Posted in My Planet

Un – Identity

Today I want to talk about the poem I posted on Monday ‘Mask’. I remember very clearly a period of time, when I was deep in my depression, that I did not know who I was. I knew my name, my age, where I lived, where I was born, etc, etc, but I didn’t know my identity. I did not know who was I all about, behind the mother, the daughter, the sister, the bread winner, I felt absolutely at loss amidst all those personas I had been showing to the world. I was supposed to be a strong, independent woman, self-confident and afraid of nothing, but behind that mask, I felt like a very scared and vulnerable little girl who craved nothing but to be cared for.

I remember people that knew me for a long time, being surprised with the fact that I was suffering from depression because I was antonymous of depression – my sister said once that I would be the last person she’d expected to see with depression because I was always so confident and upbeat. That was the problem, I never allowed myself to feel sad, scared or disappointed; in face of difficulties I would just pull myself together and move on. But sometimes we need to live through the disappointment and feel the grief, the pain, cry and ask for help. I didn’t do that for most of my life and it made me ill. And the realisation that I had used a mask of ‘everything is alright and if it isn’t I don’t care’ for too long made me feel like a farce; I did care, in fact, deep down I cared too much. I broke down when it became impossible for me to pretend and it took me a while to find myself, to find who I really was; not before the depression but who I was behind the mask that I wore all my life.

I think that one of the most valuable lessons I have learnt with depression and during therapy was that it is ok to be vulnerable and it is ok not to be ok. Pretending to be ok, when you’re not is long life habit of mine and I have to admit that I still do it from time to time, I just can’t help it. However, now I can recognise when I’m doing it and take a step back – without judgement – and that makes all the difference.

Thanks for reading and be kind to yourself!

Advertisements
Posted in My Planet

Graduation Day – Not

I should have been graduating today in English and Creative Writing (BA), but I didn’t. Since the second semester of year two, my studies have been a struggle for me – to be honest, my whole life has. But that is not what I am going to talk about here today.

When I realised I wasn’t going to be able to finish all my assignments on time to graduate this year, to a standard that would be satisfactory to me, I thought that the best option to me be would be to repeat this year and graduate next year. When I made that decision, I felt a huge relief, it was like a massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders and my mental health felt better straight away. I even started reducing my medication. I thought I would spend the summer reading books just for pleasure and not for coursework, developing this blog and just enjoying my family life before going back in September for a fresh restart, more focused and ready to actually enjoying studying my course. It seemed the best option for me because I came to a point where I felt exhausted, really, really tired of running to catch up, without time to deal with grief and other emotions and feelings fighting for my attention. Anyway, I needed a break and felt that I deserved it as well as a second chance at giving my course my best shot. I was happy with my decision.

Thanks to the power of social media, I have been seeing all my university colleagues in their gowns and accompanied by their families and friends celebrating their achievement. While I am ever so happy for all of them and proud to have witnessed the journeys of some of them, I am also a little bit upset because I am not graduating. It is a mixed emotion because I still think, there was nothing else I could have done and I think I can do it next year. However, in a remote place inside me, there is a voice whispering self-doubt thoughts, wondering if I will ever finish my degree… Yes, these voices still come back to me from time to time, but I have silenced them before and I will do again. I know I can finish my degree and graduate next year. I am absolutely capable of it.

I thought I’d share this year because it might be someone out there facing similar emotions and I would like them to know there they’re not alone. But, because I believe that this experience and all I have been through in the last two years of my life have made me stronger and better prepared for future challenges, I would also like to end on a positive note with the wise words of James Joyce:

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

 

Posted in My Planet

We Got Married – Finally!

Yes, we got married on 21 June 2017. It was a lovely ceremony and a fun reception, very intimate with just over fifty guests – only the people that matter to us was there. I wanted to get married on 22 June because that was my 50th birthday, but the hotel chosen for the reception was already booked up for that date, so I settled for the day before. At least I can say I got married before I turned 50 – at least that’s what my husband says.

036

It was a dream wedding because everyone had a good time, all the guests enjoyed themselves and that was everything we both wanted – that everyone had a party to remember. My bridesmaids looked gorgeous, the flower girls and page boys were a dream and the singer during the ceremony added a romantic and emotional tone.

050

My daughter and I planned everything, she did so much for this wedding – I don’t know if I will ever be able to pay her back for everything she has done. But it all worked out perfect. The venue was very good and the food was delicious, the cake wasn’t only delicious but also stunning, the DJ and photo booth were a real treat and my hair stayed up all night – yey! The flowers got a lot of praise, I designed and made my own bouquet and the bridesmaids’ too. I was a very successful handmade wedding. I am so happy! My friends and sister came from Portugal and it made it even more special. My husband and I could have not wished for a better wedding.

056

I have had some very hard times lately, but now I feel that this is the beginning of good things. Those of you who read previous posts know that I have been battling depression while dealing with feelings of loss and grief. Right now, I just need to gather my motivation and start taking action into creating the life I want to live. I have not been consistent with this blog so far, but that is about to change. Watch this space!

Posted in My Planet

Tribute reading for Geoffrey Hill

Hill

Fri 17 March 2017, 17:45 – 19:00. Great Hall, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, LEEDS, LS2 9JT. Free, but registration required.

Geoffrey Hill was knighted in 2012 for his services to poetry after a long and distinguished career as a poet and a scholar which included posts at the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, and Boston; and, more recently, his tenure as Professor of Poetry at Oxford. A graduate of Keble College Oxford, his academic career began at Leeds in 1954 with his appointment to a lectureship. He spent the next twenty six years at our University and was appointed to a Chair in English Literature in 1976. During this time, Geoffrey published four collections of poetry – For the Unfallen, King Log, Mercian Hymns, and Tenebrae – works which secured his reputation as one of the finest poets writing in the English language. The University of Leeds is proud…

View original post 38 more words

Posted in My Planet

Being Selfish is Good !

Love must start with the self, sometimes we treat ourselves the way we wouldn’t treat our worst enemy and that’s just cruel.

Some of us never want to be selfish, it seems such a negative word.Happens with me all the time.

Like Sometimes we feel bad about ourselves because our friends keep calling us to hangout and we just don’t wanna go Or we want to be with our partner, so we keep saying NO but inside we feel bad about it.

Sometimes somebody is asking you to do their task but we wanna go home and just sleep but as soon as we reach home we feel bad for not helping.

Sometimes we are too broke to help somebody financially or we need that money for our family needs.But nonetheless we feel bad about ourselves for not helping.

Or sometimes someone wants to talk about their problem but we keep listening to their problem, feeling like a dump box for their negativity and done! So this time we don’t want to listen to…

View original post 411 more words

Posted in My Planet

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagates fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

By Pablo Neruda
Translated by Mark Eisner
Poetry Foundation (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49236)

I never wrote a love poem, I don’t know why. Maybe because I have been busy writing about my children, odd sock, insomnia, anxiety, etc, or maybe because it never occurred to me to write a love poem. What I know is the reason why it never happened is not because I don’t love, because I do and the poem above is one of my favourite love poems, which I happen to have chosen for my first public poetry reading. I love this poem because it describes how I feel about love, I feel that I could have written it, should I be so talented 😉

Posted in My Planet

Should, Should’ve, Shouldn’t

Some of you may have noticed that I have not been very consistent in with my blog writing. The truth is that I have been battling depression and anxiety during the last almost twelve months, I don’t know exactly when it started, to be honest. It has a way of sneaking in ever so gently that you don’t even notice until you’re deep in it. My first impulse is to think, I should have known better as this isn’t the first time depression hits me, but then I remember what I learnt in therapy – be kind to myself! Yes, in therapy I learnt not to use the words like ‘should’, ‘shouldn’t or ‘should have’.

That indeed is a big challenge for me; in my mind, I am always thinking that I should have known better, should have organised my time better, should eat healthier and exercise more, should watch less TV, should read more, etc. I have been feeding a feeling of guilt all my life and it is so strong that is has not been easy to break free from it. I can safely say that feeling guilty has been my worst enemy. This feeling has made me feel unworthy of love and success and peace for most of my life. The first psychiatrist I saw in 2010 when I was first diagnosed associated this feeling with the roman catholic religion; I am not so sure about that. Although I have been raised in a roman catholic family, I have also been taught that God loves me and about forgiveness. So, I’m won’t go there for now as it would probably be another blog post altogether. Nevertheless, my parents raised me to feel guilty, guilty for my mistakes, guilty for my siblings’ tantrums, guilty for my dad’s moods and so on. So much so that it is very hard for me now, not to feel responsible for everyone’s happiness and success.

I have to say, though, that since I had therapy the first time I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I am a lot better. I have learnt that I am not responsible for other people’s behaviour and I can only be responsible for my actions and everyone is responsible for their own actions. But from time to time, it’s like I forgot everything I have learnt. For the last three years, I have been feeling guilty because my youngest sister is the only one in Portugal taking care of our parents and I think it is also my responsibility to be there for them and help. However, life circumstances lead that I have moved to England in 2002 and this is my home now. Should I have moved back to Portugal to help my parents in their old age and sickness? No, I don’t think so because my life is here now, my children were raised here and this is their home. Going back to Portugal wouldn’t be fair on any of us and our life wouldn’t be easy over there right now. What I can do now is to support my sister the best I can, and help whenever I can. I have started going over there twice a year, which I think has helped. And that’s all I can do.

Three years ago, we were told that my dad had cancer and that it was so advanced, he already had metastases in his bones and it was terminal. His doctor previewed that he wouldn’t live for much more than twelve months. I think I started grieving him in that moment. I have been grieving my dad’s lost health and strength, my mum and sister have lost peace and freedom and the fact that I can not be there to support them. This is why I have not been able to start grieving my mum’s death and I am suffering so much with it. And I keep thinking that if I had taken her to the hospital sooner, she might have been saved, that I should have called the ambulance for her.

Posted in My Planet

Mum

The first lady on the right is my mother, with her sisters.
dsc_0332

I have not been writing on my blog for a good few months and I would like to apologise to all my readers for the absence. Unfortunately, I have lost my mother this summer and have not had the courage to start writing until now. It was unexpected, my father has been fighting cancer for the last three years and his condition has been deteriorating, so we never expected my mother to go first. And honestly, I have begged God to not let her go first because he needed her. However, things are not always as we wish, sometimes God has other plans for us. I know she is in her deserved resting place and I have the comfort of knowing that she didn’t suffer. But I also know that I won’t be seeing her again nor hearing her voice again and I miss her terribly. The awful thing is that I haven’t started the grieving process yet and it hurts so much, I feel emotionally bloated and I am hoping that my writing will help to ease the pain.

 

 

Posted in My Planet

Sharing my poetry

So I decided to start my blog today, this is something I have been thinking about for some time now, but there’s always something in the way…

However, today is as good a day as any other. What am I going to blog about? You might ask. I have started studying English and Creative Writing two years ago and a passion for poetry has reignited in me, quite surprisingly to be honest. I thought my time as a poet was confined to my teen years when hormones were running confused all over my being. I was wrong, there has always been a poet in me and I had no idea.

On this blog, I will be posting my own poems and welcoming any feedback that will help to make them better. Bearing in mind I am a student writing in my second language, I see positive criticism as an important part of my growth as a writer. But, if you feel touched by any poem I publish, I’d love to hear from you too.

I am passionate about poetry and I am determined to make it more popular, I have noticed that most people think that poetry has to rhyme and that it is very difficult to understand. I will try to change that perception with my own poetry and the poetry from other poets.