**This post contains swearing**


I like to think of myself as a positive thinking person despite spending  about 30 years living with anxiety. Actually make that my whole life. My first 15 years were spent being petrified of what my dad was going to do next… get another gun out.. lock us in the house… hit us… throw something at the wall… torment us… smash something… shout.. lock himself in his room for 3 days….(I’ve revisited and considered deleting this bit of the blog ten times but decided not to) …so those 15 years then led on to a life battle with anxiety and looking back it’s not hard to imagine why. I rarely talk about that abuse in detail. Ridiculously I still even now worry about repercussions. Crazy.

I spent ten years from about 16 to 26 fighting debilitating panic attacks… mostly on my own. I had really got to grips with my anxiety thanks to amazing books and my work at Women’s Aid…until I lost Tes… having spent the last few years in a war with A I’m beginning to feel more ‘normal’ but it’ll always bubble.   I like to think I’m a fighter… trying to make the most of every day. Getting up every day after losing your child is really hard. Walking around with a permanent pain the size of a boulder inside your chest is exhausting but I’ve managed it and I’m proud of that strange achievement.

But… I caught myself this week walking around just going to do some shopping and I caught it.. that bloody voice in your head that’s not happy you’ve managed to keep going…that you’ve managed today…. do you know what it was saying??!.. you’re such a fuck up.. . you’re so fucked up.

For a few seconds my subconscious mind nods along in agreement but I stop in my tracks and question this voice…Excuse me?!? Fucked up. Who are you calling fucked up?!? What even is fucked up and more importantly why the hell am I telling myself horrible things about me when there’s enough of that going on in the world without me adding to it.

So.. just a little reminder really to watch out for that gremlin in your mind that tries to ruin your day or tell you you’re not good enough … watch out for it and when you hear it .. well…tell it to fuck off and remind yourself 3 good things about yourself and kick arse for the rest of the day!

Happy Sunday.. x x


How do you see it?


I got home from work. In fact I drove home with the roof down on the car. I hung the washing out. All three dogs pace around following me as I peg each sock out in the sunshine. I admire the rose bush that is almost in flower and some seedlings are coming through. I remind myself how bad I am at watering the plants and the miracle that they’re looking ok.

The dogs keep staring. I get their leads and we walk up the narrow lane heading out the village. As I pass three strangers who politely say hello a few drops of rain land.  I love the rain. Especially on a warm day. Still I was surprised at the quick turn in weather.

I get to the field where I’m hoping the dogs can run but the fine drops dramatically turn into tennis ball sized fat rain. My tiny dog does not look amused. The other two are more robust but I head back.

The tennis ball fat rain changes to rugby sized dense chunks. I catch up with the three strangers. An older woman with her two sons I assume. As I approach she doesn’t see me. She’s giggling and laughing and dancing and singing.  Because of the rain. I smiled as I caught up. You love the rain,  I say. I don’t want her to feel  embarassed. She isn’t. 

All four of us take solace under two huge trees. We chat about the dogs,  my washing and the fact they’re on holiday.  The rain eases.  We say our  goodbyes and I walk on.

My little dogs view of the rain is not good. She’s wet. She’s annoyed.

For me the rain brought opportunity. The strangers made me smile and inside I felt happy in that moment.

How do you see it?

Here and now.


We are making our way home from a weekend away with my family.  9 of us.  We were talking in the car about how we enjoyed it and I surprised myself by not only talking of enjoying the swimming,  golf, games and family meals with competitive card games. I found myself enthusiastically saying I also loved just being able to sit and drink some mixed blend tea watching the sun shine through the glistening emerald leaves.

I enjoyed ten minutes alone at times.

This for me is a big thing.

I don’t really do alone very often.

Always busying my time.

This last year I’ve learnt to start looking after myself and my mind so much more.  I’ve had to.

Each night away I practised some meditation and mindfulness and enjoyed some lovely un-interrupted sleep. No anxiety or suddenly sitting up in the middle of the night worrying.

What has dawned on me is that mindfulness shouldn’t just be for when I have the time. Stating the obvious I know!    I need to make time every  day to look after my mind, thoughts,  feelings and soul.

As I eat my scrummy poached egg and grilled tomatoes alone on my final morning in the forest, sipping fresh juice I’m feeling thankful for that moment.  And for that, I’m grateful.


ps thanks for the white feather in my room Tes xxx

Mindful meandering.

Try try try. As another bereaved mum recently said being positive all the time. Can be very exhausting.  I hadn’t thought of that before. Also though, being negative and complaining is equally exhausting isn’t it and there’s nothing to gain. So for me I keep choosing the first option. Where I can. 

I catch myself complaining at times.  I catch myself feeling very sorry for myself. I am made up of genes and cells and skin.  I am human therefore I fall off the positive wagon often.  But keep trying. That’s what I think.  Keep trying. Keep reminding yourself how you want to live. I might worry myself stupid about something that I can do nothing about for hours but I’ll eventually remind myself that it’s pointless and i’ll bring myself back to mindfulness.  My strength. My recent saviour.  One day at a time. The present moment.

I also put things in place to remind me. Daily lessons and I’d like to share some over my next few blogs.

When you can,  every day think of just 2 things to be grateful for and if you can write them down.  I do mine quickly so they can seem quite random and not always the most obvious.   Today mine are:

1. My village.  A place of vibrant, fun,
supportive and accepting community. A place with an old red phone box, a safe happy park, white painted houses and interesting occupants.  Tiny roads spilled with cherry blossom leaves.  Family, trees and speckled with sheep. Deep beautiful greenery.

2.  My family.  My son, my daughter my partner,  my beautiful fun naughty dogs. The love, the smiles, the shoulders to lean on, the tears, the dancing,  the singing.  The caring for and being cared for. The memories that can never be taken away.

As the day goes in if I feel anxious or fed up I try to remind myself of these things that I have to be grateful for. It takes some work to create a more positive you and it can be exhausting to change but small steps to feel better about yourself are worth it. We’re all worth a bit of effort x



It may seem weird to be writing about positivity after this year. In fact my son said to me the other day – there isn’t a positive about everything and I thought he’s right, there isn’t. My intention through writing this year has been to reinforce that there are things in this world, right now, in this life, mine and yours to be positive about or at least that is my hope. And that brings me to my next word for 2013 – hope. There has to be hope doesn’t there because if there isn’t what have you got?

So, yes this is about positivity and hope while acknowledging some situations don’t necessarily have a positive light shining. Losing someone you love, whether suddenly or expectantly doesn’t feel like a positive experience. I’ve worried when writing that I sound a bit like a preacher about being positive, that it may sound dismissive and that has never been my intention. Nobody can say to you (or me) – yes that is awful but don’t worry there will be a positive side to it. Actually losing Tes for instance will always be something painful, sorrowful, sad, shocking and horrifically grief-filled.

However, my belief is that there are ways of looking at what is going on around you which can be so beneficial not just for you but for those living around you, friends, family, work colleagues. I recently discovered during the last few months actually, something called Mindfulness. I was telling someone about how I deal with what has happened, it basically comes down to taking a day at a time, an hour at a time and initially a minute at a time. He said to me there was a word for this – Mindfulness.

When I explored Mindfulness the concept of this is to focus on what is happening now. Your breath. The colour of the sky. How the trees move in the breeze. The sound of someone laughing. The beauty of silence. How your hands move and how your body feels. With this there are exercises that I have taken part in to effectively meditate using mindfulness and relieve tension and stress – the basis is breathing in and out (very handy!) but with it closing your eyes, breathing in, letting your stomach rise and exhaling slowly feeling your breath travel all the way through your body and just concentrating on what is happening now. I’ve used this technique to get myself back to sleep or just to calm myself when things are feeling tough.

I’m not sure why but I wanted to share that on 31.12.13, a discovery really of a way to live, to focus on what’s happening now and with it giving yourself positivity and hope – something to battle the negativity and despair when it comes calling at your door.

For many of us 2013 has been an immensely difficult one, for many it has been filled with joy and happiness. 2014 will be the same so it’s important to get those tools ready to deal with the ups and downs of what is our life. We only have one.

Thank you for reading my blogs, for your comments, for your support in so many ways.

I wanted to finish by drawing up a small list of some things I’ve found which have give me positives and hope for 2013 and here they are:

“Laughing brothers, cocktails, Lolly, 90th birthdays, dinner watching a Menorcan sunset, knitted hats, unexpected cards, baby cheeses, new friends, tapas, train journeys, old friends, days at the spa, rainy racecourses, seaside cycling, cakes at work, sharing thoughts, poetry, beautiful benches, library of rememberance, a onesie, hooded coat for my puppy dog, halloween callers, long lunches, a new tea-cup, fresh eggs, freezing football mornings, silly wigs, tickles, new haircut, writing, squeezing into a hotel room, wrestling, kisses, reuniting with family, xmas drinks, long emails, hugs, quick phonecalls, chatting and wine, tiny new babies, letters, laughter and love”

Happy New Year,