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And you took my hand. Friday March 4, 2016

You may remember I wrote when my trainer (who became a friend), who had pulled me up and who had been helping to keep me well, embarked on a new venture in another country. I was more than a little sad, I was daunted and apprehensive.

I'm a slow burn. It had taken me years to unfurl in the spot where I had climbed and so I stayed sitting where I was...for 7 months. And then I was ready. I researched again. I took opinions again. I listened to my gut again. Last month I began again. Strength training. It is as much about growing my mental strength as my physical and I'm delighted that, with the right person, they go hand in hand.

I knew building a new relationship would be hard for me. The new venue would be hard. Pushing myself out the door, and in the door, would be hard. There were big boots to fill...

I've just completed my 6th session. I like him very much. He's very similar to what I've been used to, someone instinctive who doesn't push with exuberance but who pushes with precision. Someone who is on my team not just leading the team. Someone who is passionate about my path not just showing me his.

I feel safe. I feel challenged. I feel this is going to be good.

When he offered me his hand today, to steady me through a strength balance, it meant the world. Not in any way other than for me to feel grateful I have found a new friend to walk with for a while. Somebody new who knows my story and wants to help anyway. Accepting that hand showed me I trusted him, not something I do often.

I'm lucky. And I'm back. It was possible after all.

"It always feels impossible until it's done", Nelson Mandela.

Love from
The room above the garage.

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

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Nick Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 5:21am

I'm glade your back. xx

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 6:08am

You've made my day :-)

Debs Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 6:27am

Anything's possible eh roomy?! Well done for that climb, you always inspire me. Thank you for the metaphorical hand up, because of you I reach higher. And the view is so much better up here. Much love xxxx

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:41am

Debs, that is great to know! Nothing makes me happier than knowing I might have helped someone else. Thank you! How are you doing? I'm guessing busy with volunteering, parenting and work. Any more dates?

Eva Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 7:16am

Well done, a daunting start but you have successfully navigated that challenge.

I am trying to rebuild strength after a very stressful year and with an ongoing health issue am having a bit of difficulty judging how much to do. I keep doing a bit too much (exercise / work / socialising) and exhausting myself. My desire to be fit and healthy again is more than my body can cope with currently.

Eva Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 7:17am

I need someone to take my hand and make me sit down and relax I think.

LillyPet Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 8:36am

I'll take your hand Eva! You are in good hands here.?have a chilled Friday. LP xxx

LillyPet Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 9:09am

That was a smile not a ? :) xx

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:56am

Hello Eva, thank you! You said "my desire to be fit and healthy again"...pursue that! It follows Les' blog from yesterday. Whatever it takes to bring that it what you need to do. Maybe some things need to queue...

Eva Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:01pm

Thanks :)

Eva Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:02pm

Thanks :)

Eva Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:03pm

To both of you :)

Rosie Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 8:17am

So pleased you have been able to take a hand and all that means. Trust is a very big thing and involves far more than trusting someone else. Bigger still for me is trusting myself.I always read the blogs and in some ways these give me a little strength each day. Have just been brave enough to take the test (after nearly 2 years feeling scared of the score). It was 11 % but at least today your post made me trust myself to handle it. Thank you ratg and others for the insightful posts.

Norman Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:44am

11%? Only 89% to go then! Think how you'll be feeling when you get there!

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:59am

Rosie, I've been wondering about you and how things are. Delighted that you felt ready to take the test today. And now you're here! Would love to read an update blog from you...

Dawn Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 8:34am

Well done RATG, I'm sooo pleased for you. I love those moments when you realise you've made some of the progress you've been striving for.
Sending love, Dawn xx

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 12:01pm

Thank you so much Dawn, it feels great to know I'm back but I'm further on than square one, even if only a little. Good to see you. Thank you x.

LillyPet Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 8:35am

Dear ratg,
I'm also so glad that your'e back on track and stronger than before. You have seen your resilience and ability to get back up. To climb you have courage, strength, resilience and determination. My determination has helped me to stay on track. You need to tread carefully and steadily.

You've given so many of us a hand and the more of us that take those small or big steps to become stronger, the stronger we all become. Yours was the first hand that was offered to me as a newbie on here. Xx

It takes alot to get out there and seek the help you need to get going the first time and after losing the hand you were holding and you've done it. WERE holding. Reminds me that you gave me the gift of using past tense language to reframe the negatives in the context of being in a new and better place. You were right! The more I've done it the truer it becomes!

The skills and strength that you'll gain will give you independence. Go girlfriend! :))
It's a sunny morning in London. I woke up feeling ok emotionally, but tired and groggy having had a wakeful night. I now feel inspired cheerful and mentally energised. Still tired, but more that jet lagged but happy feeling.

You have a gift ratg and thank you for being you. Much love to you and all :) LP xxx

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:38pm

LP, you are full to the brim with kind stuff...I remember well you commenting for the first time (and your name then!). I love your reframing experience... Brilliant! Short reply tonight as I must protect my equals survival. Wishing you a hearty sleep tonight...thank you for being you xxx.

Norman Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:57am

Oh ratty! I'm so proud of you! Have a hug! You are right about the mental strength, it is I think so much more than the physical strength. Think of those stories of mother's lifting buses which had run over their children. Physically no way, but...

Anyone who understands sports will tell you that champions often win in the last minutes and seconds because they are mentally not physically stronger.

Many years ago a consultant set me a task to sit arms outstretched for 15 minutes. He said that the first five minutes required physical strength and the rest required mental strength.

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:42pm

Ratty :-) Love it! Thank you Norman, I don't hear those words often and it's made me very happy xx.

Another Sally Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:00am

Dear Ratg,
That was a very moving post. I sometimes feel that all I need is a hand.
I wish I had more time to follow the blogs every day. I always read the email and usually do the test, but don't always have time to read the comments. I am very fond of all the contributors and how they offer support ant strength to each other, it is like a little community for me as I try to imagine everyone going about their day in their various ways.
Keep at it Ratg, there are a lot of good people out there. Have a nice day.
Another Sally

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:45pm

Another Sally, I'm delighted you made time to pop in to say hello, it's always good! Thank you xx.

Another Sally Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:02am

I seem to have written ant strength - should have been 'and' , but then again ants are very strong creatures. ;)

Eva Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:05pm

Go ANT strength!

Mary Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:16am

I love the way Norman calls you Ratty. May I too? It reminds me of The Wind in the Willows, one of my favourite books. I was so looking forward to going back to Chester, my trainer, who is cheerful, fun, pushes me hard, but always with good humour. Then - of course, it's back to the sofa for another three months and then taking it very very slow. When I go to the gym daily I just love the endorphins! So pleased you have found another trainer. The relationship with your trainer is in some ways very intimate and intense although not at all romantic. I know one of my male model friends acknowledges his trainer in nearly every photograph he publishes: she is so important to him!

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:48pm

Ratty! Yes of course! :-D It usually describes my mood...but maybe it's time to reframe it!

Hopeful One Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:54am

Hi RATG- Well done . Your blogs are a wonderful tonic.

" When no one understands us and everything we do is wrong ,
You give us hope and consolation
You give us strength to carry on
You are always there to give a hand
In everything we do
That's the wonder of you"

With apologies to Elvis Presley for hijacking his lyrics.

This story brought a smile on my face

Jamie was trying out for a part in a school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me: "I've been chosen to clap and cheer".

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:49pm

HO!!! An old boyfriend used to sing me that, that has made me laugh! I'm honoured xxx

Skyblue Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 12:37pm

Hi ratg, so glad to hear you are up and running again in a way that makes you relieved and happy. It's good for all of US, too! I love that you took 7 months to feel your way along, using your gut to guide you. This is surely the wise way to transition but it takes patience, and certainly courage to trust yourself in the process. Great payoff. xx

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 10:58pm

Skyblue, thank you. I didn't choose 7 months, it just fell that way due to feeling so splintered. Thank you very much for your words, it's a great thing to be told xx.

Lou Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 1:38pm

Well done RATG and good for you! (in all senses!) I found this post really motivating, thank you very much for sharing :)

Lou Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 2:53pm

In fact, I found your blog so motivating I have written and submitted one of my own! Something I have been wanting to do since I wrote my last one ages ago, so thank you very much :)

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:00pm

Hello Lou! How much do I love that!!! Yahoo! Looking forward to it xx.

Rebecca Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 2:48pm

Great RATG. I am really struggling at the moment and wondering how I can go about getting help. I am having suicidal thoughts even though I am scared of dying so unlikely to do anything. Just can't bear feeling this low anymore. I am struggling to ride my horses and for me that is really bad. I am trying to keep busy and not be alone as scared of my thoughts. How long can I go on like this for? Saw Dr last week but did nothing just said carry on with medication that I have been on for years. Got occupational health Monday with work and seeing my Dr who hopefully will do more on Wednesday but finding it very hard.

Lou Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 2:58pm

Rebecca, Well done for continuing to put one foot in front of the other and for being brave enough to say out loud on here how you are feeling. Can I suggest you talk to someone who will listen to what you are saying? the number for the Samaritans is: 116 123 (UK) But do keep talking on here. I would suggest maybe telling your GP how you feel and that the meds aren't helping. Maybe they can refer you to a mental health nurse for more support and some more help? Please remember that you are not alone. Lou

Skyblue Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 3:46pm

Hi Rebecca, i'm sorry this is such a tough time for you. It's good that there are some things lined up for next week to keep you looking forward. Just believe that there IS someone who will help and you will find them. I know you know that 'This will pass' but it's so difficult to deal with when you're feeling so horrible. I'm annoyed with your doctor! Perhaps you were gentle in your approach with him/her and they just didn't hear you? I hope they are more understanding on Wednesday. Best wishes.

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:23pm

Hello Rebecca, wow, that was not exactly inclusive chat from the Dr... Lou, Skyblue and Hopeful One have said the truth. HO is spot on, your thoughts are not you! I can add that, I remember a few years back feeling like my world was closing in. Standing in a shower and wondering how many tablets it would take...a few weeks later and I wondered how I could think it. Traditionally this has been my very worst time of year and yet you complimented me on my blog...change does happen. Not always as fast as we are ready for. For now, can you visit in here every day? Can you come and tell us the feelings? We don't judge, in fact you may just meet someone who makes all the difference. Don't expect much of yourself right now, you are not ready for that...just concentrate on food and sleep, lots of both! Please keep talking because it's the 'not talking' that causes the problems. Stick with us, I know we can get you back to yourself. Much love to you, love ratg xxx

Hopeful One Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 3:15pm

Hi Rebecca- I do really feel for you and how awful it must be to have thoughts like that. But remember Rebecca they are just THOUGHTS. They are not YOU. Remind yourself of the good things in your life. They may appear few and far between and insignificant but they are there. Look for them. You need to make an effort to acknowledge them. Reinforce them by writing them in your diary. Go over them again if your mind appears to discount them. The positive thing here is that you acknowledge your thoughts and that you will not act them out. Keep talking to us. If you haven't got someone to talk to phone the local Samaritans as Lou suggests. . Above all DO NOT LOSE HOPE. Things WILL GET BETTER , things WILL IMPROVE.

Anonymous Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 6:16pm

It's a bit like reading another book after a wonderful one and finding the new one is just as compelling a read as the last one, sometimes even more so. It is lovely that you are so at ease with your new trainer ratg. He does sound perfect for you. That taking a hand when offered is a great connection between you both and obviously signalled an achievement probably for him as well. A lovely blog ratg thank you. Jul x

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:27pm

Thank you Jul, it felt like an achievement! Xx

The Gardener Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 6:50pm

Happy for you RATG. I've lost this post 3 times - problems with lap-top. Mr G so awful - do have a 'hand holder' but she cannot be with me worst times, evening. He called me cruel and heartless last night, swo
re horribly then went and knocked the neighbours up at 11 pmj, dogs kids and all. Such a nice family, no offence, and Pappa and I have resumed lugging furniture. Propping up terribly depresssed friend - she has interview with CBT expert Monday - encouraging her to do Moodscope - keep a diary - make 'pegs' however minor, to hang on to. Spent 12 of last 24 hours in tears of desperation - not like me at all, and makes me feel ill. Keep it up RATG, if any to spare, a little hand hold across the sea.

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 4th 2016 @ 11:34pm

TG, you are a love to persevere in getting your message to us. Here's my hand, I'm holding it for you xxx. Crying...good. I tell my kids to cry more when they do cry. It's a chemical build up that needs to come out, let it flow. I'm with you.

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