One of those days

Last night I went to bed early, really early. Why? Because I felt I’ll and because I was meant to be at work at 7am this morning.

So my alarm went off at 6 this morning, I got up, had breakfast bla bla bla… Drove to work. And my name was not on the rota. The guy who sorts out the rotas wasn’t there, so I drove home and went back to bed. Not a happy bunny (or elephant!) this is not the first time they’ve mucked up my hours. I was meant to be working Wednesday this week and they took that one off (but I knew in advance) and now they take away my other day of overtime, and don’t bother to tell me! So angry about this. And I could do with the money so it’s really not ideal.

One good thing is that I got to go back to bed for a few hours, still not feeling well today. I’ve brought out the lemsip max! But still very angry about this whole work thing, they keep messing around with my hours, and considering I was told the want me to work 30 hours a week, 8 or 16 just isn’t cutting it for me!

I’m working tomorrow and Sunday, but that’s it for this week. Highly irritating that there’s barely any overtime and there’s nothing I can do about it! Grr!

So to conclude: my immune system is crap and my manager at work (well one of them) is crap.

I got upset at work this morning. After getting up that early especially when I was feeling ill, it was all a bit much and I couldn’t stop the tears leaking out of my eyes. But I’m more angry than upset… I often cry when I’m angry. I cry when I’m sad too, but it’s annoying when I cry from anger because I look like I’m overreacting and being upset over nothing.

I’m off to see S this afternoon, maybe he will be able to cheer me up (and hopefully I won’t make him ill too!)

Lots of love,
Ellie xxx
P.s. the other day S said I’m an anxious little elephant… And he doesn’t know the name of my blog! Spooky or what!?

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Mammoth

MammothToday I was feeling pretty low. I have been feeling a bit funny physically for the last few days – lots of migraines/headaches, feeling a bit faint/light headed, feeling really really hot… that kind of thing. And a combination of feeling bad physically and mentally is never good.

So S said he would come over after work for a bit to see me and give me some cuddles to cheer me up. And he did.

We ate some strawberries and ice cream and had some cuddles and talked and it was really nice. It sounds pathetic but it’s the small things that mean the most. I love the fact that  S can just come round and he gets on with my family and it is relaxed and I don’t have to be on edge (like I was with the ex and my family).

And as you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I am now in possession of a new elephant (or more accurately – a mammoth!) S brought me it from work to cheer me up (as he knows how much I love elephants!) It is a little fluffy cuddly toy mammoth and I think he’s really cute! Only problem now is that I can’t think of a name (but I’ve decided it is a him), so feel free to give any name suggestions! 🙂

While we were cuddling and talking I said “Maybe you do actually love me”, because I’m finally starting to think maybe it’s true. Maybe not everyone will be like the ex, and maybe I’m not unlovable – maybe it wasn’t even my fault. And he laughed and said “At least it’s a maybe now.” I know it’s stupid that I am so scared of getting hurt and that I really find it so hard to believe that anyone could love and care about ME, but these are thoughts which have been programmed into my mind for a long time – with the ex, and even before that with the teasing/bullying (?)

I am feeling more determined than ever that I am going to get through this stuff, and I am not going to let the ex win or ruin any more of my life. I can and I will get through these problems. I can and I will succeed and be happy. I know I need to deal with the anger I still feel about everything that happened, but maybe I can use it positively, and use it as motivation and incentive to keep going and stay determined. I can and I will.**

I am so happy being with S, he makes me feel safe and loved and happy. And I love him, I really do and our relationship is so much better (now that I’ve finally allowed myself to feel that way instead of being too scared to get close.) I think my depression/anxiety/general craziness* definitely does affect our relationship but he copes pretty well, and he is very understanding and helping me get through my issues.

Time for bed now, but tonight I am going to bed feeling happy and safe, instead of anxious and scared and paranoid (like last night).

Good night,
Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

P.S. Here is another picture of my (nameless) mammoth!

Mammoth toy

* I hope this doesn’t offend anyone – here I am referring to my irrational thoughts and behaviours, which could definitely be called crazy rather than the mental health side of things.

** This is one of the mantras from my list, and this one often comes to mind. When I’m feeling low or like I can’t do something, I think to myself ‘I can and I will’ and I feel more in control, more determined and more positive.

“You can be whoever you want to be”

I can’t remember who said it, but someone said that to me recently. On my year abroad, I’ll be in a new place with new people, no one will know me. And I can be anyone I want to be. I wonder if it’s true, if without expectations, I can be a different kind of me. I don’t want to be someone I’m not, but at the same time I don’t want to be the me that I am here, at the moment.

I have realised I’m going to have to do something before I go to Germany. I am working in a school with kids up to 16. It would not be ok for me to be mistaken for a student… I am 20, 4 years older than the oldest pupils.

But I look so young. I am frequently told I look about 15… And when I went into my boyfriend’s work, someone asked him who I was, and said that I looked about 12. That’s not nice. And I think this is definitely a major factor in my lack of confidence.

Body image is a difficult one, a lot of people struggle with it. I don’t know if I see the me that everyone else sees, but I don’t like it… The list of criticisms about my appearance is endless. I feel so ugly, and no amount of reassurance from S or anyone else helps.

So my plan for before I get to Germany? I’m going to try and get a new style, hopefully so I look closer to my age. Everyone always says “You’ll be happy that you look young in a few years”, no I won’t. The chances are I won’t still look young when I get older, but right now it is incredibly difficult to be taken seriously when I look this young.

I hate it that I look so much younger than I am. I am a quiet, anxious and cautious person anyway, but the fact that I look so young takes away even more of my confidence. Why would anyone take me seriously when I look about 15?!

And so my plan starts tomorrow – I have booked to go to the hairdressers tomorrow afternoon, and I’m going to ask them if they can do something (ANYTHING) to make me look a bit older less young!

And I think I’m going to have to try and dress older too. It is easy to wear comfortable stuff – jeans, jumpers etc, but that doesn’t help with me looking young. So with the exception of the elephant jumper I bought the other day (Who could say no to an elephant jumper?!) it’s probably time to start buying clothes to suit my age.

I would love to feel good about myself. There is only one time that I can remember that I thought I actually look good. And that was when I did a photoshoot with artist, and I had loads of make up on and the photos were edited… so it wasn’t even really what I looked like. But in those photos I look confident. I would love to have confidence. I would love to walk along the street without looking down at the floor as I walk. I would love to walk into a room and not be scared that people might be looking at me.

I have a very low self-esteem. In my eyes I will never be good enough in any way. I don’t know how to change this but I’ve decided it needs to change. I want to feel good about myself.

So this summer things are changing in Ellie-land, I wonder if I can pull it off…

Ele friends

Some people might know TheElephant InTheRoom on facebook, but I thought it might be of interest to people to know that a website has now been launched called Ele Friends, which is an online community where people can support each other with mental illness/who are struggling. 

Of course the fact that it is an elephant makes me think it is a great idea automatically, but it seems like a really good idea to have a place where people can speak their mind and be supported. 

There are 3 buttons as responses to posts: A thumbs up – I like this, A heart – Thinking of you and An ear – I hear you. I think these are a great idea too! And of course you can comment too! It’s kind of like facebook, but a bit friendlier!

I think it’s a really good idea!  So why not pop over to Elefriends and give it a try? What do you think?

 

Blogging changes (Ellie is indecisive)

If you have been reading my blog in the last few minutes, you may have noticed a lot of changes going on…

I have changed the theme of my blog (about 5 times) in the last few minutes, as I was not (and never really have been) happy with the original theme I used.

I have been experimenting, and *drum roll…* finally found one that I liked!!

BUT, it didn’t have a sidebar, so I couldn’t have my widgets that I wanted, except at the bottom in a footer (but I doubt anyone would scroll down there!)

So I tried a few more, and I’ve got one now that is okay. What do you think?

I will probably be experimenting more soon, but really fancied a change for my little blog!

So just in case you wondered what is going on…. Ellie has had a sudden decision to change theme, but can’t decide on one!

I really need to get to grips with how all these widget things and themes work. I would ideally like a picture of an elephant on my blog, but haven’t figured out how to do this yet! (Any help would be lovely! *hint hint*)

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

Drat… it’s 1:20 am… so much for an early night!

“What do you want for Christmas?”

That’s the question people keep asking me at the moment.

There’s only one answer to that, but I can’t give it. (“I want to feel better, I want to be happy.”)

So instead I say “I want an elephant”, and they say “what, a real one?” and I say “Yes,” and we laugh.

I always say “I love Christmas.”

But what I should say is “I used to love Christmas.” Not anymore; it’s too difficult. It’s a time when everyone is happy and together, it is not a time where it is acceptable to hide away and be sad.

I’m going to my cousin’s house for Christmas. There will be my parents, my brother, my cousin, my aunt and uncle, my God father, my Nanna and me… all together on Christmas day, and an extra aunt, uncle and 2 cousins on Boxing day… There will be no escape.

I just have to keep the pretense up. But it’s hard enough at the best of times, let alone when everyone else is so happy.

I want to enjoy Christmas again. I am so lucky I have so many people to share this “happy time” with, and yet all I want to do is press pause on life, and just rest.

Oh, what I would give to not feel tired, just for a day.

On a lighter note, I hope everyone’s been eating their Advent chocolates! And one thing I do still like about Christmas is getting people presents, especially when you find the perfect present for someone!

Let’s have some Christmas music to cheer us all up…

“Tis the season of love and understanding, Merry Christmas, everyone”

 

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…

 

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!

 

Perfectionism and the need to succeed

You know the saying: “if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”? That’s all well and good, and I completely understand the reasoning behind it – do your best in everything you do. BUT my brain has to take it to a whole new level.

My brain, instead, reads this as: “Everything you do has to be done well, or it’s not worth doing” – only a change of word order, but a completely different meaning. And a different interpretation of the word “well”, which here (in my brain) means perfectly, rather than the intended definition (to the best of one’s ability.)

This whole perfectionism thing is really becoming a problem. I notice it when I become stressed, and I occasionally catch myself thinking these thoughts (“It won’t be perfect so don’t bother” etc.) For example, I went to the gym yesterday. This may be seen as an achievement – I managed to go, and tire myself out, I went by myself, and I went because I told myself I should – not because of anyone else. This should be a no-brainer – a win for the elephant, but it wasn’t.

Whilst at the gym, I caught myself comparing myself to other people – “I will never be as fast as her”, “or as thin as her”, “or as good looking as her” – comparisons I shouldn’t make because they only cause further negativity. And by the time I finished my work out, completely exhausted and red in the face, I was greeted by these niggling thoughts in my mind – “You should’ve done more”, “You should be fitter”, “You aren’t good enough”, “You look like s-“, instead of feeling a sense of achievement, I felt like a failure. It wasn’t good enough, so why do I bother?

Another thing I feel this with is my blog. I like writing my blog, and I’m so glad to have met all the wonderful people I have met so far, but the negativity seems to follow me around, even here. “No one wants to read what you have to say” my brain tells me, “That’s why no one bothers to read it anymore”, “They are sick of your whining”, “You may as well quit, you aren’t succeeding…”

I know it doesn’t really matter whether people read my blog. I think it’s more that people DID used to read it, and the number of views is ever dwindling now. I haven’t been writing as much, I haven’t been reading and commenting as much either, because I haven’t been feeling great. But these things are not taken into account by the horrible negative creature which resides in my brain.

Everything I do seems to consist of constant questioning in my mind – “Is it good enough?”, “Is it PERFECT?”, “Is it the best?”

Realistically, I can’t do everything right, I can’t do everything perfectly, I can’t be the best at everything (or in fact, anything) but that doesn’t stop my thoughts. Rational thinking doesn’t come into it. “Is it 100%?” “No.” “Then why not?” That’s my thought pattern.

It’s really quite stressful living like this. And there’s so much pressure (from myself) to succeed, that it puts me off trying things. Then, when I feel good, I take on too much – but I have to succeed in everything that I take on (even if there’s too much) and it becomes more stressful, then I feel worse, can’t do everything, thus feel like a failure, and end up not wanting to do anything… It’s a stupid, messed up cycle, and I need to break out of it. Maybe counselling or something could help me get out of this perfectionist mindset.

I guess I’ve never really failed at anything, and I am under pressure to keep that up. I want people to be proud of me, to think I’m doing well, and above all, to think I’m coping. Because, hey – if you are succeeding in everything you do, you must be fine – right?

Centenary Post!!

This is my 100th post on AnxiousElephant! It hasn’t been all that long since I started my little blog, and somehow I’ve managed to write 100 posts! I wanted this post to be special, and to have something really interesting or meaningful to say, but I don’t.

So instead, this post is for you – you who read my blog, you who give me support and comment on my blog, you who write your own lovely blogs which I love reading…

I want to say A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you!

And here’s a list (because who doesn’t love lists?!) of reasons why blogging is great!

  1. You can write whatever you want
  2. You can customise it to make it look how you want
  3. You can find lots of other blogs to read
  4. You can make lots of amazing bloggy friends
  5. You can get support and give support to others
  6. You can just write anonymously, and let your feelings out
  7. You can learn – from your own writing, and other people’s blogs
  8. It is (or can be) FREE!
  9. It is your own place where you can be yourself
  10. You can keep track of your moods/feelings/whatever you want to write about!
  11. It is fun!!

Does anyone have anything else to add to my list? I’m sure I could think of more, but my brain is not currently working!! 😛

So now I’m hoping I make it to 200 posts!!!