What I've learnt so far with Invisalign...

I'm almost half way through my Invisalign journey, it is crazy how fast the time has gone. At the weekend I changed my aligner to number eight, eight out of seventeen. I knew I wasn't going to do a new post every single time I changed my aligner because I probably couldn't find time or energy to sit and write (I never want blogging to become a chore) so instead I thought I'd do what I've learnt so far with my Invisalign since I'm almost half way through my original set of trays. I've seen people go on about refinements, which I think are the after stages? I'm not 100% sure and there hasn't been any mention of them to me by my dentist so we'll wait and see.

So, what I've learnt so far with my Invisalign (everyone's case and treatment will be different but I thought I'd share what I've learnt so far with my experience)...

The first time you see yourself in the mirror you might think sh*t, what have I done? Is it really going to be so obvious and stick out so much? My answer is no, it isn't as obvious after a couple of days/weeks. You get used to it and it doesn't feel so weird.

Each new tray hurts for about five minutes max (I haven't timed this and we all alter) but every time I change to a new aligner/tray it hurts for about five minutes (if that) and then I (almost) completely forget about them.

Aligners are a tongue magnet. The first couple of days of having my aligner my tongue would keep investigating the aligner. It drove me potty at night time especially but a tip for you, sleep with your tongue stuck out (seriously, it worked for me)!

Removing the aligners will be hard at first but with practice you'll soon become a pro. I still remember the first day of having my Invisalign and thinking 'how on earth am I meant to take these out?'. It probably took me a good ten/fifteen minutes at the start because I just couldn't get the hang of it and I was too scared to break them. Honestly though it does get easier and you'll find a way that works best for you, keep at it!

They'll probably feel really big, alien and noticeable but they aren't that noticeable. My mum didn't even know I'd got them on my bottom teeth. Most people only know I have them in because I tell them and most people's responses are 'what?', 'invisible braces?', 'they really are invisible, you can't even tell'. So push your worries aside, they aren't as noticeable as you feel they are, plus it'll be worth it in the end. I actually remember reading someone complaining about them not being 'invisible', no they aren't fully invisible but there is a lot more noticeable ways to alter your smile. I know which route I'd rather go down.

Plastic isn't a nice flavour, but you'll get used to it (honestly, you will). If you've just started Invisalign and think the taste will never get better, it will trust me. I'm not saying it gets a nicer taste, no. You'll just get used to it, I'm guessing it tastes better than metal. Any metal brace wearers out there, what is/what was it like to have metal braces?

Brushing your teeth after every meal isn't so bad. A lot of people think this is an absolute nightmare and there is nothing worse, they are wrong. If you have Invisalign it's because you want them so you'll be happy to brush your teeth as often as needed to achieve a better smile.

Lip balms will be your life saver. I've never religiously used lip balms, I still don't but I'm trying to change that because damnnnn, your lips will be dry and cracked from all the removing of the aligners. My favourite lip balm to use is Blistex Raspberry Lemonade Blast, not only is it super scrummy but it isn't too slimey neither. Seriously on to a winner with this one. Also another recommended product is the Bubblegum Lip Scrub from Lush, again... this tastes delicious and gets rid of any flaky skin.

Goodbye nicely painted nails. Nail polish will not last long, especially not a polish that is just one colour. But I've found an alternative, I've been loving Models Own 'Jack Frost' because it's sparkly, beautiful and isn't exactly noticeable if it chips (which it will if you are having to use your fingernails to help pry of the aligner).

Other posts about my Invisalign journey...

- My Invisalign Journey, the consultation...

- My Invisalign Journey - the impressions, photos and xray

- My Invisalign Journey - it's ClinCheck time!

- My Invisalign Journey - so it becomes real...

Do you have Invisalign? Can you relate to any of theses? Let me know, I wanna hear from you!

3 years blogging!

A celebration isn't a celebration without CAKE! If I could send everyone in the world one of these delicious cupcakes I seriously would. In the meantime a photo will have to do...

5th February 2013 I decided to start a blog. WOW! Well, that feels sooo long ago now. I've come a very long way from typing my first ever post, it's been a journey in itself. Blogging is a part of my life that I never want to let go of, when I get the chance to write I absolutely love it. Expressing myself to a blank screen or the world (depending how you look at it).

I've grown so much as a person since I started blogging. I've made a few errors over time with my blog but we all make mistakes, nothing is perfect. When I started to blog I didn't expect to be where I am today. I didn't expect to get anything out of blogging, I didn't expect to make friends. I didn't even expect to actually get people reading what I had to say. But now I have regular people reading my waffle and chatting to me, it's great! I didn't expect there to be much more to my life other than my anxiety and panic attacks, look how wrong I was.

I love the freedom it gives you to express yourself. You can literally write about whatever you want, if you have a passion for something write about it. Write about what is relevant to you, whats affecting you in life, what you're going through. You'll be surprised about the response you receive. I've had nothing but lovely comments, even from people I know. You don't exactly expect people you know in real life to ever bother to read your blog but they do (sometimes). People who I know in real life reading my blog scares me a little, yet I write this and the whole world could possibly see it.

Blogging is a journey, I really hope I can continue it.

when someone believes in you, you can achieve so much...

4th February, it's time to talk day! But I personally think mental health should be a all year round topic of conversation. I talk a lot about my mental health so today I'm going to share with you three times when I believed I could do something but because of my anxiety and panic attacks other people didn't believe I was capable. I went on to find other people who did believe in me and I'm currently proving the doubters wrong!

What happens when you believe in yourself but someone else doesn't? You start to believe that the someone else must be right and that you aren't capable, you start to doubt yourself. They are wrong! Step back, do not doubt yourself. I'm going to share three times this has been the case for me.

Learning to drive
The first time I remember experiencing this doubting feeling was when I was contacting different driving instructors regarding starting driving lessons. In pretty much every email conversation I had I mentioned about my anxiety and panic attacks (it was a big part of my life) because I wanted the instructors to know what to expect. I can still to this day (almost two years later) remember the exact driving instructor it was. His response was I should wait until I was better. Wait until I'm better?! I could of been waiting a very long time.

But I eventually came across Sharon, the wonderful lady who taught me the life lesson. I didn't start lessons with Sharon start away, I got in contact a few times before I took that first step and began my driving journey. Since driving I've improved so much as a person and a lot of that is down to Sharon. Thank you for believing in me Sharon, I really am so grateful for finding you and being able to share the journey with you. I will without a doubt recommend Sharon to anyone wanting to learn to drive!

Work, work, work
I really doubted myself (but I'm certain others doubted me more) when it came to working. I wanted to work so badly to get routine and purpose. I never thought I'd be able to work for anyone other than my parents (I applied for plenty of jobs but not much came of it, minus the odd jobs I worked that didn't last long). The days of work used to be very little, I'll write another post about that actually. But how wrong was I? I've been working since May last year and I now work four days a week, nine til five which is a pretty great achievement for me. Yet the 'normal' for others. Luckily I started off working Monday to Friday nine til twelve, but as the work load got bigger and I understood it more, hours increased. I'm so grateful that I get a mid week day off because I know full well I need the work/life balance to maintain a positive, happy state of mind (which is a little hit and miss at the minute). I was working every day but it got too much. My boss is amazing, no doubt about it!

I don't think anyone is a fan of the dentists, surely? After a horrible experience with a dentist I attempted to find a new dentist. I went to this new dentists two or three times. The most recent and last time I'll be going there was for a filling (it is currently my glue dot because it doesn't match my tooth) but there was also talk of braces. He basically explained that it would be a long process, I was very much already aware of that. He said he would refer me to an orthodontist but nothing ever came of that conversation, it came across that he didn't think I understood or would be capable of completing the treatment after panicking a little.

Well, I can safely say I proved him wrong too! I started my Invisalign journey in November/December and things are going great. All down to my new lovely dentist, who put me at ease the second I walked into his room. He is such a calming guy who gives off such a positive vibe. A highly professional dentist (still a human who understands) who clearly cares for his patients and takes pride in his work but is still very down to earth. Thank you Ihsan, I don't think you realise just how much it means.

Three occasions, three people. People all vary, some people will understand you, some people won't. Some people will be kind, others will be cruel. Find the nice people in the world and hold on to them! (not literally, they might find that a little creepy)...

Have you ever felt like people don't understand you? They think you are incapable of things because of your mental health? I think a lot of this is down to the stigma and misunderstandings surrounding mental health. Because we can't see it, we don't talk about it, because we don't see it, we don't believe it's real. Trust me, it is very real.

We all have a mental health, some of us just have a few problems with ours. One of the best places to go for help is your doctor. But you can also use online services too like these two incredible charities... Mind and time to change. Head on over to the websites even if you don't personally live with a mental illness, it might open up your eyes a little bit. Plus the truth is you could be affected at any point in your life.

Have you ever experienced something similar to me? Get in touch, I wanna hear about it :) Let's chat!

'surely you should be doing this'...said the voice in my head

Aaahh, it feels so good to be able to just sit down and write away my thoughts and worries. Anxiety seems to create an awful lot of them for me, it's kind like that (I'm kidding)! It's a real pain in the bum. Admittedly I wouldn't change it because it has made me a much stronger person.

Yesterday felt like such a down day for me, I was so close to tears a few times during the day. All because I've been comparing my life to others. Note to self, do not follow ex's on social media, it will just make you unhappy seeing them happy with someone else.

I was comparing my beginning of my journey to others middle. My inside life to their outside life. Comparing myself to others won't help in the slightest, it will just make me miserable and I'm not a fan of being miserable.

I'm writing this post as a way of expressing myself, getting the thoughts that are swimming around in my head out into the open. Writing these thoughts and feelings down will give them less power over me, it will set them free and hopefully someone else can relate (I'm certain I'm not the only person who feels like this).

Writing has helped me so much over the years, my little blog has helped me so much. I don't think you'll understand just how much, unless you blog yourself then you'll understand the feelings you get with having a blog. I feel like I've let blogging slip away out of my grasp with work but I don't want that to be the case, I love blogging and I want to get back in to it but it's ok to take a step or two back and then step forward whenever you are ready. I feel like I'm waffling now, OOOOOPPPS!

I'm comparing my life to others, the 'normal' things I haven't done that I probably should have done by now. But I guess no two people are actually the same, we all have different funny little ways, different techniques of dealing with things, different ways of living our own lives.

I probably 'should' have a boyfriend. I've been single for 7 years, 7 whole years quick sign me up on every online dating site going (I'm kidding)! It doesn't usually bother me at all in the slightest but I just feel like there is so much pressure to be in a relationship. I'm honestly hand on heart happy being single. I've been on my own for so long I'd find it very hard to share my life with someone. I'm sure I'll eventually find someone and be happier (I say happier because it can only be an improvement cos I'm happy just being me).

I probably 'should' have been abroad. Yes, I'm that ridiculous, I'm comparing myself to people because I've never been on a plane or left the UK. Is that really such a big deal? I don't think so, my brain tells me otherwise.

I 'should' probably be travelling to different places. That's never really been me though, I'd much rather admire the beauty on my own doorstep. I'm not much of a traveler, I've never traveled far with anxiety and I can't imagine it would go overly well.

I 'should' probably be looking at moving out. But I don't feel the need to. I don't have anyone to move out with, why should living at home feel so bad? I think I'm just being ridiculous about this one.

Ok, I shouldn't care what other people think about me. I shouldn't even care what rubbish my brain is feeding me. I should alter my thoughts a lot more, I'm doing a lot better than I was a few years ago. Everyone's journey is different and I really shouldn't care about anyone's but my own. The one I'm actually living.

Please feel free to share with me your random thoughts you have in your head, the things you feel like you 'should' be doing by now but aren't...come on, let's break the rules together!