Not Dead Yet a Newbie Guide to Blogging.

the view from my back lane ..

I’m ‘not dead yet’ on my blogging journey, although my readers probably think that I am. I can’t remember the last time I even posted a Blog, but I have hundreds of unpublished drafts clogging up my storage space.

I am into my 7th month of Blogging, and something has been stopping me from hitting that publish button.

I follow many pro bloggers including Ryan Biddulph, who blogs from paradise (who wouldn’t want to) and Cristian Mihai’s The Art of blogging who’s perfected the art of blogging, share vital information for helping understand some of the processes that you go through on your blogging journey.

It is simply a lack of blogging Self belief, or blogging self Worth, that stops us from pressing that button.

I know that I have what it takes to be a good blogger, my intention is to be a good blogger, but this will never happen unless I feel the fear of nobody liking my blogs, feel the fear of nobody even reading them, and feel the fear that this may all have been a waste of time…. and just do it anyway.

Thankfully having mentors by the likes of these top bloggers who share their experiences and helpful tips with us newbies, I realise that this is a process which all bloggers go through, even Ryan and Cristian as successful as they are now, also went through this stage.

So I am facing my fear today and pressing the publish button whether I like it or not. I accept all responsibility for any typos or spelling mistakes found in this blog, because the sooner I hit that button the better. In cases like this editing is just another excuse not to publish, so It’s best to just dive in at the deep end, and paddle like mad.

If like me you are a tiny tadpole swimming in these blog infested waters, watch what the big bloggers do, take all the advice that they give you, because at the end of the day, they’ve already lived the blogging journey that you are now embarking on.

A new Year a new start, so I am starting the year as I mean to go on, just pressing the publish button, one blog at a time.

Where are you on your blogging journey ? are you feeling that fear ? If you are a top blogger do you still occasionally feel it ? I would love to know your thoughts on this.

thanks for stopping by….love Betty

my new neighbour Gertrude, just moved in yesterday.

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.

You Can lead a Dog To Water but You Can’t Make it Drink

There’s an old saying that goes ‘You Can Lead a Horse to Water but you can’t make it drink.’

This has rang true throughout my week, so today I put it to the test. 

I don’t have a horse but I do have a dog. I led my dog to the water but I could not for the life of me, make her drink it

Yesterday my teenage son was feeling unwell, Sam hates feeling unwell, but will not take medication of any kind. 

Sam has Autism, he believes that nothing works so what is the point. 

so I decide to try a new tactic, and ran a bath full of healing essential oils, for his nausea and headache. 

I tell him the bath will help him feel better. Sam doesn’t want a bath though, even if it means that getting into it might make him feel better, he still won’t do it. 

‘You can lead a Sam to healing water, but you can’t make him get in it.’

My final thought on the subject came today when I finally came out, after 40 years, as being a child sex abuse survivor to my family. 

Nobody wants to believe it, denial is rife, you can lead the people to the truth, but you can’t make them believe it.  

Be your own truth, people don’t always see what is staring them in the face.

You are not responsible for what other people believe. 

It’s Been A Funny Old Day With Corned Beef And Cannabis

Today has been a funny old day.

Isn’t it strange how one small event can set off a chain reaction, and change the whole course of your day. 

Today I decided to bake a pie, I love baking, and recently even started enjoying eating it too. 

So I take the corned beef out of the cupboard and immediately my mind turns to ‘why the hell does corned beef still come in the most dangerous contraption known to mankind?’

We are heading into the year 2020, cars can drive themselves, living on another planet now seems feasible, so why in gods name does corned beef still arrive packaged like this ? 

It is the only tinned food that I have come across that requires risking life and limb, just by opening it. 

If the key is missing, you may as-well throw the damn thing out, rather than trying to use a tin opener. Tin openers do not work with corned beef tins, this is why they provide the key. No key =no corned beef.

Luckily this week my keys were all intact, and I only sliced my finger once on the jagged edges doing so. 

Then I thought ‘I wonder if people even know the dangers of corned beef tins ?’ and should I tell them?

You can’t really blog about corned beef tins can you ? 

This was the moment that my thoughts turned into another blog. 

A recipe blog, so I then began taking pictures of each step of my pie making, on the off chance that somebody might actually want to know how to make a corned beef and potato pie.

So here it is 2 tins of corned beef (check the key and watch your fingers). 

About 6 large potatoes cooked til soft.

Half an onion finely diced and boiled. 

Give it a good mash, pretend it’s the person who invented corned beef tins.

Rough puff pastry, bought or homemade either is good. 

This is when things took another strange turn. I always decorate my pies. I began to think of what decor my pie would have today, when the old nursery rhyme ‘Sing a song of sixpence’ came into my head.

Whilst I’m internally singing along “4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie,When the pie was opened the birds began to sing, wasn’t that a dainty dish to put before the king”

Suddenly My brain went Ting and there was my 420 wake and Bake gratitude pie, and my blog became something different again.

I gave up on sharing my recipe,  all you need to do next is stick it in the oven for 35 minutes and the pie cooks itself. 

Upon gathering my thoughts at the end of the day, I find the 5 things that I am most grateful for in my life today. 

My gratitude for being able to live another day on this earth, and the 4 cannabis joints that have helped me to enjoy it. 

Although there is no cannabis in my pie,  there is enough of it in me to save the day. 

A slice of gratitude pie for corned beef, cannabis and happiness..

You can have your pie and eat it. 

Why Anger Isn’t Always A Bad Thing.

 

Most of us have gotten angry at some point in our lives. 

Anger is an normal emotion.

Many people believe that anger is a negative emotion, and try to avoid feeling this way. Most people don’t  particularly like feeling angry. It’s uncomfortable, they would rather feel happy instead. 

But what if you couldn’t feel happy ? What if happiness seemed unattainable ? What if you felt that death was the only way out ?

Anger is the emotion that the fight or flight response can produce, when a real threat to life has been recognised.

Anger then becomes a positive response , activating different neurons in an effort to preserve life. 

Anger has helped me to survive. It has kept me alive in a world that has tried its very best to kill me. 

Am I angry ? Damn right I am. 

I have every reason to be. 

Fighting back.. not dead yet !!

Angry Betty has spoken.

Is your anger keeping you alive ? Or are you keeping it alive ? 

Does it have a positive effect for you ? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

P.S feeling angry doesn’t make you an angry person. 

Urgent !! M.I.A Appeal Launched B.O.L.O.

Breaking news Blogging Betty is missing in action. 

Betty’s Bunch have confirmed that Blogging Betty disappeared around 3 days ago and they haven’t seen her since. 

Betty’s Bunch are the alters with whom she shares a body. They are said to be left devastated by the disappearance of Blogging Betty. 

One of the Bunch, who didn’t wish to be identified, has released a statement saying ‘please come home Betty, were not angry with you, there are 4 unpublished blogs waiting for your return. Since you have been gone, we’ve all been sad. We miss you, life isn’t the same without you.’ 

A spokesperson for the family said ‘Blogging Betty is around 5ft with long blonde hair, with blue eyes.

Will look very similar to the photograph shown, but with a bigger backside a few more wrinkles, and a lot more clothes.

If spotted please contact Betty at the jointatthetopofthegarden.

Your vigilance is much appreciated.

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 

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