Posted in About me, Blogiversary

Happy 1st Blogiversary!

That’s right, it’s been a whole year since my first post on this blog!

In some ways I’ve come a long way since then, and in other ways not much has changed at all. I still feel like I’m failing at life, and that I should be further along by now. I’m still dreading the progression of time and getting older – with my upcoming 25th birthday looming over me. I’m still keeping this blog anonymous for now, but I have been thinking more and more recently about introducing myself completely. We’ll see.

This year has had a lot of ups and downs. If you’ve been following this blog for a while then you’ll know just how much of a mixed bag it’s been. But I’m getting there. Slowly. But it’s progress at least.

This blog ended up evolving into something a bit different to what I had originally planned. It was originally going to focus on mental health and life stresses, with some helpful advice on what I’ve found that works for me thrown in there. Don’t get me wrong, it still does have those things in it! However it also has reviews for books and films that I’ve wanted to share with you (and hopefully some game reviews too at some point). It also has seasonal posts, and a series of posts about things “I love…”.

I never wanted this blog to be all doom and gloom. I didn’t want it to be a negative space. But at the same time I didn’t want to lie and be dishonest with you guys. I didn’t want to force myself to act happy and pretend that everything was all sunshine and rainbows. So instead it’s become my space to say anything and everything that I want to. And that’s just the way I want it to be.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.

I do also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account to support this blog! Currently it’s mostly used just to notify followers that a new post is up, but I’d like to start using them to engage with you guys more soon, so watch this space!

Facebook: @IntroducingMeMyselfandI
Twitter: @IntroducingMMI

I’ll see you guys soon. xo

May this year be merely the first of many great ones to come.

– Megan Rubey

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Posted in I love..., mental health, work

I love… My colleagues

focus photo of super mario luigi and yoshi figurines
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hello all!

Long time no see. It’s been a while. And I really mean a while. My last post was in April!

If you’ve been here a while then you know why I’ve been missing for so long, but just in case you’re new around here, here’s a quick recap!

I’ve had anxiety and depression for a years now, but when I lost my job in February I went off the deep end. My depression got so bad that I was at the point of being unable to care for myself. I wasn’t eating properly, I wasn’t showering, and I just stayed in bed. No motivation to do anything, and everything I had previously enjoyed (including this blog) lost all meaning. So I just stopped doing anything.

Now I’m still not 100% back to being me, but I’m slowly on the way up!

On top of my mental health difficulties, I have also physically been unwell, and started working again, and still do all my volunteering, on top of everything else that I’ve got going on in my life at the moment! So it’s been a busy and stressful time to say the least. But the only way I’m going to start enjoying my life again is to start getting back into the things I love. Which brings us to this post!

Today I want to talk to you about why I love my colleagues.

I’ve recently started working at Game again while looking for more long term jobs at the hospital, and honestly, I love the people. I cannot think of a better team of individuals.

Let’s start with the managers.

The managers genuinely care about how I’m doing. They check on me to make sure I’m settling back in okay, and we have a really good laugh together. The store manager has told me that I’m her new favourite, and that she wants to keep me forever. It does feel really nice to hear that you’re wanted (in a job setting) after feeling so useless for months. And the deputy manager is really happy with the acronym I came up with for one of the policies in store, because there is likely to be an inspection coming up soon! I’ve even had my acronym shared to the managers of the whole region, with my managers naming me personally for coming up with it! Proud moment! I feel like they genuinely care about my achievements and progression. They’re always encouraging me.

Next: the colleagues.

I’m going to start with three of them, and then give a special shout out to one in particular.

For now I’m still keeping this blog anonymous, so I’m just going to use initials. R and T have been really helpful at getting me back into the swing of things at work. No question is a stupid question, and they don’t mind me taking my time with things to make sure I get it right. Again, we have a really good laugh together (it’s a very banter filled store), and they actually take the time to explain things to me step-by-step, even if it’s takes a while.

*As a quick side note, thank you to all of the customers that have been patient with me since I’ve started back at work! I know I’ve been slow, but you’ve all been very kind about it.*

Then there is another T (I’m just now realising that we have two R’s and two T’s… *sigh*). We don’t see each other much on shift, because we have different job roles, but he checks in on me too. He has his own mental health issues, so he gets it.

And now, for my special shout out. The absolutely amazing, M.

He just gets me. Wow that sounds cliche. But it’s true. We just click in a different way from the rest of the team. We have a similar wave length. We even did a few things in sync with each other on shift yesterday! I honestly don’t have enough words to praise this guy. He has been the most supportive person since I’ve been back. Actually, scrap that. He’s been the most supportive person even before I was back!

*Quick story time. A couple of months ago I had a pretty big panic attack while I was in town on my own. My instinct was to get to somewhere safe, so I went to Game. I know everyone there and I’m comfortable being vulnerable in front of them. M was on shift, and he helped me get through my panic attack. Poor man, I was a crying mess. But he wasn’t phased in the slightest. He just talked about anything and everything with me until I calmed down enough to head home. He even got me laughing!*

Since I’ve been back, he has been my rock. He’s always checking up on me to make sure I’m okay, seeing if I need help with anything, and just generally being there for me. And like I said, similar wave lengths, which means our banter is extra special because I feel more comfortable being sassy and more “out there” with him, because I know he’ll get the joke.

I feel incredibly lucky to work with such an amazing team, and honestly I am super grateful for them. I know that my transition back into working again would be a lot harder if it wasn’t for them. As stupid and cliche as it sounds, we really are like a family.

Lots of side notes today, but here’s one more! Because Game is only part time hours, I’m also starting a new part time job next month at the hospital! It was supposed to be this month, but there was a delay in getting one of my references… I’m really nervous to start a new job that I don’t have experience in, but my Matron that I’ll be working for is the loveliest woman in the whole world. She has been so kind and helpful during this process, and I can’t wait to start working for her!

I’m hoping that this is the start of me being back on my blog again, but life happens. I make no promises, but I’m aiming to start off with one post a week to ease myself back into it.

I’ll see you all again soon! xo

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.

– Ed Cunningham

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

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