Aside, Status Update

About New Years And Old Acquaintances

“Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise”Unknown


Before I write anything else, I want to wish everyone a very belated yet earnest

Happy 2021!

I know it’s well overdue, but I’ve been told it’s allowed until at least the beginning of Spring, so… I’m not too late, surely? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I’ve been quiet, as always, because I’ve been doing all sorts of things, as always, apart from sleeping (as from November).

That’s a small lie: my sleeping has improved. A “good night” now varies between 5-7 hours of sleep and sometimes I even get that without any “help” such as a sleeping pill or melatonin. So even if I still find myself exhausted throughout various moments of the day, my insomnia is slowly (very slowly) decreasing.

In my last post I wrote about seeing a coach-like person… Well, that was a joke! Haha, it still makes me laugh out loud, thinking back to it all :’)

After interviewing me for about 20 minutes he declared I was “severely traumatised” and needed to find myself a “trauma psychologist, not a regular one, one that specialises in traumas.”

When I asked him what my trauma was, exactly, since I honestly didn’t know (still don’t), he told me that’s something I have to figure out with the trauma psychologist.

Whut? If you start talking like that, don’t we all suddenly need to see a “trauma psychologist”? How does this make sense? I don’t see it, but okay, I can shrug it off.

The coach-like person then proceeded by assuring me that him and me, we could work on boosting my low self-esteem.

I think that was the moment my jaw literally dropped. I must have looked at him with a more than just puzzling look on my face, because he reacted surprised by my, well, surprise.

I told him there was nothing wrong with my self-esteem. Sure, it’s been super low for super long, but I’ve also been building it up for quite a while, thank you very much, and I didn’t see the point in focussing on that right now. I mean, I have other priorities, such as, I don’t know, SLEEPING?

So, after 25 minutes of what was supposed to be a 30 minute session, my coach-like person rolled his chair back, threw his hands up and screeched: “Then WHY are you here!?”

I know that was the moment I lost my respect for him as a coach. I mean, I know I don’t actually have clients right now so this man’s got one over me, but… If somebody shows up for coaching, I make sure to let them tell me why they’re sitting in my office, not vice versa.

Anyway, when in doubt what to do, mimic what you see. So I, in turn, threw my hands up at him and shouted: “Finally you ask! I have barely slept for 4 weeks and I think it’s due to stress. I mean, all kinds of things fill my head and at night I lie awake.”

His advice? (You can giggle, it’s okay. I do it, too.)

His professional advice to me after telling him I lie awake at night was: “Don’t.”

When I asked him how he didn’t actually burst into song, yet he did pressure me to just “let it go.”

Honestly! I could do his job! And so much better!

Against all better reasoning I made a follow-up appointment for 3 weeks later. Sometime during those weeks I talked to a good friend of mine who asked me why I didn’t look into my old psychologist? The one that helped me get through my depression 12 years ago. Maybe she was still around and could help me? Surely it was worth looking her up?

So I did.

And guess what?

I found her! ๐Ÿ˜€ And she still works as a psychologist! Very close by, too!

I’ve contacted her and she’s got a waiting list for about 6 weeks, which sounds long but is far better than the 5 months a lot of other mental helpers have. So in a few weeks she’ll contact me and I’m curious to hear what she has to say, although I am convinced it’s going to be much better and way more helpful than “let it go.”

But, since I am not too good to teach anyone a lesson, including myself, I decided to go to the second appointment with the coach-like person anyway, just to… well, “show him in what state my self-esteem really was.”

When he asked me how I’d experienced our first session, I asked him if I could be frank (nobody ever says no to that, do they?). I told him I’d found it very useless, and that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at his advice to “not lie awake.”

He denied having said that.

Here’s a funny little intermezzo: every time somebody’s ever insulted me in the past and I confronted them with it, they either ended up denying it or blaming it all on me.

Normally I just leave it at that, but not this time. I told the “coach” I have a fantastic memory and an auditive one at that, and that he did say that, literally.

The crimson colour that appeared on his cheeks ran all the way down his neck.

People, that was by far the best moment I had in 2020! ๐Ÿ˜€ Eureka for standing up for myself, while keeping my cool (and icy glare).

The man sitting opposite of me started to mumble that maybe I was better of with a psychologist. I told him I agreed. He started explaining how to get a referral letter from my GP. I told him I already knew. He grasped his computer mouse and started googling some psychologists he knew. I told him I had already found one.

We stared at each other for a while and I remember thinking There is nothing this man can teach me.

Don’t get me wrong: I think he was kind and nice. He just wasn’t the right person to help me.

But… that’s where I’m at right now. Proud of myself (and boy did I sleep that night!), with a healthy self-esteem as proof of what I did in that man’s office, awaiting my time to meet up with my old psychologist.

12 years is a long time and she didn’t remember me, which I think is logical. But I have a good feeling about this.

Maybe everything that went wrong in 2020 only did so, so I could set it right in 2021.

2021 is going to be one heck of a year, I can sense it. But I am adamant to make that a positive thing!

How have you all been doing? I hope you’re all well! Stay safe and sane, people ๐Ÿ™‚

Heart to Post, Status Update

About All Kinds Of Issues

“Insomnia is a vertiginous lucidity that can convert paradise itself into a place of torture”Emil Cioran


Well, that writing challenge sure was over sooner than I thought… It’s been put on my list of things to do one day, yet I suppose we all know that’s code for probably never.

And I’m not even sorry about it.

For the past 29 days I have not really been sorry about anything. Like not working on my business – not sorry.

Neglecting my appearance – not sorry.

Not working out – not even going to try and be sorry about this one.

The thing is: I have insomnia. Don’t ask me what keeps me up at night, please, because I don’t know. I know it’s more than 1 thing, or else I’d be able to answer that question.

I know the English equivalent is about a camel and a straw, but in Dutch we say “it’s the droplet that makes the bucket spill”.

I feel as if I am the bucket, and I was doing okay, then all of a sudden all these small, seemingly irrelevant little things happened all at once and now I’m spilling over as if it’s the only thing I’m left knowing how to do.

I wouldn’t mind being this bucket, honestly. Come on, it’s a panda!

Things as my eldest sister turning evil and trying to feed me cherry pie. Like, really? I’ve hated cherries all my life, never even as much as eaten half a one, and you dare ask me if I’m sure I “don’t want just a small piece?” – talk about crap acting, too. She “did not get anything else as a treat for her 41st”, because she “assumed everyone would enjoy the cherry pie.” Imagine the whole family munching away and me sitting there with nothing.

And no, it’s not the cake. I couldn’t care less. It’s being excluded that hurt. Deliberately excluded. So there was that.

Then there was a series of happenings involving a series of ex-classmates. One of them started her own business, and even if she’s doing something completely different than me, she got double the Facebook likes in one week than I’ve managed to collect in two years. It makes me feel as if everyone sees it, you know, The Secret To Running A Successful Business, but me. I’m definitely missing something here, and it’s more than Facebook likes (which is funny, because I hate Facebook and normally don’t care too much for likes of any kind, anywhere. It’s just the thought of me doing something wrong and not knowing what).

About a month ago I’m driving my car and what do I see when about to hit a roundabout? A giant blown-up face of another ex-classmate who’s running for a local government office position (I don’t even know where to begin trying to explain this, so just picture a massive head on a poster and a terrible slogan to accompany it). It scared me. Not just the face (he is actually younger than me yet looks about 10 years older!), but the fact that he’s the main face of a big political local party and I am… where in my life, exactly?

Then my birthday comes along and I am not even allowed to take revenge on Evil Sister, because I live with my parents and, well, they just love to see their grandchildren munch away at home-made apple pie. So there you have it: my own sister treats me like sh*t, won’t talk about what’s bothering her and instead decides to go full passive aggressive on my butt, and I cannot even strike back because of her children. It’s like they’re her shield to avert attacks from outside. Yuck.

It feels as if I am still the doormat I have been trying so hard not to be. “Take the punches, but don’t ever think of hitting back or else I’ll keep the kids away from mom and dad and it will be your fault” – that’s what I hear, in my head. It’s quite possibly not entirely fair, but Evil Sister has once said: “Maybe I shouldn’t come home for a year and then they’ll respect me more, too” (referring to our other sister’s one-year disappearance act), so I am not keen on proving my theory either right or wrong…

And of course, my business is doing sh*t as well, and no, it’s not just COVID, it’s me! I have no *** idea what I am doing, and even if I am convinced I am a super coach (I actually really do believe I am great at coaching!), I lack in the Getting Clients department.

What also doesn’t help is that the person I hired to teach me all that jazz, a) has postponed the programme I enrolled in due to personal matters and b) possibly doesn’t understand me.

I am not like other people. You say things as social media following and I don’t get excited, I shiver. And what the heck would I do with email addresses if people were to sign up for my blog or website!? Why should I pester anyone with “special offers” when I’m really more into attracting people who already know they want a coach?

I’ve had coaching clients in the past. None of them signed up for any list, downloaded any free email clickbait or decided they should follow my persona because I am “so cool”.

I reckon it worked fine for all of us, really, but now all I hear is how building a list of emails is a must to be a self-employed coach (or anything else).

Al I am trying to say is that I don’t get it, the whole entrepeneuring-thing. To me, following what everyone else does because it works feels… fake. If there’s only one way of becoming a successful self-employed coach, wouldn’t that mean we’re all essentially doing (and being) the same? The same motives, the same techniques, the same methods, the same websites, the same stories, all over and over. Endlessly repeated like we’re The A-Team reruns on TV. How can you stand out when you’re only ever copying others?

There has got to be a different way, surely? But… I haven’t found it yet and so far it’s kept me from having had any clients in 2020. So, do I relent or do I keep fighting?

Anyway, to sum it all up: my life feels like a joke. And it’s a feeling that’s been simmering in the background, but has come to a boil due to all these separate events that quickly followed one another.

Have I mentioned yet that what keeps me up at night is my head spinning? As if I can’t turn it off, no matter how tired I am (and I am tired!! So, so tired!). My heart often beats so loud it’s as if it’s trying to come out of my chest, and every time I am about to fall asleep, I am immediately jerked back to sleeplessness by a panic attack or two, that increase in waves and force as the night lingers on.

My doctor (who is finally retiring!! BEST NEWS OF 2020!!) prescribed me highly-addictive sleeping pills that work – sometimes. Sometimes they don’t.

At least they’ve given me a goal for 2021: detoxing.

December 3rd is my date with – irony inserted here – a GP-linked coach.

In five days I am going to talk about my issues with a man who has the job I want.

Who knows, maybe he can give me a hint or two.

This post is growing much longer than I’d imagined… Perhaps I have more on my mind than I thought, after all – and this is just the tip of the iceberg, really.

Anyway, that’s why I’ve been even more silent than I normally am: I don’t sleep. I am exhausted all day long, yet when it is time to close my eyes and drift off, all I do is panic.

And I wish I could say I am not sorry about that, but I am. Very much.

I refuse to give up, though. So what if I am different and it’s hitting me harder than it’s ever done before? I’ve had a long walk and talk with a good friend yesterday, and it’s helped me clear some things up.

And then there’s this last song, of course. My personal anthem, if you will. I don’t give up. I don’t run. Not from panic attacks, not from Evil Sisters and surely not from really scary giant old-looking men’s heads on posters (although when encountered in real life, I’d definitely run!).

You don’t get me down. I know, you keep me up.

But you also give me plenty of time to overthink my strategy.

Luctor et emergo.

I struggle and overcome – again and again and again. And again.

Here’s to everyone suffering from anxiety, stress, insomnia or all of the above:

We might not sleep. But we don’t run away from our problems, either.

 

 

 

gifs from Giphy

Goals, Status Update

GOAL POST (5) – What The… Take A Moment And Revise Your Strategy

  • CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Goals 1 & 2 – Feel Better & Make Business Successful


Step I-Lost-Count: Whut!? What’s happened? Revise!

The weirdest thing happened as I tried to plan my life: life got in the way of itself. I didn’t even know it could do that!

So what’s new? Well, as I tried to focus on my first goal of feeling better, my second goal pushed its way forward and now I suddenly am working on making my business a success even before I find I am 100% back to being healthy – or at least the state of health I’d like to be at.

I needn’t tell you of country’s lockdowns happening worldwide due to COVID-19, but as it turns out it has some plus sides, too. Not only did it do wonders for my sleeping rhythm, it also gave me exactly that what I’ve been silently asking the Universe for: time off work to focus on my own business.

Don’t get me wrong: I hate this current state of affairs and I’d never thought it was possible to crave “normal” as much as I do nowadays. But going from six clients a week to two also has its benefits: I suddenly find myself with plenty of time to invest in my business.

And this is making zero sense to me at all, since I didn’t feel I was even close to wrapping up Goal 1. Now I am stuck somewhere in between: I’m still putting focus on my health, yet at the same time I find myself making time for everything coach-wise, like following online trainings, updating my website and social media pages and even working on my visibility towards clients.

So what’s happened?

I have no idea, really (but I can tell you I am mortified what this rate of working through my goals means for the third).

Now I can’t really write how you should try and feel better. Although some things seems to work better than others. Getting a good sleeping rhythm is my best advice. Even if you find it hard to go to bed in the evening, make a habit of waking up a set time every morning. Before you now it, that’ll help you to go to bed in time, too.

Right now, I meditate at least once a week, usually I work in my physical therapy’s stretching exercises (the groin still) and a ten-minute ab workout beforehand.

I work out once a week, too, which I combine with my physical therapy’s more intense exercises.

And I go running once a week, again.

In between, everything else I can do I consider a bonus, but this is my “basics”. Seems to work for me for now.

So, I guess, my advice as to feel better is: acknowledge you’re not doing okay, find help if needed, take your time, be realistic about what you can or can’t do (or should and shouldn’t), and try to set a basics that works for you. Then build up from there.

As for the making my business successful, any tips are welcome about how to get more clients. Especially in this corona-invested time where nearly everything happens online ๐Ÿ˜‰

And because I haven’t been blogging for a while (do you know HOW MUCH WORK goes into making a professional website??), here’s a status update in bullets:

  • After Darwin died I matched his new friend Meeko to a new new friend, once of his sons, a grey one. For some reason, naming it Dorian (after the book, yougetit!) felt wrong, but no clue why. Then the breeder called and said she’d made a mistake: she’d given me a female gerbil… Oops! Guess that’s why the whole matching process went smooth as a feather. Meeko had a good three days, I imagine, but I did swap the grey gerbil for the actual grey son of Meeko. And named him Dorian. They go well together, but Dorian seems to have a bit of a food-obsession, where he tries to steal it from Meeko or chases his father away from their food bowl… I am not matching any gerbils any more! They better be nice to each other or else!
  • I was refused from the supermarket two weeks in a row now, as I found myself in between their door policy and my mother’s conviction of everything being “over-exaggerated”. The door policy won. Twice. So I gave up, took my mom’s shouting and just finished my book in the car, waiting for her to come back (The Island Of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells – I recommend it!).
  • At first I was reluctant to believe this COVID-19 thing would become anything severe, but now I am scared how long it will last before the world can go back to semi-normal, or post-corona. I am also terrified my parents will get sick and die, since both of them are over 60 and my mom has a history of physical diseases. I fear her immune system is very weak and that if she would get corona, that’d be it for her. At the same time, it seems like the measures my country’s been taking work… I am stuck between being scared and hopeful.
  • I never knew I’d be grateful for being socially distant by default. Honestly! I always imagined it added to my loserness (“loserity” sounds better, no?) not having a socially active life, but look at me now! Everyone is confined to their homes for safety and is complaining about it, and for me it feels almost normal. It’s no fun, sure, but I can handle it with ease – maybe more ease than social butterflies.
  • I went from six clients to two a week, meaning my income has drastically decreased. This doubles the weight on my shoulders to start performing better with my coaching business, but I am no star in making myself known or visible (see previous bullet). This lead to panic attacks, which scared me because it’s been a while since I last had one. Meditating works, though.
  • I am so bummed out I forgot what Steve Jobs said to me last night! Seriously! I dreamed about him, which I found very silly (even in my dream I told him so), because I am not an Apple person, nor did I ever particularly interest myself in Mr. Jobs’ life or work. We had a good talk, even if I don’t remember what he said to me, and I was happy about all the tips he gave me to make my business work. Can you imagine!? Oh my goodness, Steve Jobs gave me tips and I forgot them all! He’s just got to come back and repeat all of it.

Anyway, that’s about it. As for the whole goals thing: I am not sure what to do. I guess I’ll just roll with it, then. See where this takes me. That’s a first, too, by the way: me consciously giving up control and going with the flow instead. But who know where this will take me.

How have you been doing? I hope you are still safe and healthy and in good spirits! Stay brave and let’s sit this corona thing out together โค

Status Update

STATUS UPDATE – Missed Me Much, Miss Me More

To all the people who don’t like me nagging about my health: here’s your chance to tune out now ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hate nagging as much as you do, but sadly at this moment it’s the one thing that got me further into feeling better. There have been some changes in my life recently, some of which I am quite proud:

  1. First change (not good): for a while now I’ve been getting really sick on at least one day a week, regularly. Weird, huh? I say it’s the *whispers* hormones again, but I am no doctor so what do I know? All that I do know is that every Wednesday (and one Tuesday) since five weeks I get physically unwell to the extent that I can’t do anything but lie down and hope it goes away fast (which it never does). Nausea, stomach aches, bowels playing up… You name it, I’ve got it.ย  For hours on end. And every Wednesday…? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ That makes no sense at all, so I decided to call my gynaecologist. And GP.
  2. Second change (pretty good):ย I had an apppointment planned with my gynaecologist for January 2nd. When I called and explained my issues to her assistant, she told me my doctor really can’t see me until next year. What the heck? Instead of giving up, though, I decided to try something different: I kept nagging and pleading and talking and arguing until she relented and suddenly *found* an opening on November 20th. Hah! Thought this was good? Wait ’til you read what nagging brought me next:
  3. Third change (super good!):ย This Friday, I called my GP. On purpose, because I know she’s out on Fridays and I like her substitute better. But, unfortunately for me it appeared as if I was never going to make it past the firewall of assistents. The one who picked up the phone listened to my problems for a short while only to proceed by repeating to me: “We cannot help you with this. No, there’s nothing we can do.”
    Again, normally I would have given up, but this time I was relentless and kept going at her until she agreed to have the GP call me back later. My doctor did so and after explaining the whole story again to her, she said (directly translated quote): “You should have come in to see me, I could have run a few tests on you already.”I can’t describe how good it felt to tell her: “I tried, but your assistent wouldn’t let me. She said you couldn’t do anything for me.”Sometimes being a b*tch feels so great! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyway, my doctor’s scheduled for tons of blood tests (“Basically just everything, plus the usual”). So I’ll have my blood taken on Monday and then meet my regular GP on (irony:) Wednesday to talk it all over.

Conclusion: my health is definitely not good. It comes and goes in waves, but every week it gets drastically worse for a day or two. Or three. And then picks up and starts all over.

I know people don’t believe me because it sounds like a bad joke: every Wednesday she gets sick? Yeah, right! The sad truth is that even I feel like it’s all in my head sometimes, until it happens again. On a Wednesday ๐Ÿ˜ And by then I am crying from feeling helpless.

So right now, my main priority is getting better. I have “WP” written in my diary to remind me to post on WordPress, read all of your posts and, basically, appear alive altogether. But honestly, I am not up for it.

Still, I am happier than I’ve been these past five weeks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Because I took a stand (or two) and am finally sticking up for myself. And I’m not done nagging to the right people, not until I am all well again.

I am sorry if I’m letting anyone down or dissapoint someone. I’m going to take an official break from WordPress, but hope to be back sooner than anyone can imagine ๐Ÿ™‚

Miss you all โค

Status Update

Beware! Updates Ahead

I had forgotten how much work it is to update a blog’s appearance… And how much fun at the same time! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have yet to write a better welcome and make several more changes to Heart to Follow before I’ll be satisfied with the results, I am sure, but I am on my way.

See, bad weather is good for something! One tends to get very creative and in doorsy from it (plus it cools down the house).

Let’s hope the Dutch weather stays awful for the upcoming days, and this blog will be done in no time!

(Who am I kidding? It’s going to take me a while, but all things need to have a beginning).