What depression is to me – because sometimes, when you’re depressed, you can only talk about depression. Then laugh at it.

Every bout of depression surprises me like I’m 14 and it’s my first period all over again. Yes, I was a late bloomer and I wish I could feel the jealously of millions of women around the world, if only this thick layer of depression didn’t do exactly as the word says it does. Surely that rich jealously from women would cure any depression? I’ll add it to the list of Reasons I Shouldn’t Be Depressed pinned up in some ignorant fuckers minds. But sadly (the irony) there will be no pinning as I am channelling Ringo Star today and therefore take back any snarky word I’ve said – peace and love, peace and love.

It’s like a ghost tapping on my shoulder when I’m really engrossed in an activity. I’m mindlessly scooting or painting a tree branch and BOO. Except there’s no BOO, there’s nothing to see, just empty space, no proof for others of what just happened in my brain. I’m still looking over my shoulder though, there has to be a culprit. I’m looking over my shoulder just to prove to you that something is going on and I’m not just crazy. I’m looking over my shoulder to see if others are also looking over their shoulders. I must be surrounded by people that also feel like Nearly Headless Nick just passed through them. These Dementors are real, I swear. J.K. wasn’t lying. You understand, right? You have to understand. What do you mean we are all different? You don’t like Harry Potter? Oh, wow, that just tops it all off. Well, I’m in Hufflepuff, I’ll have you know. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A HUFFLEPUFF IS? Depression gone, replaced with rage. That cured it. Peace and love, peace and love.

I moved my entire room around yesterday. It’s unimportant to what I’m writing other than the hilarity that I was breaking down in tears every 10 minutes. Why, you ask? Are you due to bleed from your vagina, or do you have a little human growing in said vagina? Nah. Apparently moving heavy furniture by yourself does this to you. You don’t know, maybe every person who has ever moved furniture by themselves has just cried the entire time, and I’m the first person brave enough to admit it. Or, and a much more reasonable answer, my body decided to not sweat from my armpits, but rather from my eyes. I have no memory of smelling so it probably is true. I mean, The Flight Of The Conchords didn’t write the song I’m Not Crying for no reason. Needless to say, this time round the depression seems to be a bit more random and spontaneous. Oh, how exciting! A spontaneous depression.

I’m not stopping doing things. My bed is my friend but tonight I’m going rock climbing. Tomorrow James and I are going for a picnic in a park that we have only briefly visited once before, but I’m a little unsure about it. It looks like a place people would go dogging, and I’m not sure that I want to be sitting there eating a scotch egg while there’s people dogging in the bushes next to me. Might put me off my food, you know? Spreading my philly as they’re spreading their… Or dipping into my houmous as they’re dipping into… It’s best if I stop that there. I just envision a sudden break down of crying on my part, still eating my cherry tomatoes between sobs as they start to taste more and more salty from my tears rolling down my face, which makes me cry more, then, softly at first, you hear moaning. Then louder and louder as my cries match the volume and pitch. One bush apart from each other – immense joy and immense pain.

Now I re-read the part about us only briefly visiting this park before, sounds like we were the ones dogging.

This is where my sad and tired brain is at. It is what it is. Peace and love.

 

Going from one bed to another

I seem to have gotten into a routine of bed hopping. Now hold on one second, that is not anything sexual before you think it! But quite frankly I’m charmed that you would think that I could pull that many guys to bed hop like that. Thank you. Sadly, I mean because of my work schedule, James’s work schedule, my depression and, lets be honest, laziness, my new routine is literally to leave one bed for the next. Like a beauty vlogger; My Morning Routine! My Daily Routine! My Nightly Routine! Bed. I’m in bloody bed. It’s always bed. I’m in bed as I write this. It’s 18:09. 

Let’s lay it out. For the last two weeks James has been getting up at 6:30am for work, and seeing as the only time we can see each other is in the week, I am there. Waking up. At 6:30am. On my days off. I get home at 7:30am and go straight to bed. I don’t sleep, I drink coffee, blog, watch YouTube. Bed.

Suddenly it’s like 10am, shit. I must do something. How about a tea this time? Well, while I’m drinking it; bed. Breakfast? Bed. What’s next? What do I want to do? I go off and do it, and then when I’m not; bed. Maybe bed is my ‘sofa’ because I live with my parents. Whatever, it’s still a bed.

I’ve said bed so many times it’s no longer a word.

Bed.

Bunk.

Chaise.

Berth.

Trundle.

Thank you Google.

Is my bed the best one in the world? No*. I feel like it hardly resembles a mattress with all the lumps, bumps and indentations, probably from me spending the whole of my existence in it. I think the real reason is because it’s in the centre of all my things. My plants I love watering, my laptop, any craft things, clothes, make up, I dunno, everything I own I suppose. But it’s a bed, it screams lay down. Chill. Browse YouTube. Have another coffee. Then before you know it, I’m going back to James’s to another bed because he’s bed is like his ‘sofa’.

It doesn’t hurt at the moment, like I’m not frustrated at how much time I’m in bed because I’ve been really low. Which, god, sounds like the worst idea. I’m still active, I went for a 3.51 mile walk today, going for a scoot with the dogs tonight, wrote a blog post (not including this one), made bruschetta, made probably about 5 cups of tea or coffee… I just rest in bed in between, I recharge. I’m looking after myself. This is dangerous territory though, I’m fully aware. I do not want to go back to the days when I lived in bed and wouldn’t leave.

Now this is the point in the post where I should make a vow that I won’t keep or put myself up for a challenge that I’m just not mentally prepared for. Nah, I’ll give that a miss for now. No Trying To Stay Out Of My Bedroom For A Week challenge. No I Promise To Only Use My Bed For Sleeping vow

Here’s what I’ll do, a compromise if you will, I’ll move my bed. To be fair, I’ve been thinking it a while. Well, like a week. I’ll start that in this post right now actually, so when I get home tomorrow I mean, because there’s going to be a lot to move, like, fucking hell, why do I have a arm chair in my room? (Surely that should be my ‘sofa’?!) (Mind blown) If I move my bed to the corner of the room, rather than the centre, I’ll have room to move, do my crafts etc. I don’t know what else, this experiment might not work.. But I’m giving it a go!! Because it’s not healthy to keep bed hopping and I really don’t want to catch an STI!

That was a joke. A poor one I know. Still a joke.

 

*When reading this to James he wanted me to include that although my bed isn’t the best in the world, he thinks his bed is;

“No, don’t add I think it is, say ‘his bed is the best in the world’,”

“Yeah, ‘he thinks his bed is the best in the world’,”

“No! ‘his bed is the best in the world’!”

“That’s what I said, ‘he think his bed is the best in the world’.”

People get so touchy about their beds.

“Get out of mine then if you think it’s not the best in the world.”

 

‘You believed in Santa for 8 years – try and believe in yourself for 10 seconds’

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‘It was actually 11 years,’ I didn’t want to give up that dream, but wise words from my boyfriend, James, there.

I’ve had the unpleasant experience recently of being graced with someones presence that loves to shit on other people. Not literally, that I know of, other wise this whole blog post would be about something completely different and I’m not sure I would want to go on. What I mean is bringing others down. Especially if they aren’t part of the norm. And hellooo, here I am, definitely not part of the norm. I am playful, I am young at heart, I love making stuff and I’m not afraid anymore. You hear me? I’m not afraid anymore! Name that reference.

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“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.” 

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” 

Jim Morrison

I’ve always been an analyser so I’m aware if someone is insecure they like to bring others down to feel better, they feel powerless and so want to regain it. Even so, it still works, it’s not nice. Growing up I’ve always been sensitive (which isn’t a bad thing, no matter what others say) and now I suffer with anxiety and depression (which this person knew about!) but because of that I had to toughen up. I think that’s a natural byproduct of mental health problems. My whole life I’ve balanced along a line of ‘Emily, it’s cool, chill’ or ‘am I making excuses for others when really I’m not being sensitive, they were just being a prick?’ When you are younger it’s more confusing and you aren’t sure of the situation, it’s clouded in hormones, and I tended to question why they say stuff in the first place and then blame myself. I’m 26, I think I’m allowed to say when it isn’t cool.

Some people are just walking targets for those who are too self aware of what others think, and it comes to a point where you just accept it. Even take it as a compliment. ‘You’re attacking me because I’m not afraid to be myself? Cool. What does that say about you?’ I never have covered up, I’ve always been unapologetically myself and after this recent situation I’ve realised I’ve allowed myself to decide, I don’t need anyone else to guide me, whether that person was wrong or not – my life and my choices. That person was a prick.

 

“I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.’

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

I’m not going to lie to you, this incident brought me really down low, like phoning James at 6:30 in the morning crying low. Sidenote: I was walking to work, I didn’t randomly wake up crying nor am I just being dramatic with the time of day. His wise words lifted me a lot, which is where this title quote was slotted among – along with a lot more graphic worded ones.

 

“Power over others is weakness disguised as strength”

Eckhart Tolle

It’s hard when someone does stamp on you after trying to help yourself for so long. You feel like you’re back at square one. Especially if they are hitting all your triggers and checking off that list of things you dislike about yourself – even without you realising at the time. What plays on my mind even more is that I was so polite back, as usual. I hated myself after for that but at the end of the day it’s because I’m nice. That’s a good thing, self reminder, it’s a good thing.

Although I don’t think I would have felt better if it wasn’t for James, I love that I have gotten to a place where I’m like fuck it. There’s no other way to explain it than fuck it. If you’re the kind of person that kicks someone down for being themselves then you have a big problem, not me. Fuck people like that. I’m chill, I love who I am. What more; I’m proud.

So you may have noticed the random photos of things I’ve made or done, cushioned in with quotes from things I love, and thought it had no relation to the text – well that’s me putting up a massive middle finger.

(Not to you reading this, that’s just rude – that’s not me.) (Has the impact of that last sentence gone now? I’m okay with it.)

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“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

RuPaul

You can’t cure depression with a bath bomb

I’m facing and conquering a dilemma today. It’s a very proud moment and it involves a bubble bath which is where we all feel most proud..? Now don’t get too excited, the story isn’t that interesting and it lacks a start, middle and, come to think of it, an end. It all started when I turned 26, my birthday, a month ago, and I received some lush goodies as a present from my sister. I was overjoyed, I do love some me some lush and I also love me a bubble bath. I am also poor, side-note. I’m also going to stop using this ‘story time’ ‘kids TV’ ‘presenter’ voice I have going on in my head.

So poor, old Emily started to use the wonderful products. She was very happy with them and therefore tried to make them last as long as possible, with the knowledge that every bath she had without these products would be a wasted bath. It was an act of balancing the want and need of feeling special while trying to prolong the products but therefore feeling only a little bit special but for a longer time. I was never a Queen, I was always like 17th place to the thrown, like there was no way I would get there and I’m not famous enough for new generations to know who I am, but I still have my daddies money to fall back on. All an example, there is no daddies money. How dare he.

Then came a day when all I had left was a bath bomb and a very small amount of something that I cant remember. You’d think if it was that special to me I would remember the name? Oh well. I was a little lost at what to do. Then I had a thunderous day. Very depressed and anxious. I was like ‘today is the day to use the little bit left over’.

And so I did..

And felt no different.

So I was like ‘turns out you can’t cure depression with a bath bomb.’ Lesson learnt.

Lets get back to present day. I’m not 100% all the bloody time, that’s impossible, but I’m feeling a lot more positive today, even this week. I haven’t had a lush bubble bath for a long time now and I have one bath bomb left. Maybe the trick is to use it on a day you feel good, not bad. Then it isn’t wasted. Here’s the test – I feel good, I wrote I post I’m proud to publish tomorrow and I’m a bit stinky. Today is the day. I’m ready.

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Verdict? It was alright actually, yeah. Nothing really changed. I enjoyed the face mask and coffee too. I preferred the ‘little bit left’ one. Erm, maybe it works its lush magic more when you’re exhausted from doing so much stuff? Next time maybe I’ll work out first, do something physical, or accomplish something with my life. I still feel pretty good though, may have prolonged that. Oh well, till next time lush, till next time.

 

Ways I’m trying to combat the holiday blues

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To stop me moping, to stop the phrase ‘a week ago I was in such and such place’ and in all my efforts to stay positive, I’ve written a list for myself to beat the holiday blues. And oh wow they’re hitting me all over at the moment. They’ve got boxing gloves on and aren’t playing fair.

I’ve never really got them before, in the past I was always excited to come home to something. I always missed something. My last two week holiday was without my boyfriend so I missed him and didn’t get the blues when I did return. This time? Nothing, except I missed my little brother and my comfort blanket. I could have kept on going. No offence to any friends or family reading this (and also yes, I have a comfort blanket and I’m not ashamed to say it) (I wouldn’t have missed it if I remembered to pack it, I forgot, I wasn’t being an ‘adult’ and left it behind like my Mum thought.)

I’ve been back less than a week and I am irritable, restless and oh dear my first shift back at work was difficult. I just kept thinking ‘but I just don’t want to do this’ and then another voice in my head was saying ‘but you know you have to’, and the reply was ‘yeah, but I don’t think you understand. I really don’t want to’. Oh, and I am very stubborn, side note. I just know travelling is for me and once you get a taste like I did it’s so difficult to not want more. It’s like an addiction. Like, I’m okay and happy, but if I get a thought about travelling something in my body changes and I get restless sitting at my desk job. Now’s not the time to ponder jobs though.

I’m allowing myself to bask in missing holiday in a positive way. In a way that makes me want to save up for my next one. But for someone who dabbles in depression, I say like it’s enjoyable, I want to help nip this negative feeling in the bud. I also want to prevent going off into my own la la land, day dreaming about my last trip or future trips. I want to snap back to the present.

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Here’s what I’ve been trying/planning to do;

  • continue to style and tidy my bedroom. Woah, well that sounds like the most boring thing a 25 year old could do. Nah, I love being creative with my surroundings.
  • blogging. I need to make sure that when I get an interesting thought I write it down and try to expand on it. I did this for the whole two weeks while I was travelling, which is the most consistent I’ve ever been with this blog, and it felt fucking amazing.
  • listen to music. Really listen. It’s a good way to keep you in the present in general, and it’s uplifting. My mind likes to do something where a thought pops up, let’s say its negative about being back, and rather accept the thought for what it is and move on with my life, I stop… and stare into space… while the feeling and thought consumes me… and I haven’t even realised it.
  • but if the thought’s too strong I have to write it down. No matter what I’m originally doing. Let them go, you know.
  • gym! Exercise! I think a big thing about the holiday blues is that you feel like you’re in limbo. Before the trip it was like everything in your life is building up to that holiday and that’s your focus. You come back with that achieved but with no direction. The thing with regularly exercising is that it puts that stability back. You feel like there’s a goal even though there isn’t a specific goal. So while I’m straightening my brain and looking for my next focus, exercise can pretend to be it.
  • be singular. Be selfish. To a certain extent. I don’t mean be a bitch, fob everyone off, sit in bed and eat chocolate. More like.. You’re feeling low, be careful with yourself. Be best friends with yourself and treat yourself good. And eat chocolate.
  • be social and chill with pals.
  • remember there’s still things to do with the past trip! You haven’t printed the photos yet and I’m sure there’s so many thoughts to come from it. I love a ponder and thought. It’s not completely over.

This is what I’ve figured out so far. Mainly create!! Even if it’s from a negative feeling, like right now with this post. I’ve been doing my bedroom, blogging and listening to music. Haven’t exercised yet but I’m pretty tempted to put my running shoes on right now actually. I just finished work though, and I wake up at 4:15am on work days. I know I’m definitely going to the gym in the week at least. Let’s be realistic now, I just opened a Easter egg.

I’m getting there. I’m hopeful.

 

 

 

Thoughts After Therapy #11 The Final One

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Written after my CBT therapy

Thoughts 7/4/17

Today feels like a celebration. I don’t feel like I have anything negative to write because it literally feels like I’ve just finished school – in a good way, not like ‘yay, no more school!’ more like a ‘yay, I got through it but isn’t it sad it’s over!’ way. The elation right now, surely I’ve felt this for things other than finishing school but I can’t think what.

Today was simply a recap, like preparing me for the future – wait, did I actually just finish school?! I feel like I learnt more important things than school. Oh snap, Mr Harrison just got burnt! See? Totally on a high about it. I’m at a party in my mind. Anyway.. we spoke about ways to prevent relapse. I have to check in on myself, see how I feel and if anything is wrong nip it in the bud with the tools I’ve learnt. I had to write down a summary for myself of things I’ve learnt and stick it up somewhere as a little reminder. There is fear about the future, I’m apprehensive therapy is over, it’s scary being thrown back into the big bad world and it’s up to you to make sure you stay okay. I don’t like pressure, that’s probably it, and now I have to do things on my own and look after myself.

Oh my God, now this is going to sound crazy (well, I did just have therapy.. ) but this whole time I’ve been singing a song in my head. Just realised it’s The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles. My brain is being dramatic without my say.

Anyway, therapy, lets chat about therapy as a whole as this is the last post. Not the techniques but the impact. It has helped me in ways I didn’t even think it would (I’m listening to that song while writing this now, I recommend you do it). She asked me if I got what I wanted from it and I said I got so much more. I hoped that my health anxiety would get better, I hoped to be able to control my worrying and panic attacks but I didn’t think everyday Emily would feel this different. That may be where the being compassionate to myself part comes into play. I’m so much more comfortable and confident. I think it’s put me on a journey, it’s given me a nudge and I’ve had many revelations and questions pop up, unrelated to therapy, but has brought more joy to my life. I am an ideas person, I make stuff, and it has pulled that need in me out even more. A need to do exactly what I want to do. Little things have happened too like I’ve realised I’m definitely an outdoors person, I get more joy from being outside, or being more accepting of people. I’ve learnt the importance in not concentration too much on myself and how I feel, but concentrate on my life, not other peoples life. Also to not place your happiness onto other others. Now, I’m practising what I’ve always preached.

It’s hard to write things like this without the cheese oozing out but I genuinely mean it. I am so glad and I am so proud of myself.

It’s actually strange to think of how I was. In the beginning God created Heaven and the Earth, and then my health anxiety. I would go to bed thinking I was dying, convinced I was dying. I was so mad at myself being that way. I was so sad. But now when my health anxiety pops up? I accept that my thoughts are going a little bit crazy, I ride out the panic with a neutral, unenthusiastic ‘oh, okay, this is happening,’ then when it’s finished, it’s over. There’s highs and lows but it’s okay. I watch my thoughts pass by, where as I would let them consume my body before. It’s gone from my thoughts being piranhas to clouds in the sky. Sure there’s thunder and lightening but I’m not standing there with an umbrella, under a big tree on top of a hill.

The experience is different for all I’m sure. I do think a huge part is just being open to it. It sounds impossible, absurd and foreign. Talking about feelings is not an ‘English thing’, friends and family don’t even like to hear how you’re doing in therapy in detail. I’m quite an open minded person and I had therapy before so I just wanted it to work, there wasn’t much in me that didn’t think it wouldn’t. I know lots of people that have tried therapy and wrote it off early on. Obviously it depends on the therapist and I think I lucked out, she’s cool.

Today was good. When you feel good, things fit together. Bad things will happen in my life, that’s guaranteed, but all I can do is keep working on myself because it’s important. Then when a bad thing happens I deal with it in a healthy way, be ‘human sad’ as I call it, not ‘depression sad’. Before, when God made the Heaven and Earth etc, I knew there wasn’t any point to worrying about the bad things but couldn’t get out of the cycles I was spiralling in. I’m getting out of the spiral now and I’m not so dizzy and I’ve been smiling more.

Plus my boyfriend got me a bigger bag of lemon bonbons to celebrate. Not even joking, they’re going to last me a life time.

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My bubble of successes this year

I get in this assumption that with time passing I must be more wise and, for lack of a better word, ‘better’. I don’t know what the better is and it’s not as much pressure as it used to be – as been figured out recently I have some high standards. I think it’s at a healthy level now, it’s just me hoping that I’m trying at whatever I’m doing/interested in at that moment. Saying this I caught myself out today when I was watching some YouTube video from December and I naturally assumed it wouldn’t be as good at this YouTubers latest vlogs. Four months have passed since then (but I had to think about that anyway because it went by so fast) and my natural reaction was off putting because this YouTuber is ‘better’ now at her craft than a third of a year ago, yeah? No. Possibly, but nothing works like that. It’s not black and white is it, Emily? Who am I to judge her anyway? I don’t know her and the vlog was good, entertaining, inspiring, and my initial reaction to the date had nothing to do with the quality of the vlog, so does she need to change anyway? I don’t really feel like I’ve changed a lot in four months. Still, I wouldn’t go back to past me. Not even yesterday.

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Example that time can mean nothing in my life, an actual real life example; I absolutely love The Beatles. Favourite band. I just googled it and their first song was released 55 years ago. It’s been 48 years since my favourite song, Here Comes The Sun.

Progress is good but adding time into the mix isn’t.. always.. for me. You can get into a cycle of just wanting more and not even realising your successes. New isn’t always better, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Maybe my environment has taught me to automatically think ‘this is so old! It was made in December!’, when really time is irrelevant on the worth.

At the same time I’m totally guilty for assuming I’ve achieved nothing too, when in retrospect I have. I can’t compare myself to others my age and what they’ve achieved but in my little bubble of the world I’ve gotten better. Better to what? I don’t know, but I’m proud of my timeline. So here are some good things that have happened these past four months, in my bubble;

started work after time off sick – and now settled in

started CBT therapy

leaps and bounds better

did a blog post about each session

learnt a lot in therapy in general and feel good about it

painted my bedroom (and ignored any judgements about the colours)

helped with painting at my pregnant best pals house

threw out so many of my belongings

sold clothes on ebay, sold DVDs, cashed in my pot of coins (nearly £100)

joined a gym

use the gym

started to plan a road trip

socialise so much more

started writing a new book

started writing in my old diary again

waking up at a normal time

got a lot more into music

starting reading books again

doing housework (this one is huge)

I’m dancing around the house again

did more drawings

I feel happy right now.