‘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!!

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‘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’. 😊 

‘You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf’. 

Diary entry: 14th August 17

My next few blogs will be full of holiday pictures and will probably drive you mad. But I need to point out that although i’m sunning myself and indulging in so much greek food, I am still anxious. We all go on holiday for a break to rest and recharge, and although I am resting, my worries are never far. 

My worries include: will I pass university? Will I get a job? Will I ever be successful? I wish I didn’t worry like this, I wish that I didn’t have to remember to take my medication while on holiday. But actually I have realised that all these worries are not necessary, what happens will soon unfold and for now I will ride the waves and embrace the current moments. (Hence getting all dressed up and going for a dip on the sea) 🙈

I love the sea 😊🌊 Embrace the waves!!

‘From the little spark, may burst a mighty flame’. 

I remember a previous counsellor that gave me an activity to carry out. Ive always found counselling hard and could never open up about my anxieties but different counsellors have a variety of methods which they can suggest. My task was to write down my worries or fears, read through them think about them then once you have exhausted the list… Burn it and forget about the list and the worries. This helps me an awful lot during the real dark times. I’m not saying this will solve worries but it mentally and physically erases them. Then who knows what a spark could create when you return to your normal, strong self!