Friday, 30 May 2014

In the details

Mmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I have just rediscovered my love of fizzy strawberry laces.

How did I ever forget about these wondrous delicacies?!

They are like a burst of fizzy juiciness in one amazing lace. AND if I concentrate v.v.hard, they take my mind off thinking that I would really enjoy a large glass of wine right about now.

Oh and they are only 40p a packet.


I used to always buy 3 packets for a £1 (good old Tesco), but today, as I had forgotten how delish they are, I only bought one pack.

Rooky mistake.

Just had to dash across the room and eat another. Thought that if I put them at the other side of the room then my cravings would stop....oh how wrong I was.....

When I was emerging out of the deepest darkness, and slowly venturing into the world above, strawberry laces would go everywhere with me. They were part of my little survival kit that I kept in my bag.

This survival kit also consisted of:

1.Headphones and fully charged ipod (to take me away from the world).
2.Knitting needles and wool (to put my anxious fingers to good use).
3.A shell I picked from the beach (to hold in my hand, to ground me, and help me focus.)
4.Strawberry laces (for an energy boost, and all the reasons listed above).
5. Bottle of water (for the dry throat moments.)
6. Phone (again, another distraction technique, games galore).

These 6 things helped me so much as I was gradually able to do more. Admittedly, I did get rather obsessive at times if I couldn't find one of them, but that's just me....

I still always have headphones, water, and my phone. They are my full proof survival items.

 The shell has gone, but I gradually replaced it with two smaller items. I began to put the shell in my pocket, instead of in my hand...then I wore rosary beads as a bracelet that I could always hold onto...then they went in my pocket...and now the beads are always in my bag. I don't have to hold them, or have them in my pocket, but knowing they are in my bag, just in case of a panic filled emergency, makes me feel so much better.

Its strange how a packet of strawberry laces have reminded me of these small obscure details. Details that have made a big difference in my journey with the black dog...!


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Open your eyes

Afternoon all, how are you doing today?

I have just had a major sort our of all my art and paint supplies. And boy was it satisfying. Like cleaning out your handbag, or rearranging your sock drawer. Major satisfaction levels achieved.


There has been a lot in the media recently about the European Elections (seeing as we voted last week and everything) and there has been something brewing in my mind that I need to write about.

So apologies if you're not in the mood for a political discussion, but this is my blog, and I can do what I want! (Insert cackle here....)

It saddens me greatly to know that UKIP have now got seats on the European parliament, and that also in France, the Front National party gained significant advances.

Both of these right wing political parties, have based their campaigns on anti-immigration. They have been scare-mongering people into believing that immigrants are not welcome in their country. That these immigrants will steal your jobs and your money. They are using propaganda to feed into peoples fear, insecurities and down right ignorance. They are manipulating the public at an increasingly fast rate.

Only this morning French riot police dismantled 3 migrant camps in Calais. They have given no indication as to where these hundreds of people will go. They are stranded. Many have fled from the horrific conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, hoping for a life away from war and fear.

Perhaps I am a tree hugging hippie, but I have always believed that the world we live in belongs to each one of us. And we have a responsibility for each other. I'm not precious about this little island called Britain, if people are desperate to come here, who am I to turn them away?

Imagine yourself in a similar position.

Imagine you're fleeing Syria. Your family is separated. Your parents have been murdered. You don't know who to turn to, or where to go to. You have hardly any money. But then someone tells you about England. A place where you will be safe, where there is no war. A democratic society. Freedom of speech. Peace.

So you begin your journey. The longest journey you've ever had to make.

But when you arrive, you're interrogated, questioned, discriminated against. This is not the England you've heard about.

We are the lucky ones. We were born here. By chance, this is where we ended up. But don't you ever wonder what your life would be like if you were born somewhere else on this planet? I think we can all forget just how blessed we are to live in a country where we can vote, practise religion, have free health care, get help finding a job, or a house, and not have a brutal dictator ruling over our lives.

In my own life, I have experienced people saying to me, "what have you got to be depressed about? Think about those poor children in Africa!" or "count your blessings, you should be happy!" These, of course, are some of the most unhelpful things to say to someone with depression. However, on a day when the black dog isn't barking so loudly, I am able to be grateful for many things in my life.

It is through being able to acknowledge this, that I was able to write this post.

I want people to open their eyes.

Step out of their box.

Remember that we are brothers and sisters on this planet.

No matter what our nationality, colour, race or religion, we should not turn our backs on each other.


Monday, 19 May 2014

Learning to juggle

Its taking a fair amount of my brain power to think what on earth I've been up to since my last post.

There's definitely been a hen weekend (muchos fun.)

And Dave and I have made progress buying a house (feeling very grown up.)

Oh and in between ticking items off my ever growing list of things to do, I've managed to catch some rays in the garden (rude not to.)

I do seem to be juggling quite a lot at the moment. So it does feel really good to just take a break, and just 'be'. I need that time to reboot my brain.

Annoyingly, as always I've had to fight the guilty feeling that I should be doing something more productive. Although, I guess if I didn't rest my brain, it would be detrimental to my mental health in the long maybe I am doing something productive after all....

I  haven't been doing any painting recently, which is frustrating. I've got the time, I'm just not feeling inspired...

Well, I kind of have an idea in the back of my head, but I'm scared its not going to work as well as some of my recent paintings. I know I just need to take a deep breath and have a go. But I'm a bit of a cowardy custard like that sometimes.

I probably just need to bite the bullet (as they say, although I've never really understood that phrase) and start painting again.


Monday, 12 May 2014

The perfect non-perfectionist

On a train ride home yesterday, I found a magazine that someone had kindly discarded and read an article that got me thinking...

It was entitled, 'Research suggests perfectionism could be as bad for health as smoking - so discover your perfection-ality type and learn to embrace the F word (that's failure FYI.)

Now, as a smoker, and a perfectionist, I kinda thought, well, I am officially screwed. And the article didn't really give me much hope for changing.

I am, it would appear, a 'self-orientated perfectionist'. Which means I never feel like I'm good enough, I often don't try things in case I fail, I'm my own worst critic, and I have an endless 'to do' list.

Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow shares these same personality flaws, so I'm not in entirely bad company. However, she is an Oscar winning actress, so I'm not entirely convinced this article is correct.

The other types of perfectionist are, an 'other-orientated perfectionist' and a 'socially prescribed perfectionist.'

The article then goes on to offer these wonderfully 'useful' bits of advice:

'Wear a top with a stain on it, when no-one notices, you will realise that other people aren't as aware of you as you think.' (Well, people probably would notice, but they would probably be too polite to say anything...)

'Write down the reason for your perfectionism' (If I knew that, I probably wouldn't be reading the article in the first place!)

It also states that perfectionists had a 51% greater risk of dying early, compared to non-perfectionist. Fantastic! What great news, thanks for telling me! I will now change my personality instantly overnight!

What the writer probably didn't consider when writing this tosh (oh I do love that word) is that all the perfectionists who read the article, probably now will be trying to be the worlds best non-perfectionist, and be perfect at doing that instead.

Which sounds a little confusing.

But being a self confessed perfectionist (although for years I didn't even realise that I was), I do know what I'm on about. Although this article hasn't practically helped me in any way, it has made me able to laugh at myself a little. And realise that I'm not the only control freak out there.....