‘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 😊

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‘One step forward, two steps back’.

I’ve been quiet for a while for one reason only. If you follow my blog you will be aware that I am currently at University, and that i’ve had time off due to my anxiety and depression. Unfortunately two weeks ago I recieved a transcript of my grades with a letter stating that I had been discontinued from my course. So I had gone from being ready to return to practice to finish my degree, to being discontinued. I felt anxious almost straight away. I had a meeting with the head of nursing who explained that the Uni hadn’t got confirmation of me being off so therefore I have failed. I was distraught, I had sent all my sick notes in and it appears someone either didn’t acknowledge them or didn’t deal with them accordingly. I have now had to appeal for my place back onto the course and will not get a decision for three weeks. I have ensured all my doctors notes have been sent as evidence and I have copies of emails I sent with doctors notes attached. I feel emotionally drained again, I felt ready to go back on the ward and now another obstacle is in the way. Hopefully I will get the decision I want, if not maybe this career wasn’t meant for me. What are your thoughts on my situation?

This picture shows me almost ready to go out.. but because of my situation I never went, I didn’t want to explain to everyone about Uni 😔

‘Pressure can burst a pipe, or pressure can make a diamond’.

This post is about pressure, which I currently feel. A member of my family does not understand my depression or anxiety ‘what do you have to be depressed about, ‘calm down your overeacting’… I hear this all the time from this person, and all it does is adds fuel to the already burning fire. You ask me about my return to uni, have I chased it up, have I heard from my tutor. The thing is not once have you asked how I am, how I feel about returning. Currently I am in talks with my tutor about planning my return, she wants everything to run smoothly just as much as I do. I talk to her weekly and ensure plans are starting to form. However, this family member is only concerned with my return to uni, this had turned me actually quite sour towards them. They are putting pressure on me to complete my degree and earn money, six weeks is all I have left. This pressure you are putting on me is unreal, i’ll soon be earning and when I am I won’t be grateful for the pressure youve piled on me just for the sake of six weeks.

And lastly… yes i’m ready for my return, and yes i’m currently feeling ok.. but in future maybe handle me a bit more sensitively, understand that money doesn’t make you happy, it might help for a short while. But money isn’t going to help my anxiety either, even though I will be earning a acceptable amount.. I will still have worries, maybe you get your head around that before I burst!!

‘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.

‘Confidence level = selfie with no filter’..

Happy new year!! Firstly there will be No ‘new year new me’ from me.. I will still be the same miserable, worried and worked up little woman I was last year. Just perhaps with a few more goals in place. And no I don’t believe I will see a fast imcrease in my confidence, as I know things take work, but heres my first simple goals.

  1. I will complete my nursing degree
  2. Will choose an exercise class and stick to it.
  3. Drink less coffee!!

If i’m honest the 3rd goal is going relatively well. I blame coffee for my lack of sleep, and my random bouts of energy that occur after each mug. I started by setting myself an initial goal first, for example for the coffee goal I decided that for every cup I had, would be followed by two glasses of water!! This has proved successful as I have had no coffee now for three days.

My nursing degree goal will be discussed on a post coming up shortly! And my exercise goal, well we will just see. I intend to join a class not just for exercises but for social purposes too, meeting new people with similar interests can be daunting for me, but (along with my confidence) is something that can be worked upon. This gradual process of completing goals will hopefully enable my confidence to build slowly. Bearing this in mind make your goals achievable, and remember you won’t be cartwheeling with joy every day but at least smile 😊

2018 i’m ready for you 💁

‘Sometimes i’m the mess, sometimes i’m the broom, on my hardest days I have to be both’. 

The above picture was taken weekend before last. In which I attended a xmas party, I danced and socialised and managed to look half decent. A week later and everything appears so different.
Last week was a rubbish week for me, I was tired, fed up and angry at times. As well as being un able to sleep and managing with it, I got through it, somehow. I didn’t want to socialise, or step foot out of the house at all. Last week I intended to sort out all my xmas shopping, visit my nan and remain smiley at work. I managed to visit my nan, complete some xmas shopping but no, didn’t think I was particularly happy at work. Then I had a punctured tyre so when I did finally venture out I ended up at a garage anyway 🙈

This weekend hasn’t been great either, I didn’t enjoy my night out Saturday and again felt like I couldn’t sleep or didn’t need sleep. So Sunday was meant to be a day with my man but no I dropped him at the train station and went home to sleep for 3 hours. Today has been a bit better, xmas shopping is almost complete, and wrapped, I helped my sister with an issue of hers and remained relatively calm.

The quote above has helped me reflect on the bad days. I know my mood will improve, and I partly blame the time of year. To be honest I can’t wait for xmas to be over. Once it is I can relax!!

‘When the world says give up, hope whispers try it one more time’. 

Diary entry: 10th October

 Today is world mental health day, ironic when this has turned out to be terrible for me. For the past week I have been feeling anxious when attending placement at the Hospital, I have been feeling like i’m not part of the team, like i’m not supported and drained from the long shifts. I arrived on the car park this morning and burst into tears. I just couldn’t face it today.. but instead of going home to bed I have come into University to address the issues I have which will be resolved. I have decided that I need to be working in another environment, one which inspires my confidence in nursing. Hopefully I will get the decision I wish for and be able to move. If not i’m not entirely sure what my next step is going to be, as I have again reached breaking point even though I am aware that there are always answers.

So on this day of mental health awareness, I leave you with this one thought. ‘Don’t fake being ok, you only hurt yourself, be real with what you are going through and don’t let it consume you’. 😊