Thursday, 5 July 2007


I am sure that for those of you who are following my journey of self discovery in the Orange Man Blog, it may appear that I am someone who has had more than their fair share of knocks. So you may therefore find it hard to believe that until recently I wasn’t someone who ‘got down’ very often.

Over the years I have always been a positive person, one of the ‘half full’ rather than ‘half empty’ brigade and some might even say an eternal optimist. Maybe it has just been my finely tuned survival instinct however I have always been one to see the good in things and people and always believed that things happen for a reason.

Anyway, since I have had more dark times lately I have had to find coping strategies and so I list below my 5:-

1 Count my blessings and think of people who are less fortunate than myself.

This is why I love Cait O’Connor’s blog so much and I always count my blessings. Whatever tough time I got from my Nan’s domineering and controlling character, she took me in and brought me up rather than letting me go into a children’s home. My life would have been very different.

It is never hard to think of someone you know, or who is in the news who is worse off than you.
For example with my illness, I occasionally have periods of prolonged pain and that tends to wear me down. I try to be grateful and give small blessings because at least I can still walk. And at least I won’t die from it; At least I am fortunate enough to not work now and so (in theory) I should be able to live my life at a steady pace; At least it is not one of my children suffering...

2 Busy myself.
This in more recent years has proved my salvation, particularly through my business. I use DISTRACTION to maximum effect! I busy myself and my head so much that I don’t allow myself to dwell on negative things. I am by nature the mistress of overthinking! So it has also proved a useful strategy and worked well for me for resting my brain and allowing me time to heal.

3 Take some time out and be kind to myself.
It has taken me nearly 40 years and I still have some was to go to perfect the true art of relaxation. But if I am feeling a little fragile I can now sometimes allow myself the luxury/permission to ‘chill out’ read a book, do my nails, have a massage, eat junk food, indulge myself in whatever I feel like doing.
And it also still never fails to make me smile and feel like a naughty girl for being so rebellious, daring to sit at the PC or read or something 'self indulgent' when there are chores to be done! I still have a way to go with this, but I am getting there...

4 Surround myself with the people I love.
My 'bestest' friends are usually just the tonic! I have a close circle of 5-6 main ones and they all give me something different; one gives me ‘tea and sympathy,’ one is really practical and rational and provides welcome advice to my emotional thinking; one is mature and wise and calming; one is a riot and makes me laugh; and the other is so self consumed and talks about herself all the time it helps me forget my problems!
Also having fun with the boys or a bottle of wine by the chiminea with my husband is good too.

5 If all else fails...Music....

Mean and moody Gorecki or relaxing Ludovico Einaudi, or housework to Take That!. I can sometimes sing myself out of the doldrums! Or occasionally if I am very blue I will allow myself to wallow until I hit the bottom. Eventually there comes a point when you hit the bottom and the only way to go is up...I have to do that to myself sometimes-think about something SO much that I sicken myself of it!! Then I can shout inside my head “STTOPPPP!” I have found that I can block the negative thoughts from my mind then whenever they creep in by distracting myself and thinking of something different.

Thanks for tagging me Annak-I am very conscious that so many people are already supporting me with The Orange Man Blog and I didn’t want them to get ‘fed up’ of me always blogging/being on the site! However this blog has also 'cheered me' to see that at least, of late, I have discovered some ‘pick me ups’ and coping strategies that DO WORK FOR ME....

So until another day

Bye for now


Crystal Jigsaw said...

There are many things that help you cope. You've had a lot to contend with and I think you seem to have done a pretty good job!

Crystal xx

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Aha I see you didn't include taking a sledge hammer to a piddling poodle then? Can't understand how you didn't ...that would have been a good one in a list wouldn't it?

Faith said...

I always like to read how other people cope - especially someone as strong as you.

Un Peu Loufoque said...

I knew you would have some really good ones!

Un Peu Loufoque said...

I knew you would have some really good ones!

Elizabethd said...

Very thoughtful. There is usually a way out of the blues.

FunkyMunky said...

I have noticed over the years that the positive, happy-go-lucky people tend to be the ones who have had the most hardships & heartbreak in their lives. It's usually the people who've never felt real pain or anguish who complain the loudest.
I am so pleased you have found some good ways to cope with all that life has thrown at you.

Frances said...

What a wise young woman you are. Not everyone learns from experiences, or develops ways to go positively into the future.
I would like to celebrate your spirit!

@themill said...

Needless to say I walk on the most beautiful beach in the world. It rarely fails.

Kathleen said...

I tend to do the same kinds of things - recounting that which I am grateful for, going home to visit family and/or writing and calling home, going walking and getting busy with the knitting stuff, treating myself to a really good meal and a nice glass of wine, and cranking up my favorite music.

Happily, I don't get down on myself too much, or feel badly now that I have liberated myself from the controlling people in my life. But I still find reason to count my blessings.

annakarenin said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you I haven't had much time to read blogs recently. It is funny I was thinking of tagging Cait but she does it with every blog with her blessings s, so I didn't.

I think I am the opposite to you and I could relax for Britain. However it means that when I do get down I find it very hard to get myself going.

It always amazes me what a strong person you are.

patsy said...

I completely empathise with you regarding the small but perfect coterie of friends. Moving around as I have, they are all over the place in the US and different parts of the UK but each is greatly valued for the varied insight they bring!
And I'm obviously not the only one with a moaning minnie friend (from the US)who never fails to make my problems seem so much less then hers.