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27th December 2010: Happy Holidays

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you all and your families the best for the New Year!

I also hope that any pets out there may’ve also been given a treat or two. Can’t forget our furry, feathered, scaled, shelled (or perhaps even bald) companions. They are family too! 🙂

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Hello,

Gosh, it’s been a while! I am sorry. My Anxiety has been up and down, and I haven’t had any animals in; except perhaps one concussed Rainbow Lorikeet who unfortunately died in an animal hospital over-night a little while back. However, Australia is now about halfway through Winter, so the season for the most calls will be here soon.

I do apologize for my absence. I should really pick a day a week and allocate some time to post on this blog. Just letting you know I am still around, and will hopefully be back posting again soon. 

– Carolbird

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I started writing this blog in the hopes that whomever may read it might understand the plights of Anxiety/ Depression sufferers. I write this blog, hoping I could perhaps help those that are going through the same thing, or something similar. Part of my blog is also dedicated to my work with Fauna Rescue; a respite from my depressive posts. Also to try and help anyone with an interest in animals or who may be trying to look after the same creatures as me- mainly ducks and magpies. This blog is for those with an interest or who is curious about such things.

I can’t be sure what you readers like reading about the most. My work with animals? Or my more personal posts on Anxiety and Depression? Well, I suppose people read different things. Some would call me foolish for writing about such things on the internet, others may thank me for opening up and writing about my experience, trying to help others along the way. Many sufferers find it extremely difficult to talk about it, even with those they trust and are closest to. I was one of those people at one time. I still am in a way. I barely talk about it with anyone. That’s why I write it down.

Now to explain the title of this post. With Anxiety and Depression, some days are harder than others. So I wanted to apologize in advance to my readers if I don’t post for long periods of time. For a lot of the time it’s simply because I don’t really have anything to say. I have no animals in my care at the current time, or nothing much is happening with my Anxiety, etc. Yes, my Anxiety means I get anxious about a lot of things, but you don’t want to hear about it all the time; and this blog isn’t an autobiography. I’m not going to post about everything. Some things are too darn personal, and that would be downright unwise.

Right now, I’m finding things are getting difficult- again, and I am not sure whether my posts will become more frequent or less so- probably the latter. They may be shorter (sigh of relief from you, I’m guessing- I know, my posts are lenghty!)

All I can say is that it can be quite difficult just to write about something, and then press ‘publish’- if you’re feeling like your motivation to write is barely registering. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. But I wanted to do this, and if there is a possibility that it is helping people I’ll keep writing. I would like to know though- what do you readers think of my blog? Do you find it helpful in any way?

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Not too much to say today. So just some quick updates.

Fauna Rescue: Haven’t had many calls lately, but I did get one yesterday. It was to come get a magpie that was flying around in a live theatre. Luckily, the woman called back immediately afterwards saying that the bird had managed to find its own way out.

Anxiety/ Depression: A friend of mine has not spoken to me for about a month, and has not answered my messages. I have seen them online, and- no word. We have had no conflict of any kind that I am aware of- just silence. I am confused about the entire thing at the moment and I hope they answer soon so that we can clear things up. I just hope everything is ok. It’s making me feel rather anxious.

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I have noticed that in my ‘Top Searches’ bar, the words are often “recipe for feeding magpies”. I have a couple of posts that may be helpful. ‘September 12:  Fauna Rescues #14 & 15’ touches on it, and ‘30th October ’09: Another two Magpies, and Feeding Magpies’ has more info on what they are fed whilst in care. To those of you who are interested in learning a little more about them, please visit this helpful and interesting site

http://birdsinbackyards.net/

I often go to this site for quick searches on native birds, their basic information, and also because I like listening to the recordings of bird songs. I like trying to guess a bird by its call 🙂

I’m considering doing one of the surveys on this site. It will be on which birds visit my backyard. Unfortunately I don’t get too many too often that actually come and land in the garden, but there are lots around. Some are more frequent visitors to my home than others.

I seem to live in the middle of a Magpie territory. There appears to be nests in every direction. A family of Australian Magpies are the most often welcome visitors, and every year I see new chicks. Though people in some places are often swooped by these birds, Magpies (like most other birds) will only do so when they feel threatened, and mostly only during breeding season and when they have young around. Basically, they see anyone or anything that comes too close to their nest as a threat and see to it that they chase that threat away from their young.

Just a quick note: Some birds do the opposite. Instead of chasing away the threat, they try to lure the potential predator away from the nest, by making it follow them. Some birds feign lameness to do this.

The Magpies around here, however, are quite friendly. They take little notice of us if we go outside and they are there. Sometimes we even give them some titbits. One female in particular comes right up to you, barely a foot away, while she forages. At one time, I was sitting out the front on the lawn with a couple of Magpie chicks. They weren’t from the same area. One was playing around on the lawn nearby, and one was sitting inside the large cage I had brought them out in. The female Magpie came down to hunt. She heard the cries of the chick in the cage, grabbed some food and tried feeing the chick through the bars. At one stage, she even got into the cage briefly to see the chick, passing barely a few inches from me.

This behaviour has lead my family to believe that it just might be “Maggie”, a chick I looked after about three years ago, before I joined Fauna Rescue. She may recognize a cage from that time. “Maggie” also had a leg injury back then that was healing, but left her with a slight limp. The limp had almost completely gone by the time she was released, but my mum seems to think that this Magpie has the same gait. I can’t be sure if it’s the same bird or not. She was from this area after all, found only a street away, so this clan would be her family. Part of me hopes it is her ‘cause then I’d know that she did indeed survive, and she is now raising a family of her own.

Part of me thinks it isn’t. I remember the day she left. I was outside with “Maggie” when my dad accidentally scared her. She must have caught the wind nicely as she fluttered in fright, because next thing I knew she was up near the fence and then flying over our roof; turning in an arc and out of sight. My dad and I went doorknocking immediately afterwards, asking the neighbours if they had seen a young magpie land in their backyards or nearby, and to let us know if they did. Yes, it was “Maggie’s” area, and, yes, it was possible that she had flown straight back to her nest. But I was still worried because I didn’t believe she was ready for the big world just yet. She couldn’t fly yet when we found her, and she didn’t have a lot of strength in her wings. If she landed in someone’s backyard and a cat or dog came after her, she may not have the wing strength to fly off. I wasn’t even sure at the time whether she would be good at foraging. Unfortunately I can’t remember too well…

…Luckily, at that point, I was keeping a detailed, day-to-day record of how things were going with “Maggie”, as looking after her became my year 12 Community Studies project. It seems she was eating by herself, and starting to warble. She was also making it at least a foot or so off the ground- and it was the plan the let her go from our backyard, as this was her home territory. It was, however, perhaps a little soon for her at the time. I can only hope that it is her that keeps coming back. The female here is certainly beautiful, bold and has character. One of the last times I saw her, she took little notice of me standing there a meter away, jumped up onto a table and got into a rectangular bucket to forage for any scraps in there! I wished I’d had the camera with me at the time. I remember looking on in slight shock that a wild bird would do such a thing! LOL But she’s definitely a protector of her territory. Last time I had four Australian Wood Ducklings around, she would try to charge them, even with me there. 🙂

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Firstly, I’d just like to apologize in advance for any headaches that occur from reading this post…I just hope it makes sense.

Adelaide had a small Earthquake last night. I was sitting at my laptop, listening to music, when I suddenly felt the floor shudder beneath my feet. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was still a little unnerving. After hearing news of earthquakes and disasters in other parts of the world, I was wondering when it was going to happen over here.

I’m feeling down again. For some reason, ‘friendless’ keeps coming to mind; though I do have friends. They may be few, but they’re there. I may only talk to them mostly online, but I call them friends….Only a few of them are actually my age; most of them are older than me; family friends, my sisters’ friends.

I’ve read that depression can come hand in hand with anxiety; they bind together and make things more difficult to deal with. On one hand you have the anxiety; that barrier that keeps popping up whenever you get anxious about something. Your fears, the ‘what ifs’, those crazy thoughts of feared possibilities that aren’t even likely to happen, that chase each other through the mind. These make you need to challenge your own mind; turn negative thoughts into positive ones, challenge the ‘what ifs’…On the other hand you have depression. That feeling of having fallen into a deep, dark hole that then, on the harder days, starts filling up from the pouring rain. That feeling, when nothing seems to be going right, and all the thoughts streaming through your mind seem to be negative; and all your attempts at challenging them feel feeble. That feeling where you don’t feel like doing anything and all you want is to curl up and try to sleep it off.

I don’t know if its depression; I haven’t actually been diagnosed with it, but I do seem to be having a fair few ‘blue days’. I get anxious about something, and then feel rather sad about it afterwards. Sometimes it’s as if I’ve fallen down a hole, and when I try to climb out of the hole; when I try to challenge the anxiety, it starts to rain. Challenging myself to keep my head high and deal gets harder as the walls become more slippery. It’s scary when you’re alone down there, with the thunder up ahead and darkness rolling in. Sometimes all one wants, all one needs, is a friend. Someone to throw down a rope and shout encouraging words; to perhaps climb down and sit with you for a while; someone to help take your mind off your current predicament.

But not everyone will know when you’re in need of help. No one will know you’re down that hole unless you call for assistance. That’s another trouble with Anxiety. Just calling for help can be a challenge. What if they don’t wanna help? What if they can’t? They have problems of their own, why should I bother them? There’s no need to put more on their plate. Slowly all the negative thoughts fill one’s mind until you give up for a while, sit in the dark, cry with the rain, and let the thunder reflect the anger now building up inside you because you failed again. It’s a vicious circle of fear, anger and misery. One is always looking for the hope, the happiness.

I tend to find happiness with nature, with animals. The environment has a sense of wonder to it, and the animals always make me laugh. Fauna Rescue helps me deal. Yes, it can be stressful, and sometimes even a little depressing; but it helps me challenge myself, and it’s worth it. When I look after animals, when I raise them, I feel like I am needed. I have that sense of duty towards them. The animals in my care are my responsibility, and I don’t want to fail them. When the animals are older, and or are released, I feel I have achieved something and it’s all worthwhile.

My message to sufferers out there: I know it’s hard, even I have trouble with it; but if you feel like you’re slipping, if all you’re doing is crying in the dark, asking yourself what is wrong with you; if challenging those negative thoughts is becoming too much of a challenge…please don’t fear asking for help. It’s at those times when you’re feeling too down to even care that all you may need is a fresh look on things. You’ve already tried yourself, so let someone else guide you a little. I realize you may be thinking “this person has NO idea what they’re talking about!” “I can deal with this myself, thank you!” I have thought the same things. I still do sometimes.  I feel I have to deal with this myself (hence me writing it down, getting it all out). I feel I have to prove I can do it. “Everyone else deals with their troubles, and they’re fine!” Well, no not always. They just pretend it’s all fine. Like you and me, they wear a mask when with others. “No need to trouble everyone and cause unnecessary worry and concern. That’s what I *don’t* need!”

One way people deal with things is to share it with others. You never know, those people may know exactly what you’re going through, or at least been through something similar. Think of the saying “A problem shared is a problem halved”. Of course, the very first step towards healing is realizing and accepting the fact that you actually have a problem. I realized it. I accepted it. I’ve taken steps to try and understand it, and now I’m doing my best learn to live with it, perhaps even find a way to challenge myself so that this will never be so debilitating again.

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Had my first actual holiday last weekend. The family talked me into coming with them to Kangaroo Island. I didn’t particularly want to leave my pets, even just for a few days; but I also didn’t want to regret not going. So I went.

It was ok; the first night was hard. I hadn’t been so far from home before, or been away from my pets for that long either. I feel I have a rather close bond with them. I tried to enjoy myself, however. It was made difficult by the fact that I had no access to internet, and then I found my mobile didn’t have a signal either, no matter where we went on the island! Disappointing. I’m considering changing my provider now.

We didn’t get to all the places we wanted to because we didn’t have the time. It took about an hours drive to get to places from where we were staying. We did, however, get to a wildlife park, a conservation park, a couple of lookouts, saw some fur seals, wallabies all over the place; and we took many photos. I love animals, so that was alright.

Took the Sealink there and back. Overall, it wasn’t  a bad weekend; but I was glad to get back home- and the pets were sure glad to see us!

As we were only going to be away for a few days, we didn’t bother going off- call for Fauna Rescue. We hadn’t had a call in a few weeks. Of course, as we thought would happen, we got a call a couple of days before we left. We had to give them another number, as we were preparing to leave and had no time to take in a rescue.

Yesterday, three days after we got home, we got another call. A young galah had been sitting on the front lawn of a house all day. The woman there said that when she first tried to catch it, it flew up to a tree, but then fell down again. It was also very quiet. Knowing that it could’ve given itself a concussion, and that it had been without food and water all day, we took the galah home and observed it. About an hour later, it still hadnt eaten or drunk anything. It suddenly tilted its head in different directions- and then fell over- like it had had a dizzy spell. When he got onto the perch he stood with his head down.

My mum and I had a quick tea and then took the galah to the animal hospital. They were quite busy, so took him for the night and said they would get back to us the next day.

They couldn’t find any sign of injury to the bird. Though they say he may have hit his head at some point, it seems it was more likely that he was weak because he hadn’t had anything to eat all day. They had given him a couple of feeds via crop feeding over night, and said that he was eating by himself now. The galah is currently back home with us. We are observing him over the weekend to see how he goes. We still have our galah, and they seem to like each other. Galahs are flock birds, and being in the presence of another bird just like him should hopefully help with the new birds recovery.

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