Chester Bennington

Like so many people, I was shocked and saddened to hear that Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park had committed suicide. 

For those who are into rock/metal music, we all have that one band that got you hooked. The band that opened your eyes and ears to music that completely speaks to you. For me, it was Linkin Park. 

When I first discovered Linkin Park they had only just released Hybrid Theory. At the time, I was a teenager. I was struggling back then with feeling of low confidence, doubts and anxiety. I know now it was more than your average teen angst. 

Finding Linkin Park helped me feel a sense of belonging; that other people felt like me, that someone could captivate perfectly my own thoughts and feelings. I was fortunate enough to have seen Linkin Park live on a number of occasions. It’s hard to describe what it was like singing your heart out with thousands of other people. It was beyond magical. 

I have been in that deep, dark place that Chester must have been. It feels neverending. At my worst, I would spend hours researching ways to kill myself including where I would do it. It was all consuming. I didn’t see a way that the darkness would leave. I really wanted it all to end as it was unbearable. 

I can’t remember how or when, but I decided that I couldn’t go on feeling like this. I felt I was just surviving, not living. Thanks to my amazing family and friends who supported me I got the help I needed. It was not easy. Addressing the deep rooted issues in my head is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. At times, I had to take myself out of my comfort zone and trust my therapist. It was scary and exhausting. 

I am not saying that life is now a bed of roses for me. It isn’t. But I can identify triggers or when I am starting to decline. I am more open with my family and friends when things are hard. For years, I hid my difficulties which I now know made things so much more worse for me. 

Things can get better. If someone had told me a few years ago how my life would be now, I would never have believed them. No one should feel like Chester, that suicide is the only option. Please find someone to talk to if you are struggling. 

I hope Chester is at peace now. My thoughts are with his family and friends. I am sure I am not the only one who is grateful to have found Linkin Park. Chester’s voice spoke to a generation and helped us during our worst moments. It is such a shame that he didn’t feel able to continue living when he had so much more to give. 


I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real. 
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along. 

Somewhere I belong 

Linkin Park, Somewhere I belong

Halfway there

I am now 21 weeks pregnant! So infact I am over the half way point. Yesterday Dave and I had our 20 week anatomy scan. I always feel a mixture of excitement and nerves before scans. 

Our little girl has grown so much since our private gender scan 5 weeks ago. I am so happy that she is healthy and well. She was checked thoroughly from head to toe which reassured Dave and I. Especially with the whole issue with my medication. I was so relieved when they checked her heart and it was fine. As per every scan, our little girl decided to be awkward during the scan. I was asked to go for a wee in the hopes that she would move position (which she did). It made me laugh as I have had to do this during each scan. 

I am feeling our baby girl move so often now. Dave has yet to feel her. She stops moving when he talks to or rub my bump. But it is just a matter of time before he does. I am still having morning sickness. I ended up throwing up outside the house when we got back from the scan yesterday. The majority of the time that I am not being sick I feel nauseous. It is hard at times. But, I know that all this will be worth it by the time our little girl arrives. 

A few weeks ago, we took Walter to Dogfest at Arley Hall for the second year in a row. This year we also went with our friend and her dog Lola. It happened to be unbelievably hot during the week we went to Dogfest. We were frequently putting the dogs into paddling pools, pouring water on them and getting them to drink. 

We made the decision to leave early for Dogfest this year. It was a good decision. We had to queue to get into it, but the queue moved constantly. We got to hear the amazing Noel Fitzpatrick talk this year. He is such an inspiration. 

Noel had this tshirt on during his talk and I couldn’t resist one for myself

Waiting in the queue

Walter all ready for Dogfest

Walter and I did a selfie haha!


How much does Walter suit this flatcap?! 


The main man; Noel Fitzpatrick!

I am planning on going back to the gym tomorrow. I haven’t been for nearly a month what with my asthma being bad and then morning sickness reappearing. I am going to do Zumba and I can’t wait. 

Our little girl already has some lovely clothes thanks to her auntie, Nan and Grandad and her great auntie and uncle in Australia. My Mum is in knitting heaven. The baby already has a matching hat, cardigan and blanket that are beautiful. I also couldn’t resist buying her some things for Father’s Day for Dave. 

These clothes are from my sister


Dave’s Father’s Day presents. The books are so sweet and made me cry reading them. 

Mummy Guilt

How is possible that at 18 weeks pregnant I am already experiencing Mummy guilt? There are two reasons. The first came about at what I thought was going to be a routine asthma review. 

Last Friday afternoon, I had a routine asthma review. The day after my review, my asthma became worse due to a cold I had getting on to my chest which is just typical. When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist told me that I needed a doctor’s appointment to discuss my recent blood tests. Luckily, I managed to get an appointment after my asthma review. 

I am taking folic acid and vitamin D and I was told that I needed blood tests in order to receive more. I was advised to take this while pregnant. My vitamin D levels are low. But is it any wonder when I live in the UK? We don’t get enough sun. 

When looking through my notes, the doctor found that I was on paroxetine. She said that I shouldn’t be taking this when pregnant. I felt so sick, anxious and let down. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I saw my GP so I could discuss my medication. I was told paroxetine would be fine to take. To then be told that fluoxetine is a safer SSRI  made me feel so guilty. I have been risking my baby’s health and it could have been avoided. Paroxetine has an associated risk of heart problems in babies during their first few months. The only reassurance I have is that each and every scan we have had, our little girl has had a strong, healthy heart. I have been taking fluoxetine since Sunday and I see my midwife a week today. I need to book an appointment to see the GP next week so they can see how I am doing. 

The other reason I feel guilty is my lack of appetite and nausea which seems to have got worse again rather than better. I have been making a conscious effort to eat healthy. Yet thanks to morning sickness (which by the way, happens any time of day) I threw up all the grapes I had managed to eat. I worry that my little girl isn’t getting enough nutrition to grow and be healthy. 

I think I am dwelling on things a lot more than I normally would. As I mentioned earlier, I have been physically unwell. I am finally starting to feel better. Although I don’t work much, I do have a routine; going the gym, seeing family and friends, walking Walter. All of this has gone out of the window. I have been stuck in the house. Thankfully, I have Dom in a few hours and the sun is shining. 

In the summer time

During the school holidays, I work more. As a result, I have been slacking in regards to my blog. Thankfully, I have been feeling a lot better since I posted last. But if I feel like it again I will be going to see my GP. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Dom and Faith more than usual. The days fly by and we have been up to lots of things. I have shared a number of photos on my Instagram account (@originalgemskibob) if you would like to see them. 

Dom has enjoyed spending time with Walter. We have taken him for walks and all enjoyed some lovely ice cream. Dom, Walter and I visited my sister at work. Walter was fussed over and Dom made sure everyone was working! Tomorrow he wants to bake a cake for my birthday at the weekend. This is the first time Dom has asked to do anything like this for my birthday. 

Faith and I have done loads this summer; colouring in, played board games, dog walks in the park, watched DVDs, been the cinema, shopped, workshops at Pets At Home and started a reading challenge at the library. 

As I mentioned earlier, this weekend it will be my 31st birthday. Dave and I are having time off work and having some much needed time together. We are seeing a mortgage broker on as we are desperate to have our own house. We are also spending time with our friend and her two little girls and having a meal with family. 

In terms of my mental health, I am doing well. I still experience a dip in my mood and anxiety but I am able to deal with it. It helps that I have a really good support network around me. 

One way I know that I am in a good place is that I am really broody. Dave and I have talked about having children. Once we are settled in our own home, we are going to start trying for a baby. As excited as I am, I am also terrified about having a baby. A huge concern I have is my medication. I would not be able to take the anti depressant I am currently taking. I have had a long struggle to find the right medication for me so the thought of having to talk to my GP about this fills me with dread. 

It’s back

It has made a brief appearance over the past few months. I was able to deal with it. But this time, it feels like it has a tight hold of me. As the week has gone by, the black cloud of depression has grown bigger. 

I couldn’t face the gym today. The self concious, paranoid thoughts about the way I look are constantly there. Plus, I feel that the antidepressants I take have caused me to gain weight. I have been making a massive effort to eat well alongside the gym and it is not doing anything to help. 

I am tired all the time. I don’t want to be around people. I cried before work and after work yesterday. If I didn’t have to go to work later I wouldn’t. 

We are supposed to be going round to my mate’s for tea tomorrow. I really don’t want to go. But my anxiety tells me that I am letting people down and I will lose another friend. 

I don’t know what to do. 

That makes three

Today confirmed that someone who was my friend for 10 years doesn’t want anything to do with me. I will explain further. 

This friend has been in a relationship for a number of years with an absolute dick. I have no idea why she is with him. I have thought for a long time that he is abusive to her. I never voiced this to her in the hope that she would one day discover this for herself. 

To see a good friend change so much because of said boyfriend was hard to see. These changes were not for the better. My friend went from being outgoing, bubbly, confident to quiet and unsure. She now drinks to excess as her boyfriend does this. This was someone who didn’t drink much until she met this loser. 

I sat back and kept quiet on so many ocassions  She told me about the countless arguments, his excessive drinking and the fact she checks his texts and facebook account behind his back. My friend seemed scared of her boyfriend. 

This friend was one of my bridesmaids. She knew the date of the wedding 19 months in advance. The night before the wedding I found out through another bridesmaid that she was intending to leave after the wedding breakfast. The reason why? Her boyfriend had work the next day. Surely he could book the day off after our wedding since we gave over a year and a half notice? Apparently not!

I found this out when I was attempting to get some sleep the day before my wedding! It was a complete curveball. Least of all as she didn’t have the decency to actually tell me. The amount of time and money I had spent on her being a bridesmaid and she wouldn’t be there the entire day. 

We got married at 2pm. I stayed at the wedding venue the night before with my mum and bridesmaids. Considering my friend’s boyfriend had work early the day after our wedding, I was shocked to find out that by the time our wedding ceremony had started he had drank 3 pints of beer! On all our photos he looks completely miserable. He was sat on a table with the bridesmaids, their partners and my brother during the wedding breakfast. I was told he had a face on and didn’t attempt to join in conversations. 

My friend and her miserable boyfriend left at some point after our first dance. The most upsetting part was they didn’t even say goodbye. They just left. 

I let all this go even though I was furious. Dave and I met up with her at the end of October after we had got back from Reykjavik. It was really awkward. Nothing was said about the wedding. Mostly because Dave didn’t want a fuss and felt it wouldn’t achieve anything. I have not heard from this friend since. 

When I had my breakdown in December, I didn’t see much point in seeking help from this friend. She made it abundantly clear in March 2013 that I didn’t need to be on antidepressants and I was letting the person who was bullying me in work win. This impacted me for a long time and still does. I struggled to acknowledge to others how unbearable and overwhelming my life felt back in December. To this day only a select number of people know about my depression and anxiety. I don’t want to push anyone else away. 

Today was my friend’s birthday. I sent her a text wishing her a happy birthday. This has been ignored. This is not like this friend. I know for a fact she will have received it as she was on whatsapp two hours after I messaged her. 

I had written this friendship off even before I had my breakdown in December. So why am I feeling so hurt by all of this? I have now lost 3 close friends in the space of 6 months. I feel as if it has highlighted how isolated I am. My circle of friends seems to be dwindling. Maybe all of these broken friendships are all down to me. I find it hard to forgive people. I guess living with depression and anxiety has made me want to shut out people who are a potential threat to my mental wellbeing. 

My anxiety is telling me that my friend who I stopped speaking to in January has played a part in all this. I wouldn’t put it past her to try and sabotage my friendships with others. 

I feel ridiculous for letting all this bother me. I live with the constant fear that I will end up alone; without Dave, my family or the friends I still have. I am clearly too much hard work. So why would anyone want to be there for me?

“Woe is me”

So the presenters of Loose Women are of the opinion you can think yourself happy. Now I do appreciate the act of gratitude. I took part in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. A discussion that should have been about how keeping a diary can help with happiness became a discussion about depression. Jamelia and Coleen Nolan both talked about how they have been prescribed antidepressants and didn’t want to take them.

I am not saying that antidepressants are for everyone. However, I felt as if this discussion just adds to the stigma surrounding mental health. The phrase ‘woe is me’ was used by Coleen Nolan. Her answer was to think positive and after a month all was well. 

Jamelia and Coleen Nolan gave the impression that those that take medication are weak. I wish a bit of positive thinking was the answer to my depression and anxiety. It wasn’t easy for me to decide to take antidepressants. Even taking 40mg of Citalopram daily, I still go through some extreme lows. There is nothing more terrifying then fighting the battle that is going on in my head every single day. I have been told that those with depression live in the past and those with anxiety live in the future. So having depression and anxiety is truly scary. 

Rant over. Moving on…

My CBT session yesterday we looked at me doing some gradual exposure to certain places/social events that trigger my anxiety. We talked about building up to going the pub one evening. This is something I have not been able to do in months. It is something I would like to do. The first step I am going to take is to go for a late lunch/early tea with Dave. The key to getting over my anxiety about going the pub is before going to acknowledge that I will probably feel anxious. That it’s ok to feel anxious. If I start to feel anxious I need to stay for a few minutes. This will, in theory, help me realise that even though I was anxious I was ok being in a particular situation. 

Dave and I are looking to take Walter to puppy classes. We’ve been recommended a place near to where we live. I’ve been in touch with them via their website and I am waiting on them to respond. Walter is worn out today. He has been in the garden a lot and I bring Dom round to see him each week. Walter gets extremely happy when Dom comes round. He is so hyper and follows Dom everywhere. Dom now has a 10 week old black labrador. He is adorable. Walter is so little compared to him. Dom’s Dad and I talked about him meeting up with Walter.