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I have been sitting on @Hope4me 's lap in her cubby house on her thread, drinking her Milo, playing with her Transformers and her My Little Ponies, having lots to say about myself, but like every self respecting 2nd born barges in and takes over without realising....I'm sorry @Hope4me I was so comfortable in your company I made myself at home, just like an annoying lil sis does. I copied ya with the using the '4' in the title eh, eh!


I began by posting this in the lived experience side of the tracks and then deleted it, realising I am sick of my story, and I am pivoting away from narrative and trying to move into action with caring for myself. It is something that feels very foreign, when your entire identity has been built on caring for others. Its no wonder in my offline life I have always attracted users and takers. 


It's like I have no worth unless I am helping or being considerate to someone else's needs.


I have been on the carers forum in regards to both of my parents. Mother with schizophrenia from late teens and a father (now deceased by suicide) with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety & SH and both sides of the extended family riddled with Bipolar I&II, Psychotic illnesses, Anxiety, Agoraphobia, a new case of suspected BPD and Major Depression.


But I am not here to talk about or learn about caring for them, I am here to learn how to care for myself, and hopefully lift some of the depression along the way.


I am an incredibly independent and strong women, who was given no choice but to be self contained or perish.


Talking to my sib on the weekend, I forget that some people do not have this capacity and how amazing we are just to survive. We had each other and I think if we hadn't, none of us would be here. We're a bit bruised, and in my case limping and lame right now, but there are full grown adults who disintegrate the second life forces them to stand on their own 2 feet and get through some tough, and soul changing times, so I am beginning to realise that I am not as weak as a lot of other people can be, and I do have strengths even if I can't put them on a resume.


Some days my fathers voice still rings in my head, but I have made big leaps and I have to remind myself to look around at other people. My doc said how on earth I managed to escape a life on drugs, alcohol or ending up in prison is beyond him, but just like Punky Brewster whose parents abandoned her I am still here...


I do feel in a foreign land though because depression is new to me, anxiety is my base camp. 


I can't turn my back on my 5 year old self, but how have others began the journey of caring for themselves, and getting over it feeling so alien? 


I don't suffer from reactive attachment syndrome and expect a significant other to clean up my parents mess, I am willing, and have been doing the work since I took myself to a clinical psychologist when I was 19.


There is behavioural evidence that I do have self respect and the drive to protect my dignity, I know I have the potential and the follow through in me.....


I just can't shake this depression though. It is like lead.


Thanks for reading






253 REPLIES 253

Re: Caring4Corny

Hi @Corny 

When I became overwhelmed with my partners crisis, I became emotionally and in many ways physically paralysed. There were a few things that helped me get back into self caring, something I had neglected - I had "let myself go". 


Firstly, I started to take care of my appearance - my wardrobe at the time consisted of 'gardening clothes' and a couple of decent items, whilst I had always ensured Mr Darcy was nicely dressed. I remembered a person coming into a place I'd worked many years ago whom I'd complimented and she proceeded to tell me that 'just because one is poor, one does not need to be untidy'. I started to improve my wardrobe to more acceptable/regular day time wear with op shop finds and sale items and along the way found a style that suited my shape. I also started wearing foundation and lipstick; I stick with the one brand and have 2 x lippy colours (I don't want/need any more). Whilst clothes are a superficial thing in many ways, in my case they were a reflection of my lack of self worth.


The next thing I did was to start tidying up my messy house. I only had the energy to deal with one item a day and made a commitment to myself that I would do this. There were times I was a lot more motivated and did more, some days lots more. There were days when dealing with even one bit of paper was a Herculean effort.  We have a decluttering thread here where a few of us who struggle with this encourage each other.  It was interesting to listen to a bit of a lecture by Jordan Petersen where he is teaching his students about how 'tidying your room' is a good start as to something you can do to improve your life and take back control, which was certainly the case for me.


Another indication that I was going down hill was that I had given up gardening and volunteering. It was a hard slog getting back my gardening mojo too ... but this returned in time as has the desire to volunteer and the latter is also being investigated.


Concurrent to my tidy up, I saw a counsellor and eventually one who I clicked with and helped me through to being emotionally healthy. Psychologically I allowed myself to name the emotions I was experiencing, to feel the grief and not fight it,  to see my own vulnerability, to forgive and let go of resentment, to learn what was not mine to hold onto, to relinquish perceived control of thing I had no control over. I stopped being afraid and learned that I could trust myself, that my opinion does matter and that I do have things to say that are worthwhile. As we have moved interstate, I no longer have this counselor, but hope to find another one I connect with soon.  My faith was a huge influence and hope was instilled when I found a website that talked about 'living well in spite of a mental health diagnosis'. No la-di-da superficial stuff, they acknowledge how tough things are. They have carer tenets that were of great help to me.  Mr Darcy found Grow to be helpful in helping him with his BPii (he had MDD with psychosis + suicide attempts).


If you need encouragement in a particular area, you only need to ask ... 


Re: Caring4Corny

I'm not surprised that you felt paralysed @Darcy. You would have felt so powerless and bewildered and your husband would have been even more scared when he realised how unwell he was and that he couldn't see the bottom of his breakdown and if he would recover at all.


I'm sure that your husband's recovery has been like everyone else's, not linear, 2 steps forward and 1 step back, with dips and peaks thrown in. And if he has had a suicide attempt he would have felt deeply ashamed of that, and working through the emotions of feeling that degree of desperation is not an easy task for a man, or anyone for that matter.


I hope that he is getting therapeutic benefits from the medication and that he has a good psychiatrist and treating team, that is half the battle and so exhausting to line up when you are not well. When I had my breakdown and ended up in Emergency with psychosis amongst other things I didn't even have a GP in the city, as I had only been living here 9 months. I was so ill prepared and was thrown in the deep end of a crisis, face first. I have found a wonderful Dr who I call Dr Kindess and I am so blessed that he took me on when his books were closed. I don't take him for granted, but he won't work forever and I will have to find someone else eventually, unless you can cure me Darcy, eh?? Any special potions in your Secret Garden for Corny?


I'm not surprised that 'you let yourself' go @Darcy. That isn't a sign of weakness, that is how disconnected out society has become and we have to carry these events mostly on our own, in private. When I was in primary school I remember the police and hospital had to be involved on several occasions with my mother's SZ, because she would go wandering and disappear while in psychosis. For a little kid that was really scary. The police and hospital had to be involved with my father in high school. 


It's really tough. I am not Christian, I have friends that are, but I am yet to find a world view or belief system that I find comforting and resonates with me. I am open minded but I am also deeply effected by my life and what has happened. 


Working on our sense of worthiness is a difficult one. People who are capable of working full time take it completely for granted the positive impact that has on their psyche to be earning, financially secure, have a routine with collegaues and be a contributor. I want to be a contributor, and take my friends out and buy them presents but I am stuck in my broken brain for now. 


I am trying to not project too far because I get scared and sad for all the losses.


Could you forward me a link to your thread Daffodil Darcy? I would like to read about you.




Re: Caring4Corny

Sorry, no secret potions in my garden @Corny.   I have found that healing cannot be rushed. I came across this beautifully written article that helped me not put any pressure on Mr Darcy and to give him the time he needed for recovery from his psychosis.  It helped me in other ways too.


Corny, I am someone that enjoys giving too and I am a firm believer that this does not need to involve cash, it can be done by sharing time, friendship or knowledge.  Helping others on this forum is a gift and I know that you have offered insights that have helped people not feel so alone -  one cannot put a price on that. 




Re: Caring4Corny


Quick check in.


Re: Caring4Corny



Re: Caring4Corny



@Corny  .... hoping to inspire you to some art 💕


Re: Caring4Corny

Oh damn, no magic potions in your magical garden @Darcy , and I suppose that I am just going to have to be patient. As you say recovery cannot be rushed and the body has its own ideas. I guess I am a bit slower than others with my recovery in that MI crisis is colliding with personal crisis so the grief and sadness is about coming to terms with the loss of my health, but there's lots of other losses that have been revealed this year......its a heady mix for a bonnie lass. 


Thank you for the article @Darcy . I am kind of like the author where they say the doctor suggested to not dig too deeply in their mind because they are still fragile and recovering. I am going very gently. When I was recovering from psychosis I stopped meditating and have only dipped my toe in a little bit now and then. That was instinctual, I was guided by my gut, and I feel that I have to be very careful with altered consciousness states. My psychiatrist said that I should never allow someone, a health or healing person to perform hypnosis on me, and he recommends that to all his patients and the family's with psychosis in their bloodline. He said other than drug induced psychosis the next most severe case he has ever seen was a young man with a lot of trauma, and a trauma therapist suggested hypno-therapy and it was disastrous. 


There's certain meditations I will probably never do ever again, I am trying to be very cautious, because I did it for so many years it doesn't take much effort for me to reach my subconscious mind, and it is pretty scary in there. 


It is a very slow and gradual road of acceptance. I went out for a walk at lunchtime and was just sitting in a cafe watching people my age come in with a group of colleagues, talking about work, and travel and going out with boyfriends and girlfriends.....I felt like an alien, like they were talking about a life that is unreachable for me and that I am cut off from. It was sort of that feeling you get when there's been a significant death in your life and you step back into the regular routine and you are struck with how different you feel and how changed you are. 


I agree that sharing time, friendship and conversation is wonderful and that you don't have to spend a lot of money. Sorry if I came across like I was obsessed with money, I am not at all, and am someone who is very easily pleased. And I am genuinely pleased too, I don't just fake it. I would much rather someones time and company than anything else. My grandparents instilled that in me, they were always taking us to free stuff, galleries, the beach, parks, dropping in on friends and were not materialistic people, they were very humble. None of my close friends are like that either, they are not demanding, entitled show ponies, but one forgets how driven by money a huge percentage of people are. You get into this false sense of security where you think that everyone else thinks like you and your family and friends & noone would ever screw you over that way. But then you meet some people and it is like, oh my, you are a self absorbed gold digger. I forget that people make calculated choices based on what they can get out of you, money wise, but sadly it is rife. My sibs and I were discussing peeps we know that are divorcing and we were saying that women will be like moths to a flame to these guys because they are loaded. It doesn't matter that they are horrible and mean, women will fall over themselves to get a chunk of that change and live that lifestyle, faking the whole thing like a well orchestrated film, laying on the fake love thick and fast. I guess we live in a diverse world @Darcy , with diverse motivations and minds. 


I just genuinely enjoy spoiling people I love. I genuinely find it very exciting and pleasurable, that's all I meant by it. My first years were so desolate, I love being able to share with someone and buy them something that they will love or take them out to a nice restaurant.  


I am starting to feel very tired and weak again....I hope you are well @Darcy and enjoying being in the garden this week, take care 


Corny xx




Re: Caring4Corny

A rose from the LGBTI garden!


Thanks @outlander 


Corny xx


Re: Caring4Corny

very inspiring @Faith-and-Hope , thanks for the brain shift into creative mode.


Hope that you are enjoying some visual art somewhere, maybe some ceramics or sculpture this week...


Corny xx

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