Hermit had Fun! 

I had the best day yesterday. My body aches weren’t as bad, and despite my anxiety hammering away because I was daring the leave my hermit cave,I was excited to be leaving the house. 

I put on my gorgeous vintage, original 1970s maxi dress with the flared sleeves 😍💜 It makes me feel so pretty and it’s so feminine and flattering. 

It was exactly what I needed, since my my pain medication has made me put on a lot of weight. 

I have been a size 8 dress size my whole life, but since taking my pain medication I have gone up to a size 14. 

My boobs look fantastic 😂, but my stomach, not so much. 

It would be ok if I actually had hips, but because I don’t, I feel kind of like a blob. 

I know I’m not huge, but depression and anxiety affect the way I see myself. So at present I see a giant blob with a hag face when I look in the mirror. 

Yesterday in my beautiful dress and my hair and make up done, I didn’t see a blob with a hag face. I saw ME! For the first time in months it was ME looking back in the mirror and it felt so good. 

My friend and extremely supportive boss came to pick me up early afternoon and we drove around the corner to one of my favourite coffee places Penshaw Tea Rooms 

I am so lucky to live where I do. I live on an old estate owned by Lord Lampton . At one time it was called the Lambton Lion Park . Yes there were real lions in County Durham!

I am surrounded by stunning countryside and I love that my garden is full of beautiful birds,including Woodpeckers, Kestrals, and Sparrow Hawks. 

The estate also breeds Pheasants for the shoots they run, so there are always pheasants wandering about my garden, being noisy buggers, but looking very pretty. 

There is a family of rabbits that live at the bottom of my garden – my cat Moo unfortunately enjoys catching and bringing back to the house their baby offspring at this time of the year. – I have had to rescue four so far, three didn’t make it and I had to call the RSPCA to get another 🙁

I have put a louder bell on her collar in the hope it will stop her catching them. 

There are also some squirrels in the tree in next door’s garden. I love to watch them scurrying about in the trees.They like to sneak across my garden early in the morning and pinch the bird food from my other neighbour’s bird feeder. 

In late Summer the squirrels can been seen running across my garden on two legs, carrying ripe apples in their forepaws, that have fallen from my neighbours apple tree. 

My garden 💜

When we arrived at Penshaw tea rooms (which is underneath Penshaw Monument ), my friend was in awe of the beautiful surroundings. 

The cafe includes a small nursery and they also sell some gorgeous animal wood carvings for your garden. 

My friend and I sat with a coffee and had a gorgeous lunch of panninis (his sweet chilli chicken, mine was BBQ pulled pork and cheese).

The panninis were crispy, stuffed to the brim and came with salad, coleslaw and crisps. They were gorgeous! 

We followed up with some cake. I don’t know what it was called, (they have a huge selection), but it was delicious! It was sort of bits of Mars bar, with chunks of meringue and a toffee angel delight style filling. 

It. Was. To. Die. For! 

We must have been there for about three hours. We talked about how I’d been feeling on my new meds. Somehow we got on to my wild late teens and twenties and the 90s. How I spent the Millenium New Year at a dance party at the Millenium Dome in London.

Me aged 19 clutching my Zippy backpack 💜

 

I’ve done some crazy and silly things in my time, it was so much fun to reminisce. 

My twenties were far from perfect – I was very ill and had a complete break down at the age of 19/20, not the best start – but somehow even that terrible time is now surrounded with the warm glow of past memories. 

Talking about those times, made me smile, laugh, and feel a teeny bit sad too. After all they are mostly things I am unable to do now. It was a good thing overall though. 

It was so nice to laugh and talk for few hours, and in such a great setting. I am so, so lucky to have a boss, and a friend as supportive with my health as he is. The company I work for have been so amazing too and I know how very lucky I am. A lot of people aren’t so lucky to have that support. 

Yesterday was so positive. I am hopeful it will continue. 

Thank you for reading

Love love love 💜

The Faraway Girl

My First Blog – An introduction to The Faraway Girl

Hello to anyone who kindly takes the time to read my first ever attempt at a blog.

I will jump right in, I have been fighting chronic depression and anxiety pretty much my whole life, (or since around the age of 7 as my psychologist and I worked out). My cropped-img_20170304_105522_548.jpgreason for starting this blog is mainly because my facebook and instagram posts are starting to get so long, I’m going to run out of characters, soooo I thought maybe a blog would allow me to be more expressive and hopefully reach a wider audience.

Both depression and anxiety are very isolating illnesses and on top of that, I am disabled (Osteoarthritis in my spine) AND because some powerful magical being clearly hates me, I also have chronic fatigue syndrome.

For those of you who don’t know, CFS basically means I am eternally exhausted and the slightest activity causes me to need the Grandmother of all naps. It’s not really conducive to having a sparkling social life.

My life has changed hugely in the last three years since I became disabled following a fall. I used to be out several nights a week doing gigs as a singer/songwriter, I saw my friends as much as possible and was working full time. Currently I haven’t done a gig, played my piano or guitar or written a song since my back died on me.

I partly haven’t written any songs for so long because 4 years ago one of my close friends, took his own life. It hit me really hard as it came out of nowhere a couple of days before my 30th Birthday. I became suicidal myself following my friend’s death. Thankfully I asked for help and got it.

I was referred to the local mental health team, who arranged for me to see a psychologist and complete a course of Cognative Analytical Therapy.

I found C.A.T. to be so helpful. It was much more in depth than C.B.T. (Cognative Behavioural Therapy) which I had tried several times previously. We talked about my childhood experiences, which brought up some memories and realisations I had never thought about before. We discussed my family, how I relate to and make friends past and present, as well as romantic relationships. This all went towards creating a chart of compassion that I can refer to any time I need to.

The compassion chart is a circle of feelings. One feeling leads to the next and the next and shows you how circular anxious thoughts are and how they make you worse and worse until it can lead to a panic attack. Overlooking these feelings is a compassionate eye. This eye is there to remind you to acknowledge the cycle of feelings, but to be compassionate to yourself, give yourself a break and realise that you are not these negative thoughts and feelings, thereby breaking the cycle.

I have found it really useful, in particular when I ‘hear’ the anxious negative thoughts in my head, it reminds me to stop,tell them to shut up and realise that I am being awful to myself and I need to stop.

Finding myself disabled has hit me really hard too. I am still trying to work through it. It has triggered both my depression and anxiety and I have had to be signed off work for most of last year and all of this year so far. It has been so isolating, both not being at work and not being able to socialize either.

I am trying so hard to get through this, but I have good days and bad days. I recently came off my antidepressants to change to a new one, and it seems to have made a difference. I am really hoping it will help me get back to work and back to myself as soon as possible. I will be keeping you informed of my progress. 

Thank you for reading. This first installment is more of a background info blog more than anything. I hope you follow me as I try to figure this crazy thing called life out.

The Faraway Girl