Mental health

Good days?

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Well the wheel turned and I’m doing ok. Reading still but at a reasonable level. I consider myself pretty happy, I’m taking care of me and my family, eating and sleeping well and I have want to do stuff that I enjoy.

I do sometimes wonder how my good days compare to those without mental illness though. I wonder if my mental health has shaped me so much that I don’t return to the normal baseline others have.

Today a friend posted a video on facebook. ‘Messages for anyone considering suicide, from people who’ve been there.’ I watched but I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and scoffing at pretty much all of them. I am not suicidal right now, although I have been too many times to count, but I still can’t help but disagree with those messages. They make it seem so simple and easy when it really isn’t. It isn’t all that clear cut. I guess that’s why suicide prevention lines have never helped me. I just get annoyed with them and think that if they can’t help me I really am screwed.

I’ve posted the video below and gone through with my reaction to each one. I’m not trying to glorify suicide or even trivialise these people’s feelings. I’m just going through with my reaction to each one, how my brain reacts to it as a suicide survivor at a time in my life when I am positively not suicidal.

“Although it’s cliche, and you may not believe it now, it really does get better. I promise you won’t regret sticking through it.” How long do you expect people to stick through it. Is it a year to get better? 5? 10? 20? What happens if 20 years after feeling suicidal for the first time the person is still fighting this depression and suicidal feelings. Do you still tell them, just hang on in there it will get better. What happens when there is more life behind the person, filled with depression, than there are possible years ahead of them that could be filled with happiness?

“You deserve to give yourself one more try. You deserve to live. You deserve to be.” Really? How many more tries should people give their life? Yes they deserve to live and they deserve to be, but do they not also deserve to rest? Do they not deserve to stop fighting?

“Open up, let someone in so they can find a way to help you through your tough times. No one deserves to go through life alone.” What about when you have tried opening up? When sharing how you are feeling only drives people away. When people no longer have the emotional strength to deal with what you are going through. When friendships go better if you just stop talking about your difficulties? Yes, no-one deserves to go through life alone but a lot of people just don’t understand mental illness or have so many stresses in their own life that they cannot hold someone’s hand through their own hard times. We deserve to not be alone but so many people are and there isn’t a solution to that.

“Please reach out. I don’t care how ‘dumb’ or weak you think you are or sound. Get the help you deserve.” See my comment to the previous. A lot of people do reach out but they don’t have people around that can help. So many times in my life I have tried reaching out only to learn that it is better to say nothing. Yes at times there have been people who have answered my call but not always. When you are suicidal, and you’ve tried to reach out, seeing things like this just make you feel even more alone.

“Suicide is not a solution. It doesn’t fix anything.” I guess I can see where they are coming from. But it is a solution. You feel like you can’t cope with life, you’ve tried and tried. You’ve tried self medicating, you’ve tried the drugs the drs prescribe, you’ve tried talking, you’ve tried keeping it in, you’ve tried therapy. You’re tired and you just don’t know how to go on. Suicide means you don’t have to go on and you don’t have to be tired and scared anymore. It does solve that problem. It creates a whole bunch of problems for those around you, but it does solve your problem.

“This world needs you.” Each of us plays a small part in the world. When we die the world does go on. The world doesn’t need us, in fact there are probably too many people for the world right now. The people around us however, they do sometimes need us. Our friends and family gain something from our existence, even if that isn’t shown when we are alive, people’s reactions to the death of their loved ones shows it. The effect I have on the people around me, how they will feel at my loss and the help I can be to them whilst alive, those are the reasons I keep living.

“Even when you think your light is too dim, someone sees it”. And this one I have no problem with. We do truly affect those around us, even in small ways we may not be aware of.

“The people in your life are not better off without you.” Now here is where I think I have just lived with depression and suicidal feelings for too long. This one immediately gets to me, despite what I said above. Some people are toxic to those around them, sometimes it is only some people around them. Sometimes my mental health really does harm those around me. I struggle so much not to think that I am blight on the people around me a lot of the time, although I acknowledge that it is not all of the time. Sometimes I think that blight is enough to outweigh the times I am good for the people in my life.

“Getting help is easier than the alternative.” You must be fucking kidding me! Getting help is stupidly hard. How many people commit suicide whilst waiting for help? It is far easier to kill yourself than to struggle through, appointments and referrals, waiting lists and bad health professionals, condemnation from those around you and side effects of drugs. Getting help is a long hard road that you have to be seriously committed to. Suicide can be a pretty quick action made in a rush of adrenaline and hope.

“Don’t suffer in silence; the liar is counting on you to isolate.” My problem with this is that I have found over the years that most people do not have time or energy to deal with someone else’s mental health. That opening up can drive a wedge between you and that person so not only do you not have their support with your issues but you also no longer have the easy friendship and laughs you once had. You can often get that back by no longer talking about the mental health but then things like this tell you to and you’re reminded how alone you really are.

“There’s a difference between wanting to kill yourself and wanting to kill the part of you that wants to kill yourself.” Yes that is true, but what happens when you have lived alongside the part of you that wants to kill yourself for so long that the thought patterns have bled in. When you can be having the time of your life and still have those same thought processes. When you can be on the best holiday of your life and still assess every room you walk into for how you could kill yourself there. Where you can’t look at a place without seeing your ‘escape routes’? What happens when there is no longer a division between you and the part of yourself that wants to kill you?

“It’s just a thought. Don’t listen.” Way to trivialise it. Damn if I realised I just didn’t have to listen to the suicidal thoughts my life would have been so much easier. What happens when you are like I was earlier this month. When constant distraction, sometimes with two things at once was the only way to stop listening to that thought. When you are scared to sleep because there will be a moment before you sleep and just after you wake where you won’t be able to block the thought. Where you fear going out in public because even among the smiles and idle chatter the thoughts will be screaming inside your head and you’re scared you will just crumble to the floor under the weight of it all. What happens when you feel suicidal deep in your bones, in the constant state of anxiety it has put you in. In the sensory memory of previous attempts so you can feel it on your skin and taste it in your mouth. Honestly, fuck off telling people not to listen to it.

“Someday the light will come and it will be more beautiful because you are a survivor.” No. Just no. I think we are at the lightest my life is going to get. I get happy, things are going well. It is not made more beautiful because I have survived my depression, anxiety and suicide attempts. I do not see my scars as I go about my day and think how wonderful it is that I made it through.

Maybe again this is just another sign that my ‘happy’ is not the same as other people’s. Maybe some people go through depression, suicide and mental illness, come out the other side and have beautiful, happy lives and look back at their past and wonder how they ever felt that way. Maybe they actually get better. I don’t think I am going to get better. It has been 21 years and more than a dozen different drugs, plus several different types of therapy. I have lost hope that I will get better. What I do hope, is that I survive. I have a wonderful husband and daughter who I feel I can have a positive impact on at times. I do think they will be negatively affected by my death. And so I will keep on trying to survive.

Like with most of my posts I’m not entirely sure what the point was in writing it but I saw this video and had a reaction to it. I guess I just wanted to be a voice for those who have faced suicide but don’t feel like the people in the video. You can make it past suicide and lead a pretty good life without feeling like everything is rosey. Sometimes you are changed by it all and that is ok.









I’m back

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It’s been a while since I have been here. I don’t even really know if I’m going to publish this, but hopefully it will be helpful to write.

Things are going well with me. My daughter is flourishing, she is 2 now and amazing and strong willed and intelligent. My husband has been my lifeline and my joy, he’s surpassed my expectations as a father and after 14 years he is still my best friend. Our house is good and the smallholding is going well. There are always things I wish I was doing better at but it is going well. All in all life is pretty good right now, if I had to pick a life to live this one would be right up there at the top of my choices.

So what has drawn me back here? I’m depressed. What, you’re not surprised?

Last September my step-father died suddenly and I haven’t gotten over it. I can go a couple days without crying now but I haven’t managed 3 days. I hope it will get easier but his loss has shaken me. I’m coping, don’t get me wrong, I am managing all that is generally expected of me, I’ve even been discharged from community mental health, but I am depressed. I am struggling.

I’ve noticed myself stepping back. When I was younger I was online a lot. Probably an unhealthy amount. I had sci-fi groups I was part of and self-help communities. I posted often on my livejournal and I had friends I would chat with on MSN (if you can remember that far back!). I look back now on Facebook ‘on this day’ and I see general ramblings about my day, things I’ve done, things I’m planning to do, random musings. I have never been good at making friends face to face but I had my online world. I was sociable there. I’m not posting on Facebook, I’m rarely talking to people on FB messenger, whatsapp or text. I’ve never done phonecalls. I’m not posting on a blog other than the smallholding one and that is sparse. I have withdrawn and I am feeling the effects. I’m feeling the self inflicted isolation and I don’t quite know how to break out of it.

I’m reading. That would sound like a positive but with me it isn’t. Reading has always been an escape for me. As a child and teen I would devour books. They took me away from my head, sent me somewhere else and gave me refuge from my own thoughts. I owe so much to them but they are often an unhealthy habit for me. When Paul died it was young adult fantasy fiction. I read so much. Things seemed to get better but the reading bug is back. I am reading Merlin fanfiction on my phone and whilst it was nice to start with it is becoming problematic. I am reading pretty constantly. Even when I am doing something that needs two hands I tuck my phone in my arm or brastrap, as I might be able to read in a second and god-forbid the phone isn’t there. I am reading whilst I am walking. I am reading until my eyes close at night then putting the phone on charge when I wake up and reading again. Somehow I am still managing with my little girl I can read books to her and play with the phone next to me, reading a line of my fic whenever she looks away but it’s not the way I want to be. I have tried putting the phone in the other room but my mind just starts racing and the thoughts get too loud and suddenly the phone is back in my hand.

I am eating ok, although I am back to obsessing about my weight. I’m monitoring it far too much and I feel old habits and thoughts creeping back in. I’d say I was sleeping ok but it’s half 1 in the morning and I am not sleeping because I don’t want to. I’m not particularly tired but I could probably sleep if I tried. The reluctance to sleep is an old habit. I know I could quite happily stay up until sunrise tonight and then start my day. The alcohol cabinet is calling my name. I can almost taste a malibu or sole gin on my lips. I actually walked towards it earlier then walked away. It wouldn’t be a healthy drink I’d have and ‘a shot to help me through’ isn’t a habit I want to pick up again.

I’m listening to music again. This is along the same line as the reading, when I can’t read the music goes on. I need to keep my brain focused on something else. Something else than what, I’m not entirely sure, but I know I must be distracted, I can’t stop. I can’t allow myself to think. When I do I find myself sobbing uncontrollably before thoughts can even form. It happened today when I couldn’t skip to a song I knew quick enough in the car. Sound crazy? It is. I shouldn’t be scared to think, so desperate to avoid it.

The frustrating thing is that logically I know my life is so good right now, I shouldn’t have this sadness inside. But I guess that has always been the case with my mental health. I guess that is what makes it mental health. It isn’t a rational reaction to what is going on in my life. My brain reacts to so much more than external stimulus.

But I’m discharged. I’m still breastfeeding and thus not on medication. I am not self harming or attempting suicide (they didn’t ask if I still think about it). I am well dressed, bright and seem to have good cognitive function. I’m functioning on a level that doesn’t require help from anyone. And that is a good thing, I am proud of all of those things.

I don’t know what the point of this is. I just wanted to reach out I guess, even if just to the ether. I’m here, I’m functioning, I’m depressed, I’m not ok, but I will be again sometime. Maybe there will be more posts, maybe I will pick this method of communication up again. Maybe I will be able to come here and share awesome things we are doing, personal achievements, share my good days and feel connected to something again. Maybe this will be a one off and this blog will be empty for another year or two.  Who knows.

I will post this. I like the idea of submitting this out there to the ether. To breathe out that I am not ok but that I will be. If you’ve read this, thank you, you don’t have to comment or anything, I just needed to breathe this out.


Edited to say: I just looked back over this blog. About this time 2014 I have a pretty similar post. Wondering if it is a cyclical thing? *Sigh* I’m not ok, but I will be ok, but sometimes this wheel is exhausting. Finding myself back in the same pits I have been in before, no way to claw out, just wait for the wheel to turn to me being ok and a slave to waiting for it to throw me back into the shit again. I wish I knew how to break free of this wheel.

Settling in

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I’m nervous writing this post, and to be honest I’m not sure if I will actually even post it once it is written.

Life right now? We are on the smallholding. The house is in relatively good condition. No matter what I say about the bedrooms being small all rooms are actually a good size. We have polytunnels already up and fruit trees producing. The field has good grazing. We have been blessed by seeing more family and friends in the last 4 weeks than we did in months when living in Scotland. The cats seem to have all adjusted well and I have a smiling baby girl.

All seems good. I have so much to be thankful for.

So why am I struggling. Why has my anxiety and OCD cleanliness glared up to the point I’m opening doors with my elbows, avoiding light switches, wearing trainers inside and wanting to throw up when in my bathroom and kitchen. The house is pretty clean by most people’s standards but my skin is crawling. Why do I just want to cry? Why am I struggling to sleep each night even though I’m shattered and my baby is sleeping soundly. Why have I stopped taking care of myself, eating and drinking regularly and have become incapable of taking my medicines regularly if at all? Why are the urges to self harm back with a vengeance?

I finally have things I have wanted for so many years. Starting a family and the ability to get back to the land and become more self sufficient.

So why am I falling apart?

I am hoping beyond hope that it is just the cyclical nature of my mental illness. That, like so many other times in my life, I just need to acknowledge this breakdown and shelter in the care of my husband until this cycle passes.

Or maybe it’s the return of the hormones after having a baby. My breakdowns have often coincided with hormones to the point that once a month I would get suicidal like clockwork. Maybe in a week or so this will have passed. Maybe I should go back on the pill to control the hormones. I want so much to be as drug free as possible and natural but maybe natural me is no good.

What I really really hope is that I’m not feeling this way, despite all the good in my life, because I am in fact the spoilt, ungrateful, whiney child that my head is screaming that I am.

24 hour mind bug.

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You know the thing I hate most about my mental health? The irrationality. When you’re sitting and crying and someone is asking you to help them understand but you just can’t, because you don’t understand it yourself.

It’s my birthday today. It’s the one day of the year that I can pretty much guarantee year on year that I will be depressed. I’ve tried to understand this birthday related depression over the years, I really really have, but I just don’t.

I will sit and cry. I will sob. I will be filled with urges to self harm and/or thoughts of suicidal idealisation. I’ll go off my food. I will happily stay in bed all day. I will get irrationally angry when people wish me happy birthday. Yet I don’t have a good reason why.

I know when I was younger, not sure how much younger but long before my first suicide attempt, possibly before my self harm started, I would try to comfort myself when the depression was bad. My choice of comfort was the knowledge that it would all end in death. I could take control of that in my life, decide when I die and free myself from it all. I could make things better. I know the old argument of ‘death isn’t better, it is nothing’, but to me nothing was a whole lot more attractive than the hell I was living and that I believed I had been living for oh so long. At some point, probably a birthday when I had seen another year pass by, I told myself that I wouldn’t live to my 16th birthday. I would kill myself before then I promised myself. When it got bad I would comfort myself with that promise, that it would all be over soon and the end was in sight.

My 16th came and went and I lived on. I think it was then that I stepped up plans. Four or five months after my 16th, on a day when I didn’t feel depressed, actually felt quite happy, I had my first suicide attempt. People don’t seem to believe that I wasn’t depressed that day but I honestly wasn’t. When you’ve been depressed for so long and you know that even good days are short lived, you can make that kind of decision on a good day and that is what I chose to do. I wanted to leave this world happy rather than depressed. Suffice to say I stayed in this world, although I am told it was very close, my closest to success to date. I was devastated and started planning my next attempt. Things did not get better for me for a long long while. Years of self-harm and two more suicide attempts that required a trip to A&E followed, along with so many antidepressants that I forget now which ones I have tried.

I’m 14 years on from that suicide attempt now, 19 years on from when I first knew that I was depressed. Life has changed a lot in those years. I haven’t self harmed in 7 months, at least not in terms of cutting, I’m currently unmedicated, I have completed a BSc, MSc and written my PhD thesis, I am a wife in a relationship that is 11 years old, I am a homeowner and I am 23 weeks pregnant with my first child. I really am in a good place in life right now. I have learnt so much more about my mental health and how to cope with it. My anger is in check most of the time and I look after myself as well as others.

So why is it, on my birthday, even though things are going well I am suddenly swamped with thoughts that I would be better off dead, lovely images in my head of all the ways I can achieve that death and urges to self harm that are so strong I have to physically stop what I am doing, grit my teeth and move myself away from whatever I am near? Crying all day, too scared to see people and petrified of my husband going to the shops because I do not feel safe being left alone?

When life is going well why does my birthday still trigger these feelings? The only thing I can think is that it is at least partly due to the aspect of a birthday in that ‘another year has gone by’. When I remember that another year has gone I remember that so many have gone already, I have survived through so many, and although not all of those years were dominated by mental illness they have all been tainted by it. Every year I struggle. Every year there are instances where I watch as my mental health wears me down, scares me and makes me think that this is the year I will lose to it. Every year there are times where I watch as my mental health causes me to lash out and hurt those around me. Every year there is another event that I will forever remember because I am so ashamed of my own actions.

Yes every year I get through all of those things. Every year is a year where I have survived my mental health, where I have tried to rebuild the bridges that my mental health caused me to damage, where I have achieved things I am so proud of. And maybe if that was it I would be ok. Maybe I could look at all the bad that has gone, weigh it against the good, hold my head up high saying ‘I’m a survivor’ and celebrate my success at being where I am. But it’s not.

I think I get the depressed feelings and urge to self harm and thoughts of suicide on my birthday now for the same reason I did when I made that stupid promise to myself. I feel like I have been living hell for oh so long. I didn’t know how long it could last then, I had only been ill for a few years and already it seemed like it was too much to cope with. Now, well now I have lived with my mental illness for so much longer. Nearly two decades. I really do think if that was it I could be ok with today though. But that isn’t all there is.

Back then, when I made that promise to myself, there was an out. There was a way to end it all. I haven’t had a suicide attempt in nearly 8 years and I’m not sure I will ever again have a pre-meditated one (I can’t speak for what happens in a impulsive moment – that will forever remain a danger for me). I really seem to have moved to the point where I no longer see planning to end my life as an option. ‘Hurrah!’ I hear you say, that is great progress right? But on days like today it is deeply depressing. I know that an imminent death is not an option, but I also know that medication is not an option (been told so by my psychiatrist), I also know (through having done enough of it) that CBT and other talk therapy is also not something that will make me better. This is it, this is me. I will continue year on year to fight my mental health, I will hurt those around me, I will be ashamed by my own actions, this is the rest of my life. There will be good things too, amazing things, but I will not stop having urges to self harm, I will not shake the self hate and disgust I so often feel, I will not stop having intrusive thoughts of suicide. And that thought, it is exhausting, it is depressing, it is soul crushing.

Fighting for so many years already and knowing I won’t stop for the rest of my life is just too much to think about and yet birthdays remind me of this.

The real kicker is that yesterday I was ok. Tomorrow I will be ok. It is just today. It is only day that I stop and see the long road behind and the even longer (hopefully) road ahead and just cannot walk any further. As quickly as it came these feelings came this morning they will be gone tomorrow. It’s so irrational. How do you explain that what has you sobbing and scared today won’t affect you tomorrow? My husband wanted so much to do fun things on my birthday to make me feel better but all of it is wasted on this day. Celebrations on other days can be appreciated but nothing seems to be able to penetrate my mind today. If I wasn’t pregnant I would have spent today in bed, taking my diazepam and not eating, ignoring the world until tomorrow. It really is like a 24 hour mind bug and that is surprisingly hard to explain to people.


Welcome 2015

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So 2015, it’s good to meet you. There is so much that I would like from you that I feel it would impossible for it all to happen.

I’ll try and start with the most important.

I would like to have a healthy baby in June, hopefully following a pregnancy and birth that doesn’t put me off for life. If we can do this 2015 I think you will go down in my life history as being awesome, nothing else required.

I would like to survive my viva, get through my corrections and graduate. I actually feel hopeful about this. I am pretty sure that this will happen ok. If we can then writing a couple of papers would be quite nice.

I turn 30 in February. Feb is always a hard month for me, my SAD is in full swing and I find birthdays depressing. It would be really nice to just celebrate this birthday. As a bit of a babymoon (last holiday without baby), a celebration of PhD finishing, and a celebration of my birthday my husband and I are hoping to go off for a long weekend to a sunny place, not sure where yet but somewhere new. Just to relax and be together. I don’t know if it will happen, it will depend on when the viva is and how the pregnancy is going, but it would be great.

Now that the thesis is out of the way I would like to move in 2015, find our ‘forever home’ and get settled, hopefully before baby is born. Again I have no idea if it’ll happen but it would be nice.

I would also like, with the free time I have to connect again. I have felt a real disconnect from everything recently. I would like to knit and brew and bake. I would like to grow food and cook. I would like to play boardgames again, I miss it. I would like to read more books, so many books to be read. I would love to learn how to sew. I hope that 2015 will see me using my hands and getting crafty again!

I would like to get into shape, sitting and writing a thesis does not make for a healthy body! I would like to maintain the health I have and build on it. That includes my mental health.

As I said at the top. So much that I would like from 2015. For now I sit here with my baby in my belly, my cats around me, a pregnant friend next to me and the sounds of my husband and our friend playing boardgames. You are off to a good start 2015. I raise my glass to you and welcome you!


Goodbye 2014

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Way back I when I used to use livejournal I would make two posts at new years, one to say goodbye to the old year, another to say hello to the new year. It used to be a fair few days after new years by the time I got around to it. I tended to be quite drunk at New Years.

This year I am stone cold sober, and fighting off the desire to crawl into bed so I figure now is as good as time as ever.

So 2014, what happened?

Honeymoon. Delayed by a good 6 months my husband and I set off to the Caribbean and to so many firsts. First cruise, first actual swim in the sea, first time in water where I can see my feet, first of so many foods, first time in a submarine, first time horse riding on the beach and in the sea, first time bareback, first time kayaking, first time in a rainforest or a natural hot spring, first time scuba diving or snorkelling, swimming with so many different animals. It was a gigantic adventure that I will always look back on with awe, not believing I actually experienced it all, wishing I could experience it again. Even though we found out I get sea sick easily! I would go back in a heart beat if I could.

How can you not jump for joy being in the Caribbean?

Whilst on honeymoon we were able to go to Trinidad, my mother’s homeland and meet so many relatives that I had not seen since I was 5 years old. I wish I could have spent more time with them and really do hope it will not be another 24 years before I see them again. Unfortunately, the day before we arrived my Aunty passed away, she had been sick for a bit, but I had hoped I would see her one more time. I did not know her well, only meeting her twice and only one time that I actually remember, but she had a place in my heart and as the oldest sibling she was a central pillar for my family. She is missed, but that just shows how well she lived her life. I hope you are resting well Aunty Irma.

I had really really hoped to finish the PhD in 2014. At first I hoped before the honeymoon, then definitely by August, then by Samhain. I missed each deadline, only finishing lab work in September. I started to despair and think I would never finish but I handed in on the 18th Dec, just before Yule. It’s a bit of an end of an era but such a weight lifted from my shoulders. Just a viva and corrections to get through.

2014-12-18 12.31.37
Thesis ready for initial submission!

The PhD took a lot of my 2014 but we still brewed, still managed to get to Oakleaf, we had a good friend living with us for 8 month of it, still did some gardening, some reading, limited knitting and boardgaming. We also managed a short holiday to Finland in the summer which was nice. I really do love that country.

I did have one other major achievement in 2014 other than finishing the PhD. I’m pregnant, due June 9th. I’m excited and nervous and terrified. There will no doubt be a post soon about me and pregnancy and my mental health, my fears and worries etc. For now I will just say: 😀

I’m having a bubba!

2014 was ruled by the PhD but I  am thankful for the memories that were made. I likely wouldn’t be human if I didn’t hope for 2015 to be better. I will always hope for less heartache and tears. I will always hope for better health for me and my loved ones. And whilst 2014 didn’t do too well on those aspects, an amazing honeymoon, making a baby and submitting a thesis will hopefully be the memories I take forward!

I raise a glass of spiced mead and wish you farewell 2014!

Funks, update and esteem challenge day 2

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Half 5 in the morning. Been sitting here most of the night trying to write and not being able to.

I’ve been in a funk all day. I woke up not knowing what day of the week it is and just haven’t gotten back on track since. I’ve done productive things. Went to the shops with the hubby, fixed a light to wall outside (2 stories up and remembered whilst up the ladder that I very much dislike heights!), cleaned a fish tank, made dinner, did laundry finished knitting a project, just ends to weave in. In between each of these I sat down to write and nada. Nothing. Zilch.

Do you ever get that? Brain just refusing point blank to work? Really wanted this chapter submitted on Sunday, but it’s technically Monday now so that is gone. *shrugs*. I’ll get it done, it’s nearly there. I think this chapter is brought to the world by Tupac. I got some good writing done whilst listening to a youtube playlist of his music. For some reason it’s the only thing that is getting this brain into gear for this chapter. Gotta say I’m getting a little sick of the songs now, listening on repeat for so long. So hoping this is chapter will be pretty good once I get this version in.

Other than slight writers block things have actually been going well for me. I’m cooking a bit again and that feels so good. To go into the kitchen and coming out with something that was cheap to make, will do more than one meal and tastes damn good. Have to admit many of my meals have been containing courgettes recently, as we have had a glut from the garden. But I’m making it work.

I’m a lot happier. A lot less depressed. I did have one breakdown the other day, missed my CPN appointment because of it. But considering how I had been, I’m doing really, really well. I’m starting to look at my physical health again, I’m getting back on top of the house (so much laundry to do!), thinking about the garden, making good progress on the PhD, chapters really coming together now, the knitting is still going well. I just feel better in myself. I am so glad. It was such a long, dark, summer.

Really hoping I can get some posts up soon about things I have created, other than this thesis, but it must be done, and there will be time for posts after. Bear with me!

I majorly sucked at doing that 30 day challenge, so will do day 2 today.

Day 2:  List 5 things that make you smile or happy.

This one is very apt for how I have been feeling.

1) My husband. His childishness, his love, his geekyness, his humour. Have really felt like a newly wed recently, just looking at him can make a sh*t-eating grin appear on my face. He’d say that he should be worried by that, and just hearing him say that in my head has me smiling again.


2) My cats. Their stupidity, their cuteness and their personalities.


3) Good food. Certain food items. Just noms. What can I say I like my food!


4) Crafting. Whether it be cooking, knitting, growing, crocheting or brewing, it makes me happy to create something good.


5) My future. Looking at my future, with my husband and my cats, all the good food that I can eat, all the time I will have once the PhD is over for me to be crafting. That makes me happy and makes me smile.


Until next time.



Day 3:  What is one fear or goal that you would like to conquer?

Day 4:  What do you do to feel better when your having a bad day?

Day 5:  What is your proudest accomplishment?

Day 6:  What are some obstacles that are preventing you from accomplishing your goals? What will you do to overcome them?

Day 7:  Do you think you care too much about what others think? If so, how can you change that?

Day 8:  What is a food that you enjoy, that makes you feel good?

Day 9:  Do you have genuine respect for yourself and who you are as an individual? If not, how can you change that?

Day 10:  Are you happy with your “inner person”? If so, why or why not?

Day 11: Is your self talk negative or positive? If it is negative what are some more positive ways to talk to yourself?

Day 12:  What is the last thing that made you feel proud of yourself? Why did it make you feel this way?

Day 13:  Share about the last time you felt confident in yourself? Why did you feel that confident?

Day 14:  Is there someone in your life who makes you feel good about yourself? If so, how and why?

Day 15:  Do you like your personal appearance? If so, why? If not, what are some ways you could view yourself?

Day 16:  Do you have make-up, clothing, or any accessory that makes you feel positive about yourself? If so, what and why?

Day 17:  What do you do to feel calmer when your stressed?

Day 18:  Do you like the way you talk if so why?

Day 19:  Do you have an activity that makes you feel alive and good within yourself?

Day 20:  Has your self-esteem improved doing this challenge? If so, how?

Day 21:  Name 5 things that your good at?

Day 22:  Which of your skills or abilities do you pride yourself on?

Day 23:  What is your ideal outcome of this challenge?

Day 24:  Do you compare yourself to others? How can you be more focused on yourself?

Day 25:  If you meet a person just like you, would you like them? If so, why? If not, how could you view that person more positively?

Day 26:  When’s the last time that you were to hard on yourself? What do you think you could of done to treat and comfort yourself instead?

Day 27:  What is the main barrier to you having positive self-esteem? How can you break free from it?

Day 28:  What do you consider to be a healthy self-esteem? Does this match the dictionary definition of healthy self-esteem.

Day 29:  What do you think of your teeth and your smile? Do you like them? Why or why not?

Day 30:  Rate your self-esteem on a scale 1-10 for right now? Has it improved?