Our voice… 

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We always have a voice. Every day we wake up and speak to those around us, speaking happiness and anger and everything in between.

But there’s one day every few years (or more often as has been evident, or we wouldn’t be careering towards Thursday) which means we get the best opportunity to be heard – a general election. 

I’m not going to sit here and say how you should vote, why should I tell you what to say? That’d be wrong, so I won’t. 

I will just emplore, plead and reason with you to actually vote. I’m not going to sit and say all the regular clichés as to why you should, so I’ll say the following… 

Whatever decision you make has the potential to change lives. Yours, your child’s, your family’s, your friends, your neighbours, your workmates. Whatever we wake up to on Friday will change the course of our country for the next five years, negotiating Brexit, changing taxes, navigating a new world economy, managing the threats and fear spread by those who seek to suppress our beautiful way of life and life those other things in between. 

So how should you vote? With passion, with pride, with conviction in your choice, with your future in mind. 

How does this look to me?

As I leave university, I find myself so heavily passionate about Mental Health and counselling because of my course. Our country is beautiful and fragile, as are it’s people. It’s OK to not be OK and we’ve for far too long been left with a system that is weakened by the pressure of those who need help. There is no shame in needing support and needing to talk. I will find the manifesto that best suits a progressive way forward to fund and support mental health.

I am getting married in a few months and we intend to start a family. I want my child to grow up in a positive place. Where opportunity is a right, not a privilege for those able to afford it. I want my child to have a well funded and thorough education with options beyond their wildest dreams. I want them to live happily, fulfilled, with a full tum, a bright mind and a happy heart. I will find the manifesto to support this desire.

We are leaving the European Union. Whether you voted for or or against it. It’s happening. What happens next and with whom shapes our future inexplicably. I hope for a good economy. An accepting and multicultural society. I hope we come out with some positivity despite me having reservations about what lies ahead. I will find the manifesto that provides some light at the end of what’s been a dark and murky tunnel.

I have relied and will continue to rely upon our NHS. I’ve had trials and tribulations along the way but that organisation is full of glorious, talented, hardworking doctors, nurses, porters, consultants, surgeons, admin staff, café staff and cleaners. I want to know I can continue to go to a place where I will be well cared for, now, at 30 and into my old age. I want to be able to know my family will be cared for adequately as it was when my father passed. I will find the manifesto to keep my world healthy.

Because I’m getting married, I want my own home! I want a world where I can have my family in a home, with a garden and space and love. I will find the manifesto that supports our world to have a roof over its head, that recognises the need for the odd bit of help and recognises a need for affordable homes for us normal folks.

I want to continue in my career knowing that what I contribute helps me, my family and those around me. NHS, police, schools and the like. I will find a manifesto that is fair for all of us in terms of tax payments and contributions.

I want to feel safe in my bed at night with community policing abundant for my neighbourhood and across the breadth of the UK. I want to know that the extremely brave and talented police force we have is supported, funded, expanded and we as a country are safe. I will find a manifesto that endeavours to secure this, or at the very least, improve it.
I will not tell you how to vote. But consider the world when you vote. Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple… Whatever the colour rosette. Choose hope and progress for us. Choose positivity, not oppression. Choose a happy future where we can be proud in the towns, cities and villages we live in. Choose a representative who speaks for you, not falls silent upon challenge. Choose a representative who is not afraid to stand up and fight for you.

But above all. Vote. Please vote. Whether young or old, a first timer or an old hand. Get out there on Thursday and vote.

I know exactly how I intend to vote and I hope nobody feels I’ve shoved it down their throats as I often endeavour to be a bit Switzerland (thanks Rich!) and respect your right to choose.

Don’t think you’re unheard. You are heard.  Don’t think you don’t matter. You do. Don’t think nothing will change. Trust me, it does every time for someone.

Please go and vote.

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Defiance in the face of hate… 

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Following the harrowing and tragic event that occurred just a couple of short days ago, it’s felt hard to know what to say. 

How can you adequately express in an eloquent enough way the sorrow and the hurt you feel for those suffering their lowest and darkest moments?
These emotions cannot be felt more deeply than by those who witnessed, who felt and experienced and by those who lost their friends, family, workmates and loved ones.

We live not in a wicked world, we live in a world with those individuals who seek to destroy us with their wicked acts. They shall not prevail.

Love is the most passionate and strongest of all the emotions. Our country is bound by love. Manchester is bound by love.

We stand united against the darkness that attempts to damage our lives, our homes, our families, our friendships. We stand as one world united against hatred. One heart beating against those that seek to ruin our existence.

We will not falter. We will not bend. Our solidarity will prevail far and above the hatred and evil in this life and the next.

Love conquers all. 

Lowest…. 

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Yeah, this isn’t going to be a positive post by any stretch of the imagination. 

I just came here to try and vent some of what’s going on in my head. 

Mainly, I miss my Dad. I miss my Dad so much it’s physically hurting me. I miss him so much I feel like my soul is alone. I’m sat here sobbing because I feel like I’m forgetting him. I miss him so much I’d move Heaven and Earth just for one phone call to hear his voice and to be able to tell him how much I love him. 

I’m now at a point where this ache is so severe I’m seeing a counsellor. I’m proud I’ve done it. I’m proud I’ve been able to ask and receive the help I need. Counsellor is great. She listens. She hears all the hurt and regret and pain and “black ball of shit” that festers deep inside the pit of my stomach. The little lake of rage which is, at a moment’s notice, a tsunami that, once gone, does not leave a blank slate on which to start over, but leaves devastation and heartache. 

My heart hurts. I suppress cries which I want to scream from mountain tops. I know it’ll do nothing but release the volume and terror and ache I feel inside. It won’t bring him back. It won’t change it. 

That’s not even it. I sit here and I deeply regret the fact that my ex will be a never ending, existent memory within this whole disgusting process. The plane journey, the never ending texts, the phone calls, the phoney support and the unwarranted and despicable anger I received prior to the funeral. 

He’s always there. A dirty blotch on the whole thing. I can’t cut the ties and get rid of it. Despite the fact that I’ve told my counsellor that the two things were entirely separate. 

That whole aspect of my life disgusts me. It shames me. I rarely look back and feel relief. I look back and feel remorse. Look at what I did to myself. Look at who I became. Look at what I lived with. I hate myself for it. 

I’ve moved on a lot since, of course. I’m getting married in November and the future looks so bright. But I am finding it, right now, very hard to look in that direction. 

The chasm my Dad’s death has left in me will never reduce. Right now, it just feels like it’s getting bigger and consuming me. 

Anxiety and anger are becoming a very unwelcome part of who I am. My mind isn’t calm, it races with worry over something. Anything. Everything. 

Yet I’ll get up, I’ll head to work and I’ll be the consummate professional. I’ll login, I’ll work. I’ll laugh and joke with colleagues and I’ll eat my lunch in the kitchen and chat to those who come in. I’ll see my friends outside of work and be the life and soul, I’ll make you laugh, I’ll make you wince with a terrible joke tinged with sarcasm…. But I tell you through all this what I won’t be… 

Telling the truth. I’m sad. I’m hurting. 

Don’t read this and think I’ll do something ridiculous. I won’t. I’ll still be here tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that. But as those days continue I will feel like I’m leaving a little more of me behind and the shadow is the replacement. 

I want to fight it. I really honestly do. But I feel, right now, like I will lose. 

I just want a hug off my Dad and for him to make me feel safe. And I can never have it again. 

Fear.

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Tonight, I write this in fear, apprehension and upset.

I write this because in nine hours, I’m going to be sat in a hospital gown waiting for a man to thread a wire up into me, stress my heart until it does the thing I hate then have him burn the part of it that causes all my wobbles and weirdness.

I write this because I am worried. I’m worried it won’t work. I’m worried something will go wrong and I’m worried because I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I’m going to be sedated, quite heavily and someone’s going to be tinkering in my chest and the thought of that is something I don’t want to think about but cannot stop thinking about.

I’ve spent today trying to relax as much as possible. Had a long lie in, nice bacon sandwich and watched some Heroes whilst getting cuddles. Then nipped to the shops to get some new slippers and something to wear once it’s all done in the hospital coz like hell am I spending the entire time in a rancid hospital gown. So not my style.

But then the thought of tomorrow and the unknown of how it’s going to feel creeps in and it’s really dragged a dark cloud over my day.

I stopped taking my medication five days ago and my heart has played up loads and each time it’s been like it’s giving me two fingers and going “Hey bitch, remember me? I’m your big problem and I’m not going anywhere yet”. I hate that feeling. That feeling has controlled me and stopped me doing things and scared me and I don’t want it. But I am so fearful of tomorrow I almost don’t want to go.

I’ve had numerous people tell me it’ll be fine and it’s minor and it’ll all be OK. That’s great. But it’s not them doing it. It’s not them lying there counting back from ten and drifting off. It’s not them lying there terrified that you’ll be the one in however many hundred and thousand that it all goes wrong for.

I just needed to try and expel some of that fear and find the me that can fight through, know it’s OK and come out of the other side of the sedative a person with a proper working ticker!

Tomorrow is going to be tough. And I write that as I get a bit upset and yeah I might be crying a little.

But it’s my heart. It’s the most important bit of me. The bit that swells with pride when something goes well, the bit of me that has been stamped on and torn to shreds by people who I shouldn’t have allowed to be near it, and now it’s the hopeful bit of me that skips a genuine and not medical issue induced beat whenever I see the one I love and the future I have with them.

So Damn it, tomorrow had best go to plan or I’m gonna be one pissed lady…

On that note, shit I have to be up in seven hours… Night.

Loss and the purgatory of moving on…

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Yes, it’s a depressing one for the New Year… Sorry but I needed to get this all out in the open….

Christmas is not a particularly easy time for me any more. Actually, from late October until my birthday (Monday) is pretty hard…

Lost my Dad late October last year, then it’s his birthday on November 20th, then it slips into Christmas.

That’s all just gone to hell the last year or two when you include me losing my Grandad the year before.

It’s not nice to have your table guests reduce year on year until you end up invited to someone else’s house. It feels surreal, and whilst I will eternally appreciate the warm welcome me and my Mum got, it felt wrong.

Normally, Christmas would be getting up, swapping gifts, heading across to see family whilst dinner was cooking then home to a wonderful home cooked dinner and relaxation in front of the TV with my parents and Grandad.

When my Grandad got ill, the last year before he died, we did the presents, we saw the family and we went to feed my Grandad his Christmas dinner in the nursing home. That was the start of Christmas being different… Then Grandad died in the January.

Fast forward and a sense of impending deja vu. Watching my Dad die, as I’ve said before, is one of the most heartbreaking experiences and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Funeral got planned, then my head went and exploded and I moved home… Then Christmas was looming. And it was horrible. Christmas without two of the most important people in my life just felt horrible, surreal, wrong and unwanted. Mum and I got invited to family and it was a pleasant distraction but it was still not right. Because it wasn’t what I’d experienced for the last twenty or so years…

2014 started and things plodded along nicely, then Christmas started to come. I felt a bit better but you know what? I just feel like I’ve lied to myself. Like I’ve tried to force this type of Christmas to be alright and it’s not.

Is it wrong to say I’m jealous of other people? I’m jealous that their festivities haven’t altered and mine have to such a degree I just feel like I’m slotting in with everyone else in the fading hope I will start to get past it all?

I’ve repeated and repeated everything that’s happened the last two years to people. Honestly, I cannot say why to a certain degree except I get the feeling I’m seriously not past everything that’s happened, as much as I slap on a smile and pretend it’s all ok. I’m sure some people think I’m clinging on to it and it’s damaging my chances of being happy in future but it’s hard when all you feel you’ve experienced is loss. Any happiness I have I hold on to, tightly… And maybe that’s wrong because I isolate it and fear myself into thinking that it’ll disappear. I know that’s wrong. But I don’t want to lose what makes me smile. Whatever that might be as time goes on. That’s probably a damaging point of view because my fear will likely scare it all off… But it’s difficult to break a cycle you’re used to.

There is no time limit on grief. There is no time limit on losing someone and coming to terms with it. There’s no expiry date on sadness. So why is it that society seems to think there is? Why is it that people give you that patronising head tilt with the “Aww, time is a healer” or “You’ll make a new life for yourself”. Well fuck you…. If you had two of your closest family members taken from you in unexpected circumstances, would you find it so easy to move on and make a new life? No, because you wouldn’t have felt like you were finished with the old one. There is no grace period and then BAM, you’re OK again.

I am angry and sick and tired of being made to feel like I should be OK about all the bullshit that’s happened. If I hear “it’ll make me a stronger person” or “things will get better” one more time I swear I’ll scream. I heard that when my Grandad died and you know what? It didn’t get better. It got a damn sight worse. To the point where I find it difficult to go “Oh yeah there’s light at the end of the tunnel”. Life has got better for me this past year as it’s gone on, but Christmas doesn’t half bring you back down to earth with a crash bang wallop.

I want normality. I want to feel like life is normal. But what is normal? I have no idea. This is probably the time where I need to make a new life, new plans and move on… But I’m not ready to leave my old life behind to a degree because it wasn’t my choice in some respects (some were, as people who have read my blog before know) and this middle ground is astoundingly difficult to navigate.

This is a rant and a ramble to try and clear my mind of what’s happening. If I come across as a bit of a looney… Well, my apologies. Grief and loss do strange things to us all…

If I had a Tardis, I would use it. And I suspect many of you know where I’d be right now…

All I ever wanted…

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I’ve not blogged in a while…

I didn’t really want to say much…except…

Isn’t it lovely when you look at someone and see everything you ever wanted? When you look at someone and smile because they really make you happy? When you feel calm and contented just being in total silence with them?

I feel that. And it makes me happy.

I just wanted to say that.

Late night mind floss…

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I’m lying in bed, Chvrches playing in my ears after a fairly turbulent 24 hours.

Started about 10.30 last night whilst watching telly with my mum and my chest started feeling a bit weird. Figured it was just my heart playing up again as I’d been to the doctors at the end of last week because it hadn’t felt right and a certain person I know had been hassling me about getting it seen to.

That visit consisted of me telling the doctor I’d almost fainted on the first day of my new job, I’m constantly tired, can’t do things like get up stairs without feeling knackered, if my heart wobbles, I end up feeling weirdly hungry (but that’s been explained that my blood sugar goes all over the place when my heart goes out of line and me feeling hungry is a result of that), I ended up not being able to go to the Cheshire Show because on the way there, I had such a bad wobble I started slurring my words and falling asleep mid sentence. Consequently, I was told I should have gone to hospital but hey… You know me… (in all seriousness, I’m terrified of going to the hospital again and having cardioversion… The fun shocks you see on Casualty lol)

Anyway… I went upstairs and figured hey, I’ll check my pulse because if it is my AF (atrial fibrillation), my pulse will be substantially higher. What I didn’t expect is to try and take my pulse over ten times and utterly fail. I use an app on my phone which yeah, probably isn’t the most medically accurate thing going but it helps. It was bouncing between 62-120 and wouldn’t settle. The left hand side of my chest was increasingly tight and I felt wobbly so I made the decision to go to hospital. Mum wanted to call an ambulance but I refused, I didn’t want to cause a fuss and I didn’t think I felt *that* bad so figured I’d be seen quickly enough due to it being a heart problem.

Anyway, I got dressed, hopped (not literally) to the car and went to A&E… Wow was it busy. Found out after my release that on a typical Monday night they have 180-190 in. Last night, they had 248. Thankfully, due to my condition, I was taken through to the majors section, had my blood pressure taken, an ECG done and got left to wait for a cubicle. Unfortunately, Mum wasn’t allowed to sit with me due to the lack of seats available so the poor thing had to wait 2.5 hours in reception. Time passed and I got shuffled into a gown, hooked up to all manner of things and had a vat of blood (well it felt like it…) through a needle in my arm (Urgh, I hate needles)…

Two hours later, I get a lovely doctor who tells me I had experienced arythmia that appeared to have regulated itself and I was able to leave. I got a bit emotional, as you’d expect, because I was pleased I could leave and I was very relieved I was OK. She explained that if the episode happens for more than twenty mins then I am to go back. 4.30am is a time I don’t want to see in that situation again…! So I came home, ate toast as I’d not had much to eat that day and collapsed into bed.

One small gripe I have is the differing reports and advice I’ve had since my diagnosis, which is now being questioned…

I got diagnosed with AF after my initial episode last year, I call it AF because it’s all I’ve been told I have. Cardiologists in Sutton Coldfield told me that it was electrical signals to my heart from my brain causing the problem and I got given a “pill in the pocket” medication to take in case of a bad episode.

Since I returned to Chester and have had my wobbles, I’ve been referred back to cardiologists to re-assess my condition and told to either go to A&E if my wobbles happen for ten seconds, and go if they’re more than twenty minutes. I’m not totally sure what to do…! I guess I’ll know if I need to go back, eh? I’ve also got to have a seven day recorder to catch when my wobbles happen because anytime I’ve had ECGs or recorders, they’ve been too short term and typically, haven’t caught a thing!!

Honestly? I’m scared. I’m bloody terrified, actually. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m waiting weeks for answers. I have wobbles that make me want to instantly go to sleep or eat half a scabby horse just to feel normal. If it wasn’t for a couple of specific people in my life, I’d probably have totally fallen apart, particularly last night. Whilst my Mum was with me and was a support, there was one person who kept me sane by staying awake and messaging me. I know you’ll read this so thank you. Don’t know what I’d do without you.

Anyway, here I lie, now System of a Down is playing, wondering what’s next… I know this problem won’t go away. I don’t know what’s causing it. But the word I need to use is “yet”. I need to try and grab this problem by the balls and control it. I’ve had enough of things controlling me. No more! Just want answers. Sooner rather than later.

In more positive news, I’ve approached the university about doing a short term course on counselling skills with a view to training in it.

You guys know I adore my cakes and confectionery, but the market is saturated with every fad going and unfortunately, there are no local courses for me to pursue. I also don’t want to be in a position where I hate something I love because it’s a job and not a hobby. Counselling is something I’ve always been interested in. I figured the introductory course would give me a good idea of what to expect. Mum’s friend is trained and didn’t do a full degree so I’m going to speak to her, too. Could be a fantastic, fulfilling career. You never know unless you try, huh?

Might be a good idea for me to listen rather than speak for once Haha 😉

Anyway, that’s got a lot of how I’m feeling out and now you know more about what happened. If you’re interested, obviously!

On that note… Bed….

Until next time

T xxx