Books

Ostrich boys by Keith Gray; Book review.

I picked this book up on a whim in a thrift store, as the description caught my attention; ‘It’s not really kidnapping, is it? He’d have to be alive for it to be proper kidnapping.’ The books was 30cent a piece so I picked up 13 in total… I’ll be re-donating this one now I have finished it. I saw the sticker on the front saying it was shortlisted for a few different book awards. I assumed it was a YA, and it technically is, but the younger side of teenager, I’d say 11+. As I am an adult I found this book quite childish, I still thoroughly enjoyed it, but understand I am not the target audience.

The language flowed well, it was very easy to read. I finished this book in one day. My favorite aspect of the book is the emotion. The 3 main characters, all 15 year old boys have lost their best friend. After attending the funeral, which they didn’t feel reflected their best friend Ross’s life, they decided to take matters into their own hands, taking the urn containing Ross to a little village called Ross in Scotland, to give him the send off he deserves.

Each character had different opinions on what they set out to do, although they were all in agreement to give Ross the send off he would have wanted. Upon finding out the death may not have been accidental, they all responded in different ways. The 3 best friends are experiencing grief differently, and I liked the difference each character bought. They fall out, imagine how hard it would be losing your best friend? I think all the characters are trying their best to ‘keep themselves together’. I didn’t expect the ending, but I enjoyed the quietness it bought. (no spoilers here, sorry!)

I feel I was a little harsh calling this book childish at the start of the review. It encountered some challenging life events, that these teenagers had to go through. I read this book in one day, I enjoyed it! (I think I’m just being a little harsh on myself for reading ‘easier’ books).

I would give this book 3.5/5, and would definitely recommend picking it up if you enjoy YA. (especially if you are a teen!)

Mental Health

Education whilst mentally unwell?

This is a topic that is close to me from my past, but also still relevant at the moment. A brief background on myself, I LOVE learning! I know it’s nerdy.. but I genuinely enjoy learning new things, so found the content side of education interesting and enjoyable. (I am referring to education including high school and college/university). I naturally excelled in school, and always planned for further education. I become unwell in high school, but (no idea how) still managed to complete my exams to graduate. I didn’t plan on further education/college/uni as I didn’t plan to be alive that long. Whilst everyone else around me was looking forward to graduating and planning they’re future, I didn’t do a thing..

As you probably know, I’m still here! (I’m aware my humor is poor…). Once graduating high school, I attempted a few weeks of education before having to leave due to becoming very mentally unwell. I was at the stage that I was very suicidal, self harming but I still could see a little glimpse of a future, which prevented me from my planned suicide. This is where I had a year out from all education. It was incredibly hard for me, considering I am education orientated. I felt stupid and worthless for not being in education. I understand I needed the year away, but was so glad to restart college/university.

I didn’t exactly choose to have a ‘gap yea’ but that’s what happened. I don’t regret it. I did need the space and time to focus more on my mental health. It did help, my suicidal ideation decreased , and I combated a whole range of anxiety’s. ( I think I wrote a blog post on how I significantly reduced my anxiety in a year). The year away prepared me for restarting school. I managed to recognize how to prevent becoming overwhelmed, dealing with the feeling of not being good enough and how to manage stress.

I have been at university for a couple of years now, and am thoroughly enjoying it. I am managing well considering my previous mental health decline whilst studying. It has given me a purpose in life. I still suffer with suicidal ideation, but no way near to the same extent. I now recognize they’re intrusive thoughts, and rarely want to act on them.

I took a year out of education for my mental health. I am not ‘behind’. I am alive, and happy, and that is my priority. I am not a failure for not being able to stay in education. I am smart, I will get my degree. But most importantly, I am looking after my mental health.

Mental Health

Want to be my internet friend?

I know this seems a little cringey, but I am struggling a little at the moment and was wondering if anyone would like to become online friends? I lack close relationships in real life since moving. (although I do have my partner) You don’t have to read my blog, or know anything about me, I’d just like to connect with someone. It can be through whatsapp, email, any platform that you feel comfortable with. Comment on this post, or go to my ‘Contact’ page to discuss! ❤

Books

What I read in September 2019

I had a very busy September, and didn’t record on paper what I read (I’ve never forgotten to do this before) therefore have missed a couple books from this list. This month I read all physical books apart from HP (I have the series on my kindle). Enough rambling, the first book I read this month was;

  1. Harry Potter and the half blood prince: I’m sure you’ll know by now that I am only just reading/watching the HP series as an adult.. I actually saw the movie before reading this one, thus flew through this book as I didn’t quite need the same level of attention. I much preferred the book to the movie, as they missed so much out! This is so far one of my favorite HP books. Only one more to go!
  2. The kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: This is by far the best book I read in September. I’ve had this book on my TBR for years, and can’t believe I waited this long to read it. The story is very emotional, and some may find aspects difficult to read. I would recommend this book to everyone!
  3. Home girl by Alex Wheatle: I picked this book up at the library on a whim. I really enjoy books based in foster care, and thus this book appealed to me. It was an easy read, found in the YA section, but a little young for me. I still really enjoyed the story, and how it included many important topics.
  4. The shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón: Too many words to fit on here, separate blog post coming!
  5. I also read a YA book about a mum with agoraphobia, and her son also doesn’t leave the house, until one day he decides to explore. They name rooms in the house after cities. For example, the kitchen being Paris. When exploring the boy meets another boy with the same name. I’ve googled and cannot find the book anywhere. If anyone knows what I’m trying to explain,please comment! Very odd for me to not write my books down…
  6. I’m now writing this in October and have finally finished the last Harry Potter book, so expect a blog on my opinions of reading HP for the first time!
Mental Health

World Mental Health Day 10/10/2019

As I’m sure you have seen all over social media, today; the 10th October is World Mental Health Day! It’s great that you have probably heard of this as it means awareness is growing. This years theme is Suicide Prevention.

If you follow my blog you would know that suicidal ideation is something I struggle with. Lot’s of posts surrounding this day are displaying the progress they have made with their mental health. I’m currently not doing the best, so cannot feel I can involve myself the same as many others are.

Today I am low, and do not have many words to share. I still wanted to have a post go up, just in case one person didn’t know of today, and now they do. Awareness of every mental illness is important, and not just today. I apologise that I can’t write a lengthy optimistic post about my mental health journey. I’m going to end this mini post ensuring YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am here for ANYONE who needs someone to talk to. (just pop me an email, or press the ‘contact’ page on my blog).

Books

Dealing with book stress?/TBR pressure

If you’re anything like me, your TBR (to be read) is incredibly long, and no matter how many books you read, the list never gets smaller. My TBR is a never ending list, which can really overwhelm me. I am always finding new books I want to read. Despite reading a hundred books a year, I’ll never run out of content to read. I don’t follow any reading challenges, or plan what I’m going to read next. I simply choose my books as and when I feel like it.

My TBR list is very long, despite never actively looking for books. I simply see books in book stores/library, see reviews on blogs or get recommended by others. I think I would be very overwhelmed if I looked for more, as my TBR would multiple! Do you actively search for books, or do you read as and when you see something that catches your eye? I’m interested to see,as I would love to be one of those people who follow new releases or book challenges.

The truth? I rarely look at my TBR, as I don’t want to overwhelm myself. The only time I look at my list is when I am adding a new book, or run out of unread books on my shelf/kindle. It is so satisfying when I return to my list and noticed I can cross of read books without even realizing they were on my TBR.

Thus, my trick to not become stressed with all the books I want to read? I don’t put the pressure on myself to read X,Y&Z. I simply pick up whatever book I desire. This is why I don’t do many #gifted book reviews, as the pressure to finish and enjoy the book takes part of the enjoyment out for me. (Unless it is a book I think I will be passionate about/really enjoy.)

I am a very organised person, and use to plan exactly what and when I would read. Switching genres and introducing intellectual challenging books. I would force myself to finish books I wasn’t particular enjoying, because I HAD to tick them off my list. (mental health even affected my reading). I would see what books were popular and felt the pressure to read them instantly. (Before I started posting on my blog).

Concluding that reading is so personal. Everyone has different reading tastes, thus will not enjoy the same books. THIS IS OKAY. Simply read and add books to your TBR that YOU will enjoy. It sounds so easy, and it may be for you. But for me, this was a difficult hurdle to overcome. Reading is a hobby, a way to relax. My escapism.

Mental Health

Anxiety; how it comes and goes

I have spoke previously about my experience with anxiety, and how it affected by life, but has not affected me much for the past year or so. Ironically this week I have had moments on intense anxiety. No way near as bad as it use to me. But enough for me to notice it affecting me.

Last week I was at work, where I suddenly noticed how much my heart was beating, the room felt very hot, my hands were shaking. Thoughts in my head started appearing that I am dying. The beginnings of an anxiety attack. A colleague noticed, but I was able to distract myself as work was relatively busy. I find distraction helps me a lot. The more I think about it ,the worse it gets. I noticed that all week I’ve been physically anxious, which is harder to cope with for me. I feel mentally okay, so why is my body betraying me? I’m not sure what to do, as I feel it’s a physical symptom? Suggestions welcome!

Feeling this attack last week made me realise how well and calm I feel in general, which is huge! I used to feel this amount of anxiety on a daily basis. (How I coped, I do not know). This week has been mentally exhausting, but I feel well still. I hope this feeling doesn’t stay.

Am I suffering with anxiety? Does a diagnosis last a life time? Is this a disorder that comes and goes? I’m not interested in putting a label to how I feel, but it’s still interesting. I wonder if I’ll always have anxious tendencies.