mental health, Uncategorized, work

A note to you, my colleague. A note I’ll never send.

 There are days that I feel like crying at my desk.

There are days that I feel that no matter how hard I work, I’m not god enough.

There are days that I feel used, unappreciated, ignored and sidelined.

 Work used to be fun. Now I feel I am trapped – trying hard to escape but getting nowhere.

 Then you send me an email.

You say thank you for the work I put in.

You say that it’s because of me things are running smoothly, that things are happening, getting done, showing results.

You tell me that I’m more than good enough.

You have brought me cake to my desk when I can’t stand the day and am crying behind my screen.

You have hugged me as I’ve had a melt down over things.

You remind me that nothing is worth getting upset over – especially not this.

 So although I will never send this note, I just want to say thank you.

Your words have pulled me back from the edge without you knowing and shone kindness in what often feels like a thankless place to work where I feel cadged to continue working and giving till I break.

 But I won’t break, not over this. As you say – it’s just not worth it.

 Mojo&Me xx

 

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emotion, life, marraige, mental health, travel, Uncategorized

Anniversary

Today is our two year wedding anniversary, marking a momentous turning point in our life. Not because of the wedding per say, but for what we promised each other for that year and beyond.

Today also marks a year since we came back from a year long honeymoon, exploring the world and our marriage through a lens of freedom and hopefulness.

You posted a beautiful heartfelt message to me. Things I know you feel because you tell me often. Things that touch my heart and make me grateful for all I have found in you – my partner, my best friend, my soul mate, my other half. 

But my emotion is a private one.

I hide it often behind laughter, hardness, look always and stolen glances; behind a toughened heart, only you have softened and see through to. My expression is overt when I see you and want you close – hand in hand, face to face, an unexpected hug, a playful jump on you. A reassurance that you’re mine. That somehow the universe brought us together and we are one of the lucky ones. At other times it is independent and stubborn – not something I need overtly, sometimes it is shunned as I block out the world and protect myself from forces that are breaking me.

Our wedding was a magical moment in time, but the life we are striving to create, even when things are hard, is what I love you for. The belief that we have in knowing all will be ok, if we face things together. The belief that the road we travel is bumpy, especially as we struggle to find our feet after travel, but we will be ok.

You are my optimism during hard times, when I can’t face another day. Everyday I am amazed that you can love me even with my damaged edges and troubled mind.

My biggest fear is that one day you will realise who I am, how different I am to girl you met all those years ago, how I can no longer match or challenge your ambition or mind.

My spirit to run away and hide is there still, tamed, but when I am scared of life I have to fight the urge to run. You are my reason to fight. You are my reason to stay. You are my reason on many days, to live.

When I see you sad at the thought of loosing me to the devil I have within, I want to get better, for you. So I don’t ever loose you and you don’t ever loose me.

I hope you don’t read this. On day I should be writing you a love note, I have needed to be cathartic about how our anniversary of travel and marriage has built this foray of emotions. Ones of love and hopefulness against the fear and sadness that I am trying to conquer.

This years anniversary will be tinged by being the time I went to the doctors; the time I was advised I needed medication, the time I was referred for further help for an illness not seen, but felt.

I don’t want these things to define this time; I don’t want them to define me.

So if you are reading this, please remember this: today is another beautiful day of our marriage. I love you with a spirit I can’t always express. Look into my eyes and I know you’ll see it. Small hearts dancing in my iris as I look at the man who I will be with for the rest of my life. No matter where it takes us.

I love you for all you are, all you will be and all you give me. You are my reason for being and my inspiration to keep going. On the days I don’t want to wake up, you’re the reason that made me glad I did.

Forever yours,

Mojo&Me xx

 

emotion, mental health, support, Uncategorized

Coping with people being nice

I have to tell you something.

As much as I like people being nice and supportive, I can’t really take it.

You see, I brace myself for the day. Put a smile on and pretend all is fine. When people say, all will be ok, or thinking of you, or I love you – I don’t know what to do with this.

You’ve disturbed my thought pattern of bracing myself for a day where no one tells me any of this and I plough on doing what I do. And at the end of the day, I feel my breath get short as my throat clenches and I struggle to breath and then I am overwhelmed by all I’ve been trying to control for the day.

But you… You’ve pierced me with loving thoughts and nice messages. You’ve reminded me I’m not alone. And actually I’m not prepared for that.

In a really weird way, I’m trying to say thank you. I have a feeling this is a learning for me. One that reminds me to let my support structure love me, think of me and wrap me up with kind thoughts that  can power me through.

It’s a reminder that I don’t have to face my struggles alone – even though I know they only exist in my head.

It’s a reminder that I will be ok. Maybe not right this minute, but I will.

And it’s this I’ll  hold on to, no matter what the day has in store.

Mojo&Me xx

confidence, emotion, failure, mental health, Uncategorized

How we’re built

You see, we’re different.

You were brought up in an environment where you believed anything was possible. That you would be successful. That you would be a leader and be something great.

I don’t remember ever thinking anything like that.

I remember thinking I just want to try my hardest. That success isn’t fair, and how I wished it were so people I went to school with would have as much chance of success as anyone else from any other background. The kid that came to school with bags under his eyes and would fall asleep in assemblies. The kid that struggled with  everything because of his dyslexia but didn’t get the support he needed. The kids who played out on the estates. The kids who’s parents owned the local corner shop.

In the world I wanted to believe in, the kids who were in gangs had the same chance of success as the ones who joined science club (not that was a science club, but you get the gist).

Sociology taught me that’s not the way things work.

Opportunities aren’t even but somehow I still believed in meritocracy. The thought that if I try my hardest I will be good enough. And with that I simply just tried to be good enough. There was a sense that I was fine. Good reports. Good grades. All. Fine. All working out.

Looking back, I can see that where you had encouragement, I had disregard. Where you had teachers of aptitude and future proofing as parents I had a loving but distracted family. Fighting everyday to make sure we had food and shelter while they struggled with their own demons – there was no room to ask or need for anything.

Maybe it’s this that made me who I am.

Success I knew would be up to me to make. And so when I fail, I fail in my eyes before I fail to anyone else. My standards for myself are based on being the best I can be. And I’m disappointed when I feel this still isn’t good enough.

When I don’t have answers to things I ponder about in my life; if I cry when you question the contradictions of what I say; if I fluster at the thought of the long term – please stick with me. I’m trying my hardest to get there – I’m just not sure how.

My work ethic is there but I haven’t been built to look towards a grand future. I’m built to just try at whatever I’m doing and build on it a little bit more.

So, no. I don’t know what I’m meant to be. I don’t always have a sense of what my long term life looks like.

Today I felt that looking for who I ought to be in the future made me sad to be who I am now. I felt I had failed again – not on grades, but in knowing who I am meant to be.

I had failed to be a grown up that knows where I’m heading. I had failed to know the answer. I had failed to make decisions that laddered up to something bigger than just giving us stability.

I don’t want to dislike who I am right now. And I know you don’t want me to do that.

It’s just, when I’m struggling to succeed, my self worth is fragile.

As one of my biggest cheerleaders I know you’ve got me. And I know you’re pushing so I can be the best I can

Right now though, I need to find the self belief in who I am before I dream of who I could be. Just stick with me while I get there.

Mojo&Me xx

emotion, happiness, mental health, selfishness, Uncategorized

This isn’t for me. Just admit it.

I hate pretence. It’s like you haven’t read the T&Cs that come with, what seems to be, a selfless conversation on how much someone cares about you.

a. “I know it’s your birthday, so I thought we could go shopping. Yes, I know you’re looking at theatre tickets, but I’d just prefer to go shopping.” The emotional blackmail was too much and we went shopping. #truestory

b. “I want to make you a birthday cake, so I thought I’d make a meringue. I know you don’t like it, but I’ve found a great recipe and it will look incredible. And everyone else loves it.” I see. You want to do this for the show of it and other people. Not. For. My. Birthday. Another #truestory.

c. “When I said I had a surprise for you, what I meant was that I was using this as an excuse to see you, because it’s been ages.” Ah, when I said I was into theatre, I didn’t mean your school play, actually. And truth is, I probably have been avoiding you because you drain me. I simply don’t have the resilience to be around you. But now you have me cornered, because you have something ‘for me’.

Please, don’t ever make me think you have selflessly put me first. In all honesty, my expectations are very low and I never expect this from anyone apart from my husband. So saying or implying that you are putting me first when you aren’t, is actually more hurtful than just saying:

a. I want to go shopping and want you to come. I can prepare mentally for this if I CHOOSE to accompany you.

b. I want to show off how bloody awesome I am. Granted, I’d still be pissed off if you did this under the guise of my birthday, but hell, at least your ego isn’t over shadowed in this light.

c. I feel like you’re avoiding me. Is everything ok? We can then talk about the real shit that is happening here. Surprises make me feel like I should be grateful to you for something, even if this isn’t that real point.

I have recently learnt how important choice is to me. For too long, I lived my life on the terms that other people needed from me. In the bubble they wanted me in. Their feelings and needs were more important than mine. Their convenience was more important than mine. Their choice was more important than mine.

Relationships which took away my choice are now changing. And with this change comes a mix of emotions. I feel loss for the closeness that was built on how I used to be, but I also feel relief. I will choose to opt out of experiences that emotionally drain me. I will choose how I spend my time, after all it isn’t in endless supply and I’ll be damned if I waste it. And I will choose who I have in my life.

There will be times that I turn a blind eye to how un-selfless your apparent selflessness is, because I realise you need me. Other times I will be hurt by it; sad that I believed you could put me first. I will come to terms with the anger and upset I feel when I realise, yet again, that I’ve been used, manipulated or deprioritised.

But always, I will forgive. I’ll focus on how lucky I am to have many people in my life that like me, or will focus on the nice traits I must have that people want to see me. I will forgive, because quite frankly I have no space for hurt. And I will grow and remember how far I have come when I used to live by the rules other needed me to.

But don’t get me wrong. I won’t do this at the detriment of my own well-being. Not anymore. I’ll do this so I can continue to build the life I want, the one I choose to have. I will do this openly and…. selfishly.

I’m sorry if our relationship doesn’t survive this. I just can’t live in the bubble you want me to be in. If your selfless love for me understands this, then we will be ok. If it doesn’t… well, I’d like to give you back this relationship. Because it was never for me. Not really.

Mojo&Me xx

blogging, confidence, fear, happiness, mental health, Uncategorized

A blogging leap into my mental wardrobe

By October 2015, I had quit my job, sold my flat, got married and embarked on a year long adventure. Otherwise known as a honeymoon/running away from being a grown up.

We had two one way tickets to Hong Kong, a backpack each and enough electrical devices to power a small town. Given this leap of faith into the unknown, it’s strange that setting up a blog to practice my writing in a safe space is, well, scary.

I work in marketing. I know no one will see this unless I proactively push it out. And then I realise what I’m doing. I’ve raided my mental wardrobe and have found a trusty favourite of mine – the fear hat.  This hat that has a case of mistaken identity. It thinks it’s my favourite pair of jeans – the ones that have moulded to me, that I could wear everyday. It attaches itself to me like I’ve picked it, like I want to wear it. But come on, how unflattering is it?! Why would I choose to wear this?!

Despite its identity crisis, fear hat has a strength that I’m retaliating against. But it’s brief interlude gave me insight into how far I’ve come since October 2015, when I left everything I knew to create something brand new.

Fear used to, and still does, cripple me. It makes think I’m not good enough, that things won’t work out, that getting out of bed is just too hard. It makes me so worried about things, that I break. It’s easy to fall into catastrophic thinking and negative self talk when fear hat is on.

But now, I’ve learnt how to take off that hat.

I’m realising how feeling my emotions and not blocking them away, is actually healthy. I worked so hard at showing the world I was ok, that I was good enough, successful enough, independent enough, that all I was actually doing was running away from my fear of failure. And my fear of feeling anything.

In accepting fear and it’s ugly wardrobe accessories, I’m actually growing. I’ve learnt to control my thoughts, to take a check on my mental well being and have learnt to have more control on my life. It’s an ongoing process and one that’s had help from CBT, therapy, mindfulness and meditation!

Changing your mental wardrobe, can happen. For me, it’s not a ten step plan or a “listicle” (although who can resist these!). It’s a process that I don’t think I should ever stop learning from. It’s an attitude, that I do have control. And it’s a belief that life can be as incredible as I make it.

Mojo&Me was about having a safe space to share my life musings. But in it’s creation I’ve suddenly appreciated who I am, what I believe and seen holistically for the first time, my path in getting here.

My dress of self-belief seems to have just come back from the cleaners – and it’s looking lovely. I wonder if it knows how much I’ve missed it. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I just need to change.

Mojo&Me xx