First Blog Post

Hey!

Welcome to my blog! I wanted to give a little introduction to it and just say hi to everyone!

This is ‘The Everyday Adventure”, and this is how I see my life. I would never try and say that everyday is perfect, because it’s not! I have my down days just like everyone else, but this is part of the adventure. We can’t appreciate the good without a little bit of bad – just like we can’t have a rainbow without a little bit of rain (as cheesy as that is!). I’m only 21, and I am certainly a way off getting my sh!t together, so everyday is about the journey towards my goals and creating a positive and beautiful life – but enjoying that journey too – and that’s what this blog will do. I feel like eventually it will start to materialise into a kind of mind map of all the things that go on in my head – all my interests, struggles, the food I eat to be healthy and the food I eat for my cheat days, the make-up I like to wear, my motivations to get out of bed on the days I’m not feeling my brightest, my holidays, the health challenges I like to set myself, my goals and my dreams. And I’m not doing this because I think everyone wants to know all these things about me, I’m doing it because I know that when I was in my early teenage years, I would’ve benefitted from someone who had felt what I had felt and thought what I had thought, and knowing how they got themselves to a better place. I am the person who I needed when I was that age.

I don’t have a lot of money to go and hire an expensive personal trainer, or buy organic food from Waitrose. I’m a (reasonably) normal 21 year old, taking everyday as it comes, trying to achieve a positive body, mind and soul – and I hope you’ll join me in this everyday adventure

lots of love

Caitlan 19059427_10155419332937250_7103712703750267953_n

 

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My life with ‘Dysmenorrhoea’

Hi guys,

I really wanted to do a post about my experiences with ‘women problems’.. I mean of course if you’re a male then feel free to read, but I’m not going to censor anything! all the (gory) details will be added. Also if you think you could be offended by anything to do with this topic I wouldn’t read this post.. There will probably be some embarrassing things in here, but I wish that I had read something when I first started experiencing this, with all the details in it – complete honesty. So here we go –  Leaving my pride right here on the page and I’ll pick it back up once I get to the end!

dysmenorrhoea: Painful periods are very common; in fact, as many as nine out of ten women have them. The pain sometimes starts a few days before your period and can last for several days. When your period ends, the pain usually does too. Period pain is usually in the lower part of your abdomen (tummy) and is a cramping kind of pain.

I started my period when I was around 12 years old. I even remember the morning I started! I woke up and went to the toilet, and there it was. It was weird, I remember all my friends and I being SO excited about starting our periods, and how much I wanted it… Safe to say it was a HUGE anti-climax – plus there are no lessons which tell you about the side effects that could come with your period. We’re just left to figure it out on our own! So here we were thinking it was a simple I QUOTE “table spoon of blood” and then it’s done! Excuse my language but what a load of crap! hindsight is a great thing,

My first few periods were fine, they weren’t painful from what I remember but after maybe 3-4 of them they started to get heavy. I was always so conscious of leaking through and people seeing it, when I was on my period I would wear 2 pairs of knickers – both with huge sanitary pads in them, 2 pairs of leggings and then the trousers I wore – jeans most likely. And on top of that I still used to roll up toilet roll and stick it in my knickers as well. I look back on that now and it’s just crazy. I felt like I was wearing a nappy! One evening my (Step) Dad and I were in the living room, and the way I sit (even now and it has happened a few times since then!!) I sit on one of my feet.. So there I was just sitting casually, I get up and go to my room to hear… ‘Caitlan…. is this from you?’ and there were 4 footprints clear as day – on CREAM carpet, from where I was sitting on the couch to my bedroom across the hall.. I was so humiliated. At that time I’d only known my Stepdad for a few years, we hadn’t quite got that father daughter bond down yet.. but in his true style and nature, he told me a story about how he was in McDonalds once and this stunning girl walked in wearing white jeans.. all the boys were hollering at her.. until she got to the desk and the whole backside of her jeans was bright red from her period leaking. He instantly made me feel better – he has a knack for that even now.

So my periods were heavy -I remember being in an art class in year 9, and my period had leaked onto the wooden stool I was sat on.. and what colour was this wooden chair you ask? … White. it was white. The only white chair in the room and I sat on it.  I was SO embarrassed. My friends used to be able to wear just little pads and there I was with pads that could’ve doubled as a a king-size mattress for a mouse. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing!  My periods started getting painful when I was about 15/16. But not just ‘dysmenorrhoea’ (There’s a reason I put “” around the word), debilitating pains – to the point of almost passing out. This first happened in a biology lesson funnily enough. I was sat listening to the teacher when I started to get really hot and bothered, so I took off my cardigan.. I then started to feel REALLY nauseous.. and before I knew it I was standing up in the middle of the class and walking towards the door – with my vision going black. A support teacher in the class followed me out and I was stood against a wall, she started to disappear from sight and from sound – I remember saying miss I can’t see or hear you, and I fell to the ground. Within 20 seconds it had passed and I could hear and see again. That was experience number 1. Obviously I don’t remember all the cases – I’m 21 now and there’s been so many days I’ve been bed bound in excruciating pain. Obviously my Mum took me to a doctor to tell them what was going on.. They said that going on the pill would help the pain and make the flow lighter for me… did it? no of course it didn’t. The first pill I was on was called Microgynon – and don’t get me wrong, I know people who are on this and it works for them.. it just didn’t for me. I was on this for about 6 months, still having painful heavy periods, but it also sent me into depression – it changed my personality, I was ratty and snappy.. my Maths teacher actually pointed it out to me, and I stopped the pill instantly. I think it’s easy for people to say well you were using it for all that time, and it’s been going on for all this time.. why hasn’t anything been done.. But this pain is maximum 3 days of every month. once those 3 days are over I’m just happy and relieved.. life just goes on! There’s other things you worry about. It’s hard to fight something when it’s not happening then and there. I did get other appointments but I was simply thrown more contraceptive pills which never worked. (I’m now on my 4th kind)

I’d decided that it was time I really get down to what was causing these pains. I went to my GP at university and explained how I’d been getting bad pains along with very heavy bleeding. I’m the typical person who googles everything about my symptoms – no matter what they are.. And I’ve always had this suspicion that I could have endometriosis. I shared these suspicions and she said that my symptoms do point in that direction, but in order to medically diagnose me she would need to investigate. Firstly she wanted me to try a contraceptive pill called Yasmine, and she said that she wanted me to take 9 months worth without taking breaks between the months – as to mock pregnancy. She said that maybe tricking my body into thinking it’s pregnant (Not getting rid of the lining for 9 months) it could change my periods completely – less painful and lighter. This didn’t work either. So the next step was to see if I had any infections which could be causing my problems. It was basically a smear test.. She inserted this metal thing into my lady area, and swabbed it with a cotton bud type thing. For me it did hurt, and she did say it would.. during it it just felt uncomfortable – it was the first time I’d had anything done like that, which is horrible for anyone. But for me it set off cramps for the rest of the day (Not sure if it happens to everyone so don’t take my word for it) but as I said, she did say that this could happen to me. My results came back negative, so on my next appointment she said that I need to call the hospital and book myself in for a laparoscopy (Key hole surgery) which is one of the only ways to diagnose endometriosis.. Did I do this??? nope I did not. Yes I know – stupid stupid stupid. BUT there just never seemed to be a good time for me to be in hospital for surgery..  I had uni and exams and assignments. It just didn’t happen. She did however prescribe me Mefenamic Acid – Ponstan, which is supposed to help with period pains.. They do I guess, but not completely. Only recently did they lose their effect.

Another story was one weekend I was home from uni for 2 weddings (which were both on the same day). I woke up at 5am on that Saturday with period pains.. I was thinking right I just need to take a painkiller and get myself back to sleep before it gets too bad. I took a paracetamol and tried to get back to sleep but it was too late at that point. I couldn’t find a hot water bottle anywhere, so I stumbled to the bathroom and soaked a towel in hot water (It was the only thing I could think of! I was desperate! I couldn’t run the bath because whenever a shower or bath is run the pump makes a really loud noise – I didn’t want to wake everyone!), I laid in bed until the towel was so cold I couldn’t use it anymore.. By this point I was rocking back and forth in pain, I remember thinking to myself I can’t do this and I could feel myself drifting away again.. I stumbled through to my parents room where they were sleeping, and pretty much fell straight to the floor and told my mum I was passing out.. She called 111 for me, and managed to get a paramedic on the phone – who was really helpful. I was totally panicking and hyperventilating and she really calmed me down. My Mum went straight out once the shops had opened and bought me a hot water bottle and some stronger painkillers.. By 10am I was at the hairdresser getting my hair blow-dried! I made it to both weddings thank goodness – really didn’t think I’d make it but I pulled myself together… with the help of my period pain tablets (which only really take the edge off)

The amount of blood I seemed to shed controlled my life for 3-4 days out of every month. Some may not quite understand this, but on a normal day I would go through a super tampon in less than an hour.. a few months back I had JUST put in a tampon, and I was in the living room chatting to my mother in law, about 45 minutes past and I realised I could see blood on my foot.. I ran to the toilet and it was EVERYWHERE.. On a normal period I go through about 5 pairs of underwear! even when I wear a super tampon and a pad. I practically use up more than a whole box of super tampons every period – I think the boxes have 20 in them. I’ve been through 12 in one day before. During my period I get blood coming out of places I really shouldn’t – which is why I think it could be endometriosis… If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically when the lining of your uterus grows in other areas… It’s really scary! girls will know (and probably deny if you asked) that when you’re on your period your number 2’s are completely different.. mine are different because mine are just filled with blood.

It all came to a head last week. I woke up on Monday morning, with a slight tingle of period pains – which obviously progressively got worse and worse, until again I was rocking back and forth in pain. I found my trusty fluffy hot water bottle that H had bought for me, stumbled to the kitchen to boil the kettle.. I didn’t even make it until it had finished boiling. I instantly felt nauseous, I was sweating buckets but felt really cold, I was shaking – I fell to the ground and couldn’t move for a few minutes. I lay until I felt I could move without being sick, got myself just outside mine and H’s bedroom and lay on the ground again and called 111. She told me to consider going into A&E. We were there for about 6 hours when the doctor came to speak to us and said… “This is just pain associated with periods. it’s called dysmenorrhoea and it’s normal“. I was FUMING. I don’t agree with raising your voice at people, especially when it’s not their fault (Like people who shout at waitresses because they didn’t like their fish cakes… so rude and out of order) I was in no way rude – but I had just had enough of people dismissing me and the pain I felt. I just said to him I’m sorry but there is no way that the pain I feel is normal, he kept repeating that it’s pain women get. The conversation ended with me saying, I’m really sorry but there is no way I’m accepting that, and he went to speak to the gynaecology department to see what they could do.

With pain that is from within – not per se, a broken bone, or a burn, or a cut.. it’s hard for people to see. But what’s harder is when people undermine the pain you have experienced/are experiencing. There had been times I was laying with my head on the toilet seat because the pain I felt made me sick to my stomach. Times I had to miss school, parties, days out.. So when there’s a man stood in front of me telling me the pain I have isn’t stemmed from any conditions – it’s normal. It made me feel like no one was going to do anything to help me, they were just going to leave me for years and years to just get worse. But anyway, the gynaecologist came after 2 hours, and said that because I wasn’t in an emergency state, they couldn’t do anything for me then and there – but what he could do was write a letter for my GP to say I need to be referred on an emergency basis for a gynaecology appointment. The guy was SO helpful and SO understanding. I couldn’t thank him enough.

So as it stands right now, I’m waiting for a call to tell me the date of my gynaecology appointment. What I want to happen is for them to say that they are putting me forward for a laparoscopy, and for this to be sorted once and for all. Finding out I actually have endometriosis will be tough – emotional. But I will just be so relieved that I finally have answers – I can finally say I am NOT crazy and I am NOT overreacting. This is also a huge fear of mine. What if I don’t have it? but then what do I do? It’s hard because I know the pain I feel, and my friends and family have seen me in such states. I don’t know if I’m more scared of being told I do have it or if I don’t have it. I just want to know what is wrong with me, so I can find ways to not be in pain every month.

I’ve read blogs of people who have gone through years and years of excruciating pain, with doctors telling them it’s normal and nothing to worry about.. they get to their 30s when it’s time to start creating a family of their own and they realise there’s an issue with their fertility, to then find out it’s been endometriosis the whole time. My worst nightmare is being told I can’t have children, or being told the longer I wait the less likely I am to get pregnant. It’s all scary stuff for me – and anyone who experiences it! Obviously right now I don’t really have any answers, but I just want to tell the girls that are experiencing this – you are NOT crazy. Don’t let people tell you it’s normal if you know inside that it isn’t.. Listen to YOUR body! Keep pushing it and fighting your case and don’t let them push you to one side! (By the way, I am in NO way blaming this on the health service here – I don’t blame anyone for this, it’s not like I think they have some vendetta against women and their pains.. I just think it’s hard when you’re the one in the pain and you don’t seem to be getting anywhere with it)

Anyway, time to pick my pride back up! now everyone knows about my toilet habits and period accidents!

As I always say, please feel free to message me! I’ve had lots of messages and I love hearing from you!

love, Caitlan x

 

Update

Hi guys!

So I haven’t been able to post a lot recently. If you read my last post you’d know that I haven’t been very well. Whilst I was on holiday in Cyprus I was admitted into hospital as I was having excruciating pains in my lower back area (The right flank for all you medics out there). They did an ultrasound on me and decided I needed to be admitted – I had a kidney infection in my right kidney and they found cystine kidney stones in my left kidney. The hospital was amazing – within one hour I’d had an ultrasound, been put into a private room (with ensuite and a bed for H to sleep in… AND a balcony), had an IV put in, and had an X-ray.. So they were sUPER quick. If I’d have gone to a&e in the UK I’d have been waiting 5 hours just to be seen by a doctor (As I found out the other day!).

I still had the best holiday – but it’s not easy to enjoy yourself when you’re in pain all the time! plus is wasn’t just my holiday, it was H’s as well, so I had to grin and bear it as much as I could – he gets majorly stressed when I’m not well and I didn’t want him to worry! To make matters worse I was in A&E on Monday with excruciating period pains (I almost passed out), so I’ve been bed-bound since I got back from Cyprus – I cleaned our bathroom the other day and ended up in agony afterwards. It’s literally being stuck in bed – which I am NOT good at!

I’ve suffered a lot over the past few years with kidney problems, and I’ve suffered for nearly 10 years with a more personal and womanly issue – REALLY painful periods, to the point of passing out and being sick. I think this is something people need to hear about so they know they aren’t on their own if they’re experiencing anything like this. I’ve been very docile with my healthcare and only now have I decided I’m not going to sit back untreated anymore. I’m going to write 2 separate blogs, one for my kidneys and one for the period pains. I really hope someone can relate to them – I’ve heard a lot of stories, and through my research I found them helpful, so hopefully I can do the same for someone else.

Keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow,

love Caitlan x

My Insecurities

Hey guys!

Firstly I would like to apologize for my lack of posts – I’ve had the busiest few weeks. First it was my graduation and then H and I went on holiday – and now I’m bed bound with kidney problems. So I’ve been in and out of hospital in Cyprus and in the UK trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. Obviously health comes first and I want to try and get myself sorted first before I get back into the swing of things. I’m not well yet, but I thought I’d write a post I’ve been thinking quite a lot about!

Insecurities. I’ve been really anxious about writing this post. I want to pride myself on being honest and transparent with everything that I write, but this topic is a sensitive one for me – as I’m sure it is for many. It’s a topic close to my heart, just because I am probably one of the most insecure people you would ever meet. And similarly to my anxiety, this started at a very young age.

I think I was a cute baby, I look at these photos and they do make me smile. It makes me smile when people say that I look exactly the same now as I did then – but the photos of when I reached my ‘ugly’ stage still upset me, and honestly over those years I just seemed to get worse!

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I never felt pretty, I was never really told I was pretty. I didn’t get any attention from boys, like the girls at my school did. I wouldn’t say that I felt invisible – I felt inferior, not pretty enough, not funny enough, not outgoing enough – undesirable, not enough. I lived with my mums younger sister throughout my child hood, and I always knew she was prettier than me, she did gymnastics, she was popular in school, and she was always skinnier than me (Still is! – even after having a baby), I felt ugly and fat, but at the time I kind of accepted that she was better than me in every way. Even looking at my parents, who are both very attractive people – I got told on numerous occasions, If your parents are so good looking what happened to you? and I didn’t know the answer.

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I was extremely shy. If we were at a family gathering at a pub with a play ground, I’d be the one child sat with the parents. I just felt awkward, like nobody wanted to be my friend or play with me – I was just a shadow of my Auntie whenever I did pluck up the courage to join in. I know I wasn’t the prettiest of children. I had many scares of old photographs coming up on my Facebook and I rushed to get rid of them when they surfaced. And when people did see them (this still happens) they just laugh and say ‘gosh you were so unfortunate’ or ‘ugly duckling syndrome’, but It’s hard for others to see that that little girl is still inside me somewhere, still scared of not being seen as pretty, or being compared to other girls. There was one night I remember, I think I was 9 or 10, and I sat in my bedroom on the floor in front of the mirror and cried. I cried for what seemed like hours, just staring at myself. All I saw was ugliness. So when people comment on how I looked when I was younger, it still hurts a little bit. Just because I remember the heart ache I felt when I sat on that night.

I was insecure about my nose – which isn’t on the small side, and I’ve had that pointed out MANY times – even now, and it’s still my biggest insecurity. I just think it does not suit my face, it’s completely out of proportion and wonky. I’ve always had very bad skin on my back and shoulders, which is only just starting to clear up – I’ve finally found a routine that works!. And I have also been diagnosed with tinea versicolor which alters my skins pigmentation in little patches, making them darker and lighter – which is not very nice to look at.

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So, about my nose – it was earlier this year that I received some very horrible and personal messages from a member of H’s ex girlfriends family. She embarrassed me on my social media, and texted H some nasty messages. He hadn’t shown me what she had written,  but I had a feeling he wasn’t telling me everything so I asked to see the message and God I wish I hadn’t. The worst thing for me in the message was that she had called me a “big nose lil c**t”… I didn’t give her any reactions, but I stayed in bed for 2 days crying. Imagine someone who had never seen you before, only saw photos, and that was the thing they picked up on – my biggest insecurity. I was devastated. To me, girls should support each other and make each other feel pretty and empowered, so I couldn’t understand how someone could have so much hatred towards me to comment on my face. I would never have done that, no matter what the circumstances are. I still hate my nose, and when I can afford it I will be correcting it. I want to be able to look at photos of me from the side without cringing. I’d like to think on my wedding day I wouldn’t need to be conscious of my nose ruining the photo.

I had my graduation a few weeks ago, and we paid for some professional photos to be taken. Honestly when I saw them on the website the next morning I could have cried. They were so unflattering, he didn’t take my features into account – my nose looks HUGE, and mouth looks awful, my hair looked flat. I was devastated. Everyone else looked to pretty and happy, and I just looked ugly.

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My weight has always been a big issue for me. It was a running joke in my family about my huge portions and ability to go back up for thirds and finishing off the left overs. Obviously it was lighthearted, but I realised that it massively affected the way I saw myself. I saw myself as the big one who ate the most, I was called chubby quite a lot. I always had a big bum as well which I hated – I covered it up everyday with a cardigan – even though I lived in the Middle East and it was 30 degrees everyday – I didn’t even swim without a t-shirt and shorts on.  It wasn’t until I saw the photo below that I realised I needed to make a change

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Yeah most people just say – you look fine, you don’t even look big.. etc.. But that wasn’t the point. The point to me was that I did not see myself as looking like this – it was a scary reality check that I hated the way my body looked and I needed to do something about it. There’s other photos online that even now make me feel a bit sad, sad because I never realised that I probably should’ve been watching what and how much I was eating. From when I saw this photo my life changed, I lost a lot of weight – some would say too much, but I’d NEVER felt better.

10370448_10152430889627250_6371364948190266685_nI went from about 11.5/12 Stone to 9 stone, which is a lot of weight, but I did it in an extremely healthy way, and I was loving my change in lifestyle. This was put backwards during my time at university, but it was hard to keep up with it as a student!. Luckily now I’m getting back on top of it, but anyway  – I sorted my weight and I felt good. At that time, I’d had my braces taken off, the glasses had gone, my skin had cleared up and I’d decided to have a change of hair colour, and dyed it dark brown from my natural dark blonde. I felt really good about myself – I’ve never thought of myself as pretty, but I was happy with my body.

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Being secure in the way you look takes a long time, and I’m not there yet. I hated the photos of me from my graduation, and looking at the photos H took of me on holiday, I just think I look awful. Which does make me sad. I look at H and all the photos I took of him (literally hundreds), seeing how gorgeous he looks and I can’t help thinking that people must look at us and not understand why he’d be with me.

Growing up has a lot to do accepting yourself, I’m only 21 and still have a long way to go. Like I said before, if I could change one thing I would change my nose, it’s not for everyone – everyone I know will tell me not to do it. But they don’t understand how it does affect the way I see myself – especially after receiving those horrible messages. I’ve dreaded these photos ever coming up on my timeline, and it’s about time I just let it go. Yeah I wasn’t the prettiest girl, I didn’t have nice teeth or nice skin, my glasses didn’t suit me and neither did my hair, my fashion sense didn’t do me any favours, but do you know what – I have always had a good heart. So people can make fun of me as much as they want, I won’t pretend it doesn’t hurt me, but that’s what I used to look like, to me it’s still what I look like now! but no one can make fun of my character. I think that that is much more important.

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Almost 10 years on, I look more like this:

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Still the same girl, just 10 years on!

Commenting on the way someone looks is one of the worst forms of bullying. It happens way too often, by too many spiteful people. I can’t give any advice on what to do if this happens to you, but I’m 21 years old and I still cried in bed just like I did when I was a child when I was called ugly – but what I can say is I understand. I understand how it feels to not feel pretty, and not feel good enough for anybody. I understand what it’s like to not understand your body shape if it isn’t the same as your friends – it makes you feel like it’s a bad thing. I understand what it feels like to always be the ugly friend that gets no attention from boys. But in time you will find someone who thinks you’re pretty and sexy, and loves every inch of you and your imperfections. H has helped me a lot, I wouldn’t say he’s magically turned me into a secure person, but it makes me feel good when he compliments me.

This post seems a bit here there and everywhere to me, maybe I’ll go over more things in detail later on but I wanted to at least post something this week as I’ve been so rubbish recently.

Thank you for reading,

love Caitlan xx

Cleanse – Day 4 & 5

Hey guys!

So keeping up everyday with my progress is a lot harder than I thought!! plus on day 4 I ate the chicken salad so I had no new recipes to show. I’ll probably do an update every few days.

So far I’m feeling good, but I struggle in the evenings. All my family have dinners at around 6 O’clock, but I have to eat mine early evening, so I usually have mine at around 4.30-5pm, so when they’re eating theirs I feel a little bit left out!

But I’m enjoying my meal times and wanting to try more recipes. Tonight I made a prawn Vietnamese curry which was insaaaaane. (It doesn’t look that appetising but TRUST me it was amazing)

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Ingredients:

  • Frylight sunflower oil spray
  • 1 onion – thinly sliced
  • 2 lemongrass sticks -trimmed and chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • 1-2tbsp curry powder
  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1tsp chicken stock
  • 200g Raw Prawns
  • 150g Pak Choi

Cook the onion, lemongrass, chilli and curry powder in the oil for about 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

add the milk, sugar, fish sauce, stock and prawns, then bring to simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the prawns are just turning pink, then add the pan choi for 1-2 mins

Calories: 192

My University Experience

Hey guys,

So this post will be about my time at university. I really struggled with uni, however  I know a lot of people who have loved every minute of it, so if you feel as though you could be offended by anything on this topic, I wouldn’t read this post. This is my experience, it’s nothing to do with the friends I made – I did make some lovely friends. This is not a reflection of my friendships.

I was really excited to start uni. I’d been living in the states, so I was honestly looking forward to being in the UK where I was legal and able to finally go out! I love meeting new people so I was looking forward to that too – just the freedom! I couldn’t wait. All throughout my first 2 years, the social side of uni was amazing, but the academic side was always my biggest downfall. Since day one I felt as though I was so out of place. Everyone was so keen to get to know the lecturers and answer questions in the lectures and seminars, and I just wasn’t interested! I only got to know one of my lecturers, and that was because I had a full blown anxiety attack outside of a seminar class and he literally had to drive me home (a 45 minute drive – embarrassing isn’t even the word). First year was a breeze and looking back now I did the bare minimum – enough to pass. I just wanted to go out and enjoy myself! and I only ever seemed to be enjoying myself when I had a drink in my hand. So don’t get me wrong, I did have some AMAZING times, but they only ever seemed to be when I was on a night out or getting ready for one.

I got anxious whenever I had to go into uni, the horrible feeling in your stomach – every single time. I think people just thought I was lazy when I missed lectures but it was honestly because the feeling it gave me thinking about going in was so crippling I just couldn’t convince myself to go. I don’t know why that is yet. Maybe I’ve never felt as though I deserved to be there, like I’m not smart enough or worthy enough. I had a few comments by some people about our high school education, and they could not believe I had been privately educated and did really well – It was a huge surprise to them, but they commented in a really rude way that has stuck in my mind since they said it. It was as though they were saying there is no way you went to private school and there’s no way you got good results… One part of me thought, well we are at the same uni and we both had the same requirements so if you deserve to be here so do I, but the other part of me thought gosh maybe they’re right. Maybe I’m not ‘Durham Material’. I’ve always been life of the party and I love having a good time, but when it came to the academic side I was a recluse, I didn’t feel confident in my intelligence, and by the comments I got – no one else was either.

It was really lonely sometimes. Like I said before, most of my friends were so keen to get involved in the academic side, and the sports. I joined netball, which had training sessions every Tuesday and this was hard. I’d go from being so confident on a night out, to just unsure and self conscious. Anxious that people didn’t like me and were judging me and talking about me. There were so many confident people, I guess I felt inferior. I just couldn’t find my place!

At my uni during my freshers week we had Wreps and Freps looking after us during events in and out of uni, the Freps partied with us and it seemed like such a fun job to have. I tried my absolute best to get as involved as I can in first year, so I decided to apply for the Free job for the new freshers. Everyone I spoke to about it said I was pretty much guaranteed it, but I didn’t get it. I tried even harder second year to get involved with my college in every aspect, and I was told I was guaranteed it again, but I STILL didn’t get it. I just didn’t understand. At that point I just thought what is even the point? I had tried to hard and it didn’t pay off – in my social life and at uni – my work never seemed to get the top marks no matter if I spent every waking hour in the library and was confident in the assignment.

If you’d read my anxiety blog post, you’ll know that I had a really rubbish relationship for the first 2 years of uni, which really did not help at all – I should’ve known better really! I wasn’t doing as well as I wanted in my academics, I didn’t get the Frep position for the second time, my relationship had completely gone to sh!t and I just did not know what to do with myself. All I knew of uni was my relationship, so it was hard to see how I’d cope with not having that in my final year. I went to summer dreading going back. Luckily in the summer I met H, which turned my life around for the summer.. until reality hit us and it was time for me to be back at uni. By the Christmas holidays I was dead set I wasn’t going back. I thought about all the crap I had been through, the heartbreak, the let downs, the tears, yeah I only had 4 months left at uni, but WHY would I put myself through 4 more months of absolute misery when I’d already had over 2 years of it? It didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to be home with H, creating a life for us together – not sitting on my own in my uni bedroom not being able to get out of bed. Those last few months were torture. I stopped going out, I’d stopped going to netball training and stopped competing in the games all together, I didn’t socialize. I didn’t want to be there, and the whole time I was there I was depressed and anxious. Keeping up with friendships was too much stress for me, and I couldn’t handle it. Just having one conversation felt as though I had the whole world on my plate. It was horrible. I even missed lots of family events because I couldn’t bring myself to go, knowing I’d have to actually hold a conversation.

It got to a point where once I got within 5 minutes of university my heart would start racing, I’d feel teary and panicky – there was once my bus was super late, and I was going to be SO late to a seminar. I messaged my mum because I had gotten myself into such a mess about it, thinking what if I go in and he embarrasses me in front of everyone, what if he’s cross with me. She just said to knock, explain the situation and apologise for being late. I got to uni, got outside the room – at this point I was 35 minutes late, over half way of the whole seminar. I stood outside the room and I instantly began to panic. My breathing was fast, heart rate up, shaking, crying hysterically and I couldn’t speak. I ran to the uni student services to see if they could help me, but there were students in there – I didn’t want to wait too long as I wanted to go back to the seminar room and explain that I didn’t just not show up. I went back to the seminar room as time was running out, and as soon as he asked me what was wrong I burst into tears and couldn’t speak. He offered to drive me home, and I explained all my anxiety issues. He did his best to help me, he really made the last few months a bit more bearable – he excused me from an exam because I had missed SO much content, which did take the pressure off!

I haven’t stopped feeling anxious about uni until literally yesterday 20th June at 2pm. Which is the day I got the results of my degree. I have NO idea how but I managed to get an upper second class degree, which is just so bizarre to me. Feels like they’ve made a mistake but I won’t be saying anything!!. I finally feel like I’m free to be me and to get on with my life, it’s over and done with and I could not be any happier. I’m not sure if I’m glad I did it, I mean it’s great that I have a degree, and I didn’t quit (I rarely quit anything, it’s my biggest downfall sometimes!). But being at university made me into the person I used to be. It dragged me back and I was at square one. I won’t look at university as the best 3 years of my life, it’ll be 3 years of life lessons and tests of my strength! which I’m sure I’ll grow to appreciate, but for now I’m happy its over and I get to enjoy my life! Honestly I’m really anxious that I’ll go back to feeling crap again, especially when I have no reason to. It REALLY scares me. I just want to do things that make me happy, and I’m hoping this will be enough to keep my recovery moving forward rather than backward.

Like I said, uni is not for everyone. It really affected my mental and physical health, and to me nothing is worth that. In hindsight if someone had come to me and said that they knew 100% how my mind and body would react to the stress, I wouldn’t have even thought about going. Uni can be the best years of your life, unfortunately for me it wasn’t – but fortunately for me I’ve gotten through it with a good degree! If it’s taught me anything, it’s that I CAN overcome challenges, and I have strong willpower.

I wanted to write this because you hear a LOT about how amazing uni is and how it’s the best times of your life, and I felt a lot of pressure because of this. Pressure to have a good time, to make life long friends, to mature and have more responsibility. I don’t regret going, not at all – but I would have loved to have had someone been honest with me about their experience instead of painting a rosy picture.

YOU can do whatever you set your mind to. It will be hard, and you’ll want to quit, but let your feelings when you’ve finished be your motivation. The feeling of the weight lifting off your shoulders. Nothing is unattainable if you set your mind to it!

lots of love

Caitlan x

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Cleanse – Day 2 & 3

Hey guys!

didn’t post my day 2 on my actual day 2 but had a rollercoaster day of it yesterday and the last thing I could do was sit and write a post! got my university results which turned out SSOOOOO much better than I thought, so thrilled! But back to the cleanse

I had a busy day yesterday, I had a hair appointment, driving lesson and I was getting my results so I found it SO much easier than the first day. I organised my time better – when to take the supplements and when to have the fiber and when to have my free foods. I haven’t felt hungry AT ALL. The only time I really. wanted a meal was when my mother-in-law made Thai curry last night and I could smell it and I felt left out so I had a bowl of broccoli instead – not quite the same but ah well!

I honestly thought I’d find these first 2 day SO hard, but I think I’ve done absolutely fine! I feel good too so that’s an added bonus. Today is my day 3, and I’m excited that I get to eat a meal and try out new recipes. I’ve done SO much research into meals that are less than 600 calories, the first one I’m having tonight is a chicken salad with Mango Salsa – I’m so excited it’s only 8.30am and I’ve already put my chicken in its marinade – such a saddo! I’ll take a photo of the results and post the recipe onto this page when it comes to early evening.

It’s now 6 O’clock on Wednesday evening – I had my dinner and it was AMAZING.19478181_10155444196087250_309442913_n.jpg

So so tasty. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup Cilantro (Coriander)
  • 4 Chicken Breasts (I obviously just did one but this recipe is for 4 people)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 4 crushed garlic clove (I used 2)
  • 1 red pepper
  • lettuce (whichever you prefer – and its a free food so enjoy unlimited amounts!!)
  • 1 mango (I only used 1/4 of the mango)
  • red chilli flakes

So Firstly this morning I put my chicken breast into a zip lock freezer bag, along with the juice of a lime, a crushed clove of garlic and some coriander (My favourite herb by miles) and kept that in the fridge for the whole day.

Once it came time to cook I put the chicken breast on my George foreman grill – obviously you can cook it however you want it! Whilst that was cooking I washed and chopped up my lettuce, pepper, mango and coriander and put them on a plate. For the dressing I used the olive oil, chilli flakes, juice of a lime and garlic. Simply put the chicken on top of everything and then add the dressing! simples! It’s so fresh and yummy – I’d had this at a restaurant and have been obsessed ever since. It’s a fool proof dish really! On the original recipe it does have onion in with the mango but I chose not to today. The dish is 472 calories! so way under my 600 calorie max.

Will be trying a different recipe tomorrow, haven’t quite figured out which one yet but I think it COULD be a Vietnamese prawn curry (yaaaaaaaassss)

Lots of love, Caitlan x

Cleanse – Day 1

Hey guys,

So it’s currently 7pm on Monday evening, feeling positive, struggling slightly with timings but it’s all going well so far. I’m actually not hungry at all, considering I have only eaten  broccoli today! I had my shake earlier, and decided I’m going to get some frozen berries to add to it to make it a little bit more interesting over the 9 days. I’ve been researching a lot of recipes of meals that are under 500 calories, and done some food shopping this evening so I’m excited to try some of those.

To be honest, the one thing I’m struggling with is the aloe vera gel mixed with water, which I have 4 times a day. Even though I have this pretty much everyday, for some reason I’m really struggling to finish them today. I’m hoping this will change in a few days. Today and tomorrow are the most challenging days – these are the ‘reset days’, no meals but unlimited amounts of the free foods they list in the booklet. But by day 3 I’ll be excited to try all my new recipes and actually eat a meal!

Caitlan x

 

 

My first 9 day Cleanse

Hey guys!

I’m very excited that tomorrow I will be starting my first ever cleanse – slightly nervous, but super excited to see what my results will be!

My mission for this cleanse is to clear out all the toxins, and condition my mind to be ready for a change in my diet. I’m not really looking to lose weight, a few inches off my waist wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but I’m reasonably happy with the weight I’m at – considering I’m quite tall for a girl (5’7 / 175cm) – just definitely need to start toning up and unleashing the sexy lady I know is inside of me somewhere! The booklet does show some example work out routines, and I’ll definitely try a few of the exercises but I’m currently developing my own with my PT (AKA my partner H), and I’m really happy with it – but there’s always room for improvement so I’m sure I’ll pick up a few exercises over the 9 day course.

The little booklet that came with my cleanse had a section where you write down your measurements before the cleanse and after it. My before measurements are:

  • Waist: 27 inches
  • Thighs: 22 Inches
  • Hips: 38 Inches
  • Chest: 33 Inches
  • Bicep: 10 Inches
  • Calves: 14 Inches
  • Weight: 10.5 Stone / 66.6kg / 147lbs

I won’t be reweighing or measuring myself until the 9 days are done, so I’ll share my post cleanse results to see if it made any difference!

I think the thing I’m most nervous about is when the evenings start to come – during the day I feel really good, and the weather is amazing at the moment in London and something comes over me like ‘yeah, I’m so healthy and I love broccoli and salad’, but as soon as it starts getting dark I’m sat on Instagram and Facebook watching videos of people making towers of nachos, lemon cheesecake and those weird cake things that people stick their spoons into and it’s all gooey on the top – I mean come on.. I have the worst nacho obsession and sweet tooth. I’ve tried substituting things, like making a fruit salad with yoghurt and granola but in reality it’s never going to compare to eating cheesecake till I feel like I’m never going to be able to eat anything ever again. Another thing I’m going to struggle with is not being able to drink fizzy drinks – I haven’t quite come to terms with this yet so I’ll let you know how I get on.

Another thing I need to work on is my moderations. I am TERRIBLE at this. Eating in moderation are three words I hate being used together in a sentence. If I go to the cinema, it won’t be a little cheat night – I’ll have a large ice blast, large sweet popcorn, 2 scoops of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough with hot fudge on the top AND probably a pick’n’mix too (yeah I know we all do it – it’s not just me).. I need to learn that having a ‘cheat day’ doesn’t mean completely eating my body weight in crap until H has to roll me out of the cinema or restaurant or wherever we are. I mean don’t get me wrong, I won’t be completely cutting out my favourite things like sweets and ice cream – but for me personally, if I went crazy on my ‘cheat day’, it would turn into a frenzy and I won’t stop. I know myself and I know my body, I envy the people who can have a full blown cheat day with pizzas and ice cream and sweets and cakes – but I cannot do this. Right now I think I’ll allow myself one treat a week – BUT do some healthy alternative IF I can – I love frozen yoghurt and I probably enjoy it the same as ice cream, so I’d have that instead if I had a craving. I will be learning along the way, changing and improving my diet and still finding out what works for me in terms of finding the right balance. Life is for you to enjoy! make sure you aren’t being unfair on yourself. If you completely cut out all the foods you like that aren’t so healthy, you’ll start to hate your diet – have that odd magnum or glass of prosecco, just don’t over due it!. I used to find it so annoying when people said moderation – but that is really what it’s about!

The first 2 days don’t actually allow you to have a full meal – theres a list of free foods that I can have unlimited amounts of, but no meals. These two days will be my toughest I think. Firstly because no sweet potato for me (I live off sweet potato), and secondly because my energy levels will drop so much, I think it’ll feel weird not being able to do a good workout (It advises you to do 30 mins of light exercise, like go for a walk), not sure how much I’ll like that to be honest  – like on Friday I didn’t do a workout in the morning like most mornings, I was waiting until I could use my Father-in-Laws gym with H so he could train me in there in the evening, but my energy levels were so different not having worked out! (Probably doesn’t help that I was up most of Thursday night organising my blog!) but I know I’m going to feel SO great after those two first days are done.

Anyway, I look forward to posting my progress and tell everyone how I’m getting on!! Make sure you contact me if you have any questions about anything I’m doing!

lots of love

Caitlan x

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My Relationship

I started my blog just yesterday, and I’m keen to add more content – I’ve done my introduction and my first experiences of anxiety, so I thought I’d move on to write something more positive – my beautiful relationship.

I’d just finished my second year of university. I’d had my heartbroken for the first time, and I felt I needed to get away in order to fix it. My parents live in Malta, which is a beautiful country, and I was lucky enough to work there for the summer (the work was hard but I won’t get into that malarkey!), but the best thing that came out of last summer, was meeting my soul mate. I worked in a hotel, and he happened to be a guest at that hotel, one thing led to another and we ended up talking – a LOT. I couldn’t get enough of him! He came at a time where I’d decided I was fully content with being on my own, I was happy being single and was not looking for a relationship – until it hit me like a ton of bricks!!!!

I’d come into work and obviously guests would come and go all the time, but I was walking to the office one morning which was by the main swimming pool and there he was – I still have the image of him in my mind, the first moment I laid eyes on him. Honestly, I loved him. Standing on the other side of the pool, in some bright (really short) swim shorts, with his olive tan skin and brown curly hair – he was everything I looked for in a man (Looks wise). It’s funny because just a few days before I was talking to one of the girls at work about what our types were, and I said someone tall, olive toned skin, and they MUST have facial hair. He was everything I had mentioned in that conversation. It’s like the universe decided I was ready to meet my match and it brought him to me. There was an instant attraction there from both of us – friendly flirting throughout his stay, until he plucked up the courage to see if I wanted to go on a night out. From that night on, there hasn’t been a day we haven’t spoken. He even came to the table tennis (which was right next to the office) and play 200 times a day just to talk to me!

Don’t get me wrong, at first I didn’t need him and I kind of expected it to be a holiday romance. I really liked him and I was SO attracted to him, but I was prepared for it to sizzle out and I was okay with that. I thought that if this is what it was going to be, I can live with it. But luckily for me after he left, he came back, and then he came back again! I don’t think he wanted to be without me, and I knew his feelings were real, and just as strong as mine. I couldn’t believe (and still can’t believe) someone like him would want to be with someone like me! He is perfect for me. In actual fact we met on the 12th August 2016, and we now live together!. He is an amazing partner, I say partner because I can’t call him my boyfriend – he is SO much more than that.

He’s funny, witty, smart, caring, silly, honest, loyal, he makes me feel beautiful, he tells me how proud I make him, he tells me he loves me, he puts up with my neediness, he likes me to sit in the bathroom with him whilst he showers, he doesn’t like it if I don’t text him when he goes out with his friends, he’s my shoulder to cry on, he stays up at night when he knows I’m not well – getting me water, cold flannels for my head, headache tablets, he knows when I’m hormonal, he sings songs with me in the car, he takes care of my family, he tells me when I’m wrong and supports me when I’m right, he puts up with my OCD, he lifts me up on my down days and celebrates with me on my good days, he comes home with my favourite sweets and drinks, he takes me on dates, he watches movies that I like, he walks around a make-up shop with me and lets me use his hand to swatch the products on, he accepts my past – it didn’t scare him away, he helps me face my problems and we do it together, he works so hard for our future, and has never let me feel unwanted or unloved. He is the light in my life, he makes my soul happy, he makes me laugh even when I don’t want to. He makes me feel like I’ve won the lottery!!

People always seem to be in a rush in their relationships – We’ve moved in together extremely soon, but that is how our situations have panned out. If we didn’t move in together I would have been up north and he would have been here in London, we did long distance through my whole third year of university, and we had had enough. Even now, we’ve been living with each other for a few months now, and for me it is still a blessing that I get to see him everyday. It doesn’t seem to soon for either of us, we’ve fitted into each others lives like a piece in a puzzle, like it was meant to be.

I didn’t really believe in soul mates. I loved the idea of them, and wished I could have that. I decided that no matter who you were with you could make it work if you chose to. I still believe that don’t get me wrong, theres bumps in every relationship – mine is not perfect, but we made the decision together that we were meant to be, and we would make this work. I think if I hadn’t have met him in Malta, eventually I would have done. I believe I was born so eventually I could be with him and steer him in the right direction, to encourage him to better himself, and I think he’s here to keep me upbeat, to keep me smiling, and to remind me to not take myself or life too seriously. I think people can make a relationship work, but having a relationship with your soul mate is so much easier, so much more authentic and effortless. We don’t argue – if we do it’s jokingly, I can say we have had one big argument in our relationship, which was easily sorted out – and it was because I was letting outsiders influence my relationship. Which I learned my lesson!

I went from a terrible relationship, thinking I was just going to be alone and I’d never find the one for me, to finding the perfect match at the most unexpected time. I am SO excited for our future and all the things we’re going to achieve together.

If you decide to read this H, I absolutely, wholeheartedly adore you. You are an amazing person (although you’re super messy and always leave wet towels on our bed), with a pure and caring heart. Thank you for helping me through this year, I couldn’t have done it without you and your cuddles. I love you, always

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My First Experiences of Anxiety and Depression

I had a lovely but hard childhood. I grew up with my mums younger brother and sister (they’re near enough my age – it’s a long old story), we were like brother and sisters really. We played together – mostly picked on Mikey to be honest but that’s another story altogether. I adored my Mum, I worshipped the ground she walked on – honestly I think it was kind of an unhealthy obsession, but she was my world. My Mum had me when she was really young, a lot of people will have an opinion on this, but honestly – although our relationship has had it’s ups and downs over the years, she is an incredible woman. She has the most amazing work ethic of anyone I know, and she works everyday towards her dreams. It sounds so bizarre, but I have watched my mum grow up, just the same as she’s watched me grow up, and I couldn’t be more proud. She inspires me everyday. If I’m having a crappy day and I’m feeling really demotivated, I can call my mum and after 5 minutes I’m back on my feet again. The reason I say, our relationship has had its ups and downs is because I will not paint a fairy tale image of my life and the relationships in it – not that there’s anything wrong with that! if that’s what makes you happy, than you do that, but for me it’s not fulfilling or satisfying trying to portray my life to be something it isn’t. There were times I didn’t want to be around her, and she didn’t want to be around me, obviously I don’t know how my mum felt at the time – when you’re a kid you don’t think about how your parents are feeling, you only think about how you are feeling, but I know I felt like I had a lot to prove, and I wasn’t good enough. My mum was a young mum, but still managed to be successful, we lived in a beautiful place in a beautiful country, we had everything we needed – she made it in everyone’s eyes. It’s hard to keep up with that! I felt a lot of pressure in a lot of ways (It’s easy to create these pressures in your head), and honestly that pressure only just recently stopped when I finished university. When I say my childhood was hard, I mean I was anxious about a LOT of things, and I felt sad – I wanted to please everybody and make sure I was living up to their expectations – and its a lot for a kid to take on, and it made life less enjoyable and less easy.

My mum worked a lot, which is where my anxieties first kicked in – I didn’t want to be without her. I remember crying at the window whilst I watched her drive away, and it felt as though she’d taken a part of me with her. I felt hollow and didn’t know what to do with myself – A feeling I got to know very well over my life, especially with boyfriends. Maybe it’s signs of having an addictive personality? I don’t know, but there always seemed to be someone ruling my existence, and as soon as they left, I didn’t know who I was anymore. It was hard, it was painful, and it was debilitating. My parents separated before I was born, which meant I had to see my Dad every other weekend, and gosh did this take its toll on me. I think it affected my stability and consistency in life, and obviously – I just wanted to be with my mum!

I always felt that I was just a sad person. That no matter how good my life was, I was always going to be sad. I showered myself in sadness – listening to sad music, creating scenarios in my head of how terrible my life was and how depressed I was. At this time I was living in Qatar – which is a country I hold close to my heart, but I was still sad! I had lovely friends, a lovely caring boyfriend, a beautiful house with a swimming pool – a life kids my age dreamt of really!, but I still felt sad. The times I felt happy was when I was out with my friends, or with my boyfriend. I needed them to be happy, and without them I was hollow and miserable. It felt like I was happy until I walked through the door of my house – like it was a portal to misery. Honestly, I’m still trying to get my head around why it was like that, and I just think it was all to do with my relationship with my Mum. It kills me to say this, but at that time, she was a negative part of my life – we didn’t really talk that much, I didn’t want to do anything with her or my Dad and brother, I always had anxiety about her being unhappy with me or upset, which made me feel like I had to walk around on egg shells. That’s not an easy life to live when you think someone is always unhappy with you. I think to this day, in a lot of ways I tried my best. Yeah my bed wasn’t made everyday, and I found it unfair that it was my job to clean my own bathroom – but what kid wouldn’t think like that! but I felt that my mum despised me for all the little things I couldn’t comprehend – Now when I look back on that time, I know that this was all to do with my anxiety. I felt as though she hated me, and I wasn’t good enough. If she wasn’t in that great of a mood I instantly thought it was because of me and something I did. It was hard to live with! – Honestly I think I’ve just always wanted to make her proud and impress her. I think that this kind of took over my whole life, the need for acceptance. I just want to point out that my mum is the biggest positive influence on my life now. Positivity seeps through her skin, and it is amazing. She’s on her own journey, and I can see how she has changed her outlook on life, and the way she thinks and feels. We’ve both changed, and we’re so much more compatiable as mother and daughter now! I appreciate her and she appreciates me. Which is a beautiful thing. (Just wanted to make that clear before I carried on!)

I did a lot of stupid sh!t when I was in my young teens – some stuff I bet my parents don’t even know about today. I snuck out, I drank when I was WAY too young, I went to parties and hung out with people who were a lot older than me, I lied to benefit myself, and all of this took a toll on mine and my Mums relationship, but more importantly, my relationship with myself. I began to hate myself. I was 16 when my Mum and Stepdad (who I mainly refer to as my Dad) sat me down and told me we were moving away to the US, Texas. My life was turned upside down. My relationship broke down, I said bye to a school I loved and all my friends, knowing full well I’d probably never see them again. My depressive state followed me to Texas. It got to a point where I had to sit down with my parents and ask them to get me help, because I was depressed and anxious all the time. Honestly at first I don’t think they took me seriously, but eventually I did see a counsellor (I’ll mention this in another post). Once I had seen this counsellor I began a journey to positivity – starting with my health. I lost a considerable amount of weight, I solely focussed on this and it took over my life – but it didn’t work for very long. I worked on building my self love, but I don’t think I truly got there until recently.

Once I started University – a year after I managed to lose all the weight, I let negative things pile into my life until it had completely taken over, and I was an anxious mess again. I lost sight of my goal, and just dwelled in my misery. I didn’t like University – first year was fun, all we did was get drunk and party, but all in all I won’t look back on it as the most amazing 3 years of my life! I met a lot of amazing people, who I will keep in contact with – but there has been many downs for me ( which again I’m sure I’ll talk about in a separate post) My mental health broke down, which weakened my immune system, I was getting illness after illness, having more and more time from university, it was just a mess! I was constantly anxious when it was time to go in for a seminar, the anxiety when I had to check my student emails was crippling (even opening formal letters I get really bad anxiety), I was anxious about what people thought about me – if they really liked me or were saying things behind my back, I was anxious after every single night out thinking oh gosh I hope I didn’t embarrass myself (that’s EVERY night out – most of the time I wasn’t that drunk! it was just an anxiety for me). I was in an extremely toxic relationship with someone pretending to care about my wellbeing (for 2 years… yeah I fell for that for 2 whole years). I lost sight of the person I wanted to be … the person I knew I was capable of being. It got to the point where simply going in to university for a one hour seminar exhausted me , I felt as though I had climbed a mountain – and emotionally I had! My mum said to me on the phone that university for anyone is a marathon, and marathons are hard work! but I was doing this marathon in mud up to my knees. And she couldn’t have hit the nail on the head any better. Everything was hard work, emotionally and physically draining. Meeting friends was hard work, I tended to cancel plans and just stay in bed, doing university work was IMPOSSIBLE – my mind could never stay in one place. It felt like none of my life was going as planned, like I was spiralling out of control! I was living every minute of everyday with debilitating anxieties about every aspect in my life – I was back to where I started.

I was too anxious about being liked, about my weight, about where my life was heading, about doing well at university, about keeping up friendships and trying to keep a hold of my relationship, of money and my lack of it!, being away from my family. It’s exhausting. People who don’t suffer from anxiety will never really understand. I thought it was important for me to share where my anxieties stemmed from, you may relate to it in some way and it could help you realise where your anxiety has come from and how you can deal with it – and just accepting it. Being in denial won’t get you anywhere in the long run.

My anxieties began when I was very young – too young. I’m still coming to terms with how to deal with this, and to help myself, and this is what I want to share. It’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to be sad sometimes. But it’s also okay to want to make a change, pick yourself up, look for motivation in a healthy way, think about how you want your life to be – set goals and work towards them – but it’s important to enjoy the journey along the way – don’t just wait until everything is perfect, believe me you’ll be waiting a hell of a long time. All this stuff is easy to say, and I have my days when I don’t want to leave my bedroom, it’s okay to have those days, as long as the next day you wake up refreshed and ready to carry on. I won’t just be posting about my good days and how happy I am, because in reality, my recovery is still going on. As I’m writing this I’m feeling really emotional, this was about starting from the bottom and explaining why and when my anxieties started and how I got through them – they’re hard memories to have, painful actually. Remembering all the times I would be up until ridiculous hours in the morning crying and I didn’t know why! I’m proud of how I’m starting to become more in tune with my mind and soul, and honestly I want to look after myself, I want to do the things that make me happy- and this is what I’m beginning to do, and without feeling selfish about it!

Feel free to contact me, I would love to hear from you

love Caitlan x

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