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

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Rough Runner now feeling rough

Before I talk Rough Runner, I want to say how happy I am that I finally saw my GP last week. He took my concerns regarding my chest seriously. I was told I had bronchitis and that my asthma is now worse. He gave me a brown, preventative inhaler which I was  delighted about and have to use twice a day. We talked about my recent serious low too. He said that as long as I am able to bring myself out of these lows (which I am) that it is not something to worry about. It seems that I really am too harsh on myself when my mental health isn’t so good.

Rough Runner was hard going. I am glad I did it though. It’s safe to say that I won’t be doing it again. I haven’t caught the bug for events like this. Afterwards, some of us got food from stalls at the event. My mate and I both got a hot dog from the same stall. 

Fast forward to Monday evening and I started feeling nauseous. By the time I got home from work, I was vomiting. It got even worse. I was sat on the toilet while having to vomit into the sink. Combine this with horrible stomach cramps, uncontrollable sweating and shivering and I have come to the conclusion that I got food poisoning. My friend started feeling the same yesterday morning. So I am now convinced it was from the hot dog we had on Sunday. 

I have been off work today and yesterday. The stomach pains have finally gone today but I have no appetite and I am so tired. Walter has been stuck to me the past few days, bless him. 

One reason I am not really set on doing rough runner again or similar events in the future is due to a hopeful positive change in circumstances. Dave and I have been talking a lot over the last few months about having a baby. We have decided that once we are settled in our new house we are going to start trying for a baby so at some point in the new year. I spoke to my GP about this as I obviously have a number of concerns. I feel better for talking to him about it. 

New challenges

It was lovely to see my family on Saturday. My Mum, Dave and I took Walter to the park near my parents house in the afternoon.  Although it was cold, we had a nice time. In the evening, we went to a favourite Indian restaurant of ours. It was delicious!

My anxiety levels continue to be low and my mood has been ok. The focus during my CBT sessions is now on how I perceive myself. Incase I haven’t mentioned, I don’t like myself. This impacts on how I react in social situations. I regularly feel paranoid and continously analyse myself when out. I don’t like the way I look, I regularly engage in negative self talk, I am convinced that people don’t like me and I worry that I have made a fool of myself in social situations. 

Addressing these issues is proving more challenging than I thought it would. It is really pushing me outside my comfort zone. Due to my work commitments and my therapist having time off, I don’t have another CBT session until the end of the month. I have some work to be doing around the issues mentioned. I don’t feel confident in working on this without my therapist’s input. She has said to get in touch if I need to but I don’t feel confident enough to. 

On Tuesday, my latest blog post was posted on Defying Shadows. You can check it out here. I have another one due to be posted early next week that I am currently working on. 

A group of us from my gym are going to be doing an obstacle course challenge called Rough Runner in October. It looks like a right laugh. My gym instructor friend is going to do it with us, so I am going to ask her about the best way to train for it. I am also going to start being more strict with my diet too. 

As much as I love working with Faith, I do not love the early get ups. Next week she is off school as it’s half term, which means a week when I can get a few extra hours sleep 🙂 It will be strange though, as I will be going the gym in the evening instead of the day. But it does give me the chance to try the latest Bodyattack release. 

Challenge complete, selfies and narcissistic people

I completed the Fit 4 5ive challenge! I didn’t let my anxiety stop me doing it. I had terrible anxiety on Saturday, the day of the challenge. I had awful stomach pains and I felt really panicky. 

The first class, spin, was tough. Lots of squats and hill sprints. My legs were sore as soon as I got off my spin bike. The BodyAttack class was hard going but I managed to keep up. We had a small taster of the new tracks. Lots of jumps and burpees. The floor of the studio became slippy quite quickly which was annoying. My feet were sore towards the end of Attack but I think I tied the laces of my trainers too tight. Before pump I loosened the laces and this solved the problem. 

Next was pump. I was just glad to have a break from cardio at this point! I pushed through all the press ups, deadlifts, skull crushers etc. BodyCombat was next. This is my favourite class. I really enjoyed the new tracks. I am looking forward to going to Combat tonight. We didn’t do any of the kicking tracks during the challenge because there wouldn’t have been enough space so I should get to do them tonight. I feel I have made massive progress in this class as I have done boxing during personal training sessions. 

The finisher was brutal. We were given exercises to do for a minute – mountain climbers, borrower squats, plank etc. We then did some tabata. I am really glad that I have done this before during personal training. We did it with two different exercises – press ups and jump squats. The final part of the challenge was a BodyAttack track. This track had lots of tuck jumps and high knee runs but I gave my all right until the end.

I am so glad I did the challenge. It highlighted how far I have come. My fitness and stamina have improved massively. The gym put on free tea, coffee and cupcakes for all of us who took part when we had finished. This gave me the chance to talk to some people who I have seen at classes but only said hello in passing. 

Unfortunately, the Fit 4 5ive Challenge brought out the worst in some people. There is a group of about five people in the gym who are very cliquey. They get arsey with new people, they talk overly loud and I have found them increasingly annoying. They pick and choose when they speak to me. I now don’t really bother speaking to them. I find it so unnecessary to be so stand offish with people. Plus, I would hate it if I made other people feel so uncomfortable. 

We were allowed to go into the spin studio 10 minutes before the challenge started on Saturday. I used this time to get my spin bike set up correctly and mentally prepare for the challenge. The clique spent the time taking selfies. 

I put this to the back of my mind during spin. However, when we then went into the studio for the rest of the challenge it was hard to ignore the clique. Throughout the challenge they were taking more selfies in an overly loud manner. At least half a dozen times during the challenge they actually stopped to take photographs of everyone doing the challenge! I found this strange and to be honest it angered me. Not once during the challenge did I think, you know what, I am gonna stop what exercise I am doing and start taking photos. Why would you think other people want to see random people exercising?! The part that angered me was that I felt like an invasion of my privacy. I know the clique are on facebook and they would put these photos on there. Not once did they consider that any of us wanted to be photographed or be on facebook. 

In the weeks leading up the challenge the clique would speak in an overly loud manner about how they were going to go out for food and drinks after the challenge. I found it really rude. Not that I would want to socialise with these self obsessed individuals, but wouldn’t it have been nice of them to mention it to everyone else in the gym and invite them? Why talk about it in such a way that everyone in the gym studio can hear? Does it make them feel better about themselves or popular by doing this? How about just messaging each other privately instead of making others uncomfortable. 

I just hope that they haven’t put people off coming to classes or taking part in similar charity events in future. Other people could easily feel intimidated by people behaving like this. I try not to let them bother me but it is hard not to me when my anxiety is high or I am feeling quite low.