Sunday, 30 December 2012

What a year! Part 2

I started my round of What of a year! Part 1 but only got half way through before I felt we needed a comfort break!
To recap we are half way through 2012, my mood has lifted, I am back at work, I've started a blog & I've been married a whole year, okay?

I went looking for a car & ended up buying one! That was one expensive window shopping trip.  Of course New Car Equals Road Trip.
New car smell & banging tunes - great combo!


I am settling in well at work, getting used to the office & patients again when I get a bout of toothache.  This is the kinda pain that stops you in your tracks.  I bite the bullet & decide I have to see a dentist, not an easy decision when you have Dentophobia.  I manage to pluck up the courage & they some how talk me into coming back - cue my Reoccurring Dental Nightmare! I have to say though I am very proud of myself for finally facing my fear & getting my oral health back on track.  I have a few more sessions before I am classed as 'dentally fit' (yes, apparently that is a term in the industry) but I am well on my way to a celebrity worth smile.

My birthday month.  Another year older. My work colleagues really pushed out the boat & made me Cola Cupcakes!! I have a bit of a diet coke addiction, something I am hoping may be part of my new years resolutions, if I make any!
They were delicious!!
Ahhh my first holiday of the year & I crank up my knitting again.  

My first Brown family holiday! My first time travelling as Mrs Brown! Just before we go on holiday we accept an offer on the flat - We are Under Offer!! & we are now on the move.

My second holiday of the year! Another first, this time my first time flying business class.  I think it suits me!!  Also my first time in Turkey & my first time on going out with Mr Brown for business with his colleagues.  A lovely break but I did bring along a bit of anxiety on holiday.

Then my proudest achievement of 2012 - my Glass & Fire Walk for Charity.  Enough said! Just goes to show I can do anything I put my mind too!

We are getting there I promise!!

A milestone - I have been back to work following long term sickness with depression & anxiety for 6 months.  I am proud of myself & how I am Dealing with my depression.

I wrote a guest blog post for Black Dog Tribe - Loving Someone with Depression.

We have a new house & move in 14 days!!

And some how I managed to squeeze in another holiday before Christmas in Prague!

So as I wave a fond farewell to 2012 - I say "What a Year!"

Bring on 2013!

What did you do in 2012? What does 2013 hold for you?

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Friday, 28 December 2012

T.G.I Friday!!

Thank God It's Friday!

Friday means no work.  Today it means getting back to some sort of normality following crazy christmas.

The aim of the the day is :

Feel Good Friday

So after dragging myself back to work yesterday I booked a pamper session in Sanctuary.  Mr Brown treated me to a lovely facial.  This is no ordinary facial this is so much more.  I get along side my facial, a head massage, a lovely scrub, a hydrating mask AND a neck & shoulder massage! It is an hour of pure bliss from which I emerge with 'bed head' & glowing skin.
I haven't been for ages for any treatments so my skin was badly needing this treat!

As I opened the front door I was greeted with the smell of baking bread, mmmmm.  Our new bread maker is in full swing & looking to be a firm favourite for feeling good.  Today we have an Oatilicious bread to have with my Scottish winter warmer 'Stovies'.
The best part of getting a new house for me is being able to decorate the way I want! So a afternoon perusing the sofas, furniture & paint gave me loads of feel good vibes & ideas for our new home

What do you do to feel good?
How did you spend your Friday?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Monday, 24 December 2012

Little Letters, Dear Santa

Christmas Eve is upon us & for once I am feeling rather organised.  So I've been hop, hop, hopping around some beautiful blogs when I came across a feature called Little Letters.  A link up feature where people can write a little letter to any one or any thing!! 

I haven't written to Santa yet so he was the first person to spring to mind.  So here goes a Little Letter post & my first wee linky up (oooh I feel proud!)

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year, I think!  I have done a lot of learning, I have enjoyed a wonderful year with my hubby & doggy & I am feeling much better in my mood.  I went back to work part time, & I think I am coping just fine.

I know I'm a bit late any requests but that's lucky as I feel already blessed this year.  So my only wish would be for a happy & healthy new year.

Oh & anything you could do to make sure we have a smooth house move on the 11th of January would be gratefully appreciated!

Hope your feeling as organised as me Santa, 
Safe Journey when you are out & about tonight,

Love Mrs Brown xx

I've thought of a few more little letters I would like to add:

Dear Mr Brown - you are amazing.
Dear Brown family - I love you lots & so happy to be part of a caring bunch.
Dear family & friends - I couldn't have made it through this year without you.

Dear movers - thanks for your help in advance!

Dear flat - you have been good to us but we just need more space, you will always be our first home xx

Dear new house - look out we're coming!

And I think that is enough!!

What a lovely feature? Do you have any one you would like to write to?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

What a year! Part 1

What a year! The year 2012 has been a busy one for me.

I read a few yearly round ups & thought it would be a great thing to do.  AND it is!! Going through & remember all the year's achievements is such a lovely task.  I have also read a lot about keeping a jar of memories throughout the year then going through them at New Year.  I may have to try this out!

I have just sat & went through my diary, my blog, & my hubby to work out what happened in the year 2012, hold on to your hats - it's a long one!! In fact think I will do it in two parts!!

The start of the year saw me join the gym! Your probably thinking, yeah like a load of other people!! But for me this was a big deal.  This meant over coming fears of a room filled with buff, fit people all pointing & staring at me the fat, sweaty newcomer.  As with most fears, it was no where near as bad! Did I keep it up, well no I didn't but I can now proudly say I have been inside a gym & I might have even liked ;-)

I think this is where you start to see me stepping out my comfort zone.

  • I enrolled on an online Life Coaching & Counselling course & with 100% on my first assignment I reignited my love of learning.
  • I went to a Vintage Styling night at Miss Dixie Belle & thoroughly enjoyed myself!
  • I did a days sewing class - finally learning how to use my sewing machine properly.
All these things made forced me to focus on myself.  To mingle with other people, to venture out of the flat & to start living again.

This was a tough time for me.  My beloved dog, Bailey was very unwell & the vet couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I started to question myself again but after some tests at the Vet School in Glasgow & a special prescription diet he is back to his chirpy self & helps me through each day. (cue dog photos!)  Also in March having been off my work for a very long time, things started to get very serious with talk of terminating contract & retirement due to ill health (at 29!!) so I had to stand up for myself & March was when I contacted my union representative & started to take charge of my recovery back to work.
Hubby's birthday.  Mr Brown is a wee April Fool.  The day when his mum went into labour & everyone said ha ha April Fool but no joke, Mr Brown was born.  He's getting old but still tries to act young - by sticking out his tongue in photos??
In April I had a few sessions of hypnotherapy & although I was sceptical I do think it helped me work through some issues.

I was obviously feeling brave & enrolled on a Happiness Workshop.  Me & a full day being happy? Well it was great.  A fab trainer in Lesley & learned some great skills to use NLP in real life.  Just what I needed as we raced through the year.

The middle of the year - & things started to get busy!! This was our one year anniversary.  Paper.  A whole year we survived being married.  I got Mr Brown a lovely gift (if I do say so myself) from Tree of Life For You - this talented lady asks you what you want to be included in the design then sets about doing a gorgeous picture entwined with all your memories.  You should definitely take a look at her stuff! Go now! Our picture is even on the front page!!
Team Brown - Tree of Life For You
I went back to work in June.  In deciding to go back to work, we agreed that part time would be a good idea.  So I now work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & enjoy a long weekend - every weekend!!  See my post Monday for Part Timers.  It has definitely made a difference in being able to switch off & I feel that my life no long revolves around work & work alone.  Which is a good thing! All work & no play made Mrs Brown a sad girl.

I was obviously feeling good at this time as I started lots of new ventures too.  I started the blog for one!   Check out my scary first post.

With the help & encouragement of lovely friends I set out starting the Change Challenge.  A weight loss group with a difference.  It was all about healthy eating, but all in an encouraging environment with no selling involved.  The girls did really well & I am extremely proud of setting up such a group & using my skills to help others.  Unfortunately I found the commitment just too much with work & my ever busy head so I had to wind down the group after two sessions, but it doesn't take away from what we achieved during 2012.  So a big thanks to all of the ladies involved.

Only half way through the year & what a year! Soo much to look back on with proud fond memories.

What are you most proud from 2012?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dealing with depression

At present we are very much dealing with my depression.  I say 'we' because it's not just me that has to learn to cope.

Today I came across a story that seemed similar to my own.  The absolute denial that I had depression.  When I first started to struggle with my mood I could not admit to anyone, not even myself that I may be depressed.  You can not start to deal with your depression if you are spending all your time trying to prove that you are not! When I was referred to the mental health team I spent many a session trying to convince them & myself that it must be something else.  Something we were missing.

It took me a long time to get the place I am at now.

I still have bad days.  Everyone has bad days, but I need medication to help me through mine.

I need to go to bed at the right time, make sure I am eating a balanced diet, get enough fresh air, enough exercise & talk about my feelings just in order to get through the week in one piece.

I wasn't sure I was strong enough when I started my blog.  Confident enough to put myself out there.  Strong enough to talk about my struggles.

This week I proved  - I am.

I wrote about my achievements here & I sent a post to Black Dog Tribe (a campaign run by SANE - a mental health charity) to be shared with others.

The 'Black Dog' is a metaphor for depression.  By calling it 'the black dog' it definitely allows me to speak more openly & honestly about feelings of depression, despair, suicide, loneliness & asking for help.  Exactly what the campaign is all about.

My other black dog, Bailey, is my rock but I couldn't get through this without my husband. So the post I put forward was about him also dealing with depression, my depression.  I am very proud of his words and him.

Today I also feel proud of me.  Proud that I am indeed dealing with my depression & I hope my words here can be some hope for anyone else trying to tame the black dog.

Start dealing with depression I know you can.

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

I did it!

I did it!
I was walked across broken glass then just for fun did a fire walk!

There was a bit more prep to it than that, but yes on a Friday night in November I took my socks & shoes off and walked across broken glass & then hot coals.  

The Glass Walk
The glass walk was all about being relaxed and overcoming your fears. Razor sharp broken glass might I add, that makes relaxing a bit more difficult.

Did I enjoy it?
Yes I think I did! For me being relaxed is something I am trying to work on so perfect chance to use some skills! I did struggle a bit but acceptable I think under the circumstances.

Try to picture a line of broken glass, the sounds of crunching glass beneath the instructors feet, a crowd of people ooohing & ahhhing, & then me realising I have my jumper on the wrong way & you get an idea of the feelings that were bubbling inside me as I took my place.

But I did it! I even have a cut to prove it.

For someone who at this time last year could hardly leave her bedroom you would think a walk bare foot across broken glass in front of a crowd would be enough excitement for one Friday night but nope I then was set to walk over hot coals.

The Fire Walk
Now this is where the fun really started. The instructor guy was amazing.  He took me from being an introverted, hide at the back, don't say a word, keep your head down kind of girl to 

Standing tall, chest out - he told us too ;-), feeling amazing, pumped, ready to go, look me in the eye, on a mission kinda girl!

I can't emphasise the change in me.  I literally went from looking at the floor to scrape me off the ceiling.  At this point we headed to the fire.

My mum & hubby were there to watch & also couldn't believe the difference in me.

The queue formed & as each person ran across the fire pit instead of feeling fear, anxiety, dread I was feeling excited & desperate for my turn!!

I got to the front & they needed to rake up the fire get it all hot again, Thanks!

Instructor: What's your name?


Instructor: Are you ready for this?


At that point I skipped across the fire.  Shouting "Yeaaahhhhh" as I went (very American, I know). The crowd cheered, I air punched it was amazing.

Did you enjoy it?
Hell, yeah!! I would recommend it to everyone! It is an amazing feeling.  No fear, knowing I can do it.  

This was a charity event for Yorkhill Children's Foundation in Glasgow.  It is a kids hospital that does soo much great work in Scotland, & as a child I did have to use their services so it was lovely to be able to give back.

But I would say I got loads out of the night too!  It was certainly a challenge.  I had to ask people for sponsorship.  I had to go into the training for the event on my own, that was a big thing for me.  Then had to be in front of a crowd of people & all this before I even take my shoes & socks off!!

But as this you may have guessed this post is about reminding myself that - I DID IT!

I can do what ever I put my mind to.  I can overcome my fears.  I can do things I never thought were possible.  I can surprise people, including myself.

Oh yeah & if you get a chance to do it - you should! It is awesome & I am glad I will have these memories. My plan is to pull the feelings & thoughts from that night any time I need it during the rest of my recovery!!

Caution feet pictures coming up!!

I leave you with some wise words & a link to my donating site!! (See my confidence is still sky high!)

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” - Robert Schuller

Love Mrs Brown  xx

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The dog that saved my life

I have an amazing black labrador.  Meet Bailey Brown.

My beautiful boy

He was 2 years old in March.  He is a strong boy though.  He is strong enough to carry me, when I can not longer carry myself.

I never had a dog when I was growing up.  I really wanted one, but my mum is scared so just wasn't going to happen.

When I moved in with my husband it took him a lot of adjusting (that's one word for it, others may have seen it as arguments) to my messy habits, he could never have believed we would be dog people.  He was a clean freak, hadn't used the oven - to keep it clean till I moved in!  We took our shoes off before entering the flat, our beige carpets were hoovered every day, basically there was no way we had been thinking about getting a dog.

Too much hassle.

But then again we didn't think I would be crying everyday, hiding under the covers, off work for nearly a year and that my every thought would be about how I could end it all without Mr Brown having to find me.

We were getting married.  We were saving for our dream day.  We also had one of those ceramic pots that said "Wedding Fund" in which we faithfully deposited any £1 or £2 coins we had.  It sat high on the shelving unit in out living room as a reminder to save, save, save.

I was in counselling, which wasn't helping.  I was changing meds again, no lift in symptoms despite taking them faithfully.  I was on a waiting list to see the mental health team and psychiatrist and was beginning to feel even more hopeless.  When I read online in many pages that a dog could help with depression.  With a naivety of the responsibility a dog would be, I proposed this as a flippant suggestion to Mr Brown.

We joked about for a few days then we signed up to see a puppy would cost, ever the budget man Mr Brown thought it was doable.  So my pester power kicked in! Can I get one? Can we? Please, please, please.  It was the most enthusiasm he had seen in me for months.  We had to get one if this was how it could make me feel.

In the pet shop getting food for our hamster (RIP Ellie, Mr Brown's idea, this one didn't work out as well, she was very much a solitary animal, didn't really like us!)  he saw an advert for black labrador puppies that were ready NOW!  Mr Brown is impulsive, not like me at all.  If he decides to do something it gets done straight away, me on the other hand can sit on a decision for years.

Anyway long story short we came home, got a hammer out and smashed that ceramic pot into small pieces.  The next day we purchased a crate, blankets, toys and a black labrador.

The responsibility was just what I needed.  I couldn't quite manage to look after myself but this helpless little puppy needed me.  A reason to live all wrapped up in black bundle of fluff and sharp little teeth!  I allowed my dog to see a side of me that I just couldn't let my amazingly supportive husband see.

He made me sleep when he did, get up, go to puppy classes and generally use my brain a bit more.  He made me smile and loved me unconditionally, even on my darkest day.  And still does.

He grown into a fine man.  So well behaved, even my mum who's scared of dogs loves him! Every day he reminds me that I am loved.

He's very special to me and deserves this proper introduction.  Such a nice post to write.

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Monday, 3 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Every where you go
That's what you call a tree!
I don't usually get 'into' the Christmas spirit.  The past few years my mood hasn't lifted enough to allow much festive fun.  In fact, the "C" word brought more issues - panic of putting on a brave face, not letting it slip that I had been off work for months, trying to get gifts when you can hardly leave your bed, trying not to cry at every little thing, my heart racing at thoughts of how many terrible ways my hubby could die due to bad weather - anyways you get the picture.

This year is different.  For our anniversary in June my hubby bought tickets for the Christmas markets in Prague.  A lovely city break just me & Mr Brown, something to look forward to.  My mood is holding up with only a few dark patches these last few weeks, so I was in a great place for enjoying this gift.

Scotland is cold so the weather wasn't going to be an issue. I packed up my thickest cardies, grabbed some new gloves, a cute knitted hair band & a poncho!  A new look & a new city to explore.

Prague is a beautiful city, the buildings are very pretty & the people were very polite.

It was so easy to walk to all the sights from our hotel so my feet took a pounding but I loved it.

Back to work tomorrow but for the first time in years I am feeling the Christmas cheer.  Enjoy some lovely pictures of Prague & Christmas, just wished you had smell a blog because the market was filled with the scent of gingerbread, pretzels, cakes & the famous Prague Ham.

Hubby at Heatrow

Gorgeous Xmas window displays

We went on a romantic horse & carriage tour

The famous Prague Ham

Mr B's great picture of the Old Town Square

An early Xmas pressie - traditional Czech Garnet
Do you always enjoy Christmas? Ever been to the Christmas markets?

Love Mrs Brown xx
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