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Stop comparing yourself!

Stop comparing yourself!

It is so hard in todays society to be proud of who you are. There is constantly someone who looks better than you, someone who is more successful than you, someone who seems happier than you… I could go on.

Every day we spend our lives comparing ourselves to other people and doubting our own self worth. Let me tell you, it is a waste of time! You never know what is actually going on in somebody else’s life, and you most probably never will but none of that matters.

Now I could sit here and tell you about how all of the supermodels are photoshopped (which most of them are) and that the people that show they are happy often have things that are going on behind the scenes and that the people that you think are successful could well be struggling with other aspects of their lives. But that is besides the point. Why does it matter if the supermodel was photoshopped? If you learn to not compare yourself to them in the first place then it doesn’t matter how you perceive anybody else’s life to be.

You are the important one. You are the one that you have to focus on as you are the only one with the exact gene type that you have (sorry identical twins! – theres two of you!) and you need to use your differences from every other person. There is a reason why everybody is different, we are all unique and shouldn’t feel like we have to fit into a specific category.

The tendency to compare ourselves to others is innate and in our human nature and most of the time we aren’t even aware of the fact that we are comparing ourselves but there are ways to weave our way out of these habits that inevitably only make us unhappy.

One of these is to focus on the good qualities about yourself no matter how small and quirky they may be. Good at braiding your hair – great, can write a 2000 word essay in 30 minutes – great, can play a concerto on the piano – fab, can get out of bed on the days you really don’t want to – amazing. No matter how big or small, list all of the great things about yourself and you’ll soon learn not to have to compare everything else. A personal example of this is my height, I always compared myself and thought I was weird for being so tall until I thought about the small positives that come from it and now I love that I am different! (One of the highlights being you can always find people when you lose them in a club!)

Another really important way to stop comparing ourselves to everything is to learn to be ok with the things in your life that aren’t perfect. Not everything can be perfect – If you learn to love your imperfections then there is nothing left to hate and therefore you have no need to compare yourself to everyone around you. Just like I learned to embrace my height even though I hated it – once you learn to love the things you hate, it is so much easier to stop making comparisons.

It is also important to start looking at life realistically, like a human – I always had expectations of myself that were so high I would have to be superwoman to meet them! Then every time I failed at something I would be down about it and then compare that aspect of my life to everyone else around. For example, I would always see people doing better in exams than me, so I would always stay up until early hours of the morning trying to increase my knowledge and then if I didn’t overtake the others I would be upset about it. When in reality, I could never be as good as some of these people as they were simply more intelligent than me. However, when I lowered my expectations slightly I actually ended up doing better than I ever believed I could – and no longer felt the need to worry about what others achieved. It is all about balance and setting goals that are actually humanly possible. I don’t need to do better than everyone else in exams.

Another thing that helped me to stop making comparisons was a social media detox. Now, don’t get me wrong, like any other – I love my daily instagram scroll and watching all of the funny videos on facebook. But social media is where the majority of my (and I expect yours too) comparisons happen. I see some beauty blogger with a #nomakeup selfie and it just makes you feel awful. I spent a week with no social media and it did me a world of good – I read books and actually went outside and I found that after a week I actually relied on social media a lot less and hence had less opportunities to compare myself to all of the people on there.

One tip that I have is to try and become aware of how often you actually compare yourself to other people. If you are more aware of when you do it then it is easier to change. If you can feel yourself wishing that an aspect of your life was like someone else, try to think of the things I have mentioned. Start counting your blessings and thinking abut all of the good things in your life and it might make you realise that being like that person is actually exactly what you don’t want. Try to embrace the negative things in your life and see them from a different point of view – you’re not weird, you’re quirky. Use that quirk. Be proud of who you are and don’t let those around you stifle that weirdness!

Anyways, I’m off

Confidence is key

Confidence is key

Confidence is key. Thats what everybody says, yet no one ever tells you how. It is almost like it is meant to be something you can just do automatically but I never understood how to do it. I have always envied those people that walk around, head up high, full of confidence – there is something admirable about having that level of self love and confidence.

It is one of those words that is just thrown at you ‘be more confident’. Well sorry to tell you everybody, its not quite that simple.

Pretty much anyone in my close friends/family could tell you that I definitely reached the bottom of the ‘self confidence ladder’ at the beginning of last year but with determination I have been slowly climbing my way back up step by step.

I’m not saying it is the easiest climb in the world but boy is it worth it. I also can’t say I am at the top quite yet (I’m pretty sure there isn’t a top), but I am climbing further up day by day as I begin to believe in myself and it feels amazing.

It all began when I contracted glandular fever – the illness didn’t cause the problem but the lack of social life during recovery most certainly did. Friends stopped visiting, I had lots of time to spare lying around doing nothing and it sends your mind into overdrive. There was nothing to do so all I would do is think, think, think….

“Why me”
“It must be because I’m an awful person”
“I’m worthless – no one has bothered to visit”
“Its must be my fault I got ill”
“Everything is may fault”

It sounds crazy looking back now but that is the point that my brain got to. The point where I was actually blaming myself for contracting an illness that I had no control over?? I had never really experienced such negative emotions before and wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it (cramming them all into the back of my mind in hindsight was not the best way!) – I have slowly been figuring out ways of dealing with these thoughts and I am a lot better off than I was a year ago from now.

Rule 1: Do not blame yourself! There is always going to be the “what if’s” to a story or situation but I just had to let them go. I mulled over most of these what if’s for over a year and they ground down on my every single day. They would circle around in my head again and again and there was just no need. I couldn’t help that I was poorly and I couldn’t help that I overestimated the reactions of some people and that they didn’t meet my expectations. This was the hardest thing. Not the isolation, but the inability to understand how those I thought I could rely on weren’t there. Every single day I told myself it was all my fault. I’d scroll through old conversations, scroll through old photos and blame myself for ruining it all. STOP RIGHT THERE.

This is the worst possible thing you can do so I have discovered. Blaming yourself is not going to help the situation. No matter whether there is something you could have done differently or not, if there is no way of changing the situation, blaming yourself day in, day out is not going to make a difference. One of my favourite sayings – you can’t change the past, but you can change the future. Be the change you want to see, go out there and do it. Don’t sit around mulling over what you could have done differently – put yourself out there. As soon as you are able to do this, you learn to find other things that are important and this was my first move in gaining back my confidence.

Rule 2: Don’t worry about the future – Don’t worry about where you are going to be in 5 or 10 years from now. Make yourself happy in the here and the now. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow- so why live worrying for it. This was one of the biggest mistakes I have been making over the past 2 years. All I think about is the future and worry about the future and I forget to enjoy the moment. Every time I make a decision I am worrying about what it will lead to in the future, just enjoy things now! Obviously I am not disputing the fact that considering the future is very necessary to stay motivated and to make sure that you will be comfortable in the future – but the point that I am trying to make is that if you’re worrying about the future more than you are enjoying the present – you’re doing it wrong.

Worrying about the future would leave me completely depleted and unable to enjoy the present moment and this had a detrimental effect on my confidence. It is crazy how simply admiring the little things around you can help you to admire the little things about yourself also.

Rule 3: Start doing things for yourself. I never did anything for myself – I would always make my decisions based on how I knew others would react, what others would think of me because of it, whether others would agree with me or not. A lot of the time leading me to make a decision I didn’t even want to make in the first place. If everything that you do is for other people how are you going to maintain your mental wellbeing. Look after yourself and then look after everybody else. If you want to join a band- join a band. If you want to go for a meal by yourself – do it! Don’t let society and the opinions of those around you change your decisions. The second I started to try and do this (I’m still learning) I noticed that I was actually even more able to help others as I was feeling more motivated to do so because my own self well being was improving.

This is where I feel my confidence has improved the most. Believing in my own decisions and doing things for myself has given me so much confidence.

So, if you are to take anything away from this post, let it be this. The most important thing is you. Do not blame yourself for situations out of your control, do not let the future have a hold over you and do things that you want to do – for yourself and not for anybody else. It will do your confidence a world of good.

Anyways, I’m off

How things have changed

How things have changed

There is no way that I can fit everything that has happened since I last posted in this post. It has been nearly 2 years and I didn’t even realise.

The title says it all really… ‘How things have changed’. If you had asked me whilst writing my last blog post lying in bed recovering from the worst illness of my life where I would be right now I wouldn’t have even come close.

In short, my life is good. My life is great in fact. I have made a great recovery from glandular fever (though 2 years on and my immune system is still like that of a baby!) and my education is in a much better position than it was before I got ill (they do say some things happen for a reason!!) but it has taken me pretty much until now to get here and it has not been easy!

The past 2 years have been a complete whirlwind of experiences and emotions though as hard as they have been, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I am a much stronger and more motivated person now than I ever believed I could be. I plan on telling the tales good and bad of my past 2 years in upcoming posts.

The biggest story I am finally willing to tell is how it really feels to be forgotten. Not only was I forgotten but I was deserted, completely isolated and alone because of an illness that had a hold over me and I had no control of. That feeling will never leave me and though I have now learnt to deal with it at the time it was the most difficult thing to comprehend. I lost pretty much every friend (apart from 2 you know who you are <3) that I had. Being a vulnerable 17 year old that shattered my confidence and I have never felt as low as I did. I will post an entire post about this experience.

You kind of expect everyone to think about you when you aren’t around and in my case it just didn’t happen. For a couple of weeks maybe I got the odd visit from my friends but it became apparent very quickly that I clearly wasn’t as important as I had assumed I was and was very quickly forgotten about. This was hard, so hard. Initialy it was understandable as they couldn’t invite me to join them as I was too ill but they never visited.

They never visited.

That went around in my head for a good year leading me to all sorts of depressive thoughts as you can probably imagine. The few people you expect to be there for you and it is difficult when they aren’t. Probably more difficult for me as I knew I would act differently but as I’ve slowly learnt, I’m just a more thoughtful person than them and can’t blame them. It has officially been over a year since I saw them and only about now am I ok with that. I don’t hold it against them and I don’t hate them – I simply had to move on in order to be able to enjoy things once again. I obsessed over their social media etc and got so down about it that I decided to delete them. Just so I didnt have to see them moving on without me. I think it was good that I experienced this as it has helped me grow as a person (eventually).

Other than my mental health plummeting to an all time low and my self destructive thoughts ruining my confidence, I’ve had quite a good few years. I started a new college as I had to drop back a year and I have met some lovely friends. Not only that but the slight lack of teaching in college compared to school forced me to get my act together and I managed to achieve AAAA at AS Level with a Distinction in the Welsh Baccalaureate alongside.

Since my last post I have travelled to Borneo, Canada, Italy, Prague, Amsterdam and Greece! All of which I will be sure to post about at some point. Out of these Borneo was the highlight climbing the great Mount Kinibalu and building a road for an underprivileged village. Canada wasn’t far off seeing the Great Lakes and the world famous Niagara Falls! I love travelling and can’t wait to do even more in 2018!

One of my biggest achievements since my last post is getting an interview for Oxford university. I actually find out next week if I have a place but I am not getting my hopes up. I was just delighted to even be considered and had a lovely weekend up there!

Overall, I have had a hard time since my last post. Though I have struggled I am determined to make this year my year and do things for me.

  • “Friends” deleted on all social media sites so I don’t cling on any longer (tick)
  • Revision plan sorted to make sure I do the best I possibly can this year (tick)
  • Plans to travel with my boyfriend and family (tick)
  • Determined to do things that will make me happy (tick)

It has been a very difficult time for me but I am leaving that in the past and setting out on a new beginning to be a happier version of myself 🙂

Also I am planning on slightly rearranging my blog and possibly changing my domain name so stick around for some exciting changes!

Anyways, I’m off

 

RESTART, REFRESH, REWIND

RESTART, REFRESH, REWIND

Following on from my last post not a lot has happened but at the same time so much has happened.

I am much better in myself and am able to stay awake a lot longer (I have glandular fever) however the throat is still really sore and I am still exhausted after doing anything that doesnt involve lying in my bed all day. I am feeling much better though and imagine in the next 4 weeks I will be back to normal.

Only problem is I have missed a crazy amount of school. I think it is 5 weeks and I worked out thats something like 120 lessons I’ve missed and I’m still not ready to go back. Exam period starts in 8 weeks meaning in 8 weeks I would have to catch up on 120 lessons (and counting), learn all of the new stuff when I go back and do hours and hours of revision. At the moment I can hardly stay awake after a few hours of being out of the house.

The decision has been made that I wont return to school this year and I will redo the year 12 next year when I am in a better state to do so. This is all well and good for everyone else and I know it is good for me in the long run but it is not a nice thought.

Not a nice thought to be able to hardly see your friends for 6 months and then when you do so, they are stressing about exams and you are not able to be stressed with them. I have hardly seen them as it is while I have been ill. They have come to visit me as much as they possibly can and I have to understand that they have their own lives and schoolwork to get on with but with me not having much of a life and having no schoolwork to do it is really really really difficult.

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I wont be seeing much of them even when I do go back next year and I just have to think that it is the only way forward if I do want to do medicine when I go to university.

I have another 6 months until I start back at school now and I have to think of ways to keep myself occupied. I initially thought a job and I think that in a month or 2 I may be able to get some sort of part time job somewhere so at least I am earning some money. Or maybe I can find a way of making money online doing surveys or something I dont know…

At the moment it is about getting it straight in my head that I won’t be able to see my friends much. Also my boyfriend may be moving an hour away which is killing me inside (eventhough I wouldnt tell him that as it is basically his only option) he still has to travel here every day for his job but it means I will only be able to see him a few days and for a shorter amount of time as he would have to travel back. Also wouldnt see him much on weekends.

I’m sure once ive got my head around it all I will be fine it just seems like a lot of things and big decisions are happening all at once and being stuck in the house by yourself all day only leads you to overthink things and end up feeling like this.

Anyways, I’m off.

Beth xx

HOSPITAL EXPERIENCE!!

HOSPITAL EXPERIENCE!!

So it has been one crazy month. One day shadowing a doctor in a hospital to the next day being rushed into hospital myself!

I am not an ill person at all and if I think back there has never been a point in my life where I have been extremely poorly. However with what started as just a sore throat has completely changed my whole year.

I was taken to the doctors with a sore throat one day and diagnosed with Acute Tonsillitis and then 3 days later I am lying on an examination table with drips connected here there and everywhere!

Now I’m not having a go at the NHS at all and I’m completely aware that there are just too many ill people and not enough hospital beds! But spending 40 something hours on a doctors examination table is not nice. To be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going, my temperature was 40 degrees and I couldn’t eat or drink. The ear, nose and throat doctor said that they had never seen tonsils as big as mine there was no gap at the back of my throat. I couldn’t even talk!

After 2 days I was finally put into a little ward and kept there for a night. I was on such high steroids and painkillers that I was actually able to eat without feeling pain which ended up giving me a false sense of being better. I was released from hospital and as soon as the steroids stopped working I was rushed back for another 3 days of drips and blood tests and uncomfortable beds!

It has been a very eye opening experience and definitely made me realise how hard doctors and nurses work. It has given me a true insight into the world of medicine and made me want to be a doctor more than anything as they sure worked some miracles on me.

One of the worst things about the whole experience was the needles! I was never scared of needles until a few years ago when a nurse failed to take my bloods multiple times and now I am terrified. It became apparent that I just have bad veins! So this time I was sat there holding onto my dads hand crying my eyes out while a nurse tried not once or twice but 5 times to put a cannula into my vein in order to give me medication (since I couldn’t swallow anything.) I can’t really remember it but I know she called me a “vampire without the red lips” as the colour just completely escaped my body. I was the same colour as my white t-shirt!!

Once I was on my drip it was just a case of waiting in the uncomfortable chair until I was better to return home and control it there. I was then diagnosed with Glandular Fever which was the reason for the Tonsillitis being so bad. This was a bit of a shock as I realised what a long recovery process I had ahead of me.

Coming home from hospital was amazing and my 3 incredible friends had filled my room with bright balloons and I had a bouquet of flowers from the boyfriend. It was so lovely to see how people think about you and the amount of get well soon cards I’ve had is crazy!

It is so so so hard recovering from this. The only thing I can do in order to get better is stay in bed. This is my 4th week of being stuck in bed with nothing to do now. Most of the day I am sleeping. I am constantly exhausted and one trip to the shop the other day and I suffered for days. Being such a busy person normally it is so hard to just lie here having no energy what so ever. I am normally busy every single day out doing something and when I’m not out then doing school work or playing the piano etc.

I have been very lucky to have such amazing and supportive friends and family and my boyfriend has been here every single day taking naps with me and watching endless movies. He must be so bored but it is all he can do and he hates seeing my like this. I am so pale and feel completely lifeless. He is so good to me. I don’t know how he comes over every day knowing all he will be doing is lying here quietly with me. He says he doesn’t think he’s helping but he doesn’t realise how much he is doing just waiting out the illness with me- there is no way I could have done this alone.

It is almost like there is a fog over my brain. For example the other day I attempted to get out some school work as I have missed so much school but I just resorted to tears as my brain couldn’t cope and it just seemed like a jumble of words.

That is when I realised that I am never going to be able to catch up on all of the school work that I have missed. I am in my A Levels now and having missed 4 weeks of school, which works out at almost 100 lessons I have missed. There is no way I can catch up with that considering the workload. So all down to this illness I am now having to take an extra year to complete my A Levels. I will now only be doing 2 subjects when I return to school and then next year go back to 4 and take a 3rd year to complete exams. This is not how I wanted to start my working life and I definitely didn’t want to be going to university a year late. But I am such a stress head that I would be unable to complete the year now having missed so much vital information just a few months before all of the big exams. It is the best way forward in my situation just such a shame since I work so hard for school and I finally had a goal set that I wanted to work towards medicine and it all seems to have been stalled.

Everyone is getting annoyed at me because I keep asking to go out and to do things because I’m so fed up of being stuck in bed but I really can’t!! I’m currently trying to convince everyone that I am well enough to spend the weekend at my boyfriends house just laying on the sofa all weekend so I am in a different environment!! I will have to wait and see. For the time being it is back to sleep and time fore some more rest!

Anyways, I’m off.

Beth xx