Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prayer Request - Smoking

Hi Everyone

I am doing really, really badly on the stopping smoking front. I have, so far, managed not to buy a packet but I go up to people on the street for one every few hours. This, I know, is not good enough. I feel terrible.

My stress levels are also through the roof. I had to leave class an hour early today because I was stressed and couldn't concentrate. Luckily I am well ahead with my work so the main damage is to my pride.

I really, really want to give up but it is much tougher than I imagined. I need your help!

Pray please. Give suggestions. Pray again.

Thanks guys


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yay - Amber and Jessie are moving out!

Hi Everyone

Yes it's true - I got the flat and I can have my beautiful cat Jessie with me. I am so excited and nervous. As it is permanent housing (no lease - you can only be kicked out for bad behaviour etc) this is a tremendous relief for me and a real answer to prayer.

I move in 1-2 weeks which I know will be hectic and stressful. Please pray that I get through it well.

I am also now going to try and give up smoking as I promised God I would try if I got the place. This will also be good for me in terms of my physical health. I will start off on nicotine replacement therapy so I don't get too grumpy and then gradually wean off it.

Anyway thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. They worked!

God Bless


Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Housing Possibility

Hi Everyone

Thanks so much for your support and prayers over what has been a very tough week for me.

Anyway yesterday I went to see my case manager and she said that Mental Health Services had put my name down for a designated Mental Health Unit. I am the only one who they put forward to get it so it seems to be a real possibility.

The next step is to see whether Housing Management will approve me going in. My Case Manager is fairly positive that they will but, just in case, please, please pray that they do.

Also please pray that I can take my beautiful cat Jessie with me.

I went yesterday to see the unit and it is lovely. They are painting it. It is larger than my current unit and closer to amenities.

I will know next week so stay tuned.

God Bless


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hospital and Respite

Hi Everyone

On Sunday night the voices came back with a vengeance. I spent all day in bed trying to fight them off - they wouldn't go and I was exhausted. I then spent Monday in bed and it just got worse. On Monday night I rang a friend and asked her to take me to hospital.

I was very, very sick but they had no beds in the psychiatric ward. I stayed overnight in the emergency department. The psychiatrist came in the morning and said there were still no beds so they gave me a sedative. I went to sleep and then the doctor said, because I went to sleep, that I could go home.

I didn't feel that going home was a good option so I rang my Case Manager and asked if I could go to Respite. Respite is a 'step down' from the hospital for people who are a bit unwell but can cope a little bit. They have nurses and a cook and cleaner but no doctors and you can go out if you want to.

I feel very settled in Respite but I have to go home tomorrow and am really scared about that. Please, please pray for me that I will cope and/or Respite will let me have a few more days.

God Bless


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day - An Interview with my Mother

Hi Everyone

As it is Mothers Day here today here is a picture of, and an interview with, my mother. Hope you enjoy reading.

What were your thoughts and feelings when you had your first child (which was me)?

Joy and fear. Joy because I was a 'little miracle' and then fear because she and my father had no idea what to do. She said they used to hold a mirror up to my face to make sure I was still breathing. At that time there were no books etc on how to be a parent and they relied on observation and experience. They were both very responsible and did their best but there wasn't much support. My father's parents were in Hobart, they were in Launceston and my mother's parents were in Elliott (country Tasmania in the North West). They hadn't been in Launceston long and didn't have many friends there. My mother relied a lot on the child health clinics.

How was this similar or different to the births of your other three children?

In Melbourne (where my brother was born) they had a lot of friends aqnd neighbours through babysitting, my father's work and tennis. Also a reference book on childrearing 'Dr Spock' had come out which was helpful.

With my two much younger sisters from mum's second marriage things were a lot easier as she had already reared two children and had more confidence and less worry. She found their milestones interesting but not frightening.

What values or ethics have you tried to instill in your children?

These were predominantly Christian values such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, not stealing, keeping promises, work for things, save up to buy things and set goals. My mother was also keen on keeping family traditions at times such as Easter, Christmas and Birthdays. She also valued routines. One familiar one for me was 'Toilet, teeth and bed.' She also sang when it was bath time.

What challenges have you faced as a parent?

My mother said her greatest challenge was her hatred of both of her former husbands. In my father's case she said she tried not to poison us against our father but often found this difficult.

In my stepfather's case she told the children exactly what had happened and stated that they couldn't see their father for their own protection. She said some people disagreed with this approach but his early death meant that a full confrontation was avoided.

To what do you attribute the academic successes of your children?

Mum stated that this was a result of both her 'genetic brilliance', fostering an environment of learning at home and working with teachers rather than against them. She read to all her children from when they were babies, played the piano and sang, had many 'dress up' costumes available and encouraged 'discovery tours' of the garden and nearby parks etc. She stated that she did not expect 100% from teachers and, if there were gaps in our learning, rather than blaming the teacher she would work with them and support them so the gaps would close.

What have been your proudest moments as a mother?

She said that I, at four, would not go further than I was allowed despite peer pressure to do so. I returned, sobbing, stating that I had stood my ground. She felt that showed I was strong minded and ethical.

She also remembers the academic prowess - my brother's state Maths prize, my bursary and my two sisters getting dux of the school.

She said that Kathy Cameron, a teacher at my old school Hellyer College, told her I was the most brilliant English student she had ever taught.

Mum is also pleased with the integrity of all her children who she thinks of as 'good people' and the recent generosity of my brother who paid for my sister and I to go to Melbourne.

What do you think you have done well as a parent?

She said she had tried to listen to her children. She had provided a good learning environment although she found we were a little more difficult in our adolescence. She also felt she had managed well on a limited budget and we were able to participate in sport, travel and music and ate healthy meals. She said that she always put the children's needs first and, often, her wardrobe suffered as a result.

What would be your advice to first time mothers?

Stop working and spend more time with the children. Follow your instincts. Be encouraging. Don't spoil them with too much money.

The End

Hope you have all enjoyed the interview. Please continue to pray for my housing situation.

God Bless


Saturday, May 9, 2009

An allergic reaction

Hi Everyone

It's been sooo long and I've missed you all. Thanks heaps to those who dropped by even when I was out of credit.

I had almost recovered recovered from my nasty voices yesterday and went to my doctor for a routine flu vaccination. I have these every year so I just went in, the nurse jabbed me in the arm and then I left.

I was at the Polytechnic (where I study) and I went to the toilet. I noticed that my neck was red raw and I felt a little dizzy. I asked the receptionist if I could ring my doctor and she said yes.

The doctor told me to come in right away which scared me so I went into prayer overload. Eg "Please God let me be Ok. Don't let me die" etc etc.

The doctor gave me an anti inflammatory medication and some chocolate to keep my sugar levels up. My pulse was up to about 140 and my blood pressure was really high too. I was scared.

Thankfully everything was OK in the end and I left the surgery and was told to go to bed for the rest of the day which I did.

Anyway I am OK now - physically and mentally. Please continue to pray for my housing situation.

Also coming up tomorrow is my special ''Mothers Day" Interview with my very own mother.

God Bless


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Out of credit

Hi Everyone

Just a quick note to say that I am out of internet credit so won't be able to post or comment much for the next few days.

Keep up the prayer please - still experiencing symptoms but they are getting better.

Will be back on board on Saturday.

May God Bless you all


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Album of Opinions - Now it's My Turn

Hi Everyone

I am slowly recovering from my psychotic episode over the weekend. Still very tired but have been able to go to classes as normal. A big, huge thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

Anyway - today's post includes my answers to the Album of Opinions questions - hope you enjoy reading them.

The Noblest Aim in Life
To love God, others and myself.

The characters you admire most in real life.
My friend Megan and my grandmother Bronwen.

Who do you consider the greatest living politician?
Kevin Rudd (Australian Prime Minister)

What political questions are you chiefly interested in?
Mental health reform. Improving the quality of life of Australian Aboriginal people.

The greatest artists and musicians?
Van Gogh and Salvador Dali. Bono from U2

Your favourite characters in fiction?
Lucy from the Narnia series and, recently, Bella from Twilight

The time of year you like most?

The authors you admire most?
CS Lewis, TS Eliot, Shakespeare

A brief definition of love.
There are different types of love. The best of them is when you consider the other person's needs before your own.

The scenery you admire most?
Secluded beaches with pure white sand.

Your idea of happiness
To be completely rid of mental illness.

Your favourite motto or proverb
A good name is better than riches (from Proverbs in the Bible)

The wrongs you would redress.
Third world debt should be abolished so developing countries can actually develop.

Reforms you would advocate
More funding and early intervention for serious mental illnesses

Your favourite recreation or hobby
Reading, writing and theatre (directing and acting)

The true place of woman in society
This is a tricky one. Some women prefer to be at home and others prefer to work. I think the 'place' should be what is considered to be the best outcome for the husband, wife and children. Single women can really do what they want.

Your favourite topic of study

Your chief ambition
To be a published author and support myself totally by writing.

The Christian name you like best
Jessica and Joshua

Your ideas on the subject of marriage.
Marriage can be wonderful if both partners make an effort to love the other and put the other's needs above their own needs. Also we need to choose our partners well and not just on our hormones.

The qualities you respect most in men and women?
Honesty, openness, kindness, gentleness, generosity and humour.

Your favourite flowers, birds and beasts
Carnations, white cockatoo, cat.

The End

Hey - maybe now it's your go! God Bless


Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Woman of No Importance - A play by Oscar Wilde

Hi Everyone

On Friday night to confuse the voices a bit I went to see 'A Woman of No Importance' by Oscar Wilde.

The play was full of nasty, superficial characters and witty one liners.

Basically a young middle class man, Gerald Arbuthnot, finds himself accepted into aristocratic society and offered the post of secretary to the sleazy Lord Illingworth. He also falls in love with their rich American guest Hester Worsley.

Word is sent to Gerald's mother, Mrs Rachel Arbuthnot, to come to see her son and celebrate his good fortune.

It turns out, however, that Lord Illingworth is Gerald's father and his mother hates him for leaving her to bring up Gerald alone.

Eventually the only 'nice' characters - Rachel, Gerald and Hester decide to go to America to get away from the rest of them.

The play is filled with some wonderful one liners including - "Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them." Also "Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a man's last romance."

I thoroughly enjoyed the play and it distracted me nicely from those awful voices.

God Bless


Friday, May 1, 2009

Hearing Voices - Please God not this again!

Hi Everyone

My worst fear is happening all over again. The voices are back.

I was totally fine in the morning but at lunch time they hit.

This is what they are saying - they start off with a list of all the bad, stupid etc things I did when I was a teacher, then they say 'you were a crap teacher and you are therefore a crap person and you deserve to die'. They end up telling me to kill myself.

I have been arguing with them all afternoon. I am saying to them that God has saved me and that therefore I deserve to live. And that I am retraining and won't be going near a classroom again. That all the stupid things I did have been forgiven by God Himself.

I am exhausted by all this arguing. I have been to the doctor and the counsellor. They both told me to go to hospital if I get worse.

I don't want to go to hospital! I have spent months building up a positive lifestyle and working hard at my studies. A break in hospital could ruin all that.

Please, please pray for me that these voices will go away.

Thank you