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    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 22nd Jul 16, 10:44 PM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Crazy Cat Lady Chapter 2 - Groundhog Day
    • #1
    • 22nd Jul 16, 10:44 PM
    Crazy Cat Lady Chapter 2 - Groundhog Day 22nd Jul 16 at 10:44 PM
    Good evening everyone, and hello to anyone looking at this who hasn't seen or heard from me before. About this time last year I finally plucked up the courage to join in with the forums after months of lurking. I was almost finished paying off a lot of debt, and one of my crazy cats had just stung me with a large vet bill that I was worried about paying (think 4 figure sum). Well, the lovely people on here helped me through - I paid using an emergency credit card, which I paid off in just over 2 months.
    After that my life went on in the usual way it does - never a quiet moment. My husband got sick with depression, I paid the debt off a couple of months early thanks to tips on here and extreme frugality and then the week before Christmas dh was admitted to hospital. It was a tough time, no lie but we worked through it and after 6 months off work he went back. Then things came to a head between us and we had a really tough time that I didn't think we were going to get through, but we did. Then dh went and broke his ankle - another 8 weeks off work, which he's just gone back to this week. I will moan about him lots, but I love him dearly and wouldn't want to be without him.
    So apart from dh I have dd (11) and ds (7) and 6 lovely moggies. I work as a science teacher in a secondary school and have just finished one of the toughest school years that I can remember. I was looking forward to feet up, relaxing and spending a bit of time with the kids - I've spent the past 6 weeks exam marking to try and give us enough money to enjoy the summer, but unfortunately much of it has gone to make up the shortfall in dh wages.
    The naughty tortie cat, who brought me here last year has been to the vet again. She needed some dental treatment. I don't have her insured any more because every time she was ill or something happened, her insurance just refused to pay out. So I've been squirrelling away a little bit of money to try and pay for anything that came up. Well, today's bill 'came up' at a shade under £500. It's gone on that emergency credit card that I haven't used since last year and the aim is to pay that off again asap.
    I've lost my mse mojo while I've been wrapped up in end of term stress and exam marking and this bill has been the jolt I've needed to make a fresh start. So fresh start, fresh diary, and away we go.
    Please do pop in and say hello - I hate to think that I'm talking to myself.
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
Page 10
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 10th Oct 16, 6:57 PM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Quick check in to report that I had my blood tests done today. Hoping for some answers over the next couple of weeks...
    I've had a brighter day today than I've had in ages, but I am exhausted now. On single figure get ups for half term though Hope everyone is ok - I've not got much time to catch up at the moment and am feeling quite guilty.
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 12th Oct 16, 7:56 PM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Hi everyone
    I can just about be bothered to post an update on here before I go to bed, and it's not even 8pm yet. I've had another busy couple of days at work - mad busy marking, and busy at home and still not 100% either. I got a letter from the doctor yesterday asking me to make an appointment to discuss my scan results. It's not an urgent appointment (thank goodness because the earliest appointment I could get is in a fortnight), but I presume that it means there's something to talk about - hopefully something easy to sort.
    We're in the middle of a department review at work - stressy. I have my first observation of the year on Monday with my top set year 11 class. In theory that should be straightforward but it's not - there are a couple of real characters in there. Most of them are gorgeous but it could prove to be difficult. Not much I can do about it - books have been for scrutiny and students have been interviewed. Just the observation to get through now.
    Busy last night because I took ds to his new football team. I don't think I mentioned on here, but there's been a lot of tension between some of the parents for a while. It all came to a head over the weekend and it ended very unpleasantly with the football team being folded. Good news is that most of the boys have been snapped straight up by other teams but it's a shame that things have ended so badly. DS is thrilled with his new football team though, and I'm pleased for Tuesday training rather than Friday but it does mean a very late finish for me on a Tuesday. Plus school meeting night on a Wednesday - so I didn't get home until after 6 tonight. Worn out is a bit of an understatement - but at least it's nearly half term. I'm looking forward to a few lie ins and afternoon naps.
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 12th Oct 16, 10:48 PM
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    Bobarella
    Hope your son's new team is much better. You don't need drama like that in your life.
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    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 16th Oct 16, 10:48 AM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Good morning
    I've been busy the past few days, but very productive busy so that's kind of good. I got home from work on Thursday and actually felt like I wanted to do a bit of housework so I got on with it while I could be bothered. Managed a bit of dusting, bathroom and hovering but completely wiped myself out. I was shattered on Friday - thankfully it was a training day at work. Not the best use of my time but a change is as good as a rest and all that... I got my observed lesson prepped ready for tomorrow, which was one less thing to do over the weekend.
    Friday night I got bestie's husband to take ds's football kit back to the old team - I just couldn't face it again. Thankfully he was fine to do that for me as he was returning their ds kit as well.
    Got up early yesterday for training - really tired. I managed to get an earlier appointment with the doctor so I'm going on Thursday evening rather than in half term week. I really hope that there is some solution to this other than just resting. I feel like I'm resting loads and being particularly lazy but then not feeling any better physically. I had a cuppa and catch up with bestie and we arranged our annual Christmas night out, then went and did my tutoring. Also had to buy ds some new training gear for his new footy team. He was desperately short of socks and needed new base layer as well.
    I made lots of progress on my handmade Christmas yesterday. I really love the knitting and crochet but absolutely hate sewing up and putting it all together at the end. Yesterday I sewed about 300 ends of wool into various projects so I feel as though I'm finally getting somewhere. Hoping to finish another project or two today.
    Other than that, I've marked my Y11 books for tomorrow's observation so no 'horrible' jobs to do. Just need to enjoy my day. DD asked to go out for a carvery at some point so I'm going to do that. It's ages since the 4 of us did anything together and it's so rare that dd asks for anything that I'm happy enough to do it. So I'm hoping for a calm, stress free day. We shall see.
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 18th Oct 16, 6:09 PM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Hey
    Thought I should check in. Another day closer to half term and another day of being stupidly busy at school... I'm absolutely exhausted. Thankfully my observation is over and out of the way for now so I can stop panicking about that for the time being - it went pretty well. I think he was impressed with some of my high end Chemistry knowledge. Left him totally stumped.
    Taking ds to football training with his new team tonight then planning an early night.
    Homemade Christmas still ticking along nicely.
    Nothing much else to report really. I'm a bit of a boring so and so...
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 18th Oct 16, 7:56 PM
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    Eager_Elephant
    Fingers crossed you get some answers on Thurs - I can't imagine feeling permanently exhausted all the time.

    Did you go for a carvery in the end? if you did I hope it was nice.

    Hope DS gets on alright with his new team tonight.

    Sending hugs just in case ((( )))

    My life is also very boring so I haven't posted for a while on there.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 23 for December
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 1/12/16)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 19th Oct 16, 12:52 PM
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    AspiringButAnxious
    Also hope your scan results pinpoint what's wrong and that it's solved without too much hassle. I do wonder if you are resting "loads" though, or whether that's your perception. When you're used to being busy all the time, even a short rest feels like a lot, but it won't have the same effect as a lot of rest. I'm not judging whether your self-assessment is accurate or not — it's just something to bear in mind if the doctor does recommend more rest.

    Also remember that it takes a lot of time to recover from an extended period of extreme stress: the percentage of each day or week spent resting might not be as important as the number of weeks/months spent making more time for rest. This is still a factor regardless of any additional medical problems — just as getting 2 hours of sleep a night for a week can't be atoned for by spending all weekend in bed, several months (or more) of stress and not enough rest cannot be remedied in a short time.

    I'm saying this to remind you to go easy on yourself, not to be pessimistic — conversely, in the long term, taking things slowly and prioritising your health/wellbeing will be much better for you, so there is cause for optimism. I think that health problems can sometimes be a reminder to invest in yourself, rather than putting everyone else first and running on empty. You must have heard of the analogy that when you're in a plane which gets into difficulty you have to help yourself first by putting on your oxygen mask before you can help anyone else? Well, it might be a bit of a cliche, but it's true. My mother did nobody any favours by putting herself last for years, least of all herself, and now she is resentful of me, my dad and brother because of it.

    Anyhoo, hope all goes well with the doctor and life in general I've been awful at keeping up with these diaries lately, but I will try to keep checking in and stay updated.
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    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 19th Oct 16, 1:04 PM
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    kirtsypoos
    ABA I just wanted to say you always have the most useful and well worded advice

    Hope your results come back with something which is easy to fix CCL
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    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 19th Oct 16, 5:58 PM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Hi all
    Thanks to all of you for posting. I second what Kirsty said ABA - you aren't telling me anything I haven't told myself a hundred times. It's weird because I would give a friend exactly the same advice - less good at taking it myself. Our second in department has just been signed off with stress induced angina - he was carted off in an ambulance yesterday. It does make me think - the trouble is that I'm such a control freak, and I know that if I don't do a lot of this stuff then it just won't get done - even if I ask.
    Yes, EE, we did go for the carvery on Sunday and it was lovely. We really don't do enough together as a family and I think I appreciate it even more now that we don't do it as much as we used to. I love having time just the four of us...
    Today I had a day out of school doing my union training. It's always nice to have a day off school (although my inner control freak is terrified at what I might find in my classroom tomorrow). And again, it has made me grateful for the things that I do have at my own place of work. Our Head is really fair and does everything right so I should be grateful for that.
    May not get on tomorrow to check in as I'm really busy tomorrow night - doctor's straight after work, and then a friend of mine is opening a pop up shop in Sunderland and I've been invited to the big opening. I won't let her down there. But I will get on and update you all. Only 2 more get ups until half term!
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 19th Oct 16, 6:44 PM
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    Bobarella
    Good luck for your friends launch Cat.
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    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 20th Oct 16, 8:42 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    1 day closer!!!
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    • twiggy86
    • By twiggy86 20th Oct 16, 3:23 PM
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    twiggy86
    CCL I found you! I've been awol for a while and wondered why you hadn't posted on your old thread! I haven't caught up properly but hope you're well and you get answers with the results you're waiting for. Off for a catch up!
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    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 20th Oct 16, 7:37 PM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Just back from my friend's big launch night. It went really well and there were lots of people there. I'm thrilled for her and hope that it continues to go as well into the Christmas season.
    So there was good news and bad news from the doctors. Yes, I do have a couple of nodules on my thyroid, but there is no problem with my thyroid function. I'm not anaemic, or diabetic. I have to have a retest because my kidney function is borderline but the doctor is not concerned. It's great news that there's nothing physically wrong with my, but I'm devastated that I feel as bad as I do without good reason for it. I just feel like crying - I've been exhausted for months, and everything hurts when I move, and the only explanation is my weight and my stress levels - neither of which are an easy fix. I just want to feel better but I can't be bothered to do anything at all - not cooking, or cleaning or anything. All I want to do every evening and every weekend is sleep... The doctor says I'm doing too much and that I need a rest, and suggested that I get a cleaner in to help me round the house (because obviously I'm made of money). There's no miracle pill to help me after all. Just need to rest more, do less and eat better. All massive psychological things for me.
    It's taking me a bit of time to get my head around...
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 21st Oct 16, 9:09 PM
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    AspiringButAnxious
    Um, just because there's not a physical cause for how you're feeling doesn't mean there's "no good reason." Anyone reading through your diary for at least a couple of months can see that there are very good reasons. It's natural to respond to a prolonged, intense period of stress in this way. It takes its toll.

    Also bear in mind that there are different aspects of mental health, which impact each other and can be tackled from different angles. I personally find a multifaceted approach most effective, so I use CBT techniques to tackle my negative thinking, exercise to increase "happy" hormones (though it has other benefits too), goal setting to keep me focused on making practical changes, meditation to stop myself ruminating, healthy eating (when I can) to keep my blood sugar stable and provide nutrition (several nutrients are associated with mental health, including tryptophan and B12), journalling to offload my thoughts without being judged or owrrying about what someone else might think, etc. Often, making a couple of small changes can influence other aspects of mental health — sometimes without the link being apparent, in my experience.

    More than anything though, it's important to be kind to yourself. Don't judge yourself for feeling like this when there isn't a physical condition responsible — it's easier said than done and I get frustrated with my f**ked up mind for causing me problems, but I try to put it into perspective and think "if this did have a physical cause, how would it be different?" The answer is usually that I would use whatever treatments are available and effective to help myself; even if my instinct is to think I should be able to cope without putting so much effort into managing my mental health. Try to figure out what you need right now and how you can get what you need. What do you need to prioritise in order to manage your health? Don't pressure yourself to find the answers straightaway; there is always a lot of trial and error involved.

    I think a lot of the problem with stress is that people think of it as "normal" so don't realise how bad it's getting until it has already had a huge mental and physical impact. I get stressed a lot because of my mental health problems and many people try to dismiss it, saying "oh, everyone gets stressed — I'm stressed". But the fact is that extreme stress is not normal and it takes over your life. There is no reason why anyone should be less sympathetic than if a physical illness or condition were causing your symptoms — you are no more to blame and your symptoms are no less debilitating.

    I know it would have been easier to put all of this down to a problem which could be easily corrected with medication, but the good news is that there is a lot of information and support available for mental health nowadays. I have noticed a huge difference in even the past 5 years, let alone the 18+ since I first started struggling with mental health issues. Explore different options for what could help — even ones which seem weird can be very useful (I have recently been trying EFT/tapping) — and grab any help offered.

    Long term stress might not be easy to treat or manage, but remember that it can be treated and managed. I'm off to try and take my own advice!
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 21st Oct 16, 9:19 PM
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    Bobarella
    Glad to hear your friends launch went really well. And sorry you haven't found the answers you were hoping for.

    As ABA puts it above, anyone who is familiar with your situation can understand why you are exhausted Cat. Im just thinking back to where you were this time last year and all you had to cope with and really I don't think you've had a real break since then.
    People might flame me for saying this but unfortunately when you are the mum I think it's 50 times harder to get a break, even in a relatively stable set up. Kids always come first and they always need something. And women are hard wired to respond to that way more than men still. Add to that full time work and supporting your OH emotionally and financially a lot of the time and there you go. All the reasons you ever need to totally understand why you are exhausted.

    I don't have any answers or quick fixes for you I'm afraid. But I'm sure if anyone looked up 'b@ggering on' in the dictionary they'd find your name next to it. Inspirational.
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    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 22nd Oct 16, 11:07 AM
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    Eager_Elephant
    ((((CCL))))


    I am so sorry that there is no actual diagnosis for how you are feeling. I can imagine it is hard to hear and to realise that life is the cause.


    I know ABA briefly mentioned B12 as well. I wonder whether they tested your B12 count?
    Lack of B12 can cause exhaustion, depression, brain fog etc.
    My next door neighbour has various health issues but exhaustion was a big one for her, she had her B12 count done and it was so low to be almost none existent, she now has 3mthly injections and the difference in her is amazing. She can now walk (albeit slowly) round our allotment field with her dog every evening.


    I meant to buy my DH B2 but picked up B12 and after reading up about it he started taking it and I noticed a difference in his energy levels and his mental health within a few days.
    I also started him on Vit D which is another thing that when low can cause general aches and pains, depression and exhaustion.


    I also find that when my DH eats 3 proper meals a day he is much more energetic - I know being a teacher restricts your eating pattern but wondered if you could make an extra effort to eat properly and at regular times? (When I say properly I mean at least some fruit and/or veg with each meal and also at regular intervals)


    I'm with ABA and Bob with regards to your life - your life runs at 100mph and you have to keep up because there is no alternative but of course it is very stressful. How much is DH doing now? I know he works a later shift but can he start helping with housework and things at the weekend?
    Do you lift share with anyone for all the children's activities?


    I know before you mentioned a new career path - is this an option? How much do you actually need to earn each month to cover the bills? If you took a lower paid job closer to home would that help in any way?


    I hope this weekend you can spend some time thinking through everything and realise you do have options.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 23 for December
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 1/12/16)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 22nd Oct 16, 11:57 AM
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    lcc86
    Hi CCL, sorry you're still not feeling great. I agree with those above, it could be that you need to take some time out and see if things change. I know this is MUCH easier said than done as a teacher of course. It's a bit of a catch 22, you can't stop and take a proper rest but at the same time if you don't get a chance to have a break you might burn out altogether.

    A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and she had some of the symptoms you describe. Not saying that's what you have of course, but doctors dismissed her pain for a long time and she had to keep pushing for tests etc. Just be sure to keep pestering your doctor, try the B12 injections if they will give them to you, just try everything you can until you can eliminate certain things. Doctors can sometimes be quick to make their minds up and saying you're doing too much isn't exactly helpful even though it may be right!

    I hope you can get something sorted out soon.
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    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 22nd Oct 16, 5:04 PM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Thanks everyone for all of your kind words and thoughts. I'm really overwhelmed by you taking the time to respond to me on here and help me to try and feel better. I have to confess I've spent most of my time feeling really sorry for myself since Thursday night. A lot of my mental health stuff has reared its head again - just a response to finding out that there's no magic pill that will make things better. My DH put it very well - like he was reading my mind - he said 'of course you feel down. You went to the doctors expecting that they could fix you, and they can't. It's a horrible feeling and how I feel when I go'. He is SO right.
    I went to my training session this morning but my trainer didn't want to train - she wanted to talk. She is the most wonderful human being (and I'm always overwhelmed when people are nice to me) and she really helped. As most people do when I get an alternative perspective. She said that she can want it for me but if I don't really want it for myself then it won't happen. I tried to explain to her that the problem with being in a rut is that I have to do something to get out of it. She says that it's good that I'm not ill because it means that I'm in charge of my own health. I am less confident in my own ability to take charge of my own health but I will try... She also made me get another doctor's appointment to get my knee looked at because it's now so painful that I'm struggling to get up and down stairs, which isn't helping at all. I managed to get one for first thing Monday morning.
    Then went to bestie's house for a cuppa and catch up, which was also lovely. She wants us to help each other - she needs to improve her diet (she has low bone density) so we're going to try and encourage each other on. To help us even more we finally have a supermarket in our town centre again - Lidl opened on Thursday
    I have agreed the following goals with my trainer for the week ahead:
    be accountable to her (keep a food diary and send it to her daily)
    give up drinking coke zero (she says this is utter s**te and will be zapping my energy on its own)
    Stop fussing about nsd's and go to Lidl every day if I have to in order to get healthy food
    So.. onwards. I really do appreciate everyone's kind words. I'm not great at looking after myself and it tends to be the first thing that goes. I need to prioritise, and let things go that aren't important until I feel better.
    DH still isn't great at helping round the house and I'm not great at asking him for help. He is in charge of rubbish and recycling. I need to get the kids on board a bit more...
    NST Dec #15 NSD 2/16 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37)
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 22nd Oct 16, 8:40 PM
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    Bobarella
    So pleased you have good real life people around too. Your trainer sounds wonderful. And you always seem to get a lot from being with your best friend.

    Have you ever tried positive visualisation with regards to your fitness goals? It works for some people. Like imagining what your perfect fitness would look like, how you'd feel if you could hit your goals, what other things that would lead to etc.

    You are doing great Cat honestly.
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    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 22nd Oct 16, 9:06 PM
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    Florence J
    I can sympathise about almost wishing there was something wrong as that is 'easier' to fix. Around this time last year I was suffering horrendously in the gastrointestinal department. Test results did seem to indicate an infection and when I was told that in the Dr's surgery I almost wept with joy. There was something wrong with me! That meant it could be fixed.

    Then it turned out my test results were actually just over the borderline. And it was actually severe stress related IBS. i was working in a demanding call centre and considering I have a phobia of talking to anyone on the phone (even when talking to my OH i have to fight the urge to hang up because I find it so stressful) you can imagine it wasn't the best job for me to be in.

    I still suffer from anxiety which i would say is severe but high functioning. Meaning I am almost constantly in a state of panic but can put on an air of calm or can plough on through it.

    I wish there was a quick solution to your health concerns. They are real, they are major and they are important. I hope you find and take the time for yourself that you so desperately need.

    For the record, I think you are a star. I think you are super. I feel worn out just reading your posts sometimes, it's no wonder you have the health concerns you do.

    It won't be easy and it won't be quick. But I am sure now that you know it is down to you to fix it, then you will fix it in the same way you have helped all your other family members.

    Take care. x
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