Category Archives: Teenage Life

Let’s Talk About … Anxiety in a Relationship

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I would like to branch into another topic to do with anxiety and that is being in a relationship. I feel like anxiety as a whole is a massive subject and no one ever really realizes the consequences it can have on different areas of their lives until it happens to them, much like this one. Therefore, similar to my blog post about Anxiety ft. Prom, I thought I would enter another subject that many teenagers go through but how anxiety is effected by it, or what it can cause. At the age of 16, I have a few friends who are in relationships and some who aren’t, and it’s kind of  a running joke that I will forever be single, but very recently I have entered a new one, (for the first time in nearly 2 years!). I sound so much like Bridget Jones, it’s not even funny! Anyway, taking my current relationship and my previous one into account, I will now press on with the blog post.

 Anxiety is something that, despite having it for so long and being able to write quite openly about on here, I struggle to speak about with people face-to-face. Even to my counsellor, which he’s still coming to terms with as I am usually such a chatty, bubbly person! It either takes a very long time for me to speak about my anxiety to you, or I have to whisper to you one-on-one, in the dark about it – I just have this mental block to talk about it! I think this is quiet common, but if I’m entering a relationship, I want that person to at least acknowledge my wavelength and how I think, even if they can’t do anything about it. I just want my partner to be aware of it, before I have a panic attack or hyperventilate and they have no idea why, and I can’t physically explain it. I would love to be able to sit down with someone and be like ‘I feel like this sometimes…’ or ‘sometimes I might go quiet; this means that..’, but the words don’t form in my mouth. I literally feel as if anxiety punishes me for speaking out about it, which is really weird to get your head around if you don’t suffer from a mental health issue, I know, but even typing it is making my heart beat that little bit faster. This kind of thing doesn’t have to be in a romantic relationship, it can also be in a family relationship/friendship.

With my first boyfriend, I don’t remember exactly telling him that I had anxiety, but I was filled with paranoia and stress throughout the whole thing, and even after. This wasn’t really helped with the fact that 3 weeks after me he got with this drop-dead gorgeous girl, and I was kind of like the ‘ex that shouldn’t have been’! After our relationship, we kept in contact, but knowing what he was like, I was still really cautious when he told me the certain things I wanted to hear. He was my first love, but the amount of stress he caused me just wasn’t worth it! Every time I met up with him I had a panic attack, and that drained me so much, but it was something he never really understood, even when he was diagnosed with clinical depression himself.

However, with this new boyfriend, I know I can tell him anything, which helps a lot with my type of anxiety. As I’ve found with my counsellor, I like to talk my ideas out (surprise, surprise!) and even just one niggling thought ends up being tracked years and years back. We are so similar to the point where I know he understands my train of thought and why I do things the way I do them – he told me yesterday that he noticed it way before we got together! I’ve never met someone who can read me so well, and knowing that my ideas aren’t entirely unheard of (one of the main reasons I don’t talk about them) really does help to reassure me. Yes, there are still difficult points where I’m paranoid, but he knows I mean it when I say it’s all in my head. If you have anxiety, you need to find someone like this! If I’m feeling anxious, he can calm me and reassure me to the point where I can laugh again – that has honestly never happened before! I need this kind of stability and reassurance in my life, particularly with everything that has happened recently.

I’ve never gone dating, but even the idea of it terrifies me. Just the idea of meeting someone and having to tell them some stuff about me but not all of it, and wondering what the important parts are about him and myself, and thinking about what to wear or to eat – nah, you’re alright! If there was ever a point where I had to date, which I hopefully won’t, I have no idea how I would cope. On a general night out I get so worked up as it is, even if it’s with people I know! I just overthink everything: every movement, every gesture, every tone of voice, every piece of eye contact and everything I could possibly dare to do myself.

So, taking all these into account, I have a few little tips if you are the person in the relationship with anxiety, because when you finally decide to open up and share your life, there’s a lot to adjust to:

  • Only do what you feel comfortable with; whether this is just choosing who you date or in a sexual way, people seem to think we’re quiet easy to manipulate or twist into their way of thinking. Obviously there’s a good form of manipulation, but it’s the people who start to control and run your life for you that become the ones that are hardest to physically leave. Speak to the person you want to speak to, not the person who wants to speak to you.
  • It’s okay to ask for reassurance; everyone’s a little bit paranoid and everyone’s going to overthink at least once in their lives, so it’s 100% fine to ask your boy/girlfriend what they’re thinking. They may appear fed up of it after a while, but your anxiety is a part of you, and if they want you badly enough, they will accept and adjust to your anxiety just as your entire life has been.
  • Talk to them about it; I know it sounds really generic, but if you form an emotional bond with someone and you feel comfortable with them (as they do you) then they will happily let you speak about it. I’ve never been the outsider in this situation, but I’m sure people wonder what the bloody hell is going through my head, so let them know what is going on in there! Mine’s kind of coming out in little spurts at the moment, but these bite-size chunks are much easier for my boyfriend to handle, I’ve discovered. For me it’s also a lot easier than opening a 1000-page book filled with all the different thoughts I have in a second! This is kind of down to you and how you decide to tackle the situation, but it’s definitely worth it. Also, if you’re having deep chats, common courtesy doesn’t allow someone to just get up and leave!

I also thought I’d attempt to write some tips for the other person in the relationship if they don’t have anxiety because trust me when I say I know how difficult it is to deal with! Both people in the relationship should be accounted for in order for it to remain happy and healthy:

  • Be patient; I wouldn’t expect your partner to start dating you and immediately be like ‘I have anxiety…’, ‘welcome to the world of paranoia!’ because it’s just as scary to talk about as it is to hear. If that person feels safe enough with you and comfortable in your company, they will naturally start drip-feeding little things, like ‘I’m not keen on going here because it tends to be crowded’. It may be subtle, it may be quite obvious, but just let the person talk about what they want at their own pace.
  • Find the things that calm them; I haven’t had a panic attack in front of my boyfriend yet, but I’m still trying to look for things I can show him that he can use on me when that time comes. Some people like being held, some like colouring in, others like sitting in a corner on their own – that’s up to you and your partner to find what works best and how to adapt to the different situations you may be placed in.
  • Enjoy the good times; for both people in the relationship, I’m sure anxiety isn’t that easy to speak about, so don’t become paranoid that just going out for a drink or to the cinema will suddenly cause a panic attack. It does depend on your partner and their level of anxiety, but if they reassure you that they’re going to be fine, they don’t need you constantly worrying next to them! I know it sounds really harsh, but accept the good times, and use it to remind them that life’s good and they’re doing really well.

And I think that’s it! I hope you have been able to take something from this blog post – although writing this hasn’t been easy, I really hope it’s worthwhile by helping you, whichever person you happen to be in the relationship. I’m really sorry that this is a day late, but it also means that tomorrow’s blog post will be uploaded Friday instead and then the usual blog post on Sunday. Sorry, I’m kind of on stress overload at the moment!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Friday,

Rachel xx

Anxiety ft. Prom (Before)

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I will be chatting to you about my social anxiety and how I think it will be affected by my school’s up-coming prom. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts about my anxiety, you will know it’s something I’ve struggled with for nearly 10 years and that I’m not seeking attention or sympathy; it’s literally just to document it and let you know, should you be going through it yourself, that you’re not alone.

Initially, I wasn’t going to bother going to prom. In my group of friends everyone had a partner to go with who isn’t in a relationship, and we had all decided to go in two’s then meet at the venue and re-group there. There’s one couple in my group and one person that already knew he wasn’t going, so I did have a little bit of a selection, but it turns out everyone had sorted it before I asked. I just didn’t want to third-wheel everyone and think of all the possibilities of what everyone would be thinking if I was to do just that. I was also struggling with the loss of both of my grandparents (as I still am, but I’m a bit further along the line of grieving now) and it was something we had always spoken about as a three; my Granny had even designed my prom dress whilst she was staying in her cancer hospital! I couldn’t face the day without them and I didn’t want to have to cope with the dress shopping and the different fears that arose from that.

In January, I was actually asked to prom by someone who I liked and did like me back, and I actually looked forward to prom. It would’ve definitely cheered my mood up and kept my mind off my grandparents, but it turned out he was on holiday for prom (something we only found out when the date for it came out after he asked me). I guess it wasn’t meant to be and it was only a few weeks after so I hadn’t been dreaming about it for too long, but you know what I’m like: a massive daydreamer who can’t help but wish! Once again, I decided not to go to prom because it really set me back and there’s still some people that think we’re going together, so that’s kind of awkward to explain after all this time! Anyone with anxiety will understand the kind of effect this could have on someone. Despite all this, I still had an idea of prom and the dress I wanted, so, after much convincing from my friends, I decided to pay my deposit. I did have a lot of time speaking to my counsellor about this, as well, who has assured me he will get the deposit back should I change my mind again (can you tell how indecisive I am?!).

I’m now going with two of my closest friends who have, luckily, already sorted out their transport, so I don’t have to stress about that! I’m really excited to go now, because I know them and their families so I don’t need to worry about anything (these are the kind of things that really trigger my anxiety!). I’ve also seen the car we’re going in, and it’s a gorgeous vintage American car (I don’t know actual names of cars, sorry!) in a beautiful aqua blue. One thing that I knew I didn’t want to go in was a limo because I know I would struggle to get in and out of it, particularly in heels and a dress! My only fear is that these friends are like 9-10 inches taller than me, but they’re having smaller heels on their shoes than me so the height difference will decrease slightly. I am very short and it’s something that can’t be helped, but I still wonder what people will be thinking. This is added to the fact they’ve got darker dresses and mine will look much brighter than it already does next to them!

Unlike everyone else might’ve thought, dress shopping was something I was really worried about. I love clothes and I love normal shopping and I know what suits me (which isn’t long ballgowns!). However, after looking in a couple of shops I managed to find one that I actually like and feel comfortable in (and, most importantly, not too conscious of). I think it’s a loose-fitting fishtail shape, but it’s quite tight from the waist to the mid-thigh, then it flows out slightly. I did try on a loose-ish fishtail beforehand and loved it on me, so I knew I wanted something like that. It really brings out my small waist and curvy hips, which I wanted. However, you can see my stomach when I wear it, which I don’t like, so I’ll have to wear a corset or something underneath. It’s red (I was initially looking for dark red/burgundy, but this is a nice red, particularly with a tan!) so it might draw attention to me, but half the people there are going to be girls all wearing different dresses, meaning not too much attention will be on me. It has a skin-toned mesh-style side bit which is kind of like those monochrome dresses that were on trend a few years ago; they’re on the sides of the body so it accentuates the waist and hips even more. This is decorated with champagne beads and pearls, so I’m getting accessories to match that. There’s also quite a big hole hole in the back (there’s a clasp at the neck and it re-fastens with a zip in the centre of my back), so I’m going to have to go bra-less, but it has enough structure to support me. It does look stunning, but I’m now trying to tone my bum as it does look quite big in the dress! I also bought it from a place called Tiffany’s, which has a sentimental place in my heart, so it had to be!

The first shop I actually went to was way too posh for me. The lady who helped me was lovely but I didn’t feel comfortable or confident in there, resulting in me not feeling that way about any of the dresses I tried on. The fishtail I fell in love with in there was covered in too many jewels and I didn’t really like that look, so I just took inspiration from that. In the second shop I went into (Tiffany’s) I felt much more comfortable, there was less people in there and the woman was really genuine about the dresses I tried on and the one I eventually bought. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling really anxious so if I appeared stroppy or ungrateful or in anyway rude, I’m really sorry. That’s something else I fear when I’m having an anxious day, because I know I can appear that way.

So, finally, onto the day itself. I just hope I don’t trip over, I look alright, my dress doesn’t get caught anywhere, I don’t have a nip slip, no one thinks I’m putting this all on, no one looks at me for an extended period of time, no one slags me off, no one thinks I’m drawing attention to myself, no one thinks I’ve used my inheritance money just on a dress, I keep it together, I don’t have a panic attack, I don’t get tired, there aren’t any confrontations, I don’t get called on stage, no one tries to dance with me, no one asks me where my previous date was etc. Sorry if you’ve passed out from that extremely long sentence, but all that and more is what goes through my head in a second, and not just about prom! I’ll probably think of more as I get closer to the day but that’s it for now. Hopefully, if none of that happens, I’ll have a nice night!

And there we have it! I hope you have been able to take something from this blog post – I will be writing a follow up of this (hence the ‘before’) after prom just to let you know how it goes and, hopefully, prove that none of those bad things will happen if you’re worrying about the same thing. I’ve got just under 14 weeks left until prom, so that’s all the more time to worry and panic about it!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

Let’s Talk About … Losing Someone To Cancer

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I will be talking to about Losing Someone To Cancer. This is something that I’ve wanted to write for a while now because it has happened, very sadly, to me a few times, and the chances are it will happen to everybody at some point in their lives. Obviously this is a fact I want to refuse to believe wholeheartedly, but it’s something we physically can’t escape. Anyway, I’ll just be talking you through my experiences and how to ease the pain a little bit, though it is one of the hardest things to go through, other than having going through it yourself I’m guessing.

My first encounter with cancer was 11 years ago when I was 5 years old. My granddad, after a while of back pain, was diagnosed with bone cancer and died 3 weeks later. He was a chronic alcoholic and smoked like a chimney, so I guess it wasn’t much of a shock, especially with his consistent complaining of back pain. Because of this I never really knew him and don’t remember him much, if at all, but this is what I’ve been told. The thing that upset me about this is that I constantly question the ‘what ifs’ and it’s little things like I’ll never know the sound of his voice: he was born on the Isle of Man but he grew up in London, so I could guess what it was like but it wouldn’t be anywhere near accurate. I don’t remember being told he had cancer or that he’d died, I just remember a time ‘before’ and ‘after’, which I suppose is a positive, but I think the timings were so close they just merged together anyway. Sometimes my Dad will tell me little things about him, but he isn’t on my mind constantly because I didn’t really know him. When he was alive, he spent most of his time in the pub. That doesn’t mean I’m not sad when I think about him, but I do wonder if he would’ve been the exact same as he was 12 years ago, before the cancer, as what he would be if he was still alive now. I think it was so far along he didn’t even have any treatment, or have the time to think about it, but it has led to me being very aware of cancer being this death sentence-like illness. I feel more sorry for my cousins who were around 10 and 12 at the time, as they obviously knew him a lot more than what I did.

A similar thing happened to my great uncle a couple of years ago; he was diagnosed with cancer and died a week later. This was the first funeral I actually cried at, because it was so unexpected and it was my Nan’s younger brother so it wasn’t in the ‘correct order’, if you like. It was a massive shock and he died a couple of days after my parents split up, so all these emotions were just mixed together. It’s so sad, but he wasn’t expected to live past 21 due to some issues he had, yet he survived 3 times that, so he did have a good life and I did know him. However, it was distant family so in some respects it didn’t effect me as much.

The most recent thing that has happened to me is the passing of my grandmother, and this is what I will go into most detail about. Even though it’s still raw and I literally think I’m going to cry as I write this sentence, it’s still something I feel should be spoken about. In May of last year my grandmother starting getting back pain, but at first she thought it was just her not being able to get comfortable in a seat or whatever, and wouldn’t tell anyone (not even my granddad). In July-ish time she started getting tested and the week after her brother’s funeral (how timely) she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with secondary in the liver. I’m going to be completely honest, we weren’t shocked as both of her younger siblings had died from cancer (her sister died of the exact same type of cancer as her when I was 6 months old). I never really thought that she’d definitely get cancer because of her chances, but it didn’t surprise me too much. Obviously it upset me, but it just didn’t overly shock me.

At first we were told it was ‘inoperable’, and that it would just be controlled and shrunk with chemotherapy. Being the positive person I am, I kind of took this as ‘she’s getting help’, ‘aren’t we so lucky to have such amazing healthcare’ etc. but quite quickly things didn’t seem right. My mum, my brother, her ex and some other’s went on holiday for a week in the summer and when we came back, she had lost so much weight that it was crazy and I just couldn’t believe it. When you hugged her, you could feel her spine and suddenly her usual pink lipstick was no longer complimenting her tanned skin; it just made her look paler. When I stayed with her that summer just before she was diagnosed, we were joking around with her wedding dress because I’d never seen it before, but it wouldn’t do up because she was something ridiculous like a size 8 when she got married (!) but very quickly she managed to phone up and tell me she could now fit in her dress where she’d lost so much weight. The original memory is one that I will honestly treasure, but it’s still dimmed with that line she said to me. I had never seen my granddad so stressed, trying his hardest to give her all the medication he could, and that’s when he turned back to alcohol (this isn’t the one that died 11 years ago, if that wasn’t before obvious!).

She was struggling with the chemo and it made her really constipated, meaning the only way things could leave her body was by throwing it all back up. I bet she’s looking down at me wishing I hadn’t written that, but I want to just fully document this! This meant she lost her appetite very quickly and lost weight even more. She was then sent to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey (I’m not from there which is why I’m quite happy to share that with you), which is a specialist cancer hospital. I know I’m not exactly an expert on cancer hospitals, but as far as general hospitals go, it was really nice. She shared a ward with three other women, some of whom were discharged to go into hospices and others who were at the end of their treatment and getting better. I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like, basically looking at your future, but she was still so happy when we went to visit her. She was in there for around a month and was sometimes allowed out on special visits with us or when she went to visit my granddad before he died (unlike everyone else, he didn’t die of cancer!).

She was released just under a week after my granddad died and received a live-in carer who was one of the kindest women I’ve ever met. Very suddenly she’d seemed to have lost even more weight in hospital and would sometimes update me or my mum what her weight was (her lowest weight was 6 stone something, but she was 5 foot 3, so it’s not exactly rocket science to know that wasn’t healthy). Most of the time we could chat fine, and we’d speak about things like college and my up-coming prom, neither of us realising she won’t be there to see it. She was over the moon to find out I was accepted for A Levels, though! This kind of life gradually progressed, and a lot of my October/November was spent visiting her and caring for her on weekends when her carer couldn’t due to family arrangements. She became a lot more emotional (well, wouldn’t we all) and she was put on some anti-depressants just to mellow her out a bit, which would work to the point where we could leave the house and have a really nice time. Something I noticed quite significantly was how tired she became. I guess I never realised it until it was forced into my system, but we’d go out for the morning/early afternoon, then go home so she’d nap and she’d only come down when we’d made dinner. I remember one weekend we went to the garden centre, and even though she’d been reduced to a wheelchair, we were still looking at the Christmas displays and talking about the different colours and themes we would make with all the stock they had. It was a very nice garden centre, I will admit! It felt as if I had her back, even if it was for a few hours.

All of this did feel like a dream and I did put on such a brave face for her, though before, after and during I would cry  before I went to sleep just so I had some release, but wouldn’t upset anyone else. I felt as if I’d already lost her before she did physically pass because my fun-loving, kitchen-queen grandmother was now this skinny, pale woman who had to washed, fed and sat in her armchair all day until someone came to visit her. Seeing someone change so dramatically is so much harder than the actual loss. I never really got used to that version of my grandmother, because I did know it was only temporary and wouldn’t take up the majority of my memories with her.

At the end of November, her cancer was diagnosed as terminal and she was given 6 months to live. Two weeks later she died. She’d started having these falls, which I still believe was just due to her becoming much weaker and more fragile and not being able to hold her weight. Anyway, there came a morning where she woke up and had such terrible pain she just went to bathroom. Her carer (who wasn’t her usual carer, it was a temporary one) didn’t know what to do, but my grandmother fell to the floor in pain and asked for an ambulance. The paramedics had to carry her downstairs to where her shower was and wash her down as she sat on floor. I’ve been in that bathroom and the toilet faces the shower so I have sometimes sat there envisioning what happened, though I know I shouldn’t.

This was when the hospital bed was moved in. She hadn’t really had time to decide whether she wanted to go to a hospice or not, but she wasn’t keen on the one we’d viewed as a family, so we let her die at home as she would’ve wanted could she verbally say. My mum and her girlfriend went up to her’s that day and apparently she slept in her hospital bed in the living room all day, only waking up to watch a little bit of Strictly. People went in to visit her, not that she knew. She died at 1 in the morning in her original carer’s arms. She had formed such an unlikely friendship with her carer that when we told Rose she was dying, she knew she had to be there. The only reason she wasn’t there was because her own mum had died the week before. And then the usual funeral plans were arranged, and two and a half months after my granddad’s death, they were reunited once more.

The last time I saw her it was her birthday, 8 days before she died. It was a good day. If any of you have experienced losing someone to cancer, you will know that a good day means they ate all their chips on their plate and only had to top-up their morphine a couple of times. We went out for a meal, and despite being the smallest I’d seen her, ate a small main course and a desert – better than I did, anyway! The waitresses there were lovely and took care of her needs, ushering us to the nearest table so we didn’t have to walk so far and offering us free extra water so she could take her pills with us. She loved it, we all did. I just hate the fact I left earlier than I could’ve because I had a party to go to. I know she wanted me to go out and have fun, but I’m going to go to however many parties in my lifetime. I’ll never hear her voice again. I remember she loved Dexter that day though!

So in terms of tips and such, just allow yourself to cry. I still haven’t properly because I’ve been so busy with school, but just let yourself do that. I still haven’t really got over my granddad yet, and that was in October. Just don’t do what I did/am doing, because I know once my exams are done it’s going to hit me really hard.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk about it. If someone asks how you’re doing, don’t say the generic ‘yeah’, because we all know it’s not true. Just pull your closest friend aside and be like ‘I’m going to talk to you, you don’t have to respond, I just need to have another human hear my words’. It’s worked for me many a time!

And finally, live your life as they would’ve wanted you to. Stuff happens, but it is how you overcome it that determines where you end up. My grandmother died of cancer, that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my passions (i.e. blogging and media) and that certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to limit myself. Chances are I’m going to get cancer, so I’m going to do all those things I want to and give anyone who wants to argue with that a good talking to because it’s my life! But don’t go as revolutionary as I am!

And there we have it. I’m not going to hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I’m going to hope that you have taken something from this and have been inspired to share your own story surrounding cancer. We still act as if it’s a massive taboo, but it happens and there’s no stopping that. I really want you to share your story because I do kind of feel like there’s a weight off my shoulders after saying all that, so it may be the same for you.

So, thank you for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

My Cartilage Piercing

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I would like to chat to you about my cartilage piercing, which I literally had done earlier today (Saturday). This is something I’ve wanted for over a year now and I kept putting it off because of the pain so I thought I would just explain my experience to you guys to relax you or just reassure you of what will actually happen. Rest assured, I absolutely love it and it was much more of a positive experience than negative.

Before I got it done I was so so nervous. I haven’t had a great experience with my original lobe piercings because it really hurt and I ended up getting loads of infections over the years and finding out I’m allergic to this, that and the other. I do feel this has educated me well enough to safely keep this one in, though. I was also really scared of the pain because the cartilage, in theory, is going to be much thicker than your lobes because it’s the thing that hold’s your ears structure, at the end of the day. My friend who’d already had his done was also very much enjoying scaring me at the process of having it done, and even in school last week was telling me it would ache so bad because I have ‘particularly vein-y ears’. Don’t ask! The stubbornness in me, though, kind of made me want to do it some more because he’d said that. I also advise you to do your research about different places in your area you can have it done; basically, don’t go to the first place you find. If done wrong, the cartilage can shatter, hit a nerve and paralyse you, so it’s worth doing your research beforehand! This was something else my friend really enjoyed scaring me about!

Please ignore my tangles of hair! This was when it was first done, hence the redness.

But despite these points, I really wanted it done and Saturday morning I woke up and just decided I wanted to do it. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve wanted it done for ages and I asked my Mum to put some money aside she would’ve otherwise spent on other birthday presents for if/when I got the nerve to get it done. I was very much set on having it done on Saturday and I’m a really ‘now or never’ kind of person, so when the place I initially wanted to get it done told us their piercer-person wasn’t in, I started to get a little bit nervous. I then headed to my local Claires and decided to get it done there.

My friend had got his done there, but told me that using a gun as opposed to the needle could cause the paralysation so the lovely woman who did it and my Mum had to really convince me and I went for it! The lady drew 4 dots on my cartilage so I had some choice and it was done so quickly! Better yet, I hardly felt it! I got a 3mm aquamarine stud which goes really well with my everyday orange studs (I’m not going to get into that now!). I wasn’t in there for much more than 10 minutes I’d say, which is pretty good for a Saturday morning. I was so chuffed though and only really felt it once it was in and it became really hot when the blood rushed to it, like normal piercings do. I genuinely think it hurt less than my lobes, which I really wasn’t prepared for! I think because I was preparing myself for the worst, it seemed easier once it was done.

This is my ear on the Wednesday (yesterday) morning. It’s healing really well, so much so that I can now sleep on it with very little pain, though it can become red in the morning, as you can tell!

It’s still really sore to the touch and I can feel it’s heat against my head even now, but I am so in love with it! It’s one of those things where I seriously wish I’d done it earlier. I’ve been given all the aftercare stuff for the next 8 weeks so I should be able to change earrings in April-ish time and be all prepared for prom! One of my biggest fears was getting away with it for school but I’m hardly in PE because that’s when I have my counselling sessions and that’s the only time I have my hair up. Also, I have my first exam in May – I’m sure they want me more than I want them by this point!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I love updating you on little life bits, so if you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below. If you have your cartilage pierced, let me know what it was like for you or if you want yours done, please let me convince you! I cannot rate it highly enough, I absolutely adore it! For more information on Claires Ear Piercing specifically, you can click HERE.

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Sunday,

Rachel xx

Surviving Valentine’s Day Alone

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today, to mark my most *favourite* time of the year, I thought I would write a blog post for all my single ladies out there who, like myself, will be spending Valentine’s Day alone. This isn’t the first Valentine’s Day I’ve spent alone, it’s the 16th, so I’m thinking that if I’ve manged to survive it so far, you can too! Despite only yesterday being my birthday and being surrounded by family, today I feel officially alone because my Mum and her girlfriend have gone away and I’m house-sitting. I’ve got all the fun of the fair tonight, though, and here’s some tips of how you can do the same!

Movie Night


One of my favourite things in the colder months is having a Movie Night, which I think we can all agree with on some level. This is so much so that I’m just having a Movie Day with my friends to celebrate my birthday this weekend, because we all lack that kind of social concept of leaving the house! My film of choice tends to be one of the three Bridget Jones films because it does really embrace being single and the fact that it’s more than okay. I went to go see Bridget Jones’ Baby in the cinema in September and loved it, so it is more than likely I will be curling up with my dogs on the sofa with my duvet and fully embracing my life of freedom (and loneliness) whilst watching it! I also love a good comedy, one of my all-time favourites is Notting Hill starring Hugh Grant or Daddy’s Home with Will Ferrell. If you have the house to yourself, like me, you should 100% take advantage of that!

Pamper Night


Another thing I love to do every so often is a Pamper Night, and this successfully takes my mind off my singleness or any other stresses I may have. This is like a full-blown ritual for me as and when I have the time, so you can include more or less of the following steps to your discretion. I firstly love to run myself a bubble bath fairly early and have a nice half an hour-ish soak whilst reading my book. I’m currently reading All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and I’ve never fallen for a book so hard! This is one of my new-found favourite things to do! I know in the picture I have included Butterbear from the Lush Christmas Collection, but my friend gave it to me and I still haven’t gotten round to using it! I will though, I promise! I then get out and put on some really cosy pyjamas or a baggy onesie before lighting some candles (please be careful whilst doing this!) and cosy-ing up with my dogs on the sofa. On Pamper Night’s, I’m more likely to stream YouTube videos onto the TV and watch them that way. You’re going to think I’m ridiculous for saying this, but I’m still trying to get through people’s Vlogmas videos! I had such a busy end of the year I couldn’t watch them all, so now is my catch up time! I will then paint my nails or do a little face mask/treatment to treat myself and fully allow myself to relax, though this can differ per night. I will soon be uploading a blog post about how to pamper yourself on a budget, so just bear with for that one!

Takeaway and Friends Night

Finally, another one of my all-times favourites! As much as I enjoy cooking for myself and being alone, I do wholeheartedly love a takeaway, and my friends even more so. We tend to order pizza, but I also love a Chinese or an Indian, and because I live near the sea, Fish & Chips is always a good idea! I love being surrounded by my friends if I’m feeling particularly down because they do really help to bring me back up and running. When my friends and I get together, we really do have a laugh and spending Valentine’s doesn’t just have to be with a boyfriend/girlfriend, it can also be with friends without necessarily being judged!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – a lot of these things you can combine to create one amazing night, but I like simple ideas and simple nights! Let me know how you love to spend Valentine’s Day if you are single or what you’re ‘chill time’ tends to consist of! I would’ve uploaded a makeup-y blog post for tonight, but I didn’t really schedule my posts very well and I never got around to it. Next year though, I promise!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Thursday,

Rachel xx

Three Simple Ways To Cheer Yourself Up

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I will be sharing with you Three Simple Ways To Cheer Yourself Up, all of which have been tried and tested and are seriously loved. It’s no lie that in this day and age we are constantly surrounded by negativity and sometimes that can really hit home for some of us. This has become apparent to me at certain points, especially to do with my exams and revision stress, so if you are in a similar situation, just remember it’s 100% more than okay to take some time out for yourself and complete these things below. These can all be adapted to whatever situation you are in and shouldn’t contain anything too financially stretching so it’s available and accessible for everyone. These are also super relaxing so should hopefully de-stress you as well.

Singing in a Bubble Bath

This is one I do nearly every night as it is! It doesn’t matter your singing ability, most people love to do it and if it’s something that cheers you up, just go for it! I personally love to chill in a bubble bath and doze into my own little world and singing actually helps me do this in the same way listening to music does. If playing the radio or a playlist super loudly also helps, then you do that! It just takes my mind out of any stressful situation I have just been in and prepares me for bed time! This is where my love for jazz music really takes hold and everyone in my family knows about it!

Completing a Hobby in a Quiet/Serene Place

This is something I don’t get the chance to do that often at this time of year because it is still really cold, but in the summer it is one of the things I genuinely look forward to! I live in the South of England and have done for most of my my life, yet fairly regularly I still find new spots to meet friends or just really Instagram-worthy places you wouldn’t expect from my village! There are quite a lot of countryside-y  and seaside places that are really quiet so I like to take a book or my laptop for writing and just chill out there. This is perfect for me at the moment because I’m 15, have quite a lot of independence and with the addition of study leave, I have about 12 weeks off this summer so have plenty of time to do it as and when I want. It will really make you appreciate the place you live in and cheer you up/relax you.

Having a Night In With Friends

My final tip is one I do a lot when I’m feeling low because my friends are the people I can always rely on! I actually did this of the night my Grandma died (the most joyous of events!) because I was on my own and two of my closest friends came over for pizza and it was a really good night! Whether it’s with food or movies or games, friends are the people you can trust to be there for you, especially at these times! If you are a very people person, this will be ideal for you, but if you are a little bit more introverted, the top two options could be more applicable to you. Just do what makes you happy because there are certain times where it’s okay to be slightly selfish and have things how you want them. Treat yourself, because there could come a time where you can no longer make the time for it!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I love writing chatty, lifestyle ones so let me know what other’s you would like to see from that kind of genre. Also, don’t forget to let me know your tips to cheer you up so that I can try them for myself or which ones you like from the little selection I’ve written for you!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

Her Success Is Not Your Failure

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I thought I would talk to you about my new-found favourite quote ‘Her Success Is Not Your Failure’. This is one I’ve only found recently but it immediately stemmed about a thousand different thoughts in my head that I thought I would share with you. I literally found it at a time in which I needed it the most and I do find it quite applicable to my current life situation, but it can be heard and thought of in any stage of life.

This quote resonated with me a lot at this point in my life because I am currently studying and revising for my exams in the summer and the mocks I am undergoing at this moment in time. I am naturally a high achiever; I don’t want 10 A* or anything like that, but I really do want to reach my full potential in terms of my grades and my coursework. Some of these things I’ve worked towards for 11/nearly 12 years so, of course, it’s going to mean a lot to me, and it will also determine my future. However, there are some subjects I am quite concerned about and, I’ve found, that during school if you’re whole class does badly on a test you just think ‘meh, no one else has done well so I won’t be singled out’. I am very guilty of that, as I’m sure many people are! I have now found, though, that it literally doesn’t matter whether this person or that person has/hasn’t failed or whether only 10 people turned up to after school revision, it will impact you and you only. This is a point which has stressed me out to the max.!

Anyway, linking that back to the quote, I am struggling a lot in my 3 Science’s at the moment (just as an example). I’m in the highest set and I did feel quite honoured to be chosen for that because there’s literally 20 of us who were chosen to do it. Unfortunately, life has got in the way these past few years which has impacted my learning and so my general understanding of the subjects (particularly Physics and Chemistry). Basically, I am falling behind and it is seriously bringing me down. I’m still expected to pass which is (in the grand scheme of things) good enough for me but when nearly everyone else in the class is expected A’s/A*’s, it really does make you stand out and just feel like you shouldn’t be in that class. I am now, in turn, revising my tiny, little brain off and yesterday, as a little insight, I revised for 7 hours solid just on Chemistry. All that useful crude oil knowledge is now somewhere in my brain floating around ready to get lost in the great abyss again! Basically, I shouldn’t be stressing myself out this much but I still push on because I want to prove people wrong and if people do achieve much, much higher than me, I’m going to feel really disappointed in myself. I’m just contradicting the quote, I realise that, I’m sorry!

But whether it’s your exams, work, relationships, whatever, we are all going through the same thing. We still feel terrible despite all the work we put in for a mediocre end result and want desperately what everyone else has. Just think, you may not have got the promotion at work but you still go home to a loving family each night, which some people may not have. Despite not having the best Science grades, I still receive hot dinners every single night without fail. Your work colleagues, classmates or just general people in the world may not have that, so we are all lucky in our own respects and there will always be time to try again. I’m going to be honest with you, I hate Science with a passion because I don’t understand anything anymore, my brain literally just shuts down, but the promise of no longer having to do it in 4 and a half months is keeping me going! There is a light at the end of every tunnel and you are, and will always be, your own individual you – no one goes through your life or sees things through your eyes other than you. Trust me when I say this, you are doing great, you are living another day and you are worth each and every little bit of success you achieve, whether that’s a pay rise, a new fridge or just finishing that little piece of homework you have left! You are worth it and just remember you will succeed in your world, not anyone else’s. I think that, in itself, meant more to me than anything else.

And there we have it! I hope you enjoyed this blog post – got a bit deep towards the end but I love writing these chatty, life-y blog posts which, hopefully, benefit you! Let me know what your story behind this quote is or what other quotes are inspiring you right now because they are my biggest guilty pleasure!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx