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

 

Time to smell the coffee!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank You

CC xx

#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

The balloon is about to pop!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And life goes go on…………

15 days and counting until IBIZA

CC xx

My marathon story, Part 1 – The Day itself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love

(Marathon Runner) CC xx

28.04.2019 – Today is the day!

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

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

Holy shit!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

CC xx

Reality Check

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YES I CAN!

CC xx

Help Me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– friendly

– easy to talk to

– a good listener

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

– understanding

– hard working

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you again Marianne Power! You’re mint!

CC xx