Friday, 31 May 2013


When I was younger, it was often said that I was confident.

I was.  About some things, but not about others.

The things I wasn't confident about were the things that really shouldn't matter to a child/teenager.  How I looked.

I was always fat.

I was generally spotty and I didn't have good hair.

Or at least that's what I thought.

The reality was that I didn't know how to dress, I didn't know how to dry my hair, and I wasn't as thin as most of my friends.
I, like a lot of people, wish I knew then that I would be 28 lbs heavier now and wishing I was the size I was desperately unhappy with and that my hair would grow and I would figure it out!

I am pretty confident with how I look now.  I wear good clothes which fit me well, (OK, sometimes, I get it horribly wrong!)  but I know how to dress myself.
I have hair which kinda works for me and I care much less.

What I really wish was that I learnt to be confident when  I was younger by not being pegged against an ideal  which doesn't really exist for someone like me, and I only had the comparison of my friends and class mates, not the barrage of images on the television and in magazines that people have today.

Most importantly, I wish I knew that the girls who were thin in school, would all be pretty fat now, and that they are still not nice people.

That's the most satisfying thing of all.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Hey! I know you...

I have a strange love hate relationship with being recognised.

I have met a lot of people through my work and try as I might, I will never remember everyone.  I do try however.  When I see someone who I recognise I always believe that they will never recognise me or remember me.

Occasionally there are times when I am recognised, this is always a little weird like yesterday, I was casually waiting for the ladies in a local restaurant when  the lady in front of me turned and said, "hey, I know you!"

Slightly taken I back I sheepishly smiled not having a clue who she was, not ringing the slightest of bells with me and waited for some more.

"You were at the pub earlier!?"

Yes, yes I was.  And with that, the conversation ended and we went our separate ways.

Strange, weird, slightly uncomfortable.  Yes.

Have you been recognised recently?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Beautiful Saturday.

Its lovely to come home to some beautiful flowers and even better when the sun shines for a Bank holiday weekend. 


Monday, 20 May 2013

Back in Barca

A couple of weeks ago, we were in Barcelona.

What an incredible city.   I fell in love.  It may even have knocked Paris of the top spot - although I will reserve confirmation of that for a further visit.

Maybe it was because the sun was shining, and pretty much every city break we have had over the last two years has been in the rain (with me woefully ill prepared in the footwear category...)

Maybe it was because people were incredibly friendly.

Maybe it was because my senses were over dosed with colour and smells and sounds and flavours.

Maybe it was because I packed the correct footwear!

But really who cares, I loved it!

An assault on the sense...

Loved this, all the colours, the smells.

Our first meal of tapas - which is funny as neither of us really like tapas!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The power of a hug

 I found myself in a situation recently at work where I needed, really needed to be told it would all be OK.
Doesn't sound like much but in those situations where the world is closing in on you, it can make everything better.
The biggest challenge in these situations is holding it together.  I hadn't told anyone about my depression as I was worried it would open a can of worms, but I underestimated people.
I found myself wobbling one day. A colleague saw this and closed the door and gave me a hug.
A great big man hug. The type of hug you sink in to.  The type of hug that makes makes everything much better.
Everyone needs someone who can hug it out with you.

Friday, 10 May 2013

It's all in the mind.

When my Doctor first discussed with me depression I was really surprised.  My expectations of someone with depression was not me.  It was someone who was sad and lonely.  I am neither. 

I was given three options when I found myself in an uncontrollable state of not being able to speak sitting in the doctors surgery.  Time off work – which I took.  Anti-depressants which I didn’t and counselling which I thought about.

I was so surprised by the suggestion of all of the above that it didn’t really register for a long time what he was telling me;  I needed help.

I was for the first time in my life (or at least that’s how it felt) not in control.

I took two weeks off work and during that time I cried a lot.  I found myself in a position where I was telling people I wasn’t OK.  And that it was OK to do that.

I was lucky, my Doctor had made a return appointment for me at the end of the two weeks to discuss how I was feeling.  He gave me the three options again and having had time to think about some things, (not everything, the thought of antidepressants didn’t really evolve), I confirmed that I would return to work and take the route of the counselling. 

This was at a period of my life where a lot of things had happened in a short amount of time, and I underestimated how much time I needed to give myself to deal with them.  I also underestimated how often I will say, “yeah, I’m fine, how are you?” and not admit that quite frankly I feel like ***.   I knew I needed to address all the things that I was feeling, but I didn’t know what that would look like. 

For me it was someone telling me I was wrong.  Challenging that my behaviour was irrational or disproportionate.  I expected my counsellor to change the way I thought rather than let me be right.

I found the counselling challenging.  I found it difficult at first to open up as I was cynical.  I didn’t know how to manage the emotions inside me, but I did get used to crying in front of people!

Possibly one of the most cathartic things at the time was telling people that I was seeing a counsellor.  A lot of people said, “so have I” and were great, a lot of people didn’t know how to react and the conversation moved on.

I resigned from my job and move on. 

I spent the three months seeing the counsellor waiting for a lightning bolt of an answer which didn’t come.  But now, 5 years later, I am more comfortable with my rollercoaster of a life.  I know that I will feel good, I will feel bad, I will think about disappearing and I will want to disappear, but I also know that the feeling won’t last. 

I know that I might wake up tomorrow morning and feel a whole lot better.  I know that I can smile and generally get through it.  I know that I can tell some people and I know that I can’t tell others.  I know that I often need a hug and I know that more people than we realise will feel the same way.

I also know that depression is more complex than I ever thought and is not the end of the world, but I also know that sometimes it really does feel that way.