Down but not out

It came as quite a shock to realise that I hadn’t updated for 2 months. I cannot say that I was absent because I was having a marvellous time. Unfortunately the opposite is true. Life has been very hard lately. As a family we have suffered a bereavement, life threatening illnesses and struggles with disability. It has not been an easy road and my mood has suffered. I have taken time to think, to wallow somewhat and to adjust to our changing landscape but also to slow down and really absorb and appreciate what we have. I’m down but not out. Things will pick up and starting to write again is a step towards a return to normality.

Woman raising her fists. Down but not outPhoto by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash


It didn’t occur to me until recently that grief can take many forms and there are different things we grieve for. At the moment we are grieving in the traditional sense for a lost relative and I think in a strange way this is the easiest emotion to understand.

Grief when someone is seriously ill is a whole new ballgame and something I had not encountered before now. It doesn’t make sense and that makes it harder to deal with. You find yourself grieving for events that you assumed would happen. How can we grieve for something that hasn’t happened? For memories we just assumed our children would make? I don’t think I am explaining it well and that’s why it’s so hard to deal with if you cannot even voice it.

I am also grieving for the loss of my mobility. It sounds selfish and self indulgent but I am angry at my body. I long to be pain free. This isn’t the life I thought I would have and I resent the cards that I have been dealt. I want to be that person who accepts their situation with grace but I am not there yet. It is a work in progress.

Down but not out

Everything seems so very different from when I started the year full of plans for the months ahead. It would be easy to allow this sad turn of events define how we progress throughout the rest of the year. But we cannot. There is so much joy in life. When you are grieving you have to look a bit harder to find it but rest assured that it is still there.

I have been spending a lot of time doing things for myself to improve my mood. Some have been more successful than others. Sitting in the garden and simply watching the birds has given me an unexpected boost. I am scared of birds so how this helps is anyone’s guess but it goes to show that sometimes we have to take a leap to find our happy place.

Best foot forward

This subheading really appeals to my dark sense of humour.  I am literally struggling to put one foot in front of the other at the moment. I won’t let it stop me though. I will just get there at my own pace. I am definitely the tortoise rather than the hare  but perhaps that is a good thing? I have time to examine my surroundings and to savour the good things in our life. I may not be as quick as I want to be but every step forward that I take is a triumph. I can say with certainty that I may be down but I am definitely not out.

 What do you do to lift your mood when you are feeling low?




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  1. 12th June 2018 / 8:49 AM

    sorry to hear that you’ve been going through all this, grief, illness and disability have been the 3 main topics in my life for the past year als, it’s coming up to a year now since my father died suddenly, i find that while i think about him every single day, not only do I no longer cry at each and every memory, but I’ve now reached the stage where I no longer feel guilty for not crying. Time does heal, but in it’s own way, for each and every one of us. #keepingitreal

    • Louisa
      12th June 2018 / 6:24 PM

      I am so sorry that you lost your father. We should be kind to ourselves and not feel guilty about when life starts to look up again. Our memories are precious and it’s positive when they can bring a smile rather than tears

  2. 11th June 2018 / 8:43 PM

    I am very sorry to read about your loss and your illness. We recently lost my father-in-law after a very short battle with cancer and have all been struggling with our grief in our own ways. It is so hard. Having an illness must make it even harder to face, a double blow. I find listening to music, reading and writing help to lighten my mood or spending time with my family or friends. Take care! #keepingitreal

    • Louisa
      12th June 2018 / 6:21 PM

      I am sorry for your loss. I am finding writing and sewing are a great help to heal my spirits

  3. 11th June 2018 / 6:06 PM

    Hi Louisa – not going to write a long comment, but just know you are not alone and your words will be helpful to others! I have included this link on PainPals regular feature Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! Claire x #Pocolo

    • Louisa
      11th June 2018 / 8:15 PM

      Thank you so much Claire, I really appreciate it x

  4. 9th June 2018 / 8:00 PM

    Hi Lousia. I am so sorry to read what you have been going through. Yes, I think you are right. One step at a time and deal with everything in your own time. Glad to see you back and I hope things start getting better for you. Thanks for joining us this week at the weekend blog hop.

    • 9th June 2018 / 8:04 PM

      *Louisa* Sorry, I spelt your name wrong, hit the keys in the wrong order 🙁

      • Louisa
        10th June 2018 / 6:59 PM

        Lol. No problem! Thank you 😉

    • Louisa
      10th June 2018 / 7:14 PM

      Thanks for your comment. I think there is an expectation that we recover from everything quickly, be it grief or illness and that is unrealistic. Everything will happen in time and there is no need to rush it.

  5. 9th June 2018 / 4:23 PM

    Hi Louisa, I am so sorry that life has been pretty crappy (understatement!) for you lately. Sometimes we do need to wallow, just to take time to step back and take it all in. If we don’t take that time, then how are we really meant to digest it all?… Coming to terms with loss, whether it’s a life lost or of the way things were ‘meant’ to be is hard to come to terms with, again it takes time and each and every one of us is different and handle things differently. I’m sure you will get there in the end… I have a constant nagging ache in one of my hips that is beginning to worry me, but I can’t imagine what it must be like to be in constant pain and unable to move like I would like. But you know what? Baby steps are okay. Having time to take everything in rather than rushing past and missing it all. I do hope that one day you are pain-free though… This morning I was heading back to the car after a walk in the hills with the dogs. I love being in nature and it suddenly struck me that that is my happy place. I can feel down and out, but an early walk in the hills, just me and the dogs, seeing lizards, snakes, butterflies and birds is all it takes to make me feel on top of the world again. If only all medication was so easy to take!

    Thank you for stopping by and linking up with #keepingitreal.


    • Louisa
      10th June 2018 / 7:19 PM

      Like you Debbie, I am never happier than when out with the dog and enjoying nature. It is a great sorrow to me that I can’t do that at the moment. You should really get your hip looked at. I have learned that with hips there are no quick fixes. It has taken 3 years for me to even begin any form of treatment and I have no end in sight. Baby steps is really the way forward in many matters x

  6. 9th June 2018 / 10:44 AM

    Sorry to read that you are down. When I’m feeling low I find that surrounding myself with things I love like great music and nature helpful. #MMBC

    • Louisa
      10th June 2018 / 7:02 PM

      Great advice thank you, both are great mood enhancers

  7. 8th June 2018 / 7:54 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss and everything that has been going on…Sending hugs! #PoCoLo

    • Louisa
      10th June 2018 / 7:00 PM

      Thanks Kim, much appreciated x

  8. 8th June 2018 / 3:58 PM

    I’m so sorry that you have been bereaved, and also that you have not been well. I’m particularly sorry that you are in pain. That is incredibly hard to deal with all at once. I wish I had some better advice, but I know it is good that you are looking for the good in the hard times. I’m glad that you are taking joy in some of the small things, and I do hope that things will soon be much better. I know that grief is not something you can fix quickly though, and my best advice here would be to be very patient with yourself. Sending positive, healing thoughts.

    • Louisa
      10th June 2018 / 7:01 PM

      Thanks April. I think joy brings joy. By finding it in the small things before long we will find it all around us

  9. 7th June 2018 / 2:19 PM

    I think it’s a true testament to your character that you are able to see through the darkness and into the light. You may be struggling with some resentment towards your body right now but you’re human. I think any of us would feel the same way. Yet, you are still looking for the positive in your life and that is amazing! #MMBC

    • Louisa
      8th June 2018 / 12:37 PM

      Thank you so much Michelle. It can be all too simple to assume that everything is bleak when you are at a low point but there are always sources of joy around us, we might just have to look that little bit harder to find them.

  10. 6th June 2018 / 1:14 PM

    Sorry to hear you have been dealing with all of this – writing can be incredibly therapeutic so I’m sure this post itself must have helped you some small way. The trouble with negative emotions is that we’re often taught to get over them, and as quickly as possible – grief, anger and such – however they are valid feelings and should processed and worked through at your own pace.

    ‘I may be down but I am definitely not out’ – that fighting spirit will go a long way.

    • Louisa
      8th June 2018 / 12:35 PM

      I think we are taught from an early age to hide and ignore our negative emotions whereas in fact they do help the healing process. Writing does help a great deal, it is a great outlet for when the emotions get to be overwhelming x

  11. 5th June 2018 / 8:28 PM

    Sending hugs and a heap of good fortune ? and a wry smile at that sun heading too xx

    • Louisa
      8th June 2018 / 12:24 PM

      Thank you Stephanie, life is all about ups and downs and I know it will pick up again xx

  12. 5th June 2018 / 1:26 PM

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Grief is so personal and takes its own path. You sound like you are mourning the loss of certain dreams that you had too. Your picture of the future. I suspect the children won’t miss the memories not made. It is more you that will know. Sending huge hugs.

    My mood lifter is knitting or getting outside. It never fails to amaze me how much it helps. My neighbour has a fear of birds too, but puts a bird feast out every day in her garden. Attracting the thing she fears to her. Never understod it. Glad to see you back.

    • Louisa
      8th June 2018 / 12:32 PM

      Thank you Cheryl. Yes I guess I am mourning the loss of dreams as well. It’s funny that your friend does the same as me. I always make sure the bird feeders are full and enjoy watching them but if they came too close to me I would probably faint! x

  13. 5th June 2018 / 9:16 AM

    Sorry to hear you have been struggling, grief is hard but take your time, people always want you to accept it quickly and life isn’t like that. I am glad to hear you are back X #mmbc

    • Louisa
      8th June 2018 / 12:33 PM

      Yes, I do think people expect you to get over it in an unrealistic time frame but life doesn’t work like that does it? x

  14. 5th June 2018 / 1:55 AM

    I’m glad to hear you are finding little things that bring you joy. I also find being outside in nature helps life my spirits. Capturing beautiful images with my camera helps me as well. I hope writing can bring you comfort as well!

    • Louisa
      8th June 2018 / 12:29 PM

      Writing is a great help when I am in the right frame of mind. Photography and crafts are other ways that I find joy, so I can keep my options open and do what feels best at any particular time

  15. 4th June 2018 / 9:50 PM

    Dealing with loss can be difficult and grieving the loss of something is extremely real. I totally understand – hang in! #MMBC

    • Louisa
      8th June 2018 / 12:27 PM

      Thank you Carol. It can be hard when people expect you to behave in a certain way but we each have to deal with it in a way that helps us to heal best x

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