Well, it’s temporary, darling. ๐Ÿ’› X

Humm so, the last week or two have been an absolute whirlwind of emotions. I am exhausted. The ol’ anxiety has run itself ragged, especially in the last week and I am FRIED.COM.

Welfare is going great, I think! It’s been a bit of a struggle but I’m really beginning to find my feet. (I know when the students arrive the rug will be ripped from under me again.. but I’ll be ready!) I struggled with technology a lot when I started. I can blog and instagram and that is the absolute limit to what I can do and I wish I was exaggerating. LOL. I needed a ‘teach Kimbo all technology hour’ that turned out to take almost three. But that’s okay! The others think I’m a bit of a goose, but sure, they wouldn’t be wrong! If you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

In all seriousness though, the team have been so supportive and they’re all so lovely. I reckon I’m going to be exceedingly happy in the Union this year. And stressed. It’s not going to be easy but I think that by the end of the year I’m going to end up falling so in love with both this job and myself. I hope anyway. I reckon I’m about to learn exactly what I’m made of.

Like I said, the last week or so has been hard and very emotional for a bunch of different reasons. Everything just all seemed to happen at once, as it alway does. I know I seem to do this in all my blog posts but I really gotta include a shout-out to all of my friends here. They have, as always been insanely amazing. I literally could not life without them. I already think that they’re the very best people in the entire world but they literally never, ever fail to surprise me with how much support and love they show me. I don’t know how I ended up stumbling upon all of the greatest people in the world but somehow I did and I count myself lucky every day. As absolutely cheesy as that is. I think it is so, so important to always appreciate the people around you.

A few different people have asked me why I haven’t blogged in a while so I decided to do a post. Life has just been non-stop busy. It’s a really lovely feeling though, that people read the posts and have missed them. Thank you. โค๏ธ

In the past couple of months I haven’t really stopped. I think it’s starting to catch up with me a little. I ended up getting majorly stressed so I decided to book tickets to Cardiff and go to visit Kat for the weekend. (My best friend from camp.) It’s been almost a year to the day since the last time I saw her and I’m absolutely buzzing. But I’m tired. I spent this week in Ulster University for a USI training week and there hasn’t been time to breathe, never mind stop. This is an issue because when I get tired I get emotional and my anxiety is blown out of all proportion.

I had quite a big panic attack on Monday night. Adam was in Ellen’s house at the time so when I rang Ellen in hysterics the two of them talked me down. They did exactly what I needed them to do; talked me through a breathing exercise and then, after I’d calmed down a little talked me through the situation I was in and spelled out exactly what I needed to do before going to bed. Finally they drilled in that they loved me and that it was all going to be okay. They are so unbelievably perfect. ๐Ÿ’›

I’ve had a couple of extremely difficult case-works to deal with this week on top of everything else. While the job is totally confidential so my friends know nothing about what’s been going on, it hasn’t seemed to matter. They have been so understanding and there to reassure me the whole way which is really all I need. Just hugs all the time and the people around me telling me that I got this.

The fear of slipping back into the place I was in at the absolute height of my mental health difficulties is all too real and while I’m fairly confident I have the emotional intelligence now to stop myself falling down a complete rabbit hole, it’s times like this when I’m absolutely cream crackered that I panic even more about the fact that I’m panicking. That’s kind of reassuring though, right… that the Welfare and Equality Officer also struggles and can absolutely relate. Really, we’re all in this together and mark my words, we are all going to come out the other side stronger, happier and fighting for what is important to us!

On a different note I’m definitely finding my voice. I’ve fallen so in love with the people in the student movement. Everyone is so, so passionate and cares so much. The ideas people have are unbelievable and the work all these people are doing to fight for their students is mind-blowing.

I wasn’t sure when I started if I would fit into the student movement but I think I do! The people are the most wonderful and I’ve made so many funky, kind, beautiful friends. ๐ŸŒนI’m increasingly growing less afraid of speaking up and I couldn’t be happier about that! I still don’t have my head around the world of student politics, but baby steps!

I’m going to go to Cardiff and breath. When I come home I’m going to take a little step back and focus entirely on getting ready for the year ahead.

One of the nights in Ulster, after a fairly full on day of training we went to a fun-fair. Paul (Clubs and Socs Officer) absolutely pressured me to get on to all of the crazy rollercoasters. I did them all. Very reluctantly!! But I did them with him. I even did a loop-de-loop one which, for someone pretty scared of those exceedingly dangerous contraptions, I thought was savage! Needless to say I made sure Paul came on the carousel with me at the end…๐Ÿ˜‚

Paul kept telling me not to look at what I was about to do. To just close my eyes and get on. So that’s what I did. After the rollercoasters he pointed out that I’m a totally different person since the campaign and that I need to continue doing just that; closing my eyes and going for it. So, that’s what I’m doing. I booked the blood test I’ve been talking about for months and I’m going to get over my fear of needles. (Tattoo is next.ย ๐Ÿ˜‰) Public Speaking is absolutely improving and I’ve stuck to my commitment of learning to believe in myself. I’m making very slow, but steady progress. Again, all in baby steps! ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

For now though, I’ma go catch my flight, so keep on keeping on, kiddos. We got this.

Smile always,

Kimbo. X๐ŸŒโœˆ๏ธ๐Ÿ’›โญ๏ธ๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŒผ

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Be the change๐Ÿ’

“Know your Worth.” โค๏ธ

So, I’ve been having a bit of an intellectual crisis lately. I’m not sure if that’s a thing- I’ll do some research later; but that’s what’s been happining. I’ve beenย spending too much time worrying that I’m not smart enough. And it’s been getting me down. But after further consideration, and I’ve given this a lot of thought over the last week, I’ve decided I’m overreacting and that this is just me focusing on the cover up problem, not the real issue. A lack of confidence and self-belief is what’s really going on. I’ll further discuss this in a minute.

But what’s also important here, which is positive, is that I’m beginning to focus more on internal traits and characteristics; honesty, Intelligence, patience etc. rather than on my physical appearance. I’m not going to elaborate much further here only to say, that this is a welcomed realisation.

I seem to have spent an awful lot of time this year listening to podcasts and reading. I have realised that my blogs are slowly improving and especially as of late, I feel like I’m learning new things all the time. Then on Monday I found out that I’m graduating with a 2:1 degree in Social ย Science. Not so sure how or when that Happened. I’ve been telling myself unconsciously and consciously all year that I am not smart enough to graduate. Maybe, I am?!

I have a fear of public speaking. I’m slowly dealing with this fear and it’s absolutely becoming easier, but my biggest hesitation around public speaking and talking to people who I perceive as smarter/ more important than me is the fear of being put on the spot.

Sure, I’m not smart enough nor do I know enough to answer questions. I find it difficult to debate with people, even friends about different topics because I always presume that they know better what they’re talking about.

However, there’s a problem with all these notions because I have a lot of confidence in my writing. I feel that I can articulate myself much better and make a solid argument in written words. This however means that I am smart enough. I trust what I write, just not what I say. This screams that the problem is not so much my intelligence, but my confidence.

Is the fear of public speaking just a cover-up problem?

But this is good because self-confidence and belief can be learned over time. I’m already making progress.

I am currently reading ‘The Confidence Kit: Your bullsh*t- free guide to owning your fear’ย by Caroline Foran. She also wrote a really good book about managing Anxiety called, ‘Owning it: Your bulls*t- free guide to living with Anxiety.’

I read ‘Owning it’ when I was in America and thought it was unreal. I’ve since loaned it to a bunch of people and I swear by it. The first half gives you a clear understanding of what anxiety and fear are. Where they come from, why they happen and how they can manifest themselves. The second half explains how to cope with and better manage anxiety.

I’m not far into “The confidence Kit’, but I’ll let you know how I get on. Certainly, I couldn’t recommend ‘Owning it’ anymore if I tried.

Grasping somewhat of an understanding around my mental health and exactly what’s going on inside my body and why has been, in my experience, very helpful. When you know about and understand something it becomes so much less intimidating.

My mind has been all over the place the last week. Not in a bad way though, I don’t think. On Monday the job starts and this past week has been my first week to properly relax and to unapologetically be a vegetable in a very long time and I have 100% taken advantage. I’ve done lots of reading and some writing, listening to podcasts, a little painting and a lot of lying in the sun. It’s been quite wonderful.

I’ve really tried to practice mindfulness readily across the week and have tried to allow myself to feel and understand all the emotions I’m feeling and thoughts I’m thinking; before storing them all nicely in their imaginary folders in the imaginary filing cabinets that inhibit my brain, nice and sorted and thought through and ready to be put away next week. Presently feeling confident that by Monday I will be starting Welfare with a totally clear head.

Change is good but oh, so scary. In ‘The Confidence Kit’ I read about the optimal level of anxiety. How we, as humans perform better under a realistic and healthy level of anxiety, known as ‘The Optimal level.’ Using this small fact as inspiration, I hope to take this position one baby step at a time pushing myself out of my comfort zone a little, often. The aim is to finish the year of Welfare a whole new, stronger, better and more confident person, which I have no doubt I will.

*Change is scary but Kimbo is feeling ready! I AM smart enough. I am publically comitting to learn to believe and to have confidence in myself!

Hope everyone’s enjoying the beautiful sunshine and is happy with their results. If you’re not, don’t panic. There are options! Take a deep breath. ๐Ÿ’›

Make the best of all the Vitamin D and remember to Smile Always,

Kimbo. X๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŒธ

 

Life? Conquered it, baby. X

Wowee! Kimbo just finished college! What? Like how did that happen? (I mean, this is presuming I passed all of my exams and my thesis’ aren’t shit…) “Thesis’?” I hear you say. Yes thesis X2 is a thing. A thing that I, unluckily had to do. But I did it and now it’s all over. Life’s a bit mad like that. Can’t seem to wrap my head around it all. It literally seems like about a month ago that I walked into JH for the first time. I so clearly remember being so very terrified in that huge lecture theatre. I felt so high up and like such a small, tiny, itty, bitty fish in a mighty, great, very big pond/ocean. I sat there dressed like SUCH a dork and remember thinking to myself how daunting three years seemed and feeling a little trapped. I was adamant that I wasn’t smart enough, wouldn’t fit in and would hate every second.

By god, I had no idea about the adventure that lay ahead. I am now a TOTALLY different person! I now know who I am; or rather, am well on the road to discovering myself. I have learned what I value the most in life. I have found my place, the place where I fit in and feel comfortable and oh, so happy. And I have found meaning to my life.

Man, I’ve been through some amount of shit the last three years but I can’t help but look back and beam with pride.

In first year when asked to say my name out loud in a tutorial class of like 20 people I had a panic attack. In second year I had a panic attack in my first Summer exam. This year I had my biggest ever panic attack when I got on the wrong train and ended up in Port Laoise instead of Heuston on my own at like 10pm. Then three weeks later I went on to address lecture halls and explained to people why they should believe in me and my ideas. Why this disaSTAR of a woman with awfully bad duck jokes, periodical extreme bouts of anxiety who runs around college with a yellow bath duck called Albert and talks far too much deserved to be Maynooth’s Welfare and Equality Officer.

I was vulnerable. Very vulnerable. I was terrified and unsure if I would get anywhere. But I believed so much in what I wanted to do. I was honest about my vulnerability and it turns out, a lot of people could relate. Winning Welfare was, undoubtably the best night of my life so far.

Mental illness is not a weakness. If understood and managed well, I firmly believe it’s a strength. We can do anything anyone else can do! Sometimes it just takes a little more persistence and bravery.

As for life? It’s been a little tough. But I’ve never been so calm about a set of exams in my life as I was for my finals. I was able to eat and wasn’t vomming 24/7 as per usually. I managed to somewhat sleep and I didn’t cry once during the exams, I don’t think. Immediately after I went into thesis writing and that was a bit tough. I ended up having to take a few days off and take some proper Kimbo time. That helped a lot and definitely got me to the end.

I wasn’t actually sure if I would get through this year with Ellen, Adam, Alisha and Cathal all away. But I did!! It forced me out of my comfort zone. I got closer with lots of other people. I had to rely on others I didn’t know so well. I made new friends. Great friends. This time last year I left for America, a shell of the person I am today. I’ve now been off medication for over a year. Without any medical intervention what so ever. (That is not a recommendation to anyone. It was a totally stupid, reckless decision that just, luckily, ended up working out class…๐Ÿ˜‚) Although sometimes the world still seems a little terrifying, I am now stronger and happier than I have ever been.

Repeal won! That was fucking wonderful! I cried so much. That was emotional and historic and I was so proud of this little country! Thank you to any of you who voted Yes!! โค๏ธ The feeling that people were voting on whether or not I deserved equal rights was a bit shit. But nevertheless, AMAZING result!

34666123_1799902413399939_4644711241737043968_nI’ve decided to go back to counselling. I’m in need of a top up and that is A OKAY! It’s exciting. I can only get stronger and happier. Life is good. Self-awareness and discovery are wonderful, wonderful concepts. Ellen is such a class psychoanalyst and that, amongst a million other reasons is why she’s the best. Speaking of which, we’re in Wexford right now chilling out and breathing and drinking wine. I was pretty fried before coming here but life is back on track again.

34845819_1799902920066555_9163631197840998400_n
Summer is here and welfare work starts on Monday. Excited doesn’t even cover it! The world absolutely feels like my oyster right now. Pals are starting to arrive home from Erasmus which makes my heart so happy and bright and I really feel that the adventure is only beginning.

Life is quite beautiful at this moment. I feel at peace. I’m sitting on the 5th floor, looking out over the bay and a funky looking castle. The birds are chirping and I just got sent a really funny Dad joke. So that’s what I’m gonna leave you with. Sending all the love.

What do you call a guy with a rubber toe?

ROBERTO!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Keep laughing, and smile always,

Kimbo. X ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒž๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿฆ‹

Kindness makes the world go round ๐Ÿ’›

I’ve been quite sick as of late. A couple of days ago I went to my doctor and got told I should be on my way to hospital. I as good as laughed in my doctor’s face and without hesitating told her that it wasn’t happening. She asked why and I informed her I was in final year and could not afford to take the time away from college work. Not unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY- this was a reason I did not deem as absolutely necessary.

The real reason I’m not going anywhere near a hospital? NEEDLES! ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿ’‰

Good luck, not a chance, goodbye.

I will get over this phobia, I promise. Just not right now. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ณ

I am on the mend now thank goodness, but I’ve had a particularly tough two weeks. I’ve had quite a lot going on in my personal life, I’ve been totally overwhelmed and being so ill just intensified everything I was feeling by a hundred.

I really tried hard not to let the sadness and anxiety consume me but my body was wiped out and it’s hard to remain strong mentally when you’re not feeling physically strong and well.

It seems the last two or so weeks have been surrounded by sadness for a lot of people. (As I write this there’s a really fab rainbow that’s just formed outside my window. That’s definitely gotta be a sign that what ever’s going on in life is about to get a whole lot brighter. ๐Ÿ’›)

But yes, the last two weeks have been sad. My head has been fried and I’ve been trying to process information, decisions and actions of my own and others while feeling quite pessimistic and overloaded with college work. Life just hasn’t been going so well.

My head is still spinning but I’m starting to feel both mentally and physically stronger. Hopefully this week will continue to get brighter. ๐ŸŒˆ

I had a totally different plan for this post but someone I know had a very bad day yesterday and there’s a lot of people who are very sad and distressed at the moment. What I was originally going to write about just doesn’t seem so relevant anymore.

Everyone’s under a lot of pressure in college at the moment and it’s 100% getting to us all, never mind having extra stressors to worry about.

The only somewhat comforting factor here is that if everyone’s struggling, feeling sad, anxious, low and dealing with ‘stuff’, whatever that stuff may be, we’re all kind of in it together. Right?

I saw something really inspiring yesterday when a whole bunch of people came together to offer a hand to someone who was in need of support. It just reaffirmed my belief that whatever it is we’re going through, no one is ever really on their own.

Whatever it is going on, it will pass. The hard times always do. Summer is around the corner. Hopefully the sun will come back out at some point very soon and our smiles will return. Remaining positive and staying busy, even if it’s the last thing you or I feel like doing is paramount.

The strength and kindness I witnessed yesterday was refreshing. Lately, I’ve been feeling disheartened by the actions of people, both in my personal life and on a wider scale. Kindness is essentially, in my opinion, what keeps the world turning. There is so much sadness and catastrophe around us presently and the kindness of people is, I reckon what keeps people going. It’s certainly what keeps me going.

The saying ‘everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about’ could not be more relevant. Exam season is upon us. Everyone is under immense pressure and not feeling themselves. But what is going on behind closed doors is not always apparent.

The smallest gestures make the biggest difference! Being kind to people working in the service industry- telling them you hope they have a lovely day and THANKING THEM. Smiling at people as you pass them on the street. Giving constant hugs to the people around you. Making a conscious effort to stay upbeat and positive in a bid to keep your friends spirits up. Complimenting people. Asking those you feel may be struggling if they’re okay.

We’re all in this together and we all have to make it one way or another so why not help each other along rather than tearing each other down?

Bitterness and Jealousy is a sign of personal unhappiness and insecurity. Rather than taking it out on others step back and take a look at yourself. Meanness is not a nice quality and it’s a quality that could, potentially do an irreversible amount of harm to someone who is already struggling. Just be kind.

Last week I was privileged enough to stumble upon and listen to a snippet of a podcast that someone had shared on Facebook. The podcast was by BlindBoy from The RubberBandits and the snippet was about ‘Lad Culture’, the Belfast Trial, misogyny, sexism and Repealing the Eighth Amendment. It was fantastic and articulated perfectly everything that needed to be said on the issue. If you haven’t heard it, PLEASE go listen to it. Guys, gals and non-binary pals, it’s something everyone needs to hear! (The link is on my Facebook.)

So feeling inspired, ill and unable to move from bed, I looked up Blindboy’s podcast and have since been blown away! They are INCREDIBLE! Hilarious, interesting, random and full of important messages that everyone should be exposed to.

I am very much still working my way through all the episodes but in one he talked about the idea of emotional intelligence, a concept I wasn’t very well aware of before his explanation. The idea captured me and I have since spent hours researching how to grow and become more emotionally intelligent.

Put simply, and from my limited understanding emotional intelligence is the idea of being aware of your own emotions, how you physically react to how you emotionally feel and being aware of other people’s true emotions and reactions as well.

I have since had a series of realisations about things that have been bothering me as of late. Things that I wasn’t even aware were really bothering me. I have also become a little more clear about how to handle all the anxieties that I was facing before.

I write and draw an awful lot and I have found myself doing a lot of writing during my recent patch of feeling a bit shitty; trying to process all my thoughts and fears. I’m going to continue with doing that and hopefully things will become increasingly clearer and my head will feel lighter.

Since the Belfast Trial, I have really been consumed by anger and unease. The only comfort I have taken from these events has been the developing women’s movement and the sense of solidarity.

For now, with the amount of college work I have hanging over my head, I guess all I can do is be really vocal about the atrocities going on currently in our society but, as soon as summertime comes I am SO ready to fight!

In the snippet of Blindboy’s podcast he talks about how important it is that good men stand up and start speaking up about sexism. He talks about how locker room ‘banter’, lads just chatting and having ‘a laugh’ with the lads at the expense of women is a culture. A culture of insecurity and fear of rejection and not looking ‘cool’ in front of their mates. He explains that it’s not just a funny private conversation because it has been normalised and it is going on everywhere, all the time.

Men need to join in this fight. We need to fight together to stop the awful cultural shit that is going on right now.

My old school counsellor whom I still catch up with all the time sent me an email the other day with the quote: ย “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

Can we all please be kind, gentle, aware of others and how they are feeling (men and women), fight for and be vocal about the issues and inequalities we all face and help each other through.

Lastly, can you all, anyone reading this and anyone remotely interested in the stuff I write about start having the discussion, if you haven’t already, with friends and family about why it is so important to vote on May 25th and why we need to vote yes!

For now, have a lovely week, my friends and I sincerely hope that life starts feeling more achievable and much brighter very, very soon.

Sending lots of love, hugs, encouragement and positive vibes for those who are also struggling right now. We will all get through this patch and summer is just around the corner. โค๏ธโ˜€๏ธย Hang in there.

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŒธ

I BELIEVE HER! ๐Ÿ’œ

*Trigger warning: Rape, sexual assault.

I believe her.

So, I had this conversation with someone in college the other day and the Belfast Rape trial came up. This case was one that had impacted both of us quite a lot and one we both felt quite emotional and strongly about.

I cried when the verdict came out. I was so upset and disheartened. I understand its personal opinion but I believe the evidence told quite a clear story about what happened that night and although I understand that before convicting anyone of any crime the evidence has to be 100% concrete, I whole heartedly believe those men should have been convicted.

A while back I wrote a blog post on Repeal the Eighth in which I told ‘Mia’s’ story. I watched the hell ‘Mia’ went through over those years post rape. I watched her hiding what happened from her family and closest friends. I watched her fall apart but still carry on with a smile everyday because there was no way she could let anyone in on what happened.

Much Later, I watched her go to the guards and report the issue. Knowing that so much time had passed, ‘Mia’ understood that little was going to be done about the case. But still, she somewhere found this insane courage to report the incident incase her information was the one missing piece. In case there was any chance she could stop this happening to someone else.

I listened to her describe going into the garda station, being intimately interviewed by two male guards and then dropped home and not contacted again. I watched these events affect her all over again, even though she had finally begun to really put the past behind her.

I am so angry and upset for ‘Mia’! I am so angry and upset for all victims of sexual assault. I am so angry and upset for all the women of Ireland.

The men involved in the Belfast trial were never going to be convicted, I believe. No matter how fool-proof the evidence.

That poor woman’s life has been destroyed. It’s going to take so much for her to bounce back from the torture she has been put through. I watched Paddy Jackson’s statement as he came out of the court. His representative said something along the lines of “he just can’t wait to get back on the pitch”, as if that was his biggest concern.

I believe this case publicly told the story of what happens on a daily basis.

Recently I attended an event where I witnessed so many people, both men and women stand up and tell their stories of being sexually assaulted. It was such a powerful experience that I was honoured to be apart of. People have had enough. Even if it takes standing up and talking about the most intimate, personal and terrifying moments of their lives in front of strangers; they are willing to make that sacrifice and to fight for the right to be listened to! To fight for justice. To fight for our safety.

The idea that our country, the country that is supposed to protect and care for its citizens ย avoids convicting rapists and then, if the woman (assuming the victim was a woman) falls pregnant forces her to keep the baby is sickening. I am so angry. I deserve more! The women of Ireland deserve more than that. The men of Ireland deserve more than that. We all deserve a better system in which to live!

I am so, so aware that rapists aren’t all men. That men are victims here too.

I saw the most ignorant post on Facebook recently. It was about all the inequalities men face and how women spend their lives giving out about being oppressed when in fact, men are the “real victims”.

I unfriended the person who posted it.

FEMINISM. Feminism is the belief that both men and women deserve equal rights. This is what we need to fight for. All genders deserve equal rights. WE ARE ALL HUMANS AND WE ARE ALL AS IMPORTANT AND VALID AS EACH OTHER! I cannot understand how this is a competition? “Whooohhooo I win! I’m more subordinated than you!” ?????

I was cat called on the way home from college today and that was absolutely the last straw. I HATE that people feel like it’s okay to degrade me and humiliate me like that. I hate the underlying feeling that I am quietly a second class citizen in my own country. I hate the feeling that If I am ever sexually assaulted I will be treated as a liar until I am, without any questionable proof proven otherwise. And let’s be honest, chances are that won’t happen. ESPECIALLY if the accused is a famous, white male.

None of this is okay.

I’m going to reiterate here that this blog post is entirely my personal opinions. I know that some people will strongly disagree. That’s fine. Just want to make it clear that your opinions are your opinions and just as valid as mine. However, I also want to make it clear that I have no interest in hearing your opinions if you do disagree with me. I am so angry and sad and broken over this. (I have tears in my eyes right now.)

The fact that so many people, men and women will not come forward in seek of any kind of justice after following this case breaks my heart. It should not be embarrassing or shameful to come forward. If I was robbed on the street nobody would second guess me. So why if I am stripped of my dignity, hurt physically and mentally and violated do people immediately question what I was wearing or how much I drank. Whether or not I screamed ‘NO’ loud enough or if I’m even telling the truth at all?

On May 25th please go out and use your voice. Please vote in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment in our constitution. Please fight for those who need us to fight for them.

Man or woman, please stop tolerating sexism. Please stop allowing others to make unwanted sexual comments/ advancements where possible. It’s demeaning, disgusting, inappropriate and hurtful. IT IS NOT OKAY.

I don’t feel so much like smiling right now. I am angry, upset and broken.

Kimbo. X

๐Ÿ’œ

Sometimes, life hates me. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ณโ˜•๏ธ

Hi, my name is Kim or Kimbo. Whatever you prefer. Just absolutely not Kimberly! THAT IS NOT MY NAME! Often, my life is absolutely comical. The sentence “only that would happen to you” was written for me, I swear. I can make anyone having a bad day feel better almost guaranteed, because the chances are something embarrassing or unlucky has happened to me that will make you feel better about any of your f@ck-ups. I am a disaster or, a disaSTAR as my dad calls me (it makes me feel better about myself.) And that’s me!

(That’s a bio for Kimbo Lockyer if I’ve ever seen one!)

So, this weekend I was closing the deli. I was on my own and it was almost home time. All three inside doors had been cleaned and put back onto the deli counter. Before I finished up I went to push open one of the sliding glass doors to cover up the salads inside the counter. I’m actually not even sure what happened, but as I pushed the door open it just cracked and totally smashed. I stood in shock for about a minute because I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. Then some of the floor staff came running over after hearing the crash. They helped me tidy it all up and apart from being late home, it shouldn’t have been a big deal, right? Accidents happen!

But it was a big deal, to me. I’m not sure if it’s because I got such a fright or because I was tired or just a mix of emotions but the minute I walked out of the shop I burst into tears. I ย had an almighty panic attack and cried for about two hours after getting home. I felt sick, couldn’t eat dinner and really contemplated calling in sick the next day so I didn’t have to face my boss.

Friday’s panic attack wasn’t as big as the one I had back in January when I got the wrong train and ended up in Port Laois rather than Huston (lol), but it was big and draining enough to leave me totally wiped out most of the day on Saturday.

Since the almighty panic attack in January this has only been my second proper panic attack. I was disheartened becuase I really thought I was beginning to get over panic attacks but this has been my second one in the last month. I questioned whether it was just because I’m fairly over tired since the campaign and I haven’t really stopped at all as of late. Then it dawned on me. I think I can make a connection with the vast majority of my panic attacks. The trigger seems to be the fear of getting into trouble. Which makes sense. I HATE getting into trouble, with anyone. I do not deal well with people being angry with me at all! Friends, family, anyone whose opinion matters to me.

This I think, stems from a general fear of conflict. After dealing with all the domestic violence and being surrounded by conflict for the majority of my teenage years, unless it’s me standing up for what I believe in and being really angry at someone for something, I run from conflict!

Like I’ve written before, hearing pots and pans banging around downstairs sometimes sends me into a panic. I cannot deal with seeing people shout at each other or physically fight each other; strangers or not.

I feel like this is where my fear of getting into trouble and resulting panic attacks are coming from. This realisiation is all a little exciting because I’ve never noticed this connection before. Now that I think I know what the trigger mostly is I can work on conquering it!

I am completely aware that as Welfare Officer I am going to face plenty of conflict situations and I’m not even a little bit worried. I know that I will handle them! I also know that I’ll get better and better at handling conflict situations the more I face. But I have an opportunity now to start dealing with and overcoming this fear and I’m so ready. Just haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet haha.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! โค๏ธ

I had this conversation with Ellen at some point last week all about self-discovery and how fun learning about yourself is. I think that’s why since America I’ve been so addicted to challenging myself. It’s really fulfilling to recognise your downfalls and to try to address them. It’s the coolest feeling in the world to be able to step back and actively recognise how far I’ve come from say, first year.

Little first year Kimbo, spent all year covered up in the baggiest possible clothes hiding behind her extra long hair and couldn’t say her name out loud in her tutorial class without having a panic attack. Now Kimbo, although still in extra colourful, over patterned clothes, dresses much better, has v. short hair and is Welfare Officer Elect. WHATTT!?

There are some challenges, very big and very scary challenges that I have worked to overcome. That I am still working on overcoming. Only a couple of my closest people know about these challenges. (We all have some super private skeletons in our closets.) These challenges still scare me and get the better of me on occasion but I am currently really working on recognising when I start to panic, questioning why I’m panicking and then making a decision about whether or not I’m being rational. Deep breathing techniques are my very best friend.

Although, I’m not sure I’ll ever reach the point where I feel comfortable discussing these personal challenges on such a public platform such as this blog, I had the realisation that as Welfare Officer next year, I will be able to talk about all these issues on a general level. I will be able to reassure students and provide them with lots of broad information and messages about all these big and scary things that I had to deal with and figure out mostly on my own. That makes me so unbelievably excited. ๐ŸŒป

I really feel like I’m doing younger Kimbo and everything she went through proud.

So cheers to getting over my fear of needles, getting over my fear of conflict and hopefully to putting panic attacks behind me and finally, to getting some self-control and to stopping all this ridiculous procrastination of my assignments.

Lots of love and lots of baby steps,

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X ๐Ÿ‘ฃโญ๏ธ๐ŸŒผโœจ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’›

Onwards and Upwards! โค๏ธ

I have an essay to do right now, but all I can think about is writing a blog post.

I think I am still in shock. It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet, but I am officially the Welfare and Equality Officer Elect for 2018/19! ๐Ÿ’›

I am totally overwhelmed. The fact that so many people believed in me and my ideas; ย I can’t even describe how amazing that feels. Thank you to everyone who voted. Thank you to everyone for the kind messages and constant supply of hugs and head massagesย (Jayne.) Thank you to Alisha, Cathal, Ellen and Adam for their constant support and love. Even from abroad you guys got me through it! Thank you to my campaign team (Kimpaigners ๐Ÿ˜‰)ย ! I could not have done any of this without you guys, especially. I’m going to be forever grateful to you guys for everything you sacrificed over the last few weeks just to help me! โค๏ธย Thank you to all the support coming from home. My parents, my neighbours, my foster parents. Thank you to everyone who supported my ideas and encouraged me before any of this even started; giving me the most amazing advice, advice that I whole heartedly believe helped me win!

Although I can’t name everyone or I’d be here all day, lastly I’d like to thank Paul for everything he helped me with over this campaign. I can’t believe that we get to work together next year and that while we started this journey together, we get to finish it together too. I couldn’t have gotten through this campaign without you and I want to say the biggest congrats to you too. You deserve this more than anyone! I’m so proud of us and how far we’ve come!

I had this weird realisation on Wednesday night after the results were released. I was sitting in the SU and just started thinking about how in first year, every time I went into the Welfare Officer to chat to her, I would be shaking and freaking out, even just at the idea of talking to her about what was going on.

I text her after I won and it just dawned on me how now, after everything that’s happened, I have her job. I can now support students the same way that she supported me!

I would lastly like to thank you, Sรญona, for your support when I needed it the most and for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You are without a doubt part of the reason I am here right now. And above all else, thank you for the duck! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿฅ

Everything has changed so much!

At the beginning of this adventure I set out in search of a challenge and by god, that’s exactly what I got! The last two weeks have put me to the test like nothing ever has before. I haven’t been as nervous for anything in a long time as I was for Hustings. But again, with the help and support from the most amazing people who surrounded me, I did it!

I am not the same person as I was two weeks ago and not going to lie, I’m really proud of myself. ย I put myself out there like I never have before and like to think that I remained completely trueย to me and my beliefs. That’s why this is so unbelievably humbling, because people voted me in for me. They believed in me!

My next challenge will be getting a blood test and conquering my fear of needles. Then finally get my tattoo.. (SO SORRY DAD!) ๐Ÿ˜

For now, I guess I need to rescue my head from up in the clouds and get back to college and get this degree. Only like two and a half months left. Eeepp. Not sure at all where that time went. Safe to say though, that my time in Maynooth has been the hardest but the very best years of my life!

I am 100% ready for everything new and exciting and difficult and challenging. I’m ready to keep pushing myself and to keep discovering everything new about myself and my abilities.

I’m ready to keep taking all these little baby steps that are forever turning into the biggest and most exciting steps. I AM READY!

Thank you again to everyone for helping me change the course of my life.

I can’t put into words how much I love you all.

Smile Always, beautiful people,

Kimbo. X ๐Ÿ’™๐ŸŒธโœจ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ’›

 

 

 

VOTE #1 KIM FOR WELFARE AND EQUALITY ๐Ÿ’›

Man oh man, this is a big one! Ya lil’ deli-gal, Kimbo is terrified.

After realising how much I love a good ol’ challenge thanks to America, I have decided to run for Welfare and Equality Officer in college. My election campaign is about to involve putting myself right out there along with lots of public speaking and a whole bunch of other scary things. Scary isn’t actually even the word. I am petrified! Pretty excited too though.

I am about to be thrown so far outside of my comfort zone that I won’t even be able to remember what my comfort zone was/ is now.

Way back in first year, I was sitting upstairs in the John Hume building in college when one of my college girls got an email advertising the upcoming Students Union Sabbatical elections. ( Us being only babies in college, not having a clue what the positions were or what they entailed.) One of the girls saw the title of Welfare and Equality Officer and suggested maybe it was something I might be interested in. I laughed and thought little more about it.

Months after when I was really struggling and entering into some of my absolute hardest months in college this far I ended up linking in with the Welfare Officer at the time. She was wonderful and amazing. She pointed me in the direction of the supports I needed and even accompanied me because, at the time I was far too anxious to deal with any of it on my own and was having panic attacks almost everyday. I was absolutely doubting whether I could handle college anymore and my Welfare Officer made me believe that I could.

I clearly remember thinking that she had such a cool job; being able to reassure students and getting to spend her days helping them the way she helped me. I remember thinking that I would love to do that one day and then shaking the idea out of my head because I would never have the confidence. Even the idea of such a thing made me feel anxious.

Skip on two and a half years and here we are! I am running for Welfare and Equality Officer! Maynooth has done that for me. It’s given me the space to be exactly myself and it has also allowed me to meet some of the best people in the world, without a doubt. I am now so happy and confident in myself and I have found my passion. Mental Health.

Of course, It’s taken a lot of work on myself to get to this point and before America I hadn’t even considered this whole new adventure as a possibility but like I’ve said before, if I could do that huge adventure on my own and make it to the end then I can do absolutely anything!

I had a friend pass away by suicide earlier in the academic year. As well as doing this for me, I am doing this for him. โค๏ธย I want to make a difference. I want to support and educate the Maynooth student body. I don’t want one single Maynooth student to feel like they are on their own if I have any say in the matter what so ever. This means the world to me, maybe that’s why it’s so scary. I believe I can make a difference!

As far as challenges go, this is without a doubt my biggest one to face yet but I am SO ready! Even if I don’t get elected, I am already beyond proud of myself for taking on this challenge and getting to the point in my own journey where I feel 100% confident in myself and my own abilities, enough so to put myself out there like I’m about to.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s helped me with my campaign so far and also to all those who are about to help me over the next two weeks. It’s not going to be easy but we’re going to do it by taking baby steps, as always. ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Best of luck to my fellow candidates if you are reading this. May the best person win.

Also I want to wish my friends Katie and Paul who are running for sabbatical positions the very best of luck too. โค๏ธ

I want to be and have no doubt that I can be the Welfare Officer to others that mine in first year was to me. ๐Ÿ’›

May the odds be ever in **my** favour. ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ˜‚

Never stop taking baby steps,

Smile Always,

โ€ผ๏ธVOTE #1 KIM FOR WELFARE AND EQUALITY ON MARCH 13TH, โ€ผ๏ธ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ˜‰

Kimbo. X ๐Ÿญโœจ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒผ

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Baby steps ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผโœจ

Man, this semester has been tough! The blog and life in general have had to take a back seat to college work. It’s been non stop, and I think a lot of people have felt in the same boat. It’s been overwhelming too. In my last post, I think I ย kind of predicted a ‘breakdown’ coming and in some respects I was all too right.

So much has happened in my personal life on top of learning the ropes in a new job along with trying to Final Year. Yes, I’m taking about Final Year as a verb. ๐Ÿ˜ด

Having so many of my closest friends studying abroad this year has also been tough. I’ve missed them all a whole bunch. One night a couple of weeks before Christmas after I’d had a really tough day I started feeling somewhat homesick?? Even though I was at home with dad and Sally, I was just missing all my M8s so bad. It was the strangest thing. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜‚

But of course, my friends have still been there 24/7 from different countries and my college girls have been the best, as always! โค๏ธ

It’s kind of funny because I am so, so aware of how amazing all of my closest friends are and how much they do for me and care about me but they still literally never fail to surprise me and constantly seem to prove themselves as ever more and more amazing. This is 100% an appreciation shout out to them all for dragging me through and I think I’ll actually be forever grateful to them for keeping me going. No point naming everything they’ve each done for me because I’d be here forever but, last night I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. I genuinely thought I was having a heart attack and I could not for the life of me calm myself down.

Anyway, I managed to get through to Adam who was with my other besto Ash and the two of them were absolutely hammered. Even in their questionable state of minds they immediately put their night on hold and totally talked me down. I was absolutely overwhelmed by how much they helped me last night and I’m so grateful they were there. This morning Alisha’s mom was going to call in after dropping her to the airport to check in that I was okay. This afternoon Ellen called over and had made me a ‘We’re just fine’ playlist so that if I ever panic like that again I’ll be prepared. She also brought me a little world map that I can scratch off all the places I’ve visited and remind myself how brave I’ve been. Then tonight Adam called over before he left to go back to Spain and didn’t leave until he was sure I had calmed down. (I got anxious again lol)

I mean, in the space of like 24 hours I’ve been totally surrounded by the best of the best. I am honestly the luckiest girl in the world. Without even telling them how much I needed them all they’ve surrounded me.ย โค๏ธ

It was funny because especially over the last two months while the college work has been super intense for all of us in Third Year Social Policy, everyone has just pulled together. Everyone has been leaning on/ supporting each other and that’s been so nice. ย  ย  ย  ย  -I was having a bit of a meltdown one morning in the library and three of the mature students in my course, who, I think were also somewhat freaking out, brought me for brekki to cheer me up. My Social Policy family are all legends, too! ๐Ÿ’›

It’s proven as a comfort to have everyone else struggling along side me. I know that sounds so selfish, but I think the most comforting sentence in the world to hear when you’re overwhelmed is: ‘Don’t panic, I haven’t started either.’

The last couple of months, I haven’t been painting or doing much of what I enjoy. Keeping up with Emmerdale has been the height of the excitement and over the last two weeks I’ve even fallen behind in that. My anxiety has been sporadically intense and my mood has definitely dipped at points, especially as of late. I’ve just kept my head down, taken it all very much day by day and tried to prioritise my mental health where possible.

When I finished my last essay due before Christmas, ย I burst into tears. I cried for a solid hour after finishing because I just could not believe I had made it to the end. I finally felt the biggest sense of relief and just pride. Pride in myself, that despite all the work, despite all the bumps along with way, despite a serious lack of sleep, despite everyone being away for the year, I had made it through final year assignment season no.1, and most of my first winter without medication in about seven years.

Christmas can be a really difficult time for a lot of people. Usually I’m not a fan at all, but this year my friends all travelled home for Christmas and I haven’t been as excited for Christmas as I was this year in years.

From the minute my last essay was handed in life started getting back on track. Seeing all my friends again was amazing and the hugs I got made everything okay again. โค๏ธย This Christmas was extremely busy between seeing everyone and working a lot and I’m pretty worn out. Exams start next week but I haven’t even had the time to panic about them yet, so I’m really hoping that the ol’ anxiety decides to behave! Two days after my exams end I’ll be on a plane to Slovenia to be reunited with Alisha and Cathal which is super exciting and I’m hoping will give me something to look forward to during the exams; so much so that I’ll be able to continue eating and sleeping during this exam season and remain somewhat sane. whether that will happen or not, I feel is possibly wishful thinking! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

I think this semester kind of reminded me how strong I am, as cringe as that sounds.

I spent New Years in Edinburgh for a camp reunion. I was extremely anxious before I left and had basically decided by the night before I was due to fly that I was not going. My anxiety was just debilitating and I had overthought the whole weekend so much that I wasn’t sleeping or eating and I couldn’t stop crying or getting sick. The Joys!

Anyway, once again my friends were quick to remind me that after America I can do anything. That if worst came to the worst I could just stay in my hostel room and catch up on some much needed sleep and that I was only an hour’s plane journey away from home.

I ended up going and having an absolute ball! I kind of reminded myself that I am much braver than I give myself credit for and that when it comes to being independent, after I’m done with all the overthinking it’s actually kinda grand! I came home absolutely delighted with myself and the really big, not so baby step that I had just taken.

A few days ago I went for a proper lunch in a little restaurant all on my own! This time one year a ago I would never have dreamed of doing that, ย I just found myself being so hungry that I barely gave it a second thought. All these things seem so little but are all adding up. And I’m not going to let last night’s panic attack set me back. Alisha, my soul sister is constantly pointing out little things that I’ve started doing that I don’t even notice I’m doing, that before I never would have done, or at least done without freaking out. Just, like saying things to people that need to be said, or – eating in a restaurant on my own!

But the bottom line is that I made it, purely just by taking constant baby steps and now they’re all slowly turning into one big, giant step. I’m still here and still smiling. Mostly.

I’m pretty emotionally and physically exhausted at the minute but feeling so grateful for all the insanely amazing people in my life. (Sobbing a little rn..) โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚

2017 was the most intense yet amazing of my life. I accomplished so much but I’m absolutely by no means done yet! 2018, I hope you’re ready for me and all of my goals.

I wish you all a super happy and healthy New Years filled with lots of luck, laughter, love and PLENTY of baby steps!

I promise I’ll get back to my blog more regularly after Slovenia. For now though, lots of love and for everyone facing into exams, best of luck!! It’ll all be over soon. We got this! โค๏ธย Also, never forget, no matter how hard things seem,

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผโœˆ๏ธ๐Ÿ’–โœจ

Oh, we can be stars. โœจโค๏ธ

It’s been a while since my last post. I just had a bitย ofย a mind block and couldn’t figure out if I had anything worth reading to write about. That’s when I realised that my feeling like I had nothing to write in fact gave me a lot to write about. Does that make sense? No? Let me explain.

So since getting home from camp life has been crazy. An awful lot of both amazing things and bad things have happened all at once. I’ve coped, generally quite well with it all, I think, especially with the weather changing. โ„๏ธย But lately, I’ve come to question whether I’ve actually been dealing with it all or just pushing it all to the back of my mind for another day? My mind it seems, is a really complex thing to understand and while I’m slowly learning to get to grips with how it works, I still have a long way to go.

It’s all a little bit scary because if I am ignoring all my emotions then I know it’ll come back to bite me. But what if I’ve dealtย with them how I need to and I’m just being paranoid and pessimistic and not having faith in all the progress I’ve made.

I keep getting these crazy and totally irrational ideas to say things to people and do things and go places- all bonkers ideas that I definitely should avoid without thinking them through. I get so close to doing them all (running away to camp for the rest of my life etc,) and then Ellen, the functional and rational part of my brain ๐Ÿ˜‰ย talks me out of my stupid missions to change the world. Thank God!

But all these irrational thoughts have got me questioning loads of stuff. Myself, my motives, how I’m feeling, my plans. But it’s not in a bad way either. Maybe it’s time to question things- situations, relationships, everything. Maybe I’m having a pre-adulthood life crisis? Is that a thing? Maybe it’s just third year driving me crazy even though it’s barely started? That’s a worrying thought LOL.

It’s all kind of exciting though. I’m beginning to realise that I like things that challenge me. It sounds so clichรฉ but I’m forever surprising myself.

America being the biggest surprise of all. Like I’ve said before, I never really thought that I’d make it to America and even when I was there I was constantly doubting myself that I would make it to the end, although deep down I don’t think I was ever going to quit. I suppose it’s all just a confidence thing. Every five minutes on the plane home I burst into tears. I literally just could not believe that I, tiny, super awkward, Kimbo had done this huge thing all on my own despite being uncontrollably riddled with crippling Anxiety less than a year previous.

I’m not even to sure how I did it. I think having this blog has given me the space to write about my mental health enabling me to understand better what’s going on in my head and why I’m feeling how I am. It’s also given me a lot of confidence, finding that I’m good at something that I enjoy and feel passionately about, whilst knowing that other people enjoy and can sometimes relate to what I write about.

College has also definitely made all the difference too. Finding a bunch of people who love me for exactly me has been fun. I suppose it has taught me to stand on my own feet and to prioritise my own interests, morals, insecurities, fears and ย goals first. Whenย I feel great I’m much better company!

Learning about my brain has helped a lot too. Now that I have a better understanding of what’s going on in my body and why it’s reacting in specific ways helps to give me control over my often irrational anxiousness and many emotions. It’s given me the option to discover coping mechanisms that I can relate too; meaning they help.

But I also go through patches when I feel deflated and begin to question my perceived control over my mind. Like, for instance now. I feel like maybe I feel too ‘calm’ at the moment, considering the past two months and all their events.

But I feel fine and content, which is kind of scary. It’s just scary not being entirely confident in how my brain is going to react next. Does that make more sense?

If not don’t worry, I’m not even really, entirely sure what I’m getting at here either.

But directing back onto the topic of liking a challenge and constantly surprising myself, I think that’s what I’m going to focus on doing. I made a little set of goals for my final college year and so far I’ve slowly been achieving them. It’s early days yet, though. My No.1 goal of course being gaining ever more knowledge and understanding of my own mental health. Even when they’re only small, achieving little goals keeps life exciting and slowly aids to building my confidence as I see small but rapidly growing results.

I’ve discovered that the more sure of myself I feel, the more I can conquer and the less my anxiety drags me down.

Being 100% yourself to the best of your ability, ย I think is key. ย ๐ŸŒธ

I’m going to start including The Samaritans number at the end of all my posts. For anyone who doesn’t know, they’re a wonderful organisation who provides, along with other amazing services a free help-line for everyone about anything. If you ever find yourself in a situation when you need to talk to someone kind who will listen, give them a call. It’s a number that I would recommend everyone to have on their phones.

Look at it this way, ringing can’t make anything worse but it could make things a little better. Xโค๏ธ

  • 116 123- The Samaritans.

 

For now, know that it’s almost the weekend and on Saturday and Sunday the sun is supposed to come out! ๐Ÿ’›โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ฎย I hope you all stay happy and healthy and safe and above all else,

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒปโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’–