Controlling Out Of Control…


dealing-with-controlling-bossI’ve had the flu the last few weeks and it’s contributed to my mood being low, because I can’t shake this malaise it appears intrusive thoughts are becoming more present.

Sometimes I feel that I’m never going to get complete control of my life again, it’s like trying to close an over full case no matter how hard you push down something finds a way to escape.

With mindfulness and meditation, its bloody difficult to stay in the moment when other thoughts wish to make their presence felt, of course I have to oblige and think about them to the Nth degree, which for me is disastrous.

Whilst in therapy other ugly behaviours came to the surface, such as hoarding which is a recognised condition, though new to me, I thought I just didn’t care, and didn’t even realise that I was living(before homelessness) in a hovel, however without the complete degredation of rotting food/rubbish etc.

I’ve never been one to harbour a little army under the sink, I was clean but messy, so when I realised a long time afterwards that in fact I was hoarding it came as a bit of a shock, I didn’t remember until I moved here, where I am now a slave to the army under the sink(cleaning materials), now I clean too much obsessively in fact frankly I don’t know how to stop, why does everything with me have to go from one extreme to the other.

The hoarding thing is scary, literally from not washing the dishes one night to almost drowning in stuff, for me it was books, piled high on every surface, it had got to the point where I didn’t sleep in my bedroom, as it was full of clothes and books, I settled on the one spot on the sofa and just pulled up the blanket when I wanted to go to bed.

All those books I read over and over, at night when sleep was a rarity I watched DVD’s until th early hours, then switched back to books, dark days indeed, what I want to say is that I feel that out of control behaviour starting to grip me again only this time it’s the opposite, the only course of action is to keep practising, keep trying to develop new behaviours and habits and believing it will work.

With the new man, it all seems to be going reasonably well although last week I did display some erratic mood swings, but managed to rein myself in, we’ve yet to talk about it, though deep down I feel as though I’m trying to sabotage this new friendship, it’s like he’s starting to get close which on the one hand I enjoy but on the other hand the fear of not being worthy of someone elses affection scares me, again that not connecting thing is making me build a wall inside myself.

I am seeing the man on Saturday, were staying and I’m cooking, which seems to suit us, hopefully my mood with lift a little so I can enjoy the evening.

Cay xx

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Joining The Dots…


spider-19263_640It’s been awhile I know it’s a bit of a cliché whilst blogging was/is my lifeline, I don’t seem to be keeping up very well.

It’s not like I don’t have anything to say, though I feel with all this stuff just buzzing around sometimes it’s best just to let it fizzle out naturally and just accept that not all my thoughts are productive and need to be verbalised on this platform, I’m still not entirely sure that I’m either getting better or suppressing things to later torture myself with.

Having finished therapy in December I’m still feeling a little bit abandoned and trying to implement the changes required.

I’m supposed to be meditating twice a day, which I’m not managing to do, usually in the mornings I can put aside 20-30 minutes, I do find it beneficial when I complete the exercises in mindfulness, however I still cannot connect fully with the whole process, my therapist said it would take a while as it has to become a habit going forward, I think perhaps I’ve not let got of other habits/rituals for me to fully benefit from it.

As with any support group there will be those that fade away, as they feel that your more stable, which is not always the case, I do with some friends feel a huge guilt that they’ve been there for me, which has taken time away from their own lives, I’m assured that is not the case, the feeling does linger though, again it could be another lesson learned that’s it’s ok to accept help and it doesn’t have to be repaid like a debt.

As February is here, thinking back to last year I was recovering from surgery and life was far from settled, homeless and recovering not the best combination, however from that point life has improved beyond recognition, building a new life is overwhelming and humbling at the same time, and making those connections with ebb and flow of everyday life was something that was denied to me for so long in this area I have much to rejoice.

The human spirit is not something to be taken lightly, mine was all but broken though still fragile, it has kept me going, it has allowed me to believe I’m not worthless, even when the dark days still beckon I know the light is there at the end of the tunnel, the trick is not to lose hope in finding it.

I last wrote about a man who I’d met, he was coming to dinner, well that went very well and there have been several dinners since!!

We are still getting to know each other slowly which suits me just fine, however to get it out-of-the-way I did explain that I am a depressive, I have to admit I was waiting for the fast exit, it didn’t happen! and we talked for a long while about the whole subject of mental health, he certainly learned something new, his interest on the subject is genuine, even better it’s not something that colours our sapling relationship.

It’s good to know there are people out there who are willing to listen and learn and not apply the stigma, he doesn’t know about the homelessness yet, that will take a while before I can really discuss that, however he has had his own issues over the last few years, so were both being a little tentative, so who knows where that will lead.

Much love always

Cay xx

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I Really Want To Get To Know You…


15094402_712074348946567_5769121016737513964_nA couple of things have happened recently, in the spirit of learning to connect I was told that someone was interested in me romantically, I sound like a bit of a maiden aunt, but at 52 I’m past the teenage vernacular that a guy “fancies me”(UK term).

Anyway I’ve known this guy for a few months, he’s a DJ well that’s his night job, he does have a grown up day job, I hadn’t had much conversation with him, mainly just pleasantries, so was very surprised to find out he was interested.

Now given my personal demons I’ve eschewed personal relationships preferring to keep a safe emotional distance my logic being if I don’t like myself who would, a bit pathetic, however I’ve been trying to like me, and find those qualities that might make me attractive to someone else.

You see how I’m not getting to the point, (avoidance is a hard habit to break) Ok to get to the point, we’ve had several phone conversations over the last month or so, culminating in a date last week!!!

I woke up that day feeling the anxiety bubbling up to a tidal wave of terror, also how could I get out of this…I didn’t dare eat, in the middle of this he called to say he was looking forward to the date, I just wanted to crawl away and hide.

I managed to pull myself together enough to try to decide on an outfit, and of course after pulling out every item of clothing, it wasn’t good enough or I didn’t have the right accessories to add I’m going through menopause and talk about hot flushes/flashes wearing a towel at one point seemed preferable, and hoping we were sitting by the door so I could benefit from the cold air coming in, either that or ask if they had room in the fridge.

I managed to leave on time knees knocking anxiety at an all time high, he was late, which is one of my biggest pet peeves anxiety now in total overdrive, trying to take in big gulps of calming air which almost induced a panic attack the phone rang, he’s arrived.

A tentative hello and we walked to the restaurant in silence, me seemingly lost the power of speech, we sat down he looked over and smiled and confessed he was really nervous, this seemed to calm me down, and we ordered and started talking.

We talked about anything and everything, though a couple of glasses of wine helped me to unwind, however he was easy to talk to, we have a lot in common, we were the last to leave and made our way slowly back to his car, we both agreed we had a lovely time, and we would like to meet again.

The next day we chatted a little about the night before, I did feel all warm and fuzzy then he said “he really wanted to get to know me” well that was like a punch to the stomach, he wasn’t to know, however the intrusive thoughts came crowding in:

  • What does he want to know
  • what should I tell him
  • what do I say
  • why would he want to get to know me
  • if he does get to know me, would he like that person
  • I don’t like that person
  • would he notice behind the facade, there is nothing there
  • was I going to have to put my mask on to appear normal.

I obsessed over these questions and more for about 2 days, finally I was able to get a grip on my runaway thoughts, this is where mindfulness helped to calm me, just remembering to be in the present, try not to predict future outcomes, let myself connect and enjoy, the more I practise the easier it will become and will form part of my new behaviours to better mental health.

He’s coming around for dinner tomorrow, wish me luck!

Cay x

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Replacing Emptiness…


stock-photo-42839892The last four years have been hellish to say the least, though I am on the other side, still broken, possibly but here I suppose that could be called strength!

This year I started a new journey the 6th of January to be exact when I made the last ditched effort to get help, not only for homelessness, also in dealing with my mental health.

I’m no longer homeless and it feel good to be sitting here writing this post at home, a scenario I thought was lost to me for ever, the transition has been difficult, trying to adjust to not being invisible and living on the edges of society in fear of completely slipping through the cracks.

Dealing with mental health as many of you know is a double-edged sword, with myself I felt trapped by depression and anxiety often to the point where I didn’t know what was real or who I was, the world tilted on its axis many years ago and I’ve been running uphill ever since.

Working with a high intensity therapist has given me some new perspectives on my life, the main one being that my life wasn’t as authentic as I thought, somehow I created a whole persona in my quest to avoid what my life should be and not what it actually was.

Imagine spending the better part of your life doing just about anything, from being a people pleaser, to working the most ridiculous hours to fill up time, believing that I was being productive, to being everybody’s emotional sponge, never once thinking about how soaking up other people’s problems could have an adverse effect on me.

I worked hard played even harder, never nurtured myself I forgot about me, and all those strategies I used to cope began to not serve me very well, to tell the truth they turned on me, breaking me down bit by bit until I had to contend with the grief of my mother dying, which finally broke that particular dam.

So it continued for the next 10 years, the harder I tried the worse it got, if there was contest for who could be themselves up the most I was the number 1 contender, and you know what? it was easy to do, as everything in the whole wide world my fault, how mad is that!!!

So back to therapy I have to say it did open my mind up to the fact that I can live my life another way without constant recrimination, not carry the past on my back, not running so hard that every time I turned a corner I hit a wall, learning not to letting obsessive intrusive thoughts govern my actions which led me to believe I wasn’t trying hard enough, the list is endless.

I sit here with 6 months of intensive CBT therapy under my belt and for the first time in years I feel calmer and a little more in control of myself, even though CBT has finished and I did have a little separation anxiety, it hasn’t been too bad, actually all of my official support has ended, though my key worker for the mental health side is going to meet with me for the last time in the new year.

Now I’m left with the tools they have given me to practise, and create new habits for coping, and trying to stabilise my behaviours that can lead me back to that dark place, even though I still feel empty and have trouble connecting with my emotions.

Now I have to fill that jar with new activities or as my key worker say filling up my life with good things, basically take care of me, to give me a new foundation, I’ve no idea how it’s going to go, though I do know if I don’t get to grips in being kind to myself and allowing myself to really connect as opposed to being a watcher of events in my life the slippery slope will once again beckon.

Here I go introducing myself to me,and hoping the new year brings me peace continued strength and of course hope.

Happy New Year to my followers let us all look to the future and fill ourselves up with good things. xxx111534528242038009_57eoaqdk_cCay x

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