Remembering the good.

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If you haven’t guessed already I love pictures like the one above. I love words and slogans and nice backgrounds. I guess it’s because sometimes I don’t have the image that says what I want to say or sometimes I don’t have the words to say how I feel. It’s because of that I use Pinterest a lot because sometimes the words I need are already there. I don’t use the quote I picked today because I think I’m this brave, strong person. I’ve always said I’ve simply got on with my life the best I can.

I’ve thought a lot about the accident in the past few days, about my spine. This isn’t because I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, more because I’ve been in pain again and there’s nothing more frustrating. When my doctors say the scans look normal and my physio says there’s not much he can do and yet I’m still in pain a lot of the time. When I’m in the awkward part where I still can’t walk too far or stand up for long periods of time and have to explain that I’m recovering from a spine injury. When I have to call venues and explain why I need a seat and they have to decide if I’m ‘disabled enough’, because I’m not officially registered as disabled but at the same time I’m still struggling so much. Don’t get me wrong I do not want another label at all, but sometimes it’s what other people want so I can get the help I need at concert venues for example.

So while I was feeling pretty down about this yesterday, I had a conversation with Ali about how I was feeling and why. He reminded me that while the accident was shitty, awful and did change a lot of my life, a lot of positives came out of it too. I was reminded of these again when I went to see Joe tonight.

  • I’ve got a new appreciation for my body when it’s healthy
  • I’ve gotten better at taking me time and not doing things I don’t want to do
  • I’ve learnt a lot about friendship
  • I’ve got a much better relationship with food, portion sizes and exercise
  • I met Alice, who has come to be a great friend and support to me, I would never have set foot in a gym if it wasn’t for the accident
  • My relationships gotten stronger
  • I have a new sense of understanding when it comes to physical disabilities
  • I got a job I love that I might not have applied for if I hadn’t been spending so much time online when I couldn’t move
  • I got a lot of reading done
  • As a result of the reading I finally embraced feminism and found a new passion

There’s a lot there and I think, as with anything that changes your life when you don’t expect it, there’s a lot to deal with. Sometimes I forget all the positives because I’m just having a down day, that’s all. I worried about writing tonight’s blog because I have had people in the past saying I think too much about my spine, that it takes over my life. Then I shook the thought off because of COURSE breaking your spine is going to have a huge impact on your life, it changes everything for at least the first year – two years after it happens. I no longer care about the ignorant or negative people who don’t try and understand or make throwaway comments because my spine and how I handle it is a part of my life. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Stylist Live!

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This week I was lucky enough to win tickets to Stylist Live, this is Stylist magazine’s first big event, located in central London with great speakers such as Katie Piper, Nigella Lawson, Dawn O’porter to name just a few. The event has been running for the past few days and today was its last. Now I had no idea what to expect from an event like this, I’ve never been to anything fashion and magazine like before.

So Dani and I turned up, were handed a drink and just kind of wandered around until there was something we wanted to do. I got the impression that the event was for people with money and speaking to great companies but a lot of them are way out of my price range. It was a nice thing to go to but I don’t think I would have paid £25 for a ticket because there just wasn’t enough to do. While I had a plan of all these talks I wanted to go to the rooms were too small, getting there 15-20 minutes early and the talk was already full. You’d have to wait for nearly an hour to go to one talk, meaning you would miss your next one.

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I did enjoy seeing my first proper fashion show, even if I didn’t take it entirely seriously, really because catwalk fashion is always a little off to me. The catwalk was better because it was based on high street, even though I definitely don’t have the body type for 90% of the outfits on the catwalk. I think I’ll stick to my Next jumpers and Topshop jumpers!

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We made the most of the day though, we left early because the queues were crazy and ended up in an amazing little Oxfam bookshop where I ended up getting a load of stuff for my dissertation and there was an amazing piano (in the top left of the above picture). I’m glad I got to spend the day with Daniela and do something a little different, as well as getting some good news which you’ll have to check tomorrow’s post for. All in all I think I’m going to be sticking mostly with book reviews and my student bits and pieces, I’m not quite a fashionista yet.

10 Reasons to Keep Smiling

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We all have days where we need a little pick me up, sometimes for no reason. I decided to write 10 reasons to keep smiling, even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing. The days are getting shorter and I for one know I have had a bit of  rough time lately so I hope you enjoy!

1. Smile at others 

This really does make you feel better! I usually like smiling at old people because you just see their whole face light up and it makes me feel good as well as them! Just one smile can change another persons whole day as well as yours!

2. Do something you love 

We all have loves, hobbies or just little things we enjoy doing. Since I’ve had to give up horse riding (which is really, really hard but not worth the risk to my health) I’ve had to find other things to do to unwind. Now I’ve started to write and draw more.

3. Be around people who make you feel good 

There is nothing worse than being around people who put you down or make you miserable. If your having an off day then staying away is a must! Stick around the people who make you smile just from their company and you’ll feel much better.

4. Write a list 

Write a list of things you need to do, things you’ve done, anything! If your struggling breaking it down can make you go ‘oh okay that isn’t as bad’. If you’re feeling happy anyway why not write a list of things you enjoy, places you want to visit etc (my top tip write in funky colours!).  If I’m really down I try and write down things to be grateful for.

5. Think of 5 things you are grateful you have 

I used to do this on the way to school to cheer myself up, it would make me focus on the positives in my life and then the negatives didn’t seem so bad at all. There are really simple thing to be grateful for for me they’re things like having a family to love and support me, that I can make music, that I have my education and a strong and solid relationship.

6. Comfort food IS OK!!!! 

I hate fad diets, if you want to eat then go eat. I can’t stand people talking to me about calories or trying to make me feel bad. Don’t let others dictate to you what you should eat if I want to go to McDonalds or get some chocolate I will, regardless of anyone else!

7. Turn the music up and dance like nobody can see you 

This is great especially when your cleaning just dance around like your bonkers and make yourself laugh. I like doing this with my sister when we agree on music 🙂

8. Give someone a hug 

Hugs are great, I love hugs.

9. Read a good book 🙂 

Oh come on could I really leave this out?! Reading just takes me away to an entirely different place.

10. Laughter is really the best medicine

I will watch funny Youtube video, stand up comedy and movies. That or I’ll be around people I know I love to laugh with.

Laugh lots. Laugh while you love. Laugh while you live.  

What are your reasons to keep smiling?

Athens Day 4: Spine Strike, Stalker Pigeons and Writing Inspiration

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Hello and thank you for understanding my late writing. Today was a very different day to what I’ve been used to in Greece. My Spine decided it had, had enough and I spent nearly all day lying in bed watching BBC World news and trying not to sulk. Yep, I over did it so for the next few days I’m going to have to go very easy until I get home. Ali and I took a short trip downstairs to grab a late lunch in the hotel bar, where we were stalked by hungry Pigeons! Despite my protests he didn’t leave me on my own, he stayed in the room with me working on his laptop and helping me any way he could.

Of course I still had class and that was something I wasn’t willing to miss, even if it took me ages to get up there. So I stocked up on my pain medication and made the trip, my walking was a little better after all the rest but like hell was I going to push it. We spoke about another student’s piece before being sent to do our assignment of the day.  I went to fit somewhere to fit and be inspired and ended up under a tree. I had this overwhelming sense of loneliness sitting there. I looked around and just missed London so much.

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I want to go and explore different cities, obviously, but none will stay in my heart like London. It’s a part of my heart and the Thames goes through my second home. Even when I was younger days to London were my favourite and I was always caught up in the city. I really did miss home, but didn’t let it show in my writing.

In the lift down after class, a woman was blunt she was older and American ‘You cracked your spine?’ she asked. I told her I had fractures, she looked at me (I sound so damn British here!) and told me she’d cracked her spine twice within 2 months of each other and wished me a speedy recovery. She was the first person while I was here to ask about it and I didn’t mind, it was better than staring.

Ali was waiting for me as usual and we decided to try and find some kind of food and returned to a restaurant we went to a few days before. They remembered us and we laughed through dinner where I finally got some traditional Greek food, Gyros Chicken with Pitta and Seasoned Chips. I’m so happy I’ve gotten to share this with my favourite person in the world, Ali’s so much more than just my partner he’s one of my oldest friends as well as my best friend.

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I don’t know what the plan for tomorrow is, it really depends on how my back is, but if I can’t explore again I’ll try and take the opportunity to write again.

Getting healthy?

 

 

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A healthier lunch than my normal pit stop

I’m not a gym bunny or a healthy eater. The thought of hard exercise makes me feel ill and fruit makes me sick (I can hear the cries from health conscious people, hang on I’m going somewhere), so for me getting my 5 a day is really hard. When I went shopping yesterday I was a little bit more conscious in picking up healthy things. I wanted to start eating a little better for a while now but I wanted to do it for me, quietly and not because of anyone or anything. I wanted to at least try and get 3 of my 5 a day, an achievement for me. I already drink Orange juice, Ali makes me each portions of veg with dinner but I needed something else.

When I was tiny I’d eat everything, my Mum had no trouble with me eating healthy meals. I loved snack time at nursery school and would eat what they told me too. Skip a few years and fruit made me feel sick, something to do with the texture, and I would only eat set vegetables. My parents tried everything but I had a limited amount of fruit and veg that I would eat. The rules soon came in that only fruit could be eaten at break, not my normal cereal bars. It was a long fight and it set me up for the rest of my life.

There was one break through, School Bars real fruit, one of your 5 a day and they didn’t taste too bad. So last night I picked up some more at shopping and thought that’s an extra one a day. Adding my OJ and then some veggies with dinner I start to look, well, healthy. Which for me is terrifying. I’ll say now I’m not doing this to lose weight, I’m not cutting out any foods and it’s not because of negativity. with me the more someone pushes me to do something I don’t want to do the more I’ll resist, when people have tried to make me their ‘project’ in the past I’ve resisted. Similarly in halls I had what I eat questioned, so I either hid when I ate or ate things I knew would piss them off. IMG_0482

Why now? I have no idea. The thought of excercising is because I have a friend who also has knee problems and wants to get into light exercise again and we support each other. I’m kind of also hoping that this could be good for my mental health, that said I needed to get to this point before I could even consider exercise or anything like that. Will it last? No idea. We’ll just have to see and who said students can’t be sensible!

Going Home!

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My snapchat to the boys 

Dan went days ago, Ben left yesterday and Rhys is on a flight back to the states and so today seemed like a good time to head back to Basingstoke, although it meant leaving Ali behind for a few more days. I’m excited to be home and I can just feel myself relax. I’m itching to get back in my car and have a cruise around before finally heading back to Kingston to get those P plates on my car, well hopefully. 

I’ve been really excited and relieved to be going back home, when someone in the work office asked me the other day how many days it had been since I’d slept I couldn’t remember. Last night was ok but my sleeping pattern is so screwed at the moment which is why I keep mentioning sleep. I don’t know why but I know that the last time I went home it got right back in check so here’s to hoping. 

Tonight I got to watch my sister and little cousins at their Tae Kwon Do class which was fun. I’ve never been sporty but these kids are incredible, the whole class is actually amazing, watching them all together it’s like they all share one mind. For this class which has 7-12 year olds in it it’s something else. All of my cousins and my sister are sporty, I’m not but that’s ok, I love seeing them shine :).

So now I’m home and I’m looking forward to some time off, I have books to keep me company, some friends to meet and a lot of sleep to catch up on! 

Sunshine can’t solve everything

I’ve written in posts before about the power of sunshine and nature when it come to my depression and anxiety. Lately I’m starting to work out what can calm me moving on from having to sleep or jump in the shower every time. Today has been beautifully sunny but not my my head. It might as well have been rain and thunder. To me this just reminds me of the ups and downs and what things can trigger one of my low days. As I’m writing this, however, I am pleased to tell you the low lifted a few hours ago. 

Despite the sun, having breakfast and generally doing all things I should have today I still had a near on hysteric phone call with my Mum and started my driving lesson in tears. As you all know driving is the one thing that really, really gets me down. I’ve tried and failed 3 times and the thought of taking another test makes me feel very sick. That said I need to take it, I have until September to pass before I have to take my theory test again and that’s something I want to avoid at all costs. So I drove and luckily I have a good instructor who says I can drive but my panic moments are where I start to fall apart. There are so many things to remember for the test that you stop doing once you actually pass that it makes my brain hurt. On top of that Kingston and the surrounding areas are HARD to drive in. 

I left the car feeling ok but in minutes I was in a state again. Crying and lashing out, I’m not always the easiest person when I’m on a low. With Mum and Ali on the phone as well as my little sister and Jen at the flat I eventually calmed out enough to go wait for a bus. I didn’t observe as much as I normally do, I didn’t smile at people I just wanted to concentrate on getting to Ali’s and just let things go. The bus journey actually helped, I listen to my music, cleared my head and managed to have calmed down a lot once I got to the flat.

Ali managed to do what he does best. I had some quiet time and then we talked things through and cuddled and it was nice to have some time just to ourselves to talk and laugh and he cheered me up. After making sure I was few and watered I came back happier and calmer and had some time with Jen. I’m hoping tomorrow will be better although I know it’s when the pressure really kicks in with everything going on at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed for me!