Friday, June 28, 2013 is a Bupa Health Influencer Awards finalist

Wow! I've been chosen as a finalist for a Bupa Health Influencer Award in the category of "Positive Life Change". I'm humbled because I figure I am probably the only person who nominated for an award so it must have come down to the judges decision to put me in the final five for this category. I know there's no way I can win, the competition is amazing, but to be in the final five is awesome.

I have never pretended to be an expert at anything. Or to be an inspiration to anyone. I just write honestly from the heart because I have to. It helps me to survive.

The last post I wrote about mental illness and what I've been going through lately caused a bit of concern for my family and closest friends who read my blog. Enough for some of them to either contact me directly, or to call my parents, to make sure that Noo and I are OK. I know they are reading now so thank you for your love and concern.

I think the episode is finally passing after seven weeks of disruption and uncertainty mixed in with a lot of fear and loathing. Of course as I get better so too will Noo. I already feel our usual connection retethering, fibre by precious fibre.

The response to that last post, however, made me think about how much I divulge here, especially now so many people from my real world read my words, and the effect that might have on those people and on my family. This has always been at the back of my mind, like anyone who doesn't blog behind a pseudonym, but it's been even more of a worry to me lately.

But then I just have to remind myself why I write here at and my concerns feel neutralised by the positive reasons why I blog:
  • it is my journal where I record little snippets of my life for future BB generations should they be interested
  • it is where I share my tremendous joy at being a mum as well as the struggles I have as a sole parent and parenting in general
  • it is my place to unload, to write as therapy
  • it is where I can honestly whinge, whine and over analyse my weight issues
  • it is where I hope that by sharing my struggles with mental illness I might help others suffering similar situations by letting them know they are not alone
  • it is where I hope the honesty in my posts help break down the stigma of depression, anxiety and other mental health related conditions, as well as the medication some of us need to take in order to manage them
  • it is where I have been able to unload my story of being a rape victim and how the events of one night unravelled me but were pivotal in helping me make positive life change
  • it is where I hope to shatter the stereotypes of addiction in recovery.

I don't pretend to be an expert in weight management, mental health, addiction recovery or in parenting but I do know that writing about my experiences in these areas helps me.  If it also helps others, as a lot of readers have told me through emails and on comments, that's a huge bonus.

Cliche alert: Life is like a carousel - full of ups and downs, going around and around 

The core message I'd like anyone reading to get is that no matter how deep down you are in the dark pit that is Rock Bottom; there is always an escape. My Rock Bottom was a horrible place, but anyone who is unfortunate enough to make their way there will find a different hell from the soul that visited there before them.

All of us who find our journeys have taken us to destination Rock Bottom should be given the chance of a return ticket.  But we, the passenger at the end of the line, must reach out and ask for it and take the help* from wherever we can and then slowly learn to help ourself.

There will be setbacks. My last post proves that. There have been times in the last seven weeks where depression has tricked me into feeling so close to the emotions of my Rock Bottom that my body has literally shaken with fear. The thought of alcohol induced oblivion has, at times, seemed sweet by comparison. But I just needed to take one look at my beautiful boy and knew I wanted to live so I asked for help: From my wonderful family, my general practitioner, my psychiatrist, my pharmacist, my friends.

I'm so thankful for the support team I have. And I'm grateful I've done so much to educate myself about my mental illness to be able to notice when the cracks begin to appear before they turn into gaping holes I might fall into.

Even though it's pissing down outside in Sydney right now I believe in my heart of hearts the sun will shine again.


* There are so many resources for people who need help with addiction, depression, anxiety and other mental health related issues. If you feel you need help, these sites may be what you are looking for:
Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia
Beyond Blue
Black Dog Institute

Or call:

Lifeline 13 11 14

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