Another Burgh Castle adventure😀

Another Burgh Castle adventure

It’s been a while since I’ve wrote a blog, due to personal reasons, but I’m back up and running. I want to let you know about my visit to Burgh Castle yesterday. I was not looking forward to the activities we were going to do, arts and crafts, and also building a module for a sculpture we are doing. Now anyone who knows me, knows I’m not artistic at all, and because of this I get frustrated with myself, if I see myself as failing. But I’m very happy to report, that I actually enjoyed it a lot.

We are making a sculpture from willow branches. It will be a dome shape, to be used on the sculpture trail in Raveningham. We had to bend the branches into to shape, and make some circles, some small and some medium and some large. I was getting frustrated with joining them with the wire, then I realised, by watching others, that I wasn’t doing it the correct way. I should have used the string. But once I saw how it was being done, I found it a lot easier the way I saw others doing it.

After a while, we then had a couple of people come and talk from the Assent Project. They do research on how people with communication difficulties, are not asked to help with research. And to help come up with communication tools and skills, so they then can join with any studies and research. As I struggle with communication needs, I found it a great thing to be involved with, and have now signed up to take part in the research.

The other part of the arts and craft session, I drew a circle on some paper, and placed some plants on it. I then PVA glued the plants on, twice, then put another piece of paper on top and pressed it out so the glue spread. One more coat of PVA glue, then I hung it up to dry. I sent my partner a photo of what I had done, and she said the title of the artwork should be ‘The world as nature intended ‘. I also made an origami butterfly, which I must send my thanks to another participant on the course, who helped me, after I cussed it for a while, through their encouragement to make it.

Thanks for reading. I’m starting to realise, we can do anything we want, even it it looks like we fail, we don’t. Failing is not trying at all, don’t you think!

Homework really works!!!!!!!!!!

Homework really works!!!!!!!!

Hi everyone, hope this catches you all in an upbeat and positive way.

Well, i have something interesting to share with you all. As you may be aware from my previous blogs, I am currently partaking in CBT therapy. It is a one to one session, and i am learning so much from it all.

Now I have never been academically minded, and came out of school without much to show for my many years at school. So when my therapist sets me homework, it can be a bit of a challenge.

I have learned a lot of coping strategies through various courses i have done, so when my CBT therapist sets me homework, i try to do my best and do it.

Well, last week she set me some homework, which i took on board and was determined to complete. This did not go according to plan!!

I spent most of the week cursing her, and thinking that she had set me up big time!

So I shall share with you what made me feel this way. She asked me to make a list. A list of evidence of the negative things i thought to myself.

My main thoughts are, I am no good, I am not good enough, and I always make mistakes because im useless.to anyone.

I thought it would be an easy task, but was dumbfounded when i realized, there was no evidence to justify what i was thinking and feeling about myself.

My therapist had set me up!!!! Yes in a very very good way, but what a simple and effective way to make me see things from a different perspective.

So my visit with her yesterday, was very interesting too. She asked me for my homework, with a little smile on her face, i looked at her and said, I was still in the process of doing it, as i could not believe that i could not find any evidence at all. With her smile on her face, she replied, i thought that would be the case.

Now don’t get me wrong, this was not a trick on her part, she is a highly trained therapist, and knows what she is doing, obviously. But something so simple, has blown me away. Yes i am still trying to find evidence, but now I am smiling, because i cannot find any at all. And that’s a good thing!

So when you think about it, all the negativity we aim at ourselves, is totally wrong. Think about it, wheres the evidence!!!

Pickle, not just something I put on my sandwiches….

Pickle, not just something i put on my sandwiches….

Nine years ago, i persuaded my partner to let me have a dog. We went and met her parents and even though she was all teeth and a rapid ball of fur, we fell in love. We took her home and decided to name her Pickle, due to her Branston pickle looking colour.

Due to potty training, we decided she had to learn to go to the kitchen to do her business on the pad, so we brought a stairgate to keep her in, but the sassy mutt jumped it within twenty minuets….. we quickly found out this mutt had springs in her feet!!!!

As most pups do, she whizzed around the house, chewing my partners slippers…and teething on anyone’s hands available. But my favorite thing she did was when she was ready to sleep. She would curl up and sleep on my head. As shes gotten bigger, this is not viable, but does not stop her trying.

Now the reason i am talking about my scruffy hairy mutt, is because of how she helps me. As most dogs do, they can sense things in humans. She knows when im anxious or upset and will jump up for a cuddle.

I find stroking her hair very therapeutic. It can calm me down and make me feel at ease. It may be the stroking sensation that makes me feel relaxed, im not sure, but im not going to question it, as it works. The licking of my face is not so therapeutic, but i understand its her way of saying, its ok dad, im here.

Now im not suggesting we all go out and get a nutty ball of fur to keep us sane, i just want to share with you the things that help me during my times of anxiety and stress.

We go on walks, and this is helpful, as we are in the fresh air and walking in nature which i love. Now my mutt is strange, because if its raining, she point blank refuses to leave the house!!!! Now thats great as i dont like getting wet, but dragging her along the floor, is not something i want to be seen doing!!!! So on very wet days we stay in.

She makes me laugh a lot, even now thats shes getting on in age,, everyone loves her as she is so friendly and wanting love off everyone, but we noticed with an old friend of ours, that even pretend fighting me will result in your leg or bum coming into contact with her teeth!!

I think what i am trying to tell you is, i have found different ways of coping with my anxiety and thoughts, and my beloved Pickle is one of my stress busters. So what do you use to help you de-stress??

Hope this finds you in good stress free mental health, and i would like to give out a big thank you to my Mutt and anyone else pets that helps them through times of need.

Have a good day and keep smiling, as this will make you feel good even when your not in the mood to.

Not just about Mental Health!!!!

Not just about Mental Health!!!!

Hey Everyone, hope this finds you all well. Well this blog is to share with you, not only my mental health, but also my physical health. I have had a condition called M.E. since the age of 15. A brief description of this condition is that causes extreme fatigue in all your muscles, and makes you want to sleep a lot! It can affect your joints quite a lot too.

So i am a member of the Burgh Castle Almanac group, and we all went on the Angles Way walk, which is 4.5 miles long. well for most this is a mission, but for someone with M.E., it can be very daunting and exhausting experience. But i am very happy to say, I did it !!! ok i’ve been resting every since, but the achievement of doing it was well worth it.

When i found out we were doing the walk, i dreaded it. The thought of walking that far made me feel anxious, and i wanted to pull out quite a few times, due to the fear of failing to complete it. But with encouragement, and a stern talking to myself, I did it, and best of all, as i have said earlier, I completed it. I think our biggest obstacle in life is ourselves. We talk ourselves out of so many good things, that we miss, what is, and can be a very uplifting experience, whatever level of fitness or mental capability we are. I think pushing ourselves to what we think is our limit, will surprise us all, when we realize, that that limit, is actually limitless!!!

So i have mentioned in a couple of blogs, what i get up to in the Burgh Castle Almanac group, well the update of what we have been up to is thus. We have had a small exhibition at the Great Yarmouth Time and Tide museum, which is well worth a visit if you have never been, where we displayed our artwork and items that we have found on our walks around Burgh Castle. Items such as pottery and an old coin. The coin was an old Roman coin with an inscription on which had been translated to say, ‘The return of Happy times’ The art work was made by using a pin hole camera, which gave great results and was very interesting to do. Other artwork included, a drawing and photos which we had taken and adapted through a app on the computer.

Once the exhibition was taken down, we were told that while it was up, the museum had had 2395 people through the door, looking at all the exhibits, including ours. This has made me feel very proud of our group, and all that we have achieved throughout the year.

I am having ups and downs with my mental and physical well being, but achieving something like all this, above, makes it easier to like myself just that little bit more. I can actually say now, i did that, and im dam well proud of what i’ve achieved.

I encourage you all to try something that you thought was un-achievable before, because i can guarantee, you will succeed and feel great about it. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to do something, its the not giving up and finally succeeding that counts.

I wish you all happy mental and physical health, and keep up the good work!!!

Therapies

Therapies

Living with mental health, covers a vast array of conditions. What does it mean to you I wonder, and what therapies have you tried?

There are many things you can try, with or without medication. As you may be aware, I am now involved with CBT, which I am finding very helpful. My partner has had counselling and EMDR, which, in her words, has cured her of her CPTSD. She would shout from the rooftops to anyone who would listen, how fantastic her counsellor was, and still is!

She also tells me that she finds it hard to understand, why others don’t try EMDR therapy. So its made me think. As we are all individuals, I believe not one specific therapy will or can, work on everyone.

We all have our own journey in life, and our own experiences, which makes us all brilliantly unique, so this, I think, can compact on how we heal and at what pace.

I know my partner has lived with her condition for over forty years, until she was cured, her words, but then was she now ready? It’s a bit like the chicken and the egg scenario, which came first, her ability to face her demons, or the right therapist? Her journey was quite complex, and it has taken her years to finally find peace, but that does not matter, as she has now got to where she was aiming for.

I know in the past she has had therapists who were no help to her at all, in fact she tells me, one therapist was crying when she was telling her her story. So her confidence in this particular therapist was shaken to the core, and she spent many many years, still looking for answers to help her with her mental health recovery.

I’m really happy for her recovery, and am proud of how far she has come. I look forward to my day of feeling happier with my life, and feel more hopeful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. and not just some bloke lost with a torch searching for something himself.

The conversation with my partner, and now my CBT journey, has thrown up questions about therapy. Do you think they work? and if so, which ones would you be shouting about from the rooftops?

I think, as i have stated above, that this is a personal thing, and the therapy we find helps the best, might not be the best for the person who has similar conditions as we do. We will all be different in our journey, and we will deal with them accordingly. After all we are all a product of our upbringing and environment, coupled with the fact that we have different and complex personalities, so as you see, we are unique, interesting people, and thats fantastic, as life would be so boring if we were the same.

So don’t judge others, if they have not found the way to recover yet, its not a race to the finishing line. This has been made clear to me by my partner. She was judging someone who was constantly moaning about their own CPTSD, and she could not understand why they had not tried the therapy she had, and was cured of this crippling mental condition. But she now understands, through her own thoughts, that we are not ready when others think we are, that the final step is their choice to make.

I think the reason for this post is, hope. Hope that one day we can all come to terms with our mental health, and hope of a brighter future. If any of you have had experience of a therapy that has helped, or cured you, please feel free to share. I wish you all good mental health, and success on your journey.

Positivity verses negativity.

Positivity verses negativity.

Hey everyone, I hope you are all well and good today. I’m going to talk to you about my struggles of living with mental health, and my last two therapy sessions I have had, and how I think they are going, and how my therapist has challenged, me and I’m finding it hard.

I’ll give you example. My partner could ask me to make her a drink, so I’ll go put the kettle on and start making a coffee, but in fact she has asked for a latte, so then I will call myself an idiot, and a thick c@@t. Sorry for the bad language. This makes me feel bad, but also makes me feel useless, as I feel I can’t get a simple task right. My therapist has now told me to say something different when this happens. I need to say to myself what’s the worst that can happen. And she’s right, what is the worst that can happen. My partner moans, which she don’t. So I’m beating myself up for no reason, So, Ive started to spend a lot of time saying to myself, what is the worst that can happen?

Another one of The things I struggle with is, when I’m in a group setting and everyone is talking, I tend not to say anything, because I’m worried that because I don’t understand what the conversations on about most of the time, I will just nod and laugh while watching others reactions to what’s being said. I shouldn’t feel like this but I just don’t feel comfortable to say anything to the group. It’s a feeling of being seen as stupid, which makes me uncomfortable and reluctant to join in.

Also when I get asked to try new things, for example, the project I’m involved in at Burgh Castle. We have an artist come in to show us arts and crafts. This subject is not top on my to try list, but I will give it a go. But then the negative thoughts and voices comes flooding through, telling me I’m no good, I can’t do this, I’m useless, and it makes me mad with myself. I huff and puff and try my best, and I finally achieve something resembling what we have been shown, but I do it, I complete it, I succeed. When I finish, I sit back and can now say, “up yours thoughts and voices telling me I can’t.”

So it’s been just over month now that I’ve started with a new therapist from the local mental health team. I was so nervous about starting. My first session came up, and we talked about how I feel when making mistakes. We also talked about what do I want from the therapy, and I replied that I wanted her to help me with my anxiety, and to help me stop beating myself up verbally all the time.

Second session was harder for me. It was hard because we talked about how much pride or belief I have in myself, and how I don’t hold myself in high regard. I have a low opinion of myself, so my therapist challenged me to say something nice to myself each morning. So it’s now day four, and I’ve got my Facebook page and twitter followers involved with it, and I’m really surprised of how it makes you feel better about yourself, when your not constantly putting yourself down for no reason reading others positive thought helps loads too, so a quick thank you to all who have sent positive words.

Thinking positive can have a huge effect on your mental health, so I’m trying to turn a negative thought into a positive one from now on, try it and see how much more positive you will feel doing just this one simple trick.

I know some days are worse than others, but even those days can be made into positives.

Keep well, think great thoughts, and let me know how your doing. Because I’m doing great!!!

Another visit to Burgh Castle.

So on the 19th February we where again at Burgh Castle for another group session, where we take our fixed points photos, and we had Ian the artist with us and Tim the stone guy.

There was a small group of, and we met at the village hall. After all the introductions and a catch up of everything, we then gathered closer to Tim’s computer he had set up. Well, I was expecting this power point demonstration to be boring, as we were talking about stones.

I can say I was pleasantly surprised how un-boring it was, as he passed some stones around the group. It was interesting to me how old they could be, and how far they had come, and I didn’t realise how many different stones there were out there.

After the talk, we then went for our walk around Burgh Castle. we then took the fixed points photographs. We found out about how long it took them to build the church and what a wide range of stone that was used in there wall.

We then carried walking around Burgh Castles fort. It was windy, but when you got in the sun it was lovely and warm. I really enjoyed seeing the site so busy, because it was half term and families were out together walking there dogs.

We then went over to what I call our winter spot, where the wind isn’t to bad. We started making things with clay. I’m not an arty person but it was really nice and relaxing doing this, then went down buy the river, which is one of my favourite thinking spots listening to the reeds and the running water.

We then took part in our mindfulness walk, and this is another of my favourite part of Burgh Castle, where you can just take the time to be silent and listen to wildlife, the river, nature sounds and the motors of the odd boat that goes by.

So a small lesson I learned about this day, don’t alway judge something before you start doing it, because you never know when your going to learn something new and actually enjoy the experience.

Thanks for reading, take care, be safe, and try something new each week, you never know, you just might like it!