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Stuck for a Christmas gift….🎄📚

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Stuck for a present to buy someone for Christmas…?? 🎄🎁🎄
Want to give something unique,  personal, inexpensive, within budget, value for money…..something which can give that special someone a release, a story, an adventure, magic, mystery, truth, history or fiction…then for goodness sake go shopping in a book shop. 📚📖📚📖📚
Any book shop, whether it be a large wealthy chain or a small independent bookseller, it doesn’t matter. 📚📖📚📖📚
The gift of a book is something which everyone should receive.

Happy book shopping peeps.

Xx

Books 📚

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I’m sorry but you will not convince or convert me…..I am a book lover. I believe in the magic, the feel, the smell, the touch, the words, the comfort, the company of a book.
Any book is better than an electronic replacement.
You can tell a lot of a person character by peeking at their bookshelves.
Money spent on a book is not wasted. Books passed down through the family hold a meaning; hold a history.
Buying a book as a present indicates that you have given your time, your understanding and included your effort into that person, what they like, whether they are they a dreamer, a realist, a history freak.
The magic of a book will never be lost on me.
Xx

I’m back….with my happy pills!!

I haven’t put pen to paper/fingers to the keyboard to post a blog in a loooooong time; I genuinely haven’t had the time or motivation to share.

Today however my thoughts and feelings and general outlook has altered immensely. My life, my Husband’s life and my children’s lives have been turned inside out and upside down.

Me – I am back on my “happy pills” and have been for the last few months. Yes the need for the antidepressants came back to bite me in a HUGE way. For a long time, maybe longer than I care to admit I had been suffering with depression. Hiding behind the mask, putting on a front and not being honest with myself.

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I hit rock bottom earlier this year; I have never been quite so bad. It was as if I had been in a trance. I found myself sitting on a bench looking out to sea, contemplating very morbid, upsetting and sad things. Things that to this day still make me shudder. Depression can make you feel extraordinarily alone, disposable, invisible, weak and broken all at the same time. You can’t simply snap out of it. You can’t just smile and feel the joy. And usually you do not recognise the symptoms until you are at your worst. You are haunted daily by the dread you feel the nanosecond you open your eyes, the enthusiasm you once had becomes so false and so meaningless, but it also becomes a way of life. You live in a constant denial that “you’re fine“, that you’re “just tired“, “nothing is wrong, honestly“…..

Like anything you have to come down, sometimes a long way down before you come back up. I realised I was ill again, but I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t want to say anything to anyone, my Husband, My mum, anyone, for fear of being thought of as an attention-seeker, someone who is overreacting. I carried on, playing the game, keeping my mask securely up, working in auto-pilot. It was exhausting. Get up, get kids to school, avoid those who made me feel invisible, do housework, pick kids up, do dinner, go to bed.

The penny must have dropped with my Husband, he must have realised, because I remember him saying to the me “Please go to the Doctors“. I cannot however, remember much more than that. Everything seems muffled and jumbled up when I look back.

I know I sat in my car on the phone to my Mum in tears, worried that the Doctor would not believe me and wouldn’t help. (He did by the way)

I know I sat in the Doctors room feeling like a little child with no voice. Speaking a language that was complete gibberish. I know I felt immeasurable relief when the Doctor listened, gave me tissues and talked to me, not at me but to me. We talked about what causes depression, coping techniques, how the medication works. He gave me the tool to help me be me again.

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Long story cut short; a few months down the line, I am ME once more. The ME I used to like, the ME who enjoys socialising, the ME who likes people and who doesn’t shy away. I am no longer the person who backs away from others, scared to look people in the eye, scared to be in a crowd.

I can very happily say that the dark cloud, the rainstorm, the shadow which clouded my mind and the dread I carried with me have now been replaced with sunshine, love, smiles, laughing and all thanks to some wonderful man-made drugs.

Depression is not a laughing matter. I may refer to my medication as “happy pills”, but they are still medication prescribed to me to help me deal with and live a mental illness. It is a medication which allows/helps me to be live as myself again. A medication which has stopped my children loosing their mum and has stopped my Husband’s marital status being changed to Widower.

Mental illness is a disease. A disease which is very lonely, debilitating, and carries such a stigma, because it is widely misunderstood. I guarantee that there are many many people who live with it, suffer because of it, who receive treatment for it and who hide it, and you wouldn’t even know it.

I am not here writing this for sympathy or to lecture. I use this blog as a tool, as a coping mechanism. If I can help others while I am doing it, that is epic.

If you know someone who is suffering with/living with depression; I implore you just listen if they want to talk, just offer a shoulder to lean on, sometimes just having company and not being on their own will be all they need.

Please don’t lecture. Don’t brush off their feelings. Don’t put words in their mouth.

Offer support and listen.

And to all those amazing people out there who like me deal with/live with/suffer from depression or a mental illness; remember you are absolutely not alone. You are amazing and I send you a hug from behind my computer screen.

 

Big love

S xx

33 Years old!!

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!   (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well today is the birthday of yours truly….I am 33 years old today! Eek…..

Firstly I want to say a BIG thank you to the Husband for my gorgeous present. You’ve done well this year. Well done for listening. xx

Well done to my Mum, who has been a Mum for 33 years!! I bet that makes you feel old! ha ha ha Love you Mum bundles xx

So what does one do on their birthday when they begin creeping towards their mid-thirties. What does one do on  their birthday when you have three children, no babysitter, and the Husband (who DIDN’T take the day off work) who won’t walk in the front door until nearly 8 O’clock tonight?

I did all my partying in my twenties. Spending hours getting ready, choosing the “perfect” outfit, shoes, handbag, doing hair and make-up, sorting out who’s meeting who and where, Pub crawls, rounds of drinks, tottering in too-high shoes into the nightclub, knocking back the shots, visiting the loos to preen and primp, playing “pull-a-pig”, flirting with a member of the opposite sex to obtain a free drink, more shots, taking off the too-high shoes, falling out of the nightclub, taking possession of a burger/kebab/chips, trying to hail a taxi, usually ended up walking home minus the shoes (which are now tucked under my arm), and throwing myself on the bed, sometimes still fully dressed. No, the thought of getting drunk now and suffering a hang-over (especially with children around) DOES NOT appeal to me one iota. I would much rather watch someone else younger and/or more stupid than me suffer instead.

Suddenly I feel “old” is this normal? I would much rather go to the local pub and have drinks there with the Husband and a few friends, pop into the local Indian and then come home NOT DRUNK.

Currently on my birthday, I have done the school run, been grocery (!) shopping at the local Co-op, put some washing on, cleaned the kitchen, emptied the dishwasher, painted a dolls china tea-set with T, finished and published a post on my blog, had three very LARGE cups of coffee, spoken to various members of my family, replied to birthday text messages. Very Rock n Roll!

And tonight…well lets see what happens.

However, I am content with it. I have done my partying days (thank goodness! If I had to do them again, I think it would kill me!) and I have safely stored them away. (Disclaimer: They can be taken out at will and dusted off as and when the need/want arises.)

Crikey I do sound old don’t I?

Thank you William Boyd

It is said that keeping a diary is a place where you can be truly honest and open about and to yourself. No holds barred. No censorship. No need to lie or pretend. There would be no point, you would only be lying to yourself, which kind of contradicts the point of the diary. A blog is a type of diary isn’t it? Or is it? It’s out there forever on the world wide web. Public record. Never to be deleted.

I have struggled with this, worrying that I cannot always afford to be completely honest and open for fear of offending people; opening up my true feeling and opinions towards controversial topics can lead to a loss in followers, a drop in stats, negative comments and occasionally the need to have to go back on what I have said. What’s the point in that?

I am well aware that not everyone would agree or care to read my opinions on politics, my money and financial rants, complaints or observations on other peoples parenting skills (or lack of); so generally I have endeavoured to keep my past posts optimistic and light-hearted apart from the occasional rant (sometimes things need to be said).

I find the ease to write comes more naturally to me when I am troubled by something, irritated by someone, angry with a situation, confused, hurt and upset. Is everyone like this? Probably not.

I get frustrated when I haven’t got or found the inspiration. I have started and subsequently not completed between 10 and 15 posts. I start with real conviction, but once I get to a point I hit the wall and lose interest; worry too much that I’ve rambled, that it will bore the reader. Mostly I leave it telling myself that I’ll come back to it the next day; I don’t and there goes another unfinished post in the draft folder.

But writing a diary, keeping a journal, posting a blog is allowed to sporadic. I don’t have to write every day. I wish I could afford the time and concentration. I read many other blogs which are, or seem to be, updated daily and as a reader I truly enjoy them as well as greatly admire the blogger. How, oh god, How do they find the time to commit every day. They seem to roll out post after post, which are honestly bloody brilliant.

Cover of "Any Human Heart"

I recently re-read William Boyd’sAny Human Heart“. I liked it 3 years ago; I love it now. It was adapted slightly (by WB) for a television drama series which is also just as good. When it was released on DVD, I nagged the Husband to get it for me (he did). I will confess that one of the reasons I loved the television programme was that it starred Matthew Macfadyen, even though I have to say that to me he will always be Tom Quinn from Spooks.  Sorry – gone slightly off topic there.

My Father-in-law (FIL) also watched the television programme (please note he is a HUGE bookworm who, I’m sure, has read nearly almost every book, ever). FIL said that he thought the adaptation from book to television was “actually very good”. For my FIL to say that, then you can be sure that it was. Period. End of discussion.

Anyway, back to my point (see, am I rambling?)….the book is the ongoing journal of a fictional man called Logan Mounstuart. It begins from his teenage years and continues throughout his life. The journals are not written daily, but in fits and starts, on again off again, sometimes with vast periods of time missing. A properly good read.

Upon re-reading I suddenly wanted to start writing again – stupid isn’t it. After nearly 2 months of nothing a made up story of a man and his journal writing has helped me pick up my own pen (yes I mostly manually write everything out beforehand – old school I guess!) and start posting again.

So I will endeavour to continue being light-hearted as much as possible – I will also address the drafts which sit waving at me, trying to get my attention and their fifteen minutes of fame.

Thank you William Boyd

xx