Where does the time go! Empty Nest Syndrome.

Thought I’d go to my blog and start writing again. I was shocked as I had a job to find the page and then realised that it had been over a year since I had written. Nearly 2 years. Where has the time gone, it seems to have flown by. I remember my Nan telling me the older you get the faster time seems to fly. I laughed at the time as I was a kid, now I can relate to her thoughts. Both my books have been selling well as E books and I feel humbled as I wrote them without expectations. Now I want to write a third but never seem to have the time or be in the right mood. My kids are both growing up fast and are at University and College and this year I have come to understand the phrase “Empty nest syndrome.” I miss my kids when they are away, I want the best for them, but as a parent I have an enormous gap to fill, and it’s taking time to believe that I now have time to do things for me. The initial months hit me hard without the kids and I have been diagnosed with depression again, something I am fighting and to be honest I am not taking the pills described as I keep telling myself it’s circumstantial and I will pull out of it. Time will tell whether I can fend off the blues or not. I am  trying to make myself go out and to give myself new challenges. The weather doesn’t help as I am a lover of the outdoors and the winter hours of short days and long nights adds more challenges. It had helped to know I am not alone with the Empty nest syndrome as some of my friends have sent messages of their struggles and challenges. It’s nice to see their children doing well. One of my friends joined a choir, another has taken up flying lessons. I was very proud of them both to have the courage to go ahead. It motivated me to have a go at something. I have tried to take up golf, whether i’ll be able to continue due to finance, physical fitness and commitment only time will tell, but I am enjoying it much more then I had anticipated. It’s more challenging then you think and the fact that you can hit it fantastically well and the next shot can be awful makes it a challenge mentally as well as physically. One of my biggest challenges was to have the confidence to hit the ball if people were watching. It reminded me of when I first learnt to drive. Now I am getting the hang of it I am enjoying it more.

A simple message of this blog is to go out and challenge yourself, it is rewarding and you might find you are enjoying yourself more then you thought you would.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s the start of a new year and I have been receiving many messages from survivors of child abuse and sadly the same issues keep being mentioned. One of the biggest issues is that the survivor feels let down because the people they expect to get the most support from don’t even want to acknowledge that the abuse has happened. Although hurtful and in many cases not excusable, there is logic and rational behind this.
One of the main reasons is guilt, the closest people feel guilty that the abuse happened and it is too unpleasant for them to admit it and take the consequences, whether it is to feel the guilt or to accept that the abuse happened. Sometimes it is that they don’t want to believe that the person they love so much has been through so much. Other times it is because to take it on board they have to also accept that another person they love is the abuser as well. The people who are the closest are the ones that are going to be affected the most and for this reason in many cases it is these people who give the least support.
This can cause even more hurt and resentment to the survivor and is detrimental to the recovery. The survivor often feels more rejected worthless and their self esteem which is already low sinks down to a new level. This can increase self harm, depression and a lot more so the recovery is even more prolonged.
Survivors at some stage have to use their inner strength and tell themselves that they are worth a lot more. They have to believe in themselves and they have to rise above the rejection, guilt and look to the light.
A survivor has already suffered trauma, and they already have shown the strength to pull through this. They therefore have this inner strength to pull back on and to get through the next stage. Sometimes the hurt from the support not being there is as strong a the hurt from the abuse, the only way to get through this is to believe deeply that you are worth more and believe that there are others who do care and want to help you through.
Sometimes you also have to take a step back and look at the facts if you were in denial for so long, then although not right understand that others can go into denial too. My mother went into denial and it was her way of coping it didn’t help me but I could understand it. The unfortunate issue is that most people want their mother out of all the people in the world to understand them the most, to hug them and to reassure them that they are loved and that they are worthy, so when the survivor is rejected support from their mother, the hurt digs deep and causes so much damage. I personally took years to get over this but can stand back and realise that my mother does love me she was just incapable of managing what had happened in the way I wanted her to. Step by step I built myself back up and I realised that I could not judge my Mum. I believe sincerely that she tried her best top deal with the situation. I just hope that I am never in that situation myself. This does not excuse everyone as some are in the wrong and again this takes even more strength to know you have to rise above it.
Recovery tales time and with child abuse there is so much complexity, time is a main component. Yet within this timeframe one can draw strength from each stage and build back confidence and self esteem and not only build back the confidence one should have had, but increase that confidence with the knowledge that survivors come out stronger and tougher then most people, as we have had to build this inner strength to survive. We also learn to appreciate so much more and can take pride in ourselves that we were not beaten.

Link | Posted on by | Tagged | Leave a comment

Where has the time gone?

I can’t believe the last blog was written in February, the time has flown by and I am ambiguous in thought whether it is a good thing because it means I have been too busy and occupied, or a bad thing because the time has gone so quickly. I would like to think that it is because I have been busy and could agree the time has flown very quickly too.

I haven’t wasted the time because I have been concentrating on trying to finish my sequel to A Fine Line A Balance to Survive and in doing so it has taught me so much. My new book The Survival will hopefully be published towards the end of October 2013. I have received one endorsement and am hoping I may receive one more but if not, am satisfied anyway. My new book has many reflections in it and questions of why or how I responded to certain issues in the past. A major thing I have learnt is as you get older you realise that you have so much more choice then when you were younger.

Choice sometimes comes with a price and now I realise that if I had the confidence that I have now of when I was younger I could have learnt and realised that I was worth more and that I should not have let some people treat me the way they did. Experience teaches you so much and time can give you confidence as with each step taken you can tell yourself this is the way forward, this is how I want to be and more important this is what I deserve. We have to make the most of our life and although the past can be unfortunate for some, it is also an opportunity to use it as a leaning curve, and for some it can actually be an advantage to be able to appreciate the life we have now even more than others who have not had a bad past. The reason is that we appreciate the little things that a lot of people take for granted. The colours of the autumn, the sensation of rain drops falling on your skin, the simple act of waking in the morning with a new day ahead. A day of opportunity and  freedom.

The Survival is about surviving and reflecting, and more importantly it is about learning and moving on at the same time. I can’t change my past nor would I want to as it has led me to where I am now, and my family and friends are the most important things in the world to me along with my animals. Unfortunately there are still many survivors suffering from the effects of their past. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t still suffer from my past. Yet I have learnt to manage it so much more better, and because of this can cope so much better. Again I think time has a lot to do with this and from sitting back at a distance learning to place more things into perspective and in doing so minimising the guilt trips, the lack of self esteem and the depression. Now I realise that I used to look for the negativity in every signal people gave and that most of the time I read into things that were not there simply because I lacked self confidence. I also learnt that a lot of the negativity that was real was not my problem it was the other persons problem. My first book introduced me to many other survivors and through listening to their accounts I realised that so many of us have shared similar thoughts and consequences.It taught me also that when other people have shared similar experiences it must mean that some of the actions are down to the effects and consequences of the  past, and that through sharing have found that others have managed to battle their way through, and it made me feel less guilty of some of the bad reactions I had because I was not the only one to experience and have them. I have also been motivated and inspired by other survivors and thank them for sharing their experiences with me. 

I am and will always be very grateful to my consultant who helped me through twenty years of therapy and who very kindly offered to write the foreword to my new book. I enclose a small piece of it.

“I was very pleased to be asked to write a foreword for Lisa’s new book.  I was Lisa’s psychiatrist and figure as ‘Dr Lynn‘ in her previous book – A Fine Line. I treated Lisa for almost 20 years; an extremely long time to see any patient in the National Health Service.  I remember during her therapy sessions, Lisa telling me that she intended to write a book about her life and treatment.  We often discussed the purpose of the book and what she hoped to gain from writing it. She never expected it to have the success it has achieved and that so many thousands of people would read it and find it of interest and benefit to them. 

The book also provides great insight into the experience of being a psychiatric patient; particularly as an inpatient on a busy ward.  She describes how care was or was not provided. As a consultant psychiatrist, I did not always know what really happened in the ward at night times and weekends when there were fewer senior staff around.  Her account was of such significance that it became required reading for senior managers in our mental health organisation. Lisa was also asked by the Chief Executive to offer advice about the nursing care and organisation for a new all-female ward.  This illustrates the importance of her account of her experiences.”

I obviously am grateful to the followers of this blog and would like to say thank you for following.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Taking Time Out!

I had been meaning to write another blog for ages, and ages means since last year but I didn’t get round to it. This morning someone asked me to share her page on self harm and depression and I did so willingly as I believe that more awareness leads to more understanding and so on. This request also made me pull back a bit and think, I was happy that this request hadn’t just been posted on my wall and the sender had politely requested through my messages. I would have still left it there but it was nice to see some manners and respect. The request also made me think that someone was asking to be noticed and to me this is special because many people who have suffered in the past for various reasons may have been helped and not had to suffer so much if people had noticed and taken time out to understand them in the first place.
This request also made me realise that I needed to take ‘Time Out’ sometimes to just do what I wanted to do and not what I needed to do.
Another person asked me when my sequel was going to be finished and I told her the truth that I was finding it hard as it didn’t fall out automatically like the first book and also I was still in doubt whether people would be interested in the aftermath. Her reply was that she was because she could relate to so much of the first book she wanted to know how I coped afterwards, and this was despite knowing me as well. This statement enlightened me as it was nice to know the book helped but it was also nice to know I was not alone and that others could relate and identify to some of the events and feelings in the book.
I have also received many messages from other people asking when the second book would be finished so am hoping to concentrate more on it soon. The predicted plan never happened and this is typical of life, as adaptations come into force and one route changes into another.

One thing I have realised in life is that whatever hand you have been dealt life doesn’t stand still, so as you get older and realise that time is more precious you realise that you have to deal with whatever comes the best way you can and to move on. This is not easy and some people don’t always manage it, yet with time I believe one small step can lead to a brighter future.

I am glad I received that message this morning as it did make me realise I needed to take more time out and also step back and reflect and realise what is important and what is not, at the same time I believe taking time out is to do things you enjoy and to live your life not just exist. There is an argument about forgetting the past and moving on, I also believe that you can use some of your past positively to move on as the lessons learnt and experience can be useful to build a better future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mental Health and lessons learnt!

If people admit they have a mental health problem it is a courageous step to take, yet it is an important stage in accepting they have a problem and only after accepting it, can they take the next step to recovery. The first step is courageous because of the stigma about mental health. As we all know many people will look away in embarrassment, or go silent, or deny anything to do with mental health. Mental health survivors are vulnerable, yet tough because they have to be. We have to fight hard and usually fight alone. The nature of mental health issues is not just to do with the stigma and mismanagement in many case, it is also to do with our individuality, only ourselves can fully understand how we feel and what we are going through. Some of these feelings are very private and some are better to be shared, only ourselves can be the judge of what we keep to ourselves and what we let out. The conditions of what we share depend on so many circumstances, the support, the people around and the unknown consequences. Mental health issues are complex and to come through we need an inner strength to motivate and push ourselves forward. One of the biggest hinderances is we worry about what people will think of us and also this effects how we think about ourselves.
We need confidence and self esteem to deal with our recovery and that is where the cycle gets hard, as when we are not well that self confidence and self esteem disappears, we worry so much about other people and we look down at ourselves and tell ourselves off for being unwell. This needs to be turned around, we should praise ourselves for dealing with the problem and not giving in, we should acknowledge our strength in attempting to recover and should believe in ourselves so much more. We should not worry about what other people think because if they are worthy of our worries, then they should be capable of understanding our difficulties and accepting that at times we struggle hard. We should take the next steps with more pride and believe that with every step we take we are learning something new about ourselves, and we are also demonstrating a strength to recover and we are striding towards towards a higher goal with increased rewards. We should think a new way and believe as we stride towards our goal we should not only be worthy of believing in ourselves, but that we are also worthy in gaining increased respect and friendship from the people who are worth our worries and friendship values. The problem with all of this is that we don’t realise it at the beginning, it takes some of us years to learn and through those years some of us go through a lot of pain and hardship. I personally still believe that this journey is building our inner strength and at the same time increases our sensitivity, builds our awareness and eventually strengthens our soul.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mental Health The two words that most people do not want to know about!

Mental health… It’s ok now after a certain percentage of people will have turned away, those interested can read on. My guess that the people who are interested, either have suffered mental health problems or are one of the few unique individuals who do care what is going on with mental health issues.
I am usually a placid person and as I have got older am quite laid back about some issues as I do understand how people don’t want problems thrown in their face, especially those people who are not affected by these problems. .With mental health problems these people ought to take note as 1 in 4 people do have mental health problems at some stage in their life. Also if we all turned round and buried our heads in the sand for all the other significant problems where would people be today.

For all those that do suffer from mental health or who have suffered in the past- take a step back and think this one through.

What if people responded to all the other illnesses like they do to mental health problems. How would people with physical disabilities get by if they were mismanaged or people went into denial over it?
What if people who had other serious illnesses were ignored, told to get on with it, denied recognition of achievement when they have battled through or just completely misunderstood. How would these people get by? I guess with great difficulty.
Yet people with mental health problems have to do all of this and they have to do it alone, not all of us make great recoveries and whereas in the above if someone is in difficulty most people will give even greater support, with mental health do we get greater support-which is a joke as the support may not be there in the first place. The answer is NO. Where does that leave us- feeling guilty, low self esteem, depressed, unable to eat …The blame again goes on us, people do not rally round, why, because in most people’s mind mental health problems do not exist, or if they do, they don’t want to know.

Having written all of the above you would think that the majority of people with mental health problems gain more difficulties and sink in a downward spiral. I am proud to write that most of the messages I receive is that people have battled on alone. It is good that some people do receive support whether it be professional or not, but in many cases people have to battle through on their own strength. Even with support recovery is down to that person but the correct support makes a massive difference. Another significant factor is that despite having to battle through alone and without the support that people with other illnesses besides mental health receive, people with mental health problems seem to have an enhanced sensitivity, which although makes them vulnerable also makes them aware of little things that also makes them appreciative of the world. At first an outsider would think that people with mental health problems who do not receive enough support or recognition that they are struggling would end up bitter and full of hate. It is a fantastic and significant factor that many of the people who have mental health problems are not only battling their own fight, they are willing to try and support others. People with mental health problems use their enhanced sensitivity to good use, many of ‘us’ and I say ‘us’ with pride, as yes I still suffer from mental health problems, I just cope with them a whole lot better now. But many of us want to help others, and care about how other people are doing. I think this is because we have experience of fighting against problems and through this experience we have gained not only insight, but we have gained an inner strength. I guess this inner strength and resilience is because we have had no choice, we either stayed at the bottom, or we got up to fight. The many times we fell because we didn’t have the support, made us fight even harder and each time we got stronger. We care because of our enhanced sensitivity and understanding.
I do want to know about mental health, I wish the appropriate people would want to know about mental health I am very proud that I have battled through my battles and I was lucky enough to have some support, not all the support was helpful but a lot of it was. I am proud of my friends who have had their mental health problems and where they are today. I am also proud of the professionals, students and other people who do care and want to learn more about mental health as there is still not enough of these people around.

I am NOT proud of the people in authority who could do more, or sadly the other people who know who they are, but who could try to find out more and do something about it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mental Health Issues do exist and should be noticed more.

Mental health problems exist and despite the majority of people wanting to deny and hide this statement it is true.

When I wrote A Fine Line A Balance to Survive I had to think long and hard about the title, as I wanted it to be apt and appropriate for the book. Some people are fortunate where they have never had to balance along a fine line, or even if they did, they have had the correct support to make sure they didn’t fall off. 

People with mental health problems sometimes find themselves on a fine line through no fault of their own just circumstances that have caused their platform to be finer. It is about time that the general public realised that people with mental health problems are no different then anyone else, and that mental health isn’t something to be hidden away, denied or actually patronised. I mention patronised as some of the nurses who were in charge of the ward I was on, decided that just because some people had a mental health problem it affected their brain and intelligence. They treated some of the patients as if they were little children taking away any dignity and respect. I mentioned this as it also happens in the general public. It is not surprising it happens as people are so ignorant and uneducated where mental health issues are concerned. As I keep stating in other posts and will keep stating this problem will not go away until people recognise that mental health issues exist and that there needs to be so much more awareness and education, and understanding as sometimes it is not the people with the mental health problems that lack the intelligence. 

Lack of understanding leads to all sorts of problems and it is understandable that without the correct support many mental health sufferers get worse through either wrong support or lack of it.

 

This is why many people who do suffer from mental health need to give themselves a massive pat on the back as they have had to fight their own battle and in some cases had to fight against the wrong support or lack of it. Some people may have received brilliant support and they are fortunate and I so wish that this brilliant support could be more widespread as it is few and far between.

My face-book page was initiated to promote my book and mental health issues, along the way I have learnt that although mental health issues are significant, so is life and enjoying life and making sure the quality of life exists. If mental health issues and problems were repeated time and time again yes they would be noticed, and people would become more aware but I think in a negative route. This is just my personal opinion and others may not agree. I think awareness of mental health issues needs to be promoted but also in a balanced fashion, and I also think that in some cases people don’t want mental health issues thrown in their face. Everyone is different and entitled to their own choices, my argument is that the people with responsibility who could do more don’t, and this should have been changed years ago.

The fact is because people who have mental health problems usually have to fight their own silent battle, they also do not receive recognition or appreciation, whereas people who have physical symptoms that can be seen, and can show to others that they are fighting are often placed in the limelight and shown as an example to others. I applaud anyone who is fighting and inspiring others, yet I wish that more people would recognise that there are many other people out in this world who could do with some recognition or appreciation for their own silent battles. There are many heroes out there who gain recognition because of physical ailments but there are also many other heroes out there that should also be appreciated and respected for the battles they have fought. My heart goes out to them and I so respect them as I think they have such an inner strength as they have achieved so much and done it entirely on their own.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments