Tuesday, 3 February 2009

So a Baby, His Mother, and Her Mental Breakdown Walk Into a Naturopaths Office ....

I tried to ignore it, really I did. But it wouldn't BUDGE! Darn you, post-traumatic stress. I knew I had to do something drastic when I started crying - uncontrollably, in a fucking Spin class. Spin is an amazing form of torture where you ride a stationery bike with a group of people. I thought it would be easy. I was wrong .... I was heaving, struggling, gasping to keep up. After five minutes.

I felt like such a loser, everybody else was gaily pedalling and SINGING along to the songs. But I had rivulets of sweat mixed with tears, falling all over my bike. I was stricken, didn't know why I was crying. Then I realised it was because it was such a struggle, and I am SICK of struggling. I did a Pump class straight after (I know ... but at least it's a healthy addiction. Dave and Tim sure can't grab my armfat now.)

The tears continued in my pump class, so mortifying. I pretended they were sweat. Then, I thought of that scene in American Beauty where Annette Bening's character just slaps the fuck outta herself to get a grip after she had been crying. So I mentally did that to myself, put more weight on my bar, and got on with it.


This morning, for the first time in my life I went to a naturopath. If I'd have known how much it was going to cost, I wouldn't have gone. So, I'm glad I didn't know how much it cost, because I went. And it went well.

Funniest part was giving a "brief rundown" of my childhood and early adulthood ... her look of shock and horror almost made me ask her if I could mix up some herbs for her. Ha! I said, look, I'm OK now, I'm very in-tune and aware of myself, blah blah dysfunction blah addiction, but that's not why I'm here.

And she goes, well, why are you here? (In a nice, naturopathy way).

And I started crying my eyes out and feeling sick again, and telling her what happened, and that I don't think it's depression but it was just so BIG , and I sobbed into her tissues and couldn't breathe, and it was hard to tell her about the Day the Tumours Came.

But I did tell her about That Day, and her eyes went wide, and she didn't agree with the voice in my head that asks me "Aren't you over this yet?!" She was SO lovely.

She asked a lot of questions, mentioned words like "adrenal" "hormones" and the Big Kahuna ... "GRIEF." I'd forgotten that the body stores memories.

I usually hate labels, because over the years I have been labelled so much, but I welcomed it today. She left the room for a while, so it was just me and the baby. Her office had an American Indian dreamcatcher in it, some Buddha stuff, and a really nice vibe. After much questioning, muttering and mixing, she came back into the room and plonked all my Shiny New Herbs on the table.

Magnesium for my headaches. Ignatia. St Johns Wort. And a big fuck-off container of some stuff that is for "Nervous Exhaustion." She also told me to buy some dandelion root tea, peppermint oil for my temples, and goats gonad cream.

Ok, kidding about the gonad cream.

I had to grab the baby and run to the nearest ATM to get more cash out ..... I'm still wondering how to tell Dave that his wife feels much better after a mere $193 worth of herbs? Whoopsies! I don't spend money on myself like that lately, as I'm not "working" that much right now.

It was time to leave. The naturopath offered to help me get the pram (stroller) and baby downstairs, as there were lot of stairs. Of course I said no, because, you know ... I hate getting helped. But she helped anyway.

She pushed the pram down the first few stairs, I was holding the baby .... the bag slung over the pram fell sideways and all of the herbs and containers I had just bought off her went clanging down the stairs. Then my purse fell, and all of the tissues I had used during the session littered the stairwell.

She was like, oh, my! Trying to grab everything. I was laughing at myself, and my own Bumbleness. I nearly said "See! This is why I need to see you! I am a MESS!!"

We picked everything up, said our goodbyes, and I went bumbling down the street.

A busker was singing "Hotel California," I still know every single drunken lyric to it. I stopped in the street and pulled the baby close and danced and sang to him and he laughed. Fuck I adore my baby. He is so strong and tough. He shall conquer the world, I know it. My GOD he loves himelf some vegemite toast. There is not ONE food that he doesn't like. He's a machine.


I took this photo of the banner in the naturopaths front reception area ... how it spoke to me! We have the biggest TV in town - it does not make us happy. I wondered if the size of your TV was in direct proportion to the size of the hole in your heart?


  1. It must be going around. This crying in different locations thing. I cried today at the dieticians office while talking to her about getting more healthy. Glad that the naturopath helped. If it helps it's worth it. Hang in there and hugs to you.
    Oh and that spinning shit?? Yeah, I'd be laying on the floor with my fat all a jigglin after about 2 minutes.

  2. Mate sounds like your herbs are almost identical to mine. We both have fucked up adrenal glands! Who knew???

    uncle Lind x

  3. Make sure you don't take the St. Johns Wort with any SSRI-just my 2 cents.

    Also...would someone please tell me what the hell vegemite is??????????

    Oh, and I totally want to come to Oz and kiss that baby's face!

  4. OMG. That scene on the stairs? I have so been there, done that. Kill me, kill me now. Sorry, E.

    You are so worth whatever you spent on yourself. You are irreplaceable. It sounds trite, but I mean it. You are irreplaceable in general as the one, the only Eden Riley we know and love and adore ... but even thousands of times more to all those noisy boys. It can't be easy living with all that testosterone -- oh it has it's advantages for sure. But still. It takes a toll. It must. Be gentle on yourself and remind them to do likewise if they forget. Herbs ... $196 ... Healthy and Happy Momma ... Priceless.

    Peppermint Oil ... you reminded me how good that stuff is. I remember walking into my in laws' house (like a Christian entering The Colosseum) one night before a party there. And my Japanese SIL (the one that doesn't need a swift kick in the pants) had some peppermint oil and she was excited about it. She reached out and put some on my temples and pulse points ... and it was lovely. I feel lightheaded now just like I did then just thinking about it. It was mostly the oil, but it was also the surprise of someone doing something kind to me when I walked in there girded against the opposite. I've always meant to get some ...

    Loved the quote. Keep taking care of yourself!



  5. You explained spin class, which I think everyone in the world knows and then nothing on a "naturopath". I can google, of course, just thought it was funny what I did and didn't understand.

    I'm glad someone told you exactly what others have said but now you can believe. It's okay to not be over it. IN fact, it'd be crazy if you were over it.

    One of my very good friends lives in townsville. I have been meaning to tell you that. Now I say it, townsville sounds wrong. But I don't think it is.

    What's with people like me and you NEVER allowing people to help us? When I broke my fucking leg in HALF, I'd never allow help. Instead I would hobble around the bar (drunk times) with a beer in my hand, kicking the crutch with my good leg to keep myself moving. 9 months pregnant with 2 little girls and 2 full grocery carts? Yeah, I never accept help there. EVER. Why not? It'd be so much easier but it's like I have to prove I'm superwoman. To WHOM though? Ugh.

    I can't believe I found you - my fucking doppleganger. Okay, I just looked up doppleganger to see if I spelled it right and it's not the right definition at all. You are not a ghost. But although the definition has come to mean any "double" of a person, it still generally means bad luck and that's not what I mean at all. Just that you and me? Lots of similarities, no?

    ooo - "In Norse mythology, a vardøger is a ghostly double who precedes a living person and is seen performing their actions in advance." That'd be creepy. (I'm norweigian).

    I've said it a bajillion times, but Eden, you fucking rule. Even when you ~think~ you are a mess (yes, a ~ is a tilda). I love you!

  6. I did spinning class ONCE......why anyone would willingly torture themselves that way is beyond me! I think crying in that class is a must!

    You're reaching out for help at this time is a sign of maturity. You know, it took me so much longer. Good for you!

    (yes, I still hate the f word! :))

  7. For me the trips I've taken -- both to the homeopath and to the healer -- were some of the best things I've done for my heart -- okay, not so much the pocketbook, but definitely my heart.

    It helps simply to have someone see the whole of you -- that in itself is healing I think -- not just parts of you...

    I'm so glad you found her -- and I'm glad for the feeling you got while there -- and I love the quote -- I do believe that a good brain and a receptive heart -- what can't that heal? And your sweet boy, oh my.

    Hotel California -- well that song features in way too many of my bar-night memories -- always struck something in me, that one..

    I always find that I wander around feeling normal -- or like the rest of the world carries what I do, and then like you, I open my mouth to say the words and they look at me, and I remember...

    You know what phrase or quote always helped me? Kahlil Gibran "the more that sorrow carves into your soul the more joy you can contain"

    It's no effing help when the sorrow is doing its carving, but when you can step back and take a deep lung-filling breath, you think -- yes, that's right. I can contain such joy.

    My love to you. Radiant waves of it,



  8. Spin class is torture, one and done for me! I remember a bikram (hot) yoga class where I had the same crying fit. I had to just lay there and work it out before I could continue on. Stupid emotions, I am trying to workout!

    I hope the herbage helps some. The natural stuff is spendy, but I have found (in my Acupuncture/Herbage treatment) worth every cent. And far, far better that the damn big screen tv.

    Much love

  9. I can speak from experience in saying that spending shitpiles of money at the naturopath and healing my completely depleted adrenals was one of the best things I ever did for myself. My years from hell don't really hold a candle to your last year, but still, my adrenals were like two used condoms in the alley that have been run over by hundreds of cars and would completely disintegrate if you poked them with a stick. And I don't think that I could have ever really healed from those years without dealing with my body that way - it may be a bit woo-woo, but it works,damn it!

    And my sweet, sweet girl - you are worth as many herbs and as much therapy and compassion and massages and time and money and sunny days on the beach and sleep and love as it takes to make you well. And even more. Wordgirl is right - sometimes just having someone see you as the whole person that you are is healing, all by itself.

    May you find all the healing (and even more joy) than you need.

  10. I'm so glad you went to see someone hon. I've done the same thing - cried at the most embarrassing of times. I find myself driving home and seeing all the cute kiddies coming out of the primary school and I have to slap myself not to howl at the unfairness of it all. You've had so much to deal with, it's only natural that your body is remembering all those griefs, those angers. Depression truly bites.

    Oh. And we have a big TV. Mainly cos my hubby wanted it, even though we watch maybe 3 hours of TV total a week! I have to say though, we are happy. Despite everything. I'm glad for that.

  11. I love the title of this post!

    I'm so glad you are doing this for yourself Eden. Although I'm sure the crying fit was scary, sometimes they are necessary to loosen things up and force us to seek change. It sounds like you have found a lovely naturopath. Who cares how much it costs? As others ave said - you are worth it!

  12. "Nervous exhaustion." That sounds about right.

    I have no deep insights. Just that I love you and I am sending you my longest, warmest hug with a big squeeze. Can you feel it?


  13. I love that sign in the naturophath's office...I should steal it and put it up in my own office! I can't get over how adorable your little guy is. He and my Xavier would be such good buddies if they lived closer to each other...they have that same little guy, trouble-maker look on their faces! And forgive me for being ignorant, but it's now been in a couple of posts- what the hell is vegemite?!

  14. and to second a previous poster- st. john's wort is great of mild to moderate depression, but it's got crazy interactions with other meds and even grapefruit juice- all stuff processed in your liver... so email me if you want me to run a check about which meds are o.k. to take with it and which ones aren't.

  15. I've cried at an inconvenient time, too. I hated it, but when grieving, we have NO control over our emotions. I'm hoping all your herbs help you. Please, do ask for help. I know it's tough, honestly, I do! Be kind to yourself.
    Peace and hugs, my love!

  16. I don't think I'd last 2 minutes in a Spin class without croaking.

    I think Kami wrote once that grief is like a spiral staircase that you just keep walking right back into...

  17. I am so glad that you decided to do this for yourself, Eden! Who cares if it costs a bit. You are SO worth it. And if Dave tries to say otherwise, tell him you've got an army of blogging buddies to back you up! Mwah!

  18. I am so glad you have taken the next step.
    I hope all those herbs do what they need to do you.
    You are doing great girl !

  19. $193 doesn't sound like much to spend for a little peace of mind...

    I'd be heaving and struggling after 2 minutes in a spin class. By 5 minutes, I'd have passed out and they'd have dragged my sad ass out of there. And I'm not even in that bad of shape!

  20. Eden,
    Without knowing why, I felt compelled to read your blog from the beginning. I even went over to your original Topcat site. I didn't know what I was looking for until I read the words in this post: "I'd forgotten that the body stores memories".

    The way you write is so raw, so honest. You reach in and touch the spots that were buried but not forgotten. Everything - even the bruises - need to be brought out into the sun once in a while.

    Thanks for being such a generous blogger.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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