Monday, 24 April 2017

Unwelcome in the Blogging World

I feel like I have no place in the blogging or online 'world' anymore. I can't post content 24/7 like some other people are able to do and because of this, I feel forgotten about. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. When I tweeted how I felt, I got so many replies from people saying they could relate, that it was exactly the same as their own experience. Blogging/Twitter has evolved dramatically over the past 4 years since I started my blog and I'm not saying this is a bad thing, change is good and it is needed, however I feel like I've got lost along the way.

I feel like if you're not part of a clique, or not participating in the crazy (ridiculous) amounts of blog chats that are happening, you are invisible. You can't argue, there are cliques! This naturally happens in any environment so I'm not saying it's restricted to blogging/mental health etc but I do feel unwanted whenever I speak my mind online. This is very apparent in the 'mental health community'. I've bitten my tongue for too long now and I just feel like this needs to be said. I know it is a very touchy subject so I'm only going to talk about my experience as an individual.

I feel like I am not relevant in the MH community; I don't tweet about every panic attack I have or every exposure I do on a daily basis purely because 1) I don't feel I need to (it is completely fine if you feel you need/want to) and 2) Do people really care? My whole timeline would be filled with me saying "Yep, just had my 5th panic attack of the week".

I'm not in any way saying it's wrong for people to speak out when they're struggling and it is SO important for us to talk about mental health, but the reason why it is affecting me is because if I was to join in a mental health blog chat/meet up, I feel like I am not welcome. Because I don't openly express about my struggles online, people don't actually realise how bad I am/can be. No matter how many times someone says "You are welcome, you are part of the community" I just don't feel like I am.

I've seen the 'dark side' to blogging. Yes, it is not all white marble backgrounds, rose gold objects, cacti and Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, I am fully aware of that and I'm not naive to think that it is. But when will people see what some people are really like? I've mentioned this in one of my recent posts but once again I can't keep looking at my Twitter timeline and seeing others gushing over people who have used and manipulated me in the past. Fair enough they might treat others differently but to me they are hiding behind a kind and caring persona. I know some other girls who have been affected by this as well so I know I'm not alone in this, which makes me feel physically sick to say. Being told that you're the only person someone has and you're the only one that keeps them fighting on, to then find out that you are one of many girls who 'helps' this person, just fills you with so much disgust.

All I want to do is help and care for people but this has been used and tarnished and I now know that not everyone is the same as how they present themselves online (obvious, right?!). People who have also been used in this way have explained how they feel behind closed doors, however, they haven't expressed it in the open like I have and still continue to gush over this person. I'm not sure but to me, that just seems like they are still naive and haven't truly convinced themselves that some people are not true friends. What confuses me the most is that it is so blatantly obvious that this is happening but no one seems to care.

It has been so damaging for me to trust someone with my feelings to then have it chucked back in my face for their own benefit. I am seeing tweets constantly about how much they are struggling and naturally people are replying with supportive messages (which does reassure me that there are nice people out there), but seeing these tweets and knowing deep down that this person is either making it all up or is emphasising on a tiny detail just to fit into a community, makes me so angry.

I know I've completely rambled and gone off of my point but I just need to let it all out now. I can't keep bottling it all up. Moving on to the main point; I feel I've been forgotten about. I knew it would happen one day and people can't make me think differently. When I started blogging I was a beauty blogger, I had my niche and I rolled with it. I connected with so many lovely people and made so many friends, some of which are still my friends today. But since changing to more of a lifestyle/MH blogger I have suddenly been left out of the loop.

I feel like if you're not blogging about the latest beauty must haves or the next thing in fashion, you are not part of the community. I put my heart and soul into my posts and get very little back and then there are some people who can write five lines of a blog post and suddenly they are the next best thing. I know it is not a competition and I am blogging for me and no one else but I'm only human, I will question why I'm not as good as others. I will question what I am doing differently to others, I can't help it. I just feel like I am wasting my time and I know many others who feel like this.

When I mentioned this on Twitter I was overwhelmed by the response. It's ironic that when I tweet about feeling forgotten, I get lots of replies! But that just sums it up. We are all feeling like this, but why? Some said they feel that because they don't run a beauty or a fashion blog, they have no where to fit in with the blogging world. This is exactly it! Blogging has changed from expressing how we feel, to just posting relatable content to gain exposure rapidly, hence why so many people are jumping on the blogging bandwagon thinking it is all fun and games. Others said they just feel like it's them and their blog and then everyone else. It is so hard to join in with blog chats because where you're not part of them weekly, you don't become part of the clique (using this word lightly) and it's basically like talking to a brick wall.

Tams on Twitter summed it up perfectly: "As much as everyone says 'You're welcome and wanted here' I call BS on it. I don't post regularly therefore I am not wanted." - @peachesandbear

I don't know what else I have to say really. I just feel very lost and numb, unwanted and kicked to the curb. I can't help that I feel like this and no one can make me feel differently. I guess I'll just have to keep plodding on.

Do you feel like this? What's your view on this subject?
Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!
Thank you for all of the support!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Embrace Yourself

Yesterday I did a big thing, I went out in public in a dress. To some people that is an every day ritual, to me it felt like an impossible obstacle. But with Rich's encouraging words and compliments, I decided to take the plunge. All I could think was what are other people thinking when they look at me, my chunky milk bottle legs on full show, my stomach rolls hanging down, the flabby bits of my arms just peaking out of the side of my dress. Yes, I didn't feel completely comfortable in myself and I just wanted to hide away from everyone but in reality, it was 24 degrees and jeans would have been too much! 

Once I got outside and made my way into London I noticed myself not caring as much and I managed to just enjoy the day. I reminded myself that people don't actually care about what I look like, especially in London when it is filled with thousands of other people. 

I have put on weight I can't shy away from that and I may not be doing anything about it but aside from that fact, I want to feel happy in my own skin regardless of what size and shape I am. Yes I can do workouts everyday and maybe eat a little less chocolate but even when I am more toned and slimmer am I going to automatically feel more confident and happy? 

Who says I have to be toned and slim to be confident? Who says I can't have stomach rolls and stretch marks and not feel confident in my own skin? 


Confidence comes from within. I have severe social anxiety so I constantly doubt myself and feel paranoid and by being more 'model like' does not mean I'm going to instantly feel happier and more confident. I'm still going to have all the issues I had before. I am always going to feel paranoid, nervous, anxious, on edge... the list goes on. 

I'm never going to be completely slim and petite because my body and bone structure is just not like that. I have a wide rib cage so I'm always going to appear bigger. I have stretch marks and they're not going to go anytime soon, pretty much every girl has them anyway so to be honest I could not care less that I have them. 
We need to start embracing ourselves, embrace the scars and stretch marks, the flabby bits because we all have them. The phrase 'Summer Body' needs to stop being thrown about and associated with slim and toned figures. A 'Summer Body' is whatever you make it. It's YOUR body. I'm going on holiday in July and I am definitely not rushing to sort my body out so I can have that 'Summer Body' because I already have that body. It's just my body but in the Summer, right? 

I can't lie, I don't love my body but I don't entirely hate it! I can easily change it to how I want it to be but I'm in no rush. I want to learn how to be happy in my body regardless of how it looks and we all need to do the same!

Stop the negative talk about your body and the way you look. It is our differences that we need to embrace, it makes us unique and beautiful.

Read more posts about self-confidence here:

Self Confidence

The Self Love Challenge

This Is Me

Saturday, 8 April 2017

A Blurred Reality.

Is what we see online really what it's like in real life? 

No.

Social media has completely blurred the reality. I know personally that I can act like a confident and happy person but in real life I'm shy and quiet. Blogging in particular has made me realise how much we can blur the reality.

I've spoken to people on Twitter, I trusted them (stupidly), I spoke to them everyday and saw them as friends. Well... wasn't I wrong! They used me when I was most vulnerable, they made me believe that I was the only one who was there for them when they needed it the most. When I found out that I wasn't the only person they were speaking to, I wasn't surprised because I had seen them talk to other people, but what did surprise me was that they way they were talking to the other people was the way they spoke to me.

I felt used, hurt, physically sick with anger! How can someone use me at my most vulnerable time.

When I've met people from online in real life, I've noticed how different they are. This isn't always a bad thing and I'm sure I'm different to how I am online. But when it's noticeably different, that's when you question it.

I'm not stupid. I know we are all probably different online compared to real life. That's not a problem. It doesn't mean we're fake! Some people, like me find it easier to communicate online. This is probably why I have been so hurt in the past. Even Rich has said that I'm different to how I am online. When he first saw me Twitter he thought I would've been high maintenance and a typical beauty blogger, but now since knowing me in real life he knows I'm the complete opposite!

We can hide behind a screen, be a more polished version of ourselves. Or some people are completely transparent and don't hide behind their online persona. 

The moral is, we can't trust everyone online however much we want to. When you see someone online being overly nice, calling people their friends when they haven't even spoken to them before, that's when you need to question it. Yes, they may just be really nice people but from my experience they are just saying these things to fit in with the crowd, be noticed and loved by many. When in reality, they are just using these people to gain some kind of authority. 

I don't know. I might be wrong. Maybe I am. But I've learnt over the past year that not everyone online is how they really are. It is a blurred reality. 

Friday, 7 April 2017

I Miss You Den || Race For Life

It's been 5 years and it still feels so raw. I don't think a day goes by where I don't think about my Grandad. I never actually called him 'Grandad', he was known as Den... I remember I called him Grandad once and he told me to 'F off' :') 

Death is such a weird thing but unfortunately it is something we can't prevent. Den died at the age of 74 years old on New Years Eve, due to bowel cancer and a number of other illnesses. At the time, chemo and operations were offered to him but he turned them down as he did not want to put himself through anymore pain. His cancer was terminal and it was taking over his body day by day. It was so horrible to watch someone you love deteriorate in front of your eyes. 
He was my best friend; we used to 'people watch' together in the Morrisons car park, play 'schools' together in which he insisted his name was 'Fred Blobs', watch cowboy films together while we scoff through a bag of Twiglets and watch Horrid Henry together (I can still hear him singing the theme tune)... these are the things I miss doing the most. We were inseparable! 
When you're told that someone you love and care for has cancer, you immediately think of the worst case scenario, you immediately think of how long they've got left. It is like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode in any second.

I've never really spoken about my grandad on here before but it felt like the right time to dedicate a post to him! On the 14th of October my sister and I are running the Race For Life 5k 'Pretty Muddy'! I've always wanted to participate in this but I've never got round to applying, so I've made this year my year to get muddy and raise some money for Cancer Research UK
My grandad unfortunately lost his battle to cancer however, with the help from all of your donations, Cancer Research have more money to invest in developing better treatments, conducting more research and to find a way to fight this horrible illnesses once and for all, meaning a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to be a life sentence!

I know people currently fighting their battle with Cancer and with your help they WILL win! If you could donate even £1 to my fundraising page > HERE that would honestly mean the world to me and all the cancer sufferers out there <3

Thank you for all of your support
x

Rich has also written a blog post about cancer > Give it a read here and give it all the love and support it deserves! I'm beyond proud of him!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Failure

I constantly look at life in black and white. Success and failure. For some reason over time I've created this ideology of, if I have a good day then I have succeeded, but if I have a down day or something happens that was not part of the 'plan' I've failed. If I've had a bad day before I'll force myself to have a good day the next day. But life just does not work like that. You can't force yourself to feel a certain way. 

I need to start telling myself, that if a plan does not go the way I imagined I have not failed and the day has not been bad. When I get it into my head of how a day should pan out or if I look forward to going to an event but then have to cancel at the last minute, it feels like the world is ending. It feels like all the walls are crumbling down and I can't control anything. 

I don't know why I'm like this. I just build up a massive expectation in my head and if it does not compare to what I had imagined, then it ruins everything for me. You might think I'm exaggerating or I'm a drama queen... maybe I am?! I mentioned this on Twitter a few weeks ago and some others said they felt the same way so it's nice to know I'm not alone! 

I had a little cry this morning about life. I know many university students probably do this, so I know I'm not alone. I've gone from being busy 24/7 to now actually having time for myself. I was the exact same last year so I kind of knew it was going to happen again. I spend the whole year wishing I could just have some time to rest and not have to think about anything, but now I'm actually at this stage, all I want is to keep myself active (physically & mentally). 

I put way too much pressure on myself and feel the need to succeed in everything I do, which is good because I'm always working hard to succeed, but when I fail it feels like all of my hard work is wasted. I know this is normal, isn't it?! So why do I beat myself up so much? 

I need to start telling myself that it's ok to have a crappy day and those crappy days are a small amount amongst the millions of happy days I have! I basically wrote this post to just get everything off my chest, so sorry for the long ramble. But if there's one thing you can take from this is; it's ok not to be ok and you do not and will not succeed all the time. It does not mean you're failure in general, or at all.