It’s been 9 months since I last sat here and wrote . . . A LOT has happened in that time. But rather than procrastinate around a title for this one that I wrote back in January . . . or worse, take even more time to process the last 9 months to then write about that . . . I will just get this one ‘out there’ without a title.

Some years back now, somewhere on my journey of managing and navigating a diagnosis of depression, I came across an @ and an & in wood, painted white just like these ones sitting on a shelf in an Op Shop. (I’ve just bought and painted these to replace their weather damaged predescessors). At the time of the initial purchase, I knew immediately what they were both about! They were a team, a duo, a double whammy, to become tools in my toolbox of mental health resources as they spoke to me with:

Where are you @ ,

& What are you doing about it?

These became like a self-care check point as part of my balcony garden. Not only was it a check point, but it was also a challenge to take responsibility for where I was @ in that moment, & to take action to make any necessary changes. I think it was also a gentle reminder that where I was @ was not the end of the sentence (or my life itself), but merely a comma, a pause, time to think and then consider the next part of the question. Sometimes that meant getting up right there and then to do something creative to change my head space, going for a walk, or whatever task I could pick to create the shift. Other times it meant asserting a boundary with someone. Nowadays it’s more about celebrating where I am @ & ensuring I’m doing what I need to do to stay on track. Either way, wherever I am @, I am the only one that can do something about that for me.

Put the @ and the & together and you get:’@&” or ‘atand’ . . . and a word comes to mind: Atacand. It’s from my nursing background. It’s a medication used in the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure, also called Candesartan. You may or may not know it? You may even be on it?

For me, I believe my diagnosis of depression stemmed from a heart issue. Not my physical heart, but my emotional heart. And so it is no surprise to me, that I find myself here connecting my @ and my & with a word that is indeed medication for issues of the heart.

The analysis continues as my mind pulls the word ‘Atacand’ apart: between the ‘at and the ‘and’ we have two letters: ‘ac’. Knowing the way in which my brain pulls things apart to analyse, to see if there’s any meaning in the smallest of details, I wonder where will this one lead? My first thought is probably the same as yours – ‘air con’ but I decided to google ‘ac’ just to see and I was reminded of ‘alternating current’ – a type of electrical current in which the current repeatedly changes direction.

How true it is:

That my @ and my & are like a current repeatedly changing direction.

Where I am @ can determine what I am doing.

& What I am doing can determine where I am @

So it’s equally important to monoitor both ends of the current.

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