Friday, 27 March 2015

Stuff they make you do in therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder

Beating a mental health problem aint easy.

If you've ever had exposure therapy for social anxiety then you know how excruciating it can be to do some of these tasks. I'm sure some of it would be enough to make any "normal" person cringe.

Going up to strangers and asking for the time 
It's no big deal they tell you. People do it all of the time, they say. To me I feel like I've been transported back to the 90s, when nobody had phones, it's weird now surely? On balance I'm sure people just think "meh" tell you the time and move on with their day. But still, ugh.
If on the off chance someone asks me the dreaded question, I always have half an eye open for a therapist lurking somewhere in the background..

Going up to someone, asking a question, jumbling your words, on purpose
Hi, know you do, do you know where the lights is?
Is about as cringe inducing as it sounds.

Being filmed whilst having a conversation
Hmm this feels so normal having a camera in my face, so relaxing! If you're anything like me then seeing/hearing yourself on camera is a fairly uncomfortable experience.

Fumbling/ dropping your change when paying for something, on purpose
I guess it can be mildly amusing to turn into some madcap woman, who likes to throw her change about, still, can be awkward. Does anyone actually care all that much? Not really.


Taking a banana for a walk
Pretty self explanatory this one. It's also one I haven't done personally, and don't know if I could! The laughter, the funny looks... shudder. The ultimate shame-attack exercise, props to you if you could do it.

The point of all this being, that it isn't all that bad really, and most of the time people don't give a crap if you do something mildly silly. I think the fear of embarrasment is ingrained into all of us, it's really tough to not care what people think!

So, this week I will challenge myself to do something out of my comfort zone. I also challenge YOU. Just think, what's the worst that could happen?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Trip to London

This week I went on a little trip to London with my boyfried to celebrate our ten-years-since-we-met-iversary.

I always enjoy London, it's a bit of a culture shock, everything is so busy and bustling, but the vibe is great and there's just so much to do. It's fun to whizz around on the tube, even though I always seem to forget what I'm doing each time I go.

First stop was the Natural History Museum.

We had a great time exploring, and all for free too. I think my favourite exhibit has to be the Dinosaurs, though there were some pretty interesting, if not a little creepy, specimens in jars too.

Oh hi!

After that we hightailed it down to Camden to check out the market. I even did a bit of bartering, much to my boyfriend's amusement!

All in all we had a great day!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The things people say.

Today I thought I'd have a good old moan about the stuff that gets on my nerves. Sometimes, however nice a person you try and be, other humans just do your head in. I compiled a list!

Top of the list has to be..

People that are just being honest.

You know, those people that will flat out insult you and be offensive, but wait! That's OK because they are being honest, and “telling it how it is.” Just no. Honesty does not give you the propensity to say whatever the hell you like to people.

People that ask, why are you so quiet?

The five little words that every introvert will come to loathe. It's a question that there's no real answer to. Erm, it's just my personality, sorry. Accept me dammit!

People that say, just be yourself!

I know, I know, they're probably just trying to be nice and stuff. It's one of those old chestnuts that people roll out that doesn't really mean anything. I'm always myself. I don't really think about it. Huh?? - Pretty much sums up how I feel about that one.

People that talk excessively in metaphor.

It's either blindly obvious from the start about what they are trying to say – yet you have to sit and listen to the whole elaborate story, or it's just plain confusing and bizarre! Just say what you mean!

People that are always bigging themselves up.

I might be alone on this one, but I feel like we live in a society where people are always bragging. Social media plays a big part in it. If there's something so brilliant about you, then it will shine through, no need to go on about it!

People that don't like cats.

What more can I say? You don't like petting them, and seeing their furry little faces? Eh? Doesn't make sense to me.

Well there you have it, I actually quite enjoyed writing that. Let me know if you feel the same, or if you have any to add to the list!

I'm thinking of setting up a blogging schedule, will try twice a week to start with. That's all for now, tararabit!

Friday, 6 March 2015


Today I thought I'd blog about something positive. When you struggle with your mental health it can be all too easy to get caught up in how tough things are, you lose sight in the good things in life. Those shiny little moments that make you feel happy. They can pop up when you least expect them.

I've spent a lot of time reading blogs lately, and it suddenly inspired me to start mine up again. That's one of the little things in life I love; inspiration. When something just clicks in you and you think, I can do that! Then your mind buzzes around excitedly thinking about what you could achieve.

So here I am having another go. Writing was always something that I enjoyed as a child, but then gradually as I got older I stopped and got distracted. Then I almost forgot how to do it.

There was a good post on Neil Gaiman's blog, someone asked him how to get their thoughts out of their head and onto paper, he replied; “Write the ideas down. If they are going to be stories, try and tell the stories you would like to read. Finish the things you start to write. Do it a lot and you will be a writer. The only way to do it is to do it.”

I think that's pretty good advice - thoughtful, daydreamy people like me tend to forget, just get out of your head and DO it. You only become good at something with practice. So that is my plan.

I would like to become a writer, so to achieve this, I will write. One word after another.

To anyone reading this I hope you can find the little moments in life that make you happy, when something inspires you grab hold of it and take action, because who knows what you could achieve!

Thursday, 5 February 2015


Psst. Psssst!


Well it seems to have been well over a year since I last posted on my blog. Which is a bit of a shame, but also related to my chronic lack of confidence. So here I am, giving it another go!

This is going to be very short and sweet, but I'm trying to decide where to go with the blog. What to write about. That's always a good start isn't it!

You see as a social phobe I'm not out there leading a high octane, activity filled life, so writing about the day I went to Lidl just might not cut it. I could write more about mental health in general, what helps me and so on.

Proper posts will start soon for anybody that's interested!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Thanks Neil!

Well hello!

Thanks to a certain blog post by a certain curly-haired author my blog has seen a lot of page views from across the pond.

So that was pretty amazing, I love the internet!

I've been spending my days finising The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and although it was over too quickly I really enjoyed it. I could really relate to the main character surrounding himself with books as a child; it got me thinking about my own childhood.

I loved reading about the adventures of the Famous Five and their dog Timmy - one of my main ambitions back then was to have an exciting adventure! My ultimate favourite though, was The Chronicles of Narnia. I spent a lot of time trying to get there through the back of my grandparents dusty old wardrobe!

Ocean is a fun read, lots of mystical things going on, oh and cats! What's not to like about pulling up a cat from the ground like a carrot? (Bet that sounds odd if you haven't read it yet, you should).

Ever since going to the signing at Ely, I've been feeling a more inspired to write up a story idea I had. Funnily enough as a child I used to love to write, I did it all of the time, but as I've got older it almost feels like I've forgotten how.

The story is about a man who finds a strange coral crown washed up on the sea shore, and a one-eyed raggedy seagull. I'll post it here when I work up the courage to write it, I know it probably won't be that good as a first attempt but I'll give it a go.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Meeting Neil Gaiman at Ely Cathedral!

Well, I'm back in sunny Stoke-on-trent now after a fun weekend of exploring Cambridge and Gaiman-ing in Ely.

The boyfriend and I stayed in Cambridge Central Travelodge (stay classy), and were very happy to see that there was a Nando's AND a Pizza Hut within metres of the hotel.. yay! We both had a great time exploring Cambridge, it's a really picturesque city. It has a cool vibe; there's loads of nice coffee shops and cafes and people cycle everywhere.. very european.

We also had a stroll around St. John's college - which is basically Hogwarts. Here's a fun fact for you, apparently fellows of the college are the only people outside the Royal Family legally allowed to eat unmarked mute swans.. nice!

The swans left long ago..
Next stop was Ely, which I was surprised to find out was actually pronounced eel-y - on account of all of the eel fishing that they did there, makes sense.

We headed on over to Topping and Co book shop, where the very helpful staff gave us our tickets to the signing and informed us that they were expecting around a thousand people to turn up! With a train to catch later on we decided to get in the queue early.

We spent around 2 hours waiting, but it was quite fun to sit and people watch in the sunshine. Got in a bit of reading of Ocean at the End of the Lane too, and was happy to see that there were cats in the story! Before we knew it, it was time to go inside.

Ely cathedral is a beautfiul old building and a great atmosphere for the signing, complete with bats flitting around! Neil came out and answered some questions put to him by the audience, he was really funny and interesting to listen to. Someone asked what he thought about people thinking he was odd, and he said that he sees himself as normal and the rest of the world as odd! He did a reading of Ocean, and his new children's book Fortunately, the Milk and was really good at bringing the stories to life, doing different accents and everything.

Afterwards as we were in the first 100 people we got to meet him pretty quickly. As we were waiting we had to write down our names, and what we wanted our signed dedications to be and I went with "something about cats!"

Was really nervous but Neil was very friendly and made the effort to chat to everyone. Kudos to him as I think he was there pretty late "signing until my hand falls off." I said that I liked cats, so he drew me a "bat-cat" which was pretty awesome!

My boyfriend is a writer, and Neil remembered reading one of his stories on twitter and even shook his hand. We were really chuffed at the end of it all, and it was a brilliant end to our trip.