My name is Ashleigh and I’m 24 years young (or so I tell myself) situated in the North-East of England. Originally born and raised in the heart of Newcastle, I reached my twenties and became increasingly introverted as time went by, deciding that the fast pace of Geordie City life just wasn’t for me anymore. It was that amongst other reasons that resulted in me moving to the slightly more rural village of Burnopfield.
Surrounded by trees and nature, the Woodland aesthetic of our rented home suits me just fine. Our garden is often the meeting point for squirrels, deer, pheasants and occasionally the odd chicken or two, the perfect place to raise our children to acquire a love for anything outdoors- the muddy way!
Right now, our little man isn’t quite moving around so other than his chattering or occasional bursts of baby cries, my days are pretty peaceful allowing me to ponder and procrastinate when I get a spare two minutes which, although a rarity, is where my idea to start a blog came into play.
I wouldn’t class myself as a particularly interesting person, my life mainly revolving around my Partner, baby and our home which can often make it a little difficult to define any kind of individuality. I am, however, an avid reader and if given the time I could happily make my way through multiple books on the daily. My favourite Author of all time is the almighty George RR Martin for blessing us with the Masterpiece that is A Song of Ice and Fire which I’ve read three times to date. But, other than that, give me anything from a good Fantasy, a plot-twister thriller or, of course, a sloppy romance or laugh out loud contemporary and I will be content.
I also love to write! Hence this whole blog thing. I’ve tried and failed numerous times at starting a novel, or a blog etc but I just needed a good topic, something with real focus and passion in order to follow through.
Other than that all I can think of is that I love the colour green, good coffee, green tea, the change of leaves in Autumn and big cosy cuddles when it’s cold outside. My favourite holiday is Halloween as I am a massive inner Goth and Metal, Punk, Rock and Ska are my go to music genres. Cats are my kind of pet and I have a fascination with our oceans- whales and plankton in particular (plus, how amazing is it that there’s still 95% of our waters yet to be discovered! We know more about outer space than somewhere within our own planet. p-r-e-t-t-y d-a-m-n c-o-o-l).
Of all the definitive life lessons, my mental health has contributed the most in making me the person I am today. It’s something I take pride in talking about now and don’t think too fondly of the stigma that can still so often surround it nor do I appreciate people silencing others from vocalising it by deeming them attention seeking. From 2011 Anxiety has plagued my thoughts and affected the way I live my life. Although ‘mental’ it is something that has real physical symptoms and no amount of telling yourself they aren’t there will make them disappear.
I also suffered on off with Binge Eating Disorder from being a child which led to extreme bouts of Anorexia when I reached Adulthood and then, weaving between them all was arguably the worst of the lot: Depression and this is something that until recently could quite possibly have taken me for good.
Mental illness touches us all in some way shape or form, be it experiencing it yourself or loving someone who does and it is something to take pride in when you come out of the other side and look back to think “I am a damn strong woman for dealing with those demons”.
Many people can’t cope with the strain of staying around someone with hidden illness and that’s something that has fractured my relationships and friendships for as long as I can remember until I met my partner, Carl.
Carl had the patience of a saint from day one and truly did a fantastic job of tacking this thing with me regardless of how little he understood it and that’s something I could never thank him enough for even if the depression crept back in no matter how hard we fought it.
After a long year and a half, we fell pregnant with our baby boy which leads me to the current chapter of my life and however cliche it may sound, he saved me completely.
Those dark times are behind us and I can now see the most beautiful colours that life has to offer. He has painted my world with a rainbow and it just keeps getting brighter. I am grateful for the person I am now because of him and I look forward to seeing how much I grow and learn by watching him do exactly that (even if I had to refrain from making this whole about me section about him).