The art of letting go and starting again.

28.2.17

The art of getting by / getting over a break up - here

The art of sleeping - here

When Paul and I broke up just before Christmas I initially threw myself into looking for a job and house in Sheffield, so that I could be near to friends, familiar places, and (if I'm being really honest) him. Due to the shock of the break up and the adrenaline that was pumping around my body my chronic fatigue syndrome faded into the background and I convinced myself that I was well enough to go back to full time working and running my own home. I attended interviews and painted a smile on. I was barely eating, sleeping or thinking straight and my health came crashing down when the initial shock of what was happening wore off. I felt like I was back at square one; all of my hard work from the last year felt undone and I was so full of anger.

My homeopath recommended doing some "cord cutting" meditation exercises to cut ties with previous relationships, but one day I had the realisation that what I really needed to cut ties with is Sheffield. It's not my hometown; I ended up there through a series of events and stayed there as I had a good job at that time. It's full of bad memories and the more I go back, the more I really hate being there. I don't want to bump into people from the past who I would rather forget, and a lot of friends I made over the years have faded away as a result of people being busy with their own lives, and probably due to my illness, and that's fair enough.

I highly recommend cord cutting if you're struggling to let go of something or someone. You can do it using videos on YouTube or you can make your own up; visualise yourself attached to whatever it is by a thick cord and watch yourself cut through the cord with a big sharp sword. Watch the people/person/things fade away and see good things happening for them (that bit is pretty tricky ;)) Really focus on seeing the cords being severed and the feeling of freedom. Repeat it over and over until the feelings shrink. 

I recently drove past my old high school and primary school, and met up with a couple of school friends, and it clicked into place. Leeds is where I was born and lived for the first 20odd years of my life, and it's where I have to stay for now. The universe has brought me back here for a reason and I have to trust that this is where I need to be. And in the future, if I move somewhere else, then so be it. But for now, it's goodbye Sheffield. Thanks for the memories! Even if some of them are a bit painful.


Isle of Man trip photos [February 2017].

27.2.17

I jetted off (well, took the 20 minute flight) to the Isle of Man last week to spend a few days with my sister; they live in Peel close to the sea/beach which I am insanely jealous about. I was ready for some fresh sea air, a change of scenery and, of course, to see my niece, Mabel. She is changing so much so quickly, so it's nice to see her as often as I can.

I managed the drive to Liverpool airport and back by myself without feeling too poorly for doing it, which is good going considering driving is the activity that wipes me out the most. I still enjoy the novelty of such a short flight and I quite like flying on my own and pottering around the airport while I wait for my gate number.


The weather was beautiful on my first full day; chilly but with blue skies and bright sunshine, but the rest of my trip was drizzly and grey. It didn't stop us getting out and about though. We took one or two walks each day, paid a trip to the park and had a go on the swings, pottered around on the beach, and went on coffee dates. There was plenty of playing and dancing around in the house through the days, which explains my 8:30pm bedtimes each night :)

I am going back again in a couple of weeks to keep my sister company while her husband is away seeing friends. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for warmer, dryer weather next time around!


10 things making me happy at the moment.

17.2.17

1) Learning calligraphy.

2) Netflix. I am currently making my way through Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and last weekend I binge watched Santa Clarita Diet. I highly recommend both!

3) Self-help books (and books with Instagram worthy covers!) I can't get enough of books on the body, mind and spirituality at the moment. Send me your recommendations peeps! 

4) Fresh flowers dotted round the house.

5) Lily and Lola cuddling up with Amber the cat. Three squishy faces instead of two is a delight!

6) Making good progress with my current cross stitch project. I am hoping to finish it in the next couple of weeks and get it posted off to the recipient.

7) Feeling stronger every day; managing to get out walking and doing yoga most days and it feels fantastic. 

8) Chatting to my lovely friends on Instagram.

9) Blue skies and fluffy white clouds (finally!) I am welcoming any future temperature increases and sunshine with open warms.

10) Sainsbury's freshly baked gluten free bread. OMG. Game changer.

You?


Life lately (old mates and lunch dates).

15.2.17

There was so much love for my last blog post - thank you! It was one of the easiest and quickest posts I've ever written because the words flowed straight from my heart into my fingers, and it felt so good to get it all out there. 

It's been almost a month since my last "life lately" post and even though I have been sharing daily life over on my Instagram page, for those folks who aren't on there I thought an update was in order. 

My broken heart has slowly been gluing itself back together. I smile and find joy in my days again, and I truly feel like it was for the best even though at first I couldn't see it in that way. I have been doing a lot of "letting go" exercises; letting go of old boyfriends and living in Sheffield and my old ways of life. My focus is now on being back in Leeds, friends, family, my health and happiness, and taking one day at a time. Some days are better than others but I am finding that when I am diligent with my meditating/breathing exercises, yoga, walking in nature, writing in my diary, avoiding junk food and drinking plenty of water, etc, it is easier to feel good and stay on the right side of my chronic fatigue syndrome. 


What else have I been up to?

Last week I met up with the wonderful Kelly aka Kelanjo (her blog is here) after not seeing her since our early 2009/2010 blogging days. She only lives 15 minutes away from where I'm staying with my parents, so we popped out for a brew and a long overdue chinwag. I genuinely had such a lovely afternoon and was smiling all evening thinking of the daft stuff we had been laughing about. We had a pot of tea and browsed in the shops at Salts Mill, discussing our love for books and trying to hunt down Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur (still haven't got my hands on a copy).

A couple of days ago I met up with two old pals who go way back to high school. We met in year 7 as diddy 12 year olds and were the bestest of friends through high school and sixth form. Due to a couple of us moving away in our mid 20s we lost touch and haven't met up as a "three" in about 6 years, but I'm determined it won't happen again. It was so good to see two familiar faces and to talk about old times.

Aside from that I have been doing lots of reading (self-help books are my fave), walking along the canal most days, I sent books to some strangers with a note inside, I have been working on a new cross stitch project which I am making as a surprise for a friend, so I can't share it just yet, and I have been hanging out with my mum quite a bit. We had a lunch date at Pie Minister in Leeds a couple of Saturdays ago and it was bloody delicious.


That's all for now; have a good Wednesday people! xx


Why I am glad my life fell apart.

6.2.17

It is fair to say that the last two years have not been plain sailing for me and along the way I have wrestled with a variety of emotions, along with feeling very sorry for myself and often asking "why me!" But in the last couple of months I have had my eyes opened. I realised that I am glad my life has fallen apart because I never would have been able to become a better version of myself without those experiences. I am also kinda sorta glad I have been ill. That last part sounds like a weird thing to say but again, without the wake-up call of becoming ill through chronic stress and not taking care of myself, I never would have been shaken up enough to make massive changes in my life (changes I have wanted to make for so long).

I have spent my entire life trying to fit into boxes.

I went to university because most of my friends were going and that's what you do, isn't it? Do your A-levels and go to university. Except my heart wasn't in it. I picked a random course because I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life (still don't really) and quit after 2 weeks. 

I thought that being engaged and getting married like everyone else would fix all of my problems and make me feel on top of the world. But planning my wedding made me feel physically ill, something I found difficult to verbalise at the time and something I really wrestled with and couldn't make sense of. The wedding felt like someone elses "dream wedding", not mine. After years of pining to get married I wasn't even sure I wanted to get married at all, ever. The end result was that I ran away from it all and threw a 4.5 year relationship down the drain, and have had to deal with guilt and regret ever since. 

At school I always felt different to everyone else and I saw it as a bad thing. 

In relationships generally I have always felt that people have wanted to change me, and dull my sparkle a little. And I have let them for an easy life and to please them over pleasing myself. 


I truly believe that things have to fall apart sometimes in order to get better beyond what you thought they could be. I truly believe that my future is going to be so much better for the experiences I have had with my last couple of relationships and the struggles I have had with my health and wellbeing. 

Before I got poorly I was stressed and on edge all the time. I always felt like I wasn't where I should be in life but I had no idea how to change it. I was impatient and angry about way too much for someone who had a really good life. I didn't do anything to relax or anything for me. My world revolved around what my boyfriends were doing. I was unhappy in every job I had. I was depressed often, and hated myself and my body. I had problems with binge eating and restricting food which I couldn't seem to escape from. 

Being ill has introduced me to meditation, emotional freedom technique (EFT) and has forced me to read a whole host of books which have increased my knowledge about my mind, body and emotions immensely. This has allowed me to uncover hidden emotions and put them to rest. 

Being dumped a couple of months ago has forced me to spot unhealthy patterns in my relationships and, for the first time ever, I want to be single. I don't want a relationship, apart from having one with myself. I want to learn to love myself instead of throwing all my love in someone elses direction.

It feels amazing to have realised so many things about myself and to be able to blossom into a new person. I've still got a long way to go but I know I will always look back on these troubled times with a grateful heart.

Books I have read in 2017 (5-7).

2.2.17

#5 Living a Life Less Toxic by Faith Canter - 4.5/5 

Faith Canter is a wonderful woman I stumbled across on You Tube who has recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after suffering for many years following a bout of glandular fever, which as you may know is what has happened to me. I purchased Faith's first book on my Kindle, keen to find out more about her recovery story and what changes I could make to my life to make it less "toxic".

I have watched pretty much all of Faith's videos and I am already fairly strict with my CFS recovery "plan" (daily meditation, positive affirmations, positive mindset, detox baths, dietary changes, getting out in nature, good sleep routine, yada yada yada) so a few of the areas covered in the book were already familiar to me. That being said it was a further reinforcement of why I need to continue with these things, and I was inspired to make further changes to detoxing my mind and body. For example, she talks about swapping chemical products for natural ones complete with "how to" guides and this is something I'm going to do in the future. 

If you're newly diagnosed with CFS/ME and don't know where to start, I highly recommend Faith's book and You Tube videos to set yourself on the right path. Don't spend months waiting for help from the NHS like I did. Get cracking with your own research right now! 

I really like the chapter on EFT (Emotional Freedom Tapping) and I have found some good results from incorporating that into my routine. I wish this book was longer and a little cheaper, hence knocking half a point off from full marks. 

#6 The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck 5/5

This book was recommended to me by my beautiful friend Alix. Boy oh boy, it's a good'un! It has opened my eyes to life and love, patterns I have fallen into with relationships and people, unhealthy habits and why they have formed, and has given me the ability to process why past relationships have failed. I hate to be such a cliche but this book has changed my life! I wish I had read it 10 years ago.


#7 A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 4/5

From self help to a short fiction book, A Monster Calls was recommended to me by my sister and I read it across the space of a couple of evenings. It's a fantasy novel aimed at children/YA about a boy faced with the imminent death of his mother. It is written by Patrick Ness based on ideas by author Siobhan Dowd who sadly passed away before she could write the story.

It's easy to read and I was absorbed in the story immediately. I felt every emotion the young boy was feeling, and the "monster" provides a number of stories that really resonated with me and can be applied to helping in every day life. I wanted the story to go on longer. I am also really keen to see the film now!

What have you finished reading lately?