World Mental Health Day….

Today isn’t just a day, it’s a signal of how far mental health awareness has come. Although people across the world suffer on a daily basis, a singular day could give a boost of positivity. Maybe just enough to save a person from that slippery cliff edge.

It saddens me to think, that there was a time when people’s mental health wasn’t just a difficult conversation to start, it was barely spoken about at all. The stigma which still hangs, the negative connotations still associated with mental illness, were things to be afraid of and either ignored or treated with extremes. Now with the fear, comes reasoning and so much more understanding. The stigmas of ‘crazy people’ or ‘what might they do’ still float around, but with an ever growing understanding and patience, hope is always at an arm’s length if needed.

On a personal level, I am proud to tell my story. Where I’ve been and how far I have come. Even how far I still have to go. Just because of a chemical imbalance or a point in life that still, to this day has an effect, it doesn’t make you an outcast. Far from it. It makes you human, a confusing mass of life that is always growing. Always a work in progress. And always perfect even in it’s imperfections.

Suffering in silence is a thing of the past. Fear of extremes and ridicule, ostracism and ignorance need no longer be a thought process. The daunting prospect of being labelled, diagnosing the ‘problem’, or simply an unannounced U-turn in an otherwise ‘normal’ life, will be understood and appreciated by the majority and the others don’t matter.

So today and everyday, I will take my medication with pride. Travel my ups and downs with the knowledge I am doing my very best. And smile, always at the journey I’ve conquered and continue on conquering.

Today was a celebratory day, as every day should be! Today shows a growing appreciation of illnesses that can’t be seen, scars beneath the surface, and turmoil in one’s noggin. Share your stories, keep understanding and smile. Smile for yourself and those who may not be able to right now….

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From fruitful colour to baron beauty….

Autumn has truly kicked off, marking a time of preparation. The garden in need of taming, frost prevention and bird feeders filled with good fats, mealworms & tasty seeds. Ready for the birds to plump up before the inevitable snow and to keep them going throughout.

This time of year may mark the decline of greenery and blooming flowers, but the auburn shades are atmospheric and delightful. Subtle changes from oranges to browns tower overhead and crinkle underfoot, a simple sensory moment, perfect for painting a smile on your face. And cooler temperatures only make the heart warming food that little more delightful!

Enjoying every element of my surroundings of late, is helping me no end. Watching leaves fall, listening to birds chirp and that special something in the air, just might make this time of year my favourite.

Here’s to savouring the simple things. Seeing the beauty in the things we can’t control. Smiling at a colour, a sound, a smell. Wonderful simplicity….

Teetering on a knife edge….

Hiding away always seems the easiest option. Just when comfort sets in, an overwhelming bout of anxiety and mind mush sinks it’s teeth right in! It was a lovely day, until this point. But to hide is not my best option, even though it feels safe.

When your happiness & freedom from anxiety teeter on a knife edge, I sometimes wonder how anything can be enjoyable. Is it luck that these feelings simmer under the surface? Or am I fully aware of them, knowing in some way I should just make the most of the good times? It’s a quandary, a fleeting thought process that simply wastes my energy.

I do enjoy days, knowing it may just be that one through the week. But I don’t fester in fear of the bad. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have seen the wood for the trees. I wouldn’t have seen a point in enjoyment when misery lay around the corner. This is a triumph. Although I feel like a bag of turd, I see the glitter in which I could roll. The polish set aside, and a spark of positivity flickers.

Tomorrow is always a day away, always a possibility for happy, jolly times. Let’s take a bad day as just that, singular, just one. Tomorrow is just around the corner…

A beaming light….

Weeks of torment behind me once again. It comes to a point, when I start to wonder what it’s all about? As if it is just the norm, to have good times followed by bad, only to start the cycle over again. When does it all become a tedious process, never to be broken?

A beaming light shining midweek, signalled the end of the downward, sleepless spiral. Granted, sleep isn’t all tikitiboo, but sleep has been had. The shining light, iridescent, marred by cloud, is a thing of beauty yet I’m fearful of what will trigger the next spiral. I feel I’m just playing a waiting game…

I guess I need to enjoy, make the most of, and seize the day at hand. Focus should be on how to exploit these good times and continue the growth I was getting on so well with before the bad times stuck their nose in. As if a blip, or singular scratch on a CD, continuing on with the song and finish what has been started.

So that is what I intend to do. Look at how far I’ve come. A crumpled lump, a mental and physical mess on my brother’s sofa, to where I am now. A gym going, lifestyle changing conqueror. The ‘me’ I almost enjoy looking at in the mirror, the ‘me’ that loves to cook, garden and progress day by day.

Don’t let the down days, or fear of what may happen next, slow you down. Take each day as it comes. Blips happen, shit happens and the fight is what will make you stronger. Enjoy today, tomorrow is a day away and always will be!

Smile, always.

Jibber-jabber at dawn #5….

With a semi successful sleep behind me, I stir from my slumber with a minor headache but a smile on my face. Today shall be a productive one.

The garden still with plenty to do, is always a task to look forward to. Shrubs need trimming, borders need tidying and a dismantled shed needs breaking down into usable and unusable. I’ve lost a little momentum with the garden but I’m hoping to build a swing seat out of the decent wood from the shed. I can see it now – birds tweeting, bees and butterflies aplenty, pots and trellises in bloom, and a swing chair to enjoy it all. T’will be amazing…

Today is also a gym day. Forty minutes on the bike has become something I look forward to, a necessary evil turned unexpected joy. And it’s leg day, my favourite! Some may ponder whether I’m being sarcastic here, but as with cardio, I’m loving leg day!

A new found vigour courses through me of late, a want to get things done! I’m giving more 100% at the gym and I’m hoping I can find the same intensity for my gardening again! Building this chair and seeing the success of tidy borders and shrubs will no doubt spur me on no end.

Never giving up and always searching for little victories and enjoyment in life is something I firmly believe everyone should work towards. Yes, you may lose a little momentum or even have completely shite days but there is always something to look forward to. Whether that be a major life change or a minor victory, find what makes you happy and hold on to it….

A day out…..comfort zone reached and pushed to one side….

The sun was peering through clouds, possible rain taunting me. But with temperatures still high and a want to do something new, we took a trip to the beach.

Anxiety was on red alert before the day began, but determination and a want to get out and face my fears was strong. It felt good to say ‘f@#k you’ to such a negative feeling. I’ve always avoided such situations, or found a different route around them. Yes I’ve pushed through – and also often been beaten by – my anxiety on a daily basis, but to know in advance that my comfort will definitely be reached, even become a speck in the review mirror, was something I decided to face head-on!

To reason with an irrational fear of people, the outside world and places I’m not familiar with, is a futile task. This is what I’ve tried to do in the past. The attempt at reasoning only intensifies the anxiety, leading to attacks and a whirlwind of head blitzkrieging nonsense and thoughts!

This newfound head-on approach – whether it be a one off or something I can emulate in the future – opened my eyes to the potential growth I can achieve. I’ve been circling around safe zones, shortcuts and methods of avoidance for so long, perhaps this is a new step in the right direction. Out of my comfort zone, outside of my practiced circle.

The beach was a lovely day out, testing but invigorating! My head may have been down a lot of the time and yes I may have eaten too much ice cream, but today was a great accomplishment for me.

Only time will tell if I can continue and build on this success. A new sense of positivity sits on the horizon. It’s mine for the taking….

Sometimes it’s worth pushing yourself harder than you feel safe. Always be around those who understand you and always know when to turn back. There’s no weakness in trying and only success at the finish line…

Another day conquered….

It’s Sunday. After indulging last night with a takeaway – king prawn pathia, t’was a tasty dish – I wish I could go back. Not to savour it one more time or even to hit delete and choose a healthier option. But to perhaps only eat half, or maybe not have a few slices of the pizza the others had….

Yes I dipped pizza into a curry. Yes it was delicious. And yes I feel like a complete fatty. There is however a sense of achievement here, a tick amongst an array of crosses. I stopped when I was full! Tis true that it was still too much, but the old me would have eaten and eaten……..and eaten……and….well, you know where I’m going. I would’ve rolled myself to bed after demolishing the entire table, perhaps even searched for pudding!

This is where, as poop as I feel for eating it, I proved a point I’ve been trying to make. It is possible to indulge and cure a ‘want’ for something you’re trying to avoid, and I stopped when the urge was satisfied.

Indulgence was fulfilled and conquered.
It also doesn’t mean I am going to starve myself today. I’m going to eat properly and enjoy it. I may even have some pud today if the feeling arises. It’s a case of knowing what your limits are and ensuring you enjoy yourself up to that limit.

I’ve had my egg mashup this morning, with avocado and ham, a touch of greens to top it. With the above feelings of slight regret washed away, I’m feeling good. A happy tum means a happy me. I can’t stress enough how important indulgence is. It’s a release, not because my chosen lifestyle is too difficult, but because sometimes your body wants what it wants.

With a meaty, healthy wrap for lunch, a nice piece of salmon with blueberry labneh & roasted cauliflower for dinner, I’m feeling more than satisfied. It’s been a good few days of grub, gardening and the conquering of anxiety. A trip or two to the neighbouring town with family – my father and little sister Millie – without my safety blanket, my rock, my mum. It was difficult, but I held it together. They know my struggle which makes it easier.

Indulge, accept and conquer 😊😊