My Definition Of Toxic

Hey me again… ever since lockdown I feel like we are all trying to get our shit together … I have been so quiet , literally hibernating to meet deadlines and focus on studying for my first exam! Scary I know… not prepared at all. But anyway here I am.. everyone seems to throw the word toxic round like it doesn’t mean anything. I am going to be writing about what it means to me and how I define the word “toxic”.

Urban dictionary definition of “toxic” Adjective used to describe usually very negative person, that bitch about everything, spread unnecessary hate or just talk shit about others. Googles definition of “toxic” very harmful or unpleasant in a pervasive or insidious way. But toxic is a lot more than those definitions, do you agree?

My definition of toxic is when someone has hurt you so much to the point where you are just tired of it, but you do not want to pay any attention to it as to you they are a “good person” and in some ways you love them relationship or not. You are willing to keep getting hurt by the same person hoping that some day they will change… but they don’t. You start thinking about bad things about yourself, thinking you are not worth it and you start losing your worth.. that is toxic.

Toxic is when they start abusing you physically,mentally and emotionally but you don’t care because you want to keep loving them, you want to make them a better person. Toxic is when they stop putting effort into you, they stop talking to you, they don’t want to see you, they don’t care about you. You need effort, time and to feel appreciated by the ones surrounded by you. You got to love yourself before loving anyone else, caring about yourself before anyone else is not toxic. But letting someone control you and who you are is.. don’t let nobody tell you what you can and cannot do.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON. You are not them and you will never be like them you are yourself and if someone does not like it well they do not deserve you. It is crazy how a person can hurt you and you make feel so little like your feelings are not appreciated. It is crazy how they can affect you and your future.. but it does not always have to be like that. It is also crazy how a person can hurt you and not give a damn, no matter what nobody’s lives are perfect.

We get knocked down lower then we have ever been before just so we can climb higher than we have ever have. Do not lose faith in yourself entirely, there are so many people in the world out there, sometimes it is okay to take a break from the world and focus on yourself so you can come back better than ever. If this pandemic has taught me anything.. everything works both ways, stop putting effort in if you do not get anything back in relationships, families, friendships.

Do not let toxic people stop you from being happy, living your life and getting what you want. Chase your dreams.

Do you feel the same, is this what toxic means to you? Do you have someone in your life that is giving off bad energy and coming across toxic? remember you are your own person!!

Peace, Love and Gin xoxo

I am A Difficult Woman – But I love Being A Difficult Woman

Females are secretly celebrated in society for being kind, gentle and delicate, any sign of weakness and a woman is usually taken advantage of. Though I haven’t mastered the art of saying no and standing up for every belief, I am developing the strength of a difficult woman. I’m beginning to stop letting others voice their opinions, I’m growing weary of one-sided friendships. A difficult woman is inspirational. History celebrates women like Marilyn Monroe who fought her studio bosses and Elizabeth I who refused to marry and give away her power. Women who go for want they want and defy anyone who tells them they can’t. It’s the ultimate female empowerment description. Why is it still negative for women to possess such levels of ambition?

Being a difficult woman doesn’t mean I’m not nice or thoughtful. It doesn’t mean I don’t take pleasure in cooking for a man or taking care of them. Growing up quiet and unable to handle confrontation, I felt taken for granted by my closest friends. Going out of my way to visit them, attending their activities when they found excuses for not agreeing to mine.

A couple of years ago, I cancelled out relationships and started putting my thoughts first. I spent my early Teens always worrying about men and whether I’d find a husband and someone willing to love me. Now I realise the shortness of my time and the need to put my dreams first. I am a difficult woman. I’m not 100% there and have a way to go before I master business. Yet I continue to voice my opinions, follow the path I want and not let my natural kindness stand in my way.

I have gone through shit and come out smelling of roses, I have kept my head held high when situations have been tough, I have confronted people who I didn’t think I would ever cross. Being a strong woman does not define who you are!

Difficult women answer back. Difficult women make themselves heard. They don’t back down. They’re loud. They challenge the status quo. They’re not all that easily pleased. They hustle. They’re the ones who get called headstrong (ugh). In men, similar traits are called, variously: ambition, drive, discernment. Think about it. When, pray tell, was the last time you heard a man get called difficult? Being difficult is really “another way of saying female and ‘brave enough to express the full range of one’s humanity.’ ”

Once upon a time, I used to think it was purely a compliment to be called “nice.” “But you’re so nice,” someone might say: “I can’t ever imagine you getting into an argument.” Or, “I can’t ever imagine you having a dark side,” or, “I can’t imagine you writing a book with a murder in it.” I’m sure the people who said it always meant well. But actually what they were doing was putting me into a box. Because society loves its boxes. Women, in particular, are often categorized as one thing or the other. You’re a nice woman. Or you’re . . . difficult.

Difficult women are “ambitious and bold, adventurous and emotional, brainy and defiant, incorrigible and outlandish, determined and badass.” They are about pleasing themselves as much as those around them. They don’t say yes simply because it is expected of them. As a result, they might put a few backs up, but they end up getting what they really want. (As a side note: You can guarantee that difficult women have better sex.)

Really, we should be allowed to be both “nice” and “difficult.” We’re not necessarily one thing or the other—we are all made up of many different and often contradictory, conflicting parts. And it’s definitely true that the world could do with people being a bit nicer to each other. So this isn’t to bash “niceness,” per se—but it is to say don’t be nice at the expense of your sense of self-worth. Difficult women never do that—and that’s why I love them. Because being difficult is also, crucially, about loving yourself.

I Am The Ultimate Judge Of Myself No One Else Is! Self Love Is The Goal

I AM THE ULTIMATE JUDGE OF MYSELF – NO ONE ELSE IS! I can only control my behavior and actions. I need to LOVE ME!

Self love is so important. Because when you’re all alone and it’s 3 am and you’re crying, who’s going to be there for you?obviously yourself. You have to pick yourself up and find the strength to carry on, at the end of the day, you’re all you’ve got.

The whole self love thing is good and all but some people can’t fathom being loved. They can’t imagine there being anything good about them. So they can’t simply just stop doing unhealthy things, there’s a process. 

Before self love you have to have self tolerance and self neutrality. 
If you can’t say “I love my body!” say “my body gets me from place to place.”
If you can’t say “I’m beautiful,” begin by shutting down the “I’m ugly” thoughts and saying “I’m a person.”
If you can’t say “I’m valuable” begun by shutting down the “I’m worthless” thoughts and say “all people deserve basic respect, and I’m a person.”

If you can’t say “I’m important,” or “I’m kind” say “I am the one who waters my plant every week” or “I am the one who tips the kind bartender down the street” or “I am the one who makes sure my dog does not eat plastic” or “I am the one who leaves long comments on people’s posts.”

You can be kind, be gentle, be loving, be inspiring, but refuse to let anyone walk over you. Find your worth, and after you do, you’ll start holding yourself up to a higher standard.

This will cause you to start holding people up to a higher standard than you’ve ever done because you know you deserve more than what has been given to you in the past.

You can be kind but be nasty against anything that will bring you down. You can be loving but detest hate. You can be inspiring but be uninspired by anything that does that match to your level.

But most importantly, be kind to yourself. Be gentle to yourself. Be loving to yourself. Inspire yourself. You’ve been through alot. You’ve learned alot of valuable lessons and you’ll learn even more. You’re strong and capable of anything you put yourself up to. You’re everything you need.

Your life speaks louder than your voice ever can. How we live and how we treat people is who we really are – not the things we claim to do or be. Let how you live your life be a testament to who you really are.

I will tell you again and again:

Choose the life you want and run in that direction.

Don’t settle for anything else.

Trust the next chapter because you are the author.

How People Try To Break You

One minute you’re a child with a best friend forever, the next you walk into a room full of people and assume only a handful are nice.

You truly grow up when you realise not everyone has your best interests. We are taught to always compete. We are labelled from a young age. The “clever one”, the “pretty one”, and the “funny one”.

It’s not about competing with the person opposite. You have to compete with yourself. Aim to be your best and you cannot do any more. Infact, if you compete against a person, you might win and then there will always be another.

Unfortunately, not everyone understands this concept; some people take their envy and twist it into negative malice. These are a few ways i have found that people try to break you, and how to react with each one.

1. The belittling

You have just opened up about your dream job or some exciting news; this person doesn’t want you to feel too good. They decide to mock or talk down to you in an attempt to lower your esteem. I am all for sarcasm, but sometimes a false humour is used to cover how awful they are being.

Honestly, being such a dreamer, I am beyond used to this. I have experienced family and friends criticise my decisions and do so in a way that makes me feel stupid. Sometimes no one cares until they see you doing well, and then they want to throw in their comments.

What to do

Simply keep going. Don’t argue. Don’t defend yourself. You know what you are doing and what you want. In a world full of people with dreams on the back-burner, it speaks volume about your character that you aim high. The best way to revenge these comments is to do you. Even if your plans do not all work out, you will live knowing you lived to the full and believed in your heart. That’s a great life to have!

2. The copier

Not just a highschool phase, copying can stem from a sinister route. I’m not talking about a person being inspired by your work or wanting to buy jeans they have seen you worn. That’s rather complimenting.

I’m talking about that person who copies purely to compete. Everything you do, they do as well to try to beat you at it. I have recently had someone who would do this and even to this day, I’m sure she still does. If she is reading this, PLEASE STOP!

What to do

Firstly, if you have someone that competitive, question whether they are actually your friend. Copying can be down to insecurity, so it’s important to know the difference. Truly, keep things to yourself. Don’t share information with a person not embracing your happiness. And don’t keep noticing. Just move on and focus on what you are doing. Worrying about others who do not care about you, is wasted energy. Besides, anyone copying and you are doing something right! Just block them!

3. The bragger

In today’s world, do we all kind of brag? Again there is a difference with people who love sharing their life and people who love rubbing it towards you.

Not always related to boosting self-esteem, bragging can occur due to the need to make you feel bad. They may ask you a question first and make your answer appear inadequate, or they make a point of comparing lives, persuading yours to look insignificant.

What to do

Keep your tone the same. Why let them affect you and if they have, Why show them? Don’t fake happiness or pretend you are uninterested, just stick your usual reactions. Nothing gets to a bragger more than knowing their bragging is not effective.

4. Negative Nancy

Apologies if you are called Nancy and you are positive!

Negatives like putting a big minus next to all your goals. However big or small, a negative wants you to know how unrealistic your desires are.

Mainly down to envy, they fear you achieving and setting out to do what they are afraid of.

What to do

Well, avoid sharing your positivity. It’s tempting to counteract and stand up for yourself when someone doubts your capabilities; often this does not deter them. Don’t give them the option of deciding whether to crush your thoughts, share your passions with people who inspire them.

5. The judgemental/down talkers

The biggest, I have resentment towards you and want you to fail, in my opinion.

Judgement is one of the worst. Beyond hypocritical, people who make themselves feel better by making others feel ashamed.

Alongside this category is the down talkers. Not only do they criticise, react negatively and belittle, they make you feel wrong. They take on an superior role. They target your intelligence. Down talkers can be conceited, they can attack you whilst pretending they are innocent. You can end up questioning your confidence, then questioning why you are questioning it. Any questions?

What to do

This is the one where I believe you should stand up for yourself. There is no such thing as a perfect human. Whoever decides to criticise you, are already in the wrong.

Be stronger than their weak opinions. Down talk especially, why entertain it? Cut the conversation. Your ears deserve more!

How many of these have you experienced? Please comment below and thank you for reading.

Peace, Love and Gin Xoxo

How To Make The Most Of Your Twenties…

Some would argue that your twenties are the best years of your life. And then those of us in our twenties would disagree… Why is that? Well, your twenties are confusing and expensive. Mostly expensive. Many of us are still working tirelessly at jobs that pay us nothing, all while trying to pay back thousands upon thousands in student loan debts.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m about to be 24 this year and I feel very blessed for the life I have today. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always been a walk in the park; at least not the way it’s portrayed in movies. All the romantic comedies star a woman in her late twenties who’s working as a senior editor for a high-end magazine and living in a lush apartment in the city. How the f*** did she land that gig? Basically, we’re searching for answers on how to make sense of this messy life we’re leading. And in today’s post, I’m going to share with you some ways to make the most of your twenties.

Be Willing To Embarrass Yourself

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve learned to accept the fact that sometimes I’m super awkward. And sometimes I embarrass myself with what I say, do, or the questions I ask. And you know what? That’s OK. You’re never going to become a better person if you let the fear of failure or embarrassment take over your life. If you have something to say, say it.

Don’t Waste Your Time In A Job You Hate

Sometimes you need to work a job you hate because you need to make ends meet, I get it. However, you’re far too young to allow yourself to become complacent in a job that isn’t fulfilling. There’s nothing worse than waking up every morning and dreading the drive to work. Find a job that excites you! We have this amazing thing called the internet. There are endless opportunities out there, you just have to be willing to go out and find them.

Determine Your Non-Negotiables

This goes for your personal life and your professional life. What are the things that you’re just not willing to settle for? Determining those things will improve your happiness tenfold. I never did this until recently and believe me, it’s well worth it.

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Having genuinely good friends who will be there for you no matter what is so important. Surround yourself with good people, and don’t be afraid to walk away from a toxic friendship.

Be Honest

Be honest with yourself and your relationships. Accept when you’re wrong, listen to other’s advice and just be a good person. Period.

Travel

Visit as many places as you can, experience life before it is too late! Fall in love with nature, you will not be disappointed.

Thanks for stopping by, friends! I hope you found this helpful.

Peace,Love and Gin xoxo

Mental Illness and Relationships – How to Make It Work?

I’m creative, funny, conversational. With the number of podcasts and documentaries I watch, you couldn’t say I have nothing to talk about. But I’m also someone who struggles with anxiety, PTSD and sporadic depression. From my experiences, I know making a relationship with mental illness work isn’t always easy.

They’re the ‘bad days’ – when symptoms affect your behaviour and plans. The days when you cope with negative thoughts. Not to mention, the taboo impacting how some perceive mental illnesses. It can also feel stressful for people who have partners living with mental health problems.

How metal illness affects relationships

“intimacy problems”, “codependency” and “shame” can impact a relationship with mental illness. “low self-esteem” and feelings of inadequacy could affect a couple’s bonding time. Certainly, feeling sexual isn’t a straight-forward task when you don’t consider yourself attractive.

Many many years ago, I was in an unhealthy situation where I expected my wonderfully confident and self-secure partner to help uplift my insecurity. When he didn’t say the right words (he often didn’t) I’d end up in a mood which led to us arguing. Besides showing signs of codependency, I struggled to communicate my thoughts. It felt better to be angry than vulnerable. I know of people who have ended a relationship when her partner’s mental health became too taxing. You feel drained and helpless – at a loss on how to support them.

When your partner’s mental health problems impact your own well-being

It’s really important to have good boundaries in these situations. What that means is taking time to make sure your own emotional needs are being met. If your partner is having mental health problems, they may be less emotionally available for a period. So practically this means getting support from friends, taking time to nurture yourself and using physical space to take a break. In some cases, it will be necessary to encourage your partner to seek medical help. You don’t have to fix them. In fact, you almost certainly cannot be the answer for them.

Despite a lack of training and education, I feel there is a pressure, not only in romantic relationships, to take on the role of therapist and offer advice. This advice tends to be based on personal experiences…. “You should exercise/read/take a bath… this is what helps me”. We want to reach out and assist loved ones, but certain suggestions may potentially make a person feel worse. I would consider therapy when:

  • “The offloading is becoming a heavy burden
  • Things are no better despite all your care, all your advice and all your love
  • You feel out of your depth
  • When you see the same cycle of thinking and behaviour happening over and over again.”

Making a relationship work

While mental health problems can come with some unappealing traits, there are also great positives. Friends say their mental illnesses have made them more understanding, more appreciative of life’s happy moments; more mentally strong and aware of themselves. For me, I feel my darker days have cultivated more creativity. I wouldn’t write the same if I hadn’t felt particular emotions.

It’s entirely possible to enjoy a healthy and satisfying relationship regardless of whether one partner or two lives with a mental illness. Making this work involves good communication and care. This can include:

  • Asking open ended questions; letting a person talk at their own pace.
  • Not dismissing a partner’s feelings; avoid telling them they have nothing to worry or feel sad about.
  • Trying to encourage your partner to create small goals that are achievable
  • Not attempting to shield your partner and act as therapist. (A partner is one person in a network of family and friends).
  • Not assuming all experiences are the same.
  • Putting in place healthy boundaries – not accepting damaging behaviour as an excuse for mental health problems.

On occasion, making a relationship with mental illness work can mean knowing when to step away. No one can be responsible for the mental wellbeing of another person.

Subsequently, if you have a mental illness, consider whether a partner’s behaviour or perception of mental health could be harmful to your wellbeing. A partner doesn’t have to understand what it feels like, but they should be able to respect your feelings.

The impact of Covid on mental health

For couples struggling with their mental health during the pandemic, please see below some tips I have created

  • “Reduce expectations and accept that sometimes just watching Netflix together is enough.
  • We are in a time when physical touch and tenderness is more important than ever. Physical affection can decrease stress. Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to lead to sex.
  • Keeping communication open is crucial but also, time limit sharing and make sure you both get equal airtime. You don’t need to solve the problem; just show you are listening and present.”

Self Care Essentials During Lockdown

Hi All, I hope you are well?

With Mental Health being a massive crisis during lockdown, I thought I would gather some self care essentials to help you throughout lockdown. It isn’t for everyone but I promise if you try these, you will be feeling better than what you were and it will help your routine.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils are a must have self care essential, I mean it says it in the name! I have a few favorite scents and I have come to realize that i associate them all with an activity and what they are meant for.For example, when I am writing blog post I have peppermint and rosemary in my diffuser ready to keep me on task while making my room smell amazing! 

BOOKS

One way that I not only motivate myself but also remind myself of how great I am is by reading inspirational books. I love to read in general, but on my really chill days I love to pick up my book on quotes from great women or affirmations (that I probably should have been saying all week long lol).

BATH ESSENTIALS

If you have not been able to take a GOOD and NICE relaxing bubble bath in a while, you are missing out! Courtesy of the quarantine of 2020 I formed many good habits, bubble baths being one of them. I would listen to music on my speaker, place my mask on and let the aroma of the bath soothe me. This is a must to add to your self care essentials that you simple cannot do with out! It’s super affordable and last forever- seriously I have a bottle from April STILL!

COMFY PAJAMAS/SOCKS

There is no better way to spend your self care day than in your most comfy of clothes which is why I had to include them in the list of self care essentials. Personally, I could wear shorts and a tee but I know for others the clothes have to be top notch. I love comfy, fuzzy socks! There is just something about giving yourself a pedicure, moisturizing and sliding on comfy socks as a finishing touch that make me go “ahhh”.

WEIGHTED BLANKET

For guys that have difficulty relaxing even when you have planned time for yourself, this may be most beneficial. The weighted blanket adds that sense of security, anxiety reducing, stress relieving feeling that we all could benefit from.

MUSIC

It is super essential for your self care to have music! Your playlist should include music that is motivating and uplifting.

JOURNAL

Okay, okay don’t hurt me but I will not get off of my journal fandom!! I would do you a disservice if I were not to mention this amazing self care essential item. I have many journals I like to use for different reasons. I have one journal for therapy notes, another for thoughts (day to day use) and another for goal setting. I have also used one in the past that was specifically for improving my self care routine.

MASKS

Invest in some face masks, hair masks, eye masks and foot masks… have a pamper night!

Self care is so important and yet we all fall short of taking the best care of ourselves. Those are some of my tips to help you throughout Lockdown,

REFLECTING ON MY 2020 CHOICES

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all well. With the recent news of Lockdown 3.0, I am reflecting back on 2020 and looking at my goals, what I have achieved and what I will achieve.

I have recently started a degree in Business Management, this is something I have always aimed to do and would like to progress with Journalism. This came a light after my world got turned around August 2020, I received some upsetting news which made me hit rock bottom. Lockdown had affected my mental health, but the news I received I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. It is something I am still dealing with and have to live with. I turned to drink and drove my car half a mile which ended up with me losing my licence for a year. Full of regrets but onward and upwards, this is what pushed me to turn my life around.

I was recently diagnosed with severe PTSD November 2020 which I am now getting therapy for, 6 sessions in and I and I am doing great. For anyone that doesn’t know Severe PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. I have experienced a lot of trauma in my childhood and adult life, I have witnessed and seen things I cannot explain.

I am so proud of myself for plucking up the courage to apply for open university after putting it off since 2016. I wanted to turn my life around and do something for me. I started this blog April 2020, I want to progress with my career, manage a company and write articles for magazines. I have recently been given another snippet to write in the Guardian (Not about Engagements this time) Long story…

I guess I should start by saying it probably seems totally random to many people. I work full time, I love to write, and I’ve loved having a blog. I want to say that I love this blog and my social media, I love updating my life on what I am doing, but keeping some stuff private still. Yes, you get the odd troll but predominantly, the people who follow me and who I speak to are truly amazing. I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say you’ve all saved me in ways you can’t even imagine. I genuinely don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for all of you, who read what I write, follow me, like or comment or message me. It may seem small to you, but to me every small interaction is something that has helped me through so many different things in my life and for that I’ll be forever grateful. I can’t explain how blessed a life it is to lead, that when you’re going through crap, or feel at your lowest, and someone pops up to say ‘I hope you’re okay’ or even ‘I found this chocolate in a supermarket I think you’d like’.

I want to write and post and share. I want to help people by talking about things and letting people know that it’s okay to feel certain ways, and to be different, and to go through difficult things and that it will all be okay in the end. I have loved writing and reading since I exited the womb, and one of my life goals has always been to write a book, which I’ve promised myself I will do – but I guess the point I’m trying to make, in the most long winded way, is that I’ve felt lost during 2020.

I’ve felt like I wasn’t fulfilling my potential – and I don’t mean that in a bigheaded ‘I’m better than this way’ – what I mean is that I am so interested and passionate about helping people and writing, and I’m just generally someone who loves to learn, to read – and has always had a massive interest in Journalism. My goal for 2021 is to pass my first year of Business Management and focus on Journalism, I would love to become an agony aunt for newspapers/magazines.

Applying for a degree was a nerve wracking decision to make because 1) it’s a lot of money to spend and 2) I’m 23 and work full time! In all seriousness though, it has taught me that it’s never too late to do anything, or to start all over again. It’s your life, and it has limitless possibilities.

I am pretty sure I want to manage a company and write articles for magazines. I am being completely open minded and I am going to speak to as many people as I can in both careers Business Management and Journalism, and do as much research as possible to make sure that I make the right choice for me.

My life in 2020 turned upside down, hit rock bottom but some what picked me back up and I have blossomed. You want something, you need to go for it. You want to run a business, start a business, do a degree, get fit. DO IT! Do not sit and ponder, the world is your oyster, a couple set backs and you will have a major comeback.

All I know is that I am so excited for this new stage of my life, and I can’t wait to bring you all along with me!

Speak soon.

Peace, Love and Gin xoxo