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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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. 

Anxiety Girl

This weekend has shown that this is so me. The situation at work was blown out of proportion on a momentous scale. I convinced myself that I would have to give up work. As a result, I felt utterly exhausted. I slept for 12 hours straight on Sunday night. Even then, I was still drained when I woke up. 

Everything at work is resolved. Yesterday it was like nothing happened, which was exactly what I wanted. 

So tomorrow I am seeing my GP. It’s for a combination of mental and physical health issues. My anxiety and depression is so severe that Dave felt I was as bad as I was when I was under the crisis team last year. It was scary. I have really had to push myself to leave the house and to spend time with people. My chest is still not good. I managed to go to BodyCombat on Monday night. But my chest hurt the entire time. I struggled so much. I have this barking cough that makes an appearance whenever I physically exert myself and the chest pain radiates to my back. At times, I have constant chest pains. On Sunday I am doing Rough Runner so I have no choice but to completely rest until then. 

On a more positive note, today is mine and Dave’s 2nd wedding anniversary. We are both off work all day. We are going to take Walter to dog playtime and go for a meal. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful, amazing and supportive husband.

Fed Up

For weeks I haven’t felt 100% well. I have always experienced periods of time when I do not sleep properly. Initially, I thought it was just down to this. I struggle if I do not get enough quality sleep. I eventually feel run down. But this is different. 

Regardless of how much sleep I get, I always wake up feeling completely unrefreshes. It takes me ages to feel like I have woken up. I experience what can only be described as periods of complete exhaustion throughout the day. All I want to do is sleep. I have no energy, I have an on and off sore throat, headaches and earache. My body temperature cannot regulate itself properly. I sweat a lot of the time and not always from doing something strenuous. I can sweat profusely from getting dressed. 

I probably sound like a hypochondriac. But I am really worried that something is seriously wrong. I struggle to complete a gym class because of all of this. I couldn’t even go to the shops after Bodypump last night. 

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned this but my sister has M.E. (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). In a nutshell, she struggles on a daily basis because of it. Her M.E. was triggered by a bout of Glandular Fever. My symptoms sound similar to what she experiences.

It probably doesn’t help that I have anxiety and depression. My mood is taking a noticeable dip and my anxiety is creeping in to more aspects of my life again. I phoned my doctors and the earliest appointment they could give me is a week on Tuesday. 

I know I shouldn’t be going on when my Grandad is so unwell. The chemotherapy hasn’t worked and that is not an option anymore. He is waiting to find out when he can have radiotherapy. Each time I see him he looks even worse. 

Reality Check

For the past month or so I have been experiencing chest pains. I’m not one to go the doctors over the slightest thing. I hate to think that I am wasting time of an already stretched NHS. 

But this week it became even worse. The pain has been more intense and more frequent. I am stopping more during classes at the gym which is massively frustrating. It is a struggle to get enough oxygen into my lungs and my chest feels so sore. The past few days I have had intense heartburn and it hurts to swallow food. 

I managed to get a doctors appointment this morning. The GP I saw was lovely. He listened to me and checked my lungs, blood pressure and heart. He said that I The doctor said I have costochondritis which is inflammation of the cartilage that joins my ribs to my sternum. All I can do is take it easy at the gym and take ibuprofen. 

The main reason I ended up going the doctors is that my grandad has Oesophageal cancer. He had been experiencing the symptoms for around two years. On finding this out yesterday, it gave me a kick up the arse to get myself checked out. I am so grateful and relieved that it is nothing as life changing as what my grandad will have to go through. 

My lovely grandad will have to put on weight as he is malnourished from not being able to eat. He has to have a bit of chemo and then have an operation to remove the tumour. He will be in hospital for two weeks and will have more chemo after that. 

It breaks my heart to know what my grandad will go through. He is such a lovely, kind and caring man.  My grandad has been so positive about it all though and has accepted what lies ahead. So if he can accept it then I can too. 

Sunday Funday

Walter has had a lovely day. My brother came round this afternoon and Walter was delighted. We took Walter to get some treats from where he went for his puppy classes. One of the trainers from his classes served us in the shop. She loved seeing Walter and could see for herself how much he had come on. 

  
This was Walter’s pupcake he had after his big walk. 

We then took Walter for a big walk at one of his favourite places. He saw lots of other dogs including another dachshund called Frank. 

   
    
   
Faith wrote Walter a birthday card so I sent her a photo of Walter with it. I love the photo I managed to get. 

  
Needless to say, Walter is now completely worn out after his fun filled day. He is currently fast asleep on the couch.

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling not right. My throat was sore, I had a headache and earache and I was so drained. Today I woke up feeling even worse. My throat feels so scratchy and raw and my earache is unbearable at times. I have white spots on the back of my throat too.  I didn’t want to just sit in when we had plans today. But I have probably done far too much today. 

So I plan on resting as much as I can this week. It’s Dave’s birthday at the weekend and we are planning to go the zoo on Friday. As much as I love the gym, a dog walk today has left me feeling awful. So I won’t be going the gym this week

Emotionally and mentally, I have still struggled at times this week. Nothing in particular has been playing on my mind, but the feeling of uneasiness has lingered. I have CBT again tomorrow. I haven’t even attempted the task I was set. But I plan on telling my therapist that things haven’t been great. 

The blame game

Walter was really sick on Saturday. We don’t even know for sure what caused it. It was awful. He was throwing up for an hour. He stopped and has been fine since. But me being me, I blamed myself for it. This triggered a low which made me ill. I cried so much my face hurt, I had a terrible headache and I struggled to snap out of it. I wore myself out to the point of exhaustion. Yesterday I woke up to a terrible headache. 

During this horrendous low I ended up telling Dave that I experience suicidal ideations. He said that he thought that I did which is why he really wanted us to get Walter. The tremendous levels of guilt I felt when I did calm down were overwhelming. I was repeatedly apologising that I get these thoughts. I was insisting on cancelling plans on Sunday afternoon for our friends and their 4 year old daughter coming round to meet Walter. Dave suggested that I make the decision in the morning after sleeping. 

I am so thankful for Dave. I was ready to text my friend on Saturday night to cancel. Looking back now, I am glad I didn’t. We had a nice few hours with them. My friend asked what I do with Walter when I am at work. I used this as an opportunity to tell her about how things have been since December. My friend was shocked. She said had no idea, especially as I had seen her when things were really bad. I am glad I told her. This friend lives nearby and I said to her to get in touch whenever she wants to meet up.  As she has a young child, this has always been the way I am with this friend.  

My mood is quite low. I would rather just sit in. However, Walter needs to go for a walk later. It would be easier to not go to my usual Bodycombat class later. I am going to go though. I came across a pattern colouring book that I bought during my last breakdown. I am planning on buying some new felt tips. The ones I found have dried out. Colouring in helps my brain to switch off. 

I am supposed to be spending the day with my sister at some point this week. I am also going round to my parents on Friday. They have been on holiday and are back today so I didn’t see my Dad for Father’s Day. Part of me doesn’t want to see them but I will fight through the negative thoughts. I haven’t seen them for a few weeks so a catchup would do me good. 

Walter is perfectly fine now. He is back to his usual self. This was him last night chilling on the couch with Dave and I: