What speaking out has done for me.

Many people are terrified to speak out about suffering from mental illness .
I was one of these.

For many years my life was tough and 90% of it was down to me.
I wasn’t willing to accept my illness.

I hid it the best that I could when I was out of the house.
People just saw me as a timid child, but my home life was hell.
Constant arguing and fighting over stupid things. I couldn’t control my anger.
I wasn’t angry at my family, I was angry at myself, but I would blame them as it was easier.

Hiding anxiety is tough and when you lash out, you normally lash out at those closest to you.
My parents just thought I was a naughty child, but there was so much more to it, I just couldn’t tell them.

Eventually, I went to see a doctor when I was 16. I was diagnosed with depression at aged 6 but they put it down to school and being a “school phobic”.
I was a phobic of most things, anything that included people and strangers.
I spoke to the doctor and they advised me that I should take medication. They gave me leaflets and told me to speak about how I was feeling and to keep diaries to help me speak about it.
I did the diary part, but I never spoke out about it.
I refused medication for as long as I could. I did speak to my parents about my anxieties but very vaguely.

I went through a lot in my short life, counselling being a main thing in my life. I hated it. Strangers wanting to know everything about me and asking me why I was feeling this way etc etc. It’s not my cup of tea.

I gave in to medications at the age of 24. It made me spiral backwards and I was at an all time low. The doctors kept changing them often. I was getting worse and worse.
I managed, after a year and a half, to pull myself off them .

Eventually, when I was 25. I started CBT.
CBT changed my life.
I spoke to my family and loved ones about my illness. I opened up completely.
It lifted a massive weight.

CBT only lasts 8 weeks. One session , one hour a week, but it made a HUGE difference to me.
Alun helped me focus on the here and now. He made me realise I wasn’t weird or an outcast. I accepted my illness and I managed to help others accept meย to.
He helped me make this blog page which in turn has helped a few other people cope with their mental illness. I have also made new friends through this and I don’t feel lost anymore.

Speaking out has helped me:

  • Stopped the arguments.
  • Made others understand that I’m not cutting them out, my anxieties restrict me.
  • Made new friends.
  • Helped others speak out.
  • See my friends more now.
  • Made a blog.
  • Taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.
  • Got people off my back about working again.
  • I’ve spoken about all of my physical illnesses, as speaking out about my mental illness has given me the confidence to be open.
  • Made me feel more “normal”.
  • I have accepted myself and the hand I have been dealt.

As terrifying as it is to think about, it really isn’t anything like that. Thinking about it is the worst part.
Once you know you’re ready to accept yourself, speaking is part of the healing process.
I’m no where near “cured”, but I am getting there. I am slowly taking steps in the right direction, and as long as this road may be, I know I can get through it.
Day by day, little by little.

I highly recommend speaking out to everyone.
The best people to start with are the ones closest to you. Eg. Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, etc.

You’ll be surprised by how many people understand.

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Dogs & Depression Update

I have been asked by quite a few people , to write a blog about our dogs .

So I thought I would do a little update .

We have only had Stan the Jug and Oscar the Cavachon for 12 days and already they’re part of the family .
Stan is 8 months old and Oscar is 7 months old .
They’re our babies .
We love them more than anything !!
My parents have become Nan and Dats to them . My brothers are Uncles etc etc .

Stan needed a new harness so I spent a small fortune on a new one and am tempted to get Oscar one as well .
I know it’s a lot of money but they look amazing in them !!
The colour really suits Stan (Red) .

They were definitely a challenge .
Both needing a little house training and still currently going through other training regarding tricks ๐Ÿ™‚
But they’re gorgeous and so worth it .

Before them , I would stay in bed until mid-day and then clean and do sod all for the rest of the day . Leaving my depression get the best of me .
With the news about my broken and bulging discs in my back , it really wasn’t helping.  The thought of an operation terrifies me . So I needed something to help me .

The dogs have most certainly done just that .
They keep me on my toes .
But I’m up at 10:30 latest . Although , on weekend the dogs tend to sleep until 11:30 .
I feed them and brush them , let them out etc . All the usual stuff when you have a dog .

I have lost weight too !!
Massive bonus !!
I now have curves . Super happy about that .

I do take them on short walks .
I can’t walk far so we go as far as I can with a few stops here and there .
They’re great on the leads though. 
My parents and Rob help me with that though as I can’t leave the house alone .

I don’t get many depressive spells anymore , although they haven’t completely gone , but I’d say I’m 80% getting there .
My anxiety is up and down but not as bad as it used to be .

The choice to get these dogs was the best choice we ever made ๐Ÿ˜€

It helps that they’re cuddly . I get love 24/7 off them .

They do fight , but last Tuesday they had the snip so I am really hoping it helps .
Oscar is feeling rather sorry for himself though and always wants to be picked up and have sympathy ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
Bless him though , he is just a baby .
Serious training starts after he has his stitches removed next Tuesday though ๐Ÿ™‚
Stan’s are dissolvable and he doesn’t seem to care that he had an op .
He is as bouncy and playful as ever . No matter how hard we try to calm him,  it’s next to impossible haha .
But all is good .

We are super happy and can’t thank our friend enough for giving us this opportunity . 

She is still in touch with the boys and gets to see them .
They love it as they get extra attention haha .
We love it too as it’s a win win for us all .

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Being selfish.

This year I decided to do what I wanted to do .
Last year , as you know,  I went through hell and back with family and loved ones . We lost a lot and we’re left a mess .
I totally gave up .
But this year I’ve decided to be selfish .
I never put myself first and have always felt guilty for when I used to treat myself and not my friends or family .
Why should I ?
I deserve to be happy too !!
Last year proved that life is way too short to just sit back and hope and wish .
So this year , I have decided :

๐ŸŒน To eat clean and healthy .

Myself and my partner want to lose weight .
So far , so good .
All our food is clean and fresh ๐Ÿ™‚
Low fat and barely any carbs .
No sweets but we do have fruit and hot chocolate to help with the cravings .

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๐ŸŒน Get my eyebrows tattooed .

I have shaved / plucked my eyebrows since age 18 . So I have zero as I hate my natural brows .
So I decided to get them tattooed on . Semi permanent make up .
They last up to 5 years if you keep topping them up every so often ๐Ÿ™‚
Best decision I ever made !!

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๐ŸŒน Get more of my tattoo finished.

I started my sleeve tattoo last year . But as I had a lot going on , I ended up spending all of my savings on trying to save my dogs life (I regret nothing) .
So this year I have booked in for more work .
I have been put on the list for if a slot comes up . As William (tattooist) is fully booked for the year ๐Ÿ™‚

๐ŸŒน Seeing friends more .

I rarely ever get out .
I go to Rob’s gigs but I’m always on my own , out the way somewhere  (I can’t do crowds)
So this year I am making time for those important people ๐Ÿ™‚
This Saturday I have a few friends coming over for tea and some naughty cake (Home made – I’ll have a small piece)
Then in May I will be in London for The Damned and the day after I will be going to visit 2 amazing friends . We plan to go for food somewhere nice before heading home ๐Ÿ™‚
Then in the summer they’re  coming to visit us ๐Ÿ˜€
Exciting times ahead !!

Simple little things ,  but they’re making all the difference . I feel more confident and happy about myself !!

I wish I had done this sooner ๐Ÿ™‚
I know it sounds silly , but sometimes , being selfish really is ok ๐Ÿ™‚

A surprise attack

Whilst I sat in the comfort of my own home . With a glass of water and a plate with some food on . Unwinding from a long , busy day of sorting . Putting my feet up and watching Grim .

A loud, droaning noise came from outside.

I turned the volume down on the laptop and listened for a minute or two .
The noise I could hear appeared to be voices, male voices . Aged 17/18 . At a guess .

I then heard the front door being tried .
I knew Rob was coming back from band practice, so I thought maybe it was him . But who would be with him ?
His band mates weren’t that loud and no one else would be with him.
I couldn’t hear Rob’s voice either.

After a few more minutes (and checking the door was locked) I decided to carry on watching Grim .

No sooner had I hit the play button , there was an almighty **BANG**

Someone had hit the window. 
It frightened me . So much so , I had to call my father. 
After he checked to make sure the coast was clear , I went back into the living room and …. broke down .
My whole body began to tremble and I couldn’t stop it .
I looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself ;

“What’s wrong with me ?”

I never react this way . I am very rarely ever frightened .
But something had made me turn into this panicky mess .
I couldn’t believe it .

Through someone’s stupidity and probably thinking it was a funny idea to play ‘knock knock run’ . I had become a blubbering mess .

I managed to calm myself down by swilling my face with cold water , having a drink and a cigarette .
Once I had done this , Rob was back .
I felt safe now and managed to control my panic .
I spoke to Rob about how I felt .
It really did help .

The panic attack really had caught me off guard .
It’s never happened before .

I managed to get an early night (for the first time in over a year) and that has really helped.
I feel a lot more positive today .
It sounds stupid , but apart from that panic attack , I had a really good day yesterday .
To let that little down point take that away from me , well , that would be idiotic .

I’m not starting 2016 the way I did 2015 .
I’m starting to look for the positives rather than letting them find me ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cutting ties & moving forward.

Happy New Year everyone ๐Ÿ™‚
I hope 2016 treats you well .

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I wanted to write this blog as it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while .
I went through a lot in 2015 . The ups and the major downs.  It was a long roller coaster ride of emotions .
But one thing that has taken a while to click with me, is the loss of friends .

We all go through life meeting new people. We all lose someone in some way shape or form , but I’m not on about the ‘normal’ loss of friends through losing contact or just life getting in the way.  I’m on about losing someone who you considered to be a friend .
The fake friend.
Someone who you put your life on hold for , to meet up with.
Someone who you threw your problems aside for and tried to help them when they were at breaking point .
(But who wouldn’t do this for you .)

And then when their life starts to pick back up, they kick you to the curb .

It feels awful .
The feeling of being used .
No one deserves that .
I don’t understand how people can put someone through it .

Oh my life is hell , they’ll understand

– When you become good enough for them. –

Now my life is back on track, I don’t need that ‘negative’ friend who has helped me through it all, I’ll just kick them to the curb and move on with my life” .

– The part where they become too good for you and you become the negative one . Because they are on the slight “up” that life has given them . –

I’ve been thinking about it a lot . As I do over think things, that’s the whole thing about anxiety .
As much as it magnifies every emotion , it can , every once in a while , make you see things clearly .

I gave my time .
I gave up hours of my days .
I would drop everything for this friend .
I would push my problems aside and I would listen to them go on and on about theirs .
They would cry,  get angry and really vent .
They needed someone and I was willing to be that someone .
To be the shoulder .
I truly believed that they wanted to be friends .
That they were a nice person .
When really , they just saw me for the soft person that I am .
For the person who will do anything to see others happy .

As soon as I had done my work . They got their life back on track , for now. They have a job again , and I feel like they now think they’re better than me. 

I had tried to make contact with this person . But there was always some excuse .
I asked them if everything was ok between us .

They lied .

I then saw them when out and about and they ignored me but acknowledged my friend .

Then in passing conversation between said friends , they dropped the news in about a job .

And it all clicked .

Whilst they think they’re being clever . They’re actually showing their true self .

I was good enough when no one else would listen to them , but the minute they get a part of their life back , boom . I’m not good enough .

They only got their idea of said job , from me . Which is what I find amusing .

I’m better than her now , because I have the job she said would be perfect for me and pointed me in the right direction

But instead of a thank you , I just get tossed aside .

The best part to it all ?

They don’t realise that with depression , it’ll always come back .

The paranoir , the sleepless nights , Panic attacks , feeling ill , feeling unwanted , unloved . Etc .
It isn’t a once in a life time thing that just goes over night . Depression is always there . It just hides until you let your guard down , and then it jumps right back on .

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2015 taught me a lot of hard lessons . The main one is having to let go .

So this blog , is me letting go .
It’s the final goodbye to a toxic relationship .
I may be unfit to work because of health issues , but that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat me like an underdog .
It doesn’t make you a better person because you can get up pain free every day . It doesn’t change who you are .
And nothing gives you the right to treat someone this way .

I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this .
So my advice to you is , cut them off .
Don’t let them get to you. 
They used you and yes it sucks .
They took your nice nature and used it to their advantage .
But that doesn’t make you a bad person , it makes them the bad person .
So instead of just dwelling on it , say your final goodbye , in what ever way you feel appropriate,  and cut all ties .

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I feel good after venting all of this ๐Ÿ™‚
Now I can move on to the next chapter of my life .
I hope you can too ๐Ÿ™‚

Very busy , mentally challenging , physically exhausting .

So I have had one of the most busiest weekends this year .

I went to Porthcawl fair on Friday.
Folly Farm on Saturday.
And Band Practice with Grim Citizens, in Carmarthen on Sunday.

Porthcawl.

6pm I went to Porthcawl with Rob, my brother, sister in law, Katie & Brooklyn.
Emily had a sleep over at her friends so she didn’t come with us.
It was wet & windy but really fun!
Rob won me a teddy . I won one myself too.

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(Rob won the white one – I won the meerkat)ย 

Katie went on nearly every ride possible & Brooklyn just enjoyed the arcade.
We all had a laugh , had some candy floss &ย went for some chips afterwards.
We got soaked! But it was worth it.

I had a bit of a panic attack before going as I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been before so it was a new experience. But I enjoyed when we got there ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

It helped having family around me ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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Folly Farm.

Myself & Rob organised to meet up for a catch up with friends when we were in Surrey.
As they have children we thought Folly Farm was the best bet.ย 
I had never seen Giraffes before either so it was a win win.

We met up with Richard & Charlotte & their 3 gorgeous boys. Logan, Corey & Zac.ย 
Started at around 10:30am, myself & Rob went for breakfast & a coffee as we waited for them. We then wondered around the gift shop.ย 
We met up with them at 12:30pm in the reptile house ๐Ÿ˜€ย 
It was amazing !!ย 
We spent the whole day walking around slowly and seeing everything .ย 
We had a lovely catch up & pigged out with a double ice-cream ….. Which was MASSIVE !! (So worth it !!)
I went for the mint choc chip – as usual ๐Ÿ˜›ย 

It didn’t rain much which was a bonus. I think we literally had 5 minutes of drizzle & that was it .ย 
The sun shone the rest of the time.

Afterwards, we all went into Narberth for some chips ( I know – Take away again !!)ย 
And went to a carpark to eat them so we could chat & have a laugh .ย 

It was a fantastic day & my panic attacks stayed at bay.ย 

I was exhausted by the time we got home (9pm) . I was so drained it was unbelievable !!ย 
I think my illness got to me in a different way this time .ย 
I slept for over 12 hours !!!!ย 
But it was such a nice day , it was worth it .

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Band Practice – Carmarthen.
Waking up was a struggle. I was fighting everything . I could easily have slept some more – Even though I had 12 hours sleep.
I was in agony with my back & legs & I had a migraine . ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It wasn’t a good start to the day.
My body was fighting me on everything .ย 
I went downstairs & had to make lasagne , it was the easiest thing to make in the house. I was shaking & feeling dizzy . It was horrible .ย 
The 2 days of adventure had hit me like a ton of bricks .ย 
I made sure I drunk plenty of water & I ate all of my food . (It was 1pm)ย 
I then had to help Rob hang his clothes out . My body hated it. I was weak & felt ill.
Eventually we made it to the car & headed off for Rob’s band practice.ย 
When we arrived I felt a lot better . I munched on some chocolate on the way so I had some sugar in me.ย 

Band practice went really well & I managed to get some nice shots of them playing ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
It was a nice relaxing day for me , which I needed !!ย 
We went for food in Weatherspoon’s afterwards & ended up having free drinks because food was delayed . So I had a lovely caramel frappรฉ lol (I had 2 in total) .

After food we headed home . it was 10pm by the time we got back . I was dropping again & couldn’t wait to get into bed !!ย 

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All in all , it was a fantastic weekend . Despite my illness pushing me back a little bit , I managed to push through it.ย 
I am paying for it now with all the aches & pains & tiredness , but it was so nice to actually get out.ย 
I miss getting out & doing things .
It made me feel “normal” . Which I have mentioned before , is a big thing for me.ย 

Last week , I was catching up with one of my favourite artists on YouTube. I got a little jealous as he was going out & about on his own & grabbing a coffee. The little things that I want to do basically , &ย it made me feel a little low . Knowing I can’t do that because of my constant battles with my illness . But this weekend made me realise that I don’t need to do that ๐Ÿ™‚ I have very supportive friends & family who will do it with me & help me through my though times ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
So even though it may be the norm for some to go & do it alone , it isn’t my norm .ย 
Yes , I rely on people a lot , but those people are amazing & they are great to be around .
I am very lucky.

Gym & Depression

I started the gym last Monday (20th)
It’s been really great !ย 
The first day I was with a personal trainer for induction and she went over what to do and not to do regarding my illnesses . She was really great with me .ย 
I was so nervous before going . Although I went with a friend . I didn’t know what to expect and my anxiety was sky high .ย 

I didn’t sleep properly the night before , I felt too sick to .
I had about 2 hours sleep before heading to the gym at 9:30am .
I was shaking but doing my best not to show it .ย 

The trainer kept asking me questions and I could only answer with one word to start with . After 30 minutes I was ok . But to start with , it was hell (mentally) .ย 

But I did it !! I fought through the anxiety and I went . I felt so much better for it ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I am now on day 3 , going into day 4 of the gym and I am feeling the benefits already !!

I lost 10lbs on the teatox diet , in 9 days !! So that helped boost me a little .ย 
I am currently waiting for my 28 day teatox to show up so I can carry on withย it ๐Ÿ˜€ย 
But the gym is helping on top .ย 
I do feel tired after it , but it is only the first week ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I am eating healthy still . But enjoying it . I have cut out rubbish but I do enjoy my food . I play around a lot with things to get the best flavours .ย 

I’m not ready to put photo’s up yet of my fat belly , but once I get to a comfortable weight , I will show you all the results ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
I was 15.5 stone before starting and am currently down to 14.09 stone . So I am slowly getting there . Little by little ๐Ÿ™‚

The gym has been challenging . I can’t push myself too hard as I have spine problems and knee and hip . But I am on the treadmill for 20-30 mins a day and the bike for 10 mins . I go on the rower for 10 minutes if my body is up to it . But that is my routine ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
I’m not allowed to lift weights , sadly , but the rower should make up for that .

I went to the gym yesterday with my best friend . She had been there longer than me so had to leave to make an appointment . As it was quiet I decided to stay . I lasted 40 minutes in there all together . I only left because someone else came along .ย 
I’m still not ready to face the world alone . But I am getting there .ย 
It is a struggle and I still get major panic attacks . But I am handling it a lot better now ๐Ÿ™‚

With my depression , over the last 3 days , I have seemed to pick up a lot .ย 
The Teatox was also helping a little , but the gym seems to be helping more , and I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to try it ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Having to leave the gym after 40 mins did effect me a little . It didn’t last too long though .ย 
I did think I was stupid and others would see it that way and call me on it . They haven’t though ๐Ÿ˜€ย 
The depression and bad thoughts lasted about 30 minutes or so and then I just got on with my day . (Not that I do much lol) .

Today was a better day as myself and my best friend lasted an hour at the gym together . We decided an hour was enough for us today and next week we will try going for an hour and a half .ย 
But we are building up to it .ย 
Last thing we need is to push ourselves too far and have to take a break so soon haha .

We are going 5 days a week , but taking the weekend as a rest so we don’t over do it ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I will keep updating my progress on the gym and let you know how my anxiety and depression weighs up too .ย 

Hopefully , it will keep getting better ๐Ÿ™‚