The secret is out

Yesterday was a very good day. I paid a visit to my old workplace to see my ex manager to talk about setting up a placement to support me during the return to nurse practice course.We had a lovely chat and subject to her discussing it further with HR, I’m in!!

While I was there I managed to have a gossip with staff I knew from when I worked there 6 years ago, but there were a lot of new faces.

It felt really good being back there, for the first time in a long time I felt like my life is going somewhere instead of being in limbo.

When I first became ill and had to give up my career I naively thought I would automatically get my pension due to ill health. That was not the case because under NHS rules I needed to prove permanent incapacity. In my deepest despair and depression I thought I would never recover and would be ill forever. So I appealed twice against the decision and failed twice. I was in this mind set for so long that I would never get better because any energy I had, (which wasn’t much!), was put into trying to find a Dr to confirm I was permanently incapacitated, so that I could get the money I’d spent so long saving up. I believed and subconsciously told myself that I would always have this awful debilitating illness.

Eventually, last year I decided to give up on trying to appeal, I only had one left and after all it’s only 15 years until I’m 60, not too long to wait!!

Also last year a friend lent me 2 books that would change my life, “The Secret” and “The Power”. The theme of these books is using positive thinking and love to get what you want in all aspects of your life.

I think the best advice I got from the section on health was not to own my illness or give attention to it. I decided then not to talk about myself suffering from CFS. If I talked about it at all I would detach myself from it, describing the symptoms in a clinical way and not say that I suffer from them. When anyone asks how I am I don’t talk about my illness and say I’m well and mean it.

Here are a couple of extracts from the book on illness, ” disease is held in the mind by thought, by observation of the illness and by the attention given to the illness. If you are feeling unwell don’t talk about it unless you want more of it. If you listen to people talking about their illness you add energy to your illness. Instead change the conversation to good times and give powerful thoughts to seeing those people in health.”  ” Focusing on perfect health is something we can all do within ourselves despite what is maybe happening on the outside”.

I truly believe that this was the turning point in my recovery. The mind is a very powerful tool and has a massive effect on our well being and health. I’m not saying that illness is all in the mind, but how we perceive it in our minds determines how we cope with the illness.

I am so grateful to my friend Mary for lending me those books, they were a life saver.

Arty farty food

I saw today in the newspaper that Gregg Wallace had split up from his girlfriend, the paper called it the “Masterchef curse” as his mate John had had a similar experience recently.

Like the many of the nations population I was glued to Masterchef and was so happy to see Shelina win. I was routing for her all the way through. I only watched it to see how the contestants worked their way through all the challenges and get to know their personalities.


I really got annoyed though with all the phaffing around and the puny pretentious food! 

During the last week  the final three had to work in a Michelin star restaurant and then cook for some of the top chefs that mentored them in those restaurants and through the series.

At the restaurants there were 90 euro starters, barbed wire jelly and celeriac tear drops……please!!!

Maybe I’m missing something, perhaps because maybe I’ve never had the money to spend on fine dining I don’t give a toss whether my langoustine are all facing the same way in concentric circles!!!!!!

For mothers everywhere

Today being Mothers day may I take this opportunity to say happy mothers day to all mums and grandmothers.

I don’t know where I’d be without my mum, especially over the last 6 years during my illness. But through her love, patience and support I’ve got over the worse and well on my way to a full recovery.

When growing up the most her valuable advice to me was to be independent. She encouraged me to work hard at school, college and Nursing school/university and to get to where I wanted to be in my profession. She helped me so much when I had my sons and needed to work, even though she worked hard herself.

My greatest achievement is giving birth to and raising my 2 wonderful sons. I know all mothers say this but they truly are great lads. Although they struggled through primary and secondary school, they are now doing extremely well as strapping 20 and 23 year olds. My oldest son, Scott, is at Winchester University studying Archaeology and my youngest, Jake, is a budding actor studying performance arts. I could not be any prouder of them and they were so supportive and patient with me through my illness and when I got married for the second time.

Being a mother is perhaps the most difficult, demanding and frustrating job, but at the same time it’s the most rewarding job in the world. I believe it is a privilege to be a mother and I feel privileged every day.

Stop procrastinating and get on with it!

I love reading, I read everywhere…….. in the bath, in bed, on the bus… anywhere really. I would be lost if I didn’t have something to read and make sure I have a book in my bag, especially given the bus I have to travel on and the passengers I have to share the bus with!

I love to read some books a second time to study how the author develops the story and characters, because when I read the book for the first time I just want to get to end to find out what happens.

So the natural progression would be to write my own stuff. I have at least 5 book ideas written in my notebook, I carry it everywhere with me so I can scribble ideas down when I think of them. In fact I have many notebooks, I do have a bit of a fetish for them.

I’ve bought a book “Creative Writing for Dummies” to spur me into action. I’ve been talking and thinking about it and procrastinating for long enough. I just need to bite the bullet and start on one of those ideas in my notebook. The book is really good and has lots of exercises to help develop writing skills and ideas.

I will keep the blog posted on my progress in the world of creative writing


Going like a good’un!

My interview went very well, couldn’t have gone better really. That really boosted my confidence especially as I will need to have another interview to apply to do the Return to Nurse Practice course and any other jobs I apply for.

Of course now I’ve entered the realm of mandatory training, first day was yesterday and manual handling next Thursday. This I don’t mind because I used to teach manual handling and I loved it.

This success has not stopped me searching and applying for more jobs, I’m beginning to lose track of what I’ve applied for and  I’ve downloaded my CV on quite a few job sites now.

This afternoon I sent my CV to an agency, within 10 minutes a representative phoned me back. After talking for a while she said she was sorry they couldn’t offer me work because I couldn’t commit to 21 hours a week. I don’t want to commit to too many hours at first because I haven’t worked for a long time and still don’t know what I am capable of and how tired I will get. I was pretty knackered last night after the training day.

Then 1 hour after that the same woman phoned me back and informed that she had spoken to her manager about me  and they are willing to let me work less hours. So after a quick phone interview I was in and invited for a face to face interview.

So the moral of the story is never say never and apply anyway, what have I got to lose!

Couch Potato

After 6 years of not working and having no occupation or energy to keep busy during the day, it was easy to slip into TV routines. These routines have changed over the years according to my health, energy levels and what’s on TV.

I went through a phase of watching home improvement shows, simply because they were all on the same channel. Some days I didn’t have the energy or the strength to lift the remote or the mental energy to think  about what to watch. So channel that alternated home and garden make over shows was perfect for home improvement heaven.

Now that I’m feeling much better I have more energy to do more and fill more of my day in a more productive manner. But I still maintain a daily TV routine. After farting around in the morning and early afternoon and when I get back if I needed to go anywhere, I usually settle down to watch the film on channel 5, even if it’s a cheesy “made for TV” film.You know it’s one of those when you don’t recognise any of the actors as the film is starting. When that’s finished I used to catch the end of Perfection even though Nick Knowles as it’s presenter is as exciting as a bucket of snot! But now that’s ended so need to rethink that one.

Then the icing on the TV cake is Pointless on BBC1, I don’t know what I did at 5.15 before Pointless. Quite simply the best game show on TV at the moment.



Back in the saddle again

I uploaded my CV on a few more websites, in for a penny in for a pound as they say! I have applied for 4 jobs, 2 healthcare assistant and 2 learning support assistant.

By late afternoon I was called by a nursing agency inviting me for an interview for a healthcare assistant role.

My first thought was “what am I going to wear!”

Into the ether

With my CV updated and revamped it’s now time to put it out there for all to see. An internet search informs me that there are a huge amount of job sites inviting me to upload my CV and get myself a job. I decided on 3 for now, the registration and upload of CV was so easy and straight forward. Now all I have to do is wait for job vacancies to be emailed to me and prospective employers to contact when they realize they can’t do without me!

12 hours later I get a call from a recruiter wanting more information about the roles I’m looking for and my current status

10 hours after that another recruiter asking the same thing.

Proof I think that these job sites are well worth signing up for.

Blowing the dust off the CV

It’s not easy updating a CV when you haven’t done any work for the last 6 years. But it did give me the opportunity to remember that before my illness I was somebody, I was worthwhile and achieved a hell of a lot.

In the deepest despair of being ill with CFS I felt like my life was over, I had nothing to live for because I simply didn’t have the energy and didn’t feel well enough to live. Reading and editing my CV helped me to evaluate my skills and experience and boost my confidence and resolve.

Bit of a re think

Given that I have to wait until June before I can do the return to nurse practice course and that the course is 4 months long, I have been giving some thought to what other jobs I can do with the skills I have.

My next job of choice is a learning support assistant in a school. Although I don’t have any experience of being paid to do that role, I have had lots of experience supporting my sons throughout their primary and secondary education in and out of school. I also have many years experience nursing children.

Unfortunately, as with many jobs, formal experience is needed for a lot of the jobs advertised. Still that won’t put me off applying, many of my skills gained throughout my nursing career are transferable and I’m pretty sure I can do the job

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