Hide and seek – a stalkers game

WARNING: This blog paints a picture of how it can feel to be a victim of stalking. It talks about the fear of being home alone and feelings of being watched. I have given specific detail on the images I imagine and how I feel. Do not read this if you believe it could make you fear being home alone, being watched or stalked, or might trigger a bad psychological response. This could also be harmful for people with OCD and reoccurring thoughts.

Sadly I don’t think even a German Shepherd could stop me from being scared. This cutie certainly can’t!

Home alone and it’s after sun set. I’m absolutely terrified to the point I can hear my own heart beat and I feel completely sick. I can’t even explain the level of fear I have when I’m home alone and my husband is working nights.

It’s not like a subtle anxiety, or a really scary experience, it’s completely and utterly paralysing fear. At every moment I am waiting for a man to appear from behind the curtain or under the bed. I don’t fear that I might be hurt. I fear that he has nothing other than a creepy agenda to just stand and watch. The watching man.

Not long ago I was stalked for almost 2 years by a complete stranger. Eventually the police interviened and put an end to it. I have to say that they were amazing and I will forever be grateful. I had a full team pose as civilians to catch him and stop him. From time to time I still receive a call to ask if things are OK and if I’ve had any further trouble with him.

I don’t know if this experience has made this whole ‘home alone’ situation what it is today. What I do know is that my jaw is aching because I have been grinding my teeth continually since my husband left the door.

I’m in a constant battle between wanting to look behind every door, under the beds, behind the curtains and in the cupboards. I’m stuck between checking and being too terrified to check because I’m almost certain someone is there just watching.

Without a shadow of a doubt I know I can hear breathing, it isn’t mine and it isn’t the dog’s. I can hear someone clicking with their mouth in the other room and winding me up, playing mind games. A bit like my stalker did in his variety of ways. The very fact that I wrote ‘my stalker’ makes it feel like I have some kind of ownership. He’s not ‘my stalker’ he’s a person that decided to stalk someone and unfortunately that someone was me.

I decide to check the window ledge in my room to make sure there’s no one hiding behind the curtain. I should explain that I don’t even think a 3 year old could fit and hide on that window ledge but I’m completely convinced that there is a man hiding there. As I check, I’m haunted by the image of a man standing in the middle of the garden just looking up at me expressionless. He’s not really there but in my mind he is, and to me that’s 100% reality.

I open the under stairs cupboard to get the dogs dental chew. I’m convinced that there’s a man curled in the corner hiding and just waiting for me to find him so that he can stare at me with an expressionless face. It’s like a constant game of hide and seek. Now I want to shut the cupboard door but I know he’ll be standing behind it as I close it. Just there watching, not actually doing anything.

I go to my bed, which is the most horrifying part. Checking the locks before bed and turning the downstairs lights out. I want to leave the hallway light on upstairs but I can’t. I can’t because then I might see the shadow of his footsteps under the door. As I sit here in my bed I can hear creaking. I know the creaking is him standing at the door just breathing. Just standing there doing nothing with his face against the door. The creaking is him in the wardrobe, under the bed, in the roof. He is everywhere and everything all at once.

I need to cry but I’m too scared to make a noise because then he’ll know I’m there and that I’m awake. He wants me to be awake because then he can frighten me by just being there.

It’s only 11:30pm. My husband left at 9pm. It’s been 2 and a half hours and I have 5 and a half left to go. Over 5 more hours of being slowly psychologically torchured by a man who’s name I’ll never know.

I hear a noise on the TV, an odd laugh, a bang, a click. I see a menacing face, an odd glare. Even the most innocent of programs can trigger a thought for me and send a wave of fear and heat through me. I can’t even distract myself to mute my fear.

What makes this most scary is that I don’t even know his agenda. He’s the ultimate psychological thriller, just pure creepyness. Because he has no agenda he has nothing to loose and that makes him even more powerful. He doesn’t fit in to social norms or believe that both the actual law or basic laws of human decency apply to him. He has nothing to loose and he fears nothing. He smiles in a jail cell because he gets pleasure from fear.

He’ll play the long game, wait in the dark for hours until I’m home alone before he comes out. I suspect he likes that he can remain so calm, and I suspect it’s for sexual gratification.

One of the most terrifying things about my real stalker is that for the longest time I didn’t know he was there. When I finally realised I remembered him being there all along. I can’t get over the fact that someone can watch and follow you for so long and yet remain hidden in the shadows for the same length of time. As soon as I noticed him the memories of him being there, all the times before hit me like a freight train. Layer upon layer began building in my mind within seconds. He had been there all along.

I remembered he was the guy that touched my leg on the train whilst pretending to be asleep months ago. I remembered all of the other times he had made physical contact with me. Then suddenly I think of all the times I don’t know about, all the things I didn’t remember and all the times I didn’t see him, but he was there.

In the weeks before police intervention, I began making records of his behaviours and when he appeared. I took pictures of him watching me. The one video I will never forget was when I secretly filmed him on a train journey whilst I pretended to be asleep. He never broke his stare once. He never stopped looking, staring expressionless, not once did he break his gaze. As a lady stood in his eye sight he lent to the side so that he could look around her to just watch.

I’ll never know his name, I’ll never know who he was, but most importantly and most haunting of all, I’ll never know why.

It’s the never knowing why he did it, that means I’ll always be watched. My images of the watching man are not of him. They’re the figure of someone else but they are born from him. The image I see are from that disgusting Luther episode of the man hiding under the bed. That’s my mind’s invention of how the watching man appears in my empty home.

When my husband is here it’s the safest place in the world. When I’m staying away from home with a friend or family member I feel safe. But whenever I am alone, in the dark, at home or away. If I’m alone the watching man will always be there.

He might not be physically real anymore but to me his affects on me are completely real. For as long as he is there I will continue to play hide and seek with him. I will continue to know that he is everywhere and everything all at once. I will continue to feel him there. Waiting, breathing, watching.

Statistics show that 700,000 women are stalked each year. Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th incident – which is similar to my own experiences.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300

I found them very helpful as well as the Suzy Lamplugh Trust http://www.suzylamplugh.org/

If you have ever been stalked or you care for someone that has been, know that it can take time for the effects to surface and that sometimes they make no sense. If you need support then make sure you reach out.

Only 4 hours left till I’m not home alone anymore.

XxXxX

What lasts forever?

I never know whether to put a warning at the start of some of these posts when they explore certain topics that may upset people. If you’re not in the right place to read about lack of control, lost relationships or the unknown then maybe this one isn’t for you. Or maybe it will help you to see that you’re not alone in your thinking and that there are others who understand.

I’ve had so many people come and go from my life, the strongest of relationships fade, to the point that I kind of feel that any relationship I have might not exist in 2, 5, 10 years. That’s not because I don’t want them to, but if the universe has taught me anything it’s that very few things are forever.

It can be a scary place to be. It’s quite worrying to think that my entire support network could be completely different or gone over the years. It’s quite an empty feeling to have. Knowing that your only guaranteed constant in your life is yourself. When something bad or upsetting happens I always think ‘I’m so glad I have X to help me through’ or ‘all that matters is that I have Y by my side’. But the scariest thought comes when my brain tells me ‘what makes you think they’re yours to keep’.

Thank goodness for puppies πŸ’•

I want to write something comforting about how as individuals we need to be OK with the unknown and trust in time. I want to write that the relationships that mean the most to us will always be there. But today OCD isn’t allowing me to. It’s telling me that no matter what I do, at some point it’s going to be just me on my own and that any relationship I ever make, no matter how deep it feels to me, really might not be that deep or meaningful to others. OCD makes me feel unstable with no solid platform or level of control.

I have incredible friendships with close friends that would give me the world and I could never explain to them what they mean to me. It’s just pretty shit that OCD has this way of convincing me that eventually I’ll be alone and left again by different people over the years. I remind myself of all the people who also come into my life in recent years and the new relationships that I create but that just leaves me wondering who will ever really know who I am? If all my relationship end up being transient and ever changing.

Fear of being alone isn’t just an OCD thing or necessarily a mental health thing. But OCD does make it more real for me. It doesn’t become an ‘if’ it becomes a ‘when’. And even if I know in my heart of hearts that my closest relationships are here to stay my brain does weird stuff that tells me to not be so ridiculous, of course I’ll eventually be alone. I feel pretty selfish saying that.

It takes me back to the day I brought my wedding dress. The second I put my card in the machine my brain said ‘what are you doing? Why are you doing all of this? You’ll be dead before then anyway. You’re not going to be alive in a year. Why are you bothering with any of this?’

It actually felt ridiculous to buy a dress I would never wear. The thought and feeling was so real to me that I almost told the sales person that I was being ridiculous because I was going to die soon. And in my mind that felt like a completely reasonable thing to say. I found it really hard to enter my pin in to that machine at the same time as being absolutely sure that I wouldn’t be here to wear my dress anyway. Not because I didn’t want to be here, but because I just genuinely believed I didn’t have a choice and that nothing lasts forever including me.

If you’re friends with someone that has OCD or poor mental health, know that they probably deeply care about you even if they are annoyingly always concerned that it’s all going to end soon.

If you’re friends with me then thank you. Thank you for dealing with my randomness, my sometimes anxious behaviour and my often fickleness. Sometimes there is method in the ‘madness’ or in this case, a reason.

If you’re in my life and you’re here to stay then thank you for being my rock, because as with any day living with poor mental health, I need you now more than ever and I appreciate you for everything you do for me. I’m so lucky to have an amazing husband and so many amazing friends that mean the world.

No matter how close or far from me you may be, I know you’re there and that to me is huge.

‘mad’ as always

XxXxX

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. πŸ’š

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. πŸ’š

So many of us are affected or know people that are affected by suicide. Sometimes we hear people refer to suicide as ‘selfish’ or people complain about ‘inconvenience’ when it means their trains don’t run. Just remember that someone was ill enough to end their own life and that’s a pretty awful place to be in. It is not selfish and it is not an inconvenience. Nobody wants to be ill and nobody ever wants to feel that it’s their only way out.

Usually people share posts and ask others to do the same. ‘share or post this so that others know you’re there’. They encourage you to reach out and ask how others are doing. But we often forget to ask ourselves how we are too. So today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, reach out to others and encourage others to do the same. But don’t forget to reach out to yourself also because it’s not selfish to make sure that you’re OK too πŸ’š

A Circle of Worthless

Find your Rainbow 🌈

So looking through my drafts it says I wrote this on the 2nd January 2017, almost 2 years ago.

It’s always good to look back sometimes to see how far we’ve come. I can honestly say I feel differently now in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, I still do have days where I feel this way, but certainly not on a daily basis like I did back then. I’ve also been helped by the most incredible woman who has taught me that feedback is a gift and that you don’t always have to accept it. Now I see feedback as an opportunity rather than fear it – more on that another time.

I thought it was worth a post anyway, to show that even when you feel like this you can still turn it around so that you don’t have to. Sometimes you just have to learn to find the rainbow in the rain.

XxX

Sometimes I feel totally worthless, like I bring no benefit whatsoever to this earth or to what I do. Sometimes receiving ‘constructive’ feedback, to me I just hear ‘you’re so stupid’ ‘how thick can you be’ ‘I may as well have done it myself’ ‘what’s the point in you being here’ ‘you’re like a child’ ‘do you have no initiative’ ‘do I really have to explain this to you again’.What’s the solution? I honestly don’t know. Can people perhaps sugar coat their feedback more? Possibly. But would that really make a huge difference? When all is said and done I will still be receiving feedback on something I need to improve upon.

I seem to lack the ability to defend myself sometimes, even if I’m right, not wanting to appear ‘defensive’. So I take the blame myself, perhaps I didn’t position that right, maybe I should have explained better, no honestly it’s completely my fault, I probably am just totally useless. Further reinforcing my belief that they think I’m useless.

I often wonder what happens once that door is closed behind me. Do those I work or interact with roll their eyes like ‘she’s just not getting it’ ‘spoon feeding her again’ ‘argh she’s so exhausting’ ‘she’s so lazy’.

Day by day I get this impression that I’m just not good enough and I never will be. I’ll always be the one riding on the coat tails of other’s successes. And anything I do create myself will just be pointless, completely off the mark and wrong.

So why am I here? Why do you want me here? I’m continuously a burden that you have to help and that is totally and completely annoying. To top it off I bring no benefit whatsoever because anything I ever do will never be good enough.

So in the end I stop trying. I stop trying to be great. I stop trying to be my best me. And I stop trying to have a purpose. Because when I do try it’s never quite right and it’s just another example of a time where I’m wrong. So I accept that I am useless, that I am stupid, that I’m totally unqualified and that I’m totally worthless. It’s easier to produce nothing than to produce something that is totally pointless.

And then I feel isolated. Wondering what the person next to me or in front of me is thinking about me. I can’t concentrate so I stare at a blank screen reading the same line 10 times until I realise people must think I’m mad or most likely lazy ‘she’s not doing anything’ ‘waste of oxygen’ ‘here I am working my ass off and she’s just sitting there again.’

It’s funny, I’ve only felt this way for the past year. I was always so confident in myself and my work. Always ready to take on the next adventure or fight the next battle. But something changed in me in my last 2 roles. My only regular feedback was the negative kind and anything positive just, didn’t need to be said. You can only face so much negativity before you start thinking ‘what’s the point’.

It’s a vicious circle. A circle that I’m not sure I will ever escape. I’m not good enough = anything I do will be pointless = don’t do anything through fear of doing it wrong = she’s lazy = what’s the point of her she’s just a burden = I’m not good enough. And so on.

The only way I will ever get out of this circle for good is to accept that what people think of me is not who I am. Sure I can try really hard and produce something really worthwhile but it’s only a matter of time before I will fall down again. So the only way to truly escape is to accept myself as I am and to not be driven by what others think of me and place my worth on the value of what others think.

Easier said than done.

XxX

Christmas OCD happy, sad, and everything in-between

Ok so I haven’t written in a while so this is long overdue. Sometimes it can be hard to find the right topic and other times I think of the perfect thing to say but just don’t get round to actually typing. So here I am actually typing.

With Christmas around the corner, people arguing about when the tree should actually go up and the fact that there are Christmas cards in the shop in October. I’ll be honest, as long as it makes people happy it doesn’t bother me that one person puts up a tree in October or another person December. What actually makes me sad at Christmas is happiness. All those that can’t relate right now are thinking ‘OK that’s a bit weird’. Hear me out.

It’s not the happiness of others that makes me sad, it’s my own happiness. It’s a really difficult one to explain really and I’ve spent years trying to understand it. Is it my OCD and being terrified of loosing what I have, maybe I feel I don’t deserve it when so many others struggle, maybe it’s unmet expectations of being able to be with all family members all the time, is it the break in routine and a fear that Christmas traditions won’t be kept? Or maybe it’s all of them put together.

For me, and many others I know with mental health difficulties it can be one thing or memory that brings on that emotion. I remember being about 17 maybe one evening late in December. My mum called me to say we’re going Hamleys today and to look at the Christmas lights in London (something we do together every year) this year it hadn’t been planned and my parents had decided at that moment that today was the day. They asked if I wanted them to pick me up from my boyfriend’s (now husband) house. I thought about it but answered too quickly perhaps.

I said No.

That year I missed the trip to Hamleys.

Even typing that makes me cry. Who says no to spending time with family at Christmas? Who says no to keeping a family tradition? In truth lots of people do and it doesn’t mean they don’t care about family it just means they have to skip this one event this year. Unfortunately many people like myself with OCD or other mental health difficulties will hate themselves forever. I’ve never gotten over that and I don’t think I ever will. From then on my feelings around Christmas time changed. To me it became a time of year where I let people down and don’t do enough to bring happiness. To me I broke my mum’s heart and to her she probably doesn’t even remember it and probably didn’t even mind. My mind tells me that it taught me I was capable of choosing doing something else over being with my family.

As a person who’s OCD tells them they are going to loose everything all the time and everyone is going to die, knowing that you just rejected your last trip to Hamleys with your family is like living in hell. I instantly knew I had made a mistake and spent most of the evening crying.

Top that off with the fact that emotionally I believe every Christmas is the last. And not my last. I wouldn’t be nearly as concerned if it were my last. It’s the belief that it could be my husband’s last, my mum’s last, my sisters last, etc. And because OCD tells you something WILL happen, not that it might, it means I’m already grieving for a loved one every Christmas. And how selfish is that? So many people actually ARE grieving for a loved one and here I am with mine unable to fully appreciate it – that makes me feel pretty selfish to top it all off. Sadly I can’t control my OCD or irrational thoughts because, well they’re irrational!

As I walk down the street I see people sleeping out in the cold and I wonder what I have to celebrate. How can I celebrate whilst there are people sleeping alone outside on Christmas day? Guilt. Again everything is about why I should feel bad and why I’m selfish for being happy.

It’s a difficult one to tackle because let’s be honest, feeling responsible for those less fortunate than us is not irrational and is actually very helpful in society because we should be caring for others. Unfortunately for me, coupled with everything else above, I spend an awful lot of time hating myself for any kind of happiness. When in reality I should be appreciating it.

It seems in life in general the happier I am or the better things become, the more terrified and ill I become inside, because now I have more to loose. The more in love I am the harder it will be when I fall, the better my relationship are with friends and family the more crushed I will be when that person’s gone. So what do you do? Hug less? Try to see things more rationally and less emotionally? All easier said than done and neither of them very healthy.

So I ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ I build every relationship, try to maintain every tradition and convince others to understand why it’s so important to put the time in, to make the effort, attend the family traditions because one day they will all be gone and all we’ll have left are our memories. Pretty awful outlook to have on Christmas I know. So this year, if you’re like me, try to be a bit more forgiving of yourself. Do the things you’ve always done, and spend time with the people you need to. But remember your life, love and relationships are not defined by that one moment, that one evening or even present. They’re defined by the small things, the Monday morning ‘how are you’ text and the Friday afternoon coffee, the ‘ill he right there’ when you’re needed. That’s what people remember and that’s what matters.

Buy breakfast for the person sleeping outside and give to those that need it most. Just remember that you do deserve some happiness. I’ll be honest I’m still working on taking my own advice but I’m sure I’ll get there.

For those friends and family that don’t experience Christmas the same way and that don’t suffer with mental health. Know that when I get upset that you don’t want to keep the tradition this year, or your too busy to come to Hamleys or to have Christmas dinner. When I get upset and probably come across as pushy and mean it’s because it means something more to me.

It means more to me than I could ever explain and more than you could ever understand.

XxXxX

Should you expect the world?

My husband throughout his life has always prepared for failure. If he doesn’t get his hopes up then he won’t be so disappointed if he doesn’t get it. We couldn’t be more different on this front. When I prepare, I prepare for success. I literally pour my heart and soul in. If I’m unsuccessful yes it can be devastating but after lots of practice you learn to move on quickly to the next venture. I have failed in job applications, exams, friendships, love and life in general. But I have succeeded more times than I have lost.

In the words of Thomas Edison there really is no such thing as failure, only learning how not to do something. If you ‘fail’ 100 times you have really just learnt 100 ways not to do something.

My husband may have less disappointment in his life, but that can mean his victories aren’t quite as emotional. They are tarnished by anti disappointment methods. He reduces the suspense whereas I build mine up so that when I do finally succeed it’s a huge accomplishment.

So what is the right approach? There is no magical formula to protect ourself from disappointment or learning how not to do something. But I truly do believe that without knowing sadness you cannot experience true happiness. You have to accept the peaks and troughs. Protecting yourself all the time is denying yourself the right to actually live.

So I set my expectations high. My expectations of myself and of others. Yes this means I have further to fall but, when my hopes and dreams do come through, they’re pretty darn amazing.

Not everyone can live up to your hopes or expectations. So you do have to learn to let things go and to forgive, as I mentioned above, to a new venture. It can mean that I’m judged for expecting the best from people but that doesn’t make me a bad person or mean that I should be demoralised until my expectations are lowered.

One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from the film ‘Did you hear about the Morgan’s’. When trying to overcome divorce, our resident sex in the city gal, Sarah Jessica Parker, says that perhaps she needs to scale back her expectations, to not expect anything from him and for him to not expect from her to; make the marriage work. Just as she is about to accept a fate of low expectations and therefore a life without those highs and joys, a wise man (Sam Elliot one of my faves!) tells her:

‘you should expect everything from each other!’.


This quote really resonates with me. I am so passionate about making the people I love feel special and happy that I literally expect the world from myself to them. Of course I’m not perfect and I can royally screw up sometimes and also I can’t keep everyone ecstatically happy all of the time because there is only one of me. I also have arguments like other people and disagreements which detract from happiness from time to time. But the point is, my intention is there. Where I can and where I have the opportunity to make the people I love feel amazing I do.

In giving the world, do I expect it in return? Yes I do. Know that I don’t give the world to receive it, but as I am always preparing for the best and for success, I naturally expect and see the good in people. Unfortunately not everyone shares my passion. And as I mentioned about falling a long way before… If your expectations are high then your pain from the loss is even higher.

There are some things that you can’t just quickly move on from. My husband tells me that I should just stop expecting such high results and stop giving them so that I can’t get hurt. Just accept that’s the way it is and move on. You don’t have to give the world to them and they don’t to you. The problem is, I will never stop trying to give the world because it makes me happy to see others happy. It makes me happy to make someone smile, to create a happy tear, to give motivation, to empower, to push people to achieve, to push people to be the best they can be.

Not everyone wants the world from you. Some people would just rather a continent or a small island and they don’t want to give you the world. Sadly for me it’s all or nothing. I wish I could just give a piece of myself, to just be around from time to time and smile where necessary. But that’s not who I am and that’s who I will never be. Because the in between genuinely makes me miserable and depressed. Either you’re with me in my life through our individual ups and downs or you’re not. I was also not created just for the downs when you decide you want me, or for you to ride on the back of my ups. This is a mutual swapping of the earth here. 

Handing out planets on the corner.

XxX

Are you OK? Then I’m OK

Working in a learning environment I often use and teach a number of different psychology models. It’s always interesting to see how they work in practice and indeed if they work at all. I have seen people really succeed with them, change their careers and their lives. I’ve also seen them fall flat on their face with poor application and even with good application.

One of my favourites, that applies to us all, is transactional analysis. The notion that we all have the ability to respond in the parent, adult, child ego states. I don’t pretend to be an expert on this, but anyone who picks up a book on it can begin to develop a good understanding.

I was often told by my CBT therapist that I drove a lot of my life and emotions on the ‘you’re OK, I’m OK’ basis. (The child) my ability to be OK in myself rested solely on whether everyone else was OK with me. If they were not OK or were unhappy with something it would fill me with self doubt and total devaluation. Always wanting to make sure that people were and are happy with me.

‘Do not engage’ was something she would say often. You do not have to take someone else’s emotions on. Particularly when they are unnecessary and unhelpful. 

If you buy someone a gift and they do not accept it then that gift still belongs to you. If someone directs their anger at you or hurtful behaviours then you do not have to take that on, it will remain with them. 

So I’ve been learning how to respond as the ‘adult’, staying factual, not being personal and focusing on the issue at hand. It can be difficult and even harder when someone is being the ‘parent’ and you respond in the way that feels natural as the ‘child’. And sometimes you will slip.

A major hurdle is being able to remain the ‘adult’ when you are continually being pushed to be the ‘child’. I have experienced a lot of ‘parents’ in my life. Telling me which behaviours and beliefs of mine are wrong or right. Leaving me on the defensive and unable to actually assess whether what they say is right. It’s quite liberating when you step back into that ‘adult’ space. Realising that just because someone says X does not mean they are right. 

If someone refuses to be an ‘adult’ with you to resolve conflict you may eventually be led to leave the situation as it is. With no real resolution. You can continue on as the ‘adult’ with the notion of ‘do not engage’ in your mind. But doesn’t that mean that the issue is never truly resolved? And if you have an emotional connection with that person then it’s torn and never really healed. Sure it would have affect in a work environment. ‘It’s not personal, it’s business’. Does it really work in personal relationships though? We are humans with emotional memories and it’s not possible to swipe that memory clean by simply not talking about it. 

Taking the ‘I’m OK’ approach and the ‘do not engage’ approach may not actually solve anything. Instead you may be forced to continue your life as ‘normal’ knowing things won’t actually be the same. Your expectations of those relationships have dropped and so has your emotional attachment with them.

You can admit your own faults to find an amicable solution but if others are unwilling to move on their position and recognise their faults and hurtful behaviours, then we’re just playing the ‘parent’ blame game. And the ‘child’ ‘poor me’ card.

Just because that other person or people are now ‘OK’ to move on that doesn’t mean that you’re ‘OK’. You may be forced to pretend you are ‘OK’ and act as the ‘adult’. But in truth you will never be OK with that relationship again and things will never feel the same again. Because, as I said, we’re humans. And some hurtful things can’t be unsaid or forgotten.

Sometimes it’s OK to give the world and sometimes it’s OK to expect it.

XxX

That Fri-Yay feeling

What do you think about the whole ‘Fri-Yay feeling’? Unless you work in a role that isn’t weekday specific, such as emergency services or retail, we’ve all pretty much had that Fri-Yay feeling. A feeling that brings us all together, a common emotion we can all share in ‘thank goodness that week is over’.

I always think it’s quite sad though that we’re often wishing our life away. I can’t wait for ‘the weekend’ ‘for a few days off’ ‘for a break’. But doesn’t that essentially mean that we’re only actually allowing ourselves to live 2 days out of 7. Of course we have our ups and downs in the week, happy and sad moments, but if we’re always only ever looking forward and waiting for what’s coming then are we ever really in the present? 

They say the people most satisfied with life on their death bed are those that have lived in the present the most. Those that feel they have absorbed and learnt from as many days as possible. Like now, you’re reading this but that means you’re not currently in the present. Your mind is focused on reading instead of what’s going on around you. Who are you with? What can you smell? Is it warm? Cold? What sounds can you hear, quiet and loud? What can you taste? What can you feel? 

People with anxiety are often taught these mindfulness exercises. Living in the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I like the saying ‘the past is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present!’ (Yes I did copy that from Kung Fu Panda). But it’s very true. No one knows if tomorrow will ever come for any of us and the past no longer exists. The only time that currently exists is now, and now, and now. We are always moving forward, never back and we are never guaranteed the next second.

What would you do if this was your last minute to live? Would you say ‘I can’t wait for Friday?’ Or would you make the most of every second you have right now? I’m not telling you to be extreme here like my OCD makes me when it comes to there being no tomorrow. What I am saying is to live in the present just a little bit more. 

What can you do today to make yourself happy TODAY of course remember the possible repercussions on tomorrow and the lessons you learnt from yesterday, but use that knowledge to make today better.

We will always be looking forward to that Fri-Yay feeling. That’s just human nature. But in the mean time, remember not to wish the present and your life away. After reading this look up and think about what is going on around you, get involved in the conversations, jump in the puddles, dance in the street. The only person that will be sad they didn’t is you. 

What is Friday actually going to do for you today?

The present, right now, really is a gift.

Living in the now

XxX

Ps. I know not everyday is fun and actually some are pretty awful, especially where our loved ones are unwell. And that’s why it’s so important to use the present more in the ordinary days so that our difficult days are more manageable. 

The Power of Positivity

Today I’m proud of myself for conquering my demons and one of my biggest fears – confrontation when I just want to be liked.

The thing about being assertive is that it doesn’t have to involve conflict or any negativity. If you prepare what you want to say, and really think about how it is going to land with the other person, then it can be quite beneficial for you both.

Yesterday I had to deliver a very personal and difficult message to someone. Explaining how their actions had affected me and how they could have acted more constructively, delivering the same message to me but in a positive manner.

Disney: where I feel most assertive and just like me!

I may have cried a little at one point, which I’m kind of annoyed at myself for, but I recovered very quickly and continued the conversation. I suppose this isn’t a negative and in some instances can be a positive. Showing people that you are human and have emotions can actually make you more credible as a person because people see you as ‘real’.

I stood my ground and politely put my point across, explaining my reasoning. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t have to be a negative experience. In fact, disagreeing with each other is the reason the world progresses and how we learn from each other. How boring would life be if we all thought exactly the same things at the same time. 

The moral of the story is to remember to step out of the stream sometimes and watch from the river bank. We’re always caught up in our own journey and emotions and often find it hard to have an objective view of our situations. By stepping out of the stream and watching the situation from the river bank I was able to think about the right questions to ask and how the other person may feel about them. 


Minnie Mouse understands the power of positivity! 

If I had just gone to this person with the attitude of ‘this is how it is and I’m upset and it’s your fault and you’re wrong’ then they would have instantly been defensive and my message would not have got through. Instead I went to them and asked them politely what their intention was for their actions. What did they hope to get from it, so that I can understand the reasoning a little better. Listening to understand instead of listening to respond is a great life skill and one that we could all be better at. 

So the next time you’re facing a difficult situation, before allowing your emotions to take over, just step out of the stream and on to the river bank. What is actually happening in this situation? What are the facts and not just the feelings? How would an outsider assess the situation? How can you think about it in a more positive light? 

Only when you think about a problem from all directions will you be able to fully understand how to get your message across and be understood. And once you’ve conquered that you’ll be master of your own universe! 

Feeling assertive 

XxX

Why I hate myself todayΒ 

I’m trying to hate myself less today, for being a total muck up in everything I do. I was late this morning, went to the wrong office, forgot a colleagues laptop and handled a sensitive issue quite poorly which has upset a good friend.

I feel like I just need to run away and wipe the slate clean. Find a new role to start again. But running is the easiest thing. To be honest, it makes me so sad and anxious that if I was secure financially I would have run already.

I wonder if I will ever just be a ‘normal’ person that no one thinks badly of. My rational brain says that everyone can forget things from time to time and it’s really not a big deal or a judgement on your ability. And even my team responded in a way to show it was a total ‘non issue’.

Unfortunately my brain said that people must think I’m a total mess, a drain on the team, someone that brings no benefit at all and that just causes drama.

Today I hate HATE my depression and OCD. If I didn’t have it I wouldn’t have been late, if I wasn’t so anxious my brain would have functioned more and I would have remembered the laptop and which office to go to. If my OCD and depression didn’t exist then there would have been no sensitive situation for me to handle poorly. And if my OCD and depression didn’t exist I wouldn’t be so paranoid and anxious about being a burden. I’m still seeking reassurance by sending apology messages to my friend which is probably just making things 10 times worse!

Today I hate my OCD and depression for making me anxious about forgetting the laptop again tomorrow morning when that moment hasn’t even come yet. If I can forget it when I put it on top of my own bag which I didn’t forget then what more can I possibly do to make sure I take the damn thing!

Aside from just hating myself today, I hate my OCD and depression. I hate it for making me have to acknowledge that it’s there and tell employers, health professionals, friends and family. I hate that I have to tell them and wait to be judged which happens over 50% of the time.

Did you know that mental health is more common than cancer and heart disease. More common than arthritis and diabetes. The success rate for treating heart disease is more successful than treatment for mental health. I hate that I have to know this fact instead of some interesting fact about the stars.

I wish that people understood mental health more and knew that I have no choice but to be who I am. I hate that I feel the need to justify that sometimes I do struggle and it’s not my fault, I’m doing all I can.

I hate HATE my OCD and depression today for being so debilitating and making me hate myself.

I’m just grateful that my husband loves me and my craziness even when I can’t.

XxX

Update: I refuse to be beaten! I won’t forget the laptop if I can’t forget my shoes πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ