Monthly Reflections 2018: Goodbye September, Hello October

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Looking back over September, and forwards to October:


I AM...PROUD OF

I'm super proud of how I've been managing my health. I'm doing well with following the endometriosis diet, with therapy, with emotional regulation, with processing emotions and feelings and thoughts, and events. I'm loving doing regular exercise, and I'm slowly (rather than rushing!) figuring out what I want. I'm prioritising self-care and my health, and damn, I've never been so proud of myself. I'm prouder of this than I am of graduating with an honours degree. True story. 

I'm also proud of myself for finally returning to my beautiful blog, and for getting started on writing my memoir. A book. About my life. The good, the bad, the ugly and the healing. And I'm so proud of myself to have started this process, I've been wanting to do this for years and now, I've finally started. This is where I begin.


I AM...LETTING GO OF

The need to fit in with society and do what society expects of me. I'm doing me from now on, and working on not letting societal pressures take over my life. This is something that has been coming up a lot for me lately; the need to be like everyone else. I must add that, I will always be working on letting go of this wish to fit in; we're programmed, from birth, to fit in, so I know it'll take some time, but I'm aware and I'm working on it.






* CARE * Whilst waiting for my weekly therapy session yesterday, this quote popped up on my Pinterest ~ "After years of trouble making - drug taking & experimenting with every part of my life. It seems the most radical thing you can do today is care for yourself & other people!"  (Judy Blame) Ain't that the truth!? Tell people you're doing therapy and they look at you like you're crazy. Tell people you're not drinking alcohol and it's like "Waaahhhh!?" Tell people you're on a special diet and no longer eat gluten, dairy, soya etc because it makes your endometriosis worse, and you're seen as difficult. Tell people you're usually passed out by 10pm every day, and you're seen as boring. When you no longer do what society regards as "normal", you're radical. Stop to chat with the man living on the street and you get looks from the general public. Tell people you're on antidepressants & antipsychotics, and they look scared. Tell people you're focusing on your health and not focusing on career, making more money, buying a house, getting married, or having kids, and you're seen as a tad weird. When I worked, studied and partied hard day & night, failed to eat properly, drank every day, lived with my abusive partner - Nobody looked at me differently. I was doing what society regarded as "normal". Then I broke down and was forced to live differently; to pause and take care of myself, and society made me feel like a failure. When did looking after ourselves & others become a rebellious act? It's a basic necessity. How did we get here? πŸ–€ #me #selfie #thoughts #selfcare #health #emotional #selfdiscovery #society #love #like #live #life #different #words #normal #sober #mentalhealth #therapy #beautiful #photooftheday #picoftheday #girl #crazy #mad #woman #invisibleillness #pressure #rebellious #fucksociety #speakyourtruth
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Also letting go of the need to say yes to please others! Fuck that noise. If it's not good for my heart, body, mind and soul, then it's a no from me. Even if I just feel like saying no, it's a no from me. There is power in saying no. There is power in being selective about what you let into your life and what you spend your energy on. Your time is valuable. If it's a no from you too, say it!


I AM...GRATEFUL FOR

The women in my life. I wouldn't be here without them. From my support worker, to my therapist, to my mum, to my best friends, to the inspirational women I follow on social media, to the female authors that inspire me to keep writing my story, to Dr Christine Blasey Ford for sharing her sexual abuse story with the world this week.

"You're not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and raging courage."

(Alex Elle) 

In the last 30 days, I've also felt grateful for:

  • The sun shining through my window in the morning
  • Finding beauty in every moment
  • For being a passionate individual
  • Walking around beautiful London 
  • Feeling more stable 
  • Being able to witness my brother's emotional growth
  • Surviving
  • Being such a sensitive person 


I AM...INSPIRED BY

Frida Kahlo. Like most people I have always been interested in Frida's work and words, but it wasn't until now ~ and learning a lot more about her ~  that I felt so inspired by her. This post I shared on instagram last month properly summarises how I feel about this incredible woman.





* WHAT A WOMAN * We got to experience the Frida Kahlo exhibition "Making Her Self Up" at the V&A this weekend, and it was beautiful. And emotional. What inspires me most about Frida, is that she was very vocal about her beliefs, her morals, her feelings, through her art, her words, her relationships and her style. Her whole life was a statement. I used to be so silent about the important things, I silenced myself to make others comfortable. And that's something that took a lot of work and time for me to change. Reading about Frida and being in the presence of her art, photos and beloved belongings, reminds me to always be vocal. To never be silenced again. Frida inspires me to speak up and take up space, and to always stand by my values & beliefs, no matter what others think of me. All she wanted to be was herself and she didn't care what others thought of her. I think that's such a beautiful fuck you to a sick society. πŸ’ƒ #frida #fridakahlo #woman #power #identity #makingherselfup #v&a #art #inspiration #love #life #live #strong #beautiful #queer #femme #communist #unique #beauty #magic #real #human #humpday #words #wise #emotional #sensitive #speakyourtruth #feel #london
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Rachael Bland has inspired me to own and keep sharing my story. Rachael was a journalist and presenter for BBC Radio 5 Live. That's not how I found out about Rachael though, I found Rachael through the 'You, Me and the Big C' podcast. She was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2016, and following on from her diagnosis, she created this awesome podcast with two other fabulous ladies, who also have or have had cancer.

Rachael @bigclittleme, alongside her co-hosts Deborah James @bowelbabe and Lauren Mahon @girlvscancer, talk about life with cancer. I don't have cancer but I can reallly relate to a lot of what these ladies talk about; they're women in their 30's and 40's talking openly & honestly about going through a really tough time, but still trying to laugh along the way. And well, same here! They not only share their stories, but they also talk about loved ones, money, body, love, sex, pain, death, and the positives of living with a serious illness. YES; there are positives! It's really a wonderful listen and I highly recommend it ~ check it out by clicking here.

Rachael sadly died by cancer in September, but her legacy is going strong. She's done so much to raise awareness and give hope to others. And I want to do the same with mental health and endometriosis. And I'm so grateful to her for starting this podcast and reminding me that I'm not alone in my struggles; there are many women out there going through some tough shit and well, we're badass. Thank you Rachael.




I AM...ENJOYING

Music: I'm currently obsessed with 'Dakota' by Stereophonics, and 'Never Mind' by Dennis Lloyd.

Podcast(s): I've been listening to the 'You, Me and the Big C' podcast for a while now, I'm particularly loving the 'About Death' episode. This podcast makes me think of a beautiful book called 'The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying'. It's a good 'un. One thing that's guaranteed in life is that we are going to die one day, why do we avoid talking about it so much? Personally, I think it's time we start making friends with death, so that we can live a better life.

Another podcast I'm loving at the moment is 'Kalki presents: My Indian Life'. In this podcast, Kalki Koechlin and guests share their personal stories of what life is like for young Indian adults in the 21st century.

I only recently discovered this podcast, but I've already devoured all the available episodes.  It covers extremely important topics, such as gender inequality, body positivity, transsexuality, child abuse, sexual and physical abuse, identity, class, sex, and more. I've found it inspiring and uplifting, but it can get quite raw, heavy and emotional, so please please do tread carefully. I listened to it over a few days and did take breaks when the conversation got too upsetting. Consider this a recommendation with a trigger warning, and please be kind to you.

This month I also enjoyed Episode #53 of the Goodness Chick's podcast ~ "When We Learn The Value Of Silence And The Awesomeness Of Our Potential." In this episode, Erin Lawler Patterson talks to someone I love and who inspires me daily, my dear friend and co-warrior, Dominique de MarnΓ©. They talk mental health, the power of silence, labels, finding comfort within ourselves, changes, life! Need I say more?!


Book(s): 'Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder' by Rachel ReilandThis book is the author's story about life with Borderline Personality Disorder, and as a fellow woman with Borderline Personality Disorder, well, this is a special book for me. And as I am now working on my memoir, I thought it would be a great idea to return to Rachel's words.


Words: Laura Jane on saying 'no' ~ I needed this article this month. A much needed reminder on the power of saying no. I've always been a "I must say yes and please everyone" kinda person. I have been working on using the word 'no' for a couple of years now, but it's still a struggle and a reminder like this article by Laura Jane Williams is always a yes from me!

"Lately I’m less Fear of Missing Out – FOMO – and more JOMO: the Joy of Missing Out. It’s not that I want to engage with the adventure of my life any less than I did before. It’s more that I say no so that my “yes” actually means something. My yes has to be earned. My yes has value."
(Laura Jane Williams)


WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?

I've learned (and continue to learn) that there is so much power in listening to my intuition. I'm trying to connect more with my intuition and my inner power; it's there and I'm aware of it, but I need to work on turning up its' volume. My intuition needs to be louder than my programmed need to fit in to society.

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to profoundly sick society"
(Jiddu Krishnamurti)


MANTRA(S) FOR OCTOBER


"It's ok to live a life others don't understand"
(Jenna Woginrich)


"Trust that your inner-knowing is leading you in the right direction. The best is yet to come"


"Detach from needing things to work out a certain way. The universe is perfect and there are no failures. Give yourself the gift of detaching from your worries and trust that everything is happening perfectly"




See you next month! x

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