Wednesday, 6 March 2019


I thought I would chat for a while on here about polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and the process I had to go through to get diagnosed. It is still something that irritates me and something I felt that needed to be shared. You should always have your concerns taken seriously since you are the best person to spot differences or irregularities in your body!

Symptoms I have experienced

Ever since I had my first period, I have had symptoms of PCOS which I either overlooked or believed were completely normal. Most of them can be completely normal, but the extent of them and the amount of them were an indication of PCOS and my hormone imbalances.

Heavy and irregular periods
Am I comfortable talking about this on here? Totally. I used to be so ashamed of my periods and experienced a lot of anxiety surrounding them. Even when they have been regular, my periods have always been pretty intense. The amount of blood leaving my body every month was alarming and I was having to literally go to the bathroom hourly to change my super tampon (something I wasn't yet comfortable with having to do in the school/college bathrooms). The cramps were also a force to be reckoned with. I would double over, clutch my abdomen, squirm around in my seat and pop painkillers like they were sweets. I figured they were normal since we were warned that everyone has cramps in sex ed, but what I didn't know was that everyone experiences these things very differently. My period irregularities come and go, which is irregular in itself, but there have been many times where I have been getting my periods every other week which I hope never happens again but know it probably will.

Hair, hair and more hair
Oh dear, this has also been a big thing that I've had to work on in terms of confidence and anxiety. I remember a time in primary school where I was told that my super hairy legs were gross and that I had a moustache growing on my face. I was horrified and immediately went to the bathroom to cry. A moustache? No way! My peach fuzz is pretty thick. My upper lip can get pretty hairy. I get thick hairs on my chin. My body hair can grow very thick. It took me a long while to dispel the myths about women shaving their face, but I do in fact shave my face now. It's not completely necessary and I don't feel like I need to shave it all the time, but it does boost my confidence and it makes my skin feel super soft which is a massive bonus. However, the hair on my head tends to act the opposite. It's constantly shedding and I definitely feel that it's so much thinner than it used to be. When I vacuum my carpet I'm shook by the amount of hair that's fallen out of my head and my hairbrush gets full of hair so quickly. It's a bit grim but not the end of the world.

Skin probs
Most people get oily skin and spots. My skin is very very oily and although I have become good at taking care of my skin and managing breakouts, it used to get me down a lot! I also used to get a lot of spots on my back and that meant that I felt very uncomfortable in any shirt that didn't cover my whole back and shoulders. The main thing that still bugs me is how oily my skin is but it's manageable now!

My mind
Depression, anxiety and mood swings have been something which I have been dealing with for years and years and years, and it wasn't until I started talking to my current GP that I realised that these are also associated with PCOS. I bounce from extremely down and depressed to incredibly energetic and upbeat without a moment's notice. Often the depressive episodes can stick and I'll be incredibly down for weeks. I'm working on it!

My weight
My baseline weight has always been pretty heavy. When I'm on the healthiest of kicks I will not lose weight at all and it can get frustrating and upsetting. It's taken me a while but I'm good with my body shape now, but it does still bum me out sometimes. So much of my body fat is on my lower belly and I call it my PCOS pouch, I'm beginning to think it's kinda cute.

Diagnosis attempt #1

When I was in high school, I went to my GP about my period problems. They were so painful that I was finding it hard to attend school and the amount of blood made me incredibly anxious. I was prescribed tranexamic acid and mefenamic acid for my periods and these did help massively, but I wanted to know why my periods were this grim. I did some research and asked my GP about PCOS. He got me to lay on the bench-y thing (you know, the bed thing in a GP office) and pressed around on my tummy before telling me he didn't feel any cysts so I didn't have PCOS. I kind of accepted this at the time but that was actually bullshit and you cannot feel anything to do with PCOS just from pressing on your tummy.

Diagnosis attempt #2

I was already regularly seeing my current GP due to my mental health when my periods started to come every other week. It was grim and I felt like they were getting worse and worse. I brought it up to my GP and I also mentioned the thoughts I had about PCOS in the past. He told me that my past GP was wrong about claiming how to diagnose PCOS and he got me booked in for an ultrasound and a blood test. I didn't know what to expect when going in for the ultrasound but it was pretty uncomfortable. I was told to go with a full bladder so I was bursting for the loo while the ultrasound thingy was being prodded onto my abdomen. My tummy also made some funky noises in the silent room and I wanted to get out asap. According to the blood test, my hormones are a bit muddled (including high testosterone) and the ultrasound confirmed that I have PCOS.

Well, the more you know...

I wasn't surprised to be told I have PCOS so it didn't affect me as much as it maybe could have. It made a lot of sense to me and it was quite comforting to know that my suspicions over the years were right and I wasn't just overthinking my symptoms. It's good to know that when a symptom is acting up I can say why it's happening and what's causing the trouble. I switched my birth control to a combined pill which help to regulate my periods and some of the hormonal stuff and I began to treat myself less harshly about my weight and mood swings. It's led to a lot of acceptance for me. A year on and I feel better and more accepting in myself than ever.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common condition which affects ovarian functioning. The main features are irregular periods, excess androgen and polycystic ovaries. Symptoms include irregular periods, lack of periods, fertility issues, excessive hair growth, thinning hair of the head, weight gain and oily skin/acne. If you feel that you are experiencing these symptoms, you can read more about them HERE. I have asked two different doctors about my symptoms and only one of them actually moved along to the process of diagnosis, so ask questions and make sure your symptoms are taken seriously. Diagnosis of PCOS is often quick and simple and involves an ultrasound in order to take a look at your ovaries. If you have any questions about PCOS at all, feel free to get in contact! 



Monday, 18 February 2019


Going to the GP

Why did I go on sertraline in the first place? To put it bluntly, I had a breakdown which had been a long time coming and at the lowest point, I really scared myself. I was at the worst point I had been at in as long as I can remember and I was scared that if I didn't talk to a GP then I would end up in an even worse state. My mood was incredibly low, I was anxious all the time and I was overthinking and second guessing everything. I experienced a lot of intrusive thoughts about the people around me and how they felt about me, which led me to push almost everyone away. My self esteem was in the garbage and I felt scared that things would never improve. I had a very teary phone conversation with my GP first thing next morning and he managed to have an appointment for me by the next hour, so I was able to go in on the same day and didn't have to wait. We talked through everything that I was feeling and how hopeless I felt, since I had tried different routes of counselling and was scared to take medication. However, I agreed that meds were at least worth a shot so I was prescribed 50mg of sertraline and told to get back in contact with my counsellor.

Starting sertraline

When the GP tells you that the first few weeks are the worst, they are totally right. I was no more depressed than before, but I was struggling a lot with anxiety. I would have random anxiety attacks in work and have to sit in the back room to recover for a while. I was also incredibly drowsy which led me into trouble when trying to concentrate on my work. The strangest side effect that I experienced, however, was a total lack of appetite for the first couple of weeks. I eat all day every day and for me to not be hungry is absolutely unheard of. However, when I started sertraline I would forget to eat a lot because I just didn't feel hungry! Acid reflux due to the combination of sertraline and my excessive coffee habits was also annoying but I discovered the beautiful curative powers of Gaviscon and it helped a lot!

It wasn't all bad though! My sleep improved dramatically! Because I was drowsy, I would sleep earlier and wake up earlier. I missed fewer classes because I wasn't sleeping through them, and I wouldn't be up all through the early hours like I used to be. Plus, this first couple of weeks allowed me to focus more on my body, how it was reacting to the medication, and what still needed work.

Settling in

After the initial side effects began to subside, I began to realise that my mood was much more regulated and I felt a lot calmer. I spiralled into overthinking and depression a lot less, and when I did spiral it was a lot less severe. Once this change occurred, I started working more on my personal development and I have been able to balance so many more extra-curricular activities, I started this blog, I did more peer support volunteering, and I even completed an amazing summer internship.

Now

There have been ups and downs. I have gone from 50mg to 100mg and finally to my current dose of 150mg. I have been on 150mg for a long while now and it seems to work best for me. I feel calmer, more confident and a lot happier than I was. There are definitely still hiccups (like right now) and I have had to work hard mentally for where i'm at right now, but the sertraline has helped me to facilitate that work. I wouldn't be where I am if I was just taking the sertraline without working hard on my mental health, it's better to use alongside counselling/therapy. Still not 100% okay, but I've made progress and that's great! Yes, I still miss some lectures because I can't get up in the morning on a bad day, but I have the motivation to catch up on what i've missed rather than just panicking and not doing anything! I also feel a lot more resilient when things go wrong in my social life, whereas I used to immediately shut down at any sign of social problems.

Disclaimer: this is just my experience, people react to sertraline differently and what works for me may work differently for you, I just know that some people wanted to hear my experience and I know that posts like these would have helped me when I started sertraline!

Monday, 11 February 2019


Sometimes the start of a new dating/relationship scenario can be awkward, confusing and nerve wracking when it's someone you have met organically and not through a dating app. Meeting people through dating apps and starting a dating relationship is super easy since it's probably the reason you both started talking in the first place. However, it can make you forget how to deal with fancying people in your real offline life and wanting to get closer to them in a romantic way. It can make you forget that sometimes you have to make the first move and tell someone how you feel face to face. That's always been tough, though. It can be super scary, but that's why i'm here to reassure you and to tell you to just go for it!

Have they indicated that they feel the same way?

Do they go out of their way to see you? Do your hangouts feel more like dates than just friendly meetups? Do you both act all awkward and blushy when you're together (awh)? Do you talk all day everyday, and occasionally in a flirty way? Then, my dude, they may just fancy you too! If you're both as awkward as each other then maybe you're both waiting for the other person to make the first move!

I'm not saying that these are all signs that the person you fancy likes you back, but they sure could be! There are also other signs but I don't have all the knowledge of these things for each of you. I am not an oracle, I just think I know enough to make this post. Acknowledging the signs and thinking over all the times you spend together may help you to build up some of the courage needed to make the first move.

Are you close friends or are you acquaintances? 

If you're close friends already, then you surely won't lose that friendship by telling them you like them in a romantic kinda way. They should respect your honesty and either let you down gently or tell you they've been feeling the same way. You are not going to lose them, I repeat, you are not going to lose them. If it feels awkward for a little while, it will definitely pass and you will get back to the way you are in no time. If, however, they actually tell you that they like you back, you are dating your close friend who you already know you get along with and trust!

If they're an acquaintance, how much have you got to lose if they say no? It will hurt for a little while but that will pass and they will remain an acquaintance. A truly mature grown up person will be flattered by your affections, whether returned or not, and will not run into the distance screaming.

How long have you been crushing?

If it's been a long time and you haven't brought it up with your crush, it will feel good just to say it and get it off your chest. Even if they don't return your feelings, at least you know now. Otherwise you will never know if they feel the same way as you! I went to college with somebody for two years and I had a crush on them the entire time but I was scared to say anything because I thought they didn't return the feelings. We then went our separate ways for university and I didn't see them for nearly two years. When they came to visit me in Manchester, I told them that I had feelings for them for the whole of college and they said that they had felt the same way but were also scared to say anything. It took literal years to tell them I had a crush, by which time we were in completely different places (geographically and mentally) and nothing could come from those feelings. Say something or you may regret keeping your feelings to yourself in the future!

What have you got to lose?

As I have already said, if the person you have feelings for is already a friend, they will not abandon you if you express your feelings to them. It may feel awkward in the short term but at least these things pass. If they do have those feelings for you, you have so much to possibly gain in the future with them! It's the same with someone you know less well. It may feel awkward in the short-term if they reject your advances, but you have so much to gain in the long-term if they return them!

To conclude this ramble...

Go for it!
What have you got to lose? What have you got to gain?
If you still don't feel inspired to ask your crush out, just share this where they may see it, read it, and make the first move instead!

Good luck angels!x


Photo by Ioana Cristiana on Unsplash

Friday, 8 February 2019


I was at an event where I was mixing with a bunch of A Level students and telling them all about uni life and what to expect when a girl approached me looking like she had a pretty serious question to ask me. We sat to the side and I told her to ask me anything, and she told me that she was worried that everyone else around her seemed to know what they wanted to do post-graduation, even though they hadn't even begun their degrees. "Is it bad that I don't know what to do after education? When will I absolutely need to know?" She's not even in uni yet and she's already worried and anxious about finishing her degree. Here's the response I gave her and the advice I want to share on here with you.

It's okay to go into something not knowing the outcome

Taking risks or stepping out of your comfort zone will help you to figure out what you can and can't do well and what you do or don't enjoy. This even applies to choosing a degree subject or a job. It isn't a case of 'choose this and stick with it forever' and you won't know you enjoy it unless you give it a go. Some people around me have switched degrees and others have stuck with theirs. Some people have gone into a job thinking they would hate it and ended up loving it, others have had the opposite happen to them. A lot of what we do is trial and error, and you won't know whether something works for you unless you give it a try.

We all change our minds 

The chances are that a lot of the people around you who are completely certain of what they want to do will end up changing their minds. As a psychology student, I started out wanting to work as a forensic psychologist and now i'm going into marketing as my career of choice. I have a friend who started out wanting to be a clinical psychologist and now she's set to become a teacher. Some people change their minds later in life and leave their long-time career to pursue something new. Nothing is set and nobody's plans are set. The fact that you don't have a plan will change before you know it, and then your new plan can change too.

University will introduce you to new avenues you hadn't even considered before

Don't have a plan now? You probably will have one after some time in university. Try out all sorts of new things in university. It's the best place to do this! Join societies, get involved and take up opportunities even if you're unsure of whether they are for you. I decided to volunteer as a Welcome Hero at the start of my second year, which basically meant that throughout freshers' week I accompanied new students on trips around the area, I volunteered at the freshers' fair, and I spent a lot of time standing outside the Students' Union with a big arrow pointing people to events. I loved the buzz of Welcome Week so much that when the opportunity for a summer internship involving preparations for Welcome Week came up, I applied straight away and ended up getting a paid internship for the whole summer working in marketing for Welcome Week, as well as marketing for other aspects of the uni. I loved it so much that i'm now pursuing marketing as a career, something I hadn't even considered before! To cut a long story short, your 'plan' can come at the most unexpected of times, so just take up opportunities where you see them and you never know what might happen!

Sidenote - taking up these opportunities will also look fab on your CV, whatever you decide to do!

Do you have a plan? How has your plan changed?x


Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Tuesday, 5 February 2019


Time for a new kind of regular post!! I wanted to find more monthly posts to fit into a regular-ish blogging schedule so here's 'New In', the update on all the new items in stores which I have been lusting after! So... here are all the things I am lusting after at the moment!

Disclaimer: all affiliate links marked with a '*' for full disclosure (ya girl is a bit broke)

ASOS - PrettyLittleThing Plus wrap mini dress in white spot print*


Pretty Little Thing have one of my fave plus size ranges out there and this dress is super cute! It's definitely on my payday list as I always go for a size 16 in dresses! Love a spot print!

ASOS - Missguided distressed boyfriend jeans in light wash blue*


On the lookout for some new distressed jeans and these fit the bill perfectly! I'm usually a black jeans kinda gal so these will be a nice and welcome change in my spring wardrobe!

ASOS - Noisy May 'pardon my french' t-shirt*


Blaming Chloe for this one since she wears the cutest slogan tees! This one is super cute and definitely my style! I swear way too much in my day-to-day life so it's a good disclaimer I reckon!



These are super cute and such an on-trend print right now! I'm ready for slightly warmer weather just so I can stop living in jeans and start living in culottes again!



This jumper is giving me Ziggy Stardust vibes and I am obsessed! I wanna order this two sizes too large so I can completely disappear into it! In fact, I would happily disappear into any of the jumpers from Joanie Clothing, they're all so cute!



I mean, what's not to love about this top? The front pocket, the paintbrushes, the cut of the neck, it's all a yes from me! I neeeeeed!

Koi Footwear - Romeo Heart Boots


All the pre-valentines themed fashion is getting to me a bit, I need it all! These boots, however, are my most lusted after piece. They're the exact boot style I love so much and that heart detailing is everything!

What are you lusting after right now?x





Wednesday, 2 January 2019


It's about time I made another makeup post on here! I thought I would share all the products I have been loving lately as I have been getting back into putting makeup on and feeling fabulous! I hope that you enjoy reading these little recommendations!

Base

Revolution Conceal and Define Foundation & Concealer


For me, these were the ultimate makeup discoveries of the year! I finally found a shade range with tones pale enough for my face! I long suffered the eternal struggle of buying the lightest shade of a foundation I wanted to try, putting it on my face and it not even remotely matching my skin tone. These are the only foundation and concealer products which I have been using for many months now and I don't see myself changing up my base routine any time soon! The coverage level is EVERYTHING too! They make my skin look flawless, even when it's blotchy and breaking out beneath the makeup in those stressful times!

You can buy the foundation from Superdrug HERE, Beauty Bay HERE
You can buy the concealer from Superdrug HERE, Beauty Bay HERE

Cheeks

Tarte Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette Volume 2


I managed to swipe this palette up in TK Maxx for an absolute bargain and I have been using it non-stop since! Skylight is the perfect highlight shade for my complexion and I use it to highlight my cheekbones, brow bone and the inner corner of my eyeshadow looks! It's very pigmented and leaves me looking lovely and glowy! Plus, the product itself smells amazing and the packaging is beautiful since it's a part of the Rainforest of the Sea collection!

You can buy the palette from Tarte HERE

Sleek Blush in Antique and Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light


You know what? My mum was right! I needed to wear more blush! I was so scared of blush since I figured it would show up so bright on my pale skin, so I was so happy when I found a blush that isn't a shade of pink or peach! This browny blush matches my everyday makeup so nicely and I love how it looks! Another product I struggled to find which wouldn't overpower my face was a good contouring powder. This Sleek one is light enough to not look OTT but still dark enough to give me a well-defined contour!

You can buy the blush from Boots HERE
You can buy the contour kit from Boots HERE

Eyes

Nip + Fab Eyeshadow Palette 02 - Fired Up


Rusty shades have been an absolute must and this palette has been one of my best makeup purchases over the whole of 2018, that's how much I get my use out of it! It's packed with 12 beautiful buildable blendable shades straight out of my dreams! When I visited home for a few weeks, this was the only palette I felt the need to take! It's just so versatile for both every day and special occasions and I love it so much!

You can buy this palette from Lookfantastic (sale) HERE, Superdrug (sale) HERE and ASOS HERE

Lips

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in Allegedly and Leo


The lighting is making these shades look the same but I SWEAR Leo is darker than Allegedly! Allegedly is a beautiful terracotta brown lipstick which has been my perfect everyday shade! I had really wanted a lovely orange-toned brown lipstick and this one is perfect. Leo shows up a bit darker on my lips and therefore has been my go-to evening lipstick for cocktail nights! As always with Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks, the staying power of these is insane! I will wear Allegedly all day without a single retouch and it will still look perfect! I have yet to find a lipstick formula which I love more than these and I'm happy that my little collection is growing!

You can buy Allegedly on Beauty Bay HERE
You can buy Leo on Beauty Bay HERE

What products have you been loving lately? Any recommendations for makeup which I should try? x


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