Saturday, 30 June 2012

New job

So as I have a little more time on my hands this morning, I thought I would talk to you about the whole job situation that has encumbered my life this week.
I received the interview for the job, which is a customer service advisor position at Mothercare, on Monday, to go for a group interview on Wednesday.

For me, my working history had never involved practical and/or group interviews, I was always used to face to face interviews in previous roles, so I wasn't sure what to expect and was incredibly nervous.
The group aspect of the interviews involved being placed into groups, being given a product in the middle of the table and as a group coming up with the 10 best selling points for that particular product, which then followed with a presentation to the other candidates. Similarly, the next task involved being given Mothercare catalogues and based on a product in the centre of the table, having to pick products that equalled £30 based on the item the customer had already ordered, which again, we had to report back.
Next was the selling task, we were given two sterilisers that are sold in Mothercare and each with different qualities and were given 25 minutes to read and prepare notes, followed by an interview where we had to sell the steriliser to our interviewer in a sales environment. I actually really liked this task, sales are my strong point but nerves did hold me back which is what the interviewer commented afterwards, but I counteracted that later on as my sales were fantastic!
After this we had a 5-10 minute proper interview with another interviewer (there were about 10-12 staff of Mothercare at this day, all with different roles who were assessing and interviewing on that day), where I just had to speak about my work history, (in which I was honest and mentioned I had to leave due to illness), difficult customer situations I have faced and how to deal with them, what I could bring to Mothercare, situations in which I have worked in a group to get something done (perfect example would be when I worked for Uglows), my goals and accomplishments for later in life, etcetc. The woman I met with was absolutely lovely, and I think that always help. In fact, all the staff were lovely, which really just reduced my nerves for the day entirely.

After filling in some customer service questionnaires after this, I was allowed to go home and then received a phone call about an hour later telling me I had gotten through to the next stage and that I was to come to the store for a final interview/assessment Friday.
Which was yesterday. I arrived at the store, which is now one of (if not the) UK's largest store - we are having a lot of building work done at the moment, hence the recruitment of staff, involving a Costa Coffee (there's my lunch breaks sorted :P), a massive play area for the children and mother and baby groups, which my manager informed me of. My manager just wanted to see what I was like in a store environment, so gave me some catalogues and baskets and placed me on meet and greet at the entrance, which I loved as I was meeting little children as well which is always lovely. Then I moved onto shop floor and did a similar role for about 10-15 minutes - again, these were all things I was used to at Clarks so it wasn't anything new for me so was quite easy.
I then had my interview with my now manager, which I thought was going to be a lot more intense then it was! She asked me some similar questions to what the interviewer asked me Wednesday but also we kept going off in tangents about life and things and we got on really well.

I then went home, and waited all afternoon for my phone to ring, biting all my right nails off in the process and feeling incredibly sick, breathless and ill, until half past 6 I finally got a phone call confirming my job! They said they didn't even manage to recruit everybody that they wanted to, and the process for recruitment they had to choose extremely carefully.

So obviously, I was a happy bunny, and I have to go there on Tuesday for four hours to start my training. The job is part time and temp, but she said on the phone I will have the opportunity to go permanent and perhaps in Kingston if I perform as well as I did today!

At the moment, I finally don't feel useless and unworthy, and that's an amazing feeling.
Being able to prove people wrong about my capabilities is also the most fantastic feeling in the world and I am so proud.
I had my best friends over last night (as my parents are still away) for celebratory extreme drunken times:


I hope this picture just sums it up in a nutshell really!

Thank you guys for always sticking  by me and never giving up :)

Friday, 29 June 2012

So, after a week of stressful job interviews, I managed to secure myself a job!

I am incredibly happy right now - after a total of four hours being assessed and interviewed over two days.

Maybe I am not as useless as I thought.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

So the exams are over...

And it's so bizarre because instead of being upbeat and optimistic, I have actually crashed.
I've had a few days since it's all been over where I just want to curl up and hide away from everyone, moments of extreme frustration at the world, and moments where my jealousy of others becomes so severe I just ignore people completely.

Life isn't fair, really.

Have spent the last three days applying for jobs, I'm up to well over 50 now, and they include not just retail, but administration and receptionist work. I knew as soon as the exams were over it was something I needed to do, and now it's becoming an addiction, to keep applying and applying and nothing will ever be good enough. I've been through this process before, and have been called to interview, but it was during when I was sick and my Mum found out I had been applying for jobs and immediately stopped me from going to said interviews.

From the years 2008-2010 I had a total of three jobs. I have my experience in both retail and administration and I am not incapable. I am just waiting for someone to give me a chance and recognise that I am a successful candidate, because I know I am. I just know that hearing of rejections as and when I get them is going to impact on my self-confidence an awful lot, and it's just a case of learning to deal with that. Will let you guys know if I achieve any success.

I guess I am just feeling a little under the weather at the moment. The future is looking bleak and I need to turn those thoughts around. I can do it, though. I promised myself I could.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Relapse?

Small relapses are what we need sometimes to push us forward into recovery.I think I am realising that after what has been a day of relapsing behaviours.

Everything going on this week became way too much, exams (which I know nothing for), a few physical health problems going on which I have to return to hospital to get checked out, the diagnosis yesterday, and weighing myself this morning and seeing that I had gained a monstrous 10lb.
It almost was ironic, having a form telling you you are anorexic in the post (which I knew) and then gaining so much weight you don't even know what to do with it all.

So I, once more, took to overdosing, as a way to cope.
And the funny part was, I stopped myself. Very strong, paracetamol, medication, some of the tablets were those that were mixed with other ones, and I only took 8, because the more I kept taking them, the more I realised I was wrong.
I stopped myself, thinking, hoping, nothing would happen. And I never thought it would.
Of course, thinking that, my day followed with vomiting, nausea, headaches, dizzyness, dry mouth, and all the usual overdosing symptoms I usually would have gotten from taking much more of different medication.

So, that's been my day today.
A small relapse and paying the price for it.

I don't really know how to think or what to feel.
Have woken up today still feeling pretty low and hoping I can go into school in a little while to try and get rid of these feelings, somewhere.
I really don't need this so close to exams, but by being honest with you guys and telling you this, I hope it emphasises how recovery isn't easy. But at the same time, I am trying to hold my head as high as it will go and tell myself, I have picked myself up before, and I can do it again.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Official diagnosis :(

So the Impart team kept fussing over when I was going to see them to collect my results from my personality disorder assessment, knowing full well my anxiety levels will be raising the roof as well as I am in the midst of exam season. I then contacted the woman who did the assessment, asking her to just send the results to me by post, and I received them today.



I guess you could say that I was shocked at some of the diagnosis's I had been given.
Depression (although they defined it as a depressive episode in 2010 which is bullshit), GAD and Anorexia Nervosa are words have terms that have dominated my life since I was at least 11 or 12 years old. 
I wasn't really sure what I was expecting the Impart team to find and diagnose me with, but apparently, following three assessments, this is what they appeared to have finalised as appropriate for me. 

I guess their reasoning behind why they diagnosed me with BPD was acceptable. Frequent fluctuation of moods, from sad, to happy, to angry all in one day. The self-harming and my apparent inability to sustain relationships and friendships.
But I guess I am just frustrated at having another label added to my name and having more words and terminology thrown at me which makes me appear even more mental then I already think I am. And I got pretty upset about the whole thing. I clearly was kidding myself when I said I was improving and making a fuller recovery, as the current behaviours I perceive even now are clearly not normal.
I also felt they were being way too overdramatic about the OCD diagnosis.

From this it just gives me another excuse to look at myself in a negative way and to define myself by my illnesses again. And adds further confusion to who I am and what I am ever here for and what I stand for.

I have lost all motivation and lack of it for revision today, am going to try and rest a little tonight and hopefully wake up tomorrow with a fresh set of eyes and ears and seeing the world in a new perspective. Today has been a bad day, but tomorrow will be better. I can't let these labels define me even though I so desperately want to, I want to crawl back into my comfort blanket and hope everything goes away. But I can't. That's part of recovery, picking ourselves back up where we feel failed, or lost, and demonstrating that life can progress and move on and succeed.

I have been speaking to some wonderful people today whilst I attempt to come to terms with these labels and definitions, and they have really helped and been fantastic support, and you guys know who you are. 
Thank you.


Monday, 11 June 2012

2/6 complete!

Okay, so Psychology Unit 3 resit is over!
For those of you who are not aware, the reason why I had to do a Psychology resit was because our marvel of a teacher taught us the wrong part of the specification for the aggression question, one our topics we were studying. As a result, we wrote what we had been taught, and all managed to get D's and E's as a result.
Of course, I am still fuming with anger at the fact I had to re-do this exam, but on the up side, at least it was an earlier exam so I could get it out of the way. I think it went relatively well, but I remember saying that in January, haha. Am pretty sure I got either a C or a B, I know for sure I wrote the right things required for the particular questions, and included enough AO2 evidence in that was sufficient. Fingers crossed!

Just realised that this means I can throw all of my Psychology Unit 3 notes out. As no matter what I get there is no way I am ever going back to that Sixth Form. Whoopee!

This means, that I only have four exams left, if you include General Studies. Yippee!
The end is nigh!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

3 YEARS

So, today is the 9th June 2012, which means it is exactly three years from the date which I starting going out with Nathan.
If you are a regular reader of my blog you would be stupid not to know about Nathan, and the impact he has made on my life over the past three years.

The way that we got together, and the way we have dealt through situations which not many couples our age would go through are what have strengthened our love and made it that much stronger.
Nathan has been there and supported me through everything, and put up with a lot. We have had people try and split us up, and a mentally ill girlfriend is probably a lot to handle. When I ended up in hospital it could have ended up at breaking point for us. But it didn't. We remained strong and remained loving each other and we got through it all. I know that if we can get through that, we can get through anything.
We have had amazing times, and of course the bad times have accompanied that. But if there are no bad times in a relationship, then it isn't a relationship, nothing can be perfect.
He deals with a lot in his life that he copes with so well, and always manages to smile and look after me, and I admire him so much for that.
I love Nathan so much, he means the world to me and my life wouldn't be complete without him. He is the only solid and consistant area of my life. Without him, I would be nobody.

I have decided to dedicate this blog post to my amazing boyfriend and post a photographic montage of our transition from 2009 to our meal that we had this evening. I had to finalise the pictures down to a few as as you can imagine there have been so many pictures of us over the years, but here are just some :)

Here is a progression of pictures of us, from 2009 until today! Enjoy :)

The first ever picture that we ever had together, 2 weeks after we started going out :)

Underage Festival 2009 :)

Meeting my family for the first time - My Grandads birthday BBQ in 2009.

My birthday 2009 :)

St James Park - October 2009.

House parties :)

More parties :)

And errr, more parties!

Birthday meal for Smith, Feb 2010
The Macmillan 6 mile walk 2010 - raising money in memory of my Great Uncle Ivan.

Sammy and Lawrences 18th - May 2010

Nathans birthday BBQ with my best friend Hodge :)
Before clubbing in December 2010 - unfortunately this was a few weeks after my overdose and when my illness regarding depression took its toll.

Valentines Day 2011 - The London Eye
Stratford-Upon-Avon 2011

My 19th birthday 2011

Us today - on our third anniversary!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and appreciate how blessed I am to have this amazing man in my life.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Inspiration blog

Thank you all for being so wonderful about my posts of inspiration this week.

There are many other inspiring people in my life, who I think know who they are.

I made a video for my YouTube channel, where I discuss inspiration, inspirational people, and my new lease of life that I have only just recently discovered.

I hope you can watch it and make some sense of the thoughts and feelings that have been crossing my mind through the past week.

'Tis going to be a short blog post today, as I am busily prepping for next weeks exams.
Nathan and I are going to be celebrating our three year anniversary tomorrow, of which I will prepare a special blog for in due course. Knowing that I was writing in this blog when we celebrated our two years (flick back to the beginning of my posts and you will see it!) is actually incredible.
I am so excited :)



Thursday, 7 June 2012

NerdsRL and the impact she has made on my life

Clearly, this week has been one for recognising those inspirational figures who mean something or who have inspired me to change the way I currently live my life. This Thursday, I am going to speak about a YouTube video blogger, whose channel is called 'NerdsRL'.

'NerdsRL', whose real name is Cassandra, video blogs her life every single day, of which she edits and places on YouTube. Sounds pretty boring, right?
That's where you are wrong. Cassie has one of the most eccentric, vibrant personalities I have seen and is a person who hasn't let anything get in the way of her dream. She has wanted to work in stunts since she was 8 years old and over the couple of years I have been watching her videos I have watched and admired her determination to do so, as well as setting personal goals for herself throughout life.

Cassie is another person who doesn't take life for granted and makes the most of every second, and I tend to be coming across many of these people recently. It sends these positive messages for me to do exactly the same, especially after my exams are finished. She has such a bubbly, friendly personality and is another inspirational person I am adding to my list.

Below I am going to include her recent video, which just happens to be her '1000th video', where she made a montage of her life over the time she has been making videos on YouTube. To see the progress she has made in her life and the dreams she has succeeded is phenomenal, and I have to admit, I was crying, a hell of a lot!
I would love to have the opportunity to meet Cassie one day, as she has been slowly but surely encouraging me to live life with no regrets, never being afraid to do things and do what I want to do, regardless.

Please, please watch this video, and be inspired. Thank you!




Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Using Katie Piper to reflect on life

From one inspiration, to another. I picked up Katie Pipers new book the other day, the day it was released in-fact, entitled 'Things Get Better':

For those of you who haven't heard Katie's inspiring story, at 24 years old she was viciously raped by an ex-boyfriend, who then got someone to throw sulphuric acid all over her face.The acid blinded Katie in one eye, and subjected her to full thickness burns across her face and the rest of her body. Since the attack occurred, the former model has been slowly trying to adjust back to normality, learning to start life from scratch, eating, drinking, going out alone, all things that took endless amounts of time and patience. She is just about to undergo her 110th operation to restore her face.
She then appeared in a documentary for Channel 4, entitled 'My Beautiful Face' in which she broadcasted her story to the nation, and this is where I became apparent of Katie Piper and how inspirational she truly was.

From her first ever documentary, she went on to set up her own charity, entitled 'The Katie Piper Foundation', which works to help and support others suffering from severe disfigurement or burn victims. She wrote her first biography, called 'Beautiful', which I read, and cherished as a story that really makes you think, not only about the cruelty around us, but the ability we have to turn it around.

Her new book is no exception to the rule, where she manages to successfully tell audiences 'how' she overcame these traumatic events, and takes us through the ways in which we can also overcome huge life-changes that occur in our lives, whether it be a break-up, depression, loss of a job or family member, etc. The selfless way in which she wrote her latest novel makes it one that I am going to be turning back to in a hurry, to help me notice that light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course, I cannot personally identify with Katie in her experiences, in her trauma. However, I know the feeling of rock bottom and I use Katie's life to suggest that if she can recover and improve then I also can. Her ideas of learning to be a survivor and not a victim, having faith and trust, taking risks, and counting blessings which she discusses in her latest novel, are ones that I can try and adapt to my current surroundings and use those to help embrace recovery in my own way. And so can anyone out there.

I am gradually learning to accept life as a cruel world, as much as I hate it being that way. But there are little elements of the world that we take for granted, even just the fresh air (something I experienced today after being trapped in the house for 11 hours revising!), the family/support we have around us, the landmarks we live close to (living in London is perfect for us), artistic elements, and many more.

I am grateful for my family, and the small amount of true friends that haven't screwed me over (although unfortunately there are not many), I am grateful for the teachers who provided me with my education, where some have turned into life long friends, I am grateful for Literature, my senses, my boyfriend. So much in life we can appreciate and cherish.

This is how I recognise how far I am into my recovery process from my issues. I can recognise these blessings and cherish them. I do take risks. I don't let petty comments get to me anymore and I fight back at them. Of course, I have my down days that assist depression, where I 'hate everyone' and 'can't stand the world' - but looking into lives such as Katie Piper and Jessi Parrott (the girl I spoke of in Monday's blog) assist me along the road into realising how important life really is.

So thank you, to people such as Katie Piper, and Jessi. You in many ways inspire my recovery from an illness which a year/two years ago I thought was impossible to recover from.


Monday, 4 June 2012

PLEASE READ THIS - and donate to the beautiful Jessi!

I am privileged enough to know some wonderful and inspiring people but this girl by far is right up there on the top ten list.

Jessi Parrott. Her twitter can be found here:
https://twitter.com/#!/messijessijumps

And this is her special Walking by 2013 blog:
http://www.walkingby2013.blogspot.co.uk/

I know Jessi through a wonderful friend of mine, Jade, and cannot wait to meet her once exams are finished. Jessi suffers from Cerebral Palsy and has had to use an electric wheelchair for most of her life. Despite this, she is this year teaching herself how to walk again, with the aid of her family and close friends. Her aim is to walk onto stage to collect her degree at her graduation from Warwick University. She is currently documenting her journey on her blog which I have linked above.

Despite all of this inspiration and courageousness, she is also aiming to raise £2013.00 for the charity Starlight, who helped Jessi in her time of need by providing her with utmost support and enabling her wish to come true to meet her idol, Keira Knightley, which turned her life around and enabled her to want to pursue her dreams of walking again.
Starlight grant wishes for seriously ill children and in Jessi's case this was no exception. Starlight changed Jessi's world and she wants to be able to give back the support that they gave to her.

Jessi is one of the most inspirational people I have come across in life and am yet to have met. She is so selfless and puts everyone before herself and inspires me to live life with no regrets and appreciate and enjoy life. She is beautiful and an absolute sweetheart (and happens to also be studying for an English Literature degree which of course is the best degree in the world!)

So please, please, donate, to help Jessi's dream come true, and to allow her to be able to grant wishes to other seriously ill children across the country. I would very much appreciate it if everyone of my followers were to donate, especially if you are as touched as I am by this wonderful and inspiring story.


We are all behind you 100% Jessi, and we know you can do it!

Please donate!

Follow the link below and change Jessi's life:
https://www.justgiving.com/walkingby2013

Thank you!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Last day of Sixth Form...

So, Wednesday was my last ever full teaching day in Chingford Foundation School:

The girls :)


This guy is an absolute legend, has never taught me but used to be Nathan's form tutor and also is my neighbour!

My media class. Granted, not my favourite class, but I'll miss them all anyway.

English Lit class - with my two favourite teachers at the top, Mr Belas and Mrs Betts.

I am already so relieved to have left. The last day was a little bit of a blur for me, including that I had to leave early to assist a friend who was in trouble. There were so many goodbyes and so many writing in leaving books which I guess I didn't really partake in, I wanted a few pictures as reminders of the times there and then I just wanted to be rid of the place.
Saying goodbye to teachers was probably the worst part. I wrote letters to three of my English teachers, two in the pictures above, which said everything that I needed to say. I went to visit other English teachers to say goodbye. I also went to see my old form tutor from years 7-11 which was sad. She was around when my anorexia and self-harm begun and saw me as an unhappy teenager just trying to find her way through all the shit that was happening around her. And it was sad. It really was.
But it has also enabled me to realise something. About a year ago, getting ready to embark into my final year once more at the Sixth Form, I never thought I would be getting to the end and finally sitting exams and finally making choices about my future. Of course, it is something so simple for some people, just getting through Sixth Form and going to university - but for me it was just that much harder.
And knowing that I have 23 days until I reach the end of the Sixth Form journey, exams, and education at this school has enabled me to realise how far I have come. There have been so many times where I wanted to give up, where I wanted to die, and disappear altogether. But I kept strong and I kept going. And I have made so much progress which I realise now. And it makes me so happy to finally realise that.

So no, Sixth Form may not have been the best experience for me. But I have accomplished something, even if it isn't high exam grades in August. It's accomplishing happiness, and I'm already on the way there.