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General health and well-being Hull Bloggers Informative posts Mental Illness

My 2015 round-up

Hello there. Now it’s safe to admit that Christmas is well and truly over. The decorations and trees in people’s houses have come down, and there’s talk of spring cleaning and resolutions everywhere you go.

In light of the New Year I feel a need to look back on it and reflect a little.

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2015 was an odd year. There were fantastic highs, and terrible lows, and not really much in between.

Let me explain.

2015 saw me finally accept I needed help for my depression and anxiety. Initially, this was a terrible situation. My anxiety was without a doubt at its worst. I found it almost impossible to leave my house without Drew. And when things got too much, I couldn’t bear to even bump into my housemates so I deliberately altered my sleeping pattern to avoid people. Of course, it wasn’t anyone’s fault, but things got so bad that every sound made my heart beat so fast. I’d wake up dripping in sweat, having been jolted awake by terrifying flashbacks to a traumatic time, and dealing with all this alongside chronic pain and third year was really very difficult. Though it was a definite low point, I’m pleased to say that things got better.

Because, what’s most important, is that I realised I needed help and made the decision to get it.

That’s a definite high point, because it was the best decision I ever made. Through a mixture of counseling and medication, I’ve managed to keep my mental illnesses under control.

2015 was also increasingly difficult with regards to chronic pain from my spinal condition and cerebral palsy. There were very bad days. So bad in fact that for a week or so my diet consisted of instant cuppa soup as getting up to cook things was just far too painful, especially when having to prepare things with my affected arm.

But, I am pleased to say that I made it through. And, in what feels like forever, I’m finally being listened to by doctors. For once I feel like people are listening. That people really do want to help. And as a result I’m seeing an orthopaedic consultant, neurologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapists, orthotists and having regular pain management. Though I know there will never be a cure for my cerebral palsy and spinal problem, I know I can look at managing their symptoms and getting the best out of my body. Slowly , and with the help of my occupational therapist, I’m learning to undo all that negative ableism that’s permeated my thoughts. I’m learning to accept that it’s okay when I can’t do certain things. I’m learning to accept that my best is more than good enough. I’m learning that I have achieved so much in spite of all these things and that I need to stop being so hard on myself. I’m finally learning to accept who I am.

It’s OK that I can’t always do things for myself. I’m doing my best, my absolute best , and that’s all I can ask for.

I certainly did my best in 2015 when I graduated from university with a BA hons degree in the summer. Those painful, long-winded nights in the library dosed up on codeine paid off. I did it, and for once I can admit that I did well. Here is a picture of Drew and I in our silly hats to prove it.

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I also got onto my MRes course at university, which is everything I hoped for and more. Fingers crossed I’ll be getting to wear that silly hat again once more!

2015 saw me getting more and more into my blogging. Blogging initially started as a way of achieving catharsis and discussing things I felt were important to me. 2015 saw my blogging continue to grow and I want to take the chance to say thank you for putting up with me! You’ve all been fabulous. You have no idea how much it means to me that people actually read what I write on here!

I also collaborated with some fabulous brands this year, which is absolutely amazing! I’d like to thank Personal Planner, Primula, Wren Kitchens, Al Porto, Ultradex, Nine to Five Heels and Stick to Stigu (just to name a few!) for the wonderful opportunities you have given me. It has been fabulous to work with you all and many thanks for your support!

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2015 also allowed me to continue making lots of friends through blogging. The summer event was absolutely fantastic and I’ve made some really lovely friends. I’m hoping that the #HullBloggers will go from strength to strength in 2016, and thank you all for being so lovely!

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It sounds a little silly but 2015 saw me get these two wonderful little things: my guinea pigs Smudge and Patch. They have provided so much joy through difficult times and I hope will continue to for as long as possible. They even made it into my doctors notes because they’ve helped with my well-being so much!

So though 2015 wasn’t the best in parts – there are some things perhaps a little too sensitive to mention on here that contributed to that – i am so thankful for the good times. I’m hoping to make 2016 much more positive now that my medication has been sorted out for everything and seems to be helping.

As always, thanks so much for reading if you have, and Happy New Year to you!

Look after yourself whatever you’re doing,
Heather X

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Hull Bloggers Things I'm loving

Something Sparkly

Hi there! If you’ve been reading you may remember me mentioning my recent graduation from the University of Hull with my Ba Hons degree. It was a wonderful day, and because I’m a super lucky girl, I was treated to a gorgeous piece of jewellery to celebrate!

Now, if any of you know me, you’d probably know that I’m really rather fond of jewellery, particularly if it’s sparkly. It’s definitely a favourite thing of mine and I’m extremely lucky to own some truly gorgeous pieces. Jewellery is something that holds so many memories for me, and I truly take comfort in wearing pieces that mean a lot to me. I have pieces that have been handed down through family, and also from a range of designers including Links of London, Pandora, Daisy and lesser-known designers, like Charlotte Verity. I also have a gorgeous, bold and bright ring by Thomas Sabo. I bought this for myself when I completed my A-Levels, and it was the first piece of Thomas Sabo I had the pleasure of owning. It’s very ‘me’; bright, unusual and definitely not subtle. Plus, I love a good strong red lip so it was just the perfect ring for me.

red lips

red lips

The ring itself is solid sterling silver, and is enamelled over the top with a bright, shiny red enamelling. Considering I’ve had it for nearly four years and have worn it regularly, it has barely scratched at all and has remained bright and in-your-face ever since!

I’ve known that Thomas Sabo has long been famed for quirky, unusual designs and this definitely matches that description. For a long time I’ve been lusting over a gorgeous green tree frog ring, and to be honest, when dad kindly offered to buy me a graduation present I was hoping to find that very piece! After a few hours of searching, I couldn’t actually track it down, so I decided to look elsewhere. Being a big Links of London fan, I was thinking about getting one of their Skull friendship bracelets, like the rose gold version here. But, I have many Links of London bracelets including a silver sweetie, worry beads silk bracelet, and rose gold vermeil xs effervescent friendship bracelet, and as much as I love them, I thought I’d search for something a little bit different. That’s where Thomas Sabo came in and saved the day!

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Every time I’ve been into a Thomas Sabo store, I’ve gazed longingly at their huge selection of adorable, intricately detailed charms. There’s a charm to suit everyone; from sparkly, zirconia-encrusted animals to tiny red cabriolets and simple silver initials, the choice of charms on offer is enormous! As I was browsing through House of Fraser, I came across a Thomas Sabo stand with a gorgeous sterling silver necklace on display. I soon learnt this necklace was created so that the wearer could wear multiple charms on it, and this really intrigued me! My mind was made up; the necklace was something really unusual and special, and i could continue to add to it in the years to come. So with my mind made up, it was time to pick out some wonderful charms!

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Dad suggested I pick out three (I was completely spoilt, I know!) and so the first I chose was a pretty obvious choice…a seriously cute mortarboard, complete with a tiny tassel!

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The mortarboard itself is enamelled in a bright, shiny black enamelling, with a tiny, moving tassel attached to the top. It’s the perfect charm to remember my graduation day by.

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The other two charms weren’t really at all related to graduation, but they are extremely intricate and very lovely! I saw a tiny, sparkly wonderful octopus charm, and I just new I had to have him!

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The octopus is also crafted from sterling silver, but is covered in a gorgeously sparkly green zirconia pave. He also has lovely black zirconia eyes, and he’s seriously very sweet. Though he is small, he is indeed perfectly formed, and if I’m honest my photos really do not do him justice!

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I still had one more charm to find, and so I popped into Hugh Rice jewellers to see their selection, as sometimes the charms on offer differ from store to store. Again, there were so many wonderful charms to gawk at, but one in particular caught my eye because it is so unusual. It is the gorgeous caviar charm, and is definitely a little bit of something special!

caviar

caviar

caviar

The charm itself resembles a pot of caviar, and so the front is enamelled to emulate that. The ‘lid’ of the charm is plated 14k gold, and when flicked open, reveals a glistening pot of ‘caviar’ studded with black zirconia and crafted out of sterling silver. It’s seriously gorgeous, and such a stunning and unusual piece. All three charms attach to the rings on the necklace with sterling silver lobster clasps, so it’s easy to remove/add new charms whenever you fee like it!

I have been enjoying this piece very much, and I’m so fortunate to own such a gorgeous item. You can see if any of the charms take your fancy over on Thomas Sabo , or pop into a jewellers and ask to see their selection of items as they vary store to store. I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the necklace on an outfit post or similar, as it is very long, but I really recommend checking out Thomas Sabo if you fancy something unusual and very intricately detailed.

I hope you’re having a great week whatever you’re up to!

Heather x

Categories
Hull Bloggers Studying at University with Disabilities

Graduation Day

Hi All! This week has been pretty momentous as far as weeks go, because I graduated from the University of Hull with a BA Hons degree in English! If you’ve been reading for a while you’d know I’ve come across some difficulties, so this is an achievement I’m really proud of.

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Thankfully it was a wonderful day; not too hot and thankfully not too cold, so it was just perfect. Graduating was a really odd experience. Of course I had at least an idea about what it would entail but somehow it seemed almost an anti-climax! It wasn’t as scary as I’d anticipated it to be (and I didn’t fall over, so of course that’s a bonus!). The ceremony lasted about two hours, and we got robed and had photos taken in the Guildhall in the centre of Hull. Hull’s buildings are actually breathtakingly beautiful, and it was a real treat to see inside such historic landmarks of the city. We graduated in Hull’s City Hall which was also rather grand and lovely.

Hull's city centre

City Hall

My boyfriend also graduated in the same ceremony which was lovely. He also graduated with a BA Hons degree but in History. I think he also really enjoyed the day.

Drew Graduation

My Graduation

Drew and I

I can’t believe how quickly these three years have flown by! It only seems like yesterday that I finished my A-Levels. Next year I’m hoping to move onto a masters degree, if I get my offer…keep those fingers crossed for me! What have you been up to this week?

Mum and I

Me and Dad

keep your eyes peeled for the next post (also graduation-inspired) especially if you enjoy a little bit of something special!

Have a fabulous Sunday whatever you may be up to, and congratulations if you have also graduated/are due to graduate this week!

Heather x