Canberra Day Thirty Two

[Wednesday 12th October, 2016]

Bit of a nothing day, today. Ate too many lollies, slept in too long, didn’t eat breakfast til late morning, couldn’t really be bothered with too much. I did open up up all the blinds and sit in the morning sun for awhile at our little dinner table that has two candles for some anticipated romantic evening meal. The budding English tree at our back window and balcony is beautiful right now. Drove back “home” to collect some fridge and freezer stuff and the few odds and ends that we didn’t get yesterday. No sign of the cat but as soon as I opened the backdoor he shot in like a rocket!! While I was getting stuff out he was trying to climb in the fridge to get his daily chicken wing which is in a freezer bag. Anytime he hears plastic rustling he runs for the fridge!! So I gave him what I thought was a little bit of milk, but it took him forever to finish it off! I guess one tiny little tongue can only get a couple of mls each lick; fascinating to think about, really. Then I had to put him out, which he wasn’t happy about; as I was leaving he was sitting in the yard staring at me. I think I’ve gotten him into a bad routine of being inside during the day over the last month!


Back “home” to unpack the stuff. I’m not enjoying the basement garage but I lived to tell the tale. I’ve got an alarm app; might be time to open it up just in case. My rational brain tells me nothing’s ever going to happen, but my anxiety has a whole other tale! You don’t want to hear that one. Anyway, it just is what it is; I can’t barricade myself in my apartment for fear of getting the car out of the garage!! Or can I? No I can’t! But I refuse to use it at night on my own!

So a nap, as always, especially today, then dinner out; I think we’ve found our local Viet place!! Yummy. Our gospel meeting, and time for bed. Phew. Exhausted by nothing. I needed that recovery day.



It’s been a big week. I’ve been at opposite ends of the emotional scale and I’m a bit frazzled. A bit frayed, a bit stretched too far, a bit edgy and nervous. But I’m here, I’m overall doing okay so we press on. And let’s bear a thought for the people that have been there with me. Who’ve felt for me, who I’ve felt for; they’ve been all over the place and back again, some much more than me.

I’ve been higher than I’ve been for a long time. And not a high-due-to-mania high but a regular this-is-how-normal-people-react-to-good-things way, which is the awesome part! I had something good happen and I reacted and behaved just like a normal people-person. In a something-good-has-happened-to-me way, and in an I-want-to-jump-up-and-down-about-it way. Not with depression, not with mania, not with anxiety. Well not much anxiety anyway. Gotta have a little; its a big deal

So what happened? I got the job! I GOT THE JOB! I GOT THE JOB!!!!!! I GOT THE PERFECT JOB!!!!!!!!!!

The job that is 4 minutes walk from my house. The job that is part time; two days one week and three days the next. The job that is everything I’ve done before in my career. The job that has lovely people who are already very supportive and willing to give me a go. Cos it is a big deal for them to take me on. I haven’t worked full time since March 3, 2014 and I haven’t worked part time since October 14, 2014. They don’t know how I’ll go getting back to work but they’re prepared to take the chance which is just amazing.

I can’t tell you how much my confidence has increased in the last couple of weeks from rewriting my resume and looking at what I’ve accomplished so far; going to an interview and establishing a rapport with the interviewers, being able to sell my strengths and nailing the clinical question despite so long away from the hospital wards; hearing back that I was the best applicant and that I’ve been offered the job.

I lost so much confidence, trust and faith in myself after I went off work sick. Sitting at home not exercising my brain, not using any of my knowledge and skills, not able to keep up my practice was brutal on my self worth and identity. And has been brutal over a long time, to the point where I sometimes felt that I would never practice as a pharmacist again. I’d never proved that I could retain knowledge and skills over a period of non use.

But now I have, and it’s been an enormous relief to me! I’ve still got it! I can still do it. I’m not useless, I can go out and make a difference and earn a wage and contribute something to the universe. Pheeewwww!!

And then there was the darkness. A dear special friend in very real danger reached out to me. I was honoured they came to me. But the task given to me to save the day was a very difficult one and I experienced such fear and worry and helplessness. Nothing compared to what they felt, but still real to me. It made me return to some of my difficult days and use the pain and suffering I remembered and try to give the antidotes that I’d found. But ultimately the day was saved, by a combined effort of concerned family and friends. The success which gave me a whole other sense of relief and alleviated fear and even achievement.

Which got me thinking about success. Again. I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a while now. What is success? How to we measure success? How do we know when we have achieved success?

In my job interview I was asked a question that caused me to be a bit flummoxed. At the end of your work day, how do you measure success? What needs to happen in the day for you to feel that you have been successful at your job?

In every other job that I’ve had the number of patients seen in the day has mostly been the measure of success. You have this many patients and you need to provide this level of pharmaceutical care to each of them. Not meeting this demand was a stressful event!

But an unexpected thing happened. My new boss has a much different and very refreshing philosophy. Accepting that there is insufficient funding to provide the ideal pharmacy service that we all dream of, management have taken the view that seeing every one of your allocated patients probably isn’t possible.

So instead they want pharmacists to find satisfaction in the good work that they do for each patient that they see. They want pharmacists to do there best work for patients one by one instead of rushing yourself to show on paper that you’ve seen each patient, when in fact you’ve probably skimmed each one. By prioritising patients and doing your best work for each patient that you can see in the day, management hope that there is higher job satisfaction. And I believe that there will be! Which is a success.

That’s success on the high side. Me, back in a job, helping patients and providing a clinical service. Or anyone doing that, really. It’s not all about me. Holding a job, earning a wage, paying a mortgage, being financially independent, completing study and I’m sure you can think of more. Being a friend, achieving personal goals.

Success on the low side is totally different. It’s not about ideals and doing your best work and demands and expectations. It’s about survival. Surviving the night, the day, the hour, the next five minutes. It’s about accepting whatever help is necessary to get by, taking whoever’s hand you are able to grasp to pull you back up, using the little strength and will you have to just hold on. It’s a whole different picture and the contrast to success on the high side is enormous.

So whatever your success is, well done! You worked hard for it and you deserve to be acknowledged for all that work and for the courage that it took to start and finish that work. Whether it was getting a promotion or putting down the poison or making great strides in your fitness or deciding to keep on going. You have done a great job and I’m proud of you!

To my dear who kept living, my darl who keeps facing it alone, and each one of you who has had success in any part of your life: you are amazing and an inspiration to me every day!

Open letter

Dear Catherine,

Time has passed.

Has it made you wiser, given you insight, inspired you to take a good hard long and most importantly honest look at yourself?

Are you able to discern the enormous damage that you allowed to come to pass both to people and to the the departments that you are responsible for?

I wonder if you see it yet, or if you are still blindly adhering to a terrible principle which is as misguided as it is illogical.

I believe you are a nice enough person. Except you work for an evil corporation; how can that sit well with your conscience?

You seem to have some intelligence and yet you prefer to be given instruction than to use your insight to evaluate ideas as they are presented to you.

Are you just doing whatever it takes to hold on to the job that gives you the giant diamond rock, the expensive watch and the Lexus? Is that all this is about?

If that is the case then you have been very facetious in telling us you wanted the best for us etc etc and blah blah blah.

We can’t believe a word you say in any case. Once a person has been proven false, it is very unwise for anyone to place their trust in them again unquestioning.

You said you felt you were ambushed. Of course you were!! You allowed and possibly even facilitated the worst happenings that have ever been seen! Things we couldn’t have imagined!! You damaged people, health, trust and the organisation, not just in the here and now but you have caused such severe damage to come to pass that people will still be casting this up to you for years to come!!

Do you realise this? Do you actually understand the enormity of what you have allowed and contributed to? Do you realise the damage, the disruption, the failure that will be attributed to you for years and years?

You wouldn’t listen. You know nothing, you came at this with no knowledge or experience, and yet you were the one talking, and not ever listening. I watched you at the point of crisis when you wanted to be seen to be listening: 90 minutes of us talking and you wrote a paragraph at the most. Of course you weren’t listening!! Once again it was a PR stunt, like all your meetings and gatherings and here’s to the future toasts!!

You are despised. The only way you can ever change that is to turn back time and not allow what you allowed! Without that, you may think that we are moving on but we will never forget what you did, what you allowed, how you behaved, who’s interests you really had a heart. Not ours, that’s for sure.

I can quote you my own personal experience with you. In difficult times you said to me in the corridor that you will always be there to support me. What a load of rot!! I told you how you could support me, and you ignored it.

Well let me tell you this. I have suffered through the pain and inconvenience of irritable bowel syndrome, the stress of an immune cell disorder, the fear of generalised anxiety disorder, the utter despair of depression and now the swings and roundabouts of bipolar disorder.

I lay them all at your feet.

You had opportunity to intervene in a timely manner and you neglected your responsibility. It’s that simple.

You failed me.

And not just me.

I could name names but what good would it do? You won’t help. You’re useless. You like to sound interesting and supportive but its all words. You will never do anything that contends with your management structure. You will always put your own interests first. You will always sounds nice and do absolutely nothing to help!

So good riddance to you as a manager!

I’m much better off now, job-wise. If I could work that is. Which I can’t. At your feet.

It might be easy for me to move on but the destruction left behind will stand for years as testament to the truth we told you, which you ignored and are living the consequence of, whether you see it or not. You probably don’t see it. You were never very good at opening your eyes. Deliberately blind in fact.

Useless, destructive, self-centred. That’s you.

Don’t ever think that we won’t all remember. We’ll remember. We went through hell because of you. Personally, professionally, mentally, physically.

We will remember.

If our paths ever cross again it will not be in your favour. You are a hurtful, willful person and our sympathy was long ago distinguished.

If I could have one wish concerning you, it would be that you would finally see; truly really wholly see what has happened and what you allowed. That you would see the damage you have done, the careers you have affected, the pain you have caused, the difficulty, the stress, the fear, the uncertainty, the heartache. I would have you see all that you have done to the people you were responsible for and how you have failed to be an effective useful manager.

I don’t wish you harm, only that you would see and feel the harm that you have caused and allowed to come about; that you would finally learn!