Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Gorgeous shouldn't be drop dead - petition

Am here today to speak about a wonderful book blogger, who has recently started campaigning to fortify the level of education given to students about eating disorders in schools.

Cino, whose book vlog you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/user/spiffinglycino?feature=watch, struggles to a strong degree with anorexia nervosa, and her campaign is one that needs to be addressed. Too many people, especially young teenagers, use the phrase 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels', to which Cino made a very powerful and emotive response to on her tumblr page, which I strongly recommend you read: http://gorgeous-not-drop-dead.tumblr.com/post/29988081529/nothing-tastes-as-good-as-skinny-feels

Knowing full well myself the struggles I have been through as an anorexic, it really does kill me to see young girls still emulating the so called 'anorexic lifestyle'. For some reason they seem to think this shit is a trend, something cool and fashionable. It's a disease, and it ruins everything. And you have my 100% honest truth, here as someone who has been there and lived through it, beginning from the age of 12.

Cino, is such an inspirational lady in my eyes and I would do anything to enable her to make a swift recovery from this awful illness, which I know isn't easy, but she has the strength to do so, and I know she can. If you want to support Cino and the work that she does, please sign this petition to help stop other young girls from getting into the positions that I myself and Cino have encountered.

Please sign this petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36960 - and once more I thank you guys for your continuous support.

And just a note to the darling Cino - am here for you whenever you need me. Promise you that.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

So, I got into University!

So on Thursday I received the dreaded A-level exam results, all of which had been providing me with nausea and sickness for at least a week! Luckily and very proudly however, I received the grades A, B, B, with my A in English Literature and my B's in Psychology and Media Studies.

Could I have done better, of course. But I'm so incredibly proud, considering everything I went through, to get those grades. Considering my teacher taught us the wrong part of the syllabus for Psychology and we ended up having to take 2 Psychology exams in June. All the pressure was there. My illness was still there, still lurking. And I did it, I got through it, and I got into University.

After a very hectic morning with a few tears (my Mum started crying when I opened the envelope), I got accepted into my firm choice university, Kingston University, and had to spend the whole morning organising documentation and deposits and things.

I guess I wasn't really excited about moving out before. The reasons why I decided to move out were personal to me, and were for me, necessary, I needed this change in my life to conclude that I had really moved on from all the shit that had happened and was starting a new life. As soon as Kingston was confirmed, however, I was buzzing, I couldn't stop smiling and I couldn't keep still! And I think I've stayed like that throughout.

I move in on the 12th of September, which is in only three weeks time. Considering I didn't think I was going to be starting until October this is extremely soon! But with the excitement I have right now, the sooner the better I'd say. I have three weeks, to get packing and get everything together as there is a LOT I need to bring. And that's on top of work too, which luckily they haven't given me as much overtime as usual so I can focus on planning to move out.

The question I get asked the most is about Nathan, and what I'm going to do about him. Of course, the hardest part of this all will be living away from him. But when you've been with someone for so long, coping for long periods apart need'nt be an issue. I'm going to be back home a lot, and he's going to be visiting me too, and obviously he works a lot anyway so the time I really do get to spend with him is precious even when I am at home. He means the world to me and I'd never have eyes for anyone else, if that's what you are all getting at. We're going to work through it. Plus he may have moved out by the time I finish University too, so he may not be living at home!

So where am I going to be living? Kingston-Upon-Thames, which is a beautiful and glorious location in Surrey. I visited there on Friday and it literally has everything I could dream of. It's the perfect place for me and I'm very excited to be living there! Here, as always, are a few pics :)

The Bentall Centre, the MASSIVE shopping centre. There are also plenty of shops throughout the town too.



This is on campus in the John Galsworthy building, the newest addition to Kingston. This is where I will be doing a lot of my lectures.

Clayhill Halls of Residence, where I am going to be living for first year!

The beautiful river, which I now have the joy of living so close to!


That's just a few pictures of this gorgeous town. But when I move in I am sure I will have plenty more.

My life has been moving so quickly, as soon as I left Sixth Form I got a job, and now not long after I got into University and am moving out in three weeks. Which is slightly stressful for me but also incredibly exciting and it's also amazing how much my life is changing for the better. I officially left my Sixth Form on Thursday after an incredibly tough three years and I couldn't be happier to say that I have finally left the past and the bad memories behind and am moving forward with my life. It's a very refreshing feeling, for the most part. And it really just proves how far I have come in my recovery, and if I can be standing in this position of happiness then I know that you all can.

I will be updating you throughout my journey, of course, but for now, I GOT INTO UNIVERSITY! :)

Thanks for never giving up on me, I love you all.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

About worthlessness, and how to overcome

Although I have had a few blog ideas up my sleeve at the moment, I wanted some inspiration from others, and a good friend of mine told me to speak about worthlessness, and how much of a prominent feeling it is when you suffer from a mental health problem.

I actually looked up the word 'worthless' to find out what it actually means. After all, it's a word we tend to use all the time, sometimes without even thinking. So, courtesy of dictionary.com, worthless means:

 — adj

                                          without practical value or usefulness

                                    without merit; good-for-nothing

Now, I don't know about you, but of all the inspiring and wonderful people I have met in my life, not one of them lack practical value, and none of them are certainly good-for-nothing. Why do people with mental health problems ultimately deem themselves as worthless, even when they know they have succeeded in life?

Feeling worthless, I once read, derives from a stronger yearning to feel valuable in life. To feel like they need to please everybody. To feel as if you must succeed at every given task. This people-pleasing nature is a characteristic that commonly derives in those with mental health problems, people who strive and strive and strive, and even if they do please, nothing is good enough. This, coming from a more deeper perspective, can      come from that old can of worms called 'the past'. I know in my friends case, his past was led by a controlling father who wasn't willing to tolerate his wife's religion and therefore used it to manipulate and dictate his life. In which my friend begun to blame himself for his fathers actions as he believed it was his fault. This lead to the feeling of worthless, progressing onto depression, which unfortunately he still struggles with today.

In this case, my friend's fathers issues were ultimately his own (the fathers, I mean). It was his opinions that were the problem and it was nothing to do with anything that my friend did. He fell in love, quite simply put. But it's very easy to recognise how the fathers actions (which I won't go into) from then on then made my friend feel that he was worthless and to blame for the actions.

Feeling worthless, as my friend very well put in his email, often derives from a person projecting their negative energy and values onto ourselves, in combination with a people-pleasing and perfectionist personality. The first point, in my friends case, was his father. In my case, it was being bullied for the majority of my schooling life. The second quality isn't necessarily a bad thing, but combined together lead to disaster and it's important that as human beings we look after ourselves, and try not to let other peoples values and negative energy grind us further into the ground. We're only human, after all.

Whenever I start thinking that I'm worthless and 'good-for-nothing', I start to try and list the achievements I have made in my almost 20 years of being alive. And there's actually quite a few. I'd like to think of myself as academically sound, I am a good friend, I raise tons of money for charity and I have goals, ambitions and dreams that I'm so excited to pursue. I have fought through continuous battles with mental health and won, for the most part. How could any of those qualities lack worth? And I'd like you to take time from your day and recognise the qualities that you have, because whoever you are in the world, I know that you have some.

I then begin to think about who it is that's made me feel that way, why they've made me feel that way, and whose fault ultimately it is that I feel this way. Often, it's the person involved. If it's not a person, and it's something like for example, you've made a mistake at work, mistakes happen. If you learn from the mistake and go onto achieve the right thing next time, again, that doesn't lack worth. Life's all about learning and progressing, that's all we can ever do. We can't please everybody. We can't be perfect. So try not to let other people or situations get in the way of your happiness and beliefs in yourself. You are all worth something, each and every one of you.

I'm going to leave you today with a quote that my good friend sent to me when he requested that I write this blog this evening. It said:

'We need to have our own soundtrack, not someone elses'

Quite frankly, what an inspiring quote. We need to stop living our lives trying to please other people and try hard to make a balance between that and making ourselves happy too. You'll never reach your true potential in life if you are held back by others opinions and beliefs that you are not valuable.

Otherwise, what else can we feel but worthlessness?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Reflections on the Olympic games, and my own personal dreams

I, like most people, was glued to the Olympics for the 16 days of its showing. Being 1) from Great Britain and 2) from London, this was something that was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, especially those like me who live in East London, 15 minutes away from the Olympic Park!

I was somewhat sceptical at first and a little frustrated of all the coverage before the games, about how those who lived close to the Olympic site were going to have journeys disrupted, post arriving late, not be able to get to work, and once more, the media put a massive, pessimistic view of London and their ability to do anything, on the map. Yet of course, we delivered, train journeys were for the most part successful and there was much less disruption to the lives of Londoners that I ever thought there would be!

A few things stood out for me throughout these two weeks of fantastic sporting achievement for Great Britain. Many of our athletes I looked upon with extreme admiration as they fought their hardest for Olympic Medals. No doubt, my favourite athlete of the whole competition, and one who I have been following for a long time now is the beautiful, Jessica Ennis:

Jessica Ennis, in my eyes, is the epitome of hard work equalling success. You could see the dedication in her eyes and her drive to succeed in her heart. A multi-talented individual, of course, a heptathlete, meaning she was successful in seven different events, breaking her own record in the 100m hurdles. She was by no doubt my favourite athlete of the competition and I feel so happy for her, it was no less than what she deserved, 100%.

The point of my blog today was to reinstate the idea that Lord Coe discussed last night at the closing ceremony, about how the Olympics have, especially this year, inspired a generation. Hearing the stories about athletes starting out with nothing or never even trying out an Olympic sport until later on in life, those who have had tremendous stories of bravery and courage and have fought through battles to succeed, even if they don't receive a gold medal, the ability to even participate in the Olympics at all. What an opportunity and an achievement to tell the children later on in life!

I love sport, and I love watching sport, but I am physically not as fit as an athlete at all, and know that and feel just as content supporting the athletes rather than aspiring unrealistically to be one myself. But what the Olympics has inspired in me is to inspire others.

I get my A-level results on Thursday, and of course whilst, as every 18 (or 19 in my case) year old is feeling at the moment, I am a little bit nervous, I know full well that if I get setback by the results and don't get into University, I know that I worked my hardest and that there are always other opportunities. Life doesn't end at exam results. I get so many people asking me what I want to do or what I want to be when I am older and realistically, at 19, I don't think it's right that I should know that yet.

What I do want to do, however, is to inspire others, like these athletes have in the past few weeks. And if I can do that, I think I will have lived my life to the fullest and been the best that I can be. And that's more important to me, working my way towards full recovery, than getting A's or a first in anything.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Reverting back to old habits? - POTENTIAL TRIGGER

Warning: This post is potentially triggering. You have been warned.

Don't worry, I haven't suddenly gone on a massive turn downwards.

My eating habits have been somewhat bizarre over the past month. Have lost a significant amount of weight, although not a massive amount, and feel sick constantly, which inhibits my eating. And of course, working in retail, whatever you eat on your lunch break and before your shift is quickly worked off running around the store after customers and up and down stairs in the stockroom.

I hate admitting it, but because it's my blog I must, that watching the weight go down is somewhat satisfying. I had planned to embark on a new regime in regard to swimming to take my mind off the stresses and strains of work for a while, and will hopefully make me a little fitter. I don't want to be anorexic again, of course, but I am still not satisfied with my body, at all. I don't know. My mind is all over the place.

Finally got the guts to speak to both my assistant manager and my actual manager about my past issues yesterday. One of the scariest things I have ever done, especially in a new job where all you want to do is be a people pleaser and say yes to everything, but it was getting to the stage where working too much overtime was making my mood drastically decline and I had become concerned with my health over the weekend to the point where I felt that something needed to be said. My assistant manager already knew and luckily she is an extremely lovely lady who was very supportive but telling my manager was tough, a lady who is very driven and knows exactly what she wants. She was also supportive though, and we're going to work out my rota properly tomorrow. Working 6 days a week isn't good for me and isn't good for my health. And I feel impressed at myself that I finally identified that.

Unfortunately, I can't say I have been the smiley happy Amy that I have been in recent weeks, and I've taken a small turn in the wrong direction in regard to my mood. But I'm sure, that I'll be back up and running again soon.

After all, this is what life is about, right?

Monday, 6 August 2012

Brighton pics and a question?

I can't say my mood has been on the high as of late, so in apologies for my absence, I will grace you with some pictures of my recent holiday to Brighton with 5 of my good friends from Sixth Form. Enjoy!











Had a brilliant time, full of some fantastic memories.

Before I leave, I will ask one question though:
How on earth can you stop being a people pleaser?
Will leave you with that one today, and will be back with a proper blog soon.