Driving Miss Crazy

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I get in the car and switch the SatNav on. Navigate to... Home. 

Oh no, not via the M3. I can’t be dealing with that this afternoon. 

Find alternative. Avoid part of route. M3. 

All of it, please!

I’m pleasantly surprised to see that my detour only adds two miles and about ten minutes to my journey. I get my ‘Defying Gravity’ playlist going, put on my sunglasses and set off to home sweet home.

I drive through the villlage of Lyndhurst thinking to myself that I really must take the time to explore it the next time I’m down at Foxlease. It doesn’t take long before I’m on a lovely, long, straight road lined by trees whose leaves appear to be dancing in varying shades of green, yellow and orange. I feel a sense of calm sweep over me and in all one moment I feel both stupid and relieved that something so simple can make me feel so much better. Maybe this practising mindfulness marlarkey is starting to pay off. 

A quick glance at the SatNav tells me that I’m heading towards to the M3 again.

Now, now, Mister TomTom. When I ask you to miss the M3, I meant all of it and not just the first junction or two. 

I debate whether to try and make it find an alternative route again or just follow my gut. I decide the first option is probably for the best since my sense of direction has often failed me in the past. I don’t want my ten extra minutes to turn into twenty, thirty or even more! 

A quick recalculation later and I notice that although my journey has increased by a few minutes, the amount of miles I have to travel has actually decreased. 

Ha! Screw you M3!

I drive through places I’ve never visited before, but they look interesting. I make a mental note of their names with the intention of planning a mini-break with Mum at some point. I even take in the details of a seemingly ordinary, yet beautiful (to me at any rate) railway bridge. Who would choose to go on a soul-destroyingly dull motorway, when you can have views like this to keep you company? Suddenly I spy a sign for Winchester and know that’s on the A31. I know the A31 well and reach to turn off the SatNav catching a glimpse of the screen as I do so.

Why am I not due to get home until 16:30? I left at 13:10!

It dawns on me that the clocks went back last night and I just haven’t noticed it until now. Now it’s all that I can see! Should I pull over and change it now? I’m making really good time and home is so appealing right now that I decide that’s an overreaction. I decide to just do it when I get home, but knowing I’ll forget if I switch it off, I decide to keep it on and have a game of Beat the SatNav.

As I continue on my journey, tears start to fill my eyes as I go over all my mistakes of the weekend and that voice that sounds like mine fills my head again.

I’ve told you. You should just quit. You’re a rubbish Trainer! 

I remind myself of my chat with Sam this morning. I always find it easier to confide in people I don’t know and my instinct was correct that she would give me a constructive yet helpful perspective. I let our conversation run through my mind and the tears subside. I think about the kind words that the Leaders from the weekend gave to me before I left. My mistakes weren’t big enough to stop those ladies from coming up to me to say those lovely things so am I just overthinking things like I usually do?

The whole journey home is dotted with negative self-talk and self-doubt with my rational side fighting the very brave fight and refusing to let the Boggarts and Dementors in my head win the argument. Strange things continue to calm me down. There are fewer pretty villages and railways bridges and even the trees don’t seem to be catching my attendton as much. Instead I feel a smile creep across my face when I start to see signs for Guildford, Godalming and Farnborough. 
And the smile gets bigger the closer I get. I think of my dear friends who live there. I think about popping into to say hello, but quickly think again. 

They are probably doing something and it would be rude to turn up unannounced. 

I also have a stinking cold and it’s not fair on the babies regardless of whether they are crawling or still cooking. The thought of them continues to calm me down. I know they may not always understand my inner demons, but they are there for me on so many levels and I don’t tell them enough how grateful I am to for all they do.

In no time at all I have passed Guildford and I’m on the home run. Beautiful scenery is now off the menu, but the M25 provides a comforting familiarity that means home is not far. By now I have the majority of this post planned out in my head. I could write it in my journal, but I want to share. I need to share. Those closest to me know that I find it hard to talk. Talking equates to tears all too often, but I can write and people can choose to read it or not. I don’t care if no-one reads this. I feel I have spoken to someone. I know that may not make sense, but it does in my mind and there’s the added bonus that it could help someone else. If it does, then I’m glad.

You don’t have time to write a blog post tonight. You’ve got to write your reflections on this weekend, type up the session plan for next weekend, go through your work emails from Friday...

I let Sam’s voice fill my head instead. “Just go home and rest.”

At one point while trying to ignore my inner dialogue, Ron Weasley’s voice comes into my head. “One person couldn’t feel all that. They’d explode!” I often wish it would be easier and much less painful to have the emotional range of a teaspoon, but then I wonder how much I would also miss out on if I did.

I notice that dark, grey clouds are filling the sky, but I leave my sunglasses on. They help to dull the headache that I feel I’ve had for most of the week.

I’m so close to home and can’t wait even though Foxlease almost feels like a home away from home now. I start to think about what I can do instead and know that a shower is at the top of my list. I consider the benefits of a bath despite the fact I’ve never really liked them. I always feel a pang of envy when I see people instagramming their super bubbly bubble baths complete with candles, a glass of Prosecco (which I don’t even like) and a book. I decide that I’ll crack open the bottle of Shea bubble bath that I got for my birthday and try the whole relaxing in a bath deal.

“Cross the roundabout second exit, go turn left at the roundabout third exit.” 

Yes, OK Mister TomTom. I know where I live thank you very much. The only reason you’re still on is because you’re not as clever as my phone. My phone changes the time itself. Why don’t you do that?! 

I pull up in my usual space by my house and change the time on my SatNav. It’s now that I remember what I usually just leave it on BST. What a faff! My car clock is changed much more quickly and all is right with the world again.

I open my boot and fill my arms with as much as I can carry. The rest can wait! I walk through the door to the smell of Spaghetti Bolognese being batch cooked for later in the week. Then I hear ask Mum asking for help to print something. I ask her questions so that she finds the answer herself. I’m pleased to hear that my voice is calm and I’m more patient with her than I tend to be. I feel useful.

Now I’m home I feel a mild wave of productivity wash over me. It lasts long enough to put my clean laundry away and empty my dirty laundry from my weekend bag into my basket. I grab my Shea gift bag that I got for my birthday and notice that my bubble bath is in fact shower cream. That settles that!

I shave my legs and ignore the judgy bitch in my head that says I’m conforming to social pressure. I shave my legs because I love the way they feel on crisp, clean bedsheets and for no other reason. I climb into the shower and wash my face with my favourite Deliciously Ella Rose, Lime & Cucumber Facial Wash. I feel the spots that cover my face and wonder what is causing them. 

Is it what I’m eating? Is it hormonal? Is it stress? 

I decide to let these thoughts go and enjoy the feel of the soap on my sin. I use my Shea Shower Cream and Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub. The smell takes me back to school when I first discovered Shea Body Butter and it makes me smile. 

I finish washing my hair, then wrap myself in my toasty, warm towels before going on autopilot and brushing my teeth. Even though I don’t need to, I feel refreshed and more awake for having done it. I put on clean pyjamas (surely the best part of having a shower in the middle of a Sunday afternoon) and tentatively open my dōTERRA box. Essential oils are still fairly new to me and I’m not use to using them every day yet.

How do you want to feel?

The voice has changed. It’s now caring and reassuring. I scan the contents and my eyes fall on one of the smaller bottles in my collection. 

Peace - Reassuring Blend. 


I come downstairs, pop a few drops of oil into my diffuser and settle down to write an account of my journey home. While the main points have made it into the final piece you are now reading, I know many have not. Ironically it was one of the things that the earlier, less friendly voice taunted me with.

You won’t remember it all. You never do anymore. That’s one of the reasons you’re such a rubbish Trainer.

But I think the fact that I can no longer remember my own mind’s taunts just an hour or so later is the most important point I have to make in this long, long tale. Taking the time to indulge in a little ‘self-care’ as soon as I got in helped me to put things into perspective. 

This weekend is over. It’s in the past. I can’t change what has happened. I can’t go back and remind myself to do what I forgot. What I can do is try to use it as a learning experience for the future. Turn it into something positive. 

I also need to remind myself of the Promise that I have made as a member of Girlguiding. 

“I promise to do my best...”

My best. No one else’s. And I need to remember that ‘my best’ will vary depending on a variety of different factors, perhaps the most significant being what headspace I am in at that point in time. 

For the remainder of this evening I am taking time out for me. I’m currently trying not to think about my counselling session tomorrow morning. I liken it (perhaps unsurpsingly to those who know me) to Harry trying to learn Occulmency with Professor Snape. I felt so horrible after my first session last week. It brought all my emotions to the surface which is where they have stayed since. I don’t feel I’ve recovered enough to go at it again tomorrow and I’m dreading having the echo of those feelings with me all week. 

I keep telling myself I have to give it a chance to try and get to the bottom of the way I feel all too often nowadays. I wanted to be medication free by the end of the year, which I am currently on track to do, but my counsellor feels I still need it. “You wouldn’t expect a doctor to stop a diabetic from having insulin because their body doesn’t produce enough, so why do you feel that you shouldn’t have the medication that you need because your body isn’t producing enough serotonin?”

The fact is that I currently feel torn between a doctor at my surgery who didn’t want me to go back on them in the first place and is pushing me to get off them as soon as possible and “my” doctor who I have been seeing since I was very young who knows me and my history extremely well and encourages me to take them if I feel I need to. 

There’s also further pressure from society who still don’t recognise mental health in the same way that we recognise physical health. A lack of understanding can lead to “helpful” comments that just lead to further self-doubt. As if I don’t have enough of that at the moment already! 

The more I experience these things for myself, the more I know I have made the right decision in taking on the London 2 Brighton Challenge in aid of Mind. The support from Mind has been amazing and I am learning more about mental health issues every day. I can’t expect people to become more compassionate and understanding if I don’t make the effort to understand myself. 

I’ve rambled on for too long now and if you’re still reading then you deserve some sort of award. I’ll end it here with one last thought that for the first time in ages I have switched my phone off. Not just on silent. Off! It’s staying off until the morning and sitting here I’ve decided that I’m going to do it every Sunday evening. It’s been bliss and it’s such a simple thing to do.

Now to figure out if I can watch E4 on my iPad do I can watch Die Hard 2 from the comfort of my bed. Night everyone. Sleep well. Xx
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