Things about Ellie (right now)

  1. I am not coping as well as I had originally thought/hoped. (I think I’ve been in denial for quite a while*)
  2. I want to curl up in my bed in the dark and hide there until this all goes away (but it won’t)
  3. I can’t do everything like I was hoping. (This was all attempting to distract myself from the fact that I really am not coping.)
  4. I want to give up.
  5. I am sabotaging my relationship because of my ex (not intentionally.) I start arguments over nothing, and am convinced he’s going to hurt me/leave me/cheat on me, despite having no evidence of this.
  6. In relation to 5, I am being very irrational, and I know it.
  7. I think I was bullied when I was younger. (It did upset me, but I thought it was “normal”/just teasing)
  8. I hate the ex for what he’s done, because I can’t get through a week without being frequently triggered.
  9. Even though I feel like giving up, I can’t. I can’t let people down.
  10. Sometimes I need to ask for help and people will help if you let them.**
  11. But not doctors…***
  12. I have people who care about me here and in real life (and that makes me lucky)

In conclusion, things are not very good in Ellie land, but even though I want to, I can’t give up yet.

*Oo that rhymes!

**I had to ask for an extension for coursework, but they were nice so it’s ok.

***Feeling hopeless about the doctor situation, they can’t seem to do anything to help. If 5 medications haven’t helped, why would a 6th? But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and give this current one (number 5) another 2 weeks.

Brilliant Blog Award

I was mightily surprised (in a good way) when I read Brandon’s nominations for the Brilliant Blog Award, and saw “Anxious Elephant” on the list!! So… here’s the rules!

The Brilliant Blog Award

1. Write an acceptance speech, linking back to the person who gave it to you.

2. Write 7 things you believe in.

3. Give the award to as many brilliant blogs as you would like to share the love.

I want to thank Brandon Bored very much for this lovely award nomination! Although, I’m not sure I’d call my blog brilliant, it is lovely that he thinks it is!! Anyone who isn’t already following Brandon’s blog should definitely do so! It promises lovely photos and posts about trips, and the story of lovely Brandon himself!! 🙂

Now for 7 things I believe in:

1. Love – I reckon humans NEED love. It doesn’t have to be romantic love, it can be the love of family or friends as well, either way I think life is a lot better with love in it!

2. Everything will be okay in the end (and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.) This one is hard to believe sometimes, but I like to keep reminding myself of it… it gives you hope, and even though I’m sure it’s not a scientific fact, it keeps you going when times get tough!

3. Karma – (one that Brandon used in his post) I do think what goes around comes around (or whatever that saying is!) If you treat people like shit, then hopefully at some point they will get what they deserve. This is another thing that I think I have to believe in, because otherwise I would always stay so angry at the bad people in this world!

4. Being nice does get you somewhere Contrary to popular belief, I do not agree with “being nice never gets you anywhere”, but in fact believe the complete opposite. You never know who’s life you’re saving, or who’s day you are making with just a simple kindness. I like to hope that small acts of kindness do make a difference, like this morning I asked the bus driver to wait when I saw someone running for the bus. It doesn’t take any (or much) effort to do these things, but they do make small differences. (And small differences can add up to big differences!)

5. Chocolate can make any situation feel better. I’m not saying it can FIX everything, but a bit of Cadburys is definitely a way to cheer me up at least a bit!

6. Family and Friends – Family and friends are the things that keep you going when things get hard. Without my friends and family, I can safely say things would be A LOT worse.

7. People deserve a second chance – I think everyone deserves a second chance. I am definitely guilty of giving people too many chances, but I do think everyone deserves one extra chance. Humans make mistakes, and that’s okay.

The Nominations:

There is one blog who’s name I won’t mention, who doesn’t want blog nominations but I want to make a special mention to her! (Hope you know who you are!)

Now, I’m going to nominate some blogs who I don’t think have received this one yet, which is not to say that I don’t think those who already have it don’t deserve it again!

Jiltaroo

Letters to Dom

My Mental Stream

Beauty from Pain

Just a Thought

Buckwheats risk

Hello Sailor 

Bourbon

Apologies again

I will probably not be around much for the next week, as things in Ellie land are crazily busy…

I have exams, coursework deadlines, and of course the dreaded JCR campaign, but I promise I’ll catch up after this week!

Who knew 2nd year would be so much busier!!!?

Hope everyone is well 🙂 ♥

Gahhhhhhhh

This is not good. Ellie is having bad and unproductive thoughts today 😦

1. I am rubbish at everything so there’s no point in trying.

2. I am fat. Fat and ugly. Yuck.

3. I have lots of work to do, but I’m too stupid to do any of it.

4. I want to eat lots of chocolate and nice things, but that will make 2 worse!

5. I won’t be good enough to go to Germany in August.

6. I am a failure.

7. I can’t seem to do anything right/get anything finished… I STILL haven’t finished that important post, AND I haven’t finished my Brilliant Blog Award post (because I can’t think of 7 things I believe in)

~~~

I don’t know why I can’t seem to stop these thoughts coming into my head. They are not helpful at all, and they are making me feel like retreating to a dark room and a duvet.

But there’s no time to hide… I have an essay and a directed review to do for Psychology and I have to prepare for my German translation test on Monday, and there’s just so much to do…

I went to the gym today. It was good because it woke me up, and it was nice to spend time with Owl.  But I’m finding myself comparing myself to other people (including Owl) and they are just so much thinner and better looking than me… 😦

But in other news, Ellie is doing an experiment on herself.

This experiment involves running for a JCR position!*

That will involve getting out of my comfort zone:

1. Campaigning – I have to make posters, flyers etc.

2. Talking to people – I am going to go round to lots of the houses on campus to ask them to vote for me!

3. Doing a speech in front of people!!!! – This is the majorly scary thing. I don’t do public speaking, I’m awful at it.

4. I might not win (there are 2 other people going for the same position) which would mean dealing with FAILURE!

Whilst this is a pretty radical thing to do, I would really like to be on the JCR (just not the path to get there!) so I’m going to give it my best shot.

The timing really isn’t ideal. But time doesn’t wait for anyone, including Ellie, so “The show must go on!”

Wish me luck!!!

*The JCR is a group of students who help run the college, and includes roles such as President, Wellfare officer, Communications officer and social secretaries.

The day I felt beautiful

There was a day when I felt beautiful. As far as I can remember, this is the only day I have felt beautiful, but that’s still better than no days!

My best friend Artist had won a competition on Facebook to have a makeover and photo-shoot  for her and a friend, and she asked me.

(Now, if you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that something like that would result in Ellie’s brain shouting “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” as loudly as possible, and running away from this situation, however this time I decided “I’ll give it a try!” I didn’t want to let Artist down and I thought it was lovely that out of all the people she could’ve asked, she asked me!)

So anyway, we went on the Tube up to central London to go to our photo-shoot day. We had to take a few outfits with us so we could get changed between photos. So we arrived with our bags of clothes, shoes and accessories, and we went in.

I remember as we buzzed the door of the studio, we were both really nervous! (Especially me!)

So we went in, and they asked us what kind of thing we wanted make-up-wise and for the photo-shoot in general, and they started doing our hair and make up.

Once they finished the hair and make-up I couldn’t believe how different I looked! I usually look a lot younger than my actual age, but I finally looked (at least) my age! Artist and I were both really pleased with how our hair and make-up turned out! We are both quite small, and both look pretty young usually… it was a bit of a shock really!

So then it was time for the actual photos!! This was the scary bit!

Bare in mind that I am quite shy/nervous at the best of times, throw in depression, anxiety and low self – esteem, and you might be able to imagine how this is not a situation that Ellie likes to put herself in!

So the photographer told us how to pose, and took lots and lots of photos: different poses, different outfits, some with Artist and I, some just of Artist, and some just of me!** The photographer was lovely, and after a few minutes we both got into the swing of things, and having our photos taken was no longer a daunting and terrifying experience, but instead was a fun experience!

But the best was yet to come… After a while, they called us in to see our photos and I was completely AMAZED! As I saw the photos pop up on the screen, I initially didn’t even recognise myself! We spent ages going through all of the photos, and eventually narrowed it down to a few each, which we did pay extortionate amounts of money for!***

So that was the day I felt beautiful. It’s a shame really that the world is so shallow, but that one day of looking so different, and coming out with such lovely pictures really was great for me! It gave me a chance to feel good about myself for once, and definitely increased my confidence!

The point of this post is that I know a lot of women have self – esteem issues, and lack confidence, but I really think a photo-shoot is a great opportunity to see yourself in a different way, and build up your confidence!! In fact, I know a lot of people in general (men included) have these issues, and this could easily work for men too!

I was reminded of this earlier today, as I have currently put one of my photo-shoot photos as my profile picture on Facebook. For Artist and I, it was a great day that holds happy memories for the two of us. It was great to spend the day together, as we had lots of time to chat, and we got to have some photos done together which were my favourite.

I wish I could feel that good about myself everyday but I can’t. But every time I see the photos, I feel like actually – I can look good! It takes a lot of work (and a bit of Photoshop  but it is possible. The pictures represent a really happy, lovely day for me, and despite the price… It was well worth it!!

*I am aware this sounds like some kind of scam… we were wary but did some research before we went!

**Imagine that!! Having the guts to have photos taken of just me… out of choice!

***The photos were very expensive, but considering we hadn’t paid for the actual photoshoot, hair and make up etc, and the fact that the photos were amazing…we dug deep and bought a few! We decided we probably wouldn’t have photos done professionally again for a long time (if ever) so wanted a reminder of this day!

Elephant of the week (& there’s an elephant at the gym!)

Getting pulled a bit off course again… all the work is piling up and Ellie just wants to hide in bed and cry… no time for that though! Here is this week’s elephant of the week!!

gymelephantgymelephant2

These cool elephant chairs (for kids) are at the gym at Lancaster University! I saw them, and thought I’ve GOT to use these as elephants of the week! Especially because it should act as a reminder to myself to GO TO THE GYM!

I’ve decided I really need to sort myself out… Lately I’ve put on a bit of weight and I don’t like it! So there’s only one thing for it…a change in Ellie’s lifestyle, that involves more of the gym and less of Cadburys Chocolate! (Although it’s easy to see which I’d prefer!)

This could well be a side effect of the medication, but hopefully a healthy diet and exercise will get rid of the unwanted flab! If not, it’s time to toddle back to the doctors and ask to change…

 

Spring Awakening

**Trigger warning**

**Spoiler warning: Spring Awakening**

I went to see my friend (Mr Smith) perform in our University’s production of Spring Awakening tonight. All of the actors/actresses were fantastic, and I was shocked (in a good way) by my friend’s singing and acting skills!

I would like to say I had a great evening. I was watching it with my group of friends who I lived with last year, and it was nice to see everyone again, and Mr Smith did so well! But…

I hadn’t seen Spring Awakening before, and I hadn’t read a synopsis, so had no idea what I had let myself in for when I bought a ticket to see it. I wish I had known, because then maybe it wouldn’t have shocked me so much.

There is a scene in the play where two of the characters (Wendla and Melchior) are talking about another character (Martha) who is being abused by her father, in the form of beatings. Wendla then says she has never been beaten and asks Melchior to beat her with a switch so that she can know how it feels. Well, Melchior gets carried away with it and ends up throwing Wendla to the floor.

And this is the point where I freaked out. It was like going back in time and watching myself. It put me back in the place where the ex was there. I couldn’t help bursting into tears, which must’ve looked very strange to other members of the audience. I was on edge after that, scared, and wanted more than anything to curl up in my nice safe warm duvet.

I wondered why I had gone to see this show; clearly I can’t even do a simple thing like that without freaking out – pathetic.

Luckily the interval was not too long after that, so I managed to calm myself down and not go into complete panic (which would’ve been bad.) I did contemplate leaving, but I didn’t want to let Mr Smith down, and besides I had paid for this ticket!

Having calmed down, I got back to watching the show. It was all done really well, even though the storyline itself is quite confusing, and leaves lots of loose ends. I wonder if maybe that is the point of it though; it shows that most things in life don’t have proper closure, and in the case of Martha, the abuse is not mentioned again – so nothing happened, nothing was resolved.

By the end of the show, I was feeling pretty tired out. It was incredibly intense, and discussed so many issues, all in one play! Spring Awakening touches on the topics of: physical (child) abuse, sexual abuse, abortion, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, rape, love and suicide. It was a hell of a lot to take in all at once!!

By the end of the show 2 of the original characters are dead, and another one is on the verge of suicide. The first death is the suicide of Moritz (played by Mr Smith), he takes a gun, puts it in his mouth and then shoots – then the lights go down. The way that Moritz was portrayed in the scene leading up to this was very realistic (in my opinion.) I could see the anger, pain and fear that he was going through – even though this was just a musical/not real!

Towards the end of the show, Wendla discovers she is pregnant and her mother is horrified, as Wendla is not married. Her mother takes her to a “doctor” who presumably carries out surgery to abort the baby. However, things don’t go to plan, and Wendla dies. When Melchior discovers her gravestone, it says “died of Anemia”, which further demonstrates that in the play, the adults only care about what other people think of them – hence why Wendla’s mother tries to get rid of the baby in the first place.

I could go on and on analysing parts of the play, but you could just go and watch it and make your own judgement. But from what I’ve said already, I think it’s safe to say that Spring Awakening is a very hard-hitting, emotional and intense show.

Do I wish I hadn’t gone? No. I’m glad I went because it was great to see Mr Smith doing something he really enjoys, and I wanted to support him. However, in future I think I might just read a Wikipedia synopsis before I go to see the next show – that way I know what is coming!

I guess the point of this post is that this was just another reminder that even though the ex is out of my life, I am still very much affected by things that happened in the past. (And confirms that counselling is probably necessary.)

Writing Prompt Challenge – 10

I’ve decided it’s time to do some more of my writing challenges! I’ve neglected them for quite a while, and I’m having a time of writers block, so I might as well use some of the prompts provided!

On a side note, in my previous post I said that I’m going to post a very important post soon. I haven’t finished it, because I don’t want it to be rushed, but it will be coming – soon!

Day 10 —What do you want to be remembered for?

Some people want to be remembered for being famous; for being a footballer, a singer, dancer, artist. I’d love to write a book, and be famous for it. Not for the money, (although that would be nice) but because I would love to be someone who inspires people. I would love for kids everywhere to read my books like J.KRowling, or even if it just made a difference to a few people. BUT, that’s still not the one thing I’d like to be remembered for.

If there’s one thing that I want people to remember me for, it would be my caring nature. I don’t always do the right thing, I’m not always there at the right time, but I do care. (Sometimes too much.)

When my granddad died (nearly 8 years ago) everyone said “George was such a nice man”, and he was. I never ever remember him being angry, and I always remember him being so kind and gentle.  I like to hope that I am at least a bit like him, I’d like people to remember me for caring, for being kind, for loving.

There’s not much I’m good at, but caring is one of the things I can do. Maybe sometimes I care too much, maybe sometimes I put myself in a worse position by caring, but I can’t help it. I never want people to feel like they have no one; I wouldn’t want it to happen to me.

I hope that I’ll qualify as a clinical Psychologist, and I’ll help loads of people with their mental illnesses, I hope I’ll make a difference. I hope I’ll write a book and it’ll make a difference. I don’t know if any of this will happen, but even if none of it does… I’ll still care.

I hope I’ll inspire people, with whatever I do. I want to make a difference to the world. I want to raise awareness of mental illness, and how the treatment needs a lot of improvement, I want people to understand that these things are ILLNESSES, and not life choices. I want to inspire people to do good with their lives, to make a difference themselves. I’m full of big ideas, and hopes of changing the world, but the chance is I won’t. But even if I affect just one person, it will be something.

I never give up on people, and sometimes that can be a flaw. It meant that I gave the ex far too many chances, but I couldn’t help it – I cared, I wanted him to change, I wanted to give him another chance (because everyone deserves a second chance.*)

And on the note of caring, as I’ve said to lots of my bloggy friends, and my readers, if you ever want someone to “talk”to, you can always send me an email, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

anxiouselephant@hotmail.com

*But probably no where near as many chances as I gave him.

Post Traumatic Stress

Today a letter arrived in the post. It was from the mental man.*

It is a questionnaire. It is a questionnaire much like the depression and anxiety questionnaires which I frequently have to fill out, and hate with a passion. (Because looking at it written on paper makes it all seem so real, and what could be more depressing than realising that you score incredibly highly on a depression questionnaire?!)

So anyway, I looked at it. It scares me even reading it. It puts me on edge, this is probably an indicator of how much this stuff** still affects me. So, this questionnaire is scored 0 – 4 for each item, and aims to identify how much the “stressful life event” affects you.

There are 22 items on the questionnaire, I’m not going to write them all out here, because let’s face it…it’s not a very cheery topic! But I’ll include a few examples, because I want to.

—————————————————————————————————-

At the top it says: “How much were you distressed or bothered by these difficulties?”

And then the list starts, with numbers 0 – 4 so you can tick (0 = not a bit, 1 = a little bit, 2 = moderately, 3 = quite a bit, 4 = extremely)

– Any reminder brought back feelings about it.

This one I scored as 4. Any little reminder of something that happened in the past has a HUGE effect on me. It’s like I’m back there, or watching it all playing over and over in my head.

My feelings about it were kind of numb.

I didn’t know how to answer this one. I put 1, but I don’t know if that’s accurate. My feelings about this are all over the place. I try to block it all out, sometimes it feels like it wasn’t even me – that’s when I feel numb, but more often I’m angry, upset, embarrassed, ashamed…

– I was jumpy and easily startled.

This describes me exactly. I am constantly on edge, any noise makes me jump, I get scared so easily. I thought it was just me, so I guess I’m glad in a way that it’s not just me.

– I tried not to talk about it.

This one is difficult. I try not to talk about the details. Even when it’s playing out in my head. I never tell him*** everything, he doesn’t ask, so I don’t tell him.

—————————————————————————————————-

There’s lots more, but I don’t want to write about them. It’s boring to read, and there’s no point. I can just summarise and tell you that most of them I picked 3 or 4 for, some 2s and only one 1 (as described above.)

It’s hard to make yourself understood through a closed question questionnaire. How can anyone know what my 0 – 4 scale is like compared to anyone else’s? It’s too subjective… what does “a little bit” mean? And where is the line between “quite a bit” and “extremely”?

I hope that once they receive my questionnaire they will follow up with more questions. I don’t particularly care about a diagnosis either way. A diagnosis is just a label, and a label isn’t going to make me better. I need action. I need something that will actually help me work through all this, because as much as I wish it existed, there is no magic cure for these problems (depression,anxiety etc.)

A couple of weeks ago, you might have read my posts YoYo, I think I’ve been transported to a parallel universe, and Confused and Baffled, where I described how good and well I was feeling. Sadly, this was not an act of magic which had solved all my problems, and the down was to follow. I should’ve expected it really, and to some extent I did, but a fall is always harder when it’s from a higher height!

So that’s my post for today, and I’ve got a really important post coming soon,**** so please stay tuned… The topic of that post is really important, and needs to be talked about!!

*The community mental health nurse, or whatever he is.

**Things with the ex

***In this case, him is the boyfriend.

****It’s currently in progress, but hopefully will be done for tomorrow.

Elephant of the Week

Ok, so it’s a day late, but it’s here!! (And so am I!)

This beautiful elephant has pride of place in my living room (in my uni house) as one of my housemates (Mr Map) bought it and put it up to cheer me up!

Elephant poster

 

Unfortunately the picture quality isn’t fantastic, but I wanted to show him to you! 🙂

And, this post means…my lab report is finished!!*

I shall now be back on WordPress, blogging and reading my lovely bloggy friends’ blogs! I’m sorry to everyone who’s blog I haven’t been paying attention to lately, but sadly I’ve had to give up on catching up and have decided to start from now (and try to keep up!)

So stay tuned to lots of elephant posts and comments coming soon!! 🙂

*Even if it is a load of old codswallop!