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.


  1. Excellent analogy...

    Here's my view on medications: If you need them, there is no shame in taking them. We all deserve to have peaceful moments in our days - moments without our brains torturing us with some kind of worry. Good luck, and I'm glad they're working for you.

  2. The enemy within, man. Bleeping biochemistry.

    I feel so damn bad when I hear you say that you judge yourself (though I do the same, I am incurable). I wish you could see what we all see when we read your blog. The parts that matter most.

    I don't know anyone tougher than you, it's not about weak, that I know for sure. People judging ... you formerly judging ... story of eveyones life, right? We are all pricks til we know better. Sometimes it has to be beaten out of us.

    The weed analogy is brilliant (you should see our weeds ... prickly bastards just like you describe).

    You are incredibly creative and smart ... whatever it takes to keep the weeds from killing your gifts. Whatever it takes to make it right for you.

    I know it's all terribly complicated to live it ... and not at all complicated to read it once you've boiled it down for us.

    I hope you are feeling better. I hope you have more peace. I hope (selfishly) that you are always able to come out and play.


  3. Click here:


  4. It's difficult to finally acknowledge that you can't control or fix everything on your own. I'm worried that now the medication is a crutch. There are moments when I feel like I could start going off of it, and then I have a break down. I'm proud of you for realizing you needed some help. Now it's on to better times and fixing yourself.

  5. Eden. I struggled with the same issue. The panic. The fear that my kids were going to die. The irrational thoughts. Wondering if my family would be better off if I wasn't here.

    When I finally had the courage to tell the doctor and he asked how long it had been going on....and I told him I actually couldn't remember a time when I didn't feel that way....he told me I must try some medication.

    I dragged my feet, but once I agreed, the fearful fog started to lift. I felt n.o.r.m.a.l. Like other people do. You are right..not high, not altered..just n.o.r.m.a.l.

    I was still having a hard time coming to terms with medication, I felt as though I would be judged if people knew.

    He then told me something that kind of put it into perspective.

    He said if I had high blood pressure I would take meds. If I had diabetes I would take meds. This was no different. My brain was lacking an ingredient to make it function properly.

    I have had to switch up the dosage and/or actual med change over the years, but to feel normal and have normal good days and normal shitty days is wonderful.

    Please don't consider it a weakness. It isn't. If you stop and think about it.....soooo many people are born with soooo many different issues,both physical and mental, why do we think that our DNA should be any more "perfect" than anyone else?

  6. Got ya. I see your meaning.

    Two things. Firstly - I have an old sharp knife I use for weeding. Gets the roots out nicely and it just feels darn good to use. Kinda homicidal hehe.

    Secondly. You are doing so great. I heart you so much. Hang in there, to a degree this is all any of us can do - keep growing, keep weeding, keep making the garden patch productive and peaceful.

  7. Thank you for your obliviousnessnessness and telling us about your burnt bum crack.

    I find that I can control my mood somewhat with diet and exercise. Coffee is a no-go area for me, because 30 minutes later I will be a raging bull. Same thing if my blood sugar goes too low. I don't get weak, I get angry. My PCOS has my hormones all over the place, and sometimes I simply cannot control my emotional reactions and feel so stupid afterwards.

    I am glad you are feeling even keel. Great post.

  8. Sometime you need medicine to make everything work right, whether it's in your brain or in your pancreas. I have problems with both so I take medicine for both. You're not alone!

    We ARE all messed up to some degree but it's not normal to be pounding with anxiety all day every day. I'm glad you're on an even keel now and feeling better. I've been thinking about you a missing you; feeling like something was up but not knowing if you needed space or intrusion. I love you, my Aussie sister. Bright days are making their way to you.


  9. PS~ Would you like to come weed my garden? It looks HORRIBLE!

  10. I've been there too. It's been a motherfucker of a year, Eden. I'm sending you love and light.

  11. The crappy thing about addiction, is that having it does not mean you won't eventually have a malfunction of your brain or body that requires one of those lovely addictive pills.

    It is no not normal to carry that level of anxiety. Sometimes we do need to smack that brain chemistry back to normal. But if you are being followed by a DR, going to meetings, and having therapy- and you still are that anxious- meds sound very needed. Just be vigilant.

  12. You did the right thing and you feel better for it. No shame.


  13. I have been off an on weedkillers for years...right now, off, but if I start feeling wonky again I won't hesitate to go right back on. I am not ashamed. So? So my brain chemistry sometimes gets me very depressed, so what? I am human and I am so glad that there is medicine that can help me. You should never feel ashamed - you are wonderful and strong and funny and complicated and crazy and silly and a momma, and you need help sometimes just like everyone else. xoxoxox

  14. Good for you. When the roots are deep we need all the help we can get to pull them out.

  15. all I can say right now. There is a huge weed that I have been trying to pull for 8 months now, and I just found out it is here to stay. I have been back and forth about finding help...medication...anything to make me feel anything different than I do right now. I've seen two counselors that I don't get along with...any advice? General physician help you?

  16. just don't get your real weedkiller mixed up with your metaphorical weedkiller, okay? ... because we all know mixed metaphors are bad ...

    big hug hon, it's the right thing to do, and as I've said before, it ain't like the other drugs. I just think they free you up to the work safely


  17. do the work safely? gah, too much beer here xxx

  18. But babe - did you get the garden weed-free?????

    Take the drugs for what they are, a lovely buffer from the awful feelings while you sort out the cause. That's key. BTDT.

    ((hugs)) and starry love.

  19. Every one of these comments has gone straight to my heart.

    Thank you so.

    And Pundy .... no fricken way, the garden still actually has heaps of weeds left in it! And I realised, there will never be a time where it will be 100% weed-free. It's a WIP. (Work-in-progress) ..... like we all are.

    It's just those big fuck-off ones that cut you off at the knees, I guess you need weedkiller for. Every once in a while.


  20. Your weed makes me wonder if it has green and white leaves. Horrible stuff but maybe it's only in Washington.
    I used to worry about taking the meds. I didn't want to be dependent on them yet for a good while now when I try to go off them life become unmanageable. At one point when I was hugely stressing over it a friend pointed out that if I had diabetes I wouldn't feel "guilty" about taking my meds and like I needed to get off them as soon as possible. Depression and/or anxiety is a medical disease or chemical imbalance. Yes for some people it's situational and they can get the help they need and get better. And some people need more than that. I am finally ok with the fact that I need more. Regardless of whether yours is a situational problem or something more, never feel guilty or like you still aren't a fabulous person because you have a medical condition.

  21. Take the pill if it works, I have a friend who has been on them for years and she calls them her happy pills. It's just like taking a birth control pill, if your stop taking them, you'll be in trouble. You're only human.

  22. Wow. What an analogy. Weedkiller is needed by everyone I think.

    I am so glad you are feeling better. There is no judgement here, E. I see only strength--and lots of it.

    Many hugs today and always!

  23. Glad you are feeling better Eden....but be careful. A few years back, I went on the meds too. At first I thought it was really helping and then it seemed to not be helping as much. I was still feeling very moody and depressed. I tried lots of different meds and a few different doctors and I was never really OK again. I finally had to get rid of all the meds and the doctors before I could start to really get better. It was a mistake that cost me 3 years of my life. I just wish I would have understood sooner that it was making things worse not better. One doctor told me I would have to be medicated the rest of my life. I am so glad I did not believe him. All I am saying is don’t believe everything the doctors tell you.

  24. Such an awesome written post mate. You write so damn well.

    I have been there and done meds until I got a breather long enough to not need them anymore. Sometimes they soften the earth of your soul just enough to pull the damn weeds.

    Much love.

  25. Welcome to the club...of people who are on meds. It is much bigger than you'd think. I used to be ashamed, but I've come to realize that I'd be more ashamed of my behavior if I walked around all mixed up and un-medicated.

    My truth (not the truth, because who knows that?) Is that I have ups, I have downs...but I can only do what my doctors and I agree is best. The battle against depression is truly a war, and someday I'd like to think that we will both come out on the otherside, just as eccentric but maybe a little less on edge.

    Always here....

  26. Eden -- first off -- you are a talented writer -- this is essay-worthy my friend....

    secondly -- I've lived with that particular demon my entire life -- the voices that whisper that something awful is about to befall everyone and everything I love -- and truly it is about brain circuitry -- the things that happen -- trauma -- it rewires the entire mess -- there's my amygdala -- always thinking the coiled rope is a snake --ready to flee...pumping my body full of adrenaline and fear...

    -- be easy on yourself if you can having made this tremendous decision for self-care -- feel the sunlight (and send some here would you to the place where dark reigns by 4:30 pm.

    I lived in that other dark place for a long time too -- though I'm not sure anyone ever knew how dark it was where I was --I was never as brave as you-- my fear with pregnancy always was that here I'd have this lovely amazing miracle of a baby and that the darkness would return. I do perch over her watching for her breath. I'll admit to that ...

    This is all a roundabout way for me to say it's a huge step for self to bring out the weedkiller.

    I'm on a week without sleep so perhaps I shouldn't actually try to write comments -- but I had to tell you that I love you.



  27. I get addicted to gardening very easily, and I only have a balcony. I dream about plants and surf the internet looking for "summer bulbs" for hours. The weeding sounds very satisfying.

    And the weedkiller sounds like something that I should consider. I'm glad for your even keel, and well done for having the strength to know you needed it and for taking it. Good luck with the inner weeds.

  28. I've been out of town and am catching up on my reading! Bless your heart! I have had anxiety attacks since I was a little girl....before I knew how to be anxious, I was anxious! I've been on medication now for some years. If it makes you able to function without ripping someone's head off, take it and please, DON'T stop when you feel better! Because I've done that and for a few weeks I'm o.k. then I drop like a lead ball!

    You did good!!! I used to be ashamed to say I was taking meds, but now.....I tell whoever wants to know and sometimes recommend they take some!

  29. LOVE the analogy! PERFECT!!!

    And good for you for realizing that you needed the weed killer. Maybe you need it only for now, maybe you need it forever. The point is you got it when you needed it and things are moving on again.

    Getting meds was one of the best things I've ever done for myself (and for those around me). We are all "fucked up to some degree" but some of us (me) need meds to stay in that degree instead of heading to a sharper one.


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

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