Where I’ve Been and Being Accountable.

Firstly, welcome to my new blogging site, it’s taken me two days to perfect it but as I’m a bit of a grandma when it comes to this kind of stuff I’m sure there will be tweaks needed, so please be kind if you spot a blatant typo or any ‘your content goes here’ jazz haha. It was important for me to have my own little corner of the interwebby-netty-thingy (grandma OK?!) so I could get on with the joy of blogging.

OK, let me be the first to say, yes I know I have been far less consistent than I should be with  new content on my blog, as in utter monkey balls caught in a vice of shame bad, I’ve been dealing with more weeks and months filled with the arduous job of drudging through my plethora of mental health issues (more of that in a minute) and I had to let go of anything non-essential for the sake of my health (I’d like some reality TV sob story music to be playing in your mind right now, you know, for dramatic effect)

Anyways I have decided to take my blog a little more seriously – the blog, not myself trust me when you regularly trip over things that are in their normal place, that you yourself put there and then end up face planting your carpet, it’s basically impossible to take yourself seriously (besides people taking themselves too seriously is one of the great plagues of humanity and I don’t want to get all germy) and I have decided to post a minimum of one blog a week, sometimes it might be more, depending on the week and the general state of my life on the ‘holy shit of insanity-o-meter’.

Right, now let’s get to it.

Where have I been? To be honest I’ve mostly been in my pants/pj’s depending on who’s in the house and I’ve been battling some pretty substantial demons (in my head obviously, I’m not Buffy – even if I did whittle a stake and carry it around with me for my teenage years because I was obviously going to be ‘called’ as the next slayer) Things had gotten too much for me to deal with and I’d slowly started to break down, I’d been medication free for a long time and been doing really well until I wasn’t. So I went to my doctor’s to get a prescription but due to the type of tablets I need I had to go back to my local mental health service, in which I was told numerous times that I talk too much (even though it was a therapist type deal and I was asked to give background) and that I shouldn’t talk like this if I meet a guy (I know WTF right?!) Thankfully this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo so I wasn’t left scarred for life, just incredibly angry, I did however eventually get my prescription.

I should say , in case any of you are being put off asking for help, that this is my first ever negative experience with an NHS community mental health team and it is not the norm to have someone so unsuited to their job speaking down to you like that.

The Quetiapine (my meds) took a while to start working and in that time I found no motivation and little joy doing the things I normally love. Once we had the strength right for me and after about six weeks (can we just talk about the joy of having the courage to ask for help and then the medication taking over a month to start working – after you find the right dose for you of course) I started to feel better but still not myself and that really got me down, I was just fed up and irritable, honestly backslides are so soul destroying. Then it came to me after a conversation with a friend about what I wanted for Christmas this year, the answer, I realised was me.

So I set about making lists (I live for lists) of the things I did that made me happy or brought me stability in my good times, it went something like this;

1.Doing fun/silly things with my son. Honestly nothing brings me more joy than the laughter at bedtime when we are pretending he is a sausage and I’m making him into a sausage roll to sell at my imaginary bakery, but then I get too hungry and gobble him myself

2.Routine. I get confused if I haven’t written out a clear plan for my week.

3. Being organised. I’m messy naturally but I love the therapeutic healing properties of tiny pots to put things in, also if my house is tidy a fog lifts from my brain (yes mum, you were right – tidy as I go)

4. Indulging in my passions outside of acting. (See my earlier blog post, Filling The Void. (originally published in 2015))

5. Looking at my goals that I had previously set and setting new ones. I am a very visual person and when I set my self a goal I see it so clearly in my head, I automatically visualise it which brings me a great sense of lightness which then leads to a happy me.

6.Being present in my situation. This is so hard to do, such a simple concept but in the moments I achieve it, I forget time and just be.

7. Getting my professional house in order. I got a role in a new writing night that is so wonderful and made by incredibly talented group of female theatre makers.

8.Gratitude. Just taking time to think about what has happened in a day that has made me smile, for example, I watched my son drawing and just to see his little hand holding command over a pen and pouring his imagination through it brought *jears to my eyes

*JEARS –tears of joy/joy tears.

No you’re right that’s ridiculous, please forget I attempted to do that, I think it’s best for everyone’s sake! (Stop trying to make jears happen, it’s not going to happen!)

I then went about putting this into action (I spent an entire weekend organising my house down to the minutia)  and I am still in fact putting it into action, writing this post is part of putting it in to action in the fact that, it’s holding me accountable and also it’s indulging in a passion outside of acting.

I think that’s the point here though, you have to keep putting it into action, I personally have chronic depression, anxiety and BPD, so I can’t stop taking medication because I feel great because in case you haven’t guessed the medication is a big part of the reason I feel great! I’m reminded of a quote, which I think is from Susan Jeffers’ ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’,

‘A positive mindset doesn’t last, either does showering that’s we repeat it daily’

I don’t think that is verbatim but you get my point, it’s the repetition, the consistency that makes us great, gives us a slight edge and drives us to keep going. I learned this lesson the hard way but I’m so grateful to have learned it, besides my mum always said you can never just make it easy on yourself and I’d hate to prove her wrong.

I previously mentioned part of the reason I’m writing this blog is to keep myself accountable, so I’ve put my stake in the sand – a minimum of one blog post a week.  I’ve been making notes for over a week or so now about posts I want to write so I have a good jumping off point to make sure I can keep my solemn ‘at least one post a week’ vow.

I’d love to know if you guys are going to try something similar or if you have any tips for me or each other on being accountable, if you do please leave a comment.

I’m going to sign off here, thank you for reading this far, it’s been a long one!

Be kind to each other. Be kind to yourself



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