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Life Chez Dee Episode #48: Time

I think if I had to sum up all the things which have helped, and still help me through difficult days, I’d have to say time … and I don’t really mean that in the sense of quantity; or in the sense of measurable or quantifiable; I don’t mean a timescale of one date to another … when I say time I refer to this in terms of time doing what I needed to do, and being who I needed to be … time out; time to think; time to process; time to be; time taken willingly; and time which was enforced. Time was something so precious; something of enormous value to me.

As I’ve mentioned on many occasion, I found a love for walking. Walking gave me time out, fresh air, exercise, good company, and yet time alone if I needed it, plenty of material for writing through being given time to think, or by the conversation material of the day which inevitably gave me inspiration to write; it was time which I enforced on myself by blocking this in my diary. Without having a dog to walk daily, I knew that unless I joined a group of others, I wouldn’t walk … especially when the weather was cold, wet and miserable. I needed to commit to someone … tell them that I was joining them … scheduling time.

I’m desperate to get back to walking; I haven’t been for so long. I got involved with the postal vote team for the General Election in December; then there was Christmas; then there was the slump after Christmas; then I felt rather ill; and now I’ve had a few busy weeks, including doing a bit of invigilating for the mock exams at the High School … I just haven’t got in the swing of scheduling the time for my walks yet this year. I’m also in a bit of pain … I hurt my shoulder last summer, and it has nagged me ever since. I don’t know if it just needs rest to recover, but given that this is the whole of my right arm which seems to be affected, probably because the shoulder pain is now manifesting in my neck, elbow and wrist … there is little opportunity to rest it so it can heal itself … I’m completely and utterly right handed and it really isn’t getting better. I think deep down I’m putting off going back to walking with poles or ProX walking tool because of the pain.

The pain in my arm, might also be secondary pain, or reverberated pain, stemming from the pain I have constantly had to manage from when I fell and landed on my lower back. Years and years of osteopathic treatment I’ve had, until recently, when I have struggled to find an osteopath who I feel understands, who gives me confidence, who has intuition, and whose treatment I find effective. I have only in more than 20 years, found two osteopaths who have ticked all those boxes for me. One was Lisa Kennard … and I’m going to mention her name as I think she was something so, so special; and the other was Amy Dickinson. I stopped seeing Lisa, as I moved away from Bristol, and I stopped seeing Amy when she moved to Scotland. I have paid for many an osteopathic treatment with so many other osteopaths and none have come remotely near to the treatment I had from these ladies. How can this be when they all undergo the same training? It can only be that they have something extra, they have intuition and that my friends, you either have, or you haven’t … it cannot be taught, or learned. Anyway, the upshot is that I don’t see an osteopath at the moment, but I do see a wonderful lady, Grace, who gives a thorough massage, is very lovely and incredibly intuitive.

Other time out I have found most useful has been counselling – this has given me time to be me; to be open; to be honest; to bring out everything which was buried within. It has given me an opening to let all this stuff out … all sorts of stuff … from goodness knows how long … flowing freely now, being released, but also gathering momentum. It has given me a sense of self, and I feel liberated. I think this is what led me to write. I felt like all these words which were flowing from within needed to be articulated, written down, journaled, shared. I have not only discovered a new hobby in my writing, I have surprised myself with my ability, my enjoyment, and am forever amazed that others find my writing both enjoyable and worthy of reading. Time for my writing is both enjoyable for me, and also my therapy. I have not only emptied my head, but have also become my own counsel. I empty my thoughts into my writing and offload the endless thoughts which swirl round and round in my head like a washing machine. Some of my writing will be on good days, some on bad; some of my writing is deep and meaningful, some is light hearted and funny; and on some days you’ll get both.

Yesterday, I was chatting to a GP, who supports the work I do. I had a lovely chat with her and she gave me some really lovely feedback about how much value she puts on the work I do; how inspiring it is that I have found a new journey; how she loves my writing; and that she said she felt I ought to hear that … that which I probably don’t hear very often. This of course made me cry … she was lovely … and she was right … I knew all that she said, I’ve always known I’m doing the right thing, but to hear it was very nice, very needed, very thoughtful, and very special.

Time is something too which Meningitis Now recognised I needed when I was in a very dark place. They not only paid for me to have some counselling, but also paid for me to have some reflexology treatments. Alternative therapies I think are the way forward for so many people. Reflexology still fascinates me, and it never ceases to amaze me that whatever is going on with my body , be it muscle pain, hormonal issues, emotional issues, gynae issues, stress, immune system .. you name it, will show up in my feet. Not only is the time of physical benefit to me, it is also of emotional benefit as I feel I can openly talk to and trust the therapist I see.

Alternative therapies work … and that includes herbal medicine. They are often given bad press, but I suppose at the end of the day, there is no money in plants … not compared to the money at stake for the big pharmaceutical companies. I think I’ve mentioned before that I have an enormous amount of faith in a medical herbalist who I know, who I trust, and who I (and several members of my family) have used to cure many an ailment which the doctors either can’t or won’t sort with conventional medicine.

Only yesterday I was lucky enough to have some quality time for me. My mother in law, for Christmas, bought me a voucher for floatation therapy at the float rooms in Ansdell. She had read my blog on floating which I wrote last year, and knew how much I loved it and how much I’d love to go again. Yet again, the float session didn’t disappoint. It was wonderfully relaxing, and as I sat having a Lemon and Ginger Tea afterwards, I chatted to Ross about all manner of things. We talked about the benefits of floats and how many people are helped by this therapy … those who are in pain with fibromyalgia, arthritis or rheumatism, those who have difficulty sleeping, or those like myself, who just really need time to relax and unwind. So many of his clients are regulars, some going weekly because they have been able to half their pain medication since floating. To be honest I think many who try a float will love it, especially any busy mum who has dreamed of that “room to themselves” … and I think there are many who have wished for that padded cell to shut themselves away in at times. For those who have wished for this … this is the answer to all your prayers … this is the room you’ve dreamed of. I digress … Ross and I talk, as I sip my tea, of his plans to extend the range of alternative therapies on offer such as infra red treatments, massage, and juicing. Ross is also another advocate of the power of plants, herbs, and alternative therapies and firmly believes that you can turn around what is going on in your body in six months, as 180 days is all it takes to completely rejuvenate cells. That’s quite a claim, but there is so much evidence out there that alternative therapies and medicines work that I have to say I agree with him.

Time out with friends for a coffee, or milky tea, and a catch up, is always a pleasure, never a chore, and indeed the best and cheapest therapy EVER. Time with people who really understand, really get what you’re saying, what you’re feeling, what you’re doing and trying to do … that time is incredibly precious. Time with family … with Justin, with the boys … time so precious the years fly by, always knowing that life is short, is precious, and can change in the blink of an eye.

Of course some me time is also taken when my hairdresser works her magic once a month. . I tell Justin regularly that he’s lucky I’m not very high maintenance ... only cuts and blows still at the moment … no colour involved. Gosh this all sounds like I’m out and about having treatments galore, but it really isn’t the case, and some of which I know I couldn’t have benefitted from without the support of Meningitis Now

I am lucky, incredibly lucky, that I am able to take time. Time to allow myself to be, time to focus, time to allow my creativity to flow, time to reflect, time to recharge. They say time will heal all manner of things, but I have to disagree. I don’t think time heals at all, and certainly I don’t think will ever heal the pain of losing Edward, and as I’ve said before, I don’t really think I want it to anyway, but I believe that time will show me a way to live, a way to cope and a way to be. I think time out and being kind to myself is something I will always need, but recognising that this time is needed, taking the time when it is needed, is something I know helps me physically, mentally and emotionally, so that I am ready and able to give my time, and a better me, to others. Time is short; it’s important to do what you need to do.

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