#MentalHealth: Being Diagnosed With Depression.

I was taken into a small office, which housed two chairs, a table and a desk which had a computer sat on top of it. On taking a seat in this office, I opened up to someone for the first time about my Anxiety in a way that kind of surprised myself. When times were hard, I used writing as a way of expressing my inner thoughts but hearing my own physical voice trying not to break down into floods of tears was one of my most emotional moments in my entire life. I had to take an assessment, done purely on the questions the lady asked me and at the end, she would match my answers to the numbers on a chart.

For an eighteen year old, I was scared out of my wits. I’d known for months that my moods weren’t quite right, my sleeping patterns constantly changing and having the littlest thing said to me cause such a great effect on my confidence. After a pause which felt like an eternity, the lady said to me, “You have depression.” For a split second, my heart stopped and then, the statement started to sink in. She was right and I finally had the answer to many questions I had about myself as time had gone on.

From that moment, I learnt that my health and wellbeing have to come first before anything and anyone else. Not afraid to speak up face to face with someone about your mood swings and actions towards you that you find uncomfortable. I never really spoke at school, keeping things to myself and my many diaries I kept hidden away. My handwriting has changed so much since the time I was 11, writing about my year 7 experiences and unfortunately writing whilst crying over the death of my best friend from cancer aged just 12. I keep these cute notebooks safe away from preying eyes but I try not to look back on them because I don’t want to dwell on the past. When I was a College student, my main goal was to try and find people to mingle with even if they weren’t into the same things as me. Some days were rough, others I will always cherish.

When you hear the word ‘Depression’, you automatically assume the worst. That you’ll never get a job, fall in love or buy a car to take on those long summer road trips but for me, I actually assumed this for the better. I knew just what were causing the emotional states of one minute being happy and free as a bird to the next feeling like utter crap. It was time to have a breather, step away from the stresses of education and get myself into a better place knowing full well this wasn’t going to be an overnight fix. Change has to start now. If I ever have a tattoo, the word ‘Change’ would be across my right arm to tell others that I came from a rough, dark cave filled with negatives and into the bright sunlight full of positives.

Getting to this office in particular wasn’t easy. I wasn’t even told about this mental health service until a few months ago when my Anxiety had taken a turn for the worst. It was only after I referred myself to a youth service one morning after a massive panic attack did I learn about what the mental health service was about and how I could benefit from it. All I had to do was go through my GP which I agreed too.

The waiting was long but when the letter confirming meeting times did arrive, I did feel a sense of achievement that I actually managed to reach out to them and see if there was anyway I could spend time with someone and figure out the best methods of keeping my Anxiety under control.

I’ve only had one meeting with them where I was diagnosed with Depression but I have another one coming up this week before they decide what the best course of treatment for me will be. Options include taking medication, going to wellbeing classes. The list is endless, I am positive that something on that list is going to work wonders for me.

At a course interview last week, I was asked a big question. Do you have any disabilities or mental health difficulties? I could have ticked the box for no and not talk about it but if I started the course and ended up having a massive panic attack, how would others react? Would I be thrown off the course because I lied on the application form? On the other hand, do I tick the box for yes and then disclose the fact that I am currently having treatment for Anxiety and risk loosing my place on the course?

I hate lying, always have, always will. So, I decided to tick the box for yes and then talked with the teacher who interviewed me honestly to her directly and told her about my Anxiety expecting the worst. Instead, she thanked me for being honest and said my offer for a place on the course still stood. It was a huge accomplishment. My family were very proud and I felt that too for the first time in years.

Just recently, I went through my blog and decided to delete some old posts which were written when my Anxiety was rough. And I feel so much better for doing that, I would like this blog to be a positive place where I can record my thoughts down in new posts as well as sharing my love for books and the exciting blog tours that I take part in often. I would like everyone to know that I will not let having Depression stop me from getting in the way of my dreams of going to University and becoming a published author. It just means I need a little longer to do things and you know what? It’s perfectly OK to tell others that you need longer to find yourself and get treatment for the things that bug you and stop you from living your life to the fullest.

For anyone reading this who has Depression/Anxiety or know someone who does, it’s important to know that you are not alone and it is OK to use your voice or writing things down like my mini 11 year old me did all those years ago and then show it to someone. My goal now is to share my experiences in the hope that they help someone else.

There are going to be days when you wake up and feel rough for hours like today was for me as an example but you have to remind yourself that you have the right to be yourself, I live by the motto, “Why born to fit in when you can stand out?” I read books a lot, not a lot of my friends do but that’s OK. Do whatever you feel represents you the best and for me, that’s books. Never try to change yourself into a person that is the total opposite. Believe me, it’s not pretty since I have fallen into that trap myself.

My goal for 2017 is to discover the right treatment for me enabling progression back into a positive mindset and live my life just like the confident Alice used to live hers. With a place in education now secured starting from this coming September, I am focusing my thoughts on returning to the subjects I am passionate about and continuing my therapy up until the time I feel able to walk outside of the house feeling able to be myself.

If you have any questions surrounding this post, please don’t hesitate to ask either in the comments section for this post or my Twitter @marriedtobooks3. If you also have some reading recommendations for me surronding characters who have Anxiety/Depression, that would be great too.

I would like to thank you guys for your understanding. I hope that you all have a good day/night, and please don’t worry about me. Writing this is the first step to my recovery and coping with Depression. No-one told me to write this post and upload it here, it was sorely my own decision.

Love you all ❤

Alice x

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January Faves: Non Bookish Post but Still Have a Read.

So everyone, the first month of 2017 January is almost over and to recap the last few weeks, this post will share with you all my favourite things like food, beauty products or YouTube channels that I am obsessed with. Please note that I live in the UK so some things I will be mentioning might not be available to buy in your country. With that said, let’s move onto the post!

1, Sainsbury’s Mince Pie Ice Cream.

Image result for sainsbury's mince pie ice cream

If you legitimately thought that mince pies and ice-cream don’t go well together, then think again! This ice-cream was available throughout the festive season but at my local Sainsbury’s, they were selling tubs for just a pound. With mincemeat and British milk, the texture is soft and deliciously creamy. Meant to be for the whole family to share but I’ve been eating it all, oops! #sorrynotsorry.

2, The Body Shop Shower Gel in Moringa.

Image result for Moringa bath gel

This isn’t a picture of the UK version of the bottle but there’s something about the scent of Moringa that isn’t overpowering yet still smelling fresh and others since I’ve started using it have complimented me on the nice smell. This I use as a bubble bath as well as a gel and it works wonders.

3, Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes.

Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes

This is a new product from Simple and I struggle very badly with sensitive skin. The amount of money that I have spent on beauty products in the past which have caused burning and itching is a lot but I love the scent of the wipes and how handy they are at removing my make-up at night and keeping my face clean and fresh. Have had no issues with the wipes.

4, Hall and Oates music.

Hall & Oates Maneater.jpeg

On my Spotify (which is a private account), YouTube and my parents music collections, I have been listening to Hall and Oates a lot with Maneater a particular favourite of mine. This is a must-listen for any 80s music fans or those who love their upbeat music.

5, YouTube!!!!!!!

This comes the fun bit where I list the channels that I have been non stop watching 24/7 so all I can say to that is there goes my sleep XD

https://www.youtube.com/user/lucyvallely

I found Lucy’s channel quite by accident I have to admit. But I love vintage and first saw a thrift store haul on her channel which I loved so I tapped the subscribe button.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwsaI0SG82I59jibp1eO-qg

I love April talking about books! Plus I’m a fellow cat lover with two fluffy ones of my own.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BrooklynAndBailey

I love the twins with videos that I can relate to a lot of the time, my personal favourite was the Superhero Polar Plunge.

That’s it for this post, thanks so much for reading and let me know your favourite things in January. Alice x

 

 

 

 

My 2016 In Books!: Favourite Reads of 2016 and A General Overview of the Year.

This post is super, extra, totally late so I do apologize for that but its here now! In the month of 2016, my goal was 75 books. Sadly, I didn’t make my reading goal since I only read 65 books so I was disappointed but I do blame a few factors for my failed challenge attempt. One being my mental health, the another being multiple reading slumps hitting me one after the other. According to my Goodreads stats, I read over 18,000 pages across the whole year, the longest book being Demon Road at 507 pages long. My average star rating was 3.8 out of 5 stars!

Here are all of the books that I gave 5 stars to, links below each cover will direct you to my review of that book on Goodreads. All of my reviews are spoiler-free:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1460708407?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

(REVIEW NOT POSTED: I would like to read the rest of the trilogy before I review it as a whole).

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1675935440?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1575844342?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1460746366?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1651319673?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1619082992?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1472419451?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1718993362?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1469251341?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1702214355?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1718999322?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1805638219?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

My style of writing reviews I think changed quite dramatically if you compare the review of Red Queen to the one I wrote for The Secret. But I am happy that I did read some really good books in 2016 and I hope to read lots more this year 2017!

Thanks so much for reading, don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads and my Twitter @Marriedtobooks3.

Alice x

 

Celebrating My One Year Blogging Here+ January Releases (YA and Adult) I’m Excited For!

One year, 365 days ago. A small decision that would go on to create many opportunities for me regarding the world of books and blogging. This blog was born, debated in my brain during a Computing lesson which I should have been paying attention in, thinking about all of my failed attempts in the past to create an attractive blog that was updated regularly. The times I’ve wanted to quit and delete it altogether. It’s been a wild ride and I would like to thank you guys for sticking by me through thick and thin with my blogging. The posts have been randomly released, schedules gone to pot but I managed to blog at least one post for every single month of 2016 which is something that I hadn’t managed to do in the past. It was all of your love and support that kept me going and still does keep me going. When you deal with constant negative thoughts in your brain, it’s easy to think that your blog is boring or you’re just not a good writer but I have been simply blown away by your comments and book discussions. It means the world to me that you are with me on this road to hopefully a successful book career in publishing and as a published author (hopefully one day) but I don’t have any giveaways on offer since I see some bloggers offering vouchers or signed ARCs but I am planning to do something like that in the future. My goal now is to keep this blog going for another year and with plenty of regular posts since I am currently taking a break from education.

The first news to announce is that I have continued my love for blog tours and have been accepted onto another one run by Xpresso, you guys know that I’ve blogged for them before and read+reviewed books here for promotion as well as leaving links to giveaways but my plan is to keep going with those as I always love to help authors find the exposure for their books, delivering well written stories to a new and expanded audience which is not just you followers but also my Goodreads followers. I have submitted forms in to take part in a number of them between now and April so fingers crossed! I have also two tours coming up with Red Door Publishing including one in February which I for the first time get to kick off the tour! My blog will be the first stop and I’m feeling incredibly excited for it.

I have also been extremely active on Twitter requesting books for review as well as winning books. Here’s my Twitter if you would like to follow it, I reached 300 followers just before Christmas!: https://twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Now, onto the January releases as promised. All with blurbs and covers credited from Amazon and Goodreads!

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Release Date: Jan 31st

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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OUT NOW!

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

25613472

OUT NOW!

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

My Sweet Revenge by [Fallon, Jane]

OUT NOW!

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.

Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.

I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students.
She gave up her dreams so he could make it.
Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors.
And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.

She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing.
And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers.
It will be her greatest acting role ever.

Revenge is sweet.
Isn’t it?

Release Date: Jan 18th

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind, she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles nearer, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse s most frightening tales.

Behind Her Eyes by [Pinborough, Sarah]

Release Date: Jan 26th

Don’t Trust This Book

Don’t Trust These People

Don’t Trust Yourself

And whatever you do, DON’T give away that ending…

Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…

David

Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…

Adele

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?

 

That’s all for this blog post, thanks so much guys for reading and supporting! Let me know in the comments section for this blog post what your most excited for January releases are, I’ll see you very soon with some new posts.

Alice x

 

A Very Belated Christmas+New Year Book Haul.

Hey everyone! It’s Alice with some book photos that I hope you guys love. I did receive lots of books over the Christmas break as well as a book token which I spent over the New Year. I know that some of you don’t like long written posts so I thought about including some shorter posts just like this one which are visual and fun! So, credit to my Instagram, here are the photos!:

They all look so pretty aaaaaaah 😀

Let me know if you’ve read/own any of the books in the photos above. Keep all comments spoiler-free. Which one to read first? Hmmm… catch-up time.

Alice x

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: First book read in 2017. (Spoiler-Free Review)

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If you like this review, I would really appreciate you checking it out on Goodreads here:    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1460708728?type=review#rating_101069935 And also since writing this review, it’s become my most popular written review of all time so thanks for all of the love!

Six of Crows Review:

Overall star rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This was the local library’s YA Book Club Book Pick of the Month for December and also the first book that I have read in 2017! I would like to thank my old college library for allowing me to borrow the book even though I am not a student at the moment for the book group since I was absent when the copies were handed out due to other matters.

This was the first book by Leigh Bardugo that I’ve read. I have seen the Grisha trilogy around and have heard mixed things regarding the books but if you think I should read them, let me know in the comments section under this review! Six of Crows is a YA Fantasy novel, the first in a duology with the second book Crooked Kingdom released a few weeks ago.

The story takes place in a world full of danger, adventure and… guards, lots of them. Kaz Brekker is someone who has a criminal background and loves to tackle dangerous deeds. Kaz’s character reminded me a lot of The Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. He is offered a job involving a ton of money and plenty of risks involved. Break into the Ice Court, where no prisoner has ever escaped from and rescue a hostage from under the noses of the elite. But this is a mission that Kaz cannot do alone so he gathers six others from the city all with different strengths to come together as a team and pull off the impossible. The only issue is that most of them don’t get along with each other with constant bickering putting everything under threat.

I thought the amount of action and tension throughout was fantastic, every chapter had something going on that kept me hooked as a reader. Some of the fight scenes were brutal and a lot of mentions of pistols but the whole fantasy adventure side of the story was outstanding. The only thing which stopped me giving the whole book 5 out of 5 stars were the descriptions of the world building. As a reader, I don’t just want to see the story world but I also want to feel like I am actually there with the characters myself, just like scenes from a movie or in a video game. I am a visual learner as well as a visual reader. I felt the descriptions were long and did for me personally take away some of that world building enjoyment.

The ending… wasn’t expecting that at all but I hope to be picking up Crooked Kingdom very soon! Plus, totally irrelevant but I’ll say this anyway. The day I got the book from my old College, there were six crows all lined up on the street outside my house and I flipped out!

Don’t forget to friend me on Goodreads if you would like to see more reviews from me and hit the like button if you found this review helpful for you!

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First Post of 2017: I Hit 2K, Reading Goals for the Year Ahead!

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY LOVELY READERS!

Seriously, words cannot express how much I’m eternally grateful for all of the love and support I’ve received since I started reviewing on Goodreads. In just under a year, I’ve gone from 40 people following my reviews to now 2,000? How did that happen?! I hit 2,000 earlier this morning as the first day of 2017 kicked off here in England. The rain is pouring down but I’m still smiling. What a way to kick 2017 off! My family are absolutely thrilled and I’m feeling extremely excited about the next 364 days of reading to come!

My reading goals for 2017 aren’t that simple but fingers crossed they go well. I’m taking part in two reading challenges: The New Adult Reading Challenge 2017 with a goal of reading 100 New-Adult books in 2017 and the 2017 NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge with a goal of 25 books by the end of the year. I do have a ton of reviewing to catch up on but feeling determined to do my very best.

I am currently reading:

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling

Pisces by Rachel Medhurst

Have a really good day and a happy 2017!

Much love,

Alice x