Fall Tag

I was tagged by Earthand_water on Twitter you can check out her answers here.

  1. What is your favourite fall drink? I’m currently drinking salted caramel coffee which I’m loving. I also have a hazelnut and cinnamon one that I can’t wait to try.
  2. What’s one thing you love about fall? The weather starts to cool down, I’m not a big fan of hot weather as my medication increases my risk of heat stroke. My hamster isn’t a fan of the hot weather either.
  3. What’s one thing you don’t like about fall? When it rains and there’s leaves on the ground. I’m really clumsy and I’m good at slipping on them. I have ligament damage in my ankles too so I’m always worried about hurting them again.
  4. Are you a pumpkin spice fan? I love pumpkin spice loaf which I make myself.
  5. What’s your favourite fall scented candle? I love pumpkin spice or cinnamon but I can’t burn them in my room because they’re not good for my pets.
  6. Where do you buy your fall candles? TKMaxx
  7. What’s your go-to fall beauty product? I don’t really have one, but I do love my chamomile face soap from Lush.
  8. Your favourite fall accessory? My old fuzzy zebra print jacket from H&M it’s so warm and looks so cool.
  9. What’s your typical fall outfit look like? Lots of layers to keep me warm, lots of black and hot pink like the rest of the year.
  10. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? I love me some pumpkin pie but I’m going to have to say apple.
  11. Your favourite Halloween/scary movie? I’m not really a fan of scary movies but Scream isn’t bad.
  12. Do you have a fall tradition? Does talking about doing lots of pink and black Halloween decorations and then not making them count? I do that every year.
  13. What’s your favourite fall food? My mum’s vegetable soup.
  14. What are your plans for Halloween? I’m going to a book talk.
  15. Do you plan to dress up for Halloween? I’ll probably do a witch look, I’m going to a fancy dress comedy night. So I’m basically going as myself!
  16. What’s one thing you’re thankful for? My beautiful hamster, she is usually the only reason I get out of bed every day.
  17. Halloween or Thanksgiving? I’m from the UK and we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving so Halloween every time.
  18. Favourite thanksgiving food? I don’t have one.
  19. Have you ever participated in Friendsgiving? I’ve never heard of it!
  20. Have you already taken fall photos? I have, I’m doing an October photo challenge over on Instagram.

Want to join in? Check out the original post over at Amanda Burnett‘s site. If you’ve read this and joined in let me know!

Child Free

I’m tired and this post is proving hard to write. I didn’t sleep well last night, and in spite of a nap this afternoon I’m still tired. I’m used to being tired, I often don’t sleep too well which is in no way helped by my Citalopram that I have to take every day. I do my best to help myself, I’ve tried all sorts of home remedies and ways to relax before I go to bed. Now I do usually sleep much better when next to my boyfriend but every now and then even that doesn’t help. Like last night.

I know my mental health problems combined with the medication I take to combat them can make me tired and struggle to sleep, but surely I can’t go through the rest of my life tired and not even sure if I’ll get any sleep that night? And I can’t spend my days having a nap either. I have things to do! I wonder how other people with BPD and PTSD manage, because I also struggle with terrible nightmares (something I’ve thankfully not suffered with too badly of late) which can make going to sleep a scary thing. I don’t have any close friends I can talk about it with who are going through the same thing. So I ask you, lovely reader, how do you manage with being tired all the time or problems with sleep?


Just a quick one today as I’m typing on my phone. But I have been thinking about using and maybe even if I can switching altogether from using my med to CBD. I have to talk to my GP about it but even if I can’t come off of my different medications it might be helpful to use CBD to supplement them.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has used CBD who also suffers from PTSD and BPD.

Doing What’s Right

Cutting out people from your life can be tough, especially when those people are family, but sometimes it’s necessary for emotional growth and mental healing. I don’t really fit in much with most of my family. We have very different values and they can often clash. Others can also be very hurtful, whether it is intentional or not and have no desire to take the blame for their behavior.

It’s because of this I cut out a few of my family members and in some cases it wasn’t hard. We were never close and never really saw each other, but recently I have had to ask myself if I want someone in my life that will not accept that I have changed my name (something I did to put distance between me and my abusive past), tells me my medication is a waste of time and I should stop taking it and that mental illness is rubbish and I should just get on with it. These are not healthy things to surround yourself with when you are trying to get better, but as they are a close family member it’s something I have put up with for longer than I would from anyone else.

Doing the right thing is not always easy, and in the short term can be painful, but in the long term is totally worth it. If someone cares about you they will want what is best for you and will help you to grow. Never let anyone dull your sparkle.

On the Cards

I read tarot cards, not very often and certainly not very well, but I have been reading them on and off since my early teens when one of my mums friends gave me my first deck (which has since sadly gone missing). You would think since I’m now in my thirties I would have remembered a thing or two! But I read them anyway.

In the past few months I have been reconnecting with my spiritual side which I lost after a very rough few months back when I was about twenty-three. It’s been nice and felt like a natural time to just let it flow back through me. Something like that cannot be forced.

I’m not someone who really believes in fortune telling, for me reading tarot cards is more about clearing my mind than anything else, it gives me something to focus on when my brain is feeling scattered. It’s an excellent way to make me thing about what may be on my mind from a different angle, hell, on a really bad day any angle! They have been a better tool than any attempt at meditation, which leaves me stressed and frustrated. I’ve never tried rocking up to a therapy session with a deck in hand but one day I just might. Even if it’s just to see the look on their face.

It all stemmed from an interest in the occult that I’ve had since I was incredibly young, it started just after my granddad passed away when I was in my last year of primary school after a long illness. I look back and wonder quite how a kid with no outside influence in that direction ended up there but I did. Maybe some things just don’t have an answer. I guess it was just a time that I needed some direction and that was what made sense to me.

What tools do you have in your box when you need to clear your mind? I’d love to hear!

A Love Letter

To my beautiful stand up family, I love each and every one of you. I spent years never feeling like I belonged and then a friend introduced me to you all and I fell in love. Getting together with my boyfriend meant that I was going to nights even more regularly than ever before and you welcomed me with open arms.

They say that laughter is the best medicine and for me it has been, on some of my lowest days I’ve gone to a show, seen the people I love and you have all made me laugh and helped take the pain away. I don’t think I will ever find the words to show you all how grateful I am. Every single one of you, be you performer or organizer have changed my life for the better.

I was supposed to organize seeing a friend and totally forgot from being so tired and fried from going back onto antidepressants and it took me days to contact them and apologise. I was scared they would be mad at me and instead reassured me, was so patient and offered to be a supportive ear. What more could anyone ask for in a friend?

To every single one of you, and there’s far too many to list, from the bottom of my heart I love you all and thank you. And my wonderful boyfriend, thank you for bringing me into your chilled, hilarious world. You have turned my life around and I love you to the stars and back.

We Need to Talk About Toxic Positivity

Because mental health is really as easy as just choosing to be positive

We talk about a lot of other toxic aspects of our day to day lives but recently someone in my social circle brought up toxic positivity and I wondered how I had never heard of it until then. I and I’m sure many others in the mental health community have had to deal with it. It’s a bold statement but I wouldn’t be surprised if every single one of us have probably had to deal with it at some point.

Who of us haven’t heard or seen a meme about positivity or happiness being a choice and we just have to want to be those things? My goodness! Why did I never think of that before? I can feel the self loathing, depression and anxiety from years of abuse just slip away to be replaced with pure positivity, happy thoughts and bunnies. Damn, don’t I just feel… no, wait that didn’t work.

Andy why doesn’t it work? Because it’s so much more complex than that. For one thing it’s hard to stay positive when you have depression, you can go into things like therapy with a positive attitude, but sometimes even that’s hard. And you know what? That’s OK too. Because we all have our bad days, it’s healthy, it’s something we all experience in our lives. And when you have a mental illness (and since you’re here I’m kind of assuming you do, if you don’t hi, strap in) you need to work through the negativity and not just “think positive” and bury those feelings down. Because that is really what you are being asked to do.

The event that brought the toxic positivity conversation about (which I won’t discuss) was about people being nice and positive when people are being hurtful. You are allowed to react and be hurt and upset. If someone hurts you then tell them. Let them know that what they did that hurt you, take a step back and vent to someone willing to listen. But do not just decide to be positive and not deal with it. That is not being the bigger person, it’s being a doormat and it’s not healthy.

Be positive, just don’t feel like you have to do it all the time.

September Round Up

As we leave September to go into Halloween… I mean October I thought I would take the time to talk about everything I’ve been loving and I’m grateful for from the past month.

First up there’s the obvious, I started this blog, which has been so much fun already, on top of that I joined Twitter which has given me the chance to interact with some great people already. I’ve also now joined Instagram, and have found so much great content about self care and recovery already.

Next is the Rugby World Cup, I love rugby so much and look forward to this every four years. I’ve been excited since the end of the Six Nations, even with my anxiety problems I somehow still feel safe in a crowd of rugby fans as they always look after each other. I’ve been in my Welsh jersey and drunk in a pub with opposing fans and we all smile and get along, take photos together and hug no matter the score. There’s no taking dives (OK I saw it once and the referee was hilarious “If you want to do that come back here next week when the football is on. But not on my pitch.”) there’s no nasty chants, no disrespecting the referee, what’s not to love?

Next up is my journal, while I enjoy blogging and being able to share so much about my experiences with PTSD and BPD with the world there is plenty that I want to get out but just keep to myself and keeping a journal that goes everywhere I do is very therapeutic to me. In my darkest times it has been getting those words out and on the page that may well have kept me from going off the deep end even further.

I may be greatful for this every month but my boyfriend, when, some of this month has been tough, particularly the second half of it and he has been the most loving and supportive person I could ask for. He’s everything I could want in a boyfriend and more. He doesn’t get frustrated with me, he is just calm and supportive. He’s cuddled me when my medication made me feel ill, made me laugh and made sure I’ve looked after myself as well as stepping up when that was getting too hard for me to do.

And lastly, a little bit of self care, recently I’ve been struggling even more than usual with another problem I’ve had and have had since childhood, compulsive skin picking. Particularly the skin on my lips which can obviously be very painful and I’ve been trying regularly apply lip balm to help reduce it and the Palmers Coco Butter Formula lip balm has been great. It smells amazing, has vitamin E and SPF 15 protection. If my lips are really soft it makes it harder to pick and has made a difference.

An Uphill Struggle

Some days are just destined to be spent on a sofa feeling sorry for yourself. For me that day was today. I’ve been struggling and the medication just isn’t doing its usual job. They’re pills not miracle workers, and far too many people think that once you’re on them all your problems are solved. But I didn’t want to talk about that, I wanted to talk about rough days where the to-do list does nothing but mount up and getting even a dent in it feels like a Herculean feat.

I had one of those days today. I’ve had a lot of them in the past too. My get up and go has gotten up and gone quite a few times, thankfully it always comes back, looking like it has partied way too hard in its absence. But a few years ago I found a trick to help me get things done.

You see no matter how hard it is to get out from under the blanket on the sofa or out of bed, at some point you will have to do it. You might need the toilet, or a drink and in that time I spend one minute doing something on my way. Today it was putting my laundry on. I needed a coffee and I took a pile of washing that I’d sorted the night before with me. I put it in the machine and switched it on. When I got up again a few hours for some water I hung the washing out. Later that day when I needed the bathroom I stayed in there and had a shower. It’s little things that are in front of me anyway and they all add up through the day or week.

A few years ago when I came through a very long and severe depression my room was a trashed mess, I had no idea how one woman could fix it. So I took a day to relax and every so often I spent just five minutes looking at something that needed doing and did that. Over the course of the day I got a lot of it done. Some times I spent more than five minutes and others that time felt like it was too much, but in the end I sorted it out on my own.

Trying to get everything done at once or even in a day can be intimidating and too much for anyone to deal with, but little bits over time that you can fit around a relaxing day can go a really long way.

I Think That’s Your Problem

When someone tells you what your problem is it never ends well. But while talking with my mum about my frustrations with BPD books and that I find them patronising and like they are trying to coddle me. And I really don’t need that. In this conversation my mum looked at me and said “I think your problem is you are very intelligent and you want help, not a cup of tea and a hug.”

She has a point, I’m a fairly blunt person and I like blunt and to the point in return. It isn’t easy, I struggled to find a name for the blog that didn’t make me roll my eyes so hard I pulled a muscle. It’s the reason I didn’t start a blog years ago with a focus on regaining my sex life/drive while dealing with PTSD.

I do my best to try and help myself as much as I can. I wouldn’t be looking at these quite frankly rediculous work books if I didn’t. But I also don’t want to hear about the “wise woman within” or be called a “warrior” but then you have the other end of the scale. I’m pretty sure some of the people who write books on having the illness or being in a relationship with someone with the illness do not like us. We sound like monsters and arseholes that should just be avoided.

All I’m asking for is some middle ground.

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