Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Blog revival and mini update

It's been nearly two years since I last wrote a blog post. So, seeing as the kind folks who host my web address took out another two years of money from me in advance (without asking, thanks guys), I took it as a sign that LE BLOG LIVETH ON! For now anyway. We'll see how that goes...
A few major things to note since last time, mainly being that:

1. I made the rather bold decision to stop plodding my way through life and find a rewarding career and lifestyle that suits me best. I'm training to become an occupational therapist (OT) It's brilliant, it's hard work but it's totally worth it. I have completed one year now and I have two more to go. I already know I want to work within mental health, but I'm enjoying learning about all aspects of us interesting human folk and the world of OT in the process. More on this being a mature student business in a post still to come. 

2. I got one of those boyfriend things! I spent a fair while being single, learning to love myself and all of those classic cliches. It was a valuable and much needed experience. Then I happened to find a rather brilliant, smart, funny, dashing Swiss chap that rivalled me in all of my weirdness, so I snapped him up sharpish and he's been locked in my basement ever since made him my boyfriend!

3. I received a proper mental health diagnosis. After years of anxiety and ups and downs and often feeling like I've totally lost my mind, I learned that I'm actually pretty 'normal'. Yes, I agree, WTF even is normal anyway? But I mean this in the sense of I was able to understand these things better and - most importantly- identify with people who have shared similar experiences and live through many of the same things. More on this to come in another post too. 

So all in all, a pretty positive two years full of personal growth, professional development and my favourite - getting shit done!
I have a bit over a month before year two at University starts again so I'm busy earning money and planning a little backpacking trip to MYANMAR/BURMA in three weeks time! CAN YOU TELL HOW EXCITED? So I'll be focusing on that next because it's been a long while since I was in Southeast Asia (7 years!) which means there's a lot to plan and prep for and still a lot to cover. Watch this space ;)



Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Significant things that happened this year...

As I mentioned in my previous post, I haven't really been present for a lot of this year so far. I'm having to rely on pictures and conversations with friends to really jumpstart my hazy memory.
But so many things have happened without me really realising it.

  • I went to Canada. OH YEAH. Derp. It was ace and I really want to ski again because it feels pretty freaking awesome.
  • I became a Yogi. My friend said to me, "It's funny, you never really ask somebody if they do Yoga, but they always find a way of telling you they do"! That cracked me up. It's so true. No I don't drink green smoothies, I still eat meat (and everything in sight), I don't pay for extortionate yoga classes; but I do practice most days at home on my mat thanks to the fantastic females Bad Yogi and Yoga With Adriene
  • I worked on lots of fun TV shows, films and adverts. I've been a registered 'support artiste' (extra) for a while now so I finally get offered the good stuff and have a lot of juicy stories to tell that I have to keep my mouth shut about until they all come out. *Zips mouth*
  •  I had my heart broken. Yikes. It was awful. We were coming up to three years, I thought we'd be together forever, I thought that was it. NOPE! Life has a funny way of showing you what's not to be via a big fat smack in the face sometimes. But I survived. I will move on and I will heal, in time.
  • I hiked a goddamn mighty 100km in 28 hours for Oxfam. It was amazing/painful/never ending/impossibly hard but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. And we raised over £2000, so yey!

Bloody did it!
Getting to hug my best friends at the end

  • I moved out and found my own house (shared, obvs, this is London) in a new area. Me and the naughty kitty have finally settled in to our smaller home and we love our new housemates. Hurrah!
  • I threw a pretty epic Hen weekend away for my best friend. There was a pool. There was a seaside view. There were seven excitable females, a LOT of indulgent food aaaand of course some penis paraphernalia and hilarious hen games thrown in too.


Bundle on the bride!

  • I decided to write an album. Because, breakup material! So many sad songs. All of the feels. It'll be out in 2045 ;-)


Songs!

  • My best friend got MARRIED! And I was maid of honour along with our other best friend, 'Sinead of  honour'. It was one of the happiest days of our lives and I almost exploded with love and joy for all the brilliant people that were together in one place. Now we're wondering what on earth we'll all talk about after that!



Well that's me for now. Here's to a great Autumn and Winter next I hope! 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Coming back to life

I guess you could say I'm thawing out.
I feel as though I've been frozen in time. Watching life going on whilst I potter around, waiting for the ice to melt.

Describing depression to somebody who's never experienced it before is difficult. It's hard to make people understand the way our bodies are often working on auto pilot; we're there, but we're not really there.

It's a very dark place where no matter if the sun is shining, and if the ones you love are around you laughing and enjoying life, you can't help but be deafened by those unkind internal voices that say 'you're a failure, you have no future, you are just awful. Everything is awful'. It seems an impossible task to shake off those dark, heavy clouds that engulf you from the moment you wake.

The problem is I'm actually a really happy, funny, positive person; but I suffer from major depression. Much like many seemingly 'normal' people do.

You don't chose to be this way, you just get lumbered with an illness, much like your friend who has diabetes, or your next door neighbour who has cancer. A mental illness is no less important than a physical illness. It certainly takes enough lives so it is sad that it's not talked about as much as it should be.

I don't know exactly when it started, or when it left, or whether it was really there for the whole time or not; but it was there. And it broke up my life and left it in pieces. So now I have to rebuild it again and try not to fall into the same patterns that led me to getting so bad in the first place.

Now that I'm out of the thick of it I can appreciate once again that life is a gift. Depression is an illness of which there is no magical cure, but with the right people around you, the appropriate self help (medication, therapy, mindfulness - whatever works best for you) and the patience to ride out the turbulent waves, it is possible to come back to life again after a major depressive episode.

I'm looking forward to easing myself back into work again and being kind to myself about the fact I'm taking on a fraction of the responsibility and pay I had before. I'm looking forward to being maid of honour for my best friend's wedding next week. I'm looking forward to writing more songs to complete my album. I'm looking forward to finding somebody who loves me for all of me, not just my good side.
Most importantly, I'm looking forward. And that's enough for me for now.
Cue the cheesy motivational Pintrest quotes ;)


**If you're suffering from depression, anxiety, or any kind of mental illness and you want a place to talk openly, without judgement with likeminded people, please feel free to join our friendly One in Four community here.** 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Learning to find my balance

 I have never been a very consistent person. I’ve always swung from extremes, either utterly obsessed or totally uninterested in something. This has an effect on my moods too, so I tend to either be very energetic and full of good ideas, or totally down in the dumps and avoiding all human interaction. Cats are always welcome, of course!

So lately I’ve really been working on trying to find my balance. Trying to establish that pesky middle ground, see how it feels and keep myself there.
I’ve been really into Yoga since starting up the 30-day challenge in January, and I’ve pretty much been attempting it every day since then. (See my former comment about obsessions!)
I really hope this one lasts though, because out of everything it helps me to feel the most grounded, most peaceful and, coincidentally, the most balanced.

In homage to my inability to find this happy, calm medium; I have been focusing on headstands and handstands. Somehow my logic tells me if I can balance my body well, then in time I can balance my mind too.

Coming from somebody with little to no upper body strength, this has definitely been a challenge! But I am really enjoying the journey. Who knew it could be so calming being upside down?!

Yesterday something brilliant happened. I floated myself up effortlessly into a stable headstand and held myself there for a good 30 seconds, breathing mindfully and smiling as I realised what I had achieved. So today I thought I’d give it another go and try and get some progress shots in too so I can keep tabs on my home practice. Hey presto! Another successful headstand! I’m sure they won’t always come this easily, but for now I’m enjoying pushing myself and feeling the rewarding affects of my dedicated practice.



Maybe soon I’ll crack this whole balancing thing after all ;-)



Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Canada eh!

This post is epically late, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen!

Life has been pretty all over the place lately - more on that in another post. For now, here's a few observations from our awesome two weeks around British Columbia, Canada.

1. Whistler mountains are 1000 X SCARIER THAN EUROPEAN ONES! If you're a 'real' skier or snowboarder instead of an amateur like me, you'd probably pee your pants with excitement with the prospect of hurling yourself down either Whistler or Blackcomb mountain. For me though, who only ski'd(?) once on a school trip to Austria 10 years ago, I was peeing my pants with sheer fear.
Still, after day one and two of intense pain, concentration and mouthfuls of snow, I really began to settle in and have loads of fun on all the many crazy blue and green runs they had to offer.
We also got to zipline down a mountain one of the days with SuperFly Ziplines, and even though I was initially terrified, it was such a brilliant (and very easy) experience I would definitely recommend for all ages!

PRETTY BLOODY HIGH! 

I hired my skis from the super helpful, lovely guys at Affinity Sports in Whistler centre and loved them. They were really affordable too, I think £75 or so for 5 days hire. Shame I can't say the same for the EXTORTIONATE lift pass! ;) Affinity also had an offer on that enabled us to 2 for 1 at SuperFly which again just made us love them more.

2. Canadian weather is possibly even rainier than the UK.
We got wet. A lot. If you're looking to hike and sightsee and do super fun water sports, don't come in Jan/Feb. Or, if you do, invest in some good Goretex gear! It was perfect for snow sports, but not ideal for all our walks.
Vancouver looking a little gloomy!
3. Canadians are just as friendly as people say. Maybe even more friendly. We got a free upgrade at our incredible farm location on Vancouver island, we got free sake from some friendly people next to us at a Japanese restaurant we got chatting to, free entry tickets to local attractions, and just brilliant, smiley service everywhere we went. (And then we came back to London. SIGH).
Our B&B on Vancouver island came with a complimentary fat cat! 
4. Ignore the people who say go to Victoria on Vancouver island because it's 'so quaint and British and there's lots of lovely tearooms'. I'm sorry, but there are tons of incredible places on the island to explore (Tofino, Goldstream park, erm, other stuff) Victoria was just incredibly small and underwhelming for visitors. A cool place to live perhaps, but not for visiting for more than an afternoon. We did enjoy the museum though!

5. Ceasers are delicious, as is Maple syrup. And Tim Hortons. And sushi. ALL THE FOOD IN CANADA IS DELICIOUS. Canada is basically just brilliant and you should all go.


MAAAAPLE SYYYYRUPPPPP!
Side note - if you wanted to copy our itinerary because, well why wouldn't you, it rocked! Just drop me a message and I can wax lyrical about all the brilliant places we stayed in in Vancouver, Malahat on Vancouver Island and Whistler. You're welcome! ;)