Posted in General Issues, Life

When Anxiety Attacks

I have re-written the first sentence of this blog about 15 times. I can’t say I’ve ever thought about writing about my anxiety before. I can’t say I’ve always had it. I can’t say I really cope with it.

Today, however, something small has set off a chain of panics in my head. The battle has begun.

 

Glass of Water Analogy

 

I read an analogy a while ago about stress but only now has it begun to really sum up my feelings.

Stress and anxiety are like holding a glass of water. Hold them and think about them for a short time and everything is fine. Think about them for a longer period of time and they begin to feel uncomfortable. And if you think about them all the time, the glass become immensely heavy, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything or moving forward.

What happens when we add more water?  What if you fill the glass to the top? Things tend to get shaky.  You have difficulty focusing and water spills out. Now you worry about the water that has spilled too. If someone is talking to you now you have difficulty paying attention and holding the glass still. You’ve also been taught that spilling is bad and you should be ashamed of your self for letting that water spill. So now you can’t focus, you feel shame and to top it off your arm really hurts.

You might just consider to put the damn glass down for a while.

How do I put the glass down?

 

This week/month a few extra problems have cropped up in addition to my usual worries.

 

Issue 1 – Flat Inspection

I came back to my apartment on Sunday night after a weekend with my parents to find a letter, stating that my Landlord’s agents will be inspecting my place on Wednesday. They haven’t given a reason why, just a note to say that if a cooker is included it must be in working order.

I’ve only been in the flat for 3 months, how would I have broken the cooker? Why wouldn’t I let someone know if I had? What are they looking for? I haven’t set up some sort of crack den to prejudice my lease, I don’t even have a goldfish because of a no pets rule.

The troops are called up, I can feel the tension between the world leaders in my head.

 

Issue 2 – Money

This is always an issue. I won’t bore you with details but I have just changed jobs and moved so money is tight and to top it off, my car insurance is due. Cue the £1,000 leaving my account halfway through the month. Pay day can’t come quick enough and even then I’m going to be in my overdraft.

This issue is well-known, it’s like the army have handed out the uniforms. It happens so often everyone knows the drill.

 

Issue 3 – Holiday

We’ve hit the summer and as all my friends jet off on holiday I stay in the same place. My mother is putting pressure on me to go on holiday. My colleagues have all booked August holidays and as I’m the only one without children I have to wait till September to take mine out of school holiday time.

With regards to who to go with, your guess is as good as mine. My friends and I finished University last June and so have all been working for a year now. I haven’t taken any time off since July 2016, my friends are in flexible jobs so they’ve had their 20 days + bank holidays. Where they have managed to save up enough money to book their foreign jaunts with their respective partners, I have changed jobs so my savings have gone on a new flat, furniture and a new car.

No one seems to understand that I haven’t got time, money or company to go on holiday with.

The men have been deployed, trained and are waiting for the signal.

 

The final drop

I was given some furniture on Monday and after two friends loaded it into my car it was too late to ask them to unload it at my apartment. It’s a chest of draws and side table. Last night I removed all the draws and the side table, putting them in my first floor flat. I realised that the actual chest is too much for me to handle on my own. I became annoyed by this. I have a friend coming over at the weekend specifically to help me but I Hate being dependant on other people (especially as this friend has a track record for cancelling on me). If he doesn’t turn up I have a chest of draws in my car until I can get someone to help.

Having tried and failed to lift the furniture I noticed it has gouged a chunk out of the boot of my car. I am in love with my car as a previous blog post shows. I could cry.

This little drop of annoyance has tipped me over the edge. First shots are fired and the battle commences.

 

Fixes

I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t have little anxiety moments like this. It probably developed in my early teens. My mother has issues with it so I assume it’s hereditary.

I’ve spent a difficult morning trying to balance doing my work, running to the loo to be sick and googling ways to handle anxiety attacks.

The world leaders are not helping. The war is raging on.

They all say the same thing. Diet, Exercise and Sleep.

  1. Diet – I’m trying. I eat pretty healthily with the occasional treat. What’s life if you don’t enjoy your food? I’m not going to eat muesli for every meal.
  2. Exercise – Gyms cost money. I’m lazy and categorically refuse to run. I’ve got no one to join a fun fitness class with.
  3. Sleep – My fitbit suggests I sleep around 6 to 7 hours and wake up twice during the night. How do you fix this when you have so much to wake up and worry about?

 

My stubborn and hugely inflated ego is refusing to let me go to a doctor or speak to a professional about this. Partly because I’m too proud and partly because I have a gun license (don’t judge me for the gun license, I come from a farm, we have guns and I rarely shoot anything other than clay disks). It is a million times harder to renew it when you have any history of mental health issues, even if you’ve been ‘cured’.

I’m going to try aromatherapy.

More specifically I’m going to spend my saturday afternoon laying on the sofa burning camomile and lavender oil whilst watching a hallmark romance film.

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Posted in Family, Friends, Life, Random Thoughts, Relationships

More attached to my Car than my Partner

My latest relationship failure has made me think more about the fact I’m more attached to my cars than my relationships.

Is that my problem or theirs?

Please don’t take this the wrong way, I do not have any sort of physical relationship with my car. I would never go so far as to be someone who marries their vehicle. The people who ‘come out’ as being in a relationship with an object confuse me, but hey, as long as their happy right?

I have just noticed more and more that my attachment to them is stronger than that to my exs.

 

Dorian, 1.9, GSOH, OH (Good Sense of Humour, Own Horn)

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I bought my first car at 19, a 2001 Land Rover Freelander. It became a bargaining chip between myself and my parents, I could buy any car I wanted (with my own money) if I took my driving test again – I’d failed a couple of times and was refusing to go back through the hell of it all.

The car, I named Dorian, was my soul mate. I loved every inch of that little silver beast. He cost me £2,500, looking back this was a rip off but I didn’t care. £1,000 on insurance and about £300 on car tax was a small price to pay for the freedom he offered.

A 1.9litre deisel was never going to be fuel-efficient or environmentally friendly but he offered comfort, safety and a hell of a lot of fun.

I’ve loved Land Rovers all of my life and now I’m proud to say I had one for my first car.

He had multiple ‘operations’ where I* changed starter motors, several crank shaft pulleys and the battery *with the help of my father. The garage changed all the breaks, pads, disks, shoes, cables, as well as corroded housing, oil lines, anti-roll links, exhaust pipes etc. He was almost a completely new car under the bonnet. I even needed a new horn, my road rage had worn out the old one.

The day he finally gave up on me was heartbreaking. The head gasket blew and the plumes of black, white and blue smoke that poured out of him showed me that it was time to say goodbye. I cried more over my baby Landy than any boy.

He sat still for 4 months before being sold to a friend’s son. I’m proud to say he started up and drove onto the trailer before being taken away, it was like a final goodbye. He’s been completely restored and is back on the road in the hands of another Land Rover enthusiast who I hope enjoys him as much as I did for the 3 years we were together.

3 years, that’s 8 months longer than any relationship I’ve been in.

 

 

Gaston, 1.9, ISOSTR (In Search Of Short Term Relationships)

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After getting over the heartbreak and being at a complete loss without a vehicle, I decided to ask my parents to find me something fun. They succeeded with a 2005 Vauxhall Tigre – convertible, 1.9l ball of enjoyment.

There’s a huge difference to driving a 1.9litre four-wheel drive and a 1.9litre convertible. Size and speed couldn’t be more different. I introduced the convertible to as many people as possible, it was just so much fun, annoyingly it was also more expensive, at least in insurance terms.

I still dream of the day my insurance is under £1,000.

The main issue I had with my little convertible, Gaston, was… he couldn’t climb trees.

3 months after I bought him, he was sold for scrap. Long story short, after a lot of spinning we parted ways in a ditch, the only casualties being the car and a few trees that got in the way.

 

Time to look for car number 3. Car shopping is not fun when you’re being forced to do it quickly and with no money, similarly to choosing a partner.

 

 

Vince, 1.6, Tall Dark and Handsome

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I settled, after a lot of shopping around, for the new Suzuki Vitara. Vincent was collected in December. The glossy black paintwork shone in the evening sunshine.

A sublte-but-sexy, modern, four wheel drive. Less power, more safety features. He came with all the gadgets (because I demanded them). If I’m spending the next 3 years paying for this then I want everything.

It took a while for the pride of a brand-spanking-new car to wear off but now I’ve begun my new love affair with this pretty guy.

I’ve had around 5 partners (give or take) to my 3 cars. I’ve cried more over a scratch than I have an argument. I definitely have spent more on the cars, both in terms of both money and time. I might not be able to cuddle my car but it provides so much more fun and general satisfaction.

 

I might not have found “the one” but my car is keeping me happy.

Posted in Family, Friends, General Issues, Life, Work

Am I too old for Birthdays?

Yesterday was my Birthday. I’m still in my 20’s but somehow I feel like I turned 75.

 

Work

Having a birthday on a Monday is never fun, people forget over the weekend so when they you see you in work the thought immediately pops into their head “Oh crap, I forgot”. We’re all guilty of forgetting but it’s still not a great feeling. There are 3 other people in my office, 2 remembered when I walked through the door, one was reminded later on. This was also the first year that I didn’t get a card or cake during the day.

Apart from the usual ” Happy Birthday… how old are you?… I remember being that age etc” No one mentioned it again. A delivery of flowers and a plant sparked little conversations of horticultural management but nothing more.

Leaving 30 minutes early was my gift.

 

Friends

My 3 best friends posted the usual collage of embarrassing photos on social media before I had left for work. Then they’re the friends that forget and post something at 11pm.

 

4 cards arrived.. when did social mediadog-in-party-hat_4460x4460.jpg posts replace cards? I remember being about 10 and the whole room was covered with brightly coloured pictures and love from family members you hardly saw but somehow always managed to remember your birthday. Now I have 6 cards in my flat, including one from my dog.

 

 

Pink Moth Orchid

Everyone has awkward moments on their birthday too right? This year my ex sent me a card (very kind of him), his family sent me a card (very nice of them) and as a joint gift they had a moth orchid delivered to me at work. This begs the question, has he mentioned that we’ve split up?? I know it happened less than two weeks ago but surely he told them. Or are they in denial?

 

I’d spent the weekend with my best friend so I’d opened 3 gifts with her and saved 2 for monday morning. I’m glad I did, they were the highlight of my day until my mum arrived.

 

Family

My mother has been at every one of my previous birthdays and my move 3 hours down the country was not going to stop her missing this one. She arrived at my flat at the same time I did.

I opened 5 gifts with my mum and I have the rest to open with both of my parents at the weekend (We’re a family that will buy 20 little gifts to a normal families 1 gift).tractor-485897_960_720.jpg

My dad is from a farming family so the excitement of silaging time and a new tractor meant he almost completely forgot the anniversary of my birth. We called him at 10:30pm. Tractors dominated our conversation.

 

My mum makes a real effort every year, I love her for that.

She’d cooked and we had a “Southern-style” dinner. Starting with crab cakes, followed by Gumbo, then Mississippi mud pie. Although, as I live thousands of miles from the Mississippi, she renamed it “River Wye Mud Pie”. Preacher cake and coffee to finish. It was beautiful.

We watched comedian Greg Davies and his Back Of My Mum’s Head Tour, this had us laughing so hard we were in pain. She then proceeded to sleep on my living room floor and left at 5:30am today.

 

All in all it wasn’t a bad day by any means. I had a great weekend, lovely gifts, left work early and go to spend time laughing with my mum. I just can’t help feeling I’ve hit the age where birthdays are just something that pass us by and fun has been sucked away.

Am I just tired or in need of birthday cake? Can I buy myself birthday cake? Is singing Happy Birthday to yourself as sad as it sounds in my head?

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Posted in Food, General Issues, Life, Relationships, Weight-loss

The Post Break-Up Binge

I wasn’t going to bore anyone with this but I think it’s important for me to get off my chest how much I miss… eating carbs.

To cut a long story short, I have been with the boyfriend for 17 months, we met at University where he was an older first year and I was about to graduate. We kept up a decent long distance thing for 13 months but for the past 2 it has become very clear that we’ve grown apart. I’ve grown up, he refuses to.

Thursday night saw a series of phone calls where things finally ended. I just felt relief. I realise how bad that may sound but I have had a few weeks to process it and gear myself up to actually saying something to him.

 

After the usual messages to friends to let them know (much to their relief as well I’m sure) and a call home to inform the parents, I went to bed late and set my alarm for an extra 30 minute lie in.

I deserved it.

Strangely I didn’t need it, I woke up at my usual time and was able to get up straight away without the daily bartering and mental preparation I go through to pull myself out of bed.

I just had the urge to clean.

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I live in a one-bedroom flat, cleaning doesn’t take too long. Whenever my now ex used to visit he would leave a trail of rubbish, dirt, tobacco and weed behind him. Weekends were always a difficult time for my OCD. The moment I dropped him at the train station a huge feeling of excitement would wash over me as I realised I could clean without him judging me. The flat would be disinfected, polished, sheets changed, floors mopped, washing up done etc. within an hour of me arriving home. BLISS

 

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So Friday morning, even though he hadn’t visited in at least 5 weeks I got up to clean. Texts from friends checking on me were replied to with a happy breezy comment whilst I sat on my neat and freshly wiped leather sofa with a well-deserved coffee.

 

 

pexels-photo-57799Friday then saw an extremely productive day at work, though I’ve not told my colleagues what happened yet. In the evening I packed an overnight bag for the weekend and relaxed with a funny Ryan Reynolds film, perfectly cooked steak followed by a bowl of ice cream. Yes, I didn’t even eat it out of the tub!

 

Is this the easiest break-up I’ve ever had? I think so.

 

Sunday was a little more difficult. I should have seen him but obviously now didn’t have to. A great night out with my best friend and night in a hotel gave me, at best, 4 hours sleep, followed by “continental breakfast” (always disappointing when sausages are on offer) and a 3 hour train journey home.

I walked in and cracked.

 

I had put wet laundry on an airer before I left so whilst I put everything away and unpacked my bag a pan full of pasta bubbled away.

My almost carb free diet was ruined. I needed filling comfort food to help me relax before Monday morning comes around.

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I haven’t cried about this, I’ve hardly even felt sad but my hunger for pasta, potatoes and bread has increased. They have left a much larger hole in my life.

 

Sunday evening was more productive. After I ate a glorious bowl of squishy yellow goodness I convinced myself I needed to get up and do something so I could help the digestion.

More cleaning. I put everything away down to the last hair grip. As I came to the final hurdle – the washing up – I crashed and went back to the comfort of the sofa and an episode of The Office (US).

 

I instantly regretted not washing up when I awoke today. One of my best friends has offered to come over and cook for me tonight while I lounge on the sofa with a glass of wine – his words!

So obviously I can’t expect him to wash up before he starts.

It’s my choice what he cooks for dinner… Can I have a meal that is solely made from carbs?

 

Posted in Food, Random Thoughts, TV

I do love a good Bake-Off-Menu-Berry-Lawson-Everyday cookery program

Are you, like me, slightly obsessed with cookery programs? I feel the need to tell the world (or anyone who’ll listen) about my secret love.

Whilst the rest of my office and most of the country are fixed on Love Island, or my closest friends eagerly awaiting the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race (yes, I do love a good episode of Drag Race), I have been mourning the loss of my favourite program.

Friday saw the end of the Great British Menu. For the people who haven’t seen it I’ll attempt to summarise.

Every week, 3 professional chefs, cook one course a day to be judged by a “Veteran Chef”. The top scoring 2 chefs then cook their whole 4-course menu for a panel of judges on the 5th day of the week. This happens for 8 regions across the UK. The 8 winners go on to a final where they repeat each dish and 4 are picked to cook the 4 courses at a prestigious themed banquet. This year was Wimbledon.

It has been the highlight of my day for the last 9 weeks. My closest friends and family know that every night between 7:30 and 8pm they do not contact me. My mother then calls at 8:01 to discuss the episode.

Now it’s over I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my evenings. They were timed perfectly so that I would eat my dinner during the episode and then not feel hungry watching the delicious dishes being prepared.

I have an issue with becoming hungry whilst watching cookery programs. Can I blame some of my weight issues on Nigella Lawson? I think yes.

The Great British Menu isn’t the only program. Everyone loves The Great British Bake Off (with the exception of one grumpy friend). It’s the best program on TV (was on TV). I am addicted to watching any old episodes on the food channel even if I’ve seen them 100 times before. Nothing has made me laugh more than the not-so-subtle double-entendre from Mel and Sue, or the accidental innuendos from Mary. Even Paul’s scathing comments have given me a giggle. I will miss this more than most, from series 1 to the final episode it has been like 4 old friends that visit every year. I will try to be open minded and watch their replacements, but who are they kidding, it’s not the same.

 

During the difficult period between the Menu and Bake Off I trawl through episodes on the food channels looking for inspiration. Knowing I’ll never actually cook the things they make doesn’t deter from the fact that I love to watch a good/bad chef whip up something so seamlessly.

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My current recommendations are The Barefoot Contessa and The Pioneer Woman. Both American ladies cooking things that I’d never try and also giving my mum and me a good giggle. From Ina and her laugh-at-everything approach during scenes with friends to Ree using bacon as a base ingredient, I’m not complaining but now a salad isn’t a salad without bacon.

 

However

I’m not sure if it’s the new attitude to my weight but I seem to have lost my desire to wade through the food channel and I’m now, for some unknown reason, spending my evenings watching dinosaur and shark documentaries on Netflix (then waking up at 1am after a nightmare based on the episode).

This surely isn’t normal. Has a sudden lack of food prompted this? Has anyone else had this issue? Is it an unknown scientific fact that sharks are the natural replacement for flapjacks?

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Posted in Clothes, Fat, General Issues

Jeans and a nice top

If there is one phrase I cannot stand it’s the answer to that immortal question

“What are you wearing tonight?”

“Jeans and a nice top”

What person feels that this is an adequate answer?

What constitutes “nice”?

 

I’m going to a concert on Saturday night, not a big pop/rock thing, it’s an acapella band in a theatre. It doesn’t matter how big or small this concert is, I am still over excited and I’ve been looking forward to it since I bagged front row seats back in January.

It’s the 3rd (or 4th) time I will have seen the band and I love them. Each time I get more and more excited and when it comes to the meet-and-greet after I become a shy little school girl, too embarrassed to ask for a picture.

The trouble arises when I asked the bff what she’s wearing. Jeans and a nice top.

No. I refuse to accept that answer. I want specifics.

The last concert of this kind we ended up in matching outfits with the only difference being shoes. We need to coordinate before Saturday arrives.

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Do I wear jeans and a nice top? Do I wear a skirt? Would I look too formal in a dress?

These are all important questions, not helped by the fact that we’ll be going on to a bar or club afterwards.

 

As usual, I’ve googled it. Strangely enough, jeans and a nice top didn’t appear, at least not in those specific words.

I don’t want to wear a band t-shirt and the world will not be subjected to my body in something figure-hugging.

I’ve tried in vein to search through my favourite clothes websites and nothing screams “WEAR ME!” so I will resort to going to an actual shop – not happy about this.

 

Jeans and a nice top will not cut it. These photos are going to be plastered all over social media and my lounge wall. No one is ever going to say “I like what you wore to that concert”. Jeans and a nice top do not warrant any compliment. They are the beige boring sheet of the outfit world.

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Posted in Clothes, Fat, Food, Weight-loss

Swapping Cereal for Smoothies to Drop 5lbs?

So I read an article a few weeks back about how someone swapped all their unhealthy meals for smoothies. I don’t really agree that this will work or at least do anything for me but I’m going to give it a go.

 

I’m combining this with some of the points in “12 tricks to drop 5 pounds in a week”. It may sound slightly at odds as the first “step” says to only drink water but I don’t like water.

The 12 Steps in a nutshell:

1. Drink Mainly Water

2. Swap Refined Carbs for Veggies

3. Do Cardio 30 Minutes a Day

4. Drink Coffee an Hour Before Working Out

5. Have Nightly You-On-Top Sex

6. Do 36 Push-Ups and Lunges Every Other Day

7. Sleep 30 Minutes More a Night

8. Make One Food Sacrifice

9. Eat Salmon

10. Pop an Anti-Gas Pill

11. Stand Up Straight

12. Do Squats and Sit-Ups

 

Why am I doing this?

Firstly, it’s Monday morning and I’m going to a concert on Saturday night so to feel better in a dress I thought I’d give this week a try.

Secondly, I love smoothies and I ran out of milk.

So…

This morning instead of my beloved Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, I threw a large handful of frozen mixed berries into my blender along with a banana, orange juice and some low fat Greek style yoghurt. It was delicious and I almost forgot about my lack of flakes.

Drinking it from my new bottle I was able to take it to work and sip throughout the morning, this stopped the usual mid-morning munchies and meant that by the time it came to lunch I only wanted a sandwich and not the usual extras of either a lemon posset or flapjack (my favourites from our building’s canteen).

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I’m not one for product placement but I love this bottle. It’s simple, it doesn’t leak and it’s pink! I found it in Wilkinsons at the weekend and it’s the best one I’ve come across. The infuser bottles draw me in but I know I’m never going to use them properly. This is the only one that had a decent “mouth piece” that will allow those random un-blended bits of banana through and it won’t get blocked with seeds. I LOVE it.20170703_121327

Side Note: I sucked the smoothie up too hard so created a vacuum, I made a very loud kissing noise when I pulled it away – slightly embarrassing moment in the office.

 

 

I don’t want to radically change my diet so for lunch I had tuna mayo with lettuce and cucumber on brown bread and tonight I plan on having salmon, green beans, baby corn with sweet chilli sauce (Step 2 and Step 9). I’d been planning on having this anyway, luckily it fits farily well. Keeping the carbs in the middle of the day is probably going to be a better option for my digestion – after dinner I plan on being lazy… I mean getting those extra 30 minutes of sleep (Step 7).

 

The part I’m going to struggle with is the exercise. Do 30 minutes of Cardio a day (Step 3)? The last time I did a cardio workout was the summer of 2014 at a fitness class in the middle of a sports shop. The first and last time that’s going to happen.

 

But for the purpose of trying to impress a band member, that is likely to already have a girlfriend, I will try. I will try for my own ego’s sake… You never know, he might like a chunkier girl (is what I keep telling myself).

 

If you want to try this yourselves I would be very interested to hear if it works.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a5614/drop-5-pounds-in-a-week-0509/

 

And for those of you who read my Friday complaining post, I apologise, but I did manage to find some wide-legged trousers that I loved… Of course, I had to hem them as they were 3 inches too long. *sigh*

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