Thursday 13 September 2018

Realizing That I've Slipped | Update on my Mental Health

So. I have been working full time for a month now and in some aspects, a whole lot has been going on whereas in other areas, a whole lot of nothing has been happening.
One day at work last week, I looked in a mirror and was taken aback at what I saw. Across my face all I could see was neglect.
Work has been tiring. No big surprise there! But I have drifted away from myself.
I work 12 hour shifts several days a week and I noticed that even on my days off, I feel lethargic, uninspired and to be honest, sad.
In a lot of ways I feel used up. Emotionally drained.
I mean, of course I'm a little worn out,
- bish i've been working really hard 😂💪
but it feels like it's more than that.

But when I actually paused for a second and gave myself the time to really think about it, I realized that over the last month I have done little to no self care. I haven't been checking in with myself. I get up, go to work, get home, eat dinner and go to bed. And that is my routine for half the week. I have had pretty much no time to do the things I enjoy. I end up having to choose between things like : see my friends or film and edit? Get an early-ish night or hang out with family?

I haven't been able to find the time to film videos or write blog posts which has made me feel like something is missing. I love filming, editing and writing so for that to not be a part of my week has been very hard. 

Yesterday was the first time in about two weeks that I did 'full glam'. It isn't all about the makeup, but makeup makes me feel like who I really am and not having had that in my life for some time, it has left me feeling unlike myself. As soon as I had done my makeup yesterday I felt completely different to how I have been feeling. I felt like a million bucks!💲💲
Taking all of this into consideration, is it really that surprising that there has been a disconnect?
Looking after myself and my mental health is a crucial part of my life and when I am not practicing that, I can feel the difference and it's a huge one.
As my family and friends have said to me this week, my mental health and happiness is what is important. I seem to have ignored that fact. Having only been working for four weeks, I am already placing my job higher on my list of priorities than myself and that is not okay with me.

I have spent much of my life putting myself at the bottom of my list. Over looking my mental health and my needs. Prioritizing anyone and everyone over me. Over the last year or so I began to learn to see myself, to hear what I really feel and think. I refuse to slip back into old, self destructive, damaging habits. I couldn't be happier that I have gotten to a place in my life and recovery where I am able to work, but I am not going to let my previous behaviors prevent me from looking after myself, my mental health and making sure I'm my number one priority.

Please don't think I am complaining about work. I honestly feel so proud and thankful that I have the opportunity to have a job, I am just struggling to find the middle ground with it all. But now that I realize that I am unhappy with the current circumstances, I feel like I am now able to really think about making some adjustments to have the best of everything. I believe we all deserve that 💗

I want to thank you so much for stopping by and for reading my post. I hope you're all taking really good care of yourselves 😊💞

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Saturday 25 August 2018

All The Deets On My Mental Health | Part Two

Part two? I never thought I'd be doing a follow up post on this subject but here we are 🙊
In September 2016 I posted my story about my mental health. The good, the bad and the ugly. It was very honest and open and largely for those reasons I am rather proud of it.
You know what they say, a lot can change in a year... Well even more can change in two.

It has been one hell of a ride.
I have been at rock bottom, and lived there
- i may as well have become the mayor -__-
given up, felt worthless and honestly believed that recovery was something I would never be able to achieve.

While I also suffer from depression and anxiety, OCD well and truly wrecked my life.
There were points along the way that I didn't want to touch anyone or be touched. I spent most of 2015 in my room. Hiding. At times I wouldn't leave the house for a month at a time. It feels as though OCD made me feel allergic to life. Everything that involved speaking, coming into physical contact or touching other people scared the life out of me. I avoided it at all costs.

Over the last year, with hard work and determination, my OCD has slowly but surely improved 😃
This year I decided to do something that has always scared me : go on medication. Now, since being on tablets for some time, I feel more like myself than I have for a very long while. My OCD has become so minimal that I feel that I live a pretty 'normal' life 😄 

This past week I started a new job. Since my OCD began I have been unable to work, which is something that has always upset me.
But now I am proud and ecstatic to say that I am working, which is something that for a long time, I thought was only a dream.

While I'm not suggesting that everyone goes on medication, it has certainly helped me in more ways than I can count. If I could go back, I would definitely have stated treating my OCD with medication much sooner. But that's not how it works. What I can do though is continue on. Living my best life. I am not saying 'I'm cured from OCD!'. I believe that it will always be with me, a little voice that tries to regain control. But I feel far more prepared to deal with it now and it has become a much quieter voice.

As of August 2018 I consider myself to have recovered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 😭
I honestly never thought I'd be at the point that I'm at today. I feel tremendous pride and strength and happiness.

I'm so grateful for this journey but here's to the next chapter 🎉
I made it 💖

Thank you so much for stopping by 💗


Sunday 12 August 2018

Primark Amber Passion Palette : Review

It's been a hot minute since I did a review! 🙈
This post will *hopefully* answer any questions you have regarding the Primark Amber Passion palette.
After picking this palette up I was so excited to try it that I filmed my - first ever! - first impressions using it for the first time. Since then I have now used every shade on my eyes and I feel I can honestly give it a full review 💗
Let's get started! 😊

I was just browsing in Primark for the third time that week
- lolz but seriously xD
when I saw this beauty. I was seriously taken aback. I mean, look. at. it 😍 And then I saw that it was £3..... £3?!?! Seriously 😱
So, I didn't really know what to expect as I had never tried and Primark eye shadows but oh boy! This was such a surprise! 
One of the first things that impressed me was the fact that the shades have names.
I personally find it easier when products have a name, particularly when it comes to blogging or YouTubing. It's just a bazillion times less complicated when you can just refer to something by it's actual name and not: this shade on the fourth row and the third shade in - ya know?
I feel like you get a pretty good selection of finishes and tones. I feel like creating a day time look is quite limited with this palette (especially with how pigmented they are - we're almost getting there ;)). 
I love the fact that it has a magnetic closure
- seriously it's only £3
I would feel quite safe throwing this in my bag. Having 9 shades is a nice round number, it's just enough to give you variety and not overwhelming to the eye
- cut to me panicking about not knowing what to use xD
shades left to right - Sunrise, Burn and Champagne
shades left to right - Solar, Aura and Glory
shades left to right - Radiate, Illusion and Edge
I mean ✋✋
The mattes are incredible. INcredible 😅 
All of the shades are very easy to blend, I feel if you over-blend they can start to disappear so a light hand would be best. I found that the more shimmery shades were just metallic enough, but that's coming from someone who constantly wants glittery/metallic/sparkly goodness on her eyes all the time 😉
shades used :
Radiate - as my transition shade
Burn - through the crease
Aura - on the lid
Burn - on the outer corner
Radiate and Burn on my lower lash line
Champagne - as my brow bone and inner corner highlight

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow stick in Bark on upper lash line
Benefit Bad Gal Bang mascara
Revlon Volume + Length Magnified mascara

The first look I created was a very 'me' look 😂
As soon as I saw Aura I knew I needed that on my eyes pronto!
I feel like the shades perfectly complimented each other, blending seamlessly together.
shades used :
Sunrise - as my transition and crease shade
Solar - on the lid
Illusion - on the outer corner
Glory - on the lower lash line
Edge - on the inner corner
Sunrise, Illusion and Glory on my lower lash line
Champagne - as my brow bone and inner corner highlight

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Bark on upper lash line
Benefit Bad Gal Bang mascara
Primark SOSU lashes style - Paris

The second look was a little out of my comfort zone. I got a bit carried away when I saw the beautiful orange shades 😌
BUT! makeup is supposed to be fun, right? 🙊
Considering that the shades I used were rather bright
- and hella pigmented!
they blended easily and gave me no trouble whatsoever 💃

As someone who enjoys a warm toned palette, I feel this is a prefect match for me. I didn't have to work hard to get colour pay off, I had very little fall out and not too much kick up in the pans. Do I feel that these shades can be duped? Possibly. Could they be duped for something cheaper than £3 for 9 shades? I  h i g h l y  doubt it 😏

Overall I love this palette (as if you couldn't tell haha!)
If you'd like to see me applying the first look in video format, click the link below to see my first impressions of using the palette.

I hope you found this review helpful, if you have any questions that I didn't answer please don't hesitate to ask and I'll do my very best to answer 🙊
Thank you so much for stopping by 😊


Friday 10 August 2018

A Catch Up

Oh so many apologies for the radio silence on here. I shan't make excuses.
I thought my first proper post back in a while should be a bit of a catch up. Stand out points from the last couple of months or so 😊
Let's get into it shall we?

1. I got a job!! 🎉😃
I made the decision to look for work. After being out of work for almost four years, I feel like I am ready to get back out there. My OCD has improved so so much, I can barely remember what it was like to be so controlled by that I was unable to even get out of the house. Over the last four years all I have ever wanted was to be able to work. It was such a dream of mine which, at times, felt completely out of reach. It was just a dream. And now? I am starting a new chapter. I cannot put into words how excited I am! I am taking steps to improve my life and to grab it with both hands feels incredible 😭😍

2. Regular uploading on YouTube 🙊
Since Wednesday 27th June I have uploaded a video every Wednesday and Sunday! I have been on YouTube (on and off) since 2011 and this is the most consistent I have EVER been 😱 It feels amazing 😊 Creating videos has always been something I enjoy, the whole process from the filming to the editing to creating a thumbnail... I love every aspect of it. This past - almost - 2 months has felt exciting and completely natural. There were no jitters or awkward feelings when starting back up. It felt as though I hadn't had any breaks over the last few years. I am so happy to be back and back with a vengeance! 💪

3. Makeup 💄👀
Accompanying my return to YouTube my love of makeup has been reignited. It was always there but over the past 4 years it has become less of a fun hobby and more of a chore 😢
- who am i without gold eye shadow?!
It left me feeling like something was missing. A rather big part of me had been diminished to the point that it almost didn't interest me anymore. However... Since my OCD and mood have improved, it has created a place for all of the things I enjoy - makeup being the biggest one! My love for makeup has well and truly returned and it may sound cheesy, but I feel whole again 💖

And that brings me to today.
I have missed blogging. I feel that now that I am in a good routine with my YouTube channel, I feel ready to get back to my blog 😊💝

I want to thank you so much for stopping by and here's to more posts in the future 😁


Friday 13 July 2018

How I got where I am with my recovery | the music

In late 2013 I spent 3 months or so feeling very low. I have spoken about this before, and that's not what this post is about. After a while, I had had enough. I started taking care of myself. Building a relationship with myself and felt really, connected with who I was.

Now for why I'm mentioning it.
Over the last two years, but particularly the last 3 months, I have begun to repair my relationship with myself. And this time it feels different. I truly feel more like myself than ever. I mean, I was always me, but I can now see all of the things that I let get in my way. And mainly, it was myself. I stopped me from being who I really am.
So I thought I would share some things that have helped a bit along the way 😊

This first post is dedicated to the music.
Up until 2016 I was listening to sad broken heart kind of music which, of course, effected my mood.
- Toni Braxton unbreak my heart anyone?
Well, in 2017 I started listening to songs that, well, brought out my inner queen shall we say ;) And it didn't take long for me to notice such a change in my mood!
- shaking my ass while doing the dishes, you got it
I don't know about you but I feel like my super sassy self when listening to certain songs. Music also helps me to feel empowered too so here's my list...

1. The Middle - Lauren Alaina
I was in the shower one morning and I had my ipod on shuffle.
This song came on. I had never listened to it before, and had put it on there just cause.
As I was listening to the lyrics I felt a connection. I felt a change.
And to this day, I remember that moment as being the first of me choosing recovery 💖

2. Side To Side - Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj
This was the first song I listened to that didn't make me feel sadder than I already did 🙈 When I heard it I was completely overcome with the need to listen to it over and over. It was like when Dorothy enters Oz and everything all of a sudden is in beautiful colours 😍 Yes, really.

3. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony
I'll tell you something, when I saw the music video for this I was sold. It's just magic 💗
This song was the first one I had listened to from these wonderful ladies and let's just say, it didn't stop there.
It makes me feel like I'm the boss, I'm in charge and I always end up dancing to it too 😁

4. Shoutout To My Ex - Little Mix
This song was so poignant 😅 
It's such a fantastic combination of lyrics and beat. You try listening to this song and not feel uplifted... u can't haha!
Also, this song introduced me to modern day Little Mix and let me tell you, I am here for it!! 🙌 

5. That's My Girl - Fifth Harmony
See? 😄
When this song was released I was like - yes! this is it, this is what i needed to hear! 💪
I listened to it non stop.

6. Sorry Not Sorry - Demi Lovato
The title says it all really 😆 
It kind of felt like me and Demi (apparently we're on first name basis lolz) got this surge of badassness at the same time and it feels good 😎
Love her so so so much and this song only made that love even stronger.

7. I Belong To Me - Jessica Simpson
Yes. Jessica Simpson. This song has been with me for a whole lotta years and tears.
It has a very real, very large part in my heart.
"love don't mean changing who you are to be who somebody want you to be".
That hits deeeeep. 💕

8. Power - Little Mix
How could this not be in my list??!!
Man oh man this song gives me all feels and empowerment needed.

9. Miss Me More - Kelsea Ballerini
This song is 💯
Getting to know myself again and I really did miss me more 💁😉

10. Maria - Christina Aguilera
A recent release but a song I listen to almost every day.
I relate to this journey so so much.
The whole Liberation album is 👌 but this song means a great deal to me.

Getting to this point in my recovery has been one heck of a process but I really feel that music has helped me along the way.
I hope that you found this helpful in some way and thank you so much for stopping by :)


Friday 6 July 2018

Becoming Less Robot-Like | An MS Update (kinda)

Okay so this is going to be hard. I haven't spoken about my MS for such a long time – on here. Everything pre-diagnosis was blogged about. The lumbar puncture, the MRI's, the feeling of 'not knowing' what was going on. It was all aired. I posted my full journey shortly after I was diagnosed but since then, I haven't really spoken about it. And this past week, I have realized why.

I recently found out that I have new lesions. Which to be honest, I was expecting. However I was a bit taken aback when I saw that there are now not only lesions on my brain, but also on my spine. I mean, I feel a little like I shouldn't be too surprised, I had thought this would happen at some point but I was in shock. It kind of felt like as long as the lesions stayed in my brain, the whole MS thing wasn't real.
- i know, i know

While I have processed that I have Multiple Sclerosis, I haven't felt it. I have acted rather robot-like towards it. It has entered my life, it is now a part of me and that's that. But unfortunately by not feeling whatever needs to be felt, it kind of felt like the recent news came out of no where. So I talked about it. I spoke to my mum and brother. I shared how I was feeling which was mostly fear, sadness and worry. But you know what I felt afterwards? Lighter. I felt far less sad, I felt supported and am hopeful for the future.

I have always been a 'solve it yourself' kinda gal. I'm kind of independent on the whole and pride myself on my resilience. But if the last five years have taught me anything, it's that I don't have to put a brave face on and tackle things alone. I have wonderful friends and family that are more than happy to help and be a shoulder to cry on. Boy am I blessed!

So. No more bottling. No more robot Nicky. This is my life, MS is now a part of my life and I'm here to have a wide range of feelings about that! And I must always remember that : Sharing is caring! 😉

I'll be posting soon sharing my recent symptoms etc. but until then, thank you so much for stopping by 😊


Friday 29 June 2018

Reclaiming Me : Part One

Around 2010/11 I watched a Pixiwoo video, and then that was it. I had caught the bug.
- i think it may have been this one 💋
I found MAC. I used to spend agessss looking at all of the eye shadows colours 😍😍 It wasn't long until I owned a 15 pan palette of MAC eye shadows and some of their brushes. The thing was, I didn't really have anyone to talk to about it. I lived with men and even chatting to mum could only go so far without chewing her ear off 😂 So one day I used a webcam and filmed a 'June favourites'. And before I knew it, I was planning on other videos. I started my YouTube channel and I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy it. Only a few months after that, I started my blog.
At that time I was in a long-term relationship, I was a full time carer to my then boyfriend which meant I worked from home. I was able to fit blogging and YouTubing around my work life, family time and all the other stuff 😏 Then that led to me buying a camcorder. By this time my collection was growing and growing. I was in love. And sharing it online made me feel great because there were tonnes of people talking about it too. I didn't feel alone in my love for cosmetics 😃

At the end of 2013, my relationship ended and as a result, I was without a job and had to move back home. Within a few days we reconciled but I made the decision to stay living at home and (at some point) look for work. I was pretty broken, I'm not going to lie. For three months I stayed at home, living in my pj's, watching bad tv and crying. Even though I was glad to have my relationship, I felt like I had shattered into a million pieces. It wasn't until this time that I realized that I hadn't really felt like me for a long time. It took for me to not have a lot of things (and people) to focus on for me to see how low and lost I felt.

By the time November/December came around, I had had enough. I call this my 'mini epiphany'. I started to look after myself, practice self care and looked for a job. By Christmas I was working in a shop. In the beginning I felt great. I started to make content for the blog and I began uploading videos again. Over the next 4 months or so, I lost my ability to cope with everyday things and had become consumed by OCD. It resulted in me having to leave. I had moved back in with my boyfriend and over the course of 2014, my mental health deteriorated with my OCD worsening. By the end of that year, he ended the relationship, this time for good. In a way it all felt so familiar to me, back at home, no job, no boyfriend. But this time rather than me having a blank space, I had OCD to keep me company, something for me to focus on.

I have 'tried' over the years to continue with YouTube and blogging but it was half-hearted and not what it once was. Makeup became something I felt I had to put on when seeing people so that I didn't look how I felt. The enjoyment had disappeared. Looking back, it's hard to think of that time. It was painful but also was the beginning of me truly losing myself. With most things, I gave up. I felt in nearly every way possible, completely lost and raw.

And here we are.
Looking back, it feels like most aspects of my life over the last five years have been obliterated. And now I'm looking all around me, I'm seeing the people who are still here, noticing the people who aren't. Trying to pick up the parts that survived and working out what I need to build from scratch. Grabbing all of the important bits but leaving the ashes of what are no longer needed. I'm seeing little shoots growing up through the earth, reaching up begging to be cared for.

I've realized that my world wasn't in another person. I know this because when it felt like my world had ended, I am still here, and they are not.
My world is exactly that, mine.

It's 2018. My love of makeup, making videos and blogging are some of the parts I have picked up. They are part of what makes me, me. A scared part of me made me believe that they weren't who I am but I am coming to realize that that was a load of rubbish. I sacrificed those parts of me - unknowingly - to aid my OCD and depression and it makes me sick to know that. I have made myself as small and inconspicuous as possible in the hopes that it would mean my world wouldn't end again. But you know what? Maybe it has felt like my world has ended but it starts up again, as long as I allow it to. I can't stomach feeling like I'm standing in my own way. I have been watching some of my older videos on YouTube and it fills me with both happiness and sadness. She was so full of life, doing what she loved to do. It hurts me to know that I am the only thing stopping that from being my reality again.

In recent weeks, I have begun to feel that familiar feeling. New palettes I want to buy, testing out new eye shadow combinations, wanting to film videos. I feel like me. I know makeup doesn't solve everything, but it is who I am at my core. It is a part of me that I pretended wasn't there and in doing so, cause some damage. I'm looking around at the world I am creating and it feels like this is how it always should have looked - looking after myself and doing the things I enjoy. I am curious like the woman who stumbled across a Pixiwoo video, who was mesmerized by all of the MAC eye shadow choices. The woman who actively chatted to fellow makeup enthusiasts, who felt like it was Christmas morning standing at her first IMATS. She has survived, she's just been buried for a long time. Now I am finally allowing her to come to the surface, where she was always meant to be.

This is the first part of me I am reclaiming 💖🚀


Friday 15 June 2018

Finding Noo.

Just like the seasons, I have over time, changed.
I've come to learn in the last year or so, that I have many parts that make me, me.
When looking back at my life so far, I have seen many transformations. Each of them have been brought on by me not feeling that who I was was okay, even when I felt the most myself. I felt like I was too much. I took up too much space. I was selfish.

When it comes to my relationships with others, I often become what I feel/know they need. I take on a persona. I create what is needed for them. The most I can do for me is to be as happy as possible in the situation.

In my last relationship, I (unknowingly) created another 'me'. I became masculine. Cold. Distant. Guarded. Robot-like. When I felt emotional, I viewed it as a weakness.
Unfortunately, after the relationship ended that personality was so ingrained that it stayed.
Previous to the relationship I was soft. Sure of myself. I knew who I was.

I have been living for the last 10 years or so as someone who isn't me. I have felt around the age of 60. I'm tired a lot of the time. Always on high alert for the next thing to go wrong. Ready to jump to the worst case scenario. Staying in my pyjamas all day, doing the same nothing day in and day out. I have felt incredibly lonely. So, so sad. Unable to prioritize myself in any way.

I think this part was created to keep me in check. To create control over as much as possible. To replace every part of me that previously existed. Those parts all still here, but have little time to be a part of my life. You know what the ironic thing is though? All of the things I thought I had control over, I had no control whatsoever!

While I'm sure this was what I needed at the time, it's definitely time to move on. I have much to unlearn, many things that need to be deprogrammed. Finding Noo is exactly what I've been doing so far in 2018, searching for all the parts of me that have been pushed aside for so long. There are so many personalities that make me, me. The one who's been running the show deserves to retire and rest up while the others can start living again 😏

Here, I am documenting my journey to finding me, creating the life I've always wanted and sharing my favourite things too!
- have you seen the Jaclyn Hill Vault coming soon?!?!
I am feeling more like myself every day which feels... Wonderful. I know I deserve to give myself the love and attention I so freely give to others.
Let's do this 💖

Thank you for stopping by 😊

Friday 16 March 2018

I Never Thought I'd Be Back Here.

I wish there was a lovely reason for why I haven't been blogging (or youtubing, or tweeting etc.), it would be so much easier. “Sorry! I had to nip to the shop to grab some Monster Munch ...and it took me 6 months :D”. Alas, that isn't why.

I have spent most of the last six months isolating myself. To be completely honest, I've felt like pure trash. At times, it has been physically exhausting to smile. As if to smile would mean that I was okay, when all I could feel was anything but. In truth, I felt alone, unimportant and neglected. I was engulfed by a feeling that no one was really listening to me. That I was screaming but no one could hear me. I am surrounded by loving family and friends so how could this be? It has felt at times, reminiscent of my 3 month episode of low mood and feeling completely lost in 2013. But upon closer examination, back then I was fairly numb to it all. Lately I have been feeling everything.

I feel it coming like an eclipse, all of a sudden I am in a place where joy cannot exist and recovery is just a fairytale. I struggle to get up in the morning, my contamination OCD often being the only thing that pushes me to get out of bed and have a shower. My hair gets scraped damp into a bun, fresh pyjamas, fluffy sock and slippers and that is my uniform. Often heading downstairs to start my day around 10:30am. Pretty much from then until bed time is spent filling myself with crisps, biscuits and tea. It's kind of like ground hog day with appointments and family visits thrown into the mix.
I never thought I'd be back here, especially to a worse degree.

I remember one evening in 2013 after three months of feeling low and sorry for myself, I had decided to take a shower before bed. I was standing under the water and I started thinking about my relationship with myself. 5 years previously I was working out, going to the hairdressers to have my highlights re-done every 6 weeks like clockwork, having my nails done, seeing friends, giving myself facials, taking pride in my appearance... Then there I was. Struggling to even get up at a reasonable hour, I didn't have any friends (except my family and then boyfriend), pampering myself seemed completely foreign to me. Right then and there I got out my Soap and Glory body scrub and scrubbed the heck out of my skin. The smell familiar, sweet. After my shower I applied my Soap and Glory Righteous butter all over my body, put on some fresh pyjama's and felt incredible. In the years that have past, I have referred to this as 'my epiphany'.

After this I strived to work on myself. I took back control over my situation, I didn't just wander through my life anymore, I grabbed life with both hands. I began to create a great relationship with myself. I practised self care, got a new job, began to eat a little better, got fresh air, made new friends. By 2014, I had started planning and creating content on my blog and YouTube channel. I was really, really happy. It's the strangest thing, when I think of 'who I am', I always think back to that brief six months or so when I started to truly love myself. I remember that for Christmas '13 I was given the Naked 3 palette, I was totally over the moon (those shades tho <3) and I used every single shade, created looks with them and then did a very detailed review on my blog and YouTube channel. I was so proud, and I was so happy with the fact that I had done so with such ease and enjoyment.

The rest of that year consisted of an OCD diagnosis, the breakup of my 6 year relationship and me falling back into familiar habits – staying up until 3-4am, getting up past mid day, wearing pyjama's, not seeing friends, over-eating, becoming distant with my family, watching poo TV. This time, OCD and anxiety were thrown into the mix so that played right into me struggling to go out and talking to anyone and everyone. 

No amount of self care will fix why I keep looping back round like this. I could have a glorious pamper day and wake up the following day struggling to work up the energy to get out of bed. This cycle of behaviour has really cemented a number of things for me. Firstly, the path to where I am now and what started it all off in 2013 were practically identical. For whatever reason, at the end of 2013 and the end of 2014 I was left to my own devices mentally. I had no job, I was spending a lot of time at home and all I had to focus on was the pain, loneliness I felt, going over everything day in and day out, feeling like I had nothing to give my attention. The difference is that 5 years ago I decided to do something about it. I picked myself up off of the floor and went on a mission to create an incredible bond with myself. Right now, I am doing exactly what I have been doing for the last four years. Day in, day out. I have literally become a prisoner in my own home... Both house and mind. 

This loop I have been on has also shown me in greater detail something that I've always been aware of, at varying degrees, but have never really paid it the attention it clearly needs. I have a tendency to put other people before myself. I've always felt that that was a good thing, a great trait to have. I put others' needs before my own while growing up, I became a full time carer to my (now ex) partner for years and in recent years have taken on more than I need to when it comes to those close to me. I end up exhausted because of an issue that someone else is having, even when it doesn't involve me. Call it a people pleaser, call it whatever you like but doing it to the degree I take it has caused me damage. Self inflicted pain. Being there for people is great, in portions. I feel that I have used this to fill the gap I have in my life. It's caused me to think 'if I fill up my time with everyone else, there simply isn't enough space for me'.

It has felt easier to distract myself by focusing on everyone and everything other than me. I feel scared for it to just be me and me. I have spent my life trying to cater to everyone's needs, placing them before myself. The last six months of feeling like I am unimportant and that no one is listening is all true, except, I'm the one who hasn't been listening. I have made myself completely unimportant and have neglected myself to a degree I didn't even realize. I know what to do when someone is crying or down, but when it comes to me? I push it aside and do my best to ignore it. I would never do that to someone so why is it acceptable to treat myself that way? What I do know is, I can't keep this cycle going. I cannot keep treating myself and my life like it doesn't matter and isn't important, because contrary to what I have taught myself, my life is important and I am important.

I think about that epiphany often, with such admiration for who I was at that time in my life. I am so proud of what I did. I took a leap of faith, I made a decision that bettered my life and began to make a beautiful bond with myself. Just looking back at the last four years, even in the grip of my OCD and anxiety, struggling to get out of bed, having zero motivation, every now and then something wonderful happens. The 2014 me, the plucky, go getter who knows what she wants, who enjoys her life shows up. It can be from the moment I open my eyes in the morning or even mid way through a fairly ground hog-ish kind of day and I feel it. Suddenly I feel energized, have motivation, chatting away with family and friends, cracking jokes, practising self care and having a truly beautiful outlook on the future. Sometimes she sticks around for a day or at times a week or two. Each time that she fades away I am saddened. It's as if she pokes her head out to remind me that she's still there. And it reminds me that I have let myself be totally eclipsed from my own life.

A LOT has happened since 2014, it seems like a lifetime ago! But that person I was has always been a constant in my life. She may have been buried very, very deep at times but she always manages to push through ...even if it is just for a Tuesday on an otherwise very gloomy week. I feel like if the last 6 months – or 5 years! - have taught me anything it's that, if left unattended, my mind will always drift back to harmful, unproductive ways. It will block out the sun and I will be forgotten all over again. It has also shown me that when I think of who I am, I don't think of the person who hides away and makes everyone else number one. I think of me 5 years ago, I finally gave her the space she needed and she spread her wings and flew. She is me, I just haven't allowed her the room she needs. I feel that my recovery should be a constant focus in my life, the thing I pay most attention to because with it comes everything I could ever dream of. In concentrating on myself and my recovery, I gain an amazing relationship with myself, which then leads to endless opportunities : self care, happiness, creativity, improved relationships with people...

So no more scrunching myself up, hiding from the world, putting myself at the bottom of my list. I am allowing my true self to step forward and give myself as much space and attention as I need to live my life the way I set out to. I owe it to me 💖😍