We’re Engaged!

So, you aren’t going to believe this…but I am engaged! Despite the fact that I still think that Quorn nuggets, Alphabites and sweetcorn is a balanced meal, despite the fact that my cat themed trainers light up in the heels – little old me, is getting married! Pretty much for our whole relationship, me and Mike had spoken about marriage. Everything was “when we get married”, it always just seemed like a given. It was always just a matter of when, not if.


In hindsight, I totally should have seen the proposal coming, Mike is certainly not tactful with that stuff! He had taken my other rings off one night and tried them on my other fingers one night and was asking about sizing. Again though, I knew that one day we would get married, this was just the sort of thing that we always talked about – so I thought nothing of it. Then he started asking about wedding logistics, as in who would we invite, who would I have as bridesmaids etc – but again, I thought nothing of it as we spoke of our wedding pretty much daily anyway! I also realized that I will have an equal split of male and female bridesmaids as I don’t really have a group of “girls”, I love my boys too!


It was our second anniversary and the day before I had been searching for a plan for us to do. I am certainly someone who needs a plan, I can’t just ‘wing it’ or my anxiety sky rockets. We were going to go up to Ingleton and have a walk through the country together, as soon as we got downstairs Mike asked if we could do presents first. “Sure” I said, sounds good to me. He moved the coffee table out of the way and got on the floor, I questioned him and he said his back hurt! We exchanged gifts and he spoilt me far too much! Finally he hands me a jewellery box, with a knot ‘promise’ style ring. I thought it was lovely and put it on my thumb, this was a nice way of being engaged to be engaged right?


As soon as I had put it on my thumb, he hands me a smaller ring box and said “but wouldn’t you prefer this one?”. I open it, and it was absolutely gorgeous, completely my taste but it couldn’t be could it? Turns out, he had got nervous and had forgot to ask the question! But he was on one knee so he gets credit there! He finally asks me, I cry, we laugh and then we spend the majority of the rest of the day telling my immediate family. I went to my Mum’s and told her and my step Dad and step sister Mollie, and then went to my Nana’s who thought that we were already engaged! But was happy none the less, bless her.


So, this is what being engaged feels like eh? Honestly, I have never been happier and the since I’ve updated my relationship status on Facebook, genuinely my targeted ads have been insane. Everything is just weddings! Sufficed to say, we will certainly be waiting to do anything until this current plague had died off, as I would like to actually have my family at the wedding! We know what kind of thing we want, as like I say, we have spoke about this a lot prior to getting engaged. But the idea of planning it all together and bringing that idea into reality is extremely exciting. I cannot wait until I can say I am his wife, and he my husband. I love him to pieces, and cannot wait for every second of our future together.





After losing my Dad…

Recently we lost my wonderful Dad to his fight with oesophogeal cancer. He was the most wonderful man in the world and not a day goes by where he is not missed unbearably. When you first find out that one of your parents has a terminal illness so many thoughts are flying through your head at a million miles an hour. None of which I could make any sense of, and I’m still struggling with some of it to this day, but I guess this is a handful of things that are starting to make sense to me.


When you first find out that one of your parents is dying, you have to come to terms with the fact that one of the most important people in your life’s time left on this planet is now finite. When you find out your parent is dying, you die along with them inside, just as slowly. It’s absolutely soul destroying as you have to watch their pain and suffering, all of this from one of the only people who have helped you and picked you back up from your worst and made you feel better no matter what. And you just have to sit back, and watch. My Dad was dying, and I could do absolutely nothing. Nothing. Nothing to stop the inevitable.


It’s just fucking awful to watch your parent; my larger than life, funny, kind and happy go lucky Dad wither away into a small and frail cancer patient right before my eyes. And in all honesty, it happened way quicker than I ever could have imagined. You lose so much sleep, just lying awake in bed wondering if tomorrow is the day that you get the dreaded phone call to say that he’s gone and that you weren’t there to say goodbye. Every day at work becomes that little bit more difficult as you approach yet another shift without any sleep.


Nothing tastes right and so you find yourself forgetting to eat or drink, sometimes for days at a time. It’s not a conscious decision or anything, it just isn’t a concern anymore. Taking care of yourself takes a back seat as your mind just refuses to focus on such seemingly pointless tasks as showering.


You will find yourself becoming so irrationally angry at the cancer, hell at the traffic lights even, because that fucking bastard is slowly stealing my hero away. It means that my children will never meet their Grandad or see that famous smile of his in person. Normal things just become impossible. Just going out for drinks seems pointless because how can I go and drink pint after pint with you at the pub while I know my Dad is lying in a bed slowly dying? What’s the fucking point? How can everything in the world just carry on when my world is lying helpless in a hospital bed? It just isn’t fair.


When you are losing a parent, it makes you feel so selfish as you find yourself thinking things like “please, please just make it to Christmas” just so that you can spend the holiday with him, even if just for one last time. One of the biggest things that breaking my heart right now is that I can never be walked down the aisle by my Dad now if I get married as he’s gone forever, and I can never get him back.


When you have a parent who is dying, you have to quickly learn to push past the fact that you will still sometimes experience some kind of joy and happiness in your life, despite everything. And eventually, you will learn to realise that that is okay, because your parent would have wanted nothing less than for you to be happy.


For me, losing a parent meant breathing in his scent when I hugged him goodbye to try and remember his smell. Trying to find and save every video and voicemail that I have of his so that I never ever forget the sound of his voice. Holding his hands for as long as possible so that I can always recall how they felt. I can’t allow myself to forget any of these little details. Details that made my Dad just that, mine.


When your parent is dying, and even more so when you have eventually lost them, your friends will most definitely say the wrong things, but you will forgive them immediately as you know that they mean well. You smile and nod as people will say the wrong things over and over again that hurt at face value, but you will learn to let it slide as you know that they are only trying to help you to stop hurting, even if only just for a few moments.


You will find that sympathy can be completely exhausting. Again, as I say you know that people mean well but when you are trying to go about your day and remain strong enough to get through a shift at work, a constant barrage of sympathy can just act as a huge reminder about what you don’t want to think about. You’ll have moments where the pain and loss slips to the edge of your mind as real life will inevitably take over again. After all the bills still need paying and the kitchen cupboards won’t refill themselves. You’ll scream at yourself and question how you can carry on in a world without them, but inevitably realise that that is all they would have wanted for you. For you to carry on, and live the best life that you can.


Everyone always mocks me for being the one to always take photo’s, even sometimes when it seems like there is nothing to document. But since losing Dad I am so grateful for all of the photographs and videos that I have of the amazing times that we got to spend together. I will never forget him of course, but being able to look back at his trademark smile when the world seems a little too dark without him in it at that moment, really does help to bring me back to reality and want to strive to make him proud of me.


I’m sorry this one turned into such a long one guys but I must say it was quite therapeutic to write everything down. Thank you to everyone for your messages of comfort during this time, it meant an awful lot and has helped to pull me out of some awful moments. I miss my Dad every day, he was the most wonderful man I have ever met and I will be eternally grateful for all of the memories we shared and for everything that he did for me. He made me the woman that I am today and I will love him always. Thank you Dad, I’ll see you again one day. Sweet dreams.



The Big ‘C’…

I often focus my blog posts and videos around mental health and removing the stigma surrounding it but there is another massive stigma that we never ever talk about. Cancer.  In a study published in The British Journal of Cancer, it was shown that 1 in 2 people will get cancer at some point in their lives in the UK, that’s literally half the damn country and yet we try to ignore that it exists. Why?!


Of course there are the adverts on the sides of bins and on TV. I have always had a strong memory of a television advert that used to be on when I was a kid and it had a bride looking in the mirror on her wedding day in floods of tears saying “my Mum should be here”. All this aided in doing was my Mum having to deal with a sobbing toddler for the next two bloody weeks and a lightening fast dive for the remote control whenever it came on in the future! I still can’t listen to Fields of Gold without crying. But it didn’t explain what cancer was, what it really is – how it affects the people – both those suffering with it and those caring for them. That simply cannot be summed up in a two minute advert. It destroys everything. Completely.


Last year, my Grandad (who I call Dad as he raised me with my Mum and Nana), was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Initially he just couldn’t swallow things properly without being sick which he thought was his false teeth playing up, so after exhausting every other option he admitted defeat that it would cure itself and we finally managed to get him to go to the doctors. After an awful lot of tests and meetings we finally got the diagnosis that we were all dreading.


I’ll never forget that text message – I was at work with my friend and just broke down in tears in the basement when I had read it. Thankfully the girl I was on shift with was lovely which I’ll be forever grateful for, and she told me how a lot of her family had also suffered with cancer which helped to give me hope so I could continue my shift. It’s scary really, you talk to anyone and the chances are they have had someone close to them who has or is currently battling cancer.


I got through that shift and made it home but I still had so many questions. How could this happen to my Dad? He can get through anything! He has always been so healthy, it had become something of an ‘in’ joke within the family as every birthday or Christmas he would be bombarded with gifts of health food, nuts and honey etc to feed his addiction. For a man of 85 he is ridiculously well, despite the obvious we can now see.


My Dad is the strongest and bravest man I have ever met and I love him to pieces. He is so determined to beat this that he really does shame me into getting my arse into gear sometimes. When I’m lying in bed complaining I have to get up and go to work, I think about Dad and everything that he is going through and think well if that one can do it then so can I!


He has recently finished his chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is currently waiting for his scan at the end of January so that we can see if it has worked. He can’t swallow food so is being fed by a feeding tube, we like to joke and say it’s something different every day to keep him smiling “Sunday dinner today Dad, get it down you!”- after all, if you can’t smile then what can you do? I know I can make him laugh, so I damn well will.


All we can do currently is wait and hope for the best. It’s hard, devastatingly hard, to see the most important man in my life go through all of this knowing that I can do absolutely nothing to stop it. My family is everything to me and he is such a central part of that, I honestly don’t know what I would do without him. He’s my Dad, need I say more?


Thank you all for your kind words and lovely messages over these past few months, they have really helped to keep a smile on my face when all I want to do is cry. I promise I’ll keep you posted. Thanks guys.




Big Pants Club!

Recently as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you follow me on any kind of social media, I have been feeling a bit poo. Now as I let the understatement of the year sink in I’ll move on to self care. No I don’t mean drowning ourselves in Lush baths every five seconds and sitting in silence for thirty minutes swearing blind that we are meditating when in reality all we are really doing is wondering whether we remembered to take tea out of the freezer to defrost… I mean the importance of looking after ourselves.


I blather on about mental health a lot, damn near constantly in fact seeing as this is a mental health channel(!), but my obsession with it doesn’t make it any less important! Since Dad was diagnosed with cancer I have felt like nothing is in my control anymore and so have really struggled to see the joy in anything really so taking what I can from the little moments that I give myself really do mean the world.


So “what is self care to me then and what in God’s name does it have to do with big pants you big loon?!” I hear you cry from the other side of this screen. First of all – harsh. Secondly it’s a subscription box! Before you ask no I wasn’t paid to say how awesome this is, it’s just something that has genuinely helped me to feel a bit less crappy, although the wonderful Max did send me a fantastic pair of pants!


The Big Pants Club is a monthly subscription of handmade underwear that gets delivered to your door. As each month is a surprise fabric, it felt like Christmas had come early when I was opening my first parcel sat on my sofa. Take a look:


Firstly, look how cute that little sticker is! I love little details like that and the fact that after I had got the outside packaging off (which has my address on and as much as I love you guys I’m not quite willing to share where I sleep with you quite yet!) I was even more excited to find I had a whole new layer to go – I’m a kid again!


I might not have known what the fabric was going to look like this month but Max sure as hell didn’t disappoint me! Inside was the cutest little pair of pants with little strong men on lifting old fashioned weights – I absolutely adore them! They had their first outing on my big ol’ butt the next day when I went to work and as said big ol’ butt will assure you they are super comfy!

I mean look at that pattern – and that chest hair is the best thing I’ve ever damn well seen! For £6 a month you can get a new pair of handmade underwear a month, which can of course be made in all manner of sizes, if you’d like to sign up to the subscription service then click here . Again I would like to emphasize here that this is not an affiliate link and I’m not getting a percentage of anything or any of that jazz, I was just sent something that I love and want to share with you lovelies 🙂


FYI – they don’t just make pants! Go check out their Etsy page which shows all of the goodies they have on offer. I also like to stalk their Facebook page as this is where they post all the pictures of different orders like this rainbow dinosaur that I bought my boyfriend for his birthday!


AND if you do choose to subscribe then take a photo and post it on your Instagram with the hashtag #BigPantsClub and you could win a £5 voucher to spend at their Etsy store!

Overall I was pretty excited about some undies and thought you might like them too 🙂 Hope you’re all well guys and that you had a great Christmas and New Year and again, thanks so much for baring with me during massive periods of absence while I search for inspiration – depression kind of sucks it all away! But snazzy undies seemed to help!

Have a great day guys!



The Great North Swim & How I Didn’t Drown!

So, I am writing this to you extremely sore and tired as yesterday I swam the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere. I’ve always loved fresh water swimming but if I am totally honest, I didn’t train nearly enough. No, really – I didn’t train, pretty much at all. The week of the swim I went swimming twice; once in fresh water and once in the swimming pool at my local gym – never once completing the full mile distance that I would be swimming. I was not nervous at all until the night before when I had a near sleepless night thinking that I would drown halfway around the lake and never be seen again by anyone other than fish people deep down below. There were not quite tears, but there was certainly a lot of stress as I considered the fact that I had never made a will and hoped mother bear would get the very little I have in the world, and my little fluff bags would be looked after!


The day arrived and I woke up early, actually ate breakfast (which is something that I never do!) and drove over to my Mum and Step Dads house as they were going to be giving me a lift. When we got there, I signed in and went to get changed in a huge changing tent where everyone had to get into their wetsuits together. Some people were hiding away in the corners trying to cover their modesty, but I am far from beyond being bothered by that kind of thing after a lifetime in the theatre and changing backstage. So I stood centre of said tent and attempted to cram my overly chubby self into a wetsuit in 21 degree heat!  Suffice to say – there was talc involved!


When you participate in the swim you go in “waves” and I was in the orange wave. So me and my orange hatted buddies all wandered down to lake for our initial warm up swim and safety briefing. We were told that if we were to get into trouble then just get onto our back and wave to one of the safety kayaks along the way. Which to be honest, the idea of someone getting a serious cramp or injury and trying to wave for help and stay afloat is in itself, hilarious! When the starting buzzer went off I had a moment where I was about to cry but told myself to stop being stupid as we had a race to swim and we would have plenty of time to cry about it afterwards!


Getting in? Turns out natural water is not warm(!) and the first few steps were bloody freezing! I jumped down and crawled until i could no longer reach the floor so that I would get used to the temperature quicker and could soon swim without much trouble. It was such a nice race and everybody was so damn lovely, we all had a chat as we were swimming about people that had done it before and the reasons that we were all competing. I was not swimming with a time in mind as all I wanted to do was to finish as I honestly did not think that I was strong enough to complete it, and so just wanted to take my time and enjoy the experience.


I was around ¾ of the way around the circuit when I got the worst pain in my life, I had never experienced cramp in my life before this point but holy mother of God did that hurt! I tried to tread water or try another stroke to carry on going but it wasn’t happening so I just accepted that this was going to slow me down a bit and to try and drag my ass home with one working leg! I completed the race in an hour and fifteen minutes and honestly I am very happy with this time considering my complete lack of training. Next year I am determined to do it in 45 minutes or less!


I completed this swim for Marie Curie who deal with terminal illness all across the country. As my Dad has just been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, I wanted to do my bit to help to fundraise those people who can help him along his journey to recovery. Although the event is complete there is still time to donate if you would like to! Please click here to be directed to my GoFundMe page, even just a couple of pounds would be massively appreciated if you can afford it! Thanks so much for your continued support guys throughout my absence of late, I’m sure you can appreciate that with this recent news, we have been a little preoccupied and so my blog and channel has had to take a back seat. Hopefully I can ease myself back into it soon. Hope you all have a wonderful day – oh and I certainly recommend participating in the Great North Swim!


mental health

Staying Well with Bipolar Disorder

According to research by Rethink Mental Illness, there are seven key things to ensure that you stay well when you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have been diagnosed as bipolar for around six or seven years now and so have obviously developed a range of coping mechanisms that work for me personally, so I hope the following can be even a little bit helpful! The key things to remember are:


  1. Spotting early warning signs
  2. Looking after your well being
  3. Being in control
  4. Doing what works for you
  5. Making decisions about medication
  6. Talking to people who will really listen to you
  7. Getting support from your friends and family


So where to begin? Well finding the warning signs of bipolar disorder early is extremely important and can be a key part in assisting with your recovery and finding the right coping mechanisms. Personally, I was originally wrongly diagnosed as having depression and put on Citalopram – which is an antidepressant and therefore a terrible idea for someone suffering with bipolar as it just sends you spiraling horrendously the other way! However, eventually I received the correct diagnosis and have now come to manage my condition pretty well meaning I can balance my friends, family, relationship and a full time job with no (well okay, with few!) breakdowns!

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Warning signs are totally different for each individual and so learning to recognise your own can avoid severe and/or dangerous episodes or even hospital administration. To find these warning signs, start to reflect on the times that you have been unwell and struggling in the past. My mum and other close family members have been an essential part of helping to find my own warning signs as they will notice things that I may not. As outsiders who spend a lot of time around you, it can be easier for them to notice small changes from the outside looking in. Ask your GP or other mental health professional if they can also help you to find out more about warning signs as well as timing is crucial in preventing dangerous build ups and breakdowns.

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Actually looking after ourselves and doing things that we want to do can be extremely difficult. It shouldn’t be, but too often do we punish ourselves for allowing ourselves to relax and enjoy the things that make us happy because we are “wasting time” when we could be doing something more productive and worthwhile. When will we realise that we are worthwhile!? Looking after our mental health is just as important as looking after our physical health and although it may not seem like it, sometimes taking a long, hot and relaxing bath is just what we need!

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Self care isn’t all Lush baths and whale music though! It can be something just as simple and boring as remembering to take your meds for the day, catching up on that tv show that you had fallen way behind with (I’m talking about you The Walking Dead!) or even just doing grocery shopping and allowing yourself to buy some tasty snacks as opposed to the trolley of vegetable that you tell yourself that you should be buying. Do what you actually want to do sometimes and it can really go a long way in terms of looking after yourself and preventing any breakdowns. Balancing your mood and mental health is extremely important for any one of us, but especially so if you are suffering from bipolar disorder as our moods can sometimes be so unpredictable and hard to control. However, if you have been struggling through the condition for a while it is likely that you are now able to anticipate any of the warning signs I mentioned earlier and work on getting yourself well again. So what are you waiting for? Go eat that Dairy Milk that’s been sat gathering dust in the fridge!

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When I was first told that I was suffering with bipolar disorder my first major concern was control. What if I can’t do the things I enjoy anymore without raging into a fit of mania? What if I can’t leave the house anymore through depression? What if, what if, what if!! It took me far longer than I am proud to admit to realise that “what if” really can go and screw itself in the ass! All of these issues have always been a part of me, things don’t just appear, nor do problems just create themselves as soon as you have a label slapped on you.

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No, mental health issues sure don’t make life any easier, and no they sure as hell don’t make remaining in control a barrel of laughs either however you can do this. Hell, you have been doing this – you’re still here aren’t you? That means a lot! You’ve already beaten so many odds just by making it this far, don’t get too het up on “staying in control” and certainly don’t worry about the things that you can do nothing about – try instead to live in the moment. Focus on you – love the things you love and make sure you always find enough time and space for yourself.

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There really is no “one size fits all” model when it comes to dealing with bipolar disorder. This is why it’s so important to listen to your own body and mind so that you can learn what works for you personally. Want to know what brings me back from the edge of a breakdown? Sleep. Family. Friends. Oh and tea, never forget about tea!

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Medication can be a minefield of important decisions, and no, it isn’t for everyone. However, it is important to keep an open mind when it comes to deciding whether choosing to utilise medication is the best course of action for you. So many people are scared of mental health medication, mainly due to the huge (unwarranted might I add!) stigma surrounding it. The general consensus by the public seems to be that if you rely on medication for your mental health then you are just weak, useless and not actually willing to even try to get better – quite frankly, these people are morons.

Would you tell someone suffering with colitis, HIV or (hey we don’t discriminate sexually here) chlamydia, to not take their medication? Of course you wouldn’t because that would be a totally ignorant and moronic thing for you to do. Medication is an important part of recovery for most health conditions and yet again I find myself screaming “mental health is no bloody different to physical health you tit bags!!” Everyone has to find their own personal formula for recovery and personally, I have chosen to use medication to deal with my anxiety and bipolar disorder. My anxiety stems from childhood abuse and so until I have fully dealt with this, it sure as hell isn’t going anywhere unfortunately (more on that in another blog, long story short – you get 6 sessions of therapy on the NHS which sufficed to say is not enough to deal with lifelong trauma and its impact on your life). And so, I use medication to allow me to live a relatively normal life. Yes, I will still have occasional panic attacks however thankfully they are extremely rare nowadays which means I can continue with my job in service. My day job? I’m a barista which I absolutely adore, a job that involves dealing with (A LOT) of people on a daily basis in an extremely small and enclosed environment – something that a few years ago I couldn’t have even considered as a possibility. But I love people, I love learning about their lives and getting to know my customers and I really do enjoy my job – so why shouldn’t I take medication to allow me to continue doing what I love?

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My bipolar is a bit more complex and irritating to be quite honest with you as it manifests itself in many different ways. I’ve tried everything I can think of when it comes to controlling my mood without medication – restricting certain things in my diet (I read some bullshit post online, don’t ask), therapy, exercise, mood tracking apps – you name it, I’ve done it but without medication this just seems to be useless for me!

My main symptoms that restrict me from living a normal life with my bipolar disorder are insomnia, lack of motivation during depressive periods and hyposexuality. In short – I can’t sleep, if I’m sad I physically can’t bring myself to do anything, and during periods of hypomania I get intense and overwhelming cravings for sex and sexual consent (again, more in a future blog post about this symptom – but trust me, no it is not a good thing!) My medication has helped me to not erase, but certainly deal with these symptoms much better meaning that my condition is managed correctly. I’m not saying that medication will be the magical miracle cure that you have been looking for because it might not be, all I am saying is that you shouldn’t be afraid to try it and explore your options. Speak with your GP, they can help you find what is right for your own personal recovery.

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The people around you are the most valuable resource you will ever have in your arsenal in fighting your mental health condition! However, it is important that you are surrounding yourself with the right people. People who are dismissive of your condition and your feelings are toxic as hell for your well being and should be avoided like the bubonic plague! Try and surround yourself with people who are keen to learn more about your condition so that they can help you as best as they can. I have a small group of these people including friends and family and I truly do consider myself so lucky. Don’t allow people who make you feel worse about yourself the luxury of sticking around in your company – you’re worth so much more than that!

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As I say, there will never be a one fits all formula for you to feel totally okay and put together 100% of the time, bipolar is never exactly one to allow that kind of thing – it’s a bit of a bitch like that. However, once you have experimented with what works and what doesn’t you can finally start to get a bit of a better handle on your life and live it with those that truly matter. Stay safe my lovelies, and thanks for baring with me during my mega break from blogging/YouTube – it means a lot. Hopefully, the blogs are back now, YouTube will need a little bit of a longer break until I find my camera again that I lost while moving house – not ideal! Have a wonderful day guys, much love.

mental health

Chester Bennington: This really doesn’t get any easier does it?

As someone who has suffered with the anxiety and depression that comes alongside bipolar disorder throughout my life, suicidal thoughts have never exactly been a stranger to me. Don’t get me wrong, they come in varying degrees of severity and although sometimes they can be mild, they are always there in the back of my mind. Suicide to me, usually feels like a house that I will one day eventually have to buy and move into as that is just how my life has to pan out. But even then, I don’t actively have plans to go out and act on these thoughts, any time soon at least.

I always try to tell myself that you have to go through hell to appreciate the good stuff in life, and when I am struggling my hardest then I always convince myself that I must be in line for something pretty damn amazing as soon as this shit storm passes! I laugh at myself, I use humour to hide what this hell actually feels like. Because if people are laughing along with me then they can’t see me drown. It’s silly, I know this, but it is how I have always been and I never want to “burden” people with my crappy thoughts. My mind, my problem.

As a kid I loved Linkin Park and there music helped me feel a bit better in the prison that was my teenage mind, so of course when I heard the news about Chester Bennington a few days ago I was deeply saddened and shaken. When I hear about people older than me, especially people that I have always looked up to, struggling with their own mental health, even loosing their own battle to suicide, it leaves me at a loss. All I can think is that this really doesn’t get any better does it? It doesn’t get any easier, I am always going to have these thoughts, and daily fights with myself just to keep breathing.

That is not to say that I never thought that anyone over the age of 30 could suffer with mental illness, its more that I hoped with experience, things would get easier. It seems I am wrong. Looking at the Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2017 we can see that this year there have already been 6,639 suicides in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The highest suicide rate in the UK being that of men aged between 40 – 44, even though female suicides are at their highest levels in decades also.

So no, it doesn’t get easier. This is always going to be a battle, waking up every day and allowing myself to get up and live my life, getting through each and every minute fighting against my own mind is going to continue to be the hellish experience that it has always been. But although it is going to be a difficult battle, it is damn well going to be a battle that I am going to win.

If you feel like you are struggling and need some support then the Samaritans are always there 24/7, every day of the year. Give them a call on 116 123, the number is free and there is always someone there to listen to you and support you. Never feel alone, and remember you don’t have to be suicidal to call or ask for help.

lifestyle · mental health

Last Week I Lost my Best Friend: Losing Pets

Last week I had to say goodbye to my best friend Sweep. If you have been a follower of this blog or my YouTube channel in the past, then you will no doubt know all about my fluffy little man. We have had Sweep as a huge part of our family for the past fifteen years, and got him when he was just two years old! Losing such a huge part of my life has been horrific, and as someone who has been lucky enough to never have really experienced grief of anyone in my immediate family, I must say that I have not really been sure how to deal with it. Because that is exactly how I considered Sweep, he was more than just an animal, he was one of our family and gave us all so much joy simply by being a part of it.

Over the past fifteen years things have changed massively, and Sweep was even around before I stopped having contact with my biological father – something that most people cannot claim as that was an awfully long time ago! He never liked my Dad, and would always growl and back away from him. I swear that dog was like a personal sensor for douchebags – we could’ve rented him out to single ladies on the pull and made a fortune!

But I digress, point being he was the most loving and well natured dog I have ever encountered in my life. He was tolerant of children – no matter how hyper or annoying they could be. Which was extremely lucky for me as child Emmie used to enjoy putting his fur into ponytails and dressing him up like a baby! But he never snapped or growled, he was just happy to be spending time with you and was more than happy to do whatever, as long as he was nearby.

I suffer with bipolar disorder and the highs and lows that come with it. Remember those annoyingly hyper children I was just talking about? Unluckily for Sweep, that meant that this was a personality trait for me way up into my late teens and even early twenties. But he was still more than happy to be held as we danced around the living room, or I climbed a climbing rope with him under one arm as he looked on confused. I loved that little dog, and I know that he loved us all equally in return.

The depression that comes with bipolar disorder is crippling. It is more than just sadness, it is more than just hopelessness, it feels like there is nothing. Nothing left in the entire world, and that even taking your next breath is pointless. I feel alone. I feel broken. I feel worthless. And I feel unlovable. Sweep could always see these moods coming on even before I did somehow, and would always be sure to position himself close to me so that he would be nearby if I needed him. Sometimes just having someone with you is enough to get you through the next minute, and through to the next. Talking isn’t necessary sometimes, and having him there to cuddle up to me made me feel like at least somebody needed me.

Things often took a much darker turn when my moods plummeted like this and when I was (mainly) in my late teens, I would often engage in self harm to help myself to cope with everything going on inside my head. I never, ever performed any of this behaviour in front of anyone else as it was an extremely personal experience to me, one in which I felt like I had failed in my life by having to rely upon it in the first place.

However, I recall one time when I had come home for the holidays from university, my then boyfriend had travelled home to see his family and I was home alone while my parents were out at work. Sweep was in another room, and I had taken the opportunity of being alone like this to get some of the pain out. I began my ritual of unpacking my “tools” from the box I always kept nearby carefully selecting the items I felt that I needed.  When I finally had everything laid out in front of me neatly as I always did and took the deconstructed razor in my hand, all I remember seeing through the tears was that white fluffy figure jump up onto my knee and start licking the tears from my cheeks. He wouldn’t move and just waited until I stopped sobbing, when he eventually curled up next to me and we both fell asleep. I’m not suggesting that anything more severe would have happened that day, but thanks to my little guy, I have a few less scars on my body than I would have had if he had not been there that day.

As he came to the end of his life, Sweep had really started to show the signs of old age. He never suffered, don’t get me wrong, but he could no longer see or hear and he was struggling to stand up for long periods of time. His sense of smell had all but gone and we practically had to hand feed him so he could find his food bowl. It was a shame, but he gave everyone so much joy that they were more than happy to help him in any way that they could. Sweep always went everywhere with my Mum, after I moved out and she would come to visit me in my new place, Sweep would always be in the car with her whether she had just been out running errands or had been to work.

By the end, it was the nicest thing we could do to give our Sweepie a peaceful and painless end and as he drifted off to sleep in our arms I could see the stress and pain leave his face. He looked so peaceful and happy as he lay there. Although he may not be here physically, I always carry his collar around with me and cuddle up with his blanket at night while I watch the television when I get home from work – as well as greeting his box of ashes on the table when I go to visit my mum. It may seem silly to some people, but it’s how I can cope with losing my best friend. I don’t necessarily believe in heaven, but I do believe that wherever my little Sweepie is now, he isn’t struggling anymore. So thank you Sweep, for the best fifteen years of my life. You saved me in so many ways and stayed by my side when most people deserted me. I hope you are happy and free wherever you may be, and I’ll see you soon little man. I promise, I’ll bring you some chicken up with me when I get there!


lifestyle · mental health

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin!

It is human nature to want to take advantage of every single exciting opportunity that comes our way. After all, you’re a long time dead aren’t you so you might as well make the most of your one shot at existence right? Well yeah, and that’s a good attitude to have…most of the time. The important thing to remember is that we are only human and we need to remember that we actually have limits! As much as I like to convince myself I am Wonder Woman…sadly I am not – I don’t look half as good in Lycra!


I know that most of my audience, especially on my YouTube channel, are a lot younger than me and so I think that you maybe might have the same attitude towards education as me. When I was at school, more was always better! Academically, I did quite well but this was in no means a natural thing – I worked my arse off to get the A’s and A*’s that I left with. But I almost killed myself trying!


I took on extra subjects and extracurricular activities that I thought would help me be better wherever I could, despite the warnings of my teachers that I might be taking on too much. Just to give you an example of my stupidity in this way – I was advised to take three A Levels at sixth form, I came out with 7 qualifications. Fucking 7!! I took on Theatre Studies, Performing Arts, Sociology, Psychology, English Language, Critical Thinking and an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). I mean really? Was there any need?


Now, of course I am proud of myself and I guess it looks good on the CV however I put myself in a very vulnerable and stressful position when I was only 17. I should have put my mental health first and learnt to set realistic goals for myself to achieve. I have always craved affirmation that what I am doing is the right thing, and that has meant that age has meant authority to me – which is a load of crap but this is how my mind has worked.


I would love to say that I have completely gotten over this obsession to be perfect and take on everything and anything that comes my way, but of course I would be lying to your faces! However! I have gotten better, a lot better actually. My diary has really helped me, actually my diaries have really helped me – I have so many. I use my main one which I carry around everywhere with me in my handbag, my phone, my mini organiser and several planners and calendars dotted around my house – my bedroom, living room even the kitchen on the fridge.


It may seem a little overkill, however it is all to help me to remember all that I have already taken on so that I can see what I can realistically complete. I still suck at saying no to things, but now I’m getting a little better at managing my time so that everything that I want to do actually gets done….eventually.