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!

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.

4am…

So, it’s 4am, and I’ve not yet slept.  Hurrah for insomnia!

I’m no stranger to this stupid fucked up sleep cycle, I’ve been living with it for years, but I’ll never get over the fact that 4am is so utterly boring!

I’ve been looking at recipes.  Mainly healthy ones.  It can never hurt to try to eat healthier, can it?

I’ve been browsing the Shitty Watercolour Facebook page.

Listened to another episode of Paul Temple.

My brain isn’t ready to switch off.

A million and one things are racing round my head.  I wonder how they all fit in there.

Just had a mug of hot chocolate, but now I feel sick.

I should probably go back to bed as I have important things to do tomorrow.

It’s too late to take a zopiclone, as I won’t be up before lunchtime if I do that now, and if I was to be, I’d have the mother of all hangovers from it.

I kind of hope that spilling here will allow me to get at least a couple of hours sleep.

I wish I could put my finger on one particular thing that’s bothering me right at this moment, but I guess it’s a culmination of things.  So many things in this old brain.

I applied to go back to uni, so I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear about that.  I’d love to be able to finish my Film Studies course, but unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it may seem.

I’m totally lacking motivation to do anything at the moment, so that’s making me feel guilty.  I enjoyed the sun the other day though, and went for a nice walk.  Baby steps.

I wish people would mind their own sodding business, and focus on their own lives rather than trying to ruin other peoples.  Makes me think of the old ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’.

I’m worried about this whole election business.  Still no one seems to know what Brexit is, and whilst the media are talking about Diane Abbot getting muddled up in an interview, the government are pushing through some very worrying policies that will affect our young people.

One of my cats has been more clingly than usual since she was spayed the other week, and I don’t know if I should be concerned about that or not.

I feel terribly guilty for not making more effort to see people this past goodness knows how many months.  I currently don’t have a car, so I’m feeling somewhat isolated.  I liked being able to just go out for a drive sometimes, particularly if the weather was nice.  Just go and see places.

I don’t have a light summer jacket.  I have cardigans and winter coats, but nothing really in between, so I was thinking of making the ‘bomber jacket’ from Gerties  ‘Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s’ (seriously, something I’ve been thinking about whilst unable to sleep!).

There was something about shoes too, but that’s not in my brain any more.

I worry a lot.  I think too much.

I need to sleep.  It’s now almost 5am.  Fingers crossed for the sandman.

xxx

 

 

 

Friends

I am very lucky to know some absolutely wonderful people that have been there for me over the past 6 months when my life took a nose dive.  They continue to show love and support and I can’t say how thankful I am for that.

Not all of them are close in geographical terms, but this is where social media comes into it’s own.  Facebook has been a lifeline for me.  People have sent me messages of all kinds and it’s been really lovely to catch up with people I haven’t necessarily spoken to for a while.

I’ve had so many people assure me that how I’ve been feeling is normal after the breakdown of a relationship, and that’s helped a lot.

But…

I’ve been focusing on the wrong things.

I don’t think I’ve said how much I love and appreciate these people.  I’ve been too wrapped up in what sometimes feels like self indulgent, trite bullshit, despite them saying otherwise.

I’ve been wondering what he’s said to his friends about me and what happened. I actually bumped into one of them a few weeks ago, she asked how I was.  This is someone that I’d spent a great deal of time with during my relationship with my ex, and at no point over the previous months had she asked I was.  But she did on that day.

Why worry about what people like this think of me?

These aren’t the people that cared about me, and they are the people that probably only know his side of the story, so they’re not worth another moment of my time if they’re happy to judge me.

I’m not ashamed of suggesting that we try to work things out in two heartfelt emails that he decided to ignore.  I’m not going to apologise for sending him messages saying I miss him (I still do miss him) but that I wish him well.  That’s a normal part of getting over a heartbreak.  I haven’t spent my time sending him abuse, or being nasty.  I haven’t sent him messages every day of the week for the past 6 months.  I’m talking a handful of messages here…

Why on earth would I be ashamed for loving and caring so deeply about someone? He was everything to me, and that feeling isn’t going to disappear overnight.

What I am going to do now is try my best to carry on moving forward with my life.  To focus on those people that do love and appreciate me.

So to all the people that have been there for me, even if it’s just been sending a message of support, I can’t thank you enough.  I hope you know that you are very much loved by me, and I couldn’t have got this far without you xxx

Homeless and needing help…but… (an open letter to MPs)

13 years ago I was diagnosed with chronic, clinical depression for which I have been taking medication since.  I also suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder, crippling tension headaches and panic attacks.  I take medication for the latter.

Back at the end of March, I lost my home.  The same week, my uncle passed away very suddenly.  The following week, my long term partner split up with me, and following that, I lost my job as a result of my depression.  All this in 14 days, a lot for anyone to deal with I’d think.

I currently reside in a caravan on the Worcestershire/Herefordshire border – a 23′ touring caravan, not a huge static.  I have no shower or toilet facilities in my caravan.  I use my parents address for correspondence.

The site I am using is not a residential site.  I am technically homeless, yet I still have to pay rent.  I’m not, however, entitled to housing benefit.

I am registered with Shropshire Home Point – my registration took less than 24 hours.  On Friday 1st July I took a paper application into the Hive to register for Worcestershire Home Choice Plus, as there is some sort of problem with the system that wouldn’t allow me to register online.

Yesterday, I received a letter from WHCP saying that I had not put my connection to Worcester on the form.  I’d clearly written ‘Mother – *name* lived in Worcester for X years’

They said they also needed information about the length of time she has lived in Worcester, as well as her address.  I wrote in section 16 (as I had been asked to), that there is no room for me at my mothers house, and that I use he address for correspondence

My C/O address is quite clear on the form also.

I stated on the form that I will be asked to leave my current site within a month, as it is not a residential site, and that my living situation is affecting my health.

I have been sent a medical assessment form.

Please bear in mind that to go and pick up my post is a 60 mile round trip, costing £10 in fuel.  WHCP could have emailed me.

I apologise that my situation isn’t straightforward, and that people may have had to use their brains, but I am desperately trying to make my life better, and I am met by obstacles at every turn.

I have been going through hell trying to sort out Universal Credit, I have been patronised and spoken to like I am sub-human.

And now, for some reason, WHCP are playing delay tactics, that if they just used their brains, wouldn’t be an issue and I could start trying to look for a home.

Needless to say, not one part of this is helping me illness, and I am truly concerned for my own welfare at this point.  I recently started a part time job at 6 hours per week, which I am seeing as a stepping stone to getting my life back on track, but the fact that there is no help, no easily accessible advice, and a seemingly arbitrary system in place for any government services, it’s not exactly helping my things.

I can’t help but wonder that the overall plan is just to get rid of all people suffering from mental health issues to make things easier for the people that could make a difference.

It’s funny, I’ve worked since I was 16, and paid taxes, yet I’m treated like I’m the one sponging off the state.  £317 per month is meant to keep me.  I still have the same bills as I did at the beginning of March.  What do you get from the taxpayers each month?  Are you constantly treated like you’re taking directly from someone’s pockets?

I urge you to read my blog at www.widdleswobble.wordpress.co.uk for more in depth information about what I have been put through at the hands of the benefits system and how this impacts on ones mental health.  It seems as though people like yourselves that are able to make a change are completely oblivious to what actually goes on.

I look forward to your reply.

Just more of the fun & games with the government system, huh?  This letter has been sent to Robin Walker, Harriett Baldwin and Stephen Crabb.