i like to think i’m ok.

i’d like to apologise in advance if this post comes across as me fishing for compliments or me feeling sorry for myself but, like the girl in mean girls ‘i just have a lot of feelings’ and i wanted to share a bit. it’s been taking up a lot of my thoughts recently and i just need to get it off my chest.

i like to think i’m ok. i’m not the prettiest person nor do i have the perfect body. i’m not the nicest person. i’m moody. i get tired. i swear too much. i am not perfect but i like to think i am ok. i try to do my best at everything. i try my hardest to be a good friend, boss, family member. i try my hardest to be there for my everyone because i know what it’s like to feel completely alone. i’m more sensitive and emotional than a lot of people realise. i’m passionate. i have a lot of opinions. i try to educate myself on things before i give these opinions. i can be negative but i try to stay more positive than not. i’m shy and awkward. i like to think i am not judgemental but actually quite open to most people.

i like to think i am ok.

i endeavour to not make someone feel like shit because of who they are. recently i have been on the receiving end of behaviour like this and it has made me question if i have the right people in my life and if i have the respect for myself that i thought i had.

i’ve been thinking a lot about the people i surround myself with and how these people make me feel about myself. there is a great quote attributed to someone on the internet about ensuring that before you diagnose yourself with low self esteem and depression that you are not surrounded by assholes first.

the people we surround ourselves with are a reflection on how we see ourselves, why if i thought i was ok, would i surround myself with people who make comments about me, to me, that make me feel unloveable? that make me feel like i am too much hard work? that i am not worth the effort? i thought, with the end of university, i had rid myself of the ‘friends’ that only saw me as the less attractive, fatter, funny friend and only wanted me there to be an accessory to make them look better. i thought i’d rid myself of those people who weren’t my biggest cheerleaders – not that all my friends have to cheer me all the time, but part of being friends is being each others biggest cheerleaders, in whatever way you feel comfortable expressing it.

at 28 and a bit, i really thought all this shit would be dealt with but i guess, as Bowling For Soup so eloquently sang, ‘high school never ends’.

one thing all these thoughts and time wasted over thinking and being upset recently has made me realise though is that i need to make some changes. there really is a lesson in everything apparently.

why do life lessons always have to cause us so much shit?

answers to that one on a postcard, please

xoxo M

Vogue 73

hiya friends,

recently i have been a bit obsessed with the series on vogues website ’73 questions’ whereby they ask various people in the public eye 73 questions (funny that).

because i love this kind of shite i have taken the time to answer them for you – i can tell you’re all thrilled at the idea, who wouldn’t want to know more about me?! YOU’RE WELCOME.

1. What’s your favorite movie? West Side Story leaves me starry eyed everytime.
2. Favorite movie in the past five years? Suffragette or The Greatest Showman – I’m a sucker for a musical
3. Favorite Hitchcock film? The Birds
4. A book you plan on reading? A history of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray
5. A book that you read that positively shaped you? ‘The Elegant Art of Falling Apart’ by Jessica Jones
6. Favorite TV show that’s currently on? Will and Grace
7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now? solid 5
8. iPhone or Android? iphone
9. Twitter or Instagram? instagram, i actually deleted my twitter a while back because it felt too much like hard work and was full of weirdos. 
10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now? 3 people i want to be my friends that i am following on instagram 1. @hotpatooties 2. @mother_of_daughters and her other half @father_of_daughters (they count as 1) 3. @kirstenanniebell 
11. What’s your favorite food? nachos or really anything Mexican 
12. Least favorite food? if there is a beetroot liver combination it would be that
13. What do you love on your pizza? my favourite pizza is Hawaiian.
14. Favorite drink? alcoholic it would be something with amaretto or tequila in, non alcoholic would be water or tea.
15. Favorite dessert? i will probably change my mind in a minute but right now Eton Mess
16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? milk, always
17. Coffee or tea? tea
18. What’s the best part about being an aunt? I can give them back
19. What’s your favorite band? the beatles – duh
20. Favorite solo artist? at the moment I’m really enjoying Rachel Platten but I also adore Passenger
21. Favorite song? oooh this is hard, because I have few – the pursuit of happiness by Kid Cudi
22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be? Taylor Swift (don’t hate me)
23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be? violin 
24. What is your next tattoo going to be? I’ve been thinking about getting something for #teddystribe
25. To be or not to be? not to be 
26. Dogs or cats? dogs
27. Bird-watching or whale-watching? whale watching
28. Best gift you’ve ever received? so many… maybe tickets to the ‘LOVE’ show in Vegas.
29. Best gift you’ve ever given? I can’t tell you yet as I’m yet to send it
30. Last gift you gave a friend? I gave Amy her Xmas present and birthday present 2 months late last weekend…oops. sorry friend.
31. What’s your favorite board game? monopoly
32. What’s your favorite country to visit? I have 3. America and Ireland because of my friends there and Spain. The Spanish make everything better. 
33. What’s the last country you visited? America
34. What country do you wish to visit? Peru and Japan
35. What’s your favorite color? Yellow 
36. Least favorite color? I don’t think I have one
37. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
38. Heels or flats? Flats
39. Pilates or yoga? I have never done pilates so yoga
40. Life lesson you’ve learnt the hard way? asking for help doesn’t make you weak AND no one else has a fucking clue what they’re doing either!
41. Best way to de-stress? singing or running
42. If you had one superpower, what would it be? to be able to speak and understand every language in the world. or to fly.
43. Favourite curse word? the C word. 🤷🏼‍♀️
44. What’s your favorite flower? i love wildflowers likes daisies
45. When was the last time you cried? yesterday night
46. Do you like your handwriting? i prefer my print to my cursive, but yes it’s ok
47. Do you bake? not for years
48. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? my indecisiveness
49. What is your most favorite thing about yourself? my sarcasm
50. Who do you miss most? my grandad
51. What are you listening to right now? Michelle Williams- Tightrope
52. Favorite smell? it would be either the smell after its been raining, freshly cut grass, or the smell of a match after it’s been blown out
53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Michelle
54. Who was the last person you sent a text to? Mark
55. A sport you wish you could play? I really wish I was gymnast
56. Hair color? dirty blonde
57. Eye color? hazel
58. Scary film or happy endings? happy endings, always
59. Favorite season? spring 
60. Three famous people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with? John Lennon, Carrie Fisher, Reggie Kray
61. Hugs or kisses? hugs
62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles? the Beatles
63. Where were you born? Crawley hospital
64. What is the farthest you have been from home? the US 
65. Sweet or savory? sweet
66. Lipstick or lip gloss? lipstick
67. What book have you read again and again? the Harry Potter series
68. Favorite bedtime story? Harry Potter
69. What would be the title of your autobiography? I’m making this up as I go along
70. Favorite sound? any of my three nephews laughing
71. Favorite animal? penguin
72. If you were to start your career again what would your job be? I am a big geek so would love to be a curator at a museum – more history than art – or maybe a criminal psychologist, or a book editor. 
73. Last photograph you took?

see below

love mesel.

so there you have it, you’re all going to bed knowing a bit more about me than you probably care to.

Later on, laddies

xoxo M

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.

2018 – the countdown is on.

 

Wednesday 22nd November – where has this year gone?

this time last year i had just booked a flight to the other side of the world. i was unhappy and running from who i was and what i had become. i was confused about who i was and what i wanted from my life. i was convinced that running away from myself and my life would be what i needed to figure myself out. i thought that it would provide me with the clarity i sought.

i know it sounds dramatic but its true.

well, i didn’t get on that plane.

i can safely say it was the best decision i’ve made this year.

so much has happened to me this year, none of which would have been possible if i’d have run away.

i feel like i have really grown this year, i have made peace with a lot of events that have happened, i have gained the clarity in most areas in life that i so desperately sought. i don’t feel as though i’m as lost as i once was. 

here are some lessons i’ve learnt this year, some lessons that life has reminded me of, just in time for 2018. 

family is everything

this year i have been especially grateful for my family. we’ve been through a lot together this last year and it has only brought us closer as a unit. i am lucky enough to say that i like my family, as people, not just because we’re related. a fair amount of my friends seem to spend time with their family because its what they feel obligated to do. i do not. i do it because i really bloody like ‘em!

 your friends aren’t always your friends.

at 28 i’m sure i should have outgrown the ridiculousness of this but alas, i am still learning that your friends are not always that. they will not always support you, they will not always understand you. an example – the reactions that some friends made when i told them that i wasn’t going to Australia… well… lets just say it stung.

being able to acknowledge when i am wrong / when i’m being an arse is one of my biggest strengths.

this year, more than ever, i have realised this is quite a rare trait. I can hold my hands up when I have been a sucky person, or a sucky friend. i mean, i hate being wrong – i always have been an insufferable know it all so i hate having to say i’m wrong – but i can, and will, admit i am wrong when i am.

i recently messaged one of my oldest friends, someone who has continually reached out who I have rarely responded to, and apologised for being a shit friend. i didn’t try and excuse my behaviours, i just tried to make her see it was me and not anything she had done and that i still adore her.

only you can take care of yourself and your health,

 the last few months are the months i have been the most grateful in my life for our NHS. i have been feeling the benefit of my tax money. i am now, hopefully, on the up both physically and mentally, but it has given me a new perspective on all things health related – so much of it is within our control, the care we take of ourselves has the biggest impact on our health. what we put in our body to fuel it, what exercise we do (or don’t do) and the impact that has not only physically but also mentally. we need to make sure we’re taking the best care of ourselves. the situations we put ourselves in, the pressure we put on ourselves, the people we surround ourselves with… we might not be able to control every illness, every accident, but we can make sure that we are taking the best care of ourselves; that is within our control. you have to make your own health a priority.

your gut knows when it is not right – listen

everyone will give you their opinion if you let them and whilst it can be helpful to gain the perspective of an outsider ultimately you know when it isn’t right. trust yourself.

 you can’t force anything.

if it’s meant to be it will be, sure you need to make an effort initially but if it becomes too much like hard work and you’re not feeling the benefits, you’re not feeling satisfied then let it alone. chalk it up to experience and move on.

the idea of something is often better than the reality but you should still try.

You never know, you might just be surprised.

 if you have people in your life that make you feel like you have to apologise for who you are and what you like, get rid of them.

 or at the very least, distance yourself. i understand we all like to take the hand out of our friends, me possibly more than anyone, but if this turns into them making you feel bad about yourself it is not ok.

people that don’t love themselves cannot love you. same for those that don’t like themselves.

exactly as it says.

 support can come from the most unexpected places – appreciate it.

this year i have had support and understanding from someone that i never would have expected, i don’t think i will ever fully be able to thank them and i don’t think they will ever fully understand how much i appreciate all they’ve done for me.

 

2017 has in some ways been so confusing but i feel a different person this side of it. this year i can really see the change in myself, i can see how i’ve changed for the better. i’m much more sure of myself, i’m much more appreciative of who i have around me. i stopped running long enough to catch up with myself. 

2018, you’re a few weeks away but i’m excited for the adventures already. 

the return of saturn.

xoxo M

Project Self Esteem

where I am : bed bound listening to Taylor Swift

 

hullo, friends.

I am feeling really very sorry for myself – I had a very eventful weekend. what I thought was simply a cold / ear infection made me end up at an out of hours GP appointment at 9:30 on Saturday morning, by 10:30 I was sat in another hospital in a+e. oh the fun we had! so now I am bed bound, completely shattered but also, completely bored! I am pleased to report that I am feeling much better; drugs really are a wonderful thing, as is our darling NHS.

some of you may recall in my previous post that I mentioned that I was starting therapy to try to understand my triggers for depression – im happy to say that it does appear to be working as I feel ok currently, I know all too well it isn’t something that will go away overnight and I still have my bad days but I am in a much better place than I was a month ago.

 through some of the work ive been doing with my therapist it turns out I have low self-esteem – which is no shock to anyone around me but is apparently a shock to me. I really thought it was better than it had ever been this year… oops.

anyway, some of the homework I was given was to write something down everyday for a month that I like about myself.

simple right?

wrong!

ive written before that I struggle to accept a compliment – something that I am better at now– I used to always laugh them off or change the subject but now I try to accept them with grace. I don’t know if it’s the british in me but I always feel that, if I say im good at something, that im boasting a bit, and I never want to be that arrogant person. we are known for our self-deprecation after all. luckily I had some of my family and friends on board to help me out when I struggled (although I do think my sister Melanie confused me more than she helped)

so, on this day, I thought id share with you my list because im trying to remember that saying im good at something, or that I like something about myself doesn’t make me arrogant.

big love to those that helped me, id love for you to share with me one thing that you like about YOURself.

Project self-esteem , here goes.

I’m loyalsometimes this is to a fault. but if I got you, I got you.

I have a very contagious laughit makes people happy. (this one is credited to Denise, thanks pal)

I’m very accepting of people – I don’t judge (‘a very difficult quality to have – another one from Den)

I’m passionate 

I’m supportive

I listen (but like, really listen – thanks, Di)

I love hard 

I’m inquisitive

I’m not afraid to admit when I am wrong (I mean, I don’t like to be wrong but I can admit when I am ) 

I’m dedicated 

I’m fun – well, i can be 

I have standards 

I’m opinionated

I can laugh at myself (and do, regularly)

I don’t try and be cool I realised I wasn’t ‘cool’ years ago and have since stopped trying. I’d rather be a freak anyway.

I’m honest (sometimes too much)

I’m calm in a crisis (thanks, Melissa)

I write well (again, thanks Melissa)

I like to think I’m pretty chill, like, I’m pretty low maintenance

Material things aren’t my driving force in lifeyes, having nice things is a bonus but it isn’t the be all and end all.

I’m a glass half full kinda galI always try to see the silver lining.

I’m realistic with a dash of not so much

I can’t control my facial expressionssome people dislike this about themselves but I actually enjoy it

I have the ability to take something complex and be able to explain it in a simple way

I always want to be betterI never want to settle.

I’m good at keeping friendsmy best friends live all over the country, all over the world, but I still see them, I still talk to them as often as possible. distance doesn’t make a difference.

i’m stubbornagain very often seen as a negative but I like it! 

my imagination – oh it’s a wonderous place to be!

so there you have it, 4 weeks worth of things I like about me!

xoxo

M

 

 

Trust.

 

Listening to: Kelly Clarkson ‘Breakaway’ (what a banger of an album)

 

 Hi friends,

This week I have a question to ask you.

Can you still be friends with someone who you don’t trust?

You’ve probably heard the saying (or a version of it) that trust is like a mirror, once it is shattered it can be put back together but never truly repaired. Side note: I think my favourite version is Gaga in her ‘Telephone’ video –

 Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 20.54.03

 

The only problem I have with that explanation of trust/ broken trust is that it’s always led me to believe that, and expect that, my trust would always be shattered in a big way. Like the person would pick up our shared mirror and smash it like a plate at Greek wedding but that isn’t always what happens. Sometimes it’s little chips over time until one of these chips is so big that it causes a ripple effect and you find yourself unable to see your reflection in the mirror, or be able to trust the person who’s mirror it is.

Part of being friends with someone is being able to rely on each other; to trust them. You should know whole heartedly that they won’t run off and tell someone what you said, they should know you enough to know the things that shouldn’t be shared. You should be able to know that some things are only shared between you; some things aren’t meant to be shared. What is possibly even worse than sharing private thoughts and feelings is sharing thoughts and feelings with a twist – sharing a fabricated, sometimes exaggerated, version of the truth. You shouldn’t have to watch what you say to your friends, you shouldn’t have to have your guard up. Should you?

How can you be friends with someone you can’t trust?

Are we, or rather am I, too quick to call people my ‘friend’?

A couple of years ago someone who I definitely do trust called me out on how much I use the word ‘love’. I didn’t ever ‘like’ it, I always ‘loved’ it. It was a great observation, and made me realise that I DID use the word ‘love’ too much. Perhaps the same could be said of the word ‘friend’, perhaps I use it too freely, perhaps I use it too much, or too quickly.

Perhaps the word ‘friend’, like the word ‘love’, should be used sparingly.

xoxo

M

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!