Monday, 29 February 2016

The Monthly Playlist: February

End of February already! And I've kept up with creating a playlist throughout the month as I did last month. I kind of still really love my January playlist so I had to try to make myself listen to other things this month so I actually had a playlist to share.
I found a lot of new songs and artists this month by picking random Spotify playlists and sticking them on shuffle whilst I was having breakfast or having a shower. So here is my February playlist. Hope you like it! It has everything from The Spice Girls to The Rolling Stones so what's not to love.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Walk in the Sun

Before I get in to this post I just want to thank everyone for the amazing response to my last post. I am so completely overwhelmed by everyone's support and love and it really chokes me up knowing that people do actually give a damn. I spent so long in silence because I didn't want to be a burden on anyone but the relief I feel now is incredible.
However, this last week or so I haven't been feeling too good. I'm not sure why but anxiety has felt high pretty much constantly and it's made getting up difficult again. At the start of the week I went into town with my mum and whilst I was pretty calm out, by the time I got home I felt pretty drained. The following day was the worst I've had for a few weeks. I couldn't be bothered getting up or eating and just lay in bed all day. So yesterday, whilst it was sunny, I decided to go on a walk. I planned out a route, wrapped up and headed out. I went to put some flowers on my grandparents grave as I'd not been in a while and then headed into the park. I walked through the park and towards a pond that my grandma used to always take us to when we stayed with her. From my memory the area never looked that great and it was always a bit shady and grim. That was probably about 15 years ago. I got there and they've completely opened it up and it looks lovely. There's was a big group of ducks, the sun was shining through the trees and it just felt so peaceful. I stood there for a while just watching and listening and I just felt so chilled and relaxed. I didn't think about anything whilst I was there and it was so calming. I couldn't quite believe a place so nice is where I live!
I then took the longest, quietest way home I could find. I ended up being out for two hours. Usually when I'm out and about I will put headphones in but I didn't. Just listened to everything around me. It was just so lovely.
And the cuppa I had once I got back home was phenomenal!
So I'm going to make more effort to walk and I'm especially keen to go back and chill near the pond. Kind of glad I've found a little escapism place. It's made me feel relieved and calm that I know there's somewhere I can go when things are too much. And hopefully this low patch I'm in will lift up again soon.

Also, this week I read a book by Matt Haig called Reasons To Stay Alive. A friend recommended it to me and I found it in Tesco for £3.85!! I couldn't put it down! It's a very real and honest account of his experience with depression and anxiety. It's incredibly eye opening and inspiring and I would recommend anyone reads it. Whether you have struggles, know someone who does or has completely no experience. I feel everyone can learn something from it and then maybe we can finally end the stigma.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Time To Talk...

Today is Time To Talk Day. There is more information here but the idea is to get everyone talking about mental health to finally break down the stigma that is still associated with it.
I mentioned in my first post that I made some changes in my life this year so I'm going to be brave and tell my story (maybe a brief version, I'm not sure how brave I am yet...)
So... hello. I am Louise, I am 23 and 10 months and I have depression and anxiety.
(Okay, this is hard)
Really I have known that I have struggled since I was around 15 at school. I knew something was wrong but I didn't know what and I thought I was just being a teenager so I pretended it wasn't there. Then I went to college and it got worse and worse until one day I had a breakdown in the middle of a corridor, on my own. I just sat on the floor, sobbing, until someone found me. I dropped out of college and things started seeming a little bit clearer but I still kept feeling like I was falling back down.
I remember thinking "maybe this is depression" but I didn't know what to do about it. I didn't want people to think I was attention seeking or I was making it up. And I was afraid nobody would care anyway. So I just dealt with it. I paint on my face every morning, leave the house and pretend everything is wonderful. And then I come home, get in to bed and hide from everyone, exhausted, until I have to do it all again the next day.
2015 was really difficult. I don't know why. Nothing happened to make everything worse. In terms of bad things happening, I've had much worse years. But everything just felt like such a struggle all of a sudden. I couldn't get out of bed. I was setting my alarm so early to try to get myself out of bed in time for work and I'd just lie there crying and not wanting to move. I could feel everything getting worse as the year went on and then round September time I had to admit to myself I did have a problem.
My anxiety got so much worse in 2015 too. I started having panic attacks, which was terrifying. I had one in the cinema in summer. My entire body went numb. I couldn't move and I couldn't breathe and I was too afraid to ask for help because I didn't want to ruin the film for everyone else... Good.
Social anxiety is a killer too. I've never really been one for wanting to go on nights out but every time friends suggested going anywhere I get a fear shooting through me. I'd panic from the plans being made, constantly thinking about it and how much I didn't want to go out but how I didn't want to let my friends down. I just end up making excuses to get out of everything rather than say what the problem is because it just seems so much easier.
Once I made myself acknowledge I had a problem I had to work out what I was going to do. I decided that I'd give myself until the end of the year to speak out and do the right thing. I quickly realised I needed to take myself out of work.
On 31st December 2015, I booked an appointment with my doctor. I had my appointment a week later. I sat in her office and sobbed. I anticipated the crying so I had written everything down to give to her and thankfully she was lovely and she made me feel okay.
I handed in my notice at work, which was scary and emotional. Luckily my bosses have been incredibly supportive. I know that others don't have that luck and I was so scared I'd be one of them but they made me feel comfortable and made sure I was okay.
And then I had to tell my friends and family. Again, terrified. I don't know why. I ended up sending them all a message to tell them because as much as I tried, I just can't say the words out loud. Their support and love is overwhelming. I am so lucky to have amazing people around me.
So now, I am taking medication and I am about to start therapy and I am currently taking a few weeks out of work. I am focusing on doing the right thing for me. I'm currently on week 4 of medication and these first few weeks have been tough. I can't sleep or eat properly. And I can't cry which is incredibly frustrating. But I can already feel a bit of a difference now and I'm so glad I finally did this.
8 years of sitting in silence has taking too much of a toll. So if you're reading this and have similar feelings, you're not alone and people care about you. I didn't think they did but they do. Write down everything you want to say, it makes it so much easier. I wrote letters to my doctor and my boss because I struggle too much talking about it out loud and it made things much easier.
It's time to talk.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Monthly Playlist: January

Before we get into more serious posts I wanted to share with you my January Playlist. I love making playlists and I decided this year that I would create Spotify playlists each months with songs that I'm listening to a lot, sing I'm discovering and songs I've rediscovered. I'm very happy with January's and there's a wide mix of genres in it.
On 1st January I opened Spotify and I really wanted a great song to kick off the year. I hit shuffle on Spotify's Feel Good Friday playlist and New Radicals "You Get What You Give" was the first song that came on. I listened to the words and it all seemed fitting so that's the first track of January. Then there a healthy mix of everything from Alphabeat to Alice Cooper and Nirvana to Justin Bieber. And of course, there had to be a David Bowie track in there. RIP Starman. x

Monday, 1 February 2016

Here We Go Again...

It's me.  Sorry, couldn't resist.
It's been almost a year since I stopped using my last blog. Recently I've put some changes in my life in to action. Changes that I have been planning for quite a while. So I've kind of been itching a bit to put thoughts down, to help me out. I have accumulated a butt-tonne (technical term) of notebooks that I've been throwing up the contents of my brain on. I've been writing since I stopped the beauty/lifestyle blogging. But something always tends to draw me back to a corner of the Internet to share my thoughts with strangers. Weird.
So what is going to happen on this brand new, shiny, rebranded blog? Well, there may well be the odd beauty post popping up from time to time. Just because I haven't been writing about it, doesn't mean I don't still love it. In fact, quite the opposite! I've had some major success in my battle against acne so I will probably share this at some point now I feel a little more confident about it.
As I mentioned, I'm making some massive changes in life at the moment. I'm going to go into more depth in other posts (as much as I feel comfortable doing anyway) but this is going to be a place for me to share what I'm up to, how I'm coping, spilling out my brain and hopefully helping myself get better.
I've never been one of these "New Year New Me" or New Year Resolution types but I decided that the start of the year seemed like a pretty ideal place the start on a new journey.
Currently, I am on day 1 of unemployment. Which seems very weird to say. I decided to take myself out of work. Take away all stresses I have and just focus on myself for a few weeks. I have plans with what is going to happen next but for the next few weeks I am not thinking about work, I'm not giving myself unnecessary stresses and I'm focusing on happiness.
Let's see what happens...