October 31st – All Hallows’ Eve

Hey folks!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, not really had a lot to say! Am settling in well at work, getting more confident and learning new things every day. So far so good 🙂

I can’t believe it’s the end of another month! This year has really flown by; and what a year it has been. So much has happened, and I’ve grown in strength each day. Yes I’ve had some down times too, but it’s mostly been an upward journey. Right now I’m feeling really good about things, and living each day happy and content. Of course there’s some stressful things happen every now and then, that’s just life! But, overall I’m doing really well and feeling really good.

My cold seems to be on it’s way out now thankfully, wish it would make a speedier retreat though! The cough is driving me nuts! But compared to how I felt at the weekend, I’m a lot better.

So, as today is All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween, I thought I’d explore the meaning of it. A little off topic from mental health, but that’s no bad thing!

It’s the evening before All Hallows’ Day, or All Saints Day. Which is then followed by All Souls Day on 2nd November. Hallow is an old English word for Holy person. All Saints Day is the day Catholics commemorate the saints. On a Google search, I found the following information, under the title “The Real Meaning of Halloween”:

But there’s a deeper spiritual meaning that underlies the holiday for Pagans and real Witches—those who follow earth-based Goddess traditions that predate Christianity. As we in the northern hemisphere move into the time of cold and the dark of winter, we celebrate our New Year, and honor both death and regeneration.

In Northern Europe, Samhain (the Celtic term for Halloween, pronounced sow-in as in ‘sour’) was the time when the cattle were moved from the summer pastures to winter shelter. It was the end of the growing season, the end of harvest, a time of thanksgiving, when the ancestors and the spirits of the beloved dead would return home to share in the feast. Death did not sever one’s connections with the community. People would leave offerings of food and drink for their loved ones, and set out candles to light their way home. Those traditions gave us many of our present day customs. Now we set out jack-o-lanterns and give offerings of candy to children—who are, after all, the ancestors returning in new forms.

Death and regeneration are always linked in Goddess thealogy. Birth, growth, death and renewal are a cycle that plays over and over again through natural systems and human lives. Embracing this cycle, we don’t need to fear death, but instead can see it as a stage of life and a gateway to some new form of being.

So Samhain is a time to remember and honor those who have died, to celebrate their lives and appreciate their gifts, to tell stories about them to the next generation so their memory will not be lost. In Latino cultures, Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead on November 2, is a time to visit the graves of loved ones, to feast there and honor their memory with altars and prayers. We set up altars in our homes, with pictures and mementos, and in my house, we like to invite friends and family to an ancestor dinner, where we cook traditional foods and share our family stories.

Samhain is also a time for deep spiritual work. At this time of year, we say, “the veil is thin that divides the worlds, the seen from the unseen, the day to day from the mysteries.” In San Francisco, the Reclaiming tradition of Wicca sponsors a big public ritual, where we celebrate the renewal and creativity that emerges from the dark, with elaborate altars, dance, music, culminating in a spiral danced by more than a thousand people that honors the energies of rebirth and renewal.

Halloween, and our traditions, are much misunderstood. This year, when you hand out candy or shepherd your children through the streets, we invite you to remember the deeper meaning of the holiday: that death is no barrier to love, and every ending brings a new beginning.
(Credit to Starhawk). 

Gets a little deep at the end, but I kind of like the idea that it has a deeper meaning; and I do believe that every ending does bring a new beginning. As the saying goes, “as one door closes, another shall open”.

Paganism is something that has always fascinated me; I may look into it further when I have the time.

Anyway, today is day 205 self harm free, and I have planned to have a tattoo extended to celebrate the big 200+. It’ll turn a single tattoo into a half sleeve, but it’s being left open with a view to making it into a full sleeve at some point in the future! Very exciting. It won’t cost as much as faith did though, as the design I have in mind is a lot less complicated.

I had some really good news this week; I’ve been awarded Personal Independence Payment! It feels like ages ago that I applied for it, well technically it was back in April when I was diagnosed, so 6 months! They also backdated it, so had a very nice lump sum as well. It means that we’re able to get a few things that we need (like a new mattress!) and have finally serviced the car! It was only 5,000 odd miles overdue it! It’s really given us the boost that we needed, and put us back on the straight and narrow financially, which is such a relief.

Financial stress has had a big impact on my mental health, so for that to be eased is a really good feeling. The best part of it is, I’m still entitled to it even though I’m working (I did check!).

So yeah, all is really good in my world right now, and long may it continue!!! *crosses fingers and hopes for the best…*

Right, as my word count is now over 1000 I best leave it there for tonight! Hope you’re all well and good 🙂 thanks for reading as always, until next time…..

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October 26th – 200!

Hey folks,

Today is a big day for me, because……

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So so PROUD of myself. It really is so epic to me, and I’m too poorly to celebrate! I have an evil cold and its really knocked me for six. Been laid up under a duvet for 2 days now, trying to fight it off…I need it gone by tomorrow…well at least to be better anyway as I have work.

I’m quite nervous about starting work tomorrow too; the manager who I trained with isn’t going to be in, so its all a bit unknown again. Its only 6 hours, but when you’re still so new to it all that can feel like a long time! I hope I remember what I learnt on Thursday…feels so long ago now. The evil cold has turned my brain to mush…..argh!!

As gross as it sounds, am trying to stay as hot as I can tolerate being, to sweat out the cold faster. Going to try a hot steamy bath soon; got a really chesty cough, as well as being a snot monster haha, grim I know. I don’t think I’m quite as bad as yesterday, so can dose myself up with cold medicine and arm myself with tissues for work tomorrow.

Right, that’s all I have to report for today, going to have that bath now and hopefully feel a bit more human after! Thanks for reading as always, until next time….

October 24th – Duvet Day

Hey folks,

Not much to report today; spent the morning in bed, didn’t get up until nearly 1pm. Then have spent the rest of the day under a duvet on the sofa watching movies with my hubby. We’re both poorly now, stupid cold germs!! Living on bread and honey because my throat is on fire and we’re skint so can’t afford much else 😦

All is not well in our house, in more ways than one. Pay day seems so damn far away and I honestly don’t know how we’re going to make it from now until then. We’re running out of all the essential stuff and have no money to replace it. If anyone has any quick money making ideas please let me know!

Ugh, coughing hurts my entire body. Feel proper ill and stressed to the max. Sorry this post has turned into a pity party hasn’t it…just needed to vent it out. I don’t know if it’ll help though, as it won’t change the circumstances. I knew £20 wouldn’t last 2 weeks. On average we spend about £50 on the food essentials. So it wasn’t going to stretch that far. Missing my benefits now that’s for sure. Would of been due tomorrow, that would have seen us through until pay day. But alas, becoming employed was bound to knock those on the head completely. I hated being reliant on them anyway, so maybe its a good thing.

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Found the above quote earlier; couldn’t be more true right now. These are bad days at the moment, but they’ll pass. Its just trying to find a way of surviving them….

Today is 198 days self harm free, yay me! 😀
If only I had saved a £1 per day, I’d have £200 by now. That would of been a nice reward! Never mind. If anyone would like to sponsor me for the next 200 days I wouldn’t say no 😉

Anyway, getting back under my duvet now and watching more movies. So until next time lovely people….

October 23rd – First Shift Success!

Hey folks,

So today was my first shift at my new job; it went well and hopefully it’ll work out this time! Third time lucky feels more likely now. Really want it to work out, am sick of the ‘new job nerves!’. It all seems pretty straight forward, a fair bit to learn but will get there. If I can cope with returns and exchanges at my last job, I can learn this one. A couple of weeks and I’ll be all good. Am a little annoyed because my hours have changed slightly, now includes Saturdays, but its all money, and can speak to them about it if it causes problems.

Am pretty tired but no where near as tired as I used to be after my other job. The travelling used to take it out of me more than the work though! This job is on my doorstep practically. Takes me less than 2 minutes to get there, so its very convenient. No bus fare means all that I earn is mine and not the bus companies!!  So that’s a definite plus.

Right now I feel a bit unwell. Not sure what it is, but feel really sick and shakey. Been happening all day on and off. Probably coming down with hubbys cold/flu thing! Typically. Am not working anymore until Monday though, so I’ve got the time to get over whatever it is! Am hoping its nothing too bad, haven’t got the time to be ill really haha.

Mentally I’m feeling good though, so that’s a bonus! Today is 197 days self harm free and I’m so proud of that; am so close to 200 now, its starting to feel so epic! Probably sounds daft, but its the 1 thing I never thought I’d be able to control. Yet here I am, I’m in control!! Feels good 🙂

Huge thank you and welcome once again to my new followers. Up to 78 now, incredible! Maybe I will make the 100 after all! 😀

Anyways, am going to settle down under the duvet with hubby and watch movies for the rest of the evening. Take care everyone and until next time….

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October 22nd – Just not ready…

Hey folks,

Today has been yet another frustrating day. It all started so well, I managed to resist the temptation of the morning cigarette, and felt okay. Then I had breakfast and headed out for my run (more about that shortly). As the day went on the cravings got unbearable so ended up vaping to try and get past them. But it was only making things worse. By the time hubby got home I was about ready to scream and shout and cry. So, ended up smoking again. I’ve come to the realisation though, that I’m just not ready to quit yet. If I was I’d have more determination and willpower. There’s a part of me that does want to, but a bigger part of me that really doesn’t. So have decided just to cut down as much as possible instead of quitting. I have too much other stress to deal with right now, so adding to that with trying to quit smoking is just stupid really. In time I know I will quit, and it will be before the year is out; however, it’s just not going to be now.

My run was hard going again this morning; my knees are really not liking it one bit, so I may well end up giving up on it altogether. Now that I have the bike I can get out for bike rides, which is easier on the knees. My helmet and seat that I ordered arrived today, so am all set to go when I get the time. Well, once hubby has fitted the seat that is!! It’s a shame about the running, but as I feared, my knees just can’t handle the impact. I even tried running on grass instead of concrete today, but still they’ve ached a lot since, and 1 is slightly swollen. So, I’m calling it quits before I do any further damage.

It’s so frustrating that I’ve not accomplished either of the things I set out to do this week. 2 runs and 3 failed quit smoking attempts. But, what’s meant to be will be I suppose, and everything happens for a reason, and all that jazz!!

Oh well.

Today is 196 days self harm free, so am still rocking that one! 4 days to the big 200!!!!!!!! 😀

Tomorrow I have 2 hours training at my new job, eeek!! Rather nervous but looking forward to it as well. Will let you all know how that goes 🙂

Welcome to my newest followers, up to 68 of you lovely people now, so who knows I may well make the 100 by the end of the year, that would be amazing. Please keep sharing my blog folks, it means so much to me 🙂

Right, am calling it a night on here now, rather tired and just feel like chilling out and catching an early night! Take care one and all, and until next time…..

October 21st – Failed, again.

Hey folks,

Not feeling so good tonight; in more ways than one.

Physically I feel wrecked. Didn’t get much sleep last night and have felt rough all day because of that. Had something on my mind so just couldn’t switch off. Even have had to skip Rock Choir because I feel too rubbish. Which sucks because it was the last night of this half term. It’s the second time I’ve had to miss it because of poorly-ness.

Mentally I feel frustrated! The quitting smoking isn’t going well still. Fell at the first hurdle this morning once again. I need to break that habit, maybe tomorrow will be the day where I can do that. Third time lucky perhaps? (Seems to be a common phrase with me at the moment!)I really want to do it, but just finding it so damn hard. Every time I go to bed, all determined and ready to quit the next day, and I then end up having that morning cigarette. It’s really getting to me and I feel like I’m failing! I know I shouldn’t look at it like that, after all, it’s not the easiest things to do!! I think I will give the patches a go, even for just a couple days to get the habit broken. Once I’m over the first couple of days I do recall it getting easier, so it could be the way to go…..

It gets me down that I haven’t been able to do it yet. Especially when I think of all the health implications it has and how I want to get healthy and fit. My runs would be so much easier if I didn’t smoke, well in time anyway. One thing I am proud of is my honesty. I could of sat here and said ‘yeah I’ve quit!’ or not posted at all. But here I am, telling you all how it really is.

Today does mark 195 days self harm free though, so that’s a positive!! 5 more days to the big 200! I can’t quite believe how far I’ve come with it to be honest. It’s such an achievement for me and I’m so so proud of myself. Yes, I have scars, but they show the battles I’ve faced and won, in my opinion. My story didn’t end, I kept fighting even though I did cut. I’m not for one moment justifying it of course, nor am I saying it was wrong. There’s a fine line between self harming and giving up completely, and I’m glad I never crossed that line with it. I’ve come out so much stronger on the other side of all of that, and I’m grateful to be alive. There was a time when I really wasn’t, and I remember it well unfortunately. But that’s not who I am now, I’m a fighter, not a quitter (unless you’re talking about smoking, in which case I hope to be!).

It’s crazy to think that this time last year, I was in the deepest depression I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t see myself having a future back then. I kind of wish that I’d blogged back then too, to get the rubbish out of my head and maybe it would have helped a lot sooner. I’m so grateful to all my lovely followers and the support you’ve all shown me. I’d love to make it to 100 followers before the year is out, so please if you have the time, share my blog with anyone you feel may like to read it or who it may help perhaps. If I reached 100 then I’d definitely consider getting myself a domain name and keeping it going long term. At the moment it’s just a 2014 project really, but I won’t ever shut it down. There’s too much of my life in here now, that in time I’d like to look back on, no matter how hard it is.

Anyway, enough of my rambling on, I’ve not got a great deal else to say and feeling kinda rough and tired! Take care my lovelies, and thanks for reading. Oh, and Happy Birthday to my bestie!! He usually reads this, so thought it’d be nice to give him a mention 🙂

Until next time….