Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Things I've learnt in Therapy

Things I've learnt in Therapy, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger, Christmas, therapy, health, wellness

Happy Christmas Adam Everyone! For anyone who doesn't know, Adam of course, came before Eve and therefore, the 23rd of December is known as Christmas Adam, I'm sure it's not just me that calls it that?!

So, I've just played "find a hole in the fridge for the carrots" (not a euphemism) after being rudely awoken by my fabulous veg man, our fridge is packed so tightly it's a game of skill to find space for even a sprout right now but we are ready for Christmas, hurray!

I just have a couple of presents to wrap which I picked up on a festive saunter through the Metrocentre yesterday with Harriet and Abigail, it was lovely, we went for Yo Sushi and then we wandered around the shops, all around us men (really, yes, mostly men) were running around like headless chickens with their faces contorted with worry searching for the best Pandora charm, or even worse, in the Primark lingerie department which has been recently replenished with the cheapest red underwear I've ever seen!

There's a point I need to make to the menfolk, I know I don't exactly have one but if I was going to be bought lingerie, I along with most of the female population would agree, it's either La Perla or go choose another gift, never ever buy us cheap undersized red lace underwear and especially not from Primark!

I have to admit that I've never really fully understood the male psyche and that is of course why I'm perpetually single but surely they know when Christmas is coming, it can't be a complete surprise that the 25th of December is some kind of special holiday, surely the arrival of the Christmas tree is a big enough hint?  Suffice to say, I'm sorry but I can't really give you any sympathy when you're queuing to get into the Pandora store for 2 hours today although at least with Pandora she's not going to get an uncomfortable crotch just to try and please you.

Now I don't want to bash men because some of them are kind and thoughtful, some of them spend hours agonising over the right presents, many years ago when I was happily married to the girls dad, I was pregnant with Abigail and so a lot of the normal presents were not going to work, I awoke on Christmas morning to find an enormous hamper full of presents, each one individually wrapped, they weren't expensive things, some were just little bubble baths but the fact that he'd gone to the trouble of wrapping up about 50 small things, plus the most gorgeous silver bracelet which was around a cuddly Bagpuss's neck meant everything to me, he actually bought me several bracelets in the time we were together and really, you can't go wrong with a beautiful bracelet.

Anyway, I kind of got distracted there but there's a point in there about thoughtful gifts, to me, the best gifts can't be given in small packages, it took me a long time to realise that, the best gifts for me, well they're experiences, they're time you can't get back, they are the memories you'll dream of in the many years of the life that we live.  I guess that's why I've travelled so much this year because, no matter how trying life can sometimes be I can always look back at the amazing memories I've created with the people I love and then I can smile and appreciate how wonderful and precious life is.

This Christmas won't be about presents for me, it will be about the friends who visit, it will be about the people who have stayed by my side through thick and thin, as my therapist is helping me to understand, it's not worth worrying about the things you can't change and really, you can't change the thoughts of another person, sure there will be those you lose along the way side but if they won't talk to you, what is the point of imagined conversations inside your own head, I'm learning through therapy to put aside the things I can't change, my therapist said more than anything, she wants to give me back my self worth, something that I've lost over many years, I don't think that's something which is going to happen in 8 sessions but I can already see the changes taking place, it's having a profound effect on the anxiety which troubles me so greatly from time to time.  The funny thing is, since finishing work on Tuesday afternoon, mostly all my anxiety has subsided, I haven't really done a lot but I've enjoyed the feeling of just being happy and relaxed.

Today, it's Saturday, the first Saturday I've not had to worry about work in a very long time, I'm going to applaud that and who cares if I stay in my pyjamas all day, you've got to love the life you have, you have to grab it by the horns and be happy that you are living in the way you want to because it's your life, you are unique and no matter what happens, no one ever can take that away from you.

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