Musings and Snoozes

But what if I fall? Oh my dear, but what if you fly? 

There is no right or wrong decision. Well obviously sometimes there is – me eating an entire pack of chocolate biscuits for tea was probably the wrong decision – but when it comes down to it, the big stuff, the life changing stuff, it’s not right or wrong, it’s just a decision, and everything else will follow. 

I’m a chronic overthinker, not helped by the fact that I can see every possible outcome from every possible side, which effectively makes my decision making skills null and void. But I’m learning, or at least I’m trying to learn, with some help, that sometimes you have to just go with your gut instinct and jump. Do everything you can to prepare of course, but in the end, close your eyes, and just leap! 

And quite frankly, that’s terrifying. But what’s the alternative? Standing on the edge, looking down and thinking “but what if……?” repeatedly? Because as much as I think of and consider every possible outcome, let’s be honest, it’s the bad outcomes that stick, the ones that make me go “yeah, but what if I can’t?” that cloud all the other “but what if I can?” thoughts. That’s human nature. 

So bollocks to human nature, so to speak. The universe isn’t waiting for me to screw up, it just wants me to make a decision. So I’m jumping, or at least dipping my toe in the shallow end, and to hell with fear and doubt and failure and “what ifs”. I have me, I have faith, I have family, and I have friends, not to mention sheer stubbornness. Plus my life’s mantra of “it’ll all be fine” has got me this far. That’s gotta be enough…. Right?! 

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My Rock’n’Roll Life 

Nobody actually ever tells you how to put on a hospital gown. This really annoys me. You just get handed this oversized piece of material and you’re told to change. What if, like me, you didn’t grow up obsessed with a million hospital programs, from Children’s Ward, to ER, to House? That’s the only way I ever knew that actually it’s normal to have your arse poking out, as opposed to your boobs. Because obviously.

Suffice to say I’ve been sick, hence the hospital gown (although I thankfully was allowed to keep my leggings on today because yay, cold and Raynauds Syndrome). I developed Costochondritis out of seemingly nowhere last week, so I’ve been in for tests today to make sure that my chest is all in one piece and doing what it should, and also for more bloods to see what else we can find to add to the ever-growing list of ailments while we’re at it. First choice is anaemia, which actually I’d quite happily take, since it’s easily treatable. When you have three incurable, baffling, chronic illnesses, treatable becomes a positive joy of a prospect. As for what else they tested for, I’m not entirely sure. It’s just a bunch of incomprehensible letters, although I spotted thyroid on there, which bless them, they test for every six months. You can’t fault them for trying to find something fixable.

On the more positive side, I’ve had a lovely weekend away with extended family, which despite the incredibly long journey, was actually very restful and relaxing. It even included a half hour massage, courtesy of the spa across the road from the hotel, which was bliss, and has finally loosened out the bottom of my back. I’m paying for the travelling of course today, but I’m working from home due to the hospital appointments, so that’s helping. A couple of restful evenings and I hope I’ll feel a little brighter, rather than the slight train wreck I feel at the moment.

In the meantime, I can be found of the sofa, with my blankie and the pooch, living a totally Rock’n’Roll lifestyle. 

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A little moment of success 

I went to the gym. For the first time in a year. I may die tomorrow, but right now I feel pretty smug. My body less so. My body is more of the “erm, excuse me, what is this? We don’t use these muscles. We don’t do the thing”. I told it to suck it up and it’s getting a hot bath (and hopefully a good night’s sleep) as a reward.

My mind is quiet too. Such a blessing after weeks of it being in overdrive. I know it’s only short-lived, but that’s ok, I’ll take the peace where I can. Of course I need to remember this feeling the next time I’m feeling anxious and edgy, because the instinct will always be to hide and say “I can’t do the thing”. 

But it turns out I can do the thing. With a bit of uncomfortable pushing, some much needed support from husband, who comes with me to make sure I don’t pass out at the door, and some good old fashioned stubbornness, I can do it. 

So me and my smugness are going to go relax with new Lush goodies, and try to ignore the aches and pains I’m going to feel tomorrow!

Today’s challenges: anxiety dreams, edginess, shoulder ache, mild back ache. A fairly good day!


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“Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”

Courage Definition

Yesterday was a complicated day, starting with the beginnings of a panic attack at not being able to find a parking space at the Doctor’s (where ironically, I went to discuss my anxiety), and then later admitting to myself that I needed something to focus on to get me through the rest of the day, which led me to Brené Brown’s TED Talks (as recommended by a friend – thank you Lovely Lady).

And so that in turn, led me to this.

“Courage and Bravery are two different things”

When Dad died, so many people called me brave. And my mum too. Like at 19 and 58 respectively, my mum and I were doing something so amazing in dealing with the natural Circle of Life, and the grief that comes with it, that it warranted being labelled as bravery. It wasn’t bravery, but it was courage. Courage is being vulnerable, being, if not comfortable, then at least OK with being vulnerable. It’s necessary. And that really hit me. We weren’t brave, it was just necessary.

It’s just passed the 11 year anniversary since Dad died, and mum and I often talk about how we coped in the weeks following. Most of the stories are funny – the fact that we lived on take-out for about 3 weeks because Dad did all the cooking and we didn’t know what to do, is one of my favourites. Telling people not to be nice is another – “Don’t be nice to me, I’ll cry!”. We did that a lot. Going to Tesco mere hours after he’d died to buy bread and milk, because we just needed normality. And then shouting at the poor man who chose that same moment to try and sell us a Credit Card and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Pretty sure that was the start of the long running “I’m a poor widow women” get-out clause!

But there were less funny ones too – adjusting to life was hard. When such a key part of your life, of your plans, of your future, your everyday, just disappears, that is incredibly hard. People always say it gets easier with time, and it does, but the reason it gets easier with time is because your normality adjusts. If it didn’t, or if you didn’t let it, then it will never get easier with time. And that’s not comfortable, in fact it’s extremely uncomfortable, but when those people told Mum and I we were brave, our reply was always the same “what choice do we have? We either get on with it, accept that it’s crap, that’s it’s hard, that it’s horrible, but acknowledge that our lives will be different. Or we run away and hide and cry and never get over it.” And that’s courage, not bravery.

Courage can get us through a hell of a lot. Just because it’s not bravery, don’t ever underestimate it. Embrace it, embrace how horribly uncomfortable it can be, how vulnerable it can make us feel, especially when it involves admitting that things aren’t how you’d like or that sometimes you just have to ask for help. Courage is knowing something is difficult, but acknowledging it, embracing it, and attacking it all the same, because it’s necessary. We all do it, it doesn’t have to be something as life changing as losing a loved one, it can be getting out of bed in the morning and doing that one thing you really didn’t want to do, the one thing you’d really rather just run from and pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s courage, and for what it’s worth, I think you deserve to congratulate yourself for that.

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