It’s been quite a while since I wrote or posted anything but I’d like to get back into the swing of it again.
First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and start to the new year. I think this Christmas and New Years was the best I’ve ever had. I spent my Christmas surrounded by family, and my New Years surrounded by friends. I’ve never been one to really celebrate New Years so it was a nice change actually going out and doing something. London really is the best place to celebrate the new year, especially with friends as incredible as mine (Kate and Abi I love you loads).
I’ve been so busy over the few weeks I had off from Uni with catching up with old friends, seeing family, working and attempting revision. I’m halfway through my exams right now which isn’t the happiest of times but at least they’re almost done. Getting through exams has always been tough for me with my anxiety and panic attacks, but I’m really proud of how I’ve been coping lately.
I’ve also been invited to two interviews for placement in the mental health sector for a year as part of my third year at Uni. It’s exciting but very scary, because the only interviews I’ve ever had are for part-time work. I have no idea what to expect with these interviews but hopefully they go smoothly and with any luck I’ll have a placement lined up soon.
I’ve also applied to work in New York for JDRF, which is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, for put to two months this coming summer. It’s always been my dream to move to New York, so when I found this opportunity I had to take it. The day I found it was the deadline of application but luckily I was able to send in my CV and get a letter of recommendation from a lecturer in time. So fingers crossed this comes off too.
JDRF is the only diabetes charity I know that focuses on and fights for young people with type one diabetes. All the other charities seem to focus on type two and its so unfair, especially seen as us type ones can’t ever get rid of this shitty condition, yet majority of type twos can. Believe me, and as fussy as I am, I’d rather go on a strict diet for the rest of my life than have to keep jabbing myself with needles.
I’ve come to accept that I’m still not fully in control of my diabetes and although I probably never will have complete control, I need to tighten it a bit more. Contacting JDRF and the possibility of working with them has really put my condition into perspective. I remember my first diabetes nurse told me that if I didn’t control my diabetes, it would control me. My diabetes and my mental health has definitely controlled me over the last six or so years, and although I am taking more of it back I do still struggle.
I found an app called ‘Center’ where type one diabetics can log their food, bloods and insulin throughout the day and also add the type of emotion or physical state you were feeling at the time. I know most blood tests have data memories now, but having it all laid out helps me see what I’m doing and how I can do better. It also helps me see the cause and effect of my mood and my blood sugar, because it can become such a vicious cycle sometimes where one causes the other and vice versa. So I would definitely recommend downloading the app or keeping your own log book if you’re struggling with control at the moment. Same goes for mental health, it’s easier to see traits and patterns when it’s all laid in front of you. That way you can find the source and deal with it then and there.
I’m hoping that after my exams I won’t go into a downward spiral. For me I have more difficulties with my emotions after stressful things like exams rather than before or during. It’s like the calm after the storm. One the storm goes, I’m not sure what to do with myself. I have no routine and no necessity to do anything, so I’ve often had serious depressive episodes. But I’ve got a holiday booked with some amazing people at Uni, I’m then going to see my friend to go to a concert when I get back, and then after that my Uni pals and I are celebrating the end of semester one and the start of what will be a great semester two.
Planning ahead isn’t for everyone, but if you know that you’ll struggle without routine and company, then make some. Even if it’s just a planned day or self-care or if it’s getting a train to the other end of the country to see a friend, plan something to keep yourself in check.
Because I haven’t written in so long I thought I would include some more pieces from my recovery journal. A key section is my ‘Nurture Yourself’ page, which includes:
– sit in the sun (although that’s not very easy to do in miserable old England right now, and isn’t great if you suffer from seasonal depression)
– Wash face, body, hair
– Wear soft and comfortable clothes
– Take a bubble bath
– Burn incense or candles of smells that bring happy memories (for me thats lavender because it reminds me of the little pillows of lavender my Nanna used to give me to help me sleep)
– Go on a drive with the windows down to somewhere calm and safe (again not that easy at this time of year)
– Listen to calming/uplifting music
– Meditate (if you find meditation difficult then just sit somewhere other than your bedroom and focus on your breathing and relaxing your muscles to start off)
– Walk in nature (difficult to do now, seriously can you tell I want winter to be over)
– Plan out the week ahead
I also have a page called ‘Dealing with Worries’ which is a bit similar to coping with panic attacks which I mentioned my guiding points in a previous post. But this is more about general worries rather than sudden and impactful panics:
– Work out what is bothering/worrying
– Write it all down
– Can I do anything about it?
– If so, what can I do about it?
– If it is possible to sort out or reduce worry, be positive about it
– If its is not possible, throw away the written worry and think about next steps
– Remember not everything can be controlled
I hope some of these are helpful to anyone and please keep dropping me your messages if you need a chat or advice or someone to rant to. It’s great hearing from so many people. I’m going to try to get back to writing every couple of weeks but everything is so busy at the moment so not sure when I’ll be posting next.
Thanks for reading, stay beautiful x