Emotional Rollercoaster.

Do you ever have one of those moments where you just want the ground to swallow you whole? For it to devour every last little bit without a hint of hesitation? Today I had one of those moments and instead of it being just one minute, just 60 little seconds to get through, it was a good five minutes and I can honestly say it felt like it lasted light years. It was just a presentation, plain and simple. How simple and easy it sounds. At the start of said presentation, in front of all of my managers at work, of course my brain decided to go into over drive and cause my breathing to get quicker and uneven, for my legs to turn to jelly, my fingers to shake, words to jumble together and my voice to turn into a near indefinable squeak. Basically causing the one thing that I had been preparing all week for to turn to sh*t.

Disappointment is the first emotion to barge it’s way through my brains barriers, pushing every sense of normality out of the window and drowning my positive vibes with negative thoughts. Doubt washed over the room, convincing me that everything I was saying and doing sounded stupid. Then comes Failure, floating in like the little b*tch that she is, delicately twisting everything inside your head and just coating everything lightly with a dust of shame. Then comes Anger, stomping it’s way past everyone, pushing even more tears to fall down your face. All of these emotions are exactly what you need when you’re stood in a room full of people staring at you. To top it all off they are all joined by Embarrassment, who stumbles around trying to string words and thoughts together whilst your nerves are rattling from head to toe, scrambling at anything to keep you afloat whilst you start to sink down through an almighty anxious wave.

The thing is with emotions like these is that they all feed of one another. They thrive of the spiralling sensation that drags you down and turns every little mole hill into a mountain. The snowball is rolling from the second you try to stop it and it just feels like an avalanche is occurring before you can even think to escape for cover.

So, as all of this is happening in a matter of minutes inside my head, the nicer group of emotions begin to try and fight back. It all begins with Courage peaking her head every so slightly up out of the shadows, first of all helping to steady my hands and trembling fingers until they’re only somewhat quivering. Pride begins to march along side Anger, kicking it to the kerb as I continue to make my way through my powerpoint, parading around the room as I proceed to talk about my achievements. Hope, gently begins to lighten the room as it helps me focus on the task at hand and motivates me to get to the end of this measly 10 minute slide show. Inspiration, stands tall and proud as I talk about how far I’ve come, everything I’ve achieved and where I want to be within my role. Last but not least, Love, pops it’s head up to give me some self confidence. It traces it’s delicate fingers around my mind, transforming each worry into something of nothing, she pushes my shoulders back, lifts my head up and forces the words from my stuttering lips.

Emotions can be such an overwhelming thing when you’re under pressure and I have always struggled to speak in front of an audience. I have never had the confidence within myself to stand tall in front of people but I have never been prouder of myself than I have this week. Presenting in front of my mangers at work this week was the first time I have done something like that in about 5/6 years and to have so many eyes focused on me was what pushed me to tears. Presenting immediately after my lunch break didn’t help and I couldn’t help but let my mind fill with negativity.

However the thing is, that no matter what you do, if you can overcome something that scares you (in my case this week, presenting to a room of adults) it doesn’t matter what it is. The fact is that you were brave enough to overcome that fear, to give it everything you have and be courageous enough to fight for what you want. The bigger the fear the bigger the achievement and that applies to anything. If you believe in yourself and find your inner strength then you know that there is something greater in you than any obstacle. Strength isn’t gained from winning, it is your struggles that build your true strength and character. Persevering through hard times and choosing not to give up shows how strong you truly are and that is something that no one can ever take away from you.

Never give up on yourself because it is only in times of the deepest and darkest difficulty that your inner strength can grow.

Remember you are beautiful.

Peace & Love,

Bethany 🌸💗🌸💗🌸

 

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Finding Strength.

Everyone that we meet, every passer by, every stranger, every friend or family member are all facing battles we don’t know about. The reason I started this blog was to express my emotions in a way that helped me better myself whilst handling them in a more creative and productive manner. I wanted to help other people who might have been struggling with similar issues or emotions to feel like they weren’t alone.

I think this is one sensation that we all tend to share at some point in our lives but instead of reaching out and asking for help we so often isolate ourselves, afraid to speak out and make our voices heard above the crowds that are shouting inside our heads. The important thing in life is to not suffer in silence but even more importantly is to make sure the right people listen. Surround yourself with a support network that is going to push you and make you thrive instead of wasting time and energy on the people who wouldn’t do the same for you.

I have always thought the strongest people aren’t those who can lift weights or bench press 500kg (is that even the right gym term because I’m seriously uneducated in that department…) but more so the ones that overcome personal battles that you wouldn’t even know about. I think this is one of the most important keys to the lock that is personal strength, that whenever you find yourself doubting how far you have come and wondering if you can carry on through the pain, focusing on how many battles you have faced and fears you have overcome. Turning each of the negatives into a positive.

I don’t know anyone who can do this better than my sister. She has been my idol for as long as I can remember but without a doubt she has faced more battles than I can begin to count. This week she walks onto the battle ground to take on another war with herself but without a doubt I know she is going to kick this brain tumour straight off the battle field. She is the strongest person I know and this tumour is just another battle scar to add to the collection.

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The thing about my sister is that if you met her you wouldn’t know from first glance that she is struggling with such a burden. I mean how could you? I think that is one of the things I hate most about the world is that we are all too quick to judge a book by its cover and don’t take the time to talk about what’s going on between the pages. What’s your story? How many chapters has it taken to get you to this page in your book?

Unfortunately life isn’t always like it is in the movies however much my sister likes to singalong to Disney but don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a negative point. More so the opposite. The thing about mental health is that it is invisible, just like my sisters tumour was. Now we know that there is a problem, the doctors can operate and even though mental health doesn’t need an operation, it still needs the help to get better. One thing I struggle with when my sister is poorly is that I begin to compare my problems to hers and feel guilty for struggling with something as simple as food. I mean, come on, how can I feel sad about eating some chocolate or a packet of crisps when people are having surgery? This is a prime example of how you can’t think. It doesn’t matter what problems anyone else is going through because the only thing that does matter is your health and happiness.

Every single person faces different problems but that doesn’t make your own any less valid. Some people can’t understand what you’re going through because they haven’t experienced it and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t been through other hard moments in life. Sometimes it takes time till things do feel even close to ‘okay’ but in that time your inner strength grows more than you can even imagine. You have to constantly remind yourself that it is going to get better, it might not be today or tomorrow but one day you will believe it. Even though everything has changed and nothing stays the same for long, you have to remember that it has all changed for a reason. Through out these changes your strength grows and all of those problems that were once dragging you down have built you up to the person you are today and that is one hell of an achievement.

My sister is the strongest person I know and has and always will be my idol. She has taught me that even though you may fall down, you will rise up afterwards. We are all just birds flying too close to the sun, until our feathers set on fire and we rise up from the ashes like a beautiful phoenix.

Please always remember that you are beautiful and loved and that the hard times will pass.

Peace and Love always,

Beth 💗🌸

 

 

You just have to be You.

People spend a long time running away from their demons, whether that be physically, mentally or emotionally. We tend to run from anything that can hurt us, too afraid to admit that we might actually be struggling to handle the simplest of everyday tasks. When you start to run from yourself it becomes an endless game of pretend. It starts by convincing everyone around you that you’re okay and before long you’re believing it yourself, lost in a downwards spiral of denial.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert and I only ever talk from personal experience but the moment I accepted what I was going through and that my illness had become my way of life, it became a lot easier to handle. Admitting that I had a problem and asking for help was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do because I was so scared. In fact I was terrified. I was just a girl who was unwell and afraid of what was going to happen. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it at times because a huge part of me didn’t want to.

Now, no one’s mental health battle or recovery journey is identical but they do have their similarities. Similar attitudes, behaviours, routines and so on and it’s nice to know that you’re not alone. I remember feeling so isolated, helpless, completely lost and too afraid to open up because I didn’t think that anyone would understand. The heartbreaking truth of the matter is that you’re not the first to feel that way and you won’t be the last. The important thing is to make sure you don’t give up even when you feel alone because you’re far from it.

I think one of the most important messages I try to promote through out my writing is that whichever individual is actually reading my weird and wonderful words then please know that you’re not alone. Whether it be similar issues to my own or other battles you’re facing then it is important to know that you’re not battling them alone. This week on September 10th it marked the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day and I think it is so good that society is taking the right steps to embrace mental health issues and make them more socially acceptable. It shouldn’t be a taboo topic. If you break your leg, you put it in a cast right? So what happens when someones mental health begins to suffer? People should never be made to feel ashamed for what they’re going through and it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is to ask for help.

I have seriously considered suicide on two occasions in my life and I can honestly say now that I am so glad I didn’t make that choice. On the 12th June 2017 I took an overdose and I remember wishing that I didn’t want to wake up but despite how horrendous I felt the morning after I am so glad that I did. Since that traumatic night I have grown stronger as a person both mentally and physically and no one can ever take that strength away from me. I have fought too hard to regain it and it has taught me so many lessons that I want to hopefully inspire other people with.

There are so many things in life worth living for and even when you’re in the darkest of places you have to focus on the littlest of things to keep you going. Those little glimpses of hope and happiness can save you more than you realise. I have surrounded myself with the people who are most important to me and the newest addition to this list is my adorable god son Joe (I’m not crying you’re crying) 😍😭

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The last few weeks have been so up and down for me and I have had to reach out and ask for help. This time last year I would have been ashamed of admitting I was struggling but I am now in a place where I want what is best for me instead of just sucking it up and putting on a brave face. I think I have spent so long trying to look like the skinny girl in the pictures which I spend far too long scrolling through on instagram or believing that I had to be a size 0 to even come close to pretty but the thing you have to remember is you don’t have to be anybody to be somebody.

You just have to be you.

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This is me and I’m more than okay with that. Embrace yourself and always be kind, you don’t know what battles people are fighting.

Peace and love always,

Beth 💗

Change is Inevitable.

Think of who you were at 10 years old. For me it was being the eager explorer always keen to play out on my bike and roam the fields with my friends, life was simple, the only thing I had to worry about was being home for 9pm on a school night. Fast forward to 13 and my nose was still buried in a book, I was making new friends now I had started high school and I thought I knew everything because I was now a teenager. Before I knew it 16 had rolled by and I was in college, still the same old bookworm and studying hard to try and impress a father who was more interested in his job than his daughter. Next minute I’m drinking away my 18th and then my 19th and then just like that, my teens were over. I don’t know where 20 went and it feels like I blinked and that was 21, done and dusted. Now here I am at 22, feeling better than I have in my entire life.

The thing is with change is that when it happens so slowly, over the entirety of your life for example, it almost feels like life is passing you by but nothing is actually happening. The reality of it is that everything is changing. We transform before our very own eyes but refuse to witness the pure beauty that is blossoming. Like the first flower in spring or like the way a caterpillar is reborn as a butterfly, we are such simple forms of beauty that we continue to not appreciate. Human metamorphosis is such a fascinating transformation that slips by day by day. From a baby to a toddler, from toddler to child, child to teenager, teenager to young adult, you get the gist. Why is it that we are so afraid of change when it happens  to us every single day? We can’t escape it yet we constantly run from it, fearing the unknown.

So does this mean that we have to live our lives constantly running, living a life trapped inside your comfort zone? Continuing on a never ending marathon whilst we refuse to explore the realms of the unfamiliar? The simple answer is no but let me explain in a bit more detail. Change is a terrifying aspect for most people, me being one of them. I am a creature of habit, sticking to what I know and getting cosy inside the warmth of my comfort blanket. However, fear isn’t something that you should run away from. It is something that you should embrace because if you open your arms to the darkest parts of you, to your deepest fears, then there is nothing that can stop you.

Just over a year ago I started on my road to recovery and in that time my body and mind have changed in ways I never thought possible. Grasping hold of my fears with both hands and confronting them up close was I’m not going to lie, one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do. My darkest fear was my own mind because I wasn’t sure of what it was capable of anymore. The moment that I started doing the things that scared me most, the easier it got. For me my fears were all food and weight related and even though I took baby steps towards each of my worries, when I was ready I began to climb up and over each and every obstacle that was in my way of recovering. It hasn’t been a linear journey but as each day has passed, the easier it has gotten and now, instead of being trapped within my own limits, the limit does not exist. Like they say, the world is your oyster.

I’ve never really understood that saying…but the point I am trying to make is that the world is full of opportunities. Do not let your fear of the unknown stop you from experiencing them. In the last few months alone so much has changed in my life. I have a new job which means working in a new atmosphere with new people. I have found the house that I am buying with my boyfriend. I have made new friends. This time last year I would never have been able to even interview for a new role let alone start a new career surrounded by strangers. In the last year, my entire life has changed and even though my weight, appearance, personality, knowledge, career, home, friends and lifestyle have all changed, their are still some things that have stayed the same. I’m still me and I have never felt more alive.

A few weeks ago I was so scared of starting my new job but I know now that it has been the best thing for me. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the ocean of possibilities that is waiting for you if you are just ready to take the jump. Be bold, be brave and be yourself.

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If you take one thing from this post, let it be to not fear change. I admit that you could lose something great but you could also gain something better. Changing direction could lead you to the new beginning you’ve been looking for without even realising, just don’t let fear build a mountain in your path. Even if it does, have faith that you will conquer the horizon.

Peace & love always,

Beth 🌸💗🌸💗🌸💗🌸💗🌸💗🌸💗

 

 

Feel Good Saturday.

This week marks a year since I moved home from Manchester. God I miss living in the city. I miss the bustling streets and living life without any priorities. University may have not worked out for me but I have two incredible years worth of memories to be grateful for whilst I lived in the mad city centre that is Manchester. Yeah I admit, some of them…okay a lot of them are a little bit hazy but I can definitely say that without a doubt I lived student life to the max. They were some of the best nights of my life, watching the sun rise over Manchester joined by the A – Team all to often.

But you grow up. You move on. Times change and you cant hold onto the past, hoping that things will stay the same or that things will go back to the way they were. The thing with life is that it is a never ending journey until the day you die. You don’t know where your journey is taking you or what it might bring your way but no matter what happens you can not give up. Like a book that you cant put down, you have to persist through the difficult chapters to find out if the guy gets the girl or find out if your favourite character lives happily ever after. Now do not mistake what I am saying to mean that life is like a fairytale because it is far from it, it is more like a rollercoaster that you can’t miss out on. What I am trying to say is that life is the kind of book where you can’t skip any chapters, no matter how difficult they are to read.

Growing as a person is a difficult journey and for me it consisted of getting extremely lost, down paths I never thought I would wander, to only end up finding myself hiding amongst the shadows that my own mind had tried to hide me in. When you are a prisoner to your own thoughts it is hard to believe that there is any other way of viewing yourself. It is even harder to try and crawl out of the shadows when you are continuously pushing yourself back into the darkness. You become each and every one of your intrusive thoughts and the darker they get, the more you begin to believe them. However, that voice, those thoughts, they are something that you created and with the right help and choices you can control those thoughts and turn them into something great. Let the pain that they have put you through mould you into someone who will never succumb to their icy grasp again. The way I see it is, you can let something destroy you and become who you are or you can learn from it and grow as a person.

Learning lessons is what life is all about and over the last few years I have learnt so many that haven’t just shaped me as a person but have helped me learn more about myself than I ever thought possible. I saw sides of myself that I didn’t particularly like but despite them being some of the darkest parts of me I had to accept that they were a part of who I was at the time and I learnt how to overcome what I was going through. Not only does this week mark a year since I moved home from Manchester but it also marks a year since I last self harmed. To me, this is one of the biggest milestones I have made in my recovery and I intend to be sat here typing the exact same thing in another years time. Self harm was always my coping mechanism if I felt the slightest bit overwhelmed with my emotions and it got to the point where I couldn’t be on my own for even short periods of time because I would just begin to repeatedly hurt myself. To be a year clear of the pain that I used to put myself through is so refreshing and even though I may have the scars for life, to me they are a beautiful reminder of how much I am worth and that I never have to put my body through that again. They remind me of how strong I am to have fought to be where I am now and as much as I wish I hadn’t felt that low at the time, I have embraced that they are mine, they are a part of my past and they have contributed to who I am today.

The person I am today is someone I love. I’ve never felt more like myself and I feel like I wasted years trying to find her. Things are going better than I ever imagined they would this time last year. Did I think I would be going into my first well paid salary job and about to buy a house with the boy that I love?

No, I didn’t, but life has a weird way of finding your path when you’re ready to walk down it.  Sometimes that path curves off in different directions or you reach a crossroads so you sit and debate which route to take for a while and that is more than okay. Forget about everybody else’s timeline and which direction they are heading in. When you look around you it might feel like people are ahead of you because they graduated, or they got married, or engaged, or had a baby, or got a new job, or moved away, or travelled or whatever it might be but you have to remember that each and every person is running their own marathon. Don’t mock someone else because they can run faster or slower than you, just focus on your own race and be kind along the way because after all, you’re not late, you’re not early, you’re precisely on time and that is where you need to be.

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Peace and love from (I never thought I’d say this) but a simply, very happy,

Beth 💗🌸☺️

 

 

 

 

Goodbye 21.

Dear 21,

You were an absolutely fabulous year and I can’t believe how fast it has flown by. It seems like only yesterday that I was celebrating turning 21 and now here I am typing this at 22. To be honest when we started this year long journey together I really wasn’t sure if I was going to see it out but I have never been happier to turn a year older. I made it. I managed to fight off all the demons that were dragging me down with them and here I am fighting them off with my words of wisdom. I guess this post is being dedicated to the what the last year has taught me and about my journey from 21 to 22, how it has moulded me into the person I am today and my 21 reminders to help bring some happiness to your day.

I know I will never forget about my recovery journey but it is time to stop dwelling on the sadness of the past. I can’t let whats happened in the past or whats going to happen in the future destroy my happiness in the present. I have spent too long living in fear from my eating disorder and my own mental health to allow irrational fears to continue ruining opportunities for me.

The person I have become over the last year and the person I now see when I look in the mirror is someone I have never seen before, or at least I had almost forgotten. I am happy, I am confident, and also the healthiest I have been for years. It’s refreshing to look at the person staring back at me and not see soulless eyes in sunken sockets but instead see brighter skin and a glint back in my eye. It’s so enjoyable to have the energy to do things, even the simplest of things like get out of bed or tidy my room where as before this would have wiped me out. Don’t get me wrong, getting out of bed is still difficult most mornings but thats just because I am not a morning person, plain and simple!

I finally have the confidence to wear nice clothes and not be worried about showing off my scars on my legs and wrists. After struggling with self harm for several years both my arms and legs became decorated with scars which I have always been very ashamed of but I wanted to thank you 21, for giving me the confidence in myself to not be embarrassed by my past. To be able to embrace the marks on my body and know that even though I don’t feel that pain anymore, they represent the strength I had to overcome and battle through some of the darkest days of my life and to not give in.

21 taught me to stop playing the victim and to accept the fact that I am growing and learning every day and that’s okay. It’s okay to have bad days but that doesn’t mean that I am back where I was when I started recovery, no matter how much it can feel that way. 21 has taught me that no matter what happens, we can endure more pain than we can ever think possible and still come out fighting on the other side. I am so proud of myself for getting through the last few years and finding the strength within my self to carry on fighting to get better.

21 has taught me a lot of things but here are 21 little reminders that I have learnt for myself over the last year and what I now try to focus on particularly when I am having a bad day. I hope that they help you like they help me.

  1. Everything you need is within you.
  2. You are beautiful just the way you are.
  3. You are stronger than you realise.
  4. You are enough.
  5. You are not alone.
  6. You are loved.
  7. You are so so brave.
  8. Your worth is not defined by your weight.
  9. Your worth is not defined by what others think of you.
  10. Comparison will steal your happiness.
  11. Believe in yourself.
  12. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters.
  13. Respect your need to rest.
  14. Be the reason someone smiles today.
  15. Grow through what you go through.
  16. Be true to yourself.
  17. Be kind.
  18. Love your body, it is the only one you will get.
  19. Heal at your own pace.
  20. Accept the unknown.
  21. Be yourself because that’s the best person you can be.

I’m not an expert and I only talk from personal experience but recovery is without a doubt, the best thing I have ever done for myself. I spent half of my year being 21 and fighting for my health, through therapy, hospital visits and doctors appointment. I spent the second half living a life through these 21 little notes/tips/reminders whatever you want to call them and learning to love myself again.

 

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This week I got to celebrate my 22nd birthday with the best group of friends I could ask for. I am lucky enough to have people by my side who have encouraged me to be the best version of myself that I can be and to celebrate in Liverpool with them, getting beyond drunk was one of the funniest days I have had in a long time. Thank you all for making it the best start to being 22 I could have ever had.

21, you were a hell of a year but in the words of Taylor Swift “I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22”

Peace and Love always,

Beth 💗🌸💗🌸💗🌸💗🌸

Simply, be you.

Last week marks the first birthday of this Little Recovery Blog of Mine. To the blog that became more than just random words and letters strung together to make sentence after sentence, thank you for helping me save myself without me even realising it. When I started this blog I was struggling through therapy, desperate to find a healthier way to handle my emotions rather than taking yet another blade to my skin. I had become the queen of self destruction, torturing myself with destructive coping mechanism after destructive coping mechanism. If it wasn’t dragging a blade across my skin, you’d find me at the bottom of an empty bottle. And if you didn’t find me there, then you would find me lost in a world of my own destructive thoughts.

Where does the time all go? One day you’re climbing the walls, looking for an escape in any direction, willing to do whatever it takes to take away the pain. The next you’re reflecting back on the last year of a journey which has brought you down the winding path to where you’re sat right now, reading my blog. June is a significant month for me. Not only does it mark my blogs first birthday but it also marks a year since I took my overdose. That night was simply the worst night of my life. Even though everything from that night is very hazy, which doesn’t surprise me considering the amount of tablets I had taken, it was the turning point. It was that moment that I remember so significantly in my head.

I remember getting to the hospital in hysterical tears, scared and alone, unsure of what was going to happen to me. I remember being sat in a side room, wrapped in blankets whilst my body tried to control it’s temperature, chills rattling through me from head to toe. So many tears had stained my cheeks and I had given up trying to wipe the streaks of mascara joining them. I felt so weak and I remember thinking all I wanted was the pain to go away. Doctors came and went, informing me to drink the jet black, liquid, charcoal that sat in three large cups before me. It was without a doubt the worst beverage that has ever touched my lips. It almost looked like ink but was somehow dry and bitty on your tongue, every sip sending shivers through me. I lay in A&E for hours, completely losing track of time as I hallucinated in and out of a tablet infused high. I felt sick as the charcoal tried to rid my body of the toxins floating round my system, the cardboard sick bowl lying below me as my only companion throughout my entire ordeal. “We really recommend you staying in overnight Bethany…” the mental health woman told me after lying their in silence for nearly 9 hours whilst the charcoal dyed my insides black. I somehow found the energy inside of me to sit up and look the poor nurse in the eye and simply said “I’m so tired, I want to go home” I wasn’t tired from lack of sleep or drowsy from the amount of drugs dissolving in my bloodstream. I was tired of living in so much pain. Seeing as they couldn’t stop me from leaving, they kindly booked me a taxi as I had no money or way of getting home apart from walking which wasn’t an option. I got home, undressed myself and collapsed in bed as the sun rose over Manchester.

That feels like a lifetime ago. I remember wishing that when I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up. So much pain, so much torture, I was exhausted beyond belief and unfortunately a good nights sleep wouldn’t cut it. The thing is when your mind is like a constant horror movie,playing out each intrusive thought on the big screen, it’s hard to concentrate on what actually matters. However, you somehow find the strength inside you to continue. You find the sun inside of yourself and it helps the garden inside your mind blossom instead of the monsters growing inside your head. The thing is with suicide is that you don’t actually want to die, you just want life as you know it to end. Life can change at any minute, any second even. One decision can put you onto a new path or push you in a different direction. If you make the decision to change your life then soon enough the bigger picture will begin to alter around you. It might start with something small, just a simple baby step but soon enough those baby steps amount into large transformations where with enough hard work and determination all of the pain, self loathing and despair that filled your life are soon left behind. It’s almost like laying a close relative to rest because in reality you’re leaving behind a large part of yourself, someone you had grown to trust and believe in. However, unlike a traditional funeral this is not something to be saddened over. You are introducing yourself to a world full of self care, love and light and that sunshine that is beaming from within you is going to guide the way.

Now don’t get me wrong, life is a beautiful thing but it is completely and utterly terrifying. When you’re lost in the darkness you begin to question whether it’s worth it, if this is all there is then why should I carry on? Well I’m telling you now that no storm lasts forever. Eventually the wind moves the clouds along, the sun peaks out from behind the clouds and you’re going to sing and dance in it’s rays. It might take days, weeks, months or years but god the rainbow is beautiful on the other side.

Now hindsight is a beautiful thing but if I could go back in time and make myself realise that it wasn’t worth all of that pain, then I would, but I can’t. Now, I don’t have a flying delorean or a flux capacitor but I do have the opportunity to keep doing what is best for me. I honestly think that social media is brain washing us into comparing our lives rather than celebrating them. No one appreciates one another or what we have because all we do is compare the amount of likes that we get and how skinny one girl is to another. People say a picture can say a thousand words but to be honest I think it would be more accurate to say a picture can hide a thousand words.

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For example the photo on the left shows me and one of my close friends at Parklike Festival last summer. We look happy, I mean, why wouldn’t we be? We’re both smiling and we’re both in our festival gear ready for the weekend ahead of us, about to watch some of our favourite music acts.
Wrong. I was miserable. I hadn’t eaten properly for days and my boyfriend had to force me to have the tiniest bit of breakfast before I went because he knew that I was gong to be drinking all day.  Once I arrived I spent all day walking around comparing myself to every other girl I saw thinking to myself that everyone looked better than me or thinner than me, absolutely despairing with myself on the inside. The voices in my head told me that everyone thought I looked fat and that I was bulging out of my shorts which in reality were hanging off me.

 

My point is, that you shouldn’t always believe what you see on social media. So many people suffer in silence and even though I used to be one of them I am proud of myself, my blog and where I am today. It might not be much but I am living or at least trying to make the most of this crazy journey that we call life. Compare the photo above to the ones below and you can see the difference behind the fake smile and genuine happiness.

 

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Parklife 2018, you were a pleasure and I am lucky to have such amazing friends and boyfriend by my side. When you start to focus on the people around you rather than the opinions and lives of people on social media you will be a happier person. You won’t waste time on such negative outlets and spend more time on things and with people that make you happy. Spend more time on being yourself rather than editing out the odd roll or bit of cellulite from your instragam pictures.

Be you, be real, it’s the most beautiful thing you can be.

Peace and Love always,

B x

 

Miss you Manny.

A year has passed since the tragic events that occurred at the M.E.N arena and I thought it only fitting to do a tribute to one of the cities I will always call home. I may have only lived in the city centre for a few years but those years brought me some of the best memories of my life. Manchester will always hold a special place in my heart. The people, the atmosphere, the strong community that I am so proud to be a part of.

I don’t even know where to start describing how much Manchester means to me. Moving home after being a student was without a doubt one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Going from having so much freedom to living like a normal human being is such a huge contrast but I think thats why I loved Manchester so much. It was the city full of freedom.

It was living in student halls, waking up to the sounds echoing from the streets down below each morning; the gentle rumble of traffic, the occasional beeping of a horn or alarm and depending on what day it was the chanting of drunk students as they stumbled back from 42’s. It was the way the streets looked half decent in the sunshine but looked even better in the cities usual covering of rain. It was having my own personal chill out spots when things got too much, retreating to the tops of carparks to watch the sunsets or to just get some peace and quiet. It was playing I went to the market with Spragg and Tony on my last night in Manchester watching the best sunset I’ve ever seen.

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It was blasting “Not Nineteen Forever” on the eve of my 20th birthday and it was blasting “Don’t Look Back in Anger” the day I moved out of my flat. It was religiously going to Hot Mess student night each and every Wednesday without fail and then carrying on the after party until we all watched the sunrise. It was watching the ZQ get high as kites every day and it was flat parties at Piccadilly Point that carried on even after they got shut down. It was getting blind drunk when I thought I could handle a bottle of wine. It was hungover days in Flat 130, staring out of the window at the rain dribbling down the windows, projecting my mood onto the weather. It was going on coffee dates and sunbathing on the little patch of grass by the railway line between Oxford Road and Piccadilly. It was working at Courtyard and Dry Bar, spending all my tip money on a cheeky 20 deck of Sterling Dual. It was waking up every morning, pulling open my blinds and starting the day with the biggest cup of coffee and a cigarette. It was dragging myself to uni on the odd occasion and doing my one and only art exhibition for part of my degree which I never ended up getting. It was getting burritos from Changos with Brad. It was ordering Chicos pizza with my other half nearly every week because it is the best pizza takeaway ever…this isn’t up for debate. It’s Courtyard lock ins. It’s Tandoori Chicken sandwiches from Benzie building cafe which I religiously bought whenever I actually went to uni (art students you will know) It’s the best nachos ever from Home Sweet Home.

It was art gallery dates at the Whitworth and falling in love with their exhibitions. It was eating Go Falafel in the sunshine on summer days. It’s working at Dorothy Perkins with the craziest but kindest group of girls. It was getting the 26 past the hour Southport train home from uni from Oxford Road station and watching the world go by with my headphones in. It was late nights and lie ins, hearing my flatmate say “I feel like dirt” on so many days of the week. It was bacon sandwiches with runny eggs when I was dying from a hangover. It was walking home from work at 6am with my boyfriend after a 9-5am shift and getting a Starbucks from Piccadilly station on the way. It was delicious fudge covered brownies from MilkJam on Oxford Road. It was £8.40 pitchers of Somersby and blackcurrant from Courtyard which I so confidently thought I could finish but only ever ended up making halfway, 3/4 at a push. It was Parklife festival 2 years (soon to be 3) on the run. It was the traditional C226 kitchen photos before every night out we ever had (see below…I don’t know why we loved this wall so much)

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It’s the way the Town Hall looks when it’s lit up at night and the festive spirit of the markets every winter. It was having my first Christmas with my boyfriend in my student flat and going to Factory of all places on Boxing Day. It’s cheap lunches at Font, forever ordering my usual falafel wrap and chips and demolishing £2 cocktail after £2 cocktail. It was the occasional trip to Home Sweet Home for cake and shake dates, obviously always having an Oreo milkshake because what other flavour is there really? It’s Courtyard fries with extra cheese and BBQ sauce and sitting outside under the shit heaters chatting away, braving the cold every now and again for a cig.

It was walking through the city and always falling more in love with little places and moments no matter what time of day it was. It was going on midnight adventures and always deciding to meet by the weird statue of the man in the bathtub. It was crazy nights at Warehouse Project and it was the city where I went to my first gig, Walking on Cars you were incredible. It was meeting so many new people, some that I used to know and some who I will speak to for the rest of my life (Harry, Alice….okay, Ryan as well 😂)

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It’s the city where I fell in love with my best friend, my partner in crime and soon to be house mate (I feel like such an adult and it’s scary). Manchester will always be so special for both of us, we have shared so many memories there. It’s singing Oasis at the top of our voices at 6am after stumbling back from Sankeys. It’s blasting Take That in a morning and annoying everyone in Flat 130. It’s traditional comedown walks to Sainsburys and asking “If they have any fags” It’s the city where I fell in love with you Harry and I think that’s why I love Manchester the most because it’s where I met you.

It’s the city where I lost myself and found myself all rolled into one. The list of little things I love about this city is endless but I think that is what makes my memories so great because when you look back at the little things you realise that they were the big things.

I miss all of this and so much more about you Manchester. It’s hard to try and remember it all. I hope this does you justice and I know that we will all be united tomorrow in remembrance of the lives lost this time last year. Stay strong Manchester, we love you.

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Expect Nothing.

So as we are coming to the end of mental health awareness week I thought it only fitting to base this post around how I helped myself get to this point in my recovery. So many people suffer in silence when they are fighting their own mental health battles as people often say they feel ashamed, embarrassed, the list of emotions is endless because every persons battle is so different. I think this is why one of the most important things in day to day life is to be kind because you don’t know what people are really hiding behind a smile. When you’re hiding your mental health from the world, people become the performers they never thought they could be. Plastering a smile on their face, touching up their makeup, throwing on a half decent outfit and out the door you go, pretending that everything is fine even though their smile never once reaches their eyes. This is no way to live your life. It gets to the point where you don’t know who you’re even trying to convince anymore, yourself or everyone else. Mental health is something that for years people have been ashamed to discuss and I think now more than ever it is more widely accepted amongst society.

However, I believe that society is still part of the problem. If you walk along the street, get on the bus to work or the train to the city centre all you can see is a world sucked into their phone screens. So much time is spent scrolling through apps that don’t leave you feeling particularly confident in yourself or your body image because you don’t look like the runway models or celebrities that are plastered throughout Instagram and magazines. Now I am not saying that society is the entirety of the problem because I don’t think that it is. I think the biggest problem in todays society is that everyone is so wrapped in social media that it is seen as weird or unusual for someone to not have Facebook or to not have Instagram. One of my close friends recently told me she was taking a step back from her Instagram and social media pages because she wanted to focus on herself and help improve her mental health. I have never been so proud of her. Now, I’m not being a hypocrite and saying that you shouldn’t use social media because I use several social media platforms but what I am saying is that don’t be ashamed to take a step away from it if you find it affects your mental health. You have to do what is best for you and spend some time recharging yourself rather than your iPhone. What I am saying is that if you are feeling drained, running on empty, pretty much at 1% then re-charge yourself and not your phone battery.

I think many people are so quick to judge society but in fact it is ourselves we should be speaking to. We should be the change we want to see in the world because we are the ones living in it. Be the person that you needed when you were younger when you felt like you were lost and alone. Be a person that you’re proud of being and make a decision each and every morning to be the best version of yourself you can be. The reality of it is that no one is going to come and change your life for you and if you want something to change you have to do it yourself. You can’t expect your life to change if you do nothing to try and change it.

Mental health is a silent battle that has had a grip on my life for the last 6 years. 2 years ago I remember by boyfriend encouraging me to go to the doctors to talk about it and if I had known then, what I know now, I definitely would have spoken to someone sooner. I made the decision to go that appointment which led me to a 24 week therapy program under the Manchester Eating Disorder service which ultimately helped save my life. I think that’s one thing I struggled with is that I felt completely alone. I knew I had my boyfriend, friends and family but I felt like no one understood what I was going through and I think therapy is the main thing that helped me with that. So many people take for granted what they have and don’t realise how simple a gift it is to have your health.

When I started this post today I said I was going to discuss how to help yourself as well as others. When I started this blog almost a year ago I never thought that it would help me as much as it has but to have a productive outlet to handle my emotions rather than self harming, drinking or drugs was so much more refreshing. Here I am, a year later, a year older and since I started typing this post today I have become completely overwhelmed with old emotions. My fingers are typing but my brain is stuck over thinking in the anorexic mud of my mind. I guess the point I am trying to make is that even a year into my recovery I still have my dark moments but it is learning how to handle them in a healthy way and channel that emotion into something productive.

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The last month has been a mad one and I have been so busy it has been hard to find the time to write. Without a doubt April-May have been some of my 2018 highlights so far. I celebrated mine and my boyfriends 2 year anniversary in style with fancy food and fancy cocktails and it feels amazing to finally be in a place where I can enjoy doing that without feeling guilty about the number on the scales. We’re also going seeing Ed Sheeran next week I can’t believe it! My boyfriend has supported me through out my mental health battle and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without his constant love and support. This is the healthiest we have both been since we met and I have never been prouder of us both. I got to watch Solardo and Camelphat in Liverpool with my boyfriend (major fan girl moment meeting James) and also celebrated his 22nd birthday by getting the original Manchester squad back together. Squeezed in a trip to Alton Towers and a few little dates here and there and that pretty much sums up my last month. Breakfast dates are my favourite way to start the day 10/10 would recommend.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there is a life waiting for you if you want it. You just have to go out and grab it. It has taken me doctors appointments, hospital visits, therapy, medication and a hell of a lot of support to recover from Anorexia and this time last year I wouldn’t of done half of the things I have done in the last month but I am trying to show you that life isn’t so bad once you take the right steps to recover.

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It is what you make it and as much as I wish I hadn’t wasted the start of my 20’s hating myself I’m going to make sure I spend the rest of my twenties enjoying myself. The first photo above came up on my time hop from this time last year and it makes me so sad to see my body wasting away like that. I am so proud of how far I have come in 12 months and cant wait to see what the next year brings me. Forever onwards and upwards and don’t waste time dwelling on the negativity of the past. If you make the decision to do what is best for you and your health, no matter what it takes then you will soon start to see that life isn’t as bad as you think. It took me a while but I eventually got there, everyone else must have been early to the party.

I think the best thing in life is to expect nothing but appreciate everything.

Peace and love always, you are all beautiful.

Beth 💗🌸

 

 

Oh What a Year can Do.

Time hop is one of the best and worst apps on my iPhone. I absolutely love it when old and embarrassing photos, tweets and Facebook statuses that I thought were long forgotten come back up to haunt me. I always smile to myself when old school trip photos come up, peace signs and pouts galore crawling out from the closet that are my old Facebook albums. Recently however, my time hop has been showing me all of my social media posts from this time last year which is something I would much rather forget. I am grateful for the days when I don’t have a post that comes up saying “1 year ago today…” because I hate seeing how skeletal I used to be. Yesterday, one of my old tumblr posts came up (yeah, I’m a tumblr girl) and it shocked me so much because it showed me the damage I had really put myself through last April, thus inspiring me to start writing this blog post at 23:43pm on a Sunday night (probably going to have to sleep soon and come back to this tomorrow because I am at work super early in the morning) (anyone else find that they are only productive at night and never at normal times? Sleep is for the weak)

*returns to blog a week later* So anyway, as I was saying, time hop can be a fun app to have on your iPhone. For example, a year ago today I got my second tattoo, my little love heart on my ribs which I got when I started my therapy. Seeing that photo made me realise I have come such a long way and kept my promise that I made to myself when I got that tattoo. To love myself before loving anyone else. So, what has the last year done for me? It has shown me ups and downs that I never expected and even when I felt like I was drowning in the depths of despair, I rode each and every wave to get to the calmer waters where I am now. What was the key to staying above water you ask? Well if you continue reading you will find out some of the things that have helped me handle me, myself and I throughout the hardest points over the last few years. I’m sharing these from my own personal experience rather than a professionals point of view but I’m doing so in the hope that it may help some one out there who might be struggling.

Number one is so much easier said than done but start by Talking To Someone. Whether that person be a family member, close friend or stranger, talking to someone is the first step you can take towards helping yourself. Baring the burden of your relentless thoughts can be exhausting, especially when you’re battling with yourself. Opening up to someone, whoever that may be, allows you to open the flood gates slightly and even if the tears start flowing (which with me they always do, I swear I’m the most emotional person on the planet) it helps to release some of the emotions bottled up inside. There are so many helplines and online forums available now for people to speak to if they ever feel alone and I really recommend them. Family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, cousins, siblings, whoever it may be, please just let them know you’re struggling, or failing that my inbox is always open. I am lucky enough to work with some amazing people. One woman in particular has been so thoughtful and generous since the moment I met her, helping motivate me with my own personal goals and eagerly waiting each of my blog posts. CJ, where to even start. From sticky notes to endless conversations you have been such an amazing listener. How you have put up with me I don’t know. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself and thank you for the cutest gift ever, a framed photo of my favourite Banksy quote.

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Looking at the above photo, I feel that Number 2 links on really well, even though it is one of hardest things to do but no matter what happens Don’t give up! When you’re suffering from mental health issues it feels like a never ending battle. It feels like you’ve forgotten what happiness really is and sometimes it feels like you’re walking down a path to nothingness. I’m not going to lie, I’ve self harmed, I’ve overdosed and I’ve wanted to end my life but I have never been happier to be sat here typing these words. I honestly believe that anything is achievable if you want it enough. You have to want to get better and want to recover. You cant let bumps in the road or more accurately, relapses in recovery stop you from being who you want to be. Allow yourself to make mistakes and then forgive yourself for them before you punish yourself past the point of help. Life is about making mistakes and learning from each and every one. Don’t give up because you’ve tripped up just before the finish line. Pick yourself up, brush off the dirt and keep remembering that the tortoise won the race.

Number 3 is to give yourself Time. Time is such an amazing thing and I do honestly believe it heals all wounds as cliche as that sounds. The title seems quite fitting when it comes to this point as a year has changed my entire life and this is why I encourage everyone to follow point number two. If you don’t give up and combine that with taking time out for yourself and focusing on what is best for your health and happiness then things really do begin to get better.

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Surround yourself with people you love and trust because you need people who you know are going to stick by you not just through the highs but also drag you back up out of the lows. Go for a girls night, invite people round for a takeaway, go and watch that film you’ve wanted to see for the last few weeks. Whatever it is, spend time doing things you love. As well as spending time on personal hobbies, allow yourself and your body time to heal from everything it has been through. Mental health isn’t as simple as putting a leg in a cast, oh how easy life would be if it was, but a year ago I never in a million years would have been able to write a post like this so I guess it shows what a year can really do to your perception on life. Some days will be easier and you will feel better and then others you will feel like you want to die but everything is okay. There is no quick fix unfortunately, no cast, no band aid, but if you just close your eyes and trust that the storm will pass, that the wind will move the clouds and the crashing waves will recede, you’ll be able to breathe again soon.

I’m sat here trying to think of any other things that have really helped me through out my recovery but those are the main 3 that come to mind. The thing is with mental health illnesses is that everyones recovery journey is completely different and unique to the individual but one thing I think everyone needs to remember is that every obstacle you over come, no matter how big or small, it is still a victory. Give yourself some credit where its due because sometimes life is really hard and to get back up and fight through the rain is the most incredible sign of strength.

So what can a year really do? I guess the simple answer is, a lot. It brings you new opportunities, opens doors and thankfully closes others behind you. Take one day at a time because thats all you can do. Don’t rush anything and appreciate everything.

I’d love to hear what your best moments from the last year have been.

Peace and Love always,

Beth x