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

Advertisements

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.

Love

(Marathon Runner) CC xx

28.04.2019 – Today is the day!

I was meant to write this yesterday but I kind of got myself into a shitty place so binged watched Netflix series and ate ALL the food, under the guise of marathon preparation! Let’s hope it worked because I now feel like Elma’s birth mother and REST is not my colour!

So, less than one hour before I walk out of this apartment door an “average” person! Hopefully when I return I will be a Bono’s fide marathon runner!

Holy shit!!

To be fair, as I sit here now, the butterflies are having a full on old school 90’s rave in my belly, but otherwise I feel a kind of weird emptiness. It either hasn’t sank in properly or my brain is being my mate for once and has shut down in order to stop me doing my usual over thinking shit. This is probably a wise decision from my brain (for once) as I can think myself into some right states!!

I am torn between being grateful I am here alone as I can just do my thing. I’m not stressing over anyone else and worrying about them. But fuck me, it is so bloody lonely. I just want a hug. And here I go, crying already! Beau-to-ful!!

I’m not crying out of pity for myself. Well not much, maybe about 2%? I am crying for everything that has led me up to this point. To everything that has knocked me down, knocked me about and basically made parts of my life absolutely wank. I am crying for the fact that I am alive (that is a good cry)! I am crying for all those people that are not lucky enough to still be with us as their path was very different. For the fact that, like me at that point, they saw no other way out. I am crying for the 42,000 other runners who are all their for their own personal reasons. Doing one of the most amazing and sought after runs in the WHOLE WORLD. I am crying because thanks to the shite and the experiences I have had in my life, I can now say that I am using these all for good. I can help other people.

Every mile today will be for me, but also for another person who has been an important influence in my life. Whether I have known them for 30 year or 3 month. I want to share this experience with all you amazing people who have put up with me over the last few months and are STILL my friend hahaha. I want to share it with the fantastic people who have believed in Red Balloons and helped us raise nearly £450 as it stands right now. I will be going Facebook Live wherever possible. People will no doubt get some random messages and FaceTimes. Even if it is just for me to cry and babble incoherently down the phone. For all those tracking me, please be aware you will be following me for the long haul. I had an agreement with old Mo, that I wouldn’t show him up and overtake. Plus I heard the party is at the back. And everyone knows CC loves a party!!

SO there we have it, my last written thoughts on the before of a marathon. My training has been shit, I have beaten myself up so much mentally I should be on life support but I am here. I am doing it! I haven’t given up. Sheer determination or absolute stubbornness? I couldn’t give a fuck what you class it as because it doesn’t matter –

London Marathon – give me what you have got!!!!!

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.

YES I CAN!

CC xx

Help Me!

Before anyone started to panic, I’m ok! I swear.

Help Me! Is in fact a book I came across online when ordering The Chimp Paradox and thought, yeah why not. Yet I have just finished it in less than 24 hours and it has made it’s mark by being the most relevant book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Marianne Power – I salute you!

I used to love reading, as a kid and up until my mid to late 20’s I would easily devour a book a week, if not more, always having a couple in my bag for holidays, bus journeys, doctors appointments etc. Then Depression decided to take that pleasure away from me. I struggle to concentrate for longer than 10 minutes at a time. I find I have read 5 pages and not actually taken in a single word, so I go back and repeat the process, often 3 or 4 times before I give up. This then frustrates me so much I don’t pick a book back up again for months.

Thing is, I also realise now, I am depriving myself of this pleasure. I am not letting myself do the things I enjoy because I don’t feel worthy, and this alone has hurt me deeper than I can describe.

So, what has this book got to do with this blog and why the sudden epiphany? I won’t go into much detail about the book as I thoroughly recommend EVERYONE reads it, women and men! In a nutshell, Marianne is a freelance journalist who feels something is missing in her life so she decides to take on a “Self Help” challenge, where she vows to read 1 self help book a month, for a year, and follow its advice to the T. Her journey takes her on one hell of a self discovery and there are parts where I laughed, but equally, there are parts where I cried my eyes out. Poor Noah, he could not understand why I was crying at a book, “but Mammy, there are no pictures. Is that why you are sad?”

Bless him. Oh to see the world through an innocent 5 years old eyes!

There are so many relevant quotes that I loved in the book, but one that really got me was:

“Remember, you have been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

Right now, in this very moment, the thought of approving of myself feels absolutely bloody terrifying. My whole sense of humour is based on sex and self depreciation. What a woman ey?

See, there you go! I cant help it. It’s like a disease!

How do you even go about starting to like yourself? Why when someone gives me a compliment do I reflect it back on to them, say a quick thanks and change the subject or worst of all, react with at least 1 if not 2 things that I don’t like about myself? Why do I have these thoughts that people are just saying these things? Why do I not believe that they mean what they say? Why would they bloody say it??

If I start down a route of being proud, not minding my wonky nose or not being hugely upset over my battered, Pilsbury Doughman stomach, I instantly call myself up for being a self obsessed narcissist. How can I be thinking good things about myself when there are so many people struggling? With what I do now, I come across many people who aren’t in good places. I try where ever possible to help, but I know I cant help them all. I want them to see how amazing they are, how worth it they are, that they can do anything they set their mind to. Yet, I cant even tell myself these things! Is that not the biggest case of hypocrisy you have ever heard??

All I have ever wanted is to be happy. I’m not 100% sure how or what the happiness is that I want, but I am starting to realise that if I don’t open up and if I keep pushing people away or keeping those that care at arms length, how am I ever going to really know? I am a strong, independent woman and I know I am. I don’t NEED anyone, I can manage amazingly alone, but I don’t want to. Not anymore. I am terrified of being hurt, it is something I have felt many times in my life, but I suppose if you don’t take a risk, then how can you ever really know that you have what you want. And I don’t just mean on a “love” basis. I mean in all aspects of my life. Friends, family, career, fun. I can’t do any of them to the best of my ability if I keep trying to do everything alone. I open up in this blog, to a degree. More than I ever would face to face. But I never really show anyone it all. I have been told on more than one occasion that I keep my cards very close to my chest. I am very matter of fact about a lot of things but at the same time I am incredibly closed off. You can’t tell what I am thinking, and unless I am pissing my pants laughing or snotty nosed crying, two extreme emotions you cant ever really hide, you certainly never know how I am feeling!

I have to stop. I have to stop piling so much onto my plate in order to keep busy. I have to stop hiding from myself. I have to start listening to what is going on in my head, acknowledge it and then deal with it. I have the tools, and amazing people in my life, that will enable me to do this. But I have to start believing I am worth it. I have to stop thinking that every time something doesn’t go to plan, that I am a failure. I had to cancel my Red Balloons London Marathon Fundraiser and I was, and to a degree, still am, furious at myself. But it was a balloon that I had to let go, and not chase after.

Red Balloons won’t fail because I had to change plans. People won’t think I am a flake and that I don’t know what I am doing. Although in all fairness, I didn’t in that area. It was a risk, an excited moment of madness that I thought I could handle, that on paper looks like an amazing idea, but with family, uni, Red Balloons general work and the marathon itself, who was I kidding? I couldn’t give it the time and focus it needed. And because I didn’t want to put on anyone, I didn’t ask for help. I never ask for help.

I know more than most these days what can happen if you don’t ask for help. I am also a believer that everything, good and bad, happens for a reason. Some people hate that phrase but I have always lived by it, more so since all this shit began. I also know that I can’t control the actions of other people. Some things that have happened in my past were not my fault. I let go of them balloons in counselling, to a degree, but I never let them properly float away, I kind of just tied them to a near by bench. They are there, I can see them, I don’t carry them around with me, but they are always there. When you start to self reflect, it is so easy to slide down into believing that it must be because of you that these things happen. Because looking at all the negatives is so much bloody easier than trying to accept the good things. I don’t think I am ever going to be capable of believing I am worthy of love until I learn to love myself. Well ok, I’m never going to be all hippy about it, but I do need to learn to accept myself for who I am.

So here goes, here is what I hope I am:

– a good Mam. Even if I am bat shit crazy. I hope my kids know just how much I love them.

– friendly

– easy to talk to

– a good listener

– funny. Even if it is at me cos I am a massive div, being able to put a smile on someone’s face and even better, to make them laugh, means the world to me

– understanding

– hard working

I want to stop thinking that I am not good enough. I may not have abs of steel but I have a kind heart. My teeth may be slightly horse like, but I like to smile. I may be absolutely crap at planning these days, but I get stuff done (eventually). I may not have money to go places and do things, but my door is always open. I pretty much live in gym gear, but I can scrub up if the occasion calls. I even wear dresses! I may have a seriously questionable sense of humour for a lass, but I am fun! I have no filter but that means what you see is what you get. I may not wear my heart on my sleeve, but if I care about you, I give you my all. Even if you can’t see it. I can have the patience of a saint when it’s needed but I wont bullshit you. I will say what I think if you ask, so if you don’t want to know, don’t ask. I am stubborn as fuck but it has got me this far. And it will get me to that start line on April 28th!

I have been questioning my future a little bit recently, talking myself out of what I am doing and what I have achieved already. I have kind of felt like a bit of a fraud because everything is, well, messy, at the moment. But I know now, that is normal. No organisation or business just slips into working like clock work. To see how much I have achieved in less that a year through sheer stubbornness and the absolute belief in what I am doing is fucking unreal. Because I do believe in it. It does work! I truly 100% believe that you can achieve your dreams. It might seem like a bloody nightmare in places, but realistically, I am! I was never destined to live a standard, 2.4 children life. Yes I am all for love and romance and all that shit, but there is so much more. I want fun and adventure and craziness. I want to dance around shops just cos I love a song I heard, I want to stand up and tell my story because I know that even one person in any given room may need to hear that is is ok not to be ok. I want to be living proof that you can live through some absolute shite situations, and still come out with some shiny bling! Scars aren’t there to make you look hideous, they are there to tell a story. I may never be happy with what I see in the mirror, but if at my funeral, in like 100 years time, someone can just say, “she was a good person. She really cared” then I will have succeeded.

I have more than my fair share of faults and I make many mistakes. I often don’t think before I speak, or act, and I don’t always think beyond that moment and therefore the repercussions of things, but life is for fucking up. Learning. Fucking up again. And then actually learning. I hear people say, “I cant” but you know what, yes you bloody can! If this daft lass, from a council estate in Chester-le-Street, with no aspirations during her teenage years apart from getting pissed and getting laid, sad but true, can now stand up and say; I am running my own organisation to help others, I am a full time university student as well as a mam of two, and in LESS THAN 3 weeks will be a bona ride marathon runner, how can you really say that you can’t?

Life is wank. It really is. It’s fucking brutal and hard at times, but you know what, you can never appreciate the good stuff without all that horrendous shit. And as I have said a million times over, nothing good ever comes easy. Never give up. If you want something enough, it will happen. Eventually. But don’t just settle. Unless just settling is what you want. Make those scary changes.

You’re worth it. And you know what? So am i!

Amazing what a day in your mamas can do for you! I am disgusted and delighted at myself all at the same time.

Thank you again Marianne Power! You’re mint!

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?

Anxiety.

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

These are MY thoughts and opinions.

I was going to do this as a vlog, maybe I will at some point, but as my emotions are quite mixed up with it all, I cant promise what will come out of my mouth. And let’s face it, more people are likely to watch something then make the effort to read something. Sorry, but it is a statistical fact.

I as always just want to say that these are MY opinions, my thoughts and my words. I am not trying and would hate to offend anyone with what I think and say but I wouldn’t be being genuine or true to myself if I was to only tell the truth, or my truth, when it suited. In a world where people are offended upon opening their eyes on a morning, this is certainly a whole new minefield.

Social media firstly. I have social media to thank for a lot of what I do and where I am now right now. Red Balloons is growing steadily, literally by the day! I can reach and talk to people I would never be able to in the ‘real world’, without using a shit load of petrol and having my kids think they had been abandoned anyways. Social media reaches billions of people, so of course it is used to spread news, good and bad, real and complete fallacy. It also gives those that wouldn’t say BOO to a goose (I wouldn’t either mind, those things are EVIL) a chance to actually verbalise what they have going on. This can be a truly amazing thing, but it can also be an absolute mare when the keyboard warrior trolls get on their high horse and think they know everything about everything and anyone, because they read the daily or weekly shit-rag.

You see, for me, these “professional” media people are very similar to healthcare professionals. They read something, maybe even do a bit of on top of the surface research, and think they have the answers to the meaning of life and all that shit. They don’t actually have a clue what they are talking about and in some cases, are doing a damn site more harm than good. Yet, they seem to get a lot more attention than those who are actually LIVING these things that are getting reported on. As much as I love Holly Willoughby, more news can be made from what she was wearing one day than the actual serious subjects that the programme discusses.

This is a proper random rant but I swear it has a meaning. Mike Thalassitis, the new famous face to become yet another statistic of this countries horrific suicide stats. Yet again, before he tragically thought that taking his own life was the only option left, what did we really know about him? What a prick he was on Love Island and Celebs Go Dating and whatever else. How absolutely flipping gorgeous he was! That he was a footballer. We didn’t know anything about him really. Nothing that was worth knowing. The media liked to portray him in a certain way as this is what sold stories and got “click bait” on their pages. Yet do they not think now, that they caused such an image that Mike himself couldn’t escape from. That he could have felt he had to play up to for his “fans”? Did we know that he was in a bad place? Do you think he had the courage to say “I am suffering, I need some help?” He clearly couldn’t, clearly didn’t and now look.

So, now we get round to the usual 5 days ish of social media wallpapering of stories from the media, of quotes with his face on etc. We get every man and his dog sharing them all over and urging that you “check on your strong friend”. Yet, hand on heart how many of you can actually say you have!? How many of you maybe did that day, asked once and if you got an OK, left it at that? Did you ask again the next day? Will you ask again next week? Next month? Or will it take another media story of a person no one ever expected to do such a thing before you actually take your head out of your arse and ask again?

How many of you, instead of just taking 2 seconds to click share, retweet’s, etc, are actually commenting on peoples posts when they are posting something about mental health or being in a bad place? Can you say you are starting a conversation that could ultimately save a life? Are you even reading what you are posting and sharing? Or are you being exactly what the media wants you to be and being a lemming. Following others.

It is EVERYONE’s job to make mental health an every day subject. I am in no way taking away from the fact that, yes, the message is starting to grow and more people are aware, more people are seeking professional help and that at least these kinds of stories are not getting swept under the carpet anymore. Hats off to Mikes family and friends who are being honest about what has happened, honest about the potential reasons of why, although no one will ever know what was really going on in his head.

I suppose what I am asking, is please, if you are going to make a deal about getting involved with all this on a social media or media platform, please take that vision and use it in every day life. Whether you are close to a person or it is someone you meet by chance. Let’s take our eyes off our screens for a while (yes I understand the irony of this as I am sharing this on social media) and actually look around and really see what is happening.

Suicide will happen to the people you least expect. To that one who is the constant life and soul of the party, to the person who’s abs you could wash clothes on because gym is life, to that big bloke who looks scary as hell and is terrified of nothing, to that policeman and fireman in the front line, protecting their community, to that student who is nailing their school work. These are also the people that feel like a burden if they talk so simply wont reach out, even when they know themselves that they need a life vest. Re posting a news story might help a few, but you can imagine the absolute power of a genuine, off the cuff conversation? Wow! Just imagine.

In fact no, don’t imagine, go on and do it! It takes 2 seconds, the same approximate time it takes to retweet, to type or say, “are you ok?”

I am far far from perfect. I do this whole mental health campaigning and shit a lot and I am sure the people that still bother to read my random ramblings are thinking, well do you ask me you hypocritical, gobby bitch? But one thing I am genuinely doing is trying. I may get it wrong, so very wrong, more times than I would care to admit, but I do, 100% just want to help. And one way that I can see that has helped, is me just being me. I understand that being so honest about my story, about my failed attempt, can be painful for those that care about me, but it needs to be said. I have no idea if I have saved an actual life and if I have who or even how many. The number to me is not important. It is knowing that I have started a conversation off. That people have being able to reach out to me because I genuinely understand. I am not reading from a textbook or reciting a quote I read online.

As I always say, if 10 people read this and think, Fuck off, but one person reads it and it helps, then I am doing what I am here to do.

Rant over……. for now

CC xx