Resting In Peace – 31/10/2016

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It’s been a while since I’ve used the computer. I haven’t been able to touch it since last Monday. My mother came to stay at my place a few weeks ago and after a phone call to my father explaining that my gran was in hospital, I decided to drive back with her to my parents 4 hours away, and visit my gran in hospital. I was dreading it. I didn’t know what to expect and I thought I was prepared for the worst but she was far worse than that.

When we arrived at the hospital I had crazy butterflies and already felt shaky like I could cry any minute. I have trouble controlling my emotions and the uncertainty of the situation made me lose all control. All I knew was that I had to say my goodbyes now. We managed to find my Aunt and Uncle with Gran D in the terminal ward. I didn’t even know she was terminal.

Seeing my gran laying there will stay with me forever. I was traumatised. I’ve never experienced someone dying with cancer before and I hope this is the last time I ever do. I walked into the room and broke down as soon as I saw her. She was lying there completely unresponsive. I tried to look into her eyes for some recognition but she stared through me. I couldn’t take it and cried the whole time we were there. My mother was talking to her and brushing her hair but I couldn’t even find the words. Even my father couldn’t speak. I think we both struggled to speak to someone unresponsive. Once the room was empty I was able to speak to my gran and tell her my last goodbyes, tell her how much we all love her and that she still looked beautiful.

If anyone knew my gran, they’d know she was a very stubborn woman who wouldn’t accept help from anyone, she would be the one helping them. She refused a carer. She refused all help from her kids. She was cooking, cleaning and busy until her dying days. I couldn’t stand to see her laying there like that. She didn’t even look the same. Her skin was pale, her face had drooped, her eyes had lost their shine, her hair straight (she always had a perm) and her skinny frame under her flowery nightie made me tear up. It killed me to see her having to rely on others knowing she was hating every second of it.

Once I left the hospital I would cry at any opportunity. I was heartbroken, something I’ve never felt before in relation to dying. I couldn’t and still can’t stop the pictures of her lying there forcing themselves into my mind. I cried a lot that weekend.

I got the call on Halloween…

My gran didn’t want to die in hospital. Sadly she past away two days after I saw her. She died in the early hours of Halloween. My mind and body has been in limbo since. I have found some relief in her passing. We all hated seeing her laying in that bed like a vegetable and we all knew that she absolutely hated it too. I have found some peace knowing she’s not suffering anymore. The thoughts don’t stop of her suffering in hospital, I’m not sure if they ever will but I hope I can learn from this experience.

It’s been over a week now and I still find myself crying a lot but I don’t stop myself. I know I need to mourn and let my body do what it wants. I’m going to say my last goodbye at her chapel of rest next weekend and see her off with grace. It’s going to be a very emotional time but I really want to see her one last time. Christmas will never be the same. I’ll always miss her presence and the little things. We had a bond like no other. She always had time for me and always did an excellent job being a grand and great grandmother. I’ll miss her stern approach with love and I’ll miss her amazing cooking skills. She taught me a lot in life and the lesson that stuck: don’t take life too seriously.

She’ll always be loved deeply and forever stay in our thoughts.

Shutting Down For The Week

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Sorry I haven’t posted in a while but I have good reason. Last week I went into shutdown mode. My mood dropped, I felt tired every second of the day, I couldn’t concentrate on anything and couldn’t connect with people. In these phases I distance myself from socialising online and in person. I let down a friend I was supposed to meet with because I had no energy what so ever to talk. Yet the week before I was at an incredible high.

The week before…

I felt better than I had felt in years. I took on board everything my therapist K had taught me. My anger was barely making an appearance and replacing it was a soothing calmness. Now, I’ve never been a relaxed person, ever. I always had a very short fuse and every little thing would irritate me, more so than others. So I obviously became aware of the change in myself. Other than mentally healing I was pushing myself to the limit. Starting new paintings, looking into piano lessons and thinking ahead for my future.

On the Monday I went to see my therapist. It was 7 weeks since I last session and I was so excited to tell her all about everything I had accomplished. She was very proud of my achievements but I had felt very exhausted all of a sudden like it was a build up of all things good that I had released and there was nothing left. At the end of our session K had set me more homework than usual consisting of socialising with friends, attending my piano lesson and looking up fitness classes to discuss in next session. I left feeling really run down and empty.

The week didn’t get off to a great start. I didn’t attend my piano lesson. The drive would’ve taken too long (well, that was my excuse anyway) and decided to look for a teacher closer to avoid this from happening again. I didn’t socialise with my friend. She text me a few times but I kept apologising and rearranging and I didn’t look up fitness classes. It was all too much. I knew K had put so much hope in me succeeding but I had no will for it. I stayed in bed late each day, only rising to make food and read. My drive had completely gone out of the window and my motivation was nowhere to be seen. The washing up was piling up and became more of a chore. I felt like a failure.

This week…

I arrived at therapy carrying my mood with me. I didn’t want to go. I was so ashamed that I had failed at my set tasks. I was led in bed that morning thinking of all the possible excuses to avoid seeing K but in the end I decided it was best to go. It was too late to cancel and I had to be honest.

I’m pretty sure K sensed that I wasn’t feeling so good. The friendly smile I forced was probably obvious. I explained that I had failed at everything and that I was losing it and going back to my old ways. I told her that I was doing so bloody well yet I still managed to mess everything up. I almost expected a telling off (always expecting the worst) but she remained calm and listened to me ramble on about my week. She noted that although I lacked motivation and went into shutdown mode I still maintained my new best behaviour.

At the end of my meeting with K she told me that everyone will have a bad day. When you’re depressed, you can’t just suddenly heal, it takes time. When changing our behaviour and thinking process it requires practice to stick in the mind and having aspergers syndrome can make it harder to adapt to. She told me to stop putting myself down over a bad week and focus on a new week. Start a fresh…

For my homework this week I have to write in a planner all of the things I aim to achieve for the week and to push myself into waking up at a reasonable hour. She recommended I tackle the chores and get back on top of my usual routine reassuring me it would get easier with time and all fit together again.

Present day…

It’s Wednesday and I’ve managed to stay on top of all of my chores. I started a new painting. I looked up a local teacher nearby that I will in touch with tomorrow to arrange my introduction session. I have looked into a new course subject that I have a fond interest for and have arranged to meet my friend tomorrow.

Looking back at last week I noticed that it was so easy for me to go into a shutdown. In fact, it took me five days to even register it was there. I can’t remember much from that week because whilst shutting down, it doesn’t even feel like I’m alive. I disconnect from everything around me and the inner me. It’s actually quite scary to lose yourself for a period of time. In the moment its safe and the mind is so fragile it can’t be disturbed. My senses are heightened so I can’t handle bright lights or certain sounds. It’s like wrapping up in a cocoon away from danger and completely shutting away from the world, which explains why the term shutdown is so fitting.

 

Something About Maria

  1. Are you named after anyone? I was named after my mother, her name is Maria too. Although in the Philippines they tend to call you by your middle name, so in the UK she is called Emilie.
  2. When was the last time you cried? On Saturday night. My friend and I went to the cinema to see Me Before You. I was a complete mess at the end!
  3. Do you have kids? Not at the moment, it’s something I’ll think about in a few years.
  4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? Argh, a tough one. I’m not sure really. It would take a certain person to become a long term friend of mine. I’m hard work..
  5. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Rarely. I don’t catch on to sarcasm so rarely use it myself.
  6. Will you ever bungee-jump? I highly doubt it! I’m not fond of heights and wouldn’t call myself an adrenaline junkie!
  7. What’s your favorite book? I have a few: Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now; Dan Brown – Inferno; James Redfield – The Celestine Prophecy and Paulo Coelho – Like The Flowing River.
  8. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Not much as I rarely look at people I’ve just met. If it’s someone I would be spending more time with over time, I would probably notice their hair and clothing.
  9. What is your eye colour? Brown with red tones (noticeable in sunlight).
  10. Scary movie or happy endings? Happy Endings! Scary movies started to have a negative impact on things in my life so I don’t watch them as often.
  11. Favorite smells? Petrichor – the scent of rain, fresh air at night and my mother’s perfume.
  12. Summer or winter? Winter. I do love both seasons but prefer the winter because I can wrap up in cozy clothing and I’ve always been obsessed with anything christmassy. The things I love about summer are also the clothing, healthy skin and holidays.
  13. Computer or television? Computer. I rarely sit and watch TV but I like to go online a lot. I can watch stuff on Netflix too.
  14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? The Philippines, although my mind is always somewhere in space, does that count? 😉
  15. Do you have any pets? I have two dogs that are living with my parents and I currently foster a dog.
  16. Where were you born? England
  17. What are your hobbies? Collecting ornaments and plants, painting (when I have motivation), blogging, playing the piano and visiting new places.
  1. Do you have any interests? Interior design, animal welfare, writing, reading and photography.
  2. Favorite movie? I have a few faves: X-Men Apocolapyse, Mad Max Fury Road, Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games Film Series and The Family Stone.
  3. Do you have any siblings? No, I’m an only child.
  4. What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy and content in life. Career wise, I’m still trying to figure that one out!

My Foster Dog – Victor

I’d like to introduce you all to my handsome foster dog Victor

 

I’ve had the pleasure of fostering this beautiful soul for the last month now. It all started with his previous foster mother having to work away and he needed a temp foster. So, I had him for a weekend and fell in love with him. Later on that week after handing him back, the rescue asked if I would like to foster Victor so Gertie (another beautiful senior staffy) could stay with Victor’s old foster to receive the appropriate treatment following an operation. That’s how I ended up with this bundle of joy.

The rescue believe this poor soul was found as a stray on the streets. He was a bag of bones when he arrived at the Senior Staffy Club but is now, after consistent feeds and loving care he is a healthy weight. He is roughly 12 years old, but believe me when I tell you guys, he doesn’t act his age! He has more energy than me! He loves playing fetch with his bouncy ball although he does try to bury it after a while (saving the best for later of course)..

There’s so many quirks to this loving bundle. He’s actually quite cheeky. He likes to run outside in the rain, only to run back in and get his luxurious towel dry after. It doesn’t stop there, after his dry he runs back outside AGAIN and I’m sure you know the rest 🙂 Another quirk of Victor’s is the toy hiding/burying. I’ll buy him yummy soft bones, only to find them hidden neatly at the bottom of my bookshelf or at the back of my wardrobe underneath a pile of clothes! I can’t help but laugh, he has so much character it’s so lovely to see.

He loves to get his belly being stroked and well, pretty much everything along with it too if you’re offering! He is also a very clever boy. He has learnt how to give his left and right paw (in as quick as minute) and the other basic commands are easy for this intelligent wise old soul. He isn’t so good with other dogs, which I can only imagine being because of past experiences. Luckily for Victor, my friend in the area is a dog behaviorist and is willing to encourage Victor in time, to socialise with dogs and relax more on walks. That still doesn’t change a single thing, he is still an amazing dog. Whoever adopts him will be so lucky to have him in their life..

In the short amount of time I’ve been looking after him, he has brought so much happiness and content to my life. I finally feel that I have something to wake up for in the mornings. I laugh more than I have in a very long time. His snuggles relax me and his presence is natural calming therapy which I’m sure everyone needs! If you or anyone you know of is thinking of adopting, please visit the Senior Staffy Club and check out the current dogs in their kennels. I’ve attached a few links to their website and Facebook if you could check these out.

Thanks for viewing 🙂

The Senior Staffy Club – Website

The Senior Staffy Club – Facebook

Discovering Pessimism

For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt depressed, well that’s what I thought it was growing up. Many may not understand how a child can be depressed. The child could have a loving family, new clothes, friends and a stable lifestyle. This still doesn’t mean that a child is necessarily happy.

On a good day I consider myself a bubbly person, yet on a bad day I turn into this negative being. I’ve never really sat there and looked back on my life and noticed any patterns until now. I used to always have this dark outlook on life and I still do now. I feel like I’m constantly at war with myself. There’s one side of me trying to see the greatness in everything around me, and then there’s this side of me that can’t see any goodness in the world we live in.

I’ve always been observant of things happening in the world. I have always been inquisitive and question everything. I feel that because of this I’ve never been able to let go of all of the negative incidents that take place on a daily basis around the world. I suppose for the normal person, it’s easy to be sympathetic when the latest news alert pops up on their TV screens but they easily slip back into their 9-5 grind and comfortable life. I on the other hand struggle to let these things go. I can’t help but think of those living in poverty when I refill the kettle with fresh water, I feel guilty when I’m able to buy new clothes and there are people unable to afford these things and must feel humiliated on a daily basis. I can’t feel comfortable living in a world where soldiers are praised in return for killing innocent people. I can’t feel comfortable knowing that the government’s concern isn’t for our future generations. I continuously see these images nearly everyday and it stops me from being happy.

 


 

I started therapy on Monday. I met with a woman who seemed like she was up to the job. I’ve had therapy in the past with no change. I have to have CBT for 20 weeks so I can finally see a psychologist. I didn’t want to go through this process but to see the right person I have to. The assessor said I have to improve my moods before seeing a psychologist, which brings me to this post.

When having my session I couldn’t possibly see a way that this rubbish was going to improve my moods. I’m always going to feel this way, I doubt 20 sessions with a CBT therapist will alter my views on the world.

Since my session I have been thinking over and over, trying to sift through my memories as to why I have always been a pessimist. I realised that it’s always been the case for me. I see life too negatively, I rarely see the beauty. I have days when I visit the countryside and I see so much beauty that it’s overwhelming, it just doesn’t last long enough. I let the negative outweigh the positive repeatedly.

I wonder if there are other pessimists out there like me? Anyone who can shed some light.

I’m hoping this is something I will, one day, overcome.

 

M.