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5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Zan
    Zan avatar
    52 posts
    9 May 2015

    Life's a funny thing. Hilarious actually. (Don't know who's laughing though). A lot of us, even those like my self, who also carry the extra burden of a mental disability, and/or depression, and/or anxiety, and/or PTSD, and/or bipolar, and/or brain trauma ... still think we are strong enough to do it all on our own (with the occasional or regular trip to see our treating physician, counselor or shrink), or at least get by, day by day by day -- year by year by year.

    We've  built our "nest" in order to "feel" safe, somewhere we "feel" the most peaceful, and have incorporated into that comfort zone various animal companions or companion animals ... usually suggested as beneficial to our healing process by either our our treating physician, counselor or shrink somewhere along the way ... and in this we still believe we can manage to do it all on our own, or at least get by -- day by day by day -- year by year by year.

    We might even go on-line to find some "extra" assistance or just a boost, or to vent ... and we still believe we can manage to do it all on our own, or at least get by -- day by day by day -- year by year by year.

    But what happens when we "crash"? Who is there when we injure ourselves and can no longer do it all on our own, or at least get by -- not even for a single day?

    I'm facing this horrible thought right now, ever since I tore a ligament in my knee and shattered my cartilage.  If I had to be hospitalized who would look after my animal companions? Would I even have a 'home' to return to if I was so incapacitated that I had to be cared for in some unknown, sterile, noisy, busy impersonal facility? Is there even such a thing as "community support" in remote rural Australia? Questions that I had never considered before are now forming in my head. Is it getting closer to that time of having to seriously consider moving into a town or city suburb where the amenities and care facilities are all located? Aarrggghhhh -- just the thought horrifies me! So I simply ignore the inevitable and kid myself that I can still manage to do it all on my own, or at least get by -- day by day by day -- year by year by year ---- and hope (lovingly) that at least I outlive my animal companions before having to make that horrible decision.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. HA1
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    HA1 avatar
    566 posts
    9 May 2015 in reply to Zan

    Hi Zan,

    Another very good post, with some solid food for thought. 

    But Zan, I wish you hadn’t written that, argh (lol)!  Because it is the very issue that has been lurking in the back of my mind (and I’ve tried very hard to keep it there!)  Too give you context; I have for a little while now been planning for a serious lifestyle change where I will be very much in the type of situation that you outline.   

    But as you say, these are important issues that need to be addressed and thought through and to the extent possible, contingencies planned for.   

    Thank you for highlighting this very important issue that many of probably face.  (Now I shall go and try and forget about again!)  

    Can I ask whether you have put in place any contingency plans in terms of a back up safety net?

    As I said, I think this is a very important issue that I wouldn't mind exploring a bit more.


  3. Zan
    Zan avatar
    52 posts
    9 May 2015 in reply to HA1

    Hi "Hideaway" -- it wasn't until I had to see a physiotherapist about my knee (he's attached to thelocal Community Hospital) who, off the cuff remarked at how brave I was living on my own in the bush (rural remote) with no support network that I even thought about it.

    I'd always just presumed that I'd get by on my own -- and copping with a mental disability that is pretty much a roller coaster ride is not really conducive to making long term friendships -- plus being vegan (I'm allergic to animal products) and S.A.D. free  (hey I can't even drink tea or coffee - they send me off)  while living in Australia's primary illicit drug and feed-the-man-beef growing area of NSW Northern Rivers  it's not as though there are lots of like minded people to form friendships with at any rate. So .... I've so far managed to do it all on my own, or at least get by -- day by day by day -- year by year by year.

    The saddest part is, there are literally thousands of Australians living in stripped out caravans and tents and TeePees and in conditions that can only be described as "Third World" in the bush or on multiple occupancy properties or farmers properties, all being treated like serf's on a feudal fiefdom by predator landlords in this area ... most of whom also have mental health problems and/or alcohol/drug issues. But does anyone care -- Nup! No matter how many letters to politicians or the media I write, not one story -- not one response. Why? Because where else would these Australian's be housed? There's nowhere.

  4. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    9 May 2015 in reply to Zan

    Dear Zan

    Great issue to discuss even though it's a bit scary. I live in Brisbane so it would seem I have all the conveniences of medical service such as ambulance and hospitals on my doorstep. Children not more than an hour away. Not much contact with neighbours but definitely on speaking terms. But it's not all plain sailing.

    If I sustained an accident and was unable to reach the phone I would probably not be found for many days. My family phone me regularly and so do various friends. They leave messages on the answer machine assuming I am out gallivanting somewhere, which is invariably the case.  How long before someone gets concerned?

    And if I cannot look after myself I have the same options as you. A nursing home of some sort. None of my children have room to accommodate me and I'm not sure I want to live with any of them. No ill feeling, just would not be comfortable.

    When I broke my kneecap some 14 years ago I spent several weeks in hospital, and it was actually quite pleasant, but then I was also severely depressed.  I imagine it would be entirely different if it was a permanent situation. True I had the advantage of services such as Blue Nurses and Meals on Wheels when I returned home, but no one to do my washing, clean my home or buy groceries.

    So the alternatives are very limited. There are services that take the oldies out for trips in a bus. Not my style. And I think for the same reason I would not like a retirement village. In my mind I am not old (only71), drive, do volunteer work, visit friends and family, shop, cook, clean. Plus all the other hobbies and activities I enjoy.

    I'm not sure what the answers are. I know there are things like alert necklaces or whatever they are called, but how does a responder get into your home?

    As far as I am concerned living my life to fullest extent possible and ignoring potential future problems is the best option. If and when I need to change my lifestyle I will face that hurdle at the time. Until then I will get on with my life instead of worrying about the future. I have enough worries in my life to contend with, depression and PTSD.

    Thanks for your comments Zan. Not sure if we can make those sort of plans for our future as the future has a way of making plans for us.



  5. Surrender
    Surrender avatar
    15 posts
    11 May 2015 in reply to Zan

    Hi Zan - that is an interesting post.  Believe it or not i have been compulsively thinking of moving out of Melbourne (live within 5km of CBD) and heading to the country for a more peaceful life to help with my anxiety/depression.

    I have tried this out by staying at country Vic areas but i found it very hard to mix in with folk that have lived there all their lives and i hate to say this but i feel people in the City are more tolerable of people with mental illness.  Next I am going to try somewhere like, The Shannon, Nimben and Lismore as I have visited these areas and seem friendlier.  Although all these areas are probably not rural as where you may be living.  Landlords in City rooming houses are taking advantage of people with disabilities and this is being ignored....spoken a lot about it but ignored.

    One thing i like about living in the City is that I have worked in various corporate companies that knew of my mental illness and they were very supportive but i can't say the same for government and not for profit organisations.  Three complete breakdowns working in government or not for profit orgs...never again.

    Does your area have any community support channels?  Can your Dr/therapist help put a plan in place for you?  I have resigned myself to the fact that i can not depend on anyone (friends or family) for support and if something was going to happen i am going to have to ring 000 and get lost in the system.

    I like what Mary writes: "Not sure if we can make those sort of plans for our future as the future has a way of making plans for us".

    I use to obsess about death but now realise that everyone is in the same boat.

    Thanks for your Post.



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