#MentalMovement / General Election: A Guide to Mental Health in the Manifestos

June 8th is fast approaching and people are fiercely campaigning to encourage young people to vote to help shape their future. There’s no doubt changes need to be made and I urge you to read through each manifesto and decide with your own views, who you wish to vote for.

As Mental Health is a subject close to me, I have focused on how each party intends to tackle the issues at present.

The passages below are direct quotes from a few of the manifestos.

Check out the full article here.

22 May / The ‘Work’ Thing

So would you believe, I have two job interviews coming up(?!). They’re both part-time, one in an admin/receptionist role and the other as a care assistant in a dementia/elderly home.

The idea of work is still absolutely terrifying, my heart is beating and my breath is short, as I’m writing this. (Here’s where a lot of my anxiety about work has come from.)

I have been offered a ‘work coach’ through the job centre as I’ve recently started claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and have an assessment with him on 31st May, this is to talk about what I think my needs are and the help that I want.

Obviously I’m really torn as this has all come at once, but I’ve a good feeling about the admin job in particular. That is a huge step in itself, because I do apply for jobs and wholeheartedly so, but if/when I get an interview I panic because it makes it that much more real. I panicked at first, but after a few days to think it over, I think I’m feeling better.

The place itself offers ‘chakra puncture’ for anxiety which is a good sign I guess?

The reason I’m so afraid of going back to work is because I’m scared of getting overwhelmed. I don’t adjust to new situations very well emotionally and often find my emotions ‘crash’ when I push myself too much, so I need a lot of down time to rest my mind. I really don’t want that to happen and then I just end up crying at work all the time and get too physically anxious to go to work again. (My physical symptoms of anxiety often include vomiting, numb limbs, shortness of breath and uncontrollable crying.)

I’m not sure how to help myself though. I am on a waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) but God knows how long that will be before it starts.

I’ve really no idea how this is going to pan out because I find my moods and decision making very sporadic and I could change my mind about a lot of things at any given moment. But, we shall see how it goes – I’m trying to think positive!

If anybody has any advice on returning to work and handling overwhelming emotions, please drop me a message!

Note to self:

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Quick Tips: The Power of the To-Do List for Motivation

Depression is a real motivation sucker and can leave you feeling incredibly empty and hopeless. One way I have found to combat this is by writing and following to-do lists. It seems fairly trivial but trust me, ticking those boxes off is very rewarding!

Here’s my to-do list for today which I have completed;

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I wrote this list before I went to bed last night, so I knew I had a list to complete when I woke up. This encouraged me to get up and out of bed, instead of the usual staying in bed until it’s frowned upon.

As you can see, some of my to-do’s are very simple day to day tasks, so never think that anything is too small – if you feel accomplished doing it, then write it down and get it done!

The feeling of satisfaction I get after completing a list is a very positive one and a reminder that I can get up and see the day, no matter how hard my mind tells me I can’t. This is a perfect bridge to setting yourself up for a good day. Give it a go, you could be pleasantly surprised!

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To The Ones I Love, from Me & My Mental Illness

Compared to a lot of others, I wouldn’t say I’ve got a lot of people close to me. But the people that I do have close to me, I treasure very much. My boyfriend, my family and my friends mean the absolute world to me and without them all, I don’t know who or where I’d be.

So, first of all, this post is an apology.

And, I know people often say you shouldn’t apologise for the way you are, but the guilt is often unbearable. I truly am sorry. But, I guess I’m not apologising for who I am, but rather the ramifications of that. I’m snappy, I’m quiet, I’m loud, I’m too opinionated, I’m rude, I’m forgetful, I’m confusing, I’m exhausting, I’m indecisive – I’ve no doubt that I can be hard work to be around. These emotions and reactions aren’t me they’re the result of my mind being under a lot of strain and stress, but I promise I won’t be like this forever.

I’m not only mentally draining, but financially draining also. I don’t often see people talk about their finances when writing about their Mental Health, but it’s something that causes me a lot of stress and I feel through constant worry, stops me from getting ‘better’ in a lot of ways. I don’t currently work and am in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), desperately seeking help to get back to work. As I believe, through such severe anxiety of going to work, I’ve now developed a phobia of it and it just sends me into mental turmoil. I check job sites every single day hoping that ‘perfect’ job will arise. Who am I even kidding here? 

Anyway, I digress. I’m sorry for the financial strain that I’m offloading onto you. I promise that I want nothing more than to go to work and earn myself a living. I want to lead a normal life, and do normal every day things; like going to work. If this ever becomes too much for you, I understand you must leave. I would never want my mental health to start damaging other peoples’ mental health. I would hate myself even more.

Here is my thank you.

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetTo the one I love, you have stuck by me through the hardest time of my life and for that alone, I owe you my life. I know I’m not nearly out of this rut yet but I promise when I am, I will make sure you know just how grateful I am for all that you have dedicated to and done for me. You have made me feel loved when all I ever felt for myself was hatred, you have made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry, you’ve pulled me through depressive episodes and held my hand through panic attacks that I thought would never end – you have shown me that hope and love exists and that’s been the brightest light in the dark. I cannot express enough, my gratitude for you and all that you’ve done for me. You are everything to me and I love you so much.

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To my Mum, you are an inspiration with the battles you have conquered. You are always there for me through everything I go through, and you get it. That’s something that’s difficult to find and I’m so grateful for it. Thank you for trying your hardest to help me, and for supporting me each and every day. You are my Guardian Angel.

IMG_5586To my Dad, your determination falls second to none and if I carry even half of that, I know that I’ll succeed with happiness one day. You’re always there for a chat and have an open mind to whatever I wish to talk about, thank you so much.

To my family, I often feel some of you have turned a blind eye to what’s been going on with me and I guess I understand. I understand that you don’t quite understand, and that you have your own problems to deal with, I also know that me reaching out is half the battle but burdening you is something I do not wish to do. Regardless of this, thank you for making me smile and laugh through dark times.

To my friends, I’m sorry I’m quiet sometimes but I often need time to myself. Thank you for sticking by my side through my hardest days, that alone means the world to me. I’ve a lot of friends that drifted over the years, but you never did. Thank you for asking how I am, for endless laughs and for being there night and day.

Thank you to you all for being here along the way, you may not quite understand the mental battles I am currently challenged with, but it’s important to me that you’re still here.

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28 April / An Update On Me

I haven’t blogged about myself much because I’m feeling a bit on the fence with everything really. Generally, I just feel lost and my mind is so blank.

I had an assessment for counselling on Wednesday and I have been put on a waiting list for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) of which I am very grateful for. But, since I’ve had it twice before and didn’t find it very useful, I’m also a little disappointed.

We discussed how I’ve been feeling and what my general ‘goals’ are. I hate that question, I just want to live a normal life, with normal emotions and not hate myself. Please?

I also spoke about how I’d seen a Psychiatrist in January who came to the conclusion I was suffering with Generalised Anxiety (it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or diagnosis to realise that). I’d actually had the referral because my Dr suspected I could be suffering with Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder due to my constant mood changes, impulsivity and general confusion in myself (amongst a lot of other ‘symptoms’). But the psychiatrist kind of shut me down.

For one we met in a local activity centre with no waiting room, so my Mum ended up sat in with me which made me feel uncomfortable. He also only asked me a few questions about my childhood and concluded I was ‘normal’. Whatever that is.

The problem is, I have real ‘identity’ issues and I struggle with things like knowing my likes and dislikes. I find myself doing laps in my mind thinking about the things I do in my life. Like, do I do that because she does it? Do I really like it? Am I watching this because they do? Am I actually enjoying it? Blah, blah, blah… These things sound trivial but I’ve always been like it, even with life choices.

I touched on 7 different A Levels in college, trying to figure out if I actually enjoyed the subjects I chose. I actually did Business Studies AS Level twice (two years of studying) and failed both times – I’ve still no idea whether I enjoyed it or if I just liked the idea of business. Career wise I have since been a Letting Agent and a Fitness Instructor and given up on both.

I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing or what I want. I really want some help with this but I’ve no idea where to turn?

Self Esteem: Being a Girl in The Blogging World

Over these last few months as I’ve started blogging, I have been blown away by the community. There is nothing like having your own group of blogger cheerleaders encouraging and congratulating you at every milestone.

But unfortunately, being a girl in the blogging world means the tons of beauty and fashion bloggers are unavoidable. And, don’t get me wrong I love cheering others on too and these girls are so talented and beautiful they absolutely should be blogging. But, I can’t help but feel inadequate because of this. I mean I’m not exactly your run of the mill girl blogger and I probably do my make-up once a week, if that.

Honestly – I’m not very good at my make-up, I don’t have the loveliest most expensive clothes and my hair isn’t silky smooth. I don’t go out everyday and drink soy lattes and I don’t eat Instagram worthy breakfasts. Normally, I wouldn’t be too fussed about these things but lately (and especially today) I’ve been feeling very self-conscious and low in myself. I did my hair and make up, and then decided I looked awful, wiped it all off again and then sulked in my bed before a nap.

I am surrounded by beautiful, self-taught make up gurus being buried with gorgeous free clothes who are doing great things with their lives. It’s just not very good for my mental health or self-esteem at all.

Ideally I think I need a bit of a break from Social Media and to focus on myself again for a little while, although sadly I find it quite difficult. I often sit on my phone to fill a gap of time rather than doing something constructive or caring for myself.

I’m aiming to read more as I have some lovely books to read (three to review!), and want to start playing my keyboard more too.

 

6 April / Thoughts

I’m at a loss on how to describe my thoughts right now; they’re up and down, left and right, inside out.

I feel as though everyone in the world is travelling the highway at 100mph, whilst I’m scraping 30mph. Ramming the gear stick into third, when I wasn’t quite ready to leave second. I judder on, hoping things might run smoothly if only I persist and ignore the struggle, maybe I’ll catch up with the speed.

But, I can’t do that. I can’t ignore the fact that I’m just a hinderance to those around me. Because in a financial sense, I am. In an emotional sense, I’m probably exhausting and hard work. My moods are here, there and everywhere. I make decisions in the heat of the moment, and then realise they weren’t right. I find myself to be exhausting.

Although people offer their support, nobody can help you 100% and nobody can totally understand. The snide comments slip, the eyes roll, the anger builds – I can’t help who I am and I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.

I just want things to be right, and more than anything – I want to rid my mind and memory of anxiety and just get back to work. I lack purpose and routine and I need that more than anything. But, I just need an employer who understands that I might have bad days and I might cry sometimes – but I’m there to help and I’m trying my hardest. Does this kind of employer even exist? I fear I’ll never find them.

I fear I’ll never move forward and I’ll always be in second gear watching the success above me.

25 Questions To Get To Know Me

1. What is your middle name?

Louise

2. Share you favourite subject in high school.

History or Drama

3. What is your favourite drink?

Lucozade or Diet Coke

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?

Perfect / Ed Sheeran

5. What would you (or have you) name your children?

That’s a secret!

6. Have you participated in any sports?

I played Netball in school? I’m not overly ‘sporty’ but I enjoy weight lifting at the gym.

7. What is your favorite book?

Looking For Alaska by John Green

8. What is your favorite color?

I couldn’t possibly commit to one colour!

9. What is your favorite animal?

Dogs or Penguins!

10. What is your favorite perfume?

Calvin Klein Euphoria

11. What is your favourite holiday?

Christmas!

12. On a scale from 1 – 10, rate your childhood.

6? Maybe? I don’t know really.

13. Have you been out of the country?

Yep! I’ve been to Spain twice, Turkey, Italy, New York twice and Ireland.

14. Do you speak any different languages?

Nope. I did French in school but wasn’t very good at it!

15. Do you have any siblings?

Two sisters & 1 brother – I’m the baby!

16. What is your favourite store?

I don’t really have one I don’t think! I do love Waterstones.

17. What is your favourite restaurant?

Anywhere that has Sausage and Mash on the menu!

18. Did you like school?

Yep, loved it.

19. Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?

I don’t really have any – oops! I should get into YouTube more.

20. What is your favourite movie?

Agh, there are too many! All the Harry Potters, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Toy Story, Bridesmaids, The Lion King, Beauty & The Beast, Dirty Dancing. 

21. What are some of your favourite tv shows?

Pretty Little Liars, Riverdale, Big Bang Theory, Friends, Fresh Prince!

22. PC or mac?

Mac! My MacBook is my baby.

23. What phone do you have?

Rose Gold iPhone 6s

24. How tall are you?

5’4

25. Do you have any pets?

Yes – I have two French Bulldogs


I’m having a relaxing Sunday today as I’ve had a stressful week! But the sun is shining and I’m okay. Lots of love to you all x

The Willoughby Book Club / Subscription Box Review

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

Reading is an absolutely fantastic way to escape your thoughts, distract your mind and discover new worlds. Which is why it’s my favourite thing to do when times are hard. What better way to take a break from life than by living someone else’s through your imagination?fullsizeoutput_877

I am a massive fan of subscription boxes as I love surprises, and when I discovered The Willoughby Book Club I was so excited and had to have get my hands on a sample! See, I love reading, but I can just never pick one book. Put me in Waterstones and it’ll take me a good half an hour at least to pick a book to take home. (My poor boyfriend.) So knowing that part will be done for me is just grand!

This subscription box works with your reading preferences and interests to handpick books that you’d like to read. So you can get a new, surprise book every month that’s tailored to you!

There are different packages including; Young Adult, Contemporary, Bespoke, Classic and more. The subscription itself comes in 3, 6 or 12 monthly subscriptions with varied prices.fullsizeoutput_878

“Reading gives us some place to go, when we have to stay where we are.” – Mason Cooley

The book arrives carefully packaged for you to unwrap (just like a present!) with a badge, sticker and bookmark as extra little gifts.  It also comes with a slip saying ‘This book belongs to…’. Nice touch WBC, I like that.

And if the whole idea wasn’t lovely enough, for every subscription sold they donate one new book to Book Aid International, which supports the vital education and literary development work that the charity performs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Overall, I absolutely love the personalised feel, making you feel as though you’d been sent a real gift. If you’re an avid reader looking to broaden your bookshelf, I would definitely recommend getting a subscription!

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The Liebster Award

 

chelseaThank you to Chelsea at Think Feel Strong for the tag, check out her blog!

The Rules

  • Post 11 Facts About Yourself
  • Answer the 11 Questions Your Nominator Asked
  • Nominate 11 Other Bloggers
  • Ask Them 11 Questions
  • Let Them Know They’ve Been Nominated

11 Facts About Me

  1. I’m obsessed with Harry Potter
  2. I am a dog person and have two French Bulldogs (cats scare me)
  3. I am a qualified Fitness Instructor
  4. I’m incredibly clumsy
  5. I hate cheese
  6. I have 7 tattoos
  7. I’m pigeon toed
  8. I talk to myself a lot
  9. My Rubiks Cube record is 2 minutes 20 seconds
  10. I can name every single European Country
  11. I never go anywhere without my Journal

My 11 Answers

  1. Why did you start blogging?
    I started blogging as a release for thoughts and experiences with mental health, with the intention of helping others realise that they’re not alone.
  2. What is your favourite part of blogging?
    Getting good feedback, and hearing that I’ve made a difference to a person’s life. It’s all about helping people so that makes me so, so happy.
  3. What is your favourite food?
    Definitely mashed potato, but it has to be with gravy! (Specifically chicken flavoured Bisto gravy!)
  4. What is your dream job?
    My dream job has always been to work with animals – maybe as a Zoo Keeper!
  5. What was your favourite subject in school?
    Drama or History!
  6. What is your biggest fear?
    Being a failure and letting down my family and boyfriend.
  7. Morning bird or night owl?
    Night owl 100%!
  8. What’s your least favourite part of blogging?
    Comparing myself to other bloggers, and thinking that I’m not as good as them or as well recognised.
  9. What post are you most proud of?
    Probably my first Vlog, because I got lots more views than I thought I would and even though I was scared, I did it anyway!
  10. Do you have any tips for a beginning blogger?
    Just be so proudly, and authentically you people have no other option but to love you!
  11. What’s your favourite social media to promote your blog on?
    Definitely Twitter, that’s where I get the most views/responses.

My 11 Nominations are…

  1. Ayla – Anxious Agony Aunt
  2. Mel  – Geek Magnifique
  3. Liam – Liam and His Anxiety
  4. Jade – Jade Writes
  5. Melissa – Love Melissa
  6. Mike – Mike’s Open Journal
  7. Meg – Be Kind to your Mind
  8. Melina – Ivefoundwaldo
  9. Emily – Slice of Lemmy Pie
  10. Caroline – Call Me Caz
  11. Louise – Loubee Lou Blogs

My 11 Questions…

  1. What is your lasting message to your readers?
  2. What would you wear to a Disney themed fancy dress party?
  3. Stay in or night out?
  4. Comedy or Horror?
  5. Summer or Winter?
  6. What is your party trick?
  7. What are the top three things on your Bucket List?
  8. What’s the first thing you would buy if you won millions on the lottery?
  9. Favourite alcoholic beverage? If you don’t drink, why did you make that decision?
  10. If you could go back five years and tell yourself anything, what would it be?
  11. What’s your favourite memory from your childhood?

Can’t wear to see your guys’ answers and again, thanks to Chelsea for the tag, make sure you check out/follow her blog!

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