I’m taking a ‘ME’ day

I very recently got diagnosed with ME/chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s hard to understand, comprehend and talk about. But after finding out I’ve probably lived with this condition for a number of years, I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about this, and other similar ‘invisible illnesses’.

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Good days –
As most people, there are good days and bad days. Except the bad days are like living in a state of tired confusion, unaware of where you are and wanting everyone to fuck off. Even the good days sometimes aren’t brilliant. It’s a bit like waking up after a night of shitty wetherspoons cocktail pitchers. Not ideal when you’re working in a hospital with patients demanding a cup of tea and asking to get up to the toilet every 2.4 seconds. Either leave me alone Barbara, or get out of that shitty hospital bed, and let me get in it.

Work it out –
I’m a big girl. ‘Big-boned’ you might lie. Now I’m not making excuses, I always despised PE and would get my mum to write regular notes about ‘hurting my ankle’ and the such. I’m now at a point where even if I wanted to exercise (which trust me, I don’t), I’d find it almost impossible. After running around a hospital for 10 hours a day, I can hardly stand up let alone go for a jog. I’ve had the term ‘lazy’ thrown around a lot in the past 4/5 years, and it’s difficult coming to terms that actually, I’m not. There is definitely more I could do to be proactive in becoming a size 12, but for now, I’m not going to let it eat me away that I am the way I am, because I’m careless and lethargic.

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I’m not making it up, I promise –
I know, I could be making it all up. There’s no such thing, you’re just lazy and making excuses. I know what you mean. Up until recently I would’ve thought the same thing. A number of years ago, my mum was diagnosed with the similar condition – fibromyalgia. And yes, I thought it was just a fancy word for being a bit achey (sorry mum). But the more I learned and started experiencing myself, the more I realised. So if a family member/friend etc of yours gets diagnosed with something of the sort – try and support them, and believe how hard it is for them, even if it might be difficult for you to understand.

Lie in –
Now I know – we all like a good nap and a lie in, but as an 18 year old I was sleeping for over 12 hours a night and still feeling tired. I put it down to laziness, teenage hormones and not wanting to take any sort of responsibility over my life. This has got worse over recent years, and a lie in can become waking up at 2pm. Most nights I could happily sleep for 14 hours and still be absolutely knackered, which is obviously total bollocks, especially with having to get up for work at 7.30am.

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The others – 
As well as these massive impacts on life, other things do happen. I have back aches that feel like my spine has given up and weakness than makes it hard to open a slightly heavy door. I took over 50% of time off in sixth form because I felt so unwell. Who knows, if I’d been there for the entire time I could’ve been an astronaut (not that I’d want to be). I’m currently in the process of changing my full time contract to part-time, because I just can’t cope – meaning I will be poor (play the violins for me please).
So yes – these conditions make a hefty impact on your life. And no – I’m not making it up because I’m some edgy, Tumblr idiot who does it for attention and aesthetic. Well, not all of that, anyway.

#NotAllIllnessesAreVisible

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A letter to 16 year old me..

Hi Gemma,

Well.. if by some major miracle you are chosen by NASA in the future to go back in time and read some shitty blog, this is for you.

I fucking hated it when people would say, “Enjoy yourself, your teen years are the best of your life”, and I still don’t agree with it. The only bonus I would give is that you don’t have to pay rent, bills and be generally skint. Otherwise – no Sandra – my teen years had been full of puberty, depression and general misery.
Oh, that and sleepovers and shitty house parties where you’d steal your parents ‘purple fruit strongbow’ from the back of the cupboard and get pissed on watered down tequila. There may be some good night clubs you can get into after 18, but none will beat sitting in your friends’ parents’ pitch black bedroom at 5am, messaging some boy that you were in love with him.

Teen life was an absolute low point for my depression, and I’m sure many others can relate. I hated life, hated people, and my school attendance was below 50% (still managing to get all above Cs in GCSEs – you go mate!) As no exception to the rest of my classmates I would be constantly worrying about my GCSE grades and when it came to it – A levels. I mean honestly it was such unnecessary stress, and looking back – I did OK and I’m doing well in adult life with my grades.

What made that stress even worse was the absolute wankers I went to school with. I never got ‘bullied’, but there was the general popular gang who decided to make your life absolute hell if you were slightly different. I remember something happening in maths class one day that really wasn’t even that bad (total drama queen – guilty!) and I cried all evening. The next day was sports day which just made life even bloody worse, and I had an emotional breakdown on the school field, which was an absolute high point. It did get me out of doing the egg and spoon race though, so it was kind off worth it.

The point being that even at the young, tender age of 20, I can already see the differences in those, and the sort of people I surrounded myself with. While my friends are out there starting families and smashing university, the horrible ones are busy working in Costa and Primark with literally no ambition in life. (No offence if you work in Costa/Primark, because you’re probably not a massive wanker and you’re probably actually half decent at your job.)
I’m also at a point in life where if someone came up to me and took the piss, I would most likely tell them where to stick it. Either that or walk away and cry for a few days. But still, I’m winning and you’re not. That’s what you get for being twats all throughout your teenage years. KARMA. So Gemma, ­PLEASE don’t let it get to you as much as it did, because my God – you will come out on top and they won’t be around forever. Looking back, it all seems like so much more than it really was.

Finally, I have to mention work. My first job was in a convenience store, where I did 7am-1pm on Saturday and Sunday. Looking back at my timehop is ridiculous, because all I did was complain about the early starts. I absolutely convinced myself I would get a new job where the hours would be better and I could get up after 6.30am on a Sunday. However, I’ve decided to work in the local hospital as a career (AKA, hours literally all over the place). So that was a good one.

The only people that got me through my school experience were (cheesy) my friends. We sat in a cubby hole that we called ‘the cave’, ate, and sent out a general vibe of distaste to the rest of the school. Looking back I can definitely see why we would look like a group of unsociable bitches (and I wonder why I didn’t get on with everyone).
So viva la backpack gang. Bloody heroes.

Be happy, it does get better.

Love Gemma xx

11 things that piss me off..

..In all honesty most things do, but I have compiled a few of my biggest pet peeves together. Hopefully you can relate, so I don’t seem like a totally intolerant asshole.

**WARNING – MAY GET ANGRY WHILE WRITING AND BECOME SLIGHTLY SAVAGE**

1. Middle class white boys –

This has to be my first and foremost annoyance. Obviously I don’t mean to categorise all these boys together, as I’m sure there are many lovely guys out there. I’m talking about those ones that think they are absolute top of the food chain, and the best thing since sliced bread. Luckily in the adult world I don’t experience too many of these, but back in school they were the bane of my life. The wouldn’t ever ‘bully’ anyone as such, but would make everyone feel generally shit about themselves (you know the ones I’m talking about?) And then they would sit in the sixth form common room and talk about all the girls they have apparently shagged and who gave the best blowjob, and you would sit in the corner with your iced tea laughing about their lives. Not having to see them everyday has reduced my stress levels by approximately 78%.

2. Tories – 

Honestly, everyone in politics who isn’t in Labour. I’m sure this is a personal preference and I am all for people having their own opinions, as long as they are warranted. I won’t go too much into politics because I can get pretty rowdy, especially when people talk shit about my boys – Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband. But all I will say is how anyone under the age of 40, or those who in working class can vote anything but Labour is beyond me. You’re all nuts. I also won’t even start on Donald Trump/Theresa May/Nigel Farage, as I don’t feel like going on a murderous rampage today.

3. Public transport – 

Not generally – I catch the bus all time and it’s an absolute lifesaver. I’m talking about those specific few. Particularly those who stand up and strut to the front of the bus before you’ve even pulled into the bus station, or those who push in front of you to get on when it arrives at the stop. WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WE ARE GOING TO THE SAME PLACE,  YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANYWHERE QUICKER YOU BLOODY IDIOT.

4. Money –

HA. I moved out of my parents’ home almost a year ago now and it has been tough. Don’t get me wrong, my partner and I have had so much help from our parents, but life can be seriously hard. I know I sound like a classic ‘first world problems’ complainer, and many have it much worse, but it can be just plain sad when you’re sitting on the sofa watching Emmerdale and realise you forgot to pay the water bill 5 days ago and have exactly £0.36 in your bank.

5. Extremists (and those who blame it on religion) – 

Nothing bloody grates my goat more than when the world has suffered another horrific terrorist attack, and I see statuses like, ‘SEND THEM BACK TO THEIR OWN COUNTRY, F*CKING MUSLIMS’. I can’t even begin to talk about how/why that is so wrong. But what I will begin with, is what a stupid twat you are. Don’t breed, please. Quite frankly, you make me want to be a little bit sick.

6. When things don’t go my way – 

No, I don’t mean because I am a spoilt princess and I want to be worshipped (although I wouldn’t complain), I mean the small things like when you’re trying to cook dinner and; the pan boils over with water, you can’t find the vegetable peeler, the chopped onion falls on the floor and your boyfriend asks you to get him a drink.
How does no strike you, darling?
I feel like sometimes these situations make me so irrationally angry that I might have an actual problem. If I’m already in a shit mood I WILL throw the pasta in the sink, go upstairs and sulk for 3 hours until I’m offered takeaway.

7. Friends that get into a relationship and forget you exist – 

I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at one point or another, but how f*cking annoying is it when you’re friends with someone for years, they find a partner, and all of a sudden you’re a stranger? You help them through everything, and yet after meeting a boy they are obviously the reincarnation of some biblical being, and nobody matters but them. What else gets me is when they are a month into the relationship and tell you how they love you equally etc. No babe, I’ve been your best friend for 6 years, I may be slightly more important, OK. I am the alpha and I WILL fight him.

8. Reality TV – 

Not all of them are total shite, some can be entertaining. I don’t mind the odd bit of Big Brother, and although I haven’t dabbled in it – I hear Love Island is pretty good. I’m on about the ‘housewives’ and ‘shores’ programmes. Basically the stuff you get on 4music at 3am on a Tuesday. Absolute pointless rubbish. How do they live like royalty off money from these TV shows and I can’t afford my effing rent?!

9. Fishing for compliments – 

“I might delete this pic later bcus I look so bad lol, but thought it was funny haha.”
     – “Aw babe you look stunning!”
     – “Jealous, wish I was you, hun!”
     – “Thanks girls but I’m so ugly haha, you too are gorg!!!”
Ridiculous.

10. Plus size clothes – 

As a larger girl it is almost impossible to find clothes that look nice and feel comfortable. Generally you can’t pop into town and find an outfit..it has to be found online 3 weeks earlier to check they all fit, and costs half your bloody wages. Yes, I’m aware I could try and lose weight, but realistically if you’re over a 12/14 you can’t just go out and wear whatever you want. You will pay more and blimey – will it be stressful!

11. Sunday opening hours – 

Guys, we’re in 2017. I understand it may be a slight relief to those who work in retail having an early finish, but actually the workers are probably still in restocking and cleaning anyway. It’s such an old fashioned law that shops should shut at midnight on Saturday, and then only open for a few hours on a Sunday. What am I supposed to do if I need an emergency snack trip at 10pm, hm?!

 — I am so riled up after writing all this, and it’s a Sunday evening, so I can’t even go get some bloody comfort food. My points made exactly. — 

Tinderella

 

I’m sure anyone who has been single for a reasonable amount of time in the last couple of years has dabbled in Tinder or some kind of ‘dating site’, and myself being socially inept, am no exception.
As I’m also sure – most have probably have had a bit of a bizarre date, and again, I am definitely no exception, and thought I might have a bit of a laugh telling the internet about them. These are the 8 boys I have met through these sites. I’ll try and be nice.

FAIL

The friend – Absolute sweetheart. Met him on tinder back when I was about 17. We actually ended up being friends for a year or so, and after 3/4 years he still pops up on my Facebook, is at uni and looks like he’s smashing life. Still didn’t want to smash me at the time though, which was kind of dissapointing.

The older man – We got talking and arranged to meet up and he would buy me an ice tea from Costa (winner winner chicken dinner). From this point I thought he was the one – anyone who buys me an ice tea is a big part of my future. I was 18 and he was 23, but hey – we all like an older man, right? We sat down in the park and conversation was awkward and sparse. So.. he decides to tell me this story about his ‘hero’ best mate who would have a shit in the middle of club floors on nights out. Hm. A day or so after said date I’d had no text so I took the plunge and messaged him first – how modern. His excuse was that I was ‘too immature’. His mate that pooed himself was an absolute lad though, clearly.

The cleaner – Took me bowling and was generally a nice guy. Awkward and absolutely stank of toilet cleaner though. No chemistry, despite his stench of chemicals.

The dreamboat – The absolute MAN. He had that swishy hair, piercings, accent and tattoos. We went on a few dates actually, and I thought I’d found ultimate boyfriend goals. I dated him around the time of my birthday and he even bought me a box of chocolates and a card (how sweet). However, he decided to tell me after the date I had received these gifts that he wasn’t feeling it. I ripped up the card and cried over eating that entire box of chocolates.

The weirdo – I used the toilet in a coffee shop for like, less than a minute. I came out and he was sat at a table reading a book of 1800’s poetry that he’d brought with him in his leather satchel. Need I say more.

The boyfriend  – Ended up staying with him for 5 months. I mean.. no hard feelings so I won’t get into that..

The druggie – We met up, he seemed sweet. He didn’t stay too long as was just on his lunch break. We arranged a second date, and he took me to a quiet park in the evening (I know how it sounds OK, but at the time I thought it was romantic.) On the way we popped to Sainsbury’s and he asked me to lend him a fiver so he could get a bottle of vodka… fine, weird but I didn’t mind. We get to the park and we sit in some abandoned building and chat… chat all about his severe MDMA and alcohol habit. He was just a misunderstood guy with a lot of issues, but probably not boyfriend material, let’s be honest.

Hubby material – Finally, my first and hopefully last success story. I took that leap from Tinder to Plenty Of Fish and found my long term partner. We’ve been together for almost 2 years and have lived with each other for the past year. He has his flaws and plays computer games probably more than the average adult male, but he; loves me, doesn’t take MDMA, doesn’t read 200 year old poetry, smell like industrial cleaner and is really not one to talk about being immature. Thank God – it took long enough.

So in conclusion, I would say – keep looking. You may kiss some (fucking weird) frogs, but you’ll find your prince. And that message especially goes out to my best friend who decides to have probably an even worse taste in boys than myself – you’ll find a boy that deserves your fabulousness soon.

Introduction – hello..

..as some of you may know, I’ve been planning this blog for a while, and have even fiddled around with some in the past. However, I’ve decided that after being out of school for 2 years and having always loved English and writing, I needed something to occupy myself with. (It was this or poetry and well, I don’t feel I care about enough to actually write emotional words about them).
I’m also probably reasonably boring and the only people I imagine will read this, is my mum and boyfriend (through force of course).
Anyway, I hope to write about my general opinions, feelings and general failings in life; so if you feel you need 5 minutes to feel better about yourself – I’m your girl!

Gemma xo