A lovely day to have a panic attack.

How are you? Me? I am plodding along. Its Thursday evening here 18:46 the sky is filled with grey clouds. The sailing club is out racing and the hills along the river are so green and water filled that it is beyond belief that they can possibly hold anymore water. Yet we are forecast more very wet weather here in my valley. It has been amazing in the spring garden and the bulbs and fruit trees have blossomed so vibrantly. We seem to be having three-four days of very heavy rain and colder temperatures and tomorrow and Saturday are forecast to be single digit (Celcius) maximums. So I have just put some dry (as in not wet) but very dry (as in not green) wood ready to if need by light the fire in the morning. Snow forecast down to 600m(1967f) tomorrow in some areas too. Up to 40mm (1.6 inches) rain forecast in my valley.
The preceding days were gorgeous, blue skies, still and hot. Lovely. I was working in the garden removing black berries roots and vines that were bursting into tendrils wrapping themselves about the chook runs fence and about one of my hazelnut bushes. Makes for very risky picking. Chuckle.
Have you ever tried to dig out blackberry roots by hand? Oh my did my shoulder neck arms hands and fingers ache last night. It was a good ache and I slept so soundly. (which as one of the very lucky people in the world is not unusual for me). It was the sleep of having been doing hard slog! (physical work) I am extremely out of practice in that. I was covered in mud as the soil even after two days of dry weather was very wet.

I must say it was delightful to be able to have lunch on my deck with my two besties in the wonderful sunshine yesterday, listening to the birds, and watching the birds bathe in the bird bath.

I do believe in the power of sunshine and physical exercise as being extremely important for my mental illness. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) along with physical well being. What is really hard for many people to truly understand mental illness along with those physical illnesses that do not have symptoms that can be seen is that those like myself can seem to be fine on the out side and yet be dealing with a lot just to be present out and about.

For example I went to pick up a package today from my little towns post office. I had been and attended to other things in town that morning along with taking the dogs for a walk in town enjoying the sunshine. I was chatting to the staff member and she was assisting me with a problem that had occurred; an item I had received at the post office a few days before had not been in the package. It had been packed but the package had torn. I had struggled to get in touch with Australia Post to see if the item missing had been located. I had spent ages on the phone 16 attempts to get through, which frustrated me. I had also attempted to contact the correct area via the Australia Post website. To be told that oops something went wrong, and to try back in a few minutes. I tried numerous times over the next few hours. Each time having to go through the complete process. Again I was feeling quite annoyed now. The good thing here is I was able to accept the problems as frustrated as I was and just emailed the Federal Government Minister who is in charge of Australia Post as a communication method for Australians, owned by the Government.

I may be seen as a Karen, but I wrote a very honest and factual email of the situation.

So the kind lady at my Post office was helping and contacted the people who bring the mail from the main sorting area in a suburb of Hobart to see if they had found anything. In the middle of this I found myself having a panic attack, sweats, heart palpitations and hands shaking. Oh how I dislike this, but it is much better than uncontrolled anger which has been an issue in the past a symptom of my CPTSD. So thankful for the improvement in my responses, from working with my Psychologist.

What does any of this have to do with the sunshine. I am not totally sure, laugh. I do know of course the importance of vitamin D, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) a form of depression experienced in winter time when sunshine is very short supply here in Tasmania.

I do not have the answers I just am finding what works for me. Of course it is different for everyone. What I found lovely at the Post Office staff were so kind offering a drink of water. I am not sure but having a panic attack over the fight response is perhaps a more positive? solution. I am still very much a work in practice.

Coming home I filled the bird baths, fed the chooks and went to collect eggs, only to find…. in my veggie garden..

Well I feel relived that Henny is healthy, and well my hope is that they are three hens? What are the chances?

A lovely end to the day.

blessings to You, Tazzie






Impact of words on me.

‘Lazy, disorganised, fat, you have such a pretty face, you are not going out looking like that, have you brushed your hair, stubborn, clumsy, what are you wearing, be quiet, chatterbox, talk to much, if you stop talking you would hear, you do not listen, don’t, you have to, because, what will other people think, if you had someone else proofread you would get high distinctions (I could have done with Grammarly back then), why can’t you be like a, b, c? I really like you a lot but I can not imagine being with a fat person, if you do that you will be in trouble, how can you find anything in that mess, on that desk, you were trouble before you were born and still are, if you were the first there would have been no more, and many more are the recordings of my life. My whole life until and this is where I am so incredibly thankful for having had my breakdown.

WHAT? NO WAY! Well no I am not saying that having a breakdown was fantastic thing it has been horrendous and I am so very thankful that I survived it, that I am an unsuccessful suicide. FOR This alone I am so happy that I did not succeed. So so very happy.

My life after my breakdown has not/is not always great no one’s life is no matter what is presented via social media sites and even blogs. Photos can be photo shopped. Not even related to the person blogs but images up loaded from a free site that has thousands of photos you can share. You can be anyone behind the screen, the power of the keyboard is very similar to creating more words that have the potential to Stop you.

I do not know how I might have coped, survived if this form of socialising via internet social media ect, if I was growing up in the times of this form of sociallising. Reality of the lives of so many posters bloggers, you tubers is hidden by those who write share her/his life. We can get caught up in the creativity of the person/s crafting their story, the stunning videos the light the ‘unnatural forgotten moments where the camera has caught the sharer. So now it is not just words but images, videos that might stop you too. Deception is real.

As a person with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a purveyor of photography and beautiful light and colours in videos I have been caught out. Looking for my own people who appear to have somewhat the lifestyle I aim for. So many of them I have been in awe at due to the age of the person who is sharing their personal journey. Yet when it is broken down or you think about it seriously I certainly have begun to ponder how they manage to have what they present and how they live; I recently became fixated on how they can do all this on their own.

Certainly the odd person is able to achieve such things, through hard work, and so very often hard times often with many sacrifices to get to their goals, if they have not had support or inheritance from family. Am I sucking on lemons and envious no but like the words that stop me the images, videos beautifully edited and shot, the person living in an isolated tiny home where snow is deep in winter. Doing it so beautifully bathing in the river in the winter. Yet when you look back and see how they have lived in their previous videos with lovely expensive things, and you see the kind of portrayal it is mostly them alone, and the reality can be very different. I know how difficult it can be to care for your own home and maintaining land when you live on your own. I am honest I inherited my home, my land from my partner/husband.
So in the past for me these videos at times would stop me and words such as lazy, hopelessness begin to get into my head, I would question myself why can I not do this. As I can feel inadequate hopeless, lazy, incompetent. I know I am not now. I know that for some of those bloggers you tubers, they don’t live this way either. Smoke and mirrors, fantastic editing, family support and financial help.
I question research and at time doubts. I also am aware of sponsorships, gifts given in exchange for subtle and not so subtle advertising is increasing.

It impacts trust, something I certainly have great difficulty with, and symptomatic of many folk with CPTSD and PTSD.

My breakdown connected me with my Psychologist who provides me with management tools and allows me to speak totally honestly in any manner as in rapid fire all over the place, sometimes emotionally charged and from places I did not realise I had put some of these words that hurt, that demeaned, that inhibited me, confused me, stabbed my heart, numbed me, and certainly became a hefty proportion of reflex and fright ,flight reactions when I was able to in my life fleeing was my chosen path always. I was totally oblivious to why.
Words, and now videos combined with music or photo have power in all our lives, the tone, the emotion involved can be a part of this, but not always.

The words those words that stopped me.

I have learnt and am learning to let the words stay in my life recording now that I CHOOSE;
I am choosing the words that speak to me that I want to be the record in my head, these words are beautiful, intelligent, delight, joy, kindness, acceptance, non judgemental, honesty, integrity, peace, my life, dogs, no, I can not, thank you, enough, nature, contentment, self-caring, thankfulness,solitude, compassion, decisive, knowing my own mind and trusting myself, Goddess and these words bring me the life I am happiest with and empowered me to be able to let go of my birth family. I do not keep people in my life anymore who do not walk in a similar manner.

It takes time to delete the sound track the words, photographs, videos and stories that have made you who you do not desire to be. My recovery from my breakdown is freeing me and it was the beginning of ME. Weirdly I always knew who I was, but the words constraints placed on me by family, education, work places, religion, the right way to act, live, and myself so often too, but when I listened deeply to myself I was always happiest.
My partner was the beginning of this loosing the words not hearing them any more that record of my life, when my partner died, I lost the sound of his voice and the old track returned loudly…I struggled with the words, and eventually my mind broke and here I am now several years since. A totally different life. Even on my bad days I am more and more content. Even on my bad days I am so much better at hearing my own words no one else’s. I read and watch others sharing their lives experiences, but I seek truth of the sharers and not a ‘almost contrived’ for likes lifestyle.

Find your own words and create your own recording and delete the words that bought you to where you are now. Questioning if you might have CPTSD, it is not easy, it was/is for me painful and very emotional yes I wanted to not deal with it so many times and I am sure it will happen again. The difference now is I want to stop those words, the recordings that are not mine. I am achieving this, I am so very happy to wake up every day, regardless of how I feel, and what it might bring.

Blessings to You, Tazzie

Springtime in Southern Tasmania

What a difference a day of sunshine makes to a lot of things. Here in Australia we have begun daylight savings, ( a week ago). Putting the clocks forward, it caught me by surprise. It was not until I went up to my friends three days later that I discovered that this had happened. I have to laugh at myself. Clocks really do not have any meaning to me these days. Unless I have an appointment. I really do not worry about it the clock that is. Time on the other hand is totally a quandary. I can know longer know by the sunlight what time it is. As the days here in Southern Tasmania get longer time seems to distort.
It has seen me not going to bed till the very wee small hours. Which for me is not such an issue and I am very fortunate.

After spending time sitting with my friends and their dog Toby on their deck, having a lovely morning tea, as the dogs played and the cockatoos screeched.

It sure beat the previous few days, though in between showers I did manage to do something very needed.

It was so great to have been able to spend this lovely day with my neighbours and their dog. The weather deteriorated I endevoured to keep active and give the dogs some nice experiences as the weather was not going to improve for a week or more.


Whilst I find I am able to some things so many more just continue to be on lists. I do get frustrated with myself at times. Yet this is the reality of my life the fact is I am definitely not lacking motivation. I can do things at times. Yet the things that I not able to do are the very things which would make it so much easier in my life. I continue to move things out of the house. I really struggle with my CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) every day there is something that will impact me. I hold on tight to the fact that my mental health is good most of the time, I am so very fortunate safe and secure where I live. I am fed up with the wet weather, and we have more storms coming. It is making it hard to work in the garden and pop in spring flowers seeds.
My seedlings for the veggie garden are doing pretty well and my hope is next week I am able to get in and tend to the beds.

Blessings to You, Tazzie

You did what?

My first social engagement in a long time was a very enjoyable and at times hilarious creative couple of hours.
In Tasmania we have Womens Health Tasmania. A service run by women for women. I imagine most countries have something similar.

Womens Health Tasmania offer you the opportunity to gain new skills and a better understanding of health issues important to you. We offer:

  • opportunities to participate in activities, workshops and forums;
  • information on general health issues; and
  • individual support.

We also promote the interests of Tasmanian women by working with government and the community sector to provide innovative and cost-effective services.
It is not just about breasts and other parts that make us female, it can be any bit of a female body.
for more information hit the link below.
https://www.womenshealthtas.org.au/events/knit-your-bits

It was on a Sunday afternoon at a lovely new business in Cygnet. Cuckoo. (lovely local creative works being sold for great gift ideas and pure wool for knitting, crotchet, etc.
Our group is doing breasts. Another workshop is the pubic area (Tasmania shape..lol)
You can most likely imagine the laughter and chat that went along with learning to do a magic circle, cups of tea and cupcakes with breast icing decorations.

Just like in real life our crocheted breasts are varied. No pair are the same and no two of a pair are either.

It is also a wonderful pattern for beanies. Miss Treacle is demonstrating the beanie style with elegance.

As hard as it can be for me to sometimes go to things, this was a wonderful small group and I knew no one. I mention this as my anxiety can kick in and that will come out as me talking too much. Some folk do not realise that this is a symptom and not me being comfortable in these sorts of situations. I am really glad I pushed myself and attended.
I did not finish my breast at the group, I get distracted easily. I ended up doing them at home.

It certainly has made me be more creative since. I do tend to forget that being creative and being with small groups is doable for me and with my mental health it does help.

blessings to You, Tazzie

Discovery

These photos were taken with my Apple I phone 7 as I did not take my camera with me…I just forgot…sigh. not unhappy with the photos but I will journey again to use my camera. If you wish to share any just acknowledge I Echidna Home Blog please as photographer.

I decided to take a long drive to my GP appointment recently, (65km trip one way) and on the way not very far from where I live a landowner had leased his land to state forestry. Recently they cleared some of the land. I ventured down the track to wet my curiosity and to my delight all the views above were from the top of the now cleared but reforested mountain/hill.

Views that have been lost for quite a while as the trees matured. I wish I could buy this land and build a small home and cherish it. How incredible to see 360 degree views such as these. So delighted I found this area. Taking a chance that you might get bogged or bottom out your car can be so worth it.

blessings to You, Tazzie

Avoidance can it be a good thing when you have CPTSD?

Its been a wee while since I wrote. Here I am again. What has been happening in the mean while? Apart from trips to vet for Busby’s injection and to do my shopping not much. I washed clothes and rewashed them, finally getting them out and hanging them over my stair rails to dry in the heat from wood fire. Yeah!

I have made plans to visit two friends and did not turn up. I have so far it seems won the battle of the mice yeah.

I have made an appointment with my GP, Yeah; to discuss my medication and an appointment with the psychiatrist I had seen once before. This item creates great anxiety in me. So much so I am fluctuating between cancelling the appointment. As I write I feel my throat tighten and my mouth go dry. I attempt to focus on the benefit if an ADHD medication may actually reconnect my brain somehow.

I have been watching videos in regard to ADHD and found myself watching many of these from here. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-nPM1_kSZf91ZGkcgy_95Q

I found myself feeling at home at times in tears as I began to recognise aspects of my own processing and behaviours shared and explained in this channel. After watching and connecting the fear of being diagnosed with ADHD is reduced somewhat. Then I go into what if I am NOT diagnosed with ADHD and I am just lazy and disorganised hopeless and all the words I have heard so often over the course of my life?

So rather than go down the rabbit hole of YouTube and my search engine I decided to get out of the house, yes avoiding the garden, the house and the computer. I loaded up the dogs and we headed off for some lunch.

I had to pick up some chook grains for my hens and roosters (yes roosters oh dear that is also on the I have to deal with soon list), in Huonville.

I decided I would venture to Summer Kitchen in Raneleagh which used to be a small village a little over two KMs from Huonville but now is really a suburb of it.

The photos below see some of my flock saying Where the heck are You going? We are starving!
A house on the way, where the newest owners have had enough obviously of past work on the house they purchased.
Spring is certainly arriving in my beautiful valley. Last photo is of Hawthorne flowering along the road.

Even though we have not had any outbreaks of Covid here in Tasmania for over a year cafes, shops and businesses remain on COVID Responsiblities requiring signing in or using the Covid App, social distancing etc. A beautiful brunch at Summer Kitchen,https://www.facebook.com/Summer-Kitchen-Bakery-389693084374495/ delicious vegetarian wrap (I am not a vegetarian) with wonderful garlic hummus and fresh vegies…large cappuccino sitting in sunshine with my dogs about me. Near-bye were a group of bicyclists (MAMILS Middle aged men in Lycra a few ladies too) enjoying the sunshine too. My dogs were petted and discussion about them. Several proud doggy dads showed me their furbabies photos a gorgeous Samoy, a labrador, a whippet and poodle. The valley is a cyclists delight. My dogs were the only ones present but as we arrived we passed a couple leaving with their owners. I love that my valley has so many dog friendly places to eat.

After leaving Summer Kitchen Raneleagh we headed basically to the hill behind the Raneleagh showground. On the way we passed the Home Hill Winery, https://www.homehillwines.com.au/ . The first photograph below shows the face area of Mount Beauty. A different view than from my home. This mountain range certainly delineates one end of the Huon Valley. So green yet as I drove up the hill the grasses altered and whilst they look dry the ground under my feet and the dogs paws was very wet. We have had so much rain and wind over the last few weeks. (normal for the time of year).

The last photograph above is from the hill looking back down to the valley over Raneleagh.



The following photographs are the drive back down from the hill top to Raneleagh. When I see the rock along the road I am awed at how trees, shrubs and grasses grow, such tall trees. Hobart is the second driest Captial city in Australia. mM beautiful valley is often on water restrictions in summertime.


In the valley timber homes abound. As Tasmania is known for its State Forests and wood was easy to access for many over brick and other materials.

The photographs below see me driving alongside the Huon River towards Judbury another small village well it is really not a village as it has no shops, post office, pub, being only approximately 13kms/8miles to Huonville. Rain falling ahead, the river valley is green and lush. The third photograph is of the Tassal Nursery for their salmon. They hatch the salmon eggs and grow them until they reach smolt (hatchling fish reach the length/weight/size for the smolt can now move from the fresh water into the sea cages/nets. As I drive further we begin to see the homes of Judbury so many new homes being built in the hillside, and along the river flats. Hard to remember that smoke and fires were all around here only Summer 2018 in the hills.

I have enjoyed the journey so far, it seems that the dogs have too. I really enjoy my own time, and doing my own thing generally, so find this such an enjoyable thing.
Thankful for my car, my dogs who make my life and keep me doing things. I am thankful to live in such a beautiful area.
blessings to You. Tazzie

CPTSD and ADHD in Adulthood

I am not depressed I said to my Psychologist in our most recent zoom meeting. Yes I am overwhelmed by my home, and garden my list(which I am not supposed to have but just occurs in my head regardless) grows and add to that dealing with Busby’s knee issue; of which he is doing well on injections, rest and no play or big walks.

I begin things and do not finish them. Well the wind and rain picked up so I could not continue to place the cardboard over the area I had just cleared around fruit trees and did not have the chipped tree/wood barks on top of (my trolley has a damaged wheel so I need to organise a new one or a repair). On my list.


I had to use poison on the mice situation in my home as the traps were not working, I feel bad for the potential damage to wildlife birds that may eat them. I vowed never to use poison again. I am attempting to not beat myself up about that as the abscence of mice is a huge positive.

I am achieving things, I take Busby for his injection each week and I have had both my vaccinations. I am washing clothes and managing most of my routine. What I manage varies each day. Chuckle. be it eat healthy today and bed late versus bed early eat crap.. yet I am OK with this as I am working on improving my routine.

I shared with my Psychologist that I have been considering coming off my medication(Desvenafalaxin). Why? I know it has made a massive difference in my depression. When I have written here that I would be happy to stay on it for ever because of the change it made for me.
I know that I have worked so hard dealing with a huge amount of issues that potentially contributed to my having been diagnosed with CPTSD after my breakdown. I feel that I have the tools to manage aspects and note problems in my life/feelings/behaviour that will help me live without the medication.

It is not all it is mostly the fact that I HATE living in my house the way it is!! A house that is a hoarders yet it is a bit better than it was but it is also almost stagnate. I struggle to fill the bin and take it out, but force myself I have added to my routine the putting of the bin out every week. It did not happen this week but I am not beating myself up for that. What I feel is I want my home back, I want it to smell lovely to feel lovely..and not be a place I just sit in amongst the shit, and mess. I described to my Psychologist what I really felt like. It was exactly how it was to discover my car battery was almost flat..I turned the key in the ignition and my engine tried to turn, that harrrumph harrumph..I knew if I applied my foot to the accelerator I might get the engine to turn over. Alas No. Just that Harrumph Harrumph wrrrhhhh than nothing of a flat battery. My engine of my car would not turn. Well that is exactly how I would describe how I am feeling. I really want to do it, and I try but a little while and I just go flat. Or for me it is I get distracted, or take a break..or the weather, anything becomes a blockage in the connection to my battery there bye making my engine stop or not turn over.

The appointment with my Psychologist took a turn, not a pleasant one for me it seems. She feels we have been dealing with and I am moving through and forward with the depression and reactive areas like anger response to where I feel no control or bullied in a situation. That now something I may have had in my life always is coming forward. The possibility of ADHD. Ohhhh what does that mean for me? Having another appointment with my Psychiatrist. My throat dries, and I begin to feel ill, my neck gets itchy and I feel hot. I let my psychologist know this and that I feel distressed because of how horrendous the issues were when I first saw the first psychiatrist at an Organisation Psych2U; they offer zoom meetings for rural and isolated clients in Tasmania. Yet at the same time I feel conflicted because the first Psychiatrist wanted me to take an ADHD medication with my Desvenalfaxine. I was unable to get the script filled at three Chemists in my area. He and I had words and he decided I did not want to see him (which was not true). It left me battle scarred and I had to work and get really upset to have another Psychiatrist see me from the organisation. So hearing this made me feel all the angst and I ended my session with my Psychologist as I could feel myself dissociating. I said I had to go but I must have looked strange. I blanked out for a while but was aware and let myself just be in that place but not to sink to far. I then was able through breathing and grounding bring my self back. I also sent a message to my Pscyhologist to let her know I was OK.

I am fearful of making an appointment with my GP who organises the Psychiatrist appointment and I am fearful because I may have to go on ADHD medication and what if I am not able to get it again? Its been over two weeks since my appointment with my Psychologist and my GPs office rang me but I have not returned their call to book in. It seems a task to hard right now.

BUT!

I just want to have my battery fullly charged and the energy to begin and finish something not get distracted. I want to reclaim my house and really make it mine. Not Marks or Ours, but mine. I am proud of myself that I have removed boxes of books and old computers to the tip. So much more to remove and that makes me anxious and nauseous. Yet I feel even worse when I think of the appointment with my GP and Then the Psychiatrist.

If anyone who is reading this has any of her or his own experience of CPTSD and being on ADHD medication too please comment. I would really appreciate it.

I am thankful that my Disability pension means I am able to continue to see my Psychologist and be bulked billed to the organisation that provides funding for this part of my NDIS package. I am thankful that my hens are all laying delicious eggs. I am thankful that so far Busbys management plan for his cruciate ligament to be nonsurgical is going so far OK. (even if the vets feel it is perhaps not the right option). I am thankful for a kind friend who has recently offered me some money to pay for the surgery which I have chosen with much consideration reserach and love to not have at this point in time due to previous experience with this surgery on another of my dogs. I am thankful for my roof over my head, my access to mental health support and physical health support for free. I am incredibly thankful I live in such a safe and beautiful area.

I appreciate all of you who read my blog,

blessings to You, Tazzie

NB Please not this is my words, my feelings and my life. If you wish to share any of what I have written please ask me. (c) Echidna Home

Living with CPTSD

Wondering sometimes if sharing so much of my own life and experience with this mental illness can cause some anxiety.
I ponder often if I just kept living my life in private would I be better off.

My answer is a resounding No.

I have not posted for a while and that is partly due to life, and more to do with not being so well. As for many people the holiday period can be unsettling. Yet mine personal experience has been more about what I have been hiding from myself.
I missed the time with people I care about and love, those I have welcomed into my life not necessarily those by birth. I do not celebrate ‘Christmas” the church holiday, nor am I a big fan of the commercialised concept.

After gorging on almost 3.5kg of Toblerone (darn supermarket had the huge huge blocks so cheap)plus a whole lot of other highly processed food. Over a couple of weeks, I realised I was not well. Yes physically but also mentally.

I had been with people on boxing day (26/12/2020) and it was really lovely.
Yet I had a dark area forming in my moods. I began to sink slowly not wanting to be but not really being able to stop. Feed my face feel angry, eat more, feel upset, eat more, yet no comfort did I feel from my emotional eating.

I feel my psychologist was aware that I might have been heading for a bit of a backstep. In combination with COvid and all the lockdowns seeing an increase in mental unwellness our Federal Government increased the number of visits to a psychologist/psychiatrist/counsellor you could have to 20 a year. Prior to this it was 6 having over the past few years gone from being 12 to 6. So I am seeing my psychologist more often.

Shortly into the new year I had my first appointment. I really did not want to do a zoom, or talk to her. In the morning as the approaching time came my neck began to itch unbearably. As our meeting began, it became to so extreme I could not talk all I could do was rub my neck, jawline and cheeks. I had welts and rash from this, and it just was so intensely and utterly uncontrollable I just had to scratch. She offered to reschedule but I knew I wanted, to no needed to talk about what ever this was.

As I began to talk I just let the words come and what I discovered was I really wanted to have people over, to decorate my home for Yuletide(even though here it is summer). I wanted to celebrate the season, to share in what is in the northern hemisphere the returning of the sun and longer days. (Maybe I need to look at celebrating it in winter down here..lol ). Now we can not celebrate sitting around a fire (total fire ban) and daylight goes until nearly 10pm. But..the idea of just being a group and yes of women friends. Sitting sharing and talking about their passions. Being thankful for all we have.

As I really thought about it, the itchy remained and I was scratching and rubbing. Very aware of it, but also of the feeling or overwhelming sadness. tears rolled down my face as I began to have memories of wonderful times at my grandparents home. 40dC/104dF the combustion (wood fired stove) going cooking Christmas lunch in a tiny 2 bedroom fibro house with 9 people inside around the fan and a water filled air conditioner.
It was not just about being with my grandparents. It was something more. It was not perfect. It was simple it was hard work for my grandmother and mother.
I think it was that my Grandparents had decorated their tiny home with so much delight. There was a real feeling of wonder.
Perhaps that is just a simplistic childlike memory of a better time in my childhood. Yet it is a deep memory that has come out and changed me.

It was not instantly. I did not toss or give away the remaining highly processed food, nor get immediately back on my routine. (Yes I was totally off every aspect of my routine). Are you sick of my routine yet?

I have been kind to myself. I have not punished myself, or done the negative self talk as much as possible. I have sat with the feelings, working through them now rather than emotionally eating in an attempt to keep what ever my mind and body needed me to get out. As small and simple as this new knowledge been to me as I worked through all that was happening internally and externally, yes the hives continued for a week even with anithistamines. I now know more about what I need for myself.

Pushing myself to talk and work through the incredible discomfort of this as with so many other times on my path towards managing and maybe healing my mental illness. Is hard, intense, extraordinarily emotional and confronting at times yet worth it. For me my life now is about living my best life. MY LIFE.

What my CPTSD has taught me so far is that as a child my brain was so incredible at creating ways to keep me safe and living by just pushing all the screwed up shit that was my childhood so often deep inside me. I lived two lives the one at home an the one at school, the one where I tried to make friends, to be a friend yet even as a small child I was filled with rage and anger at what had been done and was being done to me.

Finally I am really aware that I love being alive. Even on my really bad days. I love that I am moving through so much that has happened in my lifetime, but especially in my childhood and adolescence. As hard as draining and scary sometimes letting these hidden experiences feelings and emotions out is, the understanding that each time this happens is a step forward for me to BE ME. As corny as that sounds.

So yes I will keep sharing my personal journey. My life. Its warts and all that happens. I am currently a mature aged woman who has Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who is not so afraid of the blackness as I was because I am learning that the blackness is all my trauma, all my fears, known and unknown. That part of my healing is working bloody hard to accept and let these fears,and emotions of my life experiences out. To just burp the bottle a bit at a time. Not every appointment with my psychologist is such. However for me it is the time after where I really develop understanding and can really explore what has happened in the appointment are where the biggest shifts in my life are. Where the new strength is and where my adult self is able to speak up. Say and do what I want not just need to live my life as I chose.

The other reason I keep sharing the good the bad and the unwell, is that not so many years ago the word Cancer was never said, then it was whispered about if someone had it as if it might be contagious. Well I see similarities with mental illness. As statistics say
•Mental illness is very common. One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder. These three types of mental illnesses often occur in combination. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder could also develop depression, or a person with depression might misuse alcohol or other drugs, in an effort to self-medicate. Of the 20% of Australians with a mental illness in any one year, 11.5% have one disorder and 8.5% have two or more disorders. Almost half (45%) Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime
. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra

By Rubina Kapil on February 6, 2019

Mental health and substance use challenges can take many forms. There’s depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction and the list goes on. Some of these challenges are more visible and you might recognize them immediately. Others can be harder to see when you’re not looking for them. But, they are still there.

These statistics provide a look at how many people face a mental health or substance use challenge, whether we see it or not:

  1. In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
  2. 5 percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people.
  3. Of adults in the United States with any mental disorder in a one-year period, 14.4 percent have one disorder, 5.8 percent have two disorders and 6 percent have three or more.
  4. Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.
  5. In the United States, only 41 percent of the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services.


So when you look at these figures my personal feelings are we need to be talking openly and honestly about our illnesses. This brings more understanding to others going through it, to family and friends of people who are dealing with CPTSD and PTSD. It makes the politicians more aware of the impacts on work experiences, prejudices of some employers, how difficult life really is, costs to individuals and families emotionally financially, more one on one services and packages for those of us unable to afford access to psychologists and psychiatrists. It may help to reduce suicide. Family issues. Our own issues. Employers/businesses will really understand why we might behave or respond in situations. Also Schools may begin to realise that so much of how and what they encourage as ‘normal’ is really not for everyone.



It may also help those younger folk who are not ‘fitting in’ to what society says is ‘normal life’ If I had known for me living out of town and not having heaps of social activities and lots of friends was perfectly normal and OK for me at a much younger age it may have been helpful.

blessings to You, Tazzie




Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Me.

Even when life is so positive it can be quite a challenge when you have CPTSD or PTSD to manage when some bumps appear.

The difference for me now in my management and coping with my mental illness is I can usually work out or understand why behaviours and reactions occur and aspects of my life which had seemed under control, are obviously just under the surface and are ready to jump out and catch you when you are challenged.

I have to have a colonoscopy, and my GP rated it as urgent. Of course I read up on what and why I have had this rating. I find it very very interesting, and thankful that this is happening when I am so greatly improved and healthy mentally. Also having had some huge stress taken off my shoulders financially and dealing with Australian Government bureaucracy every fortnight to now not needing to do that.
I at least understand my instinctive reaction and am not dumping heaps of shit on my shoulders.

I have been working on emotional eating, and eating healthily. Unfortunately this situation has seen me comfort eating plus plus plus. Now I say that it is plus plus plus, when in actual fact for me what I am eating now is very different to what I would have been eating earlier this year. It is no where near the volume. Yet it is so much and of course with that the shame and frustration can begin to become an issue.

I have not let that happen. I acknowledge it is happening. I allow myself to eat and do what settles me right now. The difference is I am totally aware of everything I am eating. The best part is I begin to feel ill. Something in the past that did not happen. It is an acknowledgement that somewhere in my brain a part is aware this is too much. So instead of wolfing down 1 litre/2pints, of ice cream a huge packet of chips, and bags of lollies or biscuits I might eat 475ml/1pint of ice cream, half a pack or less of chips and maybe no biscuits or lollies, or just a handful. That is progress.. but most progress is I am aware of the whys, and understand the reason.

I am so anxious and frightened of what might be, even though my rational logical self which is very present knows it may be something or it may be only hemorrhoids or nothing really. It is a positive that I have chatted to my GP about it, it is a positive that the hospital has contacted me with forms to fill in.
My anxiety rose though as I filled in the forms. Next of Kin, I do not want to list any next of kin, I have to have someone pick me up. It is only a day procedure and probably only a couple of hours. The fact I have an hours drive after is the issue. I also have begun to be concerned for my dogs. Remember there is no date yet. Yet here I am my anxiety building. Deep breath.

Today I have thought about a few ways to manage this. My dogs can be left all day on their own at home. I have had to do it before. Non of us like it but…lol
I have to find someone who can bring me home, I am happy to catch a bus up to Hobart.
Or I put the dogs in a kennel overnight where I know they will be fine. I book into a hotel or bnb for the night after. Or see how much a taxi costs to bring me home post procedure it may be not a lot more expensive.lol

I feel it may be a huge step for me requiring me to ask for help. (memories of the last time I needed someone to help with taking me to my gp appointment when I had no car and no one would could help). A stranger ended up doing it for me. I was so touched.

The other part of the paperwork is the weight issue. I am morbidly obese I have no idea how much I way. I have lost a lot of inches over the last 12 months, which is great. threes sizes in chest and one in trousers blasted tummy.. and I was feeling so good. This requirement has me back in a place where I reach for comfort eating sigh. Like my depression I do not have any desire to go back there.

The overwhelming sense of dread, of firstly telling people that I need help, and secondly knowing that people will want to know the outcome. Deep breath.

The information wanted is too much for me. As I will not be having anyone in my home overnight, and I doubt I would need it…but they ask this question.
The next of kin stuff, and the person to pick up. Perhaps I will just advise them that I do not know at this point but will have someone on the day?

There really are so many assumptions made about people and the realities of people having others about them. Family, and close friends.

The weirder thing is I would be there for someone in a heart beat if I was up to it. To do it for someone else.

I just want to drive myself up and back.

See how someone with a mental illness like CPTSD thinks and looks at things. The reality of living with this illness for me.

This is just the filling in of the paperwork..lol I feel a call to my social worker next week is the logical thing.

I am trying very hard to keep moving forward, no matter how small. It is a struggle. But I am my routine a bit loose.. and the emotional eating. But again I am aware, I know why and what and will work through it.

As bad as this sounds. I am not so fearful of the end result it is as so often the not knowing. Since I saw my GP it is a bit like until I know my life is on hold in some manner. It isn’t totally I am doing some things, and am working in a manner to get my routine back on track.

I am fortunate in so many ways, thankful for all I have about me.

blessings to You all, Tazzie

Who I saw today.

The Australian Hobby Falco Longipennis is uncommon in Tasmania. The eat small birds and insects, though this one has a field mouse. As seen in the silhouette shots. The quality of the photographs is not great and I apologise. I was driving noticed it and tried to get the best vantage I could it flew off twice, and this was the my best opportunity. It certainly was having some trouble with the managing on the electrical wires, it was a little windy.

Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus, is an uncommon visitor to the Huon Valley. It is found around the Coastal areas of the North and East coast of Tasmania as well as inland rivers, estuaries, lagoons and lakes. I have only seen single Pelicans in 20 years of living in the Huon Valley on the Huon River. They do breed on some small islands off the northern coast of Tasmania. On the mainland they are found in large colonies, and are pretty common. I love these birds especially when they are fishing, and to see them fly and land is quite good as they look such an awkward shape in the air.

Great Cormorant , Is a common resident in the Huon River and is found all over Tasmania. They swim on the surface and will dive for food. They can often been seen on branches and logs, with their wings spread wide as if drying them in the sunshine.

The photo is the same cormorant a bit later in the afternoon on the same limb.

Black swan Cygnus aratus, is common found all over Tasmania. If you see a few together they are usually a family group. Singles are also seen and are most likely unmated. They are also found in large flocks.

Eurasian Coot, Fulica Atra.is a common visitor to Tasmania, it seems not to breed here, but is migratory and nomadic.

Pacific Black Ducks Anas superciliosa. Abundant in Tasmania and mainland Australia. These guys were chasing each other and I swear they were smiling…

These were all taken today on my trip to and from my GP. 100km /62miles approx round trip.

I was really thrilled to see the Australian Hobby and to see it swoop down after some food. Then see it swoop back up with a field mouse in its talons. Nature is not always beautiful.

Such a wonderful group of varied birds to see and attempt to get shots of.

Thankful to be able to see the birds again. Thankful to have such amazing bird life about me. I did not have to sit for ages to get any shots, they were all seen either from my car and I pulled over to get some shots. The Hobby, and Pelican were sheer luck.

Or I went to a location I hoped would give me some bird life. The dam where the water birds were photographed I knew there would be some bird life there. I find taking photographs takes some of my anxiety away when I have to do things I am not so keen on or find difficult.

This week so far and it is only Tuesday, my plans for staying home have not happened. So I am feeling quite exhausted and a bit resentful. As I really want to get some things done in the garden. I did plant some of my new plants out this morning.

I also was able to pick up cardboard to use to put down to kill the grass and weeds in the veggie garden. I also took other photographs as I drove to my GPs, which I will share at a later date.

The doctors surgery we had to sit social distancing and if I had not needed my script refilled I would not have gone. My GP is on leave and because the Gp was a locum she wanted to see me. I was feeling anxious about it. Taking the photos and enjoying the scenery helped a lot. The traffic is getting heavier as restrictions are changing.

I hope to be able to be at home for the next few days, or week without having to go out again. My home is most certainly the place I enjoy being the most and I am so thankful to have it.

be safe, be kind

blessings to You Tazzie

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