Right now…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love

CC xx

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Just some things I felt like saying

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

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

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

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

Vicious aren’t they? Who needs enemies?!

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

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

FUCK YOU!

Wow, that felt good!!

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

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

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

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

Until my next rant……….

Love CC xx

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#getinspired

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love

CC xx

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Sunshine on a rainy day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love

CC xx

A letter to my past self……

Dear little CC,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You will be proud to be you one day CC!

Love

Today CC xx

 

Life is like a poker game

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

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

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

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

IT IS A ILLNESS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CC xxScreenshot_20180315-164329.jpg

 

 

Darkness and Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then stopping.

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

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

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

But there is only one you. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much Love

CC xx