Friday, 29 March 2019

Why Did I Start Blogging?

I first started blogging as a way to let out my own emotions onto a platform where I could attempt to help other people. At first, it was slow, I didnt really know how to work blogger or how to get my blog known or how to get people to read it, so my posts were all over the place and the majority of my earlier posts are now deleted, well, reverted to drafts.

I am not embarrassed of the posts because I was genuinely trying to help people and the thought was there, however, its just not the content that I wanted on my blog anymore. I have grown up a lot since then and I know and understand so much more about the mental health subjects and topics that I used to talk about, so they are no longer very relevant.

Over the few years that I have been uploading, I have found so much comfort in knowing that I have helped people, whether that is just the one or a hundred, everything matters and until the day I die, I will try to help people. I have noticed over time that when I am helping people, I make myself feel better and its so rewarding!

Another reason why I started posting is because I loved english. I wasnt too good at it (although I did get an A and a B in it at GCSE, which surprised me!) but writing made me happy so posting was making me happy and also helping to develop my skills.

If you compared my first few posts to my most recent few posts you'd see an incredible amount of progress with regards to my writing style but also my subject knowledge. It is nice to look back at my old posts and see how far I have come, I like hard evidence of progress because I dont normally believe it.

There are people that I know have been there since the very first day that I started blogging and still continue to read my posts now, which is incredible- so thank you. When I lost my @smilerofdestiny twitter account, I was going to give up blogging as I just wasnt getting any views as on that account, I had 89K followers, so people clicked it. Now, I have 78K, so I am slowly getting it back however, people dont seem as enthusiastic to read it which kind of sucks but I'll live.

My blog has helped me in so many ways and I hope it has helped at least one person, as always, thank you for reading!

Friday, 22 March 2019

Barbie Did WHAT?!

Barbie have created dolls with disabilities, skin tones, hair and body sizes. Yes, you heard me right! Barbies now come in actual figures we can relate to! 

For may years, Barbie dolls have been an unreal ideal for young people around the world and therefore many people dont feel as though they are represented with these dolls. The original dolls have the small hips, long legs, big boobs but that just isnt real for the majority of people and it set unrealistic standards for young people. But this is all about to change.

Look at the diversity between these dolls. Admittedly, there could be more but this is a start! The Barbies are finally heading a step in the right direction towards better representation and empowerment for all.

According to Teen Vogue, Culmone worked with disabled people to design a Barbie doll that would be a more accurate presentation. Barbie’s team worked with UCLA to design her wheelchair, which will fit any Barbie in the “Made to Move” collection. Culmone did not say if the new wheelchair will fit inside the Barbie Dream House or other accessories.

Mattel also worked with Jordan Reeves, a 12-year-old who has a prosthetic arm. It was Reeves’ suggestion that Barbie’s prosthetic leg be removable for a more realistic doll.

Although this is a good step towards acknowledging and celebrating diversity, I hope they make them as visible as their other dolls are. Part of me thinks that people will be going crazy for them but on the other hand, I am wondering if it will only really be people who relate to the dolls that buy them- which, if so, it extremely upsetting and it would be a reflection of our society, if you are going to make these dolls, they can't just be found hiding online, they need to be involved in a campaign to show that everyone is equal and diversity is a good thing rather than something that is frowned upon or different! They should be everywhere so they become the norm for kids that walk down the shop aisles and then they will truly represent the real diversity in this world.

I think another great idea for the Barbie creators to definitely do would be add on items that could be added to any doll which is already owned. For example, a walking stick, full arm brace crutches, breathing tubes, ports, stoma bags, dog for the blind and so much more, these could cover so many medical needs and make young children going through a hard time feel less alone!

I am sure the Barbie dolls I had as a child had large holes in their ears for putting earrings in. Hearing aids or a cochlear implants could even go into those holes and be sold as an accessory to add to any of their dolls. Even a wheel chair could be an add on so children can get the wheel chair and use it with which ever Barbie doll they want to which fits their ethnicity, body type ect.

Even simpler, this could even be something as simple as various medical alert bracelets to cover unseen, like diabetes, heart, autoimmune, etc... Even the prosthetics might be able to be made so they can go over an existing doll's arm or leg. Do this so that children can have a doll that looks like them, their friend or even a family member.

I think Barbies next dolls could also have other medical conditions. I think a Barbie with Down Syndrome would be an amazing toy for all children as it would teach them that everyone is equal just because it is represented there. I know that people have been asking for this for years and I 100% definitely agree that this one has to come at some point in the near future, but a bald Barbie should definitely be on the cards because there are so many children suffering with things like cancer or alopecia who feel so alone and sad because they have lost their hair and would benefit greatly from a bald Barbie.

Regardless of what Barbies could be, we have seen them make a lot of progress in acknowledging the diversity around the world and I am extremely grateful for that. I hope the creators see the demand for add on medical items and persue it to make other medical needs included.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Anxiety Decreases With Age!

Anxiety decreases with age! No. It doesnt. We need to stop thinking that anxiety decreases as you get older and will one day disappear completely. This is wrong- so wrong. 

When I was a kid, I was worried about losing my homework or the upcoming netball game that I was to partake in. I hated the shouting and parents watching me but I loved playing. Even at such a young age my brain was completely at war with itself. I remember times at sports tournaments where parents would be shouting at me like "go Ebony", "run Ebony", and with that, I'd just stop all together, stand there and take myself to a different place in my head because I did not want to be there anymore.

I was worried about having to sing in church, I hated singing around anyone and I mimed a lot so people wouldnt hear me. One thing I will never forget from Primary School was when we were singing in school and the head teacher came up to me whilst I was miming, came right up to my face and told me to stop miming and sing. No thank you. Although I didnt have many worries as a kid, I can definitely see how anxiety manifested itself back then.

And I got older...

Up to Secondary School I went and I dont think I have been more terrified in my life. Going from a school with 60 pupils to a school with around 1200 pupils was a massive jump for anyone but especially for someone who isnt the most confident of people! My fears majorly intensified during Secondary School. I was practically scared of everything and I feared everyone. I was worried about walking to school, would I be able to cross the roads without having to wait for a car to pass? Would I encounter some nasty people on the bus bay? Would I find my friend to meet and walk to form with? One thing that dramatically changed for me in secondary school was bullies. Coming from such a small school, I had never really experienced bullying before but my god it hit me. I had the extra worries of, would I be made fun of today? Would I get laughed at today? This is when I learnt the harsh reality of the world and how nasty people could be. I was scared of everything.

And I got older...

I finished Seconary School and started Sixth Form at the same school- doesnt sound scary right? Staying at the same place, but my god it was. I feel like I just got worse. More things made me scared and I avoided more and more people. Most of my lessons were in the Sixth Form block which was across the road from the actual school but my art classes were at the top of the hill. One of my most feared things was crossing that road alone. I hated it. My art teachers always let us out late too so I'd have to either walk super fast to catch up some people to cross the road with or walk slower with my art class and try to cross with them. But then I encountered another thing that terrified me: being late. None of the teachers helped with this even though they knew we sometimes had to walk pretty far to our next class, they'd just let us out whenever they wanted and for me, walking into a class late was one of the worst things ever. My hands would be sweaty, well, everywhere would be. I'd be completely red faced. My head would be banging. I'd have rashes and everything.

Sixth Form was also a changing point for me too because it meant that I didnt have to eat in school anymore as I could just walk home for my lunch. I didnt like eating around people so I just did this every day. With feeling scared and being at home, I used to comfort eat a lot and it has since become a habit I think which is so rubbish.

But the part which frustrated and upset me the most was reading out in class. My teachers knew that I hated it and therefore picked on me to do it for that reason. I dreaded every lesson that I went to because of it and I really hated every minute of Sixth Form.

And I got older...

So, here we are, the present. I have left the school system all together and I am possibly at the worst place anxiety wise that I have ever been in. I dont have a job because I struggle to do anything alone, so I cant pay for things, buy people presents ect. I cant just go for a nice walk on my own because I am too scared of crossing busy roads or bumping into someone I know or looking stupid. I am pretty much stuck in the house unless someone takes me out or comes to meet me. I am lonely, I get sad and I wish I was better. I am trying to get better- I am on medication to try to control it but it is only helping my moods right now, but I am thankful.

My mind is a warzone. My heart beats out my chest. My head hurts. I sweat excessively. I get unknown and uncalled for rashes. I cry over nothing, but no one sees that. I usually keep my walls up.

People tell me how strong I am and how they admire my strength. I appreciate it so much and it makes me feel so good about myself but honestly, sometimes I could just scream. I am not as strong as everyone seems to think I am and I am not as strong as everyone wants me to be. On bad days, I can cry if I drop a spoon. I cry because I want to leave the house but at the same time I dont want to leave the house, my brain is so tired and confused of fighting itself. I feel trapped and lonely with no way out.

So, no. Anxiety does not decrease as you get older. It only gets better if you try to make it better with something like medication or therapy. For me, I am sure it has just got worse and worse.

Please understand that I am trying.