Monday, 30 September 2013

Girls night: Are you in or out?

I remember in my late teens getting ready for a night out. The process would start late afternoon with a shower, hair in rollers, friends coming over to choose clothes, do each other's make up, pre drinks, eating take-away and then heading out about 10pm.

Just the next day waking up in the clothes from the night before, stale make up on your face, sticky feet from split alcohol and the worst headache in the world has made girly nights out become less frequent for me, In fact, I haven't had a night out drinking, dancing and staying up all hours for well over a year.

The reason being? I'd much rather have a girly night in. I love having my friends round, ordering in take-away, choosing from an array of movies, big bowl of popcorn/sweets at the ready and a few bottles of wine. Then chuck in some board games for when the chick flick movies get a bit repetitive and there you have it!

As I write this the scene from Grease where they have the sleepover comes to my mind. I love it because they just gossip and laugh at their antics. It helps to make priceless memories.

The reason I say this is because a recent survey by Ladbrokes Bingo showed that 70% of women would rather a night in than a night out. So that's 7/10 ladies! And I have to say I am proudly one of them and here are the main reasons why:

1) It's cheaper

I find nights out quite pricey. In fact 75% of the women asked in this survey agreed! A round of drinks can be nearly £20 for a group of my friends. £20 could buy me double in a food store. It's not just about the drink either! I have friends who don't drink and quite often when we go out feel that they are boring amongst all the drinkers. So a girly night in can stop them feeling like that. I will say though that the money spent on food for a night in is more pricey than that of a night out but it beats the greasy kebab or burger you'd probably buy anyway.


2) You can have more of a laugh

This is so true and I agree with the 80% of ladies who say this too. I hate having to shout over the music to get someones attention or talk to my friends. No wonder I have a hoarse throat in the morning after a night out. I love just sitting at home on the sofa or in the garden, glass of wine in hand, plates of food and great flowing conversation! There's no working out how many hours it's going to take you to get ready. It's easier and simpler.

3) You can choose your own crowd of people

Anyone experienced the drunk man who wants you to dance with them or the slimy guy that wants a drunken kiss? I have and I don't feel special. In fact I get quite irritated because just as you start to have a good time you are being bashed by the crazy dancers or slipping on the floor from the alcohol that's been spilt. At least when I have my friends over I know them! And even if we do get a little silly, I'm being silly with people I like and enjoy being around.

I hosted a girly night in for my friend Sacha as her hen do! She was heavily pregnant at the time and it just seemed so suited to us!!!

4) Wear what you want

Enough said. No worrying about what you have to wear or spending money on a new outfit. Also, does anyone wear tights on a night out? Because I do! I fret about them laddering and what an unclassy look I would be giving off. On another note I also had a friend whose heel of her shoe broke on the dance floor. It wasn't fun hobbling round.

5) Tailor it to your needs

Everyone has their own version of a girly night in. My friends and I love board games. We tend to order take out, have a couple bottles of wine and play games like Twister. We may watch a film but we tend to just talk whilst it's showing. So it gets to the end of the movie and we look at each other to say 'did we watch any of that?' which then cues the giggling.

I won't say I am totally against having a night out. In fact I am having one next month with my work colleagues. I am really looking forward to it but that's because I hardly do it.

So are you like me? Do you much prefer a girly night out or a night in?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Can we end it now?

Yesterday I came home from work and was appalled with what I saw on social networking sites. Halloween is just around the corner and of course shops are trying to sell their costumes. However, this just spells out wrong on so many levels!


Do we end the stigma now? I used to work in a mental health hospital. It was a calm and lovely environment! If I think back I never saw people going round with an axe and bloodstained clothes. This just goes to show that when people think of mental health they go straight to thinking strait jackets, sedation, murderers, bubble wrapped rooms to bang their heads against. For someone who suffers from anxiety and depression I just feel so defeated that people think this is okay.

To me this is the face of mental health.


And I don't think my 'costume' would sell too well do you? It's time to change.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The truth is...

I haven't been in the mood to blog or even look at blogger in general. It's not because I don't want to. It's just with everything that's been happening lately blogging has been knocked off my priority list.

I do want to update some things on here though for you guys.

1) I started CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

Last Tuesday was my first session. I'm in a group of about 12 people who are all 'in the same boat' as me. We all have different stories to tell I am sure but they seem like friendly people. I was feeling very nervous! I have never had therapy before but the tutors are so lovely and welcoming. We have homework that's set each week and I came away from the first session feeling like it was doable. CBT is a class that helps to challenge and change the way you think, feel and behave. I think and feel a lot of negativity in my life and this needs to change. I am also doing an on-line CBT course as well and plan to have some counselling afterwards. It's all about moving forward but instead of my usual leaps. I'm learning to take tiny steps.

2) Three weeks until the wedding.

My sister gets married in THREE WEEKS! I fly out to Cyprus with my friend on the 9th October. I am looking forward to getting away for a bit of TLC and sunshine.



3) I've booked a holiday.

Speaking of holidays I have booked a getaway for next year. I have felt very panicky and withdrawn the last couple of weeks and I wanted something to give me a boost. You know I love my holidays! My friend and I are going to New York (I still need to do Empire State), Washington D.C and Niagara Falls! I'm really looking forward to next May. It gives me something to get myself better for.

4) Bought myself a gift.

When I was with Simon he said he would convert me to a Mac and he succeeded! I bought myself a Macbook air last week and it comes on the 26th!

5) Running my first charity event.

I am hosting a Macmillan coffee morning at my work this Friday. My colleagues are bringing in cakes and I am going to sell them off to raise money for cancer. I'm hoping for a good turn out! If anyone is in the Runnymede area please pop in for a cupcake!

I'm hoping to be on more of a blogging platform soon but in the mean time I apologise for absence and lack of comments on your blogs.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Cohen at 18 months

I love this kid more than anything. He never fails to brighten my day. I cannot believe Cohen is 18 months old.




This is Cohen's way of smiling. I seriously cannot wait for what his school photos will turn out like.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Throwback Thursday - Ollie

This week is one that melts my heart. One of the most bittersweet times of my life was finishing secondary school. I loved my school and I cherish the friends I made there. You always make that pact of 'we'll promise to stay in contact!' It's such a shame that life moves on and so do your friends. But I will always remember them so fondly.


This is a picture of my school friend Ollie and I in May 2005. It was our last week of school and I can honestly say I laughed the most with this guy. We giggled in Maths, shouted hello to each other across the lunch table everyday, met at the back gate every morning to walk to form together and rolled our eyes at the thought of having to run around the school track. So we walked instead ha! I still keep in contact with him via Facebook but we are at different places in our lives. I remember our laughs together so much and I miss it!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Throwback Thursday - Christmas Party

There's a reason why I can't blog too much about this photo because I barely remember this night at all. In simple words I was too intoxicated with alcohol and I have never ever had such a bad hangover in my life after this night. Whenever I do have a drink now (which is rare) I am always reminded to never repeat the level of drinking I did this night.


This was my work Christmas party 2008. It was the best Christmas party I have ever been too because it was so well themed. It was a circus theme and they had acrobats, clowns and people playing tricks around the tables. The trouble was it was a free bar and I had turned 18 that year (legal age to drink in the UK). So I took full advantage of it...and the dance floor. My old work colleagues said you couldn't get me off it. This is me on the dance floor with my friend Becca. Oh what a night....

Saturday, 7 September 2013

What I Look Like

Since being diagnosed with depression a lot of people have said that they are surprised how honest I am about it. They tend to think that people with depression tend to be quiet, remorseful and shy away from being upfront about it.

I have always been a person who shares my life with others. Depression will never change that. I have chosen to talk about it because primarily it helps me and gives me a chance to vent, regardless of whether people are interested or not. I have blogged for 6 years and have shared my life on here for people to witness. I am not going to stop now, so I guess it's a sorry not sorry approach I have.

There is one thing I really want to talk about though and one thing that I really want to get off my chest. Depression does not mean you're sad or down everyday. Depression does not mean you hide away and are a recluse everyday. Depression most certainly does not mean you are unkind and resentful of others happiness everyday. Sure there are some days where the world is tougher to juggle but the stigma I have seen attached to it makes me sad.

I'll tell you what depression looks like.

Enjoying the simplest things

Achieving things you have worked so hard over

Appreciating the world in all it's glory


Taking in the sites

Trying to work out if the grass is greener on the other side

Jumping for joy

Experiencing new life

Cherishing those we love

Trying new things

Just trying the be the best possible version of me

Mental health is a hard working parent. Mental health is a passionate person who loves their God. Mental health is a person who puts everyone before themselves. Mental health is a father who stays up all hours of the night to make sure their kids are home safe. Mental health is the mother smiling as her child graduates. Mental health is a friend who gives more than they can take. Mental health is a son/daughter who works all hours under the sun to provide for their families.

It can affect anyone. So lets end the stigma.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Throwback Thursday - Halloween

When I first started university back in 2007 I was quite keen to go to all the student union events. But due to placement and shift work it was quite hard! However, my good uni friends Sarah, Katie and I decided we would go to their Halloween party.

Me dressed up as Mickey Mouse - not very scary am I?!

A fairy, mickey mouse and minnie mouse.

There is a funny story that goes with this. We all thought we were being different by dressing up non-halloween! However, due to our lack on interest in the student union we hadn't realised that the night before the halloween party they had a 'Disney' themed night!!! So everyone was saying to us that we were a day late since we were dressed up as Disney characters. Note to all under graduates: know the time table of your student union parties!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Rhyming Hodgepodge

As ever it's that time of the week again to take part in the hodgepodge. If you want to take part then answer the questions below and then link back after by clicking on the badge.


1. What's something you're never too young or too old to enjoy?

I would say toys. I still have games from when I was a child that I still love to have a play at.

2. Share one happy memory from your high school years.

Oh I have too many to choose from! One that comes to my mind a lot though is when I was in year 10 (15 years old) and my friend Lorraine and I did not want to take part in the sports day trials. It was boring and the teachers clearly preferred the more athletic students. We on purposely did badly so we weren't put through to the next round and were told to go and play netball. Instead we walked round to the back of the tennis courts and chatted for an hour. We had the best chat that day talking about what we wanted to do when we leave school. Even though we weren't supposed to be doing what we were doing it was one of the best conversations I ever had with anyone.

3. A nationwide strike of fast food employees took place in the U.S last week...they're calling for higher wages and the right to unionise. Your thoughts?

I am a big advocate for free speech and as long as they protested safely then I am all for it. In saying that many companies, workers and people would love higher wages wouldn't they? And sometimes I feel that striking isn't the best thing to do. I think there are more proactive ways of getting the message across than losing a day of wages to protest. I do think it's a good idea to unionise as it would give them more of a voice and have someone to speak on behalf of them all.

4. September is national honey month...what's a favourite dish you make that calls for honey?

My asian spiced gammon calls for honey in it's glaze. I mix honey, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds to form a thick glaze over the meat.

5. If you notice someone with a tag sticking out, a button unbuttoned, a shirt on inside out, or some leftover lunch stuck in between their teeth. Do you say something or keep quiet?

No I would say something and it's not to be mean at all. It's just I would want someone else to call me out on it so I would only do the same in return.

6. What movie always makes you cry? Or at least makes you feel like crying?

Forrest Gump always leaves me with a lump in my throat.

7. 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' was written in May of 1830, and published in Juvenile Miscellany in September of that same year. Now for the fun part...create you own four line rhyme using the same title.

Mary had a little lamb
She also had a Hen.
The lamb and hen became good friends
And hid from Mary in their den.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Has anyone watched Downton Abbey? My friend leant me her box sets of the series so far and I am addicted!!! How have I not watched it sooner? I've gone through all 3 series in 5 days.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Climbing the Mountain

A patient of mine this week said something that keeps repeating on me constantly at the moment. She had just had knee surgery and was struggling to mobilise.

'You need to climb the mountain in order to see the view'

It seems so obvious doesn't it? But this has spoken volumes to me as I think it has pretty much explained the last 8 weeks. I feel like I have climbed a mountain and now I am slowly seeing the view it has waiting for me at the top of it.

If someone had told me 8 weeks ago there was a light at the end of the tunnel I would not have believed them. I was living in such a surreal, weird and scary time. All I saw was darkness and I was void of any emotion.

For those of you who have sent me emails, messages, texts and even phones calls. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. The journey of this depression has not been easy. I didn't think it would be either. The lows have been so low but I have had many happy moments where I know I can battle this. In the last 10 days or so I have started to feel a lot like me again. How I was feeling since about Australia/Christmas time! I find getting up a lot easier and I look forward to more things than dread them. I am understanding what triggers my negative emotions more and I am starting therapy this month too. I also have a wonderful counsellor who I can call when I need someone completely removed from the situation to talk to.

There are some positives steps happening which are helping me climb the mountain to the top.

On the other hand I have also started to realise how many people I have hurt/made worry too. I know it is not completely my fault. This was going to happen sooner than later. I was running on empty and so burnt out. Now that I am slowly getting better I am also reflecting on some of the decisions I have made along the way. I wish I hadn't shut so many people out as I did. As open as I was on here and to close family/friends. There are still some people that don't know the full story and it will take time for me to share it with them. I am okay with that.

I also deeply regret the decision I made in breaking up with Simon. I realise now I would have benefitted in having him alongside me in all this. As looking back I know he would have been my biggest supporter. The illness made me doubt everything in my life at the time and I so wish I could turn the situation around. People have been asking if we are getting back together. That's up to him but I trust he is in a good place right now and I don't want to spoil it for him. He deserves to be happy. As much as I have hurt since all this happened, in many ways, he has had to deal with so much more. I love him more than the sun. This is all I have to say on the matter because it is still quite personal and I don't want to share too much.

The only way to describe depression is like this little devil that sits on your shoulder and distorts everything you believe to be true. It makes you doubt constantly and makes you question every decision. It wants you to have a negative life but you need the courage in you to resist it and just rest. I can completely understand how people with disorders like anorexia look in the mirror and see a fat person. Depression plays this clever game of tricking you and it's heartless. I am NOT a person that sits still but these last few weeks have taught me that sometimes being still and not rushing helps you to heal. Distractions like work do help because it gives me purpose! But as much as I hate my own company at times I have needed to allow myself the chance to have space and breathe a little!

Depression lies, it bitterly lies to you. There are quite a few people at the bottom of the mountain that I so desperately want to share the view with right now.


Thank you, again, for listening. The view is getting a little brighter for me...I can only hope I stay in this position to see it brighten further.

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