Letting go: 5. Happiness

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!

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31st December 2016)

 

Update:

I am surprised that this was such a short entry, but it was to the point.  I have felt some real differences in my day to day life, since I decided to shield or walk away from negative people and situations.   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.Find yourself

I am pleased to report that now at least my frame of mind is in a good place, and I would say quite whole-heartedly that I am happy.  I closed many doors at the end of last year, and I have since 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. 

I will no longer make excuses or be quick to forgive other peoples’ shortfalls, if they know, they should really know better.

After years of being made to feel worthless, I have finally realised my true worth, and no one can take that away from me.  Never again, will I allow anyone to make me 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)

 

 

 

19. Time… Changes everything

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. Truth is

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. 

The darkness i know so well

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:

  1. Sunshine
  2. Exercise
  3. Laughter

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?

Don't depend too much on anyoneMany 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.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(2nd December 2014)

Update:

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.   Stop looking for the light

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. JOY

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.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31st December 2016)

Update:

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.Word art: JOY 4

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.

Sx ❤️

(updated Weds 13th February 2019)

 

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