Surviving...But Thriving?

Surviving…But Thriving?

It’s the last week of January, but it definitely feels like this month has lasted triple that amount of time. I know for a fact that any optimism I felt about a new year got knocked out of me when lockdown 3 started. Not the easiest time to be bashing out new years resolutions and I for one retreated into the Christmas chocolate I had.

Today I just couldn’t motivate myself. I very much got up and just felt like saying ugh. I tried to use my normal ways of getting myself out of a funk. I had a cuppa and ticked things off of my to do list, I tried going for a walk, I went out in the car and popped out to get things from the supermarket with my music on. Nothing seemed to work. No matter what I did I just felt ‘meh’.

It is more than enough to be just getting through the days right now. To not be building a side hustle, cooking new healthy meals or going for a daily run is perfectly normal. It’s ok if your days consist of taking it hour by hour and seeing how you feel. I for one am on am emotional loop de loop where I can feel great and motivated in the morning and by lunch time feel frustrated, angry or deflated. There’s no one way to get through this.

Here in the UK we’re in our 3rd lockdown and I’ve seen a lot of people say this one hits harder – which I agree with. In the first one it was scary and uncertain but at least it was light and there was decent weather, we could go out for a walk or at least open the windows. The second was promoted to us as a way to ‘save Christmas’ (because that worked so well), because of that I think it had a little hope. This one is harder, January is a long month, the days are dark and it’s cold out – no wonder people are struggling right now!

Personally I’ve started something small for myself, I try and write down 3 things a day that have either made me happy or that I’ve done. It can be as simple as writing got through another day, had a shower, ate dinner. Other days things are happier, I might have had a nice call with someone, played with the hamsters and read a book. All these little things will add up.

Surviving is more than enough. Getting through the days and coming out the other side is more than enough. Finding yourself eating more ice cream than normal? Go for it. Having early nights most nights? I’m jealous. Binge watching everything you can? Let me know what’s good! As long as it’s not hurting you or anyone else, do what you need to do.

Be kind to yourselves out there!

2017 in review.

I’ve thought about, and more than slightly dreaded, writing this post for a few weeks now. What first came to my mind about this year was the negatives, because there have been more than a few. I’ve had more jobs this year than I wanted to, I’ve seen both the best and the worst in people and I’ve struggled myself. That said, when I was driving on Christmas Day, I realised I felt content. 

Let me explain. This time last year we were living at Ali’s Mums, I’d just started a new job that I wasn’t happy in and all in all I was quite low. In 12 months so much has changed for me and Ali. We’re in our own place, which was so special, we’re both working in jobs that we feel good at and enjoy and we’re happy. I’ve realised I can survive Ali being away for months at a time, and we can still get through tough times apart (I lost my job when he’d started the second month of tour, not great timing).

I’ve definitely seen the best and the worst of people this year, but through it, all learnt that I have some wonderful friends and that my family will always support me. When I was going through awful times this year, job hunting, going through the pain of spinal injections, losing Hamski and just feeling lost, I had people around me who cared.

Even though all that happened I fought my way through. For so long I’d thought, great, the ‘real world’ is about hating your job and being miserable. Thankfully, and while I never take any job for granted, I’ve actually found that I have so much passion working in Social Media, something I’ve wanted to do since I was a student. I’ve realised that if I’m in pain I can go back to the doctors and be firm with the help I need. I’ve learnt that, when I have to, I can survive on just texts and phone calls with Ali, even at the worst of times.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a great time too! I’ve been to Pride in Brighton, got published in a magazine, went on holiday, fallen in love with another little hamster and grown my blog more than I thought I would.

So, while 2017 might not have been the easiest, it’s shown me that I’m resilient and you know what, sometimes, I’m pretty damn cool too.

Smiling doesn’t mean someone is ok

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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.

Things get better!

Hello you lovely lot!

Yesterday I was pretty down, I’m sure a lot of you saw it, I needed to get all the stress and anxiety and worries I had written down because I promised all of you I would be honest. Today was met with another trip to Kingston Hospital and desperately hoping something would be sorted. My lovely Mum came up today to come with me so that Ali could go and record Bass with the boys.

Now I’m very slow at walking at the moment, I’m hardly walking at all. So I met my Mum for a hot chocolate on this miserable rainy day and managed to find a Sylvia Plath book to pick me up a little bit before the big appointment, but that wasn’t what was amazing about today. This morning I started reading Katie Piper’s ‘Things Get Better’ after the horrible lows and anxiety yesterday. I tweeted about it and then the BEST thing happened KATIE REPLIED! THE KATIE PIPER!!!  Now I’m a huge fan of her’s she stands for everything I want to be and believe in. It gave me the push I needed to get me through the day! I want to get real copies of all her books, especially ‘Start your day with Katie’ to help with my positivity.

KATIE

My tweet from Katie Piper!!! 🙂 

Mum and I braved the rain and wind to get the bus to the hospital (thankfully the passengers and bus drivers were really helpful today, thank you!). I was terrified. Nobody had really told me what to expect or what could happen, the last I knew they were still on the edge of debating surgery. So I sat and waited to be called through for what seemed like ages until a friendly nurse called me through. The walk down the corridor was possibly the longest and most embarrasing. It’s painful to walk so I walk with tiny steps, holding on to the wall for support and I could see the sympathy in everyone’s faces while mine was going red with both determination and embarrassment. When I finally got into the room again the nurses were great getting me settled to wait for the doctor.

I try not to cry in these situations, I want to seem like a good patient, that I appreciate what doctors do. I held my Mum’s hand while waiting and just hoped they wouldn’t go ahead with surgery. The doctor was sweet, quick and good at what he had to do. He checked me over, answered my questions and apologised for the rudeness of A&E a few days before. Apparently my legs are strong, which is a happy surprise for me, he could see how much pain I was in and tried to make it as quick as possible. I was told a back brace would be needed, stronger painkillers and a follow up appointment with x rays in 6 weeks. That was it but I felt so much more confident that he knew what he was doing. Then on to physio while the nurse thankfully ran up to put my brace request in for me (it’s special equipment that needs to be ordered in).

I only had to wait 10 minutes to see my lovely physio lady, Linda. She was funny, kind and made me feel good and didn’t push me to see what movement I had for now! I really liked her and she me so now I have physio lined up asap but the good news is I should fully recover. I’ve also been suggested a wheelchair (now purchased) for days out and NOT to push myself too hard at all, like I kind of have been.

With the good news I called around, I’m also still allowed to go to Athens! Then it was off to buy a few new pair of PJs, The Simpsons ones, The Little Mermaid, Monsters Inc, Cola ones – thank you Primark! Finally Mum, Ali and I went for some dinner before I got taken home to rest again, it had been quite a painful day.

I’m still struggling with all of this, I know how lucky I am but I’m nervous about the Brace and Wheelchair. No ones ever been able to see something wrong with me, I get worried about how people will react, even if it is temporary. It might seem silly but I’m trying to work through and not get too angry/frustrated as I have been.

So there you go! Fully up to date and hopefully my wheelchair will be here after the weekend and I’ll have news on the rest of my appointments soon. I’m still super bored and in bed most of the time so I’m coming up with new things for the blog but I’d love for you guys to chat to me too, leave me a comment, tweet me, email me! I love to hear from you all!