Friday, 17 March 2017

Falling Out Of Love With Fashion

Fashion has been a big part of my life since I was a kid. I always loved dressing up and didn't want to look like my friends or classmates, I wanted to stand out. From my first school bag made of jungle print fabric with animals hidden amongst the palms like Where's Wally to the gold lamé pleated skirt that my mum bought us from a charity shop for playing dress up, but that I begged and pleaded her to let me wear to non-uniform day despite it dragging on the ground beneath my little feet. I've always loved clothes and fashion and how experimenting with my own tastes and styles gives me confidence and allows me to be creative. I studied for a degree in Fashion Business in the hope that one day, I'd style models and celebrities for high end photo shoots and red carpet appearances. When I started this little blog is mine over 5 years ago now, my vision was to showcase my love of fashion and my personal style for the world to lust over. Dream big, right? But recently, my lifelong love of fashion has begun to somewhat dwindle and I'm feeling myself loosing the fun in it.

Brogues - ASOS
Vivienne Westwood Handbag - eBay
Sunglasses - Primark
Necklace - H&M
Pom-Pom Earrings - eBay
Belt - River Island
101 Dalmations Scarf - Vintage

As I wear black for work 5 in every 7 days, I don't have the opportunities I had as a fashion student to experiment as often as I'd like to. I feel myself deciding against buying pieces that I truly adore because I just know I won't get the use out of them. I also don't treat nights out in the same way at 26 as I did at 18. Sure, I want to look good, but I've learned that the higher the heel isn't always the better and that not taking a jacket to avoid a cloakroom queue in a night club in a silly idea. Plus I don't frequent the dancefloor nearly as often as I once did.

I sit writing out these random thoughts that've been consuming my mind every morning as I've gotten dressed for a few months now, on my day off from work, and I'm wearing blue skinny jeans (you know, the wardrobe staple that everyone and their mother has...) and a plain grey poloneck jumper. Had I not been out this morning, I'd probably be wearing pyjamas. I can feel 20 year old self disapprove at how boring and practical I've became, my 16 year old self recoil in shock at she discovers that I'm not wearing anything vintage or second hand, my 13 year old self rolling her eyes at my lack of creativity to see that I haven't coloured in the toecaps of my Converse and my 8 year old self shudder at the mere thought of going a day without wearing orange or fuschia pink or something glittery or beaded. But I have and while on some levels, I'm proud of myself for getting to a point in my life where I'm comfortable to not always look completely put together, I miss fashion. I miss it like an old friend who's moved away. Who I occasionally see or catch up with but who isn't the part of my life that they used to be but who I wish was.

But I don't want to loose my love of fashion. It's a huge part of who I am, it's my career, it's my degree that I worked my tail off for and as vain as some people might think this sounds, it has been a part of my identity my whole life. I have so many amazing pieces in my wardrobe, pieces that I feel and look good in, pieces I've acquired second hand or vintage, pieces I've set alarms for the middle of the night to bid for on eBay, pieces I've felt a true sense of achievement as I found them on sale in my life. I feel like I'm having to remind myself that they even exist, lurking in the deepest depth of my wardrobe behind clothes that I don't dislike per se, but that don't inspire me. I want to get use out of my 7 pairs of leopard print shoes. I want to wear that tacky costume jewellery that turns my fingers green. I want to wear sequins just because I can. I want to clash prints. I want to rock those gold brogues I bought 3 Black Fridays ago and still haven't left their box. Skinny jeans, trainers, practical outerwear and breton stripes, I love you, but I have room in my heart for more. Even if I don't necessarily have room in my wardrobe...!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

My Experience With Norethisterone (The Period Delay Pill)

Periods. They can be a bit of a neaucence at times. Whether it's for health reasons or purely the impracticality, I'm sure more people who have periods will agree that at times, it'd be pretty handy to just have an on-off switch. Last month, ahead of city break to Dublin, I visited my GP to discuss what I could take for my fear of fighting. While I was there, she prescribed me some medication but also suggested that maybe being due my period while I was away would heighten my anxiety and recommended that I looked into Norethisterone, commonly known as the period delay pill.

I'm very fortunate with my periods. I started around the age of 13 and aside from the odd bit of back pain, hormonal spot or cry for no obvious reason, me and my period get on pretty well. It comes at almost exactly the same date each cycle, lasts roughly the same amount of days and doesn't cause me any massive or long term discomfort or health affects. So when the doctor suggested this, I was torn. On one hand, I've got a good thing going, do I really want to mess with that for something that isn't strictly necessary? But on the other, my body & my period are consistent and I've never really taken contraceptive medication for any real length of time, so maybe I was worrying over nothing. After reading up on it (which there's really really isn't much on, hence this post!), I decided to try it. I've been really scared of flying for years so anything that could help, I thought was worth a try and as this was just a short trip rather than a long holiday away, this seemed like a good time to try it for if i ever wanted to use it again in the future.

Norethisterone is availlabe from Boots, Superdrug, Co-Op Healthcare Online & Lloyds Pharmacy and of course, via your GP. I personally opted for Lloyds Pharmacy but mostly just for convenience. It's available from Lloyds Pharmacy in 2 doses, 7 days worth for £24.99 and 17 days worth for £28.95. I opted for 17 days. You apply online, filling out a few standard health questions - height, weight, allergies, that sort of thing. From there, an online doctor assesses your answers and then emails to either confirm or deny if they have authorised your prescription. On approval, you pay online and book when and where you will collect your dose from. When I went to pick up the prescription, I had my height, weight and blood pressure taken but was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't asked any other questions such as why I wanted to delay my period or  about my sex life etc. If for any reason they decide it isn't suitable for you, they refund your order then and there.

The pills themselves are tiny, only about 3 or 4 millimetres. The pamphlet inside only says you've to take 3 a day but didn't actually same when or how (after food, with water etc.) so I thought it best to take them roughly 6 hours apart at approximately 9am, 3pm and 9pm. That's purely guess work though but it seemed to work for me.

Although I had 17 days worth, I only actually took it for about a week in total, meaning I still have more than the same again if ever I should want to use it again in the future. In terms of stopping my period and helping with my flying anxiety, Norethisterone did work a treat and I can't fault it from those points of view. I didn't experience any physical side effects at all and my period that followed was as normal.

However, in taking Norethisterone to help with one mental health issue, anxiety due to my fear of flying, it really messed with another, my depression. While I was taking it, I was fine, no major issues or effects on my overall piece of mind, but within a day of coming off it, I felt so so unbelievably low. My first day off of it just so happened to be my birthday, which I spent feeling so empty and lonely, despite being with my nearest and dearest, enjoying lovely presents, cake and lots of yummy food. After coming off Norethisterone, your period typically arrives within 3 days (which was pretty much spot on for me) but those three days and for the duration of my period, I felt lower than ever and constantly tearful and mentally exhausted.

Overall, I don't regret trying Norethisterone and it did to the trick in delaying my period seamlessly. However, the mental side effects of it just weren't worth it for me and in future, I'd rather deal with the heightened anxiety than the steep comedown from coming off it. 

Any questions about trying out Norethisterone, feel free to ask away :)