Flowers, inspiration and feelings …

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It’s been another busy week in Kerry-land. Obviously there’s been work, and I had an attachment with the coroners officer which was really interesting. Definitely gives a greater awareness of what happens in other departments when they allow you to flit around a little.

My husband and I celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary this week also. We got flowers off parents, and Peter bought me a lovely bunch of flowers and, bless him, he cleaned the house from top to bottom so I wouldn’t have to do any cleaning on my days off this week. I made us a very tasty 3-course meal, hot wings for starter, steak and all the trimmings for main, and lemon tart for desert. We spent the evening together and had a lovely time.

Also had the engagement party for one of the god-kids (well not actual god-kids but that’s how I see them and they all call me Aunty Kerry). Engagement though – they grow up so fast. I still remember babysitting and having to tell Tilly off for being late in for tea! And melting mars bars in a big bowl and sitting with the kids around the coffee table in the living room and dunking digestives into the bowl of melted goodness. The kids used to love that!

The picture on today’s blog was taken in Durham on a day out with mum this week. I love it when random pieces of wood lodge in the silt under water and look like they’re growing. We had a lovely day in Durham, perusing the shops, wandering and going on the river boat cruise. I love cruises, there’s something about being sat in a boat on the water. It’s very inspiring – actually, anything to do with water is inspiring, as you’ll see when book 3 starts! 

I had a message this week from an old friend who has been having a tough time of late – it was a lovely message. One of those that you read and it makes you go ‘awww that’s gorgeous’ whilst putting a hand to your chest and trying not to fill with tears. It basically said that she (and I’m purposefully not mentioning names to avoid embarrassment) had been having a really tough time culminating in some time off work sick with depression. She said that she read my posts on facebook all the time and that she found them inspiring and was trying to use them to increase her positivity and self-confidence, and that she wanted to say thank you for posting them. In this day and age, we are not always open about our feelings, especially during darker times. I am glad that my posts can be seen as inspirational and encouraging, it was one of those moments that make it worth being a writer. OK so no book sales yet, but a lovely lady using my posts in her time of need to help her feel better is amazing. I’m glad to say she has returned to work and has support to help her through her depression.

Depression is such an awful thing, people are ashamed if they have it and I know the same can be said for any mental disorder. I am open about mine because it is not something to be ashamed of. It is a mental disorder that is suffered by 1 in 4 people in the UK – that means if you work in a room of at least 4 people, then at least one of your colleagues will suffer this at some point, or perhaps even you yourself. On dark days it can feel as though nothing can pull you up, you sink so low that the slightest thing can make you cry. For me, being the softy that I am, it’s anything to do with animals or children. You become snappy and irritable and the stupidest thing seems like a huge problem. Sleep is disturbed, for me it’s complete lack of sleep but for others they sleep deeply for very long periods and don’t want to get up. You can either start comfort eating, or go off food completely. And you don’t want to interact with others, retreating into your shell. There are other symptoms too, general tiredness and aches, headaches, the feelings that you just want to get through the day cos you know tomorrow will be better, a need to drink alcohol to numb the pain you’re feeling, feelings that you want to end it all as the world will be better without you in it, seriously I could go on.

I know lots of people with depression, the figure of 1 in 4 is pretty incorrect in my life. Most of my friends, my family and extended acquaintances have depression, anxiety or other mental disorders. But there is one thing all of them have in common. They’re all still here, they’re coping with their feelings day to day, sometimes even hour to hour, and they’re doing what they can to get past it. Nobody wants to be depressed or anxious, a lot of the time there doesn’t even appear to be a reason for feeling that way, it’s one of those things that hits when you least expect it. For me, it’s about recognising the symptoms and asking for help as soon as you can. It’s about accepting the help, and knowing that you can rely on other people to talk to you, it’s getting out of the house so you’re not stuck inside looking at 4 walls – nature is amazingly healing. There are so many things to see just by going for a walk, and these things can help lift your mood. It’s noticing the little things, like the sun in the sky, the clouds passing by, the rain on the windows, the wind rustling the trees and so on. If you’re feeling low and you know someone with a dog or cat (if you don’t have one yourself), go pay them a visit. Animals pick up on depression and anxiety, and quite often they will allow themselves to be petted for extended times, they understand that they can help just by letting a person pet them. And seeking medical help is a must. Doctors are there for a reason, they help when we are sick. And whether that’s physically sick or mentally sick, they can still help. Yes there are drugs, but often a few counselling sessions can aid also. Having someone completely impartial to speak to can help no end.
I know this can be a somewhat sensitive subject, but trust me I speak from experience. I’ve been on the end where I’m begging for help, and I’ve been the one asked to help. The one thing that always gives me strength is that we people are pretty resilient – we might have had many bad days, but we are still here doing the best we can. Life is about living, it’s about seeing and doing things we never thought were possible, it’s believing that dreams really can come true if we are just willing to make them happen, and it’s about seeing the wonder in the little things. Next time you’re feeling a little low, head out of the front door and take yourself off for a walk, drive to the country or visit somewhere you remember from being a child. Remember the wonder you felt when you saw something new. And believe in yourself.

All of that and I still managed to find time to write. As you all know, I’m on a mission to finish book 2 by mid October with the intention of being able to place it in the drawer for 4 weeks then beginning editing in November. So I figured I would use my lunch break at work to do some writing. I always whinge an hour is too long and float around wasting time, chat to people and watch tv. This week though, on the second day of my rotation, I decided not to waste my time and did some writing on my ipad. In that hour I managed a thousand words which is not bad going at all. It will probably read crappy when I move it onto the laptop but it can always be edited later! Today is my actual writing day this week, in between washing and errands. I intend to get lots done though. We’re only a hare over 10k from the finish line as I write this. I know I can do that in 4 weeks! With a little dedication and a lot of organisation!

Anyway I’ve waffled on long enough, have a fantastic week everyone, thanks for reading, and as always, keep smiling 🙂

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