100 Days

For these few weeks I’ve seen countless friends and acquaintances post across social media the 100 Days of Happiness challenge.

I contemplated doing it too, and then thought, nope.

I fully get that it’s a motivational thing. Every day you post a photo, that gives you a reason to be happy. For 100 days. In a row.

20140304-074413.jpg
It’s a nice idea, but it’s unrealistic.

100 days in a row of being happy?
Thankful? Yes.
Happy? No.

If I get a few happy days in a row then great, but I’ve come to realise over the last few months that it’s ok to be unhappy every now and again. It’s ok to be sad. To be miserable. To be angry.

You cannot be happy all the time. Trying to make yourself be happy for 100 days in a row?
This project just seems like it’s setting people up to fail.

Even the site itself has a phrase of “people successfully completing the challenge” gives you an idea that not everyone is successful and people, do in fact, fail.

For someone with a mental health issue like PND and PTSD, it’s an unrealistic project.

What happens if a loved one passes away? Or you lose your job? Become a victim of fraud?

The sentiment is nice and I fully get the idea of wanting to be happy and upbeat and positive. However, when I have a low day, or a day where someone has pissed me off to the point of seeing red, will my mind have a set back because it’s a day where I’ve not been “happy”?

Your emotional health is a complex thing, and if you’re already fragile, why would you want risk the possibility of disappointment in an unachievable goal?

Will you have a sense of failure and disappointment if you have a few shitty days?

Maybe some people are emotionally strong enough to just brush it off, and carry on.

Me? I am not.

So, instead I’ll just be thankful.
Thankful for a day that I get through, with my emotions in check.
Thankful for a day I get through in good spirits.
Thankful for what I have.
Thankful for the close family and friends supporting me.
Thankful that I don’t have to worry about failing to be happy for 100 days in a row.

Roar!

Every so often I hear a song, which resonates very deeply with me. I say every so often, but to be fair it’s probably less than that.
Yesterday I heard a song, that i’d heard a million a lot of times, thanks to the radio/TV music channels and I liked it but I never paid it much notice.

I’m not one who is up to date with current music, and my iPod is full of songs that have release dates of 1960/70/80 and occasionally 90/00s. I even have songs that were released in the bloody 1800s and well, it’s safe to say I don’t go out and buy the “chart toppers” every week.

But yeah, every so often I hear a song and it improves my mood, which I use to my advantage. My therapist says that it’s good that I can use music to improve my mood. To be honest, punching a few people in the face would probably help too, but buying the odd song from iTunes gets you less jail time.

The current song is Katy Perry’s Roar. The tune and beat make me want to run, I know (!!) AS IF. I don’t do running.

And the lyrics? They seem somehow appropriate for my mood, past and present if you like.

If you’ve not heard the song yet, then have a listen.

Sometimes it’s just hard.

Being pregnant is hard.

You’re full of hormones, all of your emotions are multiplied, you’re more sensitive than normal (which is a nightmare if you’re already a sensitive person), you cry at pretty much anything and not just a trickle of tears but a full blown snot fest of sobbing.

Every single pregnancy is different, so I’ve been told, by my Doctor, my Midwife, my Consultant, and various pregnancy books. Every woman is different, every baby is different. Every labour and delivery is different. Everyone has different opinions.

Being pregnant and predisposed to depression is even harder. What’s brain chemistry imbalance and what’s pregnancy hormones?

Being a first time expectant mum is hard. You’ve never experienced pregnancy or its baggage. It’s new, it’s confusing.

How do you explain something you don’t understand?

How do you try to begin to understand the complex emotions you’re experiencing?

How do you try to convey these emotions and feelings to someone else?

How do you manage all of this, on top of every day life and everyday worries?

Being pregnant is hard.

Strong

Sometimes you experience moments that bring out a range of emotions. Anger, sadness, disbelief, rage, pity, upset, etc.
Something happens that makes you so angry that you cry in frustration. Or that you cry because it’s hurtful. Or you just cry because you’ve no other emotion left to feel.

There have been many of these moments in my life. Moments where I despaired, cried, raged, ranted in anger, expressed disbelief, or shook my head in pity, and even all done each one within a 15 minute timeframe!

Life is hard sometimes, but I’ve learnt that I am stronger than I think I am and indeed stronger than other people think I am.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

This is one of my favourite quotes and to be honest it’s easier said than done. I’ve come across it so many times, but most memorable is from Joe in The Princess Diaries movie. Joe is a wise man, that said, so is Eleanor Roosevelt (a wise woman that is!).

Whilst searching for that quote, I came across this one. Another quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.

“A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

My point is that I’m not going to let these emotions rule me. I refuse to let people create these types of emotions in me. I am strong. I will be strong.

My kettle has boiled and I’m pouring the tea. I refuse to be weak. I refuse to be an inferior.

I am strong. I am successful.

I am me.

Faith in Humanity

This morning I had an accident. Ironically I was on my way to a doctors appointment. Instead of going to the doctors, I ended up in an ambulance on gas and air and then in hospital.
Anyone would think it was Monday after today’s events.

Note to all, don’t bother rushing for a bus or train or anything really, it just isn’t worth the pain or panic.

This morning whilst rushing for the bus, I fell. I’m not sure if I lost my footing or I tripped, or exactly what happened to be honest, but I ended up on the floor, half into the road, unable to feel my legs.
I remember looking up and seeing a group of people at the bus stop. The bus pulled up and they all just got on, leaving me laying there. It was freezing out. -2C. I remember seeing headlights approach me and then disappear.
I tried to get up and I couldn’t. I started to panic. I’d hit my head and couldn’t feel my legs. I’m not even sure how I managed to get my phone out of my pocket and call the emergency services.
I remember crying.
I remember suddenly feeling pain in my knees.
I remember my hand, trapped under me pressed into the frozen ground, half numb, half hurting.
Finally someone stopped to help, 7 or 8 minutes after I’d fallen.

I remember being on the phone to a woman at the emergency services, trying to tell her where I was. Confused, cold and in pain. She was sending an ambulance.
I then called my husband. He spoke to the woman who’d stopped to help me.
I didn’t even see her face. Only thing I can recall was her black fleece with HM Prison Service stitched in with white thread. The other thing I remember was a mans work boots.

Someone covered me with a blanket and put something between my face and the floor.

I vaguely remember another woman’s voice saying she’d knocked on a few doors asking if they had a blanket she could borrow. They said they didn’t have anything like that. She called them wankers. I think I might have laughed.

I spent nearly 50 minutes on the floor before the ambulance arrived and got me on to a stretcher and into something warm. During that time I was starting to panic. Trying to control my breathing so that I didn’t have an asthma attack.
I was so cold.
My blood pressure was a lot lower than it should of been. The paramedic said from the shock of the fall and the cold.

My husband met me at the hospital as I was stretchered in and out straight into a cubicle. I had vitals taken, pain relief and saw a doctor within 20 minutes. Within 30 minutes I was taken for X-rays, which thankfully showed that there wet no breaks. I’m now on crutches. It’s hard to use them.

I can’t sleep, even though the drugs I’ve been given make me incredibly drowsy. I’m laying here, in pain, my knees on fire, my neck sore, wondering why I laid in the road and people ignored me. Cars drove past me. At least 5 people were at that bus stop and no one stopped to see if I was ok.

My husband said perhaps people in the cars didn’t see me because they were concentrating on the road. I’m not a driver so I can’t really comment on it I guess. But I should point out that my back pack is part grey part yellow with a few florescent stripes on it. It’s designed to be reflective. I’m not exactly small, how could you miss something like that?

If I saw someone fall and not get back up then I wouldn’t just walk away. I couldn’t.

It makes me incredibly sad that people saw it happen and just walked away.

I do however feel so incredibly grateful for the 3 people who did stop their cars to help me this morning. And to the London Ambulance service who helped me and gave me immediate pain relief and didn’t cut my trousers off me.

I feel grateful to the few people who read my Twitter and Facebook feed who took the time to send me a message asking if I was ok and wishing me to feel better soon.

I feel incredibly sad about the people who I thought cared about me and that I mattered to haven’t bothered to see if I’m ok.

I often wonder why I spend so much of my time and feelings and energy caring for people, and being there for others, when they don’t in fact return the sentiment. Of course, I’m not saying I do it because I expect something in return. I do it because I truly care. It hurts that the people I thought cared, seem not to.

Right now I hurt, in more ways then one.

Mood Swings and Roundabouts

As a woman, I’m prone to mood swings. That’s a fact. There is nothing rational about these moods, well not all the time anyway, that’s just how it is.
It’s the same for ALL women, and if you’re a woman saying “Not Me” or a man saying “Not my Wife/Girlfriend/Daughter” then you are a damn liar.

There are days where I’m happy. So fiercely happy that I physically want to jump for joy and laugh out loud and exclaim to all who will listen that I am so happy.

There are days where I am miserable. I have no interest in what you say or do. I could give a royal toss.

There are days when I’m sad. For no reason at all. Days where the slightest thing brings me to sobbing tears. Feeling like my heart is broken beyond repair.

There are days where I’m numb. I feel nothing. I’m blank. You could tell me the most heartfelt story and my face wouldn’t change.

There are days when I feel so full of love that I want to tell the world about all the people I love and why I love them.

There are days where I’m angry. So angry that I leak tears and physically shake. I’ll be silent with a face that could stop thunder in it’s tracks. Sometimes I’ll rant, stand on my soapbox and rave about the injustice and unfairness of a situation. Or send tweets in CAPS with lots of EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!

Then there’s days where I feel aggressive (which to be fair usually follows anger, but not always). White hot molten rage. Aggression, where I could quite easily become violent. Days where I’d like nothing more than to hold a club with spikes on the end and feel the weight of it as I smash it into someone, making them feel the pain I sometimes feel inside.

There are days when I feel annoyed. Absolutely everything annoys me. Even cute babies laughing annoy me.

There are times where one feeling quickly blends into another. Happiness into Anger. Sadness into Anger. Anger into Aggression. Aggression into Numbness. Sadness into Numbness. There are many variations.

These mood swings are felt by all women (and men too I suppose).

I keep telling myself they are normal feelings to experience, normal emotions to have in given situations. But sometimes I think I might just be a sociopath/bi-polar PMT mad woman who suffers from depression.

Either way, perhaps you just might want to stay on my good side from now on.

Oh! And Men, now the worst thing you can say to a woman with mood swings is “is it your time of the month?” or in fact make any suggestion that her mood swings are in any way, shape or form related to her “time of the month”. If you do happen to slip up then I can guarantee that you’ll be seeing her in the form of either “Anger” or “Aggression”, and you’ll be experiencing a rather sore and painful crotch.

Inkling

When I was 15 I wanted a Tattoo as soon as I could legally have one.
When I was 18 I still wanted a Tattoo but was cautious because I wasn’t 150% sure of exactly what I wanted or where I wanted it (Or how many I wanted!)

Tattoos are for life. The last thing you want is that image of Tweety Bird inked on to your arse at 21 to turn into Big Bird by the time you’ve hit 50 because your arse has expanded due to the fact that over the last 29 years you’ve gained 45 pounds and then some. Needless to say it’s taken a while for me to really come to a decision, and despite the 10 years of thought processing I’m still not at that 150%.  But I’m close.

Over the last few months I’ve had a pretty harsh time, full of stress and upset. I have white pills to pop. They’re helping, slowly.  Instead of feeling low all the time, I feel less low, but sometimes more aggressive. It probably doesn’t help that I’m reading a book series that has quite a lot of supernatural violence in it.  hey ho. my books are my escapism.

Over the last 2 months my urge to be inked has hit me real strong. So strong that I can almost taste it. I can almost feel the pain of the Tattooist running the needles through my skin, inking me, marking me.  I want it so bad. I want to feel the pain.

I’m in the process of doing my research. I have picked a studio and an artist. I have an idea of what I want and where I want them, all I have to do now is call the studio, make an appointment and speak to my Tattooist. I plan to let her design it based on my idea.

I have an inkling that pretty soon I’m going to feel the pain as the needle bites into my flesh, forever marking me.

I can’t fucking wait.

The Genre of Abuse

Ever since Dave Pelzer’s book “A Child Called It” hit the shelves, it seems that hundred of other people have chosen to write about their childhood/teenage experiences of abuse.  I call this the Genre of Abuse.

I enjoy reading, in fact enjoy is a bit of an understatment.  I have hundreds of books, I’d have so much more if I could. I’m the type of girl who checks out 10 books at a time from the library and reads them in a week.  So when Dave Pelzers book came out, I thought, “ooh wonder what this is about”, read the inside cover, decided it wasn’t really my thing, but I’d give it a go anyway.  I got to page 7.  After that I vowed that I’d never read a book about child abuse experiences ever again.

On Wednesday I picked up a book by Toni Maguire called Don’t Tell Mummy
I read it in less than 2 hours.  I was horrified, saddened, shocked, in fact I was a whole lot of things.  How someone can abuse a child is beyond me.  Despite not having children of my own (not yet anyway) I felt my maternal instinct kick in, I felt the need to protect the little girl in the book, I felt compelled to read on, despite how horrified I was.  I decided that afternoon that I would never be able to be a social worker.  I would never be able to work in child protection, I just wouldnt be able to cope.  How people who work in those industries cope, I’ll never understand.

I’ll never understand how someone can turn off the images, the evidence they’ve seen and carry on with normal everyday life.  I’ll never understand how someone could abuse a child and act like it’s the most normal thing in the world.  I’ll never understand it.  I’ll never understand how someone who has been abused can write about their experiences for the whole world to read, and last of all, I’ll never understand why people buy these books to read them.

Part of me feels that I’m being very close minded – however I just cant bring myself to read them, nor can I bring myself to explore the reasons behind why they are written and why other people choose to read them.

These books are wildly distributed, in stores, supermarkets, online, which means anyone can buy them.  The book that I read, I got from my Mother In Law’s book shelf, she had it because it was given to her by a friend.  This friend obtained it because it was given to him by a friend.  She only gave him the book, because someone gave it to her 8 year old daughter as a birthday present.  In this hand me down chain, I’m the first person to have read it, it simply went from hand to hand and then on to a shelf.  However, who gives a child a book about a womans experience of child abuse?  Clearly someone stupid, or just very ignorant.
8 year old girls deserve books about girls their own age, ponies, princesses, harry potter, anything else but that.

I read a lot of different blogs, in fact most of the blogs I read are what are known as “MommyBlogs”.  Despite not having my own children, I enjoy reading what other “moms” deal with, the experiences they face with their own children, their own dilemas, and I know that one day my own blog will be completely restarted and I’ll be a mommy blogger too.  In reading all these different blogs, I’ve yet to come across a blog about child abuse, however I imagine the subject creates such strong emotions, that it’s unlikely that I’ll ever come across a post.  I doubt any mommy bloggers read my blog, but I do want to know their opinions.

I want to know if I’m the only person who feels like this, or if there are people out there who have similar feelings.  If people with kids have the same reaction as people without kids, if people with maternal/paternal instinct have the same feelings as those without any maternal/paternal instinct.

thoughts people, give them to me.

What do you think on the Genre of Abuse?

…and that’s when it fell off in my hand.

Yesterday was mine and Daniels first anniversary. 1 year. 1 whole year.
It was really sweet, I got a single red rose, in a vase, with chocolates delivered to my office. When I got home I was made an amazing 3 course meal, homemade Brushetta, home made pasta with pesto and cream, and homemade blackberry cheesecake. sooooooooooooooooooo nice.

Today I went to see my gorgey nephew. he is very sweet and loveable. however he’s started teething! at 6 weeks old! normally first teeth don’t arrive until 5 or 6 months. i bet his mum is thinking, if he takes such a short amount of time to get teeth, I hope it’s the same as when he starts to potty train!! he is gorgey though. smiles a lot, which is so awesome to see.

Today I also got some very not so good news.
My grandad has had cancer for a while, 2 or 3 years now, but it was all in check. About 4 months ago he was told that he had to have an MRI scan and also some radiotherapy. So he had his scan, and it came back that his cancer had spread, so he had to have the radio therapy pretty quickly. He had another scan recently and was told the cancer has spread quite widely now, and has now reached his head. He’s been given two options.
Have chemo therapy and possibly live for another 2 or 3 years. or. Don’t have Chemo and have only 6 weeks left to go.

I’m sad. I mean I knew my grandad had cancer, and was being treated, and obviously we all die at some point, but he’s not even 70. I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. I’m all over the place. 🙁