LGBTQ Pride- my opinion on sexuality.

Love. Is. Love. What’s not to celebrate? The gender or sex of the person you love should not matter. An attraction to the same sex, or both sexes, is just as valid as an attraction to the opposite sex. Love is joyous and special, and should be celebrated regardless of whether it is shared between opposite or same sexed people.

The members of the LGBTQ community should not be made to feel shame for the way that they feel love. I genuinely do not understand why it matters or offends anyone that some people are attracted to people of the same sex. Heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual people should all be able to celebrate their love in similar ways- and therefore should ALL have the rights to marriage. There is no difference in the love that is shared, so why should there be a difference in the process of commitment?

I am so PROUD of our generation and the way in which All Love is becoming more and more accepted. I cannot wait to show my support to Liverpool Pride 2018, and feel a part of such a happy and joyful movement. I love that there are films like Love Simon, which portray this kind of love. I love that there are LGBTQ characters in many forms of modern media. I love people like dodie, who is open and creates art about such topics. But there is more to be done. There are still so many people who are critical and unaccepting of LGBTQ’s, and to me it is heartbreaking.

Love is Love. Remember that. 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

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Tackling Addiction- Demi Lovato and our own lives.

Most of you will have heard that Demi Lovato has been rushed to hospital after a possible heroine overdose. I love Demi and wish so much that she comes out of this strong once again. Addiction has affected my life very very greatly, and I therefore have a few words to say about what I have learned in dealing with the problems that it can cause.

When somebody close to you is addicted to something like alcohol or another drug, it can seem like they do not care about anything else. It can seem like they don’t care about you. After years of battling with these kind of thoughts, I finally believe that it’s nothing personal. That person is not putting his/her addiction before you purposefully. In my case, I know that they want to put me first with all of their heart. But it’s an illness. Once addicted to something severely, it takes over you and can subsequently come before anything else in your life.

I have seen people try over and over again to break their addiction, and it can sometimes look and feel completely hopeless. But there is always hope. No matter how many times you feel let down or disappointed, always remain hopeful. With the right kind of help, and true determination, people can get better. And if you always keep believing in someone, they may one day start to believe in themselves too.

The problem with this however, is that the person has to want the help. This can be the most frustrating part, and I will admit that it’s upsetting when someone won’t accept and face the help that they need. It is at this moment that I try to understand why the person became addicted in the first place. There is usually a reason (or many reasons) why somebody ends up addicted. Demi, for example, had a very difficult childhood, and turned to things like drugs because she felt as though there was nowhere else to turn. Desperation is usually the cause. Understanding and reminding yourself of this helps to understand how much that person has to face to tackle their addiction. It’s hardly ever a case of ‘just stop smoking!’ Understanding, or trying to understand, can lead to conversations with the addicted person that may help them to understand themselves. And it may even help them to begin thinking of getting some help.

Again, my thoughts are with Demi and I truly believe that she is strong enough to make a full recovery. If addiction has affected your life, try to be understanding and patient and it may lead to better things.

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

Gratitude

It is in being grateful that our lives improve, as happiness becomes the focal point around which we live.

Practicing gratitude everyday is a habit that I have been trying to build for a while now. It is advice given in response to a wide variety of problems, including depression. This is because it works! Taking the time to think of good things that have happened each day and focusing on them, even for five minutes, lifts your mood. It can be something simple like a stranger returning your smile on the street, or something bigger like spending quality time with your favourite people.

The common goal is to try to think of 3 each day at the end of the day. However, I prefer to think of as many as I can, as I never want to stop at just three. You can also practice doing it at the start of the day (about the day before) to set you off on a good foot!

It can be useful to write them down, because then if ever you’re in a bad/low mood you can read through them and it is bound to make you feel a little bit better. I have used this technique myself, and guided friends to do it, and it has worked successfully on us all. Give it a try!

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

Always find light in the dark

It is in the darkest moments that you must find your own light.

My summer has been very very fun so far! I’ve been on holiday, and returned to an extremely sunny England- which is such a rare occurrence. Getting off the plane back in Manchester felt much easier when we could walk around in the same sunny heat as in Greece.

Before my holiday, my family and I suffered a great loss. Grief and heartbreak seeped through our homes and we all did what we could to deal with it. My other blog post on Loss explores this more. Since I got home, I haven’t stopped. There have been so many different plans and I’m also working through the summer back in Manchester. So travelling between home, work and Liverpool has been a little bit tough! Due to the heat, I also haven’t been sleeping very well, which makes e v e r y t h i n g so much more difficult. After working two shifts in a very short space of time and then cleaning two whole flats and moving all of our stuff out, I have started to feel quite stressed in the past couple of days. But it is during these times that I HAVE to remember how lucky I am.

I am currently working a job that I absolutely adore, which makes me happy and fulfilled. I have three places that comfort me and feel like home, and travelling between them cures any boredom that might have otherwise taken over me. A plethora of plans has graced my summer, with different friends that I am delighted to catch up with and make fun memories with. There are positives of all of the things that are ‘stressing me out’ and although I’m tired, both physically and mentally, I must enjoy it now and realise how lucky I am to have so much fun. During exam season, as many of you will know, we wish and pray for summer. Now that it is here, I know that I’m so lucky to be able to enjoy it thoroughly.

It is when life throws a lot at you that you least feel like looking after yourself. That you least feel like smiling and being grateful. But it is during these times that we must try our best to remember the silver linings. I am healthy and privileged. To help myself with this challenging task, I write down the things that I am grateful for when I’m in a good place in life. It is then easy to just look over this when I feel life trying to drag me down, and this encourages me to think of more things that I am grateful for in that particular moment.

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

Climb Trees Not Virtual Hierarchies

This image does not belong to me.

Technology is ruining our lives.

Some of my most favourite stories are those told by my parents and grandparents about their childhoods spent playing hours and hours of football outside and swimming in rivers and canals. I am extremely thankful that I myself have memories like those from my younger years, having spent summers on the farm riding horses and picking the hens’ eggs, from the age of just 2! Nothing compares to the feeling of spending 10 hours of your day outside in the fresh air, whatever the weather. It allowed me to grow up healthy and happy, building muscle from the work on the farm and the good hearty meals that my grandmother provided for us each night.

This is not what my younger brother and sister have experienced. The generation after us, the actual millennials, have grown up during the age of technology. A competition of who can get the most Instagram followers and creating musical.y’s will fill the memories of my sister, and for most boys (and girls too), getting home to play Fortnite is what they look forward to each day. On one hand, I have personally seen the fun and enjoyment that these activities provide to young children, but this should ONLY be in moderation.

Playing video games every night rather than spending time face-to-face with family or friends is damaging in many ways. It can cause a sense of derealisation for the child, as he/she is more connected to the virtual world and therefore doesn’t know how (or who) to be in the real world. Social skills have declined in children over the past 10 years because they feel more comfortable typing their words out (ironic, I know) than actually speaking them. Going to school all day and then coming home to coop up in your room playing games all night, doesn’t leave much room for family bonds to be formed. Love, nurture and varied types of play are essential for the development of children, and most are missing out on this nowadays.

Social media can be amazing, building connections and spreading information across the world. News can often be found (in detail) on Twitter before hearing it on the TV or Radio. But it can also be extremely damaging. My sister and her classmates follow people such as Kim Kardashian on Instagram, causing them to wrongly believe that that’s what they need to grow to look like. Moreover, their worth is based on how many likes they receive. The correlation between increased time spent on social media and increased cases of eating disorders in girls as young as 5 y/o disgusts me. And again, the time spent with their head’s in virtual world takes away from their real lives and prevents close bonds and memories being formed.

Personally, once I become a parent I intend to limit my children’s time spent on technology and instead encourage them to play board games as a family, or play out with their friends as I remember doing. I’m not saying everyone should completely stop playing games or posting photos, but I believe that ensuring there is time spent doing other things is essential. I am also limiting my own time spent on my phone recently, getting out of the habit of scrolling through Instagram. This has genuinely improved my mood. I feel a sense of freedom because I now have more time available in my day to pick up new hobbies such as learning to speak Spanish and play piano. Technology and social media will never go away, but I think we could all do with cutting down on their usage.

I’ll say it again- climb trees, not virtual hierarchies.

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

Below is an article from BPS Research Digest which supports my opinions

Psychologists have looked into why “phubbing” is so harmful to our social lives