305 days until Antarctica..."I'm gonna Be (500 miles)" The Proclaimers

approximately 9 minutes reading time


"Nothing will work until you do" Maya Angelou

Wow, what can I say, I’ve just I’m happy and sad all at once. Life is pretty good. Being back out in the real world is wonderful. Meeting lots of new people that I like. Having regular adventures with different people, which is fantastic. Managing romantic interests is good but I find myself more cautious than ever before, in a different way. I have no interest in a relationship and haven’t since 2000. Relationships aren’t my thing but I’m having fun and still have plenty of options. It’s been just over a year since I turned down a marriage proposal. No regrets but I do wonder sometimes if my life would’ve been easier. I did the right thing. I’m okay and it would’ve just been more complicated and more challenging. Settling isn’t something I can do, doesn’t matter what it is. This is why it’s so hard making decisions now, especially about my house and my future. Avoiding any emotional entanglements is paramount and easy. It’s all about the present moment and having fun, pleasant, healthy interactions with people. These are the only kind I want in my life.

Still working at building up strength. It’s getting cold, especially in the evenings and mornings. I expect that the colder temperatures will affect me but I hope that I am wrong. At the very least I hope that my comfort and function, especially in my hands and feet is not compromised. I know that I have become stronger because I can open the Libre Freestyle Diabetes Sensor containers with my hands and much more easily. 

I’m still managing to do new things. Opening packaging, getting dressed, doing everything is getting easier. Unlocking the front door can still be a struggle, especially if my hands get tired. I am using pegs better and more easily. Hanging out the washing is getting easier as are so many other things I need to do. My hands are looking better.

Discomfort and pain varies but I stopped taking regular medications just before Christmas. Lyrica is such a terrible drug and I feel better and clearer for being off it. Targin and Endone I only use when my high pain thresholds are breached. My pain thresholds are incredibly high but pain is bad for your body. It can come in waves. Sometimes they last weeks. Pain causes my blood pressure to shoot up and I don’t have a blood pressure problem, thankfully. Pain weakens your body through distress. For me it wreaks havoc with my blood sugar, which is not good for a type 1 Diabetic.

Before I left hospital in August 2020 I was terrified in a way I’d never been before. I agreed to go live in a home with three or four other disabled people. I wasn’t convinced that I could yet look after myself. I knew that this would kill me, so did my sister who urged me not to do it. Having home help would have damaged me psychologically. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it to myself. My last option was making it work. Some of my sensory and motor nerves were working at a minimum as were some of the others. I couldn’t peel, tear, scrunch, pull, hold, grip, pinch, cup my hand, co-ordinate my fingers and so much more. I had no dexterity or strength. I was in unbelievable discomfort and pain but pushed on to do everything I needed. I couldn’t hold up my hand. Before this happened to me I took using my fingers and hands for granted. Our fingers and hands are all independent and together, as well as separately, they are the most incredible machines.

Eating was challenging and couldn’t be achieved without someone opening all of my containers, sachets and packaging for me first. Temperature was problematic, painful as my sensitivity had increased. Holding plastic cutlery like a Neanderthal was challenging and saddening as I was raised to have impeccable manners and do everything with as much finesse as possible. Having being independent my whole life, this was an incredibly horrifying, distressing and saddening situation in which to find myself. Having someone help me to the bathroom, clean me, shower me and do absolutely everything for me was unbelievable and horrific. It’s very own trauma. I had to make the best of it. I had no appetite but had to force myself to eat constantly throughout each day as this was a case of life or death.

Today my main meal was a delicious eggplant, tomato and garlic stew which I devoured with a couple of slices of good bread. It's an easy one pot dish which is as cheap as chips to make, especially with the odd shaped Eggplants. It's quick, healthy and nutritious and absolutely delicious. I make it the way Mummy taught me.

Schrodie had developed a borderline Pancreatitis from the constant change in diet during my time unable to look after him. Hopefully it won’t be permanent. It’s come back on and off so he has needed treatments and is on low fat food without treats, which is no fun for either of us. This is my fault and it breaks my heart as he is the most wonderful soul who doesn’t deserve any of the misfortune and suffering that he has faced. Everything that has happened to me has also happened to him. I couldn’t survive a day without him in my life. Schrodie is the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t feel that he has been as lucky and it breaks my heart in the most terrible way. Bright, brave, beautiful soul that I love the most.

These traumas since my home burned down have also triggered memories that are physical, emotional and psychological and adding to my struggle. I am not an insecure person but my confidence was decimated throughout this and at times I have felt like a lesser human being and a lesser woman after everything that I have endured. I know it’s not rational or reasonable to feel this way but it doesn’t make the situation any less real or make me feel better. These are torments that have been haunting me, even though they are temporary, they are so terrible.

Women are one of the most vulnerable groups in our communities and our society. I know that I am in a privileged situation compared to many. My hard work and independence have given me a firm foundation for a financially secure future. I won’t be homeless which was my only real fear in life. I did everything I could to avoid homelessness, yet three times I have been homeless but only for the shortest time as I made certain that I would not be stuck homeless. It is a terrifying reality. For many women, this reality happens after marriage, children and family life as they find themselves divorced or simply alone during their mid-life. Illness and further misfortune like job loss often compounds this situation. Here I am but for unforeseeable tragedies. Homelessness is still on the horizon as I fight to get my house built. I have learned for the first time in my life what it means to feel lonely and alone, yet I’m not. 

Masterton’s processes are making this looming threat of homelessness a potential reality. Being taken advantage of by others who delayed the process is part of this reality for me. It’s so hard for me and my compromised health and situation add to the difficulties. Every day is a struggle and I find myself shutting down. I know that I am fortunate to have the necessary skills to survive and live a good life, just the way I want but I worked incredibly hard for a very long time to be in this position. I sacrificed and suffered much and I am so glad for it all.

Everything is a fight. Everything is a struggle. I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t have the energy or the inclination. I’ve never shied away from a confrontation. I’m not afraid of confrontation. I’m not afraid of anyone. I’ll stand up for myself and I stand up for other people. So many times I have faced danger when stepping in to help someone else. Now, I don’t want to deal with confrontation and I can’t deal with it right now. Not even to help myself. I’ve been pulling back from people because I just feel too disappointed, disillusioned, let-down, deserted and abandoned. I’m so very glad that I am independent and can still function independently, even though it’s not the same way. In some ways I’m stronger. I take life a breath at a time, not easily. I take life a step at a time, not easily. Always accompanied by Agony who won't let her grip upon me weaken yet, hopefully soon. I put pressure on myself but it’s not helpful. I keep away from bad energy. I remind myself that every day and every completed task is a step towards achieving my goals. I must be patient. I must be kind to myself, not easy. I must be gentle with myself, not easy.

At times I just don’t want to keep going. I want to fall asleep and stay asleep. I don’t want to die but I’m exhausted. I’m so battle weary. Dealing with constant frustration and a lack of control of my own life, present and future is horrible. I hate it. I cannot wait to regain all the control to make the decisions I want without the interference of others, random third parties. This is on the horizon. I just want to reach my goal soon and hope that it is closer than it seems.

Life is made up of constants and variables. The things outside of our control are the constants. The variables are what we can change. Our decisions and choices are within the variables. At the moment, my life has too few variables within my direct control. This does not suit me. I am working as hard as possible to reclaim as many variables as I can control. This is a painstakingly slow process. In the meantime I feel like I am floundering at times. I do the very best I can with the variables that are within my control.

I’ve been burned so many times and hurt so badly over the last year. By people who pushed their way into my life. They offered care, assistance, help, love, support with empty words and empty promises. Some of them I love and they love me but it still happened. Even people who’ve taken money to do work and haven’t completed the jobs. Others are just trying to take advantage of my vulnerability. Others are trying to gouge money out of me because they think that I have money. I don’t expect anything from anyone but it doesn’t mean that I accept anything. Sometimes, I think that is the belief and understanding that others have in this situation. There seems to be a confusion about these two very separate things. Sometimes it’s all too much and I simply withdraw completely and play with Schrodie. We rest. I’m lucky that Schrodie helps me to through it all. We’ve been walking about three and a half kilometres every day when it’s not wet weather. He makes me laugh every day. We have fun. We play chasings and fetch inside, several times a day. We dance.

I’m still building up my strength slowly but steadily, just like the Tortoise in Aesop’s Fable of ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’. My daily exercises are a part of my life. I increase and change my exercises so that my condition improves continually. I’ve been cooking more easily and eating well, even if not much. All the stress from my situation have been impacting my blood pressure and blood sugar, wreaking havoc. I’m still managing. I’m still okay but it’s not easy. I’m hurting a great deal but I’m still laughing, having fun and still happy, strangely enough.

I still trust people but as always, am careful. I still have the capacity to love and to live well. I have wonderful people in my life who like me, love me and care about me and are supporting me. I’m grateful.

Hopefully things will get easier very soon. I can’t wait. My Trauma Psychologist has told me that anyone would struggle to deal with any one thing and one trauma, let alone everything that I am dealing with at once. I have learned that it takes about three years to emotionally deal with a single trauma. This news I found helpful.

My guitar playing has improved. Johnny, my guitar and I are starting to have fun together. I’m rather chuffed. I notice the improvement myself. My poetry is being well received which is a wonderful outcome. I’m actually building an international following which is both really cool and scary. There aren’t enough hours in the day. The threat of Covid-19 continues to loom. I stay guarded. I remain optimistic.

That’s it from me. Sorry for the late and staggered posts, it’s been a bit too hard. I’ve had half posts and I’m trying to catch up.

I’m having my Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea. Mummy always used to say, “…have a cup of tea to assuage that sinking feeling”. I always do and it works. I’ve loved this tea since I discovered it in Canada, I think, or the USA, on my first trip so many years ago. I love the tea but I really love the artwork on the cardboard box. The packaging is fantastic. I was so happy when I could buy it in Australia. It transports me, like so many things, it’s a portal to another time and place, another me. It’s funny how something so simple can cause a shift in my space/time continuum. I wonder if it happens to other people?

Hope you have a great week. Have fun. Take care, stay safe.

Watch this space…



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