Suicide. The Ultimate Painkiller

” Through early morning fog I see. Visions of the things to be. The pains that are withheld for me. I realize and I can see. That suicide is painless. It brings on many changes. And I can take or leave it if I please. The game of life is hard to play. I’m gonna lose it anyway. The losing card I’ll someday lay. So this is all I have to say. The sword of time will pierce our skins. It doesn’t hurt when it begins. But as it works its way on in. The pain grows stronger. Watch it grin. Suicide is painless….”

A wife and a mother driving down a country lane. Happy, a good job, everyone’s sunshine. She looks at the road ahead, sees the stone walls to the side of her and debates with herself… “if I just put my put down and steer that way it will all be over.”

She may be a wife and a mother, have a good job and appear to everyone to be happy and always smiling, but underneath she is in great pain, has lost her identity, feels mental torture from dawn to dusk and sees no other way to stop the noise and the hurt. And no she doesn’t want to die, and no she isn’t thinking of the consequences or people who will be left behind wondering, and no she doesn’t see this as suicide; this is just the ultimate painkiller to take away her pain.

This happened some years ago now but only this week did an incident bring the memory coming back to the fore of her mind. How, once upon a time, did she find herself in this situation and why did she never see this as a suicidal thought? Why until now did it just seem ‘normal’?

Why? Because when you are in that frame of mind this is not necessarily a thought out process – it is for some, and they meticulously plan, prepare, write farewell letters and out their affairs in order – but, for many this is just a painkiller – the ultimate painkiller. They will take whatever opportunity is open to them and not think of anything but the silence they will experience when it’s done. Bliss at last but too late to turn back.

We are living in a world (thank goodness) where mental health is finally open for discussion. Mental health, suicide, depression, bi polar, PTSD, schizophrenia and so on are words we all know – we may not understand them all yet or have the power to recognise in others or know how to deal with them if diagnosed in ourselves or our loved ones, but we are finally talking about every single one of them. Those who are suffering are now more aware, can openly stand up and be the person on the outside they know they are on the inside. They can do this, in most cases, without shame, without being shunned or locked away and with avenues open to them to heal. For others they hide it well as they may be shunned, labelled, ostracized or locked away and for them we must talk more, educate all of our society and let them know they are safe.

Was suicide ever a thought process? Was she aware she was suffering with depression? Did she think this was just normal and how everyone felt? How could she possibly tell someone she wanted to just drive into a wall at speed for the noise in her head to stop? How could she ask for help when she didn’t know the cause or where to begin? Why didn’t she see it through? Who knows. That is a thought and a memory that didn’t come back. I am just thankful she took her foot off the gas and lived to see another day.

She was hurting. She was in fear or her own thoughts. She was desperate for silence inside her mind. She could no longer cry, there was nothing left inside. She was brave. She was determined. She knew there was something more to come. She had faith. She believed there was something better if she just looked.

She grew. She blossomed. She smiled. She experienced good. She made choices. She never gave in. She survived….. I survived. I never took that painkiller and I live life every single day and I am happy.

Suicide is painless….? Be observant. Recognise. Act…

 

 

 

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Technology and Me

I love technology if I think it serves a purpose – if it distracts me from the outside world, or is there for the sake of it, I abhor it. So when I was offered an Apple Watch I was like “yeah right, what the hell do I want that for – the screen will be too small to read any mail or messages, and anyway I have my phone”. I have also not worn a watch for 7 years as I had been consumed by the need to control and be controlled by time during the worst of my depression. Wearing a watch was going to take me back!

Don’t you just love it when you are utterly wrong! I have only had this for 10 days and it has helped me transform my days. Ridiculous huh! So let’s take a look…

Emails – yes I can read them perfectly well on my watch and do you know, instead of feeling the urge to answer or deal with every email as it comes in I now lift my wrist take a look and make a choice. Messages are exactly the same – I choose what I respond to and what I leave until I have time later. If people need me urgently, then they will call.

Sleep – my sleep has improved because of the nutrition and exercise but also it is monitored every night – seemingly most nights I take 9 minutes to fully get to sleep – and when I wake it asks me to choose a smiley face to depict how I feel. Isn’t that going too far you may ask, but not for me as it makes me really think about how I feel. I may sometimes get up and paint the world rosy when actually I am masking an issue and trying to motivate myself, whereas now if I start the day not so pink and more blue then I acknowledge it, get up and walk it off. I know the smiley face will be back on and naturally, when I get back. If the day begins with a smiley face watch our world as there will be no stopping me.

But the joy for me has been the exercise… I walk already, but I have also found a huge lack in the motivation stakes recently and so found sitting becoming a daily habit. I eat okay but checking my calories and how and if I am burning them off? Hmmm maybe not. Exercise comes and goes dependent on mood and weather and motivation.

Am I competitive? Not really….. Again, how I love to be proven wrong. This small rectangle of technology on my wrist has set me targets, nothing that I can’t manage and all changeable BUT, when I get to lunchtime and I can’t see those circles moving it is like having my mum look at me, shake her head and say nothing. Boy do I feel bad…

So in 10 days I have walked between 5 and 10 km every day, I have ensured I have come away from my desk and stood at least one minute in every hour. My phone has become unglued from my hand and I have virtually stopped trawling social media, except for a few posts, articles or a very quick catch up and I have created time in my day because I have become more structured. Structured and organised not obsessed with time, which was my fear.

I have created time, I have given myself choices, I feel better, my focus is sharper and I am motivated to get up and begin my day in a positive frame of mind. All from using technology…. who’d have thought it !

 

Invading Natures Space

Side swiped I was. Side swiped. They hit me and left before I could even take stock of what had happened. Next thing I knew, another of this constant tirade of abusers was seemingly diverting themselves, simply to aim at me. No, I wasn’t on the motorway or any of our congested road network, I was taking a walk. I was side swiped by a butterfly and swallowed an inordinate amount of midges and flies, never mind the ones inserting themselves into my nasal passages!

How I asked myself can there be all this beautiful, spacious countryside and they still bump and crash into me? Simple, I am invading natures space; they are not in my way – I am in theirs.

I am blessed to live in the most stunning part of the world, surrounded by green fields with copious amounts of fresh air and mothers natures miracles. As I went on my daily walk I realised that we humans take these spaces for granted, we expect to have green luscious fields and trees and maybe don’t think what our world would look like without (not that we would exist).

We don’t question the flowers that grow, we sometimes don’t even acknowledge that the new growth has appeared. We take trees away to create homes and we scrape away our fields and hedgerows so we can have new roads and shopping centres. This has to stop before we have nothing left.

Mother Nature got here first. We live in her universe, she and all her creatures do not live in ours; nor did we ask permission, we just decided that we are greater, more needy, more worthy and destroyed what she began. We must change to save what we have. We must change to extend the life of this planet and therefore our own existence. As much as we would like to believe we are in charge, without nature we are and we have, nothing.

No matter what small part you can play, play it. Play it like the first violinist in the orchestra, with Mother Nature as the conductor and the people around you as your music. Play from your soul, breathe with flow, lead with pride and courage, immerse yourself in the tune you are playing and involve everyone in your passion for the sound you make. Play your part well and from your heart and leave everyone breathless with the beauty.

Next time you are out in this beautiful world, try and remember that you are in nature’s world and treat it with the respect you would expect when you invite someone into your home.

 

 

 

Metamorphosis

I have a tendency to live in a world that is beautiful, kind and innocent – why? Because it is nicer than reality BUT this makes me very naive at times and when faced with the ugly truth of others lives and how they have to get through their day, it makes me realise I need to change.

I do not need to live their lives to understand how they see the world, I do not need to even walk in their shoes. I do need to open my eyes, listen to them, hear their words, hear their pain, hear their reality that is life outside of my small cocoon and play my part in making that just a little more palatable for them.

Metamorphosis “a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one”. That is a big ask of anyone and may be impossible or even unnecessary, but to grow we must change. To improve our understanding of others and our world we need to be able to flex and bend and alter how we see and hear things, how we process them and ultimately what we do to play our part in our and its growth.

Change on the other hand really, really hurts. It is hard. It is painful. It is rarely fun. It makes us uncomfortable and we rarely have control over the outcome. What if it’s worse than where we are? What if we don’t fit into this new place? What if people don’t accept us? What if we let go and realise we were already where we should be and now we can’t go back? What if, what if, what if…… what if we always convince ourselves that change is bad, we never do it and then we miss out on a more enjoyable, beautiful, fun, loving place in time and space. What if by changing we actually become more, become better, become nicer humans, become a catalyst for change for someone else, an inspiration, a light that someone else is guided by….

What if we lose the greatest love of all time in the hope for something we cannot see, hear or touch but we believe in. What if we lose ourselves in the process and end up in a dark place where we see no light. What if we become isolated and alone…. What if ,out of giving up love, it comes back ten-fold; what if we lose ourselves but realise the one found it a better fit; what if by being alone we look inside and find our peace, away from the noise and expectations of life. What if is a game we can play until it is too late and the opportunity is gone forever and life no longer is…

To change you must let go. To change you must experience what makes you uncomfortable. To change is to take opportunities and play them out and trust that what you are doing will work. To change is to live and to live is to be happy and to be happy is all we ever really ask of life….

 

 

I’m Going Home

“There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”.

There are times in your life where the voice inside you repeats, like a chant, day in, day out and at some point you have to listen. I’m overwhelmed by noise. I’m exhausted with the negativity. I’m sad watching people hurt people.  I’m tired of abuse, waste, he said/she said, who is better than who and I am needing silence.

Maybe because I have had depression; maybe because of it or maybe from it, I no longer deal well with noise or busyness or numbers of people all invading my space, physically or mentally, all at once or for excessive periods of time. I take their energy and find it difficult to process. When you work with energy you learn very quickly to protect yourself but there is still an element where it simply gets too much and the overwhelm can be oppressive.

Recognising this place is a huge milestone reached; being able to deal with it is a lifesaver; quickly, effectively and happily getting to a better space is a miracle. I love miracles!

Just as an aside I am sat at my desk and a small spider has come to join me, immediately in my eye-line as I type. He is very small, about 1cm, looks quite a robust little character and appears to be creating a little home for himself for the morning. 

Sorry – back to the blog….

I have long had a calling to head to India. For me this is the home of spirituality and all that is. India for me, is a place of magic, mystery and beauty and creates in me a stillness like no other. I have never yet managed a trip there but for about 5 years now it has whispered in my dreams, it has sung to me its love song and now it is knocking on my heart and saying “come, find the stillness for yourself”. I am heading to India.

What do I hope this brings? Experiences. Opportunities. Culture. Belief. Faith. Friendship. Peace. Courage. In amongst the noise, the colour, the abundance of people and the heat, I hope to find home. Home, inside, no one else can see, feel, touch or experience. Home, inside me, is my space, my experience, the one and only thing I will never have to share, give away, talk about, or defile. My home where the insides are golden, sumptuous, silent, full of sunshine, warm, beautiful and full of love.

It’s time for me to go home…. where do you live or where is home for you I wonder….

 

 

 

I Am Ready

I am ready for all that is to come….. that line is part of my intentions that I say out loud every single day before, during or after my meditation. I ask myself though, how ready am I when it comes down to it?

  • Am I ready to change my career?
  • Am I ready to move my home?
  • Am I ready to change my lifestyle?
  • Am I ready to make changes that impact not just mine but my family’s lives?
  • Am I ready to turn my world upside down to be where I am meant to be, to do what I am meant to do and live my values?
  • Am I ready to give my heart, my love, my life just because…?
  • Am I ready for what life has in store when I have no idea what that is?

There comes a point in most people’s lives where a choice is laid out before them and they have to decide; if the circumstances are favourable (and only you can say what that looks like) and the opportunity is laid before you, do you take and possibly change your life, and that of those around you, for ever. You don’t know how it will change. You don’t know what or who will be impacted. You don’t even know if it will be “happy ever after”. Is it worth taking that leap of faith? Could you? Would you? Will you? Have you?

Trust. What do you trust? Who do you trust? How do you follow your gut when there are no promises, just a lot of if, but and maybe’s?

Honesty. The only person you need to be honest with right now is you. Being really honest, what do you want or need to change to make improvements in you, in your life, for your future?

Integrity. The state of being whole: are you or is there a piece missing? The quality of being honest: are you being honest with yourself, with those you love or are you living a lie?

Authenticity. Are you your authentic self? Do you wear a different mask for different people, circumstance, place? Are you the same for all people? Would you recognise your authentic self if you stood in front of a mirror?

These are all questions, emotions, thoughts and feelings to philosophise over but maybe, just maybe when you have done (and this can take days, weeks, months, years or forever…) maybe you can answer the question “am I ready?”.

Am I ready….? HELL YES !

Who’s Giving Who

I’m tired. I’m lacking in energy. I’ve done too much.

I hear this all the time when speaking to my clients but when I spoke to a very good friend of mine yesterday and heard myself say the same thing, I was a little taken aback as that is not normal for me. She came back with a wonderful statement “where are you giving from? Are you giving from yourself or giving yourself – a big difference”.  Oooh boy did this make me stop and think.

My work means I give my time, my heart and my energy – it’s how I create space for you to step into and feel safe to breathe and release – but what am I giving away? Am I giving the wrong thing? Am I giving too much and leaving myself with nothing? Am I giving me instead of what is inside me? What exactly am I left with when you are gone?

 

Just take a second to ask yourself the same thing – firstly how many times did you say last week “I’m tired”…. that may have been physically tired, emotionally tired, spiritually tired, mentally tired, energetically tired or just plain tired of others in your life who drain you. You have control… You can say when enough is enough. You can replenish. You have the choice and ability to step back and say “no I’m sorry I can’t do that”. You have the courage inside to move away from those who feed from you like leeches. You are in control…

“I haven’t even the energy to begin….” yes I heard you, but I ask how much longer can you carry on before your body gives up, your mental health is damaged, your emotions overflow and you lose control. If you haven’t the energy to begin, now is exactly the time to take back control and decide whether you give from you or give you. The only person who deserves you right now, is YOU! Without that gift to yourself you have nothing to give anyone else – that could be work, your family, your friends or your community.

If you are an avid list maker, then make a list of all you need to do and decide which are the only ones you can do today. Write down who in your life is draining you and then really think how you manage things differently with them so you share energy, not give it. Listen to your thoughts and the words that leave your lips. Have you just committed time that you don’t have? Where are you stealing it from to give it to them? Who just lost out? Listen to your child – did you hear them asking for help or did you tell them off for whining?  Stop and hug them – childhood lasts for such a short time. Imagine what life will feel like when you wake refreshed. Do you need to attend that meeting – is it value adding to your day? Are you saying yes because you want to or because it looks better or are you obliged to say yes because they have a hold over you?   See the world about you and say thank you for all you have. Look at the most important person in your life and love them – yes look in the mirror!

Do this right and you will soon have enough and be enough and then you can start to think how you give, love, laugh, but from you, and not you as a whole – then you begin… to live!

 

Sat Waiting… for what?

I don’t have a great deal of patience and to be kept waiting is like torture to me. I can feel the anxiety rising, my breath getting fast but shallower, my mind going into negativity and ‘what if’ mode and I begin pacing.

This happens when I have to wait for people, wait for the clock to click round to go somewhere, when I wait for the checkout to clear at the supermarket or when I get stuck in a hold queue on the phone. Today I have to wait for my car to be serviced…

90 minutes of waiting. 90 minutes where I am stranded at the showroom. 90 minutes when I’m not doing something I feel is more important. 90 minutes of hell. So what do I do and how do I cope?

Today I accept the 90 minutes for what they are – 90 minutes to spend on me. 90 minutes to sit on their relatively comfy sofa, enjoy the music on Magic FM and people watch. Bliss. After a little mooch around the cars in the showroom I parked myself and breathed…

There’s the man beavering away cleaning the showroom cars – I hope he’s going to do mine as it’s in a dreadful state. The receptionist with the beautifully manicured, sparkly nails, greeting everyone warmly and making them feel like they are the most important person she’s greeted today. The sales team, some discussing cars, one dancing to the music not realising he’s being observed and the studious young man at the computer with his beautiful pristine white shirt and colourful tie. I love watching people

Magazines on the coffee table, encouraging me to pick them up and flick through their colourful pages full of celebs and royal wedding excitement. Not for me but thank you. Free coffee by the bucket load if I am thirsty and the warm comfort of a faux leather sofa. Sit back and enjoy.

Shall I clear my emails, get some social media planned in and make some calls? Not today. I have chosen these to be my personal 90 minutes and I really won’t waste them, they are precious. I can work when I am home, there is time left in my day. Now is time to sit, relax, enjoy the quiet calm of a car showroom and breathe.

If I could give you 90 minutes today I wonder what you’d do with them?

I Can’t Fix You

18 months ago I wanted to fix the world. I wanted to take all those broken people and put them back together. I wanted to stop them all hurting. I wanted to make them feel better about the world and about themselves. I was naive and stupid. I was frustrated when I didn’t see results or those I was supporting just didn’t seem to want to do the work needed, especially when they said they wanted better, more, different. Then it dawned on me…. I cannot fix anyone, but me.

Nowadays I take a totally different approach to what I am born to do – I simply walk alongside, hold the hand of and create space for, those who are ready to fix themselves.

When people come to me, find me, appear on my doorstep (virtual or otherwise) they come because they are ready for change. That may be a change in their lives, a change in their outlook or a change within themselves. When people come to me they don’t have to tell me – we just connect and begin. When people come to me I know, even when they aren’t certain, that we will grow, step out and step forward and we will achieve. When people come to me we create magic in their lives and we enjoy all the excitement and joy this brings.

The day came when I realised that if people want to change they will and that is where I can support them but I cannot fix them. The only role I have is to support, encourage, inspire, protect, wipe away the tears or balance out the frustrations. I cannot take away their pain for them. I cannot promise everything will be fine. I cannot undo all that they have experienced. I cannot give false hope or promises. I can show them, through touch, through listening, through encouragement and through teaching them to breathe and create time, that they can heal, grow, be, feel a better human and be happy.

Once upon a time I wanted to heal the world and fix the broken wings of those who I felt should fly, but soon I realised that it wasn’t about what I wanted, it was what people wanted to do for themselves. It was about how they wanted to make a difference, to them, to their families, to their world. It was all about them. My only job is to create the space for them to explore, let go, discover, and so that is what I do. It makes it difficult when people ask me what I do….. a massage therapist? Yes. A listener? Well yes. A healer? Yes. A facilitator of change? Yes.

But what do I really do? I create space for you to take a breath and begin….

 

 

Acceptance – the key to life?

So many times I have looked in the mirror or at the shadow on the ground and have been appalled at what I saw. This wasn’t me. This was suddenly some middle aged woman who looked sad and angry with the world and that body…. when did that get that shape – where was the bright, happy, beautiful, giggling, young woman? Where did those 30 years go?

So many times…. but no more. Acceptance was the key. When someone stands before you and all they see is that person you felt you were, just a little older, a little wiser, and just as beautiful, they give you permission to love yourself again. You shouldn’t need another to point it out or give permission but sometimes it is all you have – someone else being the mirror you no longer look in.

What comes with acceptance? A fire in your soul that reignites. Laughter, with others and at yourself when needed. Wisdom to know what matters and what doesn’t. Passion for all you can be and the ability to lose the tight grip on what you no longer are. With acceptance you fall back in love with yourself and all you can be today. Yesterday no longer has the same level of importance and tomorrow will be whatever you decide it will be.

“Wise men say only fools rush in but I can’t help falling in love with you. Shall I stay? Would it be a sin if I can’t help falling in love with you? Like a river flows surely to the sea. Darling so it goes. Some things are meant to be. Take my hand, take my whole life too. For I can’t help falling in love with you.”

Acceptance doesn’t make you blind to your faults and flaws, it simply allows you to accept that you have them and move on. No one is perfect – not the models in the magazines, the celebrities living the life you wish you had or the man or woman down the street who seems to have it all. They all have their faults, their weaknesses, their anxieties, their pain and they too need reassurance, confidence boosters and the need for acceptance from those around them. They are people on their own journey and yet you look to them and wonder why you can’t look, be or live like they do…

People on their own journey – just the same as you – this life, this journey, this huge fast moving learning curve that sometimes you wish you could slow down or even put on pause, this is your opportunity to love who you are, who you have become and you have the choice of what happens next. The future, your future, is written only by you and the choices you make. How marvelously exciting to hold that pen and begin to write your own story. To be able to pick up the pen and open the book at a clean page is the ability to know who you are today, accept yourself for what you are, today, and then begin to write….

What’s your first line going to be? Tell me… I really would love to hear your story…