To the Person Struggling With a Self Harm Relapse

TW: self harm.

To the person who's just relapsed with self harm; this isn't the end.

I know that in this moment it feels like you've thrown everything away. I know it feels like you've lost everything - the hope you had, the progress you've made and your recovery - but you haven't. It doesn't matter whether it's been years, weeks or days since you last self harmed, there is still happiness in the world for you, and there's still hope. There's still life for you to live, songs you haven't sang get, laughs you haven't laughed yet and joy you haven’t experienced yet.

It’s bad right now, I know; I know there's a mix of guilt, shame, fear and maybe even a sense of relief. Maybe it's the relief that's the hardest part to process, maybe it's the fear that you're right back where you started, and maybe it's the feeling that you'll never be free of it. I have been you. I will probably be you again; and I am promising you…

M&S Vegan Selection Review: It's a Good Time to be Vegan

Veganuary 2019 has been met with many large and small retailers launching vegan options, marking a huge swing in market popularity for plant-based food options and products (yayyy!).

One of the newest and most prominent range of vegan products is Mark's and Spencer's "Plant Kitchen" line of mains and ready meals. This is exciting because M&S have a reputation for high quality food so you know this isn't just vegan's M&S vegan food.

I went in store to pick up some products hoping to find something I can re-return to time and time again and to review for my fellow newbie meat-free blog friends. I didn't pick up the ready meals as I'm not a huge fan of them in general as I prefer cooking, but I did grab a variety of mains and snacks to try out (including the amusingly named "sausoyges"...sauSOYges, guys...amazing).

The scoring is based on my own preference and a little input from my fiance here and there for some balance. You…

My Favourite Vegan Finds: The "Must Have" Items on my Shopping List

So all of my lovely followers on the socials will know that I'm a newbie vegetarian in the process of trying to go entirely plant based or vegan. It's not something I actually write about much, but since it's Veganuary I thought I would do a shout out to my favourite vegan products, the things I get every food shop!

Seasoned vegans will know their way round a spicy bean burger and even the newest plant-based person can figure them out, but what I think everyone struggles with is dairy free milk, chocolate and - most of all - cheese! So this post is more a focus on these items than your standard veggie burgers; it also doesn't go into meals at food chains or restaurants and I was in no way sponsored for this by any of the companies.

Number 1: ASDA's Garlic and Herb Soft Cheese Substitute.
Oh my GOD I am in love with this stuff! It tastes so garlicky and creamy; it's good as a cheese spread or for using in cooking. I really feel like ASDA has blown the other sup…

Be Brave: How one New Year's Resolution Changed my Life

"Be brave”.
It's an ambiguous New Year's resolution; deliberately so. I've lost track of the years I was going to learn guitar, learn Spanish, learn Italian, save more money, lose weight, write a book…
Needless to say, I'm as close to most of these things today as I've ever been. The truth is, when and if I want to do these things, I'll commit to it when I'm ready, not because I told myself I'll do them at 00:01 on the 1st January (or after dinner when the hangover settles). I think the reason so many of us abandon these resolutions is because deep down, we don't make them for ourselves, we make them to mould us into an idea of ourselves that we like better, whether it's realistic or not. Fundamentally there's nothing wrong with wanting to learn new things, improve our skills or improve ourselves, but every year we cheerfully announce how were going to radically change our lives based on nothing but the change of a date, instead of what …

Giving up on "Perfect": I'll Never Be Good Enough, and That's Okay

I'm a pedant, a perfectionist, and I'm constantly at the mercy of my too-high expectations.

There's a voice in my head that tells me I'll never be good enough. I'll never be smart enough, I'll never be thin enough, pretty enough, talented enough, popular enough...the list is endless. It's an endless refrain taunting me of my imminent failure, one that the voice uses as a weapon, trying to convince me that I'll never be enough.

In some ways, the voice has won; because I do believe that I'll never be good enough.

Nothing I ever do will be enough to quiet that voice, because the truth is that she doesn't have high standards - she has impossible ones.

I've spent my life torturing myself in pursuit of "good enough" when "good enough" doesn't exist.

At university, if my mark in coursework or an exam wasn't the highest, it was failure. If my mark was the highest, but it wasn't above a certain level, that was failu…

Why I'm Voluntarily Neglecting My Blog: 12 Days of Blogmas

So my Blogtober Blog Share was really well received and I met an amazing bunch of new bloggers that I absolutely adore through it, so I decided that for my first Blogmas, I would do something a little bit different.

From what I understand, Blogmas is similar to Blogtober in that a blogger participating in it posts once a day throughout the month. My take this year focuses less on me posting content on my blog, and more on me posting on other people's sites!

Throughout the festive season (which in my head has already begun and will last until the end of December), I'm going to do (or at least try to do) 12 guest posts on 12 different blogs. 

I'm really excited about this because again, I'm meeting new people but I'm also getting to write outside of my niche which is really great! It also gets me out of my own head about blog views and stats, and lets me write free of the constant anxiety voice in my head that tells me nobody is reading what I'm writing.

This mig…

Dear NHS: I'll Fight for You, Will You Fight for Me?

Before I write this post, I want to reiterate that there are many, many positives that come from seeking medical help for your mental health, and these are simply my own experiences. They do not reflect the entire NHS and I would absolutely hate to think that I had influenced anyone negatively or hindered them from seeking help. Although my experiences haven't always been great, the simple act of seeking help is a huge step in recovery and it's one I am forever glad that I took. 

The always wonderful Cara has a whole post on her positive experiences with mental healthcare as does the lovely Rosie who talks about her positive experiences with the mental health system

When I put my question to Twitter, I got the following responses: 

"Therapy wasn't great but the first step, seeing my GP, was brilliant. He listened properly, understood, told me his son had similar experiences, then explained the next steps and even how the antidepressants worked." @whatlydid.