Subscribers to this blog have probably noticed by now that it’s been a long, long time between posts. I’d like to apologise for that, because goodness knows there’s no shortage of issues that deserve close attention – the Abbott government’s attacks on asylum seekers, action on climate change, welfare recipients, Medicare, the national curriculum, you name it. That’s without even beginning to dig into the rampant cronyism.

Thing is, folks, I’ve been trying to write, but without success. Some of you may be aware I suffer from a bipolar spectrum disorder, which was steadily worsening over the last four months. Between the anxiety, depression and mania, it’s been difficult to string the words together. In particular, the sheer amount of distress I feel at what the Abbott government is doing – or attempting to do – to Australians whose only crime is not to be rich has exacerbated my symptoms to the point where there are days I can’t even attempt to get near this blog. It probably sounds like a cop-out, but my mental health is already under strain, thanks to the illness and personal circumstances; it seems that the state of politics has proved to be the last straw.

And so, the Conscience Vote will be going on indefinite hiatus. I hate to do this, because I feel that every voice holding the government to account, asking hard questions, and digging for answers is necessary. I feel that I’m letting down my subscribers, my readers, everyone who’s shared around my work, and the hundreds of commenters who’ve engaged with the issues and gone on to pose questions and start investigations of their own. No matter what your personal politics may be, you are amazingly articulate and passionate, and Australia needs much, much more of this sort of engagement and commitment.

Thank you all for helping to make the Conscience Vote a labour of love, and I hope to come back to this in the not too distant future. In the meantime, I’ll probably pop up with an essay or two on issues of public interest, which can usually be found at my Dreamwidth journal. Feedback is, as always, love.

Keep up the fight.


15 Responses to Hiatus

  1. Eva says:

    I’ve never commented before but I’ve always enjoyed reading your informative, eloquent posts that dig deeper than many of the mainstream newspaper commentators. All the best with looking after yourself!

  2. Your excellent work here will be missed.

  3. Horatio says:

    Marian, you’ll always find support here. I was in a similar situation last year and know any obligations weigh heavily and can prolong the feeling of hopelessness. Your post letting subscribers know that they should not expect to hear from you for a while lifts the weight of obligation from you. As I’m sure you know, help can come from unexpected sources. Unfortunately our friend Abbott will be here when you return..

    • JenniferGJ says:

      How about an Abbott Watch? I saw him getting on the PM plane and noted his carrying his own bags. What is not being shown? Staff inside the plane? He is great at projecting exactly what he wants the media to see and hiding what he does not.

      The strategy of revealing almost nothing pervades the current federal government. Actually, we could start a democratic watch on each of the holders of high office. Scott Morrison is obvious and is already being watched closely by a Green Senator from South Australia. Perhaps those of us who want to contribute, due to the great recent work of Conscience Vote, could divvy up the different Ministers and each watch one? We could make regular reports and our friendly colleagues could comment and question based on their own observations and insights.

  4. Rosemary says:

    Dear Marian,
    I only came across you and your blogs towards the end of last year’s election but your articles really struck a chord with me and I read every word with interest.
    Good on you for being open about your struggles and for putting yourself first. Although I don’t have the same issues as you I do have several ‘invisible’ chronic health conditions including mild depression so I can understand that sometimes you just need to pull back and focus on getting better.
    I hope you have lots of loving support around you and that you can start to rebuild your life again soon.
    I’ll be looking out for your future work. Take care 🙂

  5. Hamish says:

    Good luck and bravo for looking after yourself!
    I will keep The Conscience Vote in my news feed and I’ll keep alive a little flicker of hope that you get back to doing this blogging caper that I think you have done very well…

  6. Meg says:

    Thank you for helping us feel like we were not alone when we read your blogs. Our prime responsibility is to our own health so take care of yourself. Best wishes, Meg

  7. Jill Whitfield says:

    Thank you for all the research and insights you have shared in the past. I have really appreciated being easily able to read a well-considered opinion piece. Take care of yourself now. I can personally vouch for the mental health value of prolonged periods sitting on a couch in the garden with the dog curled up next to me…

  8. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle) says:

    Have just been watching my daughter go through the same thing you have/are experiencing. She is starting to stabilize & I am thinking that you are starting to find a little more balance too.
    Taking the time to get your life back to normal is just so vital & I wish you all the very best wishes. Take good care of yourself. We look forward to reading your articles & when you feel you can get back to this producing this great site.

  9. JenniferGJ says:

    Please take time out for yourself. Your blog was wonderful during those months when it felt possible to actually speak up and be heard.

  10. lokic says:

    Your voice will be greatly missed, but your health must take first priority. Maintain your rage 🙂

  11. Carolyn Graham says:

    I truly wish you peace, and my love and thoughts are with you. Thank you for all you have done. xx

    • Barbara Loh says:

      Ditto Carolyn Graham’s comments exactly to you Marian from another grateful follower inspired by your example.

  12. jasonblog says:

    Thanks for the message. I was only thinking yesterday that it’s been sometime since I’d enjoyed one of your insightful posts. All the best for what it is you have to do & I look forward to enjoying more of your work when the time is right.

    I must admit I have found the last 12-months to be especially emotional myself and have facilitated from anger to anxiety to despair and sometimes even apathy over Australian politics. I still retain some hope that the Abbott government is a temporary abomination and its incorrect rule will be corrected.

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