Blood thicker than water?

Some people say you can’t chose your family, which might be right but you can chose people who you value as close as family or closer

Yesterday I returned to Manchester after a few days back on my home stomping round of the Wirral while my better half was in Edinburgh on a stag do. Instead of staying with my parents while in still struggling to spend too much time on my own, I stayed with his parents and I’ll tell you a secret……I’ve never felt so part of a family.

It’s been a bit of a wake up call that unfortunately as much as I love my family to pieces they aren’t the best for support and talking to each other. But it’s so empowering knowing that this doesn’t leave me alone, I have another fabulous family to be a part of! Even just to be able to get a big motherly hug or a fatherly bit of guidance over the past few days has been so reassuring and above anything my parents have offered me

I have had the best weekend I’ve had in a long time and it’s completely changed my perspective on my current situation. I feel motivated, focused, clear headed and most of all happy. It’s been ultimately refreshing to have spent a full weekend with people I love and to have not spoken about my feelings and what’s going on in my head. I’ve started to really see light at the end of this horrid dark tunnel that’s consumed me the past few months

For anyone who is having a bit of tough time and struggling at the moment, here are some little tips and bits of advice I’ve adopted over the past week that have really helped:

– get out of bed. While this seems so basic it really works. I love sleep, who doesn’t!? But sleeping in til 4 or dozing all day doesn’t help anything. If you get up at a reasonable time that’s the biggest battle won already. Nothing is more debilitating and de-motivating than the guilt you get for sleeping in and feeling like you’ve wasted the day

– set yourself goals. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are but start with setting yourself 1 goal when you go to bed for something to achieve the next day and then build from there in baby steps. Last week my goals were just to get dressed and actually leave the house. Now they’re applying for jobs and investigating holidays. It gives your day a sense of purpose, makes you feel like you’re achieving things which will boost your confidence and it’ll reflect my previous point of not feeling guilty about wasting a day. And if you really want, when you’ve finished your goals you have earned to go back to bed if that’s what you want…..chances are though you’ll like the buzz of achieving so you’ll carry on

– see people. Have someone round for dinner, go for a dog walk with an old friend, go the cinema. Surround yourself with people you love. They’re the ones who don’t mind if you’re having a down day or all you’ve done is moan about your head. They’re the ones who’ll pick you up when you need it and be there to give you a hug. Sitting inside on your own doesn’t do anyone any good and chances are when you speak to someone they will have their own problems to open up about and you’ll be reassured that you’re not alone

– fresh air. I’ve made it a goal each day to go for a walk. Even to the corner shop. Fresh air, being out of the house and the endorphins from a little wander all help boost your mood and make you feel good

– keep yourself busy. Fill your time with happy things you enjoy doing. The past week for me has been filled with baking, having people round for dinner, driving, shopping, reading, going to the museum….anything that fills your head with happy thoughts and doesn’t allow time for any bad clouds to develop over head

– don’t beat yourself up. This is a big one and something I need to remember on a daily basis. If you feel down or you do want to sit in bed all day watching come dine with me eating ham out of the packet or all you want to do is cry…..don’t feel guilty. Youre human. You’re allowed to have down days and you’re allowed to cry and eat ham out of the packet. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just write the day off, enjoy it and look to bettering it tomorrow. Feeling guilty about it only makes it worse. At the moment I’m trying not beat myself up about my finances and that my boyfriend is currently paying for everything. I don’t have a Job so there’s not a lot I can do about it. I just have to acknowledge how amazing he is, do what I can to support him and to try and get myself back on my feet. If I let the guilt monster take over and start beating myself up about it nothing will change.

While I love how positive I’m feeling at the moment I know a bad day will follow. But it’s how I approach and deal with it that will get me through it. It will happen but if I try and keep an open mind and follow at least a few of points above it won’t be nearly as bad as the last one

Keep smiling and stay safe
J

Dear Depression…

Dear depression….

You’ve taken over my life since February and I’m getting a little bored of your attitude. I’ve had to change every aspect of my life for you and I feel enough is enough. So far you’ve made me quit my job (and 2 months of unemployment with you for company really isn’t fun), you’ve changed my friendships, you’ve made me take medication that made me poorly, you’ve excluded me from doing fun things with my friends and boyfriend, you’ve forced my relationships with friends and boyfriend to change. As well as being so skint through lack of income you’ve almost cost me my life.

You made me cancel my birthday, stop holiday plans, cancel plans with friends and family. Now I’m having to sell my belongings for cash. The only fun I had planned for the rest of the year, my first festival, I’ve now had to sell my tickets. You’ve got complete control over me and my life, what more do you want from me!?

I hope you’re happy with yourself, sat in the corner with a smug grin on your face. I’ve had enough and I won’t let you beat me any more. You can take your mood swings and sulks. I don’t want them. I just want my life back. It’s not too much for you to ask to just leave me be and go back to how things were before I met you

Please return my happy and my jen-ness back as soon as possible. This has gone on long enough

Kind regards
J

Slutty brownies

When I’m having a bad head day, need a big sulk and something really gluttonous to make me feel a little better this is ALWAYS my go to recipe.  They’re the ultimate naughty treat; they’re gooey, oozy, chocolaty, rich and comforting.  Something so good you’ll want to tell everyone about it but not share a bit.  Like a big bear hug from someone forbidden.

In the brownie mix I tend to swap the caster sugar for a muscavado for a chewier richer brownie.

ENJOY!

For the cookie base:

  • 110g butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 65g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 275g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g milk chocolate chips
  • 2 packs oreos
For the brownie:
  • 115g Dark chocolate
  • 225g butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  1. First make the cookie base by creaming together the butter and sugars until soft, then add the egg and mix well.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips and fold in well.Om nom nom nom
  3. Spread the cookie dough along the bottom of a grease proof paper covered brownie tin and top with oreos.
  4. Then to make the brownie mixture, melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie.
  5. Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until they have trebled in volume.
  6. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder in to the mixture, then pour in the melted chocolate and butter mixture and mix together.
  7. Pour the brownie mixture over the cookies, pop in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees.
  8. Enjoy!

http://www.peachtreesandbumblebees.com/2011/08/24/the-slutty-brownie/

“the wall”

“The wall” is a term commonly used by marathon runners relating to a seemingly impossible point in their race which they have to mentally break through in order to finish without giving in. While I’m certainly not planning on doing any marathons any time soon (just a jog around the block has me on all fours gasping for breath -no joke) I am experiencing a similar mental struggle

Since my last post full of positivity after returning from a lovely change of scenery in my hometown, I was having a really good up-beat week. I’d not cried. I’d not had any bad or dark thoughts. I was coping a lot better on my own. I was giving myself little tasks and goals each day and succeeding which have a massive boost to my motivation and self esteem. I even had a trial shift lined up for a fantastic and diverse hospitality company in Cheshire. Things really seemed like they were on the up and taking a positive turn.

Then on Thursday night, the night before my trial, I had the worst nights sleep in a long time. I say sleep, but I think I actually managed about 20 minutes. I went to bed early, took a couple of herbal sleeping tablets, a nice hot shower, a herbal tea, read my book and tried to doze off to a happy film. It didn’t matter how tired I felt or how many little tricks I tried I couldn’t doze off and my anxiety was getting worse with every minute I was thinking about not being asleep and the hours counting down before my alarm was due to go off. Anxiety and nerves before starting a new job are normal especially as I’ve been out of work for so long now. I kept telling myself this but then I started to get anxiety about anxiety. Panicking that sleep deprivation would instigate a panic attack at the new job and id let myself down. I was convinced if I didn’t fall asleep soon there would be no point going because I wouldn’t be giving myself the best opportunity and I wouldn’t be showing myself off in the best light – giving up before it’s even begun

In the morning I wasn’t feeling great but I knew if I didn’t go id feel even worse. Guilty and like I’d let myself down.

When I woke, I had the worse bellyache so made an emergency doctors appointment and was seen straight away. They told me id had a miscarriage. Well that was a surprise – I didn’t even know I was pregnant! Given everything else that’s happened recently, my sex drive has been rock bottom so there weren’t many occasions to date it back to

Inevitably I had to cancel the trial after all and some other festival work i had lined up over the weekend. Instead of all of the exciting progress I had planned out in my head I’ve been back on the sofa in solitude, hugging a hot water bottle

I’m finding after a little flutter of hope and glimmer of progression and light at the end of the depression tunnel, that any set backs or low points now are even harder to stomach than ever before

“My wall” feels 100000000 foot tall and like im constantly banging my head against it. I know my big final hurdle on the road to recovery is being employed again. Being back with people, getting out of the house, not talking to my cats(as much), becoming social again, taking away the stress of money and giving me something to aim for and get up for. Yet whenever I have a chance of making this progress it’s whipped out from beneath me last minute. I feel trapped in my own demons

Today was the first day since coming off my medication a month ago that I’ve had suicidal thoughts. Taking the cowards way out and giving up. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been dealt enough bad luck the past few months and I’m not sure if I can handle any more

After a lot of tears shed on my poor boyfriend, I’m trying to remain positive. The trial I should have had have been great and are willing to have me back when I’m ready. And me and Tom are looking at moving out to the suburbs for a change of scenery, a breath of fresh air and for something to look forwards to. I’m trying to make baby steps and little plans of other things I can focus on but building my confidence up AGAIN is even harder than the first time

Right now I’m baking a giant Jaffa cake flavoured cake to cheer me up and I’m going to make a plan and a thought cloud (can’t say brain storm anymore) about how I can move on from here-how I can break down “the wall”. Fingers crossed I won’t come out with too many cuts and bruises

Keep smiling and stay safe
J