Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stress is not my best friend

Do you ever wake up in the morning and think I can't do this anymore?  I did this morning.  It's a yuk place to be and while having a shower (my thinking box), tried to analyse what was different about this morning as opposed to every other morning.  I think I have some of it worked out.  I have too much to do today.  From someone else's point of view the things I need to do today are easily achievable.  It would mean they would be busy, but it would be doable.  For me it's akin to climbing Mt Everest.

I learnt many years ago that stress is not my best friend and I do all I can to avoid having to much to do on one day.  Unfortunately there are things to be done today that have to be done today.  The dog food has run out so that's a trip to the vet.  Our dog has allergies so she has to have a special food.  The chook food has run out, so it's off to the produce shop to pick up pellets and wheat.  I make my own bread and I need gluten flour so it's a trip to another shop, not my regular supermarket.  At least while I'm there I can buy coffee (the one we like), dried paw paw for home made muesli  and some fish for our evening meal.  And while I'm down that way it makes sense to visit Aldi to stock up on some staples that they have at a much more reasonable price than the other supermarkets.

This morning I had a yoga class and although I know I always feel better afterwards, initially it was just another thing to fit in.  I'm so glad I went though.  So after the lovely calmness of yoga it was off the the chemist for a prescription (need those happy pills) and another supermarket to pick up the other ingredients for the muesli which ran out this morning.  Ggrrrrr!!   Both hubbie and I have muesli for breakfast and the day doesn't feel right if we don't start out with our bowl of muesli.  Yes, a little strange I know.  While I was in that particular shopping precinct,  I popped into a slightly alternative clothing shop in the desperate hope of finding something to wear to the ballet.  If you read my other blog, you'll know all about that frustrating story.  Well I came out empty handed.  Double Ggrrrrrrr!!!

By now my stomach is grumbling and I'm in desperate need of sustainence and coffee, so homeward bound and here I am.  Meanwhile the wash has finished and needs attending to.  Do I risk putting it on the outside line as it's windy, but rain is threatening?  Or do I put it in the drier?  Just more things to think about, organise and actually do.  So as I sit here typing this post I know I have to go out again and do all the things I first started talking about in this post.  And I absolutely must drop in the birthday card I made for a friend and forgot to give her last night while I was visiting.  All this driving around, getting in and out of the car multiple times, I'm so glad I don't have little children anymore.

All I want to do is have a nice big nap, some peace and quiet, a big sit down and very slowly do some relaxing craft.  Tomorrow I need to do the big grocery shop, urrgghhhh.  Then Thursday it's usually my housecleaning day and I have a hair appointment.   All these things are o.k. to do in themselves but I just hate having to go our all the time, it's so disruptive to my state of mind.  The mind is screaming at me for some quiet, time to just be.  Oh well there you have it, an almighty winge about everyday stuff other people take in their stride but I don't seem to be able to.

I feel like my children are only getting the dregs of their mother.  What kind of memories will they have of me?  How will my actions, attitudes and struggles with daily life impact on their future lives and how they manage everyday stresses?  It places a certain pressure on you to be something other than what you are feeling.

So can I leave this post on a positive note?  Let's see.   I have a car and can drive.   Today I am healthy.  I can walk, see, hear, taste, touch.  We have enough money to purchase what we need.  I don't live in a war torn country.  I have a lovely home and garden.  And when I get home from the next outing I can have a cup of tea, a big sit down and I might even manage a nap.  So once again I remind myself, one step at time Anne!

Friday, August 27, 2010

One little blackbird

The past week I have woken up to the sound of one little blackbird singing his heart out.  For a very plain looking bird (no fancy colour feathers), they have the most beautiful song.  I feel like this little bird is singing just for me when in actual fact he is probably trying to impress the lady birds.  Well this lady is very much captivated by his song. 

Here he is sitting in the sycamore tree in our front yard.  Another of life's little moments to enjoy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One of life's moments to enjoy

Today has been a day of rain and some hail.  Fairly miserable weather it has to be said.  But this afternoon we were rewarded with the most magnificent rainbow.  My little digital camera struggles to portray how beautiful it was.  Anyway this was one of life's moments to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Insidious is the perfect word to describe depression.  It's sneeks up on you without you even being aware of what is taking place.  I want to know how I can go from feeling relatively chirpy to feeling like I'm in a very dark place with in a matter of an hour or less.  Obviously there are some thought patterns that got me here but sometimes I just can't fathom it at all.

Take this morning for example.  My hubbie brings me in a cuppa' before he heads of to work (there is no school run today as Miss G has the day off school), I don't have to rush to be out the door.  So it's a leisurely morning where I can eat breakfast slowly.  Somewhere between then and now the dark stormy clouds rolled in and I don't understand why.  I just want to go back to bed and sleep and not think, to have a rest from the misery that I am feeling.

However I know that it will not solve anything.  I feel like kicking and screaming because there is this almighty war going on inside my head.  Go to bed and sleep, no get up and do something active, go to bed, do something active or creative.  And on it goes.

So how do I get past this yuckiness that visits me without warning?  I think only of the next few minutes, not the next hour, or the rest of the day.  Basically I have to stop thinking and just be in the moment and not everybody has that luxury.  There are people suffering depression with little children to care for (I've been there).  There are people holding down jobs because they have a family relying on them.  There are many different people in many different situations struggling to cope with the dark stormy clouds. 

Sometimes I feel like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde because I have this blog to talk out the black stuff and the I have my Ungardened moments blog which is all about the happy, fun, creative stuff.  I suppose it is a good thing to separate the two states of mind at least on a computer, pretty hard to do that in your head.

So today it will be one step at a time, tiny little steps and I'll not think about what needs to be done.  If gets done great, if it doesn't it just too bad.  I think I might start my next 60 seconds with a cup of coffee.  Yes, I can do that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What makes you happy, even for 60 seconds?

When thoughts are crowding my head and they aren't pretty, I really enjoy a break of even 60 seconds when I can think of something happy, beautiful, funny etc.  Sometimes I need a little help and that's why I surround myself with things that I find beautiful, things that give me a lift.  I'm not talking about an ocean view or a meadow of flowers (although that would help), I'm talking about little things like taking the time to pick one flower sprig from a pelagoniam struggling to flower in the winter sunshine.  Placed on the kitchen window sill I can appreciate that even a flower can bloom in the cold miserable winter weather.  

I've made two big mood boards of visually enjoyable images.  Mostly they are pictures from magazines, something that gets a postitve emotional response from me.  I also have a poem on one board written by my daughter, her poem moves me.  One of these boards is in my bedroom so when I wake up in the morning it's one of the first things I see.

So I wonder if we can find something thing today that gives us 60 seconds maybe more of joy and happiness, a reprieve from the less pretty stuff in our heads.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The gum tree

I grew up on a farm with wide open spaces and lots of sunshine.  I go back a couple of times a year to visit family (they live a long way from me) and usually find some time to go walking.  On one of my walks I came across a gum tree.  That in itself isn't unusual as there are many gum trees in the area, however this particular tree was special.  It was magnificent not just because of it's thick solid trunk, beautiful coloured bark and green leaves,  it's magnificence was in what it represented to me.  At the base of the tree lying on the ground were three very large pieces of dead trunk that had obviously been part of the tree at one  time.   The tree had suffered some kind of trauma yet despite the odds had survived and grown a new trunk, branches and leaves.  It seemed to be saying well I might be down but I'm not out.  I'm not finished and I've got some more growing to do. It somehow seemed symbolic of my life.

Anyone who suffers with depression knows that the core of who we are is or has been suffering some kind of trauma.  What is it that rocks our world in such a way that little bits of ourselves flake away while we desperately try to hold it together?  Sometimes there are answers and sometimes there aren't.  I've always desperately wanted answers.  I felt that if I could only understand my depression I could solve it and it would go away.  Not so.  I understand bits of it but not the whole.  Sometimes the more I try to work it all out, the more it eludes me and that is frustrating.  I have learnt that I have to go with the flow and sometime I'm kicking and screaming all the way, it feels just too hard.   But then I'm reminded of the gum tree.

So what has a gum tree got to do with me?  Well my tree (as I like to call it) was stubborn, it held on.  I am stubborn, I am holding on.  I may be down, but I'm not out.  I'm not finished, I've got some growing to do even though growing can hurt.  Kids will often complain about growing pains in the legs, it's a bit like that.  I do my growing by persisting and not giving in when really it would be so much easier just to stay in bed, hide under the covers and go back to sleep.  I persist by incorporating things in my life on a daily basis, the things I love to do.  I have to create, it's not an optional extra for me.  It's how I connect to who and what I am and when I make connections it seems to go a little easier for me.  I might crochet, sew or paint in oils or create by tending my garden.  I need a relationship with the ground and I'm sure that has a lot to do with growing up on a farm.  And I suppose winter is such a struggle for me because I can't be outside with my hands in the ground. 

I believe anyone who suffers with depression does better when they can make connections with what is important to them.  To someone else these connections may not make sense, that's not important because they aren't the person living with depression.  Look after those parts of yourself that you may have ignored for a long time or never acknowledged at all.  Make a connection with something or someone and you may  find it goes a little easier for you too.