'How many 'likes'? Does it matter?' inspired by Jo Elvin

Most monthly magazines start with an editor's letter and Jo Elvin is the wonderful editor of Glamour (just incase you didn't know). Glamour is my all time favourite magazine, hands down. I buy it every month without fail just because I know it will have articles I can relate to and stories that will make me stop and think about life. It isn't your typical magazine filled with gossip and that is one of the many reasons why I love it!

In the final months of 2015 Jo's letter was called 'How many 'likes'? Does it matter?'. I remember sitting at work on my lunch break reading this and in my head agreeing with every word that Jo had written. One phrase that really stuck in my head, still there now was along the lines of 'someone will always think you're a shit'. You know what, whoever gave Jo this advice is so right. Someone will always think you're a shit, we can't please everyone and we can't make everyone like us. But that's okay.

So 'How many 'likes'? Does it matter?'.

It won't come as a shock to anyone that we live in a world that is filled with constant internet access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So many of us use the cyber world to communicate with each other instead of speaking to one another face to face. This upsets me because you really can't beat human interaction, speaking to someone face to face, being in someones company that isn't a million miles away.

Don't get me wrong though because I love the cyber world just as much as the next person, it opens us up to so much more of the world, so many more possibilities, so many more experiences, so many more relationships.

But at what point does the internet become a bad place? In my opinion one of the downfalls of the internet is the constant access, the constant access to compare ourselves to others, the constant access no matter what our mood is. Sometimes the internet is a devil in disguise.

We are all humans and we all just want to be accepted. Accepted for who we are and for who we are not. What makes us feel accepted most online though? The likes? The favourites? The retweets? The mentions? The shout outs? The followers? All of these are just numbers, figures that do not define us as a person.

I wanted to write this post to just address the topic and reassure you (plus myself in the process).

I just want you to know that if you get 4 likes it doesn't make you any else of an amazing person than the person online who got 4,000 likes. You are an incredible, amazing, brave, unique, strong, inspiring person regardless of how many likes you get, how many followers you have, how many retweets you get. They are all just numbers at the end of the day, but you know what single number does matter...1. The one person behind the online account...you, you are important, you matter. Never forget that. You can't please everyone, not everyone will like you, you won't like everyone and that's okay.

Never forget, 'someone will always think you're a shit' but that doesn't matter ('shake it off, shake it off'), we are all different and unique, just be the best you that you can be.

the comparison game, it's pointless.

Recently I've been comparing myself to others a little more than usual because I've recently found out that one of my ex boyfriends is living with his girlfriend and they're expecting a baby, another is engaged and living with his fiancee. I'm absolutely no way near either of them stages in my life but obviously as soon as I found out about them I was down and started to doubt myself, doubting my life. Yes, it was years ago we were together (I've been single for seven years now..and I'm totally ok with that) but I also find that certain people will always stick in your head and have a special place in your heart for a long time, especially if they meant something to you. If someone is in my life then I'll give them my all, admittedly sometimes it isn't wanted but that's just who I am.

I've been feeling really down about this, I haven't just been comparing myself to my two exes I've been comparing myself to everyone around my age it seems, so I thought I'd write about it because talking about whatever is bothering me helps and someone somewhere will be able to relate to this.

I'm completely understanding that things change and people move on but that doesn't make it easy. I know they are just living their lives and rightly so. They aren't doing any of this to hurt me, they've probably forgotten all about me completely. But I guess though when you're in a relationship you don't always see an end to it, you expect that person to stay in your life. I'm a lot more aware now that some people don't stick around but you know what, I'm not going to let that make me bitter. It's just the way life goes sometimes, I'm still hopeful that one day someone will walk into my life and prove me wrong. 

I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is to not care what other people are doing with their lives, it's exactly that...their lives and not yours. But unfortunately it isn't always that easy, so I'm going to share with you a few things I've learnt when it comes to comparing yourself to others (cos I'm starting to feel a little bit of a pro at this)!...

Social media is the worst thing for you when you are in self comparison mode, you'll be scrolling through profiles and thinking 'why is everything so perfect for them?'. Stop right there, nothing is ever perfect and a picture doesn't really capture what's going on in someones life. Some people might post happy pictures as a front, to make people jealous of their lives. Don't be sucked in by this. Live your life, your way and get off social media every now and then. It's good for your soul, honestly try it...there's a whole world out there.

Don't let comparing yourself to others make you bitter, every single persons life is moving at a different pace and that's ok. Your life will work out just the way it's meant to eventually. Photos tend to be the things I compare my life to most but don't let them make you sad. Instead twist your thoughts around. Be happy for people, it will make you a better person and you'll feel a lot more self worth.

You don't have to blend in, you don't have to be doing what everyone else is doing. It's cool not to be 'cool'. One example, I'm twenty four and I've still not been out 'clubbing' because that just doesn't appeal to me but does that make me any less of a person? No, it doesn't. I could write a nice long list of things I haven't done that I 'should' be doing or 'should' have done by now, but that doesn't make me any less of a person and it doesn't make you any less of one either.

Follow upbeat, inspiring and motivational accounts online instead. I'm sure when a lot of people see inspiring and upbeat quotes they want to grab the nearest sick bucket but I don't, I'm a sucker for a positive quote...throw them all my way please and thank you. One of my favourite Instagram accounts right now is nakedwithanxiety. I'll share with you a screenshot of her account and I personally think if you don't follow her you're missing out. Danielle (the girl behind the account) will remind you daily that you are important, that you are amazing, that you are worthy. Her daily reminders just put a smile on my face and make my day a little bit better. We must remember we are never alone, ever.

When you are comparing yourself to others it feels like a very lonely time but it doesn't have to be, someone will be there to listen. Even if it means having to write a blog post about it, someone will listen and you'll feel less alone. 

Reality check, life isn't always sunshine and flowers. Sometimes life is pants and that's ok. This post will hopefully be a little reminder to you that you don't have to be doing everything that everyone else is doing. Just be you and live your life the way you want to live it.

are you watching Thirteen?

For those of you who haven't discovered Thirteen yet, let me introduce you to it...you can thank me later, I'm sure you will.

Thirteen is a five part drama on BBC Three. If you are already watching it like me you'll be probably thinking the same as me...only five?! ONLY FIVE BLOOMIN' EPISODES? I WANT MORE!!! Please tell me they'll be more later on?

I've been dropping Thirteen into conversations whenever and wherever I can and I highly recommend it, if you aren't already watching. I've just checked and it's available for another five months on BBCiplayer but I mean I wouldn't wait another five months to start watching it personally.

Without saying too much I'll explain what Thirteen is about...Ivy Moxam (played by Jodie Comer, incredible actress. She amazes me more and more with each episode, I feel the need after every episode to tweet her how amazing she is...compliments are nice, let's spread more kindness in the world) escapes captivity after being kidnapped thirteen years ago (but did she really get kidnapped?). Over the episodes the story unravels making you question pretty much every character on screen (surely I'm not the only one doubting them). Twists and turns through every episode leaves you wanting more. BBC Three, my friend you have done a superb job on this one.

Now after sharing a slightly blurry/edgy screen shot of the opening title let me share with you what I think so far after watching three episodes, we could be here awhile (I'd only recommend reading the next part if you've been watching Thirteen)...

Ivy, Ivy, Ivy Moxam? Hmmm, is she really Ivy? I really don't know if 'Ivy' really is Ivy, the girl who got taken thirteen years ago...did she really get kidnapped or did she run away? Leaving by choice. Her 'kidnapper' worked at Ivy's school so did she know him?

The day Ivy was kidnapped was a day she decided to bunk off school, my theory is that she actually went to school and saw her mum getting with the headteacher, there is clearly something going on between these two characters. My guess is an affair, without a doubt.

Mark White, Ivy's kidnapper? As the story unfolds more and more I'm doubting he kidnapped her. I think she wanted to be with him and the only way was if she 'disappeared'. Phoebe the little girl he has kidnapped now is just an act, a plan, a game to make Ivy jealous maybe? I think Ivy and Mark were in a secret relationship and that's why nobody will confess that Ivy actually did know Mark. So I think they were in a relationship and they had a fall out and he's fled before the police catch him because she threatened to lie? To make sure he ends up behind bars, kind of a 'if I can't have you, nobody can' way.

Ivy's behavior is beyond odd which is to be expected but I'm still unsure about her. She went back to the house with the police and didn't seem in a distressed way. Maybe she was hoping to find Mark there? During police interviews she has a very peculiar way of acting, again understandable but I'm not convinced.

Tim, Ivy's ex boyfriend...Eloise, Ivy's best friend?...something about these two makes me question what they actually know. I'm just not too sure what it is yet.

The policeman who picked Ivy up and dropped her off at the police station after her calling 999 from a telephone box in the first episode at the beginning has some involvement. As soon as he dropped Ivy off and she was in the building with the case worker he called someone, not sure who but I don't trust him.

The body found in episode 3, I'm not convinced it is Mark White's brother. It's too obvious now, I have a feeling it is the real Ivy Moxam or could it be someone completely unrelated to this story? We will soon find out I'm sure.

If you aren't already watching Thirteen, what are you waiting for?

You are watching it? Share with me your thoughts and theories about it?

Anxiety. It's part of me, it'll be here for the long run...

Life gets busy, we stop finding time to do the things we love...for me one of those things is blogging, I miss it. I just love the freedom of opening up blogger on a blank screen and being able to just write away, about whatever I want to write about, someone somewhere in the world will be able to relate.

I'm here tonight to chat away about my mental health because anxiety is seriously rearing it's ugly head in my life at the minute. But what having a mental illness has taught me is not to fight it, don't argue and battle against it. Just accept it and it will soon become easier again, so I keep telling myself anyway.

A few weeks ago I saw this tweet.

'Having a high functioning mental illness sucks when all you want to do is scream out how NOT okay you are and yet you appear totally fine...'

Inside I was screaming, cheering and shouting ''yes,yes,YESSSSS''. This single tweet made my day and opened up my eyes. We are never alone in what we think we are going through, whatever we are going through we are going through it together with someone else, always.

Mental illnesses are extremely hard to explain to someone who has never been affected. Mental illnesses aren't always a case of it being in your mind, they can and they do produce physical symptoms too. Physical symptoms that can make day to day life that little bit harder but because we look fine on the outside doesn't mean we are on the inside.

Despite anxiety being a part of me I'm still a very upbeat person and when I'm down I don't tend to let anyone see that side of me (minus last week when someone at work asked if everything was ok because I didn't seem positive, I just burst into tears...cos I'm only human and sometimes emotions just let themselves out). Tonight is one of them nights, it's not even 8pm and I'm just exhausted and quite frankly I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep.

Some people's attitude towards mental health seriously sucks, it isn't as simple as just getting on with it or it just being life. But you know what by talking about mental health problems it will soon become easier for people to understand, well I hope so anyway.

Anxiety affects my day to day life just not on the scale that it used to. It's still there, it's the feeling that makes me doubt myself, doubt my ability to do stuff. It's the physical feelings that stop me from going far and doing things. Anxiety doesn't just get easier overnight or disappear, it tends to stick around for the long run but you know what, that's ok. It'll come and go at different strengths, take it from me it does get better though and you'll deal with it better too.