Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Naughty me!

Dear diary,

So as ever, I've been naughty, started this blog and not posted on it since for close to a year. In that time my diagnosis of severe depression has progressed to a diagnosis of Bipolar II, so I've been started on an extra bit of medication called Seroquel.  Now as this blog was meant to be a recording of my battle with depression as well as my creative journey, I think it important to be open and honest about medication I'm taking and any effects it may have. Partly because there will never be another way to dispel the stigma around mental illnesses without honesty and because I think it useful for those who are suffering as well to be able to find information that hasn't been placed in the flyers with the medication. For those who are here specifically for the creative content, feel free to skip this paragraph :) Since starting Seroquel it's helped my sleep, not necessarily in amount but it's changed the quality. I wake up feeling like I've rested however I've also developed night sweats and have odd dreams. Since taking it I've also found to mentally wake up I usually require coffee. When I'm awake I'm much more productive and active which I found was not the case with any of the other medication I've been on for depression (Prozac, Citalopram, Lexapro I'm definite about having been on...) except for Effexor, however I found on Effexor I had quite severe side effects including but not limited to my legs giving out under me, the constant sensation that I was going to faint, head spins if I turned or moved too quickly, and if I was even a little late taking my medication it would send me into a state of absolute exhaustion and difficulty breathing.

Since my last post, I've moved into the home that my partner and I bought with my brothers and mother back on 13th April 2013 (the reason I remember the date is because we happened to buy the house on my mother's 55th birthday). My parents have been emptying out their home in preparation to move to an apartment, so our entire house is filled to the brim with boxes of their things.

Apart from the obvious problems associated with being enclosed by boxes is that I can't get to my crafting stash stuck all the way at the back of the garage (which is to be turned into a shared work space with my mum's sewing machines and all my beading and crafting supplies). So things on the creative front have been very stifled.

My time has been very much consumed with trying to help my parents move house and creating a routine in my new home, a large part of which has centred around my mother's failing health. She was recently in the hospital in the intensive care unit for a couple of weeks due to a coma (for want of another word) caused by hepatic encephalopathy. She has woken up and is home now, but she hasn't really regained her full faculties, I'm not sure she ever will. During the time when she was in hospital and I was unsure whether she would come out of her coma, I found myself wishing that I had taken the time to learn more from her. To learn to cook Vietnamese dishes from her, to learn to sew from her and to learn more of her story. She doesn't have photos or records I could reflect on because these were taken from her the first time she was caught trying to flee Vietnam during it's civil war. Her captors took anything of value and burned everything else, including her photos and threw her in prison. It's one thing to read about history, but it brings it so much closer to home hearing someone who lived through it telling you about their experiences. I've promised myself that I will spend more quality time with her.

Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to post up pictures once I've set up the work space and hopefully started working on some projects.

Till next time...

My irony cake

Dear diary,

I hate saying it but there's nothing on the beading front the last number of weeks. My life has been dominated by... Well, life :S

I think the best example was May, it was an absolutely terrible month. On Friday May 31st, I decided to buy a cake to take in to work to celebrate having reached the end of what had been a very, very trying month. People at work seeing the cake asked me "Is it your birthday?" at which point I told them "No, I'm just celebrating because things can only go up from here". The next day my car (a 4 year old, blue Honda Jazz named Papa Smurf because it's small and blue and looks like it's wearing a hat when it has my red kayak strapped onto the roof racks) was T-boned and almost all but written off. I think I must have tempted whatever higher power exists to have a laugh at my expense. I have decided to rename Tiramisu to Irony Cake.

My days at the moment are being spent sorting and packing my possessions in preparation to move homes, though this is all happening a bit sooner than expected. I suppose I should explain from the start.

I've been living with my in-laws for a couple of years now and though I love them dearly, they have a different culture and way of being that makes me feel stifled.

Anyway, I'd found out my brothers had saved a deposit and were starting to look at units. After a bit of discussion, we decided that it would be better for all if we could buy a house together. The property value would raise much higher than an apartment, there'd be someone to mind the house when my brothers went interstate for work, someone to mind the dogs for us when we went away and we'd be able to pay off the loan much faster with 4 incomes. The plan is that once we pay off the house, we'll knock down and build a duplex and go from there. So in February, the search for a home began.

The emotions involved during the whole process were entirely unexpected, I must say. At first I was excited at the prospect of home ownership, being able for the first time in my life to be able to do whatever I liked in a home I could call (partially) my own. Every time it seemed we'd found what we thought was 'the one' and it didn't go through for whatever reason, it was deflating, the longer the search went on, the more desperate and exhausted I got.

But as my friend said at the time 'When it's meant to be, when it's the one, everything will just simply fall in to place'...

We missed out on the first house we placed a bid on in Yagoona that we had been told was expected to sell for $460,000 but ended up going for $525,000 on auction day. Now you know how real estate websites make rooms look larger in photos through angles and digital trickery? A couple months after that first bid, after rigorous stalking of all real estate websites, I came across a place at midnight when it was first posted up on the site. The pictures made it look like normal dimensions, so I thought if that's the way it looks in the pictures, it must be absolutely tiny in real life and I thought I wouldn't even bother to look at it. The next day, my parents and I went to look at an open house that we weren't all that thrilled about, and found ourselves with a bit of extra time waiting for the next open house we were going to go to. Wanting to fill in our time, I remembered this house nearby that I hadn't had any particular intentions of looking at and that the open house was going to happen soon, I suggested we go look at it anyway. I hadn't guessed because the houses are on the borderline of 2 suburbs, but as it turned out, this house was just down the street from that first house we had bid on! Well, when we went to have a look at this place, I found myself pleasantly surprised to find that the pictures had just been an honest representation and that it was decently proportioned and in much better condition than the first house we had bid on.

The first house had been on the main street whereas this house being set back barely got any of the noise from traffic. This house had a short cut nearby which made it a 10 minute walk to the train station and shops, less for schools but because it was in a cul de sac, it didn't get any of the traffic from the schools. On the next block, a new land release had happened, parcels of land a little more than half the size of this one were selling for $525, 000. The asking price for this place... was $521,000! We happened to be the first to arrive at this open house though the cue quickly built up, and so we were the first to be allowed to view the place and were subsequently the first to say we'd buy the place at asking price! While the others were going through and inspecting the place, the home ice cream truck drove down the street while we were waiting and I bought a box and shared it with the tenant of this home, her children and the real estate agent during which we discussed the people that lived on the street and the condition of the house, this was when I knew, this was the house meant for us. Unfortunately others also immediately offered to buy it at asking price and we ended up in a silent bidding war which we won, after the pest and building inspections we managed to settle at a price of $535,000.

A month later, the house a couple of houses down from our place went on the market, it was in shabbier condition than ours with the same land dimensions, it sold for $610,000! To this day, I am amazed at our luck but as my friend said at the time 'When it's meant to be, when it's the one, everything will just simply fall in to place'...

I'm starting to think that perhaps I should stop stressing and live my life with this in mind, when it's meant to be, everything will just simply fall in to place...

Till next time...