Slacky McSlackface returns

Oh, um, hi. How y’all doin’?

Soooooo sorry for the mega absence. I’ve maintained radio silence for a while (read: an age) as I’ve just been too busy to allow any energy into writing this wee blogette. But it’s all good stuff. Allow me to elaborate….

I’m now qualified as a Personal Trainer and Gym Instructor. Oh yeah baby!! I only went and did it! It’s taken me 7 months to do it and a pretty hard slog at times but I made it through to the end and my goodness I’m just a little bit proud of ma bad self.

Got an interview on Friday at the gym I mentioned in my last post so watch this space. 

After all the stress, the house move went ahead although in my infinite wisdom I set my moving date as the day after I came back from holiday (which, BTW, was in Cyprus and do you recall the news back in March about that man with the fake explosive vest who hijacked a plane at Larnaca Airport to give a letter to his ex-wife? Well, he kindly did the hijacking at the airport we were flying home from the DAY BEFORE WE WERE DUE TO GO BACK LIKE WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU MAN I’M MOVING HOUSE AND NEED TO BE THERE SO WTF ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR FAKE VEST AND FAKE HIJACKING FFS!!!!) 

Still off the antidepressants. I’ve had points where I’ve been really unsure whether I’m ‘ok’ or not since coming off them, that whole apathy/CBA/there’s no point to anything feelings have been there on and off. It’s confusing. You’d think I’d know my mind by now but apparently more insight only serves to give you too much food for thought. Still pondering this one.

On the drinking front, I do drink but I’d now say it’s in the realms of a ‘normal’ drinker. By that I mean I barely imbibe and its no longer on my radar as the ‘should I? Shouldn’t I? What will happen if I do? Will my drunk alter ego Linda make an appearance and get me home when I’m completely blacked out?’ thoughts are now absent. I don’t care about it the way I used to and it doesn’t cross my mind to drink during the week or weekends. That’s gone. If there’s an event/occasion I will drink, but my social life is so non existent anyway the frequency is rare. Another major shift is no longer drinking as though prohibition is coming back into force. I have what I want and find I don’t want anymore. 

I never, ever thought I’d get to the point I’d be able to take or leave booze (I talk about it now as it was such a MAJOR topic on this blog for so long) and not drinking to the point of oblivion. Quitting and then moderation worked for me, but that’s just the path I was meant to take. Not for everyone, I know.

So, my lovelies, it was great catching up. Hope everyone is well and being awesome. 

X

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I aten’t dead(*)

Gosh, I’ve been rather absent in my prattlings these last few months, haven’t I? When I was troubled there was no stopping me spouting off about all and sundry but since life took a more interesting turn at the start of the year, well, I suppose I’ve been busy living.

It’s a state of ALL SYSTEMS GO right now. My Personal Trainer course is coming along well, in fact I do my exams and practical assessment for my Gym Instructor Level 2 this weekend and then I’ll be a qualified gym instructor. Like, WTF??!! As if I’m actually doing this!! Once I’ve passed this level I go on to the Level 3 Personal Trainer course which is a further 4 months of part-time study and that’s when Shit Becomes Real.

Seeing as this is something that is so utterly unlike anything I’ve ever done before, I figured I needed to get my foot in the door somehow and get me some experience while I’m getting qualified. I know sweet F.A. about how to ‘make it’ in the fitness industry so gathered my courage and spoke to the manager of one of the gyms I’m a member of (yes, I go to more than one gym) and simply asked if there was scope for me to get some work experience one I’d passed my Level 2 exams. Lo and behold, the fitness gods were beaming down on me that day and I bagged myself a 5 hour shift per week!

For insurance reasons I can’t do 1:1 stuff with people for a full session as that is classed as ‘personal training’, despite me being qualified to do 1:1 stuff with gym equipment/machines/free weights etc, but I can deliver inductions, write AND SELL gym programmes, show people how to use different pieces of equipment and generally get used to working on a gym floor. The manager said all the PTs there are self-employed so the opportunity is there to seek out clients any way you want. Although I couldn’t PT right now, there was nothing stopping me proactively offering gym programmes to gym-goers with a view to taking them on as PT clients when I got that qualification further down the line. I think my proactivity impressed him so, things all going to plan, I may even have a job lined up there in 4 months’ time!

It’s feeling far more real now that my first lot of exams are imminent and I’m slightly shitting myself, if truth be told. I’m conflicted between excitement that I’m making all these positive changes to my life and working towards something great and wanting to stay where I am. I’ve worked for the same company for nearly 14 years (fourteen years, people!) so it’s all I’ve really ever known. The weird thing is that I’m currently just feeling all antsy in work and, well, bored by it as it’s pretty unchallenging in the grand scheme of things, but this makes it stressful. Does that make sense? I find that a lack of mental stimulation bores me senseless which leads to me feeling all stressy and shit. So, I’m bored, unfulfilled, jaded in my current work yet at the same time terrified about the possibility of leaving there and going it alone as a self-employed person.

comfort zone nothing grows

Think this meme was created just for my benefit. What’s to say changing careers won’t be the best bloody decision I’ve ever made? What I find hard isn’t the studying – that’s easy – the challenge is overcoming my lack of self-belief. This is some seriously difficult shit I’m battling with as I still can’t quite believe I’ve taken the step to do this. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. Hells yeah I’m feeling all the feels and the fears and still ploughing through! This comfort zone is just swaddling me in cotton wool and making my head feel foggy and I’m definitely feel the urge to break away from it.

Throw into the above melting pot of change and turmoil is yet more change; I’m moving house this month at some point. We’re yet to confirm our moving date as my friend’s work need to get their skates on and complete her reference. Which will literally take them 2 minutes yet they’ve had the request since Monday and have just done F.A with it. I’ve suggested she press them and says we’re going to lose the house if they don’t get it done today. More potential stressy stuff there as we need our moving date to arrange for furniture to be delivered, broadband set up and all the other gubbins that comes with moving house. Exciting and fun but a lot to deal with.

Another curve ball is that I’m going on holiday in 3 week’s time, so I chose a great time to decide to move house, eh? Hopefully, we can secure a moving date for about the 18th of this month which means I can get on and order the furniture which can get delivered that day. It’s all up in the air right now though and entirely dependent on my friend’s employers sorting their shit out.

Lastly, I came off my antidepressants about 3 weeks ago. Totally by accident as I just forgot to take them for a week. In all honesty, I’d been pretty crap and taking them for a while and missing 2, 3, 4 days here and there. About a week after taking the last one I got really sick, and not just the ‘flu like symptoms’ that can occur under withdrawal but full-blown man-flu. I was dyin’. I had about a week off work and it’s taken a good 2 weeks for me to feel physically better. I was quite down in the dumps for this time and naturally my mind started whirring about whether I’d done the right thing by stopping the pills. I figured I’d try and ride it out and see if things got better, which I’m relieved to say they have. My mood has got steadily better as this week has gone on, I’ve interest in doing stuff again and am back into exercise (I took two weeks off this when I was ill).

It’s perhaps not surprising that I was feeling a bit out of sorts with so much going on, and BIG, life-changing stuff too. I’ve lived in my current house for 9 years so it’s a big deal for me to up sticks and leave after all this time, I’ve had exams looming and the inner turmoil of self-doubting thoughts doing the rounds and questioning whether this was my depression coming back contributed to a rather stressful time.

I’ll aim to check-in more frequently than I have been as I’m sure the next few months will throw up all sorts of challenges, so the angst will return along with the creative juices to write! Hurrah! I bet you all can’t wait.

That’s enough about me for today. Toodles.

 

 

 

 

(*) Fans of the late, great Terry Pratchett will get this 😉

 

 

I’ve not gone anywhere!!

Whoa it’s been a rather long time since I last posted anything, but it’s not because I’ve been stuck in a pit of depression or booze – induced misery. Far from.

I’ve been busy getting all proactive about my life and Getting Shit Done.

I’m on my way to getting certified as a Personal Trainer and have been mega busy studying for that. I started the 7-month part time course 3 weeks ago, in 4 weeks I’ll be a qualified gym instructor and 4 months after that a PT. Bloody hell that’s scary! But awesome 🙂

Social life has been fairly busy most of January, what with birthdays (mine and my friend’s) and general catch ups.

I climbed an indoor wall last week and went all the way to the top. Considering I’m scared of heights this was a major accomplishment.

Drinking isn’t an issue now. I drink if I want but for the most part I don’t.

The binge eating has ceased as well. I’m not sure of the last time that happened, maybe November? October? But huuuuuuge progress there as at one point I couldn’t go a week without gulping down a pint of ice cream in one sitting. It was a weekly occurrence (at least).

Having direction and the new – found confidence in myself to take charge of my life and finally go for what I want has given me an enormous sense of calm. Yeah, I’m bricking it as this is all totally new and I feel out of my depth at times, but I just acknowledge those negative thoughts and remind myself of why I’m doing this. That brings me back down to earth and rejuvenates my resolve and confidence once more. All part of the journey, peeps 😉

Yeah, so it’s all good. Learning lots still about my determination and overcoming that negative inner – voice that likes to tell me that I’ll never make it in the industry and there’s so much competition and others who are just way better than me. And then I think about what my strengths are and how these will set me apart from all those other generic PTs who don’t really care about their clients’ progression. I know then that I’ll make it if I stick to my values and keep believing in myself.

Ooooooh New Year!!!!

Hey there guys, how you been doing? Happy new year and all that jazz.

Long time no speak. I’ve been busy and lazy and stuff hence lack of bloggage, so to bring you up to speed here it is:

1. Christmas with the fam was great. Short and sweet visit over 4 days, saw my niece and nephew and got to hold the baby lots and she’s cute and smiles all the time
2. Christmas is never a boozy affair anyway for us, just shared bottle of prosecco with my sister on Christmas Day
3. New year’s eve I was in bed before 10pm as I was working today at 8am. Had a pint of water last night with my curry whilst watching Jurassic World. For the 4th time. I LOVE CHRIS PRATT
4. My mood improved upon seeing the fam, all good and no down days. Turns out I just need company to get me out of my funks

I’m not one to set new years resolutions, usually because I know full well I’ll not stick to them. And in keeping with tradition I’m not setting them this year either.

But that’s not to say some changes aren’t going to be made, all of which are with a view to improving my happiness and wellbeing. First on the list is my career. I’ve finally worked up the courage to take a firm step forward and am getting qualified as a Personal Trainer this year. No more talking myself out of it or fearing the worst. In 5 years time I’ll regret not taking action, so it’s getting done.

Secondly is moving house. One of my housemates (L) and I are going to get our own place this year. I love her way of thinking as this evening she said we can have a house warming party, just not in the house as we don’t want it to get all trashed. Pre-house party – party can be held at home in order to receive gifts, then we de-camp into town for the actual party. Genius. 😉

Yeah, so that’s me over the last few weeks. All good stuff. I feel more settled and happier knowing I’ve got a great personal goal I’m working towards and one that’s going to make a massive difference to me. I’m scared as hell as I’ve been with the same company for nearly 14 years, but I’m ready to make a change now and there’s no time like the present. YOLO and all that.

Mexico part tres/back in the UK

The black dog/pup who’d made himself so at home on my lap whilst I was on holiday has suddenly jumped back down and is once more snoozing in his kennel. Like, WTF was all that about, eh?

Since arriving home my mood has improved considerably and I have my get-up-and-go once more. The two reasons I know I found the holiday difficult were (1) being there by myself, as I realised (read: accepted the fact) I’d rather be there with someone to experience it with and (2) because I was trying to recapture the feelings I had from my first visit there, as I awoke from what felt like a 10 year slumber and felt alive for the first time in yonks.

But you can only experience things like that once- after that they aren’t new any more. I understand now that going to the same place to try and recapture that feeling was only going to end in disappointment, but it’s a great lesson learned and an opportunity to figure out more about what makes me tick.

This week at home has been great and it’s actually gone faster than my time in Mexico as I’ve been so busy. Having a week off exercise was a contributing factor to my mood being a bit low as I’ve got back into it now and feel tons better already. I’ve seen friends on a daily basis which has also done me the world of good. Accepting that I do better when I’m around friends was an oddly bitter pill to swallow and I was loathe to admit that to myself.

It seems strange, but I have this idea that I should be able to get by perfectly well without the need for company, but us humans are social creatures so we’re wired to want to be around one another.

This ‘should’ stems from some incidents in my early twenties where I was ostracised from friendship groups by people who were just mean and vindictive. I was made to feel that I was wrong for wanting to be around them and, God forbid, actually included in activities the group were arranging. When I challenged this once I was told “well, it’s not all about you, Claire, and we won’t always invite you to things. That’s just how it is”. So I was made to feel it was my fault that my so-called friends didn’t want me around. For some reason, I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t being paranoid- they really were leaving me out of things.

This had a lasting impact on me and a further knock to my already shitty self-esteem. God, what bitches they were. I can see that now, but at the time when I was really vulnerable emotionally what they did really damaged me. A challenging life lesson, and a valuable one at that.

I’m not wrong or weak to rather spend holidays and fun experiences with other people. I’m amazed I’ve let that ‘should’ stay with me for so long. We’re talking more than 10 years, guys!! Fuck. It’s mental I’ve been holding on to that notion for over a decade. Well, no more!!

Ooh, realising shit like this is always great. I love a good epiphany as it’s often a catalyst to some sort of change for me and I do rather like to move forward.

Mexico part deux

It’s my last full day here and what a strange week it’s been on the mental/emotional health front.

I’ve been so taken aback by my lack of get-up-and-go I’m a little concerned about it, if I’m being completely honest. The social isolation I’ve entirely brought on myself as I just can’t seem to bring myself to join in with activities and just lighten the hell up! I’ve had a bit of a rod up my arse (metaphorically speaking, natch) this entire week and I’ve been sleeping all the time.

When I sleep this much it’s usually because I’m feeling depressed as I shut out the world this way. When I’ve prodded this as a possibility, I think I am a little blue. The lack of interest in doing anything other than sleeping is a pretty big indicator! But then I’m doing myself no favours by indulging in this inertia instead of getting involved in more social things, of which there’s an abundance and all of which don’t require one to be consuming alcohol.

Hmmm. Depression is a funny old bird and it’s odd that it’s chosen to appear now, in a paradise setting, of all times. But it is what it is.

Like I said in my previous post, I’ve felt very different on this holiday due to mourning the party animal Me of previous years so I think this has had a bigger impact on my overall emotional state than I expected it would. There’s so much in the setting that just hasn’t changed at all- the music, the vibe, the people, the daytime and evening activities- these are all the same. It’s how I feel and see things that’s changed.

But that’s not to say I’ve not enjoyed the relaxation side of things as I am most definitely relaxed now. I’ve just felt quite lonely.

Just goes to show that a change of scenery makes no difference to who you are on the inside! Your issues are still there and you really can’t run away from them. I thought I’d feel different in myself when I got here (free, energetic, lively and outgoing) but the truth is I feel the same inside as when I left the UK.

The silver lining is that all this naval gazing has been enlightening, particularly as I’ve not been numbing myself with booze in an attempt to locate the old, party animal Me of years gone by.

All good food for thought.

Mexico part 1

So I’m on my 3rd day in Mexico (but I’m actually only counting this as my second as I arrived later than expected at the hotel on Monday so I’ve not included it in the tally) and have already noticed some significant things.

My lack of boozing has made me notice the passing of time differently in that it goes waaaaaaaay more slowly. The last two occasions I’ve been here involved me making drinking buddies and whiling away the hours where nothing much was happening, for instance the downtime after eating dinner and waiting for the entertainment show to start in the evening (about 3 or 4 hours) where we’d slowly get more and more drunk before the main event.

I’d then jump at the chance to go out clubbing with the hotel entertainment team (along with a couple of other guests) and get home totally sloshed and wake up with a Mexican hangover. Which feels like death and the worst kind of hangover you’ll probably ever experience.

Now? I’m definitely less outgoing but this is for two obvious reasons.

1) I’m now far more aware of social boundaries and that it’s not actually all that normal to latch yourself on to groups of people, although said groups were always genuinely welcoming.

2) I don’t want to get involved in other people’s crazy drinking escapades which leaves me somewhat out of the loop as almost everything revolves around drinking here.

I’m not not drinking- I’m just not getting remotely pissed (after vodka-spewing in Spain two months ago I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to my limits). I’m not interested in the things I did here before because I’m not feeling in the same headspace as I was a year ago. God, I really feel like I’ve lost my identity as I was THE party animal and now I’m just, well, I just feel boring.

Definitely feeling a sense of loss here and it’s really surprised me as what I’ve lost in reality is a huge gain. I’m no longer embarrassing myself (in my eyes anyway) getting smashed and waking up feeling terrible about myself, so why do I feel like I’m missing that person? When I came here before I had huge FOMO (which is why I said yes to all the nights out) but now I couldn’t care less and I don’t like that I don’t care!! It’s so confusing!

Feeling like this is definitely unexpected and quite unwelcome, but if it’s one thing I’ve learned its to feel my feelings so I’m sitting with this one and seeing where it leads. All part of the ‘journey’ and all that jazz.

More updates to follow.

Oh. Emm. Geeeeeeeeee!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve now finished work for two wonderful weeks and I can’t quite believe it’s here. It’s not sunk in yet, but then it is only 6am the day after my last day of work.

My holiday starts NOW, I can almost feel myself relaxing already knowing I don’t have to think about work for a couple of weeks. In fact, I’ve only got 8 days of work left this year so December is a good month for not turning up to the office 😉

My excitement for just two weeks off is a slightly exaggerated, given that it is just two weeks and not, like, forever, but you’d think I’d won the lottery or something. Saying that, my work colleagues commented on how impressed and surprised they were that I was very restrained and ‘well behaved’ yesterday. I think that translates as I didn’t annoy them with constant talk about having time off, going to Mexico or just general over-exuberance. Good times all round haha!

I’m now allowing myself to get properly excited for my holiday. I was telling my mum that I’ve been really torn between wanting to let the excitement in as time has moved closer to me finishing work and going on holiday but then if I let it in, work would D R A G and be absolutely torturous. I really didn’t want to let myself get to the point I was at before my holiday to Spain as I was moody and miserable and stressed out and making work out to be the devil. Having learned my lesson, I wanted to keep a calm head in work and not turn it into some major issue and somewhere I couldn’t wait to see the back of. The trade-off for this is not feeling all excited and stuff, but there’s time for that yet 🙂

Today I’m getting a bit of pampering done before I jet off to Mexico on Monday involving nails and, ahem, waxing. I’m dropping my car at the garage to get my front tyres replaced and then walking the short distance into town, which saves me paying for parking or a bus ticket- yess!! (strange that I’m seeing that as a massive money-saving bonus when I’m paying nearly £200 for tyres but that’s my brain’s logic for you. Go figure).

I got a voucher from Victoria’s Secret last month to use in December where I can get between £10 and £500 off purchases, but we don’t know how much the voucher is worth until it’s scanned in the store. Can you imagine if it’s £500??!! But even if it’s a tenner, it’s better than nowt so something will be bought there today.

I’m staying at a hotel at the airport tomorrow night for my flight Monday morning and paid for cheap car parking, but this week realised my mistake as I’d booked my exit date too early- I’m not even in the UK on the day I booked to leave the car park. Duh. Problem got sorted though by a lovely girl at the car park’s contact centre so disaster averted. Total muppet or what?

I’ve not blogged too much about the fitness side of things in great detail lately, but the idea of balance has definitely worked. So much so I’ve dropped 5lbs in weight and have toned up loads. The progress pictures have helped keep me on track and served as motivation when I felt like slacking off. The mindless food binges haven’t had much of a look-in (aside from once a few weeks ago when my favourite ice-cream somehow found its way into my shopping trolley and then into my mouth later on. Dunno how that happened) and positive self-talk and self-care has been the name of the game. Guys, this change of self-perception seriously works. I mean, it takes proper work as it doesn’t come naturally and like anything else it’s very easy to slip back into your old ways (so not being mindful about thinking positive about yourself, taking the day-to-day for granted for instance) but with practice I just feel so positive about life in general and not just my body image. I’m still new to it and learning the ropes, but if I feel this good after just 5 weeks of practicing it then who knows where it might lead?

Seeing as I’m now officially on holiday, I’ m starting with a naughty holiday breakfast of nutella on fruit toast with some chopped banana but balancing the naughtiness with a gym session later cuz that’s how I roll nowadays.

 

 

 

More new experiences

Oh what a night! (“….late December back in ’63…”)

Blustery wind, rain and cold brrrrrrrr. My best friend and I paid a visit to the German Christmas market that frequents Leeds every year tonight. They have a beer ‘tent’ which has become legendary as the live band they have there are truly amazing. I say ‘tent’ as it’s more like a proper building which they erect (no smut please) so it’s really sturdy. It’s got some little alcoves along the side and is filled with benches where strangers get together and dance and sing along. It really is brilliant.

image

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It’s also there for the purpose of getting pissed up. They serve strong mulled wine and German beer, as well as traditional German food. This is the last year the beer tent will be there as they’ve had growing complaints from the city centre residents the last few years for the rowdyness and crowds on a Friday and Saturday night.

This has historically been my ‘happy place’ as it was THE best time of year to get totally off my face because everyone else was as smashed as me. Brilliant!

This year was considerably more reserved. My friend and I got in the queue for the 5pm evening session at 3.50pm and. It. Pissed. Down. My God, the heavens opened for about 15 minutes and everyone queueing got well and truly drenched. My boots are old and have holes in the soles so my socks were sodden, but I braved a smile:

image

See?? I’m happy. I’m not cold. I don’t need my toes anyway.

We got in and had a wonderful couple of hours. During the band’s break between sets I just really felt like I’d had my fill of music and beer as it was getting really rowdy and, as we were right at the front, people around us were PISSED so suggested to my friend that I’d quite fancy moving towards the back and maybe head home once we’d finished our drinks.

Turns out neither of us much fancied finishing them so we left them and popped to Sainsburys (a supermarket for those not in the UK) for some bits then she headed off home and I waited for the bus to mine.

Ahhhh, to not be absolutely smashed by the time the band even started was a new one for me. In the past I’ve got there at 10/11am and stayed for the duration, drinking mulled wine and beer till kicking out time at 10.30pm. Yup. You read that right. 12 hours of drinking. Wow.

Not surprising I’ve not remembered leaving the place in recent years. But this time I did 😉

I was happy with the experience of the bands performance and definitely not wanting to be part of the shit-faced massive. As awful as this sounds, I found myself people watching (as I was sober enough to pay attention to this sort of thing this year) and there were so many girls and women dancing all over the place and flailing their arms about. I know that was me before, so there’s a strange judgement I feel towards these women but it’s because I’m actually judging myself for being like that in the past. I’m glad I don’t do that now.

I write this post in bed, having taken my sodden socks off and, I kid you not, rung them out in the sink, before putting some jimjams on with some warm, dry, fluffy bedsocks on and climbing under the duvet.

Personal growth? I definitely think so!!

Thanks

I found out yesterday I didn’t get the job I interviewed for on Wednesday, but I gave it a good crack. The feedback I had from the manager who interviewed me said I gave a really good interview and it was a close run thing between the 3 of us who she saw.

I was honest and said I’d had no time to prepare at all, what with throwing up and all, so I’d really just winged it. She said I did a really good wing, as the other two were prepared to the nth degree to the point they even had the interview questions in front of them that she’d be asking and they’d both been through interviews within the last 4 weeks so had had a bit of practice.

The feedback was both positive and constructive and I left the conversation feeling happy and energised for what the future holds. I had an epiphany that I’ve held myself back from applying for jobs in the past as I’ve talked myself out of going for them because I never believed I could do them.

Now, I’m thankful for getting some interview experience under my belt and, despite the natural nerves, it’s not actally that bad. Even getting told ‘no’ isn’t terrible as I’m lucky enough to be doing a job I’m really great at. The worst thing being it’s a bit too easy at times. Poor me, eh?!

So in the spirit of giving thanks this weekend, I got to thinking this morning of stuff I’m thankful for:

1. My friends. God, they are just brilliant. I had an hour long phone conversation with ‘A’ last night (my old boss) and it was just so funny. We caught up on each others’ work lives and just laughed. It was great.

2. Work. I sometimes have to talk myself into ‘feeling grateful’ but this morning it’s a genuine gratefullness (not sure that’s even a word). As I’ve said above, I’m great at it. I set the benchmark for what great looks like and get recognised for my efforts, so for all my complaining about it, it could be a helluva lot worse. I even enjoy it sometimes (but keep that to yourselves). I could be doing the job I did before this one, getting paid about the same but getting zero recognition, more pressure, and an expectation to perform and deliver at a level that simply isn’t humanly possible. So yeah, I’m so fucking thankful I don’t have to deal with that anymore as well. I’m also grateful for being in the unusually strong position of knowing exactly what job I definitely don’t want to go into, as what I did before is in fact the natural progression for people doing the job I’m doing now (I stepped down from line-management). Fuck yeah!!

3. Holidays. Work pays for these, so thanks to No.2 for this. My company allows us to buy up to an additional week’s holiday each year which I take full advantage of. Mexico is just 9 days away!!! God, seriously, how lucky am I to be able to do this? It’s mental and I totally take it for granted far too frequently.

4. Being physically able to move and train. Exercise and training has been fundamental in repairing my mental health, my self-esteem and my body image. Gone are the days where I’d really have to have a mind – battle with myself at 6am on a Wednesday on whether to go to the gym or not. Nowadays those thoughts are rare and I just get up and go. It doesn’t enter my head not to. And the odd occasion an I-can’t-be-arsed thought pops into my head I ignore it and go to the gym anyway. The end-goal is bigger than the immediate feeling of not wanting to go to the gym, so it wins out.

5. My mental health. Not just the fact I’m ok now but having got depressed in the first place; if that hadn’t happened I’d never have started this incredible journey of self discovery and awareness. I’d never have gained the insight I’ve now got into how our minds work and the things we do to numb ourselves. My emotional intelligence would be nonexistent, so it’s in fact all thanks to be bring depressed that this good stuff ended up happening.

6. My family. This list is in no particular order, I should add. I live 300 miles from my immediate family which I’m so used to now I don’t much notice it. But I do miss seeing my nephew and niece grow up and I’d love to be able to just pop over my sister’s house on an evening for a cuppa as we get on really well. My mum and dad are getting older too so being around them more would make me worry a bit less about them. It’s easy to sometimes forget how important our families are, and us to them, and I’m grateful we get on as there’s lots of families out there who really don’t.

7. This:

I discovered this gem a few years ago from one of my team and OhMyGod how we laughed! One of the girls from my team just posted it on Facebook and tagged me in it, such great memories!!!