Tag Archives: self improvement

Grabbing the wheel…with both hands

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Last week I wrote here about how I was increasing feeling like a passive person in my own life. Always reacting to events happening to me or to those around me rather than actually making things happen!

After writing it then reading it through and chatting it through with you guys who had read it I realised actually it wasn’t so much about not being in control , more to do with being unmotivated and absolutely lacking in get up and go!! Those of you who suffer with poor mental health will realise that this can be a red flag that all isn’t well in the old head! Losing interest in everything , to me certainly is a flashing red light with a siren accompanying it! Only on this occasion , thankfully, it wasn’t a signal of a mental health wobble. It was as simple as feeling uninspired and unmotivated.

So what was I doing to seek inspiration , how was I looking at getting some of that Kelly motivation going?? Well nothing actually . I was sitting around waiting for motivation to find me , for inspiration to ‘hit’ . We’re back to being a passenger in my own life again. Waiting for life to seek me out and kick me up the bum…..hmmmmm think I’ve tried that one many times and strangely enough there’s never a knock on the door to answer with motivation stood there hand outstretched hand to shake

” Hey , I’m motivation -I have been looking for you EVERYWHERE!!!”

Nope on this one Kelly , you’ve got to get off your bum and do this yourself.

The most amazing thing about this story is that I did!!

One of my worst character traits , that winds me up let alone anyone around me is that I’m very much of the mindset of why do today what you can put off until tomorrow! Therefore nothing gets done until it becomes of critical importance and that’s just a very stressful way to live. Someone once observed that I spend an awful lot of time crisis managing when it’d be completely unnecessary if I just stopped bloody procrastinating!

Definitely something in that.

Last week i began to pull it back.

I made arrangements to do things I know make me happy , make me relaxed , keep me mentally healthy. Things that have slipped by the wayside one way or another. I didn’t make excuses to myself about being restricted by time , by money, by my mental health. I just did it . I ran ,I wrote , I went back to a yoga class for the first time in years, I went to my very first art therapy sesson ( blog post on THAT revelation to come) , I’m sat here writing this post rather than draft a title and add it to the hundreds of potential outpourings currently languishing in my drafts folder.

I’m not going to say doing all these things have me on fire , super motivated and out there rocking life. In fact I don’t feel so much different to this time last week. What is different though is that I’m so looking forward to the week ahead. I’m excited to get back to yoga again , to revisit art therapy , to writing some more.

I’ve always been someone who needs to fill her time. The less i do , the less I’m motivated to do!

So here’s to a good week …and as for the world changing super motivated and inspired stuff. Well I’m sure it’s coming .

Watch this space…

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Has blogging cured my social anxiety?

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I’m not sure social anxiety is ever truly cured , not if you’ve always been quite a nervous person. I can’t remember the last time I got the fear though , the people fear.

I can’t remember last time the thought of the self checkouts being shut brought me out in a cold sweat because I’d have to deal with a real life person.

I can’t remember the last time I did the thing where you meet someone new and you get yourself so worked up that you open your mouth to speak thinking to yourself “don’t say something stupid ,don’t say something stupid” only to open your mouth and pure gibberish exits, making the anxiety even worse.

I’ve embraced group situations recently , even groups of strangers . I’ve socialised more.

There is of course the fact I’ve some great people in my life who make socialising fun and who believe in me so much it rubs off on me this has eased the social anxiety.

I do think though that blogging might have been the biggest factor.

It’s not as nuts as it sounds , honestly. Humour me ?

I think the main factor is with blogging I am communicating via the written word. Always my favourite. Some of my raw , honest blog posts would never have been given life if I had to say them out loud. I’m getting better but I don’t find vocalising emotions easy.

So communicating via my method of choice brings with it a freedom.

I can tell my stories without needing to speak out loud . I don’t have to make eye contact , I don’t have to scan peoples expressions to see if they’re bored yet , I don’t have to panic noone can understand my accent.

Written down I can express myself in a way more relaxed manner , that has to be a very good start.

Also when I’m blogging I’m generally talking about something I am passionate about , a little knowlegable about or have strong opinions about. This is really helpful. It means follow up questions aren’t terrifying , I can back up what I’m saying with knowledge or anecdotes.

For a socially anxious person , or me at least , being asked or put on the spot with questions or conversations you don’t have a clue about is just terrifying and horrible and the phrase “wish the ground would open up and swallow me ” really comes into it’s own.

The blogging community helps too. All the little groups of people I never would have known ordinarily. People who have been through similar life experiences as I have. People who are honest and open about the challenges parenthood , and indeed life, throw at you. People whose lives have been really different to mine , but we have this blogging thing in common and a sense of familiarity.

Best of all these blog friends and I , well we again communicate via the written word. Social media is great for that . I think Twitter is my chatty place the most but there I can be chatty girl who doesn’t get her words muddled (too much) I can be semi articulate and free to think myself mildly amusing because the restraints that always held me back ( I blush when people talk to me…like a 5 years old , it’s excruciating) are removed. I suppose as well in this arena if people think you’re a bit of a twat well they’ll just unfollow you or not engage with you , quite direct and effective .

I just realised as well ,as I’m writing I’m using the present tense .

“I blush”

“I muddle my words”

Except , and this is the whole point of the post I guess (ah come off it Kelly when have you ever kept to the point?)

I think maybe spending time blogging , building up relationships with people online. Feeling connections with people . Being free to be my chatty , geeky self well that’s had a knock on effect to my actual real life too. Dislike that phrase ‘real life’ makes me feel like I’ve made up all my online buddies. Can’t think of an alternative though. Anyway spending time building relationships via my comfy method has given me the confidence to then take that out into my world. In all the years I’ve tweeted with folk they’ve always been so lovely and positive (except that spat I had with the Male Rights Activists but they’d not be on my Christmas card list anyway so no great loss) that I feel I am able to be braver and put myself out there with people.

My blog started life as an anonymous one , but people’s reactions to it gave me the confidence to then share it with people I do know.

Putting myself out there , being just me – the girl who loves Doctor Who , Andy Murray and chips. The girl who goes to the cinema and the theatre and for dinner alone through choice because she loves it , the bookworm and the dozy human who can often be found with her clothes on inside out. Well my blogger pals , my lovely twitter folk who I’ll likely never meet all made me feel good about just being her. It’s transferred into my day to day life that confidence.

I went to a group workshop last week ( old Kelly’s idea of hell) and I spoke and I contributed and I got to know a group of strangers because I spoke to them without worrying everyone was going to think I was an idiot…and if they did well I didn’t really mind they were strangers.

I can strike up conversations with people I don’t know without palpitations.

I sometimes even CHOOSE the tills with people at them!

The blushy girl is all but gone ( unless she’s talking to that handsome guy she hangs around with sometimes!)

Blogging has most certainly helped!!

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After The Playground
3 Little Buttons

JakiJellz

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Then I became me…

Emotional abuse is such a complex thing.

Life after emotional abuse , even more complex.

Many of us aren’t even aware we’ve been emotionally abused.

So how do you rebuild? The physical abuse , the sexual abuse well you just have to let literal wounds heal. You have to come to terms with the fact you’re a little changed. You’ll forever be a little more cautious. You know for sure it happened though. You felt physical pain.

Emotional abuse though? Well how can you recover from something you don’t even know you’ve been a victim of? Well if you’re even questioning it I would thoroughly recommend doing the Freedom Programme. I know I talk about it a lot but doing it saved me from total self destruction. I dealt with the impact of the abusive relationship , but more than that I have been able to identify emotional abuse in subsequent relationships . I don’t even mean romantic involvements but just even friendships or any situations where I have to deal with other people. I am confident that now I can pick out a twat in a crowd. They think they’re ridiculously clever but they are so similar they give themselves away very easily.

So rebuilding after abuse I found incredibly difficult. I expected once I left I could snap back into being the girl I was before him. It was naïve, but I believed I’d only be truly recovered when I was back to pre -him me. In hindsight pre-him me I was a teenager, I still had a mum, I wasn’t a mum myself. You can’t just flip back into that . So I learnt that I had to rebuild but as a new version of me. A better version of me. Ultimate Kelly if you will.

Emotional abuse is like a giant game of jenga (I’m so sorry you know me and my analogies)

The jenga tower is set up. On each brick is a character trait that makes you you. Some are little things. Maybe that you love lipstick or that you have a favourite movie. Some are huge : That you are opinionated , independent , intelligent .

At the start of the game he takes the little bricks . Tells you you don’t need to wear lipstick you’re already pretty or that that favourite movie of yours is a bit silly . Aren’t you better than that? He thought you were cleverer than that? He takes them gently and the tower doesn’t topple because these are easy bricks .

Once the easy bricks are gone things get a little more complicated . he has to go for trickier ones . He doesn’t want the tower toppling just yet , not too early he’ll give himself away. You see that brick with your best friend’s name on though? Yeah he needs rid of that and its going to be tricky because it’s one that’s helping hold the tower in place. You’ve played jenga though haven’t you? You know the key to removing the tricky bricks is confidence. Just in and taking it , you falter you’ll lose. He mentions he overheard your best friend talking about you , laughing at you , she’s only friends with you because she feels sorry for you . Just like that the brick is taken . The tower looks more vulnerable now . It could fall at any minute.

He’s not going to lose the game though , no way . Not after he’s put so much effort and time into it.

There’s one block holding things together. Keeping the tower upright that everything is resting on. It has self -belief written on. It’s the belief that you know you are strong and that you are loved and that you are worth so much more than him. He can’t let that stay. He can’t take it though either , people will realise what he is doing. So he talks you into taking that block yourself. Tells you you’re ill , you need help. You are paranoid and delusional and you need him to take care of you. With shaking hand you pull that block yourself and hand it to him.

The tower topples.

What was once a combination of all the things that make you you is now just a heap of bricks on the floor .

The bricks stay like this for a while . You accept your lot. You’re broken , defeated and there’s nothing you can do.

Then. One day. Maybe the day after you throw him out of the game for good , maybe it takes weeks or months or even years you begin to rebuild. All on your own. All the original bricks are back , stacked and stable . The tower looks strong , but you’re aware that it would only take a few lost bricks to make you vulnerable again. So you add more bricks to strengthen the structure , to make it so strong and stable it’s almost indestructible. Bricks you didn’t even have access to originally.

You add a strong support network , you add therapy and counselling and knowledge. That Freedom Programme brick makes your tower a super structure. The self worth brick , the confidence brick , the trusting yourself brick they are all pretty hefty ones too.

You see I’ll never be the pre-him me ever again.

To become the post-me him I had to take on board more character traits that I’d never needed before . I had to become brave and self secure and independent. I had to become resilient and tough and focussed.

All the bits that had previously made me me had been demolished . I had to round them all back up again , then I had to find a few more for back up.

Then I became me .

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Calling 2017 me ??? Please come back! 

If you read my blog from time to time you’ll have read me going on ….and on …and on… about how 2017 was a great year for me ,on a personal level . I ended the year on a high. I felt I was getting to know myself a bit better and more importantly I was finally at ease with who I was as a person. The voices that have echoed in my brain for so long after toxic relationships that told me I was stupid , and unloveable and ugly and boring? I was able to quieten them easily as I’d finally  gotten to a stage where I genuinely didn’t believe them to be true. 

I’d dismantled the KEEP OUT tower I’d built around myself in order to keep people away (I wrote about that here ) and realised that actually I do like people , I do like socialising . I still value my own space and company and my solo dates but I like being around other people too.

So all these big progressions were made last year , the Eureka moment of spending some time alone at Edinburgh Fringe Festival was a huge highlight in overcoming my negative demons and all in all I finally felt like I was getting to grips with ‘me’ . Not mummy , not mum but Kelly . My children are getting older now and sometimes I feel not quite as necessary as once I was and had begun to wonder who I am when I’m not mum. I started to find her last year.

2018 what have you done with Miss motivated??? Is she on holiday? Ran away to the circus? Took this finding herself stuff too far and at a silent retreat somewhere? Mmmmm……silence…..

I don’t know why but that woman who was gonna smash the life out of life seems to have retreated. 2018 has been on the whole a little flat , unmotivated and the discovering and working on myself thing that was so important to a positive year last year has gone.

Well this is the call to arms. I want her back. I want her to continue this journey. You know what we need for that? A list!

So last year to begin all the ‘finding myself’ ( am rolling my eyes as I type this feeling like a self indulgent loser – but I promise I’m not ignoring the kids ) Bloody hell I’m a mum , discovering yourself is a thing you can only fit in when they’ve ditched you for grandma’s house! I came up with a list of things I wanted to do before the year was up. I don’t have one this year , and I’m motivated by lists ,they’re my thing. So here’s this year’s to provide a kick up the arse.

Keep writing the book.

Again mum guilt makes me feel bad here . How dare I spend time doing something I want to do? You know what though , it’s that or Celebs go Dating so this is probably less harmful. The Book is something that’s been on the go a while but with 4 kids will be a slow process. I just need to keep at it and not let it slide.

Go to Edinburgh festival again

Revisit the spot of my victory!!! In a total out of comfort zone thing though not alone , not semi alone , not alone at all! (Sssshhh with a  man!!!eeeeekkkk) Scary and intriguing and exciting. Most of all very very exciting.

Stand up for what I believe in

I’ve spoken here on this blog about my respect and awe for our young people right now . That they are trying to make changes and get stuff done. Well that’s well and good but what am I doing to make a difference? Sitting on a sofa and applauding them? Nowhere near good enough. On the centenary of some women getting the vote I think the phrase “deeds not words” is very appropriate . 

Give my blog some love

My blog is no big hitter in the world of blogs , but it has grown lately and is growing. I had vowed to myself that I’d go self hosted before LAST years BlogOn but I’m such a coward I’ve not yet managed it . This year though….for definite.

Go to a dance class

I’d been toying with the idea as a bit of exercise and after doing some research there are loads of options for a total beginner with 2 left feet like me – watch out Strictly. 

So there we are ,the 2018 list. 

I actually feel more motivated just for writing it down you know , told you lists rock!!
I’ll (like it or not ) let you know how I get on!!


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”Cup

 

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2017 – The year the ice queen thawed so much she almost melted!!!!

I know , I know I’ve bored everyone with my 2017 was great going on. Personally for me it was a game changer. I found myself content with who I am, comfier in my own skin and quite inspired!

I wrote a blog post  a few years back about I identified with Elsa from Frozen ( it’s here poss worth a giggle) She obviously has a better wardrobe than me though. She had her ice palace and snowy bouncer to keep people away. Me , I had a self built metaphorical wall built 10 ft high around myself with big KEEP OUT signs plastered all over it. (I apologise in advance for how much I’ll use the wall analogy but that’s just how it is in my head )

I’ve been called cold quite a bit in my life. I know I’ve demonstrated being a little unfeeling and harsh at times.In reality I was just numb and turned off feelings to get me through tough times. It was a very unhealthy coping mechanism I know now, but it worked to get me through at the time.

Last year though , that KEEP OUT wall fell, hopefully never to be seen again.

I think the reasons were threefold

1) years of therapy

2)This blog , writing about the feelings I can’t vocalise means I do at least deal with them

3) The main one : good people

I’m incredibly lucky to have my sister , you all know how she’s my most favourite human . The woman is so good at advice and she doesn’t even realise she’s given it!!! Even during the wall years there was always a little catflap open for her to get in!!!

Over the past couple years though I have had people come into my life and ever so very,very gently with their kindness and patience and consistency take down that wall brick by brick. Not in like a wrecking ball (sorry Miley) smashing it quickly and brutally but more removing each brick one by one quietly and calmly so you don’t even notice until the wall is no more (sorry I did warn about the wall)

When you’ve been emotionally abused you often ignore kindness and acts of friendship and love. As always I can only tell my story, but I find acts of love and kindness overwhelming.

I don’t trust them.

I didn’t feel worthy of them for so long,I just assumed anything positive said about me was a lie.

You see in previous toxic relationships grand gestures had been thrust upon me . Affection was bestowed so intensely then used as a weapon withdrawn completely and cruelly as punishment. I didn’t want to put myself in that vulnerable position again.

I guess this is why my sister is so vital. I know she loves me and wants the best for me without question. I trust that about her and everyone needs that.

So it’s easy to put compliments down as insincere, you can disbelieve nice words, that’s easy …. Only sometimes people enter your life who don’t just take the ice queen at face value and leave her be.

For someone who has been emotionally abused THESE people are vital , the healers. Consistency is key – you can ignore compliments and kind gestures initially but when they are consistent and as low key as you need then eventually you begin to believe them. That’s when you let people in…..(wall alert) you’ll begin to pull down that bloody wall yourself because you want those people in. It’s a truly special thing and I’m grateful to have enjoyed that in 2017.

That ice queen is gone , hopefully for good. The woman who couldn’t have stood a hug is now a cuddle fan , she’s a bit slushy on the quiet , her cold little heart beats warmly.

It can be a lot to take letting these emotions in . I’ve become a bit of a cry baby and I feel in 4D …. I’m still a learner with these emotion type things but I’m getting there and I’m enjoying it!!!



 

JakiJellz

 





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Being more kind….

It’s world kindness day.
Out of everything I hope my children grow to be , kind was always a huge one. I always thought if I could just bring good , kind , compassionate people into this messed up world than I’d have achieved something parenting wise.

I’d like to think I am kind. I certainly try , there’s always ways to improve on that though isn’t there? So I’ve been thinking of ways we can be a bit kinder in everyday life and I’ve come up with a few ideas:

Compliment people

Depending on how brave I am feeling on any given day I really like to tell people if they look nice or if something they have done is great or if I’m in awe of them.

I’m the person in the clothes shop changing room who tells you you look gorgeous in that dress and you must buy it , I’m the person in the supermarket who empathises over a toddler tantrum.

I’m really only mostly any good at this with strangers though! I struggle with telling people I know that they are amazing. I always worry I don’t sound genuine , I think that’s part of my social anxiety rearing its ugly head but I’m going to try harder.

Make people’s lives easier 

If you ask me to do you a favour I’ll try my best to , as most people do. What about the favours that go unasked though. What about the people desperate for a little help but would never ever ask . Maybe I could nip in there and save them from that. Take soup to a pal feeling under the weather . Be the listening ear on the phone to the friend who is trying to keep it light hearted but you can tell really needs to vent. Be more instinctive I guess would help with this , go with my gut feeling , if the person I attempt to help doesn’t want it then that’s cool but try at least.

Let people know you care

Especially people who you love but have fallen out of touch with , the friends that have fallen by the way side but you miss. I’m a letter writer (I know I’m like a Victorian!) it wouldn’t take any effort just to send a note or an email or a text to those people . Enough of I keep meaning to…and actually do it!

Rein in Ms judgypants 

I like to think I’m not a judgy person , let’s face it ,when you are me and your day to day life resembles a chaotic shambles you’d have a bloody cheek to judge anyone else. Sometimes you do though , I’m ashamed to admit it but I have to if I’m being honest. Just silently in my head I may contemplate strangers choices but it ends here.

Help with loneliness

I don’t mean force yourself upon people who actively choose to be alone (like me most of the time) The mum who has come to toddler group that first time though , terrified of the mummy mafia not tricky to make her a cuppa and make her feel welcome. Listen to the person who is sat next to you on the bus giving you their life story , you might be the only person they’ve spoken to all day. Get the kids to make extra Christmas decorations or cookies and take them to people who are on their own over the festive period.

In all this extra kindness though , don’t forget about yourself. It’s often ourselves we’re the least kind to , we’re the most judgy of and we don’t help enough. As the saying goes you can’t pour from an empty jug and if you’re all out of kindness towards yourself you’ll struggle to pass it on others.

Have a well-done Wispa when the kids are in bed finally , tell yourself you’re doing a great job , have half an hour with a trashy mag to recharge your batteries.

Self kindness is key!

Happy Kindness Day!!!

Do you have any kindness tips to share?