Thursday, September 6, 2012

The People that We Meet

I met Margaret on the way home to Sydney. She is an art lover and instantly we delved into discussions on art and the "art" they exhibit these days too. She is studying counselling, volunteers teaching English to Indonesian women and has a strong faith in women and our powerful influence and abilities. She also believes women are too isolated and alone these days. She is very focused on bringing the community together.

I told her about my vision, my concerns, and she gave me some great ideas. Volunteering to work with women who have PND was one of them and using art as a form of relaxation therapy for them was another. She sent me an email suggesting ways to get started. I'm excited for her advice. She also handed me her business card and told me to contact her when I have an art exhibition.

Sometimes, it's strange how a complete stranger becomes the little push or the guiding hand needed. Now we are friends, it only took an hour and a half.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Gift

I recently did a portrait of my friend's brother. She wanted it to honour his memory and give it as a gift to her dad. I felt privileged to do the illustration for her. I got sick during the week I was to draw it and wondered if I'd get it done in time, but at the last minute I knuckled down, put a solid three and a half hours into it and had the finished product by midnight.

Drawing a person who has moved on was a unique experience for me. I talked to the photo like he was present and got a real sense of his character, a cheeky, loving guy. He was beautiful to draw, lovely lips, nice eyes. I felt a little hesitant at first you know, I was worried I wouldn't be able to do him justice, but he turned out all right. Once I got started it just flowed.

My friend came and picked it up this morning. When she saw the picture she creed. What an honour. It's moments like these that I am so grateful I have an ability to create things like this for others. I asked her a few questions about him, gathering the impressions I had of him as I was drawing him and I was right, he was cheeky and lovable. She spoke to me about him, kind of grieved a little, I guess touched by the artistic impression and I guess my approach to it. This is why I love being able to do this. Seeing the person you are doing it for reaction, the way their eyes light up or fill with tears. I was grateful she gave me the opportunity to honour his memory too and trust me with something so sacred to her.

It's funny how little doubts gnaw at your head but if you just do it, it's amazing what you can do! I am inspired to continue with my art, and work hard, so I am gathering a group of kids together for art lessons, working on my portfolios and designing a business card. So I think this blog will shift instead to a journal of art instead of a journal of all my short comings. Through this talent, I'll find my self acceptance anyway and connect with others along the way.

Pete (Passed away in September 2011)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect

I was seriously contemplating deleting this blog. The reason: feeling a little exposed and fear, vulnerability, getting no heart to hearts or feedback from others ... then I discovered this email as I was cleaning out my inbox. I don't know how I missed it, but I did, and only found it now ... I have deleted the name to keep it private ... but it touched my heart ...

"Stumbled upon your blog... just wanted to tell you I love your honesty.  It is hard putting words in black and white on a blog.  It is different in our journals... but knowing someone out there might read them, puts a whole new perspective on it --- like we have more of a responsibility to be meaningful or something... as I read your words, I felt your heart... the most important part... 

It seems you must be LDS because of a comment about "no-TV Sundays" and "No chore Sundays" --- if you are not, I apologize... but a lot of "church" women (I am LDS) struggle with motherhood... we strive for perfection... we want the Spirit to give us strength to have the perfect Family Home Evenings... the perfect family meals... and alone in our closets - the only place we can find peace... we cry as we pray and fall apart...  

I wish more women would admit that they are struggling... I fell into a deep dark gambling cavern... and now I am basically inactive... yet my testimony is still burning strong... 

Well... thanks for allowing me to tell you how much it meant to read your blog... simple... honest... loved it!"
Thank you for sending that to me and for your honesty. I wish we were all more open and accepting of each other, then there would be less loneliness, depression and addictive behaviours because people would have people that are there for them and really care.We wouldn't punish or sabotage ourselves because we would know that everyone else is struggling as much as the other and that we are in this together, helping pull each other through each challenge instead of stepping on each others fingers to get out of the pit first. I am like my blog, put it out there and hope someone will meet me half way and I have been finding people like that far and few between, but your email, made all the difference. I guess people run from their weaknesses, its what I am laying on the table for everyone to see and poke at, and I hope if I disclose to others they will to me, but that's when I find alot of people run a mile, I guess facing our faults can be ugly and terrifying, but facing them is the only way to overcome them, even if facing them is learning to accept that ugly part of ourselves. But we all have so much to offer each other if only we'd give more honestly.
There is a cure for depression and all the beahviours that come with it: people. People who give a damn, people who take the time, people who truly love, people who don't judge, people who try and fail as much as any other, people who give.

Monday, July 23, 2012

And She All Falls Down ...

It has become clear to me why I write this blog. I have been afraid of another relapse of PND and I wanted to monitor all external circumstances and emotions to process the events leading up to a possible trigger. What I have found is that there are a few things that can and will help me not have a break down like I did the other day, and believe me it was a break down.

I felt like it was the beginning of the end, that I was falling into the pit of PND again, and even breifly felt suicidal. How can you live with yourself when you do something so disappointing and hurtful to the ones you love? Anyhow, Sunday was not a  good day for me ...

For the last three weeks Noah has been testing us to the end of our tethers. He was wilful, rude, disobedient and aggressive, coming at me with pounding fists and screaming, really acting up and even having a go at other people - incredibly naughty. He has been a trial with his dinner. He NEVER wants to eat it and I've tried everything. Sunday night I was tired. I'd been up with Chloe the night before about four times. I missed Andrew and he was tied up with some responsibilities at church so he made it home two hours after I did. We ate tea without him. Once again, Noah tried it on, refusing dinner and being a real smart alec. I didn't know what else to do so I threatened smacking him.

He pushed. I smacked. He pushed again, I smacked again, and again, as hard as I could smack.

I screamed at the top of my lungs "EAT YOUR TEA!" I screamed it over and over until my voice went hoarse and I had nothing left in me.
He was crying hysterically at this point and he told me to go away just after reaching to me for comfort.

I went away. My entire body shook. I broke down in tears. It made me realise how much I've been affected by everything, it had been building up over time, until I reached this point - a bad point to be I might add.

I went back to Noah, cradled him in my arms and said sorry. We both held each other in a comforting embrace and cryed. As children do, he forgave me within minutes and it was as though nothing had happened. He was magnanimous. But me - I still feel sick at the loss of control and the rage.

I look at my kids sometimes and blame them for the frustration I'm feeling when really it is everything else around me that is causing it, it's just not so obvious because they're standing right in front of you, openly defying you. But they are just being kids. They really are the fun part, even when they are throwing tanties. It's all the other external factors and obligations that have our shoulders in knots.

The funny thing is I don't feel angry anymore. I feel in control again, strong again. I needed the release. However, that was unhealthy getting to that stage and taking it out on my kid. So what have I learned from this?

  1. Sleep deprivation makes you less tolerant and resilient to life's pressures and any little thing added to it is like a lead weight.
  2. I need an outlet to channel my rage so even if life gets hard, I will have a way of getting out that anger in a safe and controlled environment and my children do not cop the brunt of it. It will do three things 1) Channel pieces of the rage so that it doesn't build up and I explode because I am letting it out in small doses,  2) Fitness, endorphins, better sleep and 3) Time out.
  3. Andrew and I need to date so that I feel connected to him and don't miss him so much.
  4. I need to work on my spirituality - going to the temple is a big one here. It will strengthen me and heal me.
  5. Talk to a trusted friend about how I am feeling, how I am doing, I found one today, even though she'd been there all along, I never knew I could turn to her like this until now. I am grateful for her advice and time.
  6. Make time for myself - essential, especially being creative and still acheiving personal goals.
All these things will ward off PND, but it's not as serious as it seems, all these things will ward off not coping with life well, it will help me cope with the everyday, put me in a better frame of mind. These things, if neglected, are, I believe, what leads to PND or depression in general if it goes untreated and it keeps building and building and building and there is no release. Being too busy to stop and breathe is dangerous. That's where you end up just smacking your kids around because its quick and effective but in the long run, if not done properly, damaging.

So I am writing, not for your criticism or judgements, but for me to pin point the triggers and you know what, I think I have. Now I can see clearly what happened to get me to this regretful point. It is not a PND relapse. It is not depression. It is an accumulation of stressful things and it is not coping with them and dealing with them as they come. It's just going through the motions as though I have no control on my life. No strategies have been put in place for times like these. Now I know where I need to mend the ladder to allow me to climb out of the hole of despair I felt imprisoned, as above. Those things are strategies for coping and while life is still all rush and sleep deprivation, it is manageable if I do them and it keeps my emotions in check.

No strategies leads to bad habits and impulsive reactions which can lead to worse things and begin a vicious circle.

So that's me, naked and vulnerable before your eyes, but I don't care what you think because you are not me, you don't live my life, you don't know or understand because you ain't wearing my shoes so take from it what you will, but I know I have found an answer for me and that is a break through for the long term in this interesting journey called life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


You know writing this blog has become kind of a venting place for me and in part it's been therapudic but also very personal. What I may think and feel one day can be resolved the next. So friends who read this blog may wonder what I am whinging about sometimes lol.

I guess I am insecure in many ways when it comes to friendships. I for one, lack a whole lot of self confidence and that in turn affects relationships I have. I get paranoid, I get discouraged easily, and in part it is warranted as my choice of friends hasn't been that great in the past. It's funny how sometimes you end up attracting the kind of people that are exactly what you don't need!

But I've struck it lucky. Found some beauties from amongst all the rubble. I think I just need to be patient and not listen to that negative little nag in my head who says all those terrible things about me to explain why I have no friends (which is not true anyway, I have friends, it's just that voice again telling me I don't). Sometimes they turn up in the most peculiar places. Opportunities come from all angles and can sometimes be overlooked.

I got Chloe immunised on Tuesday and met a lady whom I started a mum's group with through the community centre but ended up not going because it was too much effort and I was too tired from school runs and new bub. Anyway, I've seen her around and in part regretted not making the effort but she was happy to see me and invited me to the next group for the older babies part. I thought it was funny that I had been feeling lonely and then this falls in my lap.

Then there was a mum who told me she enjoyed hanging out with me and wanted to catch up next week. And then my cousin's girlfriend reminded me that she is lonely too and told me to come to their place anytime and vice versa. Maybe putting it out there isn't so bad afterall because it's like the universe took it and dispersed it to the people that would care - either that or they read my whinging blogs lol.

But I say here and now, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for giving a stuff. Thanks for taking the time. Thanks for caring. Here's to the journey of friendship.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Five months today. I haven't had a relapse of PND. I've had bad days, but they're not consistent, just bad days like normal people have. I did have a rage attack yesterday and that bothered me ... but the next day I was fine again so that assured me. I think by two months the PND had settled in with Noah. So I am in the clear yes ... but still not 100% myself yet either.

My Chloe is a beautiful little bub. She smiles most of the time and loves to interact. She tries hard to talk and loves to touch faces. The bright light coming from within warms my heart everytime she looks at me. I could be yelling blue murder at the other kids and I'll look at her and she is grinning at me with her adoring eyes and I feel the anger ebb away and the tense chest soften.

She has a new trick at the moment, blowing raspberries. She drools heaps and chomps on everything including my breasts. She will be going on the bottle shortly lol. Charlize lost her first tooth today and Chloe is growing them. Being loved the best by one person is the most rewarding thing in the world.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I want a water dragon! And a penny turtle.

Can't have a utopia without one!