Happy Christmas, you are not alone.

Hey there! Happy Christmas everyone! this is my post to say that i hope you all have a good christmas, whatever that may mean for you.

Im also going to take this moment to say that no one has a right to say that you are doing christmas the “right” or “wrong way”. you do whats best for you, no one else has the right to tell how to live your life, at any time of the year honestly! you have the christmas that you will enjoy and that you can cope with, and do not listen to anyone that tells you otherwise.

And if you need help at christmas, reach out please, you do not need to be alone at christmas.

This list was done by kellie, someone i have followed in the blogging world for a very long time, she is where i first saw a post like this.

if you need help, reach out

and happy christmas

Cath

x

A Big Old Update.


Hey there! wow, ok its been a while since ive done like just a rambly update, But i have a lot to talk about!

So about a month or so ago i had an assessment to go too, im on ESA (employment support allowance) So every so often you do have to go and have an assessment to see if anything has changed and where you should be on the payment scale. I mentioned about this assessment in a therapy diaries at the time, i was surprised because it was barely a year ago that i had my last assessment, when i was moved onto the highest tier of support, the support group were i got the highest tier of pay and couldn’t be made to do anything related to going back to work.

I have to admit that while a bit worried, i wasn’t overly worried that i was going to be moved, im worse than i was! plus combined with the fact that i might have narcolepsy and randomly pass out for sometimes hours? i thought i would be alright.

But then 2 weeks ago i got a letter, i call them the “brown envelopes of doom”, letters about anything benefit related are almost always in a brown envelope, over the years ive now come to fear anything in a brown envelope! The letter gave me an appointment on Friday the 14th of December, to meet my “work coach” at the job centre. I swear my stomach dropped, i knew what this meant, i had been dropped a tier, it didn’t tell me this however it just said that i must go see this work coach, or my money would be stopped, great. My money went in that night, and i was missing £25, odd….the tier below support group is £100 less, so i should of been missing £50 (you get the money every 2 weeks) But i couldn’t find out why, so i just had to wait.

On that Friday i got my answer in the form of another brown envelope of doom, telling me that i had in fact been dropped from the support group down onto the work related activity group. Which meant i was in fact loosing £100 a month, and would have to go see the work coach regularly or of course they would remove my money.

So i saw the work coach last Friday (im writing this on the Monday after) and it actually went really well. She was basically very surprised i had been dropped down a tier, her face basically had “i have no idea why you are here” written all over her face. She suggested i contest the change, which i do plan too, she also suggested that i apply for pip (personal independence payment) which i will be doing. She was very nice, and it was reassuring to hear that even she thought it was a stupid move.

This meant because the appointment last week was on a Friday i had to get out 2 days in a row. This was terrifying for me, not something i felt ready for at all! But there wasn’t much i could do about it, i didn’t want to miss another therapy appointment. And even though it was tough i did manage both days, even if i got 7 hours sleep across the two! I even managed to get out today too, though i really felt like it was impossible i did make it.

I am surprising myself at the moment, my drive is very strong even if i really dont feel like i can do anything most days! Im even feeling Christmassy for the first time in years, of course it brings a lot of anxiety, but im actually looking forward to Christmas for the first time in many years.

Therapy is going well, though i know now that my sessions will end in February and im already worried about keeping this up without therapy to help. Im crossing my fingers and willing myself to be able to do this without therapy, because the last thing i want is to fall back again.

All in all im doing well, im exhausted and my anxiety is regularly getting the best of me still but regardless im doing miles better than i was, so thats a win in my eyes.

I still do hate how much ive had to let things slip, like the blog for example but i havent had the time to write! Im hoping i can find myself a better routine come next year, and maybe ill be able to post more! I hope your all doing well, if you ever do wonder were i am have a look at my instagram cat.titcomb, i tend to be most active there!

Cath

X

I had to take a moment.

Me last week on one of the trips out, in a giant bauble!

Hey there!, so you may have noticed a bit of a radio silence on my part, i haven’t posted in a week, which as i have been posting every other day since july when i launched this blog that doesn’t normally happen!

But i needed to take a step back and breathe for a bit, since i started therapy and going out more ive continued doing everything else i was doing just adding the new things. As you can imagine, thats gone about as well as it sounds like it would!

I am the type of person that always has to do everything herself and doesnt like asking for help. So i got into the situation that i was trying to juggle everything at once, and of course when your doing that something do have to give in the end. So even though i really didnt want it to happen, i got to the point on wednesday night that i didnt have a post ready for thursday and i just i hit a point.

On thursday most of my 50 minutes with my therapist was me ranting, and i knew at that point that however much i really didnt want to give some things up i needed to make things easier for myself. So, my blogging is going to change a little bit! First off, no i wont be quitting completely but just cutting down so that hopefully things are a bit easier for me.

So now im going to be posting twice a week, instead of my normal every other day. If i have the time and the want to post more i will, but generally twice a week is what im aiming for!

This does mean that i wont be doing weekly therapy diaries either because i would rather have that spot for other things but instead ill do regular updates about that as and when i feel its needed!

Theres plenty coming up, i did serious damage in the black friday sales so lots to show you there, a competition win, pain relief for periods & lots more jewellery! and thats just what i can think of off the top of my head. So theres plenty coming, and im not going anywhere i just needed to step back a bit and remind myself that change is not a bad thing!

Because since i took a little bit of a break ive actually got to really try out and play a game beyond world of warcraft, and ive just been able to breathe a bit better! and thats alright, we all need that.

So yeah, i will see you later this week! and if like me you tend to do this too, might be worth taking a step back, trust me.

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – Confronting my hatred.


Hey there! So this week, i left therapy not feeling quite as on top of the world as i normally do. Now dont get me wrong, therapy went great but today’s session was the first session that was on the heavier side, and i left not feeling sad or anything, just thinking, and feeling like i had a lot to think about.

We worked on breaking things down, basically we start with life experiences when your a child, because so many of our life rules and beliefs start there.

I have a rather long list of these learnt behaviours, but we quickly found that a lot of them surround the idea of not being worth anything/not being good enough and not doing things at the level i should. Basically, they all come back to low self-esteem.

Each one had that same kind of theme, not perfect enough/not pretty enough/not worth enough/ not me enough it continued, on and on.

I know this is silly, i know its pretty damn obvious but…do i really hate myself that much?

Seeing it laid out on paper, it was scary, its one thing knowing how you feel about yourself but its another actually seeing it all worked out and written down. There in black and white was proof that i didn’t like myself, it wasn’t just something “in my head” it wasn’t fake or attention seeking, it was 100% true and my therapist was agreeing.

I watched an interview this morning about a voice actor who i am a big fan of, and he spoke very openly about having body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphic disorder is widely thought to only effect people with an eating disorder but it can effect anyone. However i do have an eating disorder, not that anyone knows what to call it! Basically BDD is continuous worrying about flaws on your body that no one can see, its seeing yourself in a light that no one else does.

Low self-esteem and BDD, thats a fun combo isn’t it?

I didn’t know getting into this topic would hit me as hard as it as, but its got under my skin quite a bit. Its silly, because ive known this about myself for years, but maybe its finally sunk in.

The night before therapy i was upset about my performance in the game that i play, and a friend was able to help me through it but that knocked me too. It was only recently that i learnt the term “imposter syndrome”, but once i learnt it i figured out that i feel like that so much. And it came tumbling out to my friend, when full of emotion i squeaked out that i felt like a fraud.

I post a makeup look and the positive comments come tumbling in, and that feels amazing but in the back of my head its continuously reminding me that im a fraud. How? no idea, considering i do the makeup myself, i take the pictures myself and then i upload them with the only editing being turning them the right way or cropping. But yet still, i feel like i dont deserve the nice comments.

I throw myself into everything i do, generally to the point of burn out or just stupid business. But i dont know how not too, because to me thats the only way i can be remotely, enough.

And ive just noticed i started going on a ramble, but i suppose i needed it. I wasnt really sure how to start writing today, but this is what its turned into! thats ok, as much as i hope these posts help others, it is also a virtual diary for me to look back on and hopefully see how far ive come one day. I hope so, anyway.

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – Making steps.


Hey there! so i had therapy on Thursday, though i went one better this Thursday as it was half term over here in the UK so my mum was off work. So after therapy we went to poundland too! doing more than one thing when i go out i find very tough, and going around a shop is still really difficult for me but im getting there and i did well with poundland.

Anyways, in therapy itself! i brought up a bit of an issue ive been having, i mentioned a little while ago about my issue with randomly falling asleep without warning and that i was going to go see a different doctor. Well….i haven’t made an appointment yet. Im scared, scared that i go to see this doctor and i get the same reaction my own GP gave me, scared that im never gonna be taken seriously purely because im fat.

I explained this to my therapist and basically it wasn’t so much that i needed her to say anything it was more i think airing out what was in my head. We moved on from that, but i will come back to it at the end!

my “homework” had been to read this piece of text called the poisoned parrot, the parrot being low self-esteem. It really does hit home and make a lot of sense! so we spoke about that a little bit before we looked at what i had done with my goals, she wanted me to break them down a bit more so i did, i basically squished two goals into one because they are intertwined.

I put my goal “get out more often” and “become more independent” together because for the most part i am pretty independent, the big problem comes with getting out and being out so ive got short term goals now like “go to a different shop from mum” and things like that. As for the getting out more often, i broke that down into two goals, which is to start seeing my nan on Fridays, and to work towards going out on Mondays too.

The other goal i worked on was become less scared of change, so i put “do things that scare me”, but then i wasn’t able to put anything else because i obviously dont think about what scares me! and we ran out of time to work on that sadly.

For the last bit of therapy we started mapping, which i do remember from my cbt before. Basically its working on the fact that a lot of our behaviours are learnt, because when we are born we are basically a blank canvas, and a lot of our behaviours good and bad are learnt in the younger years when you take things on so much easier. It doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience or anything like that, but just a small thing that you manage to pick up on can be enough, and it can turn into something you turn into something you have to do as you grow up. But its breaking these things down and figuring out whats caused your problems!

With that, my “home work” this week is too do 2 small goals, so one is to get it set to start seeing my nan on Fridays, and second is to phone the doctors! and finally make that appointment i really need.

This week felt like a week of progress, a week were it was time to start making sure that i actually moved forward not just talked about it! I have been feeling good lately, just wish me luck in staying that way.

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – I wont give up.


Hey there! so first off, im sorry there wasn’t a therapy diaries last week, my mums car thought that just when i start getting out more would be the perfect moment to break down. So i wasn’t able to go to therapy annoyingly,thankfully all is sorted now!

Anyway, i went in today feeling a bit worried because i hadn’t done my “homework” the work she had set for me beforehand. And honestly that had been part avoidance and part just pure forgetfulness! im not forgetful normally but we all have those moments, and yes she did tell me off a little bit but i completely deserved that one!

Today we spoke about how i had felt the past couple of weeks, i explained how i had been pretty good but this past weekend i had struggled quite a bit.

See i suffer pretty heavily and quite often with loneliness, thing is that i have friends, but they are scattered all over the world and also due to my mental illnesses and such seeing anyone is tough.

The saying “you can feel like the loneliest person in the world in a room full of people” is very true. I love my friends, but i haven’t seen a friend in the flesh so to speak in 4 years. And us humans are at the base of it social creatures, we need social interaction we need that connection, and though i get some of that through voice and text online i dont get that connection that you only get when the person is in the same room. I miss it, i that feeling and i well i want it back.

We established that those moments, especially this past weekend sound more depression driven than anxiety. Which, im not overly surprised about, i have anxiety induced depression and have done for many years anyway.

We looked at the goals i need to make smart a bit, and that was the homework i didnt do. We worked at it a bit and then its again my homework, we worked on my goal of liking myself more and we have broke it down to treating myself more like i treat others in 3 months time. Well, at least being better at doing that!

The rest of the session (these sessions go so fast) we went through my pros of changing, cons of changing, pros of staying the same, cons of staying the same. The pros of course completely outweighed the cons, by a tonne, and the cons…there not worth it.

I really do feel like ive found my spark again lately, i dont feel quite as hopeless as i did. Right now as im writing this on Thursday night i feel, well better than i have in a while honestly.

Last week when i couldn’t go to therapy, i felt sad, i wanted to go. I even said to my mum, but i want to go. That alone is such a massive step, it shows that i have my fight back, and even though im scared etc im really determined that this time is it. This is the big difference i am going to make, and in the end ill get the life i want.

Because i really need to recover.

And, i want too.

Cath x

Emotionally Broken – Being a introverted extrovert with anxiety.


Hey there! so yeah, thats quite a title isn’t it? well, its a topic i want to touch on because i think theirs quite a few stereotypes that go along with having anxiety. And i also think a lot of people seem to think that you are either a extrovert or an introvert, but in fact i am proof you can very much be both!
ido lean on the side of extrovert for sure, but not fully, hence the introverted extrovert.

For as long as i can remember, ive been a people person, i love talking to people i love interacting and just generally having fun with people. I am often at my happiest when im around people that i love, and i get lonely very easily. As a child/teen and honestly if it wasn’t for the crippling anxiety i still would now, i loved preforming, singing/acting, i loved being on stage and quite frankly like the attention too.

However, i also have never liked crowds, never been a fan of parties or clubbing. My ideal night is playing video games with friends. And as ive grown up, my love the limelight has faded quite a bit, however i dont know if thats a change in me or because of my anxiety.

I think a lot of people tend to mix up anxiety and shyness, because thats one thing ive never really been! im not a shy person, as i said i love people,all of my problems with interacting with people have come from anxiety. Im really not a shy person, just a very anxious person!

To be honest, i think a lot of my introverted habits come from anxiety, but some of them have also always been there. Having introverted habits honestly have more then anything added too my anxiety, making it easier for me to just hide away.

But then my extroverted side, makes anxiety so much harder to deal with. I want to see people, i want to talk to them, i want to interact have fun and do things together yet due to anxiety and agoraphobia i cant, and that, god that really sucks.

Though of course, that gives me something to fight for you know? i want to socialise, and so to be able to do that i need to recover.

I doubt im the only one whos a bit of both, because lets face it theres so many people on this planet theres no way everyone fits into group A or group B you know? and thats true for me, i am group C! and thats alright.

Its just adding in anxiety that makes everything that much harder to deal with (thats a life motto right there). A people person scared of people is a bit difficult! i was worse a few years ago, i hated people, i had been fucked over one too many times and the result of that was someone who just, given up.

I had tried so hard to get somewhere and failed, so i stopped trying. I was quite happy to just curl up and rot away, i was done. A that, i cant explain what its like to feel like that, i felt like the world had given up on me so i gave up on the world.

Thankfully, due to going through my first round of therapy and meeting friends online i managed to drag myself out of that. My extroverted side will never be happy until i can meet up with people, until i can have fun and be happy again. And my introverted side will never be happy until i can curl up and watch a film by myself without panicking because my thoughts are too loud.

Basically, i wont be happy until im recovered, extroverted or introverted, group A,B or C i wont be happy until im in a much better place.

Its a damn good thing im stubborn and strong willed then really isnt it.

Cath x

What Makeup Means To Me.

Hey There! So, i think a lot of people would of rolled there eyes at the title of this post, but bare with me. Even in this day and age people can be so judgemental about makeup and peoples love of it, but for me makeup really has been so much more than just cosmetics over the years.

The early years.

Ive always loved makeup, from the moment my auntie got me a red heart shaped play makeup case when i was 5, i loved playing and messing with it. But it didnt play any kind of bigger part in my life than that at this point.

For years i did a small amount of makeup, powder, lipgloss, shimmery light eyeshadows that kind of thing, and always painting my nails!

But on my 14th birthday i asked my mum if she could help me choose a mascara, she helped me pick a brown one because im naturally ginger and it set me off on a massive makeup journey that year. By my 15th i was wearing full heavy smokey eyes daily.

The teen years.


From that moment that i tried out coloured mascara for the first time i was very hooked, i wore it daily and i quickly went from wearing just mascara daily too foundation, concealer, powder, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara daily! this was also when my style went very goth/emo so of course enough eyeliner to put my chemical romance to shame was part of my uniform at that point.


My teen years where tough for a lot of reasons, my mental health issues became a real problem at this point and makeup for sure became my safety blanket. I would have a fit if it wouldn’t go right, i would get really frustrated when no one seemingly understood why makeup was so important. Too me, it was how i expressed myself, it was my identity, it was my trademark and the idea of not having that really upset me. It became a way that i coped, sometimes even re-doing my makeup a few times a day, It was extremely important to me and this was were makeup really got its importance for me. I wouldnt leave the house without it, when i started to volunteer and such having to do less makeup than my normal 50 tonnes of eyeliner wasnt something i was very happy about! I still managed to get away with more makeup than i think they wanted me too!

Growing up.

Getting my first job, i very quickly got my makeup routine down so that it was enough that i was comfortable, but it was quick (for me!) and i could do it at 6 in the morning if needed. Not wearing makeup wasnt an option still, but i knew exactly what i was doing now, these few years where i worked for sure was where i started to feel happier in myself and comfortable with the makeup i wore. I still wore it as an expression of myself, but it wasnt quite so much the comfort blanket it once was anymore.

Twenties.

And then my anxiety and the like barrelled back into my life full speed and things changed for me again. Makeup was my comfort and one of the ways i felt confident enough to face the outside world, it was my armour and the way i showed who i was. The worse my mental health has gotten the more ive lent on makeup as a way to feel ok, its a way i cope, its a way i calm down.


its also been a way ive reached so many other people, how ive made friends and been a part of amazing communities, doing youtube & blogging over the years has been amazing and not something i would ever want to stop, since coming back to blogging ive been reminded how much i love it.


But of course, due to it being so important to me its been a source of anxiety as well. My anxiety will tell me i dont deserve to have the makeup i do, or to play with it. It will tell me im no good at it, or that i shouldn’t even bother. I go through stages, and it sucks because i wish i could just have an easy relationship with something that i love so much.

As you can see, makeup as meant many different things to me over the years, but one thing thats been a continious theme is that its an expression of who i am. The smokey eyes, the purple, the glitter, its all me and thats my favourite thing about makeup, it can be so very personal and no one does there makeup quite like anyone else does.

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – When the universe is loud.

Hey there! so i had therapy yesterday (well, today when im writing this). And i think its safe to say that the universe is trying to send me a message! i have to be honest, this has tended to happen when im in therapy, its interesting how it always seems to happen. I think the world is trying to tell me something, and it was today before therapy too.

First up, i was looking for a notebook, now of course i have a lot of notebooks but when i need one could i find one? course not. So i saw one that i knew was really used but i thought “oh well ill grab it put the paper with my goals i wrote out in and ill find a better notebook later”. Now my therapist last week asked me to find the work i did with my old therapist and bring it in, and honestly i had forgotten about this until this morning and didnt have time to go looking for it. But then, i grab this random notebook flip it open too see whats in it and sure enough, its full of the work i did with my old therapist, plus of course the page i flipped to is the work we did on goals.

Alright universe i hear you, no idea what your saying but i hear you.

But the universe wasnt done with me yet, my therapists offices are in this business park, and it has a reception that you go to and they call the office your there to see. When we went last week it was just a man in there, but walk in there today and sat at reception was someone i used to work with! in fact, i used to work with her in the best 2 years of my life, when i was at my happiest. It was a really weird parallel for me, going to therapy and seeing someone from my happiest years. She didnt say anything and neither did i, and im glad she didnt i dont know how i would of dealt with that, though i know she would know it was me, she has me on facebook.

Anyway, once the universe was done sending me weird messages i actually went to therapy! we worked more on goals again, going through some of the ones i had set for myself. It took me a week but i did set some for myself in the end, we went through the short term ones and we spoke about S.M.A.R.T goals, smart goals stands for –

S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – reachable
T – time bonds

Its basically a way of making sure that the goals you set for yourself are not wildly out of reach or too small either, basically a way to reign my goals in! this sounds really good for me as if i do set myself a goal i tend to over reach and go completely bonkers and crash and burn dramatically. Im hoping this will stop me from doing that.

We focused mainly on S.M.A.R.T goals today and talking about the ones i had set. It was interesting to remember how likely i am to go nuts with goals if i do try and do one, its making more and more sense that i avoid them everytime we talk about it!

So yeah im going away with the homework to break down some of the goals i made and to try and break down some of my thoughts (thats gonna go well). it went really well again, and the universe seems to approve!

Cath x

Emotionally Broken – Is it time to forgive myself?


Hey there! so over the past few weeks things have finally been moving forward, i was on the waiting list for over a year to have therapy with something called Italk. They are half NHS half charity and they offer therapy and other help to those who need it, i had CBT with them back in 2015/2016. It really helped me then, we worked on getting me out the house, but i need a hand again, ill be starting therapy with them in 2 weeks and this time we are going to be looking at and working on my self esteem.

My self esteem as always been a rather big issue for me, honestly for as long as i can remember my self esteem has sucked big time. Ive always struggled with how i think about myself and how i view myself, but has time as gone on and ive had so many mental health issues my self esteem has continued going down to the point were i basically just dont have self esteem.

This effects me in a lot of ways, because with whatever im doing in recovery theres always a voice that says im not worth recovery or that i dont deserve to recover. And of course, my rational side knows thats bullshit and that everyone deserves to have a chance at what they want in life but anxiety isnt rational or logical!

So is it time i finally stopped listening to the voice that just likes to spout rubbish, and forgave myself? Because ive heavily laid all the blame for pretty much everything thats got me to this point at my own feet, and you know im thinking that maybe needs to stop. It doesn’t need to be a big deal, but i do need too stop over thinking what got me into this situation and move forward, stop blaming myself for this when its not my fault.

The way i see it is that throughout our lives we are dealt cards, and sometimes people get aces, kings queens and jacks and then some people get jokers. We dont always get the same cards, but we have to deal with what we are dealt, and its not my fault if ive had a string of bad luck.

so maybe its time i understand that and stop seeing myself as an enemy? finally say that im sorry to myself, because maybe if i finally take the steps to liking myself, or even just being some what ok with myself i will be happy with helping myself? i feel like its worth a try.

So,

Dear me,

Im sorry.

Im sorry for blaming you for things you couldnt control, im sorry for letting things happen that shouldnt as a punishment. Im sorry for not looking after you and im sorry ive been so mean to you, that changes now.

Love, me.

Cath x