Reflection …

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998755_10151512865748106_966206854_nI am writing a rather sad eulogy at the moment.   Actually” rather sad” is not the right expression, it is more tragic than sad.

A life has been cut short by depression… and as I listened to the family tell me the story of the deceased life, I recognised the pain and anguish that they are feeling from thinking that they did not do enough… did not care enough and have somehow “failed” the deceased.

This is not true … they really did all they could .. but right now they can’t see it .. and that is understandable.

I hope in time that they do .. and I hope that in some small way what I am writing to present at the funeral will give them some comfort from the crippling feeling of helplessness and guilt that they are feeling right now.

It is not possible for any of us, no matter how good we are at understanding people, to always read between the lines.  Sometimes we are too busy, or simply cannot be bothered to really listen.   We are sometimes unable to pick up on the small signs … that are so obvious when we look back … because we get fed up, get angry .. or sometimes just do not care enough to see the signs.

For most of the time the person going through a black time cannot find the right words to explain … not for the lack of wanting to .. but sometimes because we do not always understand or see the signs in ourselves.

In some ways I am glad I suffered from Depression, it gave me an insight into myself (and sadly, into other people!) that I would never have had … it also gave me the chance to stop, turn around, and start over again … not that I really ever thought about having to “reinvent” myself in a completely new career … but the stress of fighting and fighting and fighting some more just to say afloat took it’s toll on me … and in the end I had to admit defeat.

There were times when I look back that I was reaching out for help before I was officially diagnosed and I remember saying the words “just listen, I just want you to listen” …  many times … sadly, I know now that the person I was trying to get to listen to me simply couldn’t.. not deliberately .. but just because of who she was and who I am.

For a long time before that I had desperately sought peace, I wanted to be alone at times, I wanted to sit in the quiet and not chat .. I wanted just to stop having to think and just be …. and I did not recognise the signs in myself .. “not me, I’m far to strong to suffer from depression” … how wrong I was … thankfully, some wonderful friends gave me the time, support and peace for me to heal myself … it took a good 18 months for me to feel better in myself .. and a further 6 of medication before I felt strong enough and confident enough to “go it alone” without the help of any wee tablets.

Funny enough .. life started getting brighter for me when the decision to close my old business was finally made.  It was sad, it was a huge blow to my pride … but it was a huge weight off my shoulders… and life began to turn around.

I was lucky, my depression was not as severe as some, I had no thoughts of suicide or self harm … I simply could not find happiness or joy in anything.. I just wanted to disappear for a while … and the numb feeling was like being a dead woman walking.

I am more confident now that the episode of Depression I had will not return, although for a long time I did fear it .. my life is very different and although I get “feckin angry” at stuff that I perceive to be incompetence (let’s not mention Santander!) … it is very different now .. instead of sitting worrying and stressing over things, I simply say it as it is or sort them out .. no excuses or bullshit accepted… and I find that for me (as a natural worrier!) that this seems to work much better … it may not make me popular .. but it certainly stops me from stressing.

I know I am lucky, I did eventually find my peace and to me that is more important than a huge amount of money or a “flash” lifestyle .. I live simply, I spend time on my own and I enjoy it … I like being with me again.   My heart goes out to the deceased and the family I am working with at the moment … I understand much more about the deceased than I will ever say to them … but I will give the family a final goodbye that they will hopefully find to be the start of their healing … and I will let them say goodbye with dignity and honour to someone they loved, who sadly lost the battle to their demons.

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Happiness….

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Image from theminimalist.com

Image from theminimalist.com

I often read posts or message about people searching for happiness.    Sadly, they are on a search that will last forever.

Happiness is not something we find in someone else, or a “thing” .. it comes from within us.   We will never be happy until we truly understand ourselves, our good points, our bad points and what we truly need from life.

For many years I chased the corporate dream of earning money, to be able to buy things that other’s admired and wanted.

Was I happy? .. Nope … did I end up stressing myself and becoming ill over it all? .. yep!

Over the last year or so, I have deliberately taken time out from dating anyone .. one because I didn’t feel I could afford to and did not want to be reliant on anyone but, two more importantly, to find out what it was I need from my life to make me happy.

Peace has always been up there, I have known that for a while.   I like a peaceful mind and a peaceful life and I do enjoy my own company.    But what about having someone in my life… I will be honest, there are times when I would just love to cuddle up and lie in peace and quiet with someone.  It is not based around sex, it is based around feeling emotionally close to someone .. and that is something that I truly have not felt with anyone for many years.

I have had relationships where this vital “thing” for me was missing .. and these relationships have not lasted and quite frankly I should have known they wouldn’t last .. and perhaps subconsciously I did, but sometimes ego gets in the way of common sense.

I have had bad times in my life, I’ve lost a business, my home and my own self respect .. and I’ve fought back (more than once!) to gain pride for myself.   I can lose in spectacular fashion, but there is this wee thing in me that just does not let me give up easily… I am a very determined woman.

I think the realisation that I am not, and never will be, perfect was a good starting point to finding my own happiness.   I cannot change what other people think or feel about me, and it took me a good wee while to realise that.

In the end I simply decided to let go of what doesn’t matter and concentrate on what does matter.   I may not always be right in my choices.. but they are MY choices and I will stand or fall by them.

Tonight, as I sit thinking about what I have, I realise how lucky I am … I have my peace, I have a job that I love, I have my furbabies that I also love.. even if they do drive me mad at times! … and I know that I have wonderful friends ..  I have a happy life .. and I know that is a privilege and not a right.

I am no longer looking for happiness .. I already have it … perhaps now is the time for me to take a deep breath and share it …

Fall into me ….

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Fall into me

Into my laughter

And become my joy

Fall into me

Into my peace

And feel my warmth

Fall into me

Into my heart

And just try to understand

Fall into me

Into my mind

And feel my fears

Fall into me

Into this turmoil

And make it still

The trouble with women ….

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trouble with women

It is a wonderful and glorious thing to celebrate our differences.    We, as humans, are all very unique, we have our own foibles, our own wee imperfections that make us the perfect combination of ugliness and beauty.

We all need different things from life, some need fame and fortune, some need a child, some need peace and quiet and some need attention.

This is where the problems begin.

There is nothing wrong with any of the above “needs”, not a thing, as long as they are kept to a balance.

Out of all of them the attention seekers are normally the most unhappy.   They will say and do anything to get attention and playing the victims of their own drama is like an addiction to them … they NEED to feel hard done by, they NEED to feel they are not to blame,  they NEED to blame someone else.

In reality their unhappiness is usually of their own doing.   Their self centred look on the world can cause chaos to other people, but they don’t care .. they blindly march on, desperately seeking the little thrill of excitement when they get the reaction they want.

These are also the people to be pitied.   Happiness will always be the next bit of attention, the next compliment and in the real world that doesn’t happen every day.    Love and happiness are not built on words that are easily said and hard to live by.. Love and happiness are the boring bits, the day to day stuff, the non exciting crap that goes on in our lives every day … and when you find someone who still wants to hold you when you have bed hair and your dinner spilt down your shirt then you have it … You will not find love behind a compliment … you find it behind the disagreements, the arguments and the anger … you find it in YOURSELF to act responsibly and by taking someone else’s feelings into consideration.

You find it by growing up.

Hello my friend …

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hello my friend

My first post of 2015.   Slightly delayed due to me a wee bit under the weather over New Year … I had that awful chesty, coughy, lurgy thing that was going around and although it had mainly cleared up by New Year, it left me feeling totally wiped out.    I was in bed by 9.30pm!  and apart from a brief visit to my mums for lunch the following day I spent the rest of the day lying on the sofa snoozing or watching Netflix!   Next year I am doing New Year in style!!

However not all is lost … my friend Barbara Anne was on call over New Year .. so we have decided to have our own New Year sometime soon!

The year has started off gently for me … and I don’t mind that .. I am hoping the whole year will continue in the same vein (apart from me feeling under the weather!) … a nice peaceful year with no hassle sounds like heaven to me!   It would be lovely if it turns out like that!

Today I was back at work, I had a family to visit and it turns out it was a bit of a coincidence .. the lady who died was just 2 years older than me .. and her best friend was with the family.  It turns out when she was young she used to visit her grandparents in the village, who were friends with MY grandparents .. the pair of us (and the lady who died) used to run around the fields and byres together at the farm my Gran was in charge of …  I only have a vague memory as I was only about 7 or 8 at the time .. but I do remember them … life has a funny way of doing full circle at times!

In my job I am very privileged to meet some lovely families and hear their very personal stories .. there are a lot of people out there who are “forgotten heroes” .. the quiet home makers, who raised their children with love and respect and taught them the meaning of the words .. the hero dad’s and grandfathers who fought in the war .. or who worked hard to provide for their families… and the sad stories .. of lives cut tragically short, or lives where unhappiness has been the major factor… but all these stories are fascinating and true .. the good and  the bad bits .. a true life, lived in a true way.

Isn’t that a wonderful tribute in itself!

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