Approaching the anniversary


Grief is a funny thing isn’t it. Well, obviously funny peculiar, not funny ha ha.

I thought I was doing ok, navigating my way through this new emotional type thing not too bad, but it seems to be the longer it gets, the worse it gets.

I think about my Mum all the time these days, remembering little things she did, listening to her favourite songs and even talking to her photograph on occasion.There are reminders everywhere, of a life lived and now gone.

Time has erased some of the memories of the bad times, the traits of dementia that were the hardest to deal with. Everyday I hear stories of other people who are living with this disease and it makes me realise that actually, we were relatively lucky, although bad, things could have been so much worse.

Would I like to go back? In all honesty, no. I don’t miss the person my Mum had become, but I miss the person she was, and it is only after the passing of some time that I am starting to remember who that was.

The caring experience has left me a little broken, of that I have no doubt. Guilt gnaws at me, even though in my moments of clarity I tell myself that I am only human and that I did the best I could at that time.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but sadly not something we can buy, so we carry on regardless.

It’s almost one year.


Come away


I was reminded of this poem the other evening when I saw it hanging on the wall of a friend’s house. It was snapshots of poets and sections of their work. This one stood out. 

It does feel at the minute like the world is more full of weeping. Everyday there are stories on the news of people being killed for one reason or another.

I wonder sometimes that if people could experience the aftermath of their actions, would they still commit the crimes. If they could feel the fear, the hurt and the sorrow of every person they had affected, how would it make them feel.

So much hurt and sorrow, for what? Does anyone even understand what they are fighting for.

None of us can change it, or can we, if we all just stand together.

Time to change the world, one smile at a time.

People tell me to….

People tell me I should learn to say the word no. 

So I do.

I tell myself it is a complete sentence that does not require explanation.

I form the word and then I say it.

But no one listens.

People tell me I should give my opinion.

So I do.

I consider my stance, weigh out the pros and cons as I see them. Then I formulate my reply and verbalise it.

But no one listens.

I wonder sometimes what the point is. What’s the point of saying no, or giving opinions when neither of them are going to be taken into consideration.

Strong and confident people would be listened to, they would make themselves heard.

Me, people just chalk it down to my anxieties, spinning my reasoning away and replacing it with their own.

No one seems to take into account that often my utterance of the word no or my considered opinions are nothing to do with my anxiteies. Sometimes I actually have good reasons or ideas.

It would be nice if people took the time to hear them.

You again?

I’m surprised the waitress never asked me why I ordered for two. The same every time, a cappuccino and a weak black tea.

The tea was never touched, but I savoured every drop of the coffee as I mulled over the events of the last few months.

Table 19 at the little cafe with the blue door. It had been our favourite, but things were different now. I was different now.

So I would sit, staring out the window watching the people pass by, getting on with their lives while wondering if mine was ever going to be the same again as I sat waiting for someone who I knew was never going to arrive.


Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers weekly challenge. Click on the link for all the information you need. Give it a try, it’s a good brain workout!

Me, myself and the Counsellor – Part One

I myself would have been the first person to say that counselling is not for everyone. Now however after having come out the other side, I would say don’t rule it out until you have given it a go.

A desire to go to counselling was something I spoke about for many years, I had this longing to understand where my lack of self confidence had emanated from. It was the same self confidence that kept me from going. The idea of sitting in front of someone and laying myself bare didn’t seem so appealing after all.

Fast forward 10 maybe 15 years and my life had changed dramatically. What had once been low level anxiety and confidence issues were now taking over my life.

In 2012 a bad fall resulted in the need for surgery and then a six month recovery period learning how to reuse my leg. It was during this time I noticed the toll that Alzheimer’s / Dementia was having on my Mum. From that point life was never the same again.

I foolishly thought I could cope with everything on my own. I battled on, because I had to, my life wasn’t just about me anymore, because I was now caring for someone else.

My Mum’s dementia worsened. My Father and I never asked for help, we didn’t think our problems were as bad as anyone elses. Some days we struggled, but we adapted as best we could. This was uncharted territory. My Mum was the one who had been a nurse and would have known exactly what to do.

Unless you have been in a similar situation yourself I could never accurately describe what it is like to be a carer. It’s an emotional roller coaster, exhausting, heartbreaking, infuriating and extremely stressful. No two persons experiences will be the same, so while you can chat with others in the same situation, there will always be things that are new to everyone. One thing that does ring true no matter who you speak to is how difficult it can be and also how life changing.

My days became a routine of worry, on my way to work I would worry about what the day was going to bring and on my way home I worried what faced me there too. I cried a lot, and I also got angry. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to us.  

Along with the loss of my free time I found the aggression the hardest trait of dementia to deal with. My confidence hit rock bottom and I constantly questioned how I handled situations, forgetting that I was human and therefore prone to making mistakes. I was far from perfect, but I did my best. 

I felt trapped and as things got darker so did my thoughts, my anxieties and worries were consuming me.

While I would never have commited suicide or even attempted to, I did have a store of tablets left over from my surgery that I told myself were my get out clause if things got too bad. My escape route. Im only realising now how painful that is to admit, how it would have made my Mum feel, had she been well,  if I had been driven to that point.

I broke down in work frequently, joking when I did that I thought I needed to see a counsellor. Looking back now I think I wanted someone to tell me I was right, that I did need help. Perhaps I just needed someone else to understand, to actually hear me instead of just watching my lips move.

They had heard me. It was only after I had asked for an appointment to be made that my boss told me that had I not decided to make one when I did, then she would have made one for me.

It was on the day of my initial assessment that my life changed. When I told the lady who was eventually to become my counsellor that I thought I was wasting her time and there were people in the world far worse than I, she pretty much told me I was right where I needed to be. At that moment I knew I had made the right decision. Someone else had given me hope and I was grabbing it with both hands. 

To be continued…..

(I was asked by a few people to share my experience of counselling, but before doing so I thought it only fair to share the reason why I needed it in the first place, hence this introduction.)

Always thinking

I wonder how much easier my days would be if I just stopped and took a breath, instead of letting my thoughts spiral out of control. If I took the time to notice my surroundings and relax, pushing the anxiety and worries to one side, if only for a short while. 

Today is the kind of day to blow the cobwebs away. Cool, crisp and breezy with a dusting of snow. The sun hangs low in the sky and warms the soul, not just the green fields and the ice covered footpaths. 

It would be nice to think the darker days are behind me, but I suspect they are not. I’m still working through events of the last four years and slowly coming to terms with where I am now. 

The transition of moving from being a carer to nothing has been a difficult one. I feel empty and like I am no longer needed. But I am, I need me, it’s time I started to look after myself. 

I don’t want to return to the person I was pre counselling, I have grown fond of who I have become. Not perfect by any means, but perhaps a little less flawed. I certainly have a greater understanding of the person I am, able to accept my faults and trying desperately to acknowledge my accomplishments and not just brush them aside. 

Ever changing, but hopefully for the better. 

WhiteoutWednesay ~7

Form a mist,
pink, or blue and star-shape.
No one really knows.

Mystery is derived from love
not particularly stunning.
A hint to cordial love
considered sacred,
according to any black-white heart.

Which goes to show you:
Even within the most modest wrapping beats a strong heart.


Written for White out Wednesday

Check out the link for details on how to enter.