Looking back and feeling better

I’m not going to lie it’s been a rough year and one that I won’t be sad to see the back of. It has taught me so much about myself though and I believe I’ve become a better person – most of the time.

The self-loathing is no longer there. I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself to be beautiful but at least now I don’t feel ugly….unless I catch my reflection first thing in the morning!

The weight issue isn’t as much of a problem either. The batteries in my weighing scales are dead so I can’t weigh myself eight times a day! I’ve also copped the fact that I’m not going to be stick-thin so if I want a cake I’ll have a cake.

The reason I wrote this post is that Lucy took a photo of me and I actually love it. I never thought I’d say that about a photo I’m in. I look carefree and happy and in that moment I was. I also think I don’t look so bad for someone who is almost 50.

When I look at the photo I think I have nice eyelashes as well as ‘nice hair’ and I don’t know if I ever told you that story so here goes:

There was an assertive and mindfulness course being held by a well known Sligo organisation earlier this year. I went along with Lucy hoping that it might help me cope with my panic attacks and depression….it did the opposite:

We were told to list all the positives qualities about ourselves. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do this and told the facilitator (who is a mindfulness coach) that I’d rather not take part in this exercise. She kept on and on – she even asked me what my dogs thought of me! Bizarre!

Instead of suggesting I take a break she moved on to the next section where we had to draw a heart with all our positive qualities written around it. At this stage my leg was shaking and I knew I was going to have a panic attack if I didn’t leave the room. So I excused myself and said I needed the loo. I couldn’t get out of the door – the handle was stuck and the more I tried the worse it got. At this stage I was in full on panic mode. One of my biggest fears was being trapped and I was. Yer woman had to come over to open the door.

I flew down the stairs, a slobbering, shaking mess and locked myself in the toilet. I would have been OK if I could have had some time to calm myself down but no, there was yer wan banging on the door….and truth be told I really needed a pee! In the end I had to let her in and she hugged me – something else I really don’t like! I’m not a fan of hugs unless I initiate them. So I snotted all over her, I know I paint a lovely picture and she was still banging on about me finding positives about myself! Jaysus she couldn’t give it a rest….in the end she said oh come on at least you have nice hair……

So that’s me – I have nice hair. It’s actually really funny now looking back at that moment but at the time I was in bits. If this lady happens to be reading this post I don’t just have nice hair I have nice eyelashes too and a nice coat – charity shop bargain!

8 thoughts on “Looking back and feeling better

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  1. Great spring in your step Val. Lovely to see again. I can feel the happier vibes coming through in your writing. Keep it up. X

  2. The pic of you speaks volumes. You DO look happy.
    You have worked very hard on yourself in 2017 and it shows. Way to go🎉👏🏻👏🏻

  3. I am so, so very sorry this happened to you. This is NOT what mindfulness is about. At it’s very core mindfulness is about being able to sit with the emotions that come up, but it takes a long time to get there- I’m still working on it, its a life long journay. This helps me when my mind starts ” to go to Rome” as my therapist and I say, -ie if I start to make stores up about what can happen, what will happen etc…and start to get into a panic or a stuck train of wrong thought- mindfulness helps me focus on my breathing, or where and how I’m sitting etc…it helps to bring me and my brain back to the present. Mindfulness is also about being able to sit in my garden and watch and notice the flowers open up, birds, bugs etc…instead of my brain “going to Rome”. This afternoon I was down by the beach mindfully watching the snow fall of the blades of grass and watch the blades of grass spring back up. It can be a wonderful tool to have in ones tool box, but it is not for everyone, and this experience you had with this was just so wrong, in so, so many ways and I’m so sorry the facilitator did not respect you enough, to know that you knew what you needed, and she should have respected that, and she did not. I’m so sorry this awful experience happened. Its not your fault, and it says more about the facilitator and the program then it does about you. This has to be taught in tiny baby steps, and when working with people who have anxiety, past trauma etc, tiny, tiny baby steps, and with a facilitator who understands these issues. I know I could not have done the work I have done and be as far as I am if not for mindfulness, but as I said it is just one of the tools in my tool box. As far as beauty- your beauty is inner and outer, and the inner just shines through in all you do and they way you care about others. And I love your coat- I love thrift/charity shops  

  4. somehow to me anyway, assertive and mindfulness course do not go together….I’m glad you are starting to feel better, even with the tough lessons we learn. This is a beautiful photo of you and captures your beautiful essence so well. And you are more then your “nice hair” ❤

  5. Out of her mindfulness more like it. Love the humour in the horrorful recollection of your experience. The teacher sounds like a character from Ab Fab. Marvellous!

  6. Just beautiful – made me smile with such strength you have found on this journey so proud of you. Your photography now is speaking volumes of where you are now and I commend you highly of the magnificent job you are doing. Keep it up you are an awesome lady.

  7. I love rhe photo … and I am fully with Suzanne with not mixing assertiveness with mindfulness. With assertiveness you would consider you want to lose weight or create a different ‘look’ that you may think is more attractive … and then assert yourself to achieve these things … then enter into a world where you need mindfulness more than ever!

    Mindfulness is very much accepting and loving who you are. You know, there’s loads of people that would love to be you, but that’s not healthy for them as they are who they are.

    You are an incredible woman, Val, and mindfulness would help you discover and bathe in that in a very unconceited way.

    What I guide, very simply, using the Tree, Triple Spiral, and Herb Labyrinths here is more of a visualising mindfulness, that’s a sort of bridge between mindfulness and journaling, but a lot of your blogging is journaling, so you are there. The camera responds a lot to your visuals too.

    Assertiveness vs Mindfulness reminds me of our Bards In The Woods. More and more people are now in the woods to power walk, run, and cycle, as if they cannot wait to get out of them again. This is assertiveness to achieve goals of fitness that are calibrated and number fixed. What we do is more mindfulness, the stroll, nature walk, synthesing our senses, sharing our voice through poems and atories, listening to others do this, and the sharing of a picnic. All three events, nature, barding, picnic, all brought together through sensory passion, not assertive calibrated goals.

    I believe we live life to the full if it contains passion, but we are longing, lonely, and feeling inferior if we live like by numbers … such as waist sizes and weighing scales kilograms.

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