going to see a counsellor but i thought it might help. This is how I met L. She was a child and adolescent Psychologist at a local youth centre.  All i can remember from our first session was her asking me if i had any desire to harm myself. At that time it was a flat out no! Boy, how things change in a small amount of time!

July 4, 2011

Teenage Years 2

My parents split up at the end of 2001 due to my mum's mental illness. I was so angry at my dad at this time for walking away when this is when mum needed people to stick by her. I had no choice but to leave with my dad as my mum just couldn't look after me let alone herself. It was so unbelievably heartbreaking to leave her. I remember the first night when my dad had left i stayed with her as i just couldn't bear the thought of her being all alone especially as she was quite unwell by that stage. I knew i had to let go but it was soo hard! Not long after that, which was around christmas, she ended up in hospital for the 1st time.  I remember just before she went into hospital, if my brother, sister or i bumped into her at the shops to not go anywhere with her as she might be dangerous. I didn't believe it for one second. Even though my mum was unwell i know sick or not sick she would never do anything to hurt us.

Eventually things calmed down, my mum was back in the family home and we would get to see her frequently as we still lived in the same suburb as her. It was still incredibly hard for me as i had to learn to live away from the person that cared for me all my life and was always there. As she became well again, she eventually started looking after me again.This went on for a few years until she started having another episode of her illness. She started becoming paranoid again. In the early hours of May 31, 2004, i woke up to the sound of my mum talking to my dad which was bizarre as my mum didn't live with us and then i heard my dad get up and drive away somewhere which i thought was even more bizarre as it was only 3.30am. I got up, went into the living room to see my mum sitting there. When she saw me she said the house was on fire. As our houses weren't too far apart my mum had ran over. I think after that i went into shock. My sister than called my grandparents and for some reason i can't remember came over and by the time morning fell i was sleeping in the spare bedroom at my grandparents house. I guess that's when reality set in. I was the only one out of my brother and sister to stay at my mum's so i had a bit of stuff there like all my childhood photos and most of my cds and some clothes which had literally all been burnt. My mum was extremely lucky to have gotten out as the room that she was in was completely burnt out. It made me realise how close i was to losing her. Because of my mum's illness the investigators thought my mum might of lit the fire but it turns out a heater had been left on. The support that me and my family received after the fire was so overwhelming. Everyone was so kind. At school, my classmates were all really supportive and kind. The student council organised to give me a cheque to replace the cds that i had lost which i was so touched by. But the main thing was that my mum was ok.