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Saturday 11.06.16: Note to Self

When I was younger I used to be quite good at keeping diaries, jotting down my thoughts and letting out some of my feelings without giving away much to other people or making myself too vulnerable. As I grew older I slowly drifted from writing in my diary to online forums and social media. Now I definitely didn’t jump into mainstream stuff like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc right away but I used to be fond of going on forums/sites with young people aimed content – one of my fondest memories is probably Stardoll where I used to chat on the regular to friends and eventually I did get to meet three of them in real life! It was a shame we aren’t as close anymore as times had changed but I do get nostalgic for that memory. Growing up in my teenage years, I always struggled with social skills and making friends so sometimes the internet was a preference for me as I could conceal the social skills I was so anxious about and have time to think about what to say and such. I also could use it as an outlet for when I was stressed or down, people with similar problems would write back saying they know how you feel, it was almost like a diary entry but if I felt so stuck with a problem, somebody out there could help me if they wanted to. It didn’t feel like I was letting too much out in the open but when I look back I think I did. I think it strangely affected my personality today and how I feel about being honest with my problems and feelings with people in my life. It’s very easy to act narcissistic online and post selfies but also dwell on self-depreciating humour, it’s almost like building up a wall but having glass walls on it. You let people know what you’re like but you won’t want to talk about it and sometimes you want to get out of the wall, and it really hurts you deep that your friends walking by aren’t doing anything. You stress over details, ‘but they  can see me in distress right? They walk past me everyday so they’re clearly avoiding looking at me?!’ so you end up stuck in this little glass box, feeling isolated but nothing’s bottled up. You’re drained but it’s flooded everything around you and everyone’s evacuated the area.

The internet was also a terrible place for paranoia and overthinking symptoms from my depression and anxiety to build. I’d constantly try and talk to my friends but get no response and then see them posting online or on social media and literally pull at my hair questioning what I had done wrong. I can’t even really act like this is in past tense since I still over-react to stuff like this now. I can pick out every little detail for proof that somebody dislikes me or secretly thinks I’m annoying but I don’t honestly trust any proof that people do like me genuinely. My brain is my most toxic friend and I wish to change that soon.

So the note to myself for today is; nothing is wrong with being open and nothing is wrong with wanting to get stuff off your chest. Bottling up stress and emotions will only lead to damage of some extent and it’s not healthy however please learn to stop expecting people to want to be there for you. Everyone has their bottle of stress, thoughts, anxiety and stuff they want to avoid and people can get so drunk on their metaphorical bottle that they won’t notice you stumbling and crashing from stress. People are people, weak and worrying just like yourself – but that doesn’t mean you haven’t got the strength to work on yourself alone. There will always be stuff you dislike about yourself or your life, even on days where you wake up feeling like a bloody Disney Princess and the sun is shining; in the back of your head small things will still irk you like the fact your thighs rub together when you walk, the fact that guy barged past you and didn’t apologise whilst you walked to work, the fact you’re still procrastinating something, your friend still hasn’t responded to your text about meeting up – nothing is always 100% perfect but it’s time to not focus your wonderful energy on it. Focus on the stuff I know you can do, read another chapter of that book you treated yourself to, challenge yourself to drink at least 5 glasses of water today, plan more blog posts in your head, send messages and emails to people you want to talk to but leave the ball in their court and give them their space and time to get back to you. Focus on yourself, focus on healing yourself.

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When you want to change your personality

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Mental wise, I’m honestly probably not quite stable or healthy. As mentioned in other posts before I do have depression and anxiety and although I do not like to dwell on them or get too open with them on my blog, this post is slightly sinking onto that topic and mostly personal to me and looking for advice on my feelings and thoughts.

Everybody I know has unique and interesting personalities, I feel all of my friends and loved ones have twinkles of loveliness in each of them that’s unique to them. On and off for a couple of years I’ve never really been happy with my personality and I think it has a lot of traits in it that I wish I could improve on or get rid of. Therefore, I’m writing this to try and make myself aware of my clingy flaws so I can work on them and change that part of my personality into a trait that’s more healthy and helps me be more secure and safe with myself.

I’ve always struggled with friendships and relationships since starting high school and I know a lot of other young people struggle with stuff like this but sometimes when I’m in my own head I feel terribly alone on it. Everyone seems set in stone with childhood friends or friendship groups or regular outings with friends, however I feel alone. Like if there was a tree where all the connecting branches were friendship groups, I’d be a single branch that’s broken off the tree somewhere along the way. But because of social media and having friends who have their own seperate groups, I’ve still got to watch from afar and I can never reattach myself into it because, hey, nature doesn’t work that way. You can’t tape a dead branch to a growing tree and expect it to bloom and grow again. Am I making sense? Probably not.

When I get the hope up that I’m going to finally be included in outings or groups I do get extremely clingy and I am honestly embarassed by myself. It’s like an out of body experience where I’m watching me double text all my friends and try and call them and plan stuff, and I watch her get ignored or rejected and I feel like I can’t do anything to initiate the self-control to stop her from bugging people more. It seems like natural human knowledge if someone doesn’t seem interested to leave them alone but I feel like along the way my brain’s gotten foggy in this area. Sometimes people will be like ‘I rarely message first out of feeling clingy so please message me first’ so that’s why I seem to have no shame in bugging people cause I feel like unless I put some effort in; nobody will ever message me. I wish my anxiety and shame would pop up in these situations to help me calm down and get on with something else. But instead it pops up in the worse times – thanks mental illness!

So I think regarding this flaw that I pump all my self-hatred into, I’m going to try and attempt the ‘Quid Pro Quo’ phrase or ‘This for that’. I’m not gonna do a 180 and be like ‘I won’t message people first if they need me, they’ll message me’, because I already know deep down that means I’ll feel more alone. If I need someone or want to hang or talk I’ll message them, but after that message I will refrain from sending anything else(unless it’s necessary/an emergency) until I get something back. I will also try to stop initiating conversations whilst I’m at work or before bed; when I also go off to York for University, I will try my hardest to put my studies as main priority. At home it’s a bit harder because I’m always dwelling on what social media shows me so I never act productive unless something else makes me feel involved in the world. It’s like my room is a little bubble of disassociation, unless I’m talking to another human being via online or in person; I feel alone and that time is stood still so I normally just laze around. I honestly regret it every evening or even days that I do that. I want to be productive, I know I need something to keep my mind occupied to help my mental health yet it’s been so hard lately. I feel like I need to finally accept the period of my life of friendship stuff or making friends is over or at least on hiatus until University. I need to put my heart and time into other things such as my family, my love life, my work, my health and hobbies instead of repeatively scratching open the wound that is, my whole teenage life and the world convincing me if I am not constantly with friends or have stuff to do on a weekend etc., I am lonely and not worth people’s time.

I’m sorry if this post is depressing or even dark. It is a very personal post and will probably not be shared much via social media. Has anyone else ever gone through this kind of phase or hardship? Has anyone got any advice for putting your time into other things after a long period of unstable mental health? Or even just easier advice for being more productive?

Thanks for reading!

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Social Media vs Girls

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A lot of the subjects I rant about normally start from something I come across online. Comments under articles, comments on social media, photos on social media etc., you get the picture. Stuff on Social Media spreads very fast, so anything massively controversial me and a lot of people will see, however sometimes there’ll be small photos or posts created by people I’m friends with on facebook/twitter or shared by them and it’s kind of a slap in the face of their internalized dislike of something. For example, it’s like having a high school friend on Facebook suddenly share a very borderline racist Britain First post and you feel extremely disappointed in their views.

Today an intriguing post joking about ‘typical things girls do nowerdays’ got shared onto my Facebook feed and although it’s not straight out attacking a certain female or person, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and unneeded. I know a lot of people of all genders and all ages still find criticizing females for things that apparently, ‘all people identifying as female’ do. E.g your typical ‘nagging wife’ stereotypes or whatever. But personally it’s outdated to me and it’s very rare to get a genuine laugh out of me. I remember seeing a hang up decor piece in a shop I used to work at, that said something along the lines of ‘Man Cave. Women not authorised unless bringing beer or sandwiches.’ and all I could do was wonder why someone would want to spend £20 on something that both stereotypes men and women. But that’s another story and I could go on for ages about the kind of rubbish sexism you’d find day to day but that isn’t the point of this post.

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Firstly, I’ll clarify, yes this could be seen as an overreaction to something that is purely meant in humour. But if this is the best humour people can spout, I hope they don’t plan on a comedian career cause they’re, frankly, boring as hell. The post on Facebook was a text post saying; ‘I swear all girls do nowadays is contour, eat chicken nuggets, squat, wear hair extensions, be indirect on social media, snapchat dog filter, turn bi for a bit, party, fall for fuck boys, drink wine, charge their phones, think having attitude problems is sexy, ignore messages, take selfies and cry.’ Aw honey, what girl ignored your message once because she has better priorities than you trying to get in her pants?

So what if girls do all these things? My question to young males who agree with this, even females who think there is something ‘stupid’ or ‘useless’ about all those things; what is the harm? Does it personally offend you? Do you have flashbacks and feel sick to your stomach when you see a girl wear hair extensions? Posts like these are sexist even if they aren’t straight out abusing/insulting the female population. Plus talk about reaching for drama? ‘Charge their phones’? Oh I’m sorry are we meant to let our phones die? I forgot because we aren’t male we don’t have the magical power to have phones with infinite battery? It doesn’t even make any sense. Also ‘turn bi for a bit’ is not only pathetically biphobic and homophobic but it’s implying that if a female identifies as bi it’s a ‘phase’, which is a gross stereotype that bisexual people are still trying to fight off today so they can be taken seriously by the people they care about. What makes me even sadder; girls in the comments were trying to defend themselves. ‘Well I don’t contour or wear hair extensions so lol’, ‘I never go out and party or date fuck boys, I’m not like other girls.’ Ladies – there’s nothing wrong with doing and enjoying any of these things!! They do not make you a worse person if you do them or a better person if you don’t! Stop letting whiny teenage boys with an internet meme account dictate what you should enjoy. Girls should be able to just live their lives in peace without some xbox basher who begs girls for nudes throwing shade at them through social media.

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Girl, you wanna contour? Go ahead; you rock that look.
Going out with your friends? Take tons of selfies beforehand because you look gorgeous.
Had a bad day and it feels like everything is going wrong? Let it all out. Cry and talk to someone. Don’t bottle it up and definitely don’t let someone make you feel like your feelings are invalid. You work so hard at everything you do and there is nothing weak about crying.
If taking humour in how stressy or bossy you think you can be helps you deal with it and shut people up. You do it. You’re a beautiful, bratty diva and if that random guy you’re kind of friends with think it’s ‘you trying to pretend your attitude is sexy’ and puts you down about it. Leave his clingy ass messages on ‘Read’. You do you.

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Same goes for men. None of these things are ‘girls only’? Guys can wear contour, guys can go party, guys can take as many selfies as they want. Let’s stop this pathetic attempt at bringing girls down. Give them a break, they’re strong as hell and you still wanna make them feel bad about something as small as using a snapchat filter or liking fast food. Get a grip.

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Thanks for reading my little rant, I hope you enjoy whatever you do today and don’t let anyone try and stop your smile.

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Small ideas to kick start productivity when you suffer from depression

This could be similar for people suffering with depression or people who have quite normal brain chemistry alike but a lot of days you just don’t have the energy to do anything. To me it makes me feel like my body is ill but there’s no symptoms I just feel drowsy and ready to nod off and you want to avoid everything. Sometimes on worst days, literally everything. Grossly enough, you might even avoid showering and feel content to just staying in pyjamas for a couple of days on end, making excuses not to see friends because you just don’t feel it’ll do you any good. You feel like your body is not up to it for some reason.

Anybody else feel this? It’s a bit of a pants feeling, but I promise you, some very small steps can help you boost your motivation and get you back on track.

  1. Wash your face – This is such a small step I know, but it will refresh you. There’s a good reason why it’s one of the first things you do to wake yourself up in the day. Doesn’t matter if it’s mid afternoon, evening or 2am, go cleanse your face with some water and exfoliate and then splash cool water on it. Your skin will feel clean and awake.
  2. Select a part of your room and clean it – Cleaning your room is a huge drain of energy when you feel like this, I understand. So pick a small part, this could be your desk, your bed, your bookshelf, wardrobe. Give it a good clean, for example your bed area: take your duvet off, sprinkle/spray a bit of essence or your favourite perfume on the sheets, make your bed again and then vacuum around it! Maybe even take it up a notch and budge your bed over if you can and vacuum underneath the bed! I’ll be proud of you even if you just make your bed!
  3. Shower – This speaks for itself. Take a lovely warm shower and use a nice smelling shower gel. If you have to go out and are in reach of a Superdrug you could pick up one of their shower gels for only 99p! Cruelty free and they will lighten up your mood with the delicious scents. The shea butter one will leave a sweet linger that will comfort you and make you smell as sweet as you are.
  4. Get dressed and take a walk – Taking even a small 15 minute walk burns around 60 calories and gives your body a good pump of blood circulation. You get some fresh air as well and if you take a walk in the day which is the best time for this productive walk – you’ll get some vitamin D from the sun which will improve your mood balance. Put on your comfiest, cutest jumper and take your music out with you and enjoy the scenery. Take a few photos of scenery you like for yourself. No need to put them on Instagram or get sad if they’re not good images. This is all for you.

So you’ve done all that? That is incredibly productive and you should feel proud. You should never force yourself to do too many things in a day if you don’t want to. Taking a walk, showering and cleaning is productive enough! I hope these small tasks make you feel a bit more motivated to do other stuff. Maybe invite a friend on your walk, maybe do some small exercises in your room or even clean more of your room!

Is there any small things you do to motivate yourself?

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

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Positivity after a bad experience

If you regularly read my blog posts you may have seen my bad apprenticeship experience post a while back, when I first got dismissed from the job under poor reasoning. I have thankfully gone through a lot of good stuff and job experiences since then and it is not having a negative effect on me anymore however it was upsetting to find out that same company unfortunately, really screwed over, the last of my group of apprentices who were told again and again they were ‘guaranteed’ a start this February. They got told a couple of days, via an email, before their start date there was ‘not enough interest’ to start up a second year and I think that’s really cowardly and sad. I feel extremely bitter towards the company again for my colleagues because some of us were a good group of friends who had been through all of this mess together.

So I thought I’d make this blog post dedicated to the group of friends I made at this apprenticeship. They are definitely people who have changed me for the better because, despite the car crash ending this apprenticeship experience had, during the time I saw them every weekday 9-5 my confidence definitely went off the charts and I started to grow as person. I made friends with personalities I would have been too shy to have even tried speaking to during say, college or high school and had lovely memories of creating games and working with them.

There will definitely be tons of times I will miss with these lot, but I am especially thankful for, all the inside jokes, the outings, the pranks people played on each other, the teamwork and even how some of us could uplift and cheer up others when that person had to work with a colleague who was maybe selfish and hurtful. There was stuff I’m sure none of us would miss and can laugh about not having to deal with it ever again such as unfair colleagues, the vending machines stealing change or the mess that was the Metrolink that most of us had to use to get to work. God forbid also bringing up the hell that was the toilets in our work place. Our offices were shared in a big building with a lot of other companies and god knows what monsters who weren’t toilet trained were in these companies but jesus! It’s like some people have never seen a flush before.

So yeah, I think I need to thank these people for giving me one of the best years of my life that I’d never change. I’d happily live through it again even if it had the same outcome (obviously warning my group that we shouldn’t expect a second year). I am so greatful that I met some of the most hilarious, awesome friends there and even my boyfriend who I’m so thankful I met because I don’t know what life would be like without him there as both a partner and a friend.

Thank you Will, Alex, Matt (both of them!), Jake, Danny, Marco, Lewis, Jack (again both of them – you need original names guys) and all the others for making that year awesome and I know all of you have great futures ahead of you!

Sorry this is so cheesy

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

 

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the no strings attached friend

Do you have friends?
But do you ever feel you don’t feel included or do the same particular ‘friendship group’ things your friends do with other people?
Do most of your friends not know each other?
Have you never been included in a group chat of more than 3 people?
Do your friends have their own ‘gang’ of mutual friends, but you are kind of singular, off the side and are not really part of the ‘mutuals’?

Maybe you are the ‘no strings attached’ friend.

First of all, I completely made that phrase up, but mainly cause today I wanted to write about a concept I have in my head that I think describes myself, however I have never really heard a common term for this ‘phenomenon’ or met anyone who it relates to. (So it’s not a phenomenon. It’s early, ok?)

I will protest I am not a friendless person. I have my boyfriend, friends and friends of friends I think of dearly and try my best to ensure I am an enjoyable person to be around. Granting all this, none of my friends really know each other? This is most likely from meeting each friend in different situations – some in school, some in college, some online and some at work. However they all have their own little groups or squads of friends who I will have heard of from talking to the friend I know engage in group chats, going out drinking/clubbing/shopping/meals and genuinely are a gang of friends who trust each other, do stuff together and chat about stuff all together.

You could argue “stop being paranoid Helena just introduce them to each other” however I don’t find that simple? And believe me I have tried it. The online friends live far away, some friends are in University so they are also probably living a bit further away and they’re all very different people. I am never absolutely spot on sure if any of them will get along together so I do not like putting people through the awkwardness of meeting each other for the first time especially if they have a bunch of other friends they can confide in and spend time with. Plus I am an extremely shy person myself, it takes me energy just to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a while mainly cause of being anxious about keeping conversation up or making sure they enjoy their time with me. It’s even more scary trying to make sure two people who have just met get along nicely.

Another factor of being the no strings attached friend is when something goes wrong and you have an argument or falling out with one friend, it’s really difficult to get strong advice or get another friend to help you deal with it. They don’t know who the hell you’re talking about! They just know their name and what you’ve told them, they can’t predict their personality or reasoning for whatever has gone down between the two of you. They can just give you sympathy or pity which if the thing that’s gone down with one of your friends is serious is a struggle because sometimes “I’m sure they didn’t mean it/It’ll resolve itself soon” isn’t always helpful.

So is it just me who is one of these friends? It’s like you are the tree trunk and on the end of all your branches is a unique, beautiful, healthy leaf but they all have their own extra branches who are special to them and none of your branches interlink or even go near each other. Or like a mind map in school where I’m at the center but on each of my friend’s link to my center circle they have tons and tons of people coming off theirs.

If you can relate feel free to comment! I’m quite interested

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x