If we were having coffee… In Thedas #weekendcoffeeshare

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If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you’d like to come on a journey with me to the continent of Thedas, the fictional Dragon Age Inquisition continent.

Lately, I’ve mostly been falling in love with Dragon Age. I’ve already spent 43 hours in the game, and I haven’t even completed that many main missions yet. My next main mission is, “Wicked minds and wicked hearts”. I’ve mostly spent time exploring with my faithful mount, who my little one named Shadow, and getting to know Cullen very well indeed (giggle).
I didn’t think that I’d like this game as much as I do. It reminds me of Mass Effect a lot, in the way that it sucks you in and makes you believe you are really in that universe. Dragon Age, like Mass Effect is made by Bioware, geniuses of story telling. From now on, I will buy every Bioware game that comes into existence, because, like no other game developer, they know how to make me feel very real feelings, for very not real things.

On a date with Cullen.

On a date with Cullen.

I wish more games were as much of an experience as Bioware games.

After getting used to the crafting elements, and combat system, I really started to have so much fun playing Dragon Age. My character is awesome, she’s a dual wielding Rogue who I named, “Shepard” for obvious obsessed with Mass Effect reasons. Rogues are a really fun class to play, and suits my play style of, get-up-in-peoples-faces. I love the skill trees in this game, I can imagine myself picking Rogue again, but having a completely different playable character by choosing different skill sets. I went with the Double Dagger and Assassin skill trees for my current Rogue. The Assassin skill tree is definitely my favourite, which was unlocked by completing a side quest. After a few side missions, I was lucky enough to get my Rogue some unique weapons and armour, and I love the fact that Skyhold, my home, has the option of tinting my armour.

In Dragon Age, you have the ability to choose what kind of person your character is through dialogue choices, Shepard the Rogue is a good person, who always tries to help people, and I choose friendly dialogue options. The only time I choose other dialogue options is when I’m referred to as, “The Herald of Andraste”. Everyone thinks I’m this special person with my green glow, and that I was sent from God to help save the world. I knew from the beginning I wasn’t really the Herald, but I always use the Herald card when I want something, like someone to join my team or to gain favour with certain characters. Otherwise, like I said to Cassandra, I’m definitely not the herald, and I don’t even believe much in a maker, all I want to do is close the rifts that are letting all kinds of horrible enemies pile into my world from the fade.

dragonageroguecolorI’m looking forward to making more important decisions in my game, I’ve already chosen to side with the Mages, and I chose to exile the Grey wardens as I did not trust them. I imagined that they’d cause future problems for me if I let them stay. Although, making decisions, like in real life, always makes me a bit anxious, wondering if I’ve chosen the “right” option for my character, and for my companions. However, I was rewarded so much with choosing Mages over the Templars, that mission has been my favourite so far.

There’s a lot of exploring and “farming” of materials needing to be done in this game, but it’s not a problem for me at all, I definitely don’t see it as a chore and I even get totally lost in the game doing it because the maps are so beautiful. The level designers did an astounding job, and I often catch myself staring into beautiful vistas. By far the most magnificent beings in the game are the dragons, watching a dragon fly around the beautiful scenery is breathtaking. I haven’t actually killed my first dragon yet, although I’m planning on doing that tomorrow, hopefully it won’t go as badly as the first time I stumbled upon a dragon when I was a level 4, basically the dragon sneezed and it wiped out everyone, including myself, in five seconds flat.

I haven’t actually seen coffee in the Dragon Age universe, there are plenty of pubs though, so maybe this week we’d have pale ales instead, propping up the bar in Skyhold.

If you’d like to take part in the Weekend Coffee Share, be sure to check out Part Time Monsters blog! :)

Happy Mother’s Day! #WeekendCoffeeShare 3

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If we were having coffee, I think I’d have a smoothie because I’ve already reached my caffeine limit for today! I needed it to get me through the mountain of cleaning.
Today is Mother’s Day, so if you’re a mum, I hope you’re having a lovely day. My mum, my daughter and I celebrated it yesterday, we went shopping and had lunch together, it was really lovely. I made a comic for my Mum’s card and had it printed on a mug too. it looked so cool! I was so happy with the way it turned out, and my Mum really loved it.

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I’ve had a busy week, I’ve been working hard and making the effort to go outside. I usually get a really high amount of anxiety whenever I have to go anywhere, so I’m trying to work through it. I have been quite successful actually, and am really quite proud of myself. I have been attending art classes on a Wednesday, and actually, whilst drawing, I totally forgot I was in a strange place and felt really comfortable in the situation. This hasn’t happened to me before! All the people there seemed lovely, and I ended up sketching a daffodil and an eye.

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My little one has also been arty this week. On Friday we had an art and craft night, and she painted Jupiter and two cute little astronauts. When she’s finished it, I’ll have to show you, it’s so awesome! She’s so talented! She bought me a lovely card for Mother’s Day, and a little teddy ornament and she also made me two cards in school.

I started playing Dragon Age: Inquisition this week. So far, I’m really enjoying it, and I can’t wait to do some Dragon Age art. I called my character Shepard (Because of Mass Effect), and made her look pretty Shepard-like. I’m convinced Bioware are geniuses. There is not another game developer out there that make stories that I get so invested in. V from Verbal Spew was one of the people that convinced me to get it. She’s recently written a post about Dragon Age, and I highly recommend you read it and give her a follow if you aren’t already! Her blog is awesome!

I’m really enjoying getting back into The Walking Dead. I just hate waiting a whole week to watch another episode. It’s definitely my favourite TV series. I’ve also been binge watching Orphan Black, I’ve seen the episodes before, but it’s amazing what you pick up when you binge watch, and I’m all about the detail!

I’m STILL working on that art piece I was talking about last week, but what with Mother’s Day I made drawing my Mum’s card the priority.
Anyway, I have so much ironing to do, school uniforms and the like, so I’d better get back to it. I hope you’re having an awesome weekend, and I hope you have a great Mother’s Day.
x

To take part in #weekendcoffeeshare head over to Part Time Monsters blog, to add your links, and join us for coffee :)

Coffee and Comics #WeekendCoffeeShare 2.

coffee2If we were having coffee, I’d ask for the biggest size there. I’m going to need it! My favourite coffee is a gingerbread latte, tastes so good!

If we were having coffee, I’d talk about how I had parents evening this week at my daughter’s school. Her teacher is pretty impressed with my little one’s work. She’s doing so well at school, I feel like I’m bursting with pride, it’s hard to not talk about my little one, but she is my everything. I have some handwriting of hers to show you, all of her school books look like this, so neat and tidy, my handwriting looks childish in comparison! Oh and by the way, her handwriting is in Welsh.

handwritingI’d also tell you about my week. I’ve mostly been drawing this week, I really wanted to post more often on my blog but I’m still struggling to draw fast enough. I’ve been working on one of my drawings for a whole week and haven’t finished yet. I only get one or two hours a day to do it though, what with being a mum and other responsibilities. However, I have a preview of my draw for you.

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I think I’ve realised that I’m supposed to be single. Everyone usually laughs when I say this but, the more I think about it, the more I think it’s very true. That just might be because I’m very recently single, but relationships, even good ones, make me crazy, for real, I have mental health problems and they get worse when I’m in a relationship. Lately, I’ve had a lot of time to think about things, and I think it’s because I neglect myself when I’m in a relationship. When I’m single, my little one comes first as she does when I’m in a relationship, but when single, when little one’s away with my mum, I take care of myself, I do things that make me happy, I put myself first and I even have dates with myself, but I stop doing that when I’m in a relationship. Putting myself first really helps me stay healthy in mind. Therefore, I am mostly fine about breaking up, and have been making an effort to do nice things for myself.

One of the fun things I’ve been doing this week, is getting back into Destiny, the game. I took a long break from it, mostly because it got boring doing the same things everyday, but I’ve really really missed playing with my friends, so I’ve been reconnecting with them, and had a really good time. My favourite character in Destiny is the Titan, mine’s at level 31, and I also have a Hunter at level 31. Here’s my titan that I drew on Affinity Designer for Mac.

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Isn’t she cool?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about some exciting news I have! I’m going to open a shop at redbubble and sell some of my comics on shirts and all the other cool things they offer. I will be donating all proceeds from the shop to the b-eat charity. B-eat are an amazing charity and do a lot of work with sufferers of eating disorders. If the shop is successful, I’d consider producing my own line of products, but as I cannot predict if it will be a monetary success, I decided that I’d donate my test run to charity, then everyone wins!

Hopefully I’ll be able to finish my Mass Effect draw so I can post more this week, until then, I’ll see you next week for another coffee.
Have a lovely weekend, while I take another coffee to go.

If you would like to take part in this blog challenge and join us for coffee, please go to part time monsters blog to add or view the links!

 

 

Happy St. Davids Day – #Weekendcoffeeshare

ifwewerehavingcoffeeIf we were having coffee… the first thing I would say is, “Happy St. David’s Day!”. I’m from Wales, and my daughter attends a Welsh medium school so we celebrate St. David’s Day pretty heavily. She even wore the little Welsh lady outfit to school on Friday, which you can see in this little comic I made for you. I wonder how many more years she’ll happily wear this to school for, I’m thinking next year will be the last.

HappyStDavidsDayIt was a rough week at first, getting back into the routine of school after my daughter had been off school the week previous because it was half term. I’m rubbish with altering my routine, but thankfully, mentally I’ve still been pretty good, I’m just suffering a bit physically. This is probably the longest time I’ve been in a normal phase of my mood disorder for years, I’m guessing the new medication I’m taking, Sertraline, on top of the Quetiapine I take at night is really helping me.

As I’ve been feeling really good mentally, it’s given me a lot of hope so I’ve actually been making the most of the feeling of awesomeness and been concentrating my efforts on my comics. I just need to learn how to complete them a little faster so I can keep on top of them, at the moment they take me a few hours each. I think I need to watch a few YouTube tutorials on Affinity Designer (The program I use to draw comics on my Mac) to learn some more skills. I’m completely self taught, the internet can be such a brilliant learning tool.

I’ve been gaming a lot less this week, mostly because I’ve been concentrating on my comics instead, and in terms of my free time, I have to choose between gaming or drawing, that is until I learn how to complete my comics a little faster. However, right now I’m bored of most of my games anyway, and am waiting impatiently for the end of March to come so I can play Borderlands, and Battlefield Hardline on my Xbox One, I’m so excited for these games!

I also had some pretty awesome news this week, I’m going to be taking part in another conference! I really enjoyed being a part of the “People Factor” conference, where I spoke in front of two hundred people, so I’m really excited for this new one. I think it will be even better because I know exactly what to expect so hopefully I’ll be a little less shaky with my nerves! I will be talking about my eating disorder and my recovery from it in order to help and give hope to the other patients of the NHS.

My little one also had some awesome news this week, she came first for her handwriting in the Eisteddfod! An Eisteddfod is a whole school competition type event which was part of the school’s St. David’s Day celebrations. She was really happy and excited to show me her certificate when I collected her from school on Friday, and we celebrated with a movie, manicures and a chip shop dinner. Little one makes me beam with pride on a daily basis.

I think I’ve decided that I’m going to focus all my energy on this blog instead of my other one. I just have too many limitations in time with all the projects I want to do, and it’s better to have one awesome blog instead of many rushed and incomplete blogs.

I hope you all have a Happy St. David’s Day, even if you’re not Welsh. :)

I loved the idea of a coffee share, so I just had to get involved, if you would also like to get involved or have a look at the other blogs taking part please check out Part Time Monster’s blog :)

 

 

 

Eating Disorders Awareness Week- My weight then and now.

It’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so I thought I’d do a few posts about my struggles with eating disorders. I’m 3 years into recovery, and have been a healthy weight for 2 of those years.

What I felt about my weight then – With an Eating Disorder.

My life, when I was anorexic, used to be ruled by numbers. My weight, BMI etc. I had diaries full of documenting my weight changes and calories, instead of diaries detailing life events.

ScalefinishedMy eating disorder didn’t start out this way though. I didn’t get ill because I wanted to be thin. I was around 7 years old when I first started having problems with food. I had a few traumatic life events happen to me that I couldn’t even begin to comprehend, and even now as a 31 year old adult, I still struggle with what happened. The weight fixation was a symptom that cropped up after I had fully sunk into my eating disorder. When I was 7 and struggling mentally, I accidentally found out one day that hunger, and feeling hungry actually made me feel better. I liked being completely empty and it gave me a weird energy which equated to increased motivation. I started skipping lunches at school, and throwing my packed lunch into the bin, even at such a young age. If something makes you feel good though, you tend to want to do that thing over and over.

I was a teenager when my weight fixation hit it’s peak and it carried on until my late 20’s when I attempted recovery. I thought I was bigger than my friends and I hated my muscly body. While other girls my age got curves, I got muscles. I have an athletic body type, I have quite defined abs right now despite never lifting weights or doing sit ups. I thought I was a lot bigger than I was, the mirror was always lying to me. I had a “voice” in my head, well, it isn’t really a voice it just feels that way, actually what I experience are eating disordered thoughts, but they didn’t feel like my own thoughts, they felt very separate to me. I know, and I always knew how important it is to feed your body, I even studied science, but my brain was telling me that eating was bad, and I was a horrible person if I gained even half a pound of weight.

Failure. FAILED. You’re horrible, useless, worthless! Now you shouldn’t eat anything at all for the rest of the day.

It’s like you get completely brainwashed by your own thoughts, because you start to believe it’s true and eventually, you can’t even access the logic in your brain anymore to fight it with. Fighting with it is actually useless anyway.

I only ever felt good about myself if I weighed myself and found that I had lost weight, despite knowing deep in the back of my mind somewhere, that I had just made myself sicker. Feeling good about myself never lasted very long though, as soon as I reached a weight loss goal, my brain made me a new one, each one more scary than the goal previous. Getting to the endless goals was what my life consisted of, and I did anything to make those goals a reality, purging – making myself sick and taking laxatives or water tablets, over exercising, serious restriction, lying to people about what I had eaten that day etc. I had a whole host of excuses lined up to give to people, bad stomach, feel sick, already eaten, stomach bug, food poisoning etc.

Having an eating disorder is awful. I felt constantly cold, constantly weak, I had palpitations, I had fuzz all over my skin because I wasn’t eating enough to heat my body, my nails would be blue, I’d feel faint and weak, I hated myself everyday, I thought I was trapped in an ED forever, I couldn’t look at myself in a mirror, and I was constantly hearing horrible things about myself in my own head. How horrible I was, what a bad mother I am, etc. When I reached my lowest weight, I took my phone to bed with me convinced I might have to call an ambulance some day soon. Despite all of these symptoms being completely awful, saying goodbye to my eating disorder felt like an impossibility. I had tried to recover a few times without medical intervention and I always ended up going through a week of bingeing and purging before going back to the way I was. It was hard to want to recover because at the time, I only ever only saw the good in what I was doing, I felt a bit better mentally about things because my ED helped me to cope. There was a large amount of denial involved with how bad things really were. After all, ED was always there for me, through everything. I thought it was who I was, and felt it was my identity. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to cope without it.

3 years ago, I went to the doctors, and was honest with them about my eating disorder, and I then told them that I wanted to recover, I was at my lowest weight ever, and didn’t think I could go on much more without something serious happening to me. I realised that I didn’t want to die, basically. What followed was a year of appointments, followed by years of ongoing outpatient treatment, and getting myself better. I’ll explain the recovery process in a bit more detail at a later date, but for now, just know that I worked extremely hard to get better despite thinking that I had been in this eating disorder for 20+ years so, “It probably won’t work for me but I’ll try anyway”. I didn’t even want to get better for me, I felt I didn’t deserve to get better, but I knew I had to for my daughter. She deserved to have a Mummy who didn’t have an eating disorder. Of course it wasn’t that easy, and recovery was traumatic and painful, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life, but it was so worth it.

How I feel about my weight now- Without an Eating Disorder.

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Today, I am a healthy weight and have been ever since, apart from a few ups and downs that are to be expected in recovery. I don’t know exactly what my weight is, last time I was weighed was a year ago, I was just over BMI 20 and I think I’ve gained weight since then. Weighing myself is too triggering, so I don’t ever weigh myself anymore unless I’m supervised. I think differently about my weight now, most of the time it doesn’t even cross my mind. When I’m feeling good, I don’t care what my weight is, I just want to stay well. Eating more gives certain benefits, more energy (although I would have argued with you until I was blue in the face that not eating gives me more energy), anything I do now, like art and gaming etc, I can do SO MUCH BETTER when I’ve eaten enough food. I don’t think about food or weight or calories all the time, I don’t constantly watch triggering TV shows like Supersize vs Superskinny. I’m hardly ever cold unless it is really cold outside. I never feel weak or dizzy, and I don’t have palpitations anymore.

I do still have times when eating is really hard. It almost feels like it’s completely automatic, if something bad happens, I don’t want to eat, and I want to lose weight to deal with it and I get attacked by intrusive eating disordered thoughts. Also, I sometimes go through periods of struggling with the fact I feel fat and how much weight I’ve gained since recovery. However, I’ve learnt to accept that part of my eating disorder will always be there. Recovery is, still sometimes having these thoughts (Although they won’t be as intrusive, and you certainly won’t have them 24/7 anymore!), but with the ability to not listen to them anymore. Recovery will give you the tools to be able to do that. My brain wants me to not eat at difficult times, but actually my body really needs me to eat to get through it, and if I eat and am a healthy weight, I can play video games and do art to the best of my ability, and I really cannot do that when I don’t eat. I cannot be me when I don’t eat, I cannot be me at a lower weight. My eating disorder was never my identity, it was my illness which I’ve worked hard to get better from, and now I am me, and my likes and interests keep me going. When things are tough, I remind myself how horrible it was to have an ED, I remind myself of the symptoms I’ve mentioned in this post, and eventually, the bad patch goes away, and I’ll stop thinking I’m fat, and I’ll carry on not caring about what I look like and I’ll again want to eat pizza, because pizza is so awesome. My diaries are now full of actual things instead of numbers. Numbers don’t reflect who I am as a person anymore, although actually, they never really did.

 

 

10 Years of Being Your Mummy.

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Dearest Little One,
Happy Birthday! Ten years old! I want to tell you a little story about being your Mummy. Before I had you, I never thought that I could love someone as much as I love you but I loved you before I even met you.

20weekscanThis was the second time I saw you, and I could already tell how beautiful you were. I could feel it. They told me I was having a girl, but I already guessed, a little princess. Pregnancy was amazing, for the first time in my life, I loved my body, and I think it was because I felt beautiful because of you. Your beauty was emanating through my veins, and through my heart. I loved watching my bump grow, and I loved feeling you kick. You were a very active baby, and I used to play with you with sounds and light, because you could already see and hear, and you would play back by kicking me. My favourite part of pregnancy was when you had hiccups while the midwife was listening to your heartbeat, it was the cutest sound I have ever heard. I loved you so much already, and couldn’t imagine loving you even more than I did then, but I was wrong.

On the day you were born, after you kept me waiting 4 days for your arrival, I was bowled over by love. It was a kind of love that knocks you off your feet, but in the nicest possible way. You were the perfect little baby, and I couldn’t believe you were mine, because you were such a beautiful perfect tiny baby, with the reddest lips, tiny hands and tiny little toes. Little one, you made me cry tears of joy, it was as if the love filled me up so much, it had to be released through tears or I might have exploded like a creeper in Minecraft.

The first year of your time on this planet flew by remarkably fast, when I look back now it’s as though that year went by at lightspeed. You were a brilliant baby, never fussed or cried “too much”. I could take you anywhere, and people would be surprised at how good you were, they would approach me just to tell me how beautiful you were and how well behaved. You were always and are still remarkably clever for your age.

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I loved pushing you in your pushchair. I’d take you to town to see Nannie on her lunch break, we also went to the park hundreds of times, and to the zoo. It feels like yesterday that I was carrying you in your pushchair down the stairs outside my flat, it’s really hard to believe that was ten years ago. I have a theory that you experience time differently when you have children, before I had you, ten years felt like an extremely long time, but the ten years you’ve been a part of my life have just flown by. I guess it’s really just Einsteins relativity though, because I’ve been happier since I’ve had you, so time has been passing quicker for me. At the same time that it doesn’t feel like ten years since I gave birth to you, when I look back at my life, I feel like you’ve always been a part of it. I feel like you’re the reason for my whole existence, and everything leading up to your birth happened just so I could bring you into the world. Earth is a better planet since your arrival on it, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re meant to be here, Earth needed you, I needed you, Nannie needed you, everyone needed you.

StarwarsrhiocarysIn the last few years, you’ve become your own person, independent of me. This transition you’ve been through has been absolutely amazing to watch. I feel like I love you more with everyday that passes, and you’ve become my best friend as well as my beautiful daughter. I love playing with you so much and when I do, I feel like I’m your age, and that we are best friends playing together. I sometimes have to remind myself that I’m actually your Mummy. You’ve grown into such a confident young lady, and I really love that you’re so strong in what you like and dislike. You have to like what you like and if it’s different from the “normal” that’s okay, because little one, there really isn’t a normal, and you need to like what you like because I’m sure that’s where happiness lies. I guess what I’m trying to say is, always, always be you, no matter what because you are awesome and I love you for who you are independent of myself. Other people will also love you for who you are, so that’s the person you need to be, you.

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Now, I know I’ve said that you’ve made me a happier person since you came into my world, but I know that you know that I’ve still been sad sometimes. I’ve told you about Mummy’s mental health, and you know that I sometimes get too sad and that it’s not your fault. However, I have still been a happier person since I met you, and you, little one, are the reason Mummy is doing so well right now. You are also the reason that Mummy doesn’t have an eating disorder anymore. I struggled with wanting to get better for myself, I felt as though I didn’t deserve to get better. I know this is a difficult thing for you to understand, but know that you are the reason I did get better, you are the reason Mummy works so hard everyday to get herself better. You are why she takes medication and does everything she needs to do to get better. I may have thought that I didn’t deserve to get better, but I knew you deserved to have a Mummy who would eat food with you and eat enough so that she wasn’t ill anymore. I’m sorry that you had to see me like that little one, but you saved me and not only that you helped me get better. When I was gaining weight, you hugged me and said,

“I love hugging you even more now Mummy, because you’re not so boney”.

You definitely are my superhero. When I have a depressive episode, like just recently, I get to a real low point, do you know who I see when I’m there? You, telling me how much you love me, and you give me the strength I need to fight until tomorrow, always. I think it’s awesome that you love comic books, I really think it’s because you are a superhero, so you like to read about other superheroes just like you.

Oh dearest little one, I love you so much always, and even when I am sad, you are the only one on this planet with the ability to make me smile through it. In fact, my nurses, when they’ve been here, and I’ve been crying, they get me to talk about you, and I smile, and they say that my face lights up just mentioning your name. They know too, how very special you are.

I hope you had the best birthday ever, and I can’t wait to see the kind of person you are ten years from now, I have a feeling that you’re going to be a very special adult.
Happy Birthday little one. My princess, my superhero, my beautiful daughter.

Love

Mummy
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[Comic] – Recovery is…

Recovery isThis is certainly the case for me anyway.
It kind of lurks in the back of my broken brain, waiting. So I ignore any eating disordered thoughts I have, and have learnt to deal with the fact that they’ll probably always be there. It gets easier to ignore over time, there are days when things are tough, but there are days when I don’t have any ED thoughts at all.

Comic drawn on pixelmator for Mac.