Asexuality: Owning it.

Asexual is described as: lack of sexual attraction to others or low/absent interest/desire for sexual activity.

This is my story. I’m a mother to 3 children. I’m no Virgin Mary so yes I had sex to conceive them and yes I must’ve been attracted to someone at some point in my life to have my kids. But, you can be in a straight relationship and have kids then further on in life be in a homosexual relationship. So to realise you’re asexual isn’t any different.
I first realised I was asexual around a week ago after some googling , confiding in my sister and serious life thinking (I’m 30 so I’m starting to re-evaluate my life 😆😆).
I always knew at the back of my mind that I was maybe a little “different” to everybody else’s perception of “normal” I just couldn’t put a name to it before google.

I haven’t been in a serious relationship for several years. I always wanted to do what all my friends were doing and settle down with “mr right” and my kids. But for me, it just wasn’t meant to happen. I couldn’t seem to hold a relationship and I never knew why. I either met shitty blokes or pushed the good ones away for no rhyme or reason.

Over the years that I have been single, I’ve come to realise that I don’t miss anything about being in a relationship or dating someone. Be it the emotional and physical aspect. It feels to me like I’m void of that feeling or that part of my brain doesn’t work, almost like that switch is turned permanently off. It’s just an empty hole that’s non-existent.

Yes I crave adult company with being a single mum, but, I get that from family and friends so that part for me, is fulfilled. I’m just happier being with my kids and I just don’t see myself being physical with anybody else ever again.

This is the confusing bit, I can and do appreciate a good looking man (I.e Chris Pratt or Tom Hardy 🤤) and I can also appreciate a good looking girl but that’s where it ends, I might think “oh he/she is gorgeous” if I see someone in the street/shops for example, but that’s where it ends and my thoughts immediately switch back to what I’m doing or where I’m going in that instance. It’s a fleeting few seconds moment basically.

Whenever I think of myself with someone physically I feel nothing nor do i consider joining the dating scene ever again, it’s just not something I think about. I know people will think “oh well she feels like that cos she’s had bad experiences in the past” but it’s really not like that at all, yes I had some really bad experiences, but it is not the main reason I am who I am today.

I just don’t feel like I’m meant to be with anyone ever again in any way and I’m ok with that. I used to think I was weird and obviously must’ve had some sort of problem to not feel “normal” but I now know that that isn’t the case at all. I’m happy to stay celibate for the rest of my life, sounds extreme as I’m only 30, but I know hand on heart, that being with anyone else ever again (in any way btw) just isn’t going to happen.

It’s helped shape me as a person and made me realise I am who I am, but I’ve grown from those experiences! 🙂

Your brain is a powerful thing and it can sometimes be your best friend or worst enemy. It can fool you that your strange or actually you can realise that this is who you are and it’s ok to be “different” to others and it’s so liberating let me tell you! This past week, I think I’ve been the happiest in myself than I have for a long time. I don’t care if people think I’m weird or a “in the closet” because I know that no two people are the same and if you have no sexual desire or physical attraction for anyone then so? 🤷🏻‍♀️ you’re not any less of a human for feeling that way. I used to worry so much about what others thought of me all the time but I know that that isn’t a life to live. Nobody has the right to judge you wether it be your gender or sexual preference or in my case, lack of.

Be you. Nobody else is you and that is your superpower. It’s quote I saw somewhere online and I think it’s spot on! 😁

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The Art of Happiness.

You know what, this week has been a real kick downwards for me.

My positive mind keeps drifting away and I’ve been finding it hard to pull it back but I have such amazing support around me I’ve gotten back to smiling!

This week someone has made a disgusting comment towards me that I wasn’t being able to budge out of my mind, it was basically telling me I am a problem because of my condition and telling me to get over it, that’s just a nice way of wording it 😂

I let this get to me, then I clicked back into it! If I let that comment get to me the only person it’s upsetting and affecting is me, if someone says something negative to you, you have the power to let it pass, ignore it. YOU win then. THEY are irrelevant and will always be the unhappy opinionated grumps.

Ignorant people will never see how their actions truly affect people, be strong and don’t let it get you down. You are not the problem. THEY ARE.

I’m happy, I’m able to do all I want to do in my life and I’m grateful for that. I have loving support around me and so guess what. I don’t need negative opinions on me absorbed.
If you have something to say that could hurt someone, don’t say it. Keep your opinion to yourself. End of.
Be happy, happiness is the best medicine ✨
Remember it’s okay not to be okay sometimes, it’s the path after to kick yourself into your positive path that matters.

If you’re reading this. You’re amazing, and no one can change that about you ♥️

Ellie @ TEWP x

Boycotting the diet industry.

January has been a hard month. I’ve hit this wall of not quite knowing what I’m doing or how to start the process of dealing with trauma I’ve otherwise been distracting myself from. I’ve been distant from family and friends because its easy for me to isolate myself than face the world. I’ve been dodging the swing ball of diet culture that never stops and trying to stick to my recovery without allowing the ongoing parade of sign ups and sellers filling my inbox. I’m almost grateful I’m not at work because I cant deal with the discussion I know everyone and their hamster is having.

My biggest issue is how diet culture infiltrates my safe space. Its looming in my inbox, hiding on my social feeds and putting itself in the mouths of those I love. I have people I usually enjoy interacting with pushing PTs and portion control down my throat. I have friends investing in contraptions in hopes to mould a new shape. Family who still to this day cannot stop talking all things diet related despite my request not to.

It rushes us off our feet in January like an avalanche of lies disguised as secrets and it doesn’t stop. There’s always some reason to be trying to change our appearance and to buy in to the body shaming culture that controls us. A season, a social event a holiday, we keep being presented with unrealistic moulds we weren’t designed to fit in and are then chastised when we cant, don’t or wont. I’m suddenly aware of this grim reaper of diets that’s forever looking for new victims to claim as its next self loathing follower.

I’m fully aware that for some being on a structured diet is something that is needed. For my own recovery I had to follow eating plans and for some this is the only way to ensure they sat happy and healthy. However pushing and enforcing any one way of living on to people is not just wrong, its rude. There is no one way of living, its what makes life so magical .we have multiple races and religions and beliefs around this floating ball of water. What is damaging is to force those around you in a manipulative fashion to follow you in to a darkness they have no desire to exist in.

I want this world to change, to become a place where body positivity truly exists and not just in certain circles and when its profitable. In reality I know we are a long way off. I want it that when my children find their own way in the world they are respected for who they are and their existence. That they know bodies come in all shapes and sizes, colours and designs, abilities and genders. In reality too many people profit for the idea of perfection and worse still, too many of us keep buying into it.

So do me favour, if you promote anything to do with any kind of industry based on changing your appearance, add disclaimers and trigger warnings, give people the option to read on or scroll to the next picture. Give those fighting for control a little of it back. By all means discuss numbers if that’s what your followers and community are looking for, but do so responsibly for those of us still trying to unlearn them and find health. Advertise what you must to pay your bills, but consider how you would feel if someone was selling that product to your child, your sibling or your mother. Let us know the down side to the things that you are promoting, not everything is perfect, no shake can create perfection and no one ever finds that perfection they are searching for because the industry will always keep moving the bar.

Eat healthy because it fuels you to play with you kids, to work, to climb a hill, to hang out with your friends not because someone told you that’s how you should do it. All food is good food, some may be more nutritious but lets face it, some taste better than others.

Be kind to your body, be kind to yourself and dont waste your time trying to be something you weren’t designed to be.

take care,

love and hugs,

Hayleigh xo

Georgie’s Story.

This is the first time I’ve really spoken about the thoughts I had about my body whilst being a teenager with Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome (KTS).
In a nutshell, I was born with one leg bigger than the other. I will go into more detail about it in a future blog post, or you can find out more by looking at my Instagram (listed a the bottom of this article!).

Growing up, I was constantly comparing my body to what I saw in films and magazines. Slim people who had symmetrical bodies were in my eyes “perfect”, as that was what t.v adverts and magazine articles always portrayed. Did I ever see girls wearing compression stockings or having different looking legs? Not. At. All.

All the shows and magazines I loved had little or no diversity: Teen Vogue, The Hills, The Devil Wears Prada, The OC, the list goes on! I thought; visually, that I wasn’t enough, as the media was sending me subliminal messages: my body didn’t make the cut. I did not have the “bikini body” I kept seeing advertised and articles written about. I went through a phase of doing sit ups everyday before school started because I believed that having abs would make me feel better about my body, and that it would draw attention away from my leg.

The closest thing I could relate to was Bethany Hamilton’s book -Soul Surfer- she’d lost her arm in a shark attack. She was determined to surf again despite missing an arm and absolutely embraced it. She was such a major source of inspiration, and still is. I absolutely loved the film adaptation too (worth a watch).

I used to love watching America’s Next Top Model. Which is kind of ironic really, because it was all about what you looked like and having this perfect “look”. I can’t for the life of me remember what episode it was but Tyra strongly advised a beautiful woman on there to have the gap between her two front teeth closed. And it made me really upset and angry. The lady was happy with her teeth, and felt that it was a characteristic which made her unique; yet there she was being pushed to have her teeth adjusted. And for what? Someone else’s idea of what is attractive, and on what they thought would sell. For a teenager to see that was in no way, shape or form okay. It was insinuating that my differences weren’t good enough and that I should change to fit someone else’s ideologies.

Fast forward to today…. Everything has changed, yet everything is still the same. We have been given an amazing platform to broadcast our thoughts and our ideas globally, all at the touch of a screen.

Teenagers are now exposed to social media. I see influencers are pushing to sell weight loss products to their followers (many of which are teenagers who are particularly vulnerable) claiming that by drinking a “skinny coffee” you will lose 5 pounds in week. They will then proceed to back this up with a before and after photo (posing and lighting works miracles people!). There they stand with their chiseled jawbones, abs of steel, pert breasts and perky bottoms. This would have taken hard work in the gym, a carefully planned diet and maybe even some cosmetic surgery; not a week drinking “skinny coffee”.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that I want to see more people confident with their own bodies; regardless of size, shape, colour or gender. And EMBRACING it. As girls – like my teenage self- will be seeing your photos (yes YOU with the 3.7 million followers) and be influenced by them. You want them to love the skin they’re in and empower their peers that it’s okay to be different.

To the people with a large following on social media; think carefully before you agree to that paid partnership with a fast track weight loss product. You are influencing millions of young minds, when most of them are already self conscious (like I was) of their bodies. Instead, encourage them to realise that they have so many assets which make them beautiful inside and out. They are good enough (and so are you!) just the way they are.

Instagram: @elknacc

Georgie @ TEWP x

Rachel’s story.

Mental health has always been a really taboo subject that people aren’t comfortable talking about or sharing with others. Many people feel ashamed or weak and scared that people are going to judge them for it. In the last few years people have been more open about mental health and it’s a really positive thing I think. It lets people know there not alone and that they can get through things. I’ve spoke about my experience before but deleted my old blogs and I wanted to start again. So I’ll share it again.

When I was about 9/10 my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and I was at an age where I didn’t fully understand but I understood enough that it was a really bad thing. I actually got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about 7/8 months after my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I won’t bore you all but basically with type 1 diabetes you’re either born with it or it’s genetic. But, I was 10 and nobody else in my family had it the diabetes specialists believed that I actually got diabetes due to the stress of my dad being ill. So 12/13 years ago is really when my mental health issues started.

My Dad beat cancer the first time but sadly lung cancer always comes bad and dying is inevitable. So in 2010 I lost my Dad quite unexpectedly, this was a really hard time and for the first year I kind of blocked things out and pretended everything was okay and it really wasn’t. I knew I was more nervous and a bit sad but I thought that was normal because my dad had not long died. What I didn’t know was that I actually had quite severe anxiety and mild depression.

I was at a family members funeral about a year later and I had my first panic attack. My face was as white as a sheet, I felt sick, I kept nipping my hands and I thought I was going o pass out. My mum decided she needed to take me to the doctors because this was more than just feeling a bit on edge and sad.

This was the beginning of the next 8 years I’d spend receiving mental health help from the NHS. I’ve tried it all psychology’s, psychiatrists, counselling, mental health nurse, therapy and even acupuncture. First I started with a counsellor who I actually ended up seeing for 6 years and about half a year into my counselling they decided I needed something a bit more. So I started a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) course with a psychologist and as much as this helped me with new ways of thinking. My anxiety was too severe for it to actually work because even though I knew my thoughts were irrational I couldn’t stop them and I couldn’t stop my panic attacks.

I was fed up, drained, emotionally exhausted and angry at myself for not being “normal”. In a nutshell my anxiety made me scared of doing things alone, staying over night alone, getting on public transport, going anywhere that wasn’t familiar and being in crowded places. It was unbearable I was 19 and my mum couldn’t leave me for a night because I’d sob and asked her to stay. I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts and my huge fear of dying and suicide.

I’m still not sure to this day if I was ever fully suicidal or not I had thoughts constantly but I was scared of dying. Losing someone so close to me made me so aware of death and sometimes I felt so low I didn’t want to be here and having the control to end everything scared me. I remember the first time I ever felt this I was at a train station and I thought about how I could just jump in front of the train and all my sadness and pain would be over. Situations like this would play in my mind all the time I could just jump in front of a car, lie on the road, jump out someone’s car, take an overdose of my insulin and never have to deal with these feelings again. It got so bad that I refused to be alone or stay alone or do anything alone. I was constricted to my mums house, work, a pub round the corner and a few friends houses it wasn’t a life I wanted. I grew increasingly angry and frustrated with myself but nothing would ease my feelings and my life felt like it was truly at a stand still.

At the end of 2016 I met my boyfriend Calum who lived in Stirling at the time and it was so hard. I still feel bad now that he had to pick me up every weekend just to see me because I couldn’t get a train or bus alone. I was so dependent on everyone around me and I didn’t know what it felt like to be independent. My mental health started to take a bit of a toll on my relationship and Calum stood by me through it all which I’m so grateful for. I realised as well if I ever wanted a career or live with my boyfriend I’d have to leave Bonnyrigg and get out of my comfort zone.

So despite years of me saying I never wanted to be on anti depressants or any kind of medication I was referred to a diabetic psychologist and mental health nurse. None of my sessions ever really touched on my diabetes though. I remember the first time I met the psychiatrist my first words were “What’s wrong with me? Why am I not normal?” This overwhelming feeling of shame and anger had consumed me for so long I hated myself I resented the fact I didn’t think “normal”. He explained that I was normal that I just had really extreme anxiety and an inability to control my emotions healthily. He explained that the reason my anxiety wasn’t getting better with any other things I’d tried was because trust my brain was wired too anxiously to comprehend rational thoughts. So I accepted that I needed to go on anti depressants which was a really big thing for me because I always believed medication wasn’t the answer.

Anti-depressants changed my life. I can hand on heart say they were the best thing that ever happened to me. After trial and error with medication and doses I found the perfect one for me. It was like a light had been turned on in my brain and all the horrible thoughts were put behind a locked door. I started to do things on my own, I stayed alone, I started travelling from Edinburgh to Glasgow on a train alone and I could cope! The things I’d been so desperately scared of and sad about disappeared and I felt like I had a new lease of life. I even applied for university got in and I’m now studying my dream course and I moved to Glasgow with Calum. I am so independent now I don’t sit in the house sobbing and having panic attacks over things that scare me. I get up and I face them. Of course I still have days I’m a bit anxious and I’ll get the bus instead of the train because there’s too many people on a train but the point is I get up and I go.

Basically the point in this long winded post (v sorry if it bored you I talk too much) is that mental health is fucking terrifying, it feels like the worlds about to end and like there’s nowhere to go. But, there is it’s so cliche but it always gets better which takes hard work but it’s worth it all. I know it’s hard to open up and it’s hard to accept that you need help but trust me when I say people are so supportive. Friends, family and even the doctors who get such a bad name for mental health help. Without the NHS I dread to think where I’d be right now I might not even be here.

Remember make your mental health a priority, open up and give yourself all the love you need especially when you’re going through a shitty time.

Rachel’s blog:

https://racheljokelly.blogspot.com

Instagram:

@racheljokelly

Rachel @ TEWP x

New year, same fabulous me!

Last night I was having a fun night in with my friends, some food and some drinks having a great time. One of them had joined a dating app recently and I ended up making a profile for a laugh. When setting up my profile I discovered I don’t have any photos of myself since about June and even then it’s one selfie that isn’t horrendous but I’m not overly thrilled about it.

I knew I had been feeling down about myself recently but I had no idea how long it’s been since I thought of myself worthy enough to take photographic evidence of how I looked.

The past couple of months I’ve been working as a Christmas Temp in a well known, mainly womens, clothing shop. Every single day I’m working in the fitting room there is AT LEAST two separate women who take a pile of clothes in to try and leave with nothing but guilt and self hatred. It is heartbreaking to watch and no matter how honest I am with them about how amazing I think they look or how envious I am of their bodies, style etc they still leave empty handed and probably feeling worse.

Most of us believe the real time to beat the body blues is summer because of going on holiday and needing to wear bikinis or swimsuits so you don’t melt in the sun. In reality we fight this every single day. If its not a holiday, it is a night out, Christmas and New Year parties, weddings, work nights out, going for dinner… We are constantly fighting this and assuming everyone sees all the negatives we see in the mirror.

So from today I am going to make a concious effort to do something to feel good about myself as much as I can.

I want YOU to go buy that outfit you think you can’t pull off, don’t try it on cause we all know fitting room lighting is horrendous…buy it, go home and get done up then try it on and take alllllllllll the selfies and post that shit all over the Internet! Most importantly, feel good about yourself, you are not alone in how you feel about your body but the only people who can fix how we feel about ourselves is us.

Happy New Year when it comes but there won’t be a new me, I’m good as I am and so are you…

Happy Anniversary to me!

Happy Anniversary to Me!

In January, I will have reached a significant single girl milestone; I will have been single for a full year.

This is the longest I’ve EVER been single, since boys first came into the radar back when I was a teenager.

Dating nowadays seems like an impossibility.

Literally all of the seemingly ‘good ones’ have already been snapped up, and us single gals are left with, what seems like, the dregs of society.

In the past year, I’ve been on some pretty awesome dates, and some equally terrible ones. I’ve met incredible humans and true scumbags in, unfortunately, equal measures and have some hilarious stories that I share with the coupled up friends who are living their single lives vicariously through me.

I had that one date that was so bad I left after 33 mins. This swiftly became the measure that ALL other future dates would be measured against. A bar set so low that I may as well have put it on the ground.

I had that one date with a Navy Officer who made me laugh so much that I nearly peed a little.

I had that one date with the intelligent physicist that I thought went so well, but he never contacted me again.

I’ve not felt the ‘vibes’, I’ve been weirded out, I’ve laughed until I cried, I cried, I’ve had some fascinating conversations, some extremely dull conversations, I’ve flirted, failed to flirt and shared some excellent kisses. I’ve been ghosted, mildly harassed, and complimented.

It’s been a great year, and despite all the ups and downs, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

My advice to singletons reading:

– open yourself up to stepping out of your comfort zone
– Don’t take any bullshit from anyone
– Be the most authentic version of yourself
– Be kind, always

Lots of love,
Amy @TEWP