When Talking Matters.

Over the last two months I have been working with a CBT coach to overcome some of the blocks I have in my life. That work, that chance to sit and discuss my difficulties, has been a great help to me. It has helped me to maintain a level of being and functionality that I have often found difficult in life.

This week our track changed slightly. This week I found myself needing to go a little deeper. I needed to address what is the root cause of my pain, the force behind the whirlpool of depression that I fight against.

This was difficult for me, it is hard to open up to a stranger and talk about things you feel you’d rather not share. It’s painful to face those things that you hold back and try to push away. When you talk about your very being, your body, causing you so much pain it stops you living. That is a hard thing to do.

As we talked my smiles turned to tears. I watched as my pain was drawn up on a whiteboard, a cycle of crippling thoughts and emotion. And through the tears I see a tiny spark of hope, a hope not of removing the pain, the cause of my suffering, but of lessening the cycle. Of perhaps finding a way to help the daily fight to stay afloat. The answer wasn’t there but the means to maybe find it was.

I need to face my anguish again, I need to specify what it is. I need to take the moment of pain at it’s highest and look at it closely, to see what it is doing to me. And then, maybe we can find an answer, a way to help me fight it more efficiently while I wait, the long wait, for a resolution.

Facing the anguish and the fear this week took a toll on me, it wiped me out for the day. I still feel the tears now as I sit writing this. But I know that facing it will, in the end, do me good. So I’ll pull my strength together and I’ll do what needs to be done. And hopefully I’ll find a way to keep me steadier for the next few years as I wait for the physical treatment that will right some of the wrongs of my being.

When you feel your life in tatters

When your mood is low

When your smile deceives and flatters

Caught int’ ebb and flow

Then you’ll find that Talking Matters

when the tears are loose and flowing

When your facade cracks

When you find your pain is growing

When your spirit lacks

Then you’ll find that Talking Matters

When you put yours fears aside

Fear of being known

When you let your truth defeat pride

when your pain is shown

Then you’ll find that Talking Matters

A Winter Poem

I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I might use my Thursday posts to share some creative writing. This is one of those weeks. Today I would to share a poem I wrote while looking out of my window, drinking tea and avoiding housework.

A Foggy Morn by Madelaine Taylor November 2019

As always, I would like to hear your thoughts. Maybe you’d like to share some wintery writing to? If so please feel free to leave a link!

3 Happy things from the end of November

So here we are in the first days of December, the air is colder, the ground is frosted. But some things give you a warm feeling. Here are three things from last week that were like emotional porridge, warming and (ful)filling.

1 Collaberation

A friend, and member of the NCC Creative Writing course asked me to write a Christmas poem for her blog. Something I was happy to do.

Aimee does a lot of work in the mental health field and helps a lot of people with her workshops, presentations and social media activity. It is great to be able to help her with her ‘blogmas’ posts.

You can find Aimees blog here: imnotdisordered.co.uk

2 NANOWRIMO

Nanowrimo is a writing challenge. Running each November the aim is to write 50,000 words during the month. This year I was writing my novel and so I entered for the first time. Completing Nanowrimo is a great achievement for those doing it and I managed it this year. I had a lot of fun doing it as well.

The Nanowrimo Banner.

3 Twitters Writing Community

Over the weekend I started to look at the #writingcommunity twitter feed and found a lot of interesting, creative people. It seems to be a very supportive group of writers and it kept me engaged and entertained all weekend. I’m happy to have found these people and look forward to lots more fun interactions within the group.

So there we go, three things that made me smile and all three are writing based this week.

What made you smile this last week?

A Momentous Day

I was out, walking around the town I live in. It was a nice day in May, the sun was shining and the wind was low. There were some people around but it was fairly quiet unless you happened to work in Greggs. The lunch time crowds were queueing out the door as usual, silently waiting for a sarny or a sausage roll. I walked past them, I had some forms to print off so I was headed to the library.

Sat at a computer in the local library, I printed my forms and was more or less ready to go when I had a thought. I had been Moving towards a full time social transition since I came back from Paris, I was dressing in a more gender neutral to feminine way and I wasn’t pretending to be someone I’m not anymore but I was still legally using a mans name. Worse than that I was a Jnr so I was using my estranged fathers name and he wasn’t the accepting, liberal, type at the best of times.

It was time to change. I knew there were sites where you could download a deed poll So I did a quick google search and found a free one. In two minutes I had filled out the details and I printed a copy off. Now I needed to find two people to sign it or… The library is in the same part of town as the street of family solicitors. I could just walk around the corner and ask how much it would be to have it signed. So that’s what I did.

The first firm I tried was helpful but were asking more money than I had, plus the person that dealt with those issues was currently in Greggs waiting for the chance to buy lunch. I thanked them and moved down the street. My next stop was a smaller office and the receptionist was very helpful. It was going to cost £5 to get a signature and she was calling to see if it could be done now, even though the solicitor was on lunch already.

In a moment I was in a room with a solicitor swearing an oath not to use my old name any more. A second and a signature later and I was Maddie! All done. I handed over my five pounds and left the office. Back on the street I stopped, took a deep breath and my mind blew. “That’s it.. I’m Maddie” I couldn’t quite believe it, but it was true. I walked the street back to the library in a haze of happiness and I changed my name there. Then I went to the council and did the same.

All told I was out for 2 hours and I changed my name with everything I could on the high street. I also took a photocopy of my deed poll and bought a frame for it. It’s hanging now in my bedroom, a reminder of that day, that momentous day.

In the end, changing my name was easy and the effect it had on my life was huge. I look back on that day with a smile.

The site I used can be found here. https://www.freedeedpoll.org.uk/ It’s very easy to use and is free.

3 Things I Can’t Live Without Since Going Full Time….

I know 3 Things again, it’s as if I’m obsessed with the number 3. But it is a good number isn’t it. Anyway here are 3 things that I’ve found have made a huge difference to life since I went full time. Oddly enough they all focus on the face….

1: Concealer

I’ve used a couple of concealers now but the easiest one to apply so far has also been the cheapest. A £1 concealer stick from Poundland. This is like a lipstick in form and is really easy to put on. Covering all those dark areas around your chin from that pesky facial hair and the bags under your eyes, likely gained from lack of sleep due to worrying about all that pesky facial hair.

Cheap and cheerful. Poundland concealer.

2: Foundation

Foundation is one of those things you don’t want to skimp on. I’ve used cheap foundation while I’ve been practising application and the likes but honestly, when I switched to using a good product it was like using something completely different.

I currently use a foundation I bought at Sephora on a trip to Paris. This is a foundation that was recommended to me by the sales assistant there. Incidentally that was a real turning point in my going full time as the staff at Sephora were amazing.

Unfortunately there is no Sephora in the UK and as I’m by no means a make up expert all I can advise is to either watch one of the millions of make up guides on You Tube or read a blog devoted to these things for recommendations. My advice here really is don’t skimp it isn’t worth it.

Glow foundation from Sephora.

3: Hair Removal

I’ve done a whole blog on this before so I’ll keep this short. While saving for more permanent hair removal treatment get yourself the best devices you can afford. It makes all the difference.

I use the Braun 7 shaver everyday and the Braun episilk 9 for body hair. I also tend to do a wet shave once or twice a week on my face and for this I currently a Gillette razor. However I have sent off for a trial with Harry’s which I’ve heard good things about.

You can find that trial here https://www.harrys.com/en/gb/trial

Three More Things

This week has been a struggle both physically and mentally. My knee and ankle problems have flared up at the same time and depression kicked in because, I assume, it saw how much fun my leg was having and wanted to join the party. I still have three things for which I’m either grateful or that made me happy though. So here goes.

Thing 1.

Crutches…. yup, after my surgery I was given crutches and boy am I pleased I was. I would be lying in bed now wondering how I might eat or use the bathroom if I didn’t have them! Seriously, I’ve used an office chair as a makeshift chariot in the past to get around my flat… So thank you NHS for the crutches.

Thing 2.

I drew a picture for a friend this week hoping it would give her a smile. She loved it though ait for her profile picture. That made me happy. Moments like that make your day.

Thing 3.

The reverse of the above really. A friend wrote a fiddle tune recently And called it Maddie’s Moment. It was a great tune and it meant a lot to me that he named it that. So thank you!!

Other things that didn’t make the list but made a difference this week. My class, my CBT appointment, the Pitch Perfect trilogy on Netflix and all the wonderful people reading my blog posts.

What would make your top 3?

When I Struggle…….

When I struggle to stand or walk due to my knee or my ankle injuries I reach for my crutches. They help me to get about and get on with my day.

When I struggle to write, I sit and I type until I find a path I can follow. When I find that path I block everything else out and I walk down down it as far as it takes me. Sometimes that path is easy to find and easy to walk along, sometimes it takes a while to find, sometimes there are pot holes and unexpected turns. But it always takes me where I needed to go.

When I struggle to see what I’m reading I take out my glasses, I put them on and all of those blurry black lines become words and sentences,

When I struggle to put those things that try to keep me down and that hurt me to one side and live my best life….. On those days it’s hard. There is no easy answer, no tool that I can reach for, there is no technique tried and true that I can employ to get me through. So, on those days, I do the best I can. I try to write, I listen to music, I watch tv. Sometimes I play, sometimes I draw, sometimes I read. Sometimes I just can’t and I sit and I cry.

My only answer, the only thing I have on those days is creativity. I explore myself through the things that I do. There are days when that works and days when it doesn’t quite. Those days never feel good, at their best they only ever feel like I’m getting by. Like I’m waiting for an acceptable time to end the day and sleep.

The gap between those days is longer now, now that I know who I am. Now that I can live as Maddie. But they still come and on those days I am thankful that I have these ways to explore myself and express myself. Without them I imagine, I know, my life would be harder.

What gets you through on those days? What helps you when you don’t want to get out of bed? Add a comment, add a thought.