Not All Bad

I use this blog a lot for complaining and talking about my mental health. Whilst, this has become a good place, where I can let all my agro out, it also gives the impression that all I do is wallow. Which, is actually untrue. I am very guilty of focusing on the ‘bad stuff’, but that just seems to be how my brain is wired. So, today, I am making a conscious effort to write about 5 positive going-ons in my life. I say 5 because sometimes I find it hard to think of any so this may be challenging.

  1. I became an Auntie. Last week, my little nephew Carter was born. He is so tiny and cute. We haven’t had a baby in my immediate family since my sister was born, and she is now 21. When my sister was born, I was 13 and was going through that terribly angsty, teenage phase. I wasn’t as ‘hands on’ as I could have been, and that has always made me feel a little bad. But, with baby Carter, I just want to cuddle him and help out however I can. The presence of a baby works as a reminder of not squandering life, or to me, it is anyway.
  2. Continuing my studies. This is a big one for me. I really struggled to keep ‘on top’ of my studies last semester, but I kept at it and managed to hand in my last assessment on schedule. My second year starts this week, and I am excited. I am studying towards a degree in IT and Computing, and last year was mostly an introduction. It is a course which I am doing through the Open University, which allows me to work my full-time job, as well as studying. It is a good way to try and get better job prospects for the future, still having a full-time wage. The next part of my course includes networks, robotics and automation. This is things that my work uses to get things done, so I am hoping that I can link them both together.
  3. Always at work. The last time I experienced bad mental health, I took a lot of time off work. This time around, I haven’t missed a single day. My managers and the team I work with have been super supportive when I have bad moments. I tend to cope better if my mind is occupied, the moment my brain starts to wonder is when I start panicking. My work is very good at making sure I am doing a variety of tasks, and this keeps me occupied. Work is exhausting, but it is really good that I have still stuck at it.
  4. Creativity. Doodling, writing, photography and video making. All the things that I like to do. I am not the best, but these things make me feel better. And sometimes, especially when you tell someone that you write a blog or film videos, you get dismissed. Did you know that being creative is something that people can ‘grow out of’? I didn’t. But apparently keeping a blog as I stumble through adulthood is frowned upon. People do say mean-spirited things, but I try to ignore that. Creating stuff gives me joy, and nobody should be able to take that away.
  5. Friends. I have super supportive and friendly people around me, something I don’t focus on enough. I always have people to meet with and chat to. I know that if things get really bad, I can PM  so many people for help. But a lot of the time, I just need a distraction from whatever is going on in my brain, and my friends offer that. Whether it is having a moan about work, going for dinner or playing computer games, it is good to disconnect from my feelings sometimes. But it is good that I can then be there for them too if it is needed.

 

It’s A Very, Very Mad World

The world is a wide and varied place. It is filled with people, trying to make things better for their fellow man. However, there is also a lot of utter bastards to counter the good. Sometimes, it feels like all we see is the bad.

Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed in the tragedies that unfold every day around the world. Innocent people dying in the cruelest ways. School buses blown up in Syria, a music concert in the UK, hospitals in Indonesia, lone women in India, gay people in Chechnya… The list is endless. Most of this hatred is brought on by a sense of entitlement and an intolerance of others. And it is horrible. What is a normal person to do? How are we supposed to feel when others act so horrifically?

I don’t think there is an answer. A lot of the time all we can do is watch the news reports and read articles online. You may sign a petition, or donate to a foundation just to help. To get a sense you are doing something. Anything.

You may be unable to do anything about events in any of the headlines you will read today, tomorrow or any day to come. The world feels cold and dark. But, you can try and take that darkness away. Even just for those around you. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Introduce yourself to your next door neighbour, or invite a lonely neighbour round for tea. Go visit relatives. Use social media to send good wishes to those who you might not talk to very much. Smile at the person who serves you your morning coffee.

As clawing as negativity can be, positivity is contagious. I know not everything will be sunshine and rainbows, but a lot of people are emotionally struggling in life. It shouldn’t take tragedy to bring people together, but it also doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Terrorism is something which wants to tear people apart. To split society into fractions, fractions that disagree and fight amongst themselves.

Let’s not let that happen. Let’s share love and togetherness instead of hate and intolerance. ❤️

Just Do Your Best

Life, as it frequently tends to remind us, is very hard. Yes, the struggles may be different for different people, but they are still struggles. And every person will deal with those hard things different. If you don’t harm anyone, there is no right or wrong way to deal with problems that come our in direction.

It is hard, but it is believed by some, that nothing worth doing, comes easy. So, if things get hard, it’s okay. If you have to work hard for something, it is only then that you will fully appreciate it. But sometimes, you can find yourself working hard for something, and you don’t achieve what you set out to do. It might be a test, a new job or even getting fitter, it can be almost everything. And failing is a horrible feeling, but it is a feeling that everyone has to deal with.

How do you even begin to deal with failure? Myself, I don’t deal a lot of the time, I do the whole panic/ cry/ meltdown, kind of thing. But when I think back, at the school classes failed or the jobs I didn’t get, I just plodded on. A lot of the time, I just adjusted my plan. Sometimes, you can want something, and start the journey towards that goal, but there is no way to get there. Life sometimes, gets in the way like that. People like to make excuses, like ‘if it wasn’t for this thing that happened, I would have done such-and-such’. I don’t like that. As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror, and say ‘I gave it everything’, you have nothing to feel bad about. In fact, if things did get in the way, but you tried as hard as you could at the time, you also have nothing to feel bad about.

You have to do your best what ever comes your way. No matter what it is. Because if you have that ‘try hard’ mentality, you will succeed in something. It may take a while, and it might be nothing like you originally planned, but you will get there.

Another Year Older

Birthdays used to be fun. They used to mean parties, being spoilt rotten, and the promise of getting older. When you are little, it feels like the world has all these possibilities, that you need to get older to do. It was exciting, it was fun.

Now, in my 30s, that is no longer the case. In fact, my last few birthdays have included time where I have sat on the floor and cried my eyes out. Feeling like I have wasted another year, and that I am never progressing in anything other than age. It always puts a downer on stuff.

I guess a lot of the feelings around birthdays come from others. It is an automatic reaction to look at those around you, and assess how they are doing compared to you. And, well, I have always assumed everyone is much further ahead than me, especially as I’ve got older. Folk are having kids and getting married, and I am not anywhere related to that. Any progress I do make, is slower than a bloody snail. For example, passed my driving test last year, still don’t have a car.

Things are different this year. Though it might not appear so. I am working hard to be better. I am making progress, which is better than none. Babies, moving house, getting a dog, new job, it doesn’t matter what progress is, as long as you move forward, you doing okay. Which is why I am trying to stop comparing my life to others. Yes, most of my friends actually have a career, or a house, or a partner, but they don’t equal anything other than personal growth. And people grow at different speeds.

Or that’s what I am trying to convince myself anyways. Here’s to being 33. Let’s improve on last year.

Nervous. Who, me?

This is quite a relevant prompt today. I have fallen off a lot of bandwagons recently, with my productivity going from ‘quite good’ to ‘non-existent’. I struggled to do everything, from going to the gym, to progressing through my to-read pile. I felt a little bit useless for a few weeks there, and it is horrible. I was at the stage of failing to see the point in doing anything, which is not a really nice place to be.

I am at the stage now, where I am feeling a bit more energetic, wanting to climb back on that horse again, but I am nervous. It takes a lot of effort and work to get your energy levels back, after a period of self-doubt. Because a lot of my problems are brought on by anxiety, I find myself jumping to the worse possible conclusion when it comes to trying to do anything. I find myself a lot less anxious, when I am doing things based on habits. But, habits have to be formed, so I will always have a brick wall to navigate past, no matter what I do.

It is frustrating. I have been reading a lot about positive energy, and that by changing your mindset, you can do a lot more than you normally would. Use the nerves as a positive thing, as a thing to conquer. Something that you can defeat. So many people in this word use nervous energy as something that drives them, musicians, writers, politcians. But, it doesn’t have to be a particular career that can benefit from using nerves, anyone can do it. So rather than falling silent to the thoughts running through your mind, use them to push you forward. As said above, that is all about forming new habits, something that is quite hard to do.

Remember, if it goes a bit askew one day, one week, or even  a whole month, today is a new day, so try and make it better than before. Which is easier said than done. Try today, and if it doesn’t work, try again tomorrow. Every day is a new opportunity. Just don’t let the nerves win.

via Daily Prompt: Nervous

Happy Blogmas

It is the first of December, which is giving me a reason to try a new challenge. And that is to try and blog every day in the run up to Christmas. 

This is a thing which has been occurring online for the last several years, with both bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers) taking on the challenge to create new content every day in the run up to Christmas. Everyone who I’ve spoken to, seems to have enjoyed taking part in the challenge previously, so I thought I’d give it a shot. 

Why?

Well, when I look back at 2015, I don’t feel that I have achieved too much. It feels like just another year where I have become overpowered with lack of inspiration and motivation. It’s been a bit of a damp squib, if I were to be completely honest. So, I thought that rather than just complain about failing ‘everything’, that I would give 2015 an opportunity to go out on a high note. 

I have struggled all year with writing, drawing, everything. And that really gets me down. But, I am still here, and up for turning things around.

So, wish me luck. 

Happy New Year

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So another new year is upon us, an annual point for people to reflect on their lives and think of ways to make this next 12 months better than the last. A year is a significant period of time, and it is a unit of time, where a person can evaluate how they have done. And anything they didn’t do, they may want to create ‘resolutions’, to help them achieve what they want over the course of the next 12 months.

Of course, everyone should live their lives making today better than yesterday. Change can happen at any day, not just at New Year. Most people make resolutions fail, so a lot see it as a waste of time. I feel like people could fail if they don’t really ‘believe’ in what they are doing. When I was at school there was a bit of a pressure to invent a goal, to try and achieve something in the year. But if you didn’t really want to do what you said, there was no real push to do it. And I believe that this thing of ‘making resolutions’ that you don’t really want to, means people do fail. Some people see this year after year, and then call out resolutions as a waste of time. Which I guess could be true for some people.

Personally, other than writing a resolution when I was at Primary School, I have never been a fan of the whole ‘new year, new me’ stuff. It just seemed like a waste of time. But this year I am thinking slightly differently. 2014 was a bad mental health year for me. I struggled really badly with anxiety, and I reacted by shutting myself away from people. I refused to go on nights out because I didn’t want to be that person who drags a whole night down. So I didn’t bother going out. And then I hated myself for being so weak. It doesn’t sound like much, but I spent the best part of the year not liking myself. So, I am very relieved to shut the door on 2014, and look to make 2015 a bit better. And I have made some aims that I’d like to try for the year.

I’d like to work out a writing/vlogging/drawing routine and stick to them. I need to work on letting my frustrations out, so that they don’t wear me down, and i do that best by creating something. Food. I need a better relationship with food, and I need to stick to vegetarianism better. I don’t like the idea of something dying for me to eat it, but I like the taste. So I hope to find new tastes, that maybe fit my morals, and still taste good. I also would like to be more organised. I am very much a ‘throw everything on the floor’ kind of girl, and that means I lose everything. I can’t live with a messy kitchen, but my room can easily look like a bombs gone off. Learn how to love ‘me’. I am my own worst enemy and it needs to stop.

But that’s it. Just a few things that I feel would help me function better as the person I want to be. I have always had this idea of what I should be like, and I end up being down on myself on not being this hypothetical person. Which no one should be like towards themselves. But hey, enough with the negativity. Let’s lock that away with last year, and look ahead to a happier 2015.

I hope all my readers have an amazing 2015. And I wish you all the luck in the world for anything that you want to achieve.

A Brave New Day

There is nothing worse than waking up to a day, where you feel lost, depressed and alone. A day where you look outside to a cold, wet world, and all you want to do is stay in bed all day. And the fact that you have to get up and force yourself into the day doesn’t make things much better.

This is a bump. A blip on the radar. Some people get more bumps than some, and it can be uncomfortable and hard. But when the sea calms, everything becomes settled and a person can feel a lot better about themselves. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from powering through to the ‘other side’. And if you can battle through it once, you can do it again. That is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, find a belief that things do get better if you can lift yourself through the turmoil.

And once you know that you can power through moments of uncertainty, and you do it regularly, you generally get less overwhelmed by the bumps in the road. It takes a strong person to ride out the bumpy road and get through it without the feeling you are in a black hole. Looking at others sometimes doesn’t help, because you may fool yourself that they have never had any storms to try and pass through.

So what I am trying to say is, don’t look at others. Look at yourself. You are a great person, and that alone should give you the strength to power on. Especially of you have been bothered before by issues. Only you can make a difference, and believing you ‘can’ is the best way to start. It seems scary, it seems different, I know it does. But be brave, and find out how fantastic the world is.