Insomnia.


I have had insomnia since I was a child. When I was lucky, I could snatch an afternoon nap, or four hours sleep at night. Other times, the insomnia was more severe, and I didn’t sleep at all. I was determined not to get hooked on sedatives, after seeing the damage they could do. I tried self-help books, hypnotherapy, essential oils, herbal medicine and everything in between. You name it, I have tried it. After several weeks of no sleep at all, I hit the wall. I was unable to recall the most trivial of details involved in the minutiae of life. I stumbled over sentences and couldn’t get my thoughts together.

Insomnia is a form of torture. Too tired to read or work in the middle of the night. Too tired to even watch infomercials, which is just as well, as I would be the proud owner of several tonnes of crap by now. Too tired to cry in frustration. A caffeine hit and hot shower and busy days with no time for rest. By six pm I would be exhausted. I put myself through an elaborate winding down ritual. Sadly, I wonder how many of those we read about in the media have been lost due to insomnia scrambling their cognitive processes? I can imagine them swallowing a few more tablets in the early hours, desperate to get some sleep. There have been studies done on this.
http://www.abc.net.au/health/library/stories/2010/01/21/2797098.htm

At least the cherub rests.
At least the cherub rests.

I don’t know if I have been feeling more stressed, or whether my chronic pain is exacerbating the insomnia. Whether the detritus of the day is having a party in my subconscious at night. None of it matters at the moment. I just need sleep. I had been putting it off, but relented and got some sleeping pills. I took a low dose, and within thirty minutes, I was out! I woke this morning with cognitive clarity and felt on top of things at last. I know its not a long-term solution, but its a start. I had to cancel weekend plans, as I felt like passing out every time I stood. I couldn’t answer simple questions and driving was too dangerous to contemplate. Insomnia was taking over my life. It was being drained of all colour. To my insomnia comrades, I salute you and your ability to continue with your busy life. The effort involved is extraordinary. I hope we all get some shut-eye consistently from hence forth!

Hold On.


I am going to republish this post, after hearing of the passing of Robin Williams.There are many amongst us who are battling depression. Brilliant people, who seemingly have the world at their feet. I can tell you from firsthand experience,that when you are feeling low, you have fallen into an abyss where the stars aren’t seen. They are smothered by an unforgiving cluster of coal, smeared across the light. I almost succeeded at ending my life at fifteen. In fact, I had a few serious attempts. Serious enough to have claimed my life each time. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted the pain to stop. I had to be brought back after my heart stopped. I awoke several days later in ICU,after dancing between life and death. I wasn’t pleased to still be here. I felt like a stranger in this world, without a home nor tribe. It seemed that circumstances including severe abuse- had conspired to push me out, and so I spun around in orbit. I tried to cling to a glimmer of hope, but in that dark moment,I couldn’t imagine anything changing. This was before being thrown off a building. This was before more pain, and a lengthy recovery.
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I am a grown woman now. I would say to that teen, “little girl, don’t give up. Don’t react in an act of violence against yourself. There will be growth after this anguish is done. You will get away.” Have you ever seen a forest after a bushfire? Black, the trees devoid of life. Then, regrowth. New shoots, tremulously and shyly start to peek out of the hollows. When I see this spectacle, I get emotional. That is what a person battling depression must cling to. New shoots will grow. It wont always feel like this. Today I talked to a friend, was helped by a friend, my daughter told me about her day, and we played. I had a few of her friends rush up and give me a hug. I have been loved. I have eaten good food and smelt citrus fruit. I have heard my little canaries melodic song and patted my guinea pig’s soft fur.
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Those with sensitive spirits, the wounded and vulnerable. We need more of you. You are the healers. Defy the pain that wants to take you out of this world. Just keep breathing. The answers will come to you in time. If you speak and aren’t heard, put it down to a dodgy connection, and try again with someone else. I love the saying, ‘If you are brave all the time, people will come to expect it of you’-Mignon McLaughlin. Nobody sees your suffering if they don’t know it exists. It is true, that some won’t understand when you speak your truth. Keep talking. I know Lifeline is stretched, and sometimes they can’t pick up every call. Try again. The stakes are too high. You are fighting for your life. You are precious. We need you. Lifeline, 13 11 14 in Australia. xxx

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Ground Coffee Art-Liv Buranday


instagram:

@livscreams and the Art of Ground Coffee

For more of Liv’s artwork, browse the #groundcoffeeart hashtag and follow @livscreams on Instagram.

For Liv Buranday (@livscreams), coffee isn’t just a jolt of caffeine in the morning—it’s a blank canvas inviting her to create her next piece of art.

A nursing student on the Philippine island of Cebu, Liv uses Instagram as a way to balance the technical demands of her career with her creative interests. “What I like about Instagram is that you get to see a lot of awesome artsy photos, and l got hooked looking at minimalistic art,” Liv says. “This also inspired me to do minimalistic photos/art of my own that lead me to create #groundcoffeeart.”

Her chosen medium—coffee grounds—stemmed out of her family’s morning routines. “What inspired me to do #groundcoffeeart is my father’s love for coffee. I’ve always known him to love brewed coffee, and then a thought popped out when he opened that Folgers Classic Roast—perhaps I can use its contents as art.”

Inspired equally by her day-to-day life and her own imagination, Liv painstakingly sets out to arrange the grounds into her composition, using only her hands and a toothpick to arrange the coffee grounds and small props. With so much room for error involved, Liv has started to seek out ways to make her art last longer: “Just a month ago I’ve decided to apply glue for its permanent effect because on my previous #groundcoffeeart my patience was really tested.”

Luke C, a Talented Young Photographer.


ImageMy friend’s son, Luke, has just turned sixteen years of age, and his photography blows me away. He has been interested in photography since Year 8, when he first studied it at school. He would love to make a career out of it, and I believe this young man will! He dreams of travelling the world, taking photos of unusual landscapes and monuments. With young people like Luke launching into adulthood within the next few years, I feel reassured that our future shall be in very good hands.

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Endo to end all Endo’s.


March is Endometriosis Awareness month.P1080589 Endometriosis and infertility were the worst experiences of my life. This from a lady who was thrown off a building as a teen! I started to experience pelvic pain at eleven years of age, and often ended up in hospital. I would vomit and scream from the agony. Pethidine rarely touched the sides in casualty. I saw gynecologist’s who said the pain would settle, and I had ultrasounds, which showed nothing. I was on the pill by fourteen, which did nothing to settle the pain. I wasn’t diagnosed until my mid-twenties. I saw a new spinal surgeon and mentioned that my lower back and sciatic pain ramped up the week a period. He asked my GP to refer me to a gynecologist with the belief I had endometriosis. Indeed I did. It was the size of oranges, clumped together outside my bowel, bladder, and pressing against my sciatic nerve. The first surgeon burnt it off, which caused blood-filled cysts. Within six months, I was in such agony I had to see an endo specialist for further surgery.

I was told I was infertile, and I declared I wanted to try IVF immediately, whilst I had a clean pelvis. The IVF clinic knew little about endometriosis, and the drugs I was on made it flare up, rather like pouring petrol onto a fire. I ended up in a maternity ward for a week on morphine. I had two more cycles with this particular clinic, before changing. The new place honoured my gut instincts as to what drugs I should be on and those I couldn’t tolerate. I fell pregnant! I felt the best I had since I was eleven, even with the extra pressure on my fused spine. Within months of my little girl being born, the endometriosis came back. It was everywhere. I had my daughter’s cord blood stored when she was born, in the hope that she will be spared this cruel disease. They are discovering genetic links and also that it is an auto-immune disorder.

I had more surgery, then went onto drugs to trick my body into thinking it was in menopause. With already weakened bones, I slipped over and broke my back in three places. I had to give up the medication. I spent thousands on alternative therapies. I exercised each day,and had a vegetarian diet but despite all my efforts, it raged. I wanted to give my daughter a sibling, and to feel as well as I had when pregnant with her. In 2010, I went in for more surgery. The doctor severed the main nerve to my pelvis, hoping it would provide pain relief. Once again, it was everywhere. I woke in my room, felt dizzy and fell to the floor. I looked at my stomach and it was beet-red. My blood pressure had dropped rapidly by the time the nurse ran in. I was haemorrhaging. I was pumped full of blood and doctors stayed with me overnight as I wasn’t stable enough to go back to surgery. The next morning, they operated and they found the bleed. It was a slow recovery, and a traumatic one.

When I saw the surgeon, he retrieved a photo he had taken of my fallopian tube, wondrously ovulating. A little egg was present, perfect and waiting to begin its journey. I cried. You see, straight after surgery, I went into premature menopause. I couldn’t have another child. My bones are fragile, and I face twenty years of not being exposed to natural protective hormones. If I take HRT, it could well feed even a pinprick of endometriosis in my pelvis. Endometriosis has made me really unwell at times and brought me to my knees. I am determined that my daughter’s generation shall have better treatment options, be diagnosed promptly, and have better outcomes. Let yellow rule the month of March! P1080587