Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Inspiring videos for you all

I haven't much to say this week in regard to updates, but I am going to show you some inspiring videos that I have seen over the past few years as well as recently that have given me hope and strength over the past few weeks when I have been struggling.

Suscribe to the channels I post below - they are all fantastic :)

Not many videos - but these are the ones and the channels that inspire me.
NerdsRL, MentalhealthhelpUK, Beckie0, The Body Gossip Video, and LouFederer
All channels discuss different topics and are not necessarily about mental health, yet all inspire me.
And I wanted to leave you with these videos today.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Depression is not a lifestyle choice

There has been some terrible things across the news this week. The deaths of 92 (and set to rise) innocent victims of the Norway massacre, together with the death of Amy Winehouse.

I am shocked and quite distressed, if I am honest by both of these tragedies. I am also appauled at some of the publics reaction, displayed across twitter and other social networking sites, how we shouldn't care about Amy Winehouse as 'she brought it on herself' and the Norway victims were 'innocent'.
I actually had an argument over Facebook last night with a person trying to dismiss my point that depression, something that Amy clearly suffered from, was a lifestyle choice. That because she was addicted to drugs, she deserved to die. These types of comments have actually disgusted me and I am here to completly stand up for myself when I say this.

Amys death is an example of someones life being cruelly absorbed by the demon that is drug addiction. A psychological issue which affects mainly and yet continuously get judged by society. Why else would Amy have turned to drugs - if she was not suffering from deep psychological distress? How possibly could Amy have wanted to have lived a life of drug and alcohol addiction? Nobody wants a life like that, and nobody chooses it.

I certainly did not wake up one morning and decide to be depressed. Why would I? I was a fairly intelligent girl, with an amazing boyfriend and to other people it appeared to be a lot to live for. I didn't choose depression, depression chose me. Amy Winehouse was a girl with a fantastic talent, but it appeared that depression and the demons of the addictive personality she possessed chose her.
Why would I have chosen to have taken 6 months out of my passion - education, for no reason. Telling people to 'chin up' doesn't help either, people think we choose this lifestyle for ourselves and that it is something we can easily just snap out of. You really think I wanted to spend every day taking pills to stabalise my mood? You really think I wanted to attend hospital appointments once sometimes twice a week? You really think I wanted to start abusing the one person who means the absolute world to me?
No. Of course not.

Yes, of course the tragedy in Norway is devestating. I have shed many tears over the mass loss of life and send my utmost prayers to the country. However, saying that one load of deaths should triumph another just because one was 'supposedly brought on themselves' is unacceptable.
Death is death. Tragic in whatever way, shape, or form you look at it. Both of the incidents that have occured this weekend deserve the same amount of respect as each other. The deaths this weekend show you the cruelness of mankind, the cruelness of mental illness, and the cruelness of the general public for reacting this way. Absolutely nobody this weekend chose what they have been subjected to today.

If people were more widely educated about these illnesses, maybe this stigma wouldn't take place as much as it does.

RIP to the victims of Norway, and the talented Amy Winehouse.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Finding things a little tough...

So, the school learning mentor who I see very occasionally, who checks how I am doing at school, called me into his office this morning, to tell me that he was also leaving.
Inside, I literally broke.
This guy hasn't been the biggest source of help for me if I'm honest, but at least he has been there. He has managed to keep up to date with how things are going with me, and for the sake of my health I have actually been honest the majority of the time with how things have been going. He is going to pass me onto another mentor in September, whoever takes over from him and is also going to talk to my head of year about how he thinks I need more support then I am already getting - but I am sure you guys can understand that if you were me, you would feel a slight slap in the face as well.

I know I keep going on about people leaving, but it's getting a little bit much now.
It's not just all the teachers, and the professional support (although that is the main factor)
It's my friends as well. Can I deal with change that well, to cope with all of this?

I finally said goodbye to my media teacher today - it didn't end up being his last day a few Mondays ago but he came back and taught until the end of term, which is tomorrow.
I gave him a card, and he wrote me a little letter (he wrote them to people who wrote in his leaving card) - but on mine he referred to me as the 'bravest, most courageous and inspirational student I have ever worked with'
- then at the bottom, after everything he wrote to everyone else, he put: ' Never forget that although you may not know it, or see it, you have been an inspiration to many students and me in many ways beyond what you could possibly imagine'
That honestly made my day, if not my year.
When I spoke to him after school, he said that our little chat a few weeks ago helped him also. He has experienced very similar issues to myself and therefore it was nice having someone who understood. But he is a great person and I will miss seeing him around.

It's really hard to see myself as inspirational. I get told it a lot through my YouTube videos, my blogs and twitter, but I have never really understood myself why. I don't really think I help or inspire anybody. I do my best, but I think it takes a lot for somebody to be truly inspirational.
I struggle to come to a conclusion as to who my inspirations are. A lot of teachers. Ms Hoyle, Ms Lall and Mr Moan are my main three inspirations in regard to teachers. Ms Hoyle inspired me to recover from my depression and work towards a future - I don't think she will ever know how much I thank her for that.
My boyfriend never fails to inspire me - with his perserverance with his girlfriend struggling with a mental health illness and as well as working for one of the most stressful jobs I can think of - how he deals with being a police officer I will never know but he does it somehow!
One of my best friends, Grace is an inspiration to me. For her caring, adventurous and daring attitude which I crave - along with her intelligence and loving personality.
I guess I do have inspirations, when I think about me.
But I would never consider myself as one...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Pills, Brighton and Ke$ha!

So I haven't posted really this week at all. Because I guess there hasn't been much to report.
My mind is once again fighting the war between positivity and negativity. It's either on one side, the other, or they fight and compete, and I can feel it doing that tonight.

Monday and Tuesday were absolute havoc. I was so unwell when it got round to Tuesday that I took another day off. Managed to make it to my hospital appointment (just) and took everything out on my psychiatrist. I blamed him for making me like this. For taking me off the pills too early. And now I am petrified of coming back on them incase I have another episode.
I know it isn't really his fault. But because I was so unwell at the time I took anything out on anybody. It had been such a tough week. I took a concoction of about 9 or 10 pills at some point last week to try and rid the pain. I can't even remember what day it was.
My parents got so concerned they rung Thorpe Coombe and asked to talk to the psychiatrist and asked what was wrong with me. My parents, especially my mother, really panicked for ages and I once again had to try and convince her nothing was wrong. I was so sure this was another episode and a period I would come out of.

I seem to have come out of it for now. Wednesday onwards has essentially been pretty damn fantastic. I went to see Ke$ha and LMFAO on Wednesday night (with the inter-form tug of war during the day), had a nice day at Sixth Form on Thursday, and Friday we went to Brighton with the Sixth Form for the day. So all in all, it was really nice.

It's my last day at Sixth Form on Tuesday, then I am off for another six weeks for summer.
I was supposed to be spending it working, but my mother randomly cancelled it at the last minute. I think it was because she knew I was falling.
But I am going to spend the summer entirely skint, and that depresses me.
I have been shouted at by God knows how many friends for cancelling on them for having no money. And trust me, all I want is money. But realistically I am still sick and I am pushing myself when I am not ready yet.

In regards to friends, I think I am going to have to start moving on soon.
There are certain people really holding me back. And making me feel unworthy. I don't need that whilst in recovery. I can't chase people and make efforts with people who I only argue with, or get shouted at from.
'Friends' has become a very odd word for me at the moment. I have no idea who my real friends are. Besides Nathan I literally have no clue and I want somebody to come along and change that for me. Hopefully my new friends at Sixth Form will provide me with that, and that would be lovely to have a fresh start and a change of scenary from those who exist to drag me down.

Nathan is working night-shifts all next week, so it's going to be tough depression wise.
I hope I can do it.

And I apologise for my poor writing skills recently - a lot has been happening:

Monday, 11 July 2011

Letting go

I was a rebel today and didn't go into Sixth Form.
For two reasons, the first being the fact that I haven't been feeling mentally or physically fantastic. My eyes are playing up, my mouth hurts because I have a wisdom tooth coming through, I generally feel sick and nauseous, and mentally, the depression has been really up and down.
The second is that this week is activities week, and when you are in year 12 this means applying for UCAS. Which I have been there and done and sat through exactly one year ago. I am the only person in the whole year group who does not need to come in for any reasonable purpose today, so thought I wouldn't.

But last night, whilst I was feeling pretty unwell and was having one of my dizzy spells, I was also speaking to a friend about how the friendships within our group have distanced apart, and maybe we shouldn't make the time for these people in our lives and give them the effort of our friendship which they clearly will not return.
These people I am referring to, are my best friends.
I met them through my best friend who I have known since I was 10, who went to a different school from me and like most of my friends, are in the year above me.
These people, were my rocks. My life-saviours, because they were the only group of people who accepted myself as a person. Growing up, being bullied and excluded consistantly, I wasn't used to that, and it felt wonderful to be accepted into a group of friends.
They lived a little way from me, but it never used to bother me getting the bus over to see them.

Then, last September, they went to University.
The weekend before my 18th birthday.
The picture above was the picture we took on that night. Before everything changed.

And I cried. I cried like a baby.
Because they meant the world to me, and although I wanted to try and convince myself that we would all still be as close as we always were, I have no idea who I was kidding.
My friends went all over the country, ranging from Wales, to Warwickshire, to West London.
Relationships split within the group.
And I appeared to be ignored by those I always thought were closest.
Some gave up on the group, evidently a long time ago. Moved on.
But my best friend of the group has given me the impression that she doesn't want to know. The one who I have been there for throughout all the shit, has decided that University has taken over her life.
Whenever I try to confront her about the fact she doesn't appear to be talking to me, she always uses the excuse that I don't know what it's like. Because she's at University. Because she's doing A-levels. Because she's doing GCSEs. Because clearly, she has the higher moral and upper ground in comparison to me because I am a measly four months younger then her.
I know full well the stresses and strains she is being placed under, but it gives some people no excuse.
And I guess it is reaching a stage where in order to keep my health stable, I can't keep running and chasing people who don't want to know.
I guess it has reached a stage where I need honesty. And some respect.
And trust me, it's not everybody in the group, and I know it's not just me who feels this way.
And it makes me feel even worse because I have taken the time out. I'm even further behind.
I don't want to be forgotten. And I am being.
I understand that at University you move on. Make new friends. But it doesn't mean you can leave the ones behind. And what upsets me more is that some of my friends have left me for people who treat them like shit.

I guess what I am trying to say is, that I am not sure whether these people actually want to be in my life anymore. I want them to let me know. I want them to actually communicate with me. But if they have moved on then I can't keep lingering in the past, and I have to too, as hard and as painful as that may be.

I love them all so much.
But relationships are a two way thing.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Breaking down, missing Nathan, and forgetting the past

So yesterday, whilst alone in the house, I took my camera, whilst in a state of crying, set it to record, and literally blared everything out I needed to.
It took me a lot of guts to post last nights video on my channel and I am not entirely sure I am ready even to post it on this blog yet, due to people from school no doubtly finding it. I know I say often I don't care what people from school think, but I do to a small extent. But as I mention, it took me a lot of guts to say what I needed to say last night. And I want to thank everybody who tweeted, messaged, and commented me with the most amazing support - I know I haven't replied to everybody, but it really does mean the world that you care.

I was told to ring the doctors today and book an emergency appointment. I didn't do so, I didn't have the guts. There is so much I am scared of, so much to say, so much I need to do for myself, but when you are so perpetuated there seems to be no idealistic way of helping yourself.

Today, however, was a much better day.
I am loving the new people I am surrounded by at Sixth Form, a genuinly lovely bunch of people.
And I feel blessed to know you all.

However, it seems to be that I am not the only one breaking down this week.
Twice now, yesterday and today I have had to assist two friends in crying during lessons, where I have had to take them out and console them, make them feel better, and ultimately perform my role as a friend.
And this doesn't bother me whatsoever. I guess it helped me realise a few things about myself and what I sacrifice and give for other people and do for others. That maybe I am destined to work in the field of Psychology, and it didn't seem like such a fake dream after all. I think mainly going through what I have done has inspired me to come out with half the quotes and advice that I do. And in ways, I am thankful that I have been through all the shit that I have done.
I do often wonder with some people if it's a two way thing. I tend not to cry infront of people in school, but if I did would people be that supportive as I am for them? Teachers, of course they would. But I can identify with a lot of the issues going on in peoples lives, so it's easy for me to help them. A lot of people in my Sixth Form are not going through what I am. So it's hard.
(yeah, I know, random thoughts of the day splurring into one blog)

I am at Nathans tonight. He is working once more this week on a 3-11 shift, and I miss him so much. I haven't seen him since Monday, which seems silly but it's such a long time compared to the usual barely going a day without seeing him. I am just lying in bed waiting for him to come home, so I can be in his arms again.

I was speaking the other day to somebody about how everyone assumes that mine and Nathans relationship is perfect.
God, I wish.
I think the past few months have been the worst for us in regards to our relationship. Mainly because I have been deteriorating, and my method of outlash has been towards him.
I guess I have come to a conclusion recently however that not all relationships are perfect. I think without the disagreements and arguments, we wouldn't be a proper couple. Couples are meant to have arguments, and disagree, to work out each others weak areas and know how to improve.
And people assume that we never argue, that we walk around playing happy families. They must be so naive.
But at the same time, I am thankful for those arguments. I learn a lot about myself, and him, and we work around them, which is what makes the strong relationship that we have. No matter how much he has irritated me, I know I could never live without him.
Love is all about tests sometimes. And sometimes my logic wants me to fail, yet I always pass.
The feeling of being in love, there really is nothing like it.
My pulse is beating waiting for him to come home, just like it was when we first got together. That excitement and intensity.
I know life would never be the same without him.
I have come to a conclusion about the scenario with Mrs Smith. The more I see her around school, the more it pains me. So if I can, I am going to write her a letter and tell her that if she wants to speak to me she can, but I can't move on with my life without her forgiveness. I am hurt by the fact that she doesn't seem interested in making amends. She may want to put our past in a box, lock it away and be done with it, but I can't do that. Everytime she walks past me, it's pain. And I really don't want that pain hanging over my head all summer.

I am off to sleep now, and hopefully in a few hours time will be reunited with my baby again.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Insurance choices, and making work choices...

Choices, fucking choices.

I took the day off today and after a short trip to the dentist (which left me with toothache, ouch), my mother and I went up to Oxford Street/Regent Street to visit Westminster University, my second choice of university and my insurance choice, just behind City.
What I love about Westminster is the idea of taking a year out to work in a psychological setting, which the university pay for. I think that would assist me nicely and would probably benefit me getting a job when I leave, and that was the main reason I chose it as my insurance choice. I also had a great feeling about the choice of modules, especially for the third year. I also love the location, obviously I have worked in that location for, but this is education, so it doesn't matter to me.
I am slightly worried however about the lower grade boundaries required for entry. They want ABB, which I understand, but it seems to be the highest grade boundaries they require for any subject. Of course, ABB is good, but it is not top and high up in the league tables in comparison to City. I keep trying to tell myself that no matter what university I go to, I will get the same degree and work as hard as I usually do. But there is that perfectionist side of me which says no, I must get my degree in the 2nd top university for Psychology in London.

However, after visiting, I can say that although I will be gutted if I didn't get into City (chances are I won't), then Westminster will still be a nice back up option.

Anyway, on that note of education/work,
My mother once again has been pressurising me to get a job now that she thinks I am better. She asked me to email an agency she knows well who can basically guarentee me office temp work over the summer. However where she works (where I have previously done my work experience and have worked with her many times prior to that) has a position coming up for some summer work in her office, will be paid full price, and she has been going on at me all day of the benefits of it.
Yes, I understand. I have worked there before and it's a nice place to be, friendly people, nice atmosphere. Plus having a little bit of money is always a bonus. But I can see myself getting sick. And once again however, I can't find myself the courage and confidence to say no to my own mother, meaning I will work, and get more sick with stress.

Two more days of Sixth Form until activities week, and now I am home from a busy day all I want to do is curl up and hide from the world.
I miss Nathan. He doesn't make everything better but he definatly helps with his cuddles. And he is working late shifts all this week so there really is no chance of me seeing him before the weekend, unless he comes to visit me perhaps at lunchtime for a little while.
I miss having someone always there. And the more I write this blog the more I want to curl up so I am going to go now.
Also feeling pretty fat and hideous today, typical day in the life of me I guess!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Another day, another drama

Another night full of emotion, tears, and the crap that comes with this absolute prat of an illness.
Been to see my old English Literature teacher for some non-judgemental comforting and wise words.
Have been convincing myself all day that my boyfriend of 2 years doesn't want to be with me anymore.
I rung my psychiatrist and apparently he said he is referring me to a doctor (still in CAMHS) who can assess my medication, and also suggested I go back onto 20mg as I am clearly not doing so well without it. He didn't seem to care about how badly I was doing, however.
I am not seeing much point to many things right now, and no matter how many people I talk to or how much I try, it doesn't seem to be getting much better.

So I am going to wrap myself up early in bed tonight, try and sleep, maybe have a little cry, and try to be strong. Trying seems to absorb a lot of my energy though, however. I wish smiling came naturally.
Even this dismal weather has reflected my mood, it has dramatically turned from bright and sunny to dark and rainy.

I just can't.

Monday, 4 July 2011

So today was tough...

I have been fighting this beast of depression ever since I woke up this morning.

It led, unfortunatly, to not attending Psychology because I knew I wasn't going to last 5 minutes, went to my media teachers room, and sat in the empty classroom bawling my eyes out for essentially the hour.
My media teacher came out and I literally just ended up blurting everything out to him. The more I said, the more I cried, and I was more open and honest with him then I had been with anybody in a while.
I won't go into detail as probably people from my school will read this and it isn't fair, but he told me things that really made me feel for him and then I could empathise. He didn't have to stay with me, which I kept telling him, but he did, and that really meant the world. That somebody was prepared to give up their free hour to talk in depth and personally with me and try and help me out.
It was his last day that day, which also made me upset. I have no idea what I am going to do without this support. He has taught me since year 10 and I have always trusted him and his ways. He is such an amazing teacher and I can guarentee the media department will fall apart without him.
He has given me his email address so we can keep in touch, which is nice. I suppose things have to move on, and things have to come to an end. But I think I managed to tell him everything I needed to.

Aside from that nice little conversation which came out of a horrible morning, yup, things have been pretty bad. I am falling.
Or, I have fallen.
The same boy who asked if I was 'psychotic' a few days ago today told me to 'cheer up' as we was walking back from lunch.
'Cheer up', is probably one of the worst things you can tell somebody who has depression.
As I said earlier on today, if cheering up was that easy, I would have done it a long time ago.

I really didn't want to be with anybody today. I wanted to crawl into my bubble and stay there. I tried to block people away, concentrate on the education, which at the moment matters the most to me. But it's turning into that path where I am so fixated on hating myself that I can't learn anything. I take nothing in.
And the worrying part is that I knew if I had had some form of medication on me, I may have taken some again.
And that freaked me out. At one point I was scrounging around in my bag for something to take the pain away. There was nothing.

Even if I could have found something, something to cut or something to take, it wouldn't have taken the pain away.

I still haven't had the chance to apologise to Mrs Smith, which still kills me inside. Everyone is moving on with their lives, and here is me, hating mine.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Race for Life 2011!

So today, I took part in my first ever Race for Life event, along with my friends Grace and Kelci, where we took to the fields of Blackheath in South East London to raise money to beat cancer.

I ask myself after the event why I had never taken part in such an event before! Race for Life is something I had always wanted to do for such a long time and had never felt my energy levels were up to scratch.
Hence why last February I took part in the Macmillan 6 mile walk with Nathan. The reason why I chose Macmillan was simply because the month before then my Great Uncle had passed away with prostate cancer, and his treatment and care were supported by Macmillan nurses.

I then decided to volunteer at a Race for Life event, shortly after my AS exams I went to Finsbury Park to volunteer and assist at the Race for Life event. It was an amazing day to be part of and seemed so inspiring I just knew I had to take part myself.

I didn't run the whole race (it was a 5K race) - but I performed a combination of jogging and power-walking through the event. I managed to complete the race in 40 minutes.
The day itself is so emotional. The flourish of pink that you see is outstanding. It involves over 13,000 girls of all different ages, sizes and abilities, getting together, for one purpose. To beat the demon that is cancer.
And I am so proud of myself that I have contributed so much money to that amazing cause. I haven't totalled up all of my donations yet, but I am working my way towards £500 and will update my blog when I do!

Here are some photos to see you guys off!

Me showing off my fairy wings and wand!
Myself and my best friend Grace (and yes, she is wearing a wonder woman outfit, too cool!)
After completing the race, Grace, Kelci and I proudly display our medals!
My best friends came to give me some moral support! From left to right - Grace, Matt, Kelci, Luke, Me, Lucy and Nathan!

I hope you have all had a wonderful day whatever you have been doing.
A very pleased yet achy Amy is signing out now!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Things that are exciting, and daunting...

Summer 2009

I have been thinking a lot about the Summer of 2009, and how they infact were the best times of my life.
I would do anything to time-travel to that place, where everything was content.

I had just enveloped into my relationship with Nathan at this point. Everything was new, fresh, and happy. The beginning of a new relationship was something I had never experienced and was the perfect time for me.

I had just celebrated the end of my school years at Chingford Foundation School.

I even went to my prom:

And on top of that, had had the most amazing holiday away in August with my best friends, going to the music gig T4 on the Beach in Weston-Super-Mare followed by a week in Newquay.

Even looking at these pictures kills me inside. How could I have let something so evil take over all of this content and happiness? And the people in these pictures, the majority are at university, the others are finishing Sixth Form, moving onto University or gap years. And here I am stuck in my rut whilst others are happily living their lives to the best of their ability.

I miss this so badly.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Breaking down

So of course, the school learning mentor did not send me a note in my register this morning.
I went to find him during my period 2 library period and he wasn't there.
Quite ironic actually, how the day I needed someone there he wasn't.
But more about that later.

I got through my day okay. Spent the whole of last night pondering on whether I should actually turn up.
But I woke up, and as tough as it was to face the day (as Nathan was even saying that he understood if I didn't want to go in which wasn't really helping, I needed that drive, that force) - I went into school.
One boy in particular pretty much upset me, exclaiming how I was mad and had I ever been psychotic. He keeps asking me questions at the moment about my depression, as if it never existed, it makes no sense. But the way he approached the issues was at first sympathetic, and then he attempted to make a joke out of them. In the end I got fed up, exclaimed he was pissing me off and asked him to leave.
He said he wasn't having a laugh but it was clear that he was and this shit is nothing to laugh about.

I had a good time during my period 4 lesson, getting signatures for a card for one of my good teachers who is leaving. Some teachers who I saw said it was good to see me back, and how it was courageous to come back and that it took a lot of guts, which made me smile, and it was nice to properly see old faces.
It was sad to be taking in collections and signitures for Mr Moan though. Despite the name, he is one of the most amazing teachers I have ever had, and I have had him since I was 14/15 years old so he will be greatly missed. He had a lot going on in his life which he didn't deserve and I really feel for him. He was very supportive and overall a nice person, which we all need in our everyday lives.

My last lesson was English Literature, and after spending the whole lesson trying to be strong, I had the guts to approach my teacher and talk to her, and open up and be honest about what had happened.
Of course, it didn't take long for me to burst into tears, but she was there for me, and was a support.
And I thank her so much for that. She didn't have to stay and talk to me, but she did.
And she is another one of the teachers leaving this term.
It is so hard having all this support literally taken from underneath your feet. Everything is happening at once.
I won't go into detail, but she is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met and inspired me to get better from depression. I hate admitting that I am falling, but I managed to. I am still not sure whether staying in on my own tonight is a good idea, but I am battling a war with myself. I am trying.