Health · Lifestyle

The stress of adulting!!

I still don’t really feel like I’m an adult. I now live with my partner, we have our own home, our fur babies, and have to do everything for ourselves now. Yet I still don’t feel like we (well at least myself) are competent adults. Everything still seems so hard and complicated and completely out of my abilities.schizo

This feeling of being overwhelmed is just making me really rather stressed. I hadn’t realised it until the other night when I was laying in bed (with Ash snoring as always) not able to sleep and then my brain went into overdrive.

The main pinpoint trigger for my stress lately has been because of trying to sort out our universal credit claim. Going into this move we thought that I would be able to carry over my disability benefits and just change the address, however we were only told otherwise about a month into having moved. Because of this we have gone almost two months with only having Ash’s wage (which isn’t great).

Although I can understand that they have to make applying an official process, what I don’t feel like they take into consideration is that the process is a lot to handle for those with mental health issues. Although we have been going through the process for about a month now, we are only just starting to get some idea as to how much we are going to be entitled to.  This has really been a stress to me as I have not known whether we are going to reasonably be able to afford to live alone.

I just briefly want to mention the  nightmare we have been having with citizens advice over these last two months. We have both grown up being told that when you are an adult, and you get into a situation where you don’t know what to do, you can go and get free and accurate advice from The Citizens Advice Bureau.

We did exactly this when we started to realise that we were going to have to make the switch to Universal Credit. After waiting for over an hour, we got to see the lady. We explained the situation, I took all of my benefit paper work and my medical certificates.

After we finished explaining she went of to talk to a colleague, as she ‘didn’t know about this’. She openly said that to us, and that wouldn’t of been a problem if she had come back with any advice from the colleague. But instead she came back and said go onto the citizen advice website and then follow the advice on there. So basically, she was useless. We had already looked online before we decided to go and talk to Citizens advice, so we had already done this.

In the end we had to just bite the bullet and apply for universal credit even though we were still unsure about whether this was the right thing to do. Its only been through doing the application and going through the interviews that we were advised by the assessment people that we should of gone a different way through the system and we then wouldn’t of had to jump through as many hoops. We also wouldn’t of had to go through two months without any support.

I guess what I’m saying is that there is no problem going to Citizens Advice for help when you get yourself stuck in life, however its not all its built up to be. They are only human, and often they don’t know the answers. I just wish they wouldn’t then point you to their website which you have most likely already looked at, as if you don’t have a brain cell and hadn’t already used your own common sense and had a google to try and work it out.

But anyway, that is it. I just felt like it needed to be said as that too often the benefits system causes way too much stress for those of us that already have mental health issues. In this time I have had to up both my anti-depressants and my anti-anxiety medication. I will be doing a bit of an off load post in the near future that will talk about the health issue impacts and some other things.

Lifestyle

Moving Update April ’19..

Well if I am quite honest, this is not so much an update, as a post to say WE DID IT!! After months of planning and organising, we have finally managed it.

There has been many hiccups and hurdles along the way, and definitely been moments when we thought it wouldn’t happen, but despite it all we got there. When you live off of only one income, and have half your household unable to work, trying to be independent really does produce its challenges.

We were on a very strict budget from the get go of house searching; yet we had very specific requirements. With Barney needing garden, and then my partners daughter needing a second bedroom; not to mention the need for there to not be stairs and just generally being mobility friendly, our search was not easy.

But we managed it, and found our perfect family home.

Officially we moved in at the start of April, and despite having a bit of stress getting finances sorted, we have not looked back. After only a week, it felt like it was our home; we have gotten into a nice routine, one where we share all the responsibilities and no one does anything more than the other.

We have been in for just over three weeks now, so there is definitely still an awful lot of unpacking and organising to do, but we are getting there together. Slowly I am learning all what is around in our new home; walking Barney regularly is meaning we are learning where there are nice looking pubs, and lovely park for little one, and even a church that do free child groups.

I have two clear favourite things from us now living together; walking Barney together when I feel up to it, and having dinner each night together as a family. It is the simple things that reminds me that this is everything I dreamed of. I am getting to live with the man I love, and its allowing us to start building our future together. We may not own a mansion, or have spare cash to throw around; but I don’t care, I know that we will have dinner together every night, and that we’ll wake up together every morning. I know that I can talk to him about anything at any time.

This is exactly what we wanted when we set out to move in together and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Once, everything is unpacked and organised, I will do a house tour. For now though, here’s Barney feeling right at home in our new house.

Lifestyle

Am I an adult yet?

Recently it was my birthday, I am now solidly in my 20s, and apparently that classifies as being an adult. But in reality, I’m still not so sure.

Being an adult is a complex classification in my eyes. As a child, I always pictured being an adult involving living on your own, having a serious job or career, and generally just knowing what you were doing with life. schizo

I can certainly say that I do not know what I’m doing. Okay, so I may know what I want to be doing, but when it comes to adult stuff I always end up having crawl back to my father, or try and work through the mind field that is google.

Fair enough, when it comes to cooking, cleaning and the pure basics of looking after yourself, I can just about get by. But anymore than that and I still rely on my father.

I might be able to do my washing and load the dishwasher, if one of the machines was to go wrong, I wouldn’t have a clue how to fix it. I don’t know how to change a lightbulb, unblock a drain or turn the power back on after a power cut.

A few times lately I have mentioned that I am working towards moving out, and it is just highlighting to me just how much of a child I still am. I had to fill out a how bunch of forms for various things to do with the move the other day, and overall it took me two days. Not because of any other reason than I was having to google or call for help with every other question.

I am determined and nothing is going to stop our plans for moving, we may hit bumps in the road, but we will keep jumping the hurdles, and battling our way forward. But it just proves to me how much it is that I need to learn, and sharpish. When you move you cant afford to mess up a piece of paper work, to fill something out wrong or miss an important piece of information.

As it is we have already had to make corrections to one piece of paperwork at the office, and then go out of our way to drop of further evidence that we forgot to hand in the first time around. But if that is the last the mistakes we make, or at least the worst of them then it is all good. I have confidence that we can get through almost anything, we know what we want, and we know how we want to get there.

So in the mean time I have a few more weeks if not months to work on the adult skills that I need to improve on. I need to learn to be an adult in more ways than just my basic care skills. I pride myself in being responsible and grown up, but I will put my hands up and admit that I am rather naïve in many ways.

Do you class yourself as an adult? What classifies as an adult in your eyes?

 

Lifestyle

Another Birthday, Another Year…

Once again I am doing great at getting posts up later than I want them to be, but oh well, the fact it is up is better than nothing. Its just something I will have to work on more in the future. schizo

As some will know, yesterday was my birthday, not that big a deal, just another day really. However it does always make me stop and think about what I want to achieve in the next year of my life. I guess I see my birthdays in a similar light as I see the New Years Eve, I see it as a time to focus myself on what I want to do, and what I want to achieve.

With it only being a couple of months later as well, it gives me the opportunity it kick myself into actually starting what I wanted to do this year. And I certainly haven’t been doing all that well with it yet. You can read here what I laid out at the start of the year as wanting to do, and my reading goals for the year here.  I especially need to step up my game on my reading, as I really am not doing anything near as well as I would like to be, having only read 3 books so far this year.

While I still hold every intention of completing these goals, I also now have another quite major one. I have not done a recovery update for a little while, but in the past couple of weeks I have found out that I am now classified as having Pre- diabetes.

Now my knowledge on this is really rather limited, but from chatting with the doctor, my understanding is that I need to start being careful about what processed food I eat, and watching out for sugars and fats (if I’m wrong PLEASE correct me!). Already I am rather big on eating clean food, and really minimalizing how much food is processed before eating it.

Currently though, I will still snack on probably not the best of foods, and I am definitely a big fan of chocolate. So I think I can see where I could focus on making some improvements, so will see how it goes, but I would love any advice that you might have for pre-diabetes, especially if you have any experience of it while being disabled and unable to exercise.

This year though I had a really lovely low-key birthday, after all I am currently suffering with Tonsillitis, so celebrating wasn’t the first thing on my mind. But I was happy to just spend the day with my Nan and partner, and then have a nice meal in the evening with Dad. I was most definitely very spoilt as well, so I truly could not ask for any more.

When is your birthday? Do you have any plans?

Lifestyle

Go to bath products…

Not too long ago I did a post all about my favourite skin care products, all of which I use regularly on my super sensitive skin, you can read that post here. So I thought this time around I would talk to you about all my favourite, and go to bath products.

Personally I am much more of a bath person than a shower person. Baths help me a lot with my back and leg pains, so I try to bath each night as it does help me to sleep.

IDShot_540x540How can anybody have a bath without bubbles? Is a bath really a bath if it isn’t a bubble bath? Yes, I am aware that that makes very little sense, but ha I was making an attempt at being funny. But anyway, I have two bubble baths that I generally use, and they are both Imperial Leather ones. For day to day use, I am currently in love with the Special Edition Cosmic Unicorn bubble bath. It just smells so gorgeous, and makes the bath kind of glittery- perfect in my eyes. Though if I am having a late night bath- which happens all too often- I like to use Relaxing Bath Cream. There is something about the smell of this one that just makes me sleepy and want to drift off to sleep. IDShot_540x540 xMy only thing with these are that I am not 100% confident that Imperial Leather products are vegan and cruelty free. This is something that I am very big on when it comes to beauty products. Please let me know if you know anything about this, and any recommendations for bubble bath that is vegan and good for very sensitive skin.

IDShot_540x540aNow onto body wash. Again I have two that I stick too, one that is reasonably cheap and another that is a treat every now and again. Original Source is a really good cruelty free brand that have great products that don’t flare my skin up. Personally I love the Lemon and Tea Tree shower gel, although I do also like the Mint one and want to try the others. You can often pick it up super cheap in Aldi. Then when I want to treat myself, I love the Happy Naturals Nourishing Argan Oil and Sweet Orange Body Wash. It has such a beautiful summery smell, and leaves my skin so amazing soft, especially when using the Happy Naturals body butter. 5060528313483_L

eadsdJust like with shower gels, I actually have two shampoos. I have one that works brilliantly for my hair when it is healthy and doing well (also known as when I’m not on antibiotics), and another that seems to work a lot better if my hair has gone dead because of medication. The one for when its dead, is actually another rather cheap option that you can pick up in most places, the Alberto Balsam Apple Shampoo. This is by far the best smelling shampoo I have ever come across, both me and my partner use this a daily, and we are rather picky about our hair (him even more than me!). But then my favourite is a slightly more pricey product that you can only get in Sainsburys, and that is  Happy Naturals Intense Repair Argan and Avocado Shampoo. Its another of the Happy Naturals products that smells gorgeous. 5060528313162_L

As you may of noticed, I try to focus on vegan and cruelty free products, Happy Naturals and Original Source, I know are 100% cruelty free. Along with Imperial Leather that I mentioned about, I am not sure about Alberto Balsam. If you could please let me know if you know anything more about it, I would love to hear.

Also please suggest any other vegan and cruelty free bath products that you recommend? Ideally not too expensive. I also use a lot of Lush bath products, but I will do a separate post about those at a later date.

 

Lifestyle

Why we had a low-key Valentines…

Now I am aware that this would probably of made most sense to of been published on Valentines, but I couldn’t quite decide whether or not to post it. Its only been this week, going through some tough situations again that has made me realise just how special our relationship is, and how I don’t need society made holidays to prove that to me. Mental Health

Valentines is a lovely public holiday, and I am not one to complain about an excuse for romance. Normally I like to make a big deal out of it, going on a proper date (something we don’t manage often), and generally just not holding back any expense. Last year we did dinner, a film, lots of pressies, and just generally a day all about just us.

This year, things are different. We are in the process of organising moving out, and with that comes a lot of saving. We are soon to go away on holiday, and although we have had all of our flights paid for, we are still trying to save some money for the holiday to really enjoy ourselves. So with all of that, we are really pushing ourselves to try and save as much money as possible.

So we went low-key. A simple home cooked dinner at home after my partner finished work, and a DVD at home with a sharing pack of chocolate. Some would say that this is a big change and question what caused it. But to be quite honest, we do not need big gestures to know how each other feel.

The truth is, me and my partner have a lot to deal with, between my health issues, and his daughter, but we always make time for each other. We never go a day without telling each other exactly how we feel. We constantly do the little things, to keep each other happy and strong to get through the challenges of life.

He never lets me go to a hospital appointment without knowing I have all of his support, and he has missed out on many nights out and fun things in order to sit at my bedside in A&E holding my hand. Ive spent hours awake in children’s A&E to support him when his daughter is unwell. We never have to feel bad for the other, this is just what we do to support each other.

And its not a big deal, that is just what a relationship is. There is no need to have a specified day to feel like we have to prove anything, as we make sure that we prove it everyday.

That being said, I will never complain at taking the opportunity of Valentines to have a super romantic day. But we don’t need it. And for now, what we need is to save up our pennies and continue to prepare for our future to come.

How did you spend your Valentines day?

 

Lifestyle

Morning Routine

Most of the time my mornings are really rather relaxed; the only time that this is different is if I have appointment. To be fair I am really not a morning person, so I’m never awake for very much of the morning, however I do have quite a set routine for the mornings to make sure I start the day off by doing the basics that have to be done. Mental Health

Generally I don’t set an alarm, I’m not a great sleeper so I find its best to just let myself wake up naturally. Over the years I have found that this is the best way for me to ensure I wake up having a reasonable amount of energy- would love any advice about this?

So, when I wake up, I always start off by going to the toilet and then sit on my bed to finish off my bottle of water from over night- normally there will be about 500mls left over. I like to not go straight onto my phone, however I will just quickly check for any texts or missed calls. On the average morning I will wake up after everyone has already left for work, so I find that I sometimes get important messages from my Dad or something that I need to be aware off.

Next step is to make my way downstairs, so I throw on a jumper and some slipper socks, and then go and make sure the kettle is full and on. By this point, my dog Barney will normally be running laps around me, so I will go and put him in the garden, check his water bowl and put his breakfast down. Once he is back in, its time to check on the Princesses, normally they will just need some fresh hay in the mornings but they also get a peanut as it makes them happy.

With all the animals feed and happy, I will make myself a green tea, and go sit down to take my morning medication. At this time, I will not take any pain relief other than my paracetamol and naproxen. I like to assess my pain levels while I wake up before I guess which strength of pain killers I will need that day. Currently I am also in recovery, so this means I am tracking my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature each day, so I will do my morning checks while drinking my tea. It is then time to make breakfast, which will just be whatever I fancy, generally either gluten free toast, or smoothie and porridge bar.

Once breakfast is eaten, its upstairs again to get dressed for the day, before coming back down to write my to-do list for the day.

That is pretty much it for my morning routine, after this I will just start getting on with my day. This is something that I didn’t actively plan, I just found it was a routine that I naturally fell into.

How do you start your days normally? Do you have a routine, or is each day different?