Education, Personal

Blog admiration.

I like learning. I have always had, and always will, probably. 103 days ago, to be perfectly precise, I decided to learn simultaneously two languages, after reading several articles about the benefit of it. I already talked about that experiment, if you recall: I chose two languages that I already encountered, German and Italian. I […]

via The Language Experiment: 100 days later… — Right through my journey

If you’re looking for an insight into teaching, languages and travel… this lovely lady has a brilliant blog! She’s pretty funny… and intelligent! Go check her out…

health, Personal

Holiday on hold, my immune system is at war.

This is not something I’ve had the courage to openly discuss with more than three people before, so please be kind whilst I explain my current situation, as it’s taking over my life. 

After yet another trip to my doctor two weeks ago, I am waiting for an appointment for a scan, to see if I have Endometriosis. What’s that? Well, Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body (endometriosis.org) and what it brings is hours of excruciating pain, painful bowel movements (and Irritable Bowel Syndrome type symptoms), heavy and painful periods, pains in the back and legs, fatigue, nausea, depression and a few other issues (Endometriosis-UK) which will inevitably vary between women, but can severely impact the quality of life for those suffering.

Whilst many people may laugh it off as ‘just period pains’ or someone being a ‘typical dramatic woman’, I strongly urge you to think twice before using these sorts of phrases, as this is so much more than that. I am talking about hours and hours of crippling pain, to the point where I cannot even walk to the toilet, or make myself a drink. It is lying in a bath for four hours because it is the only way to even slightly reduce the pain. It’s crying hysterically for hours because of the pain and nothing that will stop it. It is calling for an ambulance because something is clearly not right, only for them to take four hours to arrive and then give you a shot of morphine and say you’ll be fine in the morning. That is rarely the case. 

Once an episode of pain starts, it can, in my situation, last for days. Sometimes weeks. Paracetamol? Ha! What a waste of time. It has absolutely no impact on the pain whatsoever. Hot water bottles? Most of the time the pressure of one being on my stomach only makes it worse. Eating? Why eat when I’m already bloated enough to look 5 months pregnant!? I would also like to quickly mention how awful the bloating can be. It’s painful, uncomfortable and also distressing being asked if I’m pregnant. No, I’m not. Don’t be so rude! 


It’s a no-win situation some days. Nothing I do will ease the pain and it feels like I am fighting world war three inside my own body. 

I have had months in the past where I have been in bed for up to 10 days, barely able to move from bed to bathroom. Some months the pain just carries on into the next month with barely any rest. Which has caused me to call in sick for work, only to be laughed at or been given written warnings for time off. Out of the three employers I have tried to explain my condition to, not one of them has even attempted to understand. I’ve had the typical, judgemental responses of, ‘you’ll just have to toughen up’ or ‘well all women get periods, get over it’ or something else along those lines. Is that really acceptable? No. I do not think so.

Endometriosis affects over 176 million women worldwide (Endofound) and people clearly need to be more aware of this illness, and stop dismissing it as period pains, woman troubles, or any other lame excuse people come up with, instead of doing some research and stop being so ignorant. 

That’s all I have to say right now, as once again I’m dealing with a horrible amount of discomfort. I have prepared myself for the night ahead, and can only hope I can find a way of staying just slightly comfortable tonight.


health, Personal

Decluttering my head.

Lately I seem to be making some irrational decisions, and I have come to the conclusion that my life is an a fairly unstable mess.

With few friends, only a part time job and a shed-load of debt, finding the positives becomes a little difficult some days. Especially when you’ve just messed up the most wonderful relationship because your brain decides to tell you nasty things and fill your head with insecurities.

You often hear, “All girls are crazy!”, and right now, I feel as crazy as they come.

I have decided on a few ‘things’ to help me work through my cluttered mind, body and soul. (Yes, all of it. It’s a mess.)

  • Forgiveness – I have so many angry, upsetting memories that I just can’t let go of, but I have decided that I must. They are poisoning me. I will forgive people for what they have done wrong to me, I will forgive myself for my wrong-doings, and I will forgive myself for not taking care of myself when I needed it the most. I feel like this is a fundamental part of moving forward with my life.
  • Recognize my accomplishments – another negative is that I constantly put myself down about absolutely everything, despite having two University degrees and having worked 4 jobs throughout one of them. I can hold a conversation in at least two languages, and am trying to learn more. I can cook, sew, make a pretty decent coffee, I am creative, clever, occasionally hilarious and almost always kind to others. They don’t seem like such bad attributes right? So why, why, why, do I have such a negative opinion of myself? This is going to stop. Right now.
  • Breathing – Although I STILL haven’t been to a yoga class (it’s been 3 years I’ve been saying I’ll go, and I still haven’t.) I am starting to learn to breathe differently. I breathe to calm myself down, to relax, to think, to just be. It is absolutely unbelievable how much breathing properly helps in stressful situations. I am going to make even more of an effort to relax, breathe, and unwind during my days. Part of this will include finding a yoga class I can afford, and try and find an effective way to meditate.
  • Self-talk  – I constantly beat myself up and let my worries completely take over my mind, causing stress to my body and bringing out the worst in myself. I tell myself I’m useless, worthless, stupid, horrible and many other things. This will stop, as I said above, and I mean it. I am going to practice self-talk to bring more positive vibes into my mind, and to help rebuild my confidence (which is currently at about -10000). Negative self-talk can be immensely, emotionally crippling and damage our health more than we often realize, and I am going to stop it. I found an interesting article on Spirituality & Health on the benefits of Self-Talk, written by Linda Carbone.
  • WRITE MORE! I have noticed how little I write these days, compared to a year or two ago when I would fill notebook after notebook with thoughts and ideas and emotions. I am confident that by writing out my worries I can reflect better, and release my thoughts from my head, rather than bottling them up inside me, which leads to…
  • Being more open – I worry too often about hurting someone else’s feelings, therefore I keep my opinions or feelings to myself. If I feel that someone has been unkind, or is pushing me out, I let it bubble up inside and hurt myself, rather than discussing the issue. I 100% will be more open about what I am thinking and feeling, as this as once again caused a break down in certain relationships recently.

Whilst I have a few other options in the background (I am exercising more, and looking into mindfulness), I am going to start with these pointers and hope that they begin to make a difference.

If anyone has any thoughts or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments section! xo

Personal

Living with depression.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to live a ‘normal’ life whilst dealing with depression. Yet, here I am. Working 50+ hours a week. Eating properly. Going to the gym. Making travel plans. Trying to make new friends. Days go by where I think, wow! Maybe I’ve finally recovered! And then it hits me. It hits me in a way that I’ve never felt depression before. As if I’m letting my depression down by functioning. It is engulfing. Rather than feeling stronger, for functing with depression, I feel weak for trying to move on with my life. Then, the overwhelming waves of terrifying thoughts seep back into my brain and force themselves out again through floods of tears. Sometimes, I wonder, why I ever pushed myself to start living again when everything else is pulling me back to the world of utter despair and darkness.

Personal, Uncategorized

“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.”
Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
I stumbled across this quote this afternoon and I can relate to it so much. Maybe, if I could see a light, or an end, or something up in the distance that made sense, then maybe this constant struggle would be tolerable. If I knew it would do me some good, somewhere in the future. I know we appreciate things more once the struggle is over, once you’ve lost something, all of those cliche sayings that we know are true. However, dealing with depression on a daily basis feels like I’m at war with myself, and I’m losing drastically. I just want to know that it’s going to be worth the fight in the end. Anyone else?

Personal, Sheffield Life

Thriving Thursday.

What a rebel I am, not setting my alarm last night.

Luckily, I woke up early enough and managed to get myself ready in enough time and make myself some lunch and snacks. #GoClaire

I had my listening Chinese lecture in some maze of a building (Bartholome House) and it really was quite ridiculous. I must admit I struggled with it. Half the time I didn’t know what the lady was going on about, but I’ll get there.
Then I went to the job and volunteering fair with my lovely friend Maddy, put my email down for some great organisations.
 
Working hard.
Working hard.
We decided to have lunch, ate potato wedges and sat in the sunshine on the restaurant balcony and it was just beeeeeeeeeeeeeautiful. 
Maddy's were covered in cheese and bacon #omg
Maddy’s were covered in cheese and bacon #omg
Speaking class wasn’t too bad at all, the lady was two years younger than me. It’s insane, but she’s so sweet and quietly spoken. She said my pronunciation was excellent and I could even move up a level if I wanted to.
Then I went and wondered around town, looking for ‘Never Let Me Go‘ but Waterstone’s wanted £9.99 and WHSmith had none. Instead, I did something wonderfully exciting.
I have signed up to sponsor the most gorgeous little guide puppy called Dasher and he is just beautiful. I can’t wait to get all of my puppy updates!
Signing Up!
Signing Up!
Then I went to the One World cafe afternoon event, which is aimed at international students but hey, I’m pretty international. I turned up alone. (SO not something I would do). Met a really nice Japanese girl called Yuki, then we met Eduardo and Duman, and then we were joined by the lovely Taiwanese Jenny. We all just sat and drank coffee, ate cake and biscuits and laughed at the most random of things. Then we all did a quick facebook add. Such good fun!
Coffee, Tea, Cupcakes, Bourbons and new friends x
Coffee, Tea, Cupcakes, Bourbons and new friends x
Rushed off to babysit the most adorable little girl called Annie. She is unbelievably cute and even tucks her self in at night, with about 5 bears, tigers and kitties. 
Watching Frozen together
Watching Frozen together
Came home and had fajitas and a bit of a movie night with the housemate ladies, of course we watched Eastenders, Family Guy and finally 50 ways to kill your mammy. Talk about hilarious.
This was the best midnight snack.
This was the best midnight snack.
I am having the best time I’ve ever had in my life.
I’m just so stupidly happy.
                                  xo