Tag Archives: Thoughts

F is for FRANK

Well, it’s been just over two weeks without meds, for the first time in 5 years or so – and I actually feel good!

I was so terrified by the memories of what life was like without meds back then – but with the amazing work I’ve done through therapy and the amazing works that God has done in, with and around me I’m feeling free and chirpy! Yes I still have chronic pain and fatigue and yes I still have depression but I feel that this has been a big and positive step!

Since having a bit of a clearer head I’ve been reading a lot about the meds I was on and sadly realising how little I and my GP knew about them and how wrong they were for me – and how common this is for so many people. I’ve also been saddened by people having similar experiences to me, such as being prescribed drugs and sent away with no real chance to just TALK and the GP having no real knowledge of my/our situation.

I am so thankful for the therapy I’ve had and am having but I know would NEVER had had the opportunity if it weren’t for a lot of financial help. It’s so easy to get lost in the system and to be treated as a number or a faceless problem. If it weren’t for my family, financial aid to be able to access help and my therapist I honestly am unsure as to whether I would still be alive…which makes me wonder about those who don’t have these things. And I don’t say that lightly.

For example, how you’re sent away with drugs, leaflets and phone numbers really upsets me. More often than not – if you struggle with depression, you will struggle with anxiety. Therefore, taking yourself to a group, leaving the house or making a phone call is something you just CANNOT do. Left then only with drugs to take that make you sweat excessively, shake, twitch, salivate, vomit, make you dizzy, make you manic, increase suicidal thoughts and feelings and so much more – you are in trouble.

Oh yes, and of course you’re put on this waiting list to see a free therapist – sounds good right?! Except this list is like, eternal and actually you probably won’t get to have one to one sessions. Sadly, this is hardly ever recommended to you so in reality, you’re put on a waiting list to get approximately 20 group sessions of CBT to learn how to cope practically. Like timetables. And stuff.

Again – not something I ever felt I could do, or infact wanted to do. Perhaps in a few years time when I had actually been given the chance to learn what was going on with me, had begun learning to heal and to express it what was going on inside me, perhaps then….but as a first measure?? NO! No no.

Plus, this is without my (then) GP having any real knowledge of what I was struggling with exactly – all they had to go on was a desperate delirious me saying I couldn’t cope with feeling so low all the time. How could they know CBT would work for me? How could they be sure I was capable of making rational decisions? How could they be sure that I would go? How could they know what drugs would help or harm me? HOW COULD THEY KNOW?

My appointment went (sadly) like this: The doctor asked me what seemed to be the problem, looked out of the window while I tried to answer, asked if I smoked and – with the door half open, having been hastily prescribed drugs – asked if I wanted to kill myself.

Nice.

One of my biggest worries is that when you struggle with this stuff, you NEED accountability. You need a LOT of help and support and encouragement. You need people turning up outside your door to take you to things – even if you’ve said no. You need someone elses voice to block out the ugly noise going on inside of you. Sometimes you even need someone to physically fight you or hold you or drag you! Depression tends to freak you out and make you do crazy things. Being sent away to have to access all of the worlds support groups alone is not something that makes much sense to me.

*

I’m still terrible at throwing all of my energy at trying to be normal and funny and ok and good company. I’ve seen so many adverts and videos and leaflets and campaigns that plead with people to be real and to talk openly about how they’re feeling etc (which I actually truly do agree with) – but honestly? People can’t handle it. And how could they? I’VE never been trained or advised on how to cope with somebody who is suicidal or hears voices or who isn’t in control of themselves all of the time. How would I cope if my mother or son started chatting to me about how they were planning to end their lives, or how this person with a strange name was telling them things and would often take over them? Or if they turned up at my workplace in having a crazed episode or having just self harmed?

We can be SO ANNOYING. I am such hard work and I will take you to the edges of your love and acceptance and grace and friendship.

People who struggle with this stuff are hard work-FACT.

You will not find yourself in a nice, neat two way relationship that is fair and equal and rewarding. Oh no. You will be messed around, hurt, quite possibly hit at, cried on, rejected, ignored, shouted at and lied to. You will have to bandage us up, wait for hours outside our door, listen to us sob endlessly about things that may not make sense or indeed be at all real. We will forget things, demand things, refuse things and expect things. We are unreliable, self absorbed, unpredictable and worst of all – there really isn’t much you can do to help.

Not to be too controversial, but I really don’t think you can treat depression like any other illness. Because it won’t treat you like that! And it doesn’t treat its victims like that either. It is unique in so many ways and it is still such a mystery even to the brightest of minds.

So this muddled rant is finished, I didn’t expect to write most of that and it isn’t a work of art – but it’s honest and just my thoughts and experiences.

Here’s to tomorrow!

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F is for Falling through the gaps

Sometimes, I think about what my life would have looked like if I hadn’t been ill. Not very often, but sometimes. I look back over the last seven years or so and I end up feeling seriously confused and alone.

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Over my life time, I’ve heard people say things like ‘complaining is easy’, ‘there’s always someone worse off than you’,  and I’ve seen that quote ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’ time and time again.

Pain-is-inevitable

I’ve heard people talk about Karma and how if you work hard or if you’re a good person, you will succeed and good things will happen to you…or the opposite!

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I’ve been told that if I pray hard enough and if my faith is big enough I will be ok, and I will be healed and I will be prosperous.

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People have told me that things will work out, that I’ll be ok and that things will change soon.

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None of this has happened and none of this has been true in my life.

For seven years.

Where does that leave me? And why? What does it mean? Am I a ‘bitch’? Am I a bad person? Am I doing something wrong? Am I saying the wrong prayer?

I don’t know…

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But somehow and for some reason…

I think I’ll keep trying to be and do good anyway.

I’ll keep believing anyway.

I’ll keep doing my best anyway.

Why?

Well, I was inspired by this poem by Mother T the other day – it hit me hard and it seemed to perfectly put into words what I haven’t been able to.

Anyway

Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

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F is for fervor

So I haven’t written here in a criminally long time.

Life (excuse my french) is a bitch. And then you die.

Right now, I wouldn’t mind trying out an experimental drug that induces a week long coma. If you’re developing this ,ye scientists, pray do get in touch. Why?

BECAUSE I’D REALLY LIKE A BREAK.

God, come on give me a break

How many of us feel like we’re in over our heads? How many of us are in pain of some kind every day? How many of us are overwhelmingly stressed? How many of us would give our most prized possession, a limb, our hopes or dreams to simply experience 10 solid minutes of health and stability? If I had anything of worth, or the opportunity to barter bits of me for a glimpse of health and peace….

I would hand it over no questions asked.

x

I was wondering, does this desperate state of mind & body damage us? Does it mean we forget things? Like the art of patience, forgiveness, empathy and even simple thought? Does it erase the parts of us that had perspective and the ability to dream and hope? Does it mean that we become blind and detached?

Do we lose the will to believe in anything but pain and anger? Do we make menial things, Gods? The small things that actually have some kind of affect and positive interaction in our lives? Or do we let something much darker take hold of us? Do we bow down to medication, alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling, self harm, money? Do we sabotage others in a desperate attempt to feel better about ourselves?

Maybe we can take it slow, start over, begin again every day. I may have been able to ignore some of the pain today, but yesterday I let it take over me. Tomorrow I could feel excited and hopeful and be able to help somebody in some small way… Next week I could consider suicide. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, or indeed what this evening will hold, but maybe that’s ok. Maybe then we could release the guilt and release the shame. Take it slow. Maybe?

What do I think?

Keep asking

&

Change your expectations

Of yourself, others, life, experiences, the bigger picture.

Stop and think and ask yourself

Do I need to rest, do I need to be sad, do I think I can go and see a friend, do I want to cry, do I feel angry, do I need to get help, do I need to breathe deeper…..stop and think and ask.

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Here’s a song that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with for a while now. I feel hesitant to share it because it’s my life line at the moment, but today I can share and today I can write.

Today I can ask, maybe?

Love and strength to you x

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F is for feeling

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My feelings run free within me.

They have set up home within my very core and they are never going to leave.

They are the master puppeteer and they relish in the dance that is love, hurt, joy and pain.

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They are truly alive within me and they manifest themselves physically.

They speak to me through pain and sickness.

They remind me of past hurts and horrors to show me that they are still scared and frightened.

That they still can’t make sense of it all.

That I’m still broken.

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My feelings want me to themselves.

They do not like to be denied and they are deathly afraid of being left alone.

My feelings love to talk to me, to re-live and reminisce.

A constant chatter of colours fills me, encases me, enfolds me and consumes me.

Like a strong wind they rush right through me.

The

dust

never

settles.

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I love my feelings.

I’ll hold them close and cherish them.

I love my feelings.

I’ll fight with them and lock them away.

I love my feelings.

They roam free and frighten me.

I love my feelings.

But they do not love me.

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I love my feelings.

I love my feelings.

I love my feelings.

I love my feelings.

I loathe my feelings.

I love my feelings.

I love my feelings.

akBlackDot

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F is for Fragile

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Don’t you hate it when people say that hurts, pains and disappointments are ‘character building’? When they say rejection ‘only makes you stronger’? When the surgery didn’t work…again…and they tell you ‘if there was no sorrow we wouldn’t know joy’?

Well, I do.

I hate it.

I hate it because when I’m in pain and when I’m in despair, I’m not interested in building my character. When I’m mourning and I’m angry, something tells me joy is a myth Walt Disney made up. And strength? It’s too late for strength.

I’m worn down, I’m empty, and I’m broken. There is nothing left of me. Nothing left to feel. Nothing left within that wants to hold on any longer. It’s just too late.

But what if there was no tragic ‘event’? What if there was no real failure? No actual surgery… nothing to blame, recover from or wrestle with?

What if your homelessness and poverty is within you?

What if the famine ravaged your soul?

What if the flood destroyed the home in your heart?

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What if the invisible affliction you struggle with is depression?

What if the thief in the night is mental illness?

What if the flood, famine or earthquake is the anxiety within you?

 

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From my personal experience, there is no short-term cause and solution. There is no isolated event to reflect on, learn from, and move on from. There are no bones to set and no wounds to stitch. You’re stuck in this infinite ‘middle-stage’. A grimy, hellish, completely messed up, perpetual nightmare. Nothing you think or feel is real, or in response to anything real or factual…or is it?

You’ve lost the ability to judge that.

Your reference point, teacher and closest friend is a warped mirror you somehow picked up at one of those awful circus galleries. One day you walked by it and heard it calling you, saw it taunting you and felt it take hold of you.

Hall of mirrors, Petrin Hill, Prague. 1998

You unknowingly gave it your frame of mind, your childhood memories and experiences, your fears and your insecurities. You surrendered the very mechanism that constructs your ability to understand, think, ration, perceive, trust, process, relate and learn. It set up camp deep inside you, hidden by layers and layers of lies, fake smiles and deathly silence.

You gave it your dreams, abilities, skills, beauty, confidence, hope and passion.

It knows you better than you know yourself.

It became your puppeteer way before you think it did. You had strings tying you in knots over and over again. You were robbed before you really had a hold on anything.

This world is where approximately 1 in 5 of us in the UK live.

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I can only draw from my own experience which therefore makes my knowledge of depression extremely limited. I’m sure what I’ve written here will already contradict someone else’s experience of depression – but it certainly does not discount or discredit it.

Depression is organic. It grows, infests and spreads its roots. Depression is tailored to fit around your every atom, your every whim, your every waking breathing sleeping eating praying walking working mourning laughing dancing falling crawling yearning failing growing overflowing minute. We give it names and categories to light our way around the darkness and the mess, but no two experiences of depression will be the same.

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The people who say those frustrating, irritating, unhelpful, cliched, meaningless words…. The Walt Disney characters who seem to hop, skip and jump with ignorance… The people who you ignore completely and kind of, well utterly, want to punch in the face? The people I mentioned at the start of this post?

Well…

I’m one of them.

I have grown because of my suffering. I have felt incredible depths of joy that wouldn’t have existed if I hadn’t suffered. I am stronger, wiser and more resourceful because of it.

I really, truly, earnestly mean that. But I also meant everything before that. I’m not ‘healed’, ‘better’ or ‘ok’. I’m still wrestling with it, I’m still lost within it.

But today I could write about it.

 

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Today I have enough strength to choose to make myself vulnerable and share this part of me with you.

Today I can take a small step back and see things a little clearer.

Today I can add to the beauty…

 

We come with beautiful secrets

We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls

We come to every new morning

With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold 

Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces 

Calling out the best of who we are 

And I want to add to the beauty

To tell a better story

I want to shine with the light

That’s burning up inside 

It comes in small inspirations

It brings redemption to life and work

To our lives and our work

 It comes in loving community

It comes in helping a soul find it’s worth 

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces

Calling out the best of who we are 

And I want to add to the beauty

To tell a better storyI want to shine with the light

That’s burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful

This is grace, an invitation

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces

Calling out our best

And I want to add to the beauty

To tell a better storyI want to shine with the light

That’s burning up inside

– Sara Groves

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“Rockin’ Robin, TWEET!”

Thanks Michael, I’ll take it from here.

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Come tweet with me at

@fisforfiesty 

where I’ll never quote Michael Jackson lyrics.

Well, maybe.

Maybe just at Christmas.

And, you know…

If it’s ever relevant.

To the cause.

And like…

Stuff.

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You & Me

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I love discussion, community, journeying, wrestling, chatting late into the night, learning, reading, understanding, growing and sharing and I want to do all of that with YOU! I’ll post questions I get asked and comments too so that we can work things out together.

I am definitely at the

discovery

stage of all of this and I’m loving it!

I don’t have answers and rules and nothing is set in stone here – feminism isn’t a club or an organisation with a logo and a membership card. It’s simply believing that you and me are people. That we’re valuable, unique and worthy of respect no matter what dangly bits we may or may not have. Simple!

Let’s get started with a few bits from this past week……

QUESTIONS:

I wonder what you think the most immediate goal for contemporary feminism should be?

Where do you think the most energy should be spent?

How do you choose your battles?

Not to imply that any issue is trivial but I wonder if there’s a requirement for more formalised leadership within feminism?

What do YOU think? Leave a comment below and let’s get chatting!

COMMENTS:

It was illuminating and concerning to hear successful TV cook Mary Berry announce that

feminism was a dirty word

and she

“didn’t want women’s rights and all that”

this week.

Perhaps she just can’t be bothered to have a career anymore, wishes she never learned how to read, got bored of choosing how to spend her money and ran out of ideas for her own opinions. Each to their own. But I’m pretty sure she’s enjoying many rights without realising.

She cited

not liking shouting and wanting to respect men as reasons to reject feminism

but this only highlights her misunderstanding of it. Good news, Mrs Berry –

feminism is with you.

We like the same things.

We can be friends.

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F is for Feedback

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I’m excited, interested, blown away and chuffed at the responses I’ve had to this blog so far – thank you! I really do love to hear what you guys are thinking – whether you agree with me or not – I’d love to get your input.

This blog is an open house for everyone and anyone and I passionately want it to be a channel for your voices too – your thoughts, feelings and questions are valued here.

Some of these posts will be silly and some will be serious but all are a valid and genuine part of my journey as a person and as a woman.

Thanks again!

x

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Her name was Lola…

My good friend Gabrielle (hello!) often likes to drop F bombs on me. Or as I like to call them, Fem Bombs. Both sound equally as offensive. Neither mean what you think they mean.

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She’ll casually message me over facebook or text me from time to time with a question like:

“I just read a really interesting article about women changing their surnames after marriage. Can I ask what made you decide to change yours?”

(Really Interesting Article)

Well Gabrielle!

I did think about it a lot, and initially I wanted to double barrel it. I wanted to honour my family and continue it’s name (especially with my Dad not having a son to ‘carry’ it on), but then I went on to think about how I wanted or needed my main point of reference to change from my parents to my partner. I wanted to form a strong partnership that would enable us to be such united parents like my parents were. It’s the whole roots and wings thing for me, and actually, I knew that the best way I could carry my family’s ‘legacy’ forward was to honour them through the way that I live and the choices I make and to learn from their lives and choices.

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THEN I had a little think about how I would have felt if my mum and dad had had different names, if and how it would affect me. For example – which name would I take? Which family or ‘side’ did I belong to or relate to most? What would I do when I had kids? Give them four last names?! Did my mum and dad not want to commit to each other completely? Does it matter? And other such wonderings.

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I THEN thought about Russ’s family name, and just simply getting to know his family and their families and what I thought and felt about them. Over a handful of years I learnt a lot and I’m still learning – but what I’ve found are people. People. Just like the people in my family. People with stories, history, pain, grief, joy, love, warmth – and the last thing on my mind is what our names are.

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From the day Russ and I started dating I felt strongly about not wanting to lose myself to the relationship. I had been ‘lost’ so many times before, I’d seen so many people get ‘lost’ and I didn’t want to sink and just be ‘Russ’s girlfriend’ or ‘Russ’s wife’.

I wanted to be Kate.

An individual who was free and independent with her own mind. And you know, Russ knew that. Before I told him. I didn’t have to spell it out – he knew my heart and he wanted to be the one to free me from the crap that bound me from negative experiences in my past.

!SOPPY SLUSHY PUKEY WARNING!

For our last wedding anniversary he gave me a bird cage, with a bird shaped candle inside.

He told me that the door on this little bird cage would never be closed – and that has been our biggest promise to each other for 6 years now – to give each other wings, to free each other from pain, insecurities – anything that holds us back. To want the best for each other and to FIND ourselves within the promises we made, not lose ourselves.

x

So, finally, I decided to take on a new name, a new chapter, a new role, a new journey and to ‘fly the nest’ I guess.

It’s a beautiful name and it’s one my parents were more than happy to give to me when Russ asked them if he could propose.

x

But, you know, more importantly – MOST importantly – at the end of the day…

I honestly don’t care if nobody remembers my name.

I just want to love others and empower people to love themselves and others.

THAT’S a legacy.

THAT’S something to honour.

That’s what I have learnt.

Simple as.

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Can I get an ‘F’!?!

Welcome one and all to mon blog!

I’m going to put this out there right now – this blog is totally and completely full to the BRIM of me-ness and my ramblings. This means it’ll focus mainly around:

Being female, being a daughter, creativity , being a sister, being a friend, failing gloriously, being a wife, being a mummy (one day!), having depression, living with unexplained chronic pain, being angry, questions of faith, sex, food, alternative lifestyles, being a geek, music, films, being flipping messy….and everything in between. I also want to promise/warn you that I will try to be completely honest. And I mean, HONEST. So please don’t read this if you’d rather eat a rich tea biscuit and watch the world go by.

I’m thinking we start with a list of things that are in my head RIGHT NOW. This could be interesting. I said could. It’s not a guarantee.

Numero uno – I like making people laugh.

Two – Children are GOLD and should be treated with respect, love and understanding.

Three – I have three teapots and I don’t drink tea.

4 – Charity shops are IMPORTANT and they can change your life.

5ive – Feminism is not a dirty word.

Six – Life is about love. MY life is about love. And yours should be too. Jus’ sayin’.

7 – I sweat and cry more than the average sheila. NICE RIGHT. Don’t care.

8 – Be the change you want to see. Write the book you want to read. A third thing that rhymes.

9 – YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.

10 – Barbecue spare ribs. Yep.

11 – I love Kung Fu movies.

Twelve – Embrace the paradox. Act in the face of overwhelm. Love people well. (Courtney Martin)

13een – I love to learn.

14 – I am way too emotional about food.

15 – Everybody poos. Yes you! You poo! And now everybody knows. Sorry.

So this is me.

Saying hi.

Over & out.

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The life of Lyndall

... all its glorious twists and turns

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A lunchbox full of tasty treats (maybe)

Frost in May

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Bright Lights and Buttons

thoughts and crafts to pass the time

My African Adventure

Volunteering as a veterinary nurse!

El Lugar De Las Torres

Short Stories by R.J.E Luscombe

If you tolerate this then your daughters will be next

Learning how to behave like a socially acceptable woman

loseeverything.wordpress.com/

a blog about honesty, hope and losing everything