mental health

Have the damn lunch break #WMHD17

October 10, 2017

Regent's Park, my lunch break

I read something a while ago from a guy who was moaning about millennials (that quota is now full, just so you’re aware) and their work ethics. Millennials are lazy, unmotivated, entitled, with dodgy values and priorities. They turn up to work and leave on time, they don’t check their work emails on the weekends, they take a FULL HOUR for their lunch break, and they don’t answer work calls outside of working hours. No mention of avocado, but almost a full house on my Millennials Bingo card, how about you?

It was slated, obviously, but it’s something I think about a lot, because I grew up surrounded by archaic work ethics that were drummed into me from childhood. I must work every day. I must say ‘yes’ and do as I’m told. I must never take a day off sick, I must not take all my annual leave, I must not moan about my pay or my workload. I must work overtime if it’s offered to me, I must be prepared to go above and beyond, I must be available outside of my working hours to show my dedication and flexibility. I must put as much money as I can into a pension, and I must work my way up the ladder until all that’s left is the empty drop at the top.

mental health

Uni, mental health, and a break-in to *not* be saved

September 27, 2017

Bournemouth, 2014

I remember sitting at my desk with a bunch of bananas and two boxes of cereals bars, one open. I’d eaten half a bar then put it back, telling myself I’d have it for dinner later. I hadn’t stepped out of my tiny bedroom in days.

I’ve never spoken in detail about how bad my mental health was at university - especially during the first year - because I’m still learning myself just how bad it actually was. I didn’t enjoy university. That I knew and everyone knows. But fully understanding how unhealthy my thoughts and behaviours were is a long process, and quite hard to stomach. I’m open and honest about my mental health. I’m open and honest about a lot of things (I mean, I literally wrote about my GP putting her finger up my arse, so), but these thoughts and behaviours were often ridiculous and embarrassing and horrible, so I’ve never wanted others to know I was like that. 

But it’s the end of September and a lot of young people will be experiencing their first few weeks at university right now, and I feel such a sense of dread knowing there may be a lot of young people out there who might be about to experience their first year just as I did. The first few weeks at uni are such an integral time to not get ‘right’, as such, but to just fucking survive in a healthy way. Thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours in the first few weeks could set you up for the rest of your time at university. ‘Could’ being the imperative word here, because I’m learning now that nothing is ever set in stone. You can change. You’re always learning. I didn’t know that, and boy I wish I did.



September 14, 2017

I dropped off my little cousin to her first day of work experience on Monday morning. I say ‘little’, she’s 21 next month. But I see her less than once a year and she’s absolutely, categorically still my baby cousin. She’s staying with Ryan and me this week - she lives in Birmingham and goes to uni in Edinburgh - and as soon as she was dropped off and my auntie said, “Here’s her porridge and here’s a bottle of Disaronno to say thank you,” they left and my cousin said, “This is like a movie where the child has lost its parents and is thrown to the nearest unwilling relatives,” and we laughed and I suddenly did feel like I’d adopted a small child.


Riga, Latvia (June 2017)

September 01, 2017

House of the Blackheads

I’ll be honest, when Ryan said he wanted to go to Riga, I wondered the heck why, after tentatively asking if Riga was, indeed, the capital of Latvia. Or was it Lithuania? Or the other one?*

It was Latvia.

I didn’t know anyone who had been to Latvia. What was in Latvia? Why did he want to go to LATVIA? I’ve said Latvia too much. L a t v i a. 

Turns out that, quite obviously, Latvia has its own significant history with World War II, so of course Ryan wanted to go to Latvia. 

And so began another fun-filled weekend of history and war and museums, with a big ol’ extra dollop of communism. But, spoiler: Latvia is great. Go to Latvia. I’ll tell you why.

mental health

Stop relying on those struggling to speak first

August 14, 2017

(CW: talk of suicide.)

I’m a bit irritated. 

I used to blog a lot when I was irritated. I loved having fierce emotions and strong opinions but when my mental health started going up the spout, my fierce emotions became a misdirected mess and I had no opinions on anything because what’s the fucking point, am I right. 

But I’m irritated and tired at a particular part of the mental health conversation so I’m here and ready to bang my gavel.