Monday, 30 November 2009

It's nearly time...

video

I am so excited about this project, although there is an awful lot of work still to be done in order to get it all finished - but what fun!

Please do pass on this link to anybody you think may enjoy following this series, it would mean a lot to me. I have been writing for years but never really put my work "out there" and really wanted it to succeed. I have posted bits and pieces before on here and created handmade anthologies for friends and family, but now that I have been working to let go of fear and feelings of inadequacy, I hope to take it much further and it would be great to see this first project go well.

I may post regular musings during December, but they will always be after the day's poem has been published... in fact I probably will as I still have to tell you all how the hypnotherapy went (which was a major factor in helping me realise this long-term dream to spread my writing in this way!) And on that note, if you are in the Cambridgeshire area, why not consider popping over and having a look at http://www.cambridgehypnotherapy.co.uk/

Anyway I better get cracking on these videos, so bye for now
xx

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Christmas is coming!!

It's the 24th November today - do you know that means it's only a month until Christmas Eve??? Wow!

So, in preparation for my Advent series of poems, I wanted to bring a bit of pre-Christmas joy and excitement to the blog.

I would love it if you could pass on the link to this blog to anybody you think would enjoy hearing the antics of the elves and Santa up in the North Pole during this busy time of year. Stick it on Facebook, Tweet about it or just send the link in an email to your friends... the more people that read it the happier I will be, as the whole fun in writing such things is knowing that people are getting joy from reading it!

If any of you blogging friends know how to make a little button for it and/or would be willing to post it as a link on your blog during the Advent season, please do let me know. I want to spread the word as far and wide as I can... it is an exciting prospect to think it might spread around the interweb for a short time, so who's with me?

And here, for your pre-Christmas fun, is a short poem:

As autumn leaves start to fall
And drops of rain both big and small
The corners of our mouths drop low
Anticipating winter’s snow

But with the winter comes such joy
For every little girl and boy
Who knows that Christmas comes our way
With each and every passing day

As the days go on and on
They know that it won’t be too long
Before their parents come to see
Them in the school nativity

And after that, it’s Christmas Eve
They hope that Santa will be pleased
And leave them toys for being good
And doing all they know they should

So as we grow, let’s not forget
The joy we felt the joy we’ll get
If we forget our winter blues
And walk through Christmas in children’s shoes.


Happy 24th November, all

Amanda xx

Friday, 20 November 2009

On a more positive note...

Following on from my last post (and also trying to leave it behind) we saw the gynaecologist yesterday and he has prescribed medication similar to the one I was on last year, plus patches to help with the side-effects. We're hoping this may go better than last year. I had hypnotherapy today (more on that in another post) and have been signed off work for two weeks to relax and gie th medication time to kick in. Oh, and I've also asked for an appointment with occupational health, so all in all I am doing everything I can to try and improve the situation and that makes me feel a bit less helpless and a lot more hopeful...

So, moving on, I wanted to introduce an idea to you all. I am currently in the process of writing a series of poems entitled "Advent at the North Pole". Now, as I am hoping this will run once a day throughout the month of December (well, until Christmas Day that is), there is much left for me to do. So, I won't be able to make any pictures to go at the top of each post, and as the poems will be aimed at children (and adults alike), I think it would be nice to have a few pictures, however small or simple, to head each post. So I'm asking a favour of you... would you draw me a picture of an elf, Santa's workshop, his reindeer, the big man himself or anything else associated with the North Pole and send it to me, with permission to post it on my blog (with your name, if you wish, and a link to your blog/site, of course!) It doesn't matter how simple, complex, good, bad, you think it is... anything is better than nothing and I would love to have a group of pictures to post... you could send me more than one if you like...

My email is dreamslastforever [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Whatever happened to just being happy?

For those of you who have followed my blog due to endometriosis connections, I am sure you will understand the following blog post, for those of you who have not been affected by endo, I hope you won't see this post as a simple "moan" or "attack", it is simply a truthful expression of how I feel, right now.

These past few weeks have been tough on both me and Tim, and I cannot ever remember crying so much for so long. This past year has really taken it out of me and I feel ready to break, in fact I think I already have broken a little bit, based on the amount of tears that have spilled recently. And these aren't just my own, for poor Tim has had to try and console me, knowing that there was nothing he could really do to make things better. I am battling a "invisible condition" that even I forget is there making me feel so rubbish sometimes... sometimes I forget and think it is all my fault, that if only I could just pull myself together things wouldn't be so bad.

It all started about a month ago when suddenly my urge to have children turned up a gear. A friend at work told me she had dreamt I was pregnant, and then I dreamt we had a baby, two nights running... except the baby wasn't quite ours and we weren't prepared to look after it (as in we didn't have any equipment, feed etc, not that we didn't want to!) This sparked a whole rush a emotions, such as "I want children, now" and "what if we leave it too late to try and find the endo causes more damage and we can't have children?" and "I'm already feeling so ill now, how will my body cope with being pregnant?" and "what if this is all pointless worrying, what if we already can't have children?"... and so on and so forth. I began to get really depressed about how my lifelong dream of having children was becoming a nightmare - why should something so wonderful become a decision that has to be made based more on the best time healthwise and whether we have enough finances, rather than that we actually want children? Why does endo (and all those other factors that affect people's lives) have to screw things up?

As the weeks went on I got more and more exhausted. My immune system is low due to exhaustion and fatigue (I cannot count the times I have fallen asleep on the bus to work because I am so tired). I am working full-time, commuting which puts my days up to 12 hours out of the house and I am angry that I am doing something any healthy person would find hard, whilst trying to battle feeling ill all at the same time. When did society get so messed up that my generation is worse off than the one before? Why is no choice hidden behind a so-called "free-choice"... no woman really has a choice whether to work or not, it's not that easy. Most women have to work just to survive, and those who can come out of work have to make many sacrifices just to do so... whatever happened to family values (and by that I mean simply being able to put the family first, not having to).

All this was happening whilst a cold caught hold of me... a cold that just will not go away, dragging at my very little energy until I have none left and feel like I just cannot go on any longer. I fear for what damage I could do by pushing myself so far beyond my limits, yet I have no choice when I have to work just to pay the rent. We have no choice, Tim and I, we have to fight on. But what happens when you just cannot fight any longer?

We are left with dying hopes that our appointment with the gynaecologist tomorrow may come up with some solutions for us. I cannot take feeling this low any longer, and I cannot take knowing the adverse effects my mood has on Tim. We are a young couple and life should be fun, not a struggle every day. My manager asked me in my performance review where I saw myself heading and what aspirations I had for the future... I've been told a few times I'm not ambitious enough, but you know what, my greatest ambitions are to be healthy and to have a family, what is wrong with that? Why do we have such a focus on careers and achievements and "having it all"... whatever happened to just being happy?

I know this feeling is, in the big scheme of things, only momentary and that things will get better, but it becomes harder and harder to hold on to that hope when each day just drags us down that little bit further. I grasp desperately at solutions, but none of them work and the guilt that I feel for putting so much pressure on Tim and myself to make our lives easier is unfair to us both. Sometimes I wish we just had a fairy godmother who could come and wave her wand and make everything better... please think of us tomorrow as we head to the hospital for our appointment, for the gynaecologist is our one hope of finding a solution the root of this whole mess - the endo!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Life's too short

A very dear friend of mine died last week. She was still very young, with a teenage son, and leaves behind her many people saddened by the loss.

Yet every single one of those people are so thankful to have crossed paths with her and been blessed with the beautiful friendship she was always so ready and willing to offer. Despite being in unimaginable pain at times, she always managed to reach out a hand of love and comfort to others, no matter who they were or how they had met, and she was a true inspiration to many.

Indeed, when I held a "writer's group" a couple of years back to encourage others to find the joy in writing, she was so overwhelmed and overjoyed by the freedom she found in realising that every writer has their own "ingredients" and makes their own "recipes"... one person may make a fantastic carrot cake but struggle with a chicken curry, whilst two people may make chocolate brownies and each have different people enjoy theirs best, despite them being so similar. She was a real inspiration to me as I led this group and I cannot tell you how beautiful some of the things she wrote were.

I only ever got to meet her once in person, as we met and kept in touch online for the most part. But that one weekend I spent in her company was so wonderful - I don't think I've ever laughed so hard, nor enjoyed such a "lazy" weekend. Spiritually she was a wonder, and inspired me in that way too: the videos she posted online and the pictures she created were astounding, so full of love and light.

Amazingly I didn't cry when I found out she had passed, despite having cried so desperately every day for about a week previously. In fact the day she died was the first day I didn't cry, which may seem strange to you, but to me it makes perfect sense... she was so full of love, the inspiration I felt when thinking back upon her life filled me with a quiet peace rather than sadness. Of course I was sad, don't get me wrong, but I was filled with love for her and what she meant to so many people.

I will miss her terribly, especially as I had wanted to go back and spend another weekend with her and invited her to our wedding so that she could meet Tim as well, but I know she will be with us in spirit. Even now she is inspiring me, as I realise that life really is too short to spend worrying... life is for living and we should never forget that, for she never did!!

My previous blog was called "Dream of Living"... seeing that title every time I logged on reminded me to keep hold of my dreams. I lost that sight for some time and my dreams began to be shunned for all manner of "responsibilities" and things... but now I feel it is time to reclaim them and really strive to fulfil them all.

Darling Josie, you were an inspiration to me throughout our friendship and I thank you for inspiring me still. I do not know what way my dreams will take me, but I know that I am now ready to grab hold and live the dream, right here, right now.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Writing the pain - a new project

This week has been hell for me. My whole world seemed to crumble as my emotions got the better of me. Every so often this happens. I can be riding on top of the world one day and the next *WHAM* there I am, completely inconsolable. Initially I thought I was going crazy, but over the years I have noticed a pattern - hormones! Just recently this is what happened, my hormones got the better of me and nothing could stop me from crying. It was at this point, in his desperation to "fix" it, Tim came up with the idea that I should write. So I did.

Writing has always been incredibly therapeutic for me, but this past year I seem to have fallen out of the habit. When I look back I realise that the times in my life when I was most at peace were also the times in my life when I wrote the most.

I am very lucky in that writing comes natural to me. I'm even luckier in that, on the whole, people enjoy reading what I write. (Either that, or they just don't like to say otherwise!!) I've also noticed that the one thing that people always say to me is that they enjoyed the "honesty" of my words, the depths of emotion and the fact I do not hold back. With this in mind I have decided to try a new venture, one which I hope will not only benefit me but also others...

My venture is, to write about life with Endometriosis. I am hoping that what I write will not only be comforting and inspiring to other sufferers but also informational to others and maybe even touch them through common ground, such as similar desires for life and the strength to carry on through the darkest times. Perhaps this is a big task, perhaps it will only serve me... but I hope not!

With this in mind, I ask any of you who read this, to play it forward and pass on the word about this project. I will try and set up a unique page for my "Endo posts" and a link in the sidebar (with icon) that may be posted elsewhere. I would also like to encourage others to try and write/create regarding their life. Endometriosis is an unknown condition to many, and it why so many of us suffer when no-one understands. This could be said of many things in life, I know, but this is the one I struggle with... and writing what you know is the way to move others.

So without further ado, here is my first contribution (written on the bus home last night... yes I write anywhere and everywhere!!)


A Lover Gone Bad

Do you know what it's like to be me,
do you really understand?
Do you have any idea
what hell I live through, every day?
Well, do you?

Anger and fear are friends of mine -
you may recognise them, here by my side
They've visited you when I've come to call,
you thought I was just bein cruel,
didn't you?

Pain is a lover I take to bed,
he comes and goes as he pleases...
have you ever known the hurt of a lover gone bad,
never knowing when he'll return,
or when he'll beat you again?
Have you?

Perhaps I'm too harsh, you do try to help
and I know that you care for me too.
But please, do not tell me "It's not so bad"
or worse, that you understand
unless it really is true.


I'm sure that this may sound very harsh to some, but as always I write from the heart. I know I am loved, and so many people try to help, but so often the overwhelming feeling of having a condition like Endometriosis is being completely and utterly alone. I hope that this poem will comfort those who know that pain only too well, and maybe help to explain to those who don't just what it is like.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend
Amanda

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Frozen by fear

The last couple of weeks something BIG has come into my thoughts. This something BIG is an aspect of life I have been looking forward to since a very young age (I'd say I became aware of it when I was about 9). It is something I trusted I would get when I got older, something I wanted so much that it directed my career and life choices. It is something I never thought would be a hard decision to make once I reached a certain age... but here I am and the decision is so hard!

When you're little you never worry about money, health and all those other factors that come in to major life choices. Heck, even as short a time back as 2 years when I chose to move to Cambridge to live with Tim I didn't think about these things... and life got tough! The last two years have been so trying for us, but so special in so many ways (I know just how deep our love is for each other now). However the troubles we've had financially and the difficulties with my health have made me rethink so many things, and often through fear.

I now feel completely paralysed from the fear of what "may" happen. This is nothing new to me as I was very timid as a child and wanted to stay in my safe little box forever. Once I learnt to push my boundaries I decided that however tough it may get, it was all worth it. But now there is not just myself to think about, but others too. How will my decisions affect those in my life. These are big decisions and I can't make them just for me.

Yet there is a part of me that is aching so much for the thing I have wanted for so many years that I can't bear it. I want to say "stuff it" and just go for my dream. This isn't helped by the fact that I feel fearful that there may be problems ahead due to my health and that also my job may not be very secure due to the current climate. There are far too many variables for me to worry about and I wish I could just shut the negatives out long enough to listen to the real positives.

That is why I am going to see a hypnotherapist this weekend. I have wanted to try this for a couple of years, knowing how fear has directed my life from about the age of 9 as well (weird, huh) and that however much logic I put to the fears they still grab hold of me and shake sometimes. I am fed up of living in fear and want to live for now. I must say, seeing the film "UP" the other day really brought this home... if I let circumstance stop me from having my dream, I may live my whole life never knowing it. And although I will experience other amazing things, this one dream is so important I do not want to forsake it.

Until then, my thoughts continue to be occupied (or plagued) by the decision that lies ahead...