Walking around on broken legs

Well just one broken leg but in sticking with the songs as blog titles thing, this is what I went with.

** This is dedicated to my moon boot buddy Bree from work who broke her ankle the night before I did and who’s had it so much worse than me ****

I have deliberated on whether or not to write this, because to be honest, I am not proud of some of my actions and the way I ended up mentally after breaking my ankle recently. The reason for this is that I ended up very depressed and I just kept thinking about the fact that there are people who have permanent disabilities, some have had these their entire lives and some end up disabled later in their lives. And there I was, with my very temporary disability, too depressed to get out of bed and being shit to my loved ones. I figured though that as some of this obviously stems from actually having mental health issues, that I take daily medication for and frankly, mental health issues or not- it was a shitty thing to happen. I think that people (including me) are entitled to feel a sorry for themselves when shit things happen. Why do we have to feel bad when we feel down? Why does guilt play such a huge role in depression and when you get down about the hand you have been dealt in life? I figured the best way to go about this was just to tell the truth and how I felt and try not to get all philosophical about disabilities as I felt that may be a little condescending. So here is the story of my experience breaking my ankle.

It happened when I was heading into the office for work on Friday the 17th March, I’d been working from home for a month and so I was really excited to go in and see all of my friends. The night before I washed my hair, shaved my legs and was ready to face the outside world. That morning I put on my uniform, passed Emily on my way out as she was coming home from nightshift and walked to the bus stop. I walked down the stairs at the bus stop like I had a million times before and thought I’d reached the bottom step- I hadn’t. My stomach dropped along with the rest of me and before I knew it my ankle had rolled and I was on the ground. Honestly, writing this is freaking me out. I replay that moment over and over in my head and it makes me feel sick every time. The night after the accident and for a little bit after I would wake up suddenly after thinking about that moment in my sleep. This was my worst nightmare, I have a legitimately fear this exact occurrence- I used to think my constant fear of rolling my ankle while walking downstairs was irrational but in that moment I knew it wasn’t. It had happened.

This was not the first time I had hurt my ankle (it is the first time its actually broken though, got to thirty before breaking a bone, not too bad I guess). This is the third time I have injured my right ankle and I have also badly sprained my left ankle. The last time I sprained my ankle was almost ten years ago when I was still cheerleading, I rolled it on a gym mat. I was at my heaviest back then though and walked with a limp for a long time. I used to use my ankle pain as an excuse to not exercise but of course I found that as I lost weight the ankle pain went away. I used to walk slowly downstairs and had a real mental thing with my ankle. I realised after I had hurt it this time that I had finally gotten over that, I no longer was careful on stairs and I had no problem exercising. I just hope I get back to that mentality quickly after this recovery.

So I have fallen and people have seen it happen (how embarrassing!!!!) I’m sitting at the bottom of the bus stop stairs, crying and trying not to vomit from how bad the pain is. I lock eyes with a girl who suggests moving to a seat and tell her I have seriously hurt myself, I am not moving. A lady asks if I should call an ambulance- I tell her my sister is an ambulance (my brain is obviously working well) and I call Em who comes and gets me. The wait between the lady leaving me (only after I convinced her it was fine to leave me) and Em coming is awful. I am crying, embarrassed and in so much pain. A few people stop to ask if I am okay- I assure them I am. It was nice to see how many people actually cared about me- thanks Buranda bus station people. Em and I decided not to go to the hospital that day because we both couldn’t be bothered waiting forever in emergency, plus we figured it was just sprained. The next day it was very swollen and very sore, I went to the Doctor, then off to radiology, confirmed it was broken and then off to ED. The kicker was that because it was a weekend, they couldn’t put me in a moon boot as they weren’t available but not to worry- they would call me through the week and I would get the cast swapped for a moon boot. In the following two weeks while I struggled with my cast, I would lament the decision to go on Saturday not Friday, i just kept think “I would be in a moon boot right now, not this awful cast.”

As I mentioned, I was then in the cast for two weeks and a half weeks. I have never had a cast before and man, was it the worst! I was pretty immobile for that time because I had crutches and they are useless! It is absolutely impossible to carry anything at all while using your crutches and if the ground is wet, forget it. I had a scary incident when I tried to go outside with Henry and Daisy and the tiles outside of my apartment building were wet, as soon as I put weight on the crutch, it slipped. What a terrible design! Everything changed- Henry had to take Daisy downstairs to the toilet because I couldn’t hold her lead and crutch at the same time, to wash my hair I had to sit down in the shower with a plastic bag I had taped around my leg. When I ate dinner I had to sit at the bench on a chair instead of the couch and sleeping was almost impossible. The worst part about sleeping is that I move my feet in my sleep and I kept waking up with awful cramps in my calf because I had moved my foot but I couldn’t get it out because it hurt too much to move my foot again. I also had this awful spasming of my tendons that would wake me up as well which again was from moving my foot. I know this sounds pretty inconsequential but when every single thing about how you do day to day tasks changes, its rough. It was also my right foot so I couldn’t drive and I felt pretty trapped inside my house.

It is scary how quickly my mental health slipped, I was starting to feel pretty down even by the end of that first week. It was hard to look after myself and I seriously resented Henry and Emily for being able to go to work and for leaving me. I was lonely, sore and tired. I also don’t think it helps that I wasn’t taking my anti-depressants (I know, I know but I ran out and I couldn’t easily go get them and just kept forgetting as silly as that sounds). By the end of week two I was barely getting out of bed, I just didn’t see the point. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone and didn’t feel like going anywhere even if that had’ve been an option. I was awful to be around, I was angry, resentful and tired. I remember getting ready for something and getting so frustrated I hit the wall in anger- that is absolutely something I would normally do. I snapped at Emily and Henry and treated them like crap even though they were helping me. I still hadn’t heard from the fracture clinic to get my moon boot. I called and called and it just rang out, adding to my frustration. When I finally got through, the lady told me I didn’t have an appointment until the 13th April. I cried after I got off the phone, that was still two weeks away.

On the Monday of the third week, I was at my absolute lowest, I was home alone, had slept until 2pm and was sitting in the kitchen trying to will myself to cook food. I had been mean to my poor boyfriend and started a fight even though he had been amazing and looked after me. Instead of making food, I just sat and cried. Then I remembered
I had gotten two phone calls that morning from the same number- I checked the message and it was the fracture clinic. I could go in and get a moon boot and I made an appointment for Wednesday.

Henry took me to the clinic on the Wednesday, I was given my moon boot and that afternoon we went to New Farm park and I went for a slow but very happy stroll along the riverbank. Everything has looked up from there! I got rid of my crutches just after Easter and now I am only using my moon boot when I walk outside. In my apartment I don’t need it. I started Physio which is helping so much and I have almost normal movement in it again.

One of the biggest things I was scared of was gaining weight, I was absolute terrified of it. In the past, I would have just gone back to terrible eating and no exercise at all but this time I forced myself to hobble straight back into the gym. Obviously the exercises have had to change a bit, no legs, only arms and back and no cardio. To begin with Henry and to carry everything for me and set me up at each machine and I had to modify anything that required me to stand up. The moon boot meant me being able to carry my own stuff and stand up properly and then last week- I started cycling on the bike again. I am looking forward to the day when I can deadlift and squat again and it annoys me that I will have to start all over again with being the weights back up. But at the end of the day, I know I am lucky. I get to actually be able to do those things again and I know there are people that never will. Damn, I broke my promise to not get philosophical!

So theres my story, that’s how I felt and what happened to my brain when my normal life was interrupted. I am not one hundred percent proud of my actions but there really wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. I was lucky to be able to recognise that I was depressed and knew it was just because of my ankle and even though there was the old dark cloud fogging everything, I knew I just had to push through and it would get better. Depression is a bitch and it can really make you feel pretty hopeless and please, please if you are in the black fog and don’t feel you have a way out- know I am always here and there really is a way out.

 

 

Walking around on broken legs

Whole Lotta Rosie

I have legitimately been trying to lose weight since I finished high school, it started when I saw my formal photos and the image of myself in my head didn’t match what I was seeing. I have always been overweight, I was really tall in primary school and always a little bigger than everyone else. I remember as a six year old starting dancing and having to wear a leotard and I was thankful I wore a green sash around my tummy as I felt like that distracted the lack of flatness. I always wore a ‘special’ costume that was different to everyone else’s because most costumes showed tummy and I was very self conscience of mine. The thing is though as a teenager, I thought I was fat when I was wearing size 12 and 14 when all of my friends were in 8s and 10s, my best friends were always the tiniest little things but boy did I have a surprise coming. You know that meme that says “man I wish I was the size now that I was when I first thought I was fat” that’s exactly how I feel.

I had always been an eater- as a child I remember convincing my Grandma to let me have four pieces of toast lathered with butter but the rapid weight gain started when I started dating a boy.  I would go and stay at his place for the weekend, there was never food in my house because we were pretty poor but when I went to his there was just so much food! I remember us making a cup of tea and finishing a packet of Milk Arrowroot biscuits together. He used to make me sausages for lunch- like eight of them and we used to regularly drink this milk shake thing that was milk, milo, chocolate ice cream and these chocolate flakes on top. Not only were we eating so much, we were also not doing any activity. We would go to the video shop- hire a number of movies and watch them for the entire weekend. There were meals between meals of chips from the fish and chip store, every Monday at dancing I would get chicken and chips and then eat dinner at home afterwards. My sister and I were very busy with lots of extra curricular things and during eisteddfod time we would be a McDonald’s pretty much every night. Life was just so busy so there wasn’t time for home cooked meals. I distinctly remember going to put on my size fourteen skirts that had fit me just the week before and not being able to get them past my thighs. I was a bit concerned but I had no idea just how serious the situation was.

There are mental things that go along with this as well, I was a very depressed teenager and I have on and off been a very depressed adult. Eating has always helped with that but I know the old “I eat because I am fat but I am fat because I eat” cycle very well. The eating with my teenage boyfriend brought me happiness, my home life was pretty rough with an abusive and very mentally unwell father so I escaped home, hung out with my boyfriend, ate and temporarily wasn’t depressed. There was also the constant hounding from my father about the fact that I was fat- note to fathers: telling your children they are fat, will NOT help them lose weight, especially when you’re not doing anything to promote healthy eating or family activity. Also when your daughter says “You’re lucky I don’t have an eating disorder” and you reply with “Not much chance of that.” or say things like “I am surprised someone your size feels the cold so much.” Also doesn’t help. But enough of that shit.

So 17 year old Caitlin gets her formal photos back, they don’t quite look the way she expected. I just couldn’t believe it!! Why had no one sat me down and really explained how much I had gained??? It wasn’t their fault though, I would never have believed it. So I finally weighed myself- I weighed 98 kilograms at seventeen years old!! My mum and I then tried on and off and fairly unsuccessfully to lose weight but back then there wasn’t the wealth of info there is these days. I lost a bit but nothing to write home about.

The next major turning point came again from seeing photos, this time from my 21st. I didn’t look twenty-one, I looked like a large 35 year old. This time I swore I would fix it. I was living out of home by then but mum and I joined weight watchers and I had finally started to cook for myself. I had some awesome success with weight watchers, I lost 15 kilos and it is great as a starting point. It taught us a lot of stuff we didn’t know like portion control and how to substitute food. To be honest though- since learning more and getting into gym and fitness more than ever, I just found that I didn’t agree with some of the things they do- this is absolutely not me saying weight watchers is bad because it absolutely is not, I just felt like it wasn’t the right fit for me and my goals anymore.

So I lost 15 kilos, bought a pair of size fourteen skinny jeans and was the skinniest I have ever been but then I moved to London and went travelling. Now I absolutely do not regret a single calorie I put on overseas- it was all so worth it. I had this attitude of “I am only here once and I am on holiday” even though this ‘holiday’ was a year long but I ate and drank everything I wanted to. I came home 8 kilos heavier. Not too bad considering I had a friend who was there for two years and put on twenty kilos.  I came home, lost most of that again and then I broke up with my boyfriend of six years.

I moved cities, I changed jobs, I started to enjoy my life in Brisbane and once I started making money, I loved going out and eating and drinking.Then I got a breast reduction and had a terrible recovery. And then I went to America for two months, met a boy and finally went back to the gym for the first time in a bout a year and a half and I was back to 95 kilos- nearly my heaviest.

That brings me to now, I can definitely attribute getting back into gym to my now partner. He has lost an incredible 20kgs and loves body building and I knew I couldn’t just sit at home being fat and lazy while he went out and gymmed. I know that even though he first met me at my near heaviest and still liked me, I want to feel better about myself and try again. Every other time I have lost weight I have done it just by doing cardio and gym was such a chore that I did not enjoy. This time though, my partner has shown me how to lift weights and I love it so much more. Sure I am not losing weight as quickly as I have in the past but I really like it.

I recently hit a snag when I broke my ankle, it came at the worst time, just when I was finally starting to make progress but this time I did something different that I didn’t do in the past. I kept going- I didn’t let the setback or change to circumstances undo all my hard work. Even at the end of last year after finally doing really well and losing about 6kgs, I got distracted by the stress of studying and by the time christmas was over I had gained it all back. This time however, I tried as hard as I possibly could to eat as well as possible and I didn’t stop going to the gym. I broke my ankle on a Friday and on the Sunday I crutched my way into a thankfully empty gym and did a shoulder work out. The next day I went when it was busy and I was so worried people would think I was an idiot but the trainers were so supportive and other members were supportive as well, one guy even said I was the most dedicated person there (I am not sure that’s true though). Now my ankle is getting better and I am able to slowly use the exercise bike and this week I did my first cardio since the injury a month ago. I don’t have much of an idea how I am going weight wise and I don’t think I have lost anything but the upper body stuff I had to stick to has definitely provided some results and I don’t feel like I have gained any weight. This year for my birthday I am going to wear a strapless dress- something I don’t think I have ever done. I am legitimately proud of myself for not letting this set back make me have to start again and I think this shows I am well on my way to this being how I live my life. I think that this shows how committed I am to being the healthiest I possibly can. My goal is to be a powerlifter but I want to be a small one so I am wanting to lose about 20kg first.

So that’s my incredibly long winded (and perhaps a little heavy in subject matter at times) struggle with weight loss, if you have made it reading this far- good work, I hope you enjoyed it. This gives a little insight into why when I see people who lose weight quickly and seemingly easily and who think they have found the magic recipe to weight loss, while I am genuinely happy for them there is a part of me that also hurts and sometimes gets frustrated. I have cried about my weight and weight loss more times than I can count and I know I shouldn’t compare my success to that of others but I do, and it makes me think “Why not me, why am I not good enough?” But it will be me and one day I won’t even gain it all back and I will just be healthy and happy for life.

Whole Lotta Rosie

I’d be safe and warm, if I was in LA

Today I woke up feeling a bit down, I think working from home and the lack of human interaction is getting to be a little bit. My life is literally wake up, study, work, gym and that’s about it. I need to start getting out of the house but every minute spent away from the readings and essays of uni work is a minute filled with guilt. This is the lament of a student.

When I feel like this my brain starts to miss specific places and the need to go somewhere intensifies. Today it has chosen Los Angeles which it chooses quite often to be honest. Sometime it will be London,this was especially so in the year after I moved back from London. That was a difficult year, the grieving process I went through was terrible. I know this sounds dramatic and a little first world problem-ish but I know a lot of other people experience this. My least favourite word is wanderlust because its been turned into one of those things that people who have been on one Contiki, once and think they are super traveled and cultured, get tattooed on them.  However, the actual definition “a strong desire to travel” is exactly how I feel. That actually down plays it a little- its not just a strong desire; its a yearning, its deep inside of me and it makes me depressed when it can’t happen.

Waking up today (I cant say this morning because I woke up at about 11am,
I have been doing that a lot lately, its not helping my mental health) all could think of was Los Angeles, that crazy city has a piece of my heart that I am happy for it to keep. LA is not typically the city in America that steals peoples hearts, most would feel this way about New York and it is understandable why. While I loved New York, it just felt like somewhere I was visiting, LA feels like home. I would give anything to be navigating my way through the crazies on Hollywood Boulevard with the hot sun shining on me while a cool breeze blows. I will never forget how that breeze feels  while sitting drinking a cider, watching the world go by.

My first time in LA was in 2013 and it was on the fateful trip that was essentially the catalyst to big changes in my life- came home, ended my six year relationship, moved cities and spent the next two years alone and focusing on myself. What I didn’t realise at the time that I was in a really bad place mentally, I knew I didn’t like my life but I wasn’t completely sure why or what to do about it. Looking back, I realise I was unhappy in my relationship and hated my job and I was so sick of living a life to please every body else at the detriment of my happiness. I didn’t want to be a home own living in the small town I grew up in and have babies in the near future. I wanted more, I wanted to see more of the world and just do things my way. I wanted to actually work in a career I liked and not want to cry every morning.

The first time I went to LA I was only there for one night before making our way to Las Vegas. That night we met a  couple of really great guys who we had an accidental huge night with and talking to them was so interesting. The thing that struck me about people in LA is that no one has a proper job or if they do, they are working towards something else. Everyone says they are “something but they work at somewhere” like “I am an actress  but I work in a coffee shop at the moment.” One of the guys we met was a fashion designer who said he had been to Katy Perry’s birthday party and had a beef with Kid Cuddi. I was talking with him, explaining what I did for a job and that working nine to five is pretty standard in Australia was pretty standard and he said “I just don’ know how people go to jobs everyday that they hate.” That will always stay with me because at that time I so desperately desired to do something meaningful that I loved. At the time, I was lead to believe that doing that was not viable, that I would not succeed and it would be a waste of time.

I went back to LA in 2015 after all of the big life changes had happened and I genuinely thought I was better mentally, I thought I was happier but that trip was the two months in America during which I was very anxious and homesick. This time I was in LA for four days and then another five after Coachella and getting to see more of the city just cemented that I could live there. There are just so many things to be seen and so many opportunities to delve right into whichever scene it is you’re into. LA is often called fake and plastic because of the celebrities that call it home but on the ground level, the regular people you meet are the furtherest from fake. They are 100 hundred percent themselves, sometimes to the slight detriment of their sanity. Hollywood isn’t called Hollyweird for nothing. My first night in LA, at a bar on H’wood Blvd (look how local I am being) I saw at least three girls with live snakes in their hair and watched my friend be lifted like a barbell by a strange man who called himself “Mr Muscles.” While it did eventually get to me that I couldn’t walk down the street without being spoken to or yelled at by someone (not the best of someone with anxiety who isn’t great with strangers) one of my friends hit it on the head today when she said that maybe we like it so much because we are weird too. I feel like LA is full of my people.

I have so many stories I could tell about LA and the people and sites I witnessed- like the poor homeless man on the bus from Santa Monica back to Hollywood who was wanting to be dropped off in Beverly Hills but struggled to stay awake and was sleeping in the most body contorting positions, or the man who got on the same bus and loudly asked the man next to him if he would be interested in doing some weed testing for money. Or when my travel partner and I naively spent a few hours in a Walmart shopping for Coachella supplies until I realised there were some young guys who may have been gang members watching us and upon googling later, we realised we were in Torrence which is apparently a very rough area. Or when we took a Hollywood bus tour where our tour guide was a really bad Jackie Chan impersonator until the bus broke down and people yelled at Jackie demanding money back. Or when we went to an open mic night and I made a cute musician take me home but that is absolutely enough of that story. However, this post is already pretty long and I think I could tell those stories separately when I eventually feel like it.

On my last night in LA, I geared myself up to get a tattoo but by the time I made it down there the shops were all closed. I was going to get a tattoo of a palm tree- I know, cliche right? Right now, if I didn’t have about $100 to my name, I would make a booking and go get that palm tree done.I know LA has been orchestral in the changes I have made in life, the want to do something I love and follow my dreams and here I am working in social media, studying and trying to get into writing for a job. So while life is definitely on the track to how I want it, today I am definitely California Dreaming (good one right?)

I’d be safe and warm, if I was in LA

Another week away, my greatest fear

I have had an interesting few days, I have been through the worst anxiety I have had in along time but I have also done amazing things and had a lot of fun.

Basically the anxiety stems from the my ex being pretty awful to me. When I left we were friends and used to talk all the time and tag each other in things and essentially just do what normal friends do. He had been ignoring my messages though, which made me really mad because its incredibly rude, so I asked him what was going on. He said I was messaging him too much and he was ‘copping a lot of flack’ for it. He also told me he was seeing someone and it was hard to justify why he was talking to me all the time. Just to be clear, I am not one of those crazy ex girlfriends that messages constantly and pines for him. Fair enough, I get a little bit sad and sent him a message telling him I was missing him, but that was because I was very sick and been driving all day and its my first big road trip without him. I’m honestly not that sad about him seeing someone, although I do get scared that I won’t find anyone, but I am mainly upset about how he treated me. All he had to do was nicely say to me ‘I have been seeing someone’ and I would have backed off. I understand that he is going to move on but the way he went about it made me feel so stupid and embarrassed and like I mean absolutely nothing to him. It’s silly but I just feel a little worthless at the moment, and lonely. Not having a significant other is not something that I am used to even though it has been a year and a half since we broke up. I guess its all a grieving process, I am sad that I have lost him, I am sad he has changed and I am so sad that this all happened in the first place. I just have to keep thinking that everything happens for a reason and things will get better.

Unfortunately, my brain just gives up on positivity sometimes and I fall apart a little and that is what happened after the conversation with my ex. I could barely talk and just wanted to stay in bed. I had several breakdowns to my travel partner who was so amazing and looked after me so well. Yesterday, she was very worried about me but I slept a fair bit yesterday and felt a lot better.

Today is my birthday so last night (after I slept off my anxiety) we went to Light Nightclub. Last time I was here, I went to Light and it was one of the best nights out I have ever had. That is also where I hooked up with the American boy who I eventually fell for. Light is incredible, it has Cirque Du Soleil performers that perform throughout the night and Alesso was playing so the music was amazing! We both had such a fun night and I had bought myself a really nice fancy dress to wear. It was a cute wiggle dress from a pin up store and while it was clingier than I would normally wear, I felt really sexy in it. Light was an amazing way to see in my birthday.

One error we did make was booking the Bellagio from the 24th to the 26th meaning we had to get up, pack our bags up and walk over from Flamingo with our terrible hang overs. The walk was rough with our huge bags and the random crap we have accumulated and then when we got to the Bellagio the check in line was huge and we both had to concentrate on not vomitting. Once we got to the room we had a nice nap and enjoyed our amazing view of the Bellagio fountains and the rest of the strip.

After chilling out all day in the room, we ordered room service and then got ready to head to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Fremont is the slightly seedier, crazier part of Las Vegas but that makes it the much better part. We were greeted with an eighties spandex band who were incredible, playing Guns and Roses and Kiss songs. From there we walked down Fremont street, taking in the crazy buskers (one of which was just a guy in underwear bopping to music) and went to a cool bar called The Griffin. A friend of mine described The Griffin as looking like Hogwarts and thats exactly what it was like, very English pub which low lighting and a fireplace.

Other than the amazing day 24 hours of my birthday, the other thing we did in Vegas was the Grand Canyon but we did it by helicopter instead of the 10 hour, round trip bus ride. The helicopter option is much more expensive but we decided to fork out. I have actually done this trip before when I was here last time but I was perfectly happy to go again. This time the tour included a limousine transfer to and from the airport and it was in the Limo that the most incredible thing happened. When the Limo picked us up, the driver apologised for being late and said that he had to wait for ‘The Jenners’ who were in the car. We just thought he was making a joke and so we jumped in. Then we realised, he was not joking, there in the seats were Brody Jenner and his mum Linda, his girlfriend Caitlin and her friend. They were so incredibly nice and introduced themselves to us straight away and asked where we were from. Linda said it was her birthday on the 23rd and that Brody had gotten the tour for her as a present, I told her my birthday was 24th. They went in a separate helicopter but when we actually landed in the canyon, when Linda saw us she said “Hey Brisbane” and they asked how the flight had gone. On the way back, another couple squeezed into the Limo (I think purely for the fact that Brody was in there) and during the drive they asked if they could get a photo. Straight away Brody’s demeanour changed and you could tell it was not something he was comfortable with and fair enough. It would be bizarre having people taking pictures of you when you are just trying to celebrate your mum’s birthday.

Now we are into our last day in vegas and there has been a bit of a change of plans. I have realised I do not have enough money to get through the next three weeks and so I am heading home on my original flight next week. Its actually really annoying because I was homesick and talked about heading home but now that I have no choice but to head home then, I am really disappointed and annoyed at myself for not looking after money better, nothing I can do now though. My poor travel buddy has now had to change her flight for the THIRD time because of me and it has been a bit of a stressful day. The only upside is- NEW YORK TOMORROW!!!!

Another week away, my greatest fear

Alabama, Arkansas, I sure do love my Ma and Pa

I am homesick. I am desperately, ridiculously, pathetically homesick. I miss my sister, I miss my bed and I miss work. How sad is that? Let’s back it up a little though, so you can get an idea of why this is especially embarrassing, I am only on a two month trip. It was supposed to be a three month trip but I have already cut it short by a month and now all I want, is to be at home.

At the moment I am in San Fransisco, which is amazing! Such a vibrant, beautiful city with so many things to do and see and here I am, after a month away from home, having panic attacks and crying in the shower because I miss home. So why is this happening and what can I do to combat it? Because I am determined to enjoy myself and not let anxiety and homesickness get on top of me.

Let’s back it up again and I will tell you whats been going on with me and how I got to this point to give a little bit of context. This is not my first overseas trip, I actually lived in London for twelve months, travelled through Europe and have done two and a half months around South East Asia. The massive difference is, those trips were done with my boyfriend and this is my first ever trip single. It has been a bit of an adjustment for me as we travelled so much together and travelled incredibly well together. Travelling with a friend is different, at the end of the day you go to bed alone instead of squishing into the same bunk until he decides its time  to go up to his. Annoying habits are much more noticeable because you aren’t in love with your friend.

In the December of 2013, after 6 and a half years together, I made the incredibly difficult decision to end my relationship. This was the man I thought I was going to be with forever and who I still think of as my best friend and soul mate but we had grown apart. For now lets not open that black hole of emotions because that is a large explanation all in itself and I am sure I will eventually lay it out, when I am ready. This trip was something I wanted to do, I wanted to go off without him and had been planning it since my return from America in November. I had been bitten hard by the travel bug and wanted to travel a lot. This was part of the reason the break up happened. We wanted different things, he wanted to be responsible with a house and I wanted to be able to flit off whenever. I dreamed of a travelling gypsy life. The problem was because I had to move towns, get a new job and learn to live on only one wage after years of living off two, I couldn’t afford to travel until April of this year.

So while I waited for it to be time to come on this trip, I got used to my life in Brisbane, actually I didn’t just get used to it, I came to love it. My sister and I were always close but me being single has meant I now spend all of my time with her and we have gotten even closer and for the first time ever I actually love my job! I have started to think about career progression and decided I want to buy myself an apartment in a few years. Low and behold, I was wanting to settle and no longer wanted the gypsy life style. My original plan was to quit my job and travel america for six months but the love of my life in Brisbane made me decided to cut it to three and work were nice enough to let me have three months off.

I still very much wanted to go on this trip though, especially because I am having an incredibly hard time getting over my ex and moving on, so I hoped this trip would help in that. When it came time to leave though, I got very down about being away from home for so long, I wished my ex was coming with me and wished my sister was coming with me but I was still excited.

Now I am a month into the trip and I feel like I have spent a fair bit of it anxious and homesick.  My travel buddy and I have also had a few set backs, she got the flu in LA, we hated our hotel in Cancun and got a bit of Mexico belly. We then had our drinks spiked in Mexico city and I spent three days with very, very bad food poisoning in San Diego. I know I am being a sook but I know that I would have come through these bad situations a little better, if I had someone to provide love and affection. I am trying very hard to be the strong, single, independent woman but there is only so much a person can take. Couple all of this with the fact that I have suffered from depression since my teenage years and quite bad anxiety since the break up which I take anti depressants for.

So what am I going to do about it? How am I going to not let my anxiety and homesickness get on top of me and ruin my trip? The first thing I have had to deal with is missing my ex and the constant sadness that he isn’t here. I was driving myself absolutely mental thinking about him, thinking about our break up and pining for him. Can I just add that although we have been broken up for almost a year and a half we still see each other quite a lot and have sex (yes I know how self-destructive that is, trust me) and in the week leading up to me leaving we actually spent a massive amount of time together. So although its been a long time since we were a couple, the feelings of leaving him are still very fresh and raw. So to stop driving myself completely insane with the grief of him not being here, I have adopted the Eat, Pray, Love method. This being that every time I think of him and my mind starts to wander and I miss him, I repeat to myself; miss him, send him love, move on.  I repeat this in my head this until I think it is safe to stop.

In regards to the homesickness, I am not really sure what to do. At the moment I am simply taking it one day at a time. I wake up, do the days activity and before I know it I am one day closer to going home. I also talk to my sister all day, every day, I got myself an American sim so no matter where I am, I can Facebook message her. When I am lonely and bored, I write in my travel journal and load my photos onto my computer and Facebook. I am going to Skype my mum and FaceTime my sister. I am also going to use writing as a way to cope. When I am feeling super anxious or down, I am going to write about my feelings. The most important thing I am going to do is not beat myself up. I will stop being annoyed at myself for feeling this way, being annoyed at myself only makes me anxious and then I ended up anxious about being anxious. I am just going to keep going and before I know it, it will be time for me to head home and I will be sad about that and wish I had longer. I can do this, I have made it through one of the most emotional periods in my life and come out the other side. I have spent a year away from my family and friends, 16,000 kilometres away from home in another county ,so I can spend another month travelling around America. I also keep thinking to myself, as the meme goes “If Britney can get through 2007, I can get through this day” or month in my case.

Alabama, Arkansas, I sure do love my Ma and Pa