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General

Surviving Life – Maintaining happiness throughout the struggle

There’s no way of denying that life can be realllll shitty at times. Most people experience a form of trauma at some stage of their life. It can be very overwhelming coping with some of the stresses that life throws at us sometimes. Personally, I have had my fair few stressful situations. But the one that affected me the most was living in poverty… below the breadline.

Now let’s not jump to conclusions, I’m not talking about poverty on the level of homelessness. I’m talking about this ‘first world’ level of poverty. The type that will have you sitting on a £1500 sofa, watching a £600 TV whilst discussing potentially losing your house and how to find money for food. I was raised in a single parent household; my mother an absolute grafter, was the provider for my brother and I. Most of my childhood and early teenager years I’d say we were doing okay financially from my perspective. It was when I started to hit 16/17 that things became a struggle. Becoming aware of adult level problems and losing the innocence of your childhood can be a massive shock to the system and some people struggle with this more than others.  When you are young, you receive gifts from your parents and you know… the food is just there magically. But you don’t fully grasp the blood, sweat and tears that a lot of single mothers go through to maintain their household and to put food on the table for their children. 

This is me in the middle with the dodgy hairstyle with my siblings and my dad.

So yeah… growing up is tough. The reason why I call it first world poverty is because from an outside perspective everything seems normal. You have a may have a car … the three-bedroom terraced house and even nice clothes. But did I have food to eat within that house? A lot of the time no. Could we afford heating during the winter? lol definitely not. It became a constant battle of putting money on the electric key and the gas meter only for it to go off a few days later and we sometimes had no way of finding money to put the electric on or the heating. I’ll keep it real there was times when we had to sell things in order to get a bit of money to tide us over. This type of lifestyle will rob you of all of your dignity especially if you are a proud person. There were many times when I would have to ask if I could bathe at my friend’s house and they would also give me food to cook at home so we had something to eat. Situations like this help to form the deepest of bonds between people. So, I’m sure you can get the idea… it was tough for a while. But despite living that kind of lifestyle, I don’t look back and focus on what I didn’t have to eat and the times when I could see my breath in the air, it was so cold in my bedroom.

The luxuries and gifts stopped coming and for a good few years we didn’t exchange birthday or Christmas gifts to each other. I think my family has been lucky because we do have a close bond. So having Christmas without presents under the tree never bothered me personally. But I can imagine for my mum it was hard because parents do feel a huge responsibility to provide for the family. But this is where the deepest lessons I have learned were formed. It was never a case of what didn’t I have… always a case of how can I work harder and bring more money into my household? 

Going through tough times and situations where you feel like life is just punishing you, that is the opportunity to discover yourself. These are the situations that tests your character and allow you to confront yourself. Happiness is something that you have to create for yourself. Can you be poor and be happy, 100%. It is about learning to accept yourself as you are when everything is stripped back… no distractions. You can develop unlimited potential within yourself. Let me clarify, my point is… the times when life is pushing up on you and you feel shiiiit. This is the type of situation that allows you to dig deep and get creative. You start to discover skills you never thought you had. And when you are short of money you have to get resourceful anyway. 

Resilience is a skill that will help to get you through these tough times. Being able to bounce back from setbacks and still see the beauty in your life, that is no small task.  After many losses and sets back, I have reached a stage where I have the ability to change my perspective. I never take an L, as every situation for me is the opportunity to learn, rediscover and adapt myself to the course that life has put me on. 

Here are some helpful tasks that can help you to change your perspective: 

Create a list of positives 

If you are struggling to see the positives of a situation, sit down and get out some paper. Write down your biggest loss, did you just lose your job or maybe a bad breakup. Now create some headings such as short-term benefits and long-term benefits. Once you have completed your list, keep it! You can always refer back to it when you’re feeling low or just need a reminder to slow down and gain some perspective.  

 Visualisation 

This doesn’t work for everyone as some people are more visual than others, but if this is your type of thing, create a detailed summary of what you want your life to look like in a specific time. One of my visualisations is a full fridge, I know that may sound weird but after going through the experience of being hungry and not having money to buy food. I need to have food in my house to feel content and secure.

There are going to be times that you feel like giving up and struggle to see the light at the end of tunnel but do not give up. Everyone is entitled to a bad day, and they will come. Lets support each other and continue to Rise! 

Remember risers, We never take an L !! 

L = Loss  

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Education Uncategorized

Developing relationships within schools between staff and students

There was a time in my career when I was going through a bad break up. Usually I was good at separating personal issues from my work but it was a vulnerable time for me. I had a registration /tutor group at the time and I’m sure they had to started to notice that I wasn’t myself. Valentine’s Day came around and it was time for me to go and start the lesson with my class. As I walked into the room, they had a massive bunch of flowers on the table for me and a card. I opened the card which was from them all and it read… we will appreciate you always. This simple gesture literally made me cry… another thing that I don’t make a habit of at work. Lol. I was so overwhelmed by the kindness of these teenagers. Some of whom I would frequently be in disagreements with regarding their behaviour. When I eventually left that role, they gifted me a scrap book. They had all wrote messages in the book and I was really shocked at some of them. One even said although we have had our disagreements you taught me that my way is not always the right way’. And I thought wow, the life lessons I gave to them actually sunk in. We both learnt from each other during the time I was at the school and they had taught me to be more patience and how to navigate complex issues with young people. And I shared my knowledge with them, sometimes it was a lesson in CV writing and how to assess your own skills. And other days it was supporting them while going through tough friendship problems.

During my time at secondary school, I developed a close bond with a few of my teachers. I suffered from a traumatic experience when I was in year 9 and my tutor, English teacher and Sociology teacher were made aware of this. Not only did they support me through this journey, they also helped to build me back up and realise my full potential. I felt comfortable to approach them when I was feeling vulnerable. Fast forward 14 years and I still keep in contact with the same teachers and they continue to offer me words of wisdom to this day.

Reflecting on this made me think about the relationships between school staff and their students. It has literally been drilled into my head that a gesture like that is hugely inappropriate and that we as staff must try to maintain our professional distance at all times. Don’t get me wrong, we need a certain degree of protection as staff and also so do the students. But at what point did we as a society stop prioritising our children’s emotional needs and need to form relationships. All throughout early schooling, teachers play quite a nurturing role in their students’ lives. They would certainly put their arm around a crying child. But what we see currently is an education system that is quite frankly, dominated by the academy institutions.

Children need support and stability and as teachers and school staff we spend a lot of their time around them. When will we start to support healthy attachments between school students and staff? Schools have high staff turnover which makes it harder for the students to build relationships with the multiple staff they come into contact with. When will we start to treat students as children instead of professional colleagues? I do believe that if staff and students were able to build a more meaningful relationship then students would have more accountability for their actions towards them. 

Schools are fundamental to the development of young people and also families. We need to focus on building a system that supports the connection between schools and their students. The question is…. how do we achieve t

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Boujie on a budget – Preparing for a baby without breaking the bank

‘Babies are expensive’, ‘wait until you have your own child and see how much it costs’. These are the most common phrases we often hear throughout our adult lives and while there are costs to account for, potential loss of income etc. However, having a baby doesn’t need to set you back hundreds and thousands of pounds. You can do it the cost-effective way and still have some money set aside for yourself, date nights or a cheeky holiday. 

According to the money advice service, the average cost of having a baby in the first month is an eye watering £503.54!!!!!! I don’t know if it’s just me being frugal but this cost is ridiculous. I’ve spoken about this topic numerous times on my social media page as I feel that we live in an excessive society. Our very culture is closely linked with our consumer identity which can be very problematic. Now don’t get me wrong, if you are the type of parent who loves to shop and has the disposable income to buy your child unlimited products or the best of everything then so be it. However, I’m going to explain how to approach this from an alternative angle and to really understand that becoming a parent doesn’t always have to be about losing out or stressing yourself about buying enough, is it the best quality etc. 

As I became older, I begun to realise that living materialistically was not really me. I do enjoy nice things however I like to be smart and sensible with my finances and travelling has always been my financial priority (maybe this is why I don’t own my own house yet lol). My money saving journey began when someone recommended the website freecycle to me which sounded amazing and has been a great resource over the years. I once was able to source over £300 in quality furniture for a friend to redecorate their house. So, when I found out that I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to save as much money as possible. Friends along the years would tell me the price that they paid for products and I would almost keel over at the cost. How could a tiny person be so expensive! 

I’m going to breakdown what I have purchased for my baby so far and I will include any links or pages that I found helpful along this ‘Boujie on a budget’ journey and hopefully you can save yourself a pretty penny as well!


Essentials: 

Chico next to me sleeper cot 

RRP: £126-219 

Paid: £60 from Facebook Marketplace. (begrudgingly, and only because it came in the original packaging with a mattress cover) 

Maxi Cosi Cabriofix car seat 

RRP: £94- 194 

Paid: £30 from Facebook Marketplace 

Now take caution when purchasing second hand car seats to ensure that they meet the safety guidelines, I’ll include a checklist at the end. 

 
Clothing 
eBay has been my best friend in buying second hand clothes, after all the baby is going to grow out of their clothes so quickly it really is not worth the added expense that can quickly get out of hand. I was able to purchase a bundle of around 5 bits, including a Ralph Lauren top/vest for £3!!!.  

Instagram has been a saving grace surprisingly and I have used one page in particular who sell second hand baby bits. These were the first bits I had brought for the baby and the quality has been amazing.  

@buybabyy_ sells second hand baby clothes as well as the occasional accessories of footwear at a fraction of the original RRP. I paid £10 for a pair of Nike crib shoes and also £12 for a bundle from The White Company which usually retails at £60+. 

You can do a quick search on Instagram to find similar accounts that offer a similar service in your local area to keep postage fees down.  

Prams and other bits 

If you don’t have Facebook by now then I recommend you set up an account while your pregnant, their marketplace feature has tons of deals on a daily basis and I was able to secure some amazing bargains 

Sleepyhead  

Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Pod Pristine White

RRP: £115 – £150 (depending on design) 

Paid: £50 from Facebook Marketplace 

The one that we got came in the original packaging and looked brand new. I will give it a wash before baby arrives.  

ICandy Peach  

RRP: £1,170 

Paid: £500 from a deal arranged through a friend. The lady was going to sell online and we got first refusal.  

Now this is my favourite deal as I knew I wanted an I Candy pram but I was not prepared (or could afford) to pay over £500 for a pram. I just paid £600 for a car so there is no way that I would spend that kind of money on a pram. This came with: 

  • The main frame 
  • The bassinet  
  • The pram seat 
  • All the adaptors (2 pairs) 
  • Both rain covers (for bassinet and normal seat) 
  • A Maxi Cosi car seat 

Safety 

When buying a second hand car seat you ideally want to buy it from someone you know. Check the recall list for that make and model and ideally buy one that still has the original box, leaflet etc. You don’t want to buy a second hand car seat from a car boot sale but with the right precautions you can get yourself a good deal. In my case, the woman did not drive and only had a car seat for when her baby was out with her grandmother. Do your own research in this area and make an informed decision based on the deal that is offered to you and how much details you can validate on a case by case basis.  

These were the main discounts that I have been able to secure so far and feel free to share this post or comment any suggestions or major savings you have made for your own family so far! 
 

www.freecycle.com
 https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/blog/what-is-the-average-cost-to-have-a-baby

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Mental Barriers: Health Anxiety

1 in 4

will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England

39.9%

people receive treatment

6 in 100

people suffer with general anxiety disorder

Mental prison

I have lost count on the amount of times that I am absolutely convinced that I have an incurable disease or some illness. And today is no different I read just one line of an article on social media and now my focus has switched to that illness. Speaking to people, a lot of people will laugh it off and make light of your paranoia regarding your health but it really is not a laughing matter. Going through this experience can be very isolating and crippling mentally. You end up living in a permanent state of panic which becomes a deep underlying fear that affects every aspect of your life. 

I decided to start writing about my experience with anxiety as it can be quite therapeutic during the worst times when my mind is in overdrive and my thoughts unraveling. Once I finish an article, I tend to feel quite relieved and a bit calmer to carry on with the day. Yet saying that, I don’t have the answer for the best approach in dealing with health anxiety specifically as I have yet to master it. But I’ll give you some examples of the types of statements that go through my mind: 

  • Oh I’m extra thirsty today, does this mean I’m ill. 
  • That feels like a headache, that’s odd I don’t usually get headaches. Could it be a bleed on the brain or something else. 
  • Is that a lump, mole, skin cancer etc 
  • WHAT IS NORMAL!!!! 

You hear these kinds horror stories that happen to a friend of a friend. Or some freak health story that you read in the news or social media. These stories are the ones that stay etched into your brain like a mental stain. You can always jump to the worst-case scenario whenever a physical symptom pops up. 

Now I have entered a new phase of my life, going through pregnancy. This should be a happy joyous time in my life but often I just feel overwhelmed with the weight of the worry on my shoulder. It’s one thing worrying about myself but to worry about the health of my child is a nightmare. I do sit and wonder, do other women go through this level of fear. I’m 21 weeks now and this morning I was awake at 5am reading health pages regarding your baby’s movements and when to track them. On this occasion, my google exploration did provide me with some comfort. Once I had read enough information to rationalise my thoughts and convince myself that there was nothing out of the ordinary happening I was able to close down the tab and go back to sleep. Which raises the question, does google help or is it a trigger point? 

In my experience, googling symptoms can sometimes help and more times put the fear of god into you. But I have yet to figure out what is a good replacement without having a registered GP on speed dial to talk me through my symptoms. Many anxiety disorders are very similar to the behaviour you often see in OCD sufferers. You develop repetitive behavioural patterns which can keep you trapped in a box and it is these repeat actions that only feed into your anxiety more as it takes away your control. This is the prison that you are stuck within. 

I have often spoken about my experience with CBT therapy and meditation. Luckily for me I have grown to be able to recognise my triggers and understand when I am in a high state of anxiety which allows me to put strategies in place to reduce my stress and anxiety levels. But at times I fail to put these strategies into action and end up suffering for longer than necessary. I always recommend mediation to people as I feel the positive affirmations helps to build confidence within yourself and to maintain a constant state of calm. At my most stressful times I will try: 

Meditation before bedtime 

This helps to offload the worries that I carry throughout the day. I am able to pull them from me like rubbish and dispose of them for that day and I have found that I always sleep better if I meditate before bed. It’s a great support for insomnia (however pregnancy has derailed that lol) 

Mediation in the morning 

This can really help to protect your own mental space as you get up ready to attack the day. Especially if you are about to do something that you know is a difficult task. I work with children so I often meditate to ensure that I can save my energy for myself. And draw on extra positive energy to feed into my students. This way I can leave school at the end of the day without feeling drained of all emotional energy. 

A healthy bedtime routine 

Preparing for bedtime and having a daily routine is something that drastically changed my experience with insomnia. However, this is something that I am not currently doing so I’m not surprised my anxiety levels have been increasing as my sleep has been quite bad recently. 

Exercise 

Now I know that leisure facilities have been closed throughout the lock down and this has affected my level of exercise as I find it hard to motivate myself at home. I did start lock down getting the yoga mat out every day, doing a little bit of yoga or a live class on Instagram but that quickly failed lol. When I am training in the gym, my mood for the rest of the day is just great. You can really feel the endorphins release as the day progresses and this really does help to manage my anxiety on a longer basis. 

This specific form of anxiety can be relentless and tiring but you are not alone in your struggles, there are more of us than you think!

What are some of the techniques you use to help you through this nightmare? Or how have you been able to overcome this issue? Drop a comment below

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Anxiety battles and Weed addiction

The sigh of relief when you reach your destination and all irrational fears go out of the window. Every journey I make fills me with Dred, the buildup to leaving the house that at times feels like a ton of bricks on my chest. Just smile and wave I tell myself, it won’t be that bad today. That is me trying to build myself with inner confidence to attack the day as a ‘normal’ person.  

The issue with an anxiety disorder is that it is invisible, no one can see that your suffering or that you may find it difficult to complete specific tasks. No two experiences are the same and everyone has their own different triggers. I felt that I had a good grip on my anxiety and that was certainly the case for a while. I had completed a course of CBT therapy and the tools I had learnt allowed me to start expanding my comfort zones and managing my reactions when placed in challenging circumstances. Then I messed up! I decided to start smoking weed again, which initially started as a recreational habit. I would have a little here and there, then it became a little every day, then I would start to buy my own and within the space of 3-4 months I was fully back into my addiction. It took me a while before I even realised that I had relapsed and that this habit had now taken its toll on my life. I started to decline social events more often as I was too high to be bothered to go. I became content with being by myself getting high and just chilling out. Now this may seem like a dream to some however, the problem with smoking was that it was affecting my social confidence, I began to feel uncomfortable standing alone in a queue in the supermarket, the general anxiety had begun to creep back in. On top of that I was eating a lot of sugary foods which was wreaking havoc on my digestion which in turn, also had an impact on my IBS which was linked to my anxiety.  

After recognising the negative impact it was having on my life, I decided to go cold turkey and quit. I had been sober for 3 years so I knew I had it in me to stop and I haven’t regretted it since. My experience smoking weed has been an interesting one and it has made me realise that for some people weed can be a dangerous substance to consume. Especially when you are a young teenager. I sometimes wonder to myself, would I have developed an anxiety disorder if I did not smoke weed. I understand that not everyone goes through this same experience however, in my particular case when you mix childhood trauma with poverty and intense weed consumption, you can get a really bad outcome.  I came to understand that it is not just about smoking weed, it is about self medicating in any format. It becomes a process of brushing your symptoms under the carpet to be dealt with another day. But this coping mechanism can become very unhealthy and will only contribute to toxic behaviour patterns in the long run. Addiction is a form of self harm and it doesn’t have to be a substance that you are addicted to.

I see so many young men who are suffering with a form of undiagnosed mental health issue and suffering alone in silence believing that the problems they are experiencing is just part and parcel of life. Suffering with a mental health disorder can be very isolating at times and it is always best to try and reach out to others to discuss how you are feeling. Personally, it has helped me to rationalise my thoughts and to understand that I am not going crazy, this is a part of me that I have to accept and learn to live with and manage. It can be very draining at times which is why I tend to write about my experiences as I know that someone out there can relate. If you feel the same way or have been through similar experiences, drop a comment below to share your story. Or if you would like to see any similar posts about different aspects of mental health… let me know. 

And we must plod along lol xx 

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Doubting yourself and suffering from ‘imposter syndrome’

I have suffered with anxiety now for about 3 years and when I first received that ‘diagnosis’ I did feel a bit all over the place. In hindsight I can now see that the relationship with my inner self was broken. I couldn’t predict how I would feel or react and I also felt like I was always on edge and found it really difficult to relax. Luckily, I have come a long way since that time and I can definitely notice how the growth I have achieved has helped to repair the relationship I have with myself. But as we all know; mental health issues are an ongoing battle. There is no quick fix and poof it goes away like a virus. So, one of the main issues I have been suffering with more recently is feeling inadequate to achieve my goals. Now this is not something that is just limited to people with anxiety. There are so many reasons that can cause you to doubt yourself. Changing careers, becoming a parent, taking a risk…

I came across the term imposter syndrome during a lecture at my university. To cut a long story short it means that an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. As I’ve grown older and progressed through my career, I’ve become aware that this is a problem that has plagued me every day. I’d reached a point where I had to admit to myself that I was actually quite scared of manifesting my goals. One of those goals is getting a degree. And as my time at university has passed I find myself second guessing my ability to perform in an academic setting. Despite the fact that my grades have been consistent and I’m doing well. I decided to speak to an academic at my university about how I was feeling, to which she replied ‘ it’s quite a common problem that a lot of women suffer from, especially BAME women’

I went away from that conversation thinking why do us women feel the need to self criticise and constantly compare ourselves to others. Through this turning point I realised that I need to start being my own fan and reassure myself that I am capable of handling the next stages of adulthood😂 As I’m quite a visual person I thought that I could starting putting up some motivational quotes on my walls to be a constant visual reminder to stay focused mentally. It’s very easy to think of a plan whether it be big or small, or evening approaching a meeting, work event. To get caught up in the mindset of ‘will these people like me? can I actually pull this of? What if it goes completely wrong? You have to try and get out of that mindset and push through.

So I will now be focusing on being my own biggest fan to build my confidence up. A lot of the time we focus so much on external relationships and situations and end up pushing ourselves to the background. It’s about convincing yourself that you are capable to achieving these goals or making changes in your life.

Saying that, clearly I have not mastered this skill yet myself so it’s a learning curve for us all.

What would you suggest to help minimise imposter syndrome, comment below!

@crazybutcool932

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20 things every 20 something should know!

I turned 27 in April and I’ll be honest, it was not a comfortable feeling. So many thoughts we’re rushing through my mind such as, have a worked hard enough? Am I where I want to be at this age? How much more do I need to do before I’m 30? I was anxious around the time of my birthday. It’s really difficult to not compare yourself to others and to be critical on your own progress. I always said to my teachers at school that I would own my own house at the age of 25😂😂😂I laugh inside at the thought of it. Could I have reached that goal? Of course I could have. But the problem was that I didn’t have adequate knowledge about how to even go about getting a house that the goal slipped by me. Here I am 2 years after that deadline paying £635 a month in rent lol. How life has a funny way of making you question yourself.

So I’ve made a list of 20 things to keep in mind during your twenties. This list has been created to help you stay on track at all times whilst staying grounded.

  1. Your twenties is a good time to build strong financial foundations
  2. Every job move you make you should aim to increase your salary by 3-5000
  3. Re training yourself and unlearning bad behaviours at this age will increase your potential
  4. Holidays are essential to your overall wellbeing and world knowledge
  5. A good group of friends can make the difference between loneliness and secure attachments
  6. Sex during this period will get better, you will expand your experiences
  7. Your weight may change drastically over this period. But that’s okay, your finding what fits you.
  8. Experiences, experiences, experiences….. your at the stage now that you are earning your own money. Use it to start a new hobby or activity
  9. Make smart financial decisions, create a rule for spending. And spend wisely…. balenciagas on a 21,000 salary may be living above your means
  10. Give your friendships space to grow. Your friendships will go through changes, people work to different schedules etc. Try not to judge your friends for changing, roll with it. Grow together
  11. Don’t be afraid to ask for promotions and pay rises. Yes you can do this at work. Evaluate your work rate and set the goal for your progression
  12. Don’t label yourself… some of your friends may secure an amazing job or may have just gotten married. Don’t judge yourself by other people’s timeline. What is meant for you will happen on your own timeline. Learn to trust the process
  13. Ageing…. for us ladies… the belly and waist is not going to be as snatched as it was at the age of 19…. maintainence will be required lol (damn do I miss my 19yr old body)
  14. Don’t limit yourself… age is just a number. It doesn’t matter if your 21 or 27. Take of those caps that you have on goals. The sky is the limit.
  15. Balance… adulting is stressful and these are the years to find balance within yourself…. find what works for you and use it to manage your stress
  16. Defining your character…. who are you really… what do you want and what do you stand for. Let’s those questions sit with you for a while
  17. Be your own biggest fan… your twenties is a time that it’s okay to be a bit selfish and put your dreams first. Promote yourself and go hard for what you want.
  18. Relationships come and go…. learn to be comfortable by yourself because people do come in and out of your life and you may go through many friendships at this stage
  19. Dating is a minefield…. tinder dates and hook ups have really changed the dating game. Get your hard hat on and protect your space… the journey can get rough
  20. Love yourself unapologetically…. yes you will make mistakes, we all will. Don’t allow that to build up to self-loathing. When you  f**k up, evaluate the situation and learn from it. Even a bad situation is another opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow. Remember we never take an L
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Living with Anxiety

One of the biggest lessons I have learned through being diagnosed with anxiety is, a lot of people struggle to relate to mental health as it is an ‘invisible illness’. There’s no plaster cast or pack of medication that screams ‘I’m not well at the moment’. You will come across people who genuinely can’t grasp the issues that you are going through.

My journey with anxiety was a result of many years of unsolved trauma. I began to notice my behaviour changing, however I always dismissed it as personality changes as I was getting older. I was such a spontaneous person growing up and was always up to take part in most social events etc. But when I reached 23, I found myself declining almost every invite that was given to me. ‘I just prefer chilling at home’ I would tell myself. And as a result have missed out on major occasions that I still regret today. I didn’t even understand Anxiety at that stage let alone saw the symptoms within my own behaviour. I begun to feel numb emotionally. I remember describing it to my friends as feeling as if your trapped in a glass box inside your own body. You can smile and laugh on the outside but it’s as if the emotions don’t reach inside of you.

After a couple of years of experiencing those problems, I went through a break up (yes I know I’ve mentioned this before lol). On top of dealing with that I was made redundant from my dream job and my friends and I had decided to give up our house that we was renting and move back in with our parents. During this time, I started to feel so uncomfortable within myself. I would wake up and feel worried for no particular reason, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then came the physical symptoms…. waking in the middle of the night with heart palpitations, my arms would go numb and tingly and I begun to clench my muscles subconsciously.

I’ve always been a bit of a worrier with my health so you could imagine I was freaking out at this stage. I decided to go to the AnE department (dramatic I know). After many hours waiting to be seen. The doctor on duty explained to me that all my tests where normal and that he believes my symptoms where a result of stress and anxiety. To hear that… honestly it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve always felt that I was a strong person (whatever that means) but hearing the doctors discuss my options. I couldn’t help but feel like I had failed myself.

The weeks following the diagnosis I visited my GP to discuss options to help relieve my symptoms. Luckily, a friend of mine had recently gone through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and recommend I give it a try. So walking into my GP office I was already equipped with the information about the CBT. The first thing my GP said to me was ‘okay we can put you on a course of anti-depression tablets’. This really bothered me as I felt I had to deal with the route cause of my Anxiety rather than the symptoms so I pushed for the CBT and was able to get a referral. The therapy helped me a lot and I will write another post explaining it in more detail.

That diagnosis was 4 years ago now and I have since learnt to manage my anxiety. I’ve summarised my go to methods for coping with anxiety below:

Breathing: Once I learned how to control and manage my breathing I was able to prevent anxiety attacks from occurring.

Meditation: Similar to the breathing techniques I use meditation as a way to process my emotions and to unwind when feeling stressed. There are many guided meditation apps available that will help you out if your new to the process.

Communication: I am very lucky that I have very supportive friends around me. Talking to them about my feelings helped me to process my emotions. They didn’t laugh at me or dismiss my irrational thoughts, they helped me explore them and talk myself out of the anxious feelings.

Anxiety is something that you may live with for the rest of your life. But don’t lose hope, there are so many ways that you can manage the symptoms and feel in control of your life again. I will go into more detail in future posts about the specific type of anxiety I suffer with and how that affected me.

Drop any comments below or a DM on insta @crazybutcool932

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The Destruction of Free Youth Media

The BBC are shutting down BBC three as a way to save up to 50million pound needed to be cut. There are many other ways that this money could be saved. In the news today there was an article that mentioned that BBC spent 30million pound on accommodation for staff. 11.6 million of that was just in 2013 alone.

If the BBC changed their spending habits and lowered that crazy salaries they dish out to top executives, maybe they could prevent the closure of this important channel.

BBC three is the only channel available on UK TV that specifically targets young peoples issues. There is no channel similar to BBC three. Most young people we have approached are not even aware that BBC three is closing down.

Below is the link to an online petition, make sure you sign is as this is our only hope at standing up for what we believe is right and is actually needed. It’s time to actually have a say in what is going on. There are different options the BBC could do in order to preserve the channel and ensure the quality of the shows are not compromised.

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/to-the-bbc-trust-savebbc3

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What is preventing young people from voting?

44% of young people aged 18-24 voted in the last general election. Many young people do not care about politics in the way that we should. Governments do not aim their policies towards us because we do not make up the majority vote.

A survey found that 24 per cent of 18 to 21 year olds had never registered, and another nine per cent did not know whether they were on the register. One third (33 per cent) had been added by a parent, guardian or relative and 32 per cent said they had registered themselves.
Seven per cent of 22 to 25 year olds said their names had never registered and a further eight per cent in that age group said they did not know whether they had been.
The research, suggesting that as many as 800,000 young adults could have been disenfranchised across the United Kingdom, was carried out for the Electoral Reform Society.

As mentioned in a previous post we need to educate ourselves on the basics in UK politics. That way we can make a stand for the policies that we want to go through parliament and start voting for real change.

The voting system is a biased one to mention. We are encouraged to vote in a system where they portray the race as a fair one when in reality, there are a small group of elite men who all studied at the top schools in the country. They were groomed from school age to become leaders and people of importance within society. Where is the fairness of that. We live in a pretend democracy where they only people who become leaders are those who are born into the elite system.

Do not allow them to make you think this is the only option available!

Do you really think that you or me could become prime minister in this current society. The answer is no. And because of that point we feel that there is no real point in voting at the moment until there is a legitimate party who stand for what is right.

Our leaders no longer represent the people. They are essentially machines who dictate the smallest details that (believe it or not) do have a major effect on our lives. But yet these so called leaders have not really experienced life in the way that the mass experience it. They are from the clouded society ‘the elite’ where they wouldn’t know how to put the emergency electric on when your money cuts out. Or how to have a choice between getting to work or having money to eat. The leader of the Labour Party didn’t even know how much a weekly food shop costs nowadays! So ask yourself the question, why do we allow these elite machines to rule our lives and country.

Many young people do not feel that politics concerns them. It’s a very warped view that needs to be addressed. Realistically the options that we have for leaders today are between the conservative party, labour and liberal democrats. Out of the 161 councils involved in the local election today, 77 are run by Labour, 52 Conservatives and 8 are Liberal Democrats. Only 24 have no overall control.

We need to encourage more young people to be interested in politics and then start to move towards having more politicians who do represent the voters.

Ways we can do this is by getting involved within your communities, have a first hand look at what is going on in your own neighbourhood. Educate yourself in UK politics and get to know what is on offer. You may find that you agree with the policies of a party.

As the future of this country it’s time we stand up for our own rights and ensure that change does happen.

The power is in the people and what we say is ‘ To hell with the Eton robots’ let’s have some real politicians!!

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