Things to remember this festive period…

Heyyy guys

I’m in London!!! It’s Christmas holidays and I’m finally back with my family (and cats!!!!) I’m so happy oh my god. By the time this post is out my hair will also have been redone to now be blue underneath instead of green. (I hope it’s good for future me’s sake). 

As Christmas QUICKLY approaches and as our timelines begin to look a lot cheerier and festive, I just wanted to remind you all of things to remember throughout the upcoming weeks. Especially if you are like me and the festive season is your favourite but also makes you feel very overwhelmed. 

  1. Spend time with your loved ones, in an already terrible year it’s going to be different and strange having Christmas the way it will be this year. For me it’ll be strange not heading out on Christmas Eve (my Christmas) with the 10,000 of our family friends for our dinner but I’ll still be making time to see my friends and family in safe environments. You all should too. 
  2. Drink responsibly, last year I was on strong meds and couldn’t drink and I thought it’d ruin my festive season. This year though I won’t be cutting it completely I’ll definitely be drinking less, and I truly can’t wait. Prosecco hangovers are the worse. 
  3. This period of time is hardest on those with body image problems, eating disorders, etc. I know how difficult it’s going to be. Though I’m excited to sit down with my favourite foods I can’t pretend that I haven’t subjected myself to the thought of what my body will look like if I do. Please remember that your body at Christmas does not equate to your worth or self. You are incredible even if the number on the scale does go up over the holidays. 
  4. Remember to be thankful for what you have and get this Christmas. In a year where a lot of families and households will be worse off it’s often uncomfortable to think about those less fortunate than ourselves. If you are in a position to there are some amazing charities who are providing a lot of help to those impacted most. 
  5. Look after yourself. I was about to write look out for your friends but this one is more important. Seasonal depression alongside regular depression alongside pandemic depression is not to be played or joked about. Make sure you take time to sit and reflect, make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself and if you need to cry don’t feel pressured by the jolly nature of the holidays to not let your emotions out. Be aware of your triggers and keep yourself safe. 
  6. Look out for your friends and loved ones also, as aforementioned it is difficult with a whole lot of depression around at the moment but it’s in moments of vulnerability, we need to keep together and look after each other. It is now more than ever that we realise who we truly care for, it’s been a terrible year one of which I can count how many times I’ve seen my two best friends on one hand rather than the significant number it was before- this may be the same for you all. So, this festive period make sure you tell the ones you love that you love them, how much you appreciate them- I know I will be.
  7. New Year’s Resolutions – for the past five years my resolutions have been ridiculously unachievable. This year I’m not putting myself through that torture, instead I’ll be entering 2021 with a positive mindset for not changing myself or my bad habits but looking after myself. Writing resolutions like not being hungover more than once a week, or not going to the doctors more than 10 times only make me feel worse when I break them. Promising myself weight loss or stopping takeaways only takes away things that have previously helped me through the rough times. Your resolutions aren’t a way of bettering yourself, you are incredible the way you are. Don’t try and meet societies expectations just because it’s plastered all over social media. 2020 I broke every single resolution in my first month. 2021 there is no expectations, I will work on myself and recover from pain I didn’t realise I had but I don’t expect a miracle- this is a long game journey.
  8. Get ready for 2021. Though our spirits are so high over the talks of a vaccine we must remember that this pandemic doesn’t just go away because the year is over. I would love to say this will all be over, and we’ll be able to see our loved ones and return to clubs etc. but the reality is we are probably years away from that. Be prepared, hopefully things get better, but the truth is there is a very good chance that won’t happen. 

I have more posts coming, I’m just getting my final essay from block one in for next week and then I’ll be ready to put more work in on this. I hope you are all enjoying this December- I’ll see you all soon.

Body Image: I hate my figure.

Heyyy

TW: anorexia and mention of harm.

Christmas holidays are coming so soon, I can’t wait because even though I have a ridiculous amount of work I’ll be at home and that’ll settle me. It’s also my favourite time of the year, as it leads up to my birthday too. Genuinely can’t wait, I’m just excited to spend some time with my family and cats and see my friends!!! Finally!!!!

In posts about my fitness journey, I’ve mentioned my previous problems with eating, I’ve also mentioned them throughout this journey I’ve been sharing with you all. It only dawned on me today however that I’ve never explained that part of my life fully. This will not be a post directly on that, but on my journey since then. But here is the background on why I still struggle to this day with body image. 

When I was eight years old, I was ridiculously skinny. Most children are really skinny, so it’s nothing that would be often considered dangerous. I did a lot of sports, despite being absolutely trash at them all and I was an active person rather than the lazy one I am now. I got diagnosed with an eating disorder because I was starving myself, I would eat one meal a day and would throw out my lunches. I would barely eat; I was told I was fat, and I took that ridiculously seriously. Someone who I was barely friends with once looked at my thighs and told me I needed to stop eating so much because they were huge. I was 10 and eating the bare minimum as it was, I was not huge. The photos below show me at the age 11 and now.

My eating disorder caused a lot of problems for me down the line, none more so than my body dysmorphia. I look back at photos from when I was in school and I remember crying because I thought I was a whale, I thought I was ridiculously fat, and I can barely recognise the woman in those photos. I had ab lines and genuinely it makes me so emotional to even look back at what I used to look like. I just miss it. 

Throughout my teenage years I was always fixated on my ‘flaws’, for a long time I was so embarrassed about my forehead. It just didn’t make sense; I’d occasionally get a comment about it and it changed how I viewed myself. I went through stages where I’d never take selfies or if I did, I’d cut the top of my head off so you could only see from my eyebrows down. It sounds so stupid now, but back then I was so fixated on how disgusting it was. Then came my chest, when my boobs grew, I was so pleased. I loved them, then they kept growing and growing. They are still growing today, and to the person who told me when I was young, they stop growing at 18 you were wrong, and I hate you. I’ve spoken before about how when my boobs grew my self-confidence was ruined, this is because for years the only thing about me that would get attention is my boobs. So, I grew up feeling like the only way to get attention, to feel wanted was to show them off.

I’ve grown up a lot and I no longer work my outfits or my photos or anything around my flaws. I know my angles and know how to make myself look better; I usually fake tan because I believe it covers my flaws. It hides my paleness, my stretch marks, my burn marks and my acne. It makes me like myself more, but I’ve also not had the motivation to fake tan recently. I’ve been really trying to deal with my body issues recently. I struggle though because I don’t know what I look like. I look in a mirror and I want to cry; a full-length mirror genuinely brings me to tears. I see all of my stretch marks, I see my burn marks, I see the scars and it’s all I see. I can’t look at the positives, and parts of my body which I used to think were alright are now painted with stretch marks. I love my thighs, and yes, they are big, but they are so nice. I love my legs; they are long, and I get terrible friction burn and shaving them is a nightmare because it hurts my back as they are so long. But I love them. 

I’m amazing at telling people to love themselves, to embrace stretch marks or growth. I’m terrible at loving myself. The me I see in photos, is someone completely different to the person I see in the mirror. Since I was 17, I’ve grown and I began using alcohol as a coping mechanism, I gained an alcohol belly and I’ve struggled to get rid of it. Seeing that belly led to comfort eating and in turn I put on a lot of weight, I don’t like looking at the figure on scales because I know I am tall, and I have big boobs that weigh an awful lot. I try to ignore stuff like that but at the same time I’m clouded by the genuine truth is I’m obese according to the BMI chart. A chart that was created in WW2 heightens my depression; I spend a lot of time thinking I know the easiest way to lose weight. 

The past month before I moved up to Scotland I was eating terribly, I barely had one meal a day and I’d snack if I fancied it. I got takeaways often, and I lost all passion and desire for food. I couldn’t sleep and the figure on the scales had plateaued. I lost strength and everything in life was draining. I used to look at myself in the mirror and just point and cry at my fat around me, I was so drained and stressed with everything that the best way to get through was to pick apart at my looks.

My skin has recently flared too, something which I’m not used to. Growing up I had the occasional spots, but I don’t remember a time where I actually had terrible acne other than now. Which is also ridiculously annoying considering I’ve actually bothered to get a skincare routine other than sleeping in my makeup and caking my body in fake tan. I keep thinking it’s the beginning of my period but not yet, we’re 2 months late which is always a good thing. To be honest I’m just hoping it comes soon so I don’t go through the trauma of remembering having to go to A&E last Christmas because of period/UTI problems. I just finished this post and the conclusion, and something triggered this memory, when I was young, I was ridiculed for having red skin, I always get terribly pink not even just when I’m embarrassed but in general. I also had freckles and I remember one of my friends telling me that the best way to cover them up was a high coverage foundation. I was so young that I remember being bewildered about having to cover them up, and yet now it is a trend to paint on freckles???? I also pack the blush on and my skins probably pinker than it is without makeup, things that I was terribly insecure about have now become a standard makeup look for myself. It makes no sense. 

Summer 2019 I made a post on Instagram talking about my body image and how I still struggled with it years after ‘recovering’ from my anorexia. I don’t believe I’ll ever fully recover though I’m definitely not anorexic anymore, I’ll still consider unhealthily losing weight even though I know how much it ruined me. When I posted that, I got a comment from some random bot account calling me fat, and even though it was some anonymous man it broke me. I was beyond upset, how can someone call me fat when they can’t even publicly show who they are, what they look like, but the problem is it doesn’t matter. Once someone has said something your mind can’t help but wander. It can’t help but feel like it’s true and I sometimes find myself scrolling back through these messages I’ve received because to me they only affirm what I already believed. It’s shattering to hate your body the way I do. I can only hope that one day I’m happy with it. But first I think I need to work out what I look like. 

I sometimes feel like when I speak about my weight, about my figure that some people think I’m attention seeking, and this was proved when I received a load of nasty messages saying exactly that. I’m not going to say I’m fat because I’m not, but the truth is I have gotten fatter. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 2 or a size 18 you can still have body image problems, stop judging people like me for not feeling comfortable in my skin. You don’t live in my skin. You don’t wake up to the sight of my bright purple stretch marks on your chest, you don’t go to shower and see my bright pink stretchmarks along my thighs and belly. You don’t have a word to say about my body because you aren’t me. I’m the only person allowed to hate my body, and even then, I’m the only person who can fix that feeling. 

My journey to body love is not short, instead I think it’s lifelong. I don’t feel like I’ll ever be comfortable in my body, there will always be something I can improve and my life sucks till that changes. But to people like me, and my sister who I know needs to hear this, your body is beautiful and everything you consider a flaw is what makes you so special and unique. You aren’t a clone; every curve, every scar or mark, every freckle, every hip dip- all of it is beautiful. To everyone like me who often skips meals, stop. You may not like your body but it still needs food, if not for the simple reason that starving is painful and detrimental but to improve energy and allow you to sleep. 

More blog posts are coming soon, as always my messages are open. m

November… it gets harder every year

Hiiii loves

I should be more vocal again; it’s the time of the year when my seasonal depression has more than kicked in and though it’s been rough, I’m making my way through the month. Here we go though, here’s my monthly recap with a twist.

Two weeks back I mourned, and I fought with grief, six years later and the pain is yet to leave. I still feel guilty having not stopped or been there, but heaven gained the most amazing angels. I’m so lucky that though my time in their lives were short it was met with such love, laughter and life. Yesterday I was in a pit once again, two years back I made the same mistake again and lost another beautiful soul. Yesterday was also my two-year anniversary of my worst suicide attempt, I’m so grateful it didn’t work. I will never let myself slip like that again. November isn’t just seasonal depression to me, it’s the reminder of the mistakes I’ve made. The mistakes I promised I’d never remake I ended up doing over and over again. 

University – my work is going incredible. I did a presentation last week and then on top of that I finished an essay in 3 days which I didn’t think was possible. I genuinely love my course. I’m beginning the second block on Monday which is insane, the first six weeks flew by and having handed in two assignments pending a third I am currently a sixth way through my masters. I love studying sociology-based modules, it reminded me why I loved my undergraduate. So yesterday I had my first meeting and finalised my PhD thesis topic, I hope that by studying what I’m doing I can make a real difference. I’m not ready to speak about the topic on here yet as I still have some research to do but in the long-term the results could genuinely make a difference. 

Family – When I had my breakdown a week or so back, I rang my mum straight away and within half an hour I was packing to go up to live with my Granny and Auntie in Scotland for basically the rest of lockdown. I’m so lucky that it doesn’t matter how much I break my family is always on my side, backing me. There is nothing more important than that. Also, I’m heading home for Christmas soon so that’ll be some much-needed family time as we haven’t seen all four of us together since September which is ridiculously long for us. It will be nice to just relax over Christmas and play games until my sister physically throws a tantrum. She always does.

Diet – My clothes are baggier than before, don’t know if I’ve lost weight because I haven’t been able to weigh myself plus I haven’t been in a good enough mental state to weigh myself anyway. I’m eating as normal, I’m struggling along and I haven’t done as much working out as wanted but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the chance. 

Friends – my friends are incredible. The way they all rushed to my side when I broke and since have kept well in contact with me, congratulating me on my PhD and move up to Scotland for next year. Keeping me going with laughs whilst I do my essays. When I was younger I always dreamt I’d have the perfect friendships and I truly do, I’m so grateful.

Health – my skin is still flaring, could be stress though. Not worried and trying to come off my skincare routine to see if it’s that. I’ve been having minor reactions to clementine’s again; I know I’m allergic to the pesticides but it’s a Christmas tradition for me to have rashes over my hands because of them. My period also never came in October or November so we’re back to waiting again, loads of fun. I’m sure it’ll rock up on Christmas as I’m cooking Christmas dinner for fun. 

Miscellaneous – I’m starting a volunteering mentorship program with children, helping them which I’m so grateful these types of opportunities are there for me to grab. I just also want to laugh at present me who just read this post and an hour ago wrote that it was nice to have a breakdown without doing something catastrophic like getting a piercing or dyeing my hair yet here I am with two new piercings to mirror my other ear. Sorry mum, I like piercings.

This month has been tough so far, I ended October in high spirits and worked so hard to be the woman I currently am. I worked hard at university and worked out what my future entails. I began searching for new cities to move to and decided Dundee is at least my next six years, I’ll be half an hour from my Granny and Auntie and a lifetime away from London but I’m growing up. I was always terrified that I wanted to leave London so bad that I never would, it’d be something I would regret the older I got. I haven’t lived full-time in London since I was eighteen and I doubt I ever will as I’ll be twenty-eight when I finish my PhD. I fell in love with learning, I found what I was passionate about- social change and sociology gives me that drive to succeed. I’m still growing and learning and after November the last thing I thought I’d be doing is wanting to move to Scotland alone, but I know that this is where my journey begins.

I’m twenty-two in less than two months and I’m proud of the woman I am. I have rough times and they try their hardest to bring me down, but I’m stronger than that and I’ll keep fighting. Thank you for bearing with me this month, I haven’t been as vocal as usual, but I’ve also been working through a lot that I’m yet to speak about, probably never will speak about to be completely honest. 

Thank you, I love you all. I’ll be back to normal soon.

2 years… what have I learnt?

TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE. 

Hiii loves

Yesterday, 20th of November was 2 years since two life-changing moments in life. My November recap will explain the other one, but this is the important one. It was 2 years since my most dangerous attempt, what have I learnt.

Life is what you make of it. 

I never thought I was clever, and I’ve just began sorting my PhD proposal.

I thought I was lonely, and yet when I broke two weeks ago my phone didn’t shut up with love.

I thought I was worthless, and yet I am continuously reminded of how I’ve helped so many people.

I thought I’d be better off dead, and yet I am reminded daily of everything I have to live for.

Suicide is not selfish; it takes a lot of courage and strength to go through with it. I never had that I’d like to think it’s because I always knew I would get through things. I just wanted relief. 

I’m stupid though, I never spoke out and I never told people what had happened or was happening because I was terrified, they’d leave me. The funny thing about that is the ones that left only made me stronger. I’m not alone and I never have been.

You spend so many years hating yourself that when things begin to go well you purposely mess it up. I self-sabotage continuously. I don’t like being happy, it unsettles me. But I’m learning and I’m changing, I’ll never change who I am. I have nothing to change- I am who I am because of the experiences I’ve been through and they’ve shaped me incredibly. 

I am a woman destined to change things, I don’t personally believe it is even possible for me to be quiet and stop fighting for change. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for those who didn’t believe in me, to the people who bullied me or spoke nasty about me- you are not to thank for my success, but I hope you regret it. I hope that you still continue to be obsessed with me, and though I have forgiven behaviour I know a lot of you did continually stalk my account though blocked. Hope you enjoyed watching who I became. 

I’m not 19 overdosing in my bathroom at university. I’m 21 typing this an hour before I go and get my fifth and sixth piercing of the year. I’m the most resilient woman I know and yes, both literally and metaphorically I am big-headed. My ego is rightfully large, I’ve lived through so much trauma and yet I’m still alive. 

If you are struggling please know it gets better. I’m living proof that the better doesn’t come quickly or successfully. I’ve had better and still fallen again; it’s draining but it’ll be worth it. One day I’ll tell my children about how I almost gave everything up when I was 19, how I came so close to death and how it motivated me. 

Thank you for reading, as always please reach out if you need to. 

Sorry I’ve been MIA…

Heyyy 

I should probably explain myself. There is a post coming soon on November and its significance in my life. There’s also many posts needing to make up for time lost recently. I’ve been struggling.

It’s half one on a Thursday afternoon and I’m currently on a train in a National Lockdown escaping the most dangerous thing to me, myself. The past week I noticed I was slowing down, whilst also being productive I was lacking energy and finding even things like Sudoku’s weren’t providing me with its usual joy. 

I spoke to my friends, I watched my usual depression shows, I stopped cooking/started cooking my favourite meals, I stopped cleaning my room, I stopped getting up early and started sleeping at random times. My whole life basically went to sh*t. I worked my a** off to be this woman who can deal with anything life throws at her, I’ve broken many times but this one was indescribable. 

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be in isolation alone; I was seeing my flatmate for less than 10 minutes a day and my only other interactions was through a phone or the till lady at Asda. And I feel useless for it, I moved to Carlisle to see if I could be independent. To see if I was able to survive alone and this past week has been such a setback. 

In normal circumstances I would’ve been fine, I would’ve met people to go out drinking with. I would’ve moved back down to Plymouth and done my masters alongside my friends and continued to club, drink and even work. I would’ve been around people continuously and though I don’t think I would’ve been brilliant I would’ve been okay. But instead I’m trying to live a normal life in a global pandemic. The news makes me depressed, continuously hearing the word coronavirus makes me depressed and the thought of losing my twenties to this virus makes me depressed.

So, I left. I gave myself an hour and a half to pack a suitcase and attempt to clean my room and then I jumped in a taxi and got on my train. I promised I’d start speaking about my feelings more, I wouldn’t live with it all alone, so I posted about it. I haven’t stopped crying since I got on the train, my Instagram and snapchat has been filled with messages of support, love and similar pain. I’m genuinely so thankful for you all. It made a painful moment feel so much better, I am so blessed to have met and to be friends with so many incredible human beings. I have so much love for everyone I know.

And this is what I learnt, by being honest and admitting that I wasn’t coping I realised I wasn’t alone. So many people were messaging me saying they were struggling and that I was the only one validating how they felt. So, I’m here to tell you now, LOCKDOWN F*CKING SUCKS. Isolation f*cking sucks. Living with depression f*cking sucks and this pandemic f*cking sucks a**. Right that’s the most I’m going to swear on this blog I promise, even though I’m censoring it for future purposes. 

I’m 21 years-old and though I love being an individual I also hate my own company. I’m a resilient young woman but I also break and when I do, I struggle to maintain any of the knowledge I’ve learnt. I notice when I’m down but can’t piece it together with knowing I’m breaking; I know I’m loved and yet I still believe I’m unlovable. 

I spent years coping alone and I did what I do best. I go missing, I flee. This time is different, I’m running towards help instead of running away from everything. 

I hope I’m back to writing more posts soon but right now the only happiness I’m getting is from Christmas music, so I really need to work on that and myself for a bit.

Look after yourself kiddos, I’m always here.

Confidence

Heyyy

I can’t believe I’ve actually managed to do a post a day. I genuinely didn’t think I’d manage it but here we are. I think I’ve spent so much time writing this week that I haven’t felt the usual anxiety about the upcoming month which genuinely is such a shock to the system. It feels good knowing I’m entering the month with a clear mind rather than shadowing grief and regret taking over. 

Today I thought I’d discuss something that I’ve touched on in previous posts but never mentioned in full. I know a lot of people struggle with confidence, much like myself so this could be extremely useful to a lot of people. 

Growing up I was a sheep, I just followed whoever I felt was ‘popular’ and I hated myself. I constantly was bullied for my “five head” (forehead) and my sir name as it phonetically begins with the word ‘cock’. I lost my confidence and here are a few moments I watched it deplete: one time on a non-uniform day I wore my favourite trousers and top in. I was 8. This girl walked in and said my outfit was not pretty enough for guys to ever like me. I was 8. I didn’t care about that, but after that I remembered it every time, I chose outfits for something. Another time we were doing PE on the fields and someone turned to me and told me my thighs were huge. I was anorexic. They were literally stick’s, but I believed them because they were my friend why would they lie?

My body image took a hit before I even turned 11, I remember standing on the scales on weigh in day at primary school and feeling overweight despite being in the underweight category. I didn’t see myself how I was at the time. I always thought I was outspoken and confident, but the honest truth is I was only that if I’d been told to say it, my words were that of my peers and it wasn’t one of my finer moments. I know body image isn’t all there is to confidence but mine was so poor that it didn’t matter about anything else as I was only as good as the weight on the scales. 

When I got to high school things changed, I pretended I was confident and got myself into countless arguments for just generally being an idiot. I didn’t particularly care I just wanted to be liked, unfortunately it wasn’t that simple, and I remember most of my first few years having very little friends. I deserved it though, I was truly terrible to a lot of people. The thing is in the friendships I was in I had to change who I was to be liked, I lost myself in order to have friends which makes absolutely no sense. 

I changed friendship groups an awful lot during school because I never fitted in, I had two stand-alone friends and still have them both. Other than that, I speak to a few individuals who have been part of groups I never really fitted into. I sometimes get the feeling that I’m too intensive as a friend and that’s why it’s easy for my friendships to fall apart quickly. But the continuous changing of friends wrecked the little of my confidence I had left, I never knew who my real friends were and therefore struggled to know who to trust and dealt with a lot of my negative feelings alone which obviously led to a decline in that confidence. 

I was taken for a mug a lot too, mainly by boys, back then there was rarely any respect and it was rough. When my pictures got leaked, I acted like it didn’t bother me but a part of me was drained, I never knew after that if guys were speaking to me because they’d seen it or if they actually wanted to. I watched friends lose respect for me as if they weren’t doing the exact same thing just, they hadn’t been disrespected in the way I had. The problem is, especially in my school, once something like that was out it’d flare continuously. Every few months it’d be news again and it’s draining continuously having your own nudes thrown in your face for a laugh. It wasn’t funny and if you still have those pictures, which I know some of you sickos do, I was underage in those pictures and that is illegal. 

When I got to university my figure was at my best place, I loved what I looked like and was content with how life was. My weight fluctuating over the years, the countless bad experiences and the traumatic experiences led to an almost complete depletion in my confidence and to this day I don’t think I’ll ever get it back. I cringe at compliments because despite thinking almost highly of myself I also don’t see myself as someone who deserves compliments. I think it’s quite off-putting how awkward I become and alongside my other flaws usually ends things quite quickly. I can’t change that though; I just don’t see myself in a positive light. 

So, where am I at? I’m a confident woman when I’m being taken for granted, but otherwise it’s a completely different ballgame. I don’t know what I look like and can’t take compliments about my figure as I believe I’m lying for knowing my angles. In recent times I’ve been on a date and been told I look different in pictures on my profiles and though I never asked I knew what that meant. Picture me to real me is a downgrade and I know that, but is my confidence ever going to recover from being continuously reminded of that. Probably not, no. I can’t give advice on how to be confident because I am not, I’ve learnt to pretend to ignore anything which brings me down, but the truth is it still hits. I’m not as strong as I look, and I continuously drag myself even further down. 

I hope one day I have the confidence to even like myself, but for now I’m just going to keep trying to not have a breakdown everyday over who I am and how I look. 

What are my proudest achievements?

Heyyy

To me achievement is an obsolete word, it has no meaning if you don’t believe it. I’m twenty-one years of age and despite knowing I have a lot to be proud of I struggle to list them. I spent years struggling to work out who I was, what my talents were and what I was meant to do with myself. I still don’t truly know. I have things that matter a lot to me, but are they achievements? I don’t exactly know.

I previously mentioned I wasn’t a good student; I feel like most people who say that usually mean a B or C student, but I was an E or U student and my A Level results were a testament to that. Academics never mattered to me, I remember telling myself over and over again on results days that I was more than a few letters on a piece of paper. I lied to myself, I had to use my A Level grades applying to my masters and the weeks I waited for a response was some of the worst weeks of my life. I know in ten years after I have both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree, I will look back on my A Levels and realise they didn’t mean anything. But they still do now and I’m terrified that they could stop me from getting a career in the future. 

Finishing my degree was supposed to be the biggest achievement of my life so far, instead I submitted my final essay alone with a cup of tea in the middle of lockdown. The day I was supposed to walk the stage graduating fell on the same week as my Grandma’s memorial. I know that I will get another chance to graduate probably in 2021, the same year I will graduate from my postgraduate degree but without the ceremony it doesn’t feel real that I completed university, so I don’t think it is one of my greatest achievements.

Jobs, I’ve worked nine jobs since I was sixteen years old. Without all of that experience I don’t think I’d be half as confident as I am, and I am still very unconfident. Working as much as I have over the years opened my eyes, it showed my patience, my strengths and most importantly my weaknesses. I believe knowing your weaknesses is one of the most valuable things; I know that I have my bad days and on those I can be a bit hard to deal with. I know that I like to do things quickly and efficiently, a job I had a few years back used to test my patience with how long it took some staff to close down a bar. An hour and a half to close a 3-metre bar is RIDICULOUS. My CV is definitely one of my favourite achievements, I do not believe I would be the woman I am had I not gone through every single one of those jobs. Some of my jobs tested my patience, but that’s to be expected as you’re not always around people who don’t have the same work ethic as I do. 

Mental Health, I never thought I’d ever be so open about my mental health journey or even be able to tell my friends let alone write about it continuously and do talks to hundreds of people. I’m receiving continuous messages from people who I never expected to have listened to what I said let alone that it has had an impact on their lives and their growth. It truly stuns me and I’m so grateful every day that I get to speak out and help even by just openly standing up and signing over everything I’ve locked up for so long. I will never ever achieve something that is greater than this, the impact I’ve had on myself is enough to cry let alone on others. 

Off the back I can say those are my main achievements; my education, employment and mental health journey. My education achievements don’t end there and I am currently in the stages of sorting out a thesis proposal for my PhD application and I’m working through my master’s now. I’m also looking into future jobs and making my lists ready for the future, I’m finally ready to make it out in the big world. I’m also certain my mental health journey is nowhere near over, and I hope I continue to speak out even if things get rough again. I hope I’ve learnt better than to keep things bottled in, but time will tell if I have or not. 

I’d say the biggest achievement is quite universal, no matter who you are or your personal journey. The fact that you and I are still alive and living every day is incredible. That is an achievement in itself. Some days I feel like that’s the only thing I have going for me, the fact I am still alive and kicking and after years of battling with myself I can genuinely say that is worth it. No matter how things are going I know that just being alive in itself is a big enough achievement to keep me going. I don’t know how I’ve escaped death the amount of times I have but there is probably something keeping me here and I can’t wait to find that out. 

So, if I had some final words of encouragement. Every day you wake up and no matter how the day goes whether it’s good or bad you have survived it and even if you don’t make it out of bed (because I know I have those days or weeks) the fact you are alive is achievement enough. People often list things they do and finish it with ‘I’ve done all this and what have you done?’- life isn’t a competition to see how productive and motivated you are daily. The simplest of tasks can be so difficult and I think people turn the stupidest of things into a competition. I sometimes find myself on social media in a low moment and seeing people doing so much, getting on with their lives worsens my moods and it takes me a while before I realise that people only post their good moments. Not many people post when they haven’t moved from bed for days as things are tough or when they are having a low/manic moment and I think that’s the biggest con with social media. No one’s life is perfect but the way we act you’d think it was, I think that’s why I spend less and less time on it nowadays. 

Anyway, here I am twenty-one years old with a small list of achievements that I hope grow and grow as the years go on. Hopefully anyone reading this will take time to congratulate themselves on their incredible achievements, and if you feel like you don’t have any just know that’s completely rubbish and being alive is an achievement in itself. 

Regret

Heyyy

Regret, where would we be without regret. It’s natural to regret things. I’d like to sit and say I don’t have regrets because if things hadn’t happened the way they did I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. The following is a list of my regrets, some are petty, and some are important ones:

  • Starving myself. I messed my body up. I can’t help craving that body back though. 
  • Trying to fit in. Not everyone in life has liked me, there’s actually more people who hate me than like me. I’m okay with that, I am myself and that’s all I can be. 
  • Not checking in on my friends. I was 15. I didn’t know how hard it would hurt. 
  • Staying in relationships even if they were toxic. I wouldn’t have the commitment problems now had I’d just stayed single.
  • Not studying. I don’t exist for some letters on a page but they sure as hell do help my existence.
  • Downloading tinder. My life would’ve been easier had I not been on that terrible app. 
  • Getting fat. I know I’m not fat. But I also know I’m not skinny. I miss my flat stomach but finding the motivation is difficult. 
  • Not answering the phone in November 2018. I will always regret that. 
  • Not following up with medical things out of fear, it got worse. I had to deal with it alone. 
  • Not putting my all into my degree. I would’ve got higher, but I took for granted I’d have time to make up my bad work. 
  • Letting my anxiety heighten, I don’t know how it happened but I’m sure I would’ve been able to slow it had I actually noticed it. 
  • A lot of drunk nights, I regret some of the decisions I made. They are sometimes still difficult to think about; it’s not good. 
  • Letting my problem with alcohol escalate to the level it was at, there were better ways to be dealing with it that I didn’t. 
  • Not spending as much time as possible with my family, making excuses and wasting time with them. 
  • Spending money as if I’m never going to run out, I’ve always been the type to spend as I’d rather make memories than stay in doing nothing, but I should probably slow down on how much I’m spending. 
  • Waiting for so long before getting my second piercings, I love them now and I regret waiting as long as I did. 
  • Staying friends with people, I had a lot of toxic friendships growing up and it was only after isolating myself that I realised the truth and how I was being stalled by them. 

The thing is I can probably muster up another hundred regrets, I have countless of them which is ridiculous in my opinion. But the honest truth is I wouldn’t change these regrets, I doubt if I was in the situations again with no knowledge of the outcome, I’d react any different to how I did. 

We can spend our whole lives conjuring up lists of regret and living in the past and it’ll get us nowhere. Whilst I have regrets I choose not to, I don’t live thinking I could’ve done something differently or I wish it’d turned out a different way because it didn’t and the more you hold on to this fantasy the more consumed you become which does no good to your mental well-being.

Anyway, I’d like to just follow up saying that writing everyday for a week is difficult. I keep forgetting and having to conjure something up last minute also which isn’t helpful but I hope you enjoy this.

Thank youuuu

Introducing me…again

Heyyy

I’m actually quite excited to put out some consistent content for the week, I’m quite ahead on my university work so this week is perfect to focus on this blog- something I haven’t been able to do for quite a while unfortunately. 

I know when I began almost 4 months ago, I introduced myself, but it was mainly about my mental illnesses, I’ve been meaning to put an introduction up about me in general because as I’ve said before I am more than a diagnosis. 

My name is Emily, it’s quite a basic name and I believe it was either the most or second popular name at the time of my birth. I’m twenty-one years old turning twenty-two in January (which I cannot wait for!!). I’m a Capricorn, and though I don’t completely understand astrology I can 100% relate to all traits of a Capricorn which is insane to me. I have one sister who’s just a bit younger than me and four cats also, so yes, I’m definitely more of a cat person than dog.

Some facts about myself; my favourite colour is pink, and my favourite animal is a killer whale. My favourite place I’ve ever visited is Cape Verde (a place I’d happily get married one day if the laws ever change), and a place I’d love to visit is Bali. I’m half Scottish and half Finnish so despite being born in London I have dual-nationality and a Finnish passport (helps with Brexit).

I cook a lot; I’ve been cooking since I was 11 so I’d say I’m pretty decent in the kitchen. I love cooking roast dinners and will cook my fourth Christmas dinner in a row this year for my family (there’s something about the chaos which makes me love cooking at Christmas- gets me out of sorting out the wrapping paper too); I HATE making pasta bolognese but that’s probably because I’ve made hundreds over the years. I barely eat three meals a day so couldn’t tell you what my favourite mealtime is but as long as it incorporates mayonnaise, I’m happy- I have a slight addiction. My favourite type of food is Greek, but my favourite restaurant is Wagamama’s. I’m basic and get a katsu curry but what would you expect? Despite only having my first beef burger at the age of 14 it is one of my favourite foods also, when I say I was picky growing up I’m actually pretty flexible now but before I wouldn’t even go near mashed potatoes. 

I (used to) drink a lot and these are my favourites for all situations; pornstar martinis for cocktails, malibu and coke for bars/on holiday, vodka coke at the club and koppaberg mixed fruits (gin/cider) during the summer. Despite drinking a lot, I am quite picky and don’t tend to try new drinks especially new cocktails. I don’t do shots, mainly because I can’t hack them but also because I once threw up on my flatmate after two Jägerbombs on the first night of freshers. Most of my favourite university memories are either drunk or hungover and, on a night out you will find me in the room playing R&B, dragged into cheese room or in smokers for some fresh air (I know it’s ironic). I’ve been kicked out of club’s numerous times including once when I fell down a flight of stairs with no shoes on into a bouncer at the bottom. My post-night out food order is cheesy chips with mayo- THERE IS NOTHING MORE ELITE.

I’m not particularly creative or sporty despite having tried every single sport under the sun in my father’s attempt to find what sport actually works for me. I believe had I actually put the effort in I would’ve enjoyed dance/ballet or badminton, but I didn’t bother with it as I was too lazy. I did swim for years, nothing special but I did enjoy it a lot of the time. It led me to my first job however which at the age of 16 I trained as a swimming teacher and I loved that job. The experience was incredible and I’m pretty certain it led me to wanting to work with children now. 

So, working. I’m not going to mention what companies I’ve worked for, but I’ve had a lot of jobs. I’m 21 right now and I’ve worked 9 jobs since the age of 16; Summer 2018 I was working for four companies, that’s how driven I am. I love working, I don’t get how people don’t. Occasionally I don’t want to work but once I’m there I love it; I’m bored without it. I don’t know how someone as unmotivated as I am loves working so much but here we are. I can’t wait to be doing something I’ve always wanted to do every day in my career, it’ll mean all my jobs were worth the stress and pain they put me through. 

I don’t really need to discuss education apart from saying I am smart; I don’t have the book smarts of most of my friends and I can’t study to save my life. I get terribly anxious in exams and find my knowledge slips before I’ve even sat down meaning I don’t even get a fair shot. However, I’m doing a masters. If I wasn’t clever enough then there’s no way, I’d be in this position. School wasn’t my environment and I’ve grown a lot since and learnt a lot which I continue to use in my studies. I’m also currently looking into my PhD, so it’ll be interesting to see if I begin that soon. 

Other weird facts about me, I have very brittle bones so I injure myself quite frequently (I broke my foot walking so you can imagine how uncoordinated I am). My biggest fear is birds, I’m terrified of them and will genuinely go a longer way if it means being away from birds. I have many fears which I will be going into in a post one day. I have really weird allergies, I’m allergic to aloe vera, elderflower, certain pesticides and the sugar coating on certain tablets which is really weird but unfortunately this is where we are. I’m also a big health freak and a massive hypochondriac which means I am a massive regular at the GP.

I’m very big on TV and my favourite thing to do when I’m depressed is watch The Office US, Parks and Recreation and Miranda on repeat. I love love love watching the same episodes again and again because nothing changes. It’s just completely good vibes and nothing makes me happier. Music also, just incredible. I’ve mentioned before how music has kept me alive, how certain singers/bands have influenced my moods and helped me stay alive in hard times. 

I think this is where I’m going to leave this, I don’t really know what else there is to say without ending up talking about my mental health which for once I didn’t want to do. I’m sure I missed things also, but this is me. I’m a very funny person to be around (not because I say funny things just because I’m a mess) and I’d like to say I’m a decent person to be around but then again, I’m not keen on my own company so can’t really tell you. I hope this has given you an incline into who I am.

October

Heyyyy

It’s a bit later than usual to do my monthly recap but I’ve been busy, so it’s been kind of difficult to piece together my month. Here we go.

Just a quick thank you and I love you to everyone for yesterday’s post, the support was incredible and not only that but the traffic I was receiving from readers so quickly was unmatched. I’m genuinely speechless, it’s been almost 4 months and I couldn’t be more thankful if I tried. 

University obviously began so let me begin there, I’m really struggling. I love the subject I’m doing; I finally feel like I’ve found it and things are clearer. I’m answering questions and I’m not terrified I’ll get things wrong. Our course is so tiny that I feel confident enough to be myself and maybe get some things wrong (though that is yet to happen). Even though I feel like I’m swamped with readings and assignments I’m genuinely loving my course. Not Carlisle but my course, I love that. 

Family – My family continue to go up and beyond daily and I’m beyond grateful for everything they do for me. I’m lucky enough that despite all this tier and lockdown talk my family have insisted if I need to come home I will and so I’ve been lucky enough to go and see them, something I intend on doing in a few weeks again. Last time I spoke about how I’d surprised my Granny and Auntie in Scotland; I’ve been able to do that twice more and again today I’m on route to them as this is published. Living so close has given them the opportunity to meet the real me and genuinely I love spending time with them. I feel complete. To my sister, you may have tried to get rid of me last time I was up visiting you, but I hope you know despite us now living ridiculously close but yet somehow not as in contact as before, I’m so proud of you. 

Diet – There is no point in me repeating how the diet is going. I spoke about it yesterday and if you want to read that then I think it’s just below this post, but quick summary I am no longer on a diet. 

Friends – I don’t speak to my friends as much as I’d love to, but we’re all grown-ups, we have responsibilities and things to do. I hope they all know I love them always, and if they needed me, I’d be there in a heartbeat. 

Boys – pointless to mention. I am focusing on myself, as always. 

Future – I have ideas about who I want to be and what I want to do. I’m genuinely excited for the future. 

Health – My skin has flared (I’m thinking about doing a post about my skincare- think it’d be quite interesting) and despite my original thinking of it being my period I am yet to see it so who knows. Otherwise I’m not in pain which is incredible. I’m so used to having pain across my body so it’s quite nice to be in a position where I am not in pain. 

Miscellaneous – I’ve had numerous offers for jobs, all of which I’ve had to turn down due to lack of hours I can put into a job currently. I’ve been keeping my room clean and tidy which is a miracle if you don’t know me (I am very messy, especially when I am having a down period). I’m ahead of my assignments, and I’ve never felt so academically happy before, like I know I have this down which is insane. Today (I’m writing this in the morning) I am off to the spa for a rescheduled day of relaxation and celebration after my ten years last week. I dyed my hair green and after my first breakdown I went and got two piercings on my ear which I am in love with (though one of them will not stop bleeding).

I am so proud of the woman I am this month, I’ve lived, and I’ve learnt. I’ve taken time to know and adjust to my surroundings, I’m learning to drive again (yes, I finally passed my theory) and I feel complete. I’m getting help, I’m back at counselling and it’s going really well. I’m knocking down the walls I built to stop people from knowing my trauma and I’m being more open than ever. I did another talk to my old school, though virtual and just a video I’m back at my roots- how I began this journey. Hearing from multiple people how far they’ve come and how I’ve helped them has made me cry numerous times- I couldn’t be prouder of who I am. 

I’m genuinely in such a good place and I couldn’t be more thankful for those who’ve helped me get this far. In five days, we begin a hard month for me but for the first time I am ready. November bring it on b*tch I’m ready for the depression you will bring. 

Just a bit of a notice, in the lead up to November I’m going to be writing and putting out a post daily just in case things go downhill in November and I don’t get much done. 

Thank you as always. Love you all xxxx