A little Ray of Sunshine………

Recovery is long isn’t it. Whether it’s recovering from surgery, mental health, addiction….it can feel like a long slog to feeling like your bright, shiny, self again……but we will get there. And it will all be worth it. 

I am all for living in the moment, making the most of the now.  But sometimes you just need a little exercise to lift your spirits and take your mind off of  ‘a difficult/ mundane time or long recovery,’ and it’s great to have a few things to look forward to in the pipe line.

So today I got thinking about summer. Ok, I know it’s only April, but we’ve all had a little taste of the sunshine, and it’s gone to our heads. ( I hope I wasn’t the only one who was stressing out that I have zero summer clothes, frantically looking online for a new wardrobe, for all 3 days of sun we had.)  But it did get me thinking about this summer, and how I would like to spend it.

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I’ll be spending the majority of my summer in Brighton. I love Brighton, it’s definitely my happy place.  I’m not sure exactly why I love Brighton, but I do remember after a stressful day at work, when I stop, breathe and look around me. I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and content ness to be in such a happy, colourful and vibrant city. So choosing to live here was an easy decision.

I told myself I would do so many things last summer in Brighton and due to life , work and knee problems, I didn’t get round to even half.  So this summer I intend to make more time.  So what better way to lift the spirits, than to write your own summer bucket list.   It’s not about jumping off bridges ( unless that’s your thing ). But about looking for reasons to celebrate, and enjoy the places we live, doing things we love, no matter how small.

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Here’s my list for anyone visiting Brighton, or like me surgery recovery has been such a slog, you just need a little something to look forward to.


#summerbucketlist

  • Be tourists for the day down Brighton Pier.
  • Go to more open mic nights (Love the Brunswicke pub in Hove for this .)
  • Eat Fatto Mano Pizza ( the best ) on the lawns on a warm summer evening.
  • Watch more coastal sunsets.
  • Check out as many new Coffee shops ( Hixon Green, Flour Pot Bakery & Red rooster faves )
  • Have a picnic in St Anne’s Gardens.
  • Dance the day away at Gay Pride
  • Cycle from Brighton to Hove beach ( little hopeful, but if knee is willing)
  • Join a yoga class above Six in Hove (once knee recovered)
  • Try out more Vegan restaurants.
  • Host a big BBQ
  • Summer evening date night at Theatre Royal
  • Summer day drinking on Brighton Beach.
  • Go to Brighton Food festival.
  • Watch more live gigs/ comedy (Komedia Comedy Club is the most popular )
  • Stroll along the colourful north laines and buy some vintage bits.
  • Read books on Hove Lawns and dog watch ( So many cute puppies down there.)

Feeling better already. 

Ready to soak up the season.  Now roll on the sunshine………….

x Happy Saturday x

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Are you a negative Nancy or a positive Poppy today……?

Turning negatives into positives.

I remember working in the country side, It was a mild-march morning, a Tuesday and I’d arrived at work for 8am.  As I approached the long cobbled lane, I’d see a glimpse of the beautiful old building I worked in, the lushness’ of green country views and playful lambs. I felt grateful for mild march mornings, the never-ending views, working in an old historic building and the smell of flowers all around.

Week two. It was a mild March morning, a Tuesday, I arrived at work for 8 am, I drove up the same cobbled lane, I saw an old bleak building, dull flat views, I felt the cold breeze of a mild march morning, and the animals looked glum. I didn’t notice the flowers.

Same time. Same place. Same views. Different mind-set.

I’ve always been an analyser and an over thinker.  Both a curse and a blessing.  The positives that come with being an over thinker are; they tend to be creative people, problem solvers, and more thoughtful. I can relate to this, as I weigh up how others may feel a lot, I’ve also been told I’m insightful and intuitive in my work.   But the not so great side of this, is struggling with unhelpful and negative thoughts,  and over analysing the smallest of situations. I struggled with this for years.       

As a teen I would apply for a new exciting job, spend hours researching the company, shopping for the perfect interview outfit.  The night before I would become so anxious my brain would run riot with thoughts, which would usually conclude in, ‘’There was just no point in me going to that interview. ’’

Another example of over thinking,  I would see an old work friend in the street, Rather than naturally saying hello. I’d think, should I say hello? Does she even like me? Do I smile or just ignore her, encase she doesn’t smile back at me?   Over thinkers will relate.  Simple tasks, become not so simple.  I’m not sure when this changed, maybe my self esteem grew, maybe being around more positive people helped, or years of battling the negative thoughts, I finally won.

But these past couple of weeks, I’m post surgery and learning to walk again with (broken) leg and new alignment, negative thoughts have tried to creep back in.  I don’t like playing the victim or complaining like a martyr, but we all know that when you’re in a place of pain and sadness, you can become immersed in your own world.  I know life’s not all rainbows and butterflies,  I’m not Mary Poppins, the world is full of negativity and injustice, I see most of it everyday in my work.  But when my own unhealthy thought pattern, can weigh me down, both mentally and physically, and affects others round me. I know I need to do something to change my mind-set, ( before It grips tighter). 

So, I thought I’d write a list of the re-occurring negative thoughts Iv been having this week, and try and give them a spin, a better way of looking at things. First Thought;


           I can’t bear the idea of people having to care and do so many small things for me.

Try and enjoy being waited on – Your own chef, cleaner ?  That would be bliss to many people.


It is so much time off work, I’ll go stir crazy, they may replace me.  I’m going to lose my mind sitting here.  

Finally the opportunity to investigate that business idea you’ve always wanted to explore. Time to get into that new series you always complained you had no time to start. Get productive.


What if it goes wrong, what if I cant walk again, what if I’m worse off from deciding on having this operation.

Don’t meet trouble half way- Keep focusing on how far you’ve come. You’re  doing great.


I’m no where near as far as that girl, I can’t lift, I can’t bend, I cannot move, I can’t manage- I’m failing already.

Don’t compare, it is not a race, you’re doing your best. Keep going.


I can’t cope with this pain I can’t do it, it’s too hard learning to walk again, just cut this stupid leg off, I’ll never manage it.

Well you have no choice, so get on with it, pain doesn’t last forever . Don’t be ungrateful for your leg ( tough self-love)


 

You may feel a bit nuts at first writing down your own battling thoughts, but give it a go, surgery related or not.  Trying to think more positive isn’t about pretending you’re never ever in pain, or that you’re  never in a negative mood. Without the pain and the sadness, we would have nothing to compare the good times with. We need a balance.  But trying to overcome unhelpful, negative thoughts, its about giving yourself a better chance of a good day.

It feels better to now be the girl who smiled at that old friend……

than be the girl who didn’t smile back x

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How comparing will steal your joy .

Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game, which brings you little, to no joy.  Luckily, Iv never been one to feel envy or competitiveness in everyday life.  But since my operation just 6 days ago, Iv found myself worrying profusely, where I should be, at this stage of recovery, in comparison to others.  I think it began at the hospital, when the nurse told me on day 1 ” You should be using your crutches, not me supporting your leg you know”  whilst I sat crying in pain, as it was the first time I had moved since the operation.  At this point I hadn’t even seen a physiotherapist to show me how to use crutches safely, so she was wrong,  but I still worried about the words  ”should be.”   On day 3 I felt extreme nausea from the pain and the physiotherapist said, ” You should be lifting your leg alone, as your going home today.”  And I thought should I ?!  Well I couldn’t.  On the day I was discharged  I felt wobbly and sick, which is obviously expected, Id just had my leg broken and screwed back together.   But on arriving home, using crutches, one wrong move, and I felt my leg give way from under me, I hit the pavement.  Iv never felt pain like it.  And as I laid in the street, I thought ” You should be doing better than this ”

So it hasn’t been the best of weeks, but of course no first post surgery week ever is.  But to make matters worse when I got home and recovered from the fall,  I spent most of my time looking online at others who have had this operation, ( a TTT & MPFL reconstruction) to see what stage they were at by day 5.  Yes this is great for guidance, advice and support, but the direct comparisons made me feel awful.   I had others telling me how high they could lift their leg by day 3, or how far they could bend it on day 4, when I was finding both IMPOSSIBLE to do. 

My mood dropped, I felt anxious, sad.  I had done that to myself.

When you compare your journey to someone else’s, you instantly set yourself up to feel unhappy, But I’ve woken up today with a clearer mind and with a vow to start over.   I have learnt from this. And I know learning to walk again in an alignment my leg has never been since birth, is going to be strange, painful and slow. I understand that my lack of patience and comparing,  is really just a fear that I wont get to where I want to be. Which I will.  Maybe not as soon as ‘Sue’ and her bendy leg.  But I’ll get there.

So whether you find yourself comparing your surgery recovery, your mental health recovery, that new mums waist line to yours, or just the place you are in, in life.   When you catch yourself doing this. STOP.  And tell yourself, we are all on our own journeys, at our own pace, and as long as we are trying our best to reach our own realistic goals, then that’s all we can do.


A better focus is on what you are already blessed with, and how far you have actually come.  As I mentioned last Sunday, Sundays are a great time to re-energise, reflect and re focus.  Looking at both what you have achieved, and that you are grateful for, no matter how bad the week has been, (just look a little harder.)   This week for me, I

Achieved;

Going through with an operation that I have put off since the age of 17.

I managed to walk to the bathroom on crutches (no brace) on day 2, which on day 1, I never thought I would do.

I managed to bounce back from a nasty fall quite quickly.

I haven’t cried today (so far)


Grateful for;

My boyfriend –  So far he’s been my rock, carer, chef, cleaner and my best friend.

My friends and family – For the cards, support and little pick me ups. I am aware of what a privilege this is.

The kindness of strangers – When I fell in the street, two strangers helped my boyfriend carry me to my sofa, they couldn’t bend my leg and I was making no sense, so it was very slow and they were so patient and kind.

Peppermint tea and ginger biscuits – Try these for nausea. God send.

My kitten –  Despite trying to jump near my leg, the one place she shouldn’t, she means well, and her little morning purrs have made me smile.


So give it a go yourself,  put pen to paper, and if you to, have been comparing your journey to others, then start over today.  Remember a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. 

It just blooms. x