Tag Archives: Australia

The Intern

Internships aren’t really big in Australia. There are a few theories about why: Australians’ commitment to fair wages, and the ambiguity under employment law, are probably the leading two reasons. However, three weeks ago I advertised for a volunteer intern, and was receiving quality applications within twelve hours.

Claire has been helping me out with social media for Doing Defies Depression. She is an absolute star! We meet once a week to talk strategy, mutual support and mentoring. I am learning a lot from her, and I hope the feeling’s mutual. I’ll let her use her own words as introduction:


 

Hiya!
I am very excited to be taking on this internship with Catie, and I look forward to connecting with you all! Allow me to tell you a little about myself…
I have a background in performance including theatre Acting, Screen Acting, Immersive Theatre, Improvised Performance, Puppetry, Hosting, Directing and various other behind the scenes roles.
Since forming a theatre company last year with other creative professionals (TBC Theatre) I found myself managing our online marketing, I enjoy the work so much that I am now studying full time at The University of Melbourne doing a Masters of Marketing Communications.
Mental health has been a huge factor in my life, whether it’s the little devil on my back, weighing me down and swinging me around. Or it feels like the old friend who welcomes me back into the dark corner where I can cry and never leave the house.
The great thing about working as an actor (or one of the great things) is that I was forced to take a good, hard look at who I was deep down and start working with what I had, I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
Personal management, especially when your sinking, is the hardest thing to do. I believe that I am my own hero when I’m lost, and sometimes I need some guidance to give me the strength to be my hero.
This is why I find Doing Defies Depression a very inspiring business, I believe there needs to be an open community of support, so we can find our potential and strength to be our own heroes.
Once again, I look forward to connecting with you through Facebook and Twitter (and soon Instagram!).
Thank you for having me.
– Claire

 

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Filed under Living Well With Depression

Winter and Radical Acceptance

I’ve heard visitors and settlers from colder climes say that Australians don’t do winter well. Our houses aren’t built for the cold; our heating systems aren’t up to the task; and some of us don’t even know how to dress for freezing weather!

Fair enough. Of course, if there are any of us who don’t do winter well, it’s because we don’t have to; and I’d much rather live in a milder climate with fewer freezing days and endure the occasional barbs of a visitor or expat than live in an ersatz Siberia.

Having said that, this winter I am simply having to accept some things, things I cannot change so must live with and work around:

  • I’m not enjoying the grey skies.
  • I don’t like this biting cold.
  • I’m grateful for the rain, but amazed it isn’t snow, hail or sleet: it feels as though it should be! (As an Australian, at least an Australian south of the tropics, I’m constitutionally obliged to always be grateful for the rain.)

So now to the nexus of old spirituality and new psychology: radical acceptance. As St Francis prayed centuries ago, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”, and so read the DBT (dialectic behaviour theory) texts of today: radical acceptance is the name of the game.

You won’t hear me complain about the cold (much). You’ll find me snuggled up somewhere warm, making the most of the excuse to coddle myself against biting winds and driving rain, and catching up on some work or play …

… but secretly grateful that it’s only this cold, and our winter only lasts that long.

Rain

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Because we are lucky

 

 

I was talking last night with the dearly beloved about a relative who, well – has a reputation for being something of a martyr. In our opinion, she has nothing to complain about, however we are keenly aware that we never really know the full story of what someone is experiencing, and don’t know what unhappiness or dissatisfaction a martyred expression might be masking.

leaf

We concluded that really, the best lesson we could take from being with her was to always remember just how fortunate we are. No matter how poorly we may feel treated at times, we are just so privileged compared to the bulk of humanity spread across this globe.

So there will be even less bitching and moaning in our household, and an even greater appreciation of the wonder it is to have tea in the pot, food in the pantry, electricity on demand, a stable government; to be free of cancer and radiation sickness, to have liberties to speak out against unwise decisions our government makes, and to be able to make decisions concerning one’s life.

We are going to be more grateful, because we are lucky.

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It doesn’t make cents

If childcare in Australia is so expensive, why do childcare workers get paid so little?

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My Favourite Morning of the Year

Christmas? Easter? Birthday? Anniversary? No, the day the clocks go back! I just love that extra hour of sleep. I love the fact that for the next week, every morning I’ll feel as though I’ve slept in. I love the fact that from now on, I’ll be getting up in light instead of darkness (well, until the middle of winter, anyway).

This weekend always feels like a ‘bonus’ weekend: something for nothing; an extra treat; a time for optimism. Knowing that the week ahead is going to feel easier, I am inevitably relaxed on this weekend – whether I’m particularly unwell (depressed and anxious) or not.

This year, it seems especially auspicious that the clocks go back on the night of the day I first felt happy in a long time. Could I be about to turn a corner? Could I be granted a reprieve from the worst of my symptoms for a while? Wow (she said, getting waaaay ahead of herself) – could I even think about working again?

All these questions will be answered in time. For now, I’m just revelling in the fact that I feel great. Rested, optimistic, enthusiastic, and strong.

Thank you, daylight savings. You did not die in vain.

 

Daylight SavingsPicture Credit: http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/our-country/time

 

 

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