Friday, 25 October 2013

Conquering Anxiety

A few weeks ago I met Margaret, a lovely woman who reminds me of Spadge’s mum, after desperately searching online for a hypnotherapist to help me with my uncontrollable binge eating.

Now, I’ve always been an anxious individual, but it was one of those things that only my husband and close family get to see. Externally I don’t like people to think of me as anxious, whether they do or not I don’t know, but there it is. I certainly find it difficult to listen to other people’s anxious whittling because we all have our own problems, but I digress.
Upon running me through the initial consultation, Margaret raised the issue of my anxiety, which was palpable after discussing my eating habits and other aspects of my day to day life, and asked me to take part in a quick measurement test.
I scored a whopping 43 or “severely anxious” and after discussion, decided to try some hypnotherapy to help me alleviate some of the stress.
After two weeks my anxiety level went down to 9 or “barely anxious” and my life is a lot rosier. With less stress, I am more confident, feeling brighter and eating considerably less junk. I am more positive and outgoing and when something bad happens I don’t dwell on it for days. I’m more proactive and generally like to think I’m better company to be around.
I feel like nothing can get in my way, and it was worth every single minute (of relaxation), every single penny and now I wonder how I ever managed before?!
Anxiety disorders effect so many of us and to what end? Life is so much better without it.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Guilt Branding

This is a term I have just invented but I think that it could catch on!
This time of year, guilt branding (I'm going to keep saying it even though you have no idea what it is yet) starts to pop up everywhere, on some of my favourite products. It happens every year but this one occasion particularly enraged me...

It's October; Halloween is yet to approach and I still arrive home after work in time to watch the sun go down. Yet, as soon as I get to the supermarket I'm even more ashamed than usual to fill my basket with these:

And don't get me started on the Baileys packaging.

Deep down we know that these 'luxury items' are intended for gift-giving. They make great stocking fillers and bring families closer together when they share these huge packages of fattening or drunk-inducing treats.

But who the hell says that being drunk and eating chocolate for breakfast can only happen once a year? I buy family sized Toblerones for one all the time, sometimes I'll even let Rick have a piece that I've dropped on the floor a bit, you know like when you can't quite snap it gracefully into a clean break? And with very little guilt. 

This assumptive Christmas packaging just has to stop, especially in a month as early as October. Some of us need this sugary, coma-inducing treatment all year round. I demand a guilt-free-gorge! Who's with me?

*dies alone* 

Saturday, 5 October 2013


It has taken me a lot of courage to write this post. Infertility is a bit of a taboo subject, after all if you have sex, you will get pregnant and die right?! That's what we were taught in school. We spend years trying not to get pregnant, pumping various dangerous drugs into our bodies that cause all sorts of hideous symptoms not to mention what it is probably doing to your body and reproductive system that you can't see on the outside, you would think that when you want to get pregnant it would be easy. STOP RIGHT THERE! Of course some people get pregnant by accident (seems near enough impossible to me!), some get pregnant first time and some take a few months. Let me tell you, for every person that gets pregnant easily there is one that doesn't. The one that takes months, years to conceive. Well thats me. And I never in a million years thought that that would be me, but it is. I'm currently expecting period number 16 since we have been trying. Thats 16 months of unprotected sex with no results. I am left thinking why on earth did I ever take the pill, put up with the headaches, the full body itching, the spots, the breast lumps to name but a few of the problems I had with it. 16 long months of trying for a baby you want so much and getting nowhere. I have seen people get pregnant, give birth and sure enough get pregnant with number 2 in the time I have been trying. That hurts! Don't get me wrong I know there are people out there that have been trying for a lot longer than I have and according to my doctor 16 months is still in the 'normal' timeframe of 18 months but it just gets so frustrating seeing people posting their scan photos on Facebook, relatives getting pregnant in their teens by someone they barely know and new baby photos scattered all over social media. When you want something so much and you honestly don't know if you will ever have it, it hurts. When that thing is a baby it hurts even more. I have always wanted kids, I picked out my future daughter's name about 5 years ago, I always dreamt of taking my kids to the beach to make sand castles and going shopping for cute clothes, helping them with their homework and being there when they cry. At the moment I don't know if that will ever happen and it's the most frustrating and depressing thing in the world. Then there are the 'aren't you two going to have a baby soon?' and 'aren't you broody?' questions from insensitive morons at the dinner table in front of 10 other people. While we are on the subject of insensitive comments, one of the most annoying things you can say to a person who is trying to conceive is 'just relax'. Well thanks for that but the more you tell me to relax, the more wound up I get. 'It will happen when you least expect it' Well right now, I don't expect it at all but so far no luck with that one either! 'You need to be more positive about it' well ok, right now after 16 months I'm not positive about it, but at the beginning I was excited, thinking this time next year we'll have a baby, only it didn't happen that way so no I'm not feeling positive! You see my frustration?!

People just don't understand how hard it is for some people to get pregnant. I recently joined an amazing community of 'TTCers' (TTC=Trying to conceive) on a popular social networking site with hundreds of members going through this struggle and I can tell you I was surprised by the amount of people who are going through the same thing. Young people, older people, healthy people, not so healthy people, it isn't stuck to one type of person. It has really helped me realise I'm not alone and I've made some lovely new friends who understand what it's like and are always there for advice.

There are only a few people who know we are trying as I find it adds more pressure to us the more people that know. The last thing I need is for people to be asking about my womb status every time I see them! I actually find it very embarrassing too as getting pregnant should be a pretty easy thing to do and people just don't seem to get it!

So the next thing for us is various tests to see what the problem is, if a problem comes up we will be referred to the fertility clinic after 18 months of trying for even more tests. Luckily for men there's only one test they can do, unlucky for me there are a lot more tests that can be done on women. I can't say I'm looking forward to that!

Here are a few tips for anyone trying to conceive……

*Keep it to yourself as much as possible, the less people know the less stress for you.
*Keep yourself busy in the 2 week wait.
*Try not to get too obsessed over having sex at the right time.
*Try to keep things romantic in the bedroom, if sex is just about having a baby it's going to get stressful and unenjoyable very quickly.
*Try to have sex throughout your cycle and not just on the days you can get pregnant.
*Eat healthily, take vitamins, drink water, exercise.
*Use ovulation predictor tests, they are great for knowing when/if you are ovulating.
*Don't do a pregnancy test every month. I know a lot of people who test every month and get disappointed, wait for your period to arrive, it's disappointing but not as bad as seeing the words 'not pregnant' flash up on the screen! Remember your period is a free pregnancy test!
*If you're are not pregnant after a year, see a doctor. They will arrange tests to be done, usually starting with a sperm analysis and blood test to see if you're ovulating. Don't put it off, waiting lists for fertility clinics are long apparently!