Monday, 10 September 2018

Being Diagnosed with IBS

Ok, so, it's been months of tests, GPs feeling your tummy, specialists feeling your tummy, specialists putting cameras where cameras don't belong, to be told 'It's just IBS'.

And you feel... what exactly?

So, it's just IBS. Just. 

No biggie, right?

2 in 10 people in the UK have IBS. Now you're just another.

It's the 'just' that kind of hurts here. Doctors act like you should be super relieved, I mean IBS won't kill you. And you should be relieved!! It could be way worse!! But does that mean I can't still be upset that my bowels don't work properly? That I deal with horrendous stomach cramps almost every day, that my bowel habits are completely unpredictable, that I have to spend hours and hours on the toilet daily?

I know, it really could be worse.

But that doesn't change the fact that this has really affected me, and so many others living with IBS in the UK. There's no known 'cure' exactly for IBS, and everyone has their own ways of relieving the symptoms. I personally decided to try peppermint tablets after reading recommendations online, and hello honey this made things a million times worse. The only advice my doctor gave me was to learn to manage the pain and go on with my daily life.

And yeah, I'm trying.

But the thing with IBS is that it comes out of nowhere, it creeps up on you when you least want it to. It reacts to anxiety and stress, worrying about a big event? Here are all of your IBS symptoms to go along with that stress!! Good luck!!

I had personally been seeking help for anxiety since my teens, and my recent IBS diagnosis has flared up my mental health tenfold. I became afraid of being anywhere that was not somewhere where I was familiar with the route to the nearest bathroom that I could access at a moment's notice. This made any public outing feel distressing, particularly those including being in cars for any length of time, I became terrified of being stuck in traffic for fear that I would begin having an IBS emergency and have nowhere to run to. Nausea is also a common symptom with IBS which meant any sort of journey made me feel sick, which made my anxiety hit the roof, so I stopped wanting to go anywhere at all.

But, y'know, it's just IBS.

It's been six months now since I first started experiencing serious symptoms of IBS and three since my formal diagnosis. For the first time in six months I am not having panic attacks about going on public transport, I am learning to use medication to manage my symptoms, and I am continually tracking my diet for ways to improve the pain. I am almost starting to feel like myself again, but like a *new* self - one who just has to regularly deal with this stuff.

This post is not to ask for sympathy or try to say that IBS is any worse than any other disorders. Because it's true, many people DO have it worse!! I do feel lucky that my diagnosis is not serious, but that does not change what I'm going through at the minute.

Big love to all my readers, especially those dealing with any sort of physical or mental health issues. If you think you have any symptoms such as bloating, cramping, changes in your bowel habits, indigestion, fatigue, please see your GP. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Friday, 7 September 2018

I failed all my 2018 resolutions - but I don't care!!

Hey everyone still reading this. Friends, followers, nosey parkers.
If you can cast your mind back to January, which actually feels like last week, I made a blog post detailing my 2018 goals. And now it's September and I am writing a similar blogpost detailing how so far I have failed at exactly ALL of these goals...

'Take Care of Myself'

Ok. This one I *might* have succeeded in, in a way, but not in the way I intended. The main goal was to stop eating and drinking so much crap, and it's now September and for lunch I had two Mars Bars. Soooooo probably not? But in a way, I am taking care of myself. My previous anxiety strategies were to IGNORE THE FEELINGS AND THEY WILL GO AWAY. Honey this ain't truuuuuuuue!!! This year I made a really big step and started seeing a counsellor. Albeit, they are telephone and online appointments which can't hold a candle to some face-to-face talking but they are helping incredibly. I never wanted to go into counselling again after having a poor experience with CAMHS as a teen, but this time my GP picked up on an anxiety attack when I came in to discuss stomach pains. Since then I've been majorly taking care of my mental health, getting enough sleep and drinking a lot less alcohol. I still eat tonnes of chocolate and sweeties and skip meals but hey, we gotta start somewhere.

'Read More'

This one is a big fat joke. I've read a grand total of 2 books in the last nine months. Someone slap me on the wrist right here right now. I own so many books too! And they're all so interesting! But I just want to scroll social media all the time or be asleep!!

'Finish Second Year With A First'

Yeah, nope. But I did finish the year with a 68. 2 marks off my precious first. It stings a bit because I know I tried to put my all into it this year. However in May I received my first ever 2:2 grade and honestly thought of dropping out altogether. A 2:2?! How could I cope?! It seems dramatic now but this was a piece of work I'd put my ALL into - blood, sweat, tears. I felt so down reading the comments about how I'd produced a good piece of work but completely missed the point of the assignment which had apparently been made 'explicitly' clear (not to me CLEARLY). I missed several seminars due to my looming anxiety and feeling too down to face my peers so I must have missed something and felt too nervy to speak to any of my lecturers to admit what was going on. In hindsight, I now know how loving the EngLang department is at my uni and I hope that if I feel like this next year I'll have the balls to speak to my lecturers to catch up on what I've missed. But hey - 68's still pretty damn good (will still cry if I don't get 70 next year).

'Put myself out there when I don't want to'

Yeah, mmm, no. Not really.
I'm putting myself out here right now, writing this post sharing way too many private details about my life, which is exactly what I wanted. However up until this point it's been a hard year for my self esteem. Illness really knocked me down this year and I've found it hard to get back on my feet, let alone then SHARE it all on here or apply to stuff I didn't have the confidence to follow through with. Maybe this can improve in the last 3 months of the year.

I suppose the take away from this blog post is maybe that time is arbitrary, the idea of '2018' means nothing and I am not going to feel like a failure thanks to some little goals I wrote down. I have had a hell of a year and I am actually just happy I'm still here smiling. 

Lizzie 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

one small step for man, one giant leap for liz

dear reader,

ahead is a tale of incredible bravery. 



this weekend i conquered some of my biggest anxiety triggers.

in the last six months, i have avoided almost everything i was even mildly afraid of. since being diagnosed with IBS - i've been afraid of alcohol, eating out, being away from home. 

and this weekend i did ALL of those things.

i took a train to Birmingham, went out for dinner, drank alcohol, ordered Dominos (takeaway is a major fear too) and woke up the next morning and got back on another train.

(!!!)

to so many people, these seem like such simple things. to myself a year ago, these were simple! going out 3 times a week and waking up and using public transport was easy! but as my anxiety began to take over my brain this year i found myself having panic attacks at the thought of most of these things, especially if they were without my boyfriend by my side.

but honey I did it !!

i can't wait to keep pushing myself in the future.
here's to the rest of 2018.

lizzie x 

Friday, 27 July 2018

on finishing second year


~~~~ i wrote this blog post on the 17th may 2018, but felt too scared to upload it because i felt ashamed of talking about my anxiety publicly. today i decided to push myself and put this out there ~~~~~



last year i wrote a bit of a soppy nostalgic post about finishing first year.
i talked about highs and lows and how overall i thought i'd miss the comfort of my halls but i was excited for the future.


my thoughts on second year are a bit jumbled.
this has been one of those weird years where i feel i've retreated back into my shell.
at the start of the year i was up for anything, i completely balanced getting good grades with loads of nights out, feeling incredible in myself and loving every second.



the second half of the year took a sharp turn, i started doubting myself, i started becoming less up for nights out, more scared of the effects alcohol could have on my anxious thoughts, i stopped wanting to take selfies, to tweet, to blog, to bump into people i knew on campus.



uni started feeling like a chore. i completely threw myself into my work because i didn't know what else to do, but still my grades began to slip compared to the previous semester, my panic attacks became more frequent and the snow was a welcome excuse to not leave the house.

i had my last exam of second year on monday and i felt nothing but relief. now, a few days later, looking back on the past year feel sad that i let myself push everything away. the people i stopped messaging because i thought i was bothering them, the way i continually compared myself to everyone else, the times i was too shy to branch out.

but sadness is a waste of time. if i spent all day looking back at the good times with rose tinted glasses i'd never move on. there have been so many good times this year that have been swarmed in my memory by the bad, but there's nothing more to do.

i considered leaving a parting message on this post about looking forward to third year, but i don't have any coherent thoughts on that right now.


Saturday, 7 April 2018

~~ tabby teas cat cafe sheffield ~~


hi guys!! 
long time no see. thought i'd share a new post about one of my fave spots in sheffield since i went back again today, and that's tabby teas!! 



nestled in cemetary road, tabby teas is sheffield's first cat cafe, home to twelve permanent kitty-kat residents. 

the cafe has a lovely relaxed feel to it, and i can't see why anyone wouldn't want to spend their afternoon with some purry pals and a good coffee!

if you have a spare afternoon in the area... why not spend it with these little loves?


(i feel you kitty, zzz......)

lizzie x 

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

new years day ~ a look


Hello again beautiful blog followers !!
This post is something I've not done in YONKS because I've been too conscious that my personal style is poo and no one would be interested but in the interest of my new mantra 'feel the fear and do it anyway' here is the outfit I wore for a meal on new years day 2018. 

top, jumper and culottes are all primark, jewellery is from maude's (boston) and argento (doncaster) and the shoes are classic vans. 
the nail varnish is barry m's molten metals collection in shade 'copper mine'. 





lizzie x 

Monday, 1 January 2018

2018 RESOLUTIONS




Hey everyone, it's me, your girl, back with a few 2018 resolutions. 

TAKE CARE OF MYSELF

Yeah, you've heard this one on every damn blog out there. In 2017, i conquered looking after my head, I learnt to say 'no' to work, friends, and pressure where I needed to be alone. I pushed past some MAJOR mental barriers in my life like being able to talk to new people way more easily and getting over my lifelong phobia of escalators, but this year it's different. 2018 is the year of the body. I might look after my mind but I treat my body like SHIT. I eat CRAP 24/7. Not even exaggerating I have chocolate for breakfast at least 3 days a week. This year I'm focussing on keeping my health in check. 
Not only that, but I want to make sure I'm taking good care of my skin, my hair and not just throwing on the same unflattering outfit 7 days a week. I want to love myself!! 

READ MORE

Okay so I do an English degree but man I just never read. I do an English Language degree that doesn't require any proper book reading like a literature degree does so this means I totally neglect reading. I'm super lucky to have been gifted 8 books for Christmas this year so uhh, no excuses I guess!

FINISH SECOND YEAR WITH A FIRST

Last year I was lucky enough to finish first year at UOB studying English Language and Literature and achieve 67% (a 2:1). I've since moved over to a straight English Language degree so there's some aspect of 'catching up' with those who've done this from the start, but I'm trying my best so far and I'd reaaaally like to bump my 67 up to a 70 this year!! Best get my head down. 

PUT MYSELF OUT THERE EVEN WHEN I DON'T WANT TO

Okay, so even right now my anxiety is telling me not to write this blog post, not to publish it, and sure as hell not to share it. I've struggled with this for a really long time, writing posts to nobody and cowering away from things I really want to do out of pure WORRY. 

~~ Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway ~~