Blogmas: My Pain Day (Dec week 1)

The guide

On twitter, two things have been going around recently; first is the above guide for pain, and second the #MyPainDay diaries tag. Upon request, and being a spoonie blog apt for awareness, I have decided to contribute over here.

This above guide is SO important. Many disabled and chronically ill folk play down pain BIG TIME. Regardless of if I complain at all or constantly, I can guarantee, I do this a lot, and many of my friends I’ve made in the community have admitted to doing this too. Hearing this from others and seeing this chart was very validating of my pain, and I’ve really been using it to ground myself recently. Yes, you are in pain, yes, you can complain. Do not invalidate your pain.

So, here goes the very short (in the sense of it only having 2 days) week 1 diary:

Friday 1st November.

7:30 am. Fibro’s catching up with me… getting out of bed this morning feels like a chore and I’m struggling to breathe. I’ve had hours and hours of uninterrupted sleep (thank god for my new sedative medication) but have woken up exhausted, in pain, struggling. After my slow attempt at getting ready, a sigh carries out of the house with m ready to take on the day. The cold has embraced my joints and the excruciating pain is killing me slowly, fast, all at once. Mostly, I’m exhausted. I feel guilty for being exhausted since the rest of my work team worked until midnight and I finished at good ol’ 5:30pm last night, but opening the shop 3 days in a row has totally caught up with me and I feel like sleeping for eternity. I push through, and make it into the shop ready for the day. Pain today is a 6, not bad.
2pm. My lunch hour finished half an hour ago and I truly am exhausted. This was not helped by rude customers am I the only one that gets really bogged down by them? Anxiety has hit me and I fel like taking the whole packet of my meds, but I keep going through. I love my job and very few customers are rude, so I don’t allow those two people to get me down. Why should I? 5.
5:30pm. Napping’s been on my mind for a while now. I am aching from simply living, and cannot wait to get into bed. I’m not sure if that is now from tiredness or pain. 5.
10pm. Time to leave! A nap has done me good but I am generally in agony. I’m just excited to greet on the coach to go to Cardiff!!! That city is my happy placer, and I’m going to see one of my favourite people,so this weekend is going to be amazing. 4.
10:15pm /// CW: Dislocation, Emeto

*Insert mental expletives here*

I am on the floor and don’t know how I got there. One minute I was walking and now I am in agony on the floor. I cannot move my ankle, but it is no longer in the right place. I try to slowly move my toes to start,and the rest of my lot and lower leg after but the pain causes me to throw up, multiple times. Eventually, I managed to hobble round the corner to the train station.. only to find out there is an issue with the trains. There. Are. No. Trains. How do you expect me to get to Cardiff??? Panic aside, I sit and drink almost a bottle of water, feeling sick once more. I am in agony and unable to weight bear. 9.
After a while load of train drama and Cardiff rescheduling etc (I would write it all but it has nothing to do with pain) I’m on the phone to my mum, crying. I can’t move3 from my seat in the station and throw up once more. 8.
I get back to my dad’s (he’s away and since I’m not long moved out, my bed is still there for me) as it’s closer than home and try to finish a programme I started on that television earlier. Any slight movement makes me unable to prevent myself from crying out in pain and I feel sick once more. I cannot focus on finding the programme, so put anything on for sound but the rest of the world is a haze and pain is the only thing I can register. I decide to turn off the TV, put the heating on and get into bed. I take some painkillers and my prescribed sedative tablets (the highest dosage I can- I’ve not needed to use this dose before). I am still in agony and only pray it gets me to sleep and fast. 9.

Saturday 2nd December
.
Every thing from this morning was such a blur of pain and sleeping. I woke up with the pain still at an 8 and took my daily medications and more painkillers before falling back asleep for a few hours. I can’t even register the time. Even when I got up, I was totally bed bound and couldn’t weight bear any longer! I got hold of my mum who picked me up at some point in the afternoon and struggled home to hers in a high amount of pain. It was when I got coffee and tried to walk a mere 10m wth such pain that got me. Now I was struggling to walk and the crutches had to come out, and to top it off my bad hip and knee were in pain (lesser, but soon). Pain was an 8.

At this point, I decided A&E was the place I had to be.
I am in agony and there is a nurse prodding at me where I am in pain. Ow. Ow. OWWWW. I’ve been given more pain relief and advised to go down to x-ray.
My writing, now, seems very numb. My pain is so high today and injury centric, I am struggling to write about the pain. 8.
I have dislocated my ankle and ruined all the ligaments in the offending area. Thank you, EDS, for messing up yet another area of my body. I have been given a moon boot and it is really helping. Even when I weight bear,my pain is only a 7. General pain is a 6.
The boot is keeping my ankle and foot in the right place, and supporting my foot in the way my ligaments cannot at the moment. I am still in pain but I can now walk, get on with my day and face my daily struggles.
When speaking to my friends about this injury, I have joked. Everything from ironic ‘LOOOL’s at myself to talking about being a trendsetter with my boot. Why? The simple fact is I am disabled. Yes, today I am debilitated with a certain injury, and pain is more area-centric. But my Ehlers-Danlos causes me to frequently dislocate things (I dislocate my knee regularly, but am able to pop it back into place), be in pain all the time and crutches, a walking stick a chair… they’re all my friends. Stuff like this is quite frankly rubbish, however, I need to find a way to cope. I hate it, but my way f coping IS making joes about myself. I’ve got to take this stuff lightly, or it will bog me down to no end. And I have enough things bogging me down (shout it to my awful mental health, here).
(I shall include Sunday’s ‘Pain Day’ in Week 2’s diary next Sunday!)
This is my first ‘My Pain Day’ post. I am very involved with the spoonie community and on twitter did a poll for my spoonie and blogger friends on whether I should do a daily My Pain Day or something weekly on here. A mixture of on here, and both was voted for, so I’m posting it over here and this will be up on my twitter- compromise, right?
This first diary was a little unexpected as I planned to merely discuss my fibro, ME and EDS pains on-the-daily, but managed to let EDS screw me over. This time of year does not ever seem to be good for me; last year and three years ago, t’was my hip and this year my ankle. I pray that my hip stays intact (and, of course all my other body parts) and I can stay mostly off crutches!
It would be great to connect with other spoonies.
How’s your pain day been? I wish you all well.
Love always,

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Blogmas day 2: Happy Moanaversary!

Hello, hello, hello and a huge welcome to blogmas day 2!

Today’s blogmas will be pretty film-centric since today is a very special day… Happy Moanaversary!

That’s right, it’s been a whole whopping year since Moana was released in the UK and I feel pretty blessed that it exists. 

Pre-moana days I was a huge fan of Disney, of course, but still pretty vexed about their lack of representation and few storylines that weren’t lowkey misogynistic, all “when will a strong man come and save me”. HECK. In the words of Amanda Lovelace, “The Princess saves herself in this one.” And the whole island. And the whole of Polynesia. AND, she wasn’t even a princess (satire hinted at by Maui when the two of them first meet).

For this Moanaversary I wil be talking about the amazing Moana  itself, what the film and characters mean to me, and other amazing films I adore and why. Indeed it is time for us all to snuggle up by the fire (or radiator- I don’t have a fire but my grandparents’ house is the aesthetic I’m envisioning here) and watch a film with a big ol’ mug of hot chocolate (in my case…sweet freedom’s orange chocolate vegan syrup made with coconut milk. Hot chocolate the vegan way).

Moana (make way, make way)

Moana, meaning ‘ocean’ in Maori and Hawaiian. In European countries, the title was changed to Vaiana, ‘vai’ meaning water and ‘ana’ cave, in Tahitian.

Moana, a girl from an Island in the French Polynesia region, has always been intrigued by water but warned away by her father, the chief. One day she approaches the water and is ‘chosen’. This is dormant in her for years, until her grandmother encourages her to seek the truth about her island: Historically, they were explorers. Upon her grandma’s passing she sets out to explore, herself. The missing heart of Te Fiti (removed by Maui) is to be restored by the Demi-god, so she must find him and convince him to restore the heart. 

“I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat and restore the heart to Te Fiti.”

Maui, who is stranded without his hook (a gift from the gods), is reluctant and charms Moana. He tries to escape on her boat but the ocean aids her in returning to her boat and keeping him aboard. They face many challenges along the way, but manage to regain Maui’s hook and battle off many others looking for the heart or to stop them. 

In Moana’s time of need, her grandmother comes to her in her new life as a stingray (her spirit joining heron the boat) and helps to guide her.

The rest would totally spoil the film for you (if you haven’t seen it already) but it’s all about a strong young woman using her power for good and following the path she desires, not anyone else. By following her own fate, she does such amazing things for herself and… literally the world.

The importance of Moana

Moana does what is right for her, and is not held back by convention and the thoughts of other people. This is phenomenal as so many young girls, women, even boys, men, feel held back by convention and powerful forces (in this case, such would be her father, the chief of the island). Moana is a popular influence to tell us all to act on the feelings of our heart and seek to do what we want with our life.

Moana is also a influential woman of colour. Not only Moana herself, but Auli’i Cravalho, too. As a white woman I have had more than enough influences growing up (not just white people, of course, but there has been little representation at the forefront of the media). I remember seeing many tweets from people of colour taking about there siblings crying at the fact they finally had another strong woman influence who was a WoC, and that a Disney girl wasn’t white, for once. 

I also love Moana as I have a huge interest in ancient history and mythology. I admit I did not know much Polynesian mythology, so this was a gateway to teach myself classics and history of the islands.


So, Happy Moanaversary. I you haadn’t already guessed, Moana is my favourite film, but what are my other favourite films?

  • Monsters Inc.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban.
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Brave
  • D.E.B.S.
  • Bridget Jones
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • RENT
  • The Cat Returns
  • Kiki’s delivery service
  • Nativity!

A rewatch of my favourite TV series’ does it too;

  • Doctor Who
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Outnumbered
  • Literally any comedy series 

So, get by that heating source (no excluding us radiator-only guys and gals) and watch your favourite things. Knit. Do what makes your heart warm and empowers you. That is true comfort.

Love always, 

Lauren.

PS. Here’s a mini schedule for the next few days’ Blogmas:

Sunday 3rd: My Pain Day- December week 1 diary.

Monday 4th: The Christmas tag (finally).

Tuesday 5th: Vegan Advent calendar(s) review.

Happy Blogmas! Day 1 2017

Hello lovely readers and happy blogmas!!!

If you aren’t aware of what blogmas is, I’ll be posting every day (yes, every single day) in December. I will also be getting involved with other bloggers’ blogmas’ so if you’re doing blogmas, hop in the comments or send me a link over on your twitter and I’ll give you some christmas love (and thereafter).

For day 1, I was going to do the christmas tag but I’ve decided first off to do a sort of blogmas brief. Tomorrow will be the Christmas tag’s day! So, here’s what you can expect from Stories Can Make Us Fly over this christmas period:

  • Vegan christmas treats and food reviews/ideas.
  • Winter activity diaries and suggestions
  • Winter and Christmas fashion and beauty ideas
  • Weekly ‘My Pain Day’ diaries (a focus on winter with chronic illnesses)
  • Gift guides

And much more…

On December 13th I am participating in another blog tour! You all seemed to enjoy my participation in the ur for Helene Fermont’s new book at the end of November, and I’m excited to be a part of this tour too! As you know I adore literature so being the first to read and review these releases is such an honour.

Is there anything in particular you want to see from me this year? I can always add in some extras in for you guys!

I hope you enjoy my blogmas and I can’t wait to read yours all!

Love always,

The Politics of the Royal Wedding (talking democracy, taxes and how it’s blanketed other news)

With the most recent Royal announcement of Prince Harry’s engagement, there have been many political views on the subject shared; whether you’re pro or anti-monarchy, i’m sure you’ve discussed the subject.

You can’t deny it, actress Meghan Markle is a perfect match for Harry. When you see the two of them together, they are super cute and the love they have for each other radiates, and that has heavily been observed, but it can’t be kept from the public eye. Harry’s life has been in the public eye, as a royal, and even if it hadn’t been, he’s marrying and actress who lives a life likely followed by many. But it’s Harry’s side causing the controversy.

Today, I shall be discussing the following things and the respective arguments surrounding them:

  • How it has presided over other news
  • The taxpayers’ argument
  • The political right

THERE IS OTHER NEWS

This time, this isn’t the ignorance of events in countries less well off than our own or even the stupidity of the so called leader of the free word (wotsit is undeserving of a name mention or validation on my blog), but actually about something I saw on twitter and progressed on twitter.

This tweet was posted a few days ago and slowly spread on twitter

as someone who myself suffers from mental illness and is an advocate of mental health, of course I retweeted this to help break the stigma. As everyone who speaks out, this was very brave and if we’re still looming over the character extension, a good use of 280 characters. The tweet went viral, and from what I know, the daughter and father were offered the chance to speak on ITV’s ‘This Morning’. The day they were due to appear, I left for work and by the time I got home, saw this tweet:

The engagement took over. The duo were cut off live TV due to breaking news. As the young girl states, ‘mental health issues will always remain’. They were always be here. They, regardless of how television depicts them, will be important and valid, and we need to remember that.

It actually hurts me a little that this happens due to a sole fact (generally, however, it hurts me a lot); That being due to Prince Harry’s position when it comes to mental health. Recently, Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton have been known to be standing up to help fundraise and speak out to help break the stigma. I found it extremely inspiring that such figures with a huge influence are using their unelected position for good, and actually doing more to help with the important issue than our government and parliament. Regardless of what you think of the royals, you have to admit, their recent work has been amazing. Anyway, it upsets me that such news about Harry cut off someone speaking out about mental health. I do actually think that if he himself heard this, he may be disappointed it was interrupted.

I do just think it’s sad that it presided. One event presided over such a huge issue.

THE TAXPAYERS’ ARGUMENT

Speaking of mental health, guess what we are severely underfunded for? Meeeeeental healthcare! Actually, the whole of the NHS. And the bloody welfare state. Gosh, it pains me to look back at the creation of the welfare state and visions and see the… well… (underfunded) state it is now. It only takes last week’s budget to know this is a fact.

Kate and Will’s wedding cost £26 million! Twenty. Six. Million. Pounds.

And then… we think over to Grenfell. All those people died because fireproof cladding at a cost of £5,000 max couldn’t be afforded. We can’t just think of the death toll here, either; It’s about the ripple effect on housing, inequality and the trauma many people have experienced as a result; it’s about seeing this happen to the less fortunate in one of the richest areas of the UK.

And what about other issues regarding the poverty line? Food banks. Jobseekers’ allowance. The people struggling the most are losing their benefits, or having them cut, only for the money the taxpayers pay to be spent so lavishly on two individuals.

I am not strikingly against the monarchy (actually, my family have worked for the royal family longer than i’ve been alive), but I am a disabled young woman who’s lived not only less well off than others, but in poverty. I have been also homeless. There are people less well off than me, and have faced worse than me, and I want to fight for them, and my own experiences.

The taxpayers’ money could be spent to help these people. We already have enough welfare cuts without making more sacrifices to those who need it most. It is something that really needs to be considered.

HOW WILL THIS SWAY THE AVERAGE VOTER? RISE OF THE RIGHT.

I think this is an interesting argument, especially as it’s not been raised online (or i’m yet to see it), but I had a very interesting conversation about it with a lady called Jocelynne Scott (relevant as she’s a nominee to be our next candidate) at a Labour social yesterday. Although this actually has nothing to do with the Royals, it has an impact.

There is a fine line between national pride and being a nationalist. I am not ashamed of being British like a nationalist I know seems to suggest, but I am not a nationalist. It is a fact that you can love or even just respect your own nation without being racist or hateful. I don’t know why people seem to see a blurred line when it comes to nationalism.

I fear that the royal wedding may bring out the worst in some people. National pride may raise the right (and even if you’re a leftie, you may fall into the blurred area and  sway right when the rest of your views do not match).

As I said, being proud of where you live, or were born, or your heritage is not a bad thing. It’s great; as long as you don’t invalidate other nations, heritages etc. There’s a difference between being patriotic (I am a proud Scot) and funnelling such into racism; direct or inherent.

I do hope that there will be a less facist approach to this wedding due to Meghan’s own background. It is so wonder to have a  PoC celebrated. I am extremely happy and understanding of Americans’ positive reaction to the wedding. With that man in power no news story contains hope anymore, especially in the US, so celebrating an American and most importantly, woman of a marginalised group in the media’s forefront is amazing. At least that is something to celebrate; so easily, we could be spending the taxpayers’ money to celebrate the richest of the rich, and not only one, but two etonians/people from already extremely priveledged backgrounds.

There has been many-a-controversy on this topic and hopefully this clarifies, and justifies why. I am super happy for Meghan and Prince Harry, but surely why I’m not 100% enamoured about the situation is now clear.

If there’s one thing I recall loving, though, it was the street party for Kate and William. Hopefully, we can join together as communities, regardless of our differences (be it sexuality, religion, finances….) and have the same community experience as I remember all those years ago. We are one and in this awful world, we need a good thing to hold onto, so let’s end this on a positive note.

Love always,

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The Liebster Award

Very kindly I was recently nominated by the beautiful Danielle to take part in ‘The Liebster Award’. I’ve never actually done a tag or award on my blog before despite my two years of blogging, so I feel pretty honoured to have been tagged.

It was also amazing to give the other nominated bloggers, and the person who nominated Danielle’s blogs a read and therefore connect with other bloggers (one of my favourite parts of being in this community).

What is The Liebster Award?

The person who nominates you sends you questions, and you then send those who you nominate different questions, and so on.

I admit I’d never heard of this before I was tagged, but I had seen similar things and think it’s a lovely idea! It helps you get to know other blogs and bloggers, as well as finding new connections.

So, here goes with the questions I was asked.

If you could only shop in one high street retailer, who would it be and why?

It depends what is that’s meant by ‘high street retailer’? Because I feel like it would be hard to not ever shop for clothes again but I can’t flee away from my morals…

For sure, it would have to be Lush. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to look after your skin and simultaneously the animals and environment?! Lush’s ethics are something I feel strongly about- from fighting animal testing to recycling policy and ethical buying (the specifics of these and all ethics I could go on for donkey’s years about)- and I can’t imagine never shopping in such an amazing shop again. Plus, you know, I could buy all my clothes off depop…

Why did you start blogging?

I remember being mutuals with Meg  and seeing her blogging… aside using instagram religiously (which I guess could be classed as a photo-based blog) I had no experience with blogging or even using blogs. I remember when I was younger watching many vlogs but never having even considered reading a blog. Suddenly, I became familiar with Elmpetra (Meg’s blog, which I remember being named differently at the time), and due to my love for writing, decided to make my own. If you wanted to check out some of my (awful) first posts (I did not know what I was doing), you can check out my contents page  listing my posts in order!

What’s your favourite comfort food?

Grapefruits. I could eat a million a day.

What is your favourite holiday?

I love Christmas and Halloween. I’m such an autumn and winter baby so I just love the festivities surrounding the period more than the holiday itself.

Do you have any siblings?

I have a younger sister called Katie. Here she is here.

@katiecurr

A post shared by Lauren 🌱 (@laurbethanyc) on

 

What’s your earliest memory as a child?

I don’t know my earliest memory, but I remember before my sister was born I was watching Holby with my mum (I was 2, and should not have been up) and made a comment about that being ‘like my mummy’. Turns out it was a C section gone wrong so not a wonderful comment to have made, but I didn’t truly understand…

I also remember going to Thorpe Park very frequently with family friends Charlie and Harry, and one time a goat hopped in my buggy to steal my pringles… they’re some weird mixed memories!

What’s your favourite film and why?

Monsters inc! It was the first film I saw at the cinema and has always been my favourite.

Do you enjoy fast food?

Not really. I guess there was a trivial ‘love’ for it I had when I was younger, but I never have enjoyed it truly. Plus, as a vegan there is very little I can actually eat from anywhere. Gotta love those maccies dates where you’re living off chips!

What is your dream job?

As a kid, my ‘dream job’ was always to work at Lush. Mission accomplished?! I also always wanted to teach or perform. My fate was distracted by disabilities not long ago meaning a career onstage was not viable despite lifelong training, but I would still like to teach. I cannot wait to get back into education to eventually reach a goal of teaching, when I am well enough.

If you could bring back any one person from the dead, who would it be?

Is this personal or famous? Gosh, I couldn’t choose one!!!

Personally, I would have to choose my grandad. Though, it would be a little strange as I feel like I am the literal reincarnation of him; it’s a silly thing but since I was little I’ve been so alike him my family made jokes about me being him. I sort of believe it.

Anotger person I’d love to bring back is Marie (one of my mum’s best friends, like a second mother to me). I miss her every single day and so many little things in life remind me of her. What a beautiful soul.

Faaaaaaamous people wise, Jane Austen, for sure. She’s my one true love, so who else would I resurrect but my literary hero?

What’s your favourite thing about the blogging community?

I have learned, myself, how to thrive.  Blogging has taught me confidence, openness, and it’s a group of amazing people supporting one another. I’ve met other vegans who’ve given me tips on meals and shared campaigns with me, Lushies who, too, are interested in what I am, and many strangers who have boosted my confidence with comments here and there. I’ve connected with so many people and whether they’ve stayed in it long or for a moment to read my posts, every single one has impacted my life. I love this community.

  • What is your favourite season?
  • What is your favourite Lush product?
  • What lifts you up after a tough day?
  • What is your favourite flower and why?
  • Are there any foods or food groups you avoid? Is that a choice (e.g Veganism) or allergy?
  • What’s your favourite cocktail/mocktail? (Adding the latter since I don’t drink myself)
  • What’s your favourite smell?
  • What’s your favourite quote?
  • Where is your happy place?
  • What do you love most about the blogging community?

I would like to tag the following (wonderful) bloggers:

The Ginger Zoologist

A Path To Vegan

GroovyNThrifty

Fran Alibi

The Lost Biscuit Tin

I hope you all enjoyed this insight into my life and discovering these new bloggers.

If you have any suggested blogs, hit them up in the comments and i’ll check them out!

Love always,

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Helene Fermont, ‘His Guilty Secret’ (review)

I am lucky enough to be part of Hélene Fermont’s Blog tour for her new book, His Guilty Secret, which will be out on the 27th November. Being sent His Guilty Secret last month was such a pleasure as I’d never before come across the author and I wouldn’t say it’s the kind of genre I would typically go for; certainly, though, it’s made me want to broaden my horizons.

Hélene Fermont is an author born into an Anglo-Swedish family, who claims her ‘writing is inspired by Nordic or Scandinavian literature with strong characterisation and morally complex elements.’ She has two other books- Because Of You and We Never Said Goodbye- making His Guilty Secret the third!

Synopsis

Secrets & Lies Are Dangerous

When Jacques’s body is discovered in a hotel room his wife, Patricia, suspects he has been hiding something from her.

Why was he found naked and who is the woman that visited his grave on the day of the funeral? Significantly, who is the unnamed beneficiary Jacques left a large sum of money to in his will and what is the reason her best friend, also Jacques’s sister, Coco, refuses to tell her what he confided to her?

Struggling to find out the truth, Patricia visits Malmö where her twin sister Jasmine lives and is married to her ex boyfriend. But the sisters relationship is toxic and when a family member dies shortly after, an old secret is revealed that shines a light on an event that took place on their tenth birthday.

As one revelation after another is revealed, Patricia is yet to discover her husband’s biggest secret and what ultimately cost him his life.
His Guilty Secret is an unafraid examination of the tangled bonds between siblings, the lengths we go to in protecting our wrongdoings, and the enduring psychological effects this has on the innocent…and the not so innocent.


Review

His guilty secret is a story you never quite expect… you never know what to expect but are always anticipating some new form of drama.

The writing has you not quite knowing who to side with; with more characters being introduced with their own secrets and insights, you find yourself in a love/hate relationship with most characters, but mostly find yourself totally in love with Fermont’s writing and characterisation.

This characterisation is only aided by her Scandinavian influence. Never have I seen the traumas Patricia faces written in such a way, and for sure, it has you gripped.

I found the movement of settings (London, Paris, and Mälmo) really interesting as the cultural changes really bring out different aspects of the different characters. I also found it interesting as I’ve grown up in London and been to Paris many-a-time (it’s one of my favourite cities for sure) but Mälmo is a place I’m unfamiliar with so it was a real eye opener; it gave an insight into where the author grew up and how it may have influenced her writing.

I also find it intriguing that there is a strong psychological aspect to Fermont’s writing; she has past claimed that this aspect has been influenced by events in her own life (though it is fiction and there is no actual link between the story and her own). This aspect has such a positive impact on the characters and story’s development.

I found myself totally gripped to Hélene Fermont’s His Guilty Secret within the first few pages, and couldn’t find myself putting the book down. I was desperate to know who had what other secrets, presents, and pasta each character- even seemingly innocent- had.

The book is beautifully written and has me longing to get my hands on her other books as soon as possible!

I definitely think all of you should read His Guilty Secret even if it’s not necessarily your genre. It wasn’t mind, but I couldn’t help but find it a great read.

Love always,

How to support Children in Need (without being triggered)

Tonight is Children in Need, and despite being at home, I won’t be watching. My family (who should have understood) had a go at me when I asked if we could turn off a segment of The One Show re: CiN; “That’s so insensitive”/”ignorant”, I could throw a whole lot of the arguments they threw at me in here, but there is no relevance of doing so.

I’ve grown up in a world where CiN exists and has surrounded me; tonight, 12 years ago, I’d be partying at the fundraising school disco, and up until 5 years ago went back to volunteer. As a kid, a teen, and almost into adulthood, I would stay up late watching  the programme even if I was reeeeeeaaaaally tired. I owned endless Pudsey bears, eye patches and dressed up many a time. I have used the BBC’s ‘fundraising kits’ to fundraise at school, dance, you name it.

This year I won’t be watching Children in Need.

What is Children in Need

“We provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. We are local to people in all corners of the UK and support small and large organisations which empower children and extend their life choices.

We are currently supporting 2,400 projects all across the UK. The projects we fund help children facing a range of disadvantages for example poverty and deprivation; children who have been the victims of abuse or neglect or disabled young people.

Our grant programmes are open all year round for applications. We give our small grants awards four times a year and main grants three times a year. Click here to find out more about our grant programmes, to apply for a grant or to hear about some of the differences made to children’s lives by grants from BBC Children in Need.”

Why won’t I be watching?

Personally, I find it difficult for me to watch CiN due to the ‘stories’.

Last year I recall there being a teen on CiN with the chronic illness my best friend had and it showed the raw struggle. This is the sort of thing it would be amazing for abled people to see, but for someone who has massively been impacted by the effects of said illness, of course it shook me up, and I was shaken up in a bad way; Full launch breakdown. Children in Need is great for showing the best, but also easily portrays the worst case scenario of struggles and the end of life… which when you know it too well, and do not want to think of the worst case scenario*. All I could think of was my friend’s suffering, and what more could happen to her. I believe she was in hospital at the time, too, so I was more worried than anything.

*Heck, i’m a worrybot, i’ve thought of it, but what can I do? I just need to do what I can and hope it doesn’t happen.

How can I support CiN without getting triggered?

As i’m now earning, my way of support will be financial. I’m not a gold mine, so it will only be a little bit. Although this year for the sake of my own wellbeing I haven’t had a chance to ‘fundraise’, now is the time I plan to begin fundraising for next year; something big, if I can. I’m also going to use my social media platform to get others able to donate aware of the evening and hope they donate, but also for awareness. I will still be sharing bits on my social media.

I may tune in for parts, as I love to hear the amazing work not only the BBC, but the nation does, I am just not well enough in myself to risk a trigger when nothing happening can trigger my upset and worry for her and others suffering.

This does not make me evil or insensitive. I still support CiN, just not in the same way as I used to. Situations change and I am now working with my new situation. I just wanted to make a point that we don’t all have the same situations, brains etc… this charity and the accompanying show is wonderful and i’ll always fully support it but in what way has changed.

I hope you are able to support it too, and if you too are easily triggered due to a situation, you don’t feel a pressure to watch the show; there are many other ways of charity support.

Love always,

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