Weightless

Day two of waking up in my favourite city, with every inhale of breath I have taken in calm, and with every exhale I have let go of any restrictions I naturally place on myself.. No denying myself this time, if I want it I’ll have it, it’s about making ‘me’ feel special and nothing else.

I feel a kind of nothingness as though I am floating or walking on cushioned feet, actually experiencing life that is completely stress free.  And it feels so good.  And I wonder why I don’t get this feeling at home, this feeling of weightlessness.  This uplifted state of complete and utter relaxation, I wish I could package it up and take it with me, so I can take a breath of it every now and then..fill my lungs with euphoria.

No one has entered my head, or made me turn my glance to their needs, it has all been about me.  For the first time in a long time, I literally did leave everything at home, and I  officially left the building.  It feels like forever since I last took a breath ‘in’ like this.

Even though my body is desperately aching, I am a trying without much need or effort to ignore it… right now it doesn’t matter.  Within the few short hours I am here, time is precious, it has no space for pain and I intend to give it no attention.  I’ve given it enough already at home, so I am walking around this city, getting my bearings and enjoying clean air.  I’m sure the pain will sit waiting like a patient dog for my return, as all this relaxation takes it’s toll.

I see a different city this time.  As I people watch, it dawns me that all people really do whilst here besides the tourist attractions and coffee shops, is to wander aimlessly, covering many miles with no particular place to go.  Where once the coffee shop proprietors were friendly and chatty, now they are run like proper little businesses, with no time to converse or get an education; and they are found few and far between.  But I am not distracted by that, I came here to shutdown, and that’s exactly what I did.

I found myself talking to few people, though I sparked curiosity I was left alone to write on my iPad, but I could hear whispered questions about who I might be, or what I might be writing about.  It always brought a smile, and I wonder why they just didn’t ask me.

I had thought that maybe I might have written more whilst I was away, but I can’t force it.  The last few months have proved very difficult in so many ways, and I am still trying to process my way through it, but at least now I currently feel temporarily healed.  I know I have been absent from here for some time, much longer than I thought I would be, but there are many words to come.  I have so missed these pages; it feels like a part of me is missing when I don’t write, and until I do my mind will remain slightly clouded.

The most important thing is for the moment I am at peace with myself again…

Sharon Carter-Wray

(3rd September 2018)

 

 

 

 

No ordinary woman

I’ve known for a long time, that I needed to be right here, at this moment. Even though this moment took longer to arrive than I had initially anticipated.

As soon as I left my friend in the car park where she’d dropped me off, I felt the mantle of responsibility and obligation to anyone or anything, gently slip from my shoulders and hit the floor.

I felt more empowered with every step, and braver with every mile added to the distance travelled. Doing something for myself and by myself, something not many of the women in my life would ever dream of doing. Ever.

But I feel free again.

And I am only reminded of how brave I really am, have been and have still yet to be. That I’m not an average woman. Something I’ve said about myself for years, I just hadn’t realised how true a statement it is, or the depth of where that truth came.

But, I guess I was no ordinary child either…

Born with health issues from day 1, I make no bones of telling people that I’m lucky to be here, but they think I mean ‘lucky’ in other ways. Much as I know I’m blessed, that kind of luck has never walked the same side of the road as me.

I learned a long time ago, that whatever I achieved in my life would be off my own back. I have never relied on any one, to get me where I am, even through my most difficult times with my ex. It was a message drummed into my head as a child by my father to fend for myself, basically allowing him to shirk his responsibilities from a very young age.

It’s odd that’s the first time I’ve ever thought of it in that way. The truth is more that I can’t actually remember anything really positive that he did for anyone of us, on a personal level. I know he has never stopped spouting off about ‘the things he’s done for us, but I can’t visualise them. I do remember how he used to be quick at doling out punishment, regardless; and to some degree my mother was no saint in that area either.

But as far as he was concerned, he was the ‘King of the castle’ in his own house, in fact he held that opinion of himself in everyone’s house. He liked to hold court, and even today there is nothing he likes better than a captive audience.

Recently close friends, who really know me have taken the time to remind me of my goodness, and what it is they see in me. Being seen through the eyes of others can be a revelation

I know I have digressed, but only slightly, as it all does play a part at some point on this story… The reason why I have needed to literally run away from my life, run from everything, just so I could press pause, take a moment and breathe.

It’s incredible the difference I feel, within so few short hours, to just be good to myself. I am in no hurry and I have no agenda other than to “just be”. And it feels wonderful to be able to finally let go, and do just that. It is now of course when I realise just how tired & burnt out I really am, and just how much I needed to do this. Perhaps I should entertain the idea of doing this for myself every few months, just to lift my soul enough to stop me falling. This isn’t just a quick getaway, this is good medicine…

Sharon Carter-Wray

(29th August 2018)

Life laundry

This particular ‘Life laundry’ exercise appears to be the biggest and most sincere one I’ve had yet.  Three weeks ago, when I last posted I had genuinely believed that I was coming to end of that cycle, but instead, I found I had a lot more ghosts to clear from my under my bed and off my clothes rail!

Memories in the form of possessions, that I no longer needed to keep hold of had to be disengaged.

Things that still held a connection to a past, I no longer wanted part of,.  Clothes that had been saved from many a previous clear out, were now attachments to a time when I used get all dressed up, only to be faced with the usual disappointments, but I kept them because they were beautiful  and were meant to be worn again.

They all had to go.

Because, I am not that woman, now.

Bit by bit, I am coming through, I can feel the power in me surging, as I off load any potential remaining misery.If you aren't true...

For the moment it has stuck me in a whirlwind of ‘must do’, taking up all my energy and focus.  As I churn my flat upside down, finding little demons that had been hidden away, disguised as something pretty; but I soon realised that all I want is a blank canvas.

Maybe, I was being unrealistic, I hadn’t anticipated that it would take this long to finally get round to this particular clean up, I thought I had already completed it many times since I’d moved on.

At the same time, I am also performing the same exercise within my head, re-evaluating my own truths.  Trying to understand why I feel the way I do about certain issues in my life, and why I still allow them to affect me.  I want to emerge totally refreshed and stripped clean of anything that still taints my soul.  I want to feel whole again, as I know that I have lost parts of myself, that can never be restored, but they are not parts that I miss.

As I have grown older, my circle has become smaller.  There were many I openly showed loved to that were not deserving of it, it was only reciprocated by being forgotten about.  Not a nice feeling to be on the receiving end, but it confirms what I’ve always thought:

“Not everyone is or can be a friend”.

Regardless of how people may like to manifest themselves, integrity is a quality many people lack.   They are those who will openly criticise a person’s behaviour, whilst not recognising they are mirroring.  But like the saying goes, ‘He who lives in glass houses…”.  At some point

For some reason people these days, seem to be very quick to find faults and make no bones about expressing themselves, rather than see the good and just focus on that.  Or take the approach of ‘if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all’

Negative people, who seem to be quite happy to wallow in their situations rather than be proactive and bring about change in their lives, surround me.  Whilst at the same time making out that I got things all wrong, and spreading their woes all over me to dampen my spirit.

I have had enough of so much, and a lot of it is due to being so damn tolerant and understanding.   I know it’s a flaw of mine!

But for some reason I think this particular ”life laundry” session, is a really important one.  And while my mind is still muddled as I sort through the various piles of my life, I am frustrated that I have momentarily stopped writing. Obviously, it’s not that I don’t have anything to say… you guys know me by now, but more that I am not yet at peace with myself to be able to sit and quietly write without my mind being interrupted.

But thankfully, in a couple of days I shall be running away from my life.  I am giving myself an opportunity to have a complete shut down, and hang an ‘Out of order’ sign above my door and a round my neck… it is well overdue.

How I have not reached my true breaking point is beyond me, I seem to keep surprising myself at out resilient I am.  I remember the first and only time someone said that about me, I didn’t really know what the word meant; so I had to look it up.  When I read the definition, I was taken aback as it indeed summed me up perfectly.

Definition: Resilient – to be able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditons

But even strong people have a breaking point, and I have felt so close to mine so many times since my breakdown 15 years ago.  But somehow, something in me always stops me going over that threshold, and I save myself again. Maybe it’s because I know just how dark and lonely a place it is, once you break through that barrier.  I spent many years locked in there, with only myself for company…And if I asked you

This ‘life laundry’ session is about cleansing.  Cleansing my soul of all that no longer has a purpose in my life, whatever shape or form it takes.

I know I am guilty of holding on to too many things, and these things have kept me hankering for things that are simply not meant to be.  But at least now I have realised this, and these past few weeks have been just another few pages in a chapter that I had to go through.

It is at these times, that I really feel my sparkle.  I feel like I am lighting up again, just like a new dawn

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(26thaugust 2018)

 

A temporary distraction…

I feel like I have been caught up in the middle of a tornado for the last few weeks.

I have experienced so many highs and lows, but mainly lows as situations and people around me have caused or added to my sudden chaotic daily life.  I have been feeling the weight of stupid mistakes as well as good decisions, and I have been crippled by the stress of outside forces, that have played a good game, but have only served to try and undermine my intelligence and good nature.

I have not been in the proverbial “good place”, so to speak.

I’m not even sure what triggered this Ferris wheel into action, but I do know that I have learned another great lesson, or should `I say had one reinforced.  Which perhaps was not what I needed at this time, but it happened all the same.  And just like the wheel, I have been spun this way and that, making me feel dizzy with all sorts of different thoughts and emotions going through my mind.

But bad things, happen to nice people…

July was an angry month.  I have had to argue/heatedly debate with so many people, in so many conversations, just because they continually took my kindness and manners for granted.  And I guess I am still feeling angry, because I just can’t understand why people have to behave so badly.  This feeling was the inspiration behind the poem “I’m done”, because I have come to realise that, I just can’t do this with people anymore.

I have been in contact with so many selfish souls of late, that I have feared their traits might rub off on me.  But I can’t decipher if it’s the disappointment, the loss of faith, the being let down or the emotionally attachment that has hurt me the most.  Maybe, it’s a combination of all these things, but there has been this big cloud of confusion hanging over my head, and silently I am still asking the question, “why?”

I feel muddled, emotional, my brain is addled, and physically I am dealing with more pain than I can really bear.

In truth, I am happy within myself.  My personal journey of discovery for last three years has reached a good conclusion. I have closure on many things.  But it would appear that there are still rocks from my not too distant past; that are throwing themselves in front of me to block my onward path.

I am just hoping that writing this is going to press the “RESTART” button, and begin the process of me yet again, getting back up, dusting myself down and hey, you know the rest…

Sharon Carter-Wray

(4thAugust 2018)

9. You have to learn…

“You have to learn to get up from the table, when love is no longer being served”.  Nina Simone

Ever have that feeling?

Well it’s not nice.

I have spent so long with one person, just to find years later that love didn’t live here any more.

Worse still, I began to question whether real love was there to start off with.

I looked so deep within myself, wanting to know when I lost my love for him, was it before or after that realisation?  I felt gutted, wounded and let down, each recollection of those words being said and memories of actions that didn’t quite match, only served as another blow to already cheek.

Each time I reeled back from the shockwaves, as I delved deeper into my psyche. Realisation kicked in, in a big way, I had to face the fact that I had been blinded by choice.  It was my choice, that all those niggles about our relationship, (or the things that I was unhappy with), had been pushed to one side.  I had carried on regardless. Boldly bowing down to my vows as a married woman, for richer for poorer, for better or worse, in sickness and in health etc, etc.

More fool me, when it dawned on me that instead of being loved and cared for, I had been ruthlessly taken for granted, manipulated, used, abused and abandoned.

I guess I always knew that something wasn’t quite right, it all seemed one-sided – I was doing all the giving, and he was doing all the taking.  But I had denied that fact to myself so long, that I almost didn’t believe it.

It was only when I started to look at the woman I had become, because of him, that the true damage became apparent… ‘I was running on empty’.  I felt completely stripped down to the bone, naked of even flesh.  I didn’t know who I was anymore.

I had been craving for the very things that he couldn’t or wouldn’t show or give to me.  I was indeed empty.  The ‘belief’ that he loved and appreciated me, had been based on the frequently used three words, that he used to keep me going.   However, there were seldom any ‘facts or acts’ to support them, they were quite simply just empty words.

The more I thought about it, the more my own true feelings toward him emerged. In my heart I had nothing left for him, and I had no idea when those feelings had left me.  But once again, I found myself in a very lonely place, it was hard justifying my reasons, to those who were also blinded by his charms.

Everything changed after that revelation.

I had woken up!

Finally I accepted that I wanted to start living ‘my’ life over again, but for ‘me’ this time.

Throughout all of this, I had blamed myself, I took on the responsibility, I think maybe because it was easier to deal with that way. After all had I not accepted and allowed his behaviour to continue?   So it was also down to me to stop it.

But all I want right now, is to find my smile and be happy again, because it’s way overdue!

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(15thOctober 2014)

 

Note:

This was written a week before my Decree Absolute came through, unfortunately, I still had to spend another 6 months under the same roof as the waster I married! Sx J

 

 

 

8. Time to take a closer look

I realised, that I had been unhappy for quite some time, but it was not only because of my health issues.  I had suffered great loss, with the death of both my mum and my sister within two months of each other 5 years ago; the complete breakdown of my marriage, and life in general threw down a few challenges, that I had no choice but to accept.

My life changed again, and in a funny kind of way I was struck by the fact that

“life really is too short”.

The phrase became my mantra almost, I applied it to everything – people, situations, opportunities and arguments.  It was time to face the facts, and stand up and be counted.  The loss of my mum was tragic and unexpected.  The loss of my sister, well though expected, knocked the stuffing out of me.  I was with both of them when they took their last breaths, something I will forever be grateful for.  I don’t know why, but somehow, I was meant to be there, and couldn’t have possibly been anywhere else.Who's going to miss me

For my mum, she took her last breath, having her wish come true, not to die in a hospice where she was literally about to moved, but at the same time she was too ill to be at home.  I was alone with her for her final moments, having contacted all family members telling them to hurry.

They were very precious moments, a time I will never forget for as long as I live.

In a strange way, it was as if she knew, that I knew, that I would be the next in line to fill part of the hole that she would leave behind.  It still pains me so much every time I think of my ma, and even though I have had small snippets of grieving, I know there is a well so deep in my soul, just filled with tears for the person I truly lost, she can never be replaced by anyone.

So many times I ask myself, if she had purposely waited for me to get to the hospital, so she could finally let go.

My dear sister, had been ill for so many years, and she had fought her illness with all her might.  She never complained, or asked why she was chosen, she accepted it with all the graciousness you would have expected of a lady.  And she was a lady to her very last day.  She however, was in a hospice of and by her choice, she had picked where she wanted to end her days, because her home and sanctuary was no longer a piece of her heart.

You will find the need to let goShe gave us time to prepare for her leaving, she pulled us altogether so that we were all on the same page.  Some of us however, were a few pages ahead already.

She had kept her illness secret from my parents and other relatives, only saying what she wanted them to know.  But on the flip side, between brother and sisters, we had been tasked with some kind of strict pact.  We knew more about the depth, treatment and severity of her illness, but were sworn not to reveal anything.  I think she knew how hard it was for us to do so, but we all loved and respected her way too much, so we had to honour her choices.

I sat with my darling sister at her bedside, for 6 days and five nights, being there for every waking moment, and watching her as she slept. Each day, I would sit and make jewellery quietly, and talk to her when she was lucid.  There was nowhere else for me to be, I was right were I was supposed to be, right where I wanted to be.

I remember something she had said to me on one of my previous weekly visits, she knew of my unhappiness, the pressure I was under from having sorted our mums’ funeral.  But yet she said something to encourage and assure me that she believed in me, and that my life would be better.  She also understood that I had a few choice decisions to make, in order to bring about the improvements.

She was a huge part of my life, and God only knows the void that was left in me, from her passing.  From talking to her 2 or 3 times daily to nothing, had such a devastating impact on me.  There are still days now, when I wish I could call her, just to have a chat, and laugh about seeing the funny side of life.  Living this life

There is not a day goes by that I don’t see, think or talk to my ma, sister and brother who passed many years before.  When I am stuck, I talk out loud.  I have a deep conversation with them, telling them my thoughts, asking for guidance or support.  But the truth of the matter is that I feel them, they hold me close, they enwrap me, they are forever watching over me.  They are my angels, the stars in the night sky, and I still miss them all dreadfully, even as I write this I am so choked up and tearful.

I did the best I could for both of their send offs, both were beautiful days for two very beautiful women.

There has been so much to grieve for, including the loss of my husbands’ family, and my life losses.  One day will be the right day, when I can finally release all the grief inside of me, but for now I need to hold it together for just a bit longer.

I know for myself that writing this blog, is another doorway into my future.  I am at last giving myself permission to experience and explore my varying emotions and feelings.

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(15thOctober 2014)

Note

I wish I could say that I didn’t still miss them, but last year – which was such a transitional year for me, was very difficult to get through.  I so needed their actual presence, but I got through it in the end.  Those who think that grieving is over and done within a couple of weeks are mistaken, it can take many many years to finally get over losing someone, and it is not a process that can be hurried.  Sx 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. All good things must come to an end…

All good things must come to an end…

For something better to begin!

Well. I guess I ought to give an explanation for my previous blog, ‘Journey through a painful body and a depressed mind’, the title says it all really, but that’s who I was, and still am to some degree.

The ‘painful body’ is all about an illness I suffer with called Fibromyalgia, which is a horrible condition to live with, as it entails being in chronic pain anywhere throughout your body.

Basically ‘Fibro” refers to the fibrous tissue surrounding joints and muscles, and ‘Myalgia’ relates to the pain.  But this is chronic pain, not just a few aches.

The severity, duration and locality of pain is different for each person, but things can be so bad, a person can be completely incapacitated or even bed ridden.  There is no cure for this condition, the only relief are strong pain killing drugs, which only dampen the pain down.

The problems are not in our heads, and it doesn’t just affect the physical body, it also grabs hold of your mind, emotions and daily activity.

Other ways it can affect a person:

Forgetfulness – being easily stressed – lacked concentration or focus –
confusion (Brain fog) – clumsiness – lack of sleep – being unsteady on your feet – muscles spasms – lack of sleep – reproduction – blood pressure – being easily tired or exhausted by the simplest of tasks – lack of sleep through constantly waking up – constantly being fatigued or drained of energy

This list could go on and on.

So, how does it affect me?  I suffer with symptoms from head to toe on a daily basis, even in my face, I don’t sleep well, I am always in pain, full stop. I am always worn out, it takes me forever to do things, and it has robbed me of many simple joys in life.  But I have no choice, I have to live with it just like everyone else, who suffers with this.

The last 6 years or so, have been the worse, I now understand that this is something I have probably had for most of my life, but something triggered it off and now it is full blown.  I only received a full diagnosis about two and a half years ago, at least it gave me a name for this monster.

What also doesn’t help me is that I also suffer with recurring Sciatica, I have spinal degeneration going on in my upper and lower back, and a whole host of other health problems.

But to look at me, I am the picture of perfect health!

As for the depression, that really took hold of me about 12 years ago, I literally skidded to a halt, then crashed and burned.  It is a strange sensation when you body takes over the decision making process, when your mind is still wanting to speed along.

I have often said:

“It was the best thing that could have happened to me’, as had I carried on with my life the way it was, then things would have truly ended up being a lot worse”.

In just a short space of time, my life changed forever, I was plunged into the darkness of a sound-proofed arena, where I could hear everything, but nobody heard me. It was the start of ‘My incredible journey’, that helped me revisit my life, my present, my past, my past past, eventually leading me to look at my new future.   I’ve had decisions to make, and many other issues to deal with along the way, but one thing was for sure, changes had to be made.

So here I am, this is where I’m at now aged 49, about to embark on possibly the most exciting time of my life…starting over again.  I am not out of the woods yet, but I can clearly see a bright light ahead of me.

I have stopped writing the other blog, because I decided that, that was not the person I wanted to be anymore, it’s not who I am now, I’m in a whole different place.
All good things must come to an end...

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(29thSeptember 2014)

Note: Unfortunately, 5 weeks after writing this I was involved in a non-fault accident, which wrote my car off, and pulled the rug from under my feet and my life. Sx 🙂

 

6. And so the story continues.

I hope I haven’t made this whole thing about depression and healing myself, sound as if it were so easy.   Far from it.  What a lot of people don’t understand about depression is that there no magic cure, it is not about “picking yourself up”, or just “getting over it”.

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People with real depression only wish that they could do just that, but it’s not a choice that we have.  People, who ask:

“What have you got to be depressed about?”, or “I’ve got a “friend” with the same problem and they did this”, or “You need to be getting out more and enjoying yourself”. And so on and so on.  Etcetera, etcetera…

These people, who can voice such incredible words of thoughtlessness, and insensitivity, have absolutely no fucking idea what they are saying to a depressed mind, or in fact to the person suffering.Contollers and abusers

In my life, they were people who knew me, until I realised they knew nothing about me.  And they knew even less about my life.

 

 

 

They merely saw the material things I had gathered all the chattels that should make me happy.

They saw the confidence I held in myself, the way I would always be the one to speak up, and who also always got the job done.

They didn’t see the pain I was in, or bear the pressure I was under, or notice my gradual decline. They didn’t know what was coming and neither did I.

But then one day it all stopped. 

Everything ceased to function. 

Everything shut down.

Not by my choice.  I had nothing to do with it.  My body decided it simply couldn’t take anymore, it was burnt out, exhausted, it needed to rest and be quiet.  And for a while, in such a weakened state I had tried to defend myself against these people and their words.

But, no matter how many times I tried to explain, why this had happened to me, it fell on deaf ears.

10363854_10152367627086413_535147839283016885_n

All they wanted was to find something else to blame it on; buying an new house, building work that was going on, my evening studies and my recent marriage.  Never, did anyone think that they personally, could be even remotely responsible.

That’s when I realised, that I had to emotionally remove these people from my life.  They caused me more damage and more pain than I needed or could cope with, and they used up all of what little energy I still had.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(5thMarch 2012)

 

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