And there she was……

So it’s been a minute, a week or maybe even months. There is a fair chance you might not even remember who I am, but I have no doubt that my home grown brand of quirky will remind you in a short space of time.

Contrary to what some people might have thought, I did not drop off the face of the planet and apologies to those who are actually disappointed to see me again. I’m like that, a bad penny, I keep turning up.

Many things have happened in the time I have been gone. Very many things. In fact too many to mention. There has been crazy me, crazy work and a crazy life, which has led to me being crazy busy with very little time to write.

When I was not here I turned 5. This year there were no candles and fanfares, I didn’t even write a post. I acknowledged the notification from WordPress and silently scolded myself because it had been so long since I had actually been here.

I’m not sure you will believe me if I tell you I missed you, but I did. I missed your laughs, your jokes and your comments. I missed reading about other people and how things were going, that daily distraction from what was or was not going on in my own life.

In the last 6 months I’ve faced friendship, love, rejection, happiness, sadness, stress and many more things, but remarkably I am still going, putting one foot in front of the other. I’m still a basket case for sure, but I’ve just asked for another round of counselling to hopefully hit the self confidence monster smack in the face one more time. It’s not something I necessarily want to do, but it is something I certainly have to do.

I’ve lost two stone in weight, that was pretty good going, but it has not bolstered my self confidence at all, there is still some way to go I think and my love affair with Malteasers is not going to end any time soon despite the fact they seem to make me sick.

There have been good days and bad, of late perhaps more bad and while I wanted to write I just couldn’t bring myself to jot things down despite running over them time and again in my head. The old internal battle about laying my soul bare here still continues, no change there then.

I’m finding there is no peace. This year has almost slipped by, a whirlwind of work that is not going to slow down for a while yet as I begin a new round of training. Behind me the other work stacks up too and I’m starting to feel the pressure, but I just need to knuckle down. Thing is though I was sick and although I’m back at work I’m still not mended, so I take things day by day and wait for my Dr’s appointment. It’s probably the Malteasers ffs.

I’m not going to say I am back for good, because who knows. But today I am here. I am here to say hello and tell you that I missed you and also that I will check in when I can.

I am here to tell you that I need this space despite the fact that at the minute I feel I have nothing new to tell you.

I need it despite the fact that I feel that I write the same things over and over.

I need it because I need to write to stop thinking about the same things over and over.

I need it, that’s it, I just do and I need you to understand that despite the fact I have not been here that I love you all.

A St Paddy’s Saturday Catch Up

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Well good morning to you all and Happy St Patrick’s Day. Sadly I am celebrating by grabbing a quick 10 minutes to update you and then with a mountain of housework, but I’m not too worried because the rest of Ireland and even the world have it covered.

It seems like such a long time since I sat down to write anything, in fact it even feels weird sitting in front of my computer as it has not been used that much of late either.

I’ve missed here and reading about all the stories of your days and lives, and I try to catch up where I can, but things have been so busy of late there has just been no time to update you.

My little head has been busy, there is a lot going on in there. Work has been playing on my mind for various different reasons and sometimes I think that perhaps I may need to re-visit my counsellor for a couple of sessions just to try and get things straight in my own head. I know it is my own fault for dealing with things the way I do, continuing to see the bad despite assurances from others. As someone said to me the other day, my cup is always half empty, and this is true. No matter what, I will always consider everything to be my fault. This is something I need to work on if I am ever going to move forward.

Life in general has been good though, I’ve been in contact with a friend and I am enjoying the interaction. I’m almost scared to say it, cup half empty and all that, but there have been days where I would say I have definitely been happy! Not something I have felt for a very long time. There is also a possible day trip with the girls in my future, a chance to kick back and relax.

I’ve finally given myself a kick up the backside and started to lose the additional weight I gained when I stopped smoking over a year ago now. To date I have lost 1 stone 2 lb’s. I’m not sure it’s all that noticeable yet, but I feel it in small ways and so does alien leg. I’ve a long way to go and the hardest relationship break up ever is going to be between myself and my dearly beloved Malteasers, but it is going to have to happen.

I hope in the future if things improve that my self confidence will too, but just right now it is proving to be one battle I constantly lose. The sad realisation from my counselling remains true, if I cannot learn to accept /love myself, how will I ever let any one else. I constantly question past events and wonder if they will repeat themselves. Events where I was never quite good enough.

It is not enough to hope to be happy, it has to actually happen. Send good will my way : )

Happy Saturday one and all, I hope you have been well and you have always been in my thoughts : )

A note on ‘A Note Let Go’

A Note Let Go

Anyone who knows me well knows that I like my music. I don’t have a particular taste but I do tend to lean more towards the chilled out and laid back genres.

The mothership was also a great lover of music and two of her favourite artists were Christie Hennessy and Duke Special. Christie Hennessy sadly passed away on the 11th December 2007 and I am not sure that my mother ever fully recovered.

I can’t remember her first introduction to Duke Special, but my sister thinks it may have either been through the postman and their daily chats about music, or perhaps through Gerry Anderson and his radio show. Regardless of their introduction, the Duke was music to my mothers ears and she would tell anyone who would listen how great he was.

Luckily for the Mothership my Sister liked him too and she would take my Mum to some of the venues at which he played. The dear old Fathership got dragged along too sometimes, and considering it was not his thing at all, he too seemed to enjoy the shows.

Although I listened to the music on many occasions as my Mum danced around the living room, I never branched out to listen on my own or ventured to any of the shows.

Recently Duke Special teamed up with a band called Ulaid and their collaborative album ‘A Note Let Go’ was the result. My sister on hearing they were going to be playing a show in Belfast asked if I would like to go and much to her shock I said yes. It was time to see what all the fuss was about.

‘The Duncairn’ situated on the Antrim Road in Belfast is an old 19th century church that has been transformed into a shared space culture and arts centre. It is an intimate little venue with wonderful acoustics that enhance the music being played within and to me it felt like the perfect setting for this show.

I’d only had a brief listen to ‘A Note Let Go’ prior to attending, and I was worried that my lack of knowledge would somehow affect my enjoyment, but I needn’t have worried.

Duke Special has a way of drawing you in with his words and arrangements. During the show he led into songs with a story about where the inspiration for each came from, seemingly more often than not from text found in the Central Library in Belfast. Those same lyrics coupled with the traditional Irish music of Ulaid make for interesting listening. and believe me, there was plenty of top tapping and hand clapping during ‘Far Set’ and ‘Little Italy’ and also some tugging of the heartstrings when they played ‘Shipyards of Belfast’ and ‘My Lagan Love’, not to mention the poor dearly departed Dog Fido.

This show was a genuine surprise, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and it has left me wanting to experience more of what both Duke Special and Ulaid have to offer, whether that be separately or together.

Trust me ‘A Note Let Go’ is well worth a listen, you won’t be disappointed. My personal favourites are Far Set and My Lagan Love, which gives me goosebumps every time I listen.

Tis Friday

It’s Friday.

Thank goodness says I, for this has been the longest week in creation. It almost felt at one stage that the five working days were driving towards the weekend with the handbrake on. Perhaps that’s where the term daily grind comes from. For fear of hitting the wrong pedal, I didn’t try to intervene and had no other option than to just go with the flow.

But finally Friday dawned, a clear crisp days with just a touch of frost, that I was not expecting, but was greeted with as I almost skidded around the corner.

It’s been a very unusual week, with plenty of ups and downs, leading into what is going to be a short weekend, because, well work! But if I can get a little ahead of myself before starting another week on Monday it’s going to make me a bit happier.

I feel like I haven’t had the time to sit down and blog of late. Neither have I been able to do much reading or interaction. What was usually my morning travel pastime has taken a bit of a hit lately due to having friends to sit and catch up with on the train.

In other news, the Motherships Snowdrops are appearing in the garden as if by magic. What a couple of weeks previously had been a bare patch of grass, is now almost covered with these beautiful little flowers in varying shades of growth. Next it will be the daffodils, closely followed by the bluebells and primroses. It’ll soon be the season that puts a Spring in our step.

For now though, one day at a time. Let’s just enjoy the weekend, because Monday will be here before we know it.

Have a good one Eejits :)

The year of things to come….

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I’ve lost count of how many times that I’ve said a year is going to be different as the stroke of midnight blended the old into the new.

2017 started with great promise, it was going to be the year I got things done. I had plans to change myself, both mentally and physically. I was going to become a better person, buoyed by the counselling sessions I had been through. But as we all know, great promises can be broken, often times unintentionally.

I would say that neither 2016 or 17 were great years in my book. I’ve been battling a bout of depression, my first bad one since around 2003. Then I managed to pull myself together without the need for anti-depressants and this time I am trying to do the same, albeit there is a much bigger hill to climb and I am not sure I can do it without some assistance.

As with everything though, there were good times as well as bad. While not cured, I have changed. My counselling has been beneficial, in fact it quite possibly saved my life. This time, despite everything, there have been no thoughts of needing to hide a stash of tablets in case things got so bad that I did not want to carry on. These days I use the coping mechanisms I have been taught and while still there and sometimes severe, bouts of anxiety do not last as long as they previously would have.

In 2017 laugher was more of a feature along with meeting new friends and continuing to value those I already have. I’m not any better at social interaction, that still needs a lot of work, but not everything can happen all at once. The point is, I am trying.

Where work was concerned I had a lot of light bulb moments. I said goodbye to one colleague and welcomed a new one, through whom I am learning to have a better understanding of myself, mainly because we are so similar. We work well as a team and we have good foundations on which we can continue to build on in 2018.

Writing has been pretty sporadic, even by my own standards. I’ve been wondering if perhaps that is why I am currently feeling the way I do. Writing is therapeutic and also quite possibly something else I need as a coping mechanism. I’m still trying to figure out where the new me fits within the blogging world as I alternate between good days and bad, sad and happy.

I’m not going to make any grand promises for 2018. What would be the point. Instead I am going to go with the flow.

If you’re reading this, thank you for doing so and also for sticking with me for another year. Your support has meant more than you could know.

Happy New Year Eejits, let’s make it a good one : )

From darkness to light.

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When I write I never think, hey, someone might relate to this post and be glad they read it. Instead, I think, here’s another post that people can think to themselves ‘oh here she goes again’.

When I write, I never think that someone else might be experiencing the same feelings and take comfort from realising they are not alone. Instead, I think people will want to give me a good boot up the backside.

When I write, I never think this is actually good for me.

But. It. Is.

That’s my problem you see, I don’t write, because I worry what other people will think. I need to stop that, because this blog belongs to me and no one else.

Instead of worrying about what people are going to think of me when they read what is actually going on in my head, I should ask myself do they care enough to know everything about me and love the person I actually am, not the person they think I am.

I am many different things to many different people. Some good, some bad.

To myself I am a failure. Gotta love mental health.

I talk about things now, whereas I wouldn’t have prior to counselling. Talking is therapeutic. My talk though, is through my fingertips, because it’s still hard to do the face to face sometimes without becoming emotional.

I’m not in a good place right now, but the key to knowing how to get back on the road to recovery is recognising there is a problem in the first place. Perhaps it’s first anniversaries, or simply the time of the year. It might even be the lack of sunlight or maybe a lack of sleep, but there is something that is a little off kilter.

The good thing about the darkness though is that there is always light to balance it and that is something to reach for and look forward to, all I have to do is flick the switch.

And. I. will.

One Year Later…

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Last weekend we passed the first anniversary of the Motherships final flight. It’s hard to believe that a year has passed already. A lot has changed , but in some ways nothing has changed, because despite how it feels at the time, life does carry on.

I was going to write about it, and then I didn’t. I started a post, but the words just wouldn’t come. I knew what I wanted to say, but I was having a hard time making my thoughts legible and then a few days passed and the momentum was lost.

I’m not sure if the first anniversary of someone’s death should be a thing. To me it didn’t feel any different, because I miss her everyday. Lately though, she has been on my mind a lot.

No one tells you how you should grieve, but then again, why would they, it’s a unique and personal experience. Even now I find it hard to write about, not from the point of view that I find it difficult to talk about, but because I still don’t think I understand everything that happened.

The experience of caring for someone with dementia was so intense that when it stopped it was a shock. I used to liken my life to going home every night and being placed into a pressure cooker. It was almost like life outside didn’t exist because everything was so focused and intense. But when it stopped I felt useless, like I had no purpose any more. I had become so used to the routines and pressure I needed time to adjust.

People often say when a loved one passes that they wish they could see them again, just for one last time. Personally, I wouldn’t want that, not if she was going to be the way that she was. I do wish however that she could let me know that she is ok, hopefully at peace.

Time is a great healer and with it all the bad memories slowly become replaced. The words and memories of others become intertwined with my own and bring things long forgotten back to life, reminding me of the person my Mum was before the dementia.

I’ve healing of my own to do, those four years left me with my own scars, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

I wasn’t going to write about it, but I am glad that I did.

I always want to be able to remember.

 

Understanding

It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. I’d like to tell you it’s because I’ve been doing ok, but the reality is I’ve been doing the same, I just haven’t had much time to write.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, thinking about doing things that I never quite seem to get done.

I’ve been thinking about my Mum and how this time last year we were approaching the end of a long road, only we didn’t know it then.

I’ve been thinking of all the things I did, and all the things I feel I could have done better, beating myself up and crying myself to sleep over the what ifs. But the reality is it’s over. It’s too late to go back and stupid to dwell on hindsight. But still I do it.

I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I have mental health issues. It’s actually quite freeing to be able to say that. There’s nothing wrong with being me, because, well I am me, flawed but fully functional. There is a lot to be thankful for.

I have a lot of work to do, which involves challenging my thinking and how I deal with situations. I need to make peace with myself regarding my Mum and realise that then, at that time, I did the best I could, and that’s all anyone can ask.

I’ll write about things here, but I don’t want pity or sympathy, I just want somewhere safe to go so I can note things down in order to try and make sense of them. I love the term getting my metaphorical ducks in a row, so I’ll use it.

I’m ok. I’ll always be ok, because I know that despite how dark it gets sometimes, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and a million reasons to get up in the morning.

Once we realise there is a problem, we can begin to fix it.

Uh oh, Ophelia!

It’s really creepy and eerie here today, almost as if a storm is coming….oh wait, one is.

I’m not sure if, in my lifetime, I’ve ever experienced something like this before. Schools are shut, there are warnings in place for public transport, and as a result I’m on my way home, to ensure that I actually can make it home.

You’d think that I’d be delighted at the prospect of an impromptu day off, but actually I’m not. I remarked earlier that I don’t really want to be sitting at home listening to my old (but lovely) house creaking in the wind, or wondering if my next door neighbours trees are going to fall on it. There’s also the fact that if Ophelia doesn’t live up to the hype, then I’ve a mountain of work I could be getting on with….I know right, what a nerd!

Walking round the streets this morning was like walking through a ghost town. Everything was so quiet and there were hardly any people to be seen. It wasn’t much better on the way back only the wind had started to pick up by that stage and I was met by a few leaf spectres as they rose up and danced in front of me.

It makes me feel uneasy, because I have no idea what is coming. Last time I felt like that was when there were parade related troubles here. Then the streets were eerily quiet only I was stepping around burnt out cars and buses, something I don’t see on a normal day.

Other places deals with these kinds of winds on a regular basis, here, well it’s not something we’re used to. Along the coastal areas we do experience high winds, but not any that get this much TV coverage, let alone named.

Perhaps reading the constant updates is not something that I and my anxiety riddled brain should actually be doing. Well, not when there are duvets to hide under anyway.

When I woke up this morning it was so calm and peaceful, apart from the rain. I almost wondered if they had got things mixed up and the storm was headed for an alternate universe instead.

Now though, the skies are ominously grey, the winds have picked up and the calm waters of this morning have become angry. White horses race for the shore, but not with the grace and elegance as seen in the Guinness adverts.

Later that same day…..

I made it home safe and sound and for the most part the day looked as if it was going to be like any other, at one point there was even sunshine. That said I wouldn’t have been venturing into the garden to hang my washing out, the size of my bloomers I’d have been in Scotland in the blink of an eye.

The Fathership, crafty oul shite that he is decided that same as I had an unexpected afternoon off, I should spend it clearing out his letter drawer, the same one in fact, that I swore I would never do again after the last time due to the fact that he never puts anything away at the actual time. Ah well, it’s done now I suppose.

Now the wind is picking up again and we’re to expect severe gusts through the night, but all in all up until this point it has not been too bad for us. Phone signal, TV signal and internet aside, sometimes living in a dip has it’s advantages. Southern Ireland fared the worst, sadly with the loss of three lives.

Through it all though Irish humour won the internet, with many commenting on the fact that schools, offices and businesses were closed, but all the pubs were open. It calmed my anxiety to read all the tweets that had been give the #Ophelia.

Hopefully the worst is over, so I’m away to hide under the duvet after all, but only because it’s bed time.

Stay safe out there eejits, where ever you may be : )

At the end of the day…

Sometimes there are days, work days, difficult days where everything seems to come from all directions and it’s a struggle to keep up.

But there is always an end to those days and an evening that leads into a tomorrow, a new day.

There’s music on the journey home that helps to calm frazzled nerves and clouds that hang in the sky, beautiful shades of pink and blue.

There’s rain on the horizon that threatens to introduce itself to those trying to rush home before this greeting can occur.

There’s a stillness in the air, almost like everyone and everything is waiting for something to happen. The lights of the day fading into the darkness of the night.

And still the music plays on as the journey continues.

Tomorrow’s a new day for everyone. A brand new moon and a brand new sun says Caroline Pennell and she’s right.

Today was difficult, but tomorrow may not be.