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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

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Mental Health

My mental health has a huge influence over my whole life, it has shaped me into the person I am today, in good ways and bad.
I (over)share my experiences as cheap therapy for myself and to hopefully make somebody else feel less alone.

25 Tiny Acts of Self-Care

The words self-care have become something of a swear word these days. The whole idea of looking after ourselves became a marketing tactic and now most of us roll our eyes and scroll on by before we’ve had chance to even finished reading the cursed phrase.

But that sucks. Because we should be looking after ourselves, we should be taking a few minutes when possible to indulge only us and do the things that make us feel good. Self-care might be more associated with £150 massages and body oils that cost a month’s rent but don’t magically fix us, but I think we should take it back.

So here’s 25 tiny acts of self-care that help me.

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September Sadness.

September. It’s a month of new beginnings. Long after you leave school the feelings of shiny shoes and a brand new pencil case don’t seem to subside. I half expect somebody to hand me a reading list of intimidating books we all know I’ll never read. 

But the reality is that the pressures are different now, you’re a grown-up. Nobody is going to tell you to sit and read for hours every day. No matter how much you wish they would.

Instead we’re all hurtling towards another year, another decade, and right about now is the time I find myself reflecting, and regretting. I’m always harsh on myself in September, I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve done enough but I feel that even stronger this time every year. 

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Birthday Dread

Tomorrow’s my birthday. Hold off on the confetti and party poppers, I’m not really one for celebrating the day of my birth. In fact I usually find the whole day a bit of a shitter on my mental health.

I never used to be like this. I was fully in the ‘BIRTHDAY MONTH’ team. Throughout September my Facebook memories are an embarrassing reminder of how much I used to demand attention, presents, and multiple celebrations. Now I’d rather people just ignore it (which many will because I haven’t told them it’s coming up and it’s too late to send cards now suckers!).

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The Non-Stop Battle

Mental health is a non-stop battle. For me anyway.

I’m in a much better place right now than where I have been. Thanks in massive part to going back on medication. But that doesn’t mean I’m fixed, or even close to.

The past few weeks have been a huge test on me mentally, emotionally, and personally. For a lot of reasons that I’m not about to go into on here.

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‘Talk About It…’

Talk about it. The responsibility is on you.
Talk about it. So we can shift the blame.
Talk about it. An easy retweet that helps my guilt.
Talk about it. But only if you fit the ‘right’ image.
Talk about it. But only if it won’t make people uncomfortable.
Talk about it. But only if you’re willing to show you’re trying.
Talk about it. Once you’re recovering.
Talk about it. Make sure there’s a catchy hashtag.
Talk about it. As long as you’re white, straight, and middle class.
Talk about it. But not too much, you’re just attention seeking.

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Fog.

The past couple of months I’ve been in a deep depression. My body and mind have felt completely numb and while I’ve spent hours each day crying it’s been out of frustration, not sadness.

Reality is blurred at the best of times when you’re depressed.
I shut myself away and convince myself that’s for the best anyway, because nobody would want to see me or talk to me. I’m a waste of space. But add to that a forum full of strangers discussing you, debating your relationship, discussing your children, questioning your morals… that’s a reality that a depressed brain doesn’t know what to do with. That it can’t let go of.

Continue reading “Fog.”

More Than a Writer’s Block

All I want to do is write.
Writing is my outlet, my medicine, my coping mechanism.
Writing is how I make sense of my own head, understand what’s wrong and what I can change.
But I can’t write at the moment.
I’m too scared to.

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Sixteen Million Voices – Mental Health Awareness Week

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

A week I see great importance in, every one of us has mental health, it is not reserved for the people with diagnoses. Everybody needs to find ways to take better care of their own mental health – finding ways to destress, to cope with life experiences that may make them feel anxious or down, and to understand their own mental health.

Today I was supposed to be launching a new part to the blog – Sixteen Million Voices,  unfortunately due to everything that has been going on with Instagram, having to spend more time than I care to admit speaking to PRs to apologise for pulling out of campaigns, and having something of a mental health crisis myself – it just hasn’t happened.

I can only apologise for that.

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Just Block Them

‘Just ignore them.’
‘Block and move on.’
‘They’re just jealous’
‘Chin up.’
‘Name and shame the pricks!’
‘One in a thousand isn’t worth getting upset over.’

Just a snippet of the messages I’ve received over the past 24 hours. Yesterday I nearly cried on Instagram stories because I’d again been on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse relating to my parenting ability. This time it was because I posted a photo of Fox on my lap, mid-breakdown, while I was trying to get my work done (that’s already two weeks overdue). I captioned it that I would kill for a nursery drop-off and an office job. This, of course, makes me a shit mum.

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