The My Travels Makeover

Welcome to My Travels with Depression makeover for 2015. The new picture is of “The Old Bridge” in Sligachan on the Isle of Skye, which is just off the west coast of Scotland. Not only have I camped on that spot by the river, I also bathed in its chilly waters. It reminds me of a very happy and successful time in my life.

thXTM2OWW3Bloggers will have received their novel annual report from WordPress. I have only published 41 posts during 2014, generating 9,000 views. The most popular day for posting is a Sunday, which fits with the procedure I put in place for processing my therapy programme.

I write in a private journal on Wednesdays, following my individual session with Paul. That will usually generate about 3,000 words and a great deal of contemplation. Friday’s group will see another 2,000 drummed out on my hapless keyboard.

This might sound a little intense but it is the only way I’m able to maintain concentration. It might be the consistent focus or my willingness desperation to heal, but I will usually condense a 500-word conclusion by Sundays… and my weekly post is born.

The WordPress report came at a time when I was already reviewing 2014 posts. Theyth2A31SWSN usually concentrate on problems and therapy and I did wonder if it is difficult for people to imagine a real functioning person behind the drama, or maybe it sounds as if there is a permanent cloud looming above my head.

Years ago – oddly enough, at the same time as the camping trips in Scotland – I worked in Drug Rehab and as a telephone Counsellor for National AIDS Helpline and National Drugs Helpline. Employees had lots of training in basic counselling and one of the skills I depended on to survive that employment was the ability to detach from becoming too emotionally involved in some very harrowing cases.

thKG2FH2YWI apply that same skill today – along with various dissociation techniques – by not becoming too involved in my own emotional pain. While posts might seem traumatic and steeped in an abusive past, I do tend to leave the memory within the blog or within therapy sessions.

The Therapists often ask, “How does that feel?” Well, it feels safer to experience those emotions inside my head rather than express them to another human being. It feels humiliating to show my emotions.  I cannot help but view this as a blockage to a significant part of the healing process.

I’m not too big on New Year resolutions, but it is a time to reflect and identify any aspirations for the coming year. Um… did I just hear myself say, “Aspirations?” There are a few targets for therapy during 2015, but they all come under the umbrella of two major areas I would like to focus on.

thHF034Z2A

The Old Bridge at night Sligachan Isle of Skye

The first is to share a bit more of myself, not only with fellow-bloggers, but also with people in my day-to-day life. It’s all about connection. The second is to work on being more open about my feelings in therapy and to kick humiliation’s ass out of my life.

A very Happy-it’s-all-over-New Year to everyone!

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44 thoughts on “The My Travels Makeover

  1. Priceless Joy

    Beautiful images!! I would love to see them rotated as your header (because I am selfish and want to see larger images of them. Haha!) I understand what you are saying. I think of how vulnerable it feels to reveal my emotions to someone else – particularly if I don’t know that someone very well. People seem to look down on us that have negative emotions that we need to talk about. I feel like many have the mindset (out of sight, out of mind). But that isn’t the case. We CAN NOT just put them out of our mind. We must face them for what they are, talk about them, and heal from them. Pushing them to the back of our mind does no good. They will come out in other ways, which are usually destructive. (So people if you are reading this, please don’t tell us to “just think positive thoughts.” It doesn’t work that way for us. Don’t make us feel humilated about talking about them. We need to in order to heal. Thank you for listening).

    I love this post Cat. And I love the new look. 🙂

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you joy. Huh if only it was about thinking positive thoughts. 😉 the actual header pic is drastically cropped out because I thought it might be too big and maybe be slow to load. It’s a real shame because the scenery in the background is awesome. I might publish it’s entire size as a one off next post. TBH I’m uncertain about the new look, so any suggestions greatly appreciated

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      1. Priceless Joy

        I think the bridge is beautiful! But it is a little dark. If it had some of the background that got cropped off it might brighten it up a big and draw the eyes more. It looked to me like the background is a pretty green?

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    2. Cat Post author

      Hi Joy… I actually re-cropped the photo on my blog. It’s maybe not the best picture as my preference would be half the height. My 2 main fears are that it takes too long to load onto people’s devices and/or it just takes up too much room. On my large screen PC it looks enormous, but on the Kindle Fire it looked okay last night, just not sure about the added hills, although they are gorgeous. Even when I”ve been there in mid summer, there is still snow on those mountain tops 😉 Would appreciate your opinion, thanks 😛

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      1. Priceless Joy

        It looks very nice except that the bridge is covered with the name of your blog and the short “about” of your blog underneath. Is that what you wanted? The background looks beautiful!

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          1. Priceless Joy

            I just thought of something… can you photo edit it and give it a little more light? Then it will be perfect! If you use Firefox you might be able to get some nice photo editor apps. Some are free and some are only a few dollars.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Ziggy… so very nice to hear from you. It’s an honour that you share in my journey. Thank you for commenting 😉

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  2. myskinblues

    I like very much your New Year’s resolutions.
    It struck me when you said “It feels humiliating to show my emotions” – I’ve been raised with this equation, showing emotions = humiliation, and it has been the cause of a lot of relational and communication-related issues in my life. Wanting to kick this view off of your life souds really great!

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    1. Cat Post author

      I think you’re right, this is most likely steeped in our upbringing, which are the hardest emotions to break and overcome. Thank you for commenting 😉

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  3. Ellen

    I like the new header pic! Bridge over troubled waters….he he. To me, it looks rather poetic.

    Interesting you used to provide counseling for drug rehab. Huh. You’ve started disclosing more about yourself already, and it does make me interested to hear more. I’ve found you have a kind of calmness about issues that I actually wouldn’t expect, necessarily, from the little I’ve gathered about you Cat. To me, that explains quite a bit about your kind manner of making comments and responding. A little piece of the puzzle provided. 🙂

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Ellen… Bridge over Troubled Waters was also on my mind… great minds think alike! I re-cropped the photo to show the hills behind the bridge, but not so sure if it is too big or if it will take too long to load onto people’s devices. Feedback greatly appreciated 😉

      Yes, just after publishing, I did think that I had already revealed a bit more of me… glad you picked up on it. Commenting on other blogs is just as important as comments on my own blog. You know I often say it is like therapy online. I’ve learned so much from other bloggers, I just wouldn’t be as far forward in therapy without that input and I’m so pleased you are part of that. 🙂

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  4. mandy

    Cat, I think the changes youve been making doing “the work” is clearly spilling over to your desire for a new look here. Its wonderful! Scotland is beautiful! It is great to learn new things about where youve been. That you were involved as a counselor makes sense. Ive said before people who have truly experienced the bad stuff are the best therapists. I see 2015 holding ever more growth. Im so happy for your new outlook and aspirations and fresh blog look!

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Mandy… Yes, I wanted to be rid of that dull blueness… there’s enough of the blues going on within the content ;-). Scotland is amazing and I will start posting more pics of the places I’ve visited, which is almost everywhere. I anticipate 2015 to be full of growth for both of us and the excitement of your memoir being published is one I’m looking forward to.
      I haven’t changed the pic on my blog, but enlarged it to include the hills behind the bridge. I’m worried it’s too big and might take too long to load onto devices… I would appreciate your feedback 😉

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      1. mandy

        I think the header photo is magnificent, Cat. Of course I would like to see MORE of the surrounding scenery, hills, but I don’t know how you make that happen without making the photo smaller–and then that makes that incredible bridge smaller . . .It would be nice if it was a wee bit lighter, but I know closing in on an object leaves out some light. I’m a total goob on technology. Oh wait–not TOTAL, since I’m on here and I used to be terrified of computers! 🙂 I do love that you have experienced being there and feel a deep connection to the place. I can’t wait for you to post more pic’s of your travels!

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  5. jamborobyn

    I love these images and I’m loving the resolutions! I agree with some of the previous commenters, I want to see more of the scenery near the bridge too! I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us this year. I didn’t actually read my WP report – I already know I was absent for most of the year.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Robyn… well, I did re-crop the blog pic to include the hills behind the bridge, but I’m worried it’s now too big. What d’ya think? Other than stats, the report was quite usual for other things. Hope to see more of you in 2015

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  6. RisingSong

    I love the new look! It is certainly indicative of the changes occurring within you. I love when you post pictures of Scotland, or even London. I have not left this country in over twenty years, and I long to travel abroad…even if for now it is just in pictures 🙂

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    1. Cat Post author

      Glad you like it and I will post more pics of Scotland in future posts. I changed the blog pic to include the hills behind the bridge… what d’ya think?

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  7. Lauren

    Cat, I love the new look!! I would love to see the header pic a larger resolution or, as you said, done as a post. It’s so beautiful. 🙂 You’ve made so much progress over the past year, I can’t even imagine what this year holds for you. That doesn’t mean I think everything will be roses, because it won’t. But I have so much hope for you and your future … whatever happens, good or bad, I’ll be here to listen or whatever else you need. I believe in you. Happy 2015. 🙂 ♥

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Lauren… I am so pleased you like the new look. I did make the header pic larger to show the scenery behind, but I think it might be too big and could even take too long to load onto people’s devices.
      It’s good to acknowledge and feel that progress and it’s partly thanks to wonderful bloggers like yourself who share in our common journey. I look forward to us sharing through 2015. Thanks Lauren 😉

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  8. panikikubik

    I love the resolutions you’re aiming for. You can in a way never lose if you chose to open up. Yes, ypu can get hurt. But you win in the end.
    I look forward to follow your journey to recovery Cat!
    Hugs Lotta

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  9. thunderwhenitrains

    I love the makeover! And that picture is amazing. I’ve been anonymously peeking at your blog since I started here to be honest. I love your resolutions, and wish you all the best and a very happy new year. 🙂

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  10. gelpersevering

    Hi Cat, (Gel here)
    I’ve seen so much growth in you. I always appreciate your clear writing style. You manage to communicate so much without too many words.

    Love the photos of Scotland. My heritage is Welsh, Scottish, and a bit of Irish, German and French. When I was 12 my family went to England – my step mother was Welsh – and we visited Wales and family there. I remember when we went into Wales traveling through the countryside and staying in Swansea – how much I felt I was home. We didn’t make it to Scotland on that trip but my husband is Scottish on his father’s side. He still has the family plaid and coat of arms (if that’s what it’s called.) I think it’s interesting to have these family symbols. Their slogan is “hold fast”

    Anyway, I’d love to see more photos too.

    As for your new look – Really great!! I’d keep playing with different background colors. I like this one that you have now. But it seems like another might be even better. I like that this one is reflected in the photo…..there is a bit of it in the photo. I did that too with my blog. Maybe you could continue to try other shades that are in the photo. If you keep it this way tho, it’s still great.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Gel… I’ve been thinking about you and hope everything is falling into place. It’s lovely to hear one of my longer-term blog buddies recognise growth.

      Not every Scot has a coat of arms and most are not even interested. It’s one of those things that seem to captivate foreigners more than natives do, although far north Scotland would pay more attention.

      Interesting you should mention Wales. I spent 2 weeks camping there and it rained non-stop. It wasn’t my most favourite, although sea life is awesome in that part of the country. I plan to post more pics of places I’ve visited in Scotland in the coming weeks.

      Glad you like the new look, it feels fittingly refreshing. I don’t much care for the pic, so will probably change in the future.

      Thank you for dropping by, Gel 😉

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  11. janetcate

    I find writing the greatest form of meditation for me. I write every day and also try to condense my thoughts for a blog. When I first started therapy 10 years ago I didn’t even know I had feelings. Now, I know them, feel them in my body, and compassionately and non-judgmentally observe them and my embodied reaction. I finally feel and share my full range of emotions with my therapist and my husband. These are the relationships I trust and am attached to so I am willing to take the risk of putting my feelings into words. IT took me 10 years, I am a slow learner but I have never felt more fully human, more fully alive. Good luck with sharing your feelings and in working towards your aspirations.

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