Depression gone by

On Sunday at my local cafe I got talking with the couple next to me. The man shared he had depression. A great conversation between us developed such refreshing , inspiring, honesty from them both.

During my years of depression one of the things I suffered was isolation. Already feeling bad in myself alientated, silenced mixed with shame which added to the mix of panic attacks, anxiety, social anxiety, mood swings, lack of confidence and self worth it was awful.

Sometimes I would get into a panic state just trying to decide what to where in the morning. I would get anxious when people came to visit. I felt ashamed because my home might not be seen as perfect. The internal voice I had, lived constantly inside me with self put downs, judgments tinged with “why don’t you kill yourself, you are no good to anyone”. Phew I feel emotional just writing this.

The conversation with the couple got me thinking. How rare it is that 3 strangers at a cafe share a heart felt conversation. ( it is rare anywhere). I told them that I had not had any symptoms for 14 years, as I said this I tapped the wooden table. I was offically diagnosied with complex post traumatic stress disorder. When I read the psychologists report at the time, I cried because it stated that I would always experience some symptoms for the rest of my life. However, something stirred in me; I have been known to be a stroppy woman.(My husband say’s it is because I am a red head ). In amongst the tears and the life sentance I had been given I wanted to prove her wrong.

Sharing with another friend the other day who is a psycologist, I said” maybe I need to go back over my path and identify what has helped me.” He agreed.

This is why I am writing. I have a happy life these days. I am on the pension, morgage free, I work part time as a hypnotherapist. I am time free, what a gift. I garden , walk the dog, play with the Grandies. I get words flooding through my head, be interesting to feel what it is like to put them on electronic paper.

I am no expert; I have been through life traumas and grief. In fact I truly feel learning never stops and we are all our own experts. Experts in knowing what we need and who we are. I have not done my happiness journey alone. I have met helpful people on the way and I am an avid reader of self change. Self change began for me when I was twenty. I was introduced to Krisnamurti’s teachings. I met him when I was twenty two, he shook my hand, his eyes were like dark pools and now I relaise that was love.

Blogs are best kept short my story will continue.

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Ruby and me

It has been a while since I wrote. I find that sometimes words run through my head and I just have to put them on paper. It has been a quiet time for words in my head.

Gardening lots, summer is calling me. Tending to the seeds and small plants of my vege garden takes focus every day. Wellington winds dry soil and can kill a small plant in a second. Lots of fruit on fejoas trees and the plums are hanging on through the winds. A few apples and pears appearing. Strawberries blooming. My Grape vines fruiting. I have had one for ages that never fruited. Filia my Grand daughter and I sung to it every time we passed by, it has worked. I also stopped feeding it, it was to leafy.

Ruby and me. Our relationship continues to develop. She has taken to running to the beach by herself! She knows the tracks that led her there and how the valley road does if we are walking. Not exactly dog edict in this day and age. It was suggested an  Ecollar might help.  When she gets to the beach she runs in the sea and won’t come when I call. I seriously considered a new home for her. That thought has passed. Watched Cesar Milan videos and looking at Ecollars.However, the other night when fire works were going off she got on my bed and cuddled up close for an hour. The bond of trust is growing.

I know it is about control and leadership but I can see that the bond between us is important too. Ruby is helping me develop my Aikido. What -ever comes my way meet it, blend with it, then the transformation will happen naturally. No need to push or force.

I have had animals in my life most of my life. My dogs have always been the perfect dog for me a the time, all rescued. Gerry then Esther both kept me safe while I was getting through the fear aftermath after the rapes. Sometimes it was Esther that gave me the energy to get up and put one foot in front of the other and walk.

Ruby; well our relationship is definitely evolving. At this stage I can see we are learning to be free to be ourselves. To learn to trust, practice and be consistent. Change is a foot I am sure of that.

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Animal Antics

When my children left home and the three cats stayed. Alfie, Buttercup who are now about 14 and their mother Spike 16years old. The kittens were born on a seat in the living room. Instantly named by my daughters, I just knew my weak pleas of “we must find them a home“were not heard. Their fate was signed and sealed.

These cats are still very much a part of my home. Ruby coming to live with us caused a major  stir in dynamics. Spike hit her every day for ages. Now Ruby has her confidence growing, she tries to have a go at Spike. With my new dog training abilities developing, the war between them is settling. I have been watching Cesar Milan’s  u tube videos. I like his style and it is working. I am learning to be pack leader which is good for me in many ways. I am finding a new part of me “the boss”.

Ruby and I walk the paths in the reserve behind the house every day. Most days Alfie the cat comes with us. She will walk right out the point, only hiding if someone else comes along. They are good friends. Ruby goes first in line, then me, followed by little Alfie. When she feels comfortable with any other walkers and stays on the path, they are amazed. Alfie will even come along in the rain.

My neighbor and friend Diana walked with her big dog and cat when she lived here, we are keeping up the tradition. I love the fact that my Grandchildren visit and enjoy Alfie and Spike and Buttercup now called Butty, Butty boo bum. Butty hides when the children come. I had to take a photo to show the Grandkids that she did exsist. Occasionally she shows herself or I find her hiding in a warm spot in a cupboard and we can sneak up and look at her for a few seconds, she is so funny but the most cuddly.

I am a sucker for animals it runs in the family, I get it from my Shetland Dad. He loved animals and often had funny names for them. His last pet was a chihuahua called Tiny.

 

 

 

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My Feet

My feet

Some of you may know I developed psoriasis on the top of my feet about 10 years ago, apparently it happens when one goes through menopause. It began to slowly but surely creep up my legs and the rest of my body. The itch kept me awake at night. A specialist said no cure, use steroid cream and diet doesn’t help. Being the health nut that I am, steroid cream was not an option. Steroid cream certainly gave relief from he itch. However, I stopped eating processed sugar and that mostly dealt to the itch.The psoriasis began to recede. It hung round on my feet, sometimes elbows and knees. Not eating sugar was great, my moods were much more even. Occasionally it flared up, being worse at this time of year.

Four months ago my dear friend  of 30 years Tania Coombs, a homeopath suggested I take a remedy. Tania knows me very well, more  details of my life story than anyone else. She gave me a remedy that was for deep trauma. I had certainly had my share of that. In my mind I thought but I am over all that. Tania told me to watch my dreams, to ring her with any changes good or bad, or if I needed to talk. I did that, I had emotional shifts. I also did some hypnotherapy and regression work with Ashley Ferris. Some old buried feelings came to the surface. After one regression session I felt so much more connected with my feet. I had spent the last 10 years not liking my feet but it was deeper than that.

My feet, elbows, knees are completely clear my skin looks normal ! This happened slowly, rather like the way it began.

I was taught about Nature Cure 46 years ago. The core belief is that give the body the right conditions and it will heal itself. Homeopathy works in a similar way.

Homeopathy often gets bad press which is why I have shared this story. Tania tells me that it is important for her to hear the story from the client so she can get the right remedy. Tania is very good at that.

It is so nice to have my feet back and like them again. I am going to buy some nice new sandals for summer. I used to hide my feet and the foot that it started on was always swollen.  I am thrilled.

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Timing

I have been walking the hill where I live for nearly 33 years. It is now a Wellington reserve. I can walk to the beach, I can walk out to a point where seagulls nest in the cliffs below. Birds are coming back; Ru ru calls on still nights and Tui are very busy  at the moment eating new spring flowers and nesting. The trees that were battered by the enormous southerly storm this year are now growing new leaves.  Some trees were uprooted and had to be cut down.   I waited 15 years before I saw a Tui on the hill.

Yesterday, I was lying on my couch watching something on the computer and Ruby got beside me putting her head on my leg, a first. Ruby had been much more neglected and hurt than I realised. She lies on a sheep skin at my feet as I write.

Walking to the point this morning I had this thought. ” I am walking on stolen land ” I live on stolen land. I tried to imagine what this land looked like when it was full of birds and trees. My mind remembered finding the occasional real estate man wandering on the top of the hill, with his eye on the magnificent views.

I have lived here only 33 years. My daughters and now my Grandchildren s placentas have been buried here.

Ruby’s healing is taking time. I learn her story slowly. I saw it in her eyes at first. I feel it in her body which is relaxing a lot more. The hill walks which are now runs for her as she finds more of herself. Running up hillsides under the growing bush.  She senses other people from a long distance but looks to me for what do I do now. The vocabulary between us is growing.

The dog trainer I got help with taught me to get her to do what I wanted using food. That does work on the instant. However,  I have found Ruby has a knowing, with time we are building a language together. It is slower but feels easier and more certain.

 

 

 

 

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My practice with Aikido

If someone had told me when I was younger I would be training in a martial art, I would have laughed at them. I didn’t even like sport. I grew up in Invercargill, New Zealand and I don’t watch or get excited about rugby. Not quite sure how that happened to me being a kiwi.

When I started Aikido I didn’t know my left foot from my right. I was 42 years old and i wanted to defend myself properly. Nearly 24 years later, I am still training mostly 4 times a week. If I lived in Japan it would be every day.  I have left behind the desire to defend myself. Sure if I had to, I would have a few things up my sleeve. I have been tested a few times over the years. Fortunately, I have remained very calm, that proved to me that my training was working.

I am strong but Aikido has relaxed me. I used to be stroppy and my life was a struggle in many ways. I feel as if I am learning the deeper aspects of Aikido. for example not to meet force head on. As my teacher says “feel how they come”.  My thinking was I don’t want to feel how they come. He says” absorb their energy/attack “I do believe that these principals apply to life. I am not always relaxed to feel or absorb someone else attacking me, my ego jumps up to defend.

I will keep on training.

 

I have learned to magic of practice and discipline.

 

I train now because it is something I do, like brushing my teeth. It has taught me great balance, relaxation, timing, good posture. It keeps my body strong.

These days I am beginning to understand the power of my center and relaxation. All the macho stuff is irrelevant. I have noticed over the years that males need to let go of their muscle strength and women need to learn to trust their bodies.

My training now is about relaxing my mind and breathing, Of course the body does get strong

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Re homing a dog

After much thought I decided to re home an adult dog. I have been told that dogs choose you. I think that is what happened. Her people were happy to leave her in a very fast manner. I had been preparing myself for 2 years, reading books on training dogs . I love the Dog Whisper Caesar Milan.
My last dog was found in a rubbish bag a few hours old. She did think she was human. I missed her so much when she died gracefully at home on the living room floor about 10 years ago.

When Ruby arrived and her people left. I cried because she reminded me of Esther. At first Ruby was what I thought obedient. I thought that was good, less training for me. However, it was her shyness, her fear. I discovered she had been hit and spent her days mostly tied up. It has been up and down but amazing to watch her come out of herself. In some ways she is reflecting myself. I have been living alone for 4 years now. No grumpy fella, no one to cook for except myself. Money coming in from the pension; what bliss. Ruby and I are finding our own routines. Ruby runs like the wind, swims like a fish. She has even started to like affection. Her body is so much more relaxed. As i have found more of myself, come out of my shell. I have learned that I do enjoy animals. I always talk to them. I did as a child. When Mum got sick I looked after the hens and cats. Animals have always been a comfort to me. Although Caesar Milan said; don’t get an animal for your own needs, I agree. They are animals after all and I need to be pack leader. That’s good learning for me too.

On Lyall Bay beach I met an older man who liked Ruby and said it will take 2 years for her to settle. I think he is right. Takes humans about that long after abusive relationships that’s if they are aware and have kindness around them.

I walk Ruby twice a day in the hill where I live. I get stories in my head. The blog is now a place for me to get them out of my head. So great to have this space and time.

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