The Benefits of being a Blogger

Today I took full advantage of being a blogger and able to work wherever I want and spent the day with my friend so that we could catch up. (In between her doing housework and getting her youngest from nursery I was able to work from the comfort of her sofa!).

We decided to fill her paddling pool up for the kids to go in after school and cool off, and to treat them all to a takeaway pizza and chips.

I’ve not felt so relaxed in ages, I really enjoyed watching Dinky play with her children. His confidence has come on so much. When my friend and I first met he would be too anxious to join in with their games and would nervously be tugging on me to either go home or for me to have to be by his side.

But today, he proved how much he has come along by happily joining in with their play and literally only coming to me for food and drinks. As you can see, they had a great time!


Nothing makes me happier than seeing a Dinky enjoying himself. For years we really struggled with his interaction and now he seems to have conquered that. I’m one happy Mumma indeed.

So, to sum up my day, I managed to:
1. Catch up with a great friend of mine.

2. Enjoy watching Dinky play and interact with other children.

3. Work from where and when I felt like it.

I’m totally getting used to this whole being your own boss thing!

How can you become a full-time blogger?

If you want to know how you can be your own boss, check out my post here on How to become a full-time blogger. I’ve also got a great giveaway ending 30/06 there too, so head over and enter!

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Just because depression isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Depression is something that the majority of us will suffer with at some point in our lives. Whether we realize it or not. It comes in different ways for all of us. Some of us just think we’re feeling a little low. Some of us feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.

My experience.

When I first went in about my mental health, the Doctor wasn’t sure whether I was confusing depression with anxiety. Now I look back on it, maybe at the time I was, but I’ve definitely had an element of depression.

I battled for a very long time with my mental health, and I was stubborn enough to not accept the help and let the Doctor prescribe me medication. I was scared I’d be on it for life and become addicted.

A colleague of mine at the time managed to convince me to try it because I’d got to the point where I was nervous about even answering the phone. I was pushing everyone that cares about me away by not talking about my feelings because I felt like it’d just be a burden on them. They did everything I did, worked hard, looked after the children etc. So why couldn’t I do that?

My plan of action.

I finally took the plunge and went to the Doctor asking for medication. I was already on propranolol for my anxiety but that didn’t touch my mood. When I finally gave in I just sat there and sobbed, rambling onto the Doctor about everything that’s built up for me. I felt stupid. So many people in the world are going through so much worse than I am.

I did, however, feel better for just letting it out. The Doctor prescribed me a low dose of sertraline, as what I was feeling clearly wasn’t just my anxiety.

I went back after 2 weeks for a review of my mood. To be honest, in that short space of time I didn’t really see an improvement, apart from the fact that it had helped my anxiety issues slightly!

Within a month of that, I felt like a totally new person. I was no longer crying every day or breaking down over the smallest of things. My patience had improved when it comes to Dinky and his challenging behaviors. Most importantly, I was actually able to smile again.

How do I get a diagnosis for depression?

It’s not something that the Doctor will just diagnose straight away, especially if you’ve not had any past history of mental health. The Doctor will likely prescribe you some antidepressants and ask you come back after a few weeks to check your mood. The Doctor may even refer you to see a mental health worker if you really don’t want to take medication for your depression.

I’m not saying medication is the way forward to cure depression because it isn’t the case for some people. I’m just saying it helped me and still is. I hope to come off of my medication soon.

If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, please go and see your Doctor. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact, it means the opposite. You’ve got the strength to go and tell someone that actually, you’re really not doing okay and need some help. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because depression isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Useful links

Here are some links to find out more about depression, take a mood test, and how you can get the best help for you.

Moodzone

NHS Choices

How To Cope With Anxiety

Please remember that you’re never alone in this. I believe that you can get through this.

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To the poor woman I witnessed get hit by a car today..

Let me just start by saying I truly hope you’re okay. You’re being treated by an incredible team and I can’t wait to see your face again at the surgery.

Let me explain. I was sat outside work today having a cigarette and I was enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air when I happened to glance over at you on your familiar red moped. I saw you take off from the junction to cross the roundabout and I saw that car speed into you. I heard the crash and I heard your scream. I saw your moped skid across the floor. I instantly and dialled for help, I shouted at a colleague to get a Doctor and I rushed over to you.

People crowded around and the Doctor arrived and I let them do their assessments on you. I went and grabbed something to cover you with and to keep you warm. I called the Police to come and section off the road that you were lying in. Cars were building up and impatient drivers were angrily feeding through the space other passers-by had created to keep you safe. We moved your moped to a safe place and by then the Police had turned up and so had the ambulance. Someone called your Husband and gave him the awful news that you’d been in an accident. It felt like forever but it all happened so quickly at the same time. You were are incredible. You kept calm and answered the floods of questions and then I watched you be taken away in the ambulance. The Doctors were amazing, the pedestrians were too, not one person walked past without asking how you were and who you were so they could send their best.

I, of course know who you are, we work in the same building. I’m actually one of your patients for my anxiety. Little did I know that one day I’d have to see someone who has bought me great strength and got me past a really difficult time in my life, lying in the road after being hit by a car. A woman who I see daily documents from, and see how much you help people turn their lives around, help them overcome their fears and anxieties.

This is something I won’t ever forget, and tonight I’ve lit a candle to send all of my best wishes and thoughts your way.

Sending positive vibes your way,

A patient who thinks you’re an amazing person xx

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How To Cope With Anxiety

I’m just going to put it bluntly, anxiety is shit. I have dealt with it daily for over 10 years. Most of the time it isn’t bad enough to rule over my day, but those days/nights where my anxiety is so intense that I can barely catch my breath are awful. I had my first one of those creep up on me after months of nothing last night. I got through it in an unusual way, so I’ve decided to compile a list of quick fixes and long term treatments you can do if you’re struggling with your anxiety!
Quick Fixes

  • Distraction

I always find that the first trick I turn to when I feel anxious is to distract myself, whether that be on my phone, a game, putting the TV on or simply going for a walk. Sometimes that is literally all you will need. A distraction long enough to make you forget about what you were anxious about in the first place. Often I’m not even sure why I feel anxious or what thought triggered my feelings, so I find doing something different will change my train of thought.

  • Shout it out

Sometimes I find that I mistake frustration for anxiety, or even that my frustration and stresses create the anxiety. If this is something you feel happens to you then my suggestion is to just let it out.

– Go and find a quiet place and shout out your frustration. 

– Maybe nominate a friend that you can call and just rant to (offer the same back to them for if they ever need it, of course)

– Crying always helps. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to cry. Of course if you feel like crying or you do cry very often, then what you’re feeling may not just be anxiety, so please visit your doctor (see long term treatment for more information)

Basically any way to let out some emotion will help. This is a tip I have picked up very recently and it works very quickly for me. It releases pent up stress that’s boiling inside and you will feel better and fast.

  • Talk it out with someone you trust

I know it may feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s difficult to even know where to begin but talking it out with someone I trust helps me feel like I’m not so alone. Even if the person I have told doesn’t have anxiety themself, at least they understand why I’m acting a little strange or why I’m more fidgety than normal. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised how understanding most people are.

So if you feel like you can talk to someone about it then do it, it will help!

  • Deep breathing

This trick is probably the oldest one in the book, but it’s a tried, tested and true way of alleviating anxiety symptoms. Simply sit up straight and breathe 8 seconds in through your nose and 5 seconds out through your mouth. Carry this on until you feel calm again.

  • Keep your feet on the ground.

I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my head spins and I almost feel like I’m not in my own body any more. Putting at least one foot on the ground helps your body regain balance and work out where you are. This technique is called “grounding” and is also used for people who are suffering with symptoms of vertigo.

  • Ride it out.

A few years ago a therapist told me something that I’ve always tried to remember when I’m feeling anxious. What goes up must come down. This means that your anxiety will only get so high and then it will slowly drop and go away. If you’re able to ride it out, then ride it out because I promise you, every time after that it will get easier.
Long term treatments

  • Change what you put in your body

    In every way possible, look after yourself! Eat as healthily as you can. Being overweight and eating the wrong food can often give you symptoms that mimic anxiety, which would in turn make you worse. Cut out alcohol (or cut down at least). Quit smoking, not just for your anxiety but for your general health too.

    • Exercise

    As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a walk can distract you from a panic attack. Not only that, exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Also, of course exercising will keep you fit and healthy.

    • Talk to your GP

    For a very long time I’d avoid speaking to my GP about my anxiety because I was worried that they would just shove me onto medication and I didn’t want to take anything. After now working in a GP surgery and seeing and speaking to my colleagues about anxiety I have learnt that there are so many different ways of treating/dealing with it. You can:

    – Get your Doctor to refer you for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

    – Your GP can also help advise and monitor your lifestyle, ask what help is available.

    – Your GP can also recommend self help websites.

    – Medication. I used to have this massive stigma in my mind about taking medication for my anxiety. I was convinced I didn’t need it and that they just cover up the problem rather than solving it and I didn’t want that. I do now fully support medication for anxiety because once I had heard and seen how it helps people, I knew I needed to try it. 

    It was hand on heart the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. The Doctor explained that it resets the chemical levels in your brain that cause you to feel the way you do. I’ve now been on medication for 6 months and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. My anxiety still creeps up on me, but nothing like it used to.

    There are many different types that the Doctor can prescribe you, so go and speak to your GP.

    Also, don’t forget to…

    I really hope that my tips can help someone. I know only too well how horrible it is crawling through the internet trying to find help. Do you have anything else that you do when you’re anxious? I’d love to know!

    Much love xxx

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    #YoudNeverBelieve

    I am so excited and proud to announce that I have taken part in #YoudNeverBelieve.

    What is #YoudNeverBelieve I hear you say?
    Well, I do have some super informative links to share with you but I will tell you a little bit right now.

    #YoudNeverBelieve is a campaign to show teenagers that you are never truly alone. Feeling low and helpless is one of the worst things anyone can experience and I’m super proud to be backing this cause to encourage young girls to speak out if they are feeling anything but happy. In this video, myself and a bunch of awesome bloggers confessed some of the things we felt when we were teenagers, and possibly some of us may still feel this way.

    We want to create a support network for anyone struggling and the amazing Ella Stearn is the brainbox we all need to thank for this! Please please pleeeeease back this cause because #mentalhealth is SO important.
    #YoudNeverBelieve that I used to be scared to go to school.

    Watch the video here:


    Anyone who knows me will know I am really passionate about mental health. Having an autistic son and battling anxiety, depression and panic disorder myself really fuels me to help others. As soon as I read about this campaign I knew I had to get involved.

    Here is where the magic is happening, please donate to this amazing cause – #YoudNeverBelieve

    Oh, and one last thing. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. There is always someone out there. Don’t suffer alone.

    Much love xxx
    Photo credit to the beautiful Amy Thompson xx

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    Dinky got glasses!

    Last year at parents evening, Dinky’s teacher recommended that we take him to get his eyes tested as she had noticed his depth perception was off. She also pointed out that he has got a bit of a squint in his left eye.

    Suddenly all of Dinky’s falls, bumps and spillage made more sense. I thought he may have just been a bit of a clumsy child (I know that I certainly was!).

    So I took him to see an optician who immediately referred him to see an opthalmologist at the hospital, where they would dilate his eyes to make sure they can diagnose and treat accurately.

    I’ve got to be fair to my boy, he was an absolute angel when they administered the drops. He sat nicely by me in the waiting room and didn’t complain even once.

    The opthalmologist confirmed that the squint in his left eye was the reason for his depth perception troubles and probably the majority of any bumps and falls. We were advised that if the glasses don’t correct the squint then he may need a patch over the good eye. She wrote a prescription to take to an optician and away we went.

    As you can see, Dinky is thrilled to have glasses like Mummy and Daddy do! I’m so proud of how brave he was during the whole procedure, as he gets frightened with the new and unknown. 

    Hopefully these glasses can correct his squint and he can continue amazing me like he always does!

    Does anyone else’s child/children have a squint? Or even yourself? I’d love to hear and read your stories! Leave links in the comment section!
    Much love xx

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    The Only Person You Should Try To Be Better Than, Is The Person You Were Yesterday

    It’s been quite a few months since I last posted anything on here, and after talking to the lovely Nikki over at keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk, I decided to sit and write a post again!

    I’m now working full time which is amazing, I only started the hours last week, and I’m absolutely exhausted, but looking forward to almost double my part time pay at the end of the month!

    I feel like things are slowly coming together at the moment. Back at the end of last year things were pretty dark for me. I felt really poorly a lot of the time, I drank way too much and I just lived to pay the bills. Since then as you may already know we have moved. Things didn’t change too much after that, I felt a little like things were the same but in a different location.

    Then, about a month ago I’d just had enough of feeling sorry for myself. I’ve barely touched a drop of drink (apart from a few Saturday nights when I want to relax) and I decided to set myself something to work towards.

    Here are a few things I’ve planned to do/already started:

    1. I don’t currently drive so I’m aiming to be driving by the end of the year (I realise how ambitious this is!).

    2. We have a cellar, and recently our favourite wine bar (which happened to have an amazing pool table) closed, so we’ve decided to convert our cellar into a home bar. We’ve kind-of started already. We’ve managed to clear out all of the crap that was in there (I will be doing a progress post in the future so I will post photos there) and all that is left in there now is some of Mr Pie’s family’s belongings, which will hopefully be cleared soon.

    3. Continue with improving my health. Without even trying I’ve managed to lose 8.5lb since the end of March. Which doesn’t sound like much, but the only thing I have changed it that I’ve been walking Dinky to school and then to work around the corner rather than taking the bus on the school run. I can tell the difference already, and the walking wasn’t with the intention of losing weight, it was due to anxiety preventing me from wanting to travel by bus. So I’d like to continue improving my health.

    4. Keep fighting the anxiety. I recently went to the Doctors regarding my anxiety. I was having night terrors, waking up shaking, sweaty, paralysed, the lot. I get anxiety every day but normally battle through it with hyperventilation and lots of chewing gum. After a long chat with the Doctor I decided to give medication a try, a low dose of beta blocker has made me feel 1000000% better. I think just knowing that I’ve got the medication there is making me feel at ease. In 2 weeks I’ve only had to use it 3 times which I don’t think is bad at all!

    5. Blog more. Even only halfway down this first post back after months of not writing anything I feel good. Definitely need to blog more.

    So five things that I really don’t think is unachieveable, infact I’ve already started 3 of them, and I finally feel like there’s something to work towards or look forward to. I’ve had the above picture saved in my phone for months, and everytime I’ve felt a bit down looking at it has helped, even if I did nothing straight away, I do feel like I am always trying to better myself, which is never a bad thing!

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do to pull yourself out of the dark place?

    Much love xx
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    Pitter-patter.

    I was sat in a dress shop watching my beautiful cousin try on her wedding dress when it first happened. That magical moment when you first feel your baby kick, not just a flutter but a full on boot you in the side. Everyone rushes around to feel your stomach, but the baby doesn’t kick again, that first big one was just for you and you absolutely love it. You smile smugly and feel warm.

    You go home and tell the hubby, wait until baby is active again and sit there for hours holding your stomach together, It finally happens, baby lets Daddy feel the magic too. You sit in each other’s arms all night, excited, scared, but most of all, happy. Toddler runs in, you tell them they’re going to have a brother or sister, toddler laughs and carries on playing whilst mumbling something about not sharing his Tigger. You smile, you know he is going to be an amazing big brother.

    Today is the day. Halfway point, scan day. Pink or blue? The car was silent on the way, apart from the boy, singing away in the back. He had no idea how big that day was for him, for us. It feels like forever in the waiting room, I’m pacing, partly because I’m nervous and partly because I needed my 4 millionth pee of the day but didn’t want to miss the appointment. We get called in, I lie on the bed, the familiar freezing cold gel is lathered all over my belly and there it is. On screen is our baby, our joy, I’m so overwhelmed I am fighting back tears, my eyes sting and my throat is choked up. But that can’t last long, pink or blue? Pink or blue?! PINK OR BLUE?!

    Pink. Pink. Pink!!!!

    It’s finally time, it all happens in a rush but I’m in the car, on the way to the hospital. I’m in pain but I don’t really care, the baby is coming, and I’m not even nearly ready for this. We don’t have a name, I had a section last time, the baby is early I’m not ready. I’m not ready! I’m pushing, I see a blur of people around me trying to be encouraging, but I really can’t hear them, I’m scared, and in pain, a lot of pain. I’m pushing again, and again, and again until I’m handed this beautiful angel, She’s crying until I speak and she just stops and opens her beautiful eyes. Her hair is whispy and blonde, she’s got huge eyes, and her Daddy’s lips. But it’s all going blurry.

    I hear the sound of a truck. A truck? Why can I hear a truck? I open my eyes and I’m in bed, I look to my left and there is hubby fast asleep. Where is baby? Where is toddler? How did I get here?

    It was a fucking dream.

    Heartbroken.

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    Ouchies & Lots of Tears

    Part 1.

    Zak had to go for his preschool jabs yesterday.

    He normally gets way over excited about going to the Doctors, so I prepared for tears, by buying some smarties for after, and being ready for a clingy child.

    We were waiting to go in and he was zooming around where I was sat, buzzing to see the Doctor. We were called in, to a different room than normal, and he was still in high spirits.

    The nurse then sat him down and explained that he was going to have some “magic medicine” to make him big and strong, but we had to give it to him a little differently, one in each arm rather than the usual magic medicine he is used to.

    -He then got nervous, oh crap.

    She gave him his first injection and he let out a huge wail and clung onto me. He started sobbing and holding tighter and tighter. He’s generally not the type to properly cry, he will cry when he strops but this was different, he was frightened and in pain, which then led to me crying. The second one was even worse, Zak crying louder, me fighting back the tears and also fighting to keep him still. At least it was over. Poor Zak just cried into me whilst the nurse explained any side effects he might experience, then, she offered him a chocolate button and POOF! It was like there was a different child on my lap! He shoved it in his mouth and then got down, it was like nothing had ever happened!

    Part 2.

    My turn to see the Doctor. I’ve been wanting this appointment for a long time now, but as I was sat there, I felt like all of my problems were so minor, and I couldn’t think of what I needed to say. After seeing Zak like that just before, I suddenly didn’t care about me.

    I was still teary when I was called into my appointment. I just went for it and explained that I have been suffering quite badly with my depression and anxiety recently. I also mentioned that I think one of the main factors is because I have such low self esteem, and that I’ve been trying to lose weight, but not really got very far. Throughout all of this I was struggling to hold back the tears, I’m not sure if it was because I was still upset from seeing Zak cry and then unloading like that set me off again, or if it would have happened even if Zak hadn’t have had any jabs. We talked for a while, she gave me loads of booklets on healthy eating, all of these I already knew, but maybe hearing it and having information from my Doctor will help. Either way, she has booked me in for next month to re-weigh, and if there is no improvement, she spoke about the possibility of using weight loss tablets.

    As for my anxiety and depression, I explained that I’d rather not medicate, as I don’t like the way I feel on them, and I feel like they are just covering up the problem, rather than solving it. So she has signed me up to a refresher course for cognitive behavioural therapy, which is what I had just after having Zak, and it really helped. The only downside is the waiting list, but I think it will be worth it.
    In the meantime I’ve got to try my best to sort out my weight, and self esteem issues. So, like I have been trying to do all year, I’m going to work on myself, not just eat healthily to lose weight and look good, but to change my lifestyle and feel good.

    So now, at least for now, I’m going to try and name something that I like about myself each day, and try to name something new as often as I can. Mr Pie is constantly telling me how beautiful I am, and for those few seconds I believe it, so I’m going to try and get to a point where I believe it all of the time (or at least most of the tim, we all have fat and ugly days right?!). Here’s my first quote I’ve read today, to lift myself up.

    Much love xx



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    I admit it, I’m depressed.

    I haven’t posted much recently, apart from my weight loss posts my blog has been pretty much dead.

    I guess I’ve been feeling a little lost. I have so desperately been trying to work on myself, not just losing weight, but my general happiness. If I’m honest, it’s rare at the moment if I think to myself “it’s been a good day”.

    I’m not entirely sure on why I’ve been feeling like this. Maybe it is to do with my appearance, I think at least some of it is anyway. I look in the mirror and truly hate who I have become, I can’t understand how anyone can find me attractive. Anyone who has read my blog recently will know that I’m trying to do something about it, with trying to lose weight alone, and also more recently starting Slimpod, but so far I’ve not really had any success. The thing is I know exactly why I’ve not had much luck. I eat when I’m stressed, or low or angry or even anxious, which unfortunately is most of the time at the moment. I also enjoy a drink (or many more) on a more regular basis than I’d like to admit. I think that’s because it takes me away for a few hours. It’s never when Zak is around but when he is at his Dad’s myself and Mr Pie do tend to go out and go a bit mad.

    That’s not who I am though. In general I am a very happy person. I get stressed like most people do but not to this extent. I’ve felt like this for a while, and people are noticing. Mr Pie said that it’s rare to see a smile on my face, or even just a natural face without emotion. That’s when I realised I need to try and do something.

    I’m pretty sure I’m depressed, but I will refuse to take anything for it so I haven’t got it diagnosed. I’m not at a point where I don’t see the point in living, but I do really often get days where I just don’t want to leave the house, because if I leave then there’s probably going to be some sort of crap piled onto me. I don’t feel good enough, as a parent, a girlfriend, a friend and as a family member. I’m constantly trying to do things to be a better person, to make people proud of me, but no matter what I do, I still feel completely useless.

    I constantly feel tearful, and it’s definitely more than just hormones. It used to take me a lot to cry, but now I cry every day, sometimes over something that looking back on it, seem so pathetic

    I have the motivation to change, but I am one of those people that caves as soon as something goes wrong. I really want to make a change, I’m pushing the people closest away and I don’t want to do that. I guess this is a cry for help, because I really don’t know what to do.

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