Challenges · Lifestyle · Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture · Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture Challenge

Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture Challenge // August 2017

Hi all! This is the third month where I attempt to take a decent picture with my Instax polaroid camera! The hardest part is remembering to take my camera out, which I again failed at miserably. I visited a beautiful waterfall in the Peak District, which was amazing so I was pretty gutted that I had forgotten my polaroid camera. I did, however, take another camera so if you want to see pictures of that then feel free to visit my Instagram, link to the right.

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The photo is kind of dark. I’m still learning here! Well, this month I have been painting. I don’t have talent, as you can see, so I tend to stick with abstract art, but I do really love to do it. I find that it is a good way to get my emotions out as it taps into my intuition and I just paint what I feel. So the top image is a figure lying in a sea of greens and blues and it is protected by light. You can’t see the little guy clearly but he’s got a cute smiley face. I called it ‘safety’. The second piece is up for interpretation. I covered it with some petals from my flowers before taking this photo. Some may interpret it as butt holes. Yes, it has happened. I put another meaning on it and called it ‘woman,’  as I painted it at a particular time of the month. Take what you want from it.

Thanks all,

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Lifestyle · My Health Story

How Going Gluten Free Cured Me And Why I Took My Health Into My Own Hands

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Disclaimer: Just briefly I want to write a little disclaimer because I have self diagnosed myself with a gluten intolerance. I know that self diagnosis can be dangerous so I want to put it out there and tell you to take my story with a pinch of salt. If you are not well you should always go to a doctor first. You will soon see why I decided to go gluten free on my own, after many failed doctor visits. I am not discrediting doctors at all, I just believe that if they do not help and you are suffering, that you should recognise that you are responsible for your own health and you do not have to victimise yourself or put the ball in their court.

This is going to be a very long story but I am compelled to share it to explain why I have made the decision to become gluten free but also to help others who may need it…

For most of my life I have had something wrong with my body. I had stomach aches growing up – in the cinema, at a friends house and at night are a few occasions that I recall. I assumed that I was just someone who suffered with them. I also had a lot of headaches as a teenager and felt tired a lot. I just had many different things wrong with me that seemed to be all separate from each other and over the years they got increasingly worse. This year I have discovered that they were all caused by gluten.

A couple of years prior to moving out, when I first started college, I started getting sick. I would go to college and barely eat anything until at least 3pm , because I just felt this gnarly sick feeling in my stomach. A couple of months later, I was sat on the chair in a ball on Christmas Day, refusing to eat Christmas dinner. I was eighteen at the time but it had taken a couple of months for me to tell my mother, who told me I needed to get to the doctors as it sounded like an acid issue. I was diagnosed with acid reflux and was given PPIs to treat it, drugs that I would take for a few more years. Despite taking these drugs I still had issues. I also found out that ibuprofen was a potential cause of acid reflux and I was suffering from chronic headaches and ibuprofen were the only drugs that helped. I had experienced regular stomach aches from a very young age and since moving out I had more stomach upsets than was normal.

Also at college, I became anxious over why I felt so weak and out of breath a lot and discovered that I had an iron deficiency. I started to feel more aware of my body at this time. In fact, I started to believe that I had had this issue for years but I believed it was just normal to feel that way. I was put on iron tablets that really upset my stomach but I felt like I had to put up with them.

As I mentioned earlier, I suffered from chronic headaches. I remember having my first one when I was about 12 and being given half an ibuprofen to help. I was crying over it. From about the age of 16, I began to get headaches regularly and it was extremely rare for me to go a week without having one or two and even then that was a good week. I went to see a doctor about this issue and she asked me if I paid for prescriptions, to which I answered no, then gave me a prescription for 100 co-codamol tablets. After taking  one when I next had a headache, it remained and with it came nausea, drowsiness and I felt very groggy. It was not nice, although I soon developed migraines  to which I took them as they were the only thing that helped. I would rather feel like that with lessened pain and fall asleep easily than suffer the symptoms of one of those attacks. Again, I thought I was just someone who suffered with many headaches and occasional migraines.

I left college and started straight away in a full time job. However, it was more than full time. I was overworked and could never catch up on sleep. A 50-60 hour week in four days was becoming the norm and my mind and body struggled. That is when my menstrual cycle started to mess up big time and I experienced a lot of brain fog, dizziness, exhaustion and anxiety. Back I went to the doctors for more iron tablets and I took a few days off work to recover. I went back feeling a little better, but I was very aware that redundancy was looming and the place I worked would soon be closing down.

I moved into a house share after my roommate moved out and I was becoming jobless anyway so I really needed an affordable place to live. I began having a lot more more anxiety soon after moving and I sought help from the NHS, which did not help an awful lot. I was probably suffering from adrenal fatigue or something similar too and my acid reflux was still a problem and all of these symptoms worried me and gave me anxiety. I would often wake up in the night and take Gaviscon in order to be able to go back to sleep. I used to worry what these drugs were doing to my body. I went back to the doctors and agreed to have a gastroscopy, which meant that a camera was to be inserted down my throat and into my stomach to see what was going on in there. As nervous as it made me, I felt it was time. My heart was pounding as the nurse gave me the throat spray and a sedative and then immediately afterwards they begun to insert the tube. I had imagined that the sedative would relax me but I assume the adrenaline was too much and it did not make me feel drowsy or calm until later on. I panicked and apparently, although I do not remember this as the sedative did make me feel drunk, I pulled the tube out. They offered me to go back but I said no. I felt relieved. I decided to come off the medication permanently and try and fix the issue myself. I tried many different things but changing my diet to a healthier one with less of the foods that triggered me helped the most. I also bought a wedge pillow to sleep on at night so I am elevated and it worked as I rarely wake up with acid reflux now. At the time, I was still experiencing it quite often but I had heard of the long term effects of PPIs and I did not want any more medical intervention.

My health got a lot worse when my menstrual cycle became increasingly insufferable. I had never felt pain as severe in my entire life and I had to deal with migraines, which were awful. My cycle started to become irregular and shorter, occurring every three weeks at times, but no more than four weeks. The pain was so severe that pain medication barely touched it. I could not stand up straight for up to two days. At first, I believed it was entirely due to stress. It felt as if the pain was inside my bowels and something was tearing my insides up. The bloating, soreness and fatigue that followed after an episode was bad too but I still made myself go into work on these days – I had a new job by then. Sometimes I was lucky and got it on my weekend and on others, I would have no choice but to phone in sick or get to do a job sitting down, which there were few. The pain was sometimes constant and sometimes it came in waves. When the latter happened I curled myself in a tense ball, unable to move or speak and I had to really force myself to breathe. When it lessened I would reach for the remote control and put something light hearted on the TV to try and take my mind off it. Hot water bottles and F.R.I.E.N.D.S became a source of comfort for me. Every month I would head off to see a doctor or nurse. I was getting so fed up with this and I felt like I was not being listened to. I wanted scans not drugs. I wanted to get to the root cause of what I believed was endometriosis, even though I was terrified that I would need to be operated on. I was more terrified that I would have to spend my life in this condition. The doctor gave me special anti-inflammatory drugs that reduced clotting, despite me saying I could not take them due to acid reflux. Still, I tried and they did indeed fail me and made my stomach upset for days. I was constantly being told to take the contraceptive pill and each time I refused because I had experienced bad side effects on it. Eventually, as the pain became worse and my tolerance for it became less, I reluctantly agreed to take one that did not contain any oestrogen. Although the pain decreased after several different ones, the other effects were evident and I was becoming further and further detached from who I was. I started to feel like a different person. I found it incredibly hard to feel happy and I never once experienced excitement for over a year. It was as if I was not able to on it. After a year or so, I had enough and stopped my prescription. A few weeks of dreaded hormonal changes occurred but almost instantly I began to feel more clarity and I felt like me again.

Whilst all of this was happening, I was also suffering with bladder issues. Daily pain and discomfort happened for years. Chronic cystitis is something that I believed that I had, but yet again I was not diagnosed with anything. Every time it got bad and I had a flare up, as I called it, I went to the doctors who tested me for a UTI, which came back negative in the office. So they would send me away with a prescription for antibiotics, which gave me more stomach complaints. They would send my urine off to be cultured, which always came back negative or inconclusive – having too many large particles or blood in it. Every time I went the same thing happened until eventually I did not want to take antibiotics as I was sure it was not an infection. So I was naughty and did not take them this one time and guess what? The symptoms reduced on their own. The doctors did not want to do any tests claiming that I was just suffering from UTIs and I stopped going to them about that issue and started researching for myself.

I was still experiencing random stomach issues. One day I woke up in the night in the most severe stomach pain. It was the worst pain that I had ever felt. My body started to sweat profusely and I could not stay still or cool down so I went outside. It was winter thankfully. I took some Gaviscon to see if it would help but threw them up. It felt as if my stomach lining was inflamed and something was just not right. I got Carl to drive me to the hospital but once I arrived I felt the pain lessen. We sat outside in the car in the early hours of the morning to see if it would go down. As I was feeling signs of  it improving, I got him to drive me home. I had been in A&E before and if I was going to feel better on my own I did not want to experience that again. The next day my stomach was so sore and I made a doctor’s appointment. Again, I received a course of PPIs, which I took despite thinking that I had just a freak episode. However, I knew in my gut (no pun intended) that something was just not right with me.

My symptoms were piling up and I was worried that they were just going to get worse. I remember going around IKEA on my birthday one year and being in a tremendous amount of pain but it was my birthday and my partner was going to buy me some drawers that I wanted and so off we went! Every single bump on the road was uncomfortable and once we arrived, I spent the whole time bent over, walking like someone in labour. Once we got home, I bathed and spent the rest of the day and the next day in bed, with a hot water bottle. I was so incredibly sore and gutted that this was what my life was coming to. The day before, Carl and I had gone to visit, and eat dinner, with two of my closest friends who lived away for university. We ate at Zizzis and I had a pizza. I remember my stomach not feeling to great afterwards but it was not terrible at the time. That day, after visiting IKEA,  I started to wonder if there was a connection between my diet and the pain of menstruation. I researched and found out that meat, dairy and gluten can be a cause of inflammation. I rarely ate meat anyway so going vegetarian was a simple decision. I had always hated the meat industry but it took something like this for me to look into it more. A few months later of doing research into whether it would benefit my health and finding out a lot about how cruel the dairy and egg industries were, I decided to go vegan.

A few months in of taking the pill and being vegan I was feeling better and decided to quit the pill to see if I still needed to take it for the pain. The first month in, I experienced less pain, but it was still there and it still was not nice. I had started doing yoga to help with the stress I was feeling and I also started to look more into a gluten free diet. I found out that many people who had endometriosis had decreased symptoms when they took on this diet. I decided to at least try it. After a few days I felt better in myself. The bowel and period pain that I had suffered with disappeared. I could not believe it. However, I was still consuming some gluten – a few cakes now and again  and sometimes some bread. I was not being strict. I was still experiencing acid reflux and a few other symptoms. I read up on elimination diets and I knew I had to give gluten up completely and then reintroduce it in order to see if I was intolerant/sensitive to it, especially as I thought maybe there was another reason why I was feeling better, such as stress management. Although, I think that the decrease in symptoms really allowed me to feel stressed less. In the weeks to come I felt a lot better and I found out that there was a possibility that I had Coeliac Disease. I did some research into this and found out that I had experienced a lot of the symptoms which had gone away once I stopped consuming gluten. I had these ulcers on the bottom of my tongue that flared up every month and stayed for days and the headaches, migraines, dizziness, brain fog, anxiety, tiredness, iron deficiencies, stomach issues, bladder issues, menstruation issues and more were all possible symptoms. Gluten can also cause these issues if you are sensitive to it (non-coeliac gluten sensitivity – something many people do not think exists). I was feeling ill less and less and I wanted to be tested to see if I had this condition, as it requires you to be very diligent because gluten is very harmful if you suffer from the disease. I looked into getting tested for , however, first you need to be consuming gluten regularly for several weeks and then you need to have a blood test to see if you have certain antibodies in your blood and if you do then you have a 10% (I think) chance of having the disease so then you need to have a biopsy which is done via a gastroscopy (eek).

I tried incorporating gluten back into my diet after a few weeks of not eating much of it and I became ill again. I ended up taking a day off work. I just felt like I could not do it anymore. So I gave it up completely, not realising that I still was not being as diligent as I could be – traces and contamination were potential issues. For a couple of months I thought about reintroducing it again because I did not want to tell people without having an official diagnosis. I tried to reintroduce it again but the same thing happened. I had to face the fact that I was gluten intolerant. I knew my body and I knew what it had been through. I did not want to be sick again and I read that once you have given it up for a few months, you can in fact become increasingly sensitive to it, so I just cannot take that risk. I also did not want it to take over the amazing quality of life that I have recently been experiencing. I have time for other interests now that my health is not taking over my life. I do not want to take any more days off work because of it either – the days I took off with stomach issues, feeling incredibly sick, migraines, bladder ‘infections’ and even dizziness could all have been prevented. Rarely did I have a day off because I had a virus, it was usually something else. I also do not want to spend any more days at work feeling ill, pretending that I am okay, as I do not like the attention, wishing to be home. I am done. I am gluten free for good and I will not look back anymore. I want to take care of my health and allowing myself to heal is all that matters now.

If you are sick, your body is trying to tell you something. Do not ignore it and seek help and if that does not help, do your own research. It does not make you a hypochondriac if you Google your symptoms. I was doing this weekly. You are responsible for your own health. I am going to the doctors to discuss my discovery, in case you were wondering, but I will not be having any tests as I do not want to damage my body anymore.

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journal · Lifestyle

Suicide: A Symptom Of Depression? & My Experience // Journal Entry #4

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I’m here as writing is a way to process my thoughts and put them into something that makes sense. It gets them out of my head and it almost solidifies them so they are just floating around waiting to be really listened to. This is how I listen.

I’ve been thinking a lot since the second suicide from a great musician who I have admired. Chris Cornell’s death was both shocking and heartbreaking and here we are going through the same thing with Chester Bennington. I spend a lot of my years listening to Soundgarden and Linkin Park, so when both events struck I eventually ended up playing my favourites of them. Most of the time I enjoy songs with meaningful lyrics and I always pay attention to what they are saying but after something like this happens, I listen extra hard. The music sounds even better than I remember when I truly appreciate it. I think I will try my hardest to listen closer when I listen to any song.

As humans, we have this deep need to understand what is going on in someone’s mind when they decide to end their life. Some of us have experienced depression and have an idea of what those thoughts and feelings might be like but many of us can’t imagine it and it becomes something that we either bash saying that they were selfish or something else that just insults everyone who has been through mental illness. Nonetheless, no one knows what anyone’s thoughts and feelings are when they commit suicide. The voice in their head that told them to do it was not yours.

When I hear people around me talking about the cause of their deaths as depression, I close up. I put up a wall and try to ignore what they are saying. I do not want to discuss something so personal and deep with people who I have never been close to. I do not even want to discuss it with people I am relatively close to. The only person I am comfortable enough to discuss it with is my partner, and then I still find it incredibly hard. To most people, I shut off this part of myself. Online, somehow, is different.

In my head right now, depression seems like a distant memory. In reality, it happened to me pretty recently and on several occasions. The most recent one was probably the longest period that just seemed to never go away. I did a lot of considering before I could even think that I was depressed. For me, depression was the start of a spiritual awakening. I’m not enlightened, but I am awake, for those know what I mean. I went through some really hard times where I would spend the day crying, in bed. Every morning I would wake up and check to see if I was still depressed. I had some horrible thoughts about life. I did not think that it was worth living because of all the suffering that we have to endure. Most of the time, I wished that I did not exist. Despite all of these reoccurring negative thoughts, I never once thought that I would kill myself. I sometimes imagined it but it was always so horrific that I could separate myself from those thoughts and not act on them quite easily.

When I came out of my depression, it was as if the depression was my wake up call. It happened a lot quicker than I thought and I began to recognise how the depression was magnifying my negative thoughts and attracting more just like them. At the time, they felt very true. My mindset began to shift, as I wrote in Journal Entry #2. I grew so much after that experience and I do not wish that it did not happen. Once my mindset began to become more positive, I attracted more positivity into my life. I began to wake up every morning and see great possibilities and life excited me. Life excites me.

Some people just do not get it. What is to gain from suicide? It is the ultimate end to a temporary problem. Depression makes you think that it will last forever and it tricks you into thinking life is just going to get worse. What I am trying to say is that depression is an illness and suicide is a symptom of that illness. If you have never experienced that illness how can you possibly judge so harshly?

Lifestyle

What I’ve Been Up To

I felt compelled to write so here’s some things that I’ve been up to recently.

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Jersey

I had the most wonderful week away in Jersey, which is a Channel Island. My Dad recommended it to us and we weren’t really sure what to expect. It turns out that this little island is an absolute gem. There is so much to do and it was absolutely beautiful! The beaches are pristine, the ocean is a wonderful colour and everywhere was so pretty. I can’t wait to go back and do the things we didn’t get chance to do. My favourite things were the beaches and the botanical gardens.

Yoga

I have not been able to get enough of yoga recently. Sun salutations have become so pleasurable! When I got back from holiday I attended two yoga classes that week because I had another week off work. The three classes I’ve been to recently have been outside in a garden and, if you don’t already know from my Instagram account, I absolutely adore nature. I mean, how can you not? I feel so connected to the earth when doing yoga outside. We have been doing some heat building postures, which I have loved. They make me feel great! I also had to buy a new yoga mat for home and since it has come I have been doing more yoga at home. The more I do, the better I feel so that in itself is really encouraging. I am going again tomorrow morning!

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Belton House & Grounds

If you live in or near Lincolnshire and haven’t been here I recommend that you do. I’d say the only downside is the cost, but if you’re a National Trust member I think you can go for free. I really need to get a membership! I haven’t been in the house in years but the grounds are extensive. There’s neatly pruned gardens and some more wild areas (guess which area I prefer). There’s also a boating lake, which is home to many geese! It’s a really nice place to spend a Sunday afternoon, although in the summer it can get a little too busy. I find myself enjoying it more when there are less people about.

Projects

I do like to have a couple of projects on the go. I’ve started doing a social media management course that I’m finding really interesting. I’m also, slowly, writing a book. My book is about how I’ve come to the place I am at now and there’s some things that have been happening recently that I’ve wanted to put in it so it’s still a continuous thing. I am really enjoying writing it but I am struggling a little with consistency but I am pretty lucky to have my sister, a literature student, editing it for me. It’s a big help and I don’t think I could do it so well without her. The final project, which you will see in a few days, is one I’ve just started this month. My partner got me an Instax (polaroid) camera. We had fun taking photos on holiday with it. I have decided to take one decent photo a month on it, to represent that month for me. So this month is obviously going to be a holiday snap. I’m also hoping it will get me out more. I have always liked photography but with me taking lots of photos for my Instagram account, my love for the hobby has increased!

Thanks for reading,

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journal · Lifestyle

Living In This Crazy, Crazy World // My Journal #1

I have been having a lot of random thoughts and I find it hard to bring them all together but here I am trying.

Society is the collective of those are living and those who lived before us, setting out guidelines and setting out standards of how we should live or however you see it. It can be a gift, a disaster or, for most of us, somewhere in between.

When I logged onto my computer this morning, I saw hate and negativity everywhere. I couldn’t even twist a tiny bit of it into something positive. It made me think a lot about how society works and how we are so influenced. How where we live, where we are from, our gender, sex, income, beliefs and opinions separate us all, but our building blocks, humanity and how we are all part of this crazy, crazy world make us all the same

Opinions are what drives our differences. An opinion that associates a particular group of people with negativity, only drives more negativity. It also drives more opposition. Hate literally breeds hate – it’s positive feedback in anthropogenic form. I can see how it happens, clearly, and that’s what worries me the most. How do I even come to terms with reality when it literally is creating a storm? I am having a hard time accepting it.

I searched for hope, for others with the opinions of mine and felt saved when I found many. It’s so understandable why people turn to hate. Fear is at the base of it all. Ultimately all of these negative bases drive more negativity, more division and more hatred. I am blessed to be living this life that I have. Although, I am exposed to the Internet, where I see a lot of negativity, I can make this connection and I can see that I live a life full of privilege. I can chose to be positive as it is a choice. I can switch off my computer, go outside and feel the air on my face, the sun through my eyes and the sounds of the birds. I can do what makes me feel alive. I can inspire others to see the light and to not feed the hate. That’s all and it’s not enough, but maybe it is for today.

I’ve never felt like a part of society and wanted to run away from it, but I have realised that we are all part of it. Every single person on this planet plays their part in it. So I can’t blame it for anything. However, I’d like to remain on the edge of it, with my far ‘leftist’ views. I hate that word. What’s worse is that I deeply believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion, even if I despise it. It physically taunts me to hear the opinions of other people who think the complete opposite to me, even though I understand that everyone is different and it wouldn’t work if we were all the same and so on. Blah blah blah. Seeing both sides makes it harder.

To save my self from a mental breakdown, I am going to completely switch off from other people’s opinions today, do some yoga, breathe in some fresh air and be present in myself. I’m so sensitive that I need some time to process as writing can only do so much for me right now.

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S/N: Have you ever experienced this? When something awful happens and you are just sat by yourself and everything is so peaceful because it’s over and it’s just you and nothing can change that.

Lifestyle

Writing Comes Easier Than Talking // So I Write

This blog represents me – scattered, authentic, passionate, compassionate, and spontaneous. I have many passions, many feelings and many thoughts that I want to share, which is why this blog is the way it is. It isn’t professional or direct. It’s raw, honest and vulnerable.

As someone who has a desire to write, this blog and my Instagram account fulfills that desire.  I’m not sure if it is the same for all writers.  I find myself jumbling over speech. I have thoughts that are clear but when I try to speak them I struggle. I’m not incapable, I just feel that there is a translation error from thought to voice. Words come out easily, but they don’t often convey what I’m trying to say. Writing feels more like my primary form of communication. There’s no need for me to spend time thinking, like I do when I am talking. I often find that many people respond quickly in a conversation and I feel that when I type it comes out in that same manner. Text is clearer and more to the point and conveys exactly what I mean. There’s no stumbling or long pauses and I don’t have to say, ‘I’m sorry I’m not very good at explaining things,’ or, ‘you know what I mean,’ or any related phrases.

With writing, you can reach more people, especially now with the Internet. The voiceless now have a powerful voice that can inspire, influence and guide others. 

If you feel the same, I encourage you to write. You have a gift to share with the world. 

…and that is why I write. 

Lifestyle · Opinion · vegan

How The Manchester Bombing Made Me Realise That Humanity Will Never Be Vegan, So What’s The Point In Trying?

Disclaimer: I want to address this matter as sensitively as I can. I do not want to take the thoughts off those that were killed, injured and traumatised. Therefore, I ask if you will read what I have to say with an open heart. I am not using this to push my beliefs on others. I only want to inspire a better world. 

Humanity works on a spectrum. There are those who are the tallest and the shortest and  those who are the strongest and the weakest. Therefore, there are also those that are good and bad to the extremes. This week something horrific happened in Britain. ISIS took responsibility for another terrorist attack in the UK. The horror is unimaginable and I couldn’t help putting myself there, in the crowds. I was the dying woman, being comforted by the homeless man, the child who had no legs and the running teenagers trying to find their parents.

It’s hard for me, as a pacifist, to see why anyone would justify murder. I can agree that many would think that I am an extremist on the left hand side of the political spectrum. It’s physically sewn into me to have a deep opposition to violence of any kind. I was born with a sensitive essence and a single bout of violence or conflict makes me feel physically ill. I feel sick, shake, cry and feel all kinds of negative emotions and physical sensations. That’s how I can see that there are people who have the opposite effect, or are unable to care. I am physically forced to care. There are no boundaries to protect me other than avoidance. All I can do about it is mediate and promote peace.

As a Brit, I am pretty clueless to why terrorists are attacking the western world. I’ve heard so many different opinions online and off but I still don’t understand it fully. I’m only admitting this because I believe there is no way any of us, who is not a member of ISIS or considering it, really will ever understand. To us, it is ludicrous to even consider the thoughts inside these peoples heads, that justifies what they are doing. Our culture is the only way most of us have ever lived and so we are going to be biased towards it and we are going to want to protect it. It’s hard for us to see why would anyone want to destroy our way of living.

Although the solidarity was incredibly moving and probably one of the only good things to come out of the attacks, the worst thing that came after was the racism. All I can see behind these racist comments are close minded and uneducated people, who are scared. They want us to ban Muslims from entering the country and many want us to bomb the terrorists. This just can’t be done. They are all over the world, in this country and in many others. There is no way that we can even find out who they all are, never mind kill them all, especially without innocent people being killed. If you lived in a village where there were crazy gunmen running free, would you think that it would be justified to bomb the entire village to kill them all, including all of the innocent people who have there doors locked in fear. What if one of those innocent people was you? I can’t see how that is ever justified. It is murder. I would hope that most people would understand how unethical that would be.

It’s apparent to some of us, but not all of us, that Islam is not the problem but the extremists themselves are. Just as I said earlier, many things in life are on a spectrum. I want to promote peace, they don’t. It’s simple, yet complicated. If Islam was the problem, we would be having far worse issues than we are today. The problem lies within humanity. There have been many who have fought for land, power and weapons over greed, selfishness and religion for all of our existence. It’s not something new. Correct me if I’m wrong, as I am not exactly well versed in the religion. I’ve heard it’s contradictory and I’m pretty sure that ISIS is getting a lot out of bombing us and I can believe that they are doing it in order to gain more popularity as more and more people hate on Muslims.

We still have a lot of growing to do in this country. However, let’s not forget that we have already grown as a collective in so many ways. In this country women politically have the same rights as men. Change will continue to happen if we work on it. Our ideologies have changed. When something like this happens, people act and speak out of fear. It’s natural to do this. However, the fear from the initial problem creates more problems, as we start to see our own protection as the most important thing. We don’t think about those who live in war zones right now, whose lives have been completely ruined by ISIS. We want freedom from terror but the way we think we should go about it will not always create that freedom that we want. How is it freeing to export innocent Muslims, who are conscious people just like you and I, into a place governed by evil, a place full of poverty and war? How is it freeing to bomb countries and risk killing thousands of innocent people, just like you and I?

I can already feel people hitting me over the head. I know the world isn’t black and white and I know that in my life time I will never see a perfect world, or one that’s perfect to me, but what’s so wrong with working towards positive change? What’s wrong with giving a damn? Ever heard the saying, ‘be the change you want to see in the world?’ Change starts from an individuals desire to make the world they perceive a better place for as many as possible.

If you aren’t vegan, you probably still know that vegans want a vegan world, where no animal will experience violence at the hand of a human, even though most of us know that this will never happen.  The reasons why it won’t happen are so clear to me today. Even after all the centuries that have passed, people are still being hurt and killed by our own kind. Right now, there is no way that I can believe that humans will all stop doing the same to animals.

Killing animals and using them for the greed of human kind is violence, whatever way you look at it. Most people just accept it as just something that has to be done. You might think that vegans aren’t making a difference but as populations increase we will eventually run out of time to fix the issues that are inevitable. We are just trying to make the world a little better.

As a rule, humans generally follow each other, which creates our society. The more humans promote peace, for humanity and the way we treat other species, the better. The more people promoted women’s rights, the closer it got to us actually receiving them. Please be on the side of good, always, and please promote peace, always.

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Lifestyle

Do I Have Coeliac Disease?

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NB To get a diagnosis you have to at least have a blood test and then potentially a biopsy via endoscopy (eek). In medical terms it appears that you either have it or you don’t. There’s no diagnosis for gluten sensitivity. Not yet anyway but I hear it’s being worked on.

I’ve had a lot of the symptoms associated with Coeliac Disease. However, what made me decide to give up gluten was my period. I was suffering horrendously with pain and discomfort. Every month was the same and I’d be so worried a few days before. I knew what was coming. Severe pain where I couldn’t even stand upright, never mind walk normally. I was so bloated I looked like I was pregnant. I couldn’t go to the toilet without feeling like my insides were being teared apart. I was exhausted and frazzled. I always thought that the pain felt more in my bowels than where you’re suppose to get period pain. I had brain fog, anxiety and felt very low during them. I had cystitis every time. After researching, I was convinced I probably had endometriosis and went to the doctors. Many times I was told to go on the pill. I didn’t want to. I had bad side effects in the past that lasted all month and I hated the idea of putting synthetic hormones in my body to mask the fact that my body was suffering and was telling me to heal. However, the pain got worse each month and I had to do something. I even started to feel some of the symptoms throughout the month. I very reluctantly took the pill and oh did it cause havoc. They gave me a progesterone only pill because it was suppose to cause less side effects. So not only was I getting headaches and anxiety from it, I was constantly in a really bad mood. I felt detached and worthless, to say the least. The doctor told me to give it time so I did.

The first month was just as bad, if not worse, than my period normally was. It was my birthday and I was in agony. I had took some pills and decided that I wanted to go out for my birthday. I spent two hours in the passenger seat of the car, doubled over, dreading every bump in the road. I raced round Ikea the quickest I ever had, hunched over and then headed home. I spent the rest of the day in the bath and in bed and the next day my stomach was so sore. The night before I had been out for a birthday meal and I had eaten a pizza. I was convinced it had something to do with what I was eating. I looked up to see if there was a correlation between dairy, gluten and endometriosis and there was. I don’t think there were studies but real people online in forums saying that giving these things up helped.

My period the next month was a breeze. Barely any pain and I almost felt like I had finally found a cure. I knew deep down that I was masking it but for a while it was worth the side effects. Then I read a book called Sweetening The Pill. This confirmed that I needed to stop taking it. I had already been vegan for a few months and my digestion has improved so I thought that perhaps I would be OK or I could at least tolerate it. When I came off I was faced with pain again. I felt like I had no choice but to go back on it. I begun researching some more about a gluten free diet. It didn’t make sense that it would work – how does gluten affect the menstrual cycle? I’m not going to get scientific but many have reason to believe it does. I had nothing to lose so I gave it a go. I had very little pain on my next period and I was so happy. The one after that was completely pain free. It had worked. My life improved greatly after that. I also began to feel better in other ways too. My headaches and migraines decreased, my cystitis was hardly an issue anymore, I had less acid reflux and nausea, my cycle regulated and I felt like I had more energy.

It’s hard for people to understand that you have a gluten sensitivity. There’s this stigma around it that if you haven’t been diagnosed, you don’t have an issue. I can feel it though, but I don’t want to tell people I don’t eat gluten because it makes my periods really bad. I didn’t tell many people and I still ate gluten occasionally when people gave me cake and biscuits. This past month I ate a lot more than usual. I had bread with a vegan burger, bread rolls to absorb acid when I was out and felt bad, churros at a vegan festival, several cakes as people at work had made them especially so I would have felt bad not to eat them (plus they were tasty) and I had some falafel. I decided to use it beneficially as an experiment.

So the results are almost all in. My stomach hasn’t been feeling good. I’ve had more nausea and acid reflux. I had daily headaches for over a week (I used to get chronic headaches as a teenager). My period is days late (so it’s already becoming irregular) but I can tell it is coming because I have a little cystitis and I can feel a little pain. I had a week and a half of PMS. It hurt to go to the toilet this morning. Lastly, my mood has been very low. I think that’s all of it.

Coeliac Disease can be very detrimental to your health, which is why I have realised that it is very important to know if I have it or not. In order to get tested, and if the doctor will actually allow me to, I will need to eat gluten everyday for several weeks. This is the bit I am not looking forward to. I probably won’t go through with the endoscopy unless I can get a lot more sedation than last time. I had too much adrenaline and as soon as they were putting the pipe in I was pulling it out and couldn’t calm down. It was terrifying! I will book an appointment shortly.

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Lifestyle · Mind · spirituality

My Story: From Fear To Freedom


For as long as I remember I have allowed fear to control my life. A few years ago I wouldn’t even leave the safety of the house unless I had to. I wouldn’t interact with people unless I had to or unless I trusted them. I couldn’t walk down the street without having to turn back after 200 yards, feeling like the air was pinching my skin and the ground was going to pull me over. Going to public places alone was too intense and exhausting. I would cry and cry and wonder why my life was so hard. I was paralysed by my own self worth. I hated being me. I had hidden my internal thoughts and feelings for so long that they had manifested into mental and physical pain. I became ill and abused myself, and for what? For not wanting to be me. But who else could I be? I didn’t want people to see who I really was. I didn’t honour my sensitivity or my feelings and needs. My intuition was bruised and I had weaved negativity deep into my veins. Somewhere along the way, I had enough and I began untangling the mess inside my head. I reached out to others and I started nurturing myself in anyway that I needed. I practiced gratitude and self care. I took up yoga and meditation. I started to eat better. I started writing poetry on my Instagram and I started a blog and I begun voicing my feelings out to the world. Then others began to hear what I had to say and by doing that I was honouring who I truly was. I discovered an amazing internal world that I was proud of and I wanted to share it. I unstrapped my inner child and embraced her. I set myself free.
Taken from my Instagram. Follow me: @sarahnityxo

Lifestyle

Saturday morning, 08:00


It’s 8am and it feels like I’ve had one of those bad nights sleep where you just can’t wait for it to be morning so you can get up and get on. I first woke up at 5am as the electric blanket had been left on all night. I love how comforting it is when I first get in bed but after I’ve slept for a bit, it just gets uncomfortable. I then woke up again at 7am and knew I wasn’t going to get any more sleep. It’s not exactly blue skies outside but the light shone right through our blue curtains and I struggle to sleep when it’s light. I often think that I’d sleep better with blackout ones but I shrug that off because I don’t think it’s healthy for me to wake up to a dark room. I noticed my wrist aching so I probably had slept on it all night. It probably will be a pain all day.

I picked up my phone from underneath my pillow and sat up a little. I went straight to Instagram as it’s my favourite app right now. I scrolled through and somehow ended up on someones blog. It was a pretty cool site. I often think that my blog is not very together.  It’s messy and unprofessional. I constantly compare it to others. However, it literally is just a place for me to come and express myself, in any way that I want to at that moment in time.  I don’t set rules or boundaries – as long as it’s not something too private or someone else is involved it’s fine by me. I just let myself become immersed in what’s going on and it just seems to flow out of me as easy as breathing is. There’s no long pauses to think about what to write next or how to write. It’s my favourite way of communicating and it’s the best way of figuring out some kind of structure and direction to what is actually going on up there. I firstly do it for me and secondly for the reader. All of the creative things I do, I do for me first. I think it should always be that way.

My alarm officially went off at 8am and I turned it off, gave my sleepy partner a cuddle, crawled down to the end of the bed and climbed out. I opened the door, asked Jasper if he wanted to come and entered the living room and then the kitchen. I grabbed a tall glass, poured some juice and ran the cold tap. I’m feeling particularly dehydrated this morning. I honestly only drank two of these glasses yesterday. I took it and sat down at my computer. Our desks are both in the living room. We spend more waking time at them than anywhere else in the house, even the sofa. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten used to it but the light doesn’t seem to be as bright in here. As I look through the dark-brown framed window I was see grey clouds and damp green bushes. It’s so peaceful this morning. I can hear the birds outside and the odd car going by. I look down to my Apple keyboard laid down on a shaded bamboo surface and it comforts me. I wake up my iMac and open up WordPress.

I’m feeling slightly sick this morning. I’ve had a cold for a week now and I often get some mild nausea with it. My stomach often produces too much acid anyway but I think it’s the phlegm in my stomach causing this. I don’t really mind it too much but it interferes with how much I drink and I just don’t enjoy eating. I hope it clears up later because I am going to a vegan festival in Nottingham this morning and I want to eat things. That is after a quick stop off at McDonald’s en route so my partner can load up his laptop and do some urgent business. I admit that it isn’t the ideal place for a vegan to be. McDonald’s did pretty much introduce the western world to factory farms but it just happens to be an ideal location and my partner is a meat eater who enjoys their breakfasts. I’ll probably munch on a couple of hash browns and go through my Instagram feed whilst I wait.

My sister just happens to be going to Nottingham for the weekend with her boyfriend. I doubt I’ll see them though. We will probably go into the city centre after the festival. Nottingham is one of my favourite concrete places in the UK. If we are talking country then it’s a totally different list. I’ve been going there since I was young – shopping with my Nan or loitering with friends. I have good memories there. When I was 14 and went to see Cradle of Filth at Rock City, my friend, her friend and I went there to buy clothes because you couldn’t buy goth clothes in Grantham. We got a child return on the train for under £3. That was my first proper gig, not including pop bands from when I was >10.

At this point in time I am sat in the passenger seat of the car. Still feeling sick and achy. The window wipers are in use and we are about to drive off. There’s no point to this post for you. There’s no message that you are reading until the end for. It just is what it is.