October 2013

Back To Black.

by Lori Dwyer on October 30, 2013 · 18 comments

I think the only bonus to being prone to depression is that you can recognise it quickly when it happens. Even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself. Or to your partner. Or to the people who love you, a thousand kilometres away.

I woke up yesterday morning crying. It’s not just a matter of being tired, of waking up to my daughter six or seven times every night. It’s not just being sick, having gastro, and the sinus infections seep into our house like small, unwanted vermin. It’s not just this Melbourne weather, being cold all the time, and never knowing when it will rain. It’s not just being broke and worried about money. It’s not just missing my mum, missing my friends. It’s not just feeling as though I’m never on top of things, like I’m always behind and disorganised.

It’s all of that… and none of it. It’s this black dog that nips at my heels, that eats happiness as though it’s scraps of food thrown out too early.

I have this whole new life, and it’s supposed to be okay. It’s supposed to be easy.

It’s not easy, and I’m not coping. And I hate myself for feeling like this. I hate myself for hating myself, and then I hate myself some more. The meds reach the outer boundary of their effectiveness- they make it so I’m able to feel nothing at all. But not so much that they can conjure up happiness, not so much that they can shed light on this kind of darkness.

I give up on cleaning the house, give up on showering, stop walking the kids to school and choose the easier option of driving them instead. I cant write. I haven’t been laughing at anything much. My sex drive is non-existent. I don’t bother putting on make up, or wearing anything other than jeans and black t-shirts. I have strange dreams. I wander round in a foggy half state, not thinking about anything much– my consciousness is stuck in past tense, events from years ago swirling through my brain with such thickness nothing new gets through. I am a ghost of myself, haunting my New House that doesn’t really feel like mine at all.

I don’t look forward to anything much, right now. Looking forward to things would mean I’d have to feel something, and I’m not sure I’m capable of feeling anything right now.

I have a doctor’s appointment today. They can’t up my medication any higher than what it currently is… but I’m telling myself that, surely, a good shrink is going to help.



by Lori Dwyer on October 28, 2013 · 6 comments

My daughter is a witch. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.


I’m sitting in a chair at the kitchen table. My head is aching, a pain like a screwdriver stabbed between my eyes twisting itself deeper every time I blink.

“Are you okay, Mummy?” asks the Bump, concerned as she always is, for the welfare of all living creatures, and often plants as well.

“I’m okay, baby. I have a headache, that’s all.”

The Bump frowns and places her tiny, cold hands on either side of my head. The sensation of it soothes and deters the spinning, grinding pain.

“Yes,” the Bump says, her voice soft and gravely serious. “Headaches are white. Some headaches are red, but most are white.”

She stares at me earnestly, waiting expectantly, the way she does when she’s presented me with a fact of the world and is awaiting confirmation that she’s correct.

For a moment, I stare back at her.

“Are they, honey?”

“Yes,” She says, confidently, and repeats “your headache is white.” 

And she walks out of the room, the colours of everything in her eyes.


Our backyard is overgrown at the moment. Spring rains and general time-poorness mean the grass is too long and the weeds are invading.

Much to the Bump’s delight, we have dandelions. They grow tall,  and sprout heavy yellow flowers that puff out into dandelion seeds.

‘Wish flowers’, my daughter calls them. She picks three of them, fat and perfectly spherical. She brings them to The Most Amazing Man and I, and announces that she is granting wishes.

She passes one to me, instructs me to make a wish. Most days I’d play along, closing my eyes for the required second or so and then, selfishly, blowing the wish flower into the wind without an ethereal request for it to carry.

Today, I don’t. Today I close my eyes and think hard, verbalise my wishes internally. I make a wish that we’d settle here, and quickly. That we find our groove, not miss our TinyTrainHouse in the TinyTrainTown quite so much.

I open my eyes, and blow gently, smoothly. I watch the tiny seed pods attached to silken parachutes blow off into the distance, tumbling against the wind, caught in incremental updraughts until they’ve become invisible in their smallness, smattering themselves into the grass to replicate and grow again.

I toss the remaining green stalk into the garden. “No!” says the Bump. “You have to break it first!”

She hands the stalk back to me and I snap it. “Again,” the Bump declares. “It needs to be three.”

I do as instructed, and request my cranky ballerina’s permission to throw it back into the grass.

“Yes…” she says, and watches as I toss the three pieces back into our veritable urban jungle.

“Now it will work,” she promises me assuredly, and goes back to her fairy business.

And, it seems, it does. For the Bumpy girl, if no one else. She’s getting used to her new everything, making friends at her new school. Finding her groove, settling in. Piece by iridescent piece.



Love Thyself.

by Lori Dwyer on October 24, 2013 · 6 comments

When I was growing up, there was no greater schoolyard sin than that of ‘loving yourself’.

It was used as a taunt. “Errr! You love yourself sooo much!!”.

I think it messed with my head a bit– weren’t you supposed to love yourself, wasn’t that the point? the alternative was to hate yourself. To my ten-year-old self it was a confusing concept.

If I didn’t like myself at all, maybe the bullies would like me. And, really, what right did I have to like myself, if everyone else viewed me as a piece of sh*t?



Self esteem is a warped and relative concept. I struggle with it, still, even now, at thirty two years old. How do you love yourself, completely, when even liking yourself is a challenge?