Monthly Archives

January 2021

Lifestyle

How To Cope With Invisible Illness Frustration

If you’ve never heard of the term ‘invisible illness‘ before, the explanation is in the name. A illness that you can’t see with the naked eye/can’t always see outside the body. It’s basically describing a bunch of illnesses that you may not have heard much of such as:

  • ADHD
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

To learn more about some of the invisible illnesses out there, check out these links. They’ll give you better information than I can! Haha!

There are so many invisible illnesses out there that we’d be here all day if I mentioned all of them! As you’ve probably guessed, not every disability is visible. People with these types of illnesses often seem okay on the outside and that tends to make their life even more challenging.

invisible illnessPhoto by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

What could possibly frustrate someone like this? Oh, there are more reasons than there should be and it sucks that even one of these happens. As we don’t always have aids to help us, abled people tend to make it their job to judge us.

  • Being harassed for using a disabled parking space.
  • Being harassed for sitting in a disabled bus seat.
  • Struggling to get friends to understand how difficult it can be to go out.

Not only do we have to suffer the symptoms from our illnesses but we also have to defend outselves (even from medical professionals). I’ve had to see so many different people and it can be really disheartening when you have to prove to others that you’re actually suffering and it’s not all in your head.

As recent as yesterday there has been a picture making its way around Twitter chatting about living with pain. The techniques they shared to ease pain is to dust off your bike and go for a ride, see if you can lessen your pain medication and go for walks. My thought? Have these people even suffered with a chronic illness before?! I would give anything to be able to do any of these without pain then or later on. I’m lucky if I can walk 3000 steps in a day sometimes and that’s why I’m trying to push myself a little.

I asked some friends who suffer from an invisible illness if they could chat a little about their frustrations and how they deal with them.

Chloe Metzger (Mental Health & Fibromyalgia)

When in a non-pandemic using disabled toilets or spaces on public transport because I’m young and look healthy. I have my stick with me just to signal to people I need the seat. Even then sometimes it’s rare for someone to give up their seat for me.

It’s hard…I normally take a book or my phone out and just look at that instead.

Kara Cole (Severe Anxiety, Emotional Instability, Hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD) and Fibromyalgia)

The hardest thing for me is the inconsistencies. What you do one day is not the same as what you can do the next. It’s frustrating getting others to understand and acknowledge that, but it’s more frustrating to deal with that yourself. A string of bad days is heartbreaking.

The support from believers is invaluable. Friends or family who believe you and fight for you are amazing. They can fight for you even when you can’t.

The problem is that because women are more prone to these types of conditions, doctors put the symptoms we have to us being either emotional and that it’s just all connected to mental health. I literally went to a pain management class that told me I wasn’t really feeling pain. It was just the nerves in my pain pretending to make the feeling of pain.

Coping Ideas

One. Record everything in a diary and say where exactly your pain is. Say how long the pain lasts and what situations tend to flare up your pain.

Two. When you start seeing doctors, see if you can get a copy of your medical records and test results. It’s something you can take to other professionals in the future.

Three. If you’re a friend or family member of someone with an invisible illness, please try not to judge a book by its cover. If someone has a chronic condition like IBD or fibromyaligia, they may look fine but they’re more likely going to be exhausted, in a lot of pain and dealing with other possible things

Four. Remember that you are not alone. For every person that judges you, there will be someone out there that understands what you’re doing through. Chat with them when you need to and try to educate those around you. The more people understand invisible illnesses, the easier the world will be for us.

Five. Be patient. If someone with an illness chats with you about their condition, be patient with them and listen. They’ve had to deal with a lot of stigma up until this point and it has probably taken a great deal of courage to talk to you.

It’s very difficult to struggle in silence. I don’t like to be a bother to people and tend to give up the disabled seat when I see someone with a stick or wheelchair. It’s getting to a point where I will be needing an aid to help me with my walking and I’m currently on the list for a worker to help with my communication issues due to lockdown and my autism. Even now I don’t mind waiting. There is always someone worse off than me and I’d prefer if they got the help first.

Remember: don’t automatically assume that someone is okay or ‘normal’ just because they look like it. It’s usually on those days when they put on a mask just to get through that moment.

Last month there was an awesome campaign called ‘Making The Invisible Visible‘ where a group of sufferers took pictures of themselves with labels of their illness on their body. It was super inspiring and it’s raised over £800 to date!

What are your frustrations on having an invisible illness and how do you cope?

invisible illness

Lifestyle

How To Find Your Blogging Voice As A Beginner Blogger

When you first decide to join the blogger world, it can seem really overwhelming. There are so many types of blogger out there from beauty to fashion to book. If you love it, then you can write about it which is amazing in this day and age. One thing you might struggle with right at the beginning is trying to find your blogging voice.

It’s so easy to look at how other bloggers write and copy their voice.

Believe me, I did it a little at the start and I soon realised how vital it was to discover your own. There’s no way you’ll find a local following if you sound exactly like every other blogger out there. It takes trial and error to find it, but when you do, it will be so much easier to create content.

Here are some ways to help you discover your blogging voice as a beginner blogger.

Blogging VoicePhoto by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Create a list of what you love

One of the most important things you need to choose at the start is what the heck you’re going to blog about. It’s more difficult that it sounds. If you’re like me then you will be in love with a bunch of different things. Before I choose to focus on a jumble of three things, I created a list of what I enjoyed/knew and could potentially choose:

  • Fandom
  • Books
  • Mental Health
  • Lifestyle
  • Theatre
  • Films

Since our community is so vast these days, it’s more than likely there will be hundreds of people blogging about one of your loves. It can be annoying but it’s just one of the elements we have to accept. By creating a list you can pick and choose a couple of things and make your blog unique.

Read before you create

There are multiple ways to start a blog.

You can either make a WordPress or Blogger account and start blogging straight away. That or you follow someone else’s blog for a while and learn before you try. I was the latter and was a reader of a bunch of different blogs for years! My favourites had to be FleurDeForce, InTheFrow and LydiaEliseMillen. I might be a walking fashion disaster but I can still appreciate blogs about it and beauty!

That introduced me to blogging being a hobby to take part in and, to be fair, I can’t figure out how I discovered the community on Twitter! Haha! I’m forgetful in my old age. Reading different sites brought my attention to themes, writing layouts and possible navigation.

They gave me a bunch of ideas and it made my life so much easier when it came to creating it.

Test the waters

Want to know if your new blogging voice is working? Post!

You won’t know what works unless you create content and post it for people to check out. I definitely haven’t figured this one out just yet. Sometimes something that worked one time might not work the next. You kind of have to test the waters to see what content is popular and focus that day to that subject.

People will start to learn what kinds of topics you like to chat more about and what your niche is. If it’s something they like to read, they’re more likely to follow your blog.

What ways have you used to help finding your voice?

Blogging Voice

Mental Health

How Music Can Boost Your Mental Health

A couple of years ago I wrote a post introducing my Spotify playlists. I have a weird jumble of music tastes from Taylor Swift to BritPop to film soundtracks. In it I mentioned that music can be both a great up-lifter and helps my mental health when it kicks in.

Out of all the things I’ve used over the years to help me, music has definitely been the top pick. It has a certain magic to bring back forgotten emotions, turn you into a child and motivate you to work harder. I’ve used it to push me through deadlines, to forget I’m sweating on a treadmill and ignore noisy neighbours. I even studied music for a GCSE at school (and passed! Haha!).

I thought I’d chat about why I think it’s a great way to boost your mental health! Let me know in the comments if any of these connect with you!

MusicPhoto by rupixen.com on Unsplash

Music literally makes you feel happier

We all know that chocolate makes us happy (mmm…), but according to scientists, listening to your favourite artist/song releases dopamine (the happy hormone in your brain). I have a happy playlist to listen to whenever I need to smile or want to think better thoughts.

What’s on it?

A lot of Taylor Swift songs and nearly all three of the Chronicle of Narnia soundtracks.

I know what I like and these are what I like! Haha!

Music tends to mean fun

Whenever you think of music it usually means dancing, listening to live music or maybe even filming a TikTok. I’m one of those unique people who never went clubbing or regularly listened to music at person. On the few occasions that I did, I was at my local arena watching my favourite bands:

  • Steps
  • Boyzone
  • McFly

Not many but I did see them multiple times which was amazing!

I do remember dancing to Steps and Spice Girls when I was a kid and amazed that I still remember a lot of them. I guess that was what bands did. Made easy dances for you to do! I even got my mum to do a couple of dances which was hilarious.

When your mental health takes over your life, it’s easy to forget what fun is. If music gives you that back (even a little bit), then don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself!

Music allows you to escape

Just like reading, music lets you escape from a bad day or from the hustle and bustle of a packed train. Listening to Taylor on the early morning commutes to university made things so much easier. I do love mornings but it takes me a long time to wake my brain up.

Anyone can wake themselves up to Shake It Off!

Sometimes my thoughts can’t handle the here and now and want to take me back to when life was less complicated. As I’m writing this post I’m listening to Boyzone’s version of She Moves Through The Fair. I constantly rewinded my Walkman to hear this song over and over on trips up to Scotland. It’s so relaxing and haunting! Perfect for an Irish band!

These days I have a lot of those older songs on my Spotify and it’s just nice to look back fondly.

Music helps you to connect

No matter what mental health condition you have (whether it be depression, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia…), it can be hard to connect with other people. You might have been bullied/harrassed in response to it or scared to be judged for it because of stigma. Believe me, I’m right there with you. To this day I haven’t told many of my IRL friends about my depression or anxiety.

Maybe they’ll stumble on my blog one day and make life easier for me…

It’s amazing how easy connecting with other people is when it comes to music. You might have shown love for a recent song/band over social media and mutuals have contacted you to show the same love! I’ve done that a few times for Taylor Swift and have friends go ‘OMG YES!! ME TOO!’. Got to love when that happens!

Fingers crossed that 2021 allows us to go back to concerts!

What are your thoughts on music boosting your mental health?

Music

Lifestyle

The First Lookthrough Of My 2021 Bullet Journal

It’s the first day of 2021 so happy new year, everyone! I hope you all had a good one considering. I actually just chilled in my PJs and watched the London display from my bed. You can’t go wrong with a relaxing start to a new year, can you?

One of the few things I loved about 2020 was doing my bullet journal. There’s something relaxing about learning some new skills and putting them to good use. I only had my Mina Lima notebook to write in so couldn’t be as pretty as I wanted but I reckon I did pretty good!

Let me introduce my 2021 bullet journal to you! It took a little drafting but I’m loving how it’s turning out.

Bullet Journal

Pinterest really is the best place to get inspiration for journalling. I loved discovering different creations and picking and choosing from the pictures I saw. A lot of what you’ll see was inspired and just changed a little to my tastes. I thought that I would use yellow for my first theme of the year. It’s so bright and makes everything look so happy!

I wanted to experiment with the different pens so used my yellow Tombow Dual Brush with a Uni Pin Fine Line (0.5) and a white gel pen. Do I sound like a stationery blogger yet?! I do love my pens even if I don’t know how to use them properly. Haha!

Can you tell I’ve been working on my lettering too?

I haven’t discovered how to do those stunning watercoloured quote pages yet, but I still wanted to include a quote to prepare me for 2021. This one really spoke to me for some reason. Being able to be the you that could be instead of working on someone you’re not meant to be.

Comparison loves to warp your perception. It’s something I’m going to be working with my therapist on next week so wish me luck!

With mental health being a giant part of my life, I needed somewhere to dump all the rubbish that’s inside of my brain. Not necessarily the negative stuff, but all the random stuff. I have a bunch of that in my ol’ noggin and what better place to store it than on a brain dump page.

We might not be able to go to the cinema in person right away but, as last year revealed, the film industry know how to bring them to us. We had new Disney films on Disney Plus, straight to screen on Sky Movies and even Netflix got in on the action.

2021 has more films than this coming out but these are the ones that have caught my eye. I’m particularly excited for Cruella, Spiderman 3 and Respect! I’m predicting that Respect will have some Oscars buzz for 2022! Yes, I’m looking ahead to next year already!

Below I have a bookcase for at least 30 books I want to read this year. I’ll probably add at least 20 more if I can. Let’s just see what happens, shall we? We also have a saving wishlist because I seriously need a carpet in my flat (my feet are cold!) and a new laptop (it’s 10 years old this year!). If I’m going to get a new one, I’m saving up for a Macbook Pro.

It’s great to be back blogging again. I’ve missed it and definitely planning to make more posts more frequently. I’ve had my year of utter depression and NO MORE! Daisy is being reborn into a blogger once more!