I've been doing a bit of painting recently, the following are examples...see above for ‘mental illness - busy brain’ and below for ‘mental illness on a good day’. Shame uni is taking up so much of my emotional and mental energy - I'd like to paint more (creativity is good for the soul), read more (I can finally concentrate enough to read my way through Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison's entire career of brilliant literature on mental illness) and maybe start going bush-walking or hiking again (I'm going to ask mum to fish around the many boxes that is my stuff for my Borneo hiking boots).
My days are currently filled with frosty showers, medication and muesli, walking over the bridge towards the train station, reading or writing on public transport, banana bread and hot chocolates at uni, the occasional lecture or tutorial (my contact hours are so pathetic), appointments with support agencies (including Fitted for Work and the Lighthouse Foundation) and working once a week at the local childcare (which specialises in caring for babies and young children with physical and intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, beharioural problems and helps provide respite care for families and carers).
I'm not finding self-advocacy as overwhelming and all-consuming as previously (although I have taken a serious step back in my suicide prevention efforts because the Abbot government budget review is just too depressing). I am really enjoying the work (yes, it feels like work!) that I am doing with my therapist at CASA and working through my sensitivities, previous life experiences and also the values and morals which are ultimately driving me towards reporting my sexual assault to the police. Although I am missing some close friends (Zhi Hui and Lou, among others), their absence is a mere side-note to my daily activities and plans for the future.
I have also been really enjoying simple pleasures such as watching the Good Wife or New Tricks in bed each week, or cooking with Media Watch or Q&A in the background (shows which don't require visuals to understand the plot work well with my retinal fatigue), having an empty house to move around in the mornings, good quality valium induced sleep (one hospital study on my brain wave activity during sleep showed that I do not reach deep restorative sleep in an average night even though I feel I've slept well, this could be contributing to my fatigue and so my GP recommended valium to ease me into a deeper REM slumber).
Sorry for the big chunk on information - this blog is more of a diary than anything and so I am always a little surprised by comments and readers. I am glad my writing means something to people but I'm never sure whether it's because I am actually a talented writer or because my experiences are so unique that it intrigues others...it seems hypocritical that I am able to write thousands and thousands of words to others in emails, in my journal (I keep three physical diaries) and yet when it comes to uni tasks and assignments, my brain begins to yell and scream and I can't hear above all the noise.
But, like I said to Bubbles earlier today: luckily I am in a good place at the moment and my faith is strong - I know something will eventuate as is needed and I continue to feel blessed in the meantime.
A:“What do you do from morning to night?”
B: “I endure myself.”
I finally feel as though this stage of “enduring” myself has passed - I am continuing to ‘make friends’ with my brain and learn to love everything that my sensitivities and experiences offer me - including a renewed gratitude for life and deeper understanding of pain and the human condition. I hope this feeling lasts longer than a few weeks and is not just a further trick of my mind...I can only stay strong and hope for the best.