Sunday, 29 January 2017

My Little Noggin

I am so grateful for having the chance to live my life, think for myself and be who I want to be, but with anxiety and depression looming over me this can be much more of a task. I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember, from being a little 6 (ish) year old having her first ever panic attack, to now going through everyday battling and fighting on. Anxiety can take over your life. Every single little thing you do can cause some sort of fear and panic. A lot of people brush anxiety under the carpet... panic attacks are apparently just hyperventilating and shaking... oh how this is soooo wrong! Panic attacks come in all shapes and sizes and affect people in different ways. I've had the kind of panic attacks where I hyperventilate to the point of exhaustion and I collapse, to ones where I feel like I physically cannot move, but I'm not shaking or breathing uncontrollably. I could be having a panic attack and no one would ever know! 
Unfortunately, Rich has only seen the kind of panic attacks where you can physically see I am not ok and he's yet to experience all the others I could have. Nevertheless, he has been my rock these past few months, university has really taken its toll and I've become mentally and physically ill and exhausted; I've pushed myself to breaking point. He stays up with me pretty much every night when I feel panicky or when I have a full blown panic attack. But as nice as this is, my anxiety and overthinking takes over and I begin to doubt everything. Can he handle it all? Am I a nuisance? Does he still love me the same way he did at the beginning of our relationship? Is he going to break up with me? 

My little noggin has a lot of thoughts spiralling around 24/7. Anxiety and depression never stops! Recently, in particular I've really struggled with relationships and friendships. I am constantly doubting myself and questioning every little detail possible; it is mentally and physically exhausting. I've recently heard a lot of people say "Anxiety does not physically affect you, it's all in your head", Yes, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain that is causing it, but that does not mean I can just switch it off and ignore it. It is physically debilitating to the point it can affect my every day life. I've had quite a lot of time off of uni this year due to exhaustion and mental health. I've had nights where Rich has been up with me all night whilst I have a panic attack, and I wake up the next morning without any physical or mental energy to get out of bed and go to uni. To make matters worse, when I do have time off uni, I can't just relax and recover... I'm sitting in bed literally crying and panicking whilst tackling the mountain of work in front of me. It has got to the point sometimes where Rich literally has to tell me to stop because he can see it's affecting my health! 

Which brings me on to my next point. The 'help' at uni for mental health is dire! I do not need a 'Positive Thinking' workshop to 'get over' my anxiety and depression. When is the education system going to take things seriously and treat mental health the same way as physical health? Students who battle with mental health alongside the 'normal' stress of uni, need all the help they can get otherwise it all gets too much! 

I feel like sometimes because I have the most common mental illnesses, I'm not taken as seriously. I'm just following the crowd according to some people. Yes, there are millions of other mental illnesses out there that need the same, if not more recognition and understanding but can some people stop bashing people who are really struggling with anxiety and depression, just because they have a 'common' illness. 
I don't really know where this post is going but I just wanted to chuck a few of my thoughts down... 

People need to stop classing anxiety and depression as the 'norm' and treat it the same as any other mental illness. 

People need to realise that having anxiety and depression does take over your life physically and it is NOT all in my head! 

The education system really need to up their bloody game and help us mentally ill students out! 

People need to understand that anxiety is not just panic attacks, it's self doubt, doubting relationships, questioning everything you do and say, feeling uncomfortable in situations and having a panic attack without any one knowing... the list goes on! 

I'm at the stage where I feel I'm back to square one with my mental health, mainly due to the pressure from university. BUT I know that I will get better, I will push on and my little noggin will be less cloudy one day! 

Thank you for all the continued support on Twitter and on here! You are all lovely humans who I have the privilege to call my friends :) Feel free to share your views and your stories in the comments below! I'd love to find out what you all think <3 

Soph x

Saturday, 17 December 2016

2016 Has Changed Me

When I think about life and what it can throw at you, it amazes me how much it can change. Change me as a person. Change my outlook. Change the way I live my life. Up and down, round and round, side to side, the rollercoaster of life truly hits me, day in day out. This year has definitely been a rollercoaster of events. From starting the year in a relationship which I thought would end up being long term, to then the middle of the year when everything seemed to just fall apart. Going from being in a relationship to being single very quickly, to my mental health then plummeting to the ground. I can safely say that the end of this year has been everything I could ever want. 
I started speaking to Rich back in August/September. We spoke everyday. I can't even remember some of our conversations but they would go on for hours and hours. Then in October I decided to take the plunge and meet him in real life (we met on Twitter... pfft who needs Tinder)! When I was walking out of my door towards his car I can remember feeling slightly nervous (purely because all I had ever been taught was to not meet anyone from the internet) but as soon as he said hello to me, I felt instantly comfortable and knew that I could just be me around him. Talking about sex, food, films, poops, anything that came to mind. It's no different to how we talk now! After going on a couple of dates he decided to pop the question... we've now been together for just over 2 months and spend every day and night together! We've even lived together for a week by ourselves and we managed to keep the house in one piece and two cats alive! 
I can honestly say that I have never felt this happy and content with life! Yes, I still have the anxieties of life and depression but Rich makes my days a whole lot brighter! Not forgetting my amazing supportive family and my bestest friends Nicole and Katie. I now have a part time 'job' writing online content for a company, I'm getting nearer to the end of my second year of uni and I may have a potential placement in place! Everything is falling into place.... 
The rollercoaster is slowing down and it's a lot more bearable! 

This year has been a year of love, lust, work, sadness, depression and now endless amounts of happiness. I can honestly say 2016 has changed me as a person but I am happy with the person I have become! 

Here's to my first Christmas without being single, to a Happy New Year and to another rollercoaster in 2017! 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Alternative Christmas Gifts for Your Boyfriend This Year || Guest Post*

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, well almost. I must sound like a record on repeat but, how did that happen so fast? I have only just gotten over the trauma of buying my boyfriend a birthday present and now I’m faced with the ordeal of Christmas. Not to be a negative Nancy but it can be a real struggle continuously nailing the innovative, creative and ‘oh my goodness I did not expect that’ present. You must agree or else why would you be here?  
Truth is, in the first two years of my relationship I would have said I was winning on the gift giving side of things. I do believe I let the success of my gifting go to my head though and now I am certainly feeling the effects as I struggle to piece together a great Christmas present idea. Fear not though, to be pro-active about the situation I’ve put together a selection some small gifts for boyfriend ideas and no, FIFA 17 is not included because I’d struggle to count the amount of times I have seen my partner since that was released, just saying.  
Cheese, Wine and all things fine
I am a huge fan of experiences, something you can both enjoy is surely a far more memorable present? Having heard no complaints so far I am continuing with this theme. Last year I treated my boyfriend to a cheese and wine evening, it was hands down my favourite cheese experience to date, he seconds that. Can you think of anything better than six large glasses of delicious wine and a cheese to match each, no, no you cannot. I highly recommend this as an alternative Christmas gift idea, what better way to spend a dark winters evening than over fine wine and even better, lots of cheese.
Beer Glorious Beer
I’m not suggesting that all males are beer obsessed, I do know serval cider drinkers myself, but let’s face it the odds are in beers favour. The craft beer industry has boomed over the last two years; no pub trip is complete without one. These new Ales come fit with trendy artwork making them next level cool, it’s impossible not to feel pretty special with one in hand. The pricing of them certainly helps with that too. Get your partner a craft beer subscription and he will have Ale delivered to his door regularly, and buying in bulk comes at very little cost to you. Amazing.
Sushi King
Clearly I know that a way to a man’s heart is certainly through his belly. To complete my top alternative Christmas gift ideas for your boyfriend this year I recommend doing a Sushi making experience. Similar to the craft beer trend, Sushi is bigger than ever, whether you’re grabbing it for a light lunch or gorging on date night - we love it. So why not know how to make it? It’s a little snazzier than just a meal out and it’s interactive, getting you both involved in a new experience. 
I hope these suggestions help you in your quest to find the perfect gift. Even if they simply trigger another genius idea, I shall consider my work here done. Of course it’s important to get some smaller more stocking filler style gifts too, Christmas isn’t Christmas without something a little tacky to unwrap, it’s tradition and I’m not one for messing with that!
 *Disclaimer*: This is a guest post written for my blog however, I have given full permission and would not publish something I do not agree with.