February 16, 2015

The shallow but steep slope to recovery

Something I lack is patience.  And reasonable expectations of myself.  So I can get frustrated with how long it takes for me to recover from a particularly bad bout of mental illness.  I mentioned in my last post that I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and so I've been taking steps to ease the pressure that I've been under and put health building blocks in place (good routines).  For me, recovery feels like climbing out of a crater, where the slope is shallow in that it takes a long time to get back to the surface, but also so very very steep and difficult to climb.  Especially in the beginning.

I am very fortunate to have had the guidance of some beautiful and wise women in my recovery this time and each time that I go through this I find myself better equipped for next time.  Having depression and anxiety at 33 is so much easier than having it as a young whipper-snapper in my 20s.  Anyhow, I'm not fully recovered yet but I'm slowly but surely getting better.

There have been setbacks to my recovery in the form of feeling forced to resign from my job, which I did.  And I'm about to - somewhat unexpectedly - begin a student placement in a program that will be really challenging.  I am fairly appropriately intimidated and excited.  The end result of this upheaval is surprisingly good for my career and I faced with a great opportunity to build my knowledge in the area of my passion.  I find myself really looking forward to the next two years as I finish my degree and finally believing that I will get there because I'm that sort of person now.  The freedom that my degree will bring is within reach.  But, I'm also shit scared about not ticking other life boxes while I finish my studies - paying off our debts, buying a house, popping out adorable babies before my eggs turn to dust - but shit, that's life.  We'll get there.  I might have to learn patience.  

The other setback for me was having our beautiful garden decimated in the name of new fencing.  We are renters and so we don't get a say in these things - and to some extent we have to suck it up really - but we weren't properly included in the conversation about the work that was going to be done, so one day some guys showed up unexpectedly with chainsaws and before we knew it the fig, plum and cherry trees, jasmine and ivy that had made our humble cottage beautiful had been stripped away.  It was really sad to see the devastation, especially because with some consideration and effort some of those trees might have been conserved.  Now we're living in a very naked-looking house and it's shaken our sense of having a home, tenuous as that sense is for a renter anyway.

So that's the low-down :)

Here are some pictures from our travels over this summer.  I hope that wherever you are in the world you are finding time to be in nature.

Before I was well enough to begin running and pushing my body again, we would take a slow walk each evening around the neighbourhood.  Some evenings we could hear tawny frogmouths calling from the bush.  They are a beautiful little bird with an amazing brow.

It is heavenly to lie under the Monkey Puzzle in the botanical gardens and watch the dragonflies zipping around.

A creepy avenue through a nearby park.

A visit to a great chick I know who lives near the beach.

And a weekend away at Joanna.  It was so so so good for us.

Oh and this is a picture of a building in town known as the Glass House.  It's where a number of government services are located and so it has the bad joo joo that comes from jaded, over-stretched workers and distressed, disempowered poor people.  But, you know, the light was good that night.