Spread a little happiness…for Sarah

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Following my post yesterday I received an amazing reply which was so sincere and kind that it reduced me to tears. This is why I have dedicated this post to her.

I know I take the fact that I want everyone to be happy a little far. I  feel that it is my fault if those around me aren’t happy, I’m scared that I may have caused it, or if I know I haven’t caused it, I can’t fix it, either way I am a failure and a bad friend. I’m going to work on this issue through Schema therapy but knowing that I’m going to have to take a step back from trying to fix everything I thought I’d put some quotes down on here to let those I know know how much I care about them, whilst I am working on not taking their emotions personally.

Your life will be full of people who tell you can’t change the world. Your job is to learn from their mistakes. – Umair Haque

Piglet: “I can’t jump too high.” | Pooh: “But, Piglet, you can touch the sky above.”

Confidence should be about how you allow yourself to feel, not what someone else feels about you.

Your past doesn’t define you. Everyone has an opinion. People will always judge you. That doesn’t mean you have to pay attention to them.

Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. The Dalai Lama

More quotes will come as I progress through therapy or as the mood takes. I’ll leave you with one last thought…

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Unemployment – Trigger Warning

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I wrote this post yesteerday but was having internet problems so couldn’t post it.

So it’s official, my P45 came yesterday, confirming that I am now one of those statistics that make up the “unemployed”. As someone who has been in a very fortunate position up until now and has never been in this situation before, I had a job ready waiting for me after I finished University and have never been made redundant, it hit quite hard.

I know I am neglecting the fact that I’m not fit to work, but the pressure around is continuously building with scaremongering newspapers and the government’s decisions to not support their citizens.

A recent article by Matthew O’Brien for The Atlantic was brought to my attention: The Terrifying Reality of Long-Term Unemployment. Granted it is about US unemployment but it could just as well be referring to the current employment state within the UK and it is the points raised in this article that I will tackle first.

The chances of finding employment decreasing if you have been out of work for over six months seems to makes sense if you are comparing like for like, of course my background is HR and recruitment and if I was presented with two applications and HAD to (remember I am fair) just bring one in to interview it would be the person who had been out of work for the shortest time. I know it doesn’t sound fair, I know there aren’t many jobs out there but at the back of my mind there would be a niggle asking why they haven’t found something yet. But that is if I could only bring one in to interview, otherwise I would of course bring them both in and see who was the better at the interview stage as I know there are many reasons for people being unemployed. If, however, the person who had been unemployed for longer had been doing something constructive with their time, e.g. learning a new language and the other individual hadn’t then I would choose the former. But then I consider the person as a whole, not just a list of previous jobs like some of my contemporaries.

What surprised me was that the study wasn’t just comparing like for like, this statistic was actually incredibly frightening; “There’s only a 2.12 percentage point difference in callback rates for the long-term unemployed with or without industry experience. That’s compared to a 7.13 and 8.95 percentage point difference for the short-and-medium-term unemployed.” O’Brien (2013). Just take that in. You could have worked for 20 years in a job and following a long period of illness have nearly the same chances of being called back as someone straight out of University.

Sorry for the shocking facts, and I hope people paid attention to the trigger warning. It is just astounding, and backs up what I have been saying to my boyfriend. He has been out of work for nearly two years. He woke up one day in April 2011 with intense back pain, no explanation or injury, he just couldn’t move. This of course impacted on his ability to work and had to resign from his job in the August. Just one month into our relationship this wasn’t too much of a problem, I’d just got a new job and my boyfriend was on medication and due to have a variety of treatments, he kept telling me he’d be back at work by Christmas, we’re now looking at Christmas 2013, but that’s another story (sorry I keep doing this to you, it’s not a lure to get you to keep coming back, I promise!).

By August though he had been off work for months so I suggested he did something to keep his mind busy and self improving whilst he was waiting for treatment, but this idea was rejected. Anyway, two years later and with nothing to show for his time but a list of computer games he has played is making me very anxious and actually delaying my recovery by making me so acutely aware that I need to get back into the employment arena as quickly as possible, which is panicking me greatly.

I am determined not to do the same though and have started networking via Twitter, set up this blog for my MH and POTS interests, set up ideas for Jam Jar Bakes for when I feel able enough to be able to bake for paying customers and done more work on my writing. I will also go back to volunteering as soon as I can. I am just as reliant as my boyfriend on waiting for medical treatment but am determined that I will give myself the best chance in life and not let my conditions rob more from me than they already have.

Edit: 22.04.15 12.35

So no sooner had I published this than the following article was brought to my attention: Female Unemployment Total Set to Hit Record 1.5m

The article is based on statistics that the majority of women employed by public services and the majority of those who went in to the new roles that had been created within private companies were male. Other than that the article does not provide much on unemployment. Nor does it take into consideration that some women have chosen to leave their role in order to raise their children in the face of higher nursery prices. As long as it is the woman’s choice as to whether she works or not I do not see an issue with this. Surely it’s all about giving women the choice, not forcing them to do a job which will put them in a worse financial position, will be detrimental to their children and something that makes them generally unhappy.

Twitter – the best & worst of humanity in one handy site

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My fabulous friend Emily wrote an excellent piece about Twitter the other day “How do I love thee?…” it is a lovely, thought-provoking piece about the wonders of Twitter (and I’m not just saying that because I’m mentioned in it).

Twitter has really helped me keep sane over the past eight months or so after I abandoned Facebook realising that it was making my depression worse and worse and that, no offense to anyone I know, but a lot of the stuff on there I just didn’t care about (although anyone I know reading this I care about what you say), nor could I understand people requesting to be my “friend” when they spent the majority of my school years sneering at me (and that’s when they were being nice).

So I was delighted to find this amazing community of people like me who suffer from: chronic pain, POTS, EDS, migraines, dysautonomia, depression, anxiety, mental health issues to name but a few of the things crippling me in my day-to-day life, who support me through my darkest days and who I can be there for too. I can put my efforts into trying to help them too, if I can make just one person feel a little bit better about their day then that means the world to me.

There of course are my other passions that are addressed on Twitter where I have found a wealth of writers, publishers, readers (#UKBookTwits, set up by the aforementioned Emily being a key element of this), bakers, crusaders, campaigners, feminists, kickstarters, music lovers, etc and if everyone just realised that Twitter has such an amazing force for good then the world would be a much happier place.

I was already planning on writing this blog before the tragedy that occurred during the Boston Marathon yesterday but this again showed the force and wonder of Twitter; an outpouring of solidarity and grief as the world watched and people tried to share information.

Since then there have been many blogs written regarding Twitter’s usefulness (or not) during and after this incident. A lot of well-meaning people have been criticised for over sharing information which turned out not to be true, but that’s what happens, people want to help, the jungle drums start, they trust others in these dark situations, as who would take advantage when people are reported to have died? Well a few it would seem, like fake charities being set up within seconds, showing just how depraved some human beings can be. People have also been criticised for not commenting on the bombings that happened in Iraq earlier in the day, but people have become desensitised due to tragically seeing it on the news day in day out. As awful as it sounds, to paraphrase one Twitter writer, we come to expect bombings and death in countries where there is war, not during a sporting event in a country that is not currently being targeted in war.

Every day we hear another tragedy, be it an earthquake, a car accident, a death of someone famous. As Dave Gorman has blogged it is impossible for us to grieve over each and every one. It’s hard to comment on death as everyone handles it differently; some believe everyone deserves respect and others don’t. This again then brings me back to Twitter where everyone must be aware of how it is being used during the past week in respect to Thatcher. I’m not going to comment any further on this and don’t care what people say about me because of it but I don’t want to get drawn in to any conversation which becomes a drama due to some trivial misunderstanding with people drawing conclusions that weren’t there to begin with. All I’ll say is that until you live in someone’s shoes you can never fully understand them, sure you can empatise or be shocked at behaviour but we never really know what is going on for them.

Not only have there been arguments regarding whether Thatcher was divisive of not (yes I have deliberately chosen that particular argument as it is just too funny) but also there has been so much bullying on Twitter recently, some will again argue that it’s not bullying but as a victim of bullying I have to say if someone feels bullied there is bullying going on. Although hopefully I won’t get crucified for my understanding of a situation as this has been a fraught topic recently.

I won’t name names or expressly write about them, as again with the way things have been recently I don’t want it blown out of proportion when all I want to do is help people understand that Twitter can be used in such a kind, supportive way, if that’s what people choose. But I guess life will always have those looking for an argument or finding arguments in places where there weren’t any and one faction (for want of a better word) will argue with another. Why? When I’ve just written about death and war, isn’t there enough hatred out there? It makes me laugh when people write in their bio that they are angry – do something productive with it, turn into passion, see a doctor, anger is NOT healthy or something to be proud of it anger and hatred destroys lives – think Star Wars.

I couldn’t keep quiet at one point and had to say something within one situation as I felt that I must be missing the point somewhere, but no, it just turns out that some people are mean and haven’t got past the name calling, childish behaviour that should have been left in the playground all those years ago.

So this was all going on in my head yesterday, as well as having had regression during therapy which took me back to the start of when I began to develop my schemas around defectiveness, failure & lack of self worth. But I think I should save all that for another day. So it’s no wonder that today I feel like I’ve been run over. My legs ache, my head is pounding, my neck, shoulders and back feel like they are broken. My resting heart rate has been 96bpm at its best and that’s with my lying in bed all day.

Call me naive, call me idealistic but I’m sticking with Twitter because of the good that it brings and can only hope that one day nastiness, bitterness and hatred will all go away.

Until it does I will continue to try to bring some light, love & kindness into the lives of those I follow.

Jx

Boston

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I was starting to write a post about the stresses of the past two days, including the dark side of Twitter, my therapy from today and Atos stresses but with what has unfolded in the past hour or so I have deleted all that and will write it again tomorrow or at some other point as it all fades into insignificance as I think about those who are in Boston at the moment and their families and friends who are waiting anxiously for a call from their loved ones.

I am also thinking about all of those other people around the world who affected by war brought to their streets, wherever they are, lives have been lost to war today. I hope people bear this in mind when having their snipes at each other on Twitter. Some things just aren’t worth it.

Although we don’t know the cause of the explosions yet this quote seems appropriate for all the hatred in the world at the moment.

When the power of love
overcomes the love of power,
the world will know peace.
Jimi Hendrix

Be safe everyone and take care of yourself and others.

I never learn

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Whenever I get a rush of energy I never learn to conserve it and now I am exhausted. Just had an afternoon baking which is the thing I love most in the world but now I am so tired I feel like I’ve been run over.

I wouldn’t feel so bad if it was new but I’ve been dealing with the fatigue and other symptoms as a result for years and years and I never learn that I should still take things steady. It just makes me so excited when I have energy I feel I should do something with it; I probably should have done cleaning as goodness knows I need to as due to my arm pain I’ve not done it for ages.

Ah well, at least I did something I enjoyed and it took my mind of having therapy tomorrow and the prospect of having to go into my history…

Well I’ll try to keep my mind of that again and go.

I think I may sleep until my appointment at 4pm tomorrow, 22 hours sleep would be restorative right?

Jx

Piglet Quote

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Piglet Quote

If you have a little problem, I could try to lend a hand. If you’re feeling sad, just tell me and I’ll try to understand.

Determination

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I am determined to fight how I’ve been feeling.

I’ve not blogged in a week. I know my blogs all appear to be from today but I have copied them from my previous site, which I was stuggling to use, to this one and categorised them as historical.

So what has happened these past 7 days? Pain, lack of movement, a little more pain, feeling down and a few stressful days.

On Monday I attended a group discussion regarding fund raising and I think it was a little sooner than I was able to manage, especially considering the pain. On reflection I’m glad I did it but it was the first time I was with a group of strangers or in a non therapy/medical situation since I was at work. I came out with a cracking headache and my back and neck pain was awful.

Tuesday was my second session with the Schema therapist, one more to go and then the group will start soon. I’m terrified of the group. My therapist has tried to reassure me but I am still so worried. I am really getting to grips with the idea of schema and working my way out of feeling so low and if I keep testing myself by doing things like I did on Monday I think I can get there. I’m not quite ready for another experience like that too soon though.

I am pleased to say since the manipulation the physio did on Wednesday has made my arm pain better and I have a lot more movement in it, which is fantastic. I am still in a lot of pain from my head, shoulders, neck and back but am doing exercises from the physio and had an amazing long soak in epsom salts yesterday which made me feel more human.

So that brings me to today and the thought that if I keep fighting, keep doing as the doctors say, keep listening to my body and not my head so much I will get there…wherever there is.

 

 

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