Wearing the damn crown.

It’s a hell of a process to finally admit when you’re in trouble. Since it felt like my life led up to that one big moment, it was almost anticlimactic when things remained much as they always did. The big reveal was not the end, nor the beginning. It was a clearing of the throat, before continuing to breathe as normally as I ever have.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking through old blog posts, private journals and like. I know now that the shame and embarrassment of a life led like mine isn’t unique. There’s a safety in admitting that you’re not a special snowflake with problems and issues no one else can understand. It’s a relief to recognise that mental illness is not a problem I face alone in the world. My drama queen tendencies are symptomatic of my imbalance, and can be corrected. They are not who I am any more than this illness is. Even through the simple act of ageing, I cut out a lot of the immaturity I once claimed as a vital part of my identity. The work in that department continues, but awareness is a happy byproduct of growing the fuck up.

Still, I often wonder, ‘now what?’ Moving forward, taking ownership – why does life still feel nothing has really changed? Since admitting I needed help, I’ve began really taking my health seriously. I’ve had a few slips but for the most part I’ve took my medication, really examined my past behaviour and current reactions. I am noting the way my physical health affects my mental health, and vis versa. I realise I’m being more introspective and less demonstrative – which is probably a relief to my loved ones! Yet with all that I still feel overwhelmed by life and sometimes that can go to dangerous places. I’m coming to terms with the fact that bringing that side of the darkness to light hasn’t made it go away. It was maybe naïve to think so. There’s still a ways to go and most likely, it’ll just be something I deal with for the rest of my life. Not an encouraging thought, but perhaps a realistic one.

So I’m taking a page out of my old book and writing again. I enjoy it, and it forces me to examine my thoughts. Why online? Why not? Part of this is recognising I’m not actually alone – and really, how alone can I be online? Plus, I’ve received so much support from friends, family, even strangers. I’m never going to turn that down. It helps. And maybe, just maybe – the words I write can help someone else too. The worst thing about being open about mental illness is accusations of attentionwhoretiatis. Even when faced with suicidal ideation, self harming, voices telling you what a horrible worthless person you are – the stigma of playing at it for attention is so terrifying that so many people do not seek real help at all. I sure didn’t. But I’m not playing by that rule book now. It’s not helpful. So if you must, stick that diagnosis in with the others. Frankly, it’s the least of my concerns.

I’m pulling the reins now, and I’m giving them a good snap. What now? Let’s see.

(Title inspired by my ‘hiding in plain sight‘ post)

Advertisements

Hiding in plain sight.

tw – this talks about suicide and ideation. It is pretty graphic in places, but I didn’t want to pussyfoot around or downplay the seriousness of this issue. If you feel like this may trigger your own illness, please do not read this and call a group or local medical authority for help. I’ve included 2 numbers for UK and US readers since that where stats tell me most of my readers are from.

Mind – 03001233393 (UK) 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -1-800-273-8255 (USA)

Continue reading

Lughnasadh

I don’t write about my religious beliefs much. I tried to, but let’s face it – it’s a sticky subject, and a conversation I don’t need to be having with strangers on the internet. That being said, I will say that I am quite spiritual, and have faith. Just not in organised religion. It’s a long and boring (for those of you who aren’t me) story that I may tell another time, and it leads to a greater appreciation and wonder of the world around me.

Lughnasadh has always been a favourite sabbat of mine. More than any other, it reminds me to take note of my hard work, where it’s paid off, and how I need to work in the future. It lets me pause to reap the harvest of what I’ve put into my life, both good and bad – and deal with the consequences of that truth. Right now, it couldn’t have come at a better moment. Almost like what I’m doing and how I’m doing it reached a point where I take what I’ve got so far and run with it. This is what I have to see me through winter, and beyond.

So as I lift my hands and brace myself to work hard, I feel loved and blessed by influences within and without. I ask for the strength, will and determination to see my plans though. I want to give my all. To grow, live, learn and succeed.

This is my prayer to Lugh.

I’m in Wales!

So a last minute family thing meant last Monday I woke up in Cardiff. Don’t worry, I meant to be there! I came down after I decided I needed to see my awesome sister, she was a few days post partum after giving a wonderful couple their longed for child and I just wanted to…. Well, I’ll be honest, I wanted to get drunk with her! So, large bottle of gin in hand (courtesy of the fabulous Maclean-Greavey’s!) I booked a sleeper coach down to Wales -a bargain at twice the price at £15 – I left on Sunday night and cosied in to my bunk and watched movies until I fell asleep.

Side note – Megabus have seriously upped their game with these new(ish) sleeper coaches. Warm, clean, free wifi and a socket for each customer, I would have paid more than £15 to travel down considering I usually pay much more to travel by train and that usually involves a 5 hour stop over in Crewe to save money! Will be using again 🙂

Monday morning was wonderful, I got to see the kids before they went to school and I caught up with Lyndsay, who I’ve not seen since my wedding 3 months ago. When she was still very pregnant. On the hottest day of the year. Oops. She wasn’t best pleased, obviously. The rest of the week has past in a blur of late night gin, playing with the kids, bursting with pride at hearing them read, kicking my sister and brother-in-law out for the whole day (then night ;p), and falling asleep listening to Rhi the hamster spin in her wheel.

I’m staying at my mums tonight, and tomorrow we’re driving back to Glasgow. I’m sad to leave, but home is calling me and I miss my husband. (Squee!) the time away has helped me recharge my batteries and I’m raring to go, hit the ground running etc etc. I need to find a new job, restart taking care of myself and stop letting things overwhelm me. I’ve let myself spiral back down without really noticing and pretty much every aspect of my life has suffered. Being in Wales this week has crystallised my mind and reaffirmed my commitment to myself and my mental health. It’s funny, I came here to be there for my sister and she ended up helping me more. As usual. Of course, I still fed her gin though!

So yeah. Home. And when I’m home – things are changing. For the better. And when I’m feeling down, I know now only £15 will find me back in gorgeous Wales, my second home, to regroup. It’s a lovely thought.

20131006-220009.jpgsky on fire from the back garden.

On how bullying sucks

Please always know you are not alone. Lets stop this culture of silence and put more positivity out there. If you are being bullied on or off line, please TELL. There will always be someone to listen and help.

In the UK

National Bullying Helpline
Helpline: 0845 22 55 787
website

Kidscape
Helpline: 020 7730 3300 Hours vary.
website

Bullying UK
Family Line: 0808 800 2222
website

Beat Bullying
website

PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide
tel 01925 572 444
website
Mon-Fri 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

In the USA

Stop Bulling

Crisis Call Center
800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
website

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
800-273-TALK (8255)
website

Thursday’s Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline
800-USA-KIDS (800-872-5437)
website

The Trevor Lifeline
866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)
website

The Marilyn Meme

originally posted on Jan 28 2012 on Delicious Tacky (my old blog)

 

I’m fat. I’ve wrote several times about how ‘this time’ I’m going to do it, ‘this time’ I’m going to lose weight dagnamit! I’ve not been happy with the way I look for a long time. Basically, I’m every woman I’ve ever met. Because even if you’re not overweight, there’s a little troll sitting on the shoulder of every woman who tells you you’re not perfect the way you are. Too fat, thin, tall, short. Your nose is crooked, your legs are stumpy. Sound familiar? Some lucky women can ignore that little bugger, but we’ve all felt the troll’s influence from time to time. The only person that hurts is you, right?

There’s an awakening right now on the internet, women like Gala Darling or Super Kawaii Mama who celebrate themselves and encourage that same love in their readers. If When I feel crap about myself, I jump across to these websites and read their heartening words, mottos and hard won truths and I start to feel pretty damn comfortable in the skin I’m in. It doesn’t stop the urge to be fitter, an urge I’m taking control of and positively acting on, but it comes now from a feeling of loving my body and protecting my greatest asset, not of loathing the skin I’m in. It is a combination of mind and body, accepting my strengths and weaknesses and moving forward with my life.

Part of that is a greater acceptance of other women and their differences. No longer do I judge on how I see their weight. I can not abide the way I used to instantly view women as ‘skinny’ or ‘fat’. I wasn’t supposed to do that. I thought I was better than that. Growing up, I was very close to my cousin’s girlfriend – a girl who even to this day has to justify her small frame to complete strangers. It made my blood boil every time she had to say ‘I eat like a horse, honest’. How dare people feel it’s appropriate to question the eating habits of someone else? And yet, I’ve done it too. Keira Knightly was ‘obviously’ anorexic. Cheryl Cole looked better with ‘meat on her bones’. Two complete strangers I judged and thought it didn’t matter because it wasn’t as if they knew that’s what I thought. Big NO. It may not have affected them, although with the amount of articles dedicated to the weight of the rich and famous, it would be remiss of me to assume they aren’t affected by how the public see them – but it did affect me. Which, to be completely and unashamedly selfish about, is my main concern. Me. My biting comments and unfair assumptions made me a cold and hard person, and I’ve decided I’m not down with that. I want to grow into a nurturing and open person, and it’s a difficult admission that I wasn’t the nice person I always thought I was. Live and let live has always been my motto, being a staunch supporter of LGBT, disability and religious rights, but I didn’t see the pile of unfairly treated women growing in my brain.

Whenever I seen a picture saying ‘curvy is better’ or ‘what man wants a lollipop’ floating around, I reposted it, on my high horse like YES! CURVY IS BETTER SO THERE. You’ve all seen a picture of Marilyn Monroe V random ‘skinny’ celebrity. On one hand its great women find Marilyn’s figure empowering and want to celebrate their own bodies, but why does it have to come at the cost of another women’s figure? Why does it have to be versus? Women against women? Why can’t we enjoy Marilyn’s iconography as well as the celebrity she is pitted against, the ‘skinny’ subject to ridicule and judgement by women who want to validate their lifestyle choices?

I say iconography deliberately. Marilyn Monroe’s life is a sad story, and when women see her, they want to look like her, but they never want to be her. I think Marilyn would be saddened that even in death, she is viewed as a figure, a sexy body – and not as the woman she was. Men have viewed her as a sex symbol for years, and now women are using her image to put down a fellow human being. When you think about it like that, isn’t it a little shameful? I know I feel ashamed. Not only for using Marilyn the way she always was, as an object, but for unfairly dismissing the still nameless celebrity as a figure of ridicule to make me feel better about my own shortcomings.

I’m not saying changing my viewpoint was easy. Even today, practise and history has conditioned my mind to jump to judgement. But knowing I’m taking an active step to stop seeing other women as the enemy helps. I suppose the moral of the story is; image matters. It’d be fake to say it doesn’t. How much it matters is up to you, but when you look at images of other women to further your own prejudices, that image mirrors the ugliest thing about you. Those images are women, not icons. With feelings, dreams, hopes, strengths, as well as weaknesses and flaws. And I’m done pretending its ok to objectify them by saying they’re beautiful or imperfect, because it’s all negative. Beautifully imperfect, and altogether human – women are awesome at any size.

Fin.