I was in a relationship with a narcissist. A narcissist is a person who is often selfish and obsessed with how they and others look. My man made me feel insecure. He would tell me I wasn't good at anything. He also said he would leave me if I put on weight. My man would often sulk and I had to try and make him feel better. He wanted constant admiration. When he didn't get it he would become depressed. I think our relationship may have worked if we had tried relationship therapy.
I cycled in the Gran Fondo race organised by the Amy Gillett Foundation. Amy Gillett was a cyclist who was hit and killed by a car in 2005. The Foundation was set up to raise awareness of safe cycling, both for cyclists and motorists. The ride is 115 kilometres and there are lots of hills. I was well prepared for it because I cycle a lot. The ride started in Lorne on the Great Ocean Road. We then rode away from the coast and finally made our way back to Lorne. It was a challenging and enjoyable event.
Craniosynostosis is a condition that happens when the bony plates in a baby or toddler's head close up too soon. The result is the head can be shaped at bit differently. Children with this condition are usually healthy and bright. The cause of this condition is unknown and all treatment requires surgery. I was born with craniosynostosis. I've had many operations. Most of them were when I was very young. I used to feel bad about how I looked. But now I don't worry about it. I am happy to have a loving family and fantastic friends.
It isn't easy for a person with a disability to find work in regional Victoria. But thankfully there are some job agencies to help you find work. In Mildura, Christie Centre is a job agency for people with a disability. They helped Gordon find work at a recycling company. Gordon says he loves his work, as does his younger workmate Luke. Amanda has been working at Mildura Chocolate Co for more than two years. At work she does everything from customer service and making chocolate to cleaning and packaging. Looking for work requires persistence. But don't give up.
In 1975 Ian built his first family home. Many years later he decided to build another home for the family. He was about to start when he lost sight in his left eye. For about 12 months he couldn't do anything. But then with the help of his sons he started to build the home. Ian used coloured sponges to help him place each brick. Two years later the vision in his right eye got worse. But Ian was determined to finish building his home. He has now finished and is very happy with the home.
When it comes to chess, you would think that you need to see the board. So how do people with a vision impairment play the game? The white squares on the chess board are higher than the black ones. Each square also has a peg hole to fix the pieces so they are not knocked over. Don has a vision impairment. He has been playing chess for more than 30 years. He also plays Scrabble online. He says playing board games is a way to make friends and keep the mind active.
We all have beliefs about mental illness and those who live with it. Sometimes these beliefs are helpful, but not always. Today is World Mental Health Day. It is a good time to think about mental illness. We are told mental illness is more common than we think. It is also a normal part of life. Anyone can become mentally ill at any stage of life. People living with mental illnesses often feel ashamed. It's up to all of us to make sure they do not have to feel this way.
After injuring my spinal cord in 2004 I had to learn many different things about managing my new condition. I had to teach myself about medicines and carers. Sometimes this felt difficult but it was important. I wanted to understand these things in my new life as quickly as possible so I could start enjoying the world again. During my research into spinal cord injury I also came across many stories and articles about cures. I read many articles but then decided it was more important to rebuild my life and worry about a cure later on.
I recently went to the hospital because I had a flare up of my medical condition. I had to spend some time in the emergency department. I was given medicine to help relieve the pain. The doctors admitted me to the surgical ward for two days. I was interviewed and examined by a lot of people. Many of the doctors had not seen my condition before. I was asked many questions. I found it annoying. When the pain settled down, the doctors were happy to send me home. I learned hospitals can be boring places.
When doctors could not explain why I had ongoing back pain I searched the internet for answers. I found a huge amount of information on the internet. I met others on the internet with unexplained pain. They were looking for answers too. But answers were hard to find on the internet. My search went on for years. Some of my family and friends became worried about me. I later found better things to do. But I do not feel my searching was all bad. I learned about many fascinating ideas that encouraged a desire to learn.