Together or Not At All…

Hello Sweet Peas,

I have a few photos to share with you…

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Here’s one of my best friends Chloe, or in my case Beardy. No one ever understands why we are so happy to see each other. Why we connect the way we do. I want to tell you a bit about here because by the end I can swear to you, you’ll adore her as much as I do.

Back in the days when I’d rather not remember my hair decisions or my fashion choices, I met Chloe. I hate to say it but never for a second did I ever think she would have the impact on me that she has. Over the years without realization me and beard have become almost dependent on each other. It was only however when we didn’t have each other there to bounce off, did we come to acknowledge it – only allowing us to resemble a married couple.  I can honestly say that she’s been there thick and thin whenever I needed her, from the smallest to the biggest thing. It’s not often you find someone like that, that can be there day in day out and it’s only when they’re gone you say “hold on a minute, they were my bloody partner in crime” …

I feel privileged in knowing that Beardy has come to me for various things over the years, little aspects of her life she has slowly but surely began to open up to, knowing she can put her trust in to me is wonderful. I’ve watched this trust build up, at first cautious however slowly but surely finding hope in me.

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You know the person who is the strongest? The joy to everyone’s day with not a single bad word pass their lips and spark in their step. I always see this in Chloe, no matter what she’d be there for anyone and everyone. I’m one of the only people who have seen the slightly different side. The less confident, scared and lonely girl just wanting to be saved from all the demons many of us face in different ways.

As you know, I’m extremely up in raising awareness towards any mental illness and reducing any kind of stigma. I want people to be fully aware that 1) they should never be ashamed, it makes you who you are in which many people love you and wouldn’t change you for the world and 2) you’re never alone, there’s so many other people out there looking and searching for the exact same support and comfort. Well, I want to raise awareness for something my wonderful best friend has been fighting for many years and I cannot express how god damn proud I am. To hear to words that she finally feels happy, in which she only said a few days ago is like complete joy and excitement to my ears.

Chloe has suffered with the awful mental illness Trichotillomania, a mental illness where a person has a need and impulse to pull their hair out as well as eyelashes and eyebrows. It’s often due to stresses, depression and anxiety however it becomes a addictive and extremely controlling and watching someone be so traumatized by it for so many years is devastating. This illness can cause so many medical issues, such as being blinded and it also impacts on your confidence and increases isolation and social skills. It can lead to frustration and embarrassment in social aspects of life, and involve many restrictions.

I’ve always wanted Beard to know she is not alone and being on this journey and watching her slowly but surely start to overcome these challenges has been outstanding. It will always be a trouble in her life, just like all mental illnesses are in any case however we can clearly see there is a light at the end of every tunnel. Just like me and Anorexia there is always that evil side of you that wants to turn back, it being part of you life for so long these addictions become close friends however with the right love and support we can prove that together we can fight anything. It’s true that these addictions become a coping mechanism, so reach out, don’t be scared to talk about it even if it’s just building up that trust with one person like Chloe did with me. We may have just helped save each other lives and happiness.

If you ever want to contact me or Chloe with advice, support or questions, feel free to e-mail us;

Hollie – holllie54321d@hotmail.co.uk

Chloe – chloebeard1998@gmail.com

Chloe has also recently took the big step in talking about her mental illness and has actually launched a blog herself – http://justcallmebeardy.wordpress.com/

If you could hop over there and send all your love, support and huggles like I know you all will do, Id be so grateful.

Sending love and sparkles to all you little fighters out there.

Speak soon,

Holl xxx

Anxiety – You aren’t alone

Hello Sweet Peas,

I have quite a few Autumn/Christmas Fashion and beauty posts waiting in anticipation, I know I know, please do contain your excitement. However this Friday – 10th October it’s World Mental Health Day, so I thought I’d do a quick little post on a topic I’ve been wanting to express for a while.

As you’ve more than likely figured already I want to talk a little bit about anxiety and panic attacks, as without realization it’s something in which a huge number of people suffer with day in and day out. I hope in expressing my feelings and thoughts towards it, I can try and raise a little bit of awareness and assure people that they really aren’t alone.

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I’ve never really expressed my dealings with anxiety as over the years I’ve overcome it massively and have discovered so many ways and techniques in coping and surviving each day. It has taken a hell lot of work and something I’ll continue to do but I want to show just how you can learn to deal with these anxious thoughts and worries and how despite what you may think you aren’t the only one.

For a long period of time panic attacks were a daily struggle for me and in which a lot of the time no one was aware of, even myself wasn’t aware that what I was suffering with was panic attacks. They’d rise up whenever and wherever they wanted, usually in corridors in school, tight busy shops or when I got out of the shower bizarrely. Although, they can happen just about anywhere and let me tell you they aren’t fun. I’ll give you a tiny insight… Basically you feel like you’re dying for a split second, haha. Usually feeling dizzy, feeling sick, light headed, and blacking out often occur and that tightness in your chest they causes the over breathing. They’re a complete build up of fear, excitement, and emotions. For myself it often feels like my head is about to explode, causing me to simply panic more. I often feel like the whole world is caving in around me and there is simply nothing in the world that will stop it but of course we know that’s not quite frankly true because there are ways of over coming and coping with these attacks.

My Own Coping Techniques

  • Focus on breathing – I know this probably sounds way to obvious but in the case of a panic sorting out your breathing is pretty much vital. Slow deep breathing and allowing yourself to calm.
  • Getting away from the situation – I like to go straight outside or simply moving away from the place I’ve panicked in.
  • Being with someone – many people actually would rather not have any communication from anyone as it simply causes more anxiety and panic however one of my biggest preventatives is to actually go and find a friend or family member and allow them to be aware of how I’m feeling.
  • Counting – counting strangely helps me deal with calming down, as it gives me a completely different focus.
  • Lying down – I have a a dizziness issue, so sometimes lying down and again focusing on breathing techniques can help and awful lot
  • Drinking water – this helps with any dizziness and feeling sick

Dealing with the thoughts…

However despite the panic attacks, I think it’s unaware of the huge issue simply anxiety plays along with this, the build up. I firstly want to express how a little anxiety and worry is normal and healthy, without it we would be completely reckless human beings with not a care in the world however when it interferes with every aspect and decision then driving you insane… that’s not so healthy. Again for a long, long time day in day out and still some days anxiety and it’s evil thoughts control my life, decisions and relationships. I can recall it getting to the point I was petrified of leaving the house simply because the possibility of being watched, followed or involved in a car crash ect. I became so obsessed and anxious over every bad aspect in life, which of course isn’t the way to live. Not only that but I become incredibly paranoid of those around me, assuming someone I’d never seen in my entire life hated every inch of me. I could hear my voice being screamed and felt as if I was out numbered in a crowded room, each one of them targeting me. I would stop socializing, talking, touching and even acknowledging other people.  That constant ticking, irritating voice constantly giving you a friendly reminder of the unknown, which in the reasonable mind we know is ridiculous.

What if the unknown is equally as amazing?

That’s what I’ve grown to learn, that as humans we instantly jump to the conclusion that everything ahead of us could turn to disaster, this means we forget there and equal (even bigger) chance things could hold great wonders. Another great thing I’ve adjusted to through Anxiety and Anorexia is CBT therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy), which I would certainly recommended for various mental health issues. It’s  type of therapy that looking into retraining the brains thinking patterns and thoughts in this it allows you to deal with problems or issues in your life a lot easier. Of course it doesn’t remove the problems, it does however allow you to see things in a much more positive light.

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I now take each day as it comes and as soon as that little negative voice chips in, I fight back with the positive one. I’ve discovered that when I’m panicking over what the world sees me as – they are more than likely doing the same thing. I’ve also figured out that the future cannot be changed and neither can the past, so dwelling and worrying is never the answer. Lastly, I was you to remember no matter how much you refuse to believe it – there is always a positive to every thought, situation and feeling.

A Little Thought – Facing the Fear

Within my CBT I learned a very valuable lesson that I use in every anxiety flooding situation;

Imagine a spider, big, hairy and scary and what’s worse? You have the biggest fear of spiders.

No one else is there to get rid of the spider, meaning you have two choices; 1. Leave the spider to sit there, leaving you aware of it’s presence, keeping the fear keeping the anxiety bubbling OR 2. Feel the Fear and do it anyway, the anxiety shall be there yes, however imagine it in waves. Once you’ve faced the fear of grabbing the spider the anxiety level shall fall back down because it’s over – you realize it simply wasn’t as bad as you first thought.

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When you have to face this fear again, the fear simply won’t be as strong because on the waves on anxiety each time you face it, it’ll become lower and lower and easier and easier.

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“But, what started the panic attack? Why were you anxious?”

Oh the one question that actually drives me insane! Yes, I know that somewhere down the deep, dark routes of your brain there shall always be a reason behind anxiety/attacks however sometimes you simply just don’t know! It’s quite frankly the worst when you have that anxious feeling in your stomach and the distant sense that something just quite isn’t right. I’d like to express how it’s perfectly fine to not know why you’re feeling this way, or to be completely unaware of the reasoning behind the attack.

It’s just extremely important to understand you aren’t alone. I also want you to know that, it’s 100% possibly to begin to control anxiety and panic attacks and that you are not doomed for your whole life.

526cfb5345e2c53bf5b1067ba6411a42Speak soon,

Holl xxx

Something a lil different

Hello Sweet Peas,

I thought I’d dive in with something a little different today because despite my love for my fashion and day to day posts I’m still shamefully a writer and take into account I write anything and everything. One thing I do admire is poetry, yet I usually keep this quiet and share with no one, it’s top secret 😉 However I could go on and on about the stigma towards poetry and in what people perceive it to be. Poetry is practically everywhere songs, speeches, lists, even to the little things you jot down thinking they fail to mean anything and yet we fail to realize it because most idiots think it’s on the lines of “the lazy cat spent his whole day on the mat” (I know that’s an awful example but you get my point okay!…)

Anyway, lately I’ve been reflecting an awful lot and trying to grasp my head around so many different aspects of my life, which only means one thing – I write an awful lots of thoughts and poetry if you like. So I thought I’d pluck up the courage to search for something I could share with you all. (Plus it changes up the blog a bit ey?) Enjoy.

If acceptance is all that is left,

then I shall,

I shall grasp it with both worn shaken hands,

until they cannot possibly connect anymore.

 

Palms shall only burn,

As I have discovered on my paths the hard way,

that this is a ‘cruel to be kind’ matter –

a state that can only be undone through the given strength of determination.

 

It shall fall upon me,

the day a reflection ends all control towards my dis-formed mind.

I shall float down the winding street, with not even a reassuring check,

from the shoppers windows that once suffocated me.

 

Looking,

there should be no need for your fragile fingertips

to disgustingly grasp

the itty gritty parts in which you have self taught in hating.

 

You deserve sparkles of more than falling tears,

more than screaming echo’s,

which appear due to your thighs size

in the pinching of your own skin.

 

In’s and outs, ups and downs from a souls and enlightenment of fires,

fires we should accept the warmth within,

not fights that continuously burn deep,

leaving it’s blinding ashes behind scattered to haunt us.

 

It is taught to embrace ones beauty,

yet involving a voice in which contemplates,

the hazed lines between lies,

and the truth.

 

Speak soon,

Holl xxx

 

 

 

The beach is my second home

Hello sweet peas,

I’m here to share another one of my lovely family days out with you and to the place I consider home (I’ve always aspired to be a mermaid, secretly) yes you guessed, the beach!

Anywhere where there is sand and a calming sea to satisfy all my thoughts away pleases me greatly.

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Me, mumma, Ella, Nana and my uncle all decided a family day out to chill out at the beach was needed, as we are all indeed great lovers of the sunshine. We don’t live too far away luckily, so after only a 1 and half hour drive we finally arrived and quite quickly set up for a wonderful lazy day with a beautifully clear sky and sea. I’m also the worlds biggest book worm so of course I had to bring a fabby read with me, I bought “One Day”, I’ve just started reading this book as I absolutely adored the film. It is taking me a bit to get into but so far I’m actually really enjoying getting to read and experience parts they couldn’t show in the film.

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I also loved spending time with my little sister because oh boy the busy life of that one 12 year old astonishes me. I never ever see her anymore. Never the less we shall always be incredibly close and it was such a lovely thing to be able to have a catch up and a good old sing on the way (me and my sister jamming to frozen is always one of my happiest things in life) I actually love being able to watch my sister grow into a young woman and I cherish in being her older sister, in hoping she looks up to me, that would be wonderful.

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The ability just to escape reality and enjoy a day away from the daily tasks and aspects of life is so great when you spend the day with your toes in the sand. “Life at the beach it better” as I always say, almost as if looking right down at the sea beyond all them miles – you’re free.

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I also conquered one of my biggest fears that day and felt extreme achievements – for the first time in 3 years I faced having an ice cream and out in public. It was most certainly one of the scariest things I’ve done, yet another step forward to a happier and healthier life. I don’t want to be deprived from the tiniest pleasures in life and I’m working on it. It just takes a hell lot of will power and determination with a dash of stubbornness – and if you know me you shall be very aware or my stubbornness…

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Happiness is so much more important than stresses, worries and fears in life and I want you all to remember this, day in day out.

Speak soon,

Holl xxx

 

The inner writer – 10 days of writing 5

Hello sweet peas,

We’ve reached the half way point! (Yes, I know well done me) and I think you’re about to witness me become the most expressive I’ve most likely been, here you go….

Fears – No spiders or horror films. What actually truly scares you in which brings out human emotions? What does it make you fearful? How do you confront it?

Fear has been a big topic up in the old head of mine recently, I’ve come to realize it’s a constant thing I and most of us all have to confront.

Really when you think about it we over analyze and worry with our fears day in day out without realization because they are soon overcome – like crossing the road knowing if you don’t do it safely you could be hit down, yet before you know it you’re happy on the other side.

Now despite loving my blog and my article writing I do love a dabble at fiction writing and recently I’ve been working on a fictional story of two best friends and their journey through anorexia. I’ve set it up like a diary like form, where they both communicate and express their feelings. Strangely, yesterday I actually wrote a diary entry based on fear – yes it is based on my character but obviously I an relate, so I want to share it with you expressing my view on fear.

Fear, I believe isn’t a sign of weakness only a showing of strength. Yet we all continue to fear and no matter how big or small, we continue to believe it leads to all points of negativity. I am trying to view it differently never the less, as just maybe these concerns actually strike the inner demons in transforming me to an actuall hero.

We fear an awful lot throughout this disorder and it’s recovery. It actually supplies you with enough of the stuff, that you could never possibly dream of running out, lucky us right? Not. It’s daunting, draining and an extremely dismal position to face – I can assure you that. So much that everyday through your forcing of survival, you still fear and will continue to fear. It’s like playing fire with fire – you just get a much bigger fire.”

You can let fear bring you down and destroy you or you can take it to your advantage in making you a stronger person. For me it’s truly facing all of them voices that tell me I can’t or I shouldn’t and proving them wrong, it scares the living hell out of me, but the grass has to be greener on the other side.

Have you ever heard the quote “Feel the fear and do it anyway” – it’s one of my favorites and one I most certainly try to live by. It’s also a wonderful book written by Susan Jeffers, in which she writes about ways to face life and deal with fear in may of ways. She uses techniques to face negative thoughts and turn them into positivity, allowing us to strive for what we want.  It’s helped thousands including myself, so I’d highly suggest you go check it out,

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Let me know what you think,

Keep smiling and I’ll speak soon,

Holl xxx

 

Power in your hands

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about control recently. Control over little day to day things, control over myself, my actions and thoughts, and control over my own life and how really we can actually make it what we aspire.

For a long time I’ve grasped on so tightly to the fact that for the past 6 years of my life I’ve had no control over all of the life changing things that have happened – some bad and of course some good. Yet they’ve influenced me in so many way that from time to time I really wish they hadn’t. Throughout recovering from an eating disorder, I’ve come to realize that the whole aspect of it is based around control, and with myself it portrays my frustration in the lack power I’ve had over the years. My eating disorder and food is the only thing I think I have control towards, so I dropped into it completely as a comfort in making me feel whole.

This is why I wanted to share this quote with you because I absolutely love it. ‘You were never in control anyway’ and guess what? that’s perfectly okay! I once loved the evil sense of control but don’t be fooled because that quite frankly turned into yet another thing I lost control of. Meaning it’s time to let go and to sit back and accept that these things happen throughout life beyond what we wish – and that’s perfectly okay. I now always keep in mind that now matter what struggles I’m being faced or daunting changes I cannot determine face me, that very soon some brilliant, fabulous and exciting new experience will conquer me.

As I’ve begun to move on, I’ve also realized the lack of people in which I depend and turn to because guess what? I’m surviving on my own. The power is finally in my hands and I have the whole entire world to explore and conquer.

It’s good to be positive right? Have a fabulous day.

Speak soon,

Holl xx