How To…

…Sleep in This Heat.

The hashtag #toohottosleep has been trending for a good couple of days now and I am not immune to this. A solid night of sleep has evaded me for almost a week now. So, I’ve come up with a couple of tips on how to try and sleep during this pesky heatwave.

Of course, the first one is quite obviously BUY AN ELECTRIC FAN! However, on Sunday I had the opportunity to buy a fan and turned it down, thinking I’d be fine – I’M NOT FINE! I feel like I’m slowly cooking. I’m a cold-blooded person. I am British, and indeed Welsh, to my core; I love rain; I love snuggling up under the covers because it’s cold in your drafty bedroom; I love wellies and brollies and cagoules – I’m writing this on my lap with my feet immersed in a cold bath!

So the things I have tried include:

  1. The Starfish. I remember when I was little and my swimming instructor told me that if I ever found myself accidentally in a body of cold water (not partially immersed in a tepid bath) to try and curl up in a ball, to keep my main temperature points covered so as not to freeze to death – not sure how this would work in a buoyancy capacity but there we go. So I have adopted the opposite approach to sleeping and, whilst I’m normally a lie-on-my-side-in-snuggly-ball kind of sleeper, these days I am what I would describe as a ‘Starfisher’. I am currently starfishing it to sleep. (I did not mean that to sound like some kind of sexual fetish euphemism.)
  2. The Manual Fan. I’m old fashioned and also in the absence of an electric fan I have turned to the old techniques (clearly “old fashioned” doesn’t quite cover it – Regency might be more accurate). I have been fanning myself to sleep (again with the sexual fetish euphemism thing). Of course this does mean that as some point I have to choose between fanning and sleep but eventually the two seem to mingle together which is great until I wake up 15 minutes later, boiling hot!
  3. Wine. In an act of selfless investigation I’ve tried this out and can attest to the fact that it works really, really well.
  4. Don’t Bother. No one is sleeping! Everyone at work is tired and sweaty as well. We’re all in the same boat. Stop getting angry about it (which just makes you hotter) and just give up. If there was ever a time for Netflix and Chill, tis now, more specifically between the hours of 11pm-7am. Or re-watch a much-loved series, that way you’ll know whats coming next and be more likely to fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion, despite the heat.

So there we have it! I normally do five points but I’ve completely run out of anything useful to say. If this blog has been weird, I apologise, I have clearly become delirious in this heat. I’m off to lie, very still, upon the oh-so comfortable gravel in my garden…

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Baby Steps…

…Back into the World!

The timeline for recovering from a breakdown is not a finite thing. It’s different for everyone. For me it’s taken a good two years (and by a good two years I mean nearly three) to get fully back in touch with the real world.

There is a buddhist saying that new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. In my last blog I mentioned that I had lost a contract. Whilst this was very upsetting at the time it prompted me to go out into the big wide world in search for new employment. For the first time in two (nearly three) years I found myself employed in a place that was not my house. I now have to leave my safe home office and venture into the real world at least two days a week and surprisingly enough, I’m loving it!

-New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.-- Lao Tzu (1)

I’m actually almost enjoying the days I spend not in my sheltered little office more than the ones I do. Well not all of them…

Last Monday I arrived at my place of work and had to open up for the first time. To make a short story relatively shorter security alarms AND panic alarms were set off, a fundamental piece of security equipped became irrevocably lost, causing two call-outs from two separate security companies, a whole recalibration of systems and the arrival of some mildly annoyed/amused policemen. All this happened on the same day that a kind passer-by informed me that my arse had been generously displayed to the park during my walk to work. My large M&S skin-tone knicker-ed bottom. Knickers that would put Bridget Jones to shame. Needless to say that when I got back home I had a very large sherry, a big cry and was in bed and fast asleep by 8pm. But the next day I was fine again.

So that was not a great day and one that wouldn’t have happened had I been in my home office. However, I’d take one terrible day like that if it means I get all the other perfectly lovely days I’ve had working in a place where other people are. I actually like being round people now. Even the ones that I don’t know! I really never thought this would happen. I thought that I’d be cooped up in my home office for the rest of my working life. That this would be the only way I’d be able to earn a living.

Despite all this I am glad that I’m not working away from home full-time, the days that I am working from home are really good recalibration days. The down days are as important as the up days. My advice to anyone else recovering from any kind of mental health breakdown would be to take baby steps. Sometimes it takes people two months to feel ready for the world again and sometimes it takes people five years. The important thing is to take your time and do it bit by bit. I’ve taken a couple of big steps forwards only to have to take several back again. This time I took some tentative steps and now I’m pretty excited about all my work! It’s a lovely, scary, odd, fun, tiring, but most of all hopeful feeling.

It all begins with one step

A Shit Day…

…To Look on the Bright Side

So this week has been a really shit week. It all started with cat piss. Cat piss is the worst kind of piss. Even after you’ve soaked (literally soaked) the whole area in pure bleach you can still smell it for about eight years after you’ve cleaned it all away. My cat, Nunney (I didn’t know that was a euphemism for vagina when I named her that btw) went through a phase of pissing on the kitchen surfaces, right next the cooker – hygienic. This has resulted in the cupboard where I keep MY PLATES smelling like cat piss for months on end. I finally thought we’d solved the problem by various different methods and have gone without pissy plates for about a month. But oh no, I went away for one night, ONE NIGHT on Friday and to punish me Nunney started pissing on the bloody kitchen surfaces again.

Continue reading “A Shit Day…”

To Medicate…

…or Not to Medicate.

Now that is the question. At least it’s the question I’ve been asking myself over and over again for the past two and a half years.

I wrote a blog about this when I first started taking anti-depressants. It’s interesting to read it now, I still have exactly the same concerns I had back then. These concerns have stopped me from being able to consistently take my medication. I’ve spent the past two and a half years coming off Citalopram and going back on Citalopram and then coming back off it again, but I think I’ve finally come to a positive conclusion on the subject. After spending the past three months completely anti-depressant free I recently made the decision to go back on them and, I think, this time for good.

Continue reading “To Medicate…”

What Would…

…Miss Fisher Do?

In my quest for mental peace and stability I have come up with many different mantras from many different schools of thought and whilst they have all helped me in many different ways, one is helping me over and over and over again.

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For those of you who don’t know what Miss Fisher is, go to Netflix. Go there now. NOW. And watch it. If you like 1920s fashions, strong female characters with gumption and tenacity, and some light-hearted murder, then this is the programme for you!

What Would Miss Fisher Do helps you answer questions when you either don’t know the answer or you do know the answer but feel weirdly guilty about the answer, mostly the latter, for example: Continue reading “What Would…”

#FashionFridays!

It’s been AGES since I did one of these! I spend my life dressing up as things/people and every now and again I like to record these dress-ups in the form of a #FashionFridays blog. This is one of those occasions! img_3958 Continue reading “#FashionFridays!”

Good Riddance…

…2016!

I think we can all agree that 2016 will go down in the history books as one of strangest years that ever happened. We’ve had more deaths than newspapers had pre-written obituaries for, and then Brexit, and then Trump, not to mention the related rise in hate crimes AND a really rubbish Strictly Come Dancing cast (didn’t even watch the final). I do have to say before I continue that one VERY good thing happened this year; the birth of my beautiful nephew and thank goodness because without this piece of shining glory 2016 would be far too depressing to even write a blog about.

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But as far as the bullshit politics that we have and will continue to be subject to, I think I’ve worked out what the problem is: no one wants to argue anymore! If I had even 1p for the amount of times I’ve been told off for debating at the dinner table I would have a pair of pure silk pyjamas for every. night. of. the. week. And then my life would be complete.

Honestly, Jane Austen books are more confrontational than most of the dinner parties I go to these days; I’m not allowed to talk about politics, religion, comedians, sexual preferences (sex at all), what I thought of last week’s Graham Norton line-up, the list is endless. If anyone disagrees about anything, ANYTHING, like thongs vs. big pants (big pants, obviously) everyone gets really offended and then you’re not allowed to talk anymore and everything gets really awkward and I feel guilty for about two years afterwards.

The problem with this is that no one ever ‘educates’ each other on different standpoints. In the past if someone said “I voted Leave because I’m worried about immigration” I’ve responded by thinking “racist” and then walking away. Mistake. Bad, judgmental me. I’ve had a rethink and actually when we talk to each other about our differing opinions we mingle all that information together and, in time, can make much more informed decisions.

This is why all the American polls were wrong, because no one could tell anyone else how they felt! If they had, they might have been able to partake in open, non-judgemental conversations which may have led to them NOT making the worst decision of they’re lives (I’m not judging…I’m really trying not to judge…okay I’m judging a little bit).

We need to be more open to each other. We need to be a bit less polite! We need to offer each other our opinions and relish in the differing of them, to really listen to each other and to bloody well argue at dinner parties! I feel like having a dinner party where the only subjects anyone is allowed to talk about is religion, politics, gender equality issues and who the new Strictly judge should be. It shall be a Welcome to 2017, Let’s Please Work Together to Make This Year Less SHIT party. Wanna come?