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A Persistent Earworm for the Last Few Weeks

The song is "Where Ya Gonna Run To" by Redgum. Lyrics below the fold. File available here at sendspace (2.31MB, .wma format)

Lyrics below fold )

I get the second-last verse running through my head quite a lot lately - particularly when I'm reading about things like the rioting in London, and the way the USA is turning out. I grew up under the shadow of the Cold War, and the terror of the Reagan years, when it seemed I wouldn't make it to thirty. I'm forty now, and I wonder whether fifty is on the horizon. It seemed to be this time last year. This year? I don't know - and that makes me angry, terrified, and sad. Angry, because things were supposed to get better. Terrified, because I don't know that they will. And sad, because I'm not the only one who believed things were supposed to be better, and I'm not the only one who is probably feeling betrayed because they aren't.

There's nowhere to run to. I just have to make my stand here.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/20161.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: furious furious
Current Music: You figure it out...
Triggered by Strossblog - Reflections on The Grand Goal Of Getting Things Done

First up, have a read of this entry and the comments thereupon.

Next up, we pause for a note on context and perspective - that of a chronic perfectionist with an anxiety disorder to show for it, plus chronic depression which feeds into the anxiety and vice versa.

Those two things considered, might I offer an alternative path toward the great goal of Getting Things Done.

TL,DR - Years of strategy below the fold )

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/19945.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: The slow cooker lid rattling away
Achievements for the Week

Meds: 6/7

Didn't take them yesterday, but then, yesterday was a crap day all round.

Jobsearch: 2/10

Okay, definitely falling down on this one. Managed it just fine on Monday, but then Tuesday I had my counselling appointment at PVS, and Wednesday I had an interview for a position offered by Hays. It was the interview which threw everything out the window. The interview turned out not to be for any actual position which might have paid wages. Instead, I was being interviewed for a position on the list of people Hays might be interested in actually finding jobs for - so the ad was effectively burley thrown into the water to attract the fish.

This made me angry. Very angry. Part of the reason I was so angry was because in order to attend an interview of about twenty minutes duration at 1pm (I'd originally asked for a 9am interview, but had to be rescheduled), I had to effectively put the entire day "on hold". I needed to dress up, put on decent "interview" quality clothes (of a quality which would be appropriate for the weather), catch a bus and a train into town, find their office and attend the interview, then repeat the entire process in reverse. All of which consumed resources, both monetary and psychological, that I didn't really have in large supply. I can accept this when there's a prospect of an actual paying job at the other end, because the job offers the chance of maybe getting at least some of the monetary resources returned to me. But to do all that for a "job" which never existed in the first place just strikes me as futile, and the whole process seems incredibly cruel. Add to this that I'm not really allowed to express my anger with the whole thing then and there (on penalty of finding myself unable to ever find work through this contracting firm) but instead had to effectively "suck it, swallow, and smile, bitch!" the whole way through...

I spent Thursday feeling irritable (for no particular reason), and yesterday I spent dealing with firstly an eruption of generalised anger at just about everything, then coping with the aftermath of this eruption (namely, feeling thoroughly depressed and hopeless). Today I'm still recovering.

Knitting: 7/7

I got slightly behind on this over Tuesday and Wednesday, but caught it all up on Thursday. Current length is 101cm, which means I'm about half way complete on this first half (1/4 of the way through the whole project). I've started reading my way through "Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain (I have the Project Gutenberg ebook version) as a way of keeping myself going on the whole thing.

I've also set up a way of keeping track of what I've done so far - just a tick-off page for everything I need to do each day as a way of keeping up with my goals. It looks a bit like this (I've copied down the entries for the next few days)

p185 SUN 1 2 3 4 5 M
MON 1 2 3 4 5 M J J
TUE 1 2 3 4 5 M J J

The page number is a note of where I'm up to in the e-book. Then there's the day, the 5 rows (tick each one off as I complete it) and a note for the meds. On weekdays, there's the two jobs per day. At least this way I'll be able to keep track of things. Once classes start up again, I'll substitute in either lectures or tutorials for one of the job efforts (So Mondays will have "L J", as will Wednesdays, while Tuesdays will have "L T").

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/16915.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: flat flat
Setting goals

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've decided I'll be better off with some kind of goal to work toward. However, knowing myself the way I do, I know if I write down a list of everything I want to achieve, I'll immediately try working on it all at once and get depressed when I find I can't do it all; or alternatively I'll set goals which rely on the behaviour of other people to achieve, and get even more depressed when I find them to be unachievable. So, for me, goal-setting is a tricky process.

So I've set myself a few guidelines for setting goals. The first is that any goal I set myself has to be achievable by me, preferably without relying on external assistance or input. The second is that my goals have to fit the basic criterion of being "little decisions" (from the Paul Kelly song of the same name: "Little decisions are the ones I can make/Big resolutions are so easy to break") - things which aren't about making huge changes, but rather about making small ones which can be built on. They also have to be things which I can be clear about having achieved or not achieved - the answer to "have I succeeded at this?" has to be expressible as a clear "yes" or "no", rather than "it depends what you mean by succeeded". I've also set myself a maximum number of things I have to be working on at any one time.

Below I've listed my preliminary aims.

Short - Medium term goals:

End Date: between 22 JUN 2011 and 21 DEC 2011 (ie between winter and summer solstices) I want to:

* Complete the knitted pashmina/poncho/wrap thingy I'm working on.
* Manage at least 80% compliance long-term for thyroid medication.
* Complete MAS167 at Murdoch University.

At some stage I want to:

* Try out Lauredhel's recipe for slow-rise bread
* Have a proper massage by a proper masseur
* Get my hair trimmed by a hairdresser.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/16375.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
In Recovery

Started 31 MAY 2011

As those of you who've read the piece below this know, I got rather majorly triggered today. As a result, I'm currently attempting to recover from it, and regain some of my mental balance. For those who don't know what it feels like to have been there, feel free to read on. For those who have been triggered before, I should provide a warning: I'm going to be discussing the aftermath of being triggered, and it may be triggering in and of itself.

Potentially triggering stuff below )

Overall, I'm recovering. It's not an easy process, and it's certainly not a fun one, but it's a process and it's ongoing.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/15408.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

location: The usual
Current Mood: recovering recovering
Bullying: It's Not Just For Primary School

Parents welcome ruling on bullying victim's suicide

The article I link to above is about a determination by a coroner in Victoria that a young man who killed himself had done so as a result of being bullied. It's an interesting enough article, and it raises some interesting issues about bully culture as it surrounds people.

It ends with a note that "If you are experiencing difficulties with bullying contact Lifeline on 13 11 14."

And I started to weep, because I'm a bullying survivor.

I was bullied by my peers, socially and emotionally, for twelve years. I was taunted, teased, degraded, abused, stalked, and pushed constantly throughout primary school and high school. I survived it, but mainly because I grew up in a family which had a strong history of chronic depression, and thus had a strong intra-family cultural taboo on suicide, self-harm, or any other form of behaviour which might bring the family to the attention of the authorities. Keep your head down, suck it up, and see whether you can fly under their radar; that's the family mantra.

I grew up thinking there had to be something inherently wrong with me, something which made those other children pick on me, something which made me a target. I grew up learning from my age peers the "normal" response to my existence was either outright aggression, masked aggression, or just outright denial of my humanity. If I had any friends at all, they were mistakes, errors, only putting up with me because they were outcasts too. If someone was being friendly to me, it wasn't going to last. If someone had my back, it was only so they could stick a knife in it more effectively. I grew up knowing this had to be the case, because if it wasn't... well, if it wasn't this meant that people were getting away with being deliberately cruel to me, for no other reason than "because they could". Easier to believe in my own inappropriateness than to believe in generalised acceptance of malice.

Bullying broke me.

I don't trust people even now. I particularly don't trust other women (and if you're a "popular" woman, you're going to have a lot of trouble winning even the slightest particle of trust from me, because I spent too many years being the target of the malice of the popular girls in school), I don't trust good-looking men, I don't trust people who have any sort of power over me, and I don't trust people who say they're my peers. I live my life on the lookout for the next knife in my back, the next attack out of the dark. I shadowbox my way through relationships. The closer a person gets to me, the more danger I'm in.

I expect to be bullied as a default state these days. It was the cause of a near-breakdown in my second year of university study, because I was so strung-out waiting for the other shoe to drop... prior to starting uni I'd never been in any educational environment where I hadn't been subject to some form of bullying, where picking on me because I was there hadn't been just an accepted part of the day.

I still wear the target on my soul. I found that out when I got my first full-time job in the public service, and was put in the charge of a manager who proceeded to play mind games, most likely with the deliberate intent of breaking me down. That job brought me as close as I've ever been to actual suicide, and I can still recall the absolute despair I felt at the thought of having to endure something like that all day, every day, for the rest of my life. The only reason I'm still here now is because my instinct for self-preservation overrode my lower-middle class upbringing (and led me to quit the job with no idea at all what I was going to do next). What that experience did for me was reinforced the half-understood lesson of my university days - that what had happened to me for twelve years of schooling wasn't a result of "kids being kids".

This is important: children don't bully because they're children. Bullies bully because they're allowed to get away with it, and they don't "grow out of" their bullying behaviours. They keep at it for as long as they're able, and they'll leave a trail of victims behind them. Oh, and they generally don't see themselves as doing anything harmful, either. They were "just having a bit of a joke" or "taking care" of their victim, or carrying out their actions "in the interests" of their victim.

I've never actually called Lifeline. I don't think they'd be interested in what I have to say. I doubt calling them would change anything, and it won't make the pain I still carry go away. I'm broken, and I doubt I'll ever be able to be fixed. I can paper over the cracks, I can pretend I'm functional, but underneath, there's still the little girl who doesn't understand why people are being so nasty to her without any reason. She's crying, and she's probably going to keep crying for the rest of my life.

My name is Meg, and I'm a bullying survivor.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/15261.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

location: In tears
Current Mood: triggered triggered
A Busy Day

Our next-door neighbours have a dog of very little brain indeed. It's a small animal, and I suspect it doesn't have much by way of memory, since it tends to have a couple of daily rituals. One of these has just finished (furious barking to alert the world the sun appears to have vanished, taken by person or persons unknown), and the other is just beginning (plaintive yelping because it's still outside in this strange new world with no sunshine). I suspect it sleeps through sunrises, since I don't recall being woken by the reverse sorts of barking in the morning (or else it has a different ritual to deal with the apparent reversal of such a terrible trauma). If nothing else, it means I didn't sleep through from my after-bureaucracy nap today.

Yes, I did say after-bureaucracy nap )

All in all, a fairly satisfying day. I got a new driver's licence out of the whole mess, as well as a number of completed tasks on my calendar. So I'm happy enough.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/13759.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
State of the Meg - Breakdown

I've finished my contract, and it's just about finished me. )

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/12827.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
What happens when Meg stops her Period and her meds at around the same time

(aka, my libido appears to have finally found a forwarding address for me)

Today has been the day for silly songfic images - I blame 96FM. They followed "Centrefold" by the J Geils Band (which got me thinking of "SOLDIER in the Centrefold", but more on that later) with "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet. Now, having got kicked off thinking about naughty poses and SOLDIERs, I started listening to the lyrics and got to the bit about "... the man in the back said 'everyone attack' and it turned into a Ballroom Blitz"... and I had this image show up in my head.

"... the man in the back said 'everyone attack'"

I want this iconed, I really do.

SOLDIER in the Centrefold )

[Edited 22 JUN 2010 - fixing rotten spelling; I blame too much fanfic.]

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Current Mood: horny horny
Current Music: "Words and Music" by Paul Kelly
Wasting Time

Last week was study break. Theoretically, all us good little university students were supposed to be catching up on our reading, getting ahead on our assignments and all those other things that good little university students do. So of course, me being me, I didn't do this. Instead, I had a week mostly consisting of sleeping late, reading fiction, catching up on blogs, and playing games on the XBox. I have accomplished some useful stuff - I dropped in my Austudy claim form at Centrelink, along with my regular form for the dole, so I should actually have money in my bank account today (yays!) and who knows, I may actually be able to afford another textbook! (Woohoo!)

But most of the week went into playing The Last Remnant. I spent all day Wednesday on the tail end of disk 1 (finally finishing the "Wisdom's Echo" quest after eventually giving up and checking the wiki to find out how) and I'd got up to the boss battle with the Gates of Hell... which I lost. I then lost about a day's play, because like the fool I am, I'd forgotten to save the game at any stage along the way. Cue Meg giving up in disgust for the day at that point. Thursday I picked it up again after having dropped off my forms, and redid all the stuff I'd done before (getting less loot from killing that big gold dragon three times in the Kosmos Maiden quest than I had for killing it twice on Wednesday... tch!). This time around, with a slightly different group of allies, I managed to kill off the Gates of Hell, and Complete Disk One. So now I'm at the start of disk two, with a party which is at battle level ninety.

Unfortunately for me, my copy of the second disk is covered with lots of little scratches. No kidding, the thing looks like someone's been using it as a drinks coaster. So I can get so far through the game, and then the blasted thing goes sput-ptooie at me. "So far" being "not far into disk two". *sigh*

I swear, the universe hates me.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/8815.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: lazy lazy
Sometimes Shit Happens

Interesting day today. I had my first appointment with the counsellor at the university I'm attending (I went in to see them because the stress of the first week was making me feel as though I was falling to pieces. I probably still am). So of course, with it being the first session and all, there's the discreet questioning to find out whether I've been raped, assaulted, sexually abused, physically abused, whether I've been taking drugs, etc - basically to find out whether there is a REASON for my depression.

In my case, the answer is "actually, no." I've never been raped (I'm in the fortunate five out of six so far); I haven't been physically or sexually assaulted or abused; I've never taken drugs except for the ones prescribed to me (and at least one day out of every seven I don't even manage that). So there isn't a great big shining REASON for my depression I can point to and say "that's why I'm depressed". But try explaining this to the average layperson who doesn't have depression, and they look at me as though I'm even more crazy than I actually am - I can't just be this depressed without a REASON; it goes against all logical thought.

And hey, maybe there was a REASON, sufficiently far back down the family tree. Maybe four or five generations back one of those big ugly traumas did happen, and I'm getting the behavioural echoes passed on down the family tree through generation on generation of emotionally neglectful parenting. But I rather doubt it. My suspicion is that what's actually at the heart of all this is the fundamental neutrality of the universe - or to put it simply, sometimes bad shit happens to good folks.

This whole thing resonated with me a lot more than usual as a result of a post of Lauredhel's I'd read before leaving for the campus this morning, where she was responding to one of those standard "my partner wants to try $SEXUAL_ACT with me and I don't want to do it, what should I say?" responses in an advice column (or at least, that's what the sparking article reads as). In Lauredhel's response she points out that "Not every vanilla sexual preference is due to massive underlying psychological issssssssyews." - and that maybe what's needed isn't so much the compulsory searching for a reason why a person is saying no, and more of a willingness to just accept no as a legitimate answer on its own.

So maybe what's needed is a little less time spent searching for the massive, traumatic REASON for my mental illness, and a bit more time spent on dealing with the reality of its existence.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/8264.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

location: Back home
Current Music: local dogs barking their heads off
I Love Centrelink.

I love Centrelink. Really, I do.

But sometimes, they make it extremely, agonisingly difficult to so much as like them. Like today, where I've received a lovely little note from them saying my unemployment benefit had been suspended pending enquiries regarding my eligibility. This effectively means I have no money coming in.

Now, I am well aware that the whole business revolves around the issue of which section of Centrelink's budget the money they will (hopefully) be paying me once again will be coming out of (I'm hopefully moving from Newstart - aka "the dole" - to Austudy). But a single-sentence letter saying my payment has been suspended, when I'm on the low end of a pay fortnight, and I am literally down to my last week's rent (I have $300 in my bank account - this will cover the cost of my share of the rent for next fortnight; after that I don't have any money at all) DOES NOT HELP THINGS at this end of the equation. Now I'm in a real tizzy about whether or not I'm actually going to be paid any money at all for the next fortnight, and what the hell I'm going to do if I'm not paid anything and what the hell I'm supposed to do to obtain the next instalment of the rent.

Okay, maybe I'm over-reacting, but the absolute terror that comes from realising I have no money and I have no way of getting any in a world which is very much geared toward needing money from people in order to acknowledge their very existence is very hard to overstate. Particularly since one of the number one nightmares I have, the really deep, existential fear which drives my very being, is a fear of vanishing completely from people's notice - slipping through the cracks in reality, perhaps.

I'm stressed, and I'll admit it. If I don't wind up getting onto Austudy; if I have to re-apply for Newstart, or worse still if my eligibility for either of those benefits is cut off and I'm regarded as being ineligible for both of them (for whatever reason) then I am genuinely without resources. The global financial crisis may not have hit Australia very hard, but it's hit our particular household hard enough that we are teetering constantly on the verge of bankruptcy, and we literally have no financial resources available to us. It's a stress I don't need, coming on top of a bundle of other stresses I didn't want.

[I'm having to write this in fits and starts, because if I stop and think about things too much, I'll wind up flooding my keyboard with tears, and at this stage I can't afford a new one.]

So for the rest of the day I'm going to sit tight, and try not to think too hard about any of this. I may have to sublimate a lot of the anxiety in a frenzy of washing dishes and cleaning the house, or gaming, or find some way of doing something to take my mind off things. Tomorrow I have my orientation day at uni, and I'm going to be absent from about 8 in the morning until I finally stumble home at about 10 past 5 in the evening. Hopefully by then I'll have received a nice letter telling me whether or not I'm getting Austudy. If not, I have a meeting with the nice man from CRS on Friday (to which I am going to have to scoot directly from the second uni orientation day, missing the social activities side of things... damnit) where I'll be able to get him onto the whole mess. After all, HE was the one who recommended I go back to uni. He can damn well earn his fucking keep.

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to pour myself a cup of tea, and try to convince myself that this will all work out in the end.

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Current Mood: pissed off pissed off
Why I Don't Come Out As Mentally Unwell In Public

Marcus Einfeld has bipolar, court hears

If you read the article, you'll discover the lawyers for this particular former judge have brought up the possibility that he has a long-term, previously undiagnosed bipolar mood disorder, and are offering this as a reason why his two year minimum sentence should be altered.

From the article: Einfeld is serving a minimum two-year jail term after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice and making a false statement under oath to avoid a speeding fine.

The 70-year-old claimed that an American academic was driving his car when it was caught speeding, despite knowing she died the previous month.


I don't have bipolar disorder myself. What I do have is a chronic mental illness, which so far hasn't prompted me to do anything illegal, or to consider myself above the law. Strangely enough, there are a lot of mentally unwell people out there (and out here, come to that) who go through their entire damn lives without once coming to the attention of the police as anything other than victims of crime. But when mental illness is mentioned in the media, it's generally in the context of someone claiming a previously undiagnosed chronic mental illness which apparently severely affected them only at the time of the crime they're being charged with, and never before or since.

Now, it may be that Mr Einfeld was under the affect of either a manic period, or maybe a depressive episode, when he said something damn stupid in order to try and avoid a flippin' speeding fine. Or maybe he was an ordinary enough bloke who just didn't want to have to cop the fine, and chose to make a stupid lie to the police about who was driving his car at the time it was speeding. Having made this stupid lie, he then stuck by it, and wound up getting the book thrown at him, particularly since he was a flippin' Federal Court Judge and therefore should have known better than to try it in the first bloody place. But either way, the mania or the depression didn't make him do something so bloody stupid.

If Mr Einfeld has had bipolar mood disorder for a long period of time (and has coped with it admirably, one presumes, since he's now seventy and nobody apparently noticed until this psychiatrist he's talking to now raised the option) and has been dealing with his demons in solitude, that's a tragedy. I know depression is enough of a hell on its own, and I have every sympathy for the man. But being mentally unwell isn't an excuse for illegal behaviour, and it shouldn't be claimed as such, or reported that way.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/3707.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Today, I visit my shrink

Okay, it's been three weeks since the major meltdown, one week from the mini-meltdown which was averted by immersing myself in FF:Dissidia to the point of obsession (I'm now dreaming Dissidia battles... time to cut the playing down a bit). I'm vaguely sane at present (which reminds me - meds!) and hoping to stay so, even though the universe appears to be trying to make me go completely bonkers. My give-a-damn still isn't, so I'm currently behind on cooking, cleaning and doing anything other than levelling up characters on the PSP.

Dissidia is ... interesting. I've managed to get one character up to level 100 (Cloud) and I'm working on my second (Squall). Discovered that the guy who's voicing Squall isn't the same guy who voiced him in Kingdom Hearts, which says a lot about my hearing, doesn't it? The story mode is sorta fun, although there's a limited amount of enjoyment I can get from it (mostly because I get bored by running through the same thing over and over) - so far I've found the best fun comes from running through story mode for each character once, then coming back and doing it again after they've levelled up a bit (I ran Cloud back through his on level 80 or so, which was a bit like swatting flies with a sledgehammer... for some reason I got a perfect score for section completion after that; Squall went back through at level 30). So far I've beaten Chaos once (he's a right whatsit to beat - three-stage boss, so you have to kill him three times rather than just the once) and seen the final little FMV cutscene, which is cute.

I think one of the things I like about Dissidia is they have the age balance right for Cloud and Squall. One of my pet peeves in KH fandom is that people tend to assume Squall is older than Cloud (probably because Squall has a deeper voice). In fact, it's t'other way round - Cloud starts his game at age 21, while Squall is a good four years younger at age 17 - and if you assume each game took 1 year to run that has Cloud ending up at age 22, with Squall coming in at age 18. Advent Children takes place 2 years after the initial Final Fantasy game, so in Advent Children, Cloud is at least 23. Dissidia Squall looks younger than Dissidia Cloud, which makes me feel all is right with the world again. And yes, I am a picky fangirl.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/3547.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: okay okay
Semi-regular update post

Gods, where to start? It's been a bit of a frantic week-and-a-bit. Let's see - how about I give a rundown of "good things and bad things" and then an expansion in TL;DR below.

Good things:

  • Meds packaged in blister pack, Silver Chain stuff almost up and running.

  • Purchased Dissidia on Tuesday, already 9/10ths of the way through the initial part of Story Mode

  • Heard from my folks, they're coming back to Perth early


Not-Good things:
  • Still depressed

  • Court hearing on Tuesday resulted in an order to hand over the house

  • Still unemployed


This is the TL;DR stuff )

So yeah, how's everyone else doing?

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/3013.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

location: Here, for now.
Current Mood: stressed stressed
An Update - 1 week on from needing help

It's been about a week since I wrote the "I need help" post, and about a week since the breakdown which prompted it. Since then, I've had a few things happen. I've contacted the Silver Chain people about getting some assistance with ensuring I take my medication regularly. From what I've read on their website, they're probably the best people to provide the kind of help I need, which is someone dropping in on maybe an "every second day" basis, in order to ensure I'm taking my meds regularly and getting out of bed at a reasonable hour. They've returned my contact, and advised me to get a referral from a GP, which I did on Thursday last week. Now I have to wait for them to get back to me again, and let me know whether it's possible for this to happen or not.

I'm back to taking my medication, and I'm going to try and keep consistent with it, even though I know I have problems with this (see the above paragraph). So far I'm on day two, and I'm suffering the understandable side-effects of restarting psych medication after about two weeks without it. Or in other words, I'm dizzy, dopey, and a bit distracted at present. This too will pass, but at the moment I'm trying not to move too much too quickly.

More under the fold )

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location: On the drugs
Current Mood: wheee! wheee!
I Need Help.

Amanda "Brocky" Stachewicz had everything: a loving family with children, a great career as a doctor and a home in the western suburbs. The former St Hilda's schoolgirl got top marks for everything and was beautiful inside and out.

But at her funeral at her old school in March, mourners were stunned to hear about how she felt before she died.

"I'm tired and I don't want to suffer any more," Brocky wrote before she committed suicide.

Her schoolmate Karen Heagney is running in November's New York marathon to remember her friend and do something for mental illness.

"Depression is a hidden disease," Karen said this week, as she limbered up for a training session at Perry Lakes. "If you suffer from a physical disease it's visible and tangible and people ask how you're going. With depression often no one knows."


This is an excerpt from an article which appeared in our free local paper[1] this week. It was one of the things which pushed me over the edge into absolute screaming hysterical fury today, and got me breaking down.

More under the fold )

[1] Mosman Cottesloe Post, Vol 36 No 37; September 19 2009.

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Current Mood: depressed depressed
One step forward...

Found this one on the ABC ticker last night:

Robb takes leave over depressive illness

One of the Opposition Front Benchers in the federal House of Representatives here in Australia has a biochemical disorder called diurnal variation, which is a depressive illness. He's taking three months leave of absence.

Now, when I first saw that, I didn't have a clue what the heck "diurnal variation" meant in context of depressive illnesses (I knew it meant "daily changes" but heck, that's a pretty broad term). So, off I went to Google, and discovered it's the technical term for feeling like hammered crap in the mornings. At which point I went "yes, and?", because I've had that for over twenty years now, and I was under the strong impression it was pretty damn normal. Then again, I'm depressed, so are both my parents and a fair chunk of my relations, and possibly this skews things. My second reaction was along the lines of "ooh, there's a word for everything in this discipline!", because I hadn't been aware my feeling worried and anxious when I woke up (and the consequent wanting to go right back to sleep and stay there for another few hours) had a name, aside from "oh shit, another bloody morning".

Someone really should point out to Mr Robb's spokesweasel that using the big words for everything doesn't exactly win you the huge sympathy points in this day and age. Far too many people know google, and know how to use it - and many have stronger google-fu than I (my google-fu extends as far as being able to narrow down my search by picking appropriate terminology to search on).

But at least Mr Robb is getting lots and lots of sympathy for feeling like crap in the mornings now, and there's supportive messages from all and sundry, and lots of people saying "yeah, we're on your side, we'll keep your old job for you" and similar. So I'm going to try not to feel like I've been cheated by just having been told "suck it up and live with it" since I was fourteen, and get on with my life. I'll also try not to feel cheated by realising I have to hide my depressive illness, because otherwise I won't be able to get a job short of begging.

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Okaaaay...

Well, for some reason getting out the two longish pieces I've been working away at on and off over the past year or so and doing some more of the epicyclical rewrites I'm prone to (I call it editing, because that sounds ever so much more purposeful) appeared to have worked to dispel the cranky mood. By the time midnight came around, I was able to kick off the download without wanting to bite the update program, and when I eventually went to bed at close on 3am this morning, I was just fine.

What was even better, I'd added some new content to both of the pieces I'd opened, which really helps. One of them's up to 24,000 words plus, while the other's only at 5,000 or so, but they're both going to be walloping great bastards when (if) they're eventually completed.

I'm still fine this morning, having created my first character on City of Heroes and completed the initial missions. It's an interesting little game, that one. I think I shall see about creating a second character, and see whether I can get any further. One of the only complaints I have is that if you're playing a trial account (as I am) there's a persistent little box in the dead centre of the screen telling you you're playing the trial, and asking whether you want to buy the full version. Mind you, I can live with that for a week or so, while I decide whether or not I want to keep playing. So far the answer is "yes", but that may alter.

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location: You guess!
Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
Current Music: Tinnitus
Cranky

I'm cranky. I don't know why. I've been taking my meds all week like a good girl, so in theory I shouldn't be feeling this irritable. Unfortunately, this isn't theory, and I'm currently feeling tetchy enough to bite the heads off live chickens just in order to satisfy my craving for something destructive to do.

The annoying bit is that I really don't know why I'm so cranky. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I cancelled my WoW account today (and got rather irritated at their cutesy "you made the peon cry" bit in there, while I was at it). Unfortunately, I didn't actually have much choice in the matter - Blizzard appear to have chosen not to continue supporting the graphics hardware I'm using, and I'm not in a financial position to be able to pay largeish amounts to upgrade my laptop just so I can play one damn game. I went looking around at other MMORPGs, and decided to give "City of Heroes" a try, but installing it requires downloading the software, which means I have a flippin' 10 hour download waiting for me. Yays. To make matters more interesting still, Himself decided to confide in me that we're coming up to the limit for our bandwidth for the peak hours (ie everything between 8am and midnight - off peak is between midnight and 8am) so if I want to do this download, I have to wait until midnight to kick it off. Hoo-fucking-ray.

Ach, I think I'll get out the bits of fiction I'm working on and see whether I can come up with anything for those. After all, if I'm going to be cranky, bad-tempered and frustrated, I may as well do it to some purpose.

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location: At the computer
Current Mood: cranky cranky
Current Music: KH2 fight theme
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