Archive for February, 2018

The very real pain of losing the best thing that’s ever happened to me

February 25, 2018

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Loosing a best friend in my life has to be one of the most painful experiences I have gone through in my adult life.

Connecting with a friend can feel very much the same as falling in love, as you constantly bring the other person up in conversation when you are not together. And breaking up with a best friend can be devastating.

For the purposes of my blog I will refer to my best friend as Amanda

I met Amanda on on my first day at a shiny new office. Amanda was my administrator for a short period of time, and we found ourselves connecting through hilarity of ourselves. We would spend every lunch break together laughing at our mistakes, things that happened at work and our personal lives and what we bonded over on day 2 was, over a quiche at Gregs and me being dragged to do her returns at H&M, something which then became a regular occurrence over the last nearly 7 years. (the returns not the Gregs). Only Amanda and myself would understand why this was so very funny.

I remember the exact day we began to consider ourselves true friends – we met for dinner and drinks one weekend in September.  We exchanged stories, laughed and disclosed personal details that further cemented our connection. We continued our “first date” into a second and then I moved to the same city where every weekend was date night and day. Each year we acknowledged that anniversary either by text or something special.

Amanda soon became an important person to my life. We would see each other every day at work, most nights after work and most weekends were spent, shopping, eating, watching TV, laughing and having so much fun. We often spent hours on the phone together debriefing on our days at work, then debriefing our evenings that we spent apart before bed. Of course during this time we laughed until we couldn’t breathe, cried because we laughed so hard.

We travelled together every year for a grand holiday, and we also had frequent weekends away and spa trips, we even stayed in a castle in the Lake District.

Amanda, took me under her wing, accepted me for me and assured me and promised me she was here to stay no matter how hard it got and made it ok for me to trust people, she made it ok to let people in and she made it ok for me to be open about my mental health. Amanda also made me fat.

Until something changed…………..

Our breakup happened very suddenly, in the most dramatic and unmistakable way possible. I will refrain from going into the details of what happened because I don’t believe its appropriate or productive and I don’t even know why. We have ended this experience feeling very hurt, confused, wounded and massively misunderstood.

Her life was changing significantly and I was swept away very quickly and the things we bonded over and built our friendship on were forgotten very quickly by Amanda, not by me. I couldn’t be there for Amanda when her life was changing and at the same time Amanda couldn’t be there for me whilst mine was changing too. I regret that.

I thought of her frequently, I no longer enjoy my weekends, I no longer had anyone to appreciate my weirdness and silliness and her absence is felt pretty sharply when I no longer have a sounding board to my life, to share my jokes with, my silliness with and my love with and I’m alone trying to have a random spread for one.

Weeks have gone by now, and though I have other friends, I do not have Amanda. I miss her intensely, with the deep ache of someone who has become a refugee from their home. Amanda has left a huge gaping hole in my life.

Let go and move on you say!….. I have spent much of my life giving up and running away from people I believed who are no good for me. As I have got older I have learnt to appreciate how incredibly difficult it is to meet new people who share your weird sense of purpose. I feel like starting again with someone is not something that appeals to me currently. Amanda always taught me the true value of friendship, and how incredibly important it is to retain those friendships.

Amanda promised me so much in terms of friendship and If I knew then what I knew now I wouldn’t of been so open, but I don’t think I would be who I am today if it wasn’t for Amanda.

I still see Amanda almost every day and its incredibly hard, weird and awkward. She’s scared and I am too.

What I have learnt from this whole experience is…… things happen to our lives that are unexpected that can throw everything off. There is no plan to life. Life is far too short to hold grudges or negativity towards people.

Amanda if you’re out there I miss you and when you are ready ill be here ready to build something new.

Life too short kiddo!

 

The Power of Music in My Life

February 10, 2018

Music has always played an important part in my mental wellbeing. Anyone that knows me I always have my headphones in, always have something playing and my neighbours also have the privilege of sharing my varied tastes in music. In low points recently I forgot what impact this has on my brain, this is why its now on my self care list when I am feeling stressed.

The types of music I enjoy the most are, house, jazz, classical piano, soul, and R&B.

Today for example, I had a list of jobs I wanted to get done today, so I stuck Spotify on, and played some house music and I had a little shimmy and a dance round my living room. It certainly got the endorphins going.

Some people who are lucky enough to be very close to me know to make me put music on when they sense I am not feeling to great emotionally.

The Science

One of the ways music affects mood is by stimulating the formation of certain brain chemicals. Listening to music increases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s “motivation molecule” and an integral part of the pleasure-reward system. It’s the same brain chemical responsible for the feel-good states obtained from eating chocolate, orgasm, and runner’s high. Interestingly, you can further increase dopamine by listening to a playlist that’s being shuffled. When one of your favorite songs unexpectedly comes up, it triggers a small dopamine boost.

Conclusion

Music definitely is a huge part of my life and notably has a substantial effect on my mental health. It often helps me to make decisions for myself. I do recommend that if you are feeling low, stick something on loud and dance it off. Then decide what to do.

Making playlists is an excellent idea and share these with people in your life, I have done this for a few people, you never know, your playlist might just lift someone else mental wellbeing.

Its also worth noting too that I randomly found my iPod last week that has made me feel a bit more happy.