Maybe it’s borderline — Re-blog from to aspie or not to aspie

I imagine this headline sung to the same tune as that age old Maybelline advert. Although I’m writing a lot about autism on this blog, I haven’t had my assessment yet and I still sometimes find myself analysing my symptoms and the equation coming back with borderline personality disorder or bipolar. Sometimes I’m so, so […]

Such a relatable and interesting post from To Aspie or Not to Aspie. Give it a read and follow her too. (Post here Maybe it’s borderline — to aspie or not to aspie)

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Shock, horror, it happened again

My poem about and ode to the Daily Prompt: Shock.

I hate it when the record gets stuck and it’s playing on repeat,
When I can hear it blaring the same old thing but I can’t get up out of my seat.
To turn the volume down or stop the noise from sounding,
I’m trying to catch my breath and trying to get my grounding.
While the anxious thoughts are busy whizzing around my brain,
Shock, horror, it’s all happening again.

I hate it when the record gets stuck and it’s playing over and over,
The frustrating sounds that it makes, my brain it runs for cover.
It’s the same old thing, on a different day,
What more can I do, what more can I say?
When it’s spluttering and aggravating my head,
Shock, horror, it’s happening again.

I pluck up the courage to move from my spot,
Turn the screech down and knock the thing off.
Its background noise still fills my mind,
And will continue to do so until I find
A way of drowning the repetition out when,
Shock, horror, it’s happening again.

How to look after your mental health this Blue Monday

The third Monday of January every year has been labelled as ‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year. That’s all well and good but what if you struggle for the 364 other days of the year?

There’s a great piece written by Anita Sethi on The Guardian Online who says:

“It’s important to acknowledge that, despite the PR over this particular date, depression can strike on any day, at any time of year.” And she’s right.

There’s no shame in it and as it stands, 1 in 4 people suffer with their mental health. So you’re in good company.

Some days, like so many, I find it hard to comprehend getting out of bed and starting the day. Talking to people seems like a mission, the head fog seems too much and the prospect of being productive while my head is elsewhere seems foreign. However, there are a few things that I do to help myself. These might help you too.

Breathing

OK, bit obvious, however sometimes I forget to take calm, deep breaths. Especially if my mind is playing tricks on me. Sometimes I’ll sit and take eight deep breaths in and out just to clear my mind. It helps me re-focus too.

Exercise

It might sound like a cliche but I’m a real advocate for it. If you’re feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you need some space, go for a walk. Take a stroll on your lunch break and listen to some of your favourite songs. Go to the gym (if you’re part of one), do a bit of yoga, go for a run, anything that will help you let off steam and get the endorphins going. I’m really bad for not getting my bum out of my office chair when I need to so I’m making an effort to do this more. It really helps.

Reading

Positive quotes or an uplifting article can make you feel a bit better. I love Pinterest so I’ll take a look at a few and when I crack a smile, I write down the quote in my notebook so I can look at it. My best friend bought me a book for Christmas that has lots of amazing quotes inside it. Whenever I feel down, I’ll go to this book first and see what it can do.

Listening

Whether you listen to an interesting podcast, your favourite album, an uplifting playlist or your favourite radio station, treat yourself to time alone in your mind with you. Surround your mind with something you really like and enjoy. I like listening to my London Marathon 2016 playlist because it reminds me of how awesome the experience was and the playlist was put together by lots of great friends.

Talking

You might not want to talk to anyone but it can really help. Whether it’s telling a friend, partner or colleague you’re not feeling too great, they might be able to help. Or, they might just leave you alone to have the space you need. Talking about what’s wrong over a cuppa can really help to take the weight off. Sometimes, I find, that what my mind is telling me, isn’t necessarily the truth. If you’re a writer, write how you’re feeling down. As a blogger, I definitely find this helps me.

Take a social media break

Social media is something I both love and hate. I work on it daily and try to keep up with what’s going on nightly. Sometimes, I see things that really put me on a downer. Whether it’s someone going on holiday, getting married, doing incredible things that I’m not doing, it gets me down. I do try to remember that the majority of what’s online is what people want you to see about them. But still, this sense can get lost in the depressed fog of the brain. Take a little break from it. I try really hard at night to put my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and not look at it. I also put it face down on the night stand. I then pick up my book and get engrossed.

You’re not alone. If you’re feeling really down and feel like you can’t cope, I’ve been there too. I know this might not help, but I’d like you to know. I posted a few weeks ago about having a complete meltdown and filmed what it was like. I also then rang my local GP and asked for help. But this was a big step and I was supported by my amazing partner.

Remember, you’re awesome and you can get through it.

Useful links

Mind

Samaritans

Mental Health Foundation

(In Wales)

CALL

Hafal

Gofal

The Awesome Blogger Award!

Wow, what a start to 2018! Thank you so much to The Girl With The Pawprint Tattoo for nominating me for The Awesome Blogger Award! Absolutely check out her blog. It’s really inspiring and very honest, which is something I respect in writers. From one blogger to another, thank you again for this! 🙂

So, in case you haven’t heard, The Awesome Blogger Award was started by Miss Maggie @ Dreaming of Guatemala:

“This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

The rules for this are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated

So, my questions from The Girl With The Pawprint Tattoo are:

  1. What do you hope to achieve in 2018? My CIPR Diploma and to blog about things people want to read about!
  2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Turning 35 and being happy with what I have.
  3. What is one thing you cannot live without? My partner and my pup!
  4. What is your favourite movie and why? Top Gun – Because who doesn’t love an 80’s classic?
  5. If you could go back in time to any era, where would you go and why? I would go back to the 1940’s – I love the whole wartime spirit and the fashion is pretty cool too!
  6. What is your favourite candle scent? Yankee Candle ‘Clean Linen’ 🙂
  7. What was the most recent thing you got excited about? This award!
  8. What are topics that appeal to you the most on the blogging community? Apart from this fab blog, mental health, running, reading and positivity
  9. Did you accomplish any goals you had for last year? Didn’t do too badly – Got a new job, bought a house with my partner and got a puppy!
  10. If you had 1 million dollars, what would you do and why? I’d probably panic about having that much money, have an anxiety attack and then take mine and my partner’s families on holiday!

The blogs I’ve chosen for the Awesome Blogger Award are unique in their subject matter but are equally open and honest too:

Psychogrok

The Fed Up Christian

Rude Girl – Living in an Aspie World

A Guy Called Bloke

Think Outside the Toaster

My questions for my nominees:

  1. Three words to describe your blog
  2. What would you name your boat if you had one?
  3. Five positive words to describe you
  4. The most interesting thing you’ve read/seen this week?
  5. Favourite joke/pun?
  6. They’re creating a film (movie) of your life, who plays you?
  7. Favourite blog post you’ve read today & would recommend?
  8. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  9. Positive motto for 2018?
  10. Your top tip for finding blog-spiration?

I can’t wait to see what you all come back with! A huge thanks to everyone nominated for writing such awesome posts and thank you to everyone who follows my little anxiety filled blog!

An undulating thing called ‘Life’

I would love to move through life much more smoothly,

Knowing for sure who I am & who I want to be.

Like anyone else moving patiently through life,

I’m always met with moments of heartache and strife.

The anxiety and depression, they come like waves,

They’re like taunting schoolchildren who will never behave.

The crashes of anger and the sadness it ripples.

These emotions tip up my scales and my balance, it falls.

The unknown of the tide is just one of the battles,

Once it takes hold it’s like nothing else matters.

And yet with the storm comes the surprising calm,

Which causes so many feelings of alarm.

For now, I’ll keep on fighting the continuous typhoon,

Hoping that the scales will rebalance out soon.

Thanks Daily Prompt: Undulate

There once was a girl allergic to life

When I told my partner the Daily Prompt was ‘Allergic’, he laughed wholeheartedly out loud. Here’s why…

I happen to have a lot of allergies & these sunnies are my besties all year round!

My family & friends think it’s quite funny. Even I think it’s pretty laughable to wear sunglasses in the dark & inside because my eyes are puffed up!

Anyways, always one to take advantage, here’s my little poem about it!

There once was a girl allergic to life,

Dust, pollen, feathers & even to wildlife.

It affected her face & made her sneeze,

Made her ears itch & made her wheeze.

She wore sunglasses in winter & in the rain,

To hide her puffy eyes again & again.

She had shares in Piriton & Benedryl too,

Every month buying 50 packets of tissues.

But still all year round she wears those sunnies inside,

Because she’s the girl who’s allergic to life!

😎🤧😂

Liebster Award 2018

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award for 2018. Never heard of it? Well, it’s a lovely system of recognising new blogs and celebrating ones that you engage with often. I’m really lucky to have been nominated (for the first time ever!) by Mental Health @ Home (definitely check out and follow!) so a HUGE THANK YOU!

What you have to do:

  • Link to the Official Liebster Rules (click here) in your Award blog post
  • Answer the questions given to you (if nominated, if you were not nominated you can use my questions)
  • Create more questions for your nominees to answer (The more unique and creative, the better!)
  • Comment on the Global Aussie (here) with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award (It makes it easier for the chaps to read them all!)

Questions I’ve been given from Mental Health @ Home:

  1. What is the goal and/or purpose for your blog? The purpose is to talk about my mental health, mental health news and give tips or support to anyone who might need it. It acts as therapy but also as a tool for getting to know more bloggers talking about similar things.
  2. How did you come up with the name of your blog? A bit of brainstorming here and there… I do love a good play on words.
  3. Name three things on your bucket list. I actually don’t have a bucket list. The world scares me somewhat but in 2018, I want to complete my Professional Diploma in Public Relations, read more books and see Les Miserables in London.
  4. What is your favourite quote and by whom? ‘She walks with storms in her heart, and battles in her eyes.’ – Nicole Lyons
  5. What are your favourite types of books to read and why? I like fiction crime novels but at the moment, I’m reading books about people’s experiences with mental illnesses. It’s so interesting and eye opening too.
  6. What is your favourite movie and/or television show? Favourite TV series at the minute is Criminal Minds!
  7. What is your best memory from the year 2017? Cheating a bit because I have more than one! Getting a new job, buying a house with my partner and getting a puppy!
  8. What did you learn from the year 2017? To try not to let what other people think of you, define you.
  9. What are your hopes and goals for the year 2018? Same as number 3!
  10. What is your favourite post you have written? ‘Mental Health, Money and Me’ – I’ve never written about my money struggles before so it was a biggie.

It’s nomination time…

Nominating just 10 blogs is always really hard because there are so many awesome bloggers out there. But my thinking is, if I nominate my 10, the next few people will carry it on and so-forth so everyone gets to celebrate. So, here are my 10:

  1. Emerging from the dark night
  2. Aspiette, to aspie or not to aspie
  3. Girl with the Paw Print Tattoo
  4. Braving Mental Illness
  5. Beckie’s Mental Mess
  6. Laina Eartharcher
  7. The Running Princess
  8. Andy’s Insights
  9. That Aspie Lady
  10. Rob Talks MH

My questions to you lovely people are:

  1. Three words to describe your blog
  2. What would you name your boat if you had one?
  3. Five positive words to describe you
  4. The most interesting thing you’ve read/seen this week?
  5. Favourite joke/pun?
  6. They’re creating a film (movie) of your life, who plays you?
  7. Favourite blog post you’ve read today & would recommend?
  8. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  9. Positive motto for 2018?
  10. Your top tip for finding blog-spiration?

I hope you guys have fun answering these and sharing these/your own questions with the blogging world! A MASSIVE THANK YOU AGAIN Mental Health @ Home (I enjoyed doing this!)

Liebster

 

Mental Health: How to start the conversation

I get told I talk a lot. I’m a prolific chatterer about everything and nothing. So, I decided to put this to good use and talk about something really important… mental health.

I became a Time to Change Champion to go out and talk to people about mental health and hopefully, help to break down the stigma. Sharing your own experiences to help others is really empowering and I’ve met some awesome people doing the same.

(Two awesome ladies I met through Time to Change celebrating my 30th with me ❤️)

I’ve been reading some epic blogs about it and think it’s really brave of these people to share. So thank you for doing that.

Did you know that just by writing a blog you could change someone’s life? Did you know that by asking how someone is can help too?

If you’re not much of a writer but want to help someone, here are some ways to start the conversation:

  1. Hi, how are you?’
  2. ‘How are you feeling?’
  3. ‘I know you’re not feeling so good right now but if you need to talk, I’m here’
  4. ‘Is everything ok? I’m here if you need me’
  5. ‘You’re not on your own, I’m here to listen’
  6. ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’

Just letting someone know that you’re there for them can really help.

When I get really low, really angry or really upset, my partner always says ‘is there anything I can do to help?’ Most of the time, there isn’t but just letting me know that he’s there, really helps. Because of my Alexithymia, sometimes j can’t even tell what’s happening with my moods. But it’s nice to know someone cares and accepts me.

So this 2018, if you haven’t already, start the mental health conversation. It only takes a ‘How are you?’ to make a difference ❤️

Daily Prompt: Conversation

Does identity stump diagnosis?

This has been circulating in my head. A lot. Ok obsessively. If you identify with something but you’re diagnosed otherwise, is this ok?

Some of you lovely bloggers might have seen my blog about the diagnosis I got from the psychologist when I went for the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessment two weeks back. I was told I was on the border of Aspergers after getting 32/50 on the AQ test but that Alexithymia, Sensory Processing Disorder & severe Social Anxiety were prevalent. I’m basically on the border looking in.

However, thanks to amazing bloggers such as Everyday Aspie, To Aspie or Not to Aspie, Emerging From The Dark Night & That Aspie Lady, I realised I have so much in common with them and can relate to so much of what they blog about.

I chatted with my partner (for about the sixth time) who’s heard me obsess about this for weeks.

When I say ‘obsess’ I mean get upset, get angry, keep asking questions & become agitated that numbers mean I can’t be who I think I am. He said ‘What does it mean if you were? What can you do to help yourself? If you identify with it, it can’t be wrong’. He’s very wise.

He’s also right. If I need to use the same Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) tactics for myself anyway, surely identifying with ASD/Aspergers would be ok?

I agree with him but I don’t want people further along the Spectrum to think I’m just saying it. I really genuinely feel that the number on the test doesn’t truly show the extent of me.

I’m obsessing. I apologise. I know I am. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m reading up on ASD, finding variations of traits, writing examples & sending to the psychologist, Googling, buying lots of books (Amazon are lucky to have me as a customer) & telling my partner for the millionth time all about it, despite him knowing the ins & outs.

It’s like I’m looking for permission from someone to say ‘It’s ok, your 32 counts for something. You are on the Spectrum.’

So, identity vs diagnosis? What are the thoughts? 💭

Hygge, feeling cozy and puppy cuddles

So, I don’t know about you, but I love getting cozy on a cold winters night, armed with hot chocolate, my PJs and our puppy.

I also love the newish concept of ‘Hygge’.It hints at being able to relax and enjoy your own space & time. For someone with anxiety, this can be really hard. I’m constantly on the go. Reading To Aspie or Not to Aspie’s blog about behaving oneself and learning to chill out has made me see that I need to be cozy & cuddle the pup more often. I mean look at its little, furry 4 month old face…

This was our attempt at cozy with my partners sister Ellie, Dominos pizza & Mamma Mia… Except Maisey the fluffy whirlwind had other ideas!

Rules for coziness:

  1. PJs are a must
  2. A cheesy happy film is a goer
  3. Good company, be that your own or someone else’s
  4. Chocolate
  5. Plenty of blankets

We did pretty well tonight at cozy… when we weren’t outside in -1C waiting for our fluffy friend to ‘drop the kids off’!

Via Daily Prompt: Cozy