Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Dreading Christmas? Take Heart!

Christmas is not always an easy time of year. Perhaps you feel sad and lonely. Maybe you think that no one feels as bad as you. But that’s actually not true. There is always someone in the world going through a tough time. Fact is, life is peppered with good times and bad times. The trick is to keep going when things are at their most bleak. When I feel I cannot go on I ask God to please hold me in the palm of His hand. And He always does!

I found my diary from last Christmas Day which read, “There was a gaping Mum-shaped hole in the day. Saddest Christmas ever. One of the saddest days of my life.” It’s just over a year now since we lost her and though it is getting a little easier Christmas will just not be the same without her. But, as a Christian I am celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

I have just come back from church and feel lifted up by the service. The church was packed and the line for Holy Communion a joy to see. Before Mass the priest put the figure of baby Jesus into the crib and blessed it and everyone sang carols. So I have started my Christmas celebrations with my focus on Christ and His birthday. And am now looking forward to a day with the family tomorrow.

Mum was very fond of poetry. Yesterday I came across one of her favourite books. It is an old volume called Escaped As A Bird, with verses from the Christian Poetry Club at the Oshima Leprosy Hospital in Japan. (From 1907 until 1996 those with leprosy in Japan were forced to live in such places.) Intrigued, I read the intro which includes these words, “Instead of being broken on the anvil of pain, suffering and deformity, these suffers have found faith, peace and joy under the ministry of Christian love…”

Here is a poem by a patient called Yamamoto

The wireless brings us songs of Christmas praise

From far and near;

And listening we are one with you today,

Friends, everywhere!

I take heart from those brave words. I hope you do too.

Wishing you a Happy and Holy Christmas.

Teresa x

Thursday, 6 July 2017

PUTTING ON A BRAVE FACE - How to cope when things are tough

Are you going through a bad time but trying to cover up your distress? Join the club! A few days ago I updated my website Dear Diary. Then I managed to track down an AWOL blogsite  http://teresaodriscolldeardiary.blogspot.com – It’s where I archive previous website posts but Blogger changed things and unlinked it from this blog (anyone know how to relink?). When I glanced at the last couple of entries. My jaw dropped. ‘Oh,’ I muttered. They were upbeat and informative. While my latest post was rather lacklustre – though I assure I had tried.
            But I admit that I just dashed something off because I realized it was ages since I’d posted. But clearly the grief of losing my Mum only weeks before Christmas is still reverberating.
            Sometimes I catch an unexpected glimpse of myself in a mirror and am startled by the deadness in my eyes.
            Don’t get me wrong. I know that I was blessed to have my mum for as long as I did. And I still have my dad. A number of my friends have lost both their parents, and a few of those did so when their parents were young. Also, some friends are coping with other losses, and other trials too…
            But you know the saying that goes something like: ‘I felt sorry for myself because I didn’t have any shoes until I met a man who didn’t have feet.’ Well, over the years, when in a trying time, I have thought about that to see if it helped. And though it did a little, fact was my pain was my pain for that time. Sometimes we just need to accept that until the worst passes.  
          I know that some of you are in your pain at this time – that’s life isn’t it? Up and down. Please know that I am sending you blessings. And if you want to share anything just get in touch.
          Meantime, please find below some of my coping strategies. I hope they are of help.

Love and light

P.S. Please check back again soon as I plan to start posting regularly again.

   5 steps to get you through a testing time

1) Exercise: Get out in the fresh air as much as you can - walk, cycle, jog, or swim. Or do a workout at the gym, take a class in dance, spinning, yoga, Pilates; whatever.

2) Look around: When you are out and about take an active interest in your surroundings. Glance up at the sky, the top of a building, a tree, a bird in flight, people passing by… You get my drift I’m sure.

3) Try going Low-GI: The less a food is processed, the harder the body needs to work to digest it, which means you get natural slow-released energy. So opt for lots of wholegrains, fruits and veggies.

4) Make goals: At the start of the day write down 5 things you want to accomplish. Small or great a goal achieved is satisfying.

5) Count blessing: At the end of the day write down 5 things you are thankful for. Close your eyes and really feel how lucky you are. []