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Forums / Staying well / Staying/Getting/Doing Well – Moving goalposts or fixed target?

Topic: Staying/Getting/Doing Well – Moving goalposts or fixed target?

  1. Paw Prints
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    9 February 2019

    Hi, this is my first post, though I have been reading the forums for some weeks. I’m probably expressing myself badly when I say that I have found reading about other people’s journeys reassuring. Finding a community of people who “get it” even when they have a wide variety of experiences and lives lived is not something I thought I would ever find.

    Though people talk about getting well & there is a section Staying Well, I’m curious as to what this actually means to other people and how they manage their expectations. I noticed some people refer to being well as ‘being like themselves before they got ill’, whilst others don’t express an exact aim.

    My idea of being well has changed over the years. I was first diagnosed as an 8 year old child back in the late sixties. The doctors told Mum that the voices in my head & the sudden crying bouts were because I suffered from ‘nerves’ & I was given meds to calm me. Of course such things were not discussed back then & I was told not to talk about it to anyone, not my school friends nor siblings, just Mum. For decades after my idea of being well simply meant being able to hide my illness from others.

    A number of events in my life caused my illness to worsen, until some years ago I became so ill I needed to be hospitalised for my own safety. This lead to my current diagnosis of Major Depression, Anxiety & PTSD. I’m no longer in that dark place, but each day is still a battle (though I can now believe in a future). For now only my siblings & one friend know about my illness, though some things they still don’t know.
    So, what does ‘being well’ mean to me, it is ever moving goalposts. If you had asked me 5 years ago would I be as well as I am now I would have thought it impossible as I couldn’t envision a future. If you had asked me last week (during one of my down periods) I would have said my progress was all an illusion & I was fooling myself that things can get better.
    For now my idea of being well is being able to believe that things can change for the better, that I will one day be able to manage the everyday things like housework, caring for myself & caring for my dog & maybe, just maybe I will even be able to enjoy myself.

    Paw Prints
    **I took the tip to give myself time to write my post by writing on a word doc & then paste it.

    5 people found this helpful
  2. Croix
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    9 February 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Dear Paw Prints~

    Welcome here, and I'm glad you have been able to read what some others have said. There is nothing quite like finding others have had similar experiences. As I found one is not really alone, and the battles have been fought by others too. I'm grateful you have started helping others too, I saw your post to Jason_T abut journalling -a very useful tool.

    I think it is very important to understand , intellectually at first, and a full realization maybe later on, that life can improve out of sight for so very many of us..

    I was invalided out of my occupation with PTSD, anxiety and depression, and too was suicidal. Like you I've been hospitalized as well. Back them if had been told my life would be worth living, with love, occupation, accomplishment and the knowledge I was a support for my family I'd have written it off as do-good nonsense.

    Now I realize the truth of it as that is exactly where I'm at. I would not say I'm cured, but live dealing with the problems, trying to avoid triggers, leading as stress-free and healthy a life as possible.

    It did not happen overnight and medical support was essential, with a long period of trial and error to find therapy and medications that suited me and were effective. but I got there.

    I'm glad you have siblings and a friend to understand and support. Such personal care was a big factor in my recovery too. Trying to cope in isolation is very hard.

    There are ups and downs, though I've found the swings less down as time has gone on, the ups more effective and much longer lasting. The triggers much less frequent and less debilitating.

    I know I'm not the same person as you, and did not face exactly the same early life, however I was a total mess, now I'm glad to be here. If I can get there I would hope you can too

    Croix

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  3. Paw Prints
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    9 February 2019 in reply to Croix

    Dear Croix,

    Thank you for your kind words. Your comment "I think it is very important to understand , intellectually at first, and a full realization maybe later on, that life can improve out of sight for so very many of us.." describes perfectly what I am currently struggling with. I tell myself that things have got better & will keep getting better & that the bad patches are only temporary , but deep down I'm struggling to really believe it. I joined the forums as I need to see that things really have improved for others & to learn the things they did to help themselves. I need the reassurance that it is possible.

    I'm so pleased you are in such a good place.

    Paw Prints

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  4. Skary Bill
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    10 February 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paw Prints,

    I'm definitely getting somewhere. Goodness knows I've got a ways to go and it seems painfully slow sometimes as I ride the waves of positivity. But I can look back and see where I've come from.

    I think my 'being well' sounds much like yours. I'll be well enough when my various issues no longer get in my way of being comfortable. And beyond that, I'd like to consider I could be happy too.

    I don't have any advice though. I'm just stubborn and will keep pushing until I get there. I doubt it's the best way.

    Cheers,

    Bill.

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Croix
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    10 February 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Dear PawPrints

    >I'm so pleased you are in such a good place.

    Me too:)

    Actually the hardest part is when one is down, which you sounded like last week. When there the mind is skewed towards hopelessness and any thoughts of improvement is ignored or felt to be unrealistic. The feelings at the time are overwhelming, and that pushes out a more balanced perspective. It also means one takes actions and behaves as if the worst case is the true one.

    I'm not really sure how I've managed to negotiate those times, especially early on. Certainly I had help. Now I can look back and say "OK, I have been here, it have improved, my thoughts at the time of self-blame, no future and pain passed or greatly lessened. I overcame them before, I am the same person and can overcome them again."

    Do you think you can see the seeds of recovery and victory in yourself in much the same manner?

    Hard when things go on for a long time.

    Alone is not good, medical help, people you are close to, being here, all contribute, as does having strategies and favored pastimes.

    Croix

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  6. Paw Prints
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    10 February 2019 in reply to Skary Bill

    Hi Bill,

    Thank you for sharing. It sounds like being stubborn is working for you, which is wonderful. I don't think I'm stubborn enough to use it as my sole strategy, but it is something I hadn't thought about. This is why I am reaching out, to learn what strategies others use, so I can change how I'm doing things.

    Best Wishes

    Paw Prints

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  7. Paw Prints
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    10 February 2019 in reply to Croix

    Hello Croix,

    Do I see the seeds of recovery, no I don't. I get that it can be a slow journey, that goes forward, back, sideways & every which way. But I've hit a plateau that hasn't changed for the last 2 - 3 years. With not making any forward progress comes the fear of sliding all the way back. What I am doing isn't working, which is why I'm reaching out to learn how others negotiated their recovery, looking for new ways to think outside the square.

    Paw Prints

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  8. Croix
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    10 February 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Dear Paw Prints~

    Perhaps I asked the question in a clumsy way, my apologies.

    You mentioned "I can now believe in a future". "If you had asked me 5 years ago would I be as well as I am now I would have thought it impossible as I couldn’t envision a future ... "

    When I've been in that situation I've regarded this as a great deal of encouragement. Maybe I have only small goals and I admit when down it is a set of thoughts that are hard to hang on to. Nevertheless at the other times I've known it is progress and there was no reason why it could not continue.

    If you have not seen it already A Grace's thread:

    Forums / Depression / SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING DEPRESSION

    can be useful, there is a companion thread for Anxiety too.

    As for goalposts moving, so they should. When depression is at its worst small every day acts (maybe getting out of bed) seem too difficult to even contemplate, and if one does manage to do so it is a win, a victory. At that stage the goalposts were getting up. As one improves they may be showering, dressing and breakfast. Later interacting with others and not having to retreat. Finding life is a little bigger then the view the blinkers of depression set for you.

    You have listed your ultimate aim, "I will one day be able to manage the everyday things like housework, caring for myself & caring for my dog & maybe, just maybe I will even be able to enjoy myself."

    To get there is a series of steps, or at least it was for me. Even your use of Word indicates to me resourcefulness, an ability so to see how others go, and sense.

    You talked before about emotionally not believing. That is one reason I believe in self-reward, things to try to enjoy, even if only because you have enjoyed them before. If the reason to keep going is a a chocolate later on, or a book, or a walk or grooming the dog or whatever you can think of for you, then that is a great thing. I believe the mind does respond in time.

    Croix

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  9. Paw Prints
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    11 February 2019 in reply to Croix

    Dear Croix,

    Thank you for your thoughts & encouragement. I don't think your question was clumsy. No I haven't read A Graces thread, but will do so this arvo. I do enjoy reading & you have reminded me of something I've not read in years. To quote Lewis Carroll "The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things....." . I'm guessing your walrus is the same one. So I have ordered both Alice books as a treat for me.

    I use treats to train my dog & you have given me the thought that maybe my mind can be trained the same way. Not as the sole strategy to use, but as part of a wider plan. Rewarding myself when I achieve anything may help reinforce healthy thinking. This is what I joined the forum for, to get other peoples perspectives & strategies.

    Thank you so much

    Paw Prints

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  10. Croix
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    11 February 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Desr Paw Prints

    Yes it is John Tenniel's 1871 illustration from Through The Looking Glass, so you are right. You are also mostly right about training the mind, however unlike your dog your mind can gain an additional benefit beyong the enjoyment of a treat - of whatever sort.

    Perhaps I might be able to explain my belief this way. Consistent abuse has a cumulative effect on a person beyond the immediate damage caused, leaving the recipient in a state where self-blame, helplessness and despair are deeply felt.

    In the same way consistent kindness and enjoyment can, when offered, lead to a feeling of worthiness as well as hope. not just hope for another treat, but in life. To feel one is worthy - deserves to be well treated - of being pampered, comes about in response.

    A win-win situation, the mind taken out of it's daily preoccupations by the treat, the enjoyment of the event itself - and the lookng forward too it to lighten the onerous part of the day. All that plus a slow but growing feeling one is a better and deserving person.

    I hope that makes some sort of sense. It may not work for all, though I suspect it might.

    Croix

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  11. Paw Prints
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    2 April 2019
    I've done it again. I meant well, but I stuffed up. I know I get muddle headed, and I can mean one thing, but the words I use aren't always what I am trying to say. Right now I'm feeling like a complete waste of space. Why do I keep doing this? Why do I keep getting everything wrong?? I do try, I really do. I get it wrong with the names of things, people & places, with days & times. My memory doesn't work well. I know I can't trust it I forget so many things. But worst of all is getting muddled when I'm trying to help someone. I'm so sorry. If I have offended anyone on BB, please know I didn;t mean to. Sorry, sorry, sorry
  12. Croix
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    2 April 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Dear Paw Prints~

    I had a look at the most recent post of yours I can find and simply see someone giving and caring and sensible support. So whatever you are referring to either escaped my notice or happened elsewhere.

    PTSD does a lot to the brain, and forgetfulness and getting muddled are par for the course. There is even a thread about exactly that somewhere here.

    Unfortunately the mind does not forgive these lapses for what they are - symptoms of an illness - but tries to attach the same sort of blame and guilt that would be too much even for a totally well person.

    When I finally went out on the street people would say 'Hello' and I'd no idea if they were a student I'd started studying with, a friend of my partner, or someone I'd met under less favorable circumstances when I was a policeman. As you can imagine thinking up an 'all purpose' reply was difficult.

    Mistakes and error of judgment happen. It is natural, will happen, and will in time get a lot less. The biggest ingredient in helping someone is care and concern, and I'd be most surprised if you did not have those when you tried to help.

    Please stop saying sorry, YOU do not deserve it. You deserve admiration and praise for trying under difficult circumstances. It will be fine

    Croix

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  13. Croix
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    2 April 2019 in reply to Croix

    Dear Paw Prints~

    I think I finally found the cause of your discomfort, misunderstanding the initials BPD. OK, I've done that too. In fact many have. It did not matter as things turned out, the poster was able to continue on getting support and I think realized you cared.

    It's fine

    Croix

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  14. Paw Prints
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    4 April 2019 in reply to Croix

    Dear Croix,

    Thank you for your replies. Your kindness is appreciated.

    Paw Prints

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  15. romantic_thi3f
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    5 April 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paw Prints,

    Thanks for your post. I think you've sparked a really interesting discussion.

    Initially, the idea of being well felt like a bit of a fantasy of a life where I wasn't bogged down with depression and anxiety (and trauma). I was inspired by 'happy people' who seemed to have their lives together; practiced self-love and laughed a lot.

    That was what I really wanted, but realistically it was just not an option for me. Now, 'being well' is constantly moving goalposts. While I sometimes think about an ideal future, for me I try not to look too far ahead. Just enough to see that there's hope for the future and things that I can feel in control of.

    You mentioned in your first post that being well looked a bit like housework, caring for your dog and yourself. Sometimes that can be a day to day thing. If you're feeding your dog and yourself (I hope so), then that's being well. Maybe it can be a combination of things - moving goalposts (that feel achievable) as well as long-term goals or ideas.

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  16. demonblaster
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    30 May 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hey Paws just tagging 😊

    Hoping todays been kind to you 🌴

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  17. demonblaster
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    11 June 2019 in reply to demonblaster

    Hi Paws and everyone ☺

    Just popping it to let you know you're in my thoughts and that I care about you.

    I know you were hopefully not now having so e struggles recently.

    You're so lovely giving tremendous support to others and myself. Just want you to know it works both ways if you feel up to talking I know I wouldn't be the only one listening and here for you.

    Take care 🐾 you're valued and very appreciated ☺

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  18. Paw Prints
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    11 June 2019 in reply to demonblaster

    Hello DB,

    Thank you for popping in. I'm OK just really teary & struggling with motivation to do anything. My sleep is messed up & so is my med taking, which I know is not helping & is probably a big part of it all.

    I haven't seen my psych since last August when she went overseas for 2 month, & looking back things started slipping then. It got worse after I was triggered in late Jan, which is why I ended up on BB hoping this would help.

    I know what I need to do, I'm just struggling to find the motivation to do any of it.

    Paw Prints

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  19. demonblaster
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    11 June 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hey Paws and readers ☺

    It's awful feeling how you are isn't it.

    Well done that it sounds like you've found a couple of reasons for your feelings. It certainly can throw you into a spin not having the security of a hoping good psych close by.

    I wonder this may sound a bit silly but if you talked to them as if they were in the room may help with some release. Or you might have covered this already writing or typing your feelings. Anyways of letting stress and pain out are good otherwise it festers.

    I hope you've found bb to be of help I love we're talking about it, it's what we need to be doing and so much easier when you're around people that get it. Here's as you'd know maintains a high level of respect which is how it should be everywhere. Shame so many were asleep in that class lesson 😊

    Is there anything I can do to ease your pain at all?

    I'm always listening Paws sometimes rare not posting but know I and others are close by ☺

    I hope the trigger in January which must be a very hard one eases off for you.

    If and it's entirely your call you want to talk about it you can here but no probs if it's too much.

    You probs know but in case the no: here's 1300224636 and we can email to or webchat details are at the bottom of the page in Red L) side.

    Hope you enjoy some down but not depressed down ☺ on your balcony.

    Maybe you'd like to do some deep breathing with me and anyone else interested.

    In nice and calmly over 5 secs hold for 6 and on out say R*E*L*A*X and feel your head & shoulders relaxing on out they get mighty tense in our hard times.

    See you later Paws ☺🐾👋🕊

    🐧 how cute is this. There's an add on TV not sure what for 😆 a heap of Penguins walking along. A mother and it's cutey little babe looks up for food... Mum gently moves her longish beak up along its back to gently nudge it on ahead. So beautiful. Come to think of it, beak doesn't sound right but I think it is.

    💗

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  20. Paw Prints
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    9 August 2019

    I'm sitting here trying not to be upset, but the tears are flowing. I know logically there is nothing to be upset about, it's just my mind reading into an innocent request a meaning that was never intended. I know how silly they are & I'm hoping by putting it in writing I can stop the negative thoughts.

    I have an elderly relative who I am very close to. Before I moved to the country I would visit her often & we still speak on the phone every few weeks. For various reasons I haven't visited her since my move, but rang her this week to see if she would be home on a given day so I could visit (It's a 4 hr drive each way). She was delighted that I could come & then she asked me to see if my younger sister could come too.

    One thing I had drummed into me as a child was that whatever I was doing or wanted didn't matter, other people mattered much more. I've never felt is was done maliciously, it was simply how it was, I was never good enough to matter about or spend time with. I was always the odd one out with different interests to everyone else.

    I know that inviting my sister doesn't mean that I wasn't wanted alone, but when she asked it, all the hurts & fears from my childhood came flooding back. I'm feeling worthless & a waste of space. I know it's silly to feel like this when nothing of the sort was meant & I'm no longer that child, but the tears wont stop.

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  21. Birdy77
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    10 August 2019 in reply to Paw Prints
    Hello Paws,

    I can relate to your feelings.

    Not to negate your feelings one little bit, but i can almost guarantee that your relative meant absolutely nothing by her asking if your sister could come. She probably just thought squeeze in 2 visits for the price of one. She's elderly, so perhaps not much energy and wants to make the most of a visit?

    I seriously do understand your feelings though ... i would most likely reach your conclusion if i were in your shoes. We're clever the way we can conjure up the most heinous situation, not everyone can do that!

    We get that from being our wounded selves. Those hurt little children who live in our hearts. Let's look after them and give them the love they deserve.

    I want you to know you're heard, and i get it. But i also want to help you challenge your thoughts.

    Take care of you.

    🌻birdy
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  22. Ggrand
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    11 August 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi Paws 🐾...

    been looking for your thread..finally found it..just tagging for now....

    i hope your okay...I will bbl...

    Grandy

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  23. Paw Prints
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    11 August 2019 in reply to Birdy77

    Hello Birdy,

    Thank you for your support, much appreciated.

    I know logically that she never meant anything by what she said. What threw me was how simply by saying it the way she did I was transported back to my childhood & the feelings attached. I thought I had moved past a lot my childhood pain, I know now there are still issues I need to work on.

    I visited today & had a lovely time & enjoyed catching up with my sister as well.

    Paws

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  24. Ggrand
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    5 September 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hello Paw 🐾..

    I just wanted to call in and say hello and ask you that very important question...RUOK?.

    I can relate to you been taken back to your childhood by a certain tone when your relative said something...It happens to me at times with complete strangers...and with my eldest sons visit...my mhn said that certain things said in a certain tone can trigger hidden memories to come to the surface and put our minds back to the trauma with the attached feelings....I’m sorry that happened to you dear Paws....

    It hurts just as bad today as it did many years ago when it first happened...Trying to distract our feelings when this happens is hard to do but...is so very helpful to us...to get us back into the here and now...and that can be hard to find something quick enough to stop us from going down any further...

    I have several grounding boxes at home..that are ready for when when I’m triggered back into the past..They do help me..I’m not saying all the time...maybe 50% off the time...I am just wondering if you have something special that helps you at times..when your not feeling so good?...

    How are you today dear Paw 🐾....only if you feel like telling..no pressure lovely lady...When you feel up to it.💜..

    Paw 🐾....You matter to me and I just wanted to tell you that...and I know you matter to others here as well....I’m wishing you a beautiful day today with lots of light shining in through your beautiful heart and soul..🌈..

    Sending you some kind thoughts...love and hugs💖🤗..

    Grandy

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  25. Paw Prints
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    6 September 2019 in reply to Ggrand

    Hello Grandy,

    It is so sweet of you to check in on me lass, thank you very muchly.

    I'm struggling to find the words I want at times, apologies if this gets muddled..... though I'm feeling down, I am ok....it's just it feels like everything is so hard.....the littlest thing has me in tears.....most days I only get as far as the couch....with my back I can't stand for long or walk far......I know I need to keep moving or it will get worse......I need to lose a lot of weight......eat healthy....I'm scared of my memory blanks.....I'm so tired of trying & not getting better.

    My fur is my best helper......he grounds me.....makes me smile....keeps me trying. I also have a few things that I use as distractions... jigsaws are one, it's the sorting of the pieces that helps.....

    I keep reminding me.....I'm just down a bit... I've been here before & I got out.....I can get out again.

    Sending you the biggliest hugs

    Paws

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  26. demonblaster
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    6 September 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hi lovely Paws 🐾 and everyone ☺

    Oh you poor love I'm so sorry to hear you're struggling so much.

    It's very difficult isn't it with back problems. I'm really sorry Paws you're doing it so hard.
    Yes they say walking helps the back which is so hard eh when in pain.
    Does heat help your back at all to relax the muscles hun.


    Oh darl and the memory too, it is frightening.
    I'm so glad your boy keeps you grounded. They are so supportive and loving arent they.

    I love your attitude that you'll pull out again which you will too.

    None of this you have to do alone dear Paws. You have a spot in I imagine several hearts including mine. You're not alone here hun 🤗 I understand very well what backs can do.

    I often wonder if there might be memory games on the net to help. Don't know if notes can help you with memory. Maybe a letter in the alphabet beginning with what you want to remember. Another help could be texting to yourself or alarms on the phone.

    I really feel for you dear friend.

    Sending you deep care friendship support and choccy 🍫. Might bring one of Grandys choc mud cakes what do you think and we can all have a nice cuppa chat and giggles.

    Please talk as much as you like we're here for you too lovely. You're so lovely and help us Paws remember it works both ways ☺🐾✨⚘

    3 people found this helpful
  27. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    8936 posts
    7 September 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hello Paw 🐾.. and Deebi...

    I feel saddening that your struggling so much dear Paws,..

    Not know the right words to say..is okay Paws...it’s hard at times..I might start a reply to someone here on notes and it has at times taken hours of looking at a blank scene with a blank mind....Knowing what to say then putting into words can be very difficult when we are so much down....Please be gentle on your beautiful self Paws....with everything...weight loss, walking, mh ect...

    Im sorry, I probably asked before..but I forget easily...my silly mind seems to hold on to the wrong things...I agree and am very proud of you saying “I’ve been here before..and I got out...and I can again....yes you can lovely lady...You are not only lovely in your heart..your a strong beautiful person as well...

    Our furs...give us some reason...I mean who’s going to love them as much as their mummy does?....and the love and the companionship they give is is so meaningful to us...I’m so happy you have a fur child....

    I liked Deebi’s idea of uscsitting around together eating it while we chatted and laughed..I made some of that wonderful fantasy come alive and made a mud cake for real today...Oh I put fresh strawberries on top of the goey thick chocolate icing....only problem now in no one but me to eat it😢...

    Paws, As Deebi says...talk anytime you feel up to it...we’re both here for you as you are for us...I hope today was a better day today for you...

    Kind thoughts...love and hugs💖🤗...

    Grandy....

    3 people found this helpful
  28. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    8936 posts
    13 October 2019 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hello Paw 🐾...🤗..

    Im really sorry you’ve been struggling so much....

    Thank you for your post at mine...and understanding me some....I will try tomorrow to reply....at mine....too hard to think...atm..

    I wanted to wish you a good nights sleep..hoping it is refreshing and your dreams are peacefully beautiful....

    Love and care..with some hugs💖🦋🤗..

    Goodnight precious lady..

    Grandy.....

    2 people found this helpful
  29. demonblaster
    Valued Contributor
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    demonblaster avatar
    7502 posts
    15 October 2019 in reply to Ggrand

    Really nice seeing you back Paws you were missed ☺ truth.

    Hoping your backs giving you a lot less grief hun.

    I'm very sorry hearing you're doing it so hard huns.

    Same goes you have friends and support here and you're very appreciated as not only a lovely person but a great contributor.

    Hold in there darls I really do believe there is ways of getting more light in our lives.

    Hi to your big boy doggy.

    Cya ☺💗

    2 people found this helpful
  30. Paw Prints
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    1598 posts
    18 October 2019 in reply to demonblaster

    Hello DB, Grandy,

    Thank you both for your lovely posts.

    I listened to my sisters & made an appointment to see a new Psych.(my old one vanished). Though I was unsure of her at first I am finding her helpful. When I started seeing her I was so far down I was scared I would slip all the way. Its nice to be able to say yes I'm still struggling, but I no longer feel I'm going to fall further. Added bonus I'm no longer crying as much as I was.

    Small steps, but they are in the right direction. Keeping paws crossed it continues.

    4 people found this helpful

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