Friday, 31 August 2012

Friday Form Filling - What have you learned?

Friday brings a sense of relief to many.  That friday high that the week is over and your weekend has just begun.

I have never really felt like this.  Always felt a bit drained, like I had just enough energy to get through work.  No more, no less.  

Although now for me Thursday is the new Friday.  Part timers, eh?

However Friday for me means group therapy.  And although the group are lovely, I do struggle with being part of a group.  You may be glad to know Assertiveness Training has finished, so my posts may change too!  Plus the last week means form filling.
Paperwork & clipboards fill me with test fever
Final week always means forms.  Rating your learning.  I know they have to document outcomes and evaluate the groups but I feel like it's a test.  The perfectionist in me wants to do well, I want to get the right answers and in all honesty I know the right answers but is that really how I feel.  Is it really how I think, would I really react like that.

So did I fill it in honestly,  I think I did.  I must be learning something!

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dentophobia, my fear of the dentist

Now no-one likes getting treatment done at the dentist.  Why would they? However some have more than just a feeling fear.

Me, I have struggled with visiting the dentist since a young age.  I can't remember a specific visit or event triggering this, in fact I just remember all my appointments being bad. 

Like many families it was a 'family outing', only not the kind where you fight to go first!  I would always wait until my mum & brother had been seen, I think I thought they might forget me or wouldn't have enough time to fit us all in.  No such luck.  In fact my time in the chair was always longer than the others.  That much I do remember.

I always needed something done.  Not once did I climb up into that chair, lean back, open my mouth, squint my eyes from the light & hear
Clare, your teeth look fine, see you again in 6 months
This was what I longed for as I stood in the corner waiting my turn.  The smell, the chair, the lights, the instruments, everything was over powering.  Everything seemed so big & made me feel so small.

I had a few dentists as well, which meant explaining my fear over again.  The look of yes, yes get on the chair.  I know to many, especially a dentist, it may seem irrational.  A couple of butterflies, a little nervous perhaps, but my fear is more than that.

I remember an occasion where I got on the chair & after the mirror going in my mouth, the scraping tool (not the technical term) then out the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of my other big fear a huge syringe!!  Within seconds I had jumped across the room, flying from the chair, screeching out.  

Everyone looked at me like I was in the wrong.  But no one said anything about an injection, I wasn't prepared for this pain & I couldn't just sit there.  This was certainly a low point in my dental experience.  Because what was said next has stuck with me 
"Don't be so stupid, it's only a syringe, doesn't even have a needle, get back in the chair & stop being a big baby"
Nowadays a professional wouldn't say that, they wouldn't be allowed, but this didn't just come from the dentist.  

The nurse piped in with "your younger brother was braver than you", another said "the quicker you sit still, the quicker you will be out of here", then my mother. What words of encouragement & support do you think came from her direction, some one who is not keen on the dentist herself
Stop attention seeking, you wimp
Attention! I didn't want attention, I wanted to disappear.  Did I get back on the chair, yes.  Did it scar me for life, yes I think so!

When I turned 16, I was happy that I was no longer made to go to the dentist.

So I didn't go & I didn't look after my teeth.  I ignored my mouth.  I treated pain myself with pain killers.  Lots of them, most days.  I put up with the embarrassment of bad breath.  I did some horrible things to avoid visiting that chair again, avoiding the attention.  I will spare you the gruesome details. 

After many years of pain, last week, I felt vey unwell, had the kind of pain you just can't ignore & since my mental health wasn't great I was running on no sleep.  I had to do something about it.  I was going to have to face my fear & go to the dentist.

To be continued, but do you have a fear of the dentist? Have you ever gone to strange length to avoid that dental room?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

A Recovering Perfectionist

This post on overcoming perfectionism hit home for me, as do most articles on the subject.

Looking back I have been a perfectionist for many years.

I bought into the thinking that you can always try harder.  In fact my parents often said things like
"you were top of the class, great that means you'll do even better next time" 
"you came 2nd in the overall final for your age group for dancing, why not first?" 
What's sad is that it's not just in competitions it carried on through to all aspects of my life.

However the really sad thing about perfectionism is that being "perfect" isn't even perfect enough.

You never really truly achieve anything.  Everything is tainted by thoughts of inadequacy or well it was easy or but what about next time?

So if your a perfectionist, why is everything not "perfect"because your working so hard to achieve it?

That is what goes round my head all the time.  How can you be a perfectionist if everything you do is so crap?

This cycle of thoughts has lead me in the last few years to stop attempting anything!  I mean why would you anyway if you know it's never going to be good enough?

I put off so many things, avoided so many situations & got let down so many times all because of this little word


Although I have come to realise it is this little word & it's big meaning that haunt me most days, I actually like the way it looks, I like what it stands for, I like the way it rolls of the tongue.  The word itself has a hold on me.  Honestly it's like an addiction.  I need to keep a constant watching on my thoughts - look out for the doing it 'right' thinking, the black & white, the perfect or nothing.

But at least I can see it now, I can see how perfectly unperfect I can be!  Guess what the sky hasn't fallen down, the world hasn't ground to a halt & life as they say goes on.

What has a hold on you? What could infiltrate your every thought if you just let it?

Love Mrs Brown xx
Only child's mind could think this freely

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I'm Back!

My boy, 2 years ago now!

I went a bit MIA for a while there.

I did hint that maybe I was struggling a little & had said I would look to blogging in a way that worked with my mental health not against it.  So I took my medicine & did what I needed to do & I just couldn't extend that to blogging.  So I had a break.  No picture, no posts.

More importantly, no guilt.  No beating myself up about what I didn't do.  What I did do was get through it.  I went to my work, I carried on with life & now here I am back with something to post about.

So post is exactly what I will do.  My mood is good today.

I have cleaned the flat, washed the bedding, cleaned the dogs bedding heck anything that wasn't nailed down has been cleaned, washed or tidied.

I had a quick rake through the wardrobe & found a load of stuff with tags on I've never worn & not likely to & I got them on eBay.  Go have a look if you fancy a plus size bargain.   I even got a retweet from Mrs BeBe, still looking out for the little people even though she's now gone all dot com you know! lol

I wrote one post, another post & not another post.  I am riding on the back of a high.  I am using my energy to tide me through the lows.

Hope everyone else feeling good too, happy Saturday!!

Love Mrs Brown xx

Who's job is it to clean the toilet?

In our house in an attempt to appease Mr B we have agreed on a Saturday cleaning schedule.  I know we are just 'so rock & roll'.
This just means we will get through all the boring house chores & get the flat ship shape on a saturday.

So as it's Saturday I get up and as hubby is visiting his gran, I decide I must get started on the cleaning.

When I do something I have got to do it 'right'.  Enter the black & white thinking.

So perfectionist me set about cleaning.

So the usual dusting, hoovering and cleaning got done but me being me went that little bit further so out came the tooth brush.

Old tooth brush, not Mr B's ;-)
So our shower has now been scrubbed with a toothbrush.  Every little nock & cranny was cleaned.

Behind the loo, behind the sink, on top of the medicine cabinet - I even took the hoover to the extraction fan to clear that out of fluff.

Then .....

Anyways I won't detail every cleaning task, that would just be boring.  After hours of cleaning, what did said hubby do on his return home?

Did he ask what job's were his this week? Did he take over? Hmmm


He went out with the dog.  Now this is not about my hubby not pulling his weight, in fact he is the one that does most of the housework & generally just keeps us ticking over!  I am so lucky to have him & he is very supportive.

But I found myself just slipping into a role, into a job that quite frankly I don't really want.  Yet I find myself doing it to the best of my ability.  I sunk my heart & sole into scrubbing & hoovering.

So I ask what is your job?

I used to define myself by my job.  I was a dietitian.  That meant (in my mind) I worked hard for the NHS, I lived & breathed medicine & patient care.  Outside of work all my friends were dietitians, my reading was dietetic journals, my spare time was building my portfolio & my thoughts were filled with food.  It also brought with it a whole lot of inadequacy issues about my weight & health but that is a whole other post!

I know it's not healthy to be defined by your job.  I know there is more to me as a person, but what is this something more?  I have had two episodes of long term sickness in the past 3 years.  That alone should tell me something.  Luckily I am beginning to think it has.

I look at that previous paragraph & note that I have written I "was" a dietitian.  I still am.  I am fully qualified, my knowledge is up to date, and I am back at work.  Something has most definitely changed though.  I am now part time, I am going home on time, I have friends who don't even work in the NHS never mind dietetics! And I have time and space to add cleaning the toilet to my list of jobs.  There is now room to breathe in my mind and that feels good, even if it does mean spending time pondering who's turn it is to clean the loo!

Wow a deep & meaningful post sprung from a crazy cleaning day.

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Friday, 24 August 2012

Depressing shopping or depressed with shopping?

Strangely today, I have woken up with a sense of enthusiasm.  I attended Assertiveness group today & even talked a little.  Yeah, I know me talking in group, that's a first!  So I decided to use my new found energy & keep moving.

Finally returned some things to shop after my online spurge where nothing fitted (but in a good, yeah, it's too big way).  I have been known to keep things even if I don't like them or they don't fit, just because I was never in the right frame of mind to take them back, to have to interact with people other than for work or treatment.  I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous I mean it's a two minute conversation which goes much like this
me: Can I return these please? 
sales person: Is there anything wrong with them?
me: No, I'm sorry just don't fit
sales person: ok, sign here
DONE! Right? Well for me this scenario is missing some massive details.  The first is the anticipation of the above conversation, the overthinking on my part.  What are they going to say about how long I've had them? What if they don't believe me? This I can rationalise & usually get over but not without starting the panic about finding time (in my hectic, however non existent social life), getting parked, business of the shops, what to wear etc etc.  This delays the whole process some time.

Then comes the real mind games.  What does taking these clothes back really mean?  A harmless question you may think, with a simple answer.  For me the thoughts of inadequacy, body hating, low self esteem, not fitting with fashion, not having a sense of style, always getting it wrong all these thoughts are now bound up in the fabric of the clothes I want to take back.  To let you know, the clothes I am returning are from 2 weeks ago, I tried them on that day but it has taken me this amount of time to pluck up the courage to carry out a simple task.

That's what depression does to you.  That's what mental health is all about.  It is about affecting the small things that other people take for granted.  It's more than just being sad.  It's more than just picking yourself up & getting on with it.

Anyway you will be happy to know I did return the clothes, later than the standard return time, so it won't be the first time I have been charged for 1. delivery of said clothes (because I try to avoid people & shopping) 2. returning of said clothes (because I avoided people & shopping) and bear in mind all the money I have been charged was just to try these clothes on, I never actually keep them!  Or if I do they hang in my wardrobe or take up space in my drawers desperately hiding from my husband, someone who never avoids people, I would never even think about being charged for it.

Whilst in the shop, I did see something I did like.  So having tried on the clothes & knowing what size to go for I purchased an actual item today, from a real life shop.  You proud?  I do have a sarcatistic tone now but honestly you can't believe the things depression affects & what your mental health encroaches on.  So without further ado heres a pic of purchased item

Cute owl print shirt from Next
Look familiar? Yeah I posted this picture 2 weeks again when commenting on a failed shopping outing.  The outing that resulted in the online binge.  So I have went full circle & bought what I originally looked at in the first shop I originally went to.  No wonder men say we are terrible to shop with!  Cliche or what??

Have you ever gone full circle & ended up back where you started but happier with your decision because you took the long way?

Love Mrs Brown

ps I now have this shirt in pink too! Twit twoo???

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Running on empty

I have been quiet the past few days, but not because I haven't been up to much.

In fact I have actually been taking pictures & compiling ideas for the blog, but haven't really had the head space to sit down & post.

I found myself starting to get my stick out to beat myself up with (not literally, but mentally can be just as painful) when on my twitter feed this article appeared just at such a great time.  The Life of Cyn just seemed to write everything I need to hear, so for that I am thankful!

I am happy to report that I am taking the advice & going with the flow, when I can, just racking up post ideas & when I can't then that's ok too.  I do feel I some how need permission for my actions, I know this is not true but it makes it easier to know I am not the only one with these issues.

So I will just post some of my pictures & leave the details for another time.

Found in the woods

Running on empty - 3 all gone with no idea how it happened on the same day

The Sun has been out for our last days of summer before the kids go back to school, typical.

Hubby tagged me in this on Facebook, mmmm
As my needle on the energy gauge swings into the empty I finish & bid you good night.

 Love Mrs Brown xx

Friday, 10 August 2012

Inside of the unit

I am back after my blip that was yesterday.

Back to a Friday post.  Friday at the moment is Assertiveness Group day & today's session was about saying 'No'.  Such a small word, how can they dedicate a whole hour & a half to teaching us to use it more often.  
Well they did & it was interesting.  Guilt came up again, this seems to be my favourite feeling, well not so much favourite, more like go to feeling.  If in doubt feel guilty, that's me.
Found these handy notes on
We learnt to look out for the broken record technique (Mrs Doyle from Father Ted, 'Go on' demonstrates this perfectly, sorry bout poor video)

We also looked at the Compassion trap or emotional black mail

These both work well on me, although I usually jump straight to the guilt & sometimes don't even to be prompted by someone else.

This week I have to practice saying No, sounds a bit cheesy but I am sure it works.  Not as easy as it sounds though.

The group was a little late in starting so thought I would grab a sneaky pic of the inside of a 'mental health unit' just so you "normal" people could see what it's like.  After all it is behind locked doors, we are all mental you know.

It's the NHS so a basic room, wallpaper falling off in places.  I suppose I wanted you to see it was no 'Priory' either.

So we sit round in a circle & learn & discuss.

Looks pretty normal right? A bit run down but a nice place, relaxed, understanding & best of all the people "get it".

So you have now seen inside my unit.  What do you think?

I left feeling still a little tired from my week so decided a shopping spree would help.  Boy, was I wrong!

The last weekend before kids go back to school & a roasting hot day just made the shops not a great place to be.  Then add the fact that anything I looked at was not available in my size! Not great for my self esteem.  I did what I usually do when size becomes an issue ........

Of course, shoes, handbags & scarves! My fail safe plan.  These red ones definitely caught my eye, what do you think? Do I really need another pair of shoes?
Good Old Marks & Sparks 
I resisted the urge to buy as just wasn't sure I would wear them, as to be honest most days I am not really this glamourous, especially at the mo, more dog walking muddy shoes than bright sandals.

I did want to treat myself to something so when I got home, the internet took the hassle out of the shops & hopefully I will have a bounty of parcels tomorrow!  That will cheer me up, hubby not so much.

Speaking of hubby, he was away with work so when he got home from airport we decided we needed to get out & make the most of the lovely weather.  So hubby, me, dog & a disposable BBQ headed to our favourite haunt, the country park.
Alfresco Dining, Scottish style
I feel much more content & what a great way to end the week & head into the weekend.  I just couldn't resist the final picture from my boy, Bailey.  Our family dinner in the park

Good bye week, hello weekend!

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tough One

Today was hard going mentally so post will be short & sweet.  This is the bonus of the August Break the pictures tell the story of my day

Toilet seat randomly broke in middle of night, so when I awoke (after taking sleeping tablet) hubby had already fitted a new soft close toilet seat! How random!
Soft close toilet seat, we are going up in the world
 We had a random hot day here in Scotland only I didn't get the memo so was wearing all black, long sleeves & a bloody big scarf! Looked like I was in mourning, or just got dressed in the dark.
23 degrees in Scotland
Went around shops to cheer myself up but didn't help as didn't find anything I liked.  Apparently Owls & Butterflies are the 'in' thing at the mo.
Cute top, but none my size

Amazing scarf, but couldn't justify another when have soo many already
Didn't know what to picture about my psych appointment so thought I'd do a wordle, still very impressed with this!

Night, hoping for a good day tomorrow.

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Funny old day

Today has been one of those funny old days, where things just happen.

My time at work past very quickly, nothing eventful yet not boring or uninteresting.  Does that even make sense?  It was kinda like it was just how it was meant to be.
Anyway my mind was mainly focused on our flat.  Our flat has been on the market for some time now & there's no denying this does get me down a little.  It feels like we are in limbo selling the flat.  We can't plan, we can't look forward to much, just feels a bit stuck.  We are stuck in a crap market, stuck living too far away from my work, stuck with high diesel costs, stuck with no garden for the dog, you get the picture, just stuck. 

We had a viewing last night, & we always go to soo much trouble to get the place looking spick & span, no dog hairs/smell, everything looking immaculate, everything presented nice.  The feedback we've had is that it's a nice flat just people can't afford it just now.  So it's frustrating that it hasn't sold, as no one is saying there is anything we could do to help us take the next step.  The viewing went well, & the girl seemed very impressed & she was an accountant so surely she will have done the sums about what she can afford.  So all day my mind drifted off, imagining hubby calling me to tell me we had sold the flat & needed to get on the hunt for a new house!!  Needless to say I didn't get the call with that news, there was no news, which is still fine.  I have my fingers, toes, legs & eyes crossed that all will turn out well with this one.  So I had to include a picture of the sale sign which has been blocking my view from our living room every day for nearly a year now!
Anyone in the market for a 2 bed flat?
As I said today has been a funny one.  The weather was lovely here this morning, but as I travelled the hour journey to my work it got darker & gloomy.  So our choice of Stovies (a scottish left over dish, like a stodgy soup, tastes soo much nicer than the way I have just described) seemed fine.  However as I drove home it got brighter & sunnier & the pot of homely comforting warm soup just didn't seem to fit with the glorious evening.  But with a pot like this, nothing else for it, but tuck in!
A great soup pot!
So although tasty just not as satisfying as it is normally on a cool Scottish evening.  Doesn't mean it didn't get eaten though!

My last picture of the day, is the obligatory picture of my boy.  With the doors open & him watching the world go by, it really has been a funny old day.  
He needs a garden, right?
As I write this I notice how my time has run away with me tonight & technically these pictures are from yesterday.  It's after midnight & on a school night that's not normally a good sign, as it usually means my mind has kept me awake & my sleep hygiene practice has fallen by the way side, but tonight I'm not in too much trouble as I have a day of for my psychiatry appointment.  Last few appointments were cancelled due to staff shortages, not even sure she will recognise me! We'll just need to see what the appointment brings & what my post turns out like tomorrow.

I finish with praise for the August Break 2012.  I stumbled upon Susannah's website & loved the stuff about writing from the heart & just getting started.  As a recovering perfectionist I have put off many things as I could not do them perfectly or right.  And even when I started this blog I felt myself panicking about saying the right thing or being able to make it look right or adding lots of technical stuff so when I read about the August Break I thought this would be a great place to start.  So although aimed at being a break from regular posts & expressing August through a picture I have found the project to be much more & so very inspiring.  I even had my first comments yesterday, wow was that exciting! Thanks again to those ladies, you really did make my night.

I know my blog is not perfect but that's ok.  I am ok with that.  I'm getting deep so must be time for bed.  Night.
August Break 2012, my inspiration.
Love Mrs Brown xx

Monday, 6 August 2012

In the shadows

Today was a hard day, meeting with keyworker brought up a few issues so my mind was heavy today. I literally could feel the weight of my shadow.

Unflattering but sums up my day
Although the sun is shining, I felt all black, just like a shadow.  All blurry & an empty version of myself.  So this picture just captures today for me. 

To lift myself up (& to get me & the dog out the house! We had a last minute flat viewing, fingers crossed for that)  I took to the park.  It was raining at home but only 2minutes away in the park it was dry & bright, great for someone with a dark mood.

So with iphone in hand I clicked away, the park opened up loads of great picture opportunities.

Here are a few of my favourites
Bugs in the flowers
Sun in the sky

Supporting arm

Directed out of my dark mood
The walking & the sun was enough to show me the way out of my dark mood, to show me the way through today.
Finding my way through the woods

My boy never fails to pose for a pic
I hope today's picks weren't as depressing as my mood & shows how I can alter my mood.  Just hope someone enjoys my pictures.

Love Mrs Brown xx

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sunday Dinner

I have had a lovely day, but I appear to have forgotten to take any real photos to capture the spirit of today.  However I think I may have stumbled upon a deeper meaning for me & the August Break 2012.  I know there is no rules to this project, just a photo to capture August but for me starting out on a journey back to work & blogging I feel it is a great way of opening myself up.  So bear with me on this post.
August Break 2012
I have been playing around with my hair colour for a while now & with pennies being tight wanted to be able to do some home colouring rather than always in the salon.  So now I have an all over colour & today I decided it needed a spruce up so Black Cherry it is!

I haven't done a home colour for a while & forgot about the clock watching that goes on.  20minutes felt very long as I sat in the middle of the room wrapped in old towels terrified to get a drip of purple dye on our cream carpet or white bathroom!

I do love the strange smell of chemicals that comes with home colouring, think it takes me back to my youth, where I loved experimenting with colour.  I think I have been most colours at one time or another, I even had blonde for a while, boy was that high maintenance & a bugger to grow out!

Think it turned out ok & it's always shiny & soft after a semi permanent so thats a bonus, some parts are dark but thats old dark tint but I do like the lively red.
Black cherry?
So I did my hair before meeting my friend for Sunday Dinner.  I haven't seen Rach since the wedding, over a year now & she was my bridesmaid.  She stays a few hours away so it can be hard to keep in touch but usually we never go this long.

When my mood is low, I tend to shut everyone out.  The longer it gets between speaking the more I put it off.  But Rach has stuck with me & for that I am truly grateful.  So when she was up north for a wedding & passing by on her way home I jumped at the chance to catch up in person.

This dinner has been booked for a while, & even though she's my good friend I still felt myself getting nervous as the day went on.  Silly how catching up with a friend over dinner can make you stressed.

That's how I roll these days, I get nervous about what I will say, what people may think & a million other things will race through my mind too but it's never as bad as I imagine, & tonight was no different.

We were running a little late (my procrastinating probably to blame!) but after the initial sorry & stressing about being late, it was just two couples, good friends who haven't seen each in other in ages having a good catch up.  The conversation flowed, topic to topic we got caught up on what we have both been through in the last few months.  The good, and not so good, but we concentrated on the good & what we are grateful for.

So although I leave with a bit of a headache & tired from over thinking everything, my mood is good.  I just need to vow now to try not leave it too long between catch ups.

Life gets busy & I feel like I don't want to bother other people but I'm not bothering my friends.  They are my friends & if they are busy, we can always find another time.  I am grateful for my friends & family & at our wedding I could see the many special people we have in our lives.

This is what Sunday Dinner was meant to be like.  Getting people together, sharing comfort in the food & the company.  To catch up on yourself.  To glance back & reflect but with a focus on the time ahead.

As we drove home, I realised I didn't capture any photos of what really mattered today!  I didn't get a pic of the full table, I didn't get a our hugs as we said hello or good bye (I don't do hugs often, so a pic of that would have been one for the scrap book)  I didn't get my friend I haven't seen for ages or anything.

So in closing this post I think about tomorrow & the photo a day in August.  I think I should try capture the essence of the day.  The photo doesn't need to be posed correctly or shot in the right light but if I am going to take a picture, to take it for the right reasons.  To take it to remember my journey through that day.  To document my day in August 2012.

The sky is light tonight & I wanted to try capture this, but my iphone just flashed & I ended up with the inside of the car & a hint of the fog outside, but I have included the picture as this was my night. A bright clear Sunday night, good dinner & good company.
The inside of the car, on a bright Sunday evening
Love Mrs Brown xx