Writing every day for mental wellness

Today is the start of a brand new year.

I’ve woken up feeling exceedingly uncomfortable, but in a (sort of) good way.

Last night we went to Clover Cottage with some friends for New Years’ Eve.

Clover Cottage is a restaurant in Berwick.  Or rather they were a restaurant.  Apparently, they have been there for forty years and have become somewhat of an institution.  But now they are retiring and have sold up.  Last night was their last dinner.

It was amazing.  The place itself was a nod to old world charm and the food and service was set to match.  Everything in the place was beautiful and old and, well, comforting.

In total, there were 5 courses, each one bigger and better than the one before.  By the end of it, my stomach was stuffed to the brim.

It seemed such a tragedy not to indulge in everything that was placed before me, but I am paying for it this morning.  11:25am and I’m still in bed and the only thing I have managed to drink is a lemon and ginger tea.  I do love lemon and ginger – it is probably my favourite type of tea.

Numerologically, it is a 1 year, which means the start of a new adventure and a new cycle.  It means new beginnings and new hope.  I like that idea so much, don’t you?   The idea that we can leave that wretched 2016 with its messed up politics, violence and deaths – oh my all those deaths – behind us.

Today is the start of a new year and by goodness we are going to make the most of it.

I don’t really do new years’ resolutions, but I have decided to embark on a journey to at least try to make this year more purposeful towards leading a more mentally settled life than last year.

There are a couple of things that this will entail:

First of all, I’m starting a new blog.  As you know from this post, we bought a new property on an acre of land.  The house itself is dated and needs a major overhaul.  I knew I wanted to write about our process of renovating it, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to write about it in this space.

This space is for me to openly talk about my mental illness (more of that below), and also my politics and other stuff.  This is my raw soul spilled onto the page space.  Somehow, talking about renovating a house with some gardening didn’t seem to fit, so in the end I opted for an entirely new blog.

On the note of my new blog, I resisted quite alot.  There are so many “lifestyle” blogs out there that I wondered if I truly wanted to add to that, or if I had anything to add really since I am a complete novice at this type of thing.

Additionally, I wasn’t sure I could cope with the pressure of coming up with new things to write, of photographing every process, of editing those photos to make them “pin worthy”, etc.  It all started to feel so oppressive before it even began.

But then, rarely for me, I took a deep breath and decided to let it evolve. The whole idea of moving to one acre in the semi-rural countryside was to lead a simpler life and getting ahead of myself thinking I have to produce the perfect blog, setting myself up for failure, seemed counter productive.

I will keep you abreast of how that develops.  I can tell you that I have bought the domain name YAY!

Secondly,which probably should be first but I wanted to focus on the good that is on the horizon, it is likely I am going to have to go away for a couple of weeks.  My counsellor feels a residential facility will help me immensely.  I’m in the ‘at risk’ category for depression, and it seems that a break might be a good way to reset the button a bit.  I’m resisting it enormously.  Mr C, on the other hand, is really urging me to go.

He is worried about me.

In honesty, I am petrified.  I keep telling myself that I can’t afford the time away, especially with the move and the initial stages of renovation in just a few weeks.  I tell myself that my family, especially Master J need me, but you know what, the truth is I am just plain terrified.

I’m terrified I am unfixable.

I’m terrified that I am going to go all the way to Sydney, be away from my family for 21 days and then find that I am not fixable after all.  That even after all of that, I am too broken.  I am afraid that I may lose all hope and that would be a terrible terrible thing to happen.

Even writing about the fact that I am actually considered ill enough to go away makes me feel like such a failure.  Which is weird because if it was anyone of my friends or family in this situation I would be telling them how brave they are, and how acknowledging the problem is the first step to wellness (which is why Step 1 in AA exists).

Yet, I seem incapable of affording myself this same grace.

Instead, I look at myself in the mirror and wonder how it came to be that I become so broken that I am considered an ideal candidate for an intensive residential facility.

Yet, here I am.

Writing is my life saver – it is the only thing I really know how to do and the only thing I want to do with any consistency at all.  I love to craft, and read, and bake (sort of), but writing is the one thing that holds my attention and has done pretty much ever since I learned to write.

Writing comes easily to me.  I find it far easier than speaking.  Which is why I am far more likely to text or email someone than pick up the phone.  It’s a pretty classic introvert thing too.

I was packing boxes the other day and going through my myriad of diaries.  I have a ton of them, each with only a few pages written in them before the effort to write every day fades and I have moved on.  Which is a little contradictory to what I have just said, I know.  I write, but not on the scale of journal writing which requires the fastidious routine of writing every day.  I struggle with routines.

I read a few of the diaries.  Each of them, spanning the 20-odd year period, all say the same thing.  I was saddened by this enormously.  It felt like I had not moved on in my life at all, and worse, I had never found the bravery to fulfil the same dreams I had when I was in my early twenties and which I was still writing about 20 years later.

But the flip side of that is that for the longest time I had told myself I had no hopes and dreams, that I didn’t know what it was I wanted to do and yet, laying before me in those handful of hand written pages was something quite contrary.  I had dreams, recurring dreams, I simply didn’t realise what they were.

I have decided to try to write every day about where my head is at, about mental illness, and what it looks like for me, about what we are doing about it as a society.

It’s important that I do that.  For me, and hopefully for any of you out there who need to know you aren’t crazy, or alone.

The third thing I am going to attempt to do this year, is to live more simply.  Too often I tend to complicate my life, and shoot from the hip.  This year I want to address this.  Being in a home with a lot of space around me should help in this endeavour.  And this is what I will focus on in  the new blog.

Slowing down, my mind and what I try to cram into my life, is my end game.  I am not equipped, mentally, for a frenetic life.  I need calm, peace and a good dose of serenity.  I know people who are driven by a completely different pace of life, but I crave calm.

These are the things that I am hoping for this year. How about you?  What are your hopes?  Do you want something different?  Or more of the same?  Whatever it is, I really do hope 2017 is kind to you bringing you all peace and contentment in whatever you do.

Much love,

SHW Signature AmyG Font




6 thoughts on “Writing every day for mental wellness

  1. i think you are brave sarah! … sharing your most gutsy stuff!
    I am an introvert and I draw, paint and write stuff out of me!
    I need space and calm too!
    yesterday I sold three of my painting, without even trying to!
    I think that is a good omen to the new year for me!
    all the best sarah and I would embrace that break for your healing process!
    maybe miracles do happen on the way to the finishing line hun!
    much love m:)X


    1. Hi there Merilyn. Congratulations on the sale of your paintings. Definitely a great omen for the new year I’d say! Do you have a link to your shop, I would love to have a look :-). It’s likely I’ll be going away, but I won’t deny it still petrifies me. We still have holidays here (today is the last day), so I’ll ring them tomorrow and see what’s involved. xx


  2. HI Sarah, I understand your apprehension about going away to the residential facility. I felt the same way about being hospitalised for my anxiety. However once I was there and realise it was a safe place for me to be, I relaxed and allowed myself to get better. The second visit was a bit easier as I knew how much the 3 weeks would benefit me. Yes you are leaving you’re family, but they need you to be the healthy (dare I say happy) version of you. I hope your stay gives you all the help you need to ‘reset’. xo


    1. Hi there Louisa, thank you so much for your comment. It helps to hear from someone who has been through the same thing. I hope you are okay and getting stronger every day xx


  3. Sarah, you are fixable. And so courageous for sharing what is happening in your life. I’m hopeful about this being Year 1 as well – let’s embrace the changes where we can and find time to be kind to ourselves. xx


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