Wednesday 27 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you've been living under a rock ( or at least without the internet ) you'll of no doubt seen and heard of people taking part in the Ice bucket challenge. Originally intended to raise awareness and encourage monetary donations in the name of ALS, a serious motor neurone disease, the challenge of pouring ice cold water on oneself has gone viral. A ton of money's been raised and some of the videos are quite honestly hilarious.

I think donating to charity is great. There are so many charities out there doing amazing work, that don't get nearly enough recognition or support, but why does it take a 'challenge' and what's in effect just peer pressure for people to donate? 

The same thing happened a few months ago with 'no makeup selfies' being posted in aid of cancer research.

So many people have jumped on the bandwagon with the ice bucket challenge, making entertaining videos to stick up on Facebook and Twitter but forgetting the reason behind it.

I encourage everybody to research ALS before taking part...Did you know the reason behind ice water being used is that ALS affects the nerves ? and a common symptom of the condition is feeling as though your body is cold and frozen ? Like ice?.....

You can get more information and donate  here ------>.

I've decided not to take part in the challenge, not because I'm a spoil sport or I don't think it's a worth while cause. I just feel that there are other charities and causes closer to my heart that I'd rather give my money too

For example : The FibroDuck Foundation. 
Fibromyalgia affects me on a day to day basis. The FibroDuck foundation raises money into research and helps connect those suffering with others in the same boat. Just like ALS charities it doesn't get near enough spotlight. 

My brother though,did join in and donate ... Check out his ice bucket challenge vid below ..

Remember you don't have to throw water on yourself to give to charity ( but it is entertaining ). 

Lots of love xxx

Friday 22 August 2014

Professional Sick Person

In my Bloggers profile, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, I make it no secret that I suffer with health 'issues'. Whilst I hate to be defined by my problems, I accept that they're a HUGE part of myself and my life.

I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at 18 along with Functional Neurological disorder, I'd been ill for several years before hand and in a way it was a relief to finally have a label. Although now as I write this I realise I have considerably more unmentioned labels. I guess they're like buses you wait and wait for one then a load turn up at once.

I digress, so yes, I'm Charlotte ( Or Lottie as my besties call me ) I have an illness....Illness can be unbelievably time consuming, endless doctors, appointments or days confined to bed, it's not difficult to see why some people define me and others like me as 'that sick girl'. Believe it or not I do other things too, when well enough, I meet friends, eat out, go to a pub / club, wander around town shopping, average 23 year old female things. However not everybody sees that stuff, and seeing is believing ( so I've heard ).

Recently I've rediscovered the joy of reading, a book I've really enjoyed and related to is 'The fault in our stars' by John Green. I'd definitely recommend it and it's currently out in cinemas if you're not the bookworm type.

Summery without spoilers - It's about a 16 year old girl living with terminal cancer a  love story essentially, think 'My Sisters Keeper' but with more comedy. 

Throughout the book she refers to herself and the other cancer kids as 'professional sick people'. Their lives are their illness.

 At a party when you introduce yourself and people ask what you do, I imagine you mention your work, your professional occupation, or that you're a student studying such and such.

Me? I've come to dread such conversations, 'um I don't really do much, I didn't go to Uni and I'm not currently working'.... Thinking 'oh god please change the subject'. It doesn't help that my illness is largely invisible.

I guess without really intending to, I too have become a 'Proffesional Sick Person' 
It's a pretty rubbish occupation for someone who doesnt like her illness to define her.

Job description - watch large amounts of daytime TV, play candy crush, housework, nap, doctors appointments, take meds, sleep some more. Sounds easy but depending on how I'm feeling the simplist things can be a challenge.

I'm that person who carries pain killers and can recommend a doctor, or recite endless anecdotes from my most recent hospital adventure ... 'Professional Sick Person' ...

I guess there isn't really a particular point to this post other than, if you too are a 'professional sick person' I know your struggles, we may have a different ailment / illness but I understand some of the frustrations you must feel. Especially when meeting new people and having that 'what do you do?' Conversation.

If you're healthy and reading this, remember. Yes I'm a professional sickie, but I'm also a normal 23 year old. This may be my current occupation but like I said at the beggining, believe it or not I do other things, just like you. You are not your occupation and neither am I.

I wish we didn't live in a world so focused on the status of others, being a wealthy, well educated lawyer doesn't make you a nice person, just as being homeless and on benefits doesn't make you a bad one.

If we all paid more attention to the things that matter, people's morals and integrity, I think the ill and disabled would feel less judged and isolated. Personally I often feel embarrassed when I have to mention that my illness doesn't allow me to work, Infact my health issues are a full time job.

Stay Positive and try and surround yourself with good people.

Lots of love xxxx

Sunday 17 August 2014

Single Life

It was 2012, my other half and I had been together 2 and a half years, we lived together in a nice 2 bedroom flat, I was head over heels in love..... This is it, 'the one' marriage, children etc that was the plan, or so I thought. Then it went sour.

Suddenly back living with my parents, I wondered what on earth was I doing with my life ? I'd had it all and lost it so quickly. I hadn't properly lived with my family since I was 16, so used to my own place, my own rules, I don't drive and it was frustrating almost frightening how dependant I now felt on other people.

I'd never really been single as an adult, I was so used to being part of a couple that I didn't really know anything about myself. Fast forward 2 years and I'm once again living alone, independent and guess what? Single. It's been a long journey to get to where I am now, full of ups and downs, smiles and tears. I may not know exactly where I'm going in life but I know it'll all work out in the end.

Here's 5 things I've learnt being a single girl in her twenties :-)

Good friends are hard to find. I'm lucky that I've had the same friends forever. They're the ones who are always there no matter what. I know plenty of people to go for a drink with but it's not the same. I think we're all guilty of sometimes taking our friends for granted, appreciate them, be there for them. Real friends will come armed with vodka and a shoulder to cry on when needed.

Its OK to not have a plan. Often the best things in life are unplanned. It's totally fine to say ' I don't know what I'm doing long term, but I'm happy and healthy and not hurting anyone' .Always have a plan for paying bills though, debts not cool.

Stop comparing yourself to others. I used to be the one in a relationship while everybody else was single, now the situations reversed. Friends went off to Uni or got good jobs and I couldn't help but compare myself and not feel good enough. Just because something is right for someone else doesn't mean it's right for you !! This was one of the most important things I've learnt. 

Sex is overrated. Helloooo ever heard of Ann Summers ? Do it yourself is the way to go, Trust me... I went through a crazy stage abroad with one night stands ( it doesn't count if it's in a different country) Walks of shame are not cool, going to bed with a 10 and waking up next to a 2 when the drinks worn off, again not cool . Learn what you like, get yourself off, then when you meet someone worthy enough to be in your bed, you'll know exactly how to direct them.

Be crazy. Following on from the point above, it's totally ok to go through a stage of being promiscuous. You're only young once. Be sensible, use a condom. I personally think I had to go through that phase to get to where I am now. I have more self respect now than I've ever had before. Take risks in life ( not sexually ) don't let opportunitys pass you by, this is your chance to do whatever you please, without having a grumpy other half to answer to. 

Break ups are difficult, mine was ( as you can tell from above ) but I hope I've helped you see that they can have positives. Never stay in an unhappy relationship because it seems easier than being alone. You deserve more than that.

Lots of love Charlotte xx

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Mental Illness

This week the world lost Robin Willians (R.I.P) a beloved actor and comedian. After years of struggling with depression /  addiction, it had all become to much and he commited suicide.

If there's anything to learn from this, it's that mental illness doesn't care who you are, how much money you make, your background, it can ( and does ) affect anyone.

I've read many articles published about his death and some of the comments people are posting in regard to it are absolutely shocking. 'What on earth did he have to be depressed about?' 'What a coward' etc.

Depression is a debilitating condition that affects so many around the world. The stigma around it ( and other mental health issues ) needs to be abolished. You wouldn't avoid talking about a broken bone or seeking treatment for a physical and visible condition. Why is Mental illness still such a taboo subject?

When I was 15 I developed an eating disorder. I regularly self harmed and took overdoses, eventually at the age of 17 I was sectioned under the mental health act and admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. It was a long battle but I'm proud to say I made a full recovery. 

That's why I know people can recover. I've been there and done it :-)

In 2011 I lost my best friend to suicide. I was heartbroken, she'd tried for years to try and beat her demons but in the end she just couldn't do it any longer. 

It hurts knowing my friend, just like Robin Williams felt that suicide was the only way out.

- R.i.p babe ^ love always xx

If you're struggling, remember you're never alone, help is out there. Like I said before recovery IS possible and life is certainly worth hanging on to, even if you can't see that right now.

Talk to you're GP, call the Samaritans, write you're feelings down, don't suffer alone. Depression, just like any other illness can be treated. If you know someone dealing with depression, encourage them to seek help, offer a quick chat or shoulder to cry on. Sometimes the simplist things make a huge difference.

Lots of love Charlotte xx

- The 3 best friends a girl could ask for , 7 years going strong, through the good and the bad <3 xx

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Summer Loving

Hi guys, after just moving house, I haven't had the best internet access :-( leading to me being a bit of a fail in the blogging department....

So without further ramblings let me introduce you to 3 of the things I've been loving this summer :-) 

1) everybody knows smart girls get their tan from a bottle. I love nothing more than looking bronzed and have tried my fair share of fake tans but this is definitely one of my faves...

Retailing at around £5 these are a beauty bargain, simple and easy to apply, also now available in a spray formula I couldn't recommend these more .

2) Revlon Colourburst Collection, Matte and laquer lip balms are perfect for the summer... I love love love the staying power of these and the colour range.. Wether it's a bold matte finish you're after or something more subtle and shimmery Revlon have it covered ..

Around £7 (ish)

3) In nice weather I sometimes feel like foundation is too much. I prefer to wear something a bit lighter and was looking around for the perfect tinted moisturiser / BB cream when I came across this...

Olay total effects 7 in one moisturiser... With a touch of foundation.
Oh My God !! Amazing like seriously. I know that Olay is a well know and popular brand but in all honesty I've never used any of their products before.
It wasn't cheap ( around £15 ) but is certainly worth the money. It provided good coverage and I didn't feel like I was caked in makeup, Containg SPF 15 it's perfect for summer. I can't wait to try something else from the range.

So there you have it 3 products I've been loving so far this summer.... What do you think yay or nay ?

Love Charlotte xxxx

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