Friday, 17 December 2010

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain

Wow - Its been 4 months since I updated. I guess that means life is good.

Am I doing better? Yes I am. Accepting that I have Bipolar is half the battle but its a never ending battle and I'm on a never ending mission trying to recognise signs and symptoms so I don't go into another episode. There are three options; deny, fight or accept. Id love to say that Ive fully accepted it, I sill try and fight it but I'm getting there.

Which is me? Is it the impulsive, fun, chaotic, crazy girl or is it the tired, withdrawn, lethargic, lonely one? Mania is intoxicating...Ive said it before, its like a drug. Medication stops it and it has a million side effects. To be honest I cant imagine being better. The thrills and the crashes have always been there, Im not sure I can imagine day-to-day normality. What would occupy my thoughts?

Moving to my home town was a good move. Ive slowed my life down. Ive made alot of healthy lifestyle changes. I was partying hard now Im trying to channel my wild child energy into fitness and exercise. I have exchanged my meds for an exercise class called Zumba. Ive jumped on the zumba craze and I'm doing a least 5 classes a week. The results are impressive. I'm losing weight, it burns major calories, its a mood lifter and body toner.

So here I am with my new found purpose then BAM! I find myself working, socialising, drinking and partying. I have definly slowed it down (right down) but when I drink..I DRINK! I know its bad for me so why do I do it? It makes me feel good, is a temporary high. But why don't I learn from my past mistakes? I go out and I drink heavily...I always hate myself the next morning but I love he temporary confidence that it gives me. Its one thing being young and slightly off he wall but then you get older and suddenly I fear becoming the old crazy lady. Most women hit thirty and hear the tick-tock of their biological clock - not me. I always presumed Id have kids, Im good with kids. Im not good at many things but Im a bloody good auntie. I love my nephews and niece more than life itself but im in no hurry to have kids of my own. Infact the idea scares me. Id love to meet someone and fall in love. I dont wan to date for the sake of dating..I want to meet my soul mate and have fun. Ive met my fair share of toxic men...where are all the good ones hiding? I just want to be respected, supported and understood.. is that to much to ask? Maybe its me... deep down Im a damaged girl that has to many barriers, I like excitement and danger and go for the toxic ones.

Ive been to see my psychiatrist today and they are mainly focusing on my eating habits. I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I like the binge. I enjoy the planning, the buying and the eating...until I take my final bite. Then I feel sick and hate myself. The first taste is ah-mazing after he second taste I no longer taste the food or even look at it. I just need to eat as much as I can as fast as I can. I stop when I cant eat anymore. Sometimes Im sick but mainly I lie there and hate myself. Im not bulimic (obviously...bulimics don't have an ass the size of mine) Its not about controlling my weight...Im just obsessed with food. In the new year I will be using CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy )to help with my food issues and my bipolar. I don't have much to say about CBT at the moment but I will write more about it when I know more about it.

I dont hold grudges and I hate to dwell on negative things. I have a large group of supportive friends but there are a couple of people that I cant seem to forgive. When I was ill I was honest and upfront and I tried to keep my dignity which was hard. But certain people tried to take away the dignity that I had left by making up lies about my illness and that is unforgivable. Another persons dignity is worthless to anyone except the person it belongs to. Its really difficult to forgive certain situations...HOW FUCKING DARE YOU TRY AND TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME? Maybe I should forget about it and move on? NO FUCKING WAY!! A persons dignity is priceless and taking it away can damage a person and hurt them to the core. I value myself and respect myself. Ill forgive anyone anything. I forgive, forget and never mentiton it again. But there are two people that I need closure with. I WILL HAVE THAT CLOSURE!!

moving on....

Am I capable of being happy? I hope so and I think Im doing well. Im very aware that the mask of sanity is starting to slip. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the world and I just want to hide. I hate the mood crashes and I hate the overwhelming feeling of dread and inadequacy. I have alot of friends yet I feel alone and feel that I can relate to no one. I can now recognise it. I can actually feel myself starting to slip. I can still function but everything feels heavy. I have an overwhelming desire to sleep and isolate myself. I hate it when real life intrudes..the phone rings..I ignore it. I don't leave my room and I ignore the outside world. My life has a tendency to fall apart when Im awake so I stay in bed...But now Im starting to realise that its the other way around and my life falls apart when I stay in bed. Its like a light switch has gone off in my head and reality is starting to click into gear. I have been feeling really emotional and irritated recently but I recognise it and focus on exercise.

Ive had alot of fun nights out over the last 4 months. I dont even know where to start. Ive been going to gay clubs less and spending time with my girl friends in my local town. Im kind of looking forward to seeing the back off this year. Its been an emotional roller coaster. I never ever want to go through another year like it but things do happen for a reason and I have a feeling that 2011 will be a good year. Ive been plodding through life waiting to stumble across something ah-mazing that will change my life. I have 2 choices - go back to sleep and dream or get up and chase my dreams.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain

Monday, 23 August 2010

Deep down I hate myself but halfway down Im pretty egotistical

Ive been through tough times and I can put up with a pretty impressive amount of stress before I'm pushed over the edge - But I am being stretched and I am in danger of snapping at certain people. Im trying to keep quiet and because you don't win arguments but shouting the loudest we win by being wise , by standing back, thinking carefully and choosing our words. I always prefer compromise to conflict but for the first time in a long time I am not willing to meet halfway. It is my right and I WILL stand up for myself. Everyone has a breaking point! Never underestimate those that are scarred! If this means making a few enemies then good! As Winston Churchill once said "That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life".

But how do I know if its them or if its me? No one ever thinks they are wrong and there are always two sides to every story. This blog has given me the chance to talk to many people that have and are suffering with mental health issues. Many of the people cant outwardly discuss things because of the stigma that goes with it but one friend who is good at reading people and situations gave me a good tip; if I get annoyed by one person it's them, if it's two people in a day then it's probably me!

My weight is really starting to get me down. When did carrying a bit of weight become such a crime? Most girls (and alot of guys) that I know have, have had or have a borderline eating disorder. Im talking anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. My early 20's I was painfully skinny and now I am overweight - I don't seem to be able to get the balance right! I may not be slim but I always had a bucket load of confidence and a big smile. I wouldn't say I was happy with my weight but I didn't obsess but now my relationship with food has gone from bad to worse.
Eating disorders are common among people with bipolar disorder and researchers believe that bipolar disorder patients find eating to be a coping mechanism for their illness. According to studies, about of 25.5% of bipolar disorder patients have some kind of eating disorder. The most common eating disorders associated with bipolar disorder are binge eating disorder (BED) and Bulimia Nervosa. I am an emotional eater _ I eat my feelings! I commit carbacide and then spend the rest of the day self loathing and hating myself! Ive now joined fat fighters (weight watchers) and Im determined to get to my ideal weight and shape.

Looking over my life so far, I've created and achieved nothing!! Its hard to describe myself because on the outside I'm always a happy person, but I'm also quietly depressed most of the time. I have a lot of intense emotions but often feel nothing at all. I wish I could escape myself. I hate everything about me. I wish I could be more like everyone else... yet I probably come across as confident.
I have very unstable relationships, I go from loving to hating to needing.
I get very angry for little things but other times I am the exact opposite. I can be very charming and loving...Then I get scared that people will see the real me (bipolar janice) so I guess I hide away and avoid close relationships. Ive been hurt by love and friendships but Im sure Ive hurt alot of people - I'm a good friend but having a relationship with me must be tough! I am writing this and Im starting to see the real me and I wont lie - I don't like it!

The worst relationship I have is with myself! I'm sure there are alot of people that are reading this and thinking that I blame alot of things on my illness. That isn't the case. I don't blame anyone but myself. I might write about my illness but I am not a victim.
For me self hatred comes easy. I’m fat, can not seem to do anything right, I never finish what I start but I don't blame anyone else for this - I know its my fault but the problem is; I have come to the point where I don’t know where I begin and where my borderline personality ends. I'm a mess hiding behind a happy face. I want to change, I just dont know how. Deep down I know im not a bad person - Im actually a nice peron and would do anything for anyone. Ha! See what I mean, deep down I hate myself but halfway down I'm pretty egotistical!

The thing I hate the most about being diagnosed bipolar is that I feel like I am always under scrutiny. The moment that I show any emotion its blamed on the bipolar and Im asked if I'm taking my meds or if I need to see my Dr. This infuriates me!Sometimes I will get angry, sometimes I will get sad. I am bipolar but I also have normal emotions and ups and downs just like anyone else. Its OK to express emotion without being told to see my GP. To be honest Im actually quite well adjusted - at least I know my faults and Im trying to help myself! I might be moody, I might find it hard to concentrate and I might be reckless but I also have alot of positive traits including empathy, realism, and resilience. I treat people the way I want to be treated and will do anything in my power to help a friend in need. Im generous and have a massive heart. Im not perfect and dont always get things right but quite frankly - if you cant handle me at my worst you dont deserve me at my best.

Since being back in Hemel Hempstead I have had one manic phase which I didn't recognise as a problem until it was to late. During a manic phase I feel happy and have lots of plans and ideas. the only real sign that something is wrong is my bank balance and the "racing thoughts".
Racing thoughts are a mixture of music, snatches of conversation, my own voice or other voices repeating a phrase or sentences again and again without hearing the words, or even rhythms of pressure without any "sound" in the heart beats fast and I get an overwhelming fear. Ive had this since I was a kid and luckily it doesn't happen often. It never happens when I'm with only happens when im alone. I know it wont last long and I just ignore it and wait for the sensation to pass. problem is, when I recover from an episode of mania I regret many of the things that I did when I was "high" (manic high)

Its difficult to to ignore a recurring concern and its impossible to refuse to experience a negative emotion. However, I am trying to make a massive effort to balance it out by thinking happy / constructive thoughts. For a pessimist I'm very optimistic. I believe in the Law of attraction but I'm really bad for dwelling on negative things. If you expect things to go bad and they often will. I'm very optimistic on the outside but I am a secret pessimist.

I want to end this blog on a happy note.
I had such a fabulous time! I stayed with RJ and Ed and during the trip I had a chance to catch up with Unai, Joseto and Irena.
RJ and Ed live in Baharas which is near the airport and a short metro ride from the city centre. I spent the daytime eating tapas and drinking calimochos then RJ and I had a fabulous night in Chueca (the gay district). The men in Madrid are insanely beautiful and the bars and clubs in Chueca are fabulous! We spent most of the night dancing in a club called Delirio. It was full of hot men and had a chilled bar upstairs playing Air, Morcheeba and Mazzy Star. Downstairs was loud, camp with beautiful go-go dancers. The night scene is very, very late. We didn't even head out til midnight which suits me as I hate going out early. The following day RJ and I were feeling a little bit ropey so we decided to see Madrid via the hop on- hop off tourist bus. Madrid was a very hot 36 degrees so we sat on the open top bus, checked out hot men and got off at sol and headed to starbucks. I had an amazing weekend and I cant wait to go back and visit the boys.

I'm not sure what lies ahead and I'm accepting the fact that my life had to slow down. Sooner or later the party had to end. I'm not sure that I'm ever going to have a stable relationship or have a family but that is doesn't mean that I can carry on partying and making unhealthy decisions. I'm no longer the life and soul of the party...but how many of my party friends were real friends anyway?

Ive also had two fabulous famous faces on my flights this week. Firstly the legend that is Bob Wilson. He was a genuinly lovely man who took the time to discuss Arsenal, goal keepeers and any other questions that we threw at him. The second was Brandon Block on of my favorite DJs of the 90's. Ive met him before in Ibiza and he remembered me - this made my day! We discussed his new bar and the "good old days" in the manumission motel. To me Brandom Block is an absolute legend and was one of my guilty pleasure crushes so yes... I was very impressed that one of my 90's heros remembered me!

Ive been doing alot of reminising lately and I really do need to find the time to meet up with some old friends - especially Vickie and Lucy. I share so many memories with these girls and even after all these years I think they probably "get me" more than most.

When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up! I'll leave it there. My bed calls...I answer the call.

Good night :)

Friday, 30 July 2010

Depression Comes From Lack Of Expresssion

I haven't updated this for a while mainly because of all the judgemental small minded people that choose to read what they want to, add bits, twist it and use it against me. I then realised that I write this for ME because it helps ME! If you are one of the judgemental fuckwits then my advice to you is; STOP READING THIS AND GO FIST YOURSELVES!! This blog is my therapy, my online diary and to help other people that are going through a similar thing. Nothing more, nothing less.

Id rather lose a few people in my life and know that the ones that are there are genuine and will be there in the bad times as well as the good. I thought I was blessed with alot of good friends - it turns out I have less than I thought but I have more genuine people than I ever imagined so I guess its a good thing. I cant say its been the best year of my life, infact I've been to hell and back but things do happen for a reason and sometimes you have to go through the bad to truly appreciate the good. Ive learned alot of lessons and come out stronger and happier. I was off work for four months as I needed to see the company doctor and looking back the time off was a blessing. I have reevaluated my life, moved house, surrounded myself with amazing people and reconnected with alot of old friends. I was lucky enough to have Easter, may bank holidays and the world cup off work - every cloud has a silver lining!! Ive enjoyed the sunshine with quality people...Its all about the grass stains, daisy chains and Pimms and lemonade.

I doubt I'll ever know why Ive lost certain friendships - up until the day I went in hospital things were fine its not until I hit rock bottom that certain people decided to turn on me...I guess after 4 months if they cant have the decency to talk to me then it shows how fickle they are. It says more about them than it does about me as I will always give friendships 100% and I am fiercely loyal. If I have a problem I will always talk to the person involved - clearly we aren't all the same. There are a few people out there that will happily watch someone hit rock bottom and kick them when they are down. I wont lie, this cut like a knife and I felt like id been gut punched..I genuinely didn't think people could be so cruel. But I'm not the first and I'm not the last to tell a story like this that's why people say that you find out who your friends are when you really need them. The ones that show apathy are just as bad, sometimes sitting on the fence is good sometimes it fuels it and being apathetic is just plain pathetic.
Like attracts like and I only have to look around at my friends to realise that I'm a good person. There is no drama, no bitching, bullying or backstabbing. Fast Forward 3 years and I will still have the same friendships with a few extra that I have met along the way. I wonder how their friendships will be in 3 years time? I would have been there friend for they have lost more than I have. No one is perfect and I have flaws but at least I have the bollocks to pick myself up and try and make myself a better person. I would never intentionally hurt someone nore would I allow someone to be bullied and I will always stand up for someone that is being treated badly... I believe that random acts of kindness can change the world. I will however stand up for myself - I will not be walked over. I cant control what people say but I can control how I deal with it. I started by letting it eat me up then I realised that letting go of the negativity is healthier. Its easier to be bitter but I read an interesting quote that says 'Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die' So I decided to go from bitter to better.

I then realised that it was only a small minority that were being so vile. I was giving so much attention to a Small group of people when I was receiving so much kindness from outside that circle. The only reason Im writing about this is because it was a big deal at the time and depression comes from lack of expression. If I don't talk about it now and exercise the demons then it will come back and haunt me in years to come. It is amazing the things that you hear about yourself on galley FM (*Galley FM is cabin crew gossip) There is also a toxic troll outside of EJ that took great pleasure in telling me what people were saying about me while I was in hospital, not naming names but I'll call her 'single white female'. I just wish for my sake and the sake of the hundred other people that hate her that there was a telephone number we could use to evict the person from England big brother style - she is poison. She needs to learn some manners (obviously her mamma didn't teach her any!), actually she will probably read this (bcos she is single white female) and leave nasty feedback. She is pathetically predicable and predictably pathetic. The girl hasn't got her own identity so she has tried to take mine. This is her motivation for her vested interest in stirring up so much trouble. I have proof of this but quite frankly her lies will catch up with her and what goes around will come around. When I was at my lowest she told me stories that she knew would cut to the bone - but in a twist of fate she has done me the biggest favour because life is 100% better now that it has been in years. I'm not bothered how it pans out but I'm hoping someone lets me know when the karma police knock on her door.

Its a basic human right to have a supportive network around you in the bad times. Everyone deserve that not just people with mental illness. TBH the negative people are few and far between and the positive support/emails/texts/calls that I have received definitely out weigh the negative 'so called friends'. There have been tears, I cried a river then I built a bridge and now I'm over it. I'm surfing the wave of change, one door closes and another always opens. I'm still having fun without going wild. Talking BEHIND my back just proves that I'm one step ahead. I'm learning to be my 'authentic self' and I'm looking to the future. I know what I want from life and its exciting. It doesn't mean that Im not partying or socialising..Im just doing it in moderation. I was a fully paid up gold member of the binge drinking society and now I'm learning the art of moderation. Ive spent allot of time reflecting and Ive realised that Ive had an amazing life. Ive worked on a holiday camp, I spent seasons in Corfu and had a wild 6 months in Ibiza. My life has been a rollercoster of clubbing, holidays and house parties. Ive been in some amazing relationships and made some phenomenal friendships. Ive attended more parties than most people could imagine, Ive had wild nights on a millionaires boat and was lucky enough to live in Ibiza during the 'motel' years. Ive spent 5 years living the cabin crew lifestyle and that has allowed me to visit some amazing cities in Europe and ive met some great people. If I died tomorrow Id die happy knowing Ive lived a full life. Ive made alot of friends along the way and only a few enemies...but you cant know as many people as I do without meeting a few rotten apples. Ive started a new chapter in my life and Ive gone red for the occasion. New Janice, new hair (standard).

Coming to terms with bipolar is hard enough without people kicking you when you re down but its true - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I have to live with the fact that this mental illness will never go away and I have to make some healthy life changes and take medication if I want to get better. TBH I would rather live on this emotional rollercaoster than to live an empty life. I would love to have a stress free life but that would mean that I would have to stop caring, lower my expectations and have no involvement in my friends problems and quite frankly...Janice living a boring life and not wanting to help people - well that just wouldn't be cricket. I would rather be the kind of person that wants to help conflict than sitting on the fence watching it. When people or life lets you down there is only one thing to do...pick yourself up and start over again. I was in a very dark place and if I can have my friends turn on me when in suicidal and survive - shame on them and well done me!!

Returning to work was hard. especially when its home to the people that seemed to find my life so interesting and decided to gossip and make up their own version of events. There were alot of stories about me going around and it was hard being told what was being said when I wasn't there to defend myself. Luckily most people have been amazing and have said things like 'you can tell more about a person by what they say about others rather than what people say about them'. The ones that are discussing my life are the ones that cant go a day without slagging someone off. Ive been to hell and back this year and I'll be fucked if I will let a small group of people bring me down to their level. I double dare the ring leader to push my buttons anymore than she already has...cos I WILL snap! Ive managed to resist the urge to leap in and defend myself because at the end of the day - people don't really care and it just fuels the gossip and while they are talking about me they aren't talking about someone else. Ive got nothing to be ashamed of so i will hold my head up high and stay quiet. Just a quick warning - I might be quiet but NEVER underestimate those that you scar!!

Bipolar is a serious mental illness and when you are down its more than a bad feeling that you cant 'get over'. Ive said it before and I'll say it again... YOU CAN'T CONTROL IT WITH YOUR MIND!! But I suppose you will never truly understand it until you've been through it. Apparently a depressed person can function when they are down, get dressed and do every day things like get up and do stuff..who knew? not me and not any of the millions of bipolar that are in their dark place and depressed people that are out there. its a legitimate mental illness but no matter how I explain it most people will NEVER understand it. oh well, Ive tried!

So what steps have I taken to help myself; Medication, moved house, I write, I have given my self some goals, I use twitter (its an amazing tool for keeping trck of my moods), I read various law of attraction books with helps me stay positive, Ive cut down on my party lifestyle and I also lucid dream. Medication is definitely the hardest thing to adapt to. If the illness doesn't get you , the medication will. I'm not going to lie - I sometimes feel worse on my meds. I feel boring (when really I just feel normal). I miss my highs! Manic highs are as addictive as any drug on the market - medication can make you feel passive and....Meh!! You feel like you are losing your identity and confidence. the side effects are vile especially the sickness, nightmares, weight gain and zombie feeling. its not dissmillar to being an addict - you crave your highs (even though you know its bad for you). This might sound crazy to a 'normal ' person but I reckon most medicated bipolars feel the same. I fell of the medication wagon and loved every second - until I crashed, burned and saw my bank balance! You're damned if you do and damned if you dont.

So what have I been up to? 3 weeks in Jamica came at exactly the right time. I was sensible for a majority of the holiday chosing babysittying duty and early nights over binge drinking and late night partying. I did however have a few nights where I let my hair down for some 'Ring of Fire' action, skinny dipping and beach parties. Gina and I headed to Montego Bays hip strip for an awesome night at the blue beat bar where we danced under the stars while over looking the ocean, in one of the most laidback, chilled out bars that I have ever been in. The inside decor was sophisticated and it had a fantastic vibe. Although I liked Montego bay I fell in love with the resort of Negril and would recommend it to anyone travelling to Jamaica. Seven Mile beach is beautiful with palm trees, aquamarine waters and reggae music. You do get hassled to buy ganja, harder drugs, beer and cigerettes but that happens anywhere that you go to in Jamaica. After the beach we headed to Ricks Cafe which is one of my all time favorite bars. By day people queued to jump and dive 35 feet into the sea below - I however did not after reading the sign that informed me that I could hurt my spine...or die! I did enjoy watching everyone else do it and secretly wished that I wasnt such a scardy cat! There is a cliffside pool and bar. Ive experiance some brilliant sunsets. Ive lived in Ibiza and had some fantastic nights at cafe del mar, Ive been to Santorini and that is regarded as the world's most beautiful and breathe taking sunset. Ive had some amazing nights at sunset beach in Peroulades Corfu (which is one of my all time favorite places) but this place defintly has it all. The sunset and atmosphere were beautiful. There was live raggea and quite frankly if you havent heard reggae in Jamaica then you havent heard reggae at all. The cocktails were lovely and the food was stunning! If you go to Jamaica - you HAVE to visit Ricks cafe. I also went on a party boat and climbed Dunns waterfalls. Im glad I went to the falls but I hated every second of it. My medication put me in a really bad frame of mind. I was tearful and had zero confidence - the dancing, free rum and red stripe on the way home managed to turn my mood around. My little sister Charlie got married and it was defintly the best day of the holiday. They got married on the beach to Jason Mrazs 'Im yours', we drank champagne and ended the evening in Pacha nighclub - Good times! Dr Coves beach is the best part of Montego Bay. You pay a small amount to get in but you get no hassle from vendors and drug dealers and the beach is perfect. Gina and I had issues with a ghost in our room. I dont think we had one night sleep without one of us waking the other...more often me shouting 'can you see that?'. I kid you not..I saw an actual ghost EVERY night! There were some truely bizarre things that happened - the RUI montego Bay is defintly haunted!!

Ive also had some fun days at thorpe park, Woburn Lido, day time soho sessions with Mr Monohan and Miss Ford, various BBQ's, paddling pool days, walks in the park, lots of family bonding time especially with my beautiful new nephew Ellison and ive even had a bouncy castle in the garden for the children. Ive had a few nights out mailnly in Hemel but Ive cut the binge drinking down and rediscovering my love of cinema. Nowadays my perfect night in invloves candle light, good music and good company. It might not sound rock and roll but life doesnt get any better than that!

Im heading to Madrid at the weekend which means that Im missing out on SMASHFEST2, Brighton Pride and Miss Fords girls night - but it does nean that I get to see RJ, Edu and hopefully Unai and Joseto. I couldnt be more excited...2 more sleeps to go!!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Janice In Bipolarland

Diagnosis is a relief because I don't think I took it seriously until now. People tell you your fine and you want to believe it, you know that your life isn't typical of most 30 year olds (31 shit, I'm now 31) but you think that if you ignore it somehow it will go away. You hear horror stories about the medication and worry how it will effect your weight / work / personality. You're damned if you do and your damned if you don't!

On average there is an EIGHT year delay in diagnosing bipolar so by the time that your offered help and you except the help you start looking back and realise that alot of the damage has been done. Its easy to misdiagnose bipolar and like me you have to hit crisis point before you start getting better.

Looking back at my teenage years I was sure they were quite normal. I was a 90's teen and we had alot of fun. We started drinking at about 14, we would go to our local indie night or hang out in the old town under the arches. This was the location where most of us hung out in Hemel Hempstead but I think it was a typical nationwide 90's thing. You would put your money together and buy cider and cigarettes. Most people smoked Marlbro lights and you would generally buy a 2ltr bottle of cider, the brand didnt matter - the cheapest would do!
Diamond white (or blush) was the cider of choice but a 4 pack was quite expensive. Alternatively we would buy Maddog 20 20 or thunderbirds, back then we didnt have the luxary or alcopops (hooch wasn't even around).
There was a huge music phenomenon going on - brit pop! But the other "indie / grunge" kids also liked US grunge and alot were into the rave scene. I also liked alot of the 90's R&B (that was massively influenced by Donna) and I suppose there was always the secret fag hag inside that had a soft spot for the shit(though I'm sure I kept that quiet).
From what I can remember most of the boys had long hair and everyone wore DM's. I personally had three pairs, black (for school), cherry red and my awful yellow ones (I bloody loved them at the time and went to Camden to buy them). In the summer people wore converse and the girls wore cute skinny fit tshirts. Crochet jumpers were huge and so was long flowery skirts. The more intelligent kids were supporting Greenpeace and animal rights and we would all queue for hours and pay to go in the pavillion to dance and watch live PA's such as credit to the nation. It wasn't really about the fashion or music for me as I also hung out at the coconut club. For me it was the people. Maybe I'm looking back with rose tinted glasses but we did all have fun and everyone got on even though we were all quite different. Everyone was labelled as a goth even though most were not "goths" but we all mixed well.
My best friends during that time were; Nikkie (we got up to alot of mischief), Lucy, Georgia, Donna and Rachael.
Rachael and Georgia were known at school as the "gothic lesbians" but they were neither gothic or lesbians. Nikkie and I grew apart (for no real reason and we are good friends now) and Lucy moved to Hitchen (which may aswell have been Australia) so that left (from my school year) Me, Donna, Georgia and Rachael;
Georgias brother and his mates were a few years older than us and we definitely looked up to them. They were in bands and liked cool music and never made us feel like Georgia was the annoying little sister and we were the annoying young mates. There was also my friend Luke, he was the same age as me (infact one day older) but he always seemed so much older and steeetwise (kind of rare in most teenage boys). Luke and I was in the same class at school and would often be sent to T3 together and we would often chat in smokers alley. I really did look up to him and I always knew that even though we didn't always hang out together if I got in trouble on a night out he would look after me! I remember being about 15 in a club and being a bit "paranoid" and him looking after me..after a few mins I was fine and danced but if it wasnt for him I would have been a total mess!
I was talking to a mate recently who said that kids didn't do drugs when we was young but I have to disagree. I didn't really know of anyone doing cocaine BUT I do remember people smoking, doing pills, speed was massively popular and I remember people doing acid. Even if you didn't do it (AND MOST DIDNT) you certainly was aware of it. There were certainly kids in my year that would smoke a joint at lunch in smokers alley.
After a few years of binge drinking out of a three litre bottle of cider we decided to start going to the local nightclub "La Mirage". We would get dressed up and meet at Rachaels house. We wasn't even sixth form age at this time so god knows how we got away with it (or how we could afford it). We would get the H1 to the station have a few half lagers or ciders and then walk home (we nearly got ourselves in trouble a few times). Yes we was reckless BUT I would argue that this is pretty typical teenager behaviour. We were not bad kids - infact the other three were straight A students! What makes my teenage years slightly different and probably showed indications of my "BiPolar Life" were things like my self harming, my bad sleeping habits, my short temper, my lack of focus, phantom pains, teachers always thought that I could and should be doing better but I hated school and I could never hold my attention. I would rather mess about than work and got sent to T3 alot. I wasnt a bad child, far from it....I just couldn't stay focused. There were alot of things going on in my home life and in the end my mum had no option but to put me in care as I was beginning to damage my family life and my mum had zero support from my dad who had left.

My first foster placement was in St Albans and I was with a girl from my year Sam. She was a fun girl and didnt give a shit what people thought about her...I always quite admired that. She had a real bizarre fascination for Robbie Williams (which really wasn't cool at the time) and she was also a bit of a live wire and i was and still am very easily led! We got dropped at school and she decided that we wouldn't go to school and we would head to London to see this guy she was seeing in Walthamstow. She said that he was close mates with the guy in East 17 and quite frankly I thought she was full of shit...turns out she wasn't and we spent the day with these random E17 guys. But by this time it was quite typical of my behaviour. Evenings were spent hanging around town as we (me and my foster brother) hated being home. I hated being in care (apart from Dave France) and as soon as I finished my GCSEs I packed up and moved to Hastings. Aged 16 I was working in a holiday park and renting a room in a place that I knew no one...I suppose that is kind of weird behaviour! I came back in the September and went back to school for a year although I wasn't interested in school work and wasn't really interested in school. The teachers had already labelled me as a trouble kid and it was quite clear they didn't want me there. By this time I was living back with my family and started seeing a boy at school. Gary was my first proper boyfriend and first love (a lot like love) and I was with him for a couple of years. He was a good influence on me and he was a huge part of my life. My family absolutely adored him and I liked all his family and friends. I really did think the world of Gary and he did me. We broke up when I was 18 and it turned quite bitter for a few years as he didn't really understand why I didn't want to be with him anymore...I suppose it was out of his control and he was actually really vile to me. I hated him and he hated me but we are now friends and I often chat which is nice. As I said it ended badly and I decided that I wanted to get away so I went on holiday to Greece. I fell in love with the place and on a whim I decided to not board my flight home. I had no money, no job and no where to live but I didn't really think that far ahead! I called my mum and quit my job and spent 6 months in the sunshine with some amazing people and drinking sambucca......But that is a whole different story!

My closest mates from Sidari 1998 were Vickie, Ben and Jonty. The winter we all spent as much time together as possible and every weekend we would all meet up...normally i would get the national express to Manchester and meet Vickie. We would head to the midlands and Saturday night would normally be spent in progress in Derby or Passion in Coalville. Passion was our favorite!
May 1999 vickie and I headed back to Sidari with my friend Gemma and a few other mates from Hemel joined us. 99 was good but certainly didn't compare to 98! I partied hard and drank heavily. I was never home before sunrise and I was hammered everyday! I wouldn't dream of ever leaving the club before it closed (Didnt close until the sun came up).

The 90's were basically a big drunken haze. It was a rollercoaster ride of a decade and I havent even posted the half of it! My illness has brought me where I am today and if I had been diagnosed earlier I wouldn't have experienced so many wonderful things. Looking back the signs were all there but no body spotted them and even if they had i doubt i would have agreed with them. I was just having fun. I was riding a bike without a licence at one point in 99. I would drive drunk and the roads in Sidari were not the safest and I certainly never wore a helmet. I dint really have many low episodes (from what i remember) but my behaviour was very self-destructive. When I was on a high" I didt think too much about what I'm doing. My personal self-destructive behavior is compulsive spending, drinking along with other things that I dont really want to post. I also have always had sleep issues.
Im glad I have got to this stage as I can now take a new direction in life. I know it wont be easy as I feel like im losing my identity...But I'm looking forward to the future and losing some of my bad and self destructive habits. Ive got alot of wonderful people around me and have an amazing mum, step dad and sisters who have been fantastic.

People can say alot of hurtful things about Bipolar and that's normally because they are uninformed and alot of the time they THINK they are giving good advice. The best thing that has come out of this blog is the emails that I have received. People dont talk about mental illness but there are so many of my friends that have been through this (some have been through alot worse) and some that are at a similar stage to me. I have friends that have family and friends that have lost loved ones through it. Ive been shown an overwhelming abount of support. Even if I just send a text saying thankyou it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it. Ive always emotionally hidden away as a survival defense. This means that although i put it all out there on this blog...Im not good at talking about stuff in the real world. Never have been and probably never will be. But I just want to say that I really to appreciate it.

I turned 31 this weekend. It was Easter weekend so it would normally have all the ingredients for a mad weekend but as i said before things have to change. Thursday I stopped into see Steve Monohan and had a good chat and catch up. Its the first person that I have spoken to at work about it. Steve and I are very bad influences on each other and we made the mistake of having a cheeky vodka. I absolutely adore Steve and it no matter what Ive said...This did me the world of good. We drank, we chatted and i got alot off my chest. He understands me and is never judgemental. I then left his as i was meeting up with Gwen and RJ. They were on a mission to get me out and let my hair down. I can honestly say it was one of my best ever nights in Flame. Normally I would carry on all weekend but this is the new Janice! I decided that I was going to ignore my bday and stay 30 but my sister had other ideas. She said that even if I didnt want to drink or party hard I still needed to celebrate my birthday so she got a last minute caravan in Norfolk through her work and we took my niece to Sunny Hunny. I think she was concerned that I would be bored but I had so much fun and really appreciate how thoughtful it was of her to do it...It has lifted my mood so much! We had a chance to chat and get her perspective. It also gave me a chance to spend time with my gorgeous niece Tia. She had the opportunity to see the park which is good for her job and it got me out of Luton. There is so much that I could write about this weekend but most of it would only be funny to Charlie and me. You really cant beat a bit of good old fashioned seaside fun. I wont pretend that I stayed alcohol free but I certainly didn't binge drink.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ive Lost My Much-ness, I Used To Be Much More Muchier

There is always someone worse off than yourself; interesting statement and when used correctly its good to sit back and put things into perspective because we all have a tendency to get wrapped up in our own petty arguments, niggles and lives. Thinking about what makes me most happy can also bring perspective as can reading books, opening a newspaper or thinking about people like my brother-in-law that will be heading out to Afghan to fight for his country leaving behind my heartbroken sister and nephew for 6 months; But this isn't a good phrase to use when overcoming a mental illness as knowing that there are people worse off doesn't directly help my problems and adds to the guilt factor.
lets make something else clear... I don't wallow in self pity - yes I write about it but i don't discuss it and quite frankly its my right to seek help and feel shit about feeling shit.

SOME people think that depression is an attention seeking illness. This I find hard to understand - why would someone want to go from being a fun loving party gal with a HUGE social network to hiding away? Another argument Id like to put forward is that if someone is depressed and they are finding it hard to communicate then what is wrong with seeking attention? Surely the BEST thing a depressed person can do is seek some attention to help overcome the illness? When I'm feeling low I hide away from attention and do everything I can to hide the fact that I'm feeling low. This is partly because I don't know how else to deal with it and because you don't want to burden other people. I would argue that its anything but attention seeking and more about hiding the suffering....and in my case making it worse. Add a few issues into the equation and BAM! You hit crisis point.

Let me make something else clear. BiPolar is NOT a fashion statement and the last thing you need is people thinking you are a fake attention seeking, psycho. Why would someone want to fake a mental illness and even if you could (which I doubt the best actress could) Its loaded with stigma, why the fuck would someone want to do that? Just a thought but would faking a mental illness signify a mental illness?

So lets move on... I'm definitely a dust yourself off and get on with your life kind of girl. I rarely dwell on things that are out of my control. I put my party shoes on, grab my mates and hit nearest gay club. I get absolutely wankered, talk shit and dance. I basically have two speeds; High and very low. The past is always with us so I guess its time to stop running so i can enjoy middle age. Lets be honest, a "normal" person has bad habits. There are people I know that are rude and obnoxious, there are others that are arrogant and bitchy. I have a chemical imbalance and hope that I'm none of the above I'm seeking help to turn my life around...what are the "normal" peoples excuse for acting like a complete c***?

Like recovering alcoholics who avoid drinking or diabetics who take insulin, healthy lifestyle choices for bipolar disorder are a must along with finding out my triggers and patterns. It doesn't mean that I will never go out again BUT maybe its the wake up call i need to grow up a bit. I will still have my holiday to Jamaica and Corfu. I will definitly do my annual trip to sitges (my happy place). I will have some weekends in Manchester and Im sure that you will still find me dancing at 5am in Cruz 101. Im not going to run off to my local convent and become a nun and I will still social drink (once Im used to the meds) BUT I have to give up the binge drinking. BiPolar and drinking seem to go hand in hand...Did you know that up to 60% of people with BiPolar struggle with alcoholism or substance abuse? But I need to find things to replace my bad habits with.

I have been shown an over whelming amount of support with this and the few people that I feel havent are in the minority. Ive said it before and I will say it again...I treat people with the same respect as they treat me. I havent asked for anything and I wont be asking for anything, I seeked help off my own back. I don't expect people to understand but I do expect some respect. If I haven't been in touch its not because im being rude...Im focusing on getting better and surrounding myself in a positive environment. If that looks selfish then so be it. I need to get out of my cycle; I lie in bed, I cry, I feel sad and then I get help cos I know its not right and everytime I feel sad I sink that little bit lower. I get help but its still there only this time I hide it because I want everyone to think Im alright. But its not fine and IM not fine...Im a roller coaster ride of emotions. Slowly I start to feel better the dark mist lifts and I feel happy. I love my life and I love the world. Then CRASH! The cycle starts again....

I'm not saying that people lives should stop because Im unwell or for the world to revolve around me BUT, what goes around will come back around and there will be a time when you need that support back. BiPolar is a lifetime illness but depression can happen to anyone so think very carefully before you judge me. depression can happen to the happiest person on earth so don't think your immune...cos your not!

Its my birthday in a couple of days and I have decided to ignore it and anyone that knows me will know that this is very unlike me. I love birthdays and especially love mine. I was going to have a "Dont be gay be a ganster" themed party at a local club but its all come around very quickly and I dont think its right to go out (especially as i dont have the willpower to not get absolutly wasted). Im not cancelling because I want to hide away...I just want to prove to myself that even though my bday is on easter weekend I can have a good day without drinking a ridiculous amount of alcohol. I know people care and I appreciate the effort that the lovely Joel was going to but I dont think a massive night out will do me any good.

Im feeling really good today. I might look like a pile of shit but Im feeling well. the medication is not particully agreeing with me but I need to stick with it for now. Jamaica is two weeks away and this winter seems to have gone on forever. Sunshine is medicine for the soul!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Dumping the Stigma and Focusing on Recovery

This is going to be the hardest blog to write yet. I dont normally care what people think of me but I hate the fact that people see me as "mentally ill" as it paints the picture of me being in some institute wearing a straight jacket. I havent been sectioned but I was ill, I did seek help and I did go into hospital but it was voluntry and informal. I know that there will be alot of so called friends that will read this and still have thier own view on this but that shows more about thier lack of compassion and thier own niave and uneducated small minds. understanding, love and compassion really are the best medicine! Untill you've lived in my bipolar head...dont judge me!!At the end of the day...the ones that will mock, joke and gossip about this need to remember. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain...whats your excuse?

For those of you that read the last blog you know that I have been experiancing one of my depressive episodes.

What's It Like Being Hospitalized for Bipolar? first of all let me make it clear that I wasnt "sectioned". I was feeling in a really dark place and under the calm exterior was a very unquiet mind. In my experience, it's a strange occurrence to be on a locked psychiatric ward. They tell you that the locked aspect of the ward is for safety purposes. It's odd not to be able to come and go but when your in a critical state, I suppose it is safe to be "locked in". I dont remeber alot about arriving at the hosptial. I got a taxi and cried the whole way there (I remeber it feeling very surreal and feeling very alone). I was very spaced out due to the 12 valium I had taken in the last 48 hours. They then evaluate you and then give you a physical examination...I remeber having high blood presure and having blood taken. They then take away anything that you could potentially harm yourself with (hair strightners, phone charger, can of coke) and I was shown to my room. The first day being in hospital is the hardest...and even with further valium and zoplicone I couldnt sleep. I was there for three days and everyday I woke up at 4am. I didnt shower til my last day which sounds awful but when you feel dont care. My family where fantastic and in a weird way I think it was harder on them than it was on me.

For years, Ive suffered with a mental disability. No one has found a cure for manic depression (bipolar disorder). During those crisis years, nobody knew anything was really wrong with me. I was experiencing a wild rollercoaster ride of frightening highs and lows that put my life in jeopardy, but my disability is completely invisible. Most people that know me wouldnt have a clue what goes on inside my head. Granted, I was behaving rather erratically. At the same time, I was drinking heavily, partying hard, being VERY spontenious, engaging in sex with complete strangers, staying up for days on end, and in general living on the edge ... But that was my highs and its completly invisable.

Alot of people are quick to say "Do this" "try that". "cheer up" "focus on positive things" "Just remeber that there are people that are so much worse off than you". IT DOESN'T FUCKING HELP!!! Ive tried this for years and now ive got to crisis point! Its like cooking... Its no good just having the right ingredients, you need to have a recipe. I KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE! Its no good walking in the kitchen and critizing me (its even worse doing it behind my back). It takes effort and sometimes you need to recognise that you need help otherwise the meal will never get cooked! This is basically what happened...

Once I was re diagnosed and hospitalised I realised things would have to change. And no, friends did not come rushing to my side to support me in battling against my illness. All of a sudden I realized the stigma of having a mental illness - it hit me smack between the eyes. And the stigma was almost as bad as having to come to terms with the fact that I was mentally ill and needed treatment. I was diagnosed in 2008 and Ive stupidly thought that I could handle it and treat myself...If other people dont think I have a problem then its fine. Yes I get "depresseded" every now and then but i know that the dark mist will lift and the highs will return... But the highs are just as damaging!

So maybe its a good idea to expalain a little bit about BiPolar. Bi-Polar Disorder is the modern name for what used to be called "Manic Depression". As the old name suggests, people with Bi-Polar tend to have severe mood swings between intense feelings of depression and despair, on the one hand, and wild bouts of mania where they feel "on top of the world", elated and bursting with energy.

When I feel down most people dont see this because I will hide away from the world. I litterally disapear for a few days. Emotionally I have feelings of unhappiness that don't go away, I lie in bed and burst into tears for no reason. I feel useless, inadequate and hopeless. I have zero self-confidence. I either eat nothing or binge eat..I have difficulty in concentrating and I find it hard to make simple decisions. I avoid contact with friends and family and have difficuly in starting and completing simple everyday chores. Its difficult to even get myself dressed and showered.

Then comes the mania (the bit people see more)... very happy and excited, I hate it when people dont share my optamistic look on life. Im full of new and exciting ideas and move quickly from one idea to another. I party HARD and talk alot. I recklessly spend money, Im over-familiar or recklessly critical with other people. Im spontenious and Im generally less inhibited.

(when your depressed you realise there is a problem when you are in a manic state you dont see it as a problem).

There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder; so then we also have hypo mania and mixed episodes. (Hypomania is a less severe form of mania). There are also three types of Bi polar......... but this is getting very boring!

Alot of friends were ignorant of the many aspects of the illness. Bi polar is a lifetime chronic, relapsing illness. Medication alone is not enough to fully control bipolar. This is the main reason for this blog. it helps to empty my mind and keep track on how im feeling. I need to monitor my moods.

Having a surportive enviroment is massivly important and David (The Jew) has been my rock through this. Most people hope to make a diffrence in someones life and I can honestly say that I dont know where I would be without him. I hope that one day I will be able to help someone as much as he has heleped me. dont get me wrong.....Ive had messages of support off so many people and I genuinly appreciate it but his friendship and support has been lifechanging. he really is an actual angel.

Some people think that I shouldnt write this blog and quite frankly if you are reading this and you are one of those people I think you should stop reading this, stop judging me and sort out your own lives. Would you think the same if I had a "physical illness". of Course you wouldnt, youd be sympathetc and support me. I hate the stigma that goes with BiPolar!

BiPolar has affected my work, friendships and past relationships (Liam not Alex...Alex was just a cunt) as well as my family and was probably alot of the reason I ended up in care. I worry that im never going to have a normal life because of my illness and when I see "crazy people" I worry that I will end up like them.

On the plus side people with Bipolar disorder tend to have more passion, compassion and determaination than alot of other people. We make great friends as we understand lifes ups and downs.

After coming out of hospital I went to Hemel and spent some time with my family who have been absolutly incredible...there compassion and love has been unbelieveable. It was my sisters bday and hen do over this time. I attempted to have a vodka on my sisters bday which ended in tears...oceans of tears and lots of vomit (yuck). Two vodkas made me dizzy, sleepy and gave me extreme nausea (always read the small print). While I spent most of the evening on my mums bathroom floor with her holding my hair and rubbing my back her advice was " darling, your lifestyle is really going to have to change". At that moment I realised that I loved my mum but really fucking hate my life!

The next night was my sisters hen night in London. This whole episode has made me lose ALOT of confidence. Im a party girl...always have been and I feel like Im losing my identity (and this is a big deal). After last nights episode I decided NOT to take my mediaction (and before I get critised for this I did discuss this with the crisis team). I cant say it was the best club Ive ever been to but we definitly made the most of it! It was a hillarious night! I cant say I have my confidence back but I was with girls that I have known for alot of years and that know me really well. The theme was flappers and gansters. It was very girly and alot of fun.... I cant wait for the wedding! Jamaica in a few weeks!!

Unless I wrote this blog (or you lived with me) you really wouldnt even realise I was a manic depressive. But I do realise that things have got to change in my life. My Bipolar isnt the end of the world...Its the begining of a new one!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Dude, your perspective on life sucks's 5 in the morning and I can not sleep which wouldn't be too bad if didn't have to be up for work in 4 hours. ugh. I hate when I can't sleep.

This blog was started to help me through my bi polar lows and after finding myself crying in bed for no real reason for the past 3 hours I figure writing is the way forward.

Ive been back to see my dr this weeek and again I declined the drugs. But Im starting to think that maybe its the only way forward. I cant cope feeling like this and there is not one person in my life that seems to remotly understand how I feel. Thats not a dig at can someone understand it if they have never been through it?

This low has hit me particuly hard...normally I get through my lows knowing that the high will come soon but ive started to realise that my highs are just as damaging as my lows. When Im manic I make bad decisions, Im impulsive, I spend to much money, I party to hard. When something upsets me when Im manic I rage..and I mean RAGE! My sleep is erratic and most of the time I have difficulty falling asleep. When the high leaves I cant get out of bed... I sleep for days - litterally! Most of the time I manage it effectivly... I know my triggers and can normally pull my self out of the dark hole...This cycle is proving more difficult.

My eating patterns are getting out of hand...think bullimia without the sickness...then being filled with self loathing.
Everyone gets ups and downs... but the intensity of these feelings are tenfold. The racing thoughts litterally make you feel like your going mad! racing thoughts arent just "thinking fast" they are thoughts that wont go away. they wont be quiet...they get louder and louder and louder...its a noise that you cant explain that repeats over and over. (If that makes me sound mad then just imagine how that feels?!)

Bi polar affects my concentration. Sometimes I cant think straight or finish a train of thought. I get distracted easily and have a short attention span. My friends mock this and I laugh with them but its not nice and there is nothing I can do about it. Im sure people think im being ignorant or rude...Im not, Its just the bi polar.

Basically, Im writing this for my own good. To try and make sense of the shit thats going around my head. I will probably regret writing this as it will make people judge me...but fuck it. The ones that judge you the most are the ones that know you the least.

Im not using my bipoar as an excuse but it is an explanation.

This doesnt mean that things that I have said or done over the last few months are a result of my bi polar. I stand by most of what I have said (even if I didnt go about it the right way initially). I treat people the way I want to be treated. If that doesnt work..I treat them the way they treat me - bare that in mind if you dont like the way that I am with you.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A New Year Like This Comes Once In A Blue Moon

Its been a while since I updated. Life has been busy but Ive not really been in the mood to write and the longer I leave it harder it is to know where to start;

Who says blondes have more fun? Ive crossed over to the dark side and so far so good. I needed a change and im feeling better for it. I absolutly love it!!

This years work party was held in Milton Keynes. Lots of binge drinking, bitching and snow. Went to Mac but wasnt overly impressed with the make up..she was good but she is no where near as good as Gemma - she played it safe with the basic smokey eye - I wanted dramatic but it wasnt to be.

The week leading up to Christmas was manic. lots of snow and random weather. I started my week in Luton, then went to East Mids and eneded the week in Newcastle. I broke down in tears twice and seriously considered getting a new job. I absolutly love my job but it is fatiging and really fucks with your emotions. Anyways..I finished Christmas eve and had 12 days off to celebrate Chrismukkah, New Year and Andy Vernons birthday...good times!

Christmas day morning was spent with the clampits (my family) and then I taxi'd back to the ghetto and had dinner with the naughty kids.
Im not normally the biggest fan of Christmas but this year I have felt more christmassy than santa eating a selection box and watching Home Alone. Dortmund Christmas markets and Euro disney really put me in the christmas spirit! On christmas day the taxi man even stopped at the shop and spent the fare I gave him on chocolates for lovely is that?! Andy cooked an AMAZING dinner and Andrew made a fanastic buffet in the evening. There was aloy of alcohol consumed, alot of our friends came over and the night was finished with games and karaoke.

I then spent a few days in Hemel babysitting my nephew Joseph. This is without a doubt one of my favorite thhings. Joseph makes me laugh every single day. looking after Joe is always a pleasure - never a chore. We watched movies, played with cars, went to the cinema, went bowling and even had my niece Tia over for a sleepover with movies and midnight feast.

NYE came around so quickly! NYE is also Andy Vernons bday. I spent the day in London having my MAC make up done (standard) then we headed to MK for pre drinks at Joels then onto Pinks for binge drinking, high camp disco and club classics. With a New Year's Eve blue moon, 2009 went out with an lunar bang. Fantastic end to a fantastic year with some Fantastic friends. Messy, messy night but alot of fun! NY day was spent in recovery at Joels and the Harvester (yes the harvester... its Jon Tibbenhams favorite place to eat so thats why we went. Also - there is a free salad bar, result). I dont mind admitting that my hangover was severe, infact Janice and Dan Codesel actually went to the Harvester in our PJ' shame in that?!

I decided to spend January alcohol free but I well and truely fell off the January wagoon January the 4th. I brought Andy theatre tickets for his bday (Avenue Q). We had a few cheeky theatre drinks then headed to soHo to meet Andrew, Harry, Julie (Andrews mate from Liverpool), Dan Codesel and the lovely Liam. I was led doen the jagaar bomb road quite early on...the rest is a blur.

It has officially been the coldest winter that I have ever known. Im back at work and I really have the January blues. I really need something to change but I dont know what. I feel like I need some direction - I feel "rootless". I think its time to grow up.... A serious and responsible mood has swept over me! My friends are hoping that it wont last long! Ive spent the last week writing my "bucket list" the "101 things that I want to do before I kick the bucket". I havent completed it yet but so far so good.

1. Write a best selling book (I figure number one you should aim high)
2. Fall madly, helplessly, uncondionally in love.
3. Complete the Camino de Santiago
4. See the northern lights (aurora borealis)
5. Be a mother (this shocked me when I realised that maybe... I deep down kinda one day want this)
6. Get married to my soul mate (again...this shocked me that maybe I want this)
7. Live in my dream house
8. Go to Bora Bora
9. Re visit NZ
10. Re visit Singapore
11. Blow a months wages on a dress
12 Get "re married" to my soul mate somewhere crazy
13 Spend Christmas in Lapland
14 Road trip - route 66
15 Contact my childhood "boyfriend" (ive always randomly thought about him)
16 Drink beer at Oktoberfest, Munich!
17 Spend Christmas day on a beach with the man I love drinking cocktails/beer.
18 Fly first class
19 Achieve my ideal weight
20 Make a diffrence in someones life
21 Fly in a helicopter
22 Gamble in Vegas
23 Visit Madjugorje (this place facinates me)
24 Get a tattoo
25 ********* something that i need to do but cant write!
26 Learn to drive!!!!!!
27 get new teeth
28 Get new boobs
29 Go to Vietnam
30 Go to Laos
31 Go to Hawaii
32 Go to Jamaica
33 Go to iceland and visit the blue lagoon
34 Spend the night in a haunted house
35 Write a magazine column
36 Take pole dancing lessons
37 Throw a dart in a map and travel where ever it lands!
38 Look into my future childs eyes...see myself and smile :)
39 Forgive my ex
40 Forgive my dad
41 Go zorbing
42 Have a MAC make up lesson
43 Be content with myself
44 Visit the holyland
45 Go to disney world as an adult
46 Bake a cake
47 Volunteer
48 Ride the 5 worlds biggest rollercoasters (I love rollercoasters!!)
49 Experiance OBE - astral travel
50 Be a millionaire!!
51 Visit Lourdes
52 Get a diploma in counselling
53 Visit the lake district
54 Write the story of my life
55 Organise a picnic / sports day for my friends family
56 Live or have a second home near the sea

thinking of 101 things is tougher than you might think!

Basically.. I date it and once I achieve each thing.. I highlight it. I think ticking off each goal will be empowering. Obviously there are things on the list that might not happen. I might not meet my soul mate which means I may not end up having children, the list is what I want in an ideal world.

Everyone deep down hopes that they meet thier "soul mate" but I dont hold on to the romantic notion that I need a man to make me happy, I honestly believe that if you think you NEED a man to make you will never really be happy.

Im still half heartledly on plenty of fish but Im bored of it. Internet dating is such an artificial process... its not for me! I have met some great people on there that have become great mates. I originally met the Jew on there after splitting up with Liam years and years ago. The Jew is one of my best mates.... he is the guy that I said met a girl, fell in love an d simply disapeared for a while. The Jew is back!! Hurruh!! I randomly went on MSN and there he was. It was very odd chatting to him....the worst thing is having a friend that you deeply care about. They disappear. You then randomly chat and you then feel like strangers. He was one of my closests mates (even though we had a weird friendship) and there I was chatting to him like he was a random acquaintance, it wasnt the nicest feeling. I have chatted to him a few times since and Im sure normal service will be resummed and he will soon be sorting out my life again!

Not to sure how long the "Good girl Trustram" mood will last cos when Im good Im very good but when im bad Im better :)