Silly I know, but it made me smile! Sx ❤️
Silly I know, but it made me smile! Sx ❤️
Admittedly, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom this last year, there have been moments when I have felt so happy, nothing could touch me. That happiness has come from different areas of my life, and it has spurred me on.
It is what I am ultimately seeking, a life that is calm, peaceful, nurturing and relatively stress free. I don’t think it’s really too much to ask for, but in order to achieve it, I know that I must address the balance and rid myself of the negative factors first.
The first step to that, is to stop taking the responsibility or blame for other peoples’ actions, and to leave them where they belong.
It is also fundamental that I don’t accept people disrespecting me, because it leads to my disrespecting myself, which is definitely wrong on all levels. As they say:
“Happiness is a state of mind, and not a destination”.
So, I am going to promise myself that each day, I do something that makes me ‘feel good in my soul’, which can’t be a bad thing!
(31st December 2016)
Since the decision to shield myself or walk away from negative people and situations, I have felt some real differences in my day to day life. In spite of health not being on my side for most of the last 2 years, and having many emotional issues to deal with, I have battled on in search of this one thing.
But, I am pleased to report that now at least my frame of mind is in a good place. I would also say quite whole-heartedly that I am happy. Many doors were closed at the end of last year. Since then I have managed to somehow maintain this upbeat attitude and mindset since then.
I know that I still have anger within me. But I also know that I am right to feel that anger.
No longer will I make excuses or be quick to forgive other peoples’ shortfalls. Especially if they know, they should really know better.
I have finally realised my true worth, after years of being made to feel worthless, . And no one can take that away from me. Never again, will I allow anyone to question my own integrity or make me feel bad about who I am as a person. Sx ❤️
Artwork by me: I am enough
Poetry: I keep that beast inside
(Tues 26th February 2019)
Eleven years ago, in Aug 2003 I had my breakdown. It is only now that I actually call it that. I never really had a word for it before, but it was the biggest turning point in my life.
And a break down it was, a complete and utter break down of everything.
I had seen it coming. I had felt the vibes in me. I knew something wasn’t right within my soul. So, it came as no great surprise that Monday morning, as I walked towards my office with the usual sense of foreboding, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, heavy breath, and anxiety… to find myself 30 minutes later in a heap.
Having sat down at my desk, I knew I had to see my doctor urgently, and within minutes of making that call, I was struggling with life itself. I remember the day so clearly, from the panic around me, to the fact that my team leader drove me home, rather than call the ambulance that I so desperately needed at the time. It had felt like they just wanted to hurry me off the premises, to no longer be their responsibility.
After a few weeks of being completed drugged out, Occupational health stepped in, and organized 6 weeks of counselling with a local practice. That woman did more damage than good! She opened up a whole can of worms that should have been left well alone, as she could not deal with the contents. She spent more time talking at me, than to me, telling me what I should do, and so on and so on. I couldn’t wait to finish the 6 weeks with her. It felt like unfinished business, and I had had no trust in her to truly open up. But at least one thing I did learn was that I was indeed depressed. Just as my doctor had told me. Initially, the very idea of depression, was something I had been bemused by, but it soon dawned on me that I was suffering, and as time went by, I realised just how bad I had it and for how long.
I was appointed a psychiatrist, who I still see, and went on to attend other types of counselling. But I didn’t really have the same issues as some of my peers, so I never felt that I got anything out of it, except understanding the different degrees or levels at which people can suffer. More importantly, I learnt that depression can last for years and years, and some people don’t ever really get over it.
Being myself, I had thought I would recover in a few months, that all I needed was just a break, and here I am eleven years later, still not out of the woods yet!
I have always very open about my illness. Many people have thanked me for my candidness, and for being willing to talk about it. I described depression like falling a series of steps; and acknowledged that we all suffer from it at some time in our lives, but for most it will last for a very short period of time i.e. falling down to the first step.
But, for the unfortunate ones, they fall a lot further down, maybe even hitting the floor hard. And that’s when the true problems can arise, that’s when we need the help of medication, to pull us out of it and up again. I placed myself somewhere near rock bottom, but not quite.
It is after all a chemical reaction within our brain and body, there is nothing that we can do to help ourselves, so there should be no shame or stigma just because of people’s ignorance. I became quite good at seeing it in other people, and my honesty was always welcomed and appreciated, because I understood.
A doctor once said to me, that he best cures for depression are:
Three things guaranteed to boost your mood, and help make you feel better… If only it were that simple. Depression usually means that you have been robbed of the ability to enjoy doing things, or you no longer feel pleasure in anything, because you feel so flat and so low. So how do you summon up the energy to get yourself motivated? When it takes all the “feel good” emotions away from you?
Many people were shocked in the way I had changed, I was no longer chatty or humorous, I was very, very quiet and withdrawn. Basically, I became a shell, the complete opposite of the person I usually was.
People questioned how I could be depressed, with having the nice house, a good job and a lovely husband to boot, (all the material things that allegedly make people happy), because they simply could not understand how it could happen to me. After all, if I could get knocked down by it, so could they. I came to recognise who my real friends were, and undertook a major housekeeping exercise, ridding myself of negative forces around me. Cutting off people who thought they always knew what my problem was, and had a cure for me, in fact it pretty much affected anyone that didn’t listen to me.
About 18 months into my breakdown, I was assigned a Psycho-Therapist, and this was the first step towards my recovery, and me getting my life back. This amazing woman named Margaret, held the keys to so many of my internal locks, and bit by bit she encouraged me to match each key to a lock, to discover what was hiding behind. It was then that realisation finally took control.
I began to accept just how broken I was, but I always had it in my mind that one day I would be healed again. Even though I knew it would take time for that to happen, that thought kept a positive light burning inside of me; in spite of feeling like I was surrounded by darkness.
I am so proud of myself, because I never lost my free spirit, I have maintained my focus throughout this illness, and I have emerged so much stronger than ever before.
(2nd December 2014)
It’s hard to be believe that was me 4 years ago. What I didn’t know then, was that I was on the brink of a major transitional period, that would once again rip my life inside out.
I am fully aware and accepting of the fact that depression will always be a companion of mine, whether she lurks in the shadows or walks by my side. I am also fully accepting of the fact that I will always be on medication for it, in spite of being discharged from my psychiatric service. But in truth, I never really believed that I got the support or the service I should have received from them; because there were so many important issues that were left undiscussed. So, a lot of the time I felt very much alone and like I was left to flounder.
But in the end, over the last 4 years I have addressed the main factors that had brought me to that place, and at least now feel like I’m holding the steering wheel and I’m back in the control seat of my life. I had very few people I could confide in, who had some knowledge and understanding of what I was going through. So silently, I got on with the task of picking myself back up, dusting myself down and getting on with the process of properly mending and healing.
“I keep that beast inside“, came out of this transitional phase, when I wrote it not only did I feel angry, I knew I had every right to be. My creativity and my written words, have empowered and driven me so much, I no longer seek validation from people close to me, who seem quite happy to disregard or ignore my talents.
But, this matters no more as my confidence and self-belief are growing daily, and I feel truly blessed by that. Sx ❤️
(Saturday 16th February 2019)
Such a small word that has a huge meaning!
Joy is something else I always strive for. I find joy in the simplest of things, whether it’s a pretty creation I’ve made, a piece art I have done, or just spending time doing anything that makes me feel uplifted. Just doing the things that I enjoy, makes me feel good about myself, and it’s something I can’t get enough of, it makes me thrive. Another thing I always say is:
“Out of my misery something beautiful is always created”.
Because it’s often at these times that I am most imaginative.
So, I am going to promise myself that I will make more room in my life so that I have the proper time to follow my heart.
(31st December 2016)
I am pleased to say that in spite of having such bad health over the last couple of years, I have at least continued to be as creative as I can be. After this entry, I began creating a scrapbook full of the inspirational quotes and words, many of which had been previously stuck to my walls as daily visual reminders. It has been a labour of love creating this book, as each page has been hand-decorated in a variety of different ways, making it a beautiful book to pick and browse through. I still have several more pages to do, before this first book is completed, it is not something to be rushed, and If I’m honest I will have many more of these to do. If you would like to see some of these scrapbook pages I have added some photos under my lovely creations tab.
The other positive thing that has happened, is that I have taken up my writing again, something that has been dormant for quite a while. I was inspired to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and I haven’t looked back. So much so, it’s what brought about “My kind of beautiful”, and for that I am very thankful.
I have bottled up so much up over the years, not realising just how fundamental it was for me to write my feelings out. It was also the inspiration behind the word art “Joy” that I did, because the word itself is important to me.
It was such an important reawakening for me, to once again have an avenue to channel my thoughts and emotions. It feels like finding an old friend again…
It gives me great joy to see the words I have strung together and the creations I have made on my website and other social media. It is even better knowing that I have the courage to put myself and my truth out there, and that I am touching so many strangers who are responding back.
I don’t feel unheard anymore, and whatever else may still be lacking in my life, at least joy is not one of them.
(updated Weds 13th February 2019)
For some time, I have felt this air of woefulness about me, along with an emptiness when I realised that I have gone through this entire year ‘feeling’ so very little love. It saddens me greatly, when I think of all that I have so freely dispersed to friends, (in particular) and family, and how little I have actually felt coming back. It has left me feeling quite lonely and isolated, as I fear, giving out anymore to anyone who doesn’t appreciate it, for what it is.
Knowing that I’ve been on someone’s mind, getting a quick message to check on how I’m doing, spending time just catching up, talking on the phone, being told that I’ve been missed by someone, makes me feel loved. All these little things don’t really need to take much time or effort at all, but somehow everyone’s been too busy, or they just want to talk about themselves.
I have felt quite hurt by the lack of that kind of love. So much so, it has caused me to yet again go through the ‘life laundry’ process of re-evaluating some of the people in my life. A process I seem to go through every few years, which has finally taught me that I am spending too much time, energy and effort on the wrong people.
I am naturally a kind and giving person, it goes against the grain for me to standby and do or say nothing, when I recognise pain in someone, especially when I know I can be of help. But it would seem that’s just how I need to be, even though it’s going to be a hard habit to break.
The lessons I have learned from this have broken my heart at times and left me completely confused, trying to understand why things had gone wrong. It took a while before it hit me that it wasn’t even my problem, it was theirs and the way they chose to see things. But one person’s discontented whispers can travel far, and I wonder to myself, ‘Was I like this at their age?’ and then I hope to God that I wasn’t. Perhaps having reached the age of 51, I can see their insecurities and lack of confidence quite clearly; maybe that’s why they just don’t get me.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through, to achieve that beauty”.
I often say to people that
“The only reason we get hurt by other people, is because we care for them”,
“We are not betrayed by our enemies, but by our friends and loved ones”.
Both statements are very simple truths, so I guess the question I need to ask myself is:
The answers to these questions are:
Now I know the answers, I realise that I have been incredibly fucking stupid!
Stupid in the sense that I had been sucked into and absorbed by their bullshit antics and immaturity, just because I had foolishly made myself believe that they actually gave a shit about me.
But I have distanced myself from those kind of people now, I really don’t want to play their silly games and I certainly won’t share my private life with them. All they know, is that each time they see me now, I always look better in their eyes and they need to press me to know why.
To me, if they aren’t bothered to know about my everyday life, why should they be interested in my private life? So, fuck them, I’ll keep them guessing!
I am not afraid of removing or losing people from my life, if they have shown themselves to be unworthy. I have made progress by stepping away because by not giving my time and love to them, it means I have more time and love to lavish on me, and it really has been quite liberating.
I know I have been stupid! But not anymore, I have now drawn a heavy line underneath all that and moved the hell on.
What can I say? All I know is that when I initially wrote this, it was coming from a place full of pain. But I am pleased to say that over the last 2 years I have continued to re-evaluate the people in my life, and what they really do for or mean to me. It has given me so much clarity, and I am fully aware of where I stand within my close social environment.
Where once I might have internalised all questions and feelings of self-doubt, I am now empowered enough instead, to hold a strong belief that if someone has an issue with me, which they can’t discuss with me… then it really is their problem and not mine… 🙂
(Updated: Tuesday 5th February 2019)
One of my favourite quotes. Sx 🙂
Don’t really mean to have a rant, but have you ever had a time, when you felt your brain was just so addled, you felt completely lost within yourself?
Or felt enveloped by some thick fibrous tissue of someone’s life, that you felt like you were suffocating in them?
Well, that’s been me, these last few weeks!
I feel utterly exhausted by the stress, caused by someone else’s agony and frustrations. I cause no real stress to myself, it is always someone else’s.
They bring it to my door like bunches of flowers, down the phone line, by internet, and in the case of my ex-husband – from very close quarters within the home.
But I don’t want to hear it! I just simply don’t want to hear it… anymore.
I keep myself away. Quiet and unnoticed. Just calmly trying to deal with crap that’s already in my life, my health and again ex-husband, but that’s not enough. Doesn’t matter how many times or ways I try to say ‘enough‘, the words, fall, on deaf ears. I can never get my head round that!
They can see I am mentally drained, and so, so tired. But it would seem that I’m the ONLY one to know the solutions to their problems. As always.
They don’t have to think, why should they? They have me, at the drop of a hat, first person to call. I never proclaimed myself to be the Oracle, and neither do I want to be, it sounds like a bloody hard job.
I just wish that just every now and then, they could come to their senses, and for a change just stand on their own two feet for a while. Just try it out. See how it feels, and get used to the idea! I know it would be a huge relief for me, because right now I feel like I’m being crushed, struggling to breathe.
Just a breath of fresh air, a breath of sweet, quiet harmony, would be enough to recharge my batteries, so that I can sparkle again!
(26th November 2014)
At the time when I wrote this, my divorce had been finalised, but I still had to live under the same roof as my ex-husband. It was not the happiest of times, as he demonstrated how vengeful and vindictive, he could be on a daily basis. Sometimes in ways, that I cannot fathom why he would choose to behave in such a manner.
I guess he was hurting because he knew he had already lost something, that he’d finally recognised the value of… and there was no chance of ever getting it back.
I am not making excuses for him, but I suppose as the time has passed, I had more time to reflect on it.
In those few months before our house sold, he made my life absolutely miserable, in any way he could. To the point that I anticipated his actions, and most times they backfired on him.
During this period of my life, I had little support from anyone. There were many, who thought I was wrong for doing what I did, many who criticised me. And there were many more who simply could or would not believe, that he was anything but this mild mannered, chilled out guy. He’d never dream of hurting me, because he knew I was more than his match. He dare not lay a finger on me. It was one of those things that I’d always warned him about, because even I don’t know how I’d react if someone ever struck me. But I know I would be worried, I don’t take to that kind of thing kindly.
People knew little or nothing about what was really happening. He took full advantage of tainting my name and good nature, whilst I said nothing. Whether those that listened believed him or not, I don’t know, but their eyes can’t deceive them, or deny what a ‘better’ man he’d become, because of me. But I never heard another word from any of his family of his shared friends. So, may be they did.
Little did they know, how in an instant he could transform from a gentle being into a raging lunatic. Throwing things, kicking things, causing damage, (in particular to my belongings), shouting at the top his voice, like he was some caged animal. They didn’t know this side.
Or the guy who would also be broke, never have a penny to spend on anything, had fallen behind on all his financial responsibilities, but like magic could come up with cash to disappear for a week to go sailing. Knowing that he’d not paid the mortgage, or put money on the electric meter to last his absence, and never once checking to make sure I had money. They didn’t know this side.
But in the end, it doesn’t matter what other people may think and feel, it wasn’t their life, and they have no inkling of the real issues I had to deal with. All I knew is that I had to leave and be as far away from him, as I could.
In truth, as with many things, I didn’t do it for them, I did it for me.
And thank goodness I had the sense to do what I did, when I did. I had to save myself… simple as that.
(Monday 4th February 2019)
Grief is not only for the dead. It for the loss of anything of importance that you value in your life. We may grieve for the things we haven’t done or for friends that have moved on, for anything that leaves us with nothing but the memories…
“I have learned that many people are not good for me. No matter how hard I love them.”
Maybe I should start with questions. “Why is it that at the end of every year, I always end up feeling so miserable and unhappy? Why do I still feelings of such utter sadness, loneliness, and still feel that I have felt no real love in my life?”.
There is a void in my life that has been filled with sad memories, disappointments and unhappy moments. These moments of feeling such loss, have choked me up so much. So. much so, there has been no room to let real life in.
I have often said, “I have had no time to grieve for the loss of my brother, my mother and my sister…”, and this now more recently includes my beloved dog. But in truth, I have done nothing but mourn, and grieve, and ache for them. As well as many other losses or things that have happened that I cannot change. No amount of tears, anguish or darkness will bring about a better resolution or a change in circumstance.
I have allowed grief to completely envelop me, thereby imprisoning me with demons of my own making.
Of course, I miss them dearly, they left at a time when I needed them most. Not that there could be a more convenient time…
The emptiness they left behind has been a part of me ever since. Gone were the many daily conversations, the sharing of woes; and the laughter that inevitably followed as we saw the funny side of each dilemma. Gone were the feelings of love I accessed through a telephone line, when sickness on both parts prevented travel. Just gone. No second chances, no more time and no more opportunities.
Not many people actually appreciated what Christmas was really like for me 8 years ago, but it was an extremely difficult time. Two days before Christmas, I had sat with my mum in hospital while we received the news that cancer had spread into her liver, and that there was nothing more that could be done. The next day I was driving up to Kent, to be with my sister for Christmas, for what we knew would inevitably be her last.
During this time, my mum and sister were able to have bedside chats, by using video calls. So they could speak with each other from their respective beds. Two days later I was back with my mum at the hospital, and so it continued, until she passed away on the 29thJanuary. Little did I know that 2 months later, after sitting at my sister’s bedside for nearly a week, that I would say goodbye to her too. And my brother also passed just after the new year, but many moons before.
So I guess it’s not surprising that Christmas has never been the same since…
At the time, I struggled with keeping my mums’ wishes by downplaying it to everyone, instead of speaking the truth, so that they were fully in the picture. But I did my best to honour both sides. At times it felt like they needed my permission to stay away, to not have to face it, as if their busy lives were more important. At times, it felt like they didn’t want to take the responsibility of their choices. But my mum definitely did not want or need anyone weeping at her bedside.
Trying to be rational while others around you are falling apart is by no means easy, and I felt the full force of that from every direction as people looked to me for answers. Endless phone calls, endless questions, endless explanations, endless tears and endless sorrows. Not one of them even thought about how the same loss, was affectively silently killing me inside, and they were making me bear the weight of their grief too.
Many wished them back, saying it was too soon, but I had to remind them what they were really wishing for… more cancer, more pain… when their bodies had already been violated by illness and/or surgery.
Naturally, I bore feelings of resentments, and I probably have never forgiven some of my family for their behaviour back then; while they took a back seat to participate in the grieving process. I have often sensed that somehow, they resented me, as I was the only one with my mum when she died. As though I had left it to the last minute to tell them of her downward turn, which meant they had to rush to get to the hospital in time. It’s a horrible thought, but it’s one that crosses my mind at times, but I didn’t choose her moment to slip away…
When my sister took her final breath I was with her. On that day and the days that preceded it, I felt there was no other place for me to be. For me, I had done the right thing for both myself my darling sister, making sure she had company throughout all her waking hours. I did not want her to slip away unnoticed, and by being there gave me some kind of peace.
After so many years of feeling this way, I am exhausted. I have been trapped inside this darkness of loss and grief, for so long that I am nearly blinded by it. The memories and the sadness still overwhelms me, because only memories have taken their place, nothing real.
Getting my little dog was the best thing I could have done, unconditional love was mutual, and she had my heart in every single way. Sadly a month ago she too was taken early, at just 7 years old I had to let her go. It broke my heart all over again, but in a different way. I guess the attachment you form with an animal, is on a different level to that you’d form with a person. I suppose the sadness I felt at her premature death, was unlike any other loss, and the grief was different too. She’d emotionally and physically seen me through times where my sister and mum could not, she was so very precious to me.
But, it is now time to put those painful memories somewhere for safekeeping. It is time for me to say goodbye, to release the burden of this grief. The weight is far too heavy, and I have been wearing it like a mantel for too long… It is time for me to take a deep breath and move on.
It is time for me to let them go.
(31st December 2016)
Having read this again, I can see why it was so important for me to write 2 years ago.
Writing this, did not give me closure and I didn’t expect it to. That is not the reason why I wrote it. What it did do was to enable me to put my sadness in it’s rightful place. Thereby, allowing me to view Christmas in particular, with fresh eyes, hope and to have love in my heart again.
The worst day of the year for me is still Mother’s Day. Even though I don’t really give in to all the commercialism, it still tugs something inside.
There is not a day goes by when they do not come to mind. Almost daily I have a conversation with them, whether it be in my head or out load. They are a still very much a part of me, and I like it that way.
More and more, I am reminded of the many ways that I am just like my mother. I am grateful for that her kindness, generosity, humour and attitude to other people in need, has rubbed off on me. I can still hear the things she used to say, and her wonderful quotes about getting on in life. There are still many moments, when I smile at something knowing my sister would have found it funny too. So in that way, they have never gone, they are still very much a part of me
I so strongly believe that grief cannot be rushed. Even when you think you’re over it, it will strike again. The pain may be less, but it will happen… Most likely at an unexpected time, place and probably triggered by a complete stranger or something utterly unrelated.
I am in a good place with death.
Strange as it may sound, I’m used to it, and I accept it as being a natural part of life itself. Now, I appreciate and dwell on the joy they gave me, rather than the sadness they left behind. Sx ❤️
(Updated Tues 22nd January 2019)