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.

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.’

Tomorrow is a new day

Image from My Status 360

It’s probably a bad idea to write a blog post when you’re cross, and I am cross today. Its been another fun filled day in the office and I’ve completely fallen out with myself. About 45 minutes after going in, I wanted to turn on my heel and go back out, but I didn’t have the balls.

It’s fitting I suppose that I should feel like this, because I’ve finally stopped wondering what I am going to do with my blog. After much pondering, humming and haaahing I’ve decided I’m going to do nothing. Nothing drastic anyway.

This blog is important for me, especially on days like today where I need to stop, sit down and have a serious fucking think about where my life is going.

You see if it wasn’t for this space and it’s blank pages, I probably wouldn’t talk about the veritable storm that goes on between my ears. Instead I’d dwell, ponder and make mountains out of molehills. More so than I do normally.

I’m not the same person I was four years ago when I started this blog and it’s unlikely that I ever will be again, so I need to stop pretending to be someone I am not and embrace who I am becoming instead.

In order to do that I need to be able to write everything and about all parts of me. When I started blogging and chose to be anonymous, things were a lot easier, but when people from real life started to find out my words became stifled. So much so that despite the fact that my mind was awash with ideas, many posts remained in my head unwritten.

In reality I like to think that sometimes I can be funny, but I am hounded by anxiety and I have no doubt that often times depression nips at my heels. So I suppose in essence that means there are two sides to me, on one hand we have the public persona and on the other we have the private one. Although both are very different, when they are put together they make up the person I am.

I need and want to be able to express myself on this blog, and going forward that is something I am going to try to do. I don’t need anyone to worry about me. I find writing extremely therapeutic, it helps me to put things into perspective and sort them out. I don’t write for sympathy and nor do I want sympathy. I’m not the only person in the world with problems and this wonderful community proves that. We work and we support each other and for me that is the real beauty behind blogging.

So, you’re stuck with me for a while longer. I’ve decided to take you on my journey of discovery. It’s all about finding out who I am, what’s going on in that wonky top box of mine and how I sort it out.

Some days there will be tears and some days there will be laughter, but that’s all part of life isn’t it, we have to take the good with the bad.

Thank you so much for being here for the last however many years, months or days you have followed, I have no doubt I have received more from this community than I have given and I feel truly blessed to be a part of it.

To celebrate and as a present to myself, I finally mapped my domain name, I doubt you will have noticed, but it’s just something small that makes things a little more permanent for me.

Also, excluding social media followers, one of my goals was always to reach 1000 followers on WordPress itself. At the time of writing this post there are 998. I’ve decided that’s good enough because in life I am never really quite where I want to be, but it doesn’t stop me trying anyway.

Just over four years ago I had nothing, just some words on a page and no followers. Now I am a part of something I love, and I hope that continues for a long time.

P.s I’m not cross any more :)

All the small things

I feel like I’ve been struggling a bit of late. Struggling to keep on top of my mental well-being, which in turn has resulted in an inability to write.

In the face of competing demands I just seem to shut down. I’d been trying to juggle too many things and the pressure was beginning to show. I was starting to dread going to work because I wasn’t sure I could cope with any more of the curve balls it had to throw at me.

I was worried about other things I needed to complete outside of work and how I was going to get the time to get them done.

I was tired. I am tired.

I was forgetting though that I am just one person. I can’t do everything all at once and I deserve time for myself without feeling guilty about it.

Its so easy when the pressures on to forget about the little things and the little things are actually very important.

Like the fact that I love my new work colleague, in fact all my colleagues. I love how she gets my sense of humour and work aside it’s like she’s always been there. She fits in.

I love that I feel comfortable with these people and that they can turn my frown upside down.

I love my friends, who without knowing I’m feeling the darkness give me something to brighten it, in the form of an empty gin bottle and a rechargable string of lights. Like I said, small things mean a lot.

I need to not forget these things, because they make this life what it is. It’s far from perfect, but for every low there is a high, we just need to acknowledge that.

Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale!

Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale

When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?
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Image from sophisticatededge.com

Seriously folks, this is so randomly boring and banal that you’re going to think to yourselves, seriously, WTF!!, did she just post that!

On Wednesday the 1st January 2014 for New Year’s Day dinner I cooked a whole chicken! Now before you all start to panic, the chicken was not alive at the time, in fact it looked quite peaceful in it’s little roasting bag, lightly dusted with herbs and spices. I did however have a minutes silence, after I saw my neighbours brood lined up outside my kitchen window  giving me the evil eye. Now before you all start to panic again, it was NOT one of my neighbours in the bag.

I have to be honest and say that while I had respect for the bird before me, I had no remorse, because if truth be told chickens, the live ones that is, scare me just a little. They seem to lay in wait around the vicinity of the back door and when I step outside they are prone to chasing me and pecking at my feet. They always seem to pick the bad leg too, because they know I cannot kick them a boot up their feathered fandangos. In my head they are saying, “Here lads, look at the drumsticks on that, attttttaccccckkkk!!!” In reality there are probably saying, “fooood, this bitch is bound to have foooooood.”

Now I know for most of you cooking a whole chicken will be the easiest thing in the world, in fact most of you probably do it with your eyes closed. I know when I do the funky chicken, everyone else keeps their eyes closed. The thing is, my Mum was a fantastic cook and she would have been the one who did all those kind of things when we were younger. In later years I cooked for myself, but I preferred things like stir fries, korma, noodles etc. Don’t get me wrong I have a healthy appetite but not even I could eat a whole chicken on my own.

The saddest things about the way my Mum’s illness has progressed is that there never seemed to be a need to learn all the cooking secrets that she knew, and now I need to know them, she is not able to teach me. Thankfully for most things I knew the basics which I was able to expand on.

Now I cook for us all everyday and I’ve been trying to experiment and try new things in an attempt to vary our daily menu, which if truth be told is the bit I find the hardest in the whole caring process to date. So you see, to me cooking a whole chicken, which was not only edible but delicious  as well, and best of all didn’t kill anyone was actually a big deal. I served it up, and looked at the plates with a huge smile on my face and thought I did that, while mentally high fiving myself.

Next, which will be another first for me is Shepherd’s Pie….and no before you ask, no Shepherd’s will be harmed in the cooking process!

I’m half left!

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Everyone has off days, of course they do. It’s like that old joke when someone asks you if you are alright, and you reply, no I’m half left because if I was all right I’d fall over.

My day was actually fine, the problems started when I got home. Sometimes I just want to go to my room, close the door, climb under the duvet and hide, however the insistent knocking on the door, followed by ‘it’s me again’ makes me want to bang my head repeatedly against the wall instead.

Christmas Card gate is a disaster! My Father remarked he was amazed that I had remained so calm. I didn’t say a word, in fact I kept my mouth tightly shut, because I was scared that if I opened it the shattered remains of my teeth would spill onto the floor. What can I say, in times of great stress I clench and grind!

I’m only beginning to realise how stressful it is to look after a person with a mental illness, and how time consuming it is. It’s also extremely sad to watch someone who you know was a smart, articulate and outgoing individual disappear in front of your very eyes, while trying to convince them that you are not the enemy.

It’s also very hard to remain calm. I think I am getting better, I am certainly trying to. Sometimes it’s just better to walk away, perhaps shed a few tears, have a think and then approach the problem from a different angle. But there is the guilt, always the worry and the guilt.

I fight it a lot. I fight with my own feelings. I didn’t ask for this, but then I guess neither did she. I don’t think I can do it, and then I realise that I have been and I am amazed at the way I have stepped up to the plate and can now sort out tomorrow nights dinner as I cook tonight’s. Simple things I know, but I was used to cooking for one, not running a house for three.

I miss my free time though. I miss being able to ring Udders and say lets go for tea. These days there would have to be a 20 step, 3 day multi action plan before I could consider it. Although the other week I did show my Dad how to fry left over potatoes, so there is progress.

It’s all part of life though isn’t it and these things have to run their course, but sometimes you just need to let off a little steam.

No one said I was always going to be smiley and happy, I am after all half left.

P.s I made a New Year’s resolution I was going to write everything, not just the good stuff on this blog. So just in case the Zombie apocalypse comes before I make it to 2014 I’ve started early!

It’s official – I’m a basket case!

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Image by Sandrei

This morning when the train conductor told me my train was delayed and then followed it up with it’s now an express, you’ll have to wait for the next one, I just broke down and cried. I couldn’t help it, I even tried to stop it, but the tears they just kept falling!

The man looked at me in an ‘ah feck, hormonal woman alert’ kind of way! But he was wrong. I was crying out of sheer frustration.

My leg hurts, right now it hurts really bad, most likely something to do with the weather. It’s added pressure I just don’t need, I have so many things to do and my broken lower half just cannot keep up. My alleged ‘good’ leg is also now pitching a fit, probably because it’s sick and tired of taking the strain of it’s twin, I hear ya sister, I just can’t help ya!

Travel is a nightmare, a complete and utter nightmare and coupled with everything else it’s wearing me down.

Here’s the thing, life doesn’t stop just because you’re in pain, you still have to carry on with the tasks associated with the daily grind, suck up the extra physical pressure. I wasn’t however prepared for the extra mental pressure, the strain of coping with the day to day.

I’d been trying to stay so positive, reminding myself on a daily basis there are others in situations much worse than mine, and there are, but just lately it’s all started to crowd in around me just a little. I’m already in full on panic mode about the fast approaching Winter.

I have to say however that after a steady 15 minutes of free flowing waterworks I did feel somewhat better, that is until I reached work and someone made the mistake of asking if I was ok…ah feck here we go again with the leaking eyes and the hormonal stares!

I am currently sitting at my computer, typing this blog and munching on a brazil nut (apparantly they help to increase serotonin levels in the brain) whilst chanting positive mental attitude over and over again. I’m making progress, half an hour ago all I could get out was positively mental!!

I have high hopes for tomorrow. :)