PERMA: Engagement

Dearest lovely readers,

Gosh it has gotten grey all of sudden here. Things are a little difficult for me at the moment given I am currently coming off some medication, it is tough side effects but I am doing it. Let us get straight into today’s topic: engagement.

What is engagement?

Engagement refers to being able to fully commit to a task, finding a ‘flow’ and being completely absorbed in what you are doing at the present moment. It means you recognise you are good at what you are doing, feel appropriately challenged though still achievable, and it causes positive emotions. When you are engaged, it means you can adapt the tasks to your skill level allowing for more challenges and can use your strengths as much as possible.

Seligman himself describes it as being “one with the music” and follows Csikszentmihalyi’s (1989) concept of “flow”, where one can be completely absorbed into the present moment. It occurs when the correct balance of strengths and challenge are found.

A key way to find engagement is through using your “character strengths”. Now character strengths relate to 24 elements that make us who we are. They fall into six categories: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. These were found based on the ideologies of major religions and philosophical proponents.
(Note: you can use the VIA survey to find out your key strengths or here under ‘questionnaires’)

So, how do you incorporate engagement into your life?

That is the thing, there is no one way. But, I can give you a few ideas. If you’re into journalling feel free to use the prompts below.

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you enjoy?
  • How does _(hobby)_ make you feel?
  • What do you want to do more of?
  • Can you schedule that in?
  • What makes you lose track of time?

But otherwise, if you feel you already have activities you love doing and find yourself losing time to, whether embroidery, knitting, sculpting, arts, literature, sports. Keep doing it, add more if you can. Using our free time for engagement can bring forth so much connection to ourselves, and others if you are in classes or teams. It generates joy and abundance.

My personal story

One thing I have been struggling with the past few years is the kind of work I want to do. I want something that brings the right kind of challenge and puts my own strengths to use. When I first started my degree I wasn’t sure what I would do beyond “Psychologist”. Now, there are SO many ways I can use my degree, and my passion. For a start I created this blog. I am seeking out roles where I can be engaged because it the largest part of anyone’s life if they are able to work. I now know I want to work preferably in the public or charitable sector, I need homebased because I have strength in being able to work from one specific spot (not to mention easier on my disabilities). I want to help people, I want to be front line rather than a researcher. Researching, isn’t entirely my strength.

When I was so low, I lost interest and engagement in anything that wasn’t partying or being up at 5am to study. But naturally, as you know, I have started goal to keep me engaged in my hobbies, and goodness it works. I find I can get lost in my writing, and my reading and mindful walking.

The beauty of having not only character strengths, but recognising your other strengths outside of that. I struggled in finding what I wanted but character strengths let me recognise beyond what I initially thought, they have helped guide me to find more engagement and new platforms.

Let me know your thoughts!

Much love,

L x

PERMA: Positive Emotions

Dearest lovely readers,

What a beautiful sunshine day here as I write to you. It feels like spring is truly coming, does it not?

Today’s topic is positive emotions within the the PERMA model. Now it sounds simple enough to add positive emotions to your life, but it can also be a bit vague. What are the positive emotions? What impact do they really have?

Within positive psychology, positive emotions are connotated to be feelings of satisfaction and comfort. It is about feeling good (hedonic) and allow you to feel kindness and gratitude more. According to University of Pennsylvania, the impact can be astounding. Experiencing positive emotions on a more regular basis can alter your worldview of not only the present, but also the past and future. By looking on your past more positively you can find gratitude and forgiveness. Utilising savouring and mindfulness in the present you find yourself more comfortable with your current circumstances. By practicing further, you can find hope and optimism for the future.

However, ultimately seeking out positivity purely through emotions is not the only thing your should be doing. Positive emotions are seen as the foundation upon which the rest of the model sits. If you have a negative disposition it can be harder to instil positive emotions. Luckily, there are four other routes. Likewise, we all cannot feel positive 100 per cent of the time, that just isn’t possible as a human being.

It is widely reported by Seligman and many other psychologists that positive emotions lay out the foundations, that you find more kindness and compassion and can perform better. Being in a positive disposition can ultimately, change your worldview.

So, how do we incorporate positive emotions into our well-being?

For a start, you can practice gratitude which is a previous blog post I have written here. Gratitude is the concept of being grateful for even the smallest of things in life, such as a nice cup of tea on a rainy afternoon snuggled up. It may be better having a journal specifically for gratitude, or even a piece of paper with a list of things you love and make you happy and grateful.

Savouring is also a positive element. Bryant and Veroff (2007) describe savouring as appreciating and intensifying positive experiences through the means of acknowledgement. So for example, this could be enjoying a meal by engaging in the smells and tastes. It can be possible to bring mindfulness in to this.

Journaling and self-reflection are also an easier way to bring emotions to the forefront such as your resilience and focusing on prompts like those below:

  • What do you want more of?
  • What inspires you?
  • Who celebrates you?
  • What brings joy?
  • What ‘simple things’ do you love?
  • What centres you?

By utilising journaling you can go deeper into what brings out positive emotions.

My personal story
Having Borderline Personality Disorder has often made every emotion feel difficult and painful, and not quite real. Self-regulation and balancing emotions has been a difficult and stressful activity since I was very young. During and after therapy and through many medical interventions, even now, I still struggle sometimes. But emotions are more balanced these days. I have been able to increase how much positivity I feel through hobbies and activities. You will often find me reading, or writing, meditating, practicing gratitude and doing mindful activities. Doing these things regularly was a game-changer for me. I am then able to channel these emotions into thinking and planning my future better, to seek optimism more faithfully.

Bringing more positive elements to your life, such as more hobbies (yoga, exercises, art, music etc.) and social interactions like classes, clubs or seeing more of your loved ones can bring more positive emotions. If you do this regularly it can be easier to regulate emotions and find a balance. I ensure I keep up hobbies through small goal making.

Take away: positive emotions are the foundations of building a brighter you, you become kinder and more compassionate, able to perform better and change your environment.

Much love,

L x

PERMA: An Introduction

Dearest lovely readers,

How are we all faring?

When I started this blog, I thought I’d fill it out with post after post about well-being and psychology. Of course, it’s taken a different turn and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, I realised I’ve done very little in the way of what I love most in modern theory, positive psychology.

Now that I am back into the swing of things, I want to dedicate the next few weeks on some essential theory of positive psychology and how we can bring it into our lives and fill us up. Each post will have a similar formula, a small background on one of the elements of the PERMA model, how I’ve translated into my life and well-being and maybe some tips of how you could do the same if you’re interested.

Onto the introduction.

Positive psychology has been around for a few decades but was focused and arguably pioneered by Martin Seligman in 1998. He wanted people to be able to improve their quality of life. It focuses upon eudaimonia (“the good life”). It focuses upon improving what we need to live a fulfilling life.

The initial theory and base model by Seligman was created in 2002 known as the Authentic Happiness theory and detailed 3 elements on how to live a pleasant, good and meaningful life. Some elements included flow, belonging, meaning and savouring.

The PERMA model was formed in 2011 following numerous studies. Seligman called it “the other side of the coin” to clinical psychology. PERMA stands for Positive Emotions, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning and Achievement. Altogether they can help make up positive well-being for the individual. These are the elements we will be exploring over the next few weeks and in greater detail, as well as some tips to help you on your well-being journey.

Positive psychology is a promising field, whilst there are no “gold standards” for research, there are countless studies proving the effectiveness of positive psychology. I hope that this series can highlight how wonderful finding positive well-being can be.

Much love,

L x

Self-love and body positivity

*CW: Mentions of body issues, food intake*

Dearest lovely readers,

Isn’t the weather getting lovely? I’m seeing more sunshine. I was actually able to go for a couple of walks after months of not being able to. It was wonderful! Hoping to get out again soon. Spring is coming. Now onto today’s topic…

The concept of self-love and body positivity are very important topics. Currently in the UK we are seeing a rise in eating disorders and body image issues, something I’ve always struggled with. Self-love is also at a low. Self-love comes many forms. According to the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation, they define self-love as a state of appreciation of oneself. It grows from how we treat ourselves and the actions that sustain us physically, psychologically and emotionally. It is about putting yourself first and not setting yourself on fire to keep others warm. Self-love is finding ways of keeping your well-being at the highest quality and priority. Self-love can mean different things for different people. It can take presence by caring for yourself and dealing with yourself compassionately. It takes root by truly loving every part of yourself physically and mentally.

For me self-love is shown in many, many forms. Ultimately, I tie myself to love through body positivity. I have some days where I can’t love my body, other days I caress it gently and see nothing but positives. I used to hate who I was as a person, but I’ve grown and now see the wider context. I never loved myself, and felt worthy of nothing. Now, I know I deserve better. I make time and space for my feelings, for my well-being, for me. Self-love starts by you accepting who you are, a declaration to yourself saying you will do better by yourself. It is about reacting appropriately to you and your body’s needs. Self-love is a radical act to see yourself holistically.

This is the thing.

Self-love is radical. In a world filled with media of people hating others, media and beauty industries telling you how to better yourself, it is radical to step out of that and see what it is you truly want and need. Self-love in a world of berating is a beautiful thing. It shows that there is more to be positive about, that propaganda and narrow minded views aren’t reality and that we are capable of more. That our unique selves are worth more than we are told.

Body positivity is thrown around a lot. I have brought it in with self-love because a lot of people equate self-love to our bodies, and yes there is more to self love but body positivity is important. Body positivity isn’t about shaming others, it’s about celebrating all bodies no matter the size or ability. Because no one should be concerned with what another looks like. We are all unique and divine regardless. Being body positive reduces shame as sizes and abilities become more accepted in the norm. And this is the right thing to do. It astounds me how so many people are okay mocking others for what their body may look like, I say to them:

Why are you so concerned? It’s not your body and it’s not your life.

Leave people be.

My personal story

My history is complicated. Following panic attacks occurring regularly at 10 I started restricting my food intake to cope, it lasted a few years. I ended up being so concerned over the space I took and developed unhealthy body image. I then started binge eating from 15 following my first breakdown as a teenager. My body shape has changed drastically over the years. And I had a preoccupation with it. People take it upon themselves to hate on me for my shape, assume I’m lazy and it’s my own fault. I have tried changing but will power limits itself eventually as it does for many. I didn’t care for my body a lot of the time, I didn’t love myself enough to care for it. I tried exercise but end up in pain. Then I read Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon and it opened my mind to the truth. I won’t lie, it was a healing read. Over the years, more from around 2019 I started to take better care of myself and find ways to heal years of damage. I am now of a higher weight due to medications but I have a lot of positive health habits. I am slowly healing. As I have tried to take care of my body and my mental health in more productive ways, I have learned to love myself. I see myself as a person worthy of love, respect and care. Some days are harder yes, there are days I don’t really want to look in the mirror. But that is just a part of it. Compared to 2018… I am in a far better position.

This is a call to love yourself, love your mind, love your emotions, love your body. You deserve it.

L x

P.S. The next few weeks will be focusing on a series of positive psychology posts 🙂

A name, an identity

Dearest lovely readers,

How are you all faring? Good, I hope.

Let us get straight into this, names and identities are powerful things. They are the things that make our first impressions to others, they are the package of who we are and how we present ourselves. Our identity is composed of many things from what we wear to how we behave and feel and think; it is our values and morals, our labels. Names therefore are massively important because they are what we identify ourselves with, much like a parcel of food is labelled, our name is what signifies the rest of us. When we introduce ourselves, when our names are called, we answer and we show up.

 

Our name is a gift

When we are first born, our caregivers give us a name that they feel gives us the right “identification”. It is a gift to say, you are human, you are a person in your own right, we love you and wish you blessings with this. Now for many reasons, names are changed as people grow. This can be due to transitioning into a different gender or changing a surname as we get married. In essence, we can also gift ourselves our identity on our own terms. For example, we change surnames in marriage to symbolise the coming together of a partnership we have chosen.

 

Names categorise

Having such an identifier is common. Everything has a name. Whether it is a person or a plant, or species of animal. We humans love to categorise and this includes when meeting someone for the first time. We learn so much from the name, we learn how that person will act and behave and make assumptions. We categorise the origin of their name and thus learn more about the person and their history. We can determine if we like people, or what their name might signify. Our brains are hardwired to categorise, it is literally in our nature. Knowing someone’s name makes it easier to categorise someone as a friend, an acquaintance or unfriendly.

 

Differences are evident

In some cultures, the family name is recognised first before the individual’s name. This is important as it symbolises the rich history of a person’s family, and again they can be categorised. Family is important to our identity as they give us our roots from which we build our foundations. However, I have noticed here in the West this can sometimes be ignored and reverted to our own ways of identification.

My own name

Now to be a bit more personal. My name can be categorised as ordinary and common. My surname is Smith, just to give you an idea. I was given my name simply because my mother liked it which is lovely. She loved a name so much she chose it for her second daughter. My sister has a middle name that she has passed onto her daughter – a hopeful tradition in my eyes. It shows the beauty and options of how we decide people may live their lives.

Given I live in a blended family, I adored my step family’s culture, I asked my step-grandfather to translate my name, and thus I was given a Chinese name which I treasure to this day. I am even contemplating changing my surname to my stepfather’s in honour of him. I feel this decision gives me power over my destiny and feel more true to myself. 

Names have so much power, psychology can reduce it to a sound we recognise as us. But names are so much more, we have to sit with them every moment of our lives. There are so many options and reasons why we are given names. They form a massive part of our identity and who we are, how we are meant to live up to them, we respect the gift. Of course, the gift may not always we welcome and people are now free to go by nicknames or change their name altogether, and this is valid. We all have our reasons for changing should the occasion arise. If our identity does not sit right with us it can impact our well-being, our mental state can be hindered. 

Names are beautiful. 

Much love,

L x

Why change can be good

Dearest lovely readers,

I hope you are taking good care of yourselves during these trying and conflicting times. Remember, this is a safe space. Take a moment if you need to.

Now, change is a bit of a funny topic isn’t it? It can be like an urge sometimes. To do something different, from a new hairstyle to changing careers or making changes for our health. Change is where something is different, altered or modified. Change in relationships can occur or states related to well-being. Change can be scary, unfamiliar, it can bring discomfort and fear. Today, I want to explore that a little bit.

Change can bring growth

The term “growth” tends to be quite malleable, it can mean different things to different people, so let me explain further. Changings jobs, relationships or habits might first breed discomfort but that is okay. We need to be able to move from our comfort zone in order to learn more about ourselves, to achieve what we really want, and find more awareness. The chances are, by testing ourselves, we grow. We move to a more authentic space in who we are. For me personally, my biggest change was starting therapy. I was lost in my identity, and had to face the discomfort of opening up without barriers, and I did for the most part. I was asked in the first session what I expected to come from therapy, and despite my knowledge, I didn’t really know how to answer. Session by session I let go of my layers and found myself deep in a phenomenon called post-traumatic growth. In essence, post-traumatic growth is a feeling of relief by letting go of past traumas. After a few months, I started to feel almost enlightened as to what I was capable of. I grew.

Change brings progress and opportunities

This is a big one. Sometimes, to get further ahead, we must actively seek change. Without it, we are not able to find ways to progress in a particular area of life. Change and motivation are required. Opportunities sometimes have to be sought and prepared for. For example, way back in 2016 I had to prepare for university. I sought out opportunities within the mental health community to boost what I learned and make change in society. Speaking out about stigma was a terrifying prospect. Thoughts came like, “can I speak my truth to complete strangers?” It wasn’t until I threw myself in the deep end did I learn how amazing it really was. I developed a new sense of confidence, I started making connections, I increased resiliency and climbed further than I thought I would. Completing university was difficult, as you know, that final year I was dreading trying to come up with a dissertation piece. But with guidance and preparation I created a unique research project that psychology has yet to really enter. Seeking out opportunities, whether they work or not, is good. It means we dare to reach out. It means we can gain new experiences, see the world a different way and find what enriches our lives.

Change allows you to build strength, flexibility, and adaptability

Finding yourself in the midst of change brings a myriad of actions and emotions. By finding your way through every thing that comes forth, you learn to be more flexible and adaptable. Without even realising it, you also build your tolerance, strength and resilience because of the changes. In a way, I was able to do this when working on my agoraphobia and behavioural activation. Through planning my days, and making goals, I was able to be more flexible in how my days looked, I adapted to leaving my home. I found strength in finding healthier habits. I still fall back in to a rut sometimes, that is how recovery goes but I am now able to withstand most changes that come my way. Likewise, in quitting alcohol a few years ago, I was scared about how my social life would look like and losing friendships. But through change, I was able to start going out for meals rather than meeting at the pub, I have far more meaningful conversations and contact.

Change really can bring the goodness out in life, we just need to prepare sometimes, or actively seek it. Don’t be afraid to mix things up, or contemplate what you might like to change. I haven’t always succeeded in my changes but that is part of the process.

Much love,

L x

All about grief

Dearest lovely readers,

How are we all? I want you to check in with yourself for a moment and take a breath.

Today I want to talk about grief. This may be a sensitive topic for some so I understand returning at another time. Grief can be very difficult topic and an even more difficult emotion to deal with. This is because it means the loss of something whether that is the passing of loved ones, pets/companions, a job or relationship. We all experience grief that is as unique as ourselves, given the current climate, I feel there is a collective grief occurring right now. So many of us have lost something in the previous couple of years and it is completely okay to be experiencing grief. If, however, it is taking over your life or you’re wondering if you need to talk to someone, please reach out to someone you trust and a medical professional.

According to Mind, grief occurs following bereavement and is the process we go through. They acknowledge that it can also occur from changes in circumstances. There are two forms. The first being anticipatory grief (when it is expected) and secondary loss (the struggle we have when thinking of the future given the loss or change in circumstances). I think knowing where we are at with our grief can be so useful in understanding the process a little more. When grief occurs it can take many forms and it is emphasised that there is no time limit on how long grief takes place for. There can be sadness, and shock, numbness, panic, and anger. If you lose someone to suicide, then there is a whole host of more complex feelings that arise and that is okay. There is support for everyone out there.

There are many charities that can support you through grief, a primary bereavement charity is Cruse. They highlight that there is no ‘normal’ way grieve. It is common to feel anger or go over the details of the bereavement and have sleep and appetite changes and especially feel lonely. There are ways to circumvent some of this through exercise, sleep hygiene and podcasts. It is okay for grief to be intense at the beginning, especially on specific and special dates. Other ways of finding hope can be through yoga, or journaling, and mindfulness. It is important that if you are supporting someone going through this that you are there to listen.

An important thing to note is that, according to the Mental Health Foundation, grief right now might be compounded with restrictions on visits and seeing others. The changes right now can bring a lot of emotions to the forefront that are difficult to manage. We may experience physical pain and have a harder time of making sense of everything.

My Personal Story

Now, to be a bit more personal, my history with grief is complex. I spent years thinking I had an inability to feel grief. My first memorable loss was my great-grandmother at just 15 years old. I saw her suffering and it was anticipated, she had lived a good life yes, but I was close to her. I internally imploded after her passing causing my emerging traits of a personality disorder. When I lost my two grandparents in the span of 8 weeks I carried on as normal. I didn’t feel much which I felt guilt for. But after a few months, I started behaving irrationally. Grief was not the word I would have used in those moments to describe what I was feeling. Given the way personality disorders can bring unpredictable reactions, I would now say I grieved in my own way as a way of protection. Last year, in the span of 7 months, I lost 4 pets. This is when the grief felt more… natural I suppose. I lost my two guinea pigs which, as you know, were my companions since I had my last breakdown. When I lost Brenda, it felt like my recovery went back several steps and it has been hard finding my footing again. Because I adored them and trusted them, I shared all my emotions with them. I have cried I won’t lie. But I also felt my emotions instead of fighting them. I think that is growth.

All of this to say, we feel grief in our own way, and there really isn’t a right way to grieve. Fighting emotions and thoughts that come up only make things harder. I have had some wonderful family members and a partner to lean on over the years as I navigated these losses. It doesn’t get harder, but a little easier as time passes. Now, after therapy, I do miss my family members, I miss my companions, but it doesn’t rule my life. Right now, when in flare ups, I grieve my past when I was far more able-bodied. I miss not having chronic pain, I miss being more clear-headed. And it is okay that I recognise how my life has changed. I can feel so much more limited, even though I am not. I am learning to adapt and I think that is key here. We must learn to adapt with our changes and losses, it is possible. We must hold on to our love, and walk with grief rather than running away. It is not easy but I can guarantee you have the strength.

I love you all,

L x

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/bereavement/about-bereavement/

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/grief-bereavement-loss/

Understanding grief

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/change-loss-and-bereavement

A humble return

Dearest lovely readers,

As 2021 gradually closed so much has happened. I am now ready to return to the blogosphere, the posts will probably be one every two weeks as I gradually return to the world.

First I’d like to discuss a little of the bad things that happened to me.

Since posting, my heart broke twice. I lost both of my guinea pig companions, first Blossom in September which was long and drawn out. Brenda the week of my birthday in December which happened so suddenly. Losing Brenda shuck me back a few steps in recovery, I was not ready. I also have become more estranged with my biological father through his actions – I’m not as surprised as it happened. He lives around 7 miles away and I haven’t seen him in over a year and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

However, despite all this drama, and upheaval much good came out of the year.

I saw my beautiful sister finally become a bride, and a great one at that. It was probably occasion of the year for me, she was radiant and seeing her so happy was truly wonderful and so pure.

I have found new volunteer work as a Recovery Coach which I’m just starting, it’s all very exciting!

I have decided to change my last name. Names are a funny thing, it’s essentially a sound that we recognise as “us”. And I’d like to explore the phenomenon in a future post. But my surname does not feel like my identity anymore so will be taking a surname in honour of my stepfather.

I have renewed my sense of self, finally love my body, have a determination to move out and find work later in the year. Once. My health problems have been sorted which I’m currently actively trying to do. Because we can’t stay stuck forever.

Mental health services are currently lagging but I’m trying my best to work with them.

So much is happening and to ensure I dedicate time to exploring all things well-being; here is a draft schedule of the topics to come:

Grief and well-being

Why change can be good

Name and identity

The concept of self-love and body positivity

Spirituality and well-being

I hope these topics sound interesting, if there is anything you wish for me to cover, comment or message me on the contact form.

I am really excited about what 2022 has to offer and I hope you are too.

Let me know how you’ve been.

Much love,

L x

[  ] the future[  ] Self-love/body positivity/fat acceptance[  ] A reflection of the year past[  ] Spirituality

It’s been a while..

Dearest lovely readers,

It really has been a while hasn’t it? I can only apologise.

Have you ever felt so lost it’s like you’re on a rocky path that seemingly leads to nowhere in the dark? That is what it seems to have been for me during my period of silence. Everything running out of my control and in ways I couldn’t imagine. If you have ever felt like this, then you’re not alone, I am in solidarity with you.

My health has drastically changed over the last few months and it’s taken some getting used to. I figured, whilst I was in a good place, I’d update you.

Well, I came out with a First Class degree in case you were wondering. Top of the top, my work will also be used as a good example for future students to learn from. So that saw a period of celebration. We also celebrated my partner’s 30th, it was low key but relaxing and an overall good day! My partner has been coming up to see me and will do so again this coming Tuesday since I am struggling so much. It always feels wonderful to be around him.

Mental health wise I have been up and down. I’m currently coming off a medication slowly as it didn’t seem to be as effective anymore. I was happy to do this and honestly? I do feel a bit better for it, I’m certainly not as foggy (though fibromyalgia doesn’t help). I feel a little more free when I am well. The down periods do certainly have an impact lately, I have been easily triggered and ideation is happening more than I’d like. But with the help of my mam, family and partner I’m coping.

Physically I have been rendered mostly bedbound again. The fatigue has been so real, and nigh on constant, as has the ‘fibro-fog’. Which I am sure many understand. The flares have been getting worse I assume due to my mental health worsening.

What makes this harder is the delays in treatment. I have been waiting for two months for a rheumatologist letter to get to my GP for a referral to a management clinic. My therapy for what I’m going through is now paused indefinitely. There is certainly no change coming from services soon.

So what do I do?

The disappointment with therapy being cancelled overwhelmed me. But I had a choice. Let it consume me for weeks or fight to find a way out of this darkness.

So.

I have bought some informative books from very trusted sources and am essentially going to study myself better. Making changes in my life where I can and prepare for my next meetings/appointments so I can question possible things that may help.

I am not giving up. I can’t. What good would that do?

I do firmly believe in things like correct psycho-education and self-help from the right sources, I think a lot of good can be done from that. So I’m off to study.

How are you doing, dearest? I am here.

Much love,

L x

A ramble 2.0

Dearest lovely readers,

It has been a while, hasn’t it?

Things have been tricky lately. I have been on a break on almost everything. Rambles and updates seem to be a favourite so here goes…

I spent a couple of weeks with my partner in the south west. The train down saw me stranded in the rain for a few hours before I got on track to my destination. The stress caused a week of exhaustion. But, despite the worsening mental health, it was still lovely to be beside the sea. I had some beautiful gelato and plenty of hugs and down time.

In the good news, I have just 2 weeks to wait for my degree classification. My nerves are starting to get jittery. I am eager to see my scores. The first part of my future being concluded. It is after all, 5 years in the making.

This week I was told I have fibromyalgia. This wasn’t a shock as such, more an answer and validation of what I have been going through so long. I still have yet to come to grips with having yet another chronic condition at just 25 years old. It can be quite daunting, can’t it? I have realised I have yet to speak of my physical condition history. Maybe my next post? It is all very new to me and I look forward to learning more. It is my hope that in the coming months I will learn better pain management techniques and slowly build up endurance. I may never get to where I once was but I hope to be able to at the very least be functional through my pain.

My mental health has been a greater pain lately. I will be honest and say things are getting worse. I’m reliving things I’d sooner forget. My care coordinator believes there is a strong possibility I have PTSD. So in the coming months I will also be seeking answers for this. I want answers as to what could be causing my dissociation which is occurring nearly every day. In August I hope to have an overhaul of my medication and to start the assessment process.

Now life in general?

I am getting by.

Everything is slowly opening back up. I went to the cinema yesterday and my anxiety was outstandingly high! Clearly, I have gotten out of practice being outside. It is going to be hard to adjust. I saw my two best friends Friday evening which was lovely, but I felt a little… well, I’m unsure. I don’t have many friends these days, but I appreciate those two like you wouldn’t believe. I have many challenges to face it seems.

I have been pondering and reflecting on my life, the way I have made changes. Whilst I am limited, I have faced loneliness. I have faced my other self-states. I am still going.

Whatever challenges you may be facing, I hope you keep going too.

All my love,

L x