Monday, 30 November 2009

A little bit more positivity!

Today my whole outlook on things has changed. I began to have feelings of happiness and relief again.

Today Miss Tan came over to see me and was telling me that she was upset because her ex had been in Brighton and, unlike usual, had not contacted her. Recently I have felt that I'm in no place to be handing out advice considering my own situation is in ruins. However, today I was able to explain to her that no matter how much she has wanted him to not contact her, finding out he actually hasn't will hurt.

I know that I've had this feeling. I broke up my ex and was fine about it for such a long time. I had only seen him twice since we broke up, before he moved back to Brighton and each time was a disaster. He wanted me to be with him and tried rather persistently to stay with me, including climbing into my bed rather than staying in my housemates room (my housemate who was a close friend of his as well, hence why he was actually staying at my house in the first place). I was strong though and told him that I wanted nothing to do with him in that way anymore and that my decision was final. However, as soon as he appeared back in my life and was spouting all his feelings to me about moving on and having a new girlfriend it hurt. I completely broke down about it. It was a realisation that although I had got what I actually wanted, I was shielding myself from actually getting over the relationship possibly because I knew I had hurt him.

Talking this all through with Miss Tan made me realise that I was feeling so much better about the situation with my ex. I realised that I don't want to be with him, that I don't have the same feelings for him, I don't miss him anymore and I even realised that I was happy for him that he was with a girl that could see the nice part of him now. For so long near the end of our relationship, I constantly only saw the bad in him, but despite all the downs we had, there were some good parts. Miss Tan realised that she felt the same, she was upset that he had moved on because she realised she wasn't as ok with the situation as she had first thought. But like me, she started having all these other realisations and took those as a positive outcome. I think, like me, she will be able to properly move on now.

Another positive for me is that I was able to complete an essay that I have struggled to write for near on 3 weeks. Today, I just sat there and kept at it and it paid off because I finished it. It was such a huge relief. I already feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It also makes me feel happy because I was so worried I would never be able to write the essay and would have to really consider deferring the year. But now, that's not something I have to worry about because its finished. I'm on my way to completing the year.

Something else that has made me feel happy is the fact I'm going with Miss Tan to my sister's for new year. I have never been one for celebrating new year, I don't really see the big deal. It's just another day for me. This year I'm actually really looking forward to it. I can't wait to eat good food, have lots of rose wine, spend time with my sister and her family, have cuddles with my beautiful niece and gorgeous nephew, and count down the start of a new year with some of the most important people in my life. Also, new years day my mum and step dad are coming over so I get to start my new year with them as well.

It has been really nice today to have a smile plastered across my face. I am hoping this is a sign of more things to come. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the good feelings keep coming. I hope everyone else has had a happy day xxx

Sunday, 29 November 2009

The 5 Best Parts of my Weekend

Inspired by my lovely sister's post on positivity, I am going to write a blog dedicated to positive thoughts. Positive thoughts are not something I have had a lot of recently but I shouldn't always be so down, I should look on the bright side once in a while. So these are the 5 best parts of my weekend:

  1. Friday Night Sleep - after writing my last post about my sleep, I had the most amazing nights sleep on Friday. I slept from 20 past midnight until just before 11 am. I think I only woke up once at about 4 because it started raining really hard and it was thrashing against my window. I just climbed right under my covers and fell straight back to sleep. It was fantastic, I felt awesome in the morning!!
  2. One Tree Hill - One of my absolutely favourite TV shows. I fully admit that its just another cheesy American teen show, but I can't help but love it!! I found out on Saturday morning that the newest series (which I had been sceptical about watching because Lucas (Chad Micheal Murray) and Peyton (Hilarie Burton) had left) was available on the Internet to watch. I sat down on Saturday morning thinking that it was going to be awful, but it wasn't!!! It was absolutely what I wanted, to be proved wrong and still be the program I love!!
  3. Spending Saturday night with Miss Tan - Last night I went and had a classic girly sleep over with Miss Tan. We sat on the sofa, under a duvet, watching Xfactor, eating chocolate, and gossiping!! We then got into bed, gossiped some more and watched Friends. It was just what I needed on a cold, rainy, windy, Saturday night. Thank you for having me Miss Tan, love you lots!
  4. Finishing my Dissertation Proforma - My aim for this weekend was to get some work done. I may not have done all my work but I still managed to finish my proforma which makes me feel fantastic. I started looking at it on Friday afternoon and was completely knocked back because I didn't really understand it. But, this afternoon I sat down and just kept going. I didn't let things put me off, I re-read and re-read until I understood and it worked because I've just sent it to my tutor to be checked.
  5. I was extremely touched to come home and find, sitting in my kitchen, from Miss Shep, this: It definitely put a smile on my face!! I love it! Can't wait until the 1st now!! Wooooooooooo!!
Hope you've all had a lovely weekend! xxx

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Night Time is the Worst

Since my depression started I have really struggled with my sleep. It takes me forever to fall asleep, I spend many an hour tossing and turning before I fall asleep. When I eventually do fall asleep its never for the whole night, I wake 3, 4, sometimes 9, 10 times a night. I have tried so many things to help; lavender on my pillow, hot baths, hot milk, reading, counting sheep, Nytol, even positive thoughts about my sleep but nothing seems to work. I get into bed completely knackered but as soon as my head hits the pillow I'm wide awake again. Thoughts start pouring into my head at a catastrophic rate and no matter what I do they won't leave.

Most of the time the thoughts are about my ex boyfriend. I think about how much he hurt me, how many things he lied to me about, how he's moved on and I'm still suffering with the pain he caused me. I begin to get really upset and angry (two emotions I've found go hand in hand with each other). These feelings then get worse because I start thinking about the boy I used to know, the boy I fell in love with when I was 17, the boy I told all my secrets to, the boy that held me when my Dad died. I then find it hard to feel so much hatred towards him. But these thoughts get my emotions all whirled up and thrashing around my head because of the pain. I lie awake crying one minute and the next I'm clenching my fists, wanting to cause pain so someone else knows what it feels like.

Sometimes the thoughts are about my Dad. I remember the night my father passed away, I lay next to my Mum not knowing what to think about. I kept thinking, he's actually gone, he's dead, I can never see or speak to him again, I can never hug him again, I can never hear him say he loves me again. I just kept crying. I would try to stop myself by thinking about good memories like the family holiday in France when during a game of hide and seek, Dad hid for hours in a green Wheeley bin, crouching because he was too tall, waiting for the perfect moment to jump out on my sister and me. I thought about conversations Dad and I had, where he listened to me and gave me advice and supported me. I thought about the awful holiday my Dad, Sister and I went on to Haven holidays, that wasn't actually that bad because it was just us, spending time together. For a moment I would feel better, I would feel happy. But then all the thoughts about never again came flooding back in and I would start crying again. I lay there awake, all night doing the same thing. It still happens every so often.

At the moment especially, with deadlines approaching, the fear of failure keeps me awake. I continuously worry that I'm going to fail my degree. I have been really bad this year with motivating myself to do work and with dissertation deadlines looming, I get very panicking at night. I imagine reading my results and it saying FAIL!!!!!!! I just keep thinking about everything I have to do and how little I have done. But yet during the day I can't even pick up a book and read the cover without feeling my heart beating a million times a minute and as if its about to break through my rib cage. (However, I am determined to finish my degree this year. I want some light at the end of the tunnel!!! So, somehow, I will work through this and get it done!)

Its 20 past midnight and I'm going to attempt to go to sleep. I'm hoping writing all of this down will help me to clear my mind before climbing into bed and result in a decent nights sleep.

Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bight. xxx

Friday 27th November!

So my day started rather early with a Doctor's appointment. It has been quite hard for me to go to the Doctor's as a few months ago I went in and talked to the Doctor about how down I was feeling. I was put on anti-depressants and advised to attend some counselling. This was really hard for me as I really struggle telling strangers personal information about me. Now I have to constantly go back and discuss my medication and how everything is going.

Today, my appointment had been made with the wrong Doctor so that really panicked me when I initially got there. But in an attempt to be strong and get through all of this I stayed and had the appointment anyway. There was one point during the appointment where all I wanted to do was get up and run out, this was because the Doctor asked me to explain to him why I had initially come in and spoken to the other Doctor. It was bad enough the first time, having to do it again was really horrible.

I explained to the Doctor that I didn't feel as if anything was getting better and that my anxiety had got worse. Currently every time I leave the house my heart starts to beat so fast I can feel it through my chest, my mouth goes dry, my legs and hands start to shake and I become absolutely terrified of being out. It's not so bad if I'm with someone, but when I'm on my own its horrible and has stopped me from leaving the house unless I absolutely have to. I explained this all to the Doctor and he has upped my dosage of anti-depressants and put me on another tablet which should help with all the anxiety feelings. Hopefully things will start to improve now.

The rest of my day was good though, I spent it with Miss Tan! We sat around all day talking, giggling, drinking tea and watching crappy TV. It was really nice. I hadn't seen her much this week so it was really great to spend some time with her.

So that was my day. How was yours? xxx

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Cancer: The Good, The Bad and The Evil

This is going to be an on going post as I'm not sure I can think of all the the good, the bad and the evil things to do with cancer. My initial thoughts are..........

The Good
  • The closeness of my family - The illness definitely pulled us all together, we started spending a lot more time together and we still to this day make sure that happens.
  • The support we all gave each other and the support we felt from people outside the family - Although I've said I found it hard to talk to people I still knew all the people around me were supporting me. I also knew my Dad, his wife and my sister had support from other people. this made me feel better as I didn't feel I was giving them much support.
  • Our family holiday to the Lake District.
  • The things my Dad did whilst in remission, like teaching.
  • The first day we went to visit my Dad in hospital - The day we found out about my Dad's illness was the morning after my sister's 18th. My Dad had been ill for a number of weeks prior to my sister's 18th birthday and when the day eventually came he was unable to attend because he had been checked into hospital. The next morning my Mum sat us down and told us everything. We then all went to visit him and because he had not attended the party, which had a film fancy dress theme, my sister and I dressed up in our outfits (my sister - Audrey Hepburn, perfect fit I feel and I was a girl from Grease). It was hilarious as we had to change in the hospital toilets. We also took some of the table decorations so that we could decorate his room just like the party. It made us all feel closer and better about the fact that Dad had not be able to attend.
The Bad
  • The first day we went to visit my Dad in hospital - Although I just explained that part of this first visit was good, the whole experience was really emotional and scary. Going to the hospital made it all so much more real that Dad was really ill. I also really struggled because I really don't like hospitals, they just fill me with fear and scare me because my automatic thoughts are bad ones, I very rarely think of the good parts to do with hospitals.
  • My Dad loosing his hair.
  • Seeing my Dad suffering because of chemo.
  • Seeing my family upset.
  • The fears - it was hard to see my Dad suffering and this created a lot of fears for me. I constantly worried about the pain he was and what it was doing to him, I feared that he was going to die when he was first diagnosed, I feared talking to people, I feared seeing him and breaking down. There were so many emotions whirling around in my head and a lot of the time I couldn't make sense of any them.
The Evil
  • Feeling as if I've done something really wrong and I'm being punished some how.
  • Horrible, unsupportive, malicious people - One girl in my high school spread rumours around my year that I had made up my Dad having Cancer to get attention and that I was pathetically jealous of her. At another point a few boys in my R.E class said that my Dad had Cancer because of all the bad things he had done in his life and the illness was God's way of punishing him. It wasn't just students that were unsupportive, I had teachers as well. One teacher was constantly on my back for weeks after my father passed away because I hadn't sat an assessment which was scheduled for the day after he died. On parents evening the teacher brought this up in front of my Mum and even my was shocked at how unsupported I was at school.
I know that some of these are personal and not general about Cancer but they still show the mix of emotions people can go through when a family member is suffering from Cancer.


My lovely sister who advised me to start this blog because of her own does an Up/Down post and instead of purely putting all the things that are getting me down I think there should be some positives on here as well. As I have never done one before I'm going to put all the things that have recently made me feel Up and Down rather than just today or yesterday or last week.

Going Up....
  • Being able to talk to my Mum and Sister. As I have said previously I only really opened up to my ex and before him it was my Dad. For a while after I split with my boyfriend I felt as if I had no one to talk to. I felt very isolated and completely alone even with tonnes of people around me. However, recently this has changed. I now open up and tell my Mum and Sister things. A few weeks ago I hit rock bottom and couldn't actually stand to be in Brighton and in the past when I've felt like this I have just ignored the feeling but this time I picked up the phone and rang my Mum. I went to stay with her and talked through a lot of my feelings with her. It felt good to tell someone, it made me feel reassured about everything and slightly stronger to go back and deal with it. With my Sister it was quite hard for me, I have always feared upsetting her by talking about Dad. But as she said one day on the phone to me, no one else understands like she does. She was the only person who lost him as a Dad, just like me. Since then I have felt a lot better about picking up the phone and calling her.
  • Spending the weekend with my Sister and her family. This weekend was my nephew's naming ceremony and to celebrate I went to stay with her. I went up on Friday and as it marked 4 years since my father passed away, my sister and I went out for lunch where we gorged on mushrooms (one of my Dad's favourite foods). That evening we watched an old film that reminded us of our Dad, while drinking hot chocolate and doing our nails. Saturday was the naming ceremony and it was so lovely to be surrounded by friends and family. On Sunday we ate cake, did a bit of shopping and witnessed my nephew sitting up on his own for the very first time. It was really great to spend time with them all and if I had the money I would do it a lot more.
  • Phone calls with my best friend Kev B. My best friend and I have always been the kind of friends that don't need to speak everyday or every month. Sometimes we go months and months without talking, yet when we do call and meet up, its as if we've never been apart. Recently, we've been talking a lot more and its been really nice. It makes it feel as if we still live down the road from each other rather than her in Sheffield and me in Brighton.
  • Changing my phone number. I was having a lot of trouble with my ex boyfriend and I decided to take some control and stop the contact as I was constantly getting upset every time we spoke.
  • Baking Brownies with Miss Shep. Last night in order to cheer me up, Miss Shep and I put on our aprons and made chocolate brownies. They were so scrummy and definitely put a smile on my face.
  • My friend Miss Tan. Miss Tan is my closet friend at uni and she constantly makes me happy. She has been so supportive recently and no matter what always has time to listen to me, see me and comfort me when I'm crying (which has been a lot recently). It means a lot to me.
Going Down....
  • The fear of work. I'm in my third year of uni and I'm in such a panic about everything I have to do. The thought of essays and dissertation especially scare me. It's particularly hard as I have an extreme lack of motivation at the moment. I'm usually someone who sets an early deadline for myself and gets the work in before everyone else. A lot of my friends are jealous of how good I am at doing work and that's whats so annoying about this situation.
  • Constant conflicting feelings. I hate never really knowing how I feel about things. All my emotions seem to all come pouring out at the same time and really get to me.
  • Still having 2 weeks of uni left. I don't think I need to expand...................
  • Lack of money and the fact that I've only bought one Christmas present.
  • People wanting me to go out and not wanting to. I have always hated letting people down and at the moment I constantly feel as if I am. All my friends keeping asking me to go on nights out, but firstly I have no energy to, secondly I can't drink at the moment because of my tablets, thirdly I get really panicky whenever I go out in case I bump into my ex and lastly the above point; having a lack of money makes it hard to do anything.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Home alone and without Facebook!

As I said in my previous post I split from boyfriend nearly a year ago. When we split he was living in London whilst on placement which made it a lot easier to move on. However, in October he moved back to Brighton to finish his degree, as well as this he joined Facebook which had always been my 'safe haven' far far away from our relationship.

This is my second post in the same day and this is because I no longer have access to my Facebook account. My ex lives with two of my very close friends and as they were friends on my account there were constantly pictures of them with my ex and posts by him on their walls. As well as this, albums my friends were tagged in had pictures of my ex with his new girlfriend. All of this made it very hard for me to go on Facebook without getting severely upset. So in order to stop my unhappiness my housemate changed my password on Facebook so that I can only go on it when she is here to oversee what I look at. As Miss Shep is out at the moment dancing her little socks off I am blogging and realising that its my new obsession.

Me and Miss Shep who I want to Thank for helping me get happy again.

My Dad!

This is my Dad and he is the first thing I would like to bare all on.

When I was 14 years old my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. On finding out I was terrified of loosing him, but as time went on and I saw him go through chemo and radio therapy I lulled myself into a false sense of security that all would be fine. When he went into remission for the first time I thought that everything was fine and we would never have to deal with anything again. However, the cancer came back and we had to deal with it all over again. He was in remission again for a few months before being told that the cancer had come back which was just before Christmas in 2004. We spent Christmas day in the hospital with him while he was suffering quite badly from the chemo, little did we know it would be the last Christmas we ever spent with him.

This is my Sister, Dad and Me at the hospital on Christmas day 2004.

In February 2005 my dad was told that the cancer had become terminal. When I found this out I was devastated. Even though my dad had been in and out of remission and my initial thoughts were that we were going to loose him, actually having that affirmed scared me more than anything. I remember initially thinking I don't want to know how long, this was because I knew I would just count down the days and panic as the time got less and less. Also, I worried that if my dad lived longer than that I would start thinking everything would be ok but obviously I knew that would never be the case.

Over the next 9 months we had our last holiday in the lake district, celebrated my nieces christening, celebrated my sister's birthday, shortly followed by my 18th birthday and then in November 2005 my father passed away. Although I knew it was coming I was still completely shocked when the day came. I also felt a lot of guilt, I was petrified of loosing my dad so really struggled when going to visit him at hospital or talking to him about his illness so didn't spend a lot of time with him before he died, which I regretted and felt horrible about when I knew I would never get to see him again.

Ever since I have really struggled opening up about how I feel about my dads illness and his death. I have only ever spoken to one person about this all and that was my boyfriend. However, nearly a year ago we split up and I'm hoping that this post is the first step to helping me open up to more people.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Baring All for the Very First Time!!

Since I was very young I have always wanted to change the world, to take all the bad things and lock them up in a box. Obviously when I was young this seemed like a possibility, that was until I grew up and realised that I have no control over what happens in the world. However, this realisation never made it into my way of dealing with the issues that I faced personally. I still to this day choose not to deal with any problems I face. I have found many a technique in which to mask my feelings and to prevent myself dealing with anything that upsets me.

However, I have reached a point in my life where this is no longer the way to go. The way forward is Baring All!!!!!