Little Life Update


T-Shirt Maison De Choup

Hello!
Quite a bit has happened over the past couple of weeks so I thought I’d do a little life update so that we can have a good old catch up.

Annoyingly I’m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment due to some lady problems (read about it here and here if you want to) and I’m on these painkillers which are not fun at all. I’m super dizzy and nauseous and sleepy and I don’t want to take them anymore, I think I’d rather just put up with the pain!

But. On the bright side, work is quite exciting at the moment as we’re working on lots of cool stuff and there’s lots of progression opportunities for me right now. I actually look forward to going to work each day at the moment which is a really nice feeling. This is complemented very nicely by my recent exam results – eek! For the last year I’ve been studying for the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing to support my career and allow me to progress more easily. It’s been quite difficult at times and at some points I really thought I wouldn’t pass, but I ended up with a merit overall and I’m pretty darn pleased about it.

#TalkMH is going so well and the reaction has been incredible. I still find it amazing that a little idea I came up with in the car has turned into something so wonderful involving so many people. Thanks so much for your support and kind words surrounding the chat, particularly with the whole trolling incident. You guys really have my back and I’m truly grateful.

I’ve also just started therapy for anxiety and have decided to document the experience in the hopes of helping somebody else to reach out and seek help as well a remove a bit of the stigma around therapy because I think it’s ridiculous. Whether it will work, I don’t know, but it’s always worth a try. The next post in that series will be up next week as I wasn’t able to have a session this week.

Take care,

Hannah x

 

Let’s Talk About Periods

Firstly I completely, a million percent agree with the idea of talking more openly about menstruation because let’s be honest, it should not be a taboo. Everyone single one of us lucky girls experiences periods and it absolutely does need to be talked about. When I first experienced a period as a ten year old girl, I had learned that there would be a bit of blood at the same time each month which would hurt my tummy a little. Then, when my periods turned out to be a lot of blood, completely irregular and very painful, I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

If you read my post on contraception you may already be aware that I was put on birth control at the young age of fourteen. It wasn’t for ‘protection’, but instead provided a solution to my nightmare, super heavy and painful periods. But, if you read that post you will also know that I recently came off of my birth control because of the other effects that it was having on me. Cue return of horrendous periods. Now luckily, I am off to see the doctor this afternoon and I do believe that there will be a solution to this but it seems that I have to choose between excruciatingly painful periods, or having awful mood swings and no intimacy or affection with my partner as a result of birth control.

This is not a fun decision to make.

Today I had to leave work early because my cramps were so bad they were making me cry and painkillers were useless. People will probably read this and be like ‘lol that’s hilarious, it’s just a period’ but when you’re woken up in the middle of the night with severe stomach cramps and are unable to get on with your day-to-day life because you’re in so much pain you feel nauseous, it’s not very funny at all.

And then there’s iron deficiency. Being naturally slim (read about that here if you wish but be warned, it’s ranty), having very heavy periods causes me anaemia. So whilst I’m unable to function normally due to unbearable stomach cramps, low mood and a constant backache, there’s then a general feeling of being unwell and fainting and blacking out to go with it.

And there’s there’s migraines. When I get migraines, I get migraines with aura. This means that alongside the usual headache, my body can go numb – usually my face and arms – and vision is impaired. Symptoms can be similar to that of a stroke which I’m sure you’ll appreciate can be downright terrifying so then comes anxiety.

I’ll be updating my contraception post after I’ve tried whatever the doctor gives me today so I’ll keep you posted – wish me luck.

Does anyone else experience similar periods? How do you cope with it?

Hannah x

Autumn Skincare Saviours

If you read my post last year on Clarins skincare you may already be aware that my skin isn’t usually my friend when the weather turns colder. If anyone else has the same problem, the Clarins products in that post are still up there with my favourite lotions and potions, but as the year has gone on I’ve discovered a few more remedies for combating dry and sensitive skin. These are my top three additions to my ever-growing list of skincare saviours!

Lano Everywhere Multi Cream
I love this. It was a gift from my Aunt and I use it all the time. It makes my skin so smooth and as well as a face moisturiser, I find this great for post-shaving dryness on my legs. My skin is really sensitive and I often end up with rashes and dry patches on my legs after shaving, but this cream works wonders.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
It’s important to mention that I do not recommend use of this on your face. I learnt the hard way. Despite being called a cream, it’s actually more like a gel and smells a bit like TCP. Upon application to my face it broke me out like nobody’s business but it’s very effective as a lip balm. I use this for dry, cracked lips but, because of the smell, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re planning on giving bae a smooch. (Ew, what kind of word is ‘smooch’?) I haven’t tried it on any other body parts yet but it’s supposed to be really good for sunburn and scrapes, so I’ll let you know how I get on.

Oliver Bonas Hand & Nail Cream
I always find that as the weather turns colder, my hands get so dry. I carry this cream in my handbag with me so that when I’m at work or on-the-go I can keep my hands moisturised. Also, it smells lush!

Does your skin suffer in the colder seasons? What do you use to help?

Hannah x

 

Follow My Journey: Therapy for Anxiety #1

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Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination…
Only joking, this probs isn’t going to be much fun at all.

So I started therapy for my anxiety this week and I thought it may help somebody if I documented the experience. I might be totally wrong here but I know that for me, therapy was a scary concept. Anyone in the same boat – I got ya. Each week I’m going to talk briefly about the therapy session, what I’ve achieved, any setbacks, and generally how I’m getting on with it.

I saw a councillor for six weeks last year after being referred by my doctor but it was more for depression. In the last week of those therapy sessions, anxiety hit hard and I had an awful panic attack and reached my lowest point. You’re only given six weeks, so I couldn’t get any further help. After that I slowly improved depression wise and time has healed me greatly, but anxiety has been a real problem for me since this point. There’s no doubt that the therapy service offered by the NHS certainly helped me, but instead of waiting weeks on a waiting list and having a time restraint put on my recovery, I decided to go private this time.

On the introductory session, the lady was lovely and made me feel at home straight away. She had a really cute room with comfy chairs and books and was so easy to talk to. I rambled and rambled at her for an hour – the poor lady couldn’t shut me up but I suppose that is the point of this. To start with I wasn’t sure why she was asking me some of the questions that she was asking, but in the end it all made sense. After I explained to her about my life up to now, she told me that there was more to talk about and get more info from me on, but she’s starting to see a pattern. A pattern I never spotted before. We may be onto something here.

I found the session really interesting and I felt like I was gaining a little bit of insight into my brain and why it does the things it does. There’s certainly more to uncover and the real therapy hasn’t even started yet, but the ball is rolling.

I’ll keep you posted.

Hannah x

Time to Change StoryCamp 2016

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On Friday I went to London for the Time to Change StoryCamp. Firstly, the fact I got there without a panic attack is quite a big deal for me – I even went on THE TUBE?! It was a great day and I met lots of great people and saw some really interesting presentations.

So what is StoryCamp?
StoryCamp is an event that takes place in London run by Time to Change. The day includes training on telling your mental health story, and how to get your work seen. We heard from some really inspiring people but the thing that really stood out to me was the opening talk from Shea Wong. Shea Wong is a blogger and media volunteer and her talk was, in my opinion, the perfect introduction to StoryCamp: inspiring, motivating and incredibly important.

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As well as hearing presentations from mental health bloggers and journalists, it was such a great way of meeting people with the same passion as me. Everyone in the room had lived experience of mental illness and made it their mission to fight stigma. What a fab group of people. It was so wonderful to see so many people from different walks of life – old, young, male, female – all coming together to make a difference.

If you’re interested in fighting stigma and learning more about how to start your storytelling journey, I’d recommend applying for next year’s StoryCamp – you will meet some incredible people.

Has anyone else been before? Are you planning to go? Let me know!

Hannah x