Category Archives: Blogging

clicks of clarity

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About 2 weeks ago, while on holiday, I had what I call, a click of clarity, I love them… those moments, when you can just see things clearly for what they really are. Sometimes they are totally unexpected and not even related to the current activity, but they just appear and you’d be stupid to ignore. This one was regarding my face, which as some of you will know has been a long term, ongoing struggle for me.

I was lying down on the sofa, and I just thought… my face is never going to change the way it looks- I have no intention of having more plastic surgery or cosmetic enhancers… my face will always look like this whether I like it or not- so actually, if the face isn’t going to change, your attitude better. CLICK. Just like that. After decades of therapy, I had that one thought and its changed me.

My face ain’t changing. So I have to. And I will.

When I don’t blog, I use a private journal. The journal is for all the stuff that is definitely not suitable for public consumption. But today, I will type out a letter I wrote to  my face on 1st August. This is uncomfortable for me, but I know I have to state the intention publicly- and for me blogging is an easier way than telling people (not sure I could do that yet). So here it is… unedited… just as it is, just as I am…

1st August 2017.

Dear Face,

I am sorry. So terribly sorry. For all I’ve put you through. Others have hurt you too, ut I know what I’ve done has been so much more damaging and deep. I have been cruel, neglectful, invalidating and abusive. So awful. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for functioning despite everything you have gone through. Thank you for being so patient with me. I place a marker in the sand- from this moment on my relationship with you changes. I give you my word and my intention. I can’t promise I won’t ever fall or slip in to old patterns, but I can promise as soon as I notice I wills stop I will not indulge the abuse. I will acknowledge it and let it pass- but I will also treat myself with compassion in these failings.

Face, I will need to develop my ability to listen to you and you will need to develop your voice. I know all the abuse has silenced you and you will need to grow in trust of me again. Again, I can’t promise I will never get it wrong but I can promise my desire and intention is to validate you and yours experiences. Keep talking and I will keep listening.

I accept you totally as you are. Your eyes and nose aren’t going to change – I’m not putting you or me through surgery so this is the way it is. I can’t change the way I look and I’m sorry that I’ve been so resistant to you. I’m sorry for the years I have been desperate to look different. I’m sorry for the way I’ve blamed you for everything. I’ve laid it all at your door. The whole lot:

  • rejection by mum
  • being single
  • the reason for my vulnerability to predators

There may be a grain of truth in all of these- but the truth is also that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Face, you are the way you are. You didn’t ask for it- and you are not responsible for other people’s reactions to it… mum, dad, club, peers strangers and most importantly myself. I have made the choices I have- not your fault. I’m not judging myself for those responses- I have done what I’ve done usually because I’ve tried to survive. I have survived. Nut now to live. Cant change what I’ve done but I can change what I do. Wow,such an important moment. I relish this moment: my face isn’t changing so I have to- actually ‘have to’ isn’t the full picture, I choose to… I want to… I really want to…

Facce- you are amazing. You see, smell, speak, breathe, communicate- wow, you are incredible, just incredible.

I don’t want tot insult you by not being authentic, so I’m not yet able to say you are beautiful etc, but with integrity I can say, I accept you the way you are. And I really hope to grow in my love and appreciation of you. Not sure what that really looks like but its got to be better/ different to how things have been until now. I want to look at you with:

  • delight not repulsion
  • compassion not criticism
  • kindness not cruelty
  • to cherish you not to abuse you

Face- may you be safe: safe from the judgement of others and safe from the judgement of myself

may you be happy: delight in your uniqueness, celebrate your quirkiness and glory in your radiance

may you be healthy- may your eyes continue to see, your ears continue to hear, your nose continue to breathe and your out and teeth be healthy and whole.

Your face is welcoming- your smile is radiant and your laugh is infectious. Your lips are beautiful.

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.”    Harry Winston.

may your face be at peace: with itself, with me and the rest of the world.

A new adventure together- not sure where its going and what it looks  like- but things will never be the same- they can’t, because my heart has changed.

“I love you just the way you are”

Love Hepzibah.

Thanks for listening.

 

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And… breathe…

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Unknown.jpegbreathing… the very essence of life… without it we can’t survive. Instinctual. Natural even? Something we take for granted? Something we are usually not aware of?

But sometimes, it’s the only thing we can manage, and it’s the only thing we need to manage.

I have been finding things quite difficult since the start of the year- and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I am about to list is the full reason for my melancholy- but I’m sure it hasn’t helped.

  • A friend’s daughter committed suicide in January- though not personally affected by her loss, the impact on my mental health and ability to keep myself safe has been, and still is huge.
  • Another person I know has started treatment for anorexia. Her pictures and stories on Facebook have been hugely triggering for me- I know I need to block them- but like a moth to a light bulb I’m drawn to them…
  • My elderly neighbour with Alzheimers has been put in to a care home against her will. I have visited her every day for nearly 10 years- she is now gone. I’ve been to the care home to see her and it is just awful. I came out of there on Saturday and just wept- wept for her, and wept for myself, as I see before me my fear of what might happen to me…
  • School/Work has been awful (and still is) At times really unpleasant. I’ve felt betrayed by people I thought were friends and been stabbed in the back by parents whom I have gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping… I’ve felt rejected and abandoned and have hurtled in to fear of bankruptcy and losing my house… I don’t feel positive enough to stem the negative tide… I can only see the ongoing trajectory as downward…
  • I am working so hard (some things that I wish I wasn’t having to work at), so I live with the constant tension of not actually doing a good enough job at any of what I am having to do…
  • My studies (my treat) is being totally neglected
  • I am still trying to adapt to the new arrangements I have/ need to have with close buddies who now have children
  • I am on count down to having to stop with my psychiatrist due to re-structuring in the Trust. I have seen him for 12 years- never a good time to stop, but it really doesn’t feel like the right time to stop either
  • Plus, a couple of other things that I choose not to blog about…

Actually as I write this I realise I feel depressed. I’ve had other times in life that have been tricky, but I’ve not felt like this. I am filled with doom about the future. I can’t see a way through. I haven’t the energy to fight at the moment. Things that were more natural to me aren’t anymore. The black cloud has tightened it’s grip a bit. So this post hasn’t developed the way I thought it would… I didn’t expect to write this last paragraph- but that’s good- that’s why I blog, it helps me process, and this process has taken me to a slightly unexpected place… so I’m going to stop here and get back to where I started, focus on my breathing.

Thanks for listening

 

 

 

I did something outrageous…

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During the Summer, while in Bulgaria for 4 weeks, I did something outrageous… drum roll… holding breath in anticipation…

I ditched a novel I was reading because I didn’t like it. It wasn’t my thing. I wasn’t enjoying it.

So I decided to abandon a book I would usually make myself slog through until the end. I decided I didn’t like something and I didn’t have to endure it. Unknown.jpeg

I often dip in and out of non-fiction books and that has always been acceptable to me… but a novel… this is cutting edge stuff for me… It almost feels ‘naughty’…

I ditched a book and started a new one. When my courage has been a bit shaken over the last few weeks, I just say to myself, Hephzibah, you stopped reading a novel and started a new one- it doesn’t get more hard core than that. You can do it!

Thanks for listening

Operation, pick myself up, dust myself down…

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Unknown.jpegOK. Deep breaths. Big hug. Wipe the tears.

I’ve been disappointed before. I’ve been gutted before. So I need to do what I know I need to do… pick myself up- dust myself down and start all over again.

That doesn’t negate how sad I feel. It doesn’t minimise my disappointment or grief. It just means that I will not let it take over my life. Sometimes when I don’t know which way to go- or what steps to take, I know that sometimes I just have to get up off my seat and start. Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Hope is an essential element to life.

False hope is a cruel tormentor. So its been a tricky time. But I choose to move forward.

images.pngI’ve applied today for a Masters in Educational Leadership- I’ve wanted to do it for years. If I can’t look after children in this country- then I will see what options are out there overseas. I will create community for myself in my own home. I will love those I already have in my life.

When the voices in my head whisper despair and hopelessness- I will stand tall. There is a plan for my life. If a door won’t open- then I will need to find another door that will open.

It’s quite hard picking yourself up- it would be easier to not try… but I’ve not given up yet- so no reason why I should give up now.

Thanks for listening.

 

 

It is my intention…

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Today, I am setting an intention- and to help solidify that, I’m putting it out there!

Until CUnknown.jpeghristmas I worked at a different school every Tuesday. I was never available for other things. Since leaving that job, I have toyed with the idea of keeping Tuesday to myself. For all those things I never seem to get around to… blogging, mindfulness, reading DBT books, thinking, writing, attending to my inner being.

 

For a variety of reasons (always good ones in my mind!) this hasn’t happened. Well today- it will. It already feels difficult. But I will. I will spend time attending to my inner needs. I will go to my log cabin and try and ‘be’. The whole day will not be cerebal I am in a total decluttering, clearing out mode- still working through my brother’s things- so I need to take things to charity shops etc… but the tele will stay off and I will stay focussed.

I want to do this today. I’m not avoiding resting. I’m not trying to over-achieve or ‘be productive’. I am setting a day aside to do those things that I love doing, that recharge my soul (which is fairly weary at the mo) and carry on trying to make some order out of the chaos – both physical and internal.

I will report back!

Holding my nerve

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I need to hold my nerve. And I need to hold on strong.

This image is a copy of a picture my brother had in his bungalow. It is huge! I remember buying it for him and struggling to get it to him. It is how I am feeling- but sadly, I do not feel sheltered- just storm ravaged.

My brother passed away at the beginning of December. Aged 49. He was cremated 3 days before Christmas Day. It hurts. I feel like I am drowning.

But I know I need to hold on. Keep my nerve. Not panic. Not do anything in a knee-jerk reaction as a desperate desire to make myself feel better. It is hard. Very hard.

I have had a couple of days that have been very scary for me. A strength of pain that felt life-threatening. I need to hold on. Humbling though it is, I also need to admit that I need others to help me hold on. Some things are just too big to face alone. I don’t have any answers- as I’m not entirely sure what the questions are… but as the storm rages- the whisper in my soul is “hold on- hold your nerve”. I’m even saying it out loud to myself in public places- such is the crash of waves that keep coming over me. “Hold on.”

I fought for my brother. I used words to  persuade, defend, argue and insist. I refused to take no for an answer. I stood firm in the face of protocol and policy. I didn’t back down in the midst of accusations and insinuations. I did it all for him and would give anything to still be able to do it for him. It was easy to do it for him. The greater challenge is to fight for myself. My survival. My life. Currently, I am the one in need- threatened and at risk. The only person that needs to hear my voice- is me. I need to speak up loudly enough for myself to take notice. I am so blessed- I have many friends who listen to me. Some how I need to be able to dig down deep enough to listen to the voice that says “hold on”.

Thanks for listening.

 

laughter

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Well, my weekend away didn’t go quite as planned.

Visiting an European Christmas Market has been on my wish list for a good while. And this weekend I was really looking forward to delving in to the sights, smells and sounds of a Christmas market.

Sadly, Warsaw, I discovered, is not the best place for this experience. It become clear that if the Christmas market did exist, we were too early for it. When we arrived at the hotel and I asked the receptionist where the Christmas Market was, when she replied ‘we don’t have one’, I was instantly reminded of a scene in the Tom Hanks movie, ‘Money Pit’.

I’ve included it for your entertainment!

I laughed just like Tom Hanks at that moment. This continued throughout the weekend as we sort of plunged from disaster to disaster- but it was a good weekend, though not as I imagined.

We were delayed by 3 hours at the airport last night and I was chatting to a man who said he had had the worse weekend of his entire life in Warsaw. His friend got arrested and was still in jail for getting drunk. I was just relieved that the worse thing that happened to me was not getting my fix of cinnamon… I was also pleased that when I was laughing like Tom Hanks I wasn’t arrested under suspicion of being drunk and disorderly!

Thanks for listening. Enjoy the clip! Tom Hanks ‘Money Pit’