Mental As….Sonja

I’ve sat down to write this a few times now, and deleted it over and over again.

It’s Mental Health Week in Australia – or month if you live in NSW. Obviously, this is a topic close to my heart. I believe that more people need to speak up about it, so that there can be greater understanding in the wider community that having a brain that is sick is no different, really, than have a body that is unwell.

The problem lies here: I want to write an uplifting post. I want to say that it all gets so much better and therapy and medication really help and there is an end in sight! In some ways, this is correct: I have overcome Bulimia Nervosa, the roots of which began when I was 8 (but that really took hold when I was 16). I no longer have any symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are two really big things that took a lot of hard work to achieve, and I am proud of them. Continue reading

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Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Hi there!

Ok,  if anyone still reads this blog, I apologise for not actually, you know, posting in quite so time. So if you’re still with me, bravo to you 🙂

So. I’m about to be involved in a very interesting study, run by the University of Newcastle, to determine the effects of regular exercise on young people with depression. It’s a 6 month study involving a period of 12 weeks with no intervention and 12 weeks of structured exercise programs run a personal trainer 3 times a week. I’ll either get the intervention straight up or wait 3 months. So far, I’ve completed a phone interview, online survey and psych evaluation to make sure I meet the criteria. Next up is a meeting with an exercise physiologist to take some baseline personal data (height, weight etc) and  determine my current level of fitness (ha!) and I’ll also have some blood taken to measure some inflammation markers (don’t ask me what that’s all about…?) Continue reading

These Twists and Turns of Fate

A year ago,  I thought I would be married right now.
As it turns out, it’s a good thing I broke up with the guy.

A month ago, I received an offer from ACU Brisbane and was all prepared to move interstate.
As it turns out, that’s not happening either.

After 3 weeks of trying to gain approval from a real estate agent and getting nowhere, last friday morning I got an email.
“You have received an offer from UAC.”
Turns out it was from the University of Newcastle – which is where I’d (secretly) wanted all along!

So how long has ‘all along’ been?
Well, if I’m honest, since June…shortly after the brake up.
I knew I wanted to move from early childhood to straight primary school teaching.
I knew that my grades weren’t quite good enough to secure an internal transfer and that I’d have to apply via UAC.
So I thought “I’m 23, wouldn’t it be nice to live out of home?” and thus I applied to UoW and UoN.
The more and more I talked to my friend Bek, the more and more I wanted Newcastle.

Why didn’t you say anything?
I don’t like to ‘tempt fate’.
I know it’s ridiculous, and has no bearing on the actual outcome of anything, but I don’t like to say anything until I’m actually sure.

When are you leaving?
I’ll be leaving next Tuesday, the 28th of January.
You’re more than welcome to pop over and say bye if you like, but I’m not making a big thing of it!
Newcastle isn’t that far away, and modern technology is a wonderful invention 🙂

So there you have it.
From next week, I’ll be living in Newcastle, studying a B.Arts/B.Teaching (Primary)!
I’m very excited, slightly nervous, but looking forward to a new adventure.

2013. Not my best year.

Oh, 2013.

What. A. Year.

I wish I could write an uplifting post about personal growth. About how much I’ve learnt about myself this year, got in touch with my inner self, matured, changed. In all honesty though, I haven’t much.

I spent the first sixth months of this year firmly in denial. I knew what I had to do by March, but I resolutely didn’t  do anything about it until June. It’s a painful, horrible thing to think that you are going to spend to rest of your life with someone only to work out that it would, in fact, be an incredible mistake if you did.

I have let myself be frozen by anixiety and fear. It’s no surprise to many of you that I failed 3 subjects and barely passed another 3. I have relied on old addictive behaviours instead of healthy coping stratergies. I have shut people out and held myself in.

Really, this year there is not much that I am proud of.

I hope next year will be better. I hope I put more effort into life. I have lived too long behind the veil of illness and insecurity (sometimes, with legitmate cause but often without).

For a month and a half recently, I was reguarly chatting to guy. A good, funny, kind, intelligant Christian man. He helped me see myself in a new, or rather, old light. Once upon a time, I was fearless and fun and full of life. I miss being that person. I know I can’t ever be exactly her again, but I want to try to regain some of the important parts of life. He has inspired me to be passionate again.

I have three friends who have been struggling in various stages of recovery from eating disorders this year. They want to get better and Iam inspired by their zest for life.

My sister is building  a house. My mum is standing up for herself. My dad is enjoying life again.

Next year, I hope to be proud of myself.