My second side

I realise through my blogs I have taken everyone through my mental illness with me but yet haven’t let any of you into my life .
There is more to me than just illness .

Where do I start ?

I’m 27 years young and I live in a small town in South West Wales, UK. 

My parents are happily married with over 40 years together .

I have 2 older brothers .

I have had 2 labradors over the past 20 years . Tess was my first , a golden lab. And Ellie my second, a black lab.
I have had 2 rabbits, Sooty and Flopsey.
A hamster , Yoda (Yoda was a girl haha)
And a budgie named Ben .

I adore animals !!

I used to work , from the age of 16 until I was 22 .

I studied Performing Arts for a year. 
Then went on to study Theatre Lighting for 3 years .
I also went to University and studied Theatre Design & Production but I didn’t finish my first year . (Illness)

Films are a passion of mine .

My hobbies are :

📚 Reading
📒 Writing books
✏ Art – Sketching & Painting
🎼 Gaming – Pc , PS4 , Xbox & Nintendo
🎀 Collect models / figures
🃏 Collect PokĂ©mon cards

As I don’t work , I stay at home a lot . I very very rarely leave the house . So I have a lot of hobbies , along side blogging , to keep me entertained .
Although, I don’t get to do these daily .

I have 2 wonderful Nieces who I love spending time with, and my little cousin who lives with them . 

I basically live a very simple life .
I have a wonderful FiancĂ© who has supported me for over 6 years and honestly , I don’t know where I would be without him .

That’s basically me .
I don’t talk a lot about myself because I’m not that interesting haha .
But I thought I would give you a little info about me 🙂
I am more than my illnesses and I just wanted to point that out .
My whole point to blogging is to help end the stigma against Mental health . To do this people also need to know there are 2 sides to everyone.  The person & the illness .
We don’t choose this life,  Mental health is not a choice .
I wish it was .

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4 simple & natural ways to help anxiety

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Chamomile Tea

Just a few sips of Chamomile Tea can help relieve anxiety and stress . It’s a natural anti-anxiety medicine and has been proven to help reduce anxiety in just a few weeks .

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Turkey

That tired feeling you feel after Christmas dinner .
It’s from the tryptophan in the turkey.

“Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps you to feel calm. Tryptophan in the form of meat, has been shown to reduce anxiety disorders!”

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Turmeric

Known for its many uses .
It is excellent for anxiety and depression as it helps lift your moods .

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Dark Chocolate

One for those with a sweet tooth . (Just like me) .
Dark Chocolate has been found to help relieve anxiety .
In a study they used it as placebo medication .
Scientists found that those on 1.5 ounces of Dark Chocolate per day felt calmer than those who weren’t.

What is a panic attack?

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Everyone talks about having panic attacks . You’ve either seen someone have one , heard of someone having one or you have experienced one yourself .
But what is a panic attack ?

It’s a rush of intense psychological and physical symptoms.
They can be very frightening and happen out of the blue, for no known reason .

They usually last between five and twenty minutes and although they’re horrible, they aren’t dangerous .

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The physical symptoms of panic can be ;

A sensation that your heart is beating irregularly (palpitations)

Sweating 

Trembling

Shortness of breath (hyperventilation) 

A choking sensation

Chest pain 

Feeling sick 

These are caused by your body going into “fight or flight” mode .
Your body tends to think that you’re under threat , hense the sense of panic .

As your body tries to take in more oxygen your breathing gets faster. Your body releases hormones, like adrenaline, which causes your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense up.

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How can you help relieve these symptoms ?

There are a few different things you can try .

To help slow down your breathing and heart rate . You could try these simple steps .

Breathe in deeply through your nose.

Breathe out slowly through your mouth. 

Focus your thinking on the word “calm”.

Keep calm and focus on your breathing .
As you slowly start to feel your breathing getting back to normal,  you can go to feel a little tired . This is normal though.  It means your carbon dioxide levels in your blood , have returned to normal. 

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Should you see a doctor about panic attacks ?

Although panic attacks aren’t dangerous themselves . It is always a good idea to seek medical advice .
Panic attacks can be brought on due to an underlining issue .

**** Seek medical advice if:

Your panic attack continues after following these breathing techniques for 20 minutes.

You still feel unwell after your breathing returns to normal.

You still have a rapid or irregular heartbeat or chest pains after your panic attack. 

You regularly have panic attacks, as this could be a sign that you have panic disorder. ****

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Can panic attacks be avoided ?

Some people find that relaxation techniques do help prevent panic attacks . Eg. Meditation , deep breathing , muscle stretches .

Eating regularly can help as it stabilises your blood sugars .

Avoiding alcohol,  caffeine and smoking can also help .

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Seasonal affective disorder 

Seasonal affective disorder aka SAD .
A lesser known depression , or so I have found in my experience.

I personally don’t suffer from SAD but I do know a few people who do .

SAD doesn’t just mean you’re just sad in certain seasons . It genuinely means you get depressed as the darker seasons come in .

This is due to the change in weather .
SAD comes around when there is less sunlight .

Symptoms of SAD can include:

A persistent low mood

A loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities

Irritability

Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness

Feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the daysleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning

Craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

Here’s a few little facts I have found about SAD and what causes it .

The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the:

Production of melatonin – melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels

Production of serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression

Body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) –your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD

It’s also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes, as some cases appear to run in families.

So how can you treat SAD ?
There are many ways .

The main treatments are:

Lifestyle measures, including getting as much natural sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels

Light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight

Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling , antidepressant medication, such asselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Studies have also shown that upping your intake of vitamin D and Omega 3 can help you and SAD .

So salmon is highly recommended for Omega 3 🙂

Other foods like Berries are also recommended . They help prevent the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland.
When stressed, cortisol heads towards your hippocampus, a major portion of the brain that stores memories, provides emotional responses, and navigation. 

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Folic Acid
Vitamin B12
Dark chocolate
Turkey
And Bananas are also recommended as a way to help SAD.

Although SAD is seasonal , it should still be treated like any other depression , when it comes to others .

Just because people don’t suffer with it for 12 months a year , does not mean that they don’t have depression , or that they don’t understand it .

I found it interesting reading up on SAD and learning a little about it .
I now know a little more about my friends illnesses .

I thought I would blog as I went along 🙂
I hope this is somewhat helpful to others too .

Thanks for reading !!

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 🙂

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Cutting ties & moving forward.

Happy New Year everyone 🙂
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 🙂
Now I can move on to the next chapter of my life .
I hope you can too 🙂

Nadolig / Christmas – A little downer

This year has been a horrible year for myself & family . There has been so much loss & not a lot of gain .
So to say I’ll be glad to see the end of 2015 is an understatement!

Christmas was quite a sad one for me . It’s the first Christmas without Ellie .
I found it extremely emotional & Christmas just wasn’t Christmas this year .
It’s usually my favourite day of the year ,but that was because of Ellie . I used to love spoiling her & seeing her tear open the gifts . She was so funny & cute . But this year , there was a massive void that couldn’t be filled .

So myself & my parents opened our gifts at 00:01 . Rob wouldn’t let me open mine from him until Christmas day . But I didn’t get up early , nor did it bother me that I had to wait .
I put a smile on & got on with it .

I was spoilt . I have everything I have wanted & am super thankful for it . Don’t get me wrong , I was amazed by how much I had . I’ve even managed to book my eyebrow tattoos for Feb 2016. Which I have wanted , & couldn’t afford for a while .

But the void really stuck out .
It was like a massive black hole in the centre of the room for me . Constantly reminding me how lonely I am now Ellie is at the rainbow bridge .
I don’t have my ‘baby sister’ to spoil . My best friend to tell all my secrets to (if Ellie could speak , I would have been in trouble !!)
I’m not good at talking to people , so I tend to hide my feelings & then just explode over stupid things .
But when Ellie was around , I had someone to talk to & help me take my mind off things . She kept me sane .

It’s been over 6 months & I do feel myself slipping …. Slowly , back into deeper depression .
I have asked for another dog but I’m either called silly or just told no .
It has really worn me down .

I have nothing to do except clean.
When Rob’s in work I’m on my own . He works 5 days a week & leaves for work at 7am & doesn’t get home until 5pm.
I don’t have any hobbies except collecting PokĂ©mon cards.
Most of my friends live too far away / have a family / work or are ill.
I’m very lonely on a daily basis, which really doesn’t help my depression at all .

I’ve been given some bad news over the Christmas period too .
I need an urgent back operation as I’ve broken a disc in my spine .
I’ve been in agony for 10 years .
The doctors lost my first mri & then passed it off as anxiety pains .

So , due to this my back has gotten worse .
I had to ask for another mri . The first one I couldn’t make due to illness but the 2nd app I could & did .

So now I have been refered to a neuro . Although , I had to contact rheumatology to forward my results to my gp , to be told this .
Otherwise , I would have had to wait until Feb 19th to find out from them .

So , with that worry on my mind as well  , I have no one to talk to .
I would talk to Ellie about everything & she would help . It sounds silly , I know.  But she helped me through my dark times more than anyone could .

Rob doesn’t understand why I don’t talk to him about my feelings .
It’s nothing personal , I just can’t open up to people .
I can’t speak to my parents either .
I’ve always had a dog , since I was 6 . I’m just used to relying on them . Everytime , it’s helped .

All I found over the years , with people , is that they judge me / bully or bitch about me .
I can usually brush it off , if its pointless lies etc , but if it’s something that I have told them in confidence , it breaks me . I can’t handle that . So that’s why I have such high walls when it comes to me actually speaking to someone .

I’m really sorry this blog is a bit of a downer.  I’m just struggling right now & it’s hard to see the light .
I know I will get there , I have before . I just think that occasions like Christmas , really play on the heart strings & make you realise that money really can’t buy you happiness .

I am thankful for all that I have . But I cannot wait to say goodbye to 2015 .
I’m not saying next year will be better . I honestly couldn’t care less .
But I will take it a day at a time . I’m going to focus on me . (For once) .
I’m getting my eyebrows done on Feb 1st . Then I will be booking to get more of my sleeve done , and I aim to sort my health out with my operation .

If I manage to do all 3 , I’ll be happy .

I would say I’ll get a dog too , but every time I bring it up I get shot down or shouted at . So , I won’t get my hopes up lol

Anyway , I hope my readers have had a far better Christmas than me & I hope the new year treats you well !!

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