Daily Archives: September 4, 2016

Sex Drive

Since my brain has changed and I’ve had a full hysterectomy my sex drive is mostly null and void. I love being close with my husband so when we do have sex I like to think of it as something extra special. I usually end up sore afterwards and am reminded of it for a few days.

Today was one of those days that we decided to have sex, it has been a couple months and hubbies body didn’t seem to know what to do with the fact that it was actually going to get some. It makes me feel bad when he has erectile problems but what can we do, if you aren’t allowed to pop your head up, you likely would keep it low too. We did manage to finally get into it and I’m glad. I’m always glad afterwards. It’s the getting into it that I’m not great about.  I wonder if hormones would help me.

I’m going to have to have my physical soon so I will ask then.

Anyhow at least today’s blog wasn’t about depression.

Reblog – Recipe: Lunch in a Jar

A great alternative to fast food or sandwiches! Click on the image or the link to go to the full post. Lydia! Caren McSherry of Gourmet Warehouse shares a healthy recipe for Lunch in a Jar. via Recipe: Lunch in a … Continue reading

Are You Looking To Expand Your Blog Audience?

Around April of this year, I signed up with Dream Big Dream Often’s Partner Program. It was the best decision I have ever made regarding my blog. Danny Ray treats all of his partners well, adding our links to his … Continue reading

Wal-Mart Doors Can’t Tell Me What To Do

I have independence issues.  The fist full sentence I said as a toddler was “I’ll do it myself.”  Seriously.  That’s probably where it all started… *lies down on a therapy couch to discuss these issues*

Having a mental illness (or any serious illness) tends to rob people of independence. If I think a train is about to crash through my wall and I’m running away in panic…yeah, someone’s going to have to help me out with that.  If I’ve got a stubborn brain tumor that keeps growing even though it has way overstayed it’s welcome in my head…I’m going to need help with that too.  Hand over the drugs because I can’t, in fact, shrink it myself.  I’ve tried to Jiminy Cricket or Cinderella this sucker and dream with all my heart that it will go away…but DISNEY LIES.

Anyway, I think because of all of my medical crap and my loose grip on reality, I am always fighting to feel like a normal, respected human.  Maybe I’m even fighting to respect myself.  *puts arm on head dramatically as I lounge on the therapy couch*  The other day, I think I went a little too far.

I was walking out of Wal-Mart.  The sign on the door said “DO NOT EXIT THROUGH THIS DOOR.”  My honest-to-blog thought was, “Eff you, Wal-Mart.  You can’t tell me what to do.  It’s a DOOR.  I’ll go through any door I please!”  It’s not like it was a secret door to an employees only section; it was a clear automatic door leading to outside.  There is no reason why I shouldn’t have been allowed to use that door.  Wal-Mart was just trying to keep me down!  One more reason to hate Wal-Mart!

So I walked through the door.  No sirens went off, and no one stopped me.  I simply walked through, and I was outside.  Then I thought, “HA!  See, Wal-Mart?  You can’t control me!  I WILL DO WHATEVER I WANT!”  I felt jubilant.  I felt triumphant.  Then I felt like a complete weirdo and thought, “Holy wow, I AM crazy.”

Maybe life is about the little things…  I can’t avoid taking pills, I can’t avoid my tumor, but I can stick it to Wal-Mart.  I can be independent and rebellious on tiny things, and if that helps me avoid being rebellious on bigger things, then I say whatever.  Bring on the wrong door.

Stuffing Your Feelings in a Box

We all know it’s a bad idea to stuff your feelings, especially if you then pile food or alcohol on top of them.

The thing is, sometimes you need to suppress a feeling, for just a little while, in order to get through a difficult situation. When that happens, I put my feelings in a box.Cardboard box with the zipper isolated on white background

Here’s an example. My father was dying, and had only days to live. We all knew it. My mother, who didn’t drive, asked me to take her shopping for something to wear at his funeral. “Do you mind if I don’t wear black?” she asked. “If you don’t mind that I do,” I replied.

It was my first encounter with a close family death, and I had to get through this awful, wrenching shopping trip. I had to keep my composure so that my mother could keep her composure. I had to steer her away from a flowered dress, which would have been fine for church, to a navy suit and a lighter blue top, which would be suitable for a funeral but not so somber that she couldn’t wear it for anything else. All while my father lay in the hospital, dying painfully of bone cancer.

My feelings were complicated and I absolutely could not afford to feel them at that time. I had to stuff them in a box and close the lid on them until my mother’s needs had been met. Then I could let them out, in a time and place where it was safe to, in the presence of a person I could trust with those feelings.

When such circumstances arise – and they will, in one form or another – I recommend using a box, one in which the feelings will be out of sight for a while. A box is small; only a few feelings will fit in it. If you think the feelings are going to leak out, you can sit on the lid. Then, when it has served its purpose, you can rip the box open (or gently lift the lid) and feel the feelings. Cry. Rage. Grieve. That’s the important part.

You have to experience the grief or fear or even the crushing weight of guilt in order to come through it and heal.

But why put feelings in a box instead of something stronger? Who wants to feel those negative emotions anyway? Aren’t we better off without them? Shouldn’t you just build a wall around them to keep them from breaking out?

We’ve all tried it. It works for a while. But a couple of consequences go with the practice. First, all of your feelings get trapped behind that wall – the good as well as the bad. When you find yourself disconnected from all your feelings, life is a gray blur. In your depression or anxiety or fear or rage, you may not have had many good feelings. But when you build that wall, you cut off even the possibility of having them.

Second, you’re only postponing the pain. The wall will leak sometimes; your unpleasant feelings will come out some way – in your dreams, around your eyes, in sudden spurts, or trickling back into your everyday life. Worse, the wall may shatter – fail altogether, releasing all those feelings in an unstoppable torrent, only stronger and more concentrated from having been confined. They overwhelm both you and anyone in the vicinity. It’s not pretty. And it’s destructive – to you, your mental health, your healing, your employment, your relationships – to every aspect of your life.

If feelings are behind a wall, you may be able to tell yourself they don’t exist. But if you stuff them in a handy box, you can choose the time and place to open it – and yourself – back up.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: acting "normal", being overwhelmed, bipolar disorder, coping mechanisms, dealing with emotions, emotional pain, emotions, mental health, mental illness, my experiences, psychological pain

On the House (Part 3 of 3)

The Salutation Inn, Doncaster

The Salutation Inn, Doncaster

Part 3 of some Sunday fiction for you, set in the “Bird & Baby” pub, in my alternative version of Doncaster; click here for Part 1, & here for Part 2

Gary reached across the bar of the “Baby” to put £10 in the Firefly tin, but Harry the landlord stopped him.

“A few quid’ll be fine, lad. You’ll need that tenner for your taxi home.”

After dropping a few pound coins in the charity box, Gary drank a fifth pint, politely refused a chaser, then said, “Home? To a girlfriend who doesn’t love me, or a Dad who dislikes me, and a mum who prefers some old moggie to her eldest son?”

He paused, then looked quickly, and nervously, round the tap room.

“Jake went home awhile ago,” Tim the bouncer said, referring to the black-and-white cat who was a sergeant with the Doncaster Constabulary.

Cats can be right teapots at times.

Cats can be right teapots at times.

“You could go to your new home,” suggested Tim, who, despite having spent hours at the bar, had barely touched his own pint.

“New home?” Gary slurred. He reached for his throat, found his tie, pulled it off, then threw it in the direction of the stragglers from the quiz night.

One of them – a scout from the nearby university – caught it, shouted “Goal!”, then went back to her own, rather noisy, conversation.

“What new home might that be?” Gary asked. “’And where?”

“Where do you fancy?” asked Tim.

Gary paused, then said, “Filey. Always fancied the look of Filey.”

“We used to go to Filey sometimes, when I were a nipper,” said Harry. “Dead boring. Nowt ever happened.”

“Exactly,” said Gary. He smiled. It was a genuine smile, this time. “No girlfriend gabbling in my ear, no dad yelling at me, or our Michael, or that flippin’ cat, or arguing with Pete, or … you know what? Pete may be a bit of an arse, but he’s the only one I’ve ever known to stand up to Dad.”

Harry poured himself a shandy.

“Here’s to Filey.”

“Filey!” said Tim.

The three men clicked glasses, and drank to the small, North Yorkshire seaside town.

To be beside the seaside: Bridlington, Sept 2015

To be beside the seaside: Bridlington, Sept 2015

Gary sipped his sixth pint. “Course, I can’t really move to Filey.”

Tim pulled out a mobile, tapped at it for a minute or so, then showed the screen to Gary.

“If you can get a lift to station, there’s the 22:47 to Scarborough. If you book a B & B whilst you’re on the train – don’t sleep on station, whatever you do – you can catch a bus to Filey in morning. Best book it with cash, rather than your card.”


“Harder for your dad to figure out where you’ve gone. Or your girlfriend. Does he know how you feel about Filey?”

“Or your girlfriend?” Harry added.

Gary shook his head. There was a dreamy expression in his blue eyes which was only partly down to beer, and whiskey.

“No. Reckon I’ve kept that part of myself hidden for quite a few years now.”

“Including from yourself?” Tim asked quietly.

Gary smiled, and looked at Tim’s rucksack, which was full of books, pens, and notebooks.

“Reading really does broaden the mind, eh, Tim?”

The bouncer smiled in turn, but didn’t say anything as Gary emptied his pockets, then stuffed most of the contents into his briefcase. Then he handed it to Harry, and said, “It’s probably not your thing, Harry, or Tim’s, but – ”

“I”ll find it a home,” Harry promised.

Time to go home: St Pancras Station

Time to go home: St Pancras Station

Gary shook the two older men’s hands, and looked at his watch. “Thanks.”

“For the beer?” said Harry.

“That’s right. The beer.”

Gary felt a gentle tap on his left arm. Tim the bouncer was holding out a slim volume of Keats, which he had taken down from the shelf over the bar.

“To protect myself?” Gary joked, referring to their earlier conversation. “Don’t I need something sturdier, like the collected work of Dickens, or maybe an anthology of war poets?”

“It’s for your mind, not your body,” Tim replied.

Gary looked at Tim, then at Harry, who grinned.

“It’s on the house,” the landlord said.

Newton measures up: British Library gardens, August 2016

Newton measures up: British Library gardens, August 2016

If you enjoyed this story, please buy an e-book of “Koi Carpe Diem: Five Tales of Paws, Claws, and Mystery”, featuring Inspector Thwaite and Sgt. Jake, or contact me for a signed paperback, featuring artwork by Tom Brown. For more on Jake and Thwaite’s adventures in Ohio, click here.

The sequel collection, “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”, is out soon, initially in an e-book, then in print, as well.

Tagged: A Yorkshireman in Ohio, alternative Doncaster, Books, cats, Doncaster, Filey, Koi Carpe Diem, pubs, seaside, short stories, short story collection, Tom Brown, writing

Fingers Moving, Fingers Typing

Fingers need to move nervous energy prompts them to keep busy Just as my thoughts my mind will not be silent My fingers will not be still so I play Solitaire or now type I imagine myself crocheting as I…

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes Warm flashes Tears held inside Emotions fragile Menopause is a bitch But this bitch can handle itFiled under: Health, Poetry Tagged: emotional fragility, Grief, hormones, Hot flashes, menopause

Poor Puppy


I only count four Kong toys.  She must be sleeping on the fifth!  On her Serta mattress.  She works hard, and loves her Kongs!  Tomorrow I must trim her nails again.  She dropped her Kong today while we were playing, and in true Malligator (Malinois) fashion, she used me as a sort of hinge, grabbing hold of my leg with her claws so she could use me as a springboard.  Another gash, not too bad this time.  I didn’t have to say a word.  She knew she had injured me (again).  I just picked up the Kong, put her back on the leash, and brought her straight home at a smart heel.  Damn Malligators.  They are great at what they do, but you have to expect to get Mallinated every once in a while.  I love my girl, and she loves me.  And now to bed, for me too (no Serta mattress for me, though.  Just the back seat of my van.)

Taking Care of Me Helps Me Find My Best “Me”

Image result for find your best you and do that

Sometimes I feel like I am a child, stumbling along in the dark, and often directly into the path of a bright window, where love radiates and I learn a lesson.  I feel as if I have learned many lessons lately, and the most important one I have learned is this:

I need to figure out what it takes to be the best “me,” and then do THAT.

Throw myself into whatever it is that takes me furthest, whatever makes me happiest, whatever helps those I love the most, whatever serves the greater good but also grows me.

I am a seedling, growing under the care of love and the sun and I am constantly changing and growing and breaking through barriers, yet moving slowly and purposefully as so not to bruise my tender leaves.  I have to be patient with myself and I have to ask others to be patient with me, in turn.

At 35, one might think I should be all grown up and have it figured out.  Let me tell you something:

Anyone that tells you they have it all figured out at 35, they are lying to you with fingers crossed behind their back.

We ALL want to give off the impression that we have it together.  We don’t.  I don’t, you don’t, not completely.  Some parts of our lives are stronger and more figured out than others, but life is a lesson that you keep learning new things about until you are dead.  And if you stop learning, stop growing, become stagnant, your leaves fall off and you die.  You die and you walk around as a husk of a person because you had it in your head that you had to have it all figured out RIGHT NOW.

My goal this week is to be kinder and gentler with myself.  I have been criticizing myself harshly because, as of the last few weeks, I haven’t been as productive (at least traditionally so), as I may have hoped.  I’m going to cut myself some slack though, because I am needing time to heal.

I have been physically under the weather for almost three weeks now, and the mystery illness isn’t letting up.  I have a feeling that stress and strong self-criticism and not allowing myself to just rest and to just be, is what is continuing the sickness.  Not that the illness is in my head, because I think it is very real, just that I am exacerbating it by continuing to expect myself to be Wonder Woman and all things to all people and to check all sorts of things off my “to do” list every day.

So I am taking a break from the harshness of my own voice reprimanding myself.  I am going to try and take it easy.  I am going to try and figure out what makes me the best “me” that I can be, and I’m going to run with it.  Some of my very favorite people in the world are going through rough times right now, too, and I want to urge them, to urge you, to be kind to yourself this week.  To take it a little easier than normal on yourself.

It is positive to motivate yourself to do things, but when your voice turns cruel and you stop giving yourself credit and you decide you are a bad person, just stop.  It really is that simple — stop being so mean to yourself, and give yourself a break.  You will come out ahead, in the end.


Image result for be kind to yourself


Filed under: Life Worth Living Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, BPD, DBT, dialectical behavior therapy, illness, loving-kindness, mental illness, nonjudgmental stance, radical acceptance, self acceptance, self criticism, self-care, self-love