Perhaps it’s my age…

perhaps it’s my age, liberating me from unhelpful embarassment and restraint; perhaps it’s my illness and the concept of living every day as if it might be my last; perhaps it’s just that it was the right time for me to free myself and express opinions without fear of offending or starting a real discussion. Whatever the trigger or catalyst, I find myself in unfamiliar, and actually rather wonderful territory. I’m expressing my opinion and enjoying it!

i’m not sure if it’s a British thing or a female thing, or perhaps it was a cultural one, but I’ve spent the majority of my life keeping my opinions largely to myself; the exceptions to this have been the times when I’ve chosen to get involved with like-minded groups where our purpose is to express these shared views.

At home, I was taught that I should stay quiet and allow adults to talk as they had more experience (read: “be quiet, you know nothing”).

At school, the message was to listen unless you had something exceptionally clever to add to the lesson (read: “you’re an average student, you have nothing to add”).

At Sunday School, I failed to pay attention as I was convinced from a very early age that there was going to be no “god” in my life, and thus was taught Only one thing, that hate travels through generations and we have to choose to be the place where that ends.

I have always hated political correctness and the idea that I’ll be offending someone no matter what my opinion, and that therefore I should say nothing. And as I have always feared, this silence is dangerous and can spread faster than any cancer. Whole States sit in silence so as not to offen the religious rights of another, and allow wars and genocides to occur whilst they sit in silence.

well, not me. Not any more. Perhaps it’s my age…..

Don’t tell me I’m a failure!

Heart Failure; the latest addition to my long and boring list of ailments. Added, in name at least, only today. My “regular” appointment with my new Cardiology Nurse turned out to be anything but and two and a half hours after she asked me if I understood why my new Cardiologist had arranged for me to see her, I was sat in the car park with a new label to contemplate; Failure. My heart was in failure; 50% failed, level three failure out of four levels.

Ten days ago, after two years and two months on a cocktail of heart meds to keep me alive started to cause depression and suicidal thoughts, I stopped taking my Beta-blocker nd within 48 hours I started to feel “me” returning. I was finally leaving behind my feelings of guilt at surviving my series of heart attacks and open heart surgery, I was beginning to experience joy at being in our new home.

it never stops amazing me how often we are preparing for something without knowing it; I know that if I had heard the news today whilst in the state of mind I had been in, just a couple of weeks before, it would have felt overwhelming, it might well have been the last straw.

Today, however, the woman who heard the news that she was going to face yet another challenge, that despite everything she’d been through, there was going to be another test, was the woman who was told she would never be a mother, never make it to thirty, never walk again after her car accident, and wouldn’t live after 19 hours and a failed quintuple heart bypass. Today, Dinah had returned and I wasn’t going to accept that my heart was a Failure.

my heart, my rather over-damaged, over-stressed and over-worked heart, is a remarkable thing; the engine that’s kept running despite being way past empty and kept running on fumes. My heart, which has beat despite every attempt to stop it. Failure? I think not!

Labels have no place in our lives, other than on beautiful gifts or drawers of boring documents. They don’t belong on people and they don’t belong on our hearts. My heart a failure? I’d love to see the successful version!


Choosing Accountability

Making choices and sticking to them takes commitment.  It is so easy to doubt ourselves and talk ourselves out of choices as we listen to those old voices inside, telling us we can’t or we won’t.  A great way to stick to our choices is to get accountability for them.  An accountability buddy that we share our plans with who will encourage us and keep us accountable when we wobble on our journey of choice.

When I am committed to a choice I make, the first thing I do is tell someone about it.  By sharing my choices I am putting accountability in place that I believe gives me an extra drive to succeed.  It also provides support as we get used to our choices; there can be times when we doubt our choices, or ourselves, and having that accountability buddy means  we can share our fears and re-establish our commitment.

Make yourself accountable with someone who is likely to support and encourage you – the choice of your accountability buddy is crucial; there is little point in asking someone to support you who shows a lack of commitment to their own choices.  Set yourself up to succeed and ask someone you respect for their ability to see things through.

Enjoy your weekend, and I’d love to know how you are choosing to be accountable.

Dinah 🙂