Learning from disappointment.

I have had the strangest week!
I tend to overbook myself & end up burning the candle at both ends as well as in the middle. Not one to give in, I keep pushing myself until I come to an abrupt halt. Recently I have been approaching the halt sign & had tried to reduce my unnecessary workload before I hit it – however I needn’t have worried, it was taken out of my hands.

Having more than one commitment a day causes me extreme exhaustion & pain, however sometimes it can’t be avoided, Wednesday this week was one such day.
Although looking forward to the first event ( as a mental health champion with Mind/ Rethink at a freshers day talking to students) it was expected to be tiring. Knowing that I had an important meeting the same evening, I was a little concerned how to pace myself. I preplanned my meals, double checked bus timetables & was getting close to worrying about it.

The evening before, it got cancelled.

I used the opportunity to attend a different group, then of course began to beat myself up because I was still over stretching myself.

On my return I received a message to say that I wasn’t needed at the evening meeting.

Hmm, bit weird. Maybe the Universe was making my decisions for me?

Following a very exhausting day at my voluntary job yesterday, I felt dreadful this morning. A friend gave me the routine lecture about taking things easier, which led to a discussion about my upcoming charity abseil –

Just received an email telling me that it has been cancelled!!!

I’m beginning to see a pattern here.
As I rarely get stressed or worried about things, I emailed the abseil organiser asking to be notified if another becomes available,then decided to write this blog.

Just received an email telling me that another abseil is being arranged.

I wonder if the Universe is testing me or playing jokes?

It has however made me think whether I need to learn something from this. As always there was a very definite lesson trying to get it’s message across.
I have had to ask myself if I was getting a bit egotistical & full of my own self importance? Possibly I was. So many people do far more important & worthwhile things than I do. Of course to me, my achievements are big, but not to everyone else. I had been banging on about the abseil to anyone who would listen, probably boring the pants off them. Had I allowed my courage & determination go to my head? I had enjoyed the praise that I was receiving.

Humility isn’t simply a word, it’a life choice. Made for the right reasons. Not something done for glory, or to be boasted about. I had fallen into a trap.

Humility is about simplicity, about genuine care, about honour.
Part of me thinks that I should be ashamed, but isn’t that playing the same card?
I need to actually understand & learn from the lesson. Being ashamed isn’t the solution. I had strayed from my life choice, chosen to broadcast my glory. Been guilty of pride & tripped myself up. It wasn’t about doing anything wrong, it was doing things in the wrong way. I enjoy helping others, I do it because it helps us both. I don’t need to broadcast it. I’m no saint, just a person trying to fulfil my purpose on this earth ( as feels right to me). Helping someone so that you get praised isn’t what it should be about.

Acceptance & Humilty are all important. Or certainly should be.

I’m thankful for being able to understand what it all meant.
We are all trying to find our way through the maze of life. There will always be hazards, blocks & difficulties, without these we would be unable to appreciate when things are going well. The newer abseil gives me a chance to approach things differently. Yes I will still approach people for sponsorship but for the correct reasons – just to gain money for the charities, not so that I can bask in the glory of how brave I am. It lovely to be paid compliments but to accept them with grace is not the same as milking it for all it’s worth.

In gratitude & with humility I accept this lesson.

Rosie X

Thank you for taking time to read this. Please ‘share’ it with your friends. If you’d like to read more, please ‘follow’ me to receive notification of further posts from Rosieways.

Until next time, take care x

Advertisements

How much had I been missing?

Today has been exceptionally good for me. I haven’t come into money, or met the man of my dreams, nor have I been on an exotic jaunt. No, my days was blessed with simple pleasures.

Despite feeling unwell, a fellow writer dragged herself out to pick me up, enabling me to attend a much enjoyed writing retreat in Frome. I had expected to miss it due to her illness, so being able to attend was terrific. I was able to do quite a significant amount of work, despite us needing to leave early.
I met several new people, hopefully recruiting a few new members for my writing group. I also paid a visit to the cottage that is key to my novel. All in all, an enjoyable morning. But there was much more to come……

The day has been very sunny and warm, too nice to go home, so I uncovered my mega size mobility scooter and headed for one of Wells’ jewels – The Bishops Palace. I was fortunate enough to have been given a membership by a dear friend which allows me free access to the magnificent gardens. I frequently go there to write, especially if I feel a little bogged down with hum-drum life. Today however, I simply wanted to bask in the sun.
I have recently been unwell (hence no blogs)and have become a slight recluse, purely because I didn’t have strength to venture outside. I hadn’t realised how much I had missed it.

I was filled with pleasure from the outset, having chosen to use a bridleway rather than the town centre. I’ve lived here for four years but for some inexplicable reason I had never used this route. Although the road has houses, they are non obtrusive and all the way there are overhanging trees and bushes. I immediately felt at peace. I even noticed the first blackberries of the season, something which, for some reason always excites me.
After a pleasant ride alongside the moat, observing the ducks and almost fully grown cygnets, I enjoyed a glass of elderflower presse, overlooking the palace before entering the gardens. That’s when I felt totally serene.

Leaving my mobility scooter safely inside the grounds, I continued on foot across the stream towards my favourite writing spot. Seating myself down, I tied my scarf around my shorn hair to protect me from the searing heat & settled down to get on with my stories, but was couldn’t. Sipping my water, I closed my eyes and enjoyed feeling the suns rays impregnating my skin. All around people were in good humour, due mainly to the weather I imagine, but I paid very little attention to them. The sounds of nature were speaking far louder. The water flowed, ducks quacked, birds chirped, leaves rustled and bees buzzed, I’m sure that I could even hear the insects scurrying around. It was idyllic.
My mind drifted to a time and place when I lived on Dartmoor, a memory that had become tainted by life problems. A storyline came into my head and as I quickly scribbled it onto paper, I knew that the happy feelings could be recalled. I felt myself smiling like a goon! Bare feet, scarfed head, a batty old woman sitting, grinning to herself but I didn’t care.

I spent a while writing before roughly sketching the scene. A couple of elderly neighbours stopped to exchange pleasantries before wending their way around the grounds. The Cathedral clock chimed. Taking a further sip of water, I realised what was making me so happy.
Life.
Pure and simple.
Life.

I have recently spent quite a while sharing the details of my 17 year battle with crippling agoraphobia. I’ve even had a near full page article about it published. Life is rapidly changing, new opportunities are making themselves known. I’m so enthralled with the fullness of my life, but I still hadn’t truly grasped what had happened previously. For seventeen long, lonely, miserable years I hadn’t spent any time outside. The warm air hadn’t brushed my skin. The breeze hadn’t blown through my (then long) hair. I hadn’t lifted my face to the sun, or heard the calls of the birds. I had been imprisoned through fear, yet it had affected me in ways that I hadn’t considered.

I now understand why it is so vital for me to encourage others to step outside. Face life. Face their demons, their challenges, their fears. No-one should take the elements for granted. It wasn’t just my physical freedom that I gave up – it was all of the years of poetry and song, writing and drawing. It was my potential that I had turned my back on.

I have been so fortunate to have been given another chance. If I could bottle that feeling of sunshine in my heart as well as my body, I would. Can you imagine sharing that with people in despair? Unfortunately I am unable to do that but came home with the knowledge of what I need to do.

I have been toying with the idea of giving motivational talks (not speeches)but have been dismissing it as a flight of fancy. It’s not. I have those feelings inside of me. I can write about them but I can also talk about them. I’m very capable. I KNOW THAT I CAN DO IT. It was the aftermath of the grey existence that was preventing me, causing doubt. The heady influence of the sun has warmed my soul, shone over my path, guiding me on the role that I was kept alive for. I feel so excited. I’m sure that the road won’t be smooth but it doesn’t matter one bit. I have a story to share, an ability to express it.
WOW!
A couple of hours ago I signed with a motivational speakers agency. The Universe won’t send me clients/jobs unless I’m ready. I’ve got no reason to doubt it.
My blessings are bigger than even I can comprehend. Yes I hid from life for so long as a caterpillar, protected in the safety of my chrysalis for the past few years. Now, today I have emerged into the sunshine as a fully fledged butterfly, dried my wings and have taken flight. I will be guided by the breeze of the universe. One thing is certain – I won’t stop until my job is done.
)0(

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that you enjoyed it.
If you did, please ‘share’, post onto your social media pages or even subscribe. I would welcome having you as a follower.
I am aware that my blogs are irregular-something that I shall attempt to rectify. Don’t give up on me. I’m still here, just sometimes a bit side-tracked.
Blessings and love to you all.
Rosie

No questions without answers.

Today I have felt dreadful.  There’s no point in me dressing it up – I have felt absolutely awful!

I had made plans for today.   Depending on how well I felt, I intended going out for a wander around my hometown or if I wasn’t strong enough, I’d stay at home & continue with my decluttering.   What I hadn’t reckoned on was to wake up with a banging headache.  Unusually for me, I had a very disturbing dream,  one of those that you can’t shake off!  Although not a nightmare it was quite unnerving.  I tried to return to sleep but my mind wasn’t going to play ball, it was insistent that I carry the images from the dream around with me all day. Try as I might, it wasn’t to be ignored!

After forcing myself to get up, feed the cat & follow the initial morning routine, I realised that today would be a wipe out unless I got some quality sleep.  Much to my cats’ disgust, I returned back to bed and slept and slept and slept.   I finally opened my eyes well after midday. It took just a matter of a few seconds to know that I actually felt worse, not better!  I am telling you this, simply to set the scene for my pondering.

As some of you will know, I’ve been unwell for quite a while now, which has hit me very hard, especially since I have been flying high for several months prior to this.  During that ‘well’ time,  although still in tremendous pain, I managed to have a very full & enjoyable life.  I knew that I had been pushing myself too hard ( fibromyalgia hates being pushed) so wasn’t at all surprised to have a relapse, but the severity has taken me by surprise.    Enough whinging!    Suffice it to say that a ‘well period’ feels very much overdue!

Thankfully throughout this difficult period, I have remained          ( on the whole) cheerful & have managed to keep depression at bay.   However recently I have been writing a lot,   including a book about a difficult period in my life. As you may understand, this has brought up a lot of previously buried emotions.   Add  to this my support for the ‘Time to Change ‘ campaign, which is trying to eliminate the stigma attached to mental health difficulties (please see my recent blog). and it’s not hard to see that I have had to fight the black dog ( depression) which has been snapping at my heels.  Yesterday was a particularly melancholy day,  not helped by it being the anniversary of my Mothers’ passing, a couple of years ago. All in all it has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster!

Needless to say, I felt unable to go out today & as soon as I began to do any form of activity,  it soon became apparent that that was to be a no no also! The most physical thing that I have achieved was washing a few dishes & boiling some potatoes for my meal.

As someone who has had previous long term agoraphobia, I am very mindful about not allowing myself to go down that road again. Now, especially since I have felt so exhausted, I have been staying at home most days & have been concentrating on my writing.  If I’m honest, I’ve quite enjoyed being a hermit, but in my circumstances it is a risky strategy!    Since not being able to do much else today, I decided to sit & write, except that falling asleep again was all I managed.  After my 3rd or was it 4th nap?  I gave up the idea.     As many people know, when you create a void, something needs to fill its’ space, in my case it was a churning brain, firing questions at me.  I began to worry if I was getting mentally unstable again, but quickly dismissed that idea. But then I reasoned if it wasn’t that, was I being punished for something?  By now getting into dangerous territory, I gave myself a bit of a shake & looked  at what has actually happened.

Yes, I’ve been unable to go out much,  which has had a knock on effect of my spending being reduced. Positive outcome!

Yes, I’ve been forced to take a lengthy absence from my voluntary job.  I found this devastating, but it has helped me to see that when I return , not only will I be more physically able to work,  I will be able to re-evaluate  quite what tasks I should & shouldn’t take on. Resulting in a decision to make a slightly different work schedule. Positive outcome!

Yes, I have missed many groups & clubs.  Result being that I had realised how much I had been burning the candle at both ends.  I needed a rest.  I knew it.  I ignored it.  Now I can see that as a pensioner, with a variety of medical problems, I should prioritise & concentrate on what I need to do, rather than what I want to do!  Life won’t grind to a halt if I withdraw from one or two activities. Life will go on, as will the clubs without me.  Positive outcome!

Yes, I’ve had a lot of spare time on my hands.  Result being that I have used that time decluttering  my home, making it a much nicer, airier space.  Definite winner all round there!

Yes, I’ve had to let a lot of people down, something that I hate doing.   Resulting in being able to catch up with overdue paperwork & also old friendships via social media.  Positive outcome!

Yes, I have been unable to buy fresh food. ( someone does get me essentials).   Result being that I have been forced to use up food from my freezer & store cupboard ( or black hole, as it often seems!)  I have also invented many simple, tasty & nutritional vegan meals & snacks for myself. Some of which I will at some point share on my sister page http:// Rosieways,  howdidisite.com . My kitchen cupboard agrees it ‘s definitely been a positive outcome!

Being unable to do everything for myself , I’ve had to swallow my pride & ask for help.  Result being a lesson in humility that I badly needed.  Positive outcome!

Finally for now, Yes, I have been unable to keep up with housework, laundry etc.  Result, first of all – does it really matter?  Mainly though, enforced resting has given me plenty of time to write, write, write & write some more.  I have wanted to dedicate more time to creative writing, but never found much spare time. In the past few weeks I have actively written more than I would have thought possible. I have created a writing routine. I have sorted out my writing books into one place, easy to find & use.  Have found many interesting websites to aid my muse & have entered a couple of competitions.  Positive outcome!

Although I already knew about not being given questions ( & hardships / challenges ) without being given the answers  (or solutions)It took an enforced rest to help me actually take notice!

The end result to all of this episode will hopefully be a much more relaxed schedule with more ‘me’ time, more space for creativity & maybe even a healthier bank balance.

I certainly have a lot to be grateful for.     Namaste X

Love & Blessings to you all.

Rosie X

 

Having second thoughts?

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog about my experiences with mental health.  Although unintentional, I was actually a lot more forthright than I had intended.  I’ve had quite a reaction to this blog, some saying how stupid I have been to be so open, other, my far the majority, have welcomed & thanked me for my honesty. Well, I’ve reassessed my thoughts about the wisdom of that post & have reached a very definite conclusion – ALthough a little embarrassing, I DO NOT REGRET WRITING IT ONE TINY BIT!

Mental health problems are very diverse, affecting a wide range of people. the range of illnesses affects everyone in many different ways. There is no one pill to cure all. In many cases it is a very long road of trial & error. Depending on the type of mental health problem, some people recover reasonably quickly, some never recover.   Everyone is an individual. One thing that most people have in common is the fight to be recognised as a normal person with an illness, not some freak of nature. This is something that needs to be addressed.

I will continue to speak out…

Rosie

 

Oh what a day

I have always been very much of a morning person, but over recent months I have been finding it a struggle to get started each day.  Fibromyalgia doesn’t help, as one of it’s kind gifts is feeling unrefreshed as if you haven’t slept at all, regardless of how many hours of sleep you’ve actually had.  Apparently it prevents the body from getting into the deep level of sleep that is required – hence fibro sufferers always feel totally washed out.  Unlike many people, I actually have very little trouble with getting to sleep & apart from the inevitable trip(s) to the toilet in the small hours, I sleep fairly soundly. It wasn’t always so. I  used to cope on two hours a night, without any daytime naps either !  I was totally unable to sleep.  I hate using sleeping tablets so read all that I could about sleep deprivation & have implemented a lot of the suggestions that struck a chord with me. Now, as I said, I normally sleep well. Unfortunately this hasn’t helped me wake any more refreshed but I try to get up as soon as I wake, that is until recently!

Yesterday was a really enjoyable day & my head was buzzing with what I had learnt at my writing class so I found myself still writing at silly o’clock , even then having  to force myself to retire.  Finally I crawled into bed, head throbbing from eye strain, legs hardly able to carry me the few paces to my bedroom. I literally fell into bed & went out like a light, stopping just long enough to realise that I didn’t have any commitments today, so I could sleep as long as I needed.

Nobody told my cat!

A couple of hours after collapsing into the world of dreams, Chi ( my cat) decided that it was time to get up.  NO!   After a difference of opinion he accepted that he wasn’t able to win, so we both went back to sleep.  Only to be rudely awoken by a speeding cat, bouncing across my body in his haste to hide away from the person who was ringing the doorbell!   It’s extremely difficult to pretend that you are still asleep, with the trail of blood from cats claws crossing my body.  Too bleary eyed to read the clock, I expected it to be the postmen. I pulled on my dressing gown, bare feet, with hair that would have been a credit to a scarecrow, I dragged myself to the door.

“Good morning, can I come in & fit you new intercom.”   I mumbled yes but my mind was certainly not using that word!  Being a lady, I will not tell your what I wanted to say, but it wasn’t very polite!   By now my cat was sat under the chair, growling at the workmen, glaring at him for daring to disrupt the morning rituals.  As for me – I  wasn’t  sure if I was even in the land of the living,  but my need to use the bathroom told me that I was.  However I couldn’t use it because the man was working there ( I should point out that there are emergency pull cords throughout the flat, not that I need to answer the door via the bathroom😄)   A second workman came in, cat flew elsewhere, I shuffled uncomfortably , needing the bathroom, needing a cuppa, needing to dress, but above all, wanting to go back to sleep……….

Eventually of course, the job was done & normal day should have been resumed, but no, I dragged myself around, as if I was weighed down, legs like lead weights. My head was pounding, I couldn’t snap out of it at all.  Poor cat wanted to play, I wanted to make cat kebabs!   He was safe – I’m vegan.   I bent to pick up his food bowl & lost my balance, reached out to find support, which unfortunately came in the form of a glass dish,  which smashed into a million pieces.  Grrr!   Not what I needed today!    Once I had cleaned up the glass, fed the cat & my fish, I couldn’t face feeding me.  I decided that today was going to be a right off.  I trudged towards my bedroom & caught sight of myself!  What a pathetic sight!   I looked so sorry for myself, it was ridiculous!   I had a frown so deep that I hardly recognised myself.  I stared at my reflection,  Chi was staring at me.  Suddenly the absurdity of it all struck me.   I burst into laughter.  Chi came over to see if I was okay.   No I wasn’t, but I soon would be.

Now approaching lunchtime, I finally got myself washed & dressed, followed by a deep & meaningful conversation with my deity through prayer. After which I gave myself a long relaxing Reiki session.  I had intended to get some pain killers but of course found that I no longer needed them.  I turned on the radio & began to sing along.      Cat purred.  We played.   I forgot breakfast & went straight onto lunch.  Tiredness gone,  I did a lot of de cluttering, letting go of many possessions that I had been reluctant to give away.  Finally, exhausted but excillerated,   I collapsed onto my sofa in the late afternoon.  I began to think about my day.  It had been such a strange day yet turned from negative into positive, simply because of the absurdity of my reflection.

There is certainly a lesson there for me.  No matter how rubbish I feel, allowing myself to wallow is a disastrous move.  I know that if I take a step back,  take a  quiet time in prayer &/or meditation, All negativity dissolves.  Every problem  doesn’t disappear, but they stay in their right context.   I had stayed up far too late,  I had woken badly,     I  had smashed  a dish,   I had a very bad headache.   And?   And nothing!    Nothing dreadful happened,  the world didn’t fall apart, in fact I ended up having a very good day.      All because of those few peaceful moments.

It’s now midnight, I have some writing practice to do.  Goodnight to one & all.

Rosie x

 

 

New Challenges

Once again I’ve had to accept lessons from the Universe.

Today I began to clear out my office.

What had begun as an exciting challenge soon began to tell on my health. I always knew that it was going to be a risk, but one that I felt compelled to try.   Although I am disappointed that I haven’t been physically strong enough to make a go of my new venture, it hasn’t been a wasted experience. Through it I have come to realise that there are many, many things more important than money or status.

I have realised that I get far more pleasure from helping in a charitable format.  The pressures involved in needing to cover my rent & other expenses had begun to play on my mind.  I had begun to doubt myself.

I have worked long & hard to build up the self esteem needed to happily survive as a lone pensioner. I was being unrealistic to think that I could just shrug these pressures off.  Lessons in the form of a several week downturn in my health hit me square in the face!  I was made to understand, in no uncertain terms that although my mind may be strong, my body is not!

Once again I accept the need for the lesson in humility!

I am exceptionally fortunate that being a pensioner, I do not have to work to survive. There is a tremendous freedom about not needing a lot .  I still buy far more than I should, have a close to zero bank balance, but so what?  When push comes to shove, what do I get most satisfaction from?  I don’t smoke, gamble or drink from personal choice. I don’t buy expensive perfumes or fancy clothes, not because I’m deprived of choice – the exact opposite!  I could spend my income on these ‘luxuries’ but why on earth would I want to?

I love the simplicity of my life these days.  I have a busy social life ( too busy!) lots of friends, a lovely home, beautiful companion in my cat Chi.  Vegan lifestyle.  No car.  Few holidays, haven’t been abroad for many years!  But I have a lifestyle that I wouldn’t swap with anyone, or for anything!

I don’t intend to sound smug.  I am aware that many people can’t understand how I can be so happy, at times I find it hard to understand myself!    But then something will happen to put things in perspective again.

Tonight has been such a revelation.

Since deciding, albeit reluctantly to abandon the pressure to make a better income for myself, I have dedicated my time to a charity that is close to my heart.  It is a small mental health charity in Wells , called Heads Up.  There I found the strength & support that I needed to firmly establish myself as part of the human race after years of mental health problems.  I now volunteer there when I am able.   I have also decided to write to help others who find themselves alone, as I was, to overcome whatever may be holding them back from living a fulfilling life.  I can only do this from personal experience, so am now grateful for the hell that I’ve been through. I have also realised that I have a lot of simple skills that I can share.  I don’t need an office or headed notepaper.   All I need is trust in myself & the path that I am being led along.  I have that in abundance!

Strange skills are making themselves visible to me, choices that I never would have considered.  I am writing blogs,  poetry,  I am offering help in many different ways.  In each new challenge I find payment in kind.

Tomorrow, or rather later on today I am holding a free relaxation group for clients, carers & staff at Heads Up.  Two things spring to mind here – firstly,  me leading the session?  Voluntarily?  Me who not too many years ago couldn’t even speak to a stranger. Me who was agoraphobic for nearly 17 years.  Me who was such a wreck that I couldn’t cope with life!     Secondly I am in the laughable situation that I am always chattering, laughing, active, always talking too much, yet I find that I can lead a group of people, with a quiet sense of serenity that I never would have thought possible.  I wrote the session myself, have written a guided relaxation exercise without really even trying & have many more waiting to be penned.   I have found something in me that I didn’t know, a strength through gentleness, a voice through quietness, a new direction that I hadn’t ever imagined.

Another aspect to this class is – what if no one turns up?  The absolute truth is that it doesn’t matter.  I don’t feel like I need to prove anything anymore.   I am giving the session,  I have the room booked, I have the music, the oils, the mats & the words ready.  If I am the only person in that session, it will be because that is what I need.  I will run the session even if it is just for myself.  I will gain a lot from it, whether I have a room full of people, or just me.  I will gain peace & serenity in there, which I can utilise to send out to those in need.

WOW!   How blessed & fortunate am I?

Love & blessings

Rosie 🕉

                             *****************************************************************************

Here is a link to my new blog site which I hope to fill with words, prose, poetry & inspirations both from my darkest days & my brightest.  I would be delighted if you would give it a read & maybe follow it. Thanks.   The site is rosie-anne bright.wordpress.com 

Praise where it is due

like so many people, I always had difficulty in accepting praise, I’d mumble something about not being very good, or else rather than embarrassing myself by blushing, I’d make a joke, or make fun of myself.
I’d been brought up not to show pride in myself or my achievements. Pride is on par with lust, gluttony or avarice ( although to be honest, I never truthfully understood quite what avarice was.) I grew up believing that it was wrong to be pleased with myself – so inevitably I stopped showing my talents – became a mediocre nobody.
I hated having the spotlight on me, even to the extreme! One painful memory involved winning the first prize in a theatre draw. I was mortified! I begged my Father not to make me collect the prize, but I was ritually marched through the theatre towards the stage. I could feel myself burning up, tears pricking at my eyes as I made my way past all of the envious spectators. Why Me? I didn’t deserve to win, I didn’t even want the prize! Surely everyone must believe that I’d cheated? Why Oh why did it have to be me?
I’ve never forgotten that day. It acted as a blueprint for the rest of my life. I would never claim any further prizes, even at Bingo ( which I hated then & now) if I noticed hat I was close to a full house, or winning line, I stopped crossing off any more numbers. I couldn’t bear the humiliation of having everyone stare at me.
I stopped doing the Lottery because I dreaded winning a fortune but not being able to claim it!
Bizarrely though I felt comfortable being on stage, be it as an actor, dancer or singer, I guess that it felt safe because I was playing a part – it wasn’t really me that everyone was staring at. I wasn’t there, I’d stepped back to allow the ‘other me’ to take front stage, I was invisible. Safe.

How different things are now!

Since living alone, since finding out who I really am, I’ve come to understand that there is no shame in being proud of my achievements. I have no need to be embarrased when someone offers praise.   I’m only an ordinary person but like everyone else – I am unique. You are unique, we all are & we all have positive attributes as well as weaknesses. I am learning to feel quietly proud when praised & now am able to say a simple “thankyou”.

Recently, in a moment of madness I decided to do something positive, to show gratitude for the abundance that the Universe has bestowed on me.   My health was reasonably stable so I took part in Care Internationals’ campaign ” Walk in Her Shoes”, which involved walking 10,000 steps a day, every day for a week. This was to represent the distance that Women & girls in the poorest parts of Africa need to walk daily, just to fetch water.

Although the daily distance wasn’t huge ( approx 5 miles) for a fibromyalgia & angina sufferer who was usually only able to totter for a few steps before collapsing in pain, this was way, way out of my comfort zone!    However the cause is very important to me, so I duly proceeded to train myself to walk, with the aid of my pusher, a few metres more each day.

Naturally for this to be a success I needed to gain lots of sponsorship, but as I haven’t lived here for very long, I didn’t have a lot of people that I could call on to support me.  Therefore I decided to enlist the help of the local newspaper to highlight my endevours.    I wrote a letter, hoping that part of it would be published, what I hadn’t expected was to have an entire article and a full length photo of myself published!  Not much chance of anonimity anymore.

At first I was dreadfully embarrased, but soon realised that I needed to embrace this publicity if I wanted to raise awareness of this cause.  Good job really because shortly afterwards I was awarded a beautiful bouquet of flowers as that weeks’ most inspirational story.

I soon discovered that being recognised had it’s advantages. I found the courage to ask people to sponsor me & even had my photogragh taken again with my carers’ company, along with a very decent sponsorship.

I began keeping an online account of my training, difficulies & successes, this involved regular updates, photos etc.  I admit that I found this quite daunting – taking ‘selfies’ may be the norm these days, but not for me!

By the time the challenge began ( 23rd March 2015) my health had deteriorated but I knew that I needed to carry on – I had invested too much effort & time, besides I needed to do this for ME!  I had to prove to myself that I am able to hold my head up, I am able to succeed!

And succeed I did!

I raised quite a substantial amount of money & although now one month later, I am still suffering from the ill effects of pushing myself too far, I AM PROUD of myself. I did what was seemingly impossible for me, I did it without worrying what other people thought.

This has opened a whole new chapter in my life.  Why shouldn’t I continue with this positivity?

I have also realised that I was taught wrongly.   Being proud is good in the right situation.  I now know that I have the right to create my own life rules, as long as I don’t cause harm to anyone.

I’m no longer that terrified little girl.

It no longer matters if people doubt my motives, as long as I know my intentions are good, why should I justify it to anyone else?

There are millions of people on this Earth, most of them stumbling along trying to find their role in life, many of them apologising for their existence.  Hopefully they too will one day realise that it is GOOD to hold your head up & say  ” This is me, I’m not perfect but I’m proud to be doing the best that I can”

We’ve all got a role to play, never forget that.

Be unique

Be yourself

Be happy & proud of who you are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

till next time, stay strong,

Rosie x