Tag Archive for: mental health

My head is full and my heart is heavy

“My head is full and my heart is heavy”. This was the only way I could describe how I am feeling to my husband this morning. Full, heavy, weighed down, overwhelmed.

I know that so many people are going through tough times right now, the air feels full of worry and stress, like when you get off a plane in a hot country and you can’t catch your breath. No matter how many deep breaths you take, you can’t seem to get enough oxygen. It is trapped and smothered by anxious thoughts and mild panic.

I wish I could pin point what is making me feel this way, but nothing is ever that black and white is it? It is the many shades of grey inbetween that dissolve the colours of life. Turning the technicolour of glorious life into an old, scratchy black and white movie. I am hopeful for the day that I will step into Oz and my eyes will see colour again.

I have a lot going on, the continuing saga of life with chronic illness, the stupid bloody hernias that haunt me. Then I slipped a disc in my back a few weeks ago that left me bed ridden for a week, it is better but still causing jip. I have a lingering UTI that I am fairly certain is ignoring the antibiotics and just sticking to the stress and keeping warm in my bladder. My awesome daughter left for university a few weeks ago and I miss them dreadfully. My eldest son has moved home with his lovely fiancé whilst they are between houses, my youngest has started college and a new job. Then there is the ‘stuff’, you know work, study, chores, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, taking the cat to the vet weekly as she has damaged her ligaments in her leg, sometimes it all just feels a bit overwhelming.

I feel like running away. I would happily take my husband, kids and friends with me on this escape. But man, life is a lot isn’t it.

I am usually a glass half full person, I can find the silver linings even in the shittiest of clouds. And I do still feel like I am that person. But everything just feels very full at the minute.

A friend told me of a story about a flower that droops and withers, no matter how much it tries to find the sun. And there comes a point where you have to stop blaming the flower for failing to thrive but look at the environment it is in. Without nutrient rich soil, sun and water, the flower will always struggle no matter how cheerful it tries to be.

Now, I know I am extremely lucky and privileged in many ways. I have a nice home that is safe, warm and mine. I have a great husband, kids and friends. I have money in the bank and I am not (too!) stressed about paying my mortgage or bills this month or next. I have food in the fridge and an oven to cook in. I am luckier than most people in the world.

But years of poor health and the mental health struggles it has brought with it has worn me down.

I know I choose to fill my days, I take on things that I probably shouldn’t because I have to prove to myself that I am here and valid and ‘normal’. That I can work and study and do extra projects because ‘this illness won’t stop me!’ And honestly, I love a lot of what I do. But right now, today, my head is full and my heart is heavy.

I want to simplify my life, remove the stuff that I do mindlessly, that wastes time and causes me sadness (instagram reels, news, scrolling through endless hateful internet comments). I am reading a book at the minute called Homesick – why I live in a shed by Catrina Davies about consumerism and simplifying your life and your surroundings.

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, either immediately or in the long run.

Henry David Thoreau

She quotes Walden by Henry David Thoreau when she reminds us of how it is quicker to walk anywhere than it is to work to pay for the ticket to arrive in style. And this simplifying of life feels very attractive to me right now.

I look at the waste produced each week by me and my family, the stack of boxes plied awaiting recycling collection from the crap we have bought over the internet from companies that don’t give a shit about the environment or the people who work for them. I see the monthly outgoings that seems to get more each month. I feel the weight of the possessions I have collected over my lifetime. And I kind of wish it would just all disappear. That I could live more simply, smaller yet more connected, connected to people I love, to community, to good, to nature, to creativity.

Perhaps it is that I turned 40 this year and suddenly feel the rush of the years gone by and realise how quickly the next 40 years will go. And I wonder how the things we do, the things we buy, the need to live in a bigger house, a better area, whether these things become the chain that holds us back.

If I could snap my fingers, my life would look different. I would live by the sea, close to nature, I would swim and walk and grow vegetables, tend to my chickens. I would throw away my phone and just use one to actually speak to the people I love, I would untether myself from the tangle of social media. I would live in a little house in the woods with my husband, buying little, creating much and feeling more connected to the earth.

Then I wonder what is stopping me?

As I sit here, taking tablet after tablet of the medication that keeps me going, I do start to wonder if I changed my lifestyle, would I improve my heath, my stress.

I wonder how to make my head less full and my heart less heavy.

I wonder if now is the time to make some changes.

Peace and love

Sam xx

You can’t heal the wound with the knife still in it

I saw this tweet this week from showupforthis and it stopped me in my tracks.

It is talking about the trauma of Covid and the past year of the pandemic, and makes complete sense. But for me it made me think about the trauma of several years of ongoing poor health, surgeries, pain and suffering. I have been giving myself such a hard time about feeling depressed and struggling to ‘get over’ my illness. But this hit me hard. Of course I cannot heal the trauma when I am still in the middle of it!

I am still unwell, I am on a lot of medication and seeing two different consultants. I am starting with other symptoms and being referred to another specialist. My tummy is disfigured and swollen and very painful. I have fatigue, I can’t sleep without sleeping tablets due to anxiety and I am on antidepressants.

Yet I am asking myself why do I feel like this? Why am I so low and anxious? This tweet summed it all up for me.

You can’t heal a wound with a knife still in it.

I am still on the journey, I am still dealing with surgery and medications but I am expecting myself to be dealing with the trauma. The knife is still well and truly stuck in there and I am wondering why the wound isn’t healing!

I suppose I just wanted to write about this as I know so many of us give ourselves such a hard time whilst never looking past the surface. Many of us are living with daily pain and massive uncertainty with out health and wonder why we feel so low about it.

Not that all hope is lost, as it says, we can identify the wound, we can learn coping strategies to live with it in our side. We can move forward in learning more about ourselves and how we can manage to live the best life right now. And maybe one day I will learn to heal. But I feel like giving myself a break from wondering why I am not healing right this second.

The NHS say “Two thirds of people with a long-term physical health condition also have a mental health problem, mostly anxiety and depression.”  So we are more likely to struggle with our mental health. Maybe it is time we spoke about this a little more as I am shocked by that statistic!

This quote isn’t going to rid me of all anxiety, nor is it going to fix me. But it is going to be another card in my positive affirmations that I tell myself when times are really shitty.

I hope it helps you too

Peace and love

Sam xx


Last year I decided to keep a journal, not so much a diary but a book to draw in, make notes, save clippings, cards and photographs. I called it my Stuff and Nonsense book and for the first time ever, I actually kept it up all year! I have tried to keep a diary before, but every time, I forget or just don’t have the time or head space to write in it. My journal last year felt much freer and simpler. I didn’t need to write in it every day or every week, but it was a space to vent or share or just put pretty things.


I will keep another this year, as I do feel it really helped my mental health. It was a private space (though I am going to share a few pics here) and I used it in bad times and good. What was nice was looking back through it when I was having a bad time and remembering that there were nice times even in the darkest days.

In February last year, I had my last major surgery and afterwards I was incredibly poorly. My stoma stopped working and I had to go on TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) and had an NG tube (Naso Gastro tube). My kidneys began to shut down and I had a stage 3 AKI (Acute Kidney Injury). Almost a year on, I am still recovering and dealing with after effects from this both physically and mentally. The journal gave me a place to share whether that was artwork, poetry or just a blurting out of words and images that explained how I felt.

I also kept a list of all the books I read in 2020, I love reading and I think writing them down actually made me read a little more than usual.

Ive seen a lot of bullet journals that look beautiful and though mine may be a little shabby and rough around the edges, I love it and think it will be a great thing to look back on through 2020, one of the weirdest years ever! I will definitely be doing another in 2021.

Let me know if you have a journal or diary and how it has helped you.

Peace and love

Sam xx

I feel so lost

This is a post from my facebook page, I just wanted to explain where I am right now. But I am posting this at 4am because after a long time, I just sat up in bed and thought ‘I want to write’. So I am hoping there will be more blog posts coming soon.

I feel so lost at the minute.

This time last year I had a job I loved, I had my own radio show on the BBC, I was blogging and I thought my surgery had been successful and the future felt bright.

Right now I’m recovering from 9th surgery. I have no job, the radio show has been put on hold due to corona and I just feel like I dont even know who I am any more.

During the last surgery in hospital I was really poorly. My bowel didnt wake up from the op for 17 days and then my kidneys packed in. I had a stage 3 AKI and I was very very ill, they said I was lucky to have come through.

And at the time you are just surviving. Getting through each hour, each day. But now I have time to reflect and i feel quite traumatised by it all. 

Then to come home to the world turning upside down with corona, lockdown and so many people dying. It is all a bit much.

The one thing I’ve always loved is writing. But I have lost my confidence even with that. I try to blog and just stare at the screen. I just have lost it. 

That’s why there have been no updates. But I’m trying. I’m writing this on my phone so it doesnt feel like “real writing”. 

I just feel a bit hollow and that I have nothing to give. 

So I’m sorry I’m absent and miserable right now. I’m going to try working on me and I’ll be about as much as I can. Because I bloody love sobadass, both the blog and on fb. I have avoided because I dont feel I am a good writer and I dont want to be sharing crap. 

I am lost, traumatised, sad and empty. And when you feel like this, you feel like you have no talent, nothing special and nothing to give to others. 

But I am trying. And I’ll keep trying.

✌?& ❤ 
Sam xx