Friday, 28 August 2015

Travel: Mexico

As many of you know I love my trips and holidays. Since buying my house and starting university next month I have to be a lot more careful about anything I book now. In saying that I still want to go away just not as often.

So next year I am off to Mexico!

I know that I need a trip where I can just relax and chill out. I am going at the time my masters degree ends so a little R&R is something I will be needing. It's funny because I have a travel list and some people have asked me why I am going somewhere that isn't on my list of places I want to go.

And the answer is pretty simple.

It's just a list.

It doesn't mean I don't want to see other places. I know I really want to go to Thailand and that isn't on my list but it doesn't mean I won't go because it isn't on my list. I think it would be very narrow minded of me to have that view.

One of the things I do LOVE about going somewhere that isn't on my list is that I haven't researched it. So if you have been what do you recommend seeing/doing?

I am going to be on the Caribbean coast just south of Cancun. I welcome any Mexican advice and ideas!

Have you any trips planned? 


Friday, 21 August 2015

Just Everything

I feel like just everything is getting on top of me at the moment. I just feel as if I am permanently harassed and not just be people. By traffic, paperwork, gossip, rubbish weather, poor funds. I just feel irritated by everything.

Two weeks ago I went through a meltdown. It was the first time in two years that I felt out of control and it was scary. But I have also, with wonderful help, been able to pick myself up so much better. I have been able to realise where my thoughts should not have been going and been able, with support, try to re-navigate myself. It's almost like I am a GPS. I lost my way for a bit and at the moment I currently feel like I am doing the U-Turn. I just haven't quite figured out which road to drive onto yet. But I am quite happy to wait at the junction until I do.

It's also hit me this week that this time next month I will be a student again. I am so used to being the mentor for student nurses so to go back to where I was 5 years ago - just seems a little crazy. I am EXCITED for it. I am so ready for a new challenge and this is something I have dreamt of doing. But this week has also hit home at what I am leaving. Even though I find the job boring I do not find the people I work with dull in the slightest.

They're like a second family and I genuinely feel like I am flying the nest. Their support has been invaluable but my God it is starting to sink that I won't be working alongside them anymore. It's scary. Today I said my first goodbye to one of the girls, as she is going away for a month, and the idea of having to do that 20+ more times sucks.

Change is a good thing but it also stops me from being in the driving seat for a little bit. So just like this post. I seem to be feeling a cacophony of every emotion at the moment. Yet, as long as I am better than I was two weeks ago then I know I will be okay.

I have faith in the next step even if I can't see the whole staircase.


Sunday, 9 August 2015


Relapse - a deterioration after a period of improvement.

And this is what happened. For the last two years I have been on a steady path in dealing with my anxiety issues. But I will admit there have been many instances where I have ignored silly thoughts in my head, worried about certain situations that on reflection weren't worth anxiety over. I understand that there would have been times that I would slip but I think it is safe to say that I have relapsed back into anxiety.

It all came to a head last week when I couldn't sleep, my concentration at work was shot and mustering all I could to not cry was my goal of the day. It took me back to two years ago when I did exactly the same thing but what was worse this time was I knew what was happening...and I was so panicked by it. I was my own worst critic as I couldn't utilise the tools I had been taught to reduce the anxiety because crying about it seemed easier. After I had my panic attack I knew enough was enough. I had to take hold of it.

I spoke to a good friend of mine who has two psychology degrees and he made me realise that it's a good idea to start liking myself. I need to start training my mind and change this learned response. Simply because he is right...when I worry about something I have somehow learnt to become anxious over it rather than realistic about it. I want to change this and I have tools to help me start.

One thing I do want to say though that as rubbish as I feel right now. I know I am lucky. I am lucky to have brilliant friends who have messaged and rung me all week to see how I am. I am fortunate to have a family who know how to distract me and blessed to have a housemate who lets me cry on the sofa and doesn't think she's living with some crazy loon. I know that and for that I am thankful.

But I am also encouraged. If I stop to think about it I don't give myself enough credit for keeping my anxiety/depression at bay. For two years I have known I have these illnesses and each time they have reared their ugly heads they haven't been as bad. And you know why? Because I don't let it. I try so hard to rid my head of those mean thoughts and their intrusive natures. I have to stop myself from ruminating on the past and feeling regret because it just leads to one dead end. So even though this time the relapse has been so much worse it has also made me realise how far I have come.

On Friday I felt so alone, despite having so many people around me. Yet, today I don't have as many people around me but I do not feel alone.

This is my battle and I am always going to show up for the fight with a sword in hand.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Inside Out

I haven't taken a blogging break on purpose. It's just sort of happened and I feel a little better for it. I have found over the last few months my blogging mojo has disappeared but last night something made me think 'I really want to blog about this.'

So here I am. I'm glad my mojo is back- for the time being anyway.

Last night I went and saw the new film Inside Out. The premise of the film is a little long winded but it was a really enjoyable movie. It's about these emotions in your brain that react to the memories you make, for a family film it's a little hard to explain it in it's entirety without stuttering and stopping to think.

However, the film did just that - it really got me thinking. At one point in the movie the emotion 'Joy' has to get back to the brain to make Riley (the person whose brain they control) happy again. But she doesn't want the emotion 'Sadness' to help her as she makes Riley sad. It seems really reasonable to think that right? I won't ruin the end of the movie but the ending really struck a chord with me.

Simply because on many occasions in order to feel happy we often have to feel feelings of anger, sadness, disgust and fear. I remember before I went through my breakdown people often said to me 'you always seem so bubbly' and I was questioned as to why I was 'happy all the time.' When in reality I was feeling quite the opposite!

Even though joy and sadness are polar opposites I have come to realise over the years that these feelings actually work in synergy together. A few years ago it would have sounded bizarre but the older I get the more sense it makes.

  • I felt immeasurable joy when I graduated a few years ago with my nursing degree but more often than not during my training I felt scared, worried and fearful if that day would ever come.
  • When I became an auntie I was so happy. But there was a lot of anxiety involved to see if everything would go smoothly with the pregnancies for Nicola and anticipation for their births to come.

  • In February I was chucked out of a plane doing my skydive. It was something I felt elation with after it happened. In the lead up to it my fear was through the roof and during the dive it was more relief and shock that I was currently pelting to the earth at crazy miles per hour.

  • A few years ago when I was going through the troughs of being diagnosed with depression there really was a feeling of no way out. I felt trapped and angry at what I was going through. Now I have more peaks it is only now I feel content. But my heart had to be broken into a million pieces first before it could heal.

I've realised that sometimes in order to feel happiness we need to face adversity. We have to know what it feels like to hit rock bottom before we climb the mountain. I have heard so many people say you have to lose sadness in order to feel happy? And to some extent that is true but not fully. We can't be happy all the time. We can't be strong all the time. We have to feel different emotions in order to find answers, clarify situations and prepare ourselves for new challenges.

Happiness is my favourite emotion to feel. It always will be and over the last month or so I have felt happier. I have exciting things to look forward to! But sometimes happiness and sadness need to be friends rather than enemies...otherwise it isn't complete.

So instead of saying you need to lose sadness in order to feel glad. Maybe sadness is the key to happiness after all?


Wednesday, 1 July 2015


I have been living in my house for a year now and the majority of what we have wanted done to the house has been completed.

One of the rooms I HATED was the bathroom. It was all tiled a nasty blue, the floor was rotten, the bath was marked, there was damp and in general it just felt grubby. We had it all ripped out in March and decorated it in April. I have never been a fan of theme rooms, even for baby nurseries I dislike 'themes'. I work with a lady who is designing a 'Frozen' themed room for her daughter and I can guarantee in a few years her daughter will outgrow it. I like rooms that can be regenerated and decorated in pieces rather than spend £££. I am not the sort of person who walks into a room and wants a 'Jungle' theme or 'Summer' themed room. I really like to keep things simple.

I hated this bathroom - ick!

In saying that my bathroom has become a 'seaside' theme and it literally just came together from a little sign in our bathroom. 

Lotte and I wanted to keep the colours of the bathroom blue since our towels and accessories were blue. Due to the fact we didn't have all the walls tiled and had some painted walls- there were some blank spaces. For a few weeks we didn't know what to fill the spaces with. I went on pinterest and typed in 'blue bathrooms' and saw a bathroom with a lifeguard ring in it. I loved it! So I trawled the internet in search of a blue life ring and it fits in so well.

So for the rest of the bathroom we decided to be in keeping with the beach theme. We will put a squiggle mirror up to represent a wave on the main wall. I really wanted to do something different in the window. I didn't see the point in putting up a blind since we don't need to block out light and I think they just collect dust if they're not used for their intended use. It took a while to think of something to dress the window until I came up with this...

I really wanted to incorporate some things that remind me of the beach/sea like messages in a bottle, shells, starfishes, sand and trawler netting. So that's what we have done to dress the window. I bought the trawler netting for £3 off amazon and we found the starfishes in Italy for 3 euros each. It's my favourite (and cheapest) part of the bathroom. I also filled a glass vase full of shells for the window sill.

I love how it is coming together. Also it is expensive to put in new bathrooms. Lotte and I were quite shocked at some of the quotes we received. So in order to get costs down we decided not to fully tile the bathroom and instead paint it. My friend gave us some spare floor tiles which we used to save cost and we also used storm wall which looks great and so much easier to clean!!!

So that's our bathroom :-)

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