Three Years Sober

Three years ago I have a week or so gap in my photo backups from when I was on ward after a 6 or so week relapse and trying to take myself out with meds. So yeah, haven’t had a drink since about this time 3 years ago. Been back on antabuse all that time, and not drinking and yeah, go me and all that.

It’s been a weird week, went to Sydney for Kflay on wednesday. Been waiting and anticipating for so long it was perfect and sweaty and I was up front, smooshed behind the people at the front. I wonder if I’ll regret smooshing and not wearing a mask but it was a great gig and like every gig I go to I crash hard afterward from the physical and mental exertion, the late night , the travel and the adrenalin. Let’s see if I brought home covid and I get to suffer through that. I’ll do my out of date tests every couple of days and see (I mean if I get it I’ll likely know without that) I wish you could still get drive through covid tests free. Or at least RATs in date.

Caught up with a friend, an ex, which was awkward and yeah, I don’t know, it’s hard to catch up with people.

Did the Antipoverty centre meeting, officially co-secretary and am pumped for the year ahead.

Waiting on blood test results from the tests my new GP ordered. I don’t really have reason to worry but I always worry. And want to get off to a good start with the new doc lol. There’s thing I wanna be able to bring up with her. Again nothing urgent but things I should.

Oh and I weighed less than I estimated at the pathologists. Cool. Now just to move more, I just want a routinnnnnnnnnnne

Anyway, send me presents and call me pretty:



Pub Lunch at the Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks (I met @artistaffame!)

Ready to fight for another year, I was priveledged to have lunch wtih Mel, Kristen and Jay from the Antipoverty Centre yesterday when Mel came across from Adelaide for planning with the others. It was her first time in Sydney, so Kristen chose the Harbour View Hotel, under the harbour bridge in The Rocks to give her the ultimate Sydney backdrop for a pub feed and networking lunch.

Jay and I had the Fried Chicken Bacon & Cheese Burger Supreme ($27) – such crispy little fries that I couldn’t stop eating and a great piece of fried chicken. I was SO full but it was so good.

Kristen had the pumpkin ravioli ($34) and also wasn’t able to stop once full.

Mel got the Fish and Chips ($33) which she was able to control herself with, I’m told it was still delish though!

All a bit pricey, but it was good food with a great view and great company. Certainly a treat for some Antipoverty activists!

Harbour View Hotel

18 Lower Fort Street
Dawes Point, NSW, 2000
02 9252 4111

It’s the 8th. Things are supposed to be getting back to normal.

I still don’t have internet. More of the saga happened – I’d had the install booked for the 5th, Friday, for a month now since the original offer of it being installed today caused me to melt down because why should we have to wait a month? So, come Friday morning I’m waiting around as confirmed by several text messages when I’m contacted to say it’s being rescheduled for the 17th.

Yeah not happy. The extra two weeks was one thing, but also having already been waiting that morning, with all the texts from TPG and NBN making sure someone would be there in the previous days. Oh and they’d direct debited $75 for the month that morning too!

So, I don’t think I actually cried this time, but I spent an hour on the phone to them, and then it was booked in for 8-12 Saturday.

Come 11:30 Saturday morning, the NBN the calls me himself to say he’s definitely coming today and he’s text me himself to say when he was on his way and to ignore the text that was just about to come through sayng he was on his way then.

So, 3.45pm he arrives. Pleasant fellow, I made sure he’d had his lunch break before he got to work.

Installed the NBN box inside the house, but no, I still don’t have connection because the fibre to the house has to be laid. Sometime this week or next I’m told. He couldn’t do it because there was asbestos in the pit and he didn’t have the certification.

They’ve credited back the money hey took Friday – only as account credit I really could have used the cash – but yeah no offer of regular broadband FTTC or anything. So I wait some more.

Bruce has given me his second monitor so I can do dual monitor internetting – mostly having a stream in the second window, currently BlizzardGurrl. Go say hey, she’s moving house this month and it’s her birthday!

My UA got registered so we need to put that up for sale. Spent some time decorating the Corolla more, Bruce is spending time trying to sort out HIS car. he stove got replaced on the weekend too so I can now cook up a storm lol, still need new pots.

Slowly slowly trying to get back  into routine. Have Everyplate coming today, so I’ll have that planned out for me again. Bruce son is staying a couple of nights, so I’ll expand tonight’s dish with extra taters, and I’m off to Sydney tomorrow to meet Mel from twitter so the boys can sort out their food tomorrow night, there’s still chicken burger patties from last night.

I have a psychologist appointment Thursday – we had one in Dec then the move was on and so we arranged for after new year. This one is free for me, so that’s the main reason I’m going. Back to Antabuse group Friday, I hope everyone made it through sober and safe, Xmas is always a risky time. I need to work on not overreacting to criticism again.

I’ve been tired and may have a scratchy throat but since that happens to me anyway when I’m anxious about something I’ve been doing RATs which are negative and will mask up and play it as it comes tomorrow, I don’t wanna get my friends sick!

2024 you say

Hello, 2024, and what shall this year bring? I’ve still two more days tethering off my phone, but my NBN connection is supposedly going to be fibre to the premises, so vrooom once I get that you won’t stop me!

Finally got my ears cleared, no thanks to Drs. Went to a new GP today since I was gonna need one anyway, and they wouldn’t do them themselves then and there and I’d have to book in with the nurse – with the first appointment being on the 15th, which is the closest I could get at the specialist ear places too. So I decided to buy an ear syringe at the chemist and spend half and hour irrigating my ears, and by golly everything is so LOUD when you don’t have a plug of wax in the way. So hopefully I’ve got this sorted and I won’t need the appointment come the 15th and can cancel it.

Did some household and giftcard spending this morning at the Reject shop – got a Xmas tablecloth and matching serving plates for next Xmas, as well as a few little bins for around the house. And two purple croptop bras from Best and Less. SChmexy.

Got the AU registered, so now we can sell that, hopefully sooner rather than later. I like it but it’s excess to our needs and I’d prefer the money hey. Then Bruce can get the rust fixed in the other Ford and all the other repairs needed on that. And we can vroom around in the Corolla!

I AM intending to food blog more, but I’m not sure how or what, with budget restrictions but also going back to everyplate boxes for my sanity there may not be all that variety. But we’ll see what happens! Hopefully meeting some Antipoverty Tweeps for lunch in Sydney next week while they’re in town so there may be something in that lol. Or the 15th when the Cooranbong Community hub opens again and I can opshop and foodbank shop there and see what comes my way! Ended up buying a few of the household thins I was hoping to opshop off Amazon, but at least I have them now and can get more settled. I need to take the last of the moving boxes to recycing at the tip, if I can get myself to do that this week that’s be MORE clutter away and more settled for me.


Black Dog Institute Summit on Self-Harm #BDISummit

Pretty obviously there’s a content note about this post for suicide and self-harm

Thanks to Livingworks, I received a bursary to attend the Black Dog Institute Summit on Self Harm in Sydney last week. It was a huge day, starting with catching the 4.51am train down, so I’ll reflect on it with prompting from the posts under the #BDISummit hashtag

The day before, most of the experts had been at a summit organised by the Lancet on putting together the research from around the world on self-harm and suicide statistics, themes and prevention. Lots of British accents, but also people from around the world. There were people researching self harm in lower and middle income countries and how the reasons for, means, and intentions vary from high-income countries. There were also Indigenous perspectives and reminding us that all the basics, like income above the poverty line, less traumatic emergency department experiences, and compassion in general lead to such great results.

Conference mode means mentos and apparently these fancy glasses that I was so tempted to smuggle out but I was good and stuck to perishables like a banana for breakfast the next day and few tea bags.

Emergency and Inpatient Departments are not fit for purpose

Nearly everyone who has gone to the emergency department feeling suicidal or having self harmed in some way has had one or more bad experiences. If you had a good experience, that is amazing and you probably went on to seek and get treatment and didn’t end up back there. If you do survived the assessment in an unsuitable place without excusing yourself, you face a super long wait for any outpatient therapy, or if you end up in inpatient it can also be a very scary, far from healing experience :/

What use is giving CBT to someone in poverty? 

Well, given the long waiting lists that psychologists have in Australia, the huge gap you’re up for in most instances if you do get in to see someone, we’re not even at the point of being able to see what a good block of therapy can do while someone is subsisting on welfare in this country. Personally I was fortunate enough to do my block f DBT but I wouldn’t have gotten into that if I hadn’t been at the point of self harming and having the right diagnosis, and surviving the year you need to before the program commences. I have too many friends on Twitter (whose demise is distresses for many who have it as their lifeline quite literally when it comes to seeking emotional and financial support)  who saw their mental health stablise when JobSeeker was above the poverty line and mutual obligations were suspended and they were just left to be by a system that is designed to make money for providers without having to give outcomes to “participants”. argh.

Lived and LIVING experience

Interesting discussion at the podium and in the breaks about living experience of self harm and the validity of being able to live a meaningful life while still self-harming. But differentiating this from the person who appears to be well, who is going about their right daily activities, but s struggling or suffering privately. There was discussion around “protecting” the lived experience workforce from further harm as well as allowing those who are participating in research or work to be able to identify for themselves whether they are currently well enough to take part – like me coming to the summit that day and being able to identify if I needed to tap out, or knowing that I would be worn out in the following days from the experience, whether that is just from the early start, social and masking spoons used, or form any more emotional energy from such a heavy topic.

Last of all, what’s an event post with me without the food?

Breakfast was served during the initial session, with mueslie and yoghurt, and mini big breakfast (thankfully without eggs) coming to the table with pots of coffee.

Raspberry and banana bread and fresh fruit at morning tea, along with a nice cold iced tea.

There was hot food at lunch, but I had a couple of chicken rolls and some Greek Salad. I took a couple of rolls for the train ride home for dinner along with some of the fruit at morning tea.

Chocolate slices for afternoon tea – a very sense brownie for me with a little more coffee for the afternoon roll home.

Nice swift train and tram ride home – I wasn’t murdered in the dingy Star casino light rail station which was a relief!

Where to from here? I watched part of a webinar from Lived Experience Australia on how to become a peer worker on Monday, but it was the basic things like do the course and network and find out where you really want to use your skills… And I kinda know that. I also know that I looked up the peer worker course that TAFE NSW runs and immediately realised I don’t yet want to commit to formal study, and so won’t even apply for anything for first semester next year if at all. Maybe 2024. I’m finding that one external engagement outside my own appointments and anything that I take my niblings to is more than enough currently, like the summit, or a modelling day, or a Greens event. And I want to keep doing that stuff. I also don’t know if peer work as such is for me, but I’m glad being a researcher with lived experience of self harm was also modelled at the summit.

And I was also so very excited that on the same day, my blogging buddy Trae was presenting at a conference over in Perth alongside Grace Tame as someone with lived experience of mental illness. Recovery is so cool. But also seeing and hearing my friends and myself thrive after so many years surviving.