Me and You and a Dog named Boo….

I wonder if any of you were born before 1971 and remember that song?  My family and I rescued a puppy three and a half years ago and we decided to call her “Boo” (a character from a certain Disney film and a character from a favourite book of my daughters) and not only that, it also kind of suited her.  This bundle of boisterous, funny and furry energy entered our lives and changed them for the better.

Busy lives

Our lives can be hectic and busy; what with children, school runs, housework, washing, cleaning, ironing, looking after elderly parents or relatives; let alone working, gardening, house maintenance, car maintenance and remembering to pay the bills, do the shopping and making sure everyone of us is well, healthy and safe.

But what about you?  How do you manage all these tasks? Or don’t you?

Personally, I didn’t cope.  I couldn’t do it all.  I couldn’t keep up.  I was failing, I had failed.  I wasn’t good enough.  How did everybody else do it?  How was everybody’s lives perfect but not mine?  Of course, I always lived to everyone’s expectations of me (false – these were my expectations or ideals), my house was always perfect (not for me – but in case others came to see me), I worked hard and long hours (it was good money) and my children were happy (not – they would have preferred me to be at home at night instead of working).  Something had to give and unfortunately it was me and my mental health.

Learning to be kind

I was very unwell, so, so sad and totally exhausted.  I had a long road to recovery, and I had to learn to be kind to myself (difficult)…. And then there was Boo.  I found myself walking and walking.  Being in the woods, listening to the birds, embracing the wind and rain, enjoying the sunshine.  Laughing at Boo bouncing around the brook, running and rolling in the muddy puddles, eating horses’ poo and enjoying life.  She was fed, watered, walked, loved and cherished.  And I found myself leaving the housework until the next day.  If I hadn’t cleaned the bathroom that day, it was ok, I survived.  If I hadn’t polished and hoovered that day, the world didn’t collapse and neither did I.  I started to have some me time, walking, reading and being mindful of my surroundings.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s not been easy, and I’ve embraced any help offered or sought.  I’ve worked hard on my recovery and I’m still learning new things to help me.  My journey is still ongoing with Boo of course.  We love our snuggles and cuddles and walks.

Happiness in muddy puddles!

So, I was walking over the fields with Boo and a tune entered my head, something from the distant past from when I was a child watching Top of the Pops; Me and You and a Dog named Boo; I often hum and sing this song on our walks now …… Boo isn’t bothered about my singing – she’s just looking for the next muddy puddle.

Confidence – getting the boost you need

Sometimes, all it takes is that boost of confidence to get you where you need to go. We see this a lot with our participants, often they have the skills and experience but all they need is a sprinkling of confidence to help them get to where they want to be.

Confidence through learning

One of our most recent participants had her CV re-vamped and confidence boosted by going through interview techniques and learning how to identify her skillset. After having support from her Peer Support Worker and one of the HeadsUp Development and Skills Officers, she felt more confident and started using her new CV to apply for jobs. It wasn’t long before she was offered an interview (or two). Although she was nervous for her interview, she felt prepared and confident!

When asked about the support she received she couldn’t speak more highly about the help she had from HeadsUp, especially all the work around interview techniques and having her confidence boost. When asked about the support she received from her DSO she wrote

‘she was very easy to talk to & helped me with my confidence… [she] was very helpful and had a very friendly personality, we covered a lot in our sessions and I am very grateful’

We are so happy for this massive success of feeling more confident, and even happier that she got offered the role and is now excited to start her new job as an administrator!!