Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Airmail Christmas - Sign up!

'I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year' - Charles Dickens


There's just 5 days until Airmail Christmas closes for people signing up to it. After the 1st December I will be pairing people up via a random number generator. The response so far has been awesome and I am so pleased! But there is still plenty more room for Christmas wishes to be sent.

Airmail Christmas is a Christmas card exchange that goes around the world. It is open to anyone and everyone! So if you have been thinking of joining in then please do hop on the sleigh and send Christmas wishes to someone you may not know!

Airmail Christmas was started after I cared for a wonderful lady dying from cancer last Autumn. She loved Christmas and felt very strongly that spreading Christmas magic around the world, other than just those closest to you, got people to be more appreciative in this season. This year Airmail Christmas is being dedicated to another wonderful lady - Mama MB! You can read about her life and legacy in this post.


If you're willing take part and extend your Christmas spirit onto other people then all you have to do is this.

1) Email your address (it can be your home, work or anywhere else address that you'd like a card posted to you at) to the designated email address: forrobin_christmas(at)hotmail.com. Please be rest assured your addresses will be held confidentially and not shared with anyone else apart from the person who will be sending you the card. Emails need to be sent by the 1st December 2013.

2) I will then email you the address of someone else that you can send a card to this year.

3) Once you have posted your card all you need to do is wait for the card that you will receive from another generous blogger.

4) Then blog/tweet/facebook/instagram the card you have received. I will do a link up just before or after Christmas.

The only rule is that if you're paired up with someone who lives abroad then you need to be willing to send the card to another country. I hope this will also be seen as a way of connecting with new people. 

I really hope you take part in the Christmas card exchange. When I spoke to Doria about it she was really touched that it's in honour of her Mama!

The more the merrier, so tell your family, friends, blog friends, facebook and twitter (#airmailchristmas) about it! Let's wish everyone 'A Very Airmail' Christmas this year!!!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Counselling

This is a post asking for advice or people's experiences about counselling. I had an initial consultation this week but don't start my 1:1 sessions for a few weeks.

Counselling is something I have wanted to do for a while but I wanted to work out what I wanted to confront before undertaking it. Now I am feeling more sane and focussed from my therapy sessios I wanted to start counselling. I found the initial consultation quite scary. I did not feel ready to talk about recent events but I did feel okay talking about my family. But even just talking about family opened up more than I thought it would. It was amazing to have my counsellors perspective on things.

I expected to feel nervous but I just wanted to put it out there. Have you or know anyone who has had counselling? Has it changed you/them?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Join in Hodgepodge!

Welcome to Wednesday Hodgepodge!



I hope by the end of this week's questions you'll want to take part in my Airmail Christmas card exchange. But for now here are my answers to Joyce's questions.

1) What lesson has failure taught you?

I think failure has taught me loads of things but the main thing is that there is always something to be learnt. As horrid as failure is to endure there is a lesson to teach us in it. And hopefully from what we learn we are better off for it.

2) What decision are you glad you made?

When I was 16-18 years old I really wanted to do midwifery despite very little experience. At the last minute I switched to nursing and I have never regretted it since.

3) Is your tree up and decorated?

No! and I have been surprised too by some people putting up lights etc. We don't put our christmas decorations up until two weeks before xmas.

4) Solitaire, poker, rummy, hearts, go fish, old maid…what game of cards would you most like to join?

I love solitaire and go fish!

5) When you're feeling stressed do you snack a lot or are you more the 'can't eat' sort of person?

I am an emotional eater so the more stressed, the food I eat. 

6) Have you ever reviewed a product or service online? Was your review favourable or not so favourable?

I have often and I am a regular reviewer on trip advisor. I think my reviews vary between good and bad. 

7) What was the best conversation you had yesterday?

I think it was with my dementia patient, sometimes their imagination captivates me! She kept telling me that unicorns do exist and explained in great detail what the unicorn looked like. She described a horse in detail but just the way we were talking couldn't not put a smile on my face.

8) Insert your own random thought here.


Last week I announced I was doing Airmail Christmas for the second year. It is a christmas card exchange between other social networkers. The reason it was started is very special so if you can spare a few minutes and read this post. Then please do take part, it's a great thing to be apart of!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Very Airmail Christmas!

Airmail Christmas is back!




Would you like to take part in a Christmas card exchange with other bloggers and the twitterverse this year?

I was not going to do the Christmas card exchange this year due to everything that has been going on. But I saw Robin's husband in my village the other day and I just thought how could I not? Plus, there's another good reason as this year the Christmas card exchange is in honour another special lady.

I really enjoyed doing the exchange last year and I loved hearing from people what their cards said. I know some people even found some blog pals out of it which is so good. This is exactly what Robin would have wanted! For those of you who did not take part in the exchange last year then please read this post and see why Robin was so key to getting Airmail Christmas started.

But for now (or the next couple of minutes) I am handing you over to Doria, or otherwise known as Monkeybutt on her blog. She lost her mum to breast cancer just before Christmas last year. Here she is introducing Mama Monkeybutt (Mama MB)…

"I remember Mama MB being a strong, beautiful, independent woman. I remember growing up she'd stand up for what was right, she'd stand up for us kids and I'd watched her kick some butt when she had to.  She was one woman who couldn't be stopped.  Nothing ever seemed to bring her down or slow her down.  Mama MB stayed strong and battled through her epilepsy, her asthma, MS and a brain aneurysm.  The less of these I myself  would probably had laid down, pissing and moaning about how bad it was to be me.  She didn't do that, if Mama MB struggled, you'd never have guessed it.  She was always happy and loving, from her kids and family to her pets and yard animals.  Mama MB was a lover of all things.  The biggest heart one could ever wish to know.  Mama MB didn't run any marathons or wrestle any alligators, but she ran her course through life and you know what?  She left one hell of a trail for the rest of us to follow.    

We're approaching the anniversary of Mama MB's death, Mama MB passed away November 26th 2012 of breast cancer.  She fought her battle like a champ. Diagnosed in 2011, she went through chemo and radiation to the brain when the cancer spread.  I remember her telling me, it's so strange not to remember that time.  I can't imagine how she felt about that.  Wishing she could remember.  I remember how happy she was and how she praised God when the Dr reported that the cancer in her brain was gone.  Things looked up, if only for a minute.  

Mama MB never said how long the Dr had given her to live, Mama MB made sure that her children and grand children didn't know the truth.  In the end, when she was unable to know what we were finding out.  We found out the worst, how riddled her poor body was with the cancer. That it had spread to so many places.  That no matter how much I hoped and kept looking up, she wouldn't get better.  

It was a long  hard battle and I can't imagine what it was like for her. I wish with all that I am that I could sit and talk with her, understand what she felt.  To hold and hug her neck and cry with her. I wish I'd known the future. I would have done more!! 
Mama MB is and always will be my strength. I can't see  or talk to her this year. But of all the "thanks" going around this month.  

I'm thankful for my  Mama MB.  Thankful for the time I was allowed to have her in my life.  For the special moments we shared and she shared with my daughter, my father, husband, sister and nieces. Life will never be the same, now that she is gone. But we can all carry a piece of her memory everywhere we go. I hope each and everyone reading this will carry a piece of her with them as well.  

She was spectacular! "

Thank you MB for sharing her so beautifully with us. Airmail Christmas is in honour of Mama MB this year. I really hope you would like to take part and spread Mama MB's spirit globally. It really is so simple!!

If you're willing take part and extend your Christmas spirit onto other people then all you have to do is this.

1) Email your address (it can be your home, work or anywhere else address that you'd like a card posted to you at) to the designated email address: forrobin_christmas(at)hotmail.com. Please be rest assured your addresses will be held confidentially and not shared with anyone else apart from the person who will be sending you the card. Emails need to be sent by the 1st December 2013.

2) I will then email you the address of someone else that you can send a card to this year.

3) Once you have posted your card all you need to do is wait for the card that you will receive from another generous blogger.

4) Then blog/tweet/facebook/instagram the card you have received. I will do a link up just before or after Christmas.
The only rule is that if you're paired up with someone who lives abroad then you need to be willing to send the card to another country. I hope this will also be seen as a way of connecting with new people. 

I really hope you take part in this Christmas card exchange. When I spoke to Doria about it she was really touched that it's in honour of her Mama!

The more the merrier, so tell your family, friends, blog friends, facebook and twitter (#airmailchristmas) about it! Let's wish everyone 'A Very Airmail' Christmas this year!!!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Defining depression

Since starting this journey with depression and anxiety I have learnt so much. I can't define depression exactly because it is so much more than low mood and feeling sad. However, there have been many ways people have explained it to me which has helped me understand so much more. I wanted to share so if you know someone fighting this mental battle. You may understand them a little better.



1) Depression lies.

I think this is what I have heard the most. Depression lies and it loves to make you mask the truth. It tells you you'll think and feel this way forever. It really is like the devil on your shoulder and everyday it makes you question everything, even the things you know to be true. This has been the number one thing that has driven me stir crazy! There have been so many days where people have asked 'you okay?' and I say I am fine because the depression tells me to say it. When in fact I feel awful and so lonely.

2) It makes you believe thoughts are facts.

This is what has brought out the anxiety big time in me. I have always been a big thinker and feeler so when lots of negative thoughts fill my mind they become a fact of life. The most common thought I get is "I'm not good enough" and "People don't like me" because I have or haven't done something. I am learning to write lists against these thoughts but it is hard, because thoughts aren't necessarily facts! But I have this constant battle with myself that if I think it, then surely it must be true?

3) It suppresses who you really are.

In order to get out of thinking and feeling negatively you change things about yourself rather than your lifestyle. All my life I have been a giver and I think what burnt me out was doing too much of this. So I went and did the opposite which made me feel worse. Depression and anxiety almost makes you turn onto the flip side, that surely by doing the opposite will make you better. When in fact it makes you ten times worse.

4) Your sadness is the baseline by which everything else in your life should be measured by.

I think that sentence says it all but this has so much truth! I woke up most days accepting that feeling this way was the norm. I compared everything to feeling down and on my days that were good I would act defeatist by thinking 'well tomorrow I'll just wake up feeling low again.' It was like my good days were outnumbered by the bad.

5) It's your worst enemy but makes you feel like it's your best friend.

When I was going through the thick of my breakdown I did not agree with those words one bit. Depression was my enemy. It is only now that I am seeking help and treatment that I see so much honesty in that sentence. Depression makes you doubt, question and distorts everything good in your life. And I mean everything! So when I tried to explain how I was feeling to people they would often look confused or try to change my approach and attitude to problems. At the time it was the last thing I wanted so I would often to think to myself 'it's a good job I understand' or 'it's only me who gets this mess.' When in fact it was almost like my depression was befriending me to misconstrue my thoughts. By behaving and thinking like this I alienated myself and it's only in recent weeks I have let people in.

I hope by reading this people will understand some facts about how depression and anxiety affect others. It doesn't have any real definition because it changes so much about a person.

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