July 2018

July has been a bit of a whirlwind month for me, as has August so far hence the delay in this post going up!


The month began with Max, his parents and their friends all having a cute garden party. It was all very sweet with some delicious nibbles and drinks being passed around alongside great company and conversation. The 28 degree heat and glorious sunshine definitely played a part too!


Getting to see Erin and Gina is a dream as of late. When I left school at 16 life took us all in very different directions, and the 7 years that have passed have been difficult in a sense of trying to see each other or even having time to send messages between ourselves. But this Summer has been amazing for being able to see them, and I am grateful for our patience over the past 7 years that we managed to persevere because being able to see them semi regularly has been super rewarding!
We take it in turns to host nights, and I was in charge this time! Vegan pizza & ice cream, wine, board games, gossip and catch ups, it’s like no time has passed at all.


The wonderful Angela dyed my hair but you can read all about that right here.


The journey to Huddersfield began and I decided to stop at Manchester for a little catch up with Amy and Sara which was lovely!


With the World Cup in full swing we went to watch the semi’s at Corner (a fave cute find Huddersfield) with so much hope for the England team but we were left feeling totally deflated when we lost. We did however have a great evening, throughout the whole world cup the general spirit of the nation was so surprising and uplifting!


The weekend was spent enjoying the sunshine, drinking cold coffee in Espresso corner and pottering around town. We got to see The Incredibles 2, which definitely lived up to expectations, I felt like a big kid all over again! Afterwards I wished that we had watched the first one directly beforehand, but regardless, it was a great watch and I really want to see it again.

I planned a surprise date night for Max on my last evening in Hudd. Whilst he was at work I tidied the house top to bottom, pre-ordered Dominos, got out some freshly washed pj’s, lit some candles and poured two gin and lemonades. Once he was home from work the pizza arrived and we put on his choice of film, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (not a bad choice but not quite ‘Clueless’…) and snuggled up into bed and just had the most chill evening we have had in a long time. It was lovely just to see Max truly be able to relax after months of hard work!


Erin told G and me of a pub quiz in one of our fave local hangs, so we headed down and absolutely bottled it if I’m totally honest hahaha! But it was such good fun, we did come 3rd so at least we weren’t last and we had such a laugh and a much needed catch up.


My parents took me out for a meal at a local tapas restaurant. Now, this was a big deal for me, two things terrify me when it comes to eating, 1. Public eating, and 2. Tapas. This was a big, emotional hurdle for me but the world didn’t crumble around me and I didn’t implode so that’s a massive step forward! But moving onwards…


Erin, G and I went to ASK Italian for a catch up and I ate exclusively vegan, which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. As I have previously mentioned, I am in eating disorder recovery and I am on a very strict eating schedule currently. I have been vegetarian for a while, but skip out on dairy to try and help control my endometriosis better. I’d love to go vegan but it’s not the right time for me in my recovery, but eating out I do challenge myself to eat vegan!

I had the most beautiful customised vegan pizza with peppers, mushrooms and olives and a delicious glass of wine!

It was the perfect time for a good long catch up and we spent hours upon hours chatting which was much needed for all three of us.


The next day was a long car journey up to Huddersfield, in an attempt to move Max from one house to another with his parents. We took a break and went to Halifax again for the day, it was an odd combination of blue skies, 30 degree heat and sunshine, mixed with random bursts of thunder and lightning rain storms!

I was worried John (the cat) wouldn’t be about especially with the weather being so bad, but he pulled through and came to say goodbye, which broke my tiny heart, I love him so so so much and I firmly believe that he always knew when I was feeling down, he would always pop up whenever I was having a bad day. I know it sounds crazy and kind of cheesy but that street cat was my absolute fave and always cheered me up!

Of course it would be torrential the weekend of moving house, but we managed to get it done over the two days and felt very accomplished whilst sat in the new house eating Chinese food and having a good catch up with Joe and Chris.


After a couple of days of settling into the new house, we jumped back on a train and I went straight into work, before packing for 110 Above Festival.

This festival is really special to me, Max and I have been going for the past 3 years, the first year we attended by chance, whilst we were looking for something to do over our anniversary weekend, we loved the line up so had a bit of a ‘yolo’ moment and we haven’t looked back since!

But that will have a whole separate other post, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for that one!


Some July faves…

Album / Playlist: The 110 Above Festival playlist on Spotify to prep me for the festival at the start of next month!

Song: Another The 1975 track this month (soz, not soz) “Love It If We Made It”, major heart eyes.

TV / Movie: Started watching Ackley Bridge, was so sceptical at first as it just seemed like a new era Waterloo Road but I am really enjoying it so far

Place: I feel like my feet haven’t really touched the ground this month, so my favourite place this month would have to be the train!

Memory: Getting to see my lovely Erin and G, it makes the world of difference when I’m stuck at home.

Accomplishment: This will have to be going for tapas and not having a total meltdown! A big F you to my eating disorder and a big step forward in my recovery!!


This month was lovely, intense, hard, and all the emotions in between, balancing the socialising, travelling, full time working, weekly hospital appointments and regular flare ups, it’s all getting a bit much!

So please in advance accept my apologies for the potential lack in posts over the next month or two. I’m about to hit a very crucial point in my eating disorder recovery process and I need to give it 110%, so I’m possibly going to have to put the blog on the back burner for the foreseeable as my recovery is my main priority right now.

I hope you all had a beautiful July and I will see you soon,

All of my love as always,

Journaling Maddie 

xxxx

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June 2018

June has just involved a whole lot of back and forth between Manchester, Huddersfield and Birmingham but I wouldn’t change it at all!


The month kicked off with Toby Burton’s EP launch at The Parish in Huddersfield. Toby is the first artist that Max and I worked with for In Session so we naturally wanted to go and show our support. The gig was great and we picked up one of his EP’s, although you can listen to it on Spotify and I’d really recommend it because he is such a talented songwriter and performer.

The following day Max and I got the train into Leeds to spend our Wagamama’s voucher and have a wander around the record stores. There was a cute dog on the train back so obviously that day was a 10/10.


I went home and started a new job, just a Summer job picking up a few hours here and there at my mom’s office doing odd jobs and filing, but it’s been keeping me busy whilst at home which is always a plus.


Jumping in the car with Max’s parents to spend a bit of time with them in Huddersfield was lovely, before getting on the train to Manchester to see Taylor Swift at the Etihad. Honestly I’d never been a big fan of hers but seeing her live has changed my opinion highly! I happened to go by chance, but if you ever get the opportunity to see her I would beyond recommend it and I’m looking forward already to when she next tours again!

Back to Huddersfield the following day, I spent the beautifully sunny afternoon with Max and Peter, having a drink in Greenhead park and a good chin wag. We also walked by Max’s new house that he’ll be moving into next month so it was good to get an idea of the area he’s living in.

Once again, back on a train to Manchester, this time with Max, to see Haim at the Apollo, and it was incredible! I saw them last in 2014 at Glastonbury and I was obsessed, so it was amazing to see how much they’ve changed (for the better) over the years. They played a good amount of their old songs too rather than just the whole of the new album so that was refreshing!

The following evening was spent in A&E due to my worst endometriosis flare up since my surgery last September. It was a bit disheartening that this has happened again, however the doctors were lovely and very understanding, I was prescribed a lot stronger pain relief and they gave me a clear plan of what to do if this pursues.

A few days of bed rest was made better by meeting up with Max, Chris, Henry and Matt after a training day for their new job (suddenly ruined by me being sick in the toilets *classy* and having to go home).


Back to Manchester again but this time to walk across the city with some amazing people for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. The weather just about held dry, and it was just lovely seeing everyone again and being able to raise some money and awareness for a really important cause.

You can find more information as to why we did this walk, and donate money too, here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ibd-warriors-walk-it-manchester-2018


We had a chill few days in Huddersfield, Max took a couple days off work too which was really lovely as we got a proper chance to have some us time and relax a little!

Our 4th anniversary rolled around and we celebrated with a lie in, a walk into town fuelled by coffee, and an evening date night at Lala’s Indian (incredible, 10/10 would recommend).

The following day was spent pottering around The Piece Hall in Halifax, but I’m going to do a whole other blog post on that so keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon!


I went back to Birmingham but only two days at work before going to the caravan in Bournemouth with my parents and Lady. This was Lady’s first time at the caravan, but also her first ever trip to the beach and seaside!

(It should be noted that I’m currently writing this in 30 degree heat, on the veranda of the caravan with a beer in hand – cheers!)

She has been so good, I was worried at first because she’s so nervous around other dogs, but I think as it’s a whole new place to her she’s just focussed on taking it all in rather than crying at other dogs haha.

The weather has been incredible, as previously mentioned, so each day has been spent trying to get out and do stuff as early as possible to avoid being out in the heat of the day, chilling during the middle of the day then going to the beach for a walk in the evenings.

Honestly I wasn’t sure about coming away, as much as I adore spending time with my parents, like every twenty-something, I need my space too, but this has been a perfect combination of the two which has been very pleasant and not at all suspected.


My month ended the best way possible, Max came home for the weekend and I got to see Erin and Gina too! It’s so difficult trying to find time to see the girls, as they live here and for the past two years I’ve not left Manchester for longer than a week (until now). But even now that I’m back we all still have so many commitments, Gina is smashing it at work and Erin is somehow balancing working full time and being in a really cool band, playing festivals all Summer! So it is really treasured when we do get to spend time together, especially because it is so few and far between.


It wouldn’t be a monthly without some faves so here goes:

Album / Playlist: My role at work means I basically lock myself in a room for hours on end sorting files, which can send you a lil stir crazy as I’m sure you could imagine, so I needed some motivational music to get me through, and the album I am constantly going back to is “Death of a Bachelor”, which is a massive revisit, however the more I think about it, it’s definitely in my top 5 albums.

Song: Although June has been the month of all months for new releases, The 1975’s new track “Give Yourself A Try” was top of my priorities and it did not disappoint!

TV / Movie: I binged hard on TV this month after all of my deadlines were out of the way, but my favourite has to be Hollyoaks, it has covered so many important topics these past few months and it’s amazing to see the hard work and dedication put into portraying them excellently and accurately.

Place: The caravan, it’s the home of a million of my childhood memories and I love being in my 20s and still enjoying it and making more memories!

Memory: Taking my gorgeous doggy for her first seaside holiday.

Accomplishment: Getting into the swing of having a job again!

Journaling Maddie x

Endometriosis: one year on

It has been exactly one year since I was diagnosed with endometriosis. After 10 plus years of monthly pain and it being dismissed for normal period pains, I finally got an answer and a conversation with somebody who understood my body nearly as well as I did!

Life has changed so much in the past year. Once I had my diagnosis, I started to change my habits and adapt my life to compliment my endometriosis. I cut down on dairy products, I realised that milk was the devil, and I learned how better to manage my pain, not to push through it when it got worse, to take breaks, rely on pain relief, walking and hula hooping when the pain wasn’t there, and when the pain was there, to cuddle up with a hot water bottle and stay hydrated.

I had surgery…!

I went into the operating theatre 8 months after my diagnosis, so that they could ‘formally diagnose’ and remove any accessible endometriosis through a laparoscopy. During this surgery I also had the Mirena coil inserted, to try and stop my heavy bleeding and pain.

In my post-op, I was told that they removed a significant amount of endometriosis from both of my ovaries, one of which was totally covered, and the other had some hiding underneath. The endometriosis had fused one of my ovaries to my small intestines, but they managed to fix this during surgery.

I was also told that my endometriosis was at stage 2, that I would probably need another surgery in a couple of years time, and that the chances of me conceiving are slim.

Now, a year on from diagnosis, I know my body better than ever before. I know what foods to avoid, I know that even though I don’t get a period I still get PMS and cravings, and I know that even though the surgery was successful I still get cramps and the endometriosis is growing back again.

(Side note: the Mirena coil has been an absolute God-send too! I had a month of light bleeding daily, then one heavy bleed, then that was it (fingers crossed, touch wood etc. etc.)!)

I am so grateful for my diagnosis, I firmly believe it took too long for me to get it, but education is key to this and so is sharing my story.

I am also heavily grateful for the staff at Birmingham Women’s Hospital who cared for me before and after my surgery, and operated on me.

Endometriosis has no cure, it is a chronic illness and I will have this for the rest of my life, but learning to live with it, surgery, pain relief and little tricks make day to day life that little bit better!

The future of my endometriosis is unsure and there is no predicting where this will take me next, but all I know is to have a positive outlook and not to take my current state of health for granted! I am in an amazing position at the moment to focus on my life, career, university and loved ones.

The pains started when I was 11, I got my diagnosis at 21, and had surgery just before my 22nd birthday. So if you are struggling, don’t stop fighting for a diagnosis and the help that your body deserves, because speaking from over ten years experience, it is so worth it!!!

M x

 

 

Day 25 – Seville Day 6, Christmas Day & Blogmas Is Over

Merry Christmas!!

I am stuffed full of paella and ready to call it a night! So not my traditional Christmas but I am proud of myself for doing something new and out of the ordinary.

I have had a wonderfully weird Christmas Day, an amazing time in Seville so far and I some how also managed to finally complete blogmas!! I was totally convinced I would fail but I managed to pull it out the bag haha. Now time to take a step back from the blog (until the end of the week haha) and have some much needed time away from my phone!

Hoping everyone has had a magical Christmas, however you’ve chosen to spend it!

M x

Day 24 – Seville Day 5

This is the most un-christmassy Christmas Eve ever!

The chronic illness flared up this morning so it’s been a long day for me. But it has all been so incredible, regardless. The only thing open on Christmas Eve here is the palace, so we booked in to go there, and spent all day wandering the grounds. It was the perfect weather for it too, beautiful sunshine and heat, but plenty of shade to hide in too (and consuming probably one too many americanos)!

I spent this evening with Max and his parents at a traditional Seville church. It was simply glorious, so grand and incredibly Catholic! We celebrated mass in Spanish, which Max’s mom loved as that is what she was brought up with in Latin America, so it felt pretty special being there and learning her tradition too.

I didn’t take as many photos today as I struggled with holding my phone with my joints hurting so much, but here’s what I’ve got:

M x

Day 23 – Seville Day 4

It has been another super duper long day! Started with a crepe and coffee, ended with a late night walk, and a whole lotta other stuff in between! A trip to the cathedral, a walk up 34 flights of a tower (and 34 back down again, oh my poor poor knees), sitting in the beautiful courtyard, pizza pizza pizza, wandering around some shops, heading to the mushroom, facetiming my parents from the top of it, cocktails, napping, dinner, and sangria!

Saturday, you’ve been wonderful.

M x

Day 22 – Seville Day 3

I am falling asleep as I’m typing this! Today has been so full on, incredible, but full on. We started the day by heading over to the fine art museum, which had some beautiful courtyards and gardens amongst the art.

We made a quick pit stop at McDonalds then grabbed a taxi to the Plaza, where we spent the majority of today.

After spending hours upon hours here, we went back to the hotel and napped (I think I spent too much time in the sun and it zapped me of all my energy)! We went out for pizza (which was incredible) then met up with Max’s family for a coffee, went to a stunning church with Max’s parents then stopped off for dessert on the way home.

Now just all snuggled up in bed, we are watching Disjointed on Netflix trying to drown out the noise of the festivities underneath us before getting a good sleep for another full day tomorrow!

M x