Hello hello! I hope you ate all well and the first couple of weeks of the new year are treating you well.

I’m getting over the post Christmas slump. New Year week I only left the house twice. I was feeling fed up and just couldn’t face the effort involved in getting myself ready to go out anywhere – not such a great place to be.

Last Sunday, however, I forced myself to take advantage of the very brief moment of motivation I felt, and suggested we go on a ‘little bike ride’.

10 miles later we returned home.

Isn’t my bike beautiful?! A wonderful Christmas present!

Anyway, it was anything but a ‘little bike ride’! I was knackered when we got back, but I felt fantastic! It was wonderful feeling that sense of achievement at having done such a slog for the first trip on a bike in years!

So I vowed to get healthy.

This past week I’ve started a healthier life – eating plenty of fruit veggies, cut out caffeine (I had a headache for 4 days!!), less fat and no processed foods, plenty of water (I’m loving water with a few slices of cucumber in it), try to excercise every day, and cut out alcohol altogether.

The result after the first week?

I’m sleeping better, my skin is looking healthier, I feel better physically and my energy level is higher. I’m certainly feeling less like I need an afternoon nap.

Hopefully, over time, the benefits will extend to my mental health too, even though I know I’ll never be ‘cured’, I think that positive physical feelings will only help my mental health.

It can be really difficult to get the motivation to exercise, so I try to at least do a few stretches, or maybe walk to the end of the road and back just to get a little bit in. It definitely helps how I’m feeling mentally, and the sense of achievement for doing something when you don’t necessarily feel like it is brilliant.

I’ve done a whole week and I’m already feeling the benefits, so I’m feeling motivated to carry on in this positive way!

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It’s 2018!

So after a bit of thinking, I’ve decided to make my blog public again.

Over the past year I’ve been continually attacked by someone who doesn’t actually know me, and the utter stupidity of them insisting a post I made about the release date of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was, in fact, about them (I’m not holding my breath for an apology here), kinda pushed me to making this blog that I have been keeping since 2014 private.

Then I realised that their opinion of me is actually utterly inconsequential, and their constant tracking of my blog and social media that they are ‘cataloguing’, is a refectory of them, not me.

So here we are, back in the public domain!

I think the thing that made me realise that my closing my blog to public views was silly, was seeing a Tweet buy Matt Haig earlier –

I write here because staying silent is harmful.

I write here because I can.

I write here because things bother me and emptying it onto a page is helpful.

So next time you wish to judge me, or make hateful (and utterly incorrect) comments, just do what my grandma used to tell me ‘if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all’.

Happy new year!

11 days to 2018!!

And my, what an experience 2017 has been!

I’ve spent a few weekends at festivals and met some wonderful people.  I’ve had live music in my back garden and an Edinburgh Fringe show in my living room.  I celebrated a year with my partner and has some funtastic times with his kids!

But of course with everything, there’s it’s opposite.  There have been some shitty times.  I badly injured my foot during my first shift in a bar by tripping up some steps.  The car needed a full service which pretty much wiped out my bank account.  Depression has always been lurking, and I’m sometimes struggling to get through some days, but on the whole, I’m doing very well.  Things have been a lot worse, for sure!

I’m looking forward to a lot of things in the next few months though.

Lots of live music; Paul Draper, GLC (with a Tiny Rebel tap take over!!!), The Bronx and Mogwai, as well as the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on 22nd June (yes, I’m super excited about the release of a film but ask anyone who knows me and they will not be at all surprised by this).   There will be a trip to see a comedian in there too, which I am really looking forward to! In amongst all this there are some awesome peoples birthdays, including my mummy!

Are you making any resolutions?

I think I’d like to see more live music.  I always loved going to gigs, and had a HUGE collection of tickets on my bedroom wall when I was younger.  I think I’m off to a good start in the first few months!

I’d like to make more.  I’d like to do more sewing and knitting outside of work.  I always find making things so relaxing, and perhaps I could even get my Christmas cards sorted out in time to send next year…

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’.  Good advice for everyone to heed I think.   Taking a step back from Facebook has really helped lift my mood as I’m not seeing a lot of the nastiness that floats around on there.  If something is not urgent, or life threatening, does it really need to take up my limited time?  Do I need to be bothered about irrelevant nonsense?

Read more – I’ve become very lax in my reading over the past goodness knows how long – I think the last book I finished was way back in March, I just can’t seem to find the time any more, there always seems to be something else to do – which is perhaps where the previous resolution will come in handy.

I’d also like to get started with CBT again.  I had a really interesting conversation with someone the other day about OCD & phobias and their treatment, so it’s spurred me on to get back into things as it helped me immensely.

All the best for the festive season x

Santa Claus is coming to town!

It’s got to be mentioned, hasn’t it?

Christmas is fast approaching (we’ve been seeing festive stuff in the shops near us since before Halloween).

How are you feeling about it?

I’m totally unprepared, although this weekend we had visitors again and they put up our tree!

We all had so much fun, singing Christmas songs and hanging baubles! The kids went to choose the tree yesterday morning. I’d asked them to make sure they got the best, and I reckon they succeeded!!.

In the evening we watched Elf, and were feeling pretty damned festive!

Even the dinosaurs are feeling festive.

This morning we woke up to snow, so obviously the girls couldn’t wait to get outside!

They threw snowballs and made sort of snowmen and generally had a great time (I have a story about playing in the snow when I was round about their age which involved FARRRRRR too much excitement!).

They were so cute when they came in and sat side by side in front of the fire to warm up and drink some hot chocolate!

Me, I hate snow. I mean, I love love LOVE how it looks. From inside my house. I like to watch it fall, and I love the peculiar light of a snowy evening. But going out in it? Nah. Not for me. There’s something super romantic about snuggling the sofa in front of the fire and watching a good film.

I certainly won’t be repeating my 6 year old self’s snowy escapades…

So Christmas.

I love Christmas.

Well, I love the feeling of Christmas. I like the prettiness of Christmas. I love the SMELL of Christmas!

I detest the commercial aspect of Christmas though.

For the past few years, people have received had made gifts – maybe a hamper or a knitted gift, but they’ve definitely had a lot of heart put into them.

These, for me, are the best kinds of gifts.

Thoughtful gifts.

I hate being ‘forced’ to buy gifts. The best kinds of things come from the heart, and don’t necessarily cost a penny.

Everyone seems to want the ‘best’ or the ‘latest’ or just what’s been forced upon them in the latest advert break.

I hate that attitude.

I think we’ve almost finished our shopping (not including Christmas dinner!), and every gift has been carefully chosen as we are on a pretty tight budget, just like many other people.

Christmas is stressful for so many reasons without having the added pressure of having to get the ‘perfect’ gift.

Some people won’t be having any kind of Christmas, for whatever reason, so I think that people need to start being more grateful for what they do have.

My favourite thing about Christmas is spending time with loved ones.

In my 35 years there are very few Christmases that I have spent apart from my mum.

I love cooking Christmas dinner for my family, but this year we’re saving our Christmas for new year as I have a new ‘family’ – my wonderful partner and we have his 2 girls over the Christmas period too!

How exciting!

I hope they get snow again.

Me, I’ll stay in and cook the dinner and sing some Christmas songs.

I hope you are all coping with the festive period.

Please remember there is always someone to talk to if you are struggling, and of course, you are always welcome to contact me if you’d like.

Take care of yourselves xxx

Depression – fair game for bullies?

I admit, I don’t spend my Saturday evenings watching I’m a Celebrity, but the show, and in particular, Iain Lee, has been brought to my attention today via Twitter.

I’m sure you will have heard about him by now.

He was the one that cried during last night’s show.

Yes, HE. A man cried on TV.

He took part in one of the challenges (which sounded pretty horrific), and suffered an anxiety attack, meaning he ultimately failed the challenge.

He returned to camp and broke down.

Everyone seemed to show compassion, reassuring Mr Lee, but later Rebekah Vardy (I’m not sure what one of those is) said she didn’t like to see crying as it shows ‘weakness’ and Amir Khan agreed.

Luckily support and words of wisdom came from Georgia Toffolo (apparently a star of Made in Chelsea) who said during a conversation with other members of the camp

Yes, because the stereotypical man doesn’t cry and that’s wrong, that shouldn’t be the case.’

This is exactly the problem.

Crying isn’t a sign of weakness, in fact, I’d say it shows strength that someone is quite prepared to expose that raw emotional side of themselves.

Anyway, Mr Lee has now become the target of Twitter users calling him ‘pathetic’ and poking fun at him.

Because anxiety is so funny, isn’t it?

Depression is a perfect opportunity to call someone crazy, isn’t it?!

Despite what you may or may not think, mental illness of any sort is no reason to abuse someone.

It’s not an opportunity to attempt to push your own twisted agenda.

I can imagine that if I’d been in the same situation as Mr Lee, I’d probably have had a panic attack.

And in case you didn’t known, here are some of the VERY REAL physical symptoms of anxiety –

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fidgeting
  • Headache
  • Hyperventilation
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling in hands
  • Palpitations

Now imagine experiencing just one of these whilst being in a huge tank of water about to attempt a ‘trial’ on a TV show in order to feed your team mates.

Tell me you would be able to do that and not feel emotion.

Mental illness of any sort is no reason to bully and harass someone, whoever they are.

Maybe if people start accepting that it’s ok to show emotion and it’s not any kind of weakness, things will start to change for the better, but as long as names like ‘crazy’ and ‘pathetic’ are being hurled at people struggling daily, morning is going to change at all.