Shaping the Fractured Self

I have been fairly silent here for a little while as my migraines spiraled out of control with a long six month period of daily (nightly) migraines that robbed me of sleep (and sanity). Fortunately for me, a change of neurologist who made some subtle changes to my preventative treatment and some more drastic changes to my rescue treatment, my brain has now calmed down to a much more manageable level.

This Thursday, along with some other writers, I will be reading at the DAX Centre for the launch of Shaping the Fractured Self: Poetry of Chronic Illness and Pain. I am chuffed to have three poems and an essay included alongside some wonderful writers*.

My poems and essay in the book speak about my experience of over thirty years as a chronic migraine sufferer, but I am pretty sure anyone who has suffered from any long-term and chronic (and often invisible) pain will relate.

All of the writers have captured their experience of chronic illness and pain in their poetry. It is a great read. I’d love to see you at the launch and you can either grab at copy at the launch, or via the UWA Publishing website.

A massive thank you to Heather Taylor Johnson who came up with the concept, found us all, found a publisher and pulled it together.

*The other writers in the anthology are: Andy Jackson, Anne Carson, Beth Spencer, David Brooks, Fiona Wright, Gareth Roi Jones, Grant Cochrane, Gretta Jade Mitchell, Ian C. Smith, Ian Gibbins, India Poulton, Jessica Cohen, Kevin Gillam, Kristen Lang, Leah Kaminsky, Margaret Owen Ruckert, Peter Boyle, Quinn Eades, Rachael Guy, Rachael Mead, Rachel Robertson, Rob Walker, Sid Larwill, Sophie Finlay, Steve Evans, Stuart Barnes, Susan Hawthorne and Heather Taylor Johnson –also the editor of the anthology

Twenty-eight days 

28

Beware. This is a ‘journey’ post.

Twenty-six days ago I was sitting in my psychologist’s office (not something I would have done, or admitted to a couple of years ago, but now I wonder how people survive without brain dumping on someone who can help you sort out all the brain mess). We were talking self care and how it would be good for me to try to incorporate it into my every day (instead of an extraordinary occasion) with the view to chat about it when we caught up again in 28 days. She was concerned that I had stopped writing, that I had given up on the idea of my words making any sense, and that I wouldn’t allowed myself to look at my manuscript I had saved all the way back in November last month.

So, being a listy kind of person I knew it would start with a list. Continue reading

Fighting the green eyed monster

My life has been some crazy out of control beast for the last year or so. Things have flown at me that I have had no control over, so I have had to stop what I was doing, and deal with it.

This is normal for most of us, especially when we have kids, or older parents. The difficulty I have found is trying to get some balance with what I would like to do (the things that make me sing and dance and just feel generally ace about myself), and getting on with the necessities (caring for people who need me to).

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A suitable farewell

A letter Mum wrote to her church when she knew she was dying

A letter Mum wrote to her church when she knew she was dying

I am not sure I had realised how popular Mum was (and I am positive she didn’t either). The church at her funeral was packed and overflowing and there were many people who couldn’t even get there. On the day and after, we (my siblings and I) have all been asked for copies of our eulogies and to be able to listen the Mum’s funeral service.

So, without further ado, here are the eulogies in the order they were read, and her service.

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Empty Space

Image courtesy of Helga Weber www.flickr.com/photos/helga/

Image courtesy of Helga Weber

There is so much to do, to catch up on, and so little motivation. I’ve had to resort to my daily to-do lists in my diary to try to encourage myself to at least tick one box off a day. I refuse to give in to inactivity.

On the day I brought Mum home from hospital, the day she found out that she had terminal cancer, she went straight out to the clothes line to hang out some clothes to air. I told her that I could do that and she said, “No, I need to do. Doing is very helpful.”

It’s these words that help me to do when all I want to do is curl up under my doona and let the world pass me by.

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