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    Because We Are Bad by Lily Bailey – [Book Review]

    Because We Are Bad is a book about living with OCD according to Lily Bailey.

    I enjoy reading books and bios about mental health illness because it empowers those of us who suffer a little something in our lives. Its as empowering as it is raising awareness and I believe that with both fiction and non-fiction, other people have an insight to what people live with. It helps undo the stigma’s associated with mental health issues.

    Because We Are Bad was an easy read for me because I could relate to the way that Lily’s brain worked, the thoughts and feelings that she went through and how easily one compulsion can domino effect in to hundreds until your brain is too full to concentrate on living life.

    Lily showed very strong signs of obsessive compulsive disorder as a child which spiralled quickly out of control until it took over her entire life.

    It started with checking on her sister while she slept and convincing herself that she would be the cause of any bad thing that could happen.

    I recommended this book to my friend as an “easy read” because for me it was just that. It was easy because I understand how it is to live with OCD. My symptoms have never been anywhere near the same degree as Lily’s, however it was relatable in terms of the frustrations, the paranoia, the exhaustion and more.

    My friend did not find it the easy-read that I claimed it to be. She told me that at times she found it distressing –however, it helped her to truly understand what OCD is and how it can claim all of your attention, time and logic.

    This book was beautifully written by a girl who has obviously just had a hard time who is still hopeful about her future.

    jasper jones

    Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey – [Book Review]

    Jasper Jones is an absolutely brilliant Australian novel that I can’t believe I was so quick to sneer at when someone had originally mentioned to me.

    They say not to judge a book by the cover, right? Well, I admit, that sometimes I do. The cover that I’d seen was simply a boy at a desk and it did not scream interesting — nor did the tagline that it was an Australian version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (also imo, a boring-ass book).

    Never-the-less, after a solid recommendation, I picked it up and promptly finished it because I simply couldn’t put it down.

    Set in a small town in Perth in the summer of the late 60s, Charlie Bucktin a little bookish and nerdy is awoken on a hot summer night by Jasper Jones the half-aboriginal, town proclaimed bad-boy. He has never spoken to Jasper in his life yet here he is, at his window, demanding his help with something.

    Engaged, intrigued and a little thrilled, Charlie follows Jasper through the scrub to a place that Jasper calls his own. Charlie is faced with what Jasper requires help with; the body of a young girl hanging from a tree. Convinced that the authorities will think he is guilty of killing her, Jasper makes Charlie help him hide the body.

    The summer passes with both Jasper and Charlie meeting spontaneously trying to figure out who is truly guilty of the murder of the girl.

    Along the way we meet Charlie’s best friend, Jeffrey, his Vietnamese neighbour with whom he has a great rapport. Perhaps this was one of my favourite thing about the book — the friendship between Jeffrey and Charlie — the hypothetical conversations, the stories they create (“Pope On a Rope”) and the hard times they support each other through.

    Because I desperately wanted to find out who was guilty of the murder, I couldn’t put the book down. I was rooting for Jasper Jones and poor Jeffrey who is cricket obsessed but given a hard time by the local cricket kids.

    This book touches on the racism that occurred during the 60s era and was a great read for older teens as well adult readers and since I loved it, I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a bit of mystery, humour and fantastic writing.


    Jasper JonesJasper Jones by Craig Silvey
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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    Kardashian

    Kardashian Dynasty by Ian Halperin (Book Review)

    After reading a few books that required concentration, I decided I wanted something quick and trashy to read, so the Kardashian Dynasty seemed to tick all the boxes for all the wrong reasons.

    I know this may come as a surprise to many of you, but I have dabbled from time-to-time in the watching of Keeping Up With The Kardashians and some of the many poor spin-offs that were made. I justify it to my boyfriend like this; I don’t watch TV to learn things, I read books to learn things, I google to learn things, I watch YouTube to learn things — when I watch television, I want to absorb something that is so insipid that I am suspended from my own reality.

    So I don’t have a great deal to say except that this story begins with Halperin delving in to the family background of Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner — and I found that to be interesting, but that’s where it ended.

    The writer reads like a FoxNews tabloid reporter (anyone remember Roger Freidman??) who got his sources from a junkie in an alley. He often referred to himself and name dropped contacts — if he wasn’t name dropping contacts he would refer to a “friend of mine”, “a girl I dated that once knew a person who knew a person who met them once”. I began to grow irate and tired of the fact that he referenced that he lived in Florida and often seen the Kardashian, or .. like, someone who he knew might know them.

    Then, my friends, Halperin got particularly seedy. He refers proudly to how he went ‘undercover’ to a trans meeting to infiltrate to see how the community felt about Bruce Jenner’s transition and if it was positive or not. I mean, was this truly necessary? Couldn’t he have pulled out a surveymonkey like all self-respecting uni-students and investigative journalists do? Couldn’t he have taken a poll on Twitter? Did he really have to make a mockery of a support group that are dealing with very real issues?

    He went further; infiltrating the same surgeon who helped with Bruce Jenner’s transition surgery. He tried to get the staff to fold on some information and got nothing.

    Seems like a lot of work for nothing. And man, its seedy.

    What I learned from this book that I didn’t already know was not a great deal. Anything inside the folds of Halperin’s book could have been learned from watching the Keeping Up With The Kardashians. What we know is that they are spoiled. Kris is a savvy, if not, gross, manager of her family who carefully and manipulatively works to keep them relevant (by media standards). We know Kim is different to Paris Hilton because she is more clean-cut, actually does work hard (at whatever it is that she does)– and the rest reached the success that she did based upon association and not much else.

    What I learned about this most of all is that Halperin is a poor “investigative” “journalist” who dabbles more on the seedy tabloid side and I’d never pick up another one of his books… Oh, did I mention how he kept referring to himself at least twice or three times as a NY Times Best Selling Author?

    Kardashian

    Anyway, 2 out of 5 from me! Also, it didn’t satisfy my hankering for a good trashy non-mummy-porn book. So, suggest one, pls.

    Kardashian Dynasty: The Controversial Rise of America's Royal FamilyKardashian Dynasty: The Controversial Rise of America’s Royal Family by Ian Halperin
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon – [Book Review]

    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon – Book Review

    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon was one of the best autobiographies that I have read for years. With her brutally honest story-telling and close-to-home truths about dealing with mental health issues, I found myself laughing, crying and feeling, if I’m honest, a little bit blue throughout the time I spent reading this.

    Bryony Gordon is a British Journalist, who for years led a double lifestyle, trying to quiet her mental health issues with addictions and bad lifestyle choices. From a young age, Bryony shared what it was like when intrusive OCD thoughts began to occupy her normal, logical thinking brain and what brought upon a downward spiral of alcoholic and drug use.

    With so many opportunities and prospects, Bryony found it hard to cope with the pressures caused by the thoughts, compulsions and obsessiveness that OCD can bring.

    Mad Girl hit home for me in a number of different aspects; finding the right kind of mental health care can sometimes prove to be even harder than dealing with the symptoms themselves. Bryony tried a number of different methods, including an outright charlatan, doctors who weren’t truly prepared to listen and eventually services that worked for her that was able to see a positive change within her life, rather than constantly chasing away the feelings with substances or unhealthy vices.

    In my own experience, finding someone who will truly listen and want to treat the intrusive thoughts and compulsions is hard. OCD is a very, very broad illness with compulsions that pop up like a game of whack-a-mole. When a symptom or compulsion passes, a new one might pop up. Even when you find someone who will diagnose, sometimes its hard to find someone who will actually know how to treat it correctly.

    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon is a bitter-sweet story of growing up with so much potential and talent and so much struggle. Compulsions that Bryony faced were also some of the one’s I’ve also faced (have not faced POCD Thank God) and the intrusive thoughts may never be the same as what I’ve experienced but they all take on the same tone and generally the same result. Perhaps that was one of the reasons why I enjoyed this book so much; for solidarity purposes.

    Here are two examples of Mad Girl that have run in to my own life;

    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

    Pictured above is my bathroom and the photo that you will find dozens of times in my phone’s gallery. What’s the point? OCD can create a fake memory, or at least it is an intrusive thought. Sometimes I am one hundred percent sure that I have turned off my hair straightening tongs and have unplugged them from the wall and touched them thirty six times to make sure that they are cool, but my brain can make me second guess myself to the point that I have left the house more than two or three times “just to be sure”, so I began to take photos — photos can’t lie… or yet, can they? And so, with that idea, I sometimes take the hair straightening tongs with me in the car because it leaves me a lot more relaxed than having to obsess all day long over them. I take photos of light switches, oven dials, iron plugs — whatever else bothers me on the particular day.

    The passage from the book;

    “Some mornings, I take the iron to work in my handbag because that is easier and more time efficient (if not energy efficient) than having to spend hours checking that it is properly switched off, and I do not think this is weird.”

    Another passage;

    Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

    If there is a better, more well-explained book regarding OCD, then I suggest that you tell me, because this is succinct.

    When I was 12 or 13, I found myself repeating things in my head over and over again to prevent myself getting sick “again” or worse, my grandmother dying even though she had cancer and that was always going to be the end result. These obsessive rotations of thought are a child’s way in an adult mind of having control over situations that you have otherwise no say over.

    I was impressed with Mad Girl because it gave me hope and it made me laugh — both things that are incredibly important when dealing with any kind of mental health issues. The fact that Bryony Gordon was brave enough to air all of her dirty laundry and still manage to laugh about it at the end of her book says something to me; that it’s not all bad and that even in the bad there can be some beauty and hopeful moments.

    Bryony has developed a UK organisation called Mental Health Mates and hosts a podcast that recently had Prince Harry talking about his experiences with mental health issues. I recommend this book for sufferers of Mental Health Illness, if only for a laugh and a smile at all the things you will be able to relate to, and then also to those who struggle understanding the whys and the hows behind Mental Health matters.

    Holding Up The Universe

    Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven [Book Review]

    Holding Up The Universe book Review by Jennifer Niven

    I have a lot of emotion attached to this book even though I am going to concede and say that it was probably too young for me. I am going on 34 years old this year, but I was really excited for Holding Up The Universe.

    I received an ARC (advanced reader copy) from the lovely people over at Penguin Australia and was really excited to tear in to it around October last year. It also happened to be a time when I was really busy with this blog, posting reviews every other day and basically reading in every instance.

    After I started reading this book my own world started to crumble and my Mum was admitted to hospital after a massive seizure caused by her end-stage of cancer. I remember sitting in the shitty hospital chair beside my Mum while leafing through the pages reading and rereading each page over and over again because I was unable to absorb the story.

    One of the important points to make in this story was that Libby, the protagonist’s mother had died unexpectedly and her whole world seemed to stop. I related to that – as I, too, felt like I was holding up the universe.

    Needless to say I had to put the book down. In fact, I put all books down until my Mum’s funeral and passing was all done and dusted by Chrismtas last year. I’ve been reading but not reviewing like I was and I decided that it was time to pick it up again and open up the blog properly again.

    So, Holding Up The Universe, as I said was probably a bit young for me, but for the loser at high schooler in me would have loved this suspension of reality. Libby is an overweight teenage girl who, after being removed from her house by a crane on her death bed, finds herself leading a regular life again. After shedding some of the weight and addressing some of her problems she is happier and confident and already has her heart set on joining the school’s dance troupe.

    Enter-in Jack Masselin, school jock who has a rare neurological issue that causes facial blindness. He hides this disease from his family and manages to keep his secret along with his jock friends. As a prank, his friend dares him to take part in a “fat rodeo” where he is required to straddle Libby and stay on for as long as he can.

    Defensively, she punches him and soon they both end up in after school detention.

    The two make an unlikely connection that neither of them can deny as a buddy romance.

    I’ve read Goodreads reviews that have torn this apart for its unrealistic look at high school relationships. I can concede that the chances of the jock / bully becoming sympathetic and even loving toward the underdog, but that doesn’t really make this book any less special.

    Books for us are a suspension of reality — for me, these past few months have been about busying myself and avoiding my grief for as long as I can in any way that I can so as to fill the void of my mother’s passing. In this story, Libby chose food to fill the loneliness, I’ve chosen other ways to avoid feelings and largely, I found myself relating to the sadness that she feels deep within.

    The teenager that lived within me that felt a huge level of anxiety and social ineptness can only ever dream of a boy like Jack Masselin seeing them and wanting to fall for them. It’s not very realistic especially when I consider the assholes who I went to school with, but that’s the joy of a book and that suspension of everything that we avoid in life.

    I am able to applaud the confidence and ability for Libby who is able to shrug off the constant bullying and taunting and for her ability to spread a clear message when so many were unable to look past her size.

    Holding Up The Universe was sweet and easy to read and the message, you are loved was clear and prevalent throughout the entire book.

    Holding Up the UniverseHolding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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    MJFANGIRL.COM – My Guest Post

    I recently did a guest post for my long-time friend from New York, Isha. I talked about my experience meeting Michael Jackson in 2002.

    MJFanGirl Blog is a really cool little corner of the internet that is well thought out and full of very cool information about Michael Jackson’s career. What sets it apart is not the fact that its not full of saturated adoration and tangents about how beautiful MJ is (which let’s be honest, we all think he was, lol, but not the point) its the kind of blog that allow us to learn more about the small details of his career that a casual fan probably wouldn’t know about.

     

    Go ahead and read my post. 🙂

    http://www.mjfangirl.com

    Big Little Lies HBO TV Series – Review Without Pity

    Big Little Lies is an book-to-TV adaptation made for the HBO network which in Australia is exclusive only to Foxtel or Apple iTunes. If you haven’t read the book or watched the TV show, you should probably read this review of the book first.

    I would like to start this review by saying that on a whole I enjoyed this TV series. I binge-watched it on my day off work a week ago and I enjoyed it after I got through the first episode where Nicole Kidman has noisy/violent/weird sex with Alexander Skarsgaard. It is also important to note that I enjoy watching Real Housewives of Sydney and I have been known to dabble in an episode of the Kardashians or other such spin offs.

    In addition, I think Game of Thrones is boring, so… my recommendation should really come to you with a grain of salt or little-to-zero trust.

    Disclaimer aside; I would like to say that the casting was strange.

    I can’t really take Reese Witherspoon all that seriously since I’ve seen her bend and snap and act like a giant bimbo in the movie about her chihauha and pink clothes blond hair and law, or whatever it was. Or that one movie where Selma Hyak and her brother Ryan Phillipe got it on. She was cast as Madeline, the most highly strung of the three mothers. In the book Madeline comes across as about as old as Nicole Kidman — a bit of a wise mother-bear who takes Jane under her wing. She is slightly annoying at times, but is overall a very likeable.

    little

    Reese Witherspoon as Madeline made me want to shove a fork in my eye. How’s that for irony!? (C’mon, you have to be able to see what I did there). She was rude, obnoxious, reactive, spoiled, selfish and had absolutely no self-awareness. She played a comical version of the serious Madeline from the book — a little annoying.

    Aaaaand Nicole Kidman — choose an accent and stick to it, woman — you’re either pretending to be American or you’re Australian. She plays the role of Celeste. Celeste is painted out to be a young and effortlessly beautiful woman. I’m not saying that Nicole Kidman is not beautiful, because she is… in that same kind of way that Tilda Swinton is. Her husband Perry is played by Alexander Skarsgaard who’s last performance I can remember was in True Blood where I saw his naked arse more times than I’ve seen my own. So, you have two very fair people having very very pasty white, violent, weird, loud, is-she-in-pain-is-she-enjoying-this sex.

    Together their scenes caused so much glare that I picked up new radio signals.

    little

    Weird match. Oh, and also, she played a cougar.

    Shailene Woodley played Jane and I have nothing snarky to say about that, she was probably a perfect pick.

    The guy that played Madeline’s husband was a guy who I have only ever seen playing obnoxious comical characters in Will Ferral movies, so there is that.

    The show itself was very good and while it may not have been minute-by-minute accurate to the book, it was still quite enjoyable. Madeline’s daughter Chloe was played by a cute little girl who had a lot of attitude. The character was precocious and I would probably take an instant dislike to her if she existed in real life.

    Ziggy, Jane’s daughter was adorable and he played his role very, very well.

    The opening credits of the show are weird and comical with all the women dressed up as different versions of Audrey Hepburns — it seemed like it was the opening for a satire show.

    little

    My biggest annoyance was the way it ended. I won’t spoil anything, but the ending was completely rewritten. A revelation occurred that changed the way the truth came out. The way it was written in the book made much, much more sense than the way it played out on the show. I believe if you have watched the show for the first time and aren’t paying complete and utter full attention, you won’t pick up the realisation that registers with one of the characters and for me that was the entire crux of the book.

    What I think was the best thing about the entire TV show is actually the sound track. To download/buy/stream, the soundtrack comprises of about 12 mediocre songs, when if you search a couple of articles that last all the songs by order of episode, you can put together a very, very cool sound track.

    That’s what I did!

    I still recommend this show — but I recommend the book first. I’m not the sort of person that cant disassociate one from the other, but I feel like if you read the book you can get the broader picture of the story but still enjoy them both.

    Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – Book Review

    Big Little Lies placed #1 on the New York Times best seller list.

    big little lies

    I have to admit, that I am not the kind of person that takes notice of hype — I think I have mentioned before, I am kind of a hype-avoider as a general rule.

    However, Big Little Lies interested me based on the title alone. When I read the blurb, I thought it would be an easy read that would interest me based on the stupidity of school mums– that competitive nature of women who all seem to judge each others choices. As a childless woman in her 30s, I always marvel at how ridiculous and unrealistic that world seems to be (however, I have been assured that it is very, very much a ‘thing’).

    Big Little Lies is about the blooming friendship between three women who are lead very different lives but who come together by chance and sheer luck of where their children go to school. Jane is new to town and is mistaken instantly as a nanny by one of the working mothers. Madeline is the comical breath of fresh air — the kind of mother bear who will look out for others and who really takes pride in stopping at nothing to defend those that she aligns herself with. Celeste is portrayed as a trophy wife who is the mother of twin boys with a husband that is enviable to those around her.

    The story unfolds after Jane’s son is accused of hurting another child — the ramifications of the accusation and the defence of Jane’s son divide the parents at the school, escalating to an untimely murder.

    Each chapter shares a different view of each of the three mother’s lives — unraveling their secrets and lies right up until the death of a parent who is not identified.

    The book is written in chapter form with experts of police interviews with all of the mothers and father’s present at the time the death took place. Everyone’s interpretation of the event varies from comical to ridiculous, magnifying the kinds of stereotypes of judgmental mothers that exist in the day-to-day politics of the school Mum0sphere.

    loved this book.

    I couldn’t get enough of it. It did take me a little while to get through but I was so happy with the ending — it wrapped up nicely without feeling like another ‘happily ever after’ ending.

    Imagine my surprise when I realise that there is a Big Little Lies HBO series on Foxtel that has brought this book to life?!

    If you want to know how the two compare, brace yourself for my ‘Big Little Lies without pity’ post at the end of the week. It will be part of my book vs movie/tv show blogs once a week (or as often as time allows).

    Did you read this book? How did you feel about it?

    Procrastination – Living Life Again

    I have had this blog window open since lunch time and its now 7pm and til right this second this is the first thing I have written.

    I desperately wanted to get back to life a short while ago, probably around Christmas time — really convinced that I was ready to start acting like everything was fine again. I was really back in to writing my novel and thought I was healthily processing everything that life was throwing at me. However it turned out that that wasn’t the case and if anything the now that I’m living in has been harder.

    I have regressed back to old habits of procrastinating and that time of keeping myself busy to avoid feeling the motions has fallen by the wayside.

    However, I don’t really want to be blogging about my mother’s death every single time I come to my site, so I’m going to try to get better at living and not procrastinating anymore… so I want to talk a little about the things that I have been doing.

    I’ve scaled back the reading — I am not obsessively reading like I was last year which is probably a good thing. I am no longer avoiding things for the most part. However, I am finding that reading does help from time-to-time. Perhaps I’m reading to enjoy the story, not to pass time.

    I have upped my art stuff and have been trying my hand at new art mediums. I have been working a lot with resin and bought some cool molds to work with that I started seeing better results with. The only shitty thing about resin is that you have to wait a full 24 hrs before it all cures fully and I’m really impatient. I finally made some pendants today that I feel are up there in terms of some of the better things that I have made recently.

    I have found a lot of very good suppliers of wooden jewellery from Australia that have helped me organise some very cool and retro designs for a market that I want to do. I have a lot of things that are really starting to crowd my office, so I am going to do a market to free up some of that space and financially its a difficult time for me since the funeral, so I need to make some money.

    I have become more social — I am really starting to develop some friendships with girls that I work with or past workmates that I see on a regular basis and I know that can only be healthy given all the time that I spend alone.

    I am working on this cute little Michael Jackson side project too — its no big deal, but I have started an account on Instagram where I post images and quotes for 365 days. It’s interesting because I haven’t been an active fan since I was around 25 or so and even then I was interested only in finding out news and music, not so much in the community. Since his passing I’ve learned a lot about fans from the perspective of an adult; young people are bat shit insane and so childish. Its hard to reconcile that a lot of Michael Jackson’s active social media following fans are around the age that I was (11-15) when I was at my craziest over him. That means to say that most of them were barely alive when he passed — and theyre plaguing twitter and instagram writing the kind of shit I would really like their parent’s to witness. They don’t know much about him and share a lot of quotes that aren’t real quotes (notice this is a thing? there are a lot of fake Bob Marley, Marilyn Monroe, etc quotes on the internet that they never actually said)… and have some very strong opinions… It just is like another world that puzzles the shit out of me. I like musicians that are dead or who have been long gone, but I couldn’t imagine being obsessed with one to the point that these kids are. Not judging, its just… a different world lol.

    The one thing I’ve struggled with is writing my novel. I was in a really good groove for awhile but its fallen away because of my issues with procrastination, but I am going to try so hard to get back in to the habit because I want to finish it and I’m proud of my work thusfar. I don’t want it to not see the light of day. All I need to do is start writing and I’m sure it will be okay. It’s just getting in the proper headspace where I am uninterrupted. I keep making excuses as to why I should be doing other things. Or else I’ll begin a checklist and because writing is the most time consuming, I will have it at the bottom of the list and won’t work on it.

    I am still looking for some readers so if you’re interested, let me know. 🙂

    And that’s where we are at.

    Grief… & Other Associated Stress

    There is no measure of time that it will take for a person to overcome the grief of losing someone who is directly related to them; this I have learned first hand.

    It has been almost four months since my Mum passed away. Four long months since I saw her face, heard her laugh, teased her with something totally inappropriate or since she commented on something she saw on one of her favourite TV shows. This seems like forever ago, yet there is a conflicting passage of time that makes it seem like yesterday that she was at full capacity and we were shopping together, having Wednesday lunches together or that I was staying at her house most nights of the week so we could watch Masterchef together where I would live tweet her hilarious commentary.

    It seems like not that long ago that I was doubled over in pain, food poisoned or suffering a severe case of gastro where she was taking care of me, loaning me money to afford a “real” (non medicare) doctor at the end of my pay cycle and shuttling me to and fro and making me food until I felt better. The normal comforts of having a mother that loves you unconditionally.

    It has been almost four months since my Mum passed away and all I know is that the pain of that loss has hit me with a weight that I can’t quite aptly convey to anyone else that’s in my life. No one can ever understand the love between my Mum and I because they were not part of it. I regularly dream of her and sometimes they end in nightmares and other times I wake up feeling thankful that I’ve had the chance to see her and that she hasn’t faded from my memory. I am thankful that I haven’t yet forgotten how she smelled or how it felt to be comforted by her.

    Sometimes I feel that when I talk about her, people become glazed over because they kind of expect that because it’s almost been 4 months, I should be ‘almost’ over it — or that my pain should have dulled at least.

    The truth is that I don’t think I will ever feel less pain about my Mum’s passing. The guilt of what I ‘could’ have or ‘should’ have said or done will never pass (despite the fact that I did a lot and I know she would never accuse me of any different). Four months may have almost passed by quickly, but the immediacy of her passing required me to be level-headed, emotion-free and diligent in planning a funeral, taking care of bits and pieces, letting everyone know, and allying everyone else’s sadness by pretending I was totally okay with the new reality of a life, motherless.

    Because of the fastness in which my Mum passed, I can see how shell-shocked we all were in hindsight — perhaps that was attributed to all the denial we faced about her condition. Nevertheless, the three weeks of work that I took off didn’t really give me the time I needed. Again, in hindsight, it might have been smart to go back to work immediately and rather take the time when I began to feel the weight of losing her — like now.

    I try to recall the good memories; but they even make me sad with the reality that we will never have the chance to create anymore.

    Along with the other monsters in my head, intruding upon the normal functionality of a brain, I go to sleep with this sadness every single night and wake up feeling the weight of the loss as I try to turn the music up to drown it all out as I get ready for the day. When I get in the car and in those moments that I am alone, I find myself either having to listen audio books, or else endure the tears and the stupid guilt.

    As a result the silly thoughts begin and I have to try to bargain with myself with a routine or compulsion just to ease it off; like a superstition. It starts with one thing and it domino effects in to a thousand things and before I know it, I can barely get out of bed, wracked with grief, depression, intrusive thoughts and feelings that not another person will ever be able to ease save for the presence of my Mum who was really the only person I trusted to tell me the truth without getting angry or frustrated with me — even if it was sometimes cutting and blunt.

    It isn’t that I don’t feel like I can’t talk to people about it, my family and my friends have been so good — but I find it hard to talk about it without being aware of their discomfort or lack of words that will make me feel better. Nothing makes it better and I don’t think it ever will.

    Just this week I have felt off — unsure if it is just stress of grief or genuine sickness, I took myself off to the doctors three times and each time a different outcome ensued. Yesterday I had a blood test and had to wait for the results. After hours my doctor called me back and I missed the call by around 4 minutes so she left a muffled voice message that I couldn’t distinguish and something about coming back but also the word ‘mild’ was heard somewhere — regardless of the logic that bad news wouldn’t have been allowed to be left in a voice mail, I went in to melt down. Because it was after hours, I couldn’t call back without it going to an answering message service and I lost my shit for a good hour.

    I suppose the point of this is to just acknowledge the fact that there truly is no allotted time that one must adhere to when it comes to grief and its okay to lose your friggin’ marbles for as long as it takes to feel better again.

    In fact, when the funeral and the flowers and the well wishes and the shock dissipates, the gravity of the loss hits hard. As funny as it is, I feel like this quote is apt and it’s from Michael Scott so I know my Mum would approve:

    grief

    ..I mean, if we were talking about trying to put it in to words and all.

    The other things I’ve learned about grief and loss is that people do say some stupid shit to you. The nurse taking care of my Mum immediately after her passing told me this as she comforted me and I knew it was true in the moment but I didn’t know just how true until someone tried to tell me to stop talking about my Mum because I was torturing myself.

    I’ve learned that talking does help sometimes but in my case, writing is a release too and so if you are reading this wondering why I’ve done a violent overshare of emotions, then I will tell you it is because it is good for me and at this point in time, I am taking care of myself because unfortunately despite my age, my mother isn’t here to help me do that anymore.

    Also, grief sometimes doesn’t show up immediately. For me, I didn’t feel it; didn’t get it. I didn’t cry after leaving her that night. I didn’t cry at her funeral, really. I was able to smile and laugh and joke and continually tell everybody how chill I was about my Mum dying. And for a little while, I truly believed my own hype.

    Until of course, the grief did hit…

    Moving on from the loss of someone is actually impossible, but adjusting your life to a lifetime without an important person in it, is possible with time. The pain won’t ever pass, I don’t think. And there are days that I’m sure in 10 years time that I will take to just cry and remember her, but I am hoping that what I am going through currently will pass in its due course.

    But right now, I miss my Mum so much that it is painful to think about her and thinking about her makes it literally hard for me to breathe.

    (She is probably wishing she could give me “a clip ’round the earhole” as I write this).

    So yeah, that’s where I am at. Now I’m off to avoid life by nose diving in to yet another book.