A bit about this blog

Over 4 years ago my family and I left the sleepy apple isle to live in the big smoke of Melbourne This blog is my take on our continuing attempt to Love with His great love those who we come into contact with on a daily basis, especially those who are less fortunate than ourselves. It is also about my struggle with mental illness and how I am trying to live in recovery

Monday, May 30, 2011

The lady on the floor

Today on my way to get Elly from dancing I stopped to get petrol. My tank had been on empty all day and I was scared I would run out if I went any further.
As you know, if you read this blog, I work with men and woman who are addicted to drugs. I thought I had become unshockable, but what I saw inside the BP has shocked me and left me feeling a little shaken.

As I walked in I noticed that there was a large que (annoying but not shocking), there were people milling about, paying for petrol, getting food, looking at the magazines. (nothing unusual). What was weird was that people were stepping over something. I couldn't see what, at first, but I assumed it was a spill on the floor or something of the like. As I got closer I saw it was not a spill but a young lady. She was skinny, filthy and had obviously dropped where she stood in the line, most likely as the result of a drug she had taken not long before entering the BP. But it wasn't the fact that she was lying there that shocked me. It was the fact that customers stepped over her like she was a log of wood, that the man behind the counter continued to serve them and that not one person cared that there was a human being obviously vulnerable and in need of some assistance right there infront of them.

I said to the dude behind the counter "do you need some help with her?" He replied "what? Oh her, no she is drunk I've called the cops they are on their way."

I knelt beside her rolled her over onto her side, pulled down her dress, which was up well above her waist, and put her bag under her head for a pillow. She was so deeply under the influence of what ever she had taken she didn't even react to my touch or my voice. I wanted to stay but Elly and her friends were waiting. So feeling guilty and worrying what would become of her I left her there, on the floor with people ignoring her very existence. All the way to dancing I wanted to go back, to be with her when the police came, to ensure they treated her with dignity, but I couldn't who would pick up Elly and her friends? So I drove on hoping and praying she would be ok.

I am sad that this is what our world has become. A place where we ignore those who are most in need around us, where communities take the "not in my back yard" approach to social justice issues and where we dont know our neighbours names let alone have a relationship with them. I realise that most of the people in the petrol station where like me, some where to be, on a time schedule. Thats just it though right? Its all about the schedule.

I am not writing this for pats on the back, cos really I did only what every other person who was in the line infront of me should have done, treated that poor young girl with a little dignity and respect. After all given slightly different life choices or slightly different experience she could easily have been one of us.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Frazled corners of the mind.

Almost 3 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. At the time they were like raging monsters eating my life from the inside out. I have come a long way since then. Mostly my anxiety is under control. Good friends and family, a magnificent husband and an excellent psychologist have allowed me to move forward with my life. Mostly this weakness is also my strength. I have an empathy for those who struggle with mental unwellness that helps me be good at what I do.

But today and for most of this week the beast has reared its ugly head, roaring loudly and making me feel like I am about to spiral out of control again. I am breathless, sleepless and jittery. I am crabby with the kids, unreasonably, again and my mind makes lists to try and deal with the myriads of thoughts that fly around it.

The reason- money. I have huge anxiety around money. My coping strategy had been to ignore it, not think about it, not look at it, use as little as possible. This year I decided that this was ridiculous, I am 37 in a week and I shouldn't be letting money hold me captive. Easy right?Actually it means I have to deal with things I have been ignoring for years. So off I went and it felt great, almost liberating. But this week it has all got hard, facing the true reality of what I have to do is making me sick. I want to run away again cos I know if I do my anxiety will go away to. But I am not going to. I am determined to beat it this time. It is the reason I write this post so I have a public record that says, "I Lousia-Anne Meredith Tew will no longer be held captive by the money anxiety monster. It may be painful and frightening and sickening but I will not die from anxiety and it will work out in the end if I keep pushing through."

So there it is. As I sit on the couch trying to breath like my pysc has taught, but really taking short shallow breaths that serve only to increase my anxiety levels I am making a resolve. To do what is necessary to get past this, one little step at a time.