There ain’t no party like a pity party

‘There ain’t no party like a pity party’

..well this pity party has come to a much-anticipated end.

This last month has been a pretty rough one and I still can not put my finger on what was actually wrong.

What I can understand from it all, is that there was so much going on at the same shitty time. My work life, personal life and body all came to ahead and I was neck-high in a sea of emotions. The best way to describe is to say that I was drowning. Drowning in my negative thoughts and drowning in my immense workload. I was 100% focused on the negative, as I was only committed to thinking about how terrible I felt and how nothing would make me ever feel better.

This got me thinking about the different practical ways we get over a bad stint. It is impossible for us to be happy 100% of the times and entirely natural to go through prolonged moments of sadness. We all develop different ways of lifting ourselves out of these stress caves. It has been super interesting hearing different people’s’ tips and tricks for how they manage these.

One of the most popular suggestions was music.

 

Music is such a brilliant escape and has the power to really make you view your current situation in a better light. Some artists are born with the immense gift of getting others to feel what they feel. They somehow get you  to connect with them speaking to your heart as well as your soul. It can transport you to a different time of your life and give you the ability to look at your life through the artist’s lens.

I know for me personally music has always been the way I escape the stresses of the day. As soon as I get home from work its hair up and headphones on. I have an hour or two where I completely let myself go through the music that reflects my mood. I have to many cringey moments where somewhere has walked in on my dancing around like a  drunk butterfly and (trying to) hit the high-notes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Gold Lion’ – well, not very well! But I get over it because it does me a load of good and by the time I’m ready to take off my headphones I am in a much better place.

Another of the opinions I received was to have a reliable support system. I found myself in such a state that I forgot I could ask for help. I forgot that my friends and family have been there too. No two situations are the same but you truly realise how much your loved ones can relate to your struggle and that can be the key to you overcoming it. For example, my mother has worked in the NHS for 25 years. I often make the mistake of still seeing her as the authoritative figure in my life that still will tell me off for misbehaving. But as I grow into an adult our relationship has shifted slighty as she becomes more of a friend. After weeks of avoiding the subject of work for fear of being told to ‘stop misbehaving’ I finally cracked and told her everything. I told her that I was struggling with my workload and how mad at myself I was for feeling this way as this was all I ever wanted. What never occurred to me is that she’s actually the BEST person to ask anything about the NHS to. Well she of course gave me sound advice – ‘don’t worry, you’re a very new junior member of staff, you’re not accountable for any major mistakes you may make.’ After this I opened up to my girls, they also completely understood and some were struggling with their work to.

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The lesson I learnt from this is that I am not alone. There are so many people who are going similar struggles or have already been through them and have many wise words as to how they did.

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The most practical response I received was from a friend who keeps a CBT diary. From my understanding this is a form of cognitive therapy. The idea of it is to effect self-change by taking steps to change your process of thinking. You can read about it here.

It is honestly something I have never tried in this way, but I can do a great deal of help. You evaluate every situation deciding how you felt at the time and how you felt about your reaction. You can then use this as a tool for self-improvement. You can change they way you react in a similar situation the next time round and then evaluate whether the improvements made you and the outcome better.

Getting everyone’s opinions on how they pull themselves out of a bad funk was certainly insightful. Now having got through it and seeing things a bit more clearly the key thing I’ve learnt is that it’s okay to not be okay. More often than not you convince yourself that you’re being weird and dramatic and no one has time for you. When you push through this and swallow your pride and ask for help you wonder why you didn’t just do this to begin with. Realising that people not only relate to your struggle but can help you in ways they were once help is taking a proactive step to getting yourself better. In terms of your mental health the solution isn’t so simple. It becomes less about pulling yourself out of a funk and more about asking for professional help.

thinkingMy first thoughts on my very first post were ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn.’ As silly and cliché as this sounds, it is very true. I still am struggling but I am happier for taking the time to talk to people and write this as I work my way through it.

And I wish the same for you. I hope you are happy. I hope you are working through your struggles and doing everything it takes to make yourself happy. No one is above help and sometimes you can be happily surprised at the advice and support you may get.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Down in the Dumps

Lately I’ve been pretty down and I am having trouble pin-pointing why. I’ve been putting it down to hormones but I’m not 100% sure that this is what it is.

It may be the grass is always greener philosophy. Lately it has been my belief that my life is incomplete. It has been missing a few pieces that I will work hard on gathering and putting together. The biggest missing piece when I started this blog was my career. I was unemployed – no money or motive and this is what I needed for my life to begin. Another peice was my independence and freedom, I need my own place to live in order for my life to begin. Yet another is love, I need love in my life in order for my life to begin.

There’s a common reoccurrence here. One that may be the reason for my bad mood lately.

I seem to be always waiting for something to come and change my life. I’m hoping one of these things will remove these feelings of emptiness and loneliness. So far no luck.

I tend to force myself into facing my issue by vocalising it. Most of the time we believe we can’t place the issue because we are not ready to own up to it..

I spoke about not wanting to write a post until the issue I’m facing comes to its natural conclusion. I need to have that ‘aah this how I’m going to deal with it’ moment. Until then I wait it out. I ride the choppy waves and try my best to see the good and be the good in everything. This time I thought I would try something new.

I am by no means past these feelings and maybe it is because I am not ready to be. There is a lesson that can be taken from every situation, I believe it won’t end until you do. I am just left to ponder. Ponder what is that I am trying to grasp at. I’ve given myself a lot of different options as to what this can be down to. Is it down to me feeling not as close to family or friends? Is it down my work life not being a lot harder than I could ever imagine? Is it down to misplaced feelings of love? Or is what I originally I suspected, my monthly treat taking me on whirlwind ride through all the human emotions known to man.. better yet, woman? fake

I know for certain my family and friends don’t play any part in this. I feel as close to them now as ever did. It is true though, work is getting tough and I am not used to this amount of pressure. Progression and promotion became my two most important things when I started working for the NHS. I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen people who were vocal about where the wanted to be and put the hard work behind it and have now shot up the ladder. I’ve also seen the people who were either content or just waiting for opportunities to manifest for them – they are still where they have been for years. I guess this worries me, what kind of person am I? I would like to be the first one but am I vocal enough and does my work back this up?

Misplaced love? Could be.

I don’t think I can blame my cycle for this one. Yes my feelings intensify around this time but these are feelings that have always been there.

So there you have it. A post full of questions and doubts. I often talk about the need to be positive and see every situation in a positive light. This I still very much believe. However you need time to self-analyse. Where you don’t look at things under any kind of light. You just look at it how it is. Almost like looking at all the puzzle pieces for a while before you attempt to put it together.

I think the lesson I have gathered from my feelings at the moment is that self-reflection is important. Plastering a massive smile on your face and acting as if everything is okay is not always the solution. Admit it. I’m not okay. And that’s okay!

Happiness is an inside job and that it is! I think from now on I’m going to strip myself down and see myself without all the stuff I need that will ‘make life begin.’ My life begun 24 years ago, I am in the midst of it.

No more waiting and anticipating for what it is that will finally make me happy. I need to do that myself. Without the money, the house, the family, the friends, the partner. Me and only me.

As Ru Paul says – ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you guna love somebody else?!’ Can I get an amen?down

Stay Bliss, Laura

The Honeymoon is Over

The last couple weeks have particularly trying. I find myself lagging and falling behind. I once spoke about how much something from one aspect of your life can affect another. Good things have happened to me recently. A very confusing and hurtful chapter of my life is drawing to an end after finally receiving some closure. You don’t always realise how much damage is done when things you would classify as minor completely breakdown.

Your phone for example. You don’t think about how much you depend on it to be on your person and functional at all times until it isn’t. You then notice a void, a big gap where something you didn’t pay much thought to used to go. This a how I felt recently about my friendships. Closure is the best gift from any unresolved situation. Now I know all the facts. I know where I stand and how I move forward now is totally up to me.

Que the next turmoil. That’s how life goes isn’t it? You sort out one thing, spend time and energy working out all the kinks. Then BANG. Hit with another one.

After 4 months of working in the NHS I am now understanding how hard they work, and they do work so hard. The pressure is getting to me and I can feel my work starting to slide. Acknowledging it is difficult because you feel so deflated. Why can’t I do this?! From the moment I walked into this I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of it and what I wanted to achieve. My absolute nightmare scenario is the past repeating itself. I was dismissed from my last workplace after 7 weeks. What if this time its at 4 months? And then the next time it’s after 6 months? What if it takes me a lifetime to actually be able to hold down a full-time job? There are so many fears rushing around my mind right now. So much negativity that I just can’t shake.

So as always the question is what am I prepared to do about it? How do I fix this?

So the closing your eyes and count to 10 thing just doesn’t work for me. So what am I going to do is spend this weekend cheering myself up. I’m having a dinner and drinks with some of my best friends this evening. Tomorrow I am going to catch up with some more special people. I am going to laugh, be in the moment and really soak up their positive energy. I can speak to my oh so wise mother who definitely will have a nugget or two of pure gold. I am going to remind myself of all the things I conveniently forget when I am in emotional crisis mode. This apprenticeship ends in November, I can hang and do my best till then. Time flies and I can’t believe I am already on 4th month. By this logic it means in no time at all I will be receiving my qualification and hearty well done handshake. I CAN DO THIS.

One of my favourite sayings is ‘be patient, things are always difficult before they are easy.’ What I have always wanted is to be valued within a workforce and to create more opportunities for myself. Obviously this was never going to be an easy challenge. It will be hard, and some days much like today I am going to want to give up. But I know that this is what I want and I am prepared to put the work into.

For me this what life means. You think you’ve done it, cracked the code of happiness. Then something happens that shakes you to your core. Makes you re-evaluate everything you think you know to be true. It is a test of your strength and resolve. Happiness is an inside job and it take a lot of work to get to a place of peace and tranquility. I am convinced that it can be achieved. Whilst you work hard and wait for physical rewards, reward yourself with you do have. I am rich. I am wealthy. Wealthy in family, friends, love, opportunities and freedom. I have what an immense amount of people long to have and I am grateful for that everyday.

So there it is. I have talked myself down of that ledge. I reaffirmed in my soul everything that I know. I am happy because I make myself happy because I chose to work on my happiness everyday. As for work? It is a clear as day that the honeymoon is over. It is time for me to kick it up a gear. As for the past? It is the past for reason. To be used as lesson and then left behind.

Stay Bliss, Laura

P.S This post was written on Friday 7th May, hence so many references to the weekend that has just passed!

Day 31 – Final Thoughts

Today is the final day of this blogging challenge I embarked on 31 days ago.

It has been terrific, humbling and I discovered so much about my self and my outlook. I don’t often give my childhood and teenage years much thought, so it was lovely letting myself go there on quite a few of my posts.

I have come to the understanding that you don’t need to try so hard to be yourself. I thought about nothing other than ‘adulting’ recently. How to sort out my life and take the necessary next steps that adults should. I thought it was time to take on the responsibility of a home, rent, bills and all that adulty stuff. I decided that I was going to stay in the NHS because of the progression, the work I’m doing and the steady paycheck. I’m almost 25 for Pete’s sake, time to grow up!

I’ve decided that I’m sick of this attitude, and it was making me super stressed. Giving myself a deadline as to when this new, magical adult life needs to begin was making me ill with worry. How am I trusting the journey when I am already planning out what the destination looks like. I don’t have to be afraid of taking risks and making big decisions like going travelling or volunteering or going back to university full-time. You have the ability to start again at any point of your life. Your 20’s are for not knowing and figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life.

I am still going to be smart as I realise you need money to do anything. I am still going to work hard at my apprenticeship as this is my dream job. I am going to save up for the year that I am here so I am in a solid financial position by the end. That’s it. I have no plans to stay and no plans to leave. I am going to take as it comes and not be afraid to pursue the big risks that I have been fearful of.

I leave this challenge believing that anything is possible. With a positive attitude and a smart plan, we can achieve anything.

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I will be posting like normal again, but hopefully a lot more frequently and consistently!

If you have kept up with me throughout this month, or maybe just read or liked a post or two, thank you!

Talk soon,

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

Day 30 – The Penultimate Post

Day 30 of the 31 day challenge

SMILE – You deserve it!

So here I am on the second to last day of this 31 day blogging challenge.

This has been extremely difficult, different and a test of my ability. When I started I wanted to know if I could write everyday. And not only that, can I relate what I write to staying positive and bliss. Some days, especially lately I have wavered. I have thought there was absolutely no way I would be able to finish this. It has been time-consuming, physically and emotionally draining.

My biggest worry about creating and maintaining a blog was staying consistent. I was firm believer in not writing until I had something worthwhile to say. Sometimes I would have a solid month full of inspiration and topics I wished to discuss. Other times I just flat out refused to write. I didn’t want to write about a situation I was facing that was yet to come to its natural conclusion. I was in the midst of storm because and at that point everything I thought and said would be negative. So I held on until I had that moment of clarity. That ‘ahh ok, that’s how I will look at it’ moment.

This mindset I had been stuck has changed over this 31 day period. I realised this fully on ‘Day 22 & 23 – Dear Teenage me.” 

I reached into my psyche and really got honest with myself. I had no idea where that post was going when I started. I consciously had no idea that I even felt that way. It sounds so cliché but it literally came out on the post. My fingers typed what my mind wasn’t prepared to think about. It was from this moment I realised inspiration can come from anywhere. The world and your life doesn’t just hand you the next topic. Sometimes you have to inspire yourself.

I have been lucky enough to have so many inspirational people in my life. People who have fought their own unique battles. People with life experiences, relationship experiences, spiritual insight, the artistically minded and people who share my struggle. I was able to sit up with open ears and open mind to the tips, tricks and insights they have discovered on their journey and find ways to apply it to myself.

The biggest thing I have learnt though, is sometimes I have the answers. Sometimes I am the key, I can be the hero I have always looked and longed for. Day 24 taught me this – for the first time in a long time I wasn’t being completely self-critical. I addressed my flaws, my lessons and my triumphs. I let myself be proud because I have come a very long way from being that odd little girl I used to be.

So if there are any readers out there, I implore you to give yourself a break. You can flourish in so many different ways, not just by giving yourself a hard time. Let your mind take you somewhere you decided is off-limits. You are stronger than you let yourself believe and I promise you can handle it. In all those mistakes you made, the hiccups you have run into, there is a lesson to be learned. If you want to blog then blog! It as an amazing way to sort through your issues and you can visually see your journey from one train of thought to the next. The best way to start is to start!

Trust the journey you are on, keep your head up, keep working hard . Remember things are always difficult before they are easy. When it does become easy smile, you deserve it.

Until day 31, the final day

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Yay 1 more day to go!

Day 24 to 29 – My Thoughts on blogging

Day 24 to 29 of 31 day blogging challenge

Blogging

I’ve recently had yet another conversation with a friend about how much I love blogging. I have now come to understand that as many bloggers as there are out there, there is even more people who wish to blog but don’t know how to start. So far I have had quite a few friends tell me how much they love my blog and how much they would love to blog to.

So what is stopping you?

Probably the same thing that stopped me for the longest time. Does anyone really care about what I have to say? Is my life and my point of view interesting enough to the point where I can continuously engage readers? There are so many bloggers out there, as I good enough to part of them?

The answer is there is no answer. You will never know if you are good enough or if you can be a content writer until you give it a shot. The good thing about blogging is that it is completely free. The bigger your site grows is when you contemplate investing some of your own money. You can pay for your own website, plan photo shoots etc. The initial creation however is completely free. So the best way to start is to start.

As well as most things in life the key is self-belief. You need to believe that you do have something important to say and you have to trust in what you write. When I first started I had only a couple of views on each post, but I was blogging for me so it didn’t deter me. By no means am I saying that I’ve made it as super blogger, the more I continue the more people begin to notice me.

There are 101 tips out there about building your blog, gaining more traffic and all those things you’d love to experience as a blogger. For me the biggest thing is to stay real. Stay true to yourself and what you believe. Don’t let anyone make you water down your content. The more honest you are the bigger connection you make with your readers. It makes me happy when people tell me that they can relate to my words as they have once in their life found themselves in a similar situation.

I am able to reach new depths and find out things about myself I was consciously unaware of through writing all out on a post like this. Do it for you and for what you can gain by using a medium such as this one.

success means different things for different people. For me it means to do something you love; something that makes you happy; something that quickly becomes your passion.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Day 22 & 23 – Dear teenage me

Day 22 & 23 of 31 day blogging challenge

Dear Teenage Laura

Dear Laura,

You had the right idea when you were young. You wanted to stay true to yourself, you just hoped that the real you was super cool. The way you went about being you was by trying to be different. You purposely would swim against the current and strategically insert yourself into a friendship group that best reflected who you wanted to become. You thought a lot. Maybe a lot more than other kids. How can I be seen as beautiful? How can I be seen as popular? How can I get all the boys to notice me?

After a while you figured this incredibly vain fantasy wasn’t going to happen for you at school. So you recalculated. You figured I may not be the head girl but I can become the girl who everyone knows. So that’s what you did. You were a part of everybody’s friendship group and loved having the opportunity in many conversations to say ‘oh yeah I know him, he’s a friend of mine.’ This was your way to be cool. This was how you would stay relevant. You never looked deep into yourself and asked why are you like this? In fact this is the first time you are letting yourself acknowledge this at all.

So why? And when did you grow out of this incredibly mysterious and strategic behaviour. Because it just didn’t matter. You realised as many friends that you have, you only had a few true friends. Ironically most of which you met during the first couple years at school. You began to understood that people saw you the way they wanted to and all the strategy in the world wouldn’t change that. On the last day of year 11 when you went around signing each others shirts the crashing realisation that you were never going to win this popularity race was finally known to you. Your shirt and your book was bare, signatures of only the closest friends who were there from the get go. You weren’t even invited to the race let alone in it.

That was okay, you had some of the best years of your life in secondary. You left armed with only a few friends who you knew were going to be in your life forever. You realised that your social life is supposed to be carefree. You now strategise your next steps at work. You know where you want to be when your 30 and you have the detailed plan as to how you going to get there.

Above all you are now 100% yourself, all the time. You realised you don’t need to try to be different. Just be who you are. That’s what you do. I don’t blame you for any of your short comings you had when you were a teenager. You were incredibly insecure, you hadn’t realised the need for self-love and positivity. I thank you for the lesson I’ve learnt. I thank you for your inquisitive nature, rebellious spirit and finding people who are now my family. You were fearless but careful. You couldn’t be pushed into doing anything you didn’t want to do. Whenever you were asked that question that sends shivers down my spine now – ‘what do you want to be when your older?’ , you’d smile and say ‘I just want to do something that I love, whilst wearing some nice shoes.’

That’s still the dream. I will one day save up enough to get my own flat and Loubitons  and toast to accomplishing little Laura’s dreams.

You still have a few insecurities, nobody is perfect right. You are working on it. Your motto now is trust the journey. You believe in yourself now as much as you believed you could be a lead singer of a rock band, which you were! As I said – fearless, you’d never do that now!

You sometimes used to let your insecurity and thirst for beauty and popularity guide you. You dropped this and just began believing in yourself. You made some life time friends and are equipped with a Mary Poppins style bag full of lesson you learnt.

I am proud of who you were and hope you would be proud of who I am.

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How cool was I?

 

 

Stay Bliss, Laura