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Staying/Getting/Doing Well – Moving goalposts or fixed target?

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi, this is my first post, though I have been reading the forums for some weeks. I’m probably expressing myself badly when I say that I have found reading about other people’s journeys reassuring. Finding a community of people who “get it” even when they have a wide variety of experiences and lives lived is not something I thought I would ever find.

Though people talk about getting well & there is a section Staying Well, I’m curious as to what this actually means to other people and how they manage their expectations. I noticed some people refer to being well as ‘being like themselves before they got ill’, whilst others don’t express an exact aim.

My idea of being well has changed over the years. I was first diagnosed as an 8 year old child back in the late sixties. The doctors told Mum that the voices in my head & the sudden crying bouts were because I suffered from ‘nerves’ & I was given meds to calm me. Of course such things were not discussed back then & I was told not to talk about it to anyone, not my school friends nor siblings, just Mum. For decades after my idea of being well simply meant being able to hide my illness from others.

A number of events in my life caused my illness to worsen, until some years ago I became so ill I needed to be hospitalised for my own safety. This lead to my current diagnosis of Major Depression, Anxiety & PTSD. I’m no longer in that dark place, but each day is still a battle (though I can now believe in a future). For now only my siblings & one friend know about my illness, though some things they still don’t know.
So, what does ‘being well’ mean to me, it is ever moving goalposts. If you had asked me 5 years ago would I be as well as I am now I would have thought it impossible as I couldn’t envision a future. If you had asked me last week (during one of my down periods) I would have said my progress was all an illusion & I was fooling myself that things can get better.
For now my idea of being well is being able to believe that things can change for the better, that I will one day be able to manage the everyday things like housework, caring for myself & caring for my dog & maybe, just maybe I will even be able to enjoy myself.

Paw Prints
**I took the tip to give myself time to write my post by writing on a word doc & then paste it.

884 Replies 884

Hello ER, Grandy, mmMekitty


Thank you all for your lovely supportive posts. My sister rang me today so I asked her & she actually said yes they would come to mine to move the letterbox, she just needs to work out what weekend would suit them. I am much calmer today & thinking a bit more clearly so I'm not so worked up about it all. With her being judgemental, I am telling myself it is just how she is & I will try to let it all go past without getting upset. I hate how these days anything going wrong throws me so badly., though at least I am getting better at calming myself.


ER I didn't even think that there might be an ombudsman, thank you for that suggestion. I will keep it in mind if this new postie causes any other issues as I fear he may. I worry making a complaint might make things worse at this stage.


Big hugs


That's good news, Paws. 

I hadn't realised that there was the Ombudsman for the Australia Post, either. My thanks fo to ER, too. Next time the postie puts a letter for the next street over, I think I know who to contact now! (Complaining at the local Post Office did no good. Get this, they said they were not responsible for where the postie had delivered the mail.)

It's funny, getting so worked up, then realising I can calm myself - not sure how sometimes, but I am more aware now that I know I can. Every time I do is a boost to my confidence that I will be able to next time. Take note, & soon I think you can feel that too.

I wonder, what would happen if your sister begins to say judgemental things, if you interrupted her, saying "Thank you, [sister's name], however, I would compliments". Or about the weather, or something in her own life, maybe? Or "Could we please talk about something else?"

Or maybe, you simply begin talking about something else, as if you didn't hear her, like letting the words drift by, like when doing a mindfulness exercise. You hear the words, & that's all they are, & let them go by, like clouds across the sky... bye-bye.

I'm trying to do that more when I hear people shouting outside. I think it's helping.

Hugzies &schnozbops


Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Paws, MK, Grandy and All,


I just thought I'd mention that it is the Commonwealth Ombudsman that deals with a variety of things, but postal service issues is one of them according to their website. But it sounds like you may have things under control. MK, that is a classic, that the very service that delivers the mail says they are not responsible for where the postie delivers it. It's like living in an alternative universe where nothing makes sense.


Paws, MK has some good suggestions there for dealing with your sister if she makes any critical comments. I struggle to keep on top of things in my home at times and have felt embarrassed when someone else visits. But I'm gradually learning to think if they don't like it, it isn't my problem. I remember when I was looking after my Mum and living with her in the final months of her life. My brother came to visit and upon leaving said, "Next time I visit I expect it to be spotless." Of course he was doing nothing to care for Mum and just shows up briefly, criticises and then leaves. I was lost for words then but I'm more feisty now and he would get some very choice words back at him if he made such a comment now. I think because I've reached my tolerance limit for such comments. I think for those of us with daily struggles, just getting through the basic daily tasks is quite a challenge. If it makes you feel any better, my lounge area and the room I'm sitting in now are quite a jumble of things all over the place. I think we can only do our best and it's so important to be gentle on ourselves.


You and Woofa take care,


Hello mmMekitty, ER & Grandy,


My sister & her hubby came yesterday & he moved the letterbox for me. She didn't say anything judgemental, but by the look on her face as she looked about I'm sure she will be telling everyone how "bad" my housekeeping is. I tried to keep the conversation on her kids & grandkids so I think that helped. She did criticise my neighbour for churning up my verge area by driving his tractor over it. It is silly, but I had no problem standing up for my neighbour with her & yet I struggle standing up for me. 














Dear Paws,


 I understand very well what you mean about being able to stick up for someone else but finding it hard to do for yourself. I have been like that my whole life. I am only now just beginning to speak up for myself. I think I got pushed so far it finally got to a point I could do it. But also I think working with my psychologist has helped me because just having someone else witness your experiences and be empathetic towards them and care about supporting you can be enough to turn the tide. It’s like I don’t feel so alone now and it helps me find my voice.


Your sister’s judgemental attitude reminds me of my brother’s partner. The last comment she ever made to me (I no longer have contact with her) when she and my brother dropped me home was, “that tree needs pruning.” She has to constantly bully, dominate and find fault. This came shortly after she’d been really abusive to me and I was still in a state of shock so incapable of a response anyway. But she’d cop it from me now.


So I think something can shift in you and it is possible to develop that inner fight where you effectively go, “Grrrr, back off.” I wonder if you imagine being Woofa in offensive bark mode would help? He sounds a gentle soul so I don’t know if that would work or not. So perhaps an animal in the wild defending itself. It’s got that primal for me where it’s quite instinctive now. I actually get a bit fierce. I’m never going to behave horribly to anyone, but I get this fierce energy and it’s almost like I don’t have to say much at all. They just energetically get it and back off. This is a new experience for me and it feels very empowering and reduces stress in my life a lot. I feel more free, confident and safe.


 I think it can get to a point where you are no longer impacted by others judging things like your housekeeping. It’s just a bit hard getting there sometimes, especially when it’s from family who we want to support us and be kind and loving. A few months ago I visited a friend who’s even more disorganised than me and I felt so at home in her place with stuff everywhere. People are her priority, not things or superficial impressions. She is a really kind soul with a big heart. So lovely people exist who most definitely would not judge you on your housekeeping.


I’m really glad the letterbox is moved now anyway. It is a stress removed. I hope you have a lovely week Paws. Take care and best wishes, ER

Hello Paws, Eagle Ray and to all,


I drop by and have a read here now and then. People's opinions, beliefs and thoughts are interesting. I don't know why some people think they have a freedom to say what ever they want and not consider other people's feelings. I wonder if some people are just unaware of how much their words hurt or maybe they just don't care!


Stranding up for ourselves is not always easy is it especially so when we feel like we have been shut down, stomped on and berated in the past for having any kind of self expression let alone standing up for ourselves. I am trying to do that more for myself now.


A healthy self image is important, manifesting that can take a bit of effort and energy and some days it might not be attainable.


I've read a few comments in different places about housekeeping skills. We all have different abilities and values. I have been criticised for my home being too tidy and I didn't even consider that was the case, as compared to some of my friends, out home is messy and not pristine clean. 


I would like visitors to our home to feel welcome. We had people coming with a small child so I brought out all the toys and had them rugs and cushions on the floor along with the little table and chairs previous children had played with. When the parents arrived they stated they felt welcome to bring their child to our home. My husband was not impressed with what he thought was a bit of mess. 


May we all have a good day, enjoy our homes and the comfort they provide and may people always feel welcome to visit. 




Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Paws, Ray, Dools and everyone….🤗..


Paws, many times I’ve felt ashamed of my housekeeping…If I knew someone was coming I would do a quick clean…even that didn’t help, my house still looked like a tornado went through it….


You know Paws, we live alone, we are responsible to ourselves and our fur children, no one else at all…Many times, even today, right now I’m too down to be bothered to even wash up last nights dinner dishes…so I’m sitting outside…My house is never spotless, nor dust free or not that tidy  and I’m okay with that now….. I live here 24/7 x365 days….anyone that visits, be it family or friends are only there fo a day or two…if they judge me/you for that, then it’s there bad…Just say your sister did tell others that your house keeping is not up to her standards...maybe, well, more likely those people if she did tell….would probably think your sister is too judgmental and disrespectful towards you, by not keeping it to herself how she feels….




Your home / my home / everyone’s home is their very own sanctuary, a place to relax and be ourselves…not to please the occasional visitor…


Im so happy for you that your brother in law did move your letterbox, that was so kind of him to do that…


My kind thoughts, with my love and a big but gentle hug..💕🤗🦎




Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Grandy, Dools, ER & mmMekitty,


Woofa has been having some days where he is struggling with getting up or down & a bit wonky when walking. Then he comes good for a few days & just as I start to relax he has another bad day. That with his confusion & failing vision has had me worrying. He is still happy in himself mostly & eating well etc so it is just something we must manage for now. 


With all that he was struggling to get up on my bed at night (I have blocked him off it during the day). He has a dog bed by the window in my room, which he sometimes chooses to spend the night on. But he has been mostly failing to get up on my bed this past week or so & then he's been coming over to my side & does the "sad puppy eyes" look at me as if to say help me. You will all think me mad (but I don't mind). I am intending to put my bed on its side against the wall & then have my mattress on the floor so he can easily come up beside me at night. I'm being a big softy now he is so old & he seems to know it, so when I work out how to tip my bed over without dropping it on my foot or putting it through the wall over it will go. Then I just have to work out how to get myself up & down off the mattress. I think I can put it under the heading of daily exercise as these days I find getting down ok but getting back up of the floor is "interesting" to say the least. 




Hi Paws, Grandy & everyone

I just wanted to mention, getting up off the floor is difficult for me, too. Often I use my chair for assistance. I have my chair near me when I first get down onto the floor, (usually looking for something I dropped), then when, hopefullly I have found my lost thing, I knee walk to my chair & rest my forearms (so I don't hurt my hands - arthritis), & push up from there, reaching up to the armrests, or my desk, as I go.

My other method is to get my feet under me, & put my hands (fisted) on the floor & push my bum up - a most undignified posture, I'm sure, but sometimes that works, too.

I do some squat exercises, but I'm not doing well enough to get up from a deep squat, without falling back or feeling like I simply don't have strength to lift my own weight like that.


I used to have a matress on the floor all the time,up until the mid 1990's, with the exceptional times when the place I rented had a bed. Of-course it didn't bother me when I was younger & not so heavy, with no arthritis or back pain... those days may be past me, now... but maybe I can get my body strong enough to lift my own weight from the floor or to do chin-ups.

Last time before I had a bed of my own, getting up from the floor was noticibly more difficult, as I recall, thinking of how to manage getting up without falling over. (My balance isn'st so good either).

I had someone once suggest to me to get a Hi-Lo bed. It's a bed that can be raised & lowered. They are intended for people who have difficulty getting in & out of bed. I know, it's money, so you might give having your mattress on the floor. I hope it's not a very thin mattress, though, so it won't end up too hard underneath you.

I hope you can work out a solution for both Woofa & you.

Hugzies & schnozbops


Dear Patches and All,


 I totally understand wanting to get down at the same level as Woofa so he can sleep beside you. He sounds like the most lovely doggy. Take care with moving the bed. I don’t know if there is anyone who could help move it? I’m thinking having something next to you when you get up off the floor might help that you can lean on, like MK describes. Sending best wishes to you and Woofa 🤗🐶