family · Farming · life · mental health · relationships

Emotional

Feeling cold, sad and lonely.

I just finished an episode from Season 2 of The Crown. Prince Phillip has been travelling around the Commonwealth, predominantly via ship, away from England for months, Queen Elizabeth is home and one of the Prince’s staff’s wife is seeking divorce.

It was not a good day to watch this show. My house is cold. I’ve turned the heater on, but I think the batteries are going flat in the remote and the mode hadn’t changed properly sending out cold air (just finally feeling warmth now coming out). The window in one of our doors has been broken for over a month (the new glass is s sitting waiting to be replaced along with new screening laying around for literally years), so cold air has been more easily able to enter. I reattached some cardboard today and have shut off that section of the house, although being the kitchen area can not avoid it entirely.

We have just had some wonderful rain. The perfect start to seeding and my husband is hard at work. I had three weeks at home with the children for extended holidays in SA. I’m incredibly blessed that we have had 6 days free of new COVID-19 cases and my children have been able to return to school (Indeed our shutdown has been minimal compared to many countries).

Even prior to seeding starting on ANZAC Day my husband had been busy preparing for this time on the farm and despite no usual sporting committments on the weekends family time was still limited.

I know I’m sad from having just watched a sad show but I’m also crying because I can’t remember the last time my husband told me he loved me without myself first saying the words. Nor can I remember the last time he asked how my day was. He is a wonderful provider and a good man but he puts little effort into our relationship. Sometimes its ok. Sometimes I have enough else going on in my life I am distracted from this absence. Sometimes I’m happy just to be living peacably and doing my own thing. But often, today it hurts deeply.

I had no intention of writing this post. Although I struggled mightily in the holidays with negative thoughts and lack of motivation. I also (belatedly) reached out and received wonderful support. I had wonderful cuddles with the kids in bed this morning, so although lacking patience at bedtime in general I’m coping.

My body is warming up, I have plenty to do today with time too I believe for rest and bingeing (no more The Crown, I’ll turn to Gilmore Girls!). But I am sad.

 

 

life · mental health

December – not just for Christmas

December is a bit of a weird month for me.

As a farmer’s wife we may be in the midst of harvest, my husband is well-worn out from working all hours and I’m worn out from trying to provide food and all-the care of our children. And then it stops and we both have different needs. I need some quality time together and he just needs a bit of nothing. I try to be patient but farm life can be lonely and isolating and there’s other Christmas stressors…

December is the month our first son was stillborn. This year by complete chance the kids and I were at his cemetery in November. This left my heart very heavy. A helpful counsellor reminded me how fatiguing grief is, no matter how how ‘good’ we may be at dealing with it.

I do like Christmas, especially time with loved ones but I’m not so big on decorations and Santa and thinking of everyone and what to buy. I did well not to feel the pressure of Christmas too early this year but still the desire to make this time of year special for my children does not fit well with what December really represents for me.

And then there’s the busy-ness of life. As a volunteer I’m well able to slow things down when I want/need and this was half-way through November for me this year. Probably too early because suddenly I was left with time to do all the things I really don’t want to do (very much housework related) and the guilt of it not being a time issue but simply ‘I don’t care enough’ issue.

So I got down in the dumps and it’s been hard to claw myself up. During my ‘time-out’ I indulged in reading, puzzling and sleeping around the basic activities of household and children. Now as my days feel a bit brighter and my belief in myself is returning, it’s still a bit hard to get in to proper routine – after all it is school holiday time. I do continue surviving each day, my children smile despite constant fights and proclaimed boredom and a new year is just about upon us.

Belated Christmas Greetings Wp world!

 

p.s. Despite the whinge /reflection I did have a good Christmas, lots of family, food and love for which I am very grateful. It’s always so comforting to be around people who love your children almost as much as you and accept you just as you are – my family is just that for me, for which I am very grateful.

 

life · mental health

Weekend Check-in

66031163_2290122637745927_4596695379973505024_n

I feel…. accomplished, I got through quite a bit of my to-do list this week and even better have felt happy and balanced 🤗

I need… family and rest time this weekend, maybe even a book?!

I forgive…the multitude of things I didn’t get to. I feel I prioritised well, still there’s important stuff I still didn’t get to…but I will 💪

I celebrate…reviving catch ups with friends and connections with those I love (yep Bookclub that includes you!)

I release….I’d love to release my shoulders and back somehow… but today I’m hoping to release myself and kick up my heels a bit at a lady’s event, I think I also release myself to give it a miss if it causes more stress than relaxation 👠💃🏼 or ☕️🛋

…I also wonder about releasing my guilt at the numerous blessings in my life that allow me to enjoy regular such releases (saw an amazing musical last weekend with friends), staying home doesn’t help those without such good support…

I trust…that I am working towards helping those less fortunate than me, as above, guilt and self-punishment doesn’t help in this process. Awareness and not taking for granted my blessings, while not the be all, is okay to start with.

🌤🌤🌤

… thank you Mentally Fit EP and @heyamberrae

 

Please feel free to join us in the reflection process 🙂 and have an awesome weekend

 

GJ

life · mental health

Mein Manifest

52898367_10156028011771179_1327402652631302144_n

This so accurately, I believe describes my life purpose. The reason I am so interested in brain health, community and helping people.

In a dramatic nutshell I have been afflicted on and off with depression for over ten years, I have lost a child (stillbirth), I’ve been on the verge of suicide, I lost my sister-in-law, 3 beloved grandparents and a dear friend within a short period and I am at times an unappreciated mother and wife.

Of course there is so much more to me and we all have our own varied and complicated challenges, and in all in all I’ve been tremendously blessed. Life is good. However the greatest purpose I have found in my personal struggles has been that I can one day help someone else. At the moment I like to think I am doing that through my care for friends and family, volunteering and counseling.

Do you have a quote that describes your life purpose? What meaning do you find in life’s challenges?

For an example of someone who has achieved great things with their life purpose (in my opinion) I highly recommend reading Carly Findlay’s Say Hello, I can’t speak highly enough of it 🙂 http://carlyfindlay.com.au/

Wishing you all a wonderful, blessed weekend.

community · life · mental health

#4 Sunday ABC

I had so many thoughts for blogging this week and now that I’m finally sitting in front of the computer, it’s sadly quite a chore. But writing posts in my head is therapeutic, reading others words often inspires and connecting can turn a day around, so here’s Round 4.

Please feel free to join in with your own responses either in the comments or as your own post 🙂

My week in a nutshell – I’ve been flat and then productive and now tired and worried. My husband  has injured his foot just as we start harvest and I’m fairly well the worst nurse-wife ever.

A is for Affirmation

My motto for the week is to ride it out…..maybe not quite like this fella :p

Related image

B is for Best, Worst and OMM

Best – Coming through a fog of flatness and the gratitude of feeling energetic again. enjoying some favourite episodes of Grey’s

Worst – Seeing jobs that need doing and having no desire to do them

OMM – (On my mind) How I will cope doing all the cooking and supporting my husband who will understandably get frustrated as he heals.

C is for Community

Katie from How I Killed Betty wrote two blogs this week that really hit home for me.

Attacking Life, or Running Away

and, What do you do to combat depression and/or anxiety?

She describes her blog as a diary on how to tackle depression and anxiety and it definitely helps me to have others share their journeys, ideas and challenges. Sometimes it can all feel hopeless or just hard work but when the skies clear…..

Image result for beautiful sky

You know it’s worth pulling through and that you can do it, time and time again.

 

blogging · Books · mental health

June: Six degrees of WWW

I’ve been wondering how to bring myself back into the blogging world after somewhat of a hiatus (just one post since end of March). There are a few drafts sitting around, most of which would take a lot of effort to get back to where I was when I started them.

Today though I finished a great book (not the first since March!) and it may just be my Tipping Point – this months chosen starting title for the meme, Six Degrees of Separation  hosted by booksaremyfavouriteandbest. The meme gets you to take one title, and link through six other titles to see where you end up.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell sounds like my kind of book. I’m a big believer in small acts of kindness and my big ambition in life is to make a difference. His focus however it seems is in how products sell so perhaps not so much my thing.

My most recent depressive experience has turned into quite a tipping point for me – I’ve quite my job, not completed one uni subject and extended another. These are pretty big changes and I wouldn’t normally advocate for making such decisions as a result of depression but after good discussions with my hubby, various friends and lots of prayer I’m feeling pretty comfortable.

Alright, now how I am going to link this to my next book….

Yeah I’m not, instead here’s the list of awesome books I’ve recently read:

  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Kite Runner by Hosseini, Khaled
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • The Very Grumpy Day by Stella Jones

Also for your enjoyment here’s a bit of a review from a WWW Wednesday I attempted rather awhile back

What did you recently finish reading: Tell Me Your Here by Anne Deveson this last (haha) weekend. I really like Deveson’s writing style which in this autobiography (much like her book Resilience)  shares a lot of information and personal story. It showed a harrowing image of mental health care particularly for schizophrenia and around homelessness which thankfully in her Afterword suggested improvement although I’m sure not enough.

Image result

 

What do you think you’ll read next:

I have Anthony Lehman’s (an Australian comedian) book This Shirt Won’t Iron Itself which I’m looking forward to having a read of – in fact I finished it last week. There was a bit about country living and families I could relate to, especially the bar man brother but the author and I are very different people so majority of the book was really not my thing.

Thanks for having me back WP, hope you readers are all doing well, I’d love to hear about some of your recent reads or maybe a tipping point in your life.

God bless

GJ

 

blogging · life · mental health · relationships

Off to a good start

This past Christmas week has been full of the highs of festivities with friends and families but also lows of feeling flat, dealing with children and a lack of motivation/direction. The lows culminated in a head cold which thankfully gave me an excuse to lay low. An excuse also helped me build a fighting spirit and I finished off the week ready to bring in the New Year.

It can be tough when you finally reach the much longed-for break at the end of the year. My husband and I of course struggle with different expectations. I’ve generally already had a few slower weeks and am ready to, or at least wanting to be ready to, start doing some jobs together but he’s only just getting a chance to stop and generally still has a few daily work things that need seeing to.

Today on the first day of the year I’ve been productive and bright and hopeful and just HOORAY! As I always say on the flipside of a rough day or two – the hardest part about is not knowing how long it will last. This blog is an amazing reminder that it does always pass, generally much quicker than it feels.

Although not big on New Years resolutions I still think they have a place – I need something to aim towards, particularly this time of year when I actually have time. Last year I had a lot of goals for this blog which really didn’t come to fruition. I was going to do:

  • weekly Gratitude/Positives of the Week Post
  • WWW – Wednesday + When are you reading? challenge
  • fortnightly issue post
  • random regulars
  • 2+ weekly posts?!?

I did say it was wishful thinking at the time LOL

This year I’m focusing on personal goals:

  • Spend 5 minutes outdoors every day –  I’m hoping it will be 5 deliberate minutes and maybe even involve a bit of mindfulness and fitness too.
  • Keep working on my marriage. I made a casual suggestion today at morning tea that we should have a night each week where we discuss the week ahead which wasn’t received well – all suggestions seem to be work to him rather than opportunities. One relationship theory I studied last year by the Gottman’s was called Sound House Relationship – I’m really wanting to work on Building Our Love Maps and Creating Shared Meaning together – the other levels I hope I can strive for myself making a positive impact on my loving man
  • House goals – work towards getting a patio built and changing our lounge room carpet/set up (I’d love to take out a wall!)
  • Continue my slow journey towards decluttering – I’m happy with my pace and progress. I actually think my Fly Lady routine of ‘a load a day, keeps chaos away’ has changed my life!
  • oooh and study I want to start preparing again for that…….especially PRAC (eeek/:D)

Blog wise my brainwave today was to try and learn about my followers. It truly amazes me that 156 people have clicked that follow button. I know it means different things to everyone and I’m nowhere near 156 likes but WoW. I reflected recently that I’m not really a writer but community is super important to me. I think one of things I learnt about myself in 2017 is that I struggle socially out and about but I love reading and feeling connected, even if I can’t manage it all the time!

I’m back to writing down lists to do and feeling positive about 2018. I pray you are too,

God bless.

Dear Lord, give me wisdom and guide me to the choices You want me to make. Amen.

 

 

life · mental health · Uncategorized

The Failed Experiment

The other night I started a reading for my ‘Working with Mental Health’ course about anxiety and I must say I was feeling pretty impressed with myself. Alas the pride before the fall (or however the saying goes). I was feeling good about how I hadn’t really been experiencing anxiety that I could think of, hooray my self-confidence seemed to be travelling well.

I had a great Saturday but work Friday and Sunday were stressful, not unexpectedly leading up to work-shadowing on Monday! An anxious response to such an event is perfectly normally (as my reading told me). But now I must confess to my attempted experiment. I’ve had a few weekends away recently when I’ve left my medications at home and survived! Following that I thought to myself, well perhaps I’m ready to reduce my anti-depressants, and without consultation I stopped one of my daily tablets reducing my intake by 75mg.

Today I declared this experiment a failure and returned to taking my prescribed dosage. And I’m annoyed. I’ve been feeling more stressed and emotionally worn out but there is no evidence to be able to assuredly say that this is because of my reduced medication. It could just as likely be due simply to more stressful life circumstances in recent weeks. But why put myself through extra stress if the tablets do help? And so my brain has been on over-drive, overthinking, over analyzing over …  I was going to wait until after today to decide if it was medication or life affecting me, as today is my free day. No kids, no travel, just home with a chance to get on top of things. I’ve been waiting for this day and now that it’s here there is pressure to make sure it’s not wasted. Pressure on my free day?!? Good work brain. So I took the tablet this morning and I’m annoyed at myself at being disappointed. I have no qualms about taking medication for my mental health and yet it still seems an ideal to reduce that medication. I like to think it’s a cost thing because less medications equals less money spent but I’m financially blessed so really what does it matter…..?

Now faithful readers I’m going to give you an insight into the justifications that have been going round and round my head – reasons why I’ve been feeling more stressed out:

  • Reading about anxiety is bound to bring up feelings of anxiety
  • Assignments are looming and I don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to sit down and really focus on study (that was what today was for)
  • The box of papers that I’ve been constantly adding to, to sort through, but not finding time to deal with
  • Waking up to a messy kitchen/house
  • Relationship stuff
  • Parenting stuff
  • Just a general sense of not feeling on top of all that is coming up
  • Decisions to be made around playing netball and after school activities
  • Feeling so worn out and taking time to nap rather than putting those drawers I bought weeks ago into my bedroom and continuing the process of decluttering
  • Preparing for upcoming birthdays
  • Buying a new car
  • Preparing for work
  • Doing those exercises my therapist gave me not to mention trying to eat better…
  • Making time for blogging 😊
  • Actually clearing the table not just reorganising into different piles!
  • Oooh not to mention my period starting

Oh my what a release to actually write some of those things out. I am a list lover but I’ve tended in recent times to avoid them as they so often get made and then simply added to that box of papers. I think I can work with this list above. I think I may be able to acknowledge some of those stressors and move on.

I feel like this week my brain has gone back to that cycle of overthinking whereas when I’m truly well, I don’t think I just do. I don’t rehash and work on justifying I just feel. But I’m not really sure maybe it’s all just the reverse-placebo effect, maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, maybe I’m mis-remembering.

And maybe today was a good day. Maybe today was just what I needed to get back on track of all those thoughts going round and round. Another good day. I got what I needed to done, not all that would have been ideal but some extra stuff too aka a normal good day. I don’t really care about the medication, even though I’m feeling much better now I’m not goin to re-attempt the experiment (just yet :p ) but I will keep working on and addressing my mental health after all it’s what keep me sane!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friendship….

mental health · Uncategorized

Struggling in December

Subtitled: Flat, tired, sore and harvest-time

Tagline: Be prepared to get inspired LOL, PMSL, ROFL

I’m a bit down guys. I hurt my ankle about a month back, and then my back a fortnight ago and now I have a cold. Even longer ago I finished study for the year and was super excited to have a chance to catch up on things but then life happened. I now finally have a few home days in a row but energy and motivation are-a hard find.

I still believe its achievable or else unimportant both possibilities which leave no comeuppance for the right now.

I think I’m grieving. I miss my son. And the way I best deal with his death is knowing he’s better off never having had to live in this world. Cos this world sux plus I’m a bad Mum. So then I feel guilty for my still living son and daughter who still have to put with me. Even my husband.

Except it’s harvest so husband is non-existent anyways

 

**Edit 3 days later

I had a bad day. Preceded by some not great days. It happens, and while I wasn’t remotely happy with this post I clicked publish anyway cos I just needed to get it out there – and it helped – a lot. My goal at the start of the bad day was to spend 5 mins cleaning in each room and connect with friends on Facebook. I had the same goal the next day and achieved it by lunch time. On the bad day everything was too hard and it took til just before bedtime to connect. Thank goodness I did though cos suddenly I had hope for the next day. Amazingly spending time getting organised for work also helped. I think I’m learning resilience.

I really want to write to people struggling about the two things that I believe help me the most.

  1. Allowing yourself a bad day. At the time it’s scary because you don’t know if you’ll have the ability to keep it to one day, but I watched Dvds, got bored and actually acknowledged that what I was experiencing was grief. I think that’s the first time I’ve actually been able to say that, normally I put it down to general depression. And probably it doesn’t even matter what it is the cause, if there is a cause, but to have a bad day to grieve my son, I needed that.
  2. Connection. I knew right off the bat I needed it, but it wasn’t easy. My mum and sister both called but I wasn’t in the right space to talk to them. I wanted to put something on Facebook but it was hard. Eventually I put my negative post on twitter (which I barely use) and then put a positive spin on it for FB. And the miracle that turned my day was an old uni friend commenting. That’s my connection story, yours can be completely different but even when it feels impossible my best advice is connect

If you can’t tell, my week has completely turned around, even to the point of believing getting ready for Christmas is achievable! I know I am incredibly blessed and I know my experience of depression is minor compared to others who suffer, for those in the black hole please reach out, you’re experience may be different but anyone can get to the point of more good days than bad.