Be Good For Mental Health

Surround yourself with people that are good for your mental state – I have been doing a lot of thinking this year about the people who make me feel good about myself and how I crave their presence when they are no longer around. How the ones that seem to bring me down are ones I have distance myself, after all, life is too short to be surrounded by people who drown your soul in a sea of negativity words and actions.

I remember growing up I was a “negative nelly” of a kid, I now ache for the people that were touched with my ability to spin any situation the wrong way, when I went through that girly stage of teenage harshness. I can imagine I wasn’t the most pleasant of people to be around. To those people- I am sorry for that, I’m sorry for the people who were touched with the kid trying to figure it out, I’m lady enough now. It’s too bad it all happened when it did, I have learnt a lot about life since then. I grew up and got it together.

I saw somewhere on Instagram recently a post from a girl who must be on the same page as me.”We must aspire to be the best we can,” the post explained that we must be our best when we are tired and the circles under our eyes cause our sentences to short and actions to be half forced, that we must be friendly when people are not the same in return and approachable in any situation to anyone. The statement couldn’t be truer and ever since reading it, I now grip my tongue between teeth at the chance my thought might escape when not welcomed and aim to be more conscious of my actions.

You see I have some friends who have never once said a negative word about anyone or any situation, friends who never hog the conversation, friends who genuinely care for the sake of my well-being, ones who want to see me excel in what I choose with no hint of jealousy in their actions. Then I have others who without thinking can spin me a riddle that breaks my soul, ones who reject my affection and weaken my spirit, some who solely suck the life from my bones after every encounter.

I would never once run from any of those people regardless of the way I felt, after all, it’s not their fault I am the way I am. I shouldn’t make them feel bad for being who they are, dad always says we must accept people the way they are, for it takes a number of people to make the world go round.

So now I choose who I spend my time with wisely- When I was diagnosed with depression and went back to school I remember focusing my lunch times around the people who made me laugh, fed my appearance with unnecessary compliments and who never once doubted my ability to get out of the rut I was in. The ones who unintentionally drained me, who said witty and hurtful comments the ones who told me things that did not need be said, the ones who fed me their views fresh from the thought. I spent the time with them I had to but did not let them see a side to me they didn’t deserve, I value those people who say what they think, however, it’s not who I want to be.

Now that I am older and no longer have to face adolescents every day I still find it relevant, after a bad day there are certain people I call, then there are some I avoid like the plague when I feel the bubble of pain erupting in my chest, fear they might be the person that opens the floodgates.

Be good people, please I beg of you – some things you say are not brave they are unnecessary, remember that, be better every day. Don’t dampen the aspects that make you an individual, but remember crowds vary. People who don’t enjoy comedy wouldn’t go to a comedy festival, not everyone has bought a ticket for your show. My emotional sponge of a persona craves those people, if you are much the same as me, remember those people who make your body feel lighter and relish in their presence as often as you can, I swear it will ease the dark cloud that hovers above you daily.

Surround yourself with people who are damn good for your mental health.

 

 

 

Good for mental health

Thanks to these two for constantly making my days full of laughter. 

 

Fear oh fear

Fear is funny this isn’t it? The most basic emotion known to man, yet the most detrimental to one’s well-being, to an individual’s sense of place. It is the one thing that 18095707_1520392247980436_4506411903236440064_n(1)can potentially end the race before it’s even begun.

When we were children we would fear the monsters under our bed, our bodies gripped tightly to flanettlete sheets as we rested our tired bodies, sweat dripped down your spine and the cold winter air reminded you of a goblin breathing its forest scented breath upon your face. Despite your racing heart you would shut your eyes and try get some sleep, in ore that morning will come and destroy that fear inside your head, we’d pray for morning we would wait for it in hope, like when the sun rose along with its golden rays it would wash the darkness from the day and with it the fear inside you. Every time that bedtime rolled around on the clock that fear would again sit deep within, as you tried to sleep, a continuous cycle. Day in, day out until one day the fear is no longer there and we can sleep knowing that in fact we don’t have monsters under our bed and they are a figment of our imagination, that a leg out of the sheets would not be gripped by the warmth of another being.

But if we as children were given the choice of running from that fear, of avoiding it, if we were given the opportunity to sleep beside our parents and not have to feel that fear, we would have taken it. We were pushed and we learnt, we became better people for that time in our life, where we were pushed to face our demons, to not live with them, to acknowledge them and potentially destroy them.

Now we run from them – when we become a certain age, we made decisions for ourselves, its like we automatically don’t push ourselves and a different fear settles in. A real fear this time, it may be love, it may be life, I don’t know what everyone fears but I know everyone fears something and we run from it given the option.

I am not talking about the blood pumping fear of the dark of the adrenaline fear of roller coasters, I mean fear, the true fear. You know the fear you feel before you walk down the aisle about the man waiting down the other end and if he is really the one. I am talking about fearing you may grow into an adult and become the one person in this lifetime you didn’t want to become. Everyone feels those fears, whether you are game enough to admit it that’s your choice, I will not push anyone into admitting those feelings.

I think for some people they fear happiness, I remember once at school a girl said to me “I’m scared to be happy because every time I am something bad happens”, it baffled me. Like the universe chucked bad luck at her when she began to smile, it broke my heart, still to this day I wonder if she fears happiness. I wonder if everytime her chest bubbles with laughter and her lips curl at the end, if the fear deep within grips up her stomach and tugs at her her heart strings with greedy fingers, those strings pulling the sides of her lips downward and suffocating the air in her lungs so the laughter is cut short. Or I wonder if every time she felt that fear she pushed it down, down deep within and buried it in another place, I wonder if she now fills a room with her presence, I wonder if her smile and charisma leaves people in ore of her presence following her wake.

What a terrible thing to fear – life itself. You see that’s the thing with fear, every time I feel it bubble up from within and cloud my heart, ooze from my pores and settle upon my chest I try to shake it off. I shake and shake until the warmness of my open chest fills my body once again. The same feeling I would get when I’d wrap my arms around my dad after a long day and cry until I thought my heart may combust, that I no longer had to hold it in and I could let it all out, for I had my safe place. But I couldn’t rely on my dad to give me that feeling every day, for I had to grow up.

I fear becoming someone I don’t want to be, I know exactly who I want to be and I know what I want from life, but you see I fear I may not become that. every time someone tells me I need to smile more or talk less that feeling of failure settles in, because that is not who I want to be. I am comfortable in my own skin, don’t get me wrong but I want to be a better person, even on my bad days. When a lack of sleep shows under my eyes and the demons in my head get antsy and want to be harsh, the fear settles in. Because I do not want to be that person and maybe one day I will shake that fear and I could look back and think  I am who I want to be, but for right now I am working on it. I have friends who say the old classic quote  “I am who I am, take it or leave it” that’s fine with me, you can be who you please and say as you want, you can be the nastiest streaked person to walk this planet and I shall not judge you because who am I to judge when I am still trying to become someone better myself.

Fear, its a terrible thing, it’s the one thing that would stop me from swimming a race I could have potentially won in primary school, when the beep before I  had to dive would sound, everyone splashing into the water and I would climb off the block tears streaming down my face shaking from fear, fear I may lose. My mum wrapped a towel around me, disappointed as she knew I could do it but wished I knew it myself.  As others finish their race and the winner was crowned. However, fear will not win this race for I am learning and I will be better, fear doesnt scare me anymore, I can become my own safe place.

 

Happy Homes

The house that has no love is the home that never was: 

I know that talking about homes as part of a blog post seems like a strange thing to do but I feel as though the topic needs to be addressed, the topic has been sitting on my chest for a little while now. Last year I lived across four different forms of accommodation from the process of begging study than venturing into the working world. Every time I moved somewhere new I faced a new feeling and a new approach at how I would tackle the future in regard to the home I would create for my one day family.

My mum and I are very different people, everyone always asks why I don’t write about her the same way I do my dad, people may think I have a strained relationship with her, which isn’t the case at all, as my mother and I are as close as a mother and daughter can get, however, when I was born I inherited every emotional outlook from my father and every physical characteristic from my mother, I will write a blog post on it one day but right now I am getting off track! My parents are two very different people and the way they choose to keep their homes may not be the way I choose to keep mine.

My mother insists on keeping a tidy home, she devotes her time to tinkering around the house spraying eucalyptus oil to every visible surface to ensure its clean, pictures of our giant family hang in a direct straight line with no creases to our freshly washed sheets. The way I like to describe my mums home is perfect, it’s the same as when you walk into a display home, with every corner of the sheet straightened to depict viewers emotions on the perfect life they ”could” very much have if they were to purchase the steel frames house and I guess to an extent my mother does have a perfect life, a beautiful family, an amazing career, an independent women who strive for feminist approval, her home shows that.

Now my dad home, ‘a bachelor’s pad’ that’s for sure, for as long as I can remember I was changing sheets, washing the motor oil out of work clothes and picking socks up off the floor. Absolutelymum home no care to the way his home is kept, if a cup stays on the table for a week it would not matter to dad, I once asked dad why he believes it’s ok to keep such a messy home, my remark was quickly shut down with the “it’s my home I will do as I please”. If you know my father you would know he is the happiest man to ever encounter this town and the way he keeps his home does somewhat represent the way he is, carefree to people’s judgement and content within himself.

However both of these homes never seem to make anyone uncomfortable for they are both people who have a halo of ‘welcomness’, they greet you with a smile and a cup of tea, their homes somehow represent the way they are as people, once you pick away at the edges of an exterior feature.

So I guess those two vastly different upbringings since the age of 7 set me up for the way I was to create a future home. I now watch my sisters and brothers build homes and alter them to the way they want, coffee beans filling the kitchen and cubby houses filling the backyards, all having different ways of creating the perfect lifestyle they wish to have. I see bits of mum in Lauren as she ultimately vacuums direct mess at the scene and bits of dad in Stacey as she will relish in the moment of a cup of tea outside before taking to the dishes inside later that night, my brother Damien doesn’t have a home he wanders like a lost soul looking for nothing in particular but relishing in the given moment, some days he will call from Bali other days he will call from the Pilbara, his home is this world as a whole, if you are to ever meet Damien the way he has approached life and his carefree attempt at gripping everything he can while he can radiate from him and it will all make sense.

I have always been an odd observer, always taken things in that people normally wouldn’t and affected by it emotionally, when I would visit friends homes I would look at their family photos and the way their house was arranged, the way visitors felt when they opened the flyscreen and how the atmosphere was set up by the homeowners. If I was shoved homemade cookies or given no direction to the loo. Everything that was going on in these homes I made mental note about what made me most comfortable and how I could contribute that to my future home, it’s like I would grab all these through and put them in a mental empty coke bottle and store them for when I needed them.

Everyone feels different when walking into a house, I can walk into my friend’s house and feel completely at home, feet up and kettle on. Others I sit back straight, but that is just me, some people don’t take any notice of their surrounds and it doesn’t alter their emotional connection at all. The only reason I can put my capability to notice these things is because I ‘house hopped’ from two vastly different homes on a regular basis, mums for breakfast, dads for lunch before zipping off to my sisters Rachels for dinner. My life has never been one of a complete fixture and maybe all I ever yearned for was that. Or maybe it is my undying need to be a mother and a housewife, for all I want is to create that home that smells of jam and is warmed with the love my family generates, whatever it is I can’t exactly put my finger on it.

Sometimes I wonder if I am going to get where I want to be, sometimes I wonder if I will create a home like my mums, or my fathers or if every little thing I feel inside counteracts my home and if that those messages in my metaphorical coke bottle will fall out and paint themselves across the walls.

I was talking to my friend last night about her ‘champagne taste’ when it comes to nearly everything and how she wants her future home to have cowhide on the floor and leather couches, she wants the garden to bloom all year round, despite that, her, as an individual makes anyone feel welcomed so surely her future home, she is someone who screams homemaker and I can already tell I will crave her home, for the smell of homemade relish and her babies RM Williams booties will be too much to resist. Her personality will do the same and her smile and laugh will radiate through the windows and doorways of her home.

Now that I am looking at properties and trailing this house possession stage of life, I have walked through homes that tell tales of heartache and loss and others that explode stories of previous family joys.

To everyone who is a homeowner, create happy homes, if I feel happiness visiting I can only imagine the happiness people who live there would feel.

I wonder what my home will feel like, I wonder everyone will fall walking through the door.

 

Man’s best pal – Woody

Woody

I know this may seem like an odd post for me to write, as I am not an enormous preacher of animal love, I could never truly understand that emotional ‘hook line and sinker’ people felt when they bonded with an animal, to me they have always been workers and pets, never a best friend. Dogs passed through our home regularly and left just as quick as the working standard was not there and the yap of their undisciplined bark echoed the township. Until little Woody came into our lives, fresh from England 10 years ago and this afternoon we will bury him on the property he loved for so long, overlooking a valley he got lost in too many times.

To little Woody – thank you for taking care of dad when I moved out, thank you for being a companion, I have never seen dad weaken to the likes of a dog until your eyes clouded and bones weakened with age, until he started to heat your milk up of a morning and swap your old cotton bed to one of fresh merino wool sprawled beneath his sleeping feet. Every time I would jump into my car to head back to Wagga Wagga, dad would pick you up and hold you close as the emotional strain tore beneath the surface and you provided the warm comfort of companionship he so desperately needed for the time I was away.

Thank you for softening the harsh exterior of my father, you came into our lives beside a man who didn’t stay,  he lived with dad for a two years as dad employed him, you were forever getting stuck under our feet and causing an annoyance, no emotional connection between you and I irrupted until he left and returned to his home country, back to England and left you behind, left you with us and all his belongings, however, you being the most valuable belonging we could ever inherit. That emotional connection between us sparked when you began to comfort me in times of need, when the troublesome woes of high school got too much you would curl into my arms, when the pain in my chest would irrupt and you’d howl beside me, two pals, a dog and a girl, one abandoned and one suffering mental torment.

I think now would be an appropriate time to apologise the amount of times I dressed you up in funny dog outfits, sat you on the back of my horse and paraded you around shows, for the time I had a few too many Carlton Drys on year 12 muck up day and you ran crossfire to my projectile vomit on the walk home from the pub, although it remains a funny story among my friends I still feel bad for the quick wash I had to give to before putting you in dads, the smell of wet dog and vomit didnt impress dad all that much, nor little Woody I believe.

When I packed up my room, you knew the ache id leave behind as my father and I relied on each other daily to continue, you knew the dedication to be a man’s best friend now sat solely on your little brown scruffy shoulders and that you would have to have an even bigger impact daily to dad’s life, and you did, every trip home I saw you and dad grow closer and closer and the walls of a man who ”doesn’t like mutts” strengthened and you moulded an empathetic changed character, in the shape of my father.

For the community of Tallangatta, it hurts me to announce the little mascot of the township passed away last night, expectedly, as old age now rattled his body, my father and I would like to thank you all for a number of times you had to pick him up from the main street and return him to the work yard, for a number of times he baked in the sun mid road and a number of times he came into your home, uninvited but desperately appreciated.

Two days before the little guy passed away I announced to dad I recently bought another dog to edge the loneliness of being away from home, Woody must have known it was okay to go now. I hope Peggy meets the standard of you Woody, I hope she touches peoples lives the way you did.

I was not an animal person until you came in and changed that, now I ache for everyone who has lost a dog.