Category Archives: Uncategorized

From beyond the grave

About time for a blog boast

Well, my sincerest apologies for the lack of blogging. Quite a lot has been happening, and a lot of nothing as well. Now I’m back, after the stresses of moving, we’re settled in, and my anxiety seems to be somewhat under control, but I don’t want to jinx myself.

I’m making steps, as my doctor says…”baby steps, but at least they’re forward”. I have to be proud of myself, since I’ve finally bitten the bullet and booked my driving test. Terrifying but it’s about time. So fingers crossed I can be independent by the end of this year. I’ve also made choices to better myself, and me and Nick are making decisions in our relationship that are exciting.

I think I want to study again, but not until next year, I don’t think I could do it right now. And I’ve even been looking at jobs, scary but I won’t be working in any job I don’t want to just for money. No more sadness. What I choose to do from now on will be for happiness, because why not.

So there’s my brief update. I am not dead. Sorry for the misleading title.


Missing in inaction

*brushes dust off the keyboard* argh, now how do I use this thing?



Not even half way through 2014 and it is already feeling like a year that will be full of changes, good and bad. From January, where I left my job because of my anxiety, February when we got our mischievous little ferret, March when I had to begin seeing the psychologist, and now April. April has been interesting, even though it’s only the 10th. I’ve booked Franco in to get fixed, which makes me feel terrible because he’s such a tiny animal, however I’ll be relieved when he’s no longer aggressive and mean so that we can have cuddles all the time. We have made the decision to move home with my Mum when our lease ends so that we can save up for the wedding, which we otherwise would have a lot of trouble doing, considering we’ve picked a date of October 24th, 2015. Plus we can now save for a Canada trip at the end of the year, very exciting to meet my mother in law and see the amazing country she lives in. So my days have and will continue to be full of sorting, throwing out, and packing. And now for a moment of boasting, I have chucked a LOT! of my old clothes, which is amazing because I’m pretty much a borderline hoarder. A friend has had a baby, another is due later this year, as well as my sister-in-law. And I’ve decided there are things that I can do, and change, that will make me happier and more self-confident, and that’s a very nice feeling.

Then the rest of the year is filled up, moving in May, road trip in June, 21st in July/1 year since Nicholas ever so cutely proposed to me, August/September – babies!, October/November…not much to be honest, but December is Canada! I think I pretty much HAVE to be positive because there’s so much this year that will go well, fingers crossed, so if I don’t start feeling better, then my mind is seriously messed up.

What a self-centred post.



You love it.




All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014.

Never fear, dysfunction is here

Actually, no, you should probably fear. But hi again. For a while there my brain stopped working, and the only words I could possibly have blogged would’ve been errr derrrrrrppp hurrrrr durrr blerghghghgh, so just be glad I didn’t do that.

To update you on the struggles of an anxious woman (hah, little girl more like), I am having very ridiculous days of adjusting to a new dosage of medication, appointments here there and everywhere with a doctor, psychologist and now a disability provider, which I am forced into by the lovely people at Centrelink, who make me want to stab myself in the eye with a blunt, rusting pair of scissors whenever I have to deal with them. Thankfully everyone else is understanding, just not the people that I unfortunately have to rely on to give me income until I can work without bursting into tears and falling to a melty pile of depression on the floor.

To cope, and feed my never-ending abyss of a stomach, I have started cooking delicious things when I can be bothered. It’s nice that no matter what I cook, Nick always compliments me, whether that’s because he loves me and wants to me nice, or because he genuinely is happy with anything even vaguely resembling food being in his mouth, I don’t really mind. I’m starting to experiment, to find recipes that have a lot of steps and attempting things. Banana bread topped with honey covered mixed nuts, brownie with chocolate ganache and vanilla cream, lots of stir frys, sauces, pork dishes, it’s a really delicious hobby. Although now I have to remember to go to the gym if I’m going to be eating things like chocolate covered raspberries. Maybe now I can start putting up photos and recipes of my food, like everybody on Instagram.

This month will be a hectic month, so I will apologize in advance for any lack of posting, since I have many appointments, have to get sorted to move out, pack and throw out stuff, get Franco fixed so he’s not a rude a**hole, and cook fattening desserts every night. Yuuuuuuum.



All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014.

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Mind over (nothing) matter(s)

Late night blog about feelings, I bet you totally want to keep reading now.

So here I am, lying in bed next to my absolutely gorgeous, snoozing fiancé, thinking about stuff instead of getting some rest. As I have previously mentioned, some days are really great, and once you get a reminder of normalcy, feeling anxious and sad again seems all the more awful. Thursday and Friday were so good, I felt energetic, productive, and didn’t have constant doubtful thoughts. Then something snapped on Saturday, and whilst driving with Nick (sleepy husband), had to pull over and switch, not without first having a cry in the middle of a suburban street. Thankfully he hugged me instead of driving away in embarrassment which I am very grateful for. Since then I have been back to my old self, and I just really hate it.

It’s frustrating to have a terrible sleeping pattern, to either eat everything in the house or nothing all day, to want to cry and then scream and then nap in the middle of the day. It’s irritating to know that you know hygiene is a necessity in modern-day society, and the apartment really needs cleaning, and you do have friends and people who are there for you, but instead your brain makes you feel like it’s fine, it doesn’t smell that bed in here, you’re hair doesn’t look that greasy, who cares, nobody wants to be around you anyway. That’s definitely something I hate, feeling like I have nobody to talk to, especially now, when it’s 11 at night and my brain won’t let me sleep. People that are paid to listen to me don’t count. As a side note, I do want to specify that my sleeping beauty listens to me and is always there, but I have to let him rest sometimes, so that’s why I’m turning to you WordPress. This post is a true reflection of the dysfunction.

Maybe eventually I’ll have good days every day, not twice then they disappear. Before that happened I was wondering if really I felt that bad, and if I was fine now, but to see the contrast, it’s like a very very….not fine line at all. Completely black and white. Here I’ll show you with a trusty old paint illustration.


^ This one here is happiness. When I am happy, it’s like overwhelming, hyper, vomiting rainbows happiness. And yes I used ROYGBIV to remember the colours of the rainbow.

The image on the right is every other day where I don’t want to leave the house, and I’m in a box of wanting absolutely nothing to do with anything.

I hope my beautiful piece of 90’s paintwork illustrates accurately to you, my humble readers, what it’s like to be so used to feeling like nope that you forget how great rainbows are. Although I do appreciate that my cartoon makes it look like I take drugs and then have really bad come downs or withdrawals, but alas that is not the case. The kind of medication I take certainly does not make me puke colours (I wish). Only copious alcohol consumption and a packet of skittles does that.

So fingers crossed that tomorrow can at least be marginally better than the last three days, specifically no crying in the middle of roads. Or at all. An average, eventless day would be very welcome. I’ll think of something a bit more upbeat to report back with, maybe we can talk about The Walking Dead, because it’s getting crayyyyyyyyyyyy.

Goodnight people who care x




All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014.

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The Diary of Anne Franxious

Anxiety is just terrible. But sometimes you have a good day, and it seems even more amazing because the rest of the time you feel like a butt. So what I assume is just a regular day for normal people is like everything in the world has aligned and magic exists for me. Possible over exaggeration but still, you get the point.

So yesterday, instead of getting out of bed and immediately going to lay on the couch to eat cheese and watch movies, I did productive things, and so many of them. It seems like things are looking up, and I don’t want to jinx myself, but at least for a couple of days I’m feeling excited and happy.

On a grumpy note, I’m sick of people undermining my choices in regards to my education. Stop laughing and saying “English Degree! What are you gonna do with that?!”….I dunno, I could do lots of things. What are you gonna do with your lack of brain cells? Probably not much I’m assuming. Having a degree in English doesn’t mean I’ve dedicated my uni life to learning how 2 spek reel gud. To the people that laugh and say “we all speak it, why did you need to study it?”…I’m sorry to hear about your mental retardation. Stop being such a close minded loser. I can do journalism, things in the media, be an author, be a teacher, pretty much whatever I damn well like, which is better than your 9-5 retail job. Unless you are Sheldon freakin’ Cooper, you are not allowed to undermine my English Degree, I got it, I did it, and I get to be boastful and proud as long as I want.

But back to the happiness, I have a lot of things to look forward to at the moment, so hopefully my brain continues letting me look forward to them.


stay classy



All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014.

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I wrote this yesterday but forgot to post it

First item on the agenda, I am so very muchly looking forward to cold weather. I cannot deal with the heat, I melt like the wicked witch of the west. Even slightly cool days are exciting for me, I get to start wearing jeans and cute jackets and scarfs and beanies again, oh beanies, I’ve missed your warm, woollen presence on my head.

Second item, old people are very interesting. I visited my nanna today (Nanny), and she is the type of grandparent that loves to talk, she is delightful and sweet and cute as a button. So she was telling us about her childhood, how she would have to get up before school and milk the cows at the age of 8. How she got bucked off a pony and landed in some rocks and broke her tailbone. And she imitated her Greek mother, always hilarious. Sometimes I forgot that older people have really great stories that it’s worth asking about and taking time to listen to. I can’t even compare a part of my childhood to hers, getting up to do chores before school, and not just sweeping the house, but milking cows and doing work around the farm. Then her mother would make milk, and butter, and cream. Her father would kill pigs and they’d make sausages, and use one of the bedrooms to hang them up. Grandparents, share with us your wisdom and funny stories.

Third item, I’m in a weird mood today. Half motivated, half listening to Fall Out Boy and thinking every lyric is speaking to me, am I 15 again? I have decided that since I’m a fatty (I’m not, just none of my clothes fit anymore, weird) I’m going to go through my giant, stuffed, unorganized wardrobe and get rid of things because…I’m not going to wear the 10 pairs of pants I own that won’t go over my thighs anymore. Yeah me, organization, logic, woo.

Other words that describe my last few days:

Franco sucks. Walking Dead. Wedding. Board Games. Wine.





All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014

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One does not simply get married

So Wedding mode has switched itself on, I’ve picked a (possible) date, and can now actually start thinking of venues, colours, dresses, suits, etc. It is terrific fun but also quite terrifying and at times I feel lost in a sea of love, in a kind of sickening way, not a nice, I’m drowning in rose petals way. So here I am at square one, utilising what I can in terms of websites, apps and magazines to find out what square one actually is. Hours of trawling through Pinterest wedding boards, and wedding planning sites like EasyWeddings have helped but also hindered because now I feel overwhelmed and have way too many ideas that I must must must condense into some kind of coherent, classy, unique style. The rundown of things I have sorted out goes as follows:

–          Nothing.

I suppose that guest list, budget and style/theme are good places to start, so I’m roughly jotting down ideas, and the names of people I like (nobody….kidding!). There is a reception venue I love so hopefully that will work out, and it also has a maximum capacity so that gives me something to work with for guest list so I don’t just invite everybody I’ve ever met because I think that’s nice.

If anybody reading this has any opinions, suggestions, resources or anything to do with any aspect of weddings, please do share.

On a non-wedding note, tiny baby Franco is rapidly growing into middle-sized a**hole Franco, but that’s ok, he can bite me all he likes, but I have allllllll the power. You want food and your man-ness still attached to your body? Watch yourself.

Also OUTRAGE! LEONARDO DICAPRIO DID NOT WIN AN OSCAR YET AGAIN. I KNOW THIS IS A BIT LATE BUT I HAVE JUST SPENT THE LAST FEW DAYS BEING ANGRY ABOUT IT. And also going through websites entirely dedicated to posting memes about it. The best.

I promise to write more, and I will continue to annoy you with my love and share wedding thoughts. Eep.






All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014.

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Oh look, it’s quarter past rant.



Okay. Rant time. When a celebrity or tv personality dies or commits suicide, the rule is that you have to have given a toss about them prior to it happening, you can’t just care afterwards. And this is sparked mostly by Charlotte Dawson’s death. Going to be honest, pretty much don’t know her, never watched anything with her, and therefore am not on Facebook talking about how upset I am by it. Philip Seymour Hoffman on the other hand, I love his work, and so was genuinely saddened by his passing. That is the rule, just so everybody knows. If you liked her for something she had done, then I am not aiming this at you, that is totally fine, you can be shocked or upset, or whatever you want, but if you had no idea who she was before, you don’t get to say something “heartwarming” on Facebook for attention.

Events like her death start conversations that suggest it was the fault of cyber bullying, social media abuse, but no…that contributed to it, surely, it’s never nice to see someone saying awful things about you whether directly or indirectly, but it was the underlying mental illnesses. I understand that for a celebrity it’s to a more concentrated degree, constant, anonymous, from all angles, but I don’t want people to use this as another spark for a giant media firestorm about cyber bullying, because…you know, turn your computer off, get off social media, block people, ignore it, just don’t give a crap what lifeless idiots have to say about you when they don’t even know you. Easier said than done as are most things, but I think it’s good advice to remember. And yes, this is coming from someone who has been abused over the internet.

What is important is focusing on mental health. I feel like there’s still a lot of people that either don’t know much about illnesses like depression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, and so on, but also people that do not consider them to really be illnesses but simply something sufferers need to “get over”. Feeling upset and having a continuing, debilitating mental condition are not the same thing. It’s normal to feel emotions in reaction to certain situations, but when it becomes abnormal, you have a problem. If anything is to come from celebrity deaths, and I guess others, which are usually teenagers on Twitter, that are publicised, is that mental health is a serious concern. I know there are many organizations and efforts that go towards helping people cope, finding them professional assistance, giving suggestions to loved ones on how to care for these individuals, self-help forums, and specific websites and phone lines for youth, the elderly, the disabled, etc. There are resources out there, but maybe highlighting them and approaching the topic from a different point of view will work more effectively.

If someone dies, whether famous or not, and the cause of which is a mental health issue, do not just post a status about it, ask people you know if they are okay, especially if you know people that suffer from depression, anxiety, phobias, compulsive disorders, check that they are doing alright, offer your support. Even just saying, I am here for you whenever you need (and meaning it) can mean the world, you don’t always need to talk it out with them. But make sure you don’t just post a generic status about your view on mental health. Don’t say to all my friends and family I love you, I hope you are all ok, if you could say that same thing to specific people that might really need it. R U OK day (an initiative towards creating awareness around mental health) should be every day. And I’m not trying to be a dictator, I’m not saying…”right now go and ask every person you know if they’re feeling ok, if they need help”, I’m just saying, statuses and reminders to the whole are good, but so is dropping a line to certain people, especially if you know they’re in a time of need. And to anybody who has a mental health issue, remember that you are allowed to tell people, and ask for help. Doctors, psychologists, friends, family, partners, the internet! There are so many good forums to go onto and chat with people that will understand where you are coming from. It’s not easy, at least from personal experience, but it’s beneficial.

So to anybody reading this, are you okay?

Have you asked someone else that same question today?

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To some degree

I know, I know. Where have I been? Gallivanting around the countryside I’d like to say, alas it is not true. The last couple of weeks have been fairly unpleasant, and without going into morbid, depressing detail, the short of it is that there was a death in the family. Now that’s always a sad occasion, but especially so when the person was one of the most lovely, warm, beacons of light ever to shine upon your existence. Cancer is just a massive a-hole. If anyone reading this feels compelled to do so, look up “Bundy Runners: Wishing for a Cure” on Facebook and like them, and the following is a link to their team page for Relay for Life, they are currently trying to fundraise for this year. This is comprised of some family members that my deepest sympathies and love goes out to right now and forever.



In other news I finally received my beautiful, shiny, pretty Bachelor’s Degree, and now I need to buy the most expensive frame I can find, with gold and silver and diamonds and hang it on my wall. Then proceed to invite everybody I know over to stare at it whilst sipping wine. Ah, classy. But really, I’m feeling a little bit proud of myself now that I finally have it here to look at. Now I just need to do something with my vast knowledge of literature and the English language. Lyk rite a rly gud buk dat wil mayk me munee.



Whilst I brainstorm for award-winning story ideas (I could probably use a few of my dreams about apocalypses and a weird brainwashing island ((if only Lost hadn’t been done yet)), I sit at home with Franco who is rapidly growing into a real boy…I mean, ferret. He’s now just over 3 months, and is bigger, fluffier and cuter than ever. The whole biting thing is confusing, he has stopped just biting you constantly, particularly feet when he’s out of the cage and you’re doing things, but when he’s playing, he has started being completely psychotic about biting. So it’s time to install some new disciplinary measures. Mainly just scruffing, but we’ve also discovered he hates getting his tail wet, so that’s a good trick up my sleeve. Speaking of water, he loves it, aside from the tail thing, if it’s a hot day I will fill up a little container with water and he dunks his whole head and front legs in. Very adorable. Will try to get a video as photos are pretty impossible with a creature that moves so fast.


Other quick updates are that our lease is up in 2 months and we’re looking for a nicer place to live; I am hopefully going on a road trip holiday in June, woo; and in true dysfunctional form I have my first ever appointment with a real psychologist on March 6th, not exciting at all. Hopefully in the latter half of next week I’ll be in a pleasant mood and will be back here ranting about wedding plans, Canada trips and feeling not like a bag of wet rice. Here’s to the future, cheers *clinks wine glass at 11am* (joking, not an alcoholic…yet….ha…hhhaaaa)



Ily internet, you are my life source



All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014.

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If this blog was a picture it would be a terrible one

So exhausted and frustrated and argh.

Tomorrow I have to deal with the hell that is Centrelink because after no longer being employed due to medical reasons, I was given an unfit to work certificate from my GP and she said to go to Centrelink and get a payment. But it’s never that easy. I went in once, which was absolutely terrible, I had a panic attack outside, was snappy at a very rude staff member who deserved it, then sat amongst smelly, unwashed people for about 40 minutes until somebody called my name. To be fair she was really lovely, and understood it was difficult for me to be there with my anxiety and other issues, so she organised the claim for payment for me and booked another appointment. I had to go to an interview at a different branch a week later. So I went to that on Monday, and although I was incredibly nervous and worked myself into a panic over it, it wasn’t bad and lasted about 20 minutes. Really all it involved was handing over paper work, answering a couple of questions and sitting there while she entered all the information into the computer. I am now able to get Youth Allowance, but tomorrow I have to attend a Job Capacity Assessment, where a medical professional assesses the impact my condition has on my ability to work or study in a full time role, and if they say I’m fine, then I have to start looking for work and proving it to them or they cancel the payment. I have probably made it worse by looking on the internet and finding multiple cases where people with mental health conditions were treated badly by Centrelink in these assessments and basically told to get over it and start working again. Now I’m terrified, because I don’t want to be assessed, or rejected, or anything at all. I’d rather stay in the house than be at Centrelink at 9 in the morning, ugh. Thanks for being stupid brain.

Then a bunch of other bad stuff has happened so you know.

As a pretty accurate summary of this week so far I’d say I’ve been feeling awful. And I had so much hope at the beginning of the week. Damn.


Sorry to be such a downer, Internet friends. I’ll be happy again tomorrow, I promise.



All original content posted is copyright of Helen Neretlis, A Dose of Dysfunction, 2014 ©




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