Answers on a postcard please…

I have been asking myself for a week if it’s worth carrying on with my blog…this blog.

I have been asking myself if it’s worth carrying on with anything at all, in all honesty!

I have been living here at my Mum’s for seven weeks now, I have been home for a total of five days. I need to get back to London but I am trapped, I can’t leave for good because there’s stuff to do here, my Dad’s business needs dealing with and my Mother won’t let me handle it without her peering over my shoulder asking inane questions and telling me she is going to do it herself…training 70 +’s – is the next blog chapter.

In my quest for sanity, I have been chasing a complimentary medicine answer, the kinnesiologist told me that there would be a lot of emotions, a lot of ‘things’ that grief would throw in my direction, so I may as well deal with it all at once, ‘why the hell not?’ I thought. I’m bloody game. There’s a definition for alternative medicine on the NHS website, complimentary alternative medicine – CAM!

Since my Dad died seven weeks ago today I have seen;

  1. A kinnesiologist
  2. Doctor
  3. holistic therapist
  4. chiropractor
  5. reflexologist
  6. pyscho dynamic therpaist

The holistic therapist was a disappointment at the time, we just had a very long chat, she was kind and very nice, and then she gave me these tiny weeny pills, like tiny little balls, which look harmless but mustn’t touch your skin! Ooh, how harmless can they be? I popped the first lot anyway, and didn’t expect to have results…

Five days later I was on an emotional roller coaster that would take me to the highs and lows of my darkest feelings – wow! It frightened me slightly but I got through it, although looking back now, it’s hard to say if it was all par for the course.Whether I would have felt such extremes anyway (am I due on my period or menstruating?) Hmm, no, no, I honestly think that this was homeopathic aggravation. I met a lady in the village here at my Mum’s who treats her rheumatoid arthritis entirely holistically. I know these people exist but I had never met one. I was mildly impressed, until she mentioned that she had had a a filling WITHOUT anaesthetic…nothing, none at all! WTF?! How? I asked her, now trying to hide my incredulation! “I take myself off the Seychelles” she said, “I just transport myself there, and I don’t feel the pain.”…WOW!

I’m starting to think there’s really something about this holistic stuff…one thing though   – I haven’t been to the Seychelles…worries_worried_face-300x300.png

 

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The diagnosis murder, I’m dairy, wheat, gluten and sugar FREE

Intro
I feel that my blog has had a few lives, and this is the self improvement life…I’ve seen that other people section it all out, maybe this is the thing to do? I don’t know. I feel like each area of my life has a knock on effect on the other so I don’t know if I could do that, I am reading Blogging for dummies so maybe that will enlighten me?! Anyway my Dad’s death gave me IBS symptoms which led me to the Doctors which led me to start taking a lot of tablets none of which seemed to help and one of which turned out to be anti-depressants…sugar-free

The diagnosis…
‘You can eat eggs’ said the Kinesiologist, yeah I know, I thought, they are not dairy…I didn’t say it out loud because in truth I was a bit scared of this woman. She was scarily intuitive, almost like a witch, she took one look at me and said, ‘you’re a very anxious person aren’t you?’ Erm, yes I replied, anxiously. Then she performed some weird tests which led her to say, “when did you stop taking the anti depressants?” She also said I was very easy to test and she didn’t want me to get obsessed with ‘the diet’ I just can’t eat wheat, gluten, dairy and the most evil and cunning of them all SUGAR! Very fashionable, I thought. Why is no one telling you that you should eat more fibre, no fat and use sweeteners anymore? I feel sorry for the producers of Canderel, their sales must have fallen dramatically in the last few sugar free years.

Anyway back to my diagnosis. You’re an addict, she said. Alcoholic I thought? Sugar addict she told me. Which is basically the same thing, if you think about it; because alcohol contains more sugar than ANYTHING right? And you wouldn’t give an alcoholic another drink soooo, consequently I am off the booze. I am off the booze and the sugar and the dairy and the wheat and the gluten…’we’ll keep it simple’, she said. ‘I don’t want you obsessing about a diet given your history. Right, I thought.

My friend alcohol
The truth is I have never taken anti depressants, even though I have had a lot of therapy and felt very anxious and frustrated in my life. I know that I am a negative thinker and have had plenty of CBT, I have tried a lot of different things so this is just one more. I would take anti depressants if I needed them, but I prefer to try and combat it with exercise, therapy and self improvement, because for me I know if I take anti depressants I may feel better but ultimately I will still think the same.

I have stopped drinking before in my life, not many times admittedly but I have done it, usually I’ve been absolutely miserable and replaced it with other sugar. Now, I know that I drink too much, and I know that it’s a depressant, and I know that it’s basically EVIL, but I love it. I love the taste, I love the feeling, I love the escapism and since my Dad died my Mum and I have been drinking most days.

BUT! I hate it at the same time, it’s a love hate kind of thing, I know that it makes me feel like shit, I am a rubbish drunk, I have made a complete fool of myself on numerous occasions due to alcohol and it makes me feel a host of other ugly emotions, mostly it makes me feel guilty and ashamed. I have a terrible memory as it is and I can’t remember anything after a night of drinking. What worries me most is that drinking is basically my social life. ALL my friends are massive boozers, it’s what we do. I can’t imagine having any friends left if I stop drinking. I explained this to my kinesiologist and she smiled and said she went through it herself about my age and yes she lost some friends, but she also kept some.

First hurdle
‘Hmm’, I thought, that night was my Mum’s Birthday, am I going to get away with not having a drink? A friend of mine was supposed to be coming over, I wavered, should I just start tomorrow…the day after, have a few more days on it…the conversation went like this;

Him: Well I’ll have to stay if I’m going to drink.
Me: I’m not drinking
Him: WHAT?! Why not?
Me: I went to see a kinesiologist and she’s told me I can’t drink for six weeks…
Him: A what? What the hell do they do?

I had to Wikipedia it;

Applied kinesiology (AK) is a technique in alternative medicine claimed to be able to diagnose illness or choose treatment by testing muscles for strength and weakness

Him: What a load of bollocks!
Me: You’re a vegetarian
Him: Just because I’m a veggie doesn’t mean I’m a bloody hippie.

He didn’t come over. I got through my first evening without a drink, granted it was with my Mum and her three friends, who collectively weren’t sure if they were even able to finish one bottle of Prosecco…and it only lasted an hour and a half. BUT baby steps.

Prescription
So my friends, it is with mixed emotions that I embark on this new journey, without alcohol. Sans booze. Who’s with me?!

So it wasn’t my wedding afterall

 

It’s the journey that matters

It was a relief that when my oldest friend (who’s the closest thing I have to a sister) turned up and said she’d felt the same on the day of her  Mothers’ funeral. She has since walked down the aisle with both my Dad and her own Dad; actually half way with each.

I of course haven’t walked down any aisles with anyone’s Dad and I didn’t think I would with mine, but as it turned out the three of us came down the aisle together, Mum, Dad and me. My little Mum clutching onto me as though her life depended on it and at that moment I think it probably did.

To say that it was a beautiful day was a bit of an understatement, not only did the sun SHINE on the day of my Dads’ funeral but as we left the house for the church I found great comfort in the army of friends and family that surrounded me. Like a bright, shiny, protective shield. Even though we were all in black.

And as soon as they dispersed to find a seat I was over come with nerves, because of course the really, truly hard bits, you do alone. Walking out to meet the coffin and then watching as the six pall bearers strained underneath the weight of it; the responsibility as well as the physicality. I wish now that we could of captured it somehow, the tennis racket of flowers lain on top, the moment of clarity when finally I realised that it was over. The days of waiting and planning, organising and busying myself with everything other than reality, they were over and here was my Dad for the last time in a wooden box with some flowers on top.

I bit my lip as we walked up the church path, pointlessly cursing it for being so long, and uneven, even though I had never noticed it before… and I didn’t let go, instead I held on to my Mum as she sobbed, clutching a little photo of her and my Dad on holiday in New Zealand. I didn’t let go of that lip until everyone had gone and only my closest friends remained. The sun shone and the people came, over 150 to the church. There were some genuinely funny moments, which I am so thankful for, light relief I believe they call it? My friend crashing into us as we left to meet the coffin, and she ran in late in a truly Miranda style moment which I will never forget, as the vicar turned to me and said, “I don’t know who she is, but I lover her!” Moments of colour and moments of black, fade to white.

There were so many people crowding into the wake my poor little Mum got trapped outside as wave after wave of people came to pay their condolences – first they were saying hello and then they were saying goodbye as they started leaving and she still hadn’t even stepped inside. I had never realised my Dad was so well regarded, perhaps they’d all just turned up for a free sandwich. Either way it was a wonderful turn out and they all seemed to have known him in some capacity. Everyone shocked and saddened.

I began the day on my yoga mat, as my friend said to me it’s my anchor, wherever I am there it is. It’s new. It’s very heavy (and actually I am not sure I will ever be able to take it with me anywhere as it will throw my luggage allowance straight over the top, however it is very pretty in a stone wash 1980’s style way and I love it.) I prepared for the day ahead like it was my wedding and when I caught my Mum applying her own make up I swiftly intervened and re did it, hair included. I spent three hours with my head in a plastic bag trying to tone my hair to a reasonable colour. I knew it would be a day of stares, of attention, of giving, of thanking, of understanding, of sympathising, of soothing and hugging. This I can do! As long as I have prepared for it appropriately, and prepare I did.

I applied a bright pink lip and a smile and I worked the room, I gave my attention to every one I could get to, I thanked them, I reassured them and I smiled. I gave them the show, and really I loved seeing all these people who had cared enough about my Dad to spare some time to remember him, it gave me great comfort.

And so it is over. People always say that this is the hardest part, and you know what? They’re right! I would do anything to go back to that part where we still had a funeral to look forward too…but such is life and the journey must continue, I went to bed crying and woke up crying as I realised that it was over, my chance to say goodbye was gone. I hope he would have been proud, he never told me he was, he always seemed to disapprove he would have hated all the attention of the previous day. He was a private man, private about his feelings and emotions, and I will never know now if he was proud, or if he knew how much I wanted him to be.