Everyday struggles

This poem was written a few weeks ago when I was struggling immensely with my Anxiety. Most days I manage just fine and smile through the nerves of having to talk in class or walk into a crowded place but on days like this one I am unbearable to live with. I know that I am absolutely awful to live with and if anything that makes it worse because in me feeling rubbish it makes my family feel rubbish too. It doesn’t make any difference to someone’s mood how often you tell them to be happy or get over it. What does help however, is listening to how the feel, if they feel like telling you, and just understanding that sometimes they might not be at their best. Also, telling them it is okay to not be okay helps lots too!!!

Each morning I get up,
I get out of bed,
I get myself dressed and,
I get myself fed.
I paint on my make-up,
I paint on my smile,
Then, I hope it might stay there a while.

I walk to University,
because I don’t like taking the bus,
I’m getting some exercise so at least that’s a plus.
I walk into class and sit myself down,
I try not to talk in case I look like a clown.
Scared that I might get an answer wrong,
because in my eyes then I’m not smart enough to belong.
I know that the girl next to me has probably got the same thing written down,
but to my faulty cognition it’s like I’ve spoken like I’m from a different town.

I spend my time wishing that I had some friends,
So I don’t have to always drive my mum round the bend.
I sit and wonder what I’ve done wrong when someone cancels on me.
I just can’t see,
what I’ve done,
remember what I said to make them change their mind.
Then, after that I’ll probably sit and cry.
My smile slips,
my shoulders shake,
then my heart starts to break.

You see I don’t ask for much,
I don’t want a lot.
I just want some good luck,
So I don’t always feel quite so stuck,
In a cycle of smile, cry and lie.
That I’m okay,
That I’m fine.

I’m lonely, I’m shy,
I just want to cry.
I don’t think I’m good enough,
but I want someone to see,
I could be good enough for them to spend the rest of their life with me.
People tell me I’m cynical,
because I don’t believe in happily ever after,
you wouldn’t either if your life was almost devoid of laughter.

I don’t like it when groups of people stand and laugh because I think they are laughing at me.
This faulty cognition fails to let me see,
they aren’t interested in the workings of me.
I have to wait until someone else stands up to leave because I’m afraid I’ll look rude,
I don’t like to share my thoughts sometimes in case they sound a little bit too crude.
So I just sit and listen.

Then on the other hand I want to stay in,
because the thought of going out makes me want to shout,
I can’t walk into a pub by myself because I’ll feel sick,
I know you’ll probably hear this and want to take the mick.
How can you want to go out but stay in?
Well I don’t know where to begin…

It’s hard to explain,
but I think giving it a name,
Is the first step in being able to accept,
and just so you are prepped.
Anxiety makes me scared, it makes me wait until someone else leaves the table.
It makes me scared to go out but makes me sad to stay in.
It makes me avoid talking out loud and bottle everything up,
sometimes it makes me think my life really does suck,
I have good days and bad days,
This much is true.
On the good days I can take on the world – I’m confident and almost normal.
I can smile wide and I can stick up for myself
On the bad days I’m bluer the blue.
I might not feel like talking to you.
I get clingy with the people I do have around me,
I want to feel loved and I want to fit in,
but sometimes it feels like God had made that one of my sins.



UOS End of Year show, and interpretation of my 55 word short story!

As part of my Short story module me and my classmates had to write a series of stories. First using 6 words, then 55 words before we moved onto our 2000 word short stories which would be submitted.
The 55 word story which was based around colour, after being written, was given to a Fine Art student who would interpret our writing and create something from the words they had been given. Tonight at the University of Suffolk End of Year show I got the chance to see how my work was interpreted by someone else. I found this quite scary because when I write I have a very clear picture in my mind of how I would like something to be viewed and I am unfortunately one of those people who if they don’t like something find it very hard to not show it on thier faces. However, as this student got marked on how they interpreted the piece I worked myself up to not take it too hard if I found their final piece to be something different than I imagined as the main reason I love my degree as much as I do is because everything is open to interpretation and there is never a wrong answer.

The piece that I had written to be interpreted is as follows:

The hair went first; the long, flowing blonde hair lost its shine, and then
fell out in clumps.
Her tanned skin was now pale and sensitive.
Her blue eyes became bloodshot, filled with tears.
The rainbow of her favourite foods became gray – they weren’t wanted.
The worst part?
The black dresss no longer fit her.

This was how my writing was interpreted:




Seriously, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! It’s so simple but that’s exactly what I imagined and highlights that despite all the horrible things that happened to the girls body, it is the simple fact that her dress no longer fits that has caused her the most pain. I love the simple background and the words and the IV bag being the only thing that is visible highlights that the illness is very visible now and is perhaps the definer of her life.

So aside from my foot still being fractured and being boiling hot in the walking boot, it has been a very good day!

Shan 😊

6 word and 55 word short story practice

For my Short Story module we had to create lots of stories using a limited amount of words. Now, this is actually very difficult as when you have a limit, every single word has to count. So, for example, if you repeat something then there has to be a reason for that word being repeated.

Later on I will put up a post about the stories that made the cut for something I’m very excited about but this post is the stories that didn’t quite make it but were still important in my writing process.


  • It wasn’t a home without him.
  • It won’t happen again. He lied.
  • I never meant to hurt you.
  • Maybe we should just be friends.



Red equals passion. Goes well with my black dress.
The colour of my cheeks after he compliments me; after he kisses me.
The colour of my cheek after he slapped me. Goes well with my black eye.
I look in the mirror,
I don’t see myself.
He stole my heart and broke my spirit.

Pink; the colour of her cheeks after he complimented her.
Purple; smeared all over both thier lips after thier first kiss.
The Orange skirt she wore when he proposed.
The Blue hairgrip on her wedding day.
Green eyes turned to Grey.
Yellow; the sun wasn’t shining anymore.
Red; his handprint on her cheek was proof.


The overall theme of the 6 word stories was then taken into the 55 word stories and from this my short story assignment was born, I am very proud that I started with a single grain of an idea and ran with it from the start of my module right to the very end!

I hope you enjoyed reading these little snippets of what has become possibly my most favourite piece of writing!

Shan 🙂


You’re short.’ That’s a given.
‘You’re quiet.’ Only sometimes.
‘You’re hardworking.’ That’s because I have ambition.
‘You’re getting like Cinderella.’ I would much rather be Belle.
‘What’s wrong with you now?’ I can’t help it if I’m always ill.
‘Again?’ Please refer to my last statement.
‘He would be so proud.’ I know.
‘We would never be disappointed in you.’ Yes, you could.
‘Smile.‘ I’m trying.
‘Be happy.’ Not as easy as it sounds.
‘Forget what they said, it doesn’t matter.’ Words hurt.
‘Why are you so cynical?’ Because life isn’t always sunshine.
‘How can you stand to read all day?’ Because words have power over me.
‘I don’t know how you can like English; I hate it.’ I’m not you.
‘You need to stop buying shoes.’ But it’s fun though.
‘You don’t know what you’re missing.’ Yes, I do. I’d rather eat this.
‘When are we allowed to read what you’ve written?’ Sooner than you think.
‘I do enjoy your company.’ Good, I enjoy yours.
‘You’re an angel.’ Not the first time I’ve been told that.
‘Being short isn’t that bad right?’ No, actually it’s not that bad.
‘To thine own self be true.’ I’m learning to be.
‘You only need to worry about yourself.’ Not in my nature.
‘You’re so good at that; see you do have a talent.’ Thank God for that.
‘There’s nothing wrong with you.’ Tell society that.
‘You make me happy.’ Good, you make me happy.
‘If you do it then you’ll be in trouble.’ Ahh, but where’s the fun in that?
‘It’s okay to cry.’ And ruin my make-up? No thank you.
‘Don’t cry.’ I won’t.
‘It will be okay.’ Yes, I will.

Being true to yourself is always hard when people are always telling you what they think is right; what they think is normal and if you don’t fit their guidelines then that’s it. Over the last few years I’ve just accepted that there isn’t a normal. If I want to buy shoes then I’ll buy shoes – as long as I have space to put them. If I want to read all day then that is what I will do. It’s okay to be different and being yourself is nothing to be ashamed of!!!

Response to What I know by Joyce Woodward.

This poem was written in response to What I know by Joyce Woodward. I read this in my reading and writing poetry module last year and my response to the poem was the first poem I was proud of writing.

I now know that had my mother eaten salmon twice a week I probably wouldn’t have Asthma.
That the Loch Ness monster has now relocated to the Thames.
That having a baby at age 55 is worthy of front page news.
That in order to be accepted you have to be thin despite France banning size 0 models from the catwalk.
Whatsapp is now encrypted, worthy of the front page again.
A child can die due to their parents negligance and the parents won’t face charges.
That nothing more can be done for the Anorexic person and a judge is about to let her light leave the world.
I don’t have to think about it, but I need to know,
About how the NHS is allowed to let someone become skin and bones.
That 1971 is the golden year. Apparently and,
We all fear Terrorism.
We don’t know when the next attack will come but we know it will happen.
That Harper Beckham is ‘just like mummy’
And M.A.C Cosmetics test on animals but that Lush does not.
That all the tins have to face the same way,
My shoes have to be put away.
That fizzy drink and sugar ruin your teeth.
That all girls worry about their eyebrows.
Depression is a nasty thing.
Some days are better than others.
The weatherman is rarely right.
Books are whole new worlds,
Disney is timeless.
There probably is a cure for Cancer but they’ll never release it because it’s more expensive to give someone Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy and the NHS would rather do that.
Working is horrible.
I’ll never win the lottery.
One magpie brings sorrow,
Two bring joy.

WhyWordPress? Why now?

Hi, welcome to my world!

Writing has always been my escape ever since I can remember, a way to help me cope with the stress that comes with what life throws at me. However, I have never been very good at sharing what I write, instead it sits in a cupboard and gathers dust. I am currently doing an English degree at the University of Suffolk and certain modules on my course have room for creative writing. Creative writing which I am very proud of and feel like I can share with the world! J.K. Rowling I am not, but Shannon Louise Sewell I am.

On this blog I will be posting poems and stories which I have written in workshops and used for assignments at University and also creative writing I have done whilst procrastinating on said assignments!