Diary

Mollie And Me

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When we decided to get a dog we considered many factors; Both me and my hubby like walking, he missed owning a dog, I had always wanted to own a dog and I worked part time meaning the future dog wouldn’t be left on it’s own very much.

What we didn’t think about was how good a dog would be for my mental health as I have depression and anxiety. I already know I dislike most people and prefer being in the middle of no where with beautiful scenery (see photo above which I took in the Lake District) and limited amount of people. I also know that I prefer animals to people. What I didn’t know was that dogs are the best type of animal (I thought I was more of a cat person!).

One of the aspects of my illness is that I can be very lethargic and therefore very unmotivated at times but also have a huge guilt problem (as in always feel guilty about letting people down etc) but dogs do NOT like to miss their afternoon walk and will give you little hints (whining) if it looks like you may have forgotten. I feel guilty if I don’t take her so we go out.

As annoying as this is most of the time, when I am having bad days it makes me get up and take her out even if it’s just for a short time. I go across the fields or around the little lakes with her hearing the birds and seeing the rabbits and squirrels (usually with Mollie running full pelt after them) and I am reminded of all the beautiful things in the world. We meet other dogs and people, I can’t say I’m always a fan of this aspect but it takes me out of my own head which can only be a good thing.

Dogs are excited to see you no matter what. If I have a stressful day at work it is forgotten almost as soon as I open the door and a tiny furry thing starts excitedly belly crawling along the carpet and fetches you her current favourite toy. She also doesn’t mind if I can’t be bothered to get dressed or put any make up on either, I get the same enthusiastic greeting.

She is also always up for cuddles (even when I really don’t want them) plonking herself on my knee despite the fact I have a book already situated there which I then have to try and slide out from under her paws. While writing this she is sitting under the table with her head on my foot!

I wish humans could love the way dogs can, unconditionally. I have stood accidentally on her paw before making her yelp (oh the guilt) and she still wags her tail after and wants to cuddle me. We put her in the shower when she is muddy which she is scared of but she still wags her tail after and wants to cuddle me.

I also wish humans view life more like dogs. Instead of constantly thinking of the next thing, living in the moment. She just likes being out and about with me or hubby not caring where or how long for. Everything is exciting and interesting; that empty crisp packet, that stinky pile of dog poo, that leaf!

If nothing else she is my companion, working part time with a husband that works full time means 90% of the time it’s just me and her. She is now lying on the carpet behind me chair because heaven forbid we occupy different rooms!

Out of all the things I have used to try and help me to ease the symptoms over the years I have had my illness nothing has quite worked like owning a dog. Yes they are a lot of work, I suspect a bit like having a child at times, but they are more than worth it especially if you struggle with mental health problems. Animals are not vindictive or cruel, they do only what nature asks of them They don’t plot or try and manipulate, they tell you straight what they want. This is why they are just so much better than humans and we can learn so much from them.

 

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Diary

Sicily

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In mid October last year we went to Sicily and six months later I have finally got around to writing a blog post about it! This was the fifth time I had been to Italy but first time to Sicily. It is the country I love the most out of the thirteen countries I have been to so far and has an extra special place in our hearts being the country we married in almost five years ago.

We stayed in Marina Di Ragusa with our own private section of the beach straight across the road from our hotel (photo above). We like our beach days sitting reading and warming bones that for the rest of the year only get to feel rain and wind but we also like visiting places after all it is a shame not to after going all that way.

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We visited Ragusa old town by public transport from the town center of Marina di Ragusa. It was only a short bus ride and cost less than our buses here in the U.K. This was my favourite place we visited (photo above). The buildings were beautiful and the views stunning. As you can see from the pic above its built going up two hills ( I was reminded exactly how unfit I am) there is a bus that goes to the top if walking up here in the heat (and drinking gallons of water) isn’t really for you.

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We noticed while wandering around the town center of Marina di Ragusa that you could hire bikes, twenty five euros for two for the day. Hubby did some research and found that we could ride our bikes all along the sea front to a small town called Punta Secca. Hubby rides a bike pretty much everyday and does 100 odd mile bike rides several times a year, I on the other hand have ridden a bike approximately three times in the last fifteen years. To say I had a wobbly start would be an understatement but I got the hang of it and was so worth it. Most of it was cycle path and unlike in the U.K the drivers gave us so much room when we were in the road plus the above pic was our view most of the way there and back.

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I loved the little town when we got there with it’s veg on the back of a van and it’s lighthouse. All the buildings were typically Italian, not spoilt by tourism. We had lunch at a little cafe overlooking the sea then went back again, this time I had my bike legs back and didn’t think if I stared at anything other than what was in front of me and didn’t grip the handle bars with both hands I would fall off and die.

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We went on one organised trip that went to Syracusa which had a very impressive square where all the buildings were so huge and white you were sure either you must of shrunk or had arrived at the pearly gates (above) and it had random ruins (below) which my inner history geek loved.

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and the streets were pretty with plenty of shops and my favourite, gelatos!

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And I was also a fan of the doors with its friendly and colourful graffiti ( fiore means flower) rather than “Gaz waz here 16” which we get here.

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The trip also went to Noto which, if I’m honest, wasn’t really worth it. you walk through this arch and then there is one street and that is it.

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We did find an old house in Noto to wander around that cost about two euro to get into. I do love a good stately home, we have visited so many here in the U.K.

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And look at this beautiful flooring, although when it comes to interior showing off our houses definitely win over the Italians.

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Italy is a lot about food of course and we had plenty of pizzas, pasta and ice cream but one thing we had not tried before and were told before travelling that we must try is the Sicilian street food. You can have meat or veggie and it is a snack. I am vegetarian so mine was rice mixed with vegetables inside these bread crumbs and oh my was it good, we both had them more than once during our stay.

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We went at the end of the season so was quite quiet but it isn’t one of Sicily’s most touristy places anyway being quite far from Mount Etna and the islands capital. I would recommend you learning some Italian if visiting here because most people speak none or very little English. It is the first time I have been to Italy and actually knowing a bit of the language has really come in handy. We both loved our holiday there and would go back again to Ragusa old town if no where else!

It really is a beautiful island, a beautiful country with some of the best food and the most amazingly passionate people.

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Diary

I held on to life by my fingernails (written by Karen)

I have written a post over on Depressed Detectives blog all about me and my mental health. Please click on the link below to have a read, thank you xxx

depressed detective

Wednesday 28th March 2018

BLOG TAKE OVER

I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.

**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required**

Thank you Karen for your openness in ‘take over 7’

I was first diagnosed with depression 16 years ago at age 13. I felt like I was in a cage with the bullies, my teachers, friends and parents all looking in and laughing at the stupid girl inside. I wore baggy clothes to try and hide myself and barely spoke at school to decrease the risk of me saying something stupid. I…

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Diary

This is Me …

I collabrated with some truly amazing women over on ourbeautifulchaos.blog please take a few minutes to read it, a cause very close to my heart.

our beautiful chaos

This is me … these three words hold so much, behind the words is a past, a present and a future. I find people so interesting, I love to know peoples stories … what makes them who they are. I wanted to put this blog together to give a platform to some amazing strong, beautiful and inspirational women. Each of these women have and are still fighting battles but they refuse to let these struggles define them … putting this blog together has made me cry it’s made me feel so much compassion for these women and it’s made me so proud to be able to share with you all the stories of these warrior queens. We all had the same end goal, to help others going through the same or similar experiences in life. So, grab a cuppa and have a read … the next stories are that of…

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Poetry

Poetry 12

I died that night.

Under an inky blue sky with stars twinkling.

You reached for my hand and they shone brighter.

The earth moved and you laughed,

Your teeth,

They looked as bright as those twinkling stars.

I squinted at their brightness,

They hurt my eyes,

They hurt my heart.

Then you were gone.

And it was just me holding nothing under an inky blue sky with no stars.

By Lucy Williams

Poetry

A Brick In The Wall

When I was a teenager I saw school like that Pink Floyd song. Even now when someone announces they are a teacher I think “Ah, another brick in the wall”. That’s what they do they hem you in with their unfeeling solidity, they observe from the sides all that happens within but unlike a wall they choose to do nothing.

 Every time you laugh at me

It is another brick in the wall

Every time that smirk crosses your face

It is another brick in the wall

Every time you make a snide comment

It is another brick in the wall

Every time you criticize me

It is another brick in the wall

Every time you stand and do nothing

It is another brick in the wall

Every time you ignore my pleas for help

It is another brick in the wall

Every time you put your hands where you shouldn’t

It is another brick in the wall,

That brick may have been the brick that topples the wall

Crushing me underneath in my sorrow.

 

By Lucy Williams

Diary

The Year Of The Woman

Unless you have been living in a hole for the last couple of months you will know that 2018 is supposed to be the year of the woman. For one thing it has been 100 year’s since some women got the right to vote (it wasn’t until 1928 that women got the same voting rights as men).

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There has also been a lot of focus on the gender pay gap where men are still getting paid more for doing the same job as a woman (see link below).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42918951

Then there has been the launch of the #Metoo hashtag on Twitter by Alyssa Milano that is slowly spreading itself around the likes of Instagram and Facebook. The idea was for all the men and woman who have been sexually assaulted to use the hashtag to show how widespread the problem was. I wrote a post on this blog previously about my own experience which I also shared on Twitter.

https://meandmylovelyhomeblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/this-is-me-at-14/

I found the whole thing quite therapeutic writing about my own experience as it isn’t really something I have ever talked about with my family or friends (although they do know it happened) or anyone at all. I feel a lot of women are under the impression that it is the persons fault that they were assaulted, that it could of been prevented. I assume they are trying to make themselves feel better in the hope that it won’t ever happen to them (oh how I wish I had ever been allowed to be that naive).

From this hashtag and of course the allegations centering around Harvey Weinstein it’s all snowballed. At the Golden Globes everyone wore black in solidarity with the women and men who have been sexually assaulted, not just in the film industry but all over the world in every walk of life. The music industry didn’t want to lose out so everyone wore white roses for the same reason.

Now this is something it turned out I had a problem with and it took me a bit of soul searching to find out why. Obviously it is bringing attention to a subject that was a reality for me for five years which I guess is a good thing especially for young people to see that this sort of behavior is not o.k and also that no one is alone there are loads of us here shouting #MeToo!.

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My problem is this. Some (probably more than you would want to think) of the men wearing black or white roses will have sexually assaulted a woman or man and some (again more than you would want to think) women and men wearing black and white roses will have seen it happen and not done anything.

And this is basically what Kate Winslet was admitting to in her recent acceptance speech.

http://time.com/5123639/kate-winslet-speech-london-critics-circle-film-awards/

Some will feel guilty and some won’t realise that they have even done anything wrong which makes the whole thing a bit of a sick joke really and also rather sad.

Sexual assault will be a part of every day life for more and more woman because when other woman see something they are just relieved it’s not happening to them, because the men who do it are very rarely challenged by other men and because wearing black to an award ceremony doesn’t cleanse your soul.

Despite all this I am pleased that all the above is getting talked about, I guess it is the first step but I am rather cynical in the fact I don’t see anything changing for a very long time maybe I am biased as it has been 16 years since I finally got out of my ordeal and TADA, we have got seemingly nowhere.

BUT I am going to keep talking about my experience because I know I am not alone, I know it wasn’t my fault and I know I won’t shut my eyes to anyone else suffering like people did with mine and are still doing to others.

 

Diary

The Black Inside My Head

TRIGGER WARNING

I always find it odd that people will quite happily go to a doctor and ask for antibiotics for absolutely anything no matter how minor, take painkillers for the tiniest ache but tell someone they need anti- depressants to help keep them alive and jaysus!

Depression comes in various shapes and sizes, some you can manage with some self care, maybe a week or two off work, a holiday but not others. I have, to give mine it’s proper title; Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

I don’t always take tablets, I was on some for a year, came off for five years, have just come off some that I was on for six years and two months down the line so far so good. The problem I find is the constant arguing and fighting the little part of my brain that really, truly doesn’t want to be here, I mean it is exhausting!

I first thought about wanting to die when I was 12/13 and since then that thought has never properly left me. A lot of people consider suicide selfish, do you want to know what I consider my most selfish act? not committing suicide when I was a teenager.

I remember realising at about age 13 that there was actually no point in me being here, yes people would be sad for a bit but then life goes on (well for them) except they wouldn’t of had to deal with my depression because that is the thing with depression it pulls everyone down not just you. To be honest I crave the rest, not just physically but also mentally.

I would say on a day to day basis 80% of my brain is me and 20% is depression so that is a manageable ratio, I can work with that. When I end up on tablets I would say 30% of my brain is me and when I have a meltdown 10%.

Mostly I find I can control the depression part of me with a stubbornness not to let it or anyone else beat me and from nurturing  the talent of ignoring the obvious. Since I have had it for over half my life I have read every book, looked at every website, talked to  people with similar problems, family, friends, councilors, doctors, psychiatrists, nurses. I have done exercise nearly everyday, tried going to bed the same time every night, mediation, yoga, walking the dog, eating certain foods, avoiding certain foods, drinking green tea, avoiding fizzy drinks etc etc etc. One thing I have noticed through all these experiments is, even if they ease the symptoms a bit is I still have depression.

I made a decision a few years back that I will never cure myself of the black inside my head but damned if I was going to let it kill me, I would be dying with it not of it thank you very much! So tablets it sometimes is; when the voice is too overpowering, when I can’t make it through the day without randomly crying like my soul hurts or having several panic attacks, or I barely sleep for the hundredth night in a row so don’t know which way is up let alone go to work or concentrate on anything or, my personal favorite, have a complete meltdown somewhere and have to be rescued by someone ( you don’t realise how many ignorant people there are until you have a mental meltdown, trust me)  before I do something that I really can’t take back or I’m just fricken sick of seeing all the bad memories, the regrets, silly mistakes or whatever on replay in my head. It’s so noisy up there sometimes I could scream.

The one thing about taking tablets for mental health is this TAKE YOUR DOCTORS ADVICE not Joe Bloggs down the road who has never even had depression or Barbara at work who thinks you have nothing to be depressed about. And listen to yourself, will a week off work or a good nights sleep or a chat with a friend mean that you will have the energy to fight this again tomorrow and the next day, and the next……..?

Depression and it’s sidekick anxiety is an illness. I know at some point in my life (usually when I least expect it) I will need tablets again and when that time comes I won’t be feeling guilty about it. I have a life to lead I haven’t got time for days lost to panic attacks and tears, contrary to popular belief we don’t spend our lives feeling sorry for ourselves!

Look after yourselves you amazing lot xxx

Interiors

Wax Melt Review Jan 2018

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A couple of weeks ago I got contacted by Eleanor Rose Beauty over on my Instagram asking me if I would like to sample, with the hope of a review, some wax melts every month. Well I LOVE candles and wax melt’s so getting asked if they could send me some for free was not exactly the hardest decision I have ever had to make!

I will say though that I am NOT being paid for doing this review and I will Not be receiving any money etc through any purchases that people may make with this company.

Below is what she sent me;

  1. CUSTARD APPLE– Pineapple, sugarcane and mango capture the essence of custard apple
  2. GINGERBREAD DONUT– Find a little slice of heaven in rich, indulgent folds of golden gingerbread, spiced donut and vanilla bean.
  3. LUNA– White florals- jasmine, sweet pea and freesia- juicy berries and sandlewood shimmer like moonlight.

I love fruity, fresh scents so was most excited about trying Custard Apple which was the first one I decided to melt. I wasn’t disappointed, it was a strong scent but not over powering and the smell stayed long after (until the next morning) all around the house after it had finished burning.

The second I tried was Luna. I loved the butterfly shape it came in but the smell was too overpowering for me. It smelled like women’s perfume, which was fine, except I think she had put the whole bottle on herself.  We do have a small house and rooms so maybe this scent is more suited to a bigger house and rooms.

The third and final one I tried was Gingerbread Donut.  I really liked this smell, again the scent lasted really well and filled the house, making it smell like Christmas again but my husband wasn’t so keen he thought it too overpowering like Luna.

Overall thoughts

Each wax melt smelt like the description, I could smell mango in the Custard Apple which added a bit extra to the overall smell of apple. The melts didn’t burn for very long, only 3/4 hours but they are only samples so a full wax melt would probably last much longer. Having said that despite them being small and not burning for that long compared to other melts the scent did last for a long time after which is definitely a plus point.

Would I recommend?

The Custard Apple I would definitely recommend and will be purchasing the full wax melt at some point very soon! The Gingerbread Donut only lost out on a recommendation because my husband didn’t like it (sigh!).

Please go and follow Eleanor Rose beauty on Instagram and she is also on Facebook so you can see more of her wax melts xxx

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Diary

I write poetry sometimes

Behind that door, in this room

I can see him

In your face, behind your eyes

I can see him

That way you just looked at me, like and object

I can see him

In your smile, the way you stand

I will always see him.

I write, mostly poetry but I still write. I have no idea if I am any good at it but I enjoy it and find it therapeutic so why not? I use a different name, not uncommon amoungst writers, Lucy Williams. This is for various reasons but the main one is because I wrote an autobiographical book called Behind The Silence and had to change every ones names, including my own (the poem above is taken from the book).

I started writing when I was 16 and nearing the end of rather a bad time. I got things on to paper I could not find the words to say out loud. Then I left writing after I finished school and I temporarily was winning my battle with depression. Unfortunately a few years on and I was back to battling my demons again which was when the pen and paper came out again and my original blog and Instagram page was born.

As you may imagine with depression being the trigger for me to start writing a lot of my poetry is quite dark but I don’t just write morbid poetry I promise (The poem below is taken from Scribbling’s Of An Idle Mind).

I can finally see the sea,

The sun glinting off the waves.

The salty air kisses my skin

Soothing my troubles away.

The white horses gallop up the sand

As I close my eyes and feel

The grains beneath my feet

Filling up the gaps between my toes.

Sitting on the rocks looking out to sea

Listening to it’s powerful roar

Sounds like it is coming for me.

There is no place I’d rather be

For there is nothing quite as beautiful as gazing at the sea.

I find that an extreme of any emotion does usually inspire me to write for instance the bottom poem was a spur of the moment one (not edited) after a visit to my parents!

Neither of my books are solely poetry though for instance the second Scribbling’s Of An Idle Mind has photography also taken by me with each poem and Behind the Silence has a book written like diary entries with poems in between.

I am “writing” a third book called A Restless Heart I use speech marks because this has been the case for approximately a year! As I have said I do it because I love it and I still find it surreal but also exciting that people have brought my attempts from Amazon and not just my mum!

Although my poetry related blogs have now been removed for the most part I do still write and I will still post poems on here (there is a poetry section in the right hand side side bar) and this year I WILL finish that damn book! (The links to my books are at the bottom of this post).

It sucks doesn’t it?

That despite having people like you in my life I kept going forward.

While you were criticizing

I kept going forward.

While you patronized and insulted me

I kept going forward

Now I’m standing looking back down at you still at the bottom

It sucks doesn’t it?

To be you I mean.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scribblings-Idle-Mind-Lucy-Williams/dp/1537416634/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515250238&sr=1-1&keywords=lucy+williams+scribbling