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!

i am me.

Where I am: HOME

What I’m listening to: Acoustic Room playlist on Spotify.

 

Morning,

 I just wanted to start this by saying a big thank you. After my last post I received an influx of messages from various people telling me I was definitely ‘enough’ already. I know I can be my own worst enemy, I’m learning new things about myself everyday and I am learning to be OK with who I am – it’s something we work on everyday.

So to the following…

Julie, Gel, Nat, Briana, Mary Jane, Laura, Momma Sophs, Mr AND Mrs Taylor (who messaged me separately), Tom, Auntie P, Katie, Dalbs (Well done for not cutting anyone), Maureen, Michelle, Sammy, Dina, Mama Sewell, My sisters, Donna and everyone else… BIG LOVE. Thank you.

Also thank you to Megan – I’m so glad you understood what I meant, you made me feel less crazy about it!

 

I honestly didn’t expect the reaction I got, I was just simply sharing my thoughts as I always do.

 

Today is a new day. Today I am ok. Today I am ok with who I am.

 

Someone recently told me they think I am ‘authentic’ – for me that is a huge compliment; I strive to be a lot of things and authentic is one of them.

I am me. I am not perfect. I have my chaos. I am emotional. I cry over stupid things. I get angry. I withdraw into myself. I doubt myself. I love people but hate them as well. I love to laugh. If you’re important to me I will tell you. I can be moody. I sometimes need a hug or a pat on the head. I am loyal – probably blindly. I am an all -or – nothing type girl. I need looking after. I will never forget how you made me feel. I will always listen and try and help where I can. Music is my therapy. I am sarcastic. I am scatty. I love learning about people. I need reassurance from time to time. I can be insecure. I am sunshine and showers. I am a million and one different things; I can only hope to be good enough for you.

If I am not, there isn’t much I can do about it.

This is me.

Are you in? If you are, great.

If you’re not, that’s ok too.

I’ll miss you though.

 

xoxo Micks

 

Just like John, I’m so tired. 

where i am: Los Angeles with my American fam.

where my head is at: who bloody knows. when it stops spinning I’ll let you know. 

It’s happening, friends. I’m getting old. I can feel it in myself. I realise 28 isn’t really old in a numbers sense but I’m not talking about numbers and years. I’m talking about in my mindset, in my head. 

I’m feeling old. I’m feeling tired. I’m feeling the need to slow down and take some time for me, myself and I. I’m feeling like I want to start being selfish with my time. Since I was 20 or 21 every single holiday I took from work has been filled with trips here, there and everywhere. One of the first lines people say to me when they see me is ‘Where’s your next trip?’ Or ‘Where are you going to next?’. The self confessed free-spirit of my family, the traveller, the nomad I have always been the adventurer. I have loved it. I do love it, still, but I’m tired.

I have done some of the most incredible things on these holidays – I have had tomatoes thrown at my face during La Tomatina in Spain, seen the sunrise across Bryce Canyon in the US, got lost in the caves in Postonja, Slovenia. I’ve climbed Mount Vesuvius, sang and danced my way down the Champs Elysées, had my heart broken walking around Anne Frank House. I stayed out until the sun came up with friends I just made in NYC, felt the flames of Fallas on my face (not literally) in Valencia, visited Obama at the White House, swooned over the views at Giant’s Causeway… and so much more. 

But I’m tired.

I’m really fucking tired.

I was talking to one of my friends about this recently. I said that after my trip to India I have no trips planned. For the first time in a long time, I’m totally ok with that. It’s a very odd thing for me to say. I’m always looking ahead to the next holiday, the next adventure. Sure there are loose plans, but nothing confirmed.

My friend agreed it was odd and I said how tired I was. I said how I feel like I’m always travelling and that I have minimal time at home, to spend my time just being with the people I have in my life in England. My friend said to me that it’s ok to be selfish with my free time. That sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes, instead of flying off to visit someone when I have rare time off work, it’s ok to be selfish and say either ‘you come here’ or simply, ‘no’. I’m taking this time for me. I’m taking this time to be at home, to sleep in and see the people in this country. 

I realise this may post may rub people the wrong way, it may come across as ungrateful; you may be thinking I’m a brat. I promise you I’m not, that’s not my intention. I am aware how lucky I am to have travelled as I do, as I have. 

I’m also aware that I may change my mind on this (hello the sometimes fickle Gemini mind), perhaps I’m feeling this way as I’ve only had one week off since March. 

I’m just saying that right now, in this moment, I’m tired.

I’m currently visiting friends in the US. I go home, have 5 days at work and then fly to India for 2 weeks. After that, aside from work, my time is my own. 

I can’t fucking wait 

Xoxo Micks 

The one where I talk about toxic thinking. 

Now before I finish this post, I’d just like to say I am not posting this for any kind of validation. I am not posting this so people can say ‘oh, Michaela you’re so great’ I’m posting this because this is genuinely how I feel and it is where my head is at 75% of the time.

I have, historically, struggled to open up about how I feel. My mum is constantly telling me how guarded I am, how closed off I am. When I started writing I started writing for me and then when I started to share some of that with the world I said that I would do my best to share not just the light hearted stuff but also the stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable, the stuff that people might read and say “WTF is wrong with her?”  

This is one of those posts and it is triggered by a couple of things that have been said to me in the last couple of weeks. 

The first was that I am, what is known as, a toxic thinker. I was talking to my boss about some stuff and this phrase came up. It’s really stuck with me. 

The second was that the world owes me some happiness. One of my friends said that to me; that I work really fucking hard, that Karma was the world’s energy and that when you are a nice person and always put everyone else first then yes karma should give you something back. 

I batted this back, naturally, by saying the world doesn’t owe me anything. I do believe this to be true, the world was here first. I’m lucky to just be living on it. 

I then thought back to the conversation about ‘toxic thinking’ and realised this reaction to someone saying something (that was actually really fucking nice) was proving the point. The thing is, until now I’d never thought of it as being a detriment to my own mental health and self worth. I never thought that me thinking that I didn’t deserve any kind of goodness wasn’t normal. I figured most people would react the same way as me if asked. Who knew I could be so dense? 

I was also so focused on wanting to be the best for other people, for wanting to cheerlead them in their lives that I always felt uncomfortable with people doing that for me. 

I never felt that I deserved anything that was out of this world in ways of praise, relationships, or love. People would tell me I deserved the best and I’d laugh. I never felt entitled. I have always viewed myself as mediocre at best.

“We often judge worthiness on what people contribute, and if you haven’t done much that is considered ‘valuable’ by society’s standards, you may not feel very worthy of any sort of rewards. You see how many people just get by, or live terrible lives, and you think what is so special about you..why do you deserve to get everything you want” – livelifemadetoorder.com

The standards I set myself are sooooo high and I might not meet them all the time. I can’t be the best at everything I do, I just need to learn to take the victories where I can. 

I need to remember that me having to bail on a friend doesn’t make me not worthy of their friendship. I need to remember that me not being able to split myself in 6 or achieve everything I want to at work doesn’t make me a bad manager (I am notorious for wanting everything done yesterday)

How can I have the life that I want if I don’t think I deserve it? The short answer is I can’t. Only I can change my perception of myself and in turn change my perception of what I think I deserve.

Is gonna be easy to change my thinking? I doubt it but I’ll give it a go.

Here’s to less toxic thoughts and more self love ❤️ 

Peace ✌🏼 

xoxo Micks 

Suicide Prevention Month

I am going to start this post by sharing some very news… I HAVE JUST TAKEN MY LAST CRAZY PILL (or as normal people call them ,anti-depressant).

 

Yep, after 2 and a half years I am finally in a good enough place to feel confident enough to come off of them. It is a bit scary because, you know, part of me feels that they are the only reason I got over my depression this time, but mostly I’m proud. I’m proud I’ve got to a place that I feel strong enough to come off them and try life on my own for a while.

 

Depression can be a debilitating illness and it can be a hard thing for those that haven’t experienced to understand. When I went on to my anti-depressants a couple of years ago I was very lucky that my boss (wassup, Dennis) was someone I could be completely truthful with and we had a very honest conversation about how I was feeling after my diagnosis. In that conversation Den was also honest in that, having never suffered herself, it wasn’t something she understood and she did (and does) her best to ask questions to try and at least sympathise with what I was going through even if she couldn’t empathise. I was very lucky to have such an understanding boss and friend in her. I know friends that have not been so lucky with their line managers.

 

One of the more known commonly known symptoms of depression is having suicidal feelings / thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can completely consume you and it can feel like you have no control over anything. You get into the black hole and it can be hard to climb back out, especially without the right help. Suicide is something that has affected my family and my friends so Suicide Prevention is something that has always been close to my heart.

 

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.

 

The latest statistics from The Samaritans show that suicide is still a very big problem in the UK. Female suicides are at their highest rate in the UK since 2011, in England since 2005. Female suicides have increased (by 8.3%) whilst Male suicides have decreased (by 5.6%). Having said that the highest suicide rate was still found in Men – those aged between 45 and 49.

 

These latest figures published are figures from 2014. It shows that, in the UK alone, 6581 people committed suicide. In my opinion, that is 6581 too many.

 

There is no overnight cure for depression and suicidal thoughts will not disappear overnight. It is important for anyone suffering to get help, there are various places you can get help, it can be anonymously too if that is what you’d rather.

 

There are various factors that will contribute to someone having these types of thoughts and, as I say, they won’t disappear overnight but we can all make small differences to people without realising, often through the little things.

This month I have pledged to actively do one ‘nice’ thing a day, to make a strangers day a little brighter and my contribution to the world a little better.

I would like to suggest you do the same, below are my suggestions for a doily dose of niceness. One thing for each day of September.

 

  1. Smile at a stranger
  2. Hold the door open for someone
  3. Help someone carrying a lot of things
  4. Pay for the person behind you at the drive thru
  5. Buy a suspended coffee
  6. Pay someone a compliment
  7. Give away clothes that you don’t need
  8. Donate items to a homeless shelter
  9. Tell someone why you love them
  10. Take some treats into work for your colleagues to share
  11. Let someone go in front of you in a queue
  12. Let someone overtake you in traffic
  13. Offer someone your seat on the tube/bus/train
  14. Leave an encouraging note for a stranger to find
  15. Call your best friend/ family member just to chat
  16. Buy someone flowers, just ‘cause
  17. Leave a used book in a café for someone else to enjoy
  18. Put £1 in the next charity pot you see
  19. Make someone a tea / coffee
  20. Feedback when you receive GOOD customer service
  21. Mail someone a letter – we all like post that isn’t bills, don’t we?
  22. Share an inspiring ‘thought of the day’
  23. Listen to someone going through a hard time
  24. Exercise patience
  25. Buy a homeless person lunch
  26. Leave behind a coupon that you are not going to use next to the product that it is for
  27. Donate your time/ money to a local cause
  28. Pick up some litter – it can just be one piece!
  29. Give someone a hug.
  30. Be the first to apologise

 

 

I am going to try to do these! One a day for September – as it is now the 6th clearly I have some catching up to do!

 

You can also show your support for Suicide Prevention by wearing something orange on 10th September and/or donate to a charity that works to provide support to those suffering suicidal thoughts and to survivors too. The work they do is so important in making sure that these people get well again.

 

Let me know your suggestions for your acts of niceness!

 

#ANDSOIKEPTLIVING

 

xoxo

 

Micks

 

 

UK charities

www.mind.org.uk

www.samaritans.org

 

These two charities provide support in the UK if you need it, or if you want to donate you can do so by clicking the links and following the instructions.

 

Other useful websites

 

www.twloha.com (featured image from their WSD campaign)

https://www.iasp.info/wspd

www.suicidepreventionapp.com

 

All I can do is try.

I’ve come to realise something about myself in these last few weeks. I am an ‘all or nothing’ person. Go hard or go home could be my motto. I’ve always believed that you need to give something 100% or not bother; I have never seen the point of doing something if you are not completely in to it. I believe that to be a waste of time and energy. Having said that it’s quite surprising that I hadn’t realised I was an ‘all or nothing’ person; hey, I didn’t say I was a smart person.

 

Being an All or Nothing kinda gal (or an ANG as I like to call it) can have it’s perks, but as with everything on the flipside it can also be pain in the butt. I am currently finding it a pain in the butt. My thought process about everything is “If I can’t do this perfectly then I don’t want to do it at all” which leads to a whole load of indecisiveness and confusion. Being an ANG has made me a perfectionist. It makes it hard for me to relax; my mind is constantly on the go. About anything and everything. I frequently have less than 4 hours sleep a night because I cant switch off my overactive brain thinking about things that need to be changed, or things that need to be done. I’m very hard on myself; I never feel my best is good enough. I never feel anything good enough; my mum frequently tells me I am never satisfied *cue The Rolling Stones *. It makes it hard to realise when I’ve got a good thing going on, because I’m always thinking that something else could be changed to make it just that bit better, that bit closer to perfection; which is damaging to both myself and the person/people that are around at the time.

Of course there are, as with everything, perks to being an ANG too. I have high expectations of those around me and myself – I’ll give you 100% in everything I do. – work and life, 100% all in, all the time. If I need to work 14 days without a day off, then I’ll do it. I’ll even keep the moaning about being tired to a minimum. You need someone to call at 3am because you’re drunk and lost? Call me. I’ll come find you. You need a shoulder to cry on because you had an argument with a friend or your other half. I’m there. Not to judge, just to listen. I’ll give you 100% in whichever way I can.

I’m rarely bored. If I am it’s usually because I know what needs doing but, for whatever reason, I can’t act on it. When I do get bored there is always something else to distract me, another thought or a new Snapchat filter. In emergencies you can rely on my and my, otherwise average, stamina (I miss the gym) to turn it on for an extra oomph of power.

 

I frequently wish I was wired differently. That I wasn’t an All or Nothing type of person. That I was just happy with average, that I was happy being comfortable, that I wasn’t bothered about everything being perfect. Unfortunately for me, and those around me, I am not. However, I am going to try from now on.

I am going to try to not see everything as so black and white. I am going to try to appreciate all those shades of grey in-between. I am going to try to accept failure, maybe trying is enough; maybe the only failure really is not trying. I am going to try to not be so hard on myself, to try and remember that I am only human. That those around me are only human. That they are not perfect in the way I want them to be, just as I am not perfect in the way they want me to be, that I want me to be.

 All I can do is try.

Xoxo

Micks

 

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