Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Years Eve

I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish all my readers, commenters and friends a very happy new year
It's hard to believe that another year has passed
And 2016 is just around the corner
I sincerely hope that he coming year is a good one
I guess it's down to me to make that happen
2015 started well
I was in a good place
Mood was good
Weight was stable 
Purging was at a minimum 
But the past couple of months have been tough
And I'm struggling to bounce back after my second bout of pancreatitis 
However 
I am fighting hard to get on top of this slip 
Before it turns in to a complete relapse 
Purging is a problem again 
And am purging up to five times a day 
I know 
This is not good 
For my physical health
My mental health 
It's a merry-go-round that's nigh on impossible to get off 
I don't want to stArt off the new year on a bad foot 

So happy new year to you
Where ever you may be
Who ever you are 
Thank you for reading this year
For commenting
Texting 
Emailing 
For supporting me 
For being there
For being honest with me even when it's hard to hear
Thank you for never judging me
For being a friend 
For catching me when I fell
For helping me put myself back together after I fell apart
For cheering me on through the good times
And never turning your back on me through the tough times 
Your words 
Your thoughts and wishes mean more to me than you will ever know 
I'm so grateful for this community 
Dwindling as it may be
It's a life line 
It's having human contact when real life doesn't provide it
I hope that the coming year is a good one for you
I hope all your hopes and dreams come true 
That tou meet all your goals and aspirations 
I hope the year is full of laughter and love
That it's the best year yet
Because you deserve it
We deserve it
God knows we have suffered enough 
If you make one promise this new year
Promise to be kinder to yourself
We are our own worst critic
Our very own bully 
We are so very hard on ourselves
And that has to stop
We need to look after ourselves
Because if we don't 
Who will?
The next time you go to best yourself up
Or tear yourself down
Stop
Think
Would you say this to a friend?
To a loved one?
I'm willing to bet not 
So why do we do it to ourselves?
Please 
Just be a bit nicer to you
You will feel the benefits 
I promise you

Happy new year
To you and yours 
Let's hope it's a good one....

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015

As is usual at this time of the year
I've been looking back over 2015
The ups and downs
The highs and lows 
It's been an eventful year to say the least 
It's started out with poor little Honey having an operation to remove her eye
After a rather nasty infection killed the sight in it
The poor thing was in a lot of pain
And every time we went to my vet
We came away with no answers
So we decided to go to my Dads vet
Who operated immediately after seeing her eye 
I can remember being so worried
That she wouldn't recover
That something would go wrong
She came home the next day 
And was incredibly groggy for a day or two
But after that 
She made a remarkable recovery
And was back to her cheeky self in no time
The only thing that is different is that she doesn't always come for walks now
But that's ok
That's her perogative 
When Lea and I go out
Honey waits at the side of the house for us to come back 
And gets so excited when she sees us coming 
But still
It would take a lot more than a missing eye to stop Honey

I don't even want to mention what happened next 
You know what I mean 
The Boy 
I had temporary lapse in judgement early last year 
When I began meeting The Boy
And soon found myself smack bang in the middle of a relapse 
This was a really tough time
As I struggled to make sense of my feelings for him 
And also the infamous poppy tea
My mum and sister found out
Prompting one hell of an argument between us 
It was a horrible time
One that I don't think of very often 
So the less said about it the better me thinks 

In April
We did the darkness to light walk
Which is becoming a tradition every year
It's in aid of suicide prevention 
So it's all for a good cause

Then came summer 
We brought my nephew to Belfastfor his birthday 
I shaved the side of my head 
I got my nose pierced 
Which I still love to this day 
My mum had her retirement do 
At which I made a speech
I had my birthday in September 
Then headed to Istanbul at the end of month
October we went to Cork for a few days 
November we got the news that my brother signed a two book deal
Then this month 
I had another bout of pancreatitis
Which was a blow 
But I am doing my best to get over 
And of course Christmas 
Which was lovely 
And in between all that 
I did various interviews and writing pieces for different on line publication which was amazing 
Yes it's been a rollercoaster of a year
But I wouldn't change it for the world 

Here are some photos from the last year...





















Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Tuesday 29th December

It being Christmas 
And it being a bank holiday
I was at the doctors today 
Instead of yesterday
The surgery was unusually quiet
I took a seat 
And looked up to see a man from the meetings coming towards me
I actually smelled him before I saw him
Which is a terrible thing to say 
But it's the truth
This man would be considered by many as the town fruit loop
And resident weirdo 
I don't see him this way
And see nothing but a very mentally unwell person
A person who drank and drugged too much in their youth
A lonely man 
A very sad man
He spotted me straight away
And made a bee line for me 
The smell off of him was pungent 
Stale alcohol
The scent of not having washed in weeks
I have to admit
I don't particularly like meeting this man 
As he can be very inappropriate 
He is the same man who asked me me very loudly in a waiting room if I had a problem with food 
So needless to say I am wary of him
He came over when he saw me 
Sat down beside me 
And said I looked well 
Which I don't 
But anyway 
He took out a little bag
When I saw it 
I was reminded of the One Direction bag he used to sport earlier in the year
He asked if I had a pen
I fished in to my bag and found one
Just at that moment my name was called by my doctor
I told the man the keep the pen
And followed my doctor in to his room 

Before I had even sat down 
He started telling me about a fabulous new book he was reading 
He sat back in his chAir as he spoke 
As though he was in his element 
After a few minutes
He changed the subject 
And asked how Christmas had gone
I told him it was lovely and low key
He asked about my eating issues 
I told him how I think I need to address a few issues in that regard
And I hope to see Mary in the new year
He also asked if I was purging much
I said I was
A bit 
But in truth 
It's spinning out of control again
When I got home from hospital two weeks ago
I was really charged to make some changes to my lifestyle 
My eating 
My purging 
The food I choose to eat 
As well as generally looking after myself 
But 
Old habits die hard as they say
And I'm finding it difficult to make any real  change 
My health has never been a priority 
I've never cared enough about myself to put my health first 
I guess that comes from not caring if you live or die 
And I felt that way for a very long time
Now 
I want to live 
I do
But again 
The habits of a lifetime
And the beliefs of a lifetime prove so very hard to change
My doctor wrote my script
And I left wishing him a happy new year 

I can't lie 
I feel I am heading head first for a relapse 
I am now on the cusp of being underweight
The prospect of this both thrills me and terrifies me
But the thing is 
Even though I know where I am headed
And I know how this story ends 
I am finding it incredibly difficult to stop
The numbers are going down at an alarming rate
I've lost 21 pounds in the last 7-8 weeks
I worry about that
I don't want to put my family through this whole nightmare again
And even in weight terms 
I think I look better when my BMI is around 22 - 23
At the moment I look pale and wan
Weight loss is always really visible in my face
I'm just hoping I can get some top
Up sessions with Mary 
I'm also seeing my psychiatrist in the new year 
So I'm hoping to get some extra support there 
So yes 
I am struggling at the moment 
It's been a combination of factors that contributed to this slip
The navy trousers that didn't fit
My being hospitalised again
I always lose weight when I am unwell
And I guess that's not unusual
It's just really hard to bounce back from that

It's tough though 
I know a lot of us here on blogger are struggling at the moment 
I think at times like this 
We need to stick together 
Look out for one another
Support each other 
Sometimes we are all each other has
I feel your pain
I really do 
I know what it's like to feel afraid 
Alone even though you are surrounded by people 
I know this thing we call ED can ruin lives 
Not just of the sufferer 
But of everyone around them
The thing about EDs
Is that the one person who can decide to get well
Is the one person who doesn't want to get well 
I know from being on both sides of mental illness
That being a carer or a supporter is not easy 
It's frustrating beyond belief 
And it's hard work
Sister no 1 is really struggling at the moment with depression
It's so hard to see her like this 
She's withdrawn
Very quiet 
Spends a lot of time in her room
She started taking her meds again
So we are hoping that will help
But the next few days are going to be busy here 
And I know she will find that hard
We are all just trying to be there for her 
Make sure she is warm and comfortable 
Giving her space
But also plenty of hugs 
The thing is 
That we as her family 
Feel so helpless 
There is little we can do to ease her suffering 
Yes we can be there 
But we can't take her depression away 
Just like my family can't take my illness away 

But as ever
We will persevere 
Keep fighting the good fight
And keep hoping and believing in a better life 
What is the alternative?
Lie down and give up?
No 
That is just not an option
We as a family have been through too much to give up now 
That's just not our style 

2016 is just around the corner 
I'm hoping it will be a good one 
What are your hopes for 2016?

Monday, 28 December 2015

December 28th 2015

I must say
We had a lovely Christmas 
It was quiet 
Low key
Informal 
Just me
My parents 
Sister no 1 and sister no 2
And my 15 year old nephew
Dinner itself was fine
And over dessert we had a very interesting conversation about constipation and diarrhoea 
Only in my family.....

As you know 
My parents separated about 15 years ago
My Dad lives about an hour away 
He comes to stAy with us regularly 
And spent a few nights here over Christmas 
It really is quite the revelation that my family can all spend time together never mind the whole of Christmas 
Growing up 
Christmas was not a good time 
Much alcohol and drugs were taken 
It always ended in tears 
Since we moved here ten years ago
My mother has declared it an alcohol and drug free zone 
Which is great as everyone is clear when they come here 
They must behave 

So yes 
Christmas this year was lovely 
My dad stayed until yesterday
It always seems 
That when my dad goes home
He texts us the things that he would have really liked to say to us 
I got a text last night thanking me for a lovely few days 
And to give the dogs a hug from him 
Mum got a text saying thanks and that there is a lot of love in our house
My mum and I worried that he had been drinking before he sent those texts
But I am fairly confident that he knows that if he drinks 
He loses all of us 
The whole family 
So I'm hoping and praying that he isn't

The next week or so will be busy 
Relations coming to stay 
Our house transforms over night from a quiet country home
To grand central station 
My Auntie B is coming on Saturday
And my uncle and nephew are coming in a couple of days 
Also my sisters partner will be with us for the new year 
I'm only making one New Years resolution
And that is to save money 
Rather than spend it 
Apart from that 
I am not really making any 
But that could change too

I was wondering about you
Are you making any resolutions this new year?

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas Photos

Every year at Christmas
We do secret Santa
So everyone buys for someone 
And there is a limit of €50
I was buying for sister no 1 this year
I got her some really good body lotion
And moisturiser 
My Dad was buying for me 
He got me an apron with dogs on
A diary with dogs on
Some soap and socks from Avoca
Those of which you can see below in the photos 

In other news 
I have neither lost or gained weight over the holidays 
Yes
I Am weighing 
But it's to make sure I don't slip in to the underweight category more than anything else
My Dad told me that if I lose anymore weight
He will be really angry with me
I kniw that I am just on the verge of a very bad relapse 
And am doing my best to not let that happen 









Saturday, 26 December 2015

St. Stephens Day

Its  the day after Christmas Day here in Ireland
Some of you may know it as Boxing Day
Or the day after the night before
We are all having a chilled day here
After the hustle and bustle of yesterday 
I was the first one up Christmas morning 
I got the dogs out of bed
Let them outside 
And went to wake up the rest 
Mum was up next 
So we opened our presents 
I got some lovely gifts
Avoca soap and socks 
An apron with dogs on
And a diary also with dogs on
My family know me well
After the present opening
My mum and I went to 9 30am mass
Which I slept through 
But what I did hear of it was lovely 
Then we came home 
And the rest of the family emerged 
The dogs werent forgotten either
And in total got three stockings between them with toys and treats 

Dinner was a joint effort 
Although my sister really did most of it 
And what a delicious meal it was 
Turkey and ham
Roast potatoes as well as boiled
Carrot and parsnip mash
Stuffing 
Gravy
And of course Brussels sprouts
Christmas dinner would not be the same without them 
I did my best with dinner 
And ate a small plate
I did purge though 
I have to be honest about that
For dessert 
We had the most delicious apple crumble with cinnamon
With lashings of custard
Absolute heaven in a bowl...

Dinner was lovely 
It was just the six of us
Low key and quiet
Just the way that I like it
No fuss 
No drama 
No alcohol
No fighting 
Just me and my family
And of course Honey and Lea
Who also had a Christmas dinner 
We had a lovely meal
We tAlked 
Laughed 
Joked 
We all got on
All made the effort to be sociable
Even though we might not all agree about everything 
We all put our differences aside 
And shared a lovely meal together 

Today is a quiet day 
My dad and I brought Lea for a walk this morning :
Honey elected to stay in bed 
I dont blame her though
Today I am feeling very grateful
To have a roof over my head
Food in the fridge
Clothes on my back
They say that happiness is not having what you want
It's wanting what you have 

I hope you had a lovely peaceful Christmas 
I hope you enjoyed it 
Rather than endured it🎇

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Lea's new coat!

It being Christmas 
I haven't forgotten about Honey and Lea
I've been wanting to buy them coats this winter
As the weather has been God bloody awful
I finally made it to the pet store yesterday
And after I stocked up on dogfood
I had a look at the doggie coats
I immediately found one for Lea
A very fetching navy and red one
And only €14
Honey proved harder though
I couldn't find one in her size
Ie one big enough to go around her big belly 
And anyway
Honey is not a great fan of you putting things on her
When she saw me putting the coat on Lea
She ran into her bed thinking she was next

Anyway
Next down the cat walk is Lea!
Lea is a 10 year old golden retriever
Lea live with honey and Ruby 
And she loves swimming and her tummy being rubbed
Lea is sporting a fleece lined navy weather beater 
Doesn't she look beautiful....


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Downtown

I went in to town today
To do some last minute shopping
Collect bits and pieces
And generally try and get ready for Christmas 
I saw a girl with a gorgeous pinafore dress on the TV last week
I thought it would be lovely to wear on Christmas Day
Classy yet comfortable
So I went to all the usual suspect shops to try and find one
But to no avail
I did go through my wardrobe last night
And did find a grey cord pinafore from years ago
So that will have to do
We have a tradition in our house every Christmas 
That we all buy Christmas pyjamas
And this year is no different 
I love getting dressed up for the big day
But my favourite outfit of all is a pair of cost pyjamas

As for me 
I'm doing ok 
Still very pale 
And get tired very easily 
So I'm taking it easy
Lots of rest and relaxation is the order of the day 
I was on my way to meet my friend from treatment 
I was a bit early 
So I nipped in to the shoe shop beside it
There was a girl sitting down trying on shoes
Our eyes met
I recognised the face
But couldn't work out where i knew her from 
She said hello 
She seemed to know me
I walked towards her 
Then it hit me
It was a girl from my ward in hospital
The one I used to pal around with
I sat down and we hugged
And swapped numbers
Which was great as if really like to stay in touch with her
We said goodbye
And I headed off to meet my friend

This girl was in treatment with me
And we both happened to be from the same area
We've been firm friends since meeting back in 2013 
This girl has her own family
A husband 
Three boys 
A career 
And a busy social life
But we try to meet up every couple of weeks
Today was our third Christmas meeting up
We talked about treatment 
The girls 
The staff 
How much we've all changed
She said that I look very gaunt at the moment 
Which I do 
I know I'm very pale 
And a bit sickly looking 
At one point 
My friend got really emotional 
And we both shed a little tear
It was good to catch up though
Friends are so important 

As I type this 
I am sitting in my mothers car
With my mother and sister 
And the stupid car won't start 
It's raining 
It's windy 
There's a storm on the way 
And it's getting darker by the minute
We just rang AA
That's the automobile association
Not Alcoholics Anonymous 
And are waiting for them to come and save us 
Typical that this happens to us 
On one of the busiest shopping days of the year 
We can do nothing but wait 
So that's what we will do 
As ever 
I will keep you posted
And is anyone is near by with a jump lead 
Give me a shout.....

Monday, 21 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year!
And to thank you for your continued support through out 2015
It's been an eventful year to say the least
Many highs and lows 
And ups and downs
But that's life I guess
It's not a straight run
I know this time can be tough for us
If we are struggling with our EDs
Or other mental illness
Addiction
Bereavement 
Loneliness
Sickness 
I realise that I am more fortunate than most
I have a strong family around me
Who are my back bone 
My rock
My port in a storm 
And thankfully we are all in good health
Most of the time 
It wasn't always like this though 
Up until about 5 years ago 
Christmas in my house was utter bedlam
It was an excuse to get rotten drunk
Or out of it on some other substance
Inevitably there would be a family fight
And the whole thing would fall apart 
I can remember one Christmas 
When we all had to decamp to my sisters  apartment 
Because my father was on such a bender 
Thankfully 
Those days are in the distant past

We are having a quiet family Christmas this year 
With just my neighbour coming for dinner
Which I am grateful for 
As I don't think I could handle a big get together 
I am just glad to be clean and sober
And well enough to enjoy the holidays

As for my ED 
Well I probably don't need to tell you
It's difficult 
I don't know where I'm at
Somewhere in between my illness and recovery 
I have made some positive changes 
I am now eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at the table with my family 
Albeit small meals
But it's better than stuffing my face in front of the TV and then purging 
I am trying hard to find some balance in my life 
Allowing myself a bit of everything 
In moderation
I find this really challenging 
As I am an all or nothing type of person
All the drugs 
Or none of the drugs
All the food 
Or none of it
Also 
Eating and not purging is also a big hurdle for me
Sometimes I succeed in not purging
Sometimes I don't 
But I am trying 
God knows I am trying 

Anyway 
I really hope that you enjoy your Christmas 
Where ever you may be 
And how ever you celebrate
I am feeling very grateful 
For my family 
My dogs 
You my blogger family 
I'm hoping that 2016 will bring new opportunities 
That I will get back on track with my recovery 
And things improve for me a little 

Take care over the holidays
Keep loved ones close 
And most of all enjoy yourself! X

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Gremlin

I don't know what the hell happened to blogger yesterday
It seems some kind of blogger gremlin ate twenty of my followers
I swear I was losing followers by the minute
At first I thought I had done or said something that caused people to unfollow me
But then other bloggers complained of the same thing 
I was glad it wasn't just me
And was a glitch in the system
Anyway
We won't worry about that
Those kind of problems are small fry

I am so very tired these days
And still very pale and a bit sickly looking
But I guess that's to be expected 
I have made changes though
I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with my family at the table 
And do my best to keep it down 
It doesn't always go as planned 
But the important thing is to keep trying 
I kind of feel like my body is fighting my mind at the moment 
My body wants to do the right thing
Eat well
Rest 
Moderate exercise 
But my mind craves oblivion 
Numbness 
Sleep 
I let my mind win for too long 
Now it's time to listen to my body 
To feed it 
Nourish it 
Look after it
Take care of it
God knows it needs it

My meds are the big issue though
As they have been blamed for my recent bout of illness 
So again
I've had to relinquish control of them 
And really stick to it
Today is Sunday 
And for the first time in probably years that I've had meds on a Sunday 
So that's good 
Progress me thinks 

That's all from me today folks 
I'm off to have a little nap 
Then have some lunch
See you on the next post....

Saturday, 19 December 2015

What is happening?

I don't know what is happening
But I've lost 20 followers in the past few hours 
I don't know what I have done or said
Will someone please tell what is going on?

Alive and kicking!

Just a little photo post 
To show you that I am alive and kicking
Albeit a bit pale and wan
Lea is constantly by my side these days 
And Honey keeps an eye on things from her bed 
Hence why she is not in the photo
Happy Saturday!!



Friday, 18 December 2015

Home sweet home

I'm home 
Praise the Lord I am home
I was discharged yesterday at lunch time
My doctor came in the early morning
And told me that my bloods were almost back to normal
And I would be discharged that day
It was welcome news
Hospital life is fine for a while
But there's no place like home

All things were pointing to my being discharged 
I was allowed to eat a low fat diet
I was taken off the drip
I had no pain
And was generally feeling a lot better
And of course 
Hospitals don't tend to keep you one minute more than necessary 
So 
I packed up my little bag
Got dressed for the first time in almost a week 
And made sure to have a little chat with all the ladies before I went
They were especially nice on my ward
Ladies in for all kind of things from kidney stones to bladder problems 
We all bonded over cups of tea
And really looked out for each other 
I wished them all luck
Then went to the day room to wait to be formally discharged 
I was barely out of my bed before it was filled 
In fact there was a girl in the day room waiting for my bed 
They don't mess around in hospitals do they?
My Dad arrived to pick me up
And we continued to wait to speak with doctor and get my prescription
Even though I was feeling better
I still wasn't back to myself 
And was incredibly tired
I had to fight sleep sitting with my dad 

Eventually the doctor came
And spoke to both of us 
He explained that they thought the pancreatitis was as a result of being on my meds for so long
Exacerbated by my ED
And to stay well I needed to watch my diet 
Take it easy 
And maybe try and come off some of the meds 
We thanked the doctor
And made our way home 

There was a flurry of activity when I arrived home
The two workmen who did our kitchen were there 
And they gave me a racous welcome home
And of course Honey and Lea went beserk 
I've havent seen Honey move so fast since she was a puppy 
There were so many people in the house 
They didn't know who to go to first 
After sitting with them for a while 
I went and unpacked my bag 
And changed in to my pjs
And retreated to the couch with a cozy blanket 
Where I promptly fell asleep for the evening 

The rents thought that when I woke up was a good time to tackle me about my lifestyle 
I make no secret of the fact that I lead a very unhealthy life style
My food is nothing short of atrocious
I purge 
I don't get enough vitamins and minerals 
More often than not I am dehydrated 
And basically I am like a grown up child 
I eat what I want 
When I want 
And don't take my health in to consideration one jot
Heck, I only gave up smoking because of the inflated price of them
Not because of my health
I guess when you don't like yourself very much 
You don't really care about the health of your body 
You don't care if you live or die 
It makes no difference to me
But I really need to start taking proper care of myself
No more crisps
No more chocolate 
No more eating what I want 
And definitely no purging 
Which is going to be the toughest part I just know it 
I've also decided to stop weighing 
My scale is not that reliable 
But weighing yourself everyday
And recording it
Can not be healthy right?
Anyway
I don't need a scale to tell me I've lost weight
I just need to look in the mirror to see that 
Anyway
I'll just take it day by day 

I had no appointment with my doctor this morning 
But I rocked up and 9am anyway
And he saw me pretty quickly which I was grateful for 
I got my prescription
And headed to the chemist 
Where I am as I type this

This week has been a bit of an eye opener 
Change has to happen if I want to live 
And I do 
I really do 
As I always say 
Baby steps all the way

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Day 5 in hospital

Yesterday I was feeling so much better
Still had pain 
But I could bear it without pain relief 
I was preparing for another foodless day
When my doctor came in to the ward to do his rounds
I swear he barely stays a second at my bed
He starts talking as he's walking towards the bed 
And barely even stops 
Before zoom....
He's gone again
Anyway 
He gave me the good news that I could eat a little yesterday 
I was over the freakin' moon
I mean I got so excited at the prospect of a cup of proper  tea and some toast slathered in butter 
Breakfast was over so the student nurse went and got me said items
I made the tea and tasted it
It was hot and sweet
And when down my throat like honey
Then buttered the toast
It was a little cold 
But I didn't care 
It was still the most delicious thing
I'm on a low fat diet
As apparently fat agrevates the pancreas
That's going to go well....

The afternoon went by in a blur
I had been awake since 4 30am
So by the time I took my meds 
I was starting to nod 
It was funny because all my room mates were telling me to lie down
Then my sister rang me
And I fell asleep 
And dropped the phone in the middle of the conversation
I woke up again
All I could here was 'Hello? Hello?'
I didn't know where the voice was coming from 
And then realised it was my phone
Very funny

My Dad came in the afternoon
And we sat in the day room 
He is taking this admission very seriously 
And gave me quite the serious lecture about changing my ways 
My food 
My daily routine 
Meds 
The whole kit and kubudle
I know
I don't need to be told 
Some things gotta give
And it did 

At lunch time I had a ham sandwich and tea 
As hospital sandwiches go
It was decent enough
Enough so for me to wolf it down
By this stage I was off my drip
And thank God 
Because it was such hassle bringing it with me everywhere I went
The doctor also said that I might get home today or tomorrow
Which was super duper news
It's Thursday morning now
And I am just waiting for my doctor to come around 
I guess it will depend on my bloods
And how high the amylase in my blood is 
It has been coming down since yesterday 
So I am hoping for some good results

Hospital stays are not that enjoyable
Especially if you are really ill and in pain
The thing that eases that discomfort are the positivity and kindness of the nurses
And the generosity of the other ladies in the ward with me
Anyone who has been in my room has been lovely 
And we all look after each other 
Which is nice 

So 
I will update again later 
To let you know if I get home or not 
I mean time 
I hope you are enjoying the run up to the holidays
It doesn't feel much like Christmas in here at all
Cross your fingers that I get home.....

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Day 4

It's early morning here again in hospital 
About 6am
And day 4 of no food
I was allowed two half cups of tea yesterday 
Which were absolute heaven
I gulped them down like water
When the night staff came on
I asked one of the nurses could I weigh myself in the morning 
She wasn't too sure that it was a good idea
But I insisted that I wouldn't have a hissy fit
So the nurse just brought the scales around
A dial one in kilos 
I stood on it
And was shocked to see I had gained three kilos 
I asked the nurse how was that possible when I haven't eaten in 3 days
She said it was the fluid
That they are pumping litres of fluid in to me every day 
And that it will settle down again
Before I had a complete meltdown
I remembered that the last time I was in hospital with pancreatitis 
I gained weight too while I was there
Then when I got home
The weight fell off me
So I won't panic just yet

I'm getting to know the ladies on my ward 
There is a lot of shuffling about 
Moving people in and out of beds
But on the whole 
The people are lovely 
Some are sicker than others 
Some don't talk at all
My last neighbour talked continuously 
Like a mantra over and over against
She was 92 
A night woman 
In her day she had been a pharmacist
She went home yesterday
And two very handsome ambulance men came to take her home 
Boy was I jealous.

I also asked the nurse if she thought I'd be allowed eat today
She said not a chance
I was crushed 
I was holding on for tea and toast
It was the only thing keeping me going
She also said that I'll be here for a while
Which is also not good news
Christmas is fast approaching 
And desperately want to be home
All I can do is hope and pray that this thing clears up by then 

I just wish I could sleep more 
But it's just not happening 
Even with a sleeping tablet 
I'm awake at 5am
With not a hope of getting back to sleep 
I may ask if the dosage of the zimovaine can be increased 
As I am exhausted

I was speaking with my mother last night
She told me that I need to start taking better care of myself 
I guess this is true
I don't eat properly 
I purge 
This is all taking a toll on my body 
I just feel so fragile right now 
Like it wouldn't take a lot to bring me down for good 
Anyway
Christmas will be a chance to relax and rest 
And I'll do my best to stay healthy

I was wondering about you
How do you celebrate Christmas?
Maybe you don't celebrate at all
Do you have any traditions?
What do you eat on Christmas Day?
Inquiring minds want to know.....

Monday, 14 December 2015

The witching hour

It's early Tuesday morning here in hospital 
Before 5am
All the patients on my ward are sleeping soundly 
Making various different noises and grunts and groans 
One woman they have to move out of the ward at night 
As she is so very noisy
It's quiet though
All I can hear are the voices of the nurses in the distance
And the squeak of their sensible shoes on the tiled  corridor
Today is my third day in hospital
   
Yesterday was busy. 
I had an ultra sound scanin the morning 
In which they could see my pancreas was inflamed
Then I had an endoscopy done 
You know the one where the sedate you and send a little camera down your throat 
And have a look stout stomach and stomach lining 
By the time I got back to the ward. 
My parents were waiting for me in the day room
But I was still a bit out of it 
and couldn't even hold a conversation  with them 
Apparently 
At some stage  
I rang my sister 
 And just babbled down the phone To her  like a crazy person

The unfortunate thing is 
That I've been fasting since I came in 
Which means I have eaten since Saturday 
I am more than ready for some food
But part of the treatment for pancreatitis
Is to fast 
I swear I would give my left arm for tea and toast right now
My pain has changed more than lessened 
It now feels like a severe pulled muscle in my stomach
You know the kind where it's hard to move or get comfortable 
But I feel better
Not so much pain
Or at least it's pain I can bear

Edit: just saw my doctor this morning
My bloods are still bad 
And are in fact getting worse 
He asked me if I drink
As it's usually alcoholics that get pancreatitis
So I am still fasting 
This is day 4 with no food
But there is good news 
I'm allowed to have a cup of tea today!
And you know how much I love my tea...
It's the little things...

I must tell you about the staff here 
They really are lovely 
Some of them actually remembered me from last time which is nice
A nurses job is not easy 
They are being pulled in every direction
But they do their job with a smile 
And that makes all the difference 

Anyway 
That's all from me today 
I'm off to get my meds 
And try to get well

Take care my dear friends 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Hospital

As I type this
I am currently in a ward in my local hospital
After spending about 6 hours in A&E yesterday
I was finally moved to a bed at about 6 30pm
Why am I here?
Well 
Let me explain 
I woke up yesterday morning at about 8am
I noticed that I had a kind of gnawing pain in my upper abdomen 
I didn't pass too much heed on it though
As its usual for me to have aches and pains throughout the day
So
I carried on with my normal routine
I let the dogs out
Made a cuppa 
And settled down to write my blog
The pain persisted 
But I did my best to ignore it 
Even though I wasn't feeling too good
I still brought the dogs out for a walk
This was my first mistake 
And my second was not bringing my phone with me 
I walked for our usual 45 minutes 
And on my way back
I began to feel really unwell
The pain worsened
I was dizzy
My whole body felt heavy
And I really thought I was going to pass out 
I stopped walking
I had to 
And sat down at the side of the road  trying to get my strength back 
I wasn't too far from home 
But I might as well have been one hundred miles away I felt so bad
I swear I thought I'd never get home
I walked a few steps 
Then stopped
And that was my pattern the whole way back
Eventually
After what seemed like an eternity 
I got home 
I dragged myself in to the kitchen 
And sat on the nearest chair
Oh the relief to be home 
I explained to my sister what had happened
Then my mother
The first thing she asked me was if I thought it was another attack of pancreatitis 
I wasn't sure 
As the pain wasn't in the same place as last time
You might remember back in 2013
I had rather a nasty bout of pancreatitis 
And was in hospital for a week
But I just wasn't sure this time 

It being  a Sunday 
The only doctor we could find was over an hour away 
I spoke to the doctor myself
And she gave me the option of going to see her 
Or going straight to hospital 
I figured it would make more sense to go to our local hospital 
But even then 
I still wasn't convinced that it warranted me taking such action
My mother and sister weren't convinced though 
I was as white as a ghost 
And I couldn't sit up straight
I took my own blood pressure
It was just a little on the low side 
The last time my BP was in my boots

So around lunch time
My mum and I set off for the hospital 
The weather was freezing 
And all the way in i felt we were overreacting 
I guess I was down playing how much pain I was in though
We arrived in A&E about half an hour later 
I was glad to see there were only a couple of people in the waiting room
I registered 
And then sat down to wait 
A short while later 
The nurse called me in to assess me
He was lovely 
I explained my situation 
The previous bout of pancreatitis
And my history of ED and addiction
He to me that his sister works in a hospital in London
And he knows it's not an easy thing to get over
Which I thought was kind of him to say
Again
He took my temperature and BP
And was sent out to the waiting room again 

Not long after 
I was called in to A&E
A pretty nurse who was quite heavily pregnant sat with me in a cubicle
And asked me some more questions
I explained about my bulimia
How I had been doing well up until a few weeks ago
When I began to lose weight
And the purging increased
She suspected that I had torn my oesophagus or my stomach lining
She also said I was dehydrated 
She put a canula in
And gave me some pain relief 
It didn't touch the pain though 
Then I was brought over to radiography for an x-Ray
Which turned out to be clear 
They had taken some bloods earlier
And the nurse came back with the results 
It turned out that they suspected it was in fact my pancreas
As the amalyse in my blood was unusually high 

All the while 
The pain persisted 
And I just couldn't get comfortable 
So they brought out the big guns
And gave me some IV morphine
It spread like warm water all through my body
And brought some much welcome pain relief 
At this point my other sister came in 
She was shocked when she saw me 
I was in the kind of pain that you can't get comfortable no matter what way you sit or lie
A while later
I asked for some more pain relief 
Cue more morphine

At one point 
I heard the nurses talking about me
That I had a bed in one of the wards 
And shortly after that 
I was moved up to a ward 
I was glad to get here 
As I felt I could relax a little 
And settle down for the night
I'm in a ward with mainly elderly ladies
The woman in the bed beside me has been non stop talking since I arrived 
She is obviously confused
And keeps trying to go home 
At the moment she is singing an unidentifiable song on repeat 
I'm a bit worried about my meds though
Because sometimes there can be an issue with the methadone
But I guess I'll worry about that tomorrow
Since coming to the ward
I've had two injections for the pain
But the pain persists 
And I generally feel exhausted and weary
I also saw the registrar last evening 
He said this bout could be because of my meds
Exacerbated by my ED
But they're not entirely sure yet 
So they are keeping me under observation

My mum left soon after I got settled on the ward
My sister had been looking after the dogs
They knew something was up yesterday
I guess they could sense the stress

It's now 6 30am
And I've just been woken up to have a new bag of fluids fitted
I'm fasting as of yesterday
And I am absolutely famished 
It's going to be torture watching everyone eating their breakfast 
But hopefully it won't be long until I can eat and drink
 
Last night was tough 
I was in a lot of pain
And even though I was wrecked
I couldn't sleep
It's not very comfortable twisting and turning with pain like that
So I asked for a sleeping pill 
Which the nurse got straight away
And about an hour later 
I fell asleep

I'm not sure what today brings 
Tests I'm guessing 
And a scan 
I'm sure my family will be up too
I just wanted to let you know where I'm at 
As I've had a couple of emails from people wondering am I ok
I am
Or at least I will be 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Sunday

I want to apologise for not always replying to comments recently 
I have to admit
Sometimes I am afraid to look at my comments
As i am afraid of getting nasty ones
I actually experience anxiety before checking comments 
Even though 99% of comments are lovely 
There's always that one horrible one that can overshadow everything else
I'm also struggling to reply to comments 
As I am finding things tough at the moment 
I know I haven't been writing a lot of personal posts recently 
Because I feel like a bit of a fraud 
I'm supposed to be in recovery 
I'm supposed to be doing well 
Yet 
Every day I struggle 
Every day I weigh myself 
And every day for the last few weeks I've lost weight 
God forgive me
I am getting a buzz out of seeing the numbers go down
It's a sick sick game 
But oh so addictive 

The last time I saw Breda
She spoke about widening my circle
And doing more 
And I am struggling massively with this
I've pulled away from my friends 
All bar one 
Who I still meet every couple of weeks 
But apart from that 
And looking after my dogs 
I don't actually do very much 
I know I need to fill my days 
Get out and meet people 
Have a purpose 
I gets its a choice
Choose the ED and live a lonely miserable life
With no friends 
No job 
No college 
No dogs because I can't look after them 
No life 
Nothing but me and my childlike body for company 

Or else I could choose recovery 
And choose life 
Yes, life is scary
It's tough 
Boring 
Overwhelming 
But it's also exciting 
Fun 
Enjoyable 
With recovery 
I get to live the life I want to live
I have my loved ones around me
Family 
Friends 
Dogs 
I study
I work 
I exercise 
I enjoy my food 
And am not in a constant battle with myself over food, weight and body image

You would think that this is a no brainer
That most sane people would choose the latter 
But since when have I been sane?
I feel the pull of my ED 
I hear her whispering in my ear
All of things that will improve if I lose weight 
I can't lie 
It's so very tempting 
She is convincing 
And I have little resistance 
If I keep going the way I am
I'm going to be underweight very soon 
But the thing is 
I have reached the goal I set myself 
And in fact gone beyond it
That should be enough right?
Maybe for a 'normal' non eating disordered person
For us
The goal posts constantly shift
Anorexia will push you as far as it possibly can
To your very limits 
Until something gives
Your body or your mind 
I have no doubt that my ED wAnts me dead 
That is her goal
To either starve myself to death 
Die of a heart attack
Or tAke a handful of pills 
The ultimate sacrifice 

Having said all that 
I'm not about to throw my recovery and my life away 
I've worked too hard to get through my issues 
And I didn't come through heroin addiction just to be killed by my ED 
I have thought about sharing my weight here on my blog 
But have decided against it
I've never shared my weight here 
I just don't think it's relevant 
And I know we have a tenancy to zone in on the numbers 
And compare their weight
So in an effort to avoid that 
I won't be posting my weight 

Another reason things are tough at the moment 
Is that my sister is battling a very nasty bout of depression
And is feeling really low these days 
Its a bit of an eye opener to be on the other side of mental illness 
I'm so used to being the patient 
The one that needs the help
So to actually be the onlooker is really difficult 
My sister is quiet
Withdrawn 
Very upset at times 
And feeling quite hopeless 
It's so hard to know what to say to someone 
How to help 
My strategy to help her
Is to make her laugh
As I genuinely believe that laughter is medicine for the soul 
I give her hugs
Sit on her bed and just chat
She comes for walks with me sometimes 
But 
It's obvious that she is really struggling
It's really  sad to witness 
And my mother and I feel so helpless
And useless 
I wish there was more we could go to help 
All we can do is be there 
Make sure she is ok
That she is warm
Eating ok
The dogs are really good with her 
They sit by her 
Rest their heads on her knee
It's like they know 
And they probably do 
I've never witnessed or lived with someone who has chronic depression 
Well I did when I was in hospital 
The people who were really low rarely came out of their rooms
Only venturing out to the smoking room every once and a while 
I remember one guy in particular 
We spoke while chain smoking 
Sitting on the window sill 
Blowing smoke rings back and forth
This guy was in the depths of despair 
Like he had completely given up
He wore the same clothes day in day out 
And there was quite a smell off him
He just couldn't muster the energy to have a shower 
He didn't see the point 
Didn't see the point of anything 
I've experience low mood before 
But I can't say that I've been clinically depressed 
I do worry for my sister 
I know she that she is trying to fight it 
And it's taking every single ounce of energy out of her 

Anyway 
I just wanted to explain my situation at the moment 
I guess there comes a time when real life needs me more than my virtual life
And that's ok
I am ok
and my sister is ok
At least we will be...

Saturday

I was supposed to be getting my next piercing done this week
But the girl I went to last time is away
And won't be back until mid January 
There are a couple of others near by
But they don't come highly recommended
And they don't use titanium
So I think my best bet is to hold on for the person I know to come back
Annoying 
But necessary
Especially given that I have absolutely no patience 
And want everything yesterday 

I was texting a girlfriend from school yesterday
She has had a myriad of piercings in her time 
Including all over her ears and face
Both nipples 
And down below!
I was asking her where she gets them done 
She said she had some done in Dublin
But a few of them she did herself 
I was blown away by this 
But she said she really enjoyed doing them
Of course my next questions was how todo it
She sent a brief text that involved a sterilised needle, ice, gloves and a clean towel 
I was fascinated 
So when we finished texting 
I decided to do a little research on line
And of course 
There are many many home videos on YouTube 
Showing how to pierce various pars of your body
As well
As detailed explanations on Google
I read through a few 
And I actually did consider it 
Yes 
I am one of those slightly crazy people who thinks piercing yourself from the comfort of your own home is a good idea
So I consulted my sister
Who is always the voice of reason
She told me in no uncertain terms 
That I would be absolutely mental to do that 
And I let her talk me out of it
Part of me was relieved 
As I can imagine that it hurts like a mother....

But
I guess it gives me time to think about what to get done next 
As I'm not really sure at the moment 
I'm trying to decide between my lip
My septum
Or Medusa 
As you know 
I live my life on the verge of impulse
And often make silly decisions based on that 
So I will be a responsible adult 
And think my decisions through
Albeit being forced in to it....

Less than two weeks until Chritsmas kids!
All my cards have been posted 
The house is decorated 
The Christmas cake is maturing 
And we feed it with sherry every week
The turkey is ordered 
The shopping will soon be done 
And all I have to get is my Christmas gift for my sister 
I am looking forward to a quiet family Christmas 
No fuss 
No stress 
Just good old fashioned fun
Sans alcohol of course 
But I was wondering about you? 
Do you celebrate Christmas? 
How?
Who will you celebrate with?
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Maybe you don't like the holidays
How do you get through?
Answers on a postcard please.....

By the way
I didn't reply to comments yesterday as I didn't read them after the first one 
Which was accusing me of driving illegally 
I'm done done replying to these comments 
And even though it's not an anonymous comment
It might as well be
When I crashed my car
That was years ago 
It's in the past 
Yes, I made some stupid mistakes when I was using 
But the clue is in the fact that I was using 
I wasn't in the right frame of mind 
Do I regret my actions from back then?
Yes
Can I change them? 
No 
So I do my best to learn the lesson and move on 
That's all I can do 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Cathartic.co

I was recently contacted by a lady called Sophie Burton
Who runs a site called Cathartic.co
It's a site where peoe can share their stories anonymously 
Help themselves
And help others too
Sophie interviewed me for the site 
And below is the link
Hope you enjoy.....

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas survival kit!

Christmas is fast approaching
I swear I blinked and this whole year went by
For me
Christmas is a double edged sword
Part of me loves it
The lights
The atmosphere
The Christmas spirit
Wrapping up in woolly clothes
Snuggling up beside the fire
Going for walks in the crisp winter air
But like a lot of people 
I can really struggle with the holiday too
They don't call it the silly season for nothing 
Christmas in this country seems to be about two things
Alcohol
And food 
Both of which I have issues with 
I remember back to my teens and early twenties 
Christmas was all about the pub
I can remember going to the pub after school
Changing out of my uniform in the bathroom
On a Friday the pub staff ordered boxes of chicken wings for the punters 
Oh to be able to eat chicken wings without my ED in my head
Still
I can get nostalgic around this time of year 
And there is nothing more Christmassy than a hot toddy
Or a glass of brandy
Unfortunately 
I just can't drink 
And neither do most of my family 
Now a days we have a strictly alcohol free house for the holidays 
We have learned the hard way that my family and alcohol just do not mix
I can remember growing up
Drinks 
Followed by dinner
Followed by more drinks
Followed by huge family argument
No 
No drink is worth the peace of mind that we have now

So 
How do we get through the holidays 
Stay sane 
And not harm ourselves or anyone else?
Well
It's tricky 
Christmas time often means spending much time with family and people you don't usually see from one end of the year to the other 
It means being cooped up inside for 24 hours straight 
Putting on a happy face when you unwrap your gifts and see that auntie Margaret has given you lavender soap yet again 
It means eating to the point that you feel
Positively ill
Watching the Christmas movie
And promptly falling asleep on the couch
While your nephew draws on your face

Try not to let the idea of Christmas dictate the days and weeks leading up to it
And try not to anticipate what the day itself will be like 
For the eating disordered 
Christmas can be tough 
The build up to the holidays
Being out of your usual routine
All the emphasis on food and drink
The socialising 
Expectations for the perfect day can all contribute to stress, pressure and anxiety
And things generally being out of sorts for a couple of weeks 
I guess the first thing to do is not to panic 
Take deep breathes 
And remember that Christmas is just one day 
24 hours 
Our routine may be all over the place
But one day is manageable 
We can get through it
For me 
It's important to stay busy 
I usually bring the dogs to the beach on Christmas morning
And watch the charity swim
Then I go to mass with some of my family 
Get home
And get stuck in to helping with the dinner
Staying busy gives me less chance for my mind to wander and become anxious 
I know it seems like food is everywhere at this time of year 
But remember 
If you eat more than usual on the day
It's ok 
In fact it's normal 
Everyone does it 
So don't panic 
Don't beat yourself up
It's completely natural to eat a little bit extra sometimes 
Everything in moderation
Including moderation 

The thing I find the toughest about Christmas is all the socialising 
Our house is the main focus of our family
So there are a lot of visitors over the holidays 
A constant stream of people in and out
Actually
It's more the thought of all this activity
When it's actually happening 
It's not too bad 
It's more the thoughts of it
And the anxiety that goes with that
Over Christmas 
It's important to remember to look after yourself
To be kind to yourself 
And not to put yourself under too much pressure 
Do what you feel you can do 
Be that a little or a lot 
No one expects you to be Wonder Woman
Although we seem to expect that of ourselves 
Also 
Take some time out for yourself if you need to
Take half an hour on your own to recharge your batteries 
Meditate 
Practise mindfulness
Or get out for a walk 
To clear your head 
And take a breath
Listen to music 
Read a book
Something I have to be wary of 
Is all or nothing thinking
Eating none of the food
Or all of the food 
Thinking because one thing goes wrong
Everything is ruined 
One good idea 
Is to have a buddy on stand by 
Someone you can give a quick ring of things become too much 
You can also be someone else's buddy 
Having a voice of reason
To bring you back down to earth can be invaluable 
Of course support is a two way thing
So both of you will benefit 
Be mindful of isolating over the holidays 
Stay in touch with your supports 
Beware of all or nothing thinking that leads to unrealistic and rigid expectations
It's about listening to you and your body 
And knowing that it's ok to have what you want 
Remembering that it is just one day and nothing awful will happen if you change the rules
Reminding yourself thdt Christmas is not only about food
Food is just one part of it
And may need some planning to work for you 

With all that said
Remember it's Christmas
It's to be enjoyed 
Yes, we will struggle 
And our EDs often don't want us to enjoy ourselves 
Especially around anorexia 
It's all about being strict and regimented 
And punishment can feature too
Because you know what guys?
We are far too hard on ourselves
We are the first ones to bring ourselves down 
We bully ourselves 
Verbally and physically
We deserve a break
We deserve to enjoy our Christmas 
In whatever form that may take 
God knows we are dealing with enough every other day of the year
Eating disorders 
Mental illness 
Addiction 
Self harm
We deserve at least one day to relax
To enjoy ourselves 
Whether you are in the midst of your illness
Or embarking on recovery 
We all deserve to smile
To laugh 
To throw some shapes on the dance floor 
To let our hair down
Because when else can we get the chance to do that?

So
I wish you and yours
A very happy and peaceful Christmas
I hope you get to spend time with the ones you Iove
Hold them close
Hug them tight
Cherish every moment with them
Because they are the ones that matter
They are the ones who hold our hands
Who pick up the pieces when it all falls apart
This year I  especially grateful to have my family around me
With everyone in good health 
We have much to celebrate this year
I hope you do too...



Christmas cards

I'm writing my Christmas cards today
I have some of your addresses
But if I don't have yours 
Please leave it below in the comment section
Or email me if you would rather...

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Tis the season....

We put up our Christmas decorations at the weekend
I wasn't really in the humour
And the thoughts of getting in the Christmas spirit made me want to curl up in to a ball and cry
But 
As the day went on
And we went through the attic
And found all our decorations old and new
I managed to cheer up a bit
I did the whole tree
Draped lights over the hall stand 
Lit cinnamon fragranced candles
And all of a sudden I felt really Christmassy 
We are having a quiet Christmas this year 
There will just be the six of us
And my elderly neighbour is coming for dinner
But I can't see her staying too long
As she likes a drink
And we always have an alcohol free Christmas 
I think back to Christmas growing up
It was always a wash out
My father would get horribly drunk 
It was always best to stay away from him before four drinks and after eight drinks
He would usually insult someone 
I can remember one Christmas when we all had to move to my sisters apartment because my father was on such a bender
Tough times needless to say
But now 
Well none of us drink anymore
So we have a quiet but civilised Christmas 
We have learned the hard way 
That alcohol just does not suit us
I've been thinking recently 
That I really don't  miss alcohol 
I mean 
Nothing is real when you are drunk
It's like everything is fake 
And I don't like that 

This country has been battered by two storms over the last week
First
Was storm Clodagh
Followed by storm Desmond 
The west bore the brunt of it
Rivers burst their banks 
Fields were flooded
Roads too 
Trees blew down
Poor animals had an awful time 
And worst of all 
Peoples houses were flooded
I was speaking to a woman in the supermarket yesterday
And the whole ground floor of her house was completely flooded
She showed me a video on her phone of the damage 
It looked just horrendous
What sort of Christmas will she have now?
I count my lucky stars that we weren't effected by the storms 

In other news 
I found out about a writing group in my area that is starting in January
It sounds great 
They meet every second Monday 
And there is no pressure 
I'm actually really looking forward to it
Bredas words yesterday really resonated with me
She said that I am too young to sit and home and waste my life 
I need to get out and about more 
Meet people 
Socialise 
Expand a little bit 
Because at the moment 
Short of walking my dogs and blogging
I am doing very little 
I need something to take me away from myself
And out of my own head 

Also 
On Thursday 
I am going to get another piercing done
Either my septum 
Or my upper lip
I am super excited to get it done
And of course 
I wil document the whole thing for you 
My parents despair at why I am doing this
And I am secretly kind of enjoying that 
It feeds my need to be a bit of a rebel 

So that's it from me today 
As promised 
I will do a Christmas survival kit post sometime this week
As I know it can be a really tough time of year 
There are not many of us bloggers left 
Do we need to stick together 
look out for each other 
And support each other 
Christmas can really be a lonely time of year 
Maybe you're recently bereaved 
Or estranged from your family 
Maybe you're dealing with illness
Mental or physical 
Maybe you have no one to spend Christmas Day with 
Maybe you are struggling with food
Or your mood is low 
Maybe the thoughts of Christmas send your anxiety in to over drive 
Maybe you don't even want to celebrate 
Because you can't find a reason to 
I think it's so important to reach out to the vulnerable at this time of year 
Call in to an elderly neighbour
Maybe get them a little gift 
Maybe invite them over for dinner
Or help them with their shopping 
It really is the little things that make a huge difference
Saying hello to someone on the street 
Giving them a smile 
It may be the only human voice they hear all day 
And it might just brighten their day

One thing I like to do at this time of year 
Is leave an anonymous letter for someone to find 
A really positive letter to make someone feel good 
I've left them before in car parks 
On windows of cars 
In public bathrooms 
It's just spreading a little bit of love
At a time when people are so caught up in themselves and their own lives

I truly hope that you have a relaxing and peaceful Christmas this year
God knows you deserve it
I hope you get to spend time with the people you love
And tell them 
Tell them how much they mean to you
That can be the greatest gift of all
Usually at this time of year 
I use it as an excuse to over take my meds 
And generally be a bit out of it
But this year 
I am going to do my best to be present and lucid
So I can really be part of things 
And enjoy it 
I am so blessed to be able to say that my family are doing well at the moment 
Between addiction, mental health issues and resentments 
My family really has been through the wars 
But 
We have managed to get through it
And come out the other side
I am eternally grateful for that 
And as my mother often says
Given what we have been through
We are not doing to badly at all

Merry Christmas
To you and yours....