All posts tagged: depression

Changing the narrative around alcoholism and mental health.

Look before I start let me make it clear. Everyone loves a tragedy. Shakespeare made a career spanning half a millennia out of writing some of the most heart-wrenching tragedies ever put to paper. Humans, as a species, seem compelled to get the popcorn and take a comfortable seat when someone else’s life is imploding. Perhaps it’s the distance from our own lives, or the Tall Poppy Syndrome the media love to talk about while tearing people apart. Whatever the reason tragedy sells papers and magazines, and ensures television ratings. Advertisements

How needles and yarn saved my life…

My struggles with depression are well documented. The darker days are behind me (for now) but I’ll never forget the daily anxiety and panic attacks, my inability to leave the house nor the moment my sanctuary became a part of my torture and I had the first of several severe panic attacks sitting in my bedroom. The attacks had always happened outside the house. In enclosed spaces. By enclosed spaces I mean train carriages, buses and overcast days when it felt like the clouds where sitting just above my head and with the slightest provocation could descend and suffocate me where I stood. They were dark days for sure. I was unemployed, having blown up what I thought I was my last chance to have a meaningful job just weeks before. I was broke, putting on weight at a record level as I sucked down whatever food I could find. Food was a way to feel alive, yet it all tasted like ash. I was trapped. It was the sense of being trapped, both inside …

In Your Own Time..

If there is one thing I’ve come to understand over the past few weeks, it’s that everything has to happen in it’s own time. Just because you may feel like you’re ready to get out there and take on the universe armed only with a sharp tongue and a broom handle doesn’t make it so. As I’ve continued on my journey out the backend of the syphilitic camel that is depression, I’ve found my energy all over the place. Some days I’m 10 feet tall and bullet proof, others I’m a fragile Southern Belle taking to my bed with the vapours. It’s a strange combination of moods that make each day a somewhat entertaining dance. At work I’m on top of it all. I’m bossy, demanding, exacting. A perfectionist who refuses to accept such well thought out and reasoned excuses such as “I’m busy,” as a reason for staff not doing things right the first time. I have high standards. I always have had. For me and for those around me. Trying to lead people to …

The little things in life

The further into my recovery from the last bout of depression I get, the clearer things are starting to become. As the mixture of worthlessness, fear and despair continues to unravel I find myself recognising not only the changes mentally, but also the changes in my behaviour. When I was a child I had an irrational fear of getting onto a downward escalator. I’d do it, but only after I’d stood at the top for a good several seconds, watching in trepidation as the staircase moved by itself. According to my Mother I witnessed a young woman with a pram have an accident on one when I was very little and ever since, I’ve been hesitant to get on one. Last Tuesday, while on my way to work, I arrived at the Station as another train disgorged it’s passengers. The staircase that I usually walk down was flooded with 100’s of commuters arriving in the suburb for their day at work. Without thinking about it, and without hesitation I stepped on the escalator and it …

7 weeks and counting…

In early September 2015 I hit rock bottom. I was sober, I was nicotine free but I was miserable as hell and getting worse. The panic attacks were escalating and even a 10 minute train journey to Woy Woy was becoming too much to handle. Getting the bus home was an equally awful nightmare and if I managed to make the less than 15 minute journey without getting off the bus, it was cause for celebration. In early September my friends son turned 1. I was excited to attend his birthday and then found out there were no trains that weekend. It meant a 60 minute bus ride to Sydney, plus another shorter trip to his Grandmother’s house. I couldn’t get on the bus. The thought of it was terrifying, and sitting in my bedroom, my sanctuary, my fear of getting on a bus to Sydney trigged a panic attack that left me exhausted and with a migraine. That day was the beginning of the end of that particular chapter in my life. I realised, …