Garden of Memories

As I sit in my parents’ back garden, staring up at the brilliant blue hues of the sky, I mourn a part of my childhood.

 

This isn’t because my childhood was a poor one, though everyone has parts of their upbringing that was darker or less ideal than others, but rather I’m mourning my childhood because this was my safe haven for so long. Inside the walls of the red brick house towering in front of me, and within the fenced boundaries of this large garden, I was able to be a carefree child.

I’ve attempted to rescue baby birds in this garden, ran around with family dogs, watched as my old rabbit, Peter, hopped about while he free roamed, and sat and nattered with dear (now ex) friends. For all intents and purposes, when separating the good from the bad, this part of my shaping, of me growing into the woman I am today, was wonderful.

Nobody has a seamless transition into adulthood, and, sadly, some of us have more traumatic moments than others, but that doesn’t have to permanently stain those pure memories of joy. Of when I could just laugh with my parents, crying tears from the sheer strain of laughing so hard, and just being able to give myself over to the happiness of having a loving family. Details such as this, especially into today’s world, where families are stripped from one another and left broken, in a world where children have to spend years within a system that may never find them a loving home, feel even more important to treasure than ever before.

Our family has never had much money, a truth that still holds true even to this day, and there were definitely times of greater struggle than others, but amidst all of that chaos was the knowledge that I had unconditional love every step of the way. Far too many put stock in having trinkets, but I’d much prefer to keep my dear memories than to be lavished with untold monetary wealth.

As this is my family home, so much more than my early childhood has taken place here, with my first 20 plus years of life having revolved around this epicentre of family, but those later years don’t feel part of this narrative right now, they instead feel like another set of experiences entirely. Today I choose to remember child Emma, a girl who was stubborn right from the moment of birth, who flashed her knickers in the street for photo ops, who played her music so loud that the windows of her bedroom shook, and the girl who dared to dream of becoming a writer.

All of those qualities have never left me, though there’s been times when I’ve suppressed certain aspects of myself in order to fit in, to be accepted… those days are gone though. Now I know exactly who I am, even if it means I’m a delicate but fierce woman with a stubborn and opinionated attitude that can often infuriate people.

I honestly hope I’m going to be able to sit, cross legged, twirling freshly picked daisies between my stubby fingers for years to come, but even if I don’t, even if my parents move, this place will always be special. Not everything in this world is special because of an epic tapestry of history, sometimes sites are meaningful because of the personal histories of ourselves and those around us.

Subtle Yet Powerful; The Scent of Soy Wax Melts

Before I get into this long (long long long) overdue review, I’d like to apologise for my continued bouts of absence from blogging. I seem to go through stages where I just don’t want to get back on my laptop once work has finished, which I’m sure a lot of you will more than understand. The thing is, I actually love writing, so when I don’t feel like writing for myself, it weighs heavy on me, as if all these words are pushing to escape.

Enough about that though, let’s carry on with this review…

 

As some of you will know from the photos cluttering up my Insta feed, I’m typically a candle kinda girl, as there’s something so simple about them: you pop the lid off, trim the wick, and then light it. Nice and easy. But when it comes to wax melts, I’ve always seen them as a hassle, something that involves a little bit too much prep work for my liking. I’m referring to when you want to take out the used melt and put in another. This, of course, was before I looked at tips about this online and discovered that all I needed to do was put them in the freezer to help the melt break away from the burner. Who’d have thought it, eh? The point is, I’d denied myself all these wonderful scents because of refusing to move outside of my little ‘I know best’ bubble.

Then one night, while scrolling through Twitter, a shop I’ve been following for ages posted about looking for promoters; at first I was hesitant due to my on/off love with blogging, but considering my continued following of Moonlight Melts, I replied to their tweet.  When chatting with Jo, the sole creator and owner of this independent brand, she took the time to ask me what type of scents I liked and didn’t, as well as giving me invaluable advice about using the right burner* (I’ve tacked that same info on the end of this review). After sending along my address, before too long I received my samples in the post, all of them smelling of the best kind of scents. I was instantly in love.

And yet, whenever I try out new products, no matter where they’re from, I’m always prepared to be disappointed. As harsh as that sounds, I’ve tried candles and melts before and they’ve not given out much scent, if any at all, or they burn an awfully chemical smell. Not this time round though. The scent throw of these melts is powerful but without overwhelming the room, and the melts themselves burn cleanly, so that there’s no smoke marking your walls and ceilings. Best of all is when you leave a room and come back, as the smell seems to have intensified and you get that first time scent all over again.

Now when I think about lighting a candle, I reach for the wax melts instead, not always, but consistently so. Have I been converted? Most definitely, and boy am I glad that I have, as my office, no, my house, smells absolutely bloody divine. And just in case you don’t quite trust me on this (rude, folks), I’ve converted my good friend Becky as well, who has gone and bought herself some of these melts as well. This lady is hard to please when it comes to scent throw, not to mention she has exceptional taste in all things house related, and so her final verdict is golden.

Thanks for reading, my lovelies. Xx

*As promised, here’s that bit of advice Jo sent me; please make sure to think of it when investing in a new burner. “Please only use a burner suitable for wax melts (not an oil burner) … Oil burners aren’t suitable for wax and it can cause a fire”. This advice is also provided via Moonlight Melts FAQs, should you want to learn more about Jo and her brand.

**This is a promotional review for Moonlight Melts, however all opinions are my own and were not paid for.

Walking on Air

Hi, guys!

It feels like years since I last posted on here, when actually it’s only been a couple of months (still a long time, I know). Anyways, today I’m going to talk about the benefits of having an alternate shoe to hand whenever you’re out and about. It may sound tedious to be carting another pair about, but having tried this handy tip out for myself, I’m converted for the foreseeable future.

 

I’m not a heels kinda gal. Let’s get out of the way right now. They just don’t give me any joy when I wear them, mainly because I look like a baby deer taking its first steps; suffice to say, heels get ignored in my daily footwear schedule. So, in truth, my feet don’t take too much of a battering in terms of being propped up for hours on end. However, when events like weddings crop up, or say when I have a new pair of shoes to break in, that’s when I wish I had a backup pair on hand. Now normally I’m the idiot without the second pair of shoes, therefore leaving me to hobble around with bloody feet – we’ve all done it, don’t pretend it isn’t true. And if you truly haven’t done it, I bet your feet thank you on a daily basis.

But I digress a little. So, there I was: a friend’s wedding was coming up and only one pair of heels would work with my dress. They may have looked pretty, but my big toes were missing skin after a mere 5 minute walk, and that’s no word of a lie. Not good. Thankfully, I’d approached Rollasole* on Twitter a couple of weeks prior to the wedding (yay for me thinking ahead), and they had kindly sent me a pair of their shoes. And so, as luck would have it, I had a means to relieve my aching feet. Thank goodness! Honestly, I don’t know what I’d have done without them because my feet in those heels were weeping all the way to the church and then back to the car. In fact, it was so bad, I almost considered going bare foot, until I remembered my rolled up lifesavers tucked away in my clutch bag.

My original intention wasn’t to test the Rollasole’s out so vigorously, I was simply going to take them on a couple of walks and see how they felt as a general summer day shoe. But it seemed fate had other ideas, ideas that led me to discover that pumps are, and always will be, a person’s best friend. At this point you’re probably thinking ‘what a load of crap!’ and that I’m merely trying to sell a product. It’s true that some bloggers do this, but I don’t see the point of openly lying to people – it doesn’t get more anywhere, and it won’t them. Unless you count being disappointed.

So, how do these wonderful feet saviours work, I hear you say. Well, they’re designed so that they can be rolled up into a tight ball, able to fit into (most) small bags; I had an average sized clutch on the day, and they fitted in with little issue. They come with a bag that’ll house your heels, or whatever other shoes you had on, should you need to swap them out. Then you simply carry them home with ease, your feet forever sending you wishes of wellness. All is right with the world.

You’ve probably seen shoes like these before, I had in fact, my years ago among the pages of Avon, but they had been tacky looking and cheesy, the type of footwear I’d never openly wear. And yes, I’m aware that’s a matter of opinion and that everyone is different. However, these Rollasoles come in all sorts of fashionable designs, from simple black to daring leopard print, allowing wearers to find a style that matches their personality and look.

These shoes are said to be a ‘girl’s best friend’, I say they could be anyone’s best friend – if you don’t identify as female but you want to wear some pumps, do it! These will fit the bill perfectly. To me, they’re simply footwear that is perfect for when your feet can’t hack the torture we put them through. Would I recommend them for hiking or trail walks? No, because proper walking gear is needed for days out like that. But for when you’re walking about on a night out, or wandering through a shopping centre, hell, even around your home, these babies will fit the bill.

 

*This is a blogger collaboration with Rollasole, however all opinions throughout the article are my own.

Angry Ovaries

Do you know what endometriosis is? No? That’s okay, not many people do, at least not in an in-depth sense. It’s one of those conditions you hear in passing, or perhaps you see a post about it, but you rarely decide to look into it for yourselves. I know I was one of those bypassing readers, not a care in the world for this common condition. Little did I know that it would soon impact on me in a big way.

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Before I get to the present, I need to take you on a journey into the past, to when I first fell out with my uterus. Unlike many, I actually welcomed my period, so much so that I was deliriously happy when it arrived. Everything sadly turned sour after that, as I soon discovered that I emptied myself of blood every hour, on the hour, with very few pads holding the flow. I was 9 years old when all this started happening, so needless to say, junior school was a drag. I was the only one out of friends to start my periods, and when I told them I was met with the old wives tale that fatter girls start earlier. Maybe it is true, I don’t know, but either way being told that wasn’t helpful to myself esteem.

After years of heavy periods and pain, I decided to try out the combined pill, hoping that it would be the cure all for me. And for a time it was, but just as before, a sour note tainted my experience. I started getting migraines with aura. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s when you get tingling and numbness alongside all the other lovely components of these crushing migraines. Experiencing this specific symptom caused alarm bells to ring, due to the increased risk of having a stroke when on the pill. Shortly thereafter, my doctor took me off of the combined pill and so I was left to try the mini pill.

Just as before I ran into problems, only this time rather than my head hurting to the point of bursting, my womb decided to strip its lining every eight days. It was relentless. And so, once again, I said goodbye to this form of contraception. At this point I was starting to lose my mind, fearful that I’d never be able to control my periods the way I wanted.

A few more months, maybe even years, passed and I decided to get back on the horse and try the contraceptive injection. I probably don’t need to tell you the end result, given my track record, but I will anyway: It sucked. Crappy moods, random periods and extreme weight gain. To make matters worse, I then had the additional issue of the meds being in my system for three months at a time.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because, at the age of 26*, I find myself back on the mini pill. A whole ten years or so after trying it the first time. I didn’t plan for it to be this way, but like most things, the decision wasn’t fully in my control. You see, I’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, and one of the most common ways to attempt to ease the issue is to introduce hormones. Hello to an increase in progestogen.

I got to this point in a rather turbulent fashion, and because of that experience, it’s led me to want to share my story. A decision that’s fitting considering Endometriosis Awareness Week is upon us.

Prior to being diagnosed, I had been cleared of gyne issues (at least as far as my doctor was concerned) and was informed that I had IBS. Believing this to be true, I started taking specific meds for the condition over the last several years. Every time I had an incredible bout of pain whilst on my period, it was explained away by IBS. Even when I found myself in A&E, I was told much of the same, yet I knew it wasn’t right. I don’t claim to know more than doctors, but I know my body quite well when it comes to the pain it experiences.

After much forcing of the issue, the trainee doctor I found myself with after that episode, decided to put me in for an ultrasound. This was only after I told him I’d had a cyst on my left ovary before; I’d found this out whilst I was pregnant, but when they checked to see how it was progressing the cyst had burst. All I can say is, thank god he sent me for that ultrasound!

Once there, the nurse performing the scan proceeded to tell me that I had a cystic mass on my left ovary. The kind that would cause severe pain. She then went on to say that if someone had just sent me for a scan, much of the pain could have been avoided. True or not, I was both pissed off and relieved. Which brings us up to the now and my current treatment.

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Having been on the mini pill for roughly a month and a half, I can say that the pain has eased immensely. There’s been no need for endless paracetamol popping, just the odd one and then the assistance of a hot water bottle. As grand as that all is, there is a downside, and that’s that I’ve not stopped bleeding for three weeks straight. If I take that into account and compare it to the pain I used to experience, bleeding is nothing, however it does mean I have all these fibres rubbing in and around my vagina on a daily basis. Luckily I contacted TOTM and they sent me some sanitary products, all 100% organic, and so you should keep your eyes peeled for how they hold up when compared to high street brands.

I guess what I’m trying to do here is to help people realise that extreme period pain isn’t typical; yes, we can have savage period pain, but it shouldn’t prevent you from functioning. Anyone that tells you that it’s normal is wrong, at least as far as I’m concerned, and so I suggest you seek medical advice and help. It might be that you need stronger painkillers, but it may also be that you have a condition like endo, in which case other help will probably be needed.

Take care of yourselves, and your vaginas, my lovelies. Xx

Upping Your Reading Game

Hello, my dears. Boy has it been a while since I’ve blogged; I’ve been busy being so lazy that I’ve forgotten to stay in touch with all of you. A theme that actually relates to what I want to talk about today: making time for self care.

As someone whose never been very good at doing that, I thought it was about time I tried to focus on myself. I get so caught up with work, I often neglect the rest of my life; don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my job, but I allow it to consume me.

I’ve talked in the past about enjoying cross stitching (a love I still share), but another great romance of mine is reading. There’s nothing like it; the smell of the pages, the ability to imagine a character, I’d not be the writer I am today if I hadn’t have read so much. So why do I find it so hard to make time for a pastime I appreciate so much? I’d like to be able to past off an ignorant comment that I’m ‘too busy’, but there’s so much time in a day, that I’d be lying to myself and to all of you.

In an attempt to combat my loss of connection with the written word, I downloaded an app called Goodreads; this was a weak attempt to improve the amount of time I give to reading. I was skeptical to use it, the idea that an app could bring about some semblance of change an idea that has always irked me, but it helped me read seven books in a year. That’s a small total in truth, but much greater than I’d recently been achieving, which was about two a year, if I was lucky.

What is more, it’s encouraged me to seek out works by different authors, rather than stick to what I know. Since discovering my love for James Herbert, I’ve always stuck to his works, with few exceptions, but now I’m branching out in all sorts of ways. To celebrate this, I’m taking the Goodreads Reading Challenge again this year, arguably one of the most beneficial parts of the app.

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In anticipation, I’ve already started to purchase all the books I wish to connect with, a lot of which happen to be nonfiction, a genre I normally overlook. I’ve always seen fiction as the superior form, a better means of getting out of your head without the need for recreational drugs. So why this change? I believe, particularly as a writer, having no insight in other areas besides your speciality isn’t helpful to your growth. If I only ever read horror, I’ll miss out on all the good I can derive from other texts. This doesn’t just refer to writing, but most careers in general.

Furthermore, I simply wish to sample as many other writers as I can, to see how they engage with their readers. Do resonate with personal experiences, are they approachable or authoritative, do they provoke emotions – these are questions I wish to be answered. There may never be any definite responses to this questions, for their broad, but to not attempt it would be a failing on my part.

I want this year to be the year I read. Yes, I have other goals – I want to travel more, improve my fitness, etc – but out of them all, I wish to explore my right to escapism in all its literal glory. Why not join me on this journey? I could always use a study buddy on this. And you might just discover another tool to place into your self care arsenal, an essential part of our growth as people; to deny ourselves love from within is to deny ourselves.

Hidden Gems; Home from Home

Mini breaks are something that I’ve always been fond of – I’m a homebody, through and through, and so the idea of being away for a prolonged period of time not only doesn’t appeal to me, it makes me anxious. I like my own space, one I’ve designed around my needs and creature comforts.

I’ve found that a lot of people complain that domestic holidays cost much more than going abroad, and while I can appreciate that it’s true in many cases, there’s something to be said for spending quality time in and around the UK. Not everyone has the money to do so, but should you find yourself with some extra disposal income, intended for a short break holiday, an extra splurge to travel domestically is worthwhile.

Armed with the task of finding somewhere to stay, that’s also dog friendly, I set about searching the web… and then an email announced that I had a new follower on Twitter. An account called @Seaside_Lodge; from what I could make out from the media on their page, it looked amazing. Enchanted by the prospect of being away from home, with a beach close at hand, a mere walk from the lodge, I bit the bullet and asked if a couple of nights was available in early November. Perfectly timed for my birthday, a little treat to myself.

The owners of the Seaside Lodge, Joanna and Jon, replied promptly and informed me that, although they normally prefer to offer longer stays instead of shorter ones, they were willing to open up the lodge to us for a couple of nights. And at a reasonable price. I’d be lying if I said the cost of staying was dirt cheap, but what I paid was exactly what I got: exceptional quality, kitted out with modern technology, while being inviting and homely. It was the epitome of (the new buzzword) ‘hygge’.

Prior to our stay, Joanna popped along an email with details about places to eat, where to visit, the beaches that are deserted and dog friendly, and so on; all of this information was also provided at the lodge, but it enabled us to plan out stay more effectively, and with minimal effort on our part. If only more places took this level of initiative, it would make arranging holidays, however small, less anxiety inducing.

Our journey to Anderby Creek was a longish one, well three hours in truth, but as only my partner drives, to her it felt like an eternity. However, the directions we were given helped loads, and the Satnav took us right to the front door, which is a first! We couldn’t miss the lodge when we pulled up, the subtle blue of its front is so seasidey it brought back memories of my childhood spent in similar lodges closer to Skegness beach. When we ventured inside, making sure that Finn was nice and clean (he’s our scruffy labradoodle), we opened up the front door and was immediately blown away.

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The inside was immaculate, and when I say that, I truly mean it; the presentation was to a standard I’ve only seen in four/five star hotels. Furthermore, on a little tour of the lodge, I realised that there was two bedrooms, in addition to a main bathroom and a compact but well designed en-suite, which is attached to the larger of the bedrooms. Then I clapped eyes on the patio doors, which open out onto a small, enclosed garden on the side of Anderby Creek lake. That lakeside view is worth all the travelling and money alone, but then to know that the beach is just three minutes away makes the whole trip all the more special. A haven inside a paradise.

The best bit of entering though, was discovering a mini welcome hamper waiting for us, filled with some locally made plum bread, onion chutney, and ale, with some oak smoked cheese in the fridge. Guests can pay to have a welcome basket supplied, but I hadn’t opted for that option, for I was content to just stay by the sea, so to come in and discover this gift was the icing on a big cake. Oh, and I’d hate to forget the handwritten welcome message on the chalkboard by the front door that was left for us, adding to the charming atmosphere.

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Our first evening was spent cosying up in front of the log burner, nestling down on the sofa to look out at the lake; Cat read a book whilst I cross stitched, with Finn loyally on his bed close to the fire, soaking up the warmth. Even though the Seaside Lodge is dog friendly, your pooches aren’t allowed on the furniture. I’ll be honest, this worried us at first, simply because Finn is very much all over ours, but he adapted to the change immediately. It was if he knew that this was a new place and thus new rules applied.

Not once during our two nights did we bother with the television, though there were plenty of channels and DVDs supplied to tempt us, which is great for families who wish to cut down on the items they need to bring. For us though, we wanted simplicity, to get back to basics and stay cut off from the world rather that thrown into it, that was until we found the popcorn maker.

Yes, this lodge is kitted out with a modern yet rustic interior, and we couldn’t resist trying out the machine. Expecting a minimal amount of popcorn, we only used a normal sized bowl to house our savoury snack in, what an amateurish mistake for us to make; even though we used the right amount to ‘cook’ with, we had two overflowing bowls, and popcorn flying everywhere! It was hilarious watching Finn attempt to catch the tumbling food as it spilled over the surfaces and close to his mouth; luckily he didn’t grab much, as human popcorn is bad for dogs. All in all, it was a wonderful first night.

I won’t bore you with us laying in bed and commenting on how wonderful the lodge was, or how much I kept talking about the thread count of the duvet set, which I swear blind was one of the highest I’ve ever felt against my skin – you could feel the luxury cocooning you. I could have spent two days merely in bed, without moving anywhere else. Sadly, I’d hopped into that plushie sanctuary before managing to take a picture of it, but to me that says everything you need to know: it was so enticing and comfortable looking that I forgot about my camera and dived right on in. That first night was the best nights sleep I’ve had in ages, which is a massive win for me as I suffer from anxiety attacks most nights.

The next day we woke up and set off to explore Anderby Creek Beach, and my goodness, I could have spent the entire day adventuring with my little family. Thankfully the weather was on our side, but even in the pouring rain it would have been a treat, and one that Finn would have enjoyed as much as us, maybe even more so. He’s a mucky pup, and makes that fact known on every walk, especially if he has an audience.

As for the beach itself, it seemed to stretch on indefinitely, with hardly anyone knocking about apart from ramblers and fellow dog walkers; it was everything I’d dreamt of and more. Cat and I decided in short order that we’d quite like a lodge of our own, somewhere to retreat to whenever we want to get away from the rubbish we have to deal with on a daily basis. Our current bane being our poorly maintained house (by the landlord, not ourselves), and having to deal with their lack of regard for our wellbeing with having to live like that. Though that’s a rant for another post, preferably once we’ve moved.

We explored for a couple of hours, then returned to the lodge to sip tea and relax, though my form of relaxation returned me to that gloriously big bed for a quick nap. After we’d recharged our batteries, we went back to the beach, having decided to walk in the opposite direction. It was a crisp evening stroll, with Finn meeting the odd new friend on the way; it’s safe to say after all that walking on sand, we were ready for a peaceful night in. Once back at the lodge, we settled down and just nibbled on crackers, and so sadly I can’t comment on what the local food places are actually like. However, having seen everything else in and around the lodge, I imagine the services to be excellent.

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Our trip to the Seaside Lodge felt like it went by far too quickly, with me pining for its warming interior the moment we returned home. As far as I’m concerned, nothing will compare to it. It’s a hidden gem, one that I would gladly take over any trip aboard. The experience was so positive and enjoyable, such a breath of fresh air, that we intend to return in Spring. I implore anyone who has the opportunity to visit to do so, for it’ll give you all the respite you need to get you back into your groove.

Low Point; Riding in the Backseat of a Police Car

How did you guys spend your Thursday evening? Perhaps celebrating the looming return of Fri-yay, sipping a creamy hot chocolate and making plans for the weekend? Oh me, well I took a trip in the back of a police car.

I wish I was joking, or that it had been a bad dream, but there I sat at 7:30ish, on my way to A&E with a police escort. This happened for two reasons: my partner alerted them to my distressed state, and the mentally debilitating pain of unexplained illness. Last week I was suffering from a cold, which is pretty standard for me and this time of year – it’s a hate-hate relationship we’re entangled in. That wasn’t my reason for pain though, oh no, my period came and with it the sense of being stabbed in my lower abdomen.

Before I go any further, I can already hear the scores of men telling me to grow up, but why don’t you try to lose a pad full of blood every couple of hours, whilst feeling like someone is gutting you alive, and then tell me to stop whining. It’s an intolerable pain. Add to that a sudden bloating that had me the size of a seven months pregnant woman, and I couldn’t move, sleep properly, or even eat.

Having had two days of this discomfort – paramedics out to make sure it wasn’t anything serious, and the help of emergency doctors – I was at breaking point. I wanted time out and for my body to not turn on me. My mental stability broke completely and I had a terrible mental health episode that resulted in my partner calling the police out, more for my safety than her own. By the time they arrived I was a quiet and despondent mess, having been verbally abusive to my partner and mother, the height of my episode knowing no bounds of cruelty.

Luckily for me, the police weren’t there to pass judgment or cart me away, they were concerned for my mental state, and desperate to get me checked out. As my partner had contacted them, they wouldn’t allow her come with me to the hospital and so I had to have a police escort… Riding in a police car is a weird experience, but what’s weirder is people asking if you’re under arrest or dangerous when you meet them; the medical staff chatted in code with the police to determine my level of danger. Oh, and the looks from bystanders gets old really fast; my social anxiety peaked several times with massive anxiety attacks that struck during my five hour visit to A&E.

Thankfully I don’t have anything serious, or at least nothing they can detect in my blood and urine, and so they believe it to be a stomach upset/IBS flare up that could take several days to ease. Painkillers and heat are the only things that can really help, besides being more conscious about what I eat.

I write this post not for sympathy, but for others to know that it’s okay to stumble when your mental health takes a step (or a monumental leap) backwards; we can’t be stable everyday. Depression and anxiety aren’t that kind. Some days will be tougher than others, and sometimes you’ll have to deal with an episode that threatens your very safety. But try not to see this as a slight on you: your behaviour isn’t truly your own when you’re gripped like that, at least that’s how I feel when it happens to me. I’m like another person, a force that isn’t a friend to anyone, least of all herself.

Mental health still isn’t discussed nearly enough, with experiences like this often not highlighted for fear of making us ‘sound crazy’. Well sod that, every black dog experience is part of our journey, and they shouldn’t be dismissed because they’re unsightly and unpleasant. We should be heard always, and in turn better understood for it.

I’m not saying to take your life with depression at face value, to not fight to improve and get the help you need, but I am saying to not think yourself a failure or a bad person because you waver. It took me having a trying and horrible experience to realise that. All I will say is to try and recognise the support network you have around you, as you’ll have one, even if you can’t always see it. The way I can treat people when in that state isn’t something easily forgotten, by anyone involved, but they’re now better equipped to deal with me when that happens; the police can help in ways that you might not have thought. This was an eyeopening scenario, it helped me realise that I wasn’t going to be strapped up and dropped into the nearest hospital for ‘being a loon’; they were here to help me as much as my partner.

Take care, my lovelies, and remember you’re not alone.

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