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

pretty

 

 

Bad Habits die hard …..

I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas, it came and went so quickly, but now that Christmas is over and the new year is around the corner, its time to reflect and think about what we hope for in this coming year. I really don’t like the phrase ‘new years resolutions’ but i’m all for self improvement and growing as a person, so instead i’m going to look at some bad habits I would like to break next year and some good habits I will continue doing.

Bad habit number 1 – Stop Over committing myself 

Us humans love to talk about how stressed we are, and we are, we have stressful jobs, juggle many roles and we have endless to do lists.   Although some stress is productive, i’m pretty sick of hearing myself say ‘I’m stressed, I’m so tired.”  when asked how I am.  As actually sometimes we can and do create our own stress. We want to ensure our life is full of meaningful activities and we do not want to miss out on anything, AND we want to get everything right.

I did a lot in 2017 and although I am very grateful for that,  I also felt unnecessary stress in parts, so those activities actually felt a little less meaningful.  I over committed myself to places I needed to be, events I should book up, ( I even attended a gig with my knee in a brace, in pain, in fear of missing out- more stress then it was worth). I agreed to jobs and took on things that were not even my job role, that others had not cared to do.  

So in 2018, I intend, and not in selfish way, but to learn to take back my own time, learn when to say yes or no.  To understand I do not need to go to everything for my life to feel meaningful and full, and I intend to share the load, rather than take on too much. 

I no longer want to create my own stress.

Bad Habit number 2 – Buying a coffee when i dont need it

I love coffee and finding new coffee shops, so I wont be stopping this one entirely, but I do know my own body and I know that sometimes a coffee can make me feel more anxious, hyper, nervous and then crash and I feel a lot worse.  I need to break the habit of buying a coffee just because its on my way home, i’m not even tired, or thirsty, so did i need that coffee on the way home that now has me bouncing off the walls?! Probably not.  So I intend to break the habit….and cut down. 

Bad Habit Number 3 – Not adding Self Care into my work Schedule

I am a big believer in self care and at home I practice self care when ever I feel I need it. But when I am in work mode, I really don’t. I work with vulnerable teenagers, who are amazing, but very demanding of me.  I am passionate about what I do, but its long hours and I sometimes forget that I can stop for a minute, and do something for myself.  

This doesn’t mean to be lazy or unproductive, but I need to make a promise to myself that I will take time to recuperate, recenter, and refocus.  That way, I can give back more and make more of an impact with the young people I work with.  This can be anything from a walk on a lunch break, some quiet time, stopping on a long drive, making enough time for a healthy lunch and a cup of tea, just slowing down and refocusing.   I think we should all be making sure we are adding self-care into our work schedules, whether that is as a parent, at an office or physical work, and not letting anything take away from that time.

I was once told ” Don’t exhaust yourself for a job that if you died, would replace you in a week” Bit morbid, but you get my point. Your emotional well being and physical health comes first, as it is ourselves who face the consequences from not looking after it.

Bad Habit number 4 – Moaning at my boyfriend.

Oh come on, I cant help it, he should think to do things more so I don’t have to moan, but i’l try and moan a little less…..maybe. No one likes a moaning Myrtle. 

Bad Habit number 5 – Going on my phone instead of concentrating on that book.

I love books, I have so many books, I hear great reviews about a new book and off I go to purchase it, day dreaming on the way home of me curled up on the sofa, with a hot drink and my new amazing book that is going to have me gripped.  REALITY- Three pages later, I’m sat on my phone scrolling through pages on Instagram, chatting to friends who are probably fine to wait for me to finish this chapter of the book. Its an awful habit and one i’m sure many can relate to. Its a habit I’m determined to break…… as soon as I finish writing this post. 

Habits I will continue in 2018 

Practising gratitude.

Putting myself out there.

Learning.

Enjoying where I am at.

Being Productive and Positive.

Facing Fears.

Supporting my friends.

Spending time with those I love.

The year feels fresh and new and we all have these intentions of being this perfect person again this year.  But instead of setting yourself huge goals that are hard to reach, set yourself some kinder intentions and remember to look at all the great habits you do have and great things that you do…..and continue to do so.

The rest will follow. 

Happy New Year x

 

 

A little Thanks …..

 

I have a real love hate relationship with social media, I think mainly from working with teenagers and seeing it’s negative effects on the next generation. Photo -shopped images magnifying self esteem issues, the dangers it can bring, the worlds it can open up for the vulnerable and cyber bullying. But used right, it does also have its huge advantages, learning, sharing information, its amazing access to unreachable people, encouraging one another and supporting one another with our relate-able experiences.  For those people who feel alone, this can sometimes be a life saver.

This blog was started as an outlet, a supportive hand to others and an excuse to be creative, with surgery lurking it was a good base to record my progression.  That said I do not want to spend my time only writing about surgery or putting up pictures of knees, knees are boring, surgery is a big deal but it’s boring. To me a recovery of any kind, is to record challenges, positive thinking, journeys of self improvement, but also to share the things that make me happy on a day to day basis to stay present and grateful. And in turn hopefully others can take some positive feelings away too.  

But this blog was also a chance to seek out others who have had this particular operation  (tibial tubercle transfer ) or similar, and to receive advice from others in similar boats.  From doing so, it reminded me how kind us humans can be.  Of course nothing beats the support and love from those who know us, but as suffering is universal almost all of us have felt joy and pain, the particular details may be unique, but we can all relate to others and us humans have a real empathy for those who are battling something we once endured ourselves. Whether its heart break, a mental health condition, loss, an addiction, or a major surgery, we want others to not feel alone. We offer advice, tips and support to strangers, because we can relate to their situation . We have a new surge of empathy as we have been there. 

The feelings we experience as a result of social networking can also serve as a reminder that we are not alone in any challenge we face. They are shared by all human beings on their own personal challenges too.

From writing this blog I have had some great advice to take on board, ready for my recovery, so I just wanted to share some of that advice in hope it can aid others in recovery or those who have a major surgery coming up.

Advice; 

1) Listen to your Doctor and Physio everything he has to say and everything they suggest to do! I can not stress this enough.

2) Before the operation Clean the house, de-clutter, throw out things you don’t need, prep meals – Do anything that will cause you anxiety you can’t do after surgery.

3) This surgery is a BIG DEAL continue to seek out support from others who have had this surgery for motivation during recovery.

4) Fight through the pain as getting up and moving your ankle also is important -And try and strengthen your good leg before hand. it will be worth it.

5) ICE ICE ICE ICE

6) “You can finally watch the Kardashians from the start while you recover ” ( Not to sure about that one – but thanks Danni)

7) Follow instructions , Take it easy and keep on top of pain medication – it’s easier to mange the pain then to bring the pain back down again .

8) Remember it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon – Document your progress to keep yourself motivated .

9) Make the most of being looked after – prepare to cry and be stressed as it’s a long recovery but stay calm and relax and enjoy being waited on.

10) Try and focus on the things that you CAN do rather than those that you can’t – Arm weights etc

11) As it’s bone work, Ask for a nerve block- Stay on your medication – Do not get discouraged when learning to walk again,  Ask for mobilegs crutches. Much more comfortable.

12) Invest in an electric ice machine , shower chair and shower stool. All life savers. Good luck.

13) Buy the book ” Kitchen table by Dr Rachel Naomi Remember . Great for anyone going through any health challenges and it helped me immensely on my health challenge.

14) Physio is the key to the success of this operation, do not give up, stop or be lazy, your end results will depend on this.  Keep going. Good luck. 

Thank you for all your kind words and advice – It has taken me years to get in the right mindset for surgery, so all of your positive stories and taking time out to give  tips and advice, has helped me stay motivated.  And I hope this will be useful for others also.

So anytime you feel the desire to give a hug, a gift, a smile, a kind word or … just some relate-able advice to a stranger, but you think it makes no difference, or that you don’t have time.

Do it.

As it matters. More than you could ever know. X

 

Fresh Starts & New beginnings

By next week social media will be flooded with ‘Fresh Starts’ & ‘Goodbye 2017’ quotations. With a new year comes a new energy, a new hope and a motivation to start again. Goals are great to set for 2018, as there is always room for improvement in ourselves, but firstly give yourself a pat on the back for everything you did achieve in 2017. Any challenges you overcame, before you set yourself new goals for 2018 (using the things you didn’t do in 2017)

For me in 2017, I have come on in leaps and bounds in terms of mind-set and confidence.  My personal achievement was finally booking surgery for a long pre-existing health problem, which is a big step in the right direction for me. But new goals and new beginnings really can happen when ever you choose.

New beginnings can be exciting, but for many also really daunting.  There will be many people not feeling the joy of the new year bells ringing on new years eve, I recall that feeling oh so well.  I still remember starting over. I lost my relationship, my job, my home (and my marbles) all within a few months and I spent New Years eve in bed feeling extremely sorry for myself .  I did not approach any of this with a strong willed mind-set. I stayed in bed, I cried for way too long and I felt like things would never be ok.   But in time I did come to realise;  I didn’t actually like that Job. That home was not one I called my own.  And the relationship sadly had been broken for years. So I stopped seeing it as a negative, I stopped seeing it as I had hit rock bottom, and I started to view it as this was my ‘opportunity’ to change things up.

This was my chance to try my hand at a career in something I really wanted to do. I had nothing to lose.  I had worked in the financial industry previously, it paid the bills, so like you do, I went for jobs in the same field to start.  As I sat awaiting  an interview in the stuffy office corridor, I could hear the same familiar words being thrown around from the office ” Have Aviva called back ” ,”Let them know it will be a 15% sub-charge”.  A feeling of panic came over me and the realisation that, ” If I get this job- I’m in the same place”.  So I left, I ran, before they even called me in. I’m so glad I did.  It lead me onto train and work with vulnerable young people and their families, which is something I am passionate about.

It may of taken a couple of years, but I moved from my lovely home town and I now live in my favourite City, Brighton.  In a place I call home, it has all the touches that make it home and it really is my happy place.  And I’m in a relationship that flows, clicks and brings me a lot of happiness.

I feel like 2017 turned out how I had hoped, and none of this is to say ”hey come over here, so I can gloat at how great things are going” ….but to show that, Iv been there and yes new starts can feel over whelming.

But remember, if you feel like you’re at rock bottom, you’re not,  you are just re-decorating your life…………….

 how it should be x

Knee Saga

 

A little bit of background.   So Iv had ”funny” knees since I was a child and they began dislocating at 13 a scary, horrible experience, but weirdly one I got used to.  They have dislocated walking down stairs, in a swimming pool, and a night  out with the girls would often end in my painful party trick of me on the floor with a knee that had dislocated.  But I would persevere, ice, rest and carry on with life.

I mainly put off the idea of surgery, due to my driving test, travelling, shopping, washing my hair…. you get my point I  avoided it.   The pain was a factor for this, but not the real reason behind neglecting my knee’s for so long. I was scared of how much it would change my life, my job, my relationship, my social life. Also hearing the recovery was sooo long, I was scared I was going to ‘miss out.’   I was also scared it would leave me worse off.

I Know its just an opp, but I developed a deep rooted anxiety around the issue,  every dislocation left me a little more anxious, I think that’s called a trauma. Youd think it of pushed me toward getting it done, but it made me avoid it more . But that’s anxiety . It makes no sense . I think others going through any physical or mental recoveries can relate to that, not just those TTT rare knee people . 

But things changed. I cant live in constant anxiety that my knee may pop out should I slip in a swimming pool, or walking downstairs or I move to quickly, any longer.  So I am booked in for a TTT/TTO surgery ( Tibial Tubercle Transfer).   Basically, you know the bump below your knee (tibial tubercle) they move that, by breaking that off your tibia with the patellar tendon attached and move it to a more ‘appropriate’ place.

   I have found a few people online who have had this surgery which is great as its a rare knee surgery, so it would be great to speak more to you. 

But no matter your surgery/Recovery I think its great to share stories to support and help one another on the bumpy road x  

Facing Fears

So here I am, writing a blog. Iv always felt a bit unsure about blogs, like the world has gone mad, everyone wants to paint a picture of their ‘perfect life’ that’s not so perfect in reality. Everyone’s an expert. Sally went to spain for two weeks and now has a travel blog.  Barry did an online course for £40 and is now a nutritional bone structure advisor . ( Could be a thing ) But  I then came across a blog that changed how I felt. 

See iv been putting off a major surgery for over 7 years now, my partner so much as spoke to me about my dislocating knee, I would feel a surge of panic and shut the conversation down.  As a born worrier, being told I needed my leg broken (both) and realigned was something I was waaaay to anxious to ever face.

But these past couple of years things changed, I faced fears in my personal life and work life so out of  my comfort zone, that my anxieties have decreased, therefore my happiness has increased.  And this lead me on to finally research the surgery more, which brought me to this inspiring blog.   It gave me the insight, the courage and the push to finally book surgery.

So if a blog can help me feel positive about a subject I avoided for so long and make a difference, just by reading about someone else I can relate to, then to be able to help others in the same way is worth becoming a ‘blogger’.

I was once told it feels better to move towards a problem , than it does away from it….

They were right.  x