“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #16 – Alexandra North

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 They say I’m doing well…

Am I? Really?

The pain consumes me, ravishing my weary body.

Will it ever end? Will I ever sleep?

Twisting, shooting, stabbing, gripping.

A never-ending cycle soothed by a myriad of pills and heat.

 

Cool water washes the tablets down and

I curl up tight, consoling my aching curves.

Unwelcome drowsiness, finally takes effect.

The warm medicinal blanket soothes my severed nerves.

 

They say I’m doing well … managing this illness,

But they don’t see me at dawn, in agony and pain.

They say I’m doing fine… being positive about my progress.

I’m trying very hard – after all, I have a reputation to maintain.

 

To most I am ‘fine’, for the mask is firmly fixed in place.

The lipstick is on; the cheeks rosy, the bright smile fake.

Only the closest of friends and family know my secret,

the torment I go through, each day I wake, each step I take.

 

I smile through unshed tears, pain ripping through my body,

as I chat with a colleague, or friend, or my son.

Screaming silently, I nod in all the right places;

Life is as it should be to all.

Another day has passed, another day is done.

 

My strength makes me proud; I control this illness.

Despair cloaks me in blackness, but positivity lets the light back in.

Those good days I embrace, and I live my life freely,

for when the bad days come, and they will,

I’ll indulge and give in.

 

They say I am doing well … what do they know?

I’ll be the judge of that, I will say if I am doing well.

Today may be a day where I want to scream and yell,

tomorrow one where I’m invincible and not living this hell.

 

One thing I know, my pain makes me strong.

I won’t let this beat me, this illness of mine.

I’m determined to not lose the person that I am.

The laughter bubbles, despite my ongoing decline.

 

The support I gain from my family and friends,

helps me fight this condition that may never end.

 

Alexandra North © 2016

author bio

ALEXANDRA NORTH…

… is an Amazon bestselling author who came onto the writing scene in 2014. She writes romance, with erotic themes, humour, drama and often suspense and there is always a HEA at the end of a book/series.
Ms. North lives in the rambling lush hills of Yorkshire, United Kingdom with her swoon-worthy husband and two children, 15 and 9. She worked as a Graphic Designer & Illustrator, for over 18 years before she wrote her first book and now combines design and writing in this new path when creating her book covers and teasers.
Writing was always a hobby and took a back seat to University, work, parenthood and unfortunately later, chronic long-term illness. One day she woke and thought ‘life’s too short – I’m going to finish that blummin book!’ She now devotes her time to writing love stories full of humour and naughtiness. When she isn’t manically typing away or trying to be the model wife and mum, Alexandra can be found shoe shopping (shoes are her weakness), cosying up with back-to-back TV series and enjoying her very own Sebastian Silver.

Find her at the following social media sites;

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexandranorthauthor
Twitter: @alexnorthbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/alexnorthbooks
http://www.alexandranorth.co.uk

DONATE BUTTON

 

Thank you so much for taking part Alexandra!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #8 – Carrie Elks

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Stress strɛs/ – a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

Stress can be the most destructive of forces. Metal buckles beneath it. Walls, crack, houses crumble, people disintegrate. When it hits you, it’s almost impossible to evade, and I’ve found that it always seems to come at the moment you’re least ready for it.

In my day job I see the effects of stress on a weekly basis. I’ve watched it turn distinguished, strong men into frightened children, and experienced the way it can spin peoples’ world on an axis. In its most iniquitous form it can cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a dreadful affliction where people can be triggered back to that moment of fear, experiencing it over and over again.

Though I’ve seen it first hand, it wasn’t until earlier this year that I felt the full-blown effects of stress. That’s when I began to suffer from anxiety attacks, sleeplessness and severe reactions to triggers. Combined with depression, stress can cause you to stop functioning, and that’s exactly what happened to me. My entire life went into fight or flight mode.

The simplest things could cause my heart palpitations and breathlessness; images on television, a certain song, or even sleep. So I began to avoid sleeping, laying in bed frightened to let my eyes closed, because I knew I’d wake up to a speeding heart and a lump in my throat that made it impossible to take in air. But it was a self-defeating gesture, because my lack of sleep only served to heighten the tension, making me even less able to fight off the anxiety attacks, and ensuring that I was regularly caught in a negative thought cycle, where I came to believe that my depression and anxiety were my fault.

Somehow, I managed to get some help. I found an amazing counselor who worked with me on two levels. Firstly to deal with the effects of the anxiety, and secondly to deal with the underlying causes. She introduced me to Mindfulness – a useful tool to help you deal with negative thoughts and being hung up on the past. Mindfulness, according to the dictionary, is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Through this I discovered there are a large number of Mindfulness Podcasts out there—many available for free—and I listen to these and use the techniques on a daily basis.

I am one of the lucky ones. In the UK, counseling is hard to come by on the NHS, and private sessions can run upwards from £40 per hour. Stress and Depression are hugely destructive to individuals and families, but unless you have available cash, it’s hard to find a way to get the therapy needed to deal with them. As I discovered, by their nature, mental illnesses are difficult to deal with on your own. Having a trained person to lead you through the path of healing is necessary, and unfortunately so many people don’t have access to this kind of help.

Considering stress is now the number one reason for long-term absence from work, it’s hard to believe why treatments are so under-funded. The sad fact is, that unless you are either rich, have a wonderfully tenacious GP or have a job where you get benefits such as medical care, you’ll think you have to deal with stress and depression on your own.

Except you’re not alone. Once I was on the road to recovery I discovered an amazing plethora of help online. From support boards, to blogs to practitioners willing to offer pro-bono advice, I discovered that help is only a Google search away. By being honest about my issues, and seeking out those who are going through something similar, I’ve found healing. I’ve also found friendship and encouragement.

One of the most important things to understand if you’re going through something similar is that you don’t have to do this on your own. Even if you haven’t yet suffered from depression or anxiety yourself, reach out to those who have. A kind word, a smile, or the results of a Google search could go a long way to making the world a better place.

They say I’m doing well. I’m now in recovery (I don’t think anybody is truly cured). But I’m more aware of myself and my triggers than ever, and if I feel myself getting low, I’m sure to let my husband or my family know. I still practice Mindfulness—it’s something I think I’ll always do—and I’m very grateful to be alive and well in this beautiful world. But I’m also aware that so many more people than ever are out there suffering, and if that’s you, I promise, you aren’t alone.

Carrie Elks © 2016

author bio

Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two. http://www.carrieelks.com

related links

A Lecture on Mindfulness by Prof Mark Williams – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAy_3Ssyqqg

Mind – http://www.mind.org.uk

The Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org

DONATE BUTTON

 

Thank you so much for taking part Carrie!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

giveaway

51sbG+uw6nLCarrie is giving away an ecopy of her book Coming Down. To be in with a chance of winning, visit Carrie’s FB Page and post on her wall “Sarah sent me!”

Good luck everyone and thanks for reading!

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #7 – Mandy Gibson

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This weekend there’s going to be a something-or-other, apparently. I

Heard plenty of people would be there.

Everyone loves a good party, and I was looking for just such an opportunity to invite

You

 

So here’s my little invite, I know you’ll probably say

Aaaaah no I’m washing my hair, aaaaah nah I’m just so snowed under right now,

You know how it is, right?

 

I do.

cept I don’t believe you.

My instinct tells me you’re avoiding being around anyone, any time, anywhere.

 

Do you think that somewhere,

Over the hills and fair away,

Is a place where you can be totally alone and free of this

Niggling, nagging, freaking, twitching, crazy-ass mess of self-doubt and stress to which you’d happily

Go and be…..

 

What?

Extremely alone with your fuss and your hurt.

Let me take you somewhere new.

Let me get you out of this house and show you a safer place than your own mind…

…just for a while.

 

Mandy Gibson © 2016

author bio

Mandy is an Australian poet and editor whose work appeared in an anthology on Lulu called time lines. She is also a celebrant and a druid and a craft extraordinaire. She’s also the person who quietly keeps SM Lynch sane.

Follow Mandy on Twitter

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Mandy!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

“They Say I’m Doing Well” Blog Tour – Stop #4 – Audrina Lane

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A look, a glance, a cheerful smile

Hello, how are you? How’s things?

You reply in kind with words of

Fine, I’m good, how are you?

But do they listen?

Do they just see the face?

But is it real or is it fake?

Beyond the mask is what really counts

They never see my pain

The sorrow and the bleakness

Desolation swirls again

A cage to confine and constrict

Each moment is an effort

Requiring acting skill

To keep the glue that holds in place

The image I portray

Who can really see behind

This lie of life I lead

The mirror shows me what I mean

The despair of self esteem

Eroded gradually through time

Cruel words and taunts

Echoing

I hear them all

They whisper

Some might know the score

Some see the darkness in my eyes

A shuffle in my gait

Dressing to remain obscured

To hide my truth away

And sometimes

A tear slips and falls

As my ears pick up upon

The words uttered as I walk away

They say I’m doing well

Audrina Lane © 2016

author bio

Audrina Lane lives with her partner Steve and two Labradors in Herefordshire where The Heart Trilogy is set. The first book is based on a diary the author wrote in 1992 and is inspired by her own experiences of first love.

The other books in the series, Unbreak My Heart and Closer to the Heart are out now. To find out more about Audrina and her books, visit www.audrinalane.co.uk or http://author.to/audrinalane.

DONATE BUTTON

Thank you so much for taking part Audrina!

To see the full list of authors taking part in this month-long blog tour, [click here]

To find out what “They Say I’m Doing Well” is all about, [click here]

giveaway

Where did your Heart go 1

 

Audrina is giving away an ecopy of her first book and some swag to go with it. To win, visit The Heart Trilogy page, pop a like on the page if you haven’t already and say “Sarah sent me”.