Be Kind (she says to herself)

You would think that with coming up to 8 weeks of lock down, I should have been spouting out blogs like I do swear words, but you know what? I just haven’t had the mental capacity. Words have failed me. Hard to believe I know! As the days and weeks have rolled on, talking about how I feel and where my head is at with everything has got increasingly harder and to be fair, it has been doing my tits in! Why does shit like this always happen when you are so close to that “breakthrough” moment?? It’s a piss take! Although let’s face it, I say shit like this, who the hell could have predicted that any of this would happen? And it’s not your bog standard shit either really, is it? So my point has therefore become somewhat moot. But hey ho! It’s my blog so I can say what I want.

Have I learnt a lot through these past 854238 days? Yep! Probably a bit too much, but how I am TRYING to see it, as with all other shite in my life, these days have been sent to test me, and as I am stubborn cow, the only thing they will do is make me stronger. Cringe alert, but it is true. I have realised that I am in fact quite the little house wife. I am the worlds WORST parent teacher, to the point that I hold my hands up and say I have done about 2%. But despite the guilt trip newsletters from the school (yeah, really!) I couldn’t give a flying fuck, as my 6 year old son, who suffers with anxiety at the best of times, has been happy and is healthy. He may have had way too much technology but he has also read, been out and about, played and more importantly, laughed. I have had so many lush kisses and cuddles. I want him to look back on this and see that although I am no Mary Poppins, that is for damn sure, that his Mam was there for him. I don’t want him to remember fear or uncertainty, just life as it was. A little bit different to normal. Whatever normal is!

My daughter, she has been my sidekick and an amazing form of comfort and support. I really don’t know what I would have done without her! But I hate to see her so stressed over her GCSE’s and all her school work. Missing her friends and whatever normality meant to her. She is the one I am most worried about but also the one I am most at awe of. Don’t get me wrong, she has her flaws and she knows it. She can be a right little git! But as with everything in her life, she just gets on with it. She might have a meltdown, but she rides it out and then starts again. I just wish she could see just how truly amazing she is. She is just mint at everything, and bloody drop dead gorgeous! I have learnt a massive amount of respect for her. I am and always will be her Mam and not her friend, but to have formed the relationship we have now, the one I honestly NEVER thought I would have, has meant everything.

I have learnt that if I thought juggling uni and running Red Balloons was hard before all this, when I was here, there and everywhere, it is nothing compared to how stressed I have been and how much I have struggled since all this CoVid crap. When I say struggled I mean really struggled. To the point that if, again, I wasn’t so bloody stubborn, I would have sacked it all in. I really would have. Because in my head, I just cant do it. I have never felt so thick in all my life. Things I know just wont come out right. Exams at home? What a fucking joke! I have so much respect for all my friends and anyone else out there who is in education, because fuck me, it is hard! We have earned this summer off that is all I can say! But to throw it at another angle, although I still have three pieces of work to submit before I can breathe again, I HAVE done it. I have muddled through. I may have done things arse over elbow, and there is always a chance I wont pass and will have to resit, but I have tried. When I really didn’t want to. I have learnt that passion will get you through the worst things. When you believe in what you are doing, it does help you along, even if you’re kicking and screaming!

I have learnt that there are people who are really going to boil your piss, more so than when we have freedom. People I know and people I don’t. I have also learnt that I really need to bite my tongue a bit more, or at least take a breath before I speak or type. But at the same time, I am nobody’s fool. I am not afraid to say what I think or what I see, even if the way I actually feel is a whole lot harder to vocalise. The way I feel, and the thoughts in my head have been absolutely horrible. Scary at times. And I have come so so close to the edge of my hole again, resorting back to old, familiar habits. But I got brave just in time, and have managed to open up just enough to take some power back. I have managed to start to explain to my other half just how fucked up I really am. He doesn’t pretend to understand it, but he does listen. He can’t make everything better and make me see what he sees, but he can make it all quiet when he hugs me and I know that he won’t let bad things happen to me. In general, or from myself. I am, after all, my own biggest enemy. We drive each other fucking mental, but at the same time we just get each other. And through these last 8 weeks he has kept me laughing. We have had so much random fun, the neighbours must think we are bat shit, but it doesn’t matter. To be fair, we completely are! And proud! And we are building a gorgeous home together. There are definitely silver linings!

So anyway, tomorrow starts 2020’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this years theme is amazing – Be Kind. I have so much planned for Red Balloons. I really hope we can make a lasting impression and reach as many people as possible with even the littlest of things that we do. Look out for social media LIVE’s, virtual walks and runs, blogs, songs, quotes and whatever else I decide to throw into the mix! Recently I have done, and received little acts of kindness, and the difference they make is unreal. Yet the one promise I want to make to myself, starting from this week, is to BE KIND to myself. I have hated myself, abused myself, wanted to disappear and felt like a fraud, a failure, a bitch, worthless, fat, ugly and all the rest. I have felt like a burden to those I love and have doubted their love for me because I just cant see or believe what they tell me. BUT I know now, that they deserve to have a me that knows her worth, I might be needy, moany and a right crazy pain in the arse sometimes, but they still love me. They haven’t fucked off and left me. They are supporting me and encouraging me to be me. And as I think these people are all kinds of fucking amazing, and I would never question their opinions on anything else, I need to stop questioning their feelings and thoughts about me. I would NEVER let anyone talk to anyone else, and least of all themselves, the way I have been talking to me, so therefore I need to sit up and take note!

Do I have a plan of how I intend to be kind to me? To be fair, not really yet. I only decided to do a blog when I started typing, so apologies but I am incredibly under prepared. However, for the first time in what feels like forever, I have some time coming up where I will be completely alone for some hours during the day. I am scared shitless you know. I don’t tend to do well when I am left alone with myself. But I am determined to get to know myself again.  To spend some time figuring out what makes me tick. What triggers me. What makes me feel good. What do I want? What don’t I want? What can I do to make myself feel good?

I did a challenge a couple of years ago where I had to say one positive thing about myself every day. It was fucking hard! I struggled after declaring that my simply fan-fucking-tastic sense of humour was epic! *Insert that weird smug/sarcastic emoji here* but I think it did help. So for MHWA I am going to stick to the daily themes we have and do a post of one thing linked to that theme. Should be interesting!

Anyways, I think I have had enough keyboard therapy for one day, and bored the socks off you enough. Bet you’re glad it’s Sunday! So I shall leave this here. And go and do whatever else is on my list of To Do’s. As always, thanks for reading. Please, look after yourself, look after each other and BE KIND.

Claire xx



I have started and trashed about three of these blogs. Some over 1000 words long. Why? I don’t know. It just didn’t feel right. Did it help getting the words out and not publishing them? Maybe it did, but not to the degree that it has stood out as something I should be doing actively at the moment.

You know what is frustrating me the most? I feel so fucking selfish! EVERYONE is in the same boat, we are all fighting the same crisis, worried about friends and loved ones, segregated etc. In fact, on paper, I should be laughing fucking tea cakes. I have had (until recently) both my children with me full time, I now live with my partner and I also have his youngest son with us, so the house is busy and full of noise. We are all in good health, well physically at least. He is a key worker so gets paid and I am a full time student so can work (in theory as let’s face it, up to this point, I have pretty much done jack shit!) on my uni work and work on building Red Balloons. I can do workouts at home. I can run as I have a treadmill. Etc. Etc. Etc. See, I am basically a giant bell-end for saying I am struggling.

But I am. Life has got to the point where it is really fucking scary, and if it wasn’t for me having Craig and the kids to look after (and them looking after me), I would feel really lost and bleak. They are actually keeping me sane! And let’s face it, anyone who knows me knows I am no Mary Poppins! I have developed a cleaning and tidying habit that is verging on neurotic. I have always been a secret worrier, but now I am just worried about everything. I think I am so tired all the time as I am constantly fighting the catastrophic habit I have. It just takes one tiny little thread of thought and I light up quicker than flash paper! I have cried so much the last 11 days and to be honest, half the time I couldn’t even tell you why?!

Every day I seem to have a new issue. Proper fun this Anxiety malarky – NOT! Today, I feel rotten. When people are dying, and feeling incredibly poorly and worrying about losing their homes and jobs etc, I am hating on myself because I feel fat and quite frankly, ugly as fuck! I dare ANYONE to tell me that that is not selfish. Because I know it is, and I am disgusted at myself. My brain is truly being the biggest cunt known to man at the moment, and anyone who knows me knows I absolute hate that word, so hopefully it kind of gleans a bit of emphasis on the thought process I have.

Do you know the worst part about it all, around it all, I am actually happy. Yeah, make sense of that if you can?! Madness isn’t it? Please, someone tell me they understand because I feel like I am driving myself absolutely bonkers!

I think the problem is, we are so used to a certain way of life. We never realised just how good we had it, how much freedom we had! There are so many things that I have taken for granted, that now you can’t help but wonder, are we going to get these things back? They no doubt wont be the same for a long long long time, if at all. So I want to make myself smile by remembering the important things, some I still have the luxury of having, but more to also make a pledge to myself to look back over this blog at random intervals in the future, to remind me just how fucking lucky I really am!

  • hugs
  • Seeing my friends whenever the hell I want, FACE TO FACE!
  • Going on mad little walks and adventures with Craig when the kids are at school
  • The kids being at school!
  • Being able to walk freely around a shop without having to queue, to avoid everyone and without the proper guilty feeling plus the sense that everyone who sees you is judging you.
  • Being able to pop out for, well anything! A coffee. A mooch into town. A pint.
  • Going to the gym. God I miss the gym!
  • Alone time. Up until this point, I have actively avoided alone time wherever physically possible, but now I know that everyone needs a little bit. And I mean alone time where you don’t have any agenda. Just to, be! To not have to think or worry about anything.
  • To be able to actually plan and look forward to the future! Holidays. Day trips. Dates.

So, I need to give my head a shake. I need to accept that it is OK to feel crappy. Let’s face it, I had my fair share of issues before all of this shit, so I would have incredibly stupid to think that something this massive would not effect me! Despite it feeling pretty impossible with all the uncertainty and mixed messages (yes you UK Government. About as clear as mud as per!) I need to practice a damn sight more gratitude and appreciation for what I have and my situation and also keep my usual annoying positivity! We live in a world where we can keep in contact in so many different ways. We can actually have Facetime conversations, virtual drinks, etc. It may last a long fucking time, and unfortunately there is going to be A LOT of heartbreak and pain for many, but this IS temporary.

I do however need to end on a bit of a soapbox rant, because lets face it, I am good at them and they do relieve a lot of stress. WILL PEOPLE STOP BEING DICKS!!! And I don’t mean like the pity rave I have just had for myself. That shit is ridiculous but to be fair, understandable. I mean DO AS YOU ARE FUCKING TOLD! Stop meeting friends and family when you know its fucking dangerous. And certainly stop bloody bragging about it! We all want to say fuck the system, but this is peoples lives we are talking about. You’s will be the first ones to moan when this goes to full lock down. Which it will now! And god forbid you lose anyone because of it all. As they keep saying, yes you are more likely to die if you are elderly or have health conditions, but as they have proved recently, this virus does not discriminate. Healthy adults, babies and children are dying! And these are just figures recorded from hospitals.

If you are in the shops, or work in shops, stop being so preoccupied with what everyone else is buying and doing and look after you and yours. So what if Sandra is buying paint with her pint of milk, or Ted has a crate of lager with his mince. Not all items are essential, but that may be their only trip this week. That paint might be the only thing stopping Sandra from spending all day in bed. That helps her mental state. That lager that Ted has, we all have a vice. Who are we to judge? These times are bloody hard. We can only hope that he drinks responsibly.  As long as all health and safety measures are being followed. Don’t argue with staff in supermarkets because your normally 30 min trip now takes about 60 minutes with all the queuing. They are trying to keep you, and themselves safe, whilst keeping you in things you need. Stop slagging people off for whatever reasons (a few I have seen that have proper boiled my piss are: how people look, what peoples idea of passing time consists of, that helping others was a smokescreen for personal gain?!) just because you are feeling shitty. We are all feeling shitty. If you cant be nice, shut the fuck up. Caroline Flack and what we supposedly learnt has been sharp forgotten hasn’t it?!!

This is far from a perfect situation. Let’s face it the whole bastard thing is a pile of wank and we are all fed up! And things will only get worse for a while, until they start to get better. So lets all just help each other out. It really isn’t hard. Is it? Once this is all over, let’s hope that whatever valuable lessons we have learnt throughout all this, we continue to remember. We continue to be grateful, to not take those we love for granted, and all the rest.

No idea if any of this has even made sense haha, but it’s helped me. And as it’s my blog, that is what matters. I hope it might bring a bit of solace to some. To help everyone remember, that despite being alone, we are never truly alone. We cant always be there for everyone all of the time, but if we can honestly say we are trying our best, then that is what matters. And please, please, look after yourself too. Massively hypocritical comment coming from me, but it really is so important. There will be loved ones that rely on you more than ever at the moment, it is important you are as strong as you can be.

Stay safe. Stay home. Don’t be a dick!

Claire xx

February Flop

You could be forgiven for thinking that this blog is going to turn into another angry/moany/miserable blog, and if I had written it earlier, to be fair it probably would have been! But I think I have successfully procrastinated long enough this time that it shouldnt be as bad as it could have been, but will hopefully still get my point across and have the desired personal effect. Win win! (She says with bated breath)

NB – what the hell is bated breath anyway? Answers on a postcard please!

Anyways, what’s the deal with the negative title? Well negative yeah, but also true, and honesty is what this is all about. I come across mostly (I think) as this highly motivated, hyper, smiley, Duracell Bunny of a lass that always seems to be doing something, hitting her goals, etc. But in all honesty, I think I miss more than I hit. Am I ok with that? Am I fuck! But it’s a fact of life, and it’s in own weirdly. wonderfully, warped way, it actually motivates me more! I continue to set goals, to beat myself up over my failings but it makes me want things more!!

My Fitness February goals were the start of my monthly Physical/Mental/Emotional game plan for 2020. Each month I will set one goal for each, February’s were:

  • run 1 mile OUTSIDE everyday
  • read at least 1 chapter of a book every day
  • write 3 things I am grateful for, you guessed it, every day!

I started off so well! Some canny fast miles, amongst gym workouts and such. I read 3 chapters in 1 day! I was going to bed and adding my 3 things to my little diary with my giraffe topped pencil that my daughter gave me. Then, I don’t know, I could come up with a whole load of excuses but basically, life got in the way and these little things, that all together would take up only around 30 minutes of my day, fell to the way side. And now, I am beyond frustrated with myself!

Now, for the mile a day I do have a genuine reason. Again, same as last year, around the same time to be fair as last year actually, I have knacked my calf! It had been niggling and I took the very unusually sensible decision to stop that mile challenge early on in the month. I thought it was ok again and had signed up for my first official race last Sunday, my first proper trail race, around Holme House Prison. Thought it would be a great way to restart my running off. I was feeling positive. T’other half took me, treated me to a Macdonalds breakfast, sat and had a laugh which calmed my usual nerves. Race started a bit late as it was actually really busy; muddy and soaking, it was loads of fun! On a decent pace, playlist was banging – then disaster! Half way through a muddy puddle, my calf just went! Agony to the point that for the first time since I started my running journey, I knew I couldn’t even drag myself around limping. It was my very first ever DNF (Did Not Finish).

On the day I was pissed off with myself, but I took it really well. I out-stubborned my stubbornness and knew I had done the right thing stopping (plus there was no medal so I was more OK than I usually would have been). I could have created an injury that would take months to heal if I had continued, even walking. Apart from being frustrated and hating on the runners on the treadmill at the gym (sorry guys, but we all know we do it!) I have been still training what I can, which has helped. But you ALWAYS want what you can’t have and I am literally craving a run. Complete weirdo I know! I would have been good, calf is starting to calm down and ease up a bit now, but Tuesday night, out of nowhere, for still no apparent reason, Anxiety decided to jump out and kick me right in the fanny! Queue dramatic overthinking, absolute self hatred and the most horrendous feeling in my gut that something horrible was going to happen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Depression is quite easy to deal with for me, I understand that side of me and what effect He has. Anxiety is whole different ball game and I fucking HATE him! He is the one that could completely fuck things up for me because I just become irrational. I am absolutely the Queen of self sabotage and if I press that BIG RED BUTTON, well let’s just say no one wants that!

I was literally just making the kids tea when I felt that feeling wash over me, my body go all tense, my stomach knot, twitchiness started and my brain lost the ability to think properly. I become even more random and zoned out than normal as my brain tries to race against Anxiety and find out what the fuck is going on. There was literally NO reason for it! All of a sudden I was thinking, “why am I at uni, I’m shit. They don’t want me there. Red Balloons doesn’t need me any more, my volunteers do a better job. I am of no use. I feel like a spare part. I feel like a fraud. My house is a disgrace. I’ve let myself down. My face is hideous. My belly is fat. My boyfriend is having second thoughts, I’m annoying him, he could do better.” Amongst many other crazy things. My mind when it is like this always reminds me of when a kid grabs a pen and just goes akka scribbling all over a blank bit of paper!

I was good this time though. Although I didn’t say exactly what I was thinking, I did open up that my Anxiety was high and I did express some of my concerns. Fos such a gobby person, I say it all the time, I never shut the fuck up, but what I say is often of no substance. As blunt as I am, with no filter, with every other aspect of life. when it comes to myself, I go round the houses until people either get confused or lose interest. It honestly works a treat! I am epic at avoidance, deflection and distraction. Too bloody good to be honest.

Maybe it is the time of year? 6 days until my “anniversary”. Maybe my mind is going into the good old psychological survival mode of fight/flight/freeze? Any and all of these are used depending on the circumstances. I can get incredibly defensive very easily when asked the simplest of questions. I feel like people are getting at me, that I am letting people down and being a complete head blag. Despite the many times my counsellor tells me off for being a dick (literally) I still feel like I shouldnt be putting shit on people. That I am responsible for my own issues, that I have spent 35 years dealing with them myself. The thing that upsets me the most, although fortunately for me, I seemed to have lost the ability to cry again, is how much the self hatred comes back. I never feel like I am good enough. If it wasnt for Red Balloons making me be “out there” I would retreat. And everyone who knows me knows that I should NEVER be left with my own head for too long. I am getting better at spending time with myself, but there is certainly still a limit!

Anyways, I am hoping this blog will kick my arse and when I read it back it will have the desired effect of making me realise that my thoughts are irrational and that I am doing my usual thing of catastrophising everything. Yeah I am aware that there will be hurdles. Nowt in life ever comes easy! But that I am more than capable, intelligent (hard to believe but really!) and strong enough to cope with shit. I may still have the occasional dark thoughts when I am mentally exhausted, and yes, I am possibly more vulnerable in ways I never have been before, which quite frankly scares the living shit out of me, but I know truly that everything happens for a reason. I dont know if  I will ever be able to accept that I NEED people, but I will admit I want to. It just feels really shit that every time I start to open up somehow, something happens that makes me quickly start putting bricks back in the wall. I can do all this alone if I need to, but yeah, I dont want to.

Hopefully after this week is over and done with, my moods should stabilise again. I hope the annoying thoughts and knot in my gut fucks off. For anyone that has to deal with me this week, sorry. I may blog more. I may be less around than normal. I’m not really sure how all this will be for me, but I will keep fighting. I promise.

Now, what should my March goals be??

Claire xx



Mind your own fucking business

Yeah, the title of this blog may give away that it wont be a happy, smiley. shiny, positive one this time. I have a lot of emotions but anger is certainly simmering away at the forefront of them all. Probably not the best one to end my writers block with, but then again, maybe it is!

Let’s get the important stuff out the way, there will certainly be a hell of a lot of swearing I am sure, these are MY opinions, MY thoughts, MY feelings. It is MY blog. I always encourage feedback and your thoughts and opinions, and in no way do I ever mean to cause pain or offence. And finally, the most important part – TRIGGER WARNING. There will be a lot of talk about suicide. So please, feel free to close down the blog now, no hard feelings. You need to protect you.

Another day, another new report about suicide from another “famous” person that felt like ending their own life was the only answer. RIP Caroline Flack.

It is one of many recently, certainly here in Teesside, of people who just feel like there is no other way out. It never gets any easier or less shocking to read, in fact for me I think it affects me more every time. I will never ever give up campaigning or talking about it. I will never stop hoping that my story could help one person. I always hope that Red Balloons can encourage just one conversation that could save a life. I will never give up hope that this horrific epidemic will reduce or end! I’m not naive to think it will ever go completely, but what is life anyway without a little bit of hope.

But let’s get things straight, if people were a lot fucking nicer, or at least kept their noses out of things that have fuck all to do with them, then maybe, just MAYBE, some of these heartbreaking incidents would not happen. It is is as simple as that! The newspapers reporting the tragic death of Caroline, are the ones dragging her name through the fucking dirt! Who are sending their “heartfelt” condolences when last week they were calling her all the names under the fucking sun. Who are sharing “Breaking News” stories but taking absolutely no fucking responsibility for the part they had to play!! The general public who were sharing these news stories and laughing and making jokes are now “shocked”, “saddened” etc. BULLSHIT!!!! Everyone seems to think they have a right to be involved in everyone else’s life, with no consideration to the consequences of their actions and words. Trust me, words hurt more than any fucking punch to the face, and I have had both!

Yes, she did wrong, if what is reported is true. Yet it has fuck all to do with any of us. It was the duty of the courts and our legal system to decide. What right do we or the newspapers have to spread absolute shit, to call names, to feel like we are superior? How are we any better than anyone else? We are not!! We are all individuals. With our own individual qualities and shit bits! Because, shocker alert, whether we have money or not, whether we choose a job in the public eye or hide away behind the curtains, we are all human and we need to start fucking acting like it!! If you cant be nice, say fuck all! And there is not one single person out there that can say they haven’t done something shit in their life! We all live in glass houses, no one should be throwing stones! We all make mistakes and have to deal with the consequences. But NO ONE has the right to make ANYONE feel like they are not worth it. That they should be dead!!

As you can tell, this has massively touched a nerve. Not just because of what I do now. Obviously mental health awareness and suicide prevention is my day to day work now. But because I know what it feels like to have been talked about and treated so badly that there seems to be no other way out. To have been made to feel like absolute scum of the earth. To have had to constantly defend myself. My actions. MY FUCKING LIFE. If my decisions and actions didn’t fit in a particular box that suited people, Jesus! How very fucking dare I? Ill mental health is a massive factor in suicide, but what people can’t always get their heads around, is there are also so many circumstances that can massively escalate these thoughts and feelings. There are people who have not suffered ill mental health at all and still feel like killing themselves is the only option. And 9 times out of 10 it is because of the actions of others!

We are ALL struggling with something. We all have things going on in our lives. And a lot of the time we all live a decent proportion of our life on social media. I still don’t think that gives anyone the right to be able to fixate on someone else, judge and sometimes tear them apart simply because they think differently. For the last however many months I know all too well how much this hurts. However, despite the low points, I am very lucky to be able to say I stuck by my decisions, my feelings and I stand tall. I am now happy and moving on with my life. I have been taken off the suicide “at risk” list which was a huge moment for me, although I am back in counselling and this time I am feeling empowered! I am stronger than I was before and I can actually see things, and people, for who they are.

I am choosing to share a lot less of my personal life online now. I want to still be able to blog, I am hoping this will end my writers block as I have struggled massively to be able to communicate in many ways. But the tide is changing.

I feel for one time only, I should clear a few things up though. Quickly and simply.

My marriage completely ended in 2019. My decision. I don’t need to go into details, me and him have talked (and talked and talked) and we both know the others thoughts and opinions. We are now working on building a friendship where we can work TOGETHER to make sure our son is happy and secure. That he feels loved and that he understands what is going on. Both my son and daughter are HAPPY! Doing well in school and life in general. I am very very proud of them and how they have dealt with the whole situation.

I am now in a relationship with a fantastic man, who I love very much. He has stuck by me when any sane person would have sacked me, my baggage and my insanity off a long time ago. But he stands by my side every day, makes me laugh every day, picks me up when I fall and makes me want to throw stuff at him every day too, but is quite simply one of the best people I have ever met. I just hope he can say the same about me. Even when I do his bonce in with all my PMA, positivity, it will be ok shit. Although, as he knows, i’m always right ;).

There has been a hell of a lot of people who feel that they were entitled to a say in this, and assume they know things. Things of which are utter bullshit I may add. So for the very last time, NO I DID NOT HAVE AN AFFAIR. The ex is now in a relationship with a proper lovely woman too. So if everyone could just draw a line under everything, and let the 4 of us get on with our lives, the way we want to, that would be great! He is happy. Let him be happy. Let us all be happy. Have your thoughts, have your opinions, but hey, here is a better idea, keep them in your head! Or even better, see the title of this blog. Thank you kindly!

So let’s end on a positive, now my anger has waned and I am feeling like I can breathe again. If you are reading this and feeling proper shitty, please believe me when I say, you are loved. You ARE worth it. There is a quote I love, that I know if you’re in a bad place you will roll your eyes at and tell me to fuck off BUT I swear it is true. You are only ever sent things that you are strong enough to deal with. You don’t have to deal with these things alone though. There may be a lot of people who say these things and they are empty gestures, bit harsh but let’s face it, true. But there is always at least one person. I promise.

Easier said then done, especially when it comes from people who are meant to love and care for you, but honestly, life gets easier when you stop giving a flying fuck what people think. Live YOUR life how you want to. Especially if you are going to be judged anyway. As I said to my daughter, if you are going through some drama or life issues at the moment and you feel like you have no control, remember, you will be tomorrows fish and chip newspaper. I know all too well how dark things can get, but please, please don’t give up.

If the media succeeds at anything, I hope it is raising more public conversations about suicide and mental health. My thoughts go out to ALL the families affected by suicide. I am so very thankful that nearly 3 years down the line, I am still sat here to piss you all of with my ramblings. So today, instead of, or as well as, sharing a news article, a meme or whatever, how about you drop someone an “are you ok?” message, give someone a call, give someone a hug. I bloody love hugs!!

Claire x




It’s good to talk, but it’s not always easy!

I make such a big deal about talking all the time, it is proven to be the best thing for people, to be able to get things from inside onto the outside. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that jazz. But what happens when you lose your ability to talk? Well about anything of any substance. What happens when you have so much going on in your head that you lose the ability to actually vocalise anything that you actually need to say? What happens when you genuinely start to think that you are losing your mind? What happens when the self doubt in you has sank in so deep it has started to rot your core and question everything you thought you did know about yourself?

I open my mouth to say things and it is like there is block. The words won’t come out. It’s like I am so fucking scared of what will happen when they get said, that they just sit, in the back of my throat, staring at sweet freedom. Not daring to leave the sanctuary that is me. The thing is, a lot of the words I need to say are not directly me. There are things that are going on around me that I don’t have any control over, they are not my stories to tell. Yet they are having a massive impact on me, and that is making me feel incredibly selfish.

It is such a viscous circle. Mental health is a fucking ball ache! I am sick as fuck – in probably every sense of the phrase. You know that saying “one step forward. two steps back”? Well I am living that very saying every single day at the moment. There are amazing things happening in my life that should have me bouncing all over the place. massive cheesy grin on my face and basically doing everyone’s tits in with the positive vibes. But everything just seems so dirty. Everything has a black tinge. It is like I have gone back over on myself and I keep thinking that all these bad things are happening because of me. It is my fault. These people wouldn’t be suffering if it wasn’t for me. I thought I had won these particular demons in counselling last time. But somehow the little fuckwits have managed to sneak back into my head, and they are pissed that I won last time so they doing all they can to take their revenge.


The dreams are the worst. Not just ones when I am sleeping. My day time ones when I haven’t realised but I have zoned out and my brain is playing horrific scenarios in my head. Where people I love are dead. All I can see is their pale skin, their haunting eyes. Their blood and their bruises. Read letters that they have wrote saying I have let them down, that I wasn’t there for them. That it shouldn’t have been them, it should have been me.

I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I have over the last 2 weeks. They say that crying is good, that it soothes the soul and all that shit. Well can I ask, how much do you need to do?? Reckon I have easily filled at least one bath, starting on the second one was I write this. I know this is because I hold so much back, keep so much to myself and tell myself that I can don’t need to burden anyone. I retreat because I feel so vulnerable. Those walls I used to have are starting to crumble and I am hugely exposed. I actually have to start to protect myself using other methods. I actually have to start asking for help from other people, and I hate that. I hate that I worry other people, feel like I am constantly seeking validation that I am not what my brain is telling me. That I am not a fraud, a failure, a bitch, an attention seeker, a bull shitter, a ruiner of lives, a hassle, a burden…………

Maybe this blog is exactly what I needed to do. As always the clattering of the keys is actually soothing me, but I am scared of what I am writing, of putting the words onto paper (well screen), of actually making the insanity reality. But those people closest to me deserve the best me. The me they know I can be, that they can see, while I can’t. They deserve to not have to worry about me, to be able to look after themselves. So as much as I want to just disappear, as much as sometimes I think that deleting me from their lives will be the best thing, I absolutely refuse to give in. I am not alone, no matter how lonely I might feel at at times. I have people who love me, all of me, even all the dark, rotten parts of me. And I want to beat this and come back stronger for them.

I owe these people my life. More importantly, I want to do this for me. Because I know I am a good person. I really am. I have a huge heart. Too fucking big at times, and I will forever put anyone before myself, but I just want people to be happy. To live lives that make them smile, that they wake up to every, or most, mornings wondering what the day has in store for them. What will make them laugh, what adventures they will have, big or small. Who will they meet, new and old. What will they achieve. What will they go to bed being grateful for.

So this World Mental Health Day, what am I doing or going to vow to do, to make positive steps forward?

I am thankfully back into counselling. There was some clarity given which I will be eternally grateful for, a straight talking, no shit attitude, that has encouraged me to look at things from a different angle. Not what I cant or haven’t done, but more what I CAN  and HAVE and WILL do. There are so many things I have no control over, but what I do have control over is how I respond, how I react, how I move forward and what I can put into place to ensure these things don’t happen again.

I have my coping strategies that I will be bringing back – my running first and foremost. I am currently blasting Florence and Machine at top volume as music always helps gain perspective. Writing things down that I can’t say.

I have my safe places. The places where calmness runs over me. Where I don’t have to be busy, where I don’t have to distract myself or pretend I am someone, or be someone else or what someone expects or needs me to be. I can just be me. Everything just slows down. Everything just makes sense. I can’t be in these places all the time, but what I can try and do is remember how I feel when I am there. The way my body relaxes. The way my mind just quietens down.

I am part way through the revamp on my house, turning it into a comfortable and relaxing home, instead of the cold and empty house it seemed to be, A place where I don’t want to avoid anymore. A place where there will be a lot of love and laughter. Where I am not ashamed to have people visit.

Most importantly. I vow to be the very best Mam I ever could be. I won’t lie about the fact that life is fucking hard, that I make mistakes, that the mess I make painting is a complete and utter metaphor for me as a person and my life! But I will show  my children that you should NEVER give up. That you should always know your worth, despite those that try and drag you down or tell you otherwise. I will never stop fighting for my children and what I believe in. More needs to be done, much much more, and I will do whatever I can.

So, yeah. Talking is fucking hard. But it DOES help.

Claire xx


Time to smell the coffee!!

First off, let’s just give a huge round of applause and cheer for Cara Lisette! The person that gave a massive middle finger to the latest bullshit and potentially, highly damaging comments made by none other than President Trump, in the media this week!

This blog is going to be a bit (probably a lot) ranty but I swear there will be a lot of positivity in it too. For a start, it’s Friday and at 830am, I have already had a canny little morning! Picture the scene, I am sat here at my desk at home, flowers from last week still going strong, emails caught up with, a GIANT mug of coffee because without coffee, adulting is just hard! Music is on in the background and at regular intervals I can hear the crazy laughter of my son, watching god knows what on his tablet, which ensures there is a big smile on my face!

So, lets jump right in to my main reason for this blog and the rant that has been boiling up in me since I first saw the news, and then subsequently all the social media feeds. I write my blog because mainly, it helps me get some of the demons out of my head and into reality, where their power diminishes and I can flick them away like an annoying ant. Yet, there is another reason, that is becoming equally important. I want to help get rid of the, quite frankly, SHIT opinions and stigma that goes with mental health illnesses. We are in 2019 for fucks sake, and yet there are some people still spouting utter crap about subjects they know fuck all about! Or maybe they do, and this is their way of trying to pretend that they are too good for this shit, that they are invincible, that mental health issues are not something that could EVER effect them.

Will people PLEASE start to realise that these conditions are illnesses! We who suffer with them have no choice in how we suffer, or with what conditions we get labelled with. Same as we don’t choose to actively go out and get a life threatening disease or break a bone! We don’t sit there thinking, “life has been a bit mundane at the moment, let’s go through a bout of severe Depression and plan how to end our life!”, or “oooo there is a party I really want to go to, all my friends will be there. But, wait! Feeling sick, having a bad headache and getting a panic attack at leaving the house, so bad that I think I am dying, sounds equally as fun!”, or even “I really love the taste of vomit and feeling of the shame spiral into darkness, so I’m going to knack a tub of ice cream, a parmo and whatever else I can get my hands on, and spend an hour in the bathroom, under the cover of complete secrecy, until I get rid of all this from my body. You know, for shits and giggles”.

Will people get a grip! The media needs to seriously sit up and take note of what campaigning is going on from mental health advocates and sufferers, not ignorant high profile figures, who would not have a fucking clue if it jumped up and twatted them on the nose. Listen to the REAL LIFE stories of people who suffer with these horrible illnesses. Listen to how people really FEEL. How isolating it can be, especially when ill mental health is, YET AGAIN, getting blamed for the absolutely horrific violence that is being carried out across the world! Pop over to the Time To Change website and check out FACTS! The majority of crime and violence is carried out by people WITHOUT a mental health condition.

  • In 2009, the total population in England and Wales was just over 43 million. It is estimated that about one in six of the adult population will have a significant mental health problem at any one time (more than 7 million people). Given this number and the 50–70 cases of homicide a year involving people known to have a mental health problem at the time of the murder, clearly the statistics data do not support the sensationalised media coverage about the danger that people with mental health problems present to the community. – Time To Change

90% of people who die through suicide are suffering from serious mental distress. I’m going to say this just once, so please listen – PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESSES ARE PROVEN TO BE MORE DANGEROUS TO THEMSELVES THAN ANYONE ELSE!

I can say this, because I know first hand that it is true! Any regular readers of this blog will know at least parts of my story. I was and never ever have been, a risk to ANYONE around me. Despite my alter ego “Patricia” being absolutely horrendous (I realise now, she is my protector, but that lady is scary!) I have never thought about hurting another person. Violence has never been on my agenda! The only person I have ever wanted to hurt was, *gasp* MYSELF!

Whether that be through planned and executed suicide attempts, off the cuff attempts like when I cut myself and ended up being taken to hospital in a police car, or when I would regularly make myself sick, several times a day. Yes, binging and purging was not only a way of trying to lose weight for me (which ironically never actually happened) but it was a way to control and punish myself. Being sick so much that I would get dizzy at times and think I was going to pass out. Binging that much that choking on my own vomit in the desperation to get the crap out my body was a strong possibility, and hand on heart I have had more than one scary moment where I thought, fuck I have gone too far this time! This is all violence, but every bit, every thought, every action was aimed at myself. I deserved the pain and torture. Those around me that I love so dearly didn’t, and still don’t, deserve any of this. The best way in my head to make it all better for them was to take me out of it, to either die or to disappear so far into my massive black hole that they would all think I had gone for good and therefore walk away and leave me there. Save themselves so to speak.

But you know what, yes my mental health is very severe at times and causes a lot of despair and pain BUT, it has also created a life that I could have only ever dreamed about. We who suffer from these vile illnesses are not victims. We are survivors. We don’t choose these things, but what we can do, is use them to our advantage. To take their power and use it for good NOT evil. From my experiences I have some amazing opportunities in my future.

I run my own charitable organisation, dedicated to using exercise and a healthier lifestyle in order to support those who suffer with their mental health and would like to learn new ways to help themselves, around professional services. I am soon to start my own radio show to promote this organisation, as well as other organisations. To help share as many REAL LIFE stories of mental health and how it affects a persons life. To encourage people and to help them realise their true worth. I am also soon to be trained as a Peer Support Facilitator Trainer through a side project from national Mind – Get Up Set Up. I will be travelling around the country, helping peer support groups set up in their local areas. I am also a full time university student. As well as being a mam, daughter, friend, boss…….

This, all of this, is because of where my circumstances have brought me. This is all because I got so very poorly, I tried to end my own life, and I NEVER want ANYONE to feel like that. No one deserves to feel like that. Everyone is on this planet for a reason. Everyone has self worth, whether they can see it themselves or not. I can. I can see it. And I will spend the rest of whatever life I have left, helping those that trust me to, to see it in themselves too.

As well as me, there are thousands of amazing mental health warriors out there, sharing their own story. Helping others just by being them. To name but a few, Stephanie Addison, Matthew Williams, Alessandra Botham, Coach Clair, Aiden Hatfield, Cara Lisette…….. I could go on. That doesn’t even hit on the famous people, A – Z, that also use their platforms to spread the word too.

There are also so many people that suffer but who aren’t ready yet to share so publicly, but do what they can to help too – volunteering, blog, share posts on community pages, regularly check in on their friends and family. But these people are just as amazing as us who are their mouth pieces.

So yeah, Donald Trump, Piers Morgan and anyone else who has such vastly INACCURATE views on mental health – either get clued up, listen to those that actually know what we are talking about, or shut the FUCK up, for the love of whoever is above! You really do not know how much damage you could be causing!

Phew, glad I got that off my chest. As always with posts like these, this blog is MY BLOG. I encourage people to feedback and to share their thoughts too. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But these are MY thoughts and feelings.

Thank You

CC xx


I wasn’t really expecting to be blogging so soon after my last one. I just had an urge to start typing. I do hope this one holds more positivity and light than the last one, but at the same time, I do know the ones that are the hardest to read and write are often the ones that have the biggest impact on me.

In regards to the last blog, I just want to firstly say Thank You to those of you that took the time to read it. I know they can be quite lengthy, and that one was dark. I have had some truly lovely messages and comments, I feel very grateful that I have such an amazing support group behind me. I don’t often understand why people stand by me or want to be there for me, but I will never ever take it for granted. You are my lights in the dark. At the same time, I need to acknowledge those that were affected by the blog. I won’t apologise for it as this is about me and me being honest, but I truly never  meant to hurt anyone. I never want those that mean the world to me to ever think it was their fault. And I promise (I know I have already done it to your face, but here it is in print for future reference) that if I am ever sat in that place again, I will reach out. I understand.

So, what has changed then? Why am I blogging? Well, I think that getting that dark place out in the open did actually create a tiny chink of light for me. It helped spin me back round to at least facing in the right direction. The thing is, although I have my coping techniques and such, I have had to accept that this time, it is a very different situation. The twat Depression has tried a new angle, came back with a new identity and we are trying to suss each other out. The fat fuck feels like he is sat right on my chest, and I have times where I struggle to breathe (literally as well as figuratively)  but one thing you should NEVER do is under estimate me or my strength.

The last time things were this bad, yes, I did the exercise, I did counselling, I did blogging, I threw myself into anything and everything and basically became one of the busiest people in Teesside! I never sat still, I never stopped working, I added so many bloody balloons to my bunch that I was starting to resemble the cute little old man from UP! Although slightly less bloke like, I would hope! Thing is, despite all these things working for me on the surface, and helping me achieve some pretty fucking amazing things (did I ever mention I ran the London Marathon??) it was well and truly just a git big massive case of distraction techniques. I had kind of dabbled in the pond, caught a few little tiddlers, but I was nowhere near ready, or even properly equipped with that was lurking in the deep water. My monsters. I just had a little stick, some string and a bit of corned beef when I needed a big fuck off rod with all the bling and gadgets and shit that comes with it.

I have had to go out and buy a rod. These monsters need catching and they need destroying because I refuse point blank for them to destroy me. They have taken my pleasure for the things I love and care about, they have made me shut off from those that love me and want to be there for me, they have taken my sparkle and my witty personality and had me hiding away because I just haven’t had the ability to be able to “people”. Not to the extent that I do. I am an incredibly social person. I crave interaction and laughter and life. I love adventures and experiences and not giving a shit. I love fun. I love to crazy dance in public places, mime along really expressionfully to my music when I am out and about, pet dogs, stroke cats, say Hi to absolute strangers and just smile at those that don’t say anything. A smile is a powerful thing!

These things are Claire. These are the little quirks that make me me. Along with my absolute lack of common sense, ability to say the STUPIDEST of things as I don’t have a filter or think before I speak (guess who mistook a seagull for a fighter jet!) My absolutely filthy sense of humour, my lack of inhibitions when it comes to talking about subjects others may shy away from. My kind heart, my dirty laugh, my cheeky smile and the fact I would do anything for anyone if I thought I could help them.

These are the things I refuse to lose. Today, I have had a little spark back. A song came on and for the first time in over 3 weeks, I had a little dance round my living room. I came home from taking Noah to footy club and got straight on the treadmill and smashed out a HIIT workout that had me absolutely dripping! Is it even classed as a sweaty session of your wrists and calves aren’t soaking too? It felt fucking mint! I posted selfies again, I made a healthy breakfast and actually enjoyed it. I went back to bed,just because I could and felt no guilt. Now, I am ready to get sorted for tonights Run & Rant, come home to watch the final of Love Island and chill the fuck out! Yep, me – chill!

My moods may be up and down at the moment but I know that I can steady the ups and downs to more maintainable motions. I just need to make sure I take time for me and spend time with the people who make me smile and happy, whenever I can. Those that I love. I may have lost my way a bit with Red Balloons, but that is an internal thing, that is no reflection on how well RB is actually doing. Like I said in the last blog, I am stripping it back. Massively reducing my work load and taking it back to basics. I wanted to save the world so bad, I just added too much to my poor ass, and it collapsed. Red Balloons has a purpose, a reason, it is a service that is very much needed and I could not be more proud that it is my vision (with the support of my awesome volunteers and trustees) that have got us to this point. I no longer need to go to the opening of an envelope, I can be selective about what I choose to do. This way, not only do I end up with more time to actually live MY life, I also make sure that RB will never lose it’s way. It will never lose it’s passion and it’s honesty. It’s ability to believe in people, to encourage and support.

If you are a person or organisation that I have messed around recently or fucked off, I do sincerely apologise. That is on my head. Please do not judge the organisation itself and what we stand for, by the actions of this daft lass who was so busy avoiding the fact that she was falling too quick to save herself. Emails and messages will be getting replied to this week. If there is anything that I have left too late to be able to salvage, I just hope that there is another chance down the line. I do firmly believe that everything happens for a reason though, and if it was meant to be the right time for something, it would have happened.

My plan for the next 5 weeks? To restart my training, to set up a time table for RB, to plan future projects (got some exciting ones in the pipeline), to get organised and motivated ready for my second year at uni, but most importantly, to take time out to just be me. To get myself back to a physically, emotionally and mentally safe place, to be the fittest I can be and to hopefully inspire and motivate those around me. I no longer want to feel guilty for living the life I WANT and deserve. So if you’re with me, let’s do this. If you are against me, watch the door doesn’t get you on your way out.

CC xx

I was lost, but now…………….

Truthfully, I have been putting this blog off for ages. I actually have no idea what I am going to write to be honest, but I will say, there are some things in my head that are not good so there could be some triggering content. Please, if you are in a bad place, I urge you to consider whether this blog may be the best thing to read. You and your health is much more important than reading the random blabberings of this daft arse.

I feel like so much has happened over the last month or so, I have no idea where it all started. “It” being the current, horrendous bout of my arsehole mate Depression.  This time it is definitely on par with 2017, and in some ways, I actually feel worse. I feel like I have been emptied out. That I am a shell.  I have done the opposite of what I did last time and I have completely retreated. I am doing  the bare minimum. Breathing is proving to be a struggle. I have lost all desire to exercise, which I love and I know it makes me feel better. I feel like I have completely lost my way with Red Balloons and I have no idea what the fuck is happening with it all.  I feel like all I am doing is messing people around. Hurting those that mean the most to me, confusing them as they don’t know who this Claire is either. I have lost the complete ability to talk. To anyone. Properly. I feel like what I am feeling and what I have to say is utter shit and why the hell would anyone need this when they have their own issues?

The worst part is when I do start to open up, even just a tiny bit, I feel like I get shot back down. Or that I am saying the wrong thing and making things worse. I am so fucking confused that I really don’t know my arse from my elbow at the minute, which could make toilet time rather interesting! I think from how I come across, face to face, as a professional, in social situations, it can be very easy to forget and very difficult to understand that this is an illness. This isn’t me being a dickhead, just cos I can. You would know when that was occurring because quite frankly I am a GIANT dickhead. I don’t hide things on purpose, I don’t close off because I think it’s the best thing for me, I have just lost complete and utter control!

Let’s be honest, circumstances have in the past and still do have a lot to do with where my state of mind goes. I have people tell me I am strong, yet I have never felt more weak. I have had to make some very serious decisions recently, I have had to put me and my sanity (or what is left of it) first. And for someone who never does that, it has been a bloody horrible experience, as I can see first hand the pain that I am causing. I know 100% that walking away is the right thing to do, for both of us. If I have to be a bitch about things to get my point across, I will! Because when my Mam turned around and said, if you go back Claire, I will be forever worried and waiting for the call that you have killed yourself, I actually saw the genuine fear in her eyes. I saw just what my frame of mind is doing to other people. The thing is, she very nearly go that call a hell of a lot sooner.

The other Saturday it all became just too much to bear. I ended up in a place I swore that I wouldn’t be in again. I felt so desperate. So incredibly lonely. Those feelings of worthlessness and despair came back so strong, they took my breathe away. I was crying so much I thought my heart was actually breaking. All I could see was me being the common denominator in every thing that has happened. All the shit that has happened, I seem to be the centre of it. These people, through my life, they can’t all of been wrong? I am a bad person. I do bad things. I hurt people. I cause issues. I make messes. I am a fraud. A faker.

I don’t want to die. Truly I don’t. But at that moment in time, the only way I could see any way of making any of this better, to stop all the hurt, pain and confusion, was to take me out of the equation. I sat on my kitchen floor, all the medication I could find in front of me. I sat like that for hours. Willing myself to just take them. To just do what needed to be done.  I could see history repeating itself. My children thinking that certain ways of living are acceptable. I may be a certified psycho, there are people out there that would love to use my mental health issues against me and would be happy to take my children off me (never ever going to fucking happen) but one thing I know is I am the best Mam I can be. I wont ever be Mary fucking Poppins, or that lass from the old Bero cookbooks. I may not get all creative with them, making paper mache models or whatnot. I may not have the money to buy them loads of stuff, or take them all over. But what I do know is I would literally die for them. I have so much love to give them. I am so in awe of the two amazing people that they are growing up to be, despite the fact that, let’s face it, I have had my part to play in messing them up!


So, it is time to step up now. To show them what they deserve to see. What I deserve to feel. How, despite all odds, you can come back from the brink of despair, even if you were hanging on by your fingertips! I WILL be stronger. Everything happens for a reason and there is a reason I didn’t take all those tablets that night. There is a reason why I have done what I have done. Why I am feeling what I am feeling. I won’t have anyone make me feel bad for being me. There is a reason that certain people are in my life.

I am going to step back because I need to see just what I have achieved and built over the last 2 years. With Red Balloons, with friendships and relationships, with my children. These things are going to be the motivation I need. At the same time, I need to step back and really shine the spotlight on myself. I need to finally, really believe in myself as a person. I need to find me. I need to find my fun side. I need to learn to relax and to not put so much pressure on myself over everything.

As my very wise daughter said to me, I won’t let anyone love me the right way while I don’t love myself. I need to respect myself. To not accept anything less than I deserve. This is going to ruffle a hell of a lot of feathers. But I tell you what, I REFUSE point blank to be sat on that kitchen floor again. I am a good person. I have a huge heart. I deserve back what I give out. I want to feel safe, protected, understood, supported and the rest and I will not accept anything less. From myself and from anyone else. I won’t run on anyone else’s time scale. I won’t feel pressured or controlled. No one has control over my destiny apart from me. I will always fight for what I believe in. I am no quitter.

So yeah, watch out, because I’m coming back! And this comeback is going to fucking epic!

But first, time to relax and enjoy the summer. Hopefully with those that mean the world to me.

A massive THANK YOU to those people who haven’t given up on me recently. Who have just accepted me as I am. Who have just been there. Who have never given up on me, despite everything.

You’s are my light in the dark.

CC xx

Reality Check

I reckon this will be a blog of two halves, bu you know me, I completely go off on a tangent regularly, so lets face it, who knows what this will actually be about. One thing I do know I want at the minute, is for it to be predominately positive. Because as much as I bitch on, I am actually a canny positive person! I shit you not!

Oh before I go any further, the T button on my keyboard is being a dick, so if some of it doesn’t make sense (more than usual) you know why! Use your imagination to decipher what I might be trying to say. Probably be a lot better than what it originally was haha.

So, did you know, I’m running the London. Marathon in 2 weeks? No? I have been very quiet about it I know! But yes indeed, I am. Yesterday was a bitter sweet day as I had some fantastic meetings for Red Balloons, but I also had to finally admit that my calf is not right. That means at least another week of no running, I had to cancel last nights Run & Rant which I absolutely HATE to do, but I also had to cancel my Vale of York 10 mile on Sunday. A race I was very much looking forward to doing. And even worse, I have a canny few friends doing it too. Piss, fuck, wank!!

I don’t do sensible, so all this resting malarkey is seriously getting on my tit ends! But when I have something as important as what I do have coming up, it’s a case of not being the giant stubborn dickhead I normally am and thinking I know better. Well actually it’s not even about that, I know what I should do. I just dont usually care. Do as I say, not as I do, as I tell my children probably every day! However, for once I am being a good girl. The horns are holding up my halo.

I want to say a bit about the reality’s of training for a marathon, if like me, you are just a bog standard person, with a shit tonne of responsibilities, a mild drink problem (problem being I dont drink enough, obvs) and a lover of pretty much anything edible! It fucking hurts. I don even mean the injuries. Just in general. I posted a status on my FB last night in the hope it would gain me some pity/shut the fuck up donations. I always thought that marathon runners are like, tip top prime condition. Erm, well I’m not! I am actually feeling/looking the unhealthiest I have for ages! I have actually put on weight! Now I know that is down to the fact I am seriously stress eating. Yesterday, if you were near me and stood still long enough, I’d have ate you! The weight thing obviously plays havoc with my stupid brain, so for the next few weeks I will be avoiding full length mirrors. Just the way it has to be. However, I do know once this is all over, it will be full steam ahead for getting my semi abs back ready for IBIZA!

The other things I wasn’t expecting though, my face has more spots than a dot to dot. My eyes look like they have sank back in my head (probably from the constant eye rolling actually). My skin WAS grey and dull. I am knackered! Like proper fucked. And not in either of the two ways I like to be! And my trademark tongue is covered in ulcers, which I wont lie, knack! I know it is all stress. I know that it will soon be over.

People mention the mental aspect of running a marathon, and I could genuinely understand it. But to the extent it actually fucks with you, you have no idea. I know there will be people out there who run them for shits and giggles. I salute you! But I can honestly understand now why only 1% of the worlds populations runs one! It feels like it has literally taken over my life. If I didn’t have some amazing distractions and support in my life, I truly think I would be in a padded cell by now. I am boring the shit out of myself with it all.

But you know what, in 2 weeks and 2 days, I will be a bona ride MARATHON RUNNER!! Fuck yes!! I will have ran one of the most famous marathons in the world, in my home country, in my capital city, incidentally a city I adore. I will have done what I NEVER thought would ever be possible. I am no athlete. I am no seasoned running. I kind of treat running like pretty much the rest of my life, I wing it. I act in the moment and think later. I want to be that person that inspires even just one person to take a leap of faith in to the scariness of whatever, and do something they never though they could ever do. And honestly, until they do it, will probably still not believe.

I cant wait to soak up the amazing atmosphere. To meet some amazing people. To see some amazing sights. I also know, that no matter how much pain I may be in physically at any given point, it can never feel as painful as being so lost and mentally ill that I no longer wanted to live. If I can survive 2017, and I mean literally survive, what is a marathon? My muscles and my bones and whatever else can and will heal. One thing I know for sure, once I cross that finish line, I will never be the same again.

So yeah, in this moment in time, I am actually excited!! I am doing my best to visualise the Finish Line, to imagine what I am going to be feeling once I have cried my eyes out and wiped all the snot away and made sure from the paramedics that I am actually not dead! A lot of this excitement is down to those that believe in me. That check in on me every day. That listen patiently when I am being a massive drama queen and those that resist the urge to stab me when I am bitching on, AGAIN! I am reading loads of inspirational stories, looking forward to meeting some virtual friends face to face!

For the next two weeks, around Red Balloons work of course, I may not be able to run, but because of this I have decided to trial a new system of coping. My balance is very off, I am constantly busy. So, my challenge is to regain some me time that doesn’t involve being busy. I had a facial and massage today and apart from the fact I look like I have a brand new face!, it helped me realise. I always tend to feel shit about myself, how I look I mean. Yet, I don’t ever spend any time actually looking after myself, so how can I be surprised? So I am vowing to spend more time looking after myself in other ways. Ways I am not familiar with. My eating and training will be back on point in just a few weeks, so it’s time to work with the rest of me. Because I deserve to be the best person I can be.

Wow, I can blabber on. Anyways, again, for all you that support me, thank you. It means the world.


CC xx

Now then Anxiety, you absolute……..

So, I have had the idea of this blog in my head for a few days to be honest, but I am glad I have waited as I feel I can do it a lot more justice today, or at least hopefully do a better job of vocalising it than I would have.

I talk quite a lot, probably more than anyone wants to hear, about my mate Depression, and how he affects me. But I dont really talk much about the other aspects of my mental health, of which have been diagnosed, but for some reason, dont get the same air time. Yet, honestly I think sometimes actually affected me more. What am I talking about?


Depressions dickhead best mate!

I feel like I couldn’t actually have one without the other these days, yet realistically Anxiety only joined the party while I was in my last job.

So, why today have I chose to write about this delightful mate of mine. Well to be frank, he has seemed to leave me a lone a bit recently so I believe he assumed he should have one hell of a welcome back party! What a delight that has been – NOT!

I am currently sat on the train back from London. I am very lucky to say that I have been down to meet the other fantastic members of the Get Up Set Up group, and have the first of at least three meetings this year. What is Get Up Set Up, I hear you say? Well you didn’t as you have absolutely no interest, but I shall tell you anyway! It is a group of fantastic individuals, who over the last few years have set up their own peer support groups around the country. We have people from Scotland, Manchester, Nottingham and everywhere else. Our job as a group is to meet and to come up with a brand spanking new network, that once developed, will support other peer support groups around the country. Whether it be an idea by someone who wants to start a group, an established group that needs a bit of advice and guidance or a group that wants to grow. Lots of great things discussed today so the future is mega exciting! I need a new table for all these pies!

But anyway, I digress. Anxiety. Anyone that knows me that I can never be on time, I HAVE to be early. And when I say early, I prefer a good 30 minutes breathing time before any meeting/appointment/travel planes etc. I used to think it was just a quirk, something I had developed because I would do anything to be out the house! So today, I was getting palpitations at 7am just assuming the taxi that was actually due at 720 would be late (he wasn’t). I have no idea why. There was no reason to believe that he would be late! He arrived on time, got me to the station on time, everything was going great. Then checked the signs, my train was delayed. But ok, 16 minutes. I could deal with that. I did my maths, worked it all, checked the walk to the meeting.

Thing is, from that moment, with all the planning and shit, unbeknown to me, I had unlocked the cage that I had managed to trap that twat Anxiety in! He didn’t make a full TA DA escape, oh no, he waited. He sneaked. A bit like I do when I am drunk. From getting on the train there. just seemed to be delay after delay. We had to go on the slow track (I didn’t even know there was such a thing!). We got into York over half an hour late. But it’s ok, the conductor said we could go back on the fast track. Ideal. Panic over (all of this occurring at 9am I might add for a 1130 meeting).

But no, the time on my phone decided to speed past, a lot quicker than the bloody train was going! We get to Peterborough station, good that I know I am only one stop away from Kings Cross, but it gives me shudders! You see, for those hat dont know me, I am hazard! How I get through life is a mystery and me and public transport DO NOT mix. I have got on wrong trains, wrong buses, got lost in places I really shouldn’t have, and trusted that sly cow Google Maps who basically just likes to piss about with me when I need her when I am walking!

The Peterborough story; last time I was in London, not for the first time, I got on the wrong train! I was sat on the floor, all by my lonesome, clearly a damsel in distress (HA!). The ticket person came by, took my ticket and literally looked at me like I was a bit of a shit on his shoe. You are on the wrong train Miss. Sorry I didn’t realise (gutted at this point that I didn’t have giant boobs or the ability to flutter my eye lashes without looking like I was having a fit). £88 or you have to get off at the next station. No chance was I paying £88! But had I know just what Peterborough station was like, in the dark when it was all shut and isolated, I would have! 90 minutes I was “stranded” on that platform, like an extra waiting to be eaten by a zombie or something!

So we get to Peterborough today, and I shuddered a bit. Looks as shite in the daytime as night time I might add (sorry any Peterborough readers, if there is any). This is when I realised what time it was, and I could feel the increase in my heart rate, feel the shallowness of my breathing. Tried the music distraction technique, focused on the outside etc but no. I thought I was doing ok though. Then the tannoy goes, we will be arriving in London at 1132. What?? My meeting starts at 1130, I have to get out of the station and walk a good 15 minutes to get to where I need to be!! That was it. My head went. To make matters worse, when we got nears to KX, we got stopped, in a bloody tunnel! Argh!!

For me Anxiety is, when it kicks in properly:

– itchy skin

– struggle to breathe properly

– very rapid heart beat

– I tap. For some reason it tends to be my lips. The more anxious I get the more I tap.

– My legs also start to proper go, like I am bouncing a classroom amount of babies on my knees!

– I cant concentrate on what is going on around me. I tunnel vision. Everything except for what I am worrying about fades away.

I just want to say a huge thank you to the man that was sat next to me. I dont know if he had any idea that I was struggling, maybe he was just a proper lovely man? But when we got into the station, he stood straight up and gave me space, he grabbed my coat down for me and stood back so no one could get past him as he let me out. I needed to get off the train before my chest and throat really closed up and I started to panic, so this man is literally my hero today!

It has been a great day, a great meeting, but all of that just left a sour taste in my mouth, and unfortunately with a headache from hell all day. One of the glorious side effects I get. A long with sickness and the want to just sleep.

I think I wanted to post a blog just to kind of highlight a bit about anxiety. Many people just assume you are being annoying/dramatic etc as the signs are so different to “standard” mental health issues, yet can be just as, if not more in some cases, rehabilitating. I can suffer for days from an episode of Anxiety, as I think it is more to do with the fact that Depression, I know how to kick his skinny arse. I know what the signs he is coming for a visit are, I know how to get him to go before he settles in and should be paying rent. With Anxiety, he confuses me. He is like a swift mental health Ninja! I dont like feeling out of control and that is what he does to me, he takes away control of the one thing I should always be able to control, ME!

That and I am also writing this as I am pretty sure the man next to me thinks I am trailer trash, sat here with my lager lol so if I looked busy, then surely it is more acceptable? No? Aw well. Shit happens!

So, again, a whole of of randomness, as per usual CC. But I hope maybe someone somewhere might take something from this blog, even if it is just a smile at me being a giant dick.

Until next time.

CC xx

49 days and counting!

So shit is getting real, real quick! My very first marathon, and what a one to start (and most likely end) with, the London Marathon.

I have mentioned it several times and of course, if you have me on social media you will have seen my not so subtle begging for fundraising posts, but I haven’t really yet talked about it in great detail and certainly haven’t blogged about it! I think in all honesty I have been burying my head in the sand with it all, because I am flipping petrified!

Never in a million years did I think I stood a chance when I entered the ballot of actually getting a place. It was only my second time of entering, the odds are ridiculously low and there are people who have been trying for 18 years and have still been unsuccessful!

Honestly, when that envelope was on my floor on the day the results were given, I had no idea how I really felt. I had had a nightmare day from Hell where everything that could go wrong did and Depression was being a prick. Was this the cherry on top of a shit cake? Or was it a silver lining on a dark, wank day? Do you know what, I still have no bloody idea!

The emotions going through me change constantly but the truth is, the biggest, most painful one is absolute fear. I am 100% shitting my pants and unfortunately I do not deal with fear very well. I hide. I close down and shut up shop. I do anything in my power to self sabotage because quite frankly those feelings of rejection and failure seem to take over me. Yet, I know I am not a quitter. There is no way I am NOT going to do this. I know I am stronger than I ever believe. I know my fitness levels are actually pretty decent considering I drink like a fish every weekend.

It’s not all bad. I am excited too. I LOVE London and what a way to see as much of it as possible in one go? One painful way like, but still. I am going down on the Friday morning as I want to take in as much of the atmosphere as possible. I think truly, apart from 30 mile trail ultra in September (that is a whole different story), that this will the one and only marathon I ever run. So I want it to be memorable, for the right reasons, not because I get crated off in an ambulance!

Let’s face facts, I am nowhere near where I should be in my training plan. The longest run I have done to date is only 6 mile. Yep, that’s right, I just have another 20.2 miles to find in me, in 7 weeks! Due to the aforementioned self sabotage I have also got a stone at least to lose to be back to my pre freak out weight! I certainly don’t make things easy for myself! But I know I can do it, because I have done it before. And weight loss is probably the hardest thing I have had to do, alongside parenting and opening up about my mental heath struggles. I am not where I need to be yet, but that is just because instead of following the path, I have went right round the houses, and ate all the pies! It is not a cul de sac though, there is no dead end. I a just counting it all A’s experience and time on feet. I am not one who learns from her mistakes, and I will continue to fuck up royally in all sorts of areas, but I will not give up until I am where I want and deserve to be. Even if to get me there you need to drag me kicking and screaming! Though I’d rather dance it if I am honest.

So, where do I go from here? How much can I get sorted in 49 days, with everything else I have on my plate? Well firstly I am not going to focus on a time for the run. When I do that it becomes very overwhelming and as I said, I shut down. So all I want, is to finish. Whether that be in 5 hours or 8 alongside the road sweepers. No matter what time I do do it in, it is my first so it is a guaranteed PB! Bonus or what? I will picture that finish line, with medal and GIANT gin on every run I do. I am not going to follow a strict plan, as then I beat myself up if I can’t do what is required or I fail. I am just going to do whatever I can, whenever I can. I intend to get out an walk 26.2 mile in one go over the next few weeks so at least I can see that one way or the other, I can do the distance. I am going to aim for one long run a week. But I will be doing a lot of cross training too. I have refound my love for weights (and ignited the passion for the DOMS pain again) so I will be doing that too. I aim to exercise for 6 days, with one “rest day” as such.

What other things can I do that will help myself? This challenge is going to be physical but emotional and mental too so I need to cover all bases. I have started a food diary as this way I can see when I am missing meals and when I am binging. This should help me spot any potential patterns but also helps keep me accountable. I wont be mindlessly eating if I have to think about what I am doing in order to write it down. Although the weight loss is important to me, I refuse to go back to that place where I binge and purge. The feelings can be strong at the moment when things feel out of my control but although I know it gives me a quick and effective release, I don’t want to be back there. For the sake of my poor teeth more than anything else!

Water consumption has always been a HUGE issue of mine. It is so easy to drink 26 cans of cider, but to even get 2 glasses of water in me can seem impossible. For this reason I have downloaded an app that shout acts me to have a drink and gets all arsey with me if I don’t! I’m hoping if I stick with it for a few weeks it will finally become a habit! So that is my diet plan really. Not to diet as I know they don’t work but to make necessary changes.

For the other parts, blogging will have to become a big part, as it is one way to get the shit out of my head. This will help keep Depression’s daft arse cousin Anxiety at bay, or at least calmed down. He only really comes into play at 2am ish but he deffo has a field day with me when I let him! So blogging should help with that. I also need to make sure I am making some more time for me. I know I love and need to be busy but in the lead up to this wrath on, it is vital I learn how to chill out. Even just a little bit. Netflix might have to become a close personal friend, since Depression has taken away the joy of reading for me.

What can others do to hep me? Well donate please!! That would give me a MASSIVE boost! All money gos into Red Balloons in order for us to grow and help more people across the Tees Valley area, and further afield! Humour me on my FB posts, sometimes I will be having a bitch and moan and no doubt you will get proper sick of me, but seriously, all your support and encouragement means the world to me and keeps me going on the proper cap days. There will no doubt be times when you need to talk me off the ledge! Not that I am dramatic or anything haha. And if any sports massagers out there want to help me by giving me a weekly rub down, that would be handy!!

OK, so that’s my random ramblings from today. Tomorrow is a new day and a new week. One hell of a busy one but it is right in my hands to control. It is down to me whether I have a good week or a bad week, and after how good I have been feeling the last few days (all the smiles!!) having a bad week is just not an option to me.

I can and I will!

CC xx

One of those days!

I don’t know if I would like to class myself as “lucky”, but I have had a good run of good days. Actually no, great days to be fair! Considering it is the school holidays and with being off work still, lack of routine often messes me up completely, I have managed quite well. Being so busy with Red Balloons, enrolling at uni and my Great North Run training has definitely helped (not actually sure how I had time to go to work!).

I suppose this is why I am taking this bad day a bit harder than I should or normally would. It has completely snuck up on me. I could have just pretended I was OK and got on with things but I have genuinely learnt a lot through my CBT and about myself recently. It would not be fair to myself. or to anyone that follows me and what I do if I lied. I am getting good and celebrating the good days, where I used to spend them expecting the worst. In the spirit of being a genuine mental health campaigner though, I cant and I wont, give up being honest.

Now, first off, my bad days are considerably different to what they were. I don’t want to die, I don’t want to not exist, I don’t spend all day thinking how pathetic/useless/worthless/ugly/fat and all the rest, I am. I can still recognise that I have a lot of pretty amazing stuff going and I appreciate that under all this fog, I will still be excited. The light IS at the end of the tunnel, I just seem to have ran back a bit for some reason. So it is a bit further away than it was the other day.

Ironically, considering I blog, I am not the best at actually describing things so I will do my best to explain how I feel.

I feel sad. I feel lonely. I feel like it is too much effort to turn the corners of my mouth up and smile even though I know for a fact it will make me feel better. I don’t want to get out of bed (actually blogging from there right now) yet I feel like I should be doing loads of stuff. I haven’t ran yet and I feel crap but at the minute I just don’t have the energy. I am finding it hard to concentrate, even on mind numbing TV like Homes under the Hammer. My attention is distracted easily. I caught myself scrolling through social media and not having a clue what I had even seen!

So, here comes the pathetic part (in my opinion). I just want a cuddle. I want someone to look after me. I know I have people who love and care for me, but I want to feel like I matter. It is irritating the crap out of me even writing this! But this is how I feel. I feel like I want and need to cry but the tears wont come. I want someone to take everything off my shoulders, just for a little while. I want to fussed and made to feel special. I don’t want to feel like I am expected to do everything myself. I want to be a first thought in someone’s mind, because of who I am, not what I do.

Eurgh!! I hate it when I am like this. I am strong, independent woman, and I really am! But here is the truth, I DO need people. I do need support. I do need to feel wanted. I need to feel needed. I don’t want any more babies and I never will, but for the first time I miss my babies being babies. All I wanted this morning was to have them laid on my shoulder like they used to, listening to their little breath in my ear and watching their tiny fingers curl and uncurl. Smelling that unique baby smell.

In that moment I was someone’s whole universe. Although both my experiences were very different, I know now I didn’t appreciate those moments fully. I even miss the middle of the night moments where it felt like we were the only people in the world. The deep, dark silence but content that they were exactly where they needed to be. The only time I think I have ever liked silence if I think about it. Silence is normally my enemy.

I hope this is just hormones. I really do. Although I hate Mother Nature, I need her to make an appearance as I know that if she does, everything will make sense and I will feel a sense of relief. Everything will make sense again. I hate that I keep snapping at people, especially Noah. My already restricted level of patience is hanging on by a thread and although I hate this miserable feeling, the anger stage is even worse and I don’t want that to surface. I may be nicer these days but I still have the potential to be most horrible bitch you have EVER met.

I just cant be arsed with this crap in general. So now I have had my whinge I need to turn things round. I accept I am having a bad day, but I don’t have to let it grow and become worse. I need to self care. If that is lying in bed until I can be arsed to run, so be it. If it is doing Red Balloons work then I will. I know my idea of self care is a bit crazy to some people, but it is all better than nothing. Maybe I will take some daft selfies? What I will do though is keep being honest. I wont hide away. I will reach out to my friends if I need to. If anyone wants to take on the task of making me laugh, I encourage that you do!

Normally, old CC would have apologised for being like this and even writing this. But this one wont. I am human. I cant help sometimes being an angry, upset mess of a woman. Sometimes I think we need to throw a gigantic pity party!! With loads of wine and shots and chocolate and parmo. Cheesy music, questionable dancing and even worse singing! That is the BEST part of being a lass I think! Faye, we need to sort this!

I love blogging. I feel a bit better already. Kind of like I have gave myself a good talking to. I have taken a few deep breathes and will just take today hour by hour. No actual plans. Just, be and do.

For anyone who is feeling it today, we are in this together.

It really is ok not to be ok!


CC xx


You’re more than a piece of paper!

It’s that time of year again, RESULTS DAY!

The day that students nationwide find out how they did over the last year. I can barely remember mine to be honest but then I suppose it was a century ago! No in all seriousness, I can’t but I’m not sure why. Maybe I was that anxious my brain has kind of deleted it, or maybe I was incredibly chilled as at that point I was an “adult” and it didn’t matter? I’d do what I wanted any way and I had found the joys of alcohol and boys! Nothing else really mattered now I finally had a taste of freedom that many of my friends had had for a couple of years before me.

If I look back, yes I know I could have done better. Up until the last year I suppose I have given myself a hard time for “messing up” and basically living my life arse over tit. But, and it is a Kim Kardashian of a but, I didn’t mess up! I know that now!

It can seem like those results on that sheet of paper are your whole existence, crammed into a few grades. Yes, I know that for certain courses and futures, grades are important, to a degree (pun not intended but suitably amusing). The thing is, that sheet of paper is just 1 tiny fraction of who you are. If you have got what you need, CONGRATULATIONS!! That is truly fantastic and I wish you all the luck and success in the future.

However, here is the important part. If you haven’t, it might seem like it, but it is NOT the end. You are NOT a failure. You are NOT a disappointment. You are you. And in the words of Dr Suess, no one can be youer than you! You have so much more to offer than a few grades. There are always other options. There is always an alternative route. There are always people who will love and support you for WHO you are, not what grades you got.

OK, I got decent grades. I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Well except for have fun and do all the things that I felt I had missed out on growing up. So I basically just bumbled through life. Now I look back though and I think, these experiences, the job roles I have had, have all shaped me in some way. They have gave me skills that I may not have otherwise gained. My favourite part is the people who I have in my life though, because of these jobs. Hand on heart I am in touch with practically no one from school or college, apart from being “Facebook friends” maybe. Let’s be honest, I am certainly not the person they will have known either, looks wise and the rest (I like to think I have slightly improved with age!)

Bar Manager. Travel Agent. Business Support Officer. These are the roles I had. Good roles, for large organisations. I got there on my own merit and in some of them worked my way up from the bottom. I did that! NOT my grades at school. Me! Through hard work, through my personality, through wanting to do a good job and not letting anyone else in my team down.

But here is the best thing about my little education story, well in my opinion anyway. I am a 33 ( nearly 34) year old, I have a nearly 14 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. I have mental health problems – Depression and Anxiety mainly BUT I am about to embark on possibly the biggest educational challenge I have had to date. I am going to university! Yep, me!

Yeah I am concerned for various reasons but I have worked hard over the last year to get to this position. So what if I am in my 30’s? I think this actually gives me an edge. I have life experience. Jeez do I?! I am learning because I WANT to, not because my family or society EXPECT me to. I know exactly what I want the end result to be so I can focus and keep my eye om the prize. I know exactly what route I need to take. In fact I am as in control as I think anyone at this point could be.

Whatever happens at university though, I know now who I am. I am beginning to realise my self worth. All the things that have happened in my life have happened for a reason and I believe finally, despite all the pain, anger and suffering I have endured, I am on the right path.

You have to make mistakes sometimes to learn. You have to experience failure to really highlight to yourself what you want. Were you bothered that you failed at so and so? No? Then ask yourself if it was the right thing for you. Yes? Then you know that that is what you want and you start again! Life is not a computer game. There is no limit to the amounts of “Start Again”. Keep going until you get to where you WANT to be.

If you don’t know what you want yet, that is OK! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And certainly do not live your life for someone else. It is great that your Dad wants you to be a doctor, but, do you??

Age is but a number. Grades are but a letter/word. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be happy.

You may not be feeling what I am saying right now, but please keep it in the back of your mind. If you feel down, hopeless, worthless or upset, if you feel anxious and scared for the future, reach out for help. There will always be someone there to listen.

If things haven’t gone the way you wanted today, there is always tomorrow. Always a blank page. Always a Plan B.


CC xx


Bucking the trend!

I was reading an article in Women’s Health while I was away about how we don’t “blow our own trumpet” enough and are more likely to dismiss our achievements in order to conform to what society expects us to be like.

I am here today, on this blog to say – sod that!!

If you read this and think I am so far up my own backside then fair enough. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I certainly don’t appeal to everyone! But today is about me celebrating me! I am my own worst enemy generally, I give myself way too hard a time, slag myself off, put myself down and just generally treat myself like crap 90% of the time. It’s sad but it is very true. I would NEVER treat another person the way I treat myself so why I think it is ok is a mystery to me. Maybe most of it is my mate Depression and his equally horrible bestie Anxiety. They really do have a sick ability to warp your mind! But then maybe a lot of it has been my past experiences and the way my brain has been “trained” to think over the years. I have never ever felt good enough in any aspect of my life. Never clever enough, never pretty enough, never nice enough, etc etc etc. I am sick to death of never being enough so today I am going to prove to MYSELF that I am enough. In fact, I can be pretty damn amazing at times!

So, it’s been 1 month since I last posted on here. I have missed the clicky clack of the keys way more than I realised. In that month, it has been a whirlwind! So, in no particular order, here are a few things I have achieved:

  • Passed my Access to Higher Education with a Merit overall! This means I am OFFICIALLY starting University to study Psychology next month! WOW!
  • I am meeting with the PR people of the Great North Run today as part of Red Balloons and Mind volunteer as they possibly want to use my story as promotional material! They will be filming and interviewing me and people who have kindly agreed to say a few nice things about what I am doing. Nervous as hell!
  • Red Balloons is sponsoring a match ball for the local football team
  • I pitched at Stockton Soup and managed to raise £160 from donations as well as gain some fantastic contacts.
  • Permission has been granted to run my Community Rounders Tournament on Bank Holiday and so far interest has been good!
  • I have been accepted onto a level 2 distance learning course in Counselling Skills
  • I have been chosen as a Mind Media Awards Shortlister for the Entertainment category! Not only do I get to read some simply inspirational stories, I get an opinion on who may win an award! I also get an invite to the awards themselves in November!

I look over that list and in one way I feel like I am reading about someone else. But no, that is all me! I have other projects in the pipeline too around helping mental health in my local area. I am so proud! I don’t do any of this for acknowledgement, but I deserve to be proud and feel comfortable shouting about what I am doing because I work damn hard! I FINALLY truly love what I do, and the fact that I can help others, well that alone is the biggest accomplishment I could ever ask for!

August is not going to be the quiet time that I was expecting and I am actually over the moon about that. I love being busy, I love being useful. I love brainstorming ideas, meeting people, discussing ideas and every single day growing a little bit more.

I have just come back from a 2 week unexpected holiday and for the first time in 2 years, I properly let myself go. I ate what I wanted, I drank enough to sink a fleet of ships and I didn’t really exercise at all. The thoughts were there but I just didn’t. Yes, yesterday had me feeling crappy especially as an epic headache put a pause on my first planned run. I was starting to slip into that place where I would wallow and this in turn would end up with me in a bad place. That I can spot these things now is an amazing thing for me. It shows I am finally getting the hang of controlling my thoughts a bit more (thank you CBT!) So, I made a plan! Not a detailed one as I realise I have been putting far too much pressure on myself.

I set my alarm for 430am and surprisingly got up without even snoozing my alarm once! I had my usual bucket of black coffee then laced up my trainers and got out for my first run in over 2 weeks. I was stiff, it was difficult but 2 miles later and I was done! Yes, I set off too fast but so what? Yes I ache now, but to me that is a pain of satisfaction! And I know what I need to work on. I was honestly beginning to think I had lost my love of running but I know now I had just dulled my spark. I was focusing on the wrong things and beating myself up every time I thought I had failed. There is no such thing as failure if you simply try! Sometimes trying is the hardest thing you will do in a day.

So there we go. CC’s trumpet has been well and truly blown today and I personally think it was a hell of a good tune! It does feel weird and I will no doubt feel like a self obsessed idiot when I publish this (Rome wasn’t built in a day after all) but I bucked the trend. I gave a proverbial finger to anyone who thinks it is wrong to shout about how awesome you are!

Thanks Depression, you are definitely changing me for the better! Whether you like it or not! Thank goodness for my stubborn streak  😉


CC xx

I’m still here….

My poor blog. I really tend to neglect it a bit at the moment. I’d like to say that it’s because things are going amazingly but in reality, although there are some amazing things happening, a lot of it has been pretty crap.

OK, hands up, I decided after a mess up at the pharmacy and me spitting my dummy out, I would go cold turkey and stop my anti depressants. I always like to think I know better and blah blah blah, but lets face it, if that was the case I wouldn’t be the “unique” individual I am. I need my medication. There, I said it!

I am not saying I am ashamed of taking them, I have been vocal that I have been on them. I just didn’t want to actually take them. In typical CC style I rushed the whole thing and assumed I felt better when in actual fact I was very far from ok. The thing with the tablets is they work so well when I am taking them, they gave me a false sense of confidence. Well, I learnt the hard way!

I have been back on them over a week now and thankfully my mood seems to be restabilising so normal services shall resume shortly. Or as normal as they get for me anyway. I have managed to complete my nutrition course so all I have to do over the summer is finish my PT qualification and continue trying to grow Red Balloons, which incidentally is going slow but well! For me, that really is a small load and in a way I am wondering if I can cope with 6 weeks of complete wind down. I wonder what else I can add to my load 😉

I know I want to do more public speaking, I want people to see the passion and belief face to face in what I am doing and why. I want people to hear my story and see that I am a typical lass, who has unfortunately suffered over the course of her life but who has managed to (sometimes only just) cling onto life with her tips of her fingers. I want to go into schools and workplaces and spread the word.

It’s only a tiny blog today. I don’t even think I will publish it on social media. I have a lot to say but nothing all at the same time and it’s a weird feeling. I just wanted to do a tiny wave and say, I am still here. I still need this blog, I just don’t know how to approach it at the moment.

I hope if you are reading this, you are in an ok place. If you are not, don’t be afraid to reach out. The first step is always the scariest.

CC xx

“How are you?”

How are you? A compulsory day to day question! Everyone should ask at least one person a day this very question and actually MEAN IT! Then actually listen to the answer, don’t just hear the words though, look at the eyes, acknowledge the body language. See if the non verbal communication matches the verbal response.

But, and here is my conundrum,  what do you say when, to be completely honest, you don’t actually have any idea how you are?! That is where I am right now. Where I have been for much of this past week to be fair. I am not bad, I don’t think. I have loads going on and to be honest, a lot of it is incredibly positive! I am working hard, reaching out to people, being brave, or as I like to put it, not being a shy bairn. The worst thing that anyone can say is No. I can handle rejection, I’ve certainly had enough of it *ahem*.

But I feel, empty. Not sad, not angry, not confused (well no more than I usually am haha) but not particularly happy, relaxed or excited either. And I know I SHOULD be! I kind of just feel like I am existing at the moment. Which, don’t get me wrong, from some of the places I have been in my head, this is still a great thing! I want more than that! I want my moods to reflect what is going on in my life. What I am grafting my arse off to achieve!

Am I doing my whole self preservation thing again? Am I not so much expecting the worst at the forefront of my mind, but also not feeling very secure with where I am actually am? Thing is, and I know CBT is helping me slowly with this, but as I have said many times before *yawn* how the hell can I change 33 years of a certain way of thinking? Where, lets be honest, most things have fucked up!

The last few days I have been listening to more Elvis Presley again. Screenshot_20180615-123305.jpgStarted off by a programme I came across on TV. Thing is, I don’t always make the connection but after some reflecting in the bath this morning, I realise that when I am not feeling the best, or where I feel a bit lost with myself, I go back to him and his music. His voice, so familiar, so comforting. I may be a little raver girl, but Elvis is my one first, true love. Thing is, as much as he is a massive comfort, a massive musical hug, as much as he can make me feel safe and smile, he can also make me cry. Very much. There are a few songs that no matter what mood I am in, they reduce me to childlike sobbing. Yet, the pull of them, I cant resist. It’s like a compulsion, I HAVE to listen to them.

  • American Trilogy – absolute shoulder shaking sobbing
  • The Wonder of You – if you know, you know why. A VERY important song from my past.
  • Always on my Mind – love many versions of this song, but this one is the only one that brings the tears
  • Separate Ways – heart breaking. If you haven’t listened to it and actually HEARD the words, I urge you do!

There is an important day coming up this week, and to be honest I didn’t think I cared, although it seems maybe I do. Maybe after that day, the frustrating clouds will break again.

Fathers Day.

Now, I wrote a blog, a letter to my Dad last year. And I still stand by everything I wrote. I have drawn a line under that part of my life as much as I possibly can. And I have truly stopped blaming myself for all that. It was NOT my fault he was who he was, I was no less of a daughter just because I was not enough to be a choice over alcohol. But, hand on heart, I miss him. A lot. Not the greasy alcoholic he will no doubt be, if he is still alive. But my Daddy. The thing that pains me the most is, I never got to say goodbye. The last things I said to him were not very nice, yes he was being a dick, but I never knew that when  I walked away that day, I would never ever see or hear from him again. How do you honestly deal with that??

Yes, I miss my Nana more than words could EVER describe but I know I have somewhere I can go to feel close to her. I can talk to her when I need to (although I haven’t for a long time and I don’t know why 😦 ) and at times I can hear her voice, see her face as clear as the last time I saw her and feel her. With my Dad, I cant. As every day goes by, I lose a little bit more of him. It’s like my memories are starting to fade out, like that scene at the end of a film. I suppose that is why Elvis is so important to me and always will be. It is the only thing I have left of him.

Don’t get me wrong, it does help that Elvis was the most gorgeous man to ever walk this planet, with a voice like Galaxy chocolate! It’s certainly not like its a hardship loving him so much!

Ah there it is, my fail safe humour mechanism kicking in. The one I use every time I feel like I am getting too emotional. The thing is, it is one of my mind protecting qualities. I am not quite strong enough, even to this day. I think there are some things, some emotions I am just not ready to fully tackle. Just yet.

Maybe I just needed a bloody good cry. As much as you all know I hate it, sometimes it is like a cleansing thing. There is a lot in my life I cant change, many questions I have to accept I will never get answered. But I have to accept that I am allowed to feel this way. I am allowed to miss him, I am allowed to wonder what would have happened if things were different, I am allowed to feel that twinge of jealousy when I see ‘happy’ families. I am allowed to feel anger, hurt, disgust even.

I need to remember that I don’t have to pretend to always be the strong, independent one. It is ok to want my Dad, to want my Nana, to want a hug, to break down and cry and, yeah, as much as it sticks in my throat, to feel sorry for myself. I don’t want pity, I don’t deserve it. But I can have oh woah is me moments. It does not make me any less of a person, it doesn’t make me selfish or self indulgent. It makes me human. And I am, as much as I hate to admit it, I am human. I have feelings and emotions and I am fragile at times.

So, how am I? Well, I still don’t know to be fair. Crying, yes. Wanting a hug that will glue all my broken bits back together, oh yes please!

But yeah, I’m not bad.


CC xx

Right now…


This blog is inspired by the lovely FearneCotton. I am just on reading her book, Happy (having only had it nearly a year I am sure) and the part on being in the now really spoke to me. I am an absolute buggar for thinking of EVERYTHING, apart from the here and now. I can tell you how I used to think and what happened and I can tell you what I want to happen and how I feel about things that haven’t and might not even happen yet. But I am a nightmare at being able to vocalise how I am, right now, in a moment.

So, lets give it a go! As an added bonus, today has been a canny day so hopefully you wont get the spiel of whinge that you normally get when reading one of my blogs 😉 (and yes I am aware that was a derogative comment against myself, I need to give my wrist a slap!)

So, right now. Oooo this is already quite daunting! Lets start with the physical, the fact! I am sat in my little office space, in the what was once Noah’s bedroom before he became a man child and accrued more toys than the shelves of Toys r Us. We had to have a house swap around as a single bed wont fit for love nor money in this room, so I decided to nab it and make it my own little “safe space”. I have it all set up just how I like it, quirky but organised. Photos on the wall, evidence of stuff I am proud of scattered around, and let us not forget the rather large ‘To Do’ pile of work. This room wont be mine for long, we have a cunning plan in order to switch it back into a bedroom for my teenage daughter, so I have kind of neglected the room, along with really, the rest of the house and my sanity. Today I got a random spout of awesome motivation and decided to take back control of my house. I decided it was time I got a grip and made my house a home again. I needed to stop hiding the mess behind closed doors, kind of like the way I tend to hide myself. It was a massive chore, about 4 hours in all, and I think at one point I nearly drowned in paperwork, BUT the sense of satisfaction walking round the house when I was done was AMAZING!

To see the floor in Noah’ room, to see a space where I could be productive and call my own for a small while and be able to lock out the world, to have a bath in peace and not worry about a monstrous lego tower falling on my head or a toy car popping up out the bubbles, from where, who knows! To not have piles of clothes on every surface going, to be able to see my kitchen work tops and to notice the colour of my stair carpets now they have been hovered in the first time in more than I care to admit! Although I meant to be focusing on today, and I am, it took me back to when I was house proud and I was constantly on a mission, cleaning and sorting. Everything had its place and god forbid you didn’t put something back EXACTLY where it came from if you used it. I know now, I did this because I was floundering. I felt I had no control over anything in my life, apart from cleaning and binging and purging. I had no idea what I was here for, what purpose my life held. I was grasping at whatever I could as life passed me by.

Now, things are very different. Yes, my Depression is still an absolute ball ache and I still don’t know how I am going to be one day to the next BUT I have a reason. I have a purpose, a vision, a dream! Yet, because of this, the first thing that disappears when I hit a bad spell and the last thing to make an appearance when I am feeling well again, is my housewifely duties. I have NO excuse to have a messy house. I am on full time sick, my children are at school (when they are not on one of the MANY school holidays anyway), although I still have coursework for my PT course and Nutrition course and I still do as much as I can volunteering for MIND, basically, there is no reason why my house should EVER be messy. Yet I let it, because I get to the point where I just don’t care. I go through the bare minimum motions to not be a scruff, I do what needs to be done for my kids. I just get so exhausted with the whole adult thing as I feel like a complete fraud. Sometimes I think I do it to see if anyone notices.

So now, right in this very minute, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I feel content. My house is a home again, I can hear Noah laughing and singing along to the cartoons downstairs, the birds are singing outside even though it is raining. I can here and feel my fingers on the keys of the lap top, the carpet under my feet and the cold wood on the left side of thigh. I feel lighter than I have in months, I feel ready, although honestly, I am not entirely sure what I am ready for. I made more baby steps forward in other parts of my future today but by focusing on what I need to do NOW! There are still a lot of things swirling round my head, I keep flitting to one thing or another but that is me. That is what happens. What I am learning to do is decide which bit is worth my attention. I am studying on Silver Cloud, an online CBT tool and it is really good! I am learning more about myself and how my brain works. How I can spot a bad thought or feeling and how to address it proactively and positively.

I am very aware that tomorrow is a new day, that it could be a bad day but just as equally it could be a good day. Ultimately though, it is a day. Approximately 16 hours of awake time to do with what I want. Time I will never get back. Now, I realise how much time I have spent thinking I should have done things differently, thinking about time past. Depression has taken ALOT of my time as his own. It is now where I take it from here and have it to myself as much as possible. He will have his stronger days, but every day that I take even 5 minutes more for myself, it means I am getting that little bit stronger, that little bit better at coping.


You cant change the past but you can learn from it. You CAN change the future but only if you embrace the now.


CC xx

Loneliness is worse than the darkness!

It’s always harder to write a blog when I know I have put it off on purpose for a few days as I was scared of the emotions it would bring out. Since Friday I have been all over the place and seemingly on a downward spiral. It took me until Monday to work out exactly what was wrong with me.

I am lonely.

Now, I know I have friends, and I know to be fair they are the best friends I could actually ask for. I also have an amazing online support network. I am daily extremely grateful for all of people in my life. But certain events in my life recently have highlighted a few things that I suppose I was either trying to avoid or that have been brought to my attention and have got me thinking about other things. Confused? Yeah I suppose I am too.

Growing up, my family was very close but incredibly small. Two sisters had married two brothers so there were 2 grandparents and 5 kids, me and my brother and my 3 cousins. I say close, my Mam wont mind me saying that we had a very difficult relationship, as did me and my brother. My Dad was sporadic at best then nicked off and to be honest I spent most of my time either with my Nana or at my aunty and uncles house. My cousins were not my cousins, they were more like my siblings, we were, and despite the distance between us now, still are extremely close.

I know now that I don’t think I ever actually appreciated what I had in my family unit. We had our fair share of difficulties and dramas over the years and for most of my life I had craved a “normal” family. Now I laugh at myself. Firstly, what even is normal? And secondly, the more people I meet, the more stories I hear, the more situations I am aware of, the more I realise just how lucky I actually was! Don’t get me wrong, there was a hell of a lot of seriously bad times, for all of us. But I tell you one thing, one thing that was never ever missing was love.

It has been the first time in 13 year that I really miss not living near them. I took my family for granted. Plain and simple. I know I wasn’t escaping my Mam or my brother now, I was escaping my own personal demons. Things have happened recently that have really hurt me and it has made me realise that those who love me, who truly love me, would never ever do that to me. They love me through my mistakes and my moods and my general annoyingness. That is what a family is. They don’t push you out, they don’t ignore you, they don’t make you feel bad. They may  not always agree with you, how boring would that be for a start?! But they are there through thick and thin.

I play a very good cold hearted bitch. I think I have actually played that part too well for too long as people don’t realise just how much I actually do feel and how sensitive I am. To a degree I don’t give a crap what people think about me, but then there is always going to be an element of that craving of acceptance. In an ideal world, who would want everyone to love them? And don’t lie! Of course you would. I want to be the one that makes people smile, who people can come to talk to, who people want in their life and to be around. I want to be a positive in someone’s day. I understand that I cant please everyone, I understand all to well my faults, but when I lose people that I love, that have been in my life for what feels like forever, it hurts. Like hell. It brings back so much past pain and rejection. Things that I have to start getting over but I don’t even know where to begin with it sometimes.


This weekend gone, I felt so incredibly lonely and isolated. I felt like life was passing me by, everyone had someone and was doing their own thing and I was just kind of stuck. I suppose this is where all this has came from. Too much time being lost in my own thoughts is no good, especially to an over thinking, catastrophizing head blag like me. I realised I didn’t have anywhere I could just “pop by”. I didn’t have any family I could go and annoy for a little while. The lack of car and money meant I felt absolutely stuck. If it wasn’t for Noah I actually do wonder what I would have been like and how worse things could have been. I realised I don’t really have a support network, in the sense that I cant just go for a run or pop to the shops or have a drink with a friend. I was Noah’s whole world. Now don’t get me wrong, what Mam doesn’t love being the centre of their kids universe. But sometimes I crave a bit of flexibility. Something I don’t feel I have. I feel like I have to plan anything ages in advance, I cant be spontaneous. Yet when I do plan, I struggle to get excited as 9 times out of 10 something comes up and plans fall through.

I don’t want to spend this whole blog whinging. It doesn’t get me anywhere but I do feel a bit better getting it off my chest. It might sound pathetic and non important to people but to me, these are my thoughts and feelings. I don’t like them either but I have to deal with them and ultimately face them. It’s a pain and I still try and run away from things but when I do that I just eventually end up taking out my emotions on someone or something else and making things times worse normally!

Look at me learning!

Loss doesn’t have to just be people who have died. You can “lose” people who live round the corner. Is the pain comparable? Suppose it depends on who you talk to and the situation. I don’t think anything is ever really comparable as everyone is different. One thing that all this is teaching me, is to REALLY appreciate the people in your life. I love my family very much, even if we are all completely bat shit crazy. It makes us the awesome people we are and I wouldn’t change any of them now for anything! We may not live as close anymore but I want this year to be the year where we connect again properly. We don’t have to see each other all the time like we did but I don’t want to miss out on my great cousins growing up and I want my kids to be part of the family and know who these amazing people are and how important they are, especially to making me the woman I am today.

My friends will always be my family, but I need to start remembering blood too.

Thanks for never giving up on me

Love you all the world

CC xx

(For my Mam, Aunty Lesley, Uncle Vaughan, Mickie, Steven, David)  Nana and Grandad *RIP*

Depression & Anxiety for Me.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will probably know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this week in particular is Mental Health Awareness Week. Personally, although I know everything has it’s own week, month, day etc, I really do believe these events are fantastic. And not just because I can be even more annoying and a social media nuisance more than normal. It really does make people sit back and think, It helps give those a tiny push to share their stories and get involved but most importantly, it sign posts people to where they can get help and support and ultimately, this can, and does, save a life!

Now, I cant talk for everyone, mental health affects everyone in its own unique way so these thoughts and feelings, as usual, are purely my own. What Depression and Anxiety are to me. You yourself may have different ways of perceiving them, or they may make you feel different but as with anything, we are unique to ourselves. It doesn’t mean we are suffering any more or less, it just means we are suffering in our own way. To add a positive spin to it too, we all cope and manage in our own way as well. As I have said before and I will always say, we are in this together. We are each others mutual support, we understand, we empathise and sympathise and ultimately, we are stronger together.

OK, so Depression. Firstly you may notice I spell them with capital letters, like names. This to me was my way of compartmentalising them. If I made them into “beings” it was easier for me to understand the effect they had over me, the control. It was easier to get my head round what was going on and easier to get things out of my head as I could, demonise them, I suppose is the best way to say it.

Depression hangs around me like a dark cloak that at times I find impossible to shake off. He (no offence to the male sex here, not saying you have any links, I just feel they are he’s) really likes to take full control. Of my mind, body and soul. If he manages to successfully infiltrate one of those three, it is VERY hard for me to stop him getting his dirty claws into the other two. He makes me feel worthless, he makes me feel ugly, he makes me feel stupid. He makes me think I am a burden to those around me, that I am just making peoples lives a misery and hanging onto them when I should be letting them drop me and go and make themselves happy. He makes me paranoid, like everyone is talking about me and judging me, that no one loves me and that they are all laughing at me behind my back. It is a horrible place to be. Everything loses it shine, goes dark and dull and even my favourite music can lose that spark it has to me when things are really bad. I listen to the words and hear an alternative, darker story than what I actually know it is saying.

Everything seems so difficult, from opening my eyes on a morning, to walking, to talking. I lose interest in pretty much everything. I get to the end of the day and I feel exhausted. Exhausted that I have had to survive another day. Not live, not when I feel at my lowest, but survive. I also feel anger and frustration. The anger scares me the most as when I lose it, I struggle to control it. In those moments, as brief as luckily they mainly are, I don’t care who I hurt. If I hurt this much, so should they. Horrible isn’t it? (disclaimer – I shouldn’t have to put this here but I think it is sensible that I do, I would NEVER physically harm my children, nor would I emotionally or mentally abuse them. They may see me mad or upset, that is a reality of suffering from a mental health issue. It is never directed at them. Fortunately I have that self control and maternal protection ingrained in me. Just saying. For the record!)

The thing is, Depression is a manipulator. He can get you truly believing these horrible things. He can give you the clarity to plan your own end of life with such terrifying detail and can have you act on it! He does not care, he plays to win. To him, with me, ultimately winning is death. My death. BUT, I have beat him back enough now that although I don’t and probably never will have ultimate control over him, I am using him against himself. All these feelings, all these actions I have done to myself are now my lived experience. My key to my future, to helping others understand, to helping others help themselves. I do very occasionally have fleeting thoughts now, but more about running away than dying. That is a massive relief to me!


Now, Anxiety, Depressions annoying but equally as aggressive brother! He likes to play with your head in the other way, where Depression makes you not care, He makes you care too much. He makes you fear yourself, he makes you fear everything, he makes your head so busy that although Depression is exhausting you and all you want to do is sleep, you cant! He makes my heart beat faster, my palms itch and gives me the worst headaches where even my eye ball hurts. He makes it so I can enjoy the things I enjoy, if that makes sense? I cant relax. I can cant concentrate on reading, I cant sit still, my mind is whirring at the speed of a walzer and one fleeting worry escalates into one massive snowball of an issue! Yet at the same time, he also makes you feel stupid, but in the way that you believe no one would understand. Sleep becomes nigh on impossible for more than a few hours at a time as it is like a blind getting pulled open. A barrage of thoughts tumble into your dreams and before you know it you are watching the minutes pass by and the sun rise, wondering how the hell you are going to cope with what you have on that day. How will you face people? How will you get things done?

I have days where I am great, days where I am good, sometimes I am lucky where I have weeks, though months at a time seems a long way off at the moment. As an old manager used to say to me, I need to learn to walk before I can run. When you fall so far down the rabbit hole, you cant expect to be skipping in the meadow again within a certain time scale. Who knows how long it will take, but one thing is for sure, I will get there! That meadow has my name on it! There will be other rabbit holes scattered all over that meadow, I am intelligent and realistic enough to know I will probably never be able to not fall in one, life experiences and the way my brain functions put paid to that. You know what though, I think I am as OK with that as I can be.

For now, and hopefully for as long as I am trotting around on this earth, I will just continue to do what I can to spread the word and help whoever I can. I can certainly think of worse ways to live my life.


CC xx


Just some things I felt like saying

It’s one of those days where I have the strong urge to blog and to get things out but at the same time I am not even sure what I actually have to say. Bit of a strange feeling to be honest, but as usual I am going to let my fingers do the talking. They do a much better job than my mouth anyway!

Maybe it is the fact that college is coming to an end that has got me pondering on things. I still remember the day vividly that I decided to take the leap and go back into education, after my volunteering and my story about exercise and running helping my mental health started the ball rolling into what is now a solid plan for my future. It has been a tough 9 months in a lot of ways. Our class got off to a bad start but we have made it to the end. We unfortunately lost a few people along the way but I am sure they will agree, we have made friendships that will last a long time. Even if I am the only one not studying social work haha.

What I rediscovered is, despite having to fight for motivation to get things completed sometimes, the downfall of doing these kind of things while fighting a tough mental health battle, is just how much I do really love to learn. I feel like a sponge. Of course there are parts that have little or no interest to me, but I take the rough with the smooth. At the end of the day, this was just a tiny stepping stone to where I need to end up. Am I nervous about starting university? Freaking terrified if I am completely honest. It’s not like I am a fresh faced 18/19 year old. I am a 33 year old, mother of 2 who is still fighting some pretty massive personal mental demons. But hey, one thing you should all know about CC by now, she is no quitter, she thrives on the pressure, even if it because it distracts her from the parts of her life that ultimately feel like a huge crash!

I know I need to give myself a break. I know I will do everything I can to succeed as becoming an Exercise Psychologist and working with those with mental health issues is quite honestly too important to me now. It has went from a tiny flicker of an idea to an “I want that and I will stop at NOTHING to get it!”. But the other parts of my brain, you know, my mates Depression and Anxiety, they need gagging! I am so sick of hearing “why are you bothering?” “no one is interested” “people are just sick of you now” “go back to the shadow of your former self” “you’ve never been worth anything to anyone before, what makes now so different?”

Vicious aren’t they? Who needs enemies?!

The thing is, the more I share my story, the more I put myself out there, the more I worry that people are just getting fed up with me. I am literally getting everywhere at the moment. I do share a lot, I post constantly, I put myself forward for pretty much everything. Why? Because it is important! I have been judged and talked about and the rest pretty much all my life for various reasons, sometimes even by the people who are meant to care about me. I am so sick of trying to be what everyone thinks I should be. So I am being me. In all glorious, technicolour annoyingness! And if you don’t like it, tough! Unfollow me, unfriend me, ignore me (oh wait, some of you already do that!) I don’t care anymore. If you cant support me at my worst, if you cant understand why I am doing this, if my fight to end stigma and shout about mental health illness at the top of my voice irritates you, you don’t deserve my time to be honest. Those that TRULY love me, are proud of me, support me and all the rest have now made themselves clear to me. So those are the people that deserve me and my time.

I realise now I have put a lot of time and energy into people who just quite simply didn’t deserve it. I watched a little video on Facebook today and it got me thinking. Time is free but it is also priceless. I have been giving it to people who used it, and me, to be honest. They knew I would be there for them and would always listen, yet when the tables turned, they were nowhere to be seen. I try not to swear so much in my blogs these days but this needs to be said:


Wow, that felt good!!

If you think this might be about you, think about why you think it is. Are you the person I am talking about? The people actually be to be fair. If so, are you happy with how you have made me feel? That you have helped heighten those feelings of worthlessness, that you have made me shed tears, that you have actually hurt me? Do you actually even care?? Probably not. And now I can say, it says a hell of a lot about you as a person than me.

Hands up, I am not perfect. God, far far from it. When I am struggling I retreat, but then at the same time I use distraction and avoidance as methods of coping (using CBT to help try and combat this) so I am always busy. But if you need me, I will be there in a second. I wont always reach out first as I worry that you don’t need my crap and that all I will end up doing is whinge. I wont always tell you what is wrong, I will still pretend that I am good, because I can use this blog now to get my worries, thoughts and fears out. This to me means I can be a much better friend to you. I hope.

So, I am now making my first step into the next chapter of the crazy life of CC. I am reaching out through various avenues. I am studying for things that will ultimately help me support others. I am loving that I can redo my PT course and the nutrition one is very interesting! I will be a bona fide full time student as of September. But I am going to be personally stronger, emotionally stronger. I have got this far being honest, sharing my story to help others and I will continue to do so, because to me, that is the right thing to do.

Recently, a few doors have definitely closed. I know now though that they were meant to and for good reason. I cant keep focusing on what is behind me, not when I, and only me, have the power to make my future and my life mean so much more.

Until my next rant……….

Love CC xx



It is always harder to write a blog when it comes to things that concern my children. They are my life, my reason for breathing, my reason for wanting to help change the world so that they can grow up in a safer, more understanding society. A society where you can talk about anything, especially how you are feeling, whether you are old or young, boy or girl.

Thing is, how do you get rid of the gut wrenching guilt that has clouded you since the very first day you found out you were pregnant? The first thing you thought was not how happy you were but how scared you were. How you knew you couldn’t do this. How you were barely capable of looking after yourself, never mind a baby!
That is how my story starts and is something I have struggled to deal with ever since.
Let’s go back, I was 19 years old. I had moved over 70 miles away from my hometown in Chester-Le-Street to Harrogate. I upped and left everything and everyone for a lad I hadn’t really been seeing for very long. The fear of the unknown though was more appealing than the life I was living at the time. I needed to escape. So, I did. It was very much a whirlwind, I was away from home for less than a year when I found out I was pregnant. I panicked. Selfishly, I had only just tasted freedom. I was only just living for myself for the first time in my life and just like that, I was going to be back to having to put someone else first.
They talk about post-natal depression, and I will talk in a moment about that as I can be honest now and say a lot of my problems stemmed from me suffering once my daughter was born. But what people fail to mention and help you with is when you are clearly struggling when you are pregnant. Looking back, it was completely obvious I was struggling, badly. I treated myself and my unborn baby appallingly. I was in a hellish place, yet I felt so stuck and so alone. I had no voice at all. I had to do what I do best, what I had done all my life up to that point and stick a massive fake smile on my face and pretend everything was A OK. It was very far from OK. I felt like all my decisions were being made for me and I had no say in my own life. I just got dragged along this terrifying pathway into motherhood. One I had never expected to be on. Family, marriage and children had never been on my radar. I wanted a career. I wanted to travel. Now, I felt like I was constantly tied in a straight jacket. Just nodding and shaking my head at the allocated points needed to show I was still a semi functioning human.
9 month later, my beautiful daughter was born, 4 days early weighing a tiny 6lb 6oz. 2 days before my 20th birthday.
You read about these overwhelming emotions of love and adoration and all the rest. I waited. I expected to feel it straight away. It didn’t happen. Ok, maybe I am just tired. It will come once I have had some sleep, I had been in labour for 72 hours after all. No. It never came. I waited days, weeks, months. That “new mam” feeling just didn’t surface. I did love her, she was part of me. I was incredibly protective, I didn’t want anyone else to go near her. The feelings of jealousy when anyone was holding her were insane. Yet, at the same time I didn’t want to be with her either. It was an internal struggle and the noise in my head was insane.

I went back to working 48 hour weeks when she was only 5 month old, I started drinking a lot. Far too much. I started to rebel. I wanted a life. I couldn’t handle a baby. I was a terrible mother. What kind of mother didn’t want to be near such a gorgeous baby who was no bother at all? This cycle went on for years. She was a good sleeper, she was happy and content. Yet I couldn’t take any credit for this as I just had no interest. I went through the motions as I was scared someone would take her off me. Which considering how I actually felt was quite ironic.
I lied to everyone. I lied on the health visitor’s questionnaire. I lied to all the health care professionals. I was telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. Yet inside I was screaming. I just wanted someone to call me out and tell me they knew I was lying. But no one ever did.

It got so bad, I felt so out of control, so lost, so worthless and such a disgusting human being for the way I felt, it was at this time that I decided my daughter would be better off without me. I needed to leave her with people who could give her all the love and the support and happy life that she deserved. I had a very difficult childhood myself for many reasons, her Dad had had a very different experience. It made sense to take me out of her equation and leave her to grow up like her Dad had. So, I got very drunk, argued with my daughter’s dad, locked myself in the bathroom and the next thing I remember is a lot of blood and being rushed to the hospital in a police car.
Was it a wake-up call? Eventually yes, after the soul-destroying feelings of disappointment at still being alive waned. Did I suddenly have an epiphany and dote on my daughter? Sadly, no. Although love slowly and steadily grew over time, it took many years to have what I would class as a mother-daughter relationship. The thing I must deal with now, which became very apparent after the birth of my son, is just how different our relationship is. She is very much a daddy’s girl. He is her universe. And for many reasons he deserves to be. He has adored her from the minute I confirmed I was pregnant. I just hope it is not too late to salvage some sort of true bond before she flies the nest and becomes anything she wants to be.
They may not have been in my “plan” but I am very lucky to have my children, who I do truly love with all my heart. I would die for them. I want to be a better person because of them. I want them to see there is good in this world. That they can be anything they want to be. I will always be their number one supporter.
My daughter is so beautiful, so kind, so very clever. Despite everything she has had to deal with in her 13 years of life, she is so resilient and balanced. I worry as she has my way of bottling things up and just trying to deal with everything herself, but I am so proud and so in awe of her bravery, of not letting anyone dictate to her how she should think. She sticks by what she believes in.
Post-natal depression is no joke. I applaud everyone who is speaking out about this and putting themselves out there to raise awareness. To highlight the flaws in the system and what needs to be done. Thank you to those who are supporting the people who suffer and helping them realise, it is like any other illness. It is not your fault. You are a good person and a good mother/father. It is your illness telling you otherwise. You can beat this, I promise.
I ask you, please, reach out. Tell someone that you are struggling. You are not alone, you don’t have to struggle alone. Be honest. Take that soul crushing weight off your shoulders.
CC xx




It has been ages since I have blogged two days in a row! And two pretty positive posts at that! Get me! But after watching the London Marathon again, I was just overwhelmed with so much emotion, inspiration and motivation. I am seriously in awe of those people, who completed those 26.2 miles in the hottest recorded weather. Who all have their individual stories. Some of pain, of hurt but of determination and the passion to succeed and raise money as well as awareness of causes close to their heart.

Hearing their stories is so inspiring. You really cant ever know what is going on in someone’s life until they open up. People who have lost loved one’s, people who have nearly lost their own life, people with loved one’s in hospital or treatment. Yes, running something like the London Marathon is a big personal achievement and recognition of Snapchat-35456296.jpgsuch a feat is deserved, What I also think, especially for those running for others, it is such a selfless act. For those who are not trained athlete’s, it is putting their bodies through some serious work, even pain! Wow!

I watched with so much pride for my country. Proud to be part of the London spirit, even from my sofa in Teesside, I could feel it. The hashtag was #getinspired and I so have! I was gutted I never got a place in 2018 but looking back now, I know I hadn’t been in the right head space at all to train, so it would have either ended up with me deferring or (more accurately due to my stubborn streak) being dangerous for me. Mentally and physically.

I am so determined to run it though. I have one of my bucket list run’s in September – the Great North Run. Training has started already. To get a place in 2019’s London Marathon would be the icing on the cake for this year. To be able to run the most famous marathon in the UK and raising money for Mind would be utterly amazing. Certainly one of my greatest physical achievements. Especially as I wouldn’t call myself a runner so to speak. I just do ok.


The thing is, I want to push past my own limits. It is easy to fall into a comfort zone and just do what you know you can, what you know you are good at. I know I can bosch off 5km regularly in under 30 minutes. I know I can squat with the best of them and can sweat my tiny baps off on a circuit I create myself. What I want is to push past what I believe to be my limits. At the moment even the idea of 13.1 mile is daunting! But I know I can do that, because I already have. In a decent time too!

I want to beat my demons and I want to inspire others. I would LOVE to be the reason that made someone take up running or taking up a sport or fitness routine that they have always wanted to. I would love people to think, well if she can do it, I can do it too! Of course you can! You can do anything you want to. You can’t let you tell you otherwise. It wont be easy but then I believe that anything worth having never comes easy. There will be days, even weeks where you simply cant be arsed but you know what a success is? Doing it anyway! In fact, most of the time, those runs/games/workouts are the ones that end up feeling the best! Even if you are cursing yourself in the middle and wanting to quit.

There is so much help and support out there, if you want it. Maybe you are like me and apart from helping others, you prefer to work solitary. That’s fine. It’s about you. What works for you. What you want to gain from your experience. Whether it be finishing a particular race, raising money, setting an example for your kids, trying to lose/gain weight or just simply to get fitter. Maybe you want to be inspired to do something that doesn’t have anything to do with sport, exercise or fitness. Maybe you want to start volunteering? Or how about a career change? What about going back into education? Or simply learning a hobby that has always interested you. Inspiration comes in so many forms and means something different to everyone.

To me anyone who does something to help someone else is a MASSIVE inspiration. Yes, being selfish is necessary for your own mental health. I 100% agree with that. You cant help anyone at all if you cant help yourself. But those that dedicate their lives to others are just hero’s in my eyes. The emergency services, the army, those that volunteer, those that fundraise for good causes and those that are just there for those that need them, whether it be a simple message, a cuppa and a friendly ear or taking someone away from reality for even just a small while. These people don’t do these things for recognition but they sure as hell deserve it and they deserve a massive well done and a hug!

Today, I challenge you to think of one thing that you would love to do. Anything at all. And I want you to believe that at some point, whether you start now or in the future, that you will do it! Start a little action plan. Do a mind map. Do some research but ultimately, take that first step into the unknown and you never know how your life might change. This time last year I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be in the situation I am now, with so many new opportunities on the horizon. Some potentially very exciting ones! Each step forward is a step to my future, even if that step is a stumble or a fall. It’s still forward.

I cant change the past but I sure as hell can change the future and I will. I was put on this Earth for a reason. Plain and simple. And it wasn’t just to annoy the hell out of people! 😉

Thank you to all you AMAZING runners today. Enjoy this moment. You deserve it. Be proud!!


CC xx


Sunshine on a rainy day

This song has been on loop in my head all morning and to be honest I have no idea as I haven’t heard it for years, but it did get me thinking. It is actually quite appropriate. Not because of the good old English weather being as random as it is, but because it is actually a good metaphor for how I am feeling at the moment.

I know it’s been a while since my last blog post, I tend to neglect my blog a bit when I get busy, but it’s also because when I am in a better place, I tend to think that people don’t want to hear the random ramblings of what goes on in my head. I get concerned that although I am in a good place, others might not be and I don’t want to rub my ok’ness in their faces. Does that make sense? Probably not. It’s me. I think I know what I mean.

If I am honest it has been a bit of a crazy week or so. Pretty much all being good! Things seem to be falling slowly into place. Which if I am honest makes me a bit nervous. Like if I do something to upset the balance it will all come tumbling down around me. I hate the way that my brain works! I am trying so hard to appreciate the good days and it feels so good to really feel the smile on my face but why cant that be the end of it? Why do I have to think 5 steps ahead? It is so frustrating. I want to live in the moment but it really seems to piss off Depression and his new addition to the CC family, Anxiety.

Depression alone was a horrible place to be in. The feelings if worthlessness, misery, despair and hate BUT I knew where I was with it. Things made sense. I felt like I deserved to be there. Anxiety? That is a whole new experience, and if I am honest, what a shitter of one! I feel like I am walking on eggshells and I hate not understanding. Although I am notably very self aware with my issues, this is completely new water, and treacherous at that! It’s like Depression knew he was losing a grip on me so he called in for some back up. Sneaky bastard.

Now, like I say, I am actually in a good place. Sat in the garden, sun on my skin, birds singing, 90’s dance music on in the background and lot’s to look forward to. The familiar click click of the keys on my laptop are as soothing as ever. Something seems to be in the background though and I cant for the life of me put my finger on what it is. I know it isn’t good though. It seems dark, like a smudge on your sunglasses. Cold, like the random breeze that catches you and reminds you it is still actually only April. Like a warning that things can change in an instant. The thing that messes with my head is the not knowing. I can deal with stuff when I am in control, when I know the facts and I can plan. I am definitely a planner, even if I do catastrophize and plan for the worst, it’s still a plan. When I cant plan, I start to lose control a bit and then that is when Depression and Anxiety see a nick in my armour and start to pick.

Thing is, they don’t realise that I am on to them and like fuck am I going to let them drag me back to where they have had me most of this year. It has taken me a lot of blood, sweat, tears and broken nails to get myself out of my hole again. I’m currently in the process of cementing the buggar up! It used to be my safe place. Cool, dark, quiet and safe. I felt like no one could get me in there. The thing I have realised is, I was actually in the hole with the thing that could hurt me more than anyone or anything ever has. ME! Until I learn to love myself, truly and completely, I am not always going to be safe for myself.

So, along with all the other, more material things, like uni and my nutrition course and training for the Great North Run, I am now more determined than ever to sort out my head, once and for all. The distraction and avoidance techniques are fail safes and have helped me this far, but I cant keep relying on them long term. Not on their own. As the fear of failure is too strong. I am depending on my success too much and if something was to go wrong, something out of my control, it could potentially destroy me. I am more a straw house at the moment. I want to be made of bricks!

So, the antidepressants will be a main factor in my daily routine now, and I am OK with that. They work. I am also making the first tentative steps into the world of CBT. Counselling was very beneficial but I do believe I got what I needed out of that. I know now that bad things happened and they weren’t my fault. What I need to do now is retrain my brain. Although I do try to find positives, I want to change my negative thought processes. My overthinking needs to be addressed but most of all I want to understand me, as much as I possibly can. When I can understand myself, hopefully that will take me onto the next step of self appreciation and even self love.

Ultimately, if I cant love me, how can I expect anyone else too. And lets face it, as bat shit crazy as I actually am, I do tend to have some pretty awesome qualities…….. so I am told 😉

Ok lovely people, that is enough random crap from me. Off to enjoy the sun! While we still have it. Have a lush day wherever you are. If you are having a bad day, just have a day. Those dark clouds will move eventually


CC xx

(Prescription) Drugs DO work!

Since the beginning of being open and honest about my fight with Depression and more recently, anxiety, I was always determined to stay away from antidepressants or tried to believe that I didn’t need them and I could manage in other ways. I suppose partly I was hoping that I could believe I wasn’t as bad as I am but mostly it was actually just a genuine  fear of them. When I was younger they didn’t get a good hype and you were thought of as crazy if you took them, although I campaign constantly to try and erase stigma, it can still have an effect even 20 or so years later.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t try some. It was one of the reasons my fear grew and my stubbornness kicked back in. Citalopram sent me, well manic is the only way I can describe it. I couldn’t sleep at all, even less than I do now, I felt constantly buzzed and could sit still even less than usual. Sertraline gave me the worst kidney pain imaginable and ruined my family holiday last year. I was in so much pain I was debating going to the hospital in Turkey! So although there are loads of SSRI’s, I believed that they  just weren’t for me. Until last month.

This year has been hard so far, to the point I was starting to worry about my state of mind again. I have cried so many tears, screamed, shouted, pushed people away and just generally been a mardy arse! Nothing was working, my motivation was drying up, my exercise has taken a step back as I just haven’t had the energy. The days have been dark most of the time where if I am honest, a lot of time I just wanted to give up. To just exist quietly. I have been “faking it” an awful lot but never seeming to quite “make it”. I had to admit defeat. I needed help. My coping techniques were just not working properly any more. So another trip back to the doctor, signed off sick long term as work was unfortunately a large stressor, I doubt I will ever be back in that office if I am to be completely honest. It’s just too dangerous for me. Another conversation with the doctor about antidepressants and this time, I gave in and accepted another chance at a different drug.

Hand on heart, the first 3 weeks were brutal. I didn’t get happier, in fact I think I actually dipped even lower. Dark thoughts and motives returned but thankfully more ideations than actual concrete plans this time. I was so prepared to just sack the drugs off. They clearly don’t work. I’m broken. Nothing will “fix me”.

But then, I woke up one day last week and I didn’t feel so down. I felt a flicker of hope. I smiled before 9am and even more sensational, before coffee!! I didn’t feel the tug of despair deep in my gut anymore, it was more just a gentle ache. The thing is, it literally changed that quick. Over night. My friend said it would and to be honest I thought she was mad to begin with, but it did! Like a finger snap. I’m not fixed, not by a long shot, but I feel a little less broken than I did. So, as painful as it is to admit, I was wrong. Drugs DO work!

A conversation I had on Friday has had me thinking about this more over the weekend. My friend had admitted they were trying to wean themselves off their tablets. I asked why. (By the way, before I go any further DO NOT TRY TO COME OFF ANTIDEPRESSANTS WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR! It is incredibly dangerous, even missing doses can have a huge impact!) If we were on medication for say, diabetes, we wouldn’t think about trying to skip doses and come off something that was helping us. Why do we feel like we can do that with antidepressants? Because we don’t feel they are “real” medication? Because we think once we feel better again we are better? Why do we struggle to admit that if they are working they must be a good thing? Stigma, judgement and opinions have a lot to answer for! I wonder how many people have put themselves back in their recovery or have suffered when they didn’t have to because of what they think others thought? Hands up please. I know both mine are in the air.

Having a look at statistics today, the amount of prescriptions for antidepressants and other mental health drugs has increased from 31 million in 2006 to over 65 million in 2016. They cost the NHS £780,000 a day in the UK. Perhaps more shockingly but interestingly, there has been a 54% increase in the number of children prescribed them. What do we think of that? Personally, although I hate to think of anyone suffering as it is truly horrible, it shows that more people are becoming aware of these issues. More people are willing to admit they are struggling and ask for help. I wouldn’t say medication is an “easy option” and it certainly isn’t for everyone. I believe other forms of help should be sourced before or alongside the medication route, like talking therapies, but they do hold their place in society and for a lot of people, they are a necessary part of day to day life. No one should feel ashamed for doing what will ultimately help them. They should be congratulated on taking themselves seriously and being a priority.

Life is stressful enough. Bad stuff happens and even the strongest of people can have days, weeks or even months where they struggle. If help is out there, whether in pill form or whatever, use it! We are lucky to have free health care, we are lucky to have so many options and having choices in our health and well being. A healthier lifestyle is ultimately a happier life and who doesn’t want to be happy?

So, my name is CC and I am on fluoxetine and for the first time in my life, I am OK with it, because it helps me be a better me!

CC xx

A letter to my past self……

Dear little CC,

I know sometimes you think that there is no point any more. I know since you were small you have often felt like you lived in the shadows. That to be brutally honest it was the safest place to be at times, out of the way. Making no noise, crying silently into your pillow wondering why all this was happening.

I know it can be scary, hearing things you cant see. Your imagination running riot and turning up the music as loud as you can without drawing attention to yourself. I know you think you should be able to do something to help, that in some ways you even think somehow it is all your fault. It was never your fault. None of it. You were just a child.

What you will learn is that life can be really cruel. It will shot a lot of awful stuff at you. People will hurt you. Physically, emotionally and mentally. You will retreat. You will numb yourself to save yourself from the pain. Yes, the physical pain hurts but the real pain is the emotional pain. This is what will make you who you become. It will shape your future as you will be able to use your experience, your empathy and your honesty to help others. You have to learn to talk first. This will be one of the hardest lessons that you ever have to learn. How to talk and to attach emotion to things in your life, things you spent so long detaching yourself from.

There will be people that you put your trust in, who you lean on and who you love, that will leave you. Some reasons will be easy to understand, some will be heart breaking, some will be frustrating and some you just need to blow a kiss to the door closing behind them as they don’t deserve to be in your life. Trust me, I know there will be times when you feel so lonely, that you feel like you have pushed people away but you will be left with the most amazing people in your life. The one’s who love and support you in every way. Who are with you through the good, the bad and the absolutely ugly. You will drive them batty in every way as you are a hormonal nightmare! A complete mardy mare! But not once, even the newest people to enter your life, not once will they even think about ditching you or walking away. These are the people that are worth their weight in saffron!

CC, you are not broken, you are not wired wrong, you didn’t do anything to deserve the cards that were dealt, it was just how life panned out for you. What is important to remember is, it is an illness. Depression, anxiety and all the others, they are illnesses. You couldn’t have prevented them any more than you could have stopped catching a cold. The thing that you will do different is you wont succumb. You nearly will. It will very nearly destroy you. You will feel like you have lost everything. But you will fight. You will change and grow and turn all the negatives into positives.

You will live your life completely arse over tit. First baby at 19, married at 25, baby number 2 at 27. Then after a pretty much complete depressive breakdown at 32, you will realise that it is time for YOU. You will realise just how much you have to live for. You will reach people through a blog, through your volunteer work, through TV and radio and social media. You will be honest and real including sweaty, crazy selfies that show just how much exercise helps you. This will be your calling, this will be your reason for being. You will start university, yes university, at the ripe age of 33 so that you can go on and help people who have suffered like you. You will achieve things you never thought possible. You will be win awards and run half marathons and fundraise for charity.

CC, bad days will always be there. There will be days where you feel fat, ugly, worthless, lonely, unloved, hurt and all the rest. Depression is a liar! It will trick you, it will make you tired, it will make you lose motivation, it will have you thinking you should quit what you are doing because you think you will fail. DONT QUIT! Every time a voice in your head tells you “you cant” do something, you will go ahead and do it! You will get called stubborn but let me tell you, that is one hell of a quality to have. It is what will keep you alive and keeping you fighting, not just you but for everyone else who suffers.

You will make a difference CC. You will help more people than you could ever realise because you will be you. In full, raw and uncut honesty. You don’t sugar-coat anything. You are straight to the point, no bushes beaten, you say what you think, sometimes before you actually think, but you are sincere. You love with all your heart and you will give everything your all. You will put yourself out there, you will receive criticism and everyone will have an opinion on you and your life but you can handle it. The good and the bad as it is all for a higher purpose. It is all in the hope that one small raindrop can eventually cause a tidal wave and mental health stigma will be fought.

Dry your eyes CC, put that cheeky smile on your face and remember, bad things happen to good people but those good people take them and use them. You are in charge of you and who you become. You are strong and you are independent and Depression will not define you.

You will be proud to be you one day CC!


Today CC xx


Life is like a poker game

Do you ever feel like you have been giving a seriously crap hand? Like, you try to do your best, you haven’t committed any serious crimes, your drinking can still just about be classed as recreational and you do try and do your bit to help others, even if you do turn into some kind of crazed animal at certain times of the month (ladies, we all do it). Yet, someone, somewhere, depending on what you believe, sometimes seems to take great pleasure absolutely messing with you.

I was having a chat with a lovely man today, chatting about my story and Red Balloons and stuff and he asked me, “do you think these things in your life have been a test?” I suppose I never looked at it like that, but yes! And along the lines of a bloody hard maths test with like 75 questions to answer in 10 minutes with no calculator and a broken pen!

Do you know what, yeah, I have had a lot to deal with in my short 33 (yes, short!) years of life. I am starting to realise more and more that things like my life don’t happen much to “ordinary” people. Yet, to me, in my slightly warped little mind, these things obviously happened to everyone. I shouldn’t whinge as there are so many more people worse off than me. I don’t need to talk about things with people, they don’t need to listen to my crap. I just need to get on with things. Put that incident in a little box in my brain, not deal with it and my mind is of course so HUGE that those boxes will never effect me again. Can I say, what a load of…….. poo!

I am very aware that people have things a lot worse than me. But, those people aren’t me. Everyone copes with things in very different ways. I spent so much of my life losing myself so that things that had happened could mentally “unhappen” that I ended up losing myself and my self worth. I ended up losing the whole point. But it wasn’t a choice. This is what I want to stress to people today. I would NEVER choose to feel the way I do. I would never choose to be so exhausted. I would never choose to feel like such a burden. The very same way I would never choose to have the flu. Or a broken bone.


Depression is a very real, and at times, very destroying illness. You basically rot away from the inside. The worst symptom, sometimes not even being aware until it is very nearly too late. Or in a shocking increase of scenario’s, until it actually is too late. It can kill you. Yet, people still struggle. People still play ignorant. People still judge. Ignorance is bliss and all that. If you don’t broach the subject, it’s not real. If I don’t ask how she is, she wont be able to tell me and I can still pretend everything is A OK.

Do you know what? I get it. I get the fear behind mental health. It’s a very scary subject for a lot of people. It is hard when you are reading stuff or listening to stuff to not start to psychoanalyse yourself to a certain degree. The way you do when you Google your symptoms as you have had a bad head for a week and it tells you, you have a brain tumour or something.

What we need in this country, somehow, is more knowledge. More information. More teaching. We need to start teaching primary school children the signs. We need to start teaching them that it is an illness. We need to stop the media sensationalising people negatively who suffer with mental health problems. Did you know, a schizophrenic is much more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else? Ask yourself, how much do you REALLY know about anxiety/depression/bipolar/PTSD etc. Did you know Alzheimer’s is classed as a mental health illness? Would you be able to spot the signs if someone around you was suffering in silence? If you thought someone was, what would you do? Honestly?

Ignorance is bliss. But ignorance also causes stigma. Ignorance can kill. There are so many stereotypes about mental illnesses, too many to list unfortunately but let’s take Depression. I don’t spend all day every day crying – although yes, when I am on a downer my chances of crying is greatly heightened. Something I hate as I hate crying. I don’t spend all day in bed with the curtains closed, although I do tend to have regular day time naps IF I can fit them in as I don’t sleep well at night. I do that as a form of helping myself NOT as a factor of my illness. I get washed and generally brush my hair. Or at least I try to make it semi presentable. I keep as clean a house as I can with a hyper 4 year old boy. I volunteer, I exercise, I go to college. Yet, I am a sufferer of severe depression. To look at me, or to read my more positives blogs, I am sure there are some cynics out there. But please, it is very real to me. It is very painful to me. It can be very destructive for me.

The difference for me, the same as for many others I know or have read about, is, we take the cards we have been dealt and we use them to our advantage. We might not win the game by obvious tactics, but we take what we have and we make it work for us. We have perfected our poker faces and it’s game on! We don’t let our circumstances make us a victim, it makes us a fighter. Although we have days where we feel very weak, what we are actually doing is becoming stronger. We want to get better. I want to get better. I will do anything I possibly can to get better or, probably more accurately as there is no standard cure, get to a place where the bad days are very few and far between. I use my bad things, my memories, my emotions and I place them in my passion to help others. I will talk honestly about my story because I don’t want anyone out there thinking they are alone.

If I can help the bloke on his way to work, if I can help the lass sitting at home with a cold cup of coffee, tears running down her face as the bairns run riot, if I can help the teenage beauty queen or the war veteran who believes in the British stiff upper lip; if I can help any of these people, nothing I have been through or felt will be in vain.

This is my path now. This is where I am meant to be, doing what I was put here to do. My age means nothing, but my experiences could do. My honesty and integrity are the cards I will use in this game. And I will never give up talking the talk. I will never give up being the voice of those who aren’t as able to be as vocal.

And I wont give up in general. No matter how impossible this “test” might seem at times.

CC xxScreenshot_20180315-164329.jpg




Barriers are everywhere! They are a nuisance even if they are there for a reason. They stop you leaving a car park without faffing on having to pay, they stop you sneaking into your favourite places for free (I would assume, not that I have ever done that…… ahem), they stop you from getting close to Tom Hardy at public events! But the worse barriers are those that you put up yourself, in your mind. They stop you realising your full potential, they stop you trying new things, they delay spontaneity, they make you believe you are not worthy of what is on the other side. They are basically a pain in the backside!

Now there are loads of different barriers I could talk about, but as I am all about the healthy lifestyle and exercise I bet you know where I am going with this. Yep, the fact that so many people seem to actually FEAR physical activity. Setting up Red Balloons and it being what it is, I expected it to be a slow burner. The thing is, I believe 100% in what I am offering and I WILL make a difference. Red Balloons WILL be a success. I want to make exercise fun, easily accessible, something that people WANT to do, not just need to do. The benefits far outweigh any negatives.

So, lets look at the barriers that could be affecting people. I am one of these people, I have broke through many to get where I am, but let’s be honest, there will always be another one somewhere along the line. What changes is your ability to believe in how strong you are, the belief that you can smash through this barrier, like the others. Instead of looking and focusing on the problem, you will look for a solution. It is all a form of training your brain to access that confidence and motivation. It is not a quick journey and it sure as hell isn’t easy. I am over 2 years into mine and I still have so much else I need and want to do. They say patience is a virtue, it may well be, but it is a bloody hard skill to learn. Yes, a skill because without it life gets a lot more messy in my experience.

Barriers I have discovered/learnt:

  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Cost
  • Thinking your fitness levels aren’t up to scratch
  • Social anxiety
  • Physical ailments
  • Lack of access to facilities
  • Thinking that it will be like school (I HATED PE and all I would do is walk or dance like a tool)

There are many more than this, you may have your own and I know you will be aware of them. Some people may call them excuses, to a degree I would sometimes be inclined to agree in certain circumstances but they are your personal battle. No one has the right to belittle them, make you feel bad for thinking like that. No one knows what is going on in your mind or your life. I have learnt and proved that NO ONE knows what is going on behind closed doors. This is why I want to help, support and encourage. Yes these battles may seem completely impossible to win but I am here to say “Yes you can”. We can always find a way. Screenshot_20180310-091114.jpg

You don’t have to be a member of a gym or a running club, do you know what? You don’t even have to leave the house! Although I will say, I do strongly encourage even 5 minutes outside somehow for its other benefits, Vitamin D for example. The biggest part of this whole process is finding something that you enjoy. It may be yoga, it may be an aerobic video, it could be dancing round like a loony with the kids (one of my favourite things to do ever!), it could be walking the dog, going for a run or shotting weights around. In regards to gear, you don’t need fancy gym stuff in the house, you don’t need the latest Tikiboo leggings and whatever trainers are advertised as “the best”. Saying that though, I am craving the new Nike Reacts! But what I mean is, look around you and see what you could do. Try squats when waiting for the kettle to boil, lunges (are the devil) during an advert break, step ups on your stairs while the kids are brushing their teeth. All these little things add up and cost nothing, the added bonus, no one will even see you. But you will have that little feeling of, yes, I did that. Every day your confidence will grow a little bit more and something new could be added.

Another tip, what have you always wanted to do? Get back into swimming? Run 5km? Learn to lift weights? Go to a class? Learn a full dance routine to one song? Join a gym? Write it down. Somewhere you can see it pretty much every day. I am a fan of Post It notes for these kind of things as they are shiny and colourful. Having an ultimate goal, no matter how impossible it might seem at that moment in time, can be the ultimate motivation. Try and imagine how you will feel when you smash it. That sense of absolute euphoria, confidence, pride, general amazingness. On your bad days, try and focus on these feelings. The important thing is doing what you want to do, what you will enjoy. You cant do something because someone tells you it is good, or that it helped them, or that it is the newest trend. Enjoyment is key because then it isn’t scary any more, it isn’t a chore. That will be what reaps the biggest results. Trust me, I have been there.

Ok, let’s be honest. We all have bad days. Days where we barely want to open our eyes never mind do anything. What I need to say is, this is ok too. Have a bad day, embrace the bad day, do whatever it is that you need to do to self care. Rest is essential to a healthy lifestyle. I know to those that actually know me, I am being a huge hypocrite right now as I struggle massively with this part of my life, I actually need help to relax. I need people to pretty much force me to stop and even then I cant always enjoy it. My illness forces me to believe that if I stop I wont start again, so I go too far the other way and risk burning myself out. As horrible as it can be, sometimes you have to go in your head and listen to those voices that the louder voices try to continuously swamp. Those small voices are you! The loud voices are whatever issue you may be dealing with. Those loud voices WANT you to fail. They want you to believe you cant do this, that you are not worthy of trying to do something. I am telling you, you are!

The first step isn’t doing the moving or the exercise, or even believing you can. The first step is wanting to. Do you want to be fitter? Do you want to be stronger? Do you want to want to manage your weight and learn more about a healthier lifestyle? If you do, then you have started your journey. Well Done! That is the hard part over. Now, it’s time to start planning. This is where you may need help and support. This is where I, or your family and friends, or your GP or whoever is available in your area come in. I am here to help you believe in yourself, I am here to help shout the message of how exercise is essential for mental well being as much as it is for physical benefits. I am my own walking case study. I am doing this all from my own journey. I know the hard parts, the darkest days, the days where you feel a failure. But I also know the amazing days, where you beat your internal enemies, where the endorphins make you feel superhuman, when you hit a mini target you have set.

So, get that sledgehammer and SMASH that first wall. You CAN do this, you WILL do this and I cant wait to be on this journey with you. I have my cheerleader outfit and pom Screenshot_20180310-091022.jpgpoms at the ready! Woooo, go you!!


CC xx

It’s time to talk about……… suicide.


This is going to be quite a painful blog to write I think but I feel it is time to be brutally honest with myself about certain events, well one in particular. Since my counselling I have tried to learn the tricky skill of not burying stuff so deep I can ignore it yet also not dwelling on things. Although I have touched on this several times in other blogs, I think I have avoided really examining it. Something that I know I need to do in order for it to be removed from the “crap” box in my head.

I suppose I never expected a memory to bring back such intense feelings, so when a post popped up on my Facebook memories that reminded me what today is, it has caught me off guard and I am struggling to process it. Hence the blog, getting the words and feelings out of my head, onto paper, well screen, always helps.

OK, what am I on about you must be thinking? Some of you might have guessed maybe, I suppose it depends how much you have read previously or in what way you know me. But this weekend marks 1 whole year since I decided to end my life. Obviously, I was unsuccessful, thankfully! But the whole range of emotions I was feeling at that time came flooding back this morning and if I am honest I am feeling quite overwhelmed. It terrifies me that firstly I was in that frame of mind, to the point I had it all planned out but secondly, that the emotions are still so raw.

I suppose amazes me is how very good I am at hiding how I really feel. No one, not even those closest to me had ANY idea of what was going through my head. No one knew I had pretty much every detail planned, so that it would look like an accident, so my kids wouldn’t know what their Mam had done, that the life insurance would still potentially pay out, so that my husband, kids, family and friends didn’t have to know exactly how much internal pain I was in. That way they wouldn’t dwell on how they could have helped me, they wouldn’t feel guilty that they should have seen the signs or should have known that I wasn’t right. I made sure that although it was obvious I was going through a bit of a bad time at work and I wasn’t in the greatest of moods most of the time, no one knew just how much I didn’t want to exist.

In one way it was pure fluke that what should have happened didn’t, yet in another, like I said in my blog the other day, I believe there is definitely a reason I didn’t die that day. I most most certainly have someone watching over me and to me, to help me feel better, I believe that that is my Nana. She couldn’t let me make such a massive mistake as she could see that there was light coming in my journey. That although my bad days can still be particularly bad, there is always at least some good, even if you have to look extra carefully to find it. That I am  not just a fighter, I am a survivor.

Suicide is something that people are still very careful with or even ignorant towards. You hear the usual “selfish” comments and I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I get that. I have even thought similar things myself in my life time. Before I understood. Before I had felt those controlling, mind consuming thoughts where all you can think about is how and when you can do it. If you have never felt such raw pain, if you have never had such loud white noise in your head of the crazy thoughts that just don’t make sense, if you haven’t felt so crushingly desperate to just not exist you cant possibly understand. I would not wish the feelings of loneliness, extreme sadness or even the anger on anyone, not even my worst enemy. The feelings of complete self hatred are brutal, they make you bitter, they twist your perception of reality, they make you honestly believe that the world would be a much happier place without you in it. All you want is silence, you want the pain to stop, the voices to be quiet. You crave nothingness, complete and utter emptiness. No one will help you with this, you believe no one understands you, you feel complete guilt that you are having these thoughts and that how you are as a person is messing up your kids and your family and your friends. You believe you are incapable of being loved. Why would anyone love such a broken shell of a person? How could they? All you bring is misery, bitchiness and anger. You feel like you are ruining peoples lives.

Today, those feelings feel more than just a memory. I am not in that place, I do want to live, I have big plans! But the memories of how I felt, just 365 days ago feel so very real. Like me but not me. I can still remember the determination I had, I can still remember the frustration when what I had planned didn’t happen. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t even get this right!  I can still remember going out the next day and getting so mind numbingly drunk I did not give a flying fig what could happen to me. If I numbed it all with booze I knew my mind wouldn’t be in any state to be think. Although I was with very good friends, I put myself into an incredibly dangerous position and I did not care, not one bit.

What I did do though, is be honest. I told my best friend what I had tried to do. Seeing the tears in her eyes really got me, the pleading that I get help and making me promise to NEVER do anything like that again. I pride myself on making promises I know I will keep, although in that moment I think I had kind of a fingers crossed moment going on. I didn’t mean what I said. It was so horrible to see that look in her eyes though and I am glad I told her as if I look back now, it was a turning point. As much pain as I was in, as much as I was hurting so much, I could not hurt those that love me. I may not always feel that I am capable of being loved but I do know I am. These people love me, unconditionally, even when I truly hate myself. I will do anything for those that I love, I couldn’t hurt them in that way.

I cant say the feelings, the thoughts or the desire to die went quickly. It didn’t. If I am honest it took months. But I don’t have them now. I do very occasionally have thoughts of wanting to disappear, but not to die. For me, that is a big improvement and it shows me that no matter how bad I feel on my bad days, I am not in that place anymore. No matter how exhausted I feel just existing, I know that exhaustion is a feeling of being alive. Truly, I am thankful to be alive.

If you are having these thoughts yourself, I ask you, no, I BEG you, to talk to someone. Everyone’s life is worth it. No matter how much you feel it isn’t. If someone talks to you about wanting to end their life, please resist expressing any feelings of disgust or contempt. Please just listen. Sometimes that is all anyone needs. An ear. I know it can feel impossible to understand, especially if the person has kids but I need you to realise, these feelings and thoughts are not a choice. It is a symptom of an illness. They will feel like it is their only way out. They need support and love not judgement. You might not agree, it might be frustrating when you believe they have a good life. They may have a good job, nice house, gorgeous children, lots of friends etc. That does not mean they are immune to ill mental health.

If people could just learn to listen I think a lot more people could be saved. This is my opinion. There may not be a cure for ill mental health as a whole, but I do believe there are ways that could enable a prevention.

Thank you for reading this. I know it wont necessarily have been a nice or easy read and if I have triggered anyone, I do apologise but this is a subject that NEEDS to be talked about. The statistics are becoming terrifying!

Much love

CC xx

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact:

Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page


Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text 07786 209697


Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill


The Silver Line – for older people
Call 0800 4 70 80 90


Why Red Balloons? Well, let me tell you…

I’ve been blogging a while now, well at least attempting to come across as a blogger when really all I feel is like someone who spouts randomness but is lucky that some people like to read it! A lot has changed since my first blog and I get asked quite often, “What is Red Balloons?” “What are you about?” etc so I decided, now that I have a few new readers and I have officially launched Red Balloons as a living, breathing entity, I would explain who I am and what I do, as well as why. A little insight to the crazy world of CC!

Very brief history, I have suffered from Depression for many years now, although extremely luckily for me, it was quite deep under the surface. I had ways of managing it where I could even forget I actually had it. Last year though, I had the worst flare up I have had in over 13 years. A flare up that very nearly cost me my life. My metaphorical bath was over flowing at an alarming pace and I could not see a way to let the water out safely. All of the things I had tried so hard to bury in my lifetime were determined to escape. Quite simply, they were too strong and I broke, into several pieces.

Luckily again, my attempt was unsuccessful. If I didn’t believe in Guardian Angels before, I certainly do now. And what I have realised is, it wasn’t my time. I have things I need to do here, things to achieve, people to help, a difference to make somehow, even if only a tiny one.

Counselling and my lovely friend introduced me to writing as a form of therapy and from there, this blog was born. My first blog post got 21 views. I was over the moon! I don’t write for others, unless asked for a blog piece for a particular reason, but that people chose to read what I had wrote was a lovely feeling. I began to feel that maybe if I could explain what was going on in my life, it could help someone else who was suffering, it could help someone not feel so isolated and alone, it could help those who have never really had any dealings with Depression or other mental health issues understand a little bit more. Although the word is getting louder, mental health problems are still HUGELY stigmatised. I am determined to keep campaigning for as long as is necessary to try and ease this stigma, a mental health issue can be just as crippling as a physical condition. Just because you cant see it, or maybe dont understand it, it does not mean the damage is any less severe, that the pain is any less than that of a broken limb.

So, why the name? The Red part, although coincidentally my favourite colour, was in homage to RED January. This charity event as such (to do some sort of physical exercise every day for the whole of January) was such an instrumental part of getting me onto the path I am on now. It was the very start of me being able to mix my passions, mental health and fitness, as well as being able to raise over £300 for Mind. It was the start of me giving back, doing my bit to help in any way possible. Through RED, I have met a whole new family, I am part of an amazing community who I am so proud of! We celebrate each other, support each other, virtually hold each other up when we are not strong enough to do it ourselves. EVERYONE should have a community like RED. I truly believe the world would be that bit nicer a place!

Balloons? Well in the spirit of me being different my version of the balloon metaphor is the opposite of the standard image. As a rule, the balloons signify being able to let go. You put your worries/stresses into the balloon and then you let them go. Yeah, I supposed I get that. For me though, every balloon signifies a part of my life. When things start to go a bit tits up, a balloon breaks free and starts to float away. I lose control. I need to chase that balloon to catch it, to get it back in the bunch where it belongs. I need to take control and hold on firmer. Sometimes more than one balloon breaks free and it can seem nearly impossible to chase them all down, but I don’t give in until all balloons are caught and back as close to me as possible. Also, balloons are a sign of fun, of freedom, of happiness. How can you not smile at a big bunch of gorgeous Red Balloons??

From the blog, I went on to approach Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind to do more charity events for my local service. I have now successfully raised over £1000 for them through a 10km and my very first (brutal) Half Marathon. During the chat I got taken on as a volunteer, first for anti stigma, then peer support and finally, recently for Active Minds (all info can be found on their website 🙂 ) It was during certain discussions that a tiny idea I had, of what I would love to be able to offer, became public. Exercise had saved my life, in more ways than one. I wanted to show how exercise could benefit you so much mentally as much as physically. That you didn’t need to be ripped or a marathon runner or anything to be able to utilise it’s benefits. Everyone starts somewhere! Exercise, physical activity should be fun, not a chore. You should WANT to do it. It might start off a bit hard to get used to making time to begin with but if you persevere it WILL become a habit. It gives you time for you, doing something that only has good results.

Mind saw the passion I had, saw potential in my idea and encouraged me to go forward for my group facilitation and peer support qualification. I was also on the development team for National Mind’s new peer support toolkit. My confidence and belief started to grow so I decided to take the opportunity with both hands and take the leap. I set up a Facebook page to start to send the message out. Through an amazing friend, I managed to secure the perfect venue, that support me and my ideas. Then it was time, Red Balloons is now a fully fledged, active, physical, peer support group! I now have the exciting yet nerve wracking job of ringing HMRC and making it all “official” and opening bank accounts etc. The business side of it, not the most thrilling tasks but all exciting in their own way!


A brief description of what happens at one of my sessions, it is a mix of discussion and activities designed to get you moving. The activities will be chosen weekly by members, it could be anything from stretching to circuits to a team sport like rounders. All activities will be able to be scaled to a persons fitness/physical ability or an alternative option offered. Discussion wise, this is where people can be as open as they like or just listen. We will discuss barriers of exercise, why we feel people are wary of physical activity, discuss ideas to get us moving. I want my members to have ideal goals, maybe it will be to run a 5km, maybe it will be gaining the confidence to join a gym, maybe it is to make a personal pledge that they will do something for a certain amount of time a day. I want them to brag about their accomplishments, to speak excitedly about potential ideas, to be honest about how it is helping them or about anything that may be worrying them. I want to create a safe, open place where the emphasis is on being healthy, in all aspects, mind, body and soul. I want to be able to help people realise their true potential and to believe in themselves. I want to gain just as much knowledge and support from my members as I am able to offer them. I want to trap a sense of community spirit. Getting people to get together, to talk, to have fun, to get active, to support and to encourage.


It is very early days, I am riddled with self doubt sometimes but what I do have is passion and a huge belief in what I am offering. I want Red Balloons to float nationwide eventually. I have high hopes and big dreams. Sometimes I think maybe I am being too ambitious. But no, ambition is ingrained in me, as is the want, the need, to help others and give back in any way I can. I will do whatever is needed to get these balloons as high as they possibly could go!

So, in a nutshell, that is Red Balloons. My dream for a better life. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, details below. If anyone is in a place where they could help spread the word, newspapers etc, please get in touch. Your help and support would be hugely appreciated. On that note, I shall leave that here. Looking forward to Red Balloons third session on Tuesday 😀

Much Love

CC xx


Facebook: Red Balloons

Instagram: @girlwiththe_redballoon

Twitter: @balloons_red

Why I run

I started this blog back in April as a way to supplement the weeks I wasn’t seeing my counsellor and to set my self targets/goals. I could basically either brag about myself or moan, regular readers will know it has been a journey that would make one interesting rollercoaster. I suppose in a way it is my safe place where I can say what the hell I want, because it is all mine. I am acutely aware that people do upon occasion read my random musings and I am so grateful. I just want to say that anything I say is never meant to offend, upset, trigger or affect negatively in any way. It is just me, being me. 100% raw, honest CC.

Now, what I have begin to realise more and more is that misery attracts misery. I am, wherever I possibly can be, a massively positive person. Someone could have me on the floor, kicking me in the ribs and if I liked their shoes I would tell them……. before punching them in the private area. Yet recently I have started to become very self depreciating, very angry and mopy and just generally a bit of a miserable cow! A frown doesn’t suit my English dandelion complexion! However, from a blog point of view, I have started to hit some of my highest views and visitor numbers. To be honest this kind of unsettles me and leaves me in a bit of a limbo. I am so very proud of my blog. I am never fake, I never lie, I never beat around the proverbial bush. I appreciate so much anyone that reads Red Balloons. I hope that me being so open and honest can help people. That it can make people aware of mental health issues and how it could affect them or how it could be affecting some round them. Maybe I shouldn’t be rocking the boat. Maybe I should just accept that some blogs will get more attention than others. I just want the positive side of things, the fight side, the fact that ill mental health does not have to dictate who you are and what you can achieve to be what shines through.

Anyway, having went for a trip round the block to get to the point of this blog, to get started. This will be a HUGELY positive blog, because today I feel positive. In fact, I feel like CC. I feel happy. Genuinely happy. I feel like I have made myself proud. I feel good. I have been more productive today before 11am than I have for the last few weekends, in total! And do you know the secret? Ssssshhhhhhh. Listen carefully……………. it’s because I could run!

I was laid in bed this morning, a habit I am starting to develop that I need to nip in the bud asap! I was feeling utterly lazy. I wasn’t hungover, I hadn’t slept great but it wasn’t the worst I have slept, I just couldn’t be arsed. Scrolling through Facebook as you do, and I was reading all the posts from my awesome RED community and I could see so many of them getting ready for park runs and long training runs and I started to get itchy feet! What was this? It’s been a while! The sun was streaming in the window, I knew it was cold but it looked like a gorgeous morning. I wanted to be out there! Right now. Yet, it still felt like a bit of a challenge to actually move from horizontal to vertical. So, I decided to make myself accountable. And how do you do that these days? You post your plan on Facebook! So it was 0739, I would get my arse out of bed in 6 minutes (I like nice round numbers) and I would go! No distance, no time, I would just run. To see what I could do.

Clock turned 0745 and that was it, I was up, with an encouraging arse kick by MB’s comment. “Go!” Yes, Go CC! Gym gear on, headphones in, my running playlist on loud, out the door and off I went! Not even a coffee first. I didn’t dare. This motivation feeling has been sadly lacking for a while now.

First thought, f*”k me, it’s flipping freezing! To begin my feet felt heavy, like I was having to concentrate on just getting one foot in front of the other, but as my legs started moving, my body started to warm up, my breath started to become hoarser, I could feel the smile on my lips getting bigger, bit by bit. I decided to run a route that I find visually stunning. The sun was blaring down on me and with every step I could feel all the tension, all the negativity of the last few weeks starting to lift. I found myself saying morning to people as they walked their dogs. I haven’t done that for a long time. I found my lips singing along to the songs playing loudly in my ears. It got easier with every metre. I have to listen to my body at the minute, I have had so many different twinges and injuries and illnesses, I didn’t want to exasperate any of them. I kept waiting for the familiar Achilles twinge, the calf tightness, but they didn’t come! I could keep going! I could feel my confidence oozing back, I could feel my brain starting to switch off for the first time in what feels like forever! All that was in my head was the music and the appreciation of being able to run somewhere so lovely.

I honestly expected to have to stop relatively early. 1km came and went, 2km, ok get to 2 mile CC, that will be fab considering what you have been doing. But no, I kept going. Because I could, because I was truly enjoying it, because I wasn’t ready to stop yet. 4km came and went and then, finally, at a point where my chest was saying come on, don’t push it, 5km hit! Yesssssss!!!! After nearly coughing up a lung, I couldn’t help myself and did a little dance on the spot. Go on CC! You are back baby!

5km might not seem a lot to some people. You might think 5km shouldn’t have been such a milestone for me considering it wasn’t that long ago that I was running them daily just because. Today though, I felt like I climbed a mountain. I feel like I have FINALLY smashed through the mental block I have had recently. It felt flipping amazing! I was singing (well miming, no way I would subject the public to my strangled cat tones) and had a proper spring in my step on the walk home. I was so tempted to do Glee style dancing but I resisted, just! I got the biggest genuine smiley selfie I have done in ages, IMG_20180224_091037_533.jpgeven I admit my eyes look shiny. Yes the laughter lines of my 30’s are suddenly becoming very apparent, but I just see that as a good thing. It reminds me, I love to smile. I love even more to laugh. It’s the best medicine. I started planning my day, but not in a “eurgh, I need to do this” it was an “OK, first I will do this, then this”.

Today is going to be filled with music. Loud music. Currently listening to some Soft Cell – Tainted love. What a tune! I don’t always listen to rave and chavvy stuff haha but I will never be ashamed that I do because I love it! It is going to be filled with college work and planning for next week’s Red Balloons session. It is going to be filled with healthy food, lots of coffee but more importantly, a tonne of smiles. I will talk to lush friends, laugh and just be content to be me, in this moment. Yes, there will be bad days, of course there will, I have an illness. Yet, a day like today can make those bad days and bad thoughts that little bit easier to handle. Good day memories can put a fluffy, shiny edge on a dark, sharp day. That is what gets me through. That is what keeps me going………

That is why I run!


Have a weekend that is filled with as much positivity, love and laughter as you can. If you are feeling low or bad though, don’t be ashamed. This will pass. Until it does though, I am here.

Lots of sunny smiles

CC xx



Darkness and Light

It’s going to be one those blogs where I am probably repeating a load of stuff I have said before but what I have started to realise is, that is exactly as it should be. I cant just say my bit once, draw a line and get on with things as that is not real life. If it was, well we would be carrying a lot less baggage as individuals! Imagine the ability to just be able to process something, analyse, evaluate and get rid of the thing that is driving you mad?! First time!! Wow! What a world we would live in!

Since we don’t, or at least I don’t, I obviously cant speak for everyone (although the way my gob goes ten to the dozen you would think I’d give it a damn good go!) I will just have to ramble away because, well put simply, because I want to! At the end of the day, you don’t need to read this but it has become something I need to do.

I do think it will be a blog of 2 halves. I am not all sad. I am not struggling with everything. Good, no, amazing things have been happening which are signs that although I feel like I am dragging myself through quicksand at the minute, I am still making progress. The cogs are still turning, the “bigger picture” is still being painted. The foundations are being put in place, maybe the builders are just having a break? Oh, they must be the council! *jokes*

OK, do I start with what the good or the bad bits? My head is very swirly at the minute and it can be hard to make things make sense so bear with me. I suppose I like to end my blogs on a positive note so lets go with the crappy bits. Why not ey? We all love a good rant. Now, where did I put my soap box??

I am SICK TO DEATH of feeling like crap! If it is not one thing, it is another and it is seriously starting to peeve me off! I NEED to exercise. I have to. I know this might sound utterly ridiculous to a lot of people but I quite literally need it to get through the day. It is my stress release, my feel good, my motivation, my pride, my success story. Without it, all my dominoes seem to fall at an alarming pace! Now, I know when you are injured or poorly you have to rest. Yeah that is fair enough. I didn’t always do that last year and I paid a small price some days. Yet this year I am doing as I should, but because I have been either ill or injured pretty much since New Year, I feel like my training and my fitness levels have decreased significantly. I feel like I am being punished for not being as strict with myself, that then makes me feel shame and crappy for “making excuses”. Then this kicks off my body issues. I start to see things again that people say aren’t there. There is a second chin, another tyre on the belly, my thighs are getting bigger, the bum I have worked so hard for is changing back. The list goes on. If you stood me in front of a mirror with a sharpie to mark the parts I currently dislike, well it would be an interesting picture. Screenshot_20180222-075639.jpg

I know this is all in my head. The fact that my scales have broke at home is probably a blessing as I cant weigh myself everyday. But for me it is torture because I cant weigh myself everyday. I have no idea if what I think is even right. So I start to overthink and it becomes of course you are right. All that hard work gone. It’s a tiring process honestly. I don’t want to be skinny/thin etc. What I want is be strong and healthy. What I want is to look in a mirror and see a body I am proud of. I want my mind to be healthy and focused and on point. All of this only happens for me when I can exercise. Addicted? Maybe. But as I have previously said, I am damn sure there are a lot worse things to be addicted to, especially with the frame of mind I am in at the moment.

I need to get out of this shame and disgust spiral and grab my motivation and determination back with both hands. I have the time, in a way, to train like a beast so you know what? As soon as this bloody cold does one, that is exactly what I am going to do! Ok, I am not where I wanted to be by this point in 2018 but do you know what? I am Queen of the Comebacks!

I got an email today that actually helped me see sense a bit (follow and subscribe to if you suffer from depression or anxiety etc. Brilliant!) The quote below  was like it was written personally for me:

“Being busier than busy itself can bring with it a sense of pride, a feeling of purpose, and usefulness.

Not forgetting too, that resilience, ball juggling, passion, and grit, are all qualities and skills to be admired, at the right time.

But do you know what else is admirable, the ability to know when to stop.

And then stopping.

Because we all need to stop at some point; to refuel, for maintenance, for repairs.

It’s the knowing when to stop before ill health demands that we stop, that’s the tricky bit.

That stopping bit?
It’s far from easy.
There will always be eleventy billion things to do in this conveyor belt of life, people to see, deadlines, bills, things.

But there is only one you. 

And you are much more important than you give yourself credit for.”

I might not believe it right now, but yes! I am!

So, lets change it round for the last part of this blog. Because I am a positive person and these things are what keep me going. This weeks achievements:

  • I held my very first, very own, peer support group, aptly named Red Balloons (of course). I was incredibly nervous. My faith in myself faltered constantly. What started as a tiny seed of an idea in my mind many months ago has grown into reality! Stood outside the gates waiting for any members who might turn up, I wanted to run away. I genuinely thought I couldn’t do it. I was kidding myself. Fast forward 1 hour later and I was elated! 5 people turned up. 5! I was over joyed. We talked, I explained what Red Balloons was and why I wanted to set it up. We made plans as to what we wanted to do next week. They thanked me. They were smiling! Did I help? Even a little bit? I really hope so. I know this will be a slow process, especially with it having a fitness element. People are nervous of exercise. One thing I do have though is PASSION. I genuinely believe in what I am doing and I am determined to shout the message as loud as I can to anyone who is willing to listen. I cant wait to see what next week brings!
  • I got a conditional offer to DURHAM UNIVERSITY!!!! Now, it is subject to certain grades which, honestly, I wont achieve now. That hasn’t dragged me down though as firstly to get the grades I have been getting with what has been going on, well I am chuffed to bits! That Durham even wanted to offer me and place has made my actual year! That they could see in my application that if I could get the right grades they would be happy to have me as a student? Wow! Secondly, my heart was already set on Teesside. It makes sense from a practical point but I just feel with what I am part of with the Steering Group and meeting some of the lecturers, it just felt right. I am at an Open Day there to see all about the Psychology side of things and I really cant wait. I have been ordering Sports and Exercise Psychology books already as I want to get a firm understanding and a good footing to be able to explain exactly what I want to do and why. It’s a very exciting time! One I NEVER believed I would ever have an opportunity to experience.

So yeah, I am feeling crappy, I am really struggling on mornings when they used to be the best time of day for me, but this is a blip. I know it is. I can change things round. Look what I have managed to do in less than 1 year already!Screenshot_20180222-075730.jpg

Lastly, I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you. Thank you to my close friends who hold me up when I am slipping down, who have stood by me through the bad times. Thank you to new friends who I am loving getting to know and who are bringing new laughter and experiences into my life, thank you to my virtual friends who are always there to support me, give me a kudos, tell me I am doing a great job. Such an amazing community. Thank you to those that came to Red Balloons. Thank you to Mind Middlesbrough and Stockton for setting me on the right path and helping in anyway they can. And lastly, thank you lot, who are still here at word 1602 reading my thoughts and feelings. You are all amazing and I am sincerely grateful to have you all as part of my life, one way or the other.

So, here is to Thursday! Hope you all have a fantastic day in any way you can

Much Love

CC xx

We all must change sometimes

Change – The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as…….

Nah, enough of that crap. But it is a subject that has been playing on my mind over the last few days and something that has been bugging me if I am honest. Some of us love change, love that every week or even every day is different, a new adventure. The rest despise it. They like to live where they know the “plan”, whether it be Taco Tuesday, Dress down Friday or just what their TV schedule is going to be.

Me? Well I like to think in a lot of ways I am in that annoying grey area you get when the circles over lap. In some ways I crave control and order. I work well under pressure, I like to know what is needed and when and get antsy if there isnt a routine of sorts. School holidays throw me out of whack! If you ask me, kids should have the same annual leave as adults. Get them ready for the working world 😉 …………………………… for anyone who is easily offended, that was a joke. Kind of!

However, I do embrace change. I am fully aware that change has to occur for things to develop. You have to make decisions without knowing what the final outcome is actually going to be. I find that exciting! Scary as well, but mainly exciting. Look at me now compared to this time last year. Granted, my personal circumstances dont look great on paper but ultimately they were my choices. They will help me become a better person. In fact they were two of the most “selfish” things I have ever done BUT I HAD TO. For me.

Look beyond that and what you see, I hope, is a lass that this time last year was terrified of even staying alive. Now, she has made monumental decisons over the last few months that will shape the future. Volunteering, starting college, about to go to uni, starting her own peer support group, being vocal about her mental health issues, helping others, about to run a marathon, etc.

I have so much to look forward to, I have achieved so much, yet the last few weeks the thing that seems to have changed the most is…..ME! My emotions are all over the place, I am losing grasp of my motivation and drive, issues I thought had been put to bed are starting to raise their ugly heads again and I feel, quite frankly, shit! Yesterday was an eye opener to me. I am used to the feelings of blah and sadness. Depression is being a massive dick at the minute and not seeming to give me more than one good day in a row, two if he is feeling particularly generous. Yesterday though, I had a whole new emotion I normally keep a tight lid on. Anger.

I am scared of my angry side. I struggle to control it properly and when it goes off, people get hurt. Often, innocent people. People who have done nothing but be there for me and want the best for me. Yet, in that angry phase comes pure hatred. Very occasionally it can be aimed at someone who has hurt me but mainly, it is aimed at me. Yesterday, I hated me. I hated my stupid head that couldnt focus, I hated my injuries that are stopping me from doing what I need to do to get my motivation back, I hated the insecurities that were playing around in my brain, I hated the voices in my head telling me everything was my fault – I was weak, worthless, an idiot, ugly, nasty, selfish. Oh the whole lot came out. So along with anger, was genuine sadness. A feeling of defeat. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, just vicious name calling and deafening darkness. I still believe I am not as low as I was – I can honestly say I want to live, but I sure as hell didnt want to be here. I didnt want to be me. I wanted to scream, shout, throw stuff and push everyone away as they didnt deserve this absolute mess of a person dragging them down to her depths of despair. Why would anyone want to put up with this person?

My ability to catastrophise things was in full swing. I hurt my calf on my long marathon training run the other day. Nothing serious, but certainly enough to halt my running for a few days. Oh well, that meant in my head, no way can you run a marathon. In fact, why bother running at all? These few days will see you getting fat again. You might as well, your skin is shocking, you look like a scruff and so on and so on. How can your own mind be so horrible? How can your own eyes look in a mirror and make your mind see an image that makes you feel so horrendous!? The only thing I could see was my faults. It took away all feelings of achievement, success, satisfaction at how much I have changed over the years. I felt like my head was going to explode! I couldnt be this person. I AM NOT THIS PERSON!

You see, for those who dont understand, a mental illness has the power to fully control you. It takes over your mind, body and even at times, your soul. You know what is happening, a bit like a puppet on a string in those old fairground shows, but can you hell change anything! It is one of the biggest fights you will ever have, trying to break free of those strings. Of getting back control. I believe that every scar is a blessing, a sign that you survived and stepped forward stronger but I tell you what, it is exhausting!

So, there I was, in my little funk, Depression pulling my strings. I could have just succumbed to it. I suppose many people wouldnt blame me if I had. It’s been one shitter of a bloody year so far. Maybe I do deserve to sit and lick my wounds. You know what though, that is not who I am. Even with this hideous illness that seems to be really attached to me, I am not a sad, angry, negative person. I am CC. I see silver linings, I hunt for the positives in every negative, so much so I probably make people vomit in their gobs sometimes. I use every bad thing as a springboard on to the next amazing thing. I am a good friend, a good listener. I believe everything happens for a reason and I am starting to believe in myself! I was not going back in my hole for anything!


So on to the last part, you can breathe a big sigh of relief, go on, I know you want to. Lent. Ok, I am the least religious person ever. Unless you want a massive explanation, to probably somehow be offended and a debate, I wouldnt ask me why. However I do see a purpose in Lent. It is the time where you give up something that is important to you, something that would be a huge struggle to survive without. The common ones – smoking booze (why, I have no idea), chocolate and other sweet stuff, bread etc.

I racked my brains yesterday as to what I could do, even posted a FB status, as you do these days. Yet nothing was clicking, nothing was what I wanted to do. I had sat stewing over all the above and more and I happened to glance at myself. That’s it – I would give up – ME! Not in all my entirity, obviously I am aware from what people tell me there are some pretty decent things about me. I wanted to draw a line though. To mark this as an official end to all the personal negativity, to stop letting the broken part of my mind win. Last time it did, it did nearly won physcially. Not on my watch Depression. So as I am all for symbolism, I gave up – my blonde hair! I have been blonde for over two years now. My hair is important to me, it is an extension of my personality. You could look back and probably see a pattern emerge. That miserable, angry, negative, blonde CC could do one! In her place, a new, determined, aware, brunette CC came forward. It was a shock to me, I went quite literally from one extreme to another but I think I needed to. I need to go forward  now onto my new adventure. I need this time to explore me, my needs, my wants. I need space, I need freedom and I need to come back fighting. The cracks in my brain may never be fully fixed, but if I can only keep them from opening more, that is a win in my eyes.

I wont be miraculously better any day soon but I sure as hell wont be the lass I was yesterday. I dont know who she was, where she came from or what but I tell you one thing, I kicked her arse!

To anyone struggling, you CAN and you WILL get through whatever it is. Please remember though, you dont have to do it alone.

Rant over

CC xx


What doesn’t kill you….

I suppose the most positive thing about having the worst week of your adult life is the fact the phrase “things can only get better” seems to be a beacon of light. I tell you what, I hope so or they best get a room ready for me at Roseberry Park as I am really at the edge of the proverbial cliff right now. The floor beneath me is crumbling yet I cant seem to completely tear myself away from the edge. When I think it is sink or swim time I get scared as to be honest, swimming is not my thing!

I wish I could say I was just being dramtic, writing for creativity purposes but unfortunately this is my life at the moment. As much I have and continue to work my arse off for that bigger picture dream I have in my head, its seems the law of Sod is working against me. Depression has pulled out the big guns. He really doesnt like the fact that I have had the upper hand for the last few months. Or at least I thought I did. Right now I feel like it has all been one cruel joke. Dangling the carrot of the illusion that all my ducks were finally starting to get in a row, when one of the little buggars decided to do a flit and the rest just lost their head in a mass panic!

OK, what they hell am I babbling on about? I dont know. I just needed the soothing sound of the keys tapping under my fingers, I just need a form of release and after running, this is second best in the coping mechanisms I have to stop me losing my shit completely. I know bad stuff happens, I know I firmly believe everything happens for a reason but sometimes I really just think life likes to play you. To test you. To see if you are fit enough to take on the amazing things you keep telling everyone you are going to do.

So, what has happened to push me to my limits? What has occurred for me to honestly call this the “worst week”? Well lets put it plain and simply – my work life has gone tits up because I pushed myself too far and catapulted myself back over in my recovery process by trying to keep biting my lip and be a decent employee and then I broke my husbands heart by telling him our marriage wasnt working and we needed to be apart. To some it might seem like I am taking this all remarkably well, that it hasnt phased me, they may even believe it must have been easy for me. Easy? No. After nearly 8 years of marriage and 10 years of being together, with someone who has always been my best mate as well as my husband, easy is far from what it was. It was officially the hardest thing I have ever had to do and knowing that although it is the right thing to do for both of us, that I have caused so much pain to someone I love so very much, well lets just say, I have never felt pain like it. Yet I would hurt ten fold if I could take his pain away.

How do I know that I have done the right thing? Because we were becoming toxic for each other. Maybe it would make this easier if one of us had actually fallen out of love but we havent. In fact if anything I think we are probably guilty of loving each other too much, and not always in a healthy way. Thing is, for a strong, healthy relationship there has to be more than just love – you couldnt build a house with just one wall could you?

I am not going to go into detail about our relationship. That is private and out of respect of our vows I dont think it is necessary. What is to be said is we have agreed we both have issues that have just simply overtaken us too much to be able to focus on each other and our family. We need to be apart to start building ourselves to be stronger, happier, more balanced people. We deserve that and more importantly, our children deserve that. I grew up in a very unhappy home in a lot of ways and I truly believe that had a massive part to play in my issues, in fact in some areas I know for a damn fact it did! I do not want my children to struggle like I did. I want my daughter to grow confident and with a firm idea of what she deserves when it comes to being in a relationship. To know that if something isnt working, you try hard to find a solution but if you cant, it is nothing to be ahsamed of to admit that it isnt working. I want my son to grow up and know that he needs to be independant and strong and settle for nothing less than perfect for him yet know how to treat a girl properly. He should be making her cry tears of joy not tears of sadness.

My husband is a good person. One of the best I have ever met. Well I married him, so go figure!  I am a good person, or at least on my way to becoming one. Although heart breaking I am so happy I can still call him a friend, that we can support each other, that we still have the ability to talk about what we want, what we need, what we have done right and what we have done wrong. What we are doing is not giving up! No one who knows us can say we have not fought to keep our relationship going but what I hope people see is two people who have finally admitted there is a problem. It wont destroy us, it makes us more determined to go forward. It wont define us, it makes us fight harder to get better.

I know I hurt him by speaking the words out loud so soon, that I removed my wedding rings too. I can imagine that does put me in quite a bitchy light, but it was not aimed to be malicious or to cause any undue aggro, it was my logical side drawing a line. Trying to be strong and say right, this is it. Like tearing a plaster off. I have two sides to me, my logical side that enables me to get by day to day, to accept horrendous situations that have occurred, then I have my emotional side. The poor cow who I have constantly locked in a box. But this time, she broke free, and the arguments I have had in my head since Friday have been epic! I cant start to investigate how my heart really feels though until I have my head sorted. So for now, she can be out her box in the sense that I will let myself cry when I need to, but she is going to have to wait for the big indepth investigation of what the hell I am actually feeling, because right now, if I explore that avenue properly, being in the position I am on my MH scale, I am actually scared where my brain could take me. It is dangerous and it pains me to say that.

The thing is, I need to look at this all in as positive light as possible. If me and him can get better, can really address our issues, grow and become stronger, we will then in turn become better people; better partners and more importantly better parents. So that there is what reason I am going to take from this whole horrible situation. We are both looking forward now, not back. No papering over the cracks and slipping back into old ways which were slowly destroying us both.

In addition, I have had the decision made to take myself out of my work situation, for the forseeable future. I have been doing EVERYTHING I possibly can to help myself get better but when there are situations occuring that are just destroying you and your sanity, there has to be a time when you admit, enough is enough! Before I end up back where I was and thinking that there is only one way out of the misery and darkness. To be honest, I am way too close to that place than I care to admit and that is scary. I am lucky though, I have the strongest support network. Without them, I would be a shadow of myself. I know they wont let anything bad happen to me and they certainly wont let me become a victim of myself.

So for now, it is a case of taking each day as it comes, literally. Filling my days with positive things, working on the foundations I have already set; college, my volunteering, this blog, my social media campaigning and my getting myself physically fit. As I always say exercise is my therapy and I NEED those endorphins at the moment desperately. One other thing I am going to work on doing though is – resting. I need down time. I need to stop corkscrewing myself into the ground in a bid to make everything so fantastic that I cant see the bad things. I need time alone, I need quiet time, to rediscover who I am as an individual. I need to get better.

Wow! What a long blog! If you have actually got to this stage, I salute you!

Until the next time I need to type……..

CC xx

Is it YOUR #TimeToTalk ?

Another month and another much needed, in my opinion, day of awareness on how important mental health is. February 1st is Time To Change’s turn, with their Time To Talk campaign.

Talking. From the minute you are born it is something your parents are so eager for you to start doing. They wait patiently every day to hear a word, a phrase, your first full, normally nonsical, sentence. Then comes the toddler/early school years where the chatter becomes constant from the moment the day starts to the moment it ends and parents are going bald from incessant hair pulling at the repetition, wishing sometimes they could shove play doh in their ears and their mouth is constantly dry from the “ssshhhh” ing and the “2 minutes”. The thing is, the thing I love is, that despite all this, the child never stops. They are more than happy to get their thoughts, feelings, opinions and general nonsense across. Me? I envy them!

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there for which talking is not an issue. I dont mean general, gossip or whatever but those lucky people who can open up. Who if they have a problem, are worried, sad etc have a place or person where they can go and get it off their chest. For someone who is emotionally and verbally challenged, although working through it, I can honestly say, the power of speech, the power that releasing words can have, is seriously under rated!

I cant remember when I stopped talking about things of substance. I cant pinpoint the time that I decided it would be easier to keep my emotions within. Where my brain decided I would be a logical thinker instead of a emotional one. The weird part for me is I can sympathise and empathise with people because of certain events that have occured, yet I wont always make the conscious link that that is what is happening. If I had a penny for everytime someone asked if I was OK and I turned around and said yeah of course when in fact I was crippled with misery/fear/loneliness I would be rather rich and definitely own a pair of Loubotins! When did I decide my pain wasnt worthy of support? When did I start thinking that no one cared? When did I think that if I was to say what was going on in my mind people would laugh or tell me I was being silly?

This inability to vocalise my thoughts and feelings created an internal wall and a hard outer shell. I became a not very nice person in ways so that I could deflect my own misery. The thing is, I think I got so good at being this version of a person, I managed to fool everyone, myself included, that I was that person. People had no reason at all to think there was anything wrong with me, bar the obvious daftness. What I wish and what I have learnt though, is the power of those simple words – “How are you?” and “Are you OK?” Just because someone isnt necessarily showing obvious signs that there is an issue, doesnt mean they are not struggling. If they seem to be dealing with a difficult situation remarkably well, maybe that is the action that could trigger the whole, maybe I should pay a bit more attention? From the person who is struggling it is a tough ask but believe that those asking actually care, that they want to know.

A wall can only hold back so much, once one crack shows it isnt long before they start to spread, like a disease. The wall weakens, it even starts to crumble. The problem is, if you dont have the right support structure in place, when it falls it can cause A LOT of damage, to yourself but also to those in the “splash” area. That is the thing that many Screenshot_20180131-072541.jpgpeople forget with mental health problems, it is not always only the sufferer who could be struggling, it could be those around them. Those that feel they should be strong, that they should be able to make them better, that are so confused as they do not understand what is wrong. People fear the unknown and I believe that mental health awareness should be taught and talked about from as an early an age as physical biology. They are just as important as each other!

This Time to Talk day, it doesnt matter who or what or where, just ask the questions, “How are you?”, “Are you OK?”. Reach out to someone who seems to have drifted away, contact a relative that maybe you havent spoken to for a while, take a friend for a drink, have a quality conversation with your children – whatever they want to talk about! Kids have feelings and worries just the same as an adult. They should NEVER be made to feel that what they are thinking or worrying about is silly. That monster under their bed could be a whole lot more than just their imagination.

For those who feel they dont have a voice, start off small. You don’t need to offload in one conversation, but if someone gives you an in, and you feel you can use it, go for it. If talking to people you know seems scary or impossible, reach out to someone impartial. I will always have so much respect for my counsellor as she really did help me see. I could say things to her I still would never dream of saying to those I care about. She gave me my voice. My blog gives me a loud voice, but nothing compares to hearing yourself out loud, words spoken from your lips.

Your feelings are your feelings, your experiences are your experiences. Don’t ever feel ashamed or worthless. Everyone has their own battles. Your strength might be the thing that helps someone elses weakness.

It really is ok not to be ok, and it is DEFINITELY #TimeToTalk

CC xx


Something Changed

“Something Changed – Stumbling through Divorce, Dating and Depression” by Matthew Williams.

I have been following Matthew on social media for a couple of months now, after he some how stumbled across my little old blog and shared his own with me. I absolutely love social media for this very reason – it enables you to connect with like minded people that maybe you would never have had the opportunity to get to know otherwise. From initial comments and finding out he is a fellow Teessider (I know I am not an official Teessider, being from Chester-Le-Street originally, but having lived here for over a third of my life now, I am going to assume I have been adopted!) it is clear we have a lot in common and quite a few of the same aims, namely, reducing stigma around mental health.

When I found out he had written a book, I was in awe. He started very much how I have (although much better with his words) with a blog ( for anyone interested, and you should be) and now is a fully fledged published author. For a little book worm like me, that was just a WOW moment! I spotted a post that was after people to review the book and I jumped at the chance. Not only did that mean I got to read the book, I got to blog about it. Win Win! So, here it is, my opinion, for what it might be worth anyway.

So, a book about Divorce, Dating and Depression. Maybe not a book you would automatically assume I would be interested in. I am not divorced, though truth be told, it has been very close on more occasions than I like to think about. Dating – thankfully never been involved in that area and if I am honest, if the worst was to happen and I found myself alone, I think I would become the ultimate cat lady. The prospect of “dating”, whatever that term really means these day, scares the bejesus out of me! Depression – ah, now this bit I know all too well about. I was intrigued to read it all, I am a very nosy person by nature and being able to read someone’s life on paper is like a dream, but in all seriousness, how people deal with things, especially mental health issues, fascinates me. So yesterday, although I had attempted to start it back in December when I received it, I picked it back up. From that moment I have barely been able to put it down! So much so, I finished it off today. What a read!

From the outset, what I was impressed with was the total honesty. Having not met Matthew yet, although hoping to sometime in the near future, it was like I could hear him telling his story. Like we were sat over a coffee chatting like friends do. I could pick up on the North East dialect, which I loved! A favourite line of mine being “it bloody knacked” in reference to when he dislocated his elbow. Writing styles like that keep it real, it kept me engaged, it helped me build more of a picture in my mind as I continued reading.  Although not the most uplifting title perhaps, the book it self is easy to read, easy to get involved with and bloody difficult to put down.

I believe it takes a very special, and in a way, brave person, to write down their inner most thoughts and feelings. I am not saying that because I do it myself, it is a genuine statement. Divorce is an extremely personal issue, something that people avoid talking about, it becomes the elephant in the room in some cases. To be able to write about it and then share with the world how it affected you, mixed in with your story of how Depression affected you too…… hats off Mr Williams! There is humour too, which to be able to bring humour into such a subject is a skill in itself.

As I was reading there was a lot I could relate too. It seems we have very similar experiences with our mate Depression and have a similar thought process. It always pains me to read someone’s struggle with mental health as I know first hand what a battle it is, how it feels to feel so low, so alone. I wouldn’t wish the misery it can bring on anyone. The sheer exhaustion it brings to sometimes just exist. But this book isn’t just about the bad times, it is about how he came back from that place, how, as I see it, everything happens for a reason. He might not be on the amazing path he is on now, doing the fab things he is doing, if it wasn’t for the experiences and troubles he has faced. It is a true story of a mental health fighter, a bad ass who didn’t let the lying little shit Depression win him over. He stared the Black Dog down and ultimately, won!

20180121_145958.jpgI don’t think there is a more apt phrase to end a book like this one. I love the feeling of positivity that runs throughout the whole book, even during the more sombre parts. I love that it has lit a fire in him and he wants to fight the fight for mental health understanding, to make mental health an every day subject. Suicide is the biggest killer amongst men under 45 as they don’t feel they can talk, that they should be able to cope with everything and be strong and not cry. Utter bull. It shouldn’t matter how biology defines you, I am pretty sure all brains are similar! Just because you have a penis does not mean that you have to not cry, or feel that you cant admit that you are struggling.

This book could and I have no doubt will be, the life line for so many men out there. If any part of the title jumps out at you, give it a read. In fact, just give it a read whoever you are because it is class. True fact! Because Matthew is doing what so many people wish they could but don’t quite have the ability to do yet, speaking out. He is being the voice of so many people, he will help so many people just by being himself. That, in my eyes, is just flipping amazing! Men and women alike, read it. From a lasses point of view it was really interesting to see things like divorce and dating from a male point of view. Without all the usual stereotypical bluffing and innuendos.

From a personal point of view, I think I best up my blogging game haha! But seriously, I am so glad to have “met” Matthew, to have been able to read his book and to be able to see where this crazy journey called life will take him. It’s all about the support and I have that to give by the bucket load!

Congratulations Matthew! You bloody deserve it! Keep going and I hope there is a book number 2 in the future. For now, this signed copy of book number 1 will take pride of place on my bookshelf. Thank you for sharing with me. I loved it!

Until next time!

CC xx


Yep, a signed copy! *Fan girl moment*



Blue Monday. The most miserable day of the year, so the media and that will tell you any way. All started as a marketing ploy to separate people from their hard earned cash in a month where retail could potentially suffer losses due to the fact that, well, every one is skint after Christmas!

Thing is, these media ploys do have a habit of taking a hold and sucking you in and then you start to really believe in all the hype. Yes, stats show there is an element of truth to it; its been 3 weeks since Christmas (if Christmas is a happy, jolly time for you that is. I’ll say no more, apart from bah humbug!) it is another 2 weeks until pay day, the weather is cold and grey and it’s just basically a bit of a dud month, let’s be honest.

Maybe you are feeling blue, maybe for you it is just an utterly miserable day. For a start, it’s Monday! Maybe you can see a lot of sense in what the media and other people tell you. But I am going to say things from my point of view, from my situation. If you suffer from ill mental health any day of the year could be blue! There are 364 other days around this one, any of those could be a struggle. Not because some one has told you that it will be or that there are perfectly acceptable reasons for it, but because you simply have no control over it.

Everyone suffers in a different way regardless of what title their illness comes with. For me, as familiar readers to this blog will know, I suffer from Depression. It can be quite bad at times, but thankfully even my bad days are not as low as they were this time last year. I no longer have such intense dark thoughts about not wanting to be here any more, of thinking the world would be a much better place without me. However these thoughts can still flutter through my brain at times, more of a nuisance, like midgies in the summer. It is not me thinking of it though, like I say, I’m no longer in that place. I think it is more just my brain trying to play tricks on me and see how far it can push me. Maybe it is still my subconscious trying to process what happened and how I felt back then, as to be honest, I hit the ground running and have made sure I have been so busy that at times I have no idea how I feel or what I think. Comfortable, productive numbness I like to think of it as.

For me, over the last 4 weeks, about 80% of my days have been “blue”. I cant decide 100% if it is all my Depression but from the way I have been feeling I believe it is the main culprit. Apart from the odd good day, I have basically felt crap. I have so many exciting things going on in my life yet I have felt no excitement. For the most part I have felt sad. On some days I have felt so low I contemplated just sacking everything in and going back to that shell like form of myself. I knew how to protect myself in that form. I knew how to shut the voices out. But that is not me! You may see me struggle. I am a lot more open about it nowadays as I truly believe it is NOTHING to be ashamed of. I cant help who I am, how my mind works. I am chaos personified! However you will NEVER see me quit. That is not me. I have given myself a good talking to. I know I can’t just “get better”. How mint it would be if I could!! But I do know how I can cope better, how to manage my symptoms. I do know that I hate pity and the worst pity is self pity. Being in the dark place is what brought me to all the amazing things I have in my life at the moment, what has given me all the fabulous people and support I have.

So today, I am giving a massive middle finger to Depression, to Blue Monday, to self pity! I am going back to basics. I knocked out a 5km run this morning. I am not a failure. I am not letting any one down. I am not letting myself down. Those thoughts were Depression being an idiot! Trying to trick me. Quite clever is old Depression. I think he thought he had won. In fact I was starting to believe he had. I am coming back fighting though. I don’t lose! OK, 2018 has not started how I envisioned, how I hoped but that does not mean that my return won’t be EPIC! Just watch me!Screenshot_20180115-102024.jpg

Back to basics for me is a selection of different things. You will find that your points or list will be different, it is all about what works for you. Mine are as follows:

  • Routine and organisation. When things are messy or up in the air my head becomes messy. So that means, diary management, visual plans like Mind Maps, plans and schedules, filling in my variety of journals – Happy, Happiness Planner, Runner’s Planner etc.
  • Blog. I love to blog. It gets all the crap out my head onto the screen and everything seems a bit easier to manage. The sound of the keys typing is so therapeutic, even if what I end up writing makes no sense to anyone but me.
  • EXERCISE – whatever exercise that might be. Now my Achilles seems to be better, I can make sure my January targets get hit, no matter what. I only set realistic targets, I don’t set myself up to fail, ever. I may have to push a bit harder, but hard work never killed anyone. I know the sense of satisfaction will be amazing!
  • Finally, the one thing I struggle with. Honesty. I need to stop burying my head in the sand if I feel bad and just say. A bad day wont define me, nor will a bad week or a bad month.

For the rest of this month I am going to find daily positives. My silver linings that I pride myself on finding were starting to get lost in the fog. I have found my glasses again though, so things are literally clearer and I can start looking again. Blue Monday is just another Monday for me. In  fact it’s going to be a good day. I can feel it. I am wearing bright yellow to bring some sunny vibes into the day, my nails are RED in homage to RED January, which I got a lovely message to say that so far we have raised over £322,000 collectively for Mind. WOW! My smile might not fully be reaching my eyes yet, but it is a lot closer than it was yesterday.

If you are blue today, I am sending positive vibes and virtual hugs. Life is stressy, stuff can get in the way, circumstances can push you to your absolute limit! One thing I do know is, you are fabulous. Your health does not define you, it is part of your journey. If you are feeling bad, I challenge you, write just 3 things that are positive in your life today. Tomorrow is a new day, a blank canvas.

Until next time.


CC xx



Ideally I wanted to write and publish this blog on the 1st as a proper started to my year, but to be completely honest, I was loaded with cold and I simply could not be bothered. The fact I got out and jeffed my way round 2 miles for RED 2018 was a massive achievement on it’s own, although maybe not my best idea! When will I learn? Probably never but you know what, I think I am OK with that now.

Anyways, back to what I wanted this blog to be about, reflection. I know I have a tendency to reflect quite often and personally I think that is a useful quality to have, but being the end of the year, and having possibly the WORST December known in my small ish 33 years of life, I have probably reflected more than normal.

Now that isn’t to say it is all bad. I don’t necessarily want this to be a massively down post as today I feel pretty good. Physically I am back to about 80% health and managed a 2 mile run where I actually ran it, emotionally I am stable if not slightly annoyed about a few small things and mentally I am ready to get back to normality ie the crazy manic life I have taken on for myself. One thing I have definitely learnt is lack of routine, busy-ness and “healthy” stress does not agree with me!

2017 as whole? Where do I begin? Started fantastic with my first Run Every Day January, work life was a constant rollercoaster due to events occurring within the business itself, I have made some true forever friendships, lost some people I thought were close to me, had more than my fair share of marriage issues but what we are fighting our way through; but then I launched this blog, started volunteering for MIND, started college. applied for uni, completed a 10km and a HALF MARATHON!! Me!! Like, wow!! Basically it was a year of high highs and extreme lows. Lows that were circumstance based, lows thanks to my mate Depression, lows where I truly thought the world would be better off without me and I didn’t want to be here anymore. I cant express how much I am so very glad my attempts failed. I have so much to live for and I finally see that. I have goals, both short and long term. I have children who NEED me. I may not be mother of the year, far from it, I make mistakes constantly but what I lack in maternal instincts and the ability to get involved in activities that I see everywhere, I counter act with unconditional love.

My Depression has made me be a horrible person at times, over the years but certainly this last year. I have been moody, angry, negative, snappy and a basic pain in the arse to be honest. I have tried to push those closest to me away, I thought I was not worthy of love and respect. I would do things to hurt myself and inadvertently hurt others then feel an immense amount of guilt. Guilt is something that tends to stay with me, I have had it pretty much all my life but hopefully I am slowly managing to control it, to manage it. I look back over my old blog posts and I am so proud of my honesty, of letting what was pulling me down in my head go. I never expected anyone to really read it, I genuinely do it because for me it is therapy. I miss my counsellor quite a bit at times but I know that for now, that part of my recovery is over. She helped me discover ways that I could release what I need to and walk away from negative dramas. She made me see that I was a fighter, that I could use the negativity and spin it all into positives. I have always been very self aware, dealing with emotions has been what I struggled with, preferring to put a massive wall up and lock everything away apart from logical things. She, along with some very special friends have helped me realise that feeling is always a good thing.

Another thing that has been a slow realisation but one which is ultimately helping me unlock parts of myself is that I cant compare myself to others. I know I have touched on this in various ways before but it is very important if you want to become a stronger person. You have to have faith in your abilities, appreciate your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses, celebrate what others have that you don’t and help them build on what they struggle with. I have seen a few memes these last few days that really made me think. With everything you can be, with all the possibilities, BE KIND! Screenshot_20180102-051903.jpg

You really do not know what some one is fighting. Even the most vocal people can be suffering and you don’t know what could trigger them. I have been thinking the last few days that may be I am TOO positive at times. Maybe I come across as a brag? Maybe I post too much about my achievements and what I have done that is goes against the whole me helping people theme and actually makes them worse? Now this would really affect me if this was true as all I want to do is use what I have learnt to help others. Although I have had no negative feedback to me directly, I haven’t been strong enough to not let external issues affect me negatively too. This got me thinking, should I feel like I should hide away to make others better even at my own detriment? Is it selfish of me to keep posting what I post as it makes me feel good to see what I have done? That it keeps me accountable and I can see exactly how far I have come in a year?

Do you know what, no. I got myself into a bad place by putting EVERYONE before myself. I wouldn’t talk about my problems to anyone as no body deserved my crap, or so I thought. Yet I am always willing to be there for everyone else and always will be. That meant I was yet again putting myself down and believing I didn’t deserve back what I was giving out. We all deserve that. Being positive is my thing. There is so much negativity and stigma and just plain nastiness that if I can help even just myself smile that has to be a good thing right? Everyone deserves support, encouragement, a sounding board to shout about their successes where we all clap, cheer, whoop and just generally bask in their blatant awesomeness! Because, to me, we are all amazing in our own ways. Whether it is fitness related, professional achievements, family celebrations or just the fact that today you beat Depression by getting out of bed, by getting dressed and eating some food.

2018 is going to be my year. Just watch. I am going to run a full marathon, Red Balloons is going to grow, my volunteering will continue to bring me so much joy, my blog will continue, I will get into uni and FINALLY I will leave my job. There will be dark days, there will be low times and there will be times when I think, that’s it. But I wont give in. Because I finally believe in myself and I can see a future. A bright future at that.

Sometimes you have to stop avoiding that mirror. Your reflection can tell you so much more than you ever realised.

Much love and best wishes for 2018

CC xxSnapchat-1598745327.jpg

12 days of #ChristmasinMind

Yesterday saw Middlesbrough & Stockton Mind kick off their Christmas campaign #ChristmasinMind to help people see that even at the “happiest” time of the year it is OK to not feel OK. I personally think it is a fantastic campaign as being someone who is often called the Grinch for her dislike or at least her complete lack of interest in the festive season apart from the mulled wine and having a valid reason to be hungover (or still drunk) on a Tuesday, it is important that people can see behind the fairy lights, tinsel and brightly wrapped presents to what is a reality for so many people.

For those who love every bit about Christmas, I am not trying to be Debbie Downer. At the risk of sounding like a giant piece of Stilton I would LOVE it if everyone could have the same festive glow and happiness at this time of year, the same way I wish everyone had a warm, cosy home, food in their belly and the feeling of love and safety. But at the risk of sounding blunt, please, let’s get realistic. If you want to live in your little snow globe of candy canes, Christmas trees and mince pies, I urge you to stop reading now. Or at least invite us all in for a big piece of cake 🙂

Have you ever sat in a room full of people and felt utterly alone? What about at a works party, where you seem to be having the time of your life but where in fact you are drinking to numb the pain? You end up being the drunkest person this side of the equator and go down in “legend” or “joke” status for how the night ended, with your face down in your doner meat? Have you been that person that has craved attention, even of the sexual kind, and will take it from anyone, just to try and even temporarily cover the disgust you feel at yourself? ………….. I have.

Whatever it is that you are suffering from, be it an established mental health condition like me, a result of a terrible experience like bereavement or maybe having a stressful time in your current life where you just cant seem to get your head straight and have no Screenshot_20171213-074740.jpgidea whether you are coming or going, it can be really hard to admit to even yourself just how bad you feel. You might be one of those people who hide away from the world, you  may get up, slap on your game face and go about your day like you are not emotionally breaking inside as you just don’t have the time, you may go opposite end of the spectrum and get completely wrapped up (no pun intended) in the season and seem like Mary Christmas in the attempt to do anything to cover up how you are really feeling. I just want to say, all of these things are completely OK. However you cope with things to get you through the day is so very OK. You being here, with us, with those that care about you and love you is all that truly matters. Not how much you might have been able to spend, or how entertaining you have been, how big and bright your Christmas tree is or how many Christmas films you have managed to binge watch in one go.

Honesty I really believe is key. There is something to be said for the whole “fake it till you make it” scenario, sometimes you can even find yourself having an unexpectedly good time. At the same time though this can be completely exhausting and if it is what is making you feel worse, please, do not suffer in silence. It is good to talk. It may not be your nearest and dearest, it could be an online group (join Run Every Day January – what an amazing group of people) it could be your GP, your significant other, your best mate or just someone that you know might understand. I always have a listening ear if someone feels lost and not sure where to go. I cant offer professional advice or diagnosis or anything like that, but what I can offer is friendship and someone who genuinely cares.

It goes a different way too, you may be completely great and going about your day in your usual jolly way, but have you noticed someone round you has changed? Are they quieter than usual? Are they cancelling plans? Are they acting out of character? Are you worried or concerned about someone even though you cant quite put your finger on why? Then I ask you, please, give them the greatest gift you could – your time. It could be as simple as a “Are you OK?” message – they might not have been asked that little three word phrase yet it could be a lifeline for them to open up. If they are avoiding social gatherings, invite them out 1 on 1 or for a coffee at yours. If they really don’t want to talk, and some people, speaking from experience, simply wont until they are completely ready, just be there. Be their friend. Send them daft GIFS, meme’s, keep them included, let them know, no matter how low they are feeling, they are not alone.

Social media, although I am using it as a huge positive in campaigning and registering my achievements, unfortunately it can be used and seen in a negative fashion. Although you want to show the world you are having the biggest, best Christmas, do you need to show the world? One, is it the genuine truth? but please, think of the people who may be struggling – financially, emotionally, mentally. I am so not saying you should feel bad about what you post, it is your social media, your life, but maybe just stop, for one small moment and think, why am I doing this? If it is to show the massive pile of presents in comparison with others you have seen?

There is a lot of pressure put on us, commercials and shops start their Christmas messages and promotions earlier every year, but I think what we are starting to lose, is genuine Christmas spirit. It is becoming so much more materialistic year on year. Little Jimmy NEEDS the brand new games console, Jane MUST have the latest trainers etc. I was thinking about this the other day. If I look back over my Christmas’s, especially as a child, I can barely remember what I got, apart from a few things that stand out as I really wanted them, but they were little things, things that wouldn’t have cost much money but that my Mam realised how much I would appreciate. What I do remember though is family meals at my Nana’s. We might have had a small family but it was lovely to be all together. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect, there would be arguments, tears and the lot but we were together, Even my Grandad would come and sit at the table! That was like a MASSIVE deal. There was also a lot of love and laughter. I miss that, so much and I know now, I never appreciated it when I had it. Not really.

This Christmas, I want my children to appreciate not what has been bought for them, but how loved they are and for what they do have not what they might have wanted and didn’t get. I want them to feel safe, happy and content and I want to make memories that they wont forget when the latest model of whatever comes out next year. I want them to believe that they are worth it, that they are special in their own way.

Screenshot_20171213-074503.jpgFor myself, I am going to actually try and believe that I am worth it. That I don’t just have to be there and do everything for everyone else. That it isn’t selfish to want to do something for myself, whether it be an undisturbed bubble bath, a run or just going to the shop without my rabble so I can have a bit of space. That if I want to work on my college work or blog for a little while then that is OK. That will go such a long way in helping me overcome often negative feelings at this time of year. I am not going to stress that I haven’t been able to spend a fortune, or that I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet as I have been so ridiculously busy building a foundation for a potentially fantastic 2018. Christmas is one day and what I do promise, is to give me, my time, to those that I love.

I am lucky that I have battled a lot of demons this year and that Christmas is hopefully not going to be the emotional mess it has been in previous years for me internally. My journey is far from over but I am strong and I will keep fighting.

For those struggling, remember, it’s ok not to be ok, even at Christmas time.

CC xx


Battling demon’s you cant always see

Gutted! My run streak, although no where near as good as it was at the beginning of the year, was going well and for about 95% of the time I was genuinely enjoying every run! I am doing only about 2% treadmill runs  now, where it was the opposite way round in January. Then, SHOCK, I fell ill. Monday and Tuesday this week I have been so poorly even my eye balls hurt. The worst part wasn’t that I was in so much pain everywhere, it was that it stopped me in my tracks, literally. I was getting out of breScreenshot_20171205-140959.jpgath walking up the stairs! Now, I have had my little pity party, moaned like only I can, played myself mournful tunes on the worlds smallest violin even! The thing is, what do you do when you can’t do the only thing that you know will guarantee to make you feel better?! It was a tough one. Monday I pretty much just spent in bed as I couldn’t actually do anything else. Extra shame being added that even then I didn’t sleep as I couldn’t breath. But yesterday, I could move around so I was determined to get better! The thing is, once I stopped focusing on woe is me and being all pathetic, I got thinking. Oh dear!

The thing with me is I live life in the fast lane as much as I possibly can. Stopping is not an option for me; I don’t have hundreds of years on this planet so I need to move quick sharp to ensure the amazing things I want to achieve occur in my lifetime and while I still have at least a couple of my marbles left to enjoy the success. When I get forced to stop, like when I get ill, it gets my head all busy, in the wrong way. Sitting with my lemsip yesterday I got thinking about fear. What I am scared of and why. I try to stick a brave face on as much as possible, some of my fears are ridiculous but some are deeply ingrained in me and if I fall too far and feel too weak, these fears could hold me back from fighting and going forward.

Now I have the standard little fears that most people have; moths and butterflies for instance. Only in real life, I don’t like the way they fly at you and yes, even butterflies. They are basically just moths in HD! Ironically I do love the metaphors that come from them, a grub into a gorgeous creature etc and I do love pictures of them, as long as they are not gigantic. I even have a tattoo of one down my upper back. Weird – well that is me! It is the wings flapping and their deely bopper things. Give me goosebumps!

My most ridiculous fear? Gimps. They scare the bejesus out of me. All that leather, not being able to see their faces. Terrifying. If I ran into one I think I would melt into a puddle. To be fair to me though, it is the mask thing. I can’t stand not being able to see someone’s face. It is freaky! Halloween can be an interesting time for me. I beg you all, stick to the face paint!

As I have got older, heights slightly worry me, flying causes me anxiety and I doubt very much that I would get on the rides I used to love any more. You see, I worry more that something will happen and my kids will lose me. Sounds extreme. Again, that’s me. All or nothing!

But here are my personal fears, the thinking fears. The daft fears that I have no control over. I am scared that if I stop, I wont start again. That all the things I have started to build will come crumbling down around me. I am no quitter but I am absolutely terrified that if given a chance my brain will just go, erm, nahhhhhh. That I will give up. That the place of numbness and just existing will appeal again and I will just want a quiet life. Don’t get me wrong, my new found feelings scare me themselves! Some of them are very strong. The feelings of love I have mean I have the ability to feel loss and pain. Big style. But I now know that the feeling of love and happiness is worth that risk, that fear, of pain.

I am scared that I am completely kidding myself. I have such high hopes and grand plans for the future. Yet I feel a bit of a fraud. I know I put so much pressure on myself to do well that if I fail in anything the affect it has on me mentally can be quite brutal. I know this is what spurs me on but at the same time I don’t want it to be what destroys me if I don’t do as well as I think I should. It links to rejection I suppose. I know I have put weight on over the last few weeks so all I see in the mirror is the lass from this time last year. I know my fitness levels have peaked despite this but even the idea of not exercising scares me. The fact that I will lose what I have worked so hard to gain. I will lose my speed that has been amazing to be fair since my half marathon. I will lose my strength and muscle definition as I haven’t got a weights routine in place at the moment. I am utterly scared that I will lose my passion for it! If that was to happen I feel like everything would become meaningless. The foundations of my future and my principles are based on exercise and it’s benefits. I think it is because I don’t fit the stereotype of a person of fitness and I feel that even at 33 I don’t have age on my side.

So this is the thought spiral that occurs when CC cant run. Pretty shocking isn’t it?

Well today, today has kicked me up the bum and I can celebrate what I can and have achieved. I truly believe that facing your fears and going out your comfort zone is a compulsory part of self development and appreciation. If you don’t know what scares you, you cant really know what pushes you. I constantly keep surprising myself at the minute and I love that feeling. Feeling poorly for 2 days I expected the gym to be a bit of a disappointment and I was just going to get back in to the swing of things BUT

I RAN A SUB 25 MINUTE 5KM!!!! What the actual??

Go on CC!!

On top of that, yesterday I received an invite to my very first awards ceremony for my local MIND. Makes me so proud to be a volunteer and I am so excited to meet people and see what other amazing things happen across the charity and our local community. Our Christmas In Mind campaign kicks off on 12 December too. I have a little quote featured in the press release and I have written a Christmas Blog that will hopefully be featured on one of those days.

As well as this I have finished the assignments I had due and I am as prepared as I can be for a presentation I have to give tonight on social divisions – inequalities in gender, race and ethics within employment in modern society. Not even 50% I have a clue what I am babbling on about, but I keep thinking, it’s just one more assignment closer to Uni. So for 3 whole hours this afternoon I had the absolute luxury of doing……….. NOTHING! And for the very first time in forever, I could appreciate it, because I knew I deserved it. I wasn’t procrastinating, I wasn’t poorly, I wasn’t stressing or overthinking or beating myself up. I was just… ME.

So all in all, it’s been a sunshine and showers couple of days but I love the changing seasons in myself as it all just adds to the colourfulness that I like to think I have. Yes I have many fears, but I am not scared to admit them. That means they cant hold any power over me and Depression cant use them as weapons. I have never been more determined than I am right now, in this minute and the fact I have had a smile on my face all day – result! I do look so much better with a smile.

I believe I can so I shall!

Much Love

CC xx


Self Care – but what does that mean?

OK, at this moment in time I am a mix of completely raging and on the verge of tears, I had pretty much finished this original blog but somehow I managed to wipe the whole lot off my screen! Now I could lose my head and toss this laptop across the room, but there are 3 things stopping me, 1) I need said laptop for my college work 2) It could have been a lot worse, it could have been said college work and 3) I shall make this new blog post insanely better. FML! *deep breaths*

Anyway, back to the point in question, self care. I have just completed day 13 in my self love  challenge. Self love challenge? What is that I hear you say? Well, glad you asked! During one of my regular social media scrolling sessions I came across the 30 day self love plan, every day it has a different thing in which you need to focus on in regards to yourself. I thought this was such a great idea! We spend so much time focusing on others or concentrating on our flaws we often overlook our elements of amazingness. The things that make us tick, make us thankful, make us feel good. We don’t always focus on what we could do to feel better, to enhance certain aspects of our life further or just to step back and see what a beautiful person we are. To further extend this challenge, I decided that each day, thIMG_20171116_173215_775.jpge particular answer to whatever question would be written on a coloured Post It note and stuck on a wall which I had no choice but to look at every day. Said wall being that to my “office” aka the sofa near the window that I am currently sat on surrounded by college work. I should be doing an assignment but I am procrastinating and doing this blog instead. If it counts, blogging is a necessity to me so I am not technically procrastinating. No? Not buying it? Was worth a try!

I wont lie, as much as I would class myself as a positive person, I really do try to find silver linings in every day, I fail miserably at looking at myself in a positive light and even worse at looking after myself. I know what I can do to make myself feel better and to feel good but more often than not I feel guilty and find something else that needs doing for someone else that is more important. I wont change wanting to do things for people and I love being busy with a lot on my plate but after a trip to the Doctor a few weeks ago due to my serious sleeping issues I have finally had a stark wake up call (no pun intended) that I MUST start looking after myself, properly! Currently I am rattling off the tablets I am taking, my skin is horrendous, I am putting weight back on because of the anti biotics I am on and I am mostly just feeling generally crappy. The irony that if I had just taken more time out for me, to look after myself, I wouldn’t be in this position, is not lost on me. A positive spin on this – I learn from my mistakes………..eventually! This is certainly one such occasion.

The thing is, I hate to be a hypocrite, so how can I expect to help people, motivate people and (in my dreams) inspire people if I do not practice what I preach? Simple answer, I wouldn’t be able to. I would theoretically be doing all this work and study for basically no reason as I wouldnt be in position to help anyone in any way. So, the purpose of this blog is to get down in writing the things I know will help me. Everyone will have their own things that help, it is certainly one of those things that you certainly cant compare with others, apart from to get ideas and tips maybe. I think it is important for me to take a step back and appreciate what coping techniques I actually do have in place that I probably don’t give myself credit for. To remember what makes me feel good and happy. The things that make me, well, me!

Here are my ways to self care:

  • A hot bubble bath – it has to have LOADS of bubbles, the water has to be hot, so hot in fact that I have to swing my legs over the side at random intervals to cool down. To make it absolutely perfect it has to be free of family distractions, candles lit, a playlist of my choice depending on my mood and a large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Bliss!
  • Following on from the bath really but something I very rarely do – pamper myself. Lush smelling body lotion, sorting out my eyebrows, painting my nails and doing my hair. As a rule I am a shot hair up in a messy bun, slap some mascara on and go type of lass, but I love to do this and to be honest it feels so much more satisfactory when I am not going anywhere. When all I have planned is to chill in the house but I am doing this simply because it makes me feel good. I can remind myself that around being a Mam, Wife, Friend, Worker etc I am still a woman. Again, music features prominently, normally something I can sing along to.
  • Reading a book – for this to really work it has to be when I don’t have to keep an eye on the time for whatever reason . I like to get a drink, curl up on the sofa and just lose myself in a different world. Genre wise I am flexible but I wont lie, there is something so lush about a good love story!
  • Binge watching a TV series – this NEVER happens anymore. Mainly I just don’t have time and partly that the husband basically dislikes everything I suggest haha. So many things people rave about that I just haven’t even had a chance to look into. Currently I have season 6 of Scandal and basically all of the American Horror Stories to get my teeth into. Christmas holidays cant come quick enough! This binge watching comes with nice food and drink to make it really special
  • Blogging – I love blogging. I am never going to be one of those shiny professional bloggers, I am way too common! To be honest, as much as I always get a buzz when people read my random thoughts and I love seeing my stats climb, I genuinely blog as it helps empty my mind. I can rant, I can be sarcastic, I can chat absolute nonsense, it is a complete freedom that I had never discovered before. I actually enjoy reading them back and sometimes I feel like I am reading another persons story. The things I have learnt about myself since I started this in April is amazing!
  • Going for a child free drink with Darryl and/or friends. I love my children more than life but sometimes it is so good to remember who CC really is. I don’t even care if it is during the day or I have a curfew. An hour can have the same effect as a full on sesh. For those who don’t have kids, appreciate the freedom you have now, don’t take it for granted, trust me.
  • Little things like colouring in, baking muffins and cooking a new receipe from scratch. These just take me out of the here and now, stop me thinking about the gazillion things I MUST do and help me appreciate what I can do.
  • Finally, one that will start from 10th December, one that I am so excited for and that I believe will have a massively positive impact on my Depressio20171125_110609.jpgn – my new baby girl, Hope. I named her that as I wanted something meaningful from what I have learnt this year. I want to wake up every single morning with a guaranteed bit of Hope in my life. She is my self care saviour, she will look after me as much as I look after her. We connected instantly and I know she is my spirit animal. I can also guarantee one thing – she will be the fittest canine in Teesside! She is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Serbian Defence dog so she will grow to be a big girl! I cant wait for the cuddles, the laughs and seeing the unbreakable bond I know her and Noah will form.

So, that is my list in a nutshell. You may be wondering, but where is running on that list? Where is exercise? That is CC’s ultimate coping mechanism, the one that saved her life, in more ways than one. That there is the reason why it doesn’t feature on a list. It doesn’t as it is not something I can put off, it is something I have to do as a matter of necessity. Currently due to challenges I set myself I am not having any rest days (today was day 28 of #runeveryday November and saw me break through the 400 miles barrier for outside running miles this year!) but even when I do, the maximum I have, for my mental health is 1. Exercise and especially running keeps me balanced. If I have a bad day it keeps me from losing it completely, it gets my blood flowing, it makes me appreciate what my body can do despite me not liking what it looks like. I can celebrate my achievements and it makes me proud to be me. So yes it is self care, but for me, it is so so much more.

On a quick side note from this I need a mini rant. I saw an article on the benefits of running for physical and mental health and being the nosy cow I am I read the comments. Now, this article was featured on a mental health page and to be honest, although I completely understand that everyone is entitled to their opinions, some of these comments were disgusting and should have been monitored! I am aware I am very vocal about fitness and mental health being linked and it is where I want to end up. However I am well aware that it wont work for everyone. All I try to say is exercise comes in many forms, you never know what you might find that you like. For those people who say that if you can run you cant be suffering, well I am trying not to swear in my blogs anymore but F YOU!! Just because I am not taking anti depressants, just because I can motivate myself to do some sort of exercise everyday, just because I am working and going to college DOES NOT MEAN I AM ANY LESS OF A SUFFERER THAN YOU! I have tried everything, tablets (they just don’t work for me) counselling (my counsellor was an angel) and everything else I could think of, because I wanted to get better. I am determined that I will not let this horrible illness dictate my life. I have my bad days, bad weeks even but I fight them as hard as I possibly can. I have days where I want to give up, where I want to quit but I don’t. Exercise saved my life. It helps me clear my mind, it makes me happy. Here is an idea, how about we all support each other, try and fight these illnesses together instead of comparing! I don’t want to be better or worse than anyone. I want us all to be in a place where we can help each other. What works for one, wont work for another and that is completely fine, because we are all different. It is not a bad thing and NO ONE should feel bad for believing what they believe, in any form.

Rant over! I wont apologise as that needed to be said. None of us get out of here alive in the end, let’s enjoy what we can while we can not spend our time judging and bringing down others.

Ok, I think I have babbled on enough for today. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have genuinely enjoyed writing it.

Much Love

CC xxx






My Personal Thank You to You

As you can probably tell, the mini series didn’t quite pan out as I intended, which in part is a shame but then again I think I knew it wouldn’t. However, I don’t think I expected it to be over 3 weeks until I wrote the blog to go alongside the aftermath of completing the single biggest achievement in my fitness journey, to date; a half marathon. But 3 weeks, and 1 day to be exact, is how long it has been, and not blogging has had much more of a negative effect on me than I ever thought possible!

It feels like there is so much to say and that so much has happened, but I am hoping to get those into blogs over the next week or so, this one is dedicated to my HM achievement, to blog the reasons that I did it, 13.1 very special reasons to me indeed. If I can try and get my emotions from it all onto this page too then that will be a massive bonus, but as I just type as I go, let’s see what happens.

Way back in April, when my lovely blogger friend twisted my arm into entering a HALF MARATHON when at that time I hadn’t even ran 10km, I never knew what a journey it would take me on. I have said a lot about it through all my blogs so I wont bore you all with my usual constant repetition. In a nutshell, the training was harder than I expected, holidays got in the way, I fell off the diet wagon, I was fighting larger than I care to admit mental health demons and I ended up with the biggest case of self doubt possible! So, I decided, in the week leading up to the run itself, that I couldn’t just do it because I was raising money, although amazing as that was, it wasn’t enough. Even the constant social media posts to keep myself accountable weren’t helping the overwhelming feeling that there was no way I could do it. The pressure I was putting on myself was unbelievable, I felt like I was setting myself up to be the biggest laughing stock going. I looked in the mirror and the two stone heavier, unfit lass from two year ago was staring back at me. What was I thinking?! I am no runner!

So, what made me do that 90 odd mile drive and subject myself to those 13.1 miles? It was YOU. You reading this, the people who support me, who believe in me, who knew when I didn’t that of course I could do it. I had trained (although I will hold my hands up, I will be much stricter and plan better when training for my marathon, more on that later) I was raising money but more importantly I was putting myself out there and raising awareness about mental health. I was publicly talking about my battles. I was shouting about mental health in a society where people still struggle to address it and approach it. I was fundraising and volunteering for such an amazing charity. They deserved this, the people who believed in me deserved this; therefore I decided I was going to do 1 mile for each person or group of people who have made such an impact in my life this year. Those that have been there, loved me, put up with me, not deleted me for being annoying and being “that” person who shares all their gym and running stuff on every social media platform going haha.

So here goes, my list of people, some of my most favourite people on this planet, in this universe in fact, and the reasons why. These people, these thoughts, this is what got me through that run. Through the easy bits, through the rough bits, through the bits where I honestly thought I was going to give up…………………………………….

Mile 1 – My gorgeous blogger friend Imani or Summer Shines to those in the blogging world. If it wasn’t for you Imani, half of the things I have going on in my life now would not be happening. Your constant belief in me, your love, your friendship, your gentle encouragement, you most definitely had to be mile 1 as if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have even signed up. Possibly a good thing I did wait to write this actually haha. I also wouldn’t have my blog and I wouldn’t be doing such amazing things as a volunteer for Mind. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart


Mile 2 – My “words cant even begin to describe” RED family. If it wasn’t for you beautiful people being the outstanding, inspirational humans that you are, January wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun or as meaningful. You are like a true family to me, albeit a virtual one but who says that you have to be face to face to feel true love? You have cheered my highs, been there though my lows and I am so proud to be part of the RED community, this year, next year and every year into the future. Thank you so much Hannah Beecham for creating something so life changing.

Mile 3 – Jason, Mike & Billy – My closest RED males, the ones that make me laugh, that always check up on me when you know I am not doing so well, that acknowledge my training achievements with a like, love or comment. The one’s that although I know I hold my cards close to my chest, that I know I could trust with my life. You are true gentlemen. You have your own battles but you inspire me so much. You are so strong but caring and RED would not be the place it is without you. Thank you for being truly gorgeous humans and friends for life.

Mile 4 – Karen, Kirsty, Justine, Andrea & Liz – My closest RED females. There are so many words that I want to say to you girls; the strongest women I have ever had the privilege to get to know. What you women stand for, what you fight for, what you juggle and manage and do every day is just inspiring and I am a better person for knowing you. I love you all, so much. Thank you. Karen – truly OOTB, my fellow booze loving, naked man perving, dirty sense of humoured bad influence. Under that though is a lady with the biggest heart and just seeing your name makes me smile. Kirsty – my Scottish twin, I know you are not feeling great at the minute but you are smashing the hell out of life, you keep me going. Justine – my Yorkshire beauty, you have literally been there for me through some of the toughest times this year, you always say the right things and are so wise. I wish we lived closer as you give the lushest hugs.Andrea – my beautiful Southern Coyote, I really wish you could see what we see, you are wonderful and always there, no matter what you might have going on. Your determination is infectious and you post the BEST quotes. Plus you love Alice, tattoos and gin. It was always going to be a friendship made in heaven! Don’t ever stop saying it as it is! Liz – you are going to change the mental health world! And I get to say – “I know her!”. You are a running machine, always there with a supportive comment and much needed advice. You have a heart of gold.

Mile 5 – MB – Aw MB, my lush, random, Irish friend who can make me laugh even on my worse days. You deserved your own mile as you did the whole flipping Marathon, just because! I got to meet one of the most important people to enter my life this year. You are amazing and an absolute running legend! You always push me to be better but always celebrate what I do manage. You have kicked my arse, gave me words of encouragement and just generally been fabulous, even if you don’t like corned beef! You are stuck with me for life I am afraid. Mmmmmwwwwaaaahhhhhhh!

Mile 6 – Keith – You were legit one of the first people who took me under their wing when I moved to Stockton. I still haven’t decided if this was actually a good thing as I swear you were absolutely bonkers! Losing you was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. That I had no idea you were at that place, that you felt that that was the only way out will haunt me till my dying day but I am starting to understand more. I hope you are proud of what I am achieving. I think about you every day. The laughs we had, the crazy stuff you got up to, the dancing, everything. My life is so much better because you were in it and I miss you every day.

Mile 7 – My lucky number, had to be my beautiful children Bailey & Noah – There was a time in my life not so long ago where I thought the world would be better off without me. You two made me realise that that was so not right. If I could create two perfect monsters like you, the possibilities of what I can achieve are endless. I love you both with every fibre of my being. You are my reason for breathing, for fighting, for surviving and for making me want to make the world a better place in as much of a way as possible. You deserve the universe and I am going to work until I can work no longer to make sure you grow up and see how amazing you both are. You can and will be anything you want to be and I will be right there by your sides.


Mile 8 – Nana – My number one heroine. My Wonder Woman. The lady that I would give next to anything to be able to spend just 1 more hour with you, to hear your voice again, for you to stroke my hair, for you to tell me everything is going to be OK. I miss you so very much and you are the one so far that has managed to make me cry. Life can be so unfair, you have missed out on so much but I hope you are looking down on all of us and are so proud. If I can be half as strong a lady as you were I will be happy. You were the true fighter. I think about you every single day and I hope you like Elma. I know you weren’t a fan of tattoo’s but it was the tribute I needed, just for you. A part of you is with me permanently. Love you Nan, with all my heart and soul.

Mile 9 – Faye – my best friend. Woman, you need a medal never mind a number on this list! The amount you have put up with is nothing short of ridiculous and I don’t think you really know how much I appreciate the fact that you haven’t ran away yet! You are my partner in crime, the one that gets me into trouble 😉 but the one who makes me wet my pants laughing, who is as daft as a brush and who I would trust with my entire life. I’d say you were one in a million but that wouldn’t do it justice. You are unique, one of a kind and I love you to pieces. Thank you. Always.

Mile 10 – Darryl – my husband, my reason for being as certifiably crazy as I am! haha! In all seriousness though, we have had one hell of a 9 and a half year. Lots of highs, lots of lows,; sometimes it feels like all we do is fight but we keep fighting together and we are still going. I love you babe. Thank you for trying to listen, for trying to understand, for letting Patricia shot stuff at you when she decided to make an appearance. For holding my hand through the bad times, for pouring my drinks through the good times, for making me laugh my boobs off every day and for trying to get me to see myself how you see me.  I really don’t give you enough credit but credit where credit is due. How you put up with me sometimes is beyond me!

Mile 11 – Mam – I wont lie, I have given you the most painful mile. We have had an interesting Mother Daughter relationship and that is saying something. The best thing I ever did was leave home at 18 as I think that helped us become as strong as we are. You have been there, when I stumbled and fell as a child, when I had nightmares and missed my Dad. I know I closed off a lot and I am sorry for that but thank you for never giving up on me. I know you worrying never stops and I have been worrying you a lot recently but I know I will be OK. You know how I know, because I am Josie’s daughter and my Mam is one of the strongest, kick ass women in the world! You have fought battles that some people could not even imagine. Not only that, you won! You survived and you are now a person that I know you never ever thought you would be. I know you are proud of me, but I am so very proud of you. I love you to pieces and I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have you. I may not always show my appreciation for what you do but it is there by the truck load. Thank you for being you. You are still nuts mind! 😉


Mile 12 – My Crazy Lou – mad as a box of frogs, my skipping sexy crazy frog. You are one of my oldest Teesside friends and we have some stories to tell. The years we didn’t have together always make me sad but now I have you back in my life I am NEVER letting you disappear again. You are yet another fighter, a survivor, a strong woman who has suffered unquestionable horrors yet still bounce around with that amazing smile on your face. You have the biggest heart of any woman I have met. You are an amazing mother and friend and what you battle every single day mentally is beyond unbelievable. You wont ever let anything beat you. Thank you, for holding my hand, for wiping my tears, for making me laugh, for loving me and for always believing me, For giving me the hug I needed and crying with me when I crossed that line. It is memory that I will hold dear to me forever and always. I love the bones of you woman and I cant wait till 2018 and all the amazing things we will be do together! Here is to skipping sexy!

Mile 13 to the Finish Line – ME – I did it! When I crossed that line I cant begin to express the emotions and the thoughts that crossed my mind. I was in tears for ages and it took me a while to actually register anything. Everything hurt, I could barely breathe but I had done it! All those months since March, the hardest fight I have ever had to endure, it was like a finale. A massive fingers up to Depression. I won! I truly won and no one can ever take that away from me. I can do whatever I want to. Things may be scary, things will definitely be hard and I will have days where I will not believe in myself. But I can do it, I can do anything. I have never been so proud of myself, felt such a sense of pure confidence. It was amazing. It was everything I wanted it to be, everything I needed it to be and so much more. I have a new lease of life, a new sense of determination. #


The people listed above were the people who kept me going and still continue to do so, daily. There are so many others that I need to thank though, my college family, my fellow MIND volunteers, my work colleagues, my family and the rest of my friends. You may not have been personally named but please do not think that you are no less important to me. You all are, so very much for so many different reasons.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

Here is to the next chapter in the crazy CC whirlwind. Onwards and upwards

Much love

CC xxxxxxxxxxx


I’ve been waiting for this…… My Half Marathon Mini Series – Day 3 & 4

Day 3 was yesterday and as a rule it was OK. As predicted I was busy and pretty word shy so that is that.

Day 4 – I actually don’t know how honest I dare be in my blog today. I can say right now that it isn’t going to be the positive. A bad day has sprang up and slapped me right across the face and it stings! Turn away now, close down the window and go back to whatever you were doing, have a fantastic day!

Ok, still reading? Well don’t say I didn’t warn you………………………………………..

I am going to chalk it all up to hormones and a mixture of severe lack of sleep alongside actually dreading going into work today that has me feeling so low that I want to sit under  a table like a small child and pretend I am not there. Not even 730am and I have cried, I have had (fleeting) darker than usual thoughts and I want to scream.

I should have went out for a run or to the gym, but even keeping my eyes open and focused is a massive chore. However I know if I tried, sleep would escape me. Where my mind normally runs a million times to the dozen, today it feels so slow. Like it is stuck in mud. Trying to grip the simplest thoughts and act on them is a challenge. I am going to have to use everything in my self help bank to keep me going today, one silver lining is at least hopefully for 3 magical hours I can lose myself in college as it is so full on I barely get a chance to think about anything else.

Today my mask will be firmly in place because it HAS to be. I still have to be a mother, my children can not see me like this, a wife, although probably a relief for him, Darryl wont see me today, a colleague, a student and a friend. Those are the labels I am proud of and ones I take very seriously , so today no matter how shite I feel in myself, that is what I will be doing. To the best of my ability.

Today I will be mostly introverted. My sentences might be shorter than normal, I may not even speak in some cases. I will be very much inside myself as inside myself I can keep myself safer. I wont unintentionally hurt anyone with what might come out of my mouth without me thinking. I wont be spouting shit that makes no sense because my vocal ability is all a bit mixed up and I cant quite make the connection between what is going on in my head and how to verbally express it.

Maybe caffeine will help? Maybe once I pull my arse off the sofa, make myself look presentable and get out the front door, this morning will feel like a distant memory. I can all but hope. I am trying. I am trying to act normal. I have music on, I am blogging, I am thinking of ways that I can help myself. Would the gym after college help? Never been later at night before. Will finally filling out my redundancy preference form and sending it straight back off marked VERY IMPORTANT whilst resisting typing at the bottom – please release me!! give me back that goofy, daft smile I have when I am not sticking my tongue out that is.

Personally I am hoping that Depression has just had a word in Mother Natures shell like and told her she has full reign to fuck with me this month. And of  course it would be this week, this weekend, because it is important to me. Fair play Mother Nature, fair play *applauds slowly and sarcastically*. I am hoping that this knot in my chest isn’t “Patricia” deciding that she needs to pay a little visit, because she is just evil. Maybe I will do some ball slams later and it will be enough to appease her and she will go back in her room. She is not a nice side of me. In fact she is bloody horrible. She holds my anger. The anger I spent many years trying to control. When she is let loose with it I lose all control of myself. All I am left with is the mess to clear up in her wake. She makes Ophelia look like a light breeze. She can do a lot of damage in a small space of time!

I think I have been using all my amazing things in my life as a plaster, covering a wound that really needs stitches. I am putting on a brave face and pretending it doesn’t hurt as much as it looks.  Mostly I have good days and it doesn’t seem to hurt but then again sometimes it fucking knacks. Yet I am making such a show of all these fabulous things I am doing and trying to do the absolute best I can with it all that I lose the ability to say, ouch ya buggar, that hurts!!

I don’t need to rest, I don’t need to give anything up. I can promise you that. I do get so many great things out of what I am doing. I just think I need to realise that I don’t always need to do things with such enthusiasm. I am allowed to have my resting bitch face on. I cant always find silver linings in every negative. Other people should have that ability. I cant keep ‘fixing’ things as it is just killing me! I feel like I am always the one that need to sort everything out.

Ok, rant and pity party over with. Although I have to accept this mood and go where it takes me, to a degree, I cant let it win.

3 days till Bamburgh!! The Finish line is actually in sight now! My energy levels are low now, I am physically, mentally and emotionally empty. I am going to think of this as a cleanse though. I am empty, to start filling back up with amazingness. Ready to run like I have never ran before.  I should be glad I have woke up at this stage like this and not Sunday morning. I can hopefully nip this is in the bud now!

I am OK, I promise. At least I will be. I have to expect these days and to be honest, I have been expecting it.

Sorry if I have bummed you out, but I cant always be sweetness, light, motivation and cheek. Sometimes I just have to be – this!

Love to all

For those struggling, big hugs. We can get through this together. There is always sunshine after the rain!

CC xx

And I’m feeling good…….. My Half Marathon Mini Series – Day 2


That’s this weeks important number. That is my official race number. Oh crap, shit has got real!

Received the official runners email today, advising of car parks and what not, starting up at the castle (stunning!) ending at the cricket green. Race starts 930am – result! Be in the pub with a strong alcohol beverage surrounded by some of my loved ones by 1230! Perfect! 😀


So, the big question is, how I am feeling today? Well to be honest, pretty good. I went out before 6am today for a small just shy of 2 mile run. The 50 mph winds made it somewhat interesting I must admit. A new experience to add to my list! I made sure I let Darryl know the route I was taking and how long roughly I would be, you know, just in case I got knocked out by a flying wheelie bin or blown over to Kansas! I chose a route that was all near main roads so I could reduce risk of injury as much as possible and as a whole I actually really enjoyed it. Found myself laughing on more than one occasion. White van drivers must of thought I was off my tits. Can’t say I could disagree with them on the whole either! I loved how calm and quiet the streets were (sensible people!) compared to the brutish nature of the weather. Was a pretty amazing contrast. I never got my beloved sunrise as I was back before but all in all it was a successful effort. Decent pace and further than I expected to be able to do.

So what I have been doing today is breaking the run down into manageable little bubbles of thought. For instance, there are water stations every 3 mile, so that’s just 4 check points before the big Finish line.

20171017_182456.png As I have mentioned before I am doing every mile for a particular individual that mental health has affected in some way. For each of those miles I am going to think of good times we have had, things that make me laugh, songs that may remind me of them, how proud I am of how they have managed through any tough times in their life. I am hoping to have a little playlist to create at the end! As I am not going to be able to have my music on (daunting thought) I am going to practice a more mindful approach. Northumberland and Bamburgh are stunning! So this way, running on my own, I am going to really take notice of what is going on around me. One thing that surprised me but that I loved about the 10K in June was the atmosphere! I literally danced and skipped up to the finish line on that one, I felt like I could have kept going. Now I very much doubt I will have any desire to go any further than between public houses after this but you know, it would be amazing to have that same feeling!

Having looked at the map, planned my pre race morning , apart from food, that bit is throwing me slightly as I really do prefer to train fasted, I feel much more prepared. Much more in control. As we all know, I love a bit of control! I know what I am wearing, people may think, quite rightly, that I am bat shit crazy as it is end of October and I will be in shorts, but that is what I feel most comfortable in. Where I can channel my inner confidence with more ease. I will wear my Mind Middlesbrough & Stockton T shirt with genuine pride! And you never know, Elma might get her half marathon photo opportunity! (Elma is the rather large elephant I have tattooed on my thigh in memory of my Nana) . Dare I say it, I am feeling canny excited! 5 more sleeps!


My food has been much better over the last couple of days and I am planning on training every day in the run up. I know people will have their own personal opinions on this, but it is what makes me feel in the best condition, which keeps Depression at bay. I don’t intend to train heavy. Run no more than 4 miles, although aiming for more 2 daily. I am doing yoga tomorrow with some weights thrown in before, but I am keeping weights down and missing my Body Pump class as I cant tempt getting serious DOMS where I either walk down the stairs like John Wayne or shuffle down on my arse!  I need to focus a bit harder on my core and make sure, one way or the other I drink loads of water. Keeping an eye on what I am eating until Sunday and not touching any alcohol until after I have collected my new bling, will hopefully ensure I will be in tip top condition. Lots of relaxing baths, lots of keeping busy which keeps me happy and hopefully lots of laughter. Just because I love to laugh.

So, now all I have to do is avoid injury and illness!! OK, pass the bubble wrap!!!

Until tomorrow comes, laters!

CC xx



If I can do it, you can! My Half Marathon Mini Series – Day 1

OK, so my new brainchild this morning, my new blog inspiration, is to do a 7 (ish) day series of blogs leading up to, including the and then the day after the Half Marathon. I have put the ish in there, just in case I get side tracked or swamped and I genuinely cant get one typed out. Why? You may ask. Well good question, are you comfortable? Then I shall begin………….

13.1 mile – 21.082km to be exact. This will be, up to this point, the longest I have ran, ever! I decided to do this little blog series to keep my mind off things, to try and control the anxiety and worry that I have over it. I know I can do it and I know I can do it well but that doesn’t mean I can just stop being me and catastrophising it all. What could go wrong? Oh so many things!


I only started running with any genuine interest in January. I have ran or should I say “ran” on treadmills for a couple of year but never with any real motivation or drive. Just mainly to help whittle the fat and inches off my gut to be fair. Joining RED January saw me take the very tentative step into the great outdoors. It took a few weeks to really get my MOJO with it all, I was very obsessed with weights and HIIT up until this point, but the more I tried it, the more I started to enjoy it. Maybe it was the general mix up of my surroundings? Maybe it was going out with no clear plan of where I was going – just seeing where my feet took me? Whatever it was, that love started to grow, until I was signing up for an organised 10km race and before I had even done that, a bloody Half Marathon. Any one that knows me knows I don’t do things by halves. I just get swept up in it all. To add pressure to myself, as I so love to do, I decided I would do it for charity. Because running 13.1 mile isn’t a challenge unless you give yourself a generous fundraising target to obsess about – FML!

Now, 6 days until I go out there, the sudden realisation of what I have done is becoming clear. I am no athlete that is for sure. I am still the wrong side of 11 stone for my height and not even at my lightest this year. My training has been very hit and miss, with my longest distance ran so far only being 8.7 mile. Add into this lovely bowl of craziness, the fact my sleep patterns range from not enough to I need a caffeine IV and my Depression giving my brain good old daily left hooks and elbow drops – well it’s not really a recipe for the most successful or tastiest cake.


This is exactly why I want to go out and do this. I want to set myself a precedent. That despite all the things that I see as being against me, I can still go out there and do it! I have been fixating on times I think, a bit too much. Under 2.5 hours would be great but I wanted to aim for under 2. Now, I have had to begrudgingly remove those factors as they are starting to take over my life. Every run before today has seemed harder than usual as I was so fixated on my pace. Today, as I was poorly yesterday, I decided to take it easy and just get out there. I had no idea of how far I wanted to go or how long I would run for. I decided to just do what felt right. I smashed out a 5.5km in 31 minutes and I loved it! I had a genuine smile on my face all the way round. My playlist was freakishly motivating, like it knew I needed a little support. The air was calm, the streets were quiet and the colours around me were simply stunning. I do love the colours of Autumn, the reds, yellows and oranges. They remind me of fire, of strength and of life; which is pretty ironic as it is actually the leaves dying :-/

Anyway, I even managed to bang out a PB with my lap of my favourite park. This morning was good. The pain in my brain ceased as I was running, yes it came back when I stopped but it didn’t seem so annoying anymore. I had something positive to focus on. That is how I beat my Depression. How I manage to keep myself on an even keel. I look for the positives. Depression HATES positives. If I could have a chat with him I reckon it would go something like this:

D: You do know there is no point in you going out there? You messed up last week, you are just going to fail again!

CC: Nope. I am just going to go out and see what I can do. No pressure.

D: No pressure? Behave woman, pressure is all you know! Get another cup of coffee, curl up on the sofa and sit and feel sorry for yourself. You know you want to…….

CC: The appeal of a cup of coffee may be tempting but NO! I am lacing up my shoes and I am going for it. Starting my week right!

D: I’d say good luck but you need more than luck. Don’t know who you think you are? Thinking you can have it all. Get a grip! Get back to your little office job and no aspirations. You are getting on a bit now, what’s the point in starting again? 

CC: Fuck you Depression *slams front door – loudly!* 


I truly believe that anyone can do whatever they want to do if they are willing to dig deep and just try. Nothing worth having ever comes easy and from my experience the best things in life hurt the most! Childbirth ladies?! It might happen successfully first time round, it might be something that takes a few attempts. I think it all depends on how much you genuinely want it. I wont let not being perfect stop me. I wont let my mental health issues have more control than is necessary. I can fight every bad day but if I get a few decent kidney jabs in on my good days I reckon I have a pretty decent chance of eventually winning the war. Because I want to. Because I need to.

So, today’s word of the week – FUN. This week I will have as much fun as I possibly can (without risking injury or illness). I want to wake up on Sunday morning simply bursting with motivation and happiness, because I have smashed this week! I may end up not being so much of a long distance runner, I may find that 10k’s are my limit. So I am treating this as a once in a lifetime experience, as who knows what state I will be in come dinner time Sunday. I tell you what though, there will be a massive smile and a thank fuck that is over as I cross that finish line!!

Until tomorrow lovely people.

CC xx

High highs – low lows

Relaxing has always been an issue with me. I just cant seem to be able to sit still for a decent period of time without feeling like I am wasting time or being lazy. When I am sat I am constantly thinking of what I have done and what I need to do, my brain seems to go in to overdrive. Unfortunately a lot of these thoughts aren’t always positive. I start to over analyse everything, I tell myself I could have done this and that better, I put pressure on myself by setting myself even more goals. I start to pick apart my diet and feeling like I haven’t trained well enough and I need to up my game. I start to feel fat and ugly and just generally minging. I don’t know why, it is just the way my brain works. The voices are starting to get quieter but they are there.

This week has had it’s fair share of highlights, World Mental Health Day was fantastic, the feedback I have had since has been lovely too. I passed my first assignment from college which was a massive relief, although to be fair it’s my level 3 assignment I am more concerned about. I am, as I do, aiming for distinctions, however at this moment in time a pass will do me! I also got my gorgeous new tattoo, well had the first sitting………….IMG_20171011_160445_704.jpgAs with all my tattoo’s, this holds significant meaning. The tree is the symbol of me this year, I started as a tiny seed, weak and small but I am growing into a big, strong person. It takes time, it might even take years but leaves are starting to blossom and my branches will continue to multiple. The branches are extensions of me, my exercise, my studies, my volunteer work etc. I had to incorporate my beloved balloons, these are not coloured yet, but after a little squabble with my tattooist, we decided to do them in different colours. I am not black and grey anymore, I am living in bright multi coloured glory. I have a firm grip on my balloons at the moment, the wind is blowing very strongly, a storm may be on its way, but I refuse to let go! It has taken me too long to get them all in one place. My 3 Red Balloons are there, pride of place at the top. A nod to my blog, to my future peer support group and my eventual empire. Those 3 Red Balloons mean more to me than I can ever really put into words. They are my future, my trophy for winning this fight. Finally, there will be one falling brown leaf. My dedication to Depression. I could and I do say a lot of bad things about Depression, it is a horrible illness that I spend my days fighting, every day. However, if it wasn’t for it, if things hadn’t panned out the way they did, I don’t think I would be on this path.

Mainly though, this week I just haven’t been myself at all. I have been very introverted. The noise in my head has been louder than the past few weeks but it just doesn’t make sense yet. Add in the excruciating headache I have now had for 4 days, well it hasn’t been the easiest time. I had planned to do my last long run before my HM next week, which I am starting to worry about to be honest, but I just cant. I know I need this time, I know I need to relax and self care, but for me, exercise IS my self care. I have had the worst week training wise since January and now it’s Sunday I am really feeling it. I feel like I need to pass the reset button. I cant keep dwelling on what I haven’t done, I need to look at all the things I have done, but when you feel so shitty it is so much easier to go into yourself and beat yourself up. Old habits die hard and all that jazz!

So, I have surrounded myself in planning tools and college work. I may not be able to get out there and run today, it would be too dangerous and far too risky being just 7 days away from the HM but that doesn’t mean I cant be productive. I can make sure that the unorganised messiness of this week is not repeated. I get a sense of relief in being able to see what I can do mapped out. As usual blogging is such an important tool for me and I love that I have discovered it. It just gives me that little outlet, to just, rant. Even though I have no idea what I am even ranting about. College is a fantastic addition at the moment as I am just so interested in what I am doing. I am actually looking forward to doing my assignment, which is so relevant to me – how mental health services, attitudes and treatments have changed over the last 100 years. I get so wrapped up in my research! I cant decide if I want to focus more on asylums or post natal depression. As it is an essay I am sure once I start writing, I will be pulled in a particular direction. My problem will be keeping to the word limit! I do get a bit carried away I must admit.

I am still sticking by my decision to not be on anti depressants but I realise that I definitely need to focus more on the things that help me. Yoga has become something I absolutely love. I cant quite explain how but it has such a powerful, positive effect on me. I am absolutely appalling at it and can I hell empty my head but it is just great. As a person who is naughty and doesn’t stretch nearly as much as she should for what she does, it is also physically beneficial.  I have so much on my shoulders now, I need to be strong enough to carry it all. I am only human, I know that but I also know that I work much better under pressure and I have taken on what I can manage, even if it does seem daunting. What I need to remember is not to lose out on fun, in whatever way that may occur. I cant believe that this time next week, my half marathon will be over and done with! Where is this year going??

One thing is for sure, I am determined to make sure that 2018 kicks 2017’s arse. Considering what I have achieved this year, it’s going to be one tough job, but if anyone can do it, I can.

Much Love

CC xx



You may have seen this hashtag today. In fact if you haven’t you certainly can not be on any kind of social media platform. Although I haven’t been on I am pretty certain it’s even on Pinterest!

Maybe you have seen #WMHD or #oktosay or the simple but effect #mentalhealthawareness instead. Whatever it may be, did the post catch your eye? Did you read to see what it had to say? Or did you scroll past, assuming that it had nothing to do with you? It doesn’t affect you? Or maybe you are one of the people who follow me and you are just extremely sick of seeing or hearing the words – “Mental Health” 😉

Now yes, I have been like a record on repeat and yes, I am sure I have annoyed the life out of at least a couple of you, but for once, I’m not going to say sorry. The plain and simple truth is, I’m not. I will continue to stand on my soap box, spam your social media accounts, chew your ears off and do whatever I possibly can to keep getting the message across! The whole problem with starts with people not being able to talk. It could be fear of being judged, it could be not being able to vocalise what is the problem, it may be bad experiences with mental health services in the past, it may be that you just don’t believe in the whole aspect of mental illness. That is fine. No one, certainly not me, is here to force you, to goad you, to guilt you.  I will continue to be the voice until you feel strong enough to speak up. I will be the leader until you can come and walk beside me. I will show you, although it may be a scary place, there is a genuine comfort in numbers. There will be a lightness to your step when you unburden some of the weight from your shoulders.

I have had an very productive and satisfying day today although I will be honest, I haven’t quite caught up with my thought processes yet. I have a feeling it may take a few days for my already quite over worked brain to get around things properly so please, if this blog is even more random than normal, well you know why. My volunteer work for Mind Middlesbrough and Stockton has already given me so many chances to give back and be involved. They have really lit a fire in me and helped my passion for mental health and helping others grow. A couple of weeks a go I was filmed as part of an anti stigma film project – ‘Thinking Out Loud’ which gets premiered today at 530pm (I will be sure to share it once it has been released on social media) Mind were lucky enough to have the support of both Cleveland Police and Middlesbrough Football Club. Alongside this I have been volunteering at a fantastic event in Stockton on Tees – Alright Teesside which has had stalls from organisations all over Teesside, workshops and guest speakers, all promoting ways to achieve good mental health, advice of where you can get advice and support as well as ideas on how you can help yourself, be it through Mindfulness, blogging or how a healthy diet coincides with a healthy mind.

With this event I was lucky enough to be chosen for a one to one interview with the lovely Rachel Bullock from ITV Tyne Tees. It may amuse you to know that despite all the selfies and stuff I post, I actually have quite massive self confidence issues. The publicity photo itself made me cringe and think, goodness I need to up my gym game!! However, just having watched it, and the anti stigma film, I just want to say, I am so bloody proud of myself!! Proud of what I said, proud of being open and honest, proud of putting myself out there, stepping way out my comfort zone and doing my bit, sharing a bit of my story. I will post the links at the bottom if I can, although there isn’t one yet for my news interview so I will try and attach the video to this blog. I am not the most tech savvy I must admit!

The one main thing I think that needs to be said, and what has been said by a few close friends of mine, is that mental health awareness cant just be about one day. The one’s who suffer wont stop suffering at the stroke of midnight when today has been and gone. For many, every day tasks are difficult to manage, sometimes even impossible. We have good days, even great days. Then we have bad days, bad weeks, bad months even. It is a constant battle that many of us will have for most, if not all, of our life. Some may suffer periodically, some may suffer due to a life event and then once that is dealt with they make a full recovery. Whatever mental health issue it may be, it’s important to know, you are not alone.


Lots of love and a massive thank you to all of you who support me, are there for me, believe in me and love me!

CC xx

In that moment

Quiet contemplation. Some honest reflection. Some pretty brutal crazy days that have had me actually genuinely questioning my sanity. That is what this week has been, especially this weekend. I have had so much to say, to scream, but the words completely escaped me. I knew I was struggling at times, I knew I wasn’t myself but for the life of me could I explain why. Now previously this wouldn’t have been an issue, in fact it would have been a much preferred option, but I have made so much “progress” that I know that this isn’t the way to go anymore. I know it eats away at me from the inside. It grows strength from taking my strength and I don’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late. So now I try to be open and honest about how I am feeling and what is bothering me. All fine and dandy, yes? Well no. Not all the time. As I am still very new to all this, when I am as tightly wound as I have been this week, well I just come across as a complete cow. Not to everyone I must stress, sure some of you reading this wont have even realised there was anything wrong. Ah the old, familiar feeling of that mask of mine. However, to those close to me, to ironically the one’s I love mainly, well you have had a very different experience with me. I am sorry!

I think it has a lot to do with that false sense of security I sometimes mention. I get swept so much up in what I have taken on, and for the majority of the time I am thoroughly enjoying it and I am thriving. The thing is, I get so wrapped up in wanting to do everything, make sure everything is done to the best of my ability and that the people around me are happy, I stop looking after myself. Although what I am doing is all my own choice, my decisions, my attempt at bettering my life and becoming the best version of myself I can be, I am so eager to please everyone else. Not so much that I care entirely what they think of me, generally I don’t, but because I want everyone to be happy. I live the dream that everyone can have a fairy tale Disney ending. Sounds pathetically sad, some may laugh, but I think it is a lush thought that keeps me wanting to aim high. I want to help people achieve as close to this Disney feeling as possible.

I cant decide if the way I have felt this week is a result of my Depression, a result of circumstances or a mixture of both. I woke up on Monday on top form, Tuesday was a fantastic day, I was truly loving life! I have been officially signed off from my counsellor and that was an amazing feeling. She believes I can go it alone and that I have the techniques and the drive to go far. Wow! What a feeling! I got so much college work done, I had a good run – everything was going great. Then Wednesday hit. No reason at all for it. I should have still been riding the buzz of the previous day! I woke up, angry. Angry, exhausted and flat. Two dimensional flat. What had happened in my sleep? I still have no idea! Where had this anger come from? Who was it aimed at? Most importantly, how do I release it? I didn’t know, so to a degree I haven’t. I wonder if it is still there? I had a few outbursts and I ran my fastest mile to date on Friday so channelling it into my training is beneficial. I just have this horrible feeling that I have buried it and not addressed it.

Yesterday I did my relay race for Mind which was a new event on it’s own. I ran the route with the organiser, then as he went onto the next section, I headed back on my own. The scenery was spectacular. Being so high up felt so refreshing. I felt free. I did something I never, ever do. I ran in silence. No music. Do you know what? I absolutely loved it! I don’t think it’s something I could do daily, the streets of Stockton are not exactly soul inspiring, but up there, on those cliffs, no one around me for miles, just the wind in my face, the rain on my skin, I felt completely me. All my stress, my misery, my anger, all the thoughts racing round in my head, they just simply did not matter. All my worries were as far away as the next person. I had a smile on my face, not my biggest but one of my most honest. I could see everything round me with so much clarity. I could appreciate just how beautiful things can be in their natural environment. How absolutely stunning our little corner of the world is. Yes I was proud of being out of my comfort zone, yes I did a decent pace considering it was trail running and me being clumsy, I had the added dramatic effect of wondering whether I would fall off the cliff edge. It all just added to the experience. Once I was finished I went for a walk down on the beach and just listened to the waves. It was cold but I couldn’t feel it. I got so lost in the peace. The sky might have been grey but for that moment, everything seemed so colourful.

In that moment I was doing nothing. I was being me. I was the only one in those brief minutes that mattered. I wasn’t thinking about what I had to do, or where I had to go or who needed what from me. I was just being. The stark realisation hit that I don’t think I have ever just ‘been’. I walked back to the car feeling that little bit lighter. A little bit more aware of myself. I have realised that I wont ever be the success I aim to be if I cant appreciate who I am now, this moment. I cant keep looking back at past CC, she has gone now. She has been so strong and taught me many lessons. I cant keep focusing on future CC though. If I can’t look after present CC, future CC will be just a dream, a figment of my imagination. I don’t want to keep living so much for the future that I cant enjoy and appreciate the here and now.

My children wont be little for long, I’m already getting told off by Noah for calling him a baby – he is a big boy now! Of course. Don’t I know it! I say little, Bailey is nearly a teenager! How did that happen?? I can honestly say though, what an absolutely amazing young lady she is becoming. I get more hugs now, so lush. She is more thoughtful and appreciative. She always takes things in her stride and up until recently I suppose I never gave her the benefit of the doubt. As she is so like me in some ways I assume I know what she is thinking. I don’t. Apart from my hideous moods and bad temper, she is nothing like me, she is her. I have two completely different relationships with my kids and I used to think that was a bad thing. I realise now it isn’t, it’s an amazing thing. They are two completely different individuals who need different things from me. But they know I am their Mam and that I will always be there. That what I am doing and what I am pushing myself through is for them as much as it is for myself. They deserve the sun, the moon and the stars and I am going to make sure they get them!

So my lessons from this week are;

  • Look after myself – I cant have it all if I don’t.
  • Don’t be afraid to say No.
  • Live for the moment
  • Plan my time so I don’t get so fixated on a massive pile of ‘To Do’s’
  • Be proud of what I have achieved so far, not what I haven’t managed yet.
  • Accept I am only human

My next big personal challenge is only 14 days away, or 336 hours. My Bamburgh Half Marathon. 13.1 miles. Each mile will represent a person in my life who is or has suffered from a mental health issue. Every footstep will filled with love, support and pride that they are in my life. The last mile, the hardest and most painful mile, that will be all for me. It will represent how hard things have been, how painful, lonely, impossible and emotional things have been. But I am going forward, I am breaking through barriers. I am winning! I cant wait to pass that Finish line, hopefully seeing faces of people I care the most about, hugs and a massive sense of self pride.

Training will hit it’s climax this week, then a week to taper off. I am as ready as I ever will be. Ready to show myself exactly what I can do when I believe in myself!

On that note, I am off to bake goodies I cant eat, run at some point and get stuck into some college work. Productive Sunday’s are becoming my most favourite time of the week. A day I dedicate pretty much all to myself now. Lush!


CC xx


It’s only just the beginning!

**TW mentions of suicide**

Generally I am hoping that this is going to be a pretty positive post but let’s see how it goes. I love the feeling that tells me I am ready to start spouting the complete shite that goes on in my head but at the same time I am always a bit on edge about what I could potentially find out about myself. Often I have no idea what is bothering me exactly until my fingers start hitting the keys of  my laptop with the vigour of a man trying to the last of the tomato sauce out of the bottle.

One massive bonus about my college course, apart from the fact that so far I am loving it, is that it has got me thinking a lot. Not necessarily self dwelling although yes at times this does happen. I’m getting good at not burying my head in the sand and being more vocal about things. I mean it has got me thinking in a more academic, intelligent way. I feel like my brain is waking up. Although things are incredibly stressful and I nearly had a mini meltdown on Friday as I felt so overwhelmed with stuff, I also feel like I am finally winning my battle. Or at least I have crossed that line onto the good side. I wont get cocky and I am still realistic but what I also am is genuinely positive and wanting to enjoy the good days. I want to make the most of the good feeling, to laugh loudly, to dance crazily, to smile hugely and to be satisfied muchly with what I have, not what I want.

Over the weekend I have been thinking a lot about how I have felt over the last 7 month, especially back in March. The stage I am at now makes it difficult to comprehend that I was ever that low. Even during my bad days now, thoughts of self harm and of suicide do not even appear, at least not in a “I want to act on this” way. My fear of death has actually intensified. Is this normal? I have no idea. It feels so surreal that not long ago it was all I wanted. All I thought about for much of the day. Contemplating the best way to do it, wondering if I should leave letters, thinking about what my husband would tell my children, analysing what I thought would happen if I was successful. Would it be like going to sleep? Would it hurt but be like a satisfactory pain? The problem, if problem is what you can call it, is that being non religious I don’t know what I believe about what happens after. That thought now terrifies me to be honest, but less than 6 months ago, I didn’t care. I just wanted the pain to stop. I didn’t want to hurt anymore. I wanted the voices to stop. I wanted to feel successful at something and for a very warped period of time, I thought if I could achieve death I would be hitting the ultimate goal. Seriously messed up way of thinking and to be honest, canny upsetting now I am where I am but even so, that is honestly where I was. Thank goodness I failed at that!!

What it did do is wake me up. So cliché but I actually feel alive now. I have put all the energy that was focused on the bad stuff and the past into the here and now, laying the foundations for what I intend on being a pretty epic future. I want to live a life worthy of a book of memoirs. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a shit tonne of material to write part 1 of the “Life of CC” but mostly that would be a pretty miserable and potentially pity inducing read and one thing I do not want from anyone is pity. Then again, I do have quite a few majorly humorous chapters courtesy of my fabulous friends and some of the weird and wonderful people I have encountered in my life. I have also got a couple Jeremy Kyle worthy chapters. My life certainly hasn’t been black and white that’s for sure. More like neon pink with luminous yellow stars!

One of things we are studying is the nature vs nurture debate. I popped a question up in my RED group as I am so fascinated with the different way people look at things and their opinions. It really is such a diverse subject and as I proudly class myself as open minded I can genuinely see why people think the way they do. For me, as a rule I do believe in the nurture argument. Yes there are certain fundamental areas that could determine your future, areas that could be chalked up to nature; your eye colour, your distinguishing features, your immune system, etc. However, I do genuinely believe that who you become as a person, your quirks, your personality, your resilience, comes from experiences and your environment during your crucial development stages. I use myself and my own personal experiences to base my opinion as what better evidence to help your argument than true fact. I am not saying I am right (for once 😉 ) there is of course no right or wrong answer and to be honest there never will be.

I believe I am product of my past and my experiences, not my parents DNA. Yes, I have my Mam’s nose, my Dad’s teeth and hair and yes, there is a long history of mental health illness on both sides of my family blood line, especially Depression. Do I think this made me more likely to suffer? No. However, I do believe that the effects of said ill health and how it made people in my life behave did have a profound effect. The thing that makes me laugh is when I look at me and my brother. We have the same parents so the same genetic factors. We (unfortunately) look very similar, although I am clearly the more attractive one! We grew up with the same experiences, under the same roof, yet ultimately you could not get two more different people! Although I am no longer close to my brother, it would not be fair on me to disclose certain things on here for the world to see, but I will say we were treated VERY differently as children. The funny thing is though, and my Mam has even admitted this, mine and M’s lives are the wrong way round. This just proves to me that you take what you need from a situation. I am a result of various occurrences but what I have done is made sure I rose above the bad shit. They have not defined me but they have moulded me. They have created a thicker skin, a passion to change my life, a drive to succeed and an overall more stronger woman.

It may seem quite contradictory but I am firm believer in fate and karma. Yes, I do believe that the path we follow depends on the choices you make but everything happens for a reason, off the back of choices we make and actions we take. I have people who have appeared in my life that mean the world to me, yes I believe it was meant to be, but then it is a result of who I am as a person and where my decisions have brought me. I could have used my Depression to sit back and make myself feel better about my pretty mundane life and the fact that I am pretty nuts when I want to be but I didn’t. I decided to take all my strength and focus and put it into new projects. Once I had decided that I was worth it, my life was not worth ending, I decided to myself that this was the time where I make it worth living. Where I decided right, let’s make it the best I can. Let’s achieve the impossible, let’s help others realise their potential, let’s put myself out there and be as honest as I can be in the hopes that I might help just 1 person who feels alone, that feels like they are not worth it, that feels like the world would be a better place without them. It wouldn’t. It never would.

I may miss the heartless bitch I once was, the discovery of feelings has been an emotional one in itself, but it has opened so many doors for me. I am so glad I sought help when I was rock bottom as now I am on steady incline to heady heights of awesomeness. I may miss a rung, I may sometimes take a step or few back down, sometimes I may even halt for a little while to catch my breath, but one thing I know for sure………………………………………………………………


Much love


CC xx










Black Dog days are over………for now!

Before I start with what is really on my mind, let me just be clear. I know I am so far from the lass I was in March, so very far from the lass I was a year ago. I know what I have achieved and I know what I have to work for. I know pretty much who I have in my life now, I know who I have lost. I know who I can trust, I know who genuinely cares and I know the one’s that will use me and those that drain my energy. I know who I can embrace and those that I need to keep at arms length for my own sake. I know how lucky I am, I could be in a hell of a lot worse of a situation. There are people out there, some who I class as close to me, who have much bigger problems, who have suffered so much more pain, heartbreak and suffering. I am learning that when it comes to personal circumstances or the way that your mind decides to work, there are no comparisons. There can’t be. It’s the luxury and impressiveness of the human race – we are each completely individual, no two people are ever the same.

I’m not sure why, I haven’t quite put my finger on it, maybe it is the lack of routine in the long school holidays and the sheer overwhelming realisation of what I have coming up, but I have not been in a good place. This last week has been hard! One of the hardest since the beginning of this mental health journey I found myself on. In fact, if I am brutally honest with myself it started back in July but for the purposes of this blog we will focus on the last week. When to be honest, all I wanted to do was crawl back in my dark hole. The thing with my hole is I feel, safe, in there. It’s a lot quieter, people can’t get to me so their actions and words don’t affect me on a personal level, more on the level of a curious spectator. In my hole I know where I stand, I can close myself off, I embrace the darkness, the simplicity of it all, the way I can bury my feelings way down deep and refuse to acknowledge them. Those are the benefits of my hole.

For every positive list, there comes a negative list. Now that I can see a slight chink of light again on my horizon, after a week of the darkest storm clouds, I can see more clearly what these negatives would be. The main one – loneliness. It is so damn lonely being stuck in your head as it is, I know that if I had climbed back in that hole, the loneliness would have consumed me. The silence that I craved so badly would actually be deafening. The lack of love for myself would start to leave scars. The motivation and determination to beat this and better myself would dwindle like the flame on a candle that is about to burn out. I was so close. So close to giving up. Accepting that this is the life I am destined to live. Constant battles. Constant feelings of misery. Constant regrets. Constant what if’s.

Today though, no. I refuse to let this happen. First and foremost, to those people that know how low I have been, thank you for not letting me retreat. Thank you for hugging me. Thank you for not letting my stubbornness push you away. Thank you for accepting and even understanding why I am like this even when I haven’t really been able to explain. Thank you for listening. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for filling in my hole (oh er 😉 ) so I had no choice but to stay above ground. You could see that there were better times ahead, you believed I would see it too and you kept me going. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I have woke up and all is fine and dandy, but it is a damn sight better than yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.

I feel like I have neglected my blog. I stopped doing the things that I know have the ability to help me. I just had no interest. No words to speak. I had feelings, a whole lot of feelings, but none I wanted to give the power to consume me. The thing with my blog is I literally just type whatever comes into my mind at the given moment, and when people hurt me I have an awful way of lashing out. Had I wrote things down, they would have been forever said, whether I published the blog or not and I am not willing to do that. I am not that person anymore. I don’t want to hurt people to protect myself. I don’t want to be full of negativity and I certainly don’t want to be full of self pity and oh woah is me. I am a damn sight stronger than that!

This blog, although I want it to be about fitness too, is very much a mental health blog now. It always has been. When I read back over them I can see my highs and my lows. It is actually quite therapeutic reading it back. Fascinating to see how my mind was working at that point in time. What was hurting me or bothering me or making me happy. One thing I like to see is my passion. My goals. My challenges. Yes, I have certainly failed at a few but you know what, I think that has just made me more determined to set more and to make damn sure I pass them. The thing that was different at the beginning was I was so determined not to let my mate Depression win, I pushed myself hard. I had steel like motivation. I think as I started accepting what was wrong, that in all intent and purpose I was ill, I started getting complacent. Depression saw a chink in my armour and started to work it’s way in. It had me starting to believe it was ok to give in. That I was doing too much. But I wasn’t. I can do it all, I can have it all and you know what, I’m going to!

1 week today and it is the start of a whole new life for me. I start college with the main aim to pass with the credits I need to go on to university to study Psychology. My eventual aim is to be an Exercise Psychologist and to run my own business. This empire I speak of is back on the burner now. Around studying I am determined to work until they make me redundant, raise my kids, look after my house, build my peer support group, volunteer for Mind and still find time to reach my own personal fitness and weight loss goals. Oh and have fun! Sounds busy, sounds a little bit impossible maybe, not enough hours in the day? Well I am well aware it is not going to be easy. In fact I am even more aware that sometimes I will be ready to give up. That I will believe I cant do it, my brain doesn’t work, etc. My biggest motivational quote at the moment;


So prep is key, being nice to myself is even more important. Asking for help is crucial. As independent as I am and as much as I don’t NEED anyone, I have to be honest and realise that it is ok to try and make things easier for yourself if you have people willing to help and support you. Tomorrow I can start to build a routine back, ready to start next week strong and focused. It’s a big week! My baby boy also starts primary school! I could not be more proud of my children and I want them to be proud of me. I want them to see me fight all the hard stuff and come out better and stronger than ever. They deserve the kick arse Wonder Woman Mam that I know I can be. Just need the costume now!

So today, now the light is starting to shine through, I can see the flowers blooming. It is going to be a day of genuine smiles. Of preparing and planning. Of dancing like a divvy to the music I love. Of big cuddles and laughter with my gorgeous boy. Of chatting to friends and just appreciating what I have in my life. The clouds can always come back, but there will ALWAYS be sunshine behind them. The hole is filled, I have put a lid on it. There is no going back!

CC xx



The Future is Bright. The Future is Red!

Although I always try be seem motivated I cant lie, over the last few weeks it has been a massive effort for me to get my head round what I have taken  on and what I need to get done in a short space of time.  I started to question myself, not like me I know lol, and wondered if my dreams and aspirations were a bit far fetched, especially considering my age. I wondered if what I wanted was possible, if it has a place in society and my community, if I was doing something that had already been done many times before and I just hadn’t done my research and so on and so forth.

I have been scared to engage properly in what I am doing as I was doubting my ability to actually do what I was saying I was going to do. But you know what, I can do it! Yes I am older but that means I have experience. Yes I have lumps and bumps but I am a working, married mother of 2 and yet I have still managed to massively transform how I look and increase my fitness levels ten fold. I run 5km’s for a laugh, that’s my general run distance on a regular day! This shows that anyone can do it and this will be one of my self promotion angles. You don’t need loads of money, you can get the body you are proud of and a healthy lifestyle no matter who you are or what your life involves.

I always felt self conscious working out with ripped Personal Trainers who you know have looked like that most of their life so I want to use the reality angle. I want people to feel comfortable with me and themselves. I understand on a realistic level those day to day struggles all too well – no time, no energy, no motivation, no confidence, no money. If all that wasn’t enough I can also engage on a mental level. I can understand people who get stuck in their own heads, I can understand negative emotions and how crippling they can be, I understand mental health issues, from what I suffer with, from what friends who have opened up to me suffer with and from what I am learning from my studies. All these are going to be the pillars of strength when I go forward into the big, wide world. I know patience is something I struggle with, but then again I have never had self belief. I may not be religious but I do have faith. Faith in me, faith in my ideas, faith in what I can help other people achieve. For those days where my faith waivers I have my children, my husband, some of my family and my friends who will fill in those holes and give me a firm but loving push. Luck isn’t winning the lottery, luck is having all of that.

Doing the 10km helped cement in my mind that my fitness levels are great! What has helped with setting my mind back on the wavelength it needed to be was my meeting yesterday. As I have said, my volunteering with Mind Middlesbrough & Stockton has started to open up more opportunities and information than I ever could have hoped for. I have featured on news segments on regional TV, I have now written two blogs for Mind themselves as well as one for a friends business and the 1 in 4 website. I also got mentioned on another Mental Health website due to them seeing my blogs on my Twitter account. I am part of the Anti-Stigma group which has lead me to be involved in the development team of a dvd that will be being made and released through our region to raise awareness of mental health problems. This meeting then lead on to a discussion of what I do and what I want to do which resulted in me attending a Peer Support Networking meeting yesterday.

This meeting has helped things make a bit more sense, I can see the puzzle and the pieces clearly now, I just need to set about putting them all together to create my bigger picture. They didn’t laugh at my ideas, they thought they were good! There is certainly scope for what I want to do. I can see where I need to start, what I need to get in place. I have been given so much information my head is spinning but in a fantastic way. I do need to go through and select what resonates with me but that is a task I am looking forward to. I know I will have the support of Mind, I could make applications for grants! My ideas can and will become a reality! Had you even suggested any of this to me back in January I think I would laughed in your face! I certainly wouldn’t have believed it. Now I feel that fire back in my belly. The embers have kept glowing but now the flames are growing again. I know it will be ALOT of hard work, the next 10 days alone will mostly be spent with my laptop and my head stuck in books. You know what though, I am no longer filled with dread. I know it is my own fault I have so much to do at this stage but I am excited to see how I work under pressure. It has been a very long time since I have had positive pressure on me. Pressure which will kick my arse and force me to get my head back where it needs to be to get the results I know I am more than capable of getting. Nothing worth having ever comes easy and that is fine with me. Easy is boring, easy is existing. I want to live!

I have my business name in mind, I have a vague idea of the foundations, all that is left for me to do is, crack on! I have done a basic survey that I hope as many people as possible will fill in. I wont publish the results, it is just for my own personal research so I can create a product that is needed and will work. I love writing my blogs as it clears up my mind and I can then focus my very ditzy brain in one place, at least for a while. So for now, I shall sign off, feeling positive, determined, motivated and……happy!


CC xx

The balloon is about to pop!

I was going to wait till I had calmed down a bit until I started this but you know what, fuck it. I need to say it now, while I can’t fluff it all up and attempt to keep everyone happy and hoping I don’t offend anyone, as I seem to spend about 99% of my fucking time doing. Again!

I doubt this is going to be the blog you are used to. Although I know I have an amazing and witty sense of humour, at this precise minute, I am right at the end of my tether. To the point that I have been in my office exactly 23 minutes and have already burst out crying once and debated throwing a cup as hard as I can off a wall. This would have not been my best idea and thankfully the knowledge that, knowing my luck, I would be blinded by ricochet from my cup stopped me.

It might be an angry blog, it might be an massive case of huge self pity but hey, its my blog, so if you don’t like it then click the X button and walk away. No one is forcing you to read it. And secondly if you don’t like what you read, tough. And if you think, is she talking about me, well I probably am! If you have to ask that question, then you know you’ve done something to warrant it.

At this moment in time, as a friend stated to me last night, let’s hope my holiday comes before my breakdown. Which seems to be looming very large, very quickly. I am the last person who wants this to happen. Last time it happened I nearly ended up dead. Blunt but completely true. The huge plus I have this time is I have my coping techniques. They aren’t always easy to implement. Despite opinions of the contrary I do still struggle with motivation. The thing is, some of the things I do to keep me ‘level’, like blogging, I have stopped doing. Sometimes because I can’t make sense of the shit going round in my head again, but mostly because I don’t want to upset anyone. Or annoy anyone. Or whatever. Seriously man, it’s pathetic. Although yeah I publish these blogs, more so only to help those that may need it realise they are not alone, but also to keep myself accountable. To keep myself in check. I shouldn’t be using this just as a last resort. Which I have been doing for ages now.

Anyway, my point, what is my point? It’s starting to wane a bit as the therapy that is the clicking of the keyboard starts to calm me down. My point is, I am absolutely sick as pig shit of the way I am treated sometimes. Of the things that people have to say behind my back but won’t actually talk to me about to my face. Of being used. Of being the shoulder to cry on and the one to be there when their life is a mess, but when I start to stumble under the weight of everyone else’s shit, they don’t hold me up and wait for me to catch my breathe and find a bit more strength. They run away. Or they get what they need and fuck off.

Now, I will say, there are some of you this does not apply to. In fact, there are a few of you that should have run away. Probably a long time ago. Those of you who have told me straight and given me advice and although I have listened, and I truly have, I go back and make the same bastard mistakes again. The ones that must be so sick of hearing me blabber on about myself, yet never actually get to the point of what is wrong. The ones that ask and actually care, yet I blatantly lie to and say yeah I’m great, I’m just tired, etc. To you’s, I can’t genuinely thank you enough!

But to the rest of you, I try to be a good person. I DO NOT think I am perfect. In fact I am so far away from fucking perfect, I am the Elephant Man of perfection. What makes this accusation worse and more painful, is there is NO ONE on this planet, or in this whole bastard universe that is more hard on me than me. I don’t brush off compliments because I think I’m great. I just simply do not believe them! I can not see what these people (the genuine ones, not the ones with ulterior motives) see. I am not doing it so we can have an argument. I just do not agree. And I won’t pretend ever that I do. I will of course be thankful and incredibly appreciative but I still won’t agree. Unless like I say, it’s about my shining personality and the fact I am quite frankly fucking hilarious!!

As for me thinking I am better than everyone else. Well, this insult actually made me laugh for a bit. A bit like when I was accused of being stuck up. Do you think I am doing what I do because I think I am better than you?! Do you think I am constantly on social media because I think I am amazing?! If you have answered yes to either of these questions, delete me right now. I want shit all else to do with you. I have made so many fucking mistakes, that when I write my book, it is probably going to be in that many parts, there will be more books to it than the Encyclopaedia sets we used to have back in the day (before Wikipedia for you Millennials). I have never tried to hide from my mistakes. I may not always make them all public, but that doesn’t mean I deny them. Some I keep quiet about because it isn’t just me affected by my actions. I still make mistakes and let’s face it, in a lot of ways I am thick as pig shit and will continue to make mistakes for the rest of my life. Some I make several times before I get burnt and actually flipping learn. This makes me human. I dare anyone to challenge me and say you are any different.

I live a lot of my life out on social media now, I may actually brag about myself and my achievements as well. How truly shocking of me!!!! How very un-British of me! But guess what, I work bloody hard. Whether it be Red Balloons stuff, which of course it usually is cos I pretty much breathe it at the moment. Or maybe uni stuff. Yes I had an absolutely pathetic meltdown last night over an assignment grade. But so what? I can be dramatic. Quite often. I am a legend in the drama queen circles. But so what? Was I hurting anyone? I just needed to get it out. Yes a pass is a pass but at that moment in time it was absolute shit for me. And I broke down. Again, a sign of my human side.

I post a shit load about my running and exercise. It may seem absolutely tedious and boring to many. Very self absorbed too. But again, am I hurting anyone? I just want to track my progress. I love things popping up on my memories and seeing how things have (or in some cases haven’t) changed. When you complete an absolutely brutal run that you hated every second of, it feels amazing and you do want to shout it out loud. I am no longer going to apologise or feel bad about sharing my stuff. If you aren’t interested or don’t want to see it, see advice above. Or just keep scrolling. It is that easy. Like when you don’t click on a news story that you aren’t interested in. How very simple!

I do what I do because I truly hate to think of ANYONE feeling as low as I did. I refuse to stop doing what I do in the chance that I may save even 1 life. That I maybe help 1 person realise that there is ALWAYS another way out. If this makes me seem like I think I am better than everyone, then so be it. I want to help people, that is all. I believe truly, madly, deeply in what I do. It wont work for everyone and I won’t force it on anyone. If what I offer doesn’t work for someone, I am incredibly lucky to be part of a community that works together, to support everyone. I can signpost people to more suitable avenues. Yes, I will eventually make money from Red Balloons, it will be my livelihood. That does not and never will take away the ethos of what I do and why.

Ok, lastly, for you’s that take and then fuck off. That pretend to give a fuck, while you are getting what you want or need. Well I can’t be doing that shit any more. I can’t continue to say, oh it’s ok, I understand, when to be honest, I don’t. I keep my mouth shut, I listen and I try to help. Yet if I need you, where are you? Everyone’s life is a mess in some way or other. That’s life. What a delight? If you want a friendship, then act like it. If you don’t, I refer you again to the point somewhere above, walk away and don’t look back. I wont stop being a good person, I won’t stop trying to save the world and his dog, but what I will stop doing is being a complete and utter mug. Self preservation. What a selfish bitch I am ey? Well I say, about time!!

Wow, the power of a full blown rant!!! Was some of that related to my shitty mental health? Probably. My balloon is on the verge of bursting that much is true. I may have been too ambitious too quickly, but I never expected it to be this way. So it’s time I take the cards I have been dealt and play the best game I can. But with a lot more breaks. If I ask for help, I need it! It would pay for a some of you who say you are there for me to take heed. It takes me a lot to ask so don’t make feel shit for doing so. Or just stop saying things you don’t mean.

How much easier would life be if we all did that?

Anyway, if you have read this, thank you. If I have upset you, well I did say. But hopefully the people who have needed this too, it may have helped. And ultimately, it has helped me. And that is what MY blog is all about.

And life goes go on…………

15 days and counting until IBIZA

CC xx

My marathon story, Part 1 – The Day itself

I cant really believe that firstly, this time last week I was sat on a train to London, just an average Jo and secondly, that it would take me this long to actually start writing/talking about it! It feels like just yesterday yet like it was months ago, all at the same time! Such a weird feeling.

But the feelings and how this week post marathon has been, will be in Part 2 of my mini marathon series, because let’s face it, I have a tendency to waffle on as it is and it could end up turning into a book!

I want to start off by saying that I am so incredibly fucking proud of myself!! Takes me a hell of a lot to say that, and some of you might think “did she really need to swear there?” But yes I did! I ran a marathon! I have no idea if that 1% statistic is accurate as I’ve said but come on, wow!! 26.2 miles!! Me!!!

As you all know, training went tits up and the only long run I did was one solitary 10 miler, about a month before the race itself. If not longer before actually. That is NOT what I would advise anyone to do. The training should be taken seriously, it should not be avoided and you should certainly NOT follow in this daft arses footsteps and assume you can wing it. You may pass the finish line but I tell you what, it fucking hurts!! Like, seriously knacks!! It hurts those that have trained for it properly, so come on, really, don’t risk it!

The day itself, well my morning is kind of a blur now. I had an unexpected sense of calmness about me, in fact, I shall call it numbness. I had literally done jack shit the day before apart from getting a bit lost on a walk to Shepherds Bush when I stupidly assumed I knew more than the mardy Google maps lady. I do not. I had sat on my bed watching shite tv and then binge watching Netflix while eating my body weight in food. Allllll the food! This I think certainly worked in my favour, as shit as I felt that day.

For about 2 weeks prior to the run, I truly questioned quite honestly if I would even get to the Start Line. I was so close to giving in and if it wasn’t for the support of some amazing friends and the generosity of those that donated to Red Balloons, I think I would have. I would have used my niggly calf as an excuse and deferred. If I had deferred though I know that I would never have ever got round to doing it.

I got up on Sunday morning about 530am. Staying over an hour away from the start line I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to get sorted. I am not a fan of the tube itself anyway, so I wanted to get out and get there as soon as possible to make sure it wasn’t crowded. That would have been hell on earth for my anxiety! I had already got all my gear sorted the night before, so was a case of shotting my clothes on, doing last minute checks that I had everything I could need for every possibility, then after a very wholesome breakfast of black coffee and 3 cereal bars, it was off out the door!

I met a lovely lady on the train who chatted to me all the way to Blackheath. She may not know it but I am incredibly grateful to her for being so chatty and friendly. It was at this point that the loneliness was starting to hit me. There was going to be no one cheering me on from the side lines. No one waiting for me at the end with a celebratory gin and hug! There was so many people there with so much support, it as kind of like a slap in the face. I am not ashamed to admit, I was incredibly jealous.

I got to Blackheath and already the amount of people making their way to the start line was crazy! And this was a tiny fraction. I met with the lovely Lee from Red January, finally! He came to meet me at the start area of the blue zone, and after a lush little hug and a chat, I felt a bit more relaxed. I may not have people physically there with me but I knew I had so much support. I had a magic banana and then it was off to soak in the atmosphere. Straight through security, straight to the loo then to drop my kit bag off. The energy in the air was electric. So many people from so many walks of life, different sizes, ages and all running for their own personal reasons. Some had ran stupid amounts of marathons, some were like me and it was their first. And what a first one! The bloody London Marathon for god’s sake!

The start zone was freezing! I don’t normally feel the cold but I am sure I must have burnt a good proportion of the 4056 calories that I apparently used up that day, just shivering them off! Not a great idea to wear shorts and t shirt! But as soon as we started to get in our huddles for the starting pen, it got warmer much quicker. My zone was due to cross the start line at 10:38 I think but it was just before 11am when I got there. Time seemed to have no meaning at that point though. For the first time in as long as I remember I just wanted to start running! I had started to come alive again. I was here, I was about to do it!! I had my playlist ready to go. All that was left now was to go and do the best I could. I had a dream that I would finish in the 5’s, expected 6’s but would have at that moment been happy with any time as long as it meant I finally got that medal round my neck!

So, we crossed the start line and the crowds were already amazing! When they say that the crowds carry you around London, they were not lying. The support and encouragement is something I believe would be incredibly hard to replicate! I managed to settle into my pace quite quickly and comfortably so I was already off to a really positive start. I had a flush of emotions but managed to keep them in check. The smile on my face was absolutely HUGE! All the love I have for running came flooding back. God I had missed it so much!!

The first three miles are really just around the housing estates, the “hump” volunteers made me laugh. Definitely part of the experience. Maybe not as exciting as they may sound haha but anyone or anything that makes me laugh is a winner to me. The thing that surprised me the most, is having done the Great North Run, I had expected and prepared myself for large crowds of runners and generally not being able to move very freely, but it was actually quite spacious! This was definitely a relief. Even when we joined the runners from the other start zones at around mile 3, it never got to the point where I felt I was tripping over anyone. I must say, the groups all coming together was an amazing feeling.

I keep going on about the atmosphere, and I kind of feel mean as I cant even begin it explain in enough detail that would ever give it justice! It is certainly a “you had to be there” thing. Anyway, the running was going well, decent pace, even speeding up around the 15km which was an unexpected surprise. The Cutty Sark was a mint section of the route and I realised I was getting to see the sights of London in one hell of a fab way! The songs on my playlist were really doing their job and all weekend I felt like someone had been watching over me, but the cherry on the top of that cake was when I got to Tower Bridge! The song that started playing as I took my first step onto it was ‘So Lonely’ by The Police. That is Noah’s favourite song ever and one that has became increasingly important to me over the years. I was beaming!

I crossed the half way point (4 minutes faster than the time I had completed the GNR in so I was buzzing my baps off at that!) and that is kind of when it went wrong in one aspect. My body just went, nah! I knew I couldn’t stop as I wouldn’t have started again and that is fact. Things hurt that I never knew could or would! No one warns you that your neck and shoulders ache like you have an Elma on top of them, and my god, the pain you get in your arse is something else!! There was no way I was giving up though. I thought my aim of a 5 finishing time was out the window, and I wont lie, if I had had the energy I would have been kicking myself as I didn’t want to walk but at the end of the day I listened to my body. And luckily, anyone that knows me knows I walk stupidly fast! Walking a marathon does not make you not a marathon runner. Unless you are an elite athlete it really does not matter what time you cross that finish line! Who gives a fuck what Sue from up the road thinks or what Bob from Accounts said he did in 2001? The fact that you even put yourself up for applying for a marathon just shows you how much progress you have made by having that self belief. It might be tiny, it might be a spark, but it is there! And I tell you what, NO ONE can take that away from you.

I got to my amazing friend Billy at Mile 19, who had a drink and some jelly beans for me, and I was still in one piece, starting to ache but was good. Another lush hug and meeting the amazing Pam was a great boost. Then about mile 22 hit and that was when the pain took over me like a steam roller. Fuck me, it hurt. I keep saying it but seriously, it did! I kept going though, down past the embankment, laughing at a lass stopping to nick a blokes alcoholic drink and walking down the road with her half glass of lager. So jealous! That was a genius move in my opinion! I got to see all the sights though, the Thames, the London Eye, Big Ben, etc. Yes the pain was tainting it slightly but still, I was there. I decided that yeah, ok I might be walking, but at least I was sightseeing. The final mile popped up. Thank fuck for that!! Yet this mile felt longer than all 25 miles before it. I was definitely reaching my physical limit. Anyone who has done it will tell you that as soon as that 800m to go sign pops up, 200m feels like 2 mile. I turned the corner to the last part, I so wanted to do a sprint finish but my legs were struggling to lift my feet off the floor in general, no way I could. But you know what, I crossed that finish line. In my 5 hour time goal at 5 hours 35 minutes and 8 seconds! I was a marathon runner!! I had fucking done it!!! Medal firmly round my neck. A friend asked me how I was still smiling after all that way but wow!! It was the hardest but without a doubt the BEST physical challenge I have done to date and all the stress and agony in the lead up to it disappeared.

Despite everything, despite all my worries and self doubt I had done it!!!

So what things have I learnt. Here are the main things:

– You will despise all jelly sweets for a good week after, and this starts from about mile 22

– Ice pops, grapes and cherry tomatoes taste like wizards piss!! Those cherry toms were seriously the best thing I have had in my mouth in a very long time!

– You will have so much respect for everyone around you and feel like you are in some kind of secret but obviously not so secret society

– There are so many charities out there! From the massive well known ones to the tiny ones you have never heard of.

– People in crazy fancy dress will run past you. And I mean Big Ben, Wooden spoons and Rhino’s.

– Take the Vaseline before you realise you need it, as soon as you know you need some, you wont find anyone with it!

– You will constantly worry about pissing or shitting yourself. I however surprised myself completely and didn’t go to the toilet once!! In 6 hours!!

– You will feel like an absolute hero at the end but unless you run them for fun, that post run beer and food is nowhere near as appealing as some sleep!

So, although I said over and over again, never again, well I am afraid I have changed my mind! Who knows what the future holds for crazy CC. I can see me losing a lot of friends if I drive them as bonkers as I have this time though haha haha but honestly, now I know what to expect, I am sure I will be much calmer!

So, part 2 will come towards the end of the weekend. That will be all the emotions and shit. As always I know this is a pretty random blog and I have no doubt missed loads of things out but I suppose I want to end on this:

The only person who can limit what you can achieve and do is YOU. I know that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Whether it be a marathon, or something else. Take a leap of faith and prove to yourself what everyone else knows, you are AMAZING!

Thanks to those who supported me through the run itself, messaged me to keep me going and were just generally in my pocket the whole time. I can never thank you enough. You know who you are.


(Marathon Runner) CC xx