Love Is In Da Blog 2018 is over! Thanks to all Participants

It is over.

Yesterday was the last prompt of “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and today I want to give all participants a shoutout and a heartfelt “Thank YOU!”

No blog event can happen without its participants and I have been honored by 7 amazing bloggers who made me laugh, think and wonder with their beautiful posts. Besides the “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” participants badge I also have a surprise for you.

I have decided to give you a pdf version of my self-published poetry book “Me – Lost and Found”. Please send me an email to bee.halton[at]gmail.com with the subject “Love Is In Da Blog 2018 surprise” and I’ll send it to you.

 

I hope all of you enjoyed “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” as much as I did and also to see you again in 2019. Here is a shoutout to all of you who took part. As my brain is a little shattered at the moment I might have missed someone. I hope not but if it is the case please let me know and you will be added.

Participants in Love Is In Da Blog 2018 (in no particular order)

Debyblogs

This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time

Her Headache

Duskalert

What If We Cared?

Life in Progress

Linda G. Hill

LadyLeeManila

 

Take good care of yourselves and keep on the great work with your beautiful blogs going. And

now go, create and have lots of fun!!!!

 

 

 

 

A Good Goodbye ~ Last “Love Is In Da Blog 2018”

Today is the last day of “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and I want to thank all participants for their wonderful blog posts. I will thank you properly tomorrow and have a little surprise for you as well as the “Love Is In Da Blog 2018 Participant” badge.

I said yesterday that today is dedicated to all love that has entered and left our lives. Even though I am not sure if any love in our life really can leave us. Even if a relationship or friendship has gone sour there are still memories of better days left and the positive energy you have shared can’t leave you in my opinion.

Another reason why I chose today’s prompt is a song I am listening to a lot lately. It is Linkin Park’s “Good Goodbye”

I have thought a lot about self-love in this “Love Is In Da Blog” and why it is so hard for some of us to accept our own needs as essential and take good care of ourselves. Chester Bennington is an example that it makes no difference how successful we are and how much we are able to follow our talents when it comes to fighting our demons.

Linkin Park’s music has so often got me out of a really bad phase of depression and anxiety and I was devastated when I heard of Benningtons death in July 2017. To me it is so tragic that someone who’s singing had such a positive impact on my mental health was not able to keep seeing at least a little light.

However, I also know the power of black dog and the darkness that comes with him and I have started to ask myself if writing and my creativity will always keep me safe. I have no answer to that question. Or maybe I just don’t want an answer to that question.

What I want is to start a journey to take myself and my needs serious no matter what society thinks about it. To increase the love for myself and that child I have been so many years ago. So Love Is In Da Blog 2019 will be mainly about self-care and self-love. Not sure exactly how I will go about it but that topic seems to be really important not only to me and my loved ones but also to society in general. So please come back and take part in 2019. Thank you!

How to make a delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake & Love Is In Da Blog 2018 Prompt 28

There are things that I need to do when I feel down and life seems out of whack: I bake for my loved ones and for myself. There is nothing more satisfying than the smell of fresh cookies, cakes or sweet breads in the house and it gives my mood a boost when I have created something delicious. One thing I have never tried is a Lemon Drizzle cake and that is why I chose a zestful recipe and video on how to bake one on here:

 


 

This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers to the prompt “Zestful”

 


 

Love Is In Da Blog 2018 Prompt 28

So we have reached the end of “Love Is In Da Blog 2018”. There is only one prompt left and I dedicate it to all love that has entered and left our lives. It is

Good Goodbye

I am sorry, that I have been a little short-handed in the last couple of days. Black dog asks its due and I have to take care of myself. Please bear with me and enjoy a last LoIsInDaBl prompt with these rules/suggestions:

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”
  5. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. 

LoveBlogprompt28


 

 

 

A Letter to my twelve-year-old Self & Love Is In Da Blog Prompt 25

 

Dear Bea,

I have been thinking a lot about you lately and wish you would be in a different place. I wish your mum would be ok and your dad would not be so occupied with himself. I wish you would not have to take already so much responsibility for your younger brother and chores in the household. But life does not always deal us the jokers. The sad truth is life does deal us an awful lot of crap and no one promised us a rose garden.

It’s probably more the case that no one promised us anything. I have no idea where that notion comes from that life has to be a pot full of luck and that we have to avoid uncomfortable experiences under all circumstances. It’s not happening you know. It’s just not happening!

So what shall I advise you to do?

Remember that night when you stood at the window and stared up at the moon. You wondered where you would be as a grown up and suddenly there was me talking to you. I promised you that we would be ok. That no matter what comes we would make it. Just keep going.

That reminds me of a saying that’s attributed to Churchill: “If you go through hell, keep going!” and you most certainly did that. It is hard for me to appreciate that life has really been hard on you. The circumstances haven’t been the easiest from the beginning and later on, you have chosen a couple that weren’t that good. But you knew that. There were things you had to learn.

I just wish someone were there to explain that wild part of yourself to you. That part that defies logic and gives you knowledge that you can’t explain. It’s just there. I wish someone would have given you “Women who run with the Wolves” at that age. It would have given you a concept that there are parts in humans that are so ancient that they nearly act on their own. You have no control over them.

It is that ancient part that helped our ancestors survive which goes into overdrive when you experience trauma. It kicks off and gives your body the adrenaline to run away or fight the enemy. However, it is a little dumb and does not distinguish between a real threat and the thought of a threat. So even when you think about something that you feel threatened by it makes your body react with more adrenaline, your heart races and you get tense to start running or fighting at any moment. On top of that our body is closely connected to our mind. If your body shows fight or flight reactions it feeds back to your brain that there is a danger and there you go: you are in a vicious circle.

I don’t exactly know where that “Knowledge from out of nowhere” fits in here but I assume it is connected. Sometimes these reactions to trauma are called “instinctive” reactions: They just happen. You can’t control them. To me, it looks like some people are just much more connected to these instinctive reactions but they do not know how to incorporate them into their lives. Because society does not approve of them. So much in society is built on an image that we have to hold up and that society holds up to us. Like in the tale “The Emperors new clothes”: He is wearing nothing but everybody makes out his clothes are beautiful. Until the child says: “But he is naked!” The child followed his instincts not what society makes out to be the truth. I think there is a reason why this was one of your favourite fairy tales.

I believe in Carl Jung’s theory that there is an area in humans that connects us all which he calls “the collective unconscious”. It’s where the wild woman lives. An archetype I admit but archetypes have an important role to play in our ability to deal with life. Both the collective unconscious and the archetype of the wild woman are the places where knowledge comes from that you cannot explain nor trace with logic. Some people just have a better connection with it. Especially if you have been traumatised at an early age when your logic still works differently than that of an adult.

If you are closely connected to it you will see life in a different light than others. You figure out at first sight who is honest and who is not and you cannot bear unfairness. You have trouble to develop that “putting your face on” attitude where you can play that game that most people play: let’s pretend to get what we want. And to fit in.  You try to fit in so desperately but you can’t because you see all these things that others just are not aware of.

And you “collect” all those hidden emotions from others. That makes you an easy target for people to get rid of their unwanted feelings. It all happens subconsciously so you just experience exhaustion and fear and anger that you do not know where it comes from. And so often you break down when it gets too much. Because too much it gets.

I wish you would have known all that when you started your journey into being a grown-up. I wish someone would have taught you how to protect yourself and to accept that connection to the wild woman as an asset, not a difficulty. I wish you would have had the chance to find your clan of wild women.

Still, you made it here. You made it through all the difficulties and I am so proud of you. I keep you in my prayers and thoughts and in my arms because I have come to believe that time is just an illusion. I have come to believe that I am there with you when you stand at that window and that you are with me every day. And together we will make it. Together we will find our way of dealing with this life in a healthy and fulfilling way. That is what I promise you for the rest of our life!

There is nothing left to say for today. Just this one thing: “Come on, let’s run with the wolves!”

Resources:

Quote Investigator

Ancient Brain Net

Andersen.sdu.dk

Broadway World: The Psychology of Fairy Tales

Simply Psychology

Clarissa Pinkola-Estes.com

 


This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers to the prompt “Wild


 

Love Is In Da Blog 2018 Prompt 25

A big thank you to all of you who take part. You created wonderful posts about yesterday’s prompt “vulnerable” and I so look forward to today’s “wild” posts.

And today there is a challenge up for us. Well, for me there was a challenge because there are not many words that start with “x” and fit into an alphabet of love. But I found one. It is

Xenium

and it means according to Merriam-Webster:

“a present given among the ancient Greeks and Romans to a guest or stranger and especially to a foreign ambassador”

In my opinion it is form of respect for the guest and stranger in your house to give him or her a present and respect in  my opinion is an important part of love. That’s how the word made it into our “Alphabet of Love”.

And just to remind ourselves how to take part in it:

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”

If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. 


 

 

 

Three Poems that helped me in Tough Times (attention might trigger) & Love Is In Da Blog prompt 24

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that we all deal with mental health problems in general and depression in particular in our very unique way. For me, writing and poetry was one tool, that helped me cope with the overwhelming power of my emotions.

I was wondering about my affinity to poetry

I was always wondering why I had such an affinity for poetry. My family was reading a lot but I am not aware that they had an interest in poetry particularly. However, my mum raised me with lots of children’s songs and little verses, that German mums taught their kids in those days. And now that I think of it, my grandmother was very fond of poetry and often recited classic poems she knew. And I did love a poem we read in school when I was very young.

Maybe that was the reason, that, a couple of years after my mum passed away, I suddenly felt the urge to write a poem. I knew a little from school on how to write poetry but I did not think about it. I just wrote it. It was such an experience to create something positive and beautiful. It was a very personal experience and I never thought of sharing it with anybody.

Writing poetry in good and dark times

Ever since I have written poetry especially in the dark times of my soul. There is something about poetic and mythological or spiritual imagery that speaks to me of the light and hope that is still out there just for me to reach out to. Since last year I have made it my habit to write a poem every day. I do not publish many of them as they are more an exercise to keep my poetic soul active than something to be published. However, they are also a well of inspiration.

Sharing three poems that helped me in dark times

So today I will share with you three of my favourite poems and write a little about how they came to be and what they mean to me. They are

  1. The Wild One
  2. No Words
  3. Hope

Poem One: The Wild one

I am a huge fan of Clarissa Pinkola-Este’s book “Women who run with the wolves” that combines the power of fairy tales with psychological healing. One symbol she speaks of is “the Wild Woman” a part of every woman where we keep connected to the wilderness our species comes from and where creativity, power and procreation lives.

I have come to see my mental health problems not only as a psychological problem but also a sign that something is not right in my life. That I am not following my calling whatever that might be. These are the times when the wild one is calling me to look inside and make changes. Often I am not able to fully follow her call. But I guess that is a process and not something that happens at once.

So a couple of years ago I wrote the following poem:

The Wild One

when
the wild one
rises

thoughts shatter
and
emotions run
high

when
the wild one
rises

danger has come
and
protection is
CAPITAL

when
the wild one
rises

I am
gone
but
not forever!

“The Wild One” expresses fully how I feel when I fall down the acidic pool of darkness I spoke of in “How I am going to achieve more self-esteem”. It is like someone else is taking me over and I have no power over my actions anymore. There is danger everywhere and I can only wait until this passes too.

This experience is hard to explain to someone who has never lived with a mental health problem. And more often than not when people ask me what is wrong I don’t really have words for it. Which leads me to the next poem.

 

Poem two: No Words

I think that is one of the problems with mental health issues: They are highly personal and have to do with ancient parts in ourselves that just have no language. So explaining them with words is just not possible.

When I write poetry I don’t only try to express what can’t really be put into words I also try to give this experience of darkness a spin towards light and hope. The poem “No Words” does show that nicely.

No words

no words
can describe
that pain
crippling me

no words
can describe
that pain
harassing me

no words
can describe
that pain
waxing and waning

but it never goes away

waxing and waning
as I work
my way
through memories
so atrocious
I hacked them away
from my mind
but my body
doesn’t forget

doesn’t forget
his breath on my face
his soft words
asking me
“Do you like it?”

(Do I like him
jabbing my innocence away?)

doesn’t forget
his moustache
carefully giving my
lips agony

doesn’t forget
doesn’t forget

as my mind
desperately
tried to get away

get away from it
get away from it

but no way out of his
iron embrace
no way out
of this pain

waxing and waning
waxing and waning

no words
can describe
that crack
in my sanity

there are
no words
to describe
what you do
to survive

there are
no words
to describe
that hope
that kept me alive

that needlepoint light
at the end of
the immeasurable tunnel
that I clung to

that needlepoint light
gently growing
into a ray of sun
embracing me softly.

There are no words
to describe
a healed
heart!

Reading this poem now still makes me cry. As I cried when I wrote it. A lot. Someone once said something like: the darkest hour is the closest to when the light comes back!” and in my experience, these are rather wise words. So often when I felt I could not go on it suddenly turned around and I found a way out. That is what the next poem is about.

Poem three: Hope

I have written several poems that are called hope. This one was inspired by an artist I have listened to a couple of years ago. Her name is Gila Antara and she has made Native American inspired music. One of my favourites is and was “We are the Power”. It was a mantra of mine in a very difficult time and it gave me the power to move on and change. So I changed the words of the song

Gila Antara ~ “We Are The Power

We are the power in everyone
We are the dance of the moon and the sun
We are the hope that will never hide
We are the turning of the tide!

into an acrostic poem

 

HOPE
WE so alive
ARE healing from
THE wounds given
HOPE so alive
THAT dances and stands
WILL be strong and
NEVER fall or
HIDE
I know for sure that I am through the worst when I am able again to write about hope.

Writing and reading poetry as a tool for healing

Last year I was lucky to take part in a Future Learn course called “Literature and Mental Health”. The University of Warwick explored how reading novels and poetry can help to overcome or if that is not possible to bear a mental health problem. It showed for example cases where just a verse or a line of poem helped people suffering from a mental health problem through a crisis.

There is also a therapy form that works with poetry. Good Therapy writes about it: “Poetry therapy, a form of expressive arts therapy, involves the therapeutic use of poems, narratives, and other spoken or written media to promote well-being and healing. Therapists may use existing literature as part of treatment or encourage those in therapy to produce their own literary works to express deep-seated emotions. In either case, they offer a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere in which people in therapy are able to explore their written expressions and associated emotional responses. ( GoodTherapy.org: Poetry Therapy).

I have never had the chance to try it out but I suspect that would be a form I could work well with because reading and writing poetry has always helped me to get through the dark times.

Do you have experience with poetry and mental health problems?

This post shared with you my experience of the healing power of writing poetry. How do you deal with life events, life challenges and bad mental health? Have you read or written poetry to get through? Please let us know.

Resources:

YouTube: Gila Antara ~ We are the Power

Clarissa Pinkola Estes ~ Women who run with the Wolves ~ Interview by Tom Park

FutureLearn: Literature and Mental Health

GoodTherapy.org: Poetry Therapy

 


 

 This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers the prompt “vulnerable” and the media challenge is poetry”.

 


Love Is In Da Blog 2018 prompt 24

 

Ah, only 4 prompts left until the end of the month. It has been quite a journey and I am grateful for all participants who have brought so much joy and creativity to this event.

So what’s on for day 24?
The prompt word is

Wild

and the media challenge is to incorporate a book.

To remind ourselves of the rules/suggestions:

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”
  5. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. LoveBlogprompt24

 


 

Three Thoughts on the Anti-Depressant Debate & Love Is In Da Blog Prompt 23

This morning I saw Ellen C. Scott editor at Metro and co-presenter at “Mentally Yours” Metro’s mental health podcast on BBC Breakfast. She told her experience with taking antidepressants. She said she is able to work again and live her life since she has found the right one for her.

One of the headlines this morning on the news was that according to a major study supported by the UK Health department antidepressants do work, however, the 21 tested work differently well and have different severe side effects. The main message was: “Anti-depressants work and you should not be against them!”

Anti-depressants help but cannot deal with the reason someone reacts with depression to life events

Last week I told you that I was rather glad that my doctor did not push me into taking any medication and rather supported me with a book about practising Mindfulness. The book “Mindfulness A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World(affiliate link) states, that the practice of Mindfulness is as effective as antidepressants. It says antidepressants try to deal with the symptoms of depression rather than the reasons for depression. Antidepressants can’t change the reason someone is depressed and how someone deals with the challenge of depression.

According to the NHS, there are several reasons why some people react to life challenges with depression: It can be your genes, a family history of depression or your personality, that makes you deal with a traumatic experience rather on your own than with friends and family. These reasons can’t be changed with an anti-depressant. However, your mood can be lifted with an anti-depressant which gives you more motivation to deal with what causes you stress. If you have the ability to find a solution for your problems that in turn makes you feel better and relieves depression.

Is “Do Anti-Depressants work?” the right question?

I am not sure if the debate “Do Anti-depressants work or not” is actually the right discussion. And I give you three reasons for that:

  1. Successfully dealing with your mental health is a highly personal decision
  2. We take bad mental health as a given and do not look and change the reasons why we are more and more depressed
  3. Can I afford to take anti-depressants?

 

1. Successfully dealing with Depression is a highly personal decision

In my opinion, it is a highly personal decision how you deal with a mental health problem. For me, it is as personal as which kind of contraceptive you chose. If I am a more spiritual person and have found spiritual solutions for my life challenges then I would react better to the Mindfulness approach then if I am a more scientific orientated person. Everybody experiences their mental health in a very personal way and depression can express itself in various different ways. The “One way fits all” approach does not work because we are so different and the reasons why we are depressed are so different. I believe those who help patients with depression successfully have this in mind. This can be with antidepressants but it can as well be without. But just because one approach works without anti-depressants does not make them not work or bad. It is just a different approach.

2. We take bad mental health as a given but do not look at the reasons why more are depressed

The Conversation states in their article: “So many in the West are depressed because they’re expected not to be” that we live in a society that expects us to be happy. Even if we have lost a loved one, are stressed at our jobs and have trouble to make ends meet we are expected to keep up a stiffer lip and deal with all of it with a smile on our face. We seem to be more and more at odds on how to deal with someone who is sad or goes through a difficult time.

Now, I believe that a positive outlook on life is a good thing to have, however, feelings of sadness, anger and frustration are a part of life and important indicators that something is not quite right. If we ignore these and as a society are not able to give them an appropriate space we suppress a part of ourselves and a part of society. In my eyes, suppression of anything has never lead to a solution but rather to revolution and problems.

A change in values in our societies to allow sadness as an appropriate approach to difficult life events as well as accepting that we are all individuals and just do not react to life events, in the same way, might give many the chance to express their feelings and thus would not get to a depressed stage. Which also means they would not need anti-depressants in the first place.

3. Can I afford to take anti-depressants?

Now, this is a tricky one I admit. Of course, there are state schemes that help you pay for your prescriptions. If you do get benefits in the UK you are usually exempt and if you suffer from conditions like diabetes or cancer you are exempt too. And there is a scheme for low income where you can get help if you do not have savings over a certain amount.

However, if you are just over the threshold with your income and your savings you might just be able to pay your bills but anything on top is not possible. As funny as it sounds for some suddenly having to deal with a bill of 8,60 for a prescription can get you into trouble. Also, you are often not able when dealing with depression to apply for exemptions. To be fair to the NHS doctors I am sure they will help you short term if that should be the case. But if you are depressed even your normal daily activities are hard to keep up so dealing with authorities and applying for something is often entirely out of the question.

“One fits all” doesn’t work in my opinion

There are many reasons why one chooses to use antidepressants. And there are many reasons why one chooses not to use antidepressants. Just because a study tells us that antidepressants actually do work does not mean they work for all.

I believe we should allow everybody to choose their unique way of dealing with depression. Neither using or not using antidepressants should lead to any sort of shaming. Because people who live with depression already feel ashamed enough for having a mental health problem. They don’t need more shame when they are actually dealing with it!

Resources:

The Lancet: Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis  

BBC News: Anti-depressants: Major study finds they work

Reuters: Study seeks to end antidepressant debate – the drugs do work

NHS: Causes of Clinical Depression

NHS England: help with health costs

NHS Low Income Scheme

FranticWorld.com: What it can do for you

The Conversation: What causes Depression, what we know, what we don’t know and suspect

So many in the West are depressed because they’re expected not to be 


This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers to prompt 22 “unique” (see end of post)


Love Is In Da Blog 2018 ~ Vulnerable ~ Prompt 23

I hope I have not confused the participants of “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” entirely with adding the next prompt after my post. Maybe I leave a link at their blogs.

 

But for now what’s on tomorrow?

 

Vulnerable

 

is the prompt word and I challenge you to create some poetry.

 

And here are the rules/suggestions on how to take part.

 

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”

  1. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. 

 


 

 

How I am going to achieve more Self-Esteem & Love Is In Da Blog Prompt 22

When I was thinking about today’s blogging prompt “Tenderness” I remembered a blog post about self-esteem that Cheryl Fassett, one of the brilliant ladies in my creative circle, wrote a couple of months ago.

 

The way you think about yourself has an impact on your self-esteem

 

It is called: “Self-talk becomes your truth” in which she explains how the way you think about yourself does have an enormous impact on your self-esteem,  on how you think about yourself and how you act. And we mostly think rather cruel and hard about ourselves which in turn brings our self-esteem down.

 

That is, even more, the case when you suffer from a mental health condition like depression and/or anxiety. One of the first signs that my mental health is spiralling down is an increase in thoughts like: “I can’t do this!”, “I am so stupid!” or “This is too much!”. These thoughts are always present in my mind one way or another because I have a problem with my self-esteem anyway, however, they get more and more when my mental health gets worse.

 

One of the reasons for my low self-esteem

 

I assume one reason for this self-esteem problem is how I dealt with my mother’s cancer illness and her death. I was 8 years old when she got cancer and she spent a lot of time in hospitals or away to rehab until she passed away when I was not even 13 years old. My child mind desperately searched for a way to heal her and then I got an idea: “If I promise God that I am a good girl and do everything the right way surely he will save her”. So I’ve done a deal with him. But we all know that these deals hardly every work. And that was the case for me too. She passed away and my whole world turned inside out and became a rather dark, hopeless and cruel place.

 

What I concluded on the day of her funeral was, that I had failed my mother, that even though I had worked tirelessly to improve myself and become a better person, it was not enough and that I better give up because there is no point in working for something anyway. And that way of thinking has stayed with me all those years. It is like a black acidic pool inside of myself. I have built many walls and thoughts of protection around it but whenever I think about my low self-esteem and where it comes from I end up at that day and those conclusions.

 

I have no idea how I managed to survive this. I have no idea how I managed to get through school, university, immigrating to the UK and life in general with this damning judgement over myself. But I have.

 

Time to let go of low self-esteem and how to achieve this

 

And now it is time to do some cleaning up inside and get rid of the acidity of this cruel self-talk. It is time for some tenderness for myself and some letting go of low self-esteem. And how will I do this?

 

Six Tools to let go of low self-esteem

 

I simply will keep on using six tools I have discovered over the years of living with low self-esteem:

 

  1. Journaling
  2. Positive Affirmations
  3. Gratitude
  4. Mindfulness
  5. Be more open with my husband
  6. Therapy

 

These have helped me already with being more tender and gentle with myself and showing myself that those negative conclusions I drew many years ago are not true. However, healing low self-esteem is a journey. Unfortunately, it is not the case that you realise what the reason is for your low self-esteem, you work on those reasons and then your self-esteem magically goes from zero to 100. If your self-esteem has been hurt early in your life or over a long time it might as well be that you work on it for the rest of your life. But we are certainly worth it, aren’t we?

 

So let’s have a closer look at the six tools I mentioned:

 

1. Journaling

 

I am a huge fan of Julia Cameron’s “The Artists Way” that encourages every one of us to discover our artistic self and give it some room in our lives. One of its tools to achieve this are the so-called “Morning Pages”. They are just another word for daily journaling in a certain way however, I have found them to be a very good tool to figure out why I feel bad and to be able to express what I feel in a safe environment. In my experience, it is often too hard to speak to someone about my doubts, fears and negative judgements about myself. But at the same time, it lets go of a lot of pressure if I find a way to say it like it is.

 

I can write in my diary: “I feel shit today and wish it all would end” and have it off my chest while if I told my husband about this he would get worried and may overreact. That certainly would make things a lot worse. There are several studies that have proven the good effect of journaling for your mental wellbeing and you can find out something more about it here.

 

2. Positive Affirmations

 

Positive Affirmations work exactly with the effect Cheryl wrote about: You become what you think about yourself.

 

To use positive affirmations you need to pinpoint your negative thought about yourself down and then change them into a positive message. For example, I would change my thought: “What I do is not enough!” into “What I do is enough!” and repeat it daily. We all know how repetition can become a habit and this new message to yourself will do its work subconsciously.

 

These work rather well in my experience, however, we do not have only one negative belief about ourself. Especially when you live with low self-esteem for a long time there are many thoughts that work together. So it will need a while to figure all of them out and work on them bit by bit. I have always felt it is better to work on just a few than all of them because the feelings coming up can overwhelm you. Find out more about positive affirmations here.

 

3. Gratitude

 

Gratitude is the practice of reminding ourselves about the good in our lives. Lauren, the other brilliant lady in my creative circle has written a post about gratitude which is called: “Gratitude Jar ~ here is how and why

 

I personally have not used a gratitude jar so far but have either written down something I am grateful for in my diary and/or give thanks to the universe in the morning and evening. When I forget doing this I know something is not quite right with my mental health. That is why I believe the gratitude jar is a good idea as the jar is a physical reminder for practising gratitude. That is why I am going to create one. Find out more about the benefits of gratitude here.

 

4. Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness is a practice that is used for hundreds of years in Buddhism. It basically means to realise that your thoughts and feelings are something you experience not something you are. And that those change continuously. Mindfulness uses different ways of training you to accept your thoughts and feelings as something changing and to keep your focus on your being not on your thougths and feelings. 

 

As I wrote in “Joy – Mental Health Diary ~ ABC of Love 11 ~ Love Is In Da Blog 2018” my doctor has given me the book “Mindfulness a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world”  that explains Mindfulness from a scientific point of view and teaches you how to use it. I am just finishing my week one tasks and do feel it makes a difference. However, I will write about it in another post.

 

5. Being more open with my husband

 

In point one, I wrote that it is sometimes rather hard to talk about my feelings because I am worried I make things worse. But I have started to talk more about my low self-esteem with my husband. He feels the same in many ways but often has a different point on how to deal with these feelings. It gives my self-esteem a boost that I am not the only one who feels like that. And I hope it has the same effect for him.

 

6. Therapy

 

The five previous tools I mentioned are more a part of my self-help regime. Something I can do every day to improve my self-esteem. Low self-esteem is not considered a mental health condition however, both are closely linked and that is why you often work on your self-esteem in therapy.

 

Even though I am aware of some that cause my low self-esteem and am working with tools to heal from it I do feel that I need professional input too. I feel I have come to a point where I can’t get any further only with self-help. There seem to be points that I am not aware of that cause me great problems and an outside professional view will be beneficial to get over these points. I have self-referred to the Wellbeing Service and am waiting for my assessment over the phone in March.

 

With these six tools, my self-esteem will be on the rise

 

Just writing about these five tools to raise self-esteem make me realise that I am not doing as bad as my twelve-year-old self still thinks. My self-talk has already changed that little bit towards: “I can do it after all!” and that is the goal I am working for. But there is still some way to go to eradicate that black, acidic pool inside of myself fully. But I am on a good way to get there!

Do you live with low self-esteem and how do you deal with it? Please let me know in the comments.


Resources:

Catching Fireflies: Self-Talk Becomes Your Truth

A Gentlewoman and Scholar: The Gratitude Jar – Here’s How and Why

Mind: How to improve your self-esteem

Lifehacker: Why You Should Keep a Journal (and How to Start Yours)

Psychology Today: Do Self-Affirmations Work? A Revisit

MindBodyGreen: 14 Creative Ways to Practice Gratitude

Norfolk & Waveny Wellbeing Service: Self-help

 


This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers to the prompt “Tenderness”. I had challenged ourselves to use a photo as a medium, however, we are all free to use the prompt in the way we want. No photo for me in this case.


NEW Blogging Prompt ~ Unique ~ Love Is In Da Blog 2018

I hope I do not confuse you with connecting tomorrows prompt with today’s post. However, I want to try out different formats for my posts and different posting times and so I hope you can bear with me.

 

So what’s on the Alphabet for tomorrow?

 

Unique

 

And the medium challenge I set you is to use or make a drawing.

 

And here are the rules/suggestions to take part:

 

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”

If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. 

 

Now go, create and have lots of fun!


 

 

NEW Blogging Prompt ~ Tenderness ~ Love Is In Da Blog 2018

Ah, let’s go from the hot stuff to some more gentle paces 🙂 .

I’ll make it short because … well … we want some time to create our new posts, don’t we?

Tomorrows prompt is

Tenderness

and I challenge you to incorporate a photo 🙂

Now go, create and have some fun!

and don’t forget the

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”
  5. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. 

LoveBlogprompt21


 

Fellow Bloggers write about “Tenderness”:

La petite revue de Claire: Tenderness Candle: travel in India

Wildflower Women: Tenderness of Self

 

 

 

Spicy ~ ABC of Love ~ Love Is In Da Blog 2018

“Spicy” is definitely an interesting prompt for a love-infused blog event in February. Lee over at LadyLeeManila let us have a peek into her husband’s chilli growing and cooking (please go and check out her post) which inspired me to find a Video about cooking. And sure enough, I found one on the TEDx Talks.

I’ve never heard of Fantuzzi before but he seems a creative guy with an inspiring way of teaching people something. He considers “love” a secret spice for cooking so that talk fits perfectly. Of course, I could tell a couple of stories how I made the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world a cheese sandwich with love and chilli and how mysteriously I forgot that I had handled the hot stuff and rubbed my eyes. Outch!

Let’s not go there 🙂 let’s meet Fantuzzi in Vilnius and find out what he is cooking up!

 


This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers to the prompt “spicy


 

Fellow Bloggers wrote about “spicy”:

Cooking is my sport: Spicy Chocolate Gingerbread

With Colours and Canito in the Kitchen: Spicy Hungarian rice salad

 


 

 

 

NEW Blogging Prompt ~ Spicy ~ ABC of Love

I know I am repeating myself but it is so amazing what a variety of posts the ABC of Love prompts have created so far. Please check them out in the comments of the posts here if you haven’t done so so far. Thanks 🙂

We’ve explored our passions, had questions and got a little physical last week so what are we discovering in the last couple of days of “Love Is In Da Blog 2018”? Well, I thought I might add some prompts that also suggest a medium to do the prompt in for this week. As usual you can but you do not need to follow this suggestion, however, it might add some interesting new ideas to your blogging.

But what will Tuesday’s prompt word be?

 

Spicy

 

is the word and I want you to use a YouTube video with it. You can add a video to your post, link to a video, make a video or just rant about the Spice Girls on YouTube. Get wild. Get creative. Let your idea’s guide you to a post that inspires you and your creativity 🙂

 

And here are the usual rules/suggestions to take part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018”

 

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”
  5. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. 

 


 

Fellow Bloggers wrote about “spicy”:

 

Words and Herbs: In A Vase on Monday: warm and spicy

Koolkosherkitchen: Listen to your Wife! Herbed and spicy not butter