Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the long and the short of it

I didn't sleep well last night. Neither did Andy for that matter, he was up worrying most of the night. I woke up and came downstairs and Andy said, I think you're running away, I said I didn't think so and I left to go to stepping stone to look for places to live, just me and Missy. I got to stepping stone and I cried straight away. The tears fell and fell and I couldn't stop them.

After a chat to Rick, one of the staff there, I went to housing and basically said that I needed a very cheap place. We looked in my price range and there were some there but all of them were "no pets". I rang a few even to check whether they would definitely not let me have a cat. They all said no. I just sobbed and sobbed and I realised that I had to face up to everything.

I was running away. I wanted to be left alone with my illness, left alone to self harm and left alone to lose weight and be skinny again. Then I realised how selfish that was and what Anyway was asking of me wasn't really that bad. I would have a roof over my head, I would have Andy and I would have Missy. I realised how self destructive I was being and so I rang Andy and I cried and said, "I love you, I want to make this work". He said he did too.

I left stepping stone because I was still crying and I just couldn't stop and I rang Andy on my mobile phone to tell him the things I had worked out about myself and I admitted it all to him. He said he was really happy that I could see that now and he will help me work through the problems.

So I have eight weeks. Starting next week, I will do CBT for six weeks, which completes the program. I will also in those six weeks but as of this week too, go to stepping stone and actually work. After the six weeks I will have two weeks break and then I will start looking for a job. This gives me eight weeks to work on my confidence at stepping stone and CBT and with Dr D.

It was so hard to figure these things out about myself, to admit I was being selfish, lazy and hurting everyone around me. This was widespread as it went into Andy's family and mine as we were trying to work out how to move me etc. I had a lot of back peddling to do today and a lot of fixing of things. I damaged relationships and repaired some but not all. At least I learnt some valiable lessons. I don't want this to ever happen again.

Thank you all for your lovely thoughts and comments during this really rough patch. I really appreciate them. I hope you're all doing okay, I'm struggling right now to read blogs, though I am trying.

*hugs*
Sarah

Monday, May 30, 2011

new email account

Just letting those of you that need to email me my new email address:- missy_moo74@yahoo.com. I have this new one because I won't be able to take my others with me unfortunately.

All is okay. I got home from hospital fine and unpacked. I have already started packing for the move, not much, just DVDs. Thing is, although I love Andy, I don't know that we will get back together. I will always be his best friend though. In a way I feel freedom and not having to pretend anymore. That part feels good, the being away from him doesn't, I have cried several times today but I know this is for the best.

*hugs*
Sarah

the actual real break up

Well Andy and I ended it last night. I was the one to make the decision and it was done in a very nice way. We will remain very close friends and today when I get home from hospital, we will go through room by room and work out what he wants and what I want. It seems we are on the same wave length with that anyway.

He wanted what I couldn't give him, which was going to stepping stone and doing CBT for two months and then full time work. I said I can't do that, I can't give you that, so I am bowing out. Also financially it will be better if we split. We are doing a six month trial separation and then review, but I can't see it working because I can't see me getting back to work any time soon.

He said he was going to worry about me and I said babe, don't worry, it's up to me to look after myself and I will have one very good reason to stay out of hospital etc and that is Missy. I know what my absences did to Sabastian, my old cat. It really made him an anxious cat and Missy will be my first priority. Making sure she is happy, healthy and well looked after. The amazing thing is I'm not freaking out because I know Andy will always be there for me if I needed him. I have a bond with him, he knows me, he really knows me. No one knows me like Andy does, which is a good thing. I'll be okay, besides, I'll still have Andy around and I will have my Missy :)

*hugs*
Sarah

Sunday, May 29, 2011

last day, new start

I am happy that tomorrow I am being discharged from hospital. I am really looking forward to it. My day home yesterday on day leave was good, though Missy was a bit scatty with me, she I am sure, get used to me being home within a few hours. By the end of yesterday she was letting me smooch with her a bit, which was nice.

When I got back to the hospital and had dinner, I got an unwelcomed 'test' by Andy. I have really been trying hard with doing walking while in here, I though I was doing all the right things and he says that he wanted to make sure that being together was what I really wanted. He wanted to know if I considered my friends in here another 'family' and that I would run back to them all the time.

First things first, I mainly hang out on my own except for meals, when I usually sit with whoever turns up at my table and when I finish I leave them. So I was really upset that he thought testing me was a good idea. He said he wanted to be sure. I ended up ringing back and saying that he had me really paranoid talking like that and should I be worried. He said he was sorry and no but he wanted to make sure I was ready to not come back to hospital and I said, he and Missy are my family and although I text one girl, it's been one text this year. So it was all okay and then we joked around a bit about a telemarker that keeps calling and Andy pretends to not understand or says outrageous things to them until they hang up. He thinks it's hilarious, where as I just tell them to fuck off. We said goodnight on good terms.

I am so hoping that by this time tomorrow I will be home. I have to wait to be picked up I think, if not, I will get a taxi and I will go as early as possible. So tomorrow really will be my new start.

*hugs*
Sarah

Saturday, May 28, 2011

10 Random Photots

I haven't done this for ages and so I thought it was high time I did a ten random photos. I am home today on day leave and so got to finally add some photos I did before hospital and take a few more. All photos have been taken by me :)

Sunrise in Brisbane

 Put your right foot forward

On the way to the train

Flower in my garden

 I like the combination fo purple and green

My nose ring

Our old new mower

Australian Natives

Naughty Moo on the kitchen top

Cat shaped foil with a tail

*hugs*
Sarah

Friday, May 27, 2011

a positive outlook

I see next week as the start of a new outlook on life. I am going to do my best to get through my weeks/days/months without hospital admissions. I am starting my new regime on monday, hopefully. I see my doctor in just under an hour and I am going to ask for a discharge for tomorrow instead of monday. This is a compromise between me and Andy and Andy's folks. Andy didn't want me to go home until monday and I wanted to go home today - friday. So I asked the question, what about tomorrow to Andy and he said yes and Andy's folks said yes [they have to pick me up]. So now I just hope my doctor will say yes. I think she will.

I'm sitting in the dinning room at the moment and there are several people wandering around noiseily. Breakfast is over and it's just about 9.10am. I'm bored. I might go into the city later on a 2 hour pass or I could pass away my hours watching some DVD TV series I bought in with me. I bought Dexter season 3, Medium season 3 and The Mentalist season one. I love The Mentalist, it is my favourite at the moment. I am also reading a Jeffrey Deaver book on my Kindle, which I am zooming through.

It's nice to feel peaceful. I like boundaries to be set because then I know what I can and can't do. That may sound weird but I need that. I need to hear someone say, no, that's not okay and then I know what I can do. I have always been this way. I think it is a BPD thing. No boundaries, you push them as hard as you can and you push and you push. Then the dam breaks and you lose a friend or you lose something that you didn't want to lose just because you pushed too far.

Maybe Andy nearly leaving me was the big fat NO I needed. Stop what you're doing girl or you'll lose the one person you don't want to lose. Enlightenment! I know what is expected of me, I am happy doing those things, I have a safety net of boundaries around me. I am safe. I am okay and I CAN do this and I will!

*hugs*
Sarah

[edit - I don't get to go home till Monday but oh well, I'll just have to relax some more :) ]

Thursday, May 26, 2011

ouchies

I had a little accident yesterday, with my nose stud. The bit that sits up in your nose kept coming down and sticking out the bottom of my nose and I was pushing it back up with a cotton bud for what felt like the hundredth time, so I didn't really pay attention properly. Anyway, I didn't realise that the cotton bud was bigger than the loop in my nose stud and I pulled it hard as if just letting my hand drop, expecting it, like every other time to just come out. It didn't, it pulled the stud into my nose. I nearly had heart failure and closed my eyes as I pushed my thumb inside and pushed the stud out. I can hear you are all cringing and it did make me feel a little sick at the time too. This morning I went to the piercing shop for two reasons, one to get a small ring in my nose because at least I won't have the same problem, but it does look a bit yucky right now ! I also had to downsize my rook piercing. I got a multicoloured pink and green/blue curved bar put in and I really like it. It's much shorter and it fits properly.

I've had a much better day today. No stress, just gearing up to see my doc tomorrow and discharge on monday and then getting back to life properly and fully. I can't wait. I chatted to Andy before and we are all fine. I miss both him and Missy but that is to be expected. It's getting dark now and it's not even 5pm, but it's nice. Think I might curl up and daydream of something nice. Failing that, I'll just read my book. Hope you all have/had an awesome day!

*hugs*
Sarah

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

settled

I'm have really settled down from my panicked posts of the last few days. I am using the rest of the time in hospital to relax, so that when I go out into the big world out there, I am ready for it. This time I will not use hospital as a crutch. This will be my last admission for a long long while, unless I really am well. I think I have been running here when things are too hard for me to deal with and I don't know what to do, so I run back to hospital. Dr D and I spoke about this yesterday and hopefully now I have the plan of attack, it will be better. I will have all five days of the week busy. So it doesn't leave me time to dwell on being

I have my list that Andy and I worked out yesterday to stick to and so I am going to be busy busy busy, which is a good thing for me but at the same time, they a low grade busy, so I am not going to be stressed to the max. It will be a combination of CBT and Stepping Stone and then one day where I have my Dr D visit and my visit with Sue, my outreach nurse. So things are looking up again. I have a new zine in the making, I am still coming up with ideas and whatnot but will let you know when I it's more concrete. I thank you all for listening and giving me advice over the last few days. You're all awesome :)

*hugs*
Sarah

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Positivity - counting my blessings

Success Stories
- I made it through the day and I'm still here
- I got to see Andy, so I am feeling better

- Andy and I made a list of all the things that we need to change together, so we know where we are headed
- We are meeting with my doctor on Friday together for a family meeting

Gratitudes/things that make me happy
- Andy and Missy
- Being on category 1 in my hospital, which means I can leave the ward if I want to and go into town
- The photo of Missy and Andy that is stuck next to my pill so I can see them every time I lay down

Challenge/Cheerleading statements
- The marriage split up [although only for twelve hours] was really painful and it gave me the kick up the butt I needed. I have been slacking off at home [Andy has been doing everything and me sleeping with his depression and all].
- I realise how important these two little beings are to me [Andy and Missy] I love them so much
- If I can get through that, I can get through anything

Thanks for sticking with me!

*hugs*
Sarah

sorry for the back and forth

Okay - I spoke to Andy this morning and he said he just can't go through with leaving me and I felt the same. I have been crying all morning and then he called and I still couldn't stop crying even though I was happy. I couldn't really see myself in a little flat again with just Moo and no Andy. I'm sorry for all the all over the place. It's been awful for me too. Andy did say that I have to lift my game at home and I said I would, whatever needed to be done, I'd do. I don't want to lose him, I MUST get well and stay well and this is the kick up the bum I needed. Thanks for putting up with me but this time we really had said the words "I want to break up permanently".

*hugs*
Sarah

Andy and I broke up last night

So it happened, we broke up. I am okay. Better than I thought I'd be. I think I am holding it all inside though and not really processing it. I have had a few little cries, but nothing major. I would have thought losing your husband would have made me a blubbering mess. We will remain very good friends, best friends we have said and Moo and I will move out into our own place.

I will continue to go to Stepping Stone and I will continue to see my doctor. I won't however have the ability to go to hospital unless it really is urgent because of Moo and I want her to live a happy cat life with me in it. It's one thing my old boy Sabby taught me, that he needed me around a lot more than I was because of going to hospital. My poor boy, he did it tough. Moo won't, she'll be pampered and loved and cuddled and she will be my little best friend at home.

In a way all this is exciting too, I get to start again and I don't have to work because someone wants me to and I'm not ready. I'm not looking forward to living on a really low income without a back up. I guess we muddle on. I will have to come off of lamictal as well, because it is not subsidised for bipolar in Australia and a month and a half prescription lasts me $140. That may sound like nothing to those of you overseas, but any prescription that is subsidised only costs $5.60 for those on health care cards and disability etc.

The only thing I am concerned about is the eating disorder returning. Mainly because I have no one to say you're not eating enough or cooking meals for me. Andy cooks awesome meals, I suck at cooking. Oh well. I guess I just have to wait and see what happens next.

*hugs*
Sarah

Monday, May 23, 2011

things are okay, meds put up

Things with Andy have settled down and we have spoken several times throughout the day today. We seem to be okay with things at the moment, but I do worry when it comes to talking to each other about the things that have worried me, like working and such. I think he is coming to visit me tomorrow, so maybe we can have a chat about it then if I feel strong enough. I do not want a repeat of today where I cried my eyes out for hours. The last phone call we had with Andy, he was describing how Missy was sitting on his belly, what a friend calls 'making cookies', you know that thing they do to their mum when they are tiny to get the milk out. So he was squealing and carrying on saying things like "ouch, Moo, I'm not a pin cushion", but you can tell her really loves it. It's cute. It was like everything was normal. I would hate for him to miss out on Missy as well, because he loves her just as much as me.

I saw my doctor and she said I'd be here two to three weeks. I hope it's not that long. She upped my seroquel-xr from 400mg to 600mg. I used to be on that dose, so I guess we'll see how that works. I just feel so emotionally drained today. Let's hope for a better tomorrow. Thank you too for all your support! Every single one of you that has commented or even read my last few posts and has thought of me. Thank you. I really do appreciate it.

*hugs*
Sarah

whatever it takes

After I posted my last post, I sat and cried my eyes out. So I rang Andy back and I said "I will do whatever it takes to stay with you". He let me cry and then he said he wants to be with me too. I said I will get a job, I will work hard, I won't slack off like I have been doing. The crying was set off by me finding a photo of Andy holding Missy next to the Christmas tree last year and he had this funny little grin on his face. I just wanted his arms around me and it makes me cry just thinking about it now. I know I am having a depressive episode, I will see Dr D today, so hopefully that will help and she will fix my meds and I will be okay again. I think she needs to increase my lamictal or up my anti-depressant. Oh it sucks feeling like this :(

*hugs*
Sarah

it could still be over

I rang Andy last night and we had another break up talk. He asked me if I could try and get back to work and I said I couldn't guarantee it or how long I would be out of work, so he would be supporting both of us. Long story short, he now is in the position to decide with all of this, whether or not it's okay with him with all my mental health stuff.

I also told my mum and she said that if we split, she would pay for me to keep Missy. That would be truly awesome, as I can't imagine life without her. I don't know though whether or not Andy now will give her up after I told him he needed to keep her because I couldn't afford her. I really wish I could call him right now but it's only 5:30am.

I also have to decide if I want to split as well. It's a tough one. It really is. I haven't ever been in a situation like this before as Andy is really my first long term relationship. Oh it hurts.

*hugs*
Sarah

Saturday, May 21, 2011

decisions decisions

I am in hospital and it took me about an hour of being here to make the decision of what I am going to do with Andy. I am going to stay with him and I am going to do whatever it takes to make it work. I can't imagine life without him or Missy. I realised how much I love them both because I missed them straight away. I think I am in a depressive cycle at the moment, which was probably why I thought of the crazy scheme of leaving him to start with. I told him tonight and I cried and told him how much I loved him and how I didn't want to leave. I just have to figure all this out, get back to Stepping Stone and get back to work and get my life back together and be well, however long that takes. Thanks for all your support lately, it means so much!

*hugs*
Sarah

the plan with Andy

I've had pretty much a restless sleepless night. It's only 5.06am and I've been up for half an hour already. Andy and I have been going back and forward with this spliting up thing for ages. It's come up so many times now it's not funny and we would stay best friends if that's what my decision is.

In a way it would be good for both of us financially. He wouldn't have to pay both our bills, just his own and I would get more disability money because Centerlink [probably the same as Jobcentre in the UK], it's the national welfare organisation where you get disabiilty and unemployment benefits and whatnot, but anyway, anyway Centerlink takes Andy's income into account with my payment. I think this would suit Andy too, to build his savings back up.

I have thought about this all night and I am thinking a trail separation might be the way to go, so it's not final and we can see how we go. The really sad thing is is that I would lose my girl, Missy. She would have to stay with Andy because if I am going into hospital it's not fair on her. I love her so much that it's bringing tears to my eyes just thinking about it. It will be very painful all around I think. Andy made me promise though that if I go the best friend thing is manditory, which is really nice.

It's going to be so hard to decide. That is why I am going into hospital to make the decision. Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers.

*hugs*
Sarah

Friday, May 20, 2011

spliting up with Andy

I am going in to hospital most likely tomorrow, to go through the process of deciding whether or not to split up with Andy or not. Don't get me wrong, we are best friends and we both have said if I decide to leave, then we will still be best friends. I will stay here until I find somewhere to live if it comes to that and Stepping Stone can help with that as they have a housing section where they find housing for members. I didn't go today to Stepping Stone because I stayed in bed and slept pretty much all day. I haven't felt this crap for a while. I am listed down to go to hopsital tomorrow, as long as the patient that is meant to leave, leaves. I will get a phone call in the morning regardless. If not then it will be Monday. This is so hard.

*hugs*
Sarah

depressed

I know lately that I have been feeling really good but on Wednesday in Dr D's office I felt a mild feeling of depression. Now it has blown out and I am feeling really depressed. I told them at Leif, one of the staff members at Stepping Stone yesterday that I was feeling like I was becoming unwell. Well now I know I am. It's only 5.23am and I've already had a big cry while Andy hugged me. I am going to ring my hospital today and ask to be put on the waiting list for a bed.

I have the gorgeous little Moo on my lap right now with her head tipped up looking at my face. She is such a little treasure. I'm finding it so hard to concentrate right now that I can't read blogs. It's awful. I might even go back to bed. I probably won't go to Stepping Stone today, even though I said I would :(

*hugs*
Sarah

Thursday, May 19, 2011

poor Moo

Missy has been undertaking the lovely task of wiping her bum on the carpet for about a week now and so we got her a worm tablet in case it was worms and she was right on due for one to the day anyway. She just jumped on my lap in the same way she normally does and I noticed red on her butt hole looked different [not that I stare at her butt hole normally], so I lifted her tail up and had a look and it's all inflammed and red. I am really worried and I don't know if she did have worms and it's because she's been wiping her bum on the carpet and now that she's had the tablet, she will get better. I don't know what to do. Do I wait and see how she goes over the next few days or do I take her to the vet? Can anyone help with this? Andy thought we should just wait and see, I'm more for the vet but I do jump to that very quickly normally [this was with Sabby before he died] and sometimes it wasn't necessary. What do you guys think?

*hugs*
Sarah

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Positive Wednesday

I have have had so much going on lately that I haven't had time to do a positve post. I thought today would be the perfect opportunity and I really want to say too, thank you so much to all of you who have been emailing me with requests for trades with my zines and for those just wanting to know more about zines and wanting to own one. That makes me feel really good. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my new zine Panic Planet, which is about panic in the workplace, you just need to leave me a comment on this post.

Success Stories
- I finished a new zine in a new format and it worked when I was so worried the page numbering would be wrong.
- I attended my first day at Stepping Stone, a rehabilitation place for people with mental illnesses wanting to get back to work.
- I am happy and safe and well

Gratitudes/things that make me happy
- Andy and Missy
- Having strong creativity right now
- My new meditiation CD, it can actually help me breathe and stops anxiety

Challenge/Cheerleading statements
- It's okay to be nervous when I try new things but it's the trying that is the most important thing
- Just because I ran away before, doesn't mean I can't go back, I just might some help along the way
- I can be well

I don't have a photo for you today but I am going to try and do a video later on of Missy and where I live. That should be fun :)

*hugs*
Sarah

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stepping Stone

What an amazing place. I got there at about 8:30am and I was just told to take a seat somewhere and grab a coffee. They have a cafe that is run by the members and I got a really good latte for $1.20. Can you believe that. The only bad thing was I dropped my little packet of 500 splenda pills in the cup and they all melted. I was so annoyed. I didn't realise at that point that they had sweetener there.

Then at 9am we had a meeting, I don't really know what was going on there but tasks got assigned for the day. Then we broke up into areas, there is Clerical, Administration and Training Unit (CAT), Employment and Education Unit (E&E), Housing Unit and Hospitality Unit. Each unit does exactly what the name suggests. CAT is the group I am in because that is where my skills are. I got to do the daily newsletter and this other thing that I can't remember what it was called, but they both required skills for desktop publishing, which I am really good at. I was even able to show Rick, the staff member looking after me today, some tricks in publisher. It also looks like I will be doing the monthly newsletter. They said that no one really wants to do that and said I would love to.

I then did my paperwork to get made properly a member and given a membership book with all the details in it of everything to do with Stepping Stone. Everyone calls it the Clubhouse as it's full name is Stepping Stone Clubhouse. I am participating in what's called the "work ordered day", you do this if you want to do transitional employment, where they get you job and you work it for six to nine months and get this, if you are away, the staff member that looks after you day to day, goes and does the job when you are away so you don't lose the position.

I got a free lunch today and I got to choose a hot meal or salad bar and I chose salad bar. It was awesome, very fresh food and if you have the hot meal, it get's bought to your table, you don't get up. With the salad bar you go up and choose what you want.

They also have an outreach team that will call you if you don't turn up for a certain amount of time, for me, it's a week. If I miss a week, they will call me and see if I'm okay and they even visit you in hospital if you aren't well.

I wasn't nervous at all because I was rushed. I spent too much time on the computer this morning and I was running late. I missed the first train and made the second and then missed the bus. I just made it to Clubhouse five minutes to spare. I was happy with what I wore, I wore work clothes and learnt a lot over the course of the day. I'm sure there is a tonne more to learn. My staff member who looks after me is Prue and she is amazing, I liked her straight away. She is funny and happy and caring. She thought I had my top on inside out and she came to whisper it in my left ear [I am profoundly deaf in my left ear] and I said, I am deaf on that side, I can't hear you. So she hopped up and checked my top and it was just one of those loops that hang on the hanger to keep your top on there, if you know what I mean, that was sticking out.

I am tired. I stayed from 8:30am [left home at 6:40am] and left at 1:15pm [got home at 3pm almost]. So for having not worked for so long and knowing no one or how anything works, I think anyone would be tired. I don't go tomorrow, I have Dr D tomorrow and then I go on Thursday and Friday. I told them I would treat it like a workplace and they said that would be best if I really wanted to get back to work, to which I said definitely.

Sorry for the mini essay. Hope you are all well and don't forget my giveaway of my new zine Panic Planet, all about anxiety in the workplace. You can find the info here. This is open to anyone, new or older follower, anyone who I am currently trading with or can't afford a zine, anyone at all. Don't be shy.

*hugs*
Sarah

Panic Planet giveaway

I finally finished my new zine yesterday and let me tell you, my hands and arms were so sore afterwards. I hand wrote the whole zine, all 48 pages in pencil and then went over it in ink and then rubbed out all the pencil marks. This is 1/4 size [A6] zine, the first time I tried this size and I was so worried the page numbering would be wrong but it wasn't, so I was very relieved. I only did a first run print of five because of the page numbering and thinking it would be wrong, but I still have my master to make more.


 The zine are my stories of panic in the workplace and what I plan to do about it. As you can see, Edvard Munch's The Scream was perfect for the cover. You may know the stories if you have been reading for a while but you may not know all of the stories. I suffer from anxiety in general pretty much all the time anyway and today is going to be anxiety provoking because it's my first day at Stepping Stone. I talk about Stepping Stone here and here. I have my orientation today, which will go for most of the day. I have my outfit all picked out and I am looking forward to it, just a little nervous.

So that brings me to the giveaway. I am giving away one copy of Panic Planet issue one. All you have to do is leave me a comment and say you want to win a copy of it. I will draw the winner at random on Friday evening Australian time, which for those of you over the other side of the equator will be friday morning. So if you want to be in it to win it, get your comment in before then. Good luck to those of you who enter the giveaway. I'll let you all know how it goes at Stepping Stone when I get home this afternoon. For those of you who want a copy of the zine but miss out on the draw, it is up on my Etsy webpage.

*hugs*
Sarah

[edit - Congratulations to M for winning the giveaway!]

Monday, May 16, 2011

In answer putting my zines online

I thought I would respond to Steph's question as I have been asked a number of times the same question:

"Sarah do you ever submit your zines online? I would really love to read them if its possible to?"

This is a very tricky question really because I could easily make PDFs of my zines and be able distriubute via email or to view in an online form like a website. The answer is no, for a number of reasons.

The first I don't want to just have them online because I usually sell them or trade them for anything creative.

The second being copyright. How would I know that the person I let see my zine, won't pass it on to 20 friends and I lose the ability to sell or trade them because they can just get it for free. Don't get me wrong, I do give away my zines lots to people who I want to read them but it is at my discretion as to who I give them away to.

If I did an online version of my zine and put it up for sale as a PDF I run into the same copyright issue. I know a lot of you are really scared to give out your postal addresses because then it takes away your ability to stay anonymous. Let me just say this, I take very seriously privacy of my customers/trades/giveaways. I treat these people as if I would in a workplace where privacy is a policy because it's the same thing. If you want a zine and you are scared of this, get a friend/relative who is not so worried about it to lend you their address - just a thought. If it helps, my address is always on the back of the envelope so I am just as open as you are.

So in a nutshell, I can't see how I could do an online version or a PDF to email without compromising my copyright. I put a lot of work into my zines and I really don't care about the money so much, it's getting my work out there.

I would love for any of you that are really struggling financially to say to me, hey Sarah, I'd love to have one of your zines but I can't afford it. Tell me which one and I would consider it definitely. Though bear in mind that I have to photocopy each issue. I would take it on a case to case basis and you would have to accept my descion if I said no, but please don't be afraid to ask me. However, I couldn't do it for 209 of you, if you all, all of sudden wanted to have a free copy.

Handmade trades are great too, I would be interested in anything [within reason] to consider for a trade. Make me something that you are good at and I would consider a swap.

If any of you have a solution to this problem, I am open to suggestions. Personally I can't see my way around it.

*hugs*
Sarah

Sunday, May 15, 2011

my bum hurts

Don't laugh, it's not funny! Well it is but it's true. I got so focused on my zine, which I have finished all of the writing and just going over in ink, that I sat too long on a hard chair and buised my poor bum. I can't believe one could bruise their bum, it seems so silly.

I am excited though about my zine. I will most likely have to have short bursts today to get the copy finished and then it is ready to go print tomorrow. It was actually really good writing it. It felt good. The story of anxiety in the workplace and how I plan to fix it. I hope it works and the zine ends in hope instead of hopelessness. I will just need a soft cushion to sit on I think.

It's also freezing outside today. The temperature is not that cold, but the wind chill factor makes it seem much colder. I went out before and the wind ripped right through my jumper. Brrrrr! I love winter and my bedroom is toasty because the sun is coming through the windows. Aaahhhhhh, might go lay in the for a bit and avoid the hard chair.

*hugs*
Sarah

Saturday, May 14, 2011

relaxation and my zine

I have been writing away my zine over the course of today and I have written half of it now. I am hoping to finish it tomorrow. It really is easy to write because it's my story. It is emotional though, since it's about struggling with anxiety in the workplace and thinking of all the fuck-ups and horrible things over the last year and a half and how my life has been with anxiety to boot.

I found a CD that has Native American flutes on it and it is so relaxing that it makes me breathe. I've never experienced that before but I want to stand up and let my body flow to the music and breathe in and out deeply. I put the CD on while I was writing and I find I cannot write while it's playing because I just want to fall into the music. I can copy over something, as I write in pencil and then go over it in ink.  In the end I just lay in our bean bag and closed my eyes and just let myself breathe.

I put the music on ipod and I found if I have it turned up, I can wander around the city relaxed. It's awesome to find something to ease the anxiety that I feel so much lately. What relaxes you?

*hugs*
Sarah

New Project

So since blogger was down all day yesterday, I decided to start a new project. It is a zine on anxiety. This is the first time I have tried the 1/4 sized [A6] zine and let me tell you, figuring out the page numbering just about did my head in. I suck at maths and so it took me about an hour to figure it out. I ended up in the end doing a mock up zine as in just getting the right amount of paper and numbering the pages and using that. Finally that worked but I still had a bit of trouble because it's a bit different from my normal numbering for the 1/2 sized [A5] zine. It is hand written entirely and the front cover will be drawn or collaged by me. It's kind of a new and exciting way for me to express myself. I can't wait to get it out there.

The zine is about panic to do with work and my experiences with panic and anxiety at work and what I did or didn't do and how I coped with my jobs that I've run away from recently. I'm sure many of have exprienced anxiety or panic at work and can relate. I think everyone has anxiety at work sometimes, even the big boses you think are really confident and look confident but don't always feel it. In my old job, my assistant manager told one day that she gets anxious sometimes. I was really amazed because she always seems so together. I'll let you all know how I go with it, I am only 1/4 of the way through it at the moment but I am hoping to have written it all by Monday.

Oh and in shock news, Andy comes home from work yesterday and tells me he was fired. He had told the boss that he suffered from depression and so they fired him because the thought it might be a bit too much for him. He is going to the school manager of medicine and saying it was pure discrimination because of a mental illness. How disgusting is that?

I just wanted to say a big hello to my new readers. Please feel free to comment at any time, I would love to hear from you and welcome :)

*hugs*
Sarah

P.S. Is anyone else losing their new posts because their old ones have popped up in front?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

anxiety and all

Today I set off to go back to CBT at the hospital I usually get admitted to as an outpatient. I wanted to do it but really only for today, which isn't fair because of wanting to go to Stepping Stone next week. I was kind of using CBT today to fill the gap, though I do go wholeheartdely. I gave it my all while I was there. On the way there I ran into a girl I was in hospital with, Prue and she was all happy and smiles because she has found a new man and her life is going really well. I was fine with that and we chatted about it and I let me tell me all the juicy details.

Anyway, I filled in the daily paperwork and went and waited outside the room we were using until Christian came and let us in. I picked a chair that was closer enough for me to hear [I have a hearing impairment in my left ear] so I always have to be careful where I sit. Then Prue comes in and sits next to me and she pulls out this massive wad of paper and asks if I want any and I say no, I'm fine and she asks for a pen, which I give her.

The session starts and so does she. She interrupts everyone, overflowing and acknowledging everything verbally. I start to get really stressed out and anixous because she won't shut up and it's bothering me and I can't cope with it. It's too much. I get up after 45 minutes and say "Christian, I have to go". He knows I suffer from anxiety so he says, "that's okay but just know you can come back if you want to just have a break and come back after morning tea". I nodded and bolted.

I go to the front desk because I had to sign out and I tell Amanda and I am shaking that I couldn't handle Prue. She was way manic and I couldn't cope with that today. She just completely takes me off the list for today and asks if I am okay. I just nod and go. While waiting for the bus ring Stepping Stone and move my tour to today, so I head off into the city to change buses.

I get to Stepping Stone and at first I am really dissappointed because I wanted everyone to be all perfect and work ready and I know this is just in my own mind. After a while though I really start to get a sense of how it works. It has a cafe run by members, a kitchen run by members, a team of employment and education people that find the courses and places people can study and work at that is run by members and the clerical and admin area that is also run by members. I was really impressed, though I noticed that some of the members are very impaired, which is fine, they all help out the way they can and it's awesome.

The only thing that stands out in my mind is I recognise one of the guys there and I can't place him. He sees me and says hi, I've seen you on the train. Then it hits me, he was the guy that scared the crap out of me for a year by staring at me every afternoon on the way home from work on the train. He is nice though and says it's nice to put a name to the face. He doesn't appear creepy. Though I do mention 'my husband' in our conversation.

I got home and I fell asleep. I was exhaused after all the emotion spent today. While I wrote this I got all tense and now my back is sore. I've got to get a handle on this anxiety. It's taking me over.

*hugs*
Sarah

P.S. Stepping Stone is an international company and I know they are in the States. When I know more details, I'll let you all know :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

unbridled terror

I woke up yesterday morning fine. I was happy that I was going to do another day of work. I felt worthwhile. I had breakfast and got dressed and Andy caught the train together. He got off earlier than I did and I kept going and still felt fine. I got into the city and went to my favourite coffee shop and had a latte and was feeling good. The only problem being that the chair had been too short the day before at work and I got a sore back. I had a bit of trouble getting my bandaids on my heals and putting on my knee length stockings but other than that, I was still fine.

It was 8:30am and I was to start at 9am. So I started to walk up to where the job was. I got halfway and came to a complete stop and started to hyperventilate. I rang Andy and said I couldn't do it, that I couldn't go back. I started to cry then too. He talked to me calmly and gently to try and say that it was only for a week. That If I needed to, I only had to make it to lunch time and then I could call him. I stopped hyperventilating a little and then started up again and said I can't, I just can't go.

Andy said that was fine and to go home but to ring the recruitment agency to tell them you couldn't go. I rang them and said I had hurt my back the day before, which was true and that my husband had forgotten to get me some medication from the only place I can get it, the hospital Andy works at, that I take for pain, which was also true, but just not for the type of pain I was having right then and I didn't know how long it would take for it to settle, also true. They were fine.

I got on the train home and then Andy rang me and I started to cry and I said, is this what my life is going to be like now. I've run away from my last five jobs. I felt awful. He said he thought I was being a little ambitious when I said I was going to do a full time week of work, which was nice to hear.

Yesterday I wracked my brain as to how I was going to deal with this. I then remembered Stepping Stone. They are an organisation that helps people with mental illness get back to work. From what I understand they have fake work environments and you go there like you are going to work, though at your own pace. Then you can do a transition to work where they will place you in a job and you do it for 6-9 months and then you can either go it alone or do another one.

I rang them yesterday afternoon and I got a lovely lady by the name of Sharon and she explained it to me. I have a tour on Friday and I now have a plan. What I am going to do is go there and build my stamina back up to working full time and then either do a transition job or go it alone and start looking for work on my own, while still staying at Stepping Stone. They also address your main issues of why you can't work, mine being my incredible anxiety. So I think that will be awesome. After a horrible day, I felt better in the end. It was just so yucky though.

Thank you for all your lovely comments, you are all so awesome :)

*hugs*
Sarah

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

fight of flight

When you have an enormous panic attack in the middle of a busy peak hour Brisbane city street on the way to work, what do you do? You run like hell :(

I hurt

My back is so sore from my first day of work because the chair is not good. I don't mind the work but much prefer the public sector. These guys were there when I got there and were still there when I left. That doesn't happen in the public sector. Most of them didn't even have lunch. In the public sector you usually have to have lunch. Though I'm sure that there are some that choose to not to. I think I will do small jobs like this and go back to temp work at the university. Hope you all had a happy Monday!

*hugs*
Sarah

Monday, May 9, 2011

it is raining but my heart sings

I am so excited about starting my job today. I feel like I am a part of society instead of one of those people on disability, not that there is anything wrong with that. I am still on disability. I guess I just feel more alive and more helpful doing something where I earn money, if that makes sense. Please don't anyone take me the wrong way. I was on disability for eight years before this time.

I feel like I have this little spart and it's like a flame that is fired open inside of me and it's guiding me and showing me the way. It's proud of me like I am proud of myself. I feel happy and content and bursting with happy energy but in a good way. I feel good and it feels good to feel good and not sad and depressed and suicidal.

I think I'll try and stick with this mood. It's really nice :)

*hugs*
Sarah

Sunday, May 8, 2011

new job tomorrow

I am so tired today. Mainly because I slept really badly last night. I did have a little nap earlier today but I am tired again and it's only 6:51pm. Way too early for bed. This happened last night too where I got really tired really early and I went to bed at 7:20pm. Probably why I slept so shitty. I am not going to bed until a fair bit later so I am just going to have to keep occupied. I have little Missy on my lap and I am just catching up on blogs. I wish I could go to bed though.

My new job starts tomorrow. I am not nervous because I know it's only for a week. I have applied for three jobs online today, so I am really proud of myself for doing that. I really just want to find a job that will be ongoing for a bit. I want to contribute and I want to feel worthwhile. Working does that for me when I am well and I am well at the moment.

Wish me luck!

*hugs*
Sarah

Zine giveaway winner

I am sorry guys for completely forgetting to draw my zine giveaway until this morning, which is four days late. I have been so caught up in job search that it jus slipped my mind. The winner of my giveaway is Lonely Croc, congrats and I hope you enjoy my zine :)

So off again now to do more job search. It's kind of fun is sad way he he!

*hugs*
Sarah

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jobs

I have been thinking about the whole job thing and have decided that I am going to not continue looking for work at universities. I have been kicked in the teeth too many times there for me to feel like I want to go back at this time.

I have decided then to start looking for work in small private companies rather than the public service (unless something really good came up). I have done that before and I didn't mind it but then got all caught up in wanting to work at a university.

I just want to work and find a place for me, wherever that may be. I am open to anything really. Except food service, I am much too clumsy for that, he he :)

*hugs*
Sarah

Not me but me all over.
You should see the impressive purple bruise on my leg at the moment :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

new job, not the same one

Well the other day I informed you all about my one day a week job that I had gotten in the department of psychiatry at the university I used to work in. Since then I have been panicking because it is a personal assistant job and I never ever wanted or want to do that type of work. I didn't know what to do, so I rang Andy and he said to not do it. I rang them and told them I was not going to be able to go ahead with the job. It was awful because I had to lie to them to get out of it.

I went to another interview yesterday afternoon at a recruitment agency and it sucked. I felt I was being grilled and having my words twisted to mean what I didn't mean. It was awful and very anxiety provoking. I was so happy to be out of there.

I then rang two more agencies I've worked with before and told them I was free for work and an hour later one of them rang me back and asked me if I was free next week and I said yes. So, I got a one week job at mortgage place just doing basic admin work for the week. I am really happy about this and hope I keep getting work.

I had to move my hair appointment to today, so I will have my hair fixed by the end of the day, YAY! I am so looking forward to it. So I best dash as I have to leave in 20 mins, argh!

*hugs*
Sarah

Thursday, May 5, 2011

interviews and whatnot

I had my interview yesterday for the one day a week job that goes for six weeks and if they do get the funding, I will get the job. Which is cool. The only bad thing is it's being a PA to an academic and would you believe that it is in the department of psychiatry [how ironic]. They are doing research into schizophrenia there and I would be just doing whatever he needs me to do.

Today I was supposed to have another interview with a temp agency and decided that since the other job is not definite, I am still going to go. At least then when this job is finished, I will have another card up my sleeve. I am all prepared for that one, so we'll see how that goes.

I saw Dr D yesterday and that all went well. She was really happy with how I am going and my new attitude. I have decided that I don't want to go back to hospital, that I don't want to do groups because they remind me of being in hospital and are therefore triggering and she was fine with that. I am still waiting to hear back from Sue as to when I can see her next week and will try again today to get her on the phone. She is hard to catch unless you ring right on 8:30am.

I am starting issue three of My Baggy Pants soon. I didn't think there would be an issue three but it seems there is an issue three in me. I won't give anything away yet on that front. Oh and finally I am getting my hair fixed. I am going to my mum's place on Monday and we are going to her hairdresser and they are going to finally fix my horrible hair. My regrowth is coming through of my natural colour, which is like a mosey brown, then there is a layer of red and then the rest is blonde. It is awful. I hate the way it looks and just want to go back to my natural or as close to my natural colour as possible. So yeah, that's what we are doing.

Wow, didn't this to turn into a monster post. I hope you are all sailing along well and thank you to all who read and comment, it means so much to me. Even if I don't individually respond, I am always grateful for your comments. So go out there and be kind to yourselves.

*hugs*
Sarah

+

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Positivity for a Monday

Success Stories
- I have decided to go back to work and have two interviews this week
- I made the decision to not go back to group therapy as I realise it keeps me unwell
- I finished my new zine I have been working on for 6 weeks

Gratitudes/things that make me happy
- Andy
- Falling in love with my Missy more and more every day
- My Kindle

Challenge/Cheerleading statements
- It's okay to fall down as long as you pick yourself up again
- I KNOW I can do this!
- I don't have to be perfect

The last few weeks certainly have been challenging. I think though I can feel a mental change and it's forcing me to keep going and to not give up. I think going back to work will be really good for me because I won't have so much time alone to think about things and I won't struggle with boredom. I am meant to go back to CBT today but I realise that the more I am at the hospital, the worse I get. I don't want that. I want to get well and I am striving for this.

If you missed my last post, I am having a giveaway for the new zine I just printed. If you would like to enter, just leave me a comment on that post, click here.

*hugs*
Sarah

P.S. Thank you to Chrysalis from Dialectic Dichotomy for keeping the positives going on her blog because when I read hers, I just want to write my own too :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New zine and giveaway

Finally I have been able to finish and print By the Skin of My Teeth issue 5.5. It has taken a long time between the last issue and this one. Or should I say it feels like it. It took me about six weeks to write this one and there was several attempts that failed, one that is still sitting all ready to layout that just didn't cut it. So I can say that I didn't try, I just lost my mojo along the way a bit with this. Bear in mind that this issue does go into the subject of self harm, so if you want to have a go in the giveaway, make sure it's not going to trigger you. There isn't anything too graphic but to some it may seem that way. Other than that this zine is about so much more. What to do with life when you don't have to work and how to cope with depression and bordeom in the process.



To win a copy of the zine, all you have to do is leave me a comment and I'll pull a name out of a hat at random. You have until the night of Wednesday 4 May Australian time. Goodluck :)

If you miss out and you still want to buy a copy, you can go to my Etsy store here.

*hugs*
Sarah