I apologise ….

I’ve had something on my mind for the past couple of days. Ever since I heard about the English cricketer who has gone home from the Ashes with stress-related illness. It can happen to anyone. And it does.  This is my post in response to that (which is actually pretty unrelated)…..

I think I need to make an apology. What for? You might ask… You see, at the beginning of this year I was traveling a very dark path. There were no streetlights, and there was no end. There was a street sign with the name of the street, but you would have to look really hard to read it because it was so dark. When I looked forward, there was no hope; There was no future. I was at a crossroads and they were marked Depression Rd and Anxiety Way.  The thing is…there were so many things happening in my life, in my head, and I had no way of filtering them, of sorting them out, and getting through them. From the outside looking in, it probably seemed as if I had it all. I had a husband, a home, 3 beautiful children, a stable income and a car. I was studying at uni and there was sunshine in the sky. That’s where my apology comes in. The sun wasn’t shining for me.  I locked myself away, and didn’t come out at all. I would drop the kids off to school without getting out of the car, so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone, or didn’t have to get out of my pajamas. I declined every invitation to get together and socialize because I didn’t know what to talk about, and I didn’t want to leak my sour mood onto anyone else. I didn’t want to get out of bed, and would quite often go straight back to bed as soon as I returned from school drop off. Only now, now that I am finally at the end of those streets and finally walking along It Gets Better Street do I realize, by doing this, I had the potential to jeopardize friendships I’d had for months/years. To the outsider who doesn’t know, my behavior could be perceived as uppity, and snobbish. As if I was acting like I was too good to talk to anyone. Or to good to go out and share a meal and have a drink.  The problem is. That’s not the truth. The truth is that when you are in the deepest parts of depression, nothing seems appealing. Hiding in my house all day. Looking things up on the internet. Getting lost in books. Watching tv without even seeing it. Those were all the things I was stuck in. It was like a loop and I couldn’t stop it from happening.  Just the thought of having to talk to people would cause a physical reaction and I’d cry. I couldn’t breathe at the thought someone would talk to me. I know that a lot of people suffer in silence. They don’t want to burden anyone with how they are feeling, and what they are going through. That’s exactly where I was.

If not for a couple of friends who gently persisted on being a friend and never giving up, I would still be in that pit of despair. They listened without judgement, they asked questions, and they were there, often just through a small phone screen. So……to all the people in my life, both on screen and off who felt the brunt of my struggles. I am sorry. I’m sorry if I bought you down. I’m sorry if I ignored you. I’m sorry if you thought I didn’t value our friendship, because I do. I do so very much.  There may be nothing that can turn things around, but just know… everyone has their journey they’re traveling. Sometimes it just takes one friend to ask the question and make sure everything is okay. Just be there. Be present. Know it’s not personal, it’s the person.

I also want those people who may be reading this and are still walking along those Roads and Paths marked with lights that have blown out… I am here for you, and you will get to the end of it. It might not happen tomorrow, it might. Either way, you are not alone. Never, ever, ever…. And remember YOU ARE IMPORTANT.. even if you don’t believe it.


IF you’d like to know more about how I was able to turn myself onto a better path please feel free to ask. I’m more than happy to share my story. It might just be similar to yours!  You can email me at sydneygen04@yahoo.com

I don’t think my journey is over yet, in fact I know it’s not, but I am glad to see a lot more streetlights burning bright. Let’s turn some on for you, too!

R U OK? – It’s OK To Say NO

Today is once again, R U OK day in Australia. This initiative started as a movement to raise awareness and open channels to help people struggling with life. According to the RUOK website www.RUOKDAY.com:

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life.

R U OK?Day is our national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), and dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends. We also have Resources for You to use throughout the year to help you ask ‘are you ok?’ regularly of family, friends and colleagues.    Stephen Fry

You might remember that last year I wrote a blog post about it, and at the time, I was NOT OK. You can read all about the reasons here: R U OK 2012.

Since then I have had many struggles, up and down, and I am still working through them, but for today, I can say, “I am OK”. Who knows what tomorrow brings. My anxiety peaks and waves, comes and goes. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world, and some days I feel like I want to hide out in my room all day and not talk to anyone.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I want to ask YOU the question: ARE YOU OK? R U OK? ARE YOU ALRIGHT? Nothing is ever black, and white. I know nothing can ever be solved with a cup of tea, but it sure can ease a burden! Let me be your tea-maker. I am HERE for you. I will listen, I will not judge, and I will not set out to solve the worlds problems. Sometimes all you want is a friend to listen and acknowledge, not judge, not try to solve the issues, or tell you where you might be going wrong. I am your friend.

Not AloneIf you don’t want to talk to me, just know that You are NOT alone. With the progress in social media and the access we all have to the internet, I have found that you are open to a world of opportunity and hope. If you have anxiety about being in public situations, you can be comfortable in your own home and reach out. If you don’t like the way you look and it makes you depressed, you can be behind a computer screen asking for advice. You don’t have to put yourself in situations that may cause you to be even more “not OK”.

So, today, at this point in time, why am I feeling OK? I think it has something to do with finally seeing a psychologist. It took me a couple of goes, and it’s not always first one is the best choice, but the one I have been seeing was not trying to read my head, or solve the worlds problems of why I am the way I am. We were simply letting it be and working with how we can work with that. It’s hard work, and it’s not all roses and sunshine, but the one thing I have learned is, FriendsEveryone needs someone to talk to. By talking about my issues with someone who was non-judgmental, my whole attitude changed. I’m no longer holding onto feelings inside myself, and no longer taking it out on my loved ones. Again, not always having great days, and yes I regress, but I know that I’m getting better. You can too. All you need to do is ask the question.

I hope you are aware that you are not alone. You will be OK. There is help available. If you go to one doctor and they say they don’t believe in ‘depression/anxiety’ then go to a different doctor. Start doing Yoga (I know it sounds naff, but it did help me!). Start exercising, even just a 15 minute walk outside in the fresh air will clear your mind and help.  If you want to send me a private message, then please do. My email is: sydneygen04@yahoo.com .

I’ve listed some resources that you can go and check out and maybe gain a little further information and maybe some help?



Beyond Blue

R U OK Day

Dancing with the Black Dog – A blog

and just remember:



It’s R U OK? Day in Australia. What is R U OK? Day you might ask? Well the website explains:

R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?’

By raising awareness about the importance of connection and providing resources throughout the year, the R U OK? Foundation aims to prevent isolation by empowering people to support each other through life’s ups and downs.

Being a stay-at-home Mum full-time I find it very isolating at times. You have school pick up and drop off where you can connect with other parents, and you have those days when you may go for a walk to the shops or meet at the park with friends. Apart from that, it’s all systems-go at home. The walls start to close in and the same episodes of Peppa Pig start to really get on your nerves. It is one of the reasons I have taken up my university studies again, and it’s a reason I actively participate in Social Media of various forms.  I love to communicate, chat and share with people who have the same interests. I believe it was Oprah (or probably someone before her) that said, “Knowledge is Power”, I firmly believe that being knowledgeable is powerful to the mind.

Anyway, I digress. One of the reasons I am writing this post today is to ask YOU reading this, R U OK? If you answer No, then I want you to think for a minute, and answer this question, What can I do for you? I am here for you, and I will listen. If all you need is to talk to someone, I will do it. If you need to vent, scream, or cry, I am here. If you need someone to make you laugh, I am here. I will always be here.

Now, if someone was to ask ME if I am OK, I am find today a good day to say, “No, I am not exactly OK”. For the past 6 months I have been struggling to come to terms with not feeling OK. It is one of the hardest things to admit to yourself, and one of the hardest things I can do, by putting it out here into the webiverse. Through the support of some fantastic friends and a very understanding husband, I have been to my GP and have been diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. When I first heard those words I was in denial. I mean, I’d completed all of the surveys conducted by the health care nurses, and in hospital, yet I was fooling myself. I knew exactly what they wanted to hear, so I filled them out accordingly. I didn’t want to admit that I needed help. I have always been able to handle things on my own.

However, the only person I was lying to was myself. I have 3 children under 5. That’s A LOT of pressure that I have been putting on myself. I stay at home all day and I try to make the house a happy one. With the help of those amazing friends I spoke of above, and my wonderful husband, I am able to seek the help that I need. It isn’t a quick fix, and it’s not something that I think can be solved with a ‘pill’, however through a variety of things combined, I will overcome this feeling and get to the day where I can smile and say… I am OK.  I look forward to that day. I’ve started concentrating on organising my life, studying at university and getting back into my healthy eating and exercise. Through all this, and support, I can conquer the black dog that barks so loudly in my life.

So, what was the point of this post? Well……. if just one person reading this is able to stop and say they are not OK, and go and speak to someone about it, then I feel like I have done a duty. It is important to educate ones self, to be able to answer the questions that are tapping at the door and to move on and live the best life you can, being the best version of yourself. You can be OK, and you will be OK.

I am proud to live in a country that recognises that Mental Health is real, it is not made up, and it needs to be addressed. Through many campaigns, such as R U OK? Day, we can all get together and help one another. Please, ask someone today, R U OK? If they answer No, please, let them talk it out. Give them the website to R U OK? Day and educate yourself, so that you can be the best friend that person needs.

Here are some additional resources I encourage you to have a look at:

The Black Dog Institute – A valuable resource for all things to do with Mental Health

Dancing With The Black Dog ~A wonderfully witty, candid account of one man’s victory over anxiety & depression