Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A letter, 2 years on

Dear ---------------------

So it's 2 years tomorrow.

2 years since I destroyed your life.

2 years since you have refused to speak with me, for something I couldn't control.

I was a severely depressed 18 year old girl. I had no-where to turn to, no-one who understood me. The week before it happened I was desperate to die, I skipped lessons to hide in the toilets and cry to escape the world. My depression had completely overtaken my life, and in my life all that existed was complete nothingness, darkness, and failure.
I really hope you understand how much of a dark place I was in to want to harm myself in that kind of way.

You'd seen my self-injury before. You'd sit with me endlessly for hours, throughout my anorexic days, spending ages trying to persuade me to even take a sip of water. You'd be the first one to notice if I wasn't eating properly, when I wasn't doing so well. But most importantly, you was always honest with me. You'd tell me when I needed a reality check, give me a virtual slap across the face when I needed it, told me the brutality, the honest truth. I never believed I was anorexic until you told me, straight.

You were the only person who understood what I was going through. I never understood why. But you did. I went through a period of hating you for telling my parents I was bulimic. It killed me. But I got over that, in time.
It's weird to think that I first begun speaking to you when a girl spotted me self-harming in a science lesson, and told her form tutor who went to you about it. And I'd never spoken to you properly before and you asked me if it was true whilst I covered up my arms with my PE jumper, as that was the lesson I had afterwards. Of course, as a typical self-harmer does when she first gets found out, I denied it. That was way back when, when I was in year 8. 12/13 years old.
We spoke weekly, if not twice a week from my GCSE years, just for general updates and chats if I was doing okay, or tears of depression and frustration if I wasn't. We went through so much together, you told me things about your life that I had never, uttered a word to anybody else. And still, I never have.

I will still never remember the things I said to you on that day.
But I will remember the impact it made on your life.

Two weeks after that, whilst being incredibly cold with me, you told me you had begun seeing a psychotherapist. I burst into tears.
I felt responsible. I burdened everything onto you that day, and not even just then but way, before that. It was my fault. I shouldn't have been so reliant on you. I should have known not to even have said anything to you about that. And I'm sorry. I've been trying to tell you I'm sorry for the past 2 years. And you wrote me a letter saying that everything was fine, and I knew full well that it wasn't. You refused to speak with me.

At the moment I guess I'm not living the life I want to. I never went to University, I'm in a job that I dislike, and quite frankly, I let you and that school down, who all believed in me.

I just hope that you'll never forget me, but try to forget that day. My depression isn't a part of me and the side of me you saw that day was not me. It will never be me, and will not define me.
2 years on from that day and I'm still bloody crying about it. Sounds silly but that's what these emotions do to you.

I'll never forget you and the positive impact you had on my life. I'm so sorry, once more.
Love, Amy-Louise.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Gratitude

I have many questions to present to the world this evening, with one of them being;
Why do we always choose to focus on the negatives in life instead of concentrating on what is great about it?

And it's a valid question, really.
And the only logical answer I could come up with today, pondering about on my day off, was that it's easier, to feel negative. It's easier for us to look at the negative aspects of life as more often than not, they are right infront of us. Take the news for example, always bombarding us with horrific stories of murder, the latest political crisis, how much in depth into the recession we are, rising unemployment figures, and more.

And when you see it through that perspective, it's so easy to criticise life instead of appreciate it. I have realised recently that I waste so much of my energy on moaning about stupid things that yes, are irritating, but I guess are not trivial to what life is really about.

Last week, my boyfriend and I decided to go for a brisk walk into central London, we both had a day off and it gave him an excuse to play about with his brand new camera. Living in London my whole life, the scenes were not new to me, I was used to seeing Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the like. But this time I guess it felt different, the beauty of my city was captured through my eyes for the first time.

I appreciated the smaller things I never really did before. Squirrels crawling up my leg in St James Park. Watching the Remembrance Sunday rehearsal procession take place. Seeing the Covent Garden Christmas tree sparkling in all of its glory. And in those moments, nothing else really mattered. I was with the man I love in one of the most stunning and beautiful cities in the world, just walking and taking it all in. It made the hustle and bustle of coming home during rush hour not really matter too much anymore. The occasional rudeness of a commuter rushing along to his next meeting just flew over my head, as it were. And I felt utterly, and truly grateful.







Tonight, I went onto Twitter and asked my amazing followers what they were grateful for, and got some great responses. Friends, family, pets, recovery, coffee, clean bedrooms were just amongst a few of the responses I got. And it really made me smile. There's so much in this world that we need to appreciate and take advantage of, and that walk across Central London last week just enhanced how grateful I was to live in the capital city that is London, and take FULL advantage of it.

It's the small things in life, sometimes, that make the biggest difference. And I guess when 2013 comes around, I'm going to do my best to appreciate everything around me and make the best out of everything. We only have one life after all.

I'm going to be speaking more about what I am grateful for in my next video for YouTube, which will hopefully be filmed and uploaded to my channel this weekend. But this blog post I hope captures the message of being grateful, and what it means to be grateful in this day and age.

I'd love it if you could leave your comments below about what YOU are grateful for. It would make me and many others, smile.
And with my latte, I bid you goodnight!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Reflecting

So my new channel is up and running, with the very first video to be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOWNPbiVrI8&feature=plcp

Please comment, like and subscribe!

I guess I've been feeling a little somewhat, deflated over the last few days. Yesterday served as a massive downturn for me. My head felt extremely heavy regarding the prospects of my future (or lack of) and I felt unable to think clearly, leading to a dark cloud of depression which wavered over me throughout the course of that afternoon and into the evening.

It's really been difficult since returning home from university to control these moods as they arise, as luckily for me right now, they only pop up for a day, sometimes two, and then digress. However, I am fully aware that regarding the past few years, November has not been a good month for me, having unfortunately overdosed every year in that month for the past two years. I know it won't happen again and the situation I am in is a much better one than before. But it's a terrifying thought, looking back upon my past and the journey I've had to attempt and face.

I've been feeling incredibly alone since returning home. The people I thought I loved have moved on with their new lives and their new surroundings, and I, once more, feel stuck, like a broken record. I can't just call a friend and ask them to come over for some reassurance because they're not here anymore. They don't want to associate themselves with the past, why would they, when they could focus on the present?

However, during my period of darkness, I did speak to some wonderful people who shone light on my misery. I've met so many fantastic people through my experiences and it's so weird to think that without my mental health problems, I wouldn't even know half the people I do today, which is fascinating. I'd like to thank those people, especially a beautiful lady called Tanya Beetham (http://tanyabeetham.blogspot.co.uk/ - please check her out), for talking me through to find that light. She has a very positive outlook on life and the world around her and I have spent all afternoon reading through her blog and letting that positivity absorb into me. I am a naturally pessimistic person, I get anxious and panicky about everything and can never calm down. But I know full well there is beauty out there and more that I need to be appreciative of. And if there is one thing I'm going to set myself as a goal next year, it's to make the most of every moment and appreciate the small things in my life.

I just need to, as Tanya has said, take one day at a time. Baby steps. Which is difficult as a obsessive organised Virgo whose life is generated into lists and what she is going to do next. But I do know that now there has come a point in my life where I just need to let go, and let life run its course, and ride that rollercoaster. Do what I want to do and not care what anyone else thinks.

And I'm getting there, slowly but surely. This road to recovery is a challenging one, but one of the most fulfilling  than anything else. And I'd really like to thank those who really have been there, have reassured me and spoken to me and lifted my spirits. I feel grateful for every single one of you.

I'm going to leave you guys with a picture from a wedding I attended on Saturday of Nathan's cousin. In this picture I'm with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, and obviously Nathan. And being with my extended family that night really highlighted that importance of family that I lacked as a child and am so grateful that I am able to have that opportunity now, to experience other peoples new lives and beginnings with them and I hope one day, they will join me to experience mine.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Back from Devon, and new channel!

So I am home sweet home from a lovely five days in Devon with Nathan. Quite gutted to be home I must admit, considering we stayed in a superior room in a country house hotel in Dartmoor which was quite frankly, beautiful. Nathan and I have many memories from the holiday we will treasure and staying in my double bed last night felt tiny compared to the four poster bed we had been used to for the last 4 days!

But, back home now and back to reality. As per, I shall include some pictures! Pictures are courtesy of Nathan's beautiful Canon professional camera!

The country house hotel in which we stayed, which is actually a converted school!




Plymouth!


As you can imagine, I was gladly in book heaven at this book shop!




They are just a short snippet of the places we visited and the things we got up to, but we had a lovely time! 

Now that I am back home, time to tell you all about a brand spanking YouTube channel I am creating. It's time for me to make a fresh start, and that, for me, means a brand new YouTube channel with new videos regarding advice on mental and emotional wellbeing, with the occasional humorous and quirky videos. This is just an opportunity for me to start afresh with my YouTube and my blog, and fingers crossed it will be a success.

I will start officially publishing videos to the new channel as of next week, but for now, the channel link can be found here if you want to subscribe:
http://www.youtube.com/user/amychoselife?feature=mhee

I would really appreciate it if my subscribers from my old channel converted to the new one! Pretty please! You won't be disappointed! (I hope).

Also, I would really appreciate it if bloggers left me some comments in the box below regarding topics they wish me to make videos on, so far I have ideas regarding mental health in the workplace, learning to keep on top of things, and a myth-busters of depression video that I have been asked to make for YoungMinds.

So if you have any requests on what to discuss, please leave your suggestions in the box below!
Head over to my new channel and subscribe, and I look forward to seeing you there!