thought overload

Posts tagged ‘depression’

The haves and the have-nots

When I’m feeling down and stressed out about the chaotic life I live, I like to take a quiet moment (which, I tell you, is a rare find in this home) and focus on what I have. It’s a simple enough exercise, but in the midst of overwhelming feelings, hard to see.

It’s a bit like talking yourself into feeling happy, reigniting you inner drive and finding the joy. Focusing on the ‘haves’ rather than the ‘have-nots’. Putting things in perspective. A pep talk to yourself.

Sounding familiar? Then read on.

When I was in high school, managing the stress of study, peer pressure, puberty and all the other fun stuff thrown at you, we were taught to write a list. Two columns with two headings: positives on one side, negatives on the other. The negatives were then broken down into two lists: two headings; things I can change and things I cannot change. The challenge was to come up with ideas for dealing with the things that could be changed and how to manage the things that could not.

A cathartic exercise and a very valuable lesson. In the end, what you have is a plan. Your own words staring back at you, showing you all the good things in your life. Outlining the bad things, the things that weigh you down and rob you of your lightness and how to get it back. What you are left with, effectively, is a self-help guide.  A mind map works equally well. A diary is also a fantastic tool to help get those feelings out and reflect upon. I still have diaries written by my fourteen year old self and now and then I get them out and have a bit of a giggle at how the issues I was facing then are now  a distant memory. I was able to share them with two friends when we met up for a reunion after 25 years. That, let me say, was an incredible experience with a backdrop of  laughter, reflection, good coffee and bakery treats.

25 years is a lot to catch up on!

Today, I try to visualise these things. When my mind is spinning and I can’t get to sleep. When I’m having a roller coaster week and I can’t get off the ride. When I feel overwhelmed,I steal my moment and tune out. I could be washing dishes and doing it, much to the frustrated cries of  ‘Mum’s not listening to me again Dad’. I’m not there. My body is automatically performing manual tasks, but my mind is elsewhere. I am thinking of how blessed I am to have healthy children. Sometimes, I just think I how lucky I am  to have children, when so many cannot. I am thinking of how lucky I am that we have food to eat, when some do not. We have laughter in this home, when so many do not. Actually, even that we have a home,  no matter its chaotic state at times, we have a home and I am thankful. Then I am dealing with all the negatives, the stress factors. I have made this choice. I have chosen to be where I am and I can find a way to manage it. Some things cannot be changed and how I deal with them, well, that is also a choice too. Strength can be mustered.

‘Muuuuuuum!’

I return. Snapped out of the trance like a cold splash of water when you’re sleepy. I smile. It’s a knowing smile that is often met with looks of puzzlement from my family. Somehow, I can tackle another day.

Yep, I'm lucky alright!

What do you do?

Overwhelmed in more ways than one

Oh, hello blog, this is what you look like…I remember you!

I have been thoroughly overwhelmed of late. University assignments, children going back to school and now the rain. Again.

It has been raining non-stop since Monday and looks like it is set in until Wednesday next week. We have had storm warning after storm warning and looks like there will be extreme weather events in the next few days. Welcome to South East Queensland, bring your gumboots and wet weather gear! There have been news broadcasts of people attempting to drive through flood waters, tourists playing tennis on flooded tennis courts and children rescued from raging torrents.

Here at Chez Vix, we are safe and away from the flash flooding. Roads are closed all around us and the poor neighbours had a tree split in half and squash their car. It’s wet, wild and woolly.  Fun times. The gloominess is getting to me, I do not do well with this weather.

Here are my top stress-busters , mental notes and conversations  for this week:

  1. Get out of your pyjamas and force yourself to take the children to school. Brush your hair.
  2. Smile and say hello to everyone, even though you look like a wet, absent-minded crazy woman who just got out of her pyjamas.
  3.  Get out the slow cooker and serve dumplings with everything. Satisfied bellies in wet weather = peace and quiet.
  4. Dumplings are a new food group, you can put anything in them. Left over ricotta is a winner, ask The Princess, she doesn’t like dumplings but ate these ones.
  5. Keep one room tidy. Pick a room, clean and tidy it and retreat there when you feel overwhelmed.
  6. Do not think about the electricity bill as you are shoving another load of washing in the tumble dryer. Just get the washing done.
  7. Star eating breakfast for once in your life. In fact, start eating properly. Crackers and fruit are not a nutritious diet.
  8. Drink more water than coffee.
  9. Do not think of looming deadlines for assignments and massive reference lists piling up. Do not even think about the Case Study for next Semester. Just keep plugging away daily and worry about the 5000 word count when you finish. Cull is a lovely word, short is not.
  10. The children will have everything they need for school by next week and so will you. The term ‘catch-up’ was coined for a reason.
  11. Playing Uno with Master 6 is a study break NOT procrastination.
  12. The clutter on the bench and piles of paperwork will find a home after your assignments are finished.
  13. The back to school expenses are astronomical but don’t the children look lovely in their new school uniforms and shoes? We can grocery shop next week ( see #4: Dumplings are a new food group).
  14. Laugh. Keys locked in the car and holding a torch in the rain for hubby ( while in your pyjamas) at 1am so he can break in  IS funny. No one saw you. Only crazy people are up at that time. And shift workers and people who are shift workers and have locked their keys in the car. And you.
  15. It’s  amusing, not sad, that there are still Christmas decorations laying around the house.
  16. Do not lament about children leaving home – they come back.
  17. Make pancakes for breakfast this weekend. Bieber loves pancakes and his girlfriend just broke up with him.
  18. Realise that you should have done Bachelor of Education Primary with all the extra schoolwork help for The Princess. Could have got a credit on that alone.
  19. Rejoice that you have dodged Homeschooling  once again.
  20. Do not feel bad when you have been caught repeating yourself, or forgetting conversations with Red. It evens out the times when he has ignored you and dismissed your words.
  21. Hearing ‘I love you’ or ‘Mum, we can’t take you anywhere’ or ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’ cancels out all the bad stuff. I do try. Sometimes I get it right. Other times I break things and spill food on my clothes.
  22. When Bieber says ‘Wow Mum, we’ve been having all the foods I like’, smile. It’s golden.
  23. Stop watching late night TV. Laying in bed, staring at the ceiling is more entertaining.
  24. Remember to take your phone off silent before bedtime. Alarms will not wake you up with no sound.
  25. Plan to do one nice thing for everyone in the family each week so that they feel special, including myself.

It is Australia Day tomorrow and while most of the festivities have been cancelled due to rain, I have planned an indoor BBQ. The children have the day off school and I plan to spend it with them.

I was a tad disappointed that Denise or Bruce Morcombe didn’t receive Australian of the Year 2012 after everything they have been through and their tireless energy and support for other parents of missing children. Congratulations to Geoffrey Rush, another great Queenslander and a fan-bloody-tastic speech. I wonder who wrote it.

Happy Australia Day to all my fellow Aussies. Stay safe and dry to all my fellow Queenslanders.

English: The Flag of Australia flying over Pea...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

Hello? Is somebody out there? Universe?

Classical Planets

(Image via Wikipedia) Helloooooooooo?

I don’t know what you call it. The Universe reaching out to me. My subconscious rising to meet me. My state of being forcing me to make connections. Fellow like -minded bloggers in the exact same state of thought. Whatever it is, something seems to be happening this week even if I can’t manage a tangible description for it. I will try and explain.

Firstly, my dear blogging friend MJ Monaghan posted a poem titled A Minute which really ‘spoke’ to me. Check it out. In fact check out everything  on his blog- he is hilarious and so well- written.

My new blogging friend Jacqueline at maturestudenthanginginthere wrote a post about The Important Little Dash, the time that we spend here on earth, the quality of our time and our defining moments – the dash, the little line between the dates that signify our birth and departure from this world. The bits that matter. Jacqueline cites the poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis and there is a great video of it on her post. I urge you all to take a look. You will really enjoy reading through this blog as Jacqueline is very funny and you feel like pulling up a seat, cuppa in hand and relaxing, her writing style is that natural- like a conversation with a good friend.

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Make one of these then settle in

Lastly, the post on Gently Hew Stone about Managing time when you don’t have much left absolutely caused me to sit up and take notice. This post contains the last lecture given by Randy Pausch (called Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams), a Carnegie Mellon University professor who died of pancreatic cancer in July, 2008. He was only 47.  I bet his ‘dash’ was and is incredible!  What an amazing man. The video is over an hour long but well worth the ‘time’ for it’s humour, strategies for time management and provoking ideas.
Dr. Randy Pausch

(Image via Wikipedia) Randy Pausch

I have just found Jamie Huston’s blog and his About page is a really good read. Jamie writes on topics from art to politics, education to humour. I really liked the post Why I Never Bothered Finishing Eragon which led me to his blog.

There was also this…Lift others up  and ‘I get knocked down,but I get up again…’ at Light and Spirit thank you Lindsay, you inspired me 🙂

What have I gathered from all this? Work on my dash, mind the minutes and live  each day like it’s your last because you don’t know when it will be. Time is something we can never get back once it’s gone and those defining moments are what make us. It has been a week of stress, bewilderment, feeling lost, lacking direction and drive. Some really low moments. There was also inspiration and humbling moments. Things to remind me of what I do have and give me an alternative perspective.

I also watched the video tagged Are You Going To Finish Strong? – best motivational video…EVER (Nick Vujicic) also check out No Arms, No Legs, No Worries! boy, that gave me perspective.

English: Nick Vujicic at Catalyst West, April 2009

(Image via Wikipedia) Nick Vujicic

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrV_ZvwZRvw&feature=related ‘Something More’ by Nick Vujicic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is possibly the most rambling, all-over-the-place post I have produced to date but then, that kinda reflects my state of mind at the moment. I’m ok with that.

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This thing… called Oestrogen…I just…can’t handle it!

 

There is a battle raging inside of me. It even has a name. Oestrogen.

Oh, how I despise thee. You are completely antagonistic toward my dear friend Progesterone in your constant pursuit of dominance.

 

Like a  spurned lover, I blame you for every problem in my life. You were never there when I needed you and now you are here too much and I don’t want you. You are over the top and your abundance wearies me. You invade every part of my being in your blind conquest and your need for control. What do you want from me?

 

 

Channelling Elizabeth Barrett Browning , How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

  • Depression
  • Bloating/Fluid retention
  • Teariness
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Itchiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fear you love me too much and I have come to realise that you are jealous of my friend Progesterone, the quiet achiever.

 

I must end your tyranny and reclaim my being.  The balance of power must and will be restored.

This thing we got going has to end.

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