When you’re going through a traumatic experience, you’ll know it. When it comes back later in life as complex PTSD for example, you’ll know it. When you have to determinedly work through daily battles with anxiety, depression, and trauma because it is so debilitating, you’ll know it.

But do we always know when we are healed? I’ve had to go through a number of years of sheer ‘hard work’, grit, determination and putting everything I have into getting through the day – survival.

I have several posts about these, in fact, I began writing my blog during a time when I was recovering from complex PTSD and severe clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder and needing to get proper help with it. Prior to that those were scary times for me – I had some severe adverse experiences particularly in the first two years of secondary school from verbal abuse, peer rejection, physically being attacked in school (I was quite little, and very terrified), racism and other stressors going on at the time. I was broken and hurting and my hair fell out in a patch, I hated myself and wanted to die.

As an adult I started reexperiencing these traumas as if they were happening right then and there, it was terrifying and my brain felt like it was ‘exploding’. I had different stressors built up in adulthood too and the childhood school ‘bullying’ (such a tame word) resurfaced and crippled my daily life. It was a hard, scary and painful and terrifying time for me but I pushed on.

Now, however, I realise that things don’t come to mind nearly as much and if they do, I can handle them. I’m less concerned with the past as I am with the present, and I’m not overwhelmed by the past negative identity that was pressed upon me. I’m not in constant mental or emotional turmoil or pain, and I don’t have the need to keep telling my story.

Perhaps the pandemic has me thinking of how we don’t know how much time we have left, but even so traumas don’t just ‘go away’ because something immediate is happening. Life may not be ‘perfect’ but I don’t think I’m in such an intense ‘survival’ mode anymore and I thank God.

He has brought me a long way, and healed some inner wounds that doctors or medicine alone cannot touch.

I have done a lot of persevering too, and I need to continue to be ‘transformed by the renewing of my mind’.

When I started this blog 4 and a half years ago, I was struggling and in a painful place. I don’t know how much time I have left on earth, who does, but I am not where I once was. I’m not in constant pain. I may be living in a confined existence in the pandemic with my personal circumstances, but I’m not living through intense pain anymore – praise God ❤

Childhood traumas are probably the most painful to overcome, when you relive them it seems so unfair after having done everything to just survive, but perhaps the fact that they have faded into the background after decades of being something to overcome is proof in my life that things can improve.

Perhaps it’s only in realising the things that ‘used to’ hurt us so much don’t have such great a hold on us anymore do we come to a gentle and perhaps gradual realisation, as we begin to live more in the here and now, that maybe, just maybe, we may be ‘healed’. ❤ x

Coronavirus musings: Don’t let the pandemic throw your recovery off course.

Another one from the early days of the pandemic which might help you stay on track. xx

Life as it happens to be

The news is all around us, and it’s hard to avoid. I have an anxiety disorder and complex PTSD and clinical depression and I have been working hard over the past few years to get stronger and to really make progress in this recovery and wellbeing journey. However, like many of you, the news and the uncertainty of Covid-19, and the reactions of other people, can add to those inner feelings of anxiety and unease. Last night, after chatting with my family on the phone, I spent some time just laying down and listening to healing Scriptures, and I woke up in the morning feeling His Peace – the Peace of Christ – so that when I read the news it didn’t really shake me. I remember the times before I knew The LORD in experience, I couldn’t find any true and lasting relief for my anxiety and often crippling…

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Coronavirus musings: When you have to stay in….let it be Christmas! :)

I’m revisiting some of my earliest posts on the pandemic / coronavirus. This was in March 2020 before the UK officially locked down, and I was still having to go to work. Now in October 2021 the UK has opened as of a few months ago, and the picture is not looking great in terms of the virus, and we may be heading for more restrictions in winter, which might not be a bad thing. Things have changed a lot though and many people don’t take it seriously. These initial posts were finding ways to encourage people if a lockdown / quarantine did happen….well, hope it helps someone now as you may still be staying at home. x

Life as it happens to be

I’m not in isolation or lockdown or anything like that yet, and am thankfully fit and healthy and well, however, more and more it looks like the country and the world is moving in that direction whether  you have symptoms of Covid-19 or not. The rationale is to contain and minimise the spread of the coronavirus.

It strikes me that people are responding very differently to the thought of having to stay indoors or limit their activity for an extended period of time than when they might be in a similar situation say during the Christmas holidays for example.

I’m still out and about going to work, although keeping my distance as much as possible, but the government is recommending that employers allow staff to work from home, so it is a wait and see time for us until we get definitive direction. In the meantime, we have to keep…

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Coronavirus: Self preservation and protecting others…

Wow – my first ever post on coronavirus and the pandemic in March 2020! Stay strong and safe friends. x

Life as it happens to be

We all must be familiar with the news of this unfamiliar virus Covid-19 by now. It is fair to say that a lot of things have been revealed about human behaviour during this time:

  • Fear of the unknown.
  • Feelings towards dying (a good time to consider our need for eternal salvation, and lift our eyes above our immediate concerns!).
  • Panic that leads to hoarding and buying more than we need.
  • A lack of consideration for the impact that our behaviour will have on others, such as the most vulnerable who may find that they cannot even find their basic necessities when they go to the shops.
  • Racist attitudes.
  • Compassion.
  • A desire to help.
  • Self protection and self preservation.
  • Isolation and loneliness.
  • Nonchalance.
  • Community spirit.
  • Gratitude.
  • Selfishness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Fear and concern for other people.
  • The realisation that viruses don’t respect borders and at the end of the day no matter where…

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What is in front of you…

Life as it happens to be

Have you ever looked at the news and felt overwhelmed by what is happening in the world? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by what is going on in your own life, and in the lives of those around you? Have you ever wanted to make a change, an impact in people’s lives but just not known where to start?

I’m sure we all feel like that from time to time. Some of us feel it very often. At times many difficult things converge and we can’t see past them. We might be having a challenging time personally as well as dealing with tough issues in our jobs. At one point I was working in the field of researching violence against women, and at the same time facing certain challenges, and I would feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of news and negativity and the state of the world. Some people…

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So, you’re life isn’t perfect right now….?

The thing with life is that our minds are constantly roving – away from a Centre or a Truth, away from the things that concern us, or are real in our own lives.

What do I mean? There is something wonderful about being human – about human beings – there is something innate within us that compels us to dream – as children, no matter what our circumstances are, we each have something of a ‘dreamer’ within our hearts. The future is somehow resplendent with possibilities, and somehow, someday we will become so many things, and our lives will become this incredible ‘dream come true’.

I grew up watching ‘Disney’ cartoons in my childhood afterschool at my child-minder’s house, along with my wee school age friends. I read a lot and we are encouraged to dream, to believe in that ‘dream come true’ that fairy-tale ‘happy ever after’.

I think there is something deeper as well, I personally do, as someone who believes that we were made for far more than this world has to offer, as someone who has come to know, and continues on this journey, of knowing, the Perfect Love of Jesus Christ. I believe that one day things will be made new, for those who have put their trust in Him. But we are in the ‘not yet’.

As teens or young adults, we still have that hope that things will work out in our life stories, and thankfully for many things do work out beautifully and quite smoothly. Lately I have seen (virtually online) in church, young couple after young couple meeting and getting married. I’ve seen it happen in the lives of my friends too. It hasn’t / didn’t happen for me, and I’m no longer in quite that ‘young adult’ phase. A lot of my dreams didn’t come to pass. And even if they do, there is a reality of the world that we all have to face.

I wonder what you are facing just now. Many people I know, despite the pandemic, are thriving in life. We all have different ideas of what that means, but I know of many people who are happy, healthy, and are still able to move forwards in their circumstances, whether that be in their relationship, marriage, or young families. But I also know that there are people everyday facing loss, whether due to covid or something else.

You only need to read the news headlines to realise that there are plenty of people whose lives aren’t what they would have hoped. Maybe you are feeling lonely or anxious, maybe you are worried about your job, or your children have gone astray or you’ve lost someone you cared about.

We do have a tendency to look at and compare our lives with those of people who seem to have everything going well for them. Perhaps they do, and good for them, but perhaps a look under the surface might tell a different story.

Don’t waste today worrying about tomorrow. Maybe things won’t work out they way you hoped, but maybe there is something you can cherish today. Maybe there is something you can enjoy today.

And while you gain strength in being able to appreciate your life just now, even as you take steps to improve things, and perhaps even to walk out a life of faith, think of how you might be able to help or encourage someone else who is having a hard time themselves.

Reaching out helps us live out more of our humanity. It recognises the needs and concerns of someone else, taking us away from looking just at our selves or our own needs. Can you connect with someone, message them, phone them, send them a gift, say thank you, pray for them, reach out in some way? Can you write a blog post to encourage someone else on their journey?

Remember that you’re not alone if you feel like things aren’t going as you’d hoped, but perhaps there is something you can do about that today, or maybe you can use your feelings and experience to help you to reach out and make someone else’s day a little brighter. x

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