The past few months have been very,
very busy, but for the first time in years, it’s mostly been for
positive reasons.

It’s been a long hard road, but after a
year of unstable housing, one real estate agent finally took a chance
on me, and now I have a place of my own for the first time ever!

At the end of August, one of the units
I’d applied for finally gave me approval, after endless unsuccessful

No one had ever bothered to even call my
references before. Whether is was the fact that I’m on disability
pension, have no rental history, or own a cat – or a combination of
the three – they all took one look at my application and binned it. There’s so few rentals available for so many people who need them, and I’m not exactly an ideal candidate compared to others.

Just a week after looking at the unit,
I got a call saying that my application had been successful. I went
in to sign the lease that afternoon, and two days later, I picked up
my keys and went to look at my home
for the first time ever.

though it was empty, it was lovely. Since it would be five days
before the movers could get my things out of storage, I was planning
to still sleep at the refuge, but go to my place during the day. I
took Misty with me, just to try to get her used to a new environment,
thinking she might take a while to adapt. But she and I were both so
comfortable and at peace with our new home, that I slept on
the floor with blankets and pillows for those five nights. It was
just too depressing to think of going back to the refuge, so I only
went back a few times to pack and clean.

living in such terrible conditions, this place feels like a palace.
Don’t get me wrong – I had no other options for the past year, and
I do appreciate being able to stay there. All I can say is that I’m
relieved to be out of such a toxic environment.

bonus to having my own place, is having a kitchen of my own. I don’t
feel self-conscious like I did in the refuge. There’s no one to stare
or ask questions about what I’m cooking or why I use the scales to
weigh every morsel of food, no one to judge or interfere. I can feel
comfortable knowing that there’s just me. I’ve even started a little
herb garden on my kitchen windowsill, which I’m very excited about for when they’re fully grown.

As far
as drinking goes, the less said about that, the better. I’m drinking
less standard drinks per day since I’ve moved, but I’ve only had
three days off in three months (and all three of those days were in
the past month). I was on a bender the months before and after
moving. Before moving, it was dealing with the stress, depression,
and drama. After moving, it’s been just wanting to relax, and being
overwhelmed with having so many things to do. I had
77 days drinking
in a row, which I think might be the longest bender I’ve had.

I need
to get back to having at least a few days off each week, but it’s a
struggle at the moment. I’m having trouble breaking the habit. If I
am trying to have a
day off drinking, I need to hide in bed with my meds and go into
lockdown, blocking out the world, to avoid a potential trigger. The
hardest part is trying to distract myself from the things I need
to/should be doing, and stressing out because it makes me feel lazy.

only reason I’m even trying to have days off is because of the
calories and weight. I was at a 50/50 ratio of days drinking vs days
off for quite a while, but as the stress at the refuge built, 50/50
became three days off a week, then two, then one, then zero.

the most part, the majority of my intake calories come from alcohol.
My food intake still averages around 600, whether I’m drinking or
not, but alcohol is usually anywhere between 1,000-1,500. I hate it,
but it’s so hard to get back on track. I don’t even drink sugary or
fatty drinks – it’s all just vodka and wine.

the extra alcohol calories, I’m working my butt off to try to burn
them off. I rarely get more than halfway through the alcohol
calories, but it’s enough to keep my weight stable instead of
gaining. But I’m so disgusted in myself. I lost 5kg at the start of
the year, but after a few months, things started to get worse at the
refuge, and so I began drinking more and more.

When I
was at the refuge, they had an exercise bike sitting unused in a
storage area. I’d asked if I could borrow it while I was there, and
was told I could take it with me when I left. The computer on it
doesn’t work, so I just figure out a rough burn by time/steps/heart rate, but for now, I’m happy with it. I’m also trying to get out for
walks with one of my support workers, as part of my exposure therapy
for agoraphobia. She brings her two little dogs with her, and we walk
at a quiet part of the river.

from that, I’m not getting out much. I am doing click-and-collect
orders for some of my groceries, which my support worker takes me to
get. After increased rent and all the new bills and utilities, I’m
struggling to afford more than the most basic groceries, let alone

I see
my support workers six days a week, for two hours a day. A lot of it
is just to give me some routine and make sure I’m okay. It gives me
someone to talk to if I need to, and just having someone check in on
me each day has been really helpful. But they can also help with
things like picking up groceries, taking me to appointments, and
general things I might need help with or want to do.

isn’t perfect. I’m still dealing with the same issues I was last
year, but I don’t have to deal with the stress and drama of living in
a refuge. It gives me a degree of feeling calm and content, living in
my own place.

taking a while to learn how to run a house and be a real adult, but
I’m getting there, slowly but surely. I’m just trying to find some
semblance of routine again. For the past year, I’ve just been getting
through the days, but now I want to have things to fill them –
journaling and blogging being one of those things.

I’ve had no motivation to write, or
even communicate with the outside world beyond my team, recently, and
I really need to get back on that. So by the time I get around to
needing to blog, so much has happened that I didn’t know where to
start, and it was just too overwhelming. It might still be a slow
process while I finish unpacking, but hopefully you’ll start seeing
regular posts from me again soon.

It seems like I’ve barely even had time to read blogs, with the insanity that has been the past year, and I feel so disconnected, but it’s time to change that and get back to being a regular member of the community, which slipped away as my housing situation grew increasingly worse over the past 18 months. I’d had no energy or motivation to do anything, but now that I’ve got stable and safe accommodation, that’s starting to return.

I’m sorry I’ve fallen off the grid. But I love you all, and I’m sorry I let things slip so far for so long.

For now, I’m off to start a long
overdue catch-up on everyone’s blogs.

Misty is loving having huge windows to sit and watch the world go by. 

Without a courtyard, she can’t roam in and out as she pleases, 

but she’s adapting well. I take her outside in her harness when 

it’s quiet outside, as my street can get very busy and loud, 

but she seems content just snoozing on the windowsill. 

I have most things set up and unpacked. The only things 

left are half a dozen random boxes, and my sewing room. 

When it’s all done and looking nice, I promise I’ll post some photos.



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