Saturday, 9 August 2014

Planned and Booked - Beyond the Wall

As I type, at 6:45am, in exactly two weeks hence forth, I shall be on the road heading for Scotland!! :D

I am so excited.  I've never been there before, crazy really, given that my Gran was born and raised in Paisley and we still have family in Uddingston and dad goes there about once a year for holidays and seeing his oldest school friend, who lives in Edinburgh.  Having made quite a few friends online, who live beyond the wall I have an even greater reason for going. :)

 I will be accompanied by mum, as it'll be a few months before I can do such journeys, I hate that word... it's so bloody over used... any hoo...  As I was saying, going with mum.  The main reason for going is that it's Open Day season for universities, an opportunity to get a feel for the campuses and the faculties.  I'm very under travelled, so this trip means I can get a feel for the cities too.... well, I will be living there for 3, 4 or more years, I want to feel happy, excited and at home where I end up, not just liking the course and the uni itself.  This will be a holiday too for me and mum.  A chance to get to see to get to see the stunning Scottish beauty I've only seen in postcards and photos.  A hopefully a bonus to meet a few online friends in person, even if for a brief hello! :)

The Scottish universities we'll be seeing are The University of Dundee, The University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde and then finally Glasgow Caledonian.  For the first week we'll be staying in Arbroath and the remainder of our time, we'll be in the Hamilton area of Glasgow.

On our way back towards the south, we'll also be in the North of England for about a week, to visit 3 or 4 English universtites, Uni of Northumbria, Uni of Leeds, Uni of York and possibly Uni of Nottingham.  Well, as we're going to be that far from Kent, may as well save driving home, only to have to travel back North again.

There are going to be a fair few more regular posts and with added photos.

Next post I'll be in the land Lochs and deep fried Mars Bars. :D

Friday, 8 August 2014

Summer Update Version 3.6 - Actions and Plans for Year Ahead and for My Future

How diddly doody,

A couple ish months ago, I experienced a confluence of thoughts and happenings.  As from recent posts, you know that I'm back on a forwards direction.  My initial positivity and determination was boosted by knowing that I have been offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which I will begin this coming Monday.  Other thoughts began to stir, regarding the rest of my life and what I want to do to earn money.  As I get older, this increasingly becomes more of a concern/worry than it used to, and it was already an big anxiety of mine.  I'm a year and few months away from 40 with absolutely no pension provision what so ever.

 Over the past few years I have been studying with The Open University, for a degree in Psychology.  I have passed the level one modules and a level two module, however, my mental health during this time has greatly affected my ability to concentrate and cope with studying.  I had to defer modules twice and time was running out for me to complete in the time allowed.  Also my grades for essays was very patchy and I was always playing catch up.  Studying alone is very hard.  With the way things stood, it would have been less likely and I would have been almost 50 years old, assuming I got that far, to be a counselling psychologist.  So I started to think about and research other career options in a mental health capacity. I will say at this point that I have withdrawn from studying with OU.  During my OU studies, I was very fortunate to have had a study mentor.  He was brilliant.  He's was a very intelligent and knowledgeable guy, who was of great support to me and part counsellor to me.  Through our conversations, he opened my mind, solidified and  expanded thoughts and notions.  It was he that helped me get to my decisions and plans that I have now.

My reasons for withdrawing from OU study are a few fold.  One as above.  With the offer of CBT, I know that right now I have only enough brain and emotional concentration to cope with one major thing.  Concurring agoraphobia and getting the ability to live properly again is my top priority, so taking advantage of how I am feeling coupled with CBT, it was not much of a decision for me.  There is also my decision about a career.... I am going to be applying to universities to study for a degree in social work.  Had I thought I would have a achieved a 2:1 or 1st degree in psychology, I could have gone the Masters Social Work degree route, but as I wouldn't, continuing and completing the psych degree would have meant I wouldn't be able to get any funding assistance to do the undergraduate Social Work degree.

So, I have twelve months to concur my long term issue, retake my GCSE maths, I only achieved a D first time around, twenty two years ago, I need a C or higher and get volunteering experience to help with my university applications.  I have spent a least the past six weeks researching and reading uni prospectuses to see which are the best courses, who offers the better bursaries and where in the UK I would like to live.  I have finally made a .long list and now to the first part of whittling this list, with Open Day visits.....

And I have already planned and booked a trip for the first few.... :)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Summer Update Version 2.3

Hello again,

I'm like buses this week, you get nothing for months and now a few updates in quick succession.  I hope you are having a great summer so far and are making the most of the terrific weather we've been mostly having.

If not... Why the fuck not?  Most of the year the weather is pretty miserable, so put that tv remote down or gaming controller or whatever it is, books can be read outdoors.  And don't go shopping for your time out of the house, unless for food, take yourself and your family to the countryside or beach and have fun.  Unless you're at work right now, then just plan for when you're not.

Any hoo.....

This is news, not about me specifically, but about my dad and girlfriend/partner who were married a week ago tomorrow.  The wedding day, didn't start brilliantly, it was thunder, lightening and torrential rain.  However, come 11am the clouds parted, the sun came out and it was glorious warm and sunshine for the rest day.  It was a lovely ceremony, with good food and lovely guests.  All in all it was a terrific couple of days, getting to meet new step mum's family.  Very happy for them, she is warm, generous and easy to get on with and so are my step brother and sister and their partners.  So a blog welcome to the family to them. :)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Summer Update Version 1.0

Hello all,

It's been a few months since my last confession..... with the last one, I was in the middle of another downward spiral of ever increasing weight loss, stress, great anxiety and panic attacks, self loathing, tiredness and depression, so that was me at a very ebb and almost despair.  The downward trend began in February and usually when this has happened in the past, it's taken me up to a year and half to find my way back out from it.  Perhaps because I now live in my own place and I don't feel so stuck and trapped like I used to when I lived at my dad's place, I've turned things around relatively quickly.  That's not to say that I'm fully ok, because I still have a ways to go before I am where I want to be, regarding my weight and in terms of getting out and about on my own, but I am making progress forwards again and fairly happy that I am eating better again, not totally brilliantly, but getting there.

I am certainly feeling happier in my self and about the future again.  I've made some changes about future plans and have recently begun putting plans into action for the coming 12 months ahead.....