Kids Alive – Do the Five

The year was 1988. Hawaiian shirts complemented with sport coats with stitched look were in fashion. It was also the year Kids Alive – Do the Five water safety program was born. This isn’t a post about water or fashion though rather it’s my motto for ensuring I let people help me.

Today I’m going to introduce you to the five people in my life that I couldn’t have done the last few months without.

 Mr Pitt-wiggler aka my husband
Michael is a pretty special person. He supports, challenges and stands beside me through the up, down, sideways rollercoaster I am. He is my personal cheerleader (while writing this I have visions of Pittman in a cheerleading costume and pig tails in his beard).

He sees beauty and grace, as well as my darkness and faults. He sees me for the person I am and the amazing one that he knows is truly capable of becoming, even if I don’t believe it. He loves me. Unconditionally. And that’s really all that matters.

I sometimes get nervous telling him things and have been known to keep secrets from him because of fear that he’ll be angry, disappointed and point out the reasons that what I’m doing is hurtful to myself. It’s a slow road but I’m trusting him more with this type of stuff.

Dr Hayley
Often you hear of GP’s going that extra mile for their patients but never have I experienced this until I met Hayley. I trust her and will tell her things I won’t tell anyone else. I have a strong attachment to her and constantly worry something will happen to her. She is a major player in the kids alive – do the five Abby campaign. I’ve pushed her away and thrown every obstacle in front of her but she has never given up on me. She has the warmest personality and smile to go with it.

She is clumsy but never forgets anything I tell her … it’s not always a good thing. I tell her that she can pretend to listen and make a shopping list in her head of the groceries she needs but she is always there with a sympathetic ear and good advice.

She is overseas on holidays for two months and I miss her terribly. Before going I gave her the lecture of staying safe, not falling in love over there and coming back to me. Sometimes I just go and see her to talk. It’s a bit pathetic but I view her as a friend. I know she isn’t. The whole paying her to be closed in a room with me kind of breaks down that for me.

Nesh aka Willy Wonka
Nesh was my last ditch effort to find a psychologist that wasn’t an idiot. They tend to be fairly cookie cutter to me and I find that I am able to control the session way more than I should. It helps to have someone who is considerably smarter than me and actually can challenge me.

This is why I call him Willy Wonka. I can’t predict what he is going to suggest or how he’ll package it up. I never know what he is going to draw on his whiteboard to help me understand something. He is smart. Not many psychologists can be described this way. He wants to help me. He understands me and he knows how to get through the stubborn layer of that-isn’t-going-to-work guard that I wear around like armour. Why go to therapy if you aren’t going to listen and implement the strategies.

He has his little quirks too that I like. He does what I call ‘jazz hands’. Whenever he is saying goodbye to you he raises both hands to wave. It’s both special and strange at the same time. He also has a strange shaped head. We have also become closer since seizure number 2 when I had it in his office. He was so awesome that day even though it freaked him out. He handled the drunk-like I-don’t-know-what-my-hands-are Abby extremely well. Seizures, bringing people closer.

Suz aka Suzy Q
Suzy Q is my workplace manager. I can’t even find the words to describe how beautiful this woman’s soul is. She has an uber stressful job but takes it in her stride and is always smiling. She has a pragmatic way of dealing with things and has helped me immensely in this department. ‘We just need to break it down’ is what she says. Whenever I’m super stressed five minutes talking it over with Suz and I’m calm again.

I think Suz is so efficient because she runs everywhere. Literally. From her office to the copier is only a few metres but she runs. It was the strangest thing I’d ever seen in the workplace when I first started but now it’s just part of the working day. I work with some quirky and fun people here in the Canberra office.

She hasn’t just helped me professionally but she has been there through the tough times of the last year. She knows about my mental hilariousness (what I’m calling it these days) and has just one motive. To help me achieve what I want to. She is an amazing person and I often look at her and feel jealous that her daughter has such an amazing mother. I wish she was my mum!

Kelsang Drolchog is the woman who has revolutionized my life. I find solace in the guiding words of my spiritual teacher Drolchog (and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso). I came to meet Drolchog soon after I started my course in DBT. One of the biggest points to this therapy is mindfulness. Wanting to gain more control of my mind I looked for extra circular activities in the form of meditation.

Her voice spoke with gentleness and I felt safe and secure. What she was saying made sense. Everybody wants to be happy. I’d never thought about it. I kept going along and it was at my first festival in Melbourne that I decided I wanted to take this further.

Drolchog is a rare and precious jewel to me. I often worry that I don’t appreciate her enough. Without her I wouldn’t have meditation and the Dharma in my life. She reminds me what’s important. I could write all day about the importance of Drolchog in my life.

So, that’s my Kids Alive – Do the Five.


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