A year on

Hello my lovelies,

This blog is going to be a little bit personal but I feel that writing it is going to help.

So by the end of this month, it will officially be 1 year since my… well…. little mental breakdown. So much has happened during the year, good and bad but I feel I may finally be heading in the right direction. I feel like I have learnt a lot about myself and changed myself for the better. Well, I hope so anyway.

This time last year

About a year ago I became severally depressed, the worst I have ever been. I couldn’t wake up without crying. I was putting a fake smile on for work and was lying to everyone. One day I just cracked and couldn’t face work that I was put on the sick. I was self-harming the worst I ever have and it was a daily thing. I loved the feeling I got from it as I felt it was something I had control over when really that is far from the truth. I even tried to commit suicide a couple of times because I felt I couldn’t cope with life anymore. I stopped eating and became obsessed with losing weight and then got diagnosed with body dysmorphia. I would look in the mirror and just see someone else to the real me. I was obsessed with my appearance and looking like everyone on Instagram and other social medias. I felt so alone in the world.

After 5-6 months, I realised the relationship I was in was unhealthy and it wasn’t helping with any of my issues. I thought enough is enough and ended a 8 and a half year relationship. I had just, had enough. Fighting for something that I didn’t want anymore, Something I wasn’t gaining anything from. I felt old before my time. My whole life was just so serious, I felt like I couldn’t have fun. With the break-up came me moving out of my house and back in with my parents. So I’ve lost my house and independence, but it’s resulted in me being so much happier and free.

Now

I’m so much happier now because I feel I can finally be me. I’m not going to lie, it is still hard and I’ve come to understand that my depression is always going to be with me. It’s something that will never leave, but it doesn’t define me as a person. Instead of hating my scars from self-harming, I’m embracing them. I don’t want to be ashamed of what my depression and I myself have done to my body. Again I’m not going to lie, I have had wobbles lately where I have self -harmed again, but I accept that I need to stop it.  As for my body dysmorphia, well I’m working on that. I’m growing each day to love my body with the help of the special people around me.  I’m in a relationship with someone who just gets me. He has shown me so much in the little time we have known and been together. He shows me love in a way a girl should be shown. He supports and loves me for me. I couldn’t ask for anyone else, and wouldn’t want anyone else. He is my rock.

What I’ve learnt

  • Straight off what I’ve learnt is that depression needs to be talked about and made more aware of a lot more.
  • You should never be ashamed of any illness as it doesn’t define you.
  • Don’t stay in a position thinking it’s going to get better when you deep down know it won’t. I clung on for so long thinking my relationship was going to sort itself out. I was just wasting my time.
  • Positive thoughts really do help to make your life positive
  • Stay away from negativity.
  • Meditation is the best medication. Connecting with yourself and others.
  • Yoga is the best was to stay fit and in tune with your body.
  • Don’t let other’s mental age make you feel any older than your actual age.
  • Life is short. Go for the things you would normally be scared to go for.
  • Your in this body for a reason so love it. Your heart and soul are what matters not the home in lives in.
  • People are going to look.  Don’t be ashamed of your scars they don’t define you.
  • Talking about how you feel is always better than bottling it up. Others can’t help if you don’t talk.
  • You will lose friends but you will see who’s there for you.
  • Not everyone will understand.
  • Be with people who love you and you love.

There are probably more points to add to this, but I’ll be here all day writing them down and you’ll be here all day reading it.

Now that my life is getting back on track I feel I am able to blog more so will hopefully be delivering some good posts soon for you all.

Toria

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I’m sorry 

Hello my lovelies, 

Well this has been a while hasn’t it?!?!

I want to apologise to everyone who follows my blog. I’ve been so disconnected with social media and the internet over the past couple of months. Ive been trying to better myself and fix myself that I have neglected my blog. 

I’m going to start writing again for you all though, not to sure on what subjects but I definitely wan to get back into blogging. You will all have to be patient and give me time but I promise I will deliver you a blog post soon. 

Thank you and sorry again. 

Love you all and thank you for sticking by me. 
Toria 

Coffee, love and baggy jumpers 

Hello my lovelies, I hope your all good. So this weekend, my life is going to change forever and definitely for the better. In a matter of 3 months, I have fallen completely and madly in love with a man, unexpectedly. This weekend he is leaving his hometown and travelling 244 miles with me to live with me forever. I never move this fast, I like to plan my life and I’ve only known him 5 minutes, yet I love our relationship and our story already. 

We met because of my love for his big baggy jumper picture on Instagram, that soon turned to the love of his coffee art on Instagram and Snapchat. We chatted for a couple of weeks and before I knew it, I had booked a hotel room and planned on meeting him in person over the weekend. That weekend changed not only my life, but his and we’ve never looked back since. This man has changed my life in a way he will never know. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that I suffer from Fibromyalgia and last year I was diagnosed with some mental health problems. Fibromyalgia on its own is hard enough for others to understand, so being in a new relationship scared me to see how he would cope with it. So far so good! I never thought I’d actually be on the road to recovery and could never see light at the end of the tunnel when it came to my mental health illnesses. However, he walked into my life at such a perfect time and has given me a reason I feel I should fight my demons and battle through it all. Some of you may know I suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and he does nothing but worship my body. Because of him, I’m slowly starting to love my body, I’m not saying I’m going to completely love my body by next week because it isn’t that easy, but he’s helping me through it and that’s the main thing. 

He’s not only teaching me to love my body, he has given me confidence in myself, helping me face eating struggles, and took away a huge amount of my social anxiety problems. I have had a few slip-ups when it comes to self-harming, but he’s stuck by my side through it all and for that, I can’t thank him enough. He melted away a phobia of travelling to another country by taken me to Paris, supported me through the anxiety of getting on busy Tubes and has just shown me so much in this short time of known each other. He really doesn’t know how much he mean’s to me, he is just so incredible and supportive. No one has ever made me feel this good about myself ever. I literally get the butterflies, racing heart, warm feeling that you’re meant to get when you find the one, as cheesy as that sounds. He doesn’t know how truly amazing he really is and all I can hope is that one day he will finally see it. He’s my rock, my world and so special to me.

This man just stumbled into my life, changed it and made it so much better. I don’t know what life has planned for us but all I know is, it’s going to be an incredible adventure together. Our friendship started with the love of coffee and the love of his baggy jumper and will continue until the end of time.

Toria

My life changes for positivity

 

Hello my lovelies, how are we all doing?

I’ve typed this and erased this so many times now, I don’t actually know where to start. When I first started my blog, I wanted to blog about my life experiences and inspire people. I mentioned in my last blog post that mental health hit me hard, so I took all my personal life post’s off. However, I want to go back to that style again, in the hope of helping people. Even if it’s just one person, at least I know I may have helped.

So let’s get to it I guess.

Since struggling with my mental health and being let down by certain systems/organizations (not wanting to name names), I have had to find ways to cope alone. I will admit I’ve had help from friends and family, but I’ve had to find inner strength myself to cope when I’m alone.

Staying positive- I’m going to start with the main point first. I’m not going to lie, there has been and still are day’s when it is hard to stay positive. I just have to remind myself, that this moment is not going to last forever. It’s just a period of time in my life, it will be over before I know it. I’ve got myself into a habit of, when I first get up, I say something positive about myself or my life. That way, I have started my day off in the most positive way I can. I then go off to work and in my own special way spread the positivity. As far as I’m aware, it seems to be working. Yes, there are times when I get down because something has triggered my brain off, but I just keep telling myself that it won’t last and to just move on.

Smile and say hello- Something everyone comments on is my smile. On a daily basis at work, I get comments about how happy and smiley I look. So, I try to make sure everyone I see I make eye contact with them smile and say a little hello. It doesn’t take much effort and I feel that it’s something people don’t do as much as they should. Knowing that I’ve taken the time to smile and say hello to a stranger sometimes, makes me feel a lot better about myself. Which in turn makes me feel more positive about myself. Me just simply doing that could have cheered them up if they were having a bad day.

Cuddles and hugs-I have to admit this is my favorite part of this blog. I am a very cuddly person, there is no doubt about that. I love hugs as it just makes you feel so much better, well, it makes me feel better anyway. It has been said that hugs can actually relieve you from stress. When I returned to work after my sickness period, my boss and I joked saying I was allowed 10 hugs a day from my work friends. However, this joke has actually turned into a real thing. This lead to a hugging spree on Thursday between me and my work friends. We all hugged each other, and you know what, we all smiled and giggled afterward’s. So my conclusion to that, it does work.

Positive people- Something I’m trying to do more of, and it can be hard but is to be around positive people. I find that if I’m around negativity, it really get’s to me and I’m brought down by it really easy. So I always try to make people feel more positive and if it doesn’t work, I walk away. It may sound selfish, it may not, but I can’t deal with other people being so negative all the time. I’ve had too much in my life, I don’t want anymore.

Yoga- Yoga has given me something to focus on while keeping me fit and feel good about myself. I’m personally not one for hitting the gym, so yoga is perfect for me as I can do it in the comfort of my own home and it’s just as good as the gym. It has opened my mind up to loving and taking care of my inner self.

Meditation-In the past I have really tried to get into meditation, but have never been able to focus. However, about 5 months ago, I tried it for sleep therapy and it worked a treat. Although it was difficult at first trying to mediate while sharing a bed with someone, I have now learned to do it on a daily basis and not just for sleep therapy. I feel that meditation really calms me down in a stressful situation and when I feel anxious. It has opened my mind to be more positive in a weird way which I can’t really explain. I have also been able to pass my experience a little bit of knowledge onto other people to help them. This makes me feel so good about myself, knowing I may be helping others even just a little bit with struggles in their life.

Support- Something I am still getting used to is, letting people in. I have never been great at opening up about my feelings. I’m the kind of person who suffers in silence and just puts on a brave face. I’ve started to open up a lot more now, which has given me so much support from family and friends. One person in particular who I haven’t known very long at all has been my rock, because of him, I have achieved so much and I can never tell him how grateful I am for that. So having enough support and positive people around me has made me a more positive person.

Happiness- Lastly, do things that make you happy and leave the things that make you unhappy behind you. I’ve been through a lot in the past year and didn’t realize how unhappy I was with certain aspects of my life. I guess it took me to be ill mentally to realize this. So do things that you want to do and what makes you happy. Even if that mean’s doing it alone. You will soon realize how happy you can be.

So I think that is everything I’ve changed in my life to make it more positive. I’m not going to say it’s so easy as it’s taken me 6 months to fix certain parts of my life with about 10-12 years of depression and self-confidence issues. My life isn’t completely fixed as I’m still battling a lot of my demons. What I can say though is, I’m a lot happier being this positive and this free feeling than I was 3-4 months ago.

I’m glad to be back blogging again and I hope I can share a lot with you all. I also hope this has helped even just one of you lovely people reading this.

Toria

Review of 2016

Hello my lovelies. How you all doing? 

Well, you may have noticed that my blogs have changed recently. I’ve been blogging about very serious and important topics rather than myself. Well my blog today’s actually taking a step back. I want to write a blog post about my year in 2016 with the help of social media. I know there’s going to be painful parts in this blog, but I feel it needs to be done. 

So 2016 in a quick summary. There has been births, a death, a wedding, I’ve ditched my bras, gone vegetarian, lost a lot of weight, began a battle with several mental health problems, lost friendships, found new friendships, suffered bad with my chronic pain, added additions to my tattoos/piercings, bought my dream wedding dress, then cancelled my wedding completely. Vlogged for the first time and last time, laughed a silly amount and cried way to much, and probably much more. 

So let’s start off with the beginning of the year. This was my first post on social media ……So I will admit not the best way to start off my year. It appears to me I was really suffering bad with my chronic illness/ fibromyalgia. I can actually remember a lot of crying taking place at the beginning of the year. However, fast forward to today, I’m having a lot more better days now. 
Next we have mid year to the end. Well this was a sh*t time. I’m not going to lie to you. This year I’ve really suffered bad with my mental health. I was digsnosed with depression, anxiety then body dismorphic disorder. I self harmed a lot, cried a lot and was even suicidal. I know this isn’t nice to read but it’s what happened and still is for some parts. In the end I lost count of how many times I sat and cried at night doing stupid things to myself. I started to vlog my progress in getting better, however due to unfortunate circumstances I stopped vlogging. However bring us to today, I’m getting there. Depression is always going to be with me though, for the rest of my life. That little bugger isn’t going anywhere, I just need to learn to live with it. I’m alright with that strangely enough. I’m still suffering with BDD, but my anxiety is getting better. 

Now this part I know is going to hurt me so much to talk about but it’s a review of my life and I need to talk about it. So I do believe it was on the 31st of October me and my partner (now ex) broke off our relationship. We had been together 8 and a half years, and we just didn’t feel the love anymore. It happens from time to time. It hurts me because we literally planned, booked and sorted parts of our wedding out. I bought my dress, and more, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m not going to go into details of why we broke up, as it wouldn’t be fair on my ex, but he knows my reasons behind it and accepts them. 

Next part of this little story is…. I’ve met someone else. Now I know people will be thinking how can you move on already but I have alright, deal with it. It must just be the way I am. He is absolutely amazing and has helped me so much over the past month-2months. He treats me how I’m actually meant to be treat and talks to me how a guy should. I am just so happy and luck to have a guy like him come into my life. He treats me like a queen and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. He doesn’t realise how amazing he is. He’s so special to me. Anyway I’m getting all soppy here. I’m spending Christmas and new year with him and I couldn’t be happier. It’s upsets me that I know that may hurt a few people, but I wasn’t happy in my past relationship and was hurting for a long time. I’m allowed to be happy now. 

Those who had been following my mental health recovery, will know that I’ve actually been off work for nearly 6 months. Well all that’s about to change I’m even going back to work next week and I’m so looking forward to! 

This year really has been a world wind. I never in a million years could have predicted a year ago, that I would be in this position. So much has happened, l can’t quite believe it. Being honest, I feel quite content in life. Not 100% as I still have a long way to go with my mental health, but I feel steady for once. I’ve wanted to feel some sort of normality for such a long time, it feels odd. 

So to finish off I apologise so much for causing anyone pain or upset in this blog. They will all know who they are. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me and helped me get through so much poop lately. I just hope that 2017 is a lot nicer to me. I have so much planned I’m sure it will be great. 
Thank you to all you amazing people who still follow me and still continue to support me. You are all my lovely little pet lambs. It means so much to me that you continue to be here and let me rant away. So thank you 
Here is to 2017! 

Toria 

Dealing with body dysmorphic disorder

Hello my lovelies,

Sorry I have been away for a while for personal reasons, but I’m back and here with another blog for you all to read.

In this blog post, I want to talk about my battle and experience with body dysmorphic disorder. What is the perfect body? We hear a lot about looking perfect and getting the perfect selfie, but what is perfection? Well, the answer to that is simple, there’s no such thing as perfection. Growing up I was told a lot of negative things about my body and appearance. I didn’t know just how bad it had affected me until recently when I was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder. Let me tell you a little bit about what exactly body dysmorphic disorder is. BDD is a mental disorder and anxiety disorder that is related to a persons body image. They can’t control their negative thoughts about how they see themselves and believe completely that they are ugly and/or abnormal looking. This then leads to severe emotional distress and can interfere with their day to day life. Someone that suffers from BDD will intensely obsess over their appearance and body image. Even if someone is told over and over positive things by others, it doesn’t always help. This is something that doesn’t work with me. I am told daily many positive things about myself but it never sinks in, however, I am working on this. You can also be any age and any gender and be diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder.

A person suffering from BDD can have one to multiple obsessive worries about perceived flaws regarding their body. The flaws they see are rarely true flaws, but the suffer just can’t get past what they see. Someone suffering from BDD may also have developed certain habits and routines. I myself have habits that I didn’t realise were actually linked to having this disorder. I’m not going to go through them all as we will be here all day, however, I will point out a few:

  • Regularly checking myself in the mirror throughout the day and I will also check myself in any type of reflection, not by choice. I will do this even if it’s not the best type of place to have a reflection. I was set a task to count how many times a day I checked myself in a mirror for one random day. I hit 30 times a day and for about 5-10 minutes each time.
  • Each time I will look at myself, I point out the parts that I think are flaws even if they aren’t. This is also seen as hatred towards my body, which I thought was normal for people to do. However, I do this to excess as I do it every day and for most of the day.
  • I have a bad habit of picking at different parts of my skin, which I tend to do if I’m anxious about something.
  • Another habit I have found to have is buying and wearing clothes that are too big to hide my body under. This habit I am trying and succeeding to overcome.
  • The last one I’m going to mention is trying numerous outfits on for the day, and I end up getting upset and still not being happy with my appearance.

There are many more habits out there that people suffering from BDD will have, and each person suffering from BDD is different so might not necessarily have the same habits as me.

Life can be hard on a day to day basis as well. I never realised how much I had isolated myself from the world. I find it hard to go out and socialise, even just popping to the shop for some food can be quite hard for me at times. This is because I always feel like people are looking and judging me in a bad way. I can spend a lengthy amount of time trying to find something to wear to just go to the shop. For many years I have even struggled to eat in front of people, even family members, which has led to some bad eating habits. Like everything else though I’m really trying to work hard at overcoming this. One thing that really annoys me when it comes to suffering from this disorder is seeking people’s reassurance. I ask the same question to others a lot and that question is “Do I look alright?” Even if the answer is positive, I still don’t feel it’s the truth. However, if someone lies to me and say’s I don’t look good, I will truly believe them and it will really affect me. I wish I could go one day without asking for someone reassurance.

Depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts have all been linked to BDD. On a personal level, I have been suffering from all these for the past 6 months. As I didn’t realise that I was suffering from this disorder, it gave time for depression to set in. If I knew exactly what was going on, I could have gotten medical help and the depression may have never come back. Depression set in before I was diagnosed with having BDD, so I didn’t realise why I was depressed at first. Once I was diagnosed things started to make more sense to me. I felt that self-harming would make me feel better. I can’t really explain why I think this, it’s just something I feel. Also, my self-harming started many years ago. I’m trying to get myself on the road to recovery, though.  At my lowest point, suicidal thoughts did cross my mind. I felt like I could never truly be happy in my own body, it’s not easy to say this.  However, I’m learning to love my body each day, and day by day I’m starting to like it. I feel I’m a long way off loving it, though.

Camouflaging is another habit some people with this disorder will have. Now I’m an alternative type of person and strangely enough dress in a way that does make me stand out in the crowd. What I mean by this is that I have piercing and tattoos which attracts the looks. I tend to wear a lot of make-up when I go out as well. I know that this doesn’t help the looks I get, but I feel more comfortable dressing and looking the way I do, than trying to dress like your average Joe or plain Jane.  When I first went to see my therapist and I explained I wanted to be covered in tattoo’s, she explained that was my way to camouflage myself.  Some people will wear lots of makeup to cover up or wear baggy clothing, certain hairstyles, even covering oneself with fake tan. It all depends on the individual to what they use to camouflage themselves. Something else that I’ve noticed, I was starting to buy more make-up myself 6 months ago and wanted to try different trends out. Looking back now, I was doing this to cover up what I thought was flawed facial features.

I personally think there is too much pressure today for people to have what is apparently the perfect body. No one knows what the perfect body is, that is completely just people’s opinions. I don’t think social media and celebrities help with ordinary people’s bodies confidence, as celebrities today tend to have had some sort of cosmetic surgery, have makeup artists and hairstylist to make them look the way they do for every public event or selfie.

This is just my personal experience with battling BDD. Other people may have different battles and routines than I do as BDD has a variety of different habits, personal feelings, and routines. This makes each person’s disorder unique to them. There is a lot more I could write about when it comes to this disorder but I just wanted to talk about my personal experience as it’s a lot easier to write about and have my own opinion. I hope that one day I will be able to look in the mirror only once a day and love the reflection shown back at me. I hope that I can find the strength to love myself and my life, I know I’m a long way off and I know it’s going to be hard, but I’m ready to fight this battle and win it!

Toria

 

Another Favourites

Hello my lovelies,

I thought I’d do another ‘favourites’ blog as I really enjoyed my last one. This one is mainly beauty items with a couple of bits at the end. I just want to point out, I’m not getting paid or sponsored or anything like that for talking about these products or where I bought them. They are just products I have really been liking lately.

Now the last part of this blog is slightly different. I want to tell you about my favourite tattooist. I live in Newcastle upon Tyne and I have got all of these tattoos from an amazing artist called Jaysin at Northside Tattooz (the private rooms). Every time I visit Northside, everyone is so friendly and welcoming, I just can’t praise them enough. They are extremely clean to make sure their hygiene level is to the highest possible standard. I absolutely love Jaysin’s work and have been going to him for tattoos for a few years and he never disappoints me. I always feel extremely relaxed and calm with him tattooing me and will never find myself going anywhere else for my future tattoos. As far as pain goes, Jaysin makes my tattoo experience as pain-free as possible and I can comfortably sit there for hours with very little pain. Overall I would highly recommend visiting this place and having a chat with Jaysin or any of the other artists there. I couldn’t be happier with the beautiful art that is on my body.

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Toria

End cyberbullying

Today I want to talk about cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is different to normal bullying because cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As Cyberbullying takes place using electronic devices such as mobiles, tablets, laptops and game consoles, it can take place even when the victim is alone. It can happen to anyone, at any age, but typically affects preteens and teenagers. When an adult is a victim, cyberbullying is sometimes referred to cyber harassment or cyber stalking. The sad reality is, it can happen in so many ways such as text messages, instant messaging, social media, personal blogs, emails and more. Pretty much anywhere online can be the platform to target people.

These days, it’s so easy to post something hurtful about someone online and it can be shared millions of times. What makes matters worse, people can anonymously post things online. This can make it difficult to track down the source to report them however this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The police, with the right help from internet providers, can track the bully down.

There are many different types of cyberbullying, and each is awful in its own right. Some of the more common ways someone can be bullied online are;

  • Texting wars/text attacks from a group of bullies.
  • Impersonation – Where the bully pretends to be the victim and acts in an offensive manner.
  • Using photographs taken by the bully and posting them online. Photographs such as nudes or degrading pictures often taken in changing rooms or bathrooms.

Some bullies may even take it to another level and create blogs, websites or polls regarding the victim. The bully may post humiliating, hurtful and insulting information about the victim along with private information and photographs. Private information may lead to inappropriate people contacting the victim which could distress them more. There are also other ways cyberbullies can target victims such as;

  • Flaming – Some bullies will use extreme and offensive language to get a reaction out of the victim. Shockingly, some bullies get pleasure out of watching their victim become distressed or upset.
  • Outing/trickery – This can happen to victims that thought they could trust the bully. Outing/trickery is when the victim opens up about personal things to them and the bully outs them online by sharing the private information with other people.
  • Cyberstalking – Some bullies won’t post online but instead send messages or emails repeatedly to the victim. The messages could involve threats of harm, harassment and/or intimidating
  • Exclusion – This can happen to a victim that thought they could trust the bullies. Exclusion can be used by not involving the victim in online group chats/messages, online apps, gaming sites and more.

Cyberbullying and physical bullying can also happen together. By using a camera phone to record the physical attack on a victim it can be easily uploaded online and shared on social media. Using a camera phone can also be a way for cyberbullies to target adults. I have known children, as well as teens, say nasty things to adults, I have even seen videos online of very similar things. This can make an adult victim feel ashamed and embarrassed that younger people are targeting them.

There are several effects that cyberbullying can have on a person. The victim might turn to alcohol or drugs, skip school or be unwilling to attend school, receive poor grades at school and/or have low self-esteem. The victim may also suffer from depression, anxiety, powerlessness as well as feel vulnerable and isolated.

A survey conducted by Ditch The Label showed that 47% of young people have received nasty profile comments. 62% said that they were sent nasty private messages using a smartphone app. Most apps and social media accounts have strict rules that the users have to be 13 years of age or over. They also state any sort of bullying, abusive behavior including harassment, impersonation and identity theft are banned. However, unless the victim reports the bully, the social media network can’t do anything about it. When questioned about whether any actions had been taken after a victim had reported a bully, showed that shocking 91% said no action had been taken.

There are ways you can stop yourself becoming a victim of cyberbullying, even if the bullying has already started. It’s easier to just not have social media accounts or other messaging apps, however, I understand that it’s easier said than done. Don’t ever think you’re alone in this. As long as you tell someone, whether that be a friend, a teacher, a parent or other family members, you will never be alone. If the bullying has already started, save any evidence you’ve got. As hard as it can be, try not to respond to any of the bullying. Block and report the bullies on your social media accounts, and make your accounts private so they can’t contact you.

 

As a parent, there are things you can do to help prevent and stop your child from being a victim of cyberbullying. Your child might not understand why you are doing some of the things, but once they are old enough I’m sure they will be very grateful for it.

  • Have a rule where their computer/laptop has to be in a busy family area.
  • Have a rule that all electronic devices not used during evening meals and at bedtime. If need to take all the electronic devices from your child at bedtime.
  • Educate yourself about different social media’s and instant messaging services.
  • Educate yourself about slang words so you know what to look out or.
  • If you child has social media, make your own account and add them.
  • Educate your child about online safety.
  • Don’t underreact over overreact if your child comes to you.
  • Don’t threaten to take your child’s electronic device away from them or try shutting down their social media accounts as they may lead to them being more secretive due to not wanting to lose them.
  • Speak to your child’s school if the cyberbullies are from the same school. Or even just to make the school aware of the situation.
  • If threats or violence start involve the law, or even if the bullying continues and escalates.

 

Toria

 

 

 

 

Sources: http://www.bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying/what-to-do-if-you-re-being-bullied-on-a-social-network/

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National no bra day

Thursday the 13th October 2016 has been named “national no bra day”. This is to support breast cancer awareness. Reading up on this, there have been people in the past who haven’t been all for this day. They have questioned how going braless is going to help people suffering, suffered or being diagnosed with breast cancer.  I understand where they’re coming from, I really do, so much so I questioned it myself. However, day’s like this are organised to get people talking about breast cancer and make people donate. Even though it’s just one day, it makes people think about cancer. If it wasn’t an awareness day, people would just treat it like any other day. Each year, there seems to be a handful of tweets as well about people using this day to sexualise women going braless rather than making it an awareness day. Enough of this though, I’m going to talk about what actually matters and that is breast cancer itself.

Breast cancer affects both women and men and at any age with around 60,000 people per year being diagnosed. Shockingly that’s 1 person every 10 minutes. In the UK 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life and 1 in 7 women over the ages of 50 who do attend regular mammograms, don’t actually check their breasts, though. Around 400 men each year are diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly nearly 12,000 people die each year from breast cancer, however, 85% of people do survive beyond 5 years. I do hope though it will be 100% soon and for forever.

Like most cancers, there is not one definitive reason for why people get breast cancer. It is thought though that genes, lifestyle choices and surrounding environment are somewhat to blame. There are things you can do though to keep a check on your breasts. Every woman over the age of 50 will be asked to have routine mammograms. A mammogram is pretty much an x-ray of your breast. However after the age of 70, you must call to make your own appointments, one won’t be made for you like before. For people under the age of 50. You need to use the TLC rules. This stands for T- Touch, feeling anything different/unusual, L-Look, do they look any different regarding shape or textures, and lastly C-Check anything you think is unusual with your doctor. All these go for men as well.

Symptoms of breast cancer in women are:

  • a change in the size, shape or feel of a breast
  • a new lump or thickening in a breast or armpit
  • skin changes such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
  • fluid leaking from a nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breastfeeding
  • changes in the position of a nipple
  • pain in your breast Symptoms of breast cancer in men are:
  • Oozing from the nipple (a discharge) that may be blood stained
  • Swelling of the breast
  • A sore (ulcer) in the skin of the breast
  • A nipple that is pulled into the breast (called nipple retraction)
  • Lumps under the arm

When it comes to treatment, usually women are advised to have surgery to remove the cancerous tissues. As breast tissue starts high in the armpit, tissue from there may also have to be removed. After the surgery and recovery process, additional treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other drugs may be given to reduce the risk of cancer returning or spreading.

 

This is just a short article about breast cancer with some facts to make people aware of the disease. So as longs if going bra free isn’t making cancer worse, I don’t see why it’s doing any harm on this day. So ladies take off those bra’s and don’t forget to donate money to cancer research and encourage other to do the same.  If you’re not up for going bra free for the day, breast cancer UK have another two ways for awareness. They are doing the #DitchTheJunk. This is what they say on their site about it. “We’re asking you to make a pledge to #DitchTheJunk, and in doing so reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals which may be linked to breast cancer”.  In December they are also asking all runners and want to be runners, to travel to London and do a Santa fun run to raise awareness.  For more information on both of these please go to their website http://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk/

 

Toria

Sources:

http://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk/

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/

http://breastcancernow.org/sites/default/files/public/breast-cancer-key-facts.pdf

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Sexting; it’s not worth it

Hello my lovelies,

Sexting. Is it something you’ve ever done? Something you’d like to do? Or something you’d never touch? Well, it’s happening and probably a lot more than you think. What I want to write about and make people aware of is the dangers of sexting, specifically sending explicit images and/or videos. Also, what it’s doing to the younger generation.

The reasons why teenagers sext is slightly different to why adults do. I found that teenagers often think that every other teenager is doing it, so they feel the need to join in. Some teenagers feel that it will boost their confidence and self-esteem as they may get compliments about their body. Some teenagers even said it can start through flirting with someone, whether they know them personally or not. I even read that teenagers find it hard to say no to people. It’s so sad that people feel pressurised into sending explicit images and/or videos of themselves. 

 

As well as the more obvious risks associated with sending explicit images/videos to other people, most people don’t always fully appreciate that they no longer have control over the image/video once it has been sent. I’m going to use the word victim here, as in some cases, they will be known as a victim. One image might not be enough for the person who received it. They may begin to blackmail and send threats to receive more and then the person who took the images/video could become a victim. Threats such as sharing the images online or telling the victim’s family and friends could be a way of blackmailing for more. Also, bullying can occur at school f the images/video are shared online. People might not get the attention that they set out to get from the right types of people either. Whether an adult or a teen, sex offenders may easily contact you if the your image has been shared. For an adult, it is a lot easier to know the dangers of certain people talking to you, however, a teen may not recognise the danger signs. You can’t always tell who you’re talking to, so you might not know you’re talking to a sex offender.

If explicit images/videos have been shared online, there is a very strong chance that the victim will be cyberbullied about them. Even friendships can affected, as people often distance themselves from the victim in order to escape being bullied themselves. This can easily make the victim feel betrayed and alone. Being in a relationship, people have said that they feel obliged to send their partners explicit content. However, this isn’t the case and chances are if the couple break up the images/videos won’t be kept private for long. People are often left angry and hurt when a relationship ends which can lead to bad decisions being made.

Sadly, sending explicit messages, images or videos can have some very damaging effects on a person’s life. Some people may turn to self-harming as a form of punishment, or worse, suicide. There have been numerous reports in the United States of America of young women committing suicide because of the after effects of sending explicit content.

I’ve read some horrifying statistics whilst looking online, some worse than others. For instance, 11% of teens under 18 have sent explicit images to strangers, 12% of teens said they felt pressurised to send explicit images/videos, 34% of teens said it was to make them feel sexy, most scary of all though is that 48% of girls said they did it for a joke! I’m not quite sure why anyone would do it for a joke.

I understand if you’re a child or teenager you may not know where to turn if you have sent an explicit image/video and regret it. I found that ChildLine is a brilliant website that can give you help and advice if you find yourself in a horrible situation. Their website can be found here: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/sexting/

The best thing to do if you are put in the situation where you’re asked to send an explicit image/video is to just block the person, whether that’s on social media or on your mobile phone. Never assume that because you’re in a relationship with someone, that they will keep your explicit content safe. Just don’t risk it.

 

 

Following on from above, I thought that it might be helpful to talk about the law. The following facts are based in the UK and are the same for adults as well as children. In the UK, creating an explicit image or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal. It is also against the law for a child to create explicit images/videos of themselves, furthermore, a young person will still be breaking the law if they take an explicit image/video of a friend, especially so if they share the image/video. This law applies even to those children that are the same age. It is also illegal to possess, download or store explicit images/videos, even if the child permits you to. In January of this year, police were given the power to decide whether they want to record a young person creating and sharing explicit content as a crime in the same way that an adult would be. However, taking formal action isn’t in the public interest.  Even though the minimum legal age to consent to sex is 16 or above in the UK, you can’t actually take explicit images/videos of yourself or anyone else and share them until all parties are at least 18 years old.

 Also see my  Online and offline grooming article by clicking that link.

Toria

 

 Source:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/sexting/

http://resources.uknowkids.com/facts-stats-sexting

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