Picking it up and not putting it off

Hi Everyone,

Its been a while, I’m not really sure where the time has gone, but I have been up to quite a bit, mostly revolving around self-care. As you will have gathered from my last blog post, I was spiralling back down the hole at rapid speed, after a few weeks of crying, moping and generally feeling sorry for myself I decided to take my life back. The first thing I did is booked in to see a counsellor. I have written previously about my CBT therapy, which I found somewhat helpful and my counselling sessions, maybe not so helpful. I decided that given my previous counselling sessions didn’t go so well as I didnt really gel with the counsellor, I decided to give it another go after a particularly bad weekend. I went onto the BACP website (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and decided to look for a counsellor near my office, the website shows pictures so I changed the search to my area and came across one woman whose picture I felt quite drawn to, sent her an email and jumped on the train to London to meet a friend for lunch. On my way home I had a response from her giving her price details, which were reasonable and saying she had an appointment available the following day at 2pm, this was meant to be.

The following morning, still feeling particularly tearful and down, I bit the bullet and booked a doctor’s appointment for the following week, I had conceded I may just need to go back on anti depressants, this would give me two counselling sessions in between so if I started to feel better I could always cancel.

I was anxious about my first session, although to be honest I was anxious about everything lately, but as soon as my counsellor, who I shall refer to as “D”, I was instantly relaxed, she has a very calming way about her. As soon as I sat down I just started blabbering, only stopping when she asked questions, I got quite tearful, but it felt so good to just unload without being judged. I came away feeling a little lighter and quite exhausted, I knew that things weren’t going to change overnight (even though, me being the most impatient woman in the world wants them changed NOW!)

I am very lucky to have quite a few friends who are into self-care and after speaking to one of them, they recommended an herbal tablet called 5-HTP, once of things its supposed to do is boost your serotonin. So off I popped to Holland & Barratt to pick some up, I was willing to try anything. I started taking these on the same day as my second session with D. This time there were a few more questions and it was really insightful, I cried (obvs) but after just two sessions, random things started making sense, nothing groundbreaking, she’s not a miracle worker after all, but I got more out of those two sessions than I did in all my other sessions put together.

Two days later, I had my doctor’s appointment. The doctor was very kind and I expressed my concerns about going back on the tablets, I wanted to rule out any other possibilities, such as early menopause, so he arranged for me to have a blood test later that week. I also mentioned the herbal tablets (which he’d never heard of) and said I wanted to see how I got on with those.

The blood test results came back the following week, I have some inflammation, so I need to go for another one in a few weeks time, but he didn’t seem concerned, I explained that I felt a bit better on the herbal tablets, so would leave going on the anti depressants for now. I had another session with D, where I managed not to cry yay me! But sadly she is on holiday for the whole of August so I will see her again in September. After seeing her I felt a lot better so we agreed I would see how I went and if I wanted to go back I would just book in. Well of course a few days later I started having mini meltdowns again. Nothing major but just loads of little things such as parking tickets and silly arguments with my mum and just random stuff happening, I cried to my husband one day saying I just feel like I am being tested, for what I don’t know.

I am determined to not be dragged back into this hole, some days are good, some are ok and others are unbearable but I have to keep going as I know this will not last forever and things will get better so I am currently taking the following steps:

  • Messaging my life coach friend each night with 3 things I am grateful for.
  • Completing my LOA planner – I finally filled in all the prep work required and started using it properly on 31st July.
  • Filling in my 5 year diary each night
  • Making weekly meal plans and getting back on the Slimming World Wagon, I am utterly convinced that losing a substantial amount of weight will go a long way towards easing my depression as I wont feel so down about myself

Some days I breeze through and do all of the above and enjoy it and others I struggle to lift up my head, but sometimes just forcing myself to do one of the above, spurs me on to do the next and before you know it I’ve done them, enjoyed them (after putting them off) and feel better just because I have that sense of achievement, even if its small sense of achievement, it’s better than sitting there thinking “I am such a failure because I didn’t do that today”

Today for example, I sat down and wrote this blog, despite putting it off all day 🙂

 

 

 

 

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The Ora Experience so far….

As you know from my last blog post, I recently had my first session of a new therapy a friend of mine has started. So much has happened since I had this therapy I just had to write about it, also I am hoping this should cover some of the homework (Tanya?)

I came away from the first session with a whole new sensation in my body, the only way I can think to describe it is like a bubbling, to the point of bursting with a mixture of excitement and a real positive feeling, it’s a bit like when you’ve bought someone a gift and you know they are going to love it, an excited anticipation.

The first noticeable thing that happened, was the day after my first session. I woke up all snuggled in bed feeling what can only be described as content. I thought to myself, “I could really do with a couple more days off and start the new job on Monday” I got up, made some tea and tended to the boyfriend, who had come down with a deadly bout of man flu (a cold). A while later I got a text message from my friend who I was going to work with saying that they made need to delay my start date due to the snow and people not being able to get in. Blimey, I’d only thought about this this morning, the snow hadn’t even been bad the day before.

I spent my day writing and doing little odd jobs, I felt full of enthusiasm and with the principles I’d been given to try out in mind, I found I was noticing quite quickly if I was about to judge, I found myself, rather than focusing on someones dodgy hairstyle or dress sense on TV, finding something positive and actually vocalising it “I like her nail colour” for example. I instantly felt better, this was weird.

My friend text me that afternoon to confirm that my new start date was to be on Monday, well this was going well, I had been reading one of the books Tanya had told me to read and in that it said that you should not doubt things and believe that everything is coincidence, so I thought, you know what, I wanted this and that’s why it’s happened.

The ultimate test came later that evening, when my sainsburys shopping delivery was cancelled 45 minutes after it was due to be delivered. I had no bread in the house and the food I’d planned to have for dinner was in the delivery. My immediate reaction would usually be to be annoyed and throw a hissy fit, but I didn’t, I felt oddly calm. We had food in the cupboards and if need be I could put my wellies on and walk up the shops and get some bread, bread wasnt the centre of the universe anyway (wine is). I picked up my phone, went online and emailed Sainsburys and arranged for the next available slot, which was Friday morning. I noticed that the delivery charge for this slot was £5 more, so I just emailed sainsburys and asked for them to refund the difference. Sorted, along with a dominoes pizza order which is definitely not on the slimming world plan! Oops. But still, I didnt complain, I didnt even get upset (alright the pizza might have helped) I just did something I never ever do. I took it in my stride! ME, I’ve never even taken my stride in my stride before!! Not without worrying about it first.

The following day, the boyfriends man flu had dissipated (slightly) and he went back to work. I was supposed to be having the first of my hen do’s the following day, it was just a small group of us for a couple of people who couldn’t make the main one, it was in London and I thought to myself, I don’t really fancy trekking all the way into London tomorrow. When the original plans had been made I was going to have been at work so it wouldn’t have been far for me to travel at all, but I really wanted to take this time off to relax, I had a really busy week last week and would have another busy week next week.

Later that day one of the girls messaged me saying she may not make it because she may have difficulty travelling in, but to go ahead without her. I said we should wait and see what the weather is saying as we may all have problems getting there. Could this really be another thing I have “manifested”?

Sainsburys also called me to confirm they had refunded the extra money on my delivery, lovely thank you very much.

I was also feeling guilty about my dominoes binge the night before so I decided I must do better today, I had already got up and completed a HIIT session that morning and that had really set me up for the day. The only way I could describe my current mindset is “At peace” Now for those of you that have read my other blogs, you will know I’m much more in pieces than at peace! So this was a very welcome first.

I went to bed that night with a few scoops of (low-calorie) salted caramel ice cream (delish by the way) and a smile on my face. Oh and something else happened, I love to be stroked (pretty sure I was a dog in a former life) I am always pestering my boyfriend to stroke my arm, face, hair whatever, to the point where he now refers to me as a strokeponce. He never EVER does this unless it’s requested, so imagine my surprise as I am in bed reading (the latest Rachel Abbott novel if anyones interested, it’s really good!) he started stroking my hair!!! At first I was like WTAF? But then I just gave a little smile to my strokeponce self and said nothing, if I did he might stop!!

I woke up the following morning feeling groggy, it would appear I have contracted the man flu from my boyfriend, (I was a bit bunged up and headachey, not falling out of my bed muttering about funeral plans as some people do – no names mentioned) I did my 3 things to be grateful for in my head, as I had been each morning since my session and came downstairs to make myself a cup of tea.

The sainsburys shopping arrived later that morning, Hurrah, I was looking forward to having a sausage and egg sandwich. I thanked the delivery girl for being out in this weather, which I realised afterwards I genuinely meant, I really was grateful that she had delivered my food. I put the (low-fat) sausages in the oven (sainsburys reduced fat are yum by the way) whilst I unpacked the rest of my shopping, hang on, where’s the bread?? How am I going to have a sandwich? Dammit it wasnt on the receipt, I was certain I had ordered it! I messaged the boyfriend and ask if he could pick some up on his way home and I said I would have to have a bagel instead, I was just about to complain to him how bad bagels were on Slimming World (11 syns for those of you wondering) when I stopped myself, instead of complaining, what could I have instead? So I ended up with rather delicious half english breakfast, as I like to call it. Oven cooked sausages, grilled bacon, scrambled egg & mushrooms, much better than a sausage sandwich indeed and much more slimming world friendly.

The post arrived and there was what looked like a card addressed to me, odd, someones a month early for my birthday? When I opened it it was a good luck card from my best friend, I was genuinely touched, I actually felt really thankful and it was a lovely feeling, I popped the card up and sent her a message saying thank you and that it was a nice surprise. I opened the other letter addressed to me, from my bank. They are going to reduce my overdraft by £700 on April 2nd. I’ve had these letters before, this happens regularly and even though I know the process it still stresses me out, makes me angry and I usually have a bit of an internal melt down. Not today, I read the letter calmly, decided I would give them a call later to arrange to pay this off monthly, which is how it usually worked, and I would give it no more thought. Who am I?

Then I got a message from my friend, his girlfriend just had their first baby and he wanted to do something nice for mother’s day for her. This is my idea of heaven, I love finding nice things for people to do and helping them buy gifts, if this was an actual job I would be the best at this! I sent over some ideas, which he loved and again felt a lovely warm feeling inside, grateful that my friend came to me and happy that I could help.

Saturday morning I woke up and feeling like I was diluted, it was our weekend to have the kids and because of the weather the boyfriend agreed to pick them up on Saturday morning. I woke up feeling groggy, having had a few glasses of red wine the night before, I was so busy thinking about how rubbish I was feeling I totally forgot to do my gratitude first thing, oops. The kids arrived and brought the usual noise into my peaceful house, I started to feel resentful as I made myself a cup of tea, there was mess everywhere already and the sofa was taken over as they fired up the Playstation, leaving me with nowhere to sit, I was desperately trying to not to feel negative as I wanted to avoid any negative emotions so I came upstairs and re-read the principles that had been given to me as part of the therapy, this helped me to gain some perspective and I did some tidying up upstairs. I find this helps clear my mind sometimes and can help distract me from my thoughts. I wasn’t enjoying this feeling, I missed that fizzy excitement of the last few days and was scrabbling around trying to get it back somehow…maybe some food would help, now we had some bread in the house, maybe it was time for that much coveted sausage & egg sandwich…..This feeling was like a cloud, I could almost feel it and I didnt want it, my friend had given me some sage to burn (I’ll write about this another time) and I was really tempted to eat it or smoke the bloody thing if it would rid me of this negative feeling. I picked up my laptop to update this blog and this is where I am right now, on my bed, typing away, waiting for my sausages to cook, with yet another cup of tea trying to sum up some positivity.

Slimming World, Hormones & Me

As you have probably gathered from my previous posts, I am now doing Slimming World. I won’t refer to it as a diet, as in actual fact, I’m not being deprived of any food (or alcohol – and I think we can all agree I like a drink or 10)

For those of you not familiar with Slimming World, here is the basic concept. All lean meat, most fish & seafood, fruit & vegetables are what is known as free food, you can have as much of this as you like, this also includes potatoes, pasta & eggs. Yes you read that correctly, as my Mum often said when she was giving me her slimming world sales pitch “you can eat a whole bag of potatoes if you like” but it’s true (although I’m yet to try it) then you have what is known as healthy extras one list is made up of certain dairy products (milk & cheese) and the other is fibre (bread, crackers, cereals) you are to have one from each list per day. Then all other food is given a “syn” value for example a large glass of my much beloved Sauvignon blanc is 11.5 syns. When you sign up to Slimming world, you are given a daily syn allowance, mine for example is 12-15 per day. When you sign up you have access to an online portal where you can find the syn value of most food brands and restaurants and there is also a calculator for anything else. So I can, if I want, still have a large glass of wine every day if I like! Hurrah!

So I’m back on the slimming world wagon (after a 4 week Christmas break) I have lost 3.5lb in 2 weeks, in this time I’ve drank (too much) wine, been to an Indian restaurant (and ate with abandon) celebrated 2 children’s birthdays and not done any extra exercise (I walk 30 mins to Work and 30 mins home which I’ve always done) so I’m pretty much in love with the Slimming World concept right now.

I am not, however, loving my hormones. Sunday night I started to feel, well weird, like I’d had too much caffeine but fed up with it, jittery misery is the only way to describe it. I took Monday off of work as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for people, this was a mistake as staying home watching Jeremy Kyle only made me more miserable and I was out of my routine. I was now blaming the crateload of prosecco I’d consumed over the weekend. Back to work tomorrow!

Tuesday morning was met with a Moany man banging on about my alarm being snoozed too much and waking him up (he had to get up anyway) I just wasn’t in the mood for his misery so I cried about it when he got in the shower, silently ranting at his cruelty of daring to tell me off when I am feeling so sensitive (like he knew about it)

Wednesday at work was uneventful but I still wasn’t feeling myself, whilst driving home from the station I attempted parking my car on my drive and hit the fence taking half of the back of my car off whilst my boyfriend stood and watched from the doorstep with his hand over his mouth, I just left the car abandoned across the drive, threw him the keys shouting “YOU DO IT!!” I stomped upstairs put my pyjamas on and cried for a bit. Fucking fence.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I have to say, at the risk of sounding like a complete killjoy, I am glad it’s all over.

I am not going to write about the things I thought I was going to write about, such as how I have gone from being Mrs Christmas to Scrooge, or how I keep having very bizarre, vivid dreams. Nope, I am going to wipe the slate clean and look forward, instead of back.

So I admit it, I am one of those New Year, New Me people this year. I have set my goals for the year so I thought I would share them with you.

  1. Lose weight. Oh yes, everybodys favourite! Since meeting my boyfriend I have put on over 2 stone and it really gets to me. This year however, I have a huge incentive. I’m getting married!! Although I have ordered my dress and it looks lovely as I am now, I am not happy with the way I am. I don’t want to go out as much anymore as I never feel nice in my clothes and I hate shopping as it is but the awful feeling of trying stuff on and it’s too tight or just looks horrible does not help my mental state at all. I have been doing slimming world, where I lost 8lb but then have put half back on after having a few weeks off at Christmas, but I am confident that I can shift some serious weight, without starving myself, in fact I eat more now than ever!
  2. Get Fit. This actually has nothing to do with weight loss, this has more to do with my general health. My joints are aching and I don’t seem to bounce back from illnesses like I used to and once again exercise is good for the mind. The plan is to try to exercise 3 times a week and I would like to mix it up a bit by doing some running, HIIT sessions and even giving yoga a go. This is all in my diary to start next week, I prefer exercising in the mornings as if I wait until I come home I wont do it! If I feel like starting this week I will, I just didn’t want to put any pressure on myself to do everything New Years Day.
  3. Write more. I really do enjoy writing, often I will be somewhere and have the urge to write but am not always able to so I want to try to  make more time for this as I find it really therapeutic. Again I have scheduled some time in my diary for this, I am starting with one lunch time per week and can build it from there, so you should expect to see more of me.
  4. Have more me time. I learned a really good word last year. That word is “NO” It took me a long time to get used to saying that to people, I would feel guilty and end up spending time and money I didn’t have to spend. This year is going to be more about doing the things I want to do and less of the things I don’t want. It’s certainly not going to be easy but I know it will be worth it. I noticed that when I had a lot of things going on, my stress levels would go up and I would be a mess, then once it was all over the anxiety would arrive. More diary time, I’ve scheduled every other Wednesday as my boyfriend plays football on Wednesday nights and every other Sunday when he takes the kids to his parents for the afternoon. This gives me time alone to do whatever I want to.
  5. Be less anxious/stressed. I am hoping that the combination of all of these goals will really help with this one. I am finding that if I get stressed it goes from 0-100 it affects my sleep, my relationships, everything. The same with the anxiety. For this my plan is to do all of the above plus perhaps slip a bit of meditation into my routine, this can easily be done on my commute to work

I know it seems like I have put a lot of things on my to do list and in my diary but I am very much a routine person and once its in there I don’t even think about it. I have told myself I am not going to be too rigid, there are going to be occasions when I simply cannot do it all, but the aim of the game is small baby steps, if I find that something isn’t working, I’ll change it, just as long as I try.

I like to use tools and apps for everything too. For the weight loss I am a member Slimming World and got a lovely organiser for Christmas to help with this from Princess Planning I also set up my own Instagram account purely for my weight loss and that really helps, plus I don’t bore all my friends with my food pics as they go on there.

I downloaded the You App to my phone which gives you little daily tasks to do, I love stuff like this and there is no pressure to do them it’s just a nice idea.

I also downloaded an app called reflectly which is like a micro journal, it asks you a couple of questions at the end of each day, such as things you are grateful for and how you rate the day.

I also have a couple of books to fill in. I bought 52 lists last year and kept forgetting to do it so now I have a reminder for Sunday morning to take some time each week to complete my list.

And finally, the last thing I do before I go to bed each night is to complete my one line a day diary which my life coach friend bought for Xmas. I love it and already started it last  night.

So those are my goals for the coming year, what are yours?