It’s the Sunday before the Monday

Hello there, well I wish I had something really exciting to say or tell you, but I don’t so….eh…hello :)

I’m not sure what it is that brought me here tonight, I had a little time to kill and a cup of coffee in my hand and I thought why not.

The last time I wrote we were in the midst of the COVID pandemic, and now almost four months later we still are, with what looks like no end in sight.

This time around I actually know people who have been unfortunate enough to have tested positive and I think it was a rough week to ten days, that said, thankfully they have come out the other side, many others were not so fortunate.

Life for me has pretty much carried on, work still has to be done, along with the general day to day of looking after the house. You get so used to being inside that it’s almost easy sometimes to forget there is a whole world outside of these four walls. The introvert in me has coped not too bad with the situation, but even I have found that I need to get out once in a while, walk in the sunshine and smell the sea air, it really does blow away the cobwebs.

The hardest part of this for me has been for friends who in the middle of all of this have lost parents or loved ones. Not being able to attend funerals and give someone a hug is heart breaking. Not being able to be there to help them celebrate a life lived, or offer condolences, well it’s just not the same via text message is it.

The other end of the spectrum and stories I have heard are of expectant parents, who cannot enjoy the experiences of scans as a couple. Women having to attend appointments on their own while their partners miss out. All those little firsts, that can never be replayed.

I never in my lifetime thought I would see anything like this. I hope once it is all over, that we never do again.

But there is a lot to be thankful for, I am here and well and typing and you are here and hopefully well and reading.

I have missed you :)

I feel like I should…..

…..write, but I don’t know what it is that I want to write about.

You see shouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity, it’s not like I can go out, hmm, not that I did that much anyway. In some ways lock down is perfect for an introvert like me, other ways not so much, I’m genuinely starting to miss looking at other faces because at the minute the only ones I see most days are the Fatherships and my own, which now my hair has taken on a life of it’s own is a scary fecking sight I tell ya!

I hate shopping just now too, but still when it comes time to take the weekly trip for the groceries there is a little bit of me wants to punch the air and after about 10 minutes of freedom I’m all giddy and stuff from the high of seeing the outside world!

But there are limits to the freedom, because as much as I joke, there is a seriousness to all of this, and there have to be limits. I have an 81 year old with Asthma to consider and as much as sometimes I want to murder him as I swiftly move towards the menopause, I love him dearly.

This situation is not ideal, we are in unprecedented times, so they keep telling me, but we have to stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking of the bigger picture. We are staying at home to save lives. That’s very important, because too many have been lost already.

So I shop and I come home. I no longer browse or idle. I follow a list and I move on.
I thank the people stacking shelves as I shop, because they are working to keep us fed and I tell them to take care, because they matter. All those key workers do, every one of them matters, so we should stay at home.

One day, hopefully, this will be over and life will return to normal, albeit maybe a new one.

My friend will tell her daughter then when she was born she wasn’t able to see anyone for the first three months of her life. We will always ensure that we have an extra supply of toilet roll. We will hug people, and reconnect, sharing stories of how we survied the life in lockdown. Families will remember their loved ones and celebrate lives cut short.

None of us will forget.

 

I am Seven

It happened sometime in March, and unlike real birthdays, it’s a low enough number not for me to be concerned about, or is it, because in terms of blogging I think seven is probably quite good.

That said, some could argue that I have not actually been blogging and they would be absolutely correct, in 2019 I wrote only seven posts, can we class that as one for each birthday.

In terms of writing, there is still not an issue with regards to wanting to write, because I do all the time, I just never seem to get around to it, something else gets in the way, I am lazy, there are very many reasons, all with their own percentage.

This blog birthday finds the world in ‘unprecedented times’. I have heard that phrase so much in the last six weeks. It’s a time when I should be writing, documenting what is going on, lest I forget, but I think because it is so unusual, it is unlikely that any of us will forget, or should forget the lives that have been lost and the families affected by this pandemic. Neither should we forget all of the key workers who are continuing to do their jobs in the these difficult and unusual of circumstances.

So this birthday, we shall just quietly celebrate that I am seven. Trust me, I’ve had the usual yearly wrangles of should I stay or should I go and for this year anyway I have decided to stay. Who knows, I might even write eight posts, but don’t hold me to it ffs, or we could all be let down.

I hope all my favourite eejits are well. If you are reading, then thank you for still being here :)

Pay it forward

I worked on Sunday, I needed to, to calm my anxiety brain and the million things it had to do.

After that there were groceries to get, Fridays trip had seen a fair few empty shelves. For some reason the supermarket is always busy on a Sunday, the aisles are packed with people and it can be difficult to navigate and side step the trollies.

On entering the shop I went in search of a basket, this was after all a bits and pieces shop and not a full one. There was only one left and both myself and an older lady made a beeline for it. She had this look on her face, both quizzical but also ready for a battle should the need arise. I reached the spot first, most likely because of my longer strides and of course the fact I needed a basket. I bent down, picked it up and handed it to her and said you use this one and I will go and find another. That wasn’t what she expected at all and the smile I received warmed my heart. I had no intention of taking the basket, my longer strides, even with a dodgy leg carried me on and I was able to find another one.

I like doing things like that, small little things that can change people’s perception in an instant.

Shopping done I headed to the next store, where only having two things to get I anticipated it would be a quick trip in and out, but it was busy there too. I approached the till and the lady in front of me clearly was doing her weekly shop, but thems the breaks, folks gotta eat. So I wanted in line for my turn, only for her to turn to me and say that as I only had a couple of things that I should go ahead. I asked her if she was sure and when she said yes, I thanked her and went about the business of buying.

You see that’s karma right there, the universe paying it forward and it made me feel good. It made me smile.

So do a simple thing every day, it might not mean much to you, but it could mean the world to someone else. Even something as simple as a smile.

Taking Pictures

When I hurt my leg seven years ago, there were lots of little bits and pieces that I lost, like confidence when walking, being able to master stairs without having to hold on and the ability to run, not that I ever did much of that to start with unless it was to catch a train.

Learning to counter my knee having a life of its own was also a bit of a tester, it puts a whole new meaning to knee jerk reaction, when it decides to buckle of its own accord. But I adapted and manage, I’m used to the daily pains, sometimes even forgetting about them because its now become part of life.

The thing I missed the most was photography, simply because I was not able to scramble to some of the places I had been able to before. I kind of lost the joy in it because standing shots became a little boring. I put the camera away and on days out just used my phone instead, but often times in my head I was still mentally framing shots and analysing colours.

I love my Nikon D40, thanks to my Sisters very kind gift it is the best camera I have ever owned. I love the feel of it in my hands and the satisfying click of the shutter when it captures what my eye can see. It’s been eveywhere with me and captured some amazing memories, but over time the picture quality has started to change and it doesn’t seem to record colours as good as it once did.

I decided to purchase a new one, opting for something a little smaller and more compact. A couple of weeks ago the Fathership and I went for a little trip. The gallstones mean I don’t like travelling too far away from home for fear of the dreaded pains, but on this particular day we decided to go to the Castle Gardens in Antrim.

Relatively flat ground meant the walking was not too taxing for the leg and the tiltable screen on the camera made slightly funkier shots more possible too. It’s a beautiful place and it reignited my love of photography as I felt the familiar buzz of being able to capture what was around me.

I was pleased with the pictures I took, despite the fact it was my first trip out with and using the camera, well, you can see for yourself, I’ve included some shots below.

The fact that winter is fast approaching means there will not be too many more opportunities until next year, but who knows what the lovely autumnal colours will bring when the bookwork is done and out of the way freeing up a little more time.

Throwing Stones

What are the official timings of Summer, isn’t it weird that I don’t know that, I probably should. Be right back, I’m going to Google it……

…Hi, so apparently Summer ends on the 23rd September, so I’m kind of glad I checked because I was going to make an arse of myself by saying that it ended next week!

So, lets start again. Summers going to end soon, but it already feels like it’s over as I watch the brand new batch of children prepare for the first days of the new school year. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag weather ways but at the minute there seems to be more sunshine than rain, so that’s a good thing right?

I’ve not been too far travelled this summer, mainly because I have been sick on and off. I finally, have hopefully got to the bottom of my 5 hour bouts of pain, that have been ongoing for the last year, I have gallstones….little feckers.

Most days now I am nauseous and sore but I’m still standing so that’s good and any anxiety I had about my impeding appointment with a surgeon, when it arrives has now passed as while in the midst of a bout of excruciating pain I often contemplate opening myself up to whip it out.

Who’d have thought that such a small collection of tiny things could cause such pain, and they do, oh boy they really do. It’s time to go my lovilies, it really is, because I cannot put up with you or the fear of the pain that your partying in my insides causes for much longer.

So I’ve been miserable, even more so than normal. Along with that there’s a higher than normal spike in anxiety and mild depression brought on by an over thinking brain that cannot seem to release the past, can I blame that on the gallstones too?? Probably not eh.

Work has been pretty non stop too, but thats been good because it takes my mind of the sickness except for the day I was hanging over my desk throwing up into my bin and crying with pain, that was good fun…….not!!

But it’s all good, it can’t last forever, hopefully it will all be sorted at some stage, until then I’ll just have to keep calm and carry on regardless.

Still there are positives in life, there always are and I’m actively trying to look for them. Right now it’s the sunlight on the showers and the smell of dinner cooking, the fact it’s the end of the hump day which brings us one step closer to the weekend, even if it is going to be a busy one.

Hope all is well with you eejits, what’s been happening?

Forgotten Details

There are many things that happen in our lifetime, some good and some bad. For me personally, I seem to be able to remember the momentous occasions, usually, because of the way my brain works, the bad ones. But there are also milestones too, not necessarily amazingly good things, but times that meant something or dates that had significance.

It seems though that as I get older the small but still important things become more faded, I find myself relating dates to before my leg injury and after, because that is a date I never seem to forget.

I recently found an old journal, it was not detailed descriptions, but more snapshots of where I was at that particular time. It jogged my memory and brought back a few names and locations that have long been forgotten. It was fun to read, but also difficult because it made me realise that my anxiety issues have been with me for longer than I thought.

Blogging for me was never about sharing all the details of my life, I tended to write when there was a lot going on in my head and I needed to clear some space. This means that I didn’t always note the smaller less important things and now I am beginning to wish I had.

It made me think about whether this is something I need to change in order to help me remember. Is my old lady brain going to progress from more than asking myself what I went into a specific room for, because that in itself is extremely frustrating sometimes believe me.

There has to be a benefit of noting down important things, like when and how I met friends and also sometimes how I lost them. Important places I visited and the memories that became associated with them. Losses and gains, they are all important in their own way to form the foundations of a life lived and also perhaps to remind my brain on its bad days that there were gains, not just losses.

I haven’t come to any firm decisions yet, but it’s something I might quite like to try.

Hey brain, here’s to making memories and actually remembering them.

What about you, do you journal to remember ?

Mind Your Mental Health

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I seem to have been talking a lot about mental health lately. Believe it or not, this makes me very happy. What once could have been seen as a taboo subject is now becoming something that people openly share, and I like the fact that it is something my friends and work family decide to share with me.

I am not alone, and neither are you.

I used to feel like I was alone. I used to feel I was different from other people. My inability to process my thoughts and feelings left me confused and sometimes scared. I couldn’t understand why small bumps in life often felt like mountains and worries could not be quietened with rational thoughts.

I am not permanently damaged. I am flawed.

There is nothing wrong with me, I am just a little bit different. My outlook on life is often more black than white, but I know the light in the darkness exists, and I never lose sight of that. I am accepting of the fact that anxiety and worry will always be a part of who I am. The little quirks I have, like counting as I cut vegetables, checking and rechecking doors are locked and needing space and room to breathe in company will always exist. I am tired of trying to explain myself to others, I shouldn’t have to. If someone loves me, they need to love the good as well as the bad.

I am not them. I am me. I can never be anything but me.

I know that counselling may not be right for everyone, but it was for me. It made me acknowledge that there were things I needed to work on. It also taught me that I need to talk to myself the way I do to others, with love and respect.

I cannot love myself yet, I just cannot, no matter how hard I try, but I am now open to the possibility that maybe one day I could.

These days I talk more freely. I share my experiences with those who ask. I listen to the words and wisdom of others and when needed I offer my thoughts.

I am not alone. I never was. I just did not reach out to find the others like me.

I am Six

I am 6. Well technically I was 6 in maybe March, but it has taken me this long to get around to acknowledging it. Thank you WordPress for the reminder.

This year there was even less fan fare than when I was five. I’ve been here so little of late that it seemed pointless to post about it, but actually there is a point, regardless of how much or how little I post, I am still here six years later. Initially I didn’t believe that I would even last six days, so that in itself is some kind of achievement right!?

There are people who have been here for the same length of time I have, and they have celebrated many successes and in one case a million followers. Those people deserve it because blogging is hard work and they have put in the effort while at the same time always being there to offer assistance and guidance to others. I am in awe of both their talent and time.

Success for me is on a much smaller more personal level. I love this place, whether I am silently reading posts or giggling at a comment someone has put on one of mine. I might have been silent but I have been here.

I love the people I have met, seriously my followers are awesome, they are always there with words of wisdom and encouragement. They pick me up when I am down and raise me higher when I am not. They have been a source of entertainment and enlightenment and that has by far been the highlight of my time blogging.

The arrival of each birthday brings with it a series of questions that I ask myself. They mainly centre around whether I need this space any more and whether I have a place here. I believe there is a place here for everyone. While my life is not very exciting and I have little to share that will amaze and astound, I still have things to say. Whilst I mainly direct my writing at myself these days, if even one other person can empathise or understand then isn’t it worth it, even if it helps me realise that I am not alone.

The last six years have been a journey. Sometimes it has been an uphill struggle, but I’m still battling on, I have never given up, not here and not in life. That is something I need to give myself credit for.

While I don’t have a lot to say and I don’t visit as much as I should, each time I open a blank post I still feel that tingle of excitement, that familiar buzz of possibility. I write in my head constantly, weaving snippets of words and thoughts, but more often than not that is where they remain. I need to be better at letting them flow to my fingertips.

In my time here I have written 543 posts, been viewed over 50,000 times, had 23,000 visitors, 10, 501 comments and amassed 1,442 followers.

I am six, but I need you to know that I could never have made it this far without all of you. I need you to know that you are loved, more than you know.

Thank you!

Feeling Strange

It’s a strange feeling being sad. It’s even worse when you want to be happy. My happy is still there, it never leaves me, but often times, the smile that I feel, does not reach my eyes.

It’s a strange feeling to cry, especially when you have nothing to cry about, but there are days when the darkness overshadows the light and stifles it’s tiny glow.

It’s a strange feeling to feel unloved, even though you know you are, even though you are told you are, but those little voices in your head continue to pick and pick until you can take no more and sigh your agreement.

It’s a strange feeling to feel like a failure. To feel like there are never any gains, only losses. There is never any happiness, only sadness. There is only darkness, never light.

I feel all these things, daily. I fight with myself constantly. I use the techniques I have been taught, and I cling on, because I am not ready to give up.

Do not make the mistake of thinking though that I am not happy, because mostly I am. I love my family and I love my friends, I have been blessed with the best of both. I’ve been through some shit, I’m still going through some shit, but it’s not as bad as what others are having to face.

I’m squaring up against my enemy, and that enemy is me. Every day is a battle. Some days I do not have the energy, so I fight like a girl, all hissy fits and bitch slaps. Other days I roar like a lion and sometimes I even come out on top.

My blog used to be such a happy place. There was laughter and merriment and then somewhere over the course of 5 years everything changed. I changed. It became an outlet for me to vent and release the feelings that were inside my head. Again I felt like a failure when I could not write, but I had trouble voicing everything going on. I wanted to try and be the happy person that people had come to know, but I couldn’t, so instead I stopped writing. That was a mistake.

If my newest round of counselling has taught me anything, it’s that it is ok to be me. I don’t have to make excuses for the way I am, instead, I have to learn to love and value myself so that I can receive the same from others. Fuck is that difficult.

I suppose the point of this post, if there is one, or if it needs one, is to never give up. No matter what life throws at you, or what you throw at yourself, never give up. The darkness may sometimes consume the light, but there are always little things in life that will light a match and reignite the flame. You just need to remember to look for them.

Remember, I am good, I am ok, I just needed to write and from now on that is what I will do. I do not need sympathy, the fact that you are here is enough for me, it has always been enough, this community has seen me through many dark times.

The Eejit that is still in me needs you to know, that thoughts are like a good fart, better out than in, and that is why I write, both the happy and the sad.