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telling it like I think it is: sunili’s blog

Posts Tagged ‘mental health

a blue day post

with 3 comments

October is beyondblue Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month, and today, 10 October, is Blue Day and World Mental Health Day (more info – PDF).

The PTUB crew are having a Blue Day gathering but I can’t make it, so consider this my contribution to raising awareness of anxiety and depression… a very worthy pursuit indeed.

One of the most horrible (of many) things about depression is the silence surrounding it — people with it don’t want to admit they have it, as much as they feel the urge to talk about it, and friends of sufferers, as much as they want to help, often don’t know how to talk about even if they knew.

I’ve been wanting to write here about mental health and depression and stuff, and there’s never going to be a “right” time to write about it, and today is as good as it could ever get.

It’s quite the personal issue for me.  I grew up having a particular interest for politics and law stuff, and, both of those areas have particular issues with mental health (I’ve mentioned politics and depression here before, and The Pinstriped Prison also referred to the issue).

Then in the first part of last year, things went a little pear-shaped.  To say the least.

I was in my final year of university, doing Honours in Law, the editor of the student magazine, I had a great part-time job and I was in a wonderful long-term relationship.

What more could I even imagine asking for?

But morning after morning, I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. Randomly, and mostly over the dumbest thing, I would burst into inconsolable tears. I didn’t want to see anyone, not my friends, not my boyfriend.  I skipped classes and slept well into the afternoon. I couldn’t concentrate on anything — from study to even books and TV. I was freaking out about my life, even though everything was going so well.

Yup. Many of the classic symptoms of depression.

I was eventually diagnosed with depression, and started medication and counselling.  But not before it nearly cost me my relationship, my studies, and my friends.  It was also very difficult dealing with my family since I realised that a lot of my feelings stem from my younger days.

While I recently started reducing the dosage on my medication, I am by no means recovered.  In any event people question whether you ever can recover from depression — I’ve been told that I’ll probably go through some spells throughout the course of my life — but I am still definitely still on the road leading out of the darkness.

I tried writing about it, but was too self-conscious to use this blog, which is so obviously labelled as being from me and linked to my real life. So I started another blog, anonymously.  I suppose that by keeping it a secret, I was just perpetuating the vicious cycle of silence about depression as well hiding my true experiences and my true feelings of who I was.

Earlier this week, a wonderful person I follow on Tumblr bravely posted about her experiences with depression (and particularly, anti-depressants) and inspired by that, and the whole point of this week and this day, I have decided to share my other blog to anyone who cares to read it.

I thought about importing the posts into this blog but I have decided against it. I may change my mind later on, but I did promise I wasn’t going to turn this into a LiveJournal type thing!

So I’ll just link to it, and, in a way, connect that part of me to the rest you find here.  So here are my (sporadic) stories about my journey Out of the Bell jar.

Happy Blue Day, everyone. Please talk to your friends about depression — if you feel like there’s never the right time, it really is right now.

Written by Sunili

10 October 2008 at 7:14 am

Posted in issews, me stuff

Tagged with ,

on pollies, depression, and having a crisis

with 4 comments

There is this highly enjoyable blog called indexed, right, where this clever little lassie doodles funny graphs on index cards. For example:

Now, if we replaced the labels in the Venn diagram above with politicians, emotional crises and depression, [former?] Tassie Economic Development & Tourism Minister Paula Wriedt would be the one disappearing in the middle.

After Sam “douchebag, but feel sorry for him, he had cancer” Newman may or may not have said crass things about her over the fact that the Tasmanian government is sponsoring the Hawks last, it turned out that Ms Wriedt was hospitalised over the weekend and there had been reports that she tried to commit suicide.

Then there was the stuff about the sexual harassment claim, followed by the admission she had an affair with her driver…

Hooooooley dooley, what a nightmare. One of her family’s statements mentioned:

The pressures of public life, constant travel away from home and public scrutiny combined with motherhood is a difficult act to balance.

I have the feeling motherhood is difficult to balance in a private life, too, but I don’t intend to make this about all that women & work stuff… The thing is, regardless of whether or not her suicide attempt was due to douchbagy comments (if it was, that is another post entirely), the affair, whatever, is it just me or does the number of cases of depression and breakdowns among pollies worry any one else?  Geoff Gallop, John Brogden et al… it’s just really not good at all.

I know the fact she’s depressed is just horrible in itself, but yeah… the mix of public life (and I mean “public service” life, not just being a celebrity) with depression has got to be sucky.

Found this interesting post on the subject in former Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett’s blog, and this comment struck a chord with me:

Politics is a dirty game and is not conducive to people with a good conscience and if it is, it is unlikely they’ll have one by the end.

I discovered how yukky politics was in Year 10 Social Studies, when we had a pretend election.  Oh it was horrid.  After that I decided there was no way I was going to be an actual politician, cos I cry way too much, but I thought I’d work behind the scenes, so to speak.  Then I went to Young Labor national conference and have been too scared to attend meetings regularly ever since.

Politics is an important part of our lives (or at least it is for me… whatevs) and it would be nice if it wasn’t so mean and gross, no?

Written by Sunili

7 August 2008 at 7:41 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

I need a %@#*%@$(@#^!%ing holiday

with 4 comments

Today marks the 6 -month anniversary (demi-anniversary?) of my status as a worker-bee.

For the last six months, I have caught the bus or sat in traffic (listening to Nathan and Nat on Nova, of course) to sit in front of a computer screen in a large capsule of concrete, steel and glass (not that I ever see much glass from my cubicle) for several hours, eat rice crackers and cottage cheese at my desk, get massive headaches from the lack of Vitamin-D, then go back home to forrage for tinned soup or whatnot, then collapse into bed, just to wake up and do it all over again.

(That sentence was long and exhausting for a reason.  Any of you wannabe sub-editors who are clenching their jaws should desist and sigh with relief at the knowledge that yes, I know the rules of grammar, so I have the right to break them, a’iight?)

But what about weekends, you ask? How can today be the demi-anniversary when today is Saturday?

Because I am working today, thankyouverymuch.

My co-worker-bee has skipped town to visit the Pope the week we have a massive deadline (but to be fair, this mofo project shoulda been done months ago, and when she booked her leave we all assumed it would be gonekthxbai) and The Boss has me doing work I shouldn’t even be doing. Let alone have the capacity to do. And I am freaking out about it.

I did get out to see The Dark Knight — which is freaking AWESOME and they showed The X-Files: I Want to Believe trailer which looks like it’s going to be EVEN MORE AWESOME — this morning but I didn’t get to sleep in because I knew I had to get to the first session or else the whole day would be wasted.

This nuerotic, bitching post probably shouldn’t be here; I suppose I could’ve put it in my anonymous nuerotic-bitching blog, but I swear, I have a point.

My point is this:


Oh, my other point: people are way too overworked and we live in a society that is too fast-paced where we have too-high expectations on us and it is totally shit and we need to figure out a better way. Right now. Because this effing sucks, people. Yeah, I said “effing”. You know it’s bad.

I am just EXHAUSTED. My brain hurts. My body aches. I can’t be arsed going to the shops to get anything decent for dinner and Lean Cuisines are NOT about “Looking After Yourself” unless you are some strange bot who survives on expensive cardboard beans. My two weeks’ of regularly going to the gym is staring at me  and in sad, lonely, mouth-gaping shock and I have even stopped caring about the fact my hair looks like I should be one of the principles in Wicked. The only upside is that The Boyfriend is on a graduates’ junket with his work this weekend so at LEAST it doesn’t matter that I haven’t waxed my legs.

I feel the odd mix of catatonia and rage that signals an imminent breakdown, and I am freaking out.

There was a post on fabulous new (shiny new! Like 4-days-old new! NEW new!!) Perth blog Beyond Beeton that totally made me feel like I was in Oprah’s audience (on one of the serious episodes not the ones with the free stuff, unfortunately — wouldn’t that just be freaking GREAT?) and I just wanted to nod all seriously and shout out “AMEN, SISTER” in a manner befitting a large, Southern, African-American lady. And I suppose I could have since there was no one in the office because EVERYONE IS ON HOLIDAYS.

But of course, I am a small South-Asian Australian girl, and even I would have thought it kind of out of place.

Anyway, I will replicate the fervor-inducing passages from the post “Feminism really needs to go away and leave me alone for a while” here:

There’s nothing more empowering than having your apron strings untied from the sink.

Unless you get untied from the sink so that you can trot off in a wool suit to your box on the terrace for every daylight hour and more besides, after which you will glamorously engage in up-to-the-minute witty banter with 40 of your nearest and dearest colleagues who you are dining with again. You then of course go home, ring your mother and actually listen to what she says, clean the toilet, put the bin out (you’re a liberated woman after all), read the paper and a few novels (see the witty banter point above), bake something nice to take to work tomorrow and save at least 15 children from starvation or tractor accidents or something, all while looking hopelessly alluring.

If you’re managing all that and vodka isn’t a part of your daily routine then I hate you and there is nothing for you here.

AMEN, SISTER. A-fricking-MEN.

I wonder if the other Buddhists will notice that I’m breaking a precept during our version of Lent if I crack open the sav-blanc in the fridge that I am looking after for a friend who left it at a work do and have totally forgotten to give back (because I do not function til I get off the bus and to Ristretto, and always forget to take it to work)?

Because I have a forbording sense of desperation and fear that everything is not going to be alright.

Ah well. At least I have blogging with which to vent.

PS — Beeton, if you are reading this: I can’t comment on your posts because it says I need to log in? But you’re not on Can you please check that? I would be sad if I can’t comment, and I’m sure everyone here would *realise* how truly nutso I was if I resorted to posting here so that I could ping back to you.

Written by Sunili

19 July 2008 at 8:42 pm