feeling the love

oh hey.

it’s 6am in LA. I can’t sleep. so y’all are getting a post (2 in as many days #sorrynotsorry)

so, quick background on where i’m staying and who i’m staying with.

one of my best friends from university (hey, Jade) is from LA. Her mom (Momma Sophs) dad (Wilf) and god mom (Lisa) all live together in a beautiful house (her dad did a beaut of a job on it, he’s so talented). I’m staying with / visiting them. Jade isn’t here- she lives in Finland with her fella. My Irish pal is here too, though. I know, I know… it’s complicated.

i’ve know Jade for 9 years nearly, and her folks for maybe 6/7 of those. They have all known me during my struggles with depression and anxiety, they housed me for a summer so Jade and I could road trip west coast >> east, they housed me this January  when I had my breakdown over going to Australia or not. 

they know me well.

they know not to talk to me in the morning because I’m grumpy. They know I’m pretty laid back about most things – one of the reasons Jades mom likes to travel with me. They know I can be a sarcastic little shite. They know I’m obsessed with music; if I’m not listening to it, I’m reading about it. If I’m not reading about it, I’m singing. 

when I come here to visit it feels like a home from home. I feel so relaxed, there’s no pretense, no bullshit. 

they remind me that friends really are the family we choose for ourselves. I think to myself on every trip how did I luck out and meet Jade and then gain an extra family? a family that is genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

yesterday morning I was in the kitchen and Momma Sophs and I had this conversation 

S “Oh I’m glad you’re here by yourself, I wanted to talk to you alone”

M “ok, whats up?”

S “are you ok, sweetie? You’re not feeling anxious, your depression hasn’t come back?”

M “no, I’m ok at the moment. Maybe a bit anxious with work but I’m fine”

S ” ok good, I just wanted to check because you’ve been really quiet this whole trip and I was really worried”

DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY AND LOVED I FELT WALKING AWAY FROM THAT CONVERSATION? 

Having conversations like that with anyone that has a history of mental illness is so, SO important. 

Knowing someone is looking out for you… priceless. 

This email from the universe is true 

I’m feeling the love 

Xoxo micks 

hope and faith.

It’s 6:30 on a Saturday. I’m sat in bed in my pants and a big wooly jumper (you’re welcome for that delightful visual). The last few days have been a bit up and down for me; quite emotional and, for whatever reason, quite paranoid. I mean, I cried at work approximately 3 times yesterday. Yes, I had to take myself to the loo on 3 separate occasions to have a cry.

 

I’ve spoken a lot about the battles within my own head, sometimes the noise is loud in there, other times it’s quiet. Recently it’s been particularly loud.

 

This week marks two key days for me in my mental health journey.

September 6, 2017 – marked a year since I took my last anti-depressant. A YEAR. 365 days. That alone is enough to make me cry I think. I remember being so so scared that I couldn’t feel happy without those little drugs – I even wrote about it at the time – but I’ve only bloody gone and done it. A YEAR.

There are things I have dealt with in that year that, looking back now, I can’t believe that I did without the help of those little pills.

September 10th, 2017 – this is World Suicide Prevention Day; a day that I always mark in my own little way. Why? I know that, had I not had people looking out for me in my darkest times I could have been a statistic. I could have been one of those 6000 people who take their own life in the UK and ROI a year. I would have been 1 of the 800,000 people that die by suicide worldwide each year. This year’s key message is “It’s OKAY to talk” – it really is. I will always have these two ears open for anyone that needs them.

My story may not be a remarkable one, but it still one of hope for anyone that is in that dark place now. I made it through the other side. I’m so glad I did. I have so much to live for, I have so much to hope for, I have so much to look forward to.

You never know what is going to happen in life but you have to learn to see the beauty in that.

“You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn. You’re human; you’re not perfect. You’ve been hurt, but you’re alive. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, and to chase the things you love. Sometimes there is sadness in our journey, but there is also lots of beauty. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when we hurt, for we will never know what is waiting for us just around the bend”

The ‘Me’ last year was determined to leave the country, to go and start fresh somewhere else. To leave behind my broken heart and confused state of mind, to start fresh somewhere no one knew me. Clearly that didn’t happen, I came home. I can sit here now, and say (or type) hand on heart, it was the best decision I ever made.I know I am not perfect, and I am learning to be OK with that. I am realising that although I am independent, I still want to be looked after (and that there is no shame in that). I’m starting to be OK with who I am.  I do not know what the next six years, or even six months hold for me, but for now, yes I might be a bit down in this exact moment, but I am happy. I am happy with where my life is going, with the things I do have planned, with the people who I have around me, with the people I have in my life.

 

I. AM. HAPPY.

Hope allowed me to get to this point.

Blind faith of those around me got me to this point.

I am so glad it did.

 xoxo Micks

#100HAPPYDAYS

#100daysofhappy. #100happydays. #100daysofhappiness. Happy happy happy.

I have recently started doing the 100 days of happy challenge on social media which, on day 12, I am sure some people are already bored of seeing, the rest of you wait on tenterhooks for my daily postings, don’t you? You little loves. I always knew I liked you.

This trend has got some stick for making people look at ‘boring’ posts on social media, that whilst the challenge has great intentions it should be kept private as those that dreamt it up state on their website state it is ‘for you’ and social media is just that – social. No one wants to see the daily pictures or posts of things that have made you happy – because no one else cares that seeing your friend for dinner or starting that book made you happy. You know what I say to those people? STOP BEING A PARTY POOPER.

Frank in ‘Father of the Bride II’ (what? It’s a cool film!!) taught us all that every party has a pooper but on this one occasion, this one time, I am taking a stand. NO PARTY POOPERS ALLOWED. If you don’t like people like me posting what you consider boring and mundane things that make us smile then, honey, hit that unfollow/unfriend button because I’d rather you left this party than sat there in the corner being a bitter Becky about it; even if you have got good hair.

Different people have different reasons for starting the challenge. A lot of people have spoken about wanting to see more positivity on social media, some have started because they don’t feel they have time to be thankful or happy so this gives them that time, and some people have done it just for the craic. Me? I did it because I needed to check myself. Honestly, I needed a lesson in gratitude. I am being pulled in a lot of different directions at the moment (I know, I know boohoo) and I was beginning to feel bitter and begrudge giving people my time and energy. I just wanted everyone to leave me alone for a year or two so I could catch up on my sleep and get back to feeling semi-healthy. I was exhausted, suffering with nausea and awful dizziness that just wouldn’t budge. I was becoming the previously described party pooper. Those friends that really needed me, it became something of a chore to be there for them – something that I hate to admit but it was the truth. I only wanted to see a select few people. Most of who live nowhere near me then when I realised this I became annoyed about this.

My darling Linda was trying to help me from her home in LA LA with remedies for dizziness and reminded me of the book she gifted me a year or so back called ‘The Magic’. The basic premise of the book is that thoughts become things; you need to take a moment each day to be thankful for what you have. The more you are thankful, the more good things come your way. Gratitude is the key to a happy life. I had originally opened the book to look at the health chapter but quickly realised that it wasn’t just my health that needed a look at. My attitude did too. The negative attitude I had recently copped wasn’t helping anyone and that I needed a serious lesson in gratitude. Just like anyone else I get tired and snappy and am not a joy to be around – normally that was restricted to early mornings and late nights but somehow it had spilled over to all day, everyday. I wanted this to change; I will always try and choose positive over negative and pessimistic people are my least favourite people. People that constantly feel sorry for themselves and feel the world owes them something are the absolute worst. So how had I become one of them? How would I change it?

That was when I recalled seeing various friends’ previously posting #100happydays and decided to Google it, twenty minutes later I was on the mailing list and had planned to start the next day.

That was just under two weeks ago and you know what, it’s worked! 12 days in and I am already feeling lighter in myself, getting back to where I need to be so I can be the best version of myself and live my best life with the people who mean the most to me. I’m feeling much more sociable, less sorry for myself but still as sleepy. Hey, some things never change. Once a sleepyhead, always a sleepyhead.

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HERE’S TO THE NEXT 88 DAYS OF HAPPY.

Xoxo

Micks

p.s let me know your ‘happy’ moment from today

p.p.s 100happydays.com is the site you need if you want to start it yourself. HAPPY POSTING

 

 

 

 

I’m on the pursuit of happiness.

Are you happy? Genuinely happy? Take a minute to think about your life are you happy with it? Sure it’s not perfect, no one’s life is, but are you happy with it?

 

My answer would be no.

 

Sure I have happy moments – when I’m playing football with MJ, or walking along Brighton pier with Rach and Oscar, visiting my Irish or American families etc. – but these moments of happiness are fleeting. The happiness never seems to stay. No matter how much I look for it. It seems to elude me.

There is a quote that get’s chucked around a fair amount –

 

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But the problem I have with that is this. Happiness is my goal in life, so why would I not chase it? Nothing in this life comes free; nothing is handed to us on a plate. Happiness included.

Please don’t misunderstand me when I say ‘happy with life’, I don’t mean that things are 100% perfect, 100% of the time. This is real life after all. I mean that, when you sit there and think about it, are you are happy with your life the people in it. The job you have. The places you’ve been. The things you’ve done. Everything you’ve seen. Where you’re headed. Are you happy with that when you take the day-to-day stuff out?

Is it my fault that I can’t find a permanent happiness? I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I am never satisfied and that my expectations are too high. I guess I just know what I want, and I don’t want to settle for anything less.

One of my favourite songs is Kid Cudi’s “pursuit of happiness” – the chorus could be my theme tune.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 21.11.29

I’ll be good.

 

There are various scientists that claim to have found the secret to happiness. Dr Sood even has I down to 4 simple steps. According to him 40-50% of our happiness is down to the choices we make and where we put our focus daily. Gratitude also features in his research into the key to happiness.

I am very aware of the many things in life I have to be thankful for. Hash tag blessed. Alas, it still eludes me.

So still, why can’t I find it? Do you know? Am I the only one who feels like this?

Answers on a postcard.

Advice gratefully received.

Xoxo Micks

Read more of Dr. Sood’s work here: http://stressfree.org/

Kid Cudi ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ available to buy on iTunes. The music video is here