My Demon


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This sums me up.

I have an insanely self-destructive nature. Always have had, for as long as I can remember.

I self-sabotage, self-harm, repeat mistakes whilst fully aware that I am doing so. I drive myself, (and people who care about me), crazy.

I have one massively self-destructive habit in particular that I simply cannot seem to shake off.

My Dark Demon.

I am aware of it; actually, it takes up far too much space in my head every waking, (and frequently dreaming), moment.

I know I need to stop it. I need to confront it and deal with it.

It is detrimental to my health and well-being, emotionally, psychologically and physically.

I have tried to fix this on my own with zero success but I am loath to seek any help from outside.

Why? I do not know.

I tend to think I am a strong person with most aspects of life. I have overcome more than my fair share of adversity and survived.

I generally have this attitude to life:

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But this one thing lingers.

Sits on my shoulders and weighs me down.

I feel unable to find that power within myself. It feels impossible. Hopeless.

I know this week is not the week I will conquer this demon, but I truly hope I’ll get there… sooner rather than later.

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com
All rights reserved.

Writing this was meant to help me focus and work this out. Seems I have failed at that too!

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Word for Wednesday (W4W) #36


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Play along here!

This week’s word is…

Autumn

I am hard pressed to choose which is my favourite time of year; spring delights me because I relish all the new life and growth. I am a passionate gardener and seeing the buds and shoots arrive make my little heart leap enjoy. The lambs bouncing around in the fields nearby, the birds singing and mating in my garden… everything is perfect in spring.

But…

Autumn is simply, stunningly beautiful. I walk into town and am always in awe at the changing colours on the trees along my road. Some trees sport a palette of foliage ranging from still being green to mellow, burnt yellow to bright orange and even a slightly pinkish hue. The crisp fallen leaves bring me joy in two different ways.

First of all I love looking at them. I saw some so large they would easily cover body parts! Others fall while they are mid change, the tips dark red, fading to yellow and into a dying green towards the stem… nature’s canvas.

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Second, and probably most importantly, I LOVE kicking through piles of fallen leaves, listening to the crackles of them underfoot and enjoying the sheer childlike joy that comes with the activity. I do not give one hoot if anyone else is around or watching me, if there is a pile of leaves I am in there! Life is too damn short to not kick a crunchy pile of fallen leaves. Once they begin to wilt and decay they give off, in my opinion, a lovely fermented scent.

The light in Autumn is stunning; that low sun that blinds you. I always feel, (quite vainly really), that it suits my colouring and feel somehow more comfortable in Autumn’s forgiving glow.

This morning I took the dogs out early and there was an icy mist hanging low in the air. It was chilly enough to need a jacket, even for just standing in the garden, yet when I took them out again at lunchtime I was blinded by the bright sunlight and felt the heat of it on my back as I stood, jacketless this time, waiting for the dogs to do their business. I smiled for no reason. It felt good.

Where Spring signifies new beginnings and energy, Autumn brings with it a sense of slowing down, a time to prepare ourselves for the trials of winter. It is a time to start cooking hearty comfort food, getting out last year’s wooly cardigans, think about lighting fires. It is a time to harvest mushrooms at dawn in country fields to bring home and cook with butter for breakfast. A time for thick soups and stews. A time to draw the curtains early and settle in for a night in front of the television. (You always know it’s Autumn when the TV gets better!)

I sit here now as the light begins to fade already at only 4.30pm, the kitchen chillier than it has been before today, considering the inevitability of turning on the central heating, wearing the OH’s fleece, thinking that yes Autumn has truly taken hold.

I will leave you with a poem that celebrates the season and with the question, what is your favourite time of year and why?

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Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com
All rights reserved

Fighting Demons


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The wonderful bustythewench posted this image on her twitter feed and it struck a chord with me.

Regular readers of kittykatbitsandbobs will be all too knowledgeable, if not bored to death, about my demons and my ongoing struggle to slay them.

I will admit that they have been gaining strength of late and I am weighed down by the fatigue of fighting them.

What is worse perhaps, is that I am slowly abandoning hope that anything will ever truly change.

I cannot seem to break the patterns of behaviour and thinking that are detrimental to my mental, emotional and physical health.

I am fully aware of what I am doing wrong and yet I continue to do it! What’s the definition of insanity? Oh yes.. thanks Albert!

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Is it laziness stopping me from making changes?

Is it fear?

I am working on working this out…

But to anyone else reading this who is fighting demons, whatever form they take, I wish you strength, perseverance, resilience and most of all, hope.

If all else fails consider this…

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Keep surviving friends.

Ciao.

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com
All rights reserved.

Words That Changed My Life…


Sometimes we can trace back how our lives have turned out to the smallest of things, like words that were spoken to you or by you.

*

The OH was a shy guy when I met him, chatty once he was comfortable with you, but never the type to make the first move, (more about that later!). We made friends in second year of college.  I always tried to copy his homework because he was better at Chemistry than I was. I laughed at his jokes and stories in class and I liked him, but never really saw him as anything more than a mate.

I was walking home from the pub one night, a bit brokenhearted that my latest crush wasn’t showing me much reciprocal interest, and there he was on the bridge. We stopped to chat and, out of the blue, (and very unlike the shy guy I had come to know), he offered to walk me home… in the direction he had just come from, even though his house was just around the corner.

That moment of bravery on his part, when he uttered the words, “Can I walk you home?” was the start of something bigger than either of us could ever have imagined. I do believe, in that moment, everything I felt about him changed, just like that.

 *

Fast forward a month or so, during which time the OH and I spent a lot more time together. I loved being with him, but we were still just buddies, even though I knew I wanted more. I was always around him, finding excuses to hang out. I even fell asleep on his sofa with him one night and when I woke in the morning I angled my face up so our lips were almost meeting and waited for him to wake up and accidentally kiss me. It didn’t work… he woke up and nearly fell off the sofa with shock!

[Sidenote: it sounds as if he wasn’t interested which is not true. Years later I asked about how we got together and he told me he had seen me on the very first day of college, a year prior to us ever talking, and he remembered what I was wearing and where I sat in class. He just never thought, (his words), he had a shot with me.]

As the weeks went on, and he remained as gentlemanly as ever, I became more and more frustrated, but with the cocky confidence of youth on my side, I was not going to admit defeat. I wanted this guy and I intended to get him.

After a half-term break we all returned to college and on the Sunday night before class hit the nightclub. We danced as a large group, no one-on-one dancing at all, we drank and had a laugh. Once the ‘slow set’ came on my friend Linda pushed the two of us out onto the dance floor, (as we had planned!), and we did the slow dance shuffle thing awkwardly. I kept my face very available for any kisses he might have wanted to plant but sadly the set ended and my lips remained untouched.

Linda took me aside, “WTF?!” and I decided it was time for me to ‘man up’ and take charge of this situation.

Slow set number two began and I gave him the “Are you dancin?” eyebrow raise and nod towards the floor and he got up.

We danced for all of a minute, my heart beating out of my chest with nerves, when I looked up at him and said the line, “If I do something, will we still be friends tomorrow?” He smiled down at me, (I think he knew what was about to happen), and said “Of course!” I leaned up and planted a very chaste kiss on his lips and as I pulled away he wrapped his arms around me and drew me in for a very deep kiss. We kissed all night and he walked me home.

 *

In Ireland, certainly back in 1991, people didn’t ‘date’. We ‘went out’ with people, we would “go” with someone. If you liked someone you were exclusive from day one until you broke up. As we stood at my door, arms around each other, I said, “So…” and waited to see what would happen.

“So…” he replied smiling, I repeated, “So…” and then he said the next couple of words that changed my life.

“So, do ya wanna go with me or what?”

Romantic huh? Of course, I said yes!

*

Fast forward seven years. We lived together practically from day one, he bought me a toothbrush and a hairbrush for his flat and I basically moved in one piece of clothes at a time.

One day we both had to get formally dressed to get headshots done for some CVs we were sending out to find work. We were lying on our double bed after we got home, me wearing my little business skirt, nylons, a bra and his necktie, (there’s an image!), and him in his open collared shirt trousers.

My parents had both died and I had a bit of inheritance. I was telling him about a chat I’d had with my older brother at the weekend about spending it and that life is short, see the world etc. etc.

We started fantasising about places we would like to holiday in, safari in Africa, the Caribbean, the Seychelles, The Maldives and I said, “Jesus, they are like… not just holidays! Those are serious honeymoon type places,” and he looked down at me and said, “Well let’s do that,” to which I replied something along the lines of “Yeah right, feck off!”

He looked at me and said it… “So, you wanna marry me or what?”, (the romantic devil).

He did have to ask me a few more times before I believed he was deadly serious. I said yes and then proceeded to get the shakes, trembling uncontrollably. So, he took my hand, brought me downstairs, made me beans on toast and fed me until I stopped shaking. (Even back then the guy knew how to give aftercare!)

 *

I look back at my life, and at how I got here, and the four most important lines that were ever said to me or that I ever said are imprinted on my memory:

“Can I walk you home?”

“If I do something will we still be friends tomorrow?”

“Wanna go with me or what?”

“Wanna marry me or what?”

 *

Such small little sentences that made such a difference. 53f5b35c2fa1d41015025c2a0c19fb21

I hold them in my heart always.

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

A Lightbulb Moment!


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Thanks to Annie and Kayla I have been watching some TED talks by Brené Brown and really enjoying what she has to say.

I completely agree with her stance that vulnerability is never a weakness and that it is the birthplace of creativity and love. Anyone who has followed by blog from day one will have seen that it is how I chose to live my life, as wholeheartedly and honestly as I possibly can.

I believe allowing yourself to be vulnerable is the most courageous thing you can do, and what’s more; its empowering and freeing. Once I own my own faults, fears and flaws I have removed your power to use them against me.

As a woman raised in Catholic Ireland, taught by nuns in convent schools, I understand shame… trust me! I can honestly say it was one of my primary emotions growing up, and when I say growing up, I mean until I hit my late 30s! I was a walking, breathing, living entity of shame. I didn’t just feel shame, I lived it. I was never enough, I was never good enough, I was bad. It was a miserable way to live.

I’m not in complete recovery and, as Brown points out, the only people that do not feel shame are those ones that are incapable of feeling basic human emotions such as love, so none of us can ever be entirely shame free. I still mess up, make mistakes, hurt people I love, and for those things I feel shame. The difference now is I feel shame over things that are appropriate; I no longer, (mostly), feel shame for simply being me.

One thing in the clip I linked to at the top of this post that, as I was cooking in my kitchen, made me pause and actually look at the screen, was where Brown said we should only share our shame stories with those people that have earned the right to hear them.

That line made me stop what I was doing and really think.

I have a massive, and I mean massive, need to connect with people, to share and to build relationships. It is something I simply need to do, it is who I am. For the most part this is a very positive way to be… it means I am open and friendly, I try to make people feel at ease in my company, I try to make people feel better than they do, I try to enhance their lives, if I can. I have no interest in running people down, making them feel small, hurting them.

However, in my desire to build intimacy and relationships, I realise now that I am often too quick to share myself with people. If you have read my blog before, you will be familiar with my posts where I have felt I gave too much of myself to people, where I felt used up and discarded by them, where I have struggled to find the balance between helping others and caring for myself.

I am thinking now, as I sit at my kitchen table, processing the clips I have been watching online, that I was coming at this from the wrong angle.

It is not the fault of those people that I felt had sucked me dry. They simply did what I allowed them to do… I opened up and shared myself and my story with them, and I invited them in. I did this way too soon in the relationship, because I felt I needed to put it all out there in order to build intimacy. I was wrong. I rushed it. I needed to wait it out, let it happen organically… I needed to make them earn the right to my story and to my vulnerability.

I think now that this is simply another one of my self-destructive behaviours, (of which I have several!). But today I have discovered a new one. I am so grateful to have watched the Brené Brown clips, especially the one at the top of the post, because what she said opened my eyes to my maladaptive behaviour.

I need to start being more vigilant about my tendency to open myself too much, too soon in order to satisfy my need to connect. I must stop blaming people for simply taking everything I offered them and take responsibility for my part in it. I need to share my vulnerability and inner world with the right people. I need to wait until they have earned it, because once they have invested enough to have earned it, they will value it.

If I open my house to someone and say “Here, have whatever you want, knock yourself out!” do I really have the right to whinge when they clear me out and walk off with all my stuff? I don’t think so.

I allowed myself to be violated. I did this.

I have a wonderful man who I can share all of me with, my vulnerability, my shame, my ugly and he accepts it. I accept his in return.

I have a great friend that, when I showed her my shame story, didn’t flinch, didn’t judge and simply said, “Me too sister, me too.” I have, (I sincerely hope), done the same for her, (you know who you are!).

Next time I hear that little voice inside telling me to rush the connection, to share too much, I need to listen to her and reply, “No, not yet. You have enough connection that matters. Let this happen if it happens, but there’s no rush. You have enough.”

I am taking responsibility and, in declaring my vulnerability, I am taking control and empowering myself.

One more growing up lesson.

Everyday is a classroom.

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Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com
All rights reserved.

First Step…


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Sigh…

Yeah, I’m opening with a sigh.

I chatted with a friend this morning, who asked me what my plans for the day were. It made me realise that I have no plans at all. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did have a plan for my day.

I used to be a highly motivated creature.

Each day I would bounce out of bed, ready for the world and all that it could throw at me. Yes, I was that annoyingly chipper person first thing. From the moment I opened my eyes, I was ON.

I would do a daily workout, shower and eat. Then I would either tackle housework or walk into town to get supplies for whatever meal that I had planned for that night. I baked fresh bread every single day and always cooked from scratch.

Lately, well no, that is a lie… for a long time now, I find that I struggle to get out of bed. I cannot recall my last workout. I rarely walk into town anymore, instead I text a list of things we need to the OH to pick up on his way home.

I, hanging my head in shame, no longer bake bread. We eat shop bought wholemeal bread from the bakery section. I do still manage housework… but let us just say the Domestic Goddess title is ever so slightly disingenuous these days.

I truly want to be that other woman again.

Energetic, driven, focused, motivated.

The real killer is this…

I know what the problem is.

I know how to fix it.

But I simply… don’t.

What sort of a moron knows how to make herself feel better, happier, yet still does nothing to make it happen? Oh hang on… yeah that’d be this moron, the one sitting at her kitchen table typing right now.

Will I ever find the will to face my issue and actually deal with it?

I hope so.

I will try.

Perhaps writing this, sharing this, is my first step?

Ciao

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Ch ch ch changes…


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(So, are you sick of my inspirational quotes yet? 😜)

 

I have to hold my hands up here.

I am not good with change.

I am a creature of habit and routine.

A fuzzy little caterpillar, munching away daily…  Every day the same.

I frequently complain that my life is dull and unadventurous, but the honest truth is that it is that way, mostly, because I don’t like change.

I believe the reason for this reluctance to accept change stems from fact that I had to cope with some truly life-disrupting changes from my early twenties. From the deaths of close family members to very serious personal health issues, for many years I felt that I was flailing from one catastrophe to another. I would have just about begun to deal with one experience when, slam! I was hit by the next one.

Being able to predict, or have a sense of control over my life, became very important to me. If awful, disastrous things could just happen to me or my loved ones, how could this world be a safe place?

Why takes risks when life was risky enough already?

Why tempt fate?

Why invite pain and chaos into my life again?

Recently my life has once again served me up some unwelcome changes.

My comfortable, if ever so slightly dull, routine had been shattered. My initial reaction to this was, and take note in no way am I exaggerating here… FURY!

I felt completely overwhelmed. Completely isolated. Completely out of control of my own life.

My head was reeling, trying to keep up with things happening around me. I was totally exhausted all the time. I was in danger of becoming ill.

I stopped to think…

What if this change is not entirely bad? What if I stick with it? See it through? Endure it?

What if it all works out in the end? How about adopting the all famous PMA?

Over this last past weekend things have finally started to settle down again. Or rather, I finally accepted the changes that have happened and learned new habits and routines. Let me tell you, it’s not too bad!

I have found that simply letting go, accepting the changes, has actually worked. I might not have chosen this new routine, but I am finding that each day I wish for my old life back a little less than before.

I think my reluctance to change, to be honest, my fear of it, was perhaps holding me back.

Perhaps this new occurrence in my life, which happened completely outside of my control, has a positive message for me?

The question now is, will I be able to learn from this life experience?

Will I be more willing to take chances? To risk failure or pain or disappointment?

My honest answer is, I do not have a clue.

I truly hope this has been a growing experience for me. That this 41 year old can actually learn new tricks.

I cannot promise to become a butterfly, but I will remain open to possibility.

Ciao

💋

ps  How are you with change? Do you welcome it or run from it? I do love getting your feedback!