Tuesday, 26 March 2013

its all about them

well thank god that is over. 

 'Its all fine now ' my mother says,  'but well ...yesterday your dad had heart attack ....but its all fine now.' or 'your bother broke his leg... but its all fine now', or 'the house burnt down.... but its all fine now'.  This is how she delivers bad news.  And yes it is all fine now but it wasn't.  

I have a minor existential crisis over that last few days.  I forgot my tools and my good sense.  I allowed other peoples views impinge on me  and forgot to trust myself.  I shared something that made me happy with a friend who decided that this was not something that was OK and told me so in a way that was meant to be positive but instead deeply hurt me.  Instead of remembering that so often, feedback tells you more about them than it does about you.  
It is important to look at the evidence before passing judgement.  So I did.  The evidence is very solid.  I am happy now than I have been in ages.  I am happy with what I have.  Other people want more, some people want less. I am satisfied by what I have.  One day I might not be and then it will be time to make changes.  My brother said to me recently that other peoples rules are something they put in place to control us.  I am living a relatively rule free uncontrolled existence.  I finally learnt how to please myself.  I have strong morals.  I behave in an ethical way.  I know my values. I am free to live my life that way that I want. 

I had the most awful pain in my tummy for the last few days as I allowed the what if scenario of someone else invade my brain.  I tried my old faithful tool, my tarot cards, they told me that I was creating a far more frightening reality that in fact existed.  sometimes when i am blocked I use them to free up my mind to other scenarios and release subconscious feelings and thoughts. all I could see there was that yes I was really happy, and that despite this I was imagining all sorts of what if scenarios.  

I have made great progress in the last few years now instead of holding in all my bad thoughts I shared them with people I felt would never judge me.  And my trust was rewarded.  by seeking out those who truly want only what is best for me, by talking to those who are very much OK with who they are I reaffirmed that it was OK to be me and that if I think I am happy then I am happy. 

So today realise that you are the only one in control of your life.  It is you and you alone that decides what is right and wrong for you.  Most certainly accept feedback but be discerning find and act on what's useful, then discard the rest. Remember its almost always more about them than it is about you.  I am enough as I am. 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Sometimes I wonder

I have been unspeakably tired and unwell for the last few days. I have taken to my bed. I feel like I am fighting off one of the many viruses and bugs going around but my body I neither getting better nor worse. I just need loads and loads of sleep. I sometimes wonder why it is I do not allow myself to trust myself to know what's best for me, why it is I need someone else's permission. Today I had a bit of a wobble, the first one in months. Last week I visited the college I wanted to go to, in fact the one I had expected to Ho to when I was young. I found myself back at age 16 the same age as my duughter wondering what my life would have been like had I gone there. I remembered what I expected to be like now when I was 16, certainly much slimmer, long greying hair, very very tanned and wester beaten, long flowing skirts, surrounded by goats children and men . I would be some kind of potter or artist living in an artists commune in Greece on an island full of goats olive trees and handsome Greek men. It looked very like the island in the film of mama Mia. Moreover I am deeply serene and extraordinarily happy, no wrinkles of course ! Well some of it is true, I live by the sea, one of my dreams, I have children, but no goats, I am way more middle aged in my current reality and up until 8 o clock this morning would have said I was in fact very happy. The evil free floating anxiety started to hit me. It always does when I try to push myself too much. The physical effort of trying to get up when feeling unwell made me panic . And then I opened the door to all the other evils, the self doubt, the inadequacy I often feel , the critical voice in my head, the judgemental voice if others, the fear of not being good enough, only surpassed by the great of being too good. Wow I am some mess I thought. Who would ever want me ? I berated myself for being so proud with myself for achieving do much over the last few years. I told myself that all the critics were right. That my lifestyle is wrong, that I should be more like everyone else. That I should give up my silly ideals and just accept I am an abject failure and a worthless person. I really did have a big old wallow with my old favourites the hippos of discontent. Eventually I slept , I let nature and my best friend take their time and bring me around.  I had to get up to go grocery shopping, something I had not done for a week. I realised that I was not eating properly, that I was not exercising properly, that I was not being my own best friend. Yes I have work to do , yes I have kids to mind but I also have a responsibility to myself.  I reminded myself of the fact that I must treat me as I would treat my best friend. So I sent a txt and asked for help and help duly arrived in the form of a kick up the bum. Get out of bed and take yourself and the mutt for a walk in the fresh sea air it said . Later I said . Now it said . Big brother knows best I think so I eventually did just that. Kill or cure I thought as I took myself off at dusk, me and the mutt and what looked like Brent geese alone on the mile of sandy loveliness. Omg it certainly was bracing, freezing is a better word. I reminded myself of the time I ran into the sea in the freezing cold two weeks before my meltdown . It was one of the few moments of peace I had that month, running through the freezing water trying to stop my mind from overheating.   Doggus woggus lived it too she  ran like someone left the gate open . I love my dog, I love my life, I love myself. Life may not have turned out as I imagined but I think the 16 year old me could forgive me for that. Finally I am letting go of the past and the hurt  and being brave. As a wise man keeps saying the past is a nice place to visit but not a nice place to live.  My mission to make my life easier and happier may have had a setback but it has helped me let go of more baggage. And soon there will be none left :)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Moment by moment

The saying one day at a time is such a good one but sometimes a day is far too much to bear. Then it becomes moment by moment. That is true mindfulness. A kind friend gave me a book on flow and when I feel more settled I will read it. Flow is the ultimate experience and the pleasure that is possible in flow is wonderful. Being entirely absorbed by something is so relaxing. I find it when I swim, crochet, draw or sometimes when I am working on something complicated. I shared my current tools with a very stressed friend today. I wondered if it was time to close my blog, and the universe gave a resounding no. Thinking in ink will keep me well even if I only write once a year. My journey is just that and as they say it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive . So today enjoy your journey and remember you are in the driving seat. 

Just when you think it's all over

I was reflecting that I no longer needed to blog as I was well. Pride comes before a fall as the saying goes. A close friend is having some health issues and I am at a total loss about what to do. I wanted to hop in the car and drive the three hours to make sure she was not alone, she was taken to hospital last night. I realised that I would be of no use to her or myself or anyone else if I did that as I would exhaust myself totally. The guilt was astonishing. The worry was disturbing. I felt overwhelmed and did not know what to do. So I went back to basics I rang a friend who is good in a crises and she reminded me of how hospitals are the best place for people who are ill, that it is not possible to make a good decision without the full facts, that what I think is the right thing to do may not be and I was in a very subjective place. My wellness tools kicked in also. I know that after a shock I need to be physically active , the total opposite of my natural reaction which is to freeze. The activity helps me calm down and my preferred choice of activity is cleaning. You see immediate results and as I hate cleaning it is easy to find somewhere to clean. This morning I woke up feeling a bit worn out and realised I felt guilty that I did not go to her immediately. It was totally impractical and I knew I had to let that go or I would end up hiding under the duvet. So a few minutes of total relaxation helped. I realised I was dehydrated so I am having a few glasses of water and I know that I had a busy day yesterday doing way more than I had planned so I recognised that I was feeling genuine tiredness. I still have limiting beliefs. It is hard to let go of them. Stepping over the limiting beliefs is hard but I must do that so I can grow.  The last few days were a hiatus if calm in my life. I felt at peace totally. I   Lived for so long in a drama filled environment that it became the norm. I came across the concept of excited misery many years ago. It is where we get our pleasure from the bad things that happen. We recreate the pattern of drama and stress in our lives because we ate used to it and it is the norm. I love my calm life now. I love waking up and looking forward to the nice things that life brings. I remember the feeling of waking up and feeling sick wondering how I would get through the day. So today I will cut myself slack, I will do the things that keep me well. I will resist the temptation to hide under the duvet. I will be kind to myself and accept the latest challenge life had offered me.  I will take the opportunity to reflect on how far I have come. I have to look after myself first and foremost and that is such a hard thing for me to do. I started to blog as a means to track my recovery and keep a record as my memory was very poor. Rereading it on Saturday made me realise that when I trust myself and do the things I hate to do and fear the most then I move forward and built resilience. Re building resilience is my main goal in my recovery as it was lack resilience that caused my episode. So I will not push myself out of bed now . I will have another glass of water, relax and enjoy the last hour of relaxation before it is time to tackel  the housework.
It is time for me to accept I am not being selfish by not working to the point of exhaustion. Rest is an essential part of life. I shall take my cue from the dog who is occupying the best spot on my bed , curled up fully relaxed trusting in the universe that she will be taken care if.
So today put your trust in yourself. Trust yourself to know what the right thing is. Trust yourself, love yourself and pat yourself on the back for just being you.
Happy Monday . 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

In the groove

One of the many things I learned on my journey is that the language we use is important . For years I was in a rut, stuck, unable to move. Routine and habit are important in maintaining wellness, however I am not in a rut , I am in the groove . Ruts congruent up images of stage coaches with thin wooden wheels stuck in a foot of mud unable to turn as the horses are rushing along pulling it at a furious speed. While similar in concept a groove reminds me of the joy of putting on my favourite stories on the record player as a child and the excitement of the first time I was allowed place the needle in the groove. Once the needle hit the groove there was an hour if pleasures as my favourite story played or my favourite song. How we perceive the world is important. I am now in the groove because I dug myself out of the rut. I allowed my heart to thaw. I allowed others to take charge. I relinquished my need to be responsible for everyone and by doing that was able to be more responsible for myself. I now make decisions from a place free of guilt and shame. It is over 25 years since the thing that changed my life and my perception of life changed me forever. Last week I let it go. Forgiveness is powerful and if we cannot forgive directly then I think wanting to be able to forgive is the next best thing. I want to be able to forgive those who have hurt me. I feel 20 again. I feel all the joy and optimism I felt then. Hard work pays off. It has been a painful journey in many ways. While I feel that I have reached my destination I know I have not. I know that the next phase of my life is about to start. Recently I visited my homeopath as I had a difficult situation to deal with at work and another at home. She gave me a remedy for taking on too much responsibility. I worked on the reasons I do that for the lady few weeks and the origin of it is fear. The fear that I will be made do things I don't want to if I am not in charge. Over the last few months I have learned that I don't have to take on the responsibility if I am true to myself and my feelings and abilities. No one can really make you do something you don't want to do and if they do it is abuse. We all have a choice and we all can say no. I was brought up to obey my elders and betters and that I did for years under great protest and to the cost of my health and happiness. Now I have regained my trust in myself. I have persevered and rebuilt my boundaries. We all need boundaries but we don't need barriers when we trust ourselves not to allow others to abuse us. A rut is a barrier but a groove is a boundary. Soon I will be closing this blog as my recovery is almost complete. I have loved sharing my thoughts with who ever happened to come across it. I am branching out into other things now and do not have the time up write . I hope me need to think in ink had lessened as I have learned to open up and express myself.

So today ask yourself am I in a rut or in the groove. Which ever you are in it is you who put yourself there and it is you who will keep yourself there. Hope you are in the groove and enjoying the music and stories of life. Life is for living and enjoying.

Happy Saturday and happy st Patrick's weekend. First bank holiday of the year and the fist year since 1988 that I am truly happy. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Do more feel better do better

That motto is written on a sign on the way into town. It is a statement by one of the pharmaceutical plants that is a major employer in the town. I love to read it as I drive past. The last few weeks have been challenging, at home, at work and on a personal level. I am reflecting on my progress and was reading back over some posts from before I was fully better. I can see the fragility in them but also the hope and love for myself. This years motto is pace myself. Learn to take small steps forward so that I can make a great leap when I need to. My daughter was confirmed at the weekend and unusually for me I was on time, relaxed and organised. I put in a great effort to getting ready and started the preparations months ago. I was concerned that my family would treat me like the old Jane or in fact silly old Jane like they used to. But I worried needlessly everyone was relaxed and enjoyed it. Everything was as good as it gets. The lesson of pacing myself , allowing plenty if time, accepting help and just doing my best paid off. It reminded me of how much I like to work hard but now I also know how to relax. I am reaching a point where I choose what I devote my energy to. Yes I can do many things but I choose to limit what I take on. I have finally let go of the belief that I must use all my talents at all times. Learning to listen to the advice if others, learning to accept help, learning to ask for help from people who can and are able to help is the best thing about being well. I love the way I can think clearly, I love the way I can love unconditionally ( except for the dog when she barks in my ear) I love the way I feel , I feel like I matter. Feeling that I matter is the best part of being well. It was a painful lesson to learn. If I don't show others that I matter they will think that I don't and then treat me as if I don't. So today show the world that you matter and step out into a world of possibilities.
Happy Wednesday