Feeling more like me

These few weeks are stressful time – exam season, when all students realise they haven’t done enough work all year and try to make up for it over a couple of weeks. I have done two exams now – cognitive last week and my german speaking today. Two down, four to go.

But the thing is, as much as I am hating revision and stressing, I also came to the realisation that I feel a lot more like me than I have done for a very long time. As I’m revising, I’m remembering why I chose psychology and german, I’m remembering that I like to learn, and I’m wishing that I had enjoyed learning it at the time (then revision would be a much easier process!)

That’s not to say that I’m not still having my moments. Today about an hour before my speaking exam I felt incredibly sick and could feel the anxiety bubbling up. But some fresh air, some water, deep breaths and reassurance from a good friend later – I did it. And no, it didn’t go perfectly, and yes – it could’ve been better. But maybe (just maybe) I’m finally realising that that is ok. It doesn’t need to be perfect. I did the best I could today and that’s all I can ask of myself. I could go over and over it in my head, analysing what I said wrong and where I used the wrong case or gender… but that won’t change it, so what’s the point?

Today it has been sunny in Lancaster (a rare sight!) It’s been such a beautiful day and at one point I realised that I’m definitely on my way to becoming me. I don’t really know who that is anymore, at the stage in life where people become themselves, I was being controlled by the ex. I lost all sense of who I was (am?) and I didn’t know what to do without him. Since then I’ve been so lost in darkness that I haven’t really figured out who I am, but now the fog is clearing and I’m realising – I can be who I want to be now. It’s my life, my choice and I’m never going to let anyone take that away from me again.

Talking of which, in summer 2014 it looks like I might be on an exciting trip! (I definitely wouldn’t have been allowed when I was with the ex!) A trip to Namibia, and guess what’s in Namibia?? That’s right… elephants!! 😀

Maybe it’s the revision making me crazy, but today I don’t have too much to complain about. Anyway, back to stats revision I go… (can you think of a more thrilling Tuesday evening?)

Lots of love,

Ellie

xxx

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Post of stuff

I’m back in Lancaster after a weekend at home, and now I can write this post of the things that I’ve been meaning to write about! So here goes!

First one, lent. I meant to write about this earlier in the week but I didn’t because I was too busy, so it can go into my post of stuff! This year for lent I have decided to give up alcohol. I’m not really sure why I do lent – it’s probably a bit hypocritical to be honest. I’m not very religious and I don’t go to church often. I don’t quite know what I believe, although I do want to believe in God… But anyway, I normally give something up for lent because “I should”, and probably for the wrong reasons, but anyway. Not only does this mean that I don’t have to deal with 40 days of chocolate cravings (like when I gave up chocolate one year) but also it is probably beneficial for my health not to drink. The doctor always reminds me that alcohol and depression don’t mix, and alcohol and antidepressants definitely don’t mix, but I normally just say that I don’t drink often.* So I am giving it a chance, especially after my recent drunken behaviour!

Next – the exam. I had my German listening exam on Friday, and I’m not too sure how it went, but I did it and I understood most of what they said. So hopefully it’ll be ok. I really need to work on my perception of “doing ok” too – my perfectionism is ridiculous. I looked on my transcript, and I’m on a 66% average at the moment, which is a decent 2:1, but my brain does not find this acceptable, and won’t find it acceptable unless it’s above 70% (which is a 1st). This is one of the major things that I need to work on with A.

And now I can move onto talking about the weekend. Once I managed to catch the train (which I nearly missed because of my indecisiveness) I was on my way home! I tend to go home once a term for a weekend, just to get away from Lancaster for a bit. I love Lancaster, and my friends there, but sometimes you just want your own bed and a nice roast dinner cooked by mum! On Friday I had a yummy chinese take away, on Saturday I went to the pub with some of my friends from where I used to work, and today (Sunday) I met my cousin in a cake shop for a chat and then my mum made a lovely roast dinner and I ate too much! The weekend went far too quickly, but it was a nice one. And for once, I feel reasonably relaxed on a Sunday evening,

But this post of stuff wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the main thing that has happened recently in Ellie land.

On Saturday I met S** for coffee***, and it was a bit weird. I felt really detached, and it was kind of awkward. It was the first time we had seen each other properly since we split up. We have still been talking a lot – on the phone, by text etc, but seeing each other was a bit strange. In a way, things hadn’t really changed when we split up – we still talked everyday, and I still missed him a lot. After the coffee*** we went for a walk and then back to my car to talk. I got upset because things felt weird, and it felt like neither of us had anything to say. He held me as I was crying, and we ended up kissing each other. (This was probably my fault.) We talked about the problems – the distance, the way things didn’t feel right, the pain, and we couldn’t decide what to do. Eventually we left it as “we’ll just see what happens” and decided we wouldn’t see anyone else, but wouldn’t make any decisions further than that.

Then he had to go and meet another friend, so I went home. In the evening we went to the pub, and afterwards I drove people home. I dropped him off last, and we ended up talking for ages, and eventually decided that we would give us another try. Even though the distance is hard, we decided it was still hard even when we weren’t together, and we both missed each other a lot so it is probably worth another try. Obviously things aren’t perfect – I’m still a mess and I know that hurts him, but he said it hurts him whether we are together or not, and he wants to be there for me and make me happy.

As usual, I did a lot of crying, but I think this is the right decision. It might not work, but at least we will be able to say we tried. We agreed that we will be more open with each other and talk to each other about any problems which arise in the relationship, instead of pretending everything is ok like last time. We also realised that we need to put more effort into the relationship. Before, we just expected it to work and we didn’t make enough time just for us, or put the effort in to make things right. I hope that now we will be better at communicating, and will make sure we take time just for us which will help things work better.

I realised that I feel safe with S. Completely. I don’t think he would ever hurt me in any way, and I know that he will always do his best to look after me. I know I’m a complete nightmare a lot of the time, but somehow he loves me anyway. I am so lucky to have him, and I hope one day that I will be able to let myself trust him. I love him more than as a friend, but I don’t think I’m in love with him. I don’t know if it matters, but I also think it might be because I won’t let myself because of what happened with the ex. If you don’t let yourself fall for someone, they can’t hurt you – right?

So basically, a lot has been going on, and things have changed (again) in Ellie land!

In terms of how I’m feeling – I don’t really know. I feel more hopeful for the future, and even though I’m incredibly worried about the amount of work and stuff that I need to do this term, I think things are going to get better. In fact, I am determined to get better. I’ve had quite enough of this being defeated thing!

If you’ve read this whole long, rambling post – thank you! I’m sorry it’s ended up so long! Just had a mini heartattack – Accidentally deleted the whole post! But luckily found the undo button! 😉

*Which is true-ish. I only drink when I go out, and I normally go out less than once a week. But still – better than drinking everyday right?

**S being my exboyfriend (but not “The Ex”) who is still my best friend

***Ok so neither of us had (or like) coffee, but we went to a coffee shop. I had a mango and passionfruit fruit smoothie, but that’s not really relevant.

It’s sunny!

It’s sunny in Lancaster*, and it’s sunny in my mind**. Today there is hope.

I’m not saying I magically feel better, or even that I do feel dramatically better, but today I feel like there is hope for the future.

There is hope because I have started my CBT. There is hope because I’m trying a new medication. There is hope because at the end of the month I will see the psychiatrist. And there is hope because for the first time in a long time, I am looking forward to something.

Last night I booked some flights to Germany for during the Easter holidays. I will be going to stay with Sheep who is doing her year abroad this year! I am excited to visit the place where she is so happy, to see the sights of a part of Germany I haven’t been to before, and to spend time with one of my best friends on holiday!

Let’s hope this enthusiasm stays!

There is hope. We will all get through this!

*If you’ve ever been to Lancaster, you’ll know how unusual this is!

**And if you know me, you’ll know how unusual this is too!

I live in a bubble

It would appear that Lancaster is a bubble.

A little bubble, in the NORTH of England, where it NEVER SNOWS!

Well it snows, but it doesn’t settle.

They had snow at home (London), enough to give my brother a day and a half off school! And what do we get here? Nothing.

It’s snowing now as I’m writing this, but it won’t settle.

It’s really odd that since I’ve been here, it’s never snowed properly. I came to the North of England expecting lots of snow!! What happened?!

Also, particularly strangely, my friend lives 40 minutes from here and last week her mum phoned* and said she had built 3 snowmen AND been sledging… whilst here in Lancaster, we didn’t have enough to make a snowball!

Just realised how English this post is – talking about the weather! (Got to love stereotypes!)

*phoned her, not me, obviously

Tomorrow is the day

I await tomorrow morning in anticipation. 

Am I scared? Yes. Excited? Yes. Nervous? Yes.

Tomorrow morning, at 9am I am having my first CBT session. I am probably hoping for too much. I should try not to build it up like this, but after all this waiting, I’m hoping so much that it will work. 

I have done my “homework” and kept a mood diary, almost every day. I tried to rate my mood, but that’s always hard. I made a timeline of my life too. She said it’s to look at how I got to where I am today. Looking at it, I still don’t really get why I feel this way. Sure, not everything has gone right for me, but I’m sure people deal with worse and they’re fine.

I’m hoping it doesn’t snow tonight. I’ve got to walk up hills in the morning, which won’t be fun if it’s icy! But don’t worry folks – it appears that Lancaster doesn’t get snow! (Not when I’m here anyway!)

I really want to get back into proper writing soon. Like stories and poems and stuff. Instead of just writing down updates of my life. I guess they are boring to read.

Cold air **TW**

**Trigger warning (suicidal thoughts)**

It’s amazing what the cold, fresh air of Lancaster can do.

I was feeling very very rubbish* when I wrote my last post “I really don’t care anymore” so I decided to get dressed** and go for a walk. It must’ve been about half 9. I walked to the mini Sainsburys to buy chocolate raisins*** but they didn’t have any, so bought some midget gems and then walked down to the mini Tesco to see if they had chocolate raisins.

Must admit, they did and I bought some too. BUT I’m saving them for another day (ate the midget gems tonight instead!)

Feeling really really low, I could not walk past the paracetamol without buying some. 2 packets, which is how many you are allowed to buy. I starting thinking about building up a stash again. But this thought has now been banished.

So then on my way home, I decided to walk by the canal, which is quite pretty. It was freezing; I could see my breath in the air, and parts of the canal had frozen over. Couldn’t help wondering if I would die if I jumped in. It was dark, cold and quiet… would anyone even notice? (Before anyone worries, this thought has also now been banished).

I walked along the canal for a while. I looked up at the stars. Such a clear night here; we can never really see the stars at home (living in London, what do I expect?!) I could see loads and loads of pretty stars, and I tried to take a photo with my phone to put on here, but duhh.. it was too dark to see them on the camera! But they were so pretty. I just stood looking for a while (must have looked a bit odd, but I don’t care).

I had my ipod on, listening to quite sad songs I guess (A team, Jar of hearts, All at once). But the fresh air helped. And the stars. And the music. And being completely alone, looking at the beauty of the stars. I decided that one day I’m going to carry on walking along the canal and see where I end up, it looks pretty!

I got cold, and realised my housemates would start to wonder where I was, so I walked back to the house. I came in, warmed up a bit and actually did some work. I spoke to my dad on the phone, and even practiced some lovely statistics on SPSS – my favourite thing ever!**** I’ve been through most of the work sheets from the seminars, and now I think I’m going to try and get a good night’s sleep, before tomorrow.

I’m feeling a lot more positive than before. I have worked out that the test isn’t worth much anyway, and if it goes badly it’s not the end of the world. Even if it will feel like it for a while.

On my walk, I also used a technique which I read about on Amanda’s blog. She wrote a great post called “I will not do it today“. I said this to myself tonight, as I walked along the canal. I said “I will not do it today. I will see how tomorrow is.” That put me at ease in itself – it’s not a long term commitment, but it keeps me safe for today.

The chances are, tomorrow won’t be quite so bad. And if it is, then tomorrow I will say “I will not do it today” and I will keep trying.

So the moral of the story is, a short walk can do the world of good. It did for me, so maybe next time you’re feeling really low, a short walk to get out of the house could be just what you need. I’m not going to pretend it has solved everything, but even if nothing else, it’s getting out of the house which can be an achievement in itself!

So now, I’m off to bed. Hoping tomorrow will be ok, and hoping for a good night’s sleep to help me prepare!

Much love,

Ellie xxx

P.S. I was going for lots of Asterisks today, but didn’t get enough! WeeGee the title is still yours! 😛

*this seems to be the word I use to say how I feel, it says what I mean without sounding too scary, but as usual – understatement

**I had already got into my PJs when I got home from uni :$

***Best comfort food ever (and not TOO unhealhy*****)

**** Sarcasm, just in case you were worried about my love of statistics!

*****compared to most chocolate

Everything needs to change (back in Lancaster)

I have made it back to Lancaster. At times I thought I wouldn’t be coming back this term, but here I am, sitting in my tiny little bedroom and catching up on my blog reading.

I have finished 2 of my pieces of coursework. I’ve got 1 more to do, and an exam on Wednesday, and then the pressure is off (for a little while). This term, I hope to stay on top of my work. But then again, I always say that.

I am feeling very low, and still wondering what I am doing back here… Can I get through this term? Am I good enough? Why can’t I just go home and hide until it all goes away?

Last night we went out for Footballer’s birthday. It was nice to see everyone, and I got drunk for the first time in ages. There was a part of the evening where I started crying, and couldn’t stop. I heard my friend talking to her boyfriend, saying “never leave me”, and that was enough to set me off.

I wanted to go home. Actually, I wanted to die. (Not just because of that, but because I generally felt incredibly rubbish*).

I didn’t go home. I stayed out and went to the club. I didn’t want to let Footballer down by going home. Several other people didn’t come out, and (drunk) footballer got really upset. She thought no one cared and that no one was really her friend.

This is ridiculous; we all love her, we all care about her so much. But Footballer has a very idyllic view of the world, and she expects (and wants) everything to be perfect, but naturally it isn’t.

Someone didn’t come out because they were ill, some are not back in Lancaster, one was at work (but did come out afterwards). No one wanted to hurt her, but it did. She felt let down, and so I went out, and tried to make sure she had fun.

I think she did in the end.

When we came home, I went to bed. I lay there for ages. Just feeling nothing but pain.

When is this going to stop hurting? When am I going to get better? Or, worst of all… what if I never get better?

Today I didn’t get up until about 2. I was drifting in and out of sleep from about 10, but didn’t have the motivation to get up. I was very achy, tired and generally fed up. I got up eventually, and read some blogs.

I was supposed to be doing my lab report today, but I haven’t. It’s half past 6 now and I still can’t be bothered to do anything.

I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to talk. I don’t even want to sleep. I just want this to stop hurting.

Tomorrow uni begins again. This term my timetable is much better – no more 9-6 on a Monday! I don’t start until 11 tomorrow, so I can have a bit of a lie in. I don’t want to go to uni. I don’t want to do any of this right now.

People say I should “try and stay positive”, but how can I stay positive when I’m not positive to begin with?

Feeling very negative. And I wanted this term to be different. I don’t think it will be though.

I am hoping and praying** that things will get better. That the CBT will work. That the psychiatrist will be able to help. That I will lose some of this weight. That I will be able to get through this term. That I will do well in my work…

Everything needs to change. And I don’t know how.

*I always say that. “I feel rubbish”. Actually this is a massive understatement, but it gets across the general feeling.

**This is very hypocritical. I don’t even know if I believe in God anymore. I want to, but I’m in so much pain. I don’t really believe in much anymore. I pray sometimes, that God will help me, and show me a sign that he’s listening. It’s probably stupid. If he’s there, why would he listen to me, who doesn’t even know if I believe anymore?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Everyone seems to be winding down for Christmas…

There was a Christmas Market at the university on Friday, I’m going to numerous Christmas meals, and in less than a week I will be home*, but…

I have so much to do before then.

I have 3 exams, and a German portfolio to do this week.

Not to mention the essays I got extensions on (but I might have to leave them until the holidays now)

and everyone else seems to be getting into the Christmas spirit, but I have no time.

And then there’s Christmas presents… I was looking forward to buying presents, but somehow I’m running out of time for my Christmas shopping… This means stress stress stress!

I’ve got to find a Christmas present for Mr Maps by Friday (for Secret Santa), and I can’t think of a single thing I could get him… Plus, the one novelty gift shop that would’ve been my first shop to look in in Lancaster is now gone…

Sorry for the rambling rant. I guess I’ll just have to go full steam ahead for one last week, and then I can breathe a sigh of relief for a month, before it all starts again… (*groans*)

Oh, and how could I forgot? Then there is the ordeal of ACTUAL CHRISTMAS, which is most likely going to be very tiring for me (pretending to be happy) or, if I don’t pretend to be happy, I will be told “cheer up, it’s Christmas” numerous times, before eventually I get angry and leave. I don’t think that second one is an acceptable option, so pretending to be happy it is then!

How is everyone else’s Christmas shopping going? Any recommendations of amazing websites by any chance? 😀

*Well in exactly a week I will be working 8am – 6pm, but hopefully the money will be worth it!

You can stand under my umbrella

ella ella eh eh

Today I was on my way home from campus, feeling pretty crappy, listening to my ipod with the raining pouring down on me!
There was a girl with a red umbrella walking just ahead of me, who I didn’t know. Suddenly she turned round, and offered for me to come under her umbrella with her, as the rain was getting harder!

I was very shocked! We chatted a bit and it turned out that she is from Hong Kong and is doing a semester abroad at University of Cumbria, so is currently living in Lancaster. My mood was slightly lifted by this kind and thoughtful gesture from a complete stranger.

Maybe it was a sign, to remind me that no matter how hard and rubbish things seem, there is still good in the world.

And as Buckwheatsrisk would say, There is hope!! 🙂

Strange moods

This is very strange.

I am really not feeling myself at the moment, not that I’m complaining!

I haven’t been able to complete everything from my to – do list, but I don’t care. I am not stressed or anxious about it, I literally couldn’t give a monkeys… I can do it tomorrow, or the next day..

I went out tonight to see a couple of uni friends and we went to a pub to have a drink and a chat. There was a group of about 8 of us, and usually this kind of social situation would fill me with dread! Today, I was fine, I didn’t feel anxious, and was actually able to chat to people I don’t know! I only had a few moments of feeling awkward in the whole evening!

As I walked back to my house, across town, in the pouring rain I felt relaxed, a sense of peace. This is most unusual! I don’t know what it is…

Maybe it’s because I have the (official) diagnoses now? Maybe it’s the new meds? (But I’ve only been taking them since Thursday!) Maybe it’s being back in Lancaster? Or maybe it’s just something in the air!

I’ve had a feeling like “everything is going to be okay!” today. I don’t know why, or how, but it seems that (at least for now) my hope has been restored. I feel that I can and will get to where I want to be, I can and will get better, and this year can and will be good!

Just wanted to share my positivity with you all! I hope it lasts!