Gremlins

**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

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Changes

Inevitably this week with the loss of two prominent famous people I’m  drawn to write about loss.  Sometimes I try to write my blog without mentioning death or grief.  I know it can make an unhappy read. In fact someone told me a few weeks ago that my blog can be a very “hard read”.

I know that, so thank you for persevering.

I also hope that the essence of my blog shines through the greyness of grief.  Life is hard. For me. For you. Maybe not now.  Or always. At some point it will be. It’ll also be good. It changes.  It’ll be so happy you squeal a bit. It’ll be so much fun you’ll fill your eyes with unexpected tears from laughing.  It’ll  be exciting.  It’ll be beautifully full.  It’ll be both.

So here we are. I’m sorry I’m going to talk about death.  Two deaths this  week rocked the obituaries.  Bowie and Alan Rickman.  I almost cried at Bowie’s death. I don’t know why. I just felt so sad about it. He changed the lives of so many people by being himself.  He allowed others to know that was OK.  And Mr Rickman was in one of my favourite ever films. Truly Madly Deeply.  Go watch if you haven’t seen it but stock up on the tissues.  He always came across as a sincere intelligent and kind man. I didn’t know them but inevitably through their fame felt to know the tiniest part of them.

Losing people without doubt heightens your concern and angst about your own life. Especially when you’re hurtling forward through the  decades. I keep trying to live the life I want now instead of the one I thought I had to. I’m trying to stop wanting to please everybody because I’ve realised I can’t.  I’m trying to be less materialistic because I know a new sofa will never make anyone happy. I’m being a tad more selfish and am saying no a bit more often. Occasionally I even sit down instead of rushing to do the next thing as soon as I get in from work.

Gasp. You might catch me with a cup of camomile and a book for 15 minutes before I start chopping the courgettes and carrots. I find that really difficult to do. I feel selfish. But I’m trying not to. 

Learning from experience, your own and others is what’s important.  I’m still getting it wrong too. That is life.

I said to a friend this week in a very motherly way as she excitedly sent me a link to a new house she’s buying. .. be careful,  a house won’t make you happy.  I felt bad that I’d reacted this way but I wish that someone had said that to me ten years ago.  Because it’s true. A house doesn’t make you happy. Or a new car or that fabulous pair of shoes. Actually scrap that last one.  Shoes can make you happy!

I guess the point is what the point always is. Today do what makes you truly happy whenever you can.  We’re all busy but don’t be too busy for you.

Dwys x

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Today is the day

So. I had a hair cut.  It’s been ages. In fact I haven’t had it cut since December 2014. And you could tell! It had got long so I took the lazy option and piled it on my head in a bobble and a million clips for the last few months. Life took over. Really took over and hair became the last thing of importance.

It’s probably a good sign that I looked at the wiry, speckled with grey, frizzy mop and thought.  It needs cutting.

I casually say to one of my colleagues.  I’m cutting my hair tomorrow and I’m going drastic!

So I get up. Put a hat on (another sign that impending haircut is much needed). Walk the pooch. Take in the slightly snowy scattered hills.  Half the view is stifled with morning mist and the other half grudgingly lets in the blue sky trying desperately to make an appearance.

I digress.

So basically I get a haircut.  I’d like  a fringe bob kind of haircut please I say.  She looks at my dishevelled mess and I see “this is going to be a challenge’ on her perfectly made up face.

An hour later I’m walking out feeling like a film star and off I go to my works do that afternoon.

I see the colleague I mentioned earlier. This is the point of my garbled hairdressing story. She looks at me and said.  What I like a about you is you say you’re going  to do something and you do it.

Whilst this can’t always be true. The majority of the time I guess it is. What other way is there to live?

In a week where our local community has been hit by further horrendous tragedy and as someone who has lost and knows the excruciating pain of loss it serves as a reminder that if you want to go out and do something that will make a positive difference to you or someone else then go! Now!

Don’t think you’ve got tomorrow or next week or next year.

You probably have but why wait? ?

Chop your hair. Take up running. Change your job. Tell someone you love them. Leave if you’re not happy.   Write that book. Play that instrument.  Walk those hills. Climb that mountain.  Watch your favourite film. Make up. Say sorry. Stay. Cry.  Smile.

Do whatever it is you’re putting off.

Today is the day.

X

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To you.

To you.

As soon as you can. As often as you can. When you can. Do it all the time. Be yourself and nobody else.

Remember life is about compromises but you shouldn’t compromise your love, your beliefs, your heart.

Always follow your instincts.  Always.

Don’t imagine the worst scenario. Imagine the best.

When you do imagine the worst  (you’re only human!) Ask yourself how likely that is to happen and if it did,  what could you do. There’s always an answer. 

Then go back to imagining the best case scenario. 

Have your best case scenario as your goal.  Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get there.  You’re trying. Better than standing still. 

Don’t forget to care about yourself as much as you care about everyone else.  

Walk on the beach, on your own. Sit and watch the sea. Properly. That’s what it’s like to feel free. Remember it.

Don’t second guess what people might think or say.  You’ve only ever got control over what you think and say. 

Be kind with what you think and say.

Forgive yourself if the fact you’re normal means you occasionally can’t always be kind !  Keep trying.

Be fair.  Always, be fair.

Don’t let your fear of the future stop you having the future you deserve.

The past holds memories but  the future holds the ones you’re yet to
make. Make them count.

Finally.  There’s always a choice. Always.

X

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What’s next?

We’re always looking ahead aren’t we. Looking at what we can accomplish. Having goals. To do well at school. To get to Uni. To get the best job we can. To have money. To have the nicest home we can. To have that new floral skirt. We need those Nike trainers. And that handbag. And definitely that perfect relationship. Need need need,

I fall into it like everyone else. But I’m trying to climb out of it. I’m always going to be lured by the next pair of Fly boots or that coat from H&M. I’m still motivated by my career. However I’ve read a lot lately about minimalism and trying to live with less. Old habits are hard to break and I don’t actually want to break them all. I love shoes!

The part of living minimalistic that draws me in is less clutter, not just things, but in the mind. Having more time for the here and now. The living for this moment and not always focussing on what’s coming up. Or more importantly not worrying about what’s coming up. I’ve still a long way to go in that department.

What about now? What about enjoying this moment, this time. Maybe it’s an age thing but I’ve come to realise if we’re always looking ahead you can’t fully enjoy the present.

Maybe part of me is more attracted to focussing on now because the future I thought I’d have is gone. My future included two children growing up to adulthood, being happy, travelling, going to college. Being independent. Being there. Always.

It’s not easy letting go of our future. We’ve been moulded to keep looking ahead. Save for the future. Plan for the future. Worry about the future,

How many times are we encouraged to think about today? Don’t worry about what lies ahead. When is the last time you heard that? If we’re not planning ahead we’re almost viewed to be neglectful of our future self. But what about today? Who is looking after today?

I’m still learning. I’m less about running around every weekend filling it with all the things I thought would make me better and happier. One change is that I spend far more time outside.

Yesterday at the beach I took a few minutes alone and looked at the slate grey frothing sea. I looked properly. I followed the tiny swell of the distant wave. I studied as it slowly formed and gradually peaked, glistening in the winter sun, building up speed it hurtled towards me, finally crashing and eventually disappearing. I listened to the sound, the dangerous thunderous sound of the sea. It was beautiful.

I only noticed how beautiful it was because I stopped for a minute.

We could all do with stopping for a minute. Life is now.

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2013

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,
Dwysan
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Making me smile this week…

Some weeks you have to dig a little deeper but this week the stuff that made me smile…

1. Watching the dark sombre French film Amour at our local cinema ….that still has an interlude. I actually start anticipating the fluorescent interlude about ten minutes before it happens. Amaze bob

2. Going to the pub after the above said film with two lovely squishy fab mates knowing it’s a school night and you’re going to regret that third glass of wine. But not really.

3. Comforting a friend after she lost her poor cat. No reason to smile at the puddy cats demise but at her love for it and her stories of her four legged friend coming for walks with her for miles. Awww.

4. Pink iced butterfly cakes. With sprinkles. And edible flowers. Some colleagues know how to get on your best side. Yum.

5. Sharing a birthday Prosecco with a friend. I love the shape of that bottle!

6. Buying your nephews curly wurlys and watching them eye them up when you visit and stare at them until you remember to say they can have them!

7. Seeing a glimpse of my boy when he didn’t expect it as he’s walking home from high school with his mate and being worried you’ll embarrass him but actually he waves excitedly and runs over to say hello. Aww.

8. Getting a mention on Radio 1. Random but fun. I’m way out of their ‘catchment’ age too!

9. Buying a pressi for a certain someone’s birthday coming up soon, my daughter and she’s 15! Brings all those memories back of the awesomness of seeing her for the first time. I love buying pressis, just wish my bank balance was in agreement!

10. Sausage salad. Merlot. Tv. Electric blanket. Friday. Quiet. Home. Bliss.

X

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