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(Photo of Coco just because I couldn’t think of a photo for the post and also she’s a great therapy cat, just drapes herself across my torso when either she or I need comfort)

It’s school holidays at the moment, which I didn’t think would mean anything to me now I no longer work at a school, but it’s actually kind of good. I was starting to fray by the end of term 1 and although it was good to have work, I was beginning to panic that I couldn’t do what I had agreed to do. I limped to the end (much like the students in the Walkathon video I filmed) and it’s been a lot less frenetic since Easter, which has been good.

March saw a lot of adjustments, medical-wise. I had a couple of very dark days where I was very concerned for my own wellbeing, though I guess the fact that I was compos mentis enough to recognise I needed intervention and help was good. On one particularly bleak evening when I was alone, I was grateful for the women who I was able to text to pray for me and check in on me, and for my mum who just held me when she got home to find me in a not-so-good way. The part about asking for help that is particularly hard is knowing that it hurts the people who love you, even though they assure you that they want to help you and you are not a burden and not to apologise.

I saw my psychologist immediately, and was grateful to her for fitting me in on the day that I called her. She is usually quite fully booked, and again I felt bad for knowing that I was making her late for other people, but she was very good at getting to the heart of things and assuring me I was doing the right thing. In sessions since we have started working on my schemas and I have disclosed a whole bunch of stuff to her that made her go “ohhhh that makes so much sense of all the things we’ve been working on these past years” (which of course then made me feel guilty for wasting her time and not having told her my entire life story in minute detail in our very first session so she had the full picture (she was not expecting I do that by the way)). Both her and my GP have said “thank you for telling me about all of that” when I have disclosed to them, and honestly it’s actually the first time I’ve ever spoken the details of that part of my story out loud to a professional person. It was kind of scary. Exhausting. Extremely full on. But good. (side note: it has taken 20-ish years since a lot of trauma in my life to actually haul it out into the light and start properly working on it…If you hear cases of historical allegations and wonder why it takes so long for people to come forward…it just does.)

Speaking of my GP, I am extremely grateful for him too. He listens and takes time and tries to understand. He’s never made me feel silly or rushed or like all my problems are because I need to lose weight (believe me, a lot of doctors think that’s the only thing that will save anyone). He’s respectful but amusing and jovial and I am glad to have him on my team. In the last couple of weeks I have been coming off the medication I’ve been on for years so that I can start taking a stronger one. He also wrote me another medical certificate for Centrelink.

Thankfully Centrelink hasn’t gotten around to hassling me about looking for work yet, and hopefully the medical certificate is fine. I have most weeks actually had just enough work that it disqualifies me from a payment, which is good…I guess? Though my capacity is still very limited. If I could get paid for napping I would be making an absolute fortune. I am grateful that the kind of work I do means that my hourly rate is quite reasonable, so I earn just enough to scrape by on the minimal hours I’m able to do. If I was doing something that only paid $20 an hour then I would be much more dependant on that Jobseeker. Still, I’m glad it’s there if I need it.

The massage work has been really wonderful. I’ve been enjoying it so much, enjoying the conversations with clients, or enjoying just knowing I’m helping people feel better than when they walked in. I am booked for a big women’s retreat on 1 May and I’m both, well, excited and scared (as Red Riding Hood would say). It will be a wonderful day but I’m just hoping I have the stamina to get through it. I am super grateful for my remedial massage therapist, Bron, coming to help.

And the creative design/video work has also been good but as I said at the beginning of the post, I am grateful that it’s school holidays so the school stuff has quietened and I can actually have a break. This sort of rhythm of the year makes sense and I think I might embrace it, having down time during school holidays just for my own health.

Lots of pleasant event scheduling things coming to fruition in the next couple of months too, which is also something to be grateful for (thanks, past Bec!). A trip to Sydney next week (!), seeing Hamilton, seeing friends, seeing Playing Beattie Bow, trips to Melbourne in May and June, playing in the Yamaha Winds Orchestra again, another trip to Sydney in June, seeing Come From Away…it’s kind of bizarre to think about getting on a plane again but I am looking forward to it. We’ve been very protected down here on our little island.

Oops — and now I should be off to have coffee with a dear friend. Anyway, just know that things are bumpy but I’m hanging in there and appreciate you for reading and keeping me in your thoughts.

This got like a quite formal letter all of a sudden.

Yours sincerely,

Bec