Category Archives: Down

Posts relating to times of being “unwell”. As the author suffers from a major depressive disorder, posts here will mainly refer to depression, but hopefully in time will gather stories from other journeys

Can’t multitask

I’ve temporarily lost the ability to multitask. Um … I think that’s what I’ve lost. Anyway, until this funeral’s over, I can’t seem to do anything.

“Anything?” you ask. “Surely you could do something?”

Yes, I can watch TV. I can – painstakingly slowly – get ready for to fly interstate tomorrow. I can eat. I can sleep.

That’s about it.

Still, when you consider the last few weeks, here are the highlights (lowlights?):

  • getting told you owe the Australian Taxation Office $16k
  • having your psychologist tell you that he “can’t be expected” to remember your preferred name
  • being pseudo-bereaved
  • becoming un-pseudo-bereaved
  • continuing to battle that damned sore throat which keeps coming and going
  • being “poisoned” by a GP (OK, slight exaggeration; she didn’t do it on purpose – but those steroids really knocked me around)
  • starting a five week break from your therapist
  • becoming truly bereaved.

After that, it’s all sort of whited out. Hours of just sitting, frowning when someone opens a door and lets cold air in. I catch sight of my face in the mirror and it’s white and puffed up, which is weird, because I haven’t been crying.

Is it awful to say that I just want this funeral to be over? I feel like once it’s done, I’ll be able to move again, think again. Maybe I’m being selfish.

Instead of just counting my woes, I should also count the blessings of the last few weeks:

  • I enjoyed time with my parents
  • I had a courageous conversation with my psychologist
  • the friends I’ve told about my bereavement have been hugely supportive
  • my accountant and I figured out a plan to minimize the impact of that $16k debt to the ATO
  • hey, I had the sense to book in to see my accountant before 30 June! Which was a very wise decision
  • my one-year-old niece stood up and held her mother’s phone while we were talking the other day, the first time she’d achieved this feat of multitasking
  • I can read. I hate it when I’m so depressed I can’t read.

OK, enough for now. Hope everyone’s well and I’ll catch up with you soon.

xx DB


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Up and Down the Scale

So, it turns out steroids and I aren’t such great mates, after all. After increasingly  bad symptoms yesterday, and only 5 hours sleep last night (despite retiring to bed to avoid demons at 6pm), I called a nurse at 5:15am this morning. She advised me to get to a doctor within 4 hours, but the idea of going to an ER as the dregs of Saturday night ebb away didn’t appeal, so I’m waiting until my pharmacy opens and will call them instead.

This whole episode has reminded me of how we go up and down the scale of human needs as required. Yesterday, the delightful suzjones wrote about being a “gunna” which got me thinking about higher-level drives towards self-actualization and the like. Now I’m back down the bottom of that hierarchy of drives, just doing things needed to stay well and out of harm’s way.

I know all will be well, if I just avoid confronting situations and wait for this  blasted drug to exit my system. Knowing everything’s going to be OK doesn’t make it feel any better in these moments,  though.

All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well!





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So, this is how it is, missy…

You’re stretched, and your mind is aching. The elastic ‘snap’ from months – nay, years  – of adrenal overload has left you flat and spent. Today, for the first time in ages, you had a panic attack; unable to draw breath, the whole catastrophe, and because of the people who illegally sold and abused Xanax: Worrier Princess so the authorities reclassified it as a DD, you didn’t have your chemical crutch to lean on. (Thanks, you bastards.) Yes, you breathed through it (go, girl!) but it left you feeling even worse than before.

Sweetling, now is the time for coddling. Yes, there’s study that needs to be done; yes, you wanted to mop the floors today. You’re not quite ready for your meeting with the computer bloke tomorrow and you haven’t made the time to research a new laptop – that humming noise isn’t a great sign. Despite all this, you must put first things first. We need to get you back on track.

What can electronic valium offer us tonight? Oh, excellent! Offspring and The Good Wife! Ah, that makes for a happy Dysthymia. If only your friends Stateside could enjoy Offspring! You know some of them would love it. However, that’s a story for another day.

What else is weighing you down? Ah, you’re feeling guilty about the fact that you haven’t read anyone else’s posts for two days, and you’re putting yourself under pressure to catch up. Well, sweetling, you have a choice here: you can do your usual rounds of the 24 blogs you feel you absolutely, positively have to read, or you can accept that today is not that day. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get that done. It’s OK to miss the occasional post. You know you’ll probably end up reading them anyway, in the fullness of time!

So, my dear, let’s turn the central heating on, make a cup of peppermint tea, literally put your feet up and read a nice bit of sci fi before the evening news.

Who knows? Perhaps by coddling yourself in this manner, you’ll inspire someone else to do the same.

Take care, sweetling. Take care of yourself – that’s your #1 job at this time.

Regain balance.



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Life is a salad bar, and you’ve got a lot of your plate, man


By Helder Ribeiro from Campinas, Brazil (img_1386) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Or so said the guitar-strumming therapist from “The Millers”.

This afternoon, it’s time to practise all those stress-release techniques I’ve been perfecting. Here’s to a few hours of:

  • Realizing these stressors will pass: My therapist will come back from leave; the portentous phone call will come; the tide will turn.  
  • Directing my thoughts: There are things in life we can control, and things we can’t. There’s no point dwelling on those we can’t. (I need to check that I’m not avoiding difficult topics, but I’ve run the scan, and today’s stressors are most certainly un-dwellable.)
  • Ditching the diet: Yes, I am trying to lose weight, but weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Furthermore, studies have shown that willpower is a commodity which decreases as the day progresses. I’m going to put my efforts into controlling my thoughts, not controlling my calorie intake.
  • Relishing small pleasures: The feel of fur-lined slippers; the comfort of pappy TV comedy; the warmth of tea crossing my tongue.

How do you cope when there’s a lot on your plate?



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I love the WordPress Mental Health Community

Thank you, dear readers, for your kind comments and messages over the last few days. Your open-hearted, generous support during times of crisis never ceases to amaze me.

Often, when things are quite dark, I write for catharsis – to get the darkness out of my heart and onto the screen. It might sound stupid, but I sometimes forget other people might come across those words and read them.

This sense of community is why I love blogging on WordPress.

Have said it before, no doubt will say it again – ❤ you all; you rock.

xx DB

thanks heart


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