Reflection, Sharing, Uncategorized

Podcasts, careers & skin picking

I must say, podcasts have changed my life. Specifically women such as Elizabeth Day with How To Fail, Fearne Cotton with Happy Place and Bryony Gordon with Mad World. When I was still living in London I listened to Maya Jama’s podcast, When Life Gives You Melons, which was amazing but unfortunately there haven’t been any new episodes since September 2018.

There is something very reassuring and comforting that there are others who can connect with you on a certain level. Even more so that this is possible with strangers. I love the fact that they are women who are supporting others whilst learning to make their own way through life. I love that this material is available for normal people like us to listen to. I love that their experiences are shared, just the same as their guests.

I’ve just been for a long walk and listened to the latest Happy Place episode, which has Fearne Cotton ‘interviewing’ Elizabeth Day. A truly wonderful episode. It’s left me feeling inspired yet again to work out some form of plan for my life or just work out the direction I would like it to go in so that I can form an idea of what to do next (first).

Since moving in with my boyfriend (long story there as well, probably will be something I write about in a coming post), I have had some more time to be able to sit. Time to identify things and reflect. Time to actually see how I am feeling. Having time to just do nothing is definitely a welcome change, although it’s a lot to get used to. I don’t feel bored by sitting on my own and thinking. I feel like there is absolutely not enough time in the world for it. No wonder so many of us dream about winning the jackpot on the lottery – if we had time to sit and think, ponder, dream, evaluate… and not have to work to have money… we could do so much for ourselves and others.

The absolute need here is definitely to do a job that you love. One that doesn’t feel a chore to do, and you can earn a sense of achievement from doing it.

How do so many of us get stuck in this trap of working to just earn some money to live? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why would we not strive harder to do a job we love and which brings us daily satisfaction? Is this me being lazy? Can’t be. It’s just making certain decisions. I work incredibly hard at my job, it’s not the easy way out. It’s just not the dream. I spend too much time and brain power at work; it stops me working on alternative things later on, the subjects I would love to focus on more and perhaps start a new career in.

The next thing I need to do is start to do things when I’m alone with no plans. Skin picking is still a problem which manifests itself in nail biting and picking at my face, but does involve picking my legs and bikini line, breasts and upper arms.  If I used this time to do more constructive things, it would (obviously) end up being rewarding when I get things done. Skin picking reduced a lot over the last few months, although I’d say in the last couple of weeks it’s reared it’s ugly head more often, and for longer stints.

Hopefully starting up on this blog again will help me with getting my ducks in a row. Find out what I need to focus my time on more, and help me figure out a plan. There is a certain feeling of needing to work towards something that my aunt Paula would be proud of. She’s made such a huge impact on my life, in positive ways, and since she changed my life so much I definitely want to bear her in mind when making my next steps.

Uncategorized

It’s been a while…

That point where you think everything is finally going your way… And then it vanishes.

This is me right now.

I wonder if the feeling of me falling into unsociable, silent, awkward, sensitive states is because I’m actually letting myself think about the things that are going on with me and how they are affecting me.

This is the weather today… And I feel basically the same.

Definitely need to work on reducing the things going on in my life and also looking after me.

If I’m not up to scratch, I’m no good for anyone else …

Blog, Body Dysmorphia Disorder, OCD, Reflection, Sharing

How did I not know?!

Dermatillomania … Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t until last night! 

Well I have been suffering with this for 16 years, getting progressively worse over time. And I had absolutely no idea that it was a ‘thing’. And right now I can’t actually believe it. 

Last night I was reading about OCD and ways that people with body dymorphia disorder pick at their skin, because I’ve always done this and never spoken to anybody about it. In more extreme cases it is about harming yourself as well as trying to rid your skin of imperfections. And this part definitely resonates with me. 

Numerous times I’ve thought about how it possibly could be named self harm because of the damage I’ve done and continue to inflict upon myself, but because it’s not the mainstream image of self harm (excuse my ignorance here, the only self harm I’ve ever known about are ways such as cutting skin on wrists and legs etc with blades and sharper objects) I’ve told myself to stop being dramatic. In turn that’s stopped me getting help. 

I just didn’t know. 

There is also the huge deal of actually asking for help. The thought of having to show my affected areas to people fills me with so much dread. From going swimming where I don’t know anyone, the gym and only having my shorter pants clean, to going abroad and having to wear shorter clothes and possibly even swimwear. Going for smear tests is a huge thing every time it’s due (I have to go every year too because of abnormal cells being found in my first test) and the doctors for general tests. Never mind getting naked in front of my partner and being totally visible.

Every single relationship I have ever had (and still have) in my life have all been affected by this problem. It’s literally ruled the way I live for over half of my life. And now I need help.

Uncategorized

Home?

This week is a killer for feeling lost. 

I feel like being closer to my home town could help, because my closer family live there and I crave their company regularly. On the other hand, I remind myself that leaving that place was my greatest achievement and how miserable I was living there. 

I love the independence of living nowhere near the family, especially when I live in London. But times like this make you want the love more really available. I can rely on my boyfriend for that most of the time, but what about when that’s not enough?

My other half has given our relationship a couple of bumps in the duration so far. Nothing I can’t forgive and nothing too terrible, but sometimes a week apart would be good so he can properly feel the effect of his actions. At the moment because we live together, it’s just not practical to opt for the silent treatment! And neither of us can afford to rent a room somewhere just for that luxury.

Growing up sure is difficult.

Last night I looked though old birthday cards and found one from my aunt who passed away in July this year. It was the last card I received from her. It shook me and I would never have expected such a small thing to get me in such a big way. I miss her all of the time and I really did love her a great deal. I hope she knew. 

Blog, Sharing

A Quick One

Trying to make this blog run in any order or make total sense, I’m afraid, is currently impossible. I find my mind flitting from one thing to the next, totally uncontrollably. Bear with me!

I find my counselling sessions are just as frustrating. Things are taken from my shoulders be being shared with my counsellor, but often I start on one subject and then it seems to seamlessly change to another 6 subjects, without fully exploring the first thing. If this sounds familiar, then you’re not alone!

My mum described this to me last week, and ever since, I’ve felt better about it:

The issues you have and are sharing with your counsellor is like a knotted ball of string (or fairy lights – lord knows how annoying that is to untangle!). You untangle one knot, and then you’ll find you can untangle another knot at another end of the string. They are not near each other and it’s annoying that you are trying to make the end straight and work along in order. But you can’t.

Each knot you untangle is a tiny bit of straight string. They are all over the place but nevertheless, the bits of straight are becoming larger. Eventually they will meet.

The counselling sessions work in a similar way. It won’t all make sense immediately but eventually it will (hopefully!) fall into place and it’ll make sense.

Do you ever feel like you’re going through the motions of a life but not feeling it?

I am definitely at the stage in my life where I have to change it up.

My counsellor asked me today what me being ‘happy’ looked like. I explained.

Should I be worried that the happy me was slim, well dressed and happy at work but there was no mention of family or friends? At the moment I worry about the meaning of everything I have and haven’t said…

My counsellor then asked me when I was last really happy.

I said I don’t know.

I’ve had happy times in my life and had happy things happen, but I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been 100% happy. All through my life I’ve been horrifically self conscious for many reasons and had drama going on with family which is upsetting at the best of times.

I can’t believe I’ve never been totally content and happy. Although I can’t say I’ve ever been in bliss. How have I not realised this before?!

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Drugs & PCOS

Today is a tired day. This full week I’m feeling extremely docile and sleepy. And it’s not just the feeling of general tiredness, it’s a weird feeling because it is different. Definitely medication induced. I’ve been taking Sertraline for 3 weeks now, and I feel it’s going well. On Saturday I started taking Empagliflozin too. Since then is when I’ve not felt great.

The Empagliflozin is for the PCOS. I’ve signed up to take part in an NHS study for this drug as it’s supposed to be good for women suffering with poly cystic ovary syndrome, as well as diabetics. At the moment only Metformin is available, and it doesn’t agree with everyone, so finally more is being done.

I can’t wait for the weekend!

Blog, Sharing

The moment of realisation.

The moment your brain actually decides to evaluate all of your symptoms and realise that 2 + 2 = depression is a glorious moment. Not only do you realise that no, you didn’t actually turn into a mad man, but you are also able to be cured and not end up in a mental hospital.

For a long while I was suffering with a long list of physical and emotional symptoms and it was getting me seriously down in the dumps. I’m not usually ill in general and for all of my ailments to point to no cure was so frustrating and also worrying. So (eventually) I wrote lists.

The first list was showing all of the things that were on my mind long term, or that were affecting me (mainly making me nervous, stressed or anxious).

  • Loss of Nan
  • Worry for my Grandad now alone
  • Loss of my aunt
  • Worry for my Grandad, Mum and all of that side of the family for the losses of Nan and aunt
  • Fertility worries
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome problems
  • Trying to lose weight
  • Can’t sleep
  • Trying to help cousin with new business
  • Guilt and sadness for another aunt on the same side of the family who’d been recently hospitalised
  • Mum is exhausted and I’m extremely worried she wouldn’t be ok
  • Dad works too much and is too tired and very sad.
  • Work stresses – ridiculous work load, pressure to study, pressure to progress, client visits and events, not any/much support. Work approx 10 hours overtime a week for which I don’t get any overtime pay. Scared of having claims made against me for mistakes or not actioning something that a client has sent, if I’ve missed it.
  • Friends putting pressure on me to meet up and spend money.
  • Flat – just moved out and have loads less money than before
  • Just bought a house – contractors, money, bills, labour that I have to do
  • Living in my overdraft
  • No money to actually enjoy myself.

The second list was a list of every physical symptom I was feeling.

  • Headaches
  • Grinding teeth day and night
  • Bad dreams – loss, death, rejection
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Talking – forgetting words, slurring, mind going blank mid sentence.
  • Sensitive (emotionally)
  • Chest pain – sharp stabbing pain sometimes and makes it painful to breathe
  • The feeling that my head will implode
  • Everything in my head is moving too fast for me to process
  • Sex drive very low
  • Reluctance to get out of bed
  • Just want to be alone, asleep, unconscious
  • Always panicking about dying
  • Ulcers in my mouth sometimes
  • Dippy belly a lot of the time or totally constipated
  • Biting my nails
  • Not worth making an effort with appearance
  • Extremely distracted
  • Clumsy / accident prone
  • Often sweaty even when cold
  • Anxiety

Both lists were pretty long to be honest!

Realising what was wrong and getting the help was like getting to the petrol station with an empty tank. Like I’d been running on empty for so long, hoping to survive, and then finally getting to a pit stop with help at hand.

Listen to your body! It tells you when things are wrong and it’s us that choose to ignore these signs!

I can already say that counselling is absolutely changing my life. I can also say that going on antidepressants was the best thing I could have done too. I was diagnosed with depression in March but thought I’d get through it, and have only just started on Sertraline. I wish I’d started them in April!

If you’re going through hard times, talk to someone trusted about it. Go and see your doctor. Write down how you’re feeling. Get help. Turn it around 🙂

X

Blog, Sharing, Travel

The road continues 

Today has definitely been a good day.

But don’t you often feel like disappearing for a while?

I seriously feel like if I was to board a plane tomorrow with no plans except travelling to beautiful destinations, not worrying about my income or financial responsibilities, I’d be better in a month. Or less (hello there confidence).

Where would you go?


I think my destinations would be either Thailand and Malaysia or South America, and I guess the fun part is the fact that I wouldn’t really be planning it, I’d just hop on the cheapest flight and leader around the world for a few months.
My happy place when I am thinking of calmer times is being in Thailand with two friends where I was blown away by the scenery and generosity of the locals. I often day dream about the beaches and calm water, and of snorkelling in the sea amongst hundreds of fish, all different colours, sizes and patterns.

For now it’s time for my first Pilates class, so wish me luck! 😬

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