L.O.V.E

Hello there!

I have made it back home from Sydney, and am alive and well. It’s taken some time though – that flu really hit me for six! We didn’t make it to the harbour, but we did have dinner at O Bar and Dining (revolving restaurant 47 floors up), so that was nice. Once home, my gorgeous little ten month old ended up ill as well, poor little guy. But he is recovered and napping now, so I have a chance to write…

With Valentines Day just passed and a lot of discussion in the news regarding affairs (thanks politicians) – I thought I would write a bit about love. More specifically: marriage/relationships. In Australia, about one-in-three marriages end in divorce. One-in-three! There are a few countries that come in higher, and thankfully, many that come in lower.

That’s a pretty saddening statistic. Another quite alarming part, is that the marriage statistics don’t include the serious relationships that bust up. The median age for marriage (in Australia) is around thirty, but quite a few people are in de facto relationships, some with children, and these are obviously vulnerable to the same circumstances as a divorce.

Now, I’m only 2.5 years married and 6.5 years in the relationship, but I am fairly certain of one thing. It is summed up quite nicely by this…

Image result for every relationship will get boring after you've been together for years

In a nutshell.. Relationships take work. They do. And, love is a commitment. Any couple that has been together for 60 years – you know, those ones that are holding hands at 80 years old and it makes you go “awwwww”- that stuff is no fluke. Affairs, financial stress, intimacy issues, career changes, grief, emotional times etc. These are obstacles that strong relationships may have to overcome. The beauty of it all – is that when relationships do make it through tough times – they come out stronger.

Now, I am not condoning putting up with abuse of any type or staying in a hurtful relationship. I understand that divorces will happen. No one should be expected to live their life in misery. Absolutely. My concern, is that in an era where we are really pushing our individualistic culture, we may be giving unrealistic expectations of relationships. For example.. let’s have a look at this..

Image result for quotes about not settling

I get the positive message that is trying to be said here. But, it is very one-sided, and that just doesn’t work in a relationship with two people. Among the push for us to put ourselves before anyone else, the romantic movies Hollywood gives us where after a few dramas you end up married to a total babe who is funny, wealthy, completely dedicated to you and your interests and a demon in the bedroom to boot, is it any wonder that perseverance during the tough times seems so dreadful?

If Ryan Gosling was my husband he wouldn’t tell me to get my feet off the dash. I don’t love this man anymore. Get me a divorce. That’s not the spirit guys! Here’s another stat to add to the discussion: the median age for divorce in Australia is between 40 and 45 years old. Married for around twelve years. So, contrary to what we might stereotypically think, it’s not all 23 year old’s that were married at 18 who are getting divorced. Another part to this we should consider – is children. It is a huge argument whether divorce affects children and their development. One thing is for sure; It is going to impact them emotionally when it occurs. My parents didn’t divorce until I was 23 years old, and I can honestly say that it did effect my views on marriage. First, it became less important to me. I felt that I would be happy in a de facto relationship my whole life, because obviously being married did not mean the relationship would last forever. Later on, once my husband and I had our first child, I did want to marry. But, I knew that my commitment to my husband would be one of severe determination, and although we have been through tough times, it still is. Both of us have divorced parents, and both of us are relentlessly committed to each other. So, in the end, there has probably been a negative and a positive effect for us. But everyone responds differently.

Anyway, here are a couple of simple things to consider, and they can be applied to any relationship in your life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic relationship.

  1. Be realistic. Okay, so she only watches the football for the guys butts and couldn’t name a team for the life of her.. But, she does get out of bed and pack you lunch for work. Yeah, he doesn’t bring you flowers once a week.. But, he does look after you when your are sick with the flu. No, you and your mum don’t have mimosas and brunch every Sunday.. She does, however, never miss your birthday. That’s okay! What is important is that you are there for one another. Don’t believe what you see on television, movies, social media etc. If you can read this, you are old enough to know that life is not a fairy-tale. It’s beautiful and amazing! But not perfect. This goes for relationships as well. They can be imperfect, but still the most amazing, wonderful thing!
  2. Find a good way to argue. Yes, that’s what I meant to say. It is highly unlikely that two people will agree on everything ever. The key is to know how to address it. If you disagree on say, a parenting method – sit down and discuss it. Find what works for you. Write a pros and cons list. Research and write a report on it. Ask others advice. Sit down with a beer and talk philosophically. Whatever works! Just not hysterical screaming. Unhealthy coping methods such as ignoring each other or screaming at each other, they are generally not productive, and they may affect others in the household (children!).
  3. Be committed and revisit the reasons why. So she ate the last Timtam. You had a bad day at work and all you wanted was one fucking chocolate coated biscuit! Relax. And you know I was joking there, but apply this to serious situations as well. Let’s say.. she got drunk and texted her ex. You’re pissed off. Like, really pissed off. What do you do? Think about the relationship and the reasons why you are in love. Is she the mother of your children? Does she help you be the best person you can be? Is she one hundred percent faithful and just done something really stupid? Sit back and consider the circumstances of the situation, and the repercussions of moves made after that. Is it worth moving the kids out, slashing her tyres, burning her clothes and causing absolute chaos and trauma..? Or, is it worth forgiving a silly move, because you friggin’ love this girl and she made a mistake. Avoid the heat of the moment. We don’t make the best decisions when our brains are scattered. Feel your emotions first, then make decisions later.

My son has well and truly woken up, and the love of my life is pestering me to go and run some errands, so I am going to end the post there. Obviously love, marriage, romance, sex and the rest is a huge topic, but hopefully this has given a little insight.

Image result for quotes about love and commitment

Until next time.. Love hard guys.

Cheers, Dannielle

*stats from the ABS 👍

I dared go outside

Hi everyone.

Today, I have missed the wedding. I probably could have gone. Silenced my sniffles. Pretended I don’t feel like garbage. But, fact is, I don’t want to share my germs. Especially with newly-weds!

So, I slept at the hotel until 11am. Holy crap, right?! I then got dressed and have headed outdoors. Today is my ‘f you flu day’!

Really, I’m out to go to Woolworths.. Because I need food and the hotel restaurant is being renovated. After waiting two hours and almost missing my Thai delivery last night, I thought it safest I take something to the hotel.

Some Mascot shopping precinct is only five minutes walk, so off I went. Staring up at the high rise buildings and looking super concerned every time I cross a street, I will either appear to have a sense of wonder, or indulge in LSD.

I walked straight into a coffee shop called Oliver Brown.

Actually, it’s a chocolate Cafe. What a wonderful world we live in! Chocolate croissant and coffee for me! The guys in here are lovely. One occasionally sings along with the music, and it is just the sweetest thing! I love people who sing. I don’t care if you sound like a strangled cat (this guy doesn’t btw). It is super cute!

I feel so new and naive here. There are four Asian businessmen in their suits that came in speaking Chinese (I think). I thought wow, some international people here on business. I wonder what they do. Then the following conversation happened:

Guy 1: whatddaya want?

Guy 2: ah yeah, just a berry crushy or something like that, ai.

You idiot 🤦‍♀️. They are as Australian as me 😂. Anyway, my coffee has gone cold, so I’m going to continue exploring and write as I go. I could sit here forever, but I must not. Willpower. Move your ass, Dannielle.

………

I’m back. Back on WordPress and back at the hotel. All I really done is go to Woolies and wander home. I did learn something.. If you use Google Maps, but walk your own way like a competent adult, you may cut much unneeded distance from your walk 🤣. I literally took an unnecessary couple of kilometres on the way there. But, it’s okay, won’t hurt me.

Right now, I’m relaxing and looking like a serial killer from a movie that’ll stop a teenager walking alone until they’re thirty.

Terrifying 😂. I have a crossword book, some food, and have spoken to my gorgeous husband who has performed his groomsmen duties at the ceremony and is now at the reception.

I am confident that by tomorrow, I’ll be okay to check out Sydney harbour. It’s not the weekend that I had planned, but I’m fine with that. I am looking forward to spending time with my husband, then getting home to my two babies.

Enjoy your day beautiful people.

Talk soon 🤗

Walking you through overcoming a shit day

Hi everyone,

I am writing tonight from the big city of Sydney. Very exciting. With a population of about 4 million, it is 400 times the size of my 10K people town. So far, I have flown here and cried in my gorgeous hotel room. Now I’m waiting on my Thai food. Wtf? Yep. Let me explain..

A few months ago my husband was asked to be a groomsmen at his mates wedding (usually lives around Brisbane). Hubby asked, and I was like “sure!”. A few messages later he says “it’s in Sydney”. I’m like “Okay then. We’ll make it a holiday”. A few conversations later he says “It’s in February”. I’m like “Shit. Okay… Screw it. We’ll manage. It’s all good”.So, we book flights and accommodation. All sweet.

Now over the last couple of weeks I’d been second guessing our decision. It is an expensive attendance! Our own wedding only cost us 6K, and this one is costing over 2! I got a little frustrated at myself, because I’m usually super, duper tight with money, but here I was splurging on a holiday at a time when we really shouldn’t be.

Eventually I came around again. It’s only three nights, but I’ve never been interstate (I know, I know) and a break from work and the kids will do us both some good.

So I wake up this morning – annndd I’m sick 😩!! Oh.my.fucking.god WHO DOES THAT HAPPEN TOO? Wolverine snuck into my house and scratched my throat from the inside out! My head is going to implode, and I’m fairly sure Wolverine left by driving a bus over me. Fuck. Me.

To add to the fun, I got $35 worth of medication in Bowen – left it in the car at the damn airport – then had to grab $50 more in Sydney! Plus the drugs wore off throughout the flight 😫.

I was devistated. Walking around Sydney airport, I felt like I would collapse. I broke down at the hotel. It’s the first time I’ve been interstate! First time flying in six years! First holiday in years! This cost us thousands!

My husband consoled me until I encouraged him to go to the bucks party. Off he went.. Then I got thinking… This is ridiculous. Yes, it sucks. But, we are generally healthy. We have a roof over our heads. Food and water. I am crying in a hotel I just flew to for god’s sake! First world problems, right!

So, I decided to pay attention to the steps I took to feel better.

1. First, was realising what I said above. It’s not that bad. I like the ‘five year rule’ (but use it more as a loose guide) : if it’s not going to matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes being upset over it. Yes, I feel like crap. It has made a trip a lot less fun. But, it’s temporary, and my life is still something others would love.. I love! Don’t be harsh on yourself.. Just take a ‘big world’ perspective.

Assess the situation and be realistic. This a technique I was taught during cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety. Often, we are inflating the situation. Thinking negative thoughts, and then they snowball. Be conscious of this, and then you can work on changing the pattern.

A great way to go about it, is to consider what you would tell a friend in this situation. That’s awful! Try not to worry about it hun. You’ll get to Sydney again one day. Lay up in that hotel and rest. That’s what I would say to a mate. Was I saying that to myself all day? Gosh no! Seems silly, doesn’t it. Be your own friend.

2. Second – what do I do now? Well, make the best out of it that I can. So I’ve snorted the disgusting spray up my nose, taken my pain relief, and had a lozenge. I’m in bed, waiting on delicious Thai food and watching TV.

It would be lovely if I felt better tomorrow. But, if I don’t make the wedding, at least I’m here to support my husband. He’s not in Sydney alone. He is still having a great time, and that really is the reason we are here anyway.

If we can control how we respond to situations, we are in a fantastic place. A great mental state. It is practice. Practicing handling anything that is thrown at us. And, I’m definitely not saying to ignore your emotions. Feel what you need to. Be pissed off, be sad, wonder where the fuck you caught the stupid flu from because noone you know is even sick!!!😂

But then, breathe. Breathe, assess, and do what you need to do.

I apologise for whining about my ‘really not that bad’ problem. But I learnt a lot from just acknowledging that this is what has happened, this is how I feel, and this is how I am going to get through the situation.

I hope your weekend is looking so much better than my day has been! Know that, while I’m drowning my sorrows in sticky rice, I genuinely hope you all are well, and this post has given some food for thought.

I’m so hungry. Can’t avoid food quotes 🤭

Bye guys. Be kind to yourself 🤗 x

Cheers, Dannielle

I am not analysing you..

Hi everyone!

I hope this finds you all well. Today, I thought I would write a post on ‘what psychology is’. It has been an eyeopener for me, realising that there are people who do not know. My first visit to a psychologist was when I was around eight years old, because I refused to sleep after watching Scream 1 and 2 with a heap of friends at a sleepover! Again around 14/15, 19, 21 and 24 years old. So, I have always had an idea of what they do.

Then, one day, I was giving my opinion on a Facebook discussion. In it, I stated that I study psychology. The response from one gentleman was to tell me that I am not doing my job because it’s RUOK day and I hadn’t even asked him! A stranger. Online. That I wasn’t previously talking to anyway! The response from a woman.. “You are just analysing what everyone says, because you are a psychologist (I’m not, yet!), and that is what you do. It’s your job to analyse everything, and that’s okay, but you are wrong.”

Related image

Here’s the real beauty. Not two weeks later, I was in the video store with my husband. Took the rentals to the counter where another lady was being served by a young man. This is what unfolded…

Lady: Yeah, he was a psychology student, and he just kept analysing what he said. Called him a gullible idiot, and just, would analyse everything. I told him he was no good.

Man: Yeah, we told my mate that girl was no good when they first hooked up too.

Lady: *looks at me* Don’t let anyone you know EVER go near a psychology student!

Me: I am a psychology student.

Lady: OH really?! Wow, put my foot in that one didn’t I? This guy just kept analysing everything my son said, and he told him he was a gullible idiot, which isn’t very nice. Yeah, you just couldn’t say anything without being analysed.

Me: (Responds with things like) Oh… Mm *politely smiles as she says bye and leaves*

WTF.

Truth be told – I was devastated. I started to question my psychology degree, even looked at going into medicine. I told my husband that it really pissed me off that I’m working my arse off for at least five or six years, to have a career that people think makes me some kind of psychic! He managed to calm me down. He explained that – so what if that’s what some people think. It happens to everyone. As a carpenter, he once had someone think that he lays carpet, hehe!

Anyway, back on track…

Psychology is the study of human behaviour and (the hard sciences may laugh at me here) psychology is a science. My bachelors degree entails: general subjects such as introductions and history on psychology, clinical and specialist subjects such social psychology and forensic psychology, and research subjects such as research methods and statistics. No classes on ‘how to analyse what strangers are saying twenty-four hours a day’. And, guys, we couldn’t do that. It would be like a doctor trying to give everyone they met a diagnosis. Or a shop assistant fixing every disorganised shelf in every shop they enter. Most professions require that you do not take your work home (so-to-speak), and that is important for your mental health. Work is for during work hours and after that your brain needs to rest.

Now, clinical psychology is what most people refer to when they hear ‘psychologist’. These are the ones that have sessions with patients, discuss and work through mental health issues, diagnose (when appropriate) etc. It doesn’t always involve lying on a Victorian day bed while you talk about your mother and the psychologist takes notes. It can, especially if you are going for psychoanalysis. But, my guess is that these days the chaise probably wouldn’t be Victorian, and your psychologist won’t be Sigmund Freud.

Image result for psychologist couch cartoon

So, this all brought a bigger subject to the forefront for me.. If there are people out there who don’t know what psychology is.. who are unaware it involves proven therapies and is based on empirical evidence.. How many people are we missing out on helping? How do we reach out and explain that the stereotype you see in cartoons isn’t true, and get the truthful information out there?

Something for me to strive toward in the future. In all of this, I’ve actually discovered a psychologist in my town that I was unaware of. So that’s cool.

To end on a funny story.. I handed my phone to my sister earlier so that she could explore my Instagram (she doesn’t have it). She says “Great name”. I went “yeah!”, fairly chuffed with myself. She looks at me and goes “mum, wife, psycho… really?”. See screenshot below!

Turns out that on my own profile it only shows mumwifepsycho instead of mumwifepsychologylife! I really hope it doesn’t look like that anywhere else!

Have a great weekend everyone. Take care of yourself and others.

Much love,

Dannielle

Shattering the stigma

Hi guys.

I know I only wrote hours ago, but today has been somewhat of a milestone. I have submitted my video to the Mental Minute Project! The Mental Minute Project is an Instagram started by a lad named John. Aside from him doing awesome, selfless stuff, people submit one minute videos that talk about what mental health issues they have and their coping strategies.

Now, when I emailed John, I said that I was surprised how nervous I became. I am on my way to becoming a psychologist, which means I expect people to discuss their mental health with me, but it was still hard for me to put out there. That’s why this is such a milestone; because I need to be able to talk about my mental health if I expect others to as well.

Even though I have been considering doing the video for over a week now, I was actually inspired to share at the end of last year. A lady who I work with stood up to do a talk on ‘Shattering the Stigma’ at a meeting. She is a smart, polite, well-put-together woman, and I watched her stand up and tell her colleagues about how she spent years in an inpatient facility as a young lady due to her mental health issues. I was moved, proud and I clapped like she was my hero when it was finished. How brave, right? She then asked for anyone who had lived in experience with mental health issues to consider putting it in their bio on the work website. Did I? Yes. Hell yes. I added that I have over ten years lived in experience.

That got me thinking about discussing my mental health. How much do I tell? I am currently at the point where I am happy to say that I live with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The depression was on-and-off since about 15, but I began taking prescription antidepressants after it came in very strong as postnatal depression. That was when I learnt that postnatal refers to the timing of the depression, not the subject (it doesn’t necessarily mean you are having a hard time parenting). With both children my mental health deteriorates when they are between about 6 months and 2 years. I have tried unsuccessfully to go off my medication numerous times. Silly me. I don’t advise it, and I am completely comfortable with the fact that sometimes depression must be medicated. The PTSD I have had for eleven years now, and I am glad to report that it is at its mildest. I rarely suffer noticeably anymore. That’s all I am comfortable discussing about that right now, and I’m okay with that. I think that can scare people sometimes. You know, the thought that if you admit a little then eventually people will drag the rest out and pick you apart for it. But, fact is, you can share as much or as little as you like. You don’t owe details to anyone else. Full stop.

Anyway, please go and check out the Mental Minute Project – it’s bloody awesome! The more that we talk openly about mental health issues, the more accepting we will be. The less it will be stigmatised. Instead of sweeping things under the rug, we can talk openly about prevention, early intervention, coping strategies, treatments and all the other good things! We can admit if we are having a hard time. Not have to say the appointment is for the doctor instead of the psychologist. And it’s about time, because our mental health affects every single other aspect of our lives.

I am also attempting to end the stigma by changing my language. I am stopping using any words as slang that refer to mental health. Things such as “that’s crazy” or “don’t be psycho”. That sort of stuff. And believe me, it’s harder than you think! But, I am determined. Just to top it off, my 5 year old decided to nickname his younger brother ‘lunatic’, so I spent a day trying to explain why ‘it’s not nice to call your brother a lunatic’. Hopefully my change in word choice rubs off onto the kids!

So, there’s a bit of history on me. Hopefully you guys enjoy the Mental Minute Project, and have taken away something useful from the post.

Until next time. All the best guys.

Cheers, Dannielle

Getting sorted & mental health

Hey.

I didn’t plan on writing today.. Hadn’t planned a post or a particular topic. But, I went to our temporary home after school drop-off and groceries, and the whole kitchen was covered in drop sheets with tradies working away. I thought it best to get out from under their feet..

So I’ve found myself at a local coffee shop, typing away on my phone, which I suck at.. So, it should use up some time!

I’ve been arguing with myself over this blog. Part of me wants to do it. Part of me says “you don’t have the time for this shit!”. You could be studying, or designing your kitchen, washing sheets and 10 billion other things. But, that’s kindof what this is all about. I strongly believe that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Most of you would say that too. Say it to your friends, your mum, family, some random you converse with on the train. But, we are almost all guilty of not saying it to ourselves.

Quick admission.. I am bad for it. I help anyone I can in any way possible. Want me to pick you up – cool. Help with paperwork – no worries. Watch your kid – sure. But, when I get offered help – I usually politely say no. Why? I’m not sure. I guess I feel like everyone is so busy, I don’t want to trouble them. Which is silly, right? Because if they didn’t want to help, they wouldn’t offer. I’m a bit stubborn too. I think that in tough times as a kid, when I have buckled and asked for help, I’ve heard ‘no’ one too many times. So I shy away from it. Is this something that you do? There you go.. Goal: Stop being afraid to accept help.

This blog is sounding very much about ‘me’ so far, but I think that’ll happen until a few posts in. Once I get sorted..

I’m actually on six months holidays from university at the moment. Taking time out. I’m afraid it’s all been busy due to an unexpected house purchase and renos! Nonetheless, it’s given me time to reflect on my study and look at career goals.

I would like to work clinical. Research is fun, and I got great marks for my research subjects so far (95% for my research project!). Clinical just seems a bit more ‘front line’. I’m also very passionate about improving mental health (and general health) services in the community, and I feel like interacting with the public will allow me to do that.

There is this fantastic movement happening surrounding talking about mental health and shattering the stigma. It really is exciting times, compared to, say, 30 years ago, when you just didn’t discuss the topic.

I am going to write an entire post on it, quite possibly later today! Once I start thinking about it, it’s hard to wind down! So, please, tune in for the next post. We’ll discuss shattering the stigma and the Mental Minute Project. So exciting!!!

Have a great day!

Dannielle

Hi there

Welcome to Mum Wife Psychology Life.

I am Dannielle..

*Mother of two energetic boys *Wife of a hard-working man *Consumer Advisory Partner (Hospital & Health) *Psychology student (BPsySc) *That woman who drove past in a Jeep singing to the radio top note

I am on a mission to become a woman/psychologist who practices what she preaches. It has occurred to me that while it’s great to say that your mental health/health-in-general is SO important, I need to be in touch with my own as well.

This is a place to share the journey. My thoughts, methods and experiences as I work toward being more positive, open-minded and content.

I hope that what I share can in some way encourage others, and that by improving my own well-being, I can be confident in my profession and a good role model.

Enjoy the blog, say hi on Insta, and take care.

All the best,

Dannielle

Ps. I will curb my swearing. I’ll try. Probably not. Sorry.