An Update.

Summer is ending.

I haven’t really seen that much of it this year. 5 Weeks in a hospital bed, 2 weeks in a hospital bed, but not in a hospital.

I tried posting a couple of weeks ago, about a day, but WordPress lost the post, and didn’t even save a draft copy, which was annoying.

So instead I come to post again.

I don’t know if I’ve changed much in the while since the accident. People tell me I’ve lost weight, and maybe I have, but that’s just a bonus really. I’ve done what I always do, which is to take things as they come, after all, once they’ve happened, I can’t change that. All I can do is get on with it. So since this injury, which according to the consultant and medical journals is classed as “life-altering” I’ve just gotten on with it.  From waking up with an external fixator on my leg, and being told it would be there for six weeks, and would need a second operation the day after to fix the artery which was damaged beyond repair, to being told the frame would be taken off a little early due to the recurrence of an infection in the pin site, to the realisation that Iwouldn’t be able to go home after getting out, or for some time after that.

I’ve had moments of being angry, definitely. At myself, at the hospital for not diagnosing me correctly to begin with, at the hospital for being stuck in an environment which does nothing but destroy your spirit and will. At objects being in the way, or out of reach even, but those moments have passed quickly, and I’ve instead made the best of it.

There’s frustration too, a hell of a lot of that. Mostly for the simple things I can no longer do without help. I can’t just get up and go get a drink if I’m thirsty, or go to the toilet unaided. If it’s not within my immediate reach I have to ask for help. THAT is frustrating, especially for someone as independent as I am. But I know that it will pass. I may never be able to run again, maybe I won’t be able to walk any kind of distance anymore – which in itself, for me, would be soul-destroying, but at the end of the day I’ve survived, and I’ve made it through this event.

I see people around me getting frustrated – I don’t necessarily have a lot else I can do – and when people come to see me, I can often see what else is going on, and I  know full well, there are lots of people who are having their own battles with their own frustrations at the moment. I can’t say anything though a lot of the time, because unless you can accept that you are struggling, angry, frustrated, annoyed, or anything, then you are stuck there. Whether you’re convinced that you can’t handle much more because you’re trying so hard to keep everything going, or if it’s because you’re trying to be strong for someone else who is fighting their own demons. Whether it’s that you’re not moving forwards with work as quickly as you’d like, or that a business is going through a dry patch. Until you actually accept that, you’re not going to be able to move yourself out of it at all.

And that can be the hardest thing in the world.

It’s only when you do this you can plan – when you can accept that you’re terrified of flying because you’re scared of heights, or enclosed spaces, you can begin to work to overcome that, starting small, and working up to something challenging – of if you accept that it’s a dry patch in your business – you can begin to look at alternative strategies for marketing – adding something new, or networking, just to discover it’s not just you. The thing is you’re never as alone as you think, but unless you communicate that, you’ll be stuck in the dark shady world of can’t, and noone else can get you out of there.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, far from it. I get frustrated over not being able to do stuff every day, multiple times a day, but I do see what other people go through and feel and think, and wish they could be as pragmatic as I am sometimes. But we’re all different, and that’s a good thing. We all have different strengths, skills and weaknesses, and the right combination of friends will cover all bases – and you never know, if you actually acknowledge your struggle, there’ll be others struggling too, and probably someone who is able to help. But you have to take that step. And sometimes the hardest thing of all is waiting for someone to realise that for themselves, and knowing until then, there’s nothing that you can do.


I’ve got a long hard road ahead of me and it will be full of frustrations, and at times, it will feel impossible, like I can’t possibly do it all, but it will just be temporary, and I’m lucky to have people around who are able to remind me of that when I stumble and fall. And I will be that person for those I care about as much as I am able, but the one thing I cannot counter from experience is pride.


but that’s another story for another day. I just wish people were able to lay it aside and admit when they’re struggling before things blow up and come to a head. Then the rest of us can help.


lazing on a Sunday afternoon.

This is the first weekend that I’ve had completely off in a while. I always try to not pack my weekend out because I’m so busy through the week, and a typical weekend now usually consists of Saturday mornings being filled with admin/chores/housework, and soon, thanks to exam season fast approaching, extra tutoring, before heading out for roleplay/catch up with friends, and more often than not, staying over on Saturday, and heading back on Sunday. This works quite well, for a lot of reasons, one being that it motivates me to get the boring stuff out of the way by Saturday lunchtime, otherwise I have to tackle it on the Sunday evening, which just leaves it hanging over the weekend. It also means that I don’t just become a hermit, and hide, which would be a bit too easy for me- especially of late, and it means I actually have some downtime factored in, as well as a ready excuse for the inevitable contacts of “oh its the weekend, you can help with….” Which if I only have my own stuff to get done gets the response of “oh well, you can move that around, squish this in…” And because I’m a pushover, I usually say yes, and then end up without the time to do the admin/housework/my stuff afterwards, whereas plans with others are a lot more difficult to dismiss out of hand.

This weekend though, I went away to visit friends I haven’t seen in a while, which has been a really nice change, although it has been really really weird to have a weekend with such a slow pace, as I feel like I haven’t “done” anything. I arrived on Friday evening, before I would have gotten home had I been tutoring, and got a sandwich, watched a gameplay video and had an early night. Yesterday, we went out for a walk around the centre of the town, had lunch out, and then got ingredients for me to make cake (as I always make something by request of my hosts) and watched a fair bit of River cottage, whilst trying to work out how I would make said cake. I succeeded with the cake, which was a berry topped chilli chocolate cake, and watched some random quiz stuff before bed. Today I’ve gotten up, read a bit, and will probably go for a little walk, to take advantage of the sun before heading home later.  Seems like nothing really, but actually, I’ve had time to think about stuff that’s been going round my head, as well as plan out a little more of my book, which I’ll probably get on with on my way home, and generally have a little bit of time to REST, and therefore, heal.

I’ve still had a fair amount of pain this weekend, but its not been all over, and its been manageable, and has lessened over the time in proportion to my inactivity. Now, my shoulders and upper back are what’s causing trouble, along with my arms, and that to be honest probably has more to do with being hunched up in pain the last few days than anything else, and I daresay a good massage would go a long way to sort that out too (I should be that lucky though), although that’s something I can put up with.

I think I need to look at my time management again, and plan in small patches of downtime through the day. I manage this quite well at work, but I could make better time of it in transit, for example, which might help things along a bit. I also need to try and get back on top of sleep, and eating properly, which means I just need to give myself a good kick up the arse more than anything! Because I’ve been feeling really crappy in general and tearing myself to pieces I stop caring about it, but I need to just do it, even if it means setting reminders on my phone, or notes on the fridge. I also need to go through food groups and make sure I’m planning enough of things in said foods, and generally make it so I try and look after myself a bit, even when its the last thing I want to do.

This week I’ve had to face up to the fact that I simply can’t get away with doing things I had done in the past, when I’ve ended up feeling that bad, and, again, having to challenge myself over the fact that if it was someone else doing that to themselves I wouldn’t stand by and let them. Whether I outrightly challenged it or tackled it by stealth would depend on the person, but I wouldn’t let it stand, so I should let myself do it either.

So, yes, I have screwed up recently. A lot. I don’t think it would be helpful to explain the various how’s and why’s right now, as I’d just end up more annoyed at myself, and lo and behold we’d be starting it all over again. But I can always hope that next time, I will do better, and spot myself falling before I am forced to acknowledge I fell a while before. Not just talking about not looking after myself here, but the same goes. Its just easier for me to talk about that context, than all the other things.

Possibly time to make a few lists as well, and then discuss how best to tackle them…. As well as try to realise that i may not have to try and do this all by myself, and that i dont have to shut myself away until ive fixed things…But one step at a time I think, at least until I can learn to walk again….


It’s not all gloom and doom!

I realised this morning that I probably sound pretty morose of late… I’m actually not, which has surprised me as much as anyone I think. Sure, I definitely feel like crawling into a corner and avoiding everything and everyone until this is over, but I’m also above all else, a realist. I know that things don’t happen at convenient moments, and don’t fit neatly into boxes. I can’t retire from life just because my past has come back to give me a good kick up the arse again.

So I get on with things. I get up, get a shower, and I go to work. I try to make sure to eat, sleep (where I’m allowed) and exercise, and get things done. Counting my regular job plus tutoring (and travel) I work a 52 hour week on average, so if nothing else I’m busy. And that’s not a bad thing as long as I stick to my rules.  First rule is Monday nights are my night off. Even if I end up doing housework, chores or mundane house stuff, as long as I’m not planning lessons or thinking about work stuff, that’s OK.  Second rule is no work at weekends unless I’m being paid extra. I might not always have mega-exciting stuff planned, but even I know I can’t be all go, all the time. Third rule is plan social stuff. Even if it’s just meeting a friend for coffee and a chat. I have the capability to go weeks without seeing anyone outside of work, but it’s not a good idea to do so.

Very simple rules that will hopefully serve me well. I’ve been sticking to them since I decided them, so no complaints really.

In terms of eating – weekdays I have a little bit of porridge in a morning with a banana and some seeds mixed in, and soup for lunch. Teatime varies. Weekends is a lot more relaxed. This seems to be working well, as I’ve lost an inch and a half off my back (as a bra that was too tight now fits, and tshirts are slightly less pronounced around the chesticle area) and definitely a few kilograms. Now I just need to get into a routine with the exercise again. A friend has some chair exercises I can do at work, and also looking into sorting a specific workout I can boot up and do in a morning for 10 mins after stretches.

So I’m definitely not being idle, and if nothing else, feeling the way I do tends to drive me to being mega organised and efficient. Who said a touch of type A personality is a bad thing!! Overall, I’m just trying to take things as they come, and where I can’t believe things, just accept that those who have said them believe it in the hope that I can then move towards believing it too.

2013… The Roundup… and the post that’s been wanting to exist for some time..

Okay, so I’ve been a little bit remiss with the blog for a while, I admit, but for once it’s not without good reason!!
It’s not that I have just gotten to that can’t be arsed anymore stage, or just found more interesting things to do, which has been wont to happen in the past.
I started tutoring earlier in the year, which has kind of exploded a little, to the point of having 5+ students on the books going into 2014, so as you can see, my time is limited, however, I am now back to the top of my organisational game, so am free to juggle many plates, or some such mixed metaphor.

2013 has very much been all about learning and changing for me. From moving back to Sheffield, changing job, starting up A Cinderella Fable (my more girly blog) to exploring new cultures, to just working out stuff about myself, to tutoring, and everything else that’s happened along the way it’s been one hell of a ride, and I get the feeling it’s only just starting!

I’ll likely forget stuff that’s happened in this post, and I’ll probably ramble on so few people will fully understand what I’m talking about, but that’s the joy of being me I guess!

So, back to January, where having secured a new job, after seven years in retail banking, I made the move back to Sheffield.
I was ambivalent about this to say the least, and wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing by returning – in some ways it felt like a step backwards, and took a lot of sheer willpower to remind myself of all the reasons it was actually a step forwards, and then it was happening and there was nothing that I could do to change it!

February was the start of the new job, which my seven years of accumulated knowledge meant I had a good understanding of the work, and I began a new. I actually really enjoyed just the process of learning – from a new perspective for somethings, and just learning new stuff in general! I started to reconnect with more people I’d known from my life in Sheffield previously, having already worked to establish a new core group around me and started looking into what had changed, and what had stayed the same. I realised that a LOT had changed. Over these two months, I began to feel a bit more at peace with my decision to move back to Sheffield.

April saw me looking for my own space, so I could get my stuff out of storage, and get some structure back. I found a flat at the end of the month, and with help, got my stuff in and sorted, achieving a new thing of finally living in a truly unfurnished flat. This will make things easier in future, as I now have everything I need to be self sufficient. It’s not much by most peoples standards, I’m sure, but it’s home to me.

It’s at this point of writing that I stalled somewhat… and today – the 30th I pick up having realised why. I have been very left brained about it – putting events into boxes, when actually I’m ambi-brained – or to quote a cliche, a bit of an Indigo Child… So this is where, dear reader, you may need to gather your wits to keep up and connect the strands of the web I’m about to weave…. for if only my life were able to be fitted into neat little boxes… it would turn out to be so ridiculously boring that I would bang my head on a wall where paint was drying at intervals to check the rate!

This year has seen an unbelievable amount of change happen in my life – not just in the tangiable physical and material things, but on a more personal level too. I’m by no means the best person to talk about that though, as I know I have a skewed perspective when it comes to myself, but even I can spot some of these… I guess if you wanted to know more, you’d have to speak to those who know me a bit better than just as an acquaintance. So why am *I* talking about it? Well, this is my story, and no-one else is going to tell it. It’s my path, and my journey…not someone else’s.

Very few people actually understand and ‘get’ me. So I don’t expect you to. You’d need to know so much more than I am willing to share with all but a few very close friends to even try in any detail, but I will always give enough to explain something. So here, I guess is the need to know stuff…

It’s commonplace knowledge that I had a hard time of it growing up. Being told repeatedly, and having it reinforced in numerous different ways that I don’t deserve to exist, and that I was the scum of the earth etc etc, had me believing that. The evidence was irrefutable. It’s also no secret that a few years ago, I put myself into the hands of a psychotherapist to start trying to pull what had become a huge mess to pieces in an effort to try and find the truth, as finally, I’d managed to prove ‘them’ wrong. I’d escaped, and managed to move away, and successfully make things better. I’d survived a (still unknown) illness which had been supposed to be the end of me – which of course I felt I deserved, so what was going on? The therapy certainly didn’t fix things, but it did help me to understand the whys of things, and also to an extent some of the values I had.
Skipping forwards to this year, I’d made the decision to once more throw caution to the wind, and make things better. Serendipity had provided a person who challenged me with enough aggression to break through certain mindsets, but not too much for me to respond instinctively in defense, and all of a sudden the time was there. No turning back. I was back in Sheffield.
Still not convinced it wasn’t a huge mistake. But nowhere to go except forwards, and if all of my life experience to that point had taught me *anything* at all, it was to be stubborn!

I’d started preparing for the move back since the middle of 2012, when I’d first sensed another shift coming, although at the time, I wasn’t aware what it was… and I’d reconnected with people from Sheffield who I’d known before I left, though not to a great extent necessarily, as one of the things I’d really had time to contemplate in the time I lived by the sea, was my own beliefs.
Like in so many aspects of my life, they don’t fit neatly into boxes, either. And I simply can’t believe in commercial religion. Having voluntarily immersed myself in a Christian upbringing in church in my Teens, for several years, it wasn’t for lack of trying… It’s not that I don’t believe in a god figure, or figures, but I certainly have no faith in organised religion. Nor do I strictly fit under the Pagan belt of belief. Mostly because I can’t be neatly classified as being Norse, Celt, Native or other. I take the things that make sense, and build my own system. I don’t rule anything out as possible, because I can’t prove or disprove it…but in the big overall groups, this is the best place – where I fit best, although never exactly.
Anyway… I’d tried to find a moot up in the North East, which proved impossible, for reasons I found out later, and looking back, I’m extremely glad no-one had responded to the tentative emails I’d sent to the groups I’d found. So instead, in my frequent flyer visits back to Sheffield I’d been attending the Sheffield moots when they coincided with my travels. Having known a fair few of the people since before I’d left, and not really being in the same circles as Ben or his friends, it was one of the few places I still felt welcome. As last year had progressed, more and more I was able to get to the moots, and so I knew at least I’d have one bunch of people to see when I got back.

Another big fall out of my life experience to date was my issues with people. See people can’t be trusted. You let them in, you let them see you, and you care, and it’s taken away from you. Which is why people very rarely really see me, or know me. I don’t make myself unlikeable, to the contrary, apparently, I’m very likable (even if I don’t see it), but you only get the surface. But enough experience of that, meant that I can’t open myself to be knocked back like that anymore.

So the start of 2013 saw me back in Sheffield, knowing I could at least do the things I’d set out to do – having already done them when I moved away, but with little to no confidence in myself, or others, for that matter. However, I learned the hard way that no man or woman is an island, so I would have to at least build some bridges, even if they were never particularly embellished.

As the year progressed, people began to identify themselves as those who I could trust a little more, and my confidence had grown as the new job had started and was going well, and I’d achieved the things I’d set out to do. I gathered a small group of people I could count on, people I could confide in, and some of those had already seen more of me than I’d perhaps intended to show, but it was safe to do so, and somewhere I knew that. There are three in particular who have stood out. Two are a couple – whom I value as friends, and count them in my chosen family, and the third is someone who I met very randomly, but we appreciate one another I think…

I am starting to ramble now, so to try to bring it back… I think the easiest summary I can make is that thanks to these three people especially, I’ve reached a point where I’ve been able to work out who I am, and that actually it’s OK to not necessarily fit into a box. It’s OK to know the more complex things, and not the simple things – I don’t need to know the very basics unless it’s fundamental to my understanding. I’ve learned a lot from these people, and have managed to start breaking down some of the walls that have stopped my understanding of myself, the world, and my place in it. It’s complex, it’s not easy, but paradoxically, it’s actually as simple as I make it. Now that I have a little of the perspective I should have had over the last thirty years, (as yes, I turned 30 this year too!) it’s now time to take that, grow it and move forwards.

Finishing the calendar year off, I have people. For the first time in years, I have people I can trust by my side, who I know won’t abandon me for something shinier, and will tell me when I’m being an idiot, encourage me when I need encouraging, and help me along when I stumble. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that, as it’s something I’ve lacked for SO long. Not the false people who want someone who is broken, to try and fix, or someone who is broken, so they can feel better… but people who don’t care that you’re broken, except to care that you are broken, not to do anything about it, and the people in question that I have now, are NOT *those* types of people,and I can and will do anything I can in return. I know that I am small, and I’m not even a tenth of what I could have been by now if things were different, but next year is going to be about growth. Taking what I have gained and learned and moving forwards, and helping those I call my family to do the same. Bringing ideas to fruition, and lending what skills I do have to making things better.
Like I said earlier, I can’t really tell you what’s changed – you’d probably have to ask those people, but I know that as the calendar turns in two days time, I have so many ideas that I could explode, and as sod would have it, less time than ever. All that means though is that I need to be more organised, because by George, Dick, Tom, Harry, or Cheesus, there’s very little that will stop me if I have any say in it!

I’m finding that, as I grow into my skin a little more, things that have seemed far away suddenly make more sense, or seem to work – things are finding the right place. I am an avid believer in Serendipity, and also I believe wholehearted that what is meant to be will find a way, regardless of the obstacles in it’s place. The tutoring is one example of that – for a long time people said I’d be a fabulous teacher and I denied it. I was right to deny the job, but not the role. I am a good teacher, but only with a willing student. I in turn have found a teacher as well – someone who is like me, who’s helped me realise a lot of what I’ve learned this year, and I’m sure will have more to show me – without even realising it. But most do their best work without realising it.

There is so much more that I wanted to say – I’ve haven’t even touched on my plans ahead, or drumming, or Denmark, celebration or anything else. But I’m done writing today. If you’ve kept up, I applaud you, because this is probably as disjointed as heck. But this blog was never meant to be perfect…. Those who know me though- if you’re reading this, then Thank you.

Black, White, and Shades of Grey.

So, it’s been a while since I posted much… I’m not going to apologise for that – I’ve had other things to do… including mad trips to Sheffield to surprise someone for a birthday, visiting Alton Towers to see the fireworks, and then my own birthday too. And of course, work.

Also started on my 101 things in 1001 days project, which can be found –>

So been prepping and thinking about that…


The last couple of weeks have been less than easy though, thinking about stuff in general. My birthday is never an easy time to be fair… I get a bit introspective, and think about what I’ve done over the past year, look forwards to the next, thinking about what I’d like to say I’ve done the next year, and stuff comes back to haunt me – throwing up a bunch of insecurities, and this year has been no different, aside from the fact that I realised I’m more of an optimist than I let on.

Every few years, I decide to try and do something sociable, instead of hide away for my birthday, in the hope that ‘this time, it’ll be different’ and this year, I did that. I arranged to have an open house at my friend’s and went to Sheffield. Asked people to confirm they were coming so I could sort food….and it was a flop. I’d have been upset and annoyed if something much bigger hadn’t dwarfed it, and I am thankful to those who did attend and also put up with me on the Saturday – 4 people, plus 2 who weren’t there, due to distance, but were there via online presence.

Anyway. Ramble over It’s really late. Like 5am late, and I’ve been ill since Monday. Off work in bed ill. So brain is not the greatest. Don’t know if I’ll be able to get this all down before I need to sleep again, but I’ll try…

The title is not just there to cash in on a rather tame set of books.

(Hell, I’m naive as hell when it comes to relationships, but even I know more than that! – and no I haven’t read them, and don’t intend to. If you want to read something that’s actually fun I’d recommend this.

Instead the title is more a description of how I deal with the world sometimes. Or used to, at least.  Something I’ve been pondering about for a fair while now.

Writing this at 5am because I had one of the other recurring nightmares I have from time to time – usually have this one when I’m ill, so it was christened ‘the fever dream’, although it’s more about my insecurities than anything else I think… just happens to feature being ill, and tends to turn up when I’m ill.  My nightmares are generally related to stuff that I’ve buried trying to make itself known. I understand the whys and even some of the what’s, but it doesn’t stop me waking up feeling terrified. This particular one is pretty straightforwards; in my nightmare,in short,  I’m ill, and end up dying and rotting away, but nobody notices I’ve disappeared, until they’re told that a skellington was found at my address. People are sad for a day, but forget pretty quickly…. ultimately the insecurity that I don’t actually make any sort of impact is at fault for this one, which comes out of years of being constantly told that I’m shit and don’t deserve to be alive. So I feel like I have to earn my worth. Explain much about me?! (And yes, I know that’s not necessarily true. The issue is making it stick)

OK. It’s 10am. Had to try and get some more sleep, cause being awake was hurting. ( then Tried to get up to go to work and failed. )

There are a lot of defense mechanisms that end up in play for me at times…. all built on broken logic. Broken logic of a 5-8 year old. Which makes for quite a simplistic world view of “enough people say and believe this so it must be true”. Black and white. “This is true so to fix it the opposite needs to happen”. Black and white. No grey in there. No questioning whether that’s correct, or if there’s another explanation.. which if you know me is odd as I ask a lot of questions!
Being the optimist I am, I hope that one day I’ll be able to acknowledge the grey. I know it exists, I can deal with it in other areas, but in this it has no place because it’s incongruous. It threatens the status quo, and means the one question I daren’t even ask because I’m so afraid of the answer, comes into play..
being stubborn can be great, until you have to go against yourself. The nail was almost hit on the head last night when someone said that I was afraid of losing ‘me’ if I do find the courage to go ahead… and that’s true… I am afraid of losing the parts which are good. But I’m more scared to find that actually, the things I’ve spent so long fighting against are actually true. Or worse that there’s actually nothing there.

I’m also scared that the people I’m privileged to know and call my friends will find the same, and walk.
This journey I know is one I must take alone ultimately, but the idea of having no one about to watch my back is too much. It took me a long time to realise the value of interdependence over self sufficience…
and one of the things I fall back to when I’m finding things difficult is some thing I’ll happy tell other people when they struggle to believe in themselves; “if you don’t feel you can have faith in yourself at this moment, then believe that I believe in you.” Pretty awesome when you get your head around that one, even just a little. I know I lack the perspective to see any potential I have, so until I develop that I have little choice but to rely on others. Without that, I would give up. I speak from experience.

That’s probably a good place to stop. I probably sound mental but I don’t care…. I’m an extrovert processor and keeping this kinda stuff in my head will do a lot more harm than good. Once it’s out I can step forwards.
I don’t think my friends will ever realise just how awesome they truly are. Maybe when this is done with, I’ll be able to explain and tell them….