General Life Tips, Mental Health

I Rewarded Myself With 1 Euro Everyday I Went Without Candy For A Month

I truly just had the best idea ever! Honestly, I’m giving myself a massive pat on the back. It’s such a great idea someone should pay me to solve problems creatively.

So, I’ve made it absolutely no secret just how much of a sweet tooth I have. The amount of candy I consume isn’t healthy. For my teeth and for the fat around my belly. It sure as hell doesn’t help with my acne breakouts too as I always flare up after a candy binge. I know this and for the last few years, I’ve tried everything under the sun to find balance with eating candy. I really and truly want to find that fine line of balance where I still enjoy a packet of wine gums here and there but I don’t have the desire or habit to do so every three days.

Just to give you a crystal clear idea just how deep my candy addiction runs, here are some of the blogs where I’ve talked about it.

An Unhealthy History | What I Used To Eat In A Day — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/09/04/an-unhealthy-history-what-i-used-to-eat-in-a-day/

I basically ate candy all day every day. I remember quite vividly that I would go to the tuck shop at school and instead of buying proper food for lunch I would overload my hands with all types of candy. I would then go home and eat candy after school and sometimes would even have candy for dinner. Yes, I would eat candy for dinner. No wonder I have so many cavities.

My Nutrition Plan For 2018 — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/01/03/my-nutrition-plan-for-2018/

Again, I’ve set a goal for myself candy wise and only kept at it for two weeks max.

Nutrition Class 3 | Carbohydrates | Part 3/3 — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/03/19/nutrition-class-3-carbohydrates-part-3-3/

The Slap of Reality series I had going for a few weeks there is the one thing that helped the longest. I think I went without candy for two months. The longest candy free time in my entire life. It’s the series where I would physically measure the sugar amount in the candy and put the two next to each other. This was a very eye-opening experience.

The Northern Lights For 365 Candy Free Days — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/12/22/the-northern-lights-for-365-candy-free-days/

This is probably my favorite twist to trying to eat less candy. It was the right step forward but once it became quite clear that we wouldn’t have the funds for this trip, I caved and only one month in, went full out with the candy. But I had the right idea. Dangling a juicy carrot in front of me to motivate me to not eat candy is the right way to go because clearly the weight gain and toothache don’t motivate me enough.

Before I share my brilliant idea, I want to talk about why I love candy so much. No, it’s not because the delicious treats are great to snack on or because they’re convenient. I think it goes deeper than that. In all of my challenges where I tried to set a goal to go without candy for a set amount of days, I always strived well till I had a bad day. Just recently I finally shared that I suffer from depression. I have quite a bit of bad days. Days where I don’t even want to get out of bed. Days where life is just too much. They are truly dark and scary days. In those days I want comfort. Comfort food. Comfort movies. Plain old comfort in the form of cuddles. And most of all, I want comfort snacks. In those dark days, I want my favorite meal (a tossup between Spaghetti and Pizza), my favorite soft drink (cherry coke) and my favorite treats (wine gums, m&m’s and vanilla ice cream). Now eventually I want to learn other habits that I can turn to on my dark days but at the same time, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO TREAT YOURSELF. In moderation of course. I’m still very much so a work in progress and I’m working on improving my mental health every single day.

Alright now the moment has arrived that no one was waiting for, drum roll please…my brilliant idea! So I asked myself, what is something else I’m super obsessed with but can’t get often because there isn’t always extra money lying around for it. MAKEUP! I’m a sucker for makeup and there is quite often products outside the daily routine that I have my eye on. Products I don’t need but boy do I want them. It’s always something a little more expensive that I need to wait to get for a special occasion. Currently, I’m dying to get my hands on this one eyeshadow palette and Christmas can’t come soon enough. So keeping in mind the whole dangle a carrot in front of Cassandra’s face to motivate her to go without candy for a day scheme from the Northern Lights idea, I thought hey why don’t you put money into a saving account every day you go without makeup? One euro to be precise. I transfer the one euro into the saving account at the end of the day once I’m in bed. I can then use that money to buy all the make up my heart desires. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. So I’m writing this blog on the 5th of September. I already ate some candy so I can’t get my one euro today but I’m really curious to see how the rest of the month will go. As I’m only going to upload the blog in October, I have some time to test how this idea goes and share it on here. Wish me good luck!

***

Alright, this is a pop in at the 17th of September. We’re two weeks in and well I saved 2 Euros. A lot happened and there are two things I want to touch on here in this little update.

1) I’m an emotional eater. I noticed almost immediately when we got some bad news, my candy intake spiked. I wanted ice cream, candy and so much more to almost comfort and heal the wound. It’s a very toxic thing that I clearly haven’t given enough credit too and will have to do some research and learn how to deal with this. The last thing I want to do is restrict and be on this strict diet for the rest of my life. I want balance but I can’t stuff my face with candy every time I have a bad day. It’s not the best choice for me at that moment.

2) If I did eat candy a day, I would just go all out. I wouldn’t just limit myself to one candy bar or one slice of cake, oh no I already lost my one Euros so I should at least make it worth it. Go all out and stuff my face with all the candy I can find. This was well counterproductive. What’s the difference between spreading the candy out daily then going without for a few days and then catching up on that one day? So I decided to put in a clause. If I overeat on candy that one day, I need to withdraw 1 Euro from the special savings account. Since I’ve made this clause, I have hone back in on the pure amount of candy I eat on the day.

That’s about it that I wanted to share in this pop in. I’m starting my 31 days smoothie detox today so I’m very excited to well put 31 Euros into the makeup account. I’m confident that once I can actually buy a makeup product with the money saved, saving would go easier. So hopefully (hopefully my ass I’m going to do this. No ifs. No buts.) in two weeks when I finally finish this blog to have it go up on the 8th of October, my total amount in my little savings account will be: 18 Euros!

***

Alright, I’m back now on the 7th of October, ready to finish this blog for tomorrow. Since my last pop in a few things happened. I’m not even sure where to start because when I say a few things happened, I mean a lot happened. This entire experience was very much so trial and error but I finally figured it out and it’s actually working.

There are three main things I want to talk about so I’m going to try to explain myself properly.

1) For starters, my self-control when it comes to candy has greatly improved. It took me four candy days to eat a packet of M & M’s. I’m not even kidding instead of inhaling the entire packet and then some on one day, I only ate a quarter of the packet. This is a massive step for me.

2) The next bit I want to touch ground on is my mental health and how what I eat affects it. I mentioned earlier in this blog that the reason why I struggle so much with candy as well I go for yummy food for comfort. I’m still learning how to improve in that category but what I started doing is simple. When I noticed that mentally I wasn’t in the best place I would take the dog for a walk and keep my mind active with other things. I would read a book, paint or just about anything to stop myself from stuffing my face in a desperate attempt to fill the void. For a moment there in this month, I wanted to do a smoothie detox for 31 days. That crashed and burned real quick. I’m just going to get straight to the point, it was too overwhelming for me and I couldn’t handle that emotionally right about now. I love biting off more than what I can chew. I put so much pressure on myself all the damn time. If I don’t I feel like I could be and should be doing more but I’ve learned, the hard way, that in order to live a happy life in harmony with my mental health, I need to adjust my way of thinking. The entire experience wasn’t a complete failure, I did learn if I drink a smoothie a day I don’t really get any candy cravings.

3) The last thing I added near the end was to mark the calendar. So, in the beginning, I would simply transfer the 1 Euros to the savings account just before going to sleep but I almost always forgot and my days would start to melt together and days would go by before I remember to transfer the money. The last thing I want is to work so hard on letting this account grow so I can get my makeup fix and then actually screw myself over by not transferring the correct amount. So I printed out a calendar where I simply color in the day I went candy free with the intention to transfer the money at the end of the month. This wasn’t only beneficial for my memory but for the motivation as well. It was one thing to see the account slowly grow but it’s a whole different thing to see the calendar grow in color and to make the calculations of how much money you get to spend on makeup at the end of the month.

I’m absolutely obsessed with this idea and after a month I can say with full confidence that it’s working. The best part is you can do it too! It doesn’t necessarily have to be for makeup. I mean in a few months I will probably find something else I really want but don’t have the money to spend on it. You can use this technique for video games, a new phone, a new book and etc. Literally, anything that you always want but never have the money to spend on it. It also doesn’t have to be candy related. You could reward yourself 1 euro every time you don’t smoke or drink or every time you go to the gym. The possibilities are endless. I mean look at cigarettes. How much money do you spend on the death as a stick per month? Do you want to quit? Reward yourself for every day you don’t smoke a single cigarette and eventually, the math will make sense. You can start of slow too. Let’s say you normally smoke ten per day. You can then say if I smoke 5 today I get to put 1 euro (or a fair amount in your currency) into a special account and with that money I can buy this thing I’ve been keeping my eye on. I think you catch my drift. Now I don’t think this will work for every person but hey try it for a month. If it works, great! If it doesn’t then what did you really lose? Whatever money you did manage to put aside you can easily use on something else you need.

I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life. It works. I mean I get the fancy makeup that I don’t necessarily need but I want and control my candy intake (so my health will improve) at the same time. It’s a match made in heaven. If you do end up trying this please let me know! I would love to know how this worked for you.

PS I’ve saved 17 euros since the 5th of September. Considering it took me two weeks to figure everything out, I would say I did pretty damn good.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Mental Health

I Tried Online Counseling For One Month | Talkspace Review

*Before you jump in, I’m going to try my utmost best to write this blog in a way where everything makes sense. I started writing it on one day when my impression of the service was quite bad and now as I’m editing this and changing things around, my impression has changed a little. So I’m going to break things up as my first impression is still very important to note.

First impression:

I just want to start off with saying that online counseling isn’t for everyone. Sometimes you will need one on one therapy and even though Talkspace provides therapy at great prices, I was anything but pleased with their service. I’m going to try my utmost best to explain everything; why I’m not renewing my subscription after one month and why I wouldn’t recommend it to friends and family.

Talkspace is a platform where you can match with a therapist online and communicate via an app or on the web. You have a choice between normal messaging, voice messages (5 minutes time limit), a video (2 minutes time limit) and you can also send images. Getting started is relatively easily.

talkspace getting started.png

You simply create an account and then you will chat with a matching therapist who will identify your therapy needs. I got a response almost immediately after I joined. It was so quick it took me awhile to figure out I wasn’t talking to an automated system and to an actual human being. They will ask you some questions to identify what you need with your therapy. After the assessment, they will send you the subscription/membership/payment (as you can see I had no idea what to call it) options.

talkspace options.png

You then choose the plan you desire, fill in all the payment details and then we move onto the next step. After the payment goes off in your bank, they will start to look for a match. This can take a few hours. I got three to start off with. You read the profile, every therapist has a little bio, and then choose your therapist. If none of the therapists are the right match for you, you can request new options. I found my first therapist relatively quickly and I stayed with her for one week.

The idea of therapy spun me into a spiral of emotions. It was scary but I knew it was the right step forward. At this point, I had no qualms with the app/service itself and I’m not holding anything against the first therapist, but well it wasn’t a good match. I felt that my responses weren’t being read and half of our messages was fill in this or would you consider taking drugs for your depression and etc. She did respond with almost technical messages but it just wasn’t enough. What I wanted from her was 1) a response to my messages so I felt like I was being heard and 2) informative responses. Her approach to therapy is to ask open questions and have well me fill in the blanks but I found this nearly impossible. It was incredibly frustrating. The main thing we struggled with is my extreme emotional episodes. Over reaction of some sorts. She would instruct that in the moment I need to think if I’m over reacting or if my response to what’s happening is ‘normal’. This just rubbed me up the wrong way. For starters how can I tell if my reaction is normal or not. My abuse started when I was ten years old. I don’t know any other way how to respond to things. An open question isn’t going to help. If she followed this open question with more guidance, maybe we would’ve gotten somewhere. But I was just more distressed than anything else.

After one week with her as a therapist, I decided that Talkspace isn’t for me. I cancelled my subscription with every intention to find a therapist I can see one on one. As it wasn’t that much cheaper and I wasn’t getting the attention I needed, it was just the right choice for me at that moment. At this point, I might’ve still recommended the app to friends and family. As I had three more weeks of paid time left, I figured I should at least try another therapist. I was open to the idea and if the next therapist ticked off all of the boxes, I would renew my subscription and continue with the service. The first few days were great. The first week really. The responses was just what I wanted. She responded to what I was saying while guiding me slowly forward. She send voice messages and even videos which sparked me to respond more. I made my own voice messages and for the first time; it felt like I was in therapy. It was going really well. One message a day. That’s acceptable. Ideally I would’ve preferred two messages a day but well beggars can’t be choosers. But very quickly, the time in between messages became longer and longer. DAYS went by without any response and if I would get a response it was shorter. I felt like I was no longer being heard and she was distracted. Her attention and focus wasn’t on my therapy. Simply put she didn’t have the time for my problems. This was incredibly disappointing. On the website they promise regular responses. 1-2 times PER DAY. In my third and fourth week of my service, I was lucky if I got 1-2 response A WEEK! To be frank, I just wasn’t getting what I paid for. This is the main reason why I wouldn’t recommend Talkspace to the next person. Another reason is simply that I’m not getting what I need out of online therapy. Now I can’t be sure if my opinion would’ve changed if I actually got therapy everyday but as I stand now, it’s just not the right fit for me.

Now it wasn’t a complete waste of money. Well technically I barely got what I paid for and I will definitely email support and see what I can do. Hopefully I can get some type of refund. Although my first impression on their refund policy is, the chances of you actually getting a refund is ridiculously small. I could be wrong and I really hope that I am, but yeah. Honestly I’m not impressed at all. The only reason why this experience wasn’t a waste of money is that I genuinely took a step forward for my mental health and recovery. Although I felt like I did most of the work myself. The first week with my second therapist was incredibly helpful. It just wasn’t worth the 191 Euros I paid for the month because in all honestly I felt like I only received therapy in that one week.

My impression/opinion now:

*This next part is an update from future Cassy who received an email from customer support.

The day I wrote this blog (17 September 2018), I emailed customer support afterwards and simply said that I was disappointed in their service as I felt like I didn’t receive what I paid for and if we could arrange some sort of compensation. I made it quite clear that my first two weeks I did receive regular messages. In all honesty I didn’t expect much, maybe a discount code. My impression of the service was just sour if I’m straight with you. Therapy is such a personal and vulnerable thing and as I felt like I was constantly putting myself out there and I just wasn’t getting what I needed in return…well the fact that all the promises weren’t met didn’t help the matter. Two things happened on the day I heard from customer support. For starters my therapist responded to me after one week of silence. I received her message in the morning. It was short and I could hear one of my favorite TV shows in the background. The theme song. She also didn’t respond to all of my messages so that really just rubbed me up the wrong way. Here I was desperately trying and working on my therapy and then she sends me a message clearly distracted and not focused on responding to everything I asked her about. I specifically asked her a few questions as I knew my subscription was running out and I wasn’t sure if I would renew or not. I asked her about bad days and whatnot, something I struggle with severely, and well when she responded to me for the first time in a week with a lackluster short reply where I could only start to doubt that she even listened to everything I send her…it was just the last thing I needed. Online therapy isn’t for me. There is just no chance I would renew my subscription and continue with the service.

Later that afternoon, I however received a response to my email. They apologized for my less than optimal experience with their services. Their message was sincere and they offered a full refund. This completely changed my impression of the company itself. I was completely and utterly surprised that they would refund me for the month and well if a company is ready to admit that they didn’t offer what they promised, then they’re clearly on the right path. Even though my experience with the actual therapy was anything to be desired, the company itself definitely won me back. By taking responsibility for their service, they changed my opinion. I can now say that I would recommend the company to friends and family. I do however hope you have better luck with finding a therapist that will be the right match for you but if not at least you tried it.

I personally would not use the service again. Or any online counseling to be precise. Even though for just a week there when the second therapist was actually committed to well giving me therapy, it still isn’t the right fit for me. I need to talk to someone face to face. One on one. I really can’t say with full confidence that my disappointing service from the two therapists influenced this decision but well if you’re struggling and you want someone to talk to, at least give it a try. You can only say once you’ve tried it yourself if it’s the right match for you or not. So I recommend that you at least try it and if you don’t like it, there is different options out there. There is books, other websites, online communities and so much more. Your mental health is important.

Before I go, over the weekend I got an email from TalkSpace, one of those promotional ones. They send a $65 discount code off on your first month and I’m going to share it with you: FALL65 (This email was send to me on the 29th of September 2018. I have no idea how long this code will be valid.)

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with TalkSpace at all. I paid for their service, got my refund when the said service was disappointing and a week after my subscription ended, I got the email with the discount code. This is not a personal code they created for me where I pocket the difference or any of that. It was a promotional email and I simply wanted to share the code for those who want to try out online counseling.

Mental Health

I Suffer From Depression And Anxiety

On Saturday, the first of September I shared something on all of my social media platforms (minus twitter but does it really count though?) that I’ve wanted to share for a very long time. I just didn’t have the courage to do so. Here is what I shared.

I always hated the word depression not for the reasons some might think. The man that caused my depression and anxiety is the same man who justified his abuse with his own depression. He was fighting his demons but in the process he was creating mine. I’m not saying this to receive pity or play the victim card. I’m finally sharing this because maybe it will set me free. I will no longer be the one who is ashamed of his actions. HE should be the one that is ashamed. So here goes; I was emotionally, physically and quite sickeningly sexually abused. It drove me towards suicidal thoughts and I quite terrifyingly was close to ending it all. But I didn’t because I was stubborn enough to want to push through. To kick, scream and give it all I have. For a very long time I hated connecting myself to the word depression because it was just too close to home but I’m done hiding or spinning myself into the web of denial. 2018 has been one ugly and beautiful year. Many great things happened but at the same time many things that spun me in a very bad state of depression happened. Things I will probably share one day when I’m ready. It became so bad where I had to seek help from others before I did something stupid and that’s when I learned how fucking good it feels to let it out. It’s no longer my dirty little secret, some heavy burden I carry around. It’s my past but not my future. Going forward I will surely have a few bad days but I vow to myself to always fight and not surrender. The depression won’t take my happiness away, not anymore.

***

Sharing something to the entire world that only a handful of people knew about me was incredibly difficult. Not even my own parents knew this. The ‘secret’ so to say was only known by my husband and best friend. That’s it. I’ve made it no secret that 2018 is kicking my ass. I’ve experienced heartbreak in this year that I can’t even begin to comprehend. Even though sharing this was incredibly difficult. I was scared. Beyond scared. What will people think of me? Who will I hurt in the process of sharing this? I wanted to feel free of the heavy burden that is this ‘secret’ so I did it. It felt really good. It’s out there in the world. It doesn’t define me whatsoever but it’s no longer this heavy burden I carry around. It feels good. I’m still scared, don’t get me wrong there. It’s still scary but I feel lighter.

These last two months offline was incredibly good for me but at the same time, not so much. So much has happened, I’ve cried harder I’ve ever cried in my entire life. I went offline to improve my mental health and in the beginning I was just allowing the depression to take root of me. Push me down to the point where I could barely breathe. After joining online counseling and reaching out to a therapist, I’ve decided if I want to honestly improve my mental health I need to give it my all. The first step was to share my story. The second step is to set myself a firm routine and get back to the things I’m passionate about. Writing. Stories and blogs. Working out.

I want to make September my month. My month to push myself, try out new things and heal.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS. You can find all things technical about what to expect of my blog moving forward by clicking here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/09/02/a-brand-new-start-what-to-expect-from-me-in-september-2018/

Mental Health, Story Time

Goodbye For Now | A Break From Social Media

I’ve written this blog only to scratch it a few sentences in too many times to count. I don’t really know where to start or what to say. I’m just going to talk to you, I guess.

I’ve taken a break from social media a few times by now. They weren’t really that long because I always felt this pressure. You see I don’t want my blogging to be a hobby. I want this to turn into something bigger. I want to publish my stories and be an author. It’s always been my dream to be a writer and starting this blog lit up the fire inside of me that was dying out. I started writing when I was about fourteen. My friend at a time loved writing stories and before I knew it I started to write too. Before that I would escape in worlds created by other writers but for the first time I created my own world. My own little haven to fall into. I wrote through the darkest time of my life. It was my outlet and then I stopped. I don’t really know why I stopped. I can probably give you a lot of excuses but to be honest something changed. I changed. I was finding myself, exploring new things and falling. I don’t really know how to explain it to be honest. When it comes to my own feelings and thoughts I struggle to put them into words.

I want to take a break. I’m too overwhelmed. I have to many things happening and if I don’t take a step back I will collapse. At first I felt like I should just write my blogs and eventually all of this will pass but the thing is I can’t get myself to write about it all. I can’t find the words. It feels wrong and fake to write these funny little blogs because I feel like I’m hiding myself. Maybe today is just a bad day. Maybe I’m overreacting and next week I will be okay and write till my fingers go numb but another bad day will come. I’m not even sure if I’m making sense. My brain feels foggy and I’m struggling to understand. I’m really not okay. I need space. I need some time to pick myself up completely. These last few months I’ve been stumbling a lot. Something would happen that would knock my feet right out from underneath me and I would push myself to get up but the ground underneath me is falling apart and I’m stumbling.

A part of me feels like I’m letting my readers down. A part of me doesn’t want to stop working on my blog because it’s been doing so well. A part of me wants to get more followers and subscribers and just go big. A part of me doesn’t want to disappoint the few that actually read my blogs. But you know it’s not all about that. I don’t want to care about the numbers and statistics. It’s not why I originally started this blog. The more I’m trying to explain what’s going through my mind right now the more I’m going in circles. I feel like I’m not making sense at all. I have no idea how to go about writing this blog because to be honest I can’t really put it into words. So for now I’m going to get technical.

I’m going to take a break from social media and my blog. It’s not going to be a short break either. I don’t want to come back on my next good day. I want to come back where my good days are often and my bad days are rare. I need time to recover and heal. I need time to concentrate on my mental health and get myself back on my feet. I need to stand on stable ground and run forward. To be able to do that I need to take things off my plate. I need to concentrate on the little things. I can’t continue going through circles like this. I need to grab the bad days at its ball and get through them. Because let’s face it. Social media can be draining because there is this pressure to be a role model. To be open and raw but I can’t do that now. How can I open up about my feelings when I don’t even know how to describe them? How can I be raw when I’m not ready to share why I’m raw.

I want to heal and then come back and share the things that I really want to share but don’t have the words for it yet. I’m not sure how long I will be off social media, it can be 3 months or 6 months or a year. I have no idea if I’m honest with you. A part of me wants to say that I will still upload blogs every now and again but I can’t half ass this break. Otherwise before I know it I will be back to putting too much weight on my shoulders before I’m ready and break down again.

You know my one year anniversary of this blog is coming up soon. I really wanted to push through to make it at that point but I can’t. It’s not fair towards myself. But hey the two year anniversary will be extra special then…I don’t know what else to say. I’m not sure if I explained myself properly or if any of this makes sense. Heck I’ve said that like twenty times in this blog but it’s true. I need to find my words again.

Thank you so much reading and goodbye for now…

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Mental Health, Story Time

This Blog Isn’t Even A Blog | Not That Important But Funny Though (I Hope)

Here we are once again. The day before a new blog goes up and I’m brainstorming about possible things to well turn into a blog. I have so many ideas but they all need more time to put into an actual good blog. Some things I just can’t throw together the night before you know. I hate this feeling so I’m really going to make it my goal to take time to write more blogs this upcoming week. I don’t have a choice. It needs to be done.

You know what’s unfair? You all already know what this blog turned out to be as well the title is a dead giveaway but here I am still racking my brain for ideas at 5pm.

So as always I turn for my husband for advice. While he basically ignores me and watch formula 1, I start to sing this song that has been stuck inside my head for WEEKS. I sing it every day and I only know like two lines. It’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Elvis Presley. The only part I know is “wise men say only fools rush in” and “I can’t help falling in love with you.” That is it. And yes in case you were wondering I did indeed start to play this song after my husband threw this curve ball at me. You won’t believe what he said. I can see the title now…

My Husband Thinks I Can’t Sing

So yesterday evening I got the shock of my life when my husband said I can write a blog about my ruined singing career. Which we both laughed at considering my singing voice is a screeching mess so out of tune, tone deaf isn’t even scratching the service. Shortest blog in the history of my website ever. Let’s see what else I can think of.

I’ve been stalling to decide what this blog is going to be about for 300 words and I still have no idea. Honestly this entire weekend I’ve been working on the renovations and playing Sims 4. That’s it folks. Nothing super exciting happened minus the fact that we bought our first car on Friday. A car I can’t drive even though I have a drivers license…to make a long boring story well rant short my South African drivers license is worthless here in the Netherlands and I have to redo the entire process. Something that I’m so incredibly excited for (not).

Other than that I’ve been reading a lot, painting a lot, eating a lot and playing a lot of Sims. Boy that was such a boring sentence with a lot of well a lots. My writing is such a mess. Excuse me while I play Sims for four hours while I watch Supernatural. Oh yeah that’s also something I did this weekend. I restarted Supernatural! It was a show I was incredibly obsessed with when I was in high school and I haven’t watched any episodes passed season 8. I forgot how good the first season was. Seriously amazing. I can’t believe I found it kind of scary back then. Once you see someone eat his own nose and feed it to dogs (thank you, Hannibal) a few scenes of some creature won’t even make you blink. Onno and I also found the walking dead scary as hell when we started watching it. Now I’m like oh wow that’s some great special effects and hoping no one touches my precious characters. Don’t kill my precious biker with a big soft heart. I just want to put them into a little bubble and protect them from the man eating zombies. What would you do in a zombie apocalypse? It took Onno and I five minutes to spell apocalypse correctly. I wish I was kidding. Anyway I’m actually one of those people that would just off myself and my family. I’m like I would rather die by my own hand then be eaten alive you know. Also here in the Netherlands you’re kind of screwed. I mean there is no guns here(which is actually a really good thing for everyday life. Other countries should catch on. *Glances at a certain country with a certain president*). So what are you going to fight all the zombies with, a kitchen  knife? Or you going to escape a swarm of them by bicycle? Plus the country is so small and with so many people, the virus would spread faster than a fart in a small room.

I’m loving all my metaphors recently. I’m seriously stepping up with this whole I promise I’m funny thing here on my blog. I completely went of topic but all this talk about zombies finally gave me idea for this blog. Perfect timing and all as I’m nearly 800 words in and probably lost like all my readers. I also really want to go play Sims now.

If you could be any animal in this world. What animal would you be?  The past and present. And why?

I seriously didn’t think this would be so difficult to answer. I mean that’s a lot of animals. I know it won’t be anything in the ocean as well sharks and I just can’t touch that ball of anxiety that would follow from being in the ocean. I could be the biggest and scariest whale out there and I would still swim away when a shark comes close. The fear runs that deep.

I would like to be an animal that can just sleep all day in the nice warm sun and have food brought to them. The life of a king. The only animal I can think of is the male lion so I guess let’s go with that. It fits with my life motto, in my next life I want to be a cat. I want to sleep all day and have food served to me like I’m a master. Basically I would want to be my cat. The worst thing he experiences is maybe one of two too many kisses from his mother (he likes it, I mean he always comes back for a cuddle) and a bath every few months. That’s it. Sign me up! Also when I told my husband this he said: “How is that much different from real life?” Someone is feeling sassy today.

My husband’s response to the question was so brilliant I decided to write out exactly what was said.

The husband: “Maybe uhmmm I haven’t really thought about it.”

The wife: “Well think about it now. I have a blog to write.”

The husband: “A bird but a big bird.”

The wife: “What bird?”

The husband: “A eagle.”

The wife: “Why an eagle.”

The husband: “Because I get to fly and look down on people.”

The wife: “You also get to shit on them.”

Couple goals? What animal would you be? And why?

I think I’m just going to cut myself off right here because clearly this blog isn’t going anywhere. This blog isn’t even a blog. Oh wait I finally have my title. I’m sorry for those who came here for actual meaningful content. Like my previous blog showed, emotional and mentally it’s a bit rough right now. I’m not all happy sunshine and rainbows so well I don’t really feel like writing much. I’m sure you all will understand.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Mental Health, Story Time

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay | Life Update

I’m sometimes the worst blogger ever. I have six complete blogs ready to go or nothing at all. There is no in between. Well today there is. I have some blogs finished but none of them are right to go up now. I have no idea if that makes sense, heck it barely makes sense to me. But most of the times I end up writing the blog the day before or like today, the same day hours before I goes online. It’s something I really want to work on. I must admit balancing my regular blogs, well not even completely regular as I now have a extra blog go up every Wednesday about the renovations, with working around the house has been so difficult. For starters I can’t get ahead at all and that frustrates me.

To be completely honest with you I have no idea what this blog is going to end up becoming. I’m just writing that is coming to mind and just seeing how things go. I just kind of want to talk to you all. Take a step back and just talk.

I’m not okay.

The thing is these last few months, heck this entire year has been just one roller coaster ride of overwhelming emotions. I don’t even know where to start or how to put everything in words.

In the beginning of the year we heard that my dearest grandmother is losing her battle with cancer. She has beat it twice already but this time around there is nothing they can do for her. It hit me hard. I realized that I won’t be able to see her again. I realized that I already saw her for the last time ever and even though she is still going, I’ve already hugged her for the last time. I don’t really know how to deal with death. I’ve never really lost someone through passing. When my childhood cat died my heart broke into tiny little pieces and I still get so emotional thinking about it…but this is my granny we’re talking about. I have so many wonderful memories I will forever cherish with her and I’m so grateful that she was in my life because she made everything shine so much brighter. Boy I’m getting emotional here. I’m just constantly crying if I’m straight with you. I’m overwhelmed. I really am. I’m not okay.

Around the exact same time we heard the news about my granny, I was diagnosed with PCOS. I don’t even know where to start with this one. I’ve talked about it before but I’ve always wanted to be a mom. Heck when I play Sims, I’m all about raising perfectly happy kids. Even thought every women with PCOS is different, some conceive without trying, some conceive immediately after starting hormone treatment, some lose baby after baby, some try for years without ever getting their little miracle baby. It’s a difficult thing to wrap your head around. Yes I don’t know where I am on the spectrum but it still scares me. It will probably always scare me.

And then we entered the renovations which was such a whirlwind. Honestly how can I even put this in words? Wow as a writer I’m really struggling to find words today. I never really try to explain or word my feelings so I’m a bit lost here. Throughout the incredibly draining renovations I was undergoing so many dentist procedures, big ones too. They pulled two teeth and I was in so much pain unable to eat normally for what feels like forever. It’s just been an unending amount of pain and torture in the dentist chair.

Oh did I mention I was hit by a car? Yes that actually happened and it sure as hell didn’t help with things. I’m so close to breaking point that I can cry if some stranger just raises their voice to me. My hormones being all over the show isn’t helping anything either, thanks PCOS. But yeah let me tell you about the little car accident that makes my heart go crazy every time I’m on a bicycle and close to where it happened.

So after a long and tiring day at the house, I wanted to head back to Rotterdam in the afternoon. Normally Onno would come pick me up, do a hour or so of work, before we head home after he finished work. On Thursdays Onno always works later and I really didn’t have it in me to work on the house for another six hours. I just wanted to go home and cuddle with Speculoos. At this point I’ve only bicycled to the station once with the GPS on so I thought I knew the way. I didn’t. So I notice that I have no idea where the station is and my train leaves in 15 minutes. The trains are every 30 minutes here so you really don’t want to miss your train. Anyway I stop and pull into a parking lot so I can open maps and see where I’m supposed to go. As I pull in I notice someone is in their car, their door is open, so I thought to myself let’s really get out of his way. This guy is old and probably won’t look. So I’m further away and I open my phone and start to figure out where the hell I am and where the hell I’m supposed to go to get to the train station and the next minute a bump lurches me forward. By some miracle I don’t fall over and keep myself upright and very slowly I turn around to see what just happened. The second I saw this car basically touching my leg, my entire heart dropped. It took my brain awhile to figure out that a car just hit me. The man paused, we made eye contact, and drove off.

At that moment so many things went through my head. I could’ve died. I’m not hurt. I’m okay. I could’ve died. I’m not even being over dramatic. If he reversed out of his parking with a speed and I fell over there is nothing stopping him from running me over. I mean the old fart is blind enough no to see my big ass meters, I really mean there was a space for two cars behind him to get out of his parking space NO PROBLEM, then he sure as hell wouldn’t have seen me under his wheel. That’s what got to me. My life could’ve ended at that moment. I have so much more I want to do in life. After calling Onno in absolute tears and shaking like a leaf while my heart desperately tried to escape my chest, I got so angry. Incredibly angry. It took me awhile to get myself together but I very slowly bicycled to the station and cried the entire train ride back to the city. I got away with a bump in my bicycle, great reminder by the way, and a few scratches on my leg. I needed a few days to pick myself together again and clung to Onno like a fly to poo.

The first time we went back to the place it happened my heart started to race and I was shaking like crazy when I rode a bicycle the first time after the accident. When I retell the story I mostly just get angry and emotional. I mean the timing of it. At that point I was exhausted, in so much physical pain, so emotional I could cry at every second and just over all scared. And then this old fart scares the life out of me. Oh just had to pause for a second and take a deep breath. Not even a week after that Onno had a little scare with a truck so that sure as hell didn’t help things. 2018 has been ROUGH.

The thing is I’m not okay right now. I have my days where the only thing I want to do is crawl into bed and never leave but I’m getting there. Some days are better than others and that’s okay. It’s okay not to be okay. At first I felt so guilty for feeling so well…depressed when I’m happily married, we just bought our first house together and my husband is my rock. I’m incredibly grateful for my husband and so happy about our new home but I’m not always okay. I repeat; it’s okay not to be okay. I will get there. I know I will.

So yeah, that what’s been going on. This blog was kind of all over the show but it feels good to have it out there. I kind of started to put up a front that I was doing just awesome with the PCOS and handling everything like a champ but I’m not. I don’t want to hide behind a screen and smile when I want to cry. I’m over that stage of my life. I’m sad. I’m happy. I’m exhausted. I’m excited. I’m okay and then I’m not okay. I’m laughing. I’m crying. I’m all over the show and that’s okay. It’s okay not to be okay.

Sorry for this gloomy update. It’s all I had in me to share today. We can’t always share the highs in life yah know.

Thank you for reading and I will see you in a click!

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#pcos, Mental Health, Self Love

How Kicking Coffee Out Of My Diet Improved My Acne | PCOS

I struggled with acne a lot when I hit puberty. It was truly horrible. Wait let me see if I can find a picture. I had this particular picture in mind and finding it meant deep diving on my old external hard drive. It was bad. Really bad. I’ve seen things.

Here is a picture of my mom and I when I was about twelve or thirteen. As you can see my entire face is covered with acne. I felt so self conscious about it, we went to the doctor and I was placed on the pill which I stayed on all the way till I turned nineteen. It helped with my acne a lot. I was in no way perfectly clean skin but outside an occasional acne pop up here and there my worries was behind me. Of course I scratched at my acne like crazy and now have scars on my chin that really comes out when I’m getting hot. They’re a nightmare in the summer. Is this even making sense? Anyway my point is I’ve had my fair share of acne problems that didn’t go away even when I was on the pill. Wait before I continue here is the picture.

Daggie saam 02

When I came abroad as au pair I had to go onto a new pill and  my body just didn’t respond well to the pill at all. My periods were all over the show and really bad. My acne was flaring up like crazy and after about three months I decided to stop taking the pill all together. At this point my logic was well like I’m single and my hormones should be all together now that I’m older so let’s see how it goes without the pill. The acne was a bit better without the new pill and my periods took two months to return to normal but otherwise it felt like the best choice. I was regularly washing my face and never slept with my make up on (I only started to wear make up around this time anyway). The acne wasn’t as bad. I could handle it. Anyway I met my now husband and went back onto the pill for two months before I just couldn’t take it anymore. My body responded horribly to this pill (why I didn’t go to the doctor and asked for a different kind is beyond me). There is a point to this. You need to know my back story with acne. Also I’m too far in to go back now. To get to the point though, I always had acne on my face but once I went off the pill I had a little more here and there. It was controllable and I didn’t mind it too much. Flash forward to a few months and suddenly my acne was just ten times worse. I was basically two pimples away from my thirteen year old self but throw in back acne in the mix. I was still in South Africa at the time without a medical aid so I figured I can wait till I’m in the Netherlands.

Once I got here and returned to my healthier lifestyle, some of the acne approved but not all of it. When I started to gain weight like crazy out of the blue, my acne flared up again. This time it was horrible. I felt so self conscious and dirty about it and I tried everything. I started using face masks once a week (which made a difference) and a face scrub and cleanser everyday but the back acne, boy that girl was here to stay. No amount of greens and products changed that.

After I was diagnosed with PCOS, I did a lot of research. Some of my research showed that coffee (or well caffeine in general) is horrible for our hormones and can make our acne worse. At this point I was desperate to feel more like myself and just feel attractive again in any shape or form I can, so I kicked all coffee out of my diet. I immediately saw a response. My back acne completely disappeared and my face cleared up. Now I do have to add that around a month after I stopped drinking coffee, I started drinking supplements for my PCOS which also cleared up the last bit of lingering pimples. I now only get pimples when I’m on my period or when I eat too much junk food.

For those who would be interested in why coffee is so bad for those with PCOS here is a section from the main PCOS book I follow, Natural Solutions to PCOS by Marilyn Glenville (—https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/ — ).

*If you have, by now, made the switch to unrefined carbohydrates, you will already be working hard to keep your blood-sugar levels on an even keel. It is the energy dips and troughs and long gaps between meals that trigger the adrenal glands into action, encouraging them to pimp out the stress hormones that are so harmful to sufferers of PCOS. But if you are serious about getting to the bottom of your PCOS symptoms, you really need to try to keep those adrenal glands as happy as possible. The key to adrenal health is to cut right back on caffeine. Anything containing caffeine acts as a stimulant that will make your body release more of the stress hormones and cause blood-sugar-levels to fluctuate. We know that women with PCOS have increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so it is vital to help reduce these in order to reduce insulin levels. Like alcohol, caffeine also acts as a diuretic, so if you drink a lot, you risk losing valuable nutrients like zinc (which is crucial for hormone balance) through your urine.*

I do need to add that in the same breath that I’ve seen other websites on PCOS disagreeing with the no coffee statement of Dr. Marilyn but if you have PCOS and your struggling with acne, I recommended just trying it for a month. I tried it, saw I benefited from not drinking coffee and now I only drink coffee every now and again. There is a lot of options out there for those addicted to coffee so not all is lost. I hope this helps. I will share the face products I use another time.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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