Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Reasons to smile

I have recently been thinking of all the reasons I have to smile, this list is by no means exhaustive and I'll probably keep adding to it for the duration of this blog, but for now these are all the things I have jotted down whilst I've been out and about.

Love. Trips to the beach. Family. Friends. Laughing so much my stomach hurts. The smell of roses (the flowers not the chocolate!!). Sunflowers. Knowing spring is coming. Flowers. Snow Angels. Dancing. Growing vegetables. Crafting. Open fires. Cloud watching. Star gazing. Picnics. Cocktails. Dinner out. Holding hands. Cuddles. Anniversaries. Kissing. Travelling. Exploring new places. Music. Reading. Second hand bookshops. Cooking. Long walks. Scented candles. Writing letters. Watching films. Photographs. Memories. Pajama days. New dresses. Getting dressed up. Nail varnish. Long conversations. Snorkelling. Thunderstorms. Turtles. Getting mail. Standing in the rain. The smell of freshly cut grass. Afternoon baths. Cats. Vintage. Audrey Hepburn. Owls. Ballet. Trips to the theatre. Dogs. Getting my nails done. Lipstick. 

Like I mentioned above this list will keep growing as I think of other things to add. What makes you smile? 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Moving forward

If my ongoing battles with anxiety have taught me anything it is that you don't know who your real friends are until you really need them. I have been shocked by the people that have been by my side, sending me messages of reassurance and organising evenings out so that I don't sit at home and let the anxiety win, equally I have been left feeling upset by the people who aren't there, those who have ignored my cries for help from as far back as September, who have systematically cut me out of their lives and acted as though they have done nothing wrong. I have also learnt the power of social media, especially twitter, I have been overwhelmed with the amount of messages from complete strangers who have reassured me that my feelings are perfectly normal, giving advice on how to cope with those moments when life feels completely overwhelming  or just sending a picture to make me smile. There are people on twitter who have gone out of their way to make sure I am feeling ok - with almost daily lovely messages from Belle Du Brighton and Country Girl Does Norfolk to surprise gift packages from Dino Princess Char these girls have kept me smiling, kept my spirits up and made me realise that the world is full of lovely people who care.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday Letters #018

Yay it's Friday, this means the weekend is just around the corner, my husband is back tonight for the weekend and we can officially spend the next few days just chilling out together, can't wait!

Dear Anxiety - I am not going to let you beat me, you may make me cry, stop me eating and make even the most mundane tasks feel terrifying, but I know over time I will crush you and come out of these dark weeks as a stronger person.
Dear Stuart - Thank you, just for being you - you always know what to say to make me smile, to cheer me up and to lift me up when I am down xxx
Dear Dino Princess Char - Your present turned up at the perfect time, thank you so much for thinking of me and sending such a lovely gift xx
Dear Readers - I want to get back to writing more letters, if any of you guys are interested then please let me know and send me a message with your address :)
Dear Tetley - I adore you, but the late night attention seeking has to stop xx
Dear Neighbours - The late night singing/shouting has really got to stop, as has your dog who has starting barking at roughly 4.30am every day this week - enough!!
Dear Snow - I loved waking up on Sunday and seeing you had covered Canterbury, I loved the walk Stuart and I took together, what I don't love is how you disrupt everything. I would really appreciate it if you could go now and send some warmer weather in your wake.

A snowy walk :)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend xxx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Happy Birthday!

Today my younger brothers turn 23, so this is a short blog post to wish them an incredibly happy birthday! I am very lucky to have brothers who are friends as well as my family, they have been there for me through thick and thin with advice, cuddles and alcohol. I really am one lucky girl to have to such wonderful brothers. xxx

James sheltering me from the rain on my wedding day.

My wonderful family, pre ceremony.

My brothers, dad and I.

Craig and I prior to a family wedding - yes I am wearing heels, yes he is ridiculously tall!! 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday Letters #017

A week of feeling increasingly grateful for the people I have around me, the ones who have calmed me down, made me realise that the bumps in the road are only bumps and not the mountains I feel they are. I'm back to the doctors on Tuesday to consider the next step and I am hopeful that by the end of the month I will have turned the corner and be feeling much more confident about the light at the end of the tunnel.

Dear Snow - I am excited to spend the weekend with you, curling up with my hubby watching you fall, building snowmen and taking a long walk to admire your beauty - just please don't disrupt next week too much!
Dear Toes - I apologise for making you do pointe work yesterday, but please stop punishing me today!
Dear Stuart - Thank you for the chats, the reassurance and for keeping me sane when I've been getting myself worked up, you really are 1 in a million xxx
Dear Twitter - I really do have the best followers, ones who know exactly what to say to lift me up, thank you xx
Dear Self - Keep going, keep overcoming the fears and watch them melt away into nothing. 
Dear Train Passengers - The quiet zone is supposed to be exactly that - QUIET! No-one is interested in the big deal you signed at work, or listening to your music.

Enjoy your weekend guys and I hope the snow doesn't disrupt you too much :)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


The thoughts just don't stop, they are constantly spinning around in my brain, occasionally making sense, but more often than not they are complete gibberish  adding weight to my chest, a feeling that something terrible is about to happen. I find myself staring vacantly at the tv screen, watching but not listening, seeing but not absorbing. Hours pass and I'll suddenly realise I'm hungry but a couple of bites of food and I'm overwhelmed with nausea. The logical part of my brain tells me this feeling will pass and that I'll soon be feeling like my old self again, the overworked part whispers that this is it now, that I'm going to have to live with the anxiety, the panic, the days of complete and utter despair. I feel I am one of the lucky ones, I have a husband who is doing everything he can to help me feel relaxed, a doctor who is willing to listen and help, friends I can talk to and know I won't be judged and parents who completely and utterly understand the pain I am in. I know things will get better, that I'll be stronger, that I have to take the rough with the smooth, until then I'll soldier on as best I can.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Friday Letters #016

What a week, I finally started on the anti anxiety tablets and although they haven't kicked in properly as yet, I am hopeful that they will soon and that I'll be back to feeling like me again :)

Dear Stuart - Thank you for your support, your understanding and for cheering me on when I manage to do something which used to worry me xxx
Dear Blog Followers - Thank you for all your words of wisdom, advice, encouragement over the past week. You will never know how much it means to me xx
Dear Self - Remember to take it one day at a time, the light at the end of the tunnel will come back and you will feel better eventually.
Dear Coventry City - WOW, what an incredible couple of minutes of football! There's a possibility that I may have cheered loudly and jumped up off the sofa when the winning goal went in!
Dear Neighbours - Apologies for the loud cheering last night, but it's not very often that I (A) get to watch my team on the television or (B) watch them win in such spectacular fashion.  
Dear A - It is inconceivable to me how we have gone so long without seeing each other or speaking to each other (other than via facebook) and yet you still know exactly what to say to pick me up and make me smile, friends like you are incredibly special xx
Dear Mom - Thanks for the advice, for reminding myself that I should celebrate all the little things I manage to achieve in a day rather than berating myself for not doing the big scary things xxx
Dear Snow - Please come for the weekend but then disappear so that I can get to work ok next week :)
Dear Stuart - Congratulations on the new job, I love that you are closer to home now and that we will get to see each other mid week too!! xxx
Dear Self - Remember the friends who are here for you now, they are the ones that matter.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend :) xxx

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Losing my stuffing....

For a long time it felt as though the light at the end of the tunnel had gone out, I felt like a failure and I was constantly worrying about everything and anything. Desperately I tried to cling onto some strand of reality as I felt it all slip through my fingers, outwardly I put on a brave face but inside I was drowning. For a while I felt like I was surviving, treading water just hard enough to keep my head above water, smiling just enough to convince people I was doing ok, until one day I wasn't surviving anymore. I had a huge panic attack in the middle of St Pancras station, I honesty felt like I couldn't breathe, like I was about to die and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, it was in this moment that I realised I had to see a doctor, that I couldn't continue just surviving, that I wanted to be the old Gemma again.

Unfortunately the realisation that I needed to see a doctor fell in the middle of the festive period so I had to wait until last week before I could get an appointment. I struggled through Christmas, putting on a brave face and trying as best I could to enjoy myself, I'm sure many people realised that things weren't right but I carried on regardless. The doctors appointment was a revelation, I couldn't have asked for a nicer more understanding doctor. She listened and agreed that I was right to have seen her, after filling in some questionnaires and explaining all my endless symptoms she gave me a prescription for some anti anxiety tablets which I am hoping will start to help soon, alongside the tablets I am also going to be attending counselling sessions to try and get to the bottom of why the anxiety attacks have started again so suddenly.

So that is where I am now, waiting for the tablets to kick in and desperately hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel comes back.