Closure: I’m sorry

Heyy

I wasn’t expecting to write this post. I know what spurred it, but I wasn’t expecting to write it. This isn’t a typical post and it won’t be as long as my usual posts because of it. It also probably won’t be my last post like this one, I feel like I owe several apologies and I want to begin with this one. 

I’m not perfect. I never have been, I’ve also done some pretty terrible things in my life and wow I have paid for it. 

Growing up I was bullied, I used that to excuse my behaviour after. I was bullied into an eating disorder and from the point of realisation my attitude changed. I was disrespectful and rude to a lot of people. I’m sorry. 

Through secondary school I created a personality which was not me, I wanted to act like I was big and tough, and I hurt a lot of people. I know what I did, and though I’m sure the other parties have forgotten if you haven’t, I’m sorry. 

Then came GCSE years and I stopped caring, a lot of things happened, and my mind was elsewhere. I wasn’t particularly nice to people and I stupidly used my mental health as an excuse for acting quite frankly like a little b*tch. I am so sorry.

A Levels came and to be honest I was a different person; I don’t really know who I was, but I was rude, and I was done. I had no consideration for how my actions impacted others because no one had had for me. My pictures had been leaked and then to make matters worse people would re-leak the same photos every few months making me paranoid and insecure. I was broken and it changed me. I’m sorry. 

Now my apology to men. Though I doubt guys I’ve gotten with or spoken to will read this let me apologise, I didn’t want commitment and I also didn’t want to heighten my body count. Therefore, I spoke to you, lead you on, told you things would happen and then bounced. I know what I did, most the time it was because you boosted my ego and I needed it. After I got my heartbroken that changed, maybe that’s all I needed to actually care about your feelings, I’m sorry if you met me pre-heartbreak. I’m sorry if you met me post-heartbreak too, I don’t know what I want or even who I am at this time in my life and I have probably ended up leading on just as many of you. I’m sorry I wish I could change but I can’t. 

Apologising is not something that comes easy to me, I’m strong minded and stubborn. I guess that’s a pretty big flaw of mine to be honest, however I should apologise more. I know I should. I’ve ended a lot of friendships over my stubbornness and reflecting that has made me realise I would’ve been in a completely different place had I accepted my behaviour was wrong and changed. 

I don’t believe you can genuinely forgive without closure, and maybe that’s why I hold grudges for longer. However, everything deserves an apology, there is loads of people I’d love to apologise to right now but it’s impossible and I lost that opportunity a long time ago. Last words hurt and even with a diminishing memory I’m still around thinking about the last words I said to some people and the last words they said to me. Don’t let bitterness stop you from admitting you were wrong, don’t let shoddy excuses stop you from accepting you made a mistake. 

This post was fuelled by something that occurred yesterday for me, I was writing a post on trauma and I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I struggled to work out where it was coming from but then realised, I had some unspoken words to say. I’ve never vented with such honesty before and I was met with a pathetic excuse. As a proud mentally ill person I hope I never use my mental health as an excuse for disgusting and traumatic behaviour, to be in a position of power and to abuse that position because you refuse to admit you messed up all those years ago. It’s disgusting and to be honest I’m so far gone with being annoyed about it, so this is me done. 

I owe a lot of people apologies and to be honest I don’t think I’ll ever actually get around to doing all of those apologies and that’s really sad. To anyone I’ve ever used my mental health to excuse my sh*t behaviour I’m sorry, I really am. I’ve grown up and I’m different now. 

Being a Woman is Exhausting…

Heyyyy

I’m so sorry I didn’t post over the weekend; I was literally packed with things the whole of last week and ended Thursday with finally passing my drivers theory after my third attempt of the month. I then went to Center Parcs with my family over the weekend on what I fear will be the last legal trip I am allowed this term due to current lockdown talks and fears. Spending the weekend with little to no technology and focusing on my book which I have finally finished (the new Twilight book is actually really good, I recommend), I had a lot of time to reflect on where I am right now and especially after a dreaded snapchat memory lookback what has changed in the past year. 

I have a lot of trauma which is unspoken about, for instance what is fuelling this post isn’t something I am willing to or ever will speak about. My mental health is significantly strained in relation to my gender and I find myself in states of panic or fear regularly especially late at night or in areas which are poorly lit. I have never, nor would I ever rate myself, my figure, my attractiveness, etc. but if we go by the common catcalls, beeping, following and threatening upon rejection I’m obviously well liked/enjoyed.

It terrifies me. I was between the age of 12 and 13 when I was first catcalled, I was in school uniform and if you knew me back then you’d know I was lanky with a bit of chubbiness which have in turn formed my curves. I didn’t know how to react and kept walking, 8/9 years later and I still react the same way. I had a stage of my life where I would actively curse at those but after being followed by one around my area three times, I decided that silence was the safest way forward. This was before I even hit puberty, I’ve seen photos of what I looked like and it just didn’t make sense. I once saw and read an article, which unfortunately I can’t find now, which explained that when the fear provoked by a man catcalling a young girl leads to a more submissive and anxious woman therefore leading to more acceptance for abusive behaviours. 

Girls are taught from a young age that boys are mean because they like them, this concept of accepting and allowing males to treat women with zero respect in order to impress a woman is painful. From a young age, girls are taught to conform to a system which overly sexualises parts of a woman’s body, for instance boys were allowed to wear suits/uniforms as tight as they wanted but my sister got uniform checked regularly for skirts just above her knee. On one occasion I remember being told off for wearing a sleeveless turtleneck on a 30 plus degree day, I remember asking our Deputy head what the problems with my shoulders being out were and being told it could be a distraction. Genuinely, if someone is going to be distracted by my shoulders should they be allowed in a capacity of a school? It was the same concept with ankle grazer trousers, I remember being told off for those and arguing as I was 5’11 finding sixth form clothes was draining and if a pair of trousers fit I wasn’t about to change them as my ankles could turn on a middle-aged man. 

The older I got and the further into my jobs the more bad experiences I underwent, in one of my first jobs (I obviously can’t mention who or where these jobs are) I remember being 17 and having a man around my father’s age openly make inappropriate comments towards me. He wasn’t the only one and several men around that job felt the need to jump from woman to woman and openly discuss their sexual experiences with other colleagues in front of us all, attacking and degrading the woman’s appearances, personalities and reputation. It was vile and made worse by managers laughing and allowing these attacks to take place. I once discussed it with a female manager and she proceeded to insinuate it was the girls faults for getting themselves in those situations; after that I quietly carried on working and barely spoke to people out of work for fear that I’d be the next rumour. That same job is partly one of the reasons I am fearful of men, one time I served a man and he sat where he could watch me work. He stayed till the end of the shift and as I walked around the corner to where my father would pick me up, I noticed I was being followed by this man. I quickly rang my best friend and quietly told her I was being followed and would need her on the phone. He tried speaking to me, asking me out and telling me I was beautiful and needed a big strong man like himself, it was half eleven at night and I’ve never been so grateful to see my dad’s car. 

After that the same man turned up at work the same day for a few weeks but I’d hide until he left thinking I was no longer working, he’d come in with several men and I was utterly terrified that I would end up in some horrific place. I worked there for a year and genuinely I probably was cursed at, threatened or insulted by over 250 men who I had just rejected to give my snapchat to. I was eighteen and not interested, nor would I hand out my details to someone at work despite how many of my colleagues would (wrongfully) state his attractiveness. I wasn’t interested like they were; I genuinely feel like that job would’ve been so much less stress had we all focused more on the job than attracting men but unfortunately it worked that way. 

I wish that was my only experience like that but I’m not that lucky, in my nine jobs I’ve probably had a standout bad experience because of my gender in every single job, that’s not a good statistic. This job was not somewhere I stayed long, despite loving the job, I was 19 and this was a quick summer job. There was a middle-aged manager who despite occasionally being lovely was quite creepy, one time I remember begging on the radio for a manager to come help me with a difficult customer and despite my cries for help he sauntered over. By this stage I was being screamed at by multiple customers, it was over thirty degrees and there was no air conditioning where I was, and I was in the midst of my first panic attack in 4 months. I could barely breathe and was struggling to remain composed; this manager kept touching my arm despite my requesting him not to and I finally snapped and told him if he was to touch me again, I would go home. Though this doesn’t seem like much the way I was treated post this incident proved what type of workplace this was, I had many conversations with managers about how uncomfortable I felt and was told that I should treat those in management with more respect. 

This ultimately leads to my main point; I don’t treat anyone with respect unless I believe they deserve it. I don’t care if they are my elders, I won’t be treated with disrespect. Age doesn’t mean respect. The fact in all my jobs it has been women who’ve excused the male’s behaviour proved to me this was not the workplace for me, I don’t want to live/work/be in an environment where women’s safety and comfort is side-tracked by a man’s sexual desires. Touching someone in a workplace whether that be on the hips or on the arms is unacceptable and in the smallest of occasions would I actually accept and understand it happening. The fact that we excuse certain behaviours as men tell us it was innocent shows how easy it is for them to get away with treating women with little to no respect. 

I’d love to live in a world where I could walk down the street no matter the time and not have to be focused on every single sound, rustle, etc. that I can hear. I’d love to not instinctively be gripping my keys as if they are going to hurt a potential attacker. I’d love to say I haven’t rehearsed, and researched safety moves just in case I find myself in a situation which I need to fight my way out of. I’d love to live in a world where I didn’t feel judged or in danger every time, I walked down the road no matter what I am wearing, but especially when in something that shows some skin. I’d love to live in a world where I didn’t have to keep an extra eye on both mine and my friends’ drinks, or send them my location when I go on a date, etc., or get the all clear and all good signal from my mates as they are with someone in the club. 

Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world, and because I know some will be thinking yes but women can do stuff to men, I know they can. However, I am a woman and have only ever felt danger from men hence why I can write from that point of view. I don’t mean to offend anyone and though I doubt those men spoke about in this will ever read it I hope if they do they understand that I still remember their actions and if anything the stress caused from those have led to me trusting men even less than my already tiny amount. 

I just want to finish this off saying I’ve been thinking about a post RE coronavirus and how the government is suddenly blaming students however for the sake of not being kicked out of university it is best for me to keep my opinions offline. I just hope that all students who could potentially be told they can’t go home for Christmas keeps safe and makes right decisions based on their mental health because I know for sure despite being quite mentally stable at the moment my mental wellbeing would struggle if I was told at one of the most depressing times of the year I couldn’t spend it surrounded by my family. No thank you. 

Next post will be something a little bit lighter but being a one year ‘I don’t want to remember this night’ anniversary over the weekend this topic was the only thing on my mind. Thank you love you alllllll xxxx

September

Heyyyy

Wow look at me actually managing to do more than a post a week, who knew that was going to be possible. I’ve been particularly lazy recently and though I know that university beginning will knock me back into schedule I’m trying to take matters into my own hands before. I’m also running on the shortest sleep I’ve had since I sorted out my sleeping problems and so I’m very wary that I could go off on a tangent and waffle my way through this, but I’ll try not to. 

When I wrote my August post I was in a rough way, I was recovering from food poisoning and adjusting to my new diet which consisted of no carbs, no dairy and no gluten (I will come back to my progress). In times of darkness I’ve found finding achievements in every day and always having something to look forward to so unbelievably helpful, I still believe this. August was a blur; I used every single spare minute to look after myself and do things that would make me happy and yet I still feel like I wasted that time. 

Family – I am forever grateful for everything they have and continue to do for me, from continuously paying for my driver’s theory tests (one day I’ll get it!) to calling me countless times a day to make sure I’m not breaking apart. This week also I was so lucky to be able to travel up and surprise my Granny in Scotland, growing up all I ever wanted was to live close to my family. Most would get to see their families weekly or at least monthly and yet I was lucky to get a yearly visit; now I live 2 and a half hours away. I did cry on the train just thinking at how far I’ve come and how I’m finally making my dreams come true. Seeing her face and having to stand outside for quite a few minutes before she even offered for me to come in confirmed that I’d made the right decision. I moved up here to be closer to family, to start that part of my life and I made the correct decision. I then got to stop off in Edinburgh to see my sister and do a bit of shopping, spending time with her (though I’m sure she found it annoying) made me realise how lucky I am to have such an amazing friendship with her. Luckily, she rarely reads my posts (she’s obviously very supportive) and therefore won’t see this. 

Diet – I struggled, my body didn’t take well to the diet and despite the effort I put in I was gaining weight rather than losing. I wanted to stick to it but my mental wellbeing had to come first and I was beginning to have very low moods and despite sleeping extra hours I was constantly having low moods and feeling drained. Alongside it all I had a load of health things which stressed me, due to a false positive in a blood test I was told something which luckily didn’t actually happen. That didn’t stop me from spiralling and despite being in a really good mental space I spent weeks in a depressive state and I just felt so low. Fortunately for the moment, despite no answers, I’m no longer in pain. My period also returned, I know that I haven’t wrote my post on PCOS yet, but I hadn’t seen a period since mid-March and then it turned up in August which believe me, I’ve never been so happy in my life. Hoping for another one this month! I also have joined the gym, hopefully I can update you all on that next month. 

Friends – As always, my friends are my rocks. I’ve been so fortunate to have gotten to spend some much-needed time with my two best-friend’s in London before we all got on with our next ventures. Sitting having a few drinks in the sunshine I truly couldn’t have pictured a better day if I tried, I’m so grateful for those who are in my life. I hope I get to see the rest of my friends at some point but with the current climate I seriously doubt it. I do love all of my friends though, thank you for being everything and more. 

Boys – There’s literally no point in me typing this but it is the exact same template as before, I am still happily single. I don’t want anything nor am I looking for something or someone. I am focusing on my own growth and self; I urge you all to do the same. 

Future – Still don’t know what I’m going to do, still don’t know who I’m going to be. I got offered a job in Carlisle though and I’m looking forward to adding that to my already quite busy schedule trying to prepare myself for real adulthood. I’ve began looking into jobs, careers, qualifications I’d need and even house prices for the area I intend on moving to. My future is undecided, but it is also full of potential, forever grateful for my potential. 

I still wake up ridiculously early and I still spend my days either crying or happy. I speak to my family and my friends, I browse online shops (I truly need to stop buying stuff), I cook, and I keep my room moderately tidy. I am so thankful to be alive; every day is a blessing to be in this world. 2020 is still terrible but I am also in the best mental state I’ve been in for ten years; I’m pushing myself and understanding my limits. September 2020 you’ve so far taught me how resilient I am, I moved across the country and despite having no friends and no plans the only panic attack I’ve had was at my driver’s theory test. I’ve not cried (apart from visiting my gran and that test), I’ve not began re-watching my depression shows and I haven’t felt myself slipping. I’ve began reading and I’m thriving. For someone who failed an A Level, and left school with 2 grades to be starting my postgraduate degree this week is incredible. I need to start remembering how incredible I am. 

Love you all. Thank you for reading as always. Byeee

(PS: I’m supposed to go to Center Parcs next weekend, as long as no more lockdown rules happen and therefore might not get a post out but I will try !!!)

Am I thriving on Tinder? How has Dating Apps affected my Mental Health?

Heyyy

I’ve had this in my drafts since the start of August, I’ve been toying with the reality that writing this could cause me more problems than show the benefits. However, as previously mentioned I’ve been single for a very long time and so for me dating apps have been a part of my journey through my mental health and to self-love. I am in no way trying to attack these apps or even the genuine connections some have got through them, this is my story and my journey. 

I’ve been on tinder since before I was actually allowed, I believe I first got it just before I was seventeen. Back then you had to link it to your Facebook, and I remember creating a different tinder so all of those interests from when I was young and stupid wouldn’t show. I rarely used it back then, I was moderately innocent and didn’t think much other than how funny it was. When I got to university, I was so anxious, I’d been around the same people for so long rarely meeting new individuals that the idea of being at a university with no one I knew was utterly terrifying. I began using tinder properly and actively spoke to people on the app, I was quite secure with my figure, less so with my mental state back then, and so I loved the attention tinder gave me. The compliments fuelled my confidence which for so long had been completely flattened. I barely met anyone from the app, at the start it was out of fear and then I think it plateaued into this state of not caring. As mentioned before a lot of effort came from debunking rumours of me sleeping around, I was a virgin. But more importantly I didn’t care, my life didn’t revolve around a social construct and it still doesn’t. 

I tend to quit and delete tinder when I go home to London, I never really wanted to meet someone off it whilst I was at home around my parents. I didn’t feel like I had the levels of confidence to just tell my parents straight out that I was going on a date from tinder. I still wouldn’t say that now. In second year, things changed, in a change of events I drunkenly lost my virginity (I have no regrets about this at all) and then a month later met someone. Now I didn’t want to mention specific stories but considering me and the guy can laugh about it now I feel like this story is important. I have commitment problems the size of a planet, I don’t know if they’ll ever go and a lot of that comes from past relationships and my own mental instability.

November 2018 a guy messaged me, having previously been aired as he’d popped up with the simple sentence ‘nice tits lol’ six months before, I don’t know what made me respond to the message. It was a week after my friend had passed and I was in an emotional state, I began speaking to this guy and to be honest I don’t know what it is and I’m sure it’s not just me but there’s just something so attractive about someone who can be both delicate but still rip the sh*t out of you. Our conversations fuelled by our differing political outlooks, our aspirations and dreams quickly ended up in deep infatuation. My body began reacting to his awake hours and I was more commonly awake at the crack of dawn and asleep by half ten, I broke down my walls for him and revealed things that no one knew. I spoke about my birthday and how important that day was for me, I told him about my diagnoses and how it’d impacted me. He opened my eyes to new things, and I owe him for forcing me to watch Peaky Blinders (Tommy Shelby is utter heart eyes). It turned sour after the new year and on my birthday, he blocked me, he came back admitting he’d fallen in love etc. and then would weave in and out of speaking to me for two months. Some days were good, and I felt like we were on track and some days I’d not stop crying. In March I found out he had a girlfriend; she was travelling, and he was using me to ignore the reality of it all. 

I’m not an expert on heartbreak, that was my first time. I’d never felt like such a mug and I know that it wasn’t my fault but how did I not pick up on those red flags. My depression was bad as it was and this only made it worse, I can’t explain how dark that feeling was but if falling in love leads to that emotion, I don’t want it ever again. That summer I got back in contact with him, at the beginning I’d say it was for closure, but the honest truth was I wanted answers. Why me? Few months down the line I find out it was never his real name, wasn’t even his face that I’d been speaking to. I’d literally been catfished. I mean now I can laugh about it but I couldn’t believe it’d happened to me, me of all people- I literally used to cut off things when I got feelings so it’d save me in the future. 

The thing is with dating apps, you never know if you are getting a real person or even if they are the person they are claiming to be. I’d like to say that I’m getting better at spotting signs but to be honest I’m probably not. I’ve luckily been safe in every situation so far from meeting someone from online, it isn’t always that easy. I never thought I’d openly speak about that situation, I thought it made me look bad but how? I literally put my all into something which was fake, that’s hardly my fault. It has changed me though, I’m more careful and I actively try to debunk things before anything advances. 

Twice more did tinder give me good experiences, those guys will know who they are though I am blocked by one. Both of them taught me my strength, I never would be in a position of acceptance if it hadn’t been for both of them. I no longer expect or even wish for anything more and if something happens it does if not, I’m not longing for it. I decided it was time to get off tinder, though I did enjoy the attention I could feel my insecurities growing as men would comment on my figure and that was all the attention I’d receive. I felt like an object and once after being rejected, having spent our whole date watching the football on the tv at spoons rather than speaking to me, a guy mentioned I’m only useful for that as no one would ever see themselves with me thanks to my sexual history and figure. That hurt. That hurt a lot, I worked so hard on making myself confident and allowing myself to open up to more that that one comment stunned me. 

I downloaded bumble; this wasn’t my first experience on the app, but it became a way of coping with my anxiety. At the start I used to watch the twenty-four-hour timer run out and not care, I couldn’t bare the concept of messaging first but that was my reason for going on it in the first place. I liked the way you could choose what heights you’d see too, considering I’m quite tall this did help narrow things down. Next came hinge, another that I’d previously downloaded but didn’t understand so left it. To be 100% honest I still don’t understand hinge, I just occasionally go on there now. My experience with these two have not impacted me half as much as tinder, there’s been good apples and bad, but that’s ‘dating’ isn’t it. You’re always going to bump into guys who are a bit of yourself and those who aren’t. 

Back to what I began to say in my first draft but have decided I was writing from a negative headspace. On the first of August I redownloaded tinder, I wanted to test how bad my mental health would get and whether tinder had an effect on it. I swiped right on everyone and within a week I had a thousand matches and would get about the same weekly, that genuinely did boost my confidence. I didn’t feel ugly, or unwanted. Then came the nastiness, I obviously was living a life and didn’t respond to messages often etc. I got a lot of hate for that, guys would be saying all this nice stuff and because I didn’t reply they’d message me threats and call me ugly, vile, etc. A few guys would tell me I should die, a sentence which even after a year and a half since my last attempt still triggers me. Others said if they saw me, they’d r*pe me, that I would deserve it, for looking the way I did. Men would pop up calling me fat, grown men over the age of 25 calling a young woman at 21 fat for not replying to the ‘you up’ text. My mental health was scarred, alongside worrying about other stuff I was scared for my safety. Like genuinely terrified. I deleted tinder shortly after five thousand matches, and redownloaded when I was safely in Carlisle to meet people. 

There’s a lot of talk constantly about how you should be careful who you meet, how these apps damage your perception on love etc. Me? I’m terrified. I don’t actively like commitment and at the same time I don’t sleep around (I know big shock). I proved to myself though, these apps have a negative spiralling effect on me. I’m more anxious and I’m certainly more depressed. They are linked to me though; I’ve spent years on these apps without knowing the toll and though I know due to loneliness and boredom I won’t be deleting them off my phone I wish I was able to. Guys and girls who’ve managed to get this far, I urge you to stay safe. It’d be hypocritical of me to say stay off these sites as I know I am still on them but be safe, you never know who someone truly is. Also, if a guy is threatening you, report him. Though it may have impacted you, hopefully you stop him from doing that to the next woman. Men, this is to you, please stop threatening woman just because you are rejected. 

Bipolar Disorder

Heyyy

I am officially in Carlisle!! I finally moved up north and it’s so far been so amazing. Despite barely leaving my flat I’ve felt so positive and shockingly haven’t been overwhelmed. I noticed last night that I was becoming messy and my room was already slipping and so I made a list of productive things to do today which included my room. I’m also going up to Scotland tomorrow for a few days to surprise my Granny and Auntie so honestly, I can’t even begin to explain the levels of happiness I’m feeling right now. Life genuinely seems to be working out for me right now and I couldn’t be more grateful, I needed this so bad. 

This post is well overdue, I actually have about six drafts from when I’ve began this post since my blog began two months ago. My bipolar disorder is actually one of the first things I explain about myself to people, I’m not ashamed of it though I do understand and hate the stigma which comes along with it. I haven’t always been like that though; the following is my personal story. I understand that not everyone has the same symptoms or options I have had, and this is why I must stress this is how I have lived with my bipolar disorder since I was 17. 

I didn’t know what bipolar disorder was, the only times I’d ever heard of it was wrongful comments calling women bipolar for rightful mood swings. The word is typically wrongfully used and to be honest I wish that we’d been taught about it; maybe it wouldn’t have been so heart-breaking to me had I known what it was. I’ve always had mixed emotions, most who know me will know I switch between states of mania and depression/anger regularly and rarely show other emotions. Obviously 17-year-old me, despite claiming to be a mental illness expert, WAS CLUELESS. I assumed that the diagnosis just meant I had heightened mood swings to others but with knowing my diagnosis I’d be able to change that. If I’d been told that this is something I may never ‘get rid of’ maybe I wouldn’t have reacted the way I did.

8 months after my diagnosis I got up and did a talk to my school, that’s the first time I admitted I was bipolar. I remember being terrified that people would think I was deranged or a monster because of how my brain worked and to this day I still get a bit terrified that someone will have that reaction. I remember talking to the whole of our senior school in church and just looking out at blank faces, I purposely didn’t wear my glasses because I knew I wouldn’t cope if I looked out and it wasn’t a positive reaction. One of my biggest secrets had been revealed and even now I don’t think I’ve ever rated myself as much as that day, to have the confidence to stand up and openly admit something which I knew half the people in my year frequently used wrongly and nastily. That sort of power is something little unconfident and insecure me can only dream of possessing again. 

So, I was very lucky that whilst my bipolar is not always mild it is significantly milder than some people. This meant it was quite easy to disguise, it obviously helped that I had a b*tch reputation through school and at my job (still don’t understand why, all I ever did was tell the truth) so people would see my blatant disgust and anger as me just having a moment. I actually got called an attention seeker countless times for moments of anger, and though I can happily admit I love a bit of attention trust me it wasn’t on purpose. Having knowingly been diagnosed with depression most of my youth the depression side of my bipolar disorder didn’t bother me, if anything it explained so much. It explained why I never felt like I was ‘recovered’ from depression even when I supposedly was, my depression is something which is inexplainable. I actually wrote about it in a previous post and still I don’t believe I explained it well, I’ve had a lot of trauma over my years and so it’s never obvious if I’m upset as I’ve been triggered or if I’m having a down period. But what I can confirm my depression and down periods are lengthy, my longest one lasted a year and I can genuinely say I maybe was happy for three days that whole year. Fighting my depression on a daily basis is exhausting but it’s a worthwhile fight.

So lastly my period of mania, these are less often and to be honest they are usually spurred on by genuine happiness hence why they are rare. I love my periods of mania, sometimes I can feel them being spurred on by being around my friends and family and I just feel so incredibly happy, nothing compares to that feeling. I wish it happened more often. It does make me a bit unbearable though, I apologise to those who’ve had to cope with me in a manic period. 

When I first got diagnosed, I was terrified that people would look at me differently, that they’d think worse of me for it. Last summer a guy actually used it as a way of rejecting me, after months of talking a quick switch up saying my bipolar disorder was too much for him. Since I’ve heard that three times, mainly from guys who don’t even mean anything to me. But is my bipolar disorder too much? The thing is had it just been boys who’d said it to me I probably would’ve never believed it but unfortunately I’ve had ‘friends’ who’ve said it to me and to be honest I believe it. I believe my bipolar disorder is too much for everyone and that eventually everyone in my life will leave because of it. I get into fights regularly and struggle with calming down once I’m mad- that trait of mine makes me very difficult to be around and I am so sorry to everyone who knows me and puts up with me because I know it’s difficult.

I know a few of my friends will read that and think why is she saying that so let me explain, I’ve struggled with it for five years this January and to be honest it’s not easy for me so I can only imagine how hard it is when you have your own stuff too. I don’t make it easy to love and yet my friends still love me, that’s how you know it’s real. I’m not ashamed of my bipolar disorder, to be honest there is times when I’m proud of it. Not many people can overcome as much as I have and still be positive about a future, I truly have come so far from the day I got diagnosed. 

To finish with I feel like it is important to mention and I have got a lot of drafts of this post but I have never been on medication for any of my mental health problems, I probably should’ve but to be honest I didn’t want to rely on anything but myself to fix things. I knew that if I began, I’d never stop and so I relied heavily on therapy. I will speak more about this in another post but just thought I’d mention it because I do know a lot of people with bipolar disorder go on medication and I’ve so far not had to. 

Thank you for reading! I’m going to start trying to post on weekends, was aiming for Saturday’s but I already messed that up. It just depends on when I have time but there will be at least one post a week I promise!!

Suicide Prevention Month

Heyyy

I’m going to stop apologising for my posts being scarcer and accept that I’m becoming busier and whilst I’m under this level of stress finding the time to dedicate to writing and making it good is becoming harder and harder. I have so many drafts of posts I’ve began and then realised I’m waffling, and I don’t want to release half-a** posts for the sake of getting something up. 

September is Suicide Prevention Month. This is your trigger warning, do NOT read if this could trigger you. 

Throughout this blog I’ve explained and spoken about countless painful times in my life, I’ve predominantly explained how my depression and anxiety has led me down the paths it has and how I fight every day to remain somewhat positive (though I believe content is a better word). Now comes the hardest part, and to my family members reading I’m so sorry. I promise you I regret it; I can’t promise I will never get that low again, but I can promise I will never go through with it. I was 14 when I first attempted on my life, I remember vividly wanting the pain to go away. A year later I attempted again, just after three of my friends did. I was a wreck and I sure as hell didn’t want to carry on. My education was falling apart, my social life was non-existent, my ‘relationship’ was draining, and I couldn’t any positives in my life. 

I always pride myself on the fact that I always can envision a future for myself, when I was 16 and attempted, I didn’t see a future. To be honest when results day for GCSES happened I remember thinking I didn’t even think I’d be alive right now and yet I’m collecting my grades today. In the space of learning and studying for my GCSES my depression had fallen to a low, three of my friends had taken their lives and I’d had 3 attempts of my own. So, collecting an A, 7 B’s a C and a D was incredible. Teachers happily told me that I had done terribly without knowing even half of the truth. I was falling apart. I promised myself that after my GCSEs I’d work to give myself a future where I can make a difference. 

I was 19 when another one of my friends took her life. She’d been trying to contact me for a week and because we hadn’t spoken for a few years I wasn’t in a hurry. I missed every single one of the red flags and I regret it to this day. After three years not particularly enjoying life but not actively trying to end it, I finally hit my breaking point, I couldn’t be more grateful it didn’t work. That was the closest I’d ever come and though I’d love to say that scared me enough to not try again 5 months later I broke again. 2019 was the hardest year of my life, I didn’t particularly mourn my friend till 2019 began as I kept myself busy. I put my liver through the ringer those two months till 2019 began trying to cope with what had just happened. 2019 was the worst year of my life; coming to grips with what had happened, coping with my own mental health problems, getting my heartbroken, visiting my gran for what was the last time and even more. 

I was once asked to be in a YouTube documentary/film by an amazing friend of mine in school about mental health and coping, I got asked whether I believed suicide is selfish. I was the only one who said no, when I was at my lowest hearing ‘but how will …. cope’ only egged me on. I wanted to know that I was loved, I had a future, I was going to do incredible things not that I would leave pain behind. Maybe that’s just my way of thinking about it and I am so sorry if my opinion hurts anyone because trust me I know how painful it is to be on both ends and yet I’d like to think that if any of my attempts had followed through my family and friends wouldn’t be sitting around saying I was selfish for ending it all. You can miss someone without blaming them. 

I’d like to say I’m pretty much never going to fall that low again, I’ve been through some heavy stuff in my adolescent years and to still be around and kicking at 21 proves to me there’s a reason why I’m still alive. I’d also like to assume I’d pick up on red flags, but I would’ve said that before and I was wrong. It’s not always easy to see, check in on your mates. Even your happiest of mates can be struggling, life isn’t easy, life drains you and knowing you have people can take you out of even the darkest of places. I’d just like to also say my messages are always open, I literally would be there in a heartbeat for anyone. No one deserves to go through it alone, please just message me or someone you trust. Life is so worth carrying on with, it sucks a** sometimes I KNOW IT DOES but like many I’m just waiting to see if it does ‘get better’. 

Thank you for reading, I’m sorry to my friends and family. I love you all. 

To you four,

I can’t sit and pretend I don’t know why you did it. I can’t sit and blame you for it because I know that you wouldn’t for me. I can’t sit and be sad forever, you wouldn’t have wanted that. I can sit and remember you though, in your prime cry-laughing with me over facetime and sending me countless Stereo Kicks, One Direction and Union J tweets/pictures/videos. I choose to remember the good days, not the days and months I spent unable to comprehend why friends would just up and leave you as if it never meant anything or the years, I spent blaming myself for your own decision to end your life. I find my memory slipping sometimes and I’m so terrified one day I won’t be able to remember your gorgeous faces or your laughs but for now I still can. I hope I never forget them. Always thinking of you. Always wishing you stayed. 

Where do I want to be in 5 years?

Heyy

I’m so sorry for the inactivity recently, I’ve been dealing with my health which is in turn terrifying me and making me feel very guilty. It’s not a good time to be honest, I’ve been terribly down and have spent a lot of time crying to myself. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and to be honest look at how my life has changed from the beginning of 2020. I went into 2020 in a terrible mental state, I didn’t know if a lot of my friendships would survive much longer but I was hopeful. 2020 was supposed to be my year of blessings, to find myself and love life. Yes, I’m happier now but I’m still having rough days and weeks; I’m still finding life incredibly painful and am struggling to find a blessing in each and every day. 

I guess that’s why it’s easy to imagine a future. Now I’m not a cup half full kind-of person, the cup is half empty and that sort of pessimism is what I believe turns me into a realist. I know life isn’t magically going to be kind to me and give me everything I want; I know that the next five years could realistically be as life-changing and painful as the past five years. But I’m hopeful; my counsellor once told me that she wasn’t majorly worried about me because no matter what I would always envision a future. Even when things are/were bad, I know I have a future. Much like my previous post ‘Letter to 16-year-old me’ I want to turn this into a checklist for the future. If in 5 years I am no longer blogging I hope I can still look back at this post and feel like I’ve fulfilled my wishes as a 21-year-old.

  1. Education – not the most important on the list but future Emily I hope you worked your a** off during your master’s and it opened the final doors you needed to know what your future entails. (Lowkey hope you’ve also began looking at your PhD- Emily Cochrane PhD has a nice ring to it.)
  2. Career – I hope you are happy in whatever job you ended up in. If not, I hope you get the courage and experience to leave that job and find your happiness. I did not put you through 9 jobs, many of which that led to huge breakdowns, for you to settle for a job that doesn’t make you happy. Remember you are in a generation where you will most likely never spend your whole life with one career, it’s okay to change jobs if it betters your quality of life. 
  3. Health – I hope everything is okay. I hope the past five years have been good. I hope it stays good. Maybe in five years you can learn to keep yourself from getting ill ten times a year (it’s draining and I’m sick of constantly being ill). I hope you never stopped putting your health first, there is nothing more important than keeping yourself healthy. (I hope you are drinking less too, looking after yourself).
  4. Family – You’ll be 26 by the time these 5 years are over. I hope you used those five years to be with your family, I hope you took every chance to be around them and show how much you love them. Family is and will always be everything, the past five years should’ve been you proving that to them. You haven’t always been the best at showing it. 
  5. Children – I hope that you have finally joined the adoption list. You deserve to be the best mum; I hope you are on your way to be that woman. 21-year-old you is rooting for you, you haven’t gone through this much in life to not become a mother. It is your destiny.
  6. Friendships – You have four main best friends right now; I hope they are still in your life. If they aren’t, I hope it never ended badly, no matter what I hope that you have good friends around you. It’s one of your biggest fears at 21, you deserve good people around you always. 
  7. Diet – I hope you lost the weight, I hope you got your breast reduction too. You deserve a figure that makes you happy, I hope you grew out of your body dysmorphia. Hopefully you got back into some sort of sport, kept yourself active and feel better for it. (On the same note I hope you have a hobby which doesn’t include sleeping, eating or drinking).
  8. Mental Health – I hope you are still coping. If you are still in therapy, I hope you are making progress and I hope the world is in a better place that your mental health never works against you for opportunities. 
  9. Moving – I hope you moved up North for good, I hope you found a nice area and a nice house, and you are a homeowner. No one thought you’d actually manage to be a homeowner at 25 no matter how driven you were. You hopefully have done it. 
  10. Your sister – (Even though she has annoyed you a lot today) I hope she finally makes it. She’ll be 24 by the time you look back on this, she will have finished her fashion degree, and either be travelling or in some sort of job somewhere. I hope she made it or is on her way to making it. I hope you never lose your relationship with her, and that you have helped her as she struggles through the difficult job field that is the art world. 

So, there it is, my 10 biggest hopes for 26-year-old me. The next five years are life changing for me, I don’t know how it’s going to go. These are the things I hope that’ll happen; nothing is guaranteed but by 26 I hope these things are still important to me. I hope if things haven’t happened, I am still working to them.  My future is undecided and undetermined, all I know is if I’m still alive and well by the age of 26 I must be doing something correct and if I have even an ounce of the kindness and resilience, I show now anything is possible for me. 

This is a bit different to what I was expecting to write, I hope to have another post up very soon but for now I’m going to watch some episodes of my favourite shows which always make me bawl my eyes out to help my healing. I hope you are all doing okay, as always, my messages are always open if you want to speak to me (my socials are linked above).

Byeeeee

Packing/Moving on

Heyyy!!

I want to begin by apologising for my lack of posts this week, between stressing about some health problems and stressing about my move up to Carlisle writing a post wasn’t something I was jumping out of the seat to do to be completely honest. I’m currently on a long road trip down from Perth having stopped in both Edinburgh and Carlisle to do the last bit of packing and cleaning before moving up for the year in September, and having my sisters empty suitcase wedged into my side (it is 100% going to have caused a dent in me by the time we are home in London), I believe now is the right time to do an update.

I’m a horrific packer, I’d say it’s probably one of my worst qualities. I have a low attention span and hate feeling bored, so packing is quite tedious. This time packing was probably the worst it’s been over the past four years, I found clothes packing emotional as my size has fluctuated and I couldn’t help but remember my size 10 wardrobe I packed beginning university in 2017. Packing more chill clothes and reaching past night out clothes reminded me of the fact this year is going to be anything but normal; I doubt I’ll be seeing a nightclub and as most know my clubbing clothes are definitely not something, I’d be comfortable wearing day to day. Forcing myself through my wardrobe I felt nostalgia like never before, remembering days and nights which shaped me, traumatized me but predominately those happy memories I hope I never forget. 

Fashion has always been an outlet for me, though my sister and I somewhat agree would say I have a very basic style. I stick to most trends and rarely wear clothes which people will look at despite being in awe of those who have the confidence to do so. I believe that a lot of the reason why my weight gain has hurt me has been down to the fact that clothes I used to love no longer fit how I want. I used to live in crop tops, like literally all of my tops were cropped and mini dresses; both of which now just show my ‘imperfections’ and make me feel even more insecure than I already am. 

I’m getting a bit off topic here to be honest, but as I hope I’ve portrayed packing clothes this week was emotionally draining. In correlation of my hatred of packing I am even worse at unpacking, this meant packing for Carlisle was a matter of just going through the countless bags and boxes still fully packed from moving out of Plymouth. I was drained, I’d ended up having a breakdown almost every day and I couldn’t help but question whether I’d messed up by choosing Carlisle over Plymouth. My friends are all in Plymouth, I know the area and I would’ve had a job waiting for me when I got down. The course was Psychology, a subject I fell in love with 5 years ago and if it hadn’t been so intensive and partly online, I probably would’ve ended up back in Plymouth. 

Carlisle was the course though. It felt right. Finding that course was fate telling me to move on. I want to work with children, adolescents and families; there is nothing I’m more passionate about than making a difference and this course pushes me perfectly into the social sector. I made the right choice and yet I am not ready to leave Plymouth. I took a huge risk when I went down to university 3 years ago, I was a wreck and I missed my friends and life in London so bad that I almost dropped out after a few weeks. Next month I take an even bigger risk, most my friends are graduated and back in London. I will watch them meet up and be together whilst I sit five hours away alone. I won’t get the same opportunities to meet people as university will be online and I’m living in a flat with one other person. I won’t have someone to push me into going to the gym, to stop me from getting take outs every day or even to help me fake tan my back (as I’m sure he won’t fancy doing that). 

Next month I take the first step towards my adult life, my aim is to move straight into my own place after this year and to not move back down to London. My anxiety is on red alert but at the same time I’m all sorts of content; this is what I’ve wanted for years. I worked so hard, so I’d have the future I want and deserve. I want a job where I’m happy, I want to be a homeowner before I’m 30 and I want to be in a mentally stable position leading up to my thirties. My whole life has been living as if I would like a future but don’t expect one, this year is about claiming that future I’ve dreamt about. Nothing is too wild; I’ve made it this far and I never expected that. 

It’s not easy to visualise or expect a future when you spend every day wishing to have no future. I didn’t think I’d be alive past GCSEs, and after that I lived every day like the next day my depression might win even on the good days. Now I look forward to a future, I actively plan my future and have stopped living like tomorrow I’d be gone. I think that’s what you call character growth. I love my life; I miss Plymouth and my friends but I’m doing this for my future. I can’t wait to go on this journey and take you all on it with me. 

As always thank you so much for reading, I’m so grateful for every view every read.

Byeeee!

August

Heyyyy

I just want to begin thanking you all from the bottom of my heart, I was in such a rough space writing my previous post barely able to move and not eating due to my food poisoning. My depression has also flared recently, which actually for the first time shocked me. I lowkey don’t really understand where I’m at in my life, I’ve been so stressed packing I forgot why I was moving in the first place; this is a fresh start. This is the first time in my life I am choosing against my heart, this is the biggest risk I’ve ever made, and I pray it works out. 

Today marks a series I want to attempt on here, I want to monthly (around the same time) do a recap and a checklist for the remainder of the month. Finding and striving towards goals is ultimately the only thing that will keep me going through what is essentially going to be a life-altering year for me. A journey which I hope you all come along with me on, I expect it’s going to be a wild ride.

I entered August in Vårdo, an area of the Åland Islands off of Finland, around my family and honestly, I don’t think there’s a way to describe/explain how important those weeks away were to me. Coming home was like having my windpipe being suffocated once again, I was claustrophobic again. There is no better telling of what triggers my low moods and depression other than the feeling I have surrounding being back in London. Though my friends and family are all here, my trauma comes from here; and unfortunately, I can’t balance the bad with the good.

I began dieting, I never thought I’d actually manage to go on this diet but though I haven’t been perfectly sticking to it (especially as I had food poisoning the majority of last week) I can already feel the benefits of looking after my health more. I’ve also noticed my tolerance for how much food I can eat in a day has dramatically fallen meaning where I was usually able to eat 4 meals a day it’s turned to 1 maybe 2. I promise I am being healthy despite this, however. I aim to continue the diet and then follow through with beginning to work-out. 

Friends. I am continuously thankful for my friends. I’ve managed to see my two best friends from home and genuinely I didn’t realise how amazing it would feel to just be in their presence again after all these months of facetimes and occasional texts. I miss my friends from Plymouth an awful lot and though I thought it would excite me the concept of looking at possible dates to visit the fact is the world currently isn’t easy to have future plans or endeavours meaning I don’t know when I’m going to see them but it’s been five months and one day which is heartbreakingly long. 

Boys. I am happy. I am single and genuinely do not need a boy in my life. August has been such a blessing, I realised I had feelings for someone who I definitely shouldn’t have and as the month has continued, I’ve distanced saving myself any future stress or heartbreak. I’m also moving across the country in a month, so boys are completely out of question currently. 

Future. I don’t know what I will do after this year. We are currently in a recession, the second of my short twenty-one years of life so looking forward to career hunting is completely out of the picture. I give it till October latest and I will be down to my elbow in applications trying to give myself the best shot of a future. Aside from jobs, I’m sorting my health out slowly. I have looked at areas I am looking at moving to after my postgraduate and am looking forward to a new fresh start in life. 

I wake up every day around seven in the morning, I spend my day crying or beaming with joy, I speak to my friends and spend time with my family. I online shop, I cook and clean. I thank myself daily because I am still alive. 2020 may have been a terrible year but maybe this was the time I needed to learn who I was and find the blessings I deserve in life. August 2020 you have so far been the most anxiety-fuelling month whilst also being the happiest month I have had as far back as I remember. I look forward to writing September just after I have moved into Carlisle.

I am so sorry this post isn’t my usual, but I am drained from packing and also a bit tipsy after having a few drinks at lunch today. I hope to write a proper post soon but as I am in for blood tests tomorrow and sorting things out, I don’t know whether I’ll have time this week.

THANK YOUUUU BYEEE

Dieting with PCOS

I’m currently writing this from my depression pit which I’ve built up at home for a bit of privacy; I’ve been dealing with a bout of food poisoning which is slowly draining all my energy. I spent the whole of Wednesday in pain crying hardly moving, a real highlight being having to get my sister to pop some paracetamol out of the packet as I was too weak to do so myself. I’ve never had food poisoning before so I’m not sure how to cope and upon realising I could feel like this for up to a week I realised I’m just going to have to firm it and carry on with life.

Anyway, enough with my current issues. I have a condition called PCOS, for those who don’t know what that stands for it is poly-cystic ovary syndrome. There are 3 main features of PCOS; irregular periods, excess male hormones and polycystic ovaries. Some symptoms include but are not limited to; irregular periods, infertility/difficulty to get pregnant, excessive hair growth, weight gain, etc. When I first got diagnosed at 19 my brain fixated on the infertility, I was heartbroken. I didn’t even think about anything else; it wasn’t till this year where I really started noticing things. 

After my bout with anorexia I promised myself I’d remain a healthy weight for the rest of my life. I’ve fluctuated in body image over the years, I’ve been on the verge of a completely flat stomach to where I am now which is definitely the heaviest and biggest, I’ve been. The below images (left to right: May 2016, September 2017 and January 2020) showing the difference between those:

I know that with age comes weight gain, I know that it is normal for someone to gain weight at university and especially with the amount of takeaway and cheesy chips I consumed it was inevitable. It still hurt though; within 10 years I went from being unhealthily underweight to what I can only describe as a beached whale. I stopped being able to fit into a size 14 let alone a size 12 and found myself breaking down when size 16 dresses wouldn’t go over my chest. So yeah, my biggest nightmare finally revealed, I buy between a size 16 and 18 top, dresses and skirts, and 14 long jeans. I’m so embarrassed of that. 

I always aspired to be some size 8 queen, but with my bust size and thigh size that’s impossible. I don’t want to pretend that I still wouldn’t love to be a size 8 but I know it is unattainable. My body wasn’t built for that size, I can pose for pictures in a way which will make me look size 8 but the reality is I’m nowhere near. I don’t like my body and I sure as hell don’t love it. So, in all honesty I can’t spew body positivity about myself because that’s a lie. 

HIIT workouts, running, etc. all of this wasn’t working. I was just exhausted and felt myself at the same weight, still drained with hatred over myself. So, I did my research and worked out I needed to start doing low-weighted, low-impact exercise and so when I move up to Carlisle, I hope that I will go on this journey to body positivity. It’s not all exercise though, I need to make some healthy diet changes. A gluten-free, dairy-free, carb free diet is the best for PCOS; if you know me you will know how much I rely on pasta and chips, so this is going to be draining. 

I began my diet last Friday and apart from a few ice creams (it was so hot; I couldn’t help myself) I was doing amazingly. I would count my calories, something which I thought would trigger my past self, but it hasn’t so far, and be proud of how my meals would come together. Then I got food poisoning. My diet over the last three days has consisted of very small portions of carbs with some fruit to snack on and a ridiculous amount of liquid. I know that this is affecting the hard work I put in but at the same time I’m getting about two hours sleep at the moment due to the pain and I haven’t eaten a full meal yet since Tuesday dinner. When the symptoms relieve themselves, I’ll be back to my basically all vegetable diet, hopefully in time for Sunday as I was going to make a carb-free roast (major sad faces if I can’t). My whole family is on this journey alongside me and despite it being specific to my health the support for all the meals I’ve prepared from them has been incredible. 

My PCOS may affect me from getting pregnant. It may mean I have extra hair growth. But I will not allow it to take control of my body, I will be healthy again and I will be happy with my figure again. I promise myself that. If anyone has any questions about PCOS (I do plan on writing another post soon about it) or dieting post eating disorder, please do message me. I’m obviously not a professional but I have several tips especially for those with PCOS. In the meantime I have begun an Instagram to log my lifestyle, diet and exercise journey it is @emilypcosjourney ; I haven’t posted much as I have been quite ill but I’m hoping I will over time, if you wish to follow you can. I hope to be sorting out another post very soon but next week I’m moving my stuff up north and due to being ill this week packing didn’t happen so next week it is essential to do so. I’ll try and see you guys soon though!!

Thank you!! Byeeee