‘Just because I look fine on the outside, doesn’t mean i’m not in pain in the inside’.

Last week I didn’t manage to blog, partly because I was so tired and again my moods have been erratic. People who have spoken to me in the past few weeks have picked up on my behaviors. To look at me I seem fine, but deep down I’ve been feeling low. My Mum and stepdad noticed and asked what was wrong with me, and I genuinely couldn’t answer them because I didn’t know why I felt like this. I had days last week where I didn’t want to speak to anyone at all. People commented saying ‘you were OK last week’, or ‘your very different today’, one even commenting ‘you are like two different people’. The truth is the shift in my moods varies, with no common patterns occurring. I appear to be feeling very high and full of energy, not requiring sleep, then within a few days I am completely low again, sleeping all day, skipping meals, and have 0 interest in doing things that I normally love doing. In the high periods I tend to have racing thoughts, I talk very quickly and get easily distracted, also I try to carry out multiple tasks at once.

This is the time where I now believe my medication isn’t working at all, I intend to go back to my GP to discuss other options. I would greatly appreciate any comments if anyone has experienced anything similar and can give me any advice or tips.

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‘The best view comes after the hardest climb’.

A small update on me!!

This picture was taken in the first year of my nursing degree, and Saturday was last ever shift as a student nurse!! I am very proud now to have completely finished my children’s nursing degree, this has been a hard three years but I have now get there and have a good view of the future ahead of me.

Today I have been to University to take in all my assessment documents from the three years, this has felt like relief to have achieved so much, even when I didn’t think I would complete at all. I have got through this training by support from family and friends who I couldn’t thank enough for their support. I also have to say writing this blog has helped keep me focused and overcome issues that I did have, writing this blog as well as reading other blog posts has gave me clarification that even with anxiety you can still overcome challenges which will help shape your future. All the positive encouragement will now inspire me to find a job which I will continue to flourish in.

This is a gift from my Mum, a teddy made from my Uniform!!

‘I can shake off everything as I write, my sorrows disappear and my courage is reborn’. Anne Frank

This post is quite simply about why I chose to blog…

I have always enjoyed reading and writing, when I was younger I wrote stories all the time, I would spend hours creating characters and using my imagination to also create fairy tale scenarios. With age I wrote less but read more, I would read so many books and still do. My inspiration to blog came from my deteriorating mental health, although I have always been anxious with age it began to worsen. I struggled to find support, I felt isolated and my mind was racing all the time. Although family and friends have always been supportive I wished to seek guidance from people who had suffered the way I always have. Initially a magazine article opened my eyes to the amount of women who suffer, I steadily began to feel less alone. I then started to read mental health blogs which helped me understand my sometimes erratic behavior. I also found blogs useful for discovering tips that would help relax me.

I then decided that I would start my own blog to empower women to manage and cope with their mental health. I love inspirational quotes, so use these to inspire what I will write about. I also decided that I would review beauty products and discuss topics that women love. I started my blog, then due to another round of anxiety I went quiet, and have had repeated periods like this where I just couldn’t motivate myself to write. I wrote on holiday last year and that was a big turning point for me, it was the realization that I was in a relationship which was 1. not going anywhere and 2. was fueling my anxiety. Even still I tried to make it work but I knew in my mind what I had to do, although it was hard leaving my ex, it was a new start, a chance to find myself again. Writing also helped me understand my feelings, and actually led me to believe that no I’m not perfect but I didn’t deserve for someone to play on my weaknesses.

Through blogging I have been able to addressΒ my issues by writing about them and sharing my tips for relaxation. The more I blogged the more tips I found and carried out, I also discovered courage and strength in myself , which has helped me gain confidence. In blogging I have addressed some issues even involving my struggles with my degree, but I am glad I started to blog. As writing for me is easier than talking about problems, when I read my blog posts I honestly see how far I have come, my new found confidence and hopefully how I helped someone, somewhere.

 

I hope to inspire more people to engage with my blog and share any coping mechanisms on my blog that we could all try.

‘Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear’. Anthony Robbins.

An update on kirstythought…

Unfortunately I’ve been quiet again lately. Due to being back on the neonatal unit and finishing my degree i’ve kept my head down. I have worked 13 hour shifts, nights and weekends, i’ve been tired but actually I am very nearly done. My health hasn’t been the best and in fact on one of my shifts I collapsed. I had a cold and haven’t been able to shift it. I had one day off placement and returned on the Thursday, I had breakfast that morning before my long shift, and felt ok. I was on delivery suite when I began to feel weak and dizzy, I alerted my mentor and explained that I was about to faint. I then woke up on the floor surrounded by midwives. My blood pressure and heart rate was quite low and I was sent to A and E who sent me home. I went back home and slept for hours I went to see my gp who informed me that it could have been my anxiety medication propanalol. I am now going to slowly be weaned off them, which fills me with fear, worry and further anxiety.

It would be nice to not have to take medication and feel relatively calm. This is now my aim.. I intend to find more ways I can learn to live with my anxiety without medication. I have been on this medication a long time so I know this will be quite a long road, but one in which i’m willing to take.

Hopefully i’ll soon be a qualified nurse and maybe be medication free within a few months! I know where I want to go and i’ll get there at my own pace 😊

Time to talk- 1st February

‘A problem shared is a problem halved’.

Today is a day in which many people support a campaign which aims to end the stigma attached to mental illness. Personally I believe the subject of mental illness is still not talked about often enough. And I know this firsthand because I have seen the looks when I explain my anxiety, and I have previously been called lazy, particularly when I was perhaps experiencing a very low day. Due to this I know who I can talk to about my mental illness and I know who will judge me, therefore I remain silent around them. If everyone opened up and just spoke about mental illness people would be more informed, as opposed to turning their nose up, leaving a person feeling isolated and lonely.

As my nan always says ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.. I genuinely believe this, and many times I have called her up with my problems. People can give you a different outlook or perspective, people can give kind words, and best of all people can talk.

Have a chat today, tonight or tomorrow.. Lets get everyone talking and end the stigma. πŸ€—

Here are the people I can turn to when I have a bad day.. I may not see these people for months, we may not talk every week.. but I know they will always support me πŸ˜˜πŸ˜ŠπŸ€—

#Timetotalk

‘Look at the stars, instead of the dark’… Happy feet 2

This post is just for a bit of fun but with a message behind it. In comparison to humans, penguins have a light and a dark side. My light side is my ability to make people laugh and smile, my dark side is obviously my anxiety. My dark side is gloomy and dull, but my light side helps me remain positive and helps me see the good in everyday. Hence the above quote relating to my current attempts to remain positive, looking at the stars instead of the dark. Finding a positive on dark days even the slightest thing, can help you keep the negatives at bay and not at the forefront of your mind.

My advice for today.. look for the stars!! ⭐🌟⭐🌟🐧🐧🐧

‘Some people say they could never work with sick kids, i’m the opposite… They have this will to survive that is so strong, they never give up’.

An honest account of my children’s nursing degree.

I started my degree in January 2015, I was excited to begin this journey, and my first grades reflected my motivation. My first placement was on a general childrens ward, and other areas included theatres, and one day with a community midwife. First year went by very fast and soon I was faced with second year. This year proved difficult and I began to regret my career choice. My anxiety began to overwelm me as the pressure built up, attending placements, writing essays and working part time, it all became to much. Still I managed to plough through, again with good grades. But I felt physically and emotionally drained. 

By the time third year came I felt glad to be close to the finish line. My grades took a slight dip, and I did not enjoy placements at all. In July last year I had a nervous breakdown and the doctor signed me off. I slept the days away, cried a lot and would not leave the house. I returned to University once I felt well again, but in October this year I was signed off again with depression, my medications were increased and this knocked me about for a while. I should have finished my degree December 24th, instead I am now returning to practice and making up my lost hours. Its not that I have given up but I needed to rest and now feel ready to continue at my own pace.

I understand my anxiety is a part of me, but this course has not helped. The 13 hour shifts, the lack of financial support, the academic pressure and the expectation of parents/patients has contributed to my increased anxiety. It is common knowledge that the NHS is in crisis, nurse shortages, packed A and E’s and critically ill patients just to name a few of the issues.

But with all this considered I have seen children survive the most horrific illnesses, the children I care for are the reason I still want to continue what I do, therefore just like these poorly children I will not give up.