Search

The Ordinary Life Of A Chameleon

The benefits of massage (in my opinion)

” Touch was never meant to be a luxury. It is a basic human need. it is an action that validates life and gives hope to both the receiver and the giver”

If you follow my blog you will see that this week I had a full on meltdown – cue sitting at the beach in the car, in the rain at sunset having a cry and a serious word with one’s self and a rant on my blog – ” Tears, Tantrums and Time out”

So as part of my talking to myself, being rational and coming up with a way to pull myself together and of of this emotional hole or peel myself from the brick wall I have hit I decided that every day I need 1 hour – that’s not home – not work – but my time. Time to sit in a  coffee shop and write, read, people watch, time to work out, or time for relaxation. I then got to thinking how beneficial I have found massage in the past through various stressful periods in my life – one which resulted in me being bald at 21 – cue previous blog post The Alopecia years.

It just so happened that a Thai Massage Spa had opened across the road from where I work and like a sign it shone out to me so I went in post meltdown day, got a price list, went back booked and paid a deposit and today was the day. 1 hour – me time – Thai Massage

Now let me make this very clear

Thai Massage – is not for the faint hearted…

I have had numerous massages over the years, some good some not so good, some oily, some not, some naked ( strangest massage ever in Ibiza) and some fully clothed. So I feel I am qualified to review the benefits of such an experience.

For one its proven that human touch calms and nourishes, reduces anxiety and depression and is extremely beneficial to the soul and mind – being a singleton I don’t get much in the way of touch and cuddles and for a tactile person thats tough and so as well as the actual muscle manipulation I also find massage somewhat comforting – just to have another human being touch me. I’m no pervert, or at all relating this to anything sexually so let’s make that very clear but think about this…When did you go a week without a kiss a hug, a handshake, a pat on the back some attention from the cat or the dog?

I do and I have come to realise that it is an emotional problem for me..

0cc457a0a954ace71183b50624a3cbd2.jpg9fb1f3ecf54a68cca33f0cc0754c0ac7.jpg

So after work sat in an office by myself all day with my computer I literally cold not wait to get to my massage appointment. I entered the Spa and met Annie – wonderful Annie – A 25 looking 42 year old Thai lady with a huge smile and the strength of an Ox again I will make this clear  – If you like a tender tickle aromatherapy massage – this is NOT for you. If you are in any way uncomfortable with your body being moved around, legs put in all sorts of angles and your boob occasionally being exposed then forget this type of massage. However…. If you want to forget you have arms, legs, feet and see what your body is really capable of – then go and try it.

Post Massage – I literally felt my body flop.

The first thing Annie said to me is you want me to walk on you? I didn’t know did I? I cant say I have ever been asked that before but I willingly obliged thinking she is the therapist and she knows best. She then asked me if I would like Tiger Balm – again I have no idea so I leave it to her.

For over an hour ( I only paid for an hour) this tiny Hercules of a woman cracked my hole body – fingers, toes, neck, back, she pulled and stretched my limbs, manipulated my muscles and at the very end used some kind of move/technique to stretch out my back backwards that I literally fell forwards into some kind of flop which she thought was wonderful and then used my body in its floppy position to end the massage.

At times is was incredibly painful, that said I have had sports massage and felt the pain only to feel intense relief afterwards so my faith in Annie was second to none. It was brutal, pleasurably painful, and yet still so very relaxing.

I walked out of the door and a man who crossed my path said to me you smell amazing – the smell was nothing to how I felt – I literally felt like I was floating. I walked lighter, slower, I drove slower, I thought less, and my whole world literally slowed down for hours afterwards. This has once more reiterated to me my need for some stress release and we all find that in different ways – for me it is definitely massage and if you are struggling to find your wind down – try it, I can highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Tantrums – Tears – Time out

So I shook the feeling for a bit (See previous post “I cant fight this feeling anymore) well I did and I won for a bit paraded around with the trophy all smug forgot I felt so low – it felt good – I felt better.

I had to support a friend in moving house and helping her on her low days as various elements of life were challenging her – plus I was also moving into the same house – temporarily renting a room so it was also in my interest to get things moving. Plus she has been a rock for me in the last 2 years of my post marriage departure and recent life meltdown – that’s a bit extreme and over dramatic but i’m feeling in that type of mood.

I’ve recently been feeling so lonely and you now where I’ve felt the most lonely – in social situations. Go figure that. I have tried to figure it out and have come to the conclusion that it’s indeed an amalgamation of things a Lemony Snicket style series of unfortunate events – or events that I choose and deem to be unfortunate – after all we read all the time that we are in control of our thoughts and emotions and can change our lives and mental state with positive affirmations – but you know what somedays it just doesn’t seem that simple or even straight forward.

Let me explain in some more detail the bouts of loneliness – it’s mostly in group or social situations and mostly with people of my age who are married – planning a wedding having babies – and thats what the centre of our conversations are about. I feel like because I am not (A) – getting married or (B) having a baby that what’s going on in my life is seemingly of no interest – like my spirit and soul belong in a different place and it’s that obvious.

9453682fbbae26a0e96e1bf174137e09 eb97067c4d8a8fdbffbd514b6c6d883b

I’m frustrated at my lack of enthusiasm for my friends situations – that brings on a self loading that disturbs me – I want to be happy for them – share their joy but I cant and I don’t know why. I’ve been married happily at first and been through and had all of the wonderful things that they are planning and organising – am I therefore a selfish cow because I had that and I decided to throw it away to change to have and be something different? Then there is my biggest fear of all

Am I becoming bitter? oh god no – that is like receiving some kind of fatal diagnosis from the doctor – I have a very bitter Mother and it breaks my heart to see and hear it ooze out of her – it is the absolute last thing I want to become, the very word chills me to the bone and I have thus refused and blocked it from entering my being for the last 34 years which is quite a mean feat given some of the things I’ve experienced.

So why cant I be happy for them why cant I get excited about baby showers and weddings and new houses and family time and blah blah blah? Is it because I am unhappy and unsettled – that seems like a bull shit kind of excuse to me – I’ve always been able to share in everyone else joy and find it for them when they have lost it – have I had my quota? Is that it – that I’ve worn myself out?

Im driving myself crazy – i dislike my demeanour – I tried colouring last night and got so angry at my colouring book I had to tell myself to out the pens down – what on earth is that all about? Ive tried meditation – I’ve tried yoga, I’ve tried reading, I’ve tried exercise – nothing. If I was a child Im sure I would have destroyed a supermarket display or had some sort of tantrum by now and been put on the naughty step or sent to bed – i’ve tried going to bed – cant sleep…..

So now I’m sat here in a beautiful but windy place – by the ocean watching the sun set and furiously tapping away on my Macbook – I’ve run away – we had a friend and her children over tonight and I can’t cope – oh cue selfish hatred for myself again – I’m so selfish I could have gone home and pretended I’m ok – no you’re right I couldn’t I’m terrible at that – I’ve tried to cry – had a little cry here on the way over now it’s stopped well thats that then.

This is a pretty view – and breathe…

FullSizeRender

Friendship and divorce – Did my friends divorce me?

Friendships and Divorce – Did my friends divorce me?

This morning I sat a train station watching a set of two couples embrace. It reminded me of the wonderful opening and closing scenes of one of my favourite movies – Love Actually. These 4 people no doubt about to go away for a weekend together somewhere lovely, it made me smile and also feel a tiny bit of sadness. They have no doubt synched their diaries to get to this event, juggling work, children, weddings and other events over the passing months – well the ladies will have – the guys just turning up when they re told and reminded a week before of the upcoming trip.

Divorce and friendship

It got me to thinking about friendships and divorce.

When you get divorced do you divorce your friends too?

Or do they decide to divorce you?

 

I used to be one of those couples in fact I was from the tender age of 21 right through to 32 part of a couple – planning weekends away, weekly dinners at each others houses or a meal out over a weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed those times and had extremely close relationships with a couple of sets of couples. Now I am divorced – that is seemingly over.

 

Unknown-2I didn’t choose that however.

I chose to leave my husband

Not for anyone else but for myself to scratch a deep rooted inner itch of self development self sooting and ultimately finding my very lost self.

 

 

So what happened to my close friends one of which I had been friends with since college and before I even met my now ex husband? This friend is now married – I was heavily involved in her wedding at a time when my own marriage was falling apart – she has a child and one on the way – the perfect husband, home, family and circle of friends some of which I used to share with her – and I am genuinely truly delighted for her but is the difference in our lives now too much? – Shouldn’t a friendship be able to withstand that? Do I feel let down by her lack of presence in my life – a text to see how I am or is it too difficult for her to reach out to me? Is it me ? Do I find it hard to sit in her perfect situation as happy as I am for her because for so long we were headed in the same direction and now simply aren’t?

Unknown

I have a handful of rock solid friends don’t get me wrong, I am blessed and grateful for each one of them who have been so supportive and many who have been truly truly wonderful and whom without I would never have managed to have got through the last 2 years but I’m still hurt and disappointed when I lose one – I work hard at my friendships and many of my friends I have had for 10 years plus.

I am at the age where many of my friends are getting married and having babies – yet I have walked away from that so suddenly we are polar opposites – Is that the problem?

When we become a divorcee do we just not fit into certain circles anymore? Or is it just to difficult for them to understand me and my decision and my new single life? Do I just accept what is and walk away? The longer I go without seeing or contacting them the harder it is – more time passes more things have happened in our now separate lives that we are each unaware of and catching up becomes almost too difficult.

Unknown-1

It is seemingly true that when you go through a particularly tough time in your life you really do find out who your friends are – the real ones that are there no matter what and on reflection of feeling scarred by the loss of one or two I am reminded how many more wonderful sturdy and amazing sisters I have and my feelings and bonds with them have only intensified. So I send my sadness about it into the abyss and turn it into gratefulness and gratitude for the amazing and wonderful friends I have.

I can’t fight this feeling anymore

I can’t fight this feeling anymore

When do you decide to give in to that feeling? To admit that you cant fight it anymore and that it isn’t going away?  That murkiness and lack of clarity, – not quite feeling like yourself and not just for a day but for a sustained amount of days or even weeks. I feel it. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

I have lost my mojo, my zest for life, my positivity, passion and drive. I question why, how and when did I become consumed by this fight going on in my head and my inner psyche. The normal positive life coach mentality I can usually summon up, a believer in the law of attraction, in positive thoughts, affirmations and mantras, I’m the person who pulls people out of holes and yet I’ve tripped and I’ve fallen into one and I can’t get out and it’s dark and cold and lonely.

e77388333d3f55c198243e8351759077.jpg

In trying to verbalise this I said to a friend I just feel completely overwhelmed by my life – does that happen? Do people get that? Is life generally overwhelming? I mean I’m living out of suitcases staying with friends. have just got a divorce after 12 years with a great man ( as great as he was I realised it wasn’t for me any more and I needed to go and find myself) I am pending and comprehending  a life changing move to the other side of the world, I am in a new long distance relationship have a poorly Mother and a serious debt….. is that any more than most people are trying to contend with on a daily basis? I’m not fighting a terminal illness I’m not being forced to evacuate my home or run from terror or communism.

So what is it? Is it just whether you choose to see the positives in all of the elements that overwhelm you instead of the negatives or is that simply irrelevant when you feel overwhelmed because that in itself is something else all together. Add to that the guilt I then give myself for feeling this way when there are people so so much worse off and I feel genuinely selfish and stupid.

I refuse to label this feeling. I wont go down the route of walking into a doctors office and declaring how sad I feel for I do not want to be labelled as depressed, it’s not me, it’s not in my nature, I cant be depressed I love life so much and people and adventures – ordinarily I do. At the moment I feel like I go out in a morning with a mask on pretending I’m ok smiling and acting – I’ve discovered in fact I am a great actress, until the odd day comes when I forget to put the mask on – and people are confused by my highs and then my periods of lowness – that makes two of us.

I am not sleeping soundly and I am having the strangest and I mean strangest dreams, I can fall asleep after exhausting myself in the gym but I wake up so tired like I’ve actually lived and acted out my dreams all night and struggle to be on form in the morning. Yet underneath all of this deep deep down I have that tiny part of me screaming out you are in control of this you can control this you can change it and them someone suffocates her pushes her back into the hole and that little voice is shut out and consumed by something more powerful, and I am powerless to save her.

The Alopecia days – 20 years old and bald.

“What have you done to your hair”? said the customer I will never forget as he spoke with a humoured and insensitive demeanour while I sat at work in the travel agency wearing a promotional baseball cap and t shirt – fully aware that by now I had lost all of the hair around the front of my face and my eyebrows and I didn’t need it pointing out particularly by this man.

That was enough to push me over the edge – the following day I was signed off work for three weeks by the doctor. I’m not sure at the time what was worse being at work losing my hair and dealing with the public or sitting at home with nothing on my mind but losing my hair. 6 weeks later I was completely bald – well even more humiliatingly a piece of hair about the size of a 10 pence piece clung on for dear life just add insult to baldness.

I first noticed losing some hair when I was 17 years old and on holiday with a group of friends. It was December and as I returned home I was losing two small sections at the front of my head – almost like where men have a receding hairline, not really sure what this was all about at the time I did some research and had put it down to a shampoo that didn’t suit me…. which wasn’t the case. That little episode amounted to nothing more than those two little patches but by the time I was 20 I was completely bald.

Losing your hair if you are a man or a woman at any age is difficult – as a 20 year old girl who has always loved hair, make up and fashion it was nothing short of traumatic. However some how even at that age I was able to reason with myself a little – I didn’t have cancer – it could be worse but why was I losing my hair? Why was this happening to me?

In the early days I was waking up to hair in my bed, on my face, in my mouth, and on my pillow . Sweeping it off my desk at work and out of my food at mealtimes, every day it was falling out rapidly and I needed answers. My first step was naturally the doctor – he told me at 20 years old that it was stress, there was no cure and there was no treatment proved to work. Wonderful.
They tested my bloods – all fine, and gave me two options – a steroid cream that would burn the top layer off my scalp in an effort to stimulate the folicle or steroid injections into my scalp – oh the joy, oh and for an extra bonus I got an appointment with the NHS wig department.

20 years old 2001 in a small room looking at NHS wigs was another moment that defined me. After another bucket load of tears and feeling humiliated and lost I decided there was no way I was going to wear one of those – they were old ladies wigs and neither was I giving up on finding out what this was all about and stopping it.
My step father had a friend who had been a hairdresser for around 40 years and he had offered to see me and offer some advice and so I went – strike two – the parts I remember from the conversation as he lifted and pulled my hair and scalp was well there isn’t a cure and the cause is stress. Your hair goes through 3 life cycles so if you lose it in the same place 3 times it will never grow back. Also I should make you aware that if you ever have a baby you may lose all of your hair – hairloss is common in pregnant women, if you’d like me to cut it so its not so long and helps with losing it I can – I was 20 years old, in a state of despair and thats the best advice he had for me – cue a few more tears.

Every day I saw my hair anywhere but on my head – on the floor, gathering around the skirting boards of my house, on the table, in my car, and at one point I was sat in the bath washing my hair which I was reluctant to do as each time I watched more of my long brunette locks disappear down he plughole, I sat massaging my tender scalp and my hands actually got tangled up in the hair that was falling out – I remember putting it into a ball on this side of the bath and staring at it – it was the size of large grapefruit and once more I sat and I sobbed.

Losing your hair to alopecia if a viscous circle. People telling me try not to worry about it you will make it worse – how can you not worry about it or think about it when it attacks you every day, every day that you scoop up some more of your hair and put it int he bin, not to mention that fact that I had now lost my eyebrows too so the girl looking back at me in the mirror was even less familiar – I was 20 years old bald no eyebrows and feeling very very sad.
I’m not sure if this is the same for everyone who has had alopecia but also my head was so so sore, ladies will know the feeling if you have had your hair tied up all day – when you release the pony tail that part of your scalp feels tender – my whole head felt like that – painful and getting balder by the day. I have never cried so much over a period of time – my tears going down the plughole with my hair every time I washed it.

My next stop being almost completely bald was a chinese herbalist – a consultation a couple of hundred pounds later I had 80 tablets to take a day 30 in a morning 20 at lunch and 30 at night – for 3 months – I would be practically rattling and I had the most disgusting smelling black shampoo to wash my bald head in.

Nothing was working

I tried everything I lay upside down on the bed twice a day I had read that the blood rushing to your head helps the folicles – indian head massage every week – apologising to the therapist for having to touch my balding head – I was so embarrassed by it and I couldn’t get a break from the stress and upset of it all, except for once a week when I went to my riding school – I turned up with my riding hat on and left with it on and the whole hour or two hours that I spent on that horse was an escape from being 20 and bald because for that small amount of time it was just me and the horse and what we were doing. That was one type of treatment I really needed galloping down a beach – the wind in the horses hair and most definitely not mine but the escapism was much needed.

After being signed off work and having 3 weeks to pull myself together I decided to look into getting a wig – just saying the words made me feel sick. There was nothing wrong with me why was I bald and why did I have to wear a wig – it was so unfair, but what alternative did I have be bald and proud? I knew I wasn’t strong enough to do that. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror or allow anyone close to me to look at me so it definitely wasn’t going to work out in the real world. I also knew that there was no way I was wearing a wig from the hospital. I remember one of my girlfriends saying to me I have a friend who wears a wig – she gets home kicks her shoes off and takes her wig off – you will do the same you will get used to it – I didn’t want to get used to it I didn’t want to even acknowledge it but I had to.

Desperate then to find a wig that looked like my hair in an attempt to fool people that this wasn’t happening to me I got on a bus from Lincolnshire to London – I had heard that Selfridges had a range of wigs called hot hair and they looked stylish and a vast improvement from anything else I had seen – and London was the closest stockist to me – and in my mind an 8 hour bus journey was totally worth it. I don’t remember too much of the day other than telling my mum I wanted to go to the department alone, I must have blanked out most of the details but the lady fitted me with a wig and I decided to keep it on – traumatised but not defeated we got on the bus for the 4 hour journey back home another defining moment in the hair loss period of my life.

That was then me for the next 4 months “wiggy” as a group of insensitive local girls had called me when I had been brave enough to go on a night out with my friends – which broke my heart because in my mind no one would know or notice but of course they did I was totally in denial. My relationship with my boyfriend of 6 years broke down as I struggled to come to terms with it – I used to wear a headscarf and couldn’t bear for him to see me without it or the wig.. looking back it must have been hard for him, his Mum said to me “you do know he still loves you don’t you?” but really I wanted and needed to hear that more than ever that I was beautiful that it didn’t matter – that I was still sexy…. and it never came from him.
I just wanted to run away – from everyone from everything.

A change of scenery found me and a house mate moved into a house off a main road in a tiny village in Lincolnshire and there was one house attached to ours and a big bungalow at the top of the lane and soon enough my 3 weeks of sick leave were up and somehow I managed to go back to work wearing the wig. That day was another feeling sick in the pit of my stomach day but the girls I worked with had become like sisters in the last couple of years and were truly wonderful and I am honoured to say I am still in touch with these special ladies today. My boyfriends mum came at weekends to help paint and make homely this new space I had moved into and one day she was approached by the neighbour from the bungalow a man called Ralph. As I arrived home one afternoon she told me he had been and introduced himself and asked why I wore a headscarf and did I have cancer? She told him I had alopecia but we didn’t know why and he told her he was a faith healer and he could help me if I was interested – I couldn’t get up to the bungalow soon enough. I had tried everything else I had nothing to give anymore or to lose. My self esteem was at rock bottom and I was still adjusting to the wig. Ralph insisted that I take someone with me – being an older male and that he would treat me for free or for a donation to his children charity – money for the local hospitals children unit, and so I went.

This funny smiley man sat me down on his sofa, he told me he was a healer and took a hold of my hand – he told me in an instant the things I had wrong with me physically and then looked me in the eyes and said “I can help you” – those words were all I had wanted to hear and in the last 6 months hadn’t heard from anyone else. Not one person had said I can help you we can fix this and not only did he confidently state that he also said – “I can guarantee you will see full regrowth on your head by end of January” It was November and I believed him and that was all I needed it was everything I needed. I saw Ralph twice a week and by the time my 21st Birthday arrived in February although I still wore the wig I had a full head of stubble all over my head.

Once I had started seeing Ralph I also became more confident in my own skin again – and my wig and I became friends we were able to go out more – always conscious of windy days I learnt to see a funny side and had read funny wig stories about ladies who had shut their hair in the car door and more and I started to feel better.

When I could see the shadow of hair underneath my scalp I was elated and continued to see Ralph and my relationship with him turned into one of a deep friendship and he used to call me his adopted grandaughter and this man had literally changed my life. We talked endlessly about life and I loved every minute of the time I spent with him.

I wore the wig to my 21st birthday party – everyone there knew I had been bald and so I didn’t have to justify it to anyone and by now I had a skin head of dark hair regrowth all over my head – I was also considering how lucky I was because many alopecia sufferers don’t get their hair back or get it back fluffy or a different colour and mine was seemingly coming back just as it was before.

Coming out of the other side of this experience somehow a slightly different person mental and emotionally and having been pushed to my limit a few times I decided on an emotional day to call up the company I worked for and see if I could get another placement overseas – I still wanted to run away. So 3 weeks later I was on my way to a training course and although I had a small amount of hair all over my head I was still not brave enough to confidently be a skin head and so my wig and I entered into a huge social situation with around 100 people I had never met. This was when my worst wig moment occurred – another moment that has definitely defined me and my life in part an awful moment and a magical one where I went on to meet my best friend (another blog post)

I can hardly believe I drove to a hotel a 3 hour drive from home to join a group of people I had never met for a job in a children’s club in Spain – I had decided this is what I needed to do to get away from my life and the situation I had felt with and i’m not sure where I got the confidence to be able to go through with it but I did. I knew something needed to change in my life and I had to be brave and look forward and do whatever it took to get away. I guess I was fuelled by adrenaline or on auto pilot – when I look back at my 21 year old self now I want to give her a hug for being so very brave.

I told the girl I was sharing a room with that I was wearing a wig and I would have to take it off at night before I got into bed and she was very accepting – luckily although we shared a room we were on different courses so I only had to see her at night.
Possibly the most humiliating moment of my life to date came when around 25 of us were in a training session with 4 people from head office assessing us for ja placement. We were asked to play a game of duck duck goose – if you aren’t familiar with this game you sit in a circle and one person goes around patting the heads of the others duck duck duck and when they pat goose that person has to jump up and race the other person back to their place – we were demonstrating our ability to play children games. One girl came towards me duck duck and goose on my head and pulled my wig clean off and as I watched it in slow motion fly into the air ind land in the middle of the circle a small part of me temporarily died. I had come so far and yet now I get like I had got no where.

Somehow, something, adrenaline probably allowed me to pick up the wig put it on the stocking which was still attached to my head and contemplate standing up – the ground hadn’t opened up and swallowed me and my fight or flight instinct was telling me to run luckily by which time the trainer had suggested we take a break . I promptly left the room for the toilets where I broke my heart crying for a good half an hour.

Bruised, battered but not defeated I returned to my room tied my trusty blue and white headscarf around my head and went back into the room to join the session – I needed to get away and as tough as it had been and now was it couldn’t get any worse. From that day on I never wore that wig again.

There were a handful of people who made this traumatic experience for me a little better and I want to share their acts with you and some of them will be featured in extra blog posts as they have been very special parts of this Chameleons life.

My mum who put her arms around me and said if she could swap places with me she would and nursed my tears – not a woman to openly show much affection this was a treasured moment. My dad who came round to sort me out in the middle of a meltdown the night before I saw the doctor and got signed off work – in 21 years I hadn’t seen this type of determination and ability to calm and reason from my Dad ever. My step sister who offered to shave her hair off in empathy for me and Laura – who literally saved me on that day in that room when I was humiliated and lost.

There was also a beautiful boy I met who will only be referred to as The Big Man (future blog post to be published) who made me to feel beautiful and sexy on many occasions and totally brightened my days over the telephone and on one special weekend towards the end of my hair loss period – whether he knew I was wearing a wig or not.
My friends dad who convinced me to go out into town for a night out without the wig but with very very short hair that made me feel anything but feminine – his words I will always remember – he told me let them call you wiggy while you have to wear that wig fine – but you don’t have to now and you’re young and beautiful so go out there and show them all that. God rest his soul as he has since passed away, and to Jon – the boy who made me smile by sending a mysterious large bunch of freesias to the travel agency I worked in addressed to “the lady with the dark hair” – “When I think of you my heart falls like an autumn leaf” and for the night he kissed me in the middle of the street outside his house – the very night I went out without my wig on, he held my face, kissed me and said – you look more beautiful tonight than I have ever seen you look – and don’t you ever let anyone tell you any different.

On reflection looking back 15 years and after a second attack of alopecia 4 years later after I can acknowledge that I was extremely stressed on both occasions. Consumed in a stressful family situation and feeling lost in life were undoubtedly contributing factors in my emotional state of mind but at the time I wanted answers, I wanted them to find something wrong with me so at least I knew why it was happening, I wished people would stop telling me it was stress and I was stressed – I WASNT STRESSED – but if course I now know I was. On reflection also on the cure – Ralph my faith healer – I don’t know if he healed me with his hands over my head or somehow he allowed me to heal me, but what I do know is there was a reason like many times in our lives that I moved next door to that wonderful man.

I have written his post int he hope that anyone suffering form stress related alopecia can be inspired by my story, know that they are not alone and that it is possible to get your hair back thicker and healthier than ever before. Not to rule out any type of treatment including that of a faith healer.

This post is dedicated to Ralph – my adopted Grandad who passed away last year.

Thank you.

35 years of my life in numbers

“You gotta grab 35 by the balls and say Hey World I’m 35!”

Samantha Jones – Sex And The City

 

Tomorrow I will be 35 years old and although I still feel relatively young and know anyone reading this article older than 35 may consider that to be the case I can’t shake the feeling that I am getting older. I smile and I see deeper lines around my eyes and although I never want to stop smiling I’m not so sure I am ready to adapt to the laughter lines yet. My body is fighting me as we spa around the boxing ring of life tentatively fighting over food and fitness, body image and peace of mind. People constantly refer to my biological clock and in the last two years as that has gone forwards my life has somewhat gone backwards, but it got me to thinking, what would my life add up to in numbers if I sat and thought about it. This birthday should be both a celebration of events and a performance review of my life so far and here it is…

 

Birthdays – 35

Serious Relationships – 2

Marriages – 1

Divorces – 1

Children – 0

Careers – 9

Diets – probably about 20

Countries visited – 12

Nights out with the girls – approx 254

lottery Wins – 9 (largest 5 numbers)

Cars Owned – 5

Stress related illnesses – 1

Stays in hospital – 3

Flights taken – 92

Fears challenged – 2

Film Premieres attended – 1

Therapists seen – 1

Life changing moments – 5

God children accumulated – 3

Bridesmaid duties – 3

Bucket List items ticked off – 30

Hours of sleep lost worrying about things I can’t change…… a lot…….

which gets me to thinking as I write this article at 5am a day before my birthday on another of those nights/mornings where my mind refuses to shut up what advice would I give to my younger self ? If I was to write her a letter what would I tell her? What would you tell yourself if you could address your 15, 20,25 year old self?

So with that in mind as I sit here on the brink of this looming birthday I write to myself, here and now because we don’t have yesterday and at the moment although I have plans for tomorrow I don’t have tomorrow, just today the present and my present to myself is reflection, a celebration of my life and it’s numbers, the very numbers that make up my life, add up to a series of significant and insignificant events a few of which have left me carrying baggage, who hasn’t accumulated some baggage by 35? Some of it I have tossed off canyons out of aeroplanes but some baggage turns up on the carousel even when you already said goodbye to it. I have decided I think it is time I left this unsightly unattractive heavy baggage at the station to my next destination, wherever that may be.

All aboard!

Happy Birthday me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love

What is Love?

In the approach to Valentines Day I thought I would share some of my thoughts on LOVE.
It is one of the most powerful words in any language, LOVE, AMOR, CINTA, UPENDO, AMORE, LOVE can make or break a person.
LOVE inspires people to write books, music, poetry, scripts.

I write this post to try and understand the love in relationships primarily between lovers – 2 people co entwined in this thing we call LOVE.  “Crazy little thing called love” “Love hurts” “I will always love you”

The Corinthians have a very strong opinion on Love and I have heard and recited the reading at many a wedding in recent years

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” These are beautiful words to hear if you are watching your loved friends or family members commit themselves to each other, but in the real day to day in actual married life/dating relationships I’m not so sure the words always prevail over reality or over knee jerk reactions and pent up emotions.
Love is easily angered – fired up by jealousy over such intense feelings for the one you love, passion, arguments all fuel to a fire that is the love of 2 passionately intertwined people.
Love makes people do crazy things – even resulting in the end of the life of another person or their own life – look at the tragic story of Romeo and Juliette and I rest my case
Is it possible to love as in romantically, passionately and truly love more than one person at once?

We do in our families we share our parental and sibling love out equally – not in every family but we are able to give love to more than one other person in that environment. So is it just the sex that complicates love between 2 cohabiting people?
If that’s the case how do we define and explain first loves? Teenage heartbreak – when so often sex isn’t a contributing factor at this point. Hormones flying around yes most definitely, that love is total infatuation and lust. We all remember our first loves and the pain of teenage heartbreak and yet so much of the energy,intensity, and reality of an adult relationship is missing at that point.

I have a special girlfriend who I love very much – I have known her over 16 years. She has been married for 20 years and having an affair for 19. Is it right to call it an affair after all of this time? She would admit to loving them both equally and not being able to live without one or the other. In my younger years I couldn’t understand this at all, being happily married and committed to one man for a long time it didn’t register with me as it wouldn’t with so many people, but as I have matured and grown in life experience and ended a marriage of my own and gone out into the world to “find myself” I have grown to understand her and appreciate her situation so much more.

I have thought a lot about it over the last 16 years, She is a lovely, genuine and loving person and they are a nice couple they have a wild and interesting sex life. She knew the other man before she married her husband, I wonder if she married the lover of the situation would still be the same. She would still be in love with them both and they both in love with her – the difference being they both believe they are the only ones who hold her heart. One day I hope she will share her story as I am fascinated by how it has caught her up for 20 years. People have affairs moments of madness – it happens it’s reality but something so consistent and so deeply routed has to be looked at differently.

In this new age of relationships we see people bringing a third person into the bedroom – to fulfil a husbands fantasy or to spice up a love life – modern liberated couples attending VIP sex parties but still being totally in love and committed to one another – hollywood couples with long term marriages and partnerships but having an “Open relationship”
I have become aware in my research that there are agencies that set up men with a mistress – wealthy men, happy with their family life and their wives but looking for something else and paying over the odds for it, sometimes a month salary, clothing and beauty allowance – is this just arrogance, egotism or a way to keep a marriage and family life intact?

Where is the line between loving your partner like you love your family and your friends if it isn’t related to sex? Is the act of Sex the sole difference in that type of love? Is sex the glue that keeps a couple together? Or is it a balance of being loved and sex?

In my quest to find myself in the last two years -perhaps even unleash the ability to Love myself I have experienced new types of Love, lust, infatuation, I have been told I LOVE YOU, and believed it only to learn that the person dishing out the powerful words clearly couldn’t have loved me, actions speak very much louder than words. That relates to one of my favourite songs of all time “More than words by Extreme”

“Saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you
 

It’s not that I want you not to say it but if you only knew, how easy it would be to show me how you feel

More than words is all you have to do to make it real

Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me, cause I’d already know”

Saying I love you….
Some people wait patiently and pin huge hopes on hearing those three words in a new relationship, who says it first? – when does that moment happen? when will it happen? Will he/she say it back? Once its been said and reciprocated it seemingly gives the new lovers the go ahead to say it safely in the knowledge that its a mutual love and it is expressed openly and often. Other people throw it around when they don’t mean it – or do they? because perhaps it means different things to different people? Humans grieve and suffer stress differently perhaps it’s just the fact that we all love differently and when you find someone who loves the same as you with the same level of intensity and expression you find your true love.

Memories Made and Lost – July 1986

Memories Made and Lost – July 1986

July 1986

I am told by my Nanny Sheila (my Dads Mum) that I wake up and ask her “Nanny why are you here?” to which she replies “oh Daddy had to go out with Mummy early so I came over to look after you” All the while maintaining her composure because Daddy is actually at the hospital with Mummy. She tells me to this day it made her sick to the stomach having to lie to me at such a young age but she had no other choice.

My mums best friends daughter a 15 year old tall slim fair haired girl named Sarah who was babysitting for me last night hasn’t woken up yet and I am chatting away to my nanny – no doubt asking a million questions; I have always been a chatterbox, I think my mum said I was delivered talking and haven’t stopped since. It must have been difficult for my nanny to entertain my 4 year old curiosity at such a tense and emotional time for the whole family. She wouldn’t have wanted to venture out with my sister and I either – living in such a small town meant that everyone knew about the car accident as soon as the sun came up on the 7th July. It was on the news and the jungle telegraph would have been hot all around the town and surrounding villages.

I can’t remember much about that fateful morning – I have learnt that children react to trauma by blocking out memories and moments in time that are considered to be disturbing to their delicate and fragile sponge like little minds. In my case this process seems to have stripped me of a lot of other memories prior to that day and perhaps up to 4 years afterwards, there was just one memory I have from that day which seems as clear in my 34 year old mind as it did to the little 5 year old who was there at the time.

Sarah and I are playing bat and ball – the small car park with the big apple tree in it is literally the other side of my concrete front garden and it was regularly my playground, I would play and dance in there practice the high jump on the chain that covered the entrance. There was only ever 1 or 2 cars parked there generally people visiting the masons on the other side of the car park or the conservatives club attached to the back of our house. We lived in the old police house.

It’s a sunny day and we are gently batting the ball between us no doubt inspired by Wimbledon. I do remember my mum loved watching the tennis. I could not tell you what I was wearing or how long we were out there no doubt pretending to be Stephi Graph and Martina Navratalova but just that we were playing with 2 yellow bats that were made from thick hard yellow plastic with like a honeycomb lattice in the middle of them, my fingers fit through the holes in the bat and we played with a yellow dirty and dusty foam/sponge ball.

I didn’t see the police car pull up. If I did my 5 year old mind has blocked that out too and I don’t remember my Nanny Sheila calling us into the house. I was called into the room to be with my nanny and I’m sure I would have been super curious as to why Sarah had stayed in the kitchen with a police lady and that curiosity is what forced me to pop my head around the kitchen door. They say curiosity killed the cat – I don’t know where nanny was at this point or why she didn’t stop me snooping or “earwigging” as my Mum used to call it.

I popped my head around the heavy pine door which swung freely (so freely it once took the tail off one of our kittens). It was then that I saw Sarah collapse her knees giving way to her tall slim body as she fell to the floor and made a haunting, ear piercing, wailing, screaming sound which seemed to continue for a very long time and at 4 years old I could associate with another person in total distress, I stood and watched as the police lady was trying to pick her up off the floor.

That’s it.

That’s the first and last of my memories for a little while.

Sarah had just been told that her mummy was dead. Her little brother and her little sister no longer had a mummy.

I now know that not only was Sarah’s Mum dead but so was James a handsome 24 year old who was driving the car. Also dead at the scene the drunk driver of the vehicle that was stolen and hit them all head on while they drove home on that fateful Saturday night he was just 17. Later in my life I unknowingly dated they guy whose parents owned that truck which hit my Mum and her friends stolen from his driveway that Saturday night.

My Mum was in a critical state in hospital having had 3 firemen take 4 hours to cut her out of the wreckage of the mini and having “died” twice at the scene. Kate had left behind her 3 children, James the life of a young handsome single man and my mum will go on to live a life traumatized and affected by the decision to go out dancing with her friends on a Saturday night

The last memory I have associated with that time is sitting with my younger sister who was approximately 3 years old each of us on one of my Dad’s knees in a single armchair laid against his chest and saying “I just want Mummy to come home” and my Dad saying “so do I darling, so do I”

As an adult I have listened and heard many opinions and thoughts about that fateful night. Incredulously not from my Mum, I think the pain is still too much for her to bear. To live every day of a life she feels she perhaps doesn’t deserve to have because her friends didn’t get to keep theirs. What would have happened has they not gone out, I have heard people say she shouldn’t have gone out – she had 2 young children at home, I’m not sure I agree with that, she was in a relationship with my Father from being 15 and married at 19 then like most people in the 70s/80s was a house wife with babies fairly soon afterwards. She wanted to go out dancing is there anything so wrong with that? I get my love to want to dance from her, I get that my Dad was working we had a sitter – was it really such a bad idea…. Only on this occasion it clearly turned into one. 4 lives changed forever in less than a minute 3 finished, terminated, stopped one broken and scarred for the rest of her life.

I read somewhere recently, make the most of every day, it is a sad and morbid thought but true that someone out there is getting up and getting dressed today not knowing that it will be the last day of their life, see that’s the tragedy of sudden and fatal accidents, there is no time to prepare or accept what is about to happen no Crystal Ball accidents just happen and then it’s too late.

The Ordinary Life Of A Chameleon

ORDINARY – Adjective

Of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional, normal

Who defines these characteristics…And what precisely is Normal, Commonplace?

 CHAMELEON

Old World lizards of the family Chamaeleontidae, characterized by the ability to change the color of their skin.

A changeable, or inconstant person.

I am as far as I can see I am an ordinary person, with an ordinary life,

Whatever “Ordinary” is.

It’s only when we compare ourselves to others that we appear in our own minds more or less ordinary. This is my blog about my ordinary life. I’m not sure if anyone will ever read it but it will be cathartic writing it.

The ordinary Life of a Chameleon.

Different chameleon species are able to vary their colouration and pattern through combinations of pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, yellow, turquoise, and purple, I compare this to my personality, varied and colourful. A Chameleon is able to change the colour of itself to adapt into certain social situations. This I also can relate to.

In my personal life I have been forced to do this and on other occasions it has been a psychosomatic adaptation unconsciously.

Color change in chameleons has functions in social signaling and in reactions to temperature and other conditions, as well as in camouflage. As human beings sometimes all we want to do is disappear right? Sometimes we want to blend into the background of a situation and at other times we want to be noticed more than anything.

The relative importance of a Chameleons’ colour change varies with its circumstances. For me this also appears to be true in human nature and our emotions. We associate emotions with colours RED – Anger, Sexy, Passionate,

GREEN – “She was green with envy”

YELLOW – sickness and illness, cowardly

PINK – generally a happy colour,

BLUE – Sadness – “He has the blues” She has the Baby Blues”

BLACK – a colour of mourning and low moods,

WHITE –  fresh, clean, a virginal coloured emotion, a bride honest, pure.

Color change signals a chameleon’s physiological condition and intentions to other chameleons. Chameleons tend to show darker colors when angered, or attempting to scare or intimidate others,

Males show lighter, multi colored patterns when courting females and don’t we see these multi coloured patterns in Men courting/pursuing women?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑