Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Half yearly round up for 2017

I was excited about this year. It was a new beginning, who knew what it would bring. I do believe that this will be a year I will never forget.

Summer started school at the end of January. I am so proud of her, she's a social butterfly and floats easily amongst her peers. 

I am still in awe watching my third child learn. Five year olds are amazing little beings.

In February, I started my gymnastics coaching journey, enrolling in the Beginner gymnastics coaching course with Gymastics Australia. At the end I was able to coach under supervision.

I followed with the Intermediate coaching course, with Kindergym for 0-5 year olds as my gymsport, which I completed at the end of March, with 20 hours experience at the club, and a two day practical course in Adelaide. This was the first time in about ten years I had been away for the weekend without all my people, being husband and kids. It was liberating, and I didn't miss them one little bit!

Back to the beginning of March, and I lost my Gran. She had been slowly fading away, and with a few snowballing health problems the previous few weeks, she passed away at the age of 87.

She actually died the same day my son Jake, was readmitted into the mental health ward at the Mount Gambier hospital. I had the holiday house to clean that day after and drove around with all the emotions bubbling on the surface. I drove around with Metallica playing full noise for that week, it helped me through the emotions and the motions. I cried a lot! 

We buried my Granny Wanda the following Friday. Jake wasn't there. I stood next to my sisters and my mums cousin Fay. I will never forget it. Her coffin was draped with her crocheted Crows blanket, beanie and scarf, and a fishing rod. She was well known for her fishing on the Southend jetty. Her only living sibling, Nora, was seated in front of us.

I cleaned my sons house while he was in hospital, there was spit on the walls, seemingly tainted with red wine, to try to dull the voices. Dirty surfaces. His belongings were all packed lined up along one wall of the lounge room. The psych said it was common with Schizophrenics to pack, ready to flee, from an imaginary enemy. She had known of them moving around the country, with kids in tow even, in the fear of someone chasing them.

I cannot the imagine the despair and turmoil going through his mind at that time. I wish he had been diagnosed earlier. I am ever so grateful for the police for understanding, and for their help along with the ambos to get him back to the mental health ward in Mount Gambier. This was the turning point in getting him the help and support he really needed. I could have never have done it on my own, and who knows what could have become of him and the further anguish that our family would have been through.

He had previously been admitted for two weeks. Forcably by the police, on request from us, his family, and diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Obviously two weeks wasn't enough, for him not to be in that hospital environment on a new medication. He took his first weeks medication out of hospital in one night, in an attempt to be rid of the voices.

His second admission, was for three weeks. The medication by that time had kicked in and I can see it working now, we have our boy back (even though he is a man). It has been a long road since he was a teenager when all of these behaviours started to reveal themselves. It makes me sad that it has taken this long to have a diagnosis. It makes me sad, and finally happy that he crossed paths with a psychiatrist that saw his psychosis first hand. Jake had become a master at hiding it away.

That it wasn't fobbed off as bad boy behaviour, or drugs and alcohol. Don't get me wrong, there were drugs and alcohol involved. I will never forget the insane back and forth from him that night when I got a phone call from the coppers to come and help to try convince him to get in the ambulance. One minute he was in defiance to go, because it was a waste of time, because they(the doctors) didn't do anything to help, and the next minute crying in desperation because he just wanted the voices to stop, so he could sleep.

He's now doing well and has a fellow from MIND that visits him every week. An appointment with a clinical mental health nurse every fortnight, and regular follow up appointments with a visiting psychiatrist and with the psychiatrist, who, when faced with a 24 year old who begged for help to get the people with microcomputers to stop talking in his brain, made the diagnosis. I can only be grateful.

The same week this all happened, I met with a holiday house owner in Rendelsham and started as her house cleaner. She lives in Adelaide, and lets me know when she has holiday renters, and I set up and go clean afterwards. 

To say that I begun 2017 with my feet hitting the ground running would be an understatement!

In April at the start of Term 2, I lead my first Kindergym class. I loved it and was so pumped up and excited to do the second class, and no one turned up so I had to wait unitl the following week. I did the lesson plan for the next week that afternoon, I was so in the zone!

I am about to finish my first full term of  Kindergym, and am so proud that I jumped over that cliff of uncertainty and just went for it. I you told me a year ago, I would be working at the gymnastics club I would have told you where to get off. 

It has actually come at the right time, and fit in perfectly. Both the girls are at school now, leaving me with some spare time, a small wage,  and I get school holidays off! My fellow Kindergym coach has just announced she is leaving at the end of year, so eventually I will move into taking Kindergym two days per week, and possibly a Tiny Tots (five year olds) class or two a week. Who would have thought?!

I felt like a rock star earlier this week in Woolies, when coming across a couple of sisters that take my Kindergym classes. It is lovely that they stop to say hello and have a little chat. 

Without further or do, here is a little video with some highlights from the last six months.

Sometimes I surprise myself and blog on a Tuesday. Linking with Kylie.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your son. I hope he conquers his illness.

    Well done to you on Kindergym. It sounds like the perfect fit.

  2. Fingers crossed that your son will be able to beat the black dog xxx
    My girls loved Kindergym when they were little, its so good you have found something you like doing.

  3. I love the idea of doing a half yearly round up, I just might do it too :)
    Really sorry to hear about your son, strength to you through this.

  4. I loved catching up with you again here. It's been a huge first 6 months hasn't it? Yet what I read was a growing sense of you becoming you again after the years of being there for everyone else first! Uplifting even though there were some sad and very bad times too. Much love to you! I feel a sense of pride to be part of seeing you come to life in some ways!! Denyse xxx

  5. Gosh Alicia, what a turmoil of emotions you've experienced so far this year. What a great and well-timed gift gym is for you. Love and love and I'm happy to feel a little brightness in your words. Em x

  6. I am so glad your son got the help he needed - so scary that it has taken years...

    and what an up and down first half - the gym training and work sounds fantastic - congrats on taking that leap.

  7. Wow - what a half year you've had! I'm so sorry for the loss of your Nan. I lost my Nan earlier this year and it was a tough time for our family. Hearing that your son is doing well is wonderful, as it your gymnastics coaching. Leading and teaching toddlers such important skills must be very rewarding (my kids loved doing gym at that age!). All the best for the next 6 months xx


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