Monday, 1 May 2017

13 Reasons Why

So I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and talk about the show that everyone seems to be talking about - 13 Reasons Why.  If you don't know what it is about, look it up and keep an open mind.

I just binged watched it over the weekend, the flu made me do it ;)

I don't know where to start.  No matter what I say there will be people for and against.

What I will say is that I think it is a good show for parents to watch with their teenagers.  It raises SO many issues that they may be facing.

I'm not saying binge-watch it like I did.  I'm saying watch an episode, with a warning from me that there are some extremely confronting issues, and then talk about them at the end.  I know as a kid I would have found this hard to do with my parents, and now as a parent, I hope with all my heart that I will be able to talk to my kid when the time comes.

A big thing I took away from it is everyone is always caught up in their own shit that they forget to acknowledge the people in their lives who are close to them, or they are afraid to say too much.  Whether it be that they don't want to embarrass the person, will scare them off, or don't know what to say.  Just say it.  Write it down if you need.  Tell this person that they mean the world to you, every single day.

Another takeaway, speak up LOUDLY when bad things are happening to you (and there is no scale when it comes to measuring bad), don't think that people are too busy or don't care enough.  I wish I had sought more guidance when I was a kid on how to "survive" high school and not take so much on board.  If kids were given options, support, and tools that they can really use, then we may spare them some pain.

I was so impressed with this show and how it was so relatable to not just this generation.  A lot of the stuff that happened went down when I was growing up.  Cyber-bullying has unfortunately added a whole new heartbreaking level to it all.

I'm sure it will raise some more thoughts for me but I will leave it here for now  I hope that parents and kids can take away a lot from this show, especially the fact that honest and constant communication is key in any relationship. <3

Thursday, 6 April 2017

R.E.S.P.E.C.T - find out what it means to me

A friend came to me today and told me (with love) how disappointed she is that I haven't been there for her as much as she has for me. 

She wasn't extending kindness to me and expecting back in the same enormous way, but a little acknowledgement and support in what is happening in her life goes a long way. 

I respect her SO much for speaking up (and she reads this blog so this is my public announcement to her!). Sometimes we get caught up in our own shit and forget people are going through their own, and need our love as much as we need theirs. Who haven't you checked in on lately? 😘 #hugtheblackdog

Friday, 13 January 2017

I'm positive you are not alone

During my time of dealing with depression I have read so many posts that say "people who suffer from depression and anxiety can't see the positives in things so stop telling them to be positive". I call BS on this.

Of course a lot of people can't see the positives when they are experiencing things. But they should never stop trying, I am one of those people who haven't given up the battle. And there are always people who will help them do it too.  

I was speaking to a loved one last night who opened up and told me they have depression, to them it felt like a life sentence. By the end of the conversation we were laughing and reminiscing over some seriously good times we have had together. Please reach out to loved ones, you may not realise how much they want to be there for you. They may not know how to deal with it at first, just tell them you don't need them to solve anything, sometimes all we need is a friend to be there and listen.

In the meantime I found this great article on tips for dealing with fear and anxiety:

How to deal with chronic fear and anxiety

1. Avoid avoidance – face it and move forward
2. Develop a healthy sense of personal control – think the serenity prayer
3. Promote positivity – it broadens our perspective
4. Find meaning – rediscover a sense of purpose
5. Get support – the strength of social relationships helps with confidence
6. Go for a walk in nature – not only helps you feel better but lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones

Saturday, 7 January 2017

I like to be alone but I hate to be lonely

I have had the last 24 hours to myself. To a lot of people this would be heaven, and I totally get that (especially for parents!). Lately though, I don't know what to do with myself.  I'm going through a huge life change and I don't really know what I enjoy any more.  There is only so much work, craft, seeing friends and cleaning you can do.  I think if I spoke to someone my voice would crack as I haven't used it.

I got myself out of the house for a bit as I noticed that I started feeling sorry for myself.  My first trigger.  I really don't have much to feel sorry for myself about, realistically.  A scroll through Facebook will give me some perspective.  But no I just end up watching some stupid videos that are meant to make me laugh. I really want to laugh more.  Next trigger, get out of my head space.  I'm being self-destructive.

Why am I writing this?  I'm trying to be aware of what's happening and know how to combat it.  I believe in the journey of depression, we can combat some stuff, other days we just need to give in and have a good sob, or seek professional help.  It's all about balance.  My trick is to not get stuck in one mindset, which means switching between a lot of different activities.  People think I have a short attention span and don't finish a task - it's actually a survival technique for me.

So this being alone for too long is not good for me, but I am learning how long I can last, and I spread it out a little more when I feel up to it.

For now, I'm gonna make a cuppa and call a friend who loves to chat.  The kind of friend who doesn't mind if I am quiet <3

Sunday, 6 November 2016

It's a fine line

I have written before about knowing your triggers and what may set you off down the road to depression. Mine are showing up at the moment. I'm working gently to get through them. 

I have just begun a trial separation from my husband which means I moved, we had to tell the kids and do 50/50 share (they have been awesome and no tears shed), dealing with everyone else's emotions and opinions about it, while trying to manage mine. 

Then I had a dear friend take his life, I've spoken about it before but I still feel immense sadness when I think about what he must have been going through.

There is other stuff too which I won't go into but to say my mind is buzzing/exhausted is an understatement. 

So given my mental state I'm torn between wanting to stay at home watching trashy TV and sleeping, to catching up with people who keep extending invites to me thinking I need the company. 

What I am teaching myself when it comes to catching up with people - how do I feel when I am with them? If they are all about them, negative or draining, then right now may not be the time to catch up. If they are life-giving, caring, make me laugh and actually give a shit, then I muster up all my energy to be with them. Because when I do I actually feel so much better in their presence. 

So it's a fine line when it comes to catch ups. I need to keep this checklist in mind for the next one. I also have to realize that people are ok if you say no, and you don't have to give them a reason. 

During this time of stress I'm making sure I take my meds, get some decent sleep, throw in some exercise, eat some healthy food, get cuddles where I can, take deep deep breaths, and phone a friend when I need to. 

One day at a time 💗

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The dog attack

I'm devastated to share that the black dog ripped apart one of my friends this week. I have never experienced this and don't know where to start...

I'm gutted I had no idea what he was going through, no one did. It seems to be a common observation.

I'm wishing I could have done something to prevent it/help him, like so many loved ones left behind.

I'm trying to get my head around what he must have been going through and stop being so visual about what the poor soul suffered.

I'm crying so often that I wonder how the tears keep coming.

I reach out to so many loved ones and remind them how much I do love them. Telling them so often that I feel they are getting shitty with me.

I hug my kids tighter. 

I talk to friends about how sad it is that depression still has such a stigma attached to it in Australia. We share our stories of how it has affected us, realising that we are not alone in our battle.

I contemplate posting on FB about my depression and wonder what the point would be. All my friends know. But this one must not have. Or it didn't cross his mind to reach out. Or was he like so many and didn't want to "inconvenience others".

What the fuck. Why does this have to happen to anyone? What am I going to do about this in future?

Keep talking. Keep offering support. Keep in touch. Keep making time. Keep an eye out. Keep listening to my intuition. Keep saying I love you. 

I love you, Chris. I'm sorry I didn't get to tell you for so long. I'm grateful for what you brought to this world. I hope you're at peace and know how much you're loved and missed xoxox 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Let's get the discussion out there more

As a form of therapy for myself, I have now started a Hug The Black Dog Facebook page.

You can find it here:

I'm going to be sharing some great articles, pics and stories of life.  Keeping the subject of depression and anxiety alive and well (pun intended).

I have asked a friend to collaborate with me too and use it as her therapy.  Please feel free to use it as yours too and share it with your friends so we can all be in this together. xo