A Few Weeks of Incredible Sunshine

Sydney’s winter is coming to an end.

We have enjoyed a few weeks of continuous sunshine, sometimes  with some wind. I’ve returned to work after taking a couple of weeks off to recover from anxiety relapse and onset of TMJ syndrome. I am working half-days at the moment as my resistance to stress is low and my eyes are more sensitive than usual. I still have the twitch in the right eye. I have been wearing a splint at night for a week now, I am used to it and it’s not keeping me awake. I wake up with relaxed face and can eat harder food, but I still have pain in my jaw muscles, especially on the left where it started.



Voice from Down Under

It’s the last month of winter in Australia. We have been quite lucky with the weather, it’s sunny with temperature ranging from 18 to 24C during the day. I’ve heard it is a very hot summer in Europe this year. I haven’t been doing very well lately. I had a number of stressful events and ended up with TMJ syndrome. It has been there for nearly a month. Apparently it is quite common and affects about 20-30% of population, mostly females. I don’t grind my teeth, but I have been clenching my teeth for years. I must have been clenching too much due to extra stress levels.

My dentist told me to wear a splint at night which is being made at the moment. Occasional Valium is needed to relax the muscles. I have also been getting trigger point massage and listening to special hypnosis tape from www.hypnosisdownloads.com. I also have a twitch in my right eye.

On a positive note I lost 2,4 kg as I can only eat soft food and don’t have much of an appetite.

I’ll keep you informed of my progress.

I thought I can benefit from some positive thinking and after a search on Amazon I found a book by Elizabeth O’Brien “A Positive You“. I went through a few books on positive thinking and I liked this one the best.

What books on positive thinking do you recommend?

Love is not a Battlefield

Finding Love“Love is easy with the right person. Don’t go by their appearance alone. You need someone who is a decent human being, compatible with you, has similar life goals and with whom you have chemistry. Give them a chance and see what develops.

Agree, but don’t know how to meet such a person? Believe in destiny. Believe that there is someone out there just for lovely you. Do everything you can to increase your chances. I am well aware that there are not enough eligible men. Girls, do not despair. You can even meet someone on a deserted island should this be your destiny. Of course, a lack of men may leave you lonely for periods of time, as you will not always have a boyfriend. I used to say that even though there are few decent men out there, I only need one. And you only need one. So the odds are in your favour 🙂

Ability to laugh and have fun is so important. Your Mr. Right may be around the corner, but you live today. May as well enjoy every day. Surveys show that the vast majority of people rate being with their friends higher than being with their partner. Hard to believe, but true.

I also learned some other things. I learned that it is important to continue your life and not give up your other activities. You and your partner cannot be together all the time and you need to keep yourself happy and busy. Give your work 100%. Continue seeing your friends; keep your hobby. Don’t bombard your loved one with phone calls or messages. Give them space and opportunity to miss you. Be equal, not a hanger-on. People are naturally attracted to strong happy personalities, not clingy whining ones. The less you show neediness, the stronger your relationship will be. Prepare to compromise. Even with your soulmate, not everything will go your way. Know what is important and what is not.”

Read more at http://amzn.to/11bLJOQ or leave a message on the site. I’d love to hear from you!

Trials and tribulations of independent writer

Following advice I switched all my digital sales to Amazon.com. I run a free promotion which was quite successful, but as soon as it was over I was back to square one. Does anyone have any other ideas as to how to increase book sales? My assistant is helping me with the social media so I am up to date with that. Most of my Twitter followers are fellow writers. I believe my book carries a lot of important messages to the world. Thank you in advance.

Healing my Anxiety – now FREE on Amazon Kindle

Dear Readers,

As a thank you for your continued support I’d like to let you know about my free book promotion. From June 16 – 20th you may download the book on Amazon Kindle. Please download, re-tweet, re-blog and share the word with your network. I’m looking forward to a successful promotion and appreciate your efforts.

Download now and enjoy your read!

Tragedy at my building

The father of a teenage boy who died after taking a synthetic drug says he had never heard of the lethal substance until this tragedy.

Henry Kwan, 17, jumped off the balcony of his family’s Killara home on Wednesday night, while in a psychotic state induced by what he thought was LSD.

Today his father Stephen said the government needs to ban synthetic drugs.

“I am surprised they are still legal, it should not be the case,” Mr Kwan said.

“Until this happened to my son, I did not even know about synthetic drugs”.

It’s believed Henry purchased a tab of drugs from a school mate, who may have bought them over the Internet.

In a drug-induced psychosis on Wednesday night, Henry stripped naked then plunged from the top-floor balcony of his family’s north shore home in Sydney – because he “believed he could fly”.

A tragic story emerged of the final moments before the Year 12 Killara High student died just hours after ingesting a tab of what he thought was LSD – but was in fact a synthetic drug – which he bought from another teen, police said.

Last night, his devastated father Stephen Kwan said Henry had “confessed” to his mother that he had taken the drugs.

“He thought he could fly,” Mr Kwan said. “Whatever it did to him, he just kept saying he could fly. He was behaving very irrationally and strangely and my wife tried to stop him … she grabbed hold of him on the balcony but he was too strong.”

Just after 8pm, Henry fell from the third floor of the Killara Ave apartment block, in front of his helpless mother and younger sister. He died from massive head injuries.

Mr Kwan said it was the first time he had known Henry to touch drugs, with his son ordinarily very focused on school and study.

“I just don’t understand why he would take drugs, Henry would never do something like that, he wasn’t like that,” Mr Kwan said.

“He was such a smart boy, very good at school. He wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but mostly a doctor.”

An Excerpt from Healing My Anxiety – A Memoir

An excerpt from Healing My Anxiety:

Healing My AnxietyI read that many people have their first panic attack come on suddenly, out of the blue. 

 It starts while they are watching TV, having a meal, or simply relaxing. In March 2002 I experienced some chest pain. Back then I lived in a small but prosperous country town in New South Wales with my de facto husband and my daughter from a previous marriage. I was 33 years old.

A moment in time: I am lying on a bed in the emergency department, staring at the ceiling and promising myself to change my lifestyle, to lose weight. I am scared, but hopeful. I have never had any serious health problems.

I tried, but I didn’t persist with my efforts. It was not only extra weight that I was carrying. I found that often before a significant medical issue comes up we get a warning of some sort. There is still time to do something, but often it is ignored or dismissed…

My life became a nightmare. I was getting sick as often as every 10 minutes…

Make sure you don’t miss out click here to download the full ebook on Amazon Kindle.

Excerpt from Trail Swap by Michele M. Reynolds

This is one of many of  my favorite parts of the book.

 If you have been around kids as much as I have, you will appreciate this.

-Excerpt from Trail Swap by Michele M. Reynolds

This scene takes place after Swap and Levalot take refuge from the rain by sleeping on a playscape.

Trail Swap

Trail Swap

“She’s not DEAD,” a whispered, little voice projected over Swap. “If she were dead her eyes would be open.  “That is how my grandfather looked when we found him in the living room.”

“No, she would be in a black bag or have a sheet over her face like this,” a loud girl screeched. Swap woke to three little kids hovering over her and to a fourth one rummaging through her pack.

“Good morning, sleepy head,” a little red headed girl hugged Swap tightly. The morning air smelt wet.

“We thought you were DEAD!” the boy exclaimed.

“No, I didn’t,” the screechy voice with blonde braids made clear.

“Oh, um,” Swap was very aware that she was pantless. “Good morning.” She smiled. She was usually good with children, but in this situation it was a bit awkward.

“Excuse me,” a boy stepped over her and started to steer the playscape helm. Swap hoped he was voyaging for the trail and could drop her off.

“Are you a bum?”  the boy who thought she was dead asked.

“No, not a bum that is not nice,” the red haired girl scolded.  “She is HOOOME less.”

“Are you?” screechy blonde asked.

“Well,” Swap grabbed her soaked shorts off the floor and pulled them into her sleeping bag.  “Actually I am homeless at the moment.”

“She’s homeless,” the fourth boy at Swap’s bag yelled down to the playground floor.  Swap became aware of the giggles, running, vast squeaks of swings and realized that her visitors were not limited to these few kids. It only made sense knowing that she was on school property.  Swap slipped her legs into the shorts and pulled them up.  She buttoned them and started stuffing her sleeping bag into its sack.

“Honey,” Swap motioned to the fourth scavenger. “Can you please put that stuff back in my pack.” She needed to recruit some help for a smooth escape. He nodded and complied.  She rang her socks and then slipped her aching still pruned feet into them and then into her boots.

“You leaving?” the red head asked. “If you stick around you can have my snack.”

“Yeah, there is a homeless person sleeping up there,” a group of children could be heard whining. It was in a tone that Swap knew well.  They must be tattle-tailing to an adult. Swap peeked over the edge and saw two adult women with dropped jaws staring back.

“Oh great,” Swap said as she sat back down and tied her boots tightly.  She wondered if Levalot was having a similar experience down on the next landing.  She wondered how the kids had gotten passed his enormous body and made it up here.

A little boy ran up the stairs, “They’re calling the police,” With that, Swap’s sleeping bag went into her pack.  Within a minute a siren was heard in the distance.  She saw the woods close by to disappear into.  She exited the cathedral and sat down at the top of a brown, spiral slide with her pack on her lap.  As she sat there her four-alarm-clock children gave her a shove.

“Bye,” they yelled. As her feet hit the ground she saw that the teachers had quietly taken to rounding up the children.  They looked like mother hens trying to protect them from Swap the hawk.  She ran toward the road and her little leeches followed.

“Janie, Zack, Ben, Sandy, Maria,” a frantic voice called and was followed by a stern, “Stay here!” They stopped at the road.

“Leave her alone she is just a nice bum,” a boy yelled back to the frantic voice.

“Hope you find a home!” the red-headed girl called.

The sirens and “hope you find a home” rang in her ears as she tripped over dead, fallen branches, and exposed rocks.  The woods grew thick and served as her coverage as she forged in a diagonally straight line into trees, rocks, and nothingness.  She jogged with her lopsided pack and came to a small clearing. There she stopped and peered back to the woods she had just exited.  No blue bobbing uniforms and no sound of sirens.  She looked down the clearing and saw it was a path.  She naturally walked north using the newly risen sun on her right as a guide. She came to tree bearing the tattoo of a white rectangle.  She was home, on the trail.  With each step she shook off the paranoia of policemen jumping out of the forest, restraining her to the ground and cuffing her.  She could hear the court case, “Young lady did you sleep half-naked in a playground in the presence of children?”  She would plead guilty and spend the winter in jail.  It was a gamble each town she visited to see how they treated hikers. Most were welcoming as long as you did not stay for long.  She was trespassing on school property and she was sure that would not go unnoticed.

Buy Trail Swap here at Amazon

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My Life as a Nutcase – By Vivienne Mathews

Vivienne MathewsIt’s like living in a glass dome, one that maintains a permanent perimeter just inside your front door. Others can pass through this invisible barrier at will, but not you. For you, it’s a constant reminder of your limitations and you have a primal aversion to bumping into it, lest the whole thing shatter and come down on your head. It’s walking through a grocery store and pretending you don’t feel as if every passerby is holding a gun at eye level. It’s loneliness and it’s craving time to yourself. It’s wanting desperately to connect with people and at the same time feeling paralyzed by a chronic sense of doom whenever they’re around. It’s repeated situations in which an old friend will show up on your radar and you’ll scramble over yourself to invite them out, only to have that last word fall like a guillotine when you finally realize what you’ve said…. Out.

What were you thinking?

“Maybe I’ll call them back,” you say to yourself. Explain to them that “See, well, the thing is… I can’t so much leave my house. And oh, by the way, I’ll have a panic attack if you walk through my door, so can you just drive by and sit on the other side of my window so I can howl at you like a housecat with nothing better to do? Catch up that way?”

This is the illogical mess of suckage that is agoraphobia – and I’m soaking in it.

At least these days I can talk about my little problem without fear of being labeled a nutcase. More and more, society’s understanding and acceptance of mental illness expands to where things like this don’t need to be kept in the shadows. They are recognized for the hitches in biology that they are, rather than flaws in character. That helps, more than people may know.

If I could say anything to those in my position it would be this.

  1. Have compassion for yourself.
  2. You will have good days, and you will have bad. Live your good days to their fullest and remember that the bad days don’t make you any less of a person.
  3. Know that you have worth beyond your aversions. What you have to offer that won’t be hindered by fear, not for long.
  4. You won’t always be in control and that’s okay.
  5. You won’t always understand yourself and that’s even better, because if there’s anything worth learning more about, it’s the human condition.
  6. Most importantly… open the blinds when you least want to. Let the sun remind you that it’s still shining, whether or not you care to look.

As we speak, I am treating my agoraphobia with a cocktail of medication, hard-bitten pep talks, and the most supportive husband red hair can buy. I take comfort in my backyard beehives — they give me a reason to step outside and breathe the wind and I often feel safer in my protective white suit than I do in these four walls. And I write. By putting a bit of myself in my palm and reaching beyond the barrier, I’ve found a way to say, “This is me. I am here. And I haven’t forgotten that you are there, either.”

Vivienne Mathews
Author of The Sons of Masguard
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