Sunday, 2 November 2014

Goodbye October

And what a warm October it was. I'm still looking at my winter coat, waiting for it to be cold enough for me to don it and enjoy the warmth and beauty of it. It's taunting me, as it hangs on the door of my wardrobe, calling out to me to slip it on. Soon, my darling, soon.

I didn't write during October about my project progress but I'll happily highlight now how it went.

Diabetes- I feel like I'm back in control, that my levels aren't so sporadic and my hypos are less frequent. It's not in the best control yet, but each small victory is to be marked.

Image and self worth- Ooh you're a tricky demon to battle. I still can't look in a mirror for long, but I'm not convinced every look I get is for a negative reason. I had a very difficult month, and my self confidence has been slammed about a bit, but I can see my positive, the good things about me. And perhaps, just perhaps, they outweigh the negatives.

Food- Hello wonderful, varied food! I don't get so bored and such with meals, and my snacks are varied and I don't beat myself up if I really don't fancy anything other than porridge for dinner at times. I'm balanced, content and have a much better relationship with my sustenance...

Be Happy- I've been as happy as circumstances have allowed me. I've had major depression issues in the month of October, and whilst I'm far from better, I'm heading the right direction. I can't pretend the world is full of fluffy clouds and unicorns, when there is barbed wire and thorns waiting to catch you. Yet I will admit, that whilst it pours, the odd glimpse of colour makes it all a little easier to carry on forward...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Autumn leaves...

I love Autumn, the cold kissing your skin in the morning when you leave the house, the leaves turning shades of red and yellow before carpeting the ground in crunchy piles you just want to jump in. Autumn brings out the slow cookers and dreams of warm riching foods. Away go the summer dresses and sandals, and old favourite chunky jumpers and luxurious long boots stand proud waiting to be worn. I love autumn.

I hate Autumn. The colder weather bringing on the pains and stiffness I get in my joints and muscles. The slippy leaves and damp pavements, waiting to catch me out. Autumn brings in the darker days, the longer periods of bleakness and darkness. The never ending fireworks and the feeling of heaviness sets in the mind. Things seems dull and tinged with grey and the lack of flowers and the bare trees make it all look stark. The SAD appears and life becomes a challenge. Getting up isn't as appealing and you know winter is waiting to grab you in its icy embrace, to drag you further down.  

For me it also brings around my birthday. And then there is Christmas. It's hard to look forward to either when every day is a battle. I do it though. I get up and give myself a firm talking to. I stare into my eyes and challenge the depression to try and beat me. Not today. It won't beat me today. My mask might slip, my words might come out as harsh or blunt, but life isn't all rainbows and butterflies. I mark each night as a success. I've done it again. I'm still here. Just bring it on, I'm not ready to stop and lie down yet.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

You must be easy....

Because you are so fat.

This is what some callous little scrote said to me last night. I'm very aware of my size, and really don't need it pointed out to me. I think it hit me harder as I don't often get vicious words flung at me. His opinion is worth nothing, but it started the little voice off in my head. The one of self doubt and hatred. I'd usually hide away, but I didn't. I went to the ladies and faced my nemesis, my reflection. I suffer body dysmorphia, I have for years. When I was 16 I was put on a very heavy steroid based drug and I ballooned, I mean seriously ballooned to 18st. Every ounce of self respect I had left me, and I gained this image. Tall and leggy, big breasted, and fat. Very fat. I tried to pretend I wasn't and tricked myself that black was the only colour to wear, but nothing that clung. Parties were a nightmare as I'd try and find a dress that looked nice and not like a mumu, or clung and showed the caterpillar affect that the mass weight gain caused. I refused to have long mirrors in the house, and photos are pretty scarce from those days. The thought of there being images of me for others to see petrified me. As time went on, I realised I wasn't seeing what others did. I shifted 3st over time, but my view of myself never changed. All I saw looking back at me was the obese teenager medicine had turn me into. I've battled with my weight since then, and even to this day, the fat, sad girl looks back at me, tears in her eyes that are blinked back before the smile is painted on. I can change my clothes numerous times before I leave the house, not matter what others say. 

One day I am determined to look in the mirror, or catch my reflection in a window, and see what is there. Not my demons

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Project October- 2014 style!

So; it's that time of year again when people quit smoking and/or drinking for a month. Both are worthy of acknowledgment, and if you are doing this then I salute you all. For me, it doesn't hold much weight and so I take this month to make some positive changes. October to me, is the start of my favourite time of year, autumn. I love autumn, the crisp smelling air, the cooler weather and the changes to nature. Don't get me wrong, it has downsides for me too! The SAD creeping in and my body sulking over lack of Vitamin D, the damp air settling in and causing my body merry Hell. So, last year I decided I wanted to find a way of coping with the changes I can't do anything about, by focusing on changes I can do myself and this year is no different.


Diabetes - The last year has been majorly stressful, which has lead to my diabetes being a little unpredictable. I am a good girl, and inject as I should, but I downloaded an app to my phone which allows me to track all changes and spot any triggers. It's all set up, and I think it might subconsciously help me make better choices and not slip so easil

Self Image and worth - At some point, I will get round to writing a post about my self image, my triggers and my body dysmorphia. Today is not the day, and this is not the post for that. Those who know me well, know my history with my body and the true levels of loathing I have with every aspect of myself. I want to focus on this again, as the mental impact I have from slight changes in a positive manner, are pretty large. So, I want to write a list of what I do like about myself and it will be my focus. For every negative thought, I will counteract it with a positive. It's gotta be worth a shot, right? When I feel I've achieved nothing, and time is running away, I can look at the list and find so,etching constructive to do with my time.

That age old battle. Weight loss- I've done pretty much every diet you can think, even stupid ones that potentially put me and my poor system at risk. I can diet til the world ends, but at the end of the day, I don't believe progress will happen unless it's something I commit to. Once again, it's small simple changes, and a healthier attitude towards food. It's not the enemy, it's a wonderful ally. I've decided to try something new each week, expand my skill set in the kitchen and broaden my taste horizons. 

Often the other side of the coin is exercise. I agree that exercise is needed, but I'm pretty limited with the shoulder healing from a major dislocation, the collapsing knee with no muscular support and the chronic nerve pains in my legs. Miracle, anyone? A walk a day is a must for me, but I'm hoping to introduce stretches no swimming to it during the month ahead.

Be Happy - Sounds simple, right? We all notice the bad stuff more than the good. So, it's time I hold onto what makes me happy and go for it.

There are one or two other things, but a girl has her secrets. Happy October!!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Duvet Caves and Black Dog Days

Depression. It's a common illness yet still treated with kid gloves and funny looks. I have depression. 

I also have other mental illnesses, but depression and I are old friends. I've spent many a year coming to terms with it, and in time have learnt how to cope and what helps me, but every person is different. I don't like being smothered or fussed over, I used to lock myself away and sleep all the hours I could. I'd eat total rubbish and not care what it was doing to m, it was a comfort. Then I'd hit a hyper phase. and go out drinking and push my luck, try and pretend I was on top of the world when inside I was broken. Lost. I'd neglect myself, abuse my healthcare and burn myself out. I'd spend every penny I had, then feel absolute guilt and sickness, before returning as much as I could. I dealt with it in the most unhealthy manners possible.  One day, something changed. I met an amazing psychologist and she really pulled me back from the brink. I learnt it wasn't anything shameful, that the strongest people, the most driven of us suffer. To be depressed isn't to be weak. I learnt my demons don't make me any less of a person and that people care, not all will turn when the going gets tough. I also accepted people will walk away, but it doesn't mean I drove them to it. Many years of blaming myself, and thinking I was a bad person and must be the catalyst took their toll, and I still wonder what I could have done better to save one friendship or another. Anyway. I'm getting off track.

The black dog is still a major part of my life, and most days we do ok. Sadly, recent events have meant my shadow has grown and is consuming me. My depression and I have a way these days of managing, and I'm not ready to let it take the reins, not yet. As much as I want to run and hide for as long as possible in a duvet cave, I'm getting out of bed whilst morning is still about. I'm dressing and leaving the house. I take days an hour at a time and if I truly feel I can't face something, I don't push myself. I'm still making an effort and caring for my appearance, I'm eating sensibly and making sure I haven't cut people out. Sure, it isn't easy and things such as my sex drive, patience and sociaibility have taken a a hit, but I've not gone off the rails. I don't like telling people I have health problems, as then they tend to treat me differently. The pity appears, then the admiration. I never know how to handle it, and since I'm not the best a talking emotions or even recognising them, it can often lead to a alot of frustration and anger on my part, as I'm not sure if people are being genuine or not. Just carry on as before, talk to me like before. I'm still me. Just a little more fragile tis all. I will answer, but may take my time. I still laugh and smile, just not as much. I just need to take it all one step at a time.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New year...

New you. Heard it before? Even said it yourself? I think most of us have.

This year, I haven't, and I'm not going to. Why? Because I don't need to be a "new" me, I just need to be Me.  This doesn't mean I haven't got things to work on, because believe me, I have! I have weight I want to lose, fitness levels I want to improve and other things we all swear to change at the beginning of the year. But these aren't resolutions for me, just part of the bigger picture. I have to have surgery this year to repair a Labral year in my hip. I say hip, to be honest it's more in the groin and it is a right sod. My range of movement is reduced dramatically, and thanks to it the only exercise I'm allowed is 15 mins of swimming, once a week. Yep, you read that right. This kinda threw my plans out the window, but it's better than nothing at all. So, due to the upcoming surgery, I have decided that the first six months of 2014 will be as productive as possible., and also be spent making sure I'm healthier and fitter to be able to cope with surgery, before being stuck on my arse for about six months whilst I heal. The joys of such surgery when you are a diabetic with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome type III, you really suck at healing! 

So; what's on my list for this year? All sorts. Let's start with the typicals.
Food:Yep, like 90% of you, I'll be aiming to change my eating habits. Last year before I had major diabetes issues (long story) I was happily doing the 5:2 diet. For me, it's ideal. No faff, no fuss and no "must avoid" foods. I know what calorie decrease is safe for me, and I know that within a fortnight, I don't feel the hunger or notice the calorie drop so I'm going back to basics with this and planning to approach it like a newbie. Menu planning is a MUST for me when I do this, but I really enjoy doing such things anyway. I'll be looking for new recipes, so if any of you have any then send them to me!

Fitness: That's right, fitness. Not exercise but general fitness. Much to the relief of many, I'm determined this year that the cigarettes will go and stay gone. The health benefits are pretty well known, but I should also cope much better with anaesthetic and healing too. Due to my exercise options being pretty much out of my control, I will enjoy my 15 mins of swimming, my Physio sessions, walks and oh yes, I will use sex as an excuse for some cardio...

Self worth: I have spent most of my life, being my worst enemy. I've never held myself in high regard, so I struggle to see anything about me but my flaws, the negatives. For every good point, I could find five bad, and it really isn't a healthy thing to do. I have no plans to be someone or something I'm not, I just want to learn to accept the good things, without always searching for the bad. To help me here, I've  decided I need to include more glamour in my choice of clothes and make the most of my assets, and what awesome assets I have too! (Behave you lot)

Hobbies: At present, working is not a viable option, so I'm often stuck with time and nothing to do to fill it. So, I've decided I need hobbies. I'm revisiting my French, and hoping to learn Italian after. I am determined to learn to knit, and also want to improve my photography. I need things to exercise my mind as I feel like it is deteriorating along with the rest of me. I just might be a multilingual, multitalented woman by the end of the year! I also want to focus in my writing, expand my style and way with words and work on my website, as well as on a project that will possibly lead to publication, but don't hold me to to that, y'know, no pressure and shizznit.

Excess: I noticed I seem to have an abundance of lotions and potions, shower gels and scrubs, nail polishes and perfumes too. Being a female these are the easy fall back options for people when it comes to gifts, and quite frankly people either ink I hum, or just like to make me smell amazing all the time (which u do, I always smell good!). This year I am going to try and avoid buying any perfume,toiletries or nail polishes, until I reduce the excess I am currently hoarding. I kid you not, I could give Boots a run for their money at the moment.

Finances: I hate this aspect of life, the money one. All I can really say here is I am going to be plotting every bloody outgoing, and in some vain hope it might just mean I end up with less struggles each month, if I'm keeping such a close eye on it all. 

Road tripping!: This year I'd like to get out of London more, visit people and see new places. As much as I'd like to get out of the UK, just away from the big smog will do me for now, baby steps and all...

As much as I'd like to turn into a rich, jet setting beauty, I'll be content if I can make this year a little less harsh on me in all ways possible. Here is to 2014....