March 15, 2016
I am always afraid of nights. They remind me of the past.
In the darkness, I can hear the thunderous noise of the bombs again, the howls of horror, and I can even smell the blood.
Many years have gone by, but some things are impossible to forget.
It’s true that I also have great memories. The camaraderie. Breaking bread with my platoon under a clear and starry night. Receiving letters from our families, and dreaming of the future or a different present.
But these moments were brief. As soon as we listened to the general’s voice, we would all run to the trenches.
One day, I took a bullet to the heart. A fatal wound. I remember being put on a stretcher to take me to the infirmary, but it was too late. I died almost instantly, almost with no suffering.
I broke through a white long tunnel where different images of my life flashed past.
What a pity to die this young. What a shame to leave Amanda and Julian on their own.
I don’t know how much time passed walking through that tunnel. However one morning, I awoke in the living-room of my old house, but I was in a big plastic container.
To my surprise, I heard Amanda waking Julian up for breakfast.
I made an effort to shout, to tell them: Hey, it’s me! But I didn’t have a voice.
I realised that I now had a new life. Me, of all people, that never believed in these things, was having a new opportunity to be close to my family.
Now Julian plays with me everyday. I enter his fantasy world, where wars are a game, and I drink tea with the teddy bear.
During night-time, I get off the container and I slowly walk to Amanda’s room to watch her sleep.
I am a cardboard soldier and one day, when the right moment comes, I will regain my voice to tell Amanda and Julian my secret.
November 6, 2014
I haven’t had good days recently, that’s why I suddenly disappear from the blog. I crashed my car against a wall, nothing major but it got me paralysed for a few days. Fear run all over me and I couldn’t do much.
It’s funny how hopeless we can become when fear takes control of the situation. I felt myself completely useless and worthless for some days. I lost hope in all by abilities, just because of the car crash. I didn’t want to get out of the house nor do anything, I felt completely lost. My anxiety was creeping out and my depression was coming back.
Suddenly, I allowed myself a window of hope. I had to let go of my mourning process. I’ve been mourning, as a new parent, about all the things that I lost when my child was born: my independence, my freedom, my old self.
I’ve been trying to stick to the past, to an old self that doesn’t exist any more and all I needed to do it’s let go. Welcome the new me. Embrace this new person and love her.
The rain brought back the new me, and there was a rainbow. There was this light at the end of the tunnel. I could drive again, and be free. Hope always comes back, as the rain does. Let’s embrace our new selves. Don’t get trapped in the misery of fear. Together, we are stronger than fear and we can face our new life with a smile. Let’s get ready for the challenge. Today is just the beginning.
November 2, 2014
This is probably the most difficult topic ever. I’ve been postponing it as long as I could, as I don’t know even where to start.
I am a new parent and it’s a daunting experience. It’s hard to talk about it, when everything is expected to be happiness and joy, specially after having difficulties conceiving a child.
Parenting is hard. There’s a lot of loneliness surrounding it. Long days at home when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. When your kid doesn’t want to sleep, gets cranky, and you’ve tried all your tricks and nothing seems to work.
There are times when you feel just like walking away! But you can’t, because this commitment is forever. But there are other times when it’s joyful. When your baby is thriving in his development and he smiles back at you. Is there anything better than your child’s smile? It means the world to me… if they can only communicate like this once a day, the whole parenting issue becomes less dramatic and transforms in something that can be enjoyable.
Parenting has two sides, as a coin does. We need to learn to reconcile both and hope for the best. I’m sure better times will come for all of us. We just need to keep going, day by day, one step at a time. There will be a day when our kids will be able to thank us for what we’ve doing for them. And that day, will make a difference in our world. Let’s keep trying, let’s keep doing it… we can only get better at it!
October 30, 2014
Another week goes by and sometimes they’re unpredictable. Not always goes according to plan or as expected. Some days are just miserable on its own and it’s hard to remain positive when everything else has its own rhythm.
The only thing that saves me any day is talking to people, reaching out. There’s always someone wanting to listen and it’s only a phone call away. Depending on the hour, I choose to call a local friend or an overseas friend. Friends are awesome, there are always there to help. They don’t get tired of listening and they can turn a bad day into a good one, just by offering some advice or being there for us.
The road is there in front of us, and we choose how we want to live. It’s important to remember to smile, at least once or twice a day, there’s always a reason to smile! Isn’t it wonderful that we are alive and kicking?
I hope that at least this post put a smile on your face. If that’s the case, you made my day!
October 26, 2014
When I was in hospital, we had Art Therapy once a week and we could create our own projects. I transformed a nappy box into my inspirational box.
This is a box to put everything that I love, a collection of objects, postcards, letters from friends, music, gifts etc. The idea behind it is to have like a Pandora’s box for those days that I’m not feeling good. In any bad day, I can reach for my box and it will be full of happy moments that will lift my mood.
Art therapy is a powerful tool for recovery. I used to love every class. We were given a task either to explore our feelings on the day, or to distract ourselves from our minds and do something silly.
Recycling is important to me, so my aim was to recycle materials and convert them into new objects. I created a pot from a formula tin, and some pencils containers out of used coffee cups. There’s something magic in the process of making art. The brain switches to a different mood and healing happens.
Do you have any art projects as part of your recovery journey? Writing is definitely one! It will be nice if you want to share them with me. We can find different strategies to help each other.
October 23, 2014
I’d like to think that I’m currently undertaking a healing process. That I have to put all my knowledge and my resources into work and make an effort to not to be the guy to whom always rains on top of him.
Many years ago, I created a piece of artwork (Rain or sunshine) with two persons. For one of them, the sun was shining. For the other one, it was cloudy and rainy on top of his head. The same day, different attitude. I want to be the person that shines on, together with the clarity of the day, the person that becomes bright in spite of the difficulties.
I’ve discovered that writing helps to heal, and also helps to reach out to people. I’m overwhelmed at the amount of people that read my story and told me a little bit of theirs. We’re all human beings and we can relate to each other.
I need to take small steps, day by day, one at a time… facing a new challenge, having dreams ready to be dreamed, waking up every morning to a new day and being thankful of just being alive.
We take too many things for granted and we can only realised of the value of things once we’ve lost them. Health is a precious gift, we need to care for ourselves.
Thank you for being part of my journey, to listen on the other side of the road, to just be there in the present moment. That’s all we need: others. Nice to meet you all, you’re great people.
October 22, 2014
Great writing found and here to share with you all. Enjoy!
once said that she wanted the following phrase to be carved on her tombstone: “I did my best; I hope you do the same.”
Recently I’ve been wondering what my best consists of. Should my best include aiming for society’s idea of success? Should it include achieving my dream career? Should it include building a family? Or should it just include the simple idea of being happy? I’ve been wondering what people equate success and achievement to and I’ve been wondering if they strive for these ideas for themselves or because the world tells them they should.
As a senior in college now I’ve been reevaluating my goals in life and what are the most important things to me. It seems that other people constantly love to give their opinions on how other people should live their lives. They look down on people if they don’t have…
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October 21, 2014
It all started less than two months ago. I ended up in hospital, after two days as an in-patient. They said it: post-partum psychosis.
How on Earth do you carry on with your normal everyday life when you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness?
I though about starting a conversation about this. Not too sure if to throw it out there… but if I don’t, what’s the point? I thought there will be people out there experiencing something similar. Some new mums desperate for help, and I can offer my experience, as a basis to start talking about this, get the ball rolling.
I’m a new mum. My baby Julian is almost 8 months old. He’s a precious little thing, living in his own world. I couldn’t connect with him as much as I’d love to after I got sick, two months ago.
I was delusional. I thought that my partner and all of my friends were part of a gang trying to poison me and Julian. I escaped home twice, the second one on a Monday night at 1.30 am singing a mantra under the rain, carrying my baby in a pouch. I wanted to go to Town Hall police station. There were no trains. The brothel workers waiting at Artarmon station spoke no English, but I managed to make myself understood: please call 000. My baby and I need HELP. When I spoke to emergency, they asked too many questions… that I thought it was a waste of time as I needed the ambulance NOW, that same moment. I ended up hanging up and catching the night bus with the brothels workers, all going to the city.
The cops looked at me in disbelief. They said every night they hear a similar story, but I managed to convince them to call an ambulance. Take me to a hospital, and then I will be safe. I ended up in RPA Missenden unit, the Psychiatric unit, emergency department. I was there for 2 nights, until I could prove that I was not as insane as everyone else.
But no sooner was I out, I was back in hospital again, of my own accord this time. The Royal North Shore, for another two nights, until I was transferred to the best hospital of its kind in NSW: St John of God, mother & baby unit. I was there for a month, recently discharged a week ago.
This was one of the most terrifying experiences of my whole life. And I think it felt like this, because I’m a new mother and I’m responsible for the care of my baby.
St. John of God does a terrific job with new mothers with similar illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and psychotic episodes. They have group therapy twice a day, a holistic approach of carers with nurses, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, medication, meals, art therapy, walks, bonding time with the babies. Everything is in the right place for the affected mothers to recover quickly, and so I did.
So that’s why I’m here telling you my story. Because I made it to the other side. It’s still challenging, every day, I’m learning how to live again with who I am.
And on the other side, everything seems exciting, like a new road, so many things to learn ahead, a different horizon, too many strategies to put into place.
And tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow and a new beginning.