Monthly Archives: December 2016

Reflecting on 2016 & Welcoming 2017

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2017

Overall, I am thankful. I have survived a year full of chaotic ups and downs. At times, I wasn’t sure I could make it through. At other times, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to – yes I have been that low many times this year. There have been some highs as well so I guess 2016 wasn’t all bad.

It started out bad though. It started with a battle between me and the DWP to get assessed for ESA (employment and support allowance) since I couldn’t (and still can’t) work due to health issues. The stress and anxiety of having to go through the assessment was bad enough but it was made even worse by them turning me away one time even though I had an appointment. That meant I had to go through the same anxious-filled process all over again. To be fair the first time wasn’t their fault. Someone I had considered a friend for many years let me down at the last minute – I had been counting on him for a lift to the appointment and support during it (RIP friendship #1). My ex, bless him, tried to help but that was the appointment they turned me away. It was an awful few months trying to get it sorted. In the end 2 very good friends went with me and gave me the support I needed.

Those 2 friends (Lesley and Daz) are one good thing that happened in 2016 for me. We’d met the previous summer but only really began growing our friendship in February. Lesley and I would chat about the many things we have in common and our relationship bloomed. There are many times I have to thank her for helping me out of ruts and potholes and big gaping craters this year. We have spent many days relaxing, chatting, gardening and more – especially in the Spring and Summer when we would kick back in my garden and just be.

While gaining these friendships, I seem to have lost yet another. A woman I classed as my best mate suddenly blanked me. She stopped speaking to me without even giving a clue as to why. I still don’t understand it but I do miss her (RIP friendship #2).

During the first part of the year, I bought 2 cars. First a little Nissan Micra which I got for a steal but then didn’t like how the clutch stuck so put it aside for Hoovy and bought a Vectra. Big mistake. But more on that later as there were other vehicles woes to deal with first and for that time at least, the Vectra was running.

My daughter’s bike (50cc ped) was stolen in June! The police were less than helpful (cheers guys!). We loaded up social media with images of the bike and pleas for information. Eventually we struck gold. But it wasn’t an easy straight-forward affair. Nothing ever is in my life.

11pm on a Friday night, my daughter and I foolishly set out to explore some local woods where it had been spotted. With only our phones for light, we walked (I stumbled about) looking for it. We didn’t really know the area – in fact I had never been there. I think it took an hour but we did find it. That was only the beginning though as it was properly stuck in 6 inches of mud at the bottom of a hill – we like to call it The Mud Pit. An hour later, daughter exhausted and phones giving out, we left it there. We returned with help the next morning and they got it out and back home. She decided to keep it as a project.

4 weeks later, it was stolen again – this time they broke the locks on our gate. We couldn’t believe it. The damned thing didn’t even start and they stole it anyway! Police, helpful as always, found it, had it recovered and then bothered to ring us. She told them to keep it. Why should she pay £150 to get it back when they found it less than a mile from our home? The victim is victimised by the police just so they can try to take our money. Robbing from the poor are we Police?

Around June, I had a bit of fortune fall and we excitedly booked flights to go to the USA! There was a lot to do to prepare. For starters our passports. A trip to London on the bus sounded the best way to go. Only our bus was late getting in and after a nice day in the city, we missed the bus back (it’s okay just got the next one). But the day exhausted me entirely.

The trip itself was a chaotic whirlwind of non-stop going and doing. My favourite time was on the beach – it was heaven! I love the water; it is one of the things I miss most about home. Seeing everyone after so long was amazing but didn’t come without incidents. My anxiety and panic were severely raised during one event and I didn’t cope very well. Only 2 people seemed to notice or else the rest simply didn’t care. In the end I was verbally attacked by my eldest sister in front of everyone. Needless to say that relationship also ended this year. I simply don’t need fake love in my life.

After the trip, it took a while to recover from the travelling and then I hit rock bottom. After being so busy and around people 24/7, being back home alone was difficult to re-adjust to.

Also on my return, I had to deal with the Vectra that died 4 days before we left for the trip. Luckily I still had the Micra. At least I did until just before Xmas when it failed it’s MOT big time. To the tune of £450 to be exact. So I finish the year without wheels and 2 dead cars sat outside. Oh and my daughter’s bike also broke – it sort of runs but not safe to drive. So we’re both wheel-less.

This year, my baby turned 18 and entered adulthood proper. She found out it’s not so easy quite early on. But I think she still had a nice birthday, got to go out to clubs, had a nice meal with her boyfriend’s family. She also lucked out on gifts as she got a tons of her favourite brand of makeup and lots of other lovely gifts.

For her the gifts kept coming and she had a great Xmas as well. I was delighted with my gifts (including a bottle Chocolate Bailey’s – yum!). New pyjamas are always welcomed from me and I even got a lovely pair of kitty slippers.

So 2016 wasn’t all bad but I’m still happy to see it go. For me the bad outweighed the good and so I hope the new year will bring more stability, calmness, happiness, more fun times and that it will have a bit of magical sparkle to it.

So long 2016 ……. Hello 2017!!!

 

Psaryce x

PS: nearly didn’t get this finished as my mind has been struggling to sort through everything that happened this year and process a lot of things I have yet to accept.

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Bonkers Night

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I wish I had only dreamed it all. And to think it all happened here in my house with just myself. I am desperately trying to stay awake to write this. It all started with Gilbert.

 

I found him in the morning around about 11am. He was much larger than I had envisioned. He seemed to weigh a ton. My good friend, bless her, actually got him to the car for me. Her brother even helped get him into my house. I miscalculated how long he would need to get ready – I hadn’t planned on him being so big and heavy. He spent the day in the bath; with me changing his water periodically.

 

Since I was alone, I grabbed my presents and set about wrapping them while I could. I was already tired at this point in the afternoon and only could manage to wrap 4. Sad right? I was just in too much pain an needed to rest. But  didn’t. There was/is too much to do! I pressed on with other things like writing a blog entry, clearing off a table and decorating it. Nothing major as I just didn’t have the energy. I struggled for hours about cooking dinner. I was hungry but didn’t really fancy Spaghetti Bolognese. In the end I cracked, made it and ate. It was my first proper meal this week – for 5 days I was ill and unable to eat much of anything. Even plain crackers would not agree with me. But I am veering off my tale.

 

Maybe if I hadn’t dithered so long I could have taken a nap and the unfortunate events with Gilbert could have been prevented. But I didn’t take a nap. I watched some telly. The day had slipped away and at 9pm, I was exhausted but knew it was too late for sleep. I had to get Gilbert sorted out and I had to make stuffing. With Gilbert in his freshly topped up bath, I set about making the stuffing. I tore bread. That was okay. I chopped celery. I was in pain from doing that but still had to diced an onion. I had to take a break first as the pain was too bad. Eventually all the prep was done but it was around 11pm (2 hours to tear bread and chop celery and an onion????).

 

Getting the spices and everything right for the stuffing seemed to be far harder than it had ever been before. (Was it my tiredness?) I ended up with stuffing that I think was good enough. To be fair to myself, making stuffing by hand and cooking it in the turkey is a bit of guess work. You can never know how the juices will affect the taste. Oh Crikey! The bird. The store only had large ones left and there’s only 2 of us. What can you do? I cannot afford to buy the ‘fresh’ ones as they are usually twice the price. Massive amounts of turkey sandwiches ahead along with some freezing I think.

 

So I start on the bird. It isn’t defrosted. It’s now 12 midnight, the witching hour and I am dead on my feet. I clear and wash the sink. Wrestling with the bird is a tiresome task. It’s slippery and I have the strength to manoeuvre such a heavy thing (even when I am not already wiped out).  I had to dig real deep but finally managed to get it in the sink. The slippery sod was hard to get into the right position but again I managed. I started the water (cold) and positioned the faucet to pour into his innards.

 

Then I step back and look at it. This is one big bird! I look over to the bowl of stuffing I made. Never will that be enough. So I grab the bowl and the bread and go to sit on the couch to at least be off my feet as I tear more bread to add to the bowl.

 

Around 1am, I checked on the turkey. Not quite defrosted enough! I re-position it and go to have a cigarette and something to drink (milk I think it was). I was in so much pain. Just shifting my foot brought on waves of agony. But I couldn’t go to bed. Not at this point. I had to get that fat arsed turkey stuffed and into the oven!

 

At just before 4am, my daughter woke me. Oh crap on a cracker I’d fall asleep! I’d been out about 2 1/2 hours. And I still felt just as bad as before I had slept. I rushed to the bird – definitely defrosted now. I wrestled it to the awaiting pan. Oh geez it hurt my back! I stuffed it and even with the additional bread there wasn’t enough stuffing for it. Just one more step – get it down into the already hot oven.

 

I’m sure I did some breathing exercises in preparation. I have issues of tipping when I bend over and have nothing in my hands. This was going to be very difficult for my physically. Deep breath 1, deep breath 2, deep breath 3 and go!

 

I got it down onto the rack which I’d pulled halfway out to help make it easier (?). Then it started to slide forward –  off the rack. I imagine if anyone had been watching it would have been comical. For me it was hell. My feet kept slipping, I kept nearly tottering over, my back and shoulders were screaming at me. I pushed, shoved, tried to shimmy the beast. I tried to lift the rack so it wouldn’t slide but I didn’t have the strength to even budge it. Then somehow with an almighty shove, I got it into the oven. It barely fit. It’s legs nearly touched the wall.

 

It was done. I vaguely remember calculating when to check it and set an alarm on my phone. I crawled up the stairs (dignity having been long gone in this ordeal). I was out almost immediately. It was 4.30am.

 

Boing! Awake at 8 am despite setting my wake up alarm for 9. I make a cup of coffee and sit down to my laptop. I check the usual stuff, email, Facebook, Twitter and end up here on my blog. I begin to write but it soon becomes clear That I need more sleep so off I go to the couch for a nap with an alarm set.

 

Bonkers Ordeal Part 1 Complete.

 

Oh Wait! Gilbert is this year’s turkey’s name 🙂

 

Psaryce x

Festive Spirit’s Got Me Now

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Feeling much better today – Yay! I got to go shopping for Xmas dinner and other bits with a sweet friend of mine! I’m wearing my Xmas Tree dress. I have all the gifts I wanted to give this year – just need to wrap them up nice and perty! My mulled wine is ready for me to indulge myself with! WooHoo! I’m ready for the merriment now!

It's Chrissssstmassss!

It’s Chrissssstmassss!

There’s been a few hiccups in my plans like the car failing it’s MOT and me not being able to go visit my Soul Sister on Xmas Day. But I may be able to go up to hers on Boxing Day so not all is lost.

I was stressing out over what to get my youngest daughter but after I found one thing, I relaxed and got creative 🙂 Of course I can’t say what I bought yet but think she will love it all!

So short post today as I have cooking and wrapping to get done. I hope you are all enjoying the season and are feeling festive! Share with me what you are doing, what are you looking forward to. Are you cooking anything special? Let me know”

 

Psaryce x

Ill During The Festive Season

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It sucks. And every December I seem to come down with some type of illness. Usually I feel it coming and so have a bit of warning. Not this time. It sideswiped me and knocked me on my ass.

First day was excruciating pain in my back, hips and knees along with cold shivers and a thumping head. I knew I didn’t have a fever. Second day, less pain but still a thumping head and cold shivers. I thought I had a fever this day but daughter checked me and said no.

Today is the third day. I shouldn’t complain as I am feeling a bit better. Still have a sluggish head and slightly dizzy. When I move, I feel my brain is struggling to catch up with the movement – even when I go real slow. Earlier I felt nauseous then discovered my blood glucose was quite high. Injected insulin and hoped it would sort me out. A few hours later and I still don’t feel right. I have to keep checking my blood more than normal because whatever I have is sending them sky-high. I’ve barely eaten anything. I managed 2 crackers and 1/2 a tuna sandwich in 2 days. I’ve been trying to get as much liquid in me as I can but the shivers make it hard. I haven’t fancied coffee for days now :O

I’ve been craving Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, or chicken and stars or chicken and rice. It isn’t sold here. Sigh. Thy are my main Go-To soups when I feel ill (despite the high salt content which I never noticed until I went back home a few months ago).

It’s Xmas time and I should be jolly, energised, bouncing with joy and actively trying to pull off another good year. But I have been in bed most of the last few days. Unable to get up long enough to do much of anything. I tried to work out if it was depression causing all this but for once I don’t think that’s the case. I’m just run down physically which has led to being a bit down mentally (not the other way around). It’s hard to explain how I know the difference but I guess since I try to keep a close monitor of this stuff, I tend to know without much doubt.

Years ago my now estranged husband and I got very ill right before xmas. Neither of us could face any food so we didn’t bother cooking until after Boxing Day. I felt bad as we had a young daughter but luckily she was too young to remember. She was fed, we just didn’t do a whole big festive meal. Besides she was more about the toys that year than anything else. But now it’s just her and me so I feel a sense of responsibility to do it.

My car recently failed it’s MOT so I thought that was it. I’d have to order groceries to be delivered …. Nope! None of the stores had even 1 delivery slot available. So I looked at doing the Click & Collect thing … Nope! No slots available for that either. Luckily after I had moaned on Facebook about not having Xmas dinner due to all this, 2 friends offered to help. One I barely know but she recently had a baby and I just couldn’t accept her offer. She has other children and should be with her family at this time of year. The other is a good friend whom I can’t wait to see so I jumped at her offer. We’ve not seen each other in a while so I am excited to get a chance to see her before xmas day.

I had worried about the rest of my shopping – gifts. But I managed to find some things online with guaranteed delivery before the day. Whoop! So only the stocking to do … hmmm I hope Tesco carry stuff besides chocolate I can stuff in Hoovy’s stocking. I think we are doing them this year!

So all this illness is why I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday and why I am late today. Hopefully I will continue to recover and be able to be more consistent.

 

Psaryce x

Love Sucks

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When I think of love, I think of the following lines from James Morrison’s song Love is Hard

“Love takes hostages,
Gives them pain.
Gives someone the power to
Hurt you again and again”

It’s true and yet I find myself craving love. It makes no sense logically. Why give away your power? Why put yourself in a position to be hurt? Okay so it’s not meant to be like that but why take the risk? How many relationships (including friends and family) ever last without some form of pain?

They may not intend to cause you pain but it happens all the time. A word here, a look there. Subtle things that stab you right in the heart and often they don’t even know they are doing it. Those are the things that make it all so unbearable. If you call them on it, the response is almost always “I didn’t mean it like that” or some other such dribble that makes you feel stupid for misunderstanding or in some other way inadequate. I put myself through this for too many years during one relationship and still I don’t know why.

In the beginning of any relationship there is the “honeymoon” period. That time when neither of you can do any wrong. You’re so wrapped up in positive feelings that anything that might be negative gets blurred by all your excitement. During this time, your emotions are intense, you’re walking on clouds and you live in a protective bubble where nothing can touch or harm you.

Eventually, real life begins to see into your bubble but you’re still on a high so anything amiss gets marked down as a quirky trait or excused because your loved one has been under stress or some other nonsense. You make excuses but tell yourself they are good reasons and not worth rocking the boat over. You tell yourself that all the good of the relationship outweighs the bad. That is mistake one in my experience.

This phase of a loving relationship is tricky. Your mind is still being clouded by adrenaline. By this point you also feel you should carry on because you have so much invested. Mistake number 2! If you don’t start to address the negatives at this stage, they will take over and consume you. Trust me. I have been there.

Once the honeymoon is over and real life barges its way in, you are on to the 3rd phase. This is the one where you tell yourself that you have accepted your partners flaws and they don’t bother you.Your energies go into maintaining the status quo and are usually spent ignoring the negatives. You have invested your time and given your heart to this other person so it doesn’t seem sensible to back out now. Besides, your ancestors never split up so there must be something wrong with you to even think of doing that!

It’s all my own fault is the catchphrase of the 3rd stage. You blame yourself for things not working out as picture perfectly as you think they should. More excuses are made but now they aren’t really for the other person, they are focused on yourself. There is something wrong with you. You’re being too sensitive. You’re misunderstanding. If you had done something differently / explained yourself better / worn something else … All the while you know it’s bullshit but you’re in love so you ignore the truth. Besides, you don’t want to be alone and have to start all over again do you?

Time passes without you really noticing. You plod away at daily life. You continue to ignore what you know in your heart to be true. You’re now in stage 4. You are broken. You have given all you can and it doesn’t seem like it’s ever been enough. You’re not appreciated – you are a doormat. You don’t even realize that you are being stepped all over. You have accept your lot in life and in the rare moments that you question your life, you tell yourself it could be a lot worse.

Then phase 5 hits hard! You are suddenly a lump on the floor. Left alone to fend for yourself. Your love is gone and has no desire to return. All that time invested all the effort you put in was for nothing. You kick yourself for not getting out sooner. You berate yourself for being a fool. You do everything possible to cover up your pain because you are embarrassed by it. Other people offer sympathy but you don’t want it. You’ve been blaming yourself for years so why change now?

So there you are. Crushed and in pain. Love has conquered you. And as you lie there licking your wounds, the only thing you think is how much you’d give to have things go back to the way they were. But I ask you … is it really worth the risk of being defeated again?

Psaryce x

On Regrets

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Most of my life I never had any feelings of regret. All that had happened, all I had done had lead to where and who I was. How could I regret any of my decisions when they gave me 3 beautiful children? Lack of regrets didn’t mean I was happy, it just meant that I understood that I wouldn’t have my children.

In the years since my last marriage broke down, as I have been on my own and learning more about myself, small doubts and some big regrets have crept into my mind. Over choices I made, opportunities lost leading to a barrage of “What if?” questions.

Some of the regrets are about things that would not have impacted on having my children – those are the most difficult ones I am trying to cope with. I feel a lot of shame and embarrassment over some of the things I have done. While I know I cannot change my past, I still struggle to accept those decisions.

Depression. I face this demon on a daily basis and it highlights and intensifies all the negative thoughts of my past. It tries to make me think I would not be alone if I had made different choices. That I would be loved and happy. It causes my already low spirits to plummet and I find tears streaming from my eyes without any warning at times.

Music can have a huge impact on my moods. Often the songs from my past that I love the most are the ones that bring back so much pain. Maybe it is a form of self-harm or perhaps I am just trying to face those demons but I cannot resist listening to them. They take me back to my younger self and all the emotions I felt at the time. Some are just general but others take me to a specific event (those are the hardest).

I realise now that I had depression even back then – in my teens. I lacked confidence, was very naive and gullible. I felt no direction and lacked any focus other than to escape my own self. My actions were spontaneous, rash and reckless. Had I known then just how free I really was, I cannot imagine where I would have taken myself in life.

But I know all this reminiscing is pointless. It serves no purpose other than to cause me pain and regret. I hate the idea of regret. I’d prefer to take responsibility for my actions. I made those decisions after all – no one else did.

But what if there is a point to this emotional self flogging? What if it is necessary in order to move forward in my life? Could the fact I have never forgiven myself for mistakes be a part of the cause of my depression? What if it can lead to me gaining confidence and eventually being able to feel strong and able to face more of the obstacles life throws at me?

What are your thoughts? Does any of this ring true for you? Have you been through a similar process? If so, how did it turn out for you? I’d really like to know!

 

Psaryce x

 

 

Self-Therapy Through Art

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For the past 2 months, I have been creating with and on paper. It has been a very long time since I last attempted to doing anything arty with paper. It started with me wanting to create a card and I got hooked straight away. I discovered I really enjoy card making – something I always shunned for reasons unknown.

So needing a purpose to my creating, I decided to make Yule and Xmas cards for people in my life including a few neighbours and the post man (he’s been great this year). I found this to be fun and relaxing.

 

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One of my cards

A great new hobby for me to escape from reality in and in the end, I have a tangible item that I can give. I like to give. I think I am sometimes too much of a giver but with cards, it doesn’t matter. People can throw them out and it doesn’t cost me much to make.

I bought a friend’s die cut machine and discovered a whole new exciting and fun way to create even more. I went on an online shopping spree buying lots of stamps, die cut shapes and embossing folders. I went to the local craft store and bought inks and some papers. I did go a bit overboard but have taken the time to forgive myself for that – now I am only lightly kicking myself for the money I spent because I am seeing results within myself the more I express my inner self through art.

I began watching YouTube videos on stamping, embossing and die cutting.  I then stumbled on a channel for The Frugal Crafter and with such a huge number of tutorials, I started to binge on her videos. Not only does she have over 700 videos, they are on various types of crafting, art and different techniques. Watching them, I began to explore more types of mediums and actually created a simple watercolour painting for the first time. Okay it has flaws (a bloom in the sky – let’s call it a cloud; the shadow on the bottom left is the wrong shape) but it doesn’t look like a 3 year old made it – in my eyes at least. Thank you Lindsey for sharing so much!

 

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My First Watercolour!

This lead to me to begin an Art Journal. I have always wanted to explore art but never allowed myself the time. I have been struggling to work through blocks and fears and to just have fun creating. My first journal page used various mixed media and I enjoyed it so much. It flowed and came easily and I loved the finished result. Sorry about the bad photo – it doesn’t really show the colours properly.

 

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Art journal page 1

The second page I did with acrylic paints and I’m not as enamoured with the end result. But I have shown it to a few people and the message I was trying to convey got across so I guess that’s the main point. The pages I created after that were made with watercolour, inks, stamps and writing. I am happier with the end results of those but the important thing is what happens as I begin each page. I am getting braver, exploring more, feeling less fear of making mistakes. I am gaining confidence (something I sorely lack!).

Being human and finding a new hobby, I naturally want everyone to do this. I have that whole “It’s the greatest thing in the world” feeling and think I am boarding on being a pest to those I know who I think could benefit from my new-found outlet. But I try to remind myself that not everything works for everyone. So I decided to blog, thinking that at least more people may hear my message … Try it, it’s great! But I also have a want-to-be authoress in me and really want to make the effort to write more often as it is another form of expression that I love to indulge in.

Hopefully this may have inspired some readers to go and explore their latent hobbies or find new ones. I think hobbies are a key to living a balanced life (even though I kind of get too Gung-Ho and they can take over more of my time then they should). So whether you write, draw, paint, sew, build models, garden or whatever, get back to doing it or challenge yourself to explore more aspects of your hobby, try the harder stuff, let yourself push limits you have set for yourself. In other words, go and grow!

What are your hobbies? How do they help you in life? What would you like to try doing? What is stopping you? I’d love to hear your comments so leave one below!

 

Psaryce x