Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The BIG Thirty

This year sees my brother turn 'the BIG thirty' and whilst 30th birthday's are special ones, this one is even more special. My brother Jonathan has Down's Syndrome and he could not be more excited about his birthday, mainly because everyone keeps asking him what he wants to do. The majority of his answers are food related, BBQ's are a popular favourite with his birthday being around the August bank holiday. Also he LOVES them and would be quite happy to have one when it snows...

There are no real plans set yet but every week the list of ideas grow. Just today I thought about two more ideas, it's quite clear that his birthday might be celebrated for the entire year! Which actually is pretty much deserved.

At school I had to do a project for English class and I picked my brother as my project choice. Whether this was coerced by the school to help others learn about Down's Syndrome as my brother was at the same school as me or maybe it was my own idea, I don't know. I suspect it might have been a bit of a mix of the two. I don't remember my parents telling me that Jonathan had Downs, they must have done at some point! But I don't remember it at all.

Investigating Down's Syndrome for this project I remember confused me and it was through this that I found the most devastating piece of information.

 The average person with Down's Syndrome will have a life expectancy into their mid-twenties.

I didn't cry. I didn't ask my parents about it. I just accepted it. It sounds heartless the way that I have written it but there wasn't a thing that I could do to change it. In a way, I guess I accepted it. Like I accepted he was slower to learn things than I was; slower to crawl, to walk, to talk.

I never thought about that sentence until a few weeks ago, just after my birthday when I suddenly had a flashback to that moment. It was almost a celebration of the fact he was still here, he had beaten those odds that years ago seemed like his fate. Advances in technology and advancements in care have seen the average expectancy rise up to the 60's and beyond.

So with a bit of planning he should be in for the best 30th birthday ever. That's my plan!

*The above song was the first song that my Mum heard after my parents were told that Jonathan had Down's Syndrome. Always such a beautiful song with special meanings for us :-)

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Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Overthinker

Yep that's me. If there was an award for overthinking, I'd win it.

I can go from thinking about something quite small and turning into this massive problem that escalates quickly. It's a cruel trick that my brain can play on me and sometimes it can leave me feeling powerless to stop. I can't say that these tips always help me as sometimes I do still struggle to get through the overthinking times but when I'm more in control, these help:-


Obviously! But I take a really big deep breath and instantly I feel calmer.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I like the new you...

On my instagram there are over 250 photos and before this month the only photo of me on there was my profile photo. The standard photo that I had used across social networks for years. I've never been a "selfie" person and there are probably under ten photos of myself that I really like in the whole world. My definition of really like is that my Mum has some hung up in her house and they don't make me cringe or make me want to turn them over out of sight.

Now on my instagram there are three "selfie" photos of me all tagged with that and self confidence because I feel more confident in myself. It's not that I was surrounded by negativity or that I felt down about myself but I guess getting confidence from an unexpected source made me look at things differently. The main change is believing in myself more.

I didn't mind that my most popular photos on instagram were ones of food or Old Trafford. Both beautiful things in their own right though ;-)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


I shouldn't even be drawing attention to this but today I almost had my first panic attack of 2014. No, it's not a celebration.

I have written before about how I deal with my panics and I have written the odd blog about them since but I've never kept count of them. I vaguely know that the last one I had was around October time, when none of my little tricks stopped it from overcoming me. 

Today was different although I had missed all the warning signs. It wasn't until my hands went numb and my breathing had started to get faster that I knew. I concentrated on getting my breathing back to normal and it didn't take hold. As I sat and waited for everything to return back to how it was, I cried.