Living in a world between normality and insanity

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Finally mobile

After years of attempting to not get my driver’s license I am finally going to be mobile. Before you think it, I’m no20140628-125436-46476119.jpgt getting a car – those still scare me, I have purchased a Scooter. A very nice one at that.

Now comes all the things that go with getting a scooter like:

  • Does it need to be roadworthied, I hope not.
  • Licensing and registration into my name – my first vehicle
  • Getting all the paraphernalia like helmets, jackets and gloves, fun and exciting times.

Once I have everything together and sorted out I can move on to learning to ride. Apparently it’s just like riding a bicycle but you don’t have to peddle. I am so excited because this is just going to open up a whole new world for me. I can’t imagine not having to wait for public transport or relying on other people. I will become master of my own time for a change.

So having had the first lesson and riding by myself around Plumstead I am even more excited. My thanks goes out to Ricky for helping me get the scooter and the patience he had teaching me to ride. What a thrill it was to get up to 70km an hour down Southfield road, don’t laugh that’s fast for my first time.

Now just to get the scooter roadworthied and to spend some more time in the saddle practicing and I will be ready to go.

World look out cause I’m finally mobile.



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Sometimes waking up early is worth it

Now I am a late riser, I love my sleep way too much to wake up early for fun but sometimes, out of pure luck, I am up when a sunrise like this is happening. I won’t give up sleep for much but for an opportunity to snap this, yea I’ll get out of bed. What a beautiful country we live in.


This photo was taken out at my Grandparents farm in Hopefield around 5:45 am before I caught the bus back to Cape Town.



What’s in a diagnosis?

I have been diagnosed with many things such as addiction, bipolar, general anxiety disorder and borderline personality but what do these diagnoses really mean and have they changed or impacted my life in any way. On the one hand the answer to that question is yes, some of them have changed my life, changed the way I live but on the other hand no, they have not, not beyond giving understanding of the disorder.

Living and loving life

Living and loving life

I am not my diagnosis, not any of them. I am Carrie-Jean Hickman, I am myself. Just because I have one or more disorders does not take away my identity. I know many people who have let themselves become their disorder, they have given in and given up. But I am still responsible for my life, for my decisions. I still have choices.

My disorders have changed my life because I have had to learn to change and adapt. For example, I will never drink alcohol (or do drugs) again,and I am okay with that. I may have to be on medication for the rest of my life but you don’t find me moping around about how my life is ruined or I can’t live, okay maybe sometimes but not often, because of my diagnoses. I live life, I love life and even though some days are a challenge I get out there and into the game.

I choose to take my medication everyday and I choose to change my behaviours. I do not have to accept the disabilities of these disorders if I do not want to. Everyday I get up and live life, not always because I want to but because I have to. If I let my diagnoses get the better of me I am doomed to a life of confusion and unmanageability in which there is no hope.

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Music and Me

headphones-music-notes-wallpaperMusic is both powerful and dangerous. Music brings emotions, it dispels emotions. It makes you cry, it makes you laugh. It allows you to remember and allows you to forget. Music in and of itself is beautiful and deserves to be heard but I have realised that as beautiful as it is, it is also dangerous. Different music affects different people differently (huh?). Some people hide away in music that is loud and strong, music that screams out loneliness, anger and confusion. It soothes them, it understands them, it voices all the inner turmoil. It does this for me and I use it. Others find that the softer more gentle music soothes them, helps them relax and enjoy the moment.

We all use music differently, but it affects each and every one of us. I have found that where music I listened to once voiced all the confusion inside of me now only makes me lonely, thoughtful of the past. Sometimes I just feel empty. This sucks cause musically I love it but the lyrics that once made things better are now just reminders of the past, the life I left behind (by choice). The lyrics no longer apply and while this is good it saddens me at the same time. Does this mean I need to stop listening to the music I once loved? I don’t really know.

So where to from here – give my music library an overhaul? Acknowledge the feelings that come up and accept them with understanding instead of fear. All things aside, my recovery is the most important thing and I need to do what will aid it and not hinder it. I don’t know what this might look like, I’m not sure I am strong enough yet but I do know that music brings up emotions in me. Music has always been my outlet, my voice but I cannot let it be my downfall as well.

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College and Caffeine

So one of my modules that I am taking is Addiction Counselling and for this module we had to give something up. I decided to give up caffeine because I thought coffee wouldn’t be hard to let go of for 4 weeks. Well didn’t think that one through completely. On the first day I realised that giving up caffeine included coke and energy dCollege and Caffeinerinks. I was devastated, no more coke. Well it lasted not even one day but I vowed to start the next day and continue for the 4 weeks. Now it might sound easy to some but it was a challenge for me. I am definitely more addicted to caffeine than I thought I was. I am now at the end of my 4 weeks and get to have a glass of coke again but I have learnt some things about myself during this month. Firstly, I learnt that the addict in me is not buried as deep as I thought it was. Not that I craved drugs but the thinking that came through was definitely addictive thinking. I wouldn’t give up no matter how badly I wanted a cup of coffee or a glass of coke I was like “no, never, I will see this through”. This black and white thinking is very prevalent in my life. I wish I could see the grey but it’s always been all or nothing for me. Secondly, I can succeed if I put my mind to it. I wanted to give up many times but pushed through and have made. Caffeine free for 1 month, I can’t believe it. This really encourages me because for so long I used to just give up when I thought I might be failing or I lost interest but I have now proved to my self that where there is a will there is a way. I can succeed.

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Between normality and insanity

Welcome to my blog, sit back and enjoy the read. Well I hope you will. Stick around I am going to be posting as often as I can. This blog is all about life as an imperfect person living between normality and insanity. You see I have a couple of mental disorders as well as obsessions but I am recovering and living life as normally as I possibly can.

I love my life, even if it is tiring at times. I am busy but passionate about what I do. Currently I am trying my hand at being a student, which is a blast but lots of hard work. So I attend classes during the day at a college called SACAP, South African College of Applied Psychology and just finishing off my diploma. I hope to continue studying next year and do my Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology.

When I am not at college or studying I work some evenings and weekends at a treatment centre for eating disorder and addiction clients. This is challenging but makes me come alive. The goal is to get as much experience as I can while I am studying.

This blog will include my journey through my studies, the gifts and oddities of working in a treatment centre and the general struggle, dreams and life of an imperfect person.