Thursday, October 28, 2010

What a lovely afternoon

  It's late- most of my posts are written late just check the times they are posted. I am sitting here alone pondering, of all things, why some people are more accident- prone then others. Just got up a while ago only to knock over a 500ml cup full of water, on my way to get a mop I tripped over a chair in the dark, stubbing my toe- ouch!. Lastly on my way back, the door handle caught on my sleeve and snagged my jersey. This all happened in the space of two minutes. It kind of reminded me of one of those "Carrying on" shows. And maybe I shouldn't mention that one of my rabbits peed on my bed- I only discovered this AFTER I sat down.

On the other hand I had a great afternoon. Most of it was spent making my little cousins belly- laugh by acting like a dork. Sometimes I can't believe that they actually think the lame tricks I pull are funny- seriously I've had them rolling around the floor on occasions- but I love making them laugh. Now matter how depressed I am I can feel my spirits lift every time I hear their squeals

We then went to pick flowers in the park and ate gooey fudge. Watching the youngest one run around chasing a white butterfly was one of the best moments.

Spending time with them was one of the best things I could have done today. Right afterwards I had my 6th CBT session with Dr. Shaw. Today was the day that I had to painfully recount my breakdown in America. I was kind of dreading this session because it is so emotionally exhausting and talking about that time still hurts a great deal. But I walked in there after having spent the day laughing with my girls and I felt ready to take on the elephant in the room. It was still hard, but drawing from the strength of being loved unconditionally by two little people made it possible for me to cope. What an amazing effect people can have on each other- even when someone is too young even to realise it


 Gooey fudge!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

They're here! Welcome to rabbitland

I was finally able to bring my babies home today:

I've named this one Cornflower- I used to read Brian Jacques when I was younger and one of the characters was a mouse named Cornflower and I always liked it.

I haven't given this one a name yet I'm going to get to know her personality first- were going to get another one and discovered it was a boy. Since we wanted to avoid the boy/ girl pairing ( for obivious reasons) we decided to go with this one because apparently she is a girl- let's hope she stays that way.

I had a picture of them in a pot but I thought that would be to mean to post. My Dad scared the shit out of the lady that we got them from, asking her if she thought they would braai (barbaque) well. They were so small at the time her husband suggested we make put them on skewers to make kebabs. He and my Dad seem to get along well. Creepy.

Anyway I left my little fluffy bundles cleaning and cuddling each other in their box. Now I have the joyous task of potty- training them. Luckily they are very clean animals and are easier to train then dogs.

I have been reading some articles on Pet therapy (or Animal therapy) I would like to do a post on it once I have more information. Pet therapy is considered to be one of the main alternative therapies for depression. Animals are regconised as a postive force in the healing process. Physical contact helps distract a person from their daily troubles. Caring for a pet can bring about a sense of accomplishment and give a person new meaning to his/ her life. And of course the great love between most pets and their owners is a lifesaver.

Dogs are most commonly used in Pet therapy, but I made the decision that since I plan to travel back overseas after I graduate it wouldn't be fair on the dog to let it get to attached and it will be heartbreaking for me. Cats and rabbits are more independent. We are still planning on getting a kitten once we find one.

I can definately say that after spending some time cuddling my rabbits I did feel a lot happier, like I gained two new friends :).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's a bird! It's a plane..No! It's...WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!!!

The joys of home remedies!

I am blogging from my blackberry so this should be especially
interesting (and finger aching)

For now I am against putting up any pics of myself on this blog, but
this was just so funny/ scary I couldn't resist. For this past week my
BIH has gotten worse and worse and I've spent the last two days mostly
in bed with intense pain. I really don't want to rely on painkillers,
so I am always on the look out for alternative ways to manage pain.
Some things work, some don't. What has always helped me is literally
cooling my head down, so what you see there are pillows that have been
in the freezer, an ice pack on my head and teabags on my eyes. Drained
ceylon teabags are supposed to be great for tired, puffy eyes and eye
pain. I find it has a really soothing effect and sometimes laying down
with teabags on my eyes and doing my breathing exercises can be SO
relaxing. Even if it makes me look like 2D's sister. I doubt anyone
will recognize me on the street from this. Unless you have laser

Anyway there is something else that I would like to mention that has
been on my mind. It's about the Internet more specifically people' s interaction
ON the Internet. The Internet to me is the most amazing tool that was
ever created: an endless abundance of information available at just
one click. Friends and family on the other side of the world can find
each other and keep track of each other. In 2008 the US processed 23 zettabytes
worth of information- that' equal to 1 trillion trillion bytes. If you
had to visit every a webpage every minute on the web you would never be
finished. But as we have unlocked this key of discovery, we have
opened a Pandora's box. Child pornography exploded after the Internet,
the Internet became the perfect haunt for pedophiles. People now have
no privacy.

But I have chosen this medium to reveal a painful struggle that most
people who know me have no idea about. Anyone reading this blog
doesn't know me but knows some of the deepest corners of my heart. How
does that figure?. What I will tell you is that it took nearly a year
of deliberating before deciding to take a leap of faith, so it wasn't
a decision that was taken lightly. And there are things that I will
never discuss on here.

The worst part of depression for me is the vast and never- ending
sadness and loneliness. This makes me vulnerable and turning to the
Internet, specifically this blog could be dangerous.

Here's why: (does anyone identify with this?)

When I was about 9 two cousins that I didn't know very well were
visiting. We were all out in the yard playing. The younger one and I
were playing Frisbee, instead of throwing the Frisbee to him, I threw
the Frisbee at him and was delighted when the thing hit him again and again. I was
intimidated by him because he was new and generally people outside my
immediate family preferred my sister because she was a more stable
child. So before he could reject me I was going to drive him away.
This Frisbee abuse carried on for a while before he finally stopped,
walked up to me and said. "If you play nicely, I'll be your friend".
Well those were the magic words, for the rest of the time he was there
I played very sweetly with him and followed him around like a puppy.
If he had turned around and told me to get lost my heart would have
shattered into a million pieces.

It's nearly two decades later. I am far more mature and better at
handling myself. But because of past issues I have yet to deal with
and loneliness being my constant companion. I am still the same: if
someone shows me friendship I will act nonchalant, but my heart will be
singing. And it is the same for me on the Internet and on this blog.
This is why it could be dangerous: the Internet is not a real world. On
the Internet we can be anything we want and while I have been nothing
but honest on this blog there are people that aren't.

My problem is that I have to constantly make sure I don't get too
attached to people to people I interact with online. We are all here
revealing our deepest darkest secrets, so it's hard. When I receive a comment (and I
love comments) I have to make sure that my attitude is "A comment,
that's great" instead of " OH MY GOD! I got a comment! a comment! My
new best friend!!!" And if that person doesn't comment on my next post
"Why didn't they comment?! Don't they like me anymore?"

Your interpersonal day to day relationships need and should take
priority over any online relationships ( most likely with people
you don't know) . Support for mental illness
online can be beneficial if used correctly but it could go the other
way and become part of the problem. Guard your heart and mind there
are vast amounts of people on here who can harm you that way. I may
sound preachy but these are the rules that I am exercising for myself
and maybe others might want to consider.There are people I have met
through blogging that I would love to get to know personally but in
most cases that won't be possible. And that's okay. We are all here
for just a season of our lives.

Having finished with my monologue I would like to say that it has been
nothing but an honor getting to know some people through
reading their blogs. It's been great being able to interact and
identify with people in the same boat. And the support that I have
received on this blog has eased the burden of a very long, tiring

Tomorrow I will do a post on the fantastic CBT session I had today.
She taught me some fantastic new exercises called TRE (Trauma release
exercises) . It was a bad day today and these exercises made the world
difference. I think it's really going to help with both my depression
and anxiety. Yippeeeee!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Sadness, loneliness and fear are my companions tonight. It's 2am and I feel so battered and bruised that I just can't give myself up to the mercy of wild dreams that haunt my sleep.

So yes today has been one of those days, where even the tiniest most insignificant things can cause a deep strangling heartache.

Two major things have been on my mind this past week: family and God.

Last Friday I had my 3rd CBT session with Dr. Shaw, I had difficulty making sense of all my worries and feelings so she decided that making a chart would give us more clarity and a goal to work towards. She gave me the chart to take home, this is what it looks like:

Is it just me, or does that look like a HUGE MESS!!. Sure the thing gave me clarity but it also gave me an awful realisation of how much deep crap I'm in. Seriously, when she took it down and gave it to me it looked even more terrifying close up!.

You may not be able to see but at the top of the pile is family- more specifically family worries. Family problems and family worries dominate my every waking moment. Dr. Shaw pointed out that in order to even THINK about getting better I needed to start putting myself first. I just know this would not sit well with anyone in my family.To my mother this would be the greatest act of selfishness. We are like the freaking mafia- family is EVERYTHING, you are meant to sacrifice stuff for the family.

Today I had my counselling session with the church counsellors. My going to see church counsellors is kind of ironic- because 1) I don't really believe in God right now and 2) If my mother, who arranged all this, knew what was coming out in these counselling sessions, she'd want me to stop going.

These counsellors have relentlessly and faithfully prayed that I would be able to have faith in God, but as my counsellor said today it's like praying to a brick wall, so we chatted instead. What they said really resonated with me though.

The one counsellor said that I have never known freedom. And I think he's right. This might be tough for a person to understand, but sometimes the most turbulent and heartbreaking battles in history where fought in a person's own mind and heart. For so long my mind has been encaged by the prison of mental illness and my heart has been scared and chained by my past- the abuse, fear and hurt that I endured that I have never experienced life or seen the world for what it is.

Also during this talk the subject yet again turned to my family and the battlefield that is our lives. Instead of branching out and making a separate life for ourselves we all stuck together, making our problems each others problems and just creating, well, one BIG problem. We don't move forward, we occasionally take two steps backwards but 20 years ago, we were still more or less in the same situation we are now- except the kids are older. Is that any way to live?

Instead of thinking that I needed my family to support me and help me through this, I came away from today's session realising I was weakest link of an old rusted chain. Staying with them is doing neither of us good. And the only solution to my problem is to leave my family, wash my hands of their problems and their business, move away and start building a separate life.

But by doing that I will totally and completely alone. Yeah sure I have friends- all my really good ones live overseas though and going to dump myself on someone else would be besides the point. It's been me against the world before- I lived in London for two years but seriously is that going to be my life?. I cannot see myself getting married in the future and I can't have children. So it looks like I'll be a one man show.

I can't discuss family details in this blog, but believe me when I tell you that things are HORRENDOUSLY messed up and I CANNOT rely on them for ANYTHING any longer.

And then there is God. I have walked through life hand in hand with a mystery, not wanting to let go but unable to comprehend him. I grew up in a non- denominational church and I have been a born again christian since I was 12. I have known and seen enough evidence that He exists but the breakdown and the cursed analytical part of my brain vanquished any faith that I had. I wish I could just go one way or the other- be an atheist or a daughter of God. But each of them has one of my wrists and there is a tug of war going on. I will say that I have been a part time unbeliever for three years and my life is the worst it's ever been.

This brings me a little bit of comfort tonight, maybe because I have been reading this since my childhood- I will end off with this. If it resonates with you or makes your faith stronger I really envy you

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Optimistic Rebels Site - Bioscope & Vote

Optimistic Rebels Site - Bioscope & Vote

Doing some promo stuff here for one of my dear friends. What an amazing girl this is!. She's a few years younger than me but she's my girl and I love her very, very much. I've watched her grow from a tiny little baby into a beautiful passionate young woman. God has blessed her with a firey spirit, a curious and creative mind and a boundlessly loving heart.

This is a competition she has entered where participants have to demonstrate their life in just two minutes. R40 000 is up for grabs for the best one. Even though I have stood on the sidelines and (sometimes NERVOUSLY) watched Ashleigh perform her latest craze, I was still blown away when I saw this. Watch this and you will be too.

Oh and if you have time VOTE!

Might be posting again later


Sunday, October 17, 2010


This guy decides to adopt us

A pure breed ridgeback. Must have cost our neighbours a fortune. He's HUGE but very obedient and very friendly and HE WON'T GO AWAY!!. And our neighbours don't seem to care. He actually started his life in the house we are living in now so that probably has something to do with it.

I don't know what I'm going to do...I hope he likes rabbits- as in something to LOOK at not EAT.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


A friend told me that she had difficulty opening up the above post about my hospital. I had been working on "Welcome to my looney bin" for and it somehow got posted accidentally before I was finished and took me a while to realise. So I deleted it until I had finished. However the last post is genuine- I have no idea why the deleted version keeps showing up on people's dashboards. Take a look! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome to my looney bin...

This is were I go to receive psychiatric care. Tygerberg Hospital in Belville (just outside of Cape Town), South Africa. I also see neurology for my BIH, have all my lumbar punctures (or spinal taps) done in this hospital and all my government funded meds come from there. What do you think?...does it have a nice aesthetic feel to it??.

Before I start, I want to say very clearly that I am GRATEFUL for the medical care I receive. I am not on medical aid and therefore rely on the state. It isn't fancy or comfortable and sometimes it's very basic. But I would not be breathing right now if it wasn't for this place. And considering how medical care (or lack of) is on the rest of the African continent and even in different provinces of South Africa, I have been lucky.

Believe it or not some of South Africa's state hospitals are famous. Just down the road from Tygerberg is Groote Schuur hospital where Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant operation in 1967. Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg is the world's largest hospital. Tygerberg was commissioned in 1972 as a teaching hospital for Stellenbosch University. When it was first built it was a world- renowned "state of the art" facility. Unfortunately what was "state of the art" back then is considered to be ancient now and Tygerbery- because of lack of funding- has failed to keep up with the times.

I hope the pictures do justice on how incredibly MASSIVE this place is. Connected behind the building shown in the photo above is another building, it's twin and just as massive. This place has it's own post office, bank and water supply. I will never forget how overwhelmed and terrified I was the first time I came here.

Three of the most well known characteristics of Tygerberg is 1) You WILL get lost, no matter how many times you go there 2) The number of DOORS you will find- there are hundreds of them in each passage and I have no idea what's behind them as they are always locked. And 3) The loooooooong passages.

This is passage I have to walk down get to the outpatient's. I'm estimating it is about 1.5km (almost a mile) long. By the time I get to the end of it I feel slightly more depressed than when I started it. I always wonder about the inconsiderate fool that designed a hospital with passages this long. We have seen people people on BICYCLES riding down here.

On my way to outpatients I pass the lovely, homely looking psychiatric ward. They were in the process of moving when I took this photo, normally the doors are enclosed in big black buzzer gates where you have to identify yourself through an intercom. The police man both the inpatient and outpatient ward. I have gotten to know most of them, they are wonderful gentlemen and very respectful but if you get even slightly fidgety they will start gravitating in your direction.

The both the outpatient and inpatient ward are located on the lower ground. Yep they shoved us underground out of the way and where no one can see us. And you go down that passage and there is a distinct "hush". I feel like I am entering a secret society.

SA State care works on a first come, first serve basis. Basically I make an appointment for a specific date, but your appointment can take place anytime during the morning depending on when the psychiatrist finishes his/her ward rounds. I have to roll my ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to be at the hospital by 8am ( I live over an hour away from the hospital) for when they open at 9am to give them my folder and get in the que. Then between 9am- 11am all the patients eyeball each other ( "it's not what you think! I'm here with my 'friend' ") until the psychiatrists get back from their ward rounds and see the outpatients.

The majority of state health care in South Africa in provided by med students doing their specialty or residency. The same is true for Psychiatry. I have often found myself sitting in the hallway looking warily at some of these students and hoping to hell that they did their homework instead of going out drinking the night before.

You cannot choose who you see, a psychiatrist is assigned to you. If you don't like them I guess you could complain but the general consensus is 'beggars can't be choosers'. I can honestly say that I have been lucky in the two psychiatrists I've had. The first, Dr Dunnit was a young girl just a couple of years older than me. She was soft spoken and very caring and I honestly felt she had a true passion for what she did. Her knowledge was boundless and she was more focused on self- help than doping me up with meds, although she did increase my meds. Because these student are on a rotation basis you'll have them for about a year before you'll get a knew one. My second psychiatrist was a slightly older women who was is very positive. I was pissed off the first time I saw her though because she refused to give me sedatives!. But I guess it was for the best.

There are four state psychiatric hospitals around the Cape Town area. The most famous of which is Valkenberg. We used to make jokes about this place at school -"Dude you're so dumb you should go to Valkenberg! haha!. Whatever. I'm not laughing now. There is still a chance that I may have to be admitted to hospital and since I don't actually live in the catchment area for Tygerberg I will land up at one of these four hospitals. I have heard some hair raising stories about Valkenberg. A girl from college used to live right next to the infamous "Ward 20" - the maximum security ward- and she told us stories about how they would take patients from building to building in steel cages.

Anyone who has visited that hospital will need one of these when they are done.

South Africa's private health care is top notch- rivalling some clinics in Europe and the States but you will need the magic medical aid card to gain access. Because I am unemployed at the moment all my health care and medicine is free. In most cases and depending what province you live in the doctors and specialists take good care of you. But our hospitals and resources are falling apart due to lack of funding. No doubt the sudden explosion of AIDS in the last 30 years has put a lot of pressure on the government. But I do get angry when I read newspaper articles about our defence force writing off R1-billion (about $147 million) in "unexplained expenditure". THAT could have fed every hungry person in South Africa for a year ( I kid you not) or built several new hospitals OR provide the best care to the estimated 4.5 million South Africans living with HIV.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ANGRY AS HELL...oh and CBT session 2

My sister is home. Again. I'm not into people- bashing on this blog, it doesn't have any place here, but every time this girl comes home- which thankfully ( for me at least!) is not very often- it is a whirlwind of emotions and I was lying in bed and becoming more and more angry and frustrated that she is sleeping peacefully in the next room while I am seething. Plus it's Friday night...I'm home AGAIN and it's been the most awful day.

My sister is not a bad person- she works hard and is studying for her Masters- she left home at 18 and rarely asked for help from my parents or anyone. She is a good friend, caring to those less fortunate and is supportive of my parents- bosses them around!.

But as a sister she is crap. It's not like I haven't done stuff in the past to deserve it but she seems to be on some sort of relentless campaign. Every time she is home she reflects back the self- disgust, disrespect and anger that I feel towards myself. She knows all about my depression, breakdown, anxiety and being suicidal. But she thinks it's bullshit. I don't know how, but she has gotten into her head that I am doing it for attention. She has even implied that I FAKED my breakdown in America.

You may think this is a textbook case and you know the reasons why she is like this. But here is the kicker. Her flatmate and friend suffers from depression- she's not suicidal- but she's had her ups and downs with meds. My sister has been there for this girl every step of the way. Suffered through her mood swings, stayed up till the crack of dawn talking to her, cooked for her, did her washing etc, etc. My sister searched high and low for a support for this girl that they could go to together- this is after having scoffed at me going to a support group. And now for the real cherry- my sister applied to be a Sadag (South African depression & Anxiety Group) counsellor. Yes! she wants to COUNSEL people with depression and anxiety- some of them probably worse off than me.

I used to think the reason she was like this was because she didn't understand mental illness. That maybe it frightened her. But now I know that she is the way she is because of me, not my depression. On the upside I guess that is one less prejudiced person I have to deal with. How I am handling this is keeping her well away from me. Someone in the support group- the one she thought was so funny- said that I am not responsible for her forgiveness towards me. I have asked her to forgive me. I have tried to be her friend. Turned myself upside- down to make up for being such a brat as a kid. But I am done with it. And I can't be bothered to be around a person who's mission is to show me again and again that she doesn't respect me.

I had my second session of CBT today. For some reason it feels like a month and not a week since I last saw Dr Shaw. She didn't really do any CBT, we spoke about my current situation and then I started talking about my the events that lead up yo my breakdown in America, I got as far as my arrival in America. She gave me homework to write a list, no matter how outlandish, of things I want to do with my life. It was a very pleasant session, until the end, When she told me my godfather had agreed to pay for only six sessions. I really don't want to sound ungrateful- I am tremendously grateful for his kindness in trying to help me. But judging by the fact that we are already on session 2 and I haven't even gotten off talking about my past, I knew 6 sessions just wasn't going to cut it.

I immediately became so worried. I would not be able to afford this therapy by myself, which means going back to the state hospital six month waiting list (therapy there consists of going through a workbook and seeing a therapist once a month) There's no way I can ask my godfather for anymore, which leaves me right back where I started. And I just CANNOT go through this again, of starting with a therapist, going through the emotional trauma of having to bring up everything from my past and pick through it. It's just too painful and I'm to tired. So I've told my Mom to give the four remaining sessions to my cousin, who is a single mom of three girls and is about to "throw in the towel" - her words exactly. My Mom is adamant I should continue but I really don't see how or why.

The advice I have for anyone about to seek treatment,is to make sure there is the means to see it through until the end and that there is not threat of it being taken away from you. I think it's actually worse to start something and not finish it then to not start it at all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Me, Myself and I

Here I am again, with one of my pre- dawn posts after being up all night. It's either that I can't sleep or my mind is just so active I don't want to sleep. Tonight it was the latter- I was dusting my room at 2:30am.

A lot has been happening the past few days. I went to my church counsellors on Saturday, where they prayed specifically for forgiving and for my faith. A lot of messed up stuff has been coming up. But that's another post. I've had a certain topic on my mind for the past few days and I would like to get it off my chest. Please know that this is only my opinion and you have the right to disagree with it. But if you suffer from serious depression, it's something that you may want to consider.

The thing that bothers me about this disease and, indeed even it's treatment, is how focused you become on yourself. When you are in the midst of the awful haze of a bad day you can be forgiven on nothing else but getting out of bed, having a shower, eating all the while having to deal with the bone crushing heaviness. But on other "brighter" days. The focus is still on SELF.

Even with treatment. ME for example- I visit a psychiatrist to discuss MY meds and how I'M feeling. Then off to the psychologist where I talk about ME, MY past, MY present, MY future. And we discuss ME in very minute analytical detail. I will spend two hours a week with the church counsellors where they spend 80% of that time listening to ME talk about, well ME. Anybody supporting ME right now is focused on ME

As for ME I am constantly having to monitor how MY meds are affecting ME and how I feel like today and then ME and ME and I, I, I, MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Now, I'm not an idiot I know that to get well, focusing on myself...quite a bit is required. And I don't want to offend those people who have to find a great deal of courage to do this.


Isn't it possible it could go the other way?.That we could focus on ourselves a little to much and lose touch with reality that way because all we can see is ourselves?

The reason why I am bringing it up is because of all the amazing inspiring people that I have met over the years who are in recovery, I have come into contact with a select few, who- and I don't mean any disrespect- are so self- absorbed that they can't tell their ass from their elbow.

I don't want to downplay that they have had hard times. But they are mostly past the trauma stage and stable and have found that they kinda like this part of therapy 'coz of the attention. Seriously, you'll meet these people and time slows. They'll tell you their story...but then they will tell it to you again and each time time the story gets longer and then they start analysing it in minute detail. During a conversation they'll just wait for someone to take a breath so they start talking about themselves. Again. It's no use trying to change the subject because they immediately start to get that "faraway look" as they retreat back into Planet- I. You'll get more response from a tree.

I'm being mean. But I guess I feel I can make jokes because I WAS that person. I'll humble myself and say that I still am in some ways, but I am making the effort to change- not just because I think it is vital for my recovery but for the poor souls that had to put up with my PMS - Poor Me Syndrome.

It is not healthy to focus on yourself all the time. It isn't good if all your thoughts are YOU- based and you should not be allowed to talk about yourself all the time- unless you are paying them

That's why I firmly believe in SUPPORT groups, it's a double positive- you get to share your experiences but you are also forced to shut your trap for a while and listen to somebody else. And in that way you will learn and gain more knowledge.

I also believe that- once a person is stable and if they are able to- volunteering is a great idea. That way the focus is taken off yourself for a bit, while you do something for somebody else. Volunteering with a local mental health organisation could be the most amazing and inspirational learning experience. I speak from experience when I say sometimes the best thing to do when you have a problem is to help someone else- it is good for the soul.

As for family and friends, I have decided that no matter how bad I feel- I will take an interest in how they are doing and LISTEN to them when they talk.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My baby is on the way & CBT therapy session 1

In about six weeks,I'll be welcoming two new babies into the house. Surprise surprise I'm going to be a mother to two little balls of fluff- one a pale cream colour the other brown- sporting two long ears and a fluffy tale with a serious addiction to hay, carrots and pellets!

My mother saw an advert at the local shopping centre for dwarf rabbits. We went to see them the day before yesterday They were the size of my palm and very tempting to squeeze. I've always wanted a rabbit- my sister and I had bunnies when we were little. That lasted until our landlord's Jack Russell decided to have them for lunch- literally

One of the ideas that has kept up coming in my support group is that owning and loving a pet is very therapeutic for people with mental illness. I'm hoping to add a kitten to my fluffy family (it will learn to love the rabbits!)

On a different note yesterday was my first session of Cognitive behavioral therapy. I think my zombie- like behaviour at home had more of an effect on my mom than I thought- she phoned my support group counsellor who recommended a psychologist specializing in CBT and made an emergency appointment. Only after did she tell my godfather who agreed. I was bit surprised at their efficiency, they are so used to my moods by now that I had thought they might have gotten to the stage when nothing shocks them anymore.

The psyhcologist asked my mother to join us for the first session to shed some light on my childhood history and to teach her relaxation exercises to do with me. I immediately knew this was useless because a) I remember my childhood in most cases better than both my parents- this has been proved time and time again and b) my mom would never have the time or even remember the exercises she was supposed to do with me. So I started off the hour being really irritated at having to deliver yet another monologue about my childhood, teenage years blah blah, while I watched my mom's eyes glaze over at having to sit through the same old story yet again. I don't know if it is essential that a parent or partner be there for the first session but maybe it would be a better idea for the psychologist to schedule a separate appointment to full in the blanks.

The psychologist was a very nice, sweet lady- very positive. I was immediately aware of her enforcing the Cognitive behavioural therapy. She challenged ALL my thinking and took EVERYTHING I said and turned it around into the positive. E.g Me:"I feel like part of me died after my breakdown" (that's the best way I can describe it) Dr: "Do you really think that it is possible for part of you to die?". After describing each traumatic event she would be sympathetic and start rationalizing it. What I've told her is just the tip of a very, very large ice burg- I'm really going to be putting her to work- she ain't seen nothing yet!! :).

The session flew by, generally the sessions are supposed to have a time limit- I would think because it is bloody exhausting. Truly after an hour of her turning around everything I was saying, I was ready to scream, "Just let me feel sorry for myself dammit!" The big emphasis is on SELF- HELP, they give you homework to do!. My homework this week was to go for one walk a day and keep a diary of everything I saw. We have just moved to a house on another farm and- until I discover some more- there are only two walks- each about 5 minutes long. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to journal about. On my walk today I saw a pigeon...then another one. I suddenly realised that an online author I am following had probably updated her story, so I ran all the way home (it is a VERY good story)...that was my walk.

Tomorrow I have my appointment with the church counsellor, who is praying for healing for me.So right now I'm seeing a state psychiatrist, going to a support group every two weeks, am on medication, seeing a church counsellor and finally have a proper psychologist. I have all the tools I need to help me get better. The rest is up to me.

And that's what I am afraid of. A month ago- even two weeks ago I would have the drive I needed but right now the-the selfish cow that I am- I just don't feel like I have the energy that I need to work towards healing. I was so tired sitting in that psychologist's office. I felt like a hundred years old being forced to walk down the same path again. I have always been eager when starting treatment- thinking that finally this will be a chance to get better. In the end either money would run out or the state health care would mess up putting a stop to all those treatments. It's like I'm cursed. How can I stop feeling this way?

I'm also having to really trust my godfather and my mother- who hold the financial and emotional keys to my treatment. You could say they are the matriarch and patriarch of a messed up family full of needs. As my Dad put it, "The loudest bark gets the most attention". This time it is my bark that got the attention, but there are other people in the family- some of them children- that are in desperate need as well. I feel guilty for the precious kids and angry that I am being lumped together with all the adults in our family who messed up and are now wanting charity.

It's past 2am and I need to attempt to go to sleep. I have no idea who is reading this blog. I know a lot of people aren't right now because I'm not exactly promoting it. But I have found that it is cathartic to write on here. And the possibly that someone may read this is a motivation to write :)