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Pristiq (Desvenalfaxin) Withdrawal P5

Warning please seek medical support prior to going off any mental health medication. Withdrawal from medication/s is a very individual experience and my experience is mine alone. I do not encourage anyone from stopping any mental health medication without support of your GP, Psychiatrist and Psychologist. I worked as a mental health qualified Registered Nurse RPN and RN I did not mean to do my cessation like this this it was very much situational.

Day 13
I have not slept now for over 40 hours. I have had a lovely day today. I met up with a friend and had a coffee. Took the dogs for a walk down near Port Huon and had lunch at bakery in Geeveston I went shopping at the Tip Shop looking for items I can begin to paint and mosaic.
It is not good. I have been on a bit of a spending spree. No regrets, and I did pay for 5 new tyres outright. I have had to force myself to get stop watching the news from so many countries in regard to that war. Have I eaten well today ahhh not really. Fruit vegies, eggs and a lot of icecream and sugar.

I was triggered and reacted. Driving through Huonville (the largest town in my area) I slowed down to let traffic get out of a really horrible intersection onto the highway. The older guy probably my age, but I’M not old; came right up behind me, even though he had been several car lengths behind me, and HOOOONKED his horn..it worked well he should be very proud.
I had let the two cars onto the highway, and began to drive off in the southward direction I was heading in. The owner of the horn, tail gated me. Well not liking his bullying tactics, his impatience and his just arrogance, I slow down to 40km /25milesP/H approx. It was a 50km/31MPH speed limit and he honked me again. As I was approaching the 80km/50mph speed sign I just enjoyed my leisurely travel at 58km/36MPH speed. Enjoying the scenery of the river, and thinking about how much I will miss seeing this view as a new housing development.suburb is being built and will most likely block the view. I continued driving relaxed and singing along to one of my faviourite artists. Sitting on the 60km/37MPH speed. A lovely drive able to observe all the homes, and how many blackberries were on the bushes, if there were any wild apple trees loaded with ripening fruit tempting me to stop at on the way home.

So relaxed. I did look in the rear view mirror surprised to see my old proud Horn man still behind me. Nah I knew he was still there. I kept on driving looking at the scenery and enjoying a leisurely outing with my dogs. It is a very pretty drive along the Huon River. Quite a winding road. I sang along to my artist on the CD(yep Im old). I was very chillaxed.
I noticed the tip shop/tip on the way and decided to stop in on the way home. On we drove. My man with the Horn behind me, a little too close I felt but then he was wanting to go around me I am certain.
Oh dear other vehicles coming towards us on the broken white line (where he could over take me).
I have to be honest I did have a lovely chuckle at this.
Onwards I drive, thinking about just what a lovely morning I am having really enjoying my day so far.
The dogs were chilled. A mindful drive, relaxed and observing. Perfect.

Another opportunity for my horny friend to be able to get around me coming up. I could see he was getting his speed up and I am not a nice woman…I chuckled more vehicles coming towards us where he could have gone around me easily.

A while later my mate had pulled of the road. Perhaps frustrated enough to call the police. I do know he took a photo of my cars rear end with rego plate. It would not give any idea of the speed, and my car needs a wash, she is not looking her best.

I just kept driving at the speed I had been, sure there had been a bit of a line up behind me, and several cars over the course of the next several opportunities to overtake did so safely and responsibly. All the while I had not increase my speed. As I say I was really enjoying the leisurely pace. I was not doing it out of annoyance at Mr Proud Horn. I was enjoying my drive. After 23kms/14miles. I turned off the highway into the Geeveston shopping precinct. Popped in to a new aquaintance I had met at Christmas times bakery, that had been opened only two weeks. A huge slice of quiche, and an apple turn over in my bag and back into the car. Thinking where next. Return home but first I would pull in at Port Huon park and go down near the sailing club. Let the dogs out for a wee and sniff as I ate the tasty delicious, Huge piece of quiche just looking up the river, at the gray clouds and mist where Huonville was hiding under. Satiated back into the car next stop the tip shop. (locals take their rubbish if they do not have pick up) and items they do not want to anymore and the tip shop sells them.

After doing my quibbling over price, and delighted with it, paid my bill and homeward bound. Me singing along to my CD and Miss Treacle perhaps trying to stop me from singing with her paw. Home fed the chooks and the dogs.
I began to do some painting which I was enjoying. I was trying to just let go and not be tight in my body as I painted. I Like what I did and am excited to feel like and acting on being creative.
Tomorrow I am feeling that I will do some work on sorting out and getting rid off stuff, along with cleaning. Just a small area I have in my mind. Achievable.

Symptom wise, so anger (was I angry at the guy for honking) Personally i feel more that it was to do with his impatience. I did not scream or yell at him or any situation or creatures at all today.
Is that an improvement? I want to think it is.
Light headedness, but that is probably more about not sleeping for 24 hours at that point.
I have an inablity to switch off the computer and go to bed.

I have no stabbing zappy feelings in my hands, feet, legs, arms anymore. My joints have been quite sore as to my muscles. I am still experiencing personal thermostat challenges.

My mind is slowing tonight. I guess exhaustion will assist with that. Have I said no burping or nausea at all. Even feeling as I do, I am much happier with how I feel and not sure how to word this but how I AM doing things. Happy to do a small area of my kitchen tomorrow , if more happens wonderful. My goals are not high in this process. Takes off the need to alphabetise, put all my clothes in colour co-ordinated runs.

I am so so happy I have insight into what this is apart from withdrawal (sudden) off Desvenalfaxine.

I also feel as if my lability is not as prominent. I have not cried more than once today. I am not so happy about the volume of food I consumed today or more so its less than healthy way of eating.

I have had trouble with finding words I am looking for, and my feet are freezing right now, so painful that my broken toe is throbbing. Reminder it is Summer here in Tasmania (well all of Australia).

One thing I have found really strange is the volume of water I am drinking. I have recently had fasting and the other blood test to check for all diabetes and was great for both. My blood pressure was wonderful for me.

I am thankful that I did not get angry when triggered. I was mischievous but so relaxed.

blessings to You, Tazzie.



Winter End Garden Tour

I have shared about myself and what my life has been like over the past few months living with CPTSD. It seems to me writing here assists me so much. Seeing my thoughts/activities/feelings in print help me see how far I have come in my life with this illness. Learning to live my life accepting how I move through each day no matter how and what is happening in my life and life around me. I am proud of myself that I keep moving forward no matter how minuscule it may be.

Lets look at what is happening in the garden. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we being our Spring Season very soon; the problem tends to be I along with many others feel the days lengthen and see the weeds growing all the new growth everywhere. I feel the urge to sow seeds. I have to hold myself back and wait wait.. which I have been doing, today I intend to plant a few in pots to germinate in side.

Lets go for a walk around my gardens in the last few days of the yearly Winter season.

I feel like I have done very little during winter, yet when I review the photos I have been doing small things. On top of this each day I walk around and pull weeds out of the paddock area.
We have had a very wet few weeks very wet. This has made it more difficult to continue to clear around the fruit trees as the ground is too wet.

The joy of my garden and the hope that I will get seeds in and growing for my own vegetables and food. Rain and colder days are on the agenda for a few more days.

The chooks ahh the chooks sadly I have three roosters, and only five girls. Rupert has been amazing with the chicks but they have all grown up now and I have to attend to reducing the number of roosters, as they will be to much and to mean for the few girls I have. Sadly only one of the female chicks have survived to now. I also lost one of my original hens one of the brown girls. Penny I am not holding out any hope that she is nesting anywhere. My neighbours have also got new hens, and both my neighbour and I have noted that a Sea Eagle has been flying around everyday. This may be part of why my hens have disappeared along with one of the rooster chicks (perhaps not so bad one less for me to attend).

I have been taking my vitamin D as down here we have such low levels of sun over this time of year it is a necessity. It also helps with mood and lessening seasonal affective disorder. (SAD)

It is great to wake up each day, to see how beautiful my garden is looking. I am so thankful to have such a great area to create my space.

I am thankful to those of you who read my posts, blessings to You all. Tazzie

Morning Walk

I really have lost track of how long it has been now since we have been in isolation/lock down here in Tasmania. I have said before that as someone with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), it has not been a huge change from normal life.

What has changed is my routine, and going for a walk with my dogs every day. Some days we do more walks or a longer walk. I am fortunate to have such a great area and road where my dogs can be off lead.
It was a wild stormy night apparently. I heard nothing sleeping soundly until 07:00 am approx. My dogs stay in bed and join me when they are ready.

I feel beginning our walk with a bit of a rainbow was a good start, and water was lying about everywhere, along with wild fungi and mushrooms that are popping up about the road and my place.

I am trying to bring something new to the photos I do take on our walk as of late it has been the same one for some time.

Busby had run ahead as he usually does as he hopes to see Toby and today he was not disappointed. I was calling him back when my neighbours wife called out and said hang on. Toby by this point had said hi to Busby through the fence and than all three dogs raced up to the gate. As you can see above. It really is a love of brothers.

Miss Treacle was disappointed as she did not get to see her man. His wife did bend down and pat. In Miss Treacle’s eyes it was no where near the same, and she spent her time just standing about my legs trying not to be squashed by the boys. Who raced off down to the dam.

It must have rained a lot as on the way home there was a big worm crossing the road. I moved it to the verge to minimise it being lunch for so

Arriving back home just in time again before the rain hit and wind picked up even more. I finished making my chicken vegetable soup, it has carrots, peas, cauliflower, corn, onion, lots of garlic, ginger, some turmeric in it. Before I serve it for my dinner I will make some very simple egg dumplings. I beat two eggs, with enough flour so that it is gooey and mixed. I than add this to the soup and let the dumplings (with salt and pepper added to the mix) rise, let them cook for a few minutes one side, then I will turn them over. I did turn them too early and they broke. They still fluffed up and added to the dish.

It was a delectable meal and a wonderful way to end the day.

I do hope like me you are finding things to laugh about even in this times of uncertainty.

Blessings to you Tazzie



Dogs and Isolation.

Off we went for our walk this morning. It was wet but warm and the rain had stopped. Busby and Miss Treacle took off, up the drive to our small country road. Miss Treacle just races out my breath catches every time. Busby is incredible every single time we leave he looks to the right (direction in Australia cars would be heading towards him closest side).

It was muggy and I hate humidity I did not imagine Tasmania would have such humidity as it has in recent times.
Busby had gone and said hi to Chubbs and Toby at their gate across from us. They looked forlornly on as he raced up the road without even looking back.

We had not gone to far further up when we met Ruby and her owner. Do not mistake Ruby for a brown sheep. She is a sweet labradoodle. (her big brother is Basil he is a tenacious elderly pug who can no longer handle big walks).
We left Ruby and her owner and continued up the hill on our walk. Busby saw Toby (yes 2 Tobys, and when my third dog was alive there were 3 tobys on our small rural road). It did not look like Toby would be coming out to play as he sat by the fence. Then the gate was open, and WOWEee , it was playtime.

Miss Treacle was incredibly disappointed when she realised it was not her man but his wife who was with Toby today. She ignored her with disdain. The bros had a ball and stirred up the ducks by running straight towards them, not even really seeing them as they were playing. The ducks took flight.

The warmth and humidity rising and the evaporating water was forming clouds across the river and the clouds thinned. As we walked past Chubbs and Toby were still hopefully waiting by their gate wanting to play. It was not to be so the three of us headed for home.

I had to wheel my bin down to the road where the truck picks it up in the morning. As I was bringing it to the top of my driveway, I was almost flattened by three big dogs coming straight at me, the black ones tail wagging so much it nearly was ahead of his head. The boys had been released. They were thrilled.

Busby, Chubbs and Toby ended up playing ball in the paddock as I talked with their mum, and two teenager neighbours (all social distancing actually much more than the suggested space. The kids were earning their some money by bringing other neighbours bins down. Love their ingenuity. They ride their bikes down hill towing the bins. No fear these guys.

It has been another wonderful day spent in isolation? My routine continues in bed by 22:30 lights out, eating more healthily, walking every day, and showering every second day.

I do have to say, I feel so much better following this routine, I see how I really knew what was best for my own needs and am now working to ensure I follow this as best as I can. If I don’t make it to bed or eat healthy for a day, it is not a a failure in my eyes, it is just normal. I will just pick it up the next day. That is my plan.

I am thankful for the rain. I am so thankful for my dogs. I am thankful for having such great dogs living about us. I am thankful for my neighbours and the greater sense of community we have now. I am thankful for my garden. I am thankful for my warm comfortable bed. My doona, and electric blanket. I am thankful to have a roof over my head. I am thankful to have food and fresh water. I am so thankful for all that I have.

blessings Tazzie

Simple pleasures.

I adore these two as I have all the dogs I have had come into my life. Miss Treacle is the most soulful and sweet girl she has too be touching me.

Last night on the lounge she was doing something else and Busby had climbed up and was laying with his head on my lap. I was patting him, when Miss Treacle climbs up and walks over him, pushing her 8kg/17.6lbs body in between his 41kg/90.38lbs body and the lounge. Forcing him to move, she then lays herself over his nose so I can not pat him so easily. I had to chuckle to myself at her devotion. I do feel for Busby, but he is a very easy going boy.

Dogs are great company. For me they have been integral in dealing with my breakdown, the times I was so unwell and life was just too hard in my ill state of mental health. Now they are integral in helping me and my improving mental health. Though let me say their tactics are pretty strong pawed ones.

Miss Treacle was not impressed, and actually pushed my hand off the key board and would not let me keep writing. She was not so subtle letting me know it was time for a walk and to get off the computer!

It worked, I realised if I did not get up now with less wind and no rain the opportunity might not come again today. So we set off. and the sun came out and it showed all the trees up in such a pretty light. The colours of Autumn are much more noticeable today.

We only saw one of our neighbours at a distance this morning and we just waved at each other. the dogs and I kept walking, I use the time for training Busby to come.

He tends to loose all ability to hear me if he sees any wild animals and will take off chasing them. I guess being a Staffie/boxer/ridgeback cross is to blame for his instinct in chasing. He is improving at coming when I call him, I only have myself to blame. He came into my life when I was unwell as a foster puppy with two siblings.

The wind was picking up on the home ward journey. as can be seen in the poplars in the middle row below. I also love the very old quince tree with the Hills Hoist rotary clothes hoist in front of it. Many hours of childhood were spent spinning around on one similar.

This mornings walk up the road, probably looks pretty much like the last photographs I posted. We took a chance in between wind and rain, to go out, and I timed it really well. Autumn has finally arrived here and Mother Earth is changing the trees colours well at least the deciduous ones. The problem lies with the wind, the leaves are being blown off so quickly.

Photos above Miss Treacle smiling at me saying see a walk makes us all feel better, and the clean air and being in nature the smells all wonderful. I had to agree and said to her yes it was wonderful that you made me get up and go for a walk. Second photo she is sleeping and snoring. Little angel that she is. Yes she does sleep with her eyes open.

Later in the day we walked about the garden. It was another interluded of sunshine between showers and wind. In the grass I often see these holes dug out, now if you do not know many people would assume that they are dug by rabbits. We do get rabbits here. These holes are not dug by them, rabbits when they dig usually leave little piles of manure, and a very different shaped hole. This one has a pointy shape and is quite different it is dug by a bandicoot, who as you can see have a pointed nose. This is an Eastern Barred Bandicoot we also have Southern Brown Bandicoots

Bandicoots – Bush Heritage Australia
bushheritage.org.au

The photos below show the vegetable garden and rhubarb which is in a bed in the front of my house.

The fig is giving me small tasty figs. I am not sure what I need to do to increase their size next season. It is growing in a half wine barrel.

The beans took a huge hit in the wind last photo.

Broad beans, coriander, kale, and other brassicas are doing well. I have small lettuce seedlings, rocket, red veined sorrell, silverbeet all coming up. The broccoli that you pick again small style is doing well, delicious and sweet I pick it and eat it raw.

My neighbours glass house is looking wonderful and I have said I am jealous. In a very nice way.
The colour of the blueberry bushes is such a strong red. I also have some garlic shoots already protruding. Along with the broad beans which are flowering already so very strange.

We returned inside, and relaxed for a while.

I found it hard to sit still today and at about 1700 I said to the dogs, lets go for another walk up the hill. You can probably imagine their responses.


They were both uber excited, and off we went, the sun was getting lower in the sky and I was a tad concerned about the critters that might be coming out, but we headed off.
I had no expectation of seeing anyone. So we were all very happy to see our neighbour at the top of the hill and his dog Toby. Off went Busby to play with Toby.

Miss Treacle actually squeaked in such joy at seeing our neighbour, she loves him so much. He picked her up and she was in heaven.

He and I talked and he had made 6 litres of pasata from his home grown tomatoes and dried several kilos as well. WOW!how wonderful.
The sky was darkening a bit as clouds came over and we headed home, two very satiated dogs.

We were almost home and Busby saw his other friends Chubb and Toby from across the road, and I said yes he could go and say hello.

Off they both went and I chatted with their owner. They played we chatted standing far apart.

As we were talking another neighbour and her little one came by with their bikes, so we all said hi and chatted. The little one no longer has training wheels on her bike, and so we watched her ride all the way down the hill and use her brakes well, several times. Complimenting her on her achievements and brake skills.

It was growing darker and colder, the tip of my nose was chilled. It was really feeling like winter.

I was very very happy to come home ,to my warm home made white loaf of bread. A big cup of tea and fresh crusty warm bread with butter and vegemite.(Please Note see how little vegemite I spread on my bread..some like a bit more but never spread it thick)
The best end to a really wonderful day all the while staying at home or very close bye, being safe and keeping social distancing, and exercising.

I am thankful for the beauty that I am surrounded by. I am thankful for the food I have and the ability to make my own meals from scratch. I am thankful for good neighbours, I am thankful for feeling unafraid in these times, I am thankful for being so fortunate. I am thankful for my dogs. I am thankful for my physical health. I am thankful for you. May you all stay safe.

Blessings Tazzie

Lost in Isolation

How beautiful it is sitting listening to the rain falling on my tin roof, the wind blowing the trees and a fire burning in my wood heater.
There is snow on Kunanyi (Mt Wellington),

from the Summit camera on Kunani (Mount Wellington)

It feels like a winters day here today, 13dC/55.4dF. My CPSTD has been a bit all over the place as I had someone I do not want to have contact with be in touch. I have not responded to the message left. As this is how it is best for me to be well. Since breaking all ties with my family I have found a contentment I have not had since my partner died. He always loved me unconditionally and believed in me.
He saw how my family treated me. He supported me and was there unquestioning and lovingly when I interacted with them, trying to have a relationship with them. He was there to hug and reassure me when it all went to hell, eventually.

This out of the blue message not responded too, still has dropped my mood and seen me comfort eat uncontrollably. Naming that here helps me to acknowledge what I have been doing and lets me name and describe the emotions. I am angry that my needs have been disregarded as was discussed back in January. I am resentful that this intrusion still impacts me, and takes me to a place of disassociation. This is something I realised today, as I shoveled biscuits into my mouth. I have literally switched off and gone into a void. Aware of what I should be doing but not able to face it. This is part of the reason I like blogging, it helps me see in black and white and somehow my brain connects the OH moments and I usually can move forward again.

This happened five days ago, and now I can see how I really have just gone to my ‘reactive management of disassociation’ . Clarity is good to have now. I am engaging my brain and moving forward again, and not backwards. It would be simple to remain in the vague realm of lost time just slowly sinking down. I am not doing that, I will not do that. I am moving forward.

It is hard to stop the reactions that have been a lifetime response to stressors. Though I am delighted that I have insight (eventually ) into what has occurred. My child has been protecting me in the only way she knows and that it to comfort herself with food, and switch off. I am thankful she is there and takes over when I retreat. I love her for that, I need to work on letting her go and me to take over at these times. I am still very much a work in progress.

Insight is a such a valuable thing. It is also frustrating when you have it but you are unwell. I can not control as much as I would like my family/inlaw family messaging. I know they have concern at this strange time in the world. I realise too that my reaction is yet again a demonstration of how little regard is held for my needs even when explained in writting and the reasons why. So again my ability to control aspects of my needs have been hindered.

I have options I realise, I could get a new phone number that they do not have. I would not get any messages that way. Yet I know I can not do that. Because I do care about this particular part of my family. Weird as that might sound.

It is weird how somatic issues come into it too, my sleep changed,I feel nauseous when I think or recall the message. I have been working really diligently to establish a routine, I either go up to bed at 21:30 and read for a while, turning the light out at 22:30. Or I go up at 22:30 and straight to bed light off if I am on line or watching something. I am waking earlier, and have more motivation.

I have also been walking the dogs everyday instead of me driving and them walking. We even did a walk along the foreshore of the river over the Easter period. I have not walked them today it has been way too wet and windy. Busby is frightened by the wind and rain together. Since we got caught in a heavy hail wind storm at Triabunna last year.

Coming out of the vagueness of how I disassociate is like cataracts falling off my eyes, and my brains neurons firing back up and the lights coming back on. It is a good feeling. I am very thankful that I kept walking the dogs through this period.

My GP and Psychologist have both been encouraging me and working with me and my CPTSD, Depression and or Anxiety knows that routine, good sleep, exercise, along with a healthy diet all aid in improving our abilities to deal with triggers/stressors. For me I know it is the only way along with mindfulness work, meditation, and being thankful for all I do have are also huge things that enable me to be in a much less reactive manner.

The other thing I note is I give up on the house and even the garden when I am disassociating. New insights.
As I said I am still very much a work in progress and when I realise I have been triggered and reacted I am so very thankful that I am well enough now with insight to hopefully be able to begin to work through the reactivity of this situation. For me it looks so much like loss of control in my own life is one of the big things that keep coming up as triggers.

So that is why I have been lost in isolation. I am physically fine, if afraid to cough when I do go out. I live in the south of Tasmania, so fortunately am not in the area of Tasmania which has had two of its hospitals closed recently due to a fairly large pocket of Covid -19 positive workers which has meant that all the staff in these hospitals have been put into mandatory total lock down for two weeks. The patients from these hospitals have been moved to another hospital.
The hospitals are being cleaned by a specialty team of defence personnel and will be operated by defence nurses and doctors cleaners and admin people I imagine for the time required.

We have been told we will be in stay home stay safe mode for another four weeks at least with the exception of essential workers, essential shopping, and GP appointments.

I am still flawed by the number of vehicles I see drive by my home full of families out for a drive. Looking at the scenery. Do they stop for food? To put petrol in their car. A toilet stop? A drink? Do they realise that they potentially could be carriers. Or have this illness and not know it yet? What is so hard to follow the instructions Stay Home and Stay Safe. The other issue I have is what if they have an accident, more pressure on first attendants, and ambulance workers. I really do not get these parents at all!

I am not going to get into that anymore, enough I can hear my fire crackling and I am looking out the window at the trees moving in the wind. It looks to have stopped raining for a bit.

My dogs are both asleep. Miss Treacle is snoring softly and Busby is curled up on his bean bag quiet. Both with full tummies. We are all well warm, dry and once again content with being at home, safe.

I am thankful for the rain, for my dogs, for a roof over my head, a warm fire and a cup of hot tea and food. I am thankful to have warm shoes and clothes. I am thankful to never need to say I am bored. I am thankful that for me being in self isolation is OK. I am thankful to all essential workers, I am thankful to all those people around the world who are doing the right thing as hard as it may be for many of you to self isolate. To keep others safe, as well as your self and your families. I am thankful to be out of my disassociation.

blessings Tazzie




Isolation, dogs, and CPTSD

The end of day light saving always seems to throw my CPTSD into a strange place I am so out of routine. It does seem quite strange that a simple change of one hour backwards is creating something that I am not able to define it is just I feel flatter and know I must work harder to re-establish my routine.

Awareness of the potential to decline when I do not follow my routine is beneficial. Even when I am staying up late at night or into the very small hours of the morning, and then sleep for only 3-4 hours becomes a part of it. This morning Tuesday, I realised that I have been doing so I have to really REALLY work at going to bed at a time I know that makes me feel so much better. I do find for me the moment I begin to stay up later even an hour is the beginning and I now am aware of my pattern and intend to work at this by going to bed between 21:00 and 21:30 reading for a while and then switching my light off no later than 22:30. I do enjoy rising early and seeing the sun come up in Autumn and Winter.

Living on my own with no input from anyone else in regard to my routine sees many signs of how I may be moving back towards the hole I have been climbing out of over the last 18months. My routine is that I must shower every second day. I have noted this week I am up to day 3 and head for the shower. Why does it always feel so incredibly amazing when I step into the hot shower and wash my hair and body. I need to hold onto the feeling that lovely feeling almost as if along with the dirt my darkness goes swirling down the plug hole.

This morning I woke early before 7am but as I had not gone to bed until after 03.00 I had a headache. I also woke in the middle of one of the very realistic dreams I have as a result of the medication I am. These often leave me feeling bewildered and out of touch with myself for a while. At least until I have my first cup of coffee.

I came down stairs and do what I have done every day for the last 3 months put the TV on and sat listening to all the ‘News” about the Pandemic. This seems to be the routine that has become normal. As I made something to eat, the sun was shining in through my kitchen windows, the sky was blue for the first time in a week almost. I thought to myself why am I going to sit and watch the news inside when I could go out side in the sunshine and watch the birds bathe, and the sunlight hitting the trees and water of the river.

I went and sat outside. Sigh a very simple change. As I sat I realised that I still have some seedlings I need to find space for along with garlic and sweet peas to sow in the garden. I finished my coffee and my dogs who were outside with me came with me as I filled the bird bath. I put the new hose gun on my hose(the old one did not let me turn the water off as I moved about the garden anymore). I did both of these things. I then gathered the seedlings and the garlic with no idea where I was going to put them. I just began putting them in spaces that receive most of the sun in the vegetable garden for the garlic and then popping the seedlings about other beds.
I am also filling another metal bed I have had sitting about for a few years in its box. It is so deep that it will take a lot to fill it. I have manure, leaves, non productive mushroom compost. I do hope it will be enough.

I will also be moving a second similar bed into the veggie garden area that is near my water tanks as the things I have planted in it have not been successful as it is not in the sun enough. That will wait for another day. It is on my list along with so much this Autumn and Winter.

The sun began to be clouded out, and I popped the sweet peas seeds in pots about my deck. I also planted a few more lettuce mignonette variety in a couple of places. Along with several more cauliflower and cabbage seedlings. I have so many I am just basically putting them everywhere and hoping some will be productive.

I had sat my new mushroom compost outside over the last few days to get moist and hopefully produce more mushrooms for free. I did pick some oyster mushrooms off one of the packs on Sunday. Today (Tuesday) I have put them back in the set up that is part fence and part mushroom house.

I noted that my Mock Orange plant which I had put in a large black plastic pot had gone berserk at the front of the house. Blocking my light and visibility of my driveway. So I have no pruned that and will move the pot. I did not realise it was such a fast grower. I did not get many blossoms and there bye the perfume from them this year as it was not in enough sunlight.

I just am not sure where I will move it too.

All this was done and I had been pottering about the garden for about 2 hours. So much better than sitting watching news. I am self isolating, only going out for essentials. We have been told we are not to travel or go away to shacks. Many people in Tasmania have a holiday cottage or house in beach side communities where they will go for their holidays, they are known as shacks. We are to stay in our primary residence over Easter and the police will be out patrolling and checking. This is primarily that along with the holiday shacks many elderly retirees live permanently in these areas. We are also no longer allowed to visit any one in hosptials . As we have at least two known cases of community transmission to employees in one of our Northern hospitals. The Government has not been able to ascertain how these employees have contracted the virus. We also wait to see if any more people who have been in contact with two people holidaying in Tasmania on an organised bus tour in March come down with the virus.

Back to routine. the sun came out and the dogs and I actually went for a walk up the hill and back. Not me driving and they running. This is day four. I was sitting here, writing about my routine. I know that for people with CPSTD normally exercise is very important. In the current situation we are all living in here in Tasmania it is even more important for me. So I got up from my chair and we walked. My neighbours who have been in Quarantine, as they had been on the mainland, were allowed out today. I thought it was tomorrow. My mistake. This meant our dogs could play. Busby and Toby(yes another Toby) were so excited and delighted.

Returning home the sun was out again so I laid in it to get some vitamin D. Another very important need especially with helping our immune systems. I take regular vitamin D especially during Autumn and Winter.

blessings to you all Tazzie

Good Neighbours

I was taking my wheely bin, to the road, and Busby was coming supposed to come with me. Instead he decided to go and visit the neighbours dogs. They were actually in behind their fence. However their owner is lovely and let her guys come out to play. So Miss Treacle and I went did the bin, and came back to this.

Dogs attempting to keep social distancing.

but failing miserably.

My neighbour and I did keep social distance and under our current rules we are allowed to exercise our dogs, and be with one other person (whom we do not live with if we our on our own). We are so lucky to have the paddock and good neighbours with great dogs. Miss Treacle went and laid under one of the cars. She is older and knew she should really be staying at HOME!.

Chubbs is a Kelpie/Staffy cross, and he is all about the tennis ball carrying one in his mouth until safe to drop it and have it thrown for him. He would just keep running for the ball until he dropped. He is also a snuggler, who comes and leans on you, climbs up on my lap as I sat on the grass, and will kiss you at every opportunity. Not great especially if he has his soggy tennis ball in his mouth.

A good roll and scratch in the grass.

They need to have fun and burn energy. As me and my neighbour needed to chat, and have a laugh watching our boys enjoying themselves.
But even fun loving dogs need comfort especially at times like these.

Toby and his beloved ‘teddy’ Scooby Doo.

So like Miss Treacle I am staying home, except for essential shopping and the joy, love and comfort my dogs give me always is something to be very thankful for.

blessings to You all Tazzie.

Hoarding

There are many reasons that people become hoarders. For me it resulted after my mental breakdown, I always had more wool than I could use and material. After my breakdown things changed. I would buy cheap synthetic yarns and material I did not even really like. Of course it and all that I gathered was not used, and it just grew and grew. As I recover I have donated most of this to community groups who do amazing creative things with it.

For some reason and I am fairly certain if was something to do with my family realationships. I am sorry but I can not remember what happened or when. This is part of my Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have large periods of time, some times years that my memories are very uncertain.
Even today I can be confused and totally out of sorts as I may have lost a day, or several hours.

My home had a few issues that weighed heavily on me. A leak that was my whole focus for over two years, yet I was incapable of organising to have it repaired. It caused me a lot of anxiety and distress. I also damaged the copper pipe in my kitchen where the spout for the sink is attached behind the wall. So another leak. The leaks exacerbated my hoarding.

This also makes washing up really difficult. So my kitchen slowly has become and I am embarrassed to say this, a bio hazard in some ways. Another reason why I don’t let anyone in my home. As I write this I see that this also is a reason that I have provided to not deal with the pipe issue. It is another protective device to stop people entering my place. Now my somatic symptoms are appearing anxiety is increasing dry mouth I can hear my heart in my ears, and I feel nauseous. I also feel overwhelming tiredness. That is the strength of feeling that comes when I am triggered.

Anyone who has not had personal experience of a hoarder in real life, and not via say hoarder TV shows would not be prepared for the reality of extreme hoarding.
This house was not filled with rats feces or lots of dead animals there were obvious signs their had been mice and maybe rats. It was dirty and smelly from food and not being aired and heated. It was for a hoarders house surprisingly cleanish. Lots of dust and rubbish and news paper. It is a series on You Tube called The Potters House on Curiosity Incorporated You Tube Channel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb4SpyeH5IQ&list=PLHs6JH9ueCokcP2hje8PVPPqjucNJFUvO&index=2&t=0s

The house belonged to a renowned Canadian Potter Mary Borgastrom known as a primative and traditional potter using raku style firing methods. It includes an interview with Mary and the Alex,who was looking for Antiques. She only died on 3 April 2019. Alex managed to have an interview which is recorded as part 9 with Mary and the uploaded date is January 2019. So a couple of months before Mary died. Mary was 103 at the time of her death.

To me as a hoarder and yes it is much easier to clean a Hoarders home out when they are not living in the home and can not come and be involved. Most people would do very little searching I imagine in this situation, they would just get in there and be tossing most stuff out. Yet in the same sentiment many people in Alex’s situation would do the searching for antiques or treasures in a very different manner.

This is a 28 part series, and it is really beautifully respectfully and totally non judgmentally undertaken. I myself am only up to part 11 but for me it is an intriguing look at a issue that is far more prevalent than anyone knows. The true hoarder, and the fascinating life that is unfolded as this home is explored.
It for me as a hoarder is a very caring compassionate and generous loving way the whole process was undertaken. I am addicted and will follow to the end.

To have heard Mary Borgastrom speak to Alex, was really special. I noticed at one point a brief look of shame cross Mary’s face, this would most likely have been missed by many people.

For me it just reiterates that you really never know the full story of why anyone becomes a hoarder and can live the way we do.

TV shows are written to entertain, as well as shine alight on the growing issue of hoarding have been important but they are TV and it is an entertainment and educational tool.
Of course there will be issues and possible scripted drama.
My own personal experience when a support worker believed it would be helpful for me to have someone come and help me clean my home was horrendous.

I was not mentally well enough to respond or say no. I did not have a psychologist at the time, and in the end it went belly up and I ended up basically getting worse again and not seeing anyone. The person who came to help was lovely, and really wanted to clean my house. She had no experience with a hoarder. I just went along cleaning, and chatting. Trying to keep my head together. In the end after two visits I had to say it was not working out for me. I was so sorry she was genuinely well meaning, she was placed in a difficult situation with no experience or apparent awareness or understanding of my illness.

I see what the person whose home is being ‘dehoarded’ on TV go through. Their responses are very genuine, and it may that situations are created by the Producer to create drama. If that is so that is really disgraceful but I have felt at time there has been pressure due to time restraints on those helping and recording the show, wanting the before and after pictures being placed on the person they are helping.

My personal journey is taking me a long time. Each day I may do something small, really small like pick up and decide if I am keeping something or not. than thinking will anyone else really want it, generally the answer is no, and it gets moved closer to the front door. In the morning or later in the afternoon, I will take it to the bin. That process can be arduous, and exhausting. I know that seems so strange to people who have never been in this situation, and even for those who live with a hoarder, they often do not really understand what has occurred and why this has happened.

I understand for many who do not understand how any one could live as I and many other people do across the world, across race, religious, gender and socioeconomic classes, it is not ageist hoarding.

It also demonstrates that their is always a person with a full life and history within the hoarded stuff. That what is seen by you as rubbish can hide incredible things. Or not.

I went through a time when I had a thing for cardboard boxes and had so many empty cardboard boxes in my home it was difficult to move. No logic no reason that I can recall. I am using them now to lay down to kill the grass off in areas of my garden. This may have been why I began to hoard them I do not remember.

For me I am so much more aware of my hoarding behaviour and the triggers. Back in December 2019 I purchased three large packets of milk powder and six 2 litre boxes of UHT milk. I realised a couple of days later that this was not OK. I looked about and noted one or two other things that I had seemed to have accumulated more than I needed for a while. 6 packets of Lindt 85& chocolate.

Four months have passed since I bought these things and I have used none. This may change in today’s circumstances.

So today when I went out shopping for my normal weekly shop I had to really be aware of what I was buying. I needed not a lot, I was a bit mortified when I got to the checkout and was told I could not have my two tins of black beans, my two tins of tomatoes, and my two tins of mushrooms. I had not read any of the information sheets about limits. Somehow thinking that the volume of 6 tins is basically a fortnight of some foods for me. ( I was hoping to make a sort of bolognese s sauce with mince to have for dinner and freeze. Makes a great base for spaghetti, tacos, toast, all sorts of things. I would have made quite a few meals for the freezer for me as things I could heat up easily if I was unwell for any reason.

I was told by the lovely woman at the checkout that I could only have two tins. I said I only have two. She said no just two tins out of the six? They were limiting tinned vegetables now. I really felt for the staff as they are telling nearly every person going through the checkouts that they can not have things. It is hard when the list is not at the area where the food I bought was, to me it would have been easier to just print only two veggie tins per customer regardless of what vegetables. Just add to someone else’s work I guess. Plenty of staff at our Woolworths lately, all checkouts open. Funny how the companies have found the money to be advertising for more staff. I also noted many items had increase in price in both Woolworths and my local IGA.

I am so appreciative that I can get fresh greens out of my garden, and I will hopefully have more broccoli, coming along, I have some seedlings of beetroots carrots, cabbages, and lettuces.
It is more about my dogs that I was thinking of food for them as they are on a raw diet that I mix veggies with a little rice or oats. I have enough rice for a while, and I have about 1kg of oats, along with a couple of frozen bags of veggies, that they get. I have their meat in the freezer. You can feed your dog spinach and silver beet, brassicas and I am making an assumption that would include leaves but I have to look it up.
Well I have broad tastes so I can live without many things and chocolate has many healthy things, such as milk, nuts, fruit. in it.

ooops off on a tangent again. sorry.

So the Covid-19 has introduced us to a new type of hoarder, the food hoarder and toilet paper hoarder. Is this person the same sort of hoarder as me and Mary? I can not answer that but it may trigger something more. Anxiety and fear are what triggers my hoarding so I am finding. It would seem to me that is exactly the same thing that is triggering this panic shopping/hoarding food and other things.

I really do believe that there will be a serious world wide spike in mental health illnesses in relation to the supply situation, the fear of financial and employment problems, and I really hope that the Federal Governments and State Governments are taking that into the forecasting of the aftermath of this. Added to the already distressed areas where people were impacted by the bushfires, and those who were fighting helping supporting and actually fleeing. Humans are resilient but we all can break. Mental health I for one hope is being seen as a huge impact in the current situation and outcomes.

Today whilst doing my shopping I noted that I was not at all anxious, I was very appreciative for all the staff were and are doing and dealing with. I did find it exhausting, but then lights, muzak, so much noise, and over stimulation make me tired. I can not go anywhere near the washing powder aisles or the room de-odorisers either.

Mary’s incredible story has been found and shared, because of Alex a caring respectful man who found a National Treasure, and was lucky enough to meet here and interview her before she died.

Lessons should be learned on just respecting the person who is ill and their home, and the label hoarder is not the reality of who that person really is.

I hoard but I am me, a person and that is what is important. I have carried great shame and mortification about this expression of my illness. Not everyone with CPTSD hoards. I understand it is for me a way to keep people out, when you have major issues of trusting anyone hoarding sort of makes sense. Its a barrier to the outside wall. I can hide behind it and be safe and no one can get me.

I am thankful that I was able to get food today, I am thankful to all the staff at all the supermarkets and shops selling food and things that people are panic buying, for the staff who are doing their best to keep shelves stocked, and help people out, I am thankful to Alex from Curiosity Inc, for his compassion and care, respect and non judgment and his generosity in rediscovering an amazing woman potter and interviewing her before she died. I am thankful that I can provide for my dogs, who are my family and who saved my life, I am thankful to all the health workers around the world working and trying to help in this Pandemic, I am thankful to nurses who have come out of retirement to help,. I am thankful for the internet, for the ability to blog and share with each other our experiences and feelings. Many of us who have CPTSD and PTSD , anxiety and depression often self isolate with no Pandemic about. I am really appreciative of those who find my blog and read it. I am thankful for my community neighbours, and wider. I am thankful I am so fortunate. I think of people who are poor who can not be 1.5meters or 2.2 meters away from someone else as their homes are in the slums and packed in tightly. My thoughts to all of these people and may they be being treated as equals to everyone else in care. I am thankful to Rupali who widened my eyes and mind to this situation.

Blessings to You all Tazzie




Psychiatrist, the good …sure beat the not good. (might trigger)

One of the hardest things for me is to leave my dogs at home when I have to go somewhere. It happens rarely if it is going to be a hot day and it is not safe to leave them in the car, it is raining heavily and I can’t leave the windows down or it is stormy with wind. Today was going to be warm, humid, stormy and windy. All things that Busby would not deal with in the car. I made the choice to leave them at home.

I almost cance

I have been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). I have had anxiety since I was in my teens that I am aware of, it may have been earlier but I do not have any recollection. I developed depression in my early twenties. I first tried to kill myself when I was 22.

Most people will be aware of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) but many people will not have heard of CPTSD.

It differs from PTSD in that instead of one traumatic event that impacts a person. The person, with CPTSD has had this occur in early childhood, and had repeated and long term trauma/s.

I explain this because I have certainly found myself having to explain and justify, why I am not able to work, enough times to make me annoyed.

When I can go out and basically all I do manage these days is shopping, once a week usually, appointments and my dogs exercise. (not sounding so healthy that Tazzie).

I have insight and know I am perhaps borderline Agrophobic. Why am I writing about this today? Whilst I really enjoy being at home and I am content at home, I do have anxiety sometimes and panic attacks , not as bad as some people. Mine tend to have me itching, hot and sweating ,heart racing and red in the face and neck. Perhaps not what most people would see as a panic attack.

I went to see a new Psychiatrist today; as the one I was seeing decided he did not want to see me any longer. I do not think he liked some of my comments to him about his not hearing me, or understanding the reality of my rural life, and my concerns over going on Ritalin. Having been a nurse I always check out any Doctor (no not just google but on reserch and journal articles, if they are affiliated with a university what the professional descriptions states.
I am not intimidated by any Doctor. I was a Registered Nurse and Had specialist Post Grad degree in Mental Health Nursing so will speak my mind. A doctor who hears ME and sees ME as an individual rather than seeming to have his or her own agenda, is upfront direct and honest. I will respect him or her.

I needed to see a psychiatrist as my Psychologist (who is not a Clinical Psychologist) and my GP both feel that the chances of me working or volunteering (which I have attempted unsecessfuly ) successfully in the foreseeable future is Nil. They agree I need to be applying for the Disability Pension.

For that I need to have an assessment and a letter from Clinical Psychologist or a Psychiatrist. Which is why I have been and am seeing a Psychiatrist.

So I saw the previous mentioned psychiatrist for 5 months the medication (other than the Ritalin) he prescribed me has helped my cognitive function so much that I almost feel my brain is back. The side effects are not wonderful sleeping to much for periods and than not enough, weird bizarre dreams so real that I wake up and have to remember it was a dream. These I am prepared to live with.

I was so anxious this morning as I was due to see the new psychiatrist. I was not going to allow him to change my medication as I feel the best I have apart from the a fore mentioned things. I nearly canceled, because I was going alone and I was running a few minutes late on the hour drive, which was good as it did take my mind of everything except paying attention to the road and not speeding or driving stupidly. I got there. I did not have time to think about my dogs for the next hour .

He was brilliant. He really listened to me, (even though the connection was breaking up at times). It is done by Skype in my GPs office. I have to see her afterward otherwise I could have my appointment at home. This psychiatrist suggested Melatonin for helping me to sleep. It will depend how much this costs as it is not on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme. PBS (government subsidy for low income earners, people with disabilities, chronic illness, pensioners pay $6.60Aus for any script on the list).

He was also supportive of my application for the Disability Pension Scheme which means that when I receive his letter I will finally be able to apply for this. If I am successful it will mean I no longer have to deal with Centrelink and Newstart! I will not have to go to the Job Provider Network for a review, and potentially be made to again do volunteering. Or look for work. That will be a relief . It would also mean a big increase in my fortnightly payment.

We chatted about quite a bit in this hour, and he was concerned about my not leaving my home and whilst he said because I was doing a positive thing in making myself go shopping and have coffee and talking to people. I was possibly borderline for Agrophobia. I have thought about that since arriving home and he is onto something. I need to be really aware of this. I need to keep doing what I am and also consider adding another small thing. To keep me from closing off totally.

Sometimes it takes other eyes to see something that you have been aware of but to actually voice it back to you as potentially detrimental.

The problem now lies in dealing with the process of applying and ticking all the boxes crossing every t and dotting every i and hoping sincerely hoping that I will be accepted. There are so many horror stories out there about people who have severe physical illnesses and combination of both physical and mental illness that break my heart when I read them and wonder how these people can be knocked back. I do have the help of a Community Health Social Worker who has been helping me with all my paperwork that I find too confusing. (I know I said I had my brain back lol nothing to do with paperwork).

So even though I am happy that this is a forward movement I understand and realise it is not a sure bet. So many people are knocked back. All I can do is follow the directions, have all the letters from Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and GP together with it and submit it all together and hope.

So I am thankful today that I went to my appointment, I met a good Psychiatrist, which made me feel a lot better. I am thankful that this Psychiatrist actually said I needed to be on the DSP. which made me feel less like a con which I have been as I seem so ‘normal’ when I am talking one on one or small groups over a coffee or just running into people. I am thankful that I have asked for help and that I am accepting it. I am thankful that I continue to move forward. I am thankful for the incredible welcome I got on my return home.

Blessings to You all Tazzie.

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