life

Twenty Fixteen.

December 31, 2015

I’ve never really been one for New Year’s Resolutions because, like a lot of others, I find the concept a bit pointless. If you want to change or achieve goals, do it without the excuse of a new year. Be very Shia LeBeouf about it all. 

Alas, I’m a beautiful hypocrite and endlessly fickle, so as this year draws to an end, I’ve thought about it and written some resolutions down. Besides, I managed to turn 2015 around spectacularly in the last five months, and there’s no way I’m slowing that down. If that means using an often empty tradition as encouragement, then so be it...

life

22.

December 17, 2015

I like being 22.

Mostly because I made it to 22. 

It’s a nice age. A settled age. We went to Bristol for my birthday, back in September. I’d never been before. We stayed in a cute B&B, had some fancy cocktails, ate some crackin’ food, saw the sights and took a ridiculous amount of photos. It was a good September.

Birthday in Bristol, September 2015

running

The runs.

December 10, 2015

I can’t remember which song I was listening to. I’d switched from Taylor Swift to One Direction to Little Mix constantly throughout the nine weeks, but I know that it was badass. Laura told me I had one minute to go, and that would be it. I’d have done it, I’d have completed the whole nine weeks and, if I’d stuck to it, I’d have just finished my third and last 30 minute run of the final week. 

There was no way I wouldn’t have stuck to it. I wouldn’t have been able to deal with the shame of hearing Laura earnestly congratulate me and shower me in compliments before telling me to shower myself because I was disgustingly sweaty, if I had given up and was shuffling around the park feeling sorry for myself.

I’d picked up the pace when I had five minutes left. I could see Ryan, my boyfriend, out the corner of my eye coming around the bend behind me and I refused to let him lap me. Not a chance. He’s taller, with long legs, and has the perfect body type for long distance running. But there was no way in hell that I was going to let him lap him on my final ever Couch to 5K run. Fuck that. So I legged it.

life

Craft & Crumbs #Crafternoon

October 21, 2015

The thought of organising a fundraising event simultaneously thrills me and terrifies me. I love planning. I’m the person who creates a Facebook event for her birthday six months in advance. I have post-its in every shade and I have to have a relevant emoji after every event in my iPhone calendar. 

But paired with stellar organisation skills is a deep, overwhelming anxiety that I’m not doing enough, I’m doing everything wrong, I’m missing something, I have no idea what I’m doing, no one will care, no one will turn up, and/or whatever I’m organising is going to fall flat on its arse, much like all the parties I’ve ever planned on Sims 2. 

mental health

An education in medication. #WMHD15

October 10, 2015


Today is my 75th day on antidepressants. Sertraline, to be exact. I’d never heard of it until the day I had a breakdown in my doctors’ surgery’s reception, and at first I treated it like a child hating its new baby sibling. This tiny, tiny white pill was apparently going to help things, but I had no idea how and resented it for being so smug in its ability where I lacked it.

But now we are best friends. The kind of friendship where you walk into the friend's kitchen and help yourself to food, know how to work the oven, and make yourself at home taking control of the TV remote. We’re comfortable, we’re tight, and if it ever moved away, I would cling on to its ankles wailing that Skype calls would never be enough.

Today is also World Mental Health Day. So, to mark it, I've written down the things I have learnt since starting medication, in the hope that it might help others who are battling between unwelcome sibling and clingy friend.

life

Raise your hand. Be brave anyway. #YAtales

October 02, 2015

You could hear the incensed whispers from across the country.

“What the hell is she playing at???”

“She’s disrupting the status quo, someone do something!”

“Is she ill? Shall I call 999? I’m gonna call 999.”

There was no doubt that my old university course mates, now dispersed across the UK, would have sensed that something was awry in that packed out room at Waterstones Piccadilly where, sat at the back by a protective pillar, I had just raised my hand to ask a question.

RAISED MY HAND.

TO ASK A QUESTION.

This is unheard of. You don’t ask questions. It is the one Victorian tradition we are ok with keeping: you do not ask questions. No one asked questions in university lectures. And if you did, you were shunned and burnt at the stake. So why on earth had I found myself feeling compelled to put my hand in the air like I just don’t care?

running

Louise vs Laura.

September 15, 2015

“You can do it, let’s go!”

“Shut up, Laura.”

“You’re doing so great!”

“Your husband left you because you’re a bitch, Laura.”

“You’ve done so well, keep going!”

“I’m gonna punch you in the face, Laura.”

I just went for my first ever run. By ‘first ever run’ I mean my first proper adult run that didn’t involve getting changed into loose shiny P.E. shorts and a sweaty P.E. polo shirt that I forgot to ask my mum to wash over the weekend. Nor did it involve hiding behind the tree at the back of the school field waiting for the others to do an extra lap before I pretended I was tagging along the whole time, or running into a bin because it’s a foggy Monday morning in December but the teachers are made of stone (so was the bin) and made us do cross-country anyway, and gaining an impressive scar that unbeknownst to my 14 year old self, I would look back on fondly during my first ever adult run.

Laura is my running pal. She only exists in my earphones. And I hate her. She’s a bitch. She’s so cool and calm and acts like EVERYTHING IS FINE EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN’T BREATHE AND YOU JUST TROD IN HORSE SHIT AND THE WHITE VAN MEN ARE BEEPING AT YOU BECAUSE OF COURSE I LOOKED LIKE I WAS IN BAYWATCH.

mental health

You've Got Me.

September 07, 2015

After reading my last blog post, my boyfriend wrote me a letter. This is his side of my story; an important side that isn't often told...

******************************************

Dear Louise

Dearest Louise

Hey

Hello.

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing you. At least that’s how I feel when the little monsters take hold. I know that you’ve been scared of them, and I’m scared of them too.

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it’s how other partners in my situation would feel too – but when things have gotten bad, when you’ve been feeling at your worst it’s almost like you aren’t there anymore. It’s those little monsters taking hold of the command centre of your brain. And it hurts. To see you like it, to hear you like it.

I know that when they take control the things that come out of your head aren’t you, but sometimes that doesn’t stop me from taking what you say to me to heart. What they say to me. What they scream from that little space the monsters have decided to claim as their home. It’s a temporary home, mind. Like a holiday let. But it’s still a home for them.

Sometimes I’m scared. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I just want to scream.

But I can’t be those things. I can’t do those things. I have to be better than doing that because it’s what you need me to be. And I’ve learnt that options 1, 2 and 3 just won’t help.

mental health

Bin bags and Monsters.

August 18, 2015

** Disclaimer: Trigger warnings for mental health and suicide. I am not a medical/mental health professional. These are my own personal experiences and thoughts and should not be taken as gospel (great advice for anything that comes out of my mouth, tbh). **

Three weeks ago today it was my mum’s birthday. She was 51. She doesn’t look 51, not that it would matter if she did. But she doesn’t. Just as I don’t look like my mental health is so fragile that I nearly killed myself on my mum’s 51st birthday.

The night before, I’d argued with my boyfriend. I can’t remember what about. It doesn’t matter, it never matters. He said something, my brain took the words and morphed them into something new, something horrible, and the switch flicked to turn me into a monster. I shouted, I screamed, I said nasty things. 

Again.

Because it’s the same every time.

I went to bed early and cried until stupid o’clock.

Again.

Because it’s the same every time.

mental health

There's a fly in my room. It's stupid and won't leave.

June 15, 2015

Ever since I wrote my last post, I’ve wanted to take it down. Edit it, break it apart and put it back together. But I don’t know whether that’s out of embarrassment, a feeling of failure/weakness/being pathetic, or whether it’s because I want order. I desperately want order and perfection and sense and logic and stability. I’m obsessed with it. I want meaning. If not for others, for myself. But I’m at the point now where I’m realising sometimes that’s not possible. I’m not okay with it, but I know life doesn’t work like that.

I’m struggling. Admitting it, right now. S t r u g g l i n g. I moved back home two weeks ago after three years at university and I am like a deer in headlights. And sure, I’m no different from any other graduand (that’s a real life word describing someone who has finished their degree but is yet to graduate, apparently ¯\_()_/¯). Unless you are sound in yourself, your career path, your surroundings, your opportunities (delete as applicable, just one would do), of course you’d be a deer in headlights. Hell, even if you ARE sound in yourself, your career path, etc, you can feel like a deer in headlights.  Life is fucking tough. This world is scary and mostly awful (if you need any pessimism, I have a lot to share around), and you can feel like and be the most independent little shit and still feel terrified about your future lying on just your shoulders now. No more fall back of education (if you’re not carrying on – and if you are, why, are you okay?) and knowing what’s coming next. I HAVE LITERALLY NO IDEA WHAT’S COMING NEXT, and no that doesn’t excite me, it terrifies me and has had me crying most days since I came home.

mental health

White toast smothered in butter, please.

June 08, 2015

It’s 10:04 on Monday 8th June 2015 and I’ve just come round from 

come through the other side of

beaten

recovered from

about managed to stop shitting, being numb, my chest from feeling like an overweight, pregnant, giant elephant has set up camp on it, any adrenaline that’s actually left in my body from speeding around and punching parts of my body like an angry small child in the playground, and my mind and body from being in the most intense stand-off with each other since….well…since the last time I had a panic attack.