Saturday, 16 September 2017

'I am here'.

Okay, so this week featured World Suicide Prevention Day. I've mentioned before how much I love and appreciate days such as these. Any opportunity to erase or lessen the stigma surrounding mental heath and suicide is wonderful and will always be encouraged by me. I'm just really uncomfortable with how few days like this there are! Days like these make me feel very comfortable with myself, and the things I feel. I hate that the opportunities are so rare. I said the same thing when it was mental health awareness week but I'm going to say it again. It's as though there are these days and weeks throughout the year where it is more socially acceptable to admit that you're struggling with anxiety, depression, and similar conditions.

So this years theme was 'take a minute, change a life'. I thought this was lovely. It puts emphasis on the importance and significance of speaking up, and seeking help. But also on taking more time out to listen to people and support them. It kinda splits the role and I like that. Right from when I was younger and started to struggle with anxiety and self harm (the latter is more applicable to when I was younger), I have had some great people that have been prepared to sit and listen to me for hours if I needed it. I wouldn't have gotten through some pretty strange stages without them (that sounds lame, I know). And some of that advice has carried me through and improved my confidence now. I've said it before but I couldn't have imagined ever being this comfortable talking about things such as mental health. So I am very grateful to the few teachers that made time for me in high school, for my parents, a couple of friends and for Jennifer Niven. That support system was very much needed and integral to my own progress. So I cannot stress enough how important in general listening is. it is so important to make time for the people that you care about. But I'd say even more so with regard to mental health and suicide prevention in particular.

What I really wanted to write about tonight was being kind. I guess to yourself, and to other people. It seems daft to think that such small acts of kindness have the most impact on a person. But it is true, it's the little things. It's somebody checking on you to make sure if you're okay or somebody telling you to be careful on the way home or something. The odd smile whilst on a shift at work, or a brief hug. I don't know. It can be anything. But I know that other people can help and listening is a good thing.

I know that reaching out and asking for help is so so scary. It feels like admitting a weakness. I think it can sometimes come with the same shame that crying in public does. But there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. It is far easier to say that you are 'okay' when things are falling apart. But it is so so important to reach out and ask for help if you need it, and it is okay to need it. It is okay to be falling apart. It's not the best or more desirable feeling in the world. And yet it happens. I know that it's entirely possible to feel weak. But asking for help does not make you so. Reaching out is brave. Admitting you need help is brave. And yet on the flip side of things, it is entirely okay if you don't want to reach out and instead decide to curl up and stay in bed. Your preferred method of dealing with life is okay and nobody should judge you for it. But sometimes people can help.

I wanted to talk about being kind to yourself too. I suppose that there are some smaller things that you can do to be kind to yourself. You can do things for yourself and relax. That's something that gets overlooked I think. Okay, I get that it is really easy to get swept up in... life and that its easy to forget to care for yourself whilst being swept up in it. Things are busy. But seriously where's the harm in running a bath or watching a shitty dvd? There seems to be stigma attached to self love, sometimes. I am really confused by it, despite the fact that I don't practise loving myself enough and I know that. But nonetheless, it is important. I should take more baths and read more. Anyway, being kind to yourself is integral  and taking time out of your daily routine to do so is a good thing. I found this post not so long ago, on Instagram. I really like the concept of a person just needing themselves.

Something in particular that has been on my mind lately is the concept of letting things go. So I suppose that this can apply to not judging yourself or being too hard on yourself. I'm not saying being depressed, and feeling sad/anxious or staying in bed is necessarily the best thing. But I do think that it is okay, and it is important to cut yourself a bit of slack if you can. You are not letting yourself down by taking some time out or behaving in a way that seems reasonable to you. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and there is never a wrong time for that decision. So whether you are sad or not, try to either lessen or let go of the negativity that you aim at yourself. I guess what I am saying is that there is no good to be found in putting yourself second.

I guess that not being afraid of let go is really important. And letting go is a luxury I think I've been depriving myself of for too long. I hold on to too many feelings and emotions, surrounding myself and others. But I think I'm afraid of letting go of people too. I know that there are a few people that are still in my life that sometimes cause me a lot of unnecessary heartache. So why have I not walked away? I don't know. Because I have not yet mastered the art of just needing myself. I have convinced myself that I need this other person and maybe in some aspects I do. I know that I like having them around, and that I would miss them if they were gone. I don't know. Thinking too hard about letting go really hurts my head. Because what is the criteria for letting go? I think, although it is complicated, it is a good idea to let go of things that hurt. That do not help a person grow positively. I am having to learn, with the help of friends and family, that change is as good as the rest.

Long story short, what I am trying to say is make decisions surrounding you. Reach out to people if you think you need help. Reaching out, and wanting to be heard is not an act of cowardice. You are so brave for reaching out, or for not reaching out. You are brave for dealing with any form of mental health condition, I think. But at the same time its important to remember that it is okay to rely on people. And remember the small things like taking time out for yourself. It's important to remember the importance of things like chocolate, cookies and food. Sometimes, I think that even admitting you are not okay is an act of self love.

And god, please remember to be kind to others. Listen to them. Pay people compliments! I don't understand why compliments aren't given more. Be sensitive, is the last thing I want to say. Sometimes people are struggling more than they care to admit, and more than they are willing to show. Be mindful and be kind.

Okay, I'm going to end on probably the worst piece of advice. It gets better, no matter what. My favourite author shared a post on facebook this week about preferring 'I am here', over 'I was here' and I couldn't agree more. You're not alone.

I hope that you all sleep well and appreciate this post (I have been writing this thing for a whole week due to working). See you soon guys!

Monday, 4 September 2017

Small Victories (and a killer headache!)

Okay. I am back. I know that I said I would be pretty active after my last post. And honestly I did have every intention of practically living here. But I've been trying to keep my house clean, and I've been working six days a week since I last posted. It has been tough and tiring. I think I'm okay. Just very tired. I have my managers course next week and I am both excited and nervous.

But for now, I am curled up on the sofa under a fluffy blanket. I am having trouble sleeping again. I guess I should include a recap after my last post confessing my continued period of extreme sadness. There are good days and bad days for everyone, I suppose. There are some days that I can feel everything very separately and I can distinguish happy from sad. These are the good days. The bad days are the opposite. But this week is a good week. I’ve hung out with Chels, watched some films and tomorrow is my day off. I am finding that if I don’t think about how I’m feeling too much, then it is easier. I know that I will dip in and out of sad and anxious spells for a while, but I also know that it will always pass.

It's now midnight. Midnight used to be a lonely time, but it's nice having an empty house and watching television till whatever time I like in the morning. I am numbing my brain this evening with Sex and the City. It's an odd film.  Time passes incredibly quickly in this film and in all honesty, it's trash. But I can see why it might be comforting sometimes. Okay, moving on!

I've been following a bit of advice over the past month and not setting hard and fast rules for myself. I have got to say, it's easier. I've been putting less pressure on myself and that has helped so much. But I have taken some time out and my feelings have settled to the steady level that I am used to. Perhaps not always happy, but I am not currently occupying a void. I feel as though I can feel things right now, and okay sometimes I would like not to. But the alternative is kind of a weird numbness in which I feel everything at once. (Crazy, right?!) I would like to avoid that state of being that resembles a constant headache, thank you. But anyway, I think the most important thing is to remember to give yourself credit for even the little things. It's important to remember to reward to small victories. I went shopping this week and treated myself to some new clothes, underwear and other things. Why? Because I felt like it. It felt good to not question whether or not I deserved it.

So I guess that's what I am here to do today, discuss small victories a little bit.  Okay. What I really want to write about was some of the things that I liked about this month. I feel pretty good right now (with the exception of this killer headache. Seriously- ouch!). So lets make the most of that whilst it lasts.

Okay, here goes nothing:

In the month since my last post I have been running a couple of times. Running always helps and I would recommend physical exercise to anyone who is struggling with mental health or feeling negative. I've stopped running the same route too and have been wandering around the surrounding forest. The other day I went early, and sat on a hill half way through. Getting out of the house is good for a person. The other day, I ran in the rain. And I took my hood off. I ended up with a little bit of a cold afterwards and it looked like something out of a silly romantic movie. A tad pathetic. But I like the rain a lot and I've never ran through it before.

(why is this headache spreading down my face. help)

I finished a book! Reading has been really slow for me this year, despite buying and downloading books really regularly. But finishing a book was a small victory and it made me happy. I'm probably not going to hit my reading goal for this year, even though it's only September. But I'm gonna cut myself some slack- it has been a long year! I still have a bunch of University books to buy (and start my dissertation planning).

Okay, I am really uncomfortable with saying this. And I hate that I feel bad for saying it. But one of the things I am happy about this month is my waist line. I can't work out if I've lost weight or put it on. But I am okay with my figure right now and just 'okay' will do for me. Oh and I also dyed my hair myself for the first time. I am kind of proud of that. I feel pretty happy with myself. Which is strange. And I think I will always have the unhealthy habit of putting myself down, I think. I'm used to it. I don't know that either and I hate that this has become a pattern for me. But I'm working on it. I am not as down on myself right now as I usually am. In the spirit of self love, here is a dodgy picture of me that I actually quite like.

The point I've been trying to make is that I've been trying, and I'm not sure why I needed to write that. However, it felt good to acknowledge myself a little bit. There are still loads of things I need to work on- the whole not letting people walk all over me being pretty high on the list, still. But trying will always be enough. I wish somebody had told me this even six weeks ago. I'm never going to be prepared for the next little blast of those feelings. And of course I still get day to day anxiety. God knows when that will go away. But I am tyring to be kinder to myself, to be brave and force myself out of bed, and to smile.

But here goes nothing; the point of this strange post that is full of rambling is to say that I feel a little bit okay again. I feel awake, rather than sluggish and drunk-ish. Or I am starting to. And this feels good.

I've learnt also and realised a lot of things in the past month, and I have been writing lots in the drafts section. And my next post might be on loving people and things, and letting go. But I think the most important thing I've realised is that nothing is more important than myself. Not even the love of somebody else. I think it’s really hard to put yourself first, but I’m giving it a go! I wish more people, including myself, appreciated themselves more. Especially when feeling as utterly shit as I did a few weeks ago. Why don't we acknowledge getting dressed? Or going through the day without panicking? Eating three meals in a day? Or even just getting out of bed? Why are these not as big as achievements as running marathons or getting good grades, etc? Amidst the rambling, what I'm really trying to say is to remember to be kind to yourself. It helps, more than you'd think.

I'm going to leave you with this lovely tweet I saw the other day from Matt Haig. I really love his twitter. Right now, I kinda feel like an organised mess. But reading this, I was thinking about why I sometimes feel like a mess. Because I am anxious. Because I am stressed or tired. Because there is something on my mind. But these things are always going to be there. I am coming to the conclusion that perhaps I am too hard on myself. I am not saying you should praise yourself all the time, and be happy constantly. That is pretty impossible. However, I am saying that sometimes it is okay to be a mess and to recognise that there is something wrong. Reflection is a good thing. And so is mess.

I hope that you are all okay, and if you're not I hope that you know you will be soon.
I really am going to be around a lot over the next few days- I have so much to say!

Have a great day guys.


Friday, 1 September 2017

Back to Hogwarts Day!

Happy September guys! It's been like a month since I was here and I am sorry! I'm going to post again tonight so I'll probably explain better here! But as it's back to Hogwarts day, and the start of the month in which I return to university, I thought it'd be fun to do a Harry Potter themed post! I cannot believe how fast this summer has gone. I haven't had many days off from work so summer has passed me by quite quickly. But I go back to university in 27 days and I am very happy (and anxious!).

So I decided I'd write some university tips (and nobody will probably read them but hey, I tried!) I remember how scary my first year was. I don't think it'll ever be easy to start university but it's beyond worth it.

Here goes nothing:

1. Always attend class: I miss class a couple every year due to working. There are always going to be valid excuses for missing the odd class. And yes, anxiety is a valid excuse. But if you can, try to go to as many classes as you can. It helps. I know you can find the notes online but nothing beats the extra information that your lecturers can provide.

2. Always be up to date with your reading (as best you can anyway!): I work full time alongside my degree. So I find it hard, despite my best efforts to complete all of the reading on time. But I do 90% of it. Nobody is ever going to recommend a text to you that you don't need. Everything that is suggested is there to help.

3. Make use of the university resources: Sometimes you will have to buy books because your university might not have them. But sometimes, the library can be damn helpful and it saves you some money.

4. Accept the inevitable fate that you will cry. And you will panic; probably. I mean I imagine some people get through uni stress free. But I find it hard. I panic a lot, and I fear failure. And I know plenty of other people that are prone to such things. It's really important to reach out and ask for help. From friends, family, university counselling system, and even your lecturers sometimes. Everyone will want to help in some way. But please, don't put yourself down for panicking. It's normal and its fine. You can do it. It just means that you care- which is a good thing!

5. Use your lecturers. If you need help, ask. I didn't go to my lecturers for anything in my first year. By the time second year rolled around, I practically lived in the office. One of my lecturers started referring to me as 'Jane Austen', because I was in there so much and had a huge love for Austen. Other times he'd simply greet me with 'oh, not you again'. But I wasn't afraid to ask for help anymore. The English Department at my university is probably the most supportive and helpful departments I could have had behind me. I am very lucky to have them to work with. However, I know that visiting your lecturers are scary. But even the scariest of lecturers aren't that bad. Once, my lecturer wrote that she had 'expected better' from me, on the bottom of my assignment. I was terrified. But I went to see her, and she put my mind at rest. They are there to help, and it's very unlikely they will ever send you away.

5. The people that tell you uni is easy? they're liars. But I am a firm believer that anything that is worth having, will never come easily. It is well worth the work. Nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing the sleepless nights, and the temper tantrums I throw, pay off in the form of a half decent grade.

6. Take one essay at a time. It is so easy to get swept up in everything that goes on at university all at once. Sometimes it helps to take one step at a time, and try to keep a clear head.

7. Work. I don't know what to suggest with this point. I recommend part time work, I think. If you absolutely have to. But I worked full time throughout my second year and it is hard. Unless you absolutely have to. I'm going to start my first few weeks of my final year on six shifts a week, and as much as I like a challenge I also appreciate sleep. Your physical and mental health must come first. Otherwise everything becomes ten times harder. You are so much more important than working yourself silly in whatever capacity this may be.

8. Try your best. This is all anybody can ever ask of you. You simply cannot do anymore and it will always be good enough. Don't ever let anyone tell you any different. Be proud of yourself, as long as you worked hard.

9. And finally, try and enjoy yourself. It's meant a be good few years and a chance for you to make some good friends. I can honestly say I have enjoyed my first two years, and I have high hopes for the final one.

Right, I'll return with another post either tonight or tomorrow morning! I hope you're all well!

Good night!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Being brave and potentially over sharing...

Okay (I've discovered that I like this word a lot when blogging).

I've been away for almost two weeks now and it has been really difficult. I've never just stopped writing before. And in those two weeks, I haven't really been doing anything solely for me. But today I was advised not to set hard and fast rules for myself and I felt like writing today. So here I am. And I guess I'm here to be honest about what's in my head right now. I'm trying to be brave. I'm also trying to worry less about what people think. I found a J K Rowling quote that helped with this. Newt said that '[his] philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice'. So I'm trying to worry less. I suppose that this is a post of change.

I want to say how negative I've felt just lately. I want to be all 'hey I'm not okay right now'. But that sounds really daft. So I guess I'll settle for the word 'unsettled'. Admittedly, there is a lot of change going on right now. Life is very unsettled and I've felt a little bit numb recently. I've felt a bit spaced out over the past few weeks and I'm not sure if that's because I'm not getting enough sleep or whether I can't sleep because I feel spaced out. I don't know, and I feel a lot of that. I feel a lot of I don't know. Does this make sense? But I left my blog for a little bit because nothing I was writing felt decent. In essence I had forgotten how to blog and what I even wanted to do online anymore. It felt floaty and full of really weak links and so have I. I just know that I have felt more than anxiety over the past couple of weeks. I have not felt okay. I've felt stuck, and as though I have been letting myself down. I also realised that I am too hard on myself. I'll make a mistake and literally reprimand myself for it almost instantly. It is pretty crazy.

Now it's been a really long time since I've felt like this. But I know that it is easy to settle into a pattern of thinking that you will never be happy again. Because I do this all the time. It is really easy to fall into a void and to feel consumed by it. I feel the sense of emptiness in my chest and some days it is damn hard to move from bed. It's really easy to feel like a failure if you don't manage to get up.

I feel pathetic writing about this and I hate that I feel like that. I am worried about sharing this post, and people I have to see in my day to day life reading this. I am worried that they will look at me differently and I fear judgement. I don't know why and I wish I didn't. But maybe that's because I look at me differently sometimes and I am too down on myself. I worry that I'm oversharing. I've said this before but not being okay is perfectly fine. Feeling numb, and submersed within said void, and feeling panicked is completely okay. It's also okay to feel nothing (or to cry). It's not perfect, or the most desirable situation. But sometimes it is there. Sometimes it's taking time out and waiting for it to pass. It's been a very long time since I've dealt with something above anxiety. Of course, there are good days and bad days. This week I have had a couple more good days than I have had bad.

I'm also learning that I am also far too trusting and na├»ve. I was told this by a good friend just yesterday; and that I let people walk all over me. This, it turns out, is true. So I am starting to realise that sometimes I am the problem. But sometimes I am not. This week I reached out for some help and advice. I was terrified. I panicked right before even going into the building. But I was shocked to find that it actually helped me to work through some stuff. So here I am trying to put myself first, and organise my life again. I have been putting myself second for too long.

I'm wondering right now why I let myself worry. It seems kinda daft to get as anxious as I do. And boy would my life be easier if I didn't worry as much, or have anxiety issues. Hell yes it would. However, unfortunately worrying is a part of life and it is a part of me. If I could turn off all of the feelings and thoughts that acted as a hindrance to me, things would undoubtedly be easier. But I think I like being sensitive. I don't like that I have the capacity to feel this much and yet feel so little. Yet it is there.

So in summary, it isn't okay for anyone to hurt you. I know that I need to stop giving people easy rides in and out of my life and stop letting myself be used. There are some people, and elements of life, that I need to leave behind.

Honestly it's really hard to focus when feeling like this (best way I can explain it is like being drunk? But without that little happy buzz when you're giggling constantly). That is why I went to seek advice. I honestly can't recommend reaching out enough. Sometimes reaching out can mean going to visit a doctor or sourcing counselling. Personally, I am not a fan. But I cannot encourage this enough. I am normally a fan of bottling things up and this is not good for you. Or me.

Anyway, I am trying to do things that make me happy and mean that I am at the forefront. Self love and self care is very difficult to practise and very easy to forget to do. But I have been doing my make up differently, and that's making me happy. I'm trying to get back into my reading and creative writing. And I've been running more (which is crippling my legs by the way). But I think that the point I am trying to make is that I am trying. And I genuinely think that's all anyone can ever ask of a person. Your best is good enough.

Long story short, once again I have not been okay (with good reason I think). But I will be okay and I am getting there. Things are not all bad and there are some very good people in my life. It's so so important to try and draw on positives. This brief experience has meant that I've learnt a lot about myself. It's also extremely good advice to try to surround yourself with good and positive people that do not drain you when feeling like this. People do not make you feel worse and will support you. I promise that your problems are never ever insignificant, so don't let anybody make you feel as though they are. You deserve to take up space in whatever way you chose.

I think if I was going to give anybody any advice right now it would be to believe in themselves. I cannot stress enough how important it is. One of my managers keeps telling me that if I go into things believing that I will fail, then I will fail. Self belief is a really powerful thing guys.

I know that it is shit advice, but it's even more important to remember that it is not your fault. That it will eventually pass and be okay again. And that you can do it. You got this and so do I :-) Please remember to be kind to yourself and to others!

I guess that my point is that I need to take my own advice. I'm good at giving it. But not taking it has got me in a little bit of a rut right now. Running is helping, as is reading. And I'm really excited about all the positive and independely chosen changes that are going to be coming my way.

I am getting there. I think. I've been sleeping, running and reading and have been looking after myself. I'm starting to feel a little bit lighter and happy. I'm doing better.

And with that, it is almost one in the afternoon and I've been brave enough for today. I need to get up and finish cleaning my house, make some lists, and maybe even go on a run. So I will bid you farewell. I hope that you all have wonderful weeks and are happy. I'll be pretty active this week with a creative piece and some fairyloot updates. I'm so glad to be back!

(I apologise for oversharing- if I am oversharing. Idk!)

Have a good day guys xx

Monday, 17 July 2017

Not goodbye...

Okay. This post is really hard for me. Like you have no idea. I'm not abandoning this blog permanently. But i am going to be taking a few weeks break. I'm hoping it's just a few weeks.

I'm still going to be writing behind the scenes. But not publishing anything for a while.

Why? There's a lot going on right now. I don't feel in a position to write positively about anything. And I'm sick of writing about how anxious or sad I am. So I'm taking some time out. Going to try practice some self love and get back to the great position I was in before.

I hope you guys have a great couple of weeks.


Friday, 14 July 2017

I am eating spaghetti

Well this might be the worst strangest title for a blog post, in the history of blogging ever. This is only going to be a short one, I think.

Hello and welcome to 'I am having a wobble today'. I've been doing really well for the past couple of weeks and I'm hoping that it is because I am tired that I seemed to have slipped.

Either way, I am sitting in the middle of my bed. I have some candles lit, and my fairy lights on. I am wearing my favourite t shirt and I am eating a bowl of tinned spaghetti. I am probably going to run a bath at some point before what I can feel is already going to be a late night. But right now I cannot be bothered to move. I am not freaking out, I just want to be still for a moment.  So I guess that's a good thing.

I'm still looking for something new to read.

I hope you all have fantastically positively weeks.

See you soon.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

In the spirit of self love...

Okay. Hello and welcome to another recap because I'm crap at keeping my blog up to date! I've not slept much again. I went to bed at five this morning and I was very very happy. Now, I have wasted my day in bed mostly. I have very little in the way of regrets. Right now, I am lying upside down on my bed and I am watching some Dodie videos. I am settled and content enough for tonight. I even have some candles flickering. A romantic evening for once- can I get any more pathetic? No, on a serious night it's been a pretty good and relaxing evening.

First of all I'd like to thank everyone who read my latest post about body confidence (whether I forced it on you or not!), who liked the link to it on Facebook or who messaged me about it or even spoke to me about it at work. Every one of those little things make me extremely happy and positive. So thank you to every single reader and I'm really glad that you guys liked it so much. It was really daunting talking about it at work for the first time. But sharing helps me. (Side note: Thank you to everyone who has checked on me with regard to how I've been feeling. I think I'm doing okay-ish now!)

I'm quite firm in my belief that you cannot possibly get any further if you are incapable of loving yourself even just a little bit. That doesn't mean loving what you look like, per say. Or loving everything about yourself. I just mean that sometimes respecting yourself comes in handy. And putting myself first and being kind to myself has improved my mood significantly over the past week.

In the spirit of self love I was thinking about cutting my hair (hell this post is as opposite of deep). And for once I did something kinda spontaneous! I had about an inch off but I love it. I feel fresh and fabulous (probably look less fab than I feel). And Chelsey dyed the new mop for me. So in line with my body confidence post, I currently like my hair (woohoo!) I can't tell you how good it feels to like something about myself. This doesn't occur very often so when it does I'm always pretty happy.

I've also been trying to read more, and it's really helped. I just finished How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. I don't even know where to begin with this book. Easily one of the best books I have read and will read in a while. Having Shakespeare, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald as characters was genius and so entertaining! I was thinking about what I would perhaps stop time for. Maybe not stop it but slow it down for. Days off- without a doubt. Just for some extended moments of peace. I'd slow down my panic attacks. I think if they were slowed down, they'd be less than an anxiety attack. Dodie suggested just experiencing panic and that would be easier to observe if they were slowed down. I don't know. It's later.

So this evening I've had a candle lit bath and I'm going to get an early night in (yes, one in the morning is still early). But first I'm just going to let you guys know that I am working on what should be a very long project for this blog. I'm hoping that it's going to be helping me in the process but it's going to be very honest and mental health related (of course. please don't roll your eyes guys). But I have some fairy loot posts to catch up on. So my hours have gone up at work but I will be much more active here from now on (YAY!). My tablet is living in my bag right now so this will help.

I also know that I'm behind on a Fairy Loot unboxing for last month; I'll just merge the two when this months box comes!

I hope you all have tip top weeks and I will return very shortly.

Good night!