BOWING OUT?

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It’s been a while since I posted (again). I’m finding it more and more challenging to keep up with my blog, and to read my fellow WordPress friend’s blogs too. I’ve been writing here for almost five years now and have published no less than 344 posts. I checked this fact and was quite amazed that I’d been able to write so much.

When I first started writing it was all about my mental health and my history of abuse. I don’t need to go there anymore (thank goodness), and I thankfully, don’t live in that world now either.

I’ve moved on a long, long way since then. I’m busy – a never stop kind of busy which is fine by me. I’m finally enjoying my life and doing so many things that I enjoy and that are enriching my life; expanding my thoughts and opinions; bringing peace to my soul and joy to my heart. I am fortunate enough to be able to listen to music that I like and read books that interest me. I’m finally happy.

I’m still volunteering at the university, and I’m continuing my studies. I’m going to the gym regularly, and I see significant progress in my mobility. I’m able to walk a few steps unaided now, only indoors as it’s not safe for me to walk outdoors without support because my bones are so fragile that if I fell on the concrete, I’d possibly permanently damage myself. The last thing I need is to have to go back with my progress, so I’m ultra-ultra careful.

This is all leading up to the fact that I may have to bow out of the world of WordPress. I’ve tried (and managed for a short while) to write more regularly, but seem to always fail abysmally. I often burn the midnight oil, and I am in fact burning the candle at both ends. As it is, I’m writing this at three o’clock in the morning! Not good as I’ll regret not going to bed when I see the breaking of the sun.

I still so enjoy my writing, but somehow, it doesn’t seem right to pour my thoughts out on paper (or rather, on my laptop) and expect others to be interested when I cannot reciprocate this. And so, I’m seriously thinking of bowing out. Any constructive comments, views, and advice very welcome. Thank you, friends, Ellie x

CATCHING UP

pexels woman at desk with laptop, diary etc for blog

(Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels)

Just a brief appearance! I haven’t had a chance to post anything for about five weeks – far too long. I’ve been away on holiday, not once, but twice! I’ll write about my adventures in my next post. Since I’ve been back and before I’ve even had an opportunity to unpack my bags, life has been completely flat-out.

All this activity has meant I’m way, way behind on reading my fellow blogger’s posts. When I looked through my email this evening, I could see I’d missed about twenty-two posts from my friends! I will try my best to catch up on as many of these as I can, so please bear with me and accept my apologies.

Thank you, my friends, for your patience – and especially …

https://deepasthoughts.wordpress.com

https://mickcanning.co

https://coherentwithcoffee.com

https://muddlingthroughmymiddleage.com

https://asmuchcake.com

https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com

https://lifeisonewodehousestory.wordpress.com/

I know I will enjoy reading all of your posts as soon as I possibly can.

 

 

A NEW START

sideways view girl with hair in bun blog

Yesterday, I was jolted back to my neglected blog which is how come I’m here now after such a long break. I had an email from WordPress telling me that my annual payment was due on my blog plan which happened to be a ‘Premium’ plan. This had given me more options when it came to the look of my blog and the features and widgets that I could use. Unfortunately, my financial position isn’t brilliant, and I’m not able to afford the fee, hence my new look. It’s much simpler which feels quite different, but I think I’ll get used to it.

I’ve also decided to update and replace my gravatar. I’ve chosen a more adult image (above) rather than a picture of a young and rather sorry-looking child (below). This previous image was suitable for my blog when I started writing four years ago. Back then, I was writing mostly about my severe abuse in childhood and all the ensuing serious mental health illnesses I had. Fortunately, I’ve moved on from that period in my life – I don’t feel the need to share all those very distressing life experiences.

lantern girl 1

I want to get myself out the negative mindset I connect with this childish image. Maybe, this will give me the incentive, and added confidence I need to write more positively and frequently. To use a chlichéd phrase, ‘watch this space’, (but don’t hold your breath either!).  😉

A new start?

 

MOVING FORWARD – THE PASSAGE OF TIME AND BIRTHDAY CAKE

Image result for Steampunk Clock

Why an image of a clock to begin this post with? This is because it is actually a good depiction of my feelings and where I’ve been at for some time. Life has felt rather surreal during this last year. The clock face also shows the passage of time I have been through over the last few months.

At last, I’m beginning to feel like I’m getting back to normal after my Mum became ill, had a stroke, and I finally lost her only five months ago (almost to the day). There was the funeral to get through (and all that encompassed) and now, we are dealing with probate, Mum’s will and the sale of our family home after spending my first twenty years of life there.

However, as far as my psychiatric health in concerned, I’m feeling brighter which is good (and about time too). I am now on different and new medication which, in the last week has begun to help improve my state of mind, and I’m sleeping so much better which makes a great difference to how I feel during the day. The severe anxiety attacks have also lessened which is a huge relief.

The many cogs in this clock also represent changes in a more positive way … slowly … as time has ticked by and the wheels have been turning, my relationship with my son has improved, and we have become closer which means I have more contact with my two beautiful grandchildren, Josh and Lily who are a delight to me. I have definitely become closer to my sisters, particularly the one who lives the furthest away from me. We may be separated by many miles but are hearts are inextricably linked and always will be.

The recent passage of time, like each cog, has been whirring, clicking and ticking by slowly but steadily. A lot else has changed in that time too. My eldest granddaughter has now turned eleven and will be going up to senior school in September, and my youngest granddaughter will be starting primary school at the age of four-and-a-half (she seems too young). Where has the time gone? Am I really old enough to have a granddaughter in senior school? Goodness! I must be older than I think! I’m definitely older in years than I feel and I am fortunate enough to be told by several people that I don’t look my age. However, I am reluctantly coming up to ‘a biggy’; a big ‘0’ birthday in three month’s time (which I’m trying to ignore) … ugh! How am I going to get all my candles on one cake?!

Image result for Birthday Cake with Many Candles

In addition, I would like to say thank you to my dearest friends here at WordPress who have stuck by me through thick and thin over the last year or so – it can’t have been easy at times. Their blogs have kept my head above water some of that time by distracting me with their diversity, interest, humour and compassion. So, shout out to Bun at https://bunkaryudo.wordpress.com/ and Mick at https://mickcanning.co/ and Carol anne of https://therapybits.com/. Also, thank you to any of you who may have called in or dropped by my blog and hung around with support and kind words too. Love to you all, Ellie xxx

CHAMELEON SKIN – TAKE 2

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I intended to write a post today about my son’s final court hearing regarding custody of his children which took place this week but I thought it appropriate, following on from last week’s post, to republish this poem because it explains so well how I feel so much of the time.

When I ‘depend’ on any given person, I become someone who moulds myself into whatever character I think that ‘given’ person wants me to be. In other words, I have become, unwittingly and unintentionally, a chameleon to fit whatever role I think is required. This is an instant response and not something that I have control over yet (although I’m working on it in therapy),  and it is actually totally exhausting as I automatically become an ‘actor’, albeit an unwilling one – it’s really hard work, mentally, pleasing and fitting in with everyone (people-pleasing in a way). This is a desperate attempt to ensure that the person on whom I depend likes/loves me enough that they won’t leave me because, without them, I don’t know how or who to be and feel helpless and abandoned.  I’m aware that this all sounds somewhat pathetic but, for me, it is not only a symptom of my BPD and DPD but the only way I know to survive in my world.

The biggest problem occurs if I find myself with more than one person that I know and they know me, which obviously does happen sometimes, my mind and my body (as in body language) don’t know how or who to be and I usually either end up confused, very stressed and muddled and find an excuse to leave the situation.

 

CHAMELEON SKIN

She is what she is … or is she, indeed?

She’s perplexed, befuddled, embroiled

Lost her mind along enmeshed journeys

She belongs, does she not to this world?

~~~

Is she real or a trickster, a fraud inside?

Not knowing her mind, too caught up in lies

Or perhaps, revealing her open wounds

You win some, you lose some, just look in her eyes

~~~

She’s not without fear though she’s scared of the thrill

The rollercoaster won’t come to an end

She writes her life’s story in ink, so black

You may wonder how her thoughts are penned

~~~

Innocence seen, and innocence gone

A fight in a nightmare; she holds her breath

The howls can be heard from far away

Will she ever return from the brink of death

~~~

You know her, you don’t, you think that you may

She’s a friend, a soldier, blood-kin

She lives or she dies; knowing the shadow side

Unknown, she wears her chameleon skin.

I’ve republished this poem with its image at the top of the page, not because I can’t be bothered to write a different post (as I will write about my son next), but because, as explained last week, this subject is playing very heavily on my mind at the moment and at times, I am very trapped by my own thoughts and need to write. Therefore, please forgive me for ‘rehashing’ a previous post, especially if you read it when I published it back in February 2016, but there is a specific reason (as explained) for doing so at this time.

A final thought: Is there a bit of a chameleon in each one of us if we look carefully enough at ourselves?

Edit: Taking the form of a chameleon is a very common aspect/symptom in people who have BPD or DPD.

STROKE – COMPASSIONATE LEAVE

Image result for Right Brain Stroke Damage

Life has had a nasty habit of throwing us curveballs now and then. That ball has certainly knocked me down many times, but I think the important thing is that it’s not how far I fall but whether I can get up again from there. That’s true for everybody at some time, but I feel like I’ve had to do an awful lot of climbing back up over the years.

I don’t feel sorry for myself though as we all have to cope with this experience we call life. I’ve had a significant knockdown just recently which is limiting the amount of time that I have to write my blog – not that you could ever really call me a prolific writer – I’d say more a sporadic writer.

Right now, things are tough and a real challenge. My mum was sick before I wrote my last post – she was in a local hospital with pneumonia. That was bad enough. She is elderly and becoming rather frail now, and illnesses and accidents are becoming a common occurrence now, in her 87th year.

A week later while still on the ward, Mum was found collapsed in the bathroom – she’d had a stroke. The very thing she had always dreaded and said: “It’ll never happen to me”. I thought, until this event, perhaps somewhat naively she was going to be right – that she would live to an even riper old age than she was already.

An ambulance rushed her to the main City Hospital. A friend took me there later that day, and it was a real shock. There was my mum, laying almost helplessly unable to do anything. The whole of one side of her body was lifeless. She couldn’t move her arm or her leg; she couldn’t sit up – not even with support – she lurched sideways into a sad heap and had no balance. Her face had dropped so that her eyelid drooped and what was left of her smile had been taken away.

Two weeks later, she still hasn’t made much progress in her movements. Her speech is slurred, very soft and infrequent as her cognitive function has also been affected so that her brain is working much more slowly to process information. She’s unable to swallow properly so is on a diet of small portions of rather undignified, pureed food which she still manages to pull a face at in an odd way and I just know she’s thinking, “Why am I being given baby food?” I can’t begin to imagine how awful it must be for her to be trapped inside her mind without being able to express herself clearly or barely communicate.

Needless to say, her appetite is almost non-existent, and I can’t say I blame her when food has to be spoonfed into her now crooked mouth. Pureed shepherd’s pie and carrots, having been liquidised within an inch of their life, wouldn’t appeal much to me either.

I am travelling up to the City Hospital every other day (a journey by train in my wheelchair, George of two-and-a-half hours each way). I spend as long as I can with my mum but then return home along with the hoards of workers turning out from their places of work to head homeward. Travelling with an electric wheelchair is not fun when all around me are rushing, pushing and shoving to get home after a long day or a long shift.

As you will have gathered, I might not be able to make an appearance very often at the moment, so please excuse me if I have been unable to read, like or comment on your blog. I have only had the time to sort through the most important emails and phone calls, and it’s likely to be that way for some time. Thank you for your understanding, my friends 😦

AIRING MY DIRTY LAUNDRY IN PUBLIC

ddirty laundry

Why write a blog? Why write a blog at all? Why do I feel the need to share with total strangers, my innermost thoughts, my idiosyncrasies, my Pandora’s Box of secrets that if written in a diary, would, without a doubt, be kept under lock and key?

When I write, I pour my heart out, as if I were talking back at myself, as if I were confiding in a much-trusted friend or a therapist. I write under a pseudonym to protect my anonymity and to keep the contents away from those prying eyes outside of the blogging world that would tear me to pieces in disbelief if they read the fairly shocking truth of my actual life.

One dear friend who has discovered I keep a blog and just cannot understand the logic of it, has said so many times, “what do you want to put your innermost secret of secrets out there for?” Then adding, “Why on Earth do you want to air your dirty laundry in public”?

I hesitate, giving this careful thought, cautious not to make their opinion of me worse. I fail miserably by saying things like, “I get to know other people who often feel as I do or at least are interested enough to want to read past the first few lines”. “I get support”, I say. “Who from?” is the next question and they then add one long string of complicated technical words like, “What a lot of rubbish you are mumbling. These computers are just machines that speak to each other”. They then sometimes state the obvious in that machines don’t have emotions or character, but plainly, they completely fail to understand that there are people with thoughts, worries, ideas and feelings, at the receiving end of these much-criticised machines.

I feel I have made good friends; friends who I can share humour with or occasionally share my darkest, deepest thoughts with who do not rebuke me, nor criticise my language skills. And I feel very privileged to be thought of as trustworthy enough to read of other blogger’s inner worlds.

The world of bloggers is as secret as it is public: We spill the contents of our hearts onto the paper under glass, usually under a pen-name so as not to be discovered, and before we know it, we’ve pressed the PUBLISH button, and there it all goes, spewing out into the world for all and sundry to see.

Personally, I feel it helps me. It is the time I can let go of my thoughts and inhibitions and just share what happens to be in or on my mind and that it always a relief. However, when my words go out into the universe, I am self-critical about what I have written, and find myself thinking, ‘Well, that wasn’t even worth the paper it was written on! Who on Earth seriously wants to read my thoughts?’ But occasionally, I get feedback to say I have helped someone feel less alone, or that we have shared some humour, so that makes at least two of us who have benefitted at least somewhat! Sometimes I don’t get feedback, or I have doubts about what I have written and am only too ready, and sometimes do actually hit the DELETE button, and there it all goes, gone, out into the ether, unspoken and unheard.

 

 

 

RUNNING ON EMPTY (CRASHING)

Running-On-Empty-logo

SATURDAY As you may have noticed, I haven’t been ‘around’ WP in the last couple of weeks and firstly, I must apologize for not keeping up with following your blogs for that time and for not even giving so much as a ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’ either as a result. I have been run off my feet – my lifestyle has developed into something approaching manic lately. As you may have read in my last post, we are trying passionately hard to stop my college closing and I thank each one of you who has taken the time to sign my petition. Every vote is much appreciated. There has been so much going on with campaigning, petitions, protests, meetings, committees, student unions etc that I can hardly keep track of it all and feel like I am chasing my tail half of the time! In addition, I have had a lot going on in my private life which has been difficult to manage too. My stress level has gone through the roof and I am really pretty well worn down. I’m not finding time to eat properly (it’s not my old anorexic thinking but just stress and lack of time), and am not getting anywhere near enough rest or sleep. I literally feel like I am running on empty and am permanently exhausted.

SUNDAY

car crashed into brick wall

Today, I have crashed into a brick wall; not literally but metaphorically. I guess I’ve been overdoing it for a good while now which has come from running on empty for too long. Today, my spirits have sunk, my mood is low, the world is dark, my hope has gone, my drive has ceased, I’ve come to driving halt.

Tomorrow, I’m meant to be signing up for my college courses for the two short months we have left before we are closed down due to bloody government funding cuts (see last post). I don’t know whether to go or not – I’m not good with endings – I tend to pull out before the inevitable happens….it tends to hurt less, (obviously looking at the situation pessimistically today). Everything I have learned has temporarily gone out of the window….I have a W.R.A.P. programme to follow (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) which I’m not exercising. I’m meant to be going to a Student Union committee meeting tomorrow. I don’t want to take the responsibility of the role I have there which sounds so selfish. I’m meant to be taking part in a research study at my local  university which I was really looking forward to and now the prospect doesn’t feel as rosy as it first was. It all feels like too much.

My family are in crisis….I have to look for a new care agency due to inefficiency, my Mum (as well as having Myeloma and just recovering from pneumonia) is now having serious mobility problems; my sister, J, in Australia has just lost her job through no fault of her own; my sister, L, is fighting to get my 14 year old niece who is blind but gifted, adequate education and schooling and my sister, A, has just broken up with her boyfriend. As usual, my children don’t figure anywhere in the picture. No surprises there then!

I’m not sure where my faith has gone….it seems to have evaporated into thin air. Where is God? I didn’t go to church today, I haven’t prayed and I’ve not studied my bible reading either.

God, I’m a right old misery guts today; I’m having a real moan for no good reason. I apologize for boring the pants off you if you have read this far. I think I’d better end there before I sink further into my black hole of depression and self-pity.

[I’ll probably by fine by tomorrow/later/in an half an hour/in ten minutes…soon/maybe/perhaps/perhaps not – that’s the unpredictability of having Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)]. Oh, deep joy!!!

SHAME ON ME!

CHALLENGE 2015

goals

Well, despite my Mum being very ill (see last post), I have decided to set myself some achievable goals or challenges! for 2015. As it is, I spend far too much time on my laptop, mostly working (writing) but also spending too much time observing Facebook and not enough time reading your blogs. I don’t get involved with Twitter simply because a) I don’t know how to and b) I would only spend more time on my laptop which defeats the object. So here they are:

  • To try and write at least two blogs (minimum) a week and to make more time to read your blogs, my friends.
  • To spend less time on Facebook.
  • To put my laptop down, turn the music off and read at least one chapter of a book every day.
  • To drink two glasses of fresh water a day to replace some of the diet coke I drink too much of mostly.
  • To chase up my Publisher who promised that my third book would be published this year (yes, I know it’s only January but I am keen to see it print).
  • To complete the next academic year at college.
  • Get myself to bed earlier.
  • Get involved in some voluntary work, even if in a small way.
  • Only to indulge in chocolate once in every two weeks (and then it has to be a small bar and not one of those family-size bars which I could easily sit down and scoff in one session…..and it has been known!!
  • Tidy the junk room.

So, will I, won’t I, time will tell!

Now for some unrealistic but ‘would like to do’ targets:

  • Get to the top of Mount Snowdon in my wheelchair! (see pic).
  • Read ‘War and Peace’ in one week.
  • Visit a different country (having never been abroad!).
  • Learn to become a computer whizz-kid.
  • Walk on the moon!
  • Put an end to all wars and suffering.
  • Fly an aeroplane single-handedly!
  • Win the Lottery (I don’t even do it!).
  • Find a cure for Cancer (seriously, that is. If only….).
  • Actually get 10 ‘Likes’ for this blog (highly unlikely)!

Well, there you go! A bit of commonsense mixed with a bit of imagination!

I guess I’ll have to achieve my first goal otherwise how would I plot my progress and more to the point, how will you be able to keep an eye on me to see if I actually do it?!

plan A

SHINE ON

people who choose to shine

THIS IS FOR ALL OF US HERE XXX

I am so honoured and privileged to be part of the blogging community I ‘belong’ to here.

I know blogging is worldwide and covers a multitude of people’s views. But I feel that once you start blogging, and following blogs you choose, you ‘meet’ so many people and make so many very valuable friends, most of whom have something in common. In the case of my blogging friends and myself, we have all been through hard/rough/awful/abusive times. Also, many of us experience some sort of mental health problem as a result of the huge trauma that we have had to endure or are still enduring.

And yet each one of us expresses lighter moments, joy, humour etc at times. We still shine despite all that we have been through. I think that is so courageous and admirable. Even if it’s only a millionth or a split second of our lives, we are all still able to shine despite the darkest, deepest thoughts, experiences and memories. Most importantly, we are all ‘here’, living and breathing even though many us, myself included, have tried so hard not to be. We are fighting our own individual battles, each different yet each similar. Yet, we are all fighting the same war; we are all batting for the same team, that of recovery or in essence, survival, and on the whole, we are winning, all be it a second at a time, a minute, an hour, day, week, month, year etc. Time is infinite.

I am so grateful for my friends amongst my ‘community’ and followers, who understand me, support me and care about me. You are unique, you are special, you are ‘real’ (all be it that we are virtual), you are all who you are, you are all…..you.

This is a message the world needs to hear: 

judgements

Hugs, Ellie xxx