Hilarity or Insanity?

Question:

What do the following songs have in common?

  • Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
  • Can’t Fight the Moonlight – Leanne Rimes
  • Crazy – Seal
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

Answer:

They were all playing in my psychologist’s waiting room while we waited for appointments.

Now at first glance, this doesn’t seem to be anything noteworthy, however, let’s look at the lyrics whilst considering the context and the apparent aims of therapeutic psychology…

But we’re never gonna survive unless

We get a little crazy

No we’re never gonna survive unless

We are a little

Cray cray crazy

Crazy are the people walking through my head

One of them got a gun to shoot the other one

And yet together they were friends at school.

Under a lovers’ sky 

You can try to resist 

Try to hide from my kiss 

But you know 

But you know that you can’t fight the moonlight 

Deep in the dark 

You’ll surrender your heart 

But you know 

But you know that you can’t fight the moonlight 

No you can’t fight it 

No matter what you do 

The night is gonna get to you 

Guess I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all

It’s a quarter after one, I’m all alone and I need you now

And I said I wouldn’t call but I’m a little drunk and I need you now

And I don’t know how I can do without, I just need you now

I just need you now

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating

Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me

Til then I walk alone.

I’m walking down the line

That divides me somewhere in my mind

On the border line

Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines

Of what’s f***ed up and everything’s alright

Check my vital signs

To know I’m still alive and I walk alone.

*************************************************************************************************

I’ve got to tell you that I was definitely in an improved mood after laughing at these songs being played in fairly close succession while I waited! 😂 I couldn’t help but wonder whether anyone was vetting the music selection.

I’ve chosen one of my favourite “Antidepressant Music” songs to share with you here. It’s called “Just Breathe” by Ze Frank. He created it in response to a Facebook follower who asked him to right a song for days when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

Ze Frank’s TED Talk is thought provoking and hilarious. You can watch it here.
All the songs mentioned in this post are on a playlist I’ve created here.

In humour,

Eski🐛

Advertisements

An amazing surprise!

My Grandpa and his three brothers all served in World War II in various capacities with the Australian Defence Force. My Grandpa was a navigator in a bomber for some time. My Great Uncle Bob was captured early in the war by Japanese soldiers, transported to Burma and forced to work on the Thai-Burma railway. (For another excellent story of that time, watch Colin Firth in ‘Railway Man’)

Not long after Bob was captured, his family received an official letter telling them he had been captured. For the next 3 1/2 years, they heard nothing and did not know if he was alive or dead.

My Great Aunty Barb and Great Grandma were at the Rialto in Box Hill in 1945, where they both saw this newsreel video. (No sound)

My Uncle Bob appears behind Lord Mountbatten at 2mins 20secs!

What an amazing shock that must have been for Aunty and Grandma. I wonder whether they stayed to watch any more when they saw him laughing and looking so happy? I don’t think I could have.

I’m so thankful that after hearing this story recently from Aunty Barb, my first-cousin-once-removed, Ray, went searching for the clip and found it from British Pathè. He now has a copy on DVD.

I’m also thankful to never have been in any similar situation. God willing we won’t be again.

🐛

To Go – Taking the Necessities

These past 3 days I’ve played Admin Assistant to my trainer Aunt on an away trip. We’ve enjoyed ourselves immensely, and while I’ve done a little running around, I’ve thought of sharing my lists and systems that form my external memory drive and help me function at work and home.

I’m sure many others do this and call it something else. I like the term ‘external memory’ because, like most adults, I’ve got a lot happening at any given moment and making some of the extraneous flotsam and jetsam external is really helpful.

This week, a ‘To Go’ box, would be helpful. If we were to travel like this often, I’d make it a permanent thing so we knew what we needed was ready to go. This week’s ‘To Go’ box would include:

  • Whiteboard markers (training rooms don’t always provide them, weirdly).
  • Name labels
  • Pens
  • Lollies
  • Your own name tag – big letters!
  • A runner’s bag – you’ll find that your assistant is running around and needs to carry keys, phone, cards, notes etc. So making sure they have their hands free is important.

At home, we have bags and places to store things so that there’s no chasing around madly at 8.25am on a school morning. (That’s the plan, anyway!)

  • Theo’s bag and shoes go in the cupboard directly inside the front door.
  • My shoes and bag go in the same cupboard so we can grab everything as we dash out the door. (And stuff it in as we come in.)
  • I have baskets in most cupboards – pantry, bathroom etc. that hold groups of items so I only need to grab one basket to do a task, rather than a number of items. Eg. Sponge, scrubber, spray and squeegee to clean bathroom; flour, baking soda etc etc for baking; herbs and spices; measuring cups, spoons, sifter, spatula all in the mixing bowl in the cupboard. The list goes on. It just makes it easier to do that task.
  • I have travelled quite a bit in the past few years, so I have prepacked a toiletries bag with everything I’ll need. Because I’m a cheapskate, I usually only have carry-on luggage, so I have a snap lock bag next to this in the cupboard that contains scissors and tweezers etc that can’t always be taken. This way you don’t have to throw them out at security checks at the airport. 😕

Digital technology is also an excellent way of sharing the load and externalising the lists and tasks we deal with. In our family, everyone except the 4 year old, much to his dismay, has an iPad or phone, has a shared Google calendar. All family outings, appointments, work hours, individual coffee dates, school activities and daycare hours are entered there and colour-coded. As things are uploaded and synced to each person’s device, everybody knows what everyone else is up to. This saves one person (often mum) having to update a paper calendar or diary and being the go-to person for every question. For me, it’s freeing being able to say, “What does the calendar say?” in answer to all “Can I…?” questions. The kids can take responsibility for scheduling for the family.

My husband and I share a Google Keep/Note account which we each have accessible on our phones. We share shopping lists, budget items and a “when we can afford this” list. This helps us to know what money is available at any one time and to know what the household needs. This, for me, means I don’t waste time and headspace remembering and perhaps reciting or forgetting milk, bread, soap and ear cleaners. Now, ostensibly, I can use my free brain power for all manner of other things!

I also keep a variety of lists on Google Keep to free up yet more space in my head. I have a list of websites that I’d like to explore – when I’m waiting for an appointment, I can flick to one of those. I have a list of movies or TV shows I’d like to get to. A wishlist of purchases and the links to buy them (whenever I have the money 😊); appointments to make; projects to continue; books to read; packing lists for camps etc; long term commitments etc. I can free my headspace to do the day to day stuff.
At school, (I am a secondary school teacher) I have purchased a different coloured basket, a little bigger than A4 sheet and 10-15cm deep, for each subject and set them on my desk. I have a matching coloured folder for those paper based subjects that need them that stand up alongside the baskets. In each basket I have the term outline for the subject, the text books, assessment sheets – basically anything that I’ve pre-prepared for the term. As I photocopy or grab another book or have a USB with new documents during the week, I can throw it in the basket and know it will be there at the lesson time.

I’m currently working on a way to remember all the ‘need this for everything’ items that I take out and use when back at my desk. I always need my keys, pencil case, ipad and sometimes the laptop. If you have any suggestions on how to accomplish this, or other ways you organise yourself, please comment below.

I’d love to hear more ways to free up brainspace! 
😊 Eski!

I’m a person who…

Warning! Truth ahead!

I’m a person who:

*  has a very full life
*  loves doing lots with friends
*  is one of the worst housekeepers I know
*  is a master of the scurryfunge
* has lots of ‘doing’ energy outside of home, but not often ANY at home
*  has discovered she loves watching ‘gross’ medical and dermatological videos on YouTube
*  is learning much more about herself as she heads towards middle age
*  is generally accepting most of it
*  should not be allowed near stationery shops or ebay with $
*  used to buy to feel better
*  is a better talker than listener, but I’m learning
*  loves romance novels
*  doesn’t make the bed
*  is a mass of contradictions
*  knows productinating is a skill
*  has decided to accept depression, but not be a victim to it
*  excels at word games
*  has one of the best relationships with her mum that she knows
*  hasn’t properly cooked a meal at home for years
*  wants my kids to be happy in what they’re doing
*  is scared of missions trips, but going anyway
*  loves recognition for achievements
*  loves all children – mine or not
*  cries
*  loves organising 1 off projects or systems
*  suffers no embarrassment
*  is an advice giver
*  wears long pants because she IS too lazy to shave her legs
*  often realises later that I’m friends with someone who perhaps didn’t seem to like me to begin with. I find it a challenge I think
*  says what I mean
*  will take criticism, but doesn’t always like it
*  is generous
*  dislikes shopping of any kind, immensely
*  gets hurt if people think I’ve done the wrong thing and I haven’t
*  takes responsibility
*  asks lots of questions
*  will avoid blood tests if possible
*  would love to foster care but is afraid of losing or failing those children
*  doesn’t like pork
*  has phases and fads of things (by choice) and people (not by choice)
*  would love you to comment about yourself, or me.

☺🐛

Veritas, Eski

Here’s Your Next Song, 5 Seconds of Summer!

My daughter has been playing me some of her favourite bands’ music recently and I’ve had “Don’t Stop” by 5 Seconds of Summer stuck in my head for a few weeks – just ask some of my classes! I’m not the only one! My 3 year old loves choosing the music that we play in the car and the other day had me confused when he asked,

“Can you play Dawn Star, please?”

“Dawn Star? Can you tell me what else it says, so I know which one?”

“Yes. Dawn Star doin’ whatcha doin! Cause I like it!”

Then I figured it out…”Every time you walk in the room, you’ve got all eyes on you…”

***********************************************************************************

So, on a YouTube wander, I found myself watching  Belgian interviewer, Jolien Roets, interviewing the band. Some of it’s funny, if a bit risqué; some entertaining. Towards the end, the interviewer tells the guys about the Belgian Red Nose Day, part of which is raising money and awareness for mental illness in young people. Jolien then asks if 5SOS have ever experienced that sort of thing.  A couple of the guys answer quickly enough that they have, but no details are given as to what. Ashton Irwin follows up with more, saying that he doesn’t think that they (5SOS) ought to talk about their own experiences, but that they do know that it’s (depression etc) a prevalent thing and that as public figures,  it is their role to talk about and sing about it. AGREED, thanks guys!

Throughout this year, there have been articles on band member Michael Clifford’s mental health; his visit to a therapist and the fans support of him during this time, proving that the group’s followers agree that sharing is caring. I want to add my support to that already given, Michael. I know first hand what it’s like to ride the ups and downs of the rollercoaster (Read about my personal experience here) and of supporting someone who is living it (My son’s story from my perspective and in his own words). I can only imagine what living it out in the public eye must be like. Good for you for sharing about it and for all who support you. Keep it up!

Anyway, back to the title of this blog. With all of the above in mind, and ESPECIALLY since hearing the new album, “Sounds Good, Feels Good,” I’ve been inspired to write you lyrics for a new song that you might like to include in an upcoming album?? That bit is up to you, but here we go. 

I love the sound of the new album and I know that you’ll do an amazing job of transforming these lyrics into a song with energy, anger, sadness and love – all the things I’ve felt over the past 25 years and tried to put into these words. I’ve written two versions of the song; one from the perspective of the person suffering (hate that word) the mental illness and one from their perspective of someone who loves them and is trying to help. I couldn’t decide which one I most wanted to share. Which, and if, you decide to do anything with is up to you. If you do, credit me?

Maybe people will stumble across my blog and these will be a comfort to them, and I’ll be ok with that, that’s what they’re for. 

***********************************************************************************

Private War #1

I’m living in a world that you’d find hard to enter

Blocked by a door that’s locked, I don’t want you here

I need you more than I can say

I don’t understand when I push you away


I tell you it’s going to be ok even when I don’t think it is

Say you love me when I don’t believe it

It’s not even as easy as crying all the time; wish that’s all it was

How can I explain there’s nothing wrong – there’s no reason and no cause


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me


I want you to stay with me

Understand I need to be alone.

I reach out to the reaching hand, but find I can’t grab hold

I can’t be left alone.


On days where my blanket is all I can hold

Where I want to snuggle, but my energy’s low

Just laying here staring at the ceiling

Wishing these feelings would fade away


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me


Invite me even though I’ll say no. 

Take me places even though I’ll want to run straight home

Wanting to step out and take it; open up and welcome the world

While you’re lifting me out of the bed; I’m pushing you out the door


Try to understand when I don’t answer your calls;

When the best conversations we have are by text.

Sleepless and restless; tired but wired.

Allowing me to cuddle without wanting sex


God knows if you’re ready, to take the vast extremes

The public face, the hyper, the dreamer, even the screams


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me


I don’t want to get out of bed today – maybe I can’t.


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me


Private War #2

You’re living in a world that I find hard to enter

Blocked by a door that’s locked, no one knows who by

I want to tell you it’s going to be ok even when I don’t think it is.

I want to hold you close and say I love you through both of our tears.


I want to tell you I love you even though you won’t believe me.

I want to help, and try to understand when you need to be alone (can’t be left alone)

I reach out to the reaching hand, but find I can’t grab hold


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me


I’ll invite you even though I know you’ll say no. 

I’ll take you to places though we’ll have to go home.

Wanting you to step out and take it; open up and welcome the world

Lifting you out of the bed; pushing you out the door


On days where your blanket is closer than me. 

Where you just want to snuggle, but with your pillow, not me.

I’ll try to understand when you don’t answer my calls; when the best conversations we have are by text.

Allowing me to cuddle you without thinking I want sex


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me


God knows if I’m ready, but I’ll take the vast extremes

The public face, the dreamer, the loner, even the screams

When that demon grips your mind, I’ll be there

Though I know that I’m flying blind, I’ll be there


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me


You wrap yourself in your hard shell

To protect yourself in your private hell

And it cuts me that I cannot be the answer

But I don’t want to put that guilt on you

Cause I’m afraid you might just snap under the pressure

I don’t know what will pull you through,

But I’d lay down my life for you,

I can’t tell you that cause life is so unstable

Call me when you’re able


It’s like fighting a private war

Against a very public enemy

It’s like fighting a private war

With the one who means the most to me

*******************************************************************************

Anyone reading this – these are for you. The comforter and the uncomfortable; the alone, lonely or loner. You aren’t alone. There are people who feel the same and people who love you. People who want to stop, or help, the “Private War.” I promise.

Anxiety and depression – My son’s story

Some of you know and have supported Logan and I recently so I’m sharing this with you in the hopes that someone else will be helped.

Depression doesn’t always make sense and many people don’t understand it. I’m sharing because of that too. Thank you for your support whether you’ve understood or not. I’m happy to chat anytime.

Please share with anyone you think will benefit from knowing.

I’ve copied and pasted an email I wrote to some people who knew more of this earlier, in the middle of 2014, so it may not all be relevant to you, but the info and sentiments are.

***********************************************************************************

Because we’ve spoken about this before and you are aware of what’s been happening for Logan, I want to keep you updated on Logan’s situation. I’d appreciate it if you could continue to keep your eye on him, like you’ve already been doing, and let us know if you see any changes.

I took Logan to a psychiatrist on Wednesday and she agreed with my ‘mum diagnosis’ of chemical depression within 10 minutes of us all talking. After a thorough discussion, she’s prescribed him a 12 month course of daily Zoloft, which she will monitor closely with us. She believes that we will see, and Logan will experience, positive change within 3 weeks. All going as expected, he should be functioning normally within three months and in six be back to where he ‘should’ be. This is wonderful, prayed for news, which is exactly the outcome I had hoped for from yesterday’s appointment. Thank you for praying with me.

As with any medication, there MAY be some side effects and although these are mostly minor, we want to be onto them. Especially these next two to three weeks, Logan might be more tired (not sure that’s possible); have slight headaches; have more ‘body irritability’ like jumpy legs, unable to sit still and tightness or clenching of jaw or grinding teeth. None of these presents a problem, it’s just a settling in period. As I said, she’ll be monitoring him every few weeks in person to make sure that’s all. After the initial few weeks, most people have only positive change and because we often don’t see small changes from so close, you may see these more than Logan does at first. I’ll be noticing every tiny thing, I’m sure, which will be a nice change to noticing the decline, but I’d love your feedback too. Logan knows that you are aware of the continuing story and is, even now, willing to talk to you about it all. He has briefly mentioned his anxiety to his friends, but has trouble knowing what to say. As you can understand, some people have negative perceptions in relation to psych-anything, so he’s nervous about judgmental reactions.

This next is probably the most important part of my explanation today and what I hope will help others. It’s only due to my first hand knowledge of chemical depression that I’ve seen beyond what often presents as grumpy, ’emo’ teenager,Neanderthal behaviour and really known he wasn’t ok. It took a close friend’s amazing transformation recently from severe, self harming depression to normal, functional, and finally happy person, for me to seek a psychiatric referral. The psychiatrist had worked with my friend’s medication over months to achieve this and it’s been a miracle. It’s the best discovery I’ve made. I’ve been diagnosed, and improperly treated for, various types of depression for the past twenty years. I’ve been to multiple GPs and referred to counsellors and psychologists and have attended each session feeling like a fraud and a ‘mental case.’ I rarely had anything to discuss and my catch cry has been, “There’s nothing wrong with me; why is there so much wrong with me?” Why did I still feel so hopeless, helpless and lacking in any energy or motivation?

I have tried a number of anti-depressants with varying degrees of un-success, prescribed by GPs who have tried. When one suggested post natal depression when Toby was 4 years old, I wondered if I really was in the ‘too hard’ basket. My latest GP, just prior to finding out about Theo, was the first and only person to use the words, ‘chemical depression’ and she told me it wasn’t psychological, but my body’s inability to manufacture Seratonin, among other things. She said I’d likely have to be on anti-depressant medication for life and likened it to some diabetics having to inject insulin. I felt such relief at that, finally having an answer that wasn’t a mental issue. She’s been amazing, guiding and supporting me through what’s been a rough few years with pregnancy hormones and true postnatal symptoms. I’ve taken my medication as prescribed and have been ok; but only ok. Theo’s nearly two and I’m still only ok. I am so used to being flat that I’ve only really recently realise that I’m probably operating at 75% of what’s normal for me. My head’s above water, but it’s easy to go under. With the change I saw in my friend, I’ve self-referred to this same psychiatrist Logan saw. I’ll see her next week but through the tiny bit of my information I gave her today as background for Logan, she’s already determined my medication is wrong for what I have and that I have been improperly diagnosed and treated for 20 years. She has said that most people can be treated for chemical depression like this in a relatively short, finite period, easily with the right prescription; which is a psychiatrist’s specialist area. I’ve never felt such relief and frustration and anger at the same time!

Although I knew psychiatrists could prescribe medication, I had the mistaken, but disturbingly common, view that psychiatrists were the top of the mental health hierarchy: the more crazy you were, the further up you went. The thing that’s perpetuated this myth and given me what I feel are wasted decades is that no one, not GPs, counsellors or psychologist – NO ONE has ever suggested I seek a psychiatrist’s help – and they SHOULD HAVE. If they had, I’d have done so. If they’d suggested amputation, I would have gone there too in an attempt to feel ‘normal.’ I tell you this because I know I’m not the only one in my situation and although I’m finally going to get this all sorted starting next week, I’m angry at such wasted decades. The only thing I can see that makes it ok is that God has a plan for this knowledge and experience. Because of it, I’ve been able to get help for Logan early and not shrugged it off as grumpy teen. Because of this, I may (and hope to) direct others to seek the right help. And you’re some of the first I’ve told. Maybe you can pass this on to help someone else.

I so appreciate that I’ve been able to honestly share this and my experiences with you all individually over the past few years. It seems trite, but isn’t, to say thank you so much for your support and observation and care of both me and Logan. It was so good to know others saw what I did in him and cared enough to tell me. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. Please ask about and share my journey with anyone who needs it and WATCH THIS SPACE! for new and improved Ross’. Bit scary, hey?

Veritas, Eski

A unique spiritual battle…

“And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”

Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG

Isn’t God fantastic?! He has created each of us a unique individual. Each with her own set of gifts, talents and needs. And He tells us all, in all our uniqueness, that we are all made in His image. Each component that makes me, me or you, you, is part of our perfect, endless, awesome, creator God.

Each ability – the decorative flair, the listening ear, the passion for the wounded, the ability to speak, share, peach, tach or comfort, the administrator – is a gift given by a Master who knows each worker’s personality so well. If you’ve got it, you can be sure that God means for you to use it.

Similarly, if you’ve a fault, a flaw, a hurt or even a part of your personality that can rub people the wrong way, God has put someone in your life who can help you heal, learn grow or change. And you probably won’t like it! Sharpening a weapon polishing a gem to a smooth finish is a rough process at times. But this is a battle and we take the blows with the victories; all the time strengthened by the knowledge that God has fitted us for battle; kitted us out with the best weapons and armour if only we’ll put them on. And He’s given us allies to stand with; to pray with and for and to fight alongside until we see the end of the skirmish in the war God has already won. The defeat of the enemy who was overcome so long ago by a single act, on a simple wooden cross, by a loving Lord with profound and far reaching consequences.

So, women of God’s army – “Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”

This is truth,
Eski Caterpillar🐛