My Almost (Now Not) Apartment!

Hey Hey Guys!!

SO much has happened in the past few days!
I… moved out! BUT… I’m moving back home again in a few days. It’s so complicated, let me explain.
OK, so for the past god knows how long, I’ve been talking about moving out. It’s something I’ve just felt like I NEEDED to do, for my own well being. My parents and I have a, shall we say, complicated relationship (*ahem* we con’t get on, they suffocate me, and there are times when I genuinely fear for my sanity *ahem*).
So I found a flat in the city (Glasgow, I’m a Scottish lass, if you didn’t know), I arranged a date, I packed up all my shit and readied for off! But something just didn’t feel right. I had this feeling in my gut like nothing I’d ever experienced before that translated to my head that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I thought, it can’t be because I’m moving out, surely? I’ve done that before! I moved to Barcelona(read about my adventures!!) for godsake and that was fine! I was perfectly confident doing so! But there was something wrong.
I couldn’t sleep the night before the move.I stayed up all night crying, wondering why I felt this terrible about something I had been so excited about, had planned for for so long. I could feel it in my very bones, so strongly, everything inside me telling me I was making a massive mistake.
 
This feeling continued right up to the point where I was literally packing the car and I was still humming and hawing, back and forth, on the verge of emailing the person who owned the flat and saying I wasn’t coming. But I pressed on regardless. I moved. Got all my stuff into the new place and that was that – I was moved in.
 
I stayed up, awake again, all night almost, with that same sick feeling in my gut. And there was no logical reason for it; or so I thought. The flat is perfect. It was as if someone reached into my brain and decorated the flat of my dreams and delivered it to be in a beautiful, cozy dream house, all for me. Studenty, but not too much. Tidy, pretty, relaxing colours rather like my room at home, a short walk or bus right into the very heart of the city – AND IT HAS GUINEA PIGS!! I fecking LOVE guinea pigs!! Perfect!
 
I had an appointment back home so I traveled back the next day and spoke to mum. Together we decided that I would move back as soon as possible. The minute we decided that, I felt this great swell of utter relief, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I felt dizzy from it. I knew it was the right thing to do. I don’t know why, after all this time, all this waiting and saving and hoping for the right place to become available, it was so wrong. It just was.
 
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
  • I only have 2 classes this term.
  • I’m only in 2 mornings and 1 full day, so I really don’t need to be in Glasgow for that.
  • I have other commitments but not so many pressing ones that I need to be living in the city.
  • I would be spending a tonne of money that I could otherwise be saving for… something. Maybe a holiday this summer?
 
But the main thing, the big one, is… that I hate my University course.
I started off loving it, but now, I loathe it. So, by staying in the city, I would essentially be paying a fortune to make it easier to do something I hate. So I paid for the week and now my parents are coming to get me at the weekend and I’m moving back home.
And to add to the shit storm of emotional upheaval, my psychiatrist has put me on anti depressants. On top of my anti anxiety meds, the vitamin supplements, the gut aids, the dietary assistants, the pain killers… I’m becoming something of a toxic cloud!
 
So that has been my crazy week. How was yours? And here are some pictures to show you the place I’ve been living for… well, I suppose it’s my flat for a few days.
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Living room

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Bedroom

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Care package from home

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First coffee and candle!

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Best. Body spray. EVER!

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GUNIEA PIGS!!

SSDD

Why I am Over Comparing Myself To Myself

Hey Hey Guys!

Everyone is guilty of defining their own life’s according to the quality of the lives of those around us. What does that mean?

Basically, we spend way too much time comparing our own lives to those of the people around us. And we have to stop.

I am most guilty of comparing myself to… myself. It’s true what they say, that we are own harshest critic.

I find that I’m forever going over old ground. I’m forever critiquing my own life and comparing the me now to the me then. It’s awful! There are times when I genuinely feel like it’s ripping me apart, like the old me is desperately scraping at the new, gouging great ditches in me as I desperately pull myself away. But I have made a decision. I’m going to stop. Not stop trying to distance myself from my past. More like, stop trying to force myself to not be that person and just content myself with being the me of now.

The me from a few years ago isn’t the same person as the me now. There are vast differences to the point where I barely feel like I am the same person at all.

Be one with nature and one with your soul...

Be one with nature and one with your soul…

Over the past 4 years I’ve been dragged backward through hell by my heart strings and I’ve taken all of the people I love most with me. But I have changed. The experience has changed me. My mind has been through turmoil of a kind I never thought possible and in many ways, I still can’t believe all that has transpired.

I want to be honest. I’ve been a sufferer of a myriad of Mental Health issues since I was about 18. I am now 22. But I will never call myself a victim. Because that implies that I have done nothing about it. And as much as I also hate to admit it, it implies that I am entirely innocent in the continuation of my ordeal.

I have spent the last 4 years fighting for my life. Against myself. I’ve brought pain, anger, sadness and despair upon myself and those around me. It would be easy to blame myself, just as it would be easy to blame other people for my problems.

Mental Health is the same as any other illness. No one asks to become mentally ill, just the same way that no one asks to get cancer. I’ve described it this way to my dad, but he doesn’t really understand. No one wants to be ill, whether that be something visible or invisible.

And that is what Mental Illness is; it’s essentially an invisible illness, but with some very physical symptoms. People with mental illnesses can die, just the same way anyone with a physical illness can. Eating Disorders kill 70% of severe sufferers and I have twice, very almost, become a part of that statistic. I was “saved” with only hours to spare. Had I not gotten the help I did, then I would have certainly either died from mass organ failure or have killed myself. It wasn’t like I hadn’t already tried.

I don’t want to get into all the hairy scary details because honestly, I am trying to leave that part of my past where it is. It will always be a part of me and I will never be ashamed of what has happened to me, but I don’t want to dwell on my pain. Because doing that is no more effective than picking at a scab; it’s ugly, it hurts, it won’t make anything better and while there is a masochistic gratification in scratching at it, you are just making things worse in the long run, instant gratification isn’t everything.

So, here I go; my recovery journey: Round 2.

My new superhero mask for my new super powers of healing!

My new superhero mask for my new super powers of healing!

I hope you will join me on this journey. I would love to have you with me, be that as a sufferer of Anorexia or Depression or Anxiety, or just as someone who’s interested. I want to reduce stigma and show people that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that recovery is a journey we all must make. Join me! 🙂

See you soon!

Also, just for the banter, here’s a pic of me at Halloween! Off to the pub! I mean, to drink responsibly, of course XD

Halloween 2015! I went as... absolutley nothing, a girl at the pub with glitter on her face, that;s who xD

Halloween 2015! I went as… absolutley nothing, a girl at the pub with glitter on her face, that;s who xD

SSDD

Wasn’t There Supposed to Be Cake?

Hey Hey Guys!!

Cake is a curious thing.

It’s something that is expected in certain situations, can have strong connotations and memories associated with it, the taste, the texture, the scent, the colour. Where you had a certain piece and how it made you feel.

Then there is cake in a general sense. It appears in certain situations; birthdays, weddings, anniversaries… funerals.

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Have you ever noticed (well, you will have, even if you don’t immediately realise it) that cake is often present to sweeten the pill in horrible situations?

mood cookies

Fancy Shmancy little Battenberg...

Fancy Shmancy little Battenberg…

Now, I’m going togeneralise here and cast the same net over certain biscuits as well as cakes. In fancy waiting rooms, there is often a sweet “treat”. You might be offered a slice of battenburgh with a beverage, or a very British, Victoria Sponge, if you are particularly fortunate (and so help you god if you mention the fact that you recognise that cheap, dry sponge and overly sweet, grainy filling as the £1 round you get from the co-op when you are absolutely desperate for a favour to take to the neighbours’ BBQ).

homemade cupcakes

homemade cupcakes

**As a wee aside, I actually hate Battenberg cake and am always bitterly disappointed to see it in a selection. Marzipan is the devil. It is always a bad omen.**

I absolutely HATE Battenberg...

I absolutely HATE Battenberg…

The thing is, there are some situations where cake is a terrible omen. Whether you are presented with a stale selection of sponges that might be the same ones you declined from your elderly neighbour, or strike gold with one of those pick ‘n mix boxes of biscuits, the result is always the same and always two-fold; the custard creams, jammy ones, cookies and anything containing chocolate are snapped up as soon as the seal is broken and the Garibaldis’ and those weird little wrinkly edged ones that taste like cardboard and aren’t quite a tea biscuit, nor a shortbread, are always left neglected. And you are in for some serious news. Generally, bad.

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See, these are the sweets and semi-sweets that are broken in places like hospitals, doctors surgeries, lawyers offices. Places where there is a 50/50 chance you were to nervous to have lunch before you went there so just swigged from the open wine bottle in the fridge, put on you best “I’m totally in control” mask and walk in there like you’re heading to the gallows. Those who run these establishments know this and it means all sort of paper work for them if they have a client pass out on them, so they try to gently pump you full of sugar.

But when I got my bad news today, it was over the phone. I was on my way back to my (soon to be vacated) flat. I was outside. So I ask you;

Wasn’t there supposed to be cake?

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SSDD

Blame It On The Weather. No, Seriously, Blame It On The Weather #depression

Hey Hey Guys!!

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Depression is something that can change like the weather. Think I’m joking?

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a genuine illness. Not gonna lie, I’m not an expert, so I’m not sure if you would class it as a mental illness or a mood disorder, but it is classified as a varied form of depression.

So what actually is it. Well, the NHS UK website says this:

Sunlight can affect some of the brain’s chemicals and hormones. However, it’s not clear what this effect is. One theory is that light stimulates a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls mood, appetite and sleep. These things can affect how you feel.

In people with SAD, a lack of sunlight and a problem with certain brain chemicals stops the hypothalamus working properly. The lack of light is thought to affect the:

  • production of the hormone melatonin

  • production of the hormone serotonin

  • body’s circadian rhythm (its internal clock, which regulates several biological processes during a 24-hour period)

It affects an estimated 2 million people in the UK, commonly affecting people between the ages of 18-30 and, like other forms of depression, is more common in women than in men. There is a lot of skepticism surrounding the condition, mainly because it can be difficult to understand how someone can feel depressed simply because of the weather. It’s one thing to say that you change your mind like the wind, another to say that you can’t face getting out of bed because it’s raining.

Symptoms include lethargy, insomnia, poor concentration, negative thoughts and mood, unwillingness to socialise, decreased libido and weight gain.

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This is what 12 million people across Europe are facing. Again, I’m not an expert, but as a sufferer, there are a few words I can impart on the subject.

There are days when the thought of having to choose one pair of socks over another seems like an insurmountable problem. Can you imagine the implications of going outside when it is anything less than radiant out there? As if were not bad enough that the world already seems like one of the blackest corners of hell; what if it’s raining as well!? The fact that the weather reflects damp, cold in your soul, preventing you from feeling the glow of all the good things in around you is just confirmation to the depressed side of your brain that there is nothing good out there to admire. That everything really is as horrible and out to get you as you suspect.

But if the sun is out…

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I’m a total fire baby. I was predisposed, being a Leo (m’on the August-born troops!!) and if it is anything short of swelteringly roasty toasty, then I am inconsolably miserable. I’m talking, in tears, shaking, terrified of even the slightest baby’s breath of a draft. Lemme put this into context for you; I was in Ibiza during a heatwave and wore a cardigan. Yeah. So the fact that I live in BLOODY SCOTLAND, one of the coldest places South of the Arctic, is a hellish situation to be in. I don’t think people realise quite how many layers I wear on a daily basis. Maybe it’s a useful thing that I’m so skinny; all those layers don’t look so thick on a skelatal frame.

The past few days we have been experiencing a random heat wave and I know several people with varying forms of depression and anxiety who have (seemingly inexplicably) seen a lift in their mood. I swear, Blame It On the Weather! Being in the sun can literally feel like bands are being removed from your chest and you can breathe and in hail the sweet scent of real oxygen. Not just tolerate the stale air you’ve tasted recently.

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However you want to call it, Sunny Side Up, Everything’s Better on the Other Side, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, Mr Sunshine, Light of My Life, Build Me Up Buttercup, Mr Golden Sun; attribute any cheesy song lyric you like, the summary is still the same – EVERYTHING IS BETTER IN THE GODDAMN SUNSHINE!!!!!

The irritating thing, is that it has not been sunny all day. It comes and goes. The problem with this is that my mood has been going up and down as well. Literally, the sun being out one minute means I’m relatively happy, not too bad, occasionally I’ll giggle. Then it goes behind a cloud. Maybe there is a smattering of rain. And suddenly that cloud burst seems more like hell is spitting like icy shards of glass at me, determined to extinguish that ember of happiness fighting to burn hot enough to light so much as a candle. It’s exhausting.

Here is a link to treatment advice on SAD as well as some lovely handy dandy websites for mental health issues. Seriously, i have used some of them and even the info you can get online these days isn’t half bad.

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Remember though; the sun can be thought of in the same was as those middle aged women/students think of booze – if it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, it’s mid day somewhere else! The sun is always up somewhere, even if it isn’t where you are. If you are a sufferer of depression or SAD, do the daytime version of what Oscar Wilde liked to do; instead of looking at the stars, look to the sky. See the sun, love the light, feel the glow.

Mind.org

NHS treatment of SAD

Samaritans

SSDD

Sympathy For Those (Bleeping) Call Center Operators

Packed Call Center Floor

Does anyone else find those poor souls in call centers irritating?

Well maybe you shouldn’t.

Here’s why… (I can already tell this isn’t going to be popular lol)

So here’s my thinking; maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on them. Sure, hardly a day goes by when the phone doesn’t ring and, sure enough, there will be that long, suspicious pause before the voice answers my “Hello?”. That pause that is just long enough for the penny to drop like a cold pill down my throat. There is no mistaking what it precedes.

When that crackle starts before the voice on the other end calls, just a little too loudly, “H-He…Hello? Hello.” To which I sigh a deep sigh of disappointment and dejectedly continue the pointless exchange with “Yes. Hello. What do you want?” I won’t be the only one who gets annoyed when they wait before replying again. To me this pause is almost as irritating as when a friend or someone you genuinely know calls you and then waits on the other end for you to say something – dude, you called me! What the hell’s with the silence!? – I feel that the ball falls to their court to decide the topic when it is them getting in touch with you, wouldn’t you agree?

Nevertheless. When the pityful connection finally gets through, the result is a forgone conclusion for an experienced cold-call operative – they will either be hung up on or given duggs abuse and then be hung up on. How do they know this? Because they will probably receive the same type of call the moment they get home.

Calls asking if they want double glazing – as if they didn’t already have it; a little hint to call centers, windows are not a new idea, people already have pretty good ones, the technique has been refined quite impressively these last hundred odd years and we tend to not go without them now. Then again, it would be an impressive estate agent who could sell a property lacking them – or a new, overpriced mobile phone with more features than will ever be needed on a contract they’ll be paying til they die.

Forget the whole issue of not agreeing with call centers being placed abroad by big companies to cut down costs – the corporate fat cats have got to find the money for their company funded holiday to the Maldives somehow – that’s a separate issue entirely. That is more a moral dilema.

And you thought you were having a bad day… She just got yelled at by an 85 year old woman!

But consider this. If we all find them so irritating, how do you think those people feel? To know the hate and frustration being blasted at them in waves down thousands of miles of electrical cable, every one of us hoping to fry their brains as efficiently as they are numbing ours while they simply try to do their jobs must be one of the most depressing workplaces it is possible to find! The loathing the recipient feels must be felt ten fold by the unfortunate operative.

This thought came to me when I received a call from what was possibly the most dejected sounding voice I have ever heard in my life. She seemed to take everything I have said here and express it in just her tone. With an utter hate for what she was doing, she had practically hung up before I had.

Sound harsh? That I still hung up on her even though it was clear she hated her job as much as I did?

Well, I hadn’t had this epiphany yet, so in my eyes, she had it coming 😉

The one nights’ experience I have as a phone operator for a charity event was enough to quell my conscience. 😀

So next time you’re getting ready to scream down the live about what a (bleeping) (bleep) that (bleep) who bothered you the minute you got home from work/got in the bath/sat down to dinner/started watching that show you’d been waiting for, think for a second; do you really hate them more than they hate themselves?