The importance of looking forward to things

There was a time in my life where I felt like I was looking into a black hole of nothingness. I wasn’t depressed (at least, I don’t think I was) and I certainly wasn’t suicidal. It was a time where my anxiety was at it’s absolute worst. Not too long after it started, when I didn’t know what it was or how to cope with it. Besides, before October 2011, I didn’t even know what a panic attack was. I didn’t know what anxiety was, let alone what it felt like. I was a girl who pranced through life, going out as much as she possibly could, meeting people and literally – literally – didn’t have a care in the world. 

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BOOK REVIEW: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe

Format: ARC, NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear. Continue reading

April goals: My last public monthly goals

Wowzers… April. April. APRIL. Just when we couldn’t believe that it was 2018 already, here we are, 4 months into the year already. I hope you all had a great March, did lots of cool stuff and had a lot of fun. March for me was pretty damn good; I visited my boyfriend’s family in Lincolnshire, went away for the weekend to the Severn Valley Railway in Shropshire and saw the start of the new Formula 1 season. So all in all, a good month. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed doing smaller, more achievable monthly goals this year so far. It’s really worked for me, it’s helping me focus and also helping me be more specific about my goals. However, this will be my last public goals list I’ll be posting on my blog – just because I don’t want it to get too samey and don’t want y’all to get bored! I’ll still be noting down my goals privately for the rest of the year (hopefully!) Here’s what I’d like to achieve in April…

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Poetry

I don’t write poetry. I don’t usually “get” poetry and it’s never been one of my favourite creative methods to both write or read. Can I blame it on school? On having that dreaded poetry anthology thrust upon us all in Year 9, in schools all over the country? Possibly. School certainly didn’t make poetry a fun experience; having to dissect every line, every word almost, constant analysis and notations. We were never really allowed to just read it, enjoy it and make of it what we wanted to – if anything.

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BOOK REVIEW: How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat

Format: Hardback, giveaway prize
Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Goodreads
Blurb: Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.

In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are. Continue reading

Self care goals for 2018

Self care is something I’ve really tried to embrace and focus on more in 2017. I truly believe that we need to look after ourselves and treat ourselves with the same level of love, care and respect as you would your partner, parents, pet, house plant – whoever. Of course that’s easier said than done and I’m certainly not the only one who repeatedly punishes themselves when they feel shit or have had a bad day by not eating, sleeping too much, not washing or speaking to anyone. These behaviours are damaging – there’s no two ways about it and we need to try harder to embrace positive actions when we feel bad, rather than negative ones. 

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Supporting yourself & others this Christmas

I have a funny ol’ relationship with Christmas. As a kid, predictably, I loved it. Presents, food, fairy-lights, days off school – what kid wouldn’t? I don’t have any siblings and my family aren’t particularly close so even as a kid, Christmas was always a quiet affair. There was no huge parties or having dozens of people round. It was usually just my parents and my grandparents on my mum’s side who spent Christmas day at our house; my dad would take my Granddad to the Royal British Legion for a few hours (something he still does) and my mum, Nan and I would stay in, watch some crappy Christmas day TV, drink tea and eat chocolate. That was just Christmas to me. I never knew any different.

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The Winter Blues

This time of year can be magical and joyous and sparkly and happy but for a lot of people, including myself in the past, it can also be miserable and depressing and sad. Literally SAD. I’m talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a very real condition which can affect anyone in the Winter months, when daylight is shorter, darkness creeps in at 4 p.m and ultimately can leave people feeling, well, miserable.

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Tips for people who want to get into yoga 

I am an avid Yoga-doer. I might not be the most flexible person and able to do elaborate poses and stretches and I may not have the most stamina and be able to partake in lengthy workouts but… I massively enjoy yoga and try and do at least a small bit every day. I find it benefits my mental and physical health all in one and for someone with anxiety, thats the perfect type of exercise for me. 

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Book review: Project Semicolon by Amy Bluel

*** Trigger warnings: Suicide, suicidal thoughts and mental illness ***

Format: Uncorrected proof
Publisher: Harper
Links:Amazon UK  | Goodreads


Review: This doesn’t really have a blurb so I’ll just explain myself what Project Semicolon is all about. Basically, Project Semicolon is a suicide awareness organisation, founded in 2013 by Amy Bluel and is dedicated to preventing suicide. The idea of the semicolon is that in a novel, when an author uses a semicolon, it signifies that the sentence isn’t over and using a semicolon in this instance is to signify that your own personal story isn’t over, especially if you’ve been affected by severe mental health, suicidal thought or suicide attempts. This book is a collection of short paragraphs and short essays from people all over the world with a whole spectrum of mental health conditions and stories where they share what they’ve been through, their darkest times and how they’ve come through the other side. Continue reading