Catching Up.

It seems an awful long time since I’ve written a truly honest and open blog post about myself and how I’m going  with my mental health and life in general.  It’s pointless to go over the reasons why I haven’t been writing one by  one because they are many and varied but it is time I touched on some – both good and not so good.  Writing has always been one of my lifelines but out of the blue it began to feel like a burden.  This frightened me for awhile but I decided to just remove my own expectations and pressure that I continue put on myself and truly only write when I felt like it.  The posts that I published are the result of this decision.  Then yesterday, I remembered to use my writing as a practise and to try to write something every day, even if I don’t publish every day.  So here I am – writing for today.  Looking back over my blog, I haven’t really had my writing mojo since around April.  That makes it around 4 months.  Wow!  That’s much longer than I would have guessed.

Probably, the most significant problem has been that the keyboard on my MacBook Air no longer works and isn’t worth repairing and I am therefore working off a blue tooth keyboard, which means I can’t just grab my computer and sit anywhere to write – I am restricted to my table/desk.  Ease of accessibility or rather the lack thereof, is a huge deterrent for writing for me.

Yes, my depression has been active, especially in the early months of April/May.  Medication adjustments played havoc with my sleeping and eating.  Unfortunately, not in the way I need … less sleep and more eating!  If only it was the other way around!  Add to this –  severe asthma, 2 separate bouts of gastro and a Urinary  Tract Infection.  Nothing life threatening but enough to knock me around and keep my mood low.

A huge change for me in the positive column is beginning a volunteer position with the Queensland State Archives, a few hours each week.  After 4 weeks, it feels like a perfect fit for me if I could just stay well enough to complete my hours a couple of weeks in a row.   My work involves cleaning records and data entry of the records for access by the public.  We have over 7,000 boxes of files to complete and I have completed 4 boxes in my 4 weeks of working there.  I am getting faster but there is plenty of work to keep me going until I get the pension, I think!  I am working on 1967-68 at the moment, dealing with the immigrants known as “the ten pound poms”.  Most interesting.  I am meeting some lovely new workmates and enjoying spending time with one of my oldest friends who also volunteers on Mondays with me.  So after almost 4 years, I have some structure to my life once again.

Another significant but positive thing that happened, is that I broke up with Foxtel (cable TV)  and replaced it with the much cheaper Netflix and STAN.  This stemmed from a necessary financial overhaul instigated by BabyBoy.  It was extremely worthwhile and culminated in a real saving from the discovery of a large amount of cash that had been overpaid to a finance company.  One month on I am still trying to recover the more than $2k owed to me!  Grrrr!

I seem to have been coping really well with most of the external things in my life and through this I have seen an increase in my social life.  Don’t get excited people.  There is no new man in my life but rather, I have been finding it easier to attend functions on my own or have been instigating conversations and phone calls with friends, instead of waiting for things to happen to me.

At home, things still seem to muddle along. I still struggle to walk freely around my unit complex – so getting my mail and taking my rubbish out becomes a major “thing”!  If you find it difficult to understand these things about depression and anxiety, I would direct you to a wonderful website called The Mighty, where you can read very helpful and informative stories by sufferers and those around them.  This is a great website for those of us that have this insidious illness, as well as other chronic or terminal illnesses.

I continue with my therapy, although due to financial constraints, I have had to cut my Psychiatric visits back from fortnightly to monthly.  This seems to be doable at the moment.  My Psychologist I still see each fortnight and for the first time in many years, I am attempting some regression therapy.  This means looking back on some of my significant life events which have impacted on my ability to believe in my own capabilities.  This has come about due to an invitation I received to attend a church function, celebrating 40 years of ministry to the community.

Some of you will know that 27 years ago, my husband Adrian, was a serving Pastor in the Lutheran Church.  After a very unfair (my blog my opinion) set of circumstances and investigation, he was requested to remove himself from the Ministry and was eventually removed from the Roll of Pastors.  This was never really resolved for us and although Adrian himself, did much to reconcile with  the people, he never really reconciled with the church institution before his death.

And ME … well much of my self doubt, fears, anger and inability to trust myself to make decisions about life and people, stem from the lack of reconciliation with my church.  Preparing myself to attend this function has been both emotionally draining and freeing at the same time.  I actually attend this same congregation as my home church because it is where I feel most at home.  BUT I find myself “protecting” myself through irregular attendance and floating between traditional and family services.  Not really committing to membership but rather trying to just be a “bum on a pew”!  I find all of this most unsatisfactory but seem powerless to make the changes necessary to fix things.  Anyway, the anniversary is this Sunday and I will be attending as Adrian’s representative and to continue with my own emotional and spiritual healing.

I think that will do for a catch up at the moment!

In other news, I still haven’t laid eyes on my Phantom Neighbour! Curtains still drawn but there has been washing on the line … once!

Until next time – care to share what’s been going on in your life?

Mandy

Hi, I'm Mandy! Wandering my way through life using words. Family and friends. Connection and community. I care. I write. I share. I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and if you'd like receive updates via email please click HERE.

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