Forward thinking! by Debbie Jinks

Back to reality folks. I was determined to be strong and practice my smell training every day, but its been a bit of a rollercoaster ride these last few weeks to say the least so I haven’t really stuck to it.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up, but Chris Kelly herself said you have to be in the right frame of mind to do it and well, not to put too finer point on it I have had some crap going on so lets leave it there! In fact so much so I’m kicking Anosmia out of the door for this post at least!
I have to heal in more ways than one. Not just my rubbish nerve fibres that are being stubborn sods and not trying hard enough in my opinion, but my whole being. My head = big mess at the moment. Life can really chuck it at you sometimes and its throwing everything at me including the kitchen sink!  So I suppose this is why I am sitting in front of my laptop now without a clue what to write about. Self doubt is a biggy for me at the moment. I need to write something so –

Questions
Have I got anything to say….yes
Do I know where to start….no
Have I lost my self worth….yes
Have I lost my sense of smell and taste….yes.  Oops, I know I said no Anosmia mentions, but I couldn’t resist that!
Have I lost it…not totally or I wouldn’t have managed a funny just then.
Can I still write this blog….yes but it may change so I hope that’s ok with you guys.
Am I waffling…I hope not

Ok the ‘self worth’ question is a bit heavy going because deep down I know I am good at things, I’m a singer, a lyricist, a singing coach, a writer or at least trying to be!  (By the way this is a rehearsal photograph, we do usually have an audience honest!)  And I’ve done all of these things successfully as a career for a long time, including the writing eventually I hope. Now all I have to do is convince myself that I canstill be this person, even after everything that’s happened.  Oh that sounds better already doesn’t it?

I also have a cunning plan…..a Website, yep my very own. Focussed around what I’ve just written on here.On-line singing lessons for a start, what do you think? The ideas are starting to form, and are not bad ones at that, now all I need to do is stay motivated for long enough to put them all into practice.  I hope you lot are with me on this one, this little blog of mine was what kept me sane when I first became Anosmic and your kind comments and the fact that you stuck with me and read the posts has all helped. So if you’d like to hang around some more, that would be great! Let’s do this!

(Note from The Editor: Many thanks to Debbie for opening up about her experiences with Anosmia. Many people live with conditions that most would never see, experiance or understand but to read about them allows us to open our minds to situations we cant comprehend. To read more from Debbie you can visit her personal blog (icantsmellathing.blogspot.com) or check out her author page here.)

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“The New Me” vs. “A Changed Me”

Since my return home in October 2014, I’ve been fighting the idea of “the new me.” It wasn’t until reading the Oliver Sacks’ preface to “An Anthropologist on Mars ” did I learn a new perspective. The concept is that there is “a changed me,” with my body and mind compensating for the changes in me that I have obtained.

The idea of change is more forgiving and accepting than fighting for the old me, whom I will never have again due to mind and body changes.  Mr. Sacks articulated how the mind and body are wondrous, compensating with and even underneath awareness. It’s s losing battle to fight for what cannot return.  I am invigorated to find a substantial view with acceptance instead of pursuing insanity filled with an impossible dream .

Smell Training – Three by Debbie Jinks

This is the last of my three posts about my smell training sessions with Chris Kelly, and do you remember me finishing my last post with the words……”So in my next post I get lazy and have a kip”?  Well let me enlighten you on that little snippet.
Mindfulness quote from ‘Greater Good’ website “Maintaining a moment by moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment”. I thought this was a really good way of summing it up. We all live in a crazy fast paced world where taking time out for ourselves is hard work, which is where mindfulness plays its part, because it’s so relaxing, you can do it anywhere and it doesn’t take long at all. It can also help in so many different areas of your life such as the situation I am in now with my Anosmia. So we ended on the following.
Mindfulness exercise: colour, smell and texture visualisation.
This was a great finale for my smell training! I was asked to lay down on an extremely comfortable chaise longue, close my eyes and try to visualise certain tasks to trigger my smell memory. That’s the best way to describe it really as its almost like watching yourself experience the smell and taste of things and in that way remembering what they actuallydo smell and taste like.
One of the memories I was asked to visualise was eating a tangerine, the colour, texture and feel of it. Then to imagine peeling it, remembering the smell of the peel and fruit itself, then biting into it and remembering the taste. It was very relaxing and certainly triggered something, because even now, as I’m writing this I can remember the sweet tang of how a tangerine would smell and how juicy they used to be. I haven’t tried one yet as they were not very pleasent after Parosmia decided to enter the scene all that time ago, but maybe it’s about time I was brave and went for it! We also carried out some other visualisation exercises and I just outlined this one for you as an example.
This last part of the training took about twenty minutes and left me feeling calm andrelaxed, which for me is an achievement in itself. After this we had a good chat to summarise everything I’d learnt and experienced throughout the day. I left feeling a lot more positive and ready for the new challenges that lay ahead, armed with my bounty of scent jars!
If anybody reading this suffers from Anosmia, I really would encourage you to get in touch with Chris Kelly. She has been such a help to me and is a very strong, caring and compassionate person. You can get in touch via her website at http://www.smelltraining.co.uk.
As for me, well I’m going to keep trying and give this a go. It works for Chris so I think I’d better kick myself up the arse and get on with it. Stay tuned for the next post to find out how I’ve been getting on!
photograph courtesy of Chris Kelly.
(Note from The Editor: Many thanks to Debbie for opening up about her experiences with Anosmia. Many people live with conditions that most would never see, experiance or understand but to read about them allows us to open our minds to situations we cant comprehend. To read more from Debbie you can visit her personal blog (icantsmellathing.blogspot.com) or check out her author page here.)