REST IN ETERNAL PEACE CAROLINE FLACK
This journal comes with a heavy heart, whilst laid up in bed full of feelings and hurt that I can’t express vocally. The recent tragic death of Caroline Flack has certainly hit home with me, I didn’t personally know her like many of us didn’t but was still emotionally affected by the decision for her to end her life so tragically, and due to my own current health situation I am feeling pretty low and frustrated with my lack of mobility. The more stories I read about Caroline, the beautiful pictures and captions on her Instagram that I have read, It brings me closer to my own feelings and touches a spot, I find it really sad that in 2020 there are still judgemental people who are quick to express their unwarranted opinions, there is also a lot of ignorance when it comes to mental health and invisible illnesses like mine, fibromyalgia, chronic pain disease, chronic fatigue syndrome along with others the list goes on. I feel like there are no non judgemental platforms to de-clutter my brain and express my feelings so freely but here I am anyway with a hope that people in need reach out for help before it’s too late. For anyone out there struggling with emotions, anyone out there crying out for help please talk to someone, people do care about you, people who you don’t even realise care about you.
Personally for me I can relate to anybody who wishes to end their lives due to negative thoughts consuming their entire lives, obviously I don’t have to deal with online trolls or the bullying nature of the media like Caroline did but different things effect people in various ways and one thing that effects me the most is dealing with spiteful, nasty and vindictive people, this could be online or in person, It doesn’t even need to be directed at me but it still leaves me feeling vulnerable and ill be honest I don’t know why? I appreciate that I am quite a sensitive person and this shows sometimes and leaves me feeling shitty!
It devastates me that anybody could feel so low to want to end their lives and no one not one single person could spot the signs and help. I am lucky enough to be a good talker about emotions and if i ever did have those thoughts I know I have people around me that I would disclose that to. Caroline must have felt so low, desperate, dark and in despair, she was lonely and cried out for help so many times, this breaks my heart REST IN PEACE CAROLINE FLACK.
Due to the recent tragic events in the media and those who ended their lives who didn’t make it in the media eye and with my mental state of mind currently I wanted to reflect on my own feelings and express my emotions freely without being judged. As a person I am quite fiery, I stick up for myself and take no crap of anyone, my friends call me a pocket rocket and sometimes I struggle to hold my mouth. Because of this many people assume that i am a tough cookie, I smile and I laugh loud, I say I’m ok when I am dying inside yet people use that against you. I help and support people when i can barely support myself.
I could be smiling and feeling like I’m taking my very last breath.
People are often very quick to judge, people are still so ignorant to the fact there are invisible illnesses even if they have openly expressed their feelings or been open about their mental health, I feel like i have personally experienced this kind of ignorance, I have had comments like “you look fine” “you look ok” “you look like you have had a great time/week” little do they know the amount of energy one smile consumes, or how long I have had to pluck the courage up to take the kids trampolining or wellie walks, whatever outing it is its never just get up and go, I have to go through the whole emotions, sometimes anxiety wins and I don’t bother going and I am NOT ashamed to admit that. I put my body through the most amounts of unnecessary stress, pain and torture sometimes but while I can I will never ever stop being that fun mum that my kids have always known me to be! To be able to grow with my kids is a gift I will not fail to use.
I always say to people you never know what someone is going through so just be mindful about choices of words, I just want my readers on word press or the wider audience if it ever reaches, to know how to spot someone who is in secret despair, to be able to recognise when someone is hiding something under their smile or pretty made up faces. Do check on your friends and family who have gone distant with you for no reason, do check on your friends and family who say that are ok but maybe a little quieter than normal, look for the obvious signs of someone who is hiding something because anxiety is one of the biggest secrets people hide. If I am in a public place and I start panicking I find the nearest toilet or go back to my car, I have had panic attacks at work I find a toilet and have a panic attack in peace, if I am at home I go and hide in the bedroom, my safe place. I used to hide my secret until I became really poorly with meningitis which brought on a huge flare up of my Fibromyalgia, I thought I was dying and then I started to appreciate life and show gratitude everyday. I then realised that there is absolutely nothing to feel ashamed about, this is a way of life, this is MY way of life and I just have to own it… As do you.
Words are powerful
So currently as some of you are aware I am going through a flare up of Fibromyalgia which has been triggered by bouts of anxiety that was caused by some confrontation i got caught up in. It may seem trivial to some people, but people underestimate how powerful words really are. WORDS can be used as a weapon!!People do need to be kinder, At this moment in time I am knocked off my feet but literally, I have been ordered on bed rest for a week which causes anxiety’s in itself because I have been worried about how I’m going take the boys to football, my daughter to dance, who is going to do the washing, who is going to take the kids to school, how can i tell work that I am not fit for work and that I have been signed off, surely I shouldn’t feel such anxieties for something that has happened beyond our control, but the honest truth is I/we are scared of being misunderstood, we are scared of being judged, I work myself up when I have to explain myself to people, my biggest fear is being misjudged and underestimated. I just want people to know how it really feels to have your life owned by these illnesses. I would say that loneliness contributes towards all of the feelings and emotions that I am experiencing right now. I don’t have that someone that I can rely on, that someone I can count on when I am going through a crisis, that someone I can fall back on and know that everything will be OK because they are there and I can relax… or maybe having that someone there won’t make no difference because I am that independent that I don’t actually need that someone, but I won’t lie maybe I should try to want someone. Maybe there is someone out there waiting to take me under their wing and care for me and love me like I have only ever dreamed of. Maybe one day there will be someone I can share my load with, maybe just maybe.
When I tell people I feel lonely, I hear a lot of the time Nicola you have so many friends, you have family, you are surrounded by people who love you, so many people respect you, apart from the very select few, WHERE ARE THEY? too busy with their own family lives- understandable I guess but 1 thing I can’t stand is people who vow to care, vow to call themselves friends, vow to call themselves family , vow to help when I am in need but when I am reaching out they are nowhere to be seen. Somehow too busy to notice that I am in crisis and need someone. I am very grateful & blessed that I do have my sister who I can vent to and that I am very open with my feelings but sometimes I feel like who actually cares like genuinely cares?
Our visit to Packwood House
Right now I am in this frame of mind where I feel defeated, vulnerable and weak and feel the urge to reach out to like minded people. I feel guilt that I don’t need to feel, I feel like I have failed as a parent, purely for the fact that I don’t jump for joy when I take them out, instead I grin and bare it. Take this half term for example I started to slightly get over my anxiety episodes, panic attacks reduced I had planned a full week of fun, again it took lots of courage, energy and manifesting for me to actually become active and drag myself out. Is it bad that I somehow end up double checking with the kids if they actually want to go and to my disappointment they wanted to go……of course.
I won’t lie the thought of me going to walk around Packwood House National Trust made me want to vomit in my own hands, I started to feel sweaty, I was agitated and very short with the kids.. Once I arrived at Packwood all i could think was lets just get this over with. I must say to my suprise I needed this, this was my date with mother nature, I had been asking the universe for some guidance and it delivered. The smiles on the kids faces made my heart full, their laughter filled the air when they were jumping in muddy puddles, their leg cuddles and pleading to stay for longer gave me a sense of belonging, something I don’t feel when I am at home wrapped up in negative energies, thought processes and the demons of my own mind. Due to the boys football commitments and my daughters dance schedule we don’t get to spend a lot of time as a family so I would want it to be amazing and memorable and I shouldn’t have to psych myself up for it. Don’t get me wrong its not like this all of the time, only when I and mid crisis and flare up.
How am i coping?
People often ask me “How do you cope with being such a busy mum”
The answer to that is I don’t actually know, I just know the love I have for my kids is enough to carry me through the days, love just carries me. I feel like I have to just get on with it because if i don’t do it who will? The truth is as mothers we do anything we can in our will power to do whats right for them, to make them flourish and they exceed in their natural talents and abilities so being their chauffeur, their supporters on a cold Sunday morning and a dance mum makes it all worth it, unfortunately it has its consequences often resulting in terrible flare ups when i’m run down or doing too much.
This time round as i said above I have been ordered bed rest, hence the amount of time that has allowed me to write this journal, journelling helps you to be present in the now, it helps you focus on whats important and clears the mental clutter. I can’t exactly do anything else with what feels like a broken hip and a body full of wound, I’ve had sleepless nights for what seems like forever and I have prayed and prayed for some kind of relief, I get some relief of medication but who wants to be on medication forever? However as per my previous blogs I have always stressed never be ashamed to admit that you need to take medication, who is anyone to judge! So what if you have to take medication to feel some sort of norm. A beautiful colleague of mine who also suffers with mental health has been so supportive and comforting to me she recommended that I have some sort of holistic massage to relieve some pressure, so I did, a lovely lady, Nikki’s holistic’s came and gave me a massage and it released a lot of toxins, she made me feel lighter, my mind felt clearer and de-cluttered although it was a struggle and felt quite painful at points I just knew that it would be so worth it and the results would outweigh the pain.
Most of you that know me personally know that I live a spiritual life, I’m not perfect at it and I do find that when I’m snowed under in football, dance and just everyday mum stuff my spirituality fades a little, i’m not proud to admit that but that is the reality of it. I do have crystals next to my bed, if anything they bring me comfort, particularly my rose quartz stone, this stone is for the heart, so I hold that close to me, I do feel like Im never alone in my safe place (my bedroom) I always feel like there is someone watching over me, protecting me and guiding me always. I did happen to come across the ignorance of just 1 uneducated fool who felt the need to give me her unwanted opinion and tell me that i’m loopy and to go ‘meditate to my f@@@@@g stones’ people like this are the very reason why people find it hard to be proud of who they are, some people find criticism too much to handle and take everything to heart. Luckily I feel proud of my way of life and such ignorant comments don’t bother me fortunately. when I am in a good place and anxiety free I feel at peace with the world, I feel happy and nothing in the world can touch me. I have to cherish these moments of happiness and grab them with both hands and hold them close to my heart because by the grace of God I have been given the chance to flourish. There is never a day that goes by where I am pain free however I know how to handle it and take each day as it comes but I take comfort in knowing God walks with me and forever gives me courage and strength to go on.
Asking for help is so under rated, ask someone to do the washing up, ask someone if they could pop to the shop for you, ask someone if they could help you with the school run and everything else. Never be ashamed of asking for help, I don’t have that many people that I can ask unfortunately but the small amount of people I do have are fab, my kids are fantastic, they fully understand what my illness means, they know how to support me and this just makes me so proud of who I am raising, such kind, caring and compassionate little souls.
So going forward my plan is to rest, regain my strength, have cuddles with the kids in bed when they come home from school. Listen to my body when it’s tired, concentrate on my state of mind and looking after me for a little while because before I know it Ill be back to the hustle and bustle of my busy life. We have so much to look forward to this year as a family, with holidays, little trips away and celebrations, enough to keep me going. We have more memories to make.
In a world where you can be anything be kind – Caroline Flack
I always find some kind of comfort in expressing and sharing my emotions with like minded people, when people have reached out to me regarding my previous blogs it brings me comfort knowing that my blogs are touching people and that I have inspired them to either get the help and support they need or simply just to exchange a few kind comforting words I always say be kind to people because you just don’t know what they are going through and with the likes of celebrities ending their lives because of trolls and social media and also normal everyday people who end their lives because of their poor state of mind and lack of support who knows if someones kind words could have changed the mind of someone who has just had enough of life. Mental Health Illnesses are strife right now and being kind could save someones life. Always be mindful and non judgemental.
For the non like minded people I hope that by you reading this journal it has given you an insight of someone suffering with mental health issues, i hope that it gives you an idea of noticing when someone is suffering in silence, I hope that you think twice before judging someone and most importantly I hope it steers you to do right and be kind to people.
For the like minded people out there who are suffering in silence and afraid to admit that there is a problem, i hope that this journal inspires you to speak out, please do not suffer in silence. I once used to feel ashamed of my conditions, but now all i feel is frustration because it holds me back doing the things I want to do, I will forever be grateful to Fearn Cotton, her books really inspired me to be proud of who I am, what I have and how far I have come dealing with my disabilities.
I look forward to the good days, I promise to make the most out of them and cherish every single fun loving moment while it lasts. I promise to smile more, I am 100% positive that sunshine will fill my heart again and I will be the Nicola everyone knows, i promise to be more kinder, I promise to try and support like minded people. I will help the vulnerable, I will do at least 1 good deed a day, this would be so good for the soul it would bring happiness automatically.. What good you put in must come back to you. Why don’t you try doing 1 good deed a day? watch how this brings such a sense of satisfaction. Since I think more spiritually and lived a spiritual way of life one thing I do every day is show gratitude to God, the universe and our ancestors who protect us and guide us through life everyday.
In my last blog last year I vowed that this year I was going to make as much memories as possible with my kids were only in Febuary and as a family we have already made so many memories that fill me up with such happiness, we have lots to look forward to and when I think about the year that is in store for us my heart could burst. As part of my self healing process and a journey to pure happiness and contentment I also promised that I would reduce the amount of time I spend on social media, I find that when we delve deep in to the world of social media, Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc we are consumed by everyone else’s thoughts and opinions on how we should dress, act and think, when we are in pulled deep into the realms of social media we start to become what we see, we start to pick up on the negative energies, when we scroll and scroll and scroll we start questioning if this is the life we really want, we start wandering if we want more, wandering if we are good enough, asking ourselves do we want better? not feeling a sense of full actualisation. By reducing the amount of time we spend on social media we learn to appreciate ourselves, we have more time for other things that get missed like more family time. Just think the half hour that has just absolutely flew by just scrolling you could have easily just read a book to your child or had a conversation with someone in the room.
Take my household for example, we are a prime example of a family that is consumed by electronics and gadgets and getting conversation out of them is an effort, so I brought in the protected meal time rule. Every dinner time all PlayStations, X-box’s, I-pads to be turned of we sit at the dinner table, we say grace, we give gratitude for the day we have just had and we speak about stuff, the day we have had, school, work, worries or concerns, any of that gets discussed and we smile, we laugh, we joke and for that short time it is the most precious of all.
Thank you for taking the time to delve into the realms of my life, I’ve shared some of my darkest times with you all so you know it’s ok to not be ok, it’s ok to feel scared about revealing who you really are! for years I covered up my anxieties with make up, smiles and laughs but let me tell you, since being so open I have felt happier, I have found it easier to open up, I have found it easier to lift my head up when it starts to drop, it’s also easier for friends and family to recognise when your not being you again and they know when your in need. Don’t be ashamed be you! be you always and be kind!
God Bless you all