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Anger & Depression – My Current Stages of Grief

By Health, Life, ThinkingNo Comments

Loss leads to a grieving process. I feel like my vasculitis diagnosis and accompanying symptoms have led to a loss of a quality of life, as well as a shorter life expectancy than I had expected. So I’m currently grieving.

I’ve done the denial and shock stages of grief, but am currently struggling with the anger and depression stages.

Anger is a weird one. I’m not angry at a person or God, but I’m angry with the whole way this universe works. It feels unfair and even though I know logically that life isn’t always fair, I’m still angry about it. Anger isn’t something I experience often and it is one of those feelings that for me is uncomfortable. I’m rarely ever angry so my resilence to tolerating this emotion is quite low, as are my coping strategies for dealing with it.

Depression on the other hand is bunch of feelings that I’m far too familiar with due to having bipolar. Hoplessness, a lack of joy, physical/mental exhaustion, I could go on, but I won’t.

These feelings of anger and depression are a normal part of the grieving process. I know that. But it doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. I’m struggling to cope, so I’ve referred myself for some counselling. I know there’s really no solution to these feelings, they are not a problem or a puzzle to be solved, they have to be experienced, in order to move on to the acceptance stage.

Right now I’m focusing on being patient and kind to everyone – including myself, so that I don’t inflict any harm on anyone because of how I am feeling.

I am acutely aware that my last few blog posts haven’t been positive. But I suppose that’s to be expected when you’re grieving.

Write soon,


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The Healthy Relationship Checklist

By Love & Relationships, Thinking2 Comments

How do you know if you’re in a healthy relationship or not? Find out more below.


Relationship Gender Symbols. Copyright © Antony Simpson, 2018.

If you are in a healthy relationship you should tick most of the boxes on the checklist below:
Unticked Box You can do things independently, without getting a hard time from your partner. You can explore interests, have hobbies, etc.
Unticked Box You can communicate openly and honestly with your partner without negative judgement or fear.
Unticked Box You never have to hide anything from your partner.
Unticked Box You get support from your partner when you are vulnerable.
Unticked Box Your partner encourages and supports you in everything that you do.
Unticked Box You have shared your dreams and hopes with your partner.
Unticked Box You and your partner have shared ambitions for your life together.
Unticked Box You feel safe: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Unticked Box You have regular contact with friends and family members.
Unticked Box Your partner never makes you feel bad for spending time with others.
Unticked Box Your partner always shows you respect.
Unticked Box You and your partner laugh together.
Unticked Box You and your partner listen to one another.
Unticked Box You and your partner both approach the relationship as a learning experience.
Unticked Box Your relationship adds something to both you and your partner’s life.
Unticked Box Your partner speaks to you with kindness.
Unticked Box Your friends and family honestly think your relationship is a healthy one.
Unticked Box Your relationship started with vulnerability, connection and intimacy.
Unticked Box You would use these words to describe your relationship: trust, warmth and attachment.
Unticked Box Your partner never belittles you.
Unticked Box Neither your partner or yourself displays contempt for the other. No eye rolling. No squinting at them as if to say what are you talking about?
Unticked Box You don’t feel controlled or manipulated.
Unticked Box Your partner is never aggressive or violent towards anyone or anything. This includes: you, any children and any pets or animals.
Unticked Box Your partner knows where the line is and doesn’t cross it. Either accidentally or purposefully.
Unticked Box You feel equal to your partner in the relationship.
Unticked Box You like the way you grown and changed while you’ve been in the relationship.
Unticked Box You and your partner express appreciation and admiration for one another.
Unticked Box You have fun together.
Unticked Box Your partner offers comfort, love and support when you’re upset, stressed or fearful.
Unticked Box You make decisions jointly.
Unticked Box You are intimate. By intimate I mean hugs, cuddles, kisses, holding hands, being close to one another and sex.
Unticked Box You and your partner don’t argue constantly.
Unticked Box Your partner loves and likes you when you look and feel at your worst.
Unticked Box Your family and friends like your partner.

If you think or feel that you maybe in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, the following websites have useful information on:

Blog soon,



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1 Life Lesson I’ve Learned for Every Year of My Adult Life

By ThinkingNo Comments

Life is about growth through learning and experience. So here’s 1 lesson life has taught me for every year of my adult live:

Age 18 – The importance of good and lifelong friendships. What makes a good friend including care, kindness, a sense of humour and loyalty.

Age 19 – The importance of having joy in my life. Creating opportunities for joy, seeking it out and chasing it are all essential activities for me.

Madame Tussaunds Blackpool on a thrown

Me on a thrown



Age 20 – That I’m never going to please everyone. Not everyone will like me or get me. That doesn’t mean I should stop trying. If I can make somebody laugh with a funny story or a joke, I’m going to do it. The smile or laughter is always worth it for me.

I just accept that not everyone is going to be pleased with what I do or don’t do. As long as I am happy with my intentions, actions and omissions, that’s good enough for me.

Age 21 – A diagnosis of a chronic illness (in my case type 1 diabetes) starts with grief. I mourned the loss of my working pancreas and cursed my faulty immune system.

Age 22 – Independence is extremely important to me. Getting my driving licence and being smothered in a relationship both helped me to realise this.

Age 23 – In the outside world many people are far to happy to psychologically tear strips off you. So inside your home should feel safe, full of compassion and be filled with a feeling of care. How I felt at home when I was younger and buying my own apartment helped me to realise this.

Age 24 – Sometimes I just have to do certain things, otherwise I’d always wonder What if?

Heartbreak sometimes heals with the passage of time. A lot of time. More than days, weeks or months. Years. Sometimes even longer than that.

Sometimes the heart doesn’t heal at all, it just scabs over like a scraped knee. Ready for you to pick at it or for something to come along and reopen the wound.

Age 25 – Not everyone gets to live a full and long life. This feels unfair. Life is precious.

The shock of an unexpected death is a thousand times worse than the grief of the loss. It is spiritually, mentally and emotionally exhausting. The disbelief that comes from the shock can last years and make it impossible to grief.

Age 26 – There’s something magic about new babies and they smell totally awesome.

Age 27 – The past is a nice place to visit, the future is a nice place to imagine, but you shouldn’t live in either of them. Live in the present.

Age 28 – The extreme highs and lows of mood I’ve had since my teenage years are not normal. Most people have a pretty stable mood.

Mood stabiliser and antidepressant medications saved more than just my mind, they saved my life.

Age 29 – Travel broadens my mind, fills my heart with goodness and strengthens my soul. If you have the opportunity to travel do. I learned this through visiting India, which has a special place in my heart.


Me with the Taj Mahal in the background (2).

Age 30 – Creativity enriches every aspect of myself. Stories (written, films, etc.) ignite my imagination and develop my empathy. Art and sculptures help me appreciate the beauty that the creators saw in the world around them or in their mind. Music helps me to feel and gives me the opportunity to dance.

To create something, whatever it is, is a learning process. Sometimes creative projects go well, other times not. But I always learn things from them. The process of creating something makes me feel alive and all lit up – even if it’s just a blog post like this one.

To share something I’ve created with the world makes me super-anxious. But when somebody tells me that my creative project has had some sort emotional resonance with them it becomes a privilege.


Soulmates (Short Story)

The Finished Product: My homemade candles look great (1).

The Finished Product: Just 1 of the 22 completed (unlit).

The Good Teen (Short Story)

Age 31 – When you do something you love for a job, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a vocation and a passion.

Write soon,



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Book Review: Carrie by Stephen King

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
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Carrie was Stephen King’s first jaunt into novel writing, originally published in 1974.

Carrie is a brilliant thriller, featuring an essentially damaged teenage girl with telekinetic (the ability to move objects with the mind) abilities.

Carrie White is the outsider at school. She’s always the butt of the joke.

Carrie’s home life isn’t much better with her Christian Fundamentalist mother. Her mother is physically and emotionally abusive, she thinks practically everything is sin. She regularly locks Carrie in a closet, the closet is designed to terrify and torment with effigies of sinners. To encourage Carrie to recognise her many sins and repent.

One day things change for Carrie. She is sixteen, in the communal showers at school after Physical Education, when she begins to bleed. She stands there, thinking that she must be dying.

Nobody has ever told her about menstruation. Unfortunately the other girls are less than sympathetic, in fact they are the polar opposite. They are cruel. They taunt her. They throw sanitary towels and tampons at her, telling her to plug it up. This traumatic event during puberty triggers something within Carrie and she starts to slowly realise that she can move and manipulate objects with her mind.

But what will she do with the power? Then popular boy Tommy Ross invites Carrie to The Spring Ball. What somebody intends as a kindness to Carrie leads to devastating consequences.

In Carrie the description is good, but some of it has become dated over time – including references to things. This is something that King recognises in the introduction to the story. However the reader can still mostly imagine what’s happening.

The story is told from various perspectives and using various formats (including quotes from imaginary books published about The White incident, interview Q&A from The White Commission, articles from News Papers, AP tickers and direct first person accounts). This variety in formatting made a refreshing change, although it did give some of the plot away at times. However it did add an retrospective analysis to events.

Carrie was a character that the reader quickly develops empathy for. All the other characters were strong and a few words of dialogue or internal thinking was all that was needed for them to come to life.

The plot was captivating and the pacing moved along at an appropriate speed. As Carrie was King’s first book, it is much shorter than some of his other books. This shortness actually made the book more enjoyable than some of King’s tomb-sized books.

Carrie is available to buy on Amazon and at all good book shops.

Review soon,



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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