Trust

Today, you might have to bear with me.

This week has been a bit of a downer, which is why i have to write about it. I think with depression and anxiety it is so easy to fall into the ‘shame’ way of thinking, and to isolate yourself, which is what i’ve kind of been doing.

I’ve always trusted people, but i’m starting to realise not to. The crazy thing is, i used to believe in love etc but honestly i don’t now. I believe in friendship kind of love, but relationship love….nahhhh. Hell, Beyonce got cheated on, Channing Tatum and his wife split up…..

To tell you the truth, i put trust 2 people last autumn, and i shouldn’t of. One guy who seemed genuine, and who opened up decided to spread some lovely rumours about me and to show guys photos of me….yeah luckily nothing really happened with that plank. Another man told me he loved me after a week (yeah….weird)….THEN lied about having an ex girlfriend, a dead baby, having almost died and being seriously ill etc because he wanted to sleep with my friend. WHO DOES THAT?! I found up that after myself and this friend stopped speaking he also lied to her….a lot.

 

(sorry Glee is still awesome).

The third person….someone i knew for around 6 years and above the age of 60. Apparently being signed off regardless of how long it was ago (talking 2 years plus) will mean your ex boss will give you a bad reference, regardless of how much work you put it, what you do for the company, that you’re underpaid, that you’re not paid for overtime i could go on. I can’t start my new job because she took 3 weeks to finish a reference questionnaire. Ispoke to my Team Leader who will luckily give me a good reference as she saw how well i worked on a day to day basis.

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So yeah, my trust has been broken this week. For a while, i think i need to take a step back for a while, and probably listen to my intuition a bit more! I’m just glad i’m not in a vulnerable place like i was in the Autumn.

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Love

Claire

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The Beauty and Uncertainty of New Beginnings

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Sup Ya’llll

I don’t really quite know where to begin.

In general my life has changed HUGELY IN THE LAST MONTH OR SO…..my skin….not so much….BUT I WILL GET THERE!!

The scene above seems to keep following me around for the last few months. I seem to refer to it a lot. Anyway, i won’t explain it because you can watch it, but basically to sum it up, it explains that ruin is a gift. I know what you’re thinking, bullcrap etc but let me explain.

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For the last few years i have stayed safe, but utterly miserable due to myself staying in a work environment (where the people were amazing) but it was unfulfilling. I stayed because it was safe and because kids are freaking awesome. I also refused to change or embrace life because frankly, i was safe, miserable but safe. However, being ‘safe’  didn’t stop my skin getting bad, it didn’t stop me losing people, it didn’t stop me going through the general hurt and anguish that comes with life. It did stop me being myself, saying no, and just that general malarky. I’ve started to realise that the only thing certain is you, the rest of life is always in a flux, forever changing, sometimes for the worse, but ultimately for the better. If you would’ve told me a few years ago, that in 2 weeks i would be starting my dream job, developed new friendships and be living by myself quite happily, i would’ve laughed. Don’t get me wrong, i don’t have my crap together, and i honestly think I’m the type of person who will never have their crap together, but i’m getting there.

I just can’t really get around how my life has kind of catapulted after being stagnant for so long (my life really was like a moldy cheese sandwich…that had been left for a while…ewwww).

I’m also reflecting on the people who have popped in and out of my life. It is true that some people stay for short while, some for a season, others for years, and the best a life time. In will always be grateful for the people around me, and the lessons i have learnt.

I’m starting to realise this post is probably a but mushy….and emosh…..and a tad narcissistic but hey.

I’ve still got so much to work on. My skin is still a mess most days, but one day, i am sure i can ‘cure’ it.

Love

Claire

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The Positive consequences of Depression

I know, i know, you’re thinking….depression is horrible etc etc but just bear with me on this one and i will explain.

I’m about 99% sure that both of my parents have or have suffered from anxiety and depression. I am also about 100% my grandparents on both sides suffered from it, and absolutely sure that my Great Uncle did.

Ever since i was little i’ve also been a bit different. For example at the age of 5 and 6 instead of going to play, deciding to visit and to talk to a dying great uncle instead. I hated  eating meat at a young age because i didn’t like the taste of it, and it felt wrong somehow (i’m not that bad now!).  At the age of 7, i cried because the (spoiler alert soz) scientist in Men In Black turns into an Alien….i imagined how that must have hurt and how that would affect his future…AT 7! Even now i can’t watch films like the Purge because i cry at how unfair it is that the elite take advantage of the vulnerable, and how human worth is pushed aside….yeah deep…..haha.

Anyway, you get the point, i’m sensitive and emotional, and i’m always going to be dispositioned to depression and anxiety because it’s who i am. Well, I am a huge fan of Billy Joel, I watched 13 Going on 30 and ever since i listened to ‘Vienna’ i’ve been hooked. Whenever i listen to more of his music, it’s just amazing and conveys so much emotion. I was researching him yesterday, and even though i knew he had alcohol dependance issues and depressive episodes, i didn’t know that one of the major events that brought on one of these episodes was 9/11. At this point he says he lost all faith in humanity when it happened. So it got me thinking, this man is highly emotional and prone to depression yes, but he is also extremely talented with regards to music and conveying emotion. Then it got me thinking even more. So many talented individuals have mental health issues, but this sensitivity to emotion is one of the keys as to why they are so talented; Jim Carey, Robin Williams, Lady Gaga, Heath Ledger to name just a few. What i am basically trying to say is, their sensitivity to emotion was one of the reasons why they are/were so talented at what they did. Some of the most talented Psychologists, Psychotherapists etc have also suffered with some kind of mental health issue.

With regards to myself, i don’t care what anyone says, as a nursery officer my talent is being able to empathise and show love to the children in my care, and just to accept them as they are. Yeah, i’m not a big fan of trying to teach them how to write but i am talented at finding different ways to make learning fun.

Yes depression and anxiety will probably always be a part of who i am, and i would never wish those periods on my worst enemy, but maybe there is also a positive consequence of it?

 

I’ll leave you to ponder that.

If you want to read more on existential depression try https://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10554

Love Claire

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When Safe isn’t really safe…settling for less

I’ll be honest, i’m a bit of an anxious mess, but for a variety of different reasons. It’s horrible because i have so much college work to do which i have put off (due to anxiety) which in itself creates more and more anxiety.

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The patterns of behaviour you learn aren’t necessarily the patterns that make you the happiest. Just because it is familiar, doesn’t necessarily make it true, or make you the happy.

I received my pay cheque for the month of December, and i cried. I have no idea how i’m going to afford to feed myself.  I am so lucky in that i will always have roof of my head and food to eat. I got myself into this position myself due to the fact that i was too scared to move on and too scared to actually say ‘i am worth more then this’, and albeit ‘settling’. Until now, that is how i’ve lived my life, in a familiar safe place that made me unhappy but never changed.

I’m not ashamed to say last year i was really ill with severe eczema, and the psychological impact of the was huge. It dented my confidence a lot. I took a week off in January, and due to stress a few days off in the summer. My boss was suggesting that i change to a zero hour contract because and i quote ‘the stress on your colleagues is too much’ (this was a lie, it wasn’t). I felt awful and guilty, even though there was nothing to feel guilty for. So, my boss badgered and badgered me to write a letter, so i did, just saying that i would be happy to go down to a zero hour contract, and sign a letter. She made me do this within 24 hours. I was did not realise i signed something which meant i had unintentionally resigned from my job role, and that it was either a zero hour contract or nothing. I wish i had taken the time to speak to someone else about this. I wasn’t in the right mindset and stupidly believed my boss had my best interests at heart, which she pretended she did. But i understand her business comes first but at the same time don’t masquerade as pretending to care when you don’t. She wanted to save money basically, and the person who she hired she hired was on less money then me and had less hours. It’s such crap.

Anyway, i very much underestimated my worth, because i have worked here for 5+ years, so i allowed myself to get screwed over. I go far and beyond my job role, and i can do so much more. Instead though, i just kept trying to prove myself instead of doing what i thought was best. Now, nearing January i am so frustrated that i didn’t know my worth, all because my job was familiar. I’ve very much learnt that you show you’re worth to others, they will not raise your worth unless you them that you’re worthy of it…if that makes sense.

So yeah….i got myself into this position. But i also did the same in relationships.

I stuck with the same thing, regardless of how i was treated because it was familiar. Safe but miserable.

I probably shouldn’t be writing this but screw it i will. My mum throughout my life has chosen men that haven’t exactly been the nicest to me. Okay they have been vile pieces of shit!

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The crazy thing is though, She will drop anything to be with them, and when they’re busy will rely on me to spend time with her. Yes, it’s not about me, but it still hurts….it still hurts that on Boxing day, she preferred to spend it with a man who i went to the damn police about because his daughter didn’t want to spend it with him! Again, i guess i’m going back to what is familiar, not will make me happy.

I think for 2018….my resolution will be to know my Worth. Screw it, i’m going to channel my inner beyonce haha!

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Love Claire

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Demons and Heartbreak…

Yeah…i can’t talk about Demons and not add a South Park Gif….i just can’t……

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So, at college we were talking about dreams….and the most common childhood dream is usually the dream where the child is running away from a monster. My first question was ‘well can the child turn around and face the demon?’ but then i thought again. There are so many adults who are still running away from their childhood demons, whether that be through an addiction, keeping busy, or just avoiding the problem. I’m about to turn 28, and even though i faced a lot of demons, my first thought is still to run. To me, this is either keeping busy, focusing on other people in a narcissistic altruistic kinda way, or sleeping. But then there’s the problem of how the demon then surfaces in your conscious life, whether that be through eczema, heart palpations or whatever. Eventually, you need to slow down and rest….and BAM they’ve got you, you’re being forced to face a huge demon, but by that point it is huge and scarier than you had ever imagined…it may even have gross teeth.  This is pretty much repression at it’s finest. The more you talk to this demon, you realise it’s just a part of yourself that you have ignored for so long, and a part that just needs love and compassion. So the demon…is either a situation that you’ve never dealt with…or for me….a part of myself that i’ve never tried to understand. Life has a way of whispering to you, and when you don’t listen, eventually hits you over the face with a spade, or a dog slap, whateves….(i couldn’t find a spade gif!)

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I’m going to open up a big can of emosh…….

This year has been full of heartbreak for me. The people i relied on broke my heart. But me being me…didn’t quite learn the lesson…so life had to break my heart a 2nd, 3rd, 4th….and 5th time in the span of 3 months! Well….life is on it……!

To sum up, i always put my everything into relationships and rely on the person too much…i begin to people please, and it always turns to shit…and that shit then lights on fire…and this is what happened again, and again and again. I won’t go into details, but i have to take blame in this. I ignored warning signals, i ignored previous heartbreak, and i ignored myself. However, i also learned a lot. No matter how alone i feel, i actually have those family and friends who are the roots in your life. The ones who aren’t going anywhere, the ones who love you for you, the ones who will call you in the morning (even though they live half way across the world) to make sure you’re okay, the ones who will pick up the phone late at night just to talk. I am so grateful that i have so many of these types of friends and family. Yes, we don’t talk everyday, yes we don’t see each other everyday like i had with two girls, but i kinda like that. I like that theres no pressure, no rules to follow, no judgement, just acceptance.

I guess i learnt that intense relationships either in the romantic sense or in a friendship sense don’t work out. Even though i am relieved that these three relationships ended, at the same time, i wish it didn’t have to go to shit and then light on fire and be thrown out of the window.

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At the same time, i think it was also destined to, because i was not only running from myself, but i was also trying to be someone i’m not, turning into someone i’m not, ignoring the dream i’ve worked so hard for, and ignoring the people who matter most. I feel more grounded, and not as anxious. There are scars though, i’m so scared to let someone down in case i am then ignored, but then relationships are about compromise, with these 3 relationships there was none of that. These relationships were the only relationships that i’ve had, whereby i was just ignored for the tinniest thing, even if i was struggling. That’s just one of the warning signs i ignored.

I have so much to learn….you don’t just get over a 10 year relationship in a few weeks. It takes time to rebuild yourself, but i am rebuilding…and i’m learning, even though they are hard lessons.

Love

Claire

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Letting Go

Right now i should be reading about Endings in a therapeutic sense, but all i can think about right now, and all i can concentrate on is letting go of people and the ending of relationships. So to hell with it. I’m writing this, then going back to reading. In the weirdest sense, i have to clear out what i’m thinking to be able to actually focus on everything else.

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Since September, endings have kind of followed me wherever i go. Whether it be a friendship ending, a career ending, a long term relationship ending. But these endings have strangely brought some acceptance, and even freedom.

A little while ago, i could not cope with endings. To me endings meant that a part of me died. Quite a dramatic statement but it’s true. I relied on so many people for my sense of self, for my happiness, and for my general well-being. When i lost someone, i also lost part of myself, which ultimately, i would then have to find again, whether that be from someone else or within myself. I could not understand that when i gave someone everything, they would just leave, pretend i didn’t exist, and show me that i meant nothing to them. The weird thing is, i get it. A needy person can be so overwhelming. A needy person, can emotionally suck you dry.  That WAS me. I don’t blame them for leaving.

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I think i should get extra points for adding a Halloween type reference, on halloween…..

Anyway, this neediness also showed others how they could treat me. That they could disrespect me, use me, take advantage of me, and i would believe that’s okay. Ultimately the person I relied on for my sense of self, saw me as a blank shell, someone who they could tell what to do. This ladies and gentlemen, was my 10 year relationship, and i take responsibility for that. I just wanted someone to love me, to fill the void, but ultimately it just created a bigger void. The more i rebelled, the more he rebelled, and once someone loses respect for you, it’s hard to get that back, and for my sake, i don’t want it.

When he left, i felt such a sense of relief. I no longer had to be this person that i had created, to keep him. I no longer had to pretend that i was helpless to get him to love me. I no longer had to pretend that i was unattractive, to get him to love me. I no longer had to look after him and do everything for him, to get him to love me. I no longer had to feel inadequate. I no longer felt a sense of guilt for just being myself. I no longer had to put him first. I have no hard feelings, because i created this. Sometimes, in some situations it’s best that you take responsibility, so that you can change. So i’m taking responsibility, and letting go. Something which i should of done years ago.

Friendship wise, i’ve had to let go of people who were frankly horrible people who masqueraded themselves as angels. They preached love and compassion, but behaved in a way that showed judgement, and hatred. One thing i’ve learnt is that if people show you, who they are, believe them. I just didn’t want to believe them. I thought there was something wrong with me, rather then them having some issues that they need to sort out.

I’ve started to accept people for who they are. Whether that be as a friend who i speak to once a year, a family member who i speak to daily etc. For the first time in my life, i actually accept other peoples needs, instead of trying to force myself into trying to make relationships work. I’m now okay with letting people go, because sometimes they come back, sometimes they don’t. Either is okay. All i can do, is just be myself, the rest is up to them. You show people how to treat you, by how you treat yourself. The more i accept and fall in love with myself, the more people i accept people for who they are, the more people i build friendships with. Before i was desperate for friendships because that meant acceptance. Now i choose who is good in my life, and who isn’t.

To be truthful though, even though i am single. For the first time in my life, i have no void to fill. I am loved my so many people, wherever i am or wherever they are. A year ago it would of broke me, knowing that some of the most important people in my life are half way across the world, but not know. I know they are there, and even if we do lose touch (pretty sure we won’t), i’m secure in the fact that these people changed my life for the better, and i am happy for the time i got to spend with them.

Something which i was so afraid of, has actually been the making of me. Weird eh?

Who knew endings, letting go, and acceptance could be so wonderful?

Also, who knew this adult stuff was so hard?

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Love

Claire

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For the better <3

‘The secret of change, is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but building the new’

 

Right now I am sitting in my window seat, eating  thinking about the how much my life has changed in the last month. Sorry, this might be a bit of an emotional post!!!

If you would of told me, at the end of August, that i would be single, happier then i had ever been (including being comfortable with me), loving life, making my flat my own, opening up and meeting some truly amazing people, and reconnecting with old friends,  i would of laughed in your face. I was so scared to rely on myself and i let others raise me, which isn’t fair on others, or myself. The last two years or so, i lost myself from the inside (family problems), and out (skin problems). There have so many times, where i was at rock bottom, where i believed people would not love or accept me, for who and what i was. Which is actually really sad. I was so blessed to have old friends who would sit, listen and snuggle in my bed when things got really bad. For that i will always be truly grateful.

The last month, i have learnt that love doesn’t come from just one person, that it comes from a range of sources, from people who love you for who you are, as long as you show them that person. I was too scared to show anyone who i was, in case it was never good enough, so i hid the corner, stayed quiet and stayed inside. I stopped doing what made me happy, like cooking, watching 1980’s moving, socialising, painting etc just to try and get people to love and accept me, which was the opposite of what i should’ve done. For so many years, i believed that to get love, i had to become this quiet, passive person. I now know this isn’t true.

Financially my life is a mess, but i’m doing something i that i love, and everyday i feel happy, because i feel like i’m being myself. A few months ago, so many changes in such a short period of time would’ve flawed me left, right and centre. i’ve been so lucky and so blessed to have not only the most amazing friends, but also to have met and developed friendships that have changed my life. It’s just mad!

For the first time in a long time, i feel like i have future, and I’m so excited to see what it holds.

I never thought change would be for the better.

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Love
Claire xxxx

Shadows, Ghosts and Apologies

I’m currently writing this from the comfort of my duvet. Right now, it’s the only place where I feel okay. However, to get that safety I have to pay a pretty hefty price: not seeing anyone, not living my life, not having fun, and just generally spiralling into a bigger hole of depression.

Right now I feel like I’m dying, in the sense that I’m losing everything I’ve ever cared about, and I feel that I can’t stop. I’m cancelling on friends, I’m in my 6th week of being signed off, I’ve had to put my course on hold, and it may sound dramatic, but nothing brings me much joy anymore, unless I force myself out. So the conundrum is, to force myself out of my bed but have a breakdown which consists of crying and sometimes screaming for about an hour but then perk up, or stay in bed happily, but then eventually reduce to a puddle of tears.

On top of the whole depression thing, my eczema has gone from non existent to severe. My legs, torso, arms, hands, neck and face have flared to the point of infection (hence the temperatures, chills, oozing and the smell of blood and ooze – pretty disgusting).

At the minute my life is on hold. I just want it to get going again.

The more depressed I’ve become the more I’ve cut back, and it hasn’t made me happy. I miss my friends a lot, but sometimes I just can’t send that reply, or meet up with them like I said I would. Depression involves a lot of loss. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve lost enough for myself to claw my way back into the light.

love Claire

Dear Claire

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Dear Claire,

I know your pretty low right now. I know your face is flaring, and you currently look like you’ve been burnt…a lot….but that’s okay. I know you feel lost. That’s okay. Some days you struggle more then others, that’s okay to.

You get lost trying the rescue and fix others, when the truth is, people have to rescue themselves. Like with you, no-one can do this but you. You can get help, yes, but it’s got to come from you. You’ve got to believe that you are good enough, that you deserve to live a good life and be happy.

Remember that person who went to university and had a breakdown. But the thing is Claire, it changed your life, that breakdown gave you a direction. Remember sitting at the computer crying, when you decided to watch Sesame Street, because since you were little you have loved everything that Jim Henson did? It was then that you decided that you wanted to help children who were struggling, even though you wanted to throw yourself out of the window? When someone is struggling like you were, it takes a special kind of person to want to help others. Even though it sucked, it changed your life for the better.

Remember, even though you were petrified and moderately depressed you were determined to go back to University because that is who you are? You wanted to make a better life for yourself, you wanted a degree, you wanted to prove to yourself that you were smart, regardless of what happened? Yeah. You did that. Remember when you were homeless? You found a way. Somehow, even though it was pretty awful, it got better, a lot better. You did that. No-one else. You made new friends, and you wrote a dissertation that you felt passionate about. When you were at University you weren’t stupid, you weren’t needy, you were you. You did things your way (including writing a neuroscience paper on literacy acquisition, when everybody else wrote a paper on the different learning methods). When you do things your way, it just works, i don;t know how or why, it just does.

Remember when you got into Tavistock? You were the youngest person on the course, bar one other person. Remember when people told you, you couldn’t hold down a job and fly over to London once a week? Well you did. Remember you were petrified about going to London? Now you love to visit, you feel that it’s your second home? You wouldn’t of dreamed that would happen, but it did Claire, it did. Remember when you moved to another job, that you had a bad feeling for? You ignored the feeling, and ultimately you left because that place was just awful, like really awful. You were unemployed for 7 months, but things worked out. You got your old job back, and you got to work with older children. Things worked out. It took a while, but you started to get into your flow, you began to teach the children, how you felt best, using props, movement and most of all a ton of fun, and it worked, Claire it worked. 3 and 4 year olds were telling their parents about orbiting, magnetic fields, and the planets in the solar system. Then you got bogged down.

You started to believe what one person said about you; that you were stuck up, that you were stupid, that your dad never wanted you, and you began to believe that you were the reason for the world’s problems and that you were a bad person. Claire, you don’t have a bad bone in your body. When people say horrible things, it’s more about them and their insecurities then it is about you, and you have a right to say that you don’t want to be around verbal abuse or physical violence, no matter what anyone says.

You began to try and counteract this negative self image by rescuing others, one person in particular, to try and get her to accept you, when in fact she became awful to you. Claire, the only person who you can rescue is you. It does you or anyone else no good when you sacrifice yourself for others, you become the victim to.

Claire. You have so much potential, it sounds corny but you can do whatever you want to, you’ve proven that over and over again. Even when things don’t work out, something better has always come along.

You got this

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Rock Bottom

“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change”

Well, where do i start.

For the last few months, it may sound strange to say, i have been losing small little pieces of myself; dressing in baggy t-shirts, losing a lot of weight (hello hip bones), not taking pride in my appearance, not sleeping, becoming scared to drive my car, becoming scared to leave the flat, and not being interested in N*Sync (whhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa!) or any other band for that matter.

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Slowly but surely i lost more of myself, piece by piece, little by little. My skin started flaring on my face, my hands started flaring, i began to cry most days, and then about a month a go i began taking days off at work, one day a week. I tried to just get on with it, i really did, i’ve tried mediation, sitting with my feelings, getting out, nutritional therapies, eating right, psychotherapy, self-help books but nothing worked, and slowly but surely the hole i was in started to get deeper. There were times when i was in complete denial about how ill i was getting. The worst thing? I started believing what people had said about me months ago, and things that they were saying now, ‘bitch’, ‘it’s your fault’, ‘you think your so smart, but your an idiot’. I felt and still feel like a horrible person. Logically i know that i am not what people say, but emotionally i feel that i am a horrible person.

Last week, i was prescribed the dreaded anti-depressant, something which i’ve fought really hard not to be on, because to be honest, i feel worse on anti-depressants, as i lose the little bit of motivation i had. Anyway, i began to take them, and i feel awful about it. I keep having thoughts like ‘you’re such a failure claire’, ‘you’re not ill claire, get on with it’, ‘you’re letting yourself down’, ‘you’re pretty much useless right now’, ‘people are ill for real reasons’. On Monday, i cracked, i don’t know if it was the side effects of the pills, but i just couldn’t get out of bed. I rang work at 7.30 and i stammered as i said that i couldn’t come in. At 8am i rang the Dr’s surgery, and i’ll admit, that 3 minute phone call sucked, my appointment was at 9.30, and i had no idea if i could even get out of bed. My legs felt tired, my arms ached and i just wanted to snuggle under the duvet. I managed to slowly but surely get dressed, got into my car, and drove to the Dr’s surgery which was 5 minutes away, but it felt so much longer. Waiting sucked. I looked at my phone the whole time, wondering if people knew (looking at me, they probably did), i welled up a few times but held back. When i saw the Dr, we spoke about being signed off for a little while (a month), and staying on the tablets.

I feel like i’ve failed. i really do. The truth is, i feel lost, i don’t trust myself with anything or meeting anyone in case i start to cry or in case i say the wrong thing. I thank god that i have amazing friends who i can talk to, a boyfriend that accepts me like this, a sister who visits me pretty much everyday, and a friend who have been in a worse place then i am, but still managed to get her life back.

For me, the only way to get better is to do things that make to feel better e.g. watching a good movie, getting outside etc but at the same time you don’t have the energy to switch the dvd player on, you feel that you don’t deserve nice things, your scared to get outside. The world becomes this really scary place, even though you know where you live like that back of your hand, it becomes a really dark place, if that makes sense.

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My life, for now is on hold. I have no idea what i’m going to do about the psychotherapy course, i have no idea what I am going to do about pretty much anything. I know i will get better, i just don’t know when, or how.

Love

Claire xxxxxx