One Dark Hour

One Dark Hour.

Things are good in life. I have my Diploma, I have my pool, I have job prospects, I have good friends and a loving family.
I am on meds and should be stable and I am but the lately I have been teary at night and feeling a mixture of a heavy weight and a piece is missing.

I see beauty in things I never noticed before like a flower with so much detail and several colours or the way my cat sleeps with one eye open and follows me everywhere I go. I taste every bite of food and enjoy every mouthful (if it’s good) I make plans and am excited about what comes next… but then a wave of sadness and I can feel all the pain in the world for just a moment. As I cry I feel every inch of pain I’ve ever felt, every time I was let down by someone I cared about, every time I thought too highly of someone, every mean word the bullies said, everyone I have lost and every physical health issue. They flood my thoughts and my tears flood back and I am overtaken by it.

This mental illness is so evil. Even when things are good I can still feel so low. I allow myself an hour of being sad and then I have to put it away until tomorrow. If there is a big loss I give myself one day to mourn it then put it away.

I use grounding exercises to bring me back to right now and remind myself that things are good and that I have been through worse, and I am ok. I sleep and then wake up ok. During the day I am ok.

But every night the sadness creeps back in, the flood begins but I only let this beast have one hour. Then I close the flood gates and am a fully functioning stable human being.

I wish I could balance it with one hour of mania a day, oh man so many presents from eBay would come. But no!

I have it under control. I check in with my doctors and I am ok. This is just a thing I have to do now so that I can have 23hrs of ‘normalcy’ or peace. It’s a very fair trade.

I feel guilt and shame because I know people have it worse. I hate my dark hour but I need it to have light.

It never gets so dark that I want to leave. I want to live. Having the semi colon symbol has helped so much because MY story isn’t over yet. My story has many more chapters, many more happy days and only one hour a night off.

Study Girl

Anyone who knows me and my sister would tell you she was the studious one. I dropped out of high school while she got 99.5% on her HSC UAI, a scholarship to uni and completed a double degree and later her CPA. She always worked really hard and did really well. I was always jealous of her, thinking she was the smart one.
I was a high school dropout who barely scraped by. I hated studying, homework or any work. I liked the creative subjects and mostly lunch time. I never really admired how much work she put in to get the grades she did. I had difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Well for any periods of time. School was hard. The social side of things also made things harder because I was more focused on trying to fit in rather than concentrate on class.

After I dropped out at 16 I did a chef’s course. I loved cooking and really enjoyed the practical side of the course but I didn’t do great in either the prac or the theory. I just wasn’t a student.

I did a director’s course and passed but not with flying colours and no with confidence about my future in film making.

I tried mini courses in French, drawing, writing etc and passed because everyone passed but nothing to write or draw home about.

I did a UPC at 21 – university preparation course in Psychology for a year twice a week to make up for not having an HSC. I got a credit even though I had a mental break down towards the end.

I did a hairdressing course but managed another break down and never finished it.

When I was 22 I did a childcare course at TAFE. I freaked out on my first day and had a full blown panic attack. Mum raced to save the day and negotiated with a great supervising teacher that I would do the course over a year part time instead of full time for 6 months and that I could have little breaks if I felt overwhelmed.
I got my first ever distinction. It felt good. I enjoyed the course and thought maybe I was ready for Uni. Ha.

At 23, Uni was a whirlwind of essays as long as your leg, tutorials with these teens that talk like they swallowed a textbook, lectures filled with hundreds of kids and anxiety and more reading than I have ever done in my life. It was so full on and I went back into old habits of thinking I was too dumb for this and panicking because deep down I knew I couldn’t do this. There was a part of my psych class that required me to do an experiment and the one I picked happened to be for inducing anxiety, wish they had told me that first because I would have told them there is no induction necessary. I freaked and spiralled and after 6 weeks of hell I quit.

After uni I focused solely on work and staying well.
After many years working with little kids I decided to study again.
Can’t say I’m not persistent.
I did a Youth Work course and knew early on that it wasn’t the path I wanted to follow but completed the course and stored the knowledge in my brain for future use. I went back to work in childcare.

I adored working with kids with disabilities and did a little online refresher childcare course. It was great, I watched little mini tutorials and answered some easy questions on what I had learnt and passed without a second glance. This made me feel that maybe I could study online, maybe I had the discipline we all doubted I had.

Stress caused my left ovary to twist and become septic and needed to be removed. When that happened my love of kids was also removed. I continued working with kids for a few years but never felt that bond. Kids became a sore spot and then became nothing. I knew I couldn’t stay in this profession.

I searched for a long time for my next move. As you have just read I have tried so many things. But what did I love? What would I be good at? What could I really see myself doing?

And then it hit – counselling. I love helping people, I’m great at listening and giving sound advice/guidance and I would make one heck of a counsellor.

I found a great online course, there are a few seminars down in Sydney but mostly it’s reading workbooks and filling in assessments then sending them off to be marked.
Not only am I killing it. I love it. I jump out of bed in the morning, get my bottle of water, open the curtains, prep my notes and spreadsheet of progress, I get my stopwatch app open and I sit down and read or fill in questions. I am interested and engaged. I really enjoy the context of what I am reading and learning and even the studying itself.
I’ve had 2 push backs but come back fighting and managed to get Competents in all 8 out of the 18 workbooks I have. After this I will have a diploma. Me a diploma. WTF? No one can ever call me dumb again. Most importantly I can’t call myself dumb again.

And the oddest part of me becoming a study girl? I’m considering doing the Bachelor’s Degree. Not for the credit or extra pay but because I want to learn. Weird right?




21 months later…..

So this high school dropout, who spent my youth being bullied and called stupid so many times I believed it; can no longer believe it!
I have a UPC in Psychology
I have a cert 2 in cookery
I have a cert 3 in children’s services
I have a cert 4 in Youth Work
And I now have a DIPLOMA in Counselling.
Not dumb. Not stupid. And not done. Contemplating doing a Bachelor of Psychology next.

I keep saying “no-one can ever call me dumb again” and people reply “no-one calls you dumb” but I did, I called myself dumb.
But not anymore.

Study girl out! Or am I?

At Some Point

At some point..
I have to accept I’m not like everyone else. I may not ever have a long term relationship. I may not have ‘the one’ I have to be ‘the one’ for myself.

Why do I keep falling for the men I can’t have? Why does it hurt so much more when they leave? Why do I always think they are the one for me? Why does it never work out? Why do I not care about the ones I’m with when I’m with them? How do I know they aren’t the one? Why don’t they break my heart?
Why wont anyone fight for me? Will I ever find true love?