Mental Health & Wellbeing

Dear Awesome Friends…….

Every spring/summer, work life  gets busier if you are a B&B owner in a season driven area.  Here at Cerdyn Villa B&B the ‘season’ starts around Easter and slowly builds to a peak through summer, tailing off and finally finishing into November after the Real Ale Festival.  Theres the odd tricle of business outside of those dates but the summer is generally pretty full on.

For me, in addition to a constant flow of interesting and wonderful people visiting the area and staying with us, there is the increased demand for my help in the local cafe (and as I love both catering and customer serving as well as the owners, its impossible for me to refuse a few extra shifts there).  Then there’s my love of gardening.  Not just managing my own garden but also working on managing 5 or six other gardens as a job through the spring, summer and autumn.  Add on any art/glass commissions and any of the commitments my alter-ego Lady Lily Pink might have during event weekends and World Alternative Games, the result is that pretty much from the beginning of April to the end of October I gradually use all my available time and energy on (enjoyable) work based activities and I slowly see and hear less and less from friends.

By about mid August , I usually, as is happening now, begin to have a mini crisis of confidence.  One particular friend about 25 miles away, normally sees me for a sleep-over girly night most weeks, we belly dance, pamper and compare new purchases, sometimes shop, use her pottery studio and generally chat , laugh, eat and catch up.  During the summer season I don’t see her.  I don’t dance, I don’t get to catch up, share food or be part of her life and by about now I begin to imagine she is angry at me and has found herself ‘better’ and ‘more reliable’ friends.  The same is true of friends in the village.  Every Friday we tend to migrate to the local pub for a few pints and supper, an early evening gathering, quaintly known as ‘builders pint’, as it’s a tradition amongst trades people.  However at this time of year I often need to stay in and wait for guests or lack the energy to get up and go out.  As a result I sense that I am losing touch with my network.  I start noticing (or imagining ) that dinner parties, house parties and outings are happening and I’ve not been invited.  I start imagining a deliberate rebuff when it’s probably a ‘forget’ or an assumption that I’m busy or just a case of ‘you don’t have to invite everyone to everything’.  My mind goes into overdrive.

Also my lack of attendance at social events means I lose touch with the day-to-day comings and goings of my community.  That in itself is something that unsettles me.  I’ve always been at the centre of it.  I ran the tourist office and coffee shop for some years so I was always privy to all the gossip, activities and developments of the community.  We live on the outskirts of our town (village) and it’s fabulous in that when at home we are in a secluded refuge.  But I do like my daily involvement in village life.  It’s one of the reasons I love working in the cafe or going out for a coffee or pint.  So when I find myself unable (or is it unwilling) to participate in the social scene, I find myself mentally worrying, and withdrawing.  My mind (I am prone to anxiety) starts weaving fabrications and scenarios in which I am an irritation and my ‘friends’ are relieved to be shot of me.  Or my friends feel angry and rejected themselves that I have dropped them for better things.

It’s a funny old cycle that can potentially be quite destructive.  I think (hope) though, that I am managing, this year, to keep a small part of my mind in the realm of reality so that whilst my head is playing out all these crazy scenarios , a little voice remains outspoken, reminding me that this is my ‘normal’ and lots of people have a ‘normal’ that makes them too tired or too busy at times to live in a social whirl.  I have to also remind myself that life in rural Mid Wales (in particullar Llanwrtyd Wells) brings with it an exceptionally fabulous social whirl that most people with ‘normal’ lives don’t get on a regular basis so my base line of knowing and being a part of whats going on out there is probably far more excessive than the ‘average’.

So now it seems like I’m comparing.  But I’m not (honestly).  I am just trying to still my busy overactive mind from all its ‘crazy’.

I feel sure that when I eventually message my friend for a girly sleep over, she will (I hope) be pleased to see me.  And I’m pretty confident that when I eventually feel I can put a shout out for an impromptu garden party/bonfire/beers a reasonable number of my community of friends will be very glad to hear from me and look forward to a gathering.

It’s a strange state to get myself into on an annual basis.  This year too, as I’ve developed a friendship group on twitter, I’ve found myself unable to keep up with the threads and missing out on the twittle-twattle there too.  It’s made for a double whammy of self-imaged rejection.

Basically I’m not good at being out of the loop.  I love all the money earning jobs I do but I also love the low season …. until mid way through when I begin my winter mini crisis of confidence… the one where I panic about rising debts and lack of money.  Where, having had very few B&B guests, I question my ability to be a good host and offer a home from home, friendly, yet (almost) professional service….

I guess both of these phases are throwbacks to my own mental health issues.  I’m pretty sure they’re something my long-suffering Hubby can’t wait to have to deal with( 😉 )  Sorry, my darling, you wonderful man, but what about the mini crisis of confidence I get when work affects our personal time and I start imagining that I’ve upset you or you don’t fancy me any more … that one is always a fun one to go through…..

Do any of you have irrational crises of confidence?  Fancy telling me about them?  Maybe sharing will make us all feel a little less ‘odd’, or a little more ‘normal’ 🙂

I dedicate this post to my very long-suffering Hubby and all my wonderful friends both near, far and in the twiitersphere.  And I say to you all, “don’t forget me, do forgive me, and I’ll be back in action soon”


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(13) Comments

  1. This sounds like a stressful time. I get you with the irrational anxiety feelings. It is always good when you recognise what is coming in advance with that pesky anxiety I find. Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam

  2. It’s difficult to juggle everything and not end up feeling a little left out isn’t it! I know exactly what you mean! #abitofeverything

  3. I bave6no words but sending love x #abitofeverything

  4. Oh, yes. I can relate. I used to be a science teacher. Every year I would coordinate our school’s science fair as well as overseeing 100 student projects. It was a huge, time-consuming job. I would regularly work 56, 60, 70 hour weeks. My friends would wonder where I had gotten to. I became a recluse every year around this time. Thankfully, they eventually realized that I just needed some space and time, but it was harrowing year after year. I missed my usual social interactions.

    1. Berni Benton says:

      i think if you are naturally sociable and the real world gets in the way, after a while , it can feel quite traumatic x

  5. Jeepers … that sounds exhausting! Hope you learn to balance it … life can’t me 200mph all the time!! #ABitOfEverything

    1. Berni Benton says:

      cheers Enda, I’ve mastered the art of looking and sounding busy rather than actually being busy , I think. Have a new post in progress about just that x

  6. Tracey Abrahams says:

    I love the phrase twittle-twattle I am gonna have to use that more often. As for the twitter gang, you know were always happy to hear from you as and when you’re around ❤️

    1. Berni Benton says:

      thanks Tracey . so happy you have started up a new linky <3

  7. Awww Berni I very much understand where you are coming from. When my anxiety starts to get the better of me I can start to think similar things about maybe upsetting friends unknowingly etc. However, I have it much better in check these days as my mindfulness really helps me notice when these ideas are creeing in and then I remind myself of my mantra ‘thoughts are not facts’. On a different not I am very envious of your usual social whirl and sleepovers! Lovely to catch up with your blog via #thesatsesh xx

  8. Tracey Abrahams says:

    This rings so many bells. Not so much with being too busy, but crisises of confidence, thinking people are happier when im not around ans all that shizzle are a regular part of my thinking.
    As for your twitter group, I can honestly say we loves you, and are always happy when you drop in to say hello xx

    1. Berni Benton says:

      Hi Tracey, sorry, been absent for a week – just couldn’t keep up. Been amazing, crazy , insane, exhausting xx thanks for the comment. so many people have said they feel the same x

  9. Sending hugs and calmness your way! #blogcrush xo

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