Saturday, 5 September 2015

Is Sharing Really Caring These Days?

Last night I read this truly great article and it struck a chord with me; it made me feel all kinds of emotions, some good, some bad, but all really quite powerful; but then, it made me kinda mad.. It's a raw account of having had a nervous breakdown (if you're too lazy to follow the above link) and as usual, I really loved reading another human's account of something I went through a few years ago. Obviously, I am not saying that I too was necking a bottle of whiskey before work, even at the height of my student lifestyle, I couldn't have done that at pre-drinks, let alone before 11am. But I too crumbled and ended up lower than low, all due to my brain, the thing that is supposed to be responsible for keeping me alive. I am also in a very similar situation moving on from a nervous breakdown as the author of this piece, I may no longer be some sort of numb, incapable zombie who would want nothing more than to cease to exist; but I will forever battle my own mind and the effects it has on my life. Needless to say, my nervous breakdown and subsequent mental illness have a rather large bearing on my life. Sometimes I become overwhelmed at how far I have come, I've held down various jobs and finally seem to have made my way on to some sort of career path, I've become unbelievably better at asking for help and finding slightly less self destructive coping mechanisms, hell, I've continued getting out of bed and taking on life for almost 4 years now. And yet, I still feel embarrassed, ashamed and unsure when it comes to sharing some of these aspects of my life with those around me. As soon as I read Kate's wonderful article last night, I wanted to share it with my people, but I spent quite a while hovering over that 'post' button on Facebook: would I be judged for sharing this, would I be deemed an attention seeker for basically admitting to a few hundred people that I too have hit rock bottom and found the strength to carry on? After a few minutes, I thought, as I often do in various situations; f*ck it. This matters to me. I hit post. Obviously there has been no backlash, name calling or anything of the sort, but for a while after, I did ponder what others would think of me. And then I became pretty damn angry; we live in a world where people share pretty much everything!! What they are eating, their unborn children, their new purchases, I mean, for f*cks sake, people are taking post sex selfies and I am worrying about sharing something that well and truly matters to me and so many other people around the globe. Despite pledging to be honest about my mental illness, I would never divulge 100% of what I've encountered along the way because some of it is just too personal and intimate, but I'll be damned if I will feel looked down upon for starting a conversation about something that needs to be talked about. People end their lives all the time because they don't know where to turn. Just this morning, my cousin, one of the most awesome people in my life and someone who has been a pillar of strength to me over the years, opened up about being diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder and his temptation to end it all because he felt he couldn't ask for help. It's not okay that we can share almost anything and it be "liked" by the masses and yet there is such a huge stigma around talking about our feelings, motivations or lack thereof and everything that comes along with that. If it's okay for people to physically bare almost all on the internet, I will not be happy until it is okay for people to bare their souls if they choose to. We rejoice when people share their achievements, whether that is taking on a physical challenge, raising money for charity, falling in love or having a family so why can't I rejoice when I've successfully gotten out of bed and eaten 3 square meals when once of a day, such a task would have seemed to me like climbing Mount Everest or walking the length of the Amazon.
I completely understand that to those who have never dealt with mental illness, this may all seem completely foreign, and if so, I beg you to just spend five minutes thinking or reading about it. It affects so many of us and yet is still so often swept under the rug. And to those out there, soldiering on or feeling alone and ashamed, stop. You are so far from alone and so downright freaking awesome. Celebrate yourself and your achievements big or small. Did you open your curtains today and not shy away from life? Did you finally take the enormous step in admitting you are struggling and may need help? Did you take your meds and just get on with your day? Then good for you!! Share it!! Celebrate it!! And carry on being you!!
There is no selfie or challenge to spread awareness and hope for those living in the fog of mental illness so we will just have to use our voices and our words and hope it is enough.


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Baby Steps.

Having to remind myself that every little downfall isn't a failure today. Even getting up is a victory. Just because I am feeling overwhelmed and disheartened, that doesn't mean I may as well give up, right? At least that's what I'm telling myself because right now, all I want to do is hide under my duvet and cry a lot. 
I can do this. I can make it through this day. Just like I've made it through the last however many shitty, shitty days. 
And so can you. 
We are stronger than we think. We are. 


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind?

After a few months of eating anything and everything and yet another crippling kidney infection I decided to make some changes. 
I have started to listen to my body, push through the lazy moments, and get back to nature. I've stopped eating meat, cut down a loooot on snacks, (anyone close to me will tell you how much I snack!!) and actually started to enjoy eating healthily. I think the main thing is that I haven't told myself that I am going to cut out all of one thing or what not. I still allow myself crisps or chocolate if I feel like it, however, it will be one bag or a few bits; not a giant bar etc. i never ate much meat anyway so going back to veggie doesn't really make a difference. I have actually put effort into making salads I enjoy and finding alternatives and I love it. I'm not saying these things are huge, however every little counts right?
The main thing I've been working on is getting our more. I've always been a happy little hippy at heart; there is nothing I love more than fresh air and a breathtaking sunset and I have been pushing myself to go and appreciate these things more and my gosh it makes my soul soar! 
After having some truly dark days in the last couple of months and being referred 
back to counselling (more on that soon); it is really uplifting for me to find some peace of mind in my own way. 
I feel like I am finding myself and making baby steps towards being content with myself once more and I am really okay with that. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Second Star To The Right..

And straight on til morning...

I feel like my life has been in a bit of a state of transition these last few months; as if I've been on quite a journey with myself despite not really actually going anywhere. 
It makes me sad that I haven't written on here in so long but at the same time, I have embraced the opportunity to live life without constantly analysing it for the sake of putting some words on the internet. 
Quite a lot has changed since my last post: Me and mum packed up the only home I've ever known and moved into a beaut little cottage just around the corner. I didn't expect it to be easy, but leaving a place with so many memories really did have an effect on me. We are now fully settled in the new place and despite a few ups and downs, it does feel like home. There have been a few romances come and gone, some better than others but each one teaching me things about myself I didn't know before and I take those feelings and carry on. The biggest change has most definitely been career wise though: On a bit of a whim I applied for a job at company my lovely pal Mel works at as a Specialist Support Worker. The interview was possibly one of the most stressful things ever! I barely remember what I said let alone how I came across to potential employers but I must have done something right as they said they were bowled over by my enthusiasm and decided to give me a whirl. That was just over 6 months ago and I feel that it has been one of the most positive things that has ever happened to me. I work almost daily, mainly with children and one adult all on the autistic spectrum and it is incredible. Challenging and exhausting at times but also inspiring and entertaining and every other emotion you can possibly imagine. It has also pushed me to start actually planning my future; realising that working with children is someting I thrive on, I have been pursuing work experience and voluntary opportunities wherever I can. Thanks to one of my old teachers, I managed to get a weeks experience and my old high school and am now pushing to get a Teaching Assistant job there come September. As much as I adore support work and will hopefully continue with it for as long as possible, the lack of proper routine isn't ideal for my mental health and general well being especially if I want to start on the road to becoming a counsellor. I guess you could say that I now have a plan, a goal, an aim in life and that is great, it certainly took me long enough. But my God, it scares me. When I was flitting around just waitressing or getting by, I definitely still had that final goal, but it seemed so far away it didn't actually affect me. Now the real potential for failure is there and, being my own worst critic with a hell of a lot of insecurities, I don't handle failure well. I'm just trying not to think about that really though and knuckling down as much as I can. 
Given the amount I feel I have matured recently, naturally some sort of momento was required. I've added to my tattoo collection quite a bit this year but to mark myself finally letting go of my childhood dream of being a Lost Boy or a pirate, I had two stars inked on the back of my arm, the right one bolder than the left. I'll never quite stop hoping for that escape... 
Heather ended up getting the same thing as we are just that cool and she is also doing so fab at life recently as a grown up, an impulsive moment was required:)

This has turned in to quite the self indulgent essay, sorry about that! I'm hoping I can keep up my ramblings as there is a lot I would like to share. 
Thanks for stickin' with me!


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Here's to Today!..

It's that time of year again; when our newsfeeds are inundated with resolutions, positive quotes and thoughts of the future. I doubt I'm alone in my dislike of such a time. I find it lonely, overwhelming and it leaves somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. Naturally, some of that can be linked to such a dark time three years ago when everyone elses positivity only highlighted the bleak sadness which I was wrapped in but it isn't just that. I love the build up to Christmas, the buzz, the fairy lights and the love that comes from spending time with your favourite people, even if it usually winds up being absolutely exhausting, it's worth it. Once that is over though, it feels as if your life has spun slightly out of control; routine is a thing of the past and everyone is looking towards the future. Call me a pessimist but I have quite a strong dislike for the social ritual that is making New Years resolutions, I know I will never keep them and so prefer to save myself the disappointment and not make any in the first place. I also find it utterly terrifying that we are again at the beginning of a new period. I am constantly telling myself to avoid thinking about the past as I only get bogged down and trapped in it. To avoid crippling anxiety, I try to avoid thinking about most of the future as that frightens me into submission and makes the whole process obsolete. I like to hope I'm not the only one who feels this way and that at least one of you will join me in raising a glass to the now. 2014 may be over and 2015 may be just beginning but I am toasting today: a day that I have made it through despite fear and self loathing, despite tiredness and stress, a day that has contained countless feelings and a day almost at a close. And that is where I shall end these ramblings for today. 
I hope you are all feeling as a-okay as possible. 


Thursday, 23 October 2014


I got told something today that worried me slightly: I was informed and pushed slightly towards getting my medication on repeat prescription. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the need and use for prescription and I see how convenient it must be for other people. However, to me, it seems really unhealthy to be advising someone to use repeat prescriptions for antidepressants. It feels kind of like admitting defeat and accepting that you will be on this medication for ages and there is no need to speak to anyone about it and that seems so disgusting to me. If I'm not getting even a little bit of contact time with even my GP every month, how am I supposed to let things out and discuss positive ways to progress through life, let alone managing to see a counselor or therapist again. It is just another huge negative strike against the health service in my life. The treatment I have received in the last 6+ months is just pathetic and dire. It frightens me as well because I am someone who is happy to accept that I need quite a lot of help and I would like to access as much as possible and yet I am being shunned and slipping through the net. How must people feel who are trying to sum up the courage to ask for help, if they finally managed and received this kind of treatment, I wouldn't blame them if they thought "what's the point?" and attempted to carry on alone and maybe struggle and give up. It is a frightening and saddening thought.
Have any of you received similar treatment? I have seen people discussing it on Twitter and it seems to be a national problem and it really distresses me.


Thursday, 16 October 2014


I have so many drafts of half finished posts at the moment and a notebook I am filling with ideas. And yet here I am, starting another post... But I suppose that's what "lifestyle blogging" is all about. Today I am trying to pick up on the mindfulness practices I started earlier this year during CBT. The Little Book of Mindfulness is so perfect for throwing in your bag and reading on the go as well as pondering over and writing post it notes to leave yourself around the house. As anxiety lives in the future and depression in the past, the present is something I am rarely in and so I am vowing to myself and you reading this, that I will make a more conscious effort to be in the "now" as much as possible. So far, it's quite inspiring and has lead me back to my trusty 642 Things To Write About book.
Have you ever tried to practice mindfulness? What inspires you on a day to day basis?