Looking up

So what seemed like a pretty shit start to the year is turning into a little bit of a positive one. Did I tell you guys I have a new job? Because I do!
Once I've finished my apprenticeship I've managed to bag myself a job as a core support assistant and it's as fun as it sounds; basically it's supporting people who use the computer systems within the NHS, as well as some adminy parts thrown in, and as nervous as I am to start, I'm excited for this new chapter in my life. 
I'm taking 2019 as a self care year. Focusing on my mental and physical health and not worrying about anyone else but myself. 

words

I'm also doing that thing where I'm spending money before I have it, do you guys do that? I've already decided I want to do my driving lessons this year, as well as go on holiday, and a few other bits which will be mentioned in another blog post in a few weeks if all goes well. It's not the best thing to do I know, spending money before you have it, but knowing i'll be able to have a social life again after almost three years is really exciting for me. No more "sorry I can't go out I'm skint" and more "Yeah okay let's do it!". You have no idea how exciting it is for me to actually have money in the bank and in savings and not have to worry about how to pay for things anymore. It's just going to be a huge relief and I'm so ready for this. 


I Found a Lump..

25 January 2019:

Today, whilst I was showering, I noticed I had a lump, about the size of a grape, on my inner right thigh. I've had a pain there for a while now but thought nothing of it and now that I've felt a lump I've obviously presumed the worst. A mixture of emotions went through my head, and whilst I'm a little optimistic that it's probably nothing I've obviously presumed the worst, which I know in any kind of situation, is not the best thing to do
I know it's a weird thing to do, but I thought about it for a little bit and decided I wanted to document this journey to read back on later, like I said, hopefully it's nothing, but if it is something, I want it written down so I can look back on it and either laugh or cry. But I will say this now; do not leave any sort of lumps and bumps that you're worried about alone. Go to your doctor, get it checked out for your own piece of mind, which is what I'm doing later, they won’t think you're wasting their time, or what you may be thinking about it dumb, because it's not, it is literally a doctors/consultants/nurse/healthcare assistant/whoever else’s job to make sure that you are in the best possible health you can be, so don't ever let anyone else let you think otherwise, and if they do, find someone else who will care and believe you, because it's not worth your mental and physical health declining because of that reason. 
I'm going to update this as soon as I get updates on it myself really, I’ll either date it, time it, whatever, but I just wanted my experience of finding a lump I'm actually worried about for the first time. 

08:43am:

I've just phoned my doctors surgery to make an appointment for this afternoon after work, I'm currently waiting for a call back from my doctor to see what they want to do, and it feels like the longest wait for them to call back ever. I know they're busy, and I don't know if I'm the only one that does this, but I literally can't concentrate until I know that the worst is ruled out? Does anyone else get like that?

My doctor called me back ten minutes later, they want to check it out since it's something that's not happened to me before and obviously want to rule but since I'm in work I told them I couldn't go in straight away which they seemed a little bothered about. Luckily, my boss is so lovely and I explained the situation and he said not to worry and to let him know what happens. 

13:13pm:

 I managed to eat some breakfast but the thought of Lunch is just dreadful right now. All I can think about it how much more painful the lump is feeling right now and I'm not sure if it's actually feeling painful or if my mind is playing tricks on me. Feeling it though, it's sore to touch and definitely bigger than this morning which is a little worrying. I'm going to try and take a stroll around town before my appointment and take some more painkillers to try and take the edge off a bit since I have thunder thighs which really doesn't help in this circumstance. 
I'm also trying really hard not to Google my symptoms which is 100% the worst thing I could do right now. I've suffered from cysts in the past in a very sensitive area which is one of the most painful things I've EVER experienced and I've experienced them a few times, this one isn't as painful and luckily isn't in that sensitive area but the feel compared to the ones I've had before feels totally different which is why I'm worrying a little more than usual. 
Waiting for this appointment is going to feel like days more than hours. 

03 February 2019:
So, as you can see, I've left it a few days since writing this.
I'll keep you in the loop and let you know what's happened over the past few weeks. The lump was non cancerous, and I can't let you know how relieved I was to hear that. The cyst I had apparently had split into two separate cysts that had become infected which is why I was experiencing bad pain whenever I walked or touched it. Whilst relieved, I was till upset. I've experienced cysts before in my lady bits and I can tell you, that is the second most painful thing I have experienced in my life so far. I don't recommend it, and I’ll be honest with you guys, if you don't need to shave than don’t, because an infected ingrown hair turning into two cysts and getting infected just isn't worth the hassle in the end honestly.


Any who, I've been on antibiotics twice a day since then and the cyst is pretty much gone and the pain is nonexistent which is amazing. I don't know where I'd be without the NHS and with the wonderful doctors and nurses who have helped me since then. I'm so excited to be working for the NHS 'properly' after I've finished my apprenticeship.

Like: theashleyclements

What I'm also trying to say it, if you notice anything abnormal to what you're used to on your body get it checked out by your doctor or health care person as soon as you can, don't leave it, it might be nothing, it might be something, but the peace of mind at the end of it is worth the peace of mind. 

Productive Things To Do When The Weather Is Crap

It's January, it's cold, the weather is crap and it's the time of year where the weather is cold and miserable and people would rather stay inside and hide under their duvet than venture out into the wet and cold.

It's tempting to be unproductive and sluggish when you know you should be being productive, but how do you ask? Well..

Read a book
You may think this isn't really productive, but it can be! It exercises your mind as well as being an enjoyable activity.

Have a bath
Use that left over bath bomb or fill your bath with half a thing of bubble bath. Self care is important, take the day to pamper yourself and relax.

Try a new recipe
Rainy days can be perfect for trying new things. Head to the kitchen and find some ingredients and get cooking! Don't worry if what you make isn't good, practice makes perfect, and if all turns out good, well that's a plus really isn't it?

Play video games
Going back to keeping the mind active, video games can be a perfect way to escape from the doom and gloom of the rainy weather. Escape into fantasy worlds and fight your way through a zombie apocalypse!

Socialize
But how? We can't go outside in this! Well, the internet is a magical place. Text someone, Slide into someones DM's, give your mum a call, just let someone know you care about them. 




Isolated

You can't pour from an empty cup. Self care is important.
I guess you could say this blog post is a bit out of the norm from me. 
Lately I've been feeling really isolated, in what I do, what I create, where I stand. A bunch of things really, and I'm not sure why. Sure it's easy to say "Oh hey, I'm really not feeling good today" but rather than me do that, I've just been pushing people away, to me, this doesn't hurt as much. I'd rather push people away than tell them how I feel. Why? Because talking about how you feel to anyone is terrifying. You're putting your emotions and feelings and everything else out on the table to whoever you're talking to, therapist, mum, dad, boyfriend, girlfriend, even your cat, I won't judge (I totally talk to my cat all the time) but the thought of being in that vulnerable situation just scares me to the point I find it easier to push people away than just talk. 



I don't know why I do this and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this but lately my minds just been all over the place, one day I'm on top of the world and the next I can barely get out of bed. And that's okay, taking a mental health day for yourself every once in a while is good for you, and sometimes you need to for the sake of your own sanity - Stay in bed until noon, binge watch whatever is on Netflix, eat whatever you want and not feel bad about it - Tomorrow is a new day, a new you, a fresh start to do something else. 

Looking back, I would force long term goals on myself and would feel awful if I didn't achieve them throughout the year, so this time round I'm setting myself a bunch of mini goals, that I can complete daily or weekly, rather than monthly or yearly and I've found this has done wonders on how I feel about myself in general. I no longer feel as much as a failure as I did, I'm eating better, trying to open up to people more, trying to sleep better, but one step at a time, right? 

What do you guys to in terms of self care? I'd love to know!

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Useful Links:


  • Samaritans
Telephone: 116 123  (Free to call, 24 hours a day)

Email: jo@samaritans.org
Website: www.samaritans.org

  • Mind
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am - 6pm Monday - Friday)
Email: info@mind.org
Website: www.mind.org.uk

  • Rethink Mental Illness
Telephone: 0300 500 927 (9:30am - 4pm Monday - Friday)
Website: www.rethink.org

  • 7cups
Website: www.7cups.com