Thursday, 29 August 2013

Throwback Thursday - Prom

This week's delve into the archives goes back to when I was 16 at my school prom!

I had my school prom when I was 16 on the 1st July 2005. This is a picture of some of my girlfriends outside. It was themed 'Hollywood' - so we had a red carpet to walk down with paparazzi!

This is my favourite picture from the night. At the time Kathryn and Lorraine were my two best friends. Since then Lorraine and I grew apart but Kath and I are still really really good friends. Our prom night started off really badly because our limo broke down on the way to Lorraine's house! We were so gutted and we ended up walking. Yes walking to our prom!!! However, all was not lost because when prom ended we came outside to see a hummer limo awaiting us. We had the best fun in that hummer and I made some of the best memories!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

End of the Summer Hodgepodge!

I cannot believe that next week it'll be Autumn! So this is the last hodgepodge of summer 2013. I just think it has gone by so fast. As ever if you want to take part then answer the questions below and link back by clicking the badge below for an insight into all the hodgepodgeness!

1) Labour day weekend (in the US of A) is approaching...what's something you've laboured over this year?

This is the first thing that comes to my mind but back in February I made my sister a 30th birthday album of her life. I just wanted to to reflect her personally but I was a little late in starting it. So I was cramming in so many hours to get it finished. I loved the end result but I certainly laboured over it for a couple of days to get it done.

2) What is one way to describe your job or career?


3) What was your worst or least favourite job ever? Why?

When I was 16 I worked in a small supermarket and I detested it. The uniform was bright lime green, all the customers only seemed to buy were cigarettes/alcohol and the stock room was so dusty! Also, I used to work on a Saturday night and we would get the drunks and kids with attitude in. I felt very unsafe, so no surprise I only lasted 6 months and that was more than long enough!

4) How do you measure contentment?

I'd say I measure it the same way I measure happiness. And that's if I can go to bed saying I've had a good day and learnt/enjoyed something then I am content. So I guess by the number of good days I have.

5) Pickles - like or dislike? What is something you eat that requires a pickle? Dill, bread and butter, sweet gherkins...what's your favourite kind of pickle?

I do really like pickles but there are only certain foods I will have them in, otherwise I think they can be food spoilers. I love my burgers to have gherkins in and with cold meats I like branston pickle (basically pickled chutney.) My favourite are probably gherkins but only when sliced or diced.

6) In your current house-town-state. What is it you like living close to?

I like living close to my station. I can grab a 20 minute train journey there direct into central London.

7) What is one thing on your 'want-to-do' list before summer draws to an official close?

I bought a really nice maxi dress this summer for Florida but never got round to wearing it (I overpack!) So I would like to get that out and wear it for summer to see!

8) Insert your own random thought here.

This weekend my Mum asked me to go to the cinema with her. I haven't been to the cinema with my Mum in so so long. I wasn't really that fussed about going and the film she chose 'We're the Millers' I had not heard anything about. The film was so funny and I really enjoyed my Mum's company!!! It made me realise we should do more things together more often.

See you next week.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Vlog: Passions outside the blog


I have wanted to talk about my interests outside the blogosphere for a while and noticed some other bloggers have done videos on it. I thought it would be fun to hear it from me too. Hopefully you guys haven't forgotten my voice, as I haven't done Vlog in well over a year.

What do you guys enjoy away from the computer screen?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Throwback Thursday - Dad

I've decided to take part in the Throwback Thursday series. Especially since I have so many photos it would be good to take some out of the archives and explain their stories. My first one is seriously going back some years.

This is a picture of my Dad, aged 9. It was taken on his annual photo day for school in 1960! It's funny because I see so much of my brother in this photo and how much they really do look alike. I'm also shocked that he has a slight smile in this too!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

It's a Hungry Hodgepodge!

The Hodgepodge feels like it's all about food this week. If you want to join the party then answer the questions below and link back onto the Joyce's blog by clicking the badge below. Bon appetite!

1) What's your worst food memory? How about one of your best?

My worst food memory isn't a pretty one but I remember when I was about 8/9 and moaning to my Mum about how she never cooked Spaghetti Bolognese. We aren't big mince/pasta eaters in my house so I just remember really looking forward to dinner all day when she said she would cook it! My Mum had to go and collect my sister before dinner and all of a sudden I felt really sick. I could barely stomach the food and halfway through I walked out to my mum in the Kitchen to apologise that I couldn't eat it. But instead of words coming out, I vomited instead all over the floor. Safe to say I did not eat Spaghetti Bolognese for 5 years because of that awful memory! My best food memory, oh my I have so many! I think one of my best was funnily enough eating Spaghetti Bolognese in Rome 2 years ago. I was sat outside the Colosseum, had Italian violinists playing across the street and it just felt really Italian!! The food, scenery and music just made it a special night.

Eating in Rome 

2) Do you appreciate people telling it like it is, or would you rather a speaker temper maybe his/her words and beat around the bush a little? How about when you're the one communicating...which type are you?

I most definitely like to be told how it is, that way we're all on the same page. I am not the most patient of people at times and when people flounce their words or are trying to coat the truth then it just irks me. On a daily basis I will say to someone 'just spit out what you're going to say.' I would say I communicate that way too as I just like it said, done and dusted. Obviously there are some situations where you have to take a step back and adjust how you say things so you don't offend/upset the other person but I would need to pre-plan that in my head.

3) What's your favourite place to hang out?

This may sound weird but I love hanging out round a swimming pool. It's relaxing, no serious chatter and it's fun! Just a shame I don't have a swimming pool at home. In my own area I like going to the pub for drinks to catch up with friends. I do love a pub garden and a sunny day!

4) When do you most feel like you're a slave to time?

Everyday! I would say in the mornings. I tend to wake up before my alarm goes off for the fear I will over sleep and miss work. Then I am clock watching to make sure I am out of the house by 06.40 in order to get to my 7am shift!

5) What was the last concert you attended? Who'd you go with? Was it any good?

I used to love going to concerts and probably went every couple of months! The last proper concert I went to was Taylor Swift with my college friends. It was soooo good!!!

6) Reality TV...harmful or harmless? What's your guilty pleasure when it comes to reality TV?

I find it quite harmless. People choose to go on these shows knowing they will be liked by the public or they might be loathed. I am not the biggest fan of reality TV because once you see one show, they're all the same. I have to say my one guilty pleasure is Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The family are annoyingly addictive!

7) What's something you think is overrated?

Olives. I just don't get how some people go on about them like they're the newest and most flavoursome of foods. Whenever I say I don't like them I always get the same response 'how can you not like Olives?!' - they smell, taste acidic and I just don't like them but people treat them like they're going out of fashion! And I also think the Twilight saga is overrated too. Rant over.

8) Insert your own random thought here.

A shop near me were selling the game of Scrabble cheaply so I bought it. My mum, sister and I played it pretty much all weekend. I love some of the words we come up it and how we also make up words to fit into each other! It cheered me up no end. How have I not played this game before?

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Horsey Hen Do

This weekend was my sister Nicola's hen do. We had so much fun dressing up, playing games and putting a few cheeky bets on. We went to Ascot race course where they had a race day going on. I went out with £60 and came back with £110 so I did well! Most importantly Nicola had fun and I think we sent her off into wedded bliss quite well. Below are photos from the day.

Nicola and future SIL Emma.

 Mum and Nicola.
 All the hens.

 Rachael, Nic and I.

Carly, Sarah and Nic - her two best friends.

Meal at Nicola's favourite restaurant.

Nicola and Robbie get married two months today so not long and us lot cannot wait!

Monday, 12 August 2013

The weight of the world.

I have always been a person who carries the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am easily affected by things I see in the news. I am very emotional and always want to help. I think that's one of the reasons I adore my job because I everyday I get to help people in whatever way I can and it makes me happy.

I very rarely help myself though.

Throughout my whole life if you have given me a task I will work on it until that job is done. Even if it means taking on several tasks at the same time. I will do it. I have to do lists in my head as long as my arm. I am sometimes quite jealous of people who are given a job and then when they realise they can't do it- they give up. I have never understood it because surely you would want to complete it?

I guess I am strong like that, to persevere and makes others happy.

That is until a few weeks ago the world came crashing down on me and I had felt the weakest I have ever felt in my life. This is not an easy post to write but I want to be frank and honest on here. I have been blogging since 2007 and I have met many people on the journey since. There are many bloggers I call my friends in real life. Plus, I have always been honest on this blog up until now. I live as I mean to go on.

For the last year or so I have had many down days. Some months were worst than others but I had many days where I just had very 'meh' moments but put it down to stress, work, money etc. At the end of June I woke up and felt different. I kept putting it down to the fact we had just got back from Florida and had holiday blues. Yet, this felt like so much more than that. I felt like I didn't want to get out of bed. I would choose the latest opportune moment to get out of bed before I had to but I felt so miserable. In fact I didn't even want to go to work, which says a lot because 9/10 I always look forward to work. Life just didn't feel like it was worth getting up for. I felt really low and sad all the time. Then it happened the next day and the next day until anxiety started to over take me. I felt nervous all the time. I felt judged by other people and was so paranoid.

I felt like I was going crazy. The world was spinning and I was stood there motionless in time. What the heck was wrong with me?!

Then on the 10th July I broke down. I will never forget that day and throughout all this mess I have gone through since, that day remains so clear in my mind. I had text my Mum saying I needed to see her ASAP. She text me back, clearly concerned, saying she would finish work early and we would have the house to ourselves to talk. I walked through my front door at 3pm and did no talking.

I cried. I broke down. My Mum was hugging me on the floor and the anguish from years of built up stress, anxiety, worry, grudges and grief came tumbling out of me. I barely made any sense but the relief. Oh the relief to be heard was almost euphoric! I spend my life caring for other peoples ailments, worries and concerns (I love it!) but now it was my turn and it wasn't a pretty place to be in. The same evening my Mum booked me an appointment with my GP. This had been going on for too long and I needed to seek out advice.

I was told there and then that it sounded like depression and that to tackle it I need to seek help. I needed to seek help? In a world where I help others. In fact it is my profession to do so. This was totally alien to me. I was started on anti-depressants, taken off my contraceptive pill and referred to my local mental health team. But worst of all?

I was scared. So scared.

That night I went to bed relieved that I had a diagnosis. It wasn't something I wanted to have but there was relief. However, there was panic, sheer panic at how the bloody hell I was going to get through this!!! To the world it may seem I had it all. A good job, a car to drive, great social life, loving boyfriend, lovely holidays to go on but to me all of that was just mediocre. I could not feel happy about having those things in my life because I couldn't even appreciate myself let alone what I have to show for it. The following morning was harrowing. I had an early shift to get to for work, I knew I had to explain to Simon that day how I had been feeling and I felt like a disaster.

Then there was the panic attack. Everything came on top of me again, but instead of crying this sheer terror swept through me. I couldn't breathe and was hyperventilating. I remember holding on to my chest willing myself to calm down. My pulse went through the roof to the point my head felt like it was going to burst. And the pacing...just pacing manically round my room muttering how crazy I was being!!! 'STOP IT REBECCA! JUST STOP THIS!!!!' I kept repeating to myself. I distinctly remember going over to my window sill and trying to breathe any air I could and thinking 'am I going to die? Is this what it feels like to go insane?'And then the falling. I fell down to my bedroom floor as the weight of the world crashed around me again. My Mum found me in a heap on the floor sobbing my heart out and I called in sick to work.

When would this end?

That evening Simon and I decided to break up whilst I sorted myself out. Some people have said I am shutting him out but I cannot be in a relationship whilst this is going on. In fact I do not care for others opinions on it. At the time it was the best decision and still now I agree with it. I have let Simon in and continually update him as to how I am doing. As sad as it is to go through I knew I had to be fair to him in what I can only imagine is an unfair situation.

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. I have sought help and currently going through the motions of it. I am slowly working out why this has happened. A lot of it has stemmed from my childhood, life events from the past couple of years and personal relationships. I will not be sharing anymore into this right now, simply because this is still the internet and has room for judgement. I feel the important thing is to try and adjust to this and find tools in helping me cope when everything gets too much. Once this happens or helps then I can let more people in. I find I am happiest at work. Many of my work colleagues keep saying how well I am handling all this but it is far from the case. As soon as I leave work I realise what I am facing. Work is a great distraction and nursing is one thing I am good at, so it keeps me grounded and most importantly sane!

This is going to be a long road to navigate. I am not clueless in thinking some pills, counselling and therapy will get me through it and cured. But this really isn't easy either. I am 24 and living with depression. It's hardly something I want handed to me at this age - who does at any age to be honest?

But I wanted to share with you guys, quite simply because in the last two weeks I have had help from so many people both in real life and through social networking. They have no idea how therapeutic it has been in allowing me to open up to them. Also, because I want to read this post in the future and see how this journey first started.

Depression: It's the curse of the strong and boy do I know it now. Yet, there is one thing I do know. I can't beat it but I can sure give it some tough battles.

If anyone has any stories, books or places to source that they know have helped them or others please let me know. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

It's a Sunny Hodgepodge.

Happy August Hodgepodgers! If you want to take part then please do by answering the questions below and then link up on Joyce's blog.

1. The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week...what's one thing you could do this week to qualify as a participant?

I think I could sort out my mess of a bedroom/drawers. It would certainly make my life easier looking for certain items of clothes.

2. It's also National Peach Month...peach pie, peach cobbler, or please pour me a Bellini? What's your peach pleasure?

I do really like the flavour of a peach. I do love a peach crumble and I love the alcoholic drink peach schnapps!

3. Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote "do one thing everyday that scares you." Agree or disagree...explain.

When I first read this I instantly thought yes I agree but the more I think about it I sit on the fence. I agree life is for living and the majority of things we get scared/nervous about have a happy outcome. So yes doing something that scares you is very thrilling but everyday? I think that's a bit excessive.

4. What's your favourite household chore? yes - you have to name one.

There are two chores I don't mind doing and that's the clothes washing and mopping floors.

5. Fodors recently listed (what they've dubbed) the ten most beautiful sunset spots in America. Click here to read more and see the pretty pictures, but here is their list:

Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara CA, Mount Haleakala in Maui HI, Old Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe NM, Laguna Beach CA, Hopi Point in Grand Canyon AZ, Four Seasons in Miama FL, Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica CA, Gay Head in Martha's Vineyard MA, Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City UT, and Mallory Square in Key West FL.

Have you seen the sun set from any of these spots? If you could choose to watch the sun set this weekend from one of these spots, which would you choose? Where was the prettiest sunset you've ever seen?

As I was reading the list I kept saying 'I've been there!' to a few and wished I had seen a sunset and knew about it. I have been to Miami and various places in California where they had stunning sunsets. I have stayed in Key West (not Mallory Square) and visited Hopi Point at the Grand Canyon but not at sunset - boo wish I had now! I have seen a sunset at Santa Monica Pier though which I thought was really pretty!!! If I could choose to see a sunset this weekend then it would probably be from Hawaii! My favourite sunset has to be between a sunset I saw on Boobie's Bay in Cornwall or Menorca, Spain. They both took my breath away!



6. What's your favourite or most used app?

I would have to say Twitter. It's the one up on my phone that I check on a regular basis. I also use Whatsapp/BBM a lot to message friends.

7. We've recently passed the halfway mark for 2013...write a seven word sentence that sums up your year thus far.

Been the best and worst of times.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This weekend I went to a H.O.G rally for a friends birthday. I had no idea what kind of rally it was until I turned up. It was for Harley Davidson fans! H.O.G - Harley Owners Group. Duh! It was fun though, even if I did make the mistake of wearing shorts and was freezing by midnight. It was strange to be in a totally different community of people. But I have to say some of the bikes were beautiful!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Still here.

I promise I am still here but just been lying low since recent events. I am doing okay and I think I will share more about what is going on in my brain over time. It has been a very difficult few weeks but I am healing slowly. I don't know what the future holds for myself, let Simon and I right now. I am just not in the right headspace for big decisions. It's literally a case of getting through each day at the moment.

As I said I will share more on here the better I feel. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shown concern and sent me lovely messages. I have really appreciated it.

In saying that I have plenty of things to look forward to. I have my sisters hen do this weekend and I am excited to dress up! I found out today I get a pay rise this October which I am so pleased about! (For those who don't know my government have frozen public sector pay for the last two years, so I have been on the same wage for quite a while!) I had my bridesmaid fitting this weekend and phew! The dress still fits. I feel a lot more comfortable wearing orange for Nic's big day. Also, last weekend I went to a chocolate factory. My friends and I visited Cadbury world near Birmingham. We got to see the evolution of the company, history about chocolate, saw the chocolate being made/wrapped/dispatched and most importantly got free chocolate!!! It was certainly worth the visit and a really nice girly day out.

Sacha, Emma, me and Becca at Caddbury World.

I think one of the most fun things that'll will happen, just need to organise it, is my blog friend Holly is moving to the UK. So that's another blog buddy I get to meet in real life!!! She comes over in a couple of days, so I really hope the nice British weather we've been having holds out for her!

Once again thank you for being around and checking in on me.

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