Sharing Skills

Just a wee short post from me today.

I went to a meeting today to get information about a singing for wellbeing group that is being started up in my local area.

It was hinted that I could be a big help due to my singing background.

As well as that, the facilitator said that the organisation is starting a skill share programme soon. She asked if I would go in and do a wee demonstration of my weaving (post about weaving to follow another time) and has asked me to join the peer support group. She said that I have a “calming” and “nice” way about me which was very nice to hear. Especially when I feel anything but calm at this moment in time.

Maybe I’m still riding the high I’ve got from yesterday’s sense of achievement at tailoring my own jumper but it is nice to hear that I am achieving things. It’s especially important for me to be reminded right now. I can do things. I am not useless!

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Remode Jumper

This evening I attended a workshop called ‘Meddle and Make’ at Remode. Remode sounds like such an amazing thing. I’ve included a picture of the ‘About’ page from their leaflet.

I fully recommend checking them out!

I had a lovely evening learning new skills. I took an old jumper along with me. This jumper was way too big for me and had zero shape to it. As well as that I also had a ladder style hole in it.

The thing is though, despite this thing just hanging like a sack on me. It’s a comfy jumper and I like the colour a lot.

So after chatting to the lovely ladies about the jumper, I was advised on wee small changes I could do to make it more flattering. In theory it sounded easy enough but I have next to zero sewing skills!

First I put my jumper on inside out and got it pinned in to shape. Next I was given a small piece of material to practice on. This is the first time I’ve used a sewing machine since high school, like my second year of high school…. so around 2005! I was not convinced that I would be able to do it. Lines were drawn on the material as a guide to practice.

Then I could move on to the jumper! Which was very scary!

So I pulled in a bit on each side to give it a better shape and I fixed it so that the shoulders sit better on my body now. As well as that, I adjusted the length of the arms. That was particularly scary as I was scared I would see the arm holes closed!

I know it doesn’t look like much bit I am very proud of this! It no longer hangs like a sack and I repaired the hole! I can’t wait to keep practicing these new skills!

World Vegetarian Day

Today is world vegetarian day.

Technically, my diet label is not vegetarian…. But I basically am.

So in 2010/11 (wow, I cannot believe it’s actually been that long!) I decided to change my diet. When it came to meat I was always really fussy. I would eat chicken, mince and ham and that was pretty much it. I would eat steak but only if it was my nana who made it, and only if it was stewed and came with a wee bit of pastry. Fussy.

In 2010 I left school and started uni. I had a few friends that were vegetarian and when I was out I was tending to order vegetarian meals. I guess it started around there. My diet became largely plant based. I’ve always eaten loads of veg but never a full meal of it.

At the end of my first year in uni I attended Download, a music festival. My family had told me I needed to be careful of what I was eating there since I’d be away from home, living in a tent etc. I didn’t touch meat the whole time away.

From then, I’ve pretty much stuck to a plant based diet. I now don’t eat red meats or poultry. I have not done so for years. However, I do eat fish. But I am fussy with that too. I eat tuna and mackerel. I feel the inclusion of omega 3 in my diet is important. Omega 3 fatty acids has many health benefits, it’s good for the brain and it has been found to be good for joints and bones.

It was around the same time that widespread pain was becoming more of an issue for me. I was a support worker and I was going through uni. My thought process was anything to help the brain and bones is a good thing. To this day, I have continued to eat fish for these reasons.

I may not technically be a vegetarian but I primarily follow a vegetarian diet, with some added omega fatty acids.

This is only my own story. People become vegetarian for a multitude of reasons.

Is my ‘anger’ actually my anxiety?

Is my anger actually anxiety based?

Truth be told, I don’t know… But it could be? It’s something I’m thinking about though.

Recently I’ve been getting… angry? Angry isn’t the right word, but it’s the closest thing I can use to describe the feeling. I don’t know if there is a word that can fully describe this feeling.

There’s not a particular thing that I am angry about. It is just a feeling. It is like lava. When I have this ‘angry’ feeling there is just this thick, simmering feeling. It’s just sitting there bubbling away, waiting to set a spark at any point. It just wants to erupt and engulf me in this hot, smothering feeling.

I know anxiety can manifest in many ways. Is this feeling my anxiety manifesting itself in a new way? I don’t know, but I am going to be looking into it!

Treat each other with respect and look after one another, you never know what a person is going through.

#RescueMe

This morning, my sister sent me a link to the new Thirty Seconds to Mars song, Rescue Me.

Go check it out at: https://youtu.be/yEWb6bsd5lo

I always enjoy it when my sister sends me a wee link from YouTube. She’ll send me a link because it’s about something I like, it might be something she likes, it’s something she thinks is funny or strange. Either way, it is always something she wants to share with me! In this case, it is something we both like! We both love Thirty seconds to Mars and have been to see them live on numerous occasions.

So the official video for Rescue Me was released on YouTube today, so naturally Kaitlyn sent me the link.

The video is beautiful! It is simple in design, which I feel gives it a strong impact. The song itself hit me hard the first time I heard it. Thirty seconds to Mars has very many powerful lyrics. So many of their lyrics stand out to me and have personal meaning to me and my own life. Like so many of their songs throughout the years, this song has become important to me. It sticks with me. The lyrics and the music resonates with me. I mean, “Rescue me from the demons in my mind,” as a person with chronic health issues, these words resonate strongly. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have wanted saving from myself. People fight their inner demons everyday.

As well as the massive impact the lyrics and music themselves have had, I really liked what was written in the description box!

“Rescue Me is a song about pain, a song about empowerment, a song about faith, and a song about freedom.

Freedom from the wreckage of your past. Freedom from the bondage of self. And freedom to embrace all the promises that life has to offer.

It’s also a song about the brutal war so many of us wage against fear, depression and anxiety in the hope that we might, one day, live a life filled with happiness and dreams.

Pain does not discriminate. It can affect us all. In our bodies. Our hearts. Our minds. And often, when that pain is emotional or mental, we are afraid to speak up.

None of us are “OK” all the time. And there shouldn’t be a stigma when we aren’t…..

…. If you think someone in your life needs help, ask them if they’re OK and make sure they know you’re there for them. And keep showing up. Help however you can.

If you are hurting, you can get through this. Tell someone you trust. And make sure you ask for help. “

Regardless of if you like the band and their music, this is such an important message. It is a message that everybody should hear. It should be spread far and wide. Pain does not discriminate, whether that be physical, emotional or mental pain. The stigma surrounding chronic pain, and mental health is awful! It can make you feel isolated. Isolated and dealing with so much pain, so much emotion, so much fear and so much worry and often confusion. It can feel like you are trapped, that everything is enclosing you, and you’re stuck! Stuck in a constant loop of pain and it can often feel like there is no escape.

It is important for people to know they are not alone, especially those with chronic health, and/or mental health issues.

Music can be truly inspirational and can be a powerful tool in a person’s journey. It can be a powerful tool for a person’s healing.

Personally, I love music. I love live music. I especially like songs that speak to me, whether that be the lyrics, the melody, harmonies used, anything! This song is one of those songs that is resonating with me! But on top of that, it’s message is great! It’s message is inspiring. It’s message is one of love and understanding. It’s about pain and the daily fight we have. It is about hope. Hope for more good days. Hope for our futures. And hope that one day, there might not be such a stigma attached! It’s a message to support one another. To ask for help when needed, to give help when needed. It is a reminder that people are feeling their way through life. They are facing their demons and struggles, on a daily basis. It is a powerful message to advocate!

Meet Tommy!

For a long time I have been wanting a cat and on Friday I finally got my wish. Everybody meet Tommy! Tommy is a rescue cat that we got from our local cat and dogs home. He is a year old and, as you can tell, is super cute.

The thing is, I am actually allergic to cats. I am perfectly willing to take antihistamines to help any reactions. That being said, my allergies have actually been ok with Tommy and Tommy is like a wee shadow with me at the moment and is coming to lie on top of me and next to me for lots of snuggles. In any case, having a pet has a lot of benefits.

  • Company
  • Routine
  • Distraction
  • Boost mood
  • Help relieve stress
  • Can boost self esteem
  • A sense of purpose
  • A conversation starter

Having a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, can be socially isolating so having a pet provides companionship. Not only that, but a pet has unconditional love for it’s owner. You can’t get dressed? A pet is not going to judge that. You are really tired? A pet is not going to judge that. In fact a pet, especially a cat or dog is likely to curl up next to you. Tommy has already been a great comfort for me in curling up next to me when I feel rubbish and feel like I cannot move.

Having a pet means having responsibilities. This weekend I have felt like I could not move and get out my bed. I have had to move to feed Tommy and to look after him. It might not be much but taking care of him is like taking care of myself. I gave Tommy food, so I had something to eat myself. It has made me feel like I have a purpose and I am not completely useless.

All weekend I have been texting my friends about Tommy and all the funny things he has done. He’s been a good distraction from my pain. I think he knows I am in pain. He keeps coming over to me and lying next to me. It’s been a sore weekend, but I have been the happiest I have been in a while and it’s due to having Tommy around.

Remember to be nice to people, you don’t know the struggles they may be having. They are just feeling their way through life, the same as you are.

If you are able to give an animal a forever home, I fully recommend it. I feel it has a lot of positives, for myself and for Tommy.

Vivid Foliage

Recently I have been trying to be more creative in my quest to self manage my health.

I took part in a group called Threadlines set up by the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Regeneration Scheme. Threadlines is a group of artists who take part in activities that explore my home town’s printed textile industry.

Check out what the amazing ladies do on instagram at @threadlines_

Through attending the group, I met a group of amazing ladies. The group became more than exploring creativity and the towns heritage. It was about building self esteem and self belief. It was about being social, being able to talk to other people.

In the group we drew inspiration from local nature and foliage and print from old weaver journals. This weekend, as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, the pieces of work that was produced was exhibited and there was a DIY printing station set up, along with the launch of the collaborative newspaper that we put together.

Remember to treat each other kindly because you don’t know the struggle that they may be facing. People are all just trying to feel their way through life.