Coffee in Culross



Jacket // Topshop // Shirt // Zara // Jeans // ASOS // Belt // ASOS // Shoes // Zara // Bag // Gucci // Watch // Daniel Wellington // Bracelet 1 // Michael Kors // Bracelet 2 // Monica Vinader // Ring 1 // Pandora // Ring 2 // Market in Crete

Okay, so I've officially discovered my new favourite spot for shooting blog outfits - the streets of Culross!

I had no clue that this beautiful Fife village was so close to my home, but I'm so glad I found it (thanks mum!). Not only is it extremely picturesque (hello instagram!), but it's steeped in history, so peaceful, and great to explore. The village is filled with cute coffee shops, independent boutiques, a pub and LOADS of old houses - the oldest I discovered was built in 1612!

On a rainy Monday, after grabbing a spot of lunch at Bessie's Cafe, my mum, dad and I embarked on an #OOTD photoshoot...

I'm so glad I managed to get my hands on the frayed hem Farleigh jeans from ASOS - after being out of stock in my saved items for two months, I finally have them, and they haven't been off my legs since! My shoes are a Zara sale bargain (£50 down to £15 - Yaldi!), my coat is an old Topshop number, and similarly, my shirt is from Zara about 2 years ago!

Accessory wise, my bag is from Gucci, watch is Daniel Wellington, my bracelet is Monica Vinader, as is my necklace, my belt is ASOS and I picked my sunglasses up from a stall at V Festival last year!

As the weather is getting colder, darker and duller, I'm so looking forward to putting together more AW outfits (that aren't two years old - I promise!). Winter has always been my favourite season (hot chocolate, chunky knits, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, and Christmas) and I cannot wait to crack out the oversized coats and knits. Watch this space for more OOTD's (that's Outfit of the Day if you're new here!)

Thanks for reading, until next time
SB x
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Anxiety, depression and OCD | My Story


I have been pretty honest about my struggles with mental health in the past, particularly on this blog, however what I'm about to share is probably the most important but most difficult post I will ever write.

I never thought my current battle would be something I’d speak publicly about. This was originally supposed to be an academic style report for my eyes only, an exercise my therapist suggested I try, designed to aid my recovery and curb my compulsions (more on that later). But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to share this part of my life. Because if I’d stumbled across a post like this on someone else’s blog, or an article online or even a tweet or Facebook post when I was at my worst, it may have been the light at the end of the tunnel I desperately needed. 

So, here it goes…

Hi, my name’s Suzy and I suffer from anxiety, depression and OCD.

Heavy stuff for a Tuesday night, right?

To some, especially the friends I’ve made over the past year or so, this may come as a complete surprise, to others it’s something we’ve learned to deal with for a while now. I say “we” because when you suffer from a mental illness, or three, it doesn’t just affect you. It affects the people closest to you just as much, and we have to learn how to cope with it together.

My OCD takes the form of intrusive thoughts, which is when you have involuntary obsessional thoughts that cause you severe anxiety and distress. Intrusive thoughts can cover a whole spectrum of subjects, the most popular being sexual thoughts, violent thoughts, relationship thoughts, magical thinking and religious beliefs. If you are interested, a more in-depth definition of intrusive thoughts, including examples of the sub-categories I've just listed, can be found here.

Before I was diagnosed, I was completely ignorant to what OCD actually was. Like most, I presumed it was when people repeatedly washed their hands and liked to have their belongings in a specific order. I had no idea about the world of intrusive thoughts and the debilitating effect OCD has on the suffer’s life.

I had to give up my budding career in PR as the strain of the job was one of the main contributions to the decline of my mental health. During my notice period, I was signed off work after visiting my GP to discuss my issues. In hindsight, I wasn’t 100% honest with him in terms of voicing exactly what I was going through, but said enough for him to offer me anti depressants and a referral to a mental health clinic. 

The time I took off work was horrendous. I spent the majority of my days in bed, or screaming into my pillow just so I could hear anything other than the repetitive thoughts in my head. I cried so much that I couldn't breath, let alone speak to anyone or eat anything, and the simple task of walking downstairs to get a cup of tea would drain the little energy I had left and set me back an hour’s nap. My thoughts were so loud and intense and rapid and there wasn't a second of the day my brain wasn't in overdrive. My mind was so consumed with distressing thoughts, I struggled to remember what it was like to think like a “normal person”. I was obsessively googling my symptoms and continuously fighting with my brain to try and “neutralise” my thoughts. It was relentless and exhausting and I couldn’t see a way out.

***

Suicide is a concept I never quite understood. I couldn't fathom how someone could be suffering so much, that the only way they saw to end their pain was to end their life.

Suicide is a concept I never quite understood until now. This was the first time in my life I could genuinely understand what could drive someone to commit suicide, because it was the first time in my life that I thought about doing it myself. 

***

The clinic had a four week waiting list, but I knew I couldn't wait that long. Fortunately I had the means to go private, and was lucky enough to get an appointment with a psychologist and CBT specialist within a day. This is hands down what saved me and changed my life for the better.

Finding out I had OCD was a relief. I wasn’t crazy - what was going on inside my head was a result of a mental illness. And although it cannot be completely cured, I am learning how to manage it so it doesn’t control me. The techniques I have learned in my CBT sessions have been invaluable to my recovery. There was once a time I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, I could see no hope for my future and didn't want to be here. Now, I am in a much better place - living, instead of just existing. I take tablets to control my anxiety and I’m implementing techniques I’ve learned in therapy to help with my depression. A combination of cognitive restructuring and mindfulness is helping me tackle my OCD and I am finally in a place where my mental illness’ seem manageable - something I carry alongside me rather than something that has a hold on me. I've settled wonderfully into a new job and I finally feel like I'm getting my spark back. 

I will always have good days and bad days, but something that really helps is knowing I’m not alone. It is estimated that over 700,000 people are suffering from OCD in the UK and nearly a fifth of adults in the UK experience anxiety or depression.


To anyone reading this who may be suffering, I cannot urge you enough to seek help. The pain may be strong but so are you, and there isn’t a battle you can’t fight. You just gotta take it one day at a time…

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SuzyBlue 2 2.0

Full outfit from ASOS

Hi there, welcome back - it's been a while!

I don’t have any excuse for abandoning my blog other than lack of inspiration, motivation and time. My life has done a full 360 since leaving uni and I finally feel ready and excited about sharing my life online again. 

So, what’s been going on? Here’s a quick glimpse into where I’ve been and what i've been doing for the last year and a half.

As 2015 came to a close, I found myself in a really difficult place. The life I’d built and been happily living in Aberdeen for the previous four years had ended. Subsequently, my four year relationship ended, the group of I girls I grew to know and love at uni all went their separate ways and I found myself back living in my childhood home not knowing who I was or what I should do next. I instantly missed the routine and the comfort that being in education gave me. My weeks had structure and I was always working towards achieving the next step on the academic ladder. When that ended, the realities of my impending adulthood loomed over me and I didn’t quite know where to begin.

After getting my degree, I began my professional career in the PR industry, working for two of the most established agencies in the business. It was gruelling but glam. Press releases and photocalls by day, networking over cocktails by night. I got to work on some of the biggest campaigns for some of the UK’s most well known brands and got to work with some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met (Ali, Lesley, Yas and Amy, I'm talking to you). Sadly, due to my mental health (more on that later), I’ve since had to leave the world of PR and I’ve now embarked on a new career path, something i've always been passionate about - makeup artistry. You'll now find me glaming up the people of Glasgow at Bobbi Brown’s flagship concession.

I’ve moved out and have a new man in my life. Steven and I met a year and a half ago, and he’s had me laughing every day since (not to mention he’s an absolute 10).



It's been a bit of a journey, but for now, i'm content with who I am, and where I am in life and i'm excited to see where it takes me next. So, without further ado, welcome back to my world...


SuzyBlue 2016-2017


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