Tuesday, 31 October 2006

black dog days

karen wrote a bit about this book ages ago and mentioned it again in her recent blogging about a talk she gave on mental illness and depression (well worth a read), and i forgot about it until just last night as i was lying awake again with my stupid sore neck and random thoughts flitting in and out of my mind. so i had another look at it.

the illustrations are beautiful and give a very simple but strong impression of what it can feel like to live with depression. i also found the author's note really encouraging. check it out - there are a couple of illustrations in the site intro that just capture it perfectly for me, especially the kite-flying one and the lying in bed one.

i'm going to buy this next chance i get - it seems such a useful and simple way to help explain the inexplicable to people who don't know what it feels like (although a word-person, i find i am also a very visual person and appreciate the directness of something like this to cut right to the heart of the matter). and immensely encouraging to know that other people know what it's like; even though you know you're not the only one dealing with depression it can feel like you are the only one who's ever felt this way in the history of the universe, which is rather defeating.

barbara, if you've found your way here, i want you to know that i'm praying for you and love you very much.

Sunday, 29 October 2006


i have weird dreams. dave has dreams that are almost prophetic, i have dreams that are...well, look i just have to describe the one i just had. it will explain everything.

i was watching the trailer for an upcoming film. it was one of those films where the climax involved a huge dance competition, and the trailer showed an extended clip of this dance competition. all the competitors were dancing different styles, and it reached a peak when they started doing a big riverdance routine. but the clincher was, every single one of them was dressed in a paddlepop lion costume.


in the riverdance bit, i could hear the taps and i wondered whether they were wearing special tap shoes under the costume or whether there were taps attached to the pads of the lions' feet.

then i realised i was running late to meet dave. we were meeting at the star bar, but not the one on george st, the one in haymarket that is a really dodgy pub where i met miranda and rob once. so i pulled myself away from the riverdancing paddlepop lions and went into the pub. i couldn't see anyone i knew. there was one empty table but there was a very strange looking man sitting just opposite, staring at me. he was quite scruffy, but in a contrived way. he was also wearing dark glasses, so i don't really know how i know he was staring at me, but anyway. i went to the bar and got a huge frosty mug of beer, and suddenly had a major dizzy spell, so staggered over to the empty table and put the drink down.

"had a few too many, eh?" the man said.

"no, i haven't drunk anything yet. i just had a dizzy spell," i replied.

"right. well, you'd better watch it, it's the season for going blind and deaf, you know."

then i woke up.

paddlepop lions? seasons for blindness and deafness? riverdance?!! what is going on in my head?!!!

Thursday, 26 October 2006


this is already on mymyspacespace but i'm putting it here for for jen. thought you might find this amusing.

in asking "which buffy girl am i?" we learn the following:


but then i wondered "who's my inner buffy bad-girl?" and came up with this:

i guess this means i have options.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

unseen enemies

in my experience struggling with back pain is not unlike struggling with depression. both render you a lot less productive, both make even the smallest tasks seem insurmountable, both are with you constantly, and both are completely invisible to the casual onlooker.

i really don't want to become one of those people who complains about having a bad back all the time. but i am reminded again and again that even though you talk about it, you bring it up in prayer time, you are constantly going off to the chiropractor, etc, etc, people forget very quickly when there isn't a visual reminder (eg, if i had a broken leg in plaster i am sure i would get a lot more unsolicited sympathy). i'm not after sympathy, per se, but more an understanding that i am trying my best to get through it.

i keep feeling a mild anxiety that people are going to think i'm a hypochondriac and get to the point where they no longer tolerate my reduced ability to work. usually it passes and i think 'well i just have to do what i have to do to get through this, who cares what other people think'. but i do get frustrated that i have good days where the back (and the depression) seem to be no problem at all, and then suddenly i'll have one or two really bad days that put me off for ages.

of course this would have to be the busiest time of year at work, and we would have to be moving offices in the next couple of weeks.

if you're the praying type, please pray for me!

Thursday, 19 October 2006


i have come to a sort of turning point in a few issues i'm thinking through. this hasn't yet resulted in a huge change in my circumstances, but i think changing your mindset about something can often be the hardest first step to make. it's even harder when those changes involve other people who, of course, you have no control over. and harder still when those changes involve a hypothetical situation, something you're going to deal with in the future but which hasn't been tested yet.

i know this sounds all abstract when i'm not being specific, but i'm not ready to write about the details yet, so please pardon my broad brushstrokes. also it's very rambly but i can't make it any more coherent at the moment. i might have another go later.

it's got a bit to do with how i see myself, and whether i value myself highly enough or not. when people ask me questions like "do you know who you are?" or "are you comfortable with who you are?" i would say yes without thinking, but when i look at how i react or deal with certain situations i realise that there are gaps between what i think i'm like, how that shows itself in the way i live my life, and consequently how other people see me.

i sometimes think about how i interact with friends, the situations i get myself into and how i will allow myself to be treated. at the moment i'm thinking about how does what i present to other people affect how they treat me? this seems like a question with an obvious answer, but sometimes i'm not even conscious of the 'me' i'm putting out there, and get confused as to why things happen or don't happen.

my dad and i were talking the other day about why i'm on anti-depressants - he doesn't really understand i don't think, so when i was describing how i felt just prior to going on them (exhausted, unmotivated, constantly crying, afraid to go out, etc) he was kind of shocked.

"but you seem like such a confident, capable person! you would be the last person i would think would need to be on anti-depressants."

now this might say more about my relationship with my dad than how the world in general perceives me, but that's always been an issue with me. i am too proud, i don't like to look out of my depth or out of control, so even when i'm hopelessly floundering i have this veneer of togetherness that seems to fool a lot of people. a lot of the time i'll be just longing for someone to come along and ask if i need help, or better still, just help me, but usually they look at me and think "she's coping fine" and move on.

i get frustrated when male friends rush to help the girls who act all helpless and (to be blunt) bimbo-like, who snap their fingers (or send an SMS) and the boys just jump-to. i get upset when it seems so obvious to me that it's usually all an act, yet these guys can't seem to see it. i get cranky with the girls who behave that way because i think it's manipulative and unfair.

and yet am i being any more honest in the way i behave? i'm the only one who's put out by my stoicism, the only one affected by my own jealousy, the only one who looks like a bitch when she complains about it. i'm not always showing my true self to people either.

Thursday, 12 October 2006

happy birthday rachel!

a big happy birthday to my darling mother!

she is likely to have a really crappy day at work (board meeting), but hopefully tonight will make up for it (we're taking her out to restaurant balzac for dinner).

anyway, happy birthday mum! love you lots.

some days it just isn't worth leaving the house

woke up with a splitting headache, which is becoming the norm unfortunately, but managed to finally get moving. thought i would catch the bus rather than walk as i was already really late, so wandered down to anzac parade. the block of flats beside the bus stop is in its final stages of construction, and there are workmen swarming all over it, being none too subtle about staring at me, which i found kind of interesting in the light of yesterday's all men are liars column. the undisguised leering of the workmen was in marked contrast to the young uni student on a bike who rode past staring at me but gave me the most endearing smile as he passed, which totally made all the difference. the first made my skin prickle and made me feel really exposed, whereas the second just made me smile.

i stood there for about fifteen minutes, the only person at the bus stop, feeling slightly dizzy and yuck. and in that time about ten buses went past - all 891 express buses to the uni. not a single other bus. i began to wonder if there was something happening that i hadn't heard about. then a massive wave of nausea swept over me, i thought 'right, that's it', walked back up the road and called my boss to inform him i would be working at home today. he was most understanding. i have a great boss.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

spaced out

it's one of those slow-moving mornings. wish i could wake up.

oh. i made a myspace page. i'm not entirely sure why i need yet another online crevice but it's there (besides, i blame pete, who in turn blames someone from kuring-gai). it's oddly addictive, if ever so narcissistic. so far i've got three friends (yay, i feel so popular), but also random people who ask me to add them to my friends list. i haven't decided yet whether it'll be a closed list or open to all comers, but i'm curious as to why people add or request to be added to each others' lists. some are just add-junkies and want to make it look like they have heaps and heaps of friends (and hey, i kind of sympathise with that because when you first set the page up and it says 'you have 0 friends' you do feel kind of pathetic). how do they find people they want to add? just do a random search and click on whoever looks interesting? or just click on anyone and everyone?

and what is it with the complete lack of taste most people exhibit in their page layout? so many of the pages look like someone threw up on them or like they are deliberately trying to give anyone who views it an epileptic fit. a sophisticated security feature perhaps...

i know most of my real world friends won't be on there (because you have better things to do with your time and most of you are luddites though if you're reading this post then obviously you're not entirely without hope), but i have to admit the whole concept of myspace i find a little bizarre. having said that, i think i have found two long lost overseas friends on it - if it puts me back in contact with either of them then i will stop finding it all so bizarre and become a champion of the cause.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006


Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:38

okay, me giving doesn't apply so much here, but it's more a thing of trusting in God to provide everything i need, not stressing about having limited money, just committing it all to him and being blessed more in totally unexpected ways.

i ordered my groceries through coles online yesterday, feeling a little sick about it because i couldn't really afford it, but a) i have no food and b) i have no way of getting to and from the shops with a large amount of shopping. so i ordered my groceries, put it on credit and waited patiently for the very nice delivery man to bring them.

as i was putting them away, i saw a packet of lamb cutlets in the top of one of the bags. "that's odd," i thought. "i didn't order lamb." so i started checking items off on the receipt. it didn't take me too long to realise they had delivered all my groceries except the chicken breasts i ordered and had mixed that up with someone else's meat order. so i rang them, waited for them to call me back with when the driver would be coming back to pick up the lost groceries.

"this is your lucky day," kate, the phone operator said.


"it's logistically too hard to come back and pick up the meat so you get to keep it. and we'll credit your account for the undelivered chicken."

so this is what i got:

about a kilo of lamb cutlets
465g of veal stir fry strips
460g diced beef
500g chicken breast
2 pieces of t-bone steak
300g veal leg steak
1 lamb half leg roast

anyone who does their own shopping would know that's about $70 worth of meat. i burst out laughing, clapping my hands and shouted "thank you Lord!!!"

he is so good.