It’s a new year…

It’s a new year…

Whilst i wanted to write a blog post talking about the highs and lows of the last year in a reflective manor i couldn’t feel more against it this year. Normally i would set myself a list of unrealistic expectations and then feel sadness when i could not keep simple promises to myself. The simple fact is last year was terrible, Not the sort of year you try to find positives from but a year you shut the book on and perhaps think of burning. To many i am sure the last year had some positives that they could find but for me the only positives to come from the last year has been that i have learnt that i do not need to invest so much time and energy into others and to nurture myself. It is because of this new found self love that i am able to separate myself more before i become victim to my depressive and intrusive thoughts. Last year i became very invested in my phone, like many people had found themselves i realised that i had become addicted. The need to keep up to date with others gave me many expectations on what i should be doing with my life, how i should have myself together, how i should have life that is to be a insta worthy place. I would find more and more that i would question my appearance based on others, I would think does my house look good enough? I would think am i parenting correctly? am i doing enough? I would find myself in the endless scroll that never ended. Though i do not blame myself for becoming attached to my phone as it was my only means of contact to the outside world i still feel that it sucked the life from me. Since discovering my addiction i decided to use my phone less, take breaks and to remember the things that are posted online are often snippets of reality that are only showing the best bits of a persons life…

With that being said this is why i have often gone missing for chunks of time, i needed to concentrate on me and to take away the expectations put onto myself to create content that would be worthy of reading or seeing. There will no doubt all over the world be new fitness fanatics, artists, dieters and peacekeepers being created as we land on the other side of the chapter of last year creating more pressure for us to perfect our personal flaws. But know this, we do not have to improve ourselves, we are perfect as we are. Creating unrealistic goals and achievements can put extra pressure on us that at a time of such uncertainty that only sets us up for more disappointment. Remember if there are goals you wish to achieve set them for yourself in the mindset that there is no race to achieve them, there is no failure in giving up and it is okay to have no aspirations for this year.

I feel we will still struggle on this year as we all continue to battle the biggest pandemic in our lifetimes that forces us to hide away in our homes to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. The battle has still only just begun but know that you do not need to change yourself in a pandemic because others are, all you need to do is survive. To not only survive but to find your own happiness, to listen to the stresses and thoughts you have and to try and make yourself feel happiness in yourself by doing things you may love and by taking the time for you.

It is a new year and instead of making crappy pointless goals this year how about you make only one to be happy, to look after you first and let everything else fall into place. So watch your favourite films, cry reading books and have so many baths you become a shrivelled mess. But do not think of yourself as a failure or a underachiever. We do not and have never needed to change. May this year be a year that brings you comfort and joy.

Why is binge eating disorder never taken seriously as a eating disorder?

Why is binge eating disorder never taken seriously as a eating disorder?

The other day I did a few stories on Instagram about my eating disorder which is binge eating disorder. I was amazed and the amount of people messaging me saying they suffer too and how it rules and destroys their life’s too. The thing is people never worry until someone is loosing weight. But what about when someone gets addicted to eating their emotions and cannot stop eating? When someone gets in the mirror as they are getting bigger and cannot do anything about it? It’s not as simple as someone who enjoys big portions, it’s a uncontrollable sensation which you can’t stop. It’s a feeding frenzy, once you start you just can’t stop. You’ll continually put on weight and get judged as someone who likes to eat. You’ve tried to diet but depriving yourself just makes you worse.

However with binge eating disorder sometimes you do not even enjoy eating and are not be able to stop yourself. You can spend your nights crying and thinking why can’t I stop myself? Then your left to feel sick with yourself every time you eat and eat more out of that emotion. It’s like bulimia without the throwing up. It’s keeping the bad stuff in with no way out.

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is when someone eats food emotionally and is unable to stop. They may eat untill way past full and even cause themselves pain. Often we go out and buy bags full of snacks and eat all in one sitting. It’s having dinner then later eating crisps and three chocolate bars and a milkshake because you can’t help yourself. It’s like a addiction. You cannot stop. Despite staring in the mirror feeling sick or feeling horrible after a binge. It’s struggling with diets as you cannot control yourself and depriving yourself only makes it worse. It is never really feeling full. It’s eating to try and fill the emptiness that will never be satisfied.

Symptoms of binge eating disorder:

  • Buying lots of food to eat all at once. Some people refer to these food as a treat. Even if it’s every night. It could be a carrier bag full of snacks for one sitting.
  • Eating when sad. Not being able to stop.
  • Eating way past being full and it hurting.
  • Eating when not even hungry.
  • Hiding to eat or hiding evidence of eating.
  • Feeling like a failure or digested in yourself and body after eating.
  • Storing food as not to run out.

Normally people become binge eaters because of emotional issues or things such as negative body image. Anxiety and depression are normally the main cause.

There are times I wish I could stop. I’ll buy healthy food and meal plan and try to diet. Then a bit of stress comes in my life and I’ve spiralled. I feel disgusted in my self. I don’t want to look like this. I don’t want to be big I want to be skinny. I don’t want to be such a mess that I reach for a multi pack of chocolate bars to myself because something of minor inconvenience has caused this emotion.

Doctors never seem to care either. Obviously they are more concerned with people who loose weight from conditions such as anorexia and bulimia and rightly so. Loosing weight is dangerous to internal organs and is starving the body. However, when you can’t stop eating doctors just judge you. Like your forcing yourself to be big on purpose. They seem to not care about the negative effects of weight gain. They don’t seem to care that obesity causes a lot of issues medically too. Such as increased risks of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The sluggishness, breathlessness and fatigue also clouds our lives too.

There are resources such as support groups,books and you can obviously talk to your doctor. However most people have sound that cbt therapy is the best help.

If you feel this is you then remember you are not alone. It may control you now but hopefully one day with a bit of help it wont! There are so many others just like you out there and you’d never think it!

Thanks for reading!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Now that it’s more and more clear Halloween won’t be happening in the normal way this year there’s still lots of ways to have fun. Last year I threw a Halloween party for Elijah and his little friends and this year we can’t even trick or treat. But with a little positivity we can still enjoy ourselves!

So here’s some things you can still do to celebrate Halloween safely.

Pumpkin picking. You can go pumpkin picking outdoors and safely. There you can distance, sanitise and make a day of it. Most places require a time slot too so there’s not too many people out there with you. It’s a great way to exercise and enjoy some time with others and feel the escape of the house. You also support the farms and small businesses too! We love it and have been every year for last five years!

Pumpkin carving. Once you have a pumpkin you still can enjoy carving or painting it. You can download stencils online and print of or you can design your own pattern to carve. Kids love the sensory activity of scooping the pumpkins out! Make it into a fun activity for all the activity.

Halloween crafts. Colouring and paining activities with themes such as Halloween can be great too. There’s so many printable activity packs free online for the taking. You can also paint some loo rolls and add pipe cleaners to make spiders! The possibilities are endless.

Halloween baking! Bake a cake or cookies with a Halloween theme and enjoy making spooky treats! Cut cookies before baking with a ginger bread man shape and you can make a skeleton! Make hotdogs and cut bits up to look like fingers then add ketchup for blood!

Dress up and have a little disco at home! Make Halloween snacks too! Have your own party. Play party games and enjoy yourself. Skype friends and have a virtual party too!

If your not isolating see family or friends for a coffee and call it trick or treating? Track and trace compliant of course!

Get cosy, watch Halloween movies, listen to spooky music. Whatever it is you do to get in the Halloween spirit. Just remember you’re not alone we’re all in this together.

No matter what you do just enjoy yourself and have a spooky time!

Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

When mental health is spoken about sadly I see a lot of women speaking about it more then men. Why? Because sometimes they can be more comfortable talking about it. It doesn’t mean men don’t have mental health issues but they are a victim of sexism in the form of being told to man up. Which is only more damaging to someone already not in the best of places. A woman may get a lot of sexism in the way people can say it’s hormones or women are just sensitive. Yet men are stigmatised thinking their genetic make up means no sadness is allowed to be felt.How often have you watched a film and seen a man cry? I don’t think I ever have. Yet I see so many films and tv series when woman cry all the time.

One person dies of suicide every 40 seconds. Now we know that did you know that more men commit suicide then women?

With media and social pressures to be a manly man there is no real help out there aimed at men sometimes. Counselling is normally advertised as women with girly fonts and colours. If a man was also to say he was going to counselling it would be more judged then a woman saying it. We need to normalise crying, emotions and allow our men and boys to feel as deeply as they can without feeling judged.

With facts like this it’s hard to ignore that men need the care and love women do. Why is it we have so many people that go around spreading love for the women and for women’s mental health but not for men. Men are barely ever spoken about. The issue is simply men have always been seen as in charge. This is a generational thing as long as history goes where men have been seen as the ones who have to have it all together. To support others and to never complain. But we don’t live in the fifties anymore. We live in generations where the burden shouldn’t be on the men as much as if we can learn from everything else that’s gone wrong in the world, we can learn to respect one another’s sex and support them and their emotions as equals.

I always regularly ask my husband if he’s okay or if he’s too stressed. I ask him to be honest with me and when I can see signs he’s stressed I try my best to allow him to talk about it or get rid of those emotions the best he can. Whether it be playing video games all night or perhaps we sit and watch a film together with our phones off. Or we go out for a long walk as a family or he even goes out with his friends for a drink. I try to actively look for signs because I always worry he won’t want to talk to me about it if he did feel low. We all need to look out for our loved ones and notice changes in their behaviours. We should all talk to each and ask how one another is doing.

Knowing I am raising a boy I want to know that he will grow up and talk about his emotions to me. I want him to know his emotions are as valid as anyone else’s and there is no need to ever man up. I want both my son and husband to always know that I am here to talk. I am always here to listen and I will never judge.

If you’re a man reading this and you have felt the stigma to not show your emotions then just know that it is okay. It is okay to cry. It’s okay to admit you may be depressed. It is okay to go the doctors to seek help. It’s okay to have medication. It’s okay to not want to go out with the lads sometimes. It’s okay to struggle and when you struggle you can and should speak about it. You can talk about it and blog just as woman do because I promise you this, you are not alone. Other men are felling the same and are also creating fabulous support groups for other men out there and blogging to show just because their a man doesn’t mean they can’t feel.

I’m hoping one day the stigma fades away as we are the generation of change it is how we raise our children that determines how the world goes on. I’m hoping for a more loving and understanding planet for all where emotions are felt without any stigma and when you can drop your mental health issues into a conversation without worrying what someone else will think I’m hoping for a planet where I see more men crying in films, where men talk as freely as women without stigma.

If you ever need someone to chat to my emails are always open.

If you are ever in crisis and need someone to talk too contact Samaritans here on- 116123 or check their website here- https://www.samaritans.org/

You can also get help and support from looking on the mind website here- https://www.mind.org.uk

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

It’s no secret that after I had Elijah when he was about ten months old I returned to work. I was full of guilt and anxiety and I was riddled with stress from work too. When I stopped working it took away a bit of my identity and slowly I’ve been working to get my identity back. I don’t want to be known as just Elijah’s mum but Charlie too. A year ago I had officially left work and I look back with no regrets. Whilst I miss doing a job that gave me purpose at times I don’t miss the long days and being away from my family.

Now that it’s been a year my thoughts on me working have changed. At the moment as it stands it is financially better for me to not work. We do not take benefits or have any help just to clarify to those who think I just gave up my job and expected the state to pay. My husband funds everything. This was also a decision we spoke about and decided before anything was done.

Through me stopping work he has been able to earn way more than we earned collectively before I had Elijah and he is only getting more successful because I am at home. With me at home this means James doesn’t have to do the school/nursery runs and loose out on hours of work everyday. This means he’s able to work as early or as late as he wishes and we don’t need to worry about Elijah. Whilst Elijah will be starting nursery in January I will not be returning to work for now. Because nobody else can drop him off and pick him up and childcare is a big issue for us. Also if I went back to work it just wouldn’t really be logical aswell because with my career path I’d only want to work in healthcare again and the hours are nowhere near flexible which I learned before I left work. The issue would still remain most healthcare jobs need you to work 8-8 and that would mean again James doing the childcare run and I’d be on a crappy wage and we’d be worse of.

My view on stay at home mums has changed too. I invisioned it to be easy and happy. That I’d be doing all these fancy crafts everyday and baking everyday. But that was not the case. It was in fact draining mentally and physically. When you don’t have plans often you sort of fade into the darkness’s where everything’s a repeat and you feel like you’re on auto drive. I expected to have this perfectly clean house all the time but then reality hit. Sure my house was clean when I worked because I was never in it! Days off normally spent going out as a family or seeing friends so when I tidied up it was a quick and easy job. Now the house often looks like a bomb has hit it when I spend my day trying to survive and entertain a toddler who loves to make mess wherever he goes.

I underestimated what stay at home mums do too. Planning days out all the time trying to find new things to do so it’s not repeated is exhausting. There is only so much you can go for coffee before being bored of the activity. Not just entertaining your child out and about but also in the house is so hard. I’ll set up a activity I’ve spent ages thinking of and Elijah picks it up puts it down and walks of demanding something else.

There’s also a limit to how much I can teach Elijah before it becomes a chore. I try to spend a lot of the day teaching Elijah so we do learning games and play but sometimes I get so sick of repeating myself I want to rip my hair out. Like this is everyday. How many times can I repeat the same sentance before I turn insane.

There’s also the no escape from your child. One thing that lockdown has done is open peoples eyes to what stay at home parents really do. People really got sick of their kids crap and it showed. People understood what it was like to have no me time and children wanting their attention 24/7. They understood that silence was a thing of the past and you never get a moment to yourself even when they’re asleep you still tidy their crap up. There’s no escape and nowhere to send them if you need a time out so you just keep going hoping your head doesn’t explode with the stress at times.

However I try not to moan about my child too much there are elements I love. I love that I get this time with him and that I don’t have to share his milestones with others. I love watching him learn and knowing that I’ve taught him that. I love playing with him and making up games.

I love seeing him grow and watching how his mind works and grows with him. I love days where we have good days and we sit and play games nicely or cuddle on the sofa. I love that I am always there to wake him up and cuddle him before bed every night. I love that I’m always there to hear his stories and when he’s seen family for the day I get to be the one he tells me all about his time.

I like being able to be at home too and when I do housework around the house I enjoy it a bit more it’s not just a quick scrub ready to return to work where I’m cleaning the house at 10pm after being out 12 hours working and knowing I have the same the next day.

I’ve noticed a change in James too. He is more happy and likes not having to drop Elijah and pick Elijah up working silly hours and working twice as hard to get work done. He no longer has to come home and cook every single night and clean up all the time. I do not cook every night or clean everyday as we both understand that it’s our house and nobody’s responsibility to do everything.

I love that I’m able to see friends more and make more time for my hobbies. I. E this blog post I write now. I also love that I don’t have to miss out on a lot of things I used to aswell.

I also love the positive effect it’s had on my anxiety. I’m not full of stress and busy working all day making myself ill. I am able to concentrate on myself more and take more time for me and my self care. I take more care in my appearance and also in the relationships I have. I don’t hold on to toxic people anymore because I now am able to see my worth.

Although life can be hard and stressful as a stay at home mum I will always be thankfull to my husband for the opportunity. I know that when I’m older and look back on these hard times with fond memories of how perfect life really was.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

It’s okay to feel fine one day then bad the next.

It’s okay to feel fine one day then bad the next.

One thing I’ve noticed about talking about depression is the stigma that if your depressed that means you have to be depressed 24/7. You can’t have days where you smile because clearly that would mean your faking your depression and that you’re clearly an attention seeker. This is not true.

Yes many people are in a constant loop of depression where there is no escape but some of us have days we feel okay and then crash down to the pits of depression a hour later. We can be fine all day. We can be smiling, laughing, making jokes and seem really confident. A few hours later something clicks and we can’t even move our muscles to form a smile because that’s too difficult.

We are human. Those without depression experience more than one emotion. They experience happiness, brief sadness and anxiety then they go back to happiness. So why is the stigma still there someone with depression cannot have a good day. When you put that stigma on someone it makes them think they have to fake being happy 24/7 or the opposite. The opposite is feel like they aren’t allowed to be happy. I’ve experienced this. I’ve had people make comments when I’ve had days I feel a bit better and have somewhat been told my depressions gone then! no. If my depression was gone believe me I’d be shouting from the roof tops about it.

This also works for if you have time of work with depression. A few years ago I took a few weeks of work when I worked in care because I was depressed and being bullied. When I came back to work I was treated as if I’d faked my depression as I’d came back and was even accused of not being depressed anymore because I had to pretend to be happy around my clients who picked up on negative emotions. I felt like I wasn’t entitled to smile. I wasn’t entitled to be anything other then a sad emotional mess.

People seem to get annoyed whatever you do with regards to depression. People moan when your depressed, they moan your boring or anti social, or an attention seeker. They moan if your happy. There will never be a pleasing everyone.

But know this. If you suffer depression. It is not what defines you. If you have a few days in bed down in the dumps that is okay. It is also okay to smile again. It’s okay to be happy too. You’re not an attention seeker because your chemicals in your brain have allowed you to feel positive today. You should not worry about others opinions. Why? because the only persons who’s opinions matter is your own. Because other people are not educated enough. Because until someone experiences a patch of depression themselves they will never understand what it is like to be judged for every emotion they feel!

If your reading this as someone who doesn’t have depression. Remember that they are suffering even behind the smiles. Always try to bring them up not down. Be the hand to hold, the phone all at the end of a bad day. Be a friend. Remember storms always have bright periods before the darkness creeps back for another storm.

Always here in my emails and dms, Charlie x

Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

This is something I have been struggling to come to terms with and with my health anxiety at a high I tried as hard as I could not to research my disorder but I decided it was in my best interest to know what I’m battling. So basically, a few months ago I found out I have functional neurological disorder. It’s been quite upsetting to accept but I guess it’s a part of me now and something I just have to take in whether I want to or not.

How I found out I have functional neurological disorder:

To cut a long story short, I had INTENSE shoulder pain radiating from my arm to my chest. I put of going to the doctors due to trying to over come my health anxiety and i was sent to the doctors by counsellor who could see i was getting breathless from the pain. When i got there my arm had started to become numb and i thought it was just a seriously intense pulled muscle. They where worried and sent me immediately to the hospital. When i arrived i had numerous neurological work ups, bloods and x-rays and a ct scan. They believed i had a stroke but after the ct scan couldn’t pick up anything i was sent home with very strong painkillers and told to come back if it got no better. A few days later i lost function completely in the arm. I ignored it but then i got so much pain in my chest i had a asthma attack from struggling to breath. I called 111 where they where going to send a ambulance out again worrying i’d had a stroke. Instead we drove to a and e after waiting and cancelled the ambulance. After being in a and e again they did more extensive checks this time and after being poked and prodded by around 8 different people we came to a conclusion i needed more tests. The stroke team came down this time and could see i had lost function and worked out my reflexes are less down one side of body and on that side i couldn’t feel as much and was a lot weaker than my other side. I was sent for a MRI scan and sent to the stroke ward. They discovered after more testing that i have functional neurological disorder. I was discharged with not much information other then a website and a letter confirming to my doctor i have functional neurological disorder.

What is functional neurological disorder?

Basically suffers with functional neurological disorder have problems with their nervous systems functioning. It effects the signals by brain wants to send to my body parts. The body wants to communicate something and cannot. The messages get confused and this causes the body to be confused. The pain is real. The symptoms are real. The symptoms are very similar to those who are experiencing/have experienced a stroke and very similar to those suffering other neurological problems such as MS.

The symptoms of functional neurological disorder:

  • Non epileptic seizures.
  • numbness.
  • Inability to use a part of the body.
  • Conversion disorder.
  • Weak limbs.
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • Paralysis.
  • Speech issues.
  • Numbness/ tingling feelings.
  • Pain.
  • Vision disturbance.
  • Tremors.
  • Spasms.
  • Irritable bowel and increased urination.

Causes of functional neurological disorder:

  • Childhood trauma.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Chronic pain (yay endometriosis).
  • Stress

Is there a cure?

In short no. Study’s have shown that Physiotherapy and counselling can help individuals but it is not completely effective. Pain relief can help but again does not cure and you could become addicted from taking pain killers to frequently.

Will I get worse?

At the moment I have no idea what will happen. Some days are better then others with the pain. I’m normally okay and then after some sort of stress or over working myself I’m in pain again. For now I try not to think of the future and think of today. I’m grateful for my family and friends and my health I have today. I won’t worry about the future until I’m firmly in it.

As always thanks for reading love Charlie x

Weekly counselling

Weekly counselling

It’s a bit weird thinking about all these things that just randomly come up. Things that have happened to me and I have buried to protect myself. I’m getting to know myself finally. I think I try so hard to protect myself that I don’t even know who I am. It’s been therapeutic being able to be somewhere I feel safe to talk to someone about my feelings and my past. Someone who doesn’t know me and cannot pass judgement. It’s odd how trauma attaches itself to your memory and gets tangled up in all past experiences and you don’t even know it.

I’ve gone from going every few weeks to weekly which I think has been quite a shift. A good shift non the less as I’m more trusting and I feel I have a better relationship with my counsellor. She has picked up one of the biggest issues I have is trust. Trusting people to let my guard down and trusting people not to abandon me or hurt me. So I think creating a better relationship by seeing each other more is helping me to open up more. Last week I was actually enthusiastic about going to counselling. When I first came in I barely spoke and felt uncomfortable but the more I’ve gone the more comes out and the better I feel after.

I feel a weight is lifted of my shoulders immediately and I am able to think a bit clearer every time. I’m able to understand why I feel a certain way about certain thinks and how I process situations. Personally I think my childhood has a very big input into my behaviour and thought process. I have spent so long thinking everyone hates me and that I’m the issue when i am not. I worry everyone I love will leave me and I think it’s made me scared and a bit bitter. I am slowly understanding how to deal with my emotions which has been great and I think I might even be able to come if my anti depressants soon. I’m starting to take more time for me and for my family and to voice my emotions instead of holding them in incase j upset someone. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m so proud I’ve stuck to it and kept too a weekly appointment even if childcare can be a struggle. I know I need this for me and will continue trying to make myself better however I can. I have another counselling session today and I’m feeling positive not scared and I never thought I would be here today feeling this good.

Being brave.

Being brave.

To many it would seem I was a loner in a cafe by myself. It would look like I was waiting for someone or I have no friends, but that wasn’t the case. I was quite simply being brave. I’m quite socially anxious when out on my own. Especially since having a child, walking through town with Elijahs become somewhat my security blanket. Even though I would sit in a cafe with Elijah being alone is something that scares me quite a bit. The anxiety that people are staring and judging is just a bit too much for me. I hate waiting for people on my own in public let alone being on my own and I actively avoid going out on my own.

On Friday after counselling I did something I would never normally do, I went to a cafe on my own. I ordered a drink and cake and didn’t rush myself. I sat there and just relaxed into my own company. I felt anxious at first walking in and sitting alone but I soon got to grips with the fact nobody cared and quite enjoyed myself. Small steps are big steps and one day I hope my anxiety will go but for now I’m trying little things to make myself a bit more happy.

My first session of counselling.

My first session of counselling.

Today I went to my first proper counselling session. It felt odd but it was good. We touched on my upcoming surgery and how it’s causing me anxiety. We spoke about how I felt in my pregnancy and after my birth because that’s what triggered my worry about my upcoming abdominal surgery. We also touched on a few issues about childhood and my ability to block myself off and fall out with others.

At first I felt awkward, I found the woman quite condescending and being there stupid. But then I realised I’m defending myself and this woman is just nice and trying to work our why I’m here and help me. As the session went on it was a lot of me talking and her listening. She asked certain questions and it got me to respond and delve in deeper. She allowed me to feel safe and she seemed to give me time to feel, it felt like she was waiting for me to cry but I didn’t. I think I was to tense being my first time to fully let my guard down. I spent a lot of time looking at the door or at my cup of tea to try and avoid looking at her as it made me feel uncomfortable and like I’d cry.

I felt like I had a safe space to talk, I did not have to hide here as I didn’t know the woman. It made me feel oddly like I could open up. I think because I knew that’s what you do in counselling that it helped me. I’m not going to talk in big deal about what was uncovered today or overthought but I know that this was the first step. The first step to recovery is accepting help and I’ve done that. I’ve also accepted today that I have a lot of issues to work through and that I can feel better if I get it off my chest. Immediately after leaving I felt lighter. Emotionally and physically. I felt a bit more empowered. She helped me to decide to cancel my operation till I’m ready again and to allow myself to deal with that. She’s helped me realise that I’m not a bad person and that I’m not to blame for everything that happened to me.

I’m excited to see how the rest of my journey will go and how it’ll help me learn to control my thought process. I’m looking forward to feeling more in control and taking steps to be happy.