Saturday, 9 July 2011

The proof of the benefit of music!

I only arrived home after midnight on Wednesday night so was extremely 'lacking in energy', as Clive would have said. Yet I was buzzing! So I had a drink and faffed around for a while. Finally as I slid into bed I knew I had to set my alarm for a conference call at 9 a.m. I kept waking up in fear of over sleeping! I crawled out of bed at 8.45 a.m. to at least have a cup of tea before my phone rang. I didn't want to sound like a bed head!

Dressed? Forget that! Clive had a strict 'office' rule that even as a self-employed, working from home, person you should have office rules - like not being in there with a dressing gown on! I usually abide by that - but not today. I set to doing a few tasks whilst I waited .. and waited ... I sent a message to remind the person (who is now hanging his head in shame!!!!) to ask if I was supposed to call him. By 11 a.m. I gave up and nipped into Tadcaster for a few errands. I got my car checked for the mysterious 'red light on the dashboard' and had my mind put at rest. Meanwhile the 'caller' admitted he'd forgotten!

I could say that at least it got me up and I had a productive couple of hours. But then again I think the offer of a large glass of wine to make up for it sounds better, so I won't admit that I didn't mind!!

It's another lesson I have adopted from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 'Life Lessons' on forgiveness....

When I got home though I did feel exhausted and tearful. It had been a hectic couple of weeks with a few very late nights and early mornings thrown in. So I checked my priority - plans for my trip to Birmingham on Friday to realise I had a five hour drive to go with it!

So my sensible side cut in - I got my bag, clothes, Sat Nav and everything else ready and wrote off the rest of the day.

One of the fun games my friend in London and I had played was guessing lines in favourite films, e.g. from 'Pretty Woman' - 'you're stunning' ... 'you're late'... 'you're forgiven'.

I hadn't watched that film in ages so I tucked myself up on the sofa and indulged. I laughed at some of the lines I hadn't got the day before. The music was as good as the first time I watched it.

I did shed a tear at Julia Roberts lines about wanting to be a Princess and for her Knight to come and rescue her. They were the terms Clive and I used. He did make me feel like a Princess. He showered me with affection, but did not stifle me. He cared so very, very deeply about everything that I did and happened to me. He missed me when we were apart. He praised me when it was warranted and would tell me off when needed! I do need to be told 'no' sometimes! I know he has gone when our romance was still in full-bloom and the cynics or realists may say that in time we would have bugged each other, but we didn't have the time to prove them wrong or right. Maybe one day I'll feel like the ending of 'Pretty Woman' again? I am grateful for having experienced with Clive.

My tears today were short-lived though because increasingly I feel that Clive would not want me to hurt so much. I have to keep hold of our love but not let it stop me from moving on. I had another sob at the end but made myself a meal, watched more television and was in bed by 8 p.m!

At 11 p.m. I was woken by someone drilling and hammering! Aargh! Then I couldn't sleep for worrying how tired I'd be. By 5.30 a.m. I was up and off to rendezvous with Dinah and Mary from
It was great to have company and the journey to Birmingham soon passed with chatter about underwear, etc!

Once at Birmingham we attended  a great conference on Perinatal Mental Health. The programme is here. 
I admit to feeling a bit hurt when a familiar face expressed her surprise that I was 'still' attending such events.
Have I out-stayed my welcome? Are people bored with me? Is it because of my bereavement? I was too stunned to query it and as the next session began I was sulking! I was tempted to throw it all up and go shopping!

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we take a simple passing comment which was meant in the nicest of ways but interpret it negatively? I was going to go back and ask for clarification but instead I applied another lesson of 'let it go'. It didn't matter. It wasn't important. I thought of the 'bigger picture' and why 6 years after my book I am still so passionate about making a positive difference to those affected by postnatal illness. Chris was also there and spoke about his wife's death last year on several occasions. Get real Elaine - put your lip in and focus on the wider picture. You are tired, tetchy and sometimes far too sensitive for your own good!

I was approached with warmth and excitement from a 'Mum' who has connected with me via Facebook and as a result attended yesterday. She wants to do something in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area for other Mums. Are you in that area? Like to connect? That made me smile.

I was also asked to sign a copy of my book which was to be presented to one of the organisers for the day. Another smile!

The content of the day and enthusiasm of all those who attended was really good. We made a positive noise about Joe's Foundation without overkill. The presentations, etc. of the day will follow in due course and I will post the information when I get it.

One bit of new research I was interested in was around the use of music to ease postnatal depression. The conclusion of a Korean study by Lee (2010) is that 'these findings indicate that music therapy has positive influences on decreasing postpartum blues and increasing maternal attachment of puerperal women.'
There are more articles on the beneficial effects of music and illness here

There are many articles within NHS Evidence if you ever need to evidence to support commissioning, etc.

Birmingham does have a very good provision for perinatal mental health with some very dedicated and inspiring people. The rest of the UK would do well to learn from them. I have encouraged them to share their examples!

The drive home continued to be fun with Dinah and Mary. We were all pleased about the day. At Trowell Services on the M1 we stopped for fish and chips - it was Friday! They were delicious and freshly made. I 'did a Clive' and went back to the guy who had made them just to say how much we'd enjoyed them. He looked amazed but beamed! I have just left a comment on their website too. Who can you say a simple word of praise to?

Once home I had a brief watch of television and sunk into bed - woe betide anyone who wakes me in the morning!

So my challenges today for you..
  • Who or what can you forgive and let go of?
  • Who can you say 'thank you' to?
  • Which music makes you feel good? Make a copy for your car and on your PC to play at times you need a happy boost.

Try the film line guessing game too!

Elaine x

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