Thought for the day: 9 December 2018

Courage is not the absence of fear3

I love this quote and I know it to be true.

When the dragon stands before you with glowing eyes, yellow teeth and saliva drooling from it’s mouth, sometimes the only option is to face the beast and take small steps forward with a look of confidence on your face even if you don’t feel it inside. And as you move towards it, there’s a point of no return where to keep walking is the only option (because the time to run away has passed) and as you do the dragon gets bigger until suddenly it begins to fade before you until all that remains is the illusion of its presence. It’s as if it appeared real and three dimensional, but was in fact a two dimensional hologram – and you overcame it because you had the courage and faith and belief to walk toward it. To move beyond fear.

Wishing you the courage you need today.

 

Thought for the day: 31 December 2017

I’ve been having a bit of a tidy – going through all my clothes and removing those that no longer create a spark of joy, and either throwing them away or putting in a bag for a local charity shop. It seems an appropriate time of year to be looking at what I own and weighing up – has this achieved it’s purpose? does it still create a spark of joy? Having almost finished going through my clothing, I’m planning to go through my make up and skincare, my books, CD’s and DVD’s. It seems like a good time to re-evaluate what I’m holding onto and why.

My aim for 2017 was embrace self love and self care – and I feel good about my achievements on that front. I think I have a greater sense of self acceptance and have learnt/am learning about forgiving myself and letting go of stuff I can’t change.

So I close-my-eyes-

This quote describes my current space: an acknowledgement and acceptance of what I’m leaving behind in 2017; gratitude for the learnings along the way, gratitude for life’s gifts and an awareness of all I have to be thankful for. Along with anticipation for what 2018 has in store (regardless of the outcome); possibilities, opportunities; I have a sense of taking positive steps forward to proactively greet what’s waiting ahead.

Goodbye 2017. Thanks for what I’ve learnt.

Hello 2018 – bring it on!

Thought for the day: 30 December 2017

Happy almost-the-end-of-2017!
Just prior to Christmas I shared about how I was struggling. I was feeling a little depressed – not really scary bad, just a bit down: weepy, fragile, vulnerable. We went to visit my husband’s family for several days and just before, and since, I’ve been working on a collage. It’s not exactly what I’m after, and the photo doesn’t represent it well, but this is what I’ve been working on.

img a3 (2)

I love the theme of gratitude and always being grateful, and I also like that I got to experiment with some techniques I haven’t used before (-attempting to make what is new look old and faded, and trying to make the paint look ‘distressed’)

My thought for today is a hope, a desire and an aim: to be always grateful.

Thought for the day: 23 December 2017

There-are-hidden-blessings

This describes where I’m at today. I’m struggling just to keep it together. I’m struggling period – to be honest. I struggle with this time of year – with my own thoughts and feelings and expectations and disappointments. I struggle with guilt – there are so many things one can feel guilty for – and I do.

I feel vulnerable, fragile, weepy, confused, guilty, ashamed, sad, and the list goes on.

But I know that in every situation, there are things to be grateful for.
And I am.
My husband is a blessing, a friend, a rock. My dog is a constant companion. I have time to paint if I choose to; I have time to read or sleep or walk…

I choose courage. I choose to fight to keep going. I’m choosing to fight to stay on top. I’m choosing to feel the feelings, to let myself cry or not cry, to just take time to be. I’m choosing to approach this with honesty – these are my issues, this is my stuff. And while it is what it is – I can choose to accept the feelings that come along or I can determine to fight, to see this through, to be honest and authentic and real about where I’m at and how I’m feeling.

And maybe that’s enough for now.

Home made Labels

I made a choice
At different times I chose two labels,
I grew into those labels
I made them mine
Both of them had happy memories attached.                                                                     Because of them I learnt; I grew; I became more than I had been.

I chose other labels
Never knowing if they’d stick
Some are transient, occasional
They bring joy for a time
And I am grateful for both the learnings and the memories, experiences and the potential they allude to

Some of my labels don’t bring me joy
And I’m left wondering how accurate they are
And if I should have accepted them
Some are public and some unseen
I have labels even I don’t recognise
Because they exist only in my psyche
At depths I fear to go

Regardless of the reason
Or the truth behind the label,
whether it’s removed by my hand
Or that of someone else
Like a band-aid
It hurts when it is ripped off

I care

These past couple of weeks I’ve been working through some stuff. I discovered that a friend had died last year; then I discovered that he’d committed suicide; then my husband’s brother’s best friend died last weekend (had a heart condition and didn’t wake up); was talking to a friend at work and she was telling me about 2 friends of hers, brothers of 17 and 19 that were in hospital after a car accident (they’d hit a tree) so I thought speed was involved and wondered if alcohol and/or drugs had also had an impact – well speed was certainly a factor it turned out. She told me this on Tuesday morning – both brothers in critical condition with the elder brother (the driver) not expected to live. That night he died – she came to work the next day and was a mess. She’s only 19 herself and I guess this is the first friend of her age who’s died. She went home and cried for several days. On Thursday evening I caught up with an old friend, we’d been drinking buddies from way back, and he shared with me about how tough this year has been for him. He lives on his own in a neighbourhood where I also lived alone (before I met my husband) and we are pretty honest with each other. He was telling me about how depressed he’s been this year, about a boss who bullied him, about drinking most nights, not looking after himself, not taking his drugs, not doing any housework…

And I’ve been thinking  – Graham died and I didn’t know. Phil is depressed and I DO know. I could help – or at least provide a helping hand. And if that means he has less reason or inclination to commit suicide, then it’s worth the effort.

For the past 4 – 5 months my house has not been really clean. I started the gardening business and was too tired to clean after I’d gardened (or – I didn’t care enough to do housework when I got home after gardening) – so my husband did the washing and tidied the kitchen most days. I haven’t done much in the way of housework for months.

Mid June my doctor said said he thought I might have had a TIA (mini-stroke) and initiated some tests at our local hospital and advised me I wasn’t to drive for the next 30 days. Thus postponing may gardening (that I drove to) and imposing a 4 week rest period. All in all not a bad thing as I had already decided I had been working too hard. I took a break from gardening – which was good for my body. Being a girl who likes to achieve things, I started making cot quilts instead (which I do during the winter sometimes) and managed to make about 6 cot quilts that I am planning to give away to needy families (through Women’s Refuge or church groups or similar – as long as they are not sold, and end up with families in need).

Now here I am, feeling like I really should return to gardening – and thinking about the deaths of people I know, thinking about suicide and my own encounters in the past – and not wanting anyone I know to have to experience the same despair and horrible  desperation that I’ve felt in the past…

This morning I started cleaning my home – just a few rooms – the bathroom, toilet and my bedroom – a mini-spring clean. It was a start. It was an effort that I hadn’t made for a long time but it was enough. A step in the right direction.

And I’ve been thinking about my friend Phil’s house – about offering to help him make things clean and tidy again. I know what it’s like to live on your own, to feel depressed, to feel like you don’t really matter in many people’s lives, to use alcohol as a way of numbing the pain… and I want to help him because it’s a little something that I can do for someone that’s not me. It’s a way to provide support and encouragement to someone else, a way of giving to another, of supporting another, of being their for someone else.

And (as I stated earlier) if this means Phil has less inclination to end his life, or has more motivation to … do anything (cook, clean, garden – anything) then maybe that’s worth it.

I want to believe I had an opportunity and I took it – for all the right reasons – regardless of the outcome. I tried. I cared. I did something….

Then maybe that’s enough.

I’m not responsible for Phil’s decisions, his choices, his outlook – but if I can be a friend in the best way I know how, then maybe that’s enough.

And if it’s not enough, then I will know that I tried.  I did something.  I tried to make his life just that little bit easier when he was depressed and not motivated because I’ve known that depression and lack of motivation.

I want to know that I tried. If nothing else, I tried. I tried to be the friend that he needed me to be; the friend that listened and didn’t judge; the friend that was there and tried to make life just a little easier. The friend that cared enough to do something… because if nothing else, she cared.

 

 

When I’m depressed…

 

Time is so obtuse

Isolation is my ally, it understands me

Regret is like flogging a dead horse

Shame drains me of all colour

Sorrow is my benefactor

Depression my ever present shadow

 

While hope is like the sunrise

Doubt like clouds

Insecurity like standing in the rain

Despair like a torrent

Desolation a hurricane

 

While hope is like the sunshine

It warms, dries, lights the way

It encourages growth

 

A friend is an umbrella in the rain

Companionship a raincoat

Laughter a holiday from cold and damp (even if only for a moment)

The possibility of another place and time

 

And hope is like the sunshine

Take a photograph so as not to forget.

 

HOLD  ON  TO  HOPE

For Graham

I’m sorry.

I didn’t know you well.

But maybe next time I will make that effort.

Except I didn’t know.

I’m not good at people stuff, or rather I’m not always sure where to draw the line and then I realise I’ve let the colours become blurred and I don’t know how to get them back.

I didn’t know that we shared the same disease; the same dis-ease;  the same sorrow; the same anguish; the same anything.

I keep thinking about you and wishing I’d reached out

Before you were more than a memory