Why Take Those Stupid Pills – They Won’t Work You Know (NOT)…

I’ve had many people say that they think that antidepressants are just chemical wastes of time and do nothing to help you. Au contraire! It took me three attempts to get the right medication for me. OK, I had better tell you which ones I had. I will do so in a minute.

I’ve just heard so much stuff recently about blah blah, antidepressants bad, blah blah antidepressants evil, etc etc. I hear people saying things like “Ooooooh, you don’t need those pills! Just get up and go for a brisk walk in the fresh air!” Ummmmm, no. Just no. That is not a cure for severe depressive disorder. If you haven’t been there, if you haven’t suffered and had the big black dog barking at your heels then you have no idea at all what the hell of having a major depressive illness is like. You just don’t.

When I first acknowledged my depression in 2005, I had already been suffering with it for 15 years. My abusive marriage is what caused me to spiral down into it. Events from my childhood also played a major part in this whole thing.

So, this all came to light when I was seeing a clinical geneticist at my local hospital. She noticed that I could not stop crying and she just said to me, “Has anyone ever validated your emotional pain for you?” That was it. The damn burst and I was bawling like a newborn. She called my doctors surgery then and there and made me an appointment. I was taking the first step towards finding out just how crazy I really was.

My doctor first of all started me on Prozac. The famous, so called “happy pill”. It did absolutely sweet fuck all to make me happy. All I had were increasing thoughts of self harm and suicide. The self harm had been here before but not the suicide. This was a whole new, and very frightening mindset for me.

After around four weeks of hell on Prozac, my prescription was changed over to Citalopram. Absolutely no difference whatsoever. I was beginning to feel afraid that I would never be able to feel happy again.

After another four weeks, I was started on a drug called Venlafaxine. After around three weeks, I slowly started to feel only slightly better. If I’m honest with you guys? That was a win for me. Given the fact that I’d spent the last couple of months wanting to kill myself, a little bit less depressed was a bonus.

After a little while, my psychiatrist massively increased the dose and it did start to make a significant difference to my mood. There was one other thing. My GP has told me take the medication at bedtime, which I had been doing. My Psychiatrist looked at the box in scorn as he wouldn’t believe me. He insisted nobody would do something like that. Then he saw the pharmacists label on the box and believed me. He said straight away I had to start taking the medication in the morning. Taking the medication at night when I would be asleep wasn’t really the best way to do it. It needed to be in my system at the appropriate time for it to do any good.

Then came a new challenge for me. I began to develop mood swings. I would go from being so low that I didn’t even care about washing. Eating was another thing I didn’t give a flying fuck about. I started to develop the swings in mood from very low and unable to focus to so high and manic that I was like a toddler jacked up on E numbers. *sigh*. It became more. So much more, I became hypersexual and totally loud and overspent in piles of things I never needed. High heeled shoes. Me. I can’t freakin’ walk, why do I need high heeled shoes of all things?

My Psychiatrist diagnosed me as having Bipolar 1 with rapid cycling. I was started on Lithium. I was on it for a long time and then had Depakote added in to my treatment plan. Not too much longer after that, I had got to the point where my worst side effect, a tremor, meant that I could not even hold a cup of tea to drink it or a pen to write a letter. I went in to see my Psychiatrist ready for a battle about Lithium but when I asked about stopping it, he did! Just like that, and upped my dose of Depakote instead.

One thing that also began to develop was my anxiety. It became more and more severe. It got to the point where I would be physically puking if I had to leave the house. I was in the grip of full blown agoraphobia (I have many others but we’ll save those for another time). My anxiety rules my life. It has done for years now. I take Buspirone and I also get 7 Diazepam a month to help me when I have to leave the house. I can’t get out without them.

Of course with anxiety on one shoulder, paranoia wanted to come along and sit on the other one. She whispers in my ear every single day about how shit I am, how ugly, how stupid, how useless… her sister, anxiety, she likes to make my heart pound and my muscles quiver as I feel sick with fear.

I experience hallucinations. Mainly of spiders crawling all over my arms. I have severe arachnophobia and the ones I see are always the size of my fist and hairy. They are terrifying.

I have also been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and have frequent existential crises. One of the real hard things to deal with is C-PTSD. The many traumas that have contributed to the mess inside my head are responsible for this. Raised male voices are usually the worst trigger. Night terrors also serve to trigger flashbacks too. I take a sleeping pill every other night to try and get some rest. I was also started on Quetiapine to try and help me sleep and help with some of what was going on inside my head.

I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that my mental health medications have saved my live. I know other people who feel the same way. Many other people. Please don’t be guilt tripped out of taking mental health drugs by people telling fresh and exercise are all you need (of course they are great as a tandem treatment). Don’t be afraid to tell people how you feel. Reach out. Take that help. Don’t do what I did and end up nearly dead before I sought help. Go get help. Now. Please?

30 truths about parenting

This. All of this’nn

Natalie Williams

“Children learn to smile from their parents.” Shinichi Suzuki

I am a mum of two children, I have a son who is 7 and a daughter who is 5. I started writing this post with the intention to share all of the wonderful things that happen when you become a parent and although there are SO many amazing things that do happen I wouldn’t feel 100% authentic not talking about some of the struggles with some lighthearted humour.

So here is a list of the first 30 things that came to my mind about my experience with parenting so far.

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you can relate to any 😊

1. If you were sensitive about the ads encouraging you to donate money to help children in third world countries before be prepared to be EXTRA sensitive now. It doesn’t just stop with AD’s its everything…

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Unboxing & Review of My Boxcitement Box – May ’18…

This month’s Boxcitement box comes to me after I made the decision to quit Boxcitement. That decision lasted all of about a week. I crumbled and went back to them. They were really nice and even wrote me a little note saying thank you for coming back which they popped in my box. I was really touched by that.

The box was beautifully presented as always and this always makes me smile. I squealed like crazy when I opened it as this month’s theme was Scandimainia! I have been obsessed with all things Scandinavian ever since I was a little girl which has not changed to this day.

First out of the box is a foldaway navy blue shopping bag with a gorgeous white design on. This bag is ideal as it will fold down and fit into handbags. When unfolded it is a really good size too.

Next along is my absolute favourite thing out of any subscription box ever. If you are reading this you will probably think I’m crazy for this. Well yes, you’re right, I am. But that is a whole other blog post. This is “no plastic, fantastic!” – a set of four plastic free, very sturdy drinking straws. I really cannot praise Boxcitement enough for this. This world is being slowly smothered by plastic and the oceans are being filled with it. The more people that become aware of these paper straws and get used to using them the better. Oh, while I’m here – start refusing plastic lids on your beverages too.

Then comes a really cute silver coloured badge. It has a chilled out looking bunny in sunglasses on it and the word LAGOM underneath it which apparently means “Just Right” in Swedish.

Next comes a really cute little green box with an owl on the lid. Inside we find a really sweet little owl on a silver chain. I love this necklace!

Then we have, inside a rough canvas bag a hand made fox ear phone tidy. I absolutely love this! It’s too cute!

Next we have a set of four Scandinavian inspired greetings cards and I’m super happy with all of them.

Finally we have some Scandinavian inspired gift wrap. I’m not quite sure who to use that for yet.

I absolutely love love love this box I really do! I can’t praise it enough. A most definite five out of five star box!

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My Underneath The Rowan Trees Box – May ’18…

I’m working really hard to get caught up with my reviews. After I get caught up with my subscription box reviews I have book reviews and other general posts that I have been working on for a while. I have to thank my depression for slowing me down here. *sigh*


This box is the most recent one and has an absolutely fabulous theme. Dragons! How cool is that??? I was so super happy when I realised the theme. I love dragons.


As always, the box was beautifully presented. Underneath the Rowan Trees have a knack for doing that.



OK, the first item out of the box is a deep red coloured fine liner pen that writes with red ink.



Next comes a silver metallic pen which comes in really handy with the next item in the box!



That is a small notebook that is super pretty. It has black pages inside which are just perfect for the silver ink pen.



Next comes two awesome rolls of washi tape. One light green with dark green scales on and one red with sparkly gold bits on. They look so good together!



After that comes an awesome packet of phases of the moon stickers. These have to be my favourite ever stickers from a subscription box!



Next comes a gold paper clip with a gorgeous little round pendant with shiny red and gold scales on it.



Then there is a set of crystals shaped sticky notes. I have a thing for sticky notes at the moment so this made me really happy.



Next was a stunning A5 red dragon picture. I need to get a frame for this and get it on my wall as soon as I possibly can!



Then came the ubiquitous print out of the calendar month which I do not need so it goes straight in the recycling.



The final thing was an absolutely stunning colour in picture of a dragon. Once I have coloured this, I will be framing it and I know exactly who it shall be gifted to.



As always, a fabulous five out of five star box!


Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Reviewing of My Boxcitement Box – April ’18…

Here I am am again with another subscription box review. I’ve really been chasing my tail with these as I had a bit of a bad spell with my depression and was struggling to get anything done. I’m now feeling ashamed of myself and trying to catch up.


So here I am and let’s get to it. As always, the box was beautifully packed and presented. It’s difficult when you are packing so many boxes to be so consistently on the ball with presentation but these guys always get it right. This box was themed around world travel.



First out of the box is a really pretty pair of drop earrings with painted white beads and white tassels. They have been handcrafred and are very well made indeed. Unfortunately they have been made with gold coloured findings so I will not be wearing them. I’m going to make a gift of them. I’m not a lover of anything that is gold coloured jewellery wise at all.



Next comes an awesome pair of mainly red socks with an navy toe and ankle band with white stars on the socks. I tend to prefer over the knee socks but these are cool, they really are.



Next comes a pair of one use chopsticks with a glass chopsticks rest. A handy thing to keep in a travel bag.



Then we get to a soft grey glasses case with a Union Jack in white on one side.



Next came some postcards all with pretty pictures and phrases related to travel on them.



Next up were a pack of very Spanish looking in the style of decoration square stickers. The stickers are quite large so as yet I have no clue what to do with them. There are three in the packet, each one has a different design.



The final item was From Russia with love – it was a wooden, painted Matryoshka doll keyring. I have never liked these things, they freak me the hell out. But I know someone who loves them so I can gift it to her.



Well, I normally love Boxcitement boxes, but this one just didn’t do it for me I’m afraid. Sorry.


A two out of five box.


Be kind to each other.x

The Unboxing & Review of My Underneath The Rowan Trees Subscription Box – March ’18…

Here I am again with another one of my very favourite stationery boxes, Underneath The Rowan Trees always do superb boxes every time as they deal with one of my favourite items – washi tape! 🙂

So we begin this box with the usual beautiful packaging.

The first item was a gorgeous hand made gift tag made up of a larger tag and a smaller one tied together. The tags are a gorgeous natural looking colour and have really pretty leaves stamped on to both tags.

Next up – yay for the washi tape! This one was was very plant inspired with gorgeous big green leaves on it. The leaves reminded me of the leaves that my mum’s pride and joy had on which was a big Swiss cheese plant.

Then came another washi tape and this one is a gorgeous shiny gold colour.

Next came a leaf pin which was again very much shaped like the leaves on my mum’s plant so this shall be very special to me.

Then came a pen (always useful to an avid letter writer!) The pen is a twist up one in a pretty shade of green with crystals at the bottom of the pen.

Next we had a sturdy wooden 15 centimetre ruler which will certainly help me when I’m trying to keep lines straight.

Then came a small box that contained various really pretty leaf stickers. Stickers are like washi tape! *drools*

Next came a really cute dark green stained wooden leaf pendant on a little clip. As much as I love this, I know the perfect person to gift it to.

Next came a gorgeous little blank sheet note book, that opened from bottom to top. It will be really useful for keeping in my bag so I can jot down things I want to tell certain people in my next letter to them. My foggy brain makes me forget.

Then came a stunning A5 card with a big print of a leaf on it. Again I immediately know who will be get getting this card.

Then came the pointless calendar print out for the month? I have a wall calendar and diary so this goes straight into the recycling bin.

Finally, I got a really pretty A5 sheet of paper that is covered with a gorgeous leaf print. I will most definitely be saving this for a special project.

A five out of five star box!

Be kind to each other.x

Book Review – Unexpectedly Hers – Jamie Beck…

By day, bashful wallflower Emma Duffy works at her family’s bed-and-breakfast. By night, she secretly pens erotic romance hot enough to melt the snow in their cozy Rockies town.

But Emma’s real life is about to heat up when her mother books the entire inn to a professional snowboarder, hoping the publicity will put them on the map. In a karmic twist of fate, that guest is Wyatt Lawson, the man with whom Emma had shared the secret one-night stand that became the inspiration for her novel and its dreamy hero. Worse, a film crew is documenting his comeback just as her debut is about to hit the shelves. Emma’s only saving grace is that Wyatt doesn’t remember her—and hopefully he never will.

When Wyatt arrives in Sterling Canyon for several weeks of intense training, the last tumble he expects to take is falling for a girl, especially one as shy as Emma. Unlike groupies with their hidden agendas, she isn’t using him—or so he believes…until the film crew uncovers Emma’s pen name and steamy novel.

Wyatt’s comeback run can withstand a fall or two, but can his heart recover from this crash and burn?

I’ve grown really attached to the Sterling Canyon characters that Jamie Beck has created and feel a little sad that I only have one more book to read before the series is done. Anyway, enough being maudlin and on with the review.

This, like the other two before it is a really sweet book and there is an interesting balance between all of the lead characters. I was really pleased to see Emma in the limelight this time around. She deserved it so much!

She is a sweet, shy woman and lived for way too long in her mother’s shadow. Seeing the way that Ms Beck writes her into being a stronger and more independent woman was really gratifying.

This book was finished in a couple of nights and is perfect for curling up with a box of chocolate with.

A four out of five star read.

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My Papergang Box – April ’18…

The Papergang box arrived several days ago and has been sitting very patiently awaiting my review like several of my other boxes. I’ve been shamefully lazy with my blogging recently and I feel ashamed of myself, I really do!

The outer sleeve of this box is a very bright splash of different colours. Blues, purples, greens, bright pink and yellow. Once that sleeve is off and we are into the box, we can dig for the treasures hidden within.

First of all there was a brightly coloured A5 calendar card for the month of June. I don’t honestly have a lot of use for this as I have both a wall calendar and a diary.

Next comes a bright orange pad of post it notes that had been designed by the artists from Art House.

Then comes my favourite thing – a roll of washi tape that has the same dog design that the post-it notes have on them.

Next there two greetings cards. The first one says Happy Days, and the other one says Thank You, You Shouldn’t Have, But I’m Glad You Did.

Last comes a very substantial notebook that has the same colours as the outer sleeve of the packaging. It’s slightly more than A5 size and came with a sheet of. Islet journal stickers inside which I promptly binned because I don’t bullet journal. I shall definitely be using the note book though!

The only thing that really isn’t useful to me out of this box is the calendar card. For me they could save a tree and cut those out.

A very brief explanation for those who don’t know, Art House are an organisation that helps get disabled people into art and I believe that Papergang are donating money from the sale of each box to the organisation.

This was a nice combination of stationery treats. I especially loved the washi tape!

A four out of five box!

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My Very First Sugar & Sloth Subscription Box – April ’18…

This box was suggested to me by a very dear friend who is going to end up getting slapped with a wet haddock if she doesn’t stop finding ways for me to spend my money aren’t you my dear? 😜🤣🤣

The Sugar and Sloth box arrived and I wasn’t expecting there to be anywhere near as much content as Boxcitement for imagine. I was right. But the things were still very cute indeed. The tape around the box was a gorgeous and very cute watermelon tape. I loved it! 🙂

The first item was a cut out and keep panda desk buddy. He was very small and really quite flimsy. I could really see it getting tatty and battered very quickly unfortunately.

Next came a super cute sticker! It said “Ain’t no party like a panda party”. It’s a fairly large sticker so I’m still deciding where to use it!

Then came along a badge with a smiling fox on and the logo “takeaway connoisseur”. I am definitely one of those! A very cute badge indeed.

Finally came the deluxe enamel pin that bore the words “freaking cute deluxe enamel pin”. The pin was of a very cute panda holding on to a slice of pizza. I loved it.

A four out of five here. Not bad for a first review.

Be kind to each other.x

An Unboxing & Review of My Bokksu Japanese Snack Box – April ’18…

I seem to have developed somewhat of an obsession for my Bokksu snack boxes and this is only the second one that I have had. When I got the email that the box was on its way I was doing the happy butt wiggle dance (being wheelchair bound means that is about the only dance that I can manage!) 🙂

OK, let’s get stuck in to this box. As always the beautiful red and white square box is an indicator of all the yumminess inside. I was thrilled to see that the theme of this month’s box was blossoming spring. When I think blossoms, my mind always thinks of Sakura blossoms. They are my favourite flower after sunflowers and cherries are my all time favourite fruit, followed by plums.

The card that had the details of each item had a gorgeous picture of Sakura blossom on the front. Happy me!

First item inside is Sakura love tea. With an amazing aroma of fresh cherries, this naturally sweet and delicate tea is perfect for spring. The tea is utterly delicious. Two bags wasn’t enough!

Next comes the baked chocolate strawberry. With strawberry bits baked into the batter, this fluffy and rich chocolate is baked to perfection and melts in your mouth with every bite. These had a big of a merengue texture so although the taste was good, the texture threw me off just a little bit, it really did. There were two of these.

The next item was Sakura Shrimp Kakimochi. Airy and crisp, this puffed up mochi has a delicate flavour from the added sakuraebi, a type of Japanese shrimp famed for it’s translucent pink colour. No. JUST NO!!! I do not do fish in any way shape or form. However I gave them both to my 17 year old son who reliably informed me the were were “well lush!”

Next up were hand baked butter senbei. This rice cracker has a rich buttery flavour that balances beautifully with this month’s delicate tea paring. There were two of these. This senbei is extra special because each piece is hand baked by a craftsman who runs his own small shop in Tokyo. Really really tasty!

The next piece of yumminess was the ume sable. This ume flower shaped sable contains finely chopped plum and shisho (perilla) leaves. The fruity sourness of the plum compliments nicely with the sweet taste of the butter cookie. I wish there had been more than two.

Next comes a big box of Pocky double strawberry. Pocky double strawberry is a luxurious and seasonally limited Pocky. This beautifully chunky Pocky has a thicker, creamier coating of strawberry cheesecake on a short chocolate cookie stick. These really were very yummy indeed!

The next item of deliciousness was the spring rice crackers. These cute crackers are shaped like spring flowers and come in a variety of flavours including sour plum, matcha, purple sweet potato, shrimp, turmeric, salt, chilli pepper and light soy sauce! Thanks to the presence of Shrimp these were again a no no but son said they were yummy!

Next comes suppa mucho stick sour plum. These crispy potato sticks are seasoned with a tangy sour plum seasoning. Salty, sweet and sour all in one bite, they’re absolutely addictive! This little packet of bad boys just should not have worked. But the reality is that they were bloody delicious they really were!

Next up was the white strawberry. Each strawberry is first freeze dried and then soaked in white chocolate, giving it the perfect balance of soft and crunchy. There were two of these and I really did enjoy them.

Next up were the Sakura chocolate crepes. This crispy crepe is rolled up and entombed in a sweet floral chocolate. It is as light and delicate as the Sakura flowers it’s flavoured with. Three bars of yumminess here.

The last item in the box was the Sakura rusk. Twice baked in the oven with Sakura butter, you will enjoy the mild floral hint of cherry blossoms in this delicate baguette slice. Salted Sakura petals are mixed into the butter, which is why you can see small Sakura flakes on top. There were three of these and I absolutely loved them!

Yet again, Bokksu have delivered a fabulous box of much deliciousness to my door and I am already eagerly awaiting box number three!!!

A five out of five score for this box!

Be kind to each other.x