This is not my cat…

This is not my cat…

This is not my cat.



It became a bit of a standing joke in the last few years of my legal career.



‘You want a home visit? Do you have any pets? No, I don’t have allergies, I just only visit clients who have dogs. Don’t worry about chairs I’ll spend most of the meeting on the floor’



#professional


Battered and bruised, but not broken

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This week has kicked my ass, fully and thoroughly.


There’s been more emotion than is usual even for my slightly drama queen Leo state. 


Positives and negatives. 

A lot of love and a lot of loss.


And honestly? I feel battered and bruised, physically and emotionally.


I didn’t really acknowledge the brain-body connection five years ago, even though I was an expert in mental capacity and death and loss.


I hadn’t quite realised how much I soaked up other people’s emotions too; I thought it was simply my failing, working in an open plan office and being unable to handle the noise, shut out other people’s emotions.


I didn’t know then that what made me great at my job; empathy, an eerie ability to know what my clients wanted before they even said it, to wrangle even the most angry and upset client into an ally with a common goal, to manage other people’s emotional states, came with a personal cost.


Exhaustion, frustration, never being able to shut off the antenna that scanned for anger and upset and pain, the overwhelm that noise and vast bodies of bodies brings for someone who is attuned to the fine detail.


I thought it was just me, being a failure, never being good enough.


Today I know better. And battered and bruised as I feel, I have an immense toolkit to support me.


Managing my own emotions, an emotional literacy that was innate but now acknowledged. The strength to say no to what is unnecessary and to prioritise my needs; hell, to even know what my needs are! The confidence to speak up and ask for help. So much more besides this.


We’re not born with a handbook of how to cope with grief and loss and struggle and exhaustion; how to balance our needs with that of the world around us, how to bounce back.


We should be though. These skills are not innate, they are not there for all of us out of the box. But they can be learned. It’s my deepest wish to share them with you, to support and guide you through the trials and tribulations.


You’re not alone.

PS Did you think you were the only one stressed and struggling at work? I know you think everyone else has their sh*t together, but I can promise you, there are so many out there struggling alone.

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A TACTICAL RETREAT: A MISSIVE ON SELF-CARE

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A TACTICAL RETREAT: A MISSIVE ON SELF-CARE

Have you ever felt raw, like you've been rubbed over with sandpaper and lime juice dripped in the wounds?

Your nerves frayed, your patience waning, energy depleted. Just... nothing left to give?

Of course you have.

If you're reading this I know that you've done this dance before.

Right now I'm hiding in a safe space. I'm not at *that* place yet, where the world is overwhelming, too loud, too bright, too demanding, where everything hurts and nothing soothes.

But I'm on that path.

It's been a day.

It's been one hell of a day.

It's been a fucking day.

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I LIVED A DOUBLE LIFE AND IT NEARLY KILLED ME

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I LIVED A DOUBLE LIFE AND IT NEARLY KILLED ME

Do you remember when you first decided what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Maybe you wanted to be an astronaut or a ballerina or a vet.

Me?

From age 9, I wanted to be a lawyer.

You see, I had decided that my super power was to help people, to sort chaos in to order.  I would protect people who needed protection from the bad scary things out there.

Like every 9 year old child, I thought I could change the world.

I worked so hard to become a lawyer; form applying for work experience age 10 (I was told to come back when I was a little older!) to applying for mini-pupillage left, right and centre.

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This was difficult to see...

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This was difficult to see...

This was difficult to see on my Facebook ‘on this day’ today.

This post, this day, was one of the proudest moments in my legal career. My first ever magazine article published, first of many.

This magazine gig led to me contributing to the Solicitor’s Journal, a Law Society magazine piece, my first ever contribution to a book.

The week before this I had travelled to Manchester to speak at the APIL conference, in front of so many people more qualified and experienced than me, including Lynne Bradey, the lawyer who literally wrote the book on paying for care.

This was also my week from hell.

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