You Can Come Out of a Dark Place

Sometimes the news hits harder than ever. The world can be a dark place.

I don’t watch the news. I only read the stories I want to in papers. I’m ignorant of many happenings in the world. But it works for me. It keeps me feeling okay and that is the point.

This week I’ve been drawn to checking the news regularly to read about depression and Robin Williams. I want to share the helpful resources I find with people through social media. It feels like the right thing for me to do to help reduce the stigma attached to mental health.

Depression is horrible. It’s a dark and lonely place to be. Thankfully I never reached the point of thinking about taking my own life. But I definitely had long periods of wishing I could just sleep until it went away.  I wanted to be saved, but needed to save myself. I wanted to be left alone, but also wanted people to want to be with me. I had to let a lot of things and people go in order to recover. It’s hard work every day and maybe I’ll never be recovered fully, but I appreciate everything it has taught me about myself. I am in a good place right now and making the most of it. I am not beating myself up daily, but there are definitely behaviours that do not help with depression and vice versa – binge eating I’m looking at you.

The news of a fantastically talented individual taking their own life is beyond sad. It is a reminder that depression can affect anyone and we should not take someone’s situation in life for granted. We should also not be afraid to ask for help and pursue it. It takes internal strength when you have nothing left to give to take each tiny step forward. I won’t say it’s easy, but it is also not impossible.

Back in 2011 I thought I had everything I wanted, and yet I was not happy or motivated. I wasn’t sad either, but more life defeated and didn’t see the point in anything anymore.  I was constantly comparing myself to others and letting my thoughts be fact about everything in my life. I looked for ways to change myself and my situation, without knowing what was wrong or what I wanted. It’s taken 3 years to get to where I am now and it also took going further into dark places to climb back out.  I’ve taken leaps in this time also – news jobs and homes – and learning when I make mistakes to be kind to myself even if I’m on my own.

This week has highlighted how shocking mental health still is to people because we don’t talk about it. If anything comes from this week’s news I hope that it gives someone the courage to ask for help. There have been lots of tributes that have been wonderful reminders of what a talent we have lost, but we also mustn’t forget the families who are affected so much.

My blog has gone beyond sharing my travel adventures into somewhere I hope I can help other people if they stumble across it. Some days the thing that can light up my whole day is a simple retweet of something I’ve shared on Twitter.

I retweeted the Academy’s tribute this week and now have mixed feelings about it. It was touching and poignant, but also could be mis-interpreted. I don’t want anyone to think taking your own life is the answer to anything. There is someone out there who can help you even in your darkest times.

Please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 if you have any suicidal thoughts or just need someone to talk to.

Loving Life

Getting Merry and Pippin was a great decision. They are fantastic company and are still getting more affectionate with each day.

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They are also crazy at times and love to look at anything I have – including tea and sparkling water!

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Plus they are so cute when they sleep!

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I’ve also been training them to wear harnesses and walk forward on the lead for treats and it’s working really well. I only have them on for a little bit each day and reward them for their good behaviour and they have gone form hating to having them on to this week falling asleep with them on as I add a few minutes on each time. These aren’t the ones I’m actually going to use as they are too big and I feel they are not that comfortable once attached the leads so I plan on getting some jacket ones which I’ve seen online and look much better fitting.

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They make me feel happy when I come home and I love staying in now and playing with them and watching them sleep and explore. I’ve been slacking on my exercise, but I’m not beating myself up about it as I’ll only get this time with them as kittens once and I want to enjoy it. I feel happy right now and that is such as different place to where I’ve been for the last few years and I want to give them a great life and be around for them for their whole lives.

The death of Robin Williams is another reminder of how precious life is and that everyone is fighting their own battles. Asking for help and making steps to help ourselves shows strength and admitting that you are not okay is the first step and the bravest one to take. Merry and Pippin have made me love life again and I’m so thankful for that.

 

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Adventures in Books… Throne of Glass

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“In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught. Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?”

I discovered this book through another blog and for the life of me I’ve been unable to find the post I read about it on, so forgive me if you’ve read this and know I got it form you – let me know!

I loved this book and story. I liked the characters and the plot as they both pulled me in. It was also nice just to pick up a new author to me and get stuck in. That doesn’t happen very often for me, but I’ve already ordered the second book from my library and plan on buying the third when it’s released next month – I love me a series!

The story is interesting and centres around a young female assassin rescued from salt mines and forced to compete for her freedom.  It is interesting to watch the politics unfurl and how the characters interact. It is also great to get to know the characters. I wish there was more of their backstories included, but I am hoping this comes out across the next couple of books.

This was a simple, fun story, full of intrigue and mystery. I enjoyed being able to read the book quickly and not have to think about too much, but enjoy how it unfolded without jumping to conclusions. This was a great fantasy story I could enjoy as much as other young adult fantasy series.

I don’t know why, but this book review felt hard to write. I never know what to say other than why I enjoyed a book. I feel I should be making it more interesting for readers, but then I think this is more about a record of the books I’ve read for me. Maybe I’ll look into writing better book reviews !

Comfortable, Yet Not

This year has been great. I feel in a good place and am enjoying life. There are things I’m working to make better, such as working towards the next level at work and having more money. But overall I have made great strides in creating the life I want and enjoy every day. There is much less guilt and shame than there used to be. I feel content and comfortable in my head.

However it is not the same in my body. This is not me being negative, but honest. I have hated the hot weather this year. I have felt uncomfortable in my clothes and doing things as I get hot really easily and then feel self-conscious because I sweat (also a lot). It hasn’t stopped me doing things I really want to, but it has made me lose motivation for running. My body is just not up for it right now.

I haven’t felt like this physically in a good number of years and it is reminding me of all the horrible things associated with being overweight. So I want to do something about it. It’s no secret I’ve been trying for the whole year (since before I started this blog) and nothing has stuck. I have resisted everything. It would be easy to beat myself up for this and punish myself with a strict regime, but I’m not going to do that this time. I want to treat myself and my body well.

I had to go out and buy linen trousers for work because of the heat. I also had to make sure they had an elasticated waist band to makes sure I would be comfortable in them all day. All my other work trousers are not feeling good at the moment. I haven’t had to do this in a long time and I didn’t like it. I like to buy clothes as I seem them if I like them, rather than have to. I hate having to shop for something specific as you can usually guarantee no shop will have it at the time you need it.

Getting the kittens and following the guide for the amount of food they need is making me responsible to their health and I wonder why I haven’t felt the same way about my own health. I’m usually okay during the day at sticking to meals and only snacking on fruit, but I’ve made it too easy not to eat well in the evening. I get stuck between listening to my body and keeping a structure of 3 meals a day. There are some days where I feel hungry all day no matter what and that is when I crack under the pressure.

Sometimes I just need to get out how I’m feeling and try to get my thoughts in some kind of logical order in order to reflect and move forward. I don’t have the answers, but I am not going to stop trying to find out what works for me and will help shape the body that will support the life I am leading and want to continue to lead.

A post Nic wrote last week on her blog really struck a cord with me – Practical Help. I feel I talk about this a lot and don’t make any progress. I frustrate myself as I hate it when other people do this to me and just like Nic am someone who looks for ways to take action. Not necessarily solve a problem, but do something to alleviate the bad from a situation. Yet I’m not doing this myself for myself. I’m trying to balance being kind and being determined to make the changes I want to make, but get frustrated with the lack of progress.  So I am going to sit down and look at this as though a friend was coming to me with the same thing – what would I advise them to do? I want to practically help myself.

Adventures in Books… Exposure

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“Tory Brennan – great niece of Dr Temperance Brennan – and the Virals return for their most terrifying adventure yet. Morris Island has barely had a chance to return to normality after the high profile trial of the Gamemaster, when two local students seem to vanish into thin air. Tory Brennan and the Virals pack move quickly in their attempts to discover what has happened to their twin classmates. But the pack’s canine powers are growing wilder, and it is becoming ever harder to conceal the secret which protects them. When Tory and her friends find evidence of blood in the students’ basement, they realise that the disappearance is no game. But in order to save the twins, the Virals must risk the exposure of their powers, and in doing so put even their own lives in terrible danger.”

This book felt back on form after the last book. I loved the first two books, but the third just felt a little too fantasy like, but this one came back to its roots and I loved it. The writing was sharp and the story flowed well throughout. I couldn’t put it down and read it quite quickly considering I’m only really reading before I go to bed at the moment.

This book focused more on the relationships between the main characters. It used the events and upheaval of the story from the previous book to show how their relationships had suffered. It was real and I really thought there was no going back so it was great to see how they worked things out and how hard it was to do that. It really resonated with me and I do believe some relationships are worth saving, but others aren’t.

I also loved the storyline bring Chance back into the game. He was a big character in the first book and has played a supporting role since. Maybe this is also why this book feels like it’s going back to where it all began. This is one of those series where not much time elapsed during the books and also between the books, so the characters aren’t aging anywhere near as much as I think they are and I have to remind myself of that as a lot has happened since the first book in s short amount of time.

This book ended on a big cliff-hanger and so I cannot wait to find out when happens next!

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