100 Days

Coming off drugs after years of dependency is tough, both emotionally and physically.

There’s fear, excitement, apprehension, determination and whole heap of other emotions I can’t put into words. It’s not something you can really prepare for, you’re either ready or you’re not, the only way to really find out is to try.

A leap of faith in the abyss that is your mental health.

On the 1st September after 7 years of dependency on a cocktail of antidepressants, anxiety and sleeping tablets I made that leap.

It was terrifying yet exhilarating.

It’s going well. It hasn’t been easy, but it is worth it.

The pride I feel in myself for getting this far is worth the doubts and niggles.

Who knows what the future holds, maybe I’ll keep going as I am, with moments of worry which are soon eclipsed by the joy that is being discovered in the every day things. Or maybe one day I’ll need the support and stability that comes with medication once again, what I do know is that I’m no longer worried nor ashamed if I do.

But for now I’m just chuffed as fuck that I reached my first 100 days antidepressant free.

Yay me!!

A Hint of Winter Colour

I tend to associate winter as a bleak time of year for the garden, as well I should, it looks awful really and in true Amanda style I have misplaced the bulbs I need to plant to ensure some colour in the spring months.

However, among the bleak can be found some beauty and colour.

This rose has been slowly fading from its bright white to a light brown, it reminds me of the pages of an old book.

winter colours rose

winter colour faded rose

winter colour rose

Whilst I haven’t managed to get out and photograph the trees, most of which have now shed their leaves and berries, I have picked up some seasonal greenery.

I just adore eucalyptus and pussy willow!

winter colours pussy willow

Not sure why I haven’t had any of this in our home before but I’m so glad to have finally got my hands on some.

winter wreath making

I even used it to make a wreath, which turned out pretty good if I do say so.

I’ve been seeing purple cabbages all over Instagram, and I must admit I was intrigued. I detest cabbages as a food, but as a flower type thing, I can get totally on-board with that!

winter colour cabbage

I saw these two shoved under a shelf at our local flower stall, so I rescued them both for the pricely sum of £1, well worth it for these odd yet delightful pops of colour. When the light hits them, they just look amazing, not something I ever thought I’d say about a vegetable.

winter colour

Winter Wreath Making

There are several schools of thought on the history of the humble wreath. From the ancient Greeks and Romans using them to symbolise status and victories to the Pagans and Christians making wreaths to symbolise the changing seasons and Advent. Most nowadays are simply a festive decoration, a simple and visual reminder that Winter and Christmas are upon us.

Inspired by the rather lovely wreaths which have been popping up all over Instagram in the last week or so I decided to try my hand at making my own.

winter wreath making

For the base I used a circle wreath of honeysuckle vines I cut from the garden earlier this year and then collected some items from around the house

silver birch stars

rusty bells

mini pinecones

eucalyptus

pussy willow

Using no skill whatsoever, I just interwove the eucalyptus and pussy willow in to the honeysuckle wreath, both are rather flexible and easy to slot in to gaps in the wreath.

honeysuckle and Eucalyptus

The pinecones I attached using a hot glue gun, the stars were slotted in to gaps between the wreath, eucalyptus and pussy willow and the bells with a piece of twisted wire.

bells and pinecone

pussy willow

All in all it took less than 5 minutes and didn’t turn out too shabby.

winter wreath

It was only after making the wreath that I discovered there is a whole bunch of symbolism attached to the items I used to make my wreath.

Honeysuckle vines for the wreath – Signifies happiness and fraternal affection.

Silver birch stars – Silver birch trees around the world symbolise renewal and protection whilst a star symbolises good luck.

Rusty bells – Bells have long been a symbol of protection, the ringing chimes used to ward off evil.

Mini pinecones – Pinecones are symbolic of long life and prosperity, as well as a symbol for good health and protection.

Eucalyptus – Besides smelling amazing, eucalyptus is a symbol of healing and protection.

Pussy willow – The pussy willow symbolises good will and motherhood and represent protection for the home.

I realise that symbolism it totally subjective, but I do rather like the connotations which go with the items I chose for my wreath, now I just need to find the perfect place for it.

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