Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Being broken – doesn’t have to mean the end of your life.

May 6, 2019

Life has a tendency to test us. To throw things at us that we have worked tirelessly to avoid. To build a life for ourselves that are full of meaning and happiness. Nothing quite however, will prepare for those things to complete break us.

I have been broken, very recently. Nothing prepared me for it it just happened. It was 98% contributed by someone who I never thought was capable of breaking someone.

This person made me question everything about myself, I had been convinced by this person that I am not nice, I’m not capable of love, nobody likes me and I’m a nightmare to deal with. It was all so conflicting and confusing. I lost my identity, I didn’t know who I was and was failing at every aspect of my life and at times I wasn’t even sure of of own name. I stopped, my whole life, just stopped everything in it paused. My confidence didn’t exist and at times I was fearful to leave my house, every day I questioned will I survive this or ever find a place of happiness and safety.

How could I let this happen.

The trouble is, when you’re broken you have nothing in you to fight, it can be suffocating. I wasn’t strong enough to fight this nor did I know how. It consumed me, it consumed my life.

What now.

After going through this, I’ve looked at my relationships with people differently. 18 months later I am, now ready to embrace who I am now, I’ve found things I enjoy and started to build up my confidence. Whilst my trust for people will be something I’ll always question now, I have a small group of people that are behind me and respect this. I am doing things I didn’t even do before I was broken.

I came across something the other day “I want to see what happens if I don’t give up”.

That’s what I’m trying to do. Found some self belief and made a load of new friends who remind me that I am nice, I am funny, I am capable of love, I’m not difficult to deal with. I guess deep inside I always knew that. But couldn’t find the courage to believe it.

By no means am I 100% there, it’s wrong to expect that I ever will be but this time last year I was about 5% and now I’m comfortable hovering around 75%.

For anyone who’s going through something similar, I can honestly say it’s not an easy ride. You will reach limits however, it’s about recognising those limits so you can build yourself up again. It’s ok too to ask people to help you to get there. Those people that do are very special people. They won’t fix you, but they will hold your hand so you can fix yourself.

Sleep Hygiene – Just as Important as a Good Diet

April 29, 2019

For the last 6 months. I have really had difficulties with sleep. Be it not being able to sleep, not staying asleep, having nightmares, getting up multiple times for a wee. I have written a list of the things that have and are helping me.

1. Have a warm shower before bed and get some shower gel that has a nice sent. I’m using L’Oréal men’s invincible sport it’s the yellow bottle. It’s got some relaxing scents that I enjoy.

2. Move that phone and charger away from the side of your bed.

3. Amazon echo – this has been a life saver to me and my insomniac moments. I usually listen to sleep sounds and my favourite is city noise and distant thunderstorm.

4. Something I treated myself to a while back, Phillips hue light strip. This does all sorts of colours and is behind my bed. The warm tones do help relax me. And you can also set them for a sunrise or sunset which makes mornings in the winter much easier to bare.

5. Warm drink – I don’t always practice this, but I have found some calming teas with 0 caffeine in. Clipper snore and peace is one of my favourites.

6. A diffuser, you can pop whatever smell you like in these. You can pick up a fairly cheap and decent one on amazon. My sent at the moment is oud it’s very woody and I put this on an hour before I’m getting into bed so my pillows smells beaut.

7. For those moments you can’t get to sleep. After 20 mins get up and sit in the living room. Get that book out, nothing to heavy, a magazine is good too. Then when you feel tired again get back into bed. Don’t make your bedroom a negative place where you can never get to sleep.

8. Last but no means least, it’s ok not to sleep. Sometimes our bodies don’t need much. I agree with the 8 hour rule but sometimes I know I don’t need 8 hours. Everyone is an individual and so is their sleep requirements.

Good luck with your new sleep hygiene.

Finding the Click

April 21, 2019

It’s no secret that my heart got well and truly broken. September 2017, 2017 was a perfectly matched a worse year of my life. 2018 was no better. Now we’re in 2019.

I was madly in love with this girl, for 7 years she was a massive part of my life. Then out of nowhere she was gone. I do not believe I’m not totally innocent in what ended our relationship but it did come out of the blue. One min we were watching dolphins in Madeira with a ring in my pocket waiting for that perfect moment that didn’t arrive, then 2 weeks she left my life like the bin man collecting my weekly rubbish.

I never prepared myself for how hard it would be, how much it unbalanced me physically and mentally. I haven’t made peace with any of it and I still am angry with myself and regret a lot of moments. It’s been very hard, very emotionally draining. Last week and the weekend she was getting married to this guy she met whilst she was still with me. (Confusing right). I tried to be the bigger person wishing her the best for the wedding, did I mean what I said, I don’t know. Did it come from a good place, of course. Did it hurt like hell when I said it, absolutely. It’s hard to watch someone who was once your world choose an alternative path.

Finding the click

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in relationships before I met this once incredible whirlwind. But I remember there was a moment, that I woke up one day and realised I wanted to build a new life for myself and I was now living a life like an international woman of mystery. Something that made me think I was totally in control of my own destiny. I no longer needed that person in my life and I was able to just get on the way I used to. I was happy in the end.

Where I am now, this wedding and a conversation we had a couple weeks ago has resurfaced all these feelings. I did have a moment of realisation though that it wasn’t about me wanting my old life back. It’s more wanting to find peace and not be angry with the situation. It comes in waves. Sometimes it’s an intense feeling of missing the woman I loved and the other side of absolutely disgust of this person. This person triggers all the bad feelings in my mind and also represents everything I dislike about myself.

I am in charge of my own destiny, I need to stick this car crash into a box and forget the combination to the lock. I’ve just been talking to a friend of mine about the click. He knows what I mean and I’m certain he won’t mind me mentioning it.

Where is the click? I’ve searched high and low but I am determined to find it. There will be a moment and I’ll look back and realise I’ve wasted 18 months of my life on something that really wasn’t worth it.

If anyone has any tips on where in my flat the click is or how to get to it quickly. Shout me up.

How my mental illness has ruined my life

March 30, 2019

It’s 12.11am as I write this. For those that don’t know I suffer with depression and anxiety. For the best part of a year this has very much taken over my life and I am not entirely sure how I ended up here.

Last Saturday, I needed to go to the shop to buy some butter for my hot cross buns. Surprisingly I managed to shower, clean my teeth but I wasn’t able to do my hair. I put my hat on. My hat is something I use as protection, sounds silly but it is very effective. I wear a hat to sleep every night, even in the summer!

I put my shoes and coat on and got to the hallway, stood on the mat by the door and hung around there for almost an hour. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t leave my house. I couldn’t do a simple task and walk to the shop like I have over 100 times before. I couldn’t face it, I wasn’t upset, I just felt lost, I had no courage to pull down the handle on the door. I sat on the floor behind my door, put my calming playlist on and shut my eyes.

I ate dry hot cross buns.

My sleep is becoming problematic, I’m having nightmares about a traumatic experience I went though recently. These are becoming worse and it’s making the next day exhausting. It’s even having an impact on my energy levels mid week.

Unfortunately I don’t have a choice about what my brain thinks. It’s hard for me to slow down every thought in there. And there are moments of absolute disparity and desperation for it to just go away.

I haven’t once thought I appreciate this experience, it’s teaching me a lot. A lot about relationships with people, a lot about relationships with myself.

I feel like I am a bad person but……

I want it all to go away. It’s ruined my life.

What choice do I have.

None

Vulnerability

March 11, 2019

My last blog post definitely aired on the side of caution, it was close to the line and definitely exposed my vulnerability.

To me vulnerability has two sides of a coin.

Heads – an act of courage to expose my authenticity.

Tails– putting up barriers to avoid getting hurt

Let’s break this down

Heads

Embracing your vulnerability is an act of strength, human beings can’t always run at maximum capacity hiding behind a facade. It would be awful to be around people that do. I’m not saying that there are nobody in the world that don’t do this but I think it’s unrealistic to expect that people can. I’m a heart on the sleeve type of person and I’m not afraid to show and share my vulnerabilities and pain points. I want to help people with what I’m going through and I have a gift for doing that.

You need to be aware of the points of your vulnerability, and try and heel it, it’s like ripping a plaster from a wound. You’re exposing it to the air which means it can breathe, which heels up quicker. Ripping a plaster off is like forgiving the reason/cause of your vulnerability.

I think for me, right now I’m peeling the edges around the plaster and it would be incorrect for me to tell you otherwise.

Neuropsychologist Mario Martinez writes in his book: The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success, The wound you choose in order to interpret your pain becomes a shield of protection against forgiving, because releasing your grudge means being vulnerable again.”

Tails

Putting up barriers to avoid getting hurt. This is something I’m getting better at as I’ve got older. I didn’t used to let anyone in and be so trusting in others. That meant that people didn’t really want to speak to me because I put up that wall. There’s something quite beautiful in being able to be open with people, I think people understand what I’m about now where as a few years ago they didn’t. I guess going through a very troubling life event was the cure of the barrier, which is ironic really when if you’ve been hurt mentally or physically you’d think my barrier would of gone up. It didn’t. I have some kind people that make it safe for me to expose my vulnerability. It’s almost celebrated.

How to fix it

I don’t think you can fully fix or cure vulnerability, but you can very much embrace it.

My advice….

1. Make your heart as big as possible so that nobody can completely take it. Small things will happen but it’s a tiny segment of the whole heart.

2. Take small risks of being open, I promise not everyone or everything will hurt you. Your relationships with people will improve significantly if you expose yourself.

3. Some self evaluation and examine your vulnerabilities, everyone’s will be different.

4. Trust your heart not your head, the mind plays lots of tricks on us.

I’ve never considered the true meaning of being vulnerable until I experienced it myself and watching someone very close to my heart expose their vulnerability. I also never once considered that we are all vulnerable in different respects and there’s nothing wrong being vulnerable. It actually shows incredible strength.

Good luck

Loneliness

March 2, 2019

I used to consider loneliness as something older people went through. I never once thought of it in different ways until I experienced this feeling myself.

For the last 18 months I’ve experienced loneliness in the most extreme of ways. To me loneliness has the overwhelming feeling of isolation, confusion and uncertainty.

Why is it overwhelming

I am of the personality where I crave social interaction. I am experiencing little of it at work, then I come home and there’s zero social interaction at all. It’s relentless to me and makes me seriously question my purpose in life.

When I leave work I get this sick feeling and

I walk home from work and I get to the bottom of my road and I stand there, I cry, because I just don’t want to come home. I don’t want to be alone. Just watching cars zoom past me always has me wondering everyone but me has somewhere to be. I used to always have somewhere to be.

A lot of people say to me you’re not alone, you’ve got lots of friends. I think they don’t understand how I feel when I leave the office, yes I have lots of acquaintances but it’s a business transaction. I doubt these people give me a second thought.

Since moving to another floor at work. I’ve felt more out of sight out of mind than ever before. I feel incredibly isolated. I used to work on this floor a few years ago and with the added reminder of who I used to be. Happy, confident, bold and unapologetic. Loneliness becomes confusing.

What about uncertainty

This is delicate. For 18 months I’ve felt this way, and it seems to have got worse not better. Trying to explain to someone how this feels when they don’t have this feeling is hard. I’m at a stage now when someone asks me if I’m ok, I polite respond I’m ok thank you. I am at the point where I have nothing else to say. I’m not sure I can continue on this path. I am just going to have to accept that this is my life now.

I’m 35 years old and I’d probably say that there are 2 people I’d say are actually my friend. It’s hard and it’s unpleasant and I crave someone, anyone to say what you doing I’m picking you up we’re going out. I reach out to lots of people, I very rarely get a response.

The dreaded Friday question, what plans do you have this weekend and the Monday did you have a nice weekend. Those questions upset me, because I desperately wish I had something to share.

Loneliness has affected me mentally so much so. I’ve lost my identity. I don’t know who I am anymore and I also don’t know how to fix it.

It’s relentless.

Knowing the Right Thing to Do

February 9, 2019

I get overwhelmed almost every hour of every day about knowing what the right thing to do is.

I’ve started a new job recently that I have no experience of, and am walking around like bird box so My anxiety around this has recently resurfaced and is overwhelming at the best of times. I would now like to nip it in the bud before it becomes out of control.

Most of the time I do know what is the right thing to do.

But the complexity around the decision, putting it into practice, past experiences and feelings can put me off and I put myself under so much pressure to chose the right thing and end up shafting myself instead.

Sometimes if it’s a decision I don’t want to make I’ll ask a friend that renowned for talking me out of deciding. Subconsciously thinking I can blame them if it goes wrong and that makes me feel like a bad person.

But there are magical moments when I can talk it though with someone else and then I can see the light. This friend always says to me, you know what the right thing to do was, you just needed to talk it through.

The later friend clearly is a master at asking specific questions to make me evaluate and identify all the options available and what the consequences are of those decisions.

My advice around doing the right thing:

1. Don’t ask someone to make a decision for you – it’s your life not theirs.

2. Don’t approach people with a decision if you know they have and urge to talk you out of it. It’s wrong for someone to be able to say what’s best for you when they are not you.

3. Find someone you trust, to talk it through.

4. If it’s an on the spot decision and you don’t want to commit to potentially doing the wrong thing. It’s ok to say, can I think about that and get back to you later.

Sometimes decisions you make you naturally fear you may make wrong ones but it’s the wrong ones we learn more from. Sometimes knowing the right thing to do has made me look like an arsehole, but most of the time the hero.

I know I’m not a stranger with this topic. I work with lots of different people and 95% are in the same boat as me. Someone even said to me yesterday they didn’t know the right thing to do about something. The fact that they talked it though with me means I’m not a talker outer.

Sometimes it’s better to lose and do the right thing than it is to win and do the wrong thing.

Facing fears not conquering them

January 31, 2019

After writing my post about courage and receiving some feedback from various people. It occurred to me that I needed to expand on this subject to specific sections.

Fears; it isn’t about conquering them it’s about facing them.

It’s very easy, and something I do well is hiding and avoiding my fears. But it’s when I broke it down did something really incredible happened. I followed some steps and asked myself some questions.

1. Is this fear worth facing?

Being fearful of spiders only occurs to me when there’s one in my house. It happens once maybe twice a year at best. So probably not worth facing at all.

Have a conversation with yourself, is this fear stopping you from fulfilling your life, is it stopping you from doing something, is it something I really need to confront.

Making a list will help establish which is worth it and which isn’t.

2. Risk analysis

Don’t worry I’m not about to go all auditor on you. What is the risk of facing my fear. Is there statistical evidence to back up the risk level. Is the risk that you might look daft or have an impact on your personal brand.

3. Create a plan

Once you have established that the fear is worth facing and you’ve assessed the risk. Now comes the time to plan how you will face your fear. This is where practice comes in. I’ve been taught a lot recently that you only become good at something when you practice. For example, I only managed to deadlift 60kg because I practiced lower weights first.

4. Get some help

When I faced one of my personal fears I sought advise from many people in my circle. People whom I trust to give me their honest opinion. A very nice lady at my work suggested some breathing techniques that worked a treat.

There are also professional people that can help you with specialist fears of you do a google search.

What was my fear

Full disclosure: A few years ago I was the type of person that could stand in front of a lot of people and deliver important messages. I did this without any fear. Until that changed for me.

As you know from my other posts my confidence hit an all time low, anxiety crept in and I no longer was able to deliver anything to small group of people let alone a large group.

I have to deliver presentations, gain buy in from my audience and that’s more important now than ever before.

I have followed the steps and it’s a much improved and enjoyable experience it’s actually quite incredible because I took action before it became a real problem that may of affected my future.

What other fears

That’s a work related fear, but I have taken the same approach to other things in my life.

Becoming fitter and stronger with zero confidence.

Facing the fear of rejection for not being enough – this is something I haven’t fully faced but I have been working very hard to face it. Almost throwing myself into situations and building relationships and taking those risks.

What next

Everyday you have an opportunity to develop yourself personally. Keep yourself on your toes. Trust yourself to take a risk. I have in so many ways. You only learn by taking risks, not all of them work out, but mostly they do. Be brave and be bold.

Dream, believe achieve enjoy the ride. You might just like it.

Goal Setting for Success

January 4, 2019

Goal setting is a process for planning ahead and and thinking about what you believe personal success looks like. Setting personal goals big or small help you focus on what’s important to you.

Learning how to set goals and achieve them mean you are in control and you decide what success looks like.

It’s the beginning of the year and people always talk about New Years resolutions. It’s important to remember that whilst making those very few people actually follow them through.

This is the first time I’ve really considered goals for myself long term ones. I initially considered this year I want to but stopped myself in my tracks. There was no way I’d set goals for this year and follow them through. I know that because I know me so well and I know I lose focus very quickly setting a year worth of goals was counterproductive.

Goal Setting

When setting my goals I considered the following

⁃ What is important to me

⁃ What I want to achieve

⁃ What I want from my life

Clear and specific goals

It’s important to set achievable and very realistic goals. There’s no point setting something that means you won’t achieve (lottery win is not a goal).

Break it down

Pick aspects of your world that your goals will be set against. This will be more manageable and allow you to work on goals at specified times perhaps.

Get support

Setting goals and achieving them isn’t always easy and you may need help achieving them. It doesn’t mean you didn’t achieve them. Think about who in your network would be able to help. This is key to your success.

Share your goals with your network

Sharing your goals with others provides a level of validity. It also gives you a level of commitment that ensures you achieve them.

Stay positive

Hmmmmm one I’m trying bloody hard to manage but it isn’t always easy to believe in yourself. My best advice here, when you feel yourself slipping, stop, take a break and reevaluate. (My blog post: If at first you don’t succeed will help)

Track your success and progress

Journal time, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A square lined page notebook at 2 quid from Amazon is perfect.

Reward yourself

It’s is absolutely essential to reward yourself after achieving goals, it doesn’t have to be something huge. A little something that reminds yourself you got that because you were successful at meeting some or all of your goals.

What did I do……

I worked out how I was going to set these out I categorised 3 things that were important to me personally: Life, Gym, Work. These were written up in my note book and on the next page I wrote out how I was going to keep track of my goals to ensure I have achieved them.

I decided that monthly goals were for me. I sent them to my PT for validity. I love that I can do this with my PT, after all he will be instrumental for my Gym subject.

If anyone wants any tips on setting goals or want to talk anything through please do get in touch.

Here’s my goals for January and you’ll see I’ve already set myself up to achieve some of them.

Courage

December 19, 2018

Courage

Definition: The ability to do something that frightens ones bravery.

Strength in the face of pain or grief.

I have been doing some research and came across attributes of a courageous person. I bet you can associate yourself with at least 1.

1. Feeling fear yet choosing to act

2. Following your heart

3. Perseverance in the face of adversity

4. Standing up for what is right

5. Expanding your horizons and leaving your comfort zone.

6. Face suffering with dignity and faith

When a 5 different very close friends told me this week I had courage and in the past they have told me too. I don’t think I truly understood the meaning of the word. To me the word courage should be associated with Rosa Parks who refused to sit at the back, Ant Middleton who scaled Mount Everest and nearly died trying, Nelson Mandela who chose to speak out about injustice at fear of his life.

But it accidentally occurred to me yesterday that I face a lot of bravery every single day and so do a number of people in my life. Even though we’re not facing physical challenges like climbing a mountain we are facing mental ones and require stamina and innovation.

You need to acknowledge your bravery no matter what the situation may be, going to work, going to school, going to the gym or going shopping. What I have learnt this week more than ever is that this bravery fuels you with empowerment, which also fuels your self confidence. Which then makes you do things out of your comfort zone.

Just take a moment to think about when you didn’t want to do something…….

For me a while ago I didn’t want to go to a meeting in another city, it was out of my comfort zone, I didn’t have any time to prepare I was trying to find excuses for not going, I don’t feel well, I could miss my train etc. But when I got there it wasn’t as bad as I thought, I felt empowered, I felt confident and I felt like the cocky, and loveable side of me shone through. Which then in turn convinced my colleagues that I was the expert in my field.

Summary

We demonstrate more courage when we are fearful but when we proceed anyway despite our fear. That my friends demonstrates the most courage of all.

I’m dedicating this blog to each one of you I’ve spoken to this week. Friends, cousin, my PT, and a complete stranger who reached out via social media. You all know who you are. Thank you 🙏🏼