It’s not often that I have trouble sitting down to blog. I have a note pad of ideas and stuff that’s been going on but as I sit down at my keyboard I’m just a little bit, well, stuck. I don’t want the blog to get too samey and I’m trying to work out some more interesting weekly things, the book reviews go out on a Thursday so maybe something on a Monday? I don’t know. I’m just playing around with ideas at the moment and my head’s all over the place so hold tight there will be more awesome content but tonight I need to just do some thinking!
As you all know I haven’t been able to go out much for the last 6/7 months so I’ve thought up 5 alternative Friday nights
- Have a cosy reading night
Take a stack of books on your to-read list, multiple cups of tea and blankets sounds like a great night in to me. The only type of hangover I’ll end up with is a book hangover.
2. Movie Night!
I’m not talking about any of the chick flicks in the picture. I’m talking a Harry Potter Marathon, a Star Wars Marathon that kind of thing!
3. Take Away
My new gym routine means I can’t have too many of these but I’m sure that would cheer most people up. Get on Just Eat and get what you’re craving.
4. Catch up with the people you love
My Mum and I take all the time but my sister’s in school all day so we don’t get to talk as often, I’ve spent many a night catching up with my sister.
5. Catch up on some sleep
Because c’mon what’s better than sleep?
She’s fine, she’s always so happy, she achieves everything she wants. Blah, blah, blah. It’s all NOISE to someone with depression. The outside is a very superficial thing, I can’t even begin to count the amount of times in the last 6 years I’ve plastered on a smile or a look to make people think that I’m enjoying myself or that I’m mentally in the room. It really upsets me, especially when sometimes people who are close to me can’t tell the difference either.
In the past week I’ve had a lot to deal with trying to get back into work, my spine flat out freaking out and refusing to let me move, having to cancel a show, a close pet dying, handing in my notice to the society, more pain, having a leak in my ceiling, missing home and everything just got too much. I got to the point where I couldn’t go anywhere that wasn’t extremely important and I only just got there. I dragged myself to my physio session and hardly spoke to anyone because I was so much pain. I couldn’t face uni for the past week. No one really cared, I became invisible in all but one situation.
You learn a lot through this illness. You learn who understands, who pretends they do. You learn what the right ways to look after yourself are eventually and how to go about them. You learn who will just sit with you, saying nothing but just being there because that’s what you need on your lowest day. You learn who will write you off as wanting ‘attention’ or ‘being selfish’ and who is educated enough to know this isn’t something you want or can switch on and off.
I don’t even know if I’m making much sense in this post but I think that might be because my own head doesn’t make sense to me half the time. The same way other people don’t because I just have a different variation of what normal is. I finally feel on my feet again, inching towards my assignments, ready to go back to class tomorrow and work with kids who need their confidence boosted. I’m still struggling and I don’t know how to feel about the rest of the week but I’m getting there with Ali, my incredible family and one or two close friends making sure I don’t fall again.
I’ll get there, after all what they say is true you live, you learn.
“Bad ideas are sometimes necessary.” It sounds so much like an excuse, it’s such an addict thing to say, that it makes my skin crawl.”
Sophie counts the days, the weeks, the months that she’s been drug free. Not your average image of a drug addict Sophie is a young woman who fell into an addiction for painkillers. Four months ago her best friend Mina was murdered, they say by a drug deal gone wrong but Sophie knows the truth. There was no drug deal and there was no accident, Mina was murdered and she has to get people to believe her before the killer comes for her next.
All hail Tess Sharpe. I have to say that after reading this novel I was absolutely hooked, I wanted to read it about five times over because it had just been so magnificently written. Who can be believed, who can be trusted? No one knows in this gritty thriller novel if you loved Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls then you’ll adore Far From You. I’ve been thrusting copies into my friends hands since I read it because each chapter takes you somewhere you didn’t think it would.
Sophie and Mina are really interesting characters and the meaning of best friends. When Mina is murdered and Sophie wakes up next to her body, only knowing this is where Mina needed to be she knows that she’s in trouble. After she passes out again the police find drugs in her pocket. No one will listen to her not her parents, not the police, not anyone and if no one is going to help she’s going to have to follow Mina’s clues herself and hopefully Mina’s killer.
I love a thriller with decent twists and turns that no one can see coming, I cannot ruin it but the ending is something else that, out of everyone I’ve spoken to, no one can see coming. I did have some small worries about getting stuck into this book and the character of Sophie mainly because I didn’t want her portrayed badly because in the first few pages I really did fall in love with her and completely understand what she was going through.
There are also some very interesting relationships as you go through the novel, there are very little clues that I can give without unravelling the plot but just as you think, ok I know what’s going on here Sharpe throws another curveball and you’re back where you started and eager for more. I stayed up a lot later than I should have reading this book and can 100% say that I didn’t regret it.
It’s no surprise that I’m giving Far From You 5 stars *****. Tess Sharpe is a fantastic writer and after finding out that this is also a debut I was even more excited to see what she has coming next. A breathtaking and fast paced read that any thriller fan will love, although one word of advice don’t start reading it when you have something important to do the next day because staying up all night reading is highly likely.
Review by Chloe Metzger
I thought I was done crying over my spine, I guess not. Today has not been a great day in terms of my spine, what started as just sadness and anger turned into almost being quickly taken into hospital to be hooked up to pain relief. I honestly thought that with the physio, gym sessions and other things I was on the mend, although I was still in pain I thought the excruciating part of it was gone but it’s very much alive in muscle spasms. While I’m on a lot of painkillers, I’m on nothing for my muscle spasms and currently my back and all around my hip is rock hard because of it.
I’ve had to pull out of a show again tonight which I hate, I hate letting anyone down and I hate not being able to perform, possibly the worst part of recovery. I’m miserable with not being able to easily play shows. I thought this part was over, I hoped this was a thing of the past. I was getting ready, about to go load up the car when simply walking around the flat I felt a sharp pain and that was it I was out. The pain was awful, Ali and I tried to wait it out, resting and then trying to walk again but I couldn’t. I was in agony, limping heavily and sobbing. I wasn’t going anywhere tonight. That started about 4 and a half hours ago, I’m still in pain but it feels more manageable now.
On Monday, I finally made the decision to leave the Horse Riding society after talking to my mental health mentor. I really wasn’t coping mentally or physically very well and the society was what was stressing me out most, I had to let the members know today and I am not ashamed to say I cried after posting:
I’m writing this with deep sadness. As most of you will know I was in an accident earlier in the year, breaking my spine. I’ve still got nearly 2 years of recovery time and will probably never ride again. While I’ve loved being a part of the society and your president lately my mental health has deteriorated along with more struggles and nerve damage due to my injury. It is because of this my medical team have said that it would be best for me to step down as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who rode with me, made me smile and was a friend. I will always love this society and hope that I can still be a friend. I have handed in my notice meaning we are looking for a new president asap and I leave you in the capable hands of Daniela and Amy, while Amanda will be back from leave when she can (please contact them in relation to any questions, queries, rides).
Thank you so much for everything.
A lot of people commented saying they were sad to see me go, to say thank you and a lot of people to say that I was brave. I still don’t think I fully understand why I’m brave? Because I was honest about the reasons? Because I stepped down to look after myself? I certainly don’t feel brave. I worry I’m letting everyone down, that if anything happens to the society it will be my fault. I worry I’ll lose friends. Now it’s done though and I really need to focus on my studies and try to remember my time with happiness, not tears.
Happier times at the society
I still have a long way to go with my spine and tonight’s reminded me of that. I’m so lucky to have so many amazing people around me caring for me and helping me carry on going forward when times are hard. I don’t know what the future holds in terms of recovery, I’ve been told around 2 years for successful recovery but I’m not holding on to that as a solid date, after all when it first happened I was told I had a 6 week recovery, laughable now. Almost 7 months down and who knows how many to go but I will keep going, I’ll just need a little help along the way.
What do you think the biggest killer of men under 45 is? Road Accidents? Cancer? Addiction? Any of these are possible but the result may shock you, it’s suicide. Thousands of men every day will attempt to take their own lives and unfortunately a lot will succeed.
A lot people would have seen the title and gone what in the name of hell is she talking about? International men’s day? What kind of feminist is she? The answer isthe one who contributes to equality and the rate of male suicide is something that needs to be tackled by both genders together, because that is how we will save people. Men are under a lot of pressure, there is a pressure to get a six pack and love the gym, a pressure to be masculine, worries if you are not straight and how other men will react (especially for teenage boys), pressure to be a breadwinner for your family. Society puts a lot of pressure on men and it’s no wonder that a lot of them feel overwhelmed!
When searching for an image those associated with depression were almost all women. I searched for a long time to find an image of a man. We refuse to acknowledge that men, half of the population, are not immune from mental health. This comes with the stupid notion that mental illness is associated with the weak (ha!). As a society we need to accept that firstly, mental illness is not a weakness, it is an illness and secondly men need just as much support.
I have a lot of male friends who have different conditions and the statistics both scare me and make me angry. I’m scared because I don’t want any of my friends to find it too much and kill themselves. I’m angry because for something that’s the biggest killer of young men there isn’t a lot that’s being done about it.
We can help them though, we can keep talking, keep reaching out. The way to beat this stigma and save the men in our lives is to be open and honest, I cannot stress enough have important talking is in all of this. You never know how much just talking to someone will could save a life.
If anyone reading this is suicidal and don’t feel they can call someone they are close to there are numbers you can call or please seek urgent medical advice. Remember you are worth it, you really are.
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com.
- Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
- Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
- Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
image from imagesofnation.com
I am a competitive person. I have been for a long time and since being at uni it’s definitely increased. Partly my need to achieve and be the best is to shut up my anxiety and depression who like the tell me that I’m shit but it’s got to this competitive stage, even though I’d never be mean about it. The person I’m the absolute worst to is myself, I am super competitive with me!
Today I was in my 2nd gym class and I’ve started taking into account the little exercise I can do as well as keeping track of what I’m eating and trying to control my portion sizes as well as make better choices. With that in mind and the fact that I already had physio yesterday I did something a little silly, I pushed myself too much. I was getting so happy to see the numbers going up and just the thought of being able to fit into some of my favourite clothes just spurred me on a little too much.
I’m pretty sore right now but I’ve learnt my lesson and I won’t over do it again. I’ve been very strict with myself about numbers, I don’t need anything else negative in my life or anything I could control in a bad way so I banned scales. I don’t have any in my flat apart from kitchen ones on purpose because I know that I would just constantly weigh myself, compare myself and get stupidly anxious over it and then cry and be unhappy, no matter how thin I was.
So in a way I’m doing this blind, there’s no number here. I have a rough idea of what I weighed a while ago and after the end of my sessions I will try on my dress and possibly look when I’m at my parents house but there will be NO obsessive checking because I got absorbed with weight as a teenager. That’s the lovely part of being a teenager, puppy fat, bullying, being told to go to weight watchers, all lovely stuff. The best thing about this recovery is there’s no pressure, just support. I chose to take the class, I’m choosing what I eat and what portion size I want and when I want a day off and a take away.
So maybe I need to work on being a little less competitive for all of this to work and stop being so hard on myself. After all this is recovery, not the Olympics and hopefully it will do wonders for my stress levels too!