Wednesday, 23 December 2015

2015 Annual Happiness Tips Reviewed

Hello all,

So this is the post where I look back on my annual happiness tips 2015 and see how I feel about them as we speed into 2016 - can you believe how fast this year has gone!

So let's look back to the first of January when I suggested to myself to:
  1. Be healthy but don't make myself crazy with worrying or feeling guilty when I am simply enjoying my life!
  2. Be happy for what I have in life and remember that everyday (but at the same time it is ok to be sad every now and again - just not more often than I am happy). 
  3. Be more creative more often; blog, do more photography, spend more time colouring and do more Lego building! 
  4. Do something amazing every month; from seeing friends to travelling or just having an excellent experience at home with my family  
And how did they go; well it's been up and down on all fronts really; apart from doing something amazing every month as I think I will write my last post on that - a retrospective look on the year, if you like.

I do feel much happier generally about things; and as I have gone on this year I have felt myself shedding the fear a bit. So I have at least made a start on this one.

I also have worked out that I can go to the gym three times a week and not break. I will therefore endeavour to do that every week next year and hopefully my health improvement will happen in 2016 too. I already felt that the commitment to it is making me more motivated in general.

Creativity has been explored but not really fulfilled this year. This is certainly something I want to work on more next year. I have some more public speaking that I want to do and then hopefully creativity will grow from there.

And other things for next year; well I think I am just going to work on me in whatever order I need at that given moment. And so far my best achievements have been when I have had no plan at all so maybe I need to stick to that more! 

I hope with whatever plans you make for 2016, you make sure to look after you! 

Amber xx

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Closing this chapter...

Hey there, how are you?

Dramatic title Amber - I hear you. And I am not leaving this blog forever - be sure of that.

This blog was my Carrie Bradshaw moment, and I have discussed most things on here and laid my soul out. And I owe it a lot more than you know.

But I am not heartbroken any more. I am a single girl heading out into a new year with literally the world in front of me.

I am really looking forward to 2016. I have a good feeling about it.

So what am I going to do on this blog if I am closing this chapter for now:

  • My series about heartbreak is done. I was going to write about the big moments but I can't really offer more than I said in my past three posts; surround yourself with friends, let it out but don't let it ruin you and eventually, when the time is right for you, it will stop hurting. You can't force yourself out of it if you aren't there yet but you will be. 
  • Will you stop writing about love and life? No. I never promised you a schedule on this blog and I think I have lived up to that. This blog was always me talking to the universe and when I need it; it will be here. I will write when the moment is right. 
  • So is this the end. No. Not even slightly. My voice has changed as I have grown that is all. I will write my update on my Annual Happiness Tips and another post before the year is out - taking it to 50 posts on this blog. I will also check back in every so often. Also trust that whatever I work on for next year I will keep you guys updated. 

If you do need me - I will be here.

Love for now, have a safe and happy holidays,

Amber xx

Saturday, 28 November 2015

In my lonely hours, days and weeks...

Thank you Sam Smith for giving me the inspiration for this post title.

Being one half of a whole heart is how I felt when I was in a relationship. 

I was given +1's, asked how they were as many times as I was asked how I was and we spoke every day. So when we broke up, that whole became two halves again and I felt very much alone.

Single is the term society has branded us who are partner-less and if you have always been single then that's one thing, but the transition from couple to single is a hard leap to make. It can feel like someone has cut your arm off. And it can take ages before you begin to recover. I was single for 17 years before my relationship so I was actually good at it. And it took me the best part of a year to feel like I had made it back to myself again. 

In the days after the break not calling or texting them; cleansing your social media and seeing all that stuff that holds so many, now painful, memories everywhere is so unnatural for you. 

And then there is at the moment, when you shut the door to your bedroom, or you are alone before your housemates come home and the wave of loneliness comes upon you. And it can knock you for six (and completely shatter your progress of healing). 

When I was alone I went into analysis mode; picking apart everything to find what was to blame, remembering everything I held as a memory of "us", torturing myself remembering how happy we were and resisting doing everything that felt natural (calling or texting them).

Then I began to hunt the Internet for blogs and message boards of people who were also going through the same as me and how they got over it. I was desperate not to feel like I was crazy for feeling like this. 

And I found loads. And I breathed a sigh of relief - through many tears - that I wasn't some crazy person. I was one of many hearts broken, searching for hope.

I was so comforted by that and clung to them like a loved toy. This is why I am writing this so that if anyone else needs my help; my story is documented here. All you have to do is take a moment to search online and a world of heart break opens up to you. 

Like I said when talking about not having strength and borrowing it from friends; filling silences became key. Anything from TV to music to physically going out with friends and hanging out with my parents all night to avoid being in my own head with my thoughts. That's why college was so important; it forced me to concentrate on not letting my emotions ruin my education; I was down but I wasn't out. 

I loved music for helping me through the moments when I had to be alone. For the purpose of this post I have collated a Spotify playlist of songs that helped me heal and drown out the thoughts/tears and some are new that I would of needed back then too. This is linked here if you want to give it a listen. It's great if I do say so myself. 

The key I found to surviving heartbreak is realising that this timeline is completely unique to you but at no point is anything you feel unusual - no matter how crazy you think it is. One day you may feel better and crack a smile; the next you'll feel as if you are back to square one. There is no rule book for heartbreak.

Looking back I remembering thinking "When will I ever feel normal again?" And then one day I just did. I can't even tell you when that was. I was able to talk about my relationship and not want to cry and my life carried on. 

Another thing I found important is to keep talking; and I had very good sounding boards that listened to anything I needed to get off my chest. I couldn't of coped if I had to bottle it all in. Giving yourself a period of time a day to wallow when it gets to hard not to and then stopping and forcing yourself to do something else. It takes dedication but it is really important! 

The next post is about tackling big milestones; Valentine's Day, birthdays and anniversaries. This is a skill in itself. But that's for next time...

Lots of love, if you need me I'm here,

Amber X

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Strength in numbers: when you don't have any, borrow it

Wake up. That happened. Oh yeah. (If you don't know what I am talking about click here to read the previous post.)

Go through the motions of getting ready, interrupted by bouts of sadness that knock you sideways, and get yourself to college.

You tell your nearest friend first - now it's out there and real. 

The hard part. Someone asks about the two of you not knowing and you just break down. 

You have managed to keep it in. Not any more. 

"Oh my god... Come here have a hug...are you alright?...what happened?...let it all out" 

My next piece advice; and one that will come back time and time again in this journey, is if you don't have the strength to pick yourself up - borrow it from friends. Use the hugs, the knowing looks and the silences they create for you, to release all your feelings into. Because even if they haven't had this happen to them, they just know what to do.

Some told me that it was brave to go to college the day after it ended, I disagree, it was 100% vital that I was not alone for that first few days. I recommend that if you go through this, you need to let your life continue and try as much as possible to fill the void that presents itself. 

You will, unfortunately, dwell on the pain when you are on your own. And I found that there are actually lots of times in normal life when you are alone. However when I was with friends or even forced to think about Chaucer for a couple of hours, it was enough to distract the mind, even for just a short while.

I also want to take this moment to thank my friends and family for all the tears and pain they absorbed on my behalf, thank you for all the kindness that you had no idea was so important to me then and thank you for not expecting me to "just get over it".

It was the first 48 hours after where the love that surrounded me protected me from imploding completely. It was set to not always be that plain sailing, but looking back I know how important it was to me not to feel totally alone in the scary world...

Next time is the first bump in the road, when the isolation set in...

Until then, I'm hear if you need me. You are more than welcome to my strength if you can't find any of your own. 


Amber xx

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Explosion - that moment when everything shatters

In that moment when the glass shatters, your world just stops.

I remember feeling sick; feeling angry and feeling terrified. 

Confusion is an understatement. 

As they sit in front of you, you no longer recognise their face. As far as you know they are an alien that has torn your heart into pieces. 

There can be a reason; but trust me knowing the reason doesn't make it any easier to swallow. 

When they leave; if you haven't already; you breakdown. 

I don't think I have ever cried as much as I did. And I sobbed and sobbed. I couldn't even stand.

I have cried a lot at death but death is very final, and I at least have always been able to pick myself up after death. But at this moment that my heart literally broke - the pain was so real I thought I had been stabbed. 

The initial few hours felt like days themselves. I am pretty sure I cried myself to sleep.... 

Considering I am looking back at this moment over a year and a half later, forgive me if my memories are hazy of those first few hours. I have summarised them into these sentences and I think my head is saving me from reliving it over and over again, which is a blessing. 

Did I know it was coming? Earlier on that week I had a feeling and I am pretty sure I knew what was coming - something inside of me just didn't feel right any more. My first piece of advice is if you feel something act on it - trust yourself. 

Could I have prevented my heart break? No. I was in love and you see the world through rose tinted glasses, I didn't think it would happen. 

Will I ignore my head again? No. But this pain taught me a lot about myself, including that I should trust my instincts and that I maybe psychic. I can't say I recommend it but it is a good thing to learn and how you come out the other side is more important but I guess that's why I am writing these posts.

If you understand me at all then I am very sorry...but we are not alone.

The next day (this event happening on a Monday) I got up, got dressed and went to college, don't ask me how - you'll have to wait until the next post. 


Amber xx

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Relationship Bomb: The Break and the Aftermath - A Series...

Dear Readers,

I started this blog a few years ago in order to impart some advice that my friend at the time told me was blog worthy. It was relationship advice, and at the time, I was talking as an external observer; to put it simply; I was and always had been...single. 

The caveat to this was that I had actually been in love; that good'old unrequinted kind that repeatedly kicks you in the heart until you can move on; which is hard when you only move on from your own feelings and not someone else's betrayal of them. Maybe I will write my next post after these about it. 

Anyway I digress; this post is heartbreak 101 from the initial bomb drop on your life as you know it to the place where at least I am now the 18 months on stage.

I will stop where I am now as I no longer consider myself broken - I had my heart  broken yes but I feel like I have recovered now; and this post is my manual which at least I followed and what I did to mend my heart and I hope it will be helpful to you all.

A note to my readers who haven't had a relationship heartbreak; the stages of losing a partner are very similar to the stages of grief over a loved one I have found so they may help you too; also if you ever have to break up with someone this may also affect your heart too and I guess you can see it from the other side - this is not meant to make anyone feel bad however; relationships do have to end no matter what sometimes; but I will come to that in a later post.

This post will form the overview of the next few posts and unfortunately I can't give you a regular schedule as these need to come from my heart at the moment they do; I want them to be as honest as I can be. But I hope you stick around and I see you soon.

Love as always,

Amber x

Monday, 24 August 2015

I'm a human being...

I make mistakes like anyone, I embarrass myself and then in trying to style out the embarrassment probably embarrass myself some more, I get sad, I fall in love, I make friends and one day I hope I will make a family. 

I probably need to get used to this soon. 

Recently I have found myself worrying a lot about things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things. I don't know everything and when you are out of your comfort zone then by it's nature you don't know what your doing and you are just learning as you go along. 

I am perfectly imperfect. 

My cat, Woozle, is sitting on my lap as I write this and she is the definition of someone who just owns who she is. She seriously doesn't care if she doesn't quite make the jump onto the coffee table, or can't catch a bird, and the only time she is stressed is when she is without food for more than 2 minutes. I would love to be more like her, and I am trying. 

I'm not sure if it is teenage anxiety that has just caught up with me now, or if it's just something else I have to deal with for the moment, but I hope to get to the place where I can just turn the worry off and turn the "I don't give a shit" dial up instead (my mums phrase, she's awesome) I know I will of made it. 

I'm getting there slowly I think. New territories still leave me on shakey ground sometimes; but little by little I'm on my way. 

And who can not be happy when they get to look at this face every morning:

Lots of love guys and girls, I hope you are all well,

Amber x