About Cate


My name is Cate Reddell.  I live in Christchurch, New Zealand.  You’ll find me down the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast of Australia.

I started blogging because I had already been writing (a book called Infinite Sadness) and I wanted to keep writing with what I hoped would be a potentially wider audience. At the time the book was published, I felt like severe chronic mental illness would always be a major, and possibly life-threatening, issue in my life.

I’ve changed my mind.  Maybe there was hope for something better. I’ve decided that there is something more than infinite sadness and so I want to share my journey of hope with you.

I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), diagnosed some 17 years after treatment began. Until then I was simply described as treatment resistant.  I hate that term.  There are a few other labels attached to my name too.  I’ll get into those as I write.

Am I crazy?  Probably.  Is it ‘all in my head’?  Absolutely, that’s where my brain resides.  Is it easy?  No, it’s damn hard.

To add to the mix, the last couple of years have seen a dramatic decline in my physical health.  In 2010 I was diagnosed with the auto-immune condition Graves’ Disease.  It was caused by medication I took (and still take) for my mental illness.  But then that medication is saving my life so it’s a huge dilemma. One that too many people face.

The major focus for my physical health is that I have  Fibromyalgia, a harsh condition often brought on by auto-immune diseases and severe trauma.  It consists of pain and more pain.  And fatigue.  And a thing called cognitive dysfunction (or brain fog). Plus a whole heap more possible symptoms. It’s not nice, Both of these conditions are with me for life, although they won’t kill me.

I write about all of these things, as I fight for a return of mental health and  a means of managing my physical issues.  Want to know more?  Start reading.  I hope you enjoy my writing.

It’s important that you know something of the type of person I am, aside from health issues. Compassion and kindness are essential to me. Animal welfare matters greatly. Of war and peace, I will always side with peace.  There simply has to be other ways to solve difference than to kill innocent people. I strongly detest guns, and see no reason why people carry them.  If they think it is for protection, they are fooling themselves. I don’t believe guns will ever solve anything.

All that said, I accept that we are all different beings with different experiences and backgrounds. I’m sure these things contribute to our beliefs and opinions, and so accept that your thinking might be quite different from mine.

And finally a few things you just need to know about me:

  1. My favourite colour is green.
  2. The best way to start the day is with coffee. The best coffee I can afford (which doesn’t say much).
  3. I have never learnt how to properly tie shoelaces.  I have tried and tried but it seems completely beyond me.
  4. Five years ago I lived through the Christchurch Earthquakes of 2010/11. Don’t get me started. Those quakes changed my life forever.

There is so much more in my blog, so start reading.

“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.”

 – Pat Conroy

45 thoughts on “About Cate

  1. nikkix2

    Hi Kate, I to am a 40-something gurl, from Angus, Ontario Canada. I have just recently been diagnosed as having Bi-Polar Disorder and Depression/Anxiety. I look forward to reading and following your blog!
    P.S. I found you thru “But, She’s Crazy…”s Blog 🙂

    1. Hi. I’m glad you found my blog, and “But She’s Crazy is great. Look forward to having you follow. I hope it helps you in your journey. I know it’s pretty overwhelming when you first get diagnosed and it’s always good to know others going through a similar journey. 🙂

    1. We’ll all have Oscars yet. Thank you. Even though Kevin has already tagged me I really value this from you too. It means a lot to have recognition from friends. 🙂

    1. I’ll do you a deal. 🙂 I’ll tell you about mine if you’ll tell me about yours. Deal?

      You can read mine electronically on Scribd.com

      If you want to read a hard copy I’d have to send you one as I only sold it in NZ. Happy to though. Would just need an address which you could email to me on cjreddell@xtra.co.nz

      Now tell me about yours???

  2. Pingback: My ‘Anti-Social Media’ Day | Infinite Sadness… or hope?

  3. HI Cate – greetings from across the ditch (Australia!). 😀 I’m so glad you kept writing, and exploring life and thought through words. You write so beautifully, and so honestly. I know you’ll help many with these words of yours. Bless xx

    1. Hi there. Thanks for your lovely comments. And to think I wouldn’t know that ‘across the ditch’ was Australia. lol. Where else would it be? Thanks too for the follow. 😀

    1. Nice to meet you too Denise. Dare I say it I’m sorry we have much in common. I’m sure you will get what I mean by that, and it is always good for us to know there are others in the world who have similar journeys.

  4. Pingback: Cate: Infinite Sadness… or Hope? | Courageous Confessionals

  5. I have had my long term dark period but now I have with lots of faith come through. I hope to win the fight to the upmost. But I had to have faith. I have been through the hospital system in NZ but was glad to be free of it. The stigma is real but I one has to fight and its not fighting flesh. I found solace and good friends amongst the church.

  6. Hey Cate. I hope that you’re feeling a little better today. I wanted to let you know that Canvas has started the Blog For Mental Health 2013 campaign, and so I (of course) pledged you immediately. Whenever you are feeling up to it, have a look at my post: Blog For Mental Health 2013 Is Here!. I’d love to be able to add your name to our blogroll, and having you on board would just mean a lot to me personally, but you take your time.

    Sending love.

  7. Sid Dunnebacke

    Cate, this is brilliant. Twitter suggested I follow you, that took me here, and I’m jazzed that I am. I’ll be reading with interest what you have to say, as I’m just recently making a hard turn on my mental illness/health road and can see the value of being inspired by other folks on that same road.

    1. Hi Sid. Thanks for tracking me down. Now firstly I need to apologise because I was sure I replied to your comment a few hours back, but now I can’t find it. So in case you get to responses, just take it as one of those days! Thanks so much for following me. I hope following my journey will be encouragement for you in your own. I know how nice it is to know you’re not the only one. 🙂

  8. Hello Cate,
    Just wanted you to know that I’m out here, reading and in many ways living and feeling much like you. Tried to read your newest post on “When your world turns upside down” but for some reason wasn’t able to get it to load. However, just from that title, I think I know what you’re feeling?, as I’m right there myself at the moment…
    Anyhow, sending you a big cyberhug if you want it. You’re not alone…

    1. Hi Cat, It’s completely my fault that you couldn’t get my latest post to load. I had second thoughts on it and felt I hadn’t said what I really wanted to say. I will try again sometime but meanwhile thank you for reading. It’s always nice to knwo there are people ‘out there’. 🙂

  9. Hello, there! I’m 22 years old and currently based in Chicago. I’ve struggled with various degrees of depression. I would describe my last, most severe experience with it as being trapped in a vortex of mind games, lies, and self-loath. Personally, I’m unfamiliar with many other types of mental illnesses (e.g. BPD, PTSD); it’s one thing to read about them on WebMD and a whole other thing to hear from someone experiencing these things. Stay strong! Know that you’re encouraging and inspiring a lot of people! I look forward to learning more from your experiences and insights. 🙂 (P.S. I blog about mental health, faith, and life in general.)

    1. Hi Karen, Thanks for finding and liking my blog. I totally get what you say that it is hard to have a real understanding of a mental disorder when you don’t have it, although I think I just thank my lucky stars for what I don’t have. It is the great thing about blogging though, that you get to read of real experience rather than simply text-book style sites.

  10. Don’t really know why it took me so long to find and follow you. But, here I am, having come through a post by Ruby at Canvas/Blog for Mental Health. I’m looking forward to your posts.

      1. Well, Lindy is a screen thing. I’m Janice Lindegard. I publish Crazy Good Parent (crazygoodparent.com) I also have a personal blog that I have neglected sorely, Snide Reply. Crazy Good is a community/blog for parents who have mental illnesses…like me! Ruby is a peach, so likewise with the friend of her/friend of mine.

      2. In that case, hi Janice. 🙂 I’ve just been over to check out Snide Reply and look forward to if and when you give it your attention. I know how hard it is to balance everything, so please don’t take that as a criticism. It’s not. I’ll go now and check out your other blog. I’m not a parent but it sounds like an excellent resource. 🙂

      3. Thanks! I have some ideas for Snide. It’s been hard there because I’ve dealt with tons of death in the past six months. Still reeling, I think. It’s much easier over at Crazy Good. I pick a topic for the month and write. I also try to get other people to write for it, too. So, no criticism/offense taken.

  11. Hi Cate. I found your blog a few months ago and have been slowly working my way through all of your posts. I have been living with BPD since I was a child but was only officially diagnosed in February this year, Im now 29 years old and have had several failed suicide attempts. I still battle on most days, even with my medication sometimes. I also started a blog (last year actually) but Im afraid its not as great as yours, but I use it to just get the thoughts out of my head now. I dont know why I am even posting all of this here, but I guess I just wanted to say that I really find your blog hopeful and sometimes when I read it, it feels like I was the one who wrote it. Good luck for the future. P.S. Im from South Africa 🙂

    1. Hi, I’m glad you left your message because it is always nice to know a bit about people who read my blog, but also to hear of others who share similar struggles. I am sorry whenever I hear of someone who battles BPD because it is such a difficult illness to live with. I know what you mean about battling most days. I do too. I just try to take every day as it comes. Good on you for starting a blog. I find it a great way to express what is often a jumble in my head. “Greatness” (or how I tend to view mine as “Otherwise” doesn’t really matter. You will always be striking a chord with readers, even if they don’t tell you. I encourage you to keep at it. I’m not managing to writing regularly right now (for a number of reason) but try to write regularly. It really does help to get those those down, and out of our heads. It’s much safer that way. Take care.xx

      1. Hi Cate. I am so surprised that you replied, I consider myself very “unlucky” so never thought I would actually get a reply. BDP is a terrible illness to live with, I have read (and been told) that it can be “cured” however I am still very skeptical on that, as it doesnt get any easier the older I get. In fact it may even get worse with age in my opinion. Thank you for being interested in my blog,
        I blog Blogger not WordPress. Can I email the link to my blog? I feel it rather uncourteous to paste my blog link here on your blog (If that makes any sense).

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