Stress-free Sunday

Tips to help deal with anxiety & stress

I like to try to use Sunday’s to relax and regroup. This isn’t always easy when you have a house full of other people and pets.

I do manage to incorporate #’s 1, 2, 5 & 6 daily. My family is everything to me but they can also be the cause of my stress and anxiety, so finding a peaceful medium can be tricky. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or feel like an anxiety attack is building up, my go-to is to put on my headphones, pop on my playlists and zone out. And for the most part, my family know this is MY time and to leave me be until I am ready to mingle.

Another outlet is writing, which is a big part of why I started this blog. I have kept a diary on and off since I was 16, and I usually write everything down when I am in a dark place or just need to get things off my chest. I find it cathartic and a good release of pent up emotions. I don’t show anyone my thoughts and most of the time, I throw the paper out once I have released everything. It is a good way to get out those thoughts without hurting anyone else and without judgement.

My goal for the next month is to start yoga and meditation – both recommended by my psychologist. Even if it is just for 5-10 minutes, it is good to just zone out and regroup your senses. #7 I am no quite sure I can do. I mean, come on, cut back on coffee?!? YIKES!!! lol But my biggest anxiety tip that I need to work on is #4 – a huge trigger for me is not feeling in control of my life. I am one of those people who is always putting everyone first so any tips for this is always welcome.

So, how about you? How do you de-stress and regroup again for the coming week? Whatever you all do, I hope you have an amazing Sunday and that the week ahead goes smoothly, and stress-free 🙂

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Spotto Saturday

Photo Of The Day

I was supposed to post this yesterday as part of my “Spotto Saturday” theme but I was a tad busy. Sorry! Spotto is just my play on words for something I ‘spot’ whilst out and about or photo’s/pictures that take my interest for the day.

This is a photo of the “home” of a local attraction THE BUNYIP, located in Murray Bridge, South Australia, scaring children & making adults laugh for generations. You can find more information regarding The Bunyip, and what it actually looks like at the following link https://www.murraybridge.sa.gov.au/thebunyip

Fun Fact Friday

We are a weird bunch …

Courtesy: https://wonderofdownunder.wordpress.com/category/friday-fun-facts/

Australia is full of weird and wonderful creatures, even of the animal variety. For those who don’t know, this is a platypus .. as you can see, it’s no wonder the English scientists thought we were playing a joke on them 😉

Platypus – native to Australia
Just for a little cuteness overload for your Friday !!!

Thankful Thursday

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

  • TRIGGER WARNING – THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, PTSD, DEPRESSION & SUICIDAL THOUGHTS ~~~~~~

We all have a story to tell. Our stories are our own. No story is “better” than anyone else’s. Life is not a competition. And this is my story …

I go through periods where I am very vocal about my story and experiences. And I also go through periods where I feel the need to be quiet about my story and experiences. Just like my previous statement about everyone having their own story, everyone also has their own way of coping with others stories. I have found that some people are open to hearing me share my thoughts, some find it too confronting, and some simply don’t care. And there then are the small handful who listen without judgement, sometimes offering kind words of support, and let me know everything is going to be ok. Not one of those people I described is “wrong” in how they react, they are just human!

In my bio, I shared a small portion of my life in 2013. It would take a novel to go through every detail, so I will try to shorten it (although if you continue reading my blog, you will soon see I have a gift of the gab so “shorten” may not seem so short to some lol) 2013-2014 I was involved in an abusive relationship – verbal, mental, financial & physical. I was left a broken, hurt, confused and angry mess. I am still that broken, hurt, confused and angry mess, only now, through therapy, I am learning how to cope. I always like to say “I am a work in progress!” I refuse to name him as he makes my skin crawl. He was, and more likely still is, a narcissistic, manipulative, drug addicted alcoholic who couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it.

It wasn’t until I was finally able to get him out of my life that the pieces of the puzzle all fell together. I had no idea about domestic violence, or what a narcissist was, or just how manipulative he was. That control is so overwhelming that most people don’t even know it is happening to them. It most certainly was the case for me.

His life, and the life he pulled me into, was (and is) so far removed from the life I had lead (and still live). The world of drugs and crime, and the things addicts will do to get their next fix – it makes me ill just thinking about it, yet I was living in it. NO, NO AND NO, I was not involved in drug taking myself. I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, and these days, I don’t even drink! But I was living it because my ex was deeply involved and he dragged me all the way through it – he didn’t drive, so I was the one manipulated into driving him to get drugs, and whatever the hell it was he did; it was my home he brought the drugs into, which would make me livid; it was my money he would use for his habit, eventually leaving me thousands of dollars in debt (which took me 5 years to clear) … and all while this was happening, I had two children with me. You cannot imagine the affect that has had on me, knowing I allowed someone to subject not only myself to this lifestyle, but my children as well. I am, and will forever be, sorry for this part of my story.

In the midst of all this, I got very sick and almost died. I was misdiagnosed twice with acute pneumonia, and eventually ended up spending two weeks in hospital, hooked up to drips, and having numerous tests and scans done. Vital vitamins/metals were almost non-existent, I had fluid on my brain and spine, I lost muscle control in my legs & had a physiotherapist visit me twice a day whilst in hospital, & had to use a walker for a couple of months, I lost 90% of my hair (still not 100% sure why), and I spent 4 months vomiting upwards of 10 times a day. I was eventually diagnosed with an incurable, autoimmune disorder, for which is managed by daily medication. That part of my life is easy to cope with. I came to terms with that a long time ago, and I am vigilant about taking my medication, and seeing my specialist regularly for check-ups. It’s the mental illnesses that take it’s toll on me.

Early 2014 , I was starting to crack mentally. I was deep into this abusive relationship, I was having nightmares, and it was coming up to the 1st anniversary of when I got sick. For the couple of months leading up to getting sick and being diagnosed, I have very, very vague memories. Some things are like snapshots of images, some things are because that is what people told me happened, and some things I cannot for the life of me remember or picture happening.

At the time, I didn’t know I was mentally ill, or that I was suicidal. I was just in a massive dark hole I didn’t think I could get out of. I desperately wanted everything to just STOP! I remember being at the beach several times and thinking “I wonder what it would be like if I just walked out into the ocean and kept going”. I remember driving in my car thinking “I wonder what it would be like if I just drove my car off the edge or into that tree”. I have been told this is disassociation disorder. Then “it” happened – something I rarely speak of, something that took me a couple of years to even admit to myself that it had happened …

I remember sitting down at the table in my garage, writing letters to my parents, to my children, to my kids father, and to that “plague”, then tying a rope to the rafter & making a noose, standing on a chair & putting that noose around my neck, trying desperately to escape the hell I had put myself into, trying desperately to escape the pain of being sick, being separated from my loved ones, being bullied, belittled & abused almost daily .. and just as I was about to kick the chair out from under me, little Mr Narcissist himself walked in and became the “hero” once again, even though he was the reason I was in that position.

Not long after that incident, my wonderful doctor put me in hospital for a week, on the pretence of “rest”, and I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD, depression, OCD and severe anxiety due to the abusive relationship. And then, on doctors recommendations, I was put on a disability pension. My life would forever change after that. It would take me a further 8 months to eventually get rid of the plague, and become brave enough to go to the police. Mind you, that braveness came after being abused verbally & physically, and held at knife point in a 30 minute drug fuelled rage! By the end of 2014, my children and I were protected for life by an Intervention Order (AVO). Although it didn’t stop me being stalked and bullied online by the plague and his new girlfriend for a further 9 or so months. But happy to say, I am free of them both and living happily with my husband, whom I met in 2015, and my kids.

I am very passionate about mental health awareness, and trying to break down the stigma, which is a huge part of why I try to share my experiences. I don’t want pity or sympathy, nor is my story a “woe is me” story. I simply share to spread awareness and hope my story helps others to seek help, or just know that they aren’t alone. There are many reasons why people develop the disorders I have. Once again, we all have a story to tell. Our stories may differ, our stories may be similar, but they are OUR stories, and we shouldn’t feel embarrassed, or ashamed, or guilty, or whatever else it is that stops you from sharing your story.

I have found in my life that sometimes sharing stories with loved ones is hard because they are so attached to you, and it must be hard to hear that your loved one has been through such an awful time in their life. Or it may trigger someone else who has been through similar experiences. If this is the case for you, please don’t give up on telling your story. There are numerous organisations around the world who are trained, and can offer an unbiased, sympathetic ear, as well as the right tools to help you cope. Please don’t ever feel like there is no help at all. I have been in that position, and I am lucky that I had a wonderful, keen-eyed GP (doctor) that saw there was something not ok with my mental state and well-being.

I have spent the past few years in and out of therapy (I am currently seeing an amazing clinical psychologist), and on and off anti-depressants, and am still trying to cope each day. I have good days, I have bad days, and I have many days where I am sitting right on the edge of that dark hole, but I have the right support team now. I still have nightmares, and disturbing dreams, I still have days where I don’t want to do anything (shower, clean, cook, function lol), I still have massive mood swings, but I am ME, and that’s the biggest part I have had to learn, that it is ok just being ME, warts and all!

Here are some links that I think people might find useful (if you are from another country, please research local mental health hotlines, websites and/or clinics, and please remember it’s ok to reach out and say I AM NOT OK!)

What To Cook Wednesday

Winter Warmer

I am going to attempt to dedicate Wednesday’s with a recipe for the week. In Australia we are a couple of days away from Winter, and she has already made her presence known. It is cold and rainy today so the weather has played a part in my recipe for today.

Whenever the weather starts cooling down, our family loves to bring out the slow-cooker for easy and hearty meals to warm us up. I love cooking with a slow-cooker , as it usually requires a small amount of prep work, then just let it simmer all day for a delicious dinner to fill our bellies up!

Today’s recipe was found in the following book (which comes in a series we bought from a department store chain in Australia – Big W *NOT a paid ad) :

Photo credit: My daughter Abby

BEEF RAGU WITH TAGLIATELLE

Serves 6 Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 8 hours

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 85 g / 3 oz pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 500 g / 1 lb minced beef/steak
  • 125 ml / 4 fl oz red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 400 g / 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 300 ml / 10 fl oz beef stock
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 450 g / 1 lb dried tagliatelle (or your preferred pasta)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
  • (remember you can always add other ingredients to suit your taste ie mushrooms, capsicum/bell pepper, chilli flakes)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Increase the heat to medium and add the minced steak. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, until evenly browned. Pour in the wine and cook for a few minutes to evaporate the alcohol, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, oregano and salt and pepper to taste
  3. Bring to the boil, then transfer ragu to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Shortly before serving, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions. Drain and serve with ragu, topped with grated parmesan.
Tuesday's Thoughts

Here we go …

For starters, the blog name does not mean I am bored at being a housewife lol Far from it! I love being a wife and a mother, but sometimes stay-at-home parents get lost in who they are as individuals.

Due to illness in 2013, after facing death in the eye, I was left not knowing who I was anymore. I was involved in a traumatic relationship, which not only resulted in a diagnosis of a chronic, incurable illness, but also resulted in me developing severe mental health issues, in particular PTSD and depression. All of these causes I am passionate about helping bring awareness to others. But I digress (something you will become familiar with lol) I was put on a disability pension due to these issues, which brings me to the BORED housewife part of my story. Being at home 24/7, I am just trying to figure out who I am, what I want out of this life that has been offered to me, & not go bat-shit crazy in the meantime lol

Enough about that though – so me in a nutshell … I am Tina, 45 years old, married to Chris, and mother to Abby (19) and Jack (17, almost 18), and 2 fur babies – Angus (8 year old fluffy dog) & Maisie (3 year old kitty who rules the roost!) We all reside at a beachside town in South Australia.

My aim for this blog is to just write a fun blog with bits about my life, what interests me, and hopefully people can either relate or enjoy my crazy ramblings!