Thursday, 12 January 2012

Life is what you make it...

I had a counselling session this morning. I've been a bit wobbly for the last three weeks. The cause has come from many sources, all completely unrelated, but have, as a combination, resulted in the weepy Alison returning. Some of the worries are all sorted. Some are ongoing and completely beyond my control. None are to do with my physical health. It was a surprise when my counsellor said I had done very well, as I felt the weepy me was not a success. However, she said I was doing well, I was still functioning normally, so I had done well in dealing with, what she acknowledged were, serious challenges to my equanimity.

I have been practising my mindfulness. This technique involves looking at a fear or a worry, with eyes open so to speak, and then choosing to think of something else consciously.

This has not been the answer to other areas that are concerning me related to my work. I was advised this morning to practise not allowing my feelings to hijack me. Our responses to the demands of others directly affect how we feel. It was suggested that when something very stressful happens, I should mentally create space for myself. Our lives have ebbs and flows, good days and bad days, good times and bad times. It is how we respond to the difficulties that colour our emotions and our psyche.
I need to worry less for others, I need to be much less hard on my self ( this one surprised me!).  I need to learn to take a mental deep breath, and give myself processing time.

It is when things are most stressful and most demanding that the space becomes more vital.

This week, my worries and fears and the demands that had been put on me completely stopped my creative thought processes. I was stuck in a brain made traffic jam. This was causing me to panic. There is a deadline, for which I require my creative thought processes so that I can meet expectations, and I could not begin to prepare to meet it. Yet, last night, I freed up. I dreamt the creative thoughts I need. It was such a relief. I did it by giving my mind the space and sleep I needed. Our minds are wonderful things. I now understand that it is my own responses that create the unhappiness. I cannot control all of them but I can definitely mitigate the effects.

Last week, massage, this week, mind space, maybe next week I'll remember to moisturise the itchy place on my leg...

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My first Award.

The very lovely Becky who blogs here has given me an Award. I am thrilled by this as Becky has been blogging for much longer than me. I do know that this blog is read in lots of countries. I hope it continues to inform and entertain.

Monday, 2 January 2012


I'm really glad I have an appointment with my counsellor this month. I have found the last few weeks very difficult. Hindsight tells me that a punt at a new job was probably premature. It was not the 'not getting it' that made me wobble, but the unfairness of the interview process... I am pleased I got an interview though. I am pleased I found the chutzpah to tell the person who interviewed me that I thought the way she organised the day was unfair. I also realise that I had a lucky escape! I am disappointed in myself that I felt so worried that I might be 'found out' having cancer, for goodness sake!

I found out that Christmas made me very wobbly too. I refused to be drawn into the frantic over preparation for the Feast of Christ. That refusal did not change the fact that the last couple of weeks before the Christmas holidays were tough beyond belief. Thirty hyped up children would, I realise, actually challenge anybody during that period, and many of my much younger colleagues were also on their knees. It took me the whole week before Christmas to regain my equilibrium.

My role as Mummy got a reprise this Christmas. My beloved daughter went into labour early on Christmas Day, she still had not delivered her baby by the end of Boxing Day. Every maternal nerve was twitching. I knew her husband would be, and was, her voice, advocate and help. I rested very uneasily on Boxing Night, awoke extremely worried on 27 December. I was in the shower when Mr G shouted that I was a Granny again, to a boy named Ellis William, weighing 10lb 5oz.  I wept with relief to know they were both safe. The powerful maternal emotions evoked by her suffering were hard to bear, especially as I was helpless. I suspect that the helplessness I felt was felt by others during my treatment!

As the anniversary of my first fears of cancer approaches, I'm considering my future. I'm well at the moment and am looking at my life as a well person. I would love to live a less driven life, but that means changes happening that are to some extent out of my direct control. I'm fed-up that my life is being made harder by the strictures placed upon me personally and professionally by a government I did not elect. I am trying hard not to be the grumpy woman I could so easily be.

I guess the fact that I weathered the recent trying times by wobbling and crying a bit, proves that I am regaining my resilience. I have feared that the relentless crying might return but it did not. We are all entitled to cry and go a bit wobbly. It is hard for those of us journeying with cancer to remember that everyone has down times, is anxious, cries etc. I think we often judge ourselves harshly and feel we should be above such petty issues. 2012 will feature me remembering that my spirit does not have to be invincible, nor do I have to be immune to wobbles and tears. I really hope that I can move my life on the way I want it to go. I'll tell you this, it won't be from the lack of trying :-)