Monthly Archives: August 2016

settling down and building up


I am slowly beginning to relax and settle down in to the holiday rhythm. It’s taken a bit longer than I would have liked but I’m getting there. What I am loving is the time holiday affords you to tackle those things that you want to do but never really get around to doing!

Unknown.jpegMy quest to continue to develop my drawing and painting continues and with a fairly concerted effort. I have had the book by Betty Edwards “Drawing on the Right side of the Brain” for quite a while, but have never got round to working on it. This holiday I have. And I am over the moon with the results. I get SOOOOO motivated by accomplishing things that I didn’t think was possible for me. I absolutely LOVE that sense of doing something and thinking I did that!

I’m reminded of that time when I overheard a flat mate referring to me as a ‘domestic goddess’ Perceptions. Little did she know! But I want to get to the point, where people don’t realise that I couldn’t draw or dive or bake or whatever it is…. I’ve changed my reality.

Holiday’s give me that space to work at it. (an invigorating work)

I’m practising my drawing and trying to learn to dive. The first is going slightly less painfully than the latter. But I will get there. I leave you with two of happy shots! I DID THESEIMG_1705.JPG




Dead Man Walking and Distress Tolerance


Unknown-1.jpegBack in the 1990’s, I watched the Sean Penn film ‘Dead Man Walking’ at the cinema with my then fiance. I couldn’t bear it. I was literally sobbing in the cinema as the lead character is lead to his execution. My sobbing was belly shaking and snotty. My fiancé was embarrassed. (Which in fairness to me he often was… no wonder he left me!) Anyway, back to the point… I couldn’t tolerate the pain that film provoked in me. (At one point, Penelope set me the homework of watching the film again and managing my distress. (I couldn’t do it)).

Unknown-2.jpegI’m on holiday and someone had left the book ‘Me before You’ in the apartment. I decided to read it. It’s an excellent book but it provoked a similar reaction in me. It was a bit too close for comfort with my brother’s death… but I made a conscious decision to continue with the book instead of stop reading it. Again, I was sobbing and snotting. But this time I was more skilled at coping with my distress.

In DBT, the module is referred to as Distress Tolerance, and I realised how much more skilled I have grown. I’m not sure I should have read the book to be honest, but I did and I survived. I have no intention of watching Dead Man Walking ever again but if I did, I do think my reaction might be the same, but my response could be a bit better!
This situation has reminded me of another time. I am on holiday by myself for 10 days- and I’ve been finding it hard. I’ve felt quite lonely and vulnerable at times. I’ve been surrounded by families, grown up children visiting pareUnknown-3.jpegnts out here… grandchildren… the whole lot… and I’ve been by myself. That was my choice and when it works, it works really well for me. But I was thinking about previous times when I have felt similar while abroad and have ended up flying back home. At times I’ve wanted to come home but I’ve stayed put. I’ve survived the moments and as I continue to relax, I’m able to embrace the space and the process more. I could have easily got on a plane back home, but I’m so glad I didn’t- even if just for the fact that I can write this. I am doing ok- bit by bit.

Thanks for listening.


sex book


The sexual fantasises book that I wrote about in this post Sexual fantasies and changing faces part 1 has been published. I can’t quite believe it was 3 years ago (is that right?)

I have read the whole book and quite frankly some people lead very interesting lives!!!!

I had proof read my chapter so I knew what was coming and that was fine. What I hadn’t really expected/ prepared myself for was the reviews!

An article appeared in a national newspaper and referred to my story as ‘horrific’ and ‘harrowing’- (in a very sympathetic way). I didn’t expect that. I still don’t think of my story as anything but ‘normal’. But consistently when people read or hear it- they don’t think that. I want to be able to see my story differently. I want to be able to look at my life with empathy and compassion, instead of saying to myself Hepzibah, get a grip, don’t be so pathetic. I want to start being as nice to myself as other people are to me.

I’ve said it before, but hating yourself is really quite an unpleasant existence. Some one who had never met me, thought of me with compassion (in not an entirely glowing review of the whole book) I am going to do some work on looking at myself through different lenses… because there is something I haven’t quite grasped yet I think. Exciting!

Thanks for listening.


the responsibility of attachment


My learning continues. George and Mildred continue to be my teachers.

I love them. They bring me lots of joy. But new feelings have been emerging for me, which have taken me by surprise.

I am experiencing something like a healthy attachment- I think?? A quite alien concept for me! The pups are attached to me. They know who I am. When they are frightened they come to me. Sometimes they don’t want to sit with others- they want to sit with me. When we go walking off lead, they stay close to me. I’m not really used to that. My previous dog- had no sense of loyalty/ attachment at all!!!! He would happily go with anyone or anywhere (which at the time was quite a relief I must admit!)


But I’m now on holiday for 3 and a half weeks, without the pups. And its different. I miss them. I never missed Dukie in that sense- usually I was so relieved at the respite…but I was tormented with separation anxiety and guilt at leaving him. I am not anxious about the pups well-being or feeling guilty- but I am missing them. And I think that’s normal- but new for me!

I have a responsibility to these pups. They need me to do certain things for them. Others can do that quite easily- but just perhaps, the pups would like me to do it for them. That’s amazing.

I’m feeling the pain of the attachment, but that’s ok because I am also experiencing the joy of the attachment when I am with them. I’m beginning to see that pain and joy sometimes go hand in hand. As I emotionally thaw, I’m beginning to let myself feel, the good, the bad and the ugly. And just perhaps that’s a little of what it means to be human.

I can’t wait to see George and Mildred, but I’m also ok with the fact that that is still over 2 weeks away. I can do this. Part of being attached is being separate I think. One day at a time.

Thanks for listening.