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Mental Health Awareness…

This week was mental health awareness week, and something I feel very strongly in raising more awareness of… more specifically to those who have a sibling with DMD. To discuss mental health seems to be such a taboo subject, and I often believe that those who have never suffered with their mental health (luck you!) underestimate just how powerful the brain can be. How much it can end up controlling your life in ways you can’t really imagine until you experience it.

We all have stressful times in our lives, some small, some large and come catastrophic events. Sometimes these times are when our mental health suffers most, or for some people (like me) it can be months after the event when you really start to struggle. When you have a sibling with DMD you already have a high pressure living environment to start off with, and that’s just the circumstance that no-one can help. But then comes the stresses that your own life can bring. Work, friends, boyfriends, moving house… you name it. So I don’t think it’s a bit of wonder that most of us at some point or another hit a really dark patch. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for me. So I wanted to share a small part of my struggles and my journey with mental health.

My worst time with my mental health was definitely last year. Last year took me to places that I have never been mentally, and never wish to go back to. But before I delve into that… when I was younger even though I was aware of Joe’s condition I don’t think it really resonated with me realistically to more recent years. There were (and still are) plenty of times where it was awful to watch him struggle and be in pain, and that does make me very sad, angry and upset. I want to fix it, and I can’t. I really feel that I have definitely struggled so much more with all of this more recently than I ever did as a child or a teenager. Maybe it’s just because you understand more, who knows?

I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression around 4 years ago. I had a period of high stress mostly at work I think (seems like forever ago so it’s hard to remember), but the defining point was when I was on a training course and I had my first panic attack. I had never experienced anything like it, and I really thought I was dieing (sounds dramatic I know!). I couldn’t breath, my heart was racing, my head was spinning and I just couldn’t get a grip on it. One of my other colleagues called an ambulance, and the two men that came were lovely and really reassuring. When I was told I’d had a panic attack, I was instantly mortified. All of that fuss and I was having a panic attack!? Going back into that room I just wanted to curl into a ball and die, I was so embarrassed. Everyone was really nice about it, but I didn’t want to even tell my mum at first because I felt so stupid. But the reality is, that a panic attack is really scary when it’s happening. If you’re lucky enough to have never have had one, then don’t judge someone else until you experience it.

From then I was on and off with my anxiety running high, constantly worried that people didn’t like me, I was upsetting someone, I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t have enough friends, I wasn’t successful enough, I was too fat, I over analysed every single conversation I had…. the list goes on. Over the last 2 years I have been through some good patches and bad patches, but I had found things that helped me and I slowly started to feel better. As hard as it is for me to admit, as I have always saw this as a failing, I have had 2 rounds of counselling and 3 rounds of cognitive behavioural therapy. Up until this moment, the only people that knew about this was my mum and dad, my husband, my siblings and two friends.

Last year there were a series of events (which I won’t go into detail about) that lead to me having a breakdown. Some of the states that my hubby would come home and find me in where awful. There were a couple of occasions where he literally picked me up off the kitchen floor hysterical. I couldn’t speak or control my emotions at all, and he would just hold me until I fell asleep or calmed down enough to speak. I felt like I was in the big black hole that I just couldn’t get out of. During that time, my hubby was, as still is my absolute rock. He was patient, understanding, cuddled me when I needed it, calmed me down when I needed it… all the small things that make such a big difference. It definitely would have got a whole lot worse if it wasn’t for his support, love and understanding, and for that I know that I am an incredibly lucky woman.

The reason that I am putting this out there now, is because after a lot of hard work I am finally coming out of the other side of the dark pit that I have been in. I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed about what I have been through, and I know that there will be some very difficult times to come that will test my mental strength again. Admitting that you struggle with your mental health isn’t a weakness, in fact it’s a strength and it’s taken me a long time to realise that. However, I write this post and I still panic about what people will think and how it will be received. I do think some of that anxiety comes with living in a small town where people gossip. It’s so easy to feel like everyone is talking about you or knows everything about you. My heart races and I delete and restart about a hundred times per blog post, but I want to help others, and it also does some good to take myself out of my comfort zone as scary as it feels!

When you have a sibling with DMD it is more common than you realise to struggle with your mental health at some point or another. It’s a lot to get your head around, and as a child your dealing with adult issues that a child shouldn’t have to be aware of. Then as an adult, that reality feels bigger and scarier than ever sometimes. Some of the things that have helped me, are keeping a regular diary. I currently use Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Journal’ which I swear by and has really helped me (a christmas present off my hubby!). I go to the gym regularly which really helps keep my anxiety at bay, and I am very organised as this calms me down. Sometimes it takes a dark time for us to really assess our life, who is in it and the positive and negative impacts these things have. The difficult part is that sometimes we have to distance ourself from people who aren’t good for our mental health, and change our bad habits such as over eating or drinking too much. It’s really difficult at first, but when you start to feel and see that difference it’s so worth it.

I really hope that by overcoming my fear of talking about my mental health, that someone somewhere feels less alone and can perhaps relate to aspects of my own experiences.

 

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M.E and me…

I haven’t written anything in a little while, and with ME/ CFS awareness week being last  week (I know… I’m a little late), this seemed like the perfect opportunity. So, grab a cuppa or a glass of wine and put your specs on… it’s going to be a long one!

For those of you who don’t know me, I suffered quite badly with ME/CFS through my teens and early adulthood. I guess I still do have the odd issue these days, but nothing compared to when I was younger. When I was 15, I went from being a normal active teenager going to the gym, meeting up with friends and taekwondo lessons twice a week to being bed bound and eventually becoming severely ill for a number of years.

It started for me with joint pain, some days I could hardly walk and it all escalated from there. Over a short period of time I then started having issues with my sight, I couldn’t eat or drink, I was severely exhausted all the time, my whole body hurt in ways I can’t describe, my joint pain was severe, I lost a lot of weight and at times I had to use a wheelchair. For someone who has never suffered from an illness like this, it is really difficult to make others understand that you’re not ‘just tired all the time’, and while I looked ‘fine’ some days I really wasn’t.

I remember the last day I spent in school… one of the boys in my maths class hit me across the knees with a metal ruler because he said I was ‘faking it’. At the time I could hardly walk as it was, and needless to say that this didn’t help! A few years later he apologised, but at the time this was just the final nail in the coffin. I never went back to school after that, and I was tutored from home from then on.

During that time I lost nearly all of my friends, which at any point in your life is difficult, but as a teenager your friends are such a large part of your life so I found this incredibly difficult. However, the remaining few I will always be eternally grateful to (you know who you are!). Those people in particular stuck by me at my worst times. They visited me at home, and would bring me things to help me feel better. The best part was that before I got ill I had a small group of friends and the ones that stuck by me weren’t the ones who I expected would. One of life’s many lessons I suppose.

My whole world felt like it had caved in, and the worst part was that in the beginning people just thought I was attention seeking, making it up. It took months to get a diagnosis, and then when I did I was just left. No guidance, no advice on how to manage my symptoms… nothing. For a few years I really thought that this was going to be my life forever.

It’s really important to remember that my mum had to care for me as well as my brother during this time. There was a lot I couldn’t do for myself, so my poor mum was run ragged between us to say the least. When I first fell ill to say me and mum didn’t see eye to eye would be an understatement. We made a pact a few months in when we realised that this was going to be a more permanent situation, that we would always be honest with each other, and learn to ignore the things about each other that pissed us off about ourselves. From then, my mum has been my very best friend and we are closer than ever these days. It’s actually funny to think back to how much we never used to get on because it’s such the polar opposite now!

But… with a lot of determination and support from my family (but mainly my mum) I slowly started to do very small things and built myself up very slowly over time. This was probably one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do. It was really tough both physically and mentally, and I would often get knocked back to the beginning from trying to do too much and end up laid in bed for days/ weeks. This was an ongoing cycle for quite some time, but each time I would manage to do something more no matter how small it was at the time.

I passed my GCSE’s with only 2 hours home tuition a week (as this was all I could physically manage), I did a select few A-levels (2 to be exact) and applied to go to university. Now, did I think I would actually manage to go to uni… no I didn’t. But I applied and I looked anyway… and then I DID end up going, much to mine and everyone else amazement. And not only did I go, but I moved 300 miles away from home… talk about a baptism of fire!! Crazy thing to do when I look back on it now. How I’m still not quite sure, but I did it. It was hard and I ended up back home really ill a couple of times but this was really the turning point in it all for me. I still have no idea what it was, or why but I got through my degree and still came out the other side alive and kicking.  I think some of this was partly because I had to manage. I didn’t have a choice or anyone to look after me, I was on my own in a city I didn’t know with people I didn’t know.

I can honestly say that this was one of the most difficult times in my life, but I am so proud of myself for how much I have managed to achieve despite having lived with ME for 12 years now. This isn’t something I would usually say, but it does some good to recognise what you’ve been through and how far you have come. I have definitely come out the other side stronger and more determined than ever.

To this day still no-one knows what causes ME/CFS which is a really worry considering how much this affects your life, and can to such a severity. ME/CFS is slowly becoming more widely known, but it is still very much an ‘invisible illness’ and a one with a lot of stigma attached to it. I saw on the news last week that they are working towards being able to test blood for ME which would be such a huge breakthrough for it to be more easily detected, and possibly eventually curable.

I wanted to share my experience of ME (well in a brief way as I could go on forever!) so that hopefully others can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel no matter how much of a dark place it is right now. Celebrate your small successes such as brushing your hair yourself, or managing to have bath on your own, as much as your big one’s like walking to the bottom of the street and back. These may be small to other people, but they’re important to you and that is all that matters.

Remember it takes someone with incredible strength to battle through what you are right now so be proud of your successes no matter how big or small 🙂

 

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Just a big kid at heart…

What I’ve always loved most about children is their brutal honesty (which is usually to the detriment of their parents!) and their innocent and naive view of the world. I think it is so sweet when kids come out with things like… babies come out of belly buttons, and the moon is made of sweeties. Wouldn’t it be amazing to just live in that world!?

For some children that innocence doesn’t last as long as it should, especially when you have a sibling with a condition such as DMD. I had to grow up fast, and my innocent view of the world was tainted a little earlier than most. This doesn’t mean to say I had an awful childhood because that is absolutely not it. But I think people, and adults mostly, forget that we have had to deal with things as children that most adults would struggle to cope with.

I remember the day that we were told us about the full extent of Joe’s condition like it was yesterday. We found out much younger than we needed to due to a nasty comment from a child that was aimed to hurt, but that comment was true. That was one of the most difficult conversations that we’ve ever had to have as a family. I was about 14 maybe older/ younger I can’t remember, and my other siblings were somewhere around 12, and 9 years old. It was in that moment that I realised that I needed to be grown up and strong for everyone else. Not because anyone told me I had to be, but because that ‘big sister syndrome’ kicked in (see my post titled ‘Big Sister Syndrome’). I remember being completely numb, I just didn’t know how to react and I almost couldn’t react how I knew I should. I just shutdown and carried on like it never happened for a lot of years, and it’s only of recent years that I have really had to deal with it head on.

The hardest part about being older beyond your years is that when your a teenager, it feels much harder to make friends and relate to teenage issues. In a lot of ways your already an adult because you have to deal with adult things at home. I was a right moody cow as a teenager, and I probably was too serious and uptight, it took me a long time to loosen up a bit and try to be a bit more my age really. It sounds backwards to have to try and not act older than you are, but unfortunately for a lot of us that is the reality. And it’s tough, because kids can also be cruel.

It’s only as an adult that I have started to realise that some of the things we dealt with as kids isn’t everyone’s ‘normal’, but it was ours. How many times Joe choked on food that was fished out of his throat while he turned blue, or had a broken leg or a split head after falling over. In a lot of ways you live in high anxiety, and fear of that sickening scream when he’d fallen over. So when I reflect as an adult, it’s not a bit of wonder that I was a bit moody, uptight and serious when I was younger. But now… well anyone who knows me well knows that I am far from any of those things. Yes, I am serious when I need to be, but I love a good banter. It keeps things light, and I am definitely just a big kid at heart.

We all deal with whatever life throws at us whatever that is, because we don’t really have a lot of choice do we? We can sit in a dark room and fall to pieces, but life is still carrying on and time is being wasted. If I could change the circumstance I would give anything, but I can’t. What life has thrown at me has shaped me into who I am as an adult, and made me a much stronger person for it. I have my moments like everyone, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t cope, in fact if I am a bit off or upset etc then that IS me coping. And on the grand scale of things I think we all do pretty well!

The whole reason I started this blog is because I wanted to help other people in the same situation. So if your a sibling of someone with DMD and reading this blog then see some of my tips below:

  • Sometimes someone’s ‘end of the world’ could be a broken nail because that it the worst thing they will ever have to deal with. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t resent them for it, but try to be glad that it’s the worst thing they will deal with. This is among the best advice my mum has given me (she’s a wise old bird my mum!)
  • Allow yourself the time to have fun. Yes what we deal with is serious, it’s hard and it’s not fair. But it’s so much easier to deal with when you have a lot of fun and laughter in your life. Pick at least one thing every week that makes you laugh!
  • Take up the gym, or boxing etc. Your angry, pissed off at the world and it’s just not fair. But aim and control your anger in the right place and in the right way. This has always helped me over the years.
  • Write it down. Keep a journal, blog or whatever you prefer. Sometimes there’s things we don’t want to speak to anyone about in fear of upsetting them or getting upset ourselves. But sometimes writing it down feels like you have told someone, which can feel like a weight has been lifted.

 

 

 

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Not all superhero’s wear capes…

So, in light of this week having been independent women’s day and mothers day in the same week, it only seems fitting to write about some of the most amazing women in my life. Or rather one woman in particular… my amazing, incredible, beautiful, inspirational mum.

Most people think their mum is the best mum, and quite rightly so. I think all mum’s are amazing women, but I think my mum is nothing other than the most incredible woman I have ever known, and it’s only right that you all know and understand just how amazing she really is, and why.

When I was younger, mainly a teenager, to say my mum and I didn’t see eye to eye would definitely be an understatement. It’s actually funny to think about now because we are so close these days, but by god there was a time when we couldn’t be left in the same room together. When I think about it now I think we were (and still are) far too alike, but we learnt how to get around the things that annoy us about ourselves in each other. It hasn’t always been easy, but now at 27 my mum is without a doubt my very best friend, and the most amazing and kind woman I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life.

When I was 15 I went from being a normal very sporty and active teenager, to not being able to walk, eat, or dress myself. It took 18 months before I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as M.E), and it was one of many very difficult times in my life. Despite mum already having enough on her plate still ran me around to endless hospital appointments, helped me do the things I couldn’t do for myself, and fought to get me the answers I wasn’t getting from the medical professionals at the time. I missed my GCSE years at school so I also lost friends while everyone else’s lives moved on. It was around then that we realised that we had to find a way to see eye to eye. We did, and we have never looked back. I managed to go sixth form part time, and amazingly went to university which I was told that I would never be able to do. Mum through all of that probably should have several GCSE’s and A-level’s in a variety of subjects from helping me revise. She even supported my deciding the night before my art GCSE to completely change my project and sat with me until the early hours of the morning until it was done, despite being one of the least artistic people I have ever met!!

Through all of that, I am now a pretty healthy 27 year old, and I owe that completely to my mum. Without her, I honestly don’t know where I’d be. She is the most stubborn, strongest, most passionate and driven woman I have ever known. Her determination for me to succeed made me believe that I could do it, and made me want to do it, if not for myself, for her. Because of that, I defied all the odds and did the things that I was told I wouldn’t do, and achieved the things I was told I would never achieve and so much more!

I have watched my mum through some of the most difficult times come out stronger and more determined every time. Even the times when would be more than entitled to lie down and say “I’m done”, she has a moment, pulls herself together and carries on. It amazes me every time, but I learn so much from her every single day. I am honoured that I have been raised by such an incredibly strong woman, and she has taught me too how to be a strong, independent woman (with added finger wagging and sass of course!!) As well as that, mum has taught me how to be independent practically (spreadsheets for bills are actually really helpful!), to be kind to everyone, to always be honest (although apparently sometimes I’m too honest!), to have and keep a fire and determination for life, that you don’t need an occasion for a glass (or bottle) of wine, and also how to hang curtains with the threads at the top (I just by the ones with loops already in now, what a faff!)

Last year I got married, the most amazing day of my life, and I had the honour of wearing my mum’s garter on my wedding day which meant the world to me. The picture above is just one of the precious moments we had together while I was getting ready to marry the love of my life. Mum was there through all of the planning, stress, tears and ran around like a lunatic all day bless her.

It is important to remember that my mum is also my brother’s full time carer and Joe is the youngest of 4, yet she has done, and continues to do so much for us all and others. Mum (and dad) have always been there for each and every one of us for anything that we have ever needed at all the different stages in our lives. I know that no matter what, when the shit has really hit the fan, I can go to my mum and dad for advice or help without any judgement and some sound honest advice. Over the last few years I have really come to realise just how special this is, and how invaluable they are in my life.

If I could be even half of the woman my mum is, I think I’d be pretty damn amazing!! (Joking!). But seriously, I hope that I can even be a quarter of the woman that she is, and that if I am one day lucky enough to have my own children that I can raise them with the strength, support and love that I have been raised with.

Happy mothers day to all you mummy’s and mummy’s to be out there! ❤

 

 

 

 

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Here and Now…

 

This topic is very much an ‘each to their own’, but a one I feel very strongly about. As a sibling of someone who lives with Duchenne, it can be very overwhelming to understand about the complexities of the condition in ‘layman’s terms’. Quite often this has to be done with a degree of science behind it, but if you’re anything like me, it goes in one ear and out the other!

For young siblings, even pronouncing ‘Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy’ is a gobful to say the least. I remember being in primary school, maybe about 8/9 years old, and another classmate asking me why my brother ‘walked funny’. I had tried so many times to pronounce it with the help of mum and dad, without little success. But this day, I managed it and I was so proud of myself! I couldn’t explain what that meant, but at the time, that was the only explanation I had as to why my brother ‘walked funny’. Or a one that I could understand anyway.

As I got older, I had the science explained to me a few times (by both mum and dad and professionals) and it took me quite a while to understand it. Being completely honest, there are still parts I don’t understand. But I don’t need to. I know what I need to, but I don’t indulge in anything more complicated than that. I don’t need to because no amount of understanding every little detail of the science changes anything. I completely understand that for some people, this perhaps makes it easier for them to deal with, we’re all different after all, but I feel that some become so absorbed in the science that they’re missing out on the here and now! As a family we have chosen not to embroil ourselves with anymore of the ‘science’ than we really need to. We know what we need to, we ask questions if we have them, but beyond that. Does it really matter? It doesn’t change anything, it just further confuses an already overloaded brain!

I have always played a part in my brothers care for as long as I can remember, completely through my own choice. It’s not for everyone, but something I have always enjoyed doing. Yes at times it’s difficult, we have normal brother and sister rows like anyone else, but I’m older so I’m always right… right Joe!? I have made so many amazing memories with him over the years. We have been all over the country and had lots of funny moments, rows over the sat-nav, and questionable ‘accessible’ hotel rooms to say the least. But we have always had a laugh along the way, and those are the things that matter at the end of the day. Those are also the memories as a sibling that no-one can ever replace. I will always be dragging the poor bugger somewhere else down the country being the bossy big sister that I am!

My point is no-one knows what the future holds, life is short and it is so so important to make those memories and take lots of pictures and that goes for everyone! Science will always be waiting for us, someone will always be thinking they’ve found a cure, but the reality is that life still has to continue. Yes, of course I would love for a cure to be found like everyone else, but living on hope isn’t good for anyone. We can hope for a miracle, but sometimes you just have to live for what you have and where you’re at NOW!

 

 

 

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The wall of Positivity…

My wall of positivity is something I started about a year ago. I have always loved little quotes and plaques with things written on, and think they’re so personal and nice to have around the house. After a very low point last year I became very aware that my self esteem was low, and I had a very low opinion of myself. I had told myself over and over and over that I wasn’t good enough, I was too this, or too that and it had got to the point that I hated myself and what I saw in the mirror with such passion it was scary. When the penny dropped that I was not this horrendous person that I had convinced myself I was, and that I had allowed myself to build up such a negative image of myself. It dawned on me that there was no miracle ‘cure’, and no-one was going to make me feel better apart from ME!

When I was younger and was revising for exams, I used to stick post it notes all over the house with notes on, (it drove mum mad!!) because I found that I would take the information in without really realising it. I then took that theory that I knew worked for me and applied it to this. Every time I go somewhere and I see a quote or plaque I like, I pick it up and add it to my wall of positivity. I use this mirror every morning when I get dressed and enjoy looking at these as I get ready, and trying to find a more positive mindset for the day. I find that this applies in the same way also, that I see the plaques and take in the quotes every morning I am getting ready without it always being a conscious choice.

On a really bad day, my favourite one is “there is always, always something to be thankful for”. I will literally stop and think of one thing that I am thankful for that day, and that can help me believe that there is a small amount of light at the end of the tunnel on an especially bad day. And it’s true, no matter how bad things are at that time there is always something to be thankful for. Even if it’s a bottle of wine!! My other is “be your own kind of beautiful”. My mum bought me that one a few years ago, and the fact that I’ve always liked to be a bit different makes it very appropriate to me. Each and every quote is personal to me for a different reason. Some people will get, and others people won’t, but they don’t have to. It’s about what works and means something to you.

I feel more and more now, people spend so much time tearing each other down and judging each other instead of spreading a little kindness or offering some help it’s scary. So I really wanted to share this with the hope that it maybe works for someone else too 🙂

 

 

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Making positive changes…

So I’ve just got out of the bath and finished reading chapter 3 of Katie Piper’s book’ ‘Confidence, the secret’, which has completely inspired me to write this post. Yes, I was actually taking some time for myself and I didn’t feel guilty once!! (Those of you who know me well, will know how much of a big deal this is for me!) When I reflect not just on last year, but the last few years I have really let a lot of negative thoughts rule my life in so many ways. Starting 2018 I was, and still am, very determined to distance myself from things and people that affect me in a negative way, and change the conversation in my head with myself.

Over a lot of years I have taken comments people have made, some to hurt, and others not at all, and let them rule the conversation in my head with myself. As a result of which this has really affected my mental health (which I touched on a little in my previous post). I have over the last few years filled my head with thoughts such as; you’re not good enough, you’re not thin enough, you’re fat, people don’t like you, I’m not successful, I don’t have a big career, I’m a failure etc, and I’ve believed every word I’ve told myself. I suffer from anxiety (like a lot of people) and so my brain will concoct the worst case scenario in about 30 seconds, and I often (wrongly) let this affect me for days. When I say ‘let this affect me’, it isn’t a conscious choice, it’s a conversation in my head that I found difficult to change and if on that day my anxiety wants to play havoc, it will. And there is often very little I can do about it other than try my best to think of something else (much easier said than done!!). Some days I can just wake up feeling that way without seemingly much rhyme or reason.

Some of the few things I have been described as are; sensible, boring, negative, judgemental and stuck up. I really take comments like this very personally (probably too personally), especially when I don’t believe that I am these things. But then I think, is this really how people see me? Then I start another spiral of ‘I’m not good enough’ and so the cycle continues. However, I can honestly say that I have (after a lot of hard work) started to change that. My conversation now is that; I am good enough, I am strong, I am kind, I am caring and I am successful in my own way. I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am who I am. So there’s two choices, like me for who I am, or don’t. I won’t say that it won’t bother me, because it will, but maybe it will just bother me less (well for today anyway).

My Negative Internal Comments (NICS), which I have taken from Katie Piper’s book had become pretty ugly. I don’t really know when I started to think so little of myself, but it actually made me sad, but in a “I’m putting a rocket up my arse and changing this” kind of sad. I had a conversation with a close friend recently about anxiety and how neither of us remember being so consumed by what other people think , or how a situation might look to someone else when we were younger. In fact both of us were fiery, no nonsense, outgoing, opinionated strong independent women (all by the age of 17 might I add!) I believe social media has a lot to do with it, and the constant comparing of your life to everyone else, and worrying about what everyone else might think. I have caught myself so many times saying “I wish I was like that” or “Look how amazing their life is”. The truth is, most people will only ever post the good things. I have never been someone who is going to paint a pretty picture if it isn’t one, this doesn’t mean that I’m negative, I am just being honest. Maybe too honest, but hey, mum always said honesty is the best policy!?

Some of my anxiety (not all of it) and negative thoughts I believe have often come from the frustration from not being able to control or fix my brothers condition. Take any situation you can think of where you can’t fix it, there is no resolve, you just have to wait and let it play out. First comes the frustration, then shear anger, then ‘this isn’t fair’, then tears, and then another last ditch attempt at some way to fix it, and so it continues. But it can’t be fixed, and it isn’t fair, but there is bugger all you can do about it. So, I can understand more now that when this cycle is a regular occurrence in someone’s life, why I’ve reached the point I did last year. I am now allowing myself the space to say you know what, “I’m not ok, this is hard, it’s unfair, I want to make it better and I can’t, and today I hate the world!”. But letting myself have that moment then pick myself back up, and kick some ass by telling myself that I CAN do this, I AM good enough and It’s OK to have a bad day!

Up until today every blog post that I have written I have over analysed, panicked about if people won’t like it and re-read about 100 times before posting it. Today I only re-read it 70 times, and I only panicked about 5 times (small steps!).