Italy

If you follow me on Instagram you would know that I have just come back from Italy. I always knew I would love Italy but after visiting I have utterly fallen in love. Me and my friend Samantha went to Verona for a little get away over Easter… it was overdue will all the stress of work and feeling as though life was starting to take control of me, rather than me taking control of life.

Sam had decided to that we should go to Verona and being someone who has always wanted to go to Italy I bit her hand off! It was inexpensive, only costing us around £120 for the 4 days… a bargain I know! Which meant I didn’t to worry too much about the money side of things… a bonus for good old anxiety me.

Verona is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to and for saying it had given out rain all weekend, we had glorious sunshine… this was a nice surprise when we arrived! Looking at the city through the sunshine made it more enjoyable as we did have to walk a good 30 minutes to the town centre from where we was stopping.

Going on holiday made all the worries/anxieties disappear for a while… I honestly didn’t think this was possible being someone who gets anxious over the littlest of things. Being able to take in what the world has to offer made my mind clear and see what ‘could be’. There were a few moments of anxiety but we will go into this later, so for now I will share some photos which I took along my trip.

Italy has got to one of the most beautiful places I ever have been to and I will be going back again thats for sure… take me now please! I am having some serious holiday blues! Before going I was told how expensive it was and I have to say I did not think it was too pricey at all. Don’t get me wrong Venice was a bit pricey at times but in Verona the cost for a pizza was around 7/8 Euros and that’s nothing when you think about how much you would pay for a dominos, so I was very impressed. 

Recently finding my love for wine again I was very happy to see the price of wine was the same as getting a soft drink, so I thought it would be rude not to have a few glasses while out for dinner in Italy. You really cannot go wrong with a good glass of Rosé.

The 4 days I spent around €200, but this was for everything including a bit of retail shopping, eating out every night… eating my weight in Pizza. Paying for trips to certain places such as Venice and museums, also buying all food and drink for the long weekend. Personally I don’t think I did too bad money wise and it didn’t cost too much at all.

Suffering with mental health the day to day stresses can become all too overwhelming and well going away to Italy was time for me to have some ‘me’ time and “become one” with myself as they say. Italy made me realise that there is more to life than just work and stress. It allowed me to see all the beautiful things the world has to offer. I am so excited to see all the other parts of a planet, there is definitely more to life than you think and seeing the world is definitely showing me this. 

Waking up on our third day in Italy I could start to feel the anxiety kicking in and poor Sam had to put up with me, she was good! I felt as though going to Venice on the train was a mammoth of a task and I just had to make sure that I took my medication and had some breathing time to prepare myself for the journey. On the train I could feel myself getting more and more worked up… I knew what I needed to do! Close my eyes and do some breathing exercises. Little did I know that due to the lack of sleep the night before from the anxiety attacks which decided to take me by surprise I fell asleep on the train and before I knew it Sam was waking me telling me we had arrived! Well it sure made the anxiety disappear! Next you know it, we was in Venice eating Pizza… I have learnt I do love a good Italian Pizza!

This photo really does capture my holiday experience

Overall Italy allowed me to take some time away from all the day to day anxieties and really gave me time to focus on me. It did make coming home a lot harder than I originally thought. Going away has really given me the chance to see how good life can be and has for sure given me so many reasons to see why life is worth living.

For those of you who are suffering you are not alone and there is so much in live for you live for, don’t let things get you down. Remember if this was any other illness yo would speak out so let’s stamp out the stigma and join me on my road to recovery. 


signature

#GetTheInsideOut

So while at work today I have seen the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut flying around. So after looking into this I realised it was to help those suffering with mental health. Straight away I knew I had to be involved as the whole reason I started this blog was to stamp out the stigma which surrounds the illness and this hashtag is working hand in hand with my goal!

Lloyds Bank and Mental Health UK have launched a new TV advertising campaign on Channel 4 to encourage more people to feel comfortable speaking about mental health.

“Too many people living with a mental health problem feel isolated and misunderstood. Yet we all have mental health so the more we talk and listen, the easier it becomes for everyone. This campaign will help get mental health out in the open, where it belongs”

– Brian Dow, Managing Director of Mental Health UK

The adverts feature Lloyds Bank colleagues, members of the public and celebrities – including Professor Green, Jeremy Paxman, Rachel Riley and Alex Brooker – playing a variation of the ‘Who am I?’ sticky-note guessing game, to explore the common misconceptions about living with a non-visible disability using the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut.

There have been a few familiar faces who have taken part already and as a result we can raise the awareness of people suffering with mental health and show this is not something to be ashamed of.  Remember You are not alone!

Lloyds Bank conducted research* with Mental Health UK and found that 67% of people in Britain feel society is more comfortable talking about mental health conditions now compared to 5 years ago. However, 3 in 4 still believe there is a significant stigma attached to people with mental health conditions, and nearly a quarter are still uncomfortable talking about mental health with a friend or family member.


This is something which I do feel very passionate about as I suffered for many years not speaking to anyone as I was ashamed. No one ever understood, I would go to counselling sessions in secret only my closest of friends would know where I have been but I would never really go through the ins and outs. I would just smooth over it like it was nothing.

It wasn’t until February last year when I was taken into hospital that I started to open up to those around me, even then it wasn’t an easy thing to do. It has always been something I have struggled with, people would never understand and even still now this is something which is not understood by lots of people… this is what saddens me, as some don’t even want to be educated and just want to believe that this is someone choosing to be a ‘victim’ this is NOT the case. We all want to be better and don’t want to be known as the girl/boy suffering with mental health!

It took me over 10 years to even speak about my thoughts/mental health and finally I have got the strength to speak aloud and this is all thanks to my mental health nurses at the Radbourne Unit in Derby. The NHS were able to provide me with a lot of support and I couldn’t be more indebted to these women.

Mental health is something which affects most of us at some point in our life and yet we shy away from speaking up. Take some time to speak to someone you care about and open up get those feelings inside out, it is more important than you think! You are not alone and remember that you are important and relevant. I challenge you all to take a selfie with a post it note on your head, with the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut. Then share this on your social media accounts to show your support and help those suffering show that we do care!

If you do take your selfie please tag me, to show how this post has encouraged you to take part!! 

Here is mine!

ACS_0051

I look forward to seeing your pictures!

signature