Checking in

I have been feeling quite overwhelmed lately.  I have kept the mask on, smiled but on the inside, and when I am alone, I fall apart.  The anxiety overwhelms me and I have a sense of foreboding, just waiting for bad things to happen.  This has meant that I am engaging in a little (ok a lot) of head in the sand behaviour.  So I want to take stock with the help of Pip, for myself, to show that I am doing ok.  Even if I feel like I am not.

 

I wrote this post last week before Tropical Cyclone Marciano had hit. We currently have no power and estimates are saying we’re not likely to see power until Friday. We’re hot,we’re bothered but at least we don’t have damage. I’m heading to my parents place who have power and hopefully things will be back to normal next week.

Making :  plans to get things back under control.
Cooking :  new things for Mr 5 to take to school
Drinking :  a lot of water. I really notice the difference on the days when I don’t keep up with my water intake.
Reading:  some great Aussie authors.  I have discovered a crime writer called Garry Disher. His books feel like I am reading Blue Heelers. It’s crime without the fluff.
Wanting:  to feel more secure in my decisions and my abilities
Looking:  a little worse for wear
Playing:  Disney Infinity 2.0 with Mr 5.  We finished one section of it a couple of weeks ago.  Who knew it would feel like a massive accomplishment.
Wasting:  time, when I need to be getting my head out of the sand.
Sewing:  the seeds for motivation.  I am just going to keep faking it until it sticks.  It has to work sooner or later.
Wishing:  that the rain would bugger off long enough for me to get all of my washing done.
Enjoying:  some free time now that Mr 5 is at school. I’m also enjoying watching him learn so much.
Waiting:  for my next cluster of the web course to be released.
Liking:  that Mr 5 has settled in to school life so well.  He’s made new friends and is finally telling Paul and I what he gets up to at school.
Wondering:  how long I am going to have to keep faking it until I make it.
Loving: my new medication.  While I am still feeling the sense of foreboding, the ball of anxiety that had taken up residence in my stomach seems to have gotten a lot smaller.
Hoping:
  that Mr 5 continues to love school as much as he is at the moment.
Marvelling:  at how much Mr 5 has grown in the last 4 weeks.  Not physically but emotionally.  We are still working on winding down after school though.
Needing:  some new feet.  I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis a couple of weeks ago and it just doesn’t feel like it’s getting any better.
Smelling:  wetness.  The rain means that everything is feeling and smelling a little damp.
Wearing:  clothes that are more about comfort than style and feeling OK about it.
Following:  a few different streams of advice for getting healthy.
Noticing:  that my fitness is slowly, but surely improving with our walks home from school.
Knowing:  that this too shall pass and all the other inspirational quote shit.
Thinking:  about ways to better be organised with my study.
Feeling:  overwhelmed and a little bit silly that I am resorting to sticking my head in the sand rather than just getting on with it.
Bookmarking:  time management and organisation articles.  I am also bookmarking recipes to try for school lunches.
Opening:  my mind to change, even though it scares the hell out of me.
Giggling:  at Despicable Me with Mr 5.
Feeling:  overwhelmed, but trying to remind myself that I have better coping skills than I did 6 years ago.  I’ve got this.

Do you like to regularly take stock of where you are in life?

Have you seen any easy recipes for school snacks lately?

Linking up with Jess for IBOT!

Anger overflow

I read this post last week and it explained the white hot anger that I often feel perfectly.  I have talked before about my anger and how it has started to have a bigger impact on my life.  As intense anger is one of the diagnostic criteria of BPD, I wanted to talk about it more in depth.

Think of the last time you were angry.  I mean really angry.  The kind of anger where it starts to give you physical symptoms.  The room starts to spin, and you can feel your pulse pounding through your veins.  It is almost like your blood is bubbling under the surface, like a volcano.  anger

Now imagine feeling that way every single time something annoyed you, every time you felt slighted or every time you felt that things just weren’t fair.  Imagine feeling it when you forgot to buy milk while you were out.  The white hot anger bubbling under the surface with a hair trigger before it comes spilling out.

One of the friends of anger is shame, at least for me.  With anger I also feel exhausted.  Anger means that my body is in fight or flight mode.  I are on edge, waiting for someone to trip me up, waiting for that trigger to fire.

When that trigger is tripped and the fire comes raging out, it’s like an out of body experience.  I am standing beside my body, knowing that what I am doing is over the top, that the reaction doesn’t meet the circumstance.  I can feel myself trying to stop before the words spew out of my mouth.  It snowballs, gains momentum until I am chasing a firey ball, exhausted but unable to stop.

People believe that anger is easy to stop.  They believe that people who struggle with anger can just take a deep breath and count to ten.  I do use that technique, I do try to recognise the triggers before they are tripped but there are times when the fire comes rushing at me like a bull to a red flag.  I feel powerless to stop it.

This isn’t about excusing anger.  I know that I am an arsehole when the anger consumes me whole.  I know that I hurt people with my actions and the words that come out of my mouth when I am angry.  Like everything that I write here, it’s about understanding.  It’s about explaining why I do some of the things that I do.

Anger is still one of the biggest things that I struggle with.  I often feel that white hot power rushing to the surface.  However I am getting better at recognising my triggers, removing myself from situations when I feel the lava bubbling and realising that anger, like all emotions, is valid.  The last point is especially helpful in reducing the severity of my outbursts because it means that I can release the anger without shame, in a healthy way.

How do you express your anger?

Health Insurance and Mental Health

Today on the blog I have a guest post from Health Insurance Comparison about accessing mental health treatment in the private system using medicare and health insurance.  I currently access treatment privately and it has been an absolute different experience.  Unfortunately the public system just doesn’t have the resources to give everyone long term treatment.  They are often more focused on bandaid solutions, which don’t get to the root of the patients struggles.health insurance

If you’re looking to get support for a mental health condition, you may be wondering how much help you can get from Medicare and whether it is worth buying health insurance. In this post, we look at the support that is available through Medicare for mental health support and how health insurance can help beyond this.

Medicare Support for Mental Health

Support for mental health conditions through Medicare is mostly limited to the Better Access to Mental Health Care (BAMHC) scheme. This offers Medicare rebates for psychological treatment by registered psychologists. The BAMHC initiative covers a range of mental health conditions including anxiety, bereavement, ADHD, bipolar, depression, eating disorders, OCD, panic attacks, phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, sleeping disorders and alcohol and substance misuse.

To be eligible for Medicare support, you must be referred by your GP or a psychiatrist or paediatrician. Your GP will usually need to complete a detailed mental health assessment and prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan before a referral can be made.

Up to 10 individual sessions can be accessed in a calendar year, with progress being assessed after 6 sessions. Up to 10 group sessions may also be available.

The costs depend on a number of factors, including the length of sessions and the fee being charged by the psychologist. If they bulk bill, there should be nothing to pay. If they don’t bulk bill, you’ll have to pay the difference between the Medicare rebate and the fee being charged by the psychologist. If in doubt, check the expected fee with the psychologist to avoid any nasty surprises. Any fee payable above the Medicare rebate will count towards the Medicare Safety Net for out-of-pocket expenses.

Psychology is one of the allied health services that is available through the Better Start for Disabilities program. If your child has an eligible disability, they be referred by a GP, specialist or consultant physician to access up to 4 diagnostic/assessment services and up to 20 treatment services including psychology. These services need to be seen as crucial for making a diagnosis or must be part of a treatment or management plan for an eligible disability.

Some support is also available through Medicare for seeing a psychiatrist. If you see a psychiatrist as a public patient in a community health centre or public hospital setting, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to pay. As a private patient, a Medicare rebate can be claimed to offset some of the costs. If the psychiatrist bulk bills, a fee won’t be due.

Seeing a psychotherapist or counsellor will sometimes be covered by Medicare, as long as they have a Medicare provider number.

Health Insurance and Mental Health Services

It’s important to note that health insurance cannot be used to ‘top up’ Medicare support services. You therefore need to decide if you want to use health insurance for accessing mental health services or use your Medicare entitlement.

If you aren’t eligible for Medicare support or you prefer to use health insurance to access mental health services, look for Extras cover that includes Psychology benefits. There is typically a 2-month waiting period attached to Psychology benefits, which means that you’ll need to have had your policy for at least this period of time before you can start claiming.

Psychology will not always be available on basic Extras policies and you may therefore need to have mid to top level Extras cover to be sure of being covered.

Health insurance will sometimes cover the costs of seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist that does not have a Medicare provider number (and therefore will not be covered by Medicare). This will not always be the case though so it’s important to check exactly what is covered on Psychology services before you commit to a particular health fund. It is often the case that you’ll need to use practitioners that are recognised by your health fund to be eligible to make a claim.

Take a close look at the annual limits attached to Psychology Extras services. This will often vary between health funds and can amount to several hundred dollars even on top level Extras policies. Bear in mind that if you need to access more mental health services than are covered by your Extras policy, you’ll be hit with out-of-pocket expenses. It’s therefore vital to know exactly how much you are covered for before you start accessing mental health services.

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Health Insurance Comparison is more than just a comparison site; we want to take the confusion out of buying health insurance. Whether you’re looking for health insurance for the first time or wanting to get more for your money by switching to another health fund, we’ll help you to find a health insurance policy that works for you and help you to get the best value for money.

Have you accessed mental health treatment privately?

Have you considered health insurance for mental health treatment?

Pet life

Welcome to The Lounge!  Grab a drink, settle in and tell a tale or two.  This week is about pets.  We’re not fussy here at the lounge, we accept old or new tales.  Just link up at the bottom of this post and be sure to share the comment love!

As I am writing this, our foxy Layla is running from one end of the house to the other rubbing herself on all of the things.  You see, I made the mistake of bathing her.  She hates it, hates water at all.  However she smelt like arse, so it was time for a dunkin’.

My two balls of energy during one of their quieter times

My two balls of energy during one of their quieter times

Layla isn’t Mr 5’s first pet.  We did have Jag, a cat who was a little too close to his wild cat buddies.  He was badass.  He took no prisoners and generally hated everyone, unless you were in the process of feeding him.  Even then it was touch and go if you didn’t put the food into his bowl quick enough.

Jag liked to think he was a tough wild cat but deep down he was a wuss.

Jag liked to think he was a tough wild cat but deep down he was a wuss.

My first pet was a dog called Bella.  I don’t actually remember Bella but my parents have a couple of photos of me with her.  My parents had to end up giving her away as she thought that I was her young charge.  This may seem like a sweet, good relationship for a kid to have with their pet.  However my parents said that this meant that while she was around, no one else was allowed near me.  The final straw being when she snapped at someone.

Bella and I. I was 2 or 3 here.

Bella and I. I was 2 or 3 here.

We had a few pets during my childhood but cats seemed to be the ones that stuck around the longest.  They were all the perfect stereotypes of being a cat too.  Although the cat that my parents have had for the last 10 or so years has been one of the strangest.  She has a bit of a shoe fetish and regularly brings home a shoe or two for my parents.  Thongs (of the shoe variety not the lingerie variety) are also not safe around her.  She likes to chew the hell out of them!

Toushka wasn't impressed that I was reading a book and not patting her

Toushka wasn’t impressed that I was reading a book and not patting her

That’s an overview of the pets we’ve had.  There were some in between, but I didn’t want to bore you with all of the pictures!

What was your first pet?

Do your kids have pets?

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ColourB4 Changing Colours

*I received one packet of ColourB4 Hair Colour Remover.  As always, all opinions are my own*

I’m sure we’ve all had a colour that just really didn’t look good.  I’m also sure we’ve all done a dodgy job at home and then been too scared to go back to your hairdresser.  I’ve definitely had my fair share of shocking colours, especially because my hair is dark, while my regrowth is grey.

The first time I died my hair, it was a complete disaster.  I am so thankful that it was one of those 8 wash outs.  The box said it was going to be a nice subtle plum colour.  My natural hair colour is dark brown so I wasn’t expecting a great difference.  Oh boy, how I was wrong!  My hair turned a nice shade of red…one that is more like a fire engine than the subtle change I was going for!

Funnily enough my other memorable colour disaster was with a red too.  Although this time the colour turned out exactly as the box said.  The only trouble was that it only took on my roots.  So I had about 5 cm of bright red, and the rest was a dark brown.  I couldn’t afford to go to a hair dresser at the time so I just had to wait for it to grow out…oh did I mention it was a permanent colour instead of a 8 wash out this time!

Thankfully, now when we screw up our hair colour we don’t need to head to our hairdressers with out tail between our legs.  There are great products like ColourB4 Hair Colour Remover that remove the colour quick and easy.

ColourB4 comes in two strengths, regular and extra.  I had a blue black put in my hair last year so I opted for the extra strength.  I had been wanting to put another dye in my hair for a while but I was hesitant to do it myself because of how dark my colour was, compared to the regrowth.  So I was eager to give this product a try.

The whole colour removal process with ColourB4 was so easy, seriously.  If you can put your own dye through your hair, then this will be a walk in the park.  You’ll probably need to set aside about 2 hours to do it though, depending on how thick your hair is and the pack you have used.

ColourB4 works by shrinking the artificial dye molecules in your hair.  It boasts being able to return to your natural shade, however if you have bleached your hair the colour after the removal will be lighter than your natural colour.  The red keeps coming back to bite me, but with the ColourB4 it’s actually a nice brown with red highlights.

colourb4 musings

The ColourB4 formula contains an intense nourishing treatment which allows you to colour your hair straight after you use their product.  However I found that my ends were quite dry after (it has been way too long between trims) so I haven’t put a colour through it yet.  Although I found after I washed my hair with just conditioner my ends were fine.

Overall I am happy with the results of using ColourB4 Hair Colour Remover.  I’m glad that it managed to remove the black from my hair without too much fuss.

Have you had any hair dye disasters? Or have you blocked them from your memory?

Have you used a product like ColourB4 Hair Colour Remover?

Linking up with Jess for IBOT!