Insecurities – Ruining lives since day dot

As usual it has been a while. Life has been busier than ever and I don’t think I let myself breathe properly never mind write anymore, but I need to. I need this. My brain feels so full and the only way I know how to empty it is to spout whatever needs to come out.

There are so many amazing things happening in my life at the moment. I smashed the Great North run – 2 hours 29 minutes! I have now left my job, I am a fully fledged full time uni student and Red Balloons is going from strength to strength very quickly! These are amazing, they are the foundations of my future, I am working damn hard to make sure they are a success and I will do anything and everything I can to continue to build a solid reputation and help as many people as I can.

So yeah, great things are occurring. But that doesn’t mean that I am “recovered” or “better”. To be honest the more the good stuff happens, the more I become acutely aware of just how bad the bad stuff still is. The main massive issue at the moment – no matter what I do, no matter how proud of certain things I may be, plain and simply – I hate myself.

Harsh and blunt – but also very true. I despise what I see in the mirror. I constantly pick faults with myself, yet put myself out there as I crave attention I suppose, even if I disagree with everything that is said. It is such a weird mindset to be in, I cant explain it properly. I hate compliments, I never know how to accept them, yet I NEED them. I don’t feel self worth so it is like I need to hear others and what they say. It’s not about what I look like in total honesty, it is about me as a person.

I put myself in stupid situations because I don’t think. It’s like so much is going right i my life that my brain cant cope and it wants to elbow drop the Big Red Button of self destruction. I know how to cope with misery and failure. I don’t know how to manage success and happiness.

How screwed up am I please?!

Thing is, hurting myself, although thankfully not physically, is one thing. When I start to hurt other people, that is a whole different matter though. I would never intentionally hurt anyone. I don’t have it in me. Yet all actions have consequences and I need to realise this ASAP before my own damage causes damage to other people. The thing with mental illness is, it has the capacity to infiltrate your whole life, and poison your environment. It affects your loved ones, your children, your family, your friends, anyone who is around you. If you’re like me, you do realise that you are doing shit things and you push away, you do anything to cause a big space around you as you feel you deserve to hurt, to get loads of shit, but you don’t want anyone else to get hit from the bullets. It is like firing a gun at a mirror image of yourself but not knowing which way the bullets are going to go. You cant guarantee you’ll hurt yourself but someone WILL get hurt.

Yes, I give myself a hard time but that is who I am. I deserve to. I cant pretend that just because I try my hardest to make a difference, to help others and to improve my life, that I am a good person all round. I am flawed. I am damaged goods. It takes a hell of a strong willed person to be around me and deal with all my bullshit.

Do I ever think these things will change? I hope so! I will work my hardest to change them, but I cant change the fundamentals of me. Is that going to be the undoing of me? Is that going to be my downfall? Or is that what is ultimately going to make me come back stronger than ever? Time will tell.

I don’t believe in luck anymore. You make your own luck. So therefore it is time I knuckled down, stopped lying to myself and get myself to where I NEED to be. No on lose can get me there! I need to be busy as that is my coping mechanism. Today will be as full as absolutely possible, so I fall into bed at the end of the day, utterly exhausted. In a way that is my version of self harm I suppose, especially now I don’t binge and purge any more. Today it needs to be done.

Thanks for listening.

CC xx

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Willpower faltering……

Today I am tired. No, more than tired. I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted! I can barely even be bothered to talk, let alone run or exercise. I need a massive kick up the arse as I know once I get out I will feel a billion times better.

All I wanted to do this morning was pull the quilt over my head and forget the world. Considering I am very much a morning person that was a surreal feeling in itself! Yes I got drunk yesterday, yes I let my hair down with friends and had a good night. So, why do I feel this terrible today?

Depression is a sneaky little bastard. It lures you into a false sense of security. It gives you a few good days in a row, then bam! The next bad day feels like it is so much harder than your last one. It doesn’t wait until you have a reason to be down, it likes to mess with your head and give you a bad day when there is no fucking reason. I feel like I have so much to say yet I cant quite get my words out. I feel like I want something but I cant put my finger on what. I feel disconnected completely.

This is the first time since I started my fitness streak where the negative voice in my head is starting to take over my voice of willpower. I know I wont give up, I know I cant give up, but I want to. Today I really want to.

When I started writing my blogs I swore that I would be true to myself. Open and honest. This is why, although there is no humour today, I have to portray the bad days. There would be no honesty if I didn’t. I want people to understand that there is always bad days. I may be dealing with this well overall. I may be doing all the right things and working so hard to get better. And I will get better! But today I kind of just want to sit and feel sorry for myself. It is utterly pathetic. I keep telling myself it is ok to not be ok, and that is completely true. I know these feelings wont last. Hopefully as soon as I stick my headphones in and get my feet moving. I just feel like today, depression could win. I cant let this happen.

For anyone else who might be having a tough day, lets stand together and fight this. With support for each other we can get through this. I promise there is light at the end, even if this tunnel seems so very long right now. I promise I am there to hold your hand, if you are willing to hold mine. For anyone who is having to deal with me today, please be patient. I am ok, or at least I will be. I just need a hug. I just need to hear that everything will be ok. Proper needy bitch aren’t I?! lol

Ok, that is my whinging over and done with. Time to stand up and tell this bad mood to fuck off! It is boring me now! I look so much better with a smile on my face. Oh and possibly a bit of make up.

Big hugs to anyone who needs them. Everything WILL be ok.

CC xx

I want to be a tree!

Bit of a random title I know but I bet it got your attention. Ok, so let me explain……

First proper counselling session over with and all I can say is, wow! It was emotional, I don’t think I have cried as much in a  month as I have today, but there has finally been a shift deep down inside of me. Just a tiny one. Like a little flutter of a butterflies wing, but it is there.

In the words of my counsellor, a seed has been planted. Now it is my job to nurture it and help it grow. At this moment in time I don’t know what seed it is, it could be a weed, it could be a flower, it could be a shrub. I know what I want it to be though – a big fuck off tree!! Standing tall, strong and proud, no matter what it’s surroundings throw at it. Standing the test of time, growing older and wiser as the years pass.

I have come to realise a few things recently. Firstly how much I can actually achieve when I put my mind to it. If you had told me even 2 weeks ago that I would have completed 101 days straight of at least 45 minutes exercise or that I would be typing up a blog that people seem to want to read or even that I would actually be opening up to someone about how I REALLY feel, I think I would have laughed in your face and probably not so politely told you to jog on.

My self belief is still very fragile and I am sure I will have days where it will waiver and my judgement will be questioned. I don’t think I have ever really done anything just purely for myself. I have always wondered how it will affect those around me. If people have given me even a snifter of a negative comment  I have been inclined to agree and just continue on my not so merry way. Fuck that shit! The only person that this has affected is me. Negatively. This is one of the reasons I am in this hole. I have not loved myself. I haven’t even liked myself so I sure as hell haven’t looked after myself!

Some people will possibly look on to my future plans and how I intend to achieve what I want and will call me selfish. I think I can deal with that now. Because I am not selfish. In fact I believe I am very far away from that! I am doing this for a better life. For me, for my beautiful children, for my lovely family, for my wonderful friends. The only selfish thing I could honestly do would be to settle in this life of misery and be a shadow of a person I know I can be. The bottom of this hole is uncomfortable. I want to be sat on the  big comfy chairs up in the garden with the sun shining in my face.

I have made the few tentative steps onto a new path and it is scary as hell. I would like to think that there are people who are willing to hold my hand, to help guide me when the light seems dim and to pick me up when I stumble and fall. I will fall! No doubt about that; not just because I am possibly one of the clumsiest people you will ever meet, but because I am still unsure of my limits. I know this will be a test of my entire being – physically, mentally and emotionally. I used a saying the other day when I was talking to a friend – Get knocked down 7, stand up 8. Sure it is off a film or something, but it really does ring true and feels incredibly relevant to me.

I am scared as I know there is a chance I will lose people on this journey of mine. Some wont want to keep up, some will find their own path running off mine, some might want to turn and go back. Worst case scenario, some wont be willing to even start. I just want to say, don’t judge me for wanting to do this. Don’t hate me for needing to do this. Please have faith that I know what I am doing and that I can do this. It wont be easy, it wont be quick but it will be worth it. I will be there to pick you up when you fall and catch you when you stumble, I am even willing to take it at a slower pace if you are faltering or tired, but I am not willing to halt my journey and I certainly wont be turning back!

Believe in me the way I believe in you. Let’s go and have a crazy adventure! You wont know unless you have tried!

CC xx

 

Pig Headed Stubbornness

Being stubborn has always been one of my less endearing qualities, shall we say.  I hate to admit when I am wrong (not that that actually ever occurs so really I am just guessing lol) and if someone tells me I cant do something, well just watch me! The satisfaction that proving someone wrong brings, well to be honest it is hard to put it into words. Let’s just say though, I can be a proper smug cow!

Now who would you say my biggest critic, my biggest challenger, the person I want to prove wrong most in the world is?

Yep,

ME!

I had never been a fit lass; I was average at best at school sports, was always if not more than slightly chubby and didn’t have the healthiest of diets, although luckily I have always been partial to a bit of fruit and veg. As time went on, I had my daughter at 19, used the excuse it was just baby weight for a good, oh, 7 year, ooopps! Then I met my husband, who can eat whatever the hell he likes, in vast quantities and never puts weight on – Twat! Mix in the fact I am a greedy cow who’s eyes are way too big for her belly so eats the same portions as her feeder other half, well you get a 30 year old lass who ends up hating her body more than she ever has.

Over the years I tried, and failed miserably at, every diet you can possibly think of. I was a regular gym goer for a while, but to be honest I had no clue and no motivation to really work at it. I gave up when things started getting just that little bit too hard. I thought that because I walked everywhere, that was fine, and to a degree it was. Any exercise is better than no exercise at all after all. Occasionally I would lose a bit weight, more often than not though, the wrong ways. I have starved myself, I have binged and purged, I have taken countless amounts of slimming aids and what not. The more I did, or the more weight I lost, the more obsessed I would become but yet the bigger and bigger I got! It was a complete vicious circle. I had no faith in myself. No belief. I was adamant that that was just the way I was meant to look. The older I got the more I thought, well what’s the point in changing now? Then I hit 30.

People always ask me what made me change? They ask me how I manage to stay motivated. They say they wish they had a fraction of the willpower and dedication that I have. I just want to say, you all have it! It is all there within you, but until that switch clicks in your mind, I know more than anyone that whatever you do will not get the results you want. You have to want it. You have to REALLY want it. You have to appreciate that there are no quick fixes. It takes time and effort. Fuck me does it take effort!!

I quite simply woke up one morning, saw myself in the mirror and thought I’m just not willing to live like this anymore. I got my camera out, well my phone camera, and took a front, side and back picture. I was shocked. How had I let things get this bad? These photos have served me well on my Instagram #transformationtuesdays. They have served as my motivation on my lowest days, they have been the kick up my backside I needed when I thought it is ok if I miss today, I’ll do it tomorrow. My first step was walking into my local Slimming World that following Tuesday. August 2015 is the month that I left all my excuses at the door, that I faced up to what I was doing wrong and I swore to myself that this was it. The beginning! That little voice in my head who likes to wind me up, who tells me I am worthless, lazy and that I couldn’t do it, was going to get shut up once and for all.

My weight fell off slowly, some weeks I was genuinely disappointed if I only lost half a pound. I can now appreciate that nothing worthwhile comes quickly or easily. Every loss is a loss, no matter how small. As long as you are going in the right direction that is all that matters. The joy of SW and why it works is, you don’t have to give anything up! You don’t deprive yourself, you can have burgers and chips and pizzas and chocolate and WINE. Sweet, delicious wine! The biggest lesson I took from it all was to be accountable for my actions. To take responsibility of what went in my mouth. It made me fall in love with cooking again, it helped bring out my creative side. I shall always be thankful for Slimming World, 21lb I lost with them, although I have now progressed. I do follow some fundamentals but for me the plan doesn’t work for the training that I now do.

Now, my favourite part, the part that really shows how pig headed I can be – exercise! I re-joined the gym in January 2016 and for that year I steadily pushed myself harder and further each time I went. I discovered how much I actually loved HIIT, I started using weights for the first time in my life and every time I hit a PB, well I basically scream and do a daft little dance. Yes, people at the gym most certainly must think I am fucking tapped! The biggest surprise of all for me was, I fell in love with running. Like head over heels in love with it. The feeling it gives me is almost indescribable. I stick my headphones in, my feet start to move and as if by magic my mind clears. It is the only time of day or night where my mind is deliciously silent, empty even. If I had not found this passion for exercise I do honestly wonder where I would be. As I have said previously, in many ways it has literally saved my life! I continue to take photos as it is fascinating to me to see how my body is changing. I have hip bones and shoulder blades now for gods sake! Like WTF!! I’ll let you in on a little secret though, those photos, and the addition of taking measurements, have been what has kept me on the right path. When I look in that mirror, I do and most probably always will, see that fat miserable just turned 30 year old woman.

In November 2016 I decided I wanted to give something back, I wanted to do something that would make me proud of how far I have come. That could be a symbol of how much I have achieved by being so bloody stubborn. To show stubbornness in a positive light. So, I faffed around on Google and came across RED January. Perfect!! I know it is a naff saying for some people but I swear, everything happens for a reason! I raised £308 for MIND, I smashed all my personal challenges (I climbed the equivalent of the Burj Kahlifa in 29 minutes – you fucking what now!) but most importantly I now have the most amazing group of people in my life and we are still going strong. I have just completed day 98 of my exercise streak. Me and my friend Billy decided that we would work together and aim for a full 365 days of exercise. We are currently smashing it! Some days are hard, like really hard, when all you want to do is hide away from the world. I will tell you what though, the feeling you get when you are finished is way better than any feeling of defeat at the beginning. Do it! Do whatever you can manage. A walk around the block. Anything that is not part of your everyday routine. A daft dance round your kitchen whilst making the tea, 10 squats whenever the adverts come on when you’re watching your favourite show. Instead of a coffee in a café, get a take away cup and mooch around your local park. Set goals. Believe in yourself.

My motivational tip for today – I BELIEVE IN YOU xx

 

 

Faking It!

It starts young. As a bairn, you fake tears to get your Mam/Nan/Uncle to give in to that chocolate bar before dinner. As a teenager, you fake liking the ‘IN’ thing (for me it was Kickers shoes, I actually did and still do, bloody hate them!) so that you can try and fit in with the popular group. At your first job interview you will pretty much act the complete opposite of who you think you are as you are pretty sure there is no way the real you would ever get hired! Then, you are a fully fledged adult (so the law states anyway) and faking it becomes a natural way of life; Interest in topics that bore the life out of you, politeness to someone who to be completely honest you have always wanted to backhand for being a knob, food (Slimming World style take away anyone)………orgasms. Don’t lie lasses, everyone has at least once in their life 😉

Do you know what I have found more concerning though? How easy it has become for me to fake being OK. So much so, that I have slapped a big smile on my face, day in and day out, acted a fool, got involved in whatever I could, yet in my head, I am drowning. It struck me one day as I was walking to the doctors. I was having a particularly bad day, my thoughts pretty much as dark as they can go, my mind thinking of what it classed as logical, least damage affecting scenarios to carry out, when I walked into a Costa coffee. The staff were doing some sort of appraisal and they asked me for some ideas. My body language, my conversation, the smile on my face – fake, fake, fake! Yet it was so easy to do, and for the first time ever, I was scared. I clicked so instantly into the Claire that the public sees, that even my closest friends and family tend to see. I sound a bit mad when I say this but the voices in my head were screaming at me, yet I could continue like this internal battle with myself was not occurring. This was the moment that the guilt I had been feeling for being off work really stopped. The stubborn, independent, ‘I can handle anything’ side of me took a step back and I realised – I need help!

The people who are closest to me and know me so well, they had no idea I was feeling like this. No idea how low I had actually become. To be honest, until that moment, neither had I. That is how dangerous faking it can be! I know this is a bit of a deep post, I feel like I should apologise in a way, but I do think it needs to be said. Plus, I have vowed to myself to be me on this blog – open and honest, the REAL me – no faking allowed.

Social media has a lot to answer for in this section too. According to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, how many perfect marriages are there? How many sweet, well behaved children are there? How many adults without a sign of stretch marks, wrinkles, adult acne, greasy hair etc are there? Answer – too many! No wonder we feel inadequate and lonely sometimes. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good selfie, it feels good to not hate the camera all the time since I lost my weight. But I hold my hands up and admit, although I don’t just do the full make up, hair done, night out posts (anyone who has seen my delightfully sweaty gym pics – sorry Redders – will vouch for that!) I do know what angles I look better in. I wont take one photo and just upload it without first scrutinising that I look as thin and as least spotty and geeky as possible. The same goes for the words that are written. If you look through my social media, there are daft, happy, crazy statuses, posts, photos, memes etc. Some of these were posted at my lowest ebb. I didn’t want anyone to see or be able to tell how I was really feeling. And let’s be honest, who the fuck wants to read all the “Woe is me. I am so miserable” statuses. I am guessing not many of you are holding your hands up right now, and not just because you’re sitting at home and you’d feel a bit daft. Yet, if that is really what we want to say, if that is truly how we are feeling, why the hell do we feel like we shouldn’t?! You can see my dilemma right now I hope, or I just sound like a complete bitch……..

My whole mind set now is completely – It is ok not to be ok. It should be ok to post that you feel like shit, that you look like shit, that you feel like your life is collapsing and you don’t know what to do. In the same way that if you want to do a filtered to the max photo with a “I’m loving life right now” caption then do it. I want everyone to stop posting what they think everyone else wants to see and hear, and be true to themselves. I honestly believe that this would spark more contentment, more happiness, more support and a damn sight less feeling of loneliness. If you hate your husband and want to smack him one, and feel like screaming it from the rooftops so you don’t actually get arrested for ABH – do it!! If your kids are being little shits and you have pulled your hair out to the point you could do with a weave – post it if it will release just a tiny bit of stress. You have no idea who might be reading your post and think “Thank fuck it’s not just me”.

In a nutshell, I would love to see more honesty, more genuine smiley faces on my social media page but mostly I want to see love and support. I want everyone to know that at any given point in time, there will be someone there to listen, to offer comfort, even a virtual hug. My Redder’s have taught me how essential honesty, love and support is. If any of my friends ever need a chat, a rant, anything, I am always there. A message or a phone call away. Stop with the fake. You will realise how exhausting it really is. Just be you. I can guarantee you’re pretty damn awesome just as you are.

Remember – nobody is perfect. Nobody has the perfect life xx