12 days of #ChristmasinMind

Yesterday saw Middlesbrough & Stockton Mind kick off their Christmas campaign #ChristmasinMind to help people see that even at the “happiest” time of the year it is OK to not feel OK. I personally think it is a fantastic campaign as being someone who is often called the Grinch for her dislike or at least her complete lack of interest in the festive season apart from the mulled wine and having a valid reason to be hungover (or still drunk) on a Tuesday, it is important that people can see behind the fairy lights, tinsel and brightly wrapped presents to what is a reality for so many people.

For those who love every bit about Christmas, I am not trying to be Debbie Downer. At the risk of sounding like a giant piece of Stilton I would LOVE it if everyone could have the same festive glow and happiness at this time of year, the same way I wish everyone had a warm, cosy home, food in their belly and the feeling of love and safety. But at the risk of sounding blunt, please, let’s get realistic. If you want to live in your little snow globe of candy canes, Christmas trees and mince pies, I urge you to stop reading now. Or at least invite us all in for a big piece of cake 🙂

Have you ever sat in a room full of people and felt utterly alone? What about at a works party, where you seem to be having the time of your life but where in fact you are drinking to numb the pain? You end up being the drunkest person this side of the equator and go down in “legend” or “joke” status for how the night ended, with your face down in your doner meat? Have you been that person that has craved attention, even of the sexual kind, and will take it from anyone, just to try and even temporarily cover the disgust you feel at yourself? ………….. I have.

Whatever it is that you are suffering from, be it an established mental health condition like me, a result of a terrible experience like bereavement or maybe having a stressful time in your current life where you just cant seem to get your head straight and have no Screenshot_20171213-074740.jpgidea whether you are coming or going, it can be really hard to admit to even yourself just how bad you feel. You might be one of those people who hide away from the world, you  may get up, slap on your game face and go about your day like you are not emotionally breaking inside as you just don’t have the time, you may go opposite end of the spectrum and get completely wrapped up (no pun intended) in the season and seem like Mary Christmas in the attempt to do anything to cover up how you are really feeling. I just want to say, all of these things are completely OK. However you cope with things to get you through the day is so very OK. You being here, with us, with those that care about you and love you is all that truly matters. Not how much you might have been able to spend, or how entertaining you have been, how big and bright your Christmas tree is or how many Christmas films you have managed to binge watch in one go.

Honesty I really believe is key. There is something to be said for the whole “fake it till you make it” scenario, sometimes you can even find yourself having an unexpectedly good time. At the same time though this can be completely exhausting and if it is what is making you feel worse, please, do not suffer in silence. It is good to talk. It may not be your nearest and dearest, it could be an online group (join Run Every Day January – what an amazing group of people) it could be your GP, your significant other, your best mate or just someone that you know might understand. I always have a listening ear if someone feels lost and not sure where to go. I cant offer professional advice or diagnosis or anything like that, but what I can offer is friendship and someone who genuinely cares.

It goes a different way too, you may be completely great and going about your day in your usual jolly way, but have you noticed someone round you has changed? Are they quieter than usual? Are they cancelling plans? Are they acting out of character? Are you worried or concerned about someone even though you cant quite put your finger on why? Then I ask you, please, give them the greatest gift you could – your time. It could be as simple as a “Are you OK?” message – they might not have been asked that little three word phrase yet it could be a lifeline for them to open up. If they are avoiding social gatherings, invite them out 1 on 1 or for a coffee at yours. If they really don’t want to talk, and some people, speaking from experience, simply wont until they are completely ready, just be there. Be their friend. Send them daft GIFS, meme’s, keep them included, let them know, no matter how low they are feeling, they are not alone.

Social media, although I am using it as a huge positive in campaigning and registering my achievements, unfortunately it can be used and seen in a negative fashion. Although you want to show the world you are having the biggest, best Christmas, do you need to show the world? One, is it the genuine truth? but please, think of the people who may be struggling – financially, emotionally, mentally. I am so not saying you should feel bad about what you post, it is your social media, your life, but maybe just stop, for one small moment and think, why am I doing this? If it is to show the massive pile of presents in comparison with others you have seen?

There is a lot of pressure put on us, commercials and shops start their Christmas messages and promotions earlier every year, but I think what we are starting to lose, is genuine Christmas spirit. It is becoming so much more materialistic year on year. Little Jimmy NEEDS the brand new games console, Jane MUST have the latest trainers etc. I was thinking about this the other day. If I look back over my Christmas’s, especially as a child, I can barely remember what I got, apart from a few things that stand out as I really wanted them, but they were little things, things that wouldn’t have cost much money but that my Mam realised how much I would appreciate. What I do remember though is family meals at my Nana’s. We might have had a small family but it was lovely to be all together. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect, there would be arguments, tears and the lot but we were together, Even my Grandad would come and sit at the table! That was like a MASSIVE deal. There was also a lot of love and laughter. I miss that, so much and I know now, I never appreciated it when I had it. Not really.

This Christmas, I want my children to appreciate not what has been bought for them, but how loved they are and for what they do have not what they might have wanted and didn’t get. I want them to feel safe, happy and content and I want to make memories that they wont forget when the latest model of whatever comes out next year. I want them to believe that they are worth it, that they are special in their own way.

Screenshot_20171213-074503.jpgFor myself, I am going to actually try and believe that I am worth it. That I don’t just have to be there and do everything for everyone else. That it isn’t selfish to want to do something for myself, whether it be an undisturbed bubble bath, a run or just going to the shop without my rabble so I can have a bit of space. That if I want to work on my college work or blog for a little while then that is OK. That will go such a long way in helping me overcome often negative feelings at this time of year. I am not going to stress that I haven’t been able to spend a fortune, or that I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet as I have been so ridiculously busy building a foundation for a potentially fantastic 2018. Christmas is one day and what I do promise, is to give me, my time, to those that I love.

I am lucky that I have battled a lot of demons this year and that Christmas is hopefully not going to be the emotional mess it has been in previous years for me internally. My journey is far from over but I am strong and I will keep fighting.

For those struggling, remember, it’s ok not to be ok, even at Christmas time.

CC xx

 

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I’ve been waiting for this…… My Half Marathon Mini Series – Day 3 & 4

Day 3 was yesterday and as a rule it was OK. As predicted I was busy and pretty word shy so that is that.

Day 4 – I actually don’t know how honest I dare be in my blog today. I can say right now that it isn’t going to be the positive. A bad day has sprang up and slapped me right across the face and it stings! Turn away now, close down the window and go back to whatever you were doing, have a fantastic day!

Ok, still reading? Well don’t say I didn’t warn you………………………………………..

I am going to chalk it all up to hormones and a mixture of severe lack of sleep alongside actually dreading going into work today that has me feeling so low that I want to sit under  a table like a small child and pretend I am not there. Not even 730am and I have cried, I have had (fleeting) darker than usual thoughts and I want to scream.

I should have went out for a run or to the gym, but even keeping my eyes open and focused is a massive chore. However I know if I tried, sleep would escape me. Where my mind normally runs a million times to the dozen, today it feels so slow. Like it is stuck in mud. Trying to grip the simplest thoughts and act on them is a challenge. I am going to have to use everything in my self help bank to keep me going today, one silver lining is at least hopefully for 3 magical hours I can lose myself in college as it is so full on I barely get a chance to think about anything else.

Today my mask will be firmly in place because it HAS to be. I still have to be a mother, my children can not see me like this, a wife, although probably a relief for him, Darryl wont see me today, a colleague, a student and a friend. Those are the labels I am proud of and ones I take very seriously , so today no matter how shite I feel in myself, that is what I will be doing. To the best of my ability.

Today I will be mostly introverted. My sentences might be shorter than normal, I may not even speak in some cases. I will be very much inside myself as inside myself I can keep myself safer. I wont unintentionally hurt anyone with what might come out of my mouth without me thinking. I wont be spouting shit that makes no sense because my vocal ability is all a bit mixed up and I cant quite make the connection between what is going on in my head and how to verbally express it.

Maybe caffeine will help? Maybe once I pull my arse off the sofa, make myself look presentable and get out the front door, this morning will feel like a distant memory. I can all but hope. I am trying. I am trying to act normal. I have music on, I am blogging, I am thinking of ways that I can help myself. Would the gym after college help? Never been later at night before. Will finally filling out my redundancy preference form and sending it straight back off marked VERY IMPORTANT whilst resisting typing at the bottom – please release me!! give me back that goofy, daft smile I have when I am not sticking my tongue out that is.

Personally I am hoping that Depression has just had a word in Mother Natures shell like and told her she has full reign to fuck with me this month. And of  course it would be this week, this weekend, because it is important to me. Fair play Mother Nature, fair play *applauds slowly and sarcastically*. I am hoping that this knot in my chest isn’t “Patricia” deciding that she needs to pay a little visit, because she is just evil. Maybe I will do some ball slams later and it will be enough to appease her and she will go back in her room. She is not a nice side of me. In fact she is bloody horrible. She holds my anger. The anger I spent many years trying to control. When she is let loose with it I lose all control of myself. All I am left with is the mess to clear up in her wake. She makes Ophelia look like a light breeze. She can do a lot of damage in a small space of time!

I think I have been using all my amazing things in my life as a plaster, covering a wound that really needs stitches. I am putting on a brave face and pretending it doesn’t hurt as much as it looks.  Mostly I have good days and it doesn’t seem to hurt but then again sometimes it fucking knacks. Yet I am making such a show of all these fabulous things I am doing and trying to do the absolute best I can with it all that I lose the ability to say, ouch ya buggar, that hurts!!

I don’t need to rest, I don’t need to give anything up. I can promise you that. I do get so many great things out of what I am doing. I just think I need to realise that I don’t always need to do things with such enthusiasm. I am allowed to have my resting bitch face on. I cant always find silver linings in every negative. Other people should have that ability. I cant keep ‘fixing’ things as it is just killing me! I feel like I am always the one that need to sort everything out.

Ok, rant and pity party over with. Although I have to accept this mood and go where it takes me, to a degree, I cant let it win.

3 days till Bamburgh!! The Finish line is actually in sight now! My energy levels are low now, I am physically, mentally and emotionally empty. I am going to think of this as a cleanse though. I am empty, to start filling back up with amazingness. Ready to run like I have never ran before.  I should be glad I have woke up at this stage like this and not Sunday morning. I can hopefully nip this is in the bud now!

I am OK, I promise. At least I will be. I have to expect these days and to be honest, I have been expecting it.

Sorry if I have bummed you out, but I cant always be sweetness, light, motivation and cheek. Sometimes I just have to be – this!

Love to all

For those struggling, big hugs. We can get through this together. There is always sunshine after the rain!

CC xx

Black Dog days are over………for now!

Before I start with what is really on my mind, let me just be clear. I know I am so far from the lass I was in March, so very far from the lass I was a year ago. I know what I have achieved and I know what I have to work for. I know pretty much who I have in my life now, I know who I have lost. I know who I can trust, I know who genuinely cares and I know the one’s that will use me and those that drain my energy. I know who I can embrace and those that I need to keep at arms length for my own sake. I know how lucky I am, I could be in a hell of a lot worse of a situation. There are people out there, some who I class as close to me, who have much bigger problems, who have suffered so much more pain, heartbreak and suffering. I am learning that when it comes to personal circumstances or the way that your mind decides to work, there are no comparisons. There can’t be. It’s the luxury and impressiveness of the human race – we are each completely individual, no two people are ever the same.

I’m not sure why, I haven’t quite put my finger on it, maybe it is the lack of routine in the long school holidays and the sheer overwhelming realisation of what I have coming up, but I have not been in a good place. This last week has been hard! One of the hardest since the beginning of this mental health journey I found myself on. In fact, if I am brutally honest with myself it started back in July but for the purposes of this blog we will focus on the last week. When to be honest, all I wanted to do was crawl back in my dark hole. The thing with my hole is I feel, safe, in there. It’s a lot quieter, people can’t get to me so their actions and words don’t affect me on a personal level, more on the level of a curious spectator. In my hole I know where I stand, I can close myself off, I embrace the darkness, the simplicity of it all, the way I can bury my feelings way down deep and refuse to acknowledge them. Those are the benefits of my hole.

For every positive list, there comes a negative list. Now that I can see a slight chink of light again on my horizon, after a week of the darkest storm clouds, I can see more clearly what these negatives would be. The main one – loneliness. It is so damn lonely being stuck in your head as it is, I know that if I had climbed back in that hole, the loneliness would have consumed me. The silence that I craved so badly would actually be deafening. The lack of love for myself would start to leave scars. The motivation and determination to beat this and better myself would dwindle like the flame on a candle that is about to burn out. I was so close. So close to giving up. Accepting that this is the life I am destined to live. Constant battles. Constant feelings of misery. Constant regrets. Constant what if’s.

Today though, no. I refuse to let this happen. First and foremost, to those people that know how low I have been, thank you for not letting me retreat. Thank you for hugging me. Thank you for not letting my stubbornness push you away. Thank you for accepting and even understanding why I am like this even when I haven’t really been able to explain. Thank you for listening. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for filling in my hole (oh er 😉 ) so I had no choice but to stay above ground. You could see that there were better times ahead, you believed I would see it too and you kept me going. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I have woke up and all is fine and dandy, but it is a damn sight better than yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.

I feel like I have neglected my blog. I stopped doing the things that I know have the ability to help me. I just had no interest. No words to speak. I had feelings, a whole lot of feelings, but none I wanted to give the power to consume me. The thing with my blog is I literally just type whatever comes into my mind at the given moment, and when people hurt me I have an awful way of lashing out. Had I wrote things down, they would have been forever said, whether I published the blog or not and I am not willing to do that. I am not that person anymore. I don’t want to hurt people to protect myself. I don’t want to be full of negativity and I certainly don’t want to be full of self pity and oh woah is me. I am a damn sight stronger than that!

This blog, although I want it to be about fitness too, is very much a mental health blog now. It always has been. When I read back over them I can see my highs and my lows. It is actually quite therapeutic reading it back. Fascinating to see how my mind was working at that point in time. What was hurting me or bothering me or making me happy. One thing I like to see is my passion. My goals. My challenges. Yes, I have certainly failed at a few but you know what, I think that has just made me more determined to set more and to make damn sure I pass them. The thing that was different at the beginning was I was so determined not to let my mate Depression win, I pushed myself hard. I had steel like motivation. I think as I started accepting what was wrong, that in all intent and purpose I was ill, I started getting complacent. Depression saw a chink in my armour and started to work it’s way in. It had me starting to believe it was ok to give in. That I was doing too much. But I wasn’t. I can do it all, I can have it all and you know what, I’m going to!

1 week today and it is the start of a whole new life for me. I start college with the main aim to pass with the credits I need to go on to university to study Psychology. My eventual aim is to be an Exercise Psychologist and to run my own business. This empire I speak of is back on the burner now. Around studying I am determined to work until they make me redundant, raise my kids, look after my house, build my peer support group, volunteer for Mind and still find time to reach my own personal fitness and weight loss goals. Oh and have fun! Sounds busy, sounds a little bit impossible maybe, not enough hours in the day? Well I am well aware it is not going to be easy. In fact I am even more aware that sometimes I will be ready to give up. That I will believe I cant do it, my brain doesn’t work, etc. My biggest motivational quote at the moment;

“FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL”

So prep is key, being nice to myself is even more important. Asking for help is crucial. As independent as I am and as much as I don’t NEED anyone, I have to be honest and realise that it is ok to try and make things easier for yourself if you have people willing to help and support you. Tomorrow I can start to build a routine back, ready to start next week strong and focused. It’s a big week! My baby boy also starts primary school! I could not be more proud of my children and I want them to be proud of me. I want them to see me fight all the hard stuff and come out better and stronger than ever. They deserve the kick arse Wonder Woman Mam that I know I can be. Just need the costume now!

So today, now the light is starting to shine through, I can see the flowers blooming. It is going to be a day of genuine smiles. Of preparing and planning. Of dancing like a divvy to the music I love. Of big cuddles and laughter with my gorgeous boy. Of chatting to friends and just appreciating what I have in my life. The clouds can always come back, but there will ALWAYS be sunshine behind them. The hole is filled, I have put a lid on it. There is no going back!

CC xx

 

 

Crashed and Burned

You know where you get one of those days where you feel like you have hit a wall? Well, I’ll be honest with you, I feel like I have flipped my car, rolled it a few times, it’s smashed into a wall and ended up going up in a giant fireball. Exaggeration? Maybe a tad but hopefully you will get the jist.

In my continuous efforts to get better I have been constantly busy, taking on more and more things, trying to prove to myself that I can do it all. That I am Wonder Woman. I pretty much haven’t stopped properly since March. I want to be a working, wife and mother who sees hers friends regularly, studies for several different qualifications, volunteers for MIND and also has time to exercise daily, train for a half marathon, see her counsellor, eat and sleep. Oh and TRY to do some sort of housework. OK, I am tired just reading that back! I am in no way admitting defeat and I know I am a canny version of Wonder Woman in my own way but something has to give, or to be honest, something has given.

I am so run down right now. All I want to do is sleep. My head is constantly banging, although that could also be down to the new tablets I am on, my throat feels massive and like it is coated in razor blades, I have a cold sore I feel I could name and all I want to do is sit and stare in to space. My get up and go has got up and fucked right off. Ideal timing. NOT! The worst part is, it is effecting my ability to get excited or feel happy about the good things I have going on in my life. I go on holiday in a week and a half and I have barely sorted a thing out. Those that know me know I normally pack a month before but not this time. I simply cant be arsed. I got accepted for my access to university course yesterday and apart from a brief period of excitement, it died down pretty quickly and the normal numb feeling is back. It’s like it is just too much energy to even give a shit. Although I do give a shit, very much so! To sound far too much like this years bunch of Love Island wannabe’s, on paper everything I want is starting to fall slowly in to place yet you would think everything was going to shit. What a bloody palaver!

My biggest fear and to be honest the thing I really think is dragging me down is the fact there is just no way I am going to get my PT qualifications finished in time. Not a chance. I still have so much to do and about zero time to do it. Now, I could look at this in three ways;

1- feel like an absolute failure. I have fucked up royally, I have just piled and piled shit on top of myself and the one thing I had in hand has got swiped to the way side. Fuck it, what’s the point? Lets feel sorry for myself.

2 – admit I haven’t got what I need to complete it right now BUT look at what I have and am still achieving with everything I have had going on in the last 4 month. I may not pass this time but that does not mean I wont. It just means it is going to be longer than I anticipated

3 – I could absolutely destroy myself for the next 10 days in order to complete as much as possible. I run the risk of massively knocking myself and I may not be much use to a anyone but once at least I can say I tried my hardest and I have a holiday to fall back on after.

Now I know for sure 1 is not an option! This is something that I want so very much. I know for sure that fitness and exercise is where I want to be until I am no longer able to work. It’s not just a hobby, it’s a passion, a love, a desire. I know a lot of what has knocked me has been confidence in how I appear and my inner demons being a pack of bitches – you’re too fat, you’re too ugly, you’re unfit, you’re too old, etc etc etc. I have to hold my hands up and admit that these stupid fucking thoughts have put me in a position where I could actually fail………THIS TIME!

Yeah the chance of failure is actually higher than my chance of completing and I have to face facts. I hate losing! I just have to keep in mind that it wont be forever. I have at least 4 years in education, hopefully, to go through now, I will be applying for uni’s in October this year (what a crazy thought) so I surely cant beat myself up too much. One massive hurdle will not deter me from building my empire. I refuse to let it. What I need to do is look at it as an extra year to make sure I do it all completely and to the absolute best of my abilities. Now, I am not completely writing myself off yet, I will reach out to my tutor and do what I can to try and turn this around, but what I need to do is be realistic. I have struggled for too long in silence and this is the outcome. I just need to brush myself off and start again. I am still a damn sight further on with a hell of a lot more knowledge than I had 6 month ago.

I have to keep in my mind that I have been fighting one hell of a personal battle that has the majority of the time made my mind a massive pile of mush. It is not from lack of trying but when you cant even concentrate enough to read a book, I think it has been very ambitious of me to attempt to keep doing what I have been trying to do when I can barely remember my own name some days. My biggest regret, not reaching out to my course provider back in March. Why did I think I could do it all? I thought it would be a welcome distraction. Funny how things work out. Well I say funny, I am certainly not laughing.

I think the biggest thing I am feeling is I have made such a massive song and dance about it. I feel like I will be a laughing stock and I hate that feeling. That’s the thing with taking bricks down and learning to feel again, things that you normally wouldn’t have given two shits about actually kind of hurt. I feel like I have let those that believed in me down. I feel worse as I have let me down.

BUT it’s not over until it’s over and I refuse to let it be over. Like I say, this is a blip. An understandable blip. I am not giving up, I am just admitting that it may not be possible in the time I originally imagined. Writing all this down is already starting to help me breathe a bit easier. I hadn’t realised how much it was crushing me. Honesty really is the best policy! Whilst the official qualifications might be delayed it doesn’t mean that building my body to match my career has to be delayed. My fitness levels will continue to improve, my confidence will grow, I will get my depression well and truly under control and I can start building my business in the background whilst I put myself forward in the mental health awareness aspect and get as much experience under my belt. I have reached out at work and been honest about why I have been off to the wider company not just my office. This seems to have unlocked a couple of doors in which I fully intend to open and explore.

So, plan of action for CC – do what I can! Nothing is impossible, it just might take a little longer than expected. I will celebrate what I do achieve and keep trying at those that I  have missed the mark on this time.

I will believe in myself and I WILL get there

CC xx

 

Back to office life, ish!

The day has finally came. It had started to feel like forever since I was last there but then as soon as I sat down in that familiar swivel chair and booted up what can only be described as the slowest computer in the North East it felt like yesterday since I last walked in, pretty much a shell of myself and told my manager I was broken. Yes, it’s back to the rat race, back to working life, back to reality, back to plate spinning.

Yesterday I was a ball of anxiety, in fact there was an actual ball of anxiety under my diaphragm stopping me from breathing deep. I was ok but I was on edge, one of those feelings where you cant really describe how it is you actually feel. Fine but not fine, OK but not OK, numb but then full of emotions. I was a bundle of energy yet I couldn’t be arsed to do anything. I had more questions rushing round my head than an episode of Question Time (honesty moment, never EVER seen this programme so I am taking a wild guess because of the name lol) and I didn’t have the answer to any of them. Breathing deep wasn’t helping, I couldn’t focus enough to blog and I don’t think I made much sense to whoever I was talking to. I am quite a doyle and should think before I speak generally as I can come out with some right corkers (sure my lovely friend Danielle will remember the wonky bush incident. That will always be one of my favourites) but yesterday I had just lost all sense of how to act even remotely human. I kind of felt like I was going through the motions but I got through the day so always a bonus.

Preparation and planning is key! I had my outfit sorted, my gym bag packed and the kids sorted. I went to bed as ready as I ever could be, at least physically and luckily I managed to get a semi decent nights sleep. The recent nightmares I have been having seemed to have left me alone or at least gave me a much needed night off for which I was incredibly grateful. This morning I was glad I have a pretty solid morning routine, that I have had for much of the time I have been off work. This has kept some sort of normality for me in a time where things have felt anything but normal a lot of the time! Today it meant it kept those anxious nerves at bay. I had an abnormal amount of energy for a morning, for me anyway, but that meant that the gym felt so good! Heavy leg weights and stair high intensity intervals. I was wobbling like Bambi at the end but the feeling of accomplishment, of success, was worth every second. The sweat on my wrists like my badge of honour. I managed a full 45 minutes without thinking, blissful peace apart from the chavvy rave blaring in my ears that keeps my momentum going. I don’t always listen to rave, those days are long gone along with my hoop earrings and questionable coke can fringe but it will always have a place in my heart and it certainly has a place in my workout playlist.

If I am honest I don’t know how I would have got through my morning. While I was showering I was OK. While I was getting ready I was OK, skinny jeans, hair done, mascara and heels. Sometimes a girl has to slightly power dress. Getting in my car I was I was OK, as the distance started to shorten between me and the office my heart started beating faster, my hands started shaking and my body started tingling. I felt sick and my brain felt like it was trying to escape from my skull. I wont lie, that thought appeals to me very much sometimes. I sat in my car for a good 5 minutes, deep breaths and I gave myself a stern talking to. I could do this. The only thing that would stop me doing this was myself, my negative thought process. I was ready to give this a go. So, final deep breath and I walked in that office with my head high and the biggest smile I could muster. Considering I was the only one in the office I probably would have looked like a proper loon to any one who may have seen me but it was what I had to do. I walked in as if I had never been away, the familiar routine came back to me as if I had only had a weekend off.

I am personally glad that I was the first person in. It gave me the chance to get my head round it a little bit. It was lovely and familiar but at the same time incredibly daunting. The shakes would not calm down, the feeling of sickness did not compliment my morning oats if I am honest and the headache seemed to intensify, but I was there, I was doing it. Nothing that I had imagined going wrong had. The flower and card from my manager was a massive help. Full of colour and a nod at the fact they were glad to have me back. The hugs from my colleagues and the look on their face that showed me they were genuinely happy I was there really helped more than words can describe. This may not be where I want to be, what I want to do, certainly not a forever job but for a stepping stone on to the next step of my life I could not ask for a better group of people to have met. They have supported me since Day 1 of this horrible time, been there to chat to, random messages to let me know they were thinking of me, my manager has been incredibly supportive. All of this despite the fact they are suffering the same work worries amongst their own individual personal issues. Sometimes I hate the human race but sometimes people like these help me realise that there are some bloody amazing individuals out there too.

Three hours was more than enough I must admit. I walked out the office and I felt lighter instantly but I also felt proud. I had done it and I hadn’t hated it or broke down or anything. The weird feeling has stuck with me all day but I am sure over time that will diminish. I am even going to go back tomorrow. Get me!! 😀 The first hurdle, the first day is over and done with. Baby steps are essential and trying not to put too much pressure on myself by taking it day by day but a little glimmer of confidence is back!

I am so glad I have been out and honest about why I was absent, why I was on the sick. For me it took the elephant out of the room. I didn’t feel like anyone felt they had to tiptoe round me. I wont necessarily make a point of talking about it apart from with my manager, but if they want to talk about it I will do happily, well depending on that days mood anyway lol. My point being it is good to remove the stigma. I know how incredibly lucky I am to have what I have had and in no way will I take it for granted. All workplaces should be like this.

So, yet another little battle won. Getting kind of good at this aren’t I? There will be big things that knock me, little things that make me lose my shit and I know for a fact that Monday morning feeling is just around the corner but hey, get me, I’m doing this. For today, that is enough.

CC xx

 

Two steps forward, one step back.

I may be making slow progress but I am making progress!

Well, today has been a bit of an eye opener to be fair. Thankfully the way I have been feeling makes much more sense now. I know counsellors are trained and this is what they are meant to do but it still amazes me that she can get things from me that I couldn’t see for myself. I might know that something is up but 9 times out of 10 I cant for the life of me figure out what. She seems to have these magic keys that open me up and she can see exactly what is going on in the complex mess that is my mind.

OK, so I am not as far on my journey as I thought. Those cards that are glued to my chest, that I thought I was hiding so well that I didn’t have to actually acknowledge them, are starting to shift a little bit. With this comes new emotions and memories that I may not have had the courage to accept and deal with before now. As my brain starts to open up to my new way of thinking it releases a little bit more of my past and how I am feeling, seemingly from a conversation I have had that was a subconscious trigger.

Hands up, I am scared. I have trained myself for so many years to think and feel, or not feel to be more accurate, a certain way that changing my mind set is very overwhelming. I like to think I don’t care, it is what it is, and to a degree IT IS what it is but I cant just tick a box and walk away. My internal child has well and truly spat her dummy out and she wants attention NOW. She wants to be heard, how she felt, what she had to do, why she did what she did. She wants to get it all out. The pain, the sadness, the fear, the loneliness, she wants to vomit it all out, the way I want to when I feel like I cant cope and I need a sense of control and purpose. As scary as it might be to go back, little CC deserves her turn. I have kept her locked in a box pretty much all her life.

For now little CC’s story will remain strictly confidential. I am not ready to share, to be honest the idea of going back and exploring it all is not something I am looking forward to at all, but it is the biggest bag I have been carrying and although I kidded myself I had looked in it, all I really did was push it round the floor so it looked like I had. I put so much pressure on myself to succeed, in everything, that even getting better was like a job I had to do. I HAD to get better as quick as possible, I didn’t want to feel shit, I don’t have time to have bad days and deal with shite. Surely if its in the past it should stay in the past?! Well yeah, if you had actually dealt with it!

The feelings of worthlessness and failure, especially feeling stupid when I know I am actually an intelligent person, make sense to me now. There is only so much you can put on yourself but as I am my biggest critic, every time I couldn’t focus instead of being nice to myself and perhaps giving myself a break, I was pushing even harder. Like I have a point to prove. To be fair, in one way I do feel I have a point to prove. “Hey! Look at me! Look at what I am doing!”  I have pushed and pushed and put so much pressure on myself my brain just shot its pen down, crossed its arms and told me to fuck right off! Deservedly so! As my counsellor has made me see today, I need to stop being so rigid, stop putting so much on what I want to achieve and just take it in my stride. I know I can do it so I need to stop being so hard on myself. If I had a teacher screaming at me the way I scream at myself I would flip my lid, so why do I think it’s ok to do it to myself? At this moment in time, my ambition and passion to succeed has the real potential to derail me completely if I don’t take a step back and breathe! Yes, I have a lot to do, but I have time. I need to slow the fuck down. I want the world and I will get the world but it will take time and patience. As the old saying goes, all work and no play makes CC a very highly strung nutjob!

Today I am exhausted. Plain and simple. Knowing that I need more counselling has actually been a relief though. She makes me feel strong and I feel like for one hour a fortnight I make sense. I can say things that NEED to be said but without hurting anyone or causing drama.  I could have felt it was a failure on my half, how I am looking at it though is that I am accepting there is a problem and I am trying to fix it. I have to work on my negative language when I talk about myself. I know it is hard for some people who care about me that I wont open up to them. Maybe I never completely will as these are my issues but I do know I can talk if and when I need to. I don’t need saving I just need supporting. I am frustrating as hell and sometimes I make absolutely no sense! Don’t take it personally, I don’t even know what I am on about myself half the time.

I am beginning to realise that my circle is a lot smaller than it once was, I am learning who cares, who is there for me before I even really know I need someone. I know I bang on about mental health and fitness all the time but these things are important to me. I don’t expect you to feel the same way but to appreciate they are my passions.  I could be sad that I have lost people but no, I wont. Maybe I have given them reason to, if you are reading this and think I have, I am genuinely sorry. Sometimes I cant see the tree for the leaves. Maybe they just never cared that much in the first place. Fine. Maybe I have now served my purpose in their life. Again, fine. Your loss. I am a bloody delight after all ;-P  To those that have stuck with me though, old and new, thank you!

What I have learnt today though is I reckon I would make a damn good spy! Getting information from me is like getting blood from a stone……..unless you have a magic set of keys that is.

Line drawn, mistakes made, realisations realised, now gloves are back on. Ready to fight!

CC xx

Flying my white flag…..

It’s been 11 days since I last posted a blog. How has that happened? I looked back over my last post and I was in such a positive, motivated place. I had the kick arse attitude and I was going places. I felt really fucking good! But the problem with being so caught up in your own mind, on first names terms with that cowbag Depression, means that at any given time, no matter how hard you fight, sometimes you just get caught up in it all.

I have felt a little claustrophobic if I am honest. Like my world was starting to go in on itself. The walls were closing in and I could feel myself getting a little bit crazier every day. It was like a Flubber ball in my chest. I needed a release but nothing, not even my beloved exercise was helping diminish it. It just kept growing, I kept catastrophizing everything, I have always been an over thinker but jeez,  my mind was working like it was on a drip of speed!  I had even managed to convince myself I was bloody pregnant. I have been sterilised for fucks sake! It is pretty much impossible for it to even happen but in my head of course I was. Everything messes up when things start to go right for me, at least that is how I see things.

Instead of reaching out to the people I know are there to listen, the people who have made me promise to talk to them when I am like that, the worse I felt the more deeper I dug and buried my head. I thought if I could just pretend I was OK I would be. If I wanted to be happy I just had to think happy! WHEN WILL I LEARN?! This doesn’t work for me!!

I have not liked one thing about myself. I have felt fat, ugly, thick, guilty, miserable and a failure. I know I cant use my old coping technique, and I am very proud that I have not succumbed. It is just so damn hard though as I cant get my head round not being able to do something that works. I understand that it is wrong, but why does everything that feels so good have to be wrong? I know its all down to my control issues. I have taken an awful lot on over the last few weeks. I feel like I let go of a few balloons and the thought of going back to work, although I think I am ready to try, was a tipping point. I know that I am more than capable of having it all. What I cant seem to grasp a hold of is that I deserve it too. I keep thinking I am reaching too far. That my fingers will get burnt. How the hell am I meant to help others when I am such a big self sabotage?!

My problem is, well one of them before any cheeky buggar comments 😉 is that I keep thinking I can beat the system. That I am not that bad. I stopped taking my tablets. I had convinced myself I didn’t need them. Big mistake! I am holding my white flag now. I surrender. Not in the way that Depression will win. No Sir! Just that I know I am only human. Yes, I have done so well, I have come on leaps and bounds and I am getting stronger every day. But that is because I was doing as I was told. By professionals. Who know what they are talking about. I do not know better and I have had to learn this at my own cost. I am more angry with myself as I could have set myself back so far. For being strong enough to admit I am failing, even if it is 11 days too late is a big step for me. I hate being wrong, it doesn’t sit well with me, but for the sake of my kids, my family, my friends and most importantly ME, it has be said.

I need to accept, once and for all that this is not just a battle, it’s a war. There are no quick fixes, no tactical manoeuvres that I can make to get over the other side. I have to take each step. I have to learn the relevant lessons. I can’t continue to grow if I don’t. I wouldn’t be able to go on and do the job I really want to do if I am doing myself such a disservice. I need to be the proof that the system works. I need to show that if you are willing to open up you need to be willing to listen to advice. I do not want to be the massive hypocrite that I have been recently. I am not scared of hard work. So why am I procrastinating? Why am I acting like a little bitch? Simple answer – it’s all I have known. It is hard to train and lose weight and change your physical appearance, it’s a lot fucking harder to change the way your brain works!

So today I have slept. I have contemplated. I started to feel a bit sorry for myself. I did the gym and managed a PB (inner thighs of steel me!) but basically I have procrastinated. Then I gave myself a mental slap. Pity is not something I feel for myself nor should I. I CAN do this, I WILL do this. I just need to admit when I need a little bit extra help. I know its nothing to be ashamed of. I bloody campaign to remove stigma over it all yet I do it to myself. Madness!

Getting the email that I have passed my first unit of my Mental Health Awareness course has given me that chink of light back. See CC, you can do it! Tomorrow I am going to get back to being out the house all day. I will do my work in the library or wherever. I always get distracted at home and I need to form a routine again, especially being back at work. Yes I have a lot to do, yes I have taken a lot on but greatness and world domination does not come to those sat on their arses waiting. It might be stressful at times but great things come to those that get out and work for it. So that is what I am going to do. Because let’s face it, I am a pretty fucked up version of great as it is 😀

I love blogging! I will not leave it so long again!

CC xx