A-Z of what makes me happy!

I recently saw an idea on pinterest about writing an A-Z list of what makes you happy, the idea being simply focusing on the good parts of life.

When I was writing this I realized how many little things make me happy and all those little things you overlook and take for granted. I chose to write them anyway which is why some of my choice are slightly strange!!

Id love to hear some of your reasons for being happy, so please comment! ( I didn’t do X because I really couldn’t think so any ideas welcome!)

 

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American cream conditioner

Bubble baths, Barry Island, Birthdays, bonfires

Christmas, car, coffee shops

Daydreaming, Disney

Exercise, eating

Friends, family, flowers

Gardening, Gym

Holidays, hummus, home

Ice lollies, ice cream sundaes

Joma jewellery, Jam, Jacuzzi

Kindness, kayaks

Lush, laughing, love, lazy Sundays

Memories, music

November, new nails

Outdoors

Photographs, presents, painting, perfume

Quavers

Ribena, Rio, road trips, reading

Surprises, self-care, sand, sleeping, snow, slush puppies, sunshine

Travelling, Tea, TV shows, Tan

Unicorns, us

Vegetables

Weekends, work, water

X

Yankee candle

Zoo

 

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Things I wish I knew about being an adult

Growing up, we see adults as glamourous and mysterious creatures that we can’t wait to be like. But in reality, being an adult isn’t always so great. There are so many things you worry about that you didn’t even think you cared about, but you find yourself just wanting to curl up in a tent made of bed sheets and doing some colouring instead of going outside and dealing with real lifeHere are some tips on adulting that I wish I had been told when I was younger:

*A true friend isn’t the person who will tell you look great when you don’t, or tell you it’s all that assholes fault, when actually you’re just as much to blame. I’ve been lucky enough to have a best friend who is honest with me and listens and acts with my best interest at heart, rather than just telling me what I want to hear. I know she will still be there with me at 3am in the bad times, but will also tell me to suck it up and move on when the times right.

 

*Your dream job is still a job. There will still be days when you don’t want to get out of bed, where you stare at the ceiling debating whether you need a job or whether you should just stay in bed and just let them fire you. Usually this changes when you realise you then couldn’t fund your Lush addiction. You will have days where you love it and days where you hate it. Days when you wonder if you’ve done enough with your life or whether you should quit your job and travel the world, or simply quit so you can spend more time watching Gilmore girls. You can compare yourselves to anyone that you think has a big, exciting job but I can guarantee these same thoughts will cross their minds too!

 

*Not everyone will like you and that’s ok. Stop caring so much about what people think of you, as long as you like who you are that’s all that counts! You may lose friends but you’re just finding who the true friends are, and that’s all you need! You will have failed relationships, but it will just teach you what you don’t want, and make room in your life for the right one! Sometimes there is nothing to do but take deep breath and hope something better is just around the corner!


 *Love doesn’t fix everything and sometimes it’s just not enough. Love won’t fix your broken heart and it won’t make up I feel worthy. You need to accept yourself and be happy alone before you’ll be truly happy with anyone else.


*People will leave . Maybe it’s your fault and maybe it’s not. People will hurt you, people will say things they don’t mean and sometimes things don’t work out they way you planned. Things happen for a reason and in the long run, you will realise that if they leave, they were never meant to last anyway.

The secret to being happy!

Hi everyone,

This is my first post in a while because I was struggling to find the right words. something recently clicked in my head and has changed the way I have viewed previously anxiety provoking thoughts so i wanted to share with you

So last week I turned 25. I know it’s not really a big age, and it doesn’t mean I’m old, but I panicked, I cried and absolutely dreaded my birthday. I’ve had a bad few birthdays in the last few years where I’ve expected too much, and all I mean by that is a day when I’m not sad or worried, and where I’ve built it up until it got too much, and then it’s gone down like a lead balloon…

I realised that I wasn’t where I expected to be by the time I was 25. I don’t think any young girl dreams about stays on psychiatric wards, painful break ups and moving back home. I think people sometimes see their birthday as a new year, a chance to look back on the last year and the start of a new one but that can be terrifying and upsetting. To realise where you aren’t, what you have and haven’t done… and let’s face it, all we really want to do is eat the birthday cake.

But this year was different .I had the best birthday, happy memories and I realised that that its pointless to be upset because certain people aren’t there, and for the things that I’m not doing but to focus on the amazing people who were there, who did wish me a happy birthday, who did spend time and effort picking out the presents they knew I would love and the people who went above and beyond to make sure I had a perfect day!!

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It made me realise that I should focus on what I want to do rather than what I expect and what’s happening rather than what I think should be happening because overall, all we really wasn’t to do is be happy! The reality of getting through may be completely different to how we pictured it but however it happens, we are working towards the goal of being happy, and it doesn’t matter how we get there as long as we enjoy the ups and downs and the journey along the way!

 

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What I learnt from CBT …part 2! 

Since I wrote my last post on what I had learnt from CBT and how I have been able to challenge and change my behaviour through looking at my negative thought processes, I have had so many questions ! A lot of people have read my blog and especially though who haven’t experienced CBT for themselves , and have asked how exactly this works, so I wanted to share the best information I was given to hopefully be able to help people that have been in the same sort of situations as myself ! 
I know it won’t work for everyone, but I highly recommend giving it a go, even those who don’t necessarily struggle with mental health difficulties, as I think it is a much healthier way at looking at any problem! 
There are so many different distorted, automatic thoughts but I want to go through the points I think are easiest to change …
*mind reading- we assume we know what other people are thinking at all times, but we don’t! This is so important to remember , we can think we know, but we will never really know what goes on in other people’s mind so we shouldn’t try and guess because the only people we hurting is usually ourselves ! 


*fortune telling- I think this is the most common but can be the most damaging! We tend to predict the future very negatively, as yes of course that could happen, it it may not, so it’s not worth worrying about! Believe me, I know that’s easier said that done but life really is too short to worry about something that may happen, and if it does, we can deal with it then. I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of worrying and getting worked up over something that’s not there, let’s face it we have other things to face that are actually happening that needs our energy more! 
*black or white thinking- by looking at everything in black or white thinking terms, everything is brilliant or the worst day of your life, the best day ever or a total waste of time, but this won’t be the case. When I found I was doing this , I created ‘ the thankful diary’ [see previous post]. This allowed me to find the good in everyday so even when I think everyone must hate me, or I’ve had the worst day at work and I’m a complete fool, I can stop, take a step back and realise it wasn’t all bad and that there is still good in the bad days and I find this gives me a much more balanced outlook! 
*labelling- I always use this to challenge anytime I say “I am…” Because it usually followed by something self deprecating. I stop myself to ask if this is just my negative thought process , whether I have I have any proof of this or whether I just need to be nicer to myself… It’s usually the latter! Trying to reword it may do wonders for your self esteem! 
I really could go on all night but I find this worked best for me, but if you have anything else that you find helpful, please feel free to share it with us !! 

What I learnt from CBT…

As it is mental health awareness week, I wanted to share my most useful advice that I have learnt from CBT.

One of the most useful bit of information that I took from my 15 weeks in Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was learning about negative and automatic thoughts. For me, recognizing the thought or worry and being able to label it as a negative thought , helped me to not only understand it and accept it, but more importantly, to be able to take a step back, perceive the thought differently and then to be able to change my behavior towards it.

 

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I have always struggled with my thoughts. They can be overwhelming, spiral out of control, be irrational, and make me act completely out of character. For example something as simple as a text or lack of, can make me feel totally out of control! If I have sent a text and haven’t heard back in what I think is an acceptable amount of time, I would automatically assume it’s because the person didn’t want to talk to me, and probably would never speak to me again. I would feel rejected and abandoned. I would start to question everything I had done wrong and assume this is all my fault, that I am not worthy. The person doesn’t care about me, probably hates me, I wonder how long this had been going on for, have they always felt this way about me!? I must be a bad person, I’m too ugly, I’m too fat, they have someone better to text, I’m never going to be that person and this will always happen to me!! These thoughts will lead me to behaviors such as crying, going to bed to hide away, sending other messages, usually angry and abusive, as this will be the last time anyway! Basically these will all spiral out of control very quickly, and a lot of the time I can’t pull it back.

Since going through CBT and learning about negative thought processes, I am able to view this situation in a different and healthier way. By Labeling and recognizing these unhelpful thought patterns, it allows me to question and to challenge the thought, take time out before acting irrationally and hopefully react in a better way.

Using this method, for the same example of someone not texting me back, I can see that perhaps they were just at work, maybe their phone died, maybe they were driving and it wasn’t safe to reply. It could be that maybe I click into the text and realise I’ve written the text and not sent it (that happens a lot), perhaps they didn’t get the notification of a new message, and maybe they didn’t hear their phone. Maybe they are having a bad day themselves and can’t reply at the moment, maybe they left their phone somewhere, maybe it was lost or stolen.

Of course it could also be that they saw the message and didn’t want to speak to me, but it’s looking at the different possibilities and that you don’t always know and should assume. By the time you have gone through these and challenged the thought, it could be its changed the way you want to behave. I often find that just in this time I have calmed down anyway and would automatically react differently to when I am worked up. It could also be by taking a few minutes out, they have had time to reply and you were worried for nothing!

My point is there is always more than one way to look at a situation, so slow down, take the time to really think of all options and possibilities and think of all the ways in which you could react before doing anything and hope for a better outcome all round!

 

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The real depression ..

Hey everyone. I’m Okoto Enigma from http://okotoenigmasblog.com. Before I start, I’d like to say a huge “thank you” to Becky for letting me guest post on her blog. Today, I’ll be talking about depression as a mental health, the possible causes, how it feels, the effects, and everything related to it. As someone who recently opened up about my struggles with depression, I felt like this was the perfect topic to write about because I’m slowly trying to create awareness about it.

Before I start, you can find the very first post I wrote about my struggles with depression here – http://wp.me/p8whIv-CC. It was hard to actually post it but thanks to that, I’ve successfully written 3 other posts about it. And now, I’m also writing it here. To the business of the day. Like I mentioned on the post (link above), depression can be hereditary. It might also be due to something that happened in the past; something that affected you, and you had to live with, without telling anyone. And those images keep recurring in your mind every once in a while. Depression is something that sleeps in your head and when triggered, it wakes up. It leaves you feeling useless, worthless, hopeless, sad, weak, and ways that are really hard to explain. 


The depression is like a voice in your head that talks to you; and you listen. It’s something people don’t easily notice compared to other mental illnesses because people suffering from it tend to live with it. What actually caused my depression was mostly bullying. I was physically and verbally abused as a child; and while growing up. I believed no one loved and I was worthless; and I grew up with those thoughts. I distanced myself from everyone and shut people out; I began to think about self harm over and over again. No one; not even my family knew about any of that because depression is actually something that’s easy to hide with a smile. And I hid mine with a smile all the time.
No one notices it until its too late. People just think it’s attitude issues or mood swings but, depression is more than that. Many people have committed suicide due to depression. I think the main cause of depression is how you make someone feel; what you say to them. Not everyone’s emotionally strong and making someone feel like they don’t deserve love or like they’re worthless is the worse thing. Most people see it as a joke but the things we say and do to others have a huge impact on them. And for someone who suffers from depression, it’s 2× worse. 
Depression isn’t always the girl who cries or the boy who shuts everyone out. Depression is the girl you bully; yet who manages to smile, and the boy you make fun of. People who suffer from depression tend to feel on edge and end up taking their lives because it’s a feeling you can never really put into words. We don’t feel safe in our body or mind; we feel like we weren’t meant to be here; like no one cares, and then those voices tell you to do it. Most people seek professional help; most people don’t. It’s so horrible because you can never tell who’s actually suffering from depression. You might end up making fun of the person when they’ve managed to build up their self esteem which will lead to a relapse.
How do you overcome depression? I don’t really know because I’m still trying to find a way; but I feel like talking about it is the first step. It took me so long to talk about mine but after I did, I felt better. Also, surrounding yourself with people who truly love you is a another step. There’ll always be a moment of relapse but people who love you will stick with you through those moments and they make everything better. The third step is saying positive things to yourself and trying to build up your self esteem because when you do, you’re likely to avoid self harm. Self harm seems like the best option during those moments; but its never really the answer. Maybe we can fight to live and tell other people about our story; and we can encourage them to live too. 
I can’t say much about other mental illness but I feel like depression, unlike other mental illness is something that isn’t noticed. And no one deserves to stay up all night thinking about why they’re not good enough or why no one loves them. No one deserves to blame themselves for their depression either. That’s all for now guys. Do you suffer from depression? Have you found a solution or asked for help? If you’ve found a way to deal with your depression, feel free to share them in the comment section. You could be helping someone out. Thanks for reading. You can also find me on:
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/EnigmaOkoto/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EnigmaOkoto

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enigma_oke/

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/okoto-enigma-18279079

How to care for someone with BPD

I think it’s safe to presume that someone with borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression and most mental illnesses with be assuming that the one they love is going to leave them at some point, usually meaning they will end up pushing those people away themselves. They assume that you can’t or won’t deal with them. They think that they are unworthy, that no one could possibly love them and that you can do better, so why would you possibly stay with them?? I know I definitely did this and lost a lot of friends and relationships as a result.

It will be difficult at times, for everyone involved and of course there will be times when you wonder if it’s worth Putting Yourself or the other person through this anymore, but if you can help them through this, I promise it will be worth it!!

Useful things to remember when you’re with a BPD sufferer:

*Never tell them that they’re over-reacting

Trust me, this will never end well.

You may not be able to follow their train of thought, you may think what they’re worrying about is irrational or that they are simply overreacting, but to them, everything makes sense. Therefore by telling them that whatever they are worrying about is pointless, you may as well be telling them that they are stupid. This won’t help their already rock bottom confidence and self-esteem, and may stop them confiding in you.

*Time is important

They will demand to know when something will happen as we don’t do well with uncertainty. For example” when will I be better” which is something I asked a lot. You may not know the answer but don’t tell them that they’re being irrational to ask that or that they are asking for too much as is terrifying for them and they are just looking for some reassurance that it will be ok.

Also you may think that it’s ok to not reply to a text or call straight back, but for a BPD sufferer, it isn’t. You simply think that you’re busy and that you will reply when you can in a couple of minutes, but to them, you don’t love them anymore, you’re with someone else, you’re  cheating, why would you call back, you’re not worth it , who would love me, will it always be like this?! How will I cope when he’s not there, will I cope?!  It goes from 0-100 in seconds and it can easily snowball from there until you’re left with a full breakdown on your hands. Their thoughts can cause a lot of problems in those few seconds and I know it’s not always possible, and I know its demanding and selfish but where possible, please reply when you can! It shows you care and can spare them a lot of heartache.

*They’re scared

I can’t stress this point enough. Every day I was up terrified of what you may have to face that day, you don’t feel strong enough to cope and you don’t even know what that may be. For example, you plan a night out with your friends. Automatically they will jump to the worst case scenario and suddenly you have cheated on them, left them and now hate them and you haven’t even left the house yet. This isn’t because of you, this isn’t because of anything you’ve done and it isn’t because they don’t trust you but they will also picture the worst scenario because they are so, so scared that this could happen that it will lead them to think and act irrationally. The fact that they feel they have no control over the whole situation only makes it worse in their head. They will hate themselves more than you ever could so please don’t blame them! Trust me, if we could do anything other than this, we couldn’t put anyone through the pain that they are feeling.

*They will have trouble sleeping

We won’t sleep during the night but we will be in a half asleep state all day. Their minds wont switch off like yours can because there are always thousands of thoughts flying around their heads that desperately need attention at 4am. Just hold them close to you as feeling safe and loved is enough to help them feel comforted for now.

*Remember they’re worth fighting for

It will be hard at times. You will have stupid fights over hypothetical situations. You will argue over the smallest things, just because it has been overthought it so much that suddenly to them it’s the worst possible scenario even if you can work out how you possibly got there. If you can’t deal with them on their darkest day, you don’t deserve them on their best days, and believe it or not those days are coming. Fight with them not against them.

 

 

 

 

 

The thankful diary! 

 I recently found this thankful diary in wilkinson and if this is the only thing you buy today, I highly recommend you run out and get one! I am definitely guilty of focussing on the negative, especially on bad days and missing out on the little things that make the day good. I know we don’t always feel it or see it, but they are there, just as they are for everyone, we just struggle more to see the positive things in the day, the things that have gone well, or things we are happy with.

That’s why I think this idea is so brilliant! I have found it really helpful to force myself to stop and smell the Roses so to speak… Starting to notice all those things during the day that I am grateful for , and while some days you really have to search for them, I guarantee they are there, however small!
These are mine for this week:

I’m grateful for:

* going to the gym and feeling calmer when I got home

* Dad making me dinner for when I got home

* My friend thinking of me and texting me to ask if I had enough medication

* My new jumpsuit and I’m excited for nice weather so I can wear it

* All my new followers and retweets

* The dog advert on to which made me smile 

* Watching beauty and the beast with my friend

* going to beauty and the beast again with dad and sitting in VIP

* Having wonderful feedback at work

* How relaxing the rain sounds on my greenhouse 

* How warm it is in my greenhouse in the sun

* Finding the inspirational quote “if the door didn’t open, it’s not you door” after hearing disappointing news

* That my sister was OK after being in a car accident

* The amazing donations that my “stronger together” page has had!

* Feeling like I’m good at my job after so long of feeling overwhelmed

During the last week, I have had bad days, I have struggled and I’ve cried but having a list of positives to reflect on makes m feel better, then hopefully these will stick more than the bad moments!

Please get in touch to let me know what you’ve been grateful for this week! 

Stronger together

I know a lot of you have already read on my blog about my charity boxes “stronger together”, and I’m so grateful for the support so far! I just wanted to explain why I started it as it’s something very close to my heart.

When I was really ill, I put my family and friends through hell. I shouted, I screamed, I blamed them,  I demanded they fixed it and made all the bad go away and I made them miserable when all they were doing was doing their best to be there for me and support me through the darkest days. All I saw was how hard it was for me and how much I was struggling, but at the time I couldn’t see the immense pressure and strain I was putting on everyone else.

No one, including me, had ever experienced mental illness before, or even known anyone who had been through anything similar so it was new to us all. while I had doctors referrals, supposed support group, therapy, medication and hospitals, they had nothing. Their whole world had been turned upside down and they hadn’t got a clue where to start. Their little girl was struggling beyond belief and they themselves felt they were drowning in the sea of mental illness. While I could see them going through this, I couldn’t look after myself let alone look after them too.

And that is where “stronger together” started….

 

I realised that There was nothing in place to help the people supporting those with mental illness difficulties and that those are just as important as without them, we simply wouldn’t cope!! As part of the bigger picture I hope to change that, but for now we can help support them while they supporting others.

It may seem simple but if I can even help them feel better in the slightest then my job is done. I want to remind them that they matter, because I’m sure in the heat of the moment, they are being told they aren’t helping, they’re making things worse and that no one cares anymore… because I’ve certainly said it all before!

We all need time to ourselves from time to time, but sometimes we need reminding that we deserve it, so I hope with the help of a little care package, either from me, a stranger, or if someone nominates someone, that we can allow them to take the time to look after themselves for a while.

So if you need any pick me up, or know anyone who does, please let me know!!

 

xxxx

Anxiety and me

The first time I realised I had anxiety was when I was 13 and I had arranged to meet my friends in a coffee shop to revise. We were meant to meet at 1 so I got there early because I don’t like being late, but mainly I realised that I didn’t want to walk in to a crowded coffee shop alone. I suddenly started panicking that people would be looking at me, judging me, laughing at the way I look, the way I walked in, what if I fell down? What if I could see them but they can see me, wouldn’t that be embarrassing! When I’m embarrassed I go bright red, that would be worse and they would all know what a loser I was. It was a small shop and I probably could have seen everyone in there from the door, but it was like something was physically stopping me from going inside.So after pacing up and down outside the shop for 15 minutes, I decided not to go in and I went home.

I didn’t know that this was anxiety, I thought I was just being pathetic or maybe everyone felt this way, and it wasn’t until I was 20 that I truly understood what anxiety meant.

Anxiety changes how you see the world. Before anxiety, I would cross the road after looking both ways, and now I stand on the curb expecting a car to appear out of nowhere. looking left and right, and left and right, and left and right… Taking a step back then looking again, wondering if I could just turn around or if people in cars already thought I was ridiculous and then just going as quickly as I can and hoping from the best, just to get away from the judgemental gaze of drivers. I used to drive normally, and now I’m terrified that someone will appear out of nowhere and that I’ll end up hurting someone. Simply, I used to go to the bathroom or changing room and feel safe in the fact that the door is locked so no one will come in, but now I pace around thinking maybe the lock will break, maybe I didn’t even lock it properly, someone will come in and it will be horrific. I would never be able to look at them, they would never be able to look at me, so sometimes I’ve been in there for 5 minutes and I’m still considering everything that could go wrong…. But now I’ve been in here too long, what will people think?! So I leave immediately and hope no one even knew I was in there. I used to walk normally, trusting myself to be able to put one foot successfully in front of the other. Now I walk with my head down, watching each movement of my feet, expecting each step to be the one that trips me up,leaving me sprawled on the floor, embarrassed and in pain. Basically, to me, anxiety is hell. I may be the same person but my outlook on everything is completely different, which means the way other people see me is also differ t, prompting the sentence “you’ve changed”. Well you try having your world turned upside down and inside out and see if you stay the same!

To anyone who has never experienced a panic attack, its not the same as worrying. I hate it when people say they’re having a panic attack when maybe they’re just worried over something. A panic attack can be crippling. Your mouth goes dry, your hands, arms , feet, legs tingle so it’s painful yet feel distanced from your body. Your heart beats faster , so fast you wonder if your heart will beat out of your chest.your ears ring so loudly that it blocks out the sound of everyone around you, you know they’re there and speaking or you know there’s noise but it’s like you aren’t physically there anymore. Your head is spinning, you feel light headed, dizzy, you can’t see straight, you can’t hold your own head up, you can’t make any sense of your thoughts, you want to scream but nothing comes out. You slur your words, these words are not coming from you, I have no idea where they are coming from because my brain is so overworked and overwhelmed, that I’m not even sure it’s there anymore.You want to cry but you’re so terrified you feel numb. No matter how many times you experience this, you feel like you’re going to die, that there’s no possible way out.

I wish I could say that it was getting better but it isn’t. The anxiety appears in more situations now.
When I split up with my ex, I was so worried that I would see him and wouldn’t know what to say or do, I would have panic attacks in tesco thinking that at any moment he could turn the corner and be stood in front of me. I would abandon full trolling in the middle of the aisle to run back to my car to cry, just at the thought! What would I be like if it happened… Cue more crying!! The worst was driving, thinking I could see his car… Sometimes I would be so scared I would look everywhere but at the traffic just in case, then I’d terrify myself that I would crash, but then the anxiety would actually put me in danger. I tried to tell myself that maybe he didn’t even have that car anymore, I didn’t need to look out for white cars anymore! But then I became worried by every car that would pass me which made it worse. It seems like a simple thing, but to someone with anxiety, it’s a living hell.

Now sometimes stand at the top of the stairs, too worried to go downstairs and see people in case I cry or don’t know what to say. Having to text people from another room to tell them what I wanted to say, because it was like the words just wouldn’t come out. I don’t know if I believe anything  Anybody says, do they like me, hate, just don’t care!? I never know if my thoughts are real, rational or the anxiety, it makes it difficult to make any decision so you end up doubting yourself completely. You feel useless, worthless and confused. It’s all consuming, it’s exhausting! But I think I’m still the same person, I just see things differently now.

I think it’s very difficult for anyone to know how it feels to live with anxiety, even if you have it yourself, you never really know how anyone else is feeling or what battles they are facing. I’d beg anyone to not judge, you never know what’s going through someone’s head. Please be sensitive and considerate, you never know when you’ll need that yourself.