Songs that make me feel empowered

 

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It’s no secret that I love music I find it such an integral part of my life it has the power to change my mood instantly!

With summer ending and this time of year being a time of change for many I thought what a perfect excuse to make a playlist of the songs that make me feel empowered and hopeful for the future! I hope you enjoy it let me know in the comments the songs that make you feel empowered.

Why diversity in the blogging community is so important

#ILiveItIBlogIt

I like to think I am a person who advocates for diversity in society and is passionate about achieving equality for every person on the planet. So when I saw the campaign my friend John Sennett was running to promote divesity within the blogging community I was proud and excited  ( I may have even done a fist pump In the air) 

During my time being in the blogging community ive spoken to some amazing relatable people who understand the sometimes troubling times and experiences I have as a women  who is a wheelchair user, has epilepsy and a mental illness, reading there ecxpirence’s and how similar some are to mine has made me feel more “normal” and like I wasent alone in what I was going trough.

I hate using that word normal is this context but the truth is minorities arn’t the normal within society. The media has a big part to play in that . I see adverts promoting  diversity and they are really not! The most recent example I can think of is Boohoo’s #allgirls campaign that was meant to be promoting all girls right to enjoy fashion and have their own sense of style, within the campaign a women who was plus size or disabled was no where to be seen. This is just the latest example I can think of where the media have ecxduded women who are disabled or have a different apperence to what society would consider normal. And I am sure there a many other instances of diversity exclusion that I haven’t regonized because I am not in that minority group. 

We have a chance to change this us bloggers are part of a new wave of media, we can share our stories and support each other in our real lives warts and all without the glossyness that even many bloggers feel the need to present. Im in my 20s now and confident enough to most of the time being comfortable  with my disablities and mental health problems but at school I was not, but if I was to go into my school times it would be a whole different post. However can say that I would have loved to have someone older than me showing how life really is for them as a disabled person.

Let’s change this for the next generation let’s use the power we have as influences to share the life’s we live our real lives and support and love each other for who we are not the normal were told to be! Let’s all take part in the #ILiveItIblog it campaign and let that just be the start of embracing our diversity.

My Top 3 Picks From Sky TV

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Being at home for the summer I’ve had a lot of spare time on my hands and sky TV back in my life so I’ve been doing what any sensible and spending my days lounging on the sofa glued to the TV so as I have no exciting life stories to share with you I thought I’d recommended my top 3 tv/films to watch on Sky

Switched At Birth

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cast members of Switched at birth

 

Switched at birth is a drama about two girls who were switched at birth (no surprise there if you read the title) I’d never heard of this series before but was flicking through sky box sets and just thought it would be easy watching for one or two episodes but weeks later I’m hooked and quite emotional that I have 3 episodes left till I finish the show.  The show can be pretty predictable at times with every character falling in love with every person they meet. However,  the reason I’ve loved this show is the themes it covers Dauphine one of the characters that had been switched at birth is deaf this disability is never forgotten throughout the series and the show constantly explores deaf culture and the challenges and positives to being deaf. It also explores culture and class with both families that are involved in the switch having very different backgrounds and having to appreciate each other’s experiences and fit into each other’s lives. As you can tell from rambling I love this series and am totally invested in the characters i’d highly reccomend it.

Daddy’s Home

daddys home

a press release picture for the film daddy’s home

Daddy’s home is a film that falls under the genre of comedy, it stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.  I’d been wanting to watch this film for a while because it’s got Will Ferrell and well everything he does is good and who doesn’t love him! The plot is basically a Dad and a step-Dad who are both very different fighting over who’s the better dad. Sounds pretty boring really but as I predicted Will Ferrell makes this film with some proper laugh out loud moments and a family warmth to it, not that i would suggest watching this with young children! Overall its a good feel good movie and i cant wait for the second one to come out later this year.

Modern Family

modern-family

the cast of modern family

If you haven’t ever watched this show where have been for the last 8 years?! It’s a comedy mockumentary based around the lives of a family who are each very different but gel together as a modern family.  I’ve watched the show from the day it aired on Sky 1 and liked it but over the past month I’ve gone back and watched the whole series on Sky 1 box sets and I’m now in love with it binge watching it has made me enjoy the humour more as I’m now invested in the characters and love their little quirks I’m maybe a bit too invested with my mum having to remind me that it is not a real family! So if your looking for a feel good funny box set and for some reason haven’t tried this yet I highly recommend it

 

 

the images used in this post are not mine and all rights belong to their respective owners

 

 

 

My thoughts on the batman killer- a liscence to kill

Well the title of this post make it pretty clear what it’s about so I’m not going to give the normal introduction to the idea of the post like I normally would. However before sharing my thoughts on the documentary I’d like to make two things clear : Firstly my thoughts and sympathy go out to all the victims of the massicare. Secondly the comments I make in this post are  based on the one case presented in the documentary and the limited information we have been given about it , I want to make this clear because every persons case is different and although some points I make may fall under the catorgory of general mental health treatment everyone should see them self’s as an individual and seek  perfessional help if they feel it is needed. 

For those of you who don’t know what programe  I’m referring to the show panorama ran a documantry or investigation actually I don’t know what they were trying to do! But the program concentrated on the murder James Holmes a man who committed a massicare in a USA cinema in 2012. James has a mental health condition and before the murder was put on an SSRI drug to treat his condition the bbc claim it wanted to investigate if there was a link between the medication james was put on and his intent to murder so they sensitive called their programme the batman killer- a prescription for murder.

I wrote down notes while I was watching the programme and the first thing that struck me was the title a liscence to kill, I understand that titles are meant to be shocking to draw people into the programme but the main reason the title stuck a chord with me was it was partly true this man was given a licence to kill not because of his status of having a mental illness or being on medication but because he was able to buy a gun.

In an American culture I can see how it would be easy to look past this fact but for the BBC a British TV channel that is meant to be respectable and non biased to not even mention that without the gun he would not have had the tools to enable him to carry out the thoughts he was having regardless of weather they were caused by taking the medication sertraline or not.

I say regardless because even though I’d like to hope they didn’t cause him to have thsee thoughts there is a possiblity that the sertraline did cause the thoughts that led him to plot the massicare but as I’m not a qualified perfessional I would not what to speculate whether they did or did not controbite to it.

However I myself have social aneixty and take sertraline and when hearing his feelings about hating human situations sometimes and being shy I could relate. But that relation stopped as soon as I heard he wanted to kill people!  As soon as heard this I wrote in my notes”the feeling to kill is not a feeling or symptom of social aneixty it is psychotic ” this was later confirmed  by the perfessionals in the documentary  but not made clear enough in my opinion,  and because of this i would now think twice about reffering to my aneixty as social aneixty because of well people associating me with this terrible act. 

Lastly another thing that stood out for me was the terrible practice of doctor who was treating James Holmes. An example of bad prac rice is It was mentioned but again not highlited enough that he was having thoughts of killing people before he was put on the meds as a perfessional she should have recognised that this was not part of his social aneixty so his treatment should have been altered. Another mistake that was made was upping the dose of the SSRI he was on.  Even if drugs are not harmful by nature they are powerful substances so if any drug reacts to someone negatively don’t up it whether it’s a physical health problem or a mental one just throwing drugs at the problem is a form of substance abuse and will cause damage of some kind. 

There were many more mistakes she made but this post is not about his treatment it’s about the documentary and my main problem with the programme is that it made no effort to be informitive or balanced. 

 Even if the proggrame aim wasent to give a holstic and fair view on mental health the bbc had a responsiblity to inform ir British audience that the procedure for mental health treatment is very different here and just like we wouldn’t have guns in my ecxpirence we are treated with stricter guidance, I have to have check ups on my medication and how it’s effecting me and with this not bring mentioned it is going to create unnecessary fear that will lead to pejedice and discrimination. 

I was willing to give this documentary a chance as like I’ve said we don’t know what effects drugs we are given have our stytem and mental health paticarly is an evolving field so it could have raised some intesting thoughts . But it’s lack of balanced and factual reporting along with not making it revelvant to its British audience can only in my opinion do harm to the thoughts and culture we place on mental health in britian.

I’d just like reiterate that thus case is a very unique case and if you feel you need perfessional help please do!

My Cancer Scare

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Hi guys you may have noticed if your one of the few regular readers I have that I have been very quite on twitter and there have been less blog posts than normal.

The reason for this is because of a health scare, at the start of June I noticed a mole I had always had on the side of my stomach had changed size and shape I was worried as a friend of mine had recently had skin cancer (is now in remission I’m happy to say) but she had the same symptoms that I did. 

So I told my mum about what I had seen she knows about my friend and that I have aneixty so assumed that I was just over thinking it; although I was a bit cross that she was making me out just to be dramatic at first I began to see her point, I am prone to overthinking things and often come up with the worst possible sulution so I put it to the back of my mind.

A month later I was sitting in my living room with my family wearing I wouldn’t say a belly top but a top that rode up my mid-drift. My mum suddenly turned to me in a shocked voice and said “what’s that” then stated feeling and looking closer , the next thing I know she’s got my dad getting out his tape measure to measure it now at this point I’m thinking now this is what you call a dramatic reaction! 

She suggested I go to the doctors which I wanted to do in the first place just as a better to be safe than sorry procuation; so I showed the doctor my mole and she too needs to work on her poker face as she looked quiet concerned after seeing the mole and refered me to a specialist dermitioligy skin cancer clinic but made it clear that it didn’t mean I have cancer as she isn’t a specialist it just meant it hit her creitira of suspension of cancer.

Hearing the word cancer even if it does have the word suspicion next to it felt like a kick in the chest I think everyone must get the panic when they hear the c word right?

A week later I went to my appointment with the speclist, all week I had thoughts about what I was going to do if I got bad news?  How I’d tell my family? If I’d give up uni? If my care plan for my perminent disablities would change? 

Although I tried to be positive I was nervous to the point where I was shaking when my name was called out. But as soon as I got in the examination room the doctor put me at ease she looked in control like it was an examination she did everyday (which obviously she does) but she also was very personal and empathetic.

The examantion it self was very simple I’d Googled and heard of procedures such as scraping skins cells out and cutting things. What the examination actually was to have my full body exaimed with a magnification glass. When she got to the mole in question she said I can reassure you that Doesent look imediatly worrying *I brethed the biggest sigh of relief* although not worried she said it was a possible future issue as moles like mine are prone to changing so she was very through and sent me in for photos of the mole 2 far away from different angles and one with a different lense that goes on the skin. The doctor  has asked me to come in back in 6 months for comparison  but comfimed  that it is binine. 

I wrote this post because when I got the big letter referring me to the suspected cancer clinic a title that was written in big letters aswell, I would have loved to have read a real post like this to balance out the scary articles I saw on Google. It was not to click bate and i want to make it clear I do not have cancer.

YANKEE Baby Powder Candle Review 

Image of YANKEE candle

Hi guys! Today I’m doing something a little bit different, I’m reviewing a homeware product from the YANKEE candle range ! I personally love homeware as I think it makes your house into a home, I’m however not normally the biggest fan of candles as the strong aromas tend to give me a headache. But my mum brought this one from boots and when I heard it had the smell of baby power I just had to stiff it as its such a lovely smell and brings back memory’s of childhood!

Image of Yankee candle

I liked the smell, it took a while to come through however when it did it was a concentrated smell which was overpowering when lit so at first I was dissapointed but discovered that when the candle is blown out the smell detensifys and turns into the sweet smell of baby powder that I remember, and the good thing is that because the smell was so strong at first it will be smelt slightly all day leaving my house smelling sweet and nostalgic!  Overall I’d say if you like the smell of baby powder buy it but use with caution! I got mine from boots and will leave a link down below

boots offer on candle 

The Best Product I’ve ever tried!

 

So to start off I have a full disclosure as you can probably tell this isn’t my image it’s off the Internet. This is my first product review and when I tried to take a picture of the product I learnt my photography skills are pretty rubbish and I wanted you to be able to see it clearly

The product is the colour goddess  shampoo and conditioner made by the company TIGI as part of their Bed Head range  with the shampoo and condition being separate products but i personally class them as the same product because there from a twin pack but that is my personal preference, anyway i’m rambling so ill move on to telling you why i love the product!

The first thing that comes to mind when i think of both the shampoo and conditioner is the smell, the smell has been debated by me and my carer who washes my hair for me she thinks it smells like honeycomb i think toffee either way we both agree it one of the best smells we have ever smelt in a product and leaves my hair smelling good enough to eat!

The quality of the product is great its specifically designed for couloured hair ( hence the name ) which is why i got the product as after years of dyeing  my hair ginger it was starting to become a bit brittle . After about a week I could tell the difference, without sounding like a cheesy advert my hair felt revitalized and not only that it had a real shine to it that I’ve never had before. The one slightly negative thing i would say about the product though is because its oil infused I find that the shampoo doesn’t provide a deep clean, it does clean but with other shampoos i can go 4-5 days without washing my hair if i want too and with this one after 2 days it starts to look greasy..

Its designed for hairdressers so can be  expensive compared to other brands but i managed to find it on Amazon for 15 pounds still sounds expensive I wash my hair at least 3 times a week and I’ve been using it now for 9 month and I’ve still not run out so you definitely get your moneys worth quality and quantity wise!

I also just want to add something about how easy it is to use for people who may have a disability in their hands like me, the bottles are slightly heavy when full but not unmanageable ( for me anyway and im quiet weak) and the pump is not tight and easy to push down so overall id say its quite user friendly.

Thank you very much for reading sorry i missed Sundays post i had an epileptic fit. Let me know in the comments if you have used this product or what your favorite hair products are!

why volunteer?

PicMonkey Collage vollenterring

A photo of Oxfam and Do-it logos

Hi every lovely reader of mine!

This post is all about volunteering, my experience of doing it and why I think everyone should do it at least once in their life. The post was meant to go up yesterday to celebrate national volunteering week which was the 1-7th of June but it a bit late due to my rescheduling of post which you can find out more about here im going to start well at the very beginning (excuse the pun) and the beginning is why I wanted to start volunteering?

I’m not going to be a cliche and say it’s because i wanted to help people it wasn’t, now it is desire of mine to help people but when I started volunteering at the age of 15 it wasn’t a big part of my reasoning for wanting to volunteer. I chose to volunteer because I was a teen with social anxiety who felt alone and had no purpose because she couldn’t go out with all her school mates, due to her social anxiety I was isolated and has a result of this felt lonely affecting my self-worth. I just wanted to get out the house and contribute something to society after months of me trying to find a place and getting rejected my mum went into Oxfam and quite bluntly said my daughters 15 in a wheelchair, she wants some independence for herself and wants to volunteer and they accepted her offer.

 

I was happy and nervous, I still remember my first day all these years later! I went into the shop which was a book shop to be greeted by 3 volunteers who were of the older generation, I was so nervous I felt about 5 years old not 15. I was first shown how to label the books it was a small shop in my town so they manually wrote in the codes and prices which i think is really cute. I used to check i’d wrote the codes in right about 3 times I had no faith in myself but over time I got more confident and did that with ease, I got more comfortable with working with the other volunteers I talked philosophy with the gentleman worker and the women were always trying to get the gossip on my love life which of course there was none. They may have been in their sixty’s and seventies  but for the first time i felt a part of something I invited to  dinners out even if i was known as young Courtney.

When i was 17 I got moved onto the tills this was a big step for me as I had to interact with the  general public something if i’m honest i never got comfortable with, I got better but the anxiety never truly went away.  However being on the tills gave me even more practice in social interactions within society which is what i needed.

Overall the confidence it gave me in my 4 years working there was invaluable and it gave me an experience that I loved and wouldn’t have had if i hadn’t volunteered.

So that’s my experience but here’s why I think everyone should have the experience of volunteering:

  • Skills gained: can be personal progression skills  but they can also be work skills that are transferable to  a variety of work places which is needed these days when every employer wants experience.
  • To make a contribution to society and help others:  I fully accept that some people cannot work due to illness or disability but volunteering roles are so varied there is something everyone can do. I had doubts I could do it being a wheelchair user with epilepsy but they made adaptions for me such putting the books I needed to work with on a stool so i could reach them, putting me in charge of stocking shelf’s that were only in my reach and moving the till forward for me so i could get round with my wheelchair. Don’t be put off and remember charity’s need help  so they will probably be more than happy to make adaptions for you.
  • You can do something your passionate about and enjoy:  because volunteering is so varied there are so many causes you can work for, it doesn’t have to be a charity it can be in a local school or family center if your passionate about education. I even knew someone who was passionate about animal care so volunteered  at a zoo there really is something for everyone.
  • Its easy to find an opportunity: the website do-it.org  has a large data base of volunteering opportunities around the UK that can be tailored  to your interests and what roles you would like to do.
  •  As always thank you for reading. I’d love to hear in the comments if you have ever volunteered or your thoughts about doing it in the future
 The images used in this post are the logos of oxfam and do-it all rights go to the respective owners

How mental health affects my self worth

I’ve now officially finished my first year at uni I’m so happy but at the same time that means I have a whole summer to do what I want with. Sounds great to most but to me when i hear someone say  free time to do what you want with  I feel fear and guilt.

Fear because the words do what you want offers oppunitunitys for social events and choice for what I  want to do and for me I know that the choice I make will be to do nothing. To do nothing but sit at home on my laptop because that’s more enjoyable than being at a social event where I will be in constant panic and destress due to social aneixty.

But then the guilt kicks in after the social event has happened, guilt that I didn’t go to a friend’s birthday party or guilt that I’m making myself miss out on amazing times and beat myself up about it when I go on social media and see what I missed out on again.

Overall I feel shame as in principle I’m the kind of person who believes you only have one life you should live it to the full! But in reality I just can’t, my mind hasn’t let me.

I realise this post was extremely negetive and not like my normally writing style, so I’m sorry if you didn’t like it but at the moment it’s how I feel. However im basing these feelings and expectations on past expirenes  but this doesn’t mean it is going to happen this year and I’m going to try my best for it not to be . I wrote this post to hopefully give you updates on how wrong I was and how much I’m enjoying my summer.

Im going to try my best to have great ecxpirences and see the views of this world instead of this view from my bed.

Does anyone else feel like this and do you have any tips to help? Please comment with that or anything else you wish to say.

Songs I’m sure I’ll have on repeat this summer

With the weather getting warmer I’m getting a feel good summer vibe and whenever I’m happy the music gets turned up.

So here’s the songs I’m loving sure I’ll have on repeat this summer: 

        The beat in this song is amazing and the chrous is stuck in my head. Such a perfect bbq song!

        Again such a great beat so powerfull ( ecxuse the pun) and I can imagine I’ll be singing this song after a drink or two with some girl friends this summer.

        Again there’s a common  theme with the beat here but Paramore have done it again and managed to make a really deep song sound fun and light.

         What else can I say about this song apart from please let me have a summer romance with a guy like Ed.

        It’s an old one preaph’s no the lyrical genius of Ed Sheeran but the song always remind me of summer an automaticly cheers me up! 

        The content in the links used belong to there respective owners 

          What I’d “shout out to my ex”

          If you haven’t been living under a rock you’d have heard little mix have a new song called shout out to my ex. If you haven’t heard it you should youtube it because it’s great. The sassy lyrics and powerful beat makes you want to well stick to fingers up at your exs and it’s so catchy you will not be able to get it out of your head. 

          But the message of what you’d say to your ex if you could got me reflecting on my past relationship. I have dated a few people but only really have had to exs so here we go this is what I’d shout out to my exs 

          Ex number 1:

          • You taught me actions really do speak louder than words, the love letters got to me and made me all gooey inside but looking back you had enough time to write them and make your self look good it should have been all the back handed compliments such in person that I should have listened to. 
          • They say money Doesent buy love but for my birthday you got me a plaque and a pillow both with inspirational quotes on them how sad that you had to use someone else’s words cause you didn’t know me well enough to get me something I would like.
          • Lastly please for the girl your with now tone down on the aftershave a day with you would give me a headache. 

            Now I probably sound like a bitter bitch let’s move on to a happier note and onto ex 2: 

            •  I want to say a thank you to you for many things, for making me feel confident in myself with your compliments that you really meant cause you took the time to get to know me.
            • Thank you for making me realise how badly I was treated by Ex 1.
            • Thank you for making me relize that to share your feelings with someone and don’t be worried about rejection or wonder how anyone could like me so I push them away because I can honestly say now I don’t wish I was with you cause I can see how happy you are with your current partner but I’m never going to let my insucrities ruin what could be something more long term and great.

            This has been kind of like therapy for me haha! Both identity are going to be hidden of course. But I am intrested what you’d say if you could to your ex so comment below and tell me.

            I wrote the passages above in October 2016 and the post was liked by many of you and i still love the message of the song such a modern anthem! So I have decided to make it an on going thing. So writing in June 2017 about another past ex here’s what i’d shout out  to ex number 3:

            • The romance of Christmas clearly made us both feel more than we should have or thought that we felt more than we did.
            • You taught me to trust my instincts  and yes my aneixty might make me over think some things but I had a feeling you still had feelings for someone else and I will know to use my higtened analysing of every word to my advantage for my next relationship.
            • But lastly even though you led me on and at times used my mental health issues to your advantage making me feel stupid, I think you generally did care about me and are a good guy! Everyone has faults ( most of yours I haven’t gone into here I must say) but I’m sure you could right a list of mine too. 
            • What I’m saying is I guess I should say thank you for the care and happiness you brought me at the time and not too many hard feelings we just were a clash of personality and neither of them bad.

            Speak to you all again on this post when I have an ex number 4 or who knows I might get lucky and find the right person next time! Well I can hope can’t I…

            The Vamps bringing disability into mainstream media

            Hi guys! Sorry for the lack of posts been so busy with uni, but its almost summer so it will probably go from one extreme to the other soon and you’ll be sick of me posting.

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            I had to post  today though as I’ve just watched boy-band the vamps new video for there current single middle of the night. I was pleasantly surprised to see the main actor and actress in the video using sign language to communicate. I say pleasantly surprised because i have followed the vamps career for a while i wouldn’t say i’m a fan-girl but I’ve seen them live many times when they were support acts for the wanted, and have always respected them as musicians and enjoyed their singles as well of live sets i have seen.

            Their position in the music industry from when i stated following their career has grown hugely they are now one of the biggest boy band in the UK and that brings with it people admiring them and respecting their opinions. Meaning bringing disability into the mainstream media on the big platform that they have  will make an impression on a huge audience and make disabilities more widely seen.

            What was great about this video is the song wasn’t about disability it was making no political statement just two disabled people in a normal situation breaking up or meeting up after a break up i cant decide tbh! But this is amazing making advisability visible in terms of everyday normal situation and not just hired as disabled actors just actors ( if they were actually disabled that is, which i hope they were)

            So thank you to the vamps this video may seem to some as just a video that wont make much of a difference, but i see it as visibility for disabled people as the humans that we are and not our disability.

            watch the video here