Monday, 31 December 2012

Advent Calendar. Day 22. Oh to be a kid again....

Oh to be a Kid again.......

Unleash your inner child
let him or her do a happy dance,
pull excited faces,
make snow angels
and scream its Christmas!

Wouldn't it be great to be a kid again? Lets forget the schoolwork, chores, scoldings, bullying, abuse and all the other crap that we may have been dealt as a child, lets relive the innocence and magic of Christmas.  The belief in something good and special.  The feeling of excitement when going to bed and not being able to sleep.  The moment when you sneak downstairs on Christmas morning and see the tree in all its splendour adorned with gifts.  The only day in the year you can eat chocolate at whatever time you like and not get told off!!
I got pretty close this year just by seeing the looks of joy on my nephew and nieces faces when Santa cam to visit and watching them rip off the wrapping paper from their gifts.  I was living Christmas through a child's eyes again.  I even played and sang along to Disney classics whilst cooking lunch.  I did try to blame my younger Sister for that though. :)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Advent Calendar. Day 21. Friendship.

"Friends are the family we choose for. ourselves."
~ Author Unknown ~


Not having to say anything, they just 'know.'
Being able to call at whatever time  knowing someone will answer.
Laughing at your jokes, however unfunny they may be.
Not reminding you of your mistakes.
Never saying, 'I told you so.'
Believing in you when you don't believe in yourself.
Celebrating milestones.
Smiling, remembering and cringing when looking at old photos.
Listening and just being.

Advent Calendar. Day 20. Love

what makes you feel loved the most?
what costs nothing but means everything to you at Christmas?
at any time of the year?

"A hug is a great gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange."
~Author Unknown ~

custom image

Advent Calendar. Day 19. Me, Me, Me.

The Christmas List that Counts...
I and Me

"You always need to have your best interest at heart.
That doesn't mean become a selfish bitch. It means putting yourself first."
~ Author Unknown ~

Looking after your own well-being is a priority, especially at one of the busiest and stressful times of the year.  There is so much expectation especially as a Mother to make Christmas 'the best.'
When I have been unwell I have had to make myself a  priority at Christmas often disregarding others wishes.  Christmas can be an extremely stressful and isolating time of the year for those with eating disorders or mental health problems. So much emphasis is placed on food, drink and socialising.  Everywhere you look there are chocolates, snacks, cakes...its endless and can be frightening and thought consuming.  You can become isolated from others whilst avoiding situations surrounding food, its easier to just refuse invites rather than try and make excuses not too eat!
Not any more for me : )  
So how did I look after myself this Christmas?
I bought all my veg pre-washed and pre-cooked saving on all prep time.
My baking trays were disposable to save on washing up.
I ate as much or little as I wanted whenever I wanted.
I accepted help from others.

Advent Calendar. Day 18. The School Play!!

Whether nativity at Christmas
or some other random play
tell us...

~ Flint Street Nativity Play ~

I was always a little shy at school,i was the mouse, the one who tried to be invisible and hide, the one who was always picked last for team games. Despite this I always loved the school dram production.  At primary school I was in the 'chorus,' This was usually where you were put if there wasn't a part for you and I could happily stand on a platform with everyone else belting out Christmas songs at the top of my voice.
Secondary school was where the productions became bigger and a lot more competitive.
The first I can remember was around the age of 11 doing a production of 'A Christmas Carol.'  I think I was only in one scene as a poor old woman dressed in rags!!
We were lucky at school to have an excellent music and Drama department along with a hexagonal drama theatre which we shared with the school next door.  I can remember the dressing rooms, the sound and lighting booth and the wonderful stage curtains.  Very state of the Art.
Our Christmas 'Musicals,' were directed by our Music teacher Mr Coffee and staff (can't remember names) from the Drama Dept. One which stands out for me was 'joseph and his Techni coloured Dream coat.'  I played an adoring girl, along with a friend and basically danced around Joseph whilst wearing togas.
Unfortunately for me my Toga consisted of an old bed sheet held together with a safety pin.  Half way through dress rehearsal I had a wardrobe malfunction which meant I was left exposing my undies to the rest of the cast!!!  
Could have been worse, I suppose I should be thankful It didn't happen on first night.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Advent Calendar. Day 17. Santa :)

You and Santa
Share the memories
good, bad and ugly!

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six.
Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph!"
~ Shirley Temple ~

I have no memories as a child of visiting Santa or believing in Santa. I'm sure I did, but I'm just too old to remember!!
I do however have fond memories of my Son and Santa.
Apart from the real Santa, there is of cause his helper.  He would be taking up 'shop' in the centre of a shopping precinct, surrounded by cheaply wrapped boxes dumped in a sack labelled 'girls' and another for 'boys.'  The costume would consist of a felt suit, rather tired looking beard and wig, a bell which had lost its jingle and was more Doh than Ho!!  
Despite constant reminds to our young children not to talk to strangers we would then allow our little treasure to sit upon his knee and accept a gift.  If you were a girl you would receive a plastic doll, often naked with 'poseable' arms and legs, Boys would receive a car or toy gun.  I am glad to say some things have changed.
When my Son was around the age of 5 I came across one of Santas helpers in a store who did home visits. He was a little expensive but worth every penny.  We arranged for him to visit Christmas Eve and leaving the front door ajar he came in whilst Toby was getting ready for bed.
I wish I could have bottled the feeling I had when I saw Tobys face. It was magical.  The magic fizzles slowly when the Children stop believing and it all starts to become commercial
This year with the help of a friend I got that feeling back.  I have had my 3 small nieces and young nephew staying over the Xmas period all who still believe in Santa.  
My good friend Glyn did his Santa visit in an amazing outfit Xmas eve to 4 very surprised children. Kyser was so shocked he jumped straight onto my husbands lap and banged him in the unmentionables!!  Poor Kev.  It was the perfect start to a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Advent Calendar. Day 16. Christmas Survival Guide

Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole,
were alleged by the union, to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished without much propriety,
released to the wilds, by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear,
that Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid, 
were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his beautiful sleigh, 
because the ruts were deemed dangerous by the EPA,
And millions of people were calling the Cops,
when they heard sled noises upon their roof tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe, had his workers quite frightened,
and his fur trimmed red suit was called "unenlightened".

To show you the strangeness of today's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.
He went to Geraldo, in front of the Nation,
demanding millions in over-due workers compensation.

So...half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife 
who suddenly said she'd had enough of this life,
joined a self help group, packed and left in a whiz,
demanding from now on that her title was Ms.

And as for gifts...why, he'd never had the notion
that making a choice could cause such commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur...
Which meant nothing for him or nothing for her.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot,
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls and nothing for just boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific,
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish upon the truth.
And fairy tales...while not yet forbidden,
were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden,
for they raised the hackles of those psychological,
who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone might get hurt,
besides - playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe.
and Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled and perplexed,
he just couldn't figure out what to do next?
He tried to be merry he tried to be gay,
but you must have to admit he was having a very bad day.
His sack was quite empty, it was flat on the ground,
nothing fully acceptable was anywhere to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might,
give to us all, without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy - with no indecision,
each group of people in every religion.
Every race, every hue,
everyone, everywhere...even you!
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...


~ Author Unknown~ 

Jackies Survival Guide To Christmas.

Don't buy spare batteries for kids noisy electronic toys.
Earplugs for post Xmas lunch snoring.
Air freshener for post lunch sprout and mince pie flatulence!!
Alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol.
Nurofen, paracetamol and rennies needed after all of the above.
Don't open gifts in front of anyone....just in case!

Only joking.......

Advent Calendar. Day 15. Miracles

What do you find to be miraculous?

“I am realistic – I expect miracles.”
~ Wayne W Dyer ~

Some would say the fact that I am alive is a miracle. Being born prematurely weighing little more than a bag of sugar, fighting for your life and surviving against the odds is surely a miracle.  Spending many years of your life not caring for your body and to come out the other end still well and fighting, is that a miracle or having strength and faith in yourself?
I have need to believe in miracles, I believe in myself.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Quote (About gifs faith common sense black and white belief)

Advent Calendar. Days 14 Warmth.

Christmas has been and gone and I am 2 weeks behind on the Blogging For Well being Advent Calendar!!!  The family have gone home to London, my friends are out for the afternoon so I thought I would grab a few hours to update at last.  

Day 14

In the cold of winter, with all the crazy weather,
in the fear of storms and the crowds of people in the streets -
who, what is keeping you warm, safe, loved -
what is making you feel content?
what brings you peace?

As I look outside the weather is still wet and miserable.  The rain doesn't seem to have stopped for weeks.  We have had it quite lucky in this part of the south west of England, those further down have been less fortunate being left with flood water, cars stranded and lives lost.
As I think back over the past few days I think about what has kept me warm and safe. My comfy fleecy cupcake onesie has certainly helped, along with the glowing fire and central heating.  The hot food in my stomach, and warming Baileys in the evening has kept me physically satisfied but what has kept me going emotionally is the warmth of those around me.
The love of a family and friends, the laughter of children and their smiles on Christmas morning. These are things you cant buy but memories I will cherish forever.  This year Christmas had its real meaning back again.
Love, friends and family.

What is worth living for, 
and what is worth dying for? 
The answer to each is the same. 
Only love." 
~ Don Juan deMarco ~

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Advent Calendar. Day 13. Peace.

What does peace mean to you?

"Peace is not something you wish for;
It's something you make,
something you do,
something you are,
and something you give away."
~Robert Fulgham ~

It has been a difficult and conflicting journey in which to be at peace with myself.
For me peace has been the acceptance of myself both physically and mentally, the acceptance of situations past and present. There is no dark cloud or periods of depressions, there is no conflict with food or disordered eating. I am 'mostly' happy and plan to remain that way for a very long time. :)

Advent Calendar. Day 12. Look to your heart.

Today look inward
search out
and share
the light in your heart.

"Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart."
~ Hannah Senesh ~

If I look deep into my heart what will I find?

A passion for music and writing.
A commitment to others.
A willingness to learn.
Acceptance of my past, my mistakes and my imperfections.
Belief in recovery and a future.
Loyalty despite being hurt.
Forgiveness to those who hurt me.
Love, laughter and joy.

Advent Calendar. Day 11. And breathe.....

What do you have to help you cope?
to remind you to care for you?
to help you to keep pushing forward?
what keeps you safe and warm?

As I write this post I am aware it is Dec 19th and I am in fact 8 days behind!!!  
I look around me and I see ironing that is piled up waiting to be done, Xmas presents that still need to be wrapped, a spare room awaiting visitors that hasn't been tidied, a shopping list that hasn't been written!!
My mother-in-law needs her medication ordered, I haven't bought a raffle prize for the skittles match tomorrow evening, if I don't get back in time from bathing the Mother-In-Law tomorrow I may not even make the skittles match!!!  I need to call the GP tomorrow whilst I am at work to speak about Mum In Law, cant do it in my lunch break as I'm working through so I can go home early in order to do the bathing!!!!! Its only 5 days until Xmas and only 3 days until my Sister and her 4 children come to stay.
I have a hideous cold, feel like utter shite, am anxious, stressed and could scream!!!
So today's topic is 'What do you have to help you cope, to remind you to care for you.? As I sit here with a very large glass of white, my initial response should be wine........ what I do is try and put things into perspective and prioritise. I need to learn to ask for help and really mean it when I do ask.  Maybe that way I will get the response I need and the response that takes just a little off my shoulders.
Until then i will have my wine, the ironing may end up hidden in a cupboard until the visitors have gone but that's OK.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Advent Calendar. Day 10. Family.

"Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home!"
~ Carol Nelson ~

If you ask most people, Families and Christmas equal stress!!  The buying of the presents, the expectation of a perfect day with a wonderful meal. You should be the domestic goddess, party planner and peace keeper all rolled into one. By the end of the day you are knackered, not wanting to eat and feel as flat as the bangs in the crackers.
Despite this, what I would give to have this year on Christmas Day, my Mum, Dad and Gran all sat around the table pulling the crackers with the dodgy bangs and eating the overcooked Turkey and soggy sprouts!. Dad would say 'I cant eat all this,' like he did every meal time.  Mum would be fussing and was always the last to sit down and eat. Gran....well we would be lucky if her teeth would manage to stay in throughout the meal!!
But as life begins life ends....
I do have a wonderful Husband and an amazing Son but sometimes especially at Christmas the loss of both Parents still filters through..There are so many memory triggers, some good, some not so good, but I have learnt to deal with these.

What I have missed with my Family I have made up with friends.  Friends who have supported me and been there in my darkest hours.  Friends who I have lost sleep over, cried over and laughed with.  These are part of my family. I have had many fun and at times emotional Christmases with these special people.
I am also lucky enough to have several beautiful nieces and nephew's, 4 of whom will be spending part of the holidays with us along with my younger Sister.  I think this year will be a different Christmas for us, taking me back to the magical Christmas times when Toby a child. Believing in Santa,,leaving sherry and mince pies out for him and a carrot for the reindeer.
One good thing about being eating disorder free is I can eat the mince pie, raw carrots will not be on the agenda!

Advent Calendar. Day 9. I Believe.

"Just because something is unbelievable -
does not mean you shouldn't believe it.
Put another way, some things are worth believing in,
whether they're true or not."
~ Jeb Dickerson ~

I Believe...
One day I will meet those I have loved and lost,
I Believe
 you when you tell me you love me,
I Believe
 one day I will love myself as much,
I Believe
despite how nasty you can be there is some good in your heart,
I Believe
one day I will forgive you, 
I Believe
trying and failing is better than not trying at all.
I Believe
Recovery can happen if you really want it.
I Believe in Life,
I Believe in me,

Eating disorders awareness week 2019

I didn't just wake up one day and decide not to eat. It started with difficulties at work. I wasn't coping, was crippled with anxie...