Father’s Day

I had a different and more detailed post plannned for this week but our internet has crapped out and won’t work on our laptops (no Netflix!), so a post from my phone will have to do!

I’d like to wish all the dads, daddies, papas, fathers, step-fathers and fathers-in-law a very happy Father’s Day; I hope you have a wonderful time and that you get spoiled by those you love.

And if you don’t have your dad with you – for whatever reason – just know that I’m thinking of you and I hope that today isn’t too tough.

There are two great men in my life; my dad and Gary. Both are kind and patient and funny and loving and I feel lucky to love and be loved by them.

IMG_1429IMG_1468

VJ x

 

I don’t know what to write about…

Sunday is blog day.

I’ve written a post every week for the last ten months and today is the first day that I really don’t know what to write about.

I’m trying not to beat myself up about it, ten months is a pretty good winning streak.

And let’s face it, writers block happens to everyone, right?

This has been a huge week for the UK and whilst we’re still currently stuck with a Tory government (with an extra helping of crazy in the form of the DUP), I was so pleased to see the massive Labour upswing and the huge turnout from both the general population and the under twenty-five vote. Even though we didn’t manage to oust the Tories, we still showed them that we do care, that we are watching and that whilst they might consider themselves to be secure, they really aren’t.

On a personal level, it’s been kind of a weird week, which might be why my frazzled brain is struggling to find something coherant to write about. Life is so busy  and full on right now that I seem to be on a constant treadmill to nowhere. Work, home, Gary, Charlie, family stuff, wedding planning, trying to squeeze my friends in, bootcamp (a surprisingly fun form of torture that I may write about if I can remember to take some photographs at some stage) and the occasional bit of reading don’t leave me with much space to breathe.

This week will be no different. Haircut and colour on Monday (the red needs to go, it just fades too fast! Plus I my fringe needs a trim, I’m starting to look like I belong in a 90’s boyband), bootcamp on Tuesday, dinner with Gary’s mum on Wednesday (we meet up once a month on our own, to have good chat and some food in peace!), bootcamp Thursday, food shopping Friday and then we’re into a Charlie weekend and it’s Fathers Day on Sunday.  Plus a 45 hour work week and a house to keep. Yeesh.

But hey, that’s adult life and I’m lucky to have such a full one.

I said at the start of this that I didn’t know what to write about and now I don’t know how to finish it off. 400 words of nothing is kind of hard to round off.

Life is busy. Life is full. Life is good.

But sometimes, my brain could do with a little break.

tumblr_orbouu0v0p1qzvp8xo1_1280

Told you that I need a fringe trim.

VJ x

 

 

After The Crash

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a breakdown when I was 22.

After the initial shock of the breakdown, I had a long course of therapy and everyone around me was really wonderful and supportive.

But what happens after that?

I was discharged from therapy when I was 24 and was considered ‘cured’. My depression had slunk back to its cage and my anxiety was at a level where I could function in an almost ‘normal’ (oh, how I hate that word!) way. In fact, after the inital shock of the breakdown, I’d been what was called a ‘high functioning depressive’, which meant that I could walk and talk and eat and wash myself and sometimes laugh and smile, even with the depression eating away at my insides.

My last day of therapy brought with it very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I felt ‘ready’ to work without the net of my therapist and it felt good to know that my doctors felt the same. But it was also terrifying to know that it was just me and my brain, on our own, from now on.

But, we managed.

My CBT training kicked in and my brain and I slowly learned how to live with each other and to cope with the world around us. My depression stayed firmly locked in the cage and I started to breathe a little bit easier each day.

It took a very long time – five years in total – but two years ago, I looked up and realised that my anxiety had receeded.

When I was first ill, and for a long time afterwards, my anxiety was this constant roar in my head.

What’s happening next? Is that safe? Are they looking at me? Do I look stupid? Do they hate me? Can I eat that? If I get on that bus, will I have a panic attack? Everyone hates me. I’m stupid. I’m ugly. I’ll never be loved. I’ll die alone. Why did I say that to that person? Have I locked all the windows? I can’t breathe. Everything is too loud. It’s too bright. I can’t stop shaking. Will I be late? Do they hate me?

Therapy helped me reduce that roar to a shout and when I looked up two years ago, I realised that it was barely a whisper any more.

I am of the opinion that depression and anxiety are not something that will ever go away completely.

There are some people in my life – and I’m sure in the wider world – that think I’m wrong. They think that depression and anxiety can be rooted out and removed, with enough therapy or medication. And that is a valid point of view too.

But for me and my mental health, I believe that they are so intertwined and rooted in me that they are now just a part of the fabric of what makes me.

I am lucky that I have been able to fight my depression back into its box and I count myself lucky every single day that it stays there. I am painfully aware that its claws could come out at any time but I also know that if that does happen, I have the tools and the support to fight back.

Anxiety is more difficult, because it is so embedded in my life, but I realised about six months ago that I hadn’t actually felt anxious in a long time. I’ve felt tired or nervous or stressed but those are ‘normal’ emotions that come with a busy life and the pressures that that brings.

Being mentally unwell also changes the way that people look at you, how they treat you and what they expect.

My friends and family were wonderful when I was ill but it has been harder for them to see the changes in me as I’ve recovered. That isn’t their fault, everything that has changed has obviously been in my head and it has naturally taken time for them to catch up.

I no longer consider myself to be depressed. I also don’t consider myself to be anxious. But I do consider myself to be someone who lives with both demons; they just aren’t in charge anymore.

And that’s the difference.

IMG_1189

VJ x

Life Lately.

Visiting friends. Charlie’s next ninja belt. Lots of motorbike rides. Our fifth anniversary. A night away in an airstream. Sending out save the date cards. Going to our first (and probably only!) wedding fair. Going back to our venue and falling even more in love with it. Making plans for the summer.  Introducing Charlie to the motorbike. Plenty of Cassidy cuddles. Getting onto the healthy eating and exercise wagon. Bootcamp. An impromptu day-date. Lush baths. Smashing my work target. A heatwave. A care package from a sweet friend. Family time. Quiet times, busy times, just life really…

IMG_0950IMG_1026IMG_1028IMG_1035IMG_1053IMG_1055IMG_1060IMG_0884IMG_1077IMG_1074IMG_1084IMG_1093IMG_1099IMG_1097IMG_1116IMG_0932IMG_1120IMG_1122IMG_1139IMG_1159IMG_1166IMG_1178IMG_1181

 

Life is good.

IMG_1162

VJ x

Use Your Voice

On the 8th of June, the UK will go back to the polls, for another General Election.

Like a lot of people, it seems to me that we have been constantly voting on one thing or another recently and I can see why people would be getting tired of it.

But one of the wonderful things about living in a democracy is that every citizen is given the right to help decide who runs our country and what we as a nation choose to stand for.

index

They say that you shouldn’t discuss money, religion or politics in public but given that I’ve already discussed religion (or lack thereof) and have future plans to discuss my financial situation and how I handle it, we might as well tackle politics as well!

I am a firm believer in educating yourself, not being swayed by the way other people around you are voting and for letting your beliefs guide your voting.

I am a leftie, I believe in a fair society for all, where those at the bottom are helped by those at the top. I believe that education should be free and that our NHS is the best thing to ever come out of our country (except maybe J.K.Rowling…). I believe that our society is enriched and improved by accepting people from other countries and backgrounds and I voted to remain in the EU.

husting_blog

But irregardless of how you vote and what you believe in, what I am most passionate about is that everyone uses their voice and votes.

It’s a responsiblity that I take very seriously and I genuinely don’t understand how someone that is eligible and able to vote would choose not to.

There are so many resources online these days, which help explain the different parties and the candidates and registering has never been easier.

Here, I’ll help you; just click this link.

As one of my favourite YouTubers, Hannah Witton, recently showed, it takes less than three minutes to register and you can choose to vote in person at your local polling station or via post.

So it genuinely couldn’t be any easier!

your-vote-is-your-voice-be-hear

You only have until tomorrow (22nd May) to register to vote in this election, so if you haven’t done it already please register now.

There is just no excuse not to and if you want your voice to be heard: VOTE!

IMG_0989

VJ x