referring time…

I have referred, more than once, to posts written by Wic, at Letters To Pogue.

It’s not just because sometimes I find them amusing (and he shares some good music every now and then), or because they are well written (and for the large part, well researched) but also because most of the time I find them to be incredibly thought provoking. And I guess I am a girl who likes to think – especially if it sometimes means being able to avoid doing the dishes 😛

Now… I have to say… unfortunately there are times where doing the dishes becomes a ‘priority’. And usually it’s because I open the cupboard and there isn’t a single plate to use – only to discover, after washing and packing away, that half the dishes are still missing… and can usually be found in my teenage daughters bedroom! FORK! No, I am not swearing… just reiterating that I also usually find where all my forks have gone too! 😛
Anyway…
So dishes become a ‘priority’ – but not one by choice, more out of necessity. Which I guess turns them into a commitment/responsibility?
Please stay with me here… the point is coming – like the full fork drawer 😛

Wic offers up a ‘Monday Musing’ post which is always worth checking out 😉 Yesterday’s post was definitely worth ME reading. (Might be helpful to the rest of the world out there too.)

I am pretty sure it was a personal dig at me 😛 😛 😛 Have you ever done that? Identified so much with something that you stop and go, ”hey, should I be offended? I’m sure they mean me!” I am laughing here, because it’s ridiculous! But is it? Here’s the thing – sometimes we identify with something so much because it was exactly what we needed to ‘hear’… and perhaps there are changes we need to make. And some are more drastic than others – and not so pleasant. In this case (and maybe I missed the point – or maybe it is just different for me – or maybe my mind is still processing and avoiding dishes 😛 ) it was very much an ‘adjust your thought pattern and watch what you say and how you say it’ moment.

I am not particularly fond of the word ‘priority’. It’s defined as ‘the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important than others’. It’s no wonder so many people get offended by it!

And it’s no wonder we are often made to feel guilty and ashamed of what we have ‘chosen’ to do with our time.

By the same token, perhaps we also need to practice a little more understanding and compassion with others regarding theirs?

Not everyone who says to us, ”Sorry, I can’t, I just don’t have time”, is trying to tell us that we have no importance in their lives.
Personally? I would prefer that they keep their job, or give their attention to their children/husband, or spend some time refilling their soul.
It doesn’t mean that I am not important to them, or that I have ‘less value’ in their life. It just means that they have other commitments and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.

Time is also the one thing we can never get back once it has gone. And I was reminded that I personally need to remember to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ when someone shares a piece of theirs with me. So a big thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my own ‘personal musings’- sorry, Wic 😉

So those are just my thoughts on that… and in closing, I found this, which was very appropriate 😛

And in case you are wondering… I have TWO dogs 😛

acceptance without affect

This is the first paragraph… but I’ve written it last. Weird, right?
It’s taken me a week to put this together – not because there is anything in here that is amazingly informative or stunningly interesting. It’s because it has been hard to put into words. I never thought I would find it so difficult to ‘speak my mind’. But here I am.

There may be triggers in here… so please tread carefully if you are a sufferer. I’ve tried to do this ‘clinically’.. without too much extra. That’s difficult in itself for someone like me who is an empath and tends to be rather emotional. Here goes the explanation of absence… although I am determined to do better…. to at least try…. and there’s a lot to be said for that.

PTSD. C-PTSD. CFS.

A lovely bunch of acronyms. Not. I’ll break them down for you…..

PTSD : POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
A disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.
The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.Symptoms may include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, heightened reactivity to stimuli, anxiety or depressed mood.

C-PTSD : COMPLEX POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD, sometimes abbreviated to c-PTSD or CPTSD) is a condition where you experience some symptoms of PTSD along with some additional symptoms, such as:
difficulty controlling your emotions
feeling very hostile or distrustful towards the world
constant feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
feeling as if you are permanently damaged or worthless
feeling as if you are completely different to other people
feeling like nobody can understand what happened to you
avoiding friendships and relationships, or finding them very difficult
often experiencing dissociative symptoms such as depersonalisation or derealisation
regular suicidal feelings.

CFS : CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.
Other characteristic symptoms include:
Sleep that isn’t refreshing
Difficulties with memory, focus and concentration
Dizziness that worsens with moving from lying down or sitting to standing

In the past month, I have had my fair share of medical professionals : Vet, Dentist, Doctor, Psychologist. And I even bumped into the Pfizer rep that I knew from my days of working for a doctor, so there was her too 😉

I knew I had PTSD – related to trauma from 2012. What no one told me is that it can last years… and that when you think you’re ‘over it’, it can come back. The focus was on the 2012 trauma – I have recently discovered that the situation and numerous occasions of abuse when I was married had me already living with PTSD, just not knowing.

This past month, after two years of undergoing blood tests and x-rays, the conclusion that has been drawn is that I have all three of the above. Wait, what? (The only thing missing has been an MRI – so the conclusion is based on evidence and investigation sans that.) This is all just ‘diagnosis’ though. I accept that they’re all educated and know better than me. I accept their diagnosis. This doesn’t mean that I won’t question though… or fight against it… or try and determine otherwise. Stubbornness has it’s advantages 😉 and so does being so focused on hope! 😉

I have never fully understood when people have said to me, ”I just can’t explain it.” I do now.

But we are all different. And respond differently. And as I have researched and read up, and begun ‘unpacking my mind/debriefing’, I have been made even more aware of how different we all are, and how differently we respond.

I can’t walk you through it all… I am only just starting this journey, as such, and am still walking through childhood. Sigh.

And it’s hard. And I am so tired.
(Although the psychologist says I need to stop saying the word tired. Tired can be solved through sleep and rest. Fatigue cannot.)

What I can say for now is this : I am an empathetic and compassionate individual. But this has taken me into a whole new level of understanding and compassion. I hurt for people who are suffering from these things and are doing it alone because people don’t know or comprehend what it is and how much damage it actually does. I hurt for people who have been, and are being judged, because of what is seemingly their actions, and supposed bad choices.
I hurt because I am one of those people. And I wish my arms were wide enough and big enough to stretch over the entire world of those people, so that I could just hold them. Because I know that there is a part of me that just wishes to be held for a while.

I will also say this : my response to all of this has been a little strange. There is an acceptance without affect. My brain is saying,
”Okay fine. They say you have this. It sure explains a lot, and you need to now stop being so hard on yourself. It’s happened. ”Stuff” has happened. You can’t change it, and you can’t change the people who inflicted the hurt and put their issues on you. You can’t take back the reactions and choices you made as a result. So let’s do what we need to, even when it hurts and when it’s hard…. but let’s also figure out how NOT to let it affect every part of your life in a negative way.”

I think it’s that ‘prisoner of hope’ attitude of mine that I now think was developed many years ago to protect my peace in some way. I’m not entirely sure. But I feel like it might have been. And as much as I want to wake up in the morning, and pull the blankets back over my head and just stay like that all day, until the next day… I can’t. And that in itself causes me confusion.

Something else that has me confused….
I can understand why people who suffer feel the way they do. 😦 I am confused as to why I don’t feel the same way.
According to the psychologist, and almost every support group forum I have visited, a vast majority express the ‘suicidal feelings’ symptom. Not always in the way that they would actually DO something… but in a way where they say : ”I just want to die. I pray for God to take me. I just want it to be over.”
Yes, I want the ‘bad feelings’ and the days I struggle to be over and gone. I don’t want to wake up after a good nights rest ‘tired’. BUT I don’t want to die. My strongest desire is to still LIVE, despite this. To find ways for life to go on, and have meaning, and be fruitful, even when I am fatigued and struggling. See? That prisoner of hope thing again, I guess.

I am not medicated. I have opted instead for vitamins, and a herbal supplement aimed at anxiety and stress. This is NOT to say that the variety of medications to treat these acronyms are useless. In fact there is a strong possibility that some form of ‘chemical help’ would benefit me. But this is part of MY issue – a mental block of sorts when it comes to ‘medication’. A part of the past from childhood that is being unpacked.

I share all of the above for two reasons.
The first is to create an awareness of sorts. Because I know this from personal experience : sometimes when something doesn’t directly affect me, I don’t really take the time to learn about it. For example : MS (multiple sclerosis) is not something that has affected anyone I know personally. And so although I know what it is, I have never really delved into it. So I am aware of what it is, but clueless as to the way it impacts someone’s life… and the lives of those around them.
The second reason is this : I value each and every one of my regular readers and followers. (And even those who just pop by for a specific post have meaning to me.) By having my personal blog – and making it so very personal because of the way I am – I have invited and allowed each of you to become ‘part of my world’. And although many of you don’t require an explanation, I needed to tell you – for me. I love connecting with people (another symptom I seem to defy) and part of that connection is honesty and baring a part of my soul, I guess.

So there’s my mind, and soul… slowly unpacking. Apologies for the lengthy post. If you’ve read it all, thank you. ❤

Empathy

It’s been a very long while, hasn’t it?
In case you are wondering, I have thought about you all every day… and missed you. Time away from WordPress is surprisingly a little distressing for me. In time, all will be revealed and my absence explained a little bit. 😉

But for now…..

I wanted to share a Facebook memory with you. For those who don’t have Facebook, they like to remind us of posts from the past. In case we like them and cherish the reminder. Sometimes it’s bitter sweet, sometimes it’s just plain sweet, and yes… sometimes I think we have to swallow the little bit of bitterness that may threaten to well up at a particular memory.

THIS memory, for me, was a sweet one. It’s from four years ago. It’s sweet because I LOVE the reminder contained within.
The image I had shared is as follows :

Someone had commented on this picture and said that they ‘struggled with empathy because they just weren’t an empath at heart’.

I understand that… and still do. Not everyone is an empath ‘to the bone’. As I often point out, we are all different and it takes ‘all kinds to make the world go round’. How boring it would be if we were all the same.

However, UNDERSTANDING that is coupled with LOVE covers a whole lot of other things – it opens doors to kindness and gentleness and compassion etc. And it’s important! VERY important.

In fact, I feel like it is SO important that even if you are not an empath, and you recognise this, that it is something you should then at least TRY! You won’t get it right all the time. And sometimes it is really difficult. But trying takes you one step closer… and may make a big difference to the person in question.

I have an empathetic soul. There are still times where I struggle with understanding. I have learnt that sometimes I need to keep my ‘lack of understanding’ to myself, and still just be kind. Not because of the other person, but because of me. It develops good character. So I just keep trying 😉

I am hoping you are all well. Please know you have all been missed! Happy Sunday, everyone ❤

You Are The Best!

Each and every one of us are different. And there are days when I look in the mirror and think, ‘well, thank goodness for that!’. 😛
Honestly though….

NO ONE can be a better YOU than YOU! (And it’s in red because it is really important!) And guess what? Your birth was a blessing, no matter what the circumstances. You have gifts and talents, even if you haven’t discovered them yet. And you have a purpose!

You aren’t defined by your past, and that includes yesterday. Because perhaps yesterday you did something that suddenly sparked a much needed change and so today you are a better person, striving towards the greatness you were created for.

And if you feel like you haven’t yet managed to grasp your particular talent, ability, purpose and it’s making you feel worthless? Please don’t lose heart! You will! You’re still the best ‘you’ that anyone could ever hope to be and you’re filled with undeniably positive potential! (Even if it means you need to learn and grow and discover 😉 )
No matter what : you matter!

So having said all that, I am also going to say this : some people can be really mean, and sometimes I think that’s why Noah only took animals on the ark. 😛
They stand in judgement of every little thing, and they’re critical, and they’re a downright hindrance to whatever self esteem we are trying to build. And sometimes, if we pause to explore where they’re coming from, we might find a lot of hidden hurt… and opinions based on the beliefs they have. They can still be quite destructive though. (If we let them be : and let’s face it, sometimes we’re in a place where we struggle to not let them influence us.)
They’re a ball of continuous negativity that just seems to never stop rolling.

The thing is, when I think about it, there are times where my behaviour was exactly like theirs. Those times may have been fleeting, but I’d be lying if I said that I have never judged another, or been critical, or broken down someone’s self esteem.

However, nowadays when that old pattern of self threatens to emerge, I am usually a lot more successful at preventing myself from reacting or behaving in that way, because I have worked really hard to eliminate the beliefs that taught me to be that way and deal with my pain.  And I owned my mistakes – and appreciated the times they were not thrown in my face. There’s also something extra special and extremely uplifting when someone pauses at an action you have taken and wants to know ‘why’ – without just the assumption that actions speak louder than words.

The ‘WHY’ is actually the source of the biggest step towards change and growth. Without understanding ‘why’, or caring enough to ask someone ‘why’, they may not ever get the help they need and may continue on a path of self destruction. I understand that sometimes the why isn’t a simple answer – but growth and change aren’t always simple either.

In a world where we can be anything, let’s not only be kind…. let’s also be understanding.

This was actually all sparked by a motivational speaker who has fed me some truly great opinions and knowledge that have helped me, but has also recently been tarnished in the media for doing something ‘terrible’. And while I agree that ‘the deed’ is in fact a bit questionable, I don’t know why it was done – I have no real knowledge of the circumstances or the emotions, or the struggle that I am sure was happening internally.  Does it mean that the food I was able to glean for my own soul now no longer has worth? NO! 
It just means that this person has weaknesses too – and that the weakness has temporarily won – and perhaps there is a great sense of purpose to it? For who knows?Perhaps there’s a lesson for them and an opportunity for even more growth. Because we never stop growing or learning. Perhaps this is a part of their journey.

They may be a celebrity with a recognised social status and more money than I could ever possibly imagine having or even desire (unless it means I can give it away and help the people in my life who I know so desperately need it!) … but that celebrity is still a person, like me. They also matter. They also need kindness and understanding. They also make mistakes.

And since I didn’t like being judged and criticised for mine, I don’t think it’s fair that I jump on the bandwagon and do the same to them – especially since I don’t understand the situation.

That weakness led to a mistake being made. Celebrities are not perfect, so why do we think they don’t make mistakes? Just like we do. Just like some parents do. Just like some pastors do. Just like some teachers do.

Just. Like. Me.