Posted in Seasonal Holidays

Happy Easter!

white petaled flower bouquet on white surface
Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com

Happy Easter! Happy Ostara! Happy whatever it is you might have celebrated!

I know this post is a little late, but I had a very busy Easter weekend. Lots of people to see, lots of things to do, lots of love to spread.

Friday morning my lovely great-auntie stopped by to drop off some Easter eggs and have a chat. She had a quick look around to check out progress in the house and the garden, and then she disappeared. I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with my dad, and then in the evening me and my other half visited his dad, his step-mum, and his baby sister. I’d bought his sister a cute little Easter dress, which she tried on and looked adorable in! There were smiles all around, everyone loved the dress, including the little monkey herself. We had a lovely dinner and a lovely evening together, and then headed home. Day one of the Easter weekend was a hit.

Day two: Saturday. Not a great day overall, but not terrible either. Unfortunately one of my guinea pigs has left the land of the living. Her name was Gizmo, and she was the friendliest and noisiest of my three girls. I miss her. It’s not the same without her.

Moving on from the sadness, I spent the morning with one of my best friends. We went to the pier, had a walk into town, and then did some sunbathing on the beach in the beautiful sunshine! I may have gotten slightly burnt… But it was a great morning.

In the evening, me and the other half went to my other bestie’s house. We had a lovely night with her and her man, eating takeaway pizza and playing games, talking about anything and everything and having a laugh. It was nice to get out and see people today, and has been desperately needed for a while.

Sunday was a pretty quiet day. But just as busy, because I spent the day catching up on jobs. Two loads of washing and tumble drying, doing the dishes, cleaning the patio table and chairs, prepping the roast potatoes for dinner, and then cracking on with dinner itself, which was a lovely roast turkey dinner with my other half and my dad.

And then finally, Monday. Another glorious day, after beautiful sunshine all weekend. I spent the final day of the Easter weekend outside. The morning and early afternoon was spent in the garden, having lunch outside, cleaning out the guinea pigs, and burying my lovely Gizmo. It was hard, and very emotional, but I’m very happy that I got to bury her. This is the first time I’ve had a garden, and so I’ve never been able to keep my previous pets after they died. But this time I’ve managed to keep her close and give her a place of rest.

After I said goodbye I wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I went to town with the other half for him to buy some smart trousers, and then we went to several different shops for bits and pieces that I’ve been after for a while. A great bit of retail therapy, much needed after a hectic and emotional weekend. I headed back home just long enough to sort out another load of washing and water the plants, and then out to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode with some friends! I’m not going to mention any more than that here, but it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. And then the final bit of the weekend, fish and chips takeaway with the other half and my dad.

So that’s it! A whole mix of emotions, and a very busy weekend, but overall a very productive and enjoyable one. I’m not religious, and I didn’t celebrate anything to do with the Christian faith. What I did was celebrate time with loved ones, which is always the best time to have.

I hope you all had a great weekend too, whatever it was that you did.

See you all soon. xo

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.

– S.D. Gordon

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Posted in depression, mental health, therapy

Why I’ve been missing recently…

red and blue hot air balloon floating on air on body of water during night time
Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels.com

** Trigger warning: This post deals with depression. It may include thoughts and words that might be triggering to people struggling with their own mental health **

Hey guys!

I know I’ve been really quiet recently, and I’m not thrilled about it. I’ve been desperately wanting to make a post about something – anything – but I haven’t had the motivation to do much recently. Which brings us to why I’ve been missing…

Depression!

Hello darkness, my old friend…

I wrote a post about the return of my depression, and how much it has affected me. Well here is a bit of an update since then.

It’s been a real struggle since losing my job at Odeon in February. I’ve been massively depressed and out of it. I’ve struggled doing basic things like showering and feeding myself. I’ve struggled to get out of bed on most days.

And then there are days where I can’t sit still. I’ve made massive progress in my room (yay, one upside!), but it’s been non-stop, have to keep moving, can’t allow myself to stop and think. I wrote another post about the progress in my room and how I’ve been keeping busy while I’m unemployed. Although the progress itself isn’t a bad thing, the reason why is. It’s all just a distraction. A type of denial I suppose. Almost like I’m pretending that I’m not depressed, because I’m doing all these things to keep busy.

Neither of these are ideal moods for writing to you guys. I haven’t been able to find words. And part of it has been not wanting to let people that I know see how bad I actually am right now. Some of them read this blog, and if I wrote on here about how bad everything is right now I know they would worry about me. I don’t want them to worry about me. So I’ve mostly internalised it. Even the post I made before didn’t really show how bad it actually is.

If I’m being completely and blatantly honest, this is the worst my depression has ever been. The easiest way to explain how I’m feeling is probably suicidal, but that’s not quite right. I’m not in danger of actually harming myself, and I’ve made no plans on ending my life. It’s more that I just don’t want to live. I want to stop existing, to just not have to deal with life anymore. Everything just feels too hard, too overwhelming, too much. So I have recently spent a lot of time wishing that I wasn’t here. But I could never do that to the people that love me, and I know that this is only temporary (I hope).

But don’t worry, I have been seeking help.

About a month ago (ish) I self-referred myself back into therapy with Health in Mind. Less than two weeks ago I had a face-to-face assessment with a CBT therapist, who has agreed that I need help and had approved me getting onto a waiting list, and today, I had my first meeting with my trainee CBT therapist. I have also made an appointment to see my GP to change the antidepressants I’m on, so I’m heading in the right direction.

I’ll keep you guys updated on my progress, and I hope that you’re all okay! If you’ve got any advice for me on what you do when you’re depressed then let me know!

See you all again soon. xo

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain,
Still remains,
Within the sound of silence

– Simon and Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence

Posted in Cleaning and decluttering, Seasonal Holidays

Spring Cleaning

hello spring handwritten paper
Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com

That’s right people, Spring is here!

Spring in England is… unpredictable at best. Especially on the South East coast where I am, because being by the sea makes the weather even more unpredictable. It’s heavy downpour one day, blue skies and bright sunshine the next, still frosty in the mornings so you have to de-ice your car, and the look of the weather doesn’t always match the feel of the weather. It could be clear skies and sunny, but the temperature could feel freezing. Or alternatively, it could be grey and overcast, so you think it’s going to be cold, but it’s actually somewhat warm!

I have deviated from my intended topic. This is what happens when a Brit starts to talk about the weather (genuinely not a stereotype, the majority of us do actually discuss the weather more than we probably should).

It is Spring!

It’s still a little too cold and temperamental for my liking to start getting back out into the garden, so for now I am focusing inside.

For the last few days I have been tackling the mammoth task that is: MY ROOM.

You may think I’m joking, or exaggerating, but you haven’t seen it. It honestly looks like a bomb has exploded. There is stuff everywhere guys. And for someone like me, who is normally organised and a perfectionist, it’s a very stressful place to be in.

Okay… It may be slightly exaggerated. I do have a somewhat footpath around my room, and it’s organised chaos in the sense that I know where everything actually is within the mess, but that’s not the point. I like everything to have a proper place. I like things to have a proper home where they belong, with similar items, in tidy compartments. Most things are organised like that, which is great and makes me very happy. And then there is… the miscellaneous.

Random odds and ends that I have that don’t really have a specific home, or that I know where I want the home to be, but the shelf hasn’t been put up yet, or that I don’t want to part with despite it having no use anymore… You get the idea.

Well, I’m still unemployed, and I’m sick of sitting around doing nothing, so I have been tackling my room one bit at a time. Doing small bits here and there so it doesn’t get overwhelming, but it’s still progress.

I started with changing my bed covers and sorting through one of my bedside tables. Easy. Manageable. Progress.

Next it was sorting all of my makeup and hair products into baskets so that they’re not spilling out everywhere. Much tidier. Progress.

Yesterday I put all of my bags away in a basket, and sorted through both of my bookcases, which were overflowing with books. I only managed to part with 3 books (and they were doubles of ones I already have, so realistically I actually haven’t parted with any. Don’t judge), but I did manage to put aside loads of books to go into storage, because they’re not ones that I re-read often but I still want to keep them for when I do. That was actually a huge task that took an entire day, but I feel a lot better now that it’s done, and I can actually see what books I have on my shelves!

I’ve got a list of jobs to do around the house that’s taller than I am, but I’m not going to stress myself out over it. Chipping away, one bit at a time.

When I’m FINALLY finished in my room I might post some progress pictures, but for now, wish me luck!

***

Hopefully I’ve motivated you guys to do a bit of Spring cleaning too. Or Autumn/ Fall cleaning for the other half of the world! Let me know if you’ve got any current projects, or drop me a message with your progress, I’d love to hear from you guys.

I’ll see you all soon. xo

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.

– Marie Kondo

Posted in Seasonal Holidays, Travelling

Anniversary Weekend Break in the New Forest

Last weekend, me and my other half went to the New Forest for our 3 year anniversary.

It was a Christmas present from his dad and step-mum (if you’re reading this, thank you so much!), and we asked for it to be over our anniversary so we could have a little getaway together.

It was lovely! Unfortunately the weather was a bit miserable, but that didn’t stop us from having a great weekend!

We didn’t stay in the New Forest itself, we stayed in a lovely little converted barn just outside of Ringwood. Little Banks Barn was beautiful! It was very cosy and well decorated, perfect size for the two of us. The host was lovely. She was very friendly and welcoming, and her dog, Dotty, was very happy to come in and say hi to us! There was a pub just 3 minutes drive up the road, and the New Forest itself was only a 20-30 minute drive away.

We arrived Friday afternoon, completely knackered from the drive! We chilled for the afternoon, I read my book, the other half played on his Nintendo Switch, and we were perfectly happy doing our own thing while still being on the sofa together under and blanket. We made a quick trip to the local supermarket – a Lidl 6 minutes drive away – to buy a few bits for snacking on and lunch the next day, got changed, and then went for dinner in the Elm Tree pub up the road. Lovely food! The server had a very dry sense of humour, so we took her with a pinch of salt, but overall a very pleasant experience. Got back from dinner, stuffed to the gills, and chilled some more by playing a board game together. (For anyone interested, the game was The City of Kings, and I thoroughly recommend it. We’ve met the creator of the game and he’s a really cool guy.)

Saturday we had a bit of a lie-in, pottered about in the morning, had lunch at the barn, and then headed out for a long walk in the New Forest. The weather wasn’t great. It was very windy, but it was dry. We walked for about 45 minutes into the forest, saw some lovely wild horses, and then decided to head back. We timed it well, because by the time we got back to the car it was spitting, and not long after we got back to the barn it starting hammering it down! On the way back to the barn we saw three pigs on the side of the road having a good ol’ root around in the mud! It was amazing! We decided to stay in that night, as the weather was horrible. So we played some more of The City of Kings, and got Chinese takeaway for dinner. Great day!

Sunday we left the barn at 11am, made a stop at Lidl to pick up a few bits, and then went into Ringwood town centre to have a nose about. Honestly, nothing exciting. There wasn’t much there that we could see, however we may not have been looking in the right places. There may be some hidden gems there that we didn’t find! After stopping in a few shops, we decided to call it quits and head home. Not going to lie, I may have fallen asleep for most of the journey… Not great company for my poor partner. Hit a diversion on the way home (typical), so it took us a bit longer than it should have as we went the long way round. We stopped at his dad and step-mum’s house to say thank you for our present, and then went home.

Exhausting weekend, but thoroughly enjoyed! I would definitely like to go back again.

Thank you for reading guys, I’ll see you again soon! xo

I’m much more me when I’m with you.

– Unknown

Posted in Seasonal Holidays

International Women’s Day 2019

Image result for international women's day
By NATASHA BACH

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s International Women’s Day!

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t do anything to celebrate it today, because I was lazy and played games on my laptop all day.

BUT

Yesterday at Guides, I ran a “Breaking Free” Peer Education session for my unit, which looks at explaining what gender is, what stereotyping is, and how they can recognise and challenge stereotypes.

This is important to me for several reasons.

  1. It’s important that the girls feel empowered, rather than feeling like their gender is a negative thing.
  2. It’s important that the girls learn to support other girls against negative stereotyping.
  3. It’s important that the girls learn to support boys against negative stereotyping! Equality, people. Don’t raise up one gender by tearing down the other.
  4. It’s important that the next generation have the tools to challenge the system in a positive and productive way.

I know that change won’t happen over-night, but the more people we educate, and the more we spread the word, the more likely change is going to happen. The next generation are our best hope for the future, so we need to empower them, give them a voice, and give them the tools and guidance they need to make changes.

The more we teach our children (biological or otherwise) about what really happens in the world, what’s right and what’s wrong, and what they can do to help change it, the better this world becomes.

One person at a time, one step at a time, one small change at a time.

I have a challenge for you guys. I want you to go out and spread the word. I want you to think about changes you’d like to see: in your home, in your school, in your workplace, in your town, in your country, in the world. No matter how big or how small, spread the word about making positive changes in the way we see gender stereotypes. Even if you don’t make any changes yourself, spread the message that we can make a difference. And then challenge the people you’ve talked to to do the same.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

I’ll see you real soon. xo

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.

– Mahatma Gandhi

Posted in depression, mental health, Self harm, work

From bad to worse

adult alone black and white dark
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

** Trigger warning: This post deals with depression. It may include thoughts and words that might be triggering to people struggling with their own mental health **

I haven’t posted for a while. Mostly because I haven’t wanted to put what’s happened into words and make it real. Partly because I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do anything at all. But it is real, it’s happened, and I can’t hide from the truth forever.

In my last post, I told you all about a very important interview I went to, for a very important job opportunity. Well, I didn’t get it. They didn’t even tell me that I didn’t get it, despite them saying I would be told either way by the end of that week. I’d heard nothing by Friday, so I thought, they might just be busy. I decided to give it until Monday lunch-time and then I’d chase them up. By about 4pm on that Monday I got a response saying that the candidate they had gone with had been notified on the Friday. Cool.

That sucked, but these things happen. No big deal, I’ll apply for the job that they told me was coming up in that interview. Which I have done, and fingers crossed for this one.

And then it got worse. Tuesday 26th of February I had my end-of-probation meeting. No big deal, I figured it would go like the one before, we’d talk about my progress, discuss areas I need to improve on, and so on. I knew what my weak areas were, and I had been trying really hard to improve. All the managers had seen me trying my hardest. Nope. I lost my job. I hadn’t passed my probation, so I was being let go. Great. So now I’m completely jobless, with no safety net of hope for that new job.

It’s been a week, and it still doesn’t feel real. I still don’t feel like it’s actually happened. It probably doesn’t help that they haven’t kicked me out of the work group chat yet, but I’m not leaving until they make me!

I say it doesn’t feel real, but on some level I know it is. How do I know? Because my depression is back with full-force. So despite me still thinking that I’m going to get my rota come through my email, or trying to remember when my next shift is, a deeper part of me knows that it’s gone. I have become the stereotype for depression. I struggle to do the simplest things. Getting out of bed. Having a shower. Making food. Having the motivation to do anything. It’s all a struggle that requires absolutely all of my focus and energy. And focus is not a strength of mine right now. Nothing holds my attention.

The worst part of it is, I know I could be helping myself. Logically, I know that making an appointment with the GP to change/ increase my anti-depressants would help me. I know self-referring back into some kind of therapy would help me. I know that emailing/ texting the employment woman I used to see would help me. But I just can’t do it. It’s too much. My logical brain is telling me all of these helpful strategies, but my depression is telling me that they’re impossible, that my life is falling apart, that I’m useless and pointless, and that nothing will make this better.

The night that I lost my job, I self-harmed. Don’t worry, it was done safely. It wasn’t deep, and I cleaned and dried the wound to prevent infection. The majority of my brain right now is telling me that I’m a waste of space, that I’ll never amount to anything, and that I’d be better off not being here anymore. Thankfully even in my dark mood my logical brain still has a voice telling me that I can’t do that to the people that love me, but it’s still scary. It’s terrifying to think that any day now I might lose that last bit of logic and finally fall off the edge.

One little spark of light in the darkness, today has been slightly better. I managed to shower for the first time in several days, and I’ve had just enough motivation to write this post, and tidy a small part of my room. It was only putting my hair and makeup stuff into baskets to make them neater, but it’s something. Just doing these has been exhausting, but at least I’ve done something.

Thank you for reading, and if any of you are struggling right now too, hold on. We will get through to the other side, we just need to make it through the darkness first.

I’ll try to be back again soon. xo

You “lost” your job. I don’t think so. You know where that job is. Think of it as the universe telling you it is time to “find” something even better. Trust divine order.

– Mary-Frances Winters

Posted in jobs, work

Important interview

close up of drinking glass
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today I had an important interview at my local hospital.

I saw the position advertised mid-January, and applied the day after with a lot of excitement. It’s a job that I’m actually qualified for – experience desirable but not required, as the job included in-house training. I’ve got lab experience, and I’ve got experience working in a hospital setting, among other work experience from different jobs.

The online application closed 2 weeks earlier than the close date due to an overwhelming amount of response, so I was lucky to get an interview. I must have done something right on my application to have even made it this far.

Today was the big day. I prepped as much as possible for the interview. I got my interview outfit ready the night before so I wouldn’t be stressing in the morning, I printed off a copy of my online application and highlighted key pieces that I thought might be worth talking about, I typed up my previous lab experience so that I could look over it beforehand and prepare for any questions that might be asked, I printed out the Trust values to look over in case there was an opportunity to impress and show off my preparedness, and I wrote down the questions I wanted to ask them so I wouldn’t forget.

I did everything I possibly could to get ready, because that’s how much this job opportunity means to me. I even cancelled my holiday in order to be able to make it to the interview at all, even though it meant that I lost the money I’d spent on my flights.

The interview wasn’t what I expected.

The first thing they asked me was to tell them about myself and my hobbies. That threw me off. My mind went completely blank and I forgot anything and everything that I’m interested in.

I was expecting questions about my previous experience, my work ethic, and things like that. Admittedly they did ask some questions about if I’m able to work well under pressure, if I can work independently, and if I can handle confrontational colleagues/ patients, but nothing about my previous experiences.

I think I came across okay though. They seemed really nice, and I think that I answered the questions they did ask me well. I asked them the questions I had prepared and they seemed happy that I had thought to prepare questions. They also seem like a pretty chill department to work for! They have a very relaxed dress-code, and seemed to have no problem with me asking about uniform, hair colour, and piercings.

They said I should hear back from them by the end of this week, so at least it won’t be too long of a wait before I know either way!

Fingers-crossed for me guys. And while you’re at it, cross everything else for me too.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

See you again soon. xo

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.

– Arthur Ashe