I have had this blog window open since lunch time and its now 7pm and til right this second this is the first thing I have written.
I desperately wanted to get back to life a short while ago, probably around Christmas time — really convinced that I was ready to start acting like everything was fine again. I was really back in to writing my novel and thought I was healthily processing everything that life was throwing at me. However it turned out that that wasn’t the case and if anything the now that I’m living in has been harder.
I have regressed back to old habits of procrastinating and that time of keeping myself busy to avoid feeling the motions has fallen by the wayside.
However, I don’t really want to be blogging about my mother’s death every single time I come to my site, so I’m going to try to get better at living and not procrastinating anymore… so I want to talk a little about the things that I have been doing.
I’ve scaled back the reading — I am not obsessively reading like I was last year which is probably a good thing. I am no longer avoiding things for the most part. However, I am finding that reading does help from time-to-time. Perhaps I’m reading to enjoy the story, not to pass time.
I have upped my art stuff and have been trying my hand at new art mediums. I have been working a lot with resin and bought some cool molds to work with that I started seeing better results with. The only shitty thing about resin is that you have to wait a full 24 hrs before it all cures fully and I’m really impatient. I finally made some pendants today that I feel are up there in terms of some of the better things that I have made recently.
I have found a lot of very good suppliers of wooden jewellery from Australia that have helped me organise some very cool and retro designs for a market that I want to do. I have a lot of things that are really starting to crowd my office, so I am going to do a market to free up some of that space and financially its a difficult time for me since the funeral, so I need to make some money.
I have become more social — I am really starting to develop some friendships with girls that I work with or past workmates that I see on a regular basis and I know that can only be healthy given all the time that I spend alone.
I am working on this cute little Michael Jackson side project too — its no big deal, but I have started an account on Instagram where I post images and quotes for 365 days. It’s interesting because I haven’t been an active fan since I was around 25 or so and even then I was interested only in finding out news and music, not so much in the community. Since his passing I’ve learned a lot about fans from the perspective of an adult; young people are bat shit insane and so childish. Its hard to reconcile that a lot of Michael Jackson’s active social media following fans are around the age that I was (11-15) when I was at my craziest over him. That means to say that most of them were barely alive when he passed — and theyre plaguing twitter and instagram writing the kind of shit I would really like their parent’s to witness. They don’t know much about him and share a lot of quotes that aren’t real quotes (notice this is a thing? there are a lot of fake Bob Marley, Marilyn Monroe, etc quotes on the internet that they never actually said)… and have some very strong opinions… It just is like another world that puzzles the shit out of me. I like musicians that are dead or who have been long gone, but I couldn’t imagine being obsessed with one to the point that these kids are. Not judging, its just… a different world lol.
The one thing I’ve struggled with is writing my novel. I was in a really good groove for awhile but its fallen away because of my issues with procrastination, but I am going to try so hard to get back in to the habit because I want to finish it and I’m proud of my work thusfar. I don’t want it to not see the light of day. All I need to do is start writing and I’m sure it will be okay. It’s just getting in the proper headspace where I am uninterrupted. I keep making excuses as to why I should be doing other things. Or else I’ll begin a checklist and because writing is the most time consuming, I will have it at the bottom of the list and won’t work on it.
I am still looking for some readers so if you’re interested, let me know. 🙂
Although, given what’s happened I don’t know if I’m ready to be back at anything, so time will tell as to whether or not I want to take more time away from regular life and given that I didn’t have a superficial relationship with my Mum, my loss is great, I don’t know if I know what regular life feels like anymore.
But I’ll try.
Where I left off:
On October 10th my Mum had two massive seizures which changed the course of what life my day-to-day life was and she never came home from hospital.
I had my 33rd birthday on the 14th.
On the 15th, I had a trip to go to Queensland with my cousin booked. I debated for a week and some as to whether or not I go and my stepdad and I agreed that there wasn’t really much I could do at home, so I went for my 5 day trip. I don’t regret going, but I did spend most of my time there feeling guilty about not being with my Mum. In hindsight, I don’t regret going because what was waiting for me back home when I returned was something I may have not been able to emotionally manage without that break.
I spent a lot of time in between trying to read different books for blogging purposes but found nothing that held my interest — perhaps this was more to do with my state of mind rather than a problem with the books.
After my trip my time was spent literally every second day driving back and forth to and from the hospital where my Mum was located and trying to keep myself together enough to visit her without falling apart, continue working without letting anyone down, combating my mental health, trying not to direct the anger that I felt toward my friends or my boyfriend and … breathe.
On November 6th my Mum passed away in a way that was both expected and unexpected. We had all hoped and prayed that she would turn a corner and be well enough to come home after treatment. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be.
The important thing was that my Mum was surrounded by the most important people in her life for the last few days and was cared for beautifully by unforgettable staff of the facility where she was being kept comfortable. It devastates me that we were unable to bring her home like she so desperately wanted to be, but it just wasn’t to be. She passed away in our arms, quite literally and there wasn’t a single other way I would have wanted it.
I think if it weren’t for the support from my family and friends, I would probably be in a heap somewhere…
Even writing the words above are hard to do without falling apart. Again.
In between all of that, I was incredibly sick and it turned out that I actually had pneumonia. My brother and I suspect it was due to the fact that I slept in the cold, baron part of my Mum and Stepdad’s house with cold, wet hair after we left the nursing home for the last time. The weekend she passed happened to be one of the coldest mornings that I can remember. I slept minimally for the next few days which probably didn’t help – running purely on adrenalin until the funeral passed.
I’ve only just come out the other side of being sick but I still can’t stop coughing when I’m in the middle of a fit. Not fun.
My friends stayed at my house and were great for laughs and for someone to try all the places where I wanted to eat but didn’t want to go alone. My workmates were incredibly supportive and some went as far as feeling the weight of my sadness and helping out in practical ways. My cousin helped me plan out my goals and plans going forward week-to-week, month-to-month, year-to-year. My boyfriend has been endless in doling out his affections, support and love as usual, even if it’s not always fun for him — or really either of us. Everyone else has been amazing in offering support in kind ways, practical ways and emotionally.
My cousin stayed the longest, offering her pragmatic support which has been good at keeping my mind busy so that when life does feel a bit normal again, I can do all of the things that I have wanted to do but didn’t get the chance because I was 1, emotionally exhausted, 2, too busy with my Mum, 3, didn’t feel timing was right.
Tomorrow I go back to work for the first time in three weeks. I am unsure about how to feel about that or whether or not I feel ready, but I do feel like the routine is going to do me the world of good.
Afternoon drinking is probably not going to work out very good for me if I keep going as I am.
I started reading again this week, so I suppose a book review will be on the way and I plan to post some photos of the month and a half where life went a bit awry.
In the meantime, my cousin has been working really hard on our business so you could check that out — we have some really cool new products and if you use bfriday16 promo code, you can get 20% off until tomorrow. http://www.bigcuzlittlecuz.com
I had September all planned out – it was all blog schedules and gettin’ shit done.
Then I got sick and everything went through the window.
At the beginning of the week, we were waiting for results for my Mums CT scans. In case you missed the memo, my Mum has been dealing with cancer for far too long now — and these scans send us in to anxiousness and panic — a good friend of mine refers to it as scanxiety. Scanxiety is sure a good expression for it.
The results came back okay, thankfully – we received that news on Monday. There’s been no spread and the tumors in her brain are okay. The doctor was overall happy with the result and gave her a brief break from chemotherapy — we figured that was celebration-worthy.
Especially after the pure nauseousness that scanxiety induces.
And then on Wednesday, I started to get sick.
I haven’t been this sick for about two years now. The problem isn’t really with getting sick for me, its that when the coughing sets in, its really hard to cough up the gross stuff when you only have half of the resources to do it. Having one lung is no joke, people. Especially when you can’t sleep because you can’t stop the friggin’ coughing.
So, Friday rolled around and I migrated from the bed to the couch and began to watch episode after episode of Law & Order SVU between my coughing and spluttering and constant eye watering. I texted with my Mum who checked in to make sure I was okay.
About an hour or so later, I was trying to doze off when my phone rang — a call from my Mum’s husband which sent me in to a panic — he doesn’t generally call for chit-chat, I knew something was wrong immediately. I answered the phone to an absolute panicked voice saying my Mum had been rushed to hospital with a massive seizure and that the paramedics were working on her.
I entirely lost my shit. I can’t even verbalise my panic. I said I’d be there ASAP. I scrambled around in the midst of a giant panic attack; couldn’t breathe, couldn’t find clothes, ran around in circles, called my boyfriend to come and get me immediately because I knew I wouldn’t have been able to drive myself and spent the next fifty minutes (the time it took to arrive to the hospital) imagining the worst, horrible, unimaginable scenarios playing out.
My OCD brain immediately began dominating me, listing all the ways that this was obviously my fault and I would have to live with the guilt if she wasn’t okay.
Once at the hospital, my boyfriend dropped me off at the Emergency entry to go and park. I waited for him, stalling, too scared to go and ask to see her in case any of my imagined scenarios were a reality. And then infuriatingly when I did get the courage, there was some meandering guy standing at the admin window just chatting / complaining. I asked to be let in to see my Mum.
Frightening — even going through the doors.
Thankful to God, I walked in and found her laying in a bed being observed by nurses who were about to take blood. She noticed me. I asked if she was okay, she said she was. She was moving, she could see – I began to cry, feeling genuinely sick with relief that flooded me… looking at my Mum’s husband, I could tell her had been just as scared and as frightened as I was.
They were both white — having given them both a fright.
They did another CT which came back just the same as it had on Monday and she stayed overnight for observation and I visited her at home the next morning where she considered that we could go to the shop to feed her new Pandora ring obsession. No, though, I wanted her to rest and wasn’t feeling up to scratch myself.
Since then, I’ve been in bed coughing, coughing, coughing. Up all night coughing, coughing, coughing… It hasn’t been fun. I hope all this shittiness passes soon.
I am not a trail-blazing feminist the way I felt like I was in my early/mid twenties, but I still like to call out sexism as it is when I see it or when I am the subject of it– in that case it is especially hard to ignore. This post is going to be about the daily sexism I have encountered in the past few months.
Sometimes I go to sleep early — around 8-9pm if I’m tired enough. As a result I can be up as early as 5:30, but usually at least just after 6am. I like to work out before I go to work because I find it helps my moods and my anxiety for the day. Last week, I woke up at 5:40am, ate breakfast and put my work out clothes on to go do forty on the treadmill and then my circuit work out. Sometimes after a work out, I am absolutely ravenous. On this particular day, I spent a further 30 minutes making my lunch for the day and faffing about on the internet before work. I realised when it was too late that I needed to eat something before work.
I got to work and found that I had a packet of potato chips sitting on my desk from the day before that I had bought and forgotten to eat. With no other food options, I opened the bag and began to eat them. I know, I know — a lady of my age and my size (14), I could probably have stood to go without, or at least eat something that would allow me to be more of a proper lady.
I opened the door to someone and was met with a funny look from an older gentleman. He said, “are you eating chips?” (gasp, shock horror!)
Cheerfully, I said, “Yep! Want one?” offered. He declined. He said, “It’s a bit early, don’t you think?” (It was after 9am).
Still cheerful, I said, “I’ve been up for almost 5 hours now! I’m starving!”
Then, I got a lecture on how unhealthy it was to be eating potato chips at ‘this time of morning’ (or at all) and that I should try a piece of fruit.
Fuck off. Firstly, I’m sure he wouldn’t have commented on my dietary condition if I was a guy. Also, if I chose to eat chips at 9:30 or fucking 8pm, it would still be unhealthy. If I had a fucking piece of fruit handy, I still probably would have unapologetically enjoyed the salty snack.
And all that aside? How about you just mind your fucking business, mate?
I usually find that men who are roughly the same age as my father don’t understand just how smarmy and patronising their comments and remarks can be.
I try not to be too hard on people, sometimes they may not even realise how or why what they’ve said can be taken the wrong way, but if no one ever tells them, then how can they correct their behaviour?
One that I hear almost often – in every job I’ve ever worked and also outside of any job I’ve ever worked; “good girl”.
How arrogant, how patronising — how fucking insulting. I am not a dog. I am not your pet (I’ve been called pet, it burns me right fucking up!) do not praise me as if I am one. I am also not a girl, I am almost 33 years old. All you need to do is say thank you, that will be enough. No pet names, no back-handed insults. Oh, and no I don’t want to call you fucking Adonis (yes, that was something that happened on another occasion) at all — ever.
I opened a door for someone the other day while the woman struggled to leave the shop where I was coming in from and once she was out, she said, “good girl!” — and honestly I wanted to let the door slam on her. I understand the intention is not cruel or patronising and in fact, its probably just gratitude, but it feels condescending and when it comes from a man, it feels like sexism at it’s finest.
In another situation outside of work, a man I knew continually referred to my friend as “the bitch”, based on a stupid misunderstanding on both their parts — both had spoken politely to one another since the occasion and it was only behind her back that he continued to call her a ‘bitch’ until I finally spoke up. What makes a person think that it is actually okay to continually refer to a person in an insulting way after a situation had been resolved?
Next time someone calls me a “good girl”, it’s going to go down like this;
“Good girl!” “Yes, I am a good girl, may I have a treat?” “Huh? A treat?” “You said I was a good girl like I’m a fucking obedient animal, now where is my fucking treat!”
Because honestly, if I hear it one more time I’m going to lose my shit.
Make-up, Make-up, Make-up — it’s my other favourite thing to buy when I am not spending all my money on books. Buying clothes send me over the edge with self-esteem issues and so I just focus on letting my actual face say more than my unfashionable attire ever could.
But, I’ve been asked a few times what kind of make-up I wear. And they say like, oh my gosh, Jess, you are so lucky to be blessed with the genetic lottery that most parents could only dream of. No but honestly, I’ve had about four people ask me about my make-up. While I could probably just send the four of them a mass email, I figured I’d share some of my favourite make up products right here.
Also, it should be noted that my “make-up purse” is not so much of a purse as it is an entire bathroom vanity with used make-up wipes, products, earrings, hair pins / clips and combs strewn about messily — you know, a typical female boudoir. And it should also be noted that I am by no means a specialist of the make-up world. I have had no formal make-up lessons. I learn the very little techniques that I know from a couple of friends who are make-up artists.
This is a product post only (and I am not getting paid or endorsed by any brand, FYI).
So, I work in a day job that requires me to be in a first-point-of-contact type role so it’s probably better if I don’t scare the masses off by coming in to work without troweling my face on in the morning… so my daily look is something like this;
Yeah, that’s right. I totally made myself in to a GIF. I waited years for this to happen to me. Only, I didn’t really consider that I would be having to do the work myself; I figured it’d be at the hands of some kind of offensive comment I’d made in private to a BFF that would turn viral when she turns her back on me and shares it with a friend– who then shares it with two more friends and then that friend of the friends of my BFF post it online and then- oh, I think I made the point. I had to make the GIF myself.
I chose this gif over a photo because the video is what prompted the first two people to ask me about my make up and the one I got most compliments on. (You can see the video here)
I spend the most time making sure my eyes are perfect. Liquid eyeliner is my bestfriend. I’ve never been able to achieve the full “flick” that I want to, but I feel like I don’t need to figure that out unless I’m going to some rockabilly party (let’s be honest, this is never going to happen, I don’t know any rockabilly people that might invite me to one). My other favourite staple make-up piece is red friggin’ lipstick.
I used to be sooooo self-conscious about wearing red lipstick for all its smudging and bullshit, but I since discovered long-last/shine lipstick that is the key to making it work. (This sounds like an infomercial now: “I used to hate going out in public for fear of people noticing that I had taken a shit in my pants, ever since I got this adult diapers, I can shit my pants allll day long and nobody has to know!”) But more about that later.
Face Moisturiser: I use this because I have particularly dry skin at times. I don’t have a preference of which one to use, but I am a big fan of Soap & Glory moisturisers for dry skin. I put this on my t-zone first just so that my BB cream doesn’t flake off during the day. Nobody likes that look…
BB Cream / Foundation
I used to always say that if the product is cheap, I won’t put it near my skin. But that doesn’t explain why when I wear anything from MAC as a foundation, I wind up looking like an oompa loompa under natural light — or why my pores smell MAC foundation and break out at the mere intention of using it. I won’t touch anything from Maybelline, Revlon, etc — I went through a (misguided) phase where I thought using Napoleon’s foundation stick was okay (it was not) or that liquid foundation from Benefit was okay (again, it was not, looked orange, every time). So, one day while buying some products in the Chanel Emporium, I was given a sample of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Make-Up (Beige Rose for anyone interested). In Australian dollars, I believe its around the $80-90 mark.
It’s beautiful. You can wear it incredibly lightly or you slap it on with a trowel if it pleases you and it wears all day.
However, since it’s too beautiful and expensive to wear every day, I decided to try out this BB cream phase everyone is carrying on about. I just took the plunge and bought a NYX BB cream on a whim one day and it cost me around $18.95 — and huzzah! It is great! It gives me light or heavy coverage, depending on how awful my skin looks for that day.
Best of all? Neither of these make me look like a giant mud face who hasn’t taken a bath in a week. Even if I haven’t taken a bath in a week.
I hate bronzer. Bronzer is the devil. It makes mud faces look even more muddier (IMO) and when people don’t use it properly, they just look like they’re in the middle of contouring their face to look like one of the Kardashians. I am ALL about the blush! I love having cute rosey cheeks.
I wear a blush by Chanel – Blush Horizon de Chanel. I only need a tiny bit and over a year I’ve barely made a dent in it. It also comes with an awesome compact mirror so I can check my fine self out all day long to make sure I don’t have a stalk of broccoli caught in my teeth or something. I also have a nice blush from The Body Shop too, but I think my Chanel one has superceded it.
My eyes are important. I reckon if your eyes look great, it can change the whole look of your face. Like, I feel like my face looks dirty when I have clean eyes. So the eye products should be like a friggin’ whole post on its own.
Primer:MAC paint. I know I gave MAC a bit of a gentle jibing (dragging) above, but honestly, I like most of their products, its just that their Mascara and Foundation has been a let down for me in the past. Before MAC became the international sensation that it is now, I had heard about it from an American friend that was living in Australia. She had me go and pick up some products for her on a particular occasion. I remember at 21, balking at the price. Shortly after, I returned home from a trip to the U.S.A and while I was killing time in duty-free, I stumbled upon a MAC store and found that the products in Australia was up to two times more even after the currency conversion. I picked a whole bunch of different things — mascara, pigments, paints, eye shadows and so forth — the miracle I found was actually the paint.
Honestly, it’s been more than 10 years since I discovered this product and I still have found nothing that works quite like it. People have recommended a primer by Urban Decay, but since I don’t live anywhere near a Sephora or anywhere else that retails UD, I am sticking with what I know best. Mac Paint can be used sparingly. A little bit goes a very, very long way. I have bought it three times in 10 years and wear it on an almost-daily basis. It glides on (I am so uncultured, I use my fingers) easily and it allows your make-up to remain crease-free all day. Once I actually went to bed without taking my eye-make up off (lol, let’s not lie here, I’ve done this more than once) and when I woke up, my eye make-up was still perfect. The colour that I use is Blank Canvas (not pictured) which is a neutral base colour.
Shadow-wise, I’m a bit boring. Gone are the days where I used to get around wearing bright-ass colours (my favourite was green). I now use a copper pigment made by MAC. Yep, can’t beat the MAC pigments. I have been wearing them again for over 10 years and again, a little tiny bit goes a very long way and perhaps when used with MAC Paint it is the reason why it lasts so long without disturbance.
Also, on a trip to Sydney earlier in the year, I did make a stop to Sephora with my friend and I needed to buy a couple of different eyeshadows. I tried out a few things (it’s weird that in Sephora no one helps you apply make-up, that instead they point in the general direction of the applicators and tell you how to go with it — umm, thanks for your lack of help, this really makes me want to buy something…. or maybe I wasn’t hot or young enough to get the right service? Don’t they know that a person in their 30s has way more money to spend than the teenager with her gaggle of girlfriends? Who knows!) and came away with the Kat Von D Shade & Light Palette.
This Palette is highly pigmented and has been a great add-on to my daily make-up. If I feel like doing things a bit more special, I use one of the darker colours at the 3rd quarter of my eyelids and then use a brighter colour in my eyelid crease and blend it all together and it is really quite easy to apply. I’m not an expert, so I figure if I can handle it and not look much like a clown, anyone can. My favourite colour in this palette to use is the very bottom left colour.
Eyeliner – I don’t have a specific one that I use — I feel like I can’t go wrong using any kind of liquid eyeliner. I am using the NYX fat marker at the moment and I go between that and a Loreal one I picked up on special. I also use a pencil for my water line on the bottom. With liquid liner, I like them in pen form and the brush has to be soft or else I’ll look like a child colouring their eyes in with a crayon.
Benefit Roller Lashes
I used to use Benefit cosmetics in my early adult years but it just appears like a teenage girl brand and I guess I strayed away from it purely for that reason — I’m ready to be proven wrong of course if anyone can recommend anything, but I don’t know how I feel about this one, to be honest. It works nicely and does give my eyelashes a nice lift, but it has the potential to get very gluggy if you don’t apply it with just the right amount. I bought this cos it was a cheap alternative to the Chanel one that I use and friggin’ adore. It does it’s job I suppose but I don’t think its anything that special. I also received a sample of this from Sephora, I think that’s the only reason why I bought it. I think next time I will try a mascara from NARS.
Chanel Rouge – Double Intensite Ultra Wear Lip
This is amazing. I love this lipstick so much. It fetches for around $50 but I don’t care. I own three of them and I love them so much! Like the MAC Paint, I’ve gone to bed with this on and woken up with it entirely undisturbed. I have to use some lip conditioner or a make-up wipe for oil-y skin to get this off and that’s just the way I want it. It’s a double ended lip gloss with a shine finish that doesn’t feel tacky once it dries.
I am a big fan of reds, so I have three different shades of red in this. The range isn’t incredible, I wish they’d release more (bright pinks, nude pinks, etc) and I hope they never retire it. I put this on before work and its still there when I get home and you don’t have to worry about it smudging over the course of the day cos it doesn’t happen. The only thing that will cause this lipstick to wear, is anything oil-y. I don’t have to worry about that cos I rarely eat oil-y foods during the day (I wait til I’m alone to shove bs food in my pie-hole). 🙂
I want to give an honorable mention to two other products–
Chanel no 5 Perfume –– my boyfriend bought this for me a few Christmas’ ago and it is my favourite fragrance. I wear it in special occasions now because I am running low. Chanel no 5 Hair Mist – The. Best. Thing. Ever. It’s essentially perfume for your hair. It’s a love or hate fragrance. I love it. I want to walk around sniffing my own scalp all day ….
Use all these products and you can look like a giant n00b like me 😀
Upon scrolling up, I realise this mostly reads like an advert for Chanel… but its not, its just my taste for make-up so far. So, there you have it — it turned out to be a more involved post than I earlier expected… now I must dash.
So JennyInNeverland is dedicating an entire week to posts regarding mental health awareness. I feel like this comes as a really timely reminder for those that I love to take care of themselves and do all that they can do to make sure they are not only physically well, but mentally well too.
This also applies to me.
Truthfully, I have been reading so much to block out just how trying and difficult things feel at the moment. We, as people who deal with MH issues can sometimes find the whole thing so shameful that we neglect to share any of that info with anyone — including the people that we love. And when someone does finally suggest help to us, we seem to bat it away, telling those around us that we know how to cope.
Until, we don’t know how to cope anymore.
I stopped going to a psychologist last year because I felt like I had the tools and strategies that I needed and I didn’t like the inconvenience of having to attend sessions in the hours that I wasn’t working. I didn’t like talking about how I felt, I didn’t like facing my most real fears head-on and I certainly didn’t care for crying uncontrollably in front of someone who is really just a stranger.
My panic attacks are triggered sometimes multiple times a day. They are triggered by sometimes seemingly innocuous things such as someone saying something to make me think bad thoughts. It might be a fleeting thought, a worrisome comment and so forth… And when the panic sets in, the OCD sets in and unfortunately the OCD takes form in about a thousand different ways now. I’ve described my many forms of OCD before and how debilitating and exhausting it can be when I’m in the middle of it; and how illogical and hilarious it can seem when I am having a good day.
Last week I felt a sense that I’d forgotten something. It felt as though I left my keys behind or my purse. I went through a mental checklist — but I knew it was nothing physical. It was like trying to scratch something I couldn’t reach. It drove me crazy and each time I went through the mental checklist for a physical item (keys, purse, phone, keys, purse, phone, repeat) but I knew that it was more psychological. I endured that feeling for two days straight of high anxiety until I calmed down to realise that only one thing could make me feel better and that was to actually go and see my Mum and if she was okay, then I’d be okay.
And it was.
The anxiety that these routines catapult me in to are senseless and harmful and incredibly intrusive and more than anything, exhausting.
The most common issue with medicated mental health illness is that when people feel okay, they stop and then the cycle begins again. I am personally not medicated at this point, but I know many who are and this seems to be something I’ve heard. I have never understood it since I don’t take myself off antibiotics or stop when I feel better…
However… I realised that I was doing the exact same thing with psychology. I feel okay, so I stop. And I know I feel better when I do go, but when I’m in a bad place, its the absolute last thing that I want to do — grovel back to a psychologist and shamefully explain that I need help again. Because each time I have to reach out, it feels like I’ve failed and I’ve let everyone down.
What’s upsetting is that this illness isn’t who I am and I don’t want it to define me, but it’s so consuming that most days it feels as though it already has. We, who suffer these kinds of MH issues, become masters of disguise. We hide our anxieties, compulsions, depression — whatever — so well that others can’t usually tell.
What I find triggering is how often I hear someone talking about how we make a choice to be happy, a choice to make a difference in our lives — but it is infuriating because if I could make a choice, I’d take away all of these intrusive and compulsive thoughts.
Fuck, some days I don’t even feel like I have a choice in whether or not I can get myself out of bed in a timely manner because I’m exhausted by how little sleep I’ve had the night before, or how intrusive the thoughts are…
So, I was inspired by two people in my life who took charge of their headspace and decided to get help. I was inspired by JennyInNeverland‘s Tweets to finally call a psychologist and start getting the help that I need rather than frittering away inside my blanket fort with far too many books while swearing to never leave until its safe to come out.
I don’t always blog about books. If you go through my previous posts, you’ll see a few things about life, my family and my own internal struggles, but predominantly what you’ll read here are posts and reviews about the books that I’m reading.
If you go back on my blog a little over a year ago, you’ll find the few posts I made with my Mum’s returned cancer in her lungs. You’ll read the posts where I alluded to bad news but didn’t confirm it ’til a few posts later. It’s been a long, hard road over the past few years and more tears than I’ll ever allow anyone know.
You’ll also read my struggles with general anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Some days those issues are triggered harder than others. And generally my OCD symptoms change dependant on what has triggered it.
Quite honestly, there’s not a lot of things that can make me feel normal for a period of time where I can forget the parts of my reality that can sometimes feel overwhelming or upsetting. Sometimes I play play station because it requires all of my undivided attention and other times I binge-watch TV shows until my butt is sore from not moving.
But the one thing that feels calms me in a failsafe way are books. It requires all of my attention to read and I can suck myself in to an alternate world where I am looking inside other people’s worlds, giving me a reprieve from my own.
This is not to take away the fantastic love and support from my family, friends and partner, but sometimes there is only so much that they can do or say to make me feel any better. If anything, the situation is just as helpless for them as it is to me. I hate bothering people with my devastation and my tears, so I focus my energy on all of the books that I enjoy reading, in reviewing them and working on this blog.
As I’ve written on this site earlier: words are so powerful and when I am not reading, I am writing. In the same essence that writing sucks me in to another world, my own fictional writings make me create a world that I wish I could be a part of or one that helps me cope with the world that I am a part of.
Books are important to me especially at this point in my life. Reality is important too, but books have always been an important escapism in my life and since I’ve always loved blogging, book blogging seems to be mutually exclusive.
I hope stories will continue to take me from my reality just enough to forget for a little while, or at least renew my hopes when I feel hopeless.
Sometimes when you’re on the other side of a shit week, everything feels stagnant. Sometimes it can be akin to depression in that there’s no high or low– its just flat and everything feels ‘bleh’.
Everything feels calm and I am really not complaining. However with the awfulness of last week, I seem to have lost motivation in a lot of aspects. I started eating a whole lot of shit food, had a couple of soft drinks and really got in to the wine over the weekend.
I just want to feel good again – happier, at least.
I hate to be moody and inconsistent in the way that I feel. I hate that I can’t get myself going in the mornings, that it takes me three tries before I get out of bed. That I cry for no real reason over some really stupid shit (like the fact that I have to straighten my hair and I desperately don’t want to have to turn it on because then I’ll panic all day about whether or not its off properly). I hate that I will end up crying because I don’t feel much of anything. I hate that I’m not overly affectionate and I don’t want to be coddled.
But in a total twist, I find it easy to be motivated to do the most useless things.
Playing Xbox360 for 6 hours without a break. Doing laundry (wtf? I know, I am surprised too, this is my least favourite task) and reorganising the pantry and then even my bedroom and then watching three hours of the original series of Degrassi High (the first place I ever got any sex ed?).
I guess its just a matter of going through the motions again.
I canceled my personal training session last week because I was mentally unable to really cope with much that day let alone trying to put on a brave face and exercise for an hour and pretend that everything was okay.
Tomorrow I have another session and I’m determined that tomorrow is more than just a new day.
Well, you probably don’t because I only began to get real hits on my blog in the past 8 months, but you can go back and read the post that reeks of desperation and loneliness that I felt about being 30 and not having any female friends that lived locally.
A lot has changed in two years.
On friday night I went out with friends and then came back to my place with them for a girls night. I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed so hard. Or the last time I stayed up til well after 4 in the morning. So, I suppose that’s why my weekly wrap-up is a tad on the late side this week.
Given, you know, that I spent the entirety of Saturday sleeping on and off and feeling really hung over (even though I didn’t drink).
The week was really busy, I took my Mum to her chemo appointment on Tuesday and I went to visit a friend at work who turned 33 — I encountered some old customers and another one of my ex-work mates. I had trouble sleeping through the week and I finished the Anita Cobby book that was slowly tearing me apart emotionally.
I will be writing the review for it tomorrow night — I just didn’t really get the time last week.
Tuesday I have a check up with my specialists down in the city. I have three appointments in on day and I’ve got a little anxiety about it and for the past week I’ve been dealing with some asthma which I think is due to the moody AF weather.
Anyway, I’m back on the wagon exercise wise, cutting out the crap, and ready to get in to it again. Hopefully my asthma clears up.
Also, only $219 to go until I reach my shave goal of $2000! 🙂
I’ve had such a big week and I’m bloody exhausted.
I think I’m going to write a regimented friday night weekly wrap-up of all the highlights of my week — I won’t bother SEO’ing the shit out of it, because nobody cares about my otherwise mundane lifestyle to this point.
So firstly — my fundraising? It is SMASHING! Since I last looked, I have raised $1060.80 leaving just $429.20 to raise until I reach my $1500 goal. I am so excited and overwhelmed by how quickly people have supported me. Although, there is a little part of me that wonders if people are simply paying this because they are aware of how much of an idiot I’m going to look like when the regrowth sets in. Honestly, it makes me feel a little nervous. I have a donation box at work that my customers have been kindly donating to — my old workplace has been so sweet to put a donation box up for and the hairdresser that I go to is also going to put a tin out for me to get some donations there too.
I’m going to get my hair done tomorrow morning — for the last time before the shave. I’m thinking about deviating away from blonde and doing something different, partially because I’m getting bored with it but mostly because I have so much product in my hair that it’s made my scalp so itchy that I made myself bleed and I can only imagine the burn from the peroxide tomorrow if I just do a retouch on my Madonna-like roots.
Book-wise; I’ve had so many request for reviews in my inbox that I may actually start a waiting list. I know that sounds a bit pretentious, but it might give authors a better idea of the turn-around time. I have two books on the go at the moment; neither of them are review requests, but the next one will be.
I’m currently reading a book about the murder of Anita Cobby. I’m only halfway through and it is such a disturbing read that I can neither put it down or stand to read parts of it for too long without feeling too affected by it. As I pointed out to my friend tonight — the details of the murder are so grisly and so depraved that there is a reason why 30 years on I’ve shed tears reading it. Not only that, but it is hard to believe this took place in the area where I grew up as a child — somewhere that at the time felt relatively safe (these days its a very different story). It’s such a harrowing read that last night I had to start a second, fluffy light read to overshadow the depravity I’d read about so that I wouldn’t go to sleep with awful dreams.
My own writing?
I’m on the move. I opened the file. I reviewed, re-capped, considered an entirely new rewrite, but I think I’m just going to continue with it as it is and see where it takes me. If at the end of it, I get stuck or I don’t like it, I can rework it– or I can trash it and start again. I was so excited over it a month ago but I’ve lost my spark. I don’t know why, possibly a case of writer’s block.
Work: It’s like something has changed within me (soooomething is not the same, I’m through with playiiiiin by the ruuuuules of someone else’s gaaa-aame…ahem, as you were). I feel really motivated and excited by my role. It could be that my role has changed so I am looking forward to new challenges, but either way, I’ve probably put in more hours recently than ever and I feel happy to wake up and go to work. Its not to say I don’t have shit days or days where I don’t feel this driven attitude; we all have that, my job can be emotionally draining, but I’m overall the happiest I’ve ever been at work. It’s nice to feel like this especially after all the year of feeling so distracted.
This week in Victoria its a long weekend – but since I have a day off on Tuesday; its a long long weekend.
I’m going to really enjoy doing nothing.
Meanwhile I’m working on the book review of the Anita Cobby murder book and my next post about all the lies that I’d like to tell people.
Have a great weekend, folks and let me leave you with the funniest thing I’ve enjoyed today!