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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







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. 



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

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