2015 summary of my year happy sad memories cherish Gran December January new year new me


Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve: The End of 2015. I can not believe that another year has passed. I have endured the most difficult year of my life – for various reasons. I wanted to write a blog post summarizing my year. So here goes:

Where do I start? Firstly I want to mention the most devastating thing that occurred for me this year. It was the loss of the most dearest lady in my life; A wonderful, beautiful lady in which I proudly call my Gran McElhinney. I will not go into significant details (as I have previously wrote a lengthy blog post about the details of my Gran’s death) but I just want to reiterate how special this lady was and how painful this year has been for me without her. I lost my Gran in March – It feels like just yesterday. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss her, think of her and wish, with all of my heart, that she were still here.

2015 has been an eye opener for me. I have discovered who my real friends, and family, are. I have been let down on many occasions – by people whom I would never have imagined would betray me – and it is the same people who have continuously stood by my side and done everything in their power to bring me back up again. I am eternally grateful to these people. I am indebted to these wonderful people for the rest of my life. Firstly, there is Alastair, my boyfriend. I have been a nightmare this year; The girl (in which he fell in love with) has been lost for a very long time. She is still trying to find her way and he is still by my side, holding my hand. Recently, I have had more bad days than good, and I am fully aware that I have been a burden this year, and an absolute misery, but he has tried – every single day – to put a smile on my face. I can not thank him enough for that. Through the passing of my Gran, and my diagnosis of Depression and Anxiety, all of the appointments and medication – he has had my back. He has helped me in every possible way he could. He is my rock. Secondly, I want to mention my closest, and most cherished friend, ‘Lozza’. What a girl. She really is my friend for life. We became friends when we were roughly 8 years old; throughout the years our friendship has fortified and blossomed. She has also had my back through thick and thin. She has done everything she possibly could for me and has offered me nothing but support and encouragement over this past year. I cried hysterically in her arms, at my Gran’s funeral, as she embraced me and soothed me with her gentle words. She has attended countless appointments with me to help me get back to the girl I used to be (if it wasn’t for Lozza, I would never have went to seek help in the first place). She genuinely wants what is best for me. I value our friendship tremendously. I do not remember my life without this girl in it; And I would never want to. Nobody could replace her. I also want to mention my Mum and Dad. They embody the idyllic and most impeccable parents. They have had a pretty tough time over the years but they have never let it affect their relationship – or our family – their love is unconditional and they would always put me (and my brother) before themselves. My mother and father have yet to have a honey moon. They have been married for 16 years (or something like that) and they have yet to go on a holiday together. I hope that in 2016 my parents manage to have a break away from here. I think after the strenuous year our family has had; It is the least they deserve. They are just wonderful and I love them with every bone in my body. (Although I never tell them quite how much they mean to me.) There are other people I would like to mention however I want to move on to another topic. The people whom I hold close to my heart – they know. The people who have been there for me in 2015, know who they are, and I’m 100% sure they know how grateful I am for having them in my life.

Depression and Anxiety. I would never have thought, two years ago, that I would become this person that I am now. I am a shadow of the girl I used to be. My favorite quote: “Behind this smile is everything you will never understand” describes my situation perfectly. If you were to meet me, you would think that my life was alright, that I was just your average girl who enjoys life and wakes up every day looking forward to what the day has to hold. But I don’t. I smile on the outside. Meanwhile I am screaming on the inside. Every day, negative thoughts are constantly racing through my mind. I have no control over these thoughts. No understanding. This is the depression. Then the anxiety kicks in. The constant suppression from something inside me in which I can’t explain. I want to do things, go places, feel and think things – but I won’t allow myself. It is a constant oppressive battle in which I hope one day I can win. I long for the day I can switch off. I want to think normally again, I want to stop worrying and stressing over the most silliest and smallest of things. I constantly make mountains out of mole hills. I create problems and situations in my head when there isn’t one. I regularly bring myself down and feel inferior to everyone. I repeatedly tell myself that I am not good enough, or that I am not capable, or that people are judging me. I want to wake up one day and just obliterate these thoughts and live my life like a normal person. Just one day. It would be a blessing to not loathe myself for just one day.

I have to admit, although 2015 has had it’s majority of lows, It has also had it’s highs. I took a step in the right direction and accepted help, I will be starting 2016 with good intentions and goals in which I hope I can work towards, I have became closer to people who are trying to help me with my confidence and who are helping me strive towards my goals, I began blogging, I began eating toppings on my pizza, I have been privileged to create beautiful memories with the most wonderful people and I have finally realized who I actually need in my life.

I hope that 2016 is a productive year for me. I hope that it brings good things. I know nothing is easy and that I will have to work extremely hard to get where I want to be; But I believe I will get there. It will be a slow process but it will be worth it. I will look back at this blog, I hope, this time next year and I want to be proud of myself for all I have achieved. I want to feel like Charlene McElhinney again one day. I have forgotten what it feels like to be myself and that is sorrowful. One day, I will feel like me again – and it will be the most miraculous and magical feeling ever.

Christmas update blogging blogspot friendship disappointment December

A Bit of Everything

I want to start my blog with a brief mention about Christmas. I am currently typing this blog post from a laptop (for the first time ever). All of my previous blog posts have been typed up from my phone – usually whilst I soak in the bath. My boyfriend bought me a lovely laptop, as one of my many gifts that he bought me for my Christmas, I was absolutely spoiled. I am extremely grateful for everything I received. He wanted to treat me to a laptop to try and encourage me to continue writing, and blogging, so here I am.

I’m finding it a bit strange typing on a keypad as I have gotten so used to using a touch screen to type. Isn’t it strange? Something that I used to do so frequently and yet it all feels so new to me.

Over the past few days I have been rather aloof from social media; I guess I have had many things on my mind. A few people have tried to set me back, over the past few weeks and I have let these people bring me down even further. I know in my heart I should not let their words have an affect on me; but I do – profoundly. I constantly beat myself up, over one person’s negative attitude and oppressive words towards me. I often wonder if this person is not alone in their thoughts – does everyone think this of me?

Christmas was difficult this year. I spent the majority of the night in my bedroom with my boyfriend. It was the first Christmas my family had ever spent without my Gran McElhinney. As If this wasn’t hard enough; My Gran Rundell was just out of the hospital and was not well enough to join us this year. A Christmas without both of my Grans. It just wasn’t right. I visited my Gran McElhinney’s grave and the tears flooded from my eyes. I would never have thought last Christmas that the following year I would be standing by her graveside. I miss her more than anything.

In my previous blog post, I touched on a subject about my friend betraying me. He was someone I went through school with. Someone who always stood by my side and helped and encouraged me in any way they could. Someone I could laugh with. Someone I could confide in (I thought). Just the other day, I logged on to my social media page. I had a notification alerting me that this ‘friend’ had commented on one of my recent photos. My first thought was joyous; I assumed that he was contacting me for a catch up. (I had not heard from him in quite a while.) I couldn’t have been any more wrong. It was a hate filled paragraph – under one of my photos – in which he totally humiliated, degraded and belittled me. Not only did this shock, offend and embarrass me; It hurt me more than anything. I felt an emptiness in the pit of my stomach. How could a ‘friend’ do this? How could a human being be so heartless and spiteful as to publicly humiliate me in this way? It was beyond me. I’m sad for him. I’m sad for the loss of someone I would have counted as a dearly valued friend. Someone that I had a lot of time for; Someone, in which I thought, who partially understood what I was going through.

Words are powerful. I believe an individual’s words can change everything. Some of the things that were said about me – I can not forget. I am over-thinking and replaying these nasty and negative words over and over in my head like a broken record. I worry. I worry that everyone thinks these same thoughts about me. That perhaps there are more people out there that think little of me. This one person’s words have set me back. The progress that I felt I was making are now obstacles: Blogging, Going to the gym, Making an effort to see my friends and Pushing myself to go places are all hurdles in which I will need to overcome – again. I really felt like I was making progress, I really felt like these little steps were my way of getting back to my old self. However, now I just worry that people are thinking negatively of me for doing these things. Isn’t it ludicrous that in this life people scrutinize and bring you down for trying? All you can ever do is try. I keep telling myself this.

People can be so judgmental. In saying this, people can also be so understanding. It is just unfortunate that in this life, there are many people out there that just do not like seeing other people happy; People that revel in seeing (and making) other people miserable. Such is life.

My main focus at the moment is getting myself back to the girl I used to be. I know myself what I am going through; I also realize that I do not need to justify myself to anyone. I write because it is therapeutic for me, It is a passion, It is something that I get a great deal of pleasure out of doing. I do not write because I want people’s sympathy, or to brag, or to gain people’s attention. If nobody read my blog – I would not mind. It is something I do for myself. However, I have received countless messages, with nothing but positivity and encouragement from people I don’t even know – and that is a massive achievement and wonderful feeling for me. I am glad that people thoroughly enjoy reading my blog; I am pleased that through my writing, I have managed to bring comfort to and help other people. It truly is remarkable that my words have the ability to do that.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I will try and get back into the habit of blogging more frequently as I have lost this recently.

Christmas Eve festive season presents friendship disappointment

A Christmas Eve Post

It’s Christmas Eve. 

I hope that you all have lovely things planned with your nearest and dearest and create memories that you can cherish for a life time; sometimes it is not until people are gone that we truly appreciate their presence, at simple things – such as the Christmas table. 
Tomorrow will be my first Christmas without my Gran McElhinney. As many of you may know (if you are a regular reader of my blogs) my Gran was absolutely everything to me and tomorrow is going to devastating. I’m very lucky that I have a wonderful family, and an incredible boyfriend, that will get me through it. I am also going to visit my Gran’s grave tomorrow and put down a nice ornament that I bought for her. I know she will be there tomorrow, unfortunately not in a physical form, but she will be there. I know it.
I have many things I want to write about. Some of these things are rather desolating and rather dispiriting so I shall save them for a later date – perhaps after Christmas Eve – I don’t want to put you all out of the Christmas spirit. 
Yesterday, the lady who I have previously blogged about (Michelle) who does my nails for me – and other beauty treatments – done my hair for me. Usually, I am very reluctant about change and coming out of my comfort zone but Michelle had suggested I would suit highlights through my hair. I was really badly in need of a haircut so Michelle fixed me up with a basic trim and put some Caramel highlights through my hair. What a difference! I will post a before and after picture at the end of my blog to let you see it. I am really pleased with it however it will take me some time to get used to my hair being so light. I’ve always been dark headed. 
My life has been pretty hectic at the moment. It just seems as though bad things keep happening; I’m worried about what’s coming next. I will spare you all of the details as I realise Christmas is a happy time and I don’t want to bring other people down with my negative writing. 
Whilst I’m on the subject of negativity: today I was totally betrayed by a very valued person in my life. I’m still in shock. I would say that I’m hurt, more than anything, why would someone belittle and humiliate their own friend? I plan on writing a full blog post about this scenario (at a later date) as I imagine I am probably in the majority of people that have been let down by a friend. I am interested in hearing other people’s stories. I was totally confused by my ‘friend’s’ actions today. I don’t think I will ever be able to fathom why my friend did what they did today. It is beyond me. 
Anyway, it’s Christmas Eve. I hope you all have a fantastic time and celebrate with the people that mean the most to you. I hope that Christmas Day is everything that you want it to be – and that it is stress-free for you all. 
Merry Christmas! 

The Royal hospital Glasgow Christmas difficult Gran Christmas friend

A Visit to the Hospital

My head is pretty much all over the place at the moment. I just thought I would write a blog post and let off some steam: I’m going to start by telling you a bit about my day.

Today I visited Glasgow’s Hospital, the notorious ‘Royal’, to see my Gran Rundell. I was absolutely dreading going back to this place; the last time I stepped foot in The Royal was to witness my Gran McElhinney’s death. I was filled with trepidation as I entered the building today – floods of memories, thoughts and feelings all came frantically into my head -I was with my mum and dad. It was like we were re-living the day I lost my Gran all over again. My heart sank. As we approached the hospital entrance today, I knew my mother and father were thinking the same thoughts as I was, and so I held myself together. I so badly wanted to turn away (I wasn’t sure if I could face being back in that place) I never wanted to have to come back to this place ever again. And here I was. Visiting my Gran Rundell, who has been hospitalised and diagnosed with the exact same things that my Gran McElhinney was put in here for. It’s all too much for me to take in but I wanted to come visit my Gran Rundell and put a smile on her face. She was absolutely made up to see me. I sat by her bedside, and I worried for her, I didn’t like seeing her this way. I thought of my Gran McElhinney and what she went through; I didn’t want this for my Gran Rundell too. As she struggled for her breath today, exhausted and drained, her extremely shaking hand reached out for mine and she clasped them together. As I sat and watched over her, she stroked my hand subtlety with her fragile fingers – it was as though she could read mind and she was reassuring me that everything would be OK. I have no doubt in my mind that my Gran Rundell will make a speedy recovery – I just hope that she makes it out for Christmas – It’s going to be my first Christmas without my precious Gran McElhinney, and I just feel like I need her there. 
After visiting my Gran at the hospital, I popped in to see my elderly – but extremely elegant and glamorous – special friend, Avril (in whom I have previously wrote a blog post about) and she was really glad to see me. She utilised her lovely nature, without any effort, to cheer me up. Avril constantly rhapsodises over me. She speaks so highly of me, and has so much faith in me, as if I were one of her own. She never fails to make me smile. I am blessed to have such a wonderful lady in my life. 
I had an errand to run today, which usually my mum does for me, but today I done it by myself. I was totally stressed out – everything just seemed to go wrong – it was such a commotion. After several hours, it eventually got sorted, but I was totally dispirited and ready to just come home and collapse on to my bed. 
It’s safe to say, it has been a hectic day. I’m really glad I got to visit my Gran Rundell and hear her voice, I managed to pop in to visit my dear friend, Avril, and exchange Christmas presents and have a quick catch up and I am just about to spend the rest of my evening with my wonderful boyfriend – which is well needed after such a long and strenuous day. 
It’s only a couple more days until Christmas – my heart is just not in it this year. I wish I could rewind time and go back to last Christmas and appreciate every single millisecond of what I had. I’m missing my Gran so much, more than any words will ever be able to describe…

The last few days brief update friends Glasgow town Christmas

The Past Few Days

There are one million and one things that have been going through my head recently. I have constantly been over-thinking. At the moment, though, I currently am not in the mood for writing. However, I always like to try my best to write a brief blog on a Sunday, to wrap up my week, if you like. 

So, my last blog post was on Wednesday. I’ll just let you know what I have been up to since then. On Thursday, I had an appointment at 1 o’clock with someone who is currently trying to help my depression. She introduced me to various different techniques that can also really help with my anxiety. We also tried a breathing technique and a form of meditation – I was surprised at how relaxing and therapeutic it was! At first, I felt rather silly, but once I had got in to it – I was absolutely fine. Following this, I met up with two of my friends: Lozza and Megan. Lozza is my closest friend that I have had from my early childhood and Megan is the girl that I currently go to the gym with. Both of these ladies are very patient and encouraging and I value their friendship very much. We had a pleasant night out, with a few drinks, and danced like there was no tomorrow! 

On Friday, Megan and I went to the gym. We had only had about 4 hours sleep so it was definitely dedication. We worked up a sweat and let me tell you – it felt so good. I came home and relaxed afterwards and my boyfriend and I had a chilled night; followed by a chilled weekend. We have been playing our Nintendo Ds’ and just eating, sleeping and cuddling – it’s been lovely. I have been feeling extremely down (as we approach Christmas) and he has been my rock. He has been my shoulder to cry on and has tried his best to put a smile on my face and for that – I can not possibly thank him enough. I have been a nightmare recently, but I am so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.

Today is Sunday and we have had a total lazy day. Alastair is treating us to a Chinese takeaway tonight which I am extremely looking forward to! After I have finished this blog post, I am going to go for a nice soak in the bath and try and clear my head (which most likely will not happen, but I cherish the thought).

Like I said, there are many things I want to write in depth about, just not today. So I will write some more throughout the week! I hope you are all organised for Christmas, less than a week to go! 


Writing helps journal document life lists writer blogs

Writing Helps

I received a message yesterday asking “Do you think writing helps?” My answer is yes. I have a passion for writing and I find it the best way to express myself. However, even for someone who doesn’t entirely enjoy writing, I would still recommend it. 

For those of you who struggle to sleep at night due to over-thinking, something you could try is writing, to get whatever is on your mind out of there. Any piece of paper you can find, start jotting down notes of all the things that are bothering you, or stressing you. Once you are finished, throw that piece of paper away. Forget about it. Nobody has to see it. You may be amazed at how this little task can help you sleep. It feels as though a massive weight has been lifted off of your chest. It doesn’t work for everybody (it certainly no longer works for me) but at one time it did. I currently struggle to sleep for many reasons; but I do definitely recommend this technique.
For those of you who find it difficult to get many things done in the one day; or for those of you who do not feel you are doing enough in one day – start documenting it. Write yourself a ‘To Do List’ and take note of all the things, even the most basic of things, on a piece of paper. This will help keep you motivated as, if you are anything like me, you will want to make sure all of the things are crossed off your To Do List by the end of the day. It is also a fruitful task because you can look back on your day and feel like you have done something productive – even the little things count! 
For those of you who are reserved and don’t talk or open up about your thoughts or feelings, why not start a journal? I started a journal when I was in Primary 6 at school and I have documented my whole life. It’s a wonderful thing to have. I am blessed that I am able to read back through beautiful memories with special people who are no longer in my life. Keeping a journal is positive for so many things. You do not have to be great at writing to start a journal – just put pen to paper and let the words come naturally to you. You could start by introducing yourself, talk about your day, mention the important people in your life – and then just take it from there. A journal isn’t for everyone but it is something I would always encourage. 
Writing, for me, is a reflective and calming time where I can be myself; where I can open up and truly allow my thoughts and feelings to burst out from inside me. It is bliss. 
If ever, I am going about my daily business, and something happens that catches my attention, I take note of it on my phone (or whatever I have that is within reach) and I go home and write about it later. I think it’s important not to miss out on or forget the most simplest of moments in life. I am grateful that I have always kept notes throughout my life; if ever I feel the need to look back on memories with a certain person or at a certain place that I am missing – I am able to do so. The smile on my face, and the warm and comforting feeling it gives me inside, is just indescribable. 
There are many different things that writing allows you to do. I just thought I would share a few things with you all as I am trying to blog as regularly as I can at the moment! I hope some of these tips could be of use to at least one person and if so then it was definitely worth my while taking the time to write this! 

One step forward; two steps back

I just thought I would write a blog post as I have been feeling a bit dispirited and down in the dumps today. I can’t really rationalize why because I don’t know. 

Recently, whilst I sleep, I have been having constant nightmares. These nightmares consist of a variety of different things – I have been waking myself up from these nightmares quite a lot and it’s really disturbing my sleep. I just wish I could close my eyes and dream of something delightful for a change. Every night I am dreading going to sleep because I fear of what nightmare I will endure that night. 
This morning, when I woke up, I just didn’t want to leave my bed. I didn’t want to face anyone. I sat there for hours, talking myself in and out of doing things, an oppressive battle in my head that I just couldn’t win. A massive part of me was encouraging myself and trying to coax me into going out because I knew, at the end of the day, I would look back at my day and feel proud for leaving the house; another part of me was telling me I couldn’t leave the house, that staying in my room was the right thing to do, that leaving might cause me harm or discomfort. It’s a vicious circle. It’s a struggle, going through depression and anxiety, all at the one time. It’s too much. Nobody really understands it until they have gone through it themselves. I keep asking myself how will I ever overcome this? I keep telling myself that I will – some day I will just snap out of this and I’ll hopefully get back to the girl I once was. I understand it will be a long process. I’m trying. And I want to get there; I want it more than anything.
Let me tell you about my day: I eventually dragged myself out of my bed. It took every single bit of will power that I had to force myself out of the door today and I am extremely proud of myself for doing that. If it wasn’t for my therapeutic counsellor putting me forward for the gym then I know, for certain, I’d have stayed in my bedroom all day today – over thinking and beating myself up. I reluctantly made my way to my local gym and began working out. My heart wasn’t in it the way it usually is when my friend Megan and I go together; we keep one another motivated and go at a pace suitable for one another. Today I pushed myself. I pushed myself too much and my head kept telling me to stop. I wanted so badly to sweat out all of the negative thoughts that I had been having. Instead, I found myself feeling totally drained and extremely low. I told myself enough was enough and I made my way home. 
Sometimes in life, pushing yourself may not be the answer. On many occasions, I have had people tell me that sometimes you just need to do it, you have to push yourself to your absolute limit if you want to get anywhere in life. I realised today that this may not always be the case and perhaps I should stick to visiting the gym with a friend and taking it easy until I feel ready to go alone. 
Tomorrow is a new day. I’m just going to take it easy tonight as I’m not feeling the best.