Think thoughtfully.

Thinking. Its something we do all the time, something we cannot escape. When we are not actively thinking about anything our brain is computing something, thoughts are subconsciously running through our minds, even if its about what we’re doing. When someone asks what we’re thinking about, we suddenly think about thinking, about what we should be thinking, were thinking, thoughts about, thinking. And then we say, nothing, because actively we weren’t thinking anything…

Then there are the things we need to think about, the daily activities, remembering specific information, about work, life, family, our relationship, about the milk that’s getting low in the fridge, when we’ll get to the supermarket, which one, the one near work or when we’ve returned had tea and go late, what are we having for tea tonight, what’s in the cupboard… our thoughts run away with us constantly, on tangents and processes we’re not aware of.

As a depressive and having done cognitive behavioural therapy, thought processes, interest me. How dangerous a thought process can be. Our thoughts affect everything, the way we feel, the way we act, we present ourselves, how we achieve, how we cope. So, sometimes we’ll wake up and ‘ta da’, we’re in a fabulous mood, we look in the mirror, we feel fresh, rearing to go, our brain keeps on a positive note and we blissfully and excitedly bustle through our day… OR we wake look in the mirror and our brain decides to attack us, tells us we’re fat, we look horrid, that today’s going to be one of those days. We cant do anything because our brains decided its a shit day and therefore we’ll subconsciously make sure it is. We’ll turn down coffee with a friend because we don’t feel like, despite it probably being the thing that would bump us out of this funk.

But what scares me more than that is over thinking. We all think to much, and sometimes we seem to get stuck, musing, mulling things over, ruminating about things that weren’t a problem, aren’t a problem – creating a problem for our own sakes. We become obsessive, paranoid, totally consumed and preoccupied by this one thought. Something small becomes bigger so it becomes unbearable. I do it all the time. So I get up, I’m not having a great day but I perk up and I say hi to flatmate/friend/family member. They are equally as off colour as I am and grunt, not bothering to speak before leaving the room. Brain – she hates you, they hate you, you’ve upset them, what have you done, your always upsetting people, you cant even think what it is because you’re a bad friend, go and ask… so you do and, nothings wrong, but she’s saying that because somethings wrong… and before you know it you’ve become an annoying friend who suddenly thinks you’re a nutter and caused a problem by being, you.

It’s not just friendships – i’ve thought myself out of twenty or so decent relationships, with good people because i’ve over-thought stuff. we’ve had a rough patch and i’ve been to quick to go, this is it, they dont care, this is how its gonna be, do you want to spend the rest of your life like this (as though marriage was on the cards at 2 months) or they’re nice but not fun, you want someone fun, someone exciting someone who will push your buttons, you’ll break up with them anyways, somewhere down the line so do it now, they don’t really care or they’d make more effort and another one bites the dust. Its irrational and unlike me, who prides herself on being non judgemental, a logical thinker and a fair person, I certainly don’t think like it at times.

And its not me, its me being something I’m not. Suddenly being insecure, or over thoughtful, second guessing something really insignificant and it all goes tits up, and amazingly because i’m so preoccupied, I cant see how its happened. The confident, happy, calm, collected, secure in her own self Carla disappears momentarily and a monster takes over and destroys me. I’m not blaming the depression, I just think, we as people, don’t really like being happy. We like having something to think about, an issue, life is going great and we fabricate problems and drama from nowhere for, as all I can see, entertainment purposes. Mental.

I did it recently, nearly talked myself out of a new relationship thats building because he’s not my ex and to my family I know they’ll be comparing and they’re different, they’ll think i’ve just jumped into something, have I jumped into something, am I happy, he makes me happy but, am I just going to end it, do I even want a relationship now, but now i’m kinda in one, and he really cares and i’m just going to hurt him because he’s not the marriage and children that I had with the long term ex, but how can he we’ve only just met, and that’s it, we have only just met, we’re still so early on and yet we’re so serious, I don’t want serious… And suddenly, I’m being weird, he;s acting oddly because he doesn’t know what the hell he’s done and we row. And my brains response? he”s not the one for you see, you’re already rowing and you’ve only just got together. Its utter madness.

Now. Do not get me wrong, I love thinking, i spend hours musing about the oddest things, about philosophy and ethics and English related stuff, and theories, on films and they’re influences, on how we change, on us as people, on the big life questions, I love letting me brain run off and form some conclusion eventually. But on other things, I think we all need to keep it on a tight rein. we need to remember that our biggest enemy at any time is ourselves. If someone beats us up, mentally, physically, verbally, its the affect and the way that we deal with it that has the biggest effect. Its how we let the experience change us, bother us, influence us. No one can hurt you if you don’t listen, don’t care for their opinions and know, deep down, you’re a decent human being.

We have the power to make ourselves great, to build ourselves up, to give ourselves the strength, the drive, the determination to succeed, to make life long friends, lasting relationships and a career we want. But its our minds that hold us back, our insecurities, that little voice in side of doubt, of dilenma, of diliberation that has the final word. It’s hard to be carefree if you care for yourself, your life, and those in it, but its harder to let your brain settle and care less for what it says than what it does to help. I genuinely believe we have a power inside us stronger than we can imagine, our brains have the ability to heal ourselves, change ourselves, make us lose weight for example without effort, to develop and guide us. We know so little about its capabilities that we have to treat it with respect and an air of caution and a sense of awe.

Thinking, over thinking, under thinking, not thinking, always thinking, thinking pointlessly, thinking logically, thinking pragmatically, thinking irrationally. thinking without thought… we all do them, we all have our ways, our processes, our thoughts, the way we form them, they way they develop, but thoughts are just that. They are meant to be times for self reflection, ordering and understanding, not berating, irritating and confusing our worlds and the things that our happening in it.

Think about thinking, the way you think, what your most common thoughts are, and I bet you’re surprised what they are, and how they affect us all.

If we ever needed encouragement…

We all have days, days when we want to give up, days when we can’t see any point, days when we take yet another knock and think, is it all worth it? It doesn’t matter if it’s at work, if its home life, it’s a hobby, or an interest. Whether its something we’ve just started like that new gym regime, or something we’ve been doing for ages – trying to see ourselves better. Some days it’s a little bit too much effort.

Well, if there ever was a story to inspire, it comes once again in my beloved Mr Murray, who after his Wimbledon defeat, myself and the English Nation poured their hearts out for. A dream whipped away by the greatest man in tennis. We all said, how do you bounce back? How can you overcome something that took so much emotional strength from you, and so much passion to reach in the first place.

By winning, in straight 3 sets, 28 days later, beating the same man, on the same court, and take home a gold medal. It was never going to be an easy task but a glimmer of hope, a window of opportunity opened  and Andy took it. Maybe it was a grudge match, made it was revenge, maybe it was to prove himself but prove he did. The same emotional, shaky and unsure Andy had disappeared. A new man stood in front of us all.

Calm, collected, full of composure and relaxed. He played the best tennis of his life, he threaded the needle down the line more times than we’d ever seen, his shots were sublime, his speed and reaction as fast as ever, and Federer looked, well tired. It’s not to say that he wasn’t, that he wasn’t himself having an off day, but Murray took advantage.

He showed that in loss there is not defeat. That with hard work, with self belief and courage, you can bounce back and achieve whatever you wish. He won, the biggest match of his life, in perfect form and made us all realise, we need not give up on our dreams.

Rutherford, who went on to win a gold medal in the long jump, after defeat in Beijing, nearly gave up, nearly quit his sport and retired for good. How he would have kicked himself. He wouldn’t have realised his potential, wouldn’t have realised his dreams, and accepted his place as Olympic Champion. It would have been easier, to accept and to give up, but with more time, harder work, and the same support – just shows what can be achieved.

We need not give up on things we feel passionate about, when the boat gets rocked and a storm brews, when life seems to throw hurdle and hail storm, it may knock you down but it wont break you. For me, it was another time to realise that despite life’s woes there are so many things to be happy about, so much to look forward to, so much to strive for – so much more to achieve.

We’ll all have our break, it might not be in sporting history in front of 15,000 people, but we all have our moments, our chance to shine, our spotlights, surrounded by our fans – our families, our friends, our partners – ready to celebrate with us. Whatever your back breaker is, lets not give up just yet, because in a months time, your life could have changed completely.

A little bit Self Absorbed.

For the first time in a long time I can say I became totally absorbed in my life. Somehow, somewhere I have lost two weeks of my time to what I can only describe as a surreal reality. Not to sound overly vague or highfalutin, but literally time seems to have disappeared as I became totally immersed in my own world.

I’ve met someone.  Now that’s a big statement when only out of a relationship for 8 weeks, even if it was a long time coming, and I’m not saying that this is the one, the love of my life or anything like that. But we do seem to get on, too well. I am fully aware that what I may be feeling or experiencing is just a rebound, is a continuation of my past relationship of which I will snap out of, realise it isn’t me and need some time, that I may be feeling needy and lonely and wanting someone to fill a void in my life but whichever…

I’m happy. I’m happily being made happy and happy to enjoy being so. I believe in life we meet people for a purpose. I’ll go into it more one day and it might sound harsh but its true. So maybe my new beau’s purpose is simply to make me realise I need time, or that I’m not over my ex, or whatever but he’s making me happy – happier than I ever was before.

He makes me laugh till I cry, is immature and fun in a way that I’d forgotten how to be, is cute and cheeky and spirited, he adores me and makes me feel special, makes me feel important, respected, wanted… I’d forgotten how that had felt. Even in a long-term relationship I’d forgotten, because we didn’t have that. And its a lovely surprise and treat to feel so.

Do not get me wrong, I am not simply leading this boy up the garden path just for my own enjoyment, I care for him a great deal, having known him for two years, I respect him, treasure his opinion, care for his welfare, and like him immensely. This is not early doors in that sense. What I mean though is despite outcome, sometimes you just have to live.

It would be easy to say there are reasons this shouldnt happen or I shouldnt go along with it, get caught up in things when I’m vulnerable even if not feeling it whatsoever, yet why. Experience as I’ve said before should never be passed up. One of my favourite lines from a film is from the Bucket List, “Three things to remember when you get older – Never pass up a bathroom, never waste a hard-on and never trust a fart” its crude in a way that suits me but its got a point. My own memento would be, “Never waste an experience, never pass up an opportunity, never forget a feeling.”

Dont wait and waste days thinking what you should be doing, do what makes you happy. Enjoy life and take every hand that s offered to you, never forget how it felt to be liked, loved how someone made you feel before it went sour, how pain hurts and experience scars, but learn from it.

I’m not one for being self-absorbed but the two weeks when my new beau was staying have flown by. I wanted nothing more than to just be with him, like a teenage crush or a virgins first touch, I wanted to just be near to stare at him, kiss him, snuggle him… and all the more adult less fantastical features of relationships. We walked. we cycled country lanes and down hill courses, slept and sun bathed on sun-kissed beaches, talked till the early hours, snuggled in bed, ate out, ate in, ate off each other… you get the picture. If you could imagine a perfect two weeks, I’ve had it.

And I’ve woken up with a bump. I’ve been one of those who forgets her friends, forgets her responsibilities, gets absorbed in a fantasy and forgets what life’s about… and yet arent I allowed? sometimes? To be selfish, to be absorbed and wanted and liked and quiet and irresponsible and childish and all those other things. Isn’t life, living for the moment? Capturing life’s essence and enjoying the time we have?

I may not be going on holiday this year, but I’ve had the vacation I needed, right at home, I’ve forgotten my life and my woes and been happily washed away to a foreign land where nothing but sun fun and frolicking were the order of the day. So maybe we should all take a day off or two, enjoy ourselves a bit.

And I’ll certainly enjoy this new little chapter and turn of events, whatever it may hold for me.

The joys of Mobility.

I’d never really given it a thought, what it means to be mobile, the sense of mobility and its function in our lives. It wasn’t until both my legs were cast and I struggled to move around as normal that it occurred to me. I wasn’t disabled by any means, and I do not think I will ever comprehend how difficult it must be to be impaired in such a way but I was hindered. I was stared at and commented on, I was unable to get about in my usual way, struggled to move in spaces and around town, struggled to move on with my life.

Yes I don’t just mean mobility literally but more in the sense of upward mobility, life’s mobility of continuing on a journey. Since the news of my legs and what not I haven’t been able to, get on with things as I was. University is effectively on hold awaiting test results to decide whether I return or take a year out for recovery, I can’t drive or get to see people with my legs in cast, I am stunted in this place, in this time, in my life as it is at present.

I take it for granted that I can do what I want, that I have the freedom, the means, to further myself and do as I wish. To go to University, to study, to live independently, to plan a career, to make long goals, to develop myself into, well an academic – supposedly.

How many people don’t have that opportunity, the means or the start in life, the physical ability and are therefore hindered in choices, maybe mentally they are held back by experiences or mental health issues, or maybe they aren’t born in the right area, in the right class, the right colour, they don’t fit the demographic that allows us to move on and have chances in life.

Are we all Naive to think that we are all as free as each other, to do as we please, to have the same chances? So yes we all get an education by the state, but anyone who has worked in more than one school, even a classroom can tell you the differences in education received by students not just in the teaching but in the classroom environment and the children’s ability to learn within their group.

Are we to believe we live in a society where racism, gender, sexuality still doesn’t affect those employed, the opportunities we have, that it doesn’t have a bearing on the decisions and the opportunities of others? I am grateful that I have the opportunities I do in life, and am thankful for the start I was given by my parents. I have chosen my career to try to help others, to impart knowledge, to give everyone the same opportunities, but life is unfair, and it hinders some of us.

We are held back by aspects of our lives, we are hindered by our experiences, we are changed by our environment, we are dictated to by the state. The only thing we can hope to do is, try, be happy and  continue to fight. Not literally with violence but to not give up on a dream, on an idea, on a desire, on our ambitions. Its important, its something we can all do, despite whatever may be in our ways, and its the one thing we can all hang on to.

I dropped out of college due to health problems, I passed my GCSE’s with 5 after having not attended school in the last two years, and suddenly the specifications for my board of examinations changed. I had to restart my two-year studies, and be way behind. I found another way, I wanted to do an access course, I was too young, had to pay 6 grands worth of fees, every excuse and measure, and rule book was thrown in my face. So I wrote to the council, I wrote to the education secretary, I got my place on my course and ended up at University just a year later than I should’ve, even more determined to study than I had been before. I didn’t stop there, I went into schools preaching about access courses, the chances they offer, I worked in schools helping as a Volunteer Teaching Assistant, I showed people that you didn’t have to be Einstein to do well, but everyone had a talent.

I’m not perfect, and I am not a saint, please do not think I am trying to preach my own praises, I’m simply saying that, mobility is a something we all take for granted. The right to move, to go where, to do as we please, to have the opportunities we all share, and its something we should always strive for, work for, look for – something we should remember and cherish.

Quiet Time.

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practise improves us, but we need quiet time to find us, to figure things out, to emerge from new discoveries, to unearth original answers”  – Dr Esther Buchholz

So I’ve been a little quiet of late, well for a week at least. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about blogging, or that I thought that well, I didn’t need to. More, simply put that… I didn’t feel like talking. There are times in your life when tis important to spend time with yourself, not really thinking about anything. Just spending time, sitting, clearing your mind rather than spending too much time contemplating the world.

For me I spend a lot of time in my head. I enjoy working through stuff, contemplating stuff, musing in thought and thinking about every little detail. Not of situations or people, I’m not one for getting paranoid or hung up over the little details, “What did he mean by that” – that sorta thing. More about general big picture stuff, or my own thought processes, my reactions to stuff. I’m a great believer in thought and the power of the mind, in growing as a person, in finding out about yourself, in understanding yourself, in healing yourself…

So i’ll apologise for my absence. But I needed some quiet time and that’s nothing against you it is just I wanted some time out from all of that. The past week has thrown up a lot of things to think about, too many in fact that I simply needed time to recuperate my brain and then spend some time over the next coming week going through stuff, getting my head around this weeks events.

Next time you feel like you need a break, from life, from relationships, from your own mind and its thoughts, then take one. Sit back and clear your head completely. Its easier said than done and I promise you it won’t happen over night but you will finally get to that point that you can sit and just, think of… nothing. Clarity, clear minded clarity.

So I’m back out of quiet time, ready to hopefully share my minds ramblings with you once again. I cant guarantee they’ll be any less jumbled or more coherent, written with more purpose or  intention than usual but they will at least be coming from an un-jumbled uncomplicated place.

Hips, Hernia’s and Headf*cks.

I guess all my posts of late have been leading up to this one – My general mood state and life at present. I guess it might put things in a bit of perspective. I hadn’t and haven’t really wanted to go into details, I’m a positive sort of person and I haven’t felt like going into details. But the more people I connect with in our lovely blogging community I guess it doesn’t matter.

This idea I keep badgering on about, about loving yourself, being less critical, being positive is because, I guess that’s precisely what I’m having to be that moment. Resilient. I’ve just broken up with my partner of two years, currently sat with both my legs cast awaiting news of a massive operation, with a 25% chance of walking afterwards.

I’m a girl with incredibly unlucky health. This year it would appear it’s finally come to a head. I’ve had problems with my lower limbs for years, taking strong painkillers everyday that have caused my stomach to bleed and my liver to panic, my kidneys to struggle, my general health to diminish. I’ve collapsed ankle joints, femoral anteversion (my knees point inwards so I can’t bend my legs without them touching) and hips that dislocate. I spend a great deal of time struggling to walk or on crutches, with swollen joints and agonising aches.

Yesterday I went for a scan of my abdomen and have two congenital hernia’s, holes in my stomach wall I was born with and my intestines are poking through the muscular wall, causing a great deal of discomfort for years and never realising what it was. I’ve a heart condition, that causes me to randomly blackout and feel as though I’m having a mild heart-attack, not being able to breathe, shaking uncontrollably and slipping in and out of consciousness.

I’ve had depression since a child. Diagnosed ten years ago, I’ve had everything, CBT, counselling, Psychotherapy, and drugs everyday. My brain simply doesn’t make those lovely happy chemicals that keep us all ticking over nicely. To put it simply, I’m a bit of a mess at the moment.

Everyday is a struggle to get up, find the energy, suffering with insomnia, no sleep because of pain and discomfort, I spend much of my time uncomfortable and wandering whats the point. But there is one, I refuse to give in and have everything affect me. So I may be clinically depressed, always in a state of depression, but if you met me you’d see I’m one of the happiest, most positive people you’ll ever meet.

So it may be a well placed mask, a front to cover up how I feel, but to be honest, my life isn’t that awful. I refuse to give in, lay back and feel sorry for myself. I’ve a lot on my plate yes, but it isn’t unmanageable. It isn’t something I can’t handle, it’s just life. Its full of ups and downs and curveballs and mine, well are just as anyone elses I guess.

I refuse to be self loathing, self-interested, self obsessed. To think about my life and no one else and get down about it. It’s just one of those things I deal with and I’m ok with that. You’ll never hear me moaning that I’m in pain, that I’m not feeling great. I’ll never say I’m having a bad day or I can’t cope because, tomorrow I could be fine. I stay positive, look for the good in life and focus on being happy, whatever that means.

Life isn’t a box of chocolates. We can’t pick the path we’re given or the things we have to deal with, but we still have to. Whether I feel like it or not, I still have a life to lead, things to be doing, things to concentrate on. I have many things going for me and that’s what we all must remember. I’ll no doubt go into detail about everything at some point, but to be honest, I don’t feel the need to dwell, to linger on things that I can’t control.

Best to carry on, to remind yourself that life could be far far worse, and carry,well in my case, hobble on 🙂 Everyone has problems, no ones are worse than anyone elses because they’re relative to what we’ve dealt with in the past, what we’ve had to face, a small bump to one person could be a big deal to someone else. It’s not ok to put someone else down or demean them for being upset about something trivial, if indeed it’s affecting them, well. It’s all about being understanding and respectful of other people and their lives.

I like my life, for all its ups and downs and traumas. So its stressful, so I’m likely to have a heart-attack by the time I’m thirty, likely to end in a wheelchair and to struggle everyday to want to be here and carry on, but it’s what makes me. We are made by our experiences. I have resilience, self-respect and a self-awareness others can only dream of. I am the person I am because of what I deal with. I cope because I have done and will always continue to do so.

I am positive because I want to be, because life’s to short and life is about the ride, the journey. I enjoy living, I enjoy my pain, it makes me feel alive, I enjoy the struggles because it’s when your realise who you really are, what you’re truly about – your essence and core is, revealed almost.

This may be the only time you hear me being, negative if you like. And it’s not so much that, it’s just stating life as it is. I’m not asking for sympathy of for people to be concerned about me. I don’t bang on about health issues for attention or love. I am just me.  So I may hide whats really going on, I may wear a front some days, present a happier me than I’m really feeling but, it’s not that I don’t want people to know, that I’m ashamed or that I think people would think I’m a whiny bitch… It’s just, it isn’t a big deal to me – it isn’t a focus.

What is, is being happy, helping others, getting my education, spending time with loved ones, bettering myself as a person, enjoying every minute as maybe pessimistically put, It might be your last. That’s not negative, its optimistic. If you live life as though today is your last day, you never waste time, you embrace every second, even if that’s sitting down and doing nothing or out and about making the most of your day.

Lies, Laughter and Life.

We all lie. We do it everyday, all day. We present the us we want to be seen, the one that’s perfectly happy, with no problems, dressed and looking spotless or unintentionally not. We pretend to lead the life we want to, and cover up all the blemishes in the brick work.

It’s not intentional, we just do. We aren’t the same at home as we are at work, the same at work as we are out on a night out, the same there as we are with friends, or with a partner. We all lie to get through the day. We pretend to know what we’re doing and yet really, we don’t. We’re all bumbling along pretending to know what we’re doing.

But we don’t really. None of us do. We’re all trying to make our way through life the best way we can. We make mistakes try to forget we havent, try to learn and rush headlong into the next drama, dilemma and discovery. Isn’t that the fun in life though?

It makes me wonder though, what do we hide. What do we hide about ourselves. I guess it relates to this idea of being to harsh with ourselves, but we do hold a lot back. I’m a surprisingly private person, this blog is fairly liberating to speak my mind. I’m not a closed book,I’m open and honest but rarely will you hear me in person actually talking directly about my life. I just tend, not too. Not intentionally, just that’s me I guess. Private is private.

With those that do know me well, and are involved, they know as well as I do – there’s a little bit of me you’ll never touch. A little piece of me I keep just to myself, not just my deepest darkest secrets, well not primarily, but the essence of me. People say I’m mysterious, or intriguing whether I agree or not I’d debate but… however long we’re together they feel like they’re always getting to know me, finding things out. I like holding something back. You give everything of yourself, to someone, especially a partner and they leave, what do you have?

What’s important is to not conceal the true you completely. You can’t be guarded, a closed text, something that people have to prise into, or they wont. They’ll give up, they’ll think you’re hard work and they’ll realise they never will get you. The world doesn’t have to know your business but someone has to know, you.

It was listening to this song and musing further about my recent more, philosophical posts that I just thought- Maybe we should take the time to make sure we do know everyone around us, that we’ve really connected. After a break down of a relationship of a year and a half, we realised, we never dated. We never got to know each other, properly. Things got complicated and shit happens as does in life, and other things got in the way, he moved away, then there was family problems. Somehow we didn’t have the time to find us or find each other out. We’ve lived fairly, superficially, liking each other, loving each other but missing something in between.

How many people do you know and yet know nothing about? How many people in your life you spend a great deal of time with, get on with, laugh with but no virtually nothing about them and they you. It’s a surprising number and I think, well, its kind of funny. What an odd way to spend our lives and yet we do. Maybe those friendships work and survive because we don’t get bogged down with each others problems and become friends that are agony aunts, comrades and counsellors all in one, maybe. Or maybe we don’t feel the need because, it’s easier not to get to know someone, and just, have acquaintances. Less effort, less time, less… energy wasted if you don’t get on. After all, maybe you can just be there and be the support by your presence, doesn’t mean they need to know all your woes or you them. You’re the, positive friend.

Well anyways. Another fleeting thought…The Weepies, ‘Nobody knows me at all’, from ‘Say I am you.’

When I was a child everybody smiled, nobody knows me at all
Very late at night and in the morning light, nobody knows me at all
Now I got lots of friends, yes, but then again, nobody knows me at all
Kids and a wife, it’s a beautiful life, nobody knows me at allAnd oh when the lights are low
Oh with someone I don’t knowI don’t give a damn, I’m happy as a clam, nobody knows me at all
Ah, what can you do? There’s nobody like you. Nobody knows me at allI know how you feel, no secrets to reveal, nobody knows me at all
Very late at night and in the morning light, nobody knows me at all
Nobody knows me, nobody knows me, nobody knows me at all