Posted in Diary of a Nervous Girl

January 5th 2017

I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a long while. I’m going to share a mostly unedited piece taken from my actual journal. It was how I used to form all my early blogs before I got fixated on putting together polished pieces that were supposed to mean something (what they meant, I have no clue anymore). So here goes, a real diary of a nervous girl…

So #Project365 is going slower than I had hoped (I haven’t touched my ideas board for the whole first week of 2017). My enthusiasm doesn’t seem to hold for that long right now. There are reasons for this – I’m currently hypermanic and struggling with my anxiety disorder – although neither reason should prevent me if I were truly setting my mind and heart on it. 

The trough is worth it I feel as I’ve been drawn to at least some realisation that I quit far too easily, and I don’t push myself near enough in the right places in my life. I can try harder, I need to, I should want to, I DO want to. 

My life, my illness, it’s a distraction but it shouldn’t be my end. I can be more than the girl who is so afraid of everything she forgets how to live.

Yours sincerely,

Nervous Girl

Posted in Diary of a Nervous Girl, Project 365

Welcome to Midnight

Five.
Four.
Three.
Two.
One.

The ball drops and fireworks. Resolutions are made.
People scream and people kiss and is it possible to change?
Is it really truly possible to leave the past behind?

Welcome to Midnight.

Another year comes to a close. Another year begins.
With a moment in between.
Why the fuss?
Why the fame and fireworks?
Is it more than hype? More than something else to sell us?
Is there something to this holiday? Something true inside it?
Because isn’t there something inside us that aches for change…
Dreams it to be possible…
To let go.
To hold on.
To leave it behind.
To start again.
To be new.
Is it possible?

If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs, then you’re alive today tonight right now.
And who can know how long we have here…
And is it a gift? Was it ever a gift? Did that ever feel true or could that one day feel true?
Are there things to fight to live for?
Moments and people. Weddings and children and all your different dreams.
Love.
Is your life more than just your own?
And are there broken things you were made to fight to fix?
Broken families, broken friends… Injustice.
Will you move for things that matter?

Wouldn’t it be nice if change took just a moment?
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy?
Midnight and we’re new. Midnight and the past erased. Midnight and we’re free.

It seems to come slow. It seems to be a surgery.
Forgiveness. Healing. Sobriety. Letting go. Starting over.
It seems to happen slowly over time.
One day at a time, the choice made new each morning.
Will you fight?
Will you fight to be healthy?
Will you fight to be free?
Will you fight for your story?
Will you fight to get the help you need?

Change takes more than a moment, but maybe there’s also something to this celebration of a moment, something to the way it speaks to us, something to the way we fear it, and dream it to be true. Maybe it’s the most honest moment of the year.

It’s possible to change.

Welcome to Midnight.

Here’s to the possibilities.

Peace to You.
jamie

p.s. – What do you hope to leave behind in 2016? What do you hope to find in 2017? Join the conversation at #welcometomidnight on Twitter and Instagram.

Taken from https://twloha.com/blog/welcome-midnight/. All credit to Jamie of To Write Love On Her Arms.

Welcome to Midnight…

The post above is one I’ve looked through repeatedly in the past few days. TWLOHA is an amazing organisation sparking the hard conversations around mental illness, self harm, and suicide. Welcome to Midnight is a New Year’s reflection with a difference, it acknowledges the hard truth that the promise of a New Year isn’t something that sparks joy in all people.

New Year’s is a time of reflection. Looking back at all the things we did or didn’t achieve, fulfilled hopes, broken promises, joy and heartbreak. It is also a time for refresh. Resolutions we set out with good intentions. Hopes, dreams, desires we finally believe we can find. We promise ourselves the world, and all of the happiness we can grasp from it. But change is never easy. No matter how good our intent, or how strong our initial enthusiasm. Change does not come in a quick and painless instant. It takes work and time, battling each our own familiar darkness.

This is my reflection on 2016, it’s highs and it’s lows, as I wait for the bells to toll and 2017 to take it’s place.

So what am I hoping to leave behind in 2016?

Normally I’d say all of it, but actually this year had a load more good parts than I’ve come to expect. So I guess, what I’d like to leave behind as we cross into 2017 are my poor expectations, the constant fear that something is about to go majorly wrong, the inability to look at myself without seeing countless flaws that aren’t really there. I’d like to leave the hurt, and the pain, the disappointment. I’d like to leave behind all the bad parts that paint shadows over the amazing wonderful things that have happened this year.

If that’s what I’d leave behind, then what do I hope to find in 2017?

Honestly I have no idea. There’s many things I’d like to achieve in the next 365 days (#Project365), but what I hope for is more of the things that make me happy. The little things that make me content with being me, that make me smile, that make me want to wake up each day and continue fighting through that familiar darkness until there’s nothing but light. My hope is undefinable, without limit, not confined to a single idea.

There you have it. Welcome to my midnight.

Kerry-Mae D.

P.S. I’m going to be posting a lot more regularly (I recently went through and deleted some posts I no longer felt should be on here), and I’ll be explaining what #Project365 is very soon  (i.e. tomorrow… hopefully).

Happy New Year everybody, I hope 2017 brings you all your hopes.

That’s me done for the year!

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Books That Have Stayed With Me

So someone posted a chain thing on Facebook listing 10 books that have touched/stayed with you. I’m not quite inclined to do it on Facebook right now so I thought I would post it on here instead. My list is in no particular order, not saying book no. 1 touched me more than book no. 7, more that I just recalled them in this order as I was writing them down.

Here goes…

1. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is perhaps my all time favourite book and my all time favourite book character. I first fell in love with the story of Sara Crewe as a 7 year old who was still grieving the loss of her mother. Sara is also a motherless child, and the story of how she handles hardship with courage, strength, love, and hope, is inspiring even to my adult self. I’ve re-read this books enough times to know much of it by heart, although I continue to find lessons each time.

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This comes as much from the particular copy I own as the story contained within it. When I was about 11 I inherited an old hardback edition which had been my mother’s as a child. Inside the cover was my mum’s childish scrawl, and the fact that we still had the copy was testimony to her enjoyment of the book. So to hold the same story within my hands and enjoy it felt very much like I was with my mum. That being said, the story was also beautiful and inspiring.

3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This makes the list because it deals with a topic very close to my heart, young people’s mental health. I read this at a time in my life where I had thoughts of self harm and suicide. This story delivers shock value in a very innovative and interesting way. It looks at suicide not in the eyes of the troubled person before the act, but the people left behind afterwards. And beyond that. It doesn’t look at the effect on the parents or friends, but instead focuses on a trail of answers, on the little things we have become so numb to that we don’t realise the detrimental effect we have on other people’s lives. Jay Asher delivers the blame in such a real way, with the idea that what we might see as harmless (as ‘banter’ as we call it in the UK) might be the reason for such dark events.

4. Angels Unlimited series by Annie Dalton. Another book love from little 7 year old me. Although rather childish and not the most impressively written books (now out of print), these touched me at a time I needed it most. The books deal with what happens after someone dies. They become Angels, and then they get sent as ‘agents’ back to Earth to protect humans that need them. As a child I always wanted to believe that my mum wasn’t just gone, that she was still somewhere and she was good. So this provided child me with an image of her as a protecting Angel watching over me and anyone else heaven sent her to.

5. Slated trilogy by Teri Terry. I only read is book as it was nominated for our local book awards which I used to be a reviewer for. The story set over three books is interesting, and shocking. It’s dystopian but set not too far in the future or in a universe that wildly different from current reality (it set in Britain 2064). What is most interesting and shocking is that all the ideas and technology in it are real, the plot of the book is entirely possible. To me I was drawn in by the realisation that if certain conditions transpired this could actually be our very real future.

6. Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo. Another kids book. Maybe I’m only recalling it because the plot is amazingly similar to the origin story of one Oliver Queen in the hit show Arrow, but I do remember being quite in love with it’s story of love and survival back when I read it aged 8.

7. Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings. This book is listed mostly because I love how it’s supernatural elements were written in. Supernatural things are my favourite genre to work with, and this book was major inspiration for how to write supernatural stories of my own (including the piece that got me a distinction at performing arts school.

8. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. A really good fiction book on racism and extremism, and what happens if we perpetuate hate within society. Noughts and Crosses reverses the story of racism by placing black people as the elite majority in power, with white people relegated to the role of second class citizens. What’s so eye opening about it is that Malorie Blackman used the same rhetoric from history (like civil rights America in the 20th century), but turns it the other way round. Only the narrow minded would fail to be affected by seeing the discrimination and hatred that ethnic minorities really experience turned around onto characters that could easily be their children or friends or even themselves.

9. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Alice Sebold makes my list twice, primarily because of how shocking and yet real her stories are. I only read the book after watching the film where the murder victim Susie Salmon is played by Saoirse Ronan. If the film was creepy and horrorfying, the book is worse. The book version carries less of the hope and happy ending of the film.

10. Lucky by Alice Sebold. The second Alice Sebold book is actually her memoir. It details her journey through the events, trauma, and consequences of sexual assault. Prior to finding this in our local BookCycle, I hadn’t known much about the author despite reading her other fiction books. I’ve since seen this book recommended in some places for other people suffering from the trauma of sexual assault, and my own trauma was in part why I was drawn to read it myself. While I cannot say for definite how, or even if, this book helped my own journey of recovery, I can say that valued the honesty. To bare such a dark and vulnerable and raw part of your soul for the world to see takes much bravery, and for that I commend Alice Sebold. She doesn’t shy away from the harsh truths that those living with trauma are all too familiar with. She doesn’t doesn’t try to paint them with fake hope or tell readers that every was going to be okay. She explained that shit happens, and people process it differently, and it’s okay to not be okay even years down the line. 

… So that is my list of 10 books which have stayed with me. There are many more, but these are the 10 I recalled when thinking about it this time. My reasons are personal and no bearing on the books or authors themselves.

Keep reading people, it’s good for the soul. If you want to do this also then feel free.

Posted in Uncategorized

The First Mile Is Always Harder…

Undermine – Hayden Panettiere (as Juliette Barnes in Nashville)

First off, I wanted to add the song straight into the post but apparently WordPress doesn’t have that feature freely available, so I have linked the Youtube version. The post title comes directly from this song, so it’s actually relevant and not just there for fun.

Today has been a little bit of a roller coaster ride. To be fair, most of my life to this point has been a roller coaster ride, very much deserving of the hash tag #lifesupsanddowns. I won’t go into all the details, everyone has their own crap in life, perhaps there’s no need for me to tell my life story. Just the pieces that are important to this post.

As of midnight I will be 362 complete days into a journey that felt impossible to me not that long ago. That’s 362 days that at various points I sincerely thought I wouldn’t have. That’s 1 day closer to the first full year mark in a long journey of recovery that I committed to a year ago this Sunday.

I’m not the only one to make this journey, and I certainly won’t be the last, but I’ve begun to feel that maybe I’m looking at it from a different perspective to others who have come here before me. In one of the support forums I’m a member of, it is often posted that we fall down for a single day of this journey that we should really start counting the days all over again. But this isn’t the way I feel we should test the strength of recovery. My journey has not been perfect. There have been many missteps, many days where my recovery wasn’t as strong as I’d like, days when relapse seemed inevitable. Yet there was not one single day when I stopped wanting to recover, when I let go of the commitment to making this journey. That’s how I measure the success of my recovery. If ever a day comes when I wholeheartedly abandon this commitment, if ever I choose to let the darkness back in, that’s when I’ll reset the counter and begin again at the beginning of the path. Yet still, I wouldn’t wish to see that as a complete failure. The focusing on negatives and failures was how the darkness got it’s foothold. I choose to see the positives so that the light is able to chase away the dark.

Posted in Uncategorized

A sadness that’s impossible to heal…

Not so positive today, although not completely doom and gloom either.

There are moments when a thought or memory or an item comes up and triggers a kind of sadness that I feel may never truly heal.

All these moments relate to a single thing, something I will never be able to have, which is why I may never stop feeling that twinge of sadness in connection with it.

I lost my mum sixteen years ago this year. I was barely five years old at the time and I have no memories of my short time with her. So I can’t really miss her, more that I have to miss the idea of her. And that hurts.

I have to see other people have relationships with their mothers. It feels to me like a world I am permanently excluded from. That hurts even worse.

They say you can’t miss what you never had, but I’m not sure that the saying is true. Like I say, I might not actually be missing the person as I don’t remember the person. But I am certainly missing the idea of the person. I miss all the things that should have happened had that person existed in my life. I miss all the things that will not happen because that person is never going to be in my life.

In many ways that’s the worst thing to miss, as it can never be real, as it was never real in the first place.

Sorry if that is sad, I try not be sad or focus on the negatives in life. I know this sadness will subside for periods between the triggers and reminders. In those periods I will be content in being the bright, happy person my mother would have wanted me to be. But I’ll always wish that she was here to see it and to tell me she was proud of me and that she loved me.

Sometimes simply knowing that in my heart isn’t enough to convince me it’s true.