Guest Post Sunday – Sawhole

SawHole has been my friend for over 20 years. When she was visiting a few weeks ago, my kids asked her why her name was SawHole, and not her name given to her at birth, which is actually Lisa.

Horatio thought it might have had something to do with her butt… BUT, he was wrong.

SawHole’s name came about because as a teenager, she worked at a cafe in her home town of Lithgow. Her boss was a European fella who used to yell at her a lot.

“LEEEE-SAW!” He would bellow “LEEE-SAW! LEEE-SAW MORE SPOONS LEEE-SAW!”

So LEEE-SAW because SAWIE which over the years turned into SAW-HOLE. She is a terrific writer, an ex-jounro and, if let off the chain, can be slightly feral and ranty. Which is why I love her, and have let her take over WoogsWorld for the day. Follow her on twitter at @SawHole. And you should.

She has a passionate and loud dislike for morons in general. And is a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness.

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The night before fashion designer L’Wren Scott took her own life, she held at dinner party.

Everyone at that event remarked later that they saw no sign of her inner turmoil.

But I get it because that’s exactly the kind of thing I would do.

I could win an Oscar for Best Actress in a Mental Health melodrama. In fact, I am so good at putting on a show that I can do a TV interview and then later that day cry my eyes out to my psychiatrist because my meds weren’t working AGAIN.

I have been sick for many years and trust me my undisguised mental illness was agony. But still most people thought I was okay. A bit odd, perhaps, verging on the inappropriate at times but still okay. Certainly a drama queen but okay.

Behind this facade were the panic attacks, the insomnia and the suicidal thoughts. I had to fight them every single day.

One foot on front of the other. I did not know what was wrong, so how could anyone else?

Since I have sought and obtained medical health treatment, I am sure many who know me think I am now okay. But I have to fight this every single day. One foot in front of the other. It will always be with me.

The public picture of mental health recovery goes like this – you have a problem, friends and family rally, you find the right doctor the first time and the right treatment the first time. You try yoga and have epiphanies.

The reality has been different for myself and countless others. We are not okay.

Nothing good has come out of my illness, except that I am less of an asshole. It’s amazing what a difference the right meds can make.

Mental health is a shit fight. A battle. It’s not because we don’t try, or don’t want to get well or have a stable job. It’s because we can’t.

This shit is always with us.

If people started thinking of mental illness like any other illness there would be more empathy and understanding.

You can still have bad days. It comes back when you least expect it. Your recovery is not a Pfizer-sponsored movie. It is hard and you are fallible. And sometimes you are still an asshole.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, it is estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety. – Beyond Blue

Visit Beyond Blue Here.