Before I post this week’s missive I just want to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you who stopped by my little blog last week and read my disturbed thoughts. I was very much of two minds whether to post anything so personal and dark, but you all were so faithful in reading what I wrote, and those who contacted me were so kind that you restored my faith in writing the whole ugly truth. I love you all, and watching the stats rise was such an enormous encouragement to me! THANK YOU!



Written late April 2016 after my latest work contract ended; updated 20th June 2016.

“I worked my a*& off to get back, really back; harder than I’ve worked at anything my whole life. ” – Detective Marcus Bell, Elementary

…”because there’s nothing like getting back for getting better” – current WorkSafe Victoria Return To Work campaign

Getting back; it’s what everyone recommends for getting better. I resisted it for a long while in my original sick leave but in the end I found that it was true! Occupation, purpose, time consuming work; it all helps to develop an inner feeling of being better, getting  back to normal.

But, as my deepest darkest suspicions have been humming a tune all along, it’s not enough. I’m not enough. My efforts are not enough. It was a dark moment! Or two…

There have been tears, and more tears; it was so disappointing!

More doubt, more undermining of my confidence that was fickle at best, more breaking through my denial of recovery to let the truth of ongoing illness in. Then there are moments of resolution, mostly led by my husband’s sensible, problem solving , kind voice where I decide actually I will be okay; I’ll be okay, I’ll figure it out.

It’s not what I want; I think that’s obvious. If I could do anything to change it I would. I tried to see if there wasn’t any way around this decision to relieve me of my job by not renewing my contract. I spoke with the powers that be reminding them of my loyalty, commitment, long term intentions and proximity, for goodness sake, if nothing else! But I can’t fight my way out of this. Maybe I have to let it be.

Oh that so does not sit well with me. But a good friend reminds me that maybe that’s the point; maybe this is a long term play for my strength of character not a short term game for my own convenience! Ahhhh…it’s hard to swallow but maybe I need that.

So here’s the situation: the workplace I was working in when I got sick doesn’t have any obligation to me, to rehabilitate me. I was working there on a one year contract when I got sick at the half way point, and wasn’t able to return to work for any more than two mornings a week in the last 6 weeks of the contract. And that was just a desperate scramble to try to be okay enough to stay on there. I was utterly unable physically, and not even slightly ready mentally to apply for a new full time contract, the only way that I could’ve stayed on. So the contract, and with it, the obligation, ended and I went back to bed. Not what I wanted, but I couldn’t do anything about it; I just wasn’t in a state to change things. It was what it was.

So then, after another 9 months at home, I started back at work with a short term contract at the next place that would take me. They also have no obligation to me, other than to offer the same support that they would offer any other employee. They took me on when I was returning to work; they knew that, and made some allowance. But it’s not their fault, not their duty. No special exemption or workplace mentors; no keeping a place for  while me while I convalesce and struggle to get back into the swing of things. You have to compete with every other well person and that’s just how it is. And when it’s over, it’s over!

Done                     3rd May 2016

I’m overwhelmed, I’m in dismay,

The job I had, the work, the pay

It did me good, it helped me stay

Above the blue line, come what may.


Now it’s over, my sad reply,

Tears of hurt and loss I cry,

Feeling useless, have to sigh

For fear of dark days once again nigh.


It did me good, it kept me busy,

Filled my days and weeks, and nearly

Convinced me that I was now surely

“Better”, “fixed”; was I silly?


Silly to be believe in “health” so easily,

Of usefulness, I thought sincerely

That all was good, I did feel truly

That this was it, “I’m better, really”.


The routine and the structure, see,

Work and occupation the key,

Helped me build life, ABC,

From sickness to health; 1, 2, 3!.


I got me carried away, and planned

To stay and work, but now that’s canned!

“I have no hours for you ma’am”,

It’s over; nothing to be gained.


You’re done here! Well it hit me hard,

I did not see it coming, barred

From that which made my life less marred,

It feels unfair, am I so tarred?


By that which has my brain entangled,

Bipolar, why have you now mangled

This, above all else was dangled

Hope, that by work I’d disentangle.


Please let me stay, I love it here,

The colleagues; the task; the jolly cheer,

And to my home it is so near,

Please let me stay, just anywhere.


I’ll type the scripts, talk on the phone,

Check the work that others have done,

I’ll smile, be nice, work with anyone,

Please, please, please don’t say I’m done!





On Monday I had one of those epiphany type thing-a-ma-gigs.

‘How the day has gone’ is entirely a matter of perspective.


We look over the day and decide whether it was good or bad, but the moment that we’re in when we decide that, and the pros and cons of the day as they appear from the moment greatly influence whether we feel good or bad about the day.

Monday was a great example.

I have been having a terrible time lately. Since my last up it has been a solid month of downs, and since last Thursday it’s been getting downer!

By Friday night I was shedding desperation tears unable to see how anything could change that would ever make me feel better. Saturday and Sunday I largely spent in bed, using sleep to avoid having to sit up and let my brain start functioning. I was very keen to avoid my brain; it was such a mess of hopeless, bleak, awful terribleness that I just didn’t want to know it.

On Monday I had my psychiatrist appointment. To be honest, since last Thursday the only thing keeping me from total desperation and despair was that appointment and the hope that there was something, anything that could be done to get me feeling different from this!

So, not a great day Monday. Basically hanging out on the hope that something would improve once I’d seen the psychiatrist. Nothing did improve; I actually had a meltdown, but a new plan was devised which helped me to feel that at least something was going to change, and hopefully for the better. At least there are people who care and who are trying to fix me in whatever way is needed.

As I was heading into the city for that appointment, I found myself walking out from the underground car park into cold slanting rain and a stiff easterly wind without an umbrella, or raincoat, and wearing flats instead of boots and not wearing any tights!

Typical! I said to myself. Isn’t this typical of my luck? Doesn’t this always happen to me? Of course I’m always the person unprepared! Now I’m getting rained on, how frustrating! And I look like a crazy lady wearing my red wool scarf over my head to half soak up the rain and stop my hair going completely horizontal!

I waited in the tram shelter with rain blowing through a gap in the side and wetting me. Couldn’t even stay dry in the tram shelter! And I knew I would have to change trams and wait in the rain for the next tram with no shelter. At that moment I felt that the day was a failure! I felt like my brain was mush; that it had let me down, yet again! How could I have forgotten to bring an umbrella? There are several umbrellas in my house that I had walked right past to get out to the car AND one umbrella in the car that I’d just gotten out of!

How could I have gone out of the house on a cold rainy day in just a top and skirt and scarf? Why wasn’t I wearing boots and stockings?  How could I have forgotten a rain coat when they are kept in the cupboard next to the front door? What an idiot! How could I be so stupid?

So I called my husband to tell him my predicament: wet, cold, no rain jacket, no umbrella, bare legs, no boots, no jumper, have to change trams. And he said, ‘but remember this morning, you did…’ and suddenly I realised that I was letting a few small things taint my whole day as wasted, hopeless, pointless, stupid. I was allowing myself to put myself down by telling myself that I was always this stupid, useless, disorganised and unprepared person. Which isn’t true when I put the whole day into context.

For a week that wasn’t great, and a day in it that I didn’t have high hopes for, I did okay. And I need to remember to give myself credit for that!

I got up out of bed, got dressed and had breakfast before making it to a 9.45am appointment on time. That in itself was impressive; often I don’t get out of bed until 9am or 9.30am! So well down me for that.

I was expecting two visitors in the afternoon coming to stay for a few days. I made up their beds, brought in a lamp from the shed and got it cleaned up for the substitute bedroom, cleaned out all my junk from the substitute bedroom. Good job me. The bedrooms look lovely and welcoming and they’re all ready in plenty of time so I don’t have to stress later.

I’d made two appointments for Tuesday and needed to cancel them since I had guests coming. I hate cancelling or re-scheduling appointments! I always feel awful and think I have to have some big excuse to justify myself. I always avoid it as long as possible! But I did it!! I just said to me, just do it now and got it done with no unpleasantness. In fact they both thanked me for calling to reschedule. So congrats on getting that done, me.

I had some hand washing to do; I also hate this! A jumper that I needed to hand wash sat in my laundry for eight months recently!! I really hate hand washing! But I did the hand washing in my laundry; self kudos for that! I didn’t drag it out, just got in and did it and although my hands are now dry and tight at least the washing won’t be staring at me every time I go into the laundry.

I’m really not in the cooking mood but need some food for my peeps coming to stay. So I go out in the car right across town to my old favourite cooking cafe from when I was at uni and get some soup and a quiche to serve up instead of cooking stuff myself. Good for you, not being embarrassed to say it’s too much to cook for 4 people for 4 days; that’s big of you. And now you’re sorted for the week.

I also drove out to Brandsmart to change over a purchase; another not favourite task! Again I feel like I have to justify and explain myself over a simple size swap. Thanks me for doing it and not letting it drag out for days! And that’s three car trips, I know you’re not feeling up to doing that much driving but now it’s all done and you don’t have to leave the house tomorrow.

I needed to get a script dispensed so I did that. Another task that I dilly dally on. While it was getting dispensed I got some last minute groceries for the week. And a frozen yoghurt as a treat; well done on giving yourself a break and a treat.

My weekly medicine box was empty and needed repacking so I did that, and found I needed another script dispensed. I put that in my bag for later when I go to the psychiatrist.

Last week I found a myki card and have been dilly dallying looking it up to see if it was registered; finally got around to it! It wasn’t so now it’s my spare card; yay!

A braces company had contacted me by messenger for a free consultation so I got in touch and arranged a free appointment for next week so it doesn’t disrupt this week and hopefully I’ll be feeling more like driving by then. Thanks me for giving me a few days break before scheduling in new things.

So if we are going on accomplishments and failures it’s clearly a good day, despite how I’m feeling right now and the annoyances of the failures. In the scheme of things they are greatly outnumbered but it’s only in taking the time to remember all the good things, to be grateful for them and to realise how much I have accomplished that I get the benefit of those things.

A good and timely reminder not to let the little things get in the way of a good day.

This isn’t a brag list, a boast, or self-congratulation (other than when I’ve actually congratulated myself that is!) but just a demonstration of this idea that struck me, that I seem to have to learn over and over and over. A day is not doomed because of one or a few negative things that happen. Life is a blend of different experiences so just take each one as it comes and try not to make such a big deal out of any one or two.

Also, read this post at least once a week because you will forget this and you do need to learn it again and again. In fact set a reminder in your phone right now so that you read this again at this time next week. Good, well done. Now go and enjoy the day.