To the ex who’s stalking my blogs!

Well it’s been some time since I last posted so thought i’d update you guys on what’s the latest with me!

I can say I’ve had some fun and funny few weeks! I became a Master’s Graduate! I’ve screamed my heart out at Thorpe Park and Alton Towers! I travelled to Southport, Liverpool, Manchester and London! I have literally had the time of my life dancing and singing on the motorway!

To my ex, you think i’m here double dating? Good. You think i’m enjoying my time to the max? Good. You think my family is supporting your decision to divorce me? Good. I couldn’t care less.

The fact you have to stalk my page like a coward just speaks volumes. I mean I thought you wanted nothing to do with me? You was so quick to utter the words “divorce” when I caught you on Tinder and on TikTok chatting to other women. Please. My life has nothing to do with you anymore. Be a man.

Eventhough a narcissist like you deserves all the hate, I forgive you. I actually feel sorry for you because you can’t take accountability for your own actions. It’s sad. You have to lie your way through life for others to feel sorry for you and that’s just sad. You have to put that fake smile on your face, dance and flirt with other women but really and truely you’re miserable. You lost the best thing that ever happened to you and you’ll disagree with me right now but God works in mysterious ways.

I remember a time you said “Karma loves me” “When I fuck up, karma bites me in the ass” “If I ever hurt you what will I say to God?” “I’ve been to Islamic gatherings with my brother in law so I know not to hurt anyone’s daughter” well guess what sweetie, Karma works in ways no man can be ready for. I don’t wish bad on you, I want you to be happy with the miserable life you’ve created for yourself. Keep listening to songs and smoking that weed. Money can buy you happiness but not a clean soul and conscious.

But it’s all good though, I prefer to be the villain in our story. I was always the villain. If that’s what makes you happy and suits your stories then I accept.

P.S … I never claimed to be religious, but if I had to choose culture or Islam, I would choose Islam any day because it teaches me to have respect and morals, something you lacked. You disrespected me so much in our first 6 months of marriage, messed with my head and self-confidence because you weren’t happy with my body or my rights as a woman. You then expected me to be this person who still kissed your feet and respected you? Nah.

You fucked up your own marriage. YES YOU & I can’t blame anyone but YOU for doing that. You weren’t ready to be a husband or a man and I blame that on your parents. If only your parents taught you how to treat women, but unfortunately they didn’t. Women in your family apparently don’t deserve the respect.

Anyways, good luck to you and your pal who’s so interested in my life because you both need it.

Written by Larayb aka Layla ✌🏼

Being a Pakistani Divorcee in 2021

I just want to say that not all Pakistani women and families experience whatever I have. Sometimes the stigma behind the south asian culture can cause a rift of what is and isn’t so it’s important to say that my experience is entirely my own. If you relate in any way just know you are not alone and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

I don’t know about anyone else or if you’re able to relate, but don’t you feel like you’ve had enough of being silent & hearing others bullshit about your marriage? The marriage you tried so hard to save and make work? The marriage they so happen to have the most opinions about?

If you happen to be south asian like me then this might be a hi5 moment as I discuss my experience as a Pakistani divorcee in 2021.

My Parents

Where do I begin? I remember being told at the age of 12 years old by my mother that I needed to learn how to kneed the dough, cook curries and clean my house to please my husband and just in case I lived with my in-laws.

My mother had the privilege of being born in the UK. However, my father was born in Bahrain and raised in Pakistan. So, he was called to the UK, 3 years after being married to my mother. In this case, my mother didn’t live with in-laws, however my father was very cultural and opposed certain laws onto my mother such as not going out on her own, covering her face if she ever visited a certain part of Birmingham and being a housewife. But, soon as we grew up and my father got with the times and watched the generation change where women became more independent and were out there working hard and striving to meet their goals, my father changed.

When it came to my divorce, after me constantly trying to make my marriage work and my father watching me day and night, watching me cry and not eat, he would speak words of comfort to me. Now, not every south asian man or woman gets this treatment and till this day we are hearing and seeing people commit suicide or suffering at the hands of their husbands/wives/in-laws. But, not my parents.

All praises to God, my parents are so supportive.

The following words of comfort and encouragement are some of the things my parents said to me when I was broken and ashamed of whatever was happening:

God wanted you to be happy and that’s why he removed the one thing that wasn’t making you happy.”

Aslong as we are alive, no one can say anything to you or question you about whatever happened.

Live your life and if you want to work and travel the world go for it.”

A good man will enter your life and will support you and love you for the good woman you are.”

My Friends

My friends have been so supportive and kind. Not out of sympathy but because they’ve known me for years on end and know that I would have gone lengths to fix my marriage. ‘Fix’ was not the problem in my marriage, he is a narcissist that couldn’t get fixed.

My friends have encouraged me to start building back my confidence through skin care, getting dressed, putting on some makeup and double dates! And let me tell you, most guys don’t care if you’re a divorcee. I’ve been told my past is the past and they only care about the person I am today. It was an experience that has made me a stronger person.

Driving around the countryside, going to different cities, parks, restaurants and spending quality time with family and friends really is helping me with my mental health and well-being.

Choosing Yourself

It’s really sad that in today’s society women are being forced to stay with abusive partners and to ‘accept’ their fate because ‘daughter-in-laws’ are to take care of everyone and not have a life of their own.

I was always told from my ex that no one would look at me the same after knowing I’m a divorcee because I’m a woman. But, ever since i’ve been back and met new people, being a divorcee doesn’t affect most men’s opinions of you. This really helped my confidence.

I had to choose myself for the sake of my own mental health, to feel secure in my own skin, to be independent and have the choice of having my own bank account (I know, crazy right?) and to be loved unconditionally.

Being a Pakistani divorcee in 2021 has really shown me a different perspective of what other men actually think of you and how the community sees you and to be fair it ain’t all bad. You just have to remind yourself that you’re a bad ass bitch regardless and no one can judge you with this ‘label’ of being a divorcee.

Written by Layla

My PCOS Journey: Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, this is my PCOS journey and story. Before I begin, I just want to praise and acknowledge anyone who gets up everyday feeling optimistic and accepting their PCOS journey. Even though you may question why this has happened to you or feel you may not be worthy of being a mother, know that God or whatever you may believe in has a better plan for you.

Below I explain PCOS and some symptoms I face:

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects women and how the ovaries function. Nowadays it is thought that about 1 in 10 women in the UK suffer with PCOS. It is a hormonal condition and it is not known what causes this. Living with PCOS can be very difficult.

Common Symptoms or Signs of PCOS?

  • Excessive hair growth (face, chest, back)
  • Irregular periods or no period
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Oily skin
  • Acne
  • Hair loss or hair thinning from the head
  • Increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes
  • Depression
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • High Blood Pressure

My PCOS consists of all these common signs and symptoms except type 2 diabetes (all praises to God). However, when I was seen by a gyno 8 months ago, she told me I was borderline type 2 diabetic. I was in the middle of my emotionally abusive marriage which I know was not helping my condition either!

Anyway, I only ever started my period naturally maximum 3 times in my whole life! Once when I was 11 years old and my period lasted 1 day, again at 15 years old and my period lasted 2/3 days and lastly at 27 when my marriage broke down. But my gynocologist mentioned I may have miscarried due to stress during my marriage breakdown. As you can imagine, living with PCOS and in an abusive marriage was extremely taxing on my mental health.

At the age of 21, having no period was obviously very abnormal. PCOS can run in the family and my cousin had been diagnosed with PCOS so I was pretty sure I had the same condition. However, I was neglected by the NHS when being checked by doctors at the age of 16 and was ruled out as having a “hormonal imbalance”. At 21 I had the same scan again and was finally told I had PCOS. I cried my eyes out because the thought of not being able to have children was daunting.

Toxic Relationship and PCOS

For me personally, I now see my PCOS as a gift. Why you may ask? Without a doubt it has saved me from my biggest regret. My marriage. I know if children were involved my life would have been over because he would have used my kids against me. Being in a narcissistic relationship didn’t help me or my health when I was trying to get pregnant. And thanks to my PCOS, I was saved from an abusive relationship longterm.

My ex husband was adamant that we would have children, despite knowing about my PCOS before we married. I stopped taking my contraception pills and began to see a gynocologist to help me conceive naturally. Unfortunately after some scans and blood tests I was told I would need to go through IVF. IVF is a procedure where the sperm and egg are fertilised outside the body by scientists and then inserted back into the female. This comes with some risks and is very expensive, however, many have been successful.

I would have mental breakdowns due to my ex’s comments on my weight as well as me not being able to conceive. He would embarrass me in front of other people. I had never hid my condition from him but he made me feel like less of a woman due to my infertility. Due to this I became suicidal, and had constant panic attacks. Thanks to good friends and supportive family members (who lived in the UK whilst I was in the US) I managed to escape my marriage.

Also, the pressure of his mother always complaining about me not being pregnant was constantly on my mind. She would make remarks about if me and my ex were using protection and would discuss this with her friends in front of me. I would be so embarrassed and my ex was okay with it. He would defend his mother and tell me she can say and do what she wants.

How to Cope with PCOS

So what do I do, while living with PCOS to cope? I remind myself every day that I’m beautiful in any shape or size as PCOS does make losing weight difficult. My weight fluctuates but I don’t let it bring me down. Yes, I do experience bad days but I try to eat healthily but never starve or deprive myself. PCOS is a mental challenge more than anything so it is very important to keep and have an optimistic mindset.

PCOS does not rule out having children for me. It just makes the journey to become a mother more difficult but I know that God has a plan for me. I surround myself with people who will always love and support me.

It really does affect my mental health and I always try my best to support charities who help orphaned children and women struggling with fertility. This gesture gives my mind comfort that I’m helping those less fortunate than me and I begin to show more gratitude.

I have started to try and drink green juices every morning, I avoid dairy products as much as I can as I become bloated! I was also advised to eat gluten and dairy free products to avoid diabetes and increase in weight. So you might want to look more into that!

For excessive hair growth I have had laser treatment done and it has really helped with my confidence and self-esteem. Laser has many benefits as it also clears up your skin and any hyperpigmentation caused by PCOS.

Remember ladies, having a supportive partner is so crucial when facing difficulties in life especially involving fertility. I wasn’t as lucky BUT not being able to have children doesn’t define who I am as a person or a woman. Just remember after hardship comes ease and if we are not blessed to have children, we will be blessed in other ways.

Written by Layla

Things Everyone Should Do in Their 20s

The best years of our lives according to most, our 20s are for making mistakes, building character and figuring out who we are. So here’s a list of things we’d recommend doing while in your 20s

man standing on open field under white sky
Photo by Janiere Fernandez on Pexels.com

Travel As Far and As Much As Possible

This one is probably obvious, but this is the thing I am so glad I did while in my 20s. There is nothing more liberating and exciting than packing up a suitcase and flying off to a foreign land, wandering the streets of a new city, tasting exotic foods and experiencing something completely new. You will come back with a whole new outlook on life, a little more educated and with the urge to keep exploring. Travelling really is the only thing you buy that makes you richer so do it, any opportunity you get.

Make A Few Good Friends And Keep Them Close

As we get into our late 20s and early 30s, making time for our friends can be really difficult. Everyone has different schedules, some of us move to a different city, marriages and kids make it really hard to just meet up on a whim. It’s also much more difficult to make friends… (that’s for another blog post so keep an eye out.) During your 20s, make the effort to make true friendships with a few people and make time with them. Remember, these are the people who will be there during the most significant times of your life!

Experience Being Single And Learn To Love It

This piece of advice is truly important for becoming comfortable on your own. If only I could turn back time, I would give myself a shake and tell myself to just enjoy discovering myself rather than hoping a relationship would give me all the answers. My friends who have spent a lot of time single throughout their 20s have no fear of being alone. It forces you to be content with being yourself. You might even spend your alone time learning skills and finding a hobby you love. Don’t rush into being in a relationship. You have plenty of time for all that!

person holding black and silver camera
Photo by Israelzin Oliveira on Pexels.com

Take Photos

In the digital world we live in, maybe this seems obvious but I cannot stress enough… take as many photos as you can. Every night out, every holiday and event you go to, whether you are annoying people are not, pull out the camera and get snapping. You are in the prime of your life and these are some of the most exciting stories you’ll be telling your grandchildren. You are making memories that you will look back on fondly forever and capturing these moments to look back on is

Live Outside Of Your City/Country

If you get the opportunity to live further afield than the place you were raised, I urge you to go, whether this is studying abroad or simply moving city… Not only will it give you insight into what life has to offer elsewhere, you’ll meet people from different places and you might even have a new found appreciation for your hometown when you return (or maybe you never will!)

Learn To Manage Your Mental Health

It is estimated that over 70% of 18-34 year olds in the UK are suffering with some form of mental health issue. And the figures keep rising each year. Despite these shocking figures, there is still a huge social stigma surrounding mental health. It is crucial that everyone takes measures to manage their mental health. As someone who has suffered with anxiety, it can feel very isolating and debilitating. I have found exercise, journalling and talking it out can be extremely helpful, but everyone is different. Speaking to a therapist can be incredibly useful too. Please don’t suffer in silence.

Start to Take Care of Your Physical Health

As you turn 30 your metabolism slows down, your joints stiffen and your lifestyle can start to reflect itself on your waistline, skin and joints. All those drunken kebabs and pints and laying in bed until 2pm might seem like a good idea now, but you will thank yourself later on down the line for prioritising your physical health. A good exercise routine (even walking a few miles a day!) and eating your vegetables and fruit will make all the difference, however boring it might seem.

Cherish Your Family and Loved Ones

As we grow up, our parents, grandparents and people around us grow old. Make time for your family and spend as much time with them as possible. Listen to their stories and make memories together. Ask them questions about their childhoods and their family tree, this is invaluable information that you can pass on to your own children one day!

Learn Another Language

Giving yourself the challenge of learning a new language is rewarding and will make you more employable. Not only this, but your confidence will sky rocket. You learn that it’s ok to get things wrong, you learn to laugh at yourself and you’ll make friends along the way! Even if you only learn the basics for a trip to Italy, watch how the natives faces light up when you surprise them with a few words in Italian. It will also give you an appreciation for non-english speakers all over the world!

Written by Jade

The Mental Health Battle: Getting Over a Breakup

By Jade and Layla

If any of you have ever gone through a breakup, you know that it can feel like the pain will never cease. Heartbreak is real and sometimes we feel ashamed to admit that we are struggling with getting over our relationships. After all, when we decide to separate our lives for good, most of us will suffer with some level of grief.

Here are some tips to hopefully help you feel mentally better in the aftermath of a breakup or divorce

  1. Take your time: There is no timeline for healing a broken heart and that is ok! If you are fresh out of a relationship and feel fantastic, ready to seize the day and get back out there into the world as a single gal (or guy!), great! That is perfectly acceptable! But for most of us, there is a few weeks, months or years during which we will be struggling. Sometimes even doing the simplest of tasks can feel like a huge deal. Do not feel guilty for feeling your feelings and taking your time. A breakup is difficult and your feelings are valid.

2. Talk it out: Easier said than done right? But even if it feels like the most daunting task in the world, to pour out your heart to a relative or friend… or even a stranger, believe us when we say, people genuinely care and want to help you through this difficult time. And just voicing your feelings can leave you feeling liberated and lighter. If you really struggle to vocalise yourself, try to journal your thoughts and feelings on a notepad and read them out loud.

3. Create a daily routine: This might sound ridiculous and pointless, but there is something to be said about structure when the rest of your life might feel chaotic and stressful. Start off slowly. It can be tempting to lie in bed all day with the covers over your head but setting an alarm for the same time each day and forcing yourself up is a great place to start.

You don’t need to be training for 5k races and choking back green smoothies just yet, but adding in daily movement, drinking water and eating fruits and veggies will help you feel better than that 10 pack of chicken nuggets and binge watching Netflix until 3am, we promise! Write down a schedule in your diary and make the effort to tick off your to-do list as you go, even if it is as simple as … Wake up, Take Vitamins, Do Stretches, Brush your Teeth.

3. Reconnecting with friends: For some of us a relationship can be an isolating experience, losing contact/having limited contact with our friends. Maybe you feel you’re trapped and so consumed by choosing between a friend and a partner. We cannot stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with people who know you inside out. It can bring you out of the isolation stages and can be really refreshing. Reconnect with old mates, explain your situation and socialise. Going out with friends can build your self-confidence and self-esteem. Being surrounded by people who care about you can remind you that you have lots to offer the world.

4. Reconnecting with God: This one is not for everyone and that’s ok, but for those of you with religious backgrounds or a personal faith, now can be the perfect time to reconnect and heal yourself spiritually. This can be beneficial when you are feeling alone after experiencing heartbreak, and especially if the relationship was traumatic or abusive.

God can become your beacon of hope when all things seem lost. The belief that God will not take away something that you cannot survive without. He will give you something better in return. He has a better plan for you. He is in control of all that happens. This can put everything into perspective for you when you are desperately searching for the answer to “why me?’

5. Meditations/Affirmations: It is so important to remind yourself that you are worthy. You are important. You are strong. Meditating can relax your mind and your body when you experience feeling emotionally drained. Even if you spend 5 minutes each day clearing your racing thoughts or following a guided meditation. The impact can be invaluable. Affirmations can rescue your self-worth and and help you move forward in life. Believe in yourself even if it may seem easier said than done. You are your own belief system and no one will ever understand your struggle. It is so important to remind yourself that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.

These 5 pointers are things that have personally helped us through our breakups. Every individual is different and what works for us might not work for you. What we have realised is that if we try to suppress our feelings and push them down (and believe us, we’ve tried!) we become like a pressure cooker. The grief will eventually rear its ugly head. Acknowledging your feelings and validating them is the first step to healing yourself from your past. That might be crying for hours, screaming at the top of your lungs or laughing until you cry with your friends and family… Feel your feelings!

You’re not alone. Most of us have dealt with a breakup at some point in our lives and know how crappy it is. Don’t ever feel you are alone in your struggles. Talk to someone and you will see, it really does help when you think out loud and share how you feel with someone you can trust. Please talk to someone professionally if you are thinking of harming yourself and others.

So what’s the tea with Thirtea?

What do you do when your marriage breaks down? When the world you have spent years building comes crumbling down around you? You reach out to your pal who is coincidentally in the same boat and put your noggins together to create Thirtea!

Layla and I have had a difficult few years, as I’m sure many of you can relate to. Living through a global pandemic has been a nightmare for most people, devastating for some and we are lucky to come out unscathed in terms of the health of ourselves and our loved ones.

However, it was boiling point for our relationships and when those ended, it meant moving back home to the UK. We had both married Americans and moved our lives across the pond for our significant others for what we thought was forever. It was not forever. And now we are both starting from scratch and trying to figure our lives out.

So while we rebuild our lives at 30, please hop along for the ride with words, share your story with us and be inspired to grab by the balls no matter how young or old you are!

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there