19 Dec 2016

Twenty Fixteen? Sure, Jan...


Oh boy.

That was um… something, wasn’t it? 2016. Mmm. 

As this year has been slowly, painfully, dragging its sorry sore arse to the bitter end, I’ve been thinking about the 'Twenty Fixteen' post I wrote at the end of 2015, all about how WONDERFUL and BADASS and PRODUCTIVE and PROGRESSIVE 2016 was going to be. I wrote some resolutions and I had dreams and goals and unfathomable amounts of hope to achieve them, and as I sit here now, in my crumb-filled dent of the bed where I spend most of my days, I’m hovering over that post with held breath and eyes squinted because…


So, here goes. Looking back at my resolutions for, what established itself pretty quickly as, the year of the depths of fiery hell.

31 Oct 2016

I’m off my antidepressants. We’re now long distance pals.

** Disclaimer: Not a medical professional. My views based on my experiences only. Please visit your GP, mental health professional, or Mind for more expert advice! **

I’ve not been taking my medication for a month now. GP approved, for immediate clarification. I would never endorse taking yourself off your medication without talking it through with your GP first. Sorry to be ya mum, but… do as you’re told. 

It’s been… ok? I think. It’s hard to self-reflect, especially when you live with different forms of anxiety. I try to differentiate between ‘me’, ‘me with anxiety’, ‘me on medication for anxiety’ and ‘me having just come off medication for anxiety’ which is a whole new territory.

20 Oct 2016

My Royal Parks Half: 13.1 + a comedown

It's been nearly two weeks since I ran a half marathon. My first. 13.1 miles. One of the best known half marathons with the prettiest and most popular route through four of London’s eight Royal parks: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, and St James’ Park, with a handful of London’s best landmarks in-between. I ran the whole way, I never stopped or even walked, and I finished in 2 hours 48 minutes which shaved 12 minutes off my expected time of 3 hours. I did, you could say, a bloody great job.

So why, then, have I been monumentally grumpy and sad and frustrated in the fortnight since I crossed that finish line after a 400m sprint (just saying)?

10 Oct 2016

The importance of self care. #WMHD16

The theme of this year's World Mental Health Day is 'psychological first aid' and thanking those who give it to us. So my two pennies is: self care, and how to give yourself psychological first aid, or just a bit of a MOT.

I always thought the term ‘self care’ was the hippiest pile of shit - grouped with ‘self love’ and ‘self help’. I thought, like ‘clean eating’, it was a notion that did more harm than good, and it wasn’t until I actively tried it that I realised how important it was and how much I could learn from it.

Self care is about nothing other than looking after yourself. That’s it. Really. It’s not associated with hippies, or vegans, or mental illness. It’s not restricted to certain groups of people. It’s certainly about your mentality, but it’s not just for those who struggle with it. Everyone should know how to treat themselves with a little TLC, both when life is going well and when it’s not, and it shouldn’t be something you’re ashamed of admitting we need. It doesn’t make you weak. You need to cancel plans and have a self care day? Go ahead pal, you look after yourself.

5 Sept 2016

I don't do things by halves...

Unless I’m running a half marathon.

In which case, I do.

And I am.

I am running a half marathon. 

“But Louise, haven’t you only just run your first 10k?”

Why yes, yes I have. I did my first 5k in April, my first 10k in July, and I will be doing my first 21k (aka HALF MARATHON LOL) in October. That’s… oh… next month.

30 Jun 2016

The Parkrun Effect.

When I first started running back in September, my friend, a running pro, began sitting on my shoulder and whispering sweet nothings in my ear. By that, I mean she messaged me incessantly about how I was getting on.

“Fine?” I guess.

“You should aim as a goal to do a parkrun by the end of the course.”

“Jess, a goal for me is stepping outside the door in the first place, I’m hardly thinking of running a full 5k surrounded by Other People as a goal right now.”

“Just think about it…”

21 Jan 2016

Anxiety attacks vs Panic attacks

** Trigger warning: panic attacks and detailed descriptions **

Early last year, someone asked me why I use two different terms when talking about my anxiety: panic attacks and anxiety attacks, and how do they differ. It was a good question, and my answer would be really personal. So personal that it's taken months for me to answer.

Anxiety can come in a multitude of different forms for everyone, and in very Classic Lou style, I’ve split mine into different boxes. It helps me categorise my anxiety so I know how to deal with it. Therefore, do remember that everything in this post is far from scientific. I’m not a medical professional, I’m a writer, and talking through how I categorise my anxiety is likely to be more wishy washy than scientifically accurate. But, like all discussion on mental health, maybe, just maybe, it could relate to someone else’s experiences…