How To Blog Whilst Walking The Fine Line Between Sanity & Insanity

moonlight through the trees

The view from karensjointatthetopofthegarden.com

Many of you may wonder why my website address has the name Karen in it. 

Many moons ago I was once known as Karen. After a huge mental health crisis which almost took my life, a new name change came about. 

I was no longer Barren Karen, and I morphed overnight into Blogging Betty. 

Unfortunately before the morph took place, our website had already been established. 

Changing the name of a domain etc is just not worth the hassle, so in loving memory of our dearly departed Karen, the name will stay. 

As most of you are aware I have severe mental illnesses, and spend a lot of time healing my fractured mind, by doing any kind of therapy that I can think of.

baking therapy…one of my many therapies. galaxy chocolate chunk cookies with ice cold milk for dunking.

I am currently sitting in the joint at the top of the garden doing some of my other therapies.

I’ve got one hand on my MacBook and the other one is smoking a reefer. 

It’s dark and cold outside, but it’s so quiet, comfy and peaceful up here. I now have electricity and heat, which is a welcome bonus now that its way below zero, and the middle of December. The only sound I can hear is the odd hoot from a Tawny owl looking for his supper.

taken in my garden last week, the unique ice crystals on fallen leaves

I am sitting here meditating, trying to get out of my own way, so that I can blog tonight. 

I love Blogging. 

Yes I found it late in life, but better late than never, as my old grandad used to say. 

Unfortunately because I found it later in life, and because my mental health issues get in the way, I often find myself wondering if I will ever become a top blogger. 

I’ve been blogging now for around 6 months. In that 6 months I have learned a lot. Not only about blogging, but about myself. 

Being on so many different journeys at once is amazing. 

A journey of self discovery,  a spiritual journey, healing from trauma, self acceptance journey, and my blogging journey all take up most of my time. 

Being an Autistic single parent at the ripe old age of 50, to a 15 year old son who also has Autism with severe Anxiety, and Tourette’s Syndrome, takes up a fair bit of my time too. 

Does this mean I don’t have the time to be a top Blogger ? 

How much time do you need to spend on your blog to be a top Blogger ? 

Since I started blogging I have been following a few top bloggers, but finally found my soul mate in Ryan Biddulph. 

He doesn’t know we’re soul mates, but I do and that’s all that counts. 

Apart from the fact he’s a very handsome chap, he gives out fantastic advice, and if I had more hours in the day I’m sure I would be a top earning blogger just like him by now. 

So as I sit here wondering where I can find the extra hours to follow Ryan Biddulph’s advice, I realise that I am already doing it. Because those of us who walk that fine line between sanity and insanity are juggling so many balls at once, the fact that every time they even publish a blog it’s a huge achievement. 

doesn’t mention that it helps with blogging, but ill try anything… my new daily multivitamin for over 50’s not sure whether to laugh or cry…

Little steps on this journey we call life. 

keep on keeping on… ‘All Bloggers Rock’ love Betty x

Breaking News ‘Blogging Betty Found Safe and Well

Blogging Betty has been found safe and well,  in amongst the tangled life of Betty’s bunch.

She seems to be suffering from amnesia, and has no idea of her wherabouts for the entire month that she has been missing.

‘It’s all a blur,’ says blogging Betty, who looks well enough sitting in the joint at the top of the garden. 

“One minute I was blogging away, making friends and building up my blog following, when bam I woke up, and weeks have passed. 

Nothing has been done, karensjointatthetopofthegarden.com remains dormant. I love that the house seems much tidier and festive now,than before I left.

And there’s lots of home made food lying around. 

Everybody looks happy..

I only wish that someone had remembered to press publish on my blogs. It’s not much to ask for” she added.

A spokesperson for Betty’s Bunch said ‘we’re just pleased that Blogging Betty is home. She’s a bit grumpy about the fact we forgot about her blogs, but other than that she seems fine”. 

“It looks like the clean house won’t last now that Blogging Betty is back, she hates cleaning with a passion. She feels that she has much more important things to do in life than clean” said one member of the Bunch, who didn’t wish to be named for fear of repercussion. 

“Blogging Betty’s idea of cleaning is to leave the vacuum plugged in indefinitely, so that if anybody visits she can say ‘oh you’ve just caught me about to vacuum’ (It’s the thought that counts.) Or she’ll hope that the fairies will do it at some point or another. 

Blogging Betty is so passionate about writing, that nothing else gets done around the house, explain Betty’s Bunch.

We help out as much as we can, but  she doesn’t accept help very easily, we’re working on it. 

Blogging Betty is said to be resuming duties with immediate effect, and is now again the leader of the pack. 

we made a welcome home painting …

Blogging Betty would like to thank everybody for their patience whilst she has been missing in action. She thanks the Bunch for holding the fort whilst she was gone, and for baking enough food to feed an army.

She remains optimistic that her memory will return, and her blogging journey will continue on as before. “There’s a lot of work to catch up on, but i’m sure things will only get better”. ‘Don’t ever give up on finding yourself again, it’s always worth it.”

She and the Bunch would like some time to come to terms with the fact that their Triberr is broken. Time to rebuild the foundations that went into creating Triberr from scratch. Betty is sure that the knowledge is in her somewhere, it just may take some time to find it.

Life Really Does Begin At 50

I turned the grand old age of 50 in March this year. Thats half a century that I have been me.

The age of 50 didn’t get off to a very good start, and like most ages I have been, this one seemed no different. 

Same old shite, just a new year to deal with it. 

Little did I know what was to come. 

After burying trauma for over 40 years, the lid finally blew off. 

Spectacularly.

as if by magic, Maggie the springer spaniel gifted me the perfect image for this blog…

The shit finally hit the fan, and everybody ended up covered in it.

The Narcissistic parents were covered in it, the abusive family members got covered in it, and even the people who were never meant to get covered in it, also got covered in it. 

the culprit…

Because the nasty shit that had been poisoning me for over 40 years was back in its rightful place, with its owners, I am now as free as a bird. I am no longer carrying around a huge amount of poisoned shit, which leaves me free to live the life that I should have always had. 

A life free from the shit that abuse, guilt, and trauma can leave on a person indefinitely, especially if they aren’t aware that they are carrying it. 

Thankfully my eyes finally opened at the age of 50 and 3/4, after a near brush with death, ‘better late than never’ as my old grandad used to say.

My life truly has begun at the age of 50. I am so excited by my next path on this journey that we call life. 

The Benefits of Private Over NHS Mental Health Care In The UK.

Last week I made the decision to pay for private psychiatric help. 

I don’t have a great deal of money, being a single parent on disability isn’t exactly living the life of the rich and famous. 

Most of my pennies are spoken for weekly, and with the rising cost of living today, our money doesn’t go very far.

I decided that my mental health had  reached a point that intervention was needed, and I contacted my local mental health crisis team. 

This was 4 months ago, and I am still waiting for urgent help. 

Having paid into the NHS all of my life, I am at the end of a very long line of other people just like me, waiting for the same thing.

The NHS mental health service has broken, it has become so stretched that it has finally snapped under the strain. A number of NHS and other psychiatrists have set up a private clinic in an effort to take the strain, and provide the much needed mental health support, at a price.

I’m not quite sure how I came across this website but it had me intrigued. For only £350 I could have an hour consultation, a diagnosis and treatment plan, all recognised by the NHS, and within a few days. 

After a long and informative chat with the customer helpline, I actually booked an appointment, and waited patiently for the next 4 days until it arrived.

My appointment was on a secure weblink via a patients portal online, you are given a password to enter your virtual room, where you will meet your chosen psychiatrist.

That night although my anxiety was through the roof, I sat comfortably on my bed, with my PJ’s on, and up popped the psychiatrist on my MacBook screen. 

This is a novelty for a 50 year old recluse, who didn’t even own a computer a few months ago. 

I felt so comfortable, at ease, and the doctor was fantastic, Dr Axelby was my choice, she was professional, understanding, compassionate and put me at great ease. 

Our 50 minute appointment turned into nearly 90 minutes at no extra cost to myself, and I was given a diagnosis of Complex PTSD. 

I have been under psychiatric services since early childhood with no diagnosis, it has only taken £350,  1 doctor, and 90 minutes to finally give me the help that I’ve been asking for for over 40 years. 

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. You cannot put a price on happiness.

So who benefits from this innovative idea ?

A. The Psychiatrist, she gets the chance to help people and earn an income at the same time.

B. The National Health Service, who are buckling under so much pressure from mental health related illnesses.

And last but by no means least..

C. The patient, Me, I may be lighter in pocket, but I am also much lighter in my mind and spirit. I have answers to some of the questions that I have been asking all of my life.

How much would you be willing to pay for Happiness ?

I consider it money well spent.

Poor Mental Health can be a Killer.. why not take care of yours today.

love Betty x

How Closing Tabs Can Help You Be More Healthy

We’ve all been there, forgetting to close Tabs on your computer until it starts running slowly, or stops working altogether. 

Overload.

There is too much data for our computer to handle.

Our brains work very similar to computers. But are much more superior.

Our Brains have units in networks (Neurons instead of semiconductors. They take in, and compile data. They analyse it and generate output, and so much more. 

Most people don’t even realise that they can have hundreds of open tabs in their brain at any one time. 

These tabs can be thoughts, feelings emotions, memories, basically any data that your brain has encountered is stored away safely.

We often find that when we worry too much, or become too stressed our brain will keep us awake at night searching for a solution to the problem. 

Unfortunately we won’t find the answer in things that happened 20 years ago, or whether our bum looked fat in that dress we wore last week.

not mine or fat…just a bum…

the brain will flick from one thought to another in a desperate attempt to find a solution from all of the stored data that it has, and it has lots of it.

The brain is trying to tell us that something isn’t right, it is glitching and needs a reboot.

Because we are often unaware of what is happening we go to the GP, we take pills, but nothing ever seems to work. 

Since realising that I have had hundreds of thought tabs open most of the time, I have been working on closing them down. Having all of these tabs open has prevented me from seeing clearly, from thinking clearly, it has basically prevented me from living a happy fulfilling life. 

Since closing my tabs down, via medication and meditation I have become so much happier, much more productive, and rarely anxious. This is because I regularly empty the caches from my brain and close unnecessary tabs, just like I do on my MacBook when the need arises.

We all take care of our PC’s in this way, so why not do it for our own super computer ?

Our brains are super computers, they need regular maintenance and servicing, just like any other machine only in a different way.

Have you had your brain serviced lately? 

What are you waiting for ? 

Don’t leave it until it is too late, anxiety leads to depression, depression can lead to suicide. Take control before you lose control.

Close any open tabs, empty your caches, and show your brain some love today.

love Betty x 

Don’t Hold Back Your Blogging and Mental Wellness

Having suffered with severe mental health problems for 40 years, you could definitely say I’m an expert. 

I’m an expert in my own mental health issues, which include severe depression with suicidal ideation, severe Anxiety, and one of the most severe personality disorders, Dissociative Identity Disorder.

To add to this I also have Autism. 

All people have differences, and some people are more different than just different.

I am a lot more different than your average 50 year old Grandmother.

Because I have been trying to keep those differences hidden from myself and the world, I ended up almost taking my own life. 

Instead I began writing.

I have never kept a diary, Journal, or any kind of reminder of my daily life, and as I stared writing, I began to see the benefits that journaling had on my mental wellbeing.

I began at the beginning, it is usually the best place to start.

From my birth, through my childhood and into adulthood, I somehow ended up with 80,000 words. 

Once my thoughts, feelings and memories came out, I felt a transformation. 

Because these things were no longer trapped or hidden, and were there for all to see, I felt free.

As well as meditating, I continued on my journey by joining the Blogging community. 

Blogging has become my therapy, my readers are my therapists. my thoughts and feelings are shared by those who read my blogs, as the saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved.’

 So what would sharing with the world do ?

Sharing with the world does something good, for myself, and for others like me.

Using a blog as therapy is the way forward. 

Embrace your differences, talk about them, share them with the world. 

You never know, your story could one day be somebody else’s survival guide. 

Be your own inspiration, if you have knowledge of something share it. 

Waiting for somebody else to ‘Fix’ your problems is a waste of valuable time. Be proactive not reactive. Love yourself as much as you love others.

Be kind and share always love Betty x 

How You Could Benefit From My Ghosts and Ghouls this Hallowe’en

Today I woke as usual around 7 am. 

After suffering from depression most of my life, I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to live another day in a human form. 

We are not human beings, we are spiritual beings living a human life. 

My human journey began with trauma, I was dead at birth, my human journey has been a very traumatic one. Born with Autism, but not diagnosed until the age of 48. 

I suffered child abuse from a very young age, and was raised by 2 narcissistic parents.

I developed a personality disorder, called dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder, as a necessity for my human survival.

I have been totally unaware that I had this disorder until the ripe old age of 50. 

Being psychic too, has put a strain on my physical  and mental health.

After what I class as a near death experience, when I almost took my own life, I stumbled upon my spiritual path.

Spiritual awakening is not about ghosts and ghoulies, although I do see ‘spirits’ I prefer the term energies, and that is a different story altogether.

My spiritual awakening has been the opportunity to see myself for the very first time.

Realising that you are the source of your own happiness, I have found myself at last. 

Today is Halloween, I’ve always been afraid of ghosts and spirits, even though I feel them, see them and hear them, they have terrified me all of my life.

when my brother died 20 years ago at the age of 27, I was convinced he would come back to me at some point, and slept with my head under the blankets for 6 years.

I thought that I was going mad for a very long time. I then convinced myself that everybody hears voices, and I rarely mentioned it to anyone.

having mental health problems and hearing voices, tends to cast a different outlook on my psychic abilities. I am not schizophrenic, that must be a really scary disorder to have. I do not have hallucinations, my eyes are never open when I ‘see’ things, and my predictions are always right.

Although I am mad in the technical sense, the reason that I was so scared of my ability was that I had no control over which energies I engaged with, leaving me wide open to good and bad energies alike.

I decided to work on protecting myself, and to work with my spiritual guides each and every day. 

Because I am a natural empath I absorb other people’s energies. 

When you are not aware of this, you can become seriously depleted in energy yourself.

You become laden down with other people’s negative energies, your own energy field can become blocked, and can carry this blockage around for years without ever knowing. 

We have to protect our own energy fields. 

My daily routine now consists of protecting my energy and raising my vibrations.

A cold shower in a morning invigorates all of the energy in my body.

I use colour cards to chose what colour I need to focus on that day, then choose my wardrobe accordingly. 

I get out for some fresh air, a brisk walk for 20 minutes, then on with general tasks of the day. 

Around lunch time I meditate. 

I use Oracle cards to direct me on my path.

there are lots of cards to choose from but these are my favourite.

I meditate with these cards placed over my heart, and ask them to provide me with insight on my journey.

Today I decided to share my reading with everyone as my spooky contribution to Halloween.

The top card represents my past. Straight away I recognised myself as being the ‘yes’ woman, the ‘go to’ woman, I could never say the word no, except to myself. 

I was a people pleaser, allowing my energy to be used, time and time again. 

The second card is the present, Take a Break. 

This is exactly what I am doing at this moment in time, I have taken a break from the outside world, in order to connect with my own spirituality. 

The final card is the future, 

Dance with life, the title says it all really, I am taking life by hand and leading it onto the dance floor, my spiritual journey is the first dance.

I am looking for my soul tribe to get this dance party started. 

If you feel a connection with me, please contact me, I know you are all out there somewhere, I just need to find you. 

Love Betty x 

How Autumnal Sunbathing Can Help Depression and S.A.D.

me today, I look like Nanook of the North..

I have suffered from depression for most of my life. 

Once the winter months start approaching, and the days become shorter, darker and colder, my depression can get much worse. Even those of us who don’t suffer from depression all year round, can still get a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

SAD affects most people during the winter months, mainly from November to March. 

It has been linked to a lack of sunlight, and the reduction of serotonin levels in the brain. 

Once spring arrives, the weather is warmer, days are longer and lighter and brighter, the person’s serotonin levels rise once more, and they are back to their pre-sad selves. 

I have been using light Therapy for 3 months now in an effort to cure my depression. 

I live in a small part of England in a city called Newcastle. I live on the edge of Scotland. we have our own weather front in my village. We are situated at the top of a huge hill with valleys below.

When it snows in our part of the world, everything stops. It is a place where we can get cut off from the surrounding villages quite easily. 

It can be cold and windy in the summer months, and we even had snow in August this year. 

I started using light therapy because I knew I was lacking the sunlight that I needed. 

I’m pretty sure I was meant to live in a sunny country, but something went wrong and I ended up in Newcastle. 

I purchased a UV sun lamp for the days when there is no sun, and I meditate daily in sunlight. 

Today it is cold, it is blowing what we call a Hoolie in Geordie Land, for the uninitiated this is similar to a hurricane, only the English version. 

But both look like this. 

It is very cold with a windchill of -100 if you get my drift.

But there’s blue sky and the sun is shining, you don’t want to miss this kind of opportunity when it presents itself. 

If it wasn’t so windy today I would have seen this. I live near a flying school, and sunny weekends always look like this..this is a picture I took last week.

Having used both natural sun and a Therapy lamp, I can safely say that the suns rays cannot be beaten on effectiveness in treating my depression. My serotonin levels must be sky high, I am happy for the first time in forever. 

Even if it is cold, I still toddle up to the joint at the top of the garden, with my winter woolies, hot water bottle in hand, and gratitude for a beautiful sunny day in Autumn.

The neighbours are probably wondering why I am presently lying on my sun lounger, in the freezing cold wind, with my hat, coat and boots on, sun bathing in winter. 

I think that they are used to me by now. 

I know it doesn’t look like a normal thing to be doing, but I am anything but normal, but if they could only feel what I could feel, they would all be out doing it themselves. 

A neighbour Lynda has confided that she too suffers from SAD, so watch this space for my new winter sun bathing neighbour. 

Give it a go, if you have depression what do you have to lose ? 

People underestimate the importance that sunlight plays in our daily lives, on our mental and psychical health. Just like In nature, we need sunlight to survive. 

Invest in a UV lamp if you don’t get much sun in the winter months. They won’t break the bank at around £30 – £40 on Amazon, and it could be just what you need. 

Look after yourself always love Betty x 

How To Finally Get That Long Awaited Erection.

How To Finally Get that Long  Awaited Erection 

It is finally here, the day that  I have been waiting for for 3 months, the erection of ‘The Joint’ at the top of the garden. 

It is definitely here, it is on the back of the van, and they are unloading as I speak, I am sitting here ready and eager to supervise this long awaited erection. 

The builder teas are on the table, it is that strong you can stand the spoon up in it, and there are plenty of biscuits to keep sugar levels up. 

I have severe mental health difficulties that prevent me from leaving the house, so my life tends to be focused more now on what makes me happy. 

My new summerhouse will be the icing on the cake, my very own She Shed, The Joint at the top of the Garden. 

3 months ago I had a vision, I would retire from a life that I could no longer sustain in the outside world, and live happily ever after at ‘The Joint’ at the top of the garden. There I would be able to meditate, write, paint, and be at one with nature, and myself.

Here I could not only heal myself, I could heal others with my words. 

Just because the temporary accommodation  was only a 6ft shed full of spades and tools this hasn’t stopped me from healing myself, or from healing others, I have just been cold and wet doing it. 

Being a single parent to an Autistic Teen, who also has Tourette’s Syndrome, can be quite hectic and noisy, trying to meditate in these circumstances can be difficult, with my new She Shed I will be able to meditate in silence, with only the sounds of nature all around me. 

Darren & Michael have been hard at it, I’m sure the Ham wraps, crisps and chocolate have helped somewhat. 

My Erection is almost fully complete. 

And it’s up.. I finally have my erection thanks to these two handsome chaps, Darren and Michael, they did an amazing job and I couldn’t be happier. Their Boss on the other hand is a different story, but I shall save that for my review of this beautiful piece of woodwork.

The smell inside is delicious, it reminds me of an Alpine lodge, I feel like Heidi, and I can’t wait for the snow to arrive. 

But think even older that that.. Heidi is now 50, she’s a grandma herself. And she has finally found her retirement home. 

I am not really bong eyed…

Now for the interior design , kizzy seems to like it too. 

i’m not sure if she likes the joint, or wants the chocolate ?

To obtain the best possible erection, keep your erectors happy with tea and biscuits, encourage them to do a good job, and your erection will last for many years to come. 

Happy erection day to me, love Heidi, Betty and the gang x 

What The World Would be like if The Darkest Nights Of The Soul Didn’t Exist

3 months ago I experienced what I can now call ‘the darkest nights of my soul.’

Having suffered Severe Depression for most of my life, and having several close calls with suicidal ideation, the inevitable happened. I finally came as close as I could do to death, without actually physically dying. 

My soul was dead, in its place was only darkness. The blackest black you could ever imagine. There was just complete nothingness.. no feelings, no thoughts, no light. No reason left to live. 

I cried out for help, luckily the Samaritans answered my cry. 

They kept me going for a few days, until the strangest thing happened. 

I’ve always known spirituality, and embraced it. even that had provided little comforting the darkness, until suddenly I was shown the ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel. 

My Brother, who committed suicide 20 years ago, showed me the way, and as my eyes began to fully open, I found my reason for being here, my reason for living, and my true path. 

I believe that this is my final spiritual journey. I believe that people who suffer from depression, are actually light workers, who are unaware of their purpose in life. 

They don’t fit in, they feel as though their lives have no meaning. This is because they have lived so long  in the grips of their depression, they do not know any other way to live. 

These people are usually the kindest, most selfless people that you can meet. 

You very rarely find selfish people suffering from depression, this is because they only look after number 1, therefore their path will be an easy one. 

I have found that many people who suffer with depression, will usually have spent most of their lives putting others first. 

So what would the world be like if the darkest night of the soul didn’t exist ?

It would be full of people who would never be able to truly see the light. Full of selfish people, who will never be able to put others first.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. 

I found my way out of the darkness of depression, and into a brand new light, full of happiness, joy, and self love. It can be done, but only you can find the way. 

My Healing thoughts go out to each and every one of you, who may have experienced ‘the darkest nights of the soul,’ it is the most painful experience imaginable, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy. 

But take a step back, and realise how strong you really are for even being alive, life is hard for us all, but for people who suffer from depression, it can be just too hard for one soul to cope with, on top of everyday demands.

I feel like the luckiest person alive, because I went through it, and have come out the other side, as a completely new person. 

I may still have other severe mental health problems that will never go away, but the worst one of all is depression, I won’t be sorry that it has gone. 

Look after yourself, if anybody reading this is going through severe depression right now, please feel free to message me, I always try to reply to as many people as I can. 

One day my words may save a life..

Love Betty x