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

 

Meh!

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.

LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!

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

 

#JustSaying

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

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!

Love

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.

Love

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  😉

Love

CC xx