What’s next?

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This is my little space, this place right here. It’s been a long time since I actually looked at it on anything other than a mobile phone.

I’m sitting here tonight and Steve’s Radio show is playing in the background, the tweets are flying and my ears are being assaulted by Christmas music. It almost feels normal, even though I know deep down it’s not. The events of the last few months have taken their toll on me and I think I am only starting to realise it now.

I miss my friends here and the community and looking at my page and listening to Steve has reminded me of that, but I don’t think I am the same person that I was before and I am not sure what I am going to write here now. My counselling is teaching me that I no longer need to please others, I simply need to please myself. As a result of that do I let go and write what I want to, all those random and strange little thoughts that float around in my brain that no one else would understand….that I don’t even understand myself.

I don’t feel that giving up is an option, I like being here and if I can make just one person smile, laugh or feel something then I am content. I’ve said so many times before that nowhere else on the internet will you find such a diverse group of people who band together and stand together, helping people, sometimes without even realising it.

Someone asked me when I wrote the post about my Mum passing why I closed off the comments. I gave it some thought and explained that firstly, emotionally I was not going to be able to answer all the comments, I needed to write it and move on, and secondly, because I didn’t need people to put in writing what I knew they would be feeling.This community always has my back, have always had my back. I’ve been fixed when I was broken and been lifted when I fell. They have made me smile when I shed tears and shed tears when I was smiling. I just knew, and I didn’t know how to cope with what I knew was coming.

Things have changed. I miss my Mum and I am adjusting to life without her. It’s harder than I thought but I will get there. I am ready for life to go back to normal and for people to stop sympathising. I need space to breathe and gather my own thoughts. I need to get myself fully immersed back into work so I can go back to doing all the other little bits and pieces that need done.

New year, New me. How many times have I said that before. This time last year I was not in counselling so here’s hoping!

I have no idea what’s going to happen here, but I hope you stick around to find out. No matter what you can bet it’ll be a roller coaster, so buckle up bitches!

The Motherships Final Flight

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I have no idea how I am supposed to tackle a post like this, but I know I have been trying to for the last 7 days or more.

Perhaps I was scared that writing about it would make me actually have to face up to what I know deep down is true.

My Mum passed away. She’s gone. Not just out of the house any more, but gone forever.

People keep asking me how I feel and I am not sure what my answer is supposed to be, because I have no idea how I feel. No one gives you a handbook.

My life for so long was looking after my Mum, watching her decline and wondering what was going on in her head. As someone pointed out, we managed to look after her for as long as we could and this resulted in her only being away from the house for just over 2 months. I hope we did right by her and that now she understands we did the best we could.

There was never going to be a vast improvement, her refusal to eat and drink was worrying for all concerned, family and Doctors alike, but I never expected she was going to die, well not so soon anyway. There were moments of uncertainty when she contracted Aspiration Pneumonia, she looked so frail and her breathing sounded painful, but she still kinda bounced from day to day.

Last week, reports had been better, people were a little happier after their visits. She was in good enough spirits, chittering away and even recognised some people. On Wednesday we got the phonecall, the one that even though I never expected it, I dreaded. We were asked to come to the hospital, things didn’t look good.

The Doctor told us that after she had become unresponsive they had sent her for a brain scan which had revealed she had suffered another bleed, this one significant and sadly untreatable. All that was left now was to make her comfortable and wait.

We sat around her bed. We cried, we laughed while sharing stories and we waited.

Thankfully for both us and her, we did not have to wait too long. After she stopped breathing the first time, my Dad spoke to her, my Sister prayed for her and I sang to her, my Aunt and Uncle close by until a few minutes later she just slipped away in her sleep.

People tell me she is in a better place, whole again and happy. I have to believe that too, because it’s what is going to get me through each day. This ending, although sad, was better for her.

It’s hard to sum up someone’s life in words, but our Minister managed to do it perfectly, telling the 400 strong crowd how much of a character she was. There were nods of agreement, as each person no doubt remembered their own encounters with this wee woman who was so many things to so many people. A Wife, a daughter, a Mother, a friend, a nurse or even just a stranger who offered smiles and hugs without expecting anything in return.

She may have been small in stature, but she leaves a big void.

Rest in peace Mum, I love you x

When your colleagues know you well!

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Picture the scene, I’m in my office merrily typing away, busy as a little bee when out of the corner of my eye I see an e-mail arrive. I know by the title what it means, one of my colleagues wants me to proof read his work. I think to myself I’m just too busy today and I’ll have to tell him.

Next thing the corridor door opens and he peeks his head around the corner.

Me: I’m too busy, I’m not looking at your report (as I rhyme off a list of all the things I have to get done).

Him: Will you just open it up and have a look at the spacing.

Me: No, I’m too busy (as I again rhyme of previously recited list)

Him: Please, just check the spacing for me.

Me: NO! I am not doing it I am too busy!

Him: Please, just check the spacing.

Me: FFS! (as I open the e-mail)

*E-mail opens*

Me: Oh ffs, would you look at the state of this……..

*OCD kicks in*

Me: So if you do this and this, and a little bit of this too……..

Looking up I see my colleague grinning and realise I have just done what I swore I was not going to.

Me: Bollox! You played me like a fiddle!

They know me so well.

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The things I now know…

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I am an introvert, who knew.

I had suspicions, not because I knew what an introvert was, but because I found a page on Facebook that had all these little memes which could have been tailor made just for me. I was able to identify with lots of the sayings which when put under the cover of a name seemed to make sense. I’m not a weirdo after all, I am an introvert and better still, I am not alone.

I wonder if I had realised sooner that along with the anxiety and worry this was part my ‘affliction’ would I have been a little more settled within myself. Probably not, that is after all why I am having to go to counselling.  That said, I am told there is hope for me and I am not the lost cause that I thought I was.

The first lesson I need to teach myself is that I do not need to apologise for who I am and as a consequence, people who know me need to make allowances for the person I am whilst I am in my transition period from anxiety mania to anxiety. Contrary to what a lot of people seem to believe having anxiety /worry is not a choice. It is not something we can stop just because we are told to. If you had any idea just how debilitating it can sometimes be to deal with the simplest of tasks you would understand. According to my counsellor my mind goes 1, 2, skip a few, 99 a milllion! Those who know me well would attest to that.

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I love the fact that I am defined as an introvert, because I can now be the person I am without believing there is something wrong with me. I do not love the fact that I suffer so badly from worry and anxiety and that is something I am hoping to change with the help of my counselling sessions which have so far proved worthwhile.

My counsellor told me a statement that I have no doubt I will be repeating time and time again over the next few weeks,  “Just because I think it, doesn’t make it true”. That statement is me in a nutshell. She also asked would I ever turn to someone and say “You have no confidence and you’re useless” and I said no of course not and all she said was well then why do you do it to yourself. It was a good point well presented that I had no answer for.

I’m only two weeks in, but already I am challenging myself and the thoughts that lead to the fear and anxiety. It’s going to take time, because as I was told today I have to erase the ‘crap’ that has been placed into my head over the last 40 odd years by both myself and others.

So whilst having anxiety and worry  is not a choice as these traits can be picked up from a very young age and then carried throughout life, deciding to change is. Once you know and are aware of the problem it can be dealt with, perhaps not 100% but a step in any direction is a step in the right direction, right!?

Another effing update!

I’m thinking of changing the tag line on my blog, that’s if I even have one. It’s going to say ‘The blog of Updates’ because of late that is pretty much all I have managed. I want to change that, that said, what I want and what I do are usually very different things.

Thanks to everyone who has enquired about my Mum, it’s been a very weird time. Two weeks ago give or take a few days, she got sectioned, primarily we think because of her refusal to eat and drink. She’s now in a dedicated Dementia ward where they are trying to work through her issues and use medication to try and give her some sort of peace. She is not being compliant and is starting to kick off with them they way she did in the house and basically not eating or drinking very much at all. It’s really hard to watch and emotionally I have to be honest and say I am finding it very difficult. There are endless processes and procedures to be followed and a steady supply of forms that need completed and all I want to do is crawl into bed and not surface again until everything has been sorted out.

I’m very lucky that work have been understanding and I am hoping that my first session of counselling comes through soon because I feel I really need it. My anxiety has been really bad and despite using some of the techniques I have had success with before, it is not easing any. I need someone else to pick me apart and then tell my how to rebuild myself, installing coping mechanisms as I go.

I know the Fathership has been finding all of this hard too. I worry about him and I have no doubt he worries about me and my Sister. All three of us worry about the Mothership. There have been tears, very many tears, usually mine it has to be said.

I think going forward I probably might not write about this any more, not here anyway. I need a distraction and something else to focus on. I used to say that time was my enemy and when the Mothership was here that was certainly the case as there was not enough of it. Now however, even though I still need to cook and clean and do all the things I did before, I do have more time and yet still I have not been able to write, so perhaps the problem was me all along. I’m like a fence, I need to get over myself.

The intention would be to write more, I just have no idea what it is I am going to write about, but then again do I ever. Waffling seems to be one of my better traits.

I hope you have all been well, feel free to let me know what’s been happening! :)

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Chillin With The Eejit

My guest post for Talk About Pop Music, hopefully the first of many :)

Talk About Pop Music

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Just Chilling With My Spotify

It’s fair to say that since I was first introduced to Spotify that it has opened doors into musical worlds through which I never believed I would actually venture.

All my life I have had a very varied taste in music, but despite what I introduce to my ears I always revert back to chill out, it is by far and away my most favoured genre, if you can even class it as one.

Music has been the only constant in my life, other things have come and gone, but the music has always remained, a soundtrack to my life that has played in the background through some of the best and worst times in my life. When you’re younger it’s all broken hearts and jilted love, as you hold onto mementoes, the song of choice playing on repeat. As you get older, significant events…

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Keep Breathing…

I’ll start this post tonight, but it is unlikely I will finish. It’s 23.16 and I really should be in bed, but as usual I am not. I’m tried, emotional exhaustion as opposed to physical exhaustion, although it’s there too.

I’m listening, and I can’t hear anything and it’s a blessing, it means all is peaceful, something that in this household has been severely lacking of late. There is no shouting, crying, cursing or stamping of feet. The Mothership is in respite and I can breathe.

A few weeks back a routine glucose check promoted an urgent trip to the hospital, where it was discovered that she has iron deficiency anaemia. They don’t know the reason and because of her level of understanding are not sure they can complete the necessary examinations. 9 hours we waited while she was topped up with both blood and iron. We hoped that perhaps that had been the reason for the decline in mood, but we were wrong and things steadily got worse.

The Fathership contacted her social worker and when she eventually returned his call a visit was arranged. They discussed carers, incontinence clinics, day care centres and medications. There was no discussion about what you do when you feel you’re at the end of your rope and have no strength left to tie a knot and hang on.

We persevered for another couple of weeks, but there was no improvement and neither of us could remember the last time there had actually been a good day. Her new favourite word became no, which she said a lot when we were trying to get her to eat and drink, a vital part of staying alive.

I’ve cried so much this last 2 – 3 months, because there really is nothing else to do when you feel there is no where else to turn. You look at the person before you and in your head you check off all the tactics that you have tried to stop the shouting and crying, and when you realise that you’ve actually reached the end of your list you think how, how the fuck am I going to deal with this person.

In sheer desperation the Fathership contacted her Doctor and outlined everything that had been going on, the lack of eating and drinking and the increase in the aggression and she took the decision to have her placed into respite for a couple of weeks in order that she could be assessed to see if perhaps there were any other underlying reasons for the decline.

I cannot explain the weight that has been lifted off our shoulders even if it is for a short time. How delighted I was to be able to sit down and watch the TV or sleep all through the night, something that I had not been able to do in the last 2 months.

It’s not been the stress free week that I hoped however, one set of worries just becomes replaced by new ones, like how is she getting on, will she kick off with the staff, will she fret for home and also, will she hate us for placing her in there in the first place. There are still things to be done, certainly a lot around the house and lets face it the cooking and cleaning never stops. I badly need to catch up on sleep, because the world is a scary place when you are suffering from a lack of it.

She’s been in for almost a week and I have not yet been to see her. I’m not sure people understand my reasoning, but in order for me to make the most of this time I have been given I need to try and distance myself, because if I go to visit and she is either upset or accusatory then it is going to take away any of the benefit that this period of peace should have.

Others have reported that she is doing well. albeit she will not eat and drink more than the minimum for the nurses either. She seems to like the company and to be honest that was a fear of mine for the last few weeks, that she was lacking the interaction with people other than myself and the Fathership.

We have big decisions to make, but I think we all know that the time is coming when we will have to choose where the best place for her to be is. We can’t seem to make her happy any more and if she needs that connection with others then perhaps she needs to be where that can be provided.

I’m trying to take one day at a time, but already thoughts of her return home are crowding my head, because when you have had that little bit of freedom and realise what life can be like, you realise it’s going to be very hard to return to how things were.

One day at a time eejit, one day at a time. Keep breathing.

(As predicted, this post took me 4 days to complete)

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The Music Bubble

Steve has created a playlist of my Music Bubble page for those who have Spotify! Have a listen :)

Talk About Pop Music

Music Bubble

The Music Bubble*

Do you know the feeling when you put your favourite music on and you feel like you are in your own little world – in your “music bubble”?

Juls and her music buddies have created their own version of this and it’s now on Spotify. With similar tastes, sharing new and old music while discussing the songs at the same time – why wouldn’t this be awesome?

Listen, follow and enjoy the playlist below and look out for all future bubble updates on this site.

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You can follow Juls on Spotify or check out her blog while listening to these fab songs!

*please do not confuse Music Bubble with Michael Buble

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Remember Me!

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I sort of feel like I need to provide an explanation with regards to my absence, when in reality I probably don’t. Even I was caught a little off guard this time when WordPress informed me it had been 23 days since my last post. I’d love to tell you I have been having a whale of a time, but why sugar coat it, things have been pretty shit to be honest, there is just no any other way to say it.

This whole Dementia thing is proving really stressful. We’ve had the worst month ever due to tantrums, constant crying, hospital visits, in fact you name it and we’ve probably dealt with it.

It’s becoming apparent that 9 out of 10 times I am the only person on the Motherships radar meaning she will essentially ignore everyone else and come to me for assistance. It’s like having a shadow and it’s exhausting. She leaves me with virtually no free time at all until I eventually put her to bed. I wanted to write last night but I was so tired I was unable to string a sentence together.

So that’s where I have been, every night I come home from work and step into the cocoon of caring that is so intense it almost makes you forget there is a world outside. Returning to work on a Monday after a weekend spent here feels like I’ve been away for a month, not two days and I am less than rested. As much as I dread work sometimes, I am glad of the escape.

Things are happening though, there is talk of Carers coming in to assist and a mild tablet that will hopefully bring calm, but we are doubtful it will make any difference and we certainly cannot tell the Mothership for fear of a reaction of explosive proportions. We will just have to wait and see. My Sister has been down every weekend which has been great and taken the pressure off.

But still, I am living on my nerves, and they are frazzled!

Apart from that there is nothing, not a fecking thing can I tell you that will in anyway entertain or amuse you. I just wanted to update you.

I read when I can and comment when I can, but less than perfect WiFi on my train journeys is a bit of a hindrance. Just know I am still alive and well and usually around somewhere :)

Time waits for no one

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Tonight he really was dressed to impress. His hat, freshly brushed sat atop his salt and pepper hair, his shirt and jacket had been neatly pressed and his beard had been trimmed and splashed with some cologne. He was looking mighty fine even if he did say so himself.

He had lived for what felt like forever and had long ago given up on the desire to impress, tonight however was different, he could feel it in his bones, something was going to happen, hence the reason for his natty attire.

He had seen a lot of things over his lifetime and not all of them good. Now though, there were big changes, the world was not what it once was and he was tired, weary from all the hatred.

He fished inside his jacket pocket and pulled out the pocket watch that had been with from the start of his journey.

Turning it around he stared in disbelief when he realise it was no longer ticking. Thinking to himself this wasn’t good, all he could manage to say was ‘Oh feck’, before he crumbled into a million pieces on the floor.

That was the end of Old Father Time.

 


Written for It’s all in finding the Right Worlds – Flash fiction for the purposeful practitioner