This is just a fun little post made up of lots of different facts about me. It’s so important to remember that people have personalities that exist outside of their mental health difficulties – so this is just a little selection of some of the things that make me who I am!
A – Australian Masterchef
I know it sounds ridiculous, but this, along with RuPaul’s Drag Race, is my absolute favourite reality TV show. People cannot wrap their head around the fact that I am so invested in this obscure competition from the other side of the world, but I seriously live for it. It’s SO much better than the British version – the judges are amazing and the challenges are so much fun! Plus it’s on 5 days a week for months at a time so you get some good watching out of it! I never quite know what I’m going to do with myself when it finishes and I have to wait another year.
B – Body modification
I have always loved body modification – when I was 13 I started piercing my own ears and decided I would be a tattooist when I grew up (until I came to terms with the fact I am an average artist). I’ve had a tonne of piercings but currently I just have my nose, septum, tongue, ears and navel. I have 20 tattoos and counting; they’re my favourite thing to collect!
C – Cats
I am famously a cat lady among all who know me. My absolute best friend is my beautiful cat, Panda – but more about him later! I have so many cat themed clothes, ornaments, pictures, jewellery etc all around my house and there’s not much that is more exciting than an unknown cat out in the world letting you pet it. All the cat pictures please!
D – Disney
Disney movies are pretty much my go to thing to watch if I’m feeling sad. Alice in Wonderland, the Aristocats, Mulan and Pocahontas are my favourites, I could watch them a hundred times (and probably have). I actually have tattoos from Alice in Wonderland and the Aristocats, and I have the Disney logo too. I have loved all the live action remakes as well, especially the Jungle Book which was amazing!
E – Exercise
I have a bit of a love hate relationship with exercise. I am a pretty consistent gym goer and have been for years, although the frequency that I go can range from anything from 5 days a week to just once depending on how busy I am. I discovered weights after getting a personal trainer a few years ago and now weights is definitely my go to form of exercise over cardio, though I do love going for runs in the summer. I’ve also asked for a bike for Christmas so I’m hoping to be able to start cycling next year too.
F – Feminism
I am a loud and proud feminist. I was always aware that women had a different experience in life than men, but about 5-6 years ago I guess, I started to take a real interest in social issues. That when I became much more acutely aware of the scale of inequality across the world experienced by women from birth, and leading on from this I started learning about the experiences of the LGBT and BME communities too. It’s very important to me that I try and understand the difficulties faced by minority groups, including women all over the world, and I try really hard to read constantly about what is helpful and what isn’t. I like to this I have an awareness of lots of different social issues and I am always trying to educate and better myself in that respect.
G – Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival is one of my favourite places in the whole world. I’ve been 4 years in a row with some of my best friends and have the happiest memories there. Anything goes, it’s such a free and accepting environment. I’ve never felt safer a festival, and apart from the odd dick (which is inevitable in 200,000 people), it genuinely feels like one big family with everyone looking out for each other. It’s such a hard thing to quantify if you’ve never been, but trust me, it’s amazing. Ticket Day is hands down one of the most stressful dates in my annual calendar – thankfully it’s the fallow year next year so I got a break from the anxiety in October!
H – Hair dye
I have pink hair. I’ve had pink hair for years now with the odd deviation to another colour in between – last year I have turquoise and purple, and earlier this year I had a rainbow. But pink is my favourite colour and I always go back to it. It’s high maintenance but I had it darker for a while a few months back and I missed it so much! It always gets peoples attention and I frequently get told I look like a mermaid or princess which are, let’s face it, two pretty great compliments.
I – Instagram
I love Instagram (you can find me at @cats.and.tatts). I’m slightly less obsessed with it now as I used to be, but it’s my favourite place to find new tattoo artists and design inspiration. The accounts I follow are pretty much 50% cats, 20% bunnies, 20% tattoos and 10% colourful hair. I also follow a few baking accounts, which is something I love to do but don’t really get time to nowadays.
J – Jumpers
I own what is probably an unreasonable amount of jumpers. I am quite a cold person in general and there is nothing cosier than a big cosy jumper, which means I have ended with probably 20+ jumpers, some of which are almost identical. You can guarantee that I’ll be wearing one way into the summer months.
K – Kitchen
I love to cook, especially baking. When I had lots of time off when I was a student, I was often in the kitchen making cakes. I don’t get the opportunity so much now, but I always make birthday cakes for my family and treats for people at Christmas like fudge or cookies.
L – Love
My boyfriend and I met at work and have been together for 6 years. He’s completely wonderful, kind, selfless, generous and trustworthy – all qualities which are incredibly valuable to me. He’s always supported me through any mental health crisis I’ve had and never makes me feel to blame for these difficulties. He definitely keeps me going when things are tough.
M – Mates
My friends are amazing and the most important people in the world to me. We don’t get to see each other that often because of work commitments, but we speak every day and keep updated on each other’s lives. It always cheers me up getting to chat to them and is pretty essential to my wellbeing. I know I’m really lucky to have such a strong support network.
N – Nurse
I am a nurse! I qualified as a registered mental health nurse this year and I work in child and adolescent mental health services which I absolutely love. I graduated with a first and with the highest grades in my year, which I am super proud of but relieved the studying is over as it caused so much stress! I am a complete perfectionist and anything less than the best isn’t good enough for me, so thankfully I managed to get there. I chose to be a nurse after receiving such amazing care from mental health nurses when I was growing up, and I’m lucky enough that some of those people who inspired me are now my colleagues.
O – The Office
The Office: An American Workplace is my favourite TV show of all time; I adore every minute of it. I’ve watched it 4 times and it is just as funny every time. I feel so personally offended when people say ‘The British one is better’ or ‘American’s won’t do it justice’ without even giving it a chance. The original is good don’t get me wrong, but it has nothing on the American version. It’s one of the only things that can make me laugh out loud even when I’m on my own, and I could probably find a quote for every situation. But I don’t (out loud anyway).
P – Pets
I absolutely adore animals and having pets. I’ve covered my fur babies in a previous post in more details, but to summarise I have my beautiful cat, Panda, who is 7 and my absolute soulmate in animal form. I also have my two bunnies, Luna and Lola who I adore – they have both just turned 3 and are the absolute best of friends. I’ve also always kept fish and find them very relaxing to watch.
Q – Quote
My favourite quote is ‘Nevertheless, she persisted’, which has been adopted by the feminist movement after being said to Senator Elizabeth Warren to silence her, and is taken from the full sentence of ‘She was warned, she was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted’. I love it not only because it represents feminism, but also because I think it can be applied to so many areas of life, particularly mental health, in which you may feel like you are fighting a constant battle but keep on going regardless. It’s going to be a tattoo one day.
R – RuPauls Drag Race
I mentioned this earlier, but I bloody love this show. I only discovered it fairly recently but I can’t get enough of it. It makes me laugh so much and I’ve started accidentally using sayings from it in my daily vocabulary which my boyfriend HATES but I think is hilarious. I watched the whole of series 6 in 6 days and I work full time which is quite an achievement.
S – Shopping
I have the shopping bug and it’s terrible. I’m trying so hard to cut down but I absolutely cannot stop buying clothes. There’s so many things in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn and I end up giving so many things away to charity every year. I’m definitely getting better at using some self restraint but I’m an absolute sucker for an ASOS sale.
T – Travel
Visiting new places is one of my favourite things to do, but it was only since staying in the Philippines for a month last year that I really got the bug for exploring. Next year I am going to Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bali and hopefully Ibiza, Edinburgh, Dublin and another city break if I can squeeze one in. It makes me realise how insignificant I am but in a good way if that makes sense!
U – University
I graduated this year from the University of Southampton, after finish my mental health nursing degree with first class honours. I’ll be honest, my university experience wasn’t great in terms of the teaching, but the faculty were always very encouraging and supportive of me. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with studying; I find it so stressful and put myself under huge pressure, but I also really enjoy reading and writing. I finished school with 3 GCSE’s after having to take them during my inpatient admission, so I never thought I’d achieve a degree, especially with a first and the highest grades in my year.
V – Volunteering
I started volunteering in 2014 for Time To Change and I owe so much of how my life has progressed since then to them. They made me fully accept who I am, which includes my mental health, and allowed me to share my experiences for the good of others. I let some amazing friends through this work too. I also volunteer for Solent Mind, talking in schools in my local area about mental health, although work commitments have meant I haven’t done this for a while. I have another role too, in the Dorset Mental Health Forum, where I am part of a group of people introducing peer led recovery support in inpatient CAMHS.
W – Whale Sharks
When I was in the Philippines last year I swam with whale sharks. I am terrified of the sea but I have been gradually overcoming this over the last few years and have been brave enough to start snorkelling in water where I can see the bottom but can’t touch it. I put my face in the water once I jumped off the boat and it was just completely black towards the bottom because it was so deep. I’m not going to lie – I massively freaked out. But once I saw once of these beautiful creatures swimming under me I felt much better: firstly because it gave me a bit of depth perception, but also because they were so peaceful. I’m super proud of myself for doing it because I so nearly chickened out, which I would’ve regretted so much! It was definitely and experience I’ll never forget. I even have a tattoo of one!
X – X-Ray
I have pretty bad asthma and have to take quite a lot of medication, and my symptoms are often brought on by allergies and changes to the weather. I’ve had to have a few x-rays on my chest when I’ve been admitted to the hospital after having asthma attacks, which bizarrely only really started as an adult after I had a really severe allergic reaction to mould in my flat. 3 years after moving out, my symptoms are completely unchanged so it looks like it’s not going to improve.
Y – Young People
As I mentioned earlier, I am a nurse working in CAMHS and a volunteer raising awareness about young people’s mental health. Working with young people is so rewarding and I can’t see myself ever leaving this area of mental health care. I had such great care when I was under CAMHS and that gave me the desire to be part of a service that could replicate this care for young people today.
Z – Zoos
I know some people will get annoyed about this because of the complex ethics involved, but I absolutely love going to the zoo! I do believe that they contribute to the conservation of many endangered species, and I adore animals, so getting to see them up close is great. I am also a big fan of wildlife parks and aquariums.
So now you know lots more about me – why don’t you have a go and let your followers learn more about you?