Why I chose writing as an escape

When having a particularly "bad" mental health day, I know different people will turn to different things in order to release the emotion. Some will go on a walk, some will listen to music, some will read, some will spend time by themselves or with family. For me, it's cracking open Word and writing a drabble or two, or opening Blogger.

In a creative writing sense, I choose to write over any of the other methods above because it gives me a method to escape my reality and push myself into another one where I am its creator (that sounds SO deep in my head, christ). But for a blogging sense, I used it as an escape from my own life and to write things that I hope will be of help to others.

Sometimes I'll write things reflecting my mood, which tends to be an 'upsetting' piece, or one where you just want to hug the main character and pet their heads and other times it's something very lovely and the opposite of how I'm feeling. It really varies sometimes, 

Yes, you all know me as a blogger and the reason I started blogging was to write my thoughts and feelings down somewhere so they were out of my head, but I also wanted to reach out online for help - hence why chloetommo is a thing. However, I'm going to talk about both writing my blog as well as writing for a creative purpose by answering some questions from you all!

Do you ever get writer's block?

For my blog, I do from time to time. Sometimes I get ideas for things but I can't physically get them down, or by the time I get around to doing it, my idea is gone. However, for creative writing, I actually don't get writers block at all. I have ideas for little drabbles all the time and make them up sometimes in my head and I'm like 'oh, this actually could be decent'.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yeah, definitely! For as long as I can remember I've loved it. In school, I was always better at English than any of my other subjects, and I used to write in the Tumblr "roleplaying community" (For those of you who don't know, this isn't a sexual writing thing at all. It's basically a community online where you join a group with a blog as a character of your choice (you have to do applications 50% of the time, other times it's "appless" where you use basic info.)

Basically after that you post to the dashboard as your own character and you interact with others as their characters to and build stories/connections from there - quite fun really!). I did this from the age of... Maybe 13? Since then, it's really sparked my interest for writing even more.

How do you feel knowing your personal experiences are online?

It doesn't bother me at all. I get to choose what I release publicly and what I keep to myself/on my Word documents. I see my blog as an open book (for majority of it, as there's one thing I really don't think I can share online as of yet, or at all if I'm honest) where I post my real life and 100% truthful experiences with so that it can helps others in terms of feeling like they're not alone.

What would you say to others who are considering writing about their MH online?

For them, I'd say that if you want to publish something publicly about something and aren't sure because of reactions, don't hold back. Your content is what you want it to be and I know that if you write about a personal experience, what you'll get is support, love and a community that'll love you and be there for you. My comfort levels for posting things about my mental health online has risen so much, and that's due to the increasing amount of love, support and friends I have within the blogging and MH community.

At the same time, I'd also say to not push yourself into writing something you're not okay with doing. I know seeing posts of other's experiences may influence you to write about yours, but if your not comfortable to press that publish button - don't force yourself!

Do you prefer creative writing or blogging?

It's difficult to say because with blogging, I use it for a mental health perspective rather than any other perspective, so it feels 100% serious all the time, which I don't mind at all. I prefer how freelance I can be with creative writing, since I can literally write about anything I want, whereas with my blog, I'm... Not restricted per-say, but I only tend to discuss one thing.

Do you find it easier to discuss things behind the security of a character?

(This actually took me a few times to write, oh lord).
I do sometimes, it depends. Before I started to blog, if I was writing a character which had my past experiences, or one of them and it was being published out for people to see that I didn't know, I'd prefer it to have been behind a character. Purely because I didn't want the judgement of people knowing what had happened to me. Taking this from perspective of now, I prefer writing as myself and posting it out there because I'm more confident in myself and I'm happier to let people know my struggles so they feel like they're not alone, as well as that there's always light at the end of the tunnel and it isn't bad forever.

Are you always fully open about your MH online or do you sometimes hold back some of the more personal things?

I've been 100% open besides one experience as I don't think I can physically bring myself to tell you all about it. I've only recently told my counsellor about it and he's the first person out of family and my boyfriend who knows about it, and it's also taken me 10 years to be able to tell someone out of that circle.

Honestly, I'd love to talk about it as it's a serious issue and has really affected my mental health since I was 10 years old, and being nearly 20 I do want to share it, I just don't think I can bring myself to do so just yet.

Before finishing this post, I started to write a drabble yesterday and I know some people do want to see how my writing is, so I thought I'd share the start of the drabble with you. It doesn't really give much away as to what its about (and maybe if I get motivation, it could be a complete book thing), so I apologise in advance for it being dry.

Outside looking in
Part 1

Watching the vinyl spin around on the bright orange record player in the corner of the room was the only source of entertainment for Belle at that present moment. One song after another by Train soothed her as her eyes burned and cheeks tear stained. Ironically, listening to happy songs was a way of venting for her, since slow and acoustic songs would just bring her down again. That, and it was a vinyl of an album her father loved a lot. The voice of Pat Monahan wrapped around her brain and hugged it gently as the weighted feeling in her chest slowly disappeared.

Ever since her father passed away seven years ago, everything changed. As a child, to everyone, she was the happiest little girl ever who treasured her father’s love every single second of the day. They were inseparable, unless her father had to work, of course. Sometimes he worked from home and Belle would follow him around like a puppy waiting for a treat or as if it was lost – it would make her father smile. The image of it has been imprinted in his daughter’s brain all her life. They were both the best of friends and if in school they were talking about best friends, Belle would always say her father. Little sniggers here and there would surround the girl, but she didn’t have a care in the world.

Sometimes while she dreamt, Belle had nightmares of that night. Her father and her in the car on the way home from the cinema. They had both gone to see Iron Man 2, and the excitement levels were high on Belle’s behalf. Superhero films were her favourites, especially since her father had got her into them from a young age. When they were driving to meet Belle’s mother after her shift in the hospital, the weather was not at its finest. The rain was very heavy and not that far in front of the car could be seen. It definitely was not driving weather, but Belle’s father didn’t want his wife to be walking home in the rain. That night ended with an oncoming car swerved into their lane. That was the last time Belle had ever seen her father smile. The last image she had ever gotten of the man she had idolised in her eleven years of life was of blood on his face and glass shattered all over him.

“Belle?” A voice asked softly from the doorway. The brunette sat up on her bed to be greeted with the view of her mother. She looked exhausted. “I just got home and wondered if you wanted to do something tonight?” Her mother asked. In all honesty, Belle wanted to. She wanted to bring herself out of her depressed slump and into the life of optimism, like she was as a child. However, all she wanted was to curl up in bed with her eyes closed and pray the nightmares went away for the night. The paused became longer and her mother looked down at the floor with a silent sigh. “I’ll take that as a no thank-you, then?” She asked. Belle kept her eyes on her mother and shook her head. “No, it’ll be nice to do something for a change.” The brunette replied, shifting off her bed and going to turn off her record player and put the vinyl back in its pristine sleeve. Every time she did, it felt like she was shutting her father away.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post, and hopefully my writing doesn't suck as much as I think it does!

Disclaimer: Header image is not mine, it's a free stock photo!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

Victim, but a warrior

I must admit, I've been so on and off with writing this post that I've gotten halfway to doing it and then deleted the draft because I didn't feel ready. I honestly never thought I'd ever be ready to release something like this to the public, but I have nothing to lose from it.

I'm ready now.

Note: This post is going contain mentions of sexual abuse, depression, anxiety and suicide. If any of these trigger you, please do not read on. Also, I am not posting this for pity or to boost my blog reads, I'm doing it to (hopefully) provide help for someone out there.

This isn't going to be the easiest thing for me to be able to write, but I'm pulling it out of my head now and not particularly thinking about it so I don't freak out or anything. But it has honestly taken me 10 years to finally be alright with telling others out of my family unit.

From the trigger warning, it kind of gives you an indication of what it was and for confidentiality sake, I will not reveal any names/locations of what happened during this event.

I think one of the root causes for why I've got anxiety and depression comes from this issue which happened and honestly, I wish it didn't. I wish life for me was plain sailing up until now because as a kid, things are supposed to be easy, right?

Whether you believe me for this post or not, I don't care that much. I know in my head what's true and I'm not going to argue on it, so here it is. When I was 10 years old, I was sexually abused.

As I said above, I'm not revealing any names or locations for confidentiality purposes.

Honestly, reading that one sentence on my screen is making my eyes fill up. Not with negativity, but with pride. I'm honestly so f*cking proud of myself for being able to open up to you all about this.

I wanted to write about this because it's affected my mental health and how I am as of today. I felt like I wasn't being 100% truthful with you all and that I want to be able to provide help for people (or at least 1 person) who are dealing with this issue, or have at some point.

How did I feel after it happened?

After this happened, I was in a state of confusion and shock. I didn't really understand what had happened and I couldn't tell anyone because in all honesty, I had no bloody idea. How in the world is a child supposed to tell someone that they've been abused, especially in a sexual nature? I had the biggest fear of not being believed because I know people think children make things up for attention, and this was definitely not the case. When I finally saw my mum after it happened, I just hugged her and sobbed but I told her it was because I missed her, rather than what happened. 

Finally bringing it to surface

Fast forward 3 years and that was when I first spoke about what happened. It was during lunchtime in highschool when I was in Year 9, and it was to my best friend at the time. I had a really blank expression at the time and as soon as the words left my mouth, she dragged me to go find a teacher even though I didn't really want to tell anyone after that. That was when I realised I couldn't keep this under wraps anymore. It had lived in the back of my mind for so long that it was subconsciously eating at me.

 After one of the assistant head-teachers/child protection people (not sure of the proper term) in my school found out, this was the day my mum finally found out what happened, found out what the reason was her daughter came home one day in floods of tears 3 years ago. It all made sense to everyone. I was very good at hiding my feelings about what happened up until this day in my life. I was sent home that day and as soon as my mum laid eyes on me, she broke down in tears and hugged me to the point where I couldn't breathe, and in that moment, I knew everything was going to be okay.

I reported what happened to the police and before I knew it, I was told that I could take this issue to court. I didn't know what was best and nobody told me what was best as they wanted me to make up my own decision on what to do. I know people wanted me to go through with it, I could tell. However, I made the decision myself. A few months passed and my court case approached. I took a day off school to go, and we travelled up to the court so we could deliver our information in front of judge, jury and solicitors. However, due to a case before mine running over, I had to come back the day after for my case and this ruined me. A whole day of fear, anxiety and tears for nothing.

I was given a choice to not bother coming back, or to sit there and give my evidence. I went with option two, and back I went the next day.

I wasn't old enough to stand in the box in the courtroom, so I had to sit in a private room with someone watching me and gave all my evidence through essentially a Skype call. I was full of anxiety that day, and all I wanted to do was cry, sleep, throw up and escape all at the same time. I did not want to be there at all, knowing who did this to me was in a different room in the same building as me.

Fast forward a good while after the court case was over and we finally received our news of the court case, and I was sh*tting a brick. Did I win? Is that person going to prison? Unfortunately, the evidence on my behalf was not strong enough, so I lost my court case. After hearing of this, I was a total mess. I blamed myself for losing, I blamed myself for my lack of strong evidence, I blamed myself for everything.

When I finally went back to school, word had gotten out that I was sexually abused and the court case had happened. I was mortified to walk into my Year 9 art class to have judgemental looks and people coming over to me and questioning me on it, only to be laughed at.

I was branded a liar for this, and when I went home, I cried so much. I hated myself, I wanted to not exist anymore, I wanted to move away. I felt like the ground had opened up and shadow demons had grabbed at my ankles and were tugging me in. It felt like the light was sucked out of my life. 

I took time off school and when I went back, I still got the judgemental looks and sniggers. I shrugged it off and everyone finally shut up about it, and I got on with my life.

Thankfully (she says with the biggest smile ever) I have not seen any of these toxic a**holes for 2 years, and quite frankly - I'm so glad. They made my life a living hell and bullied me constantly for stupid things, and thinking about it now, I never want to see any of them ever again. Their toxic words has brought me so much anxiety, as well as depressive and suicidal thoughts that I'm so thankful they're out of my life and (hopefully) for good.

So, where am I at today?

My 20th birthday is just around the corner and it'll almost mark 10 years of having this issue happen to me. I've seen 3 counsellors since the age of 17, and it's taken me until my third to reveal this. I had enough of a struggle telling my boyfriend about it, but telling people makes it easier for me to deal with, I suppose. Yes, this issue does still give me trauma and it's taken 10 years for me to not have sexual abuse/rape as a trigger warning for me anymore.

I'm currently seeking counselling for my mental health and finally bringing my story of being sexual abused to light made me feel so much better. I felt like I finally had the confidence and strength to do it and I felt on top of the world. Yes, I cried. But it was with relief and happiness. I'm proud to be a warrior, because I'm so much stronger than I think I am, even though sometimes I feel like I'm weak, broken, fragile and not normal.

As an almost 20-year old, I want to say a few things.

  • No matter what someone has gone through, DO NOT LAUGH AT THEM OR JUDGE THEM.
  • Keep your rotten and toxic words to yourself, because you're honestly disgusting for speaking them.
  • If you have suffered from sexual abuse, please do not suffer in silence. I spent 3 years doing it and it honestly was the longest time of my life. It ruined my life for it. I honestly never felt happier than the day I finally spoke out for it.
  • You WILL have support. Regardless of who it's from, you do have somewhere to turn.
  • It's not going to be dark forever, you just have to hold on with every ounce of strength you have.
  • You are loved, wanted and cared for.
  • You are a warrior.

I want to thank every single person in my life who has constantly given me support from day one, as well as for being there for me when it all began. You all know who you are, so thank-you for everything. If it wasn't for your constant support and love, I wouldn't be here. 

Disclaimer: Header image is not mine, it's a free stock photo!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

Women aren't the only sufferers

I've wanted to write this post for a long time, especially because it is something that I definitely agree with - the concept that women aren't the only sufferers.

Note:  This post will contain mentions of different mental health issues, like anxiety, depression and suicide. If mentions of these will bother/trigger you in any way, please do not read further.

For years, people have been suffering with mental illness and mental health issues. It's been a taboo subject for in my opinion, for too long. I'm sick of the stigma and taboo people are experiencing due to being a sufferer of mental health. Heck, shouldn't we actually be praised for putting up with what we have to? I think we should. Personally, after all the sh*t I've been through with anxiety and depression, I want a medal for it because this sh*t is EXHAUSTING to deal with sometimes.

Away from my experiences for today, I'm going to focus purely on the men of this wonderful yet damaged world. I know plenty of men in my life who have and are suffering with mental health issues, some are bloggers which you and I may know, other have been family and friends. Personally, I've always been one for helping promote the males in this world who are suffering, because they are stigmatised just the same as everyone else suffering. They are stigmatised for suffering, because males are deemed as being "strong" and "fearless". So if they come forward about their suffering, people may bash them and call them weak. This is unacceptable.

Never in my life have I ever viewed anyone, especially men, as being weak, broken and fragile. I have seen them as being brave for surviving - which they are. They are brave for still breathing, living and walking this planet, no matter what they are suffering with and I am proud of every single one of them. I'm proud of their daily fights, their good days, the days which they make their progress.

you're so hard on yourself. take a moment. sit back. marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. despite everything, you still grow. be proud of this.

For a little bit, I want to talk about two people from my year at school. If you've seen my Twitter from December until now, you may or may know that unfortunately, two guys from my year in high school have passed away due to suicide. I will not name either of them, as both of their families and their friends are suffering and have suffered enough.

Both of these two guys were extremely optimistic in high school, or so they portrayed themselves to be. They both always made others laugh, knew how to make people smile... You'd honestly have had no idea that they were suffering. However, people always say that it's the happiest people that are the saddest, and are the ones who are so good at hiding it. However, both of them unfortunately lost their battle with mental health and are not with us anymore, and this shocked so many people. Everyone in my year at school have been extremely emotional but also very supportive in promoting men's mental health, as well as mental health as a whole.

Upon hearing of both of their passings, it's something which makes me want to strive even more to tackle the stigma against mental health. I wish it was gone, as much as the next person does. However, it's still with us and we as advocates, sufferers and promoters need to do our best to support one another, as well as maintaining the awareness that is currently going on, as well as pushing forward more.

I have some words for you males of the world who are struggling right now:

No matter how long or short your struggle is, no matter how bad you may feel, no matter how worried you may be of judgement, YOU are strong. 
You are strong for surviving, for living, for breathing, for waking up every day, for falling asleep every night. 
Everything you do now reflects how strong you are as a person, no matter how much you may doubt yourself.

Never think that you cannot get help, or be helped. 
There is going to be at least one person out there in the world who would drop something to be there for you - no matter who it is. 
You're not alone in your fight, no matter how much you think you are, or believe that you are. 
Someone will always be there to catch you if you fall. 
You are not expected to behave like a robot, you're entitled to feel however you want to feel - no matter if it's positive or negative.
Keep doing you, and you'll go far.
You've got this.
You can do this.

I hope that this post has been helpful, as well as helping to spread a little love to the male sufferers in our world - they deserve it too!

Disclaimer: Header image is not mine, it's a free stock photo! Also, credit to the owners of the remaining image(s).

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

Experience of being on the pill

I've seen a few posts now and again about people's experiences with being on different types of contraception, as well as seeing tweets about bloggers swapping from pill to implant, to coil - the list goes on. For this post, I wanted to share with you my 100% truthful experience with being on the pill.

Note: This will be all truths and no lies. Also, I'm being 100% open with it and I talk about boob pains, sizes and periods. If this will make you uncomfortable, then don't read on!

I started the pill during Easter of 2016, so it's approaching a year. The pill that the nurse gave me was Microgynon 30 ED, which look like this. 

In the box:

  • 3 x pill strips
  • Information booklet
  • Days of the week stickers

This means that I have a pill to take everyday, even on my period, although the white larger pills at the bottom are called "placebo pills", which are basically made of just sugar. They're there purely for the fact that if you're like me and are forgetful, you have a pill a day to remind you where you're at, rather than doing some guess work. You can get Microgynon without the placebo pills if you want to, I just find it easier with them in.

Information on Microgynon 30 ED

Ah yes, the fun part where I act like I'm smart - except I am writing from what a booklet says which is included in the box. I'm going to be truthful here, I have no bloody clue what some of this booklet means, so I'll do my best!

Each box comes with three packets (or strips as I call them), and each one lasts a month. The beige (definitely yellow) tablets contain 150 micrograms of progestogen levonorgestrel (according to Drugs.com, this helps change the vaginal mucus to make it harder for sperm to reach the uterus), and 30 micrograms of oestrogen (a hormone which is secreted by the ovaries).

The large white pills contain inactive ingredients, which are: lactose, maize starch, povidone, magnesium stearate (E572), sucrose, macrogol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170, talc, montan glycol wax, titanium dioxide (E171), gylcerin (E422), ferric oxide and pigment yellow (E172).

This may sound very confusing, but basically both types of pill included in each packet of Microgynon 30/30 ED taste like sugar, so nothing dodgy or paracetamol taste to it!

Important notes:
  • If you miss a pill and it has been 12 hours, take your next pill immediately then your pill at the regular time you take it - it does not matter if you take two pills.
  • If it has been more than 12 hours, do the same as above but make sure that if you have a sexual encounter that condoms are used for at least 7 days afterward.
  • If you have missed a pill by over 12 hours, your protection with Microgynon 30 ED may have been decreased, meaning the chances of pregnancy may have rose from their originally shrank state.
  • If you are sick (throw up), or have diarrhoea, within the first 4 hours of taking a Microgynon 30 ED pill (beige/yellow, not white placebo), the pill may not have worked. Take another of the beige/yellow pills and then take your pill at your regular time (unless you have taken it after your regular time, in which case, ensure you still take one).

Possible side effects of taking Microgynon 30 ED

  • Feeling sick
  • Stomach ache
  • Putting on weight
  • Headaches
  • Depressive moods/mood swings
  • Sore or painful breasts
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Vaginal or breast discharge
  • Migraine
  • Breast enlargement

My experience with being on Microgynon 30 ED

Personally, I feel like I've been very lucky with being on this type of contraceptive pill. By this, I mean I don't think I've experienced many of the side effects described.

My periods have definitely been lighter, and this was the main reason I wanted to go on the pill. It wasn't to stop myself getting pregnant, although this is a close second reason, but I used to have extremely heavy periods and it would be dreadful. I'd feel very sick and in so much pain due to cramping, that I'd cry in the middle of school and have to sit in the nurse's office with a hot water bottle until the cramps went away.

Side effects I have experienced though has been breast enlargement. I was a very late bloomer in the boob department, and I honestly thought I'd be an A forever. Now I'm sat here with I think either a C/D cup, and they've definitely grown a lot more since I started taking Microgynon 30 ED. I also noticed that I'm getting headaches a lot easier than normal, which SUCKS SO BADLY. They hurt, but honestly they go away very quickly. Sometimes they stay a little longer, but I can get rid of them with a dose of Ibuprofen or Paracetamol. With regards to weight, it hasn't really made me gain or lose anything. My weight fluctuates a lot due to what I eat, as well as what exercise I get - same as everyone else. Breast pain is something which is touch and go with me, sometimes they'll feel sore and achy, but most of the time they're okay.

With regards to period pains, for me, Microgynon 30 ED has made them a bit less painful, but they still hurt me. Sometimes they're extremely short and sharp, other times they drag out and feel like a dull ache in my stomach. My periods have been lighter and resemble a bit heavier than spotting the majority of the time. My periods tend to last 5 days, but due to coming off my pill and allowing my body to realise and be like "Yep, bleedy time!", it's been about 2-3 days, so I get a 2-3 day period, pretty much (yay for me).

Why did I choose the pill?

Personally, I really dislike the idea of a foreign object being inside my body for a period of time, like an implant or a coil. I'm not saying people shouldn't have them, I just feel a bit sick at the thought of one of those being in me. Also, I've heard a lot of horror stories about implants and it makes me cringe everytime. The concept of an implant breaking makes me freak out, because I have no idea what happens if it does (although I heard a story where a lot of women's implants broke and they all got pregnant - NO thanks!). Another reason why I don't feel comfortable with having an implant is that I don't like my skin being cut/injected with anything, so the thought of my arm being cut open so an implant rod can go in my arm makes me want to throw up and cry - I'm literally cringing at the thought of the idea/pain as I'm writing this!

I chose the pill because it's an easy way to be protected from getting pregnant/having lighter periods. I know there are different percentages for the chances of getting pregnant when having regular sex whilst on the pill, but they're honestly so tiny. Plus, WHO THE HELL KNOWS WHAT REGULAR SEX IS?! I don't, and as a fact, the internet does not either. Trust me, I've googled it.

I hope you guy enjoyed my (weirdly) in depth post on the pill, my experience, and also got some knowledge of Microgynon 30 ED!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

What to stop doing to have a happier life

When I scroll through my Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feeds, I always see people post messages of self doubt and being negative towards themselves. I'm a massive victim of this, because I know writing down what's bothering you always helps, but sometimes we all need that bit of support when we're feeling inferior or down, so posting it for the world to see is what we do. For today's post, I want to talk about what we as people should stop doing in order to have a happier life.

Note: These are just things that I have thought of off the top of my head and may not work for everyone else. Please also note that I am not a qualified professional doctor, psychiatrist or counsellor.

Stop the comparisons - By this, I mean stop comparing your work, style, looks, efforts and self to something or someone else. We are our own people with our own individual talents and we are not the same as the person sitting opposite us in the pub, lecture hall, classroom, park, restaurant... We are our own individual person. By not comparing ourselves or our efforts to other things, it'll show that there is something worth it in what we do and who we are. Life is not a competition!

Praise yourself more - I was told by my counsellor to do this, and it has proven to be beneficial. Don't think that because someone may not seem interested, that you cannot vocally express how proud you are for doing something. If you got over anxiety to do something new for the first time, that's amazing. If you've gone a few days without having a 'bad' mental health day, congratulations! Every human being has different degrees of what we class as 'a big deal' and what is not, but never stop being proud of everything you do - no matter how big or small.

Appreciate the little things in life - As people, we always seem to let the little things which happen and cause positivity for small amout of time slip away from us. It's hard to not do this, but it's manageable. Take time in your day and think to yourself 'What's been good today?'. Whether it be about the weather, you having a good hair or makeup day, chatting to a old friend for a few minutes, you've had a good day at work - appreciate it.

Breathe - Whenever things get stressful, anxiety raising, tense, breathing can help. It sounds silly, but it does work. Taking time to step away from what's happening to make you feel this way and just breathe, focus your mind on something nice and just focus on that. If you're focusing on what book you're going to read tonight, what you're going to have for dinner or having a nice bath or shower to relax yourself later on, just do it!

Regret less, live more - As my mum always says, life is too short for regrets. Sure, we all make mistakes and do things we may particularly wished we hadn't, we as people must reflect on these. Life is all about the learning curves it throws us and thus, helping us develop as human beings. Don't dwell on the regrets and just live.

Live for the moment - This is particularly a favourite quote of mine, because I always think of it whenever I catch myself consciously over thinking of things and causing myself anxiety. Live for now, and not for next week, tomorrow, next month. Live for each second that passes you by, because one day, it'll all have gone too fast and you'll blink and wonder where the time has gone.

Don't sweat the small stuff - Overthinking is your worst enemy. By doing this, you're going to put yourself under stress and that isn't good at all. Worrying about little things isn't worth it, especially when it will make your day-to-day running of life more worrisome and negative. Worry about the big things that matter, not about the fact your shoes got a bit wet in the rain or you've misplaced something.

What are some things that you've stopped doing and are happier for? Let me know!

Disclaimer: Header image is not mine, it's a free stock photo!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

Anxiety: My experience

Note: This post is going to contain mentions of anxiety, as well as being centred purely around that issue. As well as this, there is also going to be mentions of bullying/being bullied. If this will trigger you in any way, please do not read further.

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome back! 

For today's post, I wanted to talk about something which I recently did a poll on, which was what issue in my Draw My Life post I discussed that you'd like to see in complete detail. However, as I feel all 4 issues I listed were important, I'll write about them all, but this one was highly requested, and this is about my dealings, raw experience and suffering with anxiety. This story is going to be both positive and negative, but most of all - 100% truthful.

During high-school, which for me, started almost 9 years ago and ended in the summer of 2015, I didn't have a good run there at all. I was bullied a lot by quite a lot of people, but also it was constant. I didn't have a break from it at all, if I'm honest. I can recall the entire experience if it happened about 5 minutes ago.

It's an experience which I will never forgive people for, because it did ruin my life and my late childhood/majority of teen years. This is not an exaggeration, because if for 5 days a week, 9 until 3 you were forced into an environment where as soon as a group of people saw you, the neverending tormenting remained, you'd feel the same. t's all well and good to say to someone "just ignored them", or "don't respond, it'll only give them the satisfaction they want", but when it eats away at you for so long, you're going to react to it.

My anxiety in high-school was so bad that I changed things about myself so much to try and stop the bullying and to ease my anxiety about it, but that didn't work unfortunately. Everytime I woke up for school and went to get ready, I'd have an overwhelming feeling of wanting to be sick (think of when you're stood at the top of the stairs and are about to fall but you catch yourself - that feeling) and my hands always felt numb. I'd having to mentally prep myself to walk to the bus and to get on it, because all I wanted was to get back in bed and wait for the weekend.

clouds, fog, guy

Fast forwarding to the years when my anxiety was at its worst, I was also in sixth form, and approaching my 17th birthday. I was genuinely so excited for sixth form, because I knew quite a few people who bullied me were not going to be going, so that eased me so much. However, once I started, the anxiety got worse. I was put in a sociology class with some people who bullied me and being in there for 2 hours maximum was like torture for me. Don't get me wrong, I loved Sociology and I still do to this day, but the class was something I didn't want to be in. I did what anyone would do when feeling in an uncomfortable situation and asked my teacher if I could swap classes. However, there were a handful of bullies in each one and my class was the one with the least, so I stayed. I didn't let the bullies drive me out of doing a subject I loved and wanted to do, so I guess my willpower remained a bit.

When going to my Sociology lessons, I had to make sure I was one of the first 5 people in there, or my anxiety would play up and I would have to fight with myself to not turn out and skip the lesson. Thinking about it now, it sounded ridiculous at the time, but even new when it's been 4 years, I'm still in that mindset of it being ridiculous (I'm not saying anyone who does this is ridiculous, I just find it that way because I let myself get that worked up). I saw a counsellor just before I turned 18 and then a bit after, but unfortunately this didn't really help so the sessions with them stopped. 

The summer of 2015 finally came and this was also when I left high school for good. I couldn't wait for this day, because I knew that none of the bullies in my school had picked the same university as me to go to, so I honestly thought that the dark prison of anxiety and always being around the bullies would be over. That summer, I spent my time relaxing, seeing friends before going to university and talking to my new flat and building mates for first year of university.

When I finally got to university, I was so excited that it overtook my anxiety. I was going to be living with 6 new people I hadn't met before, as well as being in a building with 62 others as well as myself. My excitement was honestly through the roof. Unfortunately, when Freshers came, I didn't do any of the events for that whole week and extra week off we had before lectures started. My anxiety was too bad and I didn't want to socialise at all. What I wanted to do was stay in my room and wait for it to be over. It sounds like a boring two weeks and it honestly was. The only event I wanted to go to was Freshers Ball, because the person who I really liked was going and I wanted to make an impression, so to speak. I spent a good few hours getting ready, but most of it was me going "What am I doing?" over and over again until I was ready to leave. When I looked through the glass of my flat door and saw his flat and everyone all ready to go, I just threw myself back into my room and cried because I couldn't do it. Anxiety was my honest enemy at that time, more so than the people who bullied me.

I was going to seek help from the university counsellor, but because of how anxious I was, I backed out last minute and lost my place there, so I went solo for the first year of university with my mental health, in hopes I could try and sort things for myself. This worked through using mindfulness apps like Headspace, but also through doing things I enjoyed, like: watching a few episodes of something, going for walks, spending time by myself but keeping myself occupied, video calling family back at home.

I must admit, before I moved to university, the guy I liked who is now my boyfriend used to message me on Facebook or text every day to see if I was alright, how my anxiety was going and he honestly helped me. I never fall in love with people because I honestly didn't know how, nor could I maintain a relationship for me than a week or two without getting bored. This was different. I knew that I really like him and we spent from mid-August 2015 to January 2016 getting to be really close and being best friends, then we finally got together and I honestly have no regrets about that decision at all.

From September 2015 until November 2016, I had anxiety about walking into a room with people in there, because I didn't want people to look at me. I made sure I was in lectures before everyone else, or I met up with people before going in so I wasn't walking in alone. It was the same even when I was at my boyfriend's house. I'd always make him walk in front of me whenever we walked into the house because I didn't want his family looking at me for too long, otherwise my stomach would've melted with anxiety.

I made some amazing friends during university and I'll never forget the moments we all have had - good or bad. It's all learning curves and these people really helped shaped my anxiety and responses to things. I had anxiety about making friends, and university made it so much easier for me. Even though there has been drama and unnecessary arguments, it's just helped me build to being a stronger person.

Moving onto now, 12th January 2017. I'm sat in my university library taking a break from essay writing to do this blog post, and I can honestly say my anxiety hasn't been an issue for me for nearly 3 weeks, I think. It's really strange to think my anxiety hasn't been triggered or anything for a while (and I'm probably jinxing it now). I'm really learning now to stop over thinking things, think of the now and not the later, but most of all, to be myself.

I really hope this post has helped you guys in some way, or even jut gave you more information about myself and that you feel like you've just got to know me better.

Disclaimer: Header image is not mine, it's a free stock photo!

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Have an amazing day!