Feel the fear and do it anyway.

That sentence (taken from the title of a famous self-help book) is one that I heard about a million times during my 'treatment' and, to be honest, I've generally regarded it as a load of crap. However...

As much as I hate to admit it (and believe me, I really do) it has become a bit of a mantra for me recently. I tested it out when I went ice skating. I was scared. I was uncoordinated. But then that little sentence popped into my head and I just thought, 'F*ck it, how bad can it be?' And I skated. Not gracefully, or quickly, but I managed to go round three times without holding onto the side.

Since then I've been trying to apply it to slightly more significant things in life, and it's going alright so far. Today was a big one: I did lead adult for a whole morning at work, and I went to the hospital where I was once a patient to visit a friend. That was definitely a biggie, and something I could never have done even a few weeks ago.

I think the most important bit of the sentence is the 'feel the fear' part; it's OK to feel afraid, you just shouldn't let it hold you back.

Sorry if you're finding these kind of posts all a bit cheesy/self-interested/full of therapy bollocks... I guess it's just where my head's at right now.

The dog days are over?


On Thursday evening I tweeted the following:

@distract_me: Y'know, I think things might just turn out ok.

This may seem like a fairly innocuous comment, but to me it's extremely significant. I had a conversation with my care co-ordinator on Wednesday about what being well means for me. I'll probably share my specific thoughts on that matter another time, but the conversation made me realise that I really am feeling much more 'well' than I did even a couple of months ago.

Finally I feel like I can look at the future without feeling filled with dread or,worse, complete apathy. . It's taken a while, and really it's only now that I can look back on my darkest days/weeks/months and realise just how dark they were. To be honest, it scares me.

I'm not saying I'm completely cured, but I feel like I might be starting to get there. Will everything be easy from now on? Of course not. Life is difficult. But I can finally say that it might just be worth the struggle. Just maybe.

Eat me.




The yummiest stuff that has passed my lips this week.

Follow Fursday

I'm writing this post on Saturday, so it's like I'm time travelling. This is exactly what The Doctor must feel like.

OK. The blog that I think you most need in your life this week is:


It's Brittany Gibbons' wonderfully-written account of her eats, anxieties, marriage, kids, and life-in-general. And it is hil-ar-ious. And inspiring. It often makes me laugh and cry, normally both at the same time. Oh, and her TED talk was awesome (if you've ever hated your body, you need to listen to it).

30 beofre 30: The Final 10.

I know, I can't believe I've stretched this one out for three posts either. Here's the final installment:

21. Seriously consider vegetarianism. This one might sound a bit weird to some people, but I've always thought there was something in that vegetarianism lark, even if only because of the environmental impact of mass farming. I want to research it properly and commit to if (if I'm going to). Besides, my diet pretty much makes me half a vegetarian anyway.
22. Take a course in psychology or counselling.
23. Run a marathon. I know. I can't believe I just wrote that either.
24. Attend the 10th anniversary of Fake Christmas.
25. Sample every type of cuisine in one sitting at Cardiff's Red Hot World Buffet. I need to do this before I do 21, obviously.
26. Go for a whole week without watching TV. I spend far too much time watching TV. If I fail this one I'll have no option but to become Grace Dent when I'm older. Note: that would be awesome.
27. Go back to Center Parcs. I went once. It was goooooooooooood.
28. Continue to post regularly on my blog, and learn some fancy html/photo stuff.
29. Go to a blogger meet up. This scares me.
30. Do something new every week. I did this when I lived in Norway. It was a very good idea.

OK, I officially have 1521 days to tick them all off.

Easy... Right?

30 before 30: Part Deux

Part two of my 30 before 30...

11. Go to at least 25 gigs. For about 6 months (in my student days) I went to a gig a week. These days it's more like two a year. I need to sort this out.
12. Submit a PostSecret. If you don't know what this is, you need to get yourself to www.postsecret.com right now.
13. Complete this round of CBT and put every effort into making it continue to work for me.
14. Enter my writing into a competition. I'm scared about this one, I'm not really very good at 'putting myself out there'.
15. Join a book group.
16. Read at least 100 new books. See number 15.
17. Read ALL the Babysitters' Club Books (and don't include them in the '100 new books'!). A childhood ambition, and an excellent suggestion from my friend Kirsty.
18. Buy a new album every month, and review it on the blog.
19. Get a sewing machine.
20. Get my hair professionally coloured. It's ridiculous for a 25-year old woman to be scared of her own hair.

Part three tomorrow...

30 before 30: 1 to 10

I've mentioned it a few times in previous posts, and I think I've finally cracked my 30 before 30. I've tried to go for a mixture of big and small things, and have tried to make sure that everything is achievable financially (so no 'round the world' trip unfortunately) and within my control (so no 'have three children' or any of that crap). Being the slightly lazy blogger that I am, I've decided to stretch this out over three posts. I also figured that would allow me to explain some of the things properly.

So, here are numbers one to ten:
  1. Go to Glastonbury Festival. I love gigs, and I've been to Reading a few times, but I've never done the big one. I know I would love it.
  2. Go to Scotland. I've never been which, taking into consideration my Dad's love of UK holidays, is a bit weird.
  3. Go on another family holiday.
  4. Travel outside of Europe.
  5. Go back to Norway (for a visit).
  6. Pass my driving test. Lack of money and confidence have put me off doing this so far (I came close once) and to be honest, it's not something that I'm currently that worried about doing, but it is a skill that I want to get under my belt.
  7. Learn to walk in heels. This is seriously holding me back!
  8. Perform on stage. Note: school nativity play does not count. Although, given the hours of practice and nervous energy that go into it, it probably should.
  9. Volunteer.
  10. Get a tattoo.
Part two will be available for your viewing pleasure tomorrow...

WAMK: Two out of three ain't bad.

Well, this was going to be my 'gym review' post, where I shared my good news about lost centimetres/lamented my lack of progress, but life got in the way. After a massive meltdown on Sunday night I was pretty much a zombie on Monday, and had no chance of making my review. And I can't reschedule it yet because I don't know when I've got a work meeting next week. So it's pretty much a massive fail on the gym review front.

However...

I have done pretty well with not overeating. The keys to my success so far have been eating dinner off a smaller plate and making sure I eat enough protein (I am usually a carb-fiend).  Oh, and Options hot chocolate. Love that stuff. I did eat my feelings once this week, but I'm pretty proud that I only did it once, considering the kind of week it's been!

I've also not done too bad at going to the gym, despite the setback at the beginning of the week. I managed four times which I'm really happy with.

So, yeah... Go me.

(You can find the other Where Are My Knees pledgers here.)

Two brilliant things...

Me again. Just wanted to point you in the direction of two brilliant things currently floating around in the blogsphere:

  1. Char's Random Act of Kindness blog swap. I love kind people, and I also love getting things in the post, so I can;t really recommend this highly enough. If you want to sign up (and, frankly, why wouldn't you) the link is here.
  2. Ella's amazing moccasins. Feel free to buy them, but if you get the size 7's before I do (I think they're coming in next week), I might have to kill you. You have been warned.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend.




Baby you're a firework...



DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Actually do, but stand well back.  


A few scenes from last Saturday night. I went round to my friend's house to watch some films, and then his brother remembered that there were fireworks left over from New Year's Eve... I'm very proud of the fact that I helped to light the bad boy in picture three.

I really do love fireworks.

Follow Fursday

If (like me) you're a big fan of the 'lifestyle' blog (so, essentially, like me, you're nosy) you should hop on over to:

Little Blog of Horrors

Ayden's blog is a wonderfully written diary of her escapades and accompanied by great photos. I love her tattoos (even if I would never be brave enough to get them myself!) and her style. And, as her tattoos suggest, she is a fellow tea lover, which is never a bad thing...

Remember, remember...



These are my scrapbooks (they're just plain Paperchase ones that I've drawn on). I've been using them since 2008, and I've nearly filled up three. I don't tend to write much in them (I save that for my here and my journals), but I fill them up with tickets, cards, bills, lists, basically any little mementos of my very ordinary life. I don't look back on them often, but when I do I'm always reminded of little things that would have otherwise slipped my mind.

Looking through them today, I came across a list I made when I was in Norway, of three positive things that happened every day. I completely forgot I'd done that but I think now might be a good time to start doing it again (sometimes I need reminding that it's not all bad!). I'll probably use twitter to do it rather than the blog.... So, if you don't already follow me, and you enjoy listening to inane details about my life, hop on over to @distract_me

In other news, my '30 before 30' is coming along nicely, so if you have any last minute suggestions feel free to comment.

Until next time...

Makes: My new folder.



I wanted a new folder to put all my bits and pieces from CBT in, but I couldn't find anything I liked. So I decided to make my first venture into decoupage (essentially, sticking colourful bits of paper on card with loads and loads of PVA glue.)

What do you think?

Clay by David Almond

My not-so-secret obsession with teen fiction continues apace. In my secondary school English teacher days, Skellig (also by Almond) was a year seven staple. I enjoyed that so I figured Clay was worth a (charity shop) purchase.

In many ways the two books are quite similar; both are narrated in the first person by teenage boys, and both blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality as mythical creatures enter the lives of very ordinary people.

In Clay I really enjoyed Almond's examination of sanity and madness, and the themes do actually become quite dark in places.

At times it does feel as though Almond has written the book for school children to analyse; the themes are less than subtle and a lot of the characterisation is laced with stereotype. That said, the plot is pacey and surprising and, for teens/fellow teen fiction affectionados, well worth a read.

Cheap as chips.

I humbly present to you... My sales bargains! A little overdue, I know, but my camera went on holiday and has only just returned (I didn't get to go with it).

Here are my favourite bit and bobs:

Dorothy Perkins jewellery: £5 for the whole hand! Aside: how fat does my hand look?! Does this mean I have to start doing weird hand exercises? (Eating less might not be an option.)

Fat Face dress and necklace, £13.50 for the two. I slightly regret not buying the dress in more colours.

I went a bit mad in Forever 21. I've never been in there before. I reckon the quality and pricing are somewhere in between Primark and H&M. I took the opportunity to stock up on work-friendly BOGOF sale t-shirts.

And finally a couple of earring purchases that weren't in the sales. Obviously I had to have the bird earrings.

I've been a bit of a rubbish blogger this week (didn't even manage a Follow Fursday), so I've given myself and slap on the wrist and told myself to do better next week. I'm in the middle of a '30 before 30' so any suggestions/links to other people's would be much appreciated...

Bits and pieces.

Unfortunately (for you) my brain is two wiped (yes, I did just type 'two', that's how tired I am) to do a proper post today.

However, I do have a couple of things I want to say, so here goes:

I am now on twitter, so if you haven't already found me there, get to it! My username is @distract_me

I'm thinking about doing a '30 before 30' (see Sofia's here) as a way to target set without a crappy 'five year plan' (look where they got Stalin... and he wasn't even bothered about the odd human rights violation). But is life planning stupid? As the past year has shown me, life tends to get in the way of a well-laid plan... What do you think?

Life is a beautiful ride...

My long-awaited (by me) blog catch up session has thrown up this beauty, courtesy of Jess at I Rock So What. The generous lady has put the print up on her blog to download for free here.

What are you waiting for?

I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be quite the ride... (tee hee).

WAMK: Back to life, back to reality.

Christmas eating is over, Christmas eating is over, Christmas eating is over...

I'm thinking that if I type it enough times I'll start to believe it. Now, I'm not the type of person who eats like crazy on Christmas day. No, I'm the type of person who eating like crazy from mid-November until New Year's day. I really wish I was joking, but alas I am not.

Still, new year, new start and all that. I'm still going to the gym three/four times a week and I'm really noticing the difference in terms of my fitness and also my mood. I just have to get the eating right so I can start to notice a difference in terms of my body. I'm going for portion control, and am seeing if eating my dinner off a side plate will help me out.

This may well be a drop in the ocean, but every little helps, right?*

*I'm not sponsored by Tesco, I'm just a very lazy writer.

I Had A Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone

I got this book as (an incredibly thoughtful) Christmas present from my friend Jen. It's essentially a picture book about depression, and it's beautiful. In one sentence per page it says more than your average self-help book (and a lot more than your average NHS leaflet!)

In places I literally wept with recognition, yet I still managed to finish the book with a smile on my face.

If you, or someone you love, has been affected by depression, then I cannot recommend this book enough.

Follow Fursday

In a spectacular display of nepotism, this week I am recommending...

YouTune

Set up by my little bro' as part of a uni project, this blog 'is dedicated to the music that changes your life for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, till death (usually at the age of 27) do you part.'

It's full of people's personal explanations of why certain songs mean so much to them, and it's a must-visit for music fans (and that's not just the nepotism talking).

Go and follow! Or better still, contribute.

Walking in a winter wonderland...



Cardiff's Winter Wonderland. Our outdoor skating session was hampered slightly by the pouring rain (my predictions that, 'There'll probably be a roof over it' proved untrue). The ice rink was a bit like a swimming pool by the time we finally gave up and went to the pub.


Our ring of fire. Which we finished. In one piece. Well, almost.

I'm here!

I decided it was time to get a URL that made sense! Feel free to unfollow the old one, I'll just be filling it with 'I've moved' posts.

Welcome.

Turn around, bright eyes...

I've been indulging in a LOT of SingStar over the festive period, so I've decided to share a few of my favourites with you (because I'm kind like that). Feel free to google the lyrics and sing along (I'm totally going to).









All together now: Every now and then I FALL APAAAAAAAAARRRRRTT...

Crisis/resolution.

Happy 2012!

My resolutions are:
  1. To go on an adventure during the summer holidays.
  2. To give everything I can to making the CBT work for me, and help me making long-lasting changes.
  3. To learn to walk in heels.

Wish me luck, I might well need it! Especially for number three. If you think it sounds easy, you are most definitely over-estimating my levels of balance and co-ordination.

What are yours? Or have you decided not to bother this year?