Saturday, December 6, 2014

silly season

Well December snuck up on us very quickly in this house. The year is all but grinding to a halt but before we shut the door on 2014 there are a few parties to attend, social gatherings to tick off, work functions to endure and then of course family fun over Christmas.

This year has already been different for us. We celebrated Christmas two weeks ago as my folks are heading off overseas next week. It actually felt ok doing Christmas in November. I didn't over buy, I felt calm, there was no lead up we just did it, there were no real expectations of how it should be and I kinda like that.

Social situations are a challenge for my husband still to this day. The feeling of being cornered or in a large noisy gathering never works well. As most Christmas celebrations involve alcohol he feels like he's missing out at times. I'm on alert and find it hard to relax waiting for the sign that we need to leave and leave now!

It can be an isolating time for some and we probably tend to isolate ourselves just so that we make it to Christmas Day in one piece. The expectation that you're out having a wow of a time and moving from one party to the next has never been a reality for me. Bring on the quiet days and small gatherings where you get to talk to friends and find out how life is for them and what they might be planning to do come Christmas Day.

So this 'silly season' I will look forward to minimum fuss, great food, icy cold champagne and small gatherings of family and friends. I haven't done much decorating opting for lights and candles this year. I love having the lights on during the day and of course at night they really are pretty.

I hope your lead up to Christmas is pleasant and come the big day you arrive feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy all that you have planned.

Mel x

Sunday, August 3, 2014


It's August and finally I'm back here ready to write something. I'm not even sure what has been keeping me away, but I do know this year is whizzing by.

Let me just rewind a little. The last time I posted we were off on our holiday, seem a lifetime ago. Well there were mixed results with our time away. My husband was totally out of his comfort zone, found the going really tough and had a hard time relaxing so that certainly presented us with a few uncomfortable moments. The positive to come from it all was he could share with me what was going on for him so I didn't have to keep pressing him. We really are still learning how to deal with all that PTSD throws at us. Sometimes we nail it, other times we crumble.

His limits and my limits with his limits!

We did try to keep things fairly flexible. We both decided the best thing to do was come home early. Being back at home was a great move. He felt secure, I could relax and we were back with our fur babies.

So although this wasn't what we had both been expecting we came out of it all reasonably well. A little more thought might be required next time we go away but for now we are happy at home.

We did have some beautiful moments admiring and soaking up the natural beauty of Vanuatu.

On another note, I've been battling DVA for the past couple of weeks. Always something that totally exhausts me. Once I have an outcome on the issue I've asked for clarification on I will share it here as many of you might also face something similar.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother but then I also think if I don't who will?

We've had snow here the past couple of days and that always creates a little bit of excitement around Hobart. Amazing how a dusting of white stuff can make things look oh so pretty! Nice to look back on my holiday snaps to remind me how warm and beautiful the weather was.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

off we go...

Soon we will depart on a holiday. We both love seeing new places or at least we did.

Since PTSD started travelling with us things are a little different.

Instead of looking forward to all that might be ahead of us as we venture off I am filled with the awful anticipation of what might happen along the way. That horrible stomach churning anxiety that turns excitement into dread.

Travel is not easy these days but we both refuse to stop doing it.

PTSD has taken much from our lives but travel won't make it to that list.

Airports create a hyper vigilance and level of anxiety that can only be calmed by medication for my husband and don't talk about delays or security!

New places once were exciting and fresh and a level of curiosity abounded until we could get out and explore for ourselves. Now there is a cautious tempered curiosity that sometimes turns into total 'get me out of here' anxiety.

The familiar is good, but the unfamiliar throws up all sorts of threats, real or otherwise, that need to be dealt with. Sometime I'm good at the 'dealing with' but other times I wonder why we leave home.

We try and travel without too many stops and plonk ourselves in one spot for a while rather than being on the go constantly. Many stops and constantly changing places doesn't work anymore.

At least this time we will have a discussion and talk about how we are both feeling before we leave and work as a team while we navigate our way to our destination. We will have a game plan of sorts and try and stick with it until it all goes to custard.

We both know we need to break. So off we will go to discover new places and gain a refreshed appreciation for what we already have on our door step.

Bring on that first cocktail I say!

Mel x

Do you have similar problems when you travel?
Any tips on getting through airports drama free?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

cool change

This week it has really felt like winter is well and truly on its way. The autumn colours have intensified and the leaves scattered in my garden seem to multiply every day. I love this time of year.

The short days and cold weather can be hard for some but I find the cosy comfort of home very appealing at this time.

I actually love walking on the beach even more when it's cold and I'm dressed warmly.

It's a great way to clear the cobwebs and to focus on nothing but keeping warm and walking a little faster to stay warm.

The beach is where I go to find a little 'pocket of peace'. To see the day dawn and watch a brand new day unfold can bring hope and the chance to start afresh.

This past week has produced some truly stunning sights which I wanted to share with you.

ANZAC Day treated us well at this end. A day that can go either way. This year it was calm, quiet and meaningful in many ways. The deep sadness that has over shadowed previous ANZAC days' seemed to have been kept in check this year. For that I am grateful.

I'm also very grateful and somewhat overwhelmed with those of you who've found my blog via Welcome to this little space of mine and thanks so much for dropping by. Beth never hesitated to post my story and to have such enthusiasm and support is heart warming, thank you Beth x

I hope we can share our experiences. I very much look forward to talking with you here, there's much to share.

What season is your favourite?
Where do you go to find a 'pocket of peace'?

Thursday, April 24, 2014


It's the 24th April and preparations for ANZAC Day are underway in this house. Biscuits made, medals laid out, rosemary sprigs cut for the local RSL and memories surfacing.

The mood changes here. It's quiet, almost uneasy, sometimes tense. Hard to explain really but it's different to other days.

This year we will be staying local.

We have travelled to Melbourne previously and experienced the 'big city' feel where hundreds line the streets as the march passes by and that same amount have been up since dawn attending services and ceremonies. We've then walked across to the MCG to experience a football game that has to be seen to be believed. The passion with which these teams play on the day is clearly evident.

What stays with me when I reflect on ANZAC Day is the silence of 80,000+ people as the last post is played. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it now.

Taking a moment to remember by yourself or with 80,000 others always stirs the emotion.

This year as I pause to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country and those who have served I will also be thinking about those of us who are in the background supporting the injured when they return.

I will be thinking about those who have and who are walking the same path as me, living with an injured veteran.

I will be thinking about the sacrifices they make every single day to love and care for their loved one.

I will be thinking about who cares for them when they need support and understanding.

I will be thinking about the way life has changed for them in so many ways.

I will be thinking about the struggle and the painful times behind them and also ahead of them.

I will be thinking about how difficult ANZAC Day can be, often a time when the symptoms of PTSD and the memories seem to sweep our loved ones away again.

I will be thinking about the strength, courage and sheer hard, hard work it takes to be there for someone who is suffering so deeply.

I will be thinking about those of us who feel overwhelmed and helpless despite our best efforts at remaining calm and composed.

If that is you, know that I will be thinking about you tomorrow.

Mel x

Sunday, March 23, 2014

keeping it real

More than a month has gone by and I haven't posted here. There are no excuses. We've been riding the depression roller coaster here in this house and it's exhausting. I'm sure most of you are all too familiar with this ride.

It's a pity it's not exhilarating and fun instead being dark, tiresome and something I can't wait to get off.

The constant despair is what I'm finding hard to cope with this time around. It starts to become all consuming and is so hideous the way it finds ways of robbing you of the simple pleasures in life.

Being surrounded by this is a heavy burden and tests my naturally positive state of being.

Even my 'glass half full' approach started to look very empty.

To see someone you love suffering in such a way is nothing less than heartbreaking.

Then last week there was a slight change in mood. Not sure what it was, maybe the last argument we had. The enormous black cloud may have changed to grey, we are aiming for a big fluffy silver one!

Peace and harmony has returned to our house and I can't even pretend to tell you how incredibly happy that makes me.

I'm taking one day at a time, I dare not look too far ahead but I'm certainly not looking back.

If this sounds like what you're going through or have been through with your partner let me tell you, you're certainly not alone.

Take care out there and may we all have a little more light in our lives even it it's just a light shade of grey.

Mel x

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


This year for the first time I have decided to write a journal. I've never been one to write in a diary so this is a new experience for me. I'm happy to say I'm really enjoying the process.

I've bought crayons, paints, textas, pencils, glitter, glue, coloured paper, stickers, photos, Sharpies of all colours, stamps and I'm having a ball with it. Often I only write a couple of words or pick things I'm grateful for and write about them. It's full of colour and I can honestly say I haven't painted since I was a primary school kid and that's some time ago!

I'm looking forward to seeing what my year looks like according to my journal once December arrives.

I'm sure there will be times when all I want to do is write about what is occupying my mind but for now I'm enjoying the light, bright and breezy feel my journal has.

Who knew crayons and watercolours could be so much fun.

Do you write in a journal?

My morning beach walks have been really stunning of late.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Being my blog I talk all about 'me' here.

I was wondering if anyone out there might like to talk about themselves, share their story (we all have one), tell us how they cope, tell us what works for them and what is a total disaster. Ask a question of others or just pop up in the comments and say hello. Tell me how your world has changed since PTSD became part of it.

I know you're reading (the stats tell me so) but I would love to connect with a few more of you if you feel you want to share. I've got a nice cuppa, scones, jam and cream or caramel slice or even raspberry muffins on offer that I'd love to share with you!

I'm not good at commenting on blogs so I know how it feels. I read, agree and then off I go.

It takes courage to put yourself out there both in real life and online, so of course there's no pressure but if you feel like saying hello this is an open invitation to YOU!

I look forward to hearing from you otherwise I might have to eat all the goodies myself...

Mel x

Sunday, January 19, 2014

having fun

As the weekend comes to an end I just told my husband what a fantastic weekend I've had.

There have been lots of laughs, chat, great company with caring happy people, lots of catching up with people near and dear, conversation about others that are doing it tough, seeing people laugh and smile and have a truly great time with each other, delicious food, music, sharing, joy, genuine interest in one another, lots of focus on happy times all while we celebrated my beautiful mum's birthday.

Such an occasion brings people together all with the sole purpose of having fun.

I'm not much of a party person but I do love seeing people really enjoying themselves. My mum is a party girl so we all get to share in and soak up the happy times via her willingness to have a party.

The photo boards were up. These always create so much interest and allow you to remember parts of your life you may not have thought about for many years. Seeing the younger, slimmer version of yourself is always both a confronting and comforting!!

My mum knows how to have fun and fun is what we had.

It feels good to have some fun in your life. Creating memories that will no doubt make an appearance on the photo board next time mum is ready for a party.

Fun is energising. Fun is refreshing. Fun is fabulous.

When was the last time you really had fun?
Do you like to party?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Happy New Year to you! I really do hope 2014 is kind to you and yours. The new year is always full of so much promise. It feels fresh and all shiny and new. It can be a time to reassess what you might hope the year ahead delivers for you or it might just be a time to clear the to-do list and let life unfold.

I'm not a big resolution maker. I'm more the type that cleans out the pantry, sorts the linen cupboard, sifts through my wardrobe ridding it of unloved clothes, and adds pretty new plants to brighten up my garden. That seems to be my way of refreshing life for the year ahead.

So far January has been busy for us with many visitors and the odd party or two. This has caused much anxiety for my husband in trying to be social when all he wants to do is withdraw. January has proved to be a little rocky for him thus far. It's so sad to see what rattles him these days, things that he would have given no consideration to at all prior to PTSD entering his life.

The impatience, the despair, the low moods, the lack of motivation have all returned for now.

We are just taking one day at a time. I'm encouraging him not to look too far forward and catastrophise everything before it has happened!!

I'm looking forward to seeing what 2014 dishes up. No doubt it will unfold just as it should resolutions or no resolutions.

Do you make resolutions each new year?
How do you deal with someone who catastrophises life's events no matter how big or small they might be?

(It's dahlia time in my garden!)