Relationship anxiety

Relationship anxiety is very destructive, as you know. If you don’t learn how to get rid of anxiety in your relationship, it leads into a very devastating downward spiral:

Suspiciousness – Worrying about your partner not loving you, or not caring as much as you do. Thoughts of them being unfaithful. Many more self-destructive thoughts and emotions. And of course, all of these will fuel your relationship anxiety.
In order to learn how to get rid of anxiety in your relationship, take the following steps:
Ask your partner for reassurance. When you find yourself becoming suspicious in your relationship, try to remember that it is probably being fueled by your anxiety. You may be able to get some relief from your relationship anxiety by asking your partner for occasional reassurance. They will be happy to give this if they are patient and understanding of your anxiety. 
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This kind of support may well be very helpful to you. Ask a trusted friend who is prepared to give you an honest answer if there might be some real reason for you to feel this way. But even when you get that real information, it may not help alleviate your relationship anxiety. You will have to work on that yourself. Perhaps your worry is that you feel that you are too “needy” in your relationship.
For instance, do you need constant reassurance and want your partner to regularly prove that things are really okay? This will inevitably put pressure on you and your partner and will add to the relationship anxiety.
I got married when I was 19 years old and discovered after about six months that I had made a terrible mistake. I was under a lot of pressure from my parents to stay in the marriage as it was not ‘the done thing’ to separate or divorce. In their opinion, I was far too young to know what I was doing. I believed them as I knew nothing different and so I tried to make the marriage work.

Inevitably the pressure of trying to make it work instead of figuring out how to get rid of anxiety in my relationship made me very unhappy and anxious indeed. I stuck at it for 10 years until I couldn’t take it any longer and I made the decision to leave, take the children, and strike out on my own. That was the right decision for me, and the anxiety was lifted almost as if a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders.

If any of this is resonating with you, then you will need to find ways to cope with your anxiety and learn to rely more on yourself for feeling better – taking the pressure off your partner. This will allow you to become more self-sufficient, even in your anxiety. Give yourself permission to reassure yourself instead of turning to your partner for comfort each time you are anxious. Find ways to learn to think more positively. Try being grateful for what you have.

When you are anxious you can create all kinds of ideas in your imagination that appear so intolerable that you feel compelled to take impulsive and totally misguided actions. You will find yourself:

  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Making decisions that are destined to fail
  • Behaving in a totally childish manner, sulking and demanding attention.
Look for solutions that will relieve your relationship anxiety and won’t result in increasing your problems further. 

When you are anxious your partner will be anxious too. It becomes a vicious circle and the anxiety is fed constantly.
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Learning to trust your intuition is an important part of reducing your anxiety. So, slow down, think through anything you are considering doing and follow your intuition. Make the effort to stop listening to that nagging voice that is telling you something is wrong. It is very likely when you slow down and think rationally that you will find a much better solution for you and your relationship. In this way, you can successfully get rid of anxiety in your relationship.
If this resonates with you and you would like to have a no obligation conversation, please get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Forgiveness – releasing the past

Forgiveness is such an important subject that I feel compelled to spend some time explaining its significance. When we hold something unforgiven inside, we are nurturing anger, hatred and resentment or maybe even guilt. These emotions lock us into the moment, continually reliving events.  Over time all this emotion can become suppressed into the subconscious, but they are still there, consuming our mental and life energy. Until we release ourselves from this cycle it may prove impossible to move forward.

It really does not matter what the issue was, whether slight or life-shatteringly traumatic. If you want to move on you must let it go. To do this you must forgive. To forgive someone does not mean that that you condone their behaviour simply that you forgive them, and release them. By releasing and forgiving them, you release yourself.

Dealing with emotional abuse

Some people hold onto their anger, refusing to forgive or let go.  They will never move on until they do. In fact quite the reverse, by allowing such emotions to ferment inside, they grow and can become all consuming, their whole life becoming defined by whatever the event was. They are no longer in control of their life or living the life they want. They are living a life that is directed by their anger and hurt.

How our lives are, is often a reflection of our reactions to the ups and downs of life.  If we choose to accept the good and release the bad, we are able to maintain control over our lives and keep our sense of direction.  If however we  focus on the bad things that have happened to us, then these will simply grow, continually manifesting our own dark thoughts and divert us from seeking what we really want.

If you or your life is “stuck” then it is well worth looking back to see if there is anything unforgiven in your past.  Remember to forgive everyone, especially yourself.  So many people trudge through their lives burdened with guilt for this or that, forgive yourself  and let it go.

Remember, life is in the now, the past is already finished and dead and cannot be changed. Nothing you can do now, can ever change the past, yet it is amazing how many people squander their emotional and life energy, consumed with anger or guilt about the past.

In this moment now you have your power – the power to make your choices, take your action, to make a difference.  You have no power in the past and you have no assurance of power in the future.

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If you want to feel free, released from the past  then you must forgive.  Forgive everyone, especially yourself. I know how difficult it is to overcome our natural and very human feelings of anger, guilt, resentment and fear. The basis of them can seem, and may well be, completely justified, you may be completely right to have these emotions and it is OK to experience them.  However, these emotions damage your ability to move on, you must accept your emotions but then be prepared to let them go. To release yourself, you must forgive. Until you do you will remain the victim with your life locked into all those negative emotions.

Look around you, do you know anyone like that?  Some tragedy or injustice has been suffered and now the entire life of that person is defined by their anger and resentment. Every positive thought, every inspired moment, all of life’s little pleasures are subsumed with their overwhelming feelings of anger, resentment, even desire for revenge. No matter how justified their emotions are, what good is it doing them? The past can never be changed. The future is an incomplete equation.  Life is full of tragedy and joy, it is not the events of life so much as how we respond to them that defines how joyous and successful our lives are.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

My self awareness

When I was in my teens, and even up to my early 40s, I had very little self awareness.  I plodded along doing what I was told to do, manipulated by so many people.  I was so totally not self aware I didn’t even notice that I was living my life on other people’s terms.

It is only since I began training to be a transformational coach thirteen years ago that I have really discovered myself and discovered my own self awareness.  I have found that to be able to grow into my own self-awareness I have to be aware of  my feelings and emotions.  This was quite a difficult journey for me, as I have suppressed feelings and emotions for many years.  The reason – I was conditioned by my parents from  childhood  that I should be seen and not heard.  I was told that I should not express anger or display any emotion.  And so I learned to repress them.

Dealing with emotional abuse

Having this understanding now after learning so much about my feelings and emotions and rediscovering who I am really am, I know that I can express my feelings and emotions. And this is a huge step for me towards self-awareness.

But what does self-awareness do for me? What are the benefits to me?  Being self-aware has given me the opportunity and freedom to change those things I want to change about myself and create the life that I want.  I now don’t allow others to manipulate me.  I live my life on my terms.  I am seen and heard and I do express my feelings and emotions.

The more clarity I get about who I am and what I want, and of course why I want it, the more I empower myself to consciously make those wants a reality. But, how do I get this clarity? I turn to the expert – ME.  I know more about myself than anyone else, I know I have been manipulated and by whom.  I know I have suppressed my feelings and emotions,  and I know why.  And I have got to know myself even better over the past few years by becoming so much more self aware.  I am, of course, still learning.

To get the clarity I want I have learned to ask myself questions and expect specific answers. The more specific my answers, the more impact they have on my life and then I have a much clearer picture of  me.  Of course, there are times when my answer is ‘I don’t know’ and I know that is okay too.  I give myself the freedom to take a wild guess and this allows me to carry on.  What I have discovered is that I really do know more than I ever thought I did.

Dealing with emotional abuse

Honesty is vital in my answers to myself.  It will lead to my true self awareness, but it does take a lot of courage.  It is the courage to face my fears or to face something I find difficult to accept about myself.  For instance, I know that I am impatient and want things to happen now.  I also know that when people are speaking to me I used to get impatient to hear the end of what they were saying, and I tended  to try to finish their sentences for them.  I know this about myself and now take the time to listen when people are talking and not just to give them an answer, but to hear what they are saying beyond the words.

By being totally honest with myself I take ownership of my actions, beliefs, thoughts and feelings and find those beliefs that are no longer serving me. Those beliefs can then be discarded, altered or whatever feels right for me now.

I find that sometimes I do slip up and give an answer that perhaps I think I should give, rather than what I really know is right.  That means I am giving answers from my head rather than getting in touch with my feelings and getting the answer from inside. To get out of my head again, I take several deep breaths, allow the brain to quieten and start to listen, to notice where the thoughts are coming from.  This helps me to balance myself and to find the answers I need, and they come from inside me rather than from my head. I have learned that life only works one way, from the inside out.

I know that whatever I discover about myself I can handle with ease and acceptance.  I trust that whatever I discover about myself will in some way lead to a greater sense of me and increased self-awareness.

And of course I am learning every day more and more about myself too.

If you find this resonates with you, get in touch with me for a free conversation about your thoughts on self awareness.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/Maggie-Currie-Coaching-527886050648208/?ref=hl
Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

Reclaim your power

There is an innate awkwardness to being human. With each decision we make, there is always the potential for self-doubt, and it is this self-doubt that forms the root of our insecurity.

This is a very complex emotion that is made up of equal parts of inadequacy, isolation, fear and hopelessness. Yet these feelings of insecurity, that potentially can prevent you from fulfilling your potential, are nothing more than perceptions.

You may feel less confident and more unsure of yourself because you judge yourself to be so.  You are fulfilling your own belief.

But how do you banish insecurity and reclaim your power?

Banishing insecurity is often simply a matter of challenging yourself in order to prove that you are indeed intelligent and able.

When you feel insecure you are perceiving yourself as incapable of meeting life’s challenges. Fraudulent and unworthy of true happiness.  You may move through life plagued by a perception that others are judging you and think you are lacking. As a result, you rob yourself of your personal power and render yourself unable to feel positive about the choices you make.

You have learned through continuous personal development and experience to think differently.

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You are not alone, I suspect everyone of us feels insecure from time to time, and if you should find yourself with feelings of insecurity, try to understand its source.

Perhaps you were repeatedly berated as a child, perhaps constantly told that children were to be seen and not heard. Maybe it is the case that you rarely receive positive reinforcement in the present.

When you have pinpointed the origin of your insecurity, turn your focus on to your numerous abilities.  The more you utilise your personal power—by taking risks, facing challenges and acting decisively—the stronger it will grow.

Remember that insecurity is an emotional interpretation of your value unconsciously based on doubt, shame and fear. Changing the way you think about yourself, positive affirmations and self belief will have a hugely positive effect on you.

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As you overcome your underlying emotions and doubts through positive action and copious self-love, you’ll discover that you are capable of achieving more than you ever thought possible.

Another way to help understand your emotions and get your thoughts in order is to write in a journal.  I have found that sitting quietly in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, a notebook and a pen and allowing myself to write, without even consciously thinking about what I am writing, to be very helpful.  I know I was quite surprised when I read what I had written the very first time.  And you will be too.  Just let it all flow.

Once you have written down your doubt, shame or fear you will discover that it begins to lessen and because you have acknowledged it’s existence, it no longer poses a threat to you.  You will reclaim your power.

Take action and really begin to change your life.  If you need help, contact me and we can arrange your FREE 15 minute discovery call.

 

Maggie Currie 

Thought Leader, Coach, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Survivor

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Finding my emotions and feelings

A few years ago I was working my way through a relationship programme and my fabulous coach, Heather Williams, and I  discovered I had a block.

We discovered I couldn’t express my emotions or feel my feelings in a way that I felt is right for me. Having been brought up from a very early age to not show anger and not allowed to show emotions it had become a habit which was now time to break. As a child I was also told that I should be seen and not heard. I was working on unblocking my emotions and feeling my feelings.

My coach had given me an exercise to do to work on one emotion at a time and I began with fear. Here is the exercise that I was given:

Draw a doorway with the door ajar. Behind the door is your emotions. Imagine standing with your hand on the doorknob about to push or pull it right open.

What emotion would come flying out first? Write down one emotion you want to work on.

Imagine what you feel. Go back to a time when you felt that emotion. How it affects the body and mind, heart – feel it physically. Try and get in touch with the emotions and feelings. Write about what happens.

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 This is what I wrote about this experience.

The first emotion would be fear – fear of what is behind the door.

How does fear feel to me?
I remember being about 8 years old. I had been to a party for a school friend’s birthday. I had been taken to the party by my mum in the daylight. I know it wasn’t far from home, about 15 minutes by foot. The party was over and one of the parents collecting their child had a car and they said they would take me home. It was dark by now. I had never been allowed out of my street on my own, and I had no sense of direction. The person driving the car looked at me and asked me where I lived and I told her the address. She started the car and we drove around for a little while, about 5 minutes I suppose, she then asked me where the road was that I lived in, were we near it? I had no idea whatsoever as it was dark, I was small and could barely see out of the window of the car. She said I must know where I lived and where my road was. I was petrified that I would never get home and that she would think that I was stupid.

I wasn’t stupid, it was just that I had no idea where home was and how to get to it. I remember starting to shake and shiver, and tears came into my eyes. I probably looked like a scared rabbit. Her child was in the car too and she was laughing at how I couldn’t find my own house. They didn’t realise that I had not be allowed out by myself anywhere and had no notion of how to get home.

I remember being frightened and embarrassed at the same time. We eventually got home and my mum said thank you to whoever it was driving and they explained that I didn’t know the way and then everyone was told that I had no sense of direction and therefore I couldn’t be let out on my own. So apparently it was my fault or so I thought at the time.

So fear to me is sweaty palms, more rapid breathing, sometimes shaking and frequently the feeling that I need to wee, even though I know I don’t. I begin to feel unsure of myself and that just increases the fear and those symptoms just increase.

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Heather Williams

 After doing this and sending it by email to my coach we had a long chat about it via Skype – I am in UK and she was in Australia. So it was 7am BST and 4pm in Australia. Heather commented that she was pleased that I had written about the effects of the fear and that she felt I had connected well with my fears and emotions.

This was a huge breakthrough for me. Thank you to my coach and thank you relationship programme. I am feeling my feelings and unblocking and expressing my emotions and and improving my relationship with me.

 

Maggie Currie 

 

Epilogue – Australia Trip

Sadly, my good friend Heather Williams passed away today.  I was told by her daughter-in-law Sonia that all her family were with her and holding her hand and that she is now at peace.

I was also told that my short visit to see Heather had made her week, and she was thrilled that I had taken the time to visit her.

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Heather Williams 1959-2014

I shall remember Heather as looking well, chatting to me in her living room, telling me all about her farm, her hobbies and her plans for the future, the two grandchildren due to be born in the near future.

I am glad that I made the trip, as I know I would have regretted not going to see Heather. I didn’t just want to offer support from a distance, I wanted to be there for her in her time of need.

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I also surprised myself at how upset I was on hearing the news.  This is something I shall have to ponder to discover the depth of my emotions.

Rest in peace Heather. You will definitely be missed.  You are now another star shining down on us from above.

heathers funeral

7th August 2014

Finally, Heather’s two sons, Kristoffer and Rhys, rode Heather’s beloved Harley and BSA behind her hearse to the Crematorium.  I am sure she would have loved that.

Maggie Currie

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Australia trip – A rollercoaster of feelings and emotions

It all began early one morning in April.  I have a standing date to chat with my friend Heather who lives in Australia.  When we call via Skype, it is 7am here in the UK and 4pm in Australia.

On this morning Heather said she had been to see the doctor because of a cough, and she had been for some tests.  These tests had revealed that she had malignant melanomas in her lung, shoulder and leg.  Quite matter of factly Heather stated the doctors had told her she had about 5 months to live.  Of course, Heather told them that she fully intended to be around for the next 30 years, and knowing Heather she probably will be.

I had never met Heather in person, we had met online whilst undertaking a coaching course together, and we had hit it off.  We had similar histories of adoption and we thought in the same way – much to the chagrin of our coaching instructor.

We chat weekly and talk about the weather, her farm, my caravan – everything under the sun and we have built up a strong bond.

My initial thought on hearing Heather’s news was I want to go and visit Heather to offer my support in person. That was my emotional head thinking.  My practical head thinking found a million obstacles as to why I shouldn’t do it – the expense, the time, my inexperience in travel etc.

Nonetheless I looked up prices and they ranged from £700 to £1,000 return.  I thought about it for a few days.  I mentioned to Kelvin that I was thinking of going to Australia to offer my support to Heather and he said ‘just do it, you will only regret it if you don’t’.  He is right of course, I would regret it if I didn’t go.  And so I looked really seriously at the flights and the costs.

I found the most cost effective airline was Royal Brunei, and they fly from Heathrow to Melbourne via Dubai and Brunei.  The flights all together were around 21 hours with a one hour stopover in Dubai and a two hour stopover in Brunei.

I booked my flights to set off from Heathrow on Sunday 15th June and to return home on Monday 23rd June.  All very good except that I would land in Melbourne at 4.50am their time.  Very early in the morning in the middle of their winter.

I relayed the dates and times to Heather when we spoke and she said that Geoff, her husband, would collect me from Melbourne airport and drive me to their home some 350 kilometres away in Wangaratta.  What a gentleman!

Kelvin insisted that he was going to drive me to and from Heathrow, so basically all I had to do was sit there in the various cars and planes and be transported to the other side of the world.  It seemed very easy, at least on paper.

I was both excited and nervous.  Excited because I was going to meet Heather in person after 4 years, and nervous because the furthest I had flown was to Italy, about 2 hours and never on my own.  Flying for 21 hours was daunting and scary.

 

I searched online and bought the lightest case I could since I was only allowed 20 kilos.  Of course there were jumpers to be bought as it is winter in Australia and summer here.  Also a lightweight jacket had to be found.  But the universe was looking after me and all things were available for me.  I had everything I needed.

During one of our chats Heather mentioned that she had lost some vision in her right eye.  She was unduly worried, but was tending to crash into things and not see anything on her right side.  Then I had a message that Heather had been rushed into hospital and had undergone brain surgery.   Apparently there was a melanoma pressing on her brain and it had to be removed at once or she wouldn’t survive.  Two days later Heather was sitting up eating her breakfast.

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Heather

As the time drew nearer to set off on my epic trip, the more nervous I became.  The week before I was due to fly I got a chest infection and felt absolutely awful.  A trip to the doctor to get antibiotics was successful and I sat and felt sorry for myself for a few days until I began to feel better.  I really thought that I would have to postpone my trip as I may not have been well enough to fly and I didn’t want to take an infection with me to Heather, who was by now half way through her chemotherapy treatment.

I was kept busy organising the freezer and fridge so that Kelvin had plenty to eat and drink whilst I was away for 8 days.  There were meals for one, oven chips, pizza, bread, milk, eggs.  Enough to keep him going for a week or so.

But all was well, and I recovered.  The night before I was due to fly I hardly slept.  I was nervous, excited, concerned, worried – a whole host of emotions.

The day arrived.  My case was packed.  I had my passport, Australian dollars, my itinerary.  I was ready to go.

We set off on the ferry at around 10am and headed for Heathrow.  We arrived in plenty of time and decided we would have lunch together.  The food was very good and not too expensive, we had steak and chips.

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Me at Heathrow

 

I went to the check in desk and queued up.  The case was fine, not overweight, the passport was fine, but I hadn’t got an entry to Australia Visa.  I had ordered this online at the time of booking the flight but apparently it hadn’t come through.  Fortunately, the rep for Royal Brunei airlines was very helpful, she got on her mobile to Melbourne airport and got some advice.  I had to go to another department and purchase a visa.  So I had to get my case off the scales, and go to another desk and pay £30 for this piece of paper.   So they tried to issue me with this entry to Australia visa, but because I had already ordered one there was a problem.  But they sorted it all out, and after an anxious twenty minutes, all was in order.  The rep told me that I didn’t need to queue up again, just come back and see her and I went back to the rep who put me in the front of the queue.  Check in done and it was time to go through security and immigration. Scary.

I said bye to Kelvin and off I went through the magic doors.  Security and immigration were no problem and I set off for Gate 22 which was approximately 1 kilometre away.  Fortunately there were some travelators and I only had a backpack to carry.  I was there in no time and sat down to wait for my plane to board.  I started reading my book and before long it was time to board.

I was very apprehensive as the plane was huge and I still don’t see how such a huge object can stay in the sky.  But on board I got, went to my seat by the window and waited for takeoff.  The cabin crew were all lovely and got everyone settled.

In a short while we were taxiing down the runway and then the plane was ready to take off and the engines powered up.  Before I knew it we were in the air and I really hadn’t felt a thing.  The plane was only 2/3 full, so there was plenty of room to stretch out.

Flying isn’t the most exciting modes of transport, since the plane is either above the clouds or it is dark, so there really isn’t much to see.  There were films etc. to watch and I watched a couple of films that were mediocre.  They passed the time.  The cabin crew regularly brought round water and juice, and a meal and a snack.  After 6 ½ hours the plane landed in Dubai.  We all got off and wandered around the airport, which was good to stretch my legs.  It was really hot and humid.  Fortunately, the airport had great air conditioning.  I felt bewildered because of the time difference.  I really didn’t know what was happening next.  But it seemed we had to wait for around an hour whilst the plane was refuelled and re-stocked.

I said I would text Kelvin when I landed in Dubai.  My mobile was still locked into the local network and I wondered what I could about it.  I looked at the settings and it gave me an option of manual or automatic network search, so I set it to automatic and almost immediately it found a network in Dubai and I was able to text my arrival.  Quite a feat for me, since I am not the slightest bit technically minded.  Another achievement to add to my list.

We had to go through security again. Then we all got back on the plane again, in the same seats and were heading for Brunei.  I thought that this wouldn’t take long, being ignorant of where Brunei is located.  In fact it was another 6 ½ hours in the air as Brunei is in the Indian Ocean.  With the same films, the regular drinks, a meal and a snack.  We arrived in Brunei and it was even hotter and even more humid.  We had a stopover of around 2 hours and fortunately the airport was air conditioned. I texted Kelvin again to say I landed in Brunei.

I wanted to buy a cup of coffee but they only take Brunei dollars at the airport so I changed a £20 note and went and bought a lovely coffee.  There was a little shop selling chocolate so I bought some of that too.  Brunei airport is undergoing renovations, so there wasn’t a lot to see.

A trip to the loo was needed, and there was one regular cubicle and several cubicles where you could squat.  I thought to myself, if I squat will I be able to get up again.  And laughing to myself I said probably not.  I had visions of me stuck in a cubicle, embarrassed in a strange country.  So I availed myself of the regular cubicle and all was well.

Through security again and then we all boarded the plane again and I was allocated a window seat again, there was an Egyptian man on the outside seat.  I asked him if he would like the window seat as I had seen enough, and he was very appreciative and took up my offer.  I had an aisle seat for a change, and it was fine.

Another 6 ½ hour flight to Melbourne, 3 of those hours were spent flying from the top of Australia to the bottom.  I thought what a vast country this is.  There were the same films, the same drinks, a meal and a snack.  I tried to get some sleep and believe I dozed for a while, but didn’t really sleep.

The plane arrived in Melbourne and landed uneventfully.  I disembarked and followed the signs to baggage reclaim.  Waited for my case to appear, which happened very quickly, collected it and set off for security and immigration.

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Melbourne Airport

The signs were confusing to me, there were lanes for people from Australia and New Zealand and then there were lanes for everyone else.  I went down the everyone else lane.  I came to passport control and they didn’t even look at the visa I had so diligently bought.  My passport was stamped and I was in Australia.

I found myself in the arrivals hall and there was a coffee shop.  I had to have a coffee so I bought one and spent some of my Australia dollars.  The people were so friendly and helpful.  I texted Geoff to say I had landed and was in the arrivals hall.  He appeared about 15 minutes later and we went off to find his car and start the 350 kilometre drive to Wangaratta and it was only 6am their time.

I felt a little tired, but not enough to warrant going to bed.  Geoff suggested I get some sleep on the way, but I didn’t feel it was necessary.  It was still dark being their winter, and the roads were strange, with signs that are different from those in the UK.  The drive took about 3 hours and then I was there, at Glenloth and meeting Heather in person.

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Heather’s house – Glenloth

 It felt really good to give Heather a hug and go into her house.  It was as though we had just popped out and come back in, the conversation just continued.  I felt so at home, welcome and pleased to see Heather.  She looked a little tired, but other than that she looked fairly good.  I was shown to my room and where the facilities were and told to make myself at home.  Geoff cooked me breakfast and Heather and I sat and chatted for the rest of the day.

I did begin to flag around 8.30pm and went to bed.  I had been up since 6am on Sunday and it was now Tuesday.  I thought I hadn’t done too badly.  I felt it would be best for me to stay up as long as I could, then in the morning I would be bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I slept for 12 hours. I felt really good in the morning.

I felt really at home at Glenroth, I was accepted by the dog Mickey and the cat Dixcey.  Even the working dogs were friendly to me.  Having seen photos of the farm before it all seemed very familiar.  I was sitting looking out the window at the views that Heather had photographed.  It was really quite surreal.

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Heather and I at Glenloth

 I met a couple of Heather’s friends – Gillian and Susan – and they were very friendly.  Susan took us out on two afternoons in her car.  We went out for afternoon tea and cake.  Heather was looking good and a bit brighter.

It all felt right to me.  I felt I had done the right thing, even though it was scary.

Heather and I chatted about nothing in particular, put the world to rights and enjoyed each other’s company.

On the Friday we set off for Melbourne again for Heather’s appointment at the hospital for her next chemotherapy session.  We arrived in plenty of time and waited for the doctors to see her.  Then it was time for the chemo.  Geoff and I went and got some lunch in the restaurant whilst Heather was provided with lunch, and then I sat with her until her session was finished.

I felt privileged to be able to be there for Heather and to offer some support, however little that was.

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Heather and I, assisted by Alfred the bear, in the Chemo Unit

Since I was flying out on Sunday it had been decided that we would all stay with Heather’s son and daughter-in-law who lived on the outskirts of Melbourne.  So we set off to their house and arrived around 5pm.  Rhys and Sonia provided us with food and I had their second spare room. It was very comfortable and again I felt very welcome.

On the Saturday Heather was feeling very tired so we girls sat and watched some dvds and had takeaway for dinner.  It was a gentle day, with lots of support for Heather who was feeling a bit down after the chemo.  I felt welcome and wanted and that was good.

On the Sunday morning I was dropped off at Melbourne airport by Geoff and Heather just before 9am.  We said our goodbyes and Geoff took Heather back home to Wangaratta.  They both thanked me for coming and said how much they appreciated it.  I was just pleased that I was able to give support where it was needed.  I had enjoyed my stay and I felt ready to go home.

I went into the departures lounge and it was huge.  I was totally gobsmacked and thought what do I do now?  I wandered around a bit and there was a board, it said all the flights that were due to go today, and where the check in desks were.  Mine was in row B, but wasn’t open yet.  I waited for it to open, queued up and got checked in.  I had done that all by myself, with no help from anyone.  I was feeling quite pleased with myself. No, I was feeling proud of myself.

I went off in search of some breakfast as it was around 9.30am and I was feeling hungry.  I found a McDonalds and asked for a bacon sandwich.  This came with a hash brown and coffee.  That would do me for a while.  Having consumed that I went through security and immigration again.

I found the departure gate, which wasn’t too far away and sat down to wait for the plane and began to read my book again.  Soon it was time to board.  Unlike on the way to Australia, the flight was full.  I was allocated a middle seat and was squashed in between a man and a woman.  There was no room to stretch out.  There were the same films, water and juices, a meal and a snack.  The flight was 7 hours to Brunei.

Again we all got off and there was a 2 hour stopover.  It was very hot again and we had to walk across the tarmac in the blistering heat.  But once in the terminal it was air conditioned thankfully. I texted Kelvin to say that I had arrived in Brunei.

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Model of the Boeing 787 in Brunei Airport

 I bought a bottle of water this time and drank the lot.  I was very thirsty.  I noticed that the air felt very dry in the plane, maybe because there were more people.  But I noticed that I just wanted to get home and was impatient to get there.

Through security again and we all got back on the plane again and set off for Dubai.  7 hours later we arrived.  There had been the same films, water and juices, a meal and a snack.  It was again very hot and I was glad to be able to stretch my legs around the airport for a short while.  I texted Kelvin to tell him I had arrived in Dubai.  I had a look in the duty free shops and noticed that they had some very expensive tourist ‘gifts’.  I could have bought a remote control helicopter.  But I resisted.

Through security again and we all boarded the plane for the last of the three flights back to Heathrow.  Another 7 hours and we would land at 6.30am.  I felt tired, thirsty and little impatient because I just wanted to get home.  There were the same films, water and juices, a meal and a snack.  I did wonder why I was eating breakfast at 3.30am whilst 4 miles up in the air. The cabin crew were delightful and were always smiling, nothing was too much trouble for them.  I am very impressed with Royal Brunei Airlines.

The plane landed at Heathrow on time and we all got off.  I went to the baggage claim to find my suitcase.  I texted Kelvin to tell him that we had landed and I was in the baggage hall.  My case took an age to appear on the carousel.  Eventually it appeared and I was so relieved since I didn’t want the hassle of reporting it missing, filling in forms and trying to remember what was in it.

So an hour after landing I went through immigration, through the nothing to declare channel.  I was stopped by a customs official and asked if I would go with him.  So I did into another room where he wanted to see my passport.  He asked me where I had come from.  I told him that I had come from Melbourne via Brunei and somewhere else I couldn’t for the life of me remember.  He asked me if I had packed my case myself and I said yes.  He asked me if I was carrying anything for anyone else such as drugs or firearms and I said no.  He asked me if I was bringing in any alcohol or cigarettes and I said no.  He seemed happy with my answers and sent me on my way.  I went out into the arrivals lounge and there was Kelvin.  I was so relieved to see him and to be nearly home. He was pleased to see me too as he had missed me.  I felt a mixture of happiness to be home and guilt to have left him behind.  But there was no need to feel guilty, he was just glad that I was safe and home.

Kelvin drove me home and we stopped on the way for some coffee and a toasted teacake.  It felt really good to be with Kelvin and to have landed and not have to get on another plane.

We got the ferry and got home and everything was normal.

 Kelvin Currie

Kelvin

It had felt surreal to be sitting with Heather in her lounge in Australia, which looked familiar because I had seen it so many times during our call on Skype.  It felt right to be with her in her time of need and it all fell into place time wise because the universe had made sure it had happened at the right time.

I feel proud of myself for having organised my trip all by myself and undertaken the trip all by myself.  I am really pleased that I stepped outside of my comfort zone by a long way and made the trip. I have given myself a thoroughly deserved pat on the back.  I never ever thought that I would make a trip like this all on my own.  The fact that I have done it proves I have more potential than I thought, and makes me feel very proud of myself.

If this resonates with you and you would like to step out of your comfort zone but are not sure where to start, contact me and we can have a chat about how I can help you.

Maggie Currie

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