Blogmas 2020 – Giving Myself a Break

Ho, ho, hello!

I think it’s about time I took some of my own advice. If you read one of my most recent posts about how to save spoons over Christmas , you’ll know I said it was important to ask do I really need to do the thing? And be compassionate to yourself. Those are things I haven’t exactly been doing myself.

In the past week we’ve been in the process of moving house (we couldn’t renew thanks to covid destroying the events industry overnight). So, for the time being we’ve move in with family, while other member have taken some of our stuff into storage, helped us out etc. Physically and emotionally it’s been draining.

I initially planned to have most of my Blogmas content written nice and early so I did’t have to much to think about – now it’s the 13th December, I’ve missed 2 days and I was feeling rather shit about myself. I’ve kept my head above water in 2020 just about but now I feel absolutely battered.

While I was worrying that I wasn’t posting I had to stop myself, why was this one of the things I was beating myself up over? Actually, there’s a lot of things on the list I should probably stop being mean to myself about because no matter what depression tells me, most of the time it’s not actually my fault. Global pandemic? Not my fault. Work being tricky because there’s less of it. Also not my fault. Having to leave home because of the implications of said pandemic – you guessed it. Not my fault.

I guess I’m writing this because I know there will be other people out there who are stressed. Who feel like everything is their fault and they could have done better or tried harder. That there are others who will fight anyone who makes their friends and family feel less but are their absolute worst critic.

Here’s the thing, no one is going to die if I don’t write a blog post. A terrible thing isn’t going to happen if I don’t post every day in Blogmas. Basically, I’m trying to give myself a break – which I don’t do often enough.

I hope if you’re reading this and are feeling the same way then it might bring you a little comfort to know you’re not alone.

Hey, Life Is Hard Sometimes.

Hey, Life Is Hard Sometimes

There’s no doubt that life is tough. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are, everyone has their own challenges day to day. For the last few weeks I’ve felt incredibly stressed, tired and have been in a fair amount of pain from my old injury. I’ve gotten to the point on more than one occasion where I’ve just wanted to walk away from everything and shout I’M DONE WITH THIS. Everyone has those moments, but that’s hard to remember when you’re in the middle of it.

I’ve found it really hard to focus, write blogs, read or just create things, honestly, I’ve just felt a bit run down, a bit exhausted. I know it sounds like I’m just writing this to complain, I’m not. I realised that sharing how I feel and my struggles are partly why people connect with this blog. I’ve found myself wistful for my days at uni, even though I know I had tough times there too and that going back wouldn’t be easy but I think having rose tinted glasses about the past is all too common. Of course, I don’t look back and look at the sleepless nights with deadline stress, the frustration of trying again and again to get an assignment right or choosing what to do when you leave.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are always troubles in each part of our lives. You never really know what a person is going through, what they’re thinking about. I try as hard as I can not to let what bothers me show to most people around me, with the fear of people thinking badly of me. It’s ridiculous and I wouldn’t suggest that to a friend. Most of it, I know, comes from me being one of the ‘high achievers’ my whole academic life, now I’m not in that environment anymore I find it hard to know when I’m doing well, to have a clear goal, because let’s face it getting 70 in an easy is a clear goal, sorting out your whole life and future in your 20s isn’t that straight forward.

I know this is a bit of a ramble, that it might not make sense. I just wanted to try and explain to you all how I was feeling, that in the words of Paramore ’22 is like the worst idea that I have ever had, it’s too much pain, too much freedom, what should I do with this?’ I have no idea what to do and I still feel like I’m finding my feet. I wonder every single damn day if I’m doing things right, what I should be doing next and if I’ll ever feel truly successful. Everything is hammering at my brain and it’s a little exhausting.

Things are going to happen as they happen I’ll keep plodding along, maybe one day it might even make sense!!

Trying to Deal With Depression


While on the phone with my Mum today I realised that for the past few months I’ve been fairly ok with the changes that have been happening, the breakdown of some friendships, etc. I’ve coped fairly well and while there have been lows, there hadn’t been incredibly bad ones over the summer, but unfortunately things seem to have come to a head lately.

To say that I’m exhausted is an understatement, I don’t know whether it’s a combination of work and just being busy or if part of it is the depression rearing its ugly head. People think that most of it is because of losing Noodle a few days ago, that is an absolutely huge part and it’s not something I can get get over and forget. There is more though, it’s hard to explain that grief and depression feel different. The depression is always there, it bubbles under the surface and then unleashes itself sometimes for days or weeks at a time.

I read an article about what people with high functioning depression want others to know, and it spoke to me. People think that because I have a lovely boyfriend, a good job, a degree and all that jazz that I should be happy. People almost get offended sometimes when you’re not happy. I wish there was a switch in my brain that meant I didn’t struggle. It doesn’t matter that I love my job and the people I work with, there are days where getting out of bed is difficult and when going back to bed later is all I can think about.

The point to writing this is because I do still struggle, all of us with depression do. Just because to the outside world it looks like someone is fine and ‘has it all’ doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling. Depression is a small part of me, but it is still something I have to deal with every day and I’m doing my best.

Buried under assignments


I’m writing this to you from my ‘desk’ that is covered in note pads, glasses, sticky notes, the occasional book (although most of them are in a pile on the floor next to me) and the hard work vibes I seem to be radiating. I’m writing a short post tonight because as you can guess from the title I’ve been working my butt off for the past few days to finish my assignment.

Because of my recent illness, I’ve been told stress is the worst thing for me right now. I actually laughed at the doctor when they said I need to be less stressed, because let’s face it the final part of third year is not a walk in the park BUT on with positivity. I managed to get to the gym this morning and work off some of the stress before having to go to an ultrasound appointment, which came back CLEAR! Yippie! Between and after I’ve been glued to my desk working on a 6000 word assignment, although the good news is that after writing it on and off since Saturday I am now sitting at 3740 words, so close!

Tomorrow will be for working on my dissertation which isn’t in as good a shape as I thought it was and needs a LOT of work doing to it before submission next week. I’m trying not to get stressed about it and instead working on just getting as much done as I can and taking regular breaks. That said, I currently cannot stand my dissertation, but I’m told this is a normal part of third year. Hopefully I can get at least 2 essays close to being done when I come back from Easter break and then only have 2 others to focus on. Definitely looking forward to 11.01 on the 2nd of May when all my assignments are submitted.

So that’s a little insight into my frazzled mind at the moment and my slightly frazzled life, now excuse me while I finally get to cuddle my hamsters before passing out in bed.

The Gym: Let’s do this.


This morning I crawled out of bed after being awake for most of the night. I was tired, nervous and excited. After 7 months of not being allowed to push myself, of having to watch for signs that my legs were giving up and tense doctors appointments I got to go into a supervised gym class with a physio instructor. I wrote about my body  and its changes this week as well, which had such an incredible response from all over the world. I knew I had to write about this too but I was so nervous. I really didn’t want to have to stop after a few exercises or for my leg to go completely numb so that I fall over.

I turned up in my matching gym clothes and was the youngest one there, mostly OAPs, one man who I’d say was in his 30s with a leg injury and a woman in her 30s who came in later. To say I was self conscious was an understatement and when we started warm up I started to panic, it was painful and I couldn’t keep up very easily.  As we moved on to the machines I needed a little bit of help going through my routine.

For now it consists of 2-3 minutes on each machine/ activity and I mix them up with how I feel:

Cross Trainer

Exercise Bike level 3

Balancing on a ball board (I don’t know the proper name for this)

Marching while doing weights on a trampoline

Holding my balance on an exercise ball while lifting weights

Sitting on an exercise ball and catching a ball that is either thrown to me or I catch after throwing it at the wall

Rising on my toes (aided) holding and going back down

While this week I had to do them in burst and I could only do each one once in the session each week I will build this up and by the end of my 6 weeks I should be able to do all of them a few times in the session! I left completely covered in sweat, tired but really happy. I finally felt like I’d achieved something and although I was pretty sore I was ok, I could still walk which was a bonus. I had about an hour to get back, have a shower and be on the bus to uni, believe me a shower has never felt so good in all my life.

My next stop was the university doctor, again. I have reviews pretty regularly for my medication and generally how I’m doing. This time it was another increase in medication, this time to help me sleep. The pain in the day I’m pretty much stuck with and just have to take both the good and the bad days, do my physio and wait it out. Not sleeping because of the pain is an entirely different thing, if I don’t sleep it affects my mood, I quickly get very depressed and lose all motivation to do anything so making such I’m not kept awake all night is a priority. My dose of both my Dihydrocodine and Gabapentin have gone up at night and I have another check in two weeks.


I also made it through my lecture without falling asleep too although I wasn’t really myself. All aside this spine focused day has given me some hope and don’t tell anyone but I actually quite liked going to the gym to start my day. When I have a bigger place/ am better I would definitely like to get a Cross trainer for me at home. So that’s the start of my gym time done and I’m kind of looking forward to next week although I may change my mind on that tomorrow…

Letting go and getting on with my life


Let it goooo, let it goooo! No, I’m not writing a post about Frozen, although I’ve been known to burst into song with more than one of my friends in random locations, have sung it to my hamsters and to horses while brushing them….yep. I’ve had a lot of time to think lately, it does that to you when you’re stuck with nothing to do but analyse your own thoughts. I realised that I’ve been holding on to all these old grudges, anger and just letting it eat me up from inside. I’ve overanalysed everything in my life and wondered if I’m a terrible person, wondered what’s good for me and what’s not.

Take today for example I stayed in my flat for most of the day, I sulked around, ignored my phone and was just miserable and angry and frustrated. I then met up with Joe, we both let ourselves rant for a bit before I was violently sick (a lovely occasional side effect of all my medication) and went home quite poorly.

I was laying there after falling asleep and being sick again (so attractive, I know) and I just thought why am I letting myself get so worked up? Why am I holding on to so much and caring about what everyone else is thinking, saying, doing? I just need to let go and focus on getting better and being more relaxed, more positive like I have been during the year. I miss just laughing and spontaneous trips with friends. I know now isn’t the easiest time, of course I’m going to be pissed off, I have a fractured spine.

So I made a promise to myself, to try and see the positives again, to try not to get so frustrated when I can’t do things. As Ali said to me the other day, I’m carrying on with education, I’ll have more summers to mess around and I have all of final year where hopefully I won’t be stuck in a brace and having to sleep for most of the day. So this is my pledge to try and let go of the frustrations in my life and embrace the good things because life is really too short.


Taking note from Elsa of course 😉 

Frustrations and Fitness

This year I finally got to a point with my depression that I could embrace some exercise to let off some steam. Now, I still can’t run and look like Phoebe from Friends when I try, so that’s nothing new. But I found riding and I found swimming, I could take control of one part of my body when another part was letting medown. I could only do so much with my mind, with the black cloud that wanted to suffocate me.

My plan for this summer was to swim a bit more, make my riding improve and right before the accident I was considering joining the gym…my arch nemesis. I’m not a gym bunny, I don’t enjoy running or exercise that doesn’t involve a horse or water. I just wanted to do something with my time and try and help me mentally and obviously now that’s been taken away. IMG_1855

Headed to the pool on one of my lows was a big relief

I can’t push my body the way I did, I can’t go on my long walks to clear my head or swim things off. I just sleep a lot and think, not always the best combo. It’s weird I never thought that I’d miss any fitness of any kind but I do. I want to go and see if I like the local gym, go back to the pool and getting on a horse has a while to go yet, just because of the risks with my spine.

I’m trying again to be positive, which is hard. I’m exhausted most of the time and just walking up the stairs can leave me a little breathless and struggling with pain. I’m going to have to try hard to slowly build up my fitness again once I’m recovered, so I’ll exercise my mind instead. I will probably document the build up too so you can all come along!

I have lots of ideas being scribbled, writers to work with so you shall all wait and see!


Athens bound!


We are in Athens!!! I’m writing to all of you after hardly any sleep, so keep that in mind while you’re reading! At 1am my family and I were headed to Gatwick Airport to meet Ali (who’d had to come straight from work bless him). Ever since I was little I’ve loved the trip to the airport, watching the lights on the motorway, the darkness, everything.

I found Ali in the airport with his Mum and her partner Andy, who had dozed off waiting for us. And so I was dropped off in my wheelchair and after goodbyes I just had to sit and wait until bag drop. Excited didn’t even cover it I was going on HOLIDAY! Plus it’s the first time I have been abroad with Ali alone, something I’ve wanted to do for years. London being London meant the special assistance lane at security was closed. So I had to wait while people worked out the best way to check my wheelchair and push me through (they didn’t have enough staff). People were generally nice, although the woman searching my chair was chatting to me a lot, her daughter rides and what had happened to me was ‘one of her worst nightmares’ but as she said it’s just something that can happen to riders. She was surprisingly cheery for 4am, but then again so was I.

Then it was on to the shopping, I already had ideas of what I wanted to buy in Duty free and it was made even more fun by Ali now running with me through the airport. We zoomed around World of Duty Free, Ali teasing by going straight past what I wanted to look at before pulling me back. I must have looked slightly mad laughing so hard. We soon found the MAC counter…I might have treated myself.


Well, they were discounted…how could I resist my first MAC make up

Everything then went really quickly, then we were on the plane ready to GO! It was only 6am though…so I dozed quite a few times and the flight was ok although Ali and I were both ready for a nap. Athens Airport was completely different to Gatwick.  I was met off of the plane and taken straight through, our bag was the 5th on the belt and we were personally put into a taxi by a lovely man.

The hotel is cute and right on the shopping street (uh oh) and tomorrow we’ll be taking a slow walk around to get used to the place and find the British Council before my first class in the evening…eek! Right now though I need to go and get some food before crashing and finally getting a full nights sleep before class tomorrow!

That point in the year where everything is meh

I’ve been thinking about what to write tonight all day, I could write about the news, about what I’ve been up to (not a lot), make a list anything like that. I just didn’t feel inclined to write anything magnificent or thought provoking because quite frankly I’m just a bit fed up. I didn’t want to write moaning post, I still don’t want to but I’m writing abotu student life and there’s a point in the year where most of us are fed up.

I’ve been looking at the same essays for weeks and weeks, adding to the same arguments, stressing over word counts and paragraphs like all of my friends. I can’t even sit in the library at the moment without feeling incredibly stressed and irritated. I guess I’m just sick of assignments now, I want them all done and to be over so I can spend some time relaxing and not worrying about finding critical analysis of Jane Eyre or what the hell my lecturers are going to think about my essay on personal and collective drug usage in certain novels. It’s driving me slightly mad and all I really want to do is go into town and have a few very large vodka and cokes.

So I’m a little tired, a little fed up and a little deflated. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

It’s not just escaping

I’ve been back from Durham for a few hours now, I’m sitting at my laptop willing for something to jump onto the page. I have a few more quotes, a plan of ideas but they won’t go into words, into the essay that I’m so desperate to finish. It’s taken a few hours to start to get anxious about what’s coming, I have assignments to do, gigs to organise, work, blog and all these things. I need to stop and breathe.

I’ve written before about being tired, and that’s partly to blame for my stressed out mood right now. I don’t know why but getting away has always made me relax, made sure that I could think straight. I’m not going to lie to you all and say yep as soon as I get away I’m fine and happy and don’t get worried, I do. For the first day and a half in Durham I had this horrible twisting ball of anxiety inside me, for the whole of the first evening Ali’s Gran kept asking if I was feeling ok. I wanted to be perfectly ok and normal, maybe I was trying too hard. I just wanted everyone to like me, to make a good impression again. It did work, Ali’s family were all lovely and kind and treated me like I belonged, so the feelings went away.

I guess I’m writing this to say that I worked out a long time ago, you can’t just run away from the things that are hard but sometimes a little distance from the things worrying you is a good start.I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, it’s all ups and downs. For now I think I should take myself off to bed for the night, I have another long drive tomorrow.