SOUL BE YOUR PILOT

Who knows what invalidation means? This isn’t a SAT test. I am just not sure how aware people are of the term invalidation and what implication it has in relationships and potential conflict scenarios.

The dictionary definition of invalidation is this-

to nullify, negate, annul, abrogate-

to invalidate means to deprive of effective or continued existence. (nullify implies counteracting completely the force, effectiveness, or value of something.)

Invalidation is when you express an opinion and someone says your opinion is rubbish. Invalidation is when you state a fact, and that “fact” is argued with. Invalidation is when you say you feel something, and someone else decides you have no actual reason they can understand to feel that thing you’re feeling, so you should stop feeling it immediately and also quit telling anyone you’re feeling it.

In essence, invalidating someone is a posh term to describe the phenomena of trying to make someone shut up, without literally using the phrase “shut up”. Invalidation is there to shame the person into shutting up, because you are contesting their sheer validity as a human being capable of having any opinion about anything.

Invalidating someone is not the way to diffuse upset in the other person. Invalidation actually has the opposite effect. Rather than you and the other aggrieved party meeting somewhere in the middle- opinions, thoughts and feelings (usually negative ones) become polarised and even stronger, especially if you are someone particularly sensitive to the psychological impact of invalidation, as I am.

20170822_100915

People with Borderline PD (like me) are almost always born into invalidating environments, by care givers who repeatedly invalidate/nullify/negate/annul/abrogate us. I didn’t just make this psychological fact up. This is based on extensive research by Marsha Linehan, the founder of the best known treatment of BPD-Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. If you are repeatedly told your way of perceiving things is wrong, that your feelings are wrong, that your thoughts are wrong, that the conclusions you come to are wrong, then it is both very frustrating, and very damaging. We believe (often falsely) that the grown ups know it all, so we conclude we (the children) must be wrong.

Repeated invalidation makes it really hard to reliably and confidently use our instincts and perceptual abilities to decipher exactly what is happening in our environments and in our social relationships. We start to lose faith in ourselves. We start to think we must be mad, as we are thinking, feeling and perceiving things is ways alien to those around us, so we start to tune out of ourselves, ignore our natural intuitions, and instead use others as a guide for how we should be thinking, what we should be feeling, how we should be acting, what we should be saying, (or not saying). Rather than (as Sting said) letting our soul be our pilot, we let others be our pilots. We watch what they do, and we do it too. We assess what others are thinking, we think it too. We notice what others may be feeling, we try and feel it too, (or not feel it, if no one is feeling anything).

So reflecting on my recent conflict sitch with the recovery college, what I find surprising, especially given the context of the mental health framework that the recovery college sits within, is how much my valid complaints were invalidated by those in a position of overall responsibility for that organisation.

The manager of the recovery college has BPD, so I am surprised she wasn’t more validating as presumably she knows all about invalidation and the social and emotional destructiveness of it.  Not receiving an email acknowledgement so far about my apology is also pretty invalidating.

Invalidation really is something that I take issue with, and it a concept that once I first read about it, it immediately struck a chord or recognition.

The word ‘invalidation’ gave a name to something that I’d always found very frustrating and upsetting about members of my family, so even though I’m now an adult [well most of the time :D) it still bugs me.

This is what happened-it is my 4-step anatomy of me recent conflict….

20170822_100953

And this is what happens emotionally when we are invalidated….

20170822_101419

This leads to questions, and answers……

20170822_10302420170822_102737

An organisation who respond to feedback by invalidating the complainant don’t get my respect, esp. given the mental health framework of the consumers of that service being (I’d expect) predominantly NHS mental health service users, or ex-service users, with histories of diagnosed mental illnesses.

Invalidating does I suppose give the defenders what they want, as the complainant feels deterred and disrespected and responds by withdrawal, but does invalidating actually stop the feelings, thoughts, opinions, reactions from being experienced? Nope. Not one bit.

Invalidation is the equivalent of putting tape over someone’s mouth and saying (with fingers in ears) la la laaah we don’t want to hear your feedback, but the person with the taped up mouth will only ever resent those that taped her mouth up, and it is impossible for anything positive to be rebuilt.

If there is no meeting is the middle, there will only ever be two polarised parties, disagreeing and opposed, usually with considerable ill feeling to one another, on both sides.

It becomes enemy lines, rather than working together to improve things for mutual benefit. That’s sad, but I do get the defensiveness, especially when 15 year old Blood is my spokesperson! f you don’t know what the hell I’m on about here please see my earlier post titled “Right to Reply” for a full introduction to my rebellious alter, Blood)

When invalidation happens, from others, the only real solution (once you’ve thought it through and reflected on it and realised your views are valid and justifiable) is to implement some hardcore self-validation. Self-validation is accepting your own internal experience, your thoughts and feelings as real and acceptable and OK.

tmp_15130-tumblr_nwt8i74ra91tg0u52o1_12801762135547

Once we self-validate, we feel OK. It doesn’t mean the outer invalidation is any less annoying or difficult to stomach, but at least we can hold our heads up high and know we don’t require the approval of the people we are complaining to, to make us feel ok about complaining in the first place.

Self-validation rights the wrongs of invalidation.

Sometimes, when faced with the frustration of invalidation, it is the only thing left that we can do.

blog-validation2

summerSHINES©

 

 

 

Advertisements

REAL LIFE?

Has anyone seen real life? I think I must have mislaid it down the back of the sofa or something, because I can’t for the life of me locate real life. Real life has become unreal chaos.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640

I am busy.

Not at all centred.

Floaty. Overwhelmed. Confused.

I haven’t been normal since Wednesday, or maybe, if I’m accurate, I’ve never been normal since 1981 [when I was born], but I have felt especially abnormal since Wednesday.

I haven’t yet regained a sense of who I am since Wednesday-wait, what? Surely I should know who I am. I’m summerSHINES, yeah? the blogger person? the mum person? the wife person? the volunteer person? Yeah I suppose I am those things, but I don’t feel like me.

I have BPD. BPD me has something called ‘identity diffusion’. It’s a symptom of trauma-shit that happened long ago when my personality was (literally) in it’s infancy and still forming. My personality developed weirdly, in that I don’t have a consistent core sense of self. Who I think I am is fluid and mercurial and changeable. I can’t be quantified or measured, and good luck tracking my moods and behaviours on an ongoing basis. They are not constant. Your measuring stick needs to be very long and very flexible….basically very much not like a stick, because a one size measures all stick is just not sufficient.

A lot of my summer starts to shine writing is about my personality and learning to cope with my trauma history. But I hope those repetitive themes don’t make for repetitive writing. My writing is as unpredictable as my feelings. Sometimes I write and write. Other times I can’t write one meaningful sentence. Sometimes life is all great. Sometimes life is all wrong.

I wrote a crisis post a couple of days ago, because a mini-ish crisis was escalating. At that point I didn’t know whether the crisis would stay mini-ish, or if it’d get big and dangerous-ish…..It stayed mini-ish I’m relieved to say, because I took action to reduce my level of threat. My crisis was building due to a very clear trigger, so I removed the trigger, and now my mini-ish crisis is fading to me being ok again (though I haven’t arrived at ‘Destination OK’ just yet).

The trigger was being asked to say a few words about trauma and my experiences at a charity launch. I said yes immediately because I was flattered to be asked. I have literally thought of very little else though since I agreed to doing this and my anxiety levels went suddenly skyward on Sunday.

Cue panic attack and afternoon/evening of uncontrollable crying.

This on the surface ‘over-reaction’, (though not really an over-reaction when you see it in context), was at the prospect of speaking in front of a crowd. I fully intended to keep the talk as un-emotive as possible so I could get through it without crying on the night, but even that precaution wasn’t enough to remove the emotional sting out of the perceived difficulty of me doing the said speech.

I did something hard. I alerted the lady that I didn’t feel I was up to delivering the talk.

I cannot tell you how bad that made me feel. How much I felt guilt and a sense of failure and disappointment. How embarrassed I felt at feeling I was letting the charity down. crumpled face

BUT, I know I have made the right decision for myself as a survivor.

I KNOW me doing that speech is too much for me, at this stage in my recovery (which is not especially “recovered”).

I KNOW the chances of having some kind of panic attack or public emotional episode are far too high for comfort.

I KNOW it would have taken a huge amount from me emotionally.

I KNOW I did the right thing.

I also know though that doing the right thing can feel immensely difficult, but that doesn’t mean that doing the right thing shouldn’t be done, just because it’s hard.

I had to swallow my pride, face letting the charity down, and face that they may feel disappointed with me.

I have had to come to terms with the fact that although I am extremely confident in sharing about my trauma history when sat behind a keyboard, that making eye contact with a room full of professionals and saying it out loud to a sea of faces is very different and just not realistic for me right now at this point in my recovery journey.

It has made me realise that many of my prior goals (that involved speaking to a crowd) are just unrealistic. It is a personal psychological cost that is too much to expend. The future is unknown, but for now, it was just too much.

I used to fancy myself as one day doing a TED talk, speaking to groups of school kids about mental health and grooming and abuse, running training courses for large groups of professionals.  Now I have looked down the barrel of a gun and actually imagined the white knuckle nerves of steel emotionally draining REALITY of doing this, I realise the epic fear involved. I realise how nerve wracking that’d be. I realise how triggering it is. I realise it is something that right now is beyond me, so I will quit pressuring myself to achieve over-ambitious goals such as this.

I will stick to what I am good at. I will write. I will attend meetings. I will network. I will speak to only small groups (less than 10). Anymore exposure than that is bad for my PTSD, and anything that causes my PTSD symptoms to flare up is just NOT worth doing, however much I am attracted to the abstract idea of doing it.

I have learned valuable lessons from this. I know my limitations. I also know that I should not be in so much of a hurry to say yes immediately to daunting offers which I know will challenge me.

Saying yes to something, then backing out, is far worse than not saying yes to begin with and expressing any uncertainty that might be there. “Take a step back summerSHINES, and have a fucking word with yourself” (is my blunt advice to myself).

I am off for a meeting with the charity in a little while to discuss this face-to-face. They are a victim charity. They have been understanding. PHEW. I have sent my speech and someone will read it out for me. I will still be contributing, but on my own terms.

Survivors like mehave to learn it is OK to say no to things and not feel shame attached to that. This is something I need to work on.

Hopefully now I’ve made this decision and suggested I meet with the charity to chat it over, no great harm will be done, and I can still assist them, just in a way that is psychologically safe for me as a survivor.

I hope my sense of unreality will not persist. I hope for the chaos to die down and the calm to remerge slowly but surely.

I hope that I will find a sense of myself again. I hope my feet will soon touch the ground. I hope I will have the mental capacity freed up now for me to work on my other volunteering projects which need my urgent attention.

I need to write my piece about westminster for the NHS mental health trust bulletin. I need to write my piece about another UK charity I was networking with at Westminster “Young Minds”. I need to apply for a Time to Change training day. I need to plan for my NHS meeting on Friday. I need to spend some time on my fundraising event planning. And I need to go to the launch, sans public speaking, and network my shiny arse off. That all takes energy.

I think I need a sandwich……or cake.

LOTS OF CAKE!

summerSHINES ©

78149-Pretty-Sprinkle-Cake

 

 

EXCITED/SCARED 

Trauma ‘has me’ in its grip today. Ironic as yesterday when I published my ‘post-traumatic sparkle syndrome (PTSS) post, I said I’d need to keep it in plain sight for my low days.

Today is a bit low, not catastrophically low. I’m just out of balance and below par.

Soon I travel down to Westminster for a parliamentary reception with other representatives from Mind. For the benefit of my international followers, Mind are a national mental health charity who are based in London, and I’ll be there with them wearing my media volunteer hat. It’ll be a chance to converse with people that matter about things that matter.

Feeling excited and scared is my emotional cocktail of the day. Feeling two very different emotional things at once, one good and one bad is something I am incredibly talented at 😁😂

My philosophy for living is that most things that are worthwhile in life are both exciting AND terrifying, and a problem only emerges when you do things that are ONLY terrifying, without also being exciting in any compensatory way. Obviously things that are exciting but NOT terrifying are also fairly good, but not as good as exciting terrifying things, which are only terrifying because of their importance and personal significance.

If you understood that sentence, well done :P

excited-baby

Going to London is personally significant for me (because for me, it’s a big thing to do.)

Meeting people from Mind who I’ve only previously spoken to over the phone or by email is EXCITING (because I love Mind Charity and all it’s aims, and everyone I’ve ever spoken to at national Mind has always been truly and universally lovely. They are an awesome bunch of humans :) )

Speaking to politicians is significant because: a. I’ve never ever done it, and b. the fact I’ll be chatting about the mental health of the nation with them is humongously HUGE.

Speaking to the press and being photographed by them is significant because I have only ever spoken to one journalist at a time, and I’m still very early on in my media volunteering experiences (a few months in), PLUS I will feel more celebrity (ish) than I have ever done previously in my 36 years on the planet. (Except for the time I was filmed for the telly which admittedly was quite celeb-ish 🙈🙈).

The subject for discussion on the day matters lots (though I can’t speak about what it is about just yet as it’s totes confidential 🙈🙉🙊).

I don’t do media volunteering for Mind to feel like a celeb though. I take it seriously and I do it for the right reasons. Talking publically about mental health and how my life is affected by my trauma-created illnesses is an important thing to do.

It’s also quite bold and quite SCARY. Stigma does still exist, despite things being far better than they used to. ‘Coming out’ publically in the media and being a face that is recognisable is slightly risky. Even though I want to be a media volunteer for the right reasons, not everyone who reads or watches will perceive mental illness and the people who live with mental health conditions in the compassionate and empathic way that I do.

Anyway back to the point of the post, I’m a tiny bit scared of tomorrow because my PTSD and BPD will be challenged to the MAX.

But I’m also excited :) and the excitement is what I shall focus on.

My blog has gone out today on Mind social media-in association with the event, and that has been exciting too 🙌🙌

To read the blog on the topic of Loneliness go onto http://www.mind.org.uk. and it’s the top story. Alternatively find it on Mind’s Facebook or Twitter.

I’m off for an early night and some much needed relaxation so I’m refreshed and ready to hit Westminster when the time comes 💛💛💛

SummerSHINES

LIVING, WRITING, FEARING   

Apprehension is something we all feel from time to time and is completely natural and human. Usually though we are only apprehensive about stuff that really matters to us. Things that we’re not bothered about we don’t tend to feel apprehension about. Instead we feel the murkiness and greyness of nothing; indifference basically.

Nothing that is happening in my life as it’s unfolding am I indifferent about or uninterested in. I have purposefully and consciously attracted things into my life and people and situations that matter.

What else is the point of life and living? If we are not drawing in what matters in our heart and soul. We are just existing then, and not living.

Living is very different to existing. Existing (not living), isn’t far off dying in my book. It is breathing and eating and drinking and going about our business without caring about anything or anyone.

I care LOTS about lots of things.

I care that my goals are showing promising signs of being fulfilled (many of them anyway). I am more than chuffed with all the progress I’ve made so far this year :) I’ve got over my mental health blip and now I can move forward without that excess life baggage dragging me down. It feels great to be where I am now-but I am apprehensive, because I don’t like to imagine losing what I’m working hard for.

There is no reason why I should lose any of my gains. No objective reason at all. My apprehension about losing it and foregoing my progress only reflects my humanness and natural frailty as a sensitive soul who battles with her mental health daily.

Lately life has felt too good to be true, but that isn’t objectively because it is too good to be true. In reality, my life just isn’t as relentlessly difficult and bad anymore as it was, and the strangeness of that lack of struggle is as unnerving as it is nice.

I’m apprehensive about the blog going out on Tuesday. This is the third ‘Mind’ mental health blog that I’ve written now for the national charity. The first time I buzzed for a week! It was a happy inspiring positive blog that attracted lovely supportive comments. The second one was more controversial in content so attracted tons of empathic support, as well as a few feathers getting ruffled. It was therefore a bit less enjoyable to put out there and a tad more threatening.

This third post I’ve written is challenging in a different way. It isn’t inspiring like the first. It isn’t controversial like the second. It is instead a painfully sad one that I believe a lot of people will relate to. I anticipate that it will touch nerves and prompt a bit of an outpouring of pain in the comments section. I wanted this piece to hurt when you read it, and I think it does do just that. It hurts me when I read it back afterwards anyway. I wanted to explain how I feel, and also do justice to how I believe many of us who live with mental health conditions feel a lot of the time.

As a writer, when you put your words out there for public dissection to larger audiences it genuinely does physically hurt sometimes! My heart aches. My muscles feel tense. My face grimaces and crumples up. I hide my flushed face with my hands and screw up my eyes to keep myself safe and protected and in the dark. It is ridiculous to imagine me doing that (as a mental picture in your head) but it really does happen when a post on mine goes out on Mind’s social media channels! I don’t know what the readership is or how many people follow the UK charity on Twitter or Facebook. But I know it is tons more reading than Summer Starts to Shine gets, and that feels both exciting and brilliant and also exposing and nerve wracking. This is because I know what people on Facebook are like…..they can be very opinionated and sometimes even vicious, not understanding how they might be hurting the writer. If people are mean to me online it’s hard to stomach. Most people are not mean though, and most people take the view that if they don’t have anything nice to say then they won’t say anything at all (which, believe me, I appreciate).

Lots of people on social media attack writers. I have even privately thought bad things about other writers myself, but the difference is, I won’t say to that person “I think your blog/article is a load of shit” because that just isn’t me. I’m usually honest, but I don’t believe in being nasty under the guise of ‘honesty’, and think that makes your nastiness socially acceptable. It isn’t ok to be nasty, but still people are.

If only writers could be assured that people would like what they publish, there would be lots more writers publishing their work! With mental health bloggers specifically, it is a whole different level of exposure and potential pain that you are opening up by sharing in an intimate way how your feel in all the underneath layers of you. Usually people don’t see what’s emotionally underneath. They judge us based on what we present to them on the surface layers. But if you share on a national platform for a major charity about your mental health, that is one of the most personal things you could probably do.

I am going to be letting everyone see what’s underneath on Tuesday. I am scared! It is a vulnerable post. Shall I start hiding already?!! I feel like hiding.

But for all my fears about it and vulnerability and insecurity, I will not be emailing the media team saying hold fire, don’t publish. I LOVE to do this kind of stuff, despite the fear. I feel the fear and I do it anyway :) And I will keep putting my writing out there even if I have to hide behind cushions for 48 hours or so afterwards :P It’s more than worth it, and writing is worth it, and complimentary comments you get make writing LUSH. This is why….(profound bit coming up).

I’m so glad that I can write. I’m glad I have this skill. I can touch people without ever meeting them. I can connect with their heart and spark up conversations with their souls. I can encourage people to reflect and to learn and to process and to grow. I can change the slants on how people think. I can open the windows in people’s minds which means their skin is met with the incoming breeze of clarity. I can clean up what was once messy. I can make someone exhale a breath in satisfaction because they’ve just gained an insight that they would only have obtained by reading ‘that’ sentence that I just wrote there. I can divert someone away from their own head for a minute or two and invite you be a visitor to mine. I will willingly share my mind and my heart and my soul, pouring it out onto the blank canvas, and I say to you ‘for the few minutes it takes to read these words, you can have me. I am yours, and if you like what you read you can have me for keeps. Every time you want to feel understood, cared for, or reminded of something important, you can re-read that paragraph and you can feel what you felt just now, again and again; the message crystallising and sinking in more and more with every read.’

That is what I can give you by writing, and what so many writers give to their readers day in day out.

Am extrovert is good for a party. An introverted writer is FOR LIFE.

Some passages I have read have stayed with me for years and years, and even helped keep me alive in some cases.

I hope that one day I write something that is that special. I may not ever know what effect I’ve had on you, but I hope that one day my writing does that. I hope that you’re out there and I hope you appreciate what I’m doing in sharing myself with you, via my words.

I am scared, but I’ll be OK. Even if some people leave nasty comments I will turn my mind instead to those people who I hope will be silently helped by my intimate emotional sharing of myself.

It’ll take more than a bit of apprehension for me to stop writing.

But I do get through many cushions :P

summerSHINES©

 

IS A CAREER POSSIBLE IF I BLOG?

I have put off writing this blog post. It isn’t really like me to procrastinate over anything actually so it is always strange when this type of situation arises.

If I avoid writing about something it can be for a variety of reasons….sometimes it’s because the topic is plain painful, sometimes it’s that I’m too ashamed or embarrassed, and sometimes it’s just that I want to keep something private because it matters so damn much to me, and I want to keep it close to my heart for a little while before I put it out there for people to pick at; like the crumbs thrown to the pigeons on Trafalgar square.

A blogger gains a lot from blogging and it is an immensely rewarding activity, which is why so many do it, but there is a loss, and that loss is privacy.

Exposure is……..exposing.

Your thoughts, feelings, memories and private perceptions become public fodder to be chewed over, reflected on, dissected and sometimes (if you’re fortunate) LOVED by those who read our words.

Bloggers share ourselves bravely with humanity.

Absolutely ANYONE can read my blog.

Anyone can like it, not like it, warm to it, or cool off from it, and I have absolutely no influence over that.

I also don’t know who actually reads it, despite the stats telling me number of mouse clicks on each page and post. The only people I know who read summer starts to shine are those that leave blog comments. Even those that click ‘like’, haven’t necessarily read a post. Maybe they are just being cyber friendly, or playing the tactical game of I’ll like your post if you like mine.

I don’t do “like trading”. Call me old fashioned honest, but I don’t click ‘like’ on any post of another blogger that I don’t really like. It’s prehistoric. I know ;) Shoot me.

I don’t have time for games these days. I’m an adult and badass.

Anyway, back to the point…..the reason for my ’embarrassment’ post yesterday is I am thinking a bit about this blog, and how it fits in with me increasingly taking an active role in media and fundraising volunteering for mental health charities, as well as me building up relationships and networking with various charitable organisations on a more professional footing.

Can you be both professional and bonkers?

I bloody hope so, as that’s my ultimate aim!

I want to integrate my bonkers into a package of utter professionalism and competence. I want to use my bonkers to support survivors of similar traumas to myself. I want to exploit my bonkersness and mine it so I have maximum empathy for those I want to help via my work (voluntary or paid). BUT if I want to be seen as professional, should I even be using the word “BONKERS” in my mental health blog?!

Is me labelling my issues as “bonkersness” wrong? Is ‘bonkers’ a unduly pejorative term, or a unduly stigmatising label to apply to myself? Does writing about my mental health conditions so openly, not under a pseudonym, sometime sharing blog photos, mean I’ll never find employment?…..ever? Will my open blogging about life with mental health shoot me in the foot and drag me down so that people perceive me as ‘less than’ the non-sharers? Will people judge? Will people turn off me in huge waves? Exactly how honest should I be, on my blog and beyond? Is my personality package of honesty and candid sharing as summerSHINES bad for my professional career prospects? If I continue to blog as I do, will I ever get a serious job that is commensurate with my educational background and skill-base? Will blogging mean no one ever pays proper attention to me? Will future employers read my blog and be shocked or put off? Will they wonder how I can appear so ‘normal’, yet write about my abnormality in such matter-of-fact, black-or-white, clear-as-crystal way?

Is my blog really the best introduction to me?!

Most people are judged based on how they appear when they are with you. So what about mental health bloggers who share how they feel when they are NOT with you? What about mental health bloggers who write about thorny topics such as their own suicidality? self-harm? the agony of depression? the out-of-control panic of anxiety attacks and traumatic flashbacks?

What about mental health bloggers who are quite kooky and have quite unusual senses of humour? [TOTES JUST ASKING ON BEHALF OF A FRIEND] ;P

OMG, do I really want to be read up on by important people who can make decisions about whether to work with me?

Well, I suppose the answer is, yeah, I just have to take that risk.

I LOVE blogging, so I can’t stop, no matter who reads it and how potentially important their judgement of me is (career wise).

I don’t want to make my blog private, as I like meeting new people via this blog.

So I suppose I just have to hold my breath, shut my eyes and keep on keeping on :)

I WILL keep sharing honestly, even if it makes me look crap.

My passionate drive is to reduce stigma for mental health patients and survivors of trauma. I would be an absolute hypocrite if I decided not to blog, just to prevent the risk of people judging my honesty in critical ways that turned them off me and harmed my career prospects.

If my career prospects are limited by blogging, I guess I will have to stomach it and continue with my efforts to change society.

As Marilyn Monroe said,

If you can’t take me at my worst you don’t deserve me at my best.

So, on with my volunteering news, (the stuff I’ve avoided writing about for reason three, that it is special and I wanted to enjoy it privately for a bit first).

Apart from the parliamentary reception visit which is planned for next week, I am in talks with my local NHS mental health trust about joining the board as a service user and have some new contacts there. I am having a blog shared by the digital team at national Mind on Tuesday AND I have been invited to apply to become a trustee of a north-east victim charity, joining the board of totes important and intelligent people who steer the charity and make important decisions about how it is run, both now and in the future.

This is all FAB stuff :) I’m absolutely made up to be making some good progress, and really excited and enthused about these opportunities which are naturally opening up and unfolding in really lush directions!

This year I have worked really hard behind the scenes on my voluntary work, and believe me it is HARD work that has eaten up countless hours every day and week. I have not been receiving any payment in the bank for it, but I have approached it all conscientiously as though they are real jobs, because I want to do everything I attempt to the best of my ability. Finally that hard graft is paying off.

I am gaining amazing experience, am meeting some amazing people, and now I am finally getting somewhere.

Being asked to apply to be a victim charity trustee is a massively proud experience for me. I’ve felt totes emosh since I was asked as I appreciate the potential opportunity and what it involves SO MUCH.

This is exactly what I want to do, and I couldn’t be happier that the signs of promise are glinting in my ‘feeling-much-happier-than-I-was-a-month-ago’ eyes.

WOOP!

I think this week I have taken big strides forward, and to me it marks the final end of the depressive spell I’ve been in for some time. I am not depressed anymore. That episode has thankfully passed, and I’m becoming buoyant and enthused and inspired again.

I’m finding my inner sparkle and I won’t let anyone whatsoever dim my shine.

To everyone who has upset me lately, I forgive you, and I want you to know I’ve forgotten too. No hard feelings or grudges held on this side. It’s been a really tough period, but it is over now, and I’m on the up, travelling along my recovery path in a balanced way. No dizzying highs. No cavernous slumps or lows.

I’m settled, I’m strong, I’m confident I know where I’m headed, and I’m OK :)

I am now excited about the future again and that means a lot to me. I don’t always feel that positive. I have been chronically disillusioned and frustrated lately, but I’m returning to my former non-depressed self again, and it feels absolutely fucking FAB-U-LOUS!

:)

with love from a very happy & shiny summerSHINES blogger who will continue to share my bonkers with the (virtual) world  X

Here are some moodles to finish off this post (doodles to match my mood).

Today, I am happy :)