This is part one of my upcoming three-part series on psychogenic health - physical illnesses and symptoms with a psychological origin, and how to tackle them. Part two is coming soon.
It was early 2014 and I resided in the corner of a living room in Sydney. Me and four Thai university students called that room home, lines of fabric partitions providing our privacy. My bed touched the wall near the patio doors, so on a couple of Summer nights I was awoken by a large cockroach crawling along my back.
I'd landed alone with a few hundred dollars to my name, but after a difficult start, I found a good job and a stable place to stay. A challenge had been overcome, and I had reason to feel proud - even if I needed to save up a while longer before I could afford a proper room.
I was trying to keep my mind off the bouts of dizziness that struck me at random; the heart palpitations that kept me awake at night; and the insidious pains in my hands that were starting to threaten my computer-based work.