It gets better

Life can be painfully hard. I’ve written before about my struggles with mental illness and ADHD, losing people I love, bullying,  sickness, alopecia and autoimmune disorder, obesity and my physical health. I’ve even at times mentioned these concurrently, each overlapping and coinciding with one (or several) others. At my lowest point I was chin-deep in undiagnosed Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression, I was morbidly obese and unhealthy, my hair was falling out and I was being bullied at work. But that isn’t what I want to talk about today. I think we can all agree that at some point in their lives everyone will hit rock bottom.

What I want to talk about is how happy I am.

I don’t often go out of my way to discuss how wonderful my life is these days, not least because it’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of day-to-day living. I also don’t want to brag. Every day people go through struggles I can’t comprehend; talking about how fortunate I am for the things I have seems tacky somehow.

But here’s the real deal: I’m happy. I love my life. It is full of wonderful people and amazing experience. Yes, sometimes stuff sucks. Sometimes stuff is hard. Sometimes I cry. But I am happy. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.

The point I am trying to make is that dejection, loneliness, misery, heartache… These things aren’t permanent. They’re transient. They come and go like waves on the ocean and, like my life now, can co-exist with happiness, prosperity, pride and success. I still have alopecia and ADHD. I still have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I. Still. Get. Sad. But there is light and hope and this is what I allow to define me.

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If you feel like you are in the dark, that there is nowhere to turn, that things will never improve then please speak to someone. A doctor, a friend, a family member, a compassionate stranger on the internet, Lifeline. Please ask for help. Asking for help is so hard it seems impossible but I promise you it is easier than carrying on alone. And it’s worth it. Always.

If you know someone who needs help please send this on. Ask them if they’re okay. Talk to them about Lifeline or seeking help. Listen to them. The suicide statistics in New Zealand are horrifying, especially among young people. If this post, or someone who reads this post, can help even one person then I have achieved everything I could hope for.

It will get better. It won’t always be this way. Kia kaha.



Guest Post: My decision to donate my eggs (Part 1)

I thought about blogging this a while ago and never did. So now I’ll do it before I leave it any longer and there’s even more to write about. There is a bit to catch up on!

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Why? Why would anyone want to go through this process and donate their eggs to complete strangers? Well, my answer back has often been why not? I’m 28, single (have been for a while!) and not planning on using my eggs any time soon. If I end up having kids one day it’s still going to be a while away. So why not give the to a couple who want to have a baby?

I got asked at the first counselling appointment I went to if I was attached to my eggs at all (actual WTF?) No, I’m not, I get a period every month and it end up down the toilet.

So I started this process back in December when I first got in contact with Fertility Associates. I had seen a couple on the news who were looking for an egg donor and thought that was something that I could potentially do. I looked at all the information available and had a good read. I emailed my enquiry off. They emailed back with a bunch of information attached (what I had already read) saying someone would be in contact in a couple of weeks once I had read the attached information. Who doesn’t look into it first? Not me! So I emailed back saying that I would be happy to be contacted sooner. I got a phone call a day or two later and spoke to a lovely lady who is one of the donor egg coordinators in Auckland. After chatting with her I was sent for a bunch of blood tests. 8 tubes of blood later they were able to see I’m healthy, have normal egg reserve levels for my age and good news, don’t have any nasty diseases!

What next? The next step took me to see a counsellor and doctor at the clinic at the start of this year. They were there to make sure I was healthy physically and mentally. It was also a chance to make sure I understood the legal aspects, and everything the process involved. The doctor also scanned my ovaries, the best way to get a good look is with an ultrasound up my vagina. There is a TV screen at the end of the bed so I could see the scan at the same time. This, combined with the fact nothing like this bothers me, and doctors terrible hair dye job gave me the giggles! As a former practice nurse I have looked up hundreds of vaginas, I have no issues!

After this appointment I was sent a profile of a couple to look at. This was the same couple who had been on the news. I wasn’t necessarily looking to donate to them, but feel like I was kinda talked into potentially donating to the since I was one of their best options in terms of age and egg reserve levels.

So way back at the beginning of March this couple had my profile (which I had to fill out about myself) and some others, and had to decide who they were going to use. March went by, so did April, and then May. I get that it’s a big decision, but does it take that long? Right from the start it didn’t necessarily feel like it was the right thing with this couple. So when they were asking to be given until the end of May to make their decision I pulled out. I just knew something wasn’t right. It had already taken much longer than I expected, and I was ready to get things moving.

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– @katiepie_nz



Two seconds in my head

Oh! An idea!
Oh, I’m doing something else.
Right, stop that and think about the idea.
That’s a pretty important idea.
Shit, I don’t wanna forget that.
I wanna do that now.
But I can’t stop what I’m doing.
If I don’t do it now I’ll forget it.
Ooh, I could write it down!
Yep, I should write it down.
Where should I write it?
My notepad.
Where’s that?
My handbag?
And a pen?
Same place.
I should get those things.
Where’s my handbag.
Just behind me.
I like this handbag.
I should fold that laundry.
Focus.
Notepad: got it.
I like this notepad.
Mum gave it to me.
Focus. Open the notepad.
Oh, a picture!
Focus. Don’t look at that picture.
Hey, other notes.
Don’t read those now.
Focus.
Get pen.
I like this pen.
A friends gave me this ages ago.
I like the rhythm of clicking it.
Click.
Click.
Click.
Focus!
Right. Skip to a blank page.
Write down that idea.
What was that idea again?
Shit.



My Anxiety Badger

This is my anxiety badger. He often gnaws on me in my down time. The times between tasks where I allow my mind to relax are his favourite. He worries at my the edges of my brain the way a distracted child plays with a loose thread. Leave him too long and the whole thing will unravel. Thread is a good analogy too, actually. My brain is like a huge patchwork quilt. So many colours and patterns and distractions. Warm and cocooning and familiar. But one loose thread pulled too hard and a huge hole appears. And holes in stitching are hard to fix.



Don’t go changing

Tonight I did a free compliments thing on twitter as part of a wonderful hashtag some friends thought up: #sharetheloveTuesdays. I was amazed at the results.

First of all, my earlier hypothesis about the role compliments play in people’s lives was proven accurate. People who are usually full of beans crawled out of the woodwork to ask for a little affirmation (affirmation I gave freely). The effect on me, however, is what really flawed me.

Flattering other people is a truly humbling and heart warming act. So often we drift through life focusing inwards, eyes down, heads bowed, feet shuffling. We discuss our lives with others; we mull over our problems; we see life through glasses made with our own unique prescription. How often do we sit down and focus 100% on someone else? How often do we stop and think about what they need to hear most?

Focussing your entire energy on the betterment of someone else is wonderfully freeing. I love it. It makes me feel healthy, happy, whole. It makes me feel like a better person. And what’s more it makes other people feel that way too.

I may have to make this a regular.