Friday, 11 December 2009


Recently I weeded the entire vegie garden. I took a walk around our house .... to find weeds the size of triffids. We have a big area around our house. I was gobsmacked. "DAVE! THERE'S WEEDS EVERYWHERE!"

"No shit, sherlock." He was amazed too - at my obliviousnessnessness.

So I start weeding. Hardcore weeding, man. Heaven. There is nothing better than ripping big long tall weeds out of a garden. I should have hired my garden out, for anger therapy. I was on a mission. Bent over in an inappropriate denim skirt that hung too low and my bumcrack got sunburnt, wearing Havianas and no gardening gloves. Hardcore. My hands became thick and calloused and permanently dirty. When I closed my eyes I saw weeds. I started seeing weeds everywhere ... Max's school, outside the video shop.

Dave just shook his head. My brother came over, finding me weeding again. I said "Mate, this is proof that I can get addicted to ANYTHING. I CAN'T STOP."

I had the choice of getting weedkiller and be done with it. I refused, preferring the natural way much better. I noticed all the different types of weeds. Some were tall and thin and came straight out. Some needed two hands. Sometimes, the weeds were so darn pretty. I felt like I was committing genocide. Who am I to decide who is to stay and who's to go? You! No dirt for you! The purple wildflowers stayed, I didn't have the heart to pull them. Dave would bring them to me years ago, to the small pokey house we lived in while he was building this one. There is something so lovely about handpicked flowers.

I miss that pokey house. Life was simpler then.

After many many days weeding .... I looked around, and got disheartened. There was so many! It was like I'd done nothing! Yet still I kept going. I got to know them. The little soft ones .... the out-of-control succulents, the ones that grew quickly and aggressively, exactly like Daves tumours did last year.

There is a particular type of weed around here ... the mothership. The core issues of weeds. Like, your fucked up childhood in a plant. It grew so thick, and coiled. I couldn't get it out. And it was strangling all the other plants, tangled up in everything and making it all look terrible. I pulled and pulled but could not get it out. It would break off at the surface of the soil, so it's roots were still in there, growing and moving. Like a shapeshifter.

I cracked the shits at it so bad. Using all my strength, it would not budge. I cursed and kicked it and got so angry, ripping pieces off where I could, knowing it would just grow straight back again.

It had overtaken my garden.

It needed weedkiller.


A little over a month ago, things got so bad for me I didn't know what to do. I had let things slide, ignored my need for therapy, my moods turned into some kind of mania. In all my years of being fucked-up, I'd never really experienced anything like it.

I would be at the shops and suddenly think, oh my God something terrible is going to happen to Max or Rocco I know it I know it AHHHHH. Panic attacks? Maybe. I'd rush to pick them up and couldn't believe my luck that they were ok.

At night, I needed complete silence. Tell all the boys to shut the hell up on a regular basis, worried that they would wake Rocco up. I always feel nervous and a bit scared when Rocco wakes up. Flashbacks? Maybe.

No social outings, no friends, no dinners. Just gardening and chocolate and scrabble. At 2am in the morning because I couldn't sleep. Felt wired and strange.

Had a major meltdown in the carpark of Toys-R-Us. I made both boys cry. I wasn't even angry at them, I vented and raged my frustrations out so inappropriately. As I drove off, a woman was looking after me in shock. I was so embarrassed, I thought the carpark had been empty. There's a woman out there in the world, who thinks I am a terrible mother.

For a while there, I WAS a terrible mother.

Crying for no reason was normal. I'd eat nothing or everything. I knew something was happening that I couldn't ignore any longer, something I'd been resisting for a while now. I needed some kind of anti-anxiety medication. The kind of medication that for ten years, I have heard some people in meetings share about, and silently judge them. Because, you know. WEAK. Just go hardcore!

I've had to eat a lot of humble pie, lately.

I needed weedkiller.

My doctor definitely thought so. It has been a month now. I told my brother about ... a few days in he walked inside and asked how I was.

"Even keel, mate. Even keel!"

I asked him if this was how I *should* have been feeling all these years? Is this how normal people feel? He said no way .... everyone's fucked up to some degree.

I don't know that I agree with medication, but God knows I needed it. It was a big decision, and not one I took lightly. The price to freedom is eternal vigilance .... I need to be wary about taking "a magic pill" that makes everything better.

But, it hasn't made everything better. It does not give me a "buzz" or a "feel-good." The main thing I am aware of is the absence of the intense worry. When I wake up in the middle of the night now, my heart isn't racing at a million beats per second, in terror. I've stopped crying in my car every time I'm alone. Stopped yelling around my kids. Started to be a bit more manageable again.

I don't know how long I will be on them .... perhaps a few months, a bit longer. I think my brain needs some retraining. Maybe?

(Please feel free to email me or leave a comment if you'd like to know more - I have nothing to hide, but it's a tricky subject to navigate. I feel judgemental of myself, for Gods sake.)

I know that nothing will ever kill off that whole kick-arse weed entirely. The weedkiller made it wither and it got cleared away.

It will always be there, under the surface, growing and twisting around.

I'm ready and waiting. I hope the weeds never get so huge and insurmountable again.
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