Compassionate letter #5.

Hello friend.

It’s time for you to stop and breathe.

You’ve got a lot going on, a wedding to plan, a full time job to do, friendships to juggle.

Take a step back and realise you’ve got it all under control.

You’ve made massive progress planning the wedding today, and if you’re completely honest with yourself it’s been really well planned the whole way though, you’ve made sure of it.

Work is what it is, you need a job and although it’s busy and stressful, you are good at it, so have faith and soldier on.

You’re friends don’t require your constant attention and they are there to support you too. They love you and would do anything to ensure you are happy and healthy.

Take a step back.

Breathe.

Focus on the positives.

You are doing well.

Everyone has set backs, you can work through this.

Stay strong my friend.

With love always,

Your compassionate friend. 

Compassionate letter #5.

#lovemechallenge 

Day 3.

A word that describes me.

The best one I’ve got is unpredictable. 

I am quite spontaneous so people don’t know what I am going to do next.

My behaviour can change from one week to the next.

I go through cycles of being in a really good routine and then completely losing it.

My emotions are all over the place a lot of the time.

So there we go, unpredictable. 

#lovemechallenge 

Compassionate letter #4

Hello old friend,

How are you doing?

How is your sister?

She will get better you know, I promise you she will.

I know you are worried about her but you can’t let it rule your life. You need to remain healthy if you are to be of any use to her.

Look after yourself and then you can help to look after her, and the rest of your family. Supporting your mum and dad at what is a challenging time.

Don’t do too much though. It isn’t your responsibility to look after everyone, as much as you think it is. They just need your support, you don’t need to do every little thing for them, they are adults too.

Make time to do what you enjoy and have a break from all the worrying.

It takes time to recover, you of all people know that, given the journey you have been on yourself.

Have patience and good things will come, she will get better, and she will thank you for any support you gave her, she will understand that you couldn’t be there every day, and she will appreciate that you did what you needed to in order for you to remain healthy too.

Don’t be hard on yourself, I know it’s difficult to see someone suffering when you can’t do anything to help them but other people had to do the same when you were ill and you don’t feel resentment towards them for not finding a magic cure, so she won’t feel that towards you. 

You are doing all you can.

Stay strong and look after yourself and everyone else will follow.

With love,

Your compassionate friend. 

Compassionate letter #4

The importance of breathing.

Breathing is important, we all know that, you have to breathe to survive.

It goes deeper than that though, everyone breathes but focusing on your breathing can do so much for you.

I’ve done a couple of yoga sessions and already I can see the effect that focusing on breathing has on me.

Today it made me feel so relaxed that I could have fallen asleep.

It completely calms me down and rids me of my worries and bad thoughts. It connects me to my inner self and is has a really positive impact on me.

Today one of the exercises we worked on was breathing in for 4 and out for 6 or more. It doesn’t come naturally and it took me a bit of work but once I managed it I was just completely focused on my breath and nothing else.

Breathing is good for your mind, it’s a good distraction, and we all need to do it.

How useful would it be to just utilise a tool we already have?

I would highly recommend yoga to anyone.

The importance of breathing.

Sharing my story 

Writing really helps me.

It allows me to get my emotions and feelings out in a safe way.

I may not be very good and it and it may not make perfect sense or mean anything to other people but I find it therapeutic. 

My therapist recommended it to me, she said I had a good story to tell, and I will tell it, in another post sometime, I will write about my childhood and what I believe led me down the path which I took which has led me to be where I am today.

When I am writing sometimes I lose track of what I am saying, my words all mix into one, I get jumbled and my mind races ahead of the words that I am writing.

I have so much to say and I can’t type as fast as I can think of it.

My teachers always said that was my trouble, my mind worked too quickly and I missed off the ends of words when I was writing stories because my mind was racing ahead too fast for my hand to keep up.

So as much as I think my writing can be a bit of a mess and it may not make much sense to other people I will continue to write.

I find it helpful and maybe it will mean something to someone else.

Sharing your story can really help, both you and the people who are reading it.

I hope that someone reading this will be able to make sense of my words and the meaning behind them.

Find something that works for you and utilise it.

For me, for now, that is writing to share my story with others.

Here’s to many more posts.

Sharing my story 

Compassionate letter #3

So the basis behind this letter is that my sister is in hospital and has been since before Christmas, when she was first in I saw her nearly every day and even had time off work to go and visit her, since then I found my own mental health was suffering as a result of the pressures of visiting someone that is so unwell (she had a physical illness but it has now manifested into a mental illness where she is very out of touch with the world and what is really happening).

For over a week now I have not seen her and although I felt immense guilt at first, people around me have encouraged me to take a step back and focus on myself because she is so unwell she isn’t even fully aware that I am actually there.

However, yesterday someone told me that I should be visiting her because she is my sister so I owe her that, now my feelings of guilt have returned so this letter aims to challenge the guilt I am once again feeling.

Dear Friend,

You have no reason to feel guilty, you were there right at the beginning and took on a lot of the pressure of the situation. You did things that should have been the responsibility of your parents, but you took on that role. You were there for her, supporting her, managing to get her to eat and take her tablets when she wouldn’t for anyone else.

Then you started to suffer, your mental health started to go downhill and you must put yourself first. You can’t care for someone if you aren’t caring for yourself first. You have seen the quote that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and it’s true, you need to be well and healthy to fully help her recover.

You have done so much for all of your family over the years and they appreciate everything that you have done, and you should know that they don’t expect it of you, it is you yourself that puts unnecessary pressure onto yourself.

Most of the people around you agree that you are doing the right thing in taking a break from the situation and becoming less involved

Don’t let the words of one person ruin all the progress that you have made.

I promise you, you have nothing to feel guilty for.

With love,

Your compassionate friend.

Compassionate letter #3

Self compassion

Having compassion for yourself is incredibly important, you should treat yourself the way you would treat other people and your inner dialogue should give you the support that you would extend to other people in hard times.

I lack self compassion.

Nothing I do is ever good enough in my mind and I take on the blame for many things outside of my control.

My parent’s divorce, my fault. My own downward spiral, my fault. My ex cheating on me, my fault. My sister getting poorly, my fault.

But it’s not really my fault, in fact not even close. My nurse told me that if I really had the power to control these things then I would be some kind of higher being with incredible power, and clearly I am not.

My therapist has been working with me on self compassion, she has helped me create an imaginary figure that provides a compassionate voice in my head – my compassionate friend.

I had to imagine someone with all the qualities you would want in a caring and compassionate friend. The image that came to my mind was the big blue monster from monsters inc. Big and caring and soft and friendly. Someone I can rely on to care for me when I really need it.

She told me that when I’m in a situation where I need a supportive inner dialogue that I should turn to my compassionate friend; close my eyes, go to my safe place and call upon my big blue monster.

I am also encouraged to write myself letters from my compassionate friend to help me deal with my anxieties. When something goes wrong and my anxiety takes over I need to take a break, give myself some space, grab a pen and paper and let my compassionate friend answer my questions in the way I would answer them if I was on the outside of the situation.

So I am going to use this blog to write my letters from my compassionate friend.

A place where I can save them for myself to read them over again, and a place to share them for other people to see that it’s ok to have a bit of compassion for yourself.

It’s ok to struggle and it’s ok to feel down and anxious, this is normal; but it’s also normal to look after yourself and your mental health and to talk yourself through your feelings and come to a conclusion that is detrimental to yourself.

Self compassion