The Good News Is I’m Still Here!

Just in case you were wondering

Carolyn Hastings
4 min readAug 24


An AI-generated illustration of the head and chest of a lioness with a peacock feather headdress and blue collar.
Image by Lisaleo from Pixabay

A lioness has got a lot more power
than the lion likes to think she has.
Jackie Weaver

The above quote might seem boldly pretentious, but it’s one of the quotes I find myself saying to get through the nightmare I’m now in.

Jackie Weaver, for those unfamiliar with the name, is an Australian actress. While I don’t know her personally, I kind of feel like I do because Jackie and I have grown old together. She’s lived her personal life in the public arena, much of it coloured by volatile relationships.

By contrast, I’ve lived my personal life in private, yet I too relate to ‘volatile’.

As some of you may already know, my life as I knew it went into a talespin a few weeks ago. Not only did my mum pass away at the beginning of July but my marriage crashed onto rocks and broke into jagged pieces.

Mental illness is synonymous with what it means to be volatile. It’s a condition that has been residing in my home for a long time. It’s a situation I have been trying to manage to the best of my ability with limited support. I’m exhausted.

Mental illness is cruel — for those caught in its clutches, and for those exposed to its insidious exploitation simply through having stayed to care for a loved one. I do care. And it tears me to shreds to know the anguish mental illness is wreaking on the one I have loved for so long. Mental illness takes both of us prisoner and leaves a trauma trail in its wake.

I left my home just on four weeks ago because I had to. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but I had to do it for my own safety. The volatility barometric was extreme. It still is.

I’m floundering in the waters of uncertainty. I’m on a learning curve I don’t want to be on but I have no choice — not if I want to be safe; not if I need others to step in and take over where I have left off. Because that’s what it needs — others to see where I’ve been and to know I’ve done all I can do — at least for now.

Now I have to look after myself because I don’t know what the future will be if I don’t.



Carolyn Hastings

Well-practiced speech pathologist now practicing to be a children’s book writer — emphasis on practicing.