2017 on chloemetzger.com!

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A new year and more blogs to write and plan for you all to read. I really had trouble tonight thinking of what I wanted to write, what direction I wanted to go. A few nights ago I asked those of you who follow me on twitter (@chloemetzger) who you would like to see more of on my blog and if you’d like me to write two book reviews a week (!!). The majority of you did want two book reviews a week, which is something I’m working on doing in this years planning. In terms of what you’d like to see you asked for more mental health related posts and more general lifestyle posts. I am more than happy to give the people what they want!

So far I post Book Reviews on a Thursday, Feminist Friday’s and Sunday Seven. Three regular slots that my lovely subscribers and Twitter followers know are coming. After hearing back from some of you I’m also hoping to add a weekly mental health post and more general lifestyle in between. Basically, I want to get a more regular schedule together for the blog and make 2017 really productive and positive year for the blog.

I’m really proud of how it’s evolved and how many of you that I get to talk to and interact with online. It’s because of all of this and the positivity I have felt from you guys I’m taking active steps to write my book. Yep, I’m not calling it a resolution for this year because I know that it could take years before I’m happy with it and I also know that there’s a chance it will never get published, but what the hell.  This blogs in its fourth year now and I know I can write long pieces from my dreaded dissertation, so why not?

Is there anything else you want to see or maybe that you’re excited about? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me!

Mental Health Awareness Week : Where I am now?

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I’m a very open person when it comes to talking about mental health, I’ll share my ups and my downs and have been online for 3 years now in the hope that it will help others to talk. It’s been raised more than once whether I worry if being so open will hinder my chances of getting a job, something I’ve written about before. I’m a firm believer of using your past to enhance your present and not being ashamed of who you are. I write about mental health often because I refuse to be ashamed of this part of me and I know that it’s just one part of me! I’m so much more than one diagnoses, I’m a daughter, sister, partner, friend, writer, blogger, musician, book reader, former horse rider, world traveller, the list goes on.

I also think it’s important to take stock of how far I’ve come every now and again, because I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had. While I’ve been at uni I’ve learnt to deal with depression and anxiety, I’ve learnt methods to stop the thoughts before they get too much. I’ve had jobs that I’ve fallen in love with and have made me genuinely happy and excited to go to work, something I hope to continue. When I started university I wasn’t sure of myself, had very low self confidence and was so, so anxious. I remember trying to go out drinking in a club for the first time and being paralysed with fear, I came home and cried begging to be normal for once. Then in second year I went the opposite way, all my new friends went out a lot and go drunk, I hadn’t had a close group of friends like this so I did that too, even though I was going off of the effects alcohol. It took a long time but now I feel comfortable with myself enough to just tell people I don’t drink  to get drunk, it doesn’t make me happy in the slightest and the people who matter accept this.

When I look at the girl I was on my first day to who I am now I’m impressed with myself. I’ve overcome a lot to get where I am today and that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes have days where I’m low and struggling or nights where I can’t sleep because my mind is going 100 mph. With my sessions with my mentor, blogging, living I’ve learnt and am still learning ways to just live alongside my illness, just like anyone else with an illness would. For three years now I’ve tried to notice what makes it better, what makes it worse and when I just need to step back and breathe for a minute.

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3 years ago the thought of having to get busses and possibly getting lost was enough to send me into a panic attack, this was one of my ways to feel better, sending silly selfies to Ali to make me less anxious. Now I don’t even think twice about busses. 

What I know, and what I want others to know, is that having a mental health condition doesn’t make you any less of a person. Actually, I think what I’ve had to go through has made me a better and stronger person. The hours in A & E when I was a kid checking the bullies hadn’t broken my bones, the sneers from other kids because I was ‘fat, ‘ugly’, a ‘slut’ or ‘couldn’t sing'(none of which were true but to a 15 year old it hurts), the kids who would find my blogs leave comments and then try and embarrass me in class, the fact it was better for my health for me to study from home, the fights, the bruises, everything else they tried to do,  ALL OF IT. People ask if I wish it had never happened, I’ve gotten to the  point now where I think if that hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be the strong, smart, independent woman I am today. If this didn’t happen it might not have triggered my illness, sure but I choose to look at the positives. Being honest and open about my life and experiences has meant that I’ve met incredible people, made amazing friends, won awards, it’s all about what you do with a shitty situation when you’re well enough.

I had rough times, times where I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and I wondered what was the point. I never want to feel that way again and that’s what drives me. I also want other people not to feel alone and if my blog can show one person that your diagnoses isn’t your life then I’ve done what I wanted to do. Mental illnesses are annoying but they don’t mean that you can’t have a life, it might have to pause for a while but that’s ok, when you’re ready you can take baby steps to put it all back together again.  Right now I’m feeling ok, a little anxious because I don’t know what the future holds but I just remind myself nearly all 3rd years feel that way. All I know is that I’m going back to Basingstoke a different girl to the one who left, one who’s 100% stronger and more kick ass.

The Job Hunt

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Yesterday morning I woke up to a job rejection email, a few lines outlining that I hadn’t been successful and they wouldn’t be interviewing me. I had a moment of ‘ah damn’, deleted the email and moved on. It’s not that I wasn’t upset, it’s more the fact that I know I’m not just going to walk out of uni with a high paying job and that’s me sorted for life. I’m also a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so that job just wasn’t for me this time. No biggie. This wasn’t the case a few months ago when I got a rejection email for a job that I REALLY wanted, I didn’t get an interview. I guess I was shocked more than anything, every job I’ve applied for since I was 17, I’ve at least gotten an interview. I know this is different though.

I finished my work for my degree a week ago and while I’d love to take a month off and not even think about a job, that’s not who I am. I’ve had a job since I was 16, a few months after my 16th birthday (and when I realised I needed more than just the occasional babysitting job) Dad drove me around handing out CVs all over Basingstoke, a week or two later I had an interview and later a job at a cinema. I give 110% into every job, that’s just how I am as a person and I’ve carried that on through the various jobs I’ve had since that first one. I mean I grew up helping my Mum out on her stall every weekend through the Spring and Summer, I’m just used to helping out wherever I can and I truly believe that made me who I am today (although when I as a kid that was in between vital colouring in time) .

Over time I know it’s going to get a little harder to be as positive as I am now. Even at this moment with people I know having babies and getting married, finding jobs quickly I get a little anxious and have the whole ‘WHERE IS MY LIFE GOING? WHAT AM I DOING AHHHHHH’ moments. That normal though, I suppose when then is the first time I’m not going back into education in September for 16 years, the freedom is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.  I know I’m lucky too that I’m not being pressured just to take jobs because they are there, I’ve got a little time to actually apply to jobs and companies I want to be a part of rather than some of my other jobs I’ve had where it’s been a case of desperation.

Of course I’d love to have a good job in the next month, but I also know that I might need to pop back into part time work just to tide me over. The important thing to remember and this goes for Saturday jobs, part time work, full time work, whatever, is that you are not above any part of your field. If I go into a marketing job and at first they want me to remove staples, I’ll remove staples. They want me to make coffee for a while, let me know the way you like it. There’s a difference between knowing your worth and getting stuck in. There’s a difference between starting out and staying in a crappy position. It’s all about balance and proving yourself.

You’ll know if people are taking advantage, trust me you’ll know, this is coming from someone who was left with a handful of other teenagers to run part of a shop on a regular basis on a low wage while the supervisor did what they liked. BUT find the positives in every experience, being left with the others to run the shop? I got leadership skills and my customer service was fab when I left. Picking up Popcorn kids had thrown on the floor? Reminded me to always, always respect the place I’m in and the people that work there. It might not seem anything

So, my positive pants are on, my job hunting hat is on. Let’s do this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Linings

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In my Creative Writing classes if we used the cliché of ‘Every Cloud has a Silver Lining’ we’d be in for it. I hadn’t really thought of things being that way but Dani sent me a text the other day reminding me and I thought, yeah actually she’s right.

I’ve had a few few things in my life not go to plan or not go very well. Take for instance failing my driving test 4 times, the first time I walked into my house, decided I couldn’t hold it together and launched my shoes at the wall. Once I’d calmed down my Mum said she knew that I’d have a melt-down because I’d never failed before, not in any sort of test. I kind of needed to fail then I think, I needed to to remind me that things could take time and that’s ok. Don’t get me wrong I wish my parents and I hadn’t had to pay out hundreds of pounds before I passed in my 5th test but there was a silver lining there.

Another thing, my time at school. I don’t write about it much on here, I might some day to do a post on bullying. So it was horrendous, I was spat at, beaten up, spiralled into my darkest days of depression and for the most part left by my school to spiral more and more until my parents took me out for exams. That said, I can’t write school off as a totally negative experience, it’s where I met the love of my life. It’s where I kept forgetting a girls name and calling her Frizz who 5 years later gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who is now my goddaughter. Again, another silver lining.

And now my back. If I’m honest it’s really hard to see silver linings at the moment, my days are long and boring. So I’ve tried to find some and there are there a little. I can’t go to Prague, but I am allowed to go to the Society Awards where hopefully Horse Riding will win a few awards. I’ve been stuck in bed as it’s the only place I’m really comfortable, but I have had time to go over and submit my assignments as well as read any book I want too at the moment.

I try to remember this in times when I’m really low. If you’re reading this and thinking I can’t do it, I feel too bad, that’s okay! I know the feeling of being so low and shitty that there aren’t any positives and if there are you’re hurting too much to care. I’ve been there. Like most of us I’m just trying to have a little bit of positivity 🙂

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Being Brave

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Hey you, yes you reading this, I have something to tell you. You’re going to be okay.

We all have crap going on in our lives that we wish we could change or simply disappear from. Sometimes it’s understandable, it’s something really negative that others can understand. I know more than anyone though that sometimes it’s not that simple, everything can be going so well and you still feel like somethings not right, or you feel like you’re terrified that the happiness wont last.

As the picture says I want to see you be brave, big or small I want all of my readers to take a step towards the positive, because I’ve been at an awful low point so many times and even the littlest things can help. It might be going for a walk, getting some exercise, treating yourself, visiting friends or family, standing up to someone who makes you feel like shit. Just be brave about whatever it is.

Good Luck 🙂