The colorful strokes of a paintbrush 🖌💛✨

In the writings of College Life When You’re 5″ Nothing I’ve been completely open about the fact that in my teenage years, at the height of my mental health difficulties I used self- harm as a coping mechanism. Right up until almost the end of my first year in college I self- harmed; although by then I was absolutely an expert at hiding it.

I remember the day I stopped so clearly. It had been the worst day in college and I was miserable by the time I got home. I was feeing sad and low and the urge to cut was almost too much. I’m not sure what made me stop and pause, but I did. I ended up taking my paints out and painting a picture of a beautiful woman that I’d seen in a magazine. I painted with my emotions that day and by the time I was finished I was so proud of the picture I had created. Something amazing had also happened. I felt a weight off my shoulders and so much lighter. Not only did I feel calmer but I was left with a picture I wasn’t ashamed of and could show people rather than hide away. This was the moment I realised that painting was my alternative coping mechanism.

After this, I began to paint on my arms anytime I felt the urge to cut, and since I have never looked back. Now, when my pals see pictures of my decorated arms they understand that I’ve been in distress but have dealt with the situation in a healthy, productive and creative way.

I’m not sure if this sounds strange or not, but I’m absolutely in love with the scars on my wrists. They’re much fainter now; but after years of shredding my skin if you look closely, my arms and legs are covered in scars. Particularly my arms. I also have some burn scars that are much more obvious. I sort of hope one way or another that my scars never fully fade away. I’m not sure why I love my scars so much. I understand for some people that their scars are constant reminders of painful memories but, I think for me they’re like healed battle wounds to remind me of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve been through. They’re hundreds of little stories etched into my skin to remind me that I am strong enough to get through anything and everything that comes my way. I guess I sort of view them as less visible tattoos that represent a happy ending. 💛

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am under no circumstances glorifying self-harm! Self- harm can present its self in many ways but regardless of how it presents itself,  it’s an unhealthy and dangerous coping mechanism that at the time was ruining my life even though it felt like it was the only way to stay alive.

Self-harm became somewhat of an addiction to me. Even now, the moment things begin to fall apart around me my immediate response is the urge to self-harm.

It’s been about three years, I think, since the last time I purposely injured myself, but sometimes the urge requires me to distance myself from whatever situation I’m in and sit and really think things through.

About a week ago I was having a really bad time of it and life was completely on top of me. I felt really, really low. Lower than I’ve felt in a very long time and my thoughts started to scare me a little. I went for a walk and just walked and walked until my thoughts felt a little less intense. I knew that this situation wasn’t okay and considered who I should reach out to.

Then I was hit with a feeling of shame.

It seemed incomprehensible that the Welfare and Equality Officer, the girl who has eventually, after so long won against life, could be in fact losing so badly and in such a bad frame of mind. I felt embarrassed and like I couldn’t turn to anyone about how bad I was feeling.

I painted when I got home. 🎨

I’m feeling much brighter again now. Life is just a little unsteady at the moment, but I know I’ll get through it all. I’m actually very okay. I just dipped a little, is all. I’m doing well again. 🐥💛🌼🌼🌼

Earlier in the year I was sitting in the car with one of my pals when he brought up the topic of self- harm and started asking me about it. He’s known me for a long time and read my blogs so he somewhat knows my story.

He explained to me that he just didn’t really understand why someone would go as far as to hurt themselves and explained that he had just been too afraid to ask before in case he offended anyone.

I am such a firm believer that if you don’t understand you should always ask! We can’t all understand everything we’ve never experienced and that’s okay. But the only way to begin to understand is to ask. Once we talk openly about these sorts of things people become less afraid of them and more open to understanding. That’s how we really get rid of stigma.

I’ve realised a lot in the last few months about how real the stigma surrounding mental health is. We’re all now absolutely fine with putting out the message that ‘It’s OKAY not to be okay’; but once it comes to actually discussing what ‘not feeling okay’ means, we panic.

Mental illness’ are real and sometimes scary topics but the more we all try to understand, the less intimidating they slowly become. 💛

I think people are far more inclined to reach out and ask for help if they know they can be honest about their emotions without panicking whomever they’re trying to talk to.

I had a quote up on my Instagram a day or two after my bad night and a student that I know from my second year replied to me saying that if I ever needed to chat she was always there and never to bottle things up. I can’t tell you how much the message meant to me. She had no idea how I was feeling but from her message I understood that if I needed to talk about how really ‘not okay’ I was feeling that she would listen. That was all I needed. Just a wee reminder that I’m not on my own.

I know I’m never on my own. I know that if I picked up the phone and called any single one of my friends that night they would have answered. But that particular night I just felt a bit like a burden and chose to talk to my Sally instead.

That’s one of the many great things about puppers: they love unconditionally, listen always and never judge or talk back and finally, put a smile on our faces with just a little wag of the tail. 😂❤️🐶

I decided to write this blog post, not long after National Self Harm Awareness Day, as a reminder that it’s okay. That you’re not a freak and that it’s far more common than any of us realise. That sure, it’s not easy to talk about, but once we begin talking, slowly it gets easier.

It’s also a little reminder to anyone who might need to hear it that it’s going to be okay. That there are other coping mechanisms. That it does get better. But also, that it’s okay to relapse or, to slip into a down patch. It’s okay, and it will get better. You will find an alternative coping mechanism. ❤️ Just please do ask for help and don’t struggle on your own- that makes things so much more difficult to get through.

Take it from me, the Welfare Officer, who is an absolute shitshow too. 🐥

But as I always say, life is so, so much easier if we’re all honestly in it together, ready to pick one another up when we trip, because trip we do. 😴

Happiness feels so much better when you’ve had to fight for it. Keep fighting, beautiful people. ❤️🥰✨

Smile always, talk always and reach out if you need to.

All my love,

Kimbo. X 🌼✨💃🐥🌸🌻💫

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I am home.🌍🐥💛

So, I went through a really bad patch there for a little while. I was quite ill due to my Anxiety. I lost a total of an awful lot of weight which I couldn’t really afford to lose and in all honesty, I was/ am a bit gutted about it. It’s the first time possibly ever that I haven’t thrived off the feeling of losing weight. Actually, I felt a bit ashamed at how much weight I’d lost. Interestingly enough though, I’ve recieved so many comments/ compliments from so many people who didn’t realise what’s been going on about how beautiful my figure is and how jealous they are of my body. I’ve felt like screaming at them and explaining that I was almost starving myself. Not purposely, but that I just could not eat and anything I ate, I threw up. I was getting sick multiple times every day and was coming home from work to my dad in tears because I was so tired and felt so miserable.

‼️This is a message to you, no matter who you are, please don’t get bogged down in comparing yourself to others because you never know what’s going on behind closed doors!‼️

One of the days a few weeks ago I went to Alisha’s house after work and had to stop and sit down in South Campus for about 20 minutes before I could continue on my short walk to her house because I felt so faint. After finally making it to her house I was a state. I could barely string a sentence together because I hadn’t eaten all day and only for her being the best person in the world and looking after me so well I’m not sure what I would have done. I’m not exaggerating when I try to explain to you how much I was struggling to keep going.

I’m so lucky like that, and I know I write this in every blog post but I genuinely have the best friends in the world. 💛 Over the last few months they have looked after me and loved and prioritised me while I wasn’t really able to look after, love or prioritise myself. They always have and always will keep me going. My friends mean everything to me! ❤️

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Last week I had an absolute melt down. There was a lot of really crazy stuff happening in work and my mind exploded. I over-thought myself into a state of absolute, irrational panic. Only for Cathal and my closest pals at the other end of the phone or I think I would have completely given into my mind and taken the week off work. I don’t cope at all when I feel my safety is under threat. Cathal made me a promise that no one would ever hurt me again; a promise that I knew he couldn’t really make. But a sentence that I needed to hear and believe more than anything. And I did believe him. Not because of the words, but because I am absolutely sure that with my pals by my side that nothing and no one can hurt me the way I’ve been hurt in the past.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing I know that I’ll never really be on my own again because I know that my friends will always answer, no matter how often I call. I’m pretty sure Cathal called into me every day last week to check I was still breathing and it’s for reasons like this that I believed him when he said it wouldn’t happen again. It’s because I have faith beyond belief that my friends will look after me and keep me safe. And prioritise and love me when I’m not capable of looking after or loving myself.

I am beginning to feel a lot better. All in baby steps. 🐥 I still haven’t put on any weight but I’ve stopped being sick which is a huge relief! Katie made a comment about how she hasn’t heard me complaining of feeling sick in ages and said she’d noticed how I’ve started coming back into her office to steal sweets again. I can’t begin to explain to you how good it felt to hear that. To hear people have noticed me looking and sounding healthier again. I’ll keep working on the weight thing but at least my appetite is slowly returning!

For International Women’s Day I saw a really wonderful post; someone’s selfie. The caption went along the lines of how important it is to value and love yourself first, along with valuing all the other amazing women in your life.

The post really made an impact on me. It talked about not comparing yourself to others (which is much easier said than done) and just learning to be kind to yourself. I thought it was brave of this person to post a selfie talking about how much they loved themselves which, after some thought made me sad. It shouldn’t take bravery to openly love and appreciate yourself!

One tip my old school counsellor gave me years ago was to stop internally criticizing and putting the people around me down. That judging others was only heightening my judgement of myself.

I’ve never really felt confident and happy with myself; something I’m definitely getting better with. But this whole Anxiety relapse has completely knocked me. I feel really fragile, physically and mentally. I quite desperately want to put on weight or at the least, stop losing it which currently is seeming a little impossible. I’ve been trying to focus on the progress that I’ve made but that’s also hard when every time I go back to the doctor I hear I’m down more weight, despite feeling like I’ve been improving in leaps and bounds.

I will get there though! I  know I will.💪🏼

Loving myself from head to toe is my absolute goal and one day soon, I will realise this goal, no matter what it takes.

 

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I have decided not to rerun for VP Welfare and Equality. Not a decision I made lightly! It’s absolutely bonkers that this time last year I was over half way through the campaign and had no idea what was ahead of me; but was full to the brim with excitement and enthusiasm. I can honestly say that I am happy with the job that I’ve done. I think that I’ve done myself, my family, my friends and my dog proud. ❤️

12 months on and I am an entirely different person! I have learned that it’s okay and sometimes important to stand up for myself- a completely new concept to me; but also that sometimes you just have to let things go. I have learned so much about people and how to read them. I have learned to absolutely prioritize my own health, an invaluable lesson. I have learned my limits and also exactly what I am capable of. I have learned to believe in myself and I have learned to some extent my worth. I have discovered how much further I can go when I take the leap and trust in 5 seconds of Bravery, and I have learned to have faith in myself and my abilities. I have made some of the best friendships and have spent the entire year so far laughing. I also don’t think I panic about the small stuff half as much as I used to! I have discovered that in the end everything gets done and works out. In all honesty I never really thought that I’d make it to the end of this year but with the end of the year rapidly approaching I will be devastated when it’s time to leave. I have formed a whole new family in MSU; but after a considerable amount of debating I have decided that it’s time for a new adventure!

I am now, despite the anxiety blip and weight loss, much more confident and more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been. When I came to Maynooth first it was this big scary world and I felt completely out of my depth. Now, Maynooth is my home and I have since made it my mission to explore the place inside and out. Maynooth is and forever will be a home I have worked to make my safe space, but now it doesn’t feel in any way big or scary; which is why I know it’s time to move on. I grow and find happiness through overcoming challenges and that’s why I know, as scary as change is, that it’s time for some new fun!

I am going to make the very best of my last few months and take every opportunity that presents itself to me and walk away with a broken heart and nothing but the most incredible memories.

Onwards and Upwards!

I love you all.

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 👣🐞🌼🐥🍄🌸💛

Fack, I can’t believe you’ve done this.👀

sally <3 This might be more of a sad blog post this time around because, well, I’m a little sad. I’ve sat down to write this post almost everyday for the last week but I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything of any real substance. I’m tired and life has been a bit tough the last few weeks.

Just before Iceland I wrote about my stress-induced tummy ulcer. It’s shit craic. Turns out I can’t just medicate the problem away as easily as I thought I could. This whole situation is as a result of stress and my anxiety being totally out of control again. It’s mad because I’ve been handling day to day challenges relatively fine which is why it’s been hard to try and explain what’s going on to people. But over the last month or two, particularly the last month I’ve completely spiralled. I seem to be spending my life vomming these days and can’t keep food down at all. I have completely lost my appetite and with that, all my energy. I’ve lived mostly on soup and fruit the last few weeks and because of all this I’ve lost quite a lot of weight to the point where I can’t really afford to lose anymore. So, as well as medicating the ulcer I have been put back on anti- anxiety meds. Just short-term, while there’s still a lot going on in my little world to stop me from losing any more weight and to keep me above water.

Anyone who’s followed my blog for a while now knows that I’ve been on medication for my mental health before and after a sum of about 6 years of inadequate health care services and treatment I went to America and took myself off the medication Ad Hoc and worked so hard on myself and haven’t looked back since. So, to be put back on medication feels like an almighty blow.

The doctors this time around have been brilliant and have assured me it’s only a short- term solution. It’s all still a bit shite though. I can recognise however, that maybe it’s necessary for the moment.

It’s mad because I haven’t thought properly about the stigma surrounding Mental Health particularly in relation to myself in a long time. I’m so open about my mental health that I’ve gotten to the stage where I just don’t care what people think anymore. I am so open with my emotions. I talk about how I’m feeling all the time with those closest to me because I didn’t in previous years and I have since learnt my lesson. I believe so much that a problem shared is a problem halved and I think that if we were all more open about what’s going on in our heads we would all feel a whole bunch less lonely and afraid. That’s one of the main purposes of this blog.

This last week though, I have felt the stigma. I was fine about discussing the prospect of medication with my closest pals and family before it happened. But, the minute I started the medication I completely shut everyone out. I felt a little ashamed and embarrassed. (I know this is ridiculous and I hate myself for thinking that way.) I’m the girl who’s gone through it all and has always won. I’ve gotten used to winning. This time though, I kind of feel like I’ve lost to life a bit and that’s really hard to swallow.

People have a funny perception of medication for mental health and it’s been such a long time since the last time I had this realisation. I have always maintained that in the height of my mental health difficulties medication was absolutely necessary and in no uncertain terms kept me alive. It was 100% the best decision for me at the time and if our country was in any way efficient mental health wise, I would have been properly looked after and monitored and would have been off them significantly sooner than I was.

People have said things along the lines of: ‘you don’t seem anxious, are you sure you need it?’ I don’t need to justify my decision but it wasn’t one I made lightly and I simply can’t carry on like this.

I’m fairly sure that I made the best decision for me and my body but it’s all just a lot to process. Like I said though, this is a short- term solution until I properly get to the bottom of everything and give my brain a little spring cleaning.

During my Welfare Campaign someone questioned by ability to do the job because of my mental health difficulties in the past. At the time I remember thinking to myself: ‘ah fuck you, you don’t know me and what I’m capable of’ and moved on, not giving the comment a second thought. The day I started my medication I sat there wondering if that person had been right.

I have taken the time to properly think through my situation and I have decided that what that person said about me during the campaign was bullshit. I am more than capable of everything that anybody else in the role could do. Sometimes it takes a little more effort or persistence but I reckon, I’ve shown Maynooth that I have and will continue to do the best that I can; which I now believe is absolutely good enough. I have always been proud of what I’ve overcome and completely believe that my mental health has made me who I am today. This situation is no different.

I’ve had a couple of students lately facing similar situations and saying similar things to what I’ve been thinking, which is why I decided to write this post. How hypocritical it would be of me to sit back and tell others to look at going on medication as a positive step in the right direction, to look forward to what the future will bring and to absolutely never be embarrassed or ashamed of taking medication for their health, Mental or Physical; while secretly not being able to own my own story.

So I am here to tell you that whether or not I know you, or I know what’s going on, we are going to get through this together. One baby step at a time. I’ll make a commitment to not be ashamed or embarrassed of my heath and you do the same. I’ll make a commitment to reprioritise self- care and just generally be kind to myself and again, you do the same.

My good pal Gregory told me the other day that life is all about balance and that balance isn’t a straight line. That balance is all about the ups and downs and how we move forward. Well, I’m on a little down hill at the moment but you know what, the hill is about to start sloping back up again!

I’ve spent a lot of time painting and writing and spending good, chill time with close friends and my pupper, whom I can’t help but feel happy around.  ❤️ I just gotta look after myself a little extra and be selfish for a while now, I think…

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Anyways, keep tippin’ along everyone. We’re all going to be fine after a few deep breaths and a hug or two. Be kind to those around you and to yourself. The sun will come out tomorrow, it always does. ☀️💛

Smile always, beautiful people. We can and will all get through this whole mad life thing together. If you’re struggling reach out and don’t suffer on your own; like I said a problem shared is a problem halved.

Kimbo. x 🌻🍄💛🐥💐

 

Absolute madness.🎄❤️🎅

Absolute madness! Christmas is over already. How did that happen? I kinda feel like it should still be September; maybe October at a push!

I usually hate Christmas. I dread it for weeks before hand. I love the build-up, the music, the decorations, the lights, the jumpers. It’s just Christmas day.

I know a lot of people are with me on this, Christmas can be the most lonely time. There’s so many reasons why people struggle around Christmas time. I always feel like there’s such an expectation to have a big, perfect, happy family, lots of gifts under the tree and to be surrounded with nothing but love and  laughter. Food is another part that comes into the equation for me. I always feel like I’m supposed to eat so much food and drink so much alcohol. For quite some time my family hasn’t met many of these expectations and every year I feel like the freak who hates Christmas come December.

This year, however was different! I spent Christmas day with my mom and then Christmas evening with dad. Adam also called over for cans on Christmas night. It was so unconventional and chilled out. I felt really ill for the day (I’ll get to this in a minute), so I didn’t have to eat much, the decorations were limited and the spirits around me all seemed to be low enough to begin with meaning I wasn’t the only Grinch this year.

Because neither myself or my mom were feeling too Christmassy, we just sat and cuddled and chatted for hours. It was beyond perfect and exactly what I needed. Then I went home to dad and we watched multiple Harry Potters and just relaxed. It was all so stress- free one way or another and it felt like there no expectations.

On Christmas Day I usually do the rounds and go visit a couple of families; my foster fam, the neighbours and I usually meet Ellen for a walk. I realised this year that I only do that because it gets me out of the house and I previously longed to be a part of a ‘happy’, ‘conventional’ family, even for an hour or so. (Not something I long for much anymore.)

This year I was happy to just float about and be with my own people. ❤️ I didn’t even make it into next door. It’s the first year for as long as I can remember that I didn’t feel like a lost cause, like a bit of a charity case.

I absolutely loved this Christmas! I know however how lucky I am to have had a good day this year and I know a couple of people who faced an unimaginably difficult day- so, the biggest well done to all of you who just made it through minute by minute. I know what that feels like. Don’t worry, it’s over now and behind us all for a full 12 months! ❤

Onto the feeling sick bit now. I’ve been a bit ill for a while now. For the past month or two I’ve been getting sick every morning before work and sometimes during the day. I have 100% lost my appetite and even when I know I need to eat I feel so ill that I end up just skipping the meal.

It’s not intentional; in fact it’s been quite frustrating. My energy has been on the floor and the last couple of weeks in work before Christmas were so intense that I really could have done without missing so many meals.

Because of my relationship with Christmas and the weather in winter and how it affects my mental health I usually lose a bit of weight around this time of year. I just presumed it was my anxiety acting the bollox. These are the usual ways my anxiety manifests itself.

After a couple of weeks of this I noticed I had lost a lot of weight and started worrying a little. Ellen has watched this all go on and has waited in the car for me in the mornings more than once because I was still inside after getting sick.

Ellen suggested that there might be something more wrong than anxiety because I couldn’t figure out what I was so anxious about.

Turns out ya gal has a stomach ulcer as a result of stress. LOL

I was fecking over the moon to get this news. Not because I want a stomach ulcer or anything that relates to that, but because the problem is physical and not mental. I was getting so panicked about how I was going to overcome this food thing. I might have to get a little operation in the New Year if I haven’t improved (I’m still experiencing a lot of discomfort)  and I need to put on a bit of weight but I feel like all that sounds a whole bunch easier than having to properly sort out my head, ya know?

As for 2018? What a year! It’s been absolute madness from start to finish. I started the year off in Edinburgh visiting camp pals and I’m about to end the year in Iceland with camp pals. ❤️ These people changed my life two summers ago and I’ll love them forever for this.

This time last year I had a whopper panic attack before going to Edi and had decided I wasn’t going. (Only for a lot of persuasion and support from my pals that I got on the plane.) This year, I barely thought about Iceland at all until yesterday. This morning I woke up sick as hell but I’m not sure if that was anxiety or ulcer? Maybe a bit of both? But, there was no drama and no fuss. I got ready, had the usual pep-talk from my faves and hopped on the plane. ✈️

I am buzzing to see the gang and not a nerve to be felt although my tummy is killing me atm and I need a widdle. (I’m stuck on the plane currently sitting in the middle seat and I don’t want to be that person that makes everyone else stand up.) 👀

Welfare has been unreal! I wrote myself a little letter at the start of the year to take out and look at if I started to lose faith in myself or really started struggling. In the letter there’s a whole paragraph about how under absolutely no circumstances could I quit, that I needed to make it to the end of the year in one piece if it killed me. ( I don’t think I really believed that  I’d actually have it in me to complete a Welfare year until recently.)

I am now half way through my year and haven’t even taken out the letter to read yet. 💪🏼

I have accomplished a lot this year, I think. The most meaningful accomplishments being the small, seemingly insignificant ones that only my closest homies know about and understand. Things like getting on the plane today with not too much of a bother.

I woke up to messages from Ellen and Alisha this morn telling me how proud they are of me and how there was no need to worry. I hadn’t even told them that I was worrying yet.

Ellen said: ‘Think of how proud you from last year would be of you right now!!’ – and she’s dead right! 2017 Kimbo wouldn’t have even dreamed about what 2018 Kimbo can now do. ❤️

That’s how I know I’m going a good job at this whole life craic.

However, in saying that I couldn’t do any of it if it wasn’t for all the love and encouragement from the very best people in my life. The ones that have spent the last year picking me up and dusting me off. Encouraging me and reading all of my blogs. Putting up with my jokes, making me giggle and giving me all the cuddles and love.

I love and appreciate you all more than you could ever imagine!

I don’t really feel like I am ever just Kim the individual. I kinda feel like I am Kim and Sally and mom and dad and maybe like a tribe of 10 heroes holding Kim’s hand every step of the way… Does that make sense? I wouldn’t be Kimbo without them all.

Little shout-out to my parents too. Maybe I don’t give them enough credit sometimes but they’re both absolute soldiers who have taught me that I can get through anything and inspire me daily. They are beautiful, kind, smart  people and I’m a pretty lucky kiddo to have them carrying me through. ❤️

Anyway, I want to wish you all the happiest of New Years. 2019 is gonna be a blast, I can feel it! I hope next year’s adventures are just as plentiful and that all the memories are just as sparkly. I hope you all continue to discover who you are, what you really value and what you are made of. I hope you all smile more in 2019. I hope you laugh far more than you cry and I hope that you all spend your year trying to be kind to everyone you meet.

Don’t look down on people, don’t judge them and don’t put them down. Worry about yourself and your own issues instead. Be selfish but lean on those around you. Be strong and be brave.

Lastly, don’t beat yourself up inside if you slip-up along the way. We all make mistakes. It’s how we move on from them and learn that counts. Just don’t make the same mistake twice.

I’ll try do the same.

All the love and best wishes. Don’t forget to smile always.

Kimbo. X 💛🌼💐🐥🍄❤️

 

Dearest all of my beautiful pals❤️

Dearest all of my beautiful pals, this is a letter to you. Whether we’re close and chat all the time, just a little or, we simply smile at each other when passing on campus. I’m about to explain to you all exactly what you mean to me- and to each other. Because we all value, in one way or another the people who make an impact on us. The people who make us smile.

I value the people in my life an awful lot. I seem to spend quite a lot of time totally taken back by the lengths people will, and do go for me on a regular basis. I try to acknowledge and be grateful for kindness all the time. Even for all the small tiny stuff.

And, by writing this letter and trying to explain to you all how much your kindness means to me and those around you, I also hope to inspire you to focus on being just a little kinder tomorrow. To go out of your way to do just one nice thing for someone, no matter how small. Because the smallest things make the biggest difference.

Life is tough! To all my closest pals; the ones who might as well be family. The ones who I complain to about how tired I am ALL of the time. The ones who I ring in floods of tears after getting on a train going in the opposite direction alone at night. The ones that even though they are several pints in..understand exactly how scared I am and calm me down, and send me the right travel information and snapchat me funny videos until I am home. Safe and sound and breathing again.                                                                                          The ones who encourage and incentivise me to face all of my fears and then hold my hand along the way. The ones that encourage me to laugh at every opportunity. The ones that not only share the same thought processes, but the same cycle as me. 😂                 The ones who slag me non-stop, but at the end of the day would do anything for me. The ones who wrap their arms around me and suddenly, I am safe.                                                                                                                                                     The ones who have believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. The ones who have taught me what I deserve and who I am. The ones who have seen me vom and cry and conquer; at my very worst and very best. The ones I drink cans with and chat and joke with all night. The ones that just really understand and know me.  The ones who make me smile everyday. The ones who support me endlessly with everything. The ones who have saved me, provided endless encouragement and support, made me who I am today and, the ones who have made me happy. 💛🌼

To all the people I have had coffee with. There are so many of you and I have never had a  bad coffee date in Maynooth! Coffee Dates have been the framework of my college experience so to say I have enjoyed every single one is impressive. Good chats always come with coffee. Thank you all and I hope you all continue to do coffee dates regularly. ☕️

To all the people who love me and are interested in me and my life and my stories. To all the people that believe in my ideas. To all the people that read my blogs. To the people that put aside time regularly, to see me. Thank you. ❤️

To all the people who have ever gone out of their way to help me at some time or another, thank you. I get muddled up and tied in knots on a regular basis and metaphorically speaking, if you all weren’t there catching me every time I tripped up I’d have broken every bone in my body by now.

To the people who understand and accept the fact that I need to stop and widdle every time I go anywhere. 💧

To the people who have laughed with me/ at me when laughing at my own jokes. 🐥

To the people I know from around and have maybe chatted to once or twice, thank you. You people keep life so interesting and inspiring. Stories that make me laugh while bonding over a pint(s). Or chats in the hallways or on the streets. In meeting rooms, waiting for public transport or in coincidental groups. Chatting is my favourite thing to do! 💕😂

To all my old friends and to all my new friends.

To anyone who has ever hugged me or waved at me. To the people who pass me on the street and smile. You make my day. I always notice and appreciate when people smile at me as I walk by. It’s such a simple thing, but it has such a big, warm impact. It slows the world down a little when it feels like its spinning. 🌍 A big friendly smile always makes me smile. It’s infectious and for all you know it could be the first time that person has smiled all day. SMILE AT THOSE AROUND YOU ALL THE TIME.

‼️Tell the people in your life how much you love and appreciate them always. ‼️

To the people who have trusted me, thank you. To the people who have actively played a part in helping me succeed and follow my dreams, thank you. To the people who have advised me. To the people who have provided me with opportunities.

Life is so tough! But, life can be so much easier when we show love and patience to those we meet. You literally never know when someone’s having a difficult day and the smallest act of kindness shown to them can turn it all around, or make it all a little more bearable. Give compliments, give hugs, smile often, be positive and try to believe in the power of positivity and kindness. Don’t put each other down, build each other up! Life is easier when we lean on each other. When we talk and listen to those around us. Really listen. Aim to make the lives of people around you brighter. Be honest. Be selfish sometimes. Look after yourselves too, but we’re all in this together and don’t forget that.

Thank you all for touching me in one way or another. I am honoured to be surrounded daily by thousands of amazing, different and inspiring individuals.

Thank you all for everything. I have no doubt that there are others saying the same thing too. It’s not just me you’ve touched. You have all touched so many other people’s lives in one way or another too. Don’t forget how important you are to the people around you. Even in the smallest ways. That’s really important.

Be well, pals. This time of year is hard. We’re all tired and we are all snuffly. ☔️ Christmas can be a difficult time of year too. Look after yourself first but also be kind to those around you. ❤️ Reach out if you’re struggling.

All my love and Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 🍄💫🐥🌻

Welfare life when you’re 5″ nothing.🐥

It has been the most crazy few weeks! Welfare life moves at such a fast pace. The summer is over and I literally have no idea where the time went. It has all absolutely flown by!

It has all been pretty wonderful so far. The job has made me feel so many emotions and it’s only really starting. I get really terrified every so often, and I question what I’m doing here. But recently, when I start panicking about how I’m feeling I’ve learned to stop and breath. I’ve been through an awful lot over the past few years and I’m stronger and happier than ever so absolutely nothing is going to stop me now!

I graduated a couple of weeks ago and had all of the most wonderful people around me; friends from home, college and my course friends along with my family. I was so unbelievably happy all day and it’s a day I’ll never forget! ❤️ I can’t wrap my head around how it could possibly have been three years since my very first, terrifying day in Maynooth. I remember exactly what I wore that day and every single emotion I felt like it was yesterday.

My undergrad degree was the best and without a doubt, most challenging three years of my life. I found myself, my beliefs and my values. I’m still finding them and exploring and growing in strength and confidence day by day.

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This job keeps pushing me. I have found myself attempting to reverse back into old anxiety ways. But now, every time I go to run and hide I get pushed back out of my comfort zone and I have no choice but to do what needs to be done. It’s my job. And then, I leave my comfort zone and am always grateful for the push. Orientation week is over and I think we gave orientation talks to about 3,000 freshers. That’s a lot of people, a lot of public speaking and one more almost overcome fear. 💪🏼

In his orientation speech Paul kept saying “…all it takes is just five seconds of bravery, that’s it!” And I keep taking his advice and literally diving in! -I jumped off the pier in Salthill a few weeks ago; and couldn’t bring myself to do it this time last year.

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Five seconds of bravery is brilliant advice! Close your eyes for five seconds and take the leap; whatever that leap may be. By the time you open your eyes you’ve already taken the step and then it’s too late to go back. Did I mention I also got that blood test I’ve been too scared to get for about 3 years?! I also booked my tickets to go to Iceland for New Years to visit all my favourite camp pals. Last New Years I had a massive panic attack the night before going to a camp reunion in Edinburgh, but I conquered that fear. The prospect of the Iceland trip scared the shit out of me which was the biggest deciding factor in me booking the tickets. 💪🏼 What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?

It’s all coming up Kim.

The team has been amazing. I have really felt so supported the whole way along and it’s all so exciting. The Union is such a busy place! I really had no idea. Everyone works so hard but they literally all just never stop smiling and being so kind to everyone they meet. I know it’s early days and I still have so much to learn and face, but I really think this is going to be one of the best years yet.

I’ve been quite ill recently and I’m exhausted. It’s been a little bumpy but again, my friends have picked me up and carried me through. I could not function without them and am constantly, everyday, amazed by how wonderful they are.❤️ Forever grateful.

Last week, for World Mental Health Day 2018 Paul and I held a mental health coffee morning. ☕️ I got to tell a whole bunch of people that it was okay not to be okay and that we are all one big welfamily in Maynooth that will get through everything life throws at us together. I ended my speech with a Winne The Pooh quote and I have never felt so empowered in my entire life.

It was SUCH a special, perfect day. My job lets me do these things. It’s fecking class! AND having a pet anxiety bath duck called Albert in work is acceptable? I actually have no idea how I got so lucky! 🐥 I say it all the time, but I genuinely think Maynooth is one of my favourite places in the world. In Maynooth I am happy, loved, accepted and safe.

SAFE- a word I’ve questioned a lot as of late. It’s a word that means a lot to me for various different reasons. I haven’t always felt safe. Safety is a feeling I have learned to take great comfort in, however it’s a feeling that catches me out sometimes because I am naturally drawn to the situation that appears safest. I know I am being so vague right now but this theory can be applied to almost all aspects of my life.

Every so often safety is a necessity, for obvious reasons, but sometimes the safe option isn’t always the best option. If we’re safe all the time and avoid these 5 seconds of bravery and don’t push ourselves out of our comfort zones how will we ever grow as people? It’s a confusing grey line that I find really hard to navigate sometimes. So, I’m really glad to have so many people around me pushing me everyday and reminding me that I am capable. A reminder that I require frequently. I spend my life feeling overwhelmed and slip into the ‘I’m doing such a shit job’ mindset all too often.

On another note, last night I faced something that to me, was terrifying.

Earlier in the week I was asked to face a certain situation that I knew was going to make me incredibly uncomfortable and force me way out of my comfort zone. My immediate reaction was to say absolutely not. Then, I rang Jimmy, my old school counsellor whom is now one of my most trusted friends. To my great disappointment, Jimmy told me to face my fears. To choose the uncomfortable option which would inevitably lead me to a place where I could move on from a situation that’s been holding me back for quite some time. He told me that whatever I chose to do he would never judge me but, gave me a little guilt- trip thing and then told me to let him know what I decided to do. 😂 He’s a wagon like that.

So far, after about ten years, Jimmy has never been wrong. So I decided to give into his guilt- trip and face my fears. I decided to take 5 seconds of bravery and to face this particular situation head on. Of course, my closest friends all jumped at the chance to stand by my side and help me face the situation and together, with them all by my side, I knew I would be A OKAY! ❤

This time the safe option was not the right one and the fact that I could recognise this and chose the scarier option is a testament to my personal growth.

So, I faced the situation and it was difficult but I did it! I’m really proud of myself, but also triggered. The situation was a really difficult one and it’s a situation that wouldn’t have been difficult for most other people. I’m conflicted as to whether I should feel happy and delighted with myself for overcoming a fear, or sad because the smallest things still trigger me and I often wish they wouldn’t, you know. But baby steps, I guess.

Despite this, life is constantly terrifyingly wonderful and I for sure hope it remains this way. I also hope that I always have the very best of the best people by my side encouraging me on.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week, dearest readers. I also hope you conquer something small this week. It’s a feeling I’ve become addicted to. 🐥

(P.S. Hope you’re all as #buzzing that Westlife have made a comeback as I am! x x x)

All the love and hugs,

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 🐥🌻👣⭐️🌼❤️

 

Well, it’s temporary, darling. 💛 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. 😁😂

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. ❤️

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. 💛

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. 🌹I’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…😂

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. 😉) 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! 👣

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

Smile always,

Kimbo. X🌍✈️💛⭐️🐥🌼

Be the change💐

“Know your Worth.” ❤️

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 been 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  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’ 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. 💛

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

Kimbo. X🌼🌻💫🍃🐥🌸

 

Kindness makes the world go round 💛

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! 🙅💉

Good luck, not a chance, goodbye.

I will get over this phobia, I promise. Just not right now. 😂😁😳

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. 💛)

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. 🌈

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:  “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. ❤️☀️ Hang in there.

Smile Always,

Kimbo. X 💛🍄🌼🐥👣💜🌸

Sometimes, life hates me. 😂😳☕️

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  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! ❤️

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. 🌻

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 👣⭐️🌼✨🌸💛