Anxiety | Turning A Bad Night Into A Better Day

For a long time now, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a bad anxiety episode. It’s so much better than it used to be so I usually have my anxiety under control. I usually know when it’s coming, how to control it when it’s here and when the storm is over. At the moment, I just feel a bit off balance. Always one extreme to the other. All things I don’t really mean, all heightened emotions. I mean yeah, my body is transitioning right now (don’t worry I’m not becoming a vampire - I wish). I’m trying to readjust to new medication, coming off the pill and fight all the bad feelings. I have a lot of uni work and a new job to work out. My thyroid problem is bad and it’s draining. It’s fair to say that my mental health is a little messy because my life is a little messy.

Sometimes it starts with one thing. A bad feeling, one thought that drives me mad and pushes me over the edge. Maybe I’ve had a long day and I’m annoyed with myself for forgetting something, maybe I’ve had one of those completely pointless fights with Will that I can’t seem to shake or maybe I’m just really tired and feel a bit run down. Sometimes I’ve had a glass of wine and it goes straight to my head in the wrong way. Sometimes something just doesn’t fit me properly and that’s obviously my fault - right?

Tonight is bad. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I didn’t have an appetite at dinner or because I ate way too stuffed crust pizza last night? Maybe because I drove myself insane at the thought of Will’s football initiations getting out of hand - like Will I still love him if he loses an eyebrow? Is he going to get alcohol poisoning? Will he return with his dignity intact? Maybe because I feel so much pressure getting his birthday present and everyone else’s Christmas presents perfect with limited funds and I completely drained myself shopping today but still forgot a million and one things I needed. Maybe I’m scared about driving on the motorway tomorrow. Maybe it’s just because things are tougher than they’ve been in a while.

And I know that I don’t always help myself. I find it hard to let things go. The post fight feeling makes me feel dreadful even though we’ve metaphorically kissed and made up every time. I am not forgiving towards myself for little mistakes. I listen to sad songs because I think they will help me. I’ve got better at that. I’m better at turning things around before I go to sleep on an anxious mind than I used to be.

So yeah, some nights are bad. I’ve accepted that, I’ve always known that. And if the night doesn’t end calmly or better than it started, some days I wake up completely consumed by my anxiety. I struggle to leave bed. I struggle to be productive. I struggle to function. Some days I wake up and I’m completely unsure of who I am. I feel like a stranger in my own body because - why am I thinking like this? Why am I acting like this? Is it just hormones or sleep deprivation or stress or have I officially lost it? Didn’t I already beat you once?

Some days the anxiety just has control. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an episode like this. I’ve spent so long trying to get rid of the version of myself that anxiety turns me into. I don’t know her the way I used to. It’s humiliating that I am so out of control right now. I feel ashamed to have let it happen. Because when I’m good, I’m so good. I feel amazing, I feel powerful, productive and strong as hell. So why would I let myself be the opposite? Why would I let it win that easily?

I'm embarrassed because even though I've been struggling and trying my best to fight everything for the past few months, tonight has really got control of me. It's the worst it's been in a while.

I guess that half if it is uncontrollable. I never know when the hormones in my blood stream will set me off or when my alcohol intolerance is that of a 12 year-old girl on her first WKD or when being alone or in a crowded room will completely overwhelm me. But I should be able to fight it. I should know myself well enough to drive myself to uni stably or to know what my body needs. 

The other half is 100% my fault. For caring about irrelevant things too much. For refusing to let go of the past and for worrying about the future. For constantly panicking that people are staring at the bald patch on the back of my head. For worrying what people think about me. There is an overwhelming irritating fear of not being in control. For convincing myself that I’m a psycho girlfriend. For apologising too much. For unintentionally making myself weak.

I cried tonight. Over what? No idea. Crying makes me feel embarrassed. I cry all the time, it’s my first defence for every emotion - sadness, anger, happiness. But I let it out and felt better for it for once. 

Whenever I have an episode in bed and on the occasions that Will is there, he helps me breathe through it. He forces me to take breaths when I forget to because I’m choking my way through a sob. It makes me laugh because he’s shouting at me to breathe and getting more and more frustrated because I can’t which I guess takes my mind off it anyway. So when I’m alone I try. And it’s not the same. I hyperventilate because I can’t breathe, I cough and wheeze until I fall asleep. It’s unhealthy. 

Tonight, for the first time ever, I calmed myself down. I didn’t have an anxiety attack. I made it through. If that’s not a sign that I’m getting better then I don’t know what is.

So as soon as I publish this, I’m going to try and properly fix it to help myself tomorrow. I’m determined to make it better. Just because I’m having a bad night doesn’t mean it has to be a bad day tomorrow. I’ll tidy up. I’ll shower. Listen to reputation for the 100th time. Wash my hair. Watch something not too heavy. Read my seminar notes for tomorrow. Wait for Will to call and tell me he’s alive and has both brows intact. Apologise for being a crazy person. Apologise for apologising. Sleep knowing that I’m doing everything I can to look after myself. To get back to a good place again.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be me again. Albeit a mortified by my out of control mental state and hormones version of me. And if I’m not feeling too fab that’s okay too. There are always reasons and triggers that I’ll revert back to a younger, more insecure, person, someone who doesn’t want to get better. I’m trying to learn to rise above her, to tell her I want to get better, to be better than her. I am better than her.

No matter how shiny and cringe-worthily happy life becomes, there will always be moments of weakness. There will always be anxiety to remind me how to feel bad. And that’s okay because I’m prepared. I just have to do my best to remind myself of how great I am at my best and beat anxiety again. 

Taking The First Step

Hello! Yeah, remember me? I still exist. Just about.

I haven’t been posting or really doing much other than get through each day recently because things have been hard. I haven’t been very well. Take that as you will because any interpretation of it is probably sadly true. With the doctors appointments, my body rejecting food and my mind letting everything overwhelm me - I pretty much look and feel like Voldemort’s soul under the bench in the last Harry Potter film at the moment.

Over the past couple of months, I’d given up. Subconsciously, I’d stopped doing all the things that kept me motivated, happy and calm. I wasn’t the girl I wanted to be. I wasn’t strong or even slightly likeable. I felt sorry for my family, my friends and my boyfriend most of all. Everything was lows and confusion and I wasn’t sure on anything.

I had a spontaneous date with my boyfriend on thursday night. I put on makeup, made an effort, tried to hide how bad my hair was. My body hated me eating so much and so many varied things. The pain after eating was awful but I wanted to feel normal for one night. I spent the night with my boyfriend and cried pretty much the whole time about how awful things were. I told him things I’d held back because I felt weak. I knew it had to stop.

When I was driving home from a long day at uni and on my way to work, I told myself that even though I didn’t know how or why - things would get better for me. I had to get better for everyone else too.

Then there was this gorgeous sunset and while I watched it go down I listened to Taylor Swift’s new album. I thought about the people and things that mattered to me. I thought about how lucky I was to be loved and cared for so deeply. When I finally got home I realised someone had left me a voicemail but hadn’t called. I checked and it was a call from a job I’d had an interview for. 

Now, I’m not going to talk specifically about it but my current job makes me miserable. Like crying in the toilets or in the office at the end of my shift miserable. Like panic attacks in front of customers and not being able to do anything about it miserable. Like if I don’t leave in the next few months I’m going to explode miserable. Don't get me wrong, some people are kind and nice and there are things I'll miss. But my health will always come first.

So, a couple of months ago I’d started applying for jobs. More part-time retail obviously because I need flexibility as a student but still, something new. Something else to turn my mind to. Somewhere where I don’t have a reputation or am always reminded of exes and nobody knows who I am.

The interview went so well. They loved me, which just reminds me how great I really am in a professional sense. I work so hard as long as I feel supported. It reminded me that things aren’t always my fault when it goes wrong at work. They told me I’d been given the job.

And then I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks. 

I think I’d just accepted I was staying at the place that made my mental health unbearable. I retracted into accepting that I would be unhappy. But then there was this answer phone message. I knew it was a sign.

I handed in my resignation and it terrified me. I knew everyone, had responsibility and had made the place a safe, familiar place for the past 3 and a half years. But it wasn’t safe anymore. It made me ill. 

I’m going somewhere completely unfamiliar. Somewhere I have to learn new things, meet people and find my way around. I know nothing, that’s enough to put me out of my comfort zone. It’s a little further away from home which means it will be more expensive to travel but I can stay with my grandparents if I need to. There are a few more hours so there will be even less time to spend with my boyf, but we’ll deal because we always do. But, the pay is better. It will be so good for me in the long run. I trust this company. I trust myself to take this huge, brave step. (Like Neil Armstrong on the moon giant leap for mankind type of step).

I hope after this things will fall back into place, slowly. I don't want to overwhelm myself but I know I will eventually build myself back up to the strong and powerful woman I know I can be. And eventually, there'll be regular blog posts, imagine that!

I have an induction on Monday. It begins on Monday. The first step to getting better starts on Monday. Bring on Monday.

So I'm 20 Now


So, I made it... I've been alive for two decades. Check that off the list.
I know. The teenage years are over and I couldn't be happier.
Nostalgic. Slightly terrified. But happy.

My birthday celebrations were lovely. Everything I wanted.

I had a waga with my uni girls and they both bought me the loveliest gifts - some lush goodies and the Zoeva matte palette. I went to see my boyfriend for a couple of days and we had a nice dinner together in Winchester. My best friend bought me a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. I had drinks with friends and went out after. And it was a good night.

But I've come to the conclusion I'm just kinda over clubbing more than ever. Pub? Spoons? Getting drunk? Hell yes! But getting sweaty, trying to dance to increasingly crap music and trying to avoid horrible girls and grabby guys? Nah. It's not for me anymore. 

Wow... I'm the most boring adult ever already.

For my actual birthday, my boyfriend came to see me at home and walked off the train platform with a bouquet of roses and lilies. We waited up until midnight (because I may be a proper adult now, but I still get excited about my birthday) and Will gave me the most beautiful and sentimental Tiffany necklace... in bed. His family got me some heart shaped silver earrings to match.

We had a relaxing day, I opened some gifts from my family which were lovely. I got quite a bit of cash which was very much needed and well received. My parents were so good to me and brought me gifts I actually wanted. I got a new hard drive (FINALLY!!!) and a new tv box (because my sound is broken and I would have struggled to watch the Bakeoff finale otherwise), as well as a few other little bits like pyjamas and a hot water bottle like I'd asked for. My brother got me an amazing blogging kit, full of organisational goodies and stationery.

I got ready for dinner and even wore some lashes for the first time in forever! I wore this beautiful red dress from Boohoo which I bought on ASOS and have wanted to buy for-eve-r. Then I went for dinner with my family, my boyfriend and my best friend. Ooh, and I had amaretto flavoured creme brûlée instead of birthday cake for desert. We came home and played silly games on the Wii for a laugh.

All in all, it was as perfect as I could have imagined. I feel so lucky to have such amazing people in my life and to have been so well looked after. I am so thankful for the love everyone showed me on and for my birthday. Thank you to everyone who made my 20th birthday so special.

I really can't believe I'm 20 now ha. Or that I made it this long without going completely insane. If I'm really honest I've struggled recently. With blogging and uni at the same time and missing Will and work and life in general. It's been tough. My health has been very unstable and I don't get time to be alone and to sort myself out anymore. My posts have been scatty and unorganised and I apologise for that but I'm getting there.

I just need to be a little more gentle with myself. That's my resolution for my next year of ups and downs. It's okay to not have it together every single second of the day.

Here's to a huge birthday party for my 21st next year. Here's to many more birthdays full of love and realisation and happiness. (And Tiffany jewellery?)

Faves & Hates | October 2017


FAVES

KISS Lashes*
I love KISS lashes, especially their natural ones and the recently sent me a few pairs to try out. I don't wear lashes as much as I used to and some were a bit heavy for me but the natural ones are subtle and super affordable!

The Wetherspoons App
Because who wants to order at the bar when you can get shots and pitchers straight to your table?

The Zoeva Matte Palette
I'm in love with zoeva palettes anyway for blend-ability and affordability, but their matte palette has blown me away. Thank you for the birthday gift Mill!

My Best Friend
Because she's just the greatest thing that's ever happened to me.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation
I can't believe how far I've come in terms of makeup. I always wore way too much but considering my skin was awful, I don't blame teenage me. The Ordinary foundation is everything I hoped it'd be and it looks like skin. I love it.

HATES

Leaving My Memory Stick at Uni
So I'm not going to entirely blame the lack of posts on not having my memory stick (again) but I kind of am actually. I had so many amazing birthday themed posts planned and it just hasn't happened because I needed my memory stick.

Not Being Able To Open My Birthday Presents
I'm so sick of waiting!!!

Blood Tests
Needles? Blood? Dizziness. No thanks.

An asterisk (*) indicates the product has been sent via a brand or marketing team.

My Top Five Halloween Lipsticks & The Best Fake Blood



So Halloween. I kinda love it. But I also kind of hate it for the simple reason that my birthday is the day before and when I was a kid all my friends would turn up to my birthday parties dressed as ghosts and zombies. Born a true attention seeker and drama queen at heart, there wasn't enough focus on me and my birthday and then for years after that I resented halloween for stealing my spotlight. Sigh. And whilst I may be slightly less jealous of halloween's attention stealing abilities now, I'm still a little opposed to it. Hence the no halloween looks on my blog yet (maybe at all). Nether the less, halloween is the perfect excuse to wear all the vampy/red/dark lipsticks and whip out the fake blood. So here are my faves.

It's just the perfect thickness and pigmentation, easy to build up and it dries fairly quickly. It's the only fake blood I'll use and worth a small investment.

(swatches on hand left to right)

Happy Halloween everyone!

Some Minnie Gifts From Mad Beauty


A little company called Mad Beauty* recently sent me some of their Minnie Mouse gifts from their Disney range. I was sent a head band and the face mask and they're both so cute!

The head band is perfect for when you're having a bit of a pamper. It's incredibly soft and stretchy. It keeps your hair out of your face for makeup or face masks/skin care treatments. You can get it for £ 4.99. The face mask is again really great because it packs a lot of product on to the sheet. Although not practical (you'd probably scare someone if they didn't expect you to be wearing it) it's a fun mask for a pamper night or as a novelty gift. It's only £3.50 too!

I think the stuff from Mad Beauty would be great as stocking fillers (I know, I know it's October) or even as little birthday gifts. Check out their website here: www.madbeauty.com

An asterisk (*) indicates the product has been sent via a brand or marketing team.

How To Handle A Long Distance Relationship At University


That work-life balance is a constant life struggle. Add a partner who lives a couple of hours away onto that and you'd think it'd be even worse but that's not entirely true.

It's always getting better
Time never goes up. It's always counting down till your next reunion and your next phone call and the next time you get to pull funny faces at each other over FaceTime. You're always one day closer to not having to be so far apart all the time. You're always getting better at dealing with the separation. Yes, you feel weak and some times, we both want to give up but we don't because it's always going to get better. Plus, September-November/April-May are the hardest times of the year so if you're particularly struggling in those busy and testing times (first of all, talk about it) but know that it's completely understandable and it will get better.

Prioritise your work
Let's face it, when you're at uni and you don't work, you're going to fail. And what could be worse than failing? Oh yeah, repeating a year because you failed. Don't do that. Prioritise your work so you can spend quality together, not worrying about work you should be doing and not having to add an unnecessary extra year onto your long-distance challenge.

Take time alone
I know that it takes a second to reply to a text. But every day? Constantly? It's time consuming. It's okay to not want to message/talk every second of the day. Take time away from that to work on your own things. Be a good partner by letting your S/O know you need time alone and respect their decision when they ask the same. You'll probably have less stressed conversations about the things you should be doing. Plus - when we don't talk during the day because we're busy or we have stuff to do, I genuinely feel better when I get to talk to Will later, knowing how much I've accomplished and that we're genuinely excited to talk to each other.

Keep yourself busy!
It’s not hard to do that whilst at uni, there is always something to do and work to get on with. I am constantly filling my calendar with fun things and productive things and it makes the time apart so much easier.


Let each other know what your plans are
When you don't get to hear/be there for the little details of someone's day, it's good to know what they're up to. We both have social lives and things we have to do so as long as I know what he's doing and I do the same for him - I'm happy. It also helps to know when we will get to talk. I speak to Will on the phone quite a bit, most nights, even if it’s just to say goodnight before bed but if that's not gonna be possible - we always let the other know.

Honesty
It's easy to fight. For us, every fight always ultimately boils down to distance which is a relief, we know it's not a more serious problem. There's nothing we can do about that apart from being completely honest. When something bothers us, we say it without fear. I do not hold back when I'm upset anymore. You may fight or bicker or maybe it will solve everything or make everything so much worse than necessary but it's out there and dealt with. In the end it's always best to be honest, as hard as it may seem. It makes me feel a lot more secure in my relationship.

Use the thing phones were designed for

We call less often and for less time than we used to but that's purely because we're busy. Texts can be read wrong and often create problems that aren't there. We're both stubborn, difficult and don't like going misunderstood and it's even worse over text. If you need to talk about something, call. If you're fighting, call. If you're worried or insecure or scared, call. It's so much easier to convey emotion over the phone than it is in a text. Plus, it's just nice to hear a voice rather than a phone notification sound.

You genuinely will get used to it
We do miss each other when we're apart together but we also deal with it so well because we are genuinely a good couple. After a summer of seeing each other often, I was worried about getting back to our old habits of being apart for weeks would be hard. But I've probably coped better than I did last year. As long as you're open and can admit that 'yes I miss you' or 'yes I'm struggling with the distance' then you have something to work on and you can only get stronger from there.


It's hard. Distance makes me crazy. Like psycho girlfriend I told myself I'd never be, crazy. But I truly believe this also makes me a stronger person and I know that I can keep doing this as long as long as I need to, if I follow my own advice. At the time this post goes up, I'll only have a week left until I see Will after a month so whoop whoop to that! 

A Relaxing Weekend with Monty Bojangles


It's fair to say I've had a rubbishy week. Possible food poisoning, emotional breakthroughs and it's just been one of those weeks that makes you want to crawl in bed and forget all the big, bad, sad parts. I've decided to look after myself this weekend by running a bath with the gorgeous Lush Star Dust bath bomb and lighting this £3 candle from the Boots gift section which I only picked up for the copper tin. And as an extra treat, the babes over at Monty Bojangles have sent me some more products* to tuck into while I feel sorry for myself.

These brand new Treasure Boxes each have 20 truffles which are all insanely addictive. (Addictive enough that my boyfriend's already planning on stealing a box from me. I know the website says to share, but come on...) I was sent Scrumple Nutty, Choccy Scoffy and my personal favourite Taste Adventures. There are four flavours in the Taste Adventures box - Choccy Scoffy (dusted cocoa), Scrumple Nutty (crunchy hazelnut), Berry Bubbly (raspberry popping candy) and my absolute favourite flavour Flutter Scotch (butterscotch).

These new boxes are available from Sainsbury's now or via their website  (www.montybojangles.com). So go on, grab yourself a treat this weekend. Have a lay-in, a cuppa and some Monty Bojangles. You deserve it.



An asterisk (*) indicates the product has been sent via a brand or marketing team.

My New Room










This has been a long time coming but I finally got round to taking some nice pictures of my room. It was a challenge. There was tons of wallpaper to strip, walls to sand and a lot of cleaning but it's the best it's ever looked. It's not completely finished, I'm not a huge fan of the cube unit next to my bed and I need to find a few more storage boxes but it's pretty minimalistic and clean. I'm going to do my best to link as many of the bits I can below.


DESK
DESK/DRESSING TABLE - Ikea / DESK CHAIR - eBay / PALETTE HOLDER - John Lewis / DESK MIRROR - Matalan / DIPTQUE CANDLE - John Lewis / PINK BLANKET - Zara Home

CHEST OF DRAWERS
CHEST OF DRAWERS - Ikea / LIPSTICK HOLDER - Amazon / CLAPPERBOARD - Tiger (Amazon)

TALL DRAWER UNIT
DRAWER UNIT - Ikea CHANEL PRINT - NotOnTheHighStreet / MAKEUP DRAWERS - Muji / MIRROR - Oliver Bonas / STOOL - Ikea / WIRE BASKET - Habitat / RECORD PLAYER - John Lewis / GREY FLUFFY BLANKET - Primark

FIREPLACE
BLACK PRINT - Chelsea Prints / SHAKESPEARE PRINT - NotOnTheHighstreet / BUT FIRST SLEEP PRINT NotOnTheHighstreet / PINK PRINT - John Lewis / WALL CLOCK - ASDA (similar Wayfair) COPPER PAPERCLIPS - Sainsburys / BULLDOG CLIPS - Sainsburys

CUBE UNIT
CUBE UNIT - Argos / GREY BOXES - H&M / Love x Style x Life - Amazon / It by Alexa Chung - Amazon / Pretty Honest - Amazon / #GirlBoss - Amazon / Reasons To Stay Alive - Amazon / COASTER - Coconut Lane / COPPER TRAY - Oliver Bonas

BED
BED - Argos / GREY BLANKET - Ikea (Amazon) / PINK BEDDING - Dunelm / RING DISH - NotOnTheHighstreet 

BEDSIDE TABLE
TABLE - Ikea / LAMP - Iconic Lights / COPPER PRINT - NotOnTheHighstreet

MISC
 LAMP SHADE - Amazon / CURTAINS - Dunelm

________________

Where I'm At On #WorldMentalHealthDay



So this is spontaneous. A last minute post? Two in one day? Call me crazy but I knew I had to write something kinda big and scary today. Plus, I'm ill and in my comfy office (bed) so I just decided to write something.

I knew World Mental Heath Day was coming but for a couple of weeks I've been hopelessly searching for the perfect post to talk about this hugely important day. You see, I have been so open about my mental health in the past in the form of blog posts and a little on social media that I wasn't really sure what to write. 

I kept staring at the empty space where the perfectly honest and towards the end uplifting post would be and I couldn't see it. I couldn't find words to sum up the place I'm at right now. I'm not 100% how I'm doing or where I'm at right now. For the most part I'm amazing. I think I'm getting back to being the amazing, confident Elana I love and then it all comes crashing down again, worse than before. It's draining, it's humiliating and it angers me like nothing else. But every time, I get back up. I want to talk about where I am now both mentally and physically, compared to where I was.

I've known that my underactive thyroid has been a problem for almost 6 years now. I take medication. I have regular tests on it. It is usually stable and I'm so good with my medication because it's so dangerous not to be. Recently, as in the past few months, I've felt more drained. Combine a badly underactive thyroid with the change of season, the contraceptive pill and sudden university stress - I could sleep for hours on end and not feel at all rested. I hate feeling lazy on any day other than a sunday but when I can barely keep my eyes open after driving more than half an hour or I sleep through my alarms (which I've never done in my life) it's tough not to just want to crawl into bed and sleep until you can function with at least half a brain. It's draining when your body just doesn't work like it should and you have so much to do.

I found out about it at the end of 2011/the beginning of 2012 when I realised I had alopecia areata - a major symptom of having a crappy thyroid that doesn't want to work. But it could have been raging inside me for a lot longer before I saw the first warning signs that Christmas Eve. I covered my first realisation of that in my Nothing But Honesty. post a couple of years ago when I was so much worse than I am now.  


On Christmas Eve 2011, I was sitting on the living room floor surrounded by my family. My Mother was plaiting my hair as I had just come out of the shower. My brother points to my head and says, 'what's that bald patch on your head?'. Me, being a 14-year-old girl who was incredibly insecure anyway, freaked out and asked someone to take a picture for me. There, on the left of my head was a small bald patch, no larger than a 2p coin. I went to bed with a heavy heart even though I was told not to panic. This was probably the worst Christmas gift I have ever received.

I cannot explain how awful it is to feel hideous because of your hair. My hair was falling out all over the place and I was confused by it. I'd always looked after it. I'd never used damaging products and I very rarely used heated tools to style my hair. And it got worse. My doctor gave me an ointment to prompt hair growth but it didn't work for me - alopecia is pretty much unfixable. At one point during 2012 I had a total of five patches on my head that would be visible when the wind blew or when my hair moved as I walked. It was terrifying, especially being in school with hundreds of people who would laugh or point it out or try to tell me as if I didn't know. I felt disgusting. Out of everything in my life, I have the least control over my hair loss. 

But it got better, miles better. For a couple of years I had nothing. Until a few months ago when I found a new patch. It broke my heart. I thought the embarrassment was finally over but there it was, right at the back of my head and very visible. A 20p coin size but still, it was obvious. I was scared to show my boyfriend who had never seen it. When I finally did, he told me he'd already seen it and thought it was nothing. I wasn't sure wether to feel reassured or even more worried about it's visibility. Either way, I don't think he's bothered too much. I have to warn and apologise to my friends who touch my hair or my hairdresser when it's particularly bad. I don't want them to tell me like I don't know it's there. It hasn't cleared up yet and I have to be so careful not to show it. Parting my hair is dangerous, I can't double plait it or do much else than wear it in a messy ponytail and hope for the best. I hate it. So much hair falls out every single day but my hair looks as greasy as a deep fat fryer if I don't wash it everyday. I have to be so gentle but it still seems like I'm getting nowhere. There's nothing I can do to fix it but I'll keep trying.

I've covered my acne a lot on here too, which is definitely linked to my happiness/mental health because it's so bad when I'm bad. At the moment my skin is pretty good. Nothing will ever be as bad as it was back then. Check out my original acne post for a shock and a bit of early Halloween disgust. Changing my pill has given me a few more breakouts, but nothing that doesn't clear up quickly. Hormonal spots are still bad but again they're just big and angry and disappear easily. I'm getting a lot of redness at the moment but my scars are still fading and I'm constantly happy to be makeup-free. It's sad but I'm falling more and more out of love with makeup as my skin gets better. I can't find a foundation that lets my skin breathe and still lets me look like me. I can't find good colour matches. I barely buy new makeup anymore because it doesn't excite me the way it used to. I'm trying to fall back in love with it, but I only learned how to do it because I needed to cover my face. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I do have the skin confidence to go out bare faced but at the same time, I wish I loved makeup like I used to.

Now, mentally, I'm a bit foggy. Whilst my depression is far less soul destroying and is a lot easier to both identify and handle, it's still there. I still get reminded of how awful I am and how bad everything is and how much there is to be sad about when I really want to be happy. Some days it tests me. Others I barely hear it. It can be bad at night when I'm alone at night - I get a lot of nightmares now. Sometimes I'll be in the middle of lunch with the friends I value above everything, or I'll be trying on clothes or I'll be watching GBBO or I'll be driving home from work and it catches me off guard. I know it'll be there forever and I can accept it so most days it doesn't bother me. My anxiety is under control for the most part. I'm getting more severe chest pain and tightness when I do feel anxious, my head feels constantly heavy and full and I just want to think clearly. 

But despite it all, I'm fighting. I'm doing more, buying more, going out more. I'm making time for people who care about me and being more spontaneous. I'm trying new things and meeting new people and really tying to take every day as it comes. 

It's so important for me to look back at where I've been and how far I've come, so as much as this post was to prove that things do get better and you can beat whatever you're going through, it was also for me as a reminder of how strong I am. 

I put myself before everyone else because I needed to, I started taking care of myself and I truly believe I'm a completely different person to the girl on Christmas Eve 2011. I like myself now.

I'm so thankful for the few good people I have around me and I could not be prouder of the person I've become. Don't be afraid to share your story this #WorldMentalHealthDay and speak out. Remember that you're always going forward, never back.

How To Have A Productive Day



So here's the thing, my days are either really productive or not productive at all. I like being lazy more than anything but at the same time, nothing feels better to me than getting into bed after a day of actually doing things that need doing. Here are a few tips about how to squeeze all the productivity out of your day whilst I'm tucked up in bed all ill and gross and full of sleep.

Lists are your new best friend
Lists have actually always been my best friend. A list gets me through a day of productivity like nothing else. The satisfaction I get from ticking things off a list is unreal. Make lists, lots of them, for little things and big things. It helps.

Say bye bye to WiFi
Okay, hear me out. Not only will turning off the connection for a bit make you actually get some work done, it'll also keep you away from all the negativity and nastiness on the ol' internet at the moment. It's good to shut off for a few hours. (Plus you might actually feel a bit more popular when you get a ton of notifications later after your break from the online world).

Get out of bed
Unless you're ill, really tired or mentally unwell - get up and do your work outside of your comfy office/bed. Sitting at a desk in a comfortable chair, with all my work and lists and my laptop in front of me makes life so much easier. Being productive is so much easier when you can move and function like a normal being. Writing essays from bed late at night or early in the morning is always my go to but for a majority of the day, I get up.

Have a break - maybe have a kitkat
In school we always got told to keep having breaks when we were revising. I thought it was rubbish but it's true. Nothing worse than working on a sluggish brain. But having a break to drink, eat and move about freely is so important - not to mention giving your eyes a break from the computer screen. Don't underestimate the power of a perfectly timed break. Just don't make it too long that you don't want to go back.

I hope your week is productive and full of energy and all the pumpkin spice you can get.

Another 100 Things That Currently Make Me Happy



Thinking about Santorini
Window shopping
Every item on my ASOS save list
Visiting my grandparents spontaneously
Wagamama's
Ticking things off my to-do lists
Cooking with Will
Game of Thrones
Peonies
Taking flat lays
New underwear
Having henna done by Kelly
Handbag shopping
Customers who care about you
Cute pyjamas
How much my skin has cleared up
My train tickets not being scribbled on or taken away from me
Thinking about 2018 holidays already
Planning day trips
Knowing how much my best friend loves me
Buying everything red
Lighting candles
Sitting in Will's new garden
Unexpected naps
PAY DAY
Getting through Mondays
Getting through Saturday shifts
Taking all my medication
Chorizo
Playing monopoly with people who take it seriously
Hannah Gale
Sharing a tub of icecream
Hoovering
Cleaning
Tidying
Re-arranging
Going out for drinks but coming home before 12
My new fluffy blanket from Primark
Creating good content
Beans on toast
My card not declining
This is England
Working on exciting projects
Risotto
Finding a new wardrobe staple
My student loan
Eating
It's nearly scarf season!
Not missing trains
Will coming home from work
Being sent actual mail
Overdue catch-ups
Knowing everything will sort itself out in the end
It Cosmetics CC Cream
Using facial oils
Lay-ins
A good blow-dry
Watching Kelly devour a big mac
Prioritising people
Using Will's Sky-Go account
Cold pizza
Family dinners
Kelly's mum
When my fake tan isn't streaky
Rude customer's cards getting declined
An early night
Visiting new places to blog about
Getting on a train to Winchester
Sweet rosé wine
A huge bowl of soup
Listening to my records
Random inspiration
Unfollowing people on social media
A great slice of cake
Another year with Matt at uni
Getting a new razor head
Poached eggs
Reading my friend's blogs
Seeing Megs after so long
Feeling at ease
Not long till I'm A Celeb is back!!!
Sleeping in a hoodie
Cute pictures of puppies
Autumn
A trip to hobbycraft for blogging materials
New stationery
Being productive
When my family aren't bickering
The beautiful men in Westeros
Black wine gums
The love I have for some of the people I work with
Vanilla milkshakes
ASOS sales
Picking up clothes just to try them on
Every second I spent with Charlotte Kelly
Having a weekly catch-up on my tea break
Outfit inspo
Blog chats with Nat
Being tagged in a great meme
Feeling cringe-worthily-happy