Sunday, 11 June 2017

Kelly’s World Week’s 12, 13 and 14

Welcome back to my diary series, starting 22nd May 2017 up until today, Sunday 11th June.

In these diaries, I welcome you into my life and talk about blogging, my health, my diet, exercise and life in general.

I can’t believe I’ve gotten so behind with these posts, you would normally get a diary post each week but today you are getting three in one. It’s been a challenging few weeks. With highs and lows in life and blogging.

I’m not even sure how to write this one or where to start so I’m just going to type and see what happens. I think the best posts are often those where I just ramble and don’t change it too much once it’s written. It’s more real, raw if you like. So here goes.

The Best Version of Kelly

All Things Blog

Let’s start with my blog before moving onto the harder subject of life.

Frankly I have let the blog slip.

I only started this blog on New Year’s Day this year and my initial success was something I felt so proud of. It gave me a buzz, lifted my spirits and motivated me in many areas of life.

My best blogging month so far was March, I published 14 posts and achieved 4,037 page views.

In May, I only published 6 posts and reached just 1,506 page views. In June, so far, I have published no posts and have only had 133 page views.

I am left feeling disappointed in myself and negative and that initial buzz is now in a downward spiral.

So, what happened? My spirits dipped and I lost my enthusiasm, the less I did the worse I felt and so it went on.

Well enough is enough. I love this blog and it does wonders for my mental well-being. I made a success of it once and I will do it again. I can’t promise I will be straight back to three posts a week but I will do my best. I hope you will all continue to support me as wonderfully as you have so far.

In more positive news I have been on BBC Radio Leicester twice in this past three weeks! Once for the table talk slot on 22nd May and again last Monday where I was invited to talk all about my blog. You can hear the interview here.

Imagine that, little old Kelly being interviewed on the radio about something she has created that interest’s others! I really am truly proud of that.

The Best Version of Kelly BBC Radio Leicester Table Talk

The Best Version of Kelly BBC Radio Leicester Table Talk

Life

Let’s run through the fun stuff first. We had the school holidays. We spent a day and night with my sister Claire and her family which we always love. They live over an hour’s drive from us so we don’t get as much time with them as we would like and so it’s always lovely when we do get together. Me and Claire went to see Take That at their Sheffield concert. We always see them whenever they tour, I have done since 1993 and Claire has been coming with me since 1994. Mum and Dad decided she was too young in 93 much to her annoyance! It was as always, a fantastic show.

The Best Version of Kelly


We also spent a day of the holidays at Conkers. A family attraction near us. I even did the bare foot walk, after my mud run I’m up for more challenges. (insert laughing emoji)

The Best Version of Kelly Conkers Bare Foot Walk

On Friday this week, I spent the day with my best friend Caroline who I have known since our University days.

The Best Version of Kelly

Fun stuff aside it’s been a saddening and troubling few weeks nationwide with the Manchester and London terror attacks and more recently the election. I like most people was shaken by the news after each attack. At first, I felt guilty for getting down about it as I wasn’t directly affected yet how can we not let it get us down? It is so hard to watch, so very sad and so hard to understand why it happens. It’s also so very frightening, especially as I attended a concert so soon after the Manchester attack.

I take faith in the response of the emergency services yet I also feel so sad that we now see such a high presence of armed police. When I was 11 years old my family took me to America and I saw a policeman with a gun for the first time, in fact it was the first gun I had ever seen at all. It scared me and I have prayed ever since that our police wouldn’t ever need to carry them. So, seeing so many armed police around has left me feeling helpless, frustrated, saddened, disheartened and scared for the future. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to the men and women who do that job, they are so brave and amazing and I would be far more scared without them. It’s just what their presence represents and where this situation may end that scares me. I’ve seen more than one picture on social media of children posing with armed officers. I guess maybe it makes the officers and their weapons less scary to the children which is a good thing I just wouldn’t want to see my children and a gun in the same photo.

I know we should carry on as normal and not let fear and sadness over whelm us yet as a mother and as someone who suffers with anxiety and gets low anyway it is hard to bounce back quickly.

Health

My CFS and associated symptoms over the past three weeks have remained fairly constant, as they have done for months now, although I am napping much more recently. Just this afternoon I slept for two hours having slept for around 10 hours last night. 

Over all though my symptoms are I would say moderate for now.
My anxiety has been more present. Not necessarily triggered by specific situations, I just general feel on edge much more often, rather now you may feel on the morning of a driving test. I won’t go into too much detail as I fear this post is already too long.

My depression has been worse than it has in a while. It’s ironic as only weeks ago I was saying how well I was doing and even considering coming off my medication. In hindsight, the signs have been present for a while that my mental health was dipping, since Easter I would say. I just can’t or won’t always see the signs at the time.  

The first signs were my losing enthusiasm for things I would normally get joy from such as writing my blog. It seeps in slowly and then I realise I am achieving less and sleeping more. Not feeling accomplished only serves to make me feel lower and less confident and so the downward spiral begins.

I think, in honesty (and this is hard to write) that the Easter school holidays were one trigger. The holidays throw my routine and allow me little or no time alone and I find that hard to cope with. Also, the news recently as I said above has affected me. In addition, my employer has had me under stress for months, and that is coming to a head. I don’t talk about the situation with my employer as I am trying to be professional however it may prove useful to share it as it is a burden to not do so and I think others could benefit from me sharing my story.

Mainly though there often is no reason why I feel low on a particular day and that is the worst feeling of all. If you’re sad people ask why. When there is no why it feels very lonely.

I won’t go into the details here of how my depression affects me as this post is long enough. I will soon though as it feels like it is time and I think my blog is key to helping me get stronger again.

I did take a couple of pictures one day when I felt low. I am not saying you can see depression yet I also felt it time I shared pictures of myself in those times and not just the good as I don't want to only welcome you into the 'good' side of my life. It is all too easy to put on a smile and portray a perfect life and that is not what I want to do here. 

The Best Version of Kelly Depression

Food

A quick update. I have now been a gluten free vegan for three weeks. I am enjoying it so far and fining it easier than I had expected. I share pictures and details of many of my meals on Instagram, here and Facebook, here. So, follow me there is you are interested in that.

Gluten free vegan pasta

Exercise

I have attended two gym based physio sessions at the hospital over the past three weeks and been out and done some light walking a few times too. I think exercise is another way in which I can improve my mental and physical health and I desperately need to get into a better routine with it.


Stress

I have mentioned in previous posts that the one area of life I have yet to try and tackle is my stress. I have considered mindfulness but never gotten around to it. Well fate has stepped in and a new mindfulness class has just started in my village so I had no excuse and I have signed up to attend next week.

Thank you for reading. Please come back soon.


Kelly x
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