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Well Becoming

a blog about being well, becoming well, staying well - and flourishing. Written by a professor and family doctor living between Liverpool, UK and Granada, Spain

Peanut Brittle
Sunday, September 9, 2018 @ 6:09 PM

This post is from my wife Sue




My mum and I loved peanut brittle . Expensive presents weren’t the order of the day growing up but once I started work one year I bought her a whole sweet jar full. And she still had all her own teeth!


Just recently I was quite sad as a good friend had been diagnosed with cancer  So one of my daughters sent me a present to cheer me up.  Included in it was a slice of peanut brittle.  Suddenly I was smiling, going back through the years to my childhood.  It wasn’t actually about the peanut brittle, that was just the catalyst.  So what was it about?  And what about those who don’t have ‘peanut brittle‘ memories to fall back on?


I was very lucky. There are so many little things that remind me how safe and valued I felt growing up, although we only realise these things retrospectively.  The things that made me feel OK as a person, first as a child and later on as an adult.


But actually we are all okay as people.  It’s just that if no-one helps us to realise that growing up we have to find ways of doing it for ourselves. 


A very common way is not to remember anything: “Oh that’s in the past, for me it’s a bit of a blank “ Bit of a shame really as you are blocking out all the clever ways you managed to survive growing up in a difficult environment, all the things you managed to work out for yourself.


Or you only remember the bad things you were told or believed about yourself.

“My mother says I was born an angry child”.  I don’t think so but it makes some sort of crazy sense if your life was not good.


And maybe the most complicated one to deal with as we get older, we pretend it was all OK!


So what can we do about all this?


Firstly, keep repeating to yourself my dad’s mantra: ”You’re as good as anyone and better than no one”. Never mind that you don’t quite believe it yet. Just keep saying it. It affects how you feel about yourself and other people.  And how you treat yourself and other people: as equals.


Then if you’re past wasn’t good enough make sure your future is better.  Work out the things that make you feel good.  That’s not what other people think, it’s what you think. I mean going swimming fills me with fear and dread. For someone else it’s a fantastic way to relax.


And it doesn’t matter what it is you like. Train spotting, watching Coronation Street, computer games, doing nothing. All valid if it’s your choice. Rebuild your world as you want it.  And yes, I know it’s not always that easy.  But remember the mantra – you’re as good as anyone and better than no one.


 Go on, you deserve it!


Like 1


jane27 said:
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 @ 4:59 PM

A very positive and thought provoking blog. However, not everyone has had a 'safe and valued' childhood and it is a lot more complicated, for many people, than having positive thoughts about themselves - these are usually learned through early experience from their parents/caregivers/whomever.
The other mantra that comes to mind is 'Don't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.'

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