Adventure, Author, Book Publishing, Career, Creative, Teaching, Writing

End of an Era?

Hi Everyone, I’m sorry it’s been so long…

How are you? How have you found the last few months? I feel this post is all about me, so please share anything you’d like to celebrate about your own life in the comments!

TL;DR – A lengthy essay detailing recent happenings and life changes. Honestly, I’m not expecting you to want to read the entire post, it’s more for my own ‘journal of life experiences’, so in the future I can look back to appreciate how far I’ve come. If you do manage to read this entire blog post, congratulations! You now know more about what’s going on in my life than most of my own friends and relatives do πŸ™‚

After four years of hard work, my BA (Hons) English Literature & Creative Writing with The Open University is complete! While I longed to achieve a First-Class degree, I may just miss out and am predicted a 2:1 classification – which I’m told is still pretty impressive, considering my status as a mature student who works full time and has a hectic home life. I hope that my experience will inspire others to embark on a degree, if it’s something they’ve always wanted to do, because if I can do it so can you πŸ™‚

However, I have found the last few months – well, last few years if I’m being honest – overwhelming. My schedule has been so saturated with work that I’ve felt time slipping by uncontrollably. While I love writing, adore reading, and enjoy studying, I underestimated how much time would be taken working for myself as a ghostwriter while studying towards a degree full-time. I am still passionate about writing, though recently, I’ve been forced to reconsider my ambitions…

For around a year, I was determined to work in education. It has always been my intention to make a difference for the better through the work I do, and I was seriously considering transforming my love of learning into teaching, with a view to inspiring young minds by helping them realise their potential. Then, after revisiting lessons learned through past work experience, I realised that my short stature and high-pitched voice are not conducive to controlling a rowdy class of thirty unruly children. I also considered working for the special educational needs sector, but I sought the advice of a fantastic careers advisor with the OU who explained that – while it’s entirely up to me what I do with my life – I’d not necessarily be utilising the skills earned through my degree, due to there being very few progression opportunities, unless I pursued teaching or management.

The careers advisor also made an excellent point – to make a difference to the world for the better, I don’t have to make others the focus of my work; she suggested I think carefully about what brings me joy, and pursue a path that allows me to make a difference outside of work, if there are jobs out there I’d excel in that aren’t directly driven towards helping others. Besides, as the careers advisor pointed out, once I have my degree, I can always change my mind to go into teaching at any point in my career – whether that’s teaching children in school and young people in college, or even adults in further/higher education – and it was pointed out that no-one is ever ‘too old’ to pursue a Masters or further qualifications, which is something to be mindful of in future.

Many of the recommendations made by the careers advisor focused on careers in publishing, or content creation for marketing purposes, because those roles would utilise my degree/ghostwriting experience and could support the improvement of my own writing without the constant, unrelenting workload I’ve had since working for myself. Working in a 9-5 role could give me the freedom to make a difference for the better in my free time, such as setting up a local creative writing group for disadvantaged young people.

(Plus: despite the fact my emetophobia has been improving considerably over the last couple of years, now that I have more recent experience of working with children, I realise that while I thoroughly enjoy working with young people, the anxiety caused by my phobia can make the working environment uncomfortable at times – which is not ideal when my focus should be on student wellbeing and not on trying to prevent myself from having a panic attack because a child said they were sick recently, or they feel sick, or they look ill, etc. That was the reason I chose not to pursue primary school teaching when I about to leave school. It’s a goal of mine to complete The Thrive Programme soon, but if emetophobia rears its ugly head and suddenly makes me feel so anxious that I can’t support a student properly when they need me most, then I’d end up feeling I’d failed in my objective to make a difference for the better. Ultimately, I am determined that I will overcome emetophobia, at least to the point I can do normal activities everyone else seems to take for granted without feeling anxious constantly. But, as I work to improve my own mental health and self-confidence, I think I’d be better suited to a role that doesn’t involve the risk of dealing with triggering situations on a daily basis.)

So, I’ve spent several sleepless nights thinking about my options and countless hours discussing where I should be (with anyone who will listen!). I’ve found some amazing opportunities that include an array of different job titles, like ‘proofreader’, ‘editorial assistant’, and ‘content creator’ – and, better still, some of those opportunities even involve working for educational institutions, or publishers of children’s literature, which would allow me to use my experience of working with children AND my degree/ghostwriting experience!

Therefore, is the completion of my university course the end of an era, or the beginning of an exciting, new adventure? I hope it’ll be the latter πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, despite the lifting of restrictions, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for many businesses:

First, I was represented by the fabulous company Top Rated Ghostwriters for two years, though they sadly had to close down due to unforeseen losses caused by the pandemic. It was an honour to have been represented by such a fantastic company, and having the opportunity to work with a team of amazing ghostwriters was brilliant – I cannot thank Top Rated Ghostwriters enough for their support and encouragement.

The loss of an agent is another factor that has forced my decision to limit the ghostwriting projects I take on in future – because I no longer have a ghostwriting support system in place if ever I need help, advice, or encouragement. However, I do intend to continue working on smaller-scale ghostwriting projects when I have time, such as those for charitable organisations or memoir writing, because there are so many fascinating stories out there just waiting to be told – I’d love to use my experiences to bring those stories to life, especially for people who may not otherwise be able to afford to do so πŸ™‚

Second, Wordcatcher Publishing became a victim of the pandemic, too. Not only did Wordcatcher Publishing traditionally publish two of my books, but the company also gave me the opportunity to work as a publishing assistant – which provided me with invaluable experience that I may never have had otherwise. I learned so much while working for Wordcatcher Publishing, from proofreading and working with authors on various editorial projects, to typesetting manuscripts for print and managing book metadata. I am incredibly grateful for the publishing experience I gained at Wordcatcher, and it was a pleasure to work with so many wonderfully talented authors – several of whom have become my friends!

As a result of the closure of Wordcatcher Publishing, however, I now have to re-publish my debut novel – Larry – and series of short stories – Animals’ Guide to the Human Race. Although I have now completed my university studies, my time is still extremely limited, so I have decided to edit Larry and AGTTHR for the very last time in every spare moment I can find, with a view to self-publishing them through either KDP or Ingram Spark in the very near future.

A little bit of good news – for those who enjoy my writing – five years in the making, I still haven’t given up on my series of YA sci-fi novels! I am crafting a dynamic cast of characters for my sci-fi series that, I hope, will help readers feel more confident within themselves, alongside the inspiration to act with greater compassion towards others – my novels will also be packed with mystery, suspense, conspiracy theories, and super-advanced tech that requires significant research to write coherently. So please ‘watch this space’ for updates…

Thank you, once again, for your continued support! You are incredible, and I am honoured that you’ve chosen to spend your time with me (well, with my words, to be precise) πŸ™‚ <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Adventure, Animals, Author, Creative, Happiness, Life, Mindfulness, Positivity, Self-Love, Share Your Story, Uncategorized, Writing

Turning Thirty – Life Lessons Learned

Heyy πŸ™‚

Hope all is well with you!

So, I’ve reached the big ‘three-ohh’ :O And I felt it pertinent that I share with you those invaluable pearls of wisdom I wish I’d been privy to before turning 30…

First, however, I’ll just say that my 30th birthday was made so special by loved ones – for which I am eternally grateful! Not only have I received the loveliest birthday wishes, cards, and gifts, but I have been reminded how very fortunate I am to be loved by so many wonderful people (and animals!) – I cannot thank the universe enough πŸ™‚

Here are a few photos from yesterday, when I: ate a marvellous chocolate cupcake for breakfast (because, you know, I’m officially an adult now, so I’m allowed to do that sort of thing); walked through an autumnal landscape on the cusp of transformation with my lovely dog; spent some rare quality time writing for my own literary projects; rode my beautiful pony for the first time in forever, and didn’t fall off when she bucked into canter (#winning); went for a deliciously indulgent meal with my wonderful fiancΓ©, during which time I polished off an entire glass of wine (those who know me know it usually takes me so long to get through an alcoholic beverage, that I rarely have time to finish them!) – then almost fell over on the walk home… πŸ˜›

Anyways, to the task at hand…

Please note: these ‘life lessons’ are not in order of importance, though I hope at least one of them will be of value to you πŸ™‚

1.) Love is a life force – never take it for granted.

Whatever form love takes – whether from family, friends, your romantic partner, or your dog – cherish it. I am incredibly fortunate to never have known life without love, though after some pretty devastating experiences in my 30 years on this planet, I have come to realise that love is enough to keep you going when times are tough, and it should never be taken for granted. Tell the ones you love how infinitely you love them every day, make time to spend with the people (and animals) who let you know how important you are to them, and be thankful; you never know what’s lurking just around the corner.

2.) Trust your instincts.

I don’t mean fleeting thoughts or impulsive feelings, I’m referring to those innate, soulful vibes that indicate from somewhere, deep down, whether or not a situation is right. Trusting your instincts requires a significant amount of soul searching, and it doesn’t always lead to pleasing those around you. I’ve made the dreadful mistake of failing to trust my instincts, of ignoring the indicators that something wasn’t quite right, and landing in situations that have not only cost me my sanity, but my sense of self-worth, too.

It can take years to escape a situation if you’re tricked into believing it’s as life is supposed to be, or that your happiness is worth less than the acceptance of people surrounding you at the time. This is your sign to respect the gift nature has bestowed upon you through your instincts – from my own experiences I can tell you wholeheartedly that if something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.

Likewise, listening to that inner voice can lead to true contentment, if you let it. Sometimes, the right path is not the path forced upon us. Trusting your instincts can be difficult, and can make you feel a cacophony of mixed emotions, but, ultimately, there’ll come a day you sit back and realise that trusting yourself was the best thing you’ve ever done.

3.) Kindness is key – in moderation.

Generations of my family have been documented as having lost everything in pursuit of kindness. I’ve been taught to sacrifice consideration of myself in favour of caring for others. Kindness has brought me so much joy, but it has also led to mistreatment and disrespect.

I implore everyone to treat others with kindness; you never know what someone else is going through. Kindness keeps the world turning, and saves lives every second of every day. However, showering people with kindness, respect, and affection does not necessarily guarantee that you will enjoy such treatment in return. Every aspect of my being has been taken advantage of in the past, which is the reason I recommend that it’s vital to be kind -though it is just as essential to be cautious of whom you help, and how.

4.) Perfection is subjective.

I have wasted countless hours of my life comparing myself to others, worrying about how others perceive me, and fussing over my appearance – yet yielding no confidence as a result.

Life is precious. It may sound clichΓ©, but every moment truly is a gift – yet it’s easy to forget that our bodies are a gift, too. Alright, sometimes our bodies don’t work the way we want them to (I lived with recurring bouts of tonsillitis for 16 years before having my tonsils removed, a hand injury changed the course of my life drastically, my skin is super sensitive so often looks blemished, and suffering with emetophobia can wreak havoc on my perception of my body), but the fact we’re able to continue living despite physical challenges proves just how incredibly resilient we are – and that deserves to be celebrated!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet perfectionism steals that acknowledgement from us when we perceive ourselves as anything less than perfection. But do you know what? You are perfect. At this very moment, you are perfect, just as you are. Your unique experiences tell a story through your body, so comparing your story to someone else’s is utterly futile.

Please don’t waste a minute that could be spent feeling good about yourself on making yourself feel unworthy. I admit, I still have some body image issues to overcome, though with the incredible support system surrounding me – in conjunction with a lot of effort on my behalf to change how I see myself – I’m improving every day; so can you.

All the issues I possess surrounding my appearance, alongside my lack of body confidence, stem from various sources – such as being bullied in school, being cheated on, being subject to sexual/coercive abuse, and years of bombardment of photoshopped/heavily edited imagery through all media/social media outlets designed to instil self-loathing that funds the conglomerate gluttony of the ‘beauty’ industry which eats away at our sense of self-worth. My point is, there are so many reasons to feel bad about ourselves and to put ourselves down, but at the end of the day, there are infinitely more reasons to feel good about ourselves; a primary one being that perfection is unattainable. Why are we wasting our time and energy in pursuit of a state that doesn’t actually exist?

Each of us has a unique vision of what we believe perfection is. The only aspect of your life stopping you from being perfect, from feeling perfect, is you.

Practice plenty of self-love, take care of your body and nurture your mind – it helps.

And even if you never feel perfect yourself, I promise there is someone out there who truly knows you to fit their perception of perfection πŸ™‚

5.) Talking is tonic – and animals are the best counsellors!

Communicating your deepest, darkest fears can feel intimidating – not least because we’ve been conditioned to believe that vulnerability equals weakness. As someone who spent years hiding away from the reality of a situation, and failing to tell anyone what I was suffering, I am in a qualified position to say that talking is vital – not only for maintaining your mental health, but in many ways for the good of your physical health, too.

The toll of secrecy devours your soul until there’s not much of yourself left to salvage. Fear held me captive for such a long time that I almost had no route for escape.

If you are going through something, whether it feels harrowing or humdrum, talking about it to a trusted loved one – or even to a professional listener, such as a psychologist or GP – can make all the difference in strengthening your resolve to endure it.

There are sooo many services out there you can reach out to for help, support, and advice; please don’t ever feel weak for talking about your worries – instead, realise just how strong you are for having the courage to share.

I cannot stress enough how wonderful animals are in any healing process. By sharing your innermost concerns, memories, and regrets with a listener whose judgement will never be anything but positive, you’ll feel far better. So, whether it’s a cwtch with a cat, adventuring with a dog, chatting to a budgerigar, or exploring glorious countryside with a horse, connecting with animals can provide a purpose beyond ourselves that can help us realise that there’s incredible beauty to be discovered in every realm of life, if we just learn to let go of our self-limiting inhibitions.

Best wishes,

Dannika <3

Author, Book Publishing, Book Review, Creative, Fiction, Mental Health Awareness, Reading, Uncategorized

A Book Review: The Midnight Library

Welcome to my ‘Dannika Writes… A Book Review‘ series! πŸ™‚

As a writer, I have a natural affinity with words. So, it makes sense that I enjoy reading the literary creations of others, too. I began writing book reviews many moons ago; I was in a book club and it was suggested to me by a kind person there that I share my reviews online, as they believed others would appreciate my honest approach to reviewing reads both great and not-so-great.

Being a published author myself, I also realise how awesome it is knowing someone has taken the time to appreciate your efforts to entertain and/or enlighten them, then gone above and beyond to tell others about it as well. Reviews are vital to the success of every book in every genre; and that isn’t necessarily tied to positive reviews and recommendations. From an author’s perspective, constructive criticism plays an essential role in the development of one’s writing, and ultimately, it becomes something every writer appreciates (even if they don’t realise it at the time!).

I only read paperbacks, by the way – which is the reason I include links to the paperback copies of books I’ve reviewed. While I know eBooks are amazing – and that maybe, one day, I’ll get into reading them too – I’m afraid that, for me, nothing beats the delectable scent of a fresh, new paperback or that sensation of being able to actually hold a literary masterpiece #literarynerd (I advise against falling asleep whilst reading though; being thumped on the head by a book is not so fun…). However, should you feel that fellow readers would appreciate a link to the eBook version of a book, please include it in the comments below.

Before you delve into this blog post, I believe it’s worth mentioning that I do not apply ratings to my reviews. In my opinion, every writer is an individual and, to be honest, I don’t believe it’s fair to compare their works – how would one even rate the work of mystery writer in comparison to a romance novelist, or a sci-fi aficionado in comparison to a non-fiction biographer? If you’re happy to place a rating value on a particular book, however, please feel free to include that in the comment section of this blog post πŸ™‚

(Please note that I will be adding a brand new Book Review page to The Emet. Review website, for those of you who have emetophobia.)

In this post, I will be reviewing The Midnight Library by Matt Haig…

Description:

“Between life and death there is a library. When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?”

My Review:

The Midnight Library is an incredible feat of literary magnificence. It is about the headspace Nora Seed has been forced to occupy by depression – as her soul is suspended between life and death – and the storyline follows her journey through lives she could have lived.

Although Nora’s character is so real and relatable, my favourite character is Mrs Elm (though I won’t go into too much detail about her, so as not to share any spoilers!). The book is written from a third-person limited perspective, which enhances the story’s emotive qualities without forcing the overwhelming intensity of a first-person point of view.

I enjoy ghost stories, and while The Midnight Library isn’t a ghost story, I found the scenes Haig depicted to be ethereal and compelling. In fact, I lost quite a few hours’ sleep as I read the entire book within two nights! It may have been the lack of sleep, but I admit to crying and laughing aloud as I read this book; something I haven’t done whilst reading for a long, long time.

The Midnight Library forces you to consider your own mental health, as well as recognise how deeply another’s mental health could be affecting their life and the decisions they make – even if there’s no obvious sign of that to the outside world. The book encourages empathy for fellow human beings too, without focusing wholly on the negative aspects of mental health that led protagonist Nora to become suspended between life and death.

While reading The Midnight Library, it quickly becomes obvious that Haig truly understands the state of Nora’s mind as she contemplates all aspects of her life throughout the book. It encapsulates the significance of choices, both major and seemingly minor, by highlighting the positive difference we can make to others’ lives without even realising it – as well as reminding us that we aren’t always in control of the tragedies that befall us.

Despite the dark moments depicted within the book’s page-turning story, ultimately, The Midnight Library is one of the most uplifting books I have ever read. I wholeheartedly recommend The Midnight Library to everyone; it is a work of genius not to be missed!

Adventure, Author, Creative, Mindfulness, Photography, Positivity, Self-Love, Share Your Story, Uncategorized, Writing

Reflection

Hi,


I hope you’re having a lovely week πŸ™‚


After seeing so many wonderful posts about body positivity lately, I’ve decided to add to the positive vibes currently sweeping through the ether, by writing my views on portrait photography.


Coronavirus lockdown restrictions have caused many of us to spend considerably more time than usual scrolling our way through the confidence-destroying minefield of social media. I truly believe that photographs of ourselves ought to be pondered in the same light we perceive our own reflection in a pool of water. Much as a reflection distorts your features, a photograph captures one very specific millisecond of time at an often unrealistic angle (in that most fellow humans are unlikely to look at you the way a camera does); a fleeting glimpse into an entire life; an echo, impossible to replicate (without highly advanced technology). Meaning that all those ‘perfect’ portrait images we see plastered throughout virtually every form of visual media are just one split second, modified snapshot amidst a lifetime.

It has been said that an image conveys a thousand words, but in the case of social media, an image can conceal a thousand truths. 


Smartphones make it easier than it has ever been to adjust photographs to an advanced degree, with photo-editing software built in as standard – not to mention the plethora of ‘filters’ available to utilise on every social media platform, allowing people the opportunity to avoid ever having to share an ‘unflattering’ photograph again. 


I admit that I may unintentionally perpetuate that style of editorial imagery to a lesser degree; I try not to share photographs I feel are unflattering of me because I don’t want my social media accounts to be less appealing, or for readers/potential readers to think less of me/my writing because I’m not what society might deem ‘worthy’ unless I am aesthetically pleasing to the majority of my (albeit limited) audience – I do understand that that is part of the problem. I suppose in order to remedy it, I have to determine whether I’m doing that to please myself, or to attempt to be noticed as a worthwhile writer amidst a sea of professionally managed social media profiles – something I promise to work on as best I can, to set a better example for younger generations. 


As an example of how a unique individual can be perceived in a variety of ways, I took these photographs within the space of 1 minute – note how differently I look in every photograph, thanks to changes in lighting, angles, and even the addition of filters…


Please remember when looking at photos of yourself: *Different Photographs; Same Worth* Although the camera has captured me differently in all these images, I’m still me πŸ™‚

Whilst it can be frustrating that the majority of social media accounts – both personal and professional – support fakery that funds the beauty industry, by making us all feel we have to live up to unrealistic standards in order to be considered ‘beautiful’ by society, it’s worth remembering that they are people too; and the more airbrushed, photoshopped, filtered their images are, the more insecure they’re likely to feel about how they look in reality. Their intention may not necessarily be to make you feel negatively about yourself, but to try feel better about themselves. And the truth is, there’s someone out there right now who admires a quality you have that they do not, and it’s almost certainly the person you least expect it to be.

In light of this, I’d like to add my voice to the increasing plethora of positive posts, by sharing some of my own story and commentary on the journey to self-confidence (that I am currently embarking on too)…


1.) I’ve been working on overcoming the countless insecurities I have about my appearance. For instance, I have extremely sensitive skin, e.g. I end up with a terrible rash when I shave my legs; I suffer with spots from time to time (caused by over-washing due to OCD linked to emetophobia); my hair gets oily quickly (so I wash it all the time which, ironically, makes it worse); make-up never seems to look flawless on me – although it seems to look nice on everyone else – and I get sunburned so easily that tanning naturally (to hide imperfections) is not an option (though the thought of using fake tan terrifies me – I’m certain I’d do something wrong and would end up looking/feeling ridiculous!). I’ve always been self-conscious about my nose, after it was broken by a horse when I was 10, as it doesn’t resemble the idyllic ‘button nose’ that various beauty/media industries suggest is most attractive. And I’ve recently found out that I have a dislocated jaw – that may have been caused by the misalignment of braces I wore as a teenager – to accompany the damage braces did to the enamel of my teeth (the glue they used left a few small yellowish stains on my teeth that the dentist can’t remove without damaging the enamel further), meaning I’m unlikely to ever have a lens-worthy set of perfectly straight, pearly-white teeth. That, together with the insecurities I have about having put on weight due to major life changes over the last few years (beginning with a serious hand injury 6 years ago that ended my equestrian career), led to my feeling awful about myself 99% of the time – which, as a consequence, meant I suffered more anxiety about my appearance than usual (I already have emetophobia and its associated anxieties), and it all became a miserable cycle of self-deprecation that had to stop before it spiralled into depression (again). Thankfully, my incredible boyfriend, wonderful family, and fantastic friends made me realise that all that stuff is inconsequential in the grand scheme of life – absolutely none of those aspects I’m insecure about take away from who I am, how hard I work at everything, or the reasons I try my best to help people/animals however I can. My insecurities are just that, my insecurities; my loved ones don’t love me in spite of all those things, I’m loved because I am me no-matter what. A realisation I hope you’re able to revel about yourself in too πŸ™‚

2.) Nobody cares whether you have strawberry skin after you shave, whether you have acne, or that you don’t have a flawless tan, nor does it affect their life that you’re worried about wearing tight clothes because your body doesn’t resemble the inhuman form of a mannequin, or that you have stretch marks/cellulite/scars on show if you wear certain clothes – you’re but a momentary consideration at most as they go about their daily business at the shops, or you walk past them on the street, or they are enjoying their day at the beach/park/restaurant (especially after a year and a half of lockdown!). And if you are still worried, it’s worth remembering that those who judge you negatively for such insignificant things (in the grand scheme of life) likely only do so because it deflects from issues they have with themselves. Also, it doesn’t actually matter what they think of you.


3.) I repeat as its own comment (and I suggest you repeat this to yourself): it *does not matter* what people think of your appearance (unless, of course, you’re at a job interview). What if someone does have a fleeting negative thought about your appearance; did it cause you physical harm? Do you care about the stranger enough to act on their fleeting, negative response (for instance, enduring some sort of barbaric cosmetic procedure to appease strangers)? And finally, what right does some random stranger have to make you feel negatively about yourself when they don’t know anything about you? Please don’t give power to the unfair, unhealthy culture and unrealistic expectations to look a certain way to be accepted – instead, accept yourself for the unique brand of wonderfulness only you can offer the world.

4.) Fact: our bodies change constantly. Therefore, it is as unhealthy as it is unrealistic to believe that you cannot be beautiful or handsome or worthy of adoration unless you fit into those jeans you used to wear a decade ago, or that top you used to love that you wish you still looked great in, or, unless you fit a specific image bombarded by all forms of visual media as being the ‘ultimate specimen of human perfection’ (an image which, if you study the ‘ideal body shape/size/configuration’ through the ages you’ll discover is constantly shifting and evolving). Eat your favourite food guilt-free, wear clothes that are comfortable, and find a way to exercise that you actually enjoy instead of counting calories, avoiding clothes you’re afraid people might ‘judge’ you for wearing, and forcing yourself to participate in exercise that doesn’t bring you joy in pursuit of unattainable ‘perfection’. The human body is an incredible vessel of evolution; love yours, nurture it, and appreciate every fibre of your being for the masterpiece it is!


5.) The universe needs you just the way you are. Please stop comparing yourself to others when there’s not a person on this planet capable of comparing to you because, honestly, they’re not you – the knowledge of which ought to provide you with an untold sense of power and self-belief πŸ™‚


5.) As challenging as it is, in order to improve my own self-confidence, I practice what I preach and continuously push myself to become the beautifully confident person I deserve to be…

For example, I am taking action to improve my health and fitness, to help me feel better for myself – as opposed to that motivation being to look beautiful just to please the world (confidence is attractive in itself, so I’m told!). I am also trying really hard to ease my anxiety over my skin issues, and though it may sound minor to many, I felt a strange sense of accomplishment the other day when I didn’t shave that morning (I usually shave my legs every time I intend to wear shorts or a dress – which takes ages because I obsessively remove every hair I consider unsightly) yet still wore shorts all day and even went shopping! There were a few stray hairs I couldn’t reach on my right leg (thanks to my hand injury) that I hadn’t noticed until I returned from shopping, which was the moment I realised I survived without any negative effects of having not shaved that morning – I didn’t notice one person give so much as a glance at me, let alone the dramatic reactions of displeasure I believed might accompany my decision not to overthink going out with strawberry legs. It was more comfortable to wear shorts than to have worn jeans, yet I almost made myself uncomfortable by wearing jeans because of the reaction I thought I’d receive for having a teeny tiny amount of stubble on my legs. As it happens, it didn’t feel like anyone cared about the fact I had a few stray hairs on my right leg – the fact people just carried on with their own business felt great; who’d have thought being invisible could feel satisfying! But then it struck me, the reason we strive to fit in is for that reason; because no reaction is better than a negative one, no-matter how minor – and in order for all that hard work that goes in to looking nice to be worthwhile, a positive reaction provides a flash of acceptance that makes us feel incredible about ourselves, even for a millisecond.

However, it really shouldn’t be up to other people to determine how incredible we feel about ourselves. Of course, we want to look attractive to encourage self-confidence, to help ourselves appreciate what we see in the mirror (or on a smartphone camera app), and to please our partners – though my amazing boyfriend has assured me that when you’re in love with the right person, it doesn’t matter if you have spots, or you put on a little weight, or your hair needs a wash, since that love is deeper than one’s superficial appearance (I believe the reason the right person loves you is because their soul connects with yours on a cosmic level – your partner loves you in your entirety because of who you are; which makes you the most attractive person in the universe to them, irrespective of your self-perceived ‘physical imperfections’). If you don’t have a partner to remind you of your awesomeness, consider how much your family and friends love you – and I guarantee that love has absolutely nothing to do with what you look like; what feeling could be more incredibly confidence-inspiring than that? πŸ™‚

Life is short. Please don’t waste a moment feeling insignificant because of your insecurities – you are so much more than your portrayal in a photograph <3

Anyways, hope you’re having a happy Wednesday!


Best wishes,

Dannika

Adventure, Animals, Author, Book Publishing, Career, Creative, Equestrian, Ghostwriting, Nature, Open University, Photography, Reading, Writing

Long Time, No See!

Heyy,

Long time, no see – 3 months, to be exact o.O

I’m always apologising for being busy, though this time, I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to include a brief (well, brief in terms of my writing) update along with my hope that all is going wonderfully well in your life – if it isn’t, please know you are not alone πŸ™‚

So, I finally completed my Stage 2 modules as I study for BA(Hons) English Literature & Creative Writing with the Open University. Due to my ridiculously heavy workload, I initially intended to complete one module at a time for the final Stage 3 section of my degree, though I’ve given deep thought into what I’d like to achieve, and have had endless discussions with my loved ones about my terrible attempts to forge a work-life balance – I’ve come to the conclusion that if I am to relieve pressure long term, I’m going to follow their advice and study full time from Sept/Oct this year, so I’ll have less pressure on my time as of June/July 2022. That means I’m going to take a small step back from taking on new ghostwriting clients with lengthy projects – if you’re a prospective client with a lengthy project, I apologise! But I have to focus on improving the quality of my assignment scores, since I achieved 80%-95% for Stage 1 modules (though I did complete them part time, around part time employment) and only 65%-75% for Stage 2 modules (completed around self-employment; the hours for which I spend working I dread to count!). I am still accepting smaller projects, such as blog posts, website content, articles, and short stories πŸ™‚

I am not at liberty to discuss any aspect of ghostwriting projects – as I sign confidentiality agreements for every project – though I can let you know that business has been incredibly busy, for which I am exceedingly thankful! Unfortunately, I did experience my first (and hopefully last) setback in my ghostwriting endeavours, when a client failed to pay the final fee for their project; they disappeared the day after I sent them the final document. I admit that my trust in the basic, moral goodness of human nature was tested, and though I have chalked it up to being a valuable lesson learned, it was also the catalyst for my decision to pursue the completion of my degree full time as I reassessed what I’d like to achieve through ghostwriting. It saddens me that despite my best efforts to help people and make a difference for the better, someone could be so thoughtless as to waste my valuable time and effort – especially since I’d turned down other projects to help the client, as there was a tight deadline and I was told the project meant a lot to them. So, I have decided to focus on completing my degree, and whilst I will continue ghostwriting and proofreading, I am only going to take on projects I know I’ll enjoy, as I am going to spend more time on my own writing whilst I pursue a primary school teaching career (unless, in the meantime, I manage to emulate a fraction of J.K. Rowling’s success with my own novels, enabling me to write for myself full time; which is highly unlikely!).

I have always been driven to make a difference for the better, something I have strived to do through ghostwriting and proofreading – for instance, I’ve taken on many projects free of charge for charitable organisations, alongside my busy work schedule – though have found that my love of writing has been tested on occasion when I’ve had to work 14-hour days while struggling to juggle everything going on in my hectic schedule. Enduring a miscarriage – as well as suffering with my mental health as a result of the constant stress caused by the struggle against the rising pressure of everything – has taught me that life is too short not to do what I love for a living. Whilst I love writing – and have earned more money through ghostwriting than any other job I’ve ever had – I cannot sustain the level of work I have been. I’m not making as much of a difference for the better as I intended through the type of ghostwriting work I do. Although I am going to continue working for several of my fantastic clients, for whom I provide ghostwriting projects regularly, I will be dedicating more of my time to achieving success with my own writing (since I’m able to do so for my clients, I may as well try writing bestselling pieces for myself too!), and I am going to work towards becoming a primary school teacher; following in the footsteps of many amazing female relatives before me, primary school teaching is a career I expect to be as challenging as it is creative, but will allow me steady, structured working hours and the ability to work as part of a team and ‘switch off’ at the end of the day (instead of being immersed in my solitary work 24/7) – enabling me to make the most of my life, whilst still making a positive difference to many young people’s lives πŸ™‚

Moving on from my career aspirations, I created a special book for my niece (whom I hadn’t seen for a year due to pandemic lockdown restrictions) for her 5th birthday. She’s going through a tough time with her health, so I felt it would cheer her up to have a book created specially for her πŸ™‚ Whilst I still have a lot to learn in terms of illustration and typesetting a fully-illustrated document, I thoroughly enjoyed working on Evelyn-Rose’s book around my crazy work/uni/life schedule; it helped me channel stressful energy into something positive. In case you’d like to view it for yourself, the link to the listing for “Evelyn-Rose’s Magical Adventure” is here.

Something I’d been debating for many years was getting a second tattoo. My first experience was traumatic, to say the least, so I’ve spent years researching and pondering whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Though I am pleased to say that I did go ahead with getting a tattoo, inspired by a photograph I’d taken on the last family holiday we went on with my wonderful grandparents – something my late Nan and I talked about for a while was my getting a peacock butterfly tattoo, so I hope she’d have appreciated my decision to finally go ahead with getting it done πŸ™‚ As it happens, butterflies are also representative of the beauty of change, of hope, and of triumph through adversity – a fitting testament to my life experiences.

I have been revelling in the beautiful weather lately, taking every opportunity I can to get Cai walked and ride/spend time with my horses, as well as to delve back in to another of my hobbies – photography πŸ™‚ I’ve not been feeling quite myself, so I’m currently working hard to exercise more and eat healthier, in hope of losing weight, improving my strength, and toning up; I’m pleased to report that it’s only been a couple of weeks since I finished my final end-of-module uni assignments, though I feel better already for spending more time out and about. You can follow some of Cai’s adventures on his Instagram page.

However, as often seems to be the case, my injuries have made being more active far from straightforward. Not only has my hand been more painful lately (due to increased exercise through following YouTube HIIT/Pilates videos, horse riding, Cai pulling on his lead, etc.), but I have discovered that my jaw is dislocated and has been causing me major issues in the form of pain, swelling, and headaches – I had mistaken the issue as being an impacted wisdom tooth for a long time; it was the thought of having another tooth removed that put me off making an appointment with the dentist, but if non-invasive treatments don’t work, I might have to go through some pretty unpleasant surgery on my jaw o.O

My boyfriend, Gareth, and I have a few events to attend this year, as well as a few days away in Edinburgh to look forward to this summer – and I’m working hard on improving my self-confidence – so, I’ve spent a little time practising using make-up. My skin has been terrible lately – which I imagine is largely stress-based – and that hasn’t helped me feel better about myself. Whilst I’m nowhere near as great at using make-up as I’d like to be, I’m hopeful my face painting/sculpting skills will continue to improve…

I’ve been working hard to improve my confidence whilst driving, and am pleased to be making progress πŸ™‚ I even went to the cinema a couple of days ago, for the first time in around 18 months!

Annndd I’ve decided to dedicate as much time as I can to my own writing by taking it more seriously – as such, I’ve signed up for Mslexia and WritersHQ, which will help me gain confidence by interacting more frequently with fellow writers. I’ll be making more time to read books from fantastically inspirational authors too, to improve my writing as much as possible and ‘switch off’ – just received a mega Waterstones order; anyone else love that ‘new book’ scent? πŸ˜‰

For more regular updates, please feel free to visit my Facebook page, Instagram page, and Twitter account πŸ™‚ I am also updating The Emet. Review as often as I can.

I hope to be more active in terms of content creation for my blog from now on, so you can expect more interesting posts than this – such as a short story series, book reviews, and a variety of posts about all things literary, equestrian, and mental health πŸ™‚

Anyways, I hope all is well with you; I look forward to reading messages about all the exciting things happening in your lives too!

Stay awesome <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Mindfulness, Share Your Story, Uncategorized, Writing

‘That’ Interview

Hi Everyone, hope you are well πŸ™‚

So, I have decided to incorporate a social media post I wrote into blog post form, in case someone who doesn’t follow my social media accounts might find it helpful…

Rarely does a news story interest me enough to comment upon, though Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah has shed light on the fact that there are still those who give fellow human beings cause not to speak about whatever struggles they are facing because of how those struggles may be perceived.

This is the twenty-first century not the Middle Ages – humanity is now aware that mental health issues are a form of illness, and that mental health is as significant as physical health in terms of maintaining the human body in a healthy state.

Whether or not you believe that Meghan struggled with suicidal thoughts, at least she has spoken about them on a highly public platform – that action in itself will hopefully be enough to encourage others to find the courage to reach out for help.

We’re currently experiencing an unprecedented situation that our generation has never known the like of before. This pandemic has forced many of us to spend a heck of a lot of time in our own company, and as such, should have taught humanity the importance of acting responsibly and respectfully in order to save our loved ones from an illness that has proven devastating for so many. I have seen countless examples of the kindness this bizarre situation has been catalyst for, and long may that continue once this pandemic is over – though it has also revealed the ugly side of humanity, the selfish and the judgemental, for which there should be no tolerance this day and age. Had every person on the planet acted with consideration for others, this pandemic would likely have ceased to be a long time ago.

It’s time to talk about taboo topics. It’s time to make a difference for the better. It’s time we stopped tolerating trolls and dishonesty. It’s time to stop snap judgements and stop comparing ourselves to others as if we’re all in some sort of ridiculous competition.

The orchid is beautiful, as is the rose – in fact, there are thousands upon thousands of beautiful flowers in existence on our glorious planet; not everyone will agree that the orchid is beautiful, just as others might not consider the rose beautiful – yet those differences of opinion do not take away from the fact that in their own way, every individual flower has a beauty and significance that cannot be compared to another – after all, the sun still shines upon every one, irrespective of their differences πŸŒ·πŸŒ»πŸ€β˜€οΈ

Please, for the love of goodness, stop comparing everyone and everything to everyone and everything else!

You are unique: your body is capable of incredible power and your mind is without limitation thanks to human sentience. Though absolutely none of that wonderfulness is lessened by the fact that you have difficult days sometimes – we all do.

If you are struggling in any way, please reach out for help.

We’re continuously being bombarded with messages, both subliminal and direct, that anything less than ‘perfection’ is unworthy – yet by our very nature humans are, in fact, imperfect. It is our imperfections that define us and shape who we are as we strive to become a better version of ourselves – so why are we allowing those messages to prevent us from appreciating our-awesome-selves wholeheartedly?

Instead of being made to feel insignificant or inferior by the media in order to fuel their greed through conflict – whether that conflict is within ourselves or with others – let’s remove everything from our social media feeds that perpetuate misery, and instead celebrate all that makes humanity wonderful πŸŽ‰

You matter. They matter. I matter.

No-matter our race, beliefs, sexual orientation, interests, jobs, or mental health situation, we all ought to treat fellow humans with kindness and respect – and should expect nothing less than to be treated with kindness and respect by fellow humans in return; that is a basic human right not a privilege.

We’re in this together ❀

#mentalhealthawareness#reachout#talk#youarenotalone#wegotthis#writer#literary#shareyourstory#inspire#itsoknottobeok#bekind#strongertogether#makeadifference

I am here if you need someone to talk to <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Uncategorized, Writing

For 10th September

As I write, at this very moment, I have absolutely no idea where this post will lead…

I’m not sure how much you know of me, so as a brief recap: I was in a toxic relationship for five and a half years, married on 10th September 2016, left him on 20th July 2018 when I discovered he’d been having an affair, then was officially divorced on 10th April 2019.

That relationship left me with scars so deep I’m not sure they’ll ever disappear. However, with infinite thanks to my phenomenal family, wonderful boyfriend, and amazing friends, those scars are fading more with each passing day.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of that relationship, other than to share that because of the abuse (emotional and sexual), the betrayal, the torment I endured at the hands of a narcissist, I am who I am today. Though no, he deserves no credit. The strength it took to endure that relationship, combined with the courage to walk away, belongs solely to me. I acknowledge the reality that without him, I may not have realised the extent of my power – to which I allow acceptance of my experiences, as opposed to regret.

After being severely hurt by a person you believed loved you, many people advise you to ‘forgive and forget’. Unless you’ve been through the devastating emotive spiral following any form of betrayal, you could never understand how impossible forgiveness is. Having been raised a Christian, I can fathom the freeing effects of forgiveness – though something you’re never taught is how to handle hate. I’ll see the good in someone before I’ll see the bad; an aspect of my personality that has landed me in countless difficult situations that could have been avoided had I trusted my instincts, that aforementioned relationship a case in point. Something he forced me to feel that I had never, ever known before was hatred, akin to facing a nefarious inner enemy on a daily basis. While that could have easily led to me losing myself, I chose to live to the full instead.

It has been an arduous road littered with unforeseen pitfalls, though finally, I can say with deserved pride that I no longer hate the man who hurt me – I pity him.

I am thankful for every blessing in my life, however seemingly small. I love wholeheartedly, I embrace my flaws yet work tirelessly to improve, I truly care about making a difference for the better, and I am no longer a victim of the relentless inner torture that followed all the forms of betrayal I’ve known.

I’ve been reading Othello by William Shakespeare as part of my university course, and this line struck me, “To mourn a mischief that is past and gone / Is the next way to draw new mischief on”

The reason I spiraled in a whirlpool of self-doubt, lack of confidence, and depression for so long was because I worried over my own flaws to the extent I’d mistrust anyone who claimed to love or accept them. All I could see was my failures, my struggles, my physical imperfections. I suffered panic attacks and nightmares, drowned in flashbacks of the past as I tried desperately to force myself to see light in my future. I was so suffocated by the damage done to me that I was afraid to swim out of that darkness in case what I met with would be worse. If you’re currently in that headspace, please know that you are not alone. You never have been. And you know what? When you fight through that riptide trying continuously to pull you under, eventually you will reach the surface – and my goodness is it extraordinary!

I used to care so deeply about what other people thought that I ended up in a relationship that could have very well led me to a fate worse than divorce. Please stop trying to fit society’s idyllic image of who it expects you to be. So what if society dislikes your life choices – provided you aren’t causing harm to anyone else and you aren’t doing anything illegal, just be yourself. It does take a heck of a lot of courage to be yourself in a world so enamoured with convention, but you’ve got to embrace who you are because life is too damn short to waste.

The 10th September 2016 was fantastic, though my mind has blocked any record of him from it. All I remember when I recall that day is family and friends being together in happiness, laughing and smiling, forgetting miseries past, nor considering sadness yet to come – everyone soaked in a rare sense of togetherness on a day I unintentionally designed to evolve around the enjoyment of others. So I don’t regard it as ‘my wedding day’ because it wasn’t. The fact I married the wrong man that day was secondary to the joy that day brought to those who attended. Therefore, I have made a promise to myself that on the 10th September every year I will celebrate my power – whatever you have been through, I implore you do the same. Nobody’s experiences ought to be compared to anyone else’s, for we all have unique perceptions of what we’ve been through. Let’s make 10th September a day of compassion without comparison.

The strength you possess within may not reveal itself through convention. Be kind, but please, be yourself! Don’t fall into the trap of being controlled by the vision of yourself you believe best pleases others.

Thank you for reading!

Best wishes,

Dannika <3

Wedding dress comparison 11th Sept 2016 to 4th May 2019 πŸ™‚
* My beautiful pony Eira still gives the best cwtches! *
Author, Uncategorized, Writing

About Finding Self-Confidence

Hi Everyone, hope all is well πŸ™‚

I’ve just seen a post on Facebook by one of my friends and I suddenly felt compelled to write this blog post. I honestly have no idea where I’m going with this, but I have had enough of feeling inadequate and I’m fed up of seeing those around me feel less than good enough too.

The post read: When I say “please don’t take a picture of me” it’s not because I’m being bitchy and stubborn, it’s because if I see that picture I will seriously feel so bad about myself and think I am the ugliest thing on earth and sink a little deeper into self consciousness and hatred.

First of all, now I am totally guilty of this, we *must* learn to stop comparing ourselves to others.

Each and every one of us are unique. We are the only one of ourselves in existence. At this very moment in time, we are the only person living our life. You are the only one reading this post, my words, from your perspective. When we consider our existence from such a profound viewpoint, we realise just how precious we are.

How devastating that we spend so much of our time – that should be filled with happiness, contentment and joy – allowing our own image to be destroyed upon the judgements others make of other people. Since if we think about it, we are our own worst enemy as far as self image is concerned – when was the last time anyone said you didn’t look nice?

Even though my family are brutally honest about my appearance (which is wonderful), I cannot remember the last time any of them said I look awful, or fat, or a mess (in fact, they constantly reassure me I do not) – nor have any of my friends ever said anything derogatory about my appearance, unless perhaps those times I slipped in sheep turd whilst helping out with shearing, or when I’ve fallen off my horse and landed in a muddy puddle; after which we all had a great laugh! I can, however, remember that when I looked in the mirror five minutes ago that I acknowledged how bloated I am, how I really need to lose at least a stone in weight because I dislike the fat blobbed over the back of my bra and want to be lighter for my horses to carry, as well as frustratingly sighing at the vision of spots appearing along my jawline. What I absolutely failed to notice was how amazing my body is for reaching almost 29 years so far, being able to write/ride/drive/do everything I do, coping daily with crippling anxiety caused by emetophobia, still managing to get on with everything despite a severe hand injury (that may never heal), still being able to breathe despite having a broken nose, and being recipient of some fortunate genetic attributes as gifted by generations of my ancestors. I forget to be thankful that when I do have a set routine allowing for time to ride my horses and take my dog on rambling adventures, I do get fit, tone up and lose weight relatively swiftly. I am grateful to be in love and whilst I do feel encompassed by every moment I’m able to spend with him, I have to remind myself that he wouldn’t be with me if I wasn’t remotely attractive. I have always had a dream to write for a living, this year I finally found the courage to take a leap of faith and I’m delighted to be able to write for a living, study, and pursue all of my dreams. I am beyond lucky to be loved, and be able to love, so many inspiring, wondrous people.

So, next time you look in the mirror, please cast aside any negative, self-deprecating thoughts. Look through them and see yourself. Appreciate absolutely every positive attribute you have, because I guarantee there will be too many for you to note in one staring-at-yourself-in-the-mirror session!

Secondly, after some lovely long chats with friends, I realised that it is likely one of the reasons I am feeling so negative about my body image is because I am subconsciously being bombarded with images of women with perfectly toned bodies and flawless skin, unlikely to have ever had an unflattering photograph taken of them in their entire lives, their routines in order and achievements projected from social media accounts saturated with followers telling them every day how great they are. It’s like some unspoken competition has been developed, whereby women have to be seen to support one another, whilst behind the scenes setting up images to share that show their lives only from an idyllic angle, as if in some subconscious form of one-upmanship with all other women. I’ve made a conscious effort to try follow more accounts that promote positive relationships with individuality in its natural form.

The truth is, the people behind those accounts that make us feel crappy about ourselves are unlikely to have it all together and probably have brilliant photography or photoshop skills. Because we are all human, there is absolutely no way on Earth anybody has their lives entirely together 100% of the time. We all have low moments. Unfortunately, at some point in our lives we all suffer pain, and loss, and grief, and have to face adversity. But, when we go through something terrible, we are never alone. And all of us possess the power to overcome, the strength to survive, and the ability to help others using our experiences.

Finally, perfection in its purest, true form *is* attainable, because it is subjective. What I perceive as perfect someone else will not. Therefore, those aspects of our self we see as imperfect are exactly what make us perfect in another’s eyes.

I’m not there yet. I wholeheartedly admit that I have a llooonnngg way to go to feel truly self-confident. And whilst I’ll still refrain from posting super unflattering images in which I believe I look disgusting (mainly to save your sight but also to avoid embarrassing myself), I am going to continue to encourage self-confidence in others.

Being a good person is awesome, but remember, in order to be selfless self-care is vital.

Having a goal to become physically healthier is amazing, but please do so to fulfil your own happiness – not to fulfil a vision of yourself you believe others would rather see.

Lifestyle choices involving exercise and diet should bring you joy, not feel like torture. Find activities you enjoy, eat what makes you feel fantastic, and make the most of every moment instead of punishing yourself for not being the size you were when you were a teenager. Our bodies evolve as our lives move along at their natural pace. We should buy clothes to fit us, not change our bodies to make ourselves fit into clothes (after all, sizes are different depending on their manufacture and materials). When photographs are taken of us during good times, we ought to cherish the moment we were captured within, as opposed to regretting having that photograph taken – I’m sure older generations would give anything to have treasured memories captured forever in a timeless form.

Some days you’ll feel positive and productive, you will complete your to-do list then go on to accomplish everything extra you set out to. Other days, you may feel too exhausted to do much more than wear your scruffiest clothes, eat chocolate and simply survive. Do you know what? That is ok. In fact, we all need a rest sometimes – it’s ideal that is enjoyed before our bodies tire.

Despite what you tell yourself at times, you are beautiful.

Embrace who you are and celebrate your self.

We are all doing our best, let’s give ourselves some long overdue credit.

Anyways, that’s it from me for now; my apologies for the essay! Haha.

Sending lots of love and positivity your way right now <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Animals, Author, Uncategorized, Writing

On the Importance of Self-Care

Heyy, hope you’re well πŸ™‚

Self-care sounds so indulgent, like it’s some sort of ethereal gift allowed only on special occasions – well, that’s what it seems to me anyway. I take care of my personal hygiene (perhaps a little too much, given my OCD for cleanliness), exercise, eat as healthily as I can and manage my responsibilities, but rarely do I spend time truly enjoying my own company.

Here’s what Google has to say about the definition of self-care:

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. “expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care”

I love my family (including the animals!), I love my boyfriend, and I love my friends, so any time I can I spend soaking up their company and making the most of that ‘togetherness’ we’ve all been without for so long (although sadly, we can’t yet see all our family and friends in person). For me, this is a form of self-care, because I relish being surrounded by loved ones.

When alone, however, I am absolutely rubbish at taking breaks whilst I’m working. I get so absorbed by what I’m doing, that I just let time run away with me; then when I’ve stopped working, all I can do is plan and think about work. On the surface, this is great in terms of productivity – because I am a perfectionist, I try my best to create quality, meaningful content, so being able to get projects completed in a timely fashion is a great feeling. Unfortunately, in the long run I find myself physically and emotionally drained all.the.time.

On Monday I decided this is no longer sustainable. I had to get my backside in gear and organise myself properly if I’m to make the most of my life. I’m missing out on a heck of a lot because I’m so damn focused on earning money to keep my animals, and my everyday life, going. I am fed up of living in a constant state of anxious stress. I admit, having my new car stranded in a garage for the last week after it broke down three times within the first two days of owning it has done nothing to help my anxiety or stress levels… Though I took my first steps toward enjoying myself more by making time to enjoy riding my horses and walking my dog instead of just doing so for exercise, I spent quality time cwtched with my boyfriend as we ate great food, watched films and celebrated being together for a whole year; and I actually read a book for fun as opposed to just reading for work or studying.

Taking time to breathe in your life is not a luxury, it is vital.

Making time to nurture your mental and physical well-being is allowed.

Please, don’t ever feel guilty for wanting to make the most of time for yourself.

Self-care is different for each of us. So, here is a brilliant article by Anna Borges that might help you along the path of contentment & if you’d like further advice, you can find some here from mental health charity Mind.

Take care of your self <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Uncategorized

About the Benefits of Reading

Heyy πŸ™‚

Here’s a revived blog post from an old page I created years ago. It feels especially relevant to what we’re going through right now, having to stay in to stay safe from this COVID-19 pandemic. The brilliance of being able to enjoy escapism through some cleverly-styled words printed on the pages of a book is remarkable. I don’t know about you, but I adore that ‘new book’ scent!

So, here it is, the benefits of reading…

Reading offers us magical escapism. It takes us to mystical new worlds, and allows us to adventure with colourful characters. But is that brilliant book you’re reading doing more to benefit your health than you know?

Brain Power

Yep, reading actually makes you more intelligent! Especially if you start reading at a young age, since reading introduces you to new vocabulary you wouldn’t otherwise obtain in everyday life. Reading provides exercise for your mind, improving memory and brain function. It also educates; even reading fiction can help us learn about history and other ways of life.

Inspires Compassion

Reading stories from another’s perspective encourages us to think of others’ feelings. Seeing the world through another’s eyes makes one better understand emotions, and teaches one to deal with complex social situations.

Reading is Relaxing

In our stressful lives it is so important to take some time out to relax properly. Settling down at the end of a busy day with a good book reduces anxieties and helps us forget the happenings of the day. Relaxation is significantly important for mental and physical health. It enables one’s body to unwind and recharge.

Incorporating reading into your bedtime routine can also help you sleep better too! By exchanging a real book for your mobile phone, television, tablet or e-reader, you can remove the stimulus of a screen – enabling a restful night’s sleep.


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Please do go an adventure today, and tell the world about its wonder.

It takes a team to produce each book you ever read, don’t forget to review books you enjoy, to help others enjoy the enchantment of them too! πŸ™‚

Hope you’re staying safe and well – we will get through this, though books will help us survive isolation and emerge all the better for it <3

Best wishes,

Dannika

Uncategorized

An Emetophobic Review

Hello Fellow Emetophobia Suffers πŸ™‚

Following is a list I’ve compiled that I am hoping to continue to update as and when I can. It contains listings of various films and TV programs, accompanied by an image explaining whether they are ‘safe’ for emetophobia suffers. I’m improving all the time, though I do still get difficult days when I can only watch ‘safe’ media. Therefore, I’m hoping – during this terrifying time of isolation – to help others feel more comfortable enjoying films and TV programs.

If you can’t see what film or TV program you’re looking for, please do check another emetophobia review page on Instagram, here! πŸ™‚

** Disclaimer ** Individuals have different triggers, this list is based on my own, which may well differ to yours!

(Apologies it’s not yet in alphabetical order – I hope to get around to organizing the listings when I can…)

Film or TV program either completely safe, or, containing mild mention at most.

NO instance, NO sounds, NO triggering actions (e.g. intense coughing/choking, liquid from mouth, spitting etc.).

Film or TV program contains mention, and/or minor sounds, and/or potentially triggering actions (e.g. intense coughing/choking, liquid from mouth, spitting, etc.).

NO instance.

Film or TV program definitely not safe!

Contains dramatic, triggering sounds.

Contains graphic visual instance(s).

TV Programs

(S = Series, E = Episode)

Friends

  • Friends – S1, E2
  • Friends – S1, E3
  • Friends – S1, E4
  • Friends – S1, E5
  • Friends – S1, E6
  • Friends – S1, E8
  • Friends – S1, E9
  • Friends – S1, E12
  • Friends – S2, E9
  • Friends – S1, E10
  • Friends – S1, E11
  • Friends – S1, E12
  • Friends – S1, E13
  • Friends – S1, E14
  • Friends – S1, E15
  • Friends – S1, E16
  • Friends – S1, E17
  • Friends – S1, E18
  • Friends – S1, E19
  • Friends – S1, E19
  • Friends – S1, E20
  • Friends – S1, E21
  • Friends – S1, E22
  • Friends – S1, E23
  • Friends – S1, E24
  • Friends – S2, E1
  • Friends – S2, E2
  • Friends – S2, E3
  • Friends – S2, E4
  • Friends – S2, E5
  • Friends – S2, E6
  • Friends – S2, E7
  • Friends – S2, E9
  • Friends – S2, E10
  • Friends – S2, E11
  • Friends – S2, E12
  • Friends – S2, E14
  • Friends – S2, E15
  • Friends – S2, E16
  • Friends – S2, E17
  • Friends – S2, E18
  • Friends – S2, E19
  • Friends – S2, E20
  • Friends – S2, E21
  • Friends – S2, E22
  • Friends – S2, E23
  • Friends – S2, 24
  • Friends – S3, E1
  • Friends – S3, E2
  • Friends – S3, E4
  • Friends – S3, E5
  • Friends – S3, E6
  • Friends – S3, E7
  • Friends – S3, E9
  • Friends – S3, E10
  • Friends – S3, E11
  • Friends – S3, E12
  • Friends – S3, E13
  • Friends – S3, E14
  • Friends – S3, E15
  • Friends – S3, E16
  • Friends – S3, E17
  • Friends – S3, E18
  • Friends – S3, E19
  • Friends – S3, E20
  • Friends – S3, E21
  • Friends – S3, E22
  • Friends – S3, E23
  • Friends – S3, E24
  • Friends – S4, E1
  • Friends – S4, E2
  • Friends – S4, E3
  • Friends – S4, E4
  • Friends – S4, E5
  • Friends – S4, E6
  • Friends – S4, E7
  • Friends – S4, E8
  • Friends – S4, E9
  • Friends – S4, E11
  • Friends – S4, E12
  • Friends – S4, E13
  • Friends – S4, E14
  • Friends – S4, E16
  • Friends – S4, E17
  • Friends – S4, E18
  • Friends – S4, E19
  • Friends – S4, E20
  • Friends – S4, E21
  • Friends – S4, E22
  • Friends – S4, E24
  • Friends – S5, E1
  • Friends – S5, E2
  • Friends – S5, E3
  • Friends – S5, E4
  • Friends – S5, E5
  • Friends – S6, E9

Brooklyn Nine Nine

  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E2
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1,E5
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E6
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E11
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E13
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E14
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E15
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E16
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E17 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E10
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E19
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E22
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E1 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E2 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E4
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E5
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E6 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E7
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E10
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E11
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E12 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E13
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E14
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E15
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E16
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E17
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E18
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E19
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E20
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E21
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E22
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E23
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E1
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E2
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E4
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E7
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E8
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E9
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E10
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E11
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E13
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E14 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E15
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E16
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E17
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E18
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E19 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E20
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E21
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E22
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E23 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E1 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E2
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E4
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E5
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E6
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E7
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E8
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E9
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E11
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E12
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E13
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E16 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E18
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E19
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E21
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E22
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E1
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E3
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E4
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E5
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E6
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E7
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E8
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E9
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E10
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E11
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E12
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E13
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E14
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E15
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E16
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E17
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E19 (mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E21
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E22
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E1
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E3
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E4
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E8
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E9
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E10
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E11
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E12
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E13
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E14
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E15
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E16
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E17
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E18

Bodyguard, BBC

  • Bodyguard – S1, E1
  • Bodyguard – S1, E5

The Good Place, Netflix

  • The Good Place – S1, E1
  • The Good Place – S1, E3
  • The Good Place – S1, E4
  • The Good Place – S1, E5
  • The Good Place – S1, E6
  • The Good Place – S1, E7
  • The Good Place – S1, E8
  • The Good Place – S1, E9
  • The Good Place – S1, E10
  • The Good Place – S1, E11
  • The Good Place – S1, E12
  • The Good Place – S1, E13
  • The Good Place – S2, E4
  • The Good Place – S2, E7
  • The Good Place – S2, E8
  • The Good Place – S2, E9
  • The Good Place – S2, E10
  • The Good Place – S2, E11
  • The Good Place – S2, E12
  • The Good Place – S3, E1
  • The Good Place – S3, E2
  • The Good Place – S3, E3

Red Dwarf

  • Red Dwarf – S1, E2
  • Red Dwarf – S1, E3
  • Red Dwarf – S1, E4
  • Red Dwarf – S1, E5
  • Red Dwarf – S1, E6
  • Red Dwarf – S2, E3
  • Red Dwarf – S2, E5
  • Red Dwarf – S4, E1

IT Crowd

  • IT Crowd – S1, E1
  • IT Crowd – S1, E2
  • IT Crowd – S1, E4
  • IT Crowd – S3, E2

Miranda

  • Miranda – S1, E1
  • Miranda – S1, E2

Good Girls, Netflix

  • Good Girls – S1, E3
  • Good Girls – S1, E4
  • Good Girls – S1, E5
  • Good Girls – S1, E6
  • Good Girls – S1, E7
  • Good Girls – S1, E8
  • Good Girls – S1, E9
  • Good Girls – S1, E10
  • Good Girls – S3, E3

Big School, BBC

  • Big School – S1, E1
  • Big School – S1, E3
  • Big School – S1, E4

Outnumbered

  • Outnumbered – S1, E1
  • Outnumbered – S1, E2

Gavin & Stacey

  • Gavin & Stacey – S1, E1
  • Gavin & Stacey – S1, E2
  • Gavin & Stacey – S1, E3
  • Gavin & Stacey – S1, E4
  • Gavin & Stacey – S1, E6
  • Gavin & Stacey – S2, E1
  • Gavin & Stacey – S2, E2
  • Gavin & Stacey – S2, E4
  • Gavin & Stacey – S2, E5
  • Gavin & Stacey – S2, E6
  • Gavin & Stacey – S2, E7
  • Gavin & Stacey 2008 Christmas Special
  • Gavin & Stacey – S3, E1
  • Gavin & Stacey – S3, E2
  • Gavin & Stacey – S3, E4
  • Gavin & Stacey – S3, E5
  • Gavin & Stacey – S3, E6
  • Gavin & Stacey 2019 Christmas Special

Suits

  • Suits – S1, E2
  • Suits – S1, E3
  • Suits – S1, E4
  • Suits – S1, E5
  • Suits – S1, E6
  • Suits – S1, E7
  • Suits – S1, E8
  • Suits – S1, E9
  • Suits – S1, E10
  • Suits – S1, E11
  • Suits – S1, E12
  • Suits – S2, E2
  • Suits – S2, E3
  • Suits – S2, E4
  • Suits – S2, E5
  • Suits – S2, E6
  • Suits – S2, E8
  • Suits – S2, E9
  • Suits – S2, E10
  • Suits – S2, E11
  • Suits – S2, E12
  • Suits – S2, E13
  • Suits – S2, E14
  • Suits – S2, E15
  • Suits – S2, E16
  • Suits – S3, E1
  • Suits – S3, E2
  • Suits – S3, E3
  • Suits – S3, E4
  • Suits – S3, E5
  • Suits – S3, E6
  • Suits – S3, E7
  • Suits – S3, E8
  • Suits – S3, E9
  • Suits – S3, E10
  • Suits – S3, E11
  • Suits – S3, E12
  • Suits – S3, E13
  • Suits – S3, E14
  • Suits – S4, E1
  • Suits – S4, E2
  • Suits – S4, E3
  • Suits – S4, E4
  • Suits – S4, E5
  • Suits – S4, E6
  • Suits – S4, E7
  • Suits – S4, E8
  • Suits – S4, E9
  • Suits – S4, E10
  • Suits – S4, E11
  • Suits – S4, E12
  • Suits – S4, E14
  • Suits – S4, E15
  • Suits – S4, E16
  • Suits – S5, E2
  • Suits – S5, E3
  • Suits – S5, E4
  • Suits – S5, E5
  • Suits – S5, E6
  • Suits – S5, E7
  • Suits – S5, E8
  • Suits – S5, E9
  • Suits – S5, E10
  • Suits – S5, E11
  • Suits – S5, E12
  • Suits – S5, E13
  • Suits – S5, E14
  • Suits – S5, E15
  • Suits – S5, E16
  • Suits – S6, E1
  • Suits – S6, E2
  • Suits – S6, E3
  • Suits – S6, E4
  • Suits – S6, E5
  • Suits – S6, E6
  • Suits – S6, E7
  • Suits – S6, E8
  • Suits – S6, E9
  • Suits – S6, E10
  • Suits – S6, E11
  • Suits – S6, E12
  • Suits – S6, E13
  • Suits – S6, E14
  • Suits – S6, E15
  • Suits – S6, E16
  • Suits – S7, E1
  • Suits – S7, E2
  • Suits – S7, E3
  • Suits – S7, E4
  • Suits – S7, E5
  • Suits – S7, E6
  • Suits – S7, E7
  • Suits – S7, E8
  • Suits – S7, E9
  • Suits – S7, E10
  • Suits – S7, E11
  • Suits – S7, E12
  • Suits – S7, E13
  • Suits – S7, E14
  • Suits – S7, E15
  • Suits – S7, E16
  • Suits – S8, E1
  • Suits – S8, E2
  • Suits – S8, E3
  • Suits – S8, E4
  • Suits – S8, E5
  • Suits – S8, E6
  • Suits – S8, E7
  • Suits – S8, E8
  • Suits – S8, E9
  • Suits – S8, E10
  • Suits – S8, E11
  • Suits – S8, E13
  • Suits – S8, E14
  • Suits – S8, E15
  • Suits – S8, E16
  • Suits – S9, E1
  • Suits – S9, E2
  • Suits – S9, E3
  • Suits – S9, E4
  • Suits – S9, E5
  • Suits – S9, E6
  • Suits – S9, E7
  • Suits – S9, E9
  • Suits – S9, E10

The Umbrella Academy, Netflix

  • The Umbrella Academy – S1, E1
  • The Umbrella Academy – S1, E2

New Girl

  • New Girl – S1, E1
  • New Girl – S1, E2
  • New Girl – S1, E3
  • New Girl – S1, E4
  • New Girl – S1, E5
  • New Girl – S1, E7
  • New Girl – S1, E12
  • New Girl – S1, E14
  • New Girl – S1, E15
  • New Girl – S1, E17
  • New Girl – S1, E23
  • New Girl – S2, E1
  • New Girl – S2, E3
  • New Girl – S2, E7
  • New Girl – S2, E8
  • New Girl – S2, E9
  • New Girl – S2, E10
  • New Girl – S2, E11
  • New Girl – S2, E13
  • New Girl – S2, E14
  • New Girl – S2, E15
  • New Girl – S2, E16
  • New Girl – S2, E17
  • New Girl – S2, E19
  • New Girl – S2, E21
  • New Girl – S2, E22
  • New Girl – S2, E24
  • New Girl – S2, E25
  • New Girl – S3, E1
  • New Girl – S3, E2
  • New Girl – S3, E16

Only Fools & Horses

  • Only Fools & Horses – S3, E1

Series of Unfortunate Events, Netflix

  • Series of Unfortunate Events – S3, E1

Locke & Key, Netflix

  • Locke & Key – S1, E1
  • Locke & Key – S1, E2
  • Locke & Key – S1, E3
  • Locke & Key – S1, E4
  • Locke & Key – S1, E5
  • Locke & Key – S1, E7
  • Locke & Key – S1, E9
  • Locke & Key – S1, E10

The Big Bang Theory

  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E3 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E10 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E12 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E14 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E17 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E6 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E14 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E18
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E7 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E18
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E20 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E23 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E20 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E23 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E24
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E19 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E21 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E23
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E24
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E18 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E23
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E24 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E6 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E16 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E17 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E23
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E24
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E11 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E13 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E18
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E23
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E24
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E13 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E23
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E24
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E2 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E12 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E14
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E18
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E23
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E24
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E3 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E4 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E6
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E14 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E18
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E23
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E24
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E3
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E4
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E6 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E10
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E12
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E17
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E18 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E19
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E20
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E21 (mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E22
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E23

Staged, Netflix

  • Staged – S1, E1 (mention)
  • Staged – S1, E2
  • Staged – S1, E3
  • Staged – S1, E4
  • Staged – S1, E5
  • Staged – S1, E6

Arrow

  • Arrow – S1, E1

Friends

  • Friends – S1, E1 (spitting out water)
  • Friends – S1, E7 (spitting out of chewing gum)
  • Friends – S2, E8 (spitting out food)
  • Friends – S2, E13 (over-dramatic dying noises)
  • Friends – S3, E3 (spitting out of jam)
  • Friends – S3, E8 (hyperventilating into paper bag)
  • Friends – S4 Title Sequence (intense coughing)
  • Friends – S4, E23 (intense coughing)

Good Girls, Netflix

  • Good Girls – S1, E1
  • Good Girls – S1, E2 (spitting out of a chip)
  • Good Girls – S3, E1 (g*gging)
  • Good Girls – S3, E6 (spitting after brushing teeth)

Brooklyn Nine Nine

  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E1 (spitting out food)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E3 (spitting out food)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E4 (borderline g*gging)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E6 (mention: v* on costume)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E7 (borderline g*gging)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E8 (g*gging at smelly shoe)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E9 (spits pizza into bucket)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E10 (borderline g*gging)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E12 (minor g*gging)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E18 (choking on hair)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E20 (spitting out of an almond)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S1, E21 (mention of st*mach f*u)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E3 (mention of food p*isoning, looking s*ck & b*cket)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E8 (minor choking on mouth spray)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S2, E9 (spitting)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E3 (spitting out food)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E6 (spitting out of a drink)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E12 (spitting out food)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E3 (g*gging)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E14 (spitting)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E15 (spitting out cement)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E17 (g*gging & lots of mention)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E20 (spitting out fuel)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E2 (spitting out of a cookie)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E18 (coughing)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S5, E20 (lots of t*ilet flushing)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E2 (reactions to gross smells)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E6 (hyperventilating into a bag)
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E7 (choking & mention)

The Good Place

  • The Good Place – S1, E2 (lots of mention)
  • The Good Place – S2, E1 (arm in mouth/spitting)
  • The Good Place – S2, E3 (joke g*gging)
  • The Good Place – S2, E5 (spitting out of a toad)
  • The Good Place – S2, E6 (projectile spitting of coins)

Red Dwarf

  • Red Dwarf – S1, E1 (spitting out soup)
  • Red Dwarf – S2, E2 (mentions st*mach p*mp)
  • Red Dwarf – S2, E4 (mentions st*mach p*mp)
  • Red Dwarf – S2, E6 (spitting out beer)
  • Red Dwarf – S3, E1 (eats food backwards)

IT Crowd

  • IT Crowd – S1, E3 (sauce mistaken for something)
  • IT Crowd – S1, E5 (carries around b*cket of chicken)

Only Fools & Horses

  • Only Fools & Horses – S3, E1 (coughing/spluttering)

Gavin & Stacey

  • Gavin & Stacey – S1, E5 (mention/drunken behaviour)
  • Gavin & Stacey – S2, E3 (fingers down throat motion)

Suits

  • Suits – S1, E1 (drugs tipped in toilet, poss. triggering)
  • Suits – S2, E1 (inference of instance leaving toilet)
  • Suits – S2, E7 (mention in bathroom, poss. triggering)
  • Suits – S4, E13 (choking but no instance)
  • Suits – S9, E8 (spitting)

New Girl

  • New Girl – S1, E6 (character looks n*useous)
  • New Girl – S1, E8 (character looks s*ck but isn’t)
  • New Girl – S1, E9 (disgusted coughing)
  • New Girl – S1, E10 (mild sounds in background)
  • New Girl – S1, E11 (g*gging at the end of episode)
  • New Girl – S1, E13 (choking on a cherry)
  • New Girl – S1, E18 (lots of looking s*ck)
  • New Girl – S1, E19 (intense coughing)
  • New Girl – S1, E20 (spitting)
  • New Girl – S1, E22 (spitting out of water)
  • New Girl – S2, E4 (intense coughing)
  • New Girl – S2, E18 (spitting out of a drink)
  • New Girl – S2, E23 (minor g*gging)
  • New Girl – S3, E3 (g*gging & spitting out of food)
  • New Girl – S3, E5 (choking)

Bodyguard, BBC

  • Bodyguard – S1, E2 (lots of blood)
  • Bodyguard – S1, E3 (blood from mouth)
  • Bodyguard – S1, E4 (lots of blood)

Locke & Key, Netflix

  • Locke & Key – S1, E6 (lots of coughing & choking on water)

The Big Bang Theory

  • The Big Bang Theory – S1, E11 (excessive coughing & mention of gross flu symptoms)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E23 (coughing/choking)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E1 (choking)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E1 (spitting out of water)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E6 (spitting out of a snow cone)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E7 (spitting out of a drink several times)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E18 (hyperventilating into a bag)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E19 (spitting out of toothpaste onto a mirror)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E1 (spitting out of spaghetti)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E2 (spitting out of a toy train)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E10 (spitting into a spittoon)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E12 (g*gging about a dead bird)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E18 (lots of mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E3 (coughing/choking)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E4 (phlegm is coughed up & spitting into a tissue)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E10 (lots of g*gging when g*tting a fish)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E8 (burping & mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S7, E18 (coughing)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S8, E2 (choking & coughing up of a spit ball)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S9, E18 (fingers put down throat jokingly)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E9 (spitting out of sweets & mention)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E14 (spitting)
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E15 (lots of mention)

You, Netflix

  • All Series – Instances in Most Episodes!

Plebs

  • All Series – Instances in Most Episodes!

Breaking Bad

  • All Series – Instances in Most Episodes!

Episodes

  • All Series – Instances in Most Episodes!

Suits

  • Suits – S5, E1

New Girl

  • New Girl – S1, E16
  • New Girl – S1, E21
  • New Girl – S2, E2
  • New Girl – S2, E5
  • New Girl – S2, E6
  • New Girl – S2, E12
  • New Girl – S2, E20

Gavin & Stacey

  • Gavin & Stacey – S3, E3

Grace & Frankie, Netflix

  • Grace & Frankie – S1, E1

Locke & Key, Netflix

  • Locke & Key – S1, E8

The Big Bang Theory

  • The Big Bang Theory – S2, E9
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S3, E15
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E13
  • The Big Bang Theory – S4, E21
  • The Big Bang Theory – S5, E8
  • The Big Bang Theory – S6, E7
  • The Big Bang Theory – S10, E5
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E2
  • The Big Bang Theory – S11, E11
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E16
  • The Big Bang Theory – S12, E24

Arrow

  • Arrow – S1, E2

Brooklyn Nine Nine

  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S3, E5
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S4, E10
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine – S6, E5

Films

  • Black Beauty
  • Notting Hill
  • Shrek
  • Peter Rabbit, 2018
  • The Holiday
  • This Means War
  • Me Before You
  • Sex Tape
  • Now You See Me
  • Before We Go
  • The Santa Clause
  • The Christmas Chronicles, Netflix
  • Love Actually
  • Sing, Illumination
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Nativity
  • Nativity 2
  • The Grinch
  • Matilda
  • Muppets – Christmas Carol
  • Dumplin’, Netflix
  • The Unicorn Store, Netflix
  • The Terminal
  • Legally Blonde
  • Hear No Evil, See No Evil
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • Princess Diaries 2
  • Insurgent
  • The Prestige
  • 27 Dresses
  • The Mask (intense coughing)
  • What Happens in Vegas (g*gging)
  • Avengers – Infinity War (blood from mouth)
  • Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle (scorpion from mouth)
  • Solo – A Star Wars Story (spitting after fight)
  • Mulan (spitting once)
  • Monsters vs. Aliens (spitting out of a person)
  • Now You See Me 2 (reaction to stunt involving severed arm)
  • Bad Moms (spitting out drinks)
  • When Harry Met Sally (spitting out grape seeds)
  • Friends With Benefits (joke g*gging/spitting out of a drink)
  • How to be Single (spitting out drinks)
  • Deck the Halls (camel spits)
  • The Greatest Showman (spitting out drinks/intense coughing)
  • Isn’t It Romantic, Netflix (choking)
  • Hitch (choking on an olive)
  • Suicide Squad (spitting of fire)
  • Murder Mystery, Netflix (foam on mouth)
  • Bad Boys (g*gging at sight of dead body)
  • Sherlock Holmes, 2009 (spitting & choking)
  • Enchanted (spitting out of live fish into water bowl)
  • Beauty & The Beast, Animated (spitting)
  • Beauty & The Beast, Live Action (spitting of water)
  • Toy Story 4 (cat coughs up toy & spitting an apple into bin)
  • Moana (chicken regurgitates a rock)
  • Hercules, Animated (regurgitation of substances by titan characters)
  • Monsters Inc. (spitting out false teeth, toilet flushing, burps microphone)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl (choking/coughing up water & spitting)
  • Captain Marvel (tentacles projected from a cat’s mouth)
  • Inception (leaning over sinks, coughing up blood & coughing into a hat)
  • Frozen II (spitting out water, mention & hand over mouth)
  • Divergent (coughing)
  • Allegiant (coughing)
  • Focus (spitting out of a mouth-guard)
  • Ride Along (spitting)
  • Baywatch, 2017
  • Pacific Rim
  • The Interview
  • Deadpool
  • Deadpool 2
  • Dark Shadows
  • Spy, Netflix
  • Bad Neighbours 2
  • The Other Woman
  • 21 Jump Street
  • White Chicks
  • Knocked Up
  • Along Came Polly
  • Bridget Jones’s Baby
  • Big Daddy
  • We’re The Millers (baby at the beginning)
  • Popstar
  • Identity Thief
  • Men In Black (alien baby)
  • Oceans 8
  • When We First Met
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me
  • Blades of Glory
  • Venom
  • Incredibles 2
  • Elf (one minor instance, no visual but leans over bin & sounds)
  • Kindergarten Cop
  • American Pie
  • The Internship
Uncategorized

On Losing Your Glasses

Ever experienced that irritating instance of losing your glasses, stressing and rushing around in attempt to find them, whilst panicking that you’ll have to live in a state of short-sightedness for the foreseeable future? If so, you tend to end up re-tracing your steps and racking your brain as to where you could’ve possibly lost them, only to make the embarrassing discovery that they’ve been on top of your head the entire time.

It’s a little like getting on with a situation that’s not right for you, as if your lack of vision forces you into an anxious state for fear of never finding what you need – when what you needed was easily within your reach the whole time.

Now that many realms of work are on lockdown, maybe the only perk of your employment situation – financial stability – is no longer there. With people all around the world tackling lack of wages, worrying about not being able to buy basic supplies (due to selfish people stockpiling), and feeling utterly lost amidst these unprecedented situations, it kind of feels like everyone needs to take a step back.

This horrific virus has, terrifyingly, not yet reached the peak of its impact. We are in fear for our vulnerable loved ones’ wellbeing.

Given the stark reality of this, considering individual health – both physical and mental – is of utmost importance. So, why not consider that career change you’ve always wanted to make? Or using this time in isolation to plan extensively for that adventure of a lifetime? After all, we have access to infinite internet resources. Alternatively, why don’t you try out that new hobby you’ve always wanted to but never had time for?

Being out in the countryside, it’s obvious there’s been a positive impact in favour of nature. One swift swipe of any social media site will display dolphins returning to Venice’s waterways, the pollution levels in China greatly reduced, and I’ve noticed that here in Cardiff there’s been more wild birds than ever braving trees close to houses that they’d never normally perch upon.

We need to work together, to help everyone emerge at the end of this COVID-19 outbreak safe, healthy and happy.

So before humanity delves into insanity, let’s take a deep breath.

We can do this.

We all need to be sensible, considerate, and patient.

Just as every time you’ve accidentally left your glasses on top of your head, you’ll find them when that state of panic is over and you’re calm enough to be rational.

Thoughts are with all affected during these difficult times. Focus on the light, and it’ll guide you through the darkness <3

I’m here for anyone feeling lonely during isolation. As you already know, I love writing – so please feel free to send an email if you’d like to share a virtual conversation πŸ™‚

d.e.kendall@outlook.com

Best wishes,

Dannika

Author, Uncategorized

About Emetophobia

Millions of people around the world suffer this debilitating phobia, yet shockingly few people seem to know what it is.

If you dont already know what emetophobia is, I wont be explaining it here; so as not to trigger any fellow emetophobes. It should take seconds to search on Google though πŸ™‚

I’ve suffered from it since I was around 7 years old. They say it can usually be traced back to one particularly horrific experience. For me, I’m almost certain it was the Christmas my Dad under-cooked a turkey.

For those who cant understand, whatever I am about to write will probably confirm whatever judgements you may have made about me being out-of-the-ordinary. If you happen to think my anxious habits strange, then I totally get it, I do. Heck, I have always stressed myself out over it, but it is part of me now. And I wont apologise for being me, just as no genuine, good, considerate person should – without our uniqueness the world would be a pretty boring place!

Anyways, instances of the phobic variety cause any emetophobia sufferer to go into panic overdrive. No amount of disinfecting, hand washing, starvation or self-isolation seems enough protection. It’s a guarantee an emetophobe will take weeks if not months to recover from being in the vicinity of an incident, regardless of the fact they almost certainly weren’t to experience it themselves. Should anyone around appear to show any sign remotely related to the instance that sends we phobics into a full-power nervous breakdown, we will not only keep our distance – we’ll also obsessively clean ourselves, often avoid food just in case our already anxious stomach is upset to the point of no return, and even lock ourselves away from the outside world for 24-48 hours, until we’ve satisfied the emet-demon that we’re safe from catching anything sinister.

As you can imagine, this makes virtually every activity an anxiety attack risk. Travelling in the car or public transport there’s a chance fellow travelers become a cause for concern – whether on the side of the road or within our immediate breathing space. Going clubbing, or for nights out, or house parties involving copious amounts of alcohol consumption never end well – the resulting effects are usually a source of hilarity for everyone else; whereas it’s the complete opposite for us. Going on holiday and trying new, exotic foods is terrifying enough to put us off going away in the first place. And don’t get me started on the agonizing strength of anxiousness experienced when attending or working in an environment surrounded by children – the majority of whom don’t seem to have a decent grasp on hand hygiene, and tend to find foul happenings funny. Watching films, especially in the cinema when relatives and friends haven’t been able to ‘vet’ it for you first, is a white-knuckle experience akin to jumping out of an aeroplane if you have a phobia of heights. You become superstitious, afraid to wear the same clothes as the day of any given incident – even if it was experienced by someone else – just in case it’s bad omen.

Emetophobia turns you into your own worst enemy, as you are petrified of your own body. Can you imagine living in this constant state of highly pressurized anxiety 24/7? It’s the reality for emetophobics.

Due to emetophobia, I developed anxiety, OCD and depression. However, after attending my GP, therapy (CBT didn’t work for me unfortunately, though I was thankful it helped me understand the phobia a little better) and going through some rather challenging times, I learned that any traumatic experience has potential to be a trigger for emetophobia. For me, being bullied in school, then sexually and emotionally abused as an adult, had a devastating effect on my mental health due to the added strain of living with this life-limiting phobia. Occasionally to the point I wasn’t sure how I could continue to live in this state of constant torture (I have my horses, dogs, family and friends to thank infinitely for helping me save myself).

Over the years I developed many habits a normal person would certainly consider odd. Whilst in school, I’d change my clothes and shower at least three times a day – wouldn’t allow any of my school clothes, bags, shoes etc. to ‘contaminate’ anything related to the rest of my life (most namely that which I considered precious, so primarily anything to do with my horses). If Mum expected me to leave school and go straight to the stables without showering and changing my clothes, I’d have a meltdown. I went through a phase when starvation seemed the best way to avoid the risk altogether. Since I was being bullied anyway, I figured losing weight whilst preventing any threat to my ‘safe’ existence would be a win win. So, I would eat as little as I possibly could. My lunch would end up fed to the seagulls hanging around the high school playing fields, and I’d do all I could to avoid mealtimes – my parents rarely allowed me to leave the table without at least a few mouthfuls of dinner. Even then I’d only eat bland food. I would spend as long as humanly fathomable at the stables, exercising off as much ‘fat’ as I possibly could, content in the knowledge I was safe from my phobia, as well as from bullies. I was never an overweight child, but I was 6 and a half stone until my late teens.

Once I’d left school I learned to manage my phobia far better. Without skipping by my adult experiences, during the couple of years of fighting continuous phobic tendencies, I ramped up my usual OCD handwashing and personal hygiene processes. I started using excessive amounts of hand sanitizer, to the point I developed severe eczema on my hands. I stopped having to change clothes every five minutes, but I ended up trying out many different stomach settling medications and meditation to try calm myself down. I had a few exceedingly wobbly days and took to the drastic measure of staying awake all night when I believed myself most vulnerable to all manner of horrors – worst of all that phobic instance. Quite sad really, that because I was so focused on dealing with the hellish mental state emetophobia forced me into, I didn’t realise the extent to which I should’ve realised how terrible other realms of my life had become. I daren’t risk getting pregnant, for the crippling fear I experienced just thinking about what might happen to me relating to this dreadful phobia. Perhaps that was why my situation was fraught with frustration; I couldn’t bring myself to provide what everyone so desperately wanted.

Thankfully, that phase of my life ended. Divorced from the shackles of fear controlling my every manouvere, freedom seemed all the more wondrous. It took quite a long time to recover, and I’m sure that perhaps deep down I will always be recovering, but I want to assure you there’s light at the end of the tunnel if you suffer emetophobia.

You don’t have to be terrified of your body every second of every day, despite the fact that’s what we end up being.

I get my bad days like everyone does with this awful phobia-demon, though my protective habits mainly consist of:

* Being vegetarian (I admit my phobia isn’t the only reason I chose to be veggie).

* Keeping my hands clean as possible at all times.

* Always avoid touching my face unless I’ve just washed my hands.

* Carrying extra strong mints with me if my stomach does feel a little off (which tends to do the trick by settling such sensations).

* Taking great comfort in learning that the only real cause for a phobic instance is poisoning (even then it could manifest in the opposite direction; through pregnancy or catching something it isn’t a necessity either) – there are people who have genuinely lived their entire lives without remembering an instance.

* Reminding myself that I’ve survived many awful episodes surrounded by phobic triggers, and I’ve been absolutely fine once I’ve looked back – which makes it feel I’ve wasted time worrying and overthinking.

* Working as a vet receptionist and having to repeat trigger words literally hundreds of times a day, means I can say trigger words without experiencing a spike in anxiety levels.

* Having an amazing boyfriend/wonderful family/fab friends who keep an eye out for phobia triggers in films so I know when to avoid them. I’ve improved to the point that I’ll even watch films with phobic instances in, provided I cover my ears and close my eyes until the offending scene is over – something I’d never have done even two years ago (I’d have avoided watching the film at all).

I’ve also been following some Instagram pages that review films and post whether they’re ‘safe’ for emetophobes or not. In fact, I decided to do something to help others in my situation, using the fact I was noting TV programs and films as being ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ for fellow emetophobics as a sort of self-therapy.

If I get enough of a response, I may well post what I managed to list if I can find it. I may even start adding to it again if there’s demand…

I do really feel it would be worth having films, TV shows, books, magazines, even plays marked with logos such as the following. It would make life a heck of a lot more bearable for those of us with emetophobia – what do you think?

<- Image Copyright 2020 Β©D.E. Kendall

(I’m aware it’d be virtually impossible to roll out, as there are countless phobias that could be triggered by any of the entertainment vessels mentioned above, but it may be a consideration for a particularly ambitious collective to create some sort of listing for anyone with varying degrees of different phobias, to make consuming entertainment more comfortable for everyone.)

Now you’re fully aware of my idiosyncrasies, I hope I’ve helped you feel a hundred times better about yourself – regardless of whatever mental health issue(s) you’re dealing with πŸ™‚

Please know that you are never alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re struggling. We are all stronger than we believe – the fact we’ve fought our fears up to this very moment prove that; we have no reason not to continue being courageous.

You’ll be fine <3

Best wishes,

Dannika