Emotional Hoarding ruined my week

Hiiyaaa

I hope everyone has had a good week; it’s been so surreal returning to shops after so long. I didn’t realise how much I missed the concept of walking into a shop and being able to look and feel clothes rather than ordering some VERY hit and miss clothes online. Monday I finally got my acrylics back which has made me feel complete once again, it’s been a long few months; hopefully we don’t have to endure another lockdown though even whilst writing I’m concerned we will. 

As I’ve explained before I’m moving my whole life up to Scotland in May, in around a month. Unfortunately moving consists of packing, something I despise with all of my being. Last week I had a really big breakdown and I want to unpick it with you all.

I’m not shy around sharing parts of my life, but my triggers are very private. In the past I’ve been burnt out by ones I’ve loved, and my own triggers, trauma and pain has been used as leeway to hurt me. I’m not great at change, I prefer things to stay as I’m used to, and I think that’s why I fight for things even when I know they are hurting me. I’ve ran myself into the ground multiple times trying to keep friendships alive because I never knew who I was without them. How do you lose friendships with people who six years prior were unintentionally saving your life? I’ve never been good at just leaving people who I have emotional attachment too, a lot of my friends were around in my hardest days and continued to be around to 2019 the hardest year of my life. How do you lose people like that?

I’m an emotional hoarder, my closest friends are aware of this. I like to keep hold of cards, presents, even pieces of paper signatured with singers who I’m sure have left the profession since. Whilst packing up my stuff, I’ve come across all my memories. I’ve found birthday cards from as far back as my 12th birthday and found cards where my friends would make fun of me liking boys who I can’t even remember what they look like. It’s bittersweet having these memories, reading cards and knowing the love I have for these people even the ones out of my life is what makes me weaker. I live in the past because despite not being the girl I was 10 years prior I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing.

Would 12-year-old Emily be proud of 22-year-old Emily? To be honest I don’t know. I had big plans for my future when I was younger and the older, I got the less likely those plans became, I’m finally achieving them, but I still question everything I do. Do I know what’s best for me when just over two years ago I was actively trying to end my life? I always look back on my youth and I see hate, and pain. I remember missing school for concerts, meet-ups. Even when I was at school my mind was elsewhere, I was a terrible student because I didn’t care. Once my teachers had made it abundantly clear that I was too dumb to make it I’d given up on myself, others would use that as motivation, but I was using every bit of effort I had on finding a reason to stay alive and grades were not my priority.

I found old certificates from when I was in primary school, for outstanding work etc. I found dance certificates, and swimming competition certificates. I couldn’t remember ever getting them, depression took that from me. I completely forgot there was a time where I didn’t have to motivate myself to live. A time where I would live freely and love the world that I was in. 

My fangirl phase was exceptional, I made so many memories and friends. I still speak to some of them, and the others I hope they are doing well. I was in a fandom for a band called Stereo Kicks, a lot of people won’t remember them. I was 15 and despite the fact life was kicking me in the teeth, it was the best days. I was attached to this idea of online friendships and nothing was going to change how much love I had for those, people always used to shun me for having them- that their fake friendships were somehow worth more. I always felt quite alone through school, I have two amazing best friends that I met there and a few other friends I barely speak to or see. Having the platform, I had on social media helped me through more than I can ever explain, I had quite a lot of followers and especially when I met the boys for the first time the love, I got moved me to tears. There were tens of other accounts tweeting about me meeting Reece Bibby and the love and support was incredible, I’ve never felt as loved as then. Of course, it comes to an end and after all these years it’d be a lie to say I remember them all but the truth is much different. 

I still have all of the leaflets, CDs, etc., many of which are signed and looking through them all is overwhelming. My mental health was horrific, I didn’t care about living and I was pretty sure I’d kill myself before I would complete my GCSEs so what difference would spending the summer at concerts rather than studying for the exams. It was one of the best summers of my life, I made so many memories and when I see photos, I’m taken straight back to them with a huge smile on my face and a tear in my eye.

The problem with having depression through your youth is the more time you spend fighting to stay alive than living and reminiscing on the good times. The harsh truth is I can clearly remember when people did me wrong, when things got tough or when someone said something which dramatically changed how I viewed myself; but I’m incapable of remembering the laughs I had without looking back at photos. My friends always used to love my memory, I’d always know everyone’s birthdays and random facts about people. I still have a lot of space in my head taken up by that and yet I feel like I’ve lost everything. My photos are all I have, and it sucks that me and my friends rarely took photos, growing up. My body image was horrific and so photos were rarely taken, it’s only since I’ve gained a bit more confidence that I’ve began to take photos and it’s genuinely the only way I remember certain things. 

To be honest I don’t know how much I’d want my memory back, there are things and days where I know that if I began to remember them, I’d hate myself even more. I’ve never really been well-liked as a human, I guess I’m like a ‘marmite’ human- some people love me, and others hate me. I’m strongly opinionated and despite having crippling anxiety in most cases I have no trouble saying what I want. Through school I got called petty a lot and described as a psycho, but the truth is, half the people there blindly went along with friendships, relationships and conversations because they valued popularity over having a personality. It’s harsh but true. 

I found a lot of birthday cards; from people I’ve not seen or spoken to since leaving school and from friends I no longer have. It was emotional reading how much these people loved me, yet just years later they are no longer in my life. The type of people who never checked in, who were another viewer on a story of me crying and didn’t take five seconds to check I was okay. The funny thing is when they had something to brag about, they’d come running to me or one of my close friends knowing the news would hit me, that was the problem with our school- no one cared about each other they just wanted to beat everyone. 

I found the only birthday card I have saved from my Mormor and Morfar, the last letter I have with her handwriting. You never realise how much you are still hurting till you find something like that, I’m still a wreck and it won’t take me back. You can cry and cry till you feel numb, but the truth is nothing’s going to change the outcome. Sometimes I hate the fact that I can’t get rid of things, that I have such emotional attachment to cards and pieces of paper, etc., but then I find stuff like that. Stuff I didn’t realise I had and I’m just so grateful to have found- nothing compares to knowing I have those memories and I’ll have them through the rest of my life.

So, packing as I’m sure you’ve guessed has been an emotional rollercoaster. I’m still unsure about how I’m feeling and so I’m taking one step at a time, but the next month I’m sure my anxiety will continue to harass me. I hope that next month once the initial stress of unpacking everything I own and making the flat my home I’m met with the happiness I deserve. 

Thank you for listening as always, there *might* be a small break before the next post as I am approximately 3 weeks behind on university work and according to my well-thought schedule, I am beginning writing my dissertation on May 1st and should have all my data ready before which is a far overreach from where I am right now. 

Stay safe and I’ll be back as soon as I can put some time aside to write. 

Lessons I needed to learn before I turned 20…

Heyyy

I’m back! I’ve been at home packing for the past week or so, it’s been so stressful and tiring. I hate packing, it’s the thing I hate most in life and yet I find myself packing so frequently whether that be for a quick weekend home or the biggest move of my life so far. I’m working really hard to get a lot done in a short amount of time, between sourcing literature, finding furniture and keeping my mental health in check I’ve found myself quite tired.

In the past when life has given me a lesson, I’ve often shrugged it off, accepted that not only is it unimportant but also the lesson will never occur again for me to need to act in a different way. If there’s something I’ve learnt in the past few months, young me was so obtuse to learning. My stubborn nature has left me repeating my mistakes more times than I’d prefer to admit, and I’m on a mission to change that. Here are the lessons I needed to learn (and listen to) before I turned 20:

  • Not everyone who celebrates you at your highest will be there to lift you up at your lowest – though quite self-explanatory it’s very easy to be around someone who is constantly on a high, who has reason to be elated, but when you drop, and moods are barely there who’s around. Who continues to be there through the down periods as well as the up? 
  • You do not need to have the same opinions as everyone – there’s no need to pretend to like something for the greater population, life’s too short to pretend to be someone you aren’t. I spent too many years, and I’m sure there’s many like me, pretending to like things and losing parts of my personality just so I fit in that now I’m not even sure what I truly love. Is my personality an infringement of the environment I grew up in or is it the real me? I’m still on a journey to find out. 
  • Avoid people with toxic mindsets – I’ve often found myself being strung along by people in the hope I can change their behaviours. People who have strong opinions which differ completely from my own, people who are incapable of accepting that their opinions are bigoted and in many cases offensive to members of society. The many times I’ve been able to rid myself of individuals who have spoken ill of women, sexuality, race, etc., only strengthens the point that people like that will never see themselves as being in the wrong. It’s always the “I’ve got a right to an opinion” and never anything different. Ridding my life of people like that has time-and-time again proven how the ‘right’ people in your life can really make it worthwhile. 
  • Being mentally ill isn’t an excuse – if you are a terrible person, you cannot use your mental health as an excuse. I’ve had to make some pretty hard apologies over the years, I’ve said and done some disgusting things over the years and though at the time I can guarantee my mental health wasn’t in shape it doesn’t excuse what I have done. Real growth is knowing that you are still at fault for your actions if they offend or hurt someone.
  • It’s never too late to apologise – Sometimes in the moment you don’t see how your own behaviours impact others, and sometimes it takes years to admit and acknowledge that you were at fault. An apology isn’t invalid just because it comes years after, many would say it’s not needed but I disagree. I personally wouldn’t be able to live with myself if words went unsaid and I know a lot of people feel exactly the same. 
  • Time doesn’t slow down, don’t take it for granted – it’s very easy to beg to be older than you are, the closer you get to 18 you may spend throwing days away until you are legal to drink, etc. Or leaving school, if like me you had a particularly negative time in education you may beg for the end of school, to never see those who annoy you on a daily basis again. You’ll regret wishing away your youth, they weren’t the best years of your life but had you lived them in a better way then perhaps you’d have made more memories than the consistent moaning to finally leave. It’s not all about the necessary moving through stages of life, but also the longer spent trying to rid yourself of your youth the more you wish away what could end up being your final years with certain family/friends. You aren’t the only one growing up, love every second you have with those around you. One day you’ll beg to have them back for another second. 
  • YOLO (you only live once) – although even I am having second-hand embarrassment from typing that, I’m pretty certain I’ve never non-sarcastically wrote it. But the sentiment is true, we only have one life as far as we know. Girl Meets World taught me the secret to life is ‘people change people: what us does for them’; daily we are faced with negativity through the media, news, etc. and yet instead of doing anything to make the world a more positive place we allow this hatred and negativity to not only intrude our lives but take over. I used to have a negative mindset whereby I didn’t care about anyone because no one cared about me when I was at my lowest. You can’t expect the world to stop for you, no one is going to come to your aid and that’s a harsh life lesson to learn but it’s something I think we all need to hear. You have to be your own lifeline first. 
  • Therapy doesn’t make you weak – if anything it should be compulsory. I’m yet to speak to someone who wouldn’t benefit from receiving help from a trained psychiatrist. Speaking about things, even slowly, helps make it better. I’m not going to lie to you all and tell you it’s a quick fix because when it comes to mental health nothing is a quick fix. Every day comes past, and you hope it’s all gone, and you are happy, but that day doesn’t come. You become more and more content; therapy helps. Without my therapy sessions I don’t think I would be able to speak about half the things I’ve publicly told you all. This blog is like a secret diary to me, it’s where I can come and let out my frustrations and my pain and you don’t have to read it. My therapist is forced to listen to this and more, all of my therapists over the years are the reason I’m still able to fight my brain.  
  • Self-care isn’t just a facemask and bubble bath – Wednesdays at university used to be for my facemask and time to myself. During the first lockdown I’d have a bubble bath, do a hair mask and a clay mask every Wednesday. I spent years wondering why I would still be so restless after giving myself this hour or so weekly to unwind and be within myself. I wasn’t looking after myself; my skin was so clogged with fake tan and makeup, my body altered through my addiction to alcohol and my unresolved problems with food. I was giving myself an hour a week where I’d still scroll through social media, I’d facetime my friends or watch a show I’d watch through the rest of the week also. I never took time out of my busy schedule to work on myself, I didn’t take myself on walks or ask myself if I’m okay. I’m twenty-two years old and I’ve only just began asking MYSELF if I’m okay, I can’t rely on others to ask me and so I have to check on my own feelings. Self-care is understanding your feelings and emotions before they make you physically and mentally burst, self-care is about becoming your best you. 
  • Alcohol doesn’t fix anything, it prolongs the pain – I’ve had a rough day today, I’ve also told most the people who’ve seen me that I’m desperate for a bottle of wine. I’m fighting my brain daily and today it’s too much. I could end my almost 3 months of sobriety today and I wouldn’t even care, I’ve done so well. When I began my journey, I knew it wasn’t a forever fix, I just wanted to be able to drink from a healthier place. I hope I’ve done that; I hope I’ve proven to myself that alcohol isn’t my puppet master no longer and instead I am in control. I drank from a negative place for so long, I would wake up in a bad place and know the only thing that would fix my mood was a bottle of wine and so I’d go and get it. Until you realise you have a problem it’s very easy to ignore it and to continue on your path of destruction, but I promise you it’s worth getting out of it. 

I could go on and on about the lessons I’ve learnt but to be honest I’m on a brink of a mental breakdown. Live everyday as if it is your last, never have any regrets and the best bit of advice I could ever give is be happy. Life doesn’t get better overnight; I’m still waiting for the better. I’ve been lucky to pick up some good advice, some good friends and some good memories along the way. I hope that continues.

Love you all, thank you for being here. You all make me want to be a better me. 

March

Heyyy

Long-time no see, enjoy this look back on the most stressful month I’ve had in ages. 

University – Wow compared to my look back on February I’ve had such a different month. I’ve been working at the university, though not often it’s been nice to occasionally get out the house. I’ve had continuous deadlines through the month and found it difficult to convey how I’ve been feeling. I began with a reflection piece, which really made me think about events which I assumed didn’t bother me. Following that just a few days later I handed in my dissertation proposal which has been approved!! So, I can finally begin my work on that, something which I am terrified but excited for. I’ve also handed in a 4000-word essay on Sex Education which I did in the space of 4 days after a month of procrastinating on my project on Subscription Porn. The following two months are going to be dedicated to my dissertation and whilst I can’t wait, I also know it’s going to be a lot of hard work. 

Family – I’m very grateful for the family I have, it’s been an incredible month and my parents have supported me through it all whether that be furniture shopping or waking up through the night to my phone calls from the hospital/ambulance. Truly grateful.

Diet – After having a really bad foot injury I’ve really struggled to do exercise which in a way has really affected how I’ve been eating. I’ve eaten more takeaways due to stress and the inability to stand up. Around the time of my severe allergic reaction, I struggled to eat and that didn’t help the whole situation, I felt more tired and restless which made me feel worse for not eating but I physically couldn’t. I’ve not gained weight, though I’ve not lost weight unfortunately. Hopefully soon though. 

Friends – I miss my friends; I miss seeing them so much. Soon though! (Hopefully)

Health – Last month I spoke about how I had a lot of health problems. I didn’t think it’d get worse. My ultrasound scan found that I still have eggs, though not a lot. I’m hoping to get an appointment with a gynaecologist soon where I can discuss freezing my eggs and the potential of going on tablets to help losing weight with PCOS. I’m now on tablets for my acne, and I’ve seen such a difference in how my skin is looking. Long may it continue. I’ve recently found out I have a Vitamin D deficiency and so I’ve been on booster tablets for that ahead of beginning to take supplements daily for that. I had an allergic reaction a few weeks ago where I ended up calling an ambulance out as I was unable to breathe, I’d had a reaction to UTI tablets and I’m still in shock how that night worked out for me. It was scary to go through that alone, even though I had friends and family down the phone all night. 

Miscellaneous – We got the flat, I’m so excited to move to Dundee and begin the next aspect of my life! It’s been incredible to work through a lot of my problems and yesterday I actually finished my therapy sessions with the university. I’ve grown a lot since I began university in Carlisle and it’s evident through how I hold myself and the confidence I’ve recently started showing in both myself and my work. 

I’m proud of the woman I am, and this month has been both mentally and physically challenging and yet I haven’t had any alcohol or done anything typically toxic (though I’m sure my mum would class my desire for new clothes toxic). I’m learning to deal with things in a mentally better way and I hope it continues because I deserve this. I wasted too much time being in pain, hating myself and not living my life how I wanted. Hopefully that’s over and I can look after myself more. 

Also, I can’t believe tomorrow is April. This year is going so fast, I’m happy, but still a bit scared. 

See you in April.

What does it mean to be ‘clever’?

Heyyy

Last week was possibly the most stressful week of my time at university, despite only having one deadline, and I’m wiped out. I know we are almost at the end of March and my monthly update is not out, it will be out tomorrow I promise. This month has been mad for me with health and life problems, so I haven’t had the time to really motivate my time to reflecting. 

I was always the token ‘dumb’ friend, I don’t think people realised I noticed how they’d speak down to me. I don’t think they still realise; I’d make one mistake and rarely live it down in people’s eyes. Someone genuinely made a deal with me that every time I used a ‘long-word’ correctly they’d give me 5p, how did I let that slide? I did some stupid things, and my grades were terrible, but I was also in an environment which was fuelled by those with higher average grades than most. 

I noticed how teachers would give up on me during lessons and then conveniently conjure up enough belief in me at parent’s evenings that would belittle my obvious struggles whilst saying I should do more work as I was full of potential. They didn’t believe that though, I was their anomaly, and they didn’t know how to manage it. I still don’t know how I got to where I am today, I was told frequently I’d never make it anywhere. I believed them too.

Before I joined my secondary school, I had one of the best grades in my primary school, I had one of the highest SAT scores in both Maths and English. My science grades lacked, but that’s not a shock considering how terrible I still am at science. I truly believed I was gifted before secondary school; I was amazing at tests and rarely felt pressure. The only time I can remember pressure was doing the entry exams to the private schools in the area, around the same time my mental health was lacking, and I was struggling to concentrate and motivate myself to get into a school that I knew none of my ‘friends’ would be going to. I still got into all the schools despite it all, those tests were the first ones I ever struggled with. The first time I cried because of an exam I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know how to deal with it, unfortunately it went downhill from that day.

Since then, I would revise and if I was quizzed before an exam by my friends, I knew the stuff, then I’d get into the exam hall sit down and my brain would wipe. I couldn’t remember facts, quotes, statistics, etc. my brain would reset. I always thought I just wasn’t capable, because that’s what I was told. However, it was my anxiety and for the longest time I let people trick me into thinking I was a waste of potential and instead I would flourish in a non-academic position. 

When it came to applying for university, I was a mess, I wasn’t sure it was the perfect route for me and then my predicted grades felt like it cemented I was never going to get in. I remember crying over and over again, especially when certain teachers told me I’d be better off not going to university and continuing in my job at McDonalds. Yes, that really did happen. I put all the negativity to the back of my mind and applied for Sociology at four universities and Social Work at one; within 10 days I had acceptance from four and an interview invite from the other. Even with my terrible grades. 

Then came the confidence, I knew I’d still have to get the grades they were offering, and my teachers reminded me continuously I wasn’t clever enough to do so. I didn’t feel like it was a problem however, and the closer it got to the real exams the more stressed I became. I wasn’t doing any better, and I was still struggling to manage my anxiety surrounding exams and tests. Then one day I got a letter from the University of Plymouth, it gave me an unconditional and meant that my work was no longer a worry. I’m so relieved that happened, because truly I wouldn’t be in this position had it not been for that letter. No one could believe it and teachers were so shocked they stopped talking to me and actively avoided bumping into me.

I left school with two A Levels, I barely studied and didn’t particularly care what happened. I was working most days and others drinking away my depressive moods. I didn’t really focus much, and the further I got into the exams the less I seemed to care. So, when it came to results day the only tears, I was seen with were over the fact my best friend didn’t get into Plymouth with me. (I know she’s reading this and scowling so I’ll put the records straight- she did get in just not for the course she wanted and ended up elsewhere instead). 

I was nervous though; through school I was always the dumb child. People spoke down to me and made me feel inferior just because my intelligence wasn’t measured by the same standards as them. I didn’t care about grades, I had real life experiences and to be completely honest I was just happy and proud to be alive. I went to university thinking I was stupid and was shocked when my grades started coming back well, I wasn’t failing and till second year’s exam I wasn’t even getting close to the failing mark. I’d put bare minimum effort into modules I found less interesting and still do decently, I was in utter shock.

The problem is, I wasn’t confident within myself. I’d write my assignments how I’d speak, never using long words as I was scared, I’d use them wrong, or someone would see past this façade I believed I was putting on. The number of times I had ‘academic tone’ sprawled over my essays is evidence of this. I love writing, but I’m unsure how to sound clever as I spent so many years living up to this ideology that I was not just inadequate but entirely useless. I still struggle with this today, I actually voiced my issues to my PhD supervisors telling them I was terrified that the way I was writing my proposal was making me sound dumb as I was using ‘short words’ and they told me I was overthinking. The problem is, when you’ve spent your whole life trying to prove your worth you get into a nasty headspace. 

The truth is I was never dumb, no matter what people said about me I wasn’t dumb. I didn’t need ten people to explain the simplest of things like people thought, I just didn’t enjoy the subjects. Education isn’t linear and I’m proof that just because I went to a ‘good’ school and had ‘support’ and ‘opportunities’ doesn’t mean that I am well educated. I didn’t learn anything about life, about living or progression past our bubble. I barely understood how university worked, educationally I didn’t understand my own mental health problems and I definitely didn’t understand how to project a future which wasn’t your typical STEM, medical or economics route. 

I was an anomaly, my time at school taught me to appreciate the social skills I have been blessed with. I struggle to speak and give opinions in groups of people, but I more than make up for it with my ability to listen and comprehend what is being said to me. If I’d been listened to by my teachers when I’d said I didn’t want to go to university and that my future wasn’t dependent on some letters on a piece of paper, then perhaps I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. With my dream of being a doctorate around the corner (a six-year corner but still close) it’s very difficult not to reflect on what would’ve been had I been listened to and understood back in school. 

I spent every day struggling to fit in with a group of people who are academically excellent. Trust me- I’ve been friends with them, I’ve lived in shadow of my YOUNGER sister my whole life and I’ve never forgotten the comments on my academics I’ve endured over the years. I’m not an A* student, in fact I rarely saw one through my time in education and when I was lucky to it was usually out of pity and not related to my exams. Grades don’t define you; you aren’t worth the same as some letters on a piece of paper. That being said, grades help you get where you want to be. I can’t deny that I’ve not sat and cried when applying for my masters that my A Level grades were not even sub-par and had potential to completely derail the future, I’m currently in. I also know that I’m at a point in my academic life that my qualifications post-school will end up outweighing any grades I had previously and shouldn’t hinder my future opportunities.

To anyone out there like me, you are worth so much. You are not worthless, useless, ‘going nowhere’. Our education system survives on those with good memories, we reward those who can memorise and string together responses and look down on those who mentally don’t have the capacity to do so. Hopefully one day that changes, I know that I would’ve benefitted from that and maybe one day we’ll stop forcing competition between peers over trivial problems like Pythagoras or the dates that specific events happened in WW2. I look forward to a day where hopefully my children don’t feel pressured to conform to typical academic standards. 

Life got better, didn’t it?

Heyyy

Sorry for being MIA again, I’ve had deadlines all week and I really should be working on instead of typing this, but I’ve been really low, and I finally understand how I’m feeling enough to write about it. The upcoming weeks are full of hand-ins/finding literature and meetings which is exciting, but also means I’m barely getting time to do things I enjoy including writing these posts for you all. 

I’m a very private person, I know it doesn’t seem like it and sometimes I sit and think that I’ve shown you all too much of me, but I really haven’t. My journey isn’t sunshine and rainbows, it’s not all dark and gloomy either. I’ve been up and down more times than I can even explain and yet I’ve never been in the current state I’m in. I’m happy.

Pre high school I was clever, I had really high marks in most tests and I excelled around the clock in subjects. The shift into year 7 had an incredible effect on me, I lost all my confidence and didn’t know who or what I was. I’ve spent the last 10 years working out who I am and for the first time I think I know.

I’m a woman whose life has never been easy, things don’t come easy to me and they probably never will. My brain struggles to understand and retain information, I find pleasure in learning until I’m tested and then I crumble. I’ve been given so much opportunity and been so spoilt that I’ll struggle in the future to live up to my own expectations. I have so much love and strength surrounding me and yet I prefer to fight my own battles and struggle alone and silent. I’ve spent so many years silently crying I struggle to emote in a normal fashion. I cry to TV shows I’ve seen thousands of times not only for relevance, but the opportunity to relive a moment that hurt which isn’t my own pain. I watch shows over and over again because I despise surprises, I ruin things before they get good, so I don’t get hurt. I have ridiculously high expectations for myself, for my future and when change comes along, I cower and decline. 

Two years ago, I was struggling with everything. I was alone. I had friends, but I was alone. Today, now- I’m struggling with everything and I’m not alone. I have friends and they remind me continuously that I need them to get through this. Three years ago, I spoke about getting re-diagnosed with depression, I didn’t have the energy to fight it and though there is always light at the end of the tunnel I was barely crawling and wasn’t going to make it just yet. Three years later and though I am clearly very depressed I’m walking to the end of that tunnel; the problem is I have so many obstacles in my way.

A few weeks back I had a huge breakdown which changed everything for me, some random guy from tinder spoke to me nastily. Belittling me and questioning me, we spoke about religion and I spoke about my beliefs and in that time, I realised I wasn’t okay. I never was going to be okay because I couldn’t talk about what had happened to me. I couldn’t explain how I felt because I’ve never had to before. I go to therapy and I trick myself into thinking everything’s perfect, but it isn’t. 

I’m moving away from London because my memories of the place are not good. I feel claustrophobic and running into people from my past stops me from being able to move on with my future. For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to leave London and a lot including myself didn’t think it’d ever be a reality. So, this comes to my predicament- how can I really want to leave if packing everything up is making me so depressed? I’ve lived there my whole life, minus for university and though I’ve always spoken about hating London it is home. It’s where my friends are and my family and my cats- but it’s not where I thrive.

I’ve been struggling for the past month with a lot, my depression has thrived, and I’ve really struggled with day-to-day tasks even if I’ve seemed to be in a good place. I’ve put off a lot of my uni work and been focused on Netflix, something I don’t typically put a lot of time into. I’ve rested and yet I’m still restless, having messed my sleep schedule and only recently sorting it out. I’ve cried most nights, mainly to my TV shows but also at the pure incompetence of my motivation at the moment. I’ve cried over and over again looking at the list of uni work I have left to do before the end of my masters, and I’ve cried knowing I’m basically at the end. 

I’ve been back and forth between Carlisle and London for multiple medical appointments and in the last month had an ear infection, sprained foot, multiple PCOS appointments, acne appointments, a UTI and an allergic reaction to medication. I’m shattered, I feel like people think I’m ridiculously dramatic especially around my health, but the truth is I do have bad health and even if I look after myself, I still end up stuck in this state where I can’t even look after myself. 

Mentally I’ve been low, and I’ve tried to work through it, in every way possible. I’ve been to therapy and recently just joined a waiting list for CBT therapy with all sorts of hope that it helps. I’m really trying hard, without pushing myself, to better my mental state and it’s been so difficult. I’ve had to deal with the mental strain of more PCOS appointments and knowing I’m getting closer to ages where I’d love a child and I’m having to consider freezing eggs is really difficult for me. I don’t know what the upcoming months have planned for me, hopefully a dissertation which goes to my detailed plan and a move into my new flat which also goes to plan. But mentally I don’t know.

At what point do we stop being hopeful that better days exist? I’ve waited years to be in a good place, to be not only dreaming about my future but living in it. I’m sitting applying for a PhD which I never thought would be possible and I’m moving to a city which I have loved (on my two visits), I’m stronger than ever because I can do things independently. I’m able to walk into the hospital alone, I’m able to go food shopping alone, I’m able to live alone. Things I wasn’t sure I’d ever manage I’m now capable of and I’m not sure what this means for my future, but long may it continue. I deserve it to continue. 

I’ve tried, and succeeded in many ways, to be off social media over the past weeks with everything that’s happened in the media to women. One day I’ll be able to speak freely about my own experiences but it’s not now and I’ve struggled to keep myself sane in such a triggering time. Does it get easier over time? That’s a genuine question because so far, I’m not convinced. 

I’m going to attempt to be more productive on here, I’ve got a lot to say, and this is my only outlet without burdening my friends and family. I love you all, thank you for sticking this out. I’ve seen all the views in the 3 weeks I’ve been MIA, I’ve seen the new followers. I appreciate you all. 

February

Heyyyy everyone

I’m so sorry that I’ve had a small break, I’ve had multiple things going on over the past two weeks and haven’t been as focused as I wanted to be. 

University – I’ve been strangely unmotivated over the course of February, once my January coursework was in I just sort of fell off the side of the world. I woke up craving Netflix and wasn’t focusing on my work at all. It’s only in the past few days that I’ve began to realise how terrible it would be for me to fall behind. I can only explain it in one way- last year I was striving ahead, I had all my dissertation research completed and I had a lot of research complete ready for my write up. February 2020 my brain went into breakdown as I was on tablets dealing with UTI’s and then tonsillitis for the entire month. That isn’t an over-exaggeration I was on tablets from the 31st of January to the 1st of March; it was terrible. I fell so behind with university as I was so drained from the side effects of the tablets, my depression plummeted, and a lot of life problems threw me into a huge pit- I didn’t go into university for the month and despite how anxious I was about falling behind I was too anxious to begin doing the work also. I feel like this year, I’ve been trying to pretend that everything is good, but the truth is I’m terrified that something is going to turn up and stop me from doing how well I have. 

So, this year I have been unmotivated. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, especially when so far this year has been quite good for me. I’ve been looking after myself, I’ve had breakdowns, but I’ve dealt with them immediately rather than putting them off, so I don’t do anything stupid. I’ve rebegan doing work and I’ve realised how much I love education; how much I love what I study. I am incredibly passionate about society and I don’t think that’ll ever change- I want to learn and make society a greater place for everyone. I’ve never been so driven in my life. In relation to this I’ve been working hard on my PhD application and hopefully by the end of March it’ll be in making it completely official. I’m truly so excited. 

Family – I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to see my parents through this lockdown, I’ve been living alone and when things have been tough, I’ve been able to see them which has made everything so much better. Most of my family have managed to get their vaccinations which has definitely helped me feel better, at least they have some level of protection from coronavirus. 

Diet – beginning February I started intermittent fasting, I was only eating between 11 and 7 and to be honest that’s probably why my university work started to suffer. I’d wake up and go for a walk or stay in bed and watch tiktok till 11 and then eat before going on a 5k walk. Come back eat lunch and then have an hour lie down before doing 2 hours of working out and eating dinner. It stopped me from being able to study and I felt rushed in all forms. I had to change this and I’m glad that whilst I now eat throughout the day, I’m still eating on a calorie deficit. 

Friends – It has been almost a year since I last saw my friends in Plymouth, and it’s been almost 6 months since I saw one of my best friends. I’m very fortunate that I have incredible friends, but with life sometimes it’s difficult to keep on top of each other and keep in contact as much as I’d love us to. It’s a two-way street and there have been times when I know that I should just pick up the phone and give them a call but instead have watched Netflix. I hope my friends know I love them always. I did manage to see one even if it was for a second when I dropped a Wagamama’s takeaway to her front door on Valentine’s weekend and I think it was in that moment I realised how badly I needed to see my friends. 

Health – I thank life every day I wake up with good health. I’m typically ill around this time of the year, and this year I’ve been very lucky to stay healthy. Partly, I reckon, because I’ve not seen anyone and been holed up inside most the time. I think that being out clubbing a lot and celebrating my birthday etc. in the past has left me terribly ill (my own fault- I don’t wear enough clothes out). I’ve not been completely isolated from the doctors though and I’ve got a scan this weekend to work out why my period has been absent for almost half a year again; I also had an ear infection last week which was horrific as I literally couldn’t hear out of one ear and my head was ringing from morning to evening. It truly made me appreciate my hearing, even if I do have horrific hearing in general. My skin is clearing up and whilst I’ve had a few allergic reactions to hand sanitiser they’ve not been as bad as before so that’s always a plus. When I was 11, I fell over walking and fractured my left foot and unfortunately falling off a curb last week has left me for the past week with a swollen/painful foot- something I hope to also get checked out over the next few days. 

Miscellaneous – I’ve lost weight. Not as much as I’d have hoped but I’ve found myself spotting changes when I look in the mirror. My curves are coming back and some of my clothes are already starting to get too big- I’m genuinely so pleased. I’ve started to find joy in the smaller things and though I’ve been on my phone more it’s been on a game which challenges my brain so I’m not that mad about it. I’ve worked out my limits and over the past few weeks I’ve been pushed there a lot. 

Whilst writing this I cried for the second time since 2021 began. I was speaking about some things and for the first time in an awful long time I’d said things out loud which even I wasn’t ready to hear. I’ve been trying to face my fears, progress and be the woman I’ve always dreamt about being, but it wasn’t till today I realised the power my past still has over me. I owe a lot of apologies to a lot of people and I hope I get those apologies out because they deserve to hear it. Even if it is too late. Thank you for baring with me on this journey, it’s still so new to me that I have support and I’m truly grateful.

I love you all. I’ll be more active I promise!!

One year free from sex…

Hey everyone!!!

Hope you are all doing good, despite a few injuries I’ve never felt so good with everything. I’m losing weight and I’m eating less meat which is helping me feel better. I’ve been stressed with all the university work and been dealing with the pain of working through a lot of trauma I’d supressed. 2021 for me is about making light of things that have pained, stressed and hurt me; I’ve been keeping so much hidden for so long I didn’t know if it’d ever get better. It’s finally being relieved though, I’ve done a lot of healing and talking about things I’ve barely told anyone- though I’m not ready to share I feel like this is the start of sharing a journey I’m lowkey proud of. 

I’d just like to put a disclaimer out there to my family, and family friends…and anyone really. This might be TMI but it’s part of my journey and I feel like I’m too often positive on this blog and you all deserve to see the rawness of my journey. So today we talk about all things SEX… and wow I apologise to my family members for this one. I know you read my blog, and this isn’t going to paint a lovely picture.

First of all, I want to STRESS this point, virginity doesn’t mean anything. The whole concept of virginity is a way of making a woman feel as if they are giving something up, something away. It’s not real. Your hymen can be broken from a number of things, virginity doesn’t even depend on a literal thing- it is a mental concept used to hold women to their body counts. 

Second of all, let me stress on body counts for a second. A lot of you reading will be wondering what a body count is, and it’s simply the number of people you sleep with. It’s not important, if you think reading this will give you an insight into my number you have another thing coming. I’m not here to give an insight into my sexual experiences but instead explore how it’s impacted my mental and physical health. 

PLEASE DON’T LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY TILL YOU ARE READY. Please don’t let anyone ever force you, guilt you or trick you into sex. You will most likely regret it if you do. 

I lost my virginity when I was 19, which for some reason is deemed late. I was ready before but wasn’t fussed, then the longer I left it the more anxious I got. I lost it when I was drunk, which considering most of my time at university it’s not a shock that that happened. It didn’t feel like a loss or a gain, I didn’t lose a part of me and I didn’t give up a part of me either. 

After I lost it, every time I saw a guy, for a date or whatever, people would assume I was sleeping with them. I don’t have a high sex drive; I never have and so I wasn’t sleeping around. I didn’t care and the first time I stupidly ended up having to take the morning after pill that changed a lot for me. The symptoms terrified me and as I had no care for myself, I went out drinking just hours after I’d taken the tablet leaving me with horrific side effects including dizziness, nausea and feeling light-headed. After that I’ve never not used protection, I don’t plan on taking that pill again unless I absolutely have to.

My experiences varied and majority of the time I was drunk, and I feel like that changes your experience dramatically. I ended up with terrible UTI’s even if I peed after sex and was on antibiotics every time, I slept with a guy to cure that. Then September 2019 I had an experience I’m not ready to talk about, but it changed the game. My body was changing, and I was gaining weight horrifically. I no longer felt confident in a lot of my clothes and it didn’t help that all of my friends were gorgeous; being wanted even for 15 minutes helped me. I didn’t notice how bad it got, I was doing it for the sake of it and not enjoying any part of it. 

January 31st 2020, I got very drunk and took someone home, I forced him to leave after 5 minutes as he was annoying me and as I fell asleep wearing the outfit I’d worn out with my makeup intact I remember thinking this is the end now. Considering the state, I woke up in the following morning I promised myself that I was going to take a break. I wasn’t going to continue sleeping with guys to help boost my confidence, or my image of myself because that release is worth 20 seconds. It’s not worth it at all. 

So, I began, and I won’t lie there has been times when I came very close to ending my year, but I made it. I realised that a lot of people are only talking to me for sex, and when you say a sentence like ‘I’m on a year without sex’ it’s often that it’s followed with – ‘when does that end then?’ ‘why do you need to do that?’. I’ve not often explained myself, but when I have explained my reasoning it’s often been met with resistance ‘I wouldn’t treat you like that’ ‘well we’ll just have to when your year is over’- how about no. 

I took a year off to help myself, and I feel like I spent most of it explaining to idiots why I wouldn’t sleep with them. I didn’t work through everything I needed to; I don’t feel like if I was to start to have sex today, I’d be in any better mental state than when I challenged myself to this. I’m 22 years old and I have a horrific relationship with myself, I’m often allowing myself to be pressured into situations that I have no want for. I let myself get broken down and end up guilted into things I don’t want to do, that changes. 

I’ve completed a year of no sex and barely anything has changed. The little control I lost of my body when I had casual sex has been regained but I haven’t learnt why things happened the way they did, I haven’t learnt anything from the whole experience. It’s been exactly 9 days since I realised how much of an impact this all had on me. How can I expect to better my mindset, body and health if I can’t even accept what has happened in the past?

So, by writing this I hope to move on. I wrote this on my year anniversary, but I couldn’t post it and so my drinking post went up instead. I know there will be a lot of judgement on this and to be honest I don’t know how I’ll cope with that, but I’m here to open up for my own sake and not yours. Writing my feelings helps share the load, and quite frankly I haven’t felt so light in a very long time. Here is a very honest post, I hope you enjoy reading it and if you need to hear it today then here it is. You are incredible, you’re worth so much more than you believe. Love you all lots, see you soon.

My drinking problem…

Heyyyy

I’m so sorry I’ve been so silent; I’ve been swamped with coursework and then I’ve been a bit unmotivated to do anything- I’ve literally spent the past week watching Netflix and ignoring all of my responsibilities. I’ve also just got a new job which I can’t wait to begin as a Coronavirus tester at the university, I begin that next week and I’m so excited as I’ve missed working so much. 

I want to begin this blog post with an apology, to my family and my closest friends many of you didn’t know about what I was going through much less so how I was coping and what I weas using as a vice. This isn’t an easy post for me to write and I know for sure it won’t be easy to read back, but I want to show you all how easy it is to get caught up in something that could potentially ruin your life. 

I first drank alcohol outside of my house when I was about 13. To a lot of people that doesn’t seem like a shock and to others it’s mad. I never really saw the hype and I was always terrified I’d get in trouble with my parents if I was to come home drunk. I didn’t really drink through my time at school, it was definitely for the best as I already dealt with that quite badly and having gone through that time suicidal, I don’t think I ever would’ve recovered had I been drinking then.

A month before I turned 18 was the first time, I ever got drunk, I was horrific. I don’t remember anything about that night and only know what I’ve been told by others. I remember hearing that my friend had had to carry me to my car to which my father looked ridiculously disappointed. I remember going into work at 7am the next morning and lasting an hour before the smell of McDonalds breakfast led me to throwing up my insides and having to leave work early. I was so embarrassed and knew I’d get in trouble so rather than going home I trekked to my friend’s house and stayed until what would’ve been the end of my shift before making my way home pretending, I had worked through the pain. 

The rest of my final year in school I realised my full potential as a lightweight, I’d go out with my friends and I began finding new alcohols I loved. I began drinking more cocktails and realised how much I detested shots. I hated clubbing in London, it was expensive and the nights you got for the cost you paid wasn’t even slightly worth it. When I moved to university, I never thought I’d enjoy clubbing, I never thought I’d enjoy drinking either. Then it began… 

When I moved to university in 2017, I was actually in a really good mental state, I’d recovered from a lot and though my bipolar diagnosis was quite new I’d began to understand it and was learning how to control it. In my first week, as a fresher, I didn’t go out too much. My first night out I’d set the tone for the whole week having thrown up on my flatmate after two Jagerbombs. Never again. The rest of the week we had the occasional night out every other day and this turned slowly to a weekly night out. I drank more casually, having some wine occasionally or a malibu and coke whilst I did work in the evening. In the second half of that year, I went out more with a different group of people, and considering that I was just rediagnosed with depression and my PCOS diagnosis had come in I was in a vulnerable state. I shouldn’t have been drinking, especially to the amount I was. 

That summer I began working at concerts and festivals, and I truly thought that maybe I’d stop drinking so much because of it but I never did. I remember one night going out after working at British Summertime festival all day and going to one spoons before making our way to another- wearing our work uniforms and smelling of sweat and pints. I was in a bad way that night and so was my bank account as I regretfully looked at it the next morning, I’d been in an utter state. I’m not going to explain the story of that night because I am so embarrassed that I did what I did and if anything, it taught me that tiredness and alcohol doesn’t mix at all. Just a month later I began working at a tourist destination in London and at the start I thought that it was going to be really good for me to not be able to drink, it was in our contract that we’d be tested regularly. This quickly seemed to fade as I was invited for drinks most nights, celebrating people or just erasing the day that had just passed. I’d be in central London over an hour away from home at midnight knowing I was trekking the same journey back to work at 6 the next morning.

When I began second year, I didn’t expect what happened, I’m truly horrified how it played out. A few days into fresher’s week I was spiked on a night out and having spent the following day half spent throwing my guts up and half sleeping I still went out the following night. Granted I did it sober, and for almost a year past that date I refused to drink VKs remembering the state I’d been in that night. I began going for drinks in the evenings more and found myself often on cocktail bar crawls with friends not realising I’d been drinking day in day out for weeks. The night after I’d attempted on my life, I was in pryzm drinking all of the pain away with triple vodka cokes, they were the rough days. 

Then my 20th birthday came, and I spent the day drinking around family and friends, quickly followed by my trip to Amsterdam another trip I drank my way through. Then I returned to Plymouth and not only did I go straight back into going out every night, but I also began drinking through the days. Me and my course mate would go to 9am lectures knowing that at 12 we’d leave and head straight to the bar then drink ourselves blind before I went home ate and carried on drinking for a night out. I did a whole month of continuously drinking, and then March hit and I was vulnerable again. I’d had my heart broken and I was trying not to completely lose myself, so I did just that. I should’ve noticed myself hitting rock bottom when I got so drunk, I may as well have not gone to the Post Malone concert I’d been buzzing to go to for the past 5 months. 

I had complete FOMO though, and it was obvious by the number of times I’d planned to skip a night out and ended up out instead. I had severe attachment issues which led to high anxiety thinking if I missed out, I’d be left behind.  It was silly, but I couldn’t afford for it to happen like that. Summer 2019 I drank a lot again, I was dealing with a lot of pain and couldn’t deal with it alone like I was having to. I tried to stop drinking, but the feelings of loneliness were only growing and therefore drinking was really the only option I had. 

Freshers 2019 I went in with a new mindset, I knew that I had begun to use alcohol in the wrong way and was determined to change things. I didn’t realise that I wouldn’t be able to and I think that was one of the hardest things. I continued drinking a lot and made some terrible decisions, many of which I’m not ready to talk about yet. I hope one day I’ll be stable enough to explore them and let them be part of my history, but they are still part of my present state and I can’t change that. I was drinking a lot again; I’d often go out one night and without even recovering make my way to the pub for the following night. I began to plan my schedule around night outs and pub trips, around drinking and being hungover. It was disgusting how I’d began to live my life, but I couldn’t stop it and I also didn’t want to.

Being drunk was a way of releasing myself from the pain I was feeling. I felt untouchable like nothing could ruin me as long as I was drunk. It was so toxic. Over the course of lockdown, I began to see how I’d let alcohol influence me, I felt like I needed a drink every day. It wasn’t a want anymore it had become a need and it was draining to keep fighting my head when it was tempted by a gin or cider. My family noticed and tried to ban me from drinking every night but that only spurred me on more, it was as if drinking it would annoy people and that was what I wanted to happen. It became so toxic. 

When I moved to Carlisle, I began by drinking wine once a week as a treat, having the occasional malibu as well. Then things got difficult and I was more tempted leading me to drinking bottles of wine regularly in large masses, I was escaping a dark place and didn’t know any other route. My sleeping pattern was ruined and my 9pm bedtimes and 5am wakeups stopped me from being able to socialise, I’d stopped watching Netflix and spent my days doing work before drinking myself to sleep. There was nothing to look forward to when I woke up. 

Stepping into 2021 I knew things had to change. Alcohol wasn’t just a treat anymore but a vice. Ahead of my birthday I’d been sober for a week and since the 15th of January I’ve had one gin and lemonade after a stressful day to settle my nerves. Tomorrow I am 3 weeks sober, the longest I’ve been since I began university. I can’t lie to you all and tell you I haven’t craved it. I’ve sat and stared at my bottle of malibu and contemplated how risky having just one would be but each time I’ve managed to talk myself out of it. Something I never thought I’d be able to do.

The hardest part about facing your demons is you realise what your vices are, I spent years thinking I was drinking because of university culture but the truth is it was a form of escape. It was the only way I could be happy, and I didn’t know anything different, so I let it continue till now. 

I’ve been dreading writing this post, not only because I knew it’d be long, but also because this is me admitting my deepest shame. I hope if you read this far you don’t sit and think how someone could let it get out of control like that but notice how easy it is for it to get out of control. To my friends and family, I’m on the road to being healthier and I won’t be having a drink until I feel strong enough to only have one without slipping again. I’m sorry it took me so long to notice, you’ve all been telling me something I didn’t want to hear for years. 

If you feel like you need help or are on a similar journey yourself, please message me. We are stronger together always. 

January

Heyyy

January, my birthday month, usually one of my worst months of the year. This year it’s been different, I’m strangely content. 

University – The past week has been breakdown-fuelled. We had two group presentations this week and it has led me to countless breakdowns. I was having a chat with someone who despite never meeting has known me since I was 17/18 WHICH IS MAD, and I was explaining how infuriating it is to me that people assume I’m never busy. I work hard on my university work from 9/10 depending on when I wake up till 5/6 especially when close to a deadline when sometimes I don’t finish till 9/10 at night. I’m a massive procrastinator so I will still reply to messages occasionally, and for some reason people think that means I don’t do anything. Probably the case during my undergraduate but definitely not in my masters unfortunately. The following weeks is preparation for my dissertation and getting my PhD proposal ready for application- I’ve had to put that all on hold whilst I’ve been sorting out these presentations so I’m looking forward to researching and putting together something I’m genuinely interested in.

Family – I began 2021 in a panic attack over a huge firework display in our area, yes, I’m 22 and fireworks terrify me. I was very lucky to spend the first few days of the new year at home with my family and even celebrating my birthday early with them. On my birthday I was overwhelmed at the love my family and friends gave to me, and it was lovely to catch up with the whole of my family doing my annual rounds of thank you phone calls. I’m very grateful I have a family who almost always pick up the phone to me and will help motivate me to do work, to go on a walk or to cook. I’m definitely blessed. 

Diet – I’ve actually stuck to a diet; it isn’t strict and I’ve explained it more in my previous post. I’m starting to see changes in my body and I’m beginning to crave foods less but I’m not restricting myself. I’m losing weight because I want to, I’m not losing weight because I need to. Though how I’ve let myself go does often depress me, I’m secure in myself enough that if I wasn’t in a good enough mental position to be losing weight I wouldn’t. It’s about knowing your limits, the past days I’ve had breakdown after breakdown over university work and so I knew it would be stupid to work out meaning I didn’t. Losing weight isn’t about making your body happy but your mind sad; if you don’t keep yourself content it won’t matter how many kilos you lose. That was what I needed to hear when I began my workout journey last summer, I wasn’t in a mental state where I could focus and be happy to lose weight. I wanted to do it for the body, not for myself and I’m so glad I grew out of that toxic mindset. I’m doing it for me and that body now. 

Friends – I have the most amazing friends in the world, in a way I feel bad for others because they don’t have what I have. I know that my friends have my back always, and my birthday was a perfect example of this. I cried on my birthday and for once it wasn’t because I felt terrible but instead, I felt loved. My journey to finding the most amazing friends was long and there was plenty of blips along the way but I’m so grateful to have made it this far. One of my friends ordered my favourite milka chocolate for me, which trust me it has been difficult to limit myself with it in accordance with my calorie deficit and another got me a self-care box with a book in there to write my goals, bucket list and journal how I’m feeling. Not every day is guaranteed and so I hope my friends know no matter what I love them now, and every day till the end.

Health – I’ve been trying to get rid of my spots, but obviously being stressed kind of cancels out the medication I’ve been on to get rid of stress spots. I’m sure it’ll go away soon. I haven’t had my period since September and whilst it’s not something I’m massively worried about I’m starting to grow a bit of concern. If this continues till March, then I’ll be trying to sort something with the GP. 

Miscellaneous – I’ve really been looking after myself this month and on the one day I did begin to break I took myself out of the situation and went on a therapeutic B&M trip in the rain which automatically made me feel so much better. I’ve been trying to get out the house more which I think is so important in keeping myself fit, healthy and well. I’ve been giving myself breaks in the evening to watch shows that make me happy and enjoyed spending time by myself which is something I’ve never managed to do. We’ve been in lockdown for two weeks now and I’m still going, something that after the lockdown in November and me fleeing after one week I didn’t think would be possible. 

Happy January kiddos, it’s been a lengthy month. Everyone always says January takes its’ time, but I’ve never noticed before this year. I hope you all had and continue to have a lovely month.  

Weight Loss Journey Update!!

Heyyy

I posted on my Instagram asking if people would like an update and I was shocked at the people who said yes, so I felt it’s only right to do this. This is also my most viewed “series” on my blog for some reason so hopefully you enjoy this little update. It comes at a quite pivotal part of my diet journey, where I’m actually putting it into practice unlike before.

I just want to say that this isn’t the same for everyone and if you have not read my previous parts you may be very confused as to what is going on. I have something called PCOS, it means I struggle to lose weight and unfortunately my body clings onto the fat I’ve stored over the years.

Working out – Since 2021 began I’ve set myself some really good goals. I’ve been trying to work out for an hour plus a day and get myself out on walks a few times a week, it’s taken me a while to find workout videos I enjoy, and I often feel terrible when I can’t do moves but making moderations has definitely helped. There are often times of weakness when we are doing an exercise which consists of a lot of jumping and my boobs are whacking my chin and I feel weighted and, in those moments, I feel so insecure and I begin to debate whether this is genuinely worth it. I’ve realised that this isn’t going to be a quick and easy fix, it’s going to take me months to lose weight at the level I want to and especially when I’m having to carefully change moves as to not aggravate my already injured joints. I’ve learnt that whilst my wrists are not strong enough to hold my body in push ups, I am able to do wall push ups, and a lot of them which is a shock. I’ve began to incorporate more cardio into my workouts by playing just dance on my switch daily, it’s a shock how much I love it and how fun I find it. I genuinely recommend using just dance or other dance workouts, they are so much fun, and you forget that you are doing it to lose weight.

General exercise – I’ve been going on walks more frequently and tracking them, I’ve actually found myself frustrated when I haven’t done the full 5k as the walk into town and back is 4.7k. I find myself needing taxis and other modes of transport much less and I genuinely enjoy getting the fresh air, even when the temperature is ridiculously low. Maybe without the ice as the bruise on my knee from my fall on the ice is still purple. I’ve not been able to go swimming and whilst I still want to get back into that, I think to make myself comfortable that is going to be a long-term goal. I need to feel comfortable enough to get into a swimming costume before I actually get in one unfortunately. I think that’s a Dundee goal, when I’m finally settled in maybe I can make my way back into a leisure centre without being terrified that people are going to judge me. 

Diet – In my last post I told you that I stopped dieting and the truth is I thought that would bring me happiness but instead I felt worse watching my figure maintain/balloon. Since 2021 began I’ve been trying to keep an eye on my diet, I’ve been eating a lot of vegetables. My fridge is literally full of vegetables, something that through my course of university has never happened before. I’m finally understanding the point of calorie deficits and understanding that to lose weight I don’t need to restrict myself. I don’t need to not eat sugars, or anything unhealthy I just need to moderate those that I put into my body. I don’t eat perfectly, for instance my breakfast was 600 calories today, but it was a healthy fry up. I’ve swapped bacon for turkey bacon; I’ve swapped my favourite pork and apple sausages for skinless ones and I’ve began adding vegetables to balance the plate out and keep me full for longer. I fill up on a good hearty breakfast and find myself needing smaller lunches and dinners, it has its benefits. If I want an ice cream in the evening, I allow myself to have one, dieting shouldn’t be able making yourself miserable. I’m making slow changes and beginning to cut a lot of meat out of my diet, I’ve began finding alternatives which are both tasty but also filling which is my biggest problem finding foods that stop me from wanting snacks. So, it is official that I’ll be attempting to become pescatarian in February, though I don’t believe it’ll stick I’ll be proud of myself to cut meat for a full month and hopefully it’ll introduce me to a lot of different types of food I don’t necessarily grab in the shops. 

Alcohol – I didn’t write this in my previous post. I’ve been trying to find the words to write a post on alcohol for so long and I hope that by writing a short paragraph on it that I can find the truth to write the post. I had my first drink away from my parents when I was 13 or 14 and I remember hating it. I thought there is no way I will ever be one of those people who relies on alcohol and yet 8/9 years later here we are. I used alcohol as a coping mechanism especially through university, it gave me confidence and if I was slightly upset, I knew I’d find happiness in the bottom of a bottle of malibu. I’m so sorry to my family especially my parents for having to read this, my parents spotted it getting out of hand and it did. Now I don’t want to go into too much detail because this post isn’t about this but I’m on a journey to enjoying life without alcohol. It’s scary because it’s the only coping mechanism I have had through my post-18 years, but I genuinely know how it is affecting my body and once you know that there’s no looking back. I was so proud of myself for doing a week without alcohol and when I told someone they laughed, the thing is though I don’t think anyone knew how bad it got. Without the mental problems that alcohol has cost me, it’s also highly calorific and I’ve seen the change in my body since I began binge-drinking. I used to have a flat stomach; I’d bloat but that would be after a huge meal. Now I wouldn’t know what bloating was, I’m constantly bloated. Like a whale. 2021 is the year I get my alcohol usage sorted; I don’t want to binge drink. I don’t want to cut alcohol for good because in some circumstances it is harmless but if I keep continuing the way I am I will have to go fully sober for the rest of my life. 

Weight loss for me has always seemed like a chore, I began trying to lose weight at a time in my life when I was already quite skinny and so I wasn’t seeing any benefits. I believe had I began using weights I would’ve been in a position to tone up and perhaps I would’ve been too proud to have gained the weight the way I have. We’ll never know though; I hate the fact that I look back on photos from when I was 18 and at the time, I thought I looked so obese and my ribs poked through my skin. I don’t want to lose weight to get back to feeling fat in a body which definitely isn’t. I want to feel comfortable and happy in the body I have and own. 

I’ve recently accepted that to be at a happy weight I would have to lose 25/30 kilos in a very short amount of time, but I want to do this healthily. I know the methods of doing it unhealthily and I was terrified that when I saw the weight not dramatically decrease quickly, I’d go back to old ‘friends’, but so far so good. Last week I lost 3 kilos something that I wasn’t necessarily proud of until someone told me that losing that sort of weight in a week isn’t completely natural. I’ve been making changes to my diet and working out, being more active and I’m definitely seeing a change in my mindset. I wake up in a much happier mood and though I’m stressed and shattered that is the fault of my university work. I finally feel like I’m doing something good for myself and not for someone else- something I’ve recently felt like a lot of decisions I’ve made have been about.

My whole youth went to making decisions that would benefit someone other than myself, it was always how could I please them and never will I be happy. I’ve seen a lot of TikTok’s of people debunking weight loss and explaining that it won’t make you happy and at times I feel that really impacts me. Then I remember how depressed my body makes me, how losing weight will allow me to wear clothes I want to and hopefully will shrink my boobs. HOPEFULLY. Not everyone needs to be slim to feel happy and I understand that, personally I need it. I’ve let myself go and I’m terrified of the health impact in later life if I don’t start working this out now. I want to be in a position where I can fit into clothes that I never thought would fit me again, I want to be able to lose weight love my body and then eventually (sorry parents) get my skin tattooed. 

My weight loss journey is not going to be short; I’ve set myself short term goals which I am definitely too insecure to write on here as it includes the current weight I am. I’ll do it though, writing my goals and journey has made sure of one thing- I can’t chicken out. I can’t though because each of these posts gets enough views to force me into continuing, and it is of course a good point to say that I want to continue so that does in fact help. 

I’ve noticed this post is getting quite long and so I’m going to swiftly conclude with the following sentences. Losing weight isn’t a fix, it isn’t going to make you happy. Happiness isn’t consistent, no one is happy all the time. I could end up losing all that weight and continuing to be depressed and miserable, however that would be my own fault. The next 6-12 months it takes me to get to my weight goal is ridiculously important, it’s not only about losing the weight but losing the negative mindset. Looking after myself, promising myself better, being the best version of myself. I tend to hold myself back, this is going to teach me not to. I deserve to be happy.

I don’t have any photos to post here like I usually would because the last video I took of my body genuinely broke me. I’ve got the photos to watch my progress, I hope that you enjoyed todays post because I enjoyed writing it. Look after yourself kiddos.