Tag Archives: mental health

New Year, New Me? The truth, the whole truth and nothing but…

20 Jan

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So I have been neglecting my blog a little, well a lot since last year and I have missed it. I think sometimes you need to take a step back and have a look at the reality of life otherwise you will forget to live it. I have been living life like a lunatic, I got married in August and settled down to the suburban ideal. Weddings are not without their niggles and it is rarely the things that you stay awake worrying about that will cause problems on the day. It tends to be the unforeseen and unpredictable elements and people that rear their ugly heads on the day. In reality though you kind of have to just go with the flow, don’t expect too much of anything and you will never be disappointed. I have spent every single New Year that has been planned and anticipated for weeks with a sense of blah. The night will never be as electric and you will never look as enigmatic or the food will never be as good or the music as cool or the people as sexy as they were in your mind on December 29th or if that isn’t your bag then the porn you downloaded won’t be as hardcore as you anticipated or the popcorn you bought will be slightly stale…what I am getting at is that you will feel slightly let down and cheated by your over ambitious imagination. The same goes for your wedding day and life in general. I am not suggesting that you should remain cynical and uninvolved with the world ‘just in case’. The expectation of a fall is often followed by just that as we all know but you should be prepared to lose control, handover the reigns to the universe and think fuck it, what will be will be.

It has been a long and difficult process to get to this point of view, my battles with OCD and anxiety have been well documented in this blog and really I am a meticulous planner, I had lists and table plans and more lists and spent hours scouring the internet for florists and dresses and bridesmaid shoes (nearly killed me) I was a hideous bridezilla at the rehearsal ‘don’t speak to me, I just need you all to leave me alone or I will cry’ and the following dinner. But what I took from my wedding day was that if you believe that no matter what happens you will have an amazing time and it will be a truly magical day then it will be. You can breathe deep and just let go, it is a terrifying and liberating feeling. I promise. With an attitude like that you can spill so much wine over yourself that your fingers go pruney, chase Ukrainian tourists with video cameras from your wedding venue and forget to speak to at least half your guests without a care in the world (I also managed to break the strap of my dress during the first dance and bleed all over said dress pre photos)

My therapist told me that your truth is the truth. Obviously this is a very broad statement and if your truth involves deliberately hurting others or anything illegal then perhaps you should skip this section but widely speaking if you are happy and content with your lot then you have enough. That is what makes us all so unique and it leads to a wonderful place where nobody can really alter your reality. There are certain papers that I no longer read and certain people that I don’t associate with because their influence lead me to feel badly about my looks, finances, life choices etc. I have been led to think that I am not thin enough, rich enough or successful enough by outside elements but if you can believe that you have plenty then you do, if you believe you are good at your job then you are, if you believe that you are beautiful then it is true and if you believe that the world is going to the dogs then it is. It works both ways and the truth is a very powerful thing.

What I am trying to say is, that in this day and age when life is so stressful and expensive and our expectations of the future are either very high or very low it is important to remember that being happy, being content and being a dignified and decent person is enough. If you know these things to be true then the character of life; the excitement, the pain, the unexpected detours and the heartache, the wins and the losses are what makes it all so special…just like the drunken arguments, the ruined shoes and the tears of joy on your wedding day.

A train ride and a pat on the back.

19 Nov

I have been thinking and talking a lot about journeys this week. I come from a background that has been touched by agoraphobia. My great grandmother was terrified of the world for as long as I knew her and refused to leave the house. As a child I had the same issues. I found the unpredictable nature of the outside very scary and refused to go out without parents until quite a late age. This fits into the physical side of journeys. When I was first diagnosed with OCD and phobic anxiety last year I really struggled with even the shortest of journeys. One of the major things that set off crippling panic attacks that occasionally resulted in loss of conciousness was being to far away from home or being in an environment that was too open, too out of my control. After the first horrible panic attack (on a train from Manchester to Liverpool) I really struggled to leave the house for several months. Not ideal at 24 years old with a job that was at least an hours commute each way. Even recently I had a wobble on a ten minute train journey to a catwalk rehearsal. I don’t try to look to deeply into why this happens. I know the causes are a lot to do with my need to be in control of a situation and as we all know public transport can be a real pain in the arse when it comes to reliability, for some reason this rocks my psychological boat.

In my experience, journeys can be fairly traumatic. They can also be really wonderfully, positive. A journey in the literal sense is travelling from one place to another, I have moved from my home town to London then fours years later to Brighton and then all the way up to Liverpool, quite a trek, 300 miles or so I believe. I have also come along way personally. Yes I have had a pretty shitty time overs the last year or so but as things start to look up I can peek back and think wow I have come a really long way.

I think in life we spend our time looking to the future and planning our next step. It isn’t particularly sexy or cool to look back and think well done you, look what you have made for yourself. If life is a struggle at the moment and you have some how wound up in a bit of a mess think about the things you have achieved, no matter how small.

I spent my time beating myself up about not being able to do my lovely, exciting fashion industry job. I beat myself up about not being able to go for a drink and for ending up on the dole and skint. However, I have lost 5 stone since I was 16, become a model and kept it off over 9 years, I have moved 3 times in 7 years and every time I have made new friends and a new life for myself. I have managed to find the marbles that I lost last year and put myself back together. I have an amazing relationship, a fabulous Victorian period flat with super high ceilings, a group of friends that I actually like rather than a vacuous bunch of rich bitches (another story all together) and I did all this, by being myself I can look back over my journey and tip my hat to fate for the little bit of help I was given but most of all I can feel really proud that I have achieved this much so far and if you have managed to build yourself a little life however dull or insignificant it might seem, who knows what you might end up doing in the future!

It sounds ridiculous but even if I end up on the streets in the future nobody will be able to take away what I have already done. That is really bloody comforting.