Looking Forward

Word for Wednesday #34 and Wicked Wednesday #36

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This week’s word – Reflection –

1. A reflecting or being reflected

2. The throwing back by a surface of sound, light, heat, etc.

3. Anything reflected; specif., an image; likeness

4. a. The fixing of the mind on some subject; serious thought; contemplation

b. The result of such thought; idea or conclusion, esp. if expressed in words

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and journal writing lately, trying to keep track of how I’m feeling. I’ve also been meeting once week with a member of what is called the Home treatment team. It’s basically a group of counsellors and therapists led by a psychiatrist you can be referred to by your GP. We’re pretty lucky down here to have it, many places don’t have anything like this. After several weeks of questions and talking I’m now due to be assessed and then we’ll go over a treatment plan.

After months of feeling like shit I am feeling a bit more positive about things, I still feel numb and empty but not quite as hopeless. I’ve started thinking about what I want to do over the next few months which is another step in the right direction. The only problem now will be actually having the motivation and energy to go through with things.

Not very wicked I know but I have a photo 😉

Reflection

More Word for Wednesday here.

And more Wicked Wednesday here.

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Contact

Word For Wednesday #33

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This week’s word: Physical

Relating to the body as opposed to the mind.

Relating to things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; tangible or concrete.

I love talking to all those of you I know online, I love visiting other blogs, but sometimes it hurts too much.

I know that there is so much more to life, love, happiness and relationships than sex.

But sometimes…

Happy hug

…I miss physical human contact.

More Words for Wednesday here.

Tabula Rasa

Wicked Wednesday #35 and Word for Wednesday #32

The prompt for this week’s Wicked Wednesday is this great photo by Molly Moore

A dark alley, photographed by Molly Moore.

I really wanted to write a story for Molly’s amazing photo, seeing it took back to my teens in London, I had an idea but then I started thinking about things I didn’t want to, so I ended up with this post which would have been more appropriate for Wicked Wednesday a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t going to write anything, I’m sure some of you must be getting fed up with my personal posts. But this is a positive post, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And I haven’t done a Word for Wednesday for a while either.

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I couldn’t decide between words – Guilt or shame.

I’ve always thought what I felt was guilt, but since reading this post I know it’s actually mostly shame.

From the website Becoming who you are :

Guilt = I did something bad.

Guilt is a healthy reaction when we act outside our values and standards.

Shame = I am bad.

Shame is something we are taught, that we carry around like a lead weight. It’s shame that leads to self-defeating and harmful behaviours. Once we believe we are bad, shame erodes our desire to change. We stop thinking we’re loveable or worthy of love. After all, if we are bad to our core, what’s the point in trying to change?

Here is the difference:

“My behaviour was wrong” vs. “I am wrong”.
“I made a mistake” vs. “I am stupid”.
“If I had/hadn’t done that, then this wouldn’t have happened to me” vs. “I deserved this to happen to me”.

I’m not going to go over my relationship with my ex. I had always described it as a shitty relationship, I didn’t think of it as an abusive relationship until 5 or 6 years ago. Before the days of the internet, abusive relationships were all about battered wives. I wasn’t battered, I don’t think psychological and emotional abuse were even thought of as a thing. I don’t remember ever seeing anything about it. The sad thing is that if he had hit me there is no way I would have stayed with him, but he didn’t, so I put up with it.

Once I acknowledged the abuse I started to talk about it more, only with a few people but they understood, some had been in abusive relationships. That combined with accepting that I’d let it go on for far longer than I should have led to my being able to find closure (hate that word) about our relationship.

The one thing I’ve still had a real problem with is my relationship with myself. I like who I’ve become but I still don’t like how I think and feel about myself sometimes. It’s gotten worse over the last few months since I’ve been depressed, I think one is feeding off the other. I know on the days when I feel really low I can’t stop the ugly thoughts, I feel worse blah, blah, blah. And even on the good days sometimes it can be a struggle, but I do feel things are improving.

Yesterday this happened on Twitter (can’t figure out how to copy Tweets 😀 )

Dawn Retweeted ༺ QuietღMind ༻ ♦️

And it’s only the guilt I place upon myself.

Dawn added,

The conversation continued for a bit and I was encouraged to stop feeling guilty. I had to get off the net for a while because it led to the usual crap, but when I really thought about it I knew that I am the only one who puts me down, I’m the only one who says nasty things about me. Every other person I know has been nothing but supportive and encouraging and I finally ‘knew’ I had to stop.

Then I saw this Tweet:

do you remember who you were before you became who people wanted you to be?

I was 15, I hadn’t even had a chance to be me before I had to become something else. And I thought, as I have done a few times, ‘Who am I? Really?’ I still don’t know, I always seem to become who others think I am, whether I want to or not. I think that may be why I’m finding it so difficult to be with other people. I’m tired from people’s expectations, which are really only the expectations I put on myself – what do they want?

And finally I saw this:

But you must first have the courage to take it all down and throw it all away (aka let it all go)… The courage to do ‘nothing’ while this is happening… The courage to have ‘nothing’ while this is happening… The courage to simply be while this is happening, not having any idea who you are in this new space of ‘nothing’…

https://bayart.org/2016/07/12/chaos-mess-ruin/

Everything sort of fell into place, another weight gone – things that I know logically are finally getting through to that damn voice in my head.

I need to stop with the circular thoughts, they take me nowhere. It’s not doing me any good thinking and re-thinking the past, I really need to let it go. And most importantly I need to be still for a while, to stop worrying about what I’m going to do, right now it doesn’t matter, I have time to figure it out (I hope).

And the title for this post?

Tabula rasa refers to the epistemological idea that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception.

I’m not a totally blank slate but I need to just stop and let me become me.

More Wicked Wednesday here.

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And more Word for Wednesday here.

Sense of Self

Word for Wednesday #31

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This week’s word is Gender.

Gender – Gender Identity. One’s innermost concept of self as male or female or both or neither—how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different than the sex assigned at birth. Individuals are conscious of this between the ages 18 months and 3 years. Most people develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex. For some, however, their gender identity is different from their biological or assigned sex. Some of these individuals choose to socially, hormonally and/or surgically change their sex to more fully match their gender identity. ( Gender Spectrum website.)

I picked this because after my recent F4TF posts about how much I dislike my body, Kat asked if I might be gender neutral. I’ve never really questioned my gender, I was born female, I’ve lived as a female and that’s it. After I did a bit of reading I wondered, then I read a bit more and I think I am just female, bi-curious, but I think that’s probably as far as it goes. I identify as female, I may not like being female – I’ve always tended to dress in jeans and t-shirts rather than skirts and dresses and for a long while my hair was really short. I don’t wear make-up, I don’t care about beauty and fashion, shoes, hair or make-up trends, but none of this makes me less female.

What I did find that seemed to be closer to how I felt was BDD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which some people with gender identity issues have. (BDD isn’t the same as Gender Dysphoria, the two are often confused.)

Signs of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  1. Obsessively checking your appearance in mirrorsor avoiding them completely
  2. Using heavy make-upto try to hide the area you’re concerned about
  3. Changing your postureor wearing heavy clothes to disguise your shape
  4. Seeking constant reassuranceabout your appearance
  5. Exercising excessively, often targeted at the area you’re concerned about
  6. Frequent body checkingwith your fingers
  7. Picking your skinto make it smooth
  8. Excessive use of tanning products
  9. Frequent weighing
  10. Brushingor stylingyour hair obsessively
  11. Constantly comparing yourselfwith models in magazines or people in the street
  12. Seeking cosmetic surgeryor having other types of medical treatment to change the area of concern

There are lots of places to find more detailed information about BDD. This list came from Mind.org

  1. I avoid mirrors and hate to see my face in photos, well actually I hate to see any of me in photos.
  2. I’ve always worn long, baggy tops, t-shirts, hoodies etc. just to hide bits I don’t like. I also have my arms folded across my boobs a lot too.
  3. I’m always checking my top covers my butt and I touch my face quite a lot, particularly the side of my nose, my forehead and chin.
  4. My nose, chin and forehead – I have dry skin and I’m constantly rubbing and picking at it.
  5. I tend to do more when I’m having a depressive episode – like a vicious circle – I don’t like how I look, I look at others and feel worse, look at them, blah, blah, blah.

I had heard of BDD but I had never thought about it in connection with my problems – I’m not constantly dieting, exercising or weighing myself. Nor am I a fan of tanning, plastering on make-up or styling my hair. And I definitely wouldn’t consider surgery. For some people BDD can cause real life-changing problems such as not being in social situations, anxiety, eating disorders etc. For me I just go through phases when I really hate my body and how I look, I can generally still get on with my life because I know, logically, that it’s crap. Still doesn’t stop me feeling like shit while I’m going through it, but like so many other issues I’ve had it’s something that’s always been there, I just never had a name for it. Like everything else, I cope with it, just about. Here’s hoping that like everything else, now I have a name for it I might find it easier to deal with.

More Word for Wednesday here.

Life Events

Wicked Wednesday #30 and Word for Wednesday #30

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Wicked Wednesday Prompt – The prompt for this week is ‘milestone’. What milestones have you reached or are you working towards? Are they sexy milestones? Why are they important to you? Why have you chosen for these specific milestones?

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It’s strange how often I start writing something or take a photo and then the prompt that fits appears a while later. I started writing something about milestones during the week, although I was thinking about it for Word for Wednesday. So another twofer.

Milestone – a significant stage or event in the development of something.

I was looking at the general life milestones as opposed to sexy ones, but I can fit a couple of them in too.

I tend not to set myself goals, I don’t make New Year resolutions, I don’t say in six months I’m going to… whatever. It has never worked for me. I’m the queen of procrastination and finding excuses, so when I started looking at these I wasn’t surprised. I’ve passed very few of the ‘responsible’ adult milestones. I’ve never been to college, never had a real career, never passed my driving test, never bought a house, never got engaged, never got married. I’ve passed a few of the less responsible ones, I’ve left home, had kids, got drunk, smoked and had sex, and got stoned (not while I was pregnant)

I’ve never had a credit card although I have been in debt, I’ve had my electricity cut off, I’ve been homeless and lived in B&B accommodation with my kids whilst I was pregnant. I’ve never been arrested, never been called for jury duty, but I have been inside a courtroom a few times.

I’ve never travelled outside of Europe, never been to Australia or the States – I have been to Italy twice – I love it there, Italian men are so damn sexy.

Sexy milestones I’ve set for myself and still haven’t done – I’ve never had sex with a woman, never had a threesome, never watched others have sex or been watched by others. I have been tied up though, so that’s one! Things that I hadn’t thought about but I’m glad I did – spanking etc. blogging, and the biggest thing for me – taking photos. Some days they work, some days they don’t, some days I just can’t be arsed and some days I have no idea what to take.

And then some days everything just works.

Caught

More Word for Wednesday here.

More Wicked Wednesday here.

WickedWednesday

Ask Me

Wicked Wednesday #28 and Word for Wednesday #29

The prompt for Wicked Wednesday this week is:

Questions- Are there something you want to ask, or someone you want to ask something? Or maybe someone has asked you a question and you want to answer it? This is the week to share your questions… and answers.

I decided to use it for my Word for Wednesday this week. I like being able to combine memes 😀

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Question – A sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone’s knowledge, a matter or problem that is being discussed: a subject or topic, doubt or uncertainty about something.

I seem to have spent my whole life questioning everything, that’s one of the reasons I read so much. Never stop questioning and never stop learning.

The one area I have problems with is asking other people questions. General day to day stuff and even some personal things are OK if it’s someone I know well, but there are certain things I don’t like to ask about. Mostly it’s because I just feel uncomfortable about prying into someone’s life or feelings, sometimes it’s because I may not want to hear what they have to say. Instead I keep the questions in my head, which really doesn’t help because then I start thinking all sorts of ridiculous things.

I generally don’t have much problem answering questions now, although again there are certain areas I’m not so comfortable talking about. I like to think I’m getting better at it.

And I may come to regret this but if there is anything you’d like to ask me feel free. You can leave a comment, Tweet or DM me on Twitter  @cherrytartblog or you can e-mail me at cherrytartblog@gmail.com.

I’ll do my best to answer.

Just remember I might write about it (no names though) 😀

More Wicked Wednesday here.

More Word for Wednesday here.

Depression Lies

Word For Wednesday #28

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Today’s word is ANGRY! – feeling or showing strong annoyance, displeasure, or hostility; full of anger.

It was going to be depression but writing this has changed my mind. And as it’s a bit long and ranty I’m going to count this as another Saturday Rant too.

Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with depression cannot merely ‘pull themselves together’ and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression. The signs and symptoms of depression include loss of interest in activities that were once interesting or enjoyable, including sex; loss of appetite, with weight loss, or overeating, with weight gain; loss of emotional expression (flat affect); a persistently sad, anxious, or empty mood; feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness; social withdrawal; unusual fatigue, low energy level, a feeling of being slowed down; sleep disturbance and insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping; trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; unusual restlessness or irritability; persistent physical problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain that do not respond to treatment, and thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts. The principal types of depression are called major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (manic-depressive disease).

I’ve been a bit up and down lately, similar to before starting the medication. I went to see my GP today and we talked about it and decided to try a different medication rather than upping the dose on the current one. He doesn’t think this one is right as it was only evening out the moods and not doing much else. So, we try again.

I know it’s become common for people to call depression the big black dog, but I don’t find this an accurate description. I wanted to try and explain what depression is like for me.

The Darkness rises and falls,

like the tides,

deeper and deeper.

Pulling me in, like a lover.

Closing over me,

feeding me lies,

slowly destroying me.

Depression lies,

whispering softly,

can’t you hear it?

Then I’ll show you.

Mirror

This is what I see right now.

I know none of this is true, but it still doesn’t stop that damn voice. The last few days have been OK, I’ve been feeling a bit better about some things but I’ve also had a few shit days too. Today I wasn’t too bad but now again I feel crap. But this time I’m not so much depressed as angry, I’m angry that this stupid, damn illness has this power over me. I’m angry that there are a lot of other people out there who feel like me, I’m angry that there isn’t a simple solution and I’m really angry at those who still can’t understand that we don’t choose this, that we can’t just pull ourselves together. Some days it’s as much as I can do to get out of bed. I’m so pissed off with feeling like this. I went shopping yesterday and actually spent money on me, not the kids. Since yesterday evening I’ve had the bastard voice in my head going on about how I shouldn’t have bought things. I took some photos and they’re horrible, all I can see is some stupid, old, ugly, fat woman, trying to be something she’s not.

And before you start commenting on this I know these things aren’t true.

I’m not stupid.

I’m not old, 48 is not old.

Ugly, well, I don’t like looking at my face so we’ll leave that one.

Fat? I’d say cuddly, something to hold onto.

But it doesn’t change how I feel, or what I see right now. And what makes times like this even harder is seeing all the photographs of skinny, perfect, airbrushed, young women.

Kat’s Word for Wednesday today talked about the difference between knowing the solution is simple and yet it not being easy to do what’s needed. My simple solution? Stay off Twitter, stop taking photos when I feel like this, but you know what? That isn’t easy. To be honest, and this is something I’ve said before, this blog, the photos, my readers, people on Twitter, all of it, it’s where I’m happiest, it’s where people understand me, it’s where I can talk about stupid shit like this and know others understand. And I know sometimes she feels that we think she’s going on about it, but I think if we don’t talk and write about it then that only adds to our feelings of isolation, it compounds the stigma surrounding mental health. We are all entitled to feel how we feel, even if we can’t explain why, and not talking about it is worse. At least us bloggers have a platform, they are our blogs to discuss what we want to discuss. And sometimes we need to speak up for those who can’t.

Another thing that’s pissing me off is that I’m finding it really hard to comment on other people’s blogs at the moment too. I still go and read posts, look at photos etc. but there are some things right now I find hurt too much. And I hate it, so many people leave me lovely comments and whereas normally I like to reply properly I can’t. I like talking to my readers and other bloggers so I apologise for being so quiet in certain areas lately. Here’s hoping things get back to normal very soon.

I’m also thinking maybe I should stay angry, at least it’s a feeling of some sort?