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

 

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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

 

The Future is Bright. The Future is Red!

Although I always try be seem motivated I cant lie, over the last few weeks it has been a massive effort for me to get my head round what I have taken  on and what I need to get done in a short space of time.  I started to question myself, not like me I know lol, and wondered if my dreams and aspirations were a bit far fetched, especially considering my age. I wondered if what I wanted was possible, if it has a place in society and my community, if I was doing something that had already been done many times before and I just hadn’t done my research and so on and so forth.

I have been scared to engage properly in what I am doing as I was doubting my ability to actually do what I was saying I was going to do. But you know what, I can do it! Yes I am older but that means I have experience. Yes I have lumps and bumps but I am a working, married mother of 2 and yet I have still managed to massively transform how I look and increase my fitness levels ten fold. I run 5km’s for a laugh, that’s my general run distance on a regular day! This shows that anyone can do it and this will be one of my self promotion angles. You don’t need loads of money, you can get the body you are proud of and a healthy lifestyle no matter who you are or what your life involves.

I always felt self conscious working out with ripped Personal Trainers who you know have looked like that most of their life so I want to use the reality angle. I want people to feel comfortable with me and themselves. I understand on a realistic level those day to day struggles all too well – no time, no energy, no motivation, no confidence, no money. If all that wasn’t enough I can also engage on a mental level. I can understand people who get stuck in their own heads, I can understand negative emotions and how crippling they can be, I understand mental health issues, from what I suffer with, from what friends who have opened up to me suffer with and from what I am learning from my studies. All these are going to be the pillars of strength when I go forward into the big, wide world. I know patience is something I struggle with, but then again I have never had self belief. I may not be religious but I do have faith. Faith in me, faith in my ideas, faith in what I can help other people achieve. For those days where my faith waivers I have my children, my husband, some of my family and my friends who will fill in those holes and give me a firm but loving push. Luck isn’t winning the lottery, luck is having all of that.

Doing the 10km helped cement in my mind that my fitness levels are great! What has helped with setting my mind back on the wavelength it needed to be was my meeting yesterday. As I have said, my volunteering with Mind Middlesbrough & Stockton has started to open up more opportunities and information than I ever could have hoped for. I have featured on news segments on regional TV, I have now written two blogs for Mind themselves as well as one for a friends business and the 1 in 4 website. I also got mentioned on another Mental Health website due to them seeing my blogs on my Twitter account. I am part of the Anti-Stigma group which has lead me to be involved in the development team of a dvd that will be being made and released through our region to raise awareness of mental health problems. This meeting then lead on to a discussion of what I do and what I want to do which resulted in me attending a Peer Support Networking meeting yesterday.

This meeting has helped things make a bit more sense, I can see the puzzle and the pieces clearly now, I just need to set about putting them all together to create my bigger picture. They didn’t laugh at my ideas, they thought they were good! There is certainly scope for what I want to do. I can see where I need to start, what I need to get in place. I have been given so much information my head is spinning but in a fantastic way. I do need to go through and select what resonates with me but that is a task I am looking forward to. I know I will have the support of Mind, I could make applications for grants! My ideas can and will become a reality! Had you even suggested any of this to me back in January I think I would laughed in your face! I certainly wouldn’t have believed it. Now I feel that fire back in my belly. The embers have kept glowing but now the flames are growing again. I know it will be ALOT of hard work, the next 10 days alone will mostly be spent with my laptop and my head stuck in books. You know what though, I am no longer filled with dread. I know it is my own fault I have so much to do at this stage but I am excited to see how I work under pressure. It has been a very long time since I have had positive pressure on me. Pressure which will kick my arse and force me to get my head back where it needs to be to get the results I know I am more than capable of getting. Nothing worth having ever comes easy and that is fine with me. Easy is boring, easy is existing. I want to live!

I have my business name in mind, I have a vague idea of the foundations, all that is left for me to do is, crack on! I have done a basic survey that I hope as many people as possible will fill in. I wont publish the results, it is just for my own personal research so I can create a product that is needed and will work. I love writing my blogs as it clears up my mind and I can then focus my very ditzy brain in one place, at least for a while. So for now, I shall sign off, feeling positive, determined, motivated and……happy!

Laters

CC xx

Welcome back Claire, we have been expecting you……

I know I write my blogs as CC, that will never change, it is kind of like an new extension to my personality now. However, I have always had the “real me” and the me that Depression controlled. For the first time in a long time I look in the mirror and in my eyes I see the “real me”. The smile on my face is Claire. The motivation and drive isn’t there just because I need it to be, it is now there because I want it to be. I feel happy, driven and you know what, bloody proud of myself!

Quite a lot has happened since my last blog, which sounds mad as it was only last week. Firstly, I did my 10km….. AND I LOVED IT!!!!! Official time was 1 hour 3 minutes and 15 seconds. I was surprised how easy I found it. I was actually skipping along at certain points, quite literally. It was my first time doing an organised race but I have most definitely got the buzz. So much so that I am seeing how many more I can squeeze in around my holidays before my Half Marathon. I want to do loads around the country. What a way to see new places! Meet new people! Have new adventures! My Half Marathon doesn’t seem so scary and impossible any more either! I know with training, the continued amazing coaching advice I have been getting and faith in myself, it will be an amazing achievement! Considering this time last year I never would have considered myself a runner, now I feel like a fully fledged member of the gang. That feeling when I crossed over the Finish line was just unbelievable. I felt like I could have just kept going. It made me realise one thing, nothing and no one will take away my love for this. My belief and love faltered for a while because of the negative side of my personality. Now I know for sure that that little voice has been booted right to the back of the line!

Alongside that I am also starting a Gateway Certificate in Skills for Sport & Active Leisure (Level 3) through a course Mind has introduced me to. I went along yesterday to see what it was all about, and considering what I had done the day before I bloody loved it! We did circuit training and although I do think my legs are seriously pissed off with me, especially after Bring Sally Up squats (ouch!) I managed remarkably well. Getting praised for excellent squat technique and perfect planking really made my day! I was nervous to be honest when I went in as I put a lot of pressure on myself with me training to be a PT but they were great. I think I will learn a lot from them in way of how it works and new techniques, routines etc. I am very excited. As well as this I have a meeting with a peer support networking group tomorrow. They are interested in my ideas about using exercise and fitness alongside mental health! I cant believe it! I know it’s a tiny step and I have a hell of a long way to go, but slowly and surely little pieces of the jigsaw are starting to slot in. Instead of telling myself to get a grip and calm down and think of all the bad things, I am just enjoying all the positive things that seem to be coming my way. I feel like the foundations of my empire have finally started. Digging out to lay the cement that keeps it all in place.

For once I walked into my counsellor with my head held high and a genuine smile on my face. I feel strong, I feel capable, I feel like I can do whatever I need to do. I questioned the fact that really this has all happened quite quickly considering, but as she made me see, everyone is different. I wanted to get better so I have been doing everything in my power to make sure I do. I have engaged in my own recovery since that very first day, I didn’t want to be a sufferer or a victim of my own mind. I wanted to kick it’s arse and come out fighting and that is exactly what I am doing! What is has done is unlocked a passion deep within me and I have grabbed that with both hands and ran (no pun intended but hey, if it works!). For all the bad shit Depression has given me, I have to look at all the good it has encouraged me to achieve. Raising money for Mind, doing something I do everyday any way in a sense, getting involved in volunteering which is starting to open up other doors which is absolutely amazing! Then there is my blog, which I love doing. My Mental Health awareness course as it became obvious to me that this is an area I 100% want to be part of. My motivation to make sure I complete my PT course. I have grown closer to people I thought I had drifted away from, I have seen others for what they really are, I have made new friends who are just as important to me as some of my oldest. My children are seeing their Mam with life in her eyes again. With a smile that reaches those eyes. A spring in her step and a reason for living that goes beyond them. They are my world but I am also reaching out and grabbing things for myself. I don’t use the word selfish anymore as it is so negative, I am doing and going for what I deserve!

My next counselling session will be my last I think, for the foreseeable future any way. How do I feel? Nervous, scared even. I really value her, she has been remarkable and helped me more than I could ever describe. I also feel strong and capable. I have learnt things about myself and how I can deal with certain things. I am aware of things I wasn’t before so this means I can read between the lines. I am learning to value myself as an individual with my own needs not just there for everyone else or a scapegoat when needed. I wont back down from what I want, what I believe in, what I want to do. I will support anyone, I will hold your hand and hug you when it is needed. I wont ever not be there for the people who want me, but it wont ever be to my own detriment anymore. I know I deserve the same in return. Guilt may try to take over but I can put her back in her box when I need to. She wont drag me back with her. Any one is welcome on my journey, but please don’t expect me to change direction to suit you. I wont do that any more.

I have said it before and I do believe it, this is something I will have to battle with all my life. I am aware and ready for the fight. Having dumped a hell of a lot of baggage over the last 14 weeks I am lighter on my feet and I can stand tall. I also throw a mean right hook! If I have a bad day then I will explore why, what has started this? I know the ways in which to approach it to feel better. If that is whole hog and keep busy all day then so be it, but if that is just simply to sleep or sit and watch shite films or tv then so be it. I know a lazy day, no matter how hard it is for me to do, wont set me back. In fact sometimes it is very much needed.

I feel happy, I feel positive and I feel back in control. I will be going back to work soon which is great in one way but also a bit daunting. I wont lie, because of the situation there and knowing its not what I want it’s going to be hard. I am looking forward to being back with my team though. Even if I no doubt will have drove them batty by the end of week 1. However at the same time if it wasn’t for what has happened I wouldn’t be on this path now. So in a weird way I should thank them. Although I think I’ll say under my breath.

I am off to get these foundations started any way. I’m in for a long, busy few months and for once, I cant fucking wait!!

Much Love

CC xx

If I Can Dream…….

“We’re lost in a cloud,

With too much rain

We’re trapped in a world

with too much pain

But as long as a man

has the strength to dream

He can redeem his soul and fly.

Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question

Still, I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow

Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle.

And while I can think, while I can talk,

While I can stand, while I can walk,

While I can dream, please let my dream come true right now……..”

Thank you Mr Elvis Presley, for having a song that I needed to hear very much today. The words spoke to me so clearly, they described pretty much exactly how I am feeling. I turned the music up loud and I sang. I sang my little heart out. Then I replayed it, and I sang again. And as dodgy as it probably sounded, it felt damn fucking amazing!

Music has the ability to get through to me like no one or any thing else can. It can touch emotions I don’t realise I am feeling, it can free my soul, it can make me laugh, it can make me cry, it can make me dance around like a fucking looney or it can make me close my eyes and transport me to another place. Somewhere far away from the chest crushing problems I am feeling at that time. It can help me breath easier as all other thoughts, for those 3 – 4 minutes, completely disappear. I have music for all different types of moods, every song I hear will remind me of some one or some where or a particular situation. Sometimes these memories can be hard to take, I am learning to leave certain burdens behind but it is still very much a work in progress. The one thing I don’t want to happen is to lose my association through music. Music keeps me sane. Music is always there for me. Music can help me feel when I feel so numb and empty that I think nothing will ever work. Someone like Elvis has the ability to get to me so much it gives me goose bumps in a warm room. I can feel every single word he says. I don’t just hear music, every sense is awoken.

Back to the reason why this particular song means so much. Before yesterday I had been feeling pretty good. Things were starting to make a little bit more sense, I was getting positive feedback and lovely messages in regards to my progress, my fitness, my recovery and my blogs. I felt I was finally starting to achieve what I wanted to. What I needed to. My fingers were pretty much on ground level, I could smell the fresh air, I was so close to freedom! Then yesterday, I woke to find someone had stomped on my fingers. I had let go. I was back in my hole. The fresh air, the sunlight, the feel of freedom felt so many miles away again. I felt empty. I just didn’t want to face the world. I wanted to hide again. I wanted to shut my eyes and just not exist until a better day came.  I felt weak.

With this, came an important decision, one that I know I had to make and now it is today I can see was completely essential, but one that made me feel like a failure. Like I was giving up on myself. The mind is one hell of a mind fuck! I decided to have a rest day. I just couldn’t run, I couldn’t do anything. Physically and mentally I was done. Completely and utterly done. My tank was beyond the red. Mix this in with the fact I was aware I hadn’t kept to my plan on blogging every day for MHAW, well I just felt completely and utterly wank! I seem to blab on about not letting anyone tell you you cant do something and blah blah blah, but yet here was me giving up. Falling at a hurdle.

I know today that that was just the self pity part of my amazingly diverse personality giving me a few kidney jabs. The negative parts of my mind do NOT like it when I don’t give them any attention, and for a good few days I seemed to have got them locked in their cage. They obviously needed a bit of revenge. Bravo you little fuckers, you got me good!

Today I have realised I am not back at the bottom of my hole. I didn’t want to hurt myself. I didn’t want to die. I know that sounds pretty dramatic, but when you are rock bottom, that is how you genuinely feel. Or at least I did. So not having these thoughts was a massive bonus for me! It was one of the first things I realised when I did my morning reflection of the day before. Yes I wanted to hide, yes I wanted to close my eyes and forget the world, but only until a new day came. Not permanently. I had put my phone away early yesterday and ignored it. I put my son to bed and then I went to bed. I left the world to keep turning and took time to just, exist. Nothing more, nothing less.

Waking up this morning I knew the worst had passed. The sigh of relief was immense I will be honest. With me, I can never tell how long my bad days will last. All I can do is hope that it is a brief spell. I cant say I am back to what I was Saturday but I know that will come soon. I have to just keep my arms inside until the ride comes to a complete stop. I know I am not a failure. Far from it. I came back from yesterday and smashed it in the gym today. No personal bests but one hell of a sense of accomplishment for doing it. Same with attending a meeting with my manager. I could have cancelled. I could have postponed, but I didn’t. I went into work, saw some of my lovely colleagues and had a meeting that afterwards I wondered why I was even arsed. My manager was as supportive as ever. She eased my mind when I was concerned about how much longer I am having to be off for. I am more adamant than ever that this time will be utilised in any way I can to make sure I get better. I deserve that. My family and friends deserve that.

So I didn’t hit rock bottom, I just fell onto a ledge but a bit further down. The journey up and out will resume. I am determined. I have dreams. These dreams will only come true if I give it my all. Without the guilt, without the personal mental beatings.

A new hair colour brings a new mentality. The bad days can give me what they have, they can push me as far as they like, but they want to beware. Because I will come back fighting! And I have one hell of kick!

Two steps forward – one step back. I will get there.

CC xx