Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been filling in some forms which have included the date. When writing the date it will often be supported by me saying ‘how on earth is it May already?’. This year seems to have gone incredibly quickly but I imagine that might just be my perspective.
Time is a very strange thing, it helps us to keep track of where we are, but also can appear to move very quickly but also can seem to go incredibly slowly. I’m not going to try and explain this phenomenon because I can’t – I would be interested to see if anyone can!
What I think is important is to keep track of time and to make the most of the time that we have.
We are in Mental Health awareness week. What do we mean? I’m not sure we can really come up with a definition; it’s going to be different for different people. However, I do think something a lot of us are guilty of is giving advice to others about their own mental health whilst not necessarily thinking about their own. I know this is definitely something I do and where I become that pot that calls the kettle black. How can we help our own mental health if we aren’t aware what affects it?
So I thought I would wonder about some of the things that affect my mental health…
I can find it difficult in large groups of people but I also find it difficult when I’m on my own. At different times I struggle in different ways.
I like to know what’s going on; in my life but also with those around me. If I’m not in the know it can cause me anxiety and can make me hide away from others and the world around me.
My health frustrates me. I can’t list the ways in which it affects me but it’s part of my whole life and sometimes it just feels like it takes over.
I’m aware that mental health is a cycle; linked with physical health; relationships etc. it’s one thing to be aware of it but another to actually do something about it and to make that first small step
There are many other things which are linked but it’s an individual thing. The great thing about mental health awareness is that it is easier to talk; it’s easier to get help; and therefore it’s easier to take that first small step and who knows where that will lead?
As I was walking home today it was raining quite substantially. I had a jacket but I was not dressed for rain at all. I put my woolly hood up from my hoody, put my head down and walked. I saw a lot of people sheltering, heading into shops, wearing appropriate clothing, putting up umbrellas, or running.
When I was only about a minute away from my first destination the heavens well and truly opened and it was the heaviest downpour I can remember for ages. This resulted in people screaming, more running, and I continued, head down and walking.
I’m not sure we can class it as a storm, but it really was interesting to see the different responses. It also made me wonder about the way we respond to our storms in life.
Most importantly, the storms do end, and no matter how we do it, we can get through even if it makes us feel a bit rough during the journey.
There was a TV programme where a table was being held together with tape. The guest started kicking the legs during his interview, the tape ripped and the leg came off. The guest then went on to pull off the next leg.
Have you ever felt that you’re being held together and could come apart at any point? I’d say my ‘tape’ are the three f’s – family, friends, and faith.
The thing with tape is that it can be used to hold things together, to hide things away when wrapping presents, or even to rip things off. However, with some pressure it can easily be taken apart or loosened. I think this is the same with the ‘tape’ in our lives. This is why we need to take care of our ‘tape’ making sure we strengthen it, layer it, whether that be our relationships or other things that we feel is holding us together. It’s also important that we don’t completely rely on it but look at other things to bring us strength.
Is there something you would consider as the tape that is holding you together? Do you know what it is? Does it feel like the tape is coming loose? How can you strengthen it?
A short one today! I was feeling sorry for myself…
So… I broke my toe when I had a seizure; the toe finally healed after weeks of strapping and hobbling. Then I ripped the top of my ear having a seizure. After six weeks the ear has pretty much healed and all the stitches have come out. Then… I get the two lines! So it’s day 5 of isolation.
I am falling under the influence of bloody positive friend – also known as E! I have to say I am grateful for having had the vaccination jabs and I’m grateful that the husband is also testing positive so we are isolating! We have been able to spend time with each other and tell each other that it’s OK to rest if we need to.
It shouldn’t take a situation like this to make me grateful for all that I have!
On Sunday I was leading the service at church. I hadn’t been feeling that great in myself but it was something I had promised I would do so I did. Prior to the service I had barely spoken to the husband, I tried to stay away from people, and when someone asked how I was my response would be “I’m here”. I didn’t know what else to say as that was all I could be sure of.
But then, 11:00, microphone in hand and I was fine. Joking with the congregation, leading the service, handing over when needed. People told me it went well. However, as soon as the service was over, I stepped down and fell in to the arms of the husband with tears filling up my eyes. I honestly felt that for that period of time I had put on a mask, which I took off once I was no longer in front of a group of people.
I know that this is a regular thing I do, but I don’t know whether it is the right thing to do. Should I be hiding who I am, and how I’m feeling or is that actually best when in a sense of leadership, as I was on Sunday. This is something I know I have often done in the classroom. I imagine we all put on masks at times. I am incredibly fortunate that there are people I can take my mask off with. When I was talking to E about this she pointed out that at least I could put on the mask as there are times when I don’t even have the strength to do that.
Final wonderings for today… I don’t think we should be afraid about wearing a mask if we need to but we need to recognise when we do and be able to be maskless with a few people.
For my 40th I was given a Friends lego set. I eventually opened the box and completed the set last week. 7 plastic bags full of loads of different bricks and I was slightly concerned- after all it has been a rather long time since I have done lego.
There were 6 separate sections to complete and I was amazed with each one. How all of these individual bricks could come together to create a part of a ‘cafe’. After about 7 hours the model was complete. I had a model cafe that was recognisable as “Central Perk” the cafe from friends if you didn’t know!
All of the bricks were essential, they may have seemed meaningless on their own, but together they created a recognisable feature and were all necessary.
How many times have you felt that you, or something you are doing is meaningless? Everything you do is a building brick in your life. You are a building brick in the lives of others and in the world as a whole. This is very much a reminder for me at the moment but I hope it may encourage others as well!
For about 29 years of my life one of the sentences I have said the most has begun with “I had a seizure and…”. I’ve got a bit fed up with it and some people a couple of weeks ago suggested I have a bit of fun, so with some help from some friends you’re going to hear what really happened 4.5 weeks ago and why I ended up in hospital – this time!
We’d gone for a day out to a Wild Animal Park – always guaranteed to be a great day out. I always enjoy seeing the different animals, and learning about them. I find it fascinating to see the similarities, the differences, what they need to live and be comfortable, and how they respond to humans.
So, they we were walking through with Lemurs, watching them climbing and jumping around; next thing I know there’s one on my shoulder – I knew I shouldn’t have worn my green and brown jacket – and it’s fiddling with my mass of curly hair. OUCH! The Lemur has jumped off and run away, but the top of my ear is hanging off and there’s a lot of blood!
Not sure that’s the experience other people were expecting when they went for a day out to Animal Park! You never know what to expect from the Wild Animals but you normally expect to leave as you arrived in the first Place!
So I told my ear injury was the result of a seizure… was that the truth? And what about all of the other supposedly seizure related injuries?
I think I can safely say that patience is not my strong point. I really struggle with the virtue of patience in all sorts of different ways. Possibly with injuries and illnesses I am worst – wanting to get better and be able to do things normally again. So you can imagine what I was like when I fractured my arm as a child and was in hospital lying on my back with my arm in the air for 6 weeks!
It was 4 weeks ago that I ripped my ear and this photo shows the difference that has happened over those 4 weeks. It’s when you look back that you realise the improvement; the healing that has taken over time. There is absolutely no way that that could have happened in a few days and I still have to wait more! Apparently, the stitches could take 6 weeks to come out – and I’m on week 4!
We all go through experiences when we want to heal; it’s important to remember that most of the time healing will only be able to take place with patience and time. Now for me to remember this and to stop asking the husband to chop off the ear.
Today was the last session of a beginners knitting group. We’ve been meeting for 5 weeks and I’ve had the role of refreshments and washing up! It’s been a lovely environment to be in and it was clear today that the ladies have really enjoyed it (no men signed up to join) and one even said that she didn’t get to do much for particular reasons but this was a space that she felt safe.
I know that feeling so well. It’s something that has grown in me; that I need to feel safe before I go somewhere. That might be strange considering I’ve managed to break my toe in the bedroom and rip my ear falling out of bed! However something about this knitting group was the group of people; that’s where the safety came from – the relationships developed NOT the building we were meeting in.
Safety is likely to mean something different for all of us; but is likely to be different in different situations for us individually as well. So why is safety important anyway? For me, if I feel safe my confidence increases. After I damaged my ear, not only did I not feel safe but I lacked the confidence to sign up to things that I usually would.
Where is safety important to you? What makes you feel safe? Do you have a safe space?