Why I Quit Social Media… and why I came back, for now.

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On Thursday, the 29th of March I made a decision. I quit social media. I deleted my Facebook, I deleted my Instagram and I logged out of my Twitter pages. Why you may ask? Well, you see, a court case took place in Ireland, there was a lot of negativity online afterwards and I don’t just mean you’re regular amount of trolls or negative Nancys. I mean really harsh bullying, words that I’d never repeat or never imagine saying about anyone never mind thinking about anyone, never mind a victim.

As I personally had experienced something like the victim’s story, I was very much emotionally involved and a small part of me was living through her. I was so proud of her, her bravery inspires me still to this day. If you didn’t know she was a victim of rape. She was treated extremely badly in court, by trolls online and by the jury. I mean a jury who takes less than four hours to make a decision as serious as rape, to me, as a victim of the same crime, it’s just simply not good enough.

These messages people were tweeting or posting on Instagram were really damaging my mental health. I found myself crying constantly, looking for the negative comments, constantly reading underneath the news headlines, reading the hashtags and even though I was reading really nice comments too, the negatives ones were too loud to not notice.

I was so down, I lay in bed listening to Lady Gaga – Until It Happens to You, Kesha – Praying and Fletcher – I Believe You, on repeat, I couldn’t sleep and for some reason those songs gave me comfort. I was completely at a loss. I felt alone. I was getting flashbacks and I felt like it all had just happened all over again.

I made the decision to step back. To remove my self from the negativity of the online world and to focus on my mental health. This was an amazing decision. I felt like a new woman. I was confronting my emotions, I was more active, I found myself communicating more with friends directly, I was taking pictures for only my pleasure and I had time. I had time. I never knew how much time I wasted scrolling through my news feeds until I didn’t scroll.

I was appreciating reading the news, looking up different news articles online. I was appreciating nature, because I didn’t have my head stuck in my phone, I was looking around me at all the beautiful things around me. I was listening to people, properly listening, not scrolling whilst half listening, listening to them.

I wasn’t focusing on perfect pictures or having to get pictures, I was thinking about pictures I’d like to print off. For the first time in a very long time I felt a weight shift. I felt good. I knew now that I didn’t need social media, I wasn’t addicted, I know realised the inner peace that people had who didn’t have social media accounts.

So, why did I go back on Twitter only this week? Well, you see, there is a very important referendum coming up in Ireland and I am very passionate about this referendum and being on social media gives me the power to use my voice and help the campaign as much as I can. I want to do everything I can to help pass this referendum and being on social media felt like something I needed to do – so I choose Twitter.

Right now, I believe I will log off Twitter after the referendum, however, I may do more of a time managing situation on it – where I locate a certain about of time to being online.

The reason i’m writing this blog is to tell you, yes you, that if you feel like social media is weighing you down and comments online are really getting to you, take two steps back. Give yourself a break. I promise you, it will make a difference. Please do not be afraid to mute or block anyone online, even if you think they’ll find enjoyment out of it, you won’t know because they will be silenced. They haven’t won. It’s not a competition. This is your mental health.

It is so important to look after your mental health every single day. Taking time to yourself is so essential and stepping away from negative situations for your mental health – is more than okay. Look after you, not the trolls.

Lots of love, Belle x

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Why I marched – I stand with survivors.

Before, I begin this blog I would like to note a couple of things, I am at the moment in a fragile state, this blog won’t be perfect, I’m not focused on the right things to say because there is no right thing to say. What I will tell you is my truth. My side of the story. My story. If at any time, you feel uncomfortable, triggered or angry please feel free to not continue reading and to click off. I understand what I’m about to speak about is a sensitive subject and I understand that because I’m very sensitive about this subject.

Wednesday, the 28th of March started off just a normal day, I got up, got dressed, went to college, began my normal day. I had a bit of excitement in me as me and my college pals were heading out for one final night for our first year of college, so I was excited for some dancing and laughing. That was the only difference.
Whilst sitting in class, someone adviced that a verdict for the Belfast trail had been realised – acquitted. Here’s a link to an article in case you are unsure of this case.

Inside Court 12: the complete story of the Belfast rape trial

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/inside-court-12-the-complete-story-of-the-belfast-rape-trial-1.3443620?mode=amp

I wasn’t an expert on this case, in fact I stayed away from it. Ever since the #MeToo movement I’ve been struggling with finally open up about my stories and my experiences with sexual abuse. This has been no walk in the park and I have experienced more breakdowns in the last five months than I have in the five years I kept it a secret. Why? Because I was admitting it happened, I was admitting it to myself.
So, instead of diving into this case and getting way too emotionally involved, I stood back and tried my best to focus on myself and dealing with my emotions around my experience.
So, I’m sitting in class and people start having a debate and saying things about the case and for some reason I feel like they are talking to me, that I’m on the stand and everyone is shouting different things at me. Not believing me. Confirming it was my fault. Confirming I was asking for it. I was completely overcome with anger and sadness. People were saying things that were completely wrong in my head and I couldn’t answer. I had to walk out of class. I wasn’t the only one.
If I had a counsellor where I live, then I would have done my best to book a counselling session ASAP. To me, it all became this sad reminder as to why I kept my story to myself for 5 years and why I wasn’t alone in this situation.
My family group chat was blowing up as my family couldn’t believe they hadn’t been found guilty and they couldn’t believe what people were saying online about this girl. It was safe to say they were furious.
There is five woman in my family, my single Mother and us four kiddos. I told one of my sisters what happened me late last year, none of the rest knew, not because they wouldn’t believe me, because one I didn’t want to admit it and two I didn’t want to see the pain that they would go through finding out the truth, because it would affect them too and I know that for a fact, because, if it happened them, I would be destroyed, I would be heartbroken.

I was in a complete panic and I wasn’t sure what to do, every time I looked at my phone there was something about the trial and if I didn’t reply to my family they would think something was wrong with me.
I had to say something. I messaged them saying something like ‘this topic is very close to my heart, I’m finding it hard to think of the right words to say, I have an experience like this and it’s a tough day’, I also explained how I was supposed to be heading out that night and alcohol, me and not expressing myself was not a good mix so I just needed to say something. I needed them to know in that moment. I was fed up keeping it a secret – I didn’t go into details but they now know it’s happened.
Trying to deal with everything, I kept myself off social media and decided to go on my night out but not drink too much. The sad thing is I knew I had to go out because if not I’d be alone in my house with my thoughts and the nasty comments online.
I found myself returning to social media the next day and I was overcome with emotion, there was a lot of positive messages online but the negative ones, they were cruel. Really harsh nasty words. I thought what I thought about myself was bad, I thought your mind was your worst enemy but the trolls online saying their opinions of this poor girl were awful and things I would never imagine anyone saying. How could these people say these things about a human being?

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The worst for me was the excuse ‘lads will be lads’ when did lads become an excuse to be an asshole? You can just say and do whatever you want. ‘Being a lad’ is now an excuse for really horrible things. It’s just not good enough.

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At the end of the day you can believe what you want about the verdict but none of us were there on that night. However, I’m going to pass onto something my lecturer told me from a psychologist’s view “if that girl was in fact lying and not feeling one bit guilty about bringing these four guys up and dragging their names to the ground – she would be a clinical psychopath and you’re telling me that ruthless defence team wouldn’t be able to find that out? She wasn’t lying. That’s her truth. I believe her.”
Psychopathy, sometimes considered synonymous with sociopathy, is traditionally defined as a personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy, impaired remorse, bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits. That description is from Wikipedia. Here’s a bit more information, again, this is my story and you can make up your own decision on it all

https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindmelding/201301/what-is-psychopath-0%3famp.

I will note my lecturer is a genius and incredibly emotionally intelligent, he has an open mind and a big heart. He knows what he’s talking about. My research might not be the best – but his is legit.

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After seeing the “slut deserved it” comment Γ— 10,000 and way worse than that too many times, I decided I was going to take a break from social media and focus on my mental health.
When I found myself alone on Thursday, I just cried. I kept reliving what happened me over and over again. I kept thinking about the girl.
I kept thinking about what she experienced and everything she’s been through. Where was she? Was she ok? Is she safe? Did she have family and friends around her? Does she know that she’s my hero? She’s all our heroes? She knew she wasn’t going to win, but she got up and fought anyway and that makes her one the bravest people in Ireland right now, in my opinion.

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When I experienced sexual abuse, which was twice, by two different men, I was terrified. Each time, I found myself frozen. Unable to move or think. The first time was the worse, I just kept telling myself it will be over soon, it will be over soon, breathe. The second time, I pushed him away and he stayed away but he still slept in my bed. The first time I pushed him away, three times. The second time, I was asleep, I woke up to him inside of me.
When it was over, I lay there in a state of shock. Terrified, exhausted and morified. I would question all the things I did before hand to give the men the impression he could do this. I would think about every outfit I’ve ever worn, every sexual partner I’ve had, every time I spoke about sex, every time I got too drunk and every time I could think of that could possible give these guys the impressions that I would just take it. Because I knew these guys, they weren’t strangers.

The last thing on my mind was getting right up out of the bed to call the police because let’s be honest how do you prove it? I wanted to leave the situation and get in the shower and scrub my skin until I didn’t feel dirty anymore, I wanted to get out of my clothes and destroy them. I instantly knew that what had just happened me no one would believe me. Everyone would think I was being dramatic or I’m only saying that because I was ashamed. I knew that would happen, I could have put money on it. How sad is that? How terrifying is that? I just let it happen, I just let them get away with it because I knew that if I went any further, I’d be on trial not them. What is it Louise O’Neill wrote? “They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.” That is from her book Asking For It, I completely recommend reading it.

This week was a busy week for me, on Friday I had to get the bus back from Limerick to my hometown to celebrate my best friend getting engaged. This was such a happy time for me, I loved this couple and it was the first of my friends to get married so I was over the moon, before Wednesday. I didn’t want to go anywhere, I just wanted to lie in bed and cry. I was doing only one thing, listening to three things on repeat. Three songs, Fletcher – I believe you, Kesha – Praying and Lady Gaga – Til it happens to you. I couldn’t listen to anything else because they were the only three songs that were connecting with me.

When I sat on the bus I said to myself ‘Ok you need to stop this, you’re crying in public, your body is weak and your mind is going into dangerous things let’s stop thinking about it for a little while.’ It was like I gave myself the OK to be OK. So, I put on my favourite podcast – Blindboy’s podcast.

It worked, I found myself laughing, really laughing. I found myself getting lost in his descriptions and stories. However, it was his message at the end that saved me. Before he finished the podcast, he talked about Spring and the beginning of Spring and how we should stop and be in the here and now. He spoke about being mindful and acknowledging the nature around us and the changing of nature at the beginning of Spring. To be in the moment. So, I opened my eyes and looked out the window and the nature around me was beautiful.

As we drove by, I took in the beautiful fields filled with beautiful cows all together as if they were all at a restaurant, eating the grass and sitting with friends. I noticed the beautiful trees that stood in each field. Big trees. I noticed the light that comes through at the top of the trees, trying to escape through the leaves. I thought to myself what a wonderful world. I thought what a picture this would all make.

There is beauty in taking your head out of your phone and looking around you. That saved me. I went home and went out with friends and even though I wasn’t 100% myself, I was able to go there and for moments I was able to take my mind in other places by just listening to others.

Being honest, after the meal, I was ready to go home, I didn’t want to be there, not because I wasn’t around people I wanted to be around, because I wanted to be at home. We found ourselves in the smoking area chatting when a group of boys walked in shouting, one boy walked in screaming “I believe him” referring to the the trail, he was making movements to show he had someone bent over in front of him and he was having sex with them whilst also spanking them, shouting “I believe him”. I seen my friends look at me. I remained silent. I told myself, he was nothing to me, I am here with friends, I am ignoring that asshole. I am not letting him in. So, I didn’t but I couldn’t close my ears or eyes to what he was doing.

I found myself only drinking three cocktails and choosing to drink water because I wanted to be sober, but that’s because I didn’t really want to drink this year anyway, but I appreciate a cocktail. However, when I started drinking the water – my night got a lot better. Although, we were trying to dance, a group of five girls and we ended up having to leave the dance floor because there was a couple of guys who wouldn’t leave us alone. But there was one, who really wouldn’t stop, old enough to be our Dad’s, trying to grab us in areas and my friend asked him to please stop and dance somewhere else, what did he do? Pull her in for a kiss. The mood was definitely ruined, so we went back and sat down and danced around in our seats.

Saturday, the next day, I needed to get up at 8am after going to bed after 4am – which made me very glad I was not hungover. I was still a bit all over the place because there was a reason I was getting up so early. I was getting up to March. A little bit about the march..

Thousands March In I Believe Her Rallies In Belfast And Dublin

https://evoke.ie/2018/04/01/news/irish-news/thousands-march-in-i-believe-her-rallies-in-belfast-and-dublin

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I was very unsure about marching, not because I didn’t believe in the cause, because I knew I still wasn’t completely facing up to what was happening to me and I was afraid I would be surrounded by the word ‘rape’ all day which may turn into me having a breakdown. Thinking about the march was giving me anxiety like I’ve never felt before. I was really unsure what to do.

But I got up and went, I’m not sure why but something inside of me said ‘go’. I got there with my Momma, my sisters and my cousin and once we arrived at city hall and seen people standing there with their signs in solidarity with each other I felt empowered. I felt that it was very important I was there. My sister made me a sign that said ‘Girl, I believe you, me too’ a lyric from Fletcher and someone handed me a sign that said ‘Stand with Survivors’ so I stuck that to the back.

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I seen someone say on Facebook before my break complaining about the march saying the verdict was out and we can’t change the justice system. They were missing the point, the march was for her but also for every survivor who has come forward and being treated like a criminal and for every survivor who never told their story because of fear. As a survivor, it was the first time since it happened that I didn’t feel alone.

Since, what happened me I have been screaming on the inside, on Saturday, Β I was silent as I stood beside people who believed, who believed in equality. Who believed in ending rape culture.

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As we listened to the speeches, I took in every word as they spoke, as people stood up and told their stories, tears fell from eyes, we were in this together. One said “On the days you don’t believe yourself, I believe you”, another one said “tell your story, tell it, say it out loud” and I heard every word.

We want to end this. Time is up. A woman or a man should not be afraid to walk places alone, of what they are wearing incase someone believes it’s an invitation or they should not be afraid of telling a court of law what happened and be treated like they were lying. They also should not be treated by other people on social media like they are less than a human.

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The march was sending a message that we stand with survivors and to please not be afraid to tell your stories. It was a plead that we need more education about consent from school onwards and we need that education now. If I had of know more about consent, I might have done more, I could have had the information to go forward with my story. But, also, it may not have happened because the boys would have known what they were doing was not ok and they could have asked me and I would have said no. Who knows, but if education stops this happening to people, that’s all that mattered. If I could know that people won’t have to live with the fear that lives instead me, then I would live in a happier, safer world.

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I want to bring children into the world who know that they have the right to their body and that if people take advantage of them, they can seek help and justice and people will not slam them.

I’m still going through something very hard and I’m being more in the moment and connecting with nature and healing my soul. I’m staying away from social media and baring my soul in writing.

This is my story. This is my perception. If you have followed the case and believe the boys and have no empathy towards the girl, I’m going to ask you one thing and you can choose to ignore me but I need to ask.. Please choose your words wisely. When you choose to leave a comment online or say something to someone remember kindness is the best way, remember you don’t know what someone has been through and you don’t know what they’re going through so remember that before you say something negative.

If you are reading this and you have experienced some forms of sexual abuse or harassment, I am here with you. I stand with you. You are not asking for it. You deserve better. I believe you.

I’m not over it, this week has showed me that but Saturday was a reminder that I’m not alone in this world and I feel that a change is coming. People are done screaming on the inside and they are screaming on the outside. Please listen before you disagree. Listen to the pain.

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Thank you for reading this. Thank you for your constant support. I wrote this blog as a therapy session. I wrote it to express myself. I hope you don’t mind.

Lots of love. X

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My Journey With Self Love..

I’ve never been very confident in my abilities. Someone once labelled me stupid and I put myself in that box and continued to call myself that. Someone once commented on my teeth and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since. This has nothing to do with that someone, because I already thought it – they just said it out loud.

Recently, I’ve seen someone I know speak a lot about self love and she openly admitted to loving herself and I was blown away. She was able to tell me all the things she loves about herself and instead of saying the things she hates about herself, she phrased it the things I need to acknowledge aren’t my strengths and either challenge that or drop them.

I loved it. I sat there in awe of this girl. I noticed she had a glow around her. She was confident and it showed. I wanted that. I want that.

I’m me and I’m the only person who is me. I’ve got a big nose but it makes my face different. I don’t have perfect teeth, but one day I will have enough money to fix them and that is going to be the best feeling. My body isn’t where I want it to me, but it is changing and I need to acknowledge how far it has come.

I’m not stupid. I’m not a genius. I’m curious. I’m open minded. I’m hardworking. I’m willing to learn. I’m creative. I’m kind. I’m passionate. I can say I’m wrong. I’m a good listener. I’m learning to be a critical thinker.

I can read a book I love in no time at all. I can write a story and make it turn into a therapy session for me. I have good style. I care about animals. I care about this planet. I care about the people on this planet.

I do everything I can to make this world a better place.

I make mistakes. I learn from most of them. I believe in love.

On my new journey of self love, I didn’t just want to post some things I’m good at on here. I wanted to do something I’ve never done before – I wanted to take a selfie and post it.

On Saturday, I was off to an event and I really liked my hair and make up and I thought to myself, I look good. It’s rare I think this for, but also, it’s very rare that I think ‘I’m going to capture this moment’ when it’s me and I did I took a selfie. I’m constantly taking photos but rarely of myself. My selfie skills aren’t great but I found one photo I liked and I posted it on my Instagram (michelle_bardon).

I was honest in my post, I told people in my caption “Posting my first ever selfie that I’ve ever taken (apart from Snapchat) because I’m working on self love and I’m happy with how I look today and that’s a moment that needs to be captured. Happy Saturday <3”.

The reason I posted that caption is because I wanted to be real – I wanted to be honest. To me that’s what self love is, being open and honest with myself and others and not having to hide anything from them and more importantly from myself. Because telling myself I’m fine, when I’m not isn’t going to get me anywhere.

I want to acknowledge where I’m at and move forward at my own pace. My only competition is myself. Admitting when I don’t feel great, whilst also admiring when I feel good.

We are all unique. We are all smart in different ways. We are all beautiful in different ways. You are worth fighting for. Join me in a journey towards self love and compliment yourself everyday. Tell yourself good things about yourself.

Believe in yourself.

Here’s my first ever selfie.

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Lots of love,

Belle x

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Just a chat – Me Too, Feminism, Corrie & Liam Neeson

Hello, hello, hello. How are we all on this Bank Holiday Monday which is nearly over? I can’t wait for the Summer holidays to begin so I have time to be consistent in my blogs as well as uploading at a decent time, but hey, I’m writing and that’s what counts, right?

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If you didn’t see my recent ranting post, you’ll find it here >>>>

https://bellefabulous.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/having-a-little-rant-feminism-metoo-timesup-part-1/

I spoke about Feminism, being a feminist, how I don’t hate men because I’m a feminsit and ended the blog with a note about Liam Neeson.

Liam Neeson recently made this comment in an interview when talking about the #TimesUp movement…

“What is happening over there, and is it long overdue, and are you happy to see things moving the way they’re moving?” Ryan Turbidy asked (the interviewer).

“Yes,” Neeson started, adding: “There is a bit of a witch hunt happening, too.”

Liam made comments that were supporting the movement too, however, this comment kind of ruined everything he said. There is no doubt Liam is entitled to his opinion but Liam and anyone who also believes that about #TimesUp and #MeToo need to understand that their opinions hurt too. They f##king sting.

Liam made a comment that others have made, but Liam was on television, knowing anyone in world could watch this interview, people who looked up to him.

As a female and a fan, a little bit of me died inside when I heard the comment. Liam Neeson who starred in a film where is daughter was kidnapped and drugged and about to be sold off as a sex slave. A sex slave. He rescued her.

It blew my mind a little and then I had to sit back and see his side, I watched the interview and I heard it. People he admired were being accused of sexual harassment and getting fired. I’m not sure if he was condoning the behaviour or denying it or not believing it – maybe he felt like he needed to stand up for the men who may be falsely accused? I’m not quite sure.

I don’t know Liam’s view of it all, I don’t know what his meaning of a “witch hunt” is, all I know is that when he said it, it stung. That’s his opinion and he is entitled to it.

My opinion is to simply, please try to hear both sides of the story and understand that we, the women and men who find it terrifying to tell our stories for the fear of not being believed and live with the shame of it being our fault. Please understand that this is a subject that needs to be talked about correctly and with caution – this is affecting people worldwide and we need to treat it with care, because the movements that are happening right now are going to change the world for the better, for men and women.

Education is always going to be key in this matter. Kindness is also very important.

This is my opinion. Liam has his own and we both have difference of opinion and we both are entitled to that.

*

Who watches Corrie? David Platt has just been drugged and assaulted by newcomer Josh and it was hard to watch but it was a story needing to be told. The aftermath of the rape has become as you see David breakdown in the shower, throw away his clothes and vomit when he sees Josh again.

It wasn’t long before the complaints were sent to ITV – “I had to turn it off” or “it was uncomfortable to watch” but people are talking about it and we need to talk about it. It happens far too often for us to stay silent anymore.

There has been jokes about the storyline and David’s life – but I come to the realisation that we all react in different ways. In times of fear or awkwardness people try to make light of the situation and make a joke to try cheer people up a little. I just ask that you try to be kind during this storyline and your jokes as there may be people in your life or people who follow you on social media that may be triggered by this storyline.

Again, freedom of speech, but don’t forget to kill ’em with kindness.

So far, the actors, crew, writers, directors, producers and anyone else involved are doing a great job on exposing the truth about the situation and treating it with delicate care. Thank you for telling the story.

Please if you are triggered by anything I’ve written today and need someone to talk to please DM me @ire_vegan or please call your local rape hotline. Please speak to a friend, a family member or a professional. ❀

Thanks for listening x

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Cinema Reviews – 2018 Movies πŸŽ₯

Hi friends! How are we all doing today? Ireland has just woken up to more snow! I can’t believe it, well actually I can, Climate Change is happening yal. Ireland is not used to snow, so usually when it snows heavily here – we go into shut down, but it makes everything looks so beautiful that I can’t complain too much.

Anyway, I’ve gone to the cinema quite a few times in 2018 and I have to say the movies I’ve seen have been so good that I just needed to share. There is still a lot of movies out or coming out that I really want to see too!

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1. The Greatest Showman: This is my movie of the year so far, a winner in my eyes. It’s a musical about a homeless boy with big dreams who falls in love with a girl from a rich family. She leaves her family for him and they build their own family. He has a dream – to be the greatest showman and he starts planning, he starts gathering together people who are different from the crowd and puts together an incredible show. The music is my favourite part, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack ever since. *****

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2. Pitch Perfect 3: The girls are back for a final show. Life isn’t going too well for the girls at the minute, so they decide to do one last show and find themselves on an overseas USO tour which happens to be alongside some bands who you know, play instruments and sing their own songs. My favourite part was Liam from 90210 was in it 😍 My least favourite part was Fat Amy surprisingly. I love her in the first two, but this one not so much, she’s also quite mean to Emily and it’s uncomfortable too watch because there’s no real reason for it. My least favourite of the three movies. **

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3. The Post:Β Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, a match made in Heaven. A story about the first female publisher of a big American newspaper – The Washington Post. Her editor helps the paper catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that goes back three decades and 4 American presidents. The story is inspiring, yet frightening because it’s real. This happened, this all took place. *****

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4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – A story about a Mother seeking justice. To force the police to find her Daughter’s murderer and rapist she buys three billboards and paints messages to the police on them. This story has lots of twists that I never seen coming. This movie has some of the best acting I think I have ever seen. I wished for a different ending, but I understand the one we got. *****

And that’s all so far! I can’t wait to see Love, Simon in the next few weeks! I also want to see Ladybird, iTonya and A Wrinkle in Time. It’s a great year for movies! ❀

Thanks for reading,

Lots of love x

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Having a chat – St. Patrick’s day, Alcohol & Peer Pressure

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πŸ”πŸ”πŸ” A massive St. Patrick’s day throwback for yal πŸ€

Hi errrbody, how are you all doing? I hope you’re all doing well and if you’re Irish I hope you’re getting to celebrate St. Patrick’s day in whatever fun way you have planned. Or if not I hope you’re still enjoying your week! πŸ€

My main discussion point of this blog is going to be around alcohol and the pressure to drink alcohol and go on nights out. I have struggled with alcohol for as long as I can remember. My relationship with alcohol is more bad than good, in fact there is barely any good moments.

When I decided to cut down on my drinking I started to get a lot of stick about it and even up until this day I’m confused by it.

Picture this, you’re at this party and everyone’s chilled having a good time, drinking away. Most people are in between tipsy and drunk and everyone’s having a good time. That is until this very intoxicated girl shows up and she’s drinking everyone’s drink, she can’t really string a sentence together, she’s all over that guy, wait now she’s all over that guy, she doesn’t seem to have a bag and she’s definitely fallen a lot because there’s bruises and cuts on her legs and she definitely should go home.

The next day that same girl wakes up in a bed, in a room she’s never seen before and one she doesn’t remember getting into. She can’t see any of her belongings and she’s not sure who’s lying beside her and she’s not sure where she is but she needs to get out. So she runs out and runs home in last night’s dress carrying her stilettos and everyone who passes her stares and knows she’s doing the walk of shame.

As the day goes by paranoia kicks in and she sinks into a depression, she begins to overthink her whole life. She doesn’t know where her phone, her wallet or her bag is. She cries silently to herself thinking “why do I keep doing this to myself?”.

That girl was me. Is me.

I have controlled my drinking but one sip of vodka and I’m there again and it’s a terrifying thing. I’m not an addict I don’t crave alcohol, in fact I hate the thought of having to drink it. I’ve an issue with binge drinking.

I was never really thought about the effect alcohol can have on some people and not others, growing up. Yes I’d heard about alcoholics and if I’m being honest I thought they were older people, the ones you picture waiting for the pub to open on a Tuesday morning.

Alcohol is dangerous and it can have a massive effect on your mental and physical health. I thought you had to drink to have a good time, what a load of crap, if I was having a good time why was I crying myself to sleep most Sunday nights after a Saturday night bender?

By drinking alcohol I was a danger to myself, I was 16 and drinking more vodka than Sprite in my drink. I was lucky SnapChat wasn’t available back then when I fell in a nightclub and people could see my vagina. One night I couldn’t even find my way home and I was in my own estate.

I’ve gotten lost at festivals miles from home, I’ve tried to kill myself whilst drunk and I’ve been sexual assaulted while under the influence. Not that that is my fault but my guard was down.

I would go limb. My mind wouldn’t know itself, I would picture things that weren’t there, I would talk to people who weren’t there and I would imagine my life was ending. Please know, I was never on anything else, this was all alcohol.

People believed I was on other drugs but I put my hand on my heart and swear that alcohol done more damage on me that I never went seeking anything stronger.

So I’ve been very open about these things that happened to me – I’ve told most of my friends and they’ve witnessed these moments and they’ve dropped comments here and there about how embarrassing I was and I always knew it was embarrassing for them so I thought they would be eager for me to stop? Turns out, no. Not all my friends but some.

So some have called me boring over and over again. Some have stopped having regular contact with me. Get angry at me for not wanting to go when it’s not an event or birthday. Some have rolled their eyes at me when I’ve said I don’t like to drink and told me I was twenty six not forty six.

Oh yes, this some, is one friend. My best friend.

It’s been quite hard and they’re definitely not the only one, but it hurts. It really hurts.

I’m at a stage in my life where I want to be moving forward not backwards and I want people in my life who want good things for me and my health.

I want friends who still want to be friends with me even if I don’t head out on a night out often and I want people to understand why it’s important for me not to drink.

This is my message to you reading this, please educate yourself on alcohol and the effects it can have on you. Please do not be pressured into drinking alcohol and please if you drink, drink in moderation. Please never pressure anyone in anything they don’t want to do and take care of your loved ones. Take care of your friends on nights out and be there for them when they cut down on their alcohol usage.

St. Patrick’s day is seen as a massive piss up in Ireland and I just ask that you all take care over this holiday. Please be careful of how and what you drink. If you don’t feel like drinking – don’t drink. Please look after your drunk friends. Please never drive a car under the influence or get into a car where the driver is under the influence. Please never walk home late at night by yourself.

Be safe folks and have a wonderful week… Happy St. Patrick’s weekend πŸ€πŸŽ‰ xx

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Who I love to follow on Social Media..

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Every time I say “I love following..” it never sounds right doesn’t it? You get the picture of me stalking this person and watching them from a far.

Well, I promise I am not doing that, I’m just doing it through my phone. Still sounds weird, but you know what I mean, right? Kinda? Ok, I’ll take kinda.

There are plenty of people who have mastered the craft of Social Media, the perfect Instagram or the hilarious tweet, not me, I’m still working on it but credit where credit is due and sharing is caring so here’s a list of my favs.

I’m just going to pick ten Twitter and Instagram favs because they’re the apps I use the most. Please note, I will do another post like this so leave your Instagrams & Twitters in the comments so I can follow you!

Instagram:

1. Zoella – the girl has a knack for the perfect photo setting and she also posts cute pictures of her doggy Nala. Definitely worth a follow even just for ideas.

2. Mark Ferris – I love his sense of style, he always has the cutest outfits and pics! He regularly recommends fragrances and TV shows also!

3. Anna Saccone – If you love cute babies and dogs, you need to follow Anna. I love her stories on Instagram and she’s one of the only people I click in to see their pictures.

4. Cole Sprouse – If you love photography, he’s your guy. Very cool, original, beautiful photos.

5. Connor Franta – Again very artsy photos, really good inspo for bloggers.

6. James Kavanagh – Need a laugh? Find him on social media – comedy genius.

7. George Shelley – Again great artsy photography – I love his pictures.

8. Plant Based News – To keep up with all the new Vegan stories!

9. VeganFoodieTravel – It’s all in the name, delicious vegan food from all around the world!

10. GrahamJack – A vegan Irish guy who shares his fitness journey and meal plan with cute cat videos too.

Twitter:Β Β 

1. Mark Ferris – Very relatable tweets with lots of humour.

2. Caspar Lee – Another one for relatable tweets, I think I RT him more than anyone else.

3. Kalyn Nicholson – She is always so positive and a good motivator to follow.

4. Chrissy TeigenΒ – Wit, Sarcasm and charm.

5. Ricky Dillon: Humour and a legend.

6. MyNamesChai: Funny, Relatable & Cute

7. Josh Peck: I just think he is so funny!

8. Lucy Watson: Sassy Vegan, I adore her.

9. PointlessBlog: Very good for positive and motivational tweets.

10. Em Sheldon: Very relatable tweets & a blogger.

I hope you check these guys out, they really are killing the game. I know there are a lot of celebrities in the list and that’s mainly because who shows up the most in my feeds but I plan on doing this again and would love to promote only bloggers/youtubers so please leave ya deets below and we can help eachother. Thank you.

Lots of love always x

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