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.

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.

Reflection

Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s just me.

For some reason in December I find myself taking stock of what has been the whirlwind that was 2018. I’ve not been here much, which means I have not documented important things I wish I had. In time I will come to regret that, especially now that some of the finer details are fading from my memory.

There was a lot this year. An awful lot. Periods of happiness, sadness, dreams that disappeared and self reflection. Essentially I am the same, but at the same time I am not. I’ve changed, I am changing. The hardest thing is getting others to accept me for the flawed person that I am, or perhaps it is me learning to accept the flawed person that I am. There is nothing wrong with being flawed, it is what makes me unique. There is nothing wrong with being me, I just didn’t realise it until now, that I did not need anyone else’s approval.

I’ve missed writing. I’ve forgotten how much I need it. Still though I find myself restricted, I need to get over that, it is my choice to write and others choice as to whether they read.

I am a work in progress. My counsellor scolds me when I tell her that I do not think I can be fixed. I know everyone has issues with themselves, but no matter how hard I try I cannot even like, nevermind love myself. I still have sessions left and I hope against all hope that my hard hitting counsellor has the key to unlock the secret.

I changed physically this year too, a change that is now becoming noticable to others. Sometimes I can see it, but oftentimes not, so I still hide in clothes a size too big for my now slightly smaller frame. This is a change I would also like to build upon if I can.

Christmas is coming, the most wonderful time of the year, but my heart is lonely because I miss where I was 8 months ago, I miss what I had 8 months ago.

Where will I be in 8 months time…….we shall just have to wait and see.

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 : )

The year of things to come….

Dark Place

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.

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.

Who listens?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having mental health issues, it’s that communication is key. Take it from someone who knows, I bottled things up or tried to deal with them on my own for a lot longer than I should have.

The process of opening yourself up to another person is a complex one, there is always that fear of rejection or disbelief. There is also the realisation that once you have decided to speak, people may choose not to listen and believe me, there is nothing worse than not being heard.

It took me a long time to realise that my internal turmoil was not visible on the outside and I became accustomed to being referred to as quirky or weird. Oddly enough, as the years passed I became quite proud of those two monikers, it meant I was an individual.

Looking back, I think I expected people to instantly recognise what my flaws were and make allowances for them, the problem was, I needed to back up the expectation with explanation, which was something I never did. Instead, I wore people out with my complex thought processes bourne from a lifetimes lack of self confidence.

Never be afraid to talk, and to keep talking until someone listens. We don’t even have to open our mouths, we can also use our fingers to weave their magic via pen, notebook or keyboard. Its therapeutic. I’ve found that noting my words down, be that in a journal or online, helps me to process the particular issue I’m facing. It might not always provide a solution, and that’s ok, because sometimes all that is needed is a good dose of reality.

I’m better at voicing my feelings, but I’m not quite adept at it yet. I still tend to back away if challenged and I often get frustrated when the person who I am voicing my concerns to either interprets it as a string of excuses or chalks it down to my anxiety.

One thing is for sure though, I will keep talking, it’s taken me so long to get to this point. I can’t stop now.

As Mandy Hale once said, ‘Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful and magical person that you are.’