A small contribution to #GriefAwarenessWeek & #shareyourstory

Grief is a wretched and unpredictable companion. This lingering shadow can jump out and shock us, or it might be triggered by key events like anniversaries or Christmas…

Christmas can be a very hard time for those that are grieving. Right now, for example, I’m remembering how mum would have started asking what everyone was planning to do for Christmas around September time and what they wanted for Christmas back in October! …

7.11.20

Dear Mum,

Wow, it’s been two years already… putting together Ikea furniture & booking holidays one day, dead the next. No-one expected it, or maybe you had a hunch something was wrong… we’ll just never know.

So, a crazy amount has happened since you rudely left us all to finally fend for ourselves — global pandemic, more corrupt, narcissistic male politicians than ever before…though tonight we’ve hopefully lost the worst of them, hoorah! We’ve all pondered how you would have been handling it all.

One positive I KNOW you’ll be opening a bottle of champagne about (to accompany the…

Disclaimer: I have seen three statuses on different social media platforms in the last week that have conveyed a deep sadness and sense of loss of self — one person said she sometimes feels she is ‘only keeping going for the kids’. While each has been different in style and structure reflecting the beautiful uniqueness of the author, there have been similar underpinning themes (all female, all aged between 36 and 46). I’ve not known any of these people well enough to pick up the phone, but want them to know that I hear them and that things can get…

A reply to the two people who asked me for advice

Dear Chaotically Clever, You will see that I have cheekily renamed you. Because although you mentioned that you were overwhelmed, frustrated, distracted and a ‘bit of a mess’, you also said that you knew you were capable of doing this postgraduate programme you really want to do. If you believe you are capable, you are capable. If you are capable of postgrad level study of any kind, you are clever. You might be chaotic, unfocused and a little bit crazy, but you are clever… likely creatively so. So, I took the liberty of renaming you, chaotically (creatively) clever. You will…

In my first blog on ADHD I explained how an ADHD diagnosis transformed my life. My story is not an unusual one for a late-diagnosed woman. My quest has been to own and embrace my ADHD so that its more challenging sides no longer own me — I’m on a lifelong journey here, so I neither profess to be an expert nor to speak on behalf of others with ADHD, these blogs merely contain my personal reflections of my particular experiences.

If you didn’t/can’t be bothered to read Part I, and are a bit confused about what ADHD is, I…

Female, parent, PhD and ADHD — and a little bit sweary (#sorrynotsorry)

There are a lot of people who don’t ‘really’ believe adult ADHD is real — reader, I married one — but they’re unlikely to be the sort of people who tiptoe into this blog. So forgive me while I skip the ADHD neuroscience bit and move swiftly on to the part that’s frankly more interesting to write (for those who like a bit of geeky science, take a look at this explanation of the ADHD brain).

Let’s begin by getting a few things straight: adult ADHD is real…

It was a seemingly normal morning in many respects. Having been upset the night before about the recent changes in his life, my eldest was apprehensive about going back to school and claimed to be ill. I agreed that he could have a day off (highly unlike me, alarm bells should have rung at that point). We took my youngest to school and we returned home.

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We walked across the garden and noticed that the neighbours’ fences had half burned down one side, and entirely collapsed on the other. …

Today is mother’s day. It’s never been something mum or I particularly made a fuss about, though this will be the first year that I haven’t given her a card.

My sister and I finally plucked up the courage to visit her at the green burial site this week. It was a beautiful sunny day and it just seemed right somehow. The place was peaceful, the buzzards flew about our heads and at one point a magnificent hare popped in to check in on us (although the moment was eerily Watership-downy in some ways). …

I ‘think’ I’ve moved on from the shock and survival stage of grief. I now realise this initial period involved a strange shield of numbness which temporarily held back (as long as it possibly could) the next more profound and painful stage. Like a temporary white lie, it soothes with just enough pretence and denial to make you think you’ve faced up to the truth.

But of course, you really haven’t.

The truth is cruel. The deep, agonising sadness has now hit, not with a sudden thump but with an infectious poison that starts gently at first before impacting every…

It’s only been two months since mum suddenly died. Possibly the strangest two months of my life so far.

The first month or so was a period of survival and numbness. The shock was profound. This was followed by a bizarre Christmas period where, to some extent, I was on auto-pilot doing the usual sort of stuff ‘for the kids’. And yet, during this time, we rather miraculously managed to firm up a hitherto meandering decision… to move nearer London. Now I’m caught up in the administration of this daunting task.

Many themed monologues have taken place in my head…

HM

Educationalist & parent. Passionate about sustainability, wellbeing, lifelong & intergenerational learning. Exploring how to reframe resilience, grief & ADHD

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