30 Days Brave//Part 2

As promise previously on my Part One blog, here is the second half of my 30 Days Brave.

Part 2

I bring you Day 15 on Saturday 1st July (I forgot on the Friday so yes, it skipped a day)…

Day 15 (Sat 1st July) ~ I AM RESOURCEFUL. Emotions that elicit resources. Draw a scene of yourself 15 days from now, succeeding in your 30~day challenge. Note what emotions arise as you doodle your braver, successful self. 

“It is not the lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.” Tony Robbins

For me this blog is my resource for working through this challenge. I had the resourcefulness to use it and make it a tool to work through where I want to go and what I want to do. My “Nomo” app is also a resource for me to help count and monitor my progress whilst also offering support via the buddy and online motivations.

I know the “sober” me will hopefully have a clearer mind and who knows shed some serious pounds too both literally and physically. The recycling bin is a lot emptier without my 28 wine bottles a fortnight in it (our bins are emptied fortnightly just fyi) and my bank balance a little happier too.

Also when you have been what could be described as an old soak for a period of time, then give up, without making any other changes to your diet at all it is said you can allegedly shed roughly 5~10lbs in weight ~ a month! Now I don’t know if this will apply to me because to distract myself from the cravings for wine I have been having the odd chocolate bar or three and/or packet of crisps at night instead. So my thinking is that once this challenge is in the bag, the cravings for wine under control then and only then I will have to address my evening sugar and snack habit before that becomes a bloomin’ addiction too!

So, to the future, I am imagining my emotions at the end of this challenge as being those of release. Release from the craving and grip alcohol has on me. Being able to shake free from it binds and go forward sober, both at home and socially. I also imagine my internal organs will be relieved at not being bombarded with nightly volumes of alcohol for it to filter and eliminate/corrode too. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, my perpetually swollen ankles will change and the cankles become ankles once more. Who knows really? We shall have to wait and see what the next few weeks bring. But heck yeah, going back to todays inspiration, I reckon I can be considered flippin’ resourceful and finding willpower previously lost to boot!

Day 16 (Sun 2nd July) ~ I AM FOCUSED. Having laser like focus. Today, pay extra attention to simple tasks you do everyday. By staying focused during mundane tasks, we strengthen our willpower to focus on our larger goals.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  Socrates

Today isn’t my normal day because I was packing for and traveling to Filey. So I just decided to focus on the little things. After I had packed I had a wander around the garden whilst the dogs toileted before getting into the car. It was sunny and quiet, so I took a few photos of things that caught my eye with the camera on my phone. One day soon I hope to be able to unearth my Canon, dust off the cobwebs and have a proper play. However, for a phone camera I don’t think these are too bad…

Some flowers & buds in the garden
A bee who chose to settle next to me

Then, whilst we were travelling to Filey I was in the back with these two Hairy monsters! Taylor is pretty good once he settles but Loki fidgets and can’t decide if he wants baby cuddles with me or to be scooched up close to Taylor…

Taylor as big brother to Loki the baby who likes to be cuddled  or scooched up to Taylor when traveling

Now in Filey, relaxing I find myself focusing on and being more aware of my surroundings I am noticing things I may have otherwise overlooked. I feel content now as I sip my tonic water and enjoy the sounds of the birds outside, tired but happy. My pain is quieter today and I am just taking everything an hour at a time, trying to stop piling pressure on myself to “do” and instead to “be”.

Day 17 (Mon 3rd July) ~ I AM PROGRESSING. Some days are harder than others. Let your brave muscle repair and strengthen by reflecting and appreciating the daily small wins you’ve been accomplishing.

“There are days when it is very discouraging. You have to develop personal resilience to environmental things that come along. If you let every single environmental challenge knock you off your game, it’s going to be very, very hard.” Renee James

It’s funny that today’s inspiration is about progression and it’s okay to have bad days so long as you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and carry on. Today mum is very much on my mind, how brave she was, how strong and resilient. She never complained or moaned about her illness which must have been painful and distressing. She used humour during the dark times to see us all through and worked to help and support us despite the horrors she was going through.

Me & mum December 2008, our last Christmas & photo together

I hope I have even a modicum of the strength she had, to be able to support my girls with the grace and strength she supported me on numerous occasions. Her time and love selflessly given at the drop of a hat. I am proud of myself being sober, despite the urge to drink. 17 days sober today and proud of my achievement. I hope my girls will concur, but feel I am a good mum to them, although know not perfect ~ but who is? Health wise it’s a day at a time, first quit  alcohol and get out top of the sobriety before moving onto weight loss and a gentle yoga type exercise regime to help stretch and loosen joints and muscles. As “they” say (whoever the mysterious “they” are) “Rome wasn’t built in a day” ~ sobriety takes work, the weight loss and trying to establish my health equilibrium will be ongoing, a long~term project.

I admit my poor health gets me down and my black dog is with me daily, quietly walking beside me but in check as much as can be, with no snarling or nipping at my heels. I keep taking the tablets and am grateful to have the support network around me that I have. For that I know I am exceptionally lucky.

I am a candle burner, I find the smells and sight of a burning candle soothing and a small treat. I have this new candle called “perfect margarita” which not only smells divine but also honors mums memory as a Marguerita who loved drinking margaritas. Today I shall light it for the first time and mentally chink a glass of margarita with mum.

My delicious smelling margarita candle in honour of mum 💜

I am now looking at my totem, Bernard, he makes me calm and focused and so I quietly say my affirmation to myself “I can do this”.

Day 18 (Tue 4th July) ~ I AM ADVENTUROUS. A mystery that’s meant to be lived. The next stranger that crosses your path, ask them the first genuine question that comes to mind. 

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Marie Curie

This took me out of my comfort zone. Yes, I chat to checkout cashiers in various stores and have built up a friendly rapport with them. BUT I think the only other time I have approached complete strangers is to ask for directions, which I inevitably forget and successfully get horribly lost!

So what shall I ask? It’s difficult for me as at the moment I am 95% housebound so don’t “see people” unless we have some deliveries, and I now know the couriers pretty well, so that doesn’t count. I will have to think, as I am in Filey and the area around us is very quiet, which is lovely but not helpful in this instance. I’ll come back to this later.

Well, I tried, I walked with Dave and the dogs as far as the mini market to see if I could ask a stranger a question. No~one around, so I doubled back and Dave continued on to walk the dogs. However, aside from today’s inspiration, I walked to the mini market and back without supports, crutches or stick it was a huge achievement but not one to be repeated for a while. Spaghetti ankles and wobbly walking meant I was shattered when I got back to the caravan and now my ankles are so swollen I can’t see any shape or ankle bones, just a blobby thing with little jelly toes. Yet, this gets chalked up as a win, I was outside and walking, something I miss so much.

Celebrating every win 👣👣💜

Well, I came up with a solution to the inspiration for today ~ I went into the 30 Day Brave closed group and posted for the first time, asking all the members, who are complete strangers, a question for the very first time AND it resulted in receiving an answer which is very helpful for my sugar issue. I have screenshot the post and reply but covered up the identity of the person who first responded…

My question to a stranger

For those of you interested in reading the article about why we turn to sugar during our sobriety journey you can read it here.

Day 19 (Wed 5th July) ~ I AM OPTIMISTIC. Greeting opposition with kindness. In a moment of misery, crack a smile. Try to force a giggle ~maybe even a full on belly laugh right now. Being optimistic is a choice. For every encounter of fear/opposition combat it with care and kindness. For every negative thought or emotion try to curve the corners of your mouth into a smile and focus on trying to change them into positive thoughts and optimism. In life things don’t always go your way but you can choose to use optimism to help you face adversity ~ it’s an exercise in changing your mindset.

“Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been and look at what can be.” Marsha Petrie Sue

I have just had a discussion to Dave about today’s inspiration. I asked him how he sees me as I feel I am over all an optimistic person. His response surprised me but I found myself nodding in agreement with him and realising that he is right.

So, what did he say? He feels I am 50/50 optimistic/pessimistic. I am optimistic about general issues regarding the girls, their health/mental health battles. I see improvements and feel that they will be okay in the future, with the growing understanding of their conditions and utilising support networks. However, I also can be called a “worry wart” who over thinks scenarios, lets the worry gnaw away at my peace of mind and imagines end results that may never happen. SO, Dave will help me with this and utilise today’s inspiration himself.

So on to today, we are having to go home early from our holiday, which is disappointing. Utilising the optimistic inspiration, it’s disappointing, yes ~ however the reason is because Dave has work piling up and so we need to go back to address that which is a positive, because we can do with the work coming in, who doesn’t? Plus, we have decided to come back for a week at the end of July to make up for it . So we have turned a negative into a positive ~ how’s that for an optimistic mindset?

I’ll share with you a couple of photos of Filey beach, it’s a short walk from our caravan and many times we have been the only ones on the beach which is awesome (usually these days happen to fall into when schools are not on holiday). The sand is soft and golden and the sea blue and clean, this is quite simply, my happy place.

Our cliff top view of Filey beach, turning my head to the left.
Our cliff top view of Filey beach, turning my head to the right
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Panoramic view of the beach from the cliff tops, our paradise

Day 20 (Thu 6th July) ~ I AM OUTGOING. Relish the moment with others. Today commit to one uncomfortable conversation.  By discussing your brave adventure you are inviting others to take part in your brave act. By doing this you are helping to savour your journey and goals more clearly. Look for, see and recognise the potential in others. Listen sincerely to friends and strangers as each new perspective brings forth new unique values.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self~doubt.” Sylvia Plath

So today I made the decision that although sugary treats have helped me keep my hand out of the drinks cabinet, I should now make a serious bid to nip that in the bud too. When I got up this morning I stepped onto the scales and moaned and wailed in despair at the number blinking back at me. Wailing over I then gritted my teeth and measured myself; neck, bust, biceps, waist, hips, and thighs ~ duly noting them down in my “Lose It” app.

I made the decision to call into see my pharmacist. I told him about my sobriety journey and weight/sugar issues and asked him advice on supplements. I asked him about one in particular which had come up during my chat on day 18, when I asked a stranger a question. The thread of answers and suggestions after the first reply went on quite impressively, with many lovely strangers sharing their tips and advice. One particular supplement came up time and again from everyone and that was that taking L~Glutamine really helped take the edge off alcohol and sugar cravings. Got to be worth a try I thought and so toddled off into the pharmacy as I said previously.

My pharmacist is my chosen chemist for my prescription medications, so he knows everything I am taking. When I asked him about the supplement he said it should be fine to take with my prescription drugs and that it was worth a shot. It couldn’t do me any harm. However, he didn’t have any so recommended I look for a good quality supplement. I mentioned Lamberts as have used many of their supplements in the past and he agreed. SO, now I have ordered my L~Glutamine supplements, which have been dispatched and should arrive in a day or two ~ only time will tell if they are effective or not.

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My new supplement

Incidentally I did a little googling prior to going to the Chemist, I wanted to sound as if I knew what I was talking about ~ didn’t help. Brain fog and anxiety took over and I mumbled through my story and questions, forgetting words ~ so to any onlooker it appeared as if we were playing charades instead of having a conversation!

SO, to the googling ~ here are 10 alleged benefits of taking L~Glutamine as taken from https://draxe.com/l-glutamine-benefits-side-effects-dosage/

10 Proven L-Glutamine Benefits

New research is now showing that L-glutamine benefits the body in the following ways:

  1. Improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair
  2. Helps heal ulcers and leaky gut by acting as a Band-Aid for protection from further damage
  3. Is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain and helps with memory, focus and concentration
  4. Improves IBS and diarrhea by balancing mucus production, which results in healthy bowel movements
  5. Promotes muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting
  6. Improves athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise
  7. Improves metabolism and cellular detoxification
  8. Curbs cravings for sugar and alcohol
  9. Fights cancer
  10. Improves diabetes and blood sugar

Day 21 (Fri 7th July) ~ I AM HUMBLE. Perspective on the next best step. Be vulnerably brave to ask someone for help that has already done what you are trying to do. 

“We should be inspired by people…who show that human beings can be kind, brave, generous, beautiful, strong ~ even in the most difficult circumstances.” Rachel Corrie

I was inspired to start immediately and not postpone going sober by the lovely Kim who is currently doing Sober 2017 without floundering at all and is half way through her quest. She said to me when I was dithering about when to start as I was away on holiday and kept saying “I’ll wait til I get home” ~ I was basically procrastinating. Kim gave me the kick up the arse I needed and said

“Do it now! Dave’s birthday is just another excuse to carry on drinking. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I was exactly the same .. there became a ‘need’ for that glass of wine every night to unwind and relax. There was always another reason to drink, and there IS always another reason not to stop. My skin and hair look fantastic now, I feel much better than I used to and wake up every morning without that grogginess that I became used to.”

Plus, as I am progressing through my journey the lovely Kim keeps me inspired and is giving me alcohol free beverage tips to try out too. Another person who has been supportive is fellow blogger Derval who happens to have two exceptionally great blogs;
https://dervswerve.wordpress.com/
and
https://fortysomethingwhinge.wordpress.com/
who has given me ideas on alcohol free drinks and sugar~free/low sugar treats to help me on my quest to remain sober. PLUS feeling very lucky I have a hugely supportive family network around me who are keeping me going and on the right path.

Day 22 (Sat 8th July) ~ I AM GRATEFUL. The antidote to fear. Gratitude may be perceived as a useful emotion for a greater well~being, but few people seek it out consciously. So today, set 3 alarms to go off at random times and as they alarm, stop what you are doing and bring to mind 3 things that you are grateful for in that moment.

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears.” Tony Robbins

So to my grateful day and my three alarms…

First alarm went off at just after 10am and I was still in bed. I felt grateful to have the support and love around me to be able to rest when my body needs it and know that my family understand why. My chronic health conditions make me feel very tired, constantly in pain and very foggy brained ~ the foggy brain causes me to say or do things that many people associate with dementia, in fact my husband took me to the doctors before my ME diagnosis as he was exceptionally concerned that I was showing signs of the onset of dementia. It’s frightening not being able to function properly and say, do, things that are odd and possibly inappropriate. We have been reassured that it is due to cognitive issues caused by my illness and not dementia, which is a relief.

Second alarm went off early afternoon whilst I was bobbing about in the garden with my camera. I haven’t been well enough to pick it up and use it in months. I had been snapping at random things in the garden just for the pleasure of using it again. My photographs weren’t brilliant and so I know I need to refresh myself on the how to do’s but I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt grateful to first own the camera and second to be able to potter and play with it today. Here are a few of my snaps…

Third alarm went off early evening. I was on the computer and felt grateful for modern technology. The fact that the internet allows you to be connected to people even when you are lying in bed feeling rough.  That being ill doesn’t stop you being part of a community or friendship group, it’s just a virtual presence instead of the physical. The friendships I have made through the internet have been invaluable and are friendships I value deeply. I have connected with many like~minded people who I may never otherwise have met. The internet also keeps me connected to people I do know from the physical world and family who I may rarely if ever see otherwise. I know many people say that having all this technology can squash and suffocate creativity and imagination. However, for some of us it is a much appreciated and valued life~line to the outside world.

Day 23 (Sun 9th July) ~ I AM RISKY. ” Inaction creates a regret. Your life is created by the risks you take. Failure and rejections may result but to go for it at least you know, don’t live life with “what ifs”.

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” Mary Tyler Moore

My “risky” action is to do something that takes me so far out of my comfort zone it’s untrue. The aim of my action though is to raise funds for an amazing charity that relies on funding to continue a service which is sadly so very desperately needed. The charity is called “SV2 ~ Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence” and one which two people very dear to me have had to access after being sexually assaulted.  Unfortunately, due to being unable to secure any long~term funding they have had to close their books to referrals whilst they utilise their remaining resources to help those already on the very long waiting list.

So, what is my risky action? I am setting up a fundraising page to raise funds for SV2 and in return I will be shaving my hair off, not to a number 1, but to a fully bald shiny scalp! I have no idea how much I will be able to raise but I am going to aim for £500, anything above that would be amazing. My fear is not being able to raise much money AND having no hair ~ it looks great on young folk who can carry it off, but on an aging bird such as myself, with crinkles and wrinkles, jowls and double chin, it will possibly be quite a scary sight! Here is a photo edited to give an idea of what I will look like, which is scary and “thug” like…

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So that’s it ~ my risky action is to verbally commit right now to shaving all my hair off on Sunday 1st October of this year and hopefully raise a decent amount of cash for SV2 in the process. I will blog at some point with the fundraising link and more information once the charity have organised registering on a platform for fundraising so that I can then create my page.

Day 24 (Mon 10th July) ~ I AM PERSISTENT.  The cost of inaction. Next time you get a ‘no’, ask again. And again. Then ask at least one more time. Don’t turn away for fear of not getting, keep trying even though you may not always succeed.

“Anyone who has a why to live can bear almost any what.” Nietzsche

Commit to 3 persistent asks.

To be perfectly honest I haven’t had any “No’s” today and so haven’t been in a position to ask persistently once, let alone three times. Today I visited my optician for my annual check, pressures, fields of vision etc as my mum had glaucoma they do this for free once a year.

As usual my eye sight has yet deteriorated and yet again new prescriptions of glasses require. Did you noticed I said prescriptions? For the first time I need 3 ~ I repeat 3 different prescriptions!

A pair for reading with (this made me giggle) flip down clip on sunshades, so if I need to read a map or directions or whatnot when out in the sun I can still see without glare. The flip down “shades” will have a blue light filter in them for me, which is apparently more effective than the standard filter.

THEN, I need driving glasses with the special blue filter put into/onto (not sure how it works) the lenses to stop glare during the day and reduce sensitivity from oncoming car lights at night.

FINALLY, I need another prescription for wearing all the time (when not reading or driving).

Not sure how to manage them all ~ am thinking three glasses cords and start a new trend by wearing three pairs of glasses at a time ~ on pair on my nose and two pairs pushed back on top of my head. If Nicole Ritchie can do it with sunglasses then why can’t I do it with my glasses? What do you think? It may catch on?

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I did ask questions, “Could I recycle my old pairs of glasses with the frames I am quite partial too and just have the new lenses put in.” To which I was given the reply “Yes, that’s not a problem at all”. I asked lots of questions as she was telling me how the hypermobility EDS can cause issues with my sight and it explains the year on year deterioration of my sight over the past 6 years. Hopefully with these 3 different prescriptions, so long as I am good and remember to wear which pair when, I may be able to slow down the deterioration. Only time will tell.

I take the lack of “no’s” in my life as a positive and something to be celebrated.

Day 25 (Tue 11th July) ~ I AM RESILIENT. Withstand the test of time. Health is the foundation for maintaining resilience. Put extra high priority on your health today. Be it physical, mental, or spiritual, whatever has been neglected most. Give it the attention you know it needs. I will not give up, I will not give in.  I will stand my ground take a breath, and say “Bring it on.”

“All you gotta do is outlast.” Buster Douglas’s Mum (Buster Douglas was the first boxer to ever knock out Mike Tyson (after getting knocked out himself in the previous round). Buster’s mom died two days before the fight, and he mustered the resilience to become the world’s heavyweight champion.)

Harnessing my inner Nurse Nutley!

Have I told you I have three chronic illnesses yet? Alright, I know I may have said it on one or three occasions ~ joking aside I have to keep an eye on myself because I tend to push through and overdo it which results in me having a huge crash and feeling awful for days.

Today is a special day because it’s my middle borns birthday, she also suffers from chronic illness, as do my other daughters, plus Dave with his heart issues. You could say that we are a chronically dysfunctionally functional family, so watching our own health and that of each other is a normal for us to the point where nowadays we pretty much do it without needing to consciously think about it. On special occasions we all know that we need to rest before, plan rest afterwards and factor in pacing throughout the day. With that in mind we then work out the best energy~saving direction to take in enabling full celebrations without dire PEM afterwards.

For todays inspiration I will be keeping a quiet subtle eye on the birthday celebrations and tweak proceedings as I go along to make it as pleasurable an experience for all of us without any major health risks or issues as a result.

Day 26 (Wed 12th July) ~ I AM EUSTRESS. It’s the good kind of stress. (NOTE: definition, if you are like me and have never heard this word before; Eustress means beneficial stress—either psychological, physical (e.g. exercise), or biochemical/radiological (hormesis). The term was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, consisting of the Greek prefix eu- meaning “good”, and stress, literally meaning “good stress”). Condition yourself to be more okay with discomfort by intentionally doing something goofy or unusual. Wear mismatched socks for example or wear your shirt inside out. As I condition myself to master my fear of discomfort in small doses, I notice my comfort zone slowly expand to include discomfort. I grin in discomfort knowing that’s the indicator that my brave muscles are being stretched and growing.

“Discomfort is very much part of my master plan.” Jonathan Lethem  

This inspiration made me chuckle, I often wear my clothes inside out or am mismatched which is standard behaviour for me. I crack eggs onto the counter instead  of the bowl, put cold water in my coffee by mistake, as have forgotten to boil the kettle. Put the milk in the cupboard and cereal in the fridge ~ I could go on forever about this as this kind of behaviour is my daily normal. I have learnt, as have my family, who I hasten to add often have similar behaviour, to laugh at these silly accidents or behaviours and try not to stress or worry about it.

I am pretty good now with accepting minor discomforts when I do these things and invariably make a joke about it. Sometimes it can be frustrating but mostly it is just funny, and a laugh with those around me (or to myself) usually sorts out any embarrassment felt. I accept this will be an ongoing thing, especially whilst my cognitive function is so impaired, but why not make it a laughing point instead of something to wail and cry over?

Also, although this has nothing to do with today’s inspiration, I have to share with you my excitement at picking up my new “distance” glasses. Needless to say they have purple frames, but it’s the lenses I am so excited about. As I said in a previous inspiration that they were to have a special tint added so that I am protected from the glare of sunlight during the day and the glare of oncoming headlights at night. Well ~ the tint is PURPLE  how cool is that? When it’s not needed they look like normal lenses but the magic happens when light hits the frames. See photo below…

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Day 27 (Thu 13th July) ~ I AM CONFIDENT. It grows like a muscle. Answer every question that is asked of you today with a confident ‘YES’ or ‘NO’. Taking constructive action on what I feel is right will keep my conscience satisfied and build up self-confidence. 

“Confidence is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.” Unknown

This has been easy for me today because I don’t have to be anywhere, no taxi service required of me ~ nada. To be honest though, I am, as I get older, getting to be much better at assertively saying either “yes” or “no” with more confidence than in the past when I would always say “yes” to people when in my heart I wanted to say “No”.

I suppose with age comes experience and the ability to assert yourself better and not worry about being “popular” or caring about how others perceive you quite as much. It is so easy to become a dogsbody, as I have been in the past during my late teens to mid 30’s. People I thought back then were friends turned out to just be abusing my good nature for as long as they could. Me being naive, thought they genuinely liked me, I was too soft~hearted and didn’t like to upset anyone or let them down. This resulted in me doing things I didn’t want to do just to please others.

As I have grown older these people have dropped away, either by my hand or theirs. I now have very few people in my life who were also in it back then. It’s very sad but perhaps also a great opportunity to take stock and move on. I endeavour to ensure my girls only to do what they are comfortable and willing to do. Never to be pushed, bullied or enticed to do something they don’t want to do. To listen to their inner voice and follow their gut.

I have to say now, the people I surround myself with both physically and virtually are all people I want to have in my life. My “virtual” friends are equally as important in my life as my “physical” friends.

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As my health has deteriorated I have relied more heavily on the virtual friends as the majority of them are feeling and experiencing similar issues and together we support each other and live our social lives via the internet.

Day 28 (Fri 14th July) ~ I AM CHANGING.  Old ways  won’t open new doors. Ask someone who knows you well, “What is the biggest change you have noticed most in me lately?” When things get stormy, know this too shall pass, any current pain will subside. When good things drift away take comfort knowing better things await on the journey ahead.

“Change can be beautiful when we are brave enough to evolve with it, and change can be brutal when we fearfully resist.” Bryant McGill 

I have been trying to make changes recently, been trying not to “fix” my loved ones and instead just listen and support. Trying not to become offended when offered constructive criticism and making an effort to open up and be just there, in the the moment with everyone.

However, I do have issues, I am cognitively impaired and swear I am going deaf too ~ as my hearing has deteriorated, although thankfully not as much or as swiftly as my sight. I am, it has to be said, a very full on person, everything is black or white, full steam ahead or totally crashed out, up or down. I’m not too good at areas of grey and need to try and work on that. So I asked my family for their thoughts and this is what they said…

bowie-changes-head

“You have been very determined recently. Less irritable. By your standards you’ve been pretty chilled out when I’ve seen you xxx.”

“You’ve ‘listened’ quotations because you’re still deaf 😋 more to others a little more, and accepted things a bit better. I think before you got quite defensive and didn’t take criticism too well, but now you’re a lot more open to listening to what others have to say without taking offence where it wasn’t intended xx.”

“You’re understanding of everyone and have tried to help any way you can xx.”

“Definitely more chilled, but still bat shit crazy!”

NOTE: this has nothing to do with the 30 day brave challenge but I have just been called to go and pick up the rest of my glasses ~ so now have 3 pairs of purple glasses, my everyday and reading can be made into sunglasses with the clip on shades (they said they are better than the flip down clip on shades), plus my awesome tinted driving glasses with their purple tint (it’s actually a blue tint but shines as purple) which means no need for prescription sunglasses as these do the job for me. Happy as a pig in muck, just flippin’ love them, I can now see all the time!

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Day 29 (Sat 15th July) ~ I AM GROWING.  Micro acts of bravery. Reach out to someone. Why not ask them how they are coping with making real changes in their life. Try to pinpoint what the real driving force for their action to change was.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher 

Today I chatted to my second born child, Tasha, via the internet. We talked about how different life is now she has left home. She loves being independent and self~reliant but also is horribly home sick as we are exceptionally close to each other. It’s a time of transition and learning how to be brave in her own way. Saying that, we still see each other and she is coming to spend the night with me tonight whilst Dave is away and Keisha and Tara are working.

Being chronically ill and living with others who aren’t is also quite a change for her ~ saying that, her housemates are incredibly supportive and understanding. For Tasha, pinpointing the driving force was simple. She is 19 and has a chronic illness, it is too easy when living at home to let me take the helm and run her life for her. She wants to be in control of her own life, her choices, her mistakes, her journey.

We are fully supportive of her and won’t interfere in her life or decisions unless specifically asked to help. I think she is ready for this transition but may experience a wobble now and then which is perfectly normal.

As I said earlier, later today I will be bringing my 2nd born home as tonight she is staying overnight with me, we will be catching up on the remaining few Greys Anatomy episodes we have recorded and as yet unwatched. We have planned a brainstorming session to come up with a name for her new piercing business and a logo.

I love having special time with each of my daughters as their lives are very full now, which is my dream for them, especially as they have multiple issues to deal with every day regarding their health and mental health.

Keisha lives alone in a gorgeous flat and works at a bar in the evenings. She is a Red Cross volunteer, currently going through training with them so that she can help those in need with form filling, getting to appointments, claiming support and so on. It is rewarding and fulfilling for her which is awesome and fills her time during the summer break from Uni.

Tasha, recently moved out, is learning to live life outside the home. She is becoming independent and self~reliant. Since her piercing course she hasn’t done that many jobs but now is ready to launch her business properly. For the time being she has the studio set up in our spare room downstairs but is looking at tattoo parlours who want a piercer and other piercing studios in town to get the customers who are in town already and decide on a whim to get a piercing.

Tara has a job waitressing at our local pub, usually five shifts a week and is now enjoying a good social life and going to the YNot festival next weekend with a group of her friends. She has a place at the local, highly rated, beauty therapy college for the next three years. After that she is all set to start her own business and become self~sufficient and self~employed.

So with two out of three daughters now no longer living at home with us I have told Tara not to even think about leaving home just now, I don’t think I am ready for that yet!

Day 30 (Sun 16th July) ~ I AM BRAVE. It has always been there. Reward yourself with something nice. Really nice. You’ve earned it.  Remember you challenged myself, took action, put in the time, stepped out of your comfort zone, took risks, felt vulnerable, and accomplished facing fears, and building a solid foundation to continue as you move forward ~ you are brave. 

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” C. Joybell

Today I am still sober ~ I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since I began this journey on Day 1 of the 30 Days Brave Challenge.

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My mission is to continue my sobriety and do a whole year sober. After that I don’t know, I may or may not continue OR I may try minimal drinking on special occasions. Until the time arrives I don’t know what I will decide. What I DO know is that my kidneys are so much happier, I haven’t had any kidney related back pain for days now.

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So today my reward? Plain chocolate bounty bar, in my opinion far superior to the milk chocolate version and a chocolate muffin washed down with a delicious decadent Costa Caramel Fudge Creamy Iced Coffee. I’m a simple girl with simple tastes, although the theme is primarily coffee and chocolate!

BONUS since day one and quitting the booze I have lost 11lbs in weight ~ I know! So before I leave you I share with you  a wee gif of baby Groot just because I love him…

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‘Til next time

x~X~x

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