Reflecting on the past year.

This has not been the year that I wanted or expected it to be. Neither has it been the year that I manifested for myself, the one filled with good things which would change my life for the better.  That’s not to say that it hasn’t been eventful to say the least. But this is not the sort of year that one would ever wish to repeat.  It hasn’t all been doom and gloom, so don’t be put off reading.

In February, my partner sent me on a trip of a lifetime to visit my very dear friends in Australia. Travelling alone the whole thing was the most amazing experience and I will carry the memories with me forever. I was so grateful to him for doing that for me and whilst I was in a warmer climate, eating a tonne of fresh fruit and veg and drinking filtered rainwater. My health improved greatly, rather like pressing a reset button.  I was devasted to find out whilst I was away that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and had four weeks of radiotherapy, he had decided to do this alone whilst I was out of the way. He doesn’t like me seeing him ill. I was worried silly about him. He had been unwell for a while and I suspected that he had relapsed. Although he is not yet well, he is pleased that he has made it through thus far. Neither he or I were sure that would even happen at several points this year, something that over the Christmas period we have been celebrating.

In the springtime, we went away to our home in Scotland. It was awful when we got there to find that our neighbour had in our absence erected a 6ft high fence all the way along the front of our property, blocking our view and stealing yet more of our land, but we were not in a financial position to fight him to get it back. Even more devastating was when he arranged for his brother to attack my partner and my dog when I had left to come back South to deal with urgent family matters. The police were called and things went from bad to worse up there.  We couldn’t come back quickly enough, feeling unwelcome in both places where we live leaves you wondering just where you are supposed to be and questioning so much. We thought about leaving there and not going back, but then we aren’t used to backing down. We have fought so hard to make it work up there. He suffered injury and ill health throughout the summer, largely down to the stress of it when he was supposed to rest and recuperate and his health has not improved either.

This wasn’t the year that I ever thought that our family would get smaller, it was an awful shock to lose my brother, who was only in his forties suddenly and heartbreakingly in an accident whilst he was working abroad.  It was not how he wanted me to travel, to go out to the place where he worked to bring home his belongings, but he knew that I was the only one who could actually do it and so he made me next of kin although I didn’t realise this until he died.
I had to travel to Corsica alone and deal with matters there and meet his colleagues who had become like family to him, I realised the profound effect that my brother had upon all who knew him there. Within a couple of months he had become a part of their extended family, was respected and accepted and greatly missed by them all. They were all left reeling from the circumstances and it was both difficult and totally necessary that I went out there to meet them. His employers were totally supportive and arranged everything there. I could not have gone if it hadn’t been for them.
During this time I realised that I had hidden the strength that I once had so deeply. The strength that I doubted I still had within me, but I had to hold it together for the sake of my family and  I showed courage and achieved what was required of me in his honour. We gave him the best party ever as a send-off and over 400 people attended his funeral with around 200 people in a celebration of his life afterwards. The organising skills I once had, came to the fore once again and on that day I stood in front of them all and read one of my poems for the first time ever in public. The whole thing wiped me out and my health suffered a knock back afterwards, but I had the support of my loved ones and our relationships have strengthened through it also. United by grief, my sister and my mother and I have grown even closer and other friendships that were lost have been rekindled. My brother left a legacy that continues to inspire people. He also inspires us to not give up and to achieve things now and step outside of our comfort zones.  I have since gone on to read more of my poetry at spoken word events since then. Something that in recent years I would never have thought possible due to a severe dip in my self-confidence. We all feel differently since he has gone. We are all grieving and Christmas time was especially difficult since he would normally visit us. But his loss has definitely changed our lives and his spirit lives on and reminds us we will never be apart.

But it was the year that justice was finally served on my neighbour in the south who has terrorised and threatened my partner and I for over two years. He was given a fine and a criminal record for only a fraction of what he has done, but at least he did not get off Scot free and has been held accountable for some of his actions at last. I also got a restraining order against him banishing him from contacting me or coming near me or my home. That was a good day and although I do not feel as though I am safe and I cannot afford to become nonchalant about it, at least there is some recourse if he does anything in the next few months. If nothing else it has bought us some time in which to figure things out and possibly move elsewhere whilst under the protection of the order.

I have been writing again lately, poems mainly and trying to write about other interesting things and be less of a dreamer. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I have been writing on another blog lately, trying to find alternative subjects about which to write. But dreaming is where I gain the most comfort I think. I take comfort in the good dreams but due to the illness I have I have had to take some new medication and this had given me the most awful dreams which I did not wish to dwell on or write about. I had hoped that I would awake and they would be gone, alas it was not to be. It has caused depression to return lately and with it other difficulties.  I thought that I would get used to the new drug. I thought it was only a matter of time before I could get used to its effects, but I now realise that is not to be.  Three months in, I know that I will have to change to something else entirely or have to brave it out again as I did before without meds. I now regret that I succumbed to pharmaceuticals once again and look for the herbal alternative instead which might give some relief. I have been writing more honestly, I do not know if I will publish much of why I have written, but it is there and I have written it and I feel calmer for the process. It has been a huge part of my healing process over the years.

I have been back to the breast clinic this week. I have suffered with pain in both breasts for nine months of this year and having had two mammograms and a scan I’ve been told that I don’t have cancer this week which is a huge relief. But, they don’t know why I am still in pain or why it would be there.  So it’s back to the drawing board again.
On the other hand, I have ENT and Rheumatology appointments booked for March which is the earliest I can be seen, These are to look into the constant pain I’m in, the lack of my sense of smell which largely disappeared almost a year ago and the tremors and spasms I now suffer with daily. It’s more of that waiting game. Meanwhile, I did not expect that all of my benefits would be stopped and I would have to start from scratch again just when I thought that things could not get any worse. If it had not been for the support and help with food from my family then I do not know where I would be now, I was worried that I might lose my home being left unable to pay for it or the bills. That really scares me. It is sorted out now for the time being, but I am now worse off financially than I have been for the past 3 years of being unwell and I had to take on more debt to cover the interim.

I have certainly learned to adapt this past year. I lost my sense of smell in the early Spring, right when I had thought that I would be making scented products in my spare time and might be able to raise funds in this way and incorporate a hobby. I had to have a rethink, I made things which weren’t scented or used only the tried and tested recipes which I had already which is rather restrictive. I concentrated on cooking new things instead, my taste buds were working just fine so I baked more interesting things and tried new foods.
I spent time with my sister and got creative again, trying new things and found that my artistic skills had improved, my drawing and painting and I took some stunning photographs to cherish. I sold things to make ends meet and sourced be things which I hoped would raise some funds and learned from my experiences.

I know that life has taken a turn in a different direction now. I am not sure what the future holds for me in my working life at the moment but I have changed as a person. I will be true to myself and if I am unhappy in my work life I have promised that I will not just stay there and make the best of a bad situation. I owe it to myself never to go through what I did before again. I do deserve better and I will no longer settle for less. I don’t even know what I’m capable of right now. With chronic fatigue and other health issues its very limiting but there must be something out there for me. I have received a lot of encouragement in my poetry writing since getting it out in the open, so may begin work on another book early next year. The first one is still available on Amazon if you feel like having a read and meanwhile  I’m still writing my reviews on Trip Advisor occasionally which have had over 17000 readers to date.

So, on that happy note. Christmas has been a very quiet time for us, dwelling on what has happened has not been easy, but the gratitude we have for still being here and together as a family is immense. The fact that there was food on our table, the generosity of our family and the kindness of friends meant that we had a happy Christmas and are looking forward to the new year with new hope.

Yes, we hope that things generally will get better for us. We certainly don’t want them to get any worse. Rock bottom has not been very nice and we have been held down there way too long. Things will have to change for the better soon, we will do all that we can to make that happen. We are still fighting for a healthier life for us both and improvements to our surroundings.  There are times when we have been unwell and depression has taken hold but thankfully despite our ups and downs this year, we are still in love with each other and if you have love, then anything is possible. Our mindset is positive. We will not let this past year bring us down. We are not giving up or backing down we are stronger together and looking forward to a healthy and happy future together.

We do not make resolutions, there has been little point when so much of what has happened has been out of our control. We will make plans, but also intend to create more happiness in our lives, spend time doing more of the things we love, visit the places, see the people and cherish whatever time we have left together. As this year has taught me a valuable lesson. Since tomorrow is promised to no one, hold your loved ones close. Live each day not necessarily as if it were your last, but make something good of each day. Note your gratitude, it will reassure you when you are feeling low. Hug the ones that love you and if you love someone, tell them.  You are worthy of love and you deserve love in return. Think of the wonders you carry with you every day, the things you see and experience and love the skin that you are in, it will love you back.

May your New Year 2019 be Healthy, Happy and Blessed. 

Advertisements

Quotes 2018 Part 2

To follow on from my last post. I thought a bit more about why I didn’t post last years quotes.

Other than it feeling like it was so last year…

And last year was not a good one in so many ways so I guess I am consciously trying to move on from it. At the beginning of the second week of 2018, things are already changing for me and I am feeling a whole lot more positive and seeing things in a new light.

It is not the normal type of new year positive thinking that we set out to motivate ourselves with after a heavy Christmas. This feels massively different as though something has shifted and I truly hope that it has.

All I can say is if this is the shape of the year to come, then I will be happy and some of my other wishes for this year may come about.

So here are some more of the quotes that appeal to me right now. May they offer a pick me up if and when you need one, inspiration to a lull, motivation when you need it. Reassurance if you are in doubt.

Or just put a smile on your face.

Thankyou!

Just a quick Thank you to Kavita on

Sunshinysasite.wordpress.com for my being the person who has become my 200th follower to my blog today.

You have helped me reach a personal goal just in time for my birthday.

I don’t have huge goals. Lately I haven’t seen the point in setting unattainable things. But however small they may be to others I am really grateful when I reach them.

To all of the rest of you who continue by my side upon this journey I am also eternally grateful you spur me on and encourage me to do something I love.

Thankyou.

Quotes 2018 Part 1.

I almost posted the quotes that I saved last year when it was around this time and I thought about how they might provide motivation. I was going to do a whole series of posts about them at the point, selecting my favourites to cajole and encourage, not just all of you who read my blog, but also myself. They are of course gleaned from the many Facebook pages I have seen and loved, when they have meant something to me.

(Oh the love button, how we crave it)

But then I thought about his my thinking has changed over the past year. I haven’t gone all religious, but have become a little more spiritual I think and by that I mean open minded to new experiences and thinking and finding the reward in that.

I am still trying to motivate, (myself mostly) with these wonderful pictures and snippets and have recently found myself once again filling up photo albums and phone storage with them.

I used to use them as a screensaver on the laptop, until it fried and couldn’t cope with it. My partner regularly stopping as he wandered past to laugh or say, that’s a good one I like that.

So here we are again at another new year. Another phase of the journey through our lives and here it is Quotes 2018 Part 1

Daily Prompt Almost

Letting Go

It is that time of year, the very last bit where we cannot help but to take stock of the year that has been and think about our hopes for the new one that’s coming.

What we wish to let go of, the old habits the things that no longer serve us.

And so it began on the early hours of this morning. The brain dump. You know those snippets of thought which do not give a clear picture, they are just random things flying around my head. A thought here and there which doesn’t make sense and then is gone forever.

Letting go.

So what am I letting go of?

Firstly, the thoughts that I am a sick person. This is a big one, I know it to be true but it is not who I am, therefore it should not shape me.

In the past few months I have got nowhere, it has held me back from living a life the way I want to and although I have rested the body and the mind I have felt defined by it and that should not be happening. I have relied upon Drs to find and treat the cause of illness and they have failed me, pushing me from pillar to post as they tell me that it’s not what they think it is, whilst not finding out what it actually is that has made me so suddenly and inexplicably ill. I do not fit in their box. So they have left me out in the cold to fend for myself and all that time has been wasted and I am left doubting my sanity and my longevity.

I am Me.

I am still the person I used to be, but I have grown. I have awakened parts of me which have been sleeping. Hidden from view for so long I had forgotten that they were there underneath all of the other stuff that has been going on.

I am still a loving, caring, partner and friend, daughter, mother. I am a great listener and confidante. Someone who offers careful advice when it is sought. Who will happily teach what I know to others if it helps them. In return I ask for consideration, for care and occasionally thanks for my efforts. It does not make me a bad person, I do require validation to know that I am not wasting my time and know that I am doing the right thing.

I am letting go of the victim inside, as I said to someone recently, that is in the past. Long gone and I have dealt with it and the fallout. Again it does not define me for that is not who I am. I have been victimised for the past few years and had some of the darkest thoughts of my life whilst I struggled to deal with the fallout from it. That is not who I am. I want to move on from that now is the time. I have battled it and the depression which comes in that package and I want to move on. Stronger from the experience not allowing it to hold me back any more.

I have done my grieving. For the Loved Ones we have lost, we cannot bring them back. Only the memories remain, sometimes a tear will fall and catch me out, but I will not wallow in the depths of grief or dwell on the circumstances which caused the loss.

Too much time has been spent dwelling on the past. The past is gone. It is time to move on, metaphorically and physically.

There is a whole world out there that I have yet to see.

But I don’t need to see all of it. Some of it the way that it is run, the damage that is being done to it and the people that are hurting each other in it, are not what I need in my life. I owe it to myself not to be drawn into this first hand. I have figured out that I annoy always strong enough to cope with the fallout.

As with so many things, I need to protect myself better. I need the connection with the earth that surrounds us so I am planning to spend even more time in nature and learn more about my foraging journey, it has taught me so much in the past year alone, given me medicine to heal my body and options with which to feed my family. I will grow more in whatever space I have, plants to nurture and care for us.

Friends and family. Over the past year, I have taken time out when I needed to. There have been times when the only people I have seen or spoken with for weeks have been my partner or my mother. I love the bond that I have with them both, but just sometimes I need other people in my life too. There have also been times when their company has been more than enough for me and I have sought, or even craved silence and solitude. They have often fought to understand that, but have given me space nevertheless. I want to see more of my friends this coming year, the ones who are still there or me and haven’t fallen by the wayside whilst I have been ill. The ones who care enough to make the time and effort that is needed to maintain a friendship. The ones who are not phased by my strangeness, the new things I want to try and still embrace me for it. My sisters and brothers, not bonded by blood but by shared interests, a love of life and all that it holds for us.

So as I attempt to let go of all the things that no longer serve me, a decluttering of the mind, body and spirit. I am starting to feel as though a weight is starting to lift.

The light that surrounds me, I need to let it in, it can only shine if it has a power supply. That has to be me, no one else. I have to make that happen.

I want to inspire again. Teach again, be a mentor to others. Share knowledge and help others grow and heal.

I think that in doing so, I will also be able to heal, for I am not yet complete in that process and do not have to do that alone. With the support of others so much more is possible. I do not have to fight things alone. I am not alone, there are people dealing with the same problems, probably also thinking that they are having to deal with it all themselves and that is not the case. Someone out there knows your pain, they also might know how to make it better.

Divide and conquer springs to mind. Divide the problem and we will conquer it. As they say a problem shared is a problem halved. Although that isn’t always the case, it can often help so talk to people, if not in person then at least online.

So what am I looking for at the end of this year?

Closure on so many subjects.

I do not want to take the things that have ruled me relentlessly over the past year into the next one. I’d like to say that they have no place in it but as many are still work in process, I think the key is not to let them dominate.

There are things which are yet to conclude, but the wheels are in motion, which means that I am not standing still, helplessly waiting on others to do as they should.

Next year I have to go out there and get it, whatever it may be. Grab the bull by the horns and steer my life in the direction it needs to go. To make progress, however small the steps at first. It is important for me to remain moving, not get set in the concrete caused by fear or trepidation.

I don’t yet know how, or what. But I do at least have my why…

If it is all left to chance, then there is a lack of direction and that easy come easy go doesn’t really suit me of my needs. I like the reassurance that there will be provision for what is needed. Food on the table, bills getting paid and flying along by the seat of my pants is not the way forward for me. It’s too stressful, it has caused more arguments and upset in the past 12 months than we have ever had. So I need to fix that and I need to do that soon.

I have been the breadwinner over the past few years and to take an enforced step back from that has caused such strain that I have often felt broken and helpless. Flailing around drowning when we should be treading water. So if I am well enough to find a job, if it pays the bills then I will give it a go. If it is an unqualified job, with no responsibilities then it will be less stressful and I may be ale to rebuild myself to management level again at a later date. Physical capability might not yet allow me to follow my business dreams but I will hold them in my heart and mind and if I can start as projects or hobbies then I can build on those skills for later.

They are my dreams and I will not just give up on them. So I intend to follow some of mine this year.

The Process of Therapy


So as I continue with the next session of therapy for this round of counselling. I thought I would share some more of my thoughts on the process.

28/2/17 Today’s Therapy Journey.

Today I spoke about what had been happening to me over the past 12 months since my last therapy sessions ended. I had thought that I was doing really well throughout the year and felt that I had made a good recovery and progressed. There was the fact that I followed this therapists advice when she told me to get creative again and it took me to places I did not expect. For which I am very grateful. I told her about this blog and how it has helped me in so many ways over the past year. Yes it’s actually been a year to the day since I started my blog and wrote my first post for India Blue. So much has happened. It began as part of my therapy and has grown into something so much bigger and better than I imagined back then.

anniversary-2x

WordPress Happy Anniversary 1 Year!

We also spoke about how I could change what I need to and what my hopes are going forward. What do I want to do? I still don’t know exactly but I hope that I will know it when I find it.

I am happy writing, as little or as much as I do, it doesn’t have to be continuous but it does have to be regularly.

This week I have homework!

She wants me to write, specifically what I would like to achieve from these sessions. How I would like them to help me. My instinctive answer was “to get my head right” it was a bit blasé of me, a throwaway statement but right now it’s not one I have a definitive answer to.

Thinking for more than just a moment.  From this bout of therapy I would like to discover if after I have gone through it, I can find what I believe is out there for me to do and be able to do actually do it. I am guessing that I am going to need help with doing that, but don’t know to what extent yet.  I still don’t know what my future holds or even where to start, sure I have hopes and dreams I just don’t know how to get there, lacking in the confidence which allows me to take the leap that I may need to. I admit it, to a degree I am scared.

I would love to know how to quicken the healing process. I would like to know if the thoughts and emotions that I feel are linked to the PTSD I was sent here with in the first place almost two years ago. Or does it just stop and go away? Can it grow worse when faced with new trauma or mutate into a different thing? I still feel an emotional mess rather a lot of the time, ill equipped to cope and I would love to know how people who feel this way do. I know that life goes on. It’s happening all around me, but I feel somehow detached from it an other worldliness surrounds it. If I could regain that control over my life and my destiny then I think that it would help. But I question whether we ever get to do that, have any control over destiny, or do we just have to simply accept it? There again it is in my nature to question everything and perhaps too much. There are times when I am confident, my brave face goes on and for a short time I can face the world and take everything in my stride, but it is not natural to me at the moment and underneath I often feel I am crumbling. I go home and once again feel exhausted, my mind and body aching, totally fatigued. It happens after each therapy session and often after I go out, just to do the shopping.

But buoyed by talking about something that made me happy, (my blog) today I came home and was met by an email confirming one of my fears. I am sad. The CPS are not taking the case against my neighbour who attempted to knife both my partner and I last year any further. So it seems as though he has got away scot free with it. Which doesn’t thrill me at all and renders me fearful of what may come my way. I now want to be staying here even less than before and want to change things for the better.

via Daily Prompt: Quicken

Facebook


This week whilst I have been trying to find the motivation to do other things and my ears have been reminding me there is still a problem there. I decided to set up a Facebook page for “India Blue Author & Blogger” Since I do spend rather a lot of time on there anyway it kind of makes sense.

So should you wish to take a moment or to to browse the Facebook page it is https://en-gb.facebook.com/IndiaBlue.co.uk/ Please be sure to give it a like or a follow and I’ll be updating that regularly too.

I am also hoping that with a month to go I might encourage a nice round number of followers to my blog in doing so. I have 45 to go to reach my 200  by the first Anniversary.  Now I know it’s not about numbers but hey it would be rather nice to reach that goal.

I am also going to hope that my poetic mind speaks to me again soon. It has been over a month since I wrote any poetry whatsoever although I continue to write other things I need to gather more thoughts for my second book. I am probably about half way through writing the next hundred which will be whittled down as contents for the book. Some  I think will never be published. But that’s just the way it should be. But my mind is full of chatter and I am not entirely focused lately. I need to take a time out, a walk in the bright fresh air during the day to realign my senses, perhaps some meditation. I am not a child of the night I need daylight and on these bright sunny days I should get out there. It might just be the shove in the right direction that I am craving.