Recovery from 2017 Plan

So, I have taken some action already and decided on making a few changes. I know I’m maybe repeating some things here I’ve mentioned already, apologies for that but I’m consolidating my thoughts.

  • Get out more and meet new people so I went on the Meet Up site and joined a few new groups. My diary is now looking pretty full for the next week or so. A group nature walkers, coaching class, A local women in business meet up support club, a monthly goals group
  • I have a life coach meeting on Friday, and also I searched gumtree for free life coaches looking to build up their hours to qualify. Got one calling me today. And I have a therapist appointment tomorrow.
  • Last big meal last night. My mums for New Year’s Day, this feasting has to stop or be cut right down. I found myself saying yes to those big dinners with lots of wine, out of loneliness but am now looking to be busy in the evenings with less consuming orientated activities.
  • In my second day of my dry January tradition, I have done this for the last few years and always enjoy the self esteem from not being so indulgent and dependent on it for entertainment. And my lovely but boozey neighbours are going on holiday on the 26th for a month so I can easily extend that.
  • Choosing more encouraging friends. My long but now gone intense and close friendship with my old pal M who I care for dearly but who is suicidal most of the time was taking its toll. His latest temper outburst directed at me gave me the impetus to drop our daily walks. I miss those and him a lot but I think it’s a case of giving up the proximate for the ultimate goals. Short term loneliness relief for long term positive well being. I see that the start of my sinking mood happened when I reconnected with him a few months back. I think I overestimate my resilience at times see myself as some kind of rescuing hero, it doesn’t work and it’s presumptuous. Egotistical. I was his only friend and felt obliged to somehow show him he can maintain a friendship, hmm idealist. Borderline Personality Disorder and relationships don’t go, unless you’re a martyr rescuer type which I’m trying to stop doing.
  • I reconnected with a lovely old internet pal who I always had a good deep connection with. Fab long long chats and easy openness and intimacy, what a joy it is to get someone and to be understood. So again I see that some good things need space made for them and to have the courage to let go of that which drags me down in order to allow new experiences to come in.
  • I braved the holiday hoards at the club the other day and the pool and will go again today and get back into the daily routine of starting the day with a swim, will be better once it’s back to me and the old men when the schools are back.
  • Continue this dating game. I’m enjoying meeting some interesting guys. We go for a walk in the park then a cup of tea in Pollok. I just adore meeting new people and it’s fun having a little mini journey into the unknown with them and finding out about them. I’m not very normal though so need quite an unusual type to hit it off with. They are out there I’m sure, s will keep on looking.
  • Business I’m hardly thinking about as I know I will enjoy that once I’m enjoying life more. Delighted that K has now gone. Now have an extra van, should I start a dog walking business with that van?! Business is fine, just started a £120k job that will keep the guys going for a couple of months. And finishing another quite profitable one. So at least I’m not worrying about the tax bill for a change having been a responsible wee thing and paid most of it in advance.
  • I need to stop looking at houses. I don’t have to move for many months and it’s disquieting and unsettling constantly looking for new places to live and new areas. Imaging how it might feel to be in unfamiliar spaces is not what I need right now.
  • Back to listening to Tara Brach talks at night before sleep, fabulous, authentic, inspiring, relaxing, love that lady.
  • I want to find ways to help others more this year. This one to one with friends with serious mental health issues has been disastrous. I can’t handle them, I’m too emotional and not detached enough from suffering and have to move away and then they end up hating me. So maybe something more simple within my skill set, like visiting old people or helping at food banks or something. Lol. I do li’e to feel useful, it gives me meaning. And takes the emphasis off my me me me land.
  • Get a dog, I have to. The void left by Kalinka still haunts me and it needs filled. I have these delayed reactions to losses for some reason and while I initially had some tears, I was brave about it for her sake, it was the right thing to do. it wasn’t until months later that I realised the utter devastation that loss of my friend and the emotional connection had on me.


Congratulations to Myself…

I was wondering how I can encourage myself more. Encouragement is such a positive experience, and I love giving and receiving it.

I have a sense I need some more of it, as I have been feeling so discouraged this last year. Hard times with clients, employees, losses of loved ones. Stress.

It has to come from somewhere and I’m not comfortable asking for it from others. Other than the paid life coach I’m seeing on Thursday. Oh and the Transactional Analyst I’m seeing on Wednesday. But this can be expensive to keep going permanently.

Writing a gratitude list is a great way to increase appreciation of my life but I want to go a bit more into building up my confidence some more. So I’m going to write a self congratulation list. Sounds a bit egotistical doesn’t it! But this not the aim, I just need to remind myself of my successes and strengths. In truth I feel a little nervous even thinking about doing it in case I can’t come up with much. So here goes.

Congratulations to me for

  • Building a business from scratch with no money
  • Living a life of adventure and exploration on my own terms before that
  • Managing to keep it going through the recession and recovering from the debts I got into during the recession and bad winter in 2010
  • Being a considerate, generous not chastising and encouraging and supportive boss
  • Being trustworthy and having integrity with my clients, staff and suppliers
  • Learning to like myself and look after myself better, this has been a steep climb from self hatred and unworthiness
  • Being able to see the beauty in the world and having a high degree of appreciation
  • For being articulate and a good communicator with people
  • For being willing to help people out when I can
  • For handling the big changes in my life over the last year, losing my dog and son and finding myself alone.
  • For being able to ask for help when I need it
  • For being a pretty emotionally intelligent parent
  • For my ongoing curiosity and willingness to learn and to dump old beliefs that no longer serve me
  • For handling very well being a single woman in a mans industry (construction)
  • For being able to sell expensive projects to wealthy fussy clients- for them having confidence in me
  • Oh yes for ding pretty good at garden design!
  • For my love of peace and harmony
  • For my ability to look for win win solutions in life
  • For being able to maintain friendships and generally avoid conflict unless necessary

That’s all I can think of just now, but it feels good and reduces my anxiety tha I’m failing just because I’ve been having a wobble this year. Im going to get some post it’s and put little notes of encouragement and love around the place.

Gratitude List

Thank you for

  • Bringing me many clients and opportunities to create beautiful gardens
  • The money to support my life, pay the rent, buy food and pay the heating bills
  • The fabulous little holidays abroad
  • The many many joyful walks in nature and having a huge wooded park nearby
  • My car which comfortably carries me where I wanted to go
  • The gym and the pool where I exercised and swam and relaxed nearly every day
  • Tara Brach for rescuing me during tough times
  • The friends and family who have given me much support this difficult year
  • Barry for showing me what courage looks like despite being paralysed from the neck down
  • My lovely neighbours who invite me for amazing dinners weekly and provide much cheer and laughter
  • The support of the life coaches and therapists I’ve lent on at times
  • My comfy flat, that kept me dry and warm through a huge storm last night.
  • The technology which makes my life smoother, iPad phone etc.
  • Living in a stable safe country
  • That my healthy son who is having a great time travelling and is blossoming so beautifully in his life
  • My good health! no problems so far other than a few small niggles. Haven’t even had a cold in 3 years
  • Not having mouth ulcers since I discovered all I had to do was cut out dairy.
  • Thank you to myself for trying hard to be as honest, fair and kind as possible and more accepting of everything in me. Thank you for my talents and traits which have helped me move around in society, build a business and deal with difficulties.
  • Thank you that I’m kinder towards myself nowadays, and that I now feel I deserve more of that kindness and self compassion.
  • Thank you for the beautiful view out every window in this house
  • Thank you for the radio and especially bbc works service which keeps me company during the day
  • Thank you for music
  • Thank you for the natural world and for the internet which allows me to access so much of nature’s beauty
  • Thank you for the Internet and Facebook for the way it has allowed connection with others and access to so much knowledge and wisdom.
  • Thank you for the makeup and hair dye that allows me to look better!
  • Thanks for the delicious cup of tea in front of me
  • Thank you for my upbringing which gave me an adequate amount of resilience to life’s stresses.

Might add more later….once you start the list seems it could go on and on.

So I sacked the Guy

The build up to this for me was so very stressful. I really dislike hurting people. But as the custodian of this business I don’t feel I had the choice. And he didn’t take it too badly I’m told. He has been an ongoing cause of stress in my life for a long time and now he is gone. One stressor down, couple more to go. Litigation with client still going on, the garden of a psycho client still to be finished.

I had the most wonderful Xmas imaginable down at my sisters in Oxford with my Mum. I was shown a lot. These people are happy, they look for opportunities for fun in every situation. It all felt quite alien and made me see how low and fun-less I have become lately. It also showed me another way of being too, I’m grateful to my sister Mum and family for that.

I’ve been back a couple of days, and it feels like slipping back into a dark endless tunnel. I forced myself to do a nature walk yesterday and today and I saw my thoughts so clearly, an endless self critical, negative stream. Kept having to take deep breaths.

Had a marvellous reunion with an old friend the other night, been close to him for 38 years. And last night an epic Skype conversation last 8 hours with an online pal I’m close to. Both of these deep connection experiences were very healing for me.

I realise I need this, much more of it. So today I joined about 5 different local MeetUp groups, walking, business, personal growth etc. Time to get out there and meet new friends.

Got a dinner party tonight next door.

It’s not all bad by any means! Gosh I think it’s time to renew my gratitude lists.

Saturday anxiety flavours

In bed of course, the weekly treat to loll around with no need to do anything or go anywhere.

My doctor called and left a message on my phone, twice actually. She wanted to know how I was getting on with the antidepressants she prescribed, which I didn’t actually take. Citalopram which are still sitting here. Think many have a bumpy few weeks when first taking them which is why she called. That’s a good doctor I’d say calling me to check, great service for the NHS. I’ve been tempted out of curiosity to try them out. But have been finding other ways to manage this anxiety that seems to be a bit of a constant companion at the moment. So before I try anti anxiety medication like citalopram….

Assembled a little army of professional helpers. I’ve got a psychotherapist at £50 an hour who is digging into deeper causes of unhappiness and is quite shocked by my childhood experience, the abuse and unhappiness. The life coaching guy…. who calls himself the happiness guy, quite a high bar he has set for himself, but let’s give it 4 sessions and see how it goes. He’s young through. But has been through his own shit so might know his stuff. Follows the Tony Robbins model. He is also £50 an hour.

Then there’s the private doc who gave me diazepam, which I’ve almost run out of and hoping she will give me a repeat prescription. It’s been useful for having a little break from the grip of anxiety here and there. Then there’s the Mindfulness teacher Skype sessions. I like them a lot, but they are expensive at £70 an hour. So I’d have more but can’t justify that money.

So finding yourself in crisis isn’t cheap if you want to take action out with the free NHS options. There’s a self referral mental health service I might try too out of interest. It’s also free. The advantage of paying for these services is that you are kind of interviewing the chosen helpers till you get the right one. It makes me feel compassion for poorer people, whose choices are so much more limited in this area of getting professional help.

It helps me taking action on my anxiety, and not feeling I’m a helpless victim of it. I like action.

So many things have been going wrong recently, well this whole year actually. Work especially, but friends leaving, son on other side of the world, not close to sister, or best friend….who has become quite an angry ranting type.

I am feeling discouraged by this. I almost think I need a professional encourager! Funnily enough that is something I’m great at doing for others.

I went to visit my friend who is paralysed yesterday. Somehow I think seeing him should make me so much more grateful with my life. He can do next to nothing for himself physically.

He asked me what I was looking forward to in life. Nothing came to mind at all. Nothing ahead is exciting me or enticing me on. It all feels like one big boring hard slog. I could do almost anything I want but can’t think of anything I want to do.

However I have a second date tonight with a lovely chap, the practising catholic! Which puts a smile on my face for some reason. You don’t meet too many practising intelligent religious people these days. See how that goes….


So I went to see a client, saw how badly my man had finished her job, she didn’t pay me as it’s not done yet. And she also told me how much hashish they had been smoking. It has been smelled from his van for her, her friend her daughter walking past and a workman working in her house. This man has to now be sacked. This gives pain and stress to me as he just has a new a-baby and has bought a new house. But it’s not suitable material for my quality company, I feel sad. I like the guy, he is friends with the other guys, he has to go though. So just after Xmas he will be sacked.

The life of a business owner, even one that loves and cares for her staff. I can’t allow this to go on. I have an unhappy client with badly finished work and stoned out their heads workers.

I’m feel really down right now. I’m not feeling like there’s much to look forward to in life right now. I’m not enjoying dealing with the clients, or the employees in this kind of situation. I feel like running away!

Hello Little Fear…

Come on in and let’s have tea…I will kindly listen to your concerns. For a short while only though. You are communicating to me that I’m in danger. I hear that. Thank you, goodbye. Can I learn to say that friendly goodbye before my whole limbic system is in hyper fight or flight mode?

Really would like to resist letting these fears staying for a whole 3 course meal. Too often it’s a 5 course meal, and I in shreds of anxiety and stress after it. Limbic system running the show, frontal cortex hardly being heard.

Last night was a nightmare and my stress resilience fell apart. Downstairs had a loud party for over 6 hours. I was really uptight and was not able to enjoy the peace of the evening at all. Had to listen to loud music myself all evening to drown it out.

I’m in heightened anxiety at the moment again. It’s very seductive for me to believe these fears. Right now I have a legal wrangle with a client. It has the potential to not only wipe out my savings for getting my first house I’ve been saving for, or even worse if it goes to court…I could go out of business. That is unlikely, my reason tells me, though it is possible.

And then there’s the self condemnation just to add some extra pain to the situation. Knowing I took on a risky job, knowing I have been sabotaging my success this year after earning more than my inner success thermostat is set at. I was unconsciously compelled to make reality conform to this inner thermostat, to be less successful in other words, back to struggle and strife, a trier for whom it doesn’t quite work out for…..what I’m more used to, and what I was led to believe was to be my lot in life by early conditioning.

I dared to go above that inner thermostat and for a brief moment felt the thrill of new doors opening, new possibilities. I also felt fear of rising above others, questioned if that is okay morally, questioned if I deserved it, felt more alone than ever with it. Had a belief it wouldn’t last anyway so don’t get too happy about it.

So by turning towards myself with kindness and appreciation for what I have achieved so far, I can take little steps to allow more of the good stuff in. I’ve got candles lit here in front of me, and my lumie daylight light blasting in my face. I’m going to see an art exhibition locally shortly and tonight I’m going to a talk by an author. Oh and that guy I dated last week asked me out again :-).