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A Jigsaw of Me. Thursday March 30, 2017

I haven't blogged for a while. But you knew that already... There's no hiding it! You know it, I know it; we both know it. It's in the air, lurking like a vague whiff of leftover dinner. There's nothing wrong with it of course... except that there's something I'm committed to that I'm not doing. I'm committed to contributing to anyone – including myself - facing mental health issues. And that's the problem. I say it in my head, I say to people around me, and then I don't do it. And in that moment I lose a piece of me.

I think it was Gandhi (but it might be the Dalai Lama?!) who said that happiness comes when your thoughts, your words and your actions are aligned. For me, that's certainly when I experience inner peace. Mostly I don't experience this because I think something... then I might say it to myself (or if I'm feeling brave, I'll say it out loud to another human being, or the cat), and then I don't do it. I stop and find a reason why not, or give up, or convince myself it doesn't matter.

And then my thoughts start turning on me: 'What on earth did you say that for you idiot! You're never going to do that! See, you said it and you've already given up; you always do this, you're rubbish!' And then who I am for myself is someone who doesn't matter. It doesn't matter = I don't matter. And I'm right. I've proven it.

Sometimes if I'm feeling really brave (inspired, clear, calm, motivated, happy – insert other positive feelings that I take as a sign its safe to act) then I'll do the thing I said I would. I'll think a thought about going to the gym, I'll tell myself (or the cat) I'm going to the gym, and then I'll get in the car and go. And boy do I feel good after that!! I'm peaceful and calm and happy and proud (and aching!) All the Moodscope boxes get high scores. A little piece of me is restored.

At the moment I'm restoring the pieces one by one; without waiting to feel the 'right' thing. I've written this and the writer piece is restored; the contributor to mental health issues is restored. I go to the gym and the healthy piece of me is restored. I speak my mind and the confident piece of me is restored. Piece by piece; day-by-day, I'm building me. And so what if a few pieces have rough edges that don't quite fit?! Or if some bits are down the back of the sofa... I'll find them. And, even if I don't, I'm still me. Perfectly imperfect, well-loved, and much happier when I live outside of the box.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Tracy Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 6:23am

You were right, it was Gandhi. He said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." And that is often tough to accomplish, isn't it? I do the same thing internally when I say something and then don’t follow through. I beat myself up mercilessly. I really like how you reframe the times you do follow through as reclaiming pieces of yourself lost during times when you couldn’t. That’s an amazing way of thinking about it. I’m happy that you’re in a reclaiming phase and wish you the best of luck Debs.

The Gardener Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 12:47pm

this is yesterday. found today in a church magazine, very apt. l. Have m;y goals and responsibilities become so all consuming that I've forgotten how to rejoice along the way, or to cut myself some slack. 2. Have I made my preferences a condition for my happiness? 3. Do I beat myself up when I can't meet my self-created deadlines? (Hope right person) Gardener

Debs Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 9:22pm

Ahh thanks Tracy, really glad it helped. I'm in Ibiza at the moment on an exercise holiday reclaiming lots of pieces (and losing a few at the same time ;-)) so right now the jigsaw is feeling pretty whole ;-) xxx

Debs Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 9:22pm

Ahh thanks Tracy, really glad it helped. I'm in Ibiza at the moment on an exercise holiday reclaiming lots of pieces (and losing a few at the same time ;-)) so right now the jigsaw is feeling pretty whole ;-) xxx

Sarah Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 8:09am

I can relate 100%. I have at least 10 Audible self help books, some of which are to help me with eating disorder (binging as a response to emotions or for no reason) I listen to them over and over. I've learnt so much - like the way that there are two parts to are brain - the human and the chimp (animal).... the chimp is the automatic thinking that we need to ignore most of the negative chatter. The chimp uses memories of past experience and tries to affect our current judgements/decisions.... I try to keep my new found knowledge in my present thinking - but it just doesn't work that easily, does it?! I know that all new learning requires repetition to stick. I think it's pretty much that simple.... repetition repetition. But it really bothers me how hard it is to remember and remain motivated to practice new found skills.... it sometimes makes me wonder if it is possible to change the patterns that we want to, it's so difficult to remember! But I have come to the same concussion, that my goal is to have peace of mind with who I am and what I do... despite the contradiction of me trying to change many of my responses to life. I just wish it was easier that when I say I'm going to do X, I do it!!

Tutti Frutti Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 7:15pm

Hi Sarah I hope you don't mind me asking you this as i don't have an eating disorder as such and don't want to make light of what you have been through. I was just wondering whether any of the self help books you have read for your eating disorder include anything that would be of any help to stop myself from comfort eating when I get low and then feeling bad later when I have put on weight. I hope things are going ok for you. Please don't be offended by the question and many thanks in advance for any ideas. Love TF x

Debs Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 9:25pm

I know that feeling well hun! I wish it were that easy too but we're only human ;-) And there are so many reasons not to do things... so I guess all we can do is keep noticing and try again! With every step it gets easier xxx

FairIsle Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 9:52am

That is tough when a part of you talks back and discourages you over your good intentions. I have that, as I'm sure we all do. I'll think about doing something, sometimes as simple as mentioning something to my wife, but that part goes: "no don't bother, she won't be receptive" or "she's too busy" or "she won't like you if you say that". But it lies.

I just try and remember what Susan Jeffers said, so very long ago: "feel the fear and do it anyway".

Debs Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 9:26pm

Good reminder Fairisle - I love that book xx

The Gardener Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 1:04pm

Feel 'with you' Fair Isle. My 'normal' personna, of stuffing the day (in my mind, and reality) like an over-filled cushion has gone, and probably a good thing too. Certain things HAVE to be done, even those often saved for the ever more crowded hours of respite. My desk (like yesterday's blogger?) is scary - trying to make sure vital stuff done, But, and a very BIG but - is it stuff I am, quite simply, funking. The biggest is whether to apply for French Citizenship or not. Never thought of it - born British, stay British. Then, after a UK visit last July I was so shocked at people's attitude I wanted to get out. But, here is the 'funking'. It is extremely complicated - unlikely that Mr G would be accepted, except as my spouse. The procedure takes up to a year, Brexit not expected to 'happen' for two years. My funking - is it the work? Or because it's not worth it? I am nearly 82, Mr G a very sick 87 - French residents for 20 years - is the next frog administration going to throw us out? Meanwhile the papers, with photos (horrible) glare up at me from my desk. Much more important, and fun, is to go and plant Morning Glory seed - it's going to rain this week-end - am I copping out? I don't know if anybody has noticed Sarah's typo 'concussion' - definitely like that here at the moment, but that's concrete drills, another good reason to go gardening.

Debs Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 9:29pm

Planting sounds infinitely more soul fulfilling G, stick with that and wait for the answer about citizenship to dawn on you while digging the soil xx

Brum Mum Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 7:07pm

I love your last sentence, Debs! This piece speaks of acceptance and positive action for happiness. It gave me a warm glow inside.

Debs Thu, Mar 30th 2017 @ 9:31pm

That just made me smile BM!! So happy it gave you a glow and I hope your Thursday has been kind to you xx

Jul Fri, Mar 31st 2017 @ 7:49am

Hello Debs. Sorry I didn't reply to this yesterday. It was good to see you in print. I am away right now and have little time to look at my computer with visitors this week. I found your blog interesting. I like the idea of satisfying different aspects of our life, like health, confidence etc. I am going to work on this. Thank you Deb. Go well. Julxxxx

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