Category Archives: Family

Why am I so important?

That sounds like a big ego statement, but I promise you it’s not. In recent months I’ve been trying to figure out who I am and what I want, what I want for the next 26ish years before I may or may not retire. After recently discovering (good thing or bad, I’m still not sure) that my vitamin D deficiency will be an ongoing thing for the next 6 months at least and has been at least half of what it should be, I’ve realised I haven’t been well and definitely not myself, whoever that maybe.

At my last Doctor’s appointment with the review of the vitamin D, I told him about my forgetting and how things have improved, and the only way I could describe it is, the feeling of waking up, that I have walked,stepped out of a fog. In some cases I’m seeing what others do in me, the success of LBCPuffins and then in others I still wonder what the fuss is about.

Tomorrow I’m back at work after 5 days and I’ve got that back to school feeling you get after a week off. Simply because I’m wondering if I’m still good enough. I feel so much better, I’ve had catch-up’s with people, read books, walked dogs, topped up my vitamin D with natural sunlight, cried at Billy Elliot, food shopped and cooked from scratch. I now have a freezer full of meals and a cupboard full of essentials. My kitchen has never looked so healthy. However I still managed to put the coffee in the fridge. We can’t all be perfect :p

That’s the first sign that things of changed. The fact that there are no ready meals in the freezer, only home cooked food. The only junk food if it’s classed as that is some pack of biscuits and fizzy pop. Talking about signs on Friday and Saturday I watched some films, mainly cartoon ones, Inside Out, The Princess and the frog,  and hop, along with catching up on the tv series Sleepy Hollow where Ichabod Crane awakes in a different time, or something like that. Anyway in all these viewings, it’s about finding who we are and our places in the world.  This is true for me. Trying to look after number 1 for once and focusing on me, has been quite tricky, proven yesterday when I tried to have some me-time.

Me-time you say? but you live on your own. Yes I know that but when you’re at work and may feel lonely even when  surrounded by people, and yes that’s possible, and yes spending time with friends and family is amazing, it’s great to have company, sometimes we need that time when the house is quiet and you’re focusing on you. Now sometimes I can’t stand the quiet and yesterday after returning from a friend’s I went straight out again for a walk. This happens on occasion, I can’t stand being in the house after being surrounded by people, and if I can’t get out I clean the house or play lots of music or find a distraction. What I find funny about this is I seem to never wash-up and avoid it like the plague when I should really do it  every night.

The thing is, I really, really don’t know what I want, except a year out, a year away from retail and to recover, rediscover and enjoy the sun, even though I was so scared when my good friend said she wanted to move away I felt so selfish and didn’t encourage her, I think we all need to find what’s best for us and do it. I can’t take a year out, not yet, what I need to do is refocus and work out what I can do around work. How I can spend my free time, besides my beautiful book clubs, I need to reopen project Helen and discover the art of healing, forgiving and discovering who I truly am, not Helen the daughter, the second-mother (to my sister), the sister, the friend, but Helen the awesome, amazing person everyone keeps telling me. As I can’t see what they do, and I think it’s about time I did.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress but for now I best go and iron my uniform.

Thank you for reading





Hopefully my sister will show this to my Mum.


Thank you Mum for being my Mum. For knowing when I was trying to be strong, from knowing when I was struggling, for knowing what I could do.

Thank you for being patient, thank you for seeing through my stubbornness.

Thank you for teaching us to draw, to be creative and most of all to read. To be kind. To be helpful. Thank you for being the foundations of our family.

You are the strongest. Bravest, most patient person I know and I know I don’t tell you enough or show how much you mean to me.


I love you mum. Hope you have. A great day. X

2015 in review

I haven’t ‘blogged’ much this year, partly due to lack of time and partly due to paranoia because I feel I’ve not been thinking straight. The human mind is such a powerful thing. It can make you function without thinking; it can be your friend or your worst enemy. In the last few months it has felt like a constant battle with a bully.

My memory is temperamental, made worse by stress, and even more so when I think people are playing tricks on me. When I believe that they told me something only for them to deny. Or if I tell someone something, and then the story changes. I keep asking myself is it in my head? Or is this person trying to shift blame? I got into the mentality with some people like I did with my Dad, when he used to be in a mood, I would meet up with people and they have that look (I have it apparently) and warning bells go off and I sense bad mood or negativity, and somehow I repel negativity now, it’s like a bat sense. It just drives me up the wall.

One person told me I started acting strange and then said it was menopause, apparently in a joking manner but, I was so worried it could be serious and it would be my look it was and I would never be able to have children. Not much chance of that at the moment as I really don’t want to be in a relationship right now. Sorting out yourself and taking on another’s emotion is a big no at the moment.

 ‘Dear depression, I love you lots, we’ve been through a lot and you’ve taught me a lot but boy do you mess with my memory. Just found tea in fridge all ready to heat up. You don’t know how delighted I was. One less job to do. love Helen x’

It turns out it wasn’t the depression causing an issue but a vitamin D deficiency – aka a lack of sunlight. I had gone to the Doctor stating what was said above and also asked not to be sectioned as I felt inside I was going slightly loopy to put it blunt. Nothing was good for anyone and I just felt exhausted. To top it off all this started or appeared to start when I stopped eating ready meals and started cooking with fresh foods, it was like my body hated the healthy change. I was completely confused by the change and how low I felt. On top of this the change of weather and low blood pressure just made things worse.

Although everything has appeared to be a struggle this year, especially trying to explain myself, but it only being seen as excuses or whinging, or because people don’t understand it as they don’t have any of these issues. They have their own problems and don’t see why you can’t handle simple everyday tasks like them as it comes natural to them.

My main issue at the moment is paranoia it’s sprung up from nowhere and I’ve ended up with the bachs calms spray again. But as the Doctor said ‘I’m ONLY HUMAN’ and life can be difficult and sometimes it just throws things at you and we need a bit of help.

I hate blood tests but this time I was lucky with the nurse, and not much pain or bruising and the results came back with the all clear for diabetes and any other major issues that could have been the cause, and a simple thing of a vitamin deficiency

‘adults with low vitamin D levels – and that accounts for most of them – may lose their memories and thinking abilities faster than those with normal vitamin D levels

Low vitamin D levels were also associated with significantly more difficulty with remembering general information (semantic memory), seeing the relationship between objects (visuospatial ability) and managing overall thinking processes (executive function).’

At least now I know it’s not linked to stress or age or depression and hopefully in 3 months time we can see a huge improvement and maybe just maybe I’ll be able to remember what happened in a book or I’ll remember why I went into a room, and perhaps I might come out in a town. It’s also a good kick up the backside to get back into running, something I have really missed.

On the plus side for 2015, work is bigger and better. I’ve also learned some new life skills thanks to my friend Kirsty, by being a guinea pig for her course. I can’t thank her enough for her support and all I need to really do now is to put them into practice along with looking over the notes from CBT again and just spend some time practising and working on the vision board and making things happen.

I had my haircut in July/August, I had it cut really short, partly because I needed a change, a massive change, a way to let go of the past, I felt the hiar was so thick it was blocking my view and blocking people seeing me, and I made the right move, I love my new hair, it’s taken a while to get used to how short it is, but it’s the best thing I ever did, and by an amazing hair dresser, after so many years of not getting it right, it’s finally perfect.

The other reason, to get it cut, was that I was constantly asked if I was related to my colleague. it’s really silly I know, but in my head I’ve been struggling with so much that the only way to escape from it was to make a change. To me I am not anyone else, I’m Helen. I’ve tried to not be like my Dad, I’ve tried to do the best I can, yet I’ve always been the one in the shadows, even growing up, and when I try to be me, or try to stand out I’m being constantly compared to others. I just want people to stop. I also want people to communicate properly and to stop getting frustrated because I don’t do things their way or belittle me because ‘I’m different’

Book club is getting bigger and better, when I was just getting a bit worried everything was falling apart the one constant thing apart from friends and family has been book club, granted I’ve struggled to read the books, not because they were bad, mind you one was terrible, but because I couldn’t concentrate or I would read a large chunk of it and not take it in. I would like to thank all the book clubbers who came and who supported the groups and also to Niamh for her little book club.

To all the little people. The ones under 10, who made me feel amazing when I was around. Like my friend’s little girl Kate who has grown so much over the year, and has me in fits of giggles. I love you all.

And to my little sister who calls me at silly-o’clock and changes my accent for the day.

And finally to my Mum. Who has been my biggest supporter. I can’t wait to see you at Christmas and have your amazing food.

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

To end, if there are any spelling mistakes in my writing it’s because wp took out spellcheck, or have hidden it well.

One final note, I hope you all have a good Christmas and a great new year and thank you for reading my blog.


‘Oh, I’ll get by with a little help from my friends’

It’s midweek and my day off.  A friend told me last week she had a job interview and immediately I decided to help her and make sure she had everything she needed. After last years job swapping I realised I could help. I also got another friend involved and although I got the plans mixed up, everything worked out a treat. I rearranged my office early this morning, had made endless cups of coffee and then we went off for lunch as I forgot to go and get it :).

At the weekend I went up to Hyde Park to volunteer and part of me was worried what to say after not being there for so long and whether I would fail at the task given. I didn’t and in the end I got talking to new runners who weren’t sure how park run went and got thanked later, saying they were so nervous but found everyone including me very friendly and helpful. I realised halfway through token giving that it wasn’t about me at all, it was about the event and making it possible for others do what they needed. Same with book club and world book night.

In a months time it will be 5 years of living alone and being single (on and off). It’s been in the back of mind for ages and wondering what would happen and whether I could face another year. I can and I don’t need to worry. I am in such a better place than last year and the year I moved in. Granted, I still have a lot of work to do, and yes some people find it too long to be single, but it suits me. At this moment, as much as I wanted to get married from a young age, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not a necessity anymore, it was always about the dress and the party and I can do that anytime. I realise that now. Plus I need this time to grow. Really grow, I feel I’ve been missing for a long time and life is so busy and there’s so much I want to do that I need Hermione Granger’s  time turner.

To start the process I had a haircut. For someone who is not keen on change I decided that my hair was the one thing weighing me down and causing an issue. Nearly always in a pony tale at work, rarely does it last long being down, I decided there was no point just getting a trim. I told no one incase it couldn’t be done or I decided not to do it. But I did and I love it. It’s almost made me invisible (just like when I was young) and the amount of questions about why, and comments of ‘that’s a bit drastic!’ has been phenomenal. My sister thought I had gone on an app and sent a picture but no, I had a hair cut, that’s all.

The next stage will be to clear as much clutter from my life and continue working on my CBT so by 2016 all will have changed again and for the better. I’ve already put the picture frames back up after taking them down last year so if I can do that I can do anything. And I know I can ask for help if I need it.

I did not know its history until now but we used to sing this at junior school as part of our hymns …“>

Thank you for reading


‘and asks me the question dreaded by all Singletons. So… how’s your love life?’

The line from one of my favourite films. As I realised that it is only 4 years and 4 months away from my 40th Birthday and I am not where i expected to be, I realise that I don’t need to keep punishing myself. As someone pointed out the other day it is my choice to be single. And it’s true. The reason? I just don’t want to be hurt again.

Recently i have felt like I am just waking up. Waking up to a person who still have struggles, who holds down a job, runs a house, try to have a social life, runs a book club, and last of all tries to be a good Daughter and Sister and friend to the ones I love most.

Instead in some peoples eyes (and yes I should stop listening to what others say and think) I haven’t yet made it. Why? because I haven’t dated in such a long time. All my other achievements are insignificant.

I would like a family, but at the moment, I don’t need anyone else in my life and I feel someone would become dependant on me and it wouldn’t be children. I think taking on other people’s emotions and needs is such a big job these days that the romantic nature of Elizabeth and Darcy will always be a dream. But that’s how I feel. I also believe I have so much work to do on myself, hence project Helen, that I love this time I have to myself and I want to make the most of it. What I would love most is finding the time and money to go up home more regularly and see my Mum and Sister. I just seem to have fallen into some bad habits lately and need to get back to prioritising.

Currently on FB you can see what you did a year ago, and that was working in the coffee shop, I also saw a post where I planning what I was doing this year. Oh how things change. So perhaps it’s time to plan the next 4 years and 4 months and make the most of the rest of my 30’s. I you have any ideas let me know.

In the meantime some pieces from articles found on the web.

‘Don’t feel like a failure; seize the opportunity to find yourself instead. “When you’re in a relationship it’s very hard to see yourself clearly because you’re constantly in response to your partner,” says d’Felice. Whereas when you’re single, you can take stock, learn from your mistakes and work out what you want for the future. “Particularly for women who have been conditioned to be givers rather than takers,” she adds, it’s an opportunity to put ourselves first. “This is not an act of selfishness,” she says. “It’s a very important act of selfhood.”‘ from an article here

an article on fictional singletons here

choices here

Thank you for reading


Can I just say….

To all those people who I seem to be annoying lately because…..

  • I haven’t time to meet up
  • I’m still single and not in a relationship as most want
  • I don’t have kids
  • I’m skint
  • I may be a bit odd
  • I have a terrible memory
  • I can get tired quickly on occasions due to developing low blood pressure
  • I have a full time job
  • that i can talk utter gibberish or worry about the stupidest of things
  • I get really nervous about things when i’ve done them for years

That I’m really sorry. The reality is, I am single, more so now by choice as I can’t risk being hurt again, not at this present time.

That yes I have regrets of not being married now and having two children and a lovely house.

That I work full time as I have to pay ALL the bills and keep a roof over my head, therefore some weeks I’m flat broke and yet I still manage to go to book club and get enough money for a drink, but that to me is a necessity where possible.

That after an 8.5 hour shift, i just want to come home to peace and quiet and yes I may surf the web or read a book but that’s my time.

I live on my own and when I do get company I probably do monopolise it because I haven’t had chance to talk to someone but I hope they don’t mind, Some now accept me others use distractions

I am me, I’m starting to learn who that is, one is that I think I’ve had depression for longer than I think and in recent months i’m beginning to realise who I am and what I can and can’t do. One thing seems to be annoying people as they don’t know what is going on and don’t understand how difficult I find things sometimes.

So once again, I’m sorry for being me, sorry for trying to make time for me and not everyone else and I hope you all forgive me.

Thank you for reading.


Be aware of what you can and can’t do

Damn, that was a long-ass journey!

-Homer’s Odyssey

I’ve been sat here for 20 mins wondering how to start this post. I haven’t been on my phone or social networks until now and its been fab. instead I have been sat on the doorstep reading a book in the sunshine.  For some bizarre reason I didn’t put any socks or shoes on and spent the day wandering around the house and garden/yard in my bare feet. I did some washing, reorganised the ‘office’ and carted a office chair up the stairs. and now I’m pondering what to do.

This week I realised I had taken on too much over the last month or so, I forget how tough work can be and to take on other projects on as well took its toll this week, and on Thursday I became allergic to something, and still not sure what. I came out in a lovely red rash, which slowly disappeared to leave incredible itching all over my body making it painful for people to touch me. After a last minute doctor’s a appointment I was given piriton. hoorah! itching slowly subsiding after two days, but body is covered in red blotches, perhaps caused by scratching in my  sleep.

Today I woke up after a 12 hour sleep and still feel tired now. I even had a migraine yesterday, and not had one in years. so that was another signal to slow down. Why I got so worked up could just be from things breaking down and past experiences raising their ugly head when they had no right to be there. Not everything is my fault. That should be my mantra,  it really should.

So today the itching has died down, I’ve just felt extremely tired. I have sat outside most the day reading about happiness and nearly finished the book. I normally can’t do this. it normally takes me weeks as I can’t concentrate, but perhaps the sunshine and drinking lots of water have helped.

I’ve also realised, since last week what else I can achieve without thinking about it. Last week I went to Ikea to get another table and a chair so that I could expand the office and hopefully become more creative. I was even lucky to get another black table when Ikea said it only stocked white. A bonus.

After a trip to Scarborough later on I found myself at home alone and feeling really lonely I decided to tackle putting the chair and table together. After an hour, and a few choice words both were complete. And a week on they are still standing. However I now have 3 chairs, as an office chair was given to me on loan today. From nothing to this. It’s better than I could have imagined. I just need to clear the 12 bags and boxes sat behind me, reduced so much in the past month and we are onto a winner.

So lessons learned this week:

  • Stop getting stressed over little things
  • You can do something even when you think you can’t or it might fail soon afterwards
  • Look after no1
  • sleep/rest more
  • read more!
  • get rid of old crap that is just sitting there. let it go!
  • Forget what others think of you
  • And you’re never too old to be told off by your Mum

Thank you for reading