Where Does the Mental Illness End and the Marriage Begin?

Don’t listen to the songs. Don’t hold on to the stories. Don’t watch the movies, and don’t believe the fairytales. Because in the real world, nobody gets a happily ever after. The real world is full of real people, and real people are never perfect. Marriage is never perfect.

Yet so many of us continue to idolise a happily ever after, and we even think we see it in some of our friends, but every marriage will have conflict. Every marriage will know frustration and experience anger. Every marriage will face adversity. There is no happily ever after.

We had known each other for four years when we married, and lived together for three. Time enough to discover our flaws. Time enough to see the cracks. Honest enough to accept what was manageable. Secure enough to know our foundation was strong. And when Post Traumatic Stress Disorder entered our lives, shortly after our fifth wedding anniversary, it certainly wasn’t Continue reading

8 Unexpected Things I Miss About Life Before Children

You’ve no doubt read these posts before. Most people are well versed in the sacrifices that will often be necessary when making the transition from adult to parent. Things like travelling the globe. Or just travelling to the shops without ‘helpers’. Crazy late nights out. Or just any nights out. Sleeping in. Or just sleeping at all. Even for an hour.

These are the sacrifices that every parent talks about and complains about. The sacrifices that your friends who have already crossed the divide into parenthood love to warn you about. Although it doesn’t seem to matter how often you hear about them, how often you’re warned, they still come as a terrible shock when they happen to you. Continue reading

“Love Our Vets – Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD”

“Love Our Vets” by Welby O’Brien – Book Review and Giveaway Offer

When I’m faced with a new challenge, I automatically turn to books with the desire to educate myself. And prepare myself. But when my paramedic husband was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder five years ago, the idea of reading about the condition made me surprisingly anxious.

Our world had been turned upside-down by PTSD and in a flash everything was different. I told myself that I simply didn’t have the time or energy for reading, but on some level I had to admit that I was deliberately avoiding the topic. I didn’t want to read about the life that was in store for us because I desperately wanted to believe the bad dream would just go away. I was told time and again that PTSD cannot be cured, but I secretly felt that it was going to be my husband that would prove this theory wrong. I didn’t need books about this, because this would be dealt with and then we’d move on with our lives.

But as it turns out, PTSD doesn’t just go away. We had to learn how to manage it. We had to learn how to live with it. And then, almost five years into the journey, when I made the pivotal decision to not only begin reading about PTSD, but also writing about it, I was contacted by Continue reading

Balancing Fear Between Husband and Child

It likes to visit in the early hours after midnight, cutting through the hush of night so abruptly, so intensely, it will not be ignored for a second.

But ignoring it never crosses our minds when we wake suddenly to the cries of his distress. With three children, it’s far from the first time we’ve been through this. But even after three children, it’s by far the worst we’ve encountered when we haul our toddler from his bed, gasping for breath.

Many parents know the tell-tale barking cough of croup, but whereas in its mildest form it will guarantee a disturbed and sleepless night, the other extreme can be frighteningly critical. As my husband and I try to reassure our frantic child, there are three things I immediately know  Continue reading

The Sweet Sound of Silence for PTSD

You might be at the hospital, deep inside its maze of doorways and corridors, sitting in a small windowless room, bribing your unslept and cranky toddler to keep quiet with a crusty red jellybean found swimming around the bottom of your bag, totally missing the irony of trying your best to listen to the audiologist tell you about your older son’s hearing test results, when inspiration strikes you, and you’re lucky that your son has perfect hearing after all because you’ve completely missed the end of the audiologist’s speech.

It’s sitting there, right in front of you. A box, but not just any box. An idea, but not just any idea. Continue reading