Body Positive · health · teen · teenage · teenager · twenties

Birth control: is it really worth it?

Disclaimer: this is going to get a teency bit explicit so if you’re a family member or somebody whom is entirely uninterested/disgusted by other people’s sex lives, please stop reading now!

I’m starting this blog off on a bit of a strange one!
I know i know, you’re thinking “Lora, you’re always strange with your blogs?”
But seriously, it’s odd even for me, but also kind of necessary for this short story to make sense.

In 2011-2012, i was a lesbian. I broke up with my boyfriend (let’s call him B) just after New Years because – i’ll be honest – i wasn’t enjoying the sexual side of things. B tried his best and i don’t have any ill feelings to him about it, nor do i want to make him feel embarrassed! We were both pretty inexperienced and young, but even taking that into consideration….it juuuust…wasn’t working. Bits were not finding their way into other bits correctly and i – as a teenage girl – assumed it was something wrong with my body and became adamant that i wasn’t suited to heterosexual sex, and therefore must be a lesbian.

Obbbbviously it was also partially due to my growing lack of patience for boys. As we all know, teenage boys can be prone to being quite immature and none i’d met were looking for anything serious. Teenage and early-20’s girls however, were slightly more grown up.

So i told everyone i was gay and that was that. I had a couple of homosexual relations, the longest lasting 8 months.
Don’t get me wrong, i never pretended that i was going to be a lesbian forever. I knew that it was likely that one day i would decide to give heterosexual relations another go, but for the time being i was happy to identify as a lover of women.

Flash forward to September 2012, i spent a week with friends getting astonishingly drunk, slept with one of my guy friends and boom! Realised i definitely wasn’t gay, i just hadn’t clicked properly with anyone sexually!

A month or two later and i was dating another guy friend (let’s call him S). It had developed into a proper relationship and i stayed over either at his house or a friend’s with him around once a week. It was at the point where i realised i needed some kind of semi permanent birth control. With B, we had used condoms whenever we fooled around but i’d never gotten on well with them.

I decided to visit the nurse at my GP surgery and chat about some contraceptive options!
Being the lazy soul i am, i knew i didn’t want to travel to the hospital for the implant, and i had been put off the Pill by my step-sister’s weight gain and skin troubles, so it really only left me with the Depo-Provera injection (click the link for more information).
I was given a leaflet explaining the side effects and possible complications. The biggest worry was the risk of bone thinning. I was told that this wouldn’t be an issue for me in the immediate future, so i signed up and booked in for the following week.

The first shock was that i walked into my appointment expecting to be injected into my arm, only to be told to remove my leggings!
My surgery was a 10 minute walk from my house and it was weird as hell walking back. My entire leg ached, especially around the injection site on my butt, and i’m pretty sure i was waddling.

A couple of weeks later and i was a mess. My skin was the worst it had ever been – covered with huge, painful spots. But the mood swings were the worst.
I’m not sure whether i would’ve been diagnosed with BPD back then, but i suffered with mood swings even before the injection. The Depo-Provera just transformed me into a crazy, illogical, angry girl who was utterly miserable and managed to destroy her relationship, thus ending the entire reason for getting contraception in the first place.

I had the injection once more before accidentally ending it. Basically i went in to check when my next appointment was and found out it should’ve been about 2 months ago! Time management in my personal life isn’t a skill i possess.

And so that was the last time i dabbled with hormone based contraceptives!
In my following relationships, we used condoms, and currently i don’t use anything!
I know what you’re thinking, i must be crazy or trying to get pregnant. I’m neither of those. Okay… i am crazy… but the point still stands.

Currently i track my cycle using the Fertility Awareness Method, have educated myself on when it is unsafe to have sex and work with those limits. This isn’t something i would recommend for everyone to start doing, i’ve been tracking it since 2015 and i’m happy that i know it well enough to judge safely and correctly. It’s more than just knowing your cycle length, you check cervical mucus and temperature. I’ll be honest with you, i don’t check my temperature! I’m lazy and i rely on the fact that i can tell most months when i’m ovulating. Ovulating causes me a small amount of easily identifiable pain, and when i check it against where i am in my cycle, i usually find that i’m spot on for my estimated ovulation day or a day either side of it.
However i’m not advocating this and if you want to be safe, learn how to do this properly and take temperatures too!

I use the Clue app to track my cycle, though i believe there is a certified contraceptive app.

For me, hormone based contraceptives definitely aren’t worth it. Fortunately i’ve heard countless success stories for the implant, the coil, the Pill, for every contraceptive you can imagine. The important thing is to find what works for you. Test things out, educate yourself and hear the opinions of others. The internet is a wonderful library – use it for something informative!

If you’re willing, share your favoured method of contraception and why in the comments below!

L x

ramble · reflecting · reflection · twenties · Uncategorized

2017

It’s that time of year again! Here is my 3rd yearly summary.

 

I moved shops AGAIN. I subsequently quit Sainsbury’s because my boss was a misogynistic, bullying asshat. I got a job at Home Bargains. I quit said job. I worked at Boots for a month. I lost said job. I started my own business. I became officially self employed in October. I went to Majorca. I got engaged on a beach. I got food poisoning from a milkshake. I scowled at children. I went to Cyprus. I went quad biking through the Cypriot wilderness. I went for a sunset hack with my fiance and some family members. I failed my theory on the first time. I passed on the second time. I passed my practical driving test first time with 4 minors. I realised just how expensive running a car is. I had my battery replaced. I blew my first tyre and had to be rescued by Tom’s brother in law. I replaced 2 tyres. I ate most of an entire box of Celebrations. I realised i had Borderline Personality Disorder. I finally saw a Doctor. I went on a psychoeducation course. I went to Alton Towers twice…again! I did the scaremazes…again! I went to Scarborough on Boxing Day. I gave Tom pneumonia. We went to Blackpool….it was dead. I built my first ever Gingerbread house. I saw a Panda for the first time. I visited Scotland for the first time. I lost 3 rats. I dyed my hair ginger. I dyed my hair red. I dyed my hair bright pink/purple. I saw my childhood best friend whom i hadn’t seen for around 5 years. Tom and i had an engagement party. I failed at making a speech. My Grandma passed away. I turned 24. Both Tom and i were ill for it. I got conjunctivitis twice. I got ear infections twice. Tom got diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis after injuring his knee. We were scared for months. Our relationship was tested financially, emotionally, mentally and physically. We realised that nothing will break us. A cat adopted us. We named her Sausage. She gave us fleas. It took us a month to get rid of all the fleas. We adopted 3 girl rats. We adopted 2 boy rats. I wore latex for the first time. We saw Pete Tong again. We visited Manchester’s gay village and were unimpressed.

 

In terms of events, it’s been a massive year to be honest! I won’t pretend it’s been fantastic. Obviously the highlight was getting engaged, as well as our two holidays we were lucky enough to go on, but financially it’s been a huge struggle, especially with my mental health deteriorating.

I’m feeling so much more positive about next year. I’ve got a 6 week anxiety management course starting on the 10th of January. We’ve now acquired some money we’re going to use for the wedding. We’re looking at applying for a mortgage in a few months. I just need my business to pick up after the Christmas lull and we’ll be on our way up!

Thanks for sticking with me this year. I can’t imagine it’s always easy nor enjoyable to read the drivel i come out with sometimes. I appreciate anybody who uses just a moment of their valuable time to check out this blog – i love you all and i hope for a fantastic 2018 for everyone.

L x

ramble · twenties

New Years Resolutions – 2018

Surprisingly i managed to tick off a number of last year’s resolutions! I learnt to drive, i went on holiday (twice) and even changed jobs (3 times).

On the back of this success, i thought i’d write some for 2018.

 

  1. Move house – This was a 2017 resolution but one we failed at. We’re looking at applying for a mortgage in possibly February and taking it from there. Even if we get rejected we’re gonna’ rent somewhere bigger.
  2. Start wedding planning – We now officially have wedding savings (hurrah!) but we’re still unsure if we’ll be getting married in 2019. Even if we don’t, we can start to contact vendors.
  3. Buy a new car – My speedy little Peugeot will sadly be replaced by something with more boot space for the pooches. I ought to get a van, but i might look at an estate instead. Driving around in a van for my “normal car” doesn’t sound particularly exciting.
  4. Grow Critter Care – I need to get my shit together with my business. I need more advertising, branded workwear, better walking boots etc. Also need to sit down and write a business plan for where i want to be by 2019.
  5. Get more tattoos – I’m already fulfilling this on the 6th 😉 but my legs definitely have plenty of room for more.

 

What are your resolutions? Do you ever stick to them?

L x

Body Positive · depression · mental health · ramble · self care · self love · twenties

Self employed and unmotivated

Let me just say the back end of this week has been a struuuugggllleeeeee!
I think i used up all of my happy.

So my business, Critter Care Sheffield, is on the go. I’m insured, registered as self employed and my fiance’s brother-in-law has kindly agreed to create a logo for me.
It’s amazing what you can do in a week when you put your mind to it and you’re having an up mood swing!

Right now i’m exhausted but wide awake from the gingerbread latte i had 2 hours ago, sat at home by myself watching Nothing to Declare repeats and considering attacking the mint ice cream i have stashed in the freezer.

As far as moods go, this certainly isn’t the worst. Plus i know a big factor for me being slightly depressed is due to money stresses (which are now resolved) and several nights of poor sleep (thanks to working Code last night and nonstop sciatica).
All i’ve wanted to do is write, but despite technically having plenty to write about, i haven’t known where to begin!
Unfortunately what tends to happen when i have writers block for a while is that when i eventually do sit down to put my thoughts on paper (or laptop in this case), it just comes out in one big fast ramble like this. Not the helpful, educational or inspirational content i’d prefer to have on my blog, but it’s realistic and true to my style of writing. As much as i’d love (and hate) to have a post go viral for it’s moving message or stimulating story, the plain truth of it is that i still rely on thesauruses to stop my posts sounding like the memoirs of a 12 year old girl.

I digress, so i suppose i’m facing one of the biggest challenges i’m going to come across, and an old nemesis – lack of motivation (also known as “cba syndrome” or “idle-itis”).
This is sadly something i seem to suffer with a lot, and i’m sure a psychiatrist would just love to delve into the dark chasms of my mind and blame it all on being ridiculed infront of my Year 11 English class by Mrs Ceurstemont (old bint). HOWEVER, i’ve come to accept it as part of my personality – whether that be my “healthy” personality or my suspected Borderline Personality Disorder “crazy” personality. It affects most facets of my life; it’s probably the reason why i’m always late, part of the reason why i start projects and then quit them halfway through (the other reason is my ever changing mood and self image) and generally just causes me a lot of trouble. For example, if i’d put effort into everything i’ve tried, i probably could’ve been a straight A student in both school and college, definitely would’ve written a book or two by now and my flat wouldn’t currently need hoovering.

This is the part where, if this were a Buzzfeed post, i would now endow you (yep, used thesaurus.com for that one) with the epiphany or discovery i’d had that suddenly allows me to bypass my lazy, crazy ass and enables me to run at 100% productivity!!!!!…….

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Yeah…. right….

So no. I don’t have a magic answer for y’all. I’m still a demotivated couch potato who is TERRIBLE for ‘putting things off’.
But i can offer you the rules that i try to follow. I mean, you read this far so it’s not really fair of me to just end it on that note. I don’t do clickbait, i’m not a Youtuber.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up for longer than is necessary. Now i won’t turn around and say never beat yourself up over things, because sometimes what everybody needs is a good self pity session. It creates morality and just proves that you’re human and you care about the thing you didn’t complete. Give yourself a set amount of time (mine is usually a couple of days) to feel like shit, and once that time limit is up, plan what you’re going to do to resolve it.
  2. Choose someone to kick you up the backside. For me this is Tom (fiance). He’s not someone who suffers with a lack of motivation so he comes in handy for giving me that extra support. This doesn’t always go in the right direction as he is a pessimist, so we can sometimes both end up in a pit of despair. Fortunately he bounces back quickly and is generally ready and willing to help me wherever he can.
  3. Don’t give up. Blah blah yeah i know, vom at that overused and cringey line. “Never give up, keep calm and carry on” BLEUUUURRRGGGGHHHHH. I don’t mean it in that airy meaningless way. Genuinely, don’t give up. Keep persevering. I don’t care if you had a 3 year break from it, if it’s something you want to achieve, go back to it, try again, keep trying your absolute best. Everyone fails sometimes, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Hell, i think i’ve failed at 99% of the things i wanted to do in life so far! Sure you might say i’m still young, but that doesn’t matter. It is irrelevant whether you’re reading this at 15 or 50, there will ALWAYS be somebody who started their “thing” later than you and were successful with it. I’m purposefully being vague about what this “thing” is because i want these tips to apply to as many people as possible, so don’t be reading this thinking “oh it doesn’t apply to me, she’s only talking about starting a business”… i’m not! If your “thing” or “it” is making your mental health better, so be it. It could be making a phone call or leaving the house or cleaning or a university essay or absolutely anything you want it to be.

    That brings me onto my last tip..

  4. Make your mental and physical health a priority. The most important thing to you about yourself should be your health. I say ‘about yourself’ because i know many of you will have loved ones that you hold in higher regard than yourself, which is totally fine, but just realise that your health should come first in anything involving you as an individual. Sometimes it’s important to take a break from projects or dreams to give ourselves time to rest. Personally, i need a few days every so often where i literally just fester. I binge eat or don’t eat at all, i just stay on the sofa most of the time, i stay up late and i don’t both showering. For whatever reason, that helps. I feel more alive when i get clean again and it’s almost like a purge – getting all of the nasty brain-sickness out in one concentrated go. Find something that works for you and allow yourself that chance to escape.

 

Keep on going, and if in doubt, watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race. It’s a surefire way to feel better.

L x

20s · depression · ramble · twenties

Work and crazy don’t mix

So i always try to be as honest and open about my life as possible with you guys. This is made harder because i actually know a lot of you. Around half of you reading come from my Facebook, and i have no idea who, so for all i know you could be my Year 7 science teacher who i cried over for weeks when they left, or even the ex best friend who got with my ex-ex-ex-ex-ex (etc) boyfriend two days after we split up. I don’t pretend to count all my Facebook friends as real friends. I had a clear out about a month ago and got rid of like 300 people, but even now there’s people on there i haven’t seen for 10+ years or who i keep on my “friends” list simply for the joy of bitching to my fiance every time they post something so mind numbingly stupid (and hilarious). I won’t name any names because they might delete me and then where would i get my sadistic joy?
I digress…

My life has been full of ups and downs recently. I say recently…it’s been like this for as long as i can remember.
I’ve got a self destructive personality and i’m crazy, what do you expect?
Recently all i’ve heard is “wow things are going great for you at the minute!” and “it looks like things are going your way”. I replied to every single person in the same manner, “yep! It means something is going to royally fuck up soon!”
Of course everyone shouted this down and tried to convince me not to be so pessimistic and that it probably just means that it’s time for a bit of respite in my ever fluctuating world…and so obviously they were wrong. Something did go wrong. I no longer have a job. I don’t want to go into it but the general jist is that my issues are too severe to continue ignoring, especially my anxiety, and that i need to seek medical help before i try to attempt full time work again. Clearly i need some kind of income, so i’m now on the lookout for something part time but i’m hoping that sticking to 3 or 4 days per week will allow me time to harass my GP, as well as lessening the anxiety about going into work. Forcing myself to go for 3 days is a lot easier than 5.

The biggest downside to this is that it pushes our plans back again. We had planned to talk to a mortgage adviser in September to see if we’d be able to get a house. Obviously that won’t be happening now and i think it’s unlikely we’ll get to that point until at least next year.
I also mentioned we’re looking at getting married in 2019. Well the good news is we haven’t spoken about pushing that back any further yet! It’s still 2 years away and our only concrete plan is to look at venue’s in the next 6 months – hopefully by which time i’ll be on the road to…i nearly typed recovery then. I don’t think recovery is a possibility, after all i’ve felt like this for as long as i can remember, probably 10-15 years. Hopefully by then i’ll be getting the help i need, be that in medicinal or therapy form.
So the biggest thing it affects is probably the house! This is probably freaking Tom out more than myself because i never really expected to get a house anytime soon, plus my credit rating ain’t great! He did comment on some houses to rent the other day so i assume we’ll go back to one of our old plans of finding somewhere bigger to rent before we save up a deposit to buy maybe this time next year.

Anyway, it’s going to continue to be tough money wise for a bit. Especially for me because i’m already at the limit on my credit cards. I just need to keep telling myself that this is temporary, and that i will eventually find a job i can keep and that doesn’t make me anxious, then hopefully the Doctor will stick me on meds that will actually work and life will finally mellow out. I honestly can’t wait for the day when i’m sat at the computer, praying that the kids have gone to sleep after putting them down for the 3rd time and considering sharing a bottle of wine and watching Deadpool with my husband before bed while we discuss what to pack on our trip to Disney World later that year.

I haven’t told anyone besides Tom and my Mum yet so if you’re reading this and you’re somebody i’m close to, i’m sorry for not telling you personally, i’ve been avoiding it all weekend. I also knew i’d have to make a post about it, if only to get it off my chest. At least i’ve finally emerged into semi-public (aka the internet) and have had a productive day (i cleaned the rats out and filled the dishwasher)! Yay me!!

And as a treat to myself (because i’m a millennial and we’re all incapable of doing anything without the promise of a reward after every minuscule task), i’m going to bed to watch Drag Race!

L x

 

20s · ramble · twenties

Driving test

This morning i woke up nearly chundering from the nerves of it all.
Alas, my driving test was only several hours and i had visions of crashing or just losing it completely!

Laura (my instructor/friend/soon to be sister-in-law) picked me up and we had 30-40 minutes driving around the block, in which i slightly ballsed up every manoeuvre we practised. I topped this off by completely messing up my reverse bay park by being too far left and failing to get it into reverse properly – cue a loud crunch.
Shook this off and refused to make eye contact with the 5 or so people watching, and headed inside.
A quick pre-drive pee and my examiner came in to get me! He was nicer than i expected, explained everything fully with details and chatted to me briefly while we walked. He also asked me the easiest ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ questions (fault with ABS and demisting the windscreens) and chose one of the easiest manoeuvres (turn in the road).

The actual driving was pretty normal! There were a few moments where i was unsure of the speed, especially as the roads felt like they should’ve been slower or faster than 30, but i didn’t get marked down for speeding so my assumptions were correct!
I received 4 minors. One for failing to signal at the correct time coming up to a roundabout (i moved over to the right fairly late and it just completely slipped my mind until i had already pulled out), one for positioning (i chose to pull up next to someone’s drive, but in my defence the entire road was full of drives!), one for mirrors (i expected a lot more for this so i’m chuffed with that) and one for forward planning (failed to pull into the right lane to turn off because there were loads of cars in that lane and i didn’t think anyone would let me in, so i didn’t even try).

So yeah, the good news is – i passed!!!! Laura and i jumped and squealed and hugged each other when he told us and then celebrated with lunch!

For someone who said they would never drive, i’m chuffed i managed to do it within 10 months of starting driving lessons, especially as i haven’t had regular weekly lessons since April!
Unfortunately it’s unlikely i’ll be able to insure my car until i get paid at the end of the month, but that’s only just over 2 weeks away!

Here’s my serious “nice” photo, and the silly one we took first when i thought Laura was taking the picture from the back of the car (okay, i’m a div sometimes).

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L x

ramble · twenties · wedding

I’m engaged!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or have me as a friend on Facebook then you’ll already know the big news.
But for those of you who don’t – and haven’t guessed from the very subtle title of this post – i’m engaged!!!!

Tom and i were in Majorca and had been for dinner in a restaurant near to Magaluf’s strip when we decided to go for a few drinks at a bar we’d found the previous night before we headed to the strip. On our way, Tom kept stopping to look at the lights around the bay and i kept trying to pull him along, insisting that the bar was definitely towards the right, not the left. I eventually realised he wanted to stop so i told him we could stop and have “a moment”, which he laughed at.
He continued pointing out how pretty the lights were, and i was getting a bit frustrated at this point because i couldn’t actually see them very well thanks to the beach umbrellas, so i suggested we walk down to the water itself to get a better view.
I got my phone out to take a panoramic photo but was disappointed that my iPhone’s camera couldn’t pick out the lights as well as i’d like, so i apologised to Tom and put it away and said again “okay, let’s have a moment then”.
We chatted about the views and he asked me “what do you want to do for our one year anniversary tomorrow?”
I said i wasn’t sure, and when he suggested a nice restaurant, i agreed.
Tom then turned towards me and said “well what if i don’t want to celebrate our one year tomorrow?”, to which i replied “are you dumping me?”
He laughed, crouched down a little to fiddle with his pocket, got down on one knee and pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him.
In my true dorky fashion i said “are you asking me for real??” hahaha!
And then obviously i said yes!
We both had a little cry and a big hug and kiss and headed to the bar to celebrate with a bottle of prosecco and to let our family and friends know (plus it meant i could get a better look at the ring!).

That’s pretty much it for the engagement story! We couldn’t stop grinning all night and were chuffed with the amount of congrat’s we received on Facebook and Instagram.

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Soooo…onto the ring!
It’s a round cut, solitaire, VS2 0.25ct diamond ring on 18k white gold. It’s from a store in Mayfair, London called Vashi. It’s also the most expensive thing i’ve ever owned and i’m a tiny bit terrified i’ll lose it (i think Tom would actually murder me)!
I’ve also realised that i seem unable to take selfies without somehow sneaking my ring in the photo….

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As for anyone interested in when we’re getting married – we’re not sure! We can definitely say it won’t be next year, partly we need longer than that to save up but also because my cousin is getting married next year anyway. We’ve briefly spoken about aiming for 2019 but nothing’s definite yet (apart from the fact that it will happen…eventually..).
I’ll keep everyone updated and there’s definitely going to be some wedding-themed blog posts for you to look forward to so watch this space!

L x