Friday, April 29, 2011

30 Day Affirmation Challenge Day 1


For those that need a self-esteem boost here’s my challenge to you. For 30 days write about a part of yourself that you like. It can be physical or personality traits; whichever you feel good or bad about. That’s 30 things that you like about yourself. It’s not difficult and it can really boost how you view yourself. =]

Today I am just putting it out there.  I am going to for 30 days write about something I like about myself.  It will be good for me.  I have gone through such a rollercoaster of self loathing and it is about time I started to not just like but fall in love with myself all over again.

Who is up for the challenge.

Done and Dusted

I enjoy a sense of accomplishment. If we did all the things we were capable of, we would literally astonish ourselves" ~ Thomas Edison.

I today finished a 30 day photo challenge on my blog.  I did miss one or two days but I caught up and consistently blogged with the daily photo challenge.  I loved it and am looking for another.  Sometimes I will blog about what I am grateful for.  Sometimes I will continue to talk about my mental health.  But from now on my blog will also include more writing for the pure joy of it.  I will post pictures of my creative output.  I am have begun wet and dry needle felting and I love it.   Another way to accomplish.  It is fun, it is tactile.

I also would love to blog about topics you guys might like me to write about.  I am up for the challenge.  So challenge me.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 30

A picture of someone you miss

 I miss my babies.  I wish my children did not grow up so fast.  I loved the simple life of being a Mum to babies. I loved the routine.   I loved the home life.   I loved all of it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are we there yet?

When you are staying in a hospital whether it is for medical or mental reasons, you are staying in what can only be called clinical accommodation.  There is no sense of reality.  I can really only speak of my stay in a psych hospital.  You are there to recover, to heal, to regroup, to gather your sense of reality and to put yourself back together.

Every person's journey to mental wellness is different.  You all have to walk the rocky path, take the prickles from your feet and continue.  Nobody can do it for you.  Whilst you are in hospital, you are not facing the everyday challenges you must face at home.  This at first is good. Particularly if like me, you were burnt out.  But eventually, real life must again become a part of your life and your life must become a part of real life.

Until just over a week ago, I had spent a total of 17 days of 2011 as an outpatient.  I was very unwell.  Coming home the first time I thought I was ready.  Slight hiccup and I was back in hospital for a few more weeks.  This time the coming home has been much more successful, but it is not all roses.  I have still had to face demons, deal with scary situations and face people. All types of people, strangers, family, friends, acquaintances you name it.  Some were easier than others.

Sometimes it was very hard.  Your perception is all warped and distorted when you are mentally unwell.  You are paranoid.  You think everyone is looking at you, talking about you, hating you.  Quite ridiculous really.  Most people are far too busy to give you even the smallest of thoughts. Even though I am out of hospital at times I still feel this paranoia.  This is my problem not other peoples.  How I get over it - well I do not know the answer for that.  Just remember, if you see me and I am acting out of character than I am perhaps feeling intimidated and worried.  Worried that you think I am a failure, a nut, a basket case.  Silly me.  I shouldn't worry, when in fact you most likely have not seen me, or if you have thought oh there is Laura haven't seen her for awhile

I am not behaving badly, I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings but I am not sure of how to deal with the situation.  Plain and simple.  Don't take it personlly.  Just remember I don't get even, I get odder.

Soon, soon, soon, I will be there.  It is still destination unknown, but my compass is no longer spinning wildly out of control.  I am heading somewhere.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 29

A picture that can always make you smile
Need I say any more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Not all who wander are lost

But sometimes those wander are lost.  For many years I was lost.  I flitted around.  I lived in Sydney and then moved back to Brisbane.  Lived in Melbourne and then back to Brisbane.   In between these interstate sojourns I would move to New Farm or Woolloongabba and live there and then move back home.

I think I was lost without realising.  This was all during my mid to late twenties.  About a month before I turned 30 I moved to London for six months.  I was running away.  I did not like the idea of turning 30.  I did not like where I was in my life.  I was very very unsatisfied and felt geographical location was the reason.

Of course it wasn't.  I was unhappy with myself.  I also think I was suffering depression.  Not as dark and empty as recent times but just a mild depression that sat like a hole in my stomach.  I did not recognise it because I blamed everything else except that.

Now all I want to do is live in the one place.  I do want to travel but I want to do it with my husband and definitely kid free.

Now I will wander and get lost but just for the pure joy of it, not because I need to be found.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 28

A picture of something you're afraid of

Very scared of heights. Last time I donned a pair of roller skates I broke out into a cold terror drenching sweat.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A week yesterday

A week yesterday and I was still in hospital.  How am I doing?  So far, so good.  I struggle, but who doesn't?  The kids fighting really upset me but same who doesn't feel this way.  The difference is I am coping.  I am not withdrawing or sleeping the whole day away.  I am more involved and dare I say happy.

I went to CBT follow up on Wednesday and spoke to one of the staff members.  I told her I was concerned.  I told her I was feeling happy and was worried this was fake.  This feeling was so foreign to me that I worried it was not real.  Guess what?  Still feeling happy.  Sometimes, I feel crap but who doesn't.

Now I am concentrating on balance.  Sometimes happy sometimes crap.  But always coping.

To all the ANZAC'S out there to my Grandfather whom I never met and love nonetheless, to your Grandfathers, Fathers, Brothers, Husbands and dearly deceased - Lest we forget.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 27

A picture of yourself and a family member

My Nana and I.  Digging in the sand, building not just sandcastles, but amazing fortresses.  She is an amazing gracious lady.  Now in the winter of her years and still awesome.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 26

A picture of something that means a lot to you

Is this not what we all wish for, particularly for our children.  I wish this for us so our children have stability.  When I talk about wealth I don't mean oozing with money, I mean financial stability.  I would not mind having a mortgage, that would be awesome it would mean we were no longer renting.  And it is something we will come by from our own hard work and saving.  As for the health and happiness they rate even higher than wealth.  I wish this not just for my family but for yours.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I did it

I think I need to go out and buy this doll to celebrate.  I went grocery shopping today to my local shopping centre.  I did ring my Mum and a close friend first to see if either could come for moral support.  Both were busy. (poking tongues to you). I took the kids with me so my husband could have a lovely sleep in.  I was terrified you see. Not of having the kids with me, not of crowds, but of running into some people who I have sadly lost as friends during my quest for mental health.

I hope bridges can be repaired one day.  Life is too short to carry the load of a grudge.  I am trying very hard to let go and forgive.  It is hard because the hurt is still present and I know they feel their hurt also.  Who did what, who said what etc is no longer important.   What is important is we both are still very vulnerable and in our own different ways grieving.  I for a child who to me is perfect but to the world is disabled and my friend for another reason which is not my story to write.

One day, our paths will cross and the first greeting will be the hardest.  I hope from there things will only improve.  Like that thousand mile journey, step by step you can overcome, slowly reaching your destination.

Today, is Easter Saturday.  Tomorrow, I wish you all a very happy and safe Easter.   If it is just a holiday, have fun, if this day is a spiritual one, than enjoy your celebration also.

Stay safe, enjoy your family and friends

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 25

A picture of your day

We are having friends over later for a bbq.  I am making Nigella Lawson's Choc/Raspberry Pavlova.  I have not made it yet but the above pic is one I made about a year ago.  This is one of my legendary desserts.  It never fails.  It is delicious, divine and totally sinful.  I think I might put some chocolate easter eggs on it this time too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today I am grateful for....

 My husband.

He is awesome.  He is doing all the washing for me.  He has hung up all the dry clothes, done the folding and even poured me a glass of lemonade.  He is a loving, patient Daddy too.  We are lucky to have him.
Thanks babe.  You are my world.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 24

A picture of something you wish you could change

I wish I could beat my depression.  That huge dirty black dog that has been stalking me most of my life.  I wish I could not just lose that dog but totally obliterate it. Like the witch in Wizard of Oz I would love to see it just melt away.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

First week at home

I have now been home for five days.  It has been a lovely relaxing week.  Clay has been staying with my sister since Monday and comes home tomorrow.  As bad as it sounds, this has really contributed to a successful first week at home.

My darling son is hard work.  He has high levels of anxiety.  He plays them out in this constant monologue.  While it sounds like a dialogue because he is asking questions; he is not interested in the answers. It just has to be played out.  But you must listen.  He nags you to listen. He is as relentless as a dripping tap.

I am trying to sort out the house a bit today.  My psychiatrist has told me baby steps.  Don't over do it.  But I really want a little corner of my living area to be my art and felting studio.  So I am very motivated to get this happening.

Pics will be loaded when I am happy with the set up.

Take care, enjoy the holidays if you are able to be home with your kids.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 23

A picture of your favourite book

I would probably read about 2 -3 books a week.  It is nothing for me to have several books on the go all at once.  I do have many favourites.  But, it is rare for me to re-read a book again and again.  I have done so. But like I said, it is rare.

However, there is one book I have totally loved reading again and again and again.

My kids love this book.  It is my favourite one to read to them.  They find it funny, exciting and I get totally involved in their excitement too.  Sadly, they have recently outgrown this book.  I am keeping it though.  Maybe one day I will read it again to their kids.  Who knows?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 22

A picture of something you wish you were better at

Before I choose a picture, just want to painfully deliberate.  There are so many things we all wish we were better at. Some are silly, some vain, some profound.  For example; I wish I was better at singing, dancing, keeping the house clean, being a good friend and so on.

But, the only thing I wish for; is to be a better Mother.  My children, deserve the best of me and sometimes I fail to deliver.  In fact, quite often I fail to deliver.  I am impatient, anxious, lacking in attention.  I ignore them at times, withdrawing into my awful world of depression.  This is not what they signed up for.  I aim to work at being more patient, less anxious and mindful of the quality of time we spend together.  It may not mean more time because quantity over quality is not optimum.  It will be quality though.  Relishing the little things.   Their tiny hands, their adoring faces upturned and trusting.  Their silly giggles and moments when they seek me out for nothing more than a simple hug or reassuring smile.  

To be a better Mother, I aim to give my kids a better life. To set sturdy foundations and strong wings.  So they can fly when they choose to but return home when they need to.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Climbing the soap box

OMG I am so nervous.  I am doing something tonight I have not done for 15 years.  Is the mind boggling?  What is it that an almost 42 happily married woman possibly be doing tonight.  What could be something she has not done for 15 years.

It was something I did on a fortnightly basis.  And sometimes had impromptu additional extra curricula meetings. There was always an agenda and you were quite often taken out of your comfort zone.

Tonight, I am attending a Toastmasters meeting.  Not my beloved club from days of old.  Nope! I fear I would feel like their Mother if I attended that club.  It was called Young Achievers and members ranged from late teens upwards.  We said young meant young at heart but seriously, I definitely don't want to be the oldest one there by at least a decade.

I am off to the local suburban chapter.  I will check it out.  See if the fit is good and maybe join up.  Yes I am nervous.  Only because I am meeting new people.  Public speaking I can do on my butt with my eyes closed.  Of course I get nervous but I still love it and do it any chance I get.  Usually, the public speaking gigs I do though are as a volunteer for Autism Qld and I talk about a subject that I am both passionate and knowledgeable of.  I can make grown men cry.

This is for me though.  It will be interesting and I am sure everyone will be lovely.  I can still remember the first meeting I attended some 19 odd years ago.  ah those were the days.

Will keep you posted.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 21

A picture of something you wish you could forget

It is not so much wishing I could forget, but wishing it had never happened.  9/11.  An ending of innocence.  We all have paid the price some much more than others.  I wish the 2nd picture was still a current view of NYC.  But, it isn't.  We live now with the threat of terrorism striking even our own Australian shores.  Let's not also live in fear.

My husband thinks by calling them terrorists we glamourise who they are and what they stand for.  I agree.  They are nasty criminals and deserve to rot in jail.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I have rocks in my head

I must have, really and truly I must.  I have just sent an private message to the 17 girls I know from high school who happen to have the privilege of being my facebook friend.  lol they might disagree after they get my message.  You see it has been 25 years since Grade 12.  So I thought we should have a catch up.  And stupid stupid me offered to organise it.

I did say though - we won't all agree on a date and a location and we won't please all.  I hope I can do this.  I hope I am well enough.  I think it would be a good project to keep me busy.

I will keep you posted.

Geez whiz do I have rocks in my head?

Living not existing

I am doing it.  I have survived two hours alone with just the kids and I.  This is huge.  I feel like I have climbed Mt Everest.  This is one of the things I was terrified of not just doing but coping.  And I am.  Plus I am also weaning off some of my meds so I am also doing it without the pharmaceutical crutch I was relying on in hospital.

(seven hours later)
Now that I have climbed Mt Everest, I have to figure out how to pack up, and climb down and go home.  I need to figure out out to stay home.  How to stay on track, keep on keeping on, staying the distance and so on.

I take a lot of strength from music and today I am sharing Pink and a song that is very important to me and I hope you will enjoy.

This song is for my friend Kim.  A friend who is an amazing girl.  She has an awesome sense of fun.  She is a cool chick.  She has great values and ethics but I must say she has crap taste in chicks.  Come on now Kim surely you must agree that Susan Sarandon is one sexy chick.  I know you bat for the same team but Ms Sarandon would definitely make me reconsider changing teams.  Kim, stay strong babe.  You have fought this far - you can fight some more.

Fuckin' Perfect Lyrics

Made a wrong turn
Once or twice
Dug my way out
Blood and fire
Bad decisions
That's alright
Welcome to my silly life

Miss knowing it's all good
It didnt slow me down.

Always second guessing
Look I'm still around

Pretty, pretty please
Dont you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than
Fucking perfect

Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing
You're fucking perfect to me

You're so mean
When you talk
About yourself, you were wrong
Change the voices in your head

Make them like you instead
So complicated
Look how we all make it
Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game

It's enough
I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons
I've seen you do the same


Pretty, pretty please
Dont you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than
Fucking perfect

Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing
You're fucking perfect to me

The whole worlds scared
So I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking
Is an ice cold beer

So cool in line
And we try, try, try
But we try too hard
And it's a waste of my time

Done looking for the critics
Cause they're everywhere
They don't like my jeans
They don't get my hair

Exchange ourselves
And we do it all the time
Why do we do that?
Why do I do that?

Why do I do that?

Oh baby pretty please

Pretty, pretty please
Dont you ever feel
Like you're less than
Fucking perfect

Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing
You're fucking perfect to me

You're perfect, you're perfect

Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing
You're fucking perfect to me

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 20

A picture of somewhere you would like to travel

Many years ago, I read a book. It was a collection of letters and diary entries from pioneering women who had travelled the Oregon Trail.  They were stoic, and often filled with tragedy.  These modest proprietary woman had to endure unbelievable hardship.  They were often not given any say in the matter. They simply had to follow their husbands.  They left behind grown children, parents, siblings and friends.  They gave birth and buried not only their children but often their husbands on this trail.

There are still wagon wheel ruts scarring the land.

And many unmarked and some marked graves.

This is something I would love to do.  Travel their route and again read that book.  Unlike these women, I will be doing it by choice.  I will be travelling by a vehicle they would consider wonderous and rather than sleep beside camp fires shivering from cold and fear I will be sleeping in a bed.  But I will always think of these brave courageous women.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." Martin Luther King Jnr

Hope has been something that has dragged me through some very difficult, dark times.  It is an amazing thing.  It gives you strength and resilience.  It keeps you waking up each day.  Hope is knowing the sun rise and sets and the moon controls the ebb and flow of the  tide.  Hope is your husband loving you day by dark day.  Hope is your kids, fiercely and unconditionally loving you.  Hope is the friends who have stuck by you and your family's constant support.

Thank you hope.  You have got me through this as much as I have.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 19

A picture and a letter

I choose the letter L.  L for Lewis family and L for love.  I love my husband and kids.   They are of course my everything and I could and would not live without them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Recovery and Maintenance

I had my final inpatient session with my psychiatrist last night.  It is funny how I have warmed to him.  Initially, I was extremely intimidated by him.  It took a long time for me to firstly trust him and then to open up to him.  The more I was able to trust and reveal all; the more secure and safe I felt with him.  I have told him I have faith in him and will do all he suggests and give it my all.

Two sleeps and I will be home.  Hopefully, for good this time.  I think I am much more prepared than I was the first time I was discharged.  I have a more realistic view of how to manage myself.  I still have great support - that has not changed.  I am more nervous but less anxious.

My psychiatrist has said take it simply, don't rush to do too much and take one day at a time.  So, I plan to.  I will work at keeping a mood diary, I will be mindful and I will also every day make time for myself.  This time will be for me to enjoy small simple pleasures.

I will continue to attend CBT follow up.  I will keep up with my blogging and my drawing.  I will try and be more accessible and outgoing.  I will be present for my children and husband.  And, lastly I will not self-medicate.

Take care,

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 18

A picture of your biggest insecurity

Some people just cannot help themselves.  I know we have all done it.  I try very hard not to.  But there are some people who do it to everyone about everyone.  And you know what?  They are the most insecure, shallow people you strike.  I always think, gee if you if you constantly talk maliciously about other people what do you say about me when I am not around.   

People, see through these people.  I have been a victim this year from very unexpected directions.  It has shocked and deeply hurt me.  I would like to speak to these people directly but I doubt they would be up to face to face communication with me.  Besides, they have been so used to talking about me behind my back, they may have forgotten what I look like from the front.

I will regularly cross paths with them.  That is fine.  I am polite plus I don't need to talk about them behind their backs because I have nothing to say and truly, there is not much to be said about them that is interesting.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 17

A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently

This year in total I have spent 17 days as an out patient.  I have needed a lot of help and support.  This has come in several forms.  Psychiatry, tweaking my medication, CBT course, art therapy, blogging (journalling) and attending the group sessions offered to inpatients.  So I would have to say the above pic is very much an accurate representation of what has hugely impacted my life recently.

I am proud of my journey.  I am proud I have not been ashamed to speak about it.  I am proud I have done my best.  I am proud I have failed but not given up.  I am proud that I have friends and family that have supported me throughout.  You guys make my life richer and fuller.  Thanks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Going Home

Four sleeps and I am going home.  What does this mean for me.  It means continuing with my recovery.  It means challenges.  It means I will be home with my family.  It means I more than ever need your continued support and understanding.

As I have said in an earlier blog; 'you can't unring the bell'.  This was something I read in someone else's blog so I can't lay claim to this and it is quite a common saying.   Now that it is out that I have been in a psychiatric hospital for several months it means some people, many people or perhaps nobody will be alert for nutty behaviour or maybe not.

Please don't do this.  I am as 'abnormal' as anybody else.  Seriously really who is normal, what is normal and do you really want to be considered normal?  I know I don't.  The thing is I will be just the same as before.  Maybe a little fragile at first.

Please do not feel the need to tiptoe around me.  Talk, act and laugh as ever before.  I am the first to make jokes about myself and my 'visit to the loony bin'.  Ok - so yes you can't unring the bell but you don't have to listen to it's ongoing vibrations.  You can just choose to accept.

Over and out

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 16

A picture of someone who inspires you

My son, Clay Lindsay Lewis, born 19 February 2002 inspires me.  He challenges me.  He has made me a better person but has also bought out the worst in me.  Dealing with autism has contributed to issues such as comfort eating, self medicating with alcohol and of course depression.  He is not the reason but his autism and other factors are.  

He, however, inspires me.  He is clever, witty and can be incredibly charming.  He is a handsome young man now.  He has picture perfect memory and is a walking talking compass.  He can remember dates and events, sadly this helps with his OCD and anxiety over storms but it is still a strength. 

Not many people can tell you what autism feels like but my son tells me it hurts his head.  Yet he functions, he accomplishes and he thrives.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 15

A picture of something you want to do before you die

Play the guitar solo for Sweet Child O' Mine live on stage including big running leaps and sliding on knees etc.  Hilarious considering I cannot play one single chord on the guitar.  But there you go that is something I wanna do before I die.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 14

A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

My main man - my sexy beast the Wazza

And my kids

These three people are my whole world.  They are the reason I exist and the reason I am working so hard at getting well.  For them but also for me.  They need me as much as I need them.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 13 version 2

A picture of your favourite band/artist

Having thought about this for quite some time (since my stoopid puter got a stoopid virus because dis stoopid chic did something stoopid lol) I have decided I will stick to a band/artist.

Man oh man this is one tough question.  I have decided to go with .......... drum roll please...........ummmmm I am still thinking ............  far out this one is a big ask .............ok here favourite band/artist is:

Powderfinger!  Probably no real surprises there.  It was a hard choice though.  But they have consistently over many years provided me with amazing songs that have almost been the soundtrack to my life.  My Happiness for instance came out around the time I started dating my Wazza.  That song gives me butterflies because I feel the same feelings from our early dating time.  My current favourite song is one I will most likely blog about down the track. Stay tuned.

Love youse all

Imagine what you would do......

Imagine, your life, the one you had planned, the one you were living; imagine it ripped from you. As quickly and painfully as the ripping of a band aid but unlike the cruel to be kind element, the repercussions are long reaching and ever so painful.

What would you do? Perhaps, your country has been invaded and you have been commanded to speak another language, be ruled by a dictator not voted in by the masses, your religion, your culture and your way of life all now illegal.

Or maybe, you have lost your job, you cannot pay your bills and your house payments. You suddenly find yourself living on the street. You can no longer wash daily. To find basics such as food and water present a daily struggle.

What if you lose your mind? Your sense of reality is not anyone else's. What would you do?

This is what happened to me. It was not a quick band aid ripping moment. It was slow. It started after the birth of my first child. Post natal depression. Took too long for me to get it treated and then it was here take this pill everyday and you will be fine. And, yes, for awhile I was. But I should have had counseling and therapy and learned tools that would have helped me and given me foundations.

Next, I had a major health scare. Pre-cancerous cells on my cervix. CYN 3 which is the worst without actually being cancer. An operation, a long wait to make sure it was successful and no return of this awful condition.

Shortly after, our darling son. Our first born, who held our hopes and dreams; who was our walking heartbeat was diagnosed with autism. I know I have written of this before but to understand the impact this has on your life you have to understand this is life changing. It is pervasive and affects not just your son but you and your husband, your marriage and any person who chooses to support you in your journey.

We needed money to fund his therapies. The cost is enormous. We sold our house. We lived with my parents for three years. The sacrifice was so huge. We put Clay and his needs ahead of our family unit, our marriage and also our daughter.

What would you do? Would you be angry? On top of this, you are dealt further blows that lead to even further financial hardship. You are living below the poverty level. How crazy can this be. What would you do?

You sink into a depression, you lose your self-esteem and loath your own existence. How dare you feel pleasure - you are a failure. You should perhaps kill yourself so that your family can get a better Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister. someone worthy of the care and love your family feels for you.

That is what I did. Almost. I am now in recovery mode. I am starting to feel. I am still very angry but am working working working on letting it go. I want to be more then a Mum though. I want to have my own interests and be able to contribute to conversations and be an interesting person to know.

Do you think you could live through all this? Do you think you could make it happen? I am going to!

Location:Belmont hospital

Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 13

A picture of your favourite band/artist

OMG this is a hard one.

Now, if I was Sue B it would be Uncanny Xmen or Justin Beiber lol.

I have too many to choose from. So I am going to choose my favourite artist as in art/painting.

a crap crap crap crap - this blogging from the ipad is hard. I have to figure out how to add pics so my 30 day photo challenge is temporarily on hold until I get home.

Steady, don't cry.

Please Explain

My doctor, the one in charge of my head, my mental health and really the overall ongoing quality of my life has told me to go home by end of this week. OMG I am terrified. I am freakin not happy about this at all. He says "you know Laura you can't stay here forever.". Well derr I feel like saying. Of course I can't stay here forever, but I was hoping to get one more extra week than he recommends.

Why? Because my first week at home coincides with school holidays. I told him this. I said I do not believe that being at home with my kids is the best thing for me and my continued recovery. He did not get it. He just felt getting someone to be at home will be enough. But, Doctor I am sorry it won't be.

I do want to be at home and had hoped that my discharge date would coincide with Easter. I felt that was a prime time for me to come home. I would be there and have lovely quality time with the kids but my darling husband would also be there to help out and keep Clay calm or at least busy.

I am in a fragile frail state. I know, I have written that I plan on being strong and taking the bull by the horns and such, but this will not be an overnight fix. One thing that is very important is a successful return home. Not just for me, but for my kids. The one thing - aside from health and happiness - I want for them is stability. Having a nuts Mummy is not akin to stability. But having a Mummy who can stay out of hospital permanently is the next best thing.

Your comments and advice on how to handle, broach, deal with this are most welcome my lovely family and friends.

As always, take care, hold your loved ones close.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The A - Z of Laura Lewis

Age: 42 (well will be in about a month) Bed Size: Queen size, complete with a variety of quilts (purr). Chore You Hate:umm name just one.  How about all of them. But worst would be ummm all of them. Dogs: A cute white fluffy one that does not bark or yip Essential Start of Your Day: Cup of coffee and peace while I drink it. Favorite Color: Pink for clothing, red and white for decor but love all colours Gold or Silver: Gold, however my Pandora is a mix of both gold and silver. Height: 167cm Instruments You Play: Does the recorder count?  Job Title: Mum, wife, daughter, sister, friend and currently patient. Kids: yes one boy and one girl - loves of my life Live: South East Queensland, Australia Mum's Name: Desley Nicknames:Friends call me Lau, Lausie and family call me Yitty Overnight Hospital Stays: Baby deliveries, gall bladder removal and being a nutter. Pet Peeve: Fake people, rude people, late people and people who make me feel stupid. Quote From a Movie: "Party on Wayne" Right- or Left-Handed: Right
Siblings: 1 sister. Time You Wake Up: Usually 7 a.m. which is when breakfast is delivered to  me in bed. Underwear: umm yes I wear itVeggie You Dislike: love all my vegies but least fave is cabbage What Makes You Run Late: Husband - yes every time! X-Rays You Have Had: too many to remember -  played netball and softball. Yummy Food You Make: I make a great pavlova... It is a Nigella Lawson Choc Pavlova dressed with fresh cream, rasperries and grated dark chocolate and is divine!! Zoo Animal You Like Best: Those monkeys with the red bums I don't know why I just find them hilarious

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 12

A picture of something you love

Not just any coffee either.  It has to be good coffee.  Define good coffee: any cup of coffee made by someone other than me.  No that is not true.  While it is lovely to have it made for you non-coffee drinkers usually make blech coffee.   Merlo is not a bad blend.  I love a good strong skinny flat white.  Kind of defeats the point when I have a great big delicious citrus tart with it but they must balance each other I believe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dress Differently Day

Today is dress differently day for Autism Awareness month.  It is a day where businesses, social groups and schools can allow there employees/members/students to go free dress for a gold coin donation to raise much needed funds for Autism Qld.

Please feel free to do something to help.  I am going to be dressing up as Harry Potter.  It will be a hoot considering I am currently a patient in psych hospital.

To celebrate I would like to share the following clip with you. Just have the box of tissues close at hand

Get crazy with your dress sense guys.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 11

A picture of something you hate

I don't like the hate word.  It is something I try not to feel and a word I try not to use.  But if we have to go there.  Then I despise discrimination.   Live and let die is my motto.  Be it sexuality, gender, race, religion, beliefs everyone is entitled to be who they are and what they believe in.  Doesn't mean you have to agree but you can agree to disagree.  There will be things I say, do and believe that people will disagree with and vice versa but it is our right to have these beliefs. 

We are lucky to live in a country that allows us to be free thinkers and freely speak up about and against our country's policies.  As long as it is done in a peaceful and legal forum.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 9

A picture of the person you do the most effed up things with

Apart from my family, this is the person who knows the most about me and has known me for the longest.  We started Grade 1 together.  We have always been friends.  We always will be.  She is as much a part of my life as is oxygen.  A constant and consistent friend.  

Although I can get up to a bit of harmless mischief, I can honestly say I have never really got up to 'effed up stuff'.  

This photo is us at Apollo Bay.  One Australia Day long weekend many years ago we decided to do a Thelma and Louise road trip and picked The Great Ocean Road.  Of course our road trip had a happy ending thankfully.

We had an awesome time taking in the sights, listening to JJJ hottest 100 and just enjoying each others's company.  We both can laugh at the ridiculous and sometimes it doesn't even have to be ridiculous it can just be plain cheesiness.  When this chick gets her laughing gear going it is the best.  It comes out like this a....a.....a.....a.....a......a.....a and it is hilarious, belly clutching stuff.

To you my friend.  Thanks babe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Seven Year Tears

Today, for the first time in seven years I cried talking about the day of my son's diagnosis.  Was I caught in a fragile, frail moment?  No, not really.  Had it been a long hard day.   No, I am in hospital and the toughest thing to face (apart from your therapy) are your menu choices.  No, today I was on leave for the morning visiting a dear life long friend.

We had covered pretty much most issues affecting my depression.  I think it was just the right time to cry.  I only had a couple of tears.  My friend was concerned we were tackling taboo topics.  (loving alliteration here guys)  So I did reign it in for her benefit.  I was with a friend I had known since I was 10.  Someone, I have always admired, had tonnes of fun with and who I looked up to as my older sister.  Like a well worn pair of jeans the fit was right.  So the fit was right, the time was right and I could release that grief.

I am hoping to talk further about this with my Doctor so I can fully explore my grief and fully deal with it.  Maybe this will be step 3 in my letting go plan.  Maybe it is time to let go of Russia or was it the USSR back in WWII.  My modern history is a bit rusty so can't quite remember.  Feel free to correct me.  Constructive criticism is always welcome.

This picture was taken about six months prior to Clay's diagnosis of autism.  Why did we not see it.  Look at those dark circles under his eyes.  He is not looking at the camera despite much cajoling and calling out his name.  To us he was so perfect and still is.   But to the world he is disabled.

April is autism awareness month and each day I try to put a status up on facebook that is either about Clay or just basic facts about autism.  Today I wrote:  My son Clay is 9. At 2 he could not eat solids. At 3 he could not say Mummy. At 4 he was not toilet trained. At 5 he said a 7 word sentence. At 6 he rode a bike without training wheels on the 1st go. At 7 he could direct us to places he had only been to once and sometimes years earlier. At 8 he developed a terror for storms. At 9 he can draw the map of Australia from memory. Clay is autistic & amazing.

The worst thing we will ever do for our son is hold him back and under estimate his potential.  I find myself as an overprotective Mother very guilty of this.  Clay is amazing.  He has amazing strengths and talents.  He constantly surpasses all expectations and performs miracles almost daily.  Not healing the masses kind, just the Clay kind.

This is a picture of one of thousands of road maps my amazing boy draws.   You can bet this place exists somewhere.  He is my walking talking compass.

This is a recent pic of my amazing perfect autistic son.  He is unique in every essence and totally travels to the beat of his own drum.

Keep going baby, keep doing what you do.  You are my hero.

30 Day Photo Challenge Day 9

A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

This one was too hard, I could not choose one picture or one person.  Why?   Because I have certainly had my fair share of tough times in my life.  In fact, some people have asked if I killed a china man in my previous life.  So I have had to choose three pictures with some of the people who have really been there for me in my most difficult moments.  This does not mean they are the only ones who have been there because I have been fortunate to have many friends who have been there for me.  These ones have been consistently there for me through thick, thin, low and high times.

Picture 1 is my darling husband.  He certainly didn't realise when he signed that dotted line that his wife would in the future suffer chronic depression and he would be expected to shoulder far more in this partnership.  I am eternally grateful and of course would do it all for him.  Thank you my beautiful man.  I love you times eternity plus 1.

Picture 2 is all my immediate family at our wedding.  These people love me unconditionally and some have known me since birth (funny that).  They have changed my nappies, fought over toys and later clothes, taught me much and been there for me unquestioningly and completely.  They chose my side before knowing the details of the battle.  Thanks to my family.

Picture 3 is my bestie.  SGB you have given me so much strength.  You have stood up for me when you could have been silent and can I also just say fuck we have had some fun too.

I am blessed.  In my journey for mental health wellness I forgot how blessed I was.  I was embroiled in such evil darkness that I was unable to see the bright stars that constantly shone for me.

If I can be half the friend, life partner, family member you guys have been I would be proud.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Pretender

Abraham Lincoln

I am not bound to win but I am bound
to be true. I am not bound to succeed
but I am bound to live up to what light
I have. I must stand with anybody
that stands right; stand with them while
they are right and part with them when
they go wrong.

"The Pretender"

Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend
Keep you in the dark
And so it all began

Send in your skeletons
Sing as their bones go marching in... again
They need you buried deep
The secrets that you keep are ever ready
Are you ready?
I'm finished making sense
Done pleading ignorance
That whole defense

Spinning infinity, boy
The wheel is spinning me
It's never-ending, never-ending
Same old story

[Chorus (x2):]
What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

In time or so I'm told
I'm just another soul for sale... oh, well
The page is out of print
We are not permanent
We're temporary, temporary
Same old story

[Chorus x2]

I'm the voice inside your head
You refuse to hear
I'm the face that you have to face
Mirrored in your stare
I'm what's left, I'm what's right
I'm the enemy
I'm the hand that will take you down
Bring you to your knees

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?

Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend

[Chorus x2]

What if I say I'm not like the others?
(Keep you in the dark)
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
(You know they all... pretend)
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?

You may notice a bit of a common theme in many of my posts.  I read somewhere that music is what feelings sound like.  In my online journalling (this blog) I sometimes am stumped to describe my feelings but find a certain song resonating in me so strongly that I can use it as a catalyst to open up and release my feelings.

Does this happen to you.  Maybe you hear a certain song and suddenly you are 16 years old and feeling those intense 16 year old feelings. In my mid twenties I lived in Sydney for about 4 months.  I love to live in different places but my strong family ties like a rubber band will only stretch so far before snapping and sending me back to home.  When I talk of home it is not necessarily a house but just where my family are. Now back to Sydney.  I was feeling homesick and just barely over the sound of a lawn mower I could hear a neighbour's radio on a tinny AM station.  A Glen Campbell song came on, pretty sure it was Rhinestone Cowboy and OMG I was a little girl again.  The sound of that lawnmower and that song took me back to a time where I felt safe, nurtured, and living in the loving cocoon of home.

Last night I watched the Foo Fighters' song Pretender on youtube. My son, who I must say has awesome taste in music, loves this song.  I really listened to the words and thought how powerful they were.  I felt the need to play that song really loud and start screaming out those words in a fiery anger filled fury.  I don't want to be the pretender anymore.  I will live my life the way I want to live it.  There will be no stopping me.

As Shakespeare wrote 'to thine ownself be true'.  That is all I have to do.  All of this year, during my time in hospital and in therapy with my psychiatrist I have dwelt on hurts from days of old.  As soon as I leave this hospital, no more!  I am going to concentrate on the here and now.  I am also going to explore Buddhism as they too concentrate on the here and now.  They don't judge, they accept and that is going to be me.

No more masks, costumes and pretending.  This is me.  This is who I am.  For each and every day I will live in the moment and I will aim to not judge and to accept.   

Remember the people we are quickest to judge are probably the people who are more in need of our acceptance then anybody else.

Take care, look after one person today.