Had my penultimate counselling session this week. Bit scary knowing that soon I will be back on my own again but Nicola has told me that I can always go back for more therapy or help whenever I feel I need which is super reassuring. As we are coming to the end of our sessions, Nicola wanted to tackle my extreme lack of self worth which seems to be at the root of a lot of my issues; I don't like myself so I always assume I am going to fail and bad things will happen which is quite a large cause of my anxiety. It also makes my depression harder to fight because when I am feeling down or lonely or numb or anything like that, I tell myself I deserve it, I am worthless and it is my fault etc etc. This isn't the easiest thing to write about because it is really really deeply rooted in my psyche and it is something extremely personal but I promised I would always be honest here. I also realise that it is something people won't really understand or anything but I'm gonna try to make some sense. I don't really know why I have such a strong self loathing but I am learning to try not to focus on the why as that just leads to more frustrating self hate. I just don't like myself and it is mainly linked to the chemical imbalances that cause depression and a few events that I just haven't dealt with well. Counselling allows me to talk those things through and let them out, and cognitive behavioural therapy has allowed me to try and understand them, deal with them, tackle them and move on. And so this week, I have some tasks to try and tackle my self hate. This may sound really stupid to some of you, or even kind of egotistical, believe me, I am skeptical but willing to try. I am supposed to be writing down things about myself or things I have done that challenge my belief that I am down right rubbish. As I have previously said, Topshop is really boosting my confidence; I still get anxious, have mild panic attacks, the occasional cry and constant fear of doing something wrong. However, I am still there, I haven't been sacked yet, I am actually doing alright!! That is something I am focusing on as often as I can. And it is definitely something I am going to write down. Other than that, I am struggling a little bit, but I have a week. Nicola is hoping that the act of writing these things down will allow me to remember them when my brain is telling me I should just give up. I don't expect this to be a quick fix and I don't expect that I will suddenly be all confident and happy. I know I will continue to have downers and all that goes with them, but hopefully I can start to avoid taking it out on myself, blaming and punishing my already weak and broken mind. Time will tell..
Again, I am really sorry if this is rambley, it isn't easy to write about and I hope you can understand that.
I have found myself drawn to dresses a lot more than usual recently, maybe because it is starting to feel more like Spring? This beauty of a number is from Motel Rocks who always produce amazing prints in a range of styles. The perfect loose fit and stunning pattern had me at hello, it is most certainly going to be a go to piece for a long time to come!
Life recently has been a bit strange. Had a few knocks to my confidence/self and I've felt a bit drained and zombie like at times which is never nice. I always get a bit nervous when I start feeling flat because I worry that I'm gonna plummet into the dark place I struggle to get out of. It's that lack of mental control that comes with illnesses like depression that is really frightening.Not knowing if you are going to wake up feeling okay or suicidal or somewhere slightly grim in the middle. Luckily, there haven't been any catastrophic lows recently so I am still chugging along. I've worked quite a bit more and I actually feel like it is building my confidence a little, I feel like maybe I'm not horrific at something for a change, I might actually be doing okay. I am the sort of person that can laugh off most things and act quite carefree; but on the inside I am so critical of myself and so filled with self-loathing that I usually just feel like I am doing something for no reason and it will probably be rubbish and people are going to hate it and I'm going to be embarrassed or judged. Being remotely proud of something I have done is just something that doesn't come naturally: I'm a pessimist, a self-loathing pessimist. This makes it really nice to actually feel like I am doing something alright, I am not failing like I assume I will. Maybe not the hugest thing to some people, but to me, saying that is massive. Counselling this week was a little different, Nicola let me just talk a bit to let off a bit of steam. As I have said before, talking about my emotions is both draining and scary but it can also be quite therapeutic and so it was nice to talk in a place I knew I wouldn't be judged. She also gave me some things to think about me relating to my sleeping and time related anxiety. I've had a bit of trouble sleeping recently, even when taking my night time antidepressants and you will all know that lying awake in bed trying to sleep just sucks. For me it is particularly excruciating, I hatehatehate to be alone with my own thoughts. It scares me so much and is definitely why you will usually find me reading, listening to music or watching a film whilst doing most things. Lying in the dark and trying to sleep can be so frustrating and frightening but I never know how to deal with it. Nicola has told me that instead of punishing myself in the darkness I should get up, leave my room, read a book, make a drink, anything that gets you away from your bed to keep your brain happy as it obviously doesn't want to sleep. After a while, try and go back to bed and see what happens. I have yet to try this technique but it seems like something I am definitely going to try and see how it works for me. Another thing she suggested I do is pull an all nighter. Bizzare I know. But I get really bad anxiety when I haven't had a good nights sleep because I assume that because I am tired, I will do something bad or wrong and fail, whether it is at work or just in general, to me, no sleep means bad things will happen. She thinks part of it is linked to an old memory of the one time I pulled an all nighter and then getting some horrific news the next day and partly because I am just a nervy wreck. She says that a main thing to do to get over anxiety issues is simply to challenge them and prove them wrong. Much easier said than done but I'm trying. Also linked with this is my paranoia about being late; quite a normal thing to most people but I just can't hack it, I am terrified that if I am late, bad things will happen. Stupid I know, but that's my brain for you. You can guess what Nicola's suggestion is; be late for something. I really don't know if I will manage this but I will keep you posted. I also tried to explain to her the time related anxiety I posted about a bit ago and how it was starting to control my life. She said it is something I need to try and beat sooner rather than later as it can lead to OCD traits that can start to rule your life. She has said I should set alarms for important things i.e. work, going to bed, eating and then just not looking at the time. Doing whatever and trying to avoid the continual need to check the time and think about how long things are taking me. This is also something I am trying to do but I do find myself checking the time way before my alarms are due and then considering myself a failure. Very frustrating but I suppose at least I'm trying! Sorry, such a wordy post today! Here are some photos I have taken recently to try keep myself inspired. And a few from today's trip to the farm with Robbie and Maia (TOO MUCH CUTE. that is all I will say:))
So, the other weekend I hopped on a train to Liverpool to stay with my best pal Heather and catch up with my old friend Catherine. It was genuinely one of the best weekends I have had in so long; we went to Central Perk and had lush tea and cake, nerded out and tried not to spend all our pennies in an epic comic book store and drank Baked Bean tequila and boogied the night away... I felt a bit emotional because it was the first time in quite a while that I felt genuinely happy and normal. Definitely a massive positive there I think!!
Have any of you visited Central Perk? Or are there any Liverpool haunts you would recommend?
TWLOHA is an organisation I discovered years ago that has continued to grow and spread hope around the world. A source for help, hope, inspiration and love for those battling depression and addiction. There is something about their message and the way they portray it that has always struck a chord with me; I cried the first time I read founder Jamie's story about Renee and I continue to be overwhelmed with emotion when their new posts go live. There is something so pure and genuine about their determination to help those struggling. I would strongly recommend visiting their site if you feel alone, if you are unsure how to help someone who is suffering, or if you just want to read some truly awesome words. A post that really struck a chord with me recently was again written by Jamie, titled People Need People. (Read it here.) It is just so true. Depression can be so evil and can cause you to feel so so alone it is like being surrounded by a crushing darkness and nothing else. A small bit of light can come from many different sources, music, films, books, but ultimately it is always coming from other people. I couldn't not buy this t-shirt with Jamie's words on it because every single thing on it rang true to me. I am lucky enough to have a life filled with people that will not give up on me, who continue to fill my life with love and purpose and although depression my sometimes cause me to forget this and feel like giving up, I haven't. And that is definitely all because of the other people around me. Sometimes I feel like my posts can get a bit repetitive, you all probably know by now the people who I am really grateful for (you, reading this included) but I really owe them my life. I may never really beat depression but it is other people who will also never let it beat me. I have so many memories of old songs and new songs, and sunsets and coffees (well, teas) and so many other simple, beautiful moments that I am hoping this t-shirt will remind me of when I am just too tired or too sad to fight any more. All in all, I am just grateful to other people and the moments they create. I am grateful to people like Jamie who will never give up on fighting for lost souls like myself. I am grateful for every single person who has made me smile at any point. And I am grateful for every person who continues to read my words and support me in my life. It is so easy to feel alone and it is so difficult to fight that feeling, but it is most definitely worth it.
I'm quite picky when it comes to my foundation; I want something that gives me fairly good coverage but that is light and airy on the skin. I have gone through most brands available and I think I have finally found a winner! I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting miracles when I picked up the Wake Me Up foundation by Rimmel, but my other foundation was out of date and I decided it was time for a change. Oh my gosh, I love it!! It makes my skin look so fresh and lovely. I have noticed such a difference since using it, I genuinely feel more confident with it on because it is super light so I don't feel over the top but it really seems to have a brightening effect as claimed. I have shade 200 Soft Beige which blends perfectly with my skin tone, covering blemishes or discolouration but as I said, kinda makes you look like you are fresh faced. I will definitely be re-purchasing this for as long as I can!
Whilst on the topic of foundation, I also got for Christmas the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. The brush is one I have wanted for ages as I just never liked flat foundation brushes or sponges that much and I was always hearing such good things. I really enjoy using this, it makes applying and blending foundation sooo much easier, I can't imagine not using it! As for the Double Wear, it was a bit of a "hype" buy; everyone raves about it so much, I wanted to know what the fuss was about and so was super chuffed when Santa delivered it. However, my wise and wonderful pal Billing was definitely right when she said ages ago that I would probably like the Double Wear Light foundation as the original is rather heavy/thick coverage. She was totally right, as I do love that fresh feel and look to my foundation, I just find Double Wear a little too much for me. It does have amazing concealing and evening qualities but I just feel a little too uncomfortable with it on my face.
Have any of you tried any of these products? What's your favourite foundation? Would you recommend Double Wear Light or any other make up brushes?
I have recently become aware of a horrible little anxiety trait that has started to rule my life. I cannot complete even the smallest of tasks without putting a time limit on it or being aware of the time. Now, this is a normal thing for people getting up, going to work etc etc and when in relation to a routine, not really a bad thing. However, I have started timing drinking my tea, having a bath, everything. "So if this takes me 15 minutes then I have 3 and a half hours until I have to do that so I can do this for an hour and then.." and so on and so on. It is making more anxious than ever and really starting to exhaust me. I know I said earlier this week that I am trying to draw the positives from anxiety ie. being more aware. But being hyper-sensitive the entire time you are awake is beyond draining. I am having heart palpatations even writing this post because the bath is filling slowly and I don't know how long it will all take. Someone please help me!!
Oh, a positive bit of inspiration I have just found; these absolutely gorgeous photos, they give me butterflies and make me kinda want to cry they are that beautiful.