Clichè End of Year Review

At the beginning of the year I set myself 10 targets of what I wanted to achieve this year. Fair to say, I haven’t done any of the goals I set, but in fact, I’ve achieved things that I would have never thought of.

I wanted to lose more weight, well that didn’t happen, in-fact I put weight on😂.

I wanted to achieve a PB in a 10K run, well crippling injuries screwed that over.

I wanted to end the academic year with a 2:1, well I did that:).

I wanted to be in a good place going into the new year the the open uni. Well, a huge change of direction clearly happened on that front!

I wanted to achieve self confidence and self worth, for the first time in a long time, I achieved that.

Of all the times I wanted to achieve, this was by far the most important, I wanted to raise awareness for mental health one way or another. This is something which I believe I have done. This blog has supported that and I’m rather out spoken about how I feel the NHS are regarding mental health too!

Every year so many people set goals and don’t achieve them and get down hearted. The reality is, is despite those goals you have for yourself, you may achieve so much more.

In May this year when I was effectively told I was losing my job, I was heartbroken and worried about what the future may bring, but that happening to me, made me chase something else. I was disillusioned with the OU so explored a different avenue, to see if it was viable. 6 months on, it’s clearly was viable and being told I was losing my job, was probably the best thing to ever happen to me! Of course the reasons for losing my job were disappointing and something which I can’t divulge, but it certainly opened me up to the educational system!:)

After 2015, I knew life could never be that bad again and every year would be better than that! If someone would have said that losing my job which I loved so much, would be the catalyst for so much positivity to come into my life, I would have told them where to go as such. In life sometimes a positive may only come from a negative event!:)

So until next time,

Ben!

Hidden Battles

So I’ve been contemplating whether or not to do this post for a long while, but I think it’s relevant so here goes.

This post is going to be solely on the hidden battles which people go through, whether that be from mental health, eating disorders to a range of other illnesses. There is something which I went through from roughly 12/13 years old to 21/22 years old. I suffered from something called Night Eating Disorder (NES). Now this may seem a funny way of effectively saying, binge eating or being a pig, but during the first time of having depression, I comfort ate over night every night. Sometimes to the point of having 8-10 chocolate bars over night.

Now this is something which no one really knows I ever had, only really coming clean to certain people in recent months. An ex used to mention I was a “secret eater”, but I never ever felt the confidence to tell her. Now this was no fault of her own, but my mind made me feel guilt. Sadly having this for so long has basically destroyed my teeth which is why I now have major issues with them.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is, that people on the outside may seem perfectly okay and that they are facing no battles or issues. Granted I put on considerable weight during this period, but until late 2016, no one ever questioned my weight and neither did I.

Everyone has battles in life and so many people are afraid to get help, reach out and admit they’re struggling. Support needs to advertised more and give people the true belief that if they try and get help, it will be available and ultimately be available quickly. On average the waiting list for mental health support, is 8-12 months at present, something of which I have been on since August this myself. I’ve had to fight urges to quit uni, to give up on myself and at times not bother with life. Granted there’s so much positivity in my life at present, but just because that is the case for myself and so many, that didn’t necessarily mean, I was okay. Inside, I felt like I was drowning constantly and for around 4 months, I felt dizzy constantly, only ending of late.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is, is that we all need to be more aware of the fact so many people battle with issues of all sorts, but not many people will be aware of it. This issue once again goes back to where society is failing us all, in terms of how little confidence society gives us, that we will be supported if we admit our struggles.

Thankyou for reading as always,

Ben

How to beat the bad days

So it’s well documented that I struggle with mental health and those who struggle with mental health, will know that when you’re having a bad day or period, it’s incredibly hard to find a way out of it and to at times, not give up on life and the things you enjoy.

Of late, I’ve suffered incredibly badly with anxiety and feeling low about everything from uni, to Friendship, to family etc. But the reality is, I had to find a way through it and I still seek my path through it as I write this. Over reading week around 5 weeks ago, I had a huge anxiety attack, so much so, I ended up in hospital because of it, but somehow only 3 days later, I found a way to get to uni, and muddle through lectures.

So what am I getting at here? In short, it’s about how I found strength and showed that inner grit to see the light. On average I probably have 2 bad days a week where I really do not want to continue with uni, socialising and at times, the life which I have worked so hard to have. I’m incredibly open about how I deal with things and for me the best way I deal with having the bad days, is to write a blog post, write a poem or have a good old musical theatre session where I watch as many musical theatre films as I can. I’m not afraid to admit, it’s my guilty pleasure and hidden love.

I’m not going to preach or give advice on how to get through the tough days, we are all individuals and have our own ways, but I suppose what I’m trying to say is, is that during those bad days, try and find something you enjoy about life and spend time doing it.

Life gives you ups and downs, more downs than ups usually, but it’s about how we respond and turn back into the positives. We can’t predict what will happen in life next, but we can only respond to it and go down a positive route. An old psychologist who I used to attend counselling with once showed me that life is like a game of checkers. You can’t predict everyone else’s moves, you can only take a deep breath, think and then make your next move.

Until next time,

Ben

What Does Christmas Mean To You?

So with the time of the year being Christmas, those who know me well will say I’m a bit of a Scrooge. Not the biggest fan of some of Christmas at times as depressing as it sounds. For me growing up Christmas was all about The 3 Fs of Food, Family and Fun, and not about getting loads of presents. Yes me and my sister were well looked after at Christmas, but never spoilt at all. We were taught from a very very early age to appreciate any gift we received but also appreciate the family that spent time with us.

Every family has their own traditions for Christmas whether that be getting up at 6am to open presents or opening them after Christmas dinner. But if you think about it, everything you really do on Christmas Day such as presents and Christmas dinner revolves around spending time with your Family and loved ones.

This year for my family a different occasion will happen. Kelly and Her Partner have invited myself, parents, nan and most importantly the Dog, to hers for Christmas Dinner! Now her house is lovely but not huge at all, but I’m strangely looking forward to it. It’s something different but it’s a momentous thing for Kelly and Charlie as it’s their first Christmas in their own place, something which I am immensely proud of her for. The danger of all this is that she is cooking!! Yes she’s a good cook of every day food, but a big meal such as that, seriously does worry me, so if you don’t hear from me after Christmas, say a prayer or 2 for me and she’s probably poisoned me!😂

But like I said at the beginning of post, Christmas means something different to everyone of us and it’s not about what I think Christmas should mean, it’s about how you show the ones you love, you care and for just 1 day each year, you try to forget the sadness and stress of life and just enjoy life for what it is!:)

Until Next time,

Ben

A Huge Change

So the last week or so, something huge and quite nice happened. I was approached and accepted and now 100% agreed to a agreement of what direction the blog will be going in which will result in me being paid to blog. Granted it won’t be a great deal of money but to be paid for something I enjoy and also something I can write in roughly 15 mins per post, is brilliant.

Since I came back to blog properly in May, I chose to only focus on areas I actually care about and inspired to cover, so to be offered this chance for 12 months is brilliant. I haven’t achieved all that i want to with this blog yet, far from it but have a few ideas going forward into the new year about what direction the blog will go and what things I will be blogging about.

So admittedly this is a short post, but one which I am really happy to share and it’s the hard work I’ve put in the last 6 months, which has given this opportunity. So Thankyou to all that have read any of my posts as they all add to viewing figures and awareness of certain topics.

Thankyou once again,

Ben:)