Tag Archives: Rewarding

Finding Faith in Myself

Sad Angel

I have returned from a holiday and, although it was a great break,  my personal life (as you now know) is in turmoil.  The urge to give in is easy but I’m not looking for easy this time. I’m not perfect – far from it! But I’m a good person and won’t let anyone take that from me. Life is strange and at times it can be hard to understand why certain things happen to us. Depression is an awful road and an easy one when things aren’t as we hoped they would be. But now at 45 years old I sit back and think “not this time. I’m better than this and someone – whether it be a God or the universe – has a plan for me. I’m going to believe it’s a good plan and just go with the flow, I’m not going to let the unknown get the better of me, because I know I deserve better”.

Maybe I should have made better choices in life. But then again, maybe this is what was meant to be. What if everything is just as it should be? Then I have to trust in destiny and fate. Be grateful for everything I have had and all the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have. I have been loved and felt love. I am not going to accept that this is all that’s left. People change, life changes and we have to accept that change in us and know it’s a part of this bigger picture we call life. Be true to yourself and accept responsibility for your failings. Maybe they weren’t failings, maybe they were just a part of what was meant to be. We all grow and learn by our mistakes, but that’s just it… We have to let them go and move forward! Nobody is perfect. Who wants perfect anyway? Just be you and one day the right person will see the real you through all those failings and nothing else will matter. So I will stand tall and face whatever life wants me to do next. Because life is too beautiful to throw away. I want to know what’s waiting around that corner. Whether it be good or bad!

Do you think I’m on the right track or have I verged too far south! lol

Hugs Paula xxx

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Filed under Fight Depression, My experiences, Thinking...

Depression Exists

cupcakes

Depression Exists:

As you all know lately I’ve been all over the place. However, Depression hasn’t won this time and I intend for it to never win again!  It’s just me I personally have been all over the place. But now I’m  starting to focus and get my act together once more.

Once you realise that you can’t control everything, life seems to get easier. I thought I had to control everything, but then life did a turn and I no longer had to. Meaning I got married and was in a position that I no longer had to work! My youngest was 5 then and my oldest was 14. The 14 year old had been used to me working all his life, but they both loved me being a stay at home mum.

At first this was a huge novelty to me and I had no idea how to occupy myself. I learnt piano when I was young and so thought what the hell, I’ll learn again. I had a spiritual piano teacher and she taught me how to relax and ground myself. I learnt classical and felt really confident with her by my side. I loved the music but really struggled to read it. So, I played a lot by ear.

Then one day, I hurt my hand learning to  play  Moonlight Sonate. It should have taken a break but I insisted on getting it right using the wrong fingering over and over  and ended up with tendinitis. I took a break but in the process lost my confidence. I had been with her for 3 years but all of a sudden I couldn’t hear the music. No one understood; I had played it and loved it. There I was, confidence shattered. I told myself I could no longer play. Just like that, I closed the lid and have barely opened it since.

My son talked me into it a couple of times and recently I mucked around with my 11 month old niece on it. She couldn’t judge me. Actually I’m my worst critic and, at times, my worst enemy. I thought of going back to it. My husband suggested I learn the guitar. He has more faith in me than I do and misses hearing me play. Confidence can be a real prick. Sorry! But it’s true. You lose it and tell yourself you can no longer do something and suddenly… Guess what? You can’t! So, the piano just looks at me and I feel like a failure.

When I knew my confidence had taken a dive, I needed something to make me feel worthy. Yes, we all need to feel this. and being home is great, but we need to keep ourselves active members of society. I ended up throwing huge Christmas parties at a function centre.  It was the party of the year to come to. It was so much fun and every year I had a different theme with all props matching. I bought gifts for Santa to give all the children. There was Fat Cat, Fairies, D.J.’s, and a number of other entertainers. Boy was it fun. The food was the biggest thing to organise, and of course the alcohol. My brother-in-law is a lawyer so he took responsibility for the bar!! Lol I told myself I would stop when my son graduated year 12 (he was 17 years old). I did stop then; it had become quite expensive.

During this period there was no time for depression – I was too busy! Lol

I renovated a number of homes. Not pulling walls down and doing brick work, but being the project manager. All renovations need one as everything needs to flow, just like music! Lol  I was great at keeping tradies happy… No, not in an ilicit sort of way… But that would have probably made for a better story!
Tradies hate it when other tradesman are in their working space, and rightfully so. I became a great cleaner and negotiator.  I did 7 homes in 14 years and whilst it was fun, it’s also very tiring and stressful! Yet you look at the end result and go, I want to do it again! lol

To do nothing only brings about depression as you have too much time to analyse – and over analyse – everything and anything. You make mountains out of molehills and everything becomes bigger than Ben-Hur!!

Keeping yourself occupied is one f the best things you can do for your mind.

Then last year I decided I wanted to volunteer for an organisation. I responded to an advertisement looking for someone to help at an old peoples home. Right, I can do that…. Well so I thought!  When I started I thought “how on earth am I going to remember all these peoples names and areas they belong in!”. But like everything, in time you learn and it becomes second nature. I stayed for 8 months and in that time I met some beautiful people and heard some really great old stories. But it’s not really the place for anyone with any sort of Depression. Why? On one hand it’s incredibly rewarding… and then the other it’s the most depressing place ever!!

The families that love and respect their elderly are easy to see, their loved one has photos, pretty blankets, ornaments, t.v’s, some even have their own laptops. They are happy cheery people and can’t wait for their families to turn up. The ones abandoned there have nothing but their beds and worn out old clothes. It’s heartbreaking to see and these people are generally quite sad and lost. I spent time in the dementia ward and this was not for the fainthearted. I loved being there yet there were times it was a little scary and you had to take a break. It’s so hard watching the families losing all hope as their parents slowly forget who they are. Dementia is a cruel disease and robs everyone of all dignity in the end.

At the same time I was volunteering I was in the midst of renovating my last home. We had 2 really big storms come through. It caused major flooding to the house and I needed to spend more time getting things sorted out there. Plus I had tradies crossing each other and they weren’t happy. So, I made the decision to leave the old peoples home. They asked if I would come back when the house sold, but I didn’t. I really thought about it and didn’t think it’s the place to be for me personally. I loved these people and unfortunately I’m the type of personality that if you have a problem, then it’s mine too! Crazy I know but I’ve always been like that. I always feel like I can fix the world. When they were sad I was sad… And when they were singing and clapping their hands? So was I.

The house finally got finished and I had free time, which I loved actually. Then we had things we wanted to do at our rural property and so I spent time meeting the council and organising paperwork. We had some great wins and were given approval to install some additional forms of housing. My nephew turned a complete heap of rubbish donga/transportable into a beautifully equipped little home. We still have 2 more to do, but at least all major plumbing and electrical work is nearly completed.

So now it’s time to go and play… Jobs are all done and I’m off on a holiday. Well, two holidays actually! I shall write about them before I leave!

So for me, reading, exercising and eating, keeping myself healthy is a part of the bigger picture we call life… They are what are keeping me sane. People think it’s great to not have to work and to some degree, I agree. But overall for our own self esteem we need to stay connected to the world and not lose our own self worth. Because this is what nearly happened to me. I frustrate myself because I can do more than I realise or give myself credit for. Being negative is easy… It’s staying positive that’s the challenge!

What do you do to stay sane?

Hugs to you all….Paula xxx

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Filed under Fight Depression, My experiences

Mumsy

The Empty Nest

When I first started out writing, I wasn’t as happy or content with myself as I am now.

Like all bloggers, we have few followers in the beginning and as time goes by, slowly that number starts to rise and rise. The people that comment frequently are those you generally start to build closer friendships with. Mumsy was one of these people. The love and friendship this lady showed me was second to none! My happiness is partly due to this lovely person. 🙂

When I was down she was always there to brighten my day and give me words of encouragement and wisdom – without judgement.

So, when I found out Mumsy had written a book, I was eager to download it and start reading. Unfortunately, I got busy and put it to the side (sorry, Mumsy!). 🙂

 This weekend I dedicated my time to reading her book.

Musmsy (Jenny’s) book is called The Empty Nest.

It’s a true story about Mumsy’s account of  her two daughters Lauren and Jade, from the moment they were born until now.

You go through Jenny’s life as if you were there and a part of it. You feel the  joy of her births as if you were right there, and panting along with her. You ache with sadness and emptiness at the realization that her marriage of 19 years was over, and your heart soars at the courage she showed to start life over again.  She then begins her journey as a single mother with teenage children. From the beginning to the end, you feel this woman’s love and admiration for her  daughters. There are no pretences and her beautiful and authentic style enables you to share in the love, joy, pain, anger and sorrow that she endures on this personal journey to self discovery.  The ending is lovely…  But I wont spoil it for you, buy the book and check it out for yourself!

Now, this synopsis is not Mumsy’s take, it’s my interpretation as the reader. As a mum of two adult boys and my experience as a single parent for many years, I related to so many of Mumsy’s issues. Whether you have teenage children, babies or no offspring at all, this is a wonderful story of courage and love.

Do yourself  a favour and fall in love with Mumsy as I did!

Thank you Mumsy for always being there for me, for all the nicknames you have given me and especially the love that you have shown. Well done on living your truth!!

Your Paulama, honey-pie and too many to mention! May you live a long happy life Miss Jenny!! xxxxxoooo

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Filed under My experiences, What makes me happy

OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder!)

If there is one thing that people who know me would say, it’s that I am a clean freak. *smiling*

So what happens when you are OCD and like this?

Okay. Firstly, you very rarely like sitting still and that can drive you crazy! I tell myself  not to worry about that cup in front of me that I’ve only just finished drinking from – but it’s staring at me, judging me for being lazy and doing nothing, when I should be doing something! *laughing*  Seriously. This is what my crazy brain does to me. So I have to get up and put it in the sink, dish washer or clean it and put it away where it belongs! I know that I am definitely not lazy but that still that doesn’t stop my brain from judging me every time it sees something (anything!) out of place.

I’ll give you an example of the way my brain works! Change your sets if you are squeamish folks, *This is scary and weird!*

One day my brother came over and made out he was getting a drink or something from the kitchen. He calls out, “Paula can you come in here?” Sure! The moment I came through the door, I could feel my heart racing a million miles an hour. I’m not joking I was practically hyperventilating  OMG!

“What have you done?” I stammered, at least partially incoherent.

“Nothing. Why? What’s wrong?….”

He had opened every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen and had emptied the contents, well as much as the benches would take, onto them!…. My brain went into over drive and I didn’t know what to do… okay – do I laugh or do I cry?  Then he wants me to go sit back down in the lounge room as if nothing had happened and just ignore that my  kitchen looks like a department store! Are you serious?  He goes can I make you a cup of tea or something? No. I just want to clean this all up!

My son and brother where laughing and trying to get me to see that it was nothing and it can all just go back into the cupboard! I’m still going OH. MY. GOD. NO! Why, why did you do this?

Seeing I was getting overly distressed they hugged me and said don’t worry about it. It’s nothing, so don’t let it bother you. As if I could just sit down and accept this intrusion into my well-ordered world without a worry in the world. Well thanks guys but that’s not working . YOU are not trying to deal with the blown fuse in my brain right now!…*still in shock*

What did this teach me?

Mainly that my son and my brother when they get together are dangerous to my mental health?!

*laughing*

No. Seriously,  after it was all put back and my world was tidily compartmentalised again, the way the kitchen was supposed to be according to the organisation chart in my brain *smiling*, it showed me just how ridiculous my OCD had become.

I no longer take medication for OCD as I’ve kind of worked through a lot of the behaviors. I say “behaviors” because that’s what I believe they are, at least it seems that way to me.  Usually my family will bring it to my attention and I kind of go, Oh yeah! okay Paula, stop it! Like without even realizing it I tap my index finger up and down, spelling out words for the things I see around me. Scary and weird I know! *laughing* But 9 times out of 10 i am not even consciously aware that I’m doing it!

Personally I believe Anxiety is the killer. If you don’t stay calm in certain situations then your OCD may rear it’s ugly head. Like yesterday….my daughter-in-law came running to me saying that my Llamas were out of their enclosure!

“What? How?” I bellow – not thinking, just reacting.

She stammers back to me “Someone must have left the gate open!  Cam has gone looking for them.”

Finally my brain works out what is going on, and now I panic. Holy shit, the Llamas are out! No! No! No! No! I can’t stay calm, I’m just cursing inwardly and outwardly. Stay calm! I frantically try to assure myself. How to find them? How to get them back to their pen? Let’s see… What do they love the most? Food!  Okay. I quickly grab some Alpaca Mix and jump on the back of the motorbike with my son, and head off to the back of the property. I am yelling out their names, all the while feeling sick in my stomach with worry, when finally I see Margie. And Teco. I try to talk to him – “baby boy! where are you? Teco baby…” It feels like forever but finally this beautiful Llama of mine swings his neck around a tree to see what all the racket is about, and sees me. Thankfully, we found them. It took a lot more coaching to get them to follow me back to the front of our property…..Seriously, my anxiety was through the roof as we have no boundary fence and if they had gone in that direction I would have lost them! At one point I just wanted to sit down and cry because I just couldn’t get Margie to go back into her paddock. Just when I am near the end of my tether, she finally relents, and gallops in! All I can do is let out a big lungful of air. *Phew* Thankfully, all has ended up well.

So how does someone like me who checks rechecks, double checks and works through lists of things, make this kind of mistake? How on earth did I not remember to close that lock? No more trying to understand it or I’ll drive myself crazy. I have to just forgive myself and let it go, otherwise the next step would be paranoia and I’ll end up putting a 24 hour guard around them. No, I would! *laughing my head off*… In all seriousness that unlocked gate business will never, ever happen again! It may not have seemed like it from the way I have told the story but staying calm and taking a deep breath helped control my anxiety, which has the advantage of keeping my  OCD at arms length!

How I deal with this side of my personality now is that I force myself to ignore things that are out of place, and I tell myself that my house doesn’t need to look like a show home! Why? because that’s what it is! A home!! I know that but I still need to remind myself of the fact. Also, stay calm and let the anxiety run through your body like a cold shiver.

I’m still going to wash my hands more than the norm but no longer to the point of getting dermatitis. Still going to check the front doors locked a few times before going to bed, but no longer fret that I should have checked it again. Still going to check that the power switch to the kettle and toaster are turned off before going to bed but not constantly throughout the day. Part of me is always going to be a bit Compulsive and a bit more Obsessive but I have come to the understanding that it’s just learning little tricks and pathways and procedures and thoughts that remind me how to cope!

Definitely it’s a working progress *smiling*  To those that struggle daily as a result of their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I wish you well with trying to find your own special something that gives you that ever so elusive peace from this terrible disorder.

Do you Obsess about anything?

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Happy People

The best thing we can do for ourselves when we are down is to gravitate towards Happy People. 

Now I realise that when you’re down, Happy People can actually be really annoying! You’re not feeling happy, so why have someone bubbly around?

My personal experience with this has shown me that 9 out  of 10 times these happy people let off positive/happy/healthy endorphins. You can’t help but laugh with them, or smile back at them.

What we read and watch also impacts on how we feel. Stay Happy and Healthy by only reading and watching THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY!

When my mood is low… I now make a point of going to the blog sites that make me laugh or smile.

There’s one in particular that makes me crack up!!! It is incredibly politically incorrect and that’s what makes me love it even more… If you take life seriously then you would detest it…. I don’t want to take life too seriously any more, I want to laugh and joke around like I once did:)

I refuse to let Depression define me as a person.. I’m not “oh, that’s Paula, she’s Bi-Polar and suffers with Depression and tried to commit suicide”. No.
I am “Paula, who at times speaks without thinking, and asks people private things that maybe one shouldn’t. Is overly happy at times and other days distant. But she Loves her family, friends, grandchildren, and pets and tries her hardest to not let life beat her”. I love most people and I don’t won’t to be referred to as the first Paula. Why would I?

Happiness is what we are all striving for.

I search for the perfect cupcake. I talk to my son and grandchildren. I shop (a lot) – retail therapy is amazing! But only what you can afford.:) I want to be near happy people, because I want what they’re having:) They’re just high on life, how cool is that…

Find what makes you smile and stick with it. Don’t let yourself get that low that there’s no reasoning with you. Being negative is easy, so challenge yourself to be Happy:)

Baby steps..

My Llamas make me feel so relaxed and happy when I’m around them. I’ll take some footage of them on the weekend and post it. Hopefully they will make you smile too:)

Laughter is better than any medication we can take:)

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Unsung Heroes


Last week I watched the Aussie version of X-Factor. These male twins came on and told their story (as they do) as to what’s what in their lives. They were pretty good-looking and were comparing who had the biggest muscles. I thought, here we go, a couple of guys up themselves. Probably can’t sing, just looking for 2 minutes of fame.

Well, I was wrong!

As a mother watching them you couldn’t help but admire their courage and love they showed towards their own mum.

They told how their mum had never recovered from a breakdown she  had years earlier. Both boys stayed home to care for her. Anyway they sang okay, and the judges said yes to them going forward in the competition.

What really touched me was the comment they made back stage. They were hugging their mum and said they had never seen her cry out of happiness before. They genuinely looked quite stunned, and happy at the same time.

Wow! That made me sit up and think how hard it must be for families caring for people with Depression.

They really are the unsung heroes.

Without our families we would be lost.

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Volunteering

Feeling really lost and not knowing what to do with myself, I would wander around feeling empty inside and I would try and think of things to do that would make me feel happy, the sad thing was; it was always just a temporary fix.
When I’m feeling depressed, it’s hard to get motivated to do anything, most of the time its hard just to get out of bed; you lay there thinking of all the reasons you should, but then the negativity kicks in and you just want the bed to swallow you up.
You never feel good enough, and the thought of failure, before you have even begun, overwhelms you.

I’m one of those people that when I’m grocery shopping and someone bangs into my trolley, I’m the one to say sorry! The majority of people look at me as if to say; “so you should be.”
God I wish I had that sort of confidence (or arrogance) just for 1 day, to see what it’s like to be so sure of yourself 🙂

I saw an ad on T.V for Beyond Blue; so, not knowing anything about them I google’d it.
One of their slogans was to: Act, Belong, Commit.
They talked about volunteering, which I thought was good idea until that negative side kicked in again and I thought I had nothing to offer anyone.
The idea played over and over in my head until one day, one very positive day, I decided to reply to an ad. looking for people to volunteer  in an old peoples home.

During my interview I tried to be really happy, confident and upbeat and then I was asked what experiences I had to offer them; instantly that very negative side kicked in and I said that I don’t really have many.
The lady must have seen the disappointment in my face and said: “That’s okay, I’m sure any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.”
God, I can’t believe it, they actually think I’m worth something!
That night when my husband came home, I was dying to tell him that they said yes to me. It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my lifetime.

Its amazing how just holding their hands and asking how their day has been, can brighten a person’s day.
They love talking about their past and listening to music from their era.
I love seeing the people in wheelchairs (the lay down chairs) that don’t really talk or walk anymore, tapping lightly with their hands or feet against the chairs to the music.
When I first got there, I didn’t understand why these people were taken to the concerts; because they didn’t really respond to anything.
Until I saw that tapping of the feet or hands, I never realised just how important music is to us all. It seems to me that no matter how much our bodies or minds seem to give out on us, music lives on.

So if your wondering about whether or not to volunteer, give it a go; it gets you out meeting new people and its very rewarding!

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