people need other people.

it’s 10pm on a wednesday night and here i am, just a while in from having dinner with someone very special and i’m sat in bed crying.

why you ask? or maybe you didn’t but either way you’re finding out.

the reason i’m crying is because i have just finished reading Bryony Gordon’s book ‘Mad Girl’. the book is Bryony sharing her story, her mental health story.

some of the parallels in our illnesses are scary but it made me realise that we, Bryony and I, are the lucky ones. we had people around us, both at home and at work, that cared. that care. that care enough to not give up on us when our demons get too much, that don’t run the other way saying ‘fuck this shit, you’re on your own’ but stand next to us, gently guiding us saying ‘you’ve got this’.

tonight when i was at dinner my friend told me about a colleague she had who had passed away recently, this colleague had struggled with his mental health (his death was unrelated to any mental health illnesses) in the past which eventually led to him leaving his position – by all accounts the management were not very supportive of the days out he needed to take.

(please note, needed is accurate. when you’re depressed you can’t simply say to depression ‘oh well today isn’t a very good day for me to be depressed, i’ve lots on. can you come back tomorrow?’ depression, in case you didn’t know, is a bit of an inconsiderate bastard).

at his funeral she learnt how much having that job meant to him. she said she never realised the impact their day to day jokes and interactions had on him, and on his life.

i’m crying because i realised that i was lucky, i was lucky that back in september i had someone who was able to notice i was poorly before i did – Momma Sophs, you recognised i was ill before i did, before anyone did. i don’t know how but thank you.

i was lucky that, when i was stood on a train platform a couple of weeks later listening to the voices in my head telling me to give up and that me dying would be for the benefit of everyone, that it would be better than the constant battle in my head, i had diane on the end of the phone telling me not to listen to the voice in my head that was telling me that. that it was lying to me.

i was lucky i had my sister to call and make the doctors appointment when i was too ill to myself.

i was lucky i had denise calling me every few hours just to check in, telling me to come to her house after work so she could feed me and let me get some of these thoughts out my head and feelings off my chest.

i had my boss – who i was super nervous to tell i was poorly because, well i was embarrassed, i was embarrassed of being ill again and of how bad it had gotten and what it might make him think of me – tell me that it was a tricky illness but that he knew i was more than capable. he understood why i text him to tell him and didn’t call and then spent time with me on the phone the next day trying to understand the illness, what it looked like for me and help me figure out what my triggers were.

now i have my new boss who was, as well, brilliant when he found out – as i’m still recovering i thought it wise to tell him and it came up very organically in conversation so i was comfortable telling him. parts of our conversation went like this…

me – i don’t run around screaming at everyone that i’m mad but it makes sense you should know.

him – you’re not mad because you’ve got depression…. you just need to make sure you tell me how you’re feeling, keep me in the loop.

(that’s what i needed to hear from him. it was a big weight off these shoulders, i tell ya. also, nb, i often tell people i’m ‘mad’ because i think i’m being funny and most people feel more comfortable when you joke about serious stuff)

i had steph, who always seems to message me at just the right time, who always makes me feel like a better human than i am.

i guess, the short version (i’ve never been very good at getting straight to the point), is that i was crying because i was grateful.

i was grateful for this year and for these people (and many more not listed here). i was grateful for the days when i thought i wouldn’t make it to the next one because, if nothing else, i’ve learnt the human spirit is made of strong bloody stuff.

2017 is the year i realised that i didn’t have to keep all my problems to myself. it was the year i learnt who my friends really were. i learnt i don’t have to keep my cards so close to my chest. i might be a burden sometimes, but then aren’t we all? the ones that think i’m worth it will stay. for the good and bad.

i learnt people need other people.

we really do.

people need other people.

and there’s nothing wrong with that. nothing at all.

xoxo M

p.s if you want to try to understand mental health illnesses and how they make you feel and think please read Bryony’s book. she words it so well, much better than i ever could.

reflections on a younger self. 

last night i found myself looking through my old journals and diaries. i don’t know why but as i was placing a book on my bookshelf i saw them and decided to pull some out and relive what i’d lived. 

a lot of the entries are not dated so i don’t know the last time i wrote in them – i can only guess it was around this time 2 years ago because of what i’d written about in them, certain incidents in my life that happened then are the focus of my last scribbles.

what i do know reading them is that i’ve changed. i can see the change in myself through the words on the page. is that weird? life is the strangest thing – we don’t see that we’re moving forward day to day but when we look back so much has changed. so much has happened. 

i like this person i’m becoming.

even on the days when i can’t see through the fog, even on the days when i want the world to go away. i like the person i am becoming. 

i look back at my old entries and feel what i felt back then but i am also able to see it differently. i can see the heart and heartbreak i felt over the boy who didn’t love me enough to not hurt me, the boy i would have moved across oceans for had he asked me again and not only see my pain, but also his. who am i to say he didn’t love me enough just because he didn’t love me the way i wanted him to love me. i can see the good in that goodbye.

i read back through the confusion and see that i have gained clarity, not in everything, but in some things. and for now that is enough.

i look at the old entries and see someone who was fighting against herself but couldn’t see that’s what she was doing. who thought that emotions were a sign of weakness (especially the sad ones). i was so proud of being so guarded and so unfeeling to the world. i was so proud of never having shared my true self with anyone. 

i thought that made me strong.

in actual fact i think now it showed my weakness, my insecurity. the ability to feel, to show emotions – the good and the bad – is part of what makes us so wonderfully human. you can’t shut it out, you can’t shut yourself off from it. you can try, but it will catch  up with you eventually. everything you run from always does.

i know more about me now.

what i want

where i want to go

life makes it hard to remember those things  sometimes but that’s why i write. it reminds me who i am and what i want. it focuses me when i need direction. when i need to get stuff off my chest. when i need a friend. there’s always a piece of paper and a pen around, no matter what time of the day it is. 

when i get lost i can pick those friends up and draw myself a map back home. 

xoxo

micks.

pictures of me from 2008 to the present day. there is one every year from 2008 doing various things with various people. the only year missing is 2016 because it wouldn’t fit!

how can I become less? 

Where I am: in bed, Montrose CA feeling like absolute rubbish (in case you wondered) 

What I’m listening to: La La Land is on in the background.

It’s my last night in CA until who knows when, I’ve had a ball these last couple weeks with one on my best friends (I apologise to my snapchat friends for the snaps you’ve had to endure). In my quieter moments on this trip, I’ve been thinking about stuff. In my quieter moments I’ve definitely been overthinking stuff. I’ve been thinking about myself and my behaviours, my character. 

Over the last few years I have been told that I am ‘a lot to handle’; that I am ‘too much’. Not just by one person, once. There have been a few different people on a few different occasions. Every time I’m told that it seems to stick in my memory more.

I’m not quite sure what they meant when they said it. I have never known whether to take it as a compliment or an insult; I tend to lean towards the latter.

“Too much” isn’t something that’s normally associated with positives, is it? Too much by definition is “an intolerable, implausible or exhausting situation or experience” (Google)  Not something I’d like to be known as really.

So my question is how do I make myself less? Is it possible to make myself just enough, just the right amount? Do I make myself smaller? My voice? My attitude? Do I have less opinions? Should I be quieter? Or laugh less? 

If you have the answers please let me know.

I don’t want to be ‘too much’. I’d like to be enough. 

xoxo Micks  

WAKE UP

The last month or so has been tough emotionally and it has served a reminder of my own mortality. There has been a number of people passing away around me; their ages across the spectrum and most of them a massive shock.

I was at the funeral of one of those people last week and whilst I was sat there listening to his eulogy and hearing his son speak about what an amazing man his dad was, something clicked. It almost shook me awake to my own life and to how much I have to be grateful for; to all the wonderful people I have in my life and how I perhaps have been very selfish with my time and energy – what would my last memory of them be if they passed? What was theirs be of me if I did?

 

I do realise this sounds very morbid and is probably a bit heavy for a Tuesday night but these thoughts have been taking up a lot of space in this little brain of mine for a while so I figured it was best to get it out there and share it.

 

Being completely honest I have been a selfish mother****** lately with my energy and my time. I have been going through a ‘Why me?’ ‘Why is it always me?’ “Why can’t everyone leave me alone, stupid twats’ phase. I don’t throw pity parties often but boy, when I do! WOO! I have not wanted to talk to anyone, let alone be around them. Work is my perfect escape – with a new team in a new location there is no one that knows me personally to care to ask about my life. They just want Michaela the manager, not Michaela the person and that has suited me just fine. I’ve ignored calls, cancelled plans, told people I was busy when I wasn’t just because I wanted to be alone. I am a true Gemini in that there are two sides to me. I am equal parts introvert and extrovert. I love people but also hate them. This last while I’ve kept to myself because it is easier. There has been about 5 people I’ve been genuinely pleased to hear from in the last month – call me an asshole, it’s fine. I have been one.

 

How many of us have found life through death? It’s a shame that it takes something as final and tragic as death to wake us up. To make us realise what a good thing we’ve got going on. It’s a reminder to live life to the fullest because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Truth is, none of us know what is going to happen so why spend your time being anything but happy? Why spend your time being anything but honest? Be kind. Trust Karma will meet those that need it. Don’t settle for any reason. Don’t be afraid to change your mind.

 

The pain and discomfort of grief will follow us everywhere we go – anyone who has lost someone knows this but we can choose everyday what we do with it. We can let it defeat us or let it strengthen us; fall apart for a while, for a day or a week when you need it but remember to pick yourself back up and start again. There is so much more for you to experience. Choose hope every day.

 

Tell the people you love what they mean to you. Hug them. Love them. Treasure them. Give them the one thing above all that they deserve – your time. Try to be grateful for every day; I know I will.

 

“Every day’s a gift, that’s why it’s called the present”

 

xoxo

Week 12. Be Kind. 

Where I am: on a train 

Listening to: Maren Morris ‘My Church’

Week 12. This is a catch up post. A catch up post with a clear message. 

BE KIND.
My first post of the year was a short (and sweet?) post asking everyone to do just that. Be Kind. To themselves and others. In this one I ask the same.

There is so much terror in the world, uncertainty and tradegy; each day there is another news story reporting something bad happening somewhere. It is so disheartening to see.

  • The attack on Westminster 
  • Brexit triggered
  • The assassination of Timothy Caughman in NYC
  • Trumps entire presidency
  • The ongoing war in Syria
  • The rape and murder of the beautiful Danielle McLaughlin who was celebrating Holi festival in Goa
  • The violence in Paraguay over the election

And that is just a sprinkle of the terror in the world. 

Despite the constant terror, hate and evil that I see each time I open a newspaper or turn on the TV, I still have so much faith in humanity.


…and I believe Mr Rogers here to be right.

The medical professionals that ran from St Thomas’ when hearing of the Attack on Westminster – they ran blindly, not knowing nor caring what they were running in to, they just wanted to help. The peaceful Women’s march on Washington, the annual fundraising on Red Nose Day and Children in Need, the thousands of dollars donated to Planned Parenthood after the Trump administration decided to defund it and all it’s work (and FYI, as a British woman who has never needed to use or even really know about PP, even I know that they do SO much more than just abortions).

I’ve often spoken about my belief in how people’s reactions to things show you who they really are; you learn more about someone in times of trouble than in times of joy. We cannot change what happens to us but we are able to control how we react to it.

I heard a great version of this on a Podcast the other day (Here to Help with Noa Shaw for anyone who wants a listen). The story goes something like this; 

“Imagine you’re a mum and you have a son who is 3 years old. You’re due at a birthday party so you get yourself and your son all dressed up, wrap the present and are all ready to leave. At this moment your son comes into the room covered in peanut butter. 

You can react in 2 ways. You can get really angry and annoyed at him for ruining the outfit and stopping (or maybe delaying) you going to the party OR you can react like a loving mother – laugh at it, give your child a bath and have some fun whilst he’s in the tub and overall have a fun (if different than planned) afternoon” 

Great story showing that reactions can change our whole day. Chose to be angry and annoyed or laugh and have fun? I know which I’d rather. 

 “Imagine what the world would be like if we treated ourselves and each other as a loving mother” pondered the speaker on the Podcast (who coincidentally was guest – and my fave singer/songwriter – Christina Perri) 

Wow. What a thought. 

Look at the world through the eyes of a loving mother. Hate, anger, annoyance… all those negative emotions just drive us apart. 

Be Kind. 

BE KIND. 

Xoxo Micks 

Why do we break our own hearts?

Location: My house.

Listening to: Christina Perri ‘Head or Heart’

 

 

Why do we break our own hearts?

This is something I have been wondering a lot lately. Why do we break our own hearts? I am guilty of putting myself in situations that I know will ultimately lead me to be hurt. I see the people around me doing it all the time too.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 20.46.13

We break own hearts by giving our time, energy and love to people who don’t care, to people who don’t want it.

We break our own hearts loving people who will never love us back.

We break our hearts by missing people who don’t miss us.

We break our own hearts by giving our attention to people to who ignore us unless it’s beneficial for them to acknowledge us.

We break our own heart by having high expectations.

We break own hearts by going the extra mile for people who wouldn’t give us half a yard.

We break our own hearts by living in our heads and then become crushed when reality doesn’t live up to the world we created there, because reality is just that. Reality. It is not imagination.

We break our own hearts by chasing people who are running in the opposite direction, clearly trying to get away.

We break our own hearts by reading into something – we make it a novel when there is really just one sentence there.

We break our own hearts by thinking that we can change people when really all the time, love and attention in the world will not change anyone. Only they can change themselves.

We break our own hearts in so many ways.

The most frustrating thing is that really, deep down, we know this already. When a friend comes to us we see things clearly in black and white. When it is us there becomes significantly more grey areas. We seem to run around completely unaware that this is what we are doing until it is too late.

We then repair the cracks, close ourselves off from the world a bit more, and write it off as a lesson learnt. None of us deserve it, so why do we do it?

Maybe we do it to prove something to ourselves.

Maybe we do it to prove to ourselves we cared enough to get hurt.

Maybe we do it to prove that something mattered enough; that we mattered enough.

Maybe we do it because it’s better to say that we have broken our own heart than to have someone else break it for us.

Maybe we do it because we always hope that this time it will be different, maybe this time we’ll be lucky.

Maybe we do it to prove that we were brave enough to take the risk.

Maybe we do it to remind ourselves that life is not perfect. We are not perfect.

Maybe.

Maybe we’ll never know.

What I do know is it seems like such a waste of time and energy.

It is a habit we need to learn how to break.

Our hearts will thank us for it.

 

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Lessons learnt. Things to remember. 17 for 2017.

Where I am: My boudoir

Listening to: Simple Plan / Boys Like Girls / P@TD! etc

 

 

Oh hey!

It’s become a bit of a habit for me to write these ‘lessons learnt’ lists, or ‘things to remember’ lists. I’ve written these at birthdays and new years over the last few years. If you’re bored of them then you can stop reading now. I offer no apologies though, it’s good to remind yourself of these things and I enjoy reflecting on the past year.

Here’s your ‘bye 2016, hi 2017’ edit.

1. Humans are scary, be kind.

We are destroying our planet and each other simultaneously. It is not religion or race that is doing these things. It is humans. The more I see, the scarier the human race seems to me. So be kind, the world needs more of that.

2. Not everyone signs up for your rules

This is something someone said to be a couple of months ago and it has helped me SO much and makes total sense. I am guilty of doing too much for people that don’t deserve it. I invest my time and energy in almost everyone and give relationships my all and then become surprised when I don’t receive the same care, thoughtfulness and consideration back. I found myself disappointed in people more often than not, I felt a lot of my friendships and relationships were one-sided. Until I was told this. Not everyone signs up for my rules. Just because I would do ‘x’ for someone, doesn’t mean they will do it for me. Humans are generally selfish creatures; call it survival of the fittest but we are always on the look out for number 1. We pick up people when we are bored, or need something that they can provide. Then we drop them with no second thought. Once their purpose is served we say goodbye and don’t look back. Now, I’m aware this is a very harsh view on people and the world but, let’s be honest, it’s pretty accurate.

Not everyone signs up for my rules. I just need to remind myself of that.

3. You need to live life for yourself – no one else.

This one seems like a given doesn’t it? But is it? How many times do we do something in a year that we didn’t want to do, but because it was expected of us? How many times do we grin and bear it just to keep the peace? Well you know what, eff that. No one wanted me to leave Mothercare (that I know of ha), everyone thought I was making a massive mistake. No one wants me to go off to Oz – most everyone has an opinion on it and that I should stay here and just be satisfied with what is available. My answer to that is, well, no. I’ve wanted to try Oz for a while, if I hadn’t left MC I wouldn’t be going there. You only regret the chances you don’t take, so let’s see what happens.

4. You’re never too old to make new friends

If you had asked me this time last year Id have said I’m cool with what I have. I have a good group of people around me, I don’t want or need anyone else. Fast forward a year and I have surprised myself. There’s people that have entered my life this year that I hope will be here to stay.

5. It’s ok to not know it all.

I have to religiously tell myself this. I hate not knowing everything. I’m used to being the person who helps everyone out and knows everything. It’s the Gemini in me. Jack of all trades, master of none type thing, you know? Well, the last half of 2016 and most of 2017 I have/will not know it all. New jobs, situations, friends etc … it’s ok to not know it all, sometimes we have to be the student again. The only person that seems to expect me to know it all is me.

 

6. Say yes. Wonderful things can happen.

‘Nuff said.

7. Having high expectations isn’t a bad thing, people will rise to them if they want to be in your life.

You’re either worth it or you’re not. Do you really want people around that think you’re not? I didn’t think so. Never lower your standards.

8. Being vulnerable is ok.

Beingvulnerableisok.beingvulnerableisok.beingvulnerableisok.sayitwithmeandImightbelieveit.beingvulnerableisok.

 

I’ve often been described as stoic; unaffected by most things, void of emotion etc.

Example 1 “Michaela has no heart – she won’t cry at that movie”

Example 2 “You won’t get any sympathy from Michaela, so don’t cry in front of her. She’s a cold bitch”

Truth is, like most people, I am affected. I’ve just got very good at hiding it over the years so people can’t use it against me. Is that a bit too cliché? Probably, but it’s the truth. I’m slowly learning that it’s ok to show emotion, that not everyone will use it against me. I have a list of about 4 people I will cry in front of now. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

9. People are allowed to change their minds.

Just that. Not everything is set in stone. People change their minds all the time. We might not like it, but it is a fact of life. The sooner we accept that, the better. ‘Tis what it is.

10. If it hurts you, walk away.

If being somewhere, or with someone hurts you stop going there and stop being with them. We have a tendency to over complicate the simple. If it hurts you, stop torturing yourself and walk away. It really is that simple.

11. Stop apologizing and start saying thank you instead.

This picture says it all. It’s a much nicer way to live life I think.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-18-44-52

12. Take a minute each day to stop and smile.

60 seconds. That’s all I’m saying. It can change your whole day, because really is it a bad day, or life? Or just a bad 5 minutes that you’ve decided to milk all day? Turn that frown upside down, sucker!

13. If you want help, ask for it.

9 times out of 10 people are always willing to help. There is no shame in saying ‘Yo, I have no clue wtf I’m doing, help a sister out.’ Or you know, if you don’t want to ask for help keep suffering in silence. You do you, boo.

14. Everything is temporary.

Every moment is temporary. Feelings are temporary, places and people are too. You’ve survived 100% of what has happened to you so far, the pleasure and pain was all temporary. You’ll survive. How do you feel now? You’ll feel differently in six weeks, and different still 6 weeks after that. The same can be said for how you think, what you believe in, what you want. It’s all temporary.

15.You get back what you put in.

Some call it Karma, others call it hippy nonsense, I call it a truth. You get back what you put in. Positive things happen to positive people.

16. It’s nice to visit the past, but don’t stay there.

When we miss people, places or times in our lives we all revisit the past. Everyday at work when they call the flights to Valencia I get a pang of longing for what was and what could have been. It’s great to visit that time in my life but I can’t stay there because it takes away from now and stops me making new memories here. That was just one chapter of my life, there are still many more to come.

17.Note to self: One day you will be number one on someone’s list.

This is all we all really want. I know it’s all I really want. Hopefully 2017 will be that year, if not, there’s always 2018!

See you around my birthday for the next one. Ok bbyeeee

xoxo Micks