Monday, 11 April 2011

Looking to the future

I slept at my parents last night - in the single bed. Somehow it doesn't seem as lonely as a double bed. No soft toy either! It has been several weeks since I took a sleeping tablet too, so that's all progress.

The single bed is in the same room as the computer though and as I am not good at going to sleep early the 'draw' was too much! Instead of meaningless surfing I decided to update the speaking events list on my website.
I was delighted with it - there is a range from Children's centre workshops, to hypnotherapists, to an awards evening and best of all, keynote at a major business mums conference in October. My remit is now much wider than postnatal issues and this programme of events reflects that.

Not listed on there is my Greatvine expert telephone helpline and my Forever Living Products business too.

There is also the opportunity for my books on my Hanzak principles and this blog (still seeking a publisher!).
So I went to sleep excited by the prospects.

Ann Girling came to pick me up and went over to Huddersfield for a trustee meeting for the Joe (Joanne) Bingley Memorial Foundation. It was only last August when Chris, Dinah and I first met. Since then amazing progress has been made. We now have official charity status, six trustees, a website, information cards, plans for a national summit of postnatal charities next year and lots more!

It was both an enjoyable and productive meeting and looking back (which is my way to look forward) I was in a far better state today than I was at the last meeting we had at Oulton Hall. I spent most of the day in tears!
Today I began feeling my almost usual self. We got through a tasty lunch and I commented I had got my appetite back. They all said I looked so much better too. I was doing fine until Chris asked what we had in mind as a target for the charity to raise over the year. That did it! My bottom lip quivered and the tears tippled over my bottom eye lid. Why? Because I was instantly back in the room with Chris and Clive the night the charity was launched at the end of January. Clive was the MC and auctioneer for the night. He had literally lifted the responsibility off Chris's shoulders for the evening and was in full professional mode. I had fallen in love with him all over again. He asked Chris what his target was for the night - best case scenario, worst case scenario and 'happy' level. We actually reached the best case. Read about the night here.

I still cannot believe he has gone. All those talents. All that skill, All that life, love and laughter.
The roller coaster was on a down again.

Next tears were very silly but I was in 'wallow' mode now. Dinah had been to visit an amazing group in Hull called The House of Light. This has been set up by two ladies who suffered from postnatal depression and since 2007 this support service has grown. As Dinah told us more about all the support they offer, the funding they have achieved and the recognition, my self-doubt built and built. I began to question what good have I actually done with my story, book and talks? Where is the tangible 'thing' I can say I have made?  All I have to show is another failed marriage, a broken family, a determination to succeed with my passion at any cost and now a bereavement that hurts so much at times that I want to crawl away and not come out? My book was published in 2005 - what do I have to show for it? More tears. As I was in safe and supportive company I explained my tears. Dinah felt responsible for making me cry but anyone who spend time with me at the moment needs to know this can happen for almost any reason! I could cry over looking at a can of Fosters lager (as that is what he drank).

As I uttered the pathetic words and reasons I suspected they would come on me like a ton of bricks! Dinah pointed out that the Hull group have my book; that Joe's Foundation has been inspired by my involvement, etc. Was I doing it just to win praise? I don't think so. I just need reassurance, as I have always done, that I am not wasting my time.

Driving back with Ann I had more tears. She pointed out that part of grief is like having had an operation or illness except that the scars are invisible. I often make this comparison when I speak about mental health as opposed to physical. When I had my hysterectomy I had a date to work around; I knew how long I could not drive; when I was supposed to lift things again; when I should be ready for full-time employment. Everyone knows and can plan accordingly and little by little recovery is achieved. Depression and grief have no time boundaries or 'normal' to follow.

In reality today all that happened was that I had 'peaked'. In the same way that when you overstretch yourself physically after an operation, you know that you need a rest and to be a bit kinder. Today I did focus very well for a few hours. I had contributed and enjoyed it. Just before Chris asked about the target I had felt a wave of tiredness and felt 'enough'. Instead of recognising that I waded on and the water got too deep. I guess now I should focus on what progress I had made and leave it at that.

Claire and Sophie were at Mum and Dads as we got back. Ann is expecting her first grandchild any day - very exciting!

So onwards and upwards.

So what have I learnt today?
  • Sleeping in a single bed is easier
  • Listing future events is encouraging
  • That looking backwards enables me to recognise the 'healing' and progress I am making
  • That I can contribute and concentrate for a certain time
  • That my friends in Joe's charity are true friends
  • To recognise when I have had 'enough' and leave it there.
Life still seems very, very hard though. I still feel empty even though I am trying so much to 'get on'.
Maybe I need to tell myself this ...

The only problem is that Clive isn't physically next to me but I do have many memories and still feel that it was better to have loved and lost him than not at all.

For some reason I have just remembered something that made us both laugh. He used to tease me for being naive about jokes and 'life' sometimes. When I was driving him around after his knee operation in November we were behind a truck in traffic. Written on the back of it were the words:-
'Whale Oil Beef Hooked'.
I read it out loud and asked him what it meant. He was HOWLING laughing. I just didn't get it... 

N nite,

Elaine x

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