Solo Survivor

Change

When I arrived in Perth 12 years ago, I was not who I am today.  People found me unapproachable, closed, distant. I rented a little house north of the river about an hour away from the only friends I had here. I had just turned 50 and was a suicidal mess, lonely and feeling I’d wasted my life.

I came to Perth as my options were to move or lose my job. I was still supporting my folks so losing my job was not an option. Having lived in Perth a couple of years when I first moved to Australia, I was happy to come back. It was tough leaving the life I’d made in Melbourne, but today I am thankful I did. That decision changed everything.

So much has changed. I have an amazing life. I bought my own house in a quiet street and have slowly been making it home. I work from home, which is amazing for me. Not having to commute every day has reduced my stress levels considerably.

I had severe complex PTSD and was barely functioning. I drowned myself in work – the one constant I had in my life. I was afraid 24/7, always looking over my shoulder and had zero self confidence.

Every day, I was waiting to be told ‘we don’t have enough work for you’ or ‘you’re too old’ or ‘you’re not good enough’. But I have learned one thing about myself- I rarely quit. I have resilience. Somehow, I keep choosing to breathe, to live even if it is mere survival, I press on.

I’ve had many more dark days than good days in the past 12 years, but the good days are beginning to catch up.

I met a lady through our EAP and so began the ever so slow journey to healing. She taught me so much in her unconventional style of therapy and the first glimmer of hope broke through. Things got way worse before they got better, as is often the case, but I had found someone who I felt had truly heard me and understood my struggle. She asked unique questions that helped me to change how I thought about and saw things.

I met a lady through our EAP and so began the ever so slow journey to healing. She taught me so much in her unconventional style of therapy and the first glimmer of hope broke through. Things got way worse before they got better, as is often the case, but I had found someone who I felt had truly heard me and understood my struggle. She asked unique questions that helped me to change how I thought about and saw things.

Our time was limited, but it kick started my recovery. Today, I have an amazing counsellor/mentor and I am so grateful to these amazing women who have taught and equipped me as I travel this path. Many times I screamed, ranted, cried, wanted to give up, and then I would hear their steady voices in my head teaching me techniques to carry on and begin to thrive.

If you speak to people who knew me back then, they would tell you how different I am. I was reserved, unapproachable, guarded. Today they seek me out. They will tell you how they love my laugh, my wacky sense of humour, my courage. I never used to to think I was courageous.

I used to sneer at people who would say that life is better together. No way, I was quick to counteract. Trust no one was my motto. Yet, while I am still cautious, I am thankful to have learnt they were right, to have experienced community and acceptance, to have been adopted as part of the family.

I think I am truly blessed. I found the right people to help me on my road of recovery. I am not in fear all the time. I am happy, I have an unbiological family to do life with. I am settled and at home for the first time in my life. It is well with my soul.

3 Comments

  1. Julie Arcari

    Su you are an amazing inspiration to me, I see the happy different you that I met all those years ago, you have made me a better person today. A lady who I have nothing but respect for my dear sister , family doesn’t require blood it requires love 💖

    Reply
  2. Sharon Woods

    Su I am so happy for you. It is great to see how positive you have become. Your journey has taken you a long way but to hear your happiness makes my heart glad. You have always been someone special. Carry on growing and becoming all that good has created you to be. Maybe one day we will meet again and we can natter about whatever is on our hearts. Keep well my friend. Xx Sharon

    Reply
    1. fordisky (Post author)

      Thanks Sharon xx

      Reply

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