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

Dieting with PCOS: an Updated Version

Heyyyy

I want to first of all say thank you to everyone for the continued support and a big hello to all my viewers I’m getting ACROSS the world. It is incredible to see, I’m so grateful for it all!!

So, onto this week’s topic, plus a quick mention that my (late) October recap is coming tomorrow, I’ve been waiting to update on this one giving myself enough time to adapt. In August I posted about my new diet and workout plan and I was so optimistic for it, despite having food poisoning at the time of writing. Here is the progress.

Working out – at the time I wasn’t working out. I didn’t have the energy to be doing so and wanted to see how my body would react to the diet first, since moving to university despite having been up and down to Scotland and home I’ve been going to the gym about two times to three a week. I’m struggling with feeling secure whilst there as I am terrified people are judging me but I’m slowly coming out of my shell. I’m focusing predominantly on cardio whilst at the gym and starting Monday I will be beginning a workout schedule from home as I am beginning to hit a bump where my schedule is filling with assignments. 

General exercise – I am beginning to walk to more places rather than getting taxis and I enjoy walking much more than I used to before. My short-term goal I’ve set with my counsellor is to do my first initial swim session back, something I am terrified for having been out (apart from holiday swimming) of a pool for years. Not only that but the thought of doing that alone and every scary thought of being too fast/too slow is running through my mind and it is draining me. But I will go back, I’ve promised myself and I genuinely want to so that helps. 

Diet – now my diet was the thing I changed the most and though I don’t doubt that it works for others, it didn’t work for me. I found I was getting more irritable; I was falling asleep about 8pm daily and waking up 6 the next morning. Without carbs in my diet I had no energy and struggled to keep up with conversations and even found stuff like watching TV draining. Having no energy, sleeping at stupid hours therefore missing out on social occasions in evenings was draining me and I felt for the little to no weight loss I was getting it was not worth what I was missing out on and how low my moods had begun to get. Since being at university I have found my diet to be horrific, I’m currently sat in front of a chocolate stash that I bought to get me through the amount of work I have to do this weekend. 

I’ve found that I’m not eating much and in turn not sleeping, last night was my best night of sleep in weeks and I still woke up numerous times and I’m exhausted only 4 hours after waking up (it is 10am). My diet has turned as I’m usually so busy I forget that I need to preserve some energy for cooking and instead am usually too exhausted to string together a meal and order in instead. It is not doing my health any good. I’m attempting to change this and go back to a minimal carb diet, but I don’t see myself going carb-free for the simple fact that I would not be able to complete my masters without the energy I get from my carbs. 

I have lost weight since moving to Carlisle and whilst it’s not a lot, I’m working on it. I’ve noticed I’m going to have to put my all into it to be back to where I want to be by summer so I’m beginning the process now. By summer I want to have lost thirty kilos, which would put me firmly in the healthy category for BMI (yes, I am currently apparently ‘obese’). I will be updating you all along the journey but I’m hoping for a miracle along the way. 

Mentally I know the impact that losing weight will have on me, I don’t fully know what my body looks like because I see myself as someone different to what is photographed. I’m also ridiculously insecure about my figure and struggle to maintain any level of confidence if my body is brought into the conversation. I know I’m not overweight, but I also know I do know my angles and I am able to make myself look much slimmer than I am. With that in mind it is important to me to show you all the truth, this is my journey and I hope within the next 9 months while I finish my degree I can change from these pictures below.

I hope you all know that you are beautiful, no matter your body or anything. I can’t sit here and pretend that I believe that myself but I’m hoping with all of this I will finally feel confident in myself, because I need that DESPERATELY.

Thank you as always. Also, if you struggle with PCOS or weight loss and want to contact me please do. Dieting with PCOS is difficult as hormone levels increase with high intensity training making it almost impossible to lose weight. But with the right amount of research and love, we can do it!! It will eventually get easier and be possible. 

10 years with Anxiety and Depression

Heyy

Never thought I’d write this one. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’ve hit this insane milestone in something which has genuinely changed my life. Eleven-year-old me was clueless but we’ve come so far, here is a letter to pre-anxious and depressed me. 

Dear me,

You are eleven, you’re still a child and your life has been turned upside down. Big adult doctors have just told you that you have anxiety and depression, you’ve barely recovered from your eating disorder and you are struggling to fit in at your new school. You are terrified, and to answer the biggest question you had on your mind, this doesn’t make you a monster. You are still a child.

Things get tougher as the years go on and your depression plummets numerous times and a few times the bad times don’t disappear they just continue and continue till there is nothing keeping you going. You are still a child. You make incredible friends, many of which you won’t remain friends with. You make incredible memories, all of those you’ll struggle to remember. 

You’ll act like a right brat and it’ll make sense to you but no one else, you’ll get told you are too difficult to be around and that’ll make you cry. You’ll cry every year on your birthday, that won’t ever change, the trauma is still there. You’ll have some people who stick around though, and you’ll forever be grateful for those. You got very lucky and ended up surrounded by people who deserved better than you. Hold on to them and try to remember the memories as you get older. They are beautiful memories. 

You have boyfriends, they give you lifelong commitment problems. It wasn’t worth it. You’ll cry a lot over men, not because of them but more what they say and how they see you and you’ll beg to be different than who you are. When you are younger you change you are for men and then as you get older you do as much as you can to stop getting close to them, you are terrified of commitment. You are terrified of messing things up and people noticing your flaws. 

You tell your family, all of them. You break your parents’ heart when you tell them you’ve tried to kill yourself five times. They’ll never understand why you did it, but they’ll love you anyway. Just make sure you tell them it wasn’t their fault; they couldn’t have done anything different to change what happened. You spend more and more time with your family especially once you go to university, you stop making excuses to get out of family days and plan them. That support system keeps you going, it keeps you thriving. 

You pass almost all your GCSES and you do TERRIBLE at your A Levels, like horrifically terrible. But you still end up at university and after an interesting and draining three years you come out with a degree and you go and do your masters. You aren’t dumb and you are definitely not clever, but you are passionate. That spark never leaves, you will be great and will do great things. You even want your PhD; I know it drastically changes from wanting to leave education to be the biggest hypocrite out there. 

You work and you work, some jobs put you through the ringer and even with being knocked out, punched and spat out you continue to enjoy working. Working two half an hour shifts at sixteen quickly turns to doing six to seven days a week every summer and you feel blessed to have made it this far. You enjoy it though, making money and putting a smile on people’s face. It helps you avoid your depression. 

Now the bad things, it gets rough and you lose four friends. You lose a few more in an attack and you lose yourself mourning. You are emotionally and physically beaten down by life, and despite this you keep your head up. You begin to be more open starting first with your friends then with the whole of senior school, not sure how you managed it to be honest. Then you get diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it gets scary and it feels dark for a very long time. You speak again, and again and again. 

Then you go to university and every doubt you’ve ever had disappears, you are incredible. You hit rock bottom; you can’t have children. The depression spikes and you barely leave your room. You turned to alcohol, you always said you wouldn’t, but you did and for three years through deaths, heartbreak and loss alcohol got you through. Then a global pandemic hit, and you realised you were misusing drink, you stopped, and you kept off it. The pain got harder, but you dealt with it healthily, it felt like you couldn’t breathe, and you continued anyway. 

The pain you felt the 20th of October 2010 is the pain you continue to feel the 20th of October 2020 but it’s different now. You are incredible and you receive messages so often of how you impacted and influenced others. You made a difference and that’s what you promised you’d do when you lived after your last attempt. You began a blog, the same girl who couldn’t get the grips with English Language now writes weekly to a hefty audience, and you continue to shock and learn. 

The woman you are at twenty-one is nothing like you could’ve imagined. She’s got horrific traumatic experiences, but they don’t drag her down, she’s got so many mental health problems that it terrifies others. She is ridiculously insecure and yet still rates herself so highly, and she loves life. She loves her friends and her family; she loves living and learning and spending money (yes Cayley I threw that in for you). You would be proud of who you became, you are incredible. 

Ten years fighting my brain, I’m grateful for what I’ve learnt. Excited for the next ten years, not sure it could get any worse but I’m sure life will show me otherwise. To those around me, I love you and I’m okay there is really no need to be worried. I love living and I’m praying this continues. 

Thank you as always. 

It’s okay to be afraid to get help but…

Heyyy

I began writing in a depressive state/panic attack yesterday, and I read it back this morning and was horrified. But what I wanted to say was important, I act on here as if I’m cured or in a somewhat better place and though I am feeling much better than ever before I am nowhere near cured. My rough days are worse than ever, I’ve just learnt to cope with them more. I’m a very emotional person, I cry at almost everything but when I’m in a low mood I struggle to convey even the slightest of emotions. I lack everything and that only makes me feel worse.

I’ve been in therapy in and out since I was nine years old. This is the post I’ve wanted to write since the beginning but didn’t have the strength to do so, but here it is. 

When I began therapy at the age of nine, I didn’t think I had a problem, I thought I was fat so hearing the words ‘anorexic’ and ‘eating disorder’ was pointless. I refused to speak for the first few months, I truly don’t know how she put up with me. But she did. She used to speak, tell me about herself and I’d sit and not even react. When I first spoke, she cried, I was so overwhelmed that I burst into tears and I finally felt safe. After that day, as I got older and my trauma exceeded, I never felt as if I was alone again. I was secretly speaking to a therapist, and I was getting help. That’s all that mattered. 

I used to tell her everything, our one hour sessions began my routine and I got so into a pattern with speaking that when I had to cancel due to being scared someone would notice or change days as something had come up I lost that part of me which was organised. I felt lost without it. I’ve never taken medication but those I know who have always struggled with the concept of getting off them, accepting that you’ll survive without them. For me, back then I didn’t believe I’d ever survive without therapy. Not that I expected to survive with it also but that’s getting into a different point. 

Then came GCSE years and I began scheduling the calls less, I missed calls or just turned my phone off. I couldn’t talk, I didn’t want to be alive. Around the same time, I started seeing a second counsellor, I don’t want to go too into this because what happened shouldn’t have happened but when I told her I was going to kill myself she told people who laughed. At the time I thought it was a jaunt, them saying ‘she’s not strong enough to actually do it’, ‘she’s nothing anyway’ but now I think it’s just they were terrible people who would’ve happily watched me die. 

After GCSE results day I turned a new leaf, I began going again but I had a wall up. I didn’t tell her everything and I had no reason to doubt her but the mistakes of another of her kind. But those mistakes cost me a lot of help looking back on it, I was begging for a reason to stay but due to my own trust issues I couldn’t ask for it from the only person who truly knew what was going on. 

I kept going with therapy there onwards, through my diagnosis with bipolar disorder and all the way through to my re-diagnosis with depression. That’s where I drew the line and after ten years, ten incredible years I stopped. I hit my limit and I couldn’t continue with therapy, I needed to work it out and fight it alone. I truly believed that I was at a point where therapy was no longer working for me, I was always ending up in the same place crying as my diagnosis is updated. 

Things got rough in 2019, the roughest year of my life. After a horrific night I made the decision I was no longer doing this alone, but I also needed something different. I signed up for the university counsellors and god bless her she was so cute. She’d listen to me talk and describe my strength, but it felt like nothing was getting through to her. She wasn’t seeing what I wanted her to see, she wasn’t helping me but instead making me help myself. Then she did the thing I regret the most, she told me I was good enough without her. I didn’t need her anymore, I believed her and stopped scheduling appointments. Next time I saw her I’d cut off all my hair, lost my friends and dropped out of the masters I was going to do. 

So, where does this bring me now? I just signed up for my next stretch of therapy and for once I’m genuinely looking forward to it. I don’t have the same mentality as before and I am no longer struggling with the truth. I listed my trauma to this poor woman on her first meeting and was taken a back with her reaction, it was sympathetic. I don’t cope well with sympathy yet suddenly watching her made me feel warm. As if this is it, I’m finally ready to get help. 

I believe therapy should be compulsory, everyone should speak about their problems. Therapy saved my life, having someone who didn’t know me on a day-to-day basis to speak about my life with is the only reason I still cope to this day. Sometimes you just need a different perspective and that’s all it takes to make everything better and easier. Please if you are hurting consider therapy, my therapy story hasn’t been amazing, and I wonder if I would’ve turned out different had I not been terrified for so long but at least I did it. I am forever thankful that I did. 

Thank you for reading, as always my messages are open. 

World Mental Health Day 2020

Heyyyy

Not long since my last post but a very important day and also anniversary for me. It is four years since I first spoke out about my bipolar disorder today!!!! FOUR YEARS!!!! It feels like it has flown by and in January it’ll be five years of diagnosis which I just think is incredible. How did I make it this far? 

At a time of speaking out I was mentally stressed and to be honest I thought I’d gone through the worst that I’ll ever have to go through. I was wrong, it got worse. 

This year the theme is ‘Mental Health for All’. So, what does this mean to me? I’m very open about most my experiences and to be honest I’ve been open for five years about my problems. I never thought I’d get to a point where I would openly speak to anyone and everyone about what I’ve been through without being terrified they’d run to the hills. Trust me people have; I’ve had countless people leave my life due to my mental health and most of those were the ones who promised they’d always stay no matter what. 

This week I sat in an enrichment session alongside some of my course mates and the conversation was fuelled by education and the effects of education on the youth. For me, education was the pressure that fuelled my depleting mental stability, I also sound like the biggest hypocrite as I have chosen to do not only a degree but now a masters and have plans for a PhD. Despite my hypocrisy it does not take away from the honesty that the pressure from education is the reason my depression got so bad and it definitely led to my bout with self-harm and more importantly a few suicide attempts. 

But for me it was the anxiety of it all, it was the never knowing if I had passed or failed (I had failed, nearly every subject) but then also the anxiety surrounded by the statement “well if you don’t do well in your GCSES/A Levels you’ll never make it”. I am a master’s student who has never had a job look twice at my grades before hiring me. Grades are important for the sole purpose of getting you to the next step and past that it no longer matters, once I have my masters no one is going to look at my D in Latin and be like wow she’s not academic enough for us. 

So, what does ‘Mental Health for All’ mean? It means no matter your race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. everyone deserves mental wellness. Whether that be through provided mental support or a more open environment where talking about your struggles are not frowned upon and judged. I think the environment around you is so important in relation to how your mental health thrives and in an environment of silence and judgement it is so difficult to share your problems and anxieties. 

I don’t want to live in a world like that though, mental health is so important to me and the concept of mental health support not being open to everyone is terrifying but unfortunately it is not far from the reality of life currently. It is almost impossible to get support most the time especially quickly and timing wise that can be the difference between life and death a lot of the time. 

In a time where it is difficult to get help, where it is hard to speak about our feelings and being supportive of mental illnesses is a clout chasing event; it is important to keep going. It is not easy; it’s never going to be easy to be honest. There is always going to be a stigma and it’ll always feel as if the world is going against us but the more, we band together the more we support each other, and the easier life will become. 

So, as I conclude and look back at my past year and how I’ve grown I urge you to do the same. You are still here, and life continues to suck a** daily but you have continued to live. Not every day is easy, and I assume much like me it’s been a very long time since one of the days was easy. But it is worth fighting for. I urge you today to reach out to those you love, give them a hug if you can or just tell them you love them. You never know how much someone is going through, and a simple ‘are you doing good?’ can make all the difference. Remember to be kind, look after yourself and look after the ones you love. Life isn’t guaranteed and it can all disappear in a flash. 

I love you all. Happy World Mental Health Day xxxx

Ps: if you were in that bipolar talk, I did four years ago, I hope you know I literally cried my eyes out after.