Showing posts with label Derry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Derry. Show all posts

Monday, 13 May 2019

Our Engagement Party



I'm not one for a fuss. I've never thrown a 'party' in my life except for the odd BBQ when the parents were away. But, when the dreamiest guy you've ever met gets down one one knee with an Emerald and asks you to be his wife, you know a fuss has to be made.


Within one week we got confirmation that Stephen would be finally coming home, after 5 years of long-distance relationship, as well as getting engaged! Life has a habit of doing that to me, giving me nothing for a while and then everything at once. 

Stephen and I agreed that we'd like to mark our engagement with a gathering of our nearest and dearest in our home town of Derry. Of course not everyone whom we hold so dearly to us could make it to the engagement party, but there'll be plenty of time for that when the Hen, Stag and actual wedding appear on the horizon.

We I decided quite quickly that we'd have a 'Cherry Blossom' themed party purely because they were in season and are my favourite flower. So, away I went onto the internet and googled everything party and cherry blossom related. That night I closed my eyes and all I could see were cherry blossoms. 


I sourced all the party-ware from AliExpress, Home Bargains in Derry and The Range in Derry. 
My friend Aisling of Dream Capture Photography was on hand with her photography skills, as was the ever so reliable Eimear who made the most beautiful Cherry Blossom cake as well as allowing me to go home and get ready whilst she finished decorating on the night of the party. Rois Davis, a dear friend and art teacher, painted me the most beautifully intricate cherry blossom backdrop for the selfies.



My Hair for the party

Setting up in Primrose on The Strand

White Chocolate & Passion Fruit cake tasted unreal.






Arriving

Holly (Cousin), Me and Pat (Godmother/Aunt)
My soul sister, Aisling of Dream Capture Photography
Bride Tribe
Left to Right: Pat (Godmother), Jayne (Cousin), Elaine (Sister), Lola (niece), Me, Mother, Holly (Cousin)

Lola (niece) & I 
fianc├ęs
My little loves.
Left to Right: Stephen, Michael (Godson), A.J (Nephew) and Lola (Niece)
The Bestie
Eimear! I'd be lost without her. Everyone needs an Eimear in their lives.
Elaine & A.J
Gacks






We decided that Primrose on The Strand was an ideal location as its French interior blended majestically with the Cherry Blossom theme of the party. We basically booked out Primrose's weekly 'Fizzy Friday' night of food, cocktails and music for our party. We had the freedom of decorating the area as well as having power over the contents of the menu and signature cocktail, which came in little teacups and saucers.



My good friend and photographer of 'Inspired', Andrejs

Myself and soon to be married couple, Andrejs & Jennifer
Myself and Mustafa

Team Bride
Mother & Daughter, Elaine and Lola
My incredible parents

My second set of parents, my God Parents.
Stephen and his parents
Good friend Rosemarie & I

Redheads unite. Gorgeous Marese & I

The best guys
Little A.J



"EAT IT WOULD YE?!"

When I take it for myself...


Stephen and his friends
Left to Right: Gerard, Conan, Stephen, Paul & Ciaran


Our number 3.
So it begins...


I'm beyond grateful and blessed to be surrounded by such loving people. I feel very lucky to be able to call these people family and friends and I'm honoured that I'll have them around me as I embark on my life with Stephen.

If you've any questions please get in touch: reddutchess22@gmail.com































Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Green Sofa


At the age of 8 I moved house. I moved three miles up the road to another estate.
I was leaving my world as I knew it.
I was leaving my best friend and my routine of ‘calling in’ for her so we could go out in our roller blades or go on our bikes.
This was all being diminished because I was moving house. It may not seem very dramatic to an adult, but for me, at 8 years old, it was traumatic.

My casual walking down to school with my best friend was now going to be replaced with having to
sit carefully, on the clankity old Ulster bus seats, in hope that the movement of the bus wouldn’t disrupt my position and cause my legs to shift onto the freezing cold chrome edges of the seats.
This is when I started to feel strange. 


My best friend Carla (Left) and I



"I too, felt like I was covered, wrapped and stitched in complete unfamiliarity."


I remember opening the door into the living room of our new house. The only familiarity that I saw was our green sofa that had made the journey some hours before.
I stood in the doorway, and I stared at the green sofa.
That sofa had been a different colour once, but my mama had got it covered in a new material earlier that year.
I looked at the sofa. What was once a brown, familiar and molded with routine sitting sofa, was now covered in a new fabric.
I too, felt like I was covered, wrapped and stitched in complete unfamiliarity.
At 8 years old, I remember the overwhelming feeling of fear. I was consumed, by what I know now, was acute Anxiety. I was for the first time, experiencing Mental Distress.
Little did I know that this was the start of what would be a very long journey spent in complete mental wilderness.

"I was losing my childhood
 to the ‘bad feeling’ that 
my young innocent 
self labelled it."

I didn’t know how to explain how I felt. I was a child, and my vocabulary was limited.
I began saying that I “didn’t feel well” and when I was asked where I was sore, or how I felt, I just replied, in hopelessness “I don’t know”.
After many a trip to the Doctors I was told “It’s all in your head, stop worrying”, but it was in my head, and it was festering. That was it, I had to deal with this feeling because the Doctor and nobody else  could understand me.  My mum was always trying to distract me from the silent torment of my mind by saying “let’s bake buns” or “let’s go up into town to get new shoes”.

Nothing worked.  

I was losing my childhood to the ‘bad feeling’ that my young innocent self labelled it.
I wasn’t young anymore, I wasn’t carefree anymore, and we all knew it.
I, who was completely in awe of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ and sang every song during every second of every day, had stopped singing. The house was quiet now. My voice was silenced by the turmoil in my young mind. Before I was 10, I wanted to die, I couldn’t cope with it. 
At that age I had believed I wouldn’t live long, because I felt that it was not normal to feel so bad without dying soon.

Let’s fast forward to 2013. I’m still alive. I’m 24 now.
Since becoming mentally unwell from that young age of 8 I’ve been on three different types of anti-depressants not to mention the multitude of anti-anxiety medication and sedatives.

But I’m so happy!
Never did I think that feeling this good was possible for me.
Looking back, I know today that those feelings that I had when I was 8 was the beginning of the Depression and Anxiety, and ultimately a clinical diagnosis of O.C.D.
It has been over two years since I’ve been diagnosed with O.C.D. I was diagnosed due to a crisis, and I couldn’t cope and I had a major breakdown.
The coping strategies that I had developed since I was 8 had crashed and burned in face of this crisis where a family member had become unwell.
It came to a point where I refused to let the Doctor tell me that “exercise would lift your moods”.    

I swallowed my pride and demanded professional help.

My pride, my awareness of the stigma attached to mental health that came from society and even myself didn’t stop me. I didn’t care anymore. I needed help because the other option was Suicide and I refused to let Suicide be an option any more, even though I had Suicidal ideation.
And so, I was given an appointment for a psychiatric assessment. On the day of the assessment I was petrified about what would happen to me once I started to talk about how I was thinking and feeling.
I have no idea what I said that day in that room, but I remember I felt like there was a black cloud that had just burst open with rain and was now relieved.
A couple of days later I graduated with a degree in Drama. I was proud of myself and I was happy to have my photograph mounted on the wall between my brother and sister’s graduation photos.

The day following my graduation I had received a letter from the place where I had gone for my psychiatric assessment. I had sat down on our new black leather sofa and read the letter. The letter described my disorder; the letter deemed my disorder ‘common’ and contained a treatment plan of new medication specific for my disorder and C.B.T.

That letter meant more to me than my degree, because even though my degree proved that I studied drama for 3 years, my letter from the psychiatrist meant that I could now get better after 15 years of mental struggle.
I sat on our new black leather sofa and I cried with relief, liberation and catharsis from the unknown shadow that I could now name, and now control.

Celebrating my birthday in Melbourne, Australia

I wasn’t like the green sofa anymore. I was becoming more like our new black leather sofa, I had aged with struggle, but I was tougher now, I was durable and I was now more resilient, despite who or what impacted on me. 


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