Introducing another one of my new series for 2018: monthly favourites! This is where I describe how my month went, kind of like how I did with my #ClaireNotes last year, but with more general things that you may know about! I hope you enjoy! Let me know what your favourites from November were!
Just a quick side note before I start: The December Favourites will be published in mid-January as I will be away at the end of December and beginning of January.
So this will be the last Favourites post published in 2018! Let’s make it count!
A series on self-love and positivity that will take place every week. Here I will chronicle how my week went with a question asked on the journal I bought in summer 2017 from Paperchase, and a brief idea of what is planned in terms of the blog, which will be added/crossed out when done.
New beginnings… June was all about many changes in my life. A leap of faith, you may call it (will be doing a future post on this to go into further detail so eyes peeled for that one!).
I decided to take my physical and mental health more seriously than ever. With summer coming round, I had more time to kill, so I decided to rejoin the gym for three more month. And the progress is there but ever-so slightly.
I also took it upon myself to upgrade my blog plan from free to premium, which comes with more features, and will be working more on my blog than last year. We’re talking collaborations, guest writers, reviews and a lot more!
So you might ask why I have a question mark in the heading… Well, my job is on the line. As of now, writing the post and time of publishing, I still don’t know whether I will be employed for another year or not. It breaks my heart but has to be done (policies and whatever); fingers crossed I get chosen and spend another year with amazing colleagues!
Mental Health First Aid Course!
I have written about this a few days ago. I wanted to do something like this for the longest time, and I finally did it. For the next three years, I am a certified Mental Health First Aider!
The course was spread across two days, six hours each. For me, that was a short amount of time to cover mental health, so I hope the Richmond Foundation does more related courses in the future which are longer.
Summer holidays started June 23rd at 1pm for me. I spent the whole day at a staff evaluation, where we engaged in a scavenger hunt around the beautiful city of Birgu in Malta. It was so much fun and we had a great laugh!
Some of the tasks we had to do included reenacting a marriage which featured a stranger as a bride or groom (in our team’s case we had two strangers for each role!), singing the Maltese national anthem holding the Maltese flag, taking selfies with as many strangers as possible and also doing the Harlem Shake.
We had points deducted from our team for arriving late at the meeting spot, and came in at second place. Sans the point deduction we would have been crowned winners!
So this was the month of June in a nutshell. Next month will be a special edition of #ClaireNotes because it will be all about LONDON! Really excited about this, and will probably be a whole bunch of places I’ve been to as opposed to sticking to just three goals, so stay tuned for that!
I led a normal childhood, as far as I can remember. I was the imaginative, creative weirdo who loved her imaginary friends and playing soccer. I had really good friends of both genders, played well with everyone and the teachers mostly loved me. However, I always had the same problem: I thought too little about consequences of my actions, but was preoccupied with what people taught of me: always was and probably always will be.
There was nothing weird with my family. My parents are your average, strict hard-working parents who wanted the best for their children, and my older sister was… well… an older sister. She means well, I know, but sometimes she can be a bit harsh. But in a good sisterly way, I’m sure.
Fast forward to when I turned eleven: when the problems started. I was moved to all-girls secondary (high) school. I had no friends except for one a year above me (who’s still my best friend to this day… TEN YEARS LATER!), and I always sat with my sister during free periods. I had acne, low self-esteem and a reputation for being an outcast. I went from playing and talking to everyone to being left out, getting picked last for team work and talking to nobody but my sister and my best friend. During secondary school, I used to think I had depression, but brushed it off. The idea never stuck. Me, former class clown, depressed?! Nah!
I only ever liked three subjects at school: English, Italian and French. Having three languages was no walk in the park. I loved writing stories in English and present them to my teachers, who all told me the same thing: “You have talent”. I used to hate my French teacher for the two years that I had her, and never did my homework. She told me I’d fail, but I always got good marks in French. Italian was a different story. We were a tight-knit group, and I still sometimes talk to some of them when I see them around.
Also during this time I was bullied. The names were endless: weirdo, strange, Shrek, ugly. I was also called names for listening to rock music and always being gloomy. But that’s how I was. They’d never understand the consequences of their words.
In June 2011, I lost my uncle to cancer. It was one of the saddest days of my life. Despite not being too close with him, he always had nothing but wise words of wisdom to tell me and my sister. The day he died I was sick, in bed, studying his favourite subject: the French Revolution. I dedicated my History exam to him… didn’t go so well. I got an E. Sorry, Uncle. I still love you.
That year, in October, came the saddest day of my life: losing my grandfather. My hero, the greatest man to ever enter my life. He was smart, funny, a good man all in all: the person I aspired to become when I was older. I spent that day just staring without a focus on things. I was so sad that all I did when I went home was stare at the ceiling, remember the good old days with him. The laughter, sadness and wisdom we shared together. Losing him left me devastated and unable to cope.
That led me to a downward spiral. I’d call my mum, crying that I hated everyone and everything, that I was alone and no one would miss me. This left her a little worried, but she brushed it off as a phase, simple sadness or something of that sort. 2011-2012 were the worst years of my life. My grades were plummeting; I had just two friends and being single didn’t help at all. I thought nobody wanted to be with me, or even liked me. I hid it all: the pain, the sadness, being lonely and alone. I hid it like it was nothing. And I was good at it. I good at making people think I was okay.
Fast forward three years. I was still sad, constantly tired, didn’t enjoy the things I used to love—reading and watching series—and my self-esteem was ever so low.
During that time, however, something did change: I started seeing someone. As he plays a role in this, we’ll call him X. X was smart, charming, a fellow animal lover and mature. I was instantly in love. We were both Beatles fans, and having met for the first time on John Lennon’s birthday made the relationship extra special. I was working as a secretary, and was not happy with my job. X encouraged me to call someone for help. Something I wanted to do for ten years… and it happened. I called my psychologist, Dr G, and set up my first appointment for December 2015. Also during that time, I went to see a doctor, and told him about my health issues. He told me to take a blood test, because it might have been thyroid issues, and if they came out negative, chances are I have depression. And, lo and behold…
The tests came out negative.
I had depression. It all just got real now. After ten years, I was finally diagnosed.
Soon enough, things with X were going sour. He’d be encourage me to do thigs the hard way—go hard or go home, he’d tell me in his own way—like putting on make-up, changing my style, moving out, not listen to my parents and much more. X would tell me he means well and cares about my wellbeing, which for him meant cutting my family off. Unfortunately, being blinded by my love for him, I listened to him. I spent about three months not talking to my family.
Things started getting worse, and one day, he just told me that it was better to stay away from him. I spent the next three days in hospital, crying for him, crying for dear life, with my mother by side. Oh, mother, if it wasn’t for you then, I’d probably have killed myself. She came with me to every doctor’s appointment, kissed me goodnight and checked up on me constantly. I felt stupid for having cut her off of my life because of X. Stupid and foolish and sad at the same time.
And finally we come to the present:
I’m seeing a specialist every four weeks to overlook my progress