Stages Of Grief

There can’t only be five, can there?


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


It is now 22 months since my sister passed away suddenly. I just woke up one morning, and went to wake her, to find that she had passed in her sleep.

What happened afterwards was this crazy mess of things that I still haven’t been able to fully make sense of. It was like one of those kids cartoons, where the character starts to make a snowball, and rolls it down a hill, where it grows and grows, until it is huge, and unstoppable.

The thing is, that that snowball needs somewhere to crash, and in this case, that somewhere was me.

People always say that you get through grief, because you have to, and that time heals. This is true. It does.

The only problem with this conciliatory piece of information, is that they seem to infer that grief is a linear thing, sort of like walking down a path, whereby you will, invariably come to the end of said path, and move on to another one.

This, my dear reader, is not true. Grief is not linear. It is not a straight line from A to B. Instead, it is an incredibly convoluted and complex mass of emotions.

Basically, imagine the biggest, twistiest fastest rollercoaster, which also has parts where there is an excruciatingly long climb before it tips you over the edge.

That is what grief is like.

People try to pigeon hole grief, and have allotted five stages to it. These are:

1. Denial and Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

We apparently spend differing amounts of time going through each stage, and until recently, if has been thought that people go through the stages in the order shown above.

I can tell you from personal experience, that this is not true. I have been through some of these. I haven’t experienced all of them yet. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will.

The truth is that these stages can be experienced out of order, in order, or simply not at all.

Sometimes, things are so difficult that these stages are blocked, and cannot be experienced, and this is completely normal, and quite common, too.

In tomorrow’s post I will look at each of these five stages of grief, and what they mean in real life terms.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


The Truth About Anxiety

And why it is NOT the new buzz word.


Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash


I was diagnosed with anxiety over ten years ago. This diagnosis is one that I have mostly tried to keep hidden. It has been a source of shame and disgust to me. I saw it as a sign of my own weakness and ineptitude.

My anxiety takes the form of panic attacks, an inability to breathe in certain situations. I twitch, even though I try as hard as I possibly can not to. I shake, often violently. Again, I try so hard not to, but it isn’t something that I can control.

There are other things. Things that are less obvious. These include me often not being able to enter into new situations. I also find that familiar situations are overwhelming when my anxiety is particularly bad.

I tend to avoid these situations if I possibly can. I generally think of it as my being socially inept. I don’t cope well in large (or even, medium) sized groups. There are times when I can do it, but there are also times when it feels like a task that is simply too much.

It doesn’t stop there. When I am able to enter into these situations, I always come away from them feeling completely exhausted and wiped out.

I think this is partly down to the fact that I am an introvert, but it is also more than that. The constant worry and nervousness caused by anxiety makes it practically impossible for me to maintain any kind of ‘normal’ social life.

I have a small group of close friends, who understand; who get me, and who are happy to spend time with me, but who are also able to accept when I simply cannot be social. Sometimes, they even just let me sit in a corner and read or knit.

The thing is that I think, lately, anxiety has become a bit of a buzz word. More and more often, I see posts on social media with people talking about ‘my anxiety’.

Now, I am not, in any way, trying to dismiss these people, if they have true anxiety, but at the same time, I feel that I must draw attention to the difference between nerves, and being nervous, versus true, clinically diagnosed anxiety.

It is all on a spectrum, I know, but the difference between the two things is vast. In fact, it is as vast as the difference between a turned ankle, and a broken leg.

All too often, I have had people telling me that I should just get over it, or that I’m simply not praying hard enough, but it isn’t as simple as that.

When it comes down to it, the difference is that with nerves, they are usually surrounding a singular event, whereas anxiety spans multiple events, numerous times.

Nerves are something that can be overcome with relatively little difficulty, whereas, anxiety is crippling.

It can lead a person to live a half life; a life of fear, and panic and terror.

Of course, anxiety can be treated, and can be managed, but, again, this is a long, painful, and difficult road, which I would not wish anyone to have to walk.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.



Three Years

A Personal Piece

Today, I can officially say that I have not cut myself for three years. Three years! I’m actually really proud of myself.

There have been times in the last three years, which have been the most difficult I’ve ever faced, but instead of my usual go to, when I would reach for the blade, I have messaged a friend, or journaled, or tried to focus on some other, less damaging way of dealing with things.

I won’t lie, and say that there have never been times when I’ve felt like giving up; when my resolve has been weakened, but I’ve stayed strong, and now, I can sit here, typing this post.

I have to say, I’m pretty terrified about posting this piece, but I am fed up of hiding. This is a part of my past, and this blog post is about me looking towards the future. I’m not saying that I intend to shout it from the roof top, but I don’t want to make up excuses any more.

The fact is, that there are times when life becomes hard; overwhelming, even, and in these moments, I used to turn to something self destructive, but now, I am choosing to look for other ways to cope. Sometimes, that takes the form of medication, and sometimes it means simpler things.

The fact is, that I am not ashamed of my scars any more. They are a part of me, and they show the battles that I have gone through; and the battles that I have won. They show both my failures, and my successes.

They are a part of my journey, but I won’t let them define me any more.

Last year, I got a tattoo, decorating some of my scars. Last Autumn was the first time in over ten years, that I have worn a short sleeved shirt, without any kind of arm covering.

Today, I added to that tattoo. It isn’t finished yet, but it will be soon.

I am not trying to glorify self harm in any way, and if you are considering, or actively self harming, then I beg you to talk to someone, and to get some support.

The thing is, I don’t see beauty in my scars. They are a visual reminder of my destructive impulses, but the fact is that they are there, and I wanted, not to cover them, but to create something beautiful out of something so negative.

I just want to say, to anyone reading this, who might be going through some tough times. It isn’t easy, and if anyone tells you otherwise, then they are lying, but you are strong, you are beautiful, and you can get through this.

And things will get better…


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Ohio & My Best Friend

A Personal Post

I’ve been struggling to work out what to write on here all day. We all hear about mass shootings on the news, and while we can sympathise, we can never truly understand the impact of it.

This morning, I came to understand that situation, and the fear, perfectly. I woke up, and checked my phone as usual, to find a message from my bestie, Danielle.

I could tell from her voice, that there was something badly wrong. As I listened, she told me that there had been another mass shooting, this time, in the Oregon district of Dayton, OH.

Her husband, who is a cop, is, thankfully okay. As is she, but it really hit home for me more than ever, how fragile life is, and how a single moment can change everything.

Today has been a rather solemn and introspective one for me. The shooting happened just 15miles away from her. That’s less distance than it is for me to go from home to Carmarthen.

Just hearing the terror in her voice, and the audible shock… I can’t really explain that feeling. I wanted to go to her, and hug her, and comfort and protect her.

The thing is that people will think of the victims, and their families, as they rightly should, but we must also remember the responders, and their families, who will spend hours at a time, worrying about them.

This shooting is a terrible, senseless tragedy, and one that, like all shootings, has a far further reach than anyone could realise.

Today, I stand with the people of Ohio. You have been through so much this year, and I know that you are strong.

To my beautiful, brave, best friend, who I know has had an extremely sleepless night, know that I love you, and that I stand with you. #ohiostrong #lovenothate


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

The Bachelors

by Muriel Spark

A Review

One of the books that I have read since joining the book club is this one. The Bachelors by Muriel Spark. I have been meaning to write this review for a while, but I was trying to give myself a little distance so that I could give a fair review.

However, I think, at this point, the only fair thing is to give people prior warning about how bad this book is. I mean, I have tried and tried to come up with something anything good to say about it, but when it comes down to it, I just can’t.

I actually read the book in two days. Two. Torturous. Days. I just knew, once I started it, that I wouldn’t pick it back up, if I did put it down.

There are so many things that I could say about this book, and none of them are good. I think the closest I could get to a positive comment, is to say that it most definitely provokes discussion and debate.

This book falls under the banner of ‘literary fiction’. Now, I know I may be alone in this, but from the ‘literary fiction’ that I have read, I would consider it to have at the very least, an element of pretentiousness.

The Bachelors scrapes the very bottom of the literary fiction barrel, in my opinion.

The definition of literary fiction is that it is a story, which is character based, and character led, as opposed to genre fiction, which is largely plot based.

The issue with this, regards The Bachelors, is that there are no characters; not one, in the entire novel, which is redeemable. There was not one that I felt that I could get behind, or root for.

The writing was not just poor, but quite frankly, dreadful. The author kept changing point of view character, without any kind of notification to the reader. Continuity was a problem, as were the accuracy of the court scenes in particular.

The storyline was not only far fetched, but at parts, simply, ludicrous. The idea of the ‘bad guy’, who spent the entire novel plotting the death of his pregnant girlfriend, suddenly being found guilty of the crime of fraud, and being imprisoned, leaving said girlfriend, miraculously saved, was ridiculous; a completely unsatisfying ending, which left me, as a reader, thinking “What? Is this it?!”

I know that there has been a lot of critical acclaim for this book, but I really fail to see how this is possible. The book was simply put, dreadful. I consider the two days spent reading it, as two days that I can never get back, and the only thing I can take from it, is that at least I know to never read anything by Muriel Spark again. Ever.

If you do decide that you want to try it for yourself (though I really urge you not to), you can purchase the kindle edition here.


I’ll update you when I get into the month a bit further.


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


This post contains affiliate links.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

In The In-Between

A Short Dramatic Piece

The curse of the blank page is something that shouldn’t plague me.

I am a writer.

Words are my thing.

They free me; so why, do I somehow feel so completely trapped.

As I stare at the blank page, so fresh with all number of possibilities, I wonder why it paralyses me like this, when it is meant to be the very thing that frees me.

Looking away from the screen and around the room, I glare at the sunlight gleaming into the room, and blazing off the page, making it seem even whiter than normal.

I didn’t want to give in to it, but the words simply wouldn’t come, and as the time ticked down, slowly bleeding my life away, I realised that I really had nowhere to go from here.

The feeling crippled me, making me feel impotent; broken.

I couldn’t breathe.

I couldn’t imagine another day like today…

and that’s why I did it.

That’s why I am now laying in a hospital bed, in a coma, with only a slim chance of waking.

I know I should feel bad; wrong, even, but the only thing I feel is regret. Regret that I am laying here in this bed, rather than cold, in a casket in the ground.

Some people would say that it’s selfish, but really, when it comes down to it, if they haven’t lived the same life as I, then, do they really deserve to be able to comment.

It’s strange here; oddly white, and my body feels like it’s once removed. Which, I guess it is, in a way.

Once removed from me, and once removed from the world outside.

Should I be happy?

I’m not honestly sure. In fact, the only thing that I know for sure, is that I did not choose the state that I am now forced into living in.

People generally fall into two categories when it comes to this. One group believes the act to be selfish. The other believes that the act should be pitied.

I was never sure which side I would fall on.


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Going Digital

A month long experiment

What with all the talk of being environmentally conscious, lately, we have been trying to reduce the packaging and single use plastics that we use, at home.

This got me thinking about all the paper I use. Truth is, I have always been an analogue girl, despite my inherent tech geekiness, but as I was thinking of all the paper I use, and of all the trees that are cut down every year to produce said paper, I ended up wondering if I could port most of what I do into digital format. I know that it’s not going to make a huge dent in the way that trees are cut down, but in the words of Tesco… every little helps.

So, for the next month, I plan to work as digitally as I possibly can. I will carry no paper or pen with me, and will be solely reliant on digital forms of note-taking, art, writing and reading.

I don’t know if it’ll work, or whether I will come against any hurdles or not, but it’ll be interesting to find out. So, my tools for this will be the ipad pro 10″ 2017ipad Pro 12″ 2017, and the remarkable tablet, alongside my laptop, kindle, pc and phone.

I’ll update you when I get into the month a bit further.


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


This post contains affiliate links.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.